Saturday 5 December 2015

SFV Throw System

The subject of Teching. I'm obsessed with it!

In SFV, throws have 5F of startup. They activate standing or crouching. This is a massive change compared to SFIV and is more in line with SFxT in terms of their speed and range. The overall decreased speed of light normals and lack of crouch teching mean that teching a grab is a definite commitment. The reward is much lower too; they don't cause hard knockdown anymore.

When teching a grab, there is an overall tech window of 11 frames. This consists of:

4F Startup (throw)
1F Throw Connects
7F Tech Window (Inclusive of frame the throw connected on)

When a throw tech is inputted, the game instantly techs the grab and the throw tech animation plays. This is massively different to SFIV, which had a tech window of 11 frames, broken down like this:

2F Pre-tech
2F Startup (throw)
1F Throw Connects
7F Tech Window (Inclusive of frame the throw connected on)
1-11F Tech Decision Period

It doesn't look like much is different, but the core of throw teching has been completely changed. SFIV played the throw anim up until the eleventh frame when a throw lands, and if the game has received a throw tech input in that period, then it plays the throw tech anim on the twelfth frame. In SFV, the throw tech anim is played on the frame the throw is teched. If the throw tech was inputted before the 7F tech window, then the throw tech animation is played on the first frame the throw lands.

Finally, because of these changes, as well as the overall changes to the input system in SFV, you cannot Pre-tech. In SFIV, you could input a tech up to two frames before a throw lands whilst in knockdown recovery or blockstun as a means of safely teching meaty throws. In SFV, the longer input buffer means that if you input the throw 2F before blockstun ends, the throw will come out regardless.

Thanks, and hope this helps!

Wednesday 25 November 2015


This is an old article I posted in a Facebook group a while ago. Still relevant:

I thought I'd do a couple of write-ups on a lot of things that for most players don't seem that important but within SF4 are actually 100% key to improving. The first thing I want to talk about is...


I'm not going to cover the bullshit that is online where a lot of the techniques I'm going to go over don't apply, but just the things players can do to universally improve their defense.

I'll go over the various methods of teching in SF4.

Instant Stand Tech, or Stand Throw

The most basic of throw techs. Essentially, it's just an offensive throw that doubles as a throw tech, immediately out of blockstun. The reason to do it immediately out of blockstun is because throws are 3f, and one of the quickest buttons in the game.

It's not a very strong defensive option. It loses to lows, 2f frame traps and just about anything else that isn't throw. It also leaves you in a long recovery on whiff. Players look for this whiff, and the best ones punish it heavy as fuck.

The only real benefit to this technique is that it cannot be Counter-Hit for attempting it. Throws have startup but are not subject to the same rules as other moves for Counter-Hits.

The technique is probably the first one anyone learns, and probably stick to as they would believe that because it can put them back on the offensive, it is the best way. It has too many glaring weaknesses for it to be a long-term strategy however.

Instant Crouch Tech

Throwing, while crouching, still allows for a throw to be teched. The game gives you a cr.LK for doing this, so for many characters with a 3f cr.LK, this is a very advantageous tool to have on defence. It also allows for a low block, so gets round one of the main weaknesses of Stand Teching, and also allows you to hit-confirm from the cr.LK into your characters BnB.

Characters that make great use of this are Dictator and Chun Li, as they have great range and are easily hit-confirmable.

Even with a 4f cr.LK, it's still useful. However, the technique leaves you open to Counter-Hits, as well as moves designed to go over lows.

Still better than Stand Teching in general, but not without it's flaws.

Delay Crouch Tech

The same as the above, only this time with a delayed input. The concept is to delay the crouch tech just enough so that:

A) You block any frame trap attempts, and
B) Tech a throw on it's latest possible frame.

It's a much stronger defensive measure, however it is character-specific. You have to know the frame advantage and timings of each of the characters close normals into order to time your delay tech correctly. The timing isn't always the same.

