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A primer on mixups


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#1 24 February 2010 - 12:55 PM

Henaki
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This is going to be a pretty universal post that affects most characters with specific examples. Mixups are heavily dependent on the opponent you face so this is only to help you understand what is going on.

1) What is a mixup:
For the purpose of this thread: A mixup is a situation in which a person is forced to guess to avoid damage. This may seem like a really specific situation, but it isn't.

2) The basic mixup game
There are four "types" of attacks in fighting games (and Blazblue) generally. They are:
Low (must be holding down back to guard)
High (must be holding back to guard)
Throw (must be in the air to avoid)
Unblock (must not be touching the attack)

Generally the point of a mixup is to put a person in a situation where two of these situations can happen depending on your choices. If you have a high and low attack and are in range for both and have time to do at least the low, you are putting someone in a mixup situation.
Now, there are many types of mixups, here are the most basic of them:

High/Low: Forcing the opponent to guess which way to guard, this is a good way to break a defensive player up and force them to take damage. See which way they block in certain situations, then attack with a move that they won't block.
(Example, High: If someone always crouch blocks your 2a spam as Ragna, throw in a 6B).
(Example, Low: If someone tends to block high after Tager's sledge attack to not get hit by a followup, Rapid Cancel then do 2B)

Strike/Throw: This is a much less cut and dry mixup, and I will elaborate further on this mixup later and why it works good. The basic understanding you should have here is that you want to throw them when they are blocking and in range or easily put into a setup that can quickly nab you a throw.
(Example, Strike: If someone is anticipating a throw after a 2A, you do a 2B afterwards, causing their 2a mash/counter throw to get hit)
(Example, Throw: If someone is overly defensive because Arakune is in curse mode and they don't want to get hit by a bug trying to escape)

Block/Mixup: A mixup that only applies to unsafe moves that often beat your own (Distortion Drives or Ragna's Inferno Divider). Block if you anticipate the unsafe move and punish it, or attempt a mixup as listed above.
(Example: Block: If someone is waking up from a knock down and are in a tough situation, they want to do a wakeup move with high priority, block it and punish it).
(Example: Mixup: If someone is afraid of doing a wakeup move, use the chance to cause to hit them).

Crossup/Feint Crossup: A mixup that depends on a certain move being able to attack someone on the other side (example: Ragna's jB). If you create a situation where the position you land on is ambiguous, then you can use this to your advantage and attack with this move. The best kind of crossup you can do is so ambiguous, you don't even know what side you will land on.
(Example, Crossup: Instant Air dash with Jin over the opponent and hit B)
(Example, Feint Crossup: Instant air dash over the opponent with Jin and do 236D)

These are the four most common types of mixups in a fighting game. A lot of characters DEPEND on getting into a situation where you can do a mixup and make it hit.

3) Advanced mixups
Now, there's more to the world of mixups than just those things! Most people can get by on those alone, but what if someone has a very strong defensive game? There's more ways to break someone's guard than just those concepts.

Strike/Strike - Yes as confusing as this sounds, this is a mixup. The point of doing different attacks is to change the opponents rythym on what is a safe route of escape, what to instant block, if they can reversal out, and if they can do an appropriate counter to a move. The most basic application of this is a frame trap: creating a very small hole in your blockstrings so that if someone hits a button, the move won't even have time to activate. This is the best way to land counter hits.
Other things include doing a move that has a very blatant counter (say Jin's 5D versus Tager , which can be beaten by Sledge), and doing a move that will simply beat Sledge in a place where you'd commonly do 5D. Changing your blockstrings is important because no matter how hard it may seem, there is generally a way to beat your next attack, you just can't let them know what it is, or at least try to hide it.

Controlling space - This is a mixup? Yes it is. Controlling real estate on the screen is actually a mixup, though not in a way you might imagine. Say you are Nu/Lamda and like hitting 5D a lot. A smart opponent will wise up and realize you aren't controling in front and above you, and take the opportunity to air dash in. That is when you hit them with a 4D and do a combo. Most mobility options carry some very basic risk of some sort, you can punish someone's method of advancement through simply controlling the space they wish to advance through at different times. If you've ever seen Street Fighter 4 Sagat, this is essentially how he scores most of his damage for a lot of the fight. Control the right space at the right time.

Punishing prejump/backdash - I'm lumping these together because they are sort of universal mobility options. Regardless, if someone decides "hey I don't like this guy's mixup game, I'm just gonna jump", there is a small risk involved with jumping: for a very small amount of time (1/20th of a second or so) most characters cannot block low since they are not holding up. Depending on the game, even a non-low attack can hit them during this animation. A very very basic example is Tager. If someone is waking up in your face and they don't want to get thrown, they will be holding up/back. Make sure to tag them with a 2B or a 3C as they are about to jump, and they will get hit. The important thing to note here is that they will remain grounded while this happens, since they aren't actually in the air yet, allowing for more damaging combos.

