GGACR/I-No/Structuring Useful Practice 4

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Intermediate Execution Drills

Everything below this point will start to get more complicated due to the inclusion of FRCs, increased length of combos, and situations where you combo directly from a counter hit that you're going to set up since that changes the timing. You'll also start to learn variations to stuff you've already learned, of which the use cases may not be immediately obvious. These drills are not necessarily "advanced", but expect to put in more work, and/or to build upon the stuff from the Starter Drills section. You're going to start adding stuff that carries over less muscle memory from the previous drills, and also work on stuff that is less important to I-No's gameplan like 5D combos. If you came here straight from part 1, go back and read Part 2: Playing the game & figuring out a game plan and Part 3: Recognize your problems and solve them before starting on these drills. Those are way more important.

Using FRCs - Part 1

I know, hitting an FRC window is scary. It's only 2 frames wide, and this game runs 60 frames per second... so... I have to do this in 1/30th of a second, consistently? Yeah, but with practice you'll have it. You gotta start working on these sometime. We're going to start simple - just try to learn the timing.

  • Note > FRC
    • Sometimes you'll shoot a note by accident (opponent crosses up your input or something) and will need to FRC to become safe. Or you'll shoot a seemingly unsafe note as a bait and FRC to punish their punish attempt. An old technique from before I-No's airthrow range was nerfed was: slightly late oki ground note > 6FRC6 > airthrow when they try to jump out.
  • TK Note > FRC
    • Different timing from ground note FRC.
  • HCL > FRC
    • Necessary for combos just by itself, also necessary if you want to get good at 6FRC6. Remember that the FRC point is on frames 16 & 17, so this is useful because if you special cancel to HCL and then FRC and block, you can bait a burst.
  • VCL > FRC
    • Nearly identical to HCL > FRC since the timing is the same, but it's a different button to execute the move. You don't wnat to have to spend a single braincell on "do X move, but with Y input." You need this automatic. It wont take much practice to get to that point.
  • STBT-H > 1st FRC
    • Typically you'll FRC the first one to either bait something, or you'll 6FRC6 it to use an overhead. And I-No's hoverdash stops being close to the ground on frame 4, so it'll also beat counter-mash attempts with lows if you do this.
  • STBT-H > 2nd FRC
    • You'll typically use the second FRC right before the hit and then throw someone. Kind of expensive considering you can jump cancel this move on block and the FRC is just before and on the first active frame, so you do this when it'll kill.
  • Throw FRC
    • Throw FRC isn't used all that much, but it's a stepping stone to throw 6FRC6, and while that isn't exactly optimal, you can come up with a combo with good corner-carry that also still works in the corner, so you only have to learn the one combo. Also, working on throw 6FRC6 will help you get better at any other 6FRC6.

  • Blockstring Variance with purpose (Part 1)

    • 6P > f.S
      • The idea is you're trying to hit someone with the 6P, but they've blocked it (bad read). If it hit, it would combo into f.S, and if not, it's a frametrap from a relatively safe distance (assuming you spaced the 6P correctly). If they blocked the f.S after blocking the 6P, that's also plus on block, so you have initiative when you go to do something else afterward.
        • After the f.S: You could do another 6P to see if they counter-mashed after the f.S. You could do another f.S to check them reacting delayed after the first f.S. You could 5H to crush attempts to poke low under what they think is another f.S coming their way. If they're in the corner, 6H is a good option to catch a jump out.
  • 2K > 2S
    • 2S is only -5 in this game, so if your opponent is expecting you to 2D, or HCL, or do something else, you can typically "steal" a turn and push a different button here after recovery, or maybe even dash in. Just be wary as that's a big risk (committing to a 9f startup dash after a -5 move is begging to get counter-mashed).
  • 2K > 2S > STBT-S
    • When your opponent is expecting you to steal a turn and do something else, they may try to coutnerpoke or jump out. STBT-S can potentially catch either one of those options.
  • 2K > 2S > 2D
    • Similar kind of deal to the STBT-S thing, except this is going to be more effective against people who IB and try to counter-mash, or IB and jump.
  • 2K > 2S > 5D
    • Some people are going to get hit by the 5D due to a lack of recognition. You shouldn't over-rely on this as a mixup tool as experienced players wont fall for this, but you shouldn't waste unnecessary effort on weaker players, so be ready to exploit their weakness.
    • However, you should be using 5D here just to add one more thing to your opponent's mental stack to look for when they're watching for stuff like STBT-S. Moreover, you're specifically trying to give them a bit of a gap to take an action with. If they wait and block, you may be able to do something risky later on. If they already have been opened up by your blockstring ending in 2S, that you followed up with something else, they may be in the mood to countermash with 6P or something, and the 5H may counterhit them instead.
  • 2P or 2K starter > c.S > slight delay 5H
    • This is a frametrap to fish for counterhit 5H, which leads to a big meterless combo when converted using STBT-H.
  • 2P > 5K > 2S
    • Similar principle as the other blockstrings ending in 2S, but you're starting this from 2P, which is a good tick-throw option that you learned earlier. Instead of using the other frametraps and such, you go into 5K, which has a different set of options. After conditioning with that set of tools and/or enforcing respect following 2P, you go into 5K so that other mixups are on the table, but in case the low (2S) fails to open up your opponent, you just let it go here... or you could do any of the other traps that followed 2S earlier in this section.