The weaknesses of this technique are based on player mentality. If your opponent knows you are delay teching, or understands your delay tech timing if you aren't varying it, they can modify their counter hit attempts to catch these specific frames you will be attempting the crouch tech.

Also, the strength of your cr.LK comes into play as to how useful this is. A 3f crouch tech is good, but even just having a 4f crouch tech means the difference between a CH or a trade, so bear this in mind.

OS Teching and Offensive OS Teching

This is to be used in conjunction with instant and delay crouch teching. Some character's cr.LKs are not really geared towards crouch teching. They're either too slow (5f or more) or have no utility (cannot hit-confirm from them) to be useful, and are more of a liability. An example of this would be Gouken.

To get round this, you can add another, better button to your crouch tech that performs better defensively. For example, Ryu cr.LK and cr.MP are both 4f, but cr.MP offers more hit-stun and frame advantage as well as better comboability from greater ranges, so this would be a better crouch tech for him. As a bonus, it would act as defence against airborne overheads and divekicks that cr.LK would be beaten by.

In the case of Gouken, using cr.MK as your OS Tech gives him a 4f tech, as well as a very, very strong defence against any form of dive kick.
It is still weak to the same things a regular crouch tech is, but has further utility in specific matches and with specific characters.

You can also use this offensively. For example, when going to frame trap with Ryu with cr.MP, build in a tech input regardless and you're automatically protected against Instant Stand Teching from your opponent.

The Offensive OS Tech does have a weakness, however. Using it against characters with 7F+ reversals means you will always be hit by their reversal as you can only delay your tech by 7F before it becomes too late to tech an instant throw, making it an unsafe strategy against characters like Juri.

Inverse Teching

The concept for this is similar to OS Teching, in that you are using a normal other than cr.LK to crouch tech with. The difference here is that you are using a plinked input of:


In Training Mode, it will display an Inverse Tech like this:


The reason to do this is if your character has a better cr.LP that is either faster or has better utility. This is usually the preferred option for characters like Ryu, Boxer and Adon, who all have very good cr.LPs but poor cr.LKs.

The problem with using Inverse Teching is that you are unable to tech on the last techable frame of a meaty throw attempt, so if the attacker delay DPs on the 3rd techable frame, then you will be hit with the DP no matter what. Delaying the Inverse Tech by at least 1f means that you will be thrown if the throw attempt was meaty. An example of this can be found here:

They were by no means 'Raggo' uppercuts. Well, maybe a little.

Focus-Teching, and Focus-Tech Backdash (Four Button Tech)

Still applicable now in Ultra SF4, but with obvious penalties now with Red Focus.

Focus-Teching, and by extension Delay Focus-Teching, is probably the strongest defensive technique for much of the cast. Characters that really benefit from this are Chun Li, Rose and Fei Long; characters with already solid defence as well as very good backdashes.

The technique covers two main things:

A) Meaty Throws
B) Delayed DP traps

But on top of this, defends against any and all frame trap attempts. With the right amount of delay, you can be protected from almost all timings the opponent may have.

The correct input for this is:


This is how it should look in Training Mode. Focus Tech Release is good against delayed traps as you can potentially crumple and land a full combo if you CH their trap attempt. This is risky however and if unsuccessful you are left at slight frame disadvantage with most characters.

The above input shows how to do Focus Tech Backdash, which adds another facet to the technique in that if the trap is delayed even more, you can force it to whiff with the backdash, and punish accordingly.

The final plus point to this technique is that it completely nullifies backdash option selects, forcing the opponent to make a commitment in order to punish the Focus Tech. An example of this is here:

It's only weakness; multi-hitting meaties and armour breaking meaties. With Red Focus however, I feel this technique still has a lot of potential.


This one would take a lot of time to explain so for less wordiness, please refer to this video by illitrit:

The long and short of it is; you can tech throws before they have even connected by using blockstun to avoid a move coming out even when you initiate a throw tech.

