Street Fighter 5 is focused on foosties and the neutral game much more than Street Fighter 4 and other previous entries in the series. If you want to win a match of Street Fighter 5 at a moderately high level, you need to understand how to use footies in your favor and more importantly, you need to know how to get a character off you when they’re applying heavy pressure. Too many times players have fallen because they simply didn’t know when to stop blocking and attack, or how to escape from corner pressure. Let’s cover a few strategies you can use to deal with intense pressure from an opponent.
The V-Gauge is a very powerful tool in Street Fighter 5. Most people use it for a V-Trigger, but at this early stage in the competitive life of the game, a lot of people are overlooking the V-Reversal. By pressing Forward and all three Punch buttons while blocking any attack, you will negate the block stun and perform a attack or evasive action depending on your character. R. Mika performs a Stone Cold Stunner, while a character like F.A.N.G simply twirls around toward the center of the screen.
While a V-Reversal does not inflict direct damage (it adds grey damage at best), it stops the momentum of your opponent. Evasive V-Reversals that move you to the far side of the screen, such as F.A.N.G’s, work very well to escape corner pressure or simply reset the situation. It doesn’t matter what kind of V-Reversal your character has, it’s a very good way to interrupt pressure from an opponent. It also drops your stun gauge considerably, which makes this a great tool to use if you’re close to being stunned.
Neutral or Cross-up Jump