We're wrapping up our look at some essential strategies for each character in Street Fighter V with guide co-author Long "ShadyK" Tran's tips for Necalli, Ryu, R. Mika, Rashid, Vega, and Zangief. Read up on your favorite fighters and get the advantage!
He has the most amount of V-Gauge-building attacks out of the entire cast, so make use of all of them to reward yourself with early access to his game-changing Torrent of Power V-Trigger. Instead of focusing solely on your close-range offense, think about ways to hit your opponent with your V-Skill from mid and long range so you can build your meter earlier. Even when guarded, Culminated Power gives you a bit of V-Gauge (half of what you gain on hit). Additionally, all of his grounded heavy attacks reward you with a Crush Counter on counter-hit (for a massive boost in V-Gauge), including his Opening Dagger overhead unique attack.
One of his most effective tools from slightly past footsie range is his Hadoken, especially the fast-traveling HP version. Hadoken is often better used as an extension of your mid-range attacks rather than a fullscreen pressure tool, since it’s virtually impossible to jump over on reaction when launched just past the opponent’s max-range poke. Few characters have this kind of power outside of their longest-reaching melee attacks, so apply as much Hadoken pressure as possible whenever you sense hesitation. With this threat, you’ll often instigate an ill-timed jump-in which you can easily shutdown with your Shoryuken if you make the appropriate read.
R. Mika’s real landslide potential comes from resets, bypassing guaranteed combo enders for mix-ups that ultimately deal more damage and stun when successful. You’ll get a little taste of this whenever you anti-air someone with crouching MP, flipping them out of air recovery into throw range. This same situation can materialize after any Passion Rope Throw. Near corners, they’ll just bounce off the wall and stumble back; midscreen, you can backdash, then whiff crouching HP immediately after Passion Rope Throw for a midscreen reset setup opportunity. Stumbling opponents are technically airborne, so any non-knockdown hit puts them in air recovery within your grasp. Getting a good read (or making a good guess) concerning your opponent’s defensive reactions should inform you about choosing to go for ground throws or meaty attacks, or wait to shoot down a jump. Generally speaking, you’ll want to predict and target a grounded or jumping stance, or simply block if you expect an invincible reversal (which you can punish hard, if that’s indeed what happens). Cornering the opposing character and landing a couple resets in a row will not only dizzy them rapidly and probably secure the round, it’s also demoralizing for most players and will encourage them to overuse desperate moves like reversal specials.
Know which characters have a hard time punishing your Eagle Spikes. Generally, characters with slower dashes (such as Zangief) won’t be able to nail you with a proper combo on block, so the risk can often be worth it. Otherwise, remain as elusive as possible before you mount your offense. Frustrate your foes with your slippery mobility using Rashid’s HK/EX Whirlwind Shot into Front Flip cancels and various wall jumps, eventually luring them into vulnerable situations that you can capitalize on.
Rashid’s V-Trigger is extremely versatile. It doesn’t have to be used in combos (although it’s great for extending them); don’t disregard its utility in the neutral game as a path-clearing mega projectile. It’s also an excellent meaty tool. If you can knock down an enemy and set up Ysaar so that the enemy is forced to block it, you can go to town on them with various high/low and left/right mix-ups.
His mid-range attacks in claw stance are second to none, but he’s also extremely quick on his feet. Exploit his walk speed to surprise your opponent with quick engagements into close range where you can mount an oppressive offense with his remarkable crouching MK attack.
It’s also important to remember that you can transition into hand stance any time you can get your opponent to block his standing HP, since standing HP canceled into Switching Claw is safe on block. Knowing when to switch into Vega’s offensive-based hand stance is vital, such as when you need to come back from a life deficit.
Zangief is a huge brawling wrestler and is explicitly designed to be played that way. He can take the punishment, so don’t be afraid to take risks while walking down your opponent. Zangief has extra health to spare and his V-Trigger comeback potential encourages this type of hyper-aggression. The more damage you take, the earlier you’ll have access to his phenomenal Cyclone Lariat V-Trigger. Even if you’re losing in life, if you can corner the opposing character while you have access to a full V-Gauge, you’re usually in a favorable position to win the round.
SFV Essential Character Strategies Part 1: Birdie, Cammy, Chun-Li, Dhalsim, and F.A.N.G.
SFV Essential Character Strategies Part 3: Necalli, Ryu, R. Mika, Rashid, Vega, and Zangief
Want even more character strategies to help you master your fighter in Street Fighter V? Get full frame data, reliable combos, and comprehensive character strategies for every character in the official guide!