The timing on this is extremely precise and a knowledge of every character's normals is necessary to really learn the timing for this 100%. However, this is quite easily the strongest possible universal tech method, as it has no relevance to the character or their moveset; it's simply down to system mechanics.

There are many potential applications of this. It's main purpose is to tech meaty throw attempts with zero risk when performed correctly. Two techniques I have developed but not yet fully mastered are DP Pre-Teching and W-Teching. The latter can be found in this clip:

The concept behind W-Teching is to input a pre-tech inside blockstun or wakeup recovery, and then input your tech of choice afterwards, preferably a Delay Focus Tech. It covers all possible mixups and throw attempts, in theory, but the timing and hand technique required is so precise that it takes a lot of work. Very possible to learn however.

So, that's throw teching, or at least the techniques used. The mentality behind them comes from just playing matches and varying your teching methods to remain unpredictable on defense however, so try a few of these out if you don't already and leave a comment.


Remember guys/girls; have fun!

Thursday 19 November 2015


I've played SFV and it can be summed up as 'straight-forward'. That's not a bad thing, but depending on how the game is executed, it can alienate the core audience that has been built up since the release of SFIV all those years ago. My biggest issue with Capcom going into the development of SFV was that they have said on a number of occasions that the game is 'back-to-basics'. That's fine, but wasn't SFIV a back-to-basics too? It's a difficult one for the developers because what they're really trying to do is grow the player base beyond those who are already true believers. Making a game 'more accessible' will always prove divisive in the long run and will generally force players out due to the shift in direction.

Anywho, enough about marketing strategies. Here's some drivellings on SFV from a Street Fighter hermit.


I never saw it as an issue, but lots of people have problems with combos in SFIV. Whether this is because learning to plink was too boring, counter intuitive or that the game's (heavy) reliance on being able to hit frame perfect inputs to get a character's BnB out just didn't sit well with what that player enjoys about fighting games, it was obviously a very sore point for a lot of players. So much so that it was the main thing that Capcom took into consideration when designing the game flow in SFV. The result is an additional two frames of automatic input buffer on all button inputs and actions (such as backdashing), essentially removing the need to plink ever again. There are a few reasons this has done, and they all lead back to making the game more accessible to the guy who has just bought the game and doesn't know any other like-minded players, forcing him/her to go online.

"Online is the future" people say. It's really not. It's just more accessible.

Either way, the buffer has been added to remove the need for developing the necessary hand techniques to do frame perfect inputs and to mitigate the effect of online latency (or lag) to have a smoother, more streamlined game flow.

I can see how this can keep Johnny Newcomer interested. He's hitting combos for the first time ever. He suddenly starts to like FGs because he's getting instant results. Not like that mean, old Street Fighter IV and it's one-frame links.

But what about the core audience that has been playing SFIV for years? And done what is necessary to get results? The hard work that these people will have put in to mastering their characters, mastering the input system, learning to navigate their controller to get the absolute maximum out of the game, all just given to them on a plate by a few keystrokes from the Battle Director of SFV. It's a kick in the teeth, really.

I think it's a good example of how the games market is at the moment, with players wanting that instant-gratification because they've just forked out fifty notes for the pleasure. Street Fighter, or FGs for that matter, have never been about that. They're sandboxes for the individual, and the size of it is determined by how far the player wants to push themselves. It can take weeks, months, years to develop the skills required but those that have took them halfway seriously understand how rewarding each small step is. It could be a button you've never used and you suddenly use it and it anti-airs X-character's jump-in. At that moment, the player knows. They experiment, they improve, they put it into practice. It's one of the most satisfying things you can do in a video game.

The leniency also kills other aspects of the game. There's an excitement in performing difficult things in a FG. It's fun, and for people watching, it's entertaining. SFV doesn't have that. When Sako lands his Karin extended BnB at Evo finals, it won't be anywhere near as exciting because you know that you just did the same thing to your mate, repeatedly, hours earlier.

