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How to learn a combo without video/notation?


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#1 14 December 2012 - 12:57 PM

Okidoki_Sir
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Hey there,

I wanna learn Ragnas combos, but I can't find a video with notation and the actual video. But if I only see the notation, how am I supposed to know the timing? Is there some way to figure it out, without trial and error? And the other way: If I got a video, how do I get the actual input notation? Of course I could just look which moves are done, but this usually is not all it takes to master a combo. For example: how can I distinguish a normal jump from a high jump? How do I know wether the person did input buffering? etc

I hope someone could explain me the way he learns new combos :)

Thanks in advance
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#2 14 December 2012 - 02:36 PM

Fujiwara
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Well, this comes with experience with whatever character you're looking at.
There's also the matter of trial and error.
It's a matter of practice.
You'll hear a special sound when you highjump, also.

#3 14 December 2012 - 02:36 PM

The Katz
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Well, since you're looking for Ragna combos just look up for one of the thousand combo-bible videos that have the -everything- posted for each combo being done. You can distinguish a normal jump from a super jump for Ragna 'cause the height differences are pretty noticeable.


It's been forever since I was starting off in BB, but from what I remember...

When it came to watching combo vids that I really liked I would try to remember the small parts of the combos. Like, just the "X goes into Y" stuff. The reason why I separated the combos in my head was so that they were easier to remember if I didn't have it right next to me, like how you can remember a series of numbers (like a phone number) better when it's like "0798-7097-12-134" instead of "0798709712134". When I went into training mode I just goofed around with the little parts of the combos I remembered. Eventually I figured out my own combos, developed decent execution, and was able to mimic other players' combos without needing to practice them much 'cause of how I practiced stuff before.

Regrettably, going through without trial and error when it comes to text/notation-only combos is unavoidable. Most of the time people do not write the notations properly, like neglecting to put specifics in timing (as you mentioned) if it isn't straight-forward, or character-specific information and such. Being given a combo that only works on two-to-three characters without being told such is a bit of a problem if you go to practice on other characters without being able to notice whether or not if it is your error or not that causes the combo to drop.

My general advice is to experiment around to see what works and what doesn't on your own after browsing youtube/nicovideo a bit. Understanding your character's move properties is pretty important, as well. For example: Starting with (ground)Gauntlet Hades usually leads to 'weak' damage and is fairly easy to combo off of, but doing (air)Gauntlet Hades right off the ground (tk'ing it/tiger kneeing-it) allows for more damaging combos at the cost of needing better timing and execution. Training Mode it up whenever you get bored always helped me, too. If you go into training with the "work/grinding things out" mindset, then you're probably going to hate doing it eventually (if you already don't), so try to at least make it mildly enjoyable. If you drop a link or whatever too many times, just switch onto practicing something else.


TL;DR
Watch videos. Remember the small, but important bits of a combo. Practice. Take it easy.

Edited by The Katz, 14 December 2012 - 02:46 PM.

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#4 14 December 2012 - 03:43 PM

CupofT
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I hope someone could explain me the way he learns new combos :)


Do you mean how someone learns brand new combos that no one has seen/posted/uploaded yet? Or someone learning combos that have been posted but never done before?

Also Fuji and Katz do a good job answering your other questions.
To repeat: trial and error. Pretty much unavoidable.

#5 14 December 2012 - 05:50 PM

Manta
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Also, don't be afraid to turn off the training dummy's teching, at least when you're first learning the combo. Lets you learn the bit after that really annoying part of a combo you just can't get the timing right for.

#6 14 December 2012 - 10:08 PM

Ctrlaltwtf
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The core concept behind Aksys fighters is always "Bunch of basic attacks -> Special Attack Finisher."

Obviously, there's plenty of exceptions to that, but the way Special Attacks are linkable off of most basic attacks usually makes them end up as your combo finisher. Revolver Action (the ability to cancel basic attacks into other basic attacks) plays a key role in combos as well. Most characters can always do some kind of A-B-C-D combo. So for Ragna's combo the very first Combo you learn to do is A B C D Hell's Fang. Once you can do that on confirm, start looking at better, more complicated things to do.