  • Hits into combo conversions (Part 1)

    • 2K or j.S > 6P > 5H > j.H > Hnote
      • Simple combo into long range knockdown where they'll have to block a 4 or 5 hit note, giving you time to oki with a mixup. Low damage, but easy and has decent corner carry.
  • 2K or j.S > 6P > f.S > j.H > Hnote
    • This is a variant of the above in case that combo doesn't work for some reason (like wacky hurtboxes).
  • 2K or j.S > 6P > 5H > super jump IAD j.K > j.S > FFVCL
    • Ok, now we're getting into some serious meterless combos from a mixup situation. You don't really want to spend meter on a conversion from 2K due to the prorate, but this gives you better damage than 2K > 2S > 2D, gives you an airdash worth of corner carry, and can even let you continue to follow-up after the FFVCL in some circumstances. What is FFVCL? If you use Vertical Chemical Love during airdash frames, it fastfalls instead of having the usual floaty property.
      • Help, I can't get the 5H > sjIAD j.K link! This is harder than in Xrd since we don't have a buffer. If the IAD doesn't come out, you're doing it too early. If the IAD comes out but the j.K doesn't combo, you're doing the j.K too late. If the j.K doesn't come out, it's too early. This also means that it's possible you could IAD slightly too late and be unable to get the j.K to come out.
        • Use super jump IAD (notated sjIAD) because the success window for the 5H > IAD and 5H > sjIAD route were both tested on every character. It's 2f wide against everyone except for Robo Ky (1f for him) with sjIAD. Without super jump it's 1f wide against some characters and it doesn't work at all on Robo Ky.
        • Due to the difficulty of the string it is advised to practice a little bit every session when you're ready to start improving your reward from 2K, but do not fixate on getting this string perfect. Also be aware that this string carries more risk than some of I-No's other routes because you're in a far worse position when you mess it up.
  • 2K or j.S > 6P > f.S > IAD/sjIAD j.K > j.S > FFVCL
    • IAD routing also works from f.S, so may as well practice it. The success window for the f.S to j.K link isn't know for regular IAD vs super jump IAD, but it feels more forgiving. Needs to be tested later. If you can use the regular IAD you'll land sooner and have better routing options to follow up.
  • 6P > c.S > j.S > j.S > VCL > airdash j.K > j.S > FFVCL
    • This is a meterless conversion from an anti-air 6P. Typically the jump-in needs to hit deep, and this combo is prone to drop at the VCL against skinny opponents, but after the VCL recovers in the air you can link airdash j.K, and go into j.S > FFVCL. From there you have some options on how to continue the combo, such as c.S into diveloop in the corner, or c.S > j.S > dj.H > Kdive to try to knock down.
  • 6P > c.S > sj.K > sj.S > VCL > airdash j.K > j.S > FFVCL
    • Another meterless conversion from an anti-air 6P. If the other route doesn't work try this one. Also there's a chance either one of these might feel easier or more natural to you, so start using whichever one you're confident with.
  • TK j.236D > cancel > airdash > airdash > j.H > Kdive
    • This is a corner-to-corner knockdown after you anti-air with j.236D's amazing hibox.
    • You can actually get really free-form with the combo after j.236D since you can cancel after the 1st hit, or after all 5. If you were closer to the corner and wanted to maximize damage, you would cancel after the first hit and try to loop VCL while they're way above you.
  • Using FRCs - Part 2