I'm not a fan, and I wish this is tuned a bit before release.


Throws suck in SFV. They're 5f startup, don't grant a hard knockdown and have poor range. They don't do a great deal of damage either. On a more technical level, the new 2f buffer also means that Pre-Teching, an advanced defensive technique from SFIV, is no longer possible as a throw will always execute if LP+LK are pressed within the two frames before blockstun ends.

Just about any FG that I know/play that has strong throws, is sick. Having strong throws enhances all aspects of the game. Counter-hit/throw mixups become much scarier, okizeme becomes more dynamic and the overall pace of the game is faster, more kinetic. More fun, in other words.

Some more detailed changes to throws in SFV from SFIV are how the game treats crouch teching, throws being Counter-hittable and how throw techs always favour the defender. Crouch teching no longer exists, with any attempt to do so executing a stand throw. It plays into the new mechanic of throws being susceptible to counter hits, which is a good thing. SFIV's stand teching not being counter-hittable was a tactic used to mitigate damage as well as swallow up delay timings on frame traps. Even if you did trap their throw, you got no CH reward; a fairly cheap and low-risk option. SFV does solve this issue but the problem in SFV lies in how acceptable throws are to take. Taking a throw in SFIV against a lot of characters could mean the game due to the okizeme you could implement. SFV is more 'straight forward', in that your throw will lead into either another throw attempt, meaty or frame trap. Realistically, you aren't afforded enough frame advantage to implement a strong enough mixup to scare guys into pressing buttons. In addition, teching a throw now pushes the attacker backwards with the defender gaining ground. There is no threat in the CH/Throw game as the game currently stands.

It really just cements that Capcom really doesn't want newer guys to be discouraged by getting thrown constantly, to the point where they will stop playing. At the same time, this is taking away from the core SF experience and dumbing down the offense/defense interplay. My suggestion, if they still wanted to keep the reward for throws the same, would be to at least make them faster than the fastest normal. A 2F startup throw would make it strong enough to get quick damage, as well as get defending players a bit more antsy on defense.


Normals have very short range. Very, very short range. In addition, whiff punishing normals is incredibly hard due to the range as well as the speed in recovery of a lot of prominent pokes. This leads to a very button-heavy poking game. This would be fine if there was a lot of variety in the ranges of pokes, but the game has a very homogenised feel to the footsie game. If you are outranged by an opponent's poke, they pretty much can poke for free with little risk of reprisal due to the short range on your own pokes. Even if you do, the reward is so minimal that it's not enough to discourage your opponent.

Now I'm not new to whiff punishing. It's probably my strongest area as a player and can do so in many games, like ST, VSav, SFIV to name a few. Whiff punishing in SFV just isn't a rewarding experience. My suggestion would be to more clearly define the range and uses of each poke, so as to increase a character's options.

That's all I've got from about three hours with the game. I don't like being negative but the current direction and state of the game leaves me feeling a bit flat. I'd like to see some of the changes I've mentioned but it's unlikely to happen. Thanks for reading!

Thursday 5 December 2013

Fei Long VS. Dictator

It's the most interesting match for me because Dictator does what I want to do.

From round start I think it's Dictator's match. There's nothing Fei can really do to gain the life lead early on with no bar. He'd have to whiff punish st.MK which is totally doable but anyone that knows the craic is not going to throw that out or whiff it, and probably opt for safe cr.MP instead. The range at which Fei wants to be usually in most matchups is now a risk. If he's at that 1 1/2 - 2 character length range where he can poke with Rekka, cr.HP and FA, Dictator just blows that up with Scissors. The main reason is that Fei has to walk closer than normal because of Dictator's crouching hurtbox. Because of this, he can't poke safely with Rekka (always punishable at this range), cr.HP is just too slow to be using at this range, cr.MK goes under SK and is punished and FA takes all the Scissor, getting counter-hit.

