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Combo Theory: Hitting the Gym

Courtesy of Capcom

Hello and welcome back to Combo Theory. This week’s article is something different for the site. This week’s Combo Theory is an excerpt of a new collaborative project with the users of r/StreetFighter. Last month, r/StreetFighter Moderator Joe Munday published Gief’s Gym: A Guide to Street Fighter V.  Gief’s Gym is a practical guide of exercises and lessons to help new users understand basic theory. I was more than happy to purchase the book for myself. Recently the users of r/StreetFighter have banded together to create a new guide of character specific tutorials in the same style as Gief’s Gym. Having played Ryu since launch, I decided to contribute to the project, and this week’s article will be in the same formatting found in Gief’s Gym. For anyone wishing to buy a copy, Amazon has both physical and Kindle copies available for purchase.

Punishing Unsafe Moves

The workout – In training mode, select Ryu and set the opponent to Nash. Proceed to the start menu and tab over to the “Playback Functions” on the start menu. We are going to record the first action in slot 1 under “Action Recording Settings.”

  • Slot 1: Walk forward to close range Bazooka Knee(→+LK)

Once this is set, you will turn the action on through the menu and the exercise begins. The player will stay at neutral range from Nash. After Nash walks forward, he will do his Bazooka Knee command normal from close range. The player will block the Bazooka Knee and punish it with Ryu’s Jodan Sanrengeki target combo, or by using one of Ryu’s most damaging bread and butter combos. The inputs for both are are as follows:

  • Jodan Sanrengeki: MP→HP→HK
  • Bread and Butter 1: Standing MP→Crouching HP→HP Shoryuken

After landing the target combo, head to the start menu and reset back to neutral.

There is an advanced version of this workout available as well. This version can be performed the following ways:

  • MP→HP→HK→V-Trigger Cancel→Heavy Shoryuken
  • MP→HP→HK→V-Trigger Cancel→Brief Pause→ Critical Art

Players with a touch pad enabled stick should just be able to tap the touch pad to reset. Repeat the basic exercise 10 times on both sides before moving on to the advanced version of the exercise for another 10 reps facing each side. Both versions of the exercise can be viewed here and here.

The Purpose – The basic version of this exercise serves to teach players the importance of punishing unsafe moves. Nash’s Bazooka Knee is -5 frames on block. This means Ryu can punish this with any of his moves that are sub five frames and Ryu’s standing MP is sub five frames. Frame data an idea of what moves are and aren’t unsafe. Punishing unsafe moves is one of the most important fundamentals for any character, but Ryu’s damage output makes his punish game an essential part of his tool set.

Knowing what moves you can punish lets Ryu players shift to Ryu’s offense and start racking up damage against the opponent.  Ryu’s target combo is an easy to use punish that does decent damage and can be V-Trigger cancelled into a heavy shoryuken for more damage. The move can be used from point blank to close range after blocking the Bazooka Knee. Ryu can also punish Bazooka Knee with his first bread and butter combo for more damage, but the move is only effective at point blank range.

The advanced versions of this exercise teach players to get comfortable with V-Trigger Cancels and using minor delays in between moves. V-Trigger Cancels have a multitude of uses in Street Fighter V, including extending combos, making certain moves safe, and the V-Trigger Mode itself giving Ryu faster fireballs, among other tools. In the first advanced exercise, players will learn to cancel Ryu’s standing HK with the V-Trigger Cancel into a Heavy Shoryuken for more damage.

The second exercise not only reinforces this lesson but also teaches players about delayed inputs. If the player mashes out Ryu’s critical art immediately after the T-Trigger Cancelling then the move will whiff, but if the player does a small delay, then the move will connect. Learning to properly time combos will help with your execution and dissuade mashing out combos and hoping they work.  This lesson can be applied by Karin players looking to use their critical art in the corner following a QCB+LK juggle.

Like always, thank you all for your continued support. I’m incredibly excited to work with the fine folks at r/StreetFighter, especially since it is one of the best places for newer players looking to get into Street Fighter V.

The fine folks at r/StreetFighter can be found here, and as stated before, anyone looking to purchase Gief’s Gym can do so on Amazon in physical form or on the Kindle.

Seth Hall has been playing fighting games for the last four years and writing for the last two. He can be found on twitter @themanseries and will be competing at The Fall Classic in Raleigh, North Carolina.

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