Your combos will get better and better once you figure out ways to skip needing to use low-proration moves like As and Bs. Looking at Ragna again, he goes 6A -> j.C j.D -> j.C j.D because j.C and j.D are the highest damage basic attacks he can use in midair that still manage to combo. Using j.A or j.B before them would just shittify his damage.

So use your strongest basic attacks, but use weaker ones if you have to in order to get them to connect. That's the basic principle behind designing strong combos. The key is to figure which attacks are "worth it" in that the damage they do is worth the proration they put on the rest of your combo. Looking at Ragna's A B C D Hell's Fang, you might think that just C D Hell's Fang is better. This is true, but if my memory serves, B C D Hell's Fang actually does more, because Ragna's B is still a "worthwhile" hit.

Also, high jumps have an "after image" effect on them.

Edited by Ctrlaltwtf, 14 December 2012 - 10:10 PM.

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#7 15 December 2012 - 02:09 AM

Osuna
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Timing is dictated by necessity, so frequently you go for the earlier timing available, which is for a a cancel is when the previous move hits, for a link it is when the previous move finishes recovering. Timing is a per move basis, but you'll get used to that stuff pretty fast. When you have to delay, or something isn't making sense, post a question in the sub forum for you character and people will happily explain anything weird that goes on in the combo.
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#8 15 December 2012 - 05:37 AM

Zeron_X25
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Timing comes with practice and also seeing others do the combo. It's very much like learning a new music on the piano. First you learn the notes, then the timing by practicing and listening to others play that song.

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#9 15 December 2012 - 05:58 AM

mAc Chaos
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Break the combo up into smaller pieces and do those pieces first.

In other words, if the combo is B > C > Hell's Fang, then do the B > C part until you can do it without messing up, and then add try doing it again but with Hell's Fang tacked onto the end. If the combo keeps going then just keep going in that manner until you can do it all. Then practice it several times in a row.

Just because you did it once after trying 50 times doesn't mean you can do the combo. You have to be able to do it consistently, so try to do it 10 times successfully in a row. It will take a while though.

But before you even try to do combos, practice doing your separate special moves consistently.

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#10 16 December 2012 - 03:41 AM

BladeOfJustice7
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If you mess up once while trying to do the combo 10 times in a row, then restart, it sounds exhausting but it pays off in the long run.

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#11 16 December 2012 - 09:11 AM

Mrboxturtle
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Start from the beginning of the combo. Add on each move and see if it combos. If it doesn't, then something needs to change. Figuring out what you need to do to make it combo is what makes you a better learner and player. It will surely help you read future combos because you will know how things combo and you will learn, if someone else is playing ragna, if they are doing a legit combo.

#12 16 December 2012 - 09:53 PM

Okidoki_Sir
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Thanks everyone :) Yesterday was my birthday so I visited my family and was unable to reply.

@Fujiwara: Thanks :) I am practicing every day, but I do not progress as fast as I should. I can really feel the improvements I make everyday, but they are very small :/ It really took me forever to learn Ragnas very basic grapple follow up and I am still not able to do it in more of 60% than the cases.

@The Katz: Thank you for your long answer :)

When it came to watching combo vids that I really liked I would try to remember the small parts of the combos. Like, just the "X goes into Y" stuff. The reason why I separated the combos in my head was so that they were easier to remember if I didn't have it right next to me, like how you can remember a series of numbers (like a phone number) better when it's like "0798-7097-12-134" instead of "0798709712134". When I went into training mode I just goofed around with the little parts of the combos I remembered. Eventually I figured out my own combos, developed decent execution, and was able to mimic other players' combos without needing to practice them much 'cause of how I practiced stuff before.


This is really helpful, I will keep that in mind!

@cupofT:

Do you mean how someone learns brand new combos that no one has seen/posted/uploaded yet? Or someone learning combos that have been posted but never done before?


