Monday, May 03, 2010

Quick FAQ on Street Fighter IV Focus Attacks, by Rob.

Wrote this up super quick for a friend...

What are a FA's properties?

- It is initiated by holding down MP+MK. You must be on the ground.
- Can be cancelled by dashing out. This is known as a FADC (Focus Attack Dash Cancel). It's very important.
- It absorbs ONE (non-armor breaking) hit. The absorbed hit does 'white damage' which will slowly recover if you are not hit while it's recovering.
- It absorbs both jumping and ground attacks.
- It does not absorb throws.
- You cannot die from 'white damage'.
- It can launch a (counter) attack hit by letting go of MK+MP.
- You can enter into the FA stance immediately after doing a special move. It will interrupt the special move animation with a FA animation.

What kind of attacks can you do?

- It has three levels of attacks.
- Level 1 pretty much acts like a normal attack.
- Level 2 will crumple stun if it hits.
- Level 3 is unblockable and will crumple stun your opponent.
- Level/Strength of attack is determined by how long you hold MP+MK.
- Not all characters have the same 'reach' on their attacks. Experiment with each.

What are some uses for FAs?

- Absorbing hits. This is especially useful for dealing with projectile chracters or for punishing (countering) jump in attacks. If you're far away, it's almost always a good idea to Dash Cancel out of the FA once the hit is absorbed. That way you're free to move/attack again.
- Building up your Revenge (Ultra) Meter. The white damage you take while aborbing hits will still build your Revenge Meter up even though you get that damage restored to your health bar. If you notice you're almost at enough Revenge Meter to get an Ultra. Try absorbing a fireball or something from a safe distance to get it over the top.
- Advancing on your oppoent without jumping. You can absorb an attack and then dash cancel forward to move closer to your opponent without taking real damage or jumping.
- Baiting people to do things like jump. If you start a FA, people might try to jump over you. If they do, then just Dash Back (B, B) to cancel out and punish their jump.
- Setting up combos or throws. If you FADC after certain special moves, you'll be free to unleash a big combo or Ultra or simply escape.
Example 1:
- Ryu does a dragon punch that connects. This normally pops the opponent up and Ryu goes up too and then comes back down.
- If Ryu connects with the DP and then FA, then Dashes (FADC), he'll pop the opponent up, but then be free to do his Ultra which will juggle the opponent.
- The command would look like this:
1. Dragon Punch: F, D, DF+P
2. FA: MP+MK
3. Dash Cancel: F, F (Don't let go of MP+MK until AFTER the dash comes out)
4. Ultra: D, DF, F, D, DF, F+PPP

Shorthand: DP, FADC, Ultra

Example 2: Let's say the Dragon Punch is blocked. That's OK. Now we can just change the ending to either a throw attempt or a dash away into safety.
1. Dragon Punch: F, D, DF+P
2. FA: MP+MK
3. Dash Cancel: F, F (Don't let go of MP+MK until AFTER the dash comes out)
4. Throw: LP+LK

or Dash Away to Safety

3. Dash Cancel Backwards: B, B (Don't let go of MP+MK until AFTER the dash comes out)
4. Phew! You cannot be punished for getting your DP blocked!

Tips (I'll update this as I think of new tips):
- Don't spam the dash cancels. Hit F,F or B,B exactly twice. Don't hit F,F,F,F. The dashes are buffered. So if you get attacked and you FA, let get of MP+MK to unleash your counter and and immediately hit F, F twice and only twice. This should absorb the hit, counter with your own hit, crumple stun the opponent and then dash you right up next to him ready for you to pounce. Don't worry that the action kinda pauses for a split second during the animation. The dash is buffered and it WILL come out.

- Remember: if you are hit while you are recovering white damage, the white damage will disappear, effectively making it 'real damage'.
- Don't absorb TOO many projectiles back to back, because you'll take lots of white damage... and all it takes is ONE jab and all that white damage turns to 'real damage'.
- Get to know your opponents auto-multi-hit attacks (like Ken's Dragon Punch, Ryu's Overhead Punch, Juri's Pinwheel, etc) because those will hit twice (or more) so fast that they'll break through the FA which can only absorb 1 hit.
- Get to know which attacks are "Armor Breaking". These will break right through any FA, even on 1 hit. You'll know it's armor breaking because you'll hear a sound like glass breaking and little glass shards animate on the screen at the point of the armor break.
- Do NOT overuse FAs. They are another weapon in your arsenal. Don't just FA all day. Use them to Mix up your game. Make them afraid to jump in or throw out random sweeps.