    • Note > 6FRC6
      • You get 6FRC6 practice, but in this case you would use note in neutral and FRC to hoverdash. This also works with TK note to airdash (see below). This isn't super important to your game IMO, but it has a use in neutral and help you get better at 6FRC6 in general.
  • TK Note > 6FRC6
    • More 6FRC6 practice. When you do this you'll continue your upward momentum when the FRC happens, so you'll reach the minimum height no problem. Typically you can advance behind H note or try to cross up and have P note hit from the other side.
  • Throw > 6FRC6 > j.S > dj.S > Kdive
    • This works midscreen after a throw, helps you learn the timing for throw's FRC, and helps you learn 6FRC6 without tying it to the complex 5K > HCL situation. Stronger corner combos really don't add all that much extra damage, so you can get by with this for a long time. IMO throw FRC is really only worth it if it's going to kill, or if you have a meter surplus (75% or more) and don't have to worry about opportunity cost too much.
  • 5H > STBT-H > (at 1st FRC point) 6FRC6
    • Your opponent will probably try to reaction crouch block STBT, reaction jump it, or reaction stuff it. It's not a fast move. Canceling it early and going into a dash let's you chase a jump for an airthrow, or hit them with j.S to catch them trying to block low or hit you with something crouching. You're also getting more 6FRC6 practice, and it's a situation similar to but probably still easier than from 5K > HCL.
  • 5H > STBT-H > (at 2nd FRC point) FRC > throw
    • Another mixup tool. If they're really good at blocking, but you have them committed to blocking instead of doing something else, you can FRC here to throw before the move makes contact. There's a lot of other stuff you can do, but just start with this concept. Since throw is among the lowest damage options, you would use this sparingly, but you need to learn the timing when STBT-H is canceled into, either by reacting to the visual of the slide and adapting, or memorizing the timing separately.

      • Doing the input like a double tap (ie: FRC with K+S+H, then release and press H again quickly) can be effective, but you can also practice with P+K+S, then try to hit H two frames later while you release the previous buttons. This is "substantially" faster (probably a few frames, which can mean all the difference), but there's risk of accidentally entering Instant Kill mode. The PKS > H technique also works for a burst bait from HCL that can either throw or slashback their burst, so there's a little more overlap in application.
  • More Defensive Drills

    Defense is more character specific than offense. Though I'll illustrate how you can structure your own practice sessions with examples below, I don't want you to think you can run these exercises a couple of times and be able to block everything. Some specific examples will be given in every character matchup section, since defense requires knowing more about your opponent's offense.

    Countermash Recognition Training

    This lesson is about recognizing some of the offensive tactics when they're used against you, and practicing the timing so you don't make the right decision and lose anyway. And again, this is recognition training, so it's more about realizing that you can countermash much earlier than you think to stop these tactics. This exercise requires the PC build of the game as it has extra recording and playback slots.

    1. In training mode set yourself to I-No and set the CPU to Ky.
    2. Record the following strings for Ky
      1. Slot 1: Dash up 2P > 2P > 5K > c.S > 5H > Stun Edge
      2. Slot 2: Dash up 2P > 5K > c.S > 5H > Stun Edge
      3. Slot 3: Dash up 2P > 2P > 5K > dash up FD Brake > throw
      4. Slot 4: Dash up 2P > walk forward > throw
    3. Set the recording playback slot to "random"

    Now this is some really basic Ky pressure. Nothing fancy about it. Your job with this is to figure out how to not get grabbed. There are a few lessons here, and I'm going to nest them so you don't just read them and not learn anything. Try to figure it out from actually playing against this. When you're ready to read the breakdown,

    • Because Ky doesn't stagger his pressure timing and leave gaps, you can more easily mash or jump during the block strings without fear of getting clobbered. That's more advanced offense and you'll learn about it later.
    • You have to be wary about jumping because the 5K that's present in 3 of these recordings is going to check you. If you're not holding downback you get hit by it. For example, If you try to jump after the first 2P your reactions have to be really good, because the 2P > 5K in slot 2 is designed to catch you.
      • If you mash 2K you can sometimes beat the single 2P > walk up throw in slot 4.
        • This requires timing. You can't just mash 2K during the whole blockstring, and even if you guess correctly when he's only doing the 2P > throw, you can still screw it up. You need to learn to recognize the recovery animation of the 2P as a telegraph and react to that.
        • If Ky delayed the 2P > 2P gatling this would be much more difficult, but that's another training lesson.
    • Ky in this example doesn't use any baits after the 5K (it's just c.S or run up throw) you can actually jump on reaction to 5K and get out every time, because if he continues the string you wont get caught.
    • The key lessons to all of this are:
      1. You only have to do enough to deal with the offense thrown at you. If your opponent isn't specifically stopping you from jumping after a 5K (by leaving a gap or going low again), you can hold up until he starts doing it.
      2. You can mash at specific moments in your opponent's pressure to deal with run up throws if your opponent doesn't specifically frametrap at those spots to check for that.
        • This is going to be too slow against tick throws that don't require walking/running forward, just FYI.
      3. Learning to recognize the recovery animation of some moves as a telegraph of a throw (or in some cases frame traps) is critical in dealing with those consistently without getting hit by other tactics.

    Using Faultless Defense

    This drill will help illustrate how you can use FD to get out, and where it's not very effective.

    Using Dead Angle

    Dead Angles are expensive to use, but aren't necessarily difficult to use. They're also pretty necessary for some matchups. Good luck dealing with Eddie without them...

    Using Instant Block

    Instant block is actually rather difficult to use well, and there's more risk when screwing it up. This is a primer on how you can use it, but also how you can get blown up for doing it wrong.


    Systems Pages

    Countermash Recognition Part 2