I was talking about combos that someone else already noted down. I assume there are no combos anymore which are not written down somewhere :D

@Manta:

Also, don't be afraid to turn off the training dummy's teching, at least when you're first learning the combo. Lets you learn the bit after that really annoying part of a combo you just can't get the timing right for.


A very helpful trick which makes learning a lot less frustrating. Thanks!

@Ctrlaltwtf: Your tipps were very good, although they do not help me right now. I want to start with copying other people's combos rather than creating my own ones.

@Osuna:

Timing is dictated by necessity, so frequently you go for the earlier timing available, which is for a a cancel is when the previous move hits, for a link it is when the previous move finishes recovering. Timing is a per move basis, but you'll get used to that stuff pretty fast. When you have to delay, or something isn't making sense, post a question in the sub forum for you character and people will happily explain anything weird that goes on in the combo.


Yeah, I will do so, but I am afraid that people are annyoed by my questions, so I wanted to know wether there is an easy way to avoid this :D

@ Zeron_X25: That is a very good comparison. I do not play an instrument but I get your point. And I already did this. I turned off my Vita and just pressed the buttons, imaging my character. This gave me some routine, but again, timing the stuff was my problem.

@mAc Chaos:

Just because you did it once after trying 50 times doesn't mean you can do the combo. You have to be able to do it consistently, so try to do it 10 times successfully in a row. It will take a while though.

But before you even try to do combos, practice doing your separate special moves consistently.


This is also one of the things I already did withoug thinking much about it. But I am satisfied with like 75% success chance. It will increase as I apply the combo in real battles, but going from 75 to like 95% takes eternities and I think that I can use the time better, since I am a noob :D

@BladeOfJustice7: Pretty much the same, I already said :D

@Mrboxturtle:

Start from the beginning of the combo. Add on each move and see if it combos. If it doesn't, then something needs to change. Figuring out what you need to do to make it combo is what makes you a better learner and player. It will surely help you read future combos because you will know how things combo and you will learn, if someone else is playing ragna, if they are doing a legit combo.


There is a problem with this method, which I encoured, using it: Sometimes you can time a move wrong, but the next two will connect anyway. But the move after that wont. You try to delay it, try to delay the move before it and it still does not work. It really takes some time to find the error in those cases.
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#13 17 December 2012 - 12:20 AM

mAc Chaos
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Your success rate with combos will actually drop when you move from training to real matches for a while, since it's harder to do it in a match where you have the opponent trying to mess with you, than in training mode where everything is set up for you. But eventually the more you use them the more you'll get used to it.

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#14 17 December 2012 - 03:01 AM

BladeOfJustice7
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It also helps to do hit confirm into combos once you become comfortable with them. A lot fo new players master really damaging combos but never land them in an actual match. Why is that?

because they saw it in a combo video and only know how to start combos off really strong high level starters, like c and b normals. Setting the dummy to block at random against your attacks helps you work on "hit confirming" off random attacks like stutter jabs and such.
But only do this after you're 100% comfortable with your combos.

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#15 17 December 2012 - 07:02 AM

Okidoki_Sir
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Your success rate with combos will actually drop when you move from training to real matches for a while, since it's harder to do it in a match where you have the opponent trying to mess with you, than in training mode where everything is set up for you. But eventually the more you use them the more you'll get used to it.


Yeah, already realized that, but since I do not play any important matches I suppose that's okay.

It also helps to do hit confirm into combos once you become comfortable with them. A lot fo new players master really damaging combos but never land them in an actual match. Why is that?

because they saw it in a combo video and only know how to start combos off really strong high level starters, like c and b normals. Setting the dummy to block at random against your attacks helps you work on "hit confirming" off random attacks like stutter jabs and such.
But only do this after you're 100% comfortable with your combos.


Could you explain that in more detail for me? Am I supposed to do random moves on a blocking opponent and when one of these hits, I should connect my combo to it?
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#16 17 December 2012 - 07:07 AM

Elochai
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Could you explain that in more detail for me? Am I supposed to do random moves on a blocking opponent and when one of these hits, I should connect my combo to it?