The solution would be - FA at max st.MK range, but this doesn't work because FA nine times out of ten will whiff. Fei can Focus dash forward, but he's not at frame advantage after focusing the st.MK.

The only way for him to gain the life lead here is to take a risk on a jump-in to get some frame advantage to work with, or Lv1 FA pokes at the correct range and backdash. Both of these carry some element of risk. One way of punishing ill-timed SKs or cr.HKs is with a pre-emptive neutral jump, but this has to be at the right range otherwise it's a free st.HK or j.MP > MP > Ultra. And again, anyone who knows the craic is not going to entertain this.

On the other hand, Dictator has to recognise the correct range to SK and know when it will hit twice every single time. If he doesn't, it's a crumple into a full combo and corner position. When you put it like that, it's in Fei's interests to take those risks but really it isn't because as long as Dictator gets the life lead early from something as little as a st.MK, Dictator doesn't have to take any risks. However, if Fei does get the initial life lead and never jumps, it becomes very difficult for Dictator to get back into the match, to the point where all of Dictator's ways of opening up Fei are unsafe. Fei Long eats up players/characters that want to try rushing him down to avoid the corner, so approaching Fei recklessly is never worth the risk for Dictator. Entering the one character length range risks a cr.LP xx Rekka, and will lead to Fei Long having corner control.

On Dictator's wakeup, there's only really safe-jumps that are worth going for. Option Selecting his reversals is a guessing game in itself, so it's better to just react and punish. There are a couple of Option Selects that cover more options than others, but the risk is not worth it. On the other hand, Dictator Option Selecting Fei's wakeup is always worth it. Dictator can safely OS his safe jumps to beat EX CW, backdash and stay safe from Flame Kick when timed correctly. In this sense, Dictator has an advantage, as well as guaranteed chip and ground control post-safe jump.

I think in the corner both characters have the same level of control but the way I think of it is:

How much guaranteed damage can I get before they leave the corner?

Put like this, Fei Long has the advantage. To go along with the amount of options from this position (overhead, frametraps, safe Rekka, command grab, crossup CW), all of Dictator's escape options are punishable in some form. When the shoe is on the other foot, and although I feel Dictator's safe SK pressure and inherent spacing therein beat Fei, the risk/reward for Fei gambling an EX CW or forward jump is in Fei's favour.

It's quite divisive when it comes to opinions on the matchup. I feel though that the majority of situations that arise in the match tend to favour Dictator but it can easily be completely dominated by Fei, and it's all dependent on the opening thirty seconds of the match, where it could end shortly after or go the full 99 seconds.

Main points:

-  Dictator controls footsies at round start and throughout mid-screen.
-  Dictator cannot jump, whereas Fei can.
-  Okizeme in Dictator's favour.
-  Corner game in Fei Long's favour.
-  Super almost irrelevant for both characters.

P.S, This is by no means an exhaustive analysis of the match; there are other tricks/setups that both characters have that can make things easier but they are the main parts of the match that you will encounter with 90% of players.

Friday 25 October 2013

The Blue Rider: Extend

After a long, long hiatus when it comes to drawing, I've decided to carry on with The Blue Rider, starting with a digital re-release of the first part. This new release has new art, colouring an editing to make it a better version all round.

The digital version is available on Amazon Kindle, Kobo, Google Play and iBooks, priced at around £4.99.

As for part two, it is coming along nicely and will hopefully have something to show soon.

Monday 17 June 2013


Firstly, I'll start by saying that this isn't meant to cause offense. If anything, it's to point out areas of people's games I admire as well as areas I want point out to people so that they can iron out those parts of their game. I was asked to be 'brutal' with all of this, but that doesn't really benefit anyone.

So, it is instead just my honest opinion.

