Think before you decide!
There are many options in GG that you need to know how they interact with each other. To be able to win more consistently, you have to make decisions based on a ‘risk-reward‘ perspective (hereafter referred to as ‘risk-reward‘). Risk-reward refers to decision-making process where your decision is based on the expected reward of a decision compared with the what you stand to lose making that decision. To simplify, in GG this can refer factors such as your current life bar, damage given/taken, tension meter gained/lossed and positioning gained/lossed. What is your thought process when making a decision?
“It is important to know why you are making a decision!!“
Let us review two case-studies to emphasize this.
Case study (1):
Sol jumps. On the way down a low air dash jS jH will win against a reactive 6P of Ky
(= damage for Sol).
But Ky can commit to an pre-emptive 2H to win versus a low air dash jS jH
(= damage for Ky).
But Sol can decide to land and do a whiff punish Grand Viper or dash 2D to whiff punish a pre-emptive 2HS
(= damage for Sol).
But if Ky has burst and Sol doesn’t have 50% meter, it means that doing Grand Viper will give Ky a guaranteed punish on Grand Viper on hit
(= damage for Ky if he uses burst).
Now, since the Ky-player has a fuller understanding of the situation, the Ky player can now make an active risk-reward based decision.
Risk-reward is not about avoiding all risks, instead it’s about making active decisions that take different factors into account (often life, damage, tension meter and positioning).
By playing games you often find new situations that you need to know more about. Studying your own matches and analysing these new situations is important and fun. The reason being that it gives you both short-term results (i.e. you know how to deal with that situation next time) and long-term results (i.e. you learn how to think about GG).
Case study (2):
Sol gets a knockdown after combo that ends with bandit revolver. What are Sol’s options if he wants to break your defense from a jump-in as you are knocked down?
(1) Low air dash jS = must be blocked high
(2) Empty jump-in 2K/2D = must be blocked low
(3) Wild Throw = cannot be blocked
If you are playing Ky, what beats what?
– Ky’s Vapor Thrust wins versus low air dash jS, 2K and Wild Throw.
– But Sol’s 2D wins over Ky’s Vapor Thrust by having it whiff and proceeding to punishing it with a massive combo.
– Conclusion: Vapor Thrust beats everything this Sol-player’s mixup game, except empty jump-in 2D or if Sol decides to block.
What to do versus empty jump-in 2D?
– IB:ing 2D is very good, as 2D is punishable on block as long as the So-player does not do Volcanic Viper, Bandit Revolver or Grand Viper directly afterwards. However, if the Sol-player actually does those options, the situation becomes terrible for him if the Ky-player just blocked.
What to do versus a Sol that decides to block?
– Throw or abare, as Sol is not attacking nor throwing.
The Ky-player can now make an active decision based on the risk-reward of this situation.
– Vapor Thrust wins versus air dash jS, 2K and command throw, but loses against 2D.
– IB:ing 2D gives Ky a very advantageous situation.
– Throw or abare beats a Sol that decides to block.
Risk-reward is not about finding an absolute answer. It is about understanding each situation and making an active decision based on the potential rewards and the potential risks that are present. This can then be applied on specific players and thereafter be subject to change as you continue to play against each other.
Hence, risk-reward is absolutely not about avoiding all risks, instead it is about making active decisions based on several factors. These factors incude your current life bar, damage given/taken, tension meter gained/lossed and positioning gained/lossed.
For you to be able to operationalize this decision-making process, you also need to learn the execution involved so that you can focus on thinking rather than executing.
For more detailed explanations we have to go into specific matchups. My idea has been to only go through some simplified examples to illustrate how a decision-making process based on risk-reward could proceed.
Think before you use your tension!
Tension meter is very important in GG because meter enables many useful options such as:
– Roman Cancels (25% or 50%)
– Overdrives (50%)
– Faultless Defense
– Blitz Shield (25%)
– Dead Angle Attack (50%)
RCs are very strong but RC also lowers your tension gain after you use them. This means that you will receive 80% less tension for 6 seconds after using a RC. Therefore you should think carefully before using meter for RC.
There are many examples:
– Ky’s stun edge YRC is a very strong counter-poke at certain ranges.
– May’s AD YRC jS is an air-based approach that is very difficult to contest.
However, if these attacks did not hit you are receiving next to no tension for 6 seconds! These are therefore associated the risk of losing meter and thus losing options for several seconds onward, especially if you only have a small amount of tension. It is therefore a large difference between the value of using YRC if you have 25% meter compared to when you have 75% meter.
FD also is very strong, but even FD lowers your tension gain by 80%. However, it does so only for 1 second.
However, overdrives do not affect your tension meter gain negatively since they do not lower your pulse. If possible it is therefore better to use overedrives in combos rather than RCs. Worth noting also is that not all characters have the option to use overdrives over RCs because the overdrives of each character having different properties.
Think before you use your burst!
A whiffed blue burst means you lost your entire burst meter, as opposed to if you hit it where you regain 20% burst meter. It can also result in you getting hit by a new combo, with an included damage proration reset.
“That someone is bad at bursting is not something to laugh about, I think it is a sign of serious flaws.“
The reason Machaboo says lies in his interpretation of the reasons behind a bad burst:
– The player has no knowledge about when they should burst (thus need to do their homework)
– The player is too emotional and has no actual control over when and why he/she bursts.
Burst points are matchup specific, so for addressing the first point you need to find out when and where you can burst the combos of specific characters. Another appraoch is to focus on gold bursts in certain matchups or against certain players.
While the former point is linked to knowledge the latter is linked to a point we have not touched yet: namely that it is always better to keep calm and focus on your decision-making in fighting games. Remember, the important point made here is that you need to know when and why you make specific decisions!
Think to evolve!
There are many different ways to have fun with fighting games. You are allowed to mash like a fool and just do crazy specials all the time. However, such an approach is not the road to become good at fighting games. It can also be boring for players that are trying to learn to ply against someone that is not even trying to get better. It can also be fun for players to play against an opponent that is trying their to learn even if they are not very good at the game yet. As you become better, it becomes noticeable on the playstyle of people what type of experience they seek. I believe that it will become a more fun experience for you and for your opponent if you really try to get good.
Importantly, it is OK that it takes time. Results do not only appear in the form of number of games won. It also shines through in the content of matches. Therefore, it can be a large difference between a 1-10 set and a 1-10 set.
From my experience, many people that pick up GG have a tough time keeping up with the fast tempo. It feels like everything happens so fast and that they cannot keep up. This is essentually a knowledge question. Newer players do not recognise moves and movement, and therefore cannot register them in time. Give it some time and you will adjust!
[Link to next part will be inserted here as soon as possible.]
– Written by Shinjin