Kinda sorta. Let's take Ragna for example. A basic block-string for Ragna is 5B > 2B > 5C > 2C. These moves aren't really "random", they're safeish normals that keep your opponent honest, or blocking. If they manage to get hit by any of that, you hit confirm it into a combo. For example, if they get hit by the 2C, you can go into something like 2C > 3C > 623D > stuff. Just an example. Copy other people's blockstrings (or find some of your own), and practice hits off of the moves in the block string.

#17 17 December 2012 - 07:07 AM

Ctrlaltwtf
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Could you explain that in more detail for me? Am I supposed to do random moves on a blocking opponent and when one of these hits, I should connect my combo to it?


Not random moves precisely but you should practice a guard string, definitely. And being able to confirm when you actually hit the opponent is a crucial skill creatively called hit confirming. In real matches, you rarely get a combo off of a truly desirable hit. You gotta improvise with what you actually land.
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#18 17 December 2012 - 12:24 PM

Okidoki_Sir
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Oh well, I get that. And I guess knowing several strings is crucial as well, to be unpredictable.

How long are these usually? And what am I supposed to do if one ends?
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#19 18 December 2012 - 12:51 AM

Osuna
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Oh well, I get that. And I guess knowing several strings is crucial as well, to be unpredictable.

How long are these usually? And what am I supposed to do if one ends?

It is different case by case. A string can end after 1 or 2 moves sometimes, if you're doing something like a tick throw early in a string. A fully blocked string often ends in them getting back to neutral safely.

Other times you might take a risk (or spend meter) to restart the string and keep it going very long. There are things they can do to mess with you too, IB creates bigger gaps. Barrier and instant barrier push you back and screw up your string.

Also character sub forums exist pretty much so you can find info on your character and trouble shoot, so don't be afraid to ask character specific questions over there.
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#20 18 December 2012 - 08:41 PM

The Katz
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Being able to confirm when you actually hit the opponent is a crucial skill creatively called hit confirming.


"Make your block-strings your combos," or in other words, do things that would combo but aren't bad ideas on block if they end up blocking.

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#21 18 December 2012 - 08:51 PM

Osuna
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"Make your block-strings your combos," or in other words, do things that would combo but aren't bad ideas on block if they end up blocking.

That s a significant over simplification of what a hit confirm is.

If it were that simple than all that people have spent in training mode with CH/Block/block type on random with a crouching opponent to confirm different follow ups to an IAD cross up into either a block string, a combo, or a CH combo were duly wasted. This is excellent training btw, to avoid some training mode habits. Just set all of that stuff to random no matter what it is you're learning and work with it.
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#22 20 December 2012 - 11:19 AM

kotokot
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learn comboparts>try different starters and remember what you can. Though its pretty much depends on character, i.e. rachel/carl have very universal comboparts, which can be done from any hitconfirm and combos mostly are same and not much depends on proration, some others chars depends very much on proration in combo like ragna and you must watch for your starter if you want optimal combos. Remember that crouch and fc adds 2 frames hitstun and ch starters have higher hitstop on opponent and untechable depending on hit level. Some combos have special timing for linking, so you must know comboparts min/max timings for linking into different stuff. Corner and distance to opponent are very important so you must learn your options depending on your position. In best case you ever know prorations
blockstrings=combos is bad practice, you must learn to hitconfirm and read your opponent.
1. most of these can be unsafe to dp, especially on ib.
2. you have poor mixups in this case.
3. combos in this case are suboptimal, since you still can add some mixup in your combo without confirming hit, you cant do CH only combos, which can be very important, since some chars have huge difference, for example makoto from 5C on midscreen does normally ~2k, on CH its going to be 4-5k and gives oki in corner.
learning combos without description comes with experience, its pretty easy to see timings and inputs after some practice.

Edited by kotokot, 20 December 2012 - 11:22 AM.





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