Pressure Routes Pt. 2: Tools of the Trade

Pressure Routes 2

Part 1     Part 3

Thanks for sticking with me. This is a Part 2 of a 3-Part Series. If you haven’t read the first part, please skip on over there using the link above. This section will get more into exactly what you can do in a real match with pressure routes. Part 2 will mostly be referring two individual moves, however, Part 3 wraps everything up in a nice bow, I promise. Stick with it and good luck!

Imagine you are playing as Ryu against another Ryu player. Ryu’s crouching light kick attack if pressed really quickly two times cannot be interrupted if the opponent is blocked or hit. If you mash the button quickly enough there is nothing your opponent can to stop you from doing two in a row. For many characters, this is true for their crouching light kick attacks as well as their crouching light punch attack. Try it yourself, I’ll wait. [This does not work with some characters, be warned. If you want to be absolutely sure, use Ryu. I will be using him for explanation in this guide.]

So think of two light attacks in quick succession not as individual attacks, but as a starter to your offensive pressure and a good way to confirm if you have hit the opponent or not. That’s a great start. The starter cannot be interrupted until after your attacks have recovered. Let’s switch gears for a moment and think about your opponents options now. While I know things can get much more complex, let’s focus on a few basics. On defense, your opponent can do the following:

  • Hold down back to block,
  • Reversal with an invincible special move to interrupt you or,
  • Throw tech to stop you from throwing them.

Let’s examine each individually and how to beat them.

The first is hold down back to block. This assumes your opponent is simply holding downback and not pressing any buttons. For this we know a throw beats a block so let’s try our starter string. You can make your own, but for this tutorial, I recommend using c.LK > c.LP with Ryu. So go into training mode and try the following.

[Set computer to crouching]
[Set computer to block all]
*Dash up to the opponent and do c.LK > c.LP
*Perform a throw afterward

Simple right? They block and you throw them. Easy as pie. Make sure the distance is close enough so that the throw connects. For some characters you made need to do a kara-throw. So then let’s look at the second option. Now the opponent has gotten wise to your throwing antics and has pressed the “fuck-it” button and has thrown all caution to the wind. They have decided to interrupt your pressure with a reversal invincible special move. So try the following:

[Set computer to Record]
*Dash forward > c.LK > c.LP > c.LP > continue holding downback to block
[Set computer to Playback]
*block opponents c.LK and try to reversal with anything you can.

Would you look at that. You are safe, untouched, and your string was uninterrupted until it was over. So this has two purposes, the first is to make sure you stay safe while applying offensive pressure. The second is that even if the this kind of play has the effect of making opponents more aggressive. By using your starter string plus an extra c.LP to continue the string you make an uninterruptable chain that PREVENTS the opponent from doing anything. You’re basically preventing them from playing the game, which tends to frustrate and make people a bit more reckless. If they don’t try to reversal and they stay safe, there is a kind of mental damage done here. Otherwise, they try to reversal so much, the special move comes, out, you are typically safe and can punish the action afterward. Finally let’s look at the last option. Your opponent is a bit higher level and knows how to do a crouching throw tech during your pressure. So try this:

[Set computer to Record]
*Dash forward > c.LK > c.LP > Take a step or 2 back > c.MK > Fireball
[Set computer to Playback]
*block opponents c.LK and start pressing c.LK and c.LP together while crouching

So this one takes a bit of finesse to get the timing of the step back plus c.MK > Fireball just right. But once you do, you feel incredibly powerful. You take a step back to call out their c.LK that results from pressing the crouching throw tech, and your hit it with a small combo. The best thing, is that if the opponent doesn’t press it, you are generally safe because of the fireball. So with all this, you have all the tools to stop someones basic defense options.

Stay tuned next time where I sum everything up and put it all together. Not only will it change how you think about fighting games, but you’ll probably be better for it!


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