The immediate goal in mixing up with Talbain is not necessarily to land hits; but rather, to avoid getting AG'd, as AG really hurts Talbain compared to other pressure rushdown characters.
Here's some tips on how to accomplish that:1. Know your pressure strings.
When you're in on the opponent, do small, intermittent block strings, mixed in with Quick Move (D+3K) to stay on top of your opponent. Doing repeated C.Lps, C.Lp -> C.Lk, C.(light) -> C.(medium), and C.Mp -> C.Mk with varied timing in between will catch your opponent's AG attempt. This won't do a lot of damage, but it will give you an effective way to gauge your opponent. For example...
- Based on whether or not your opponent is getting hit by the strings with frequency, you can tell if they are trying to AG, counter attack, or are simply sitting there blocking.
- Based on how frequently they are AG'ing your attacks, you can determine how long you can keep up the pressure strings before attempting a mixup/frame trap.
It's important to cancel C.(light) and C.Mk into Quick Moves at time, since Talbain has no other way to move forward while applying ground pressure. Quick Move has a bit of a mixup built into it as well:
C.Mk xx Quick Move is the standard cancel; it is safe on block, and it keeps Talbain at roughly the same distance away from his opponent from when he started the move.
C.Lp/C.Lk xx Quick Move is the fancy cancel; this maneuver will actually cause Talbain to gain some ground on his opponent and allow for some more tricky stuff (walk-up throw, easier dash cross ups, or even just variable blockstun pressure), but it is NOT safe on block. You CAN be hit out of this cancel, so it's important not to just do it all the time, and especially not against an opponent who is jamming out on AG, as they'll hit you out of this without even thinking about it.2. Be aware of all your mixup options.
When establishing ground pressure, you actually have a lot of options:
- C.Mk xx ES BC: this one seems really obvious, but keep in mind that this is a frame trap from certain distances. If you know your spacing, you can do this from a distance in which it won't combo, making it dangerous to just blindly AG. This might seem scrubby, but it's probably Talbain's most important deterrence against people who just one-hit Tech and immediately rush in afterwards.
- Dash: Depending on your opponent and your placement on the field, you have a few different options. D.Lk/D.Mk are the typical overheads, and will be used most of the time - D.Lk can also cross up against shorties (Talbain, Morrigan, Lilith, BB Hood, Q-Bee, and...someone else, I forgot lol). D.Mk -> D.Lk is a good one for midscreen against tall characters (Demi, Anak, Vic, Rik, Jedah, Bish), especially after landing a damage chain, as it usually sets up the spacing just right.
- Normals: There's a lot of untapped potential in Talbain's normals for mixup. Light attacks obviously will continue block pressure, but also, C.Lk is especially good for baiting Guard Cancels. Throwing in C.Mp or S.Hp after a Quick Move is really effective for variable block pressure, since the slight differences in timing will catch people who AG mechanically. S.Mk and T.Mk are good proactive defensive options, as they are good for pegging people who try to jump out of your block strings and cause resets.
- (Walk foward), C.Hk: This is Talbain's only low knockdown option, so while it's not that flashy, it's still a powerful tool.
- Tick throw: You could command throw; but, even if the opponent techs the throw, they are likely to be cornered, which is wonderful for you. I'd just do the normal throw. Command throw can also queer up the Throw option select.
- Anti-Air BC: Also another proactive option for people who try to jump out of your block strings. This is a wonderful option against high/low rushdown characters.
- Normal BC: The normal BC has a mixup in and of itself; you can do 66 with staggered timing between the first and second hits to try and catch AG'ers, 64 to avoid being reset by an AG attack, 6 (cross behind) 4 for a cross-up, and even 6, throw/command throw to catch people who are too catatonic.
- TK Air BC: The proper way to TK Air BC is 23696+P. This is admittedly not particularly good at punishing any specific thing; however, it does lead to big damage if it hits, and it's very safe on block if done low to the ground, allowing you another mixup option, or even the opportunity to bait an attack so you can hit them with your own GC.
- Jump: The jump has its own built-in mixup, too. You can mixup between jumping in with a normal (vary the timing and the attack for AGs) and empty jump into command throw for people who are blocking too much, You can also do J.Mk xx Air BC, which is an extremely low-risk frame trap (when done from far away), combo (if done right on top of them), or reset (if they tried to jump away). Jumping in and chicken guarding is beautiful against characters with DPs, as you can then counter the blocked DP with J.Hk or Air BC. Finally, jumping backwards and doing Air BC is a slightly more defensive variation of TK Air BC.
- C.Mk xx Dragon Cannon or C.Mk xx Quick Move, Dragon Cannon: This is an extremely gimmicky option used only for opponents who are on the verge of losing a life and are panicking. Don't do this if you have the opponent in the corner, or they will have all damn day to react to it.
Here's a match of me vs. Mar which showcases several of the options I've mentioned here. Keep in mind that, since Anakaris can't tech hit, many of the really long ground pressure strings I did are a bit stronger here than they are against other opponents: http://www.youtube.c...h?v=gc-iWhJRvp83. Reset smart.
Take advantage of good air resets. If your opponent is going to land far away from you, do a meaty dash. If your opponent is going to land close to you, mix up which side you are going to be on when they land and do a ground chain. If they are landing close, and you think they are going to jump or AG, do a meaty S.Hp -> C.Hk for a knockdown. Do a throw sometimes. Jump straight up and run a jump mixup.
If you wanna mix it up with Talbain, you've gotta dig a little deep. But, it's worth it; if you wanna WIN with Talbain in high-level play, you'll learn how to mix it up!
The difficulty in creating effective mixups is the one and only hole in Talbain's offense. While it seems negligible at first, the problem becomes more obvious as you play opponents with greater skill.