Secondly, this is for Street Fighter 4 only, and the player's abilities in that game only. Furthermore, if you're not in this it's probably just because I know you're not actively interested in playing SF4.

Thirdly, I think it's fun to talk shop. I don't do it with anyone really so here are my thoughts on who I would pick as the 5-man north east SF4 team. I'd like to add this is just who I would pick if it were up to me, as it most likely will not be if it came down to it. The players are picked from members of Teesside Fight Club, Bare Spongecake ("COME ON FUCK!") and the rest of the north east players whom I am aware of.

Rhys Noble

His ground game is good. His AA ability is excellent. His execution and reactions are good. He's good. Having a Ryu player on any team is something I would personally look for regardless of how good Rhys is. What Rhys doesn't have is the confidence and self-belief that you need to tough it out in tournament, but with strong players behind him this is less of an issue.

From a team dynamic standpoint, having Ryu on a team gives you a rock-solid matchup against any of the cast. Ryu is never out of the match, no matter who he is fighting.


Despite a lot of what is said about Hado by the local players ("he can't combo", "he just does stuff", "he mashes" etc), and some of it is true, he has something that no one else in the north east has; complete and total unpredictability. What he lacks in execution and on the ground, he makes up for with 'being Hadoshrooms'. He's the only player I would never want to run into in tournament as I simply would not be able to plan or know how the match will go like I can with every other player.

I would always look for a Zangief player on a team. You're forcing the opponent to play in a particular way, even Sagats, and Hado definitely knows this. It's why he plays the way he does. That is why Hado still beats the majority of the local players, why he won a PvC, came runner-up at a PvC, why he is always a problem and why he would be on my team.


His knowledge of his character is good, he has solid execution and he knows his matchups. Mike lacks in some areas (his ground game and defensive-zoning are questionable), but his character's archetype kind of makes up for this. Mike thrives in tournament; he's the most consistently high placing player of all the north east players, and he is almost definitely the most-improved player in the north east throughout the game's span. But, the reason he is on my team is because of his character choice in conjunction with his player mentality.

In one-and-off formats, Mike can gimmick anyone into losing. This is a fact, and coupled with his consistency in tournament he would definitely get a spot on my team.


Having a Cammy player on the team is standard. Squaddy's Cammy is a setup monster; he knows them all. He does press too many buttons on defence and his ground game is not as strong as the rest of his game but Cammy, like Mike with Juri, makes up for this and in some cases this tendency can pay off. He's also another player that can shine in one-and-off formats.

There's also the fact that he's placed Top 8 at both Hypespotting events, and consistently places high in any tournament he enters. He would be on my team for these reasons.


Fei Long is a tournament character. He's good in any format, in just about any matchup, at any stage in a tournament. This goes for team tournaments too. Much like Ryu, Fei Long is never out of a match.

I have solid fundamentals and I'm confident in my knowledge of the game, it's mechanics and how to exploit them. Having a broad knowledge of the game can sometimes make up for my weaker areas, such as my reactions and AAing. That, combined with my character choice, means I am on the team.

Reasons why you may not be on the team:


He has good knowledge of his character and knows his character's strengths. Unfortunately, therein lies the problem. I don't think he has the discipline to stick to a gameplan, despite his matchup knowledge, and relies on 'making reads' instead of just playing to his character's strengths. The character Blanka is not a strong character in team format when combined with these issues.

Player-wise; his execution is solid but his AAing and throw-teching are weak.


He has strong mindgames and uses a character where big risks can pay off. The rest of his game is lacking in key areas however (footsies, AA and execution) and despite also using a grapple-type character, T.Hawk is not a strong character that is never out of the match unlike Zangief.


Knows a lot about the game, and knows his frame data. Plays solidly and knows his characters well. He's set!

Unfortunately, I don't think he has the confidence in tournament play to make me put him ahead of any of my other choices despite him being on a par with a couple.

And, that wraps it up.

Hope people got something out of reading this.

Thursday 22 November 2012