Backdashes also have recovery animation, causing them to be vulnerable for a short time while the animation finishes. You can typically do an attack that is active for a long period of time (good examples are Ragna's 6C, Tager's 2D and Jin's Icecar), both of these things carry risk though. Typically the best time you can punish a prejump animation, the person has ample opportunity to do an invincible attack or backdash. And when attempting a move with a long active animation, they are typically easy to get hit out of, or completely unsafe to compensate for doing so.

4) Conclusion
There's more to mixups than just this, but this is a very universal way of how to score damage in fighting games through guessing/psychology.

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#2 01 March 2010 - 06:32 AM

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"A smart opponent will wise up and realize you aren't controling in front and above you, and take the opportunity to air dash in. That is when you hit them with a 4D and do a combo." Shouldn't that be 6D?
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#3 01 March 2010 - 02:18 PM

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In regards to your zoning/controlling space section:
http://www.youtube.c...h?v=HFTvXXoDNRA

In regards to knowing what to do about being knockdown:
http://www.youtube.c...h?v=Wx6Z5VGsBw4

And a punish guide and playing more solid:
http://www.youtube.c...h?v=aXB8xHLA0To

And here's one about hit confirming (This applies even better to BB because of longer block strings and better ability to switch between highs and lows):
http://www.youtube.c...h?v=eDMboPnznJc

NOTE: These are SF4 tutorials, but as any fighting game advocate will tell you, the mechanics transcend between games.

Solid guide otherwise. Nice work.

#4 07 March 2010 - 06:34 PM

dragontamer
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Strike/Strike - Yes as confusing as this sounds, this is a mixup. The point of doing different attacks is to change the opponents rythym on what is a safe route of escape, what to instant block, if they can reversal out, and if they can do an appropriate counter to a move. The most basic application of this is a frame trap: creating a very small hole in your blockstrings so that if someone hits a button, the move won't even have time to activate. This is the best way to land counter hits.
Other things include doing a move that has a very blatant counter (say Jin's 5D versus Tager , which can be beaten by Sledge), and doing a move that will simply beat Sledge in a place where you'd commonly do 5D. Changing your blockstrings is important because no matter how hard it may seem, there is generally a way to beat your next attack, you just can't let them know what it is, or at least try to hide it.


An important thing to note about strike/strike mixup is that a complex reversal (such as a dragon punch or reversal super) requires the opponent to stop blocking for a few (real) frames. Granted, they can still perform the dragonpunch on the hitstop (ie: while time is paused, so they're not actually "letting go" of block as far as the game is concerned), but if they can't figure out your rhythm, its unlikely that they'll buffer it correctly, allowing you to land a hit. This doesn't apply as much as say... Bang's super, because he's blocking when he's executing the super (2363214C), or Hakumen's Counters, because his counters are extremely simple. (Just 6D)

Another thing to keep in mind is that complex reversals may require the opponent to stop blocking low. Thus, many opponents who buffer reversals during BlazBlue's "autoblock" period are still vulnerable to lows.
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#5 08 August 2010 - 08:40 PM

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"A smart opponent will wise up and realize you aren't controling in front and above you, and take the opportunity to air dash in. That is when you hit them with a 4D and do a combo."

Shouldn't that be 6D?

5D has a whiff spot in front of lambda
most characters can dash in on a whiff 5D (and if you do another 5D, well...)

#6 21 September 2010 - 01:00 AM

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Never to late to learn something new, even if you thought you completely grasped a topic already! :)
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#7 25 November 2010 - 04:04 AM

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Thanks for the explanation. It's these kinds of crucial basics that tend to hold me back in fighting games; I tend to just kind of run off instinct without really having a reason for doing what I'm doing. Since I'm learning BB from scratch when it comes out here on December 3rd, I'll be able to build up my learning nicely rather than inheriting loads of bad habits like I do whenever I play a new Street Fighter, Tekken or Soul Calibur.

#8 25 February 2011 - 10:02 PM

Jordles
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In regards to your zoning/controlling space section:
http://www.youtube.c...h?v=HFTvXXoDNRA

In regards to knowing what to do about being knockdown:
http://www.youtube.c...h?v=Wx6Z5VGsBw4

And a punish guide and playing more solid:
http://www.youtube.c...h?v=aXB8xHLA0To

And here's one about hit confirming (This applies even better to BB because of longer block strings and better ability to switch between highs and lows):
http://www.youtube.c...h?v=eDMboPnznJc

NOTE: These are SF4 tutorials, but as any fighting game advocate will tell you, the mechanics transcend between games.

Solid guide otherwise. Nice work.


Ahh, this was very helpful! I'm pretty new to fighting games, I began to start genuinely learning about them after seeing mizuumi's page for DarkStalkers as I was looking for techniques, about a month ago.

Thank you and the OP for such helpful tips! I hope to enjoy my stay here.
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#9 28 February 2011 - 06:59 AM

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ok so ive started playing alot of fighters again mainly bbcs abnd mvc3 but i was never good. so know i think ive learned my problem its i never use block strings or have good mixups but i cant seem to practice these effectively are there any tips on these because it seems like i am constantly just try to spam my combo till i get it, and thats another problem how many combos should i learn per character cause it seems i only learn to because i never know when to use certain ones any help would be great because ive been spending hours in training mode for both game but i dont think im getting better and i really want to get competitive for either games.
and one more thing how exactly do i perform a mix up is it just like attacking low then do an over head? cause i honestly am just not getting better :/

#10 28 February 2011 - 07:30 AM

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it's knowing which certain attacks links to what and also knowing if your attacks are safe (no room for enemy to react)

either you read the frame data/char specific forum
or in my case
watched tons of jap vids, and notice what they do when the enemy is blocking (they use something diff compared to when the enemy aint blocking *of course xD*)

some blockstrings already have a series of low/high attacks with them so its a matter of knowing your character

1. Know if A links to B links to C etc in a safe way
2. Watch tons and tons of pro bbcs vids and analyze what they do on a guarding enemy
3. of course like everything else, practice (training mode and much better with a friend)

#11 28 February 2011 - 06:04 PM

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Crossups are also one form of mixups as well.

You mentioned how you "spam your combo till you get it," in addition to practicing blockstrings and mixups, you should also practice hit-confirming as well which is knowing if your attack actually hits or is blocked. This is important to practice since it spells out landing combos and staying safe if you're good at it.

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#12 02 March 2011 - 05:00 PM

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Start block string with something that can safely confirm your bnb
End it with either 1. something that will reset your pressure or 2. something pushes you out to safely return to neutral
Stick in a throw here and there
Stagger stuff to pick up CHs / reset pressure
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#13 02 March 2011 - 06:58 PM

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The best advice I could give you is think first. Having a predictable and punishable pressure game is worse than not having a pressure game at all. If they know what you'll do and always end up punishing you, it's no good. Don't push buttons without knowing what you're actually doing. Always aim for something (Overhead, frame trap, low, throw, crossup...). You can start very simply with 5a / 2a pressure, it's easy to hit-confirm out of them considering the fact that you can get a few jabs in as a reaction time filler sort of thing.

And yeah, pretty much everything everybody's said. It has to be safe on block! Don't start getting into gimmicks until you learn to use your character effectively first.

#14 05 March 2011 - 09:18 PM

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I also have this problem! The same problem with the guy who make this thread....Any advice for me too?

#15 07 January 2012 - 08:16 AM

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Sorry but I'm new to BlazBlue and I don't understand the Throw mixup well

Strike/Throw: This is a much less cut and dry mixup, and I will elaborate further on this mixup later and why it works good. The basic understanding you should have here is that you want to throw them when they are blocking and in range or easily put into a setup that can quickly nab you a throw.
(Example, Strike: If someone is anticipating a throw after a 2A, you do a 2B afterwards, causing their 2a mash/counter throw to get hit)



In normal fighting games, when you expect a throw you do a crouchtech, so if your opponent does a frame trap instead of a throw you pull out an attack and you are counterhit by the frame trap. In some older fighting games there is not crouchtech at all because there isn't a separate command for the throw, so you basically have to input back/forward + strong punch but in short the attacker has always advantage and has ways to exploit this and punish.


In BB, if you ABC crouch tech you pull out a barrier block instead of a punch or a kick, so how the throw mixup is supposed to work in this game? Is really worth for the defender to simply try a standing throw instead of a simple ABC crouch tech? Sorry I'm new to BB and don't understand very well this mechanic.


Also, I'm a noob in fighting games in general, but from what I read on the web veteran players suggest to not abuse of throws, overheads and gimmicky tactics like ambiguous crossup, they say that strong player can easily read them, they also say throws are risky, so probably the better mixup at high level of play is the strike/strike, and of course controlling space well, is it correct? Is it important for a noob trying to avoid abusing of throws/overheads/gimmicks at first and try to concentrate on zoning, spacing and strike/strike mixups?


Thank you a lot

#16 07 January 2012 - 08:29 AM

mAc Chaos
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The mixup is a little more complicated than that. When you push ABC, the game registers it basically as a throw break since you're hitting B and C. Any time you hit B+C the game thinks you're doing a throw break, it counts it as one. So if the opponent grabs you RIGHT AFTER you do that, then you end up getting counter thrown.

So at first they can just go for a normal throw mixup, but if you start throwing barrier into it, they just bait out the barrier and then throw you, forcing a new mixup. And they can just play with your reactions by making you think a throw is coming when it's not. To avoid this you would have to do a simple throw tech instead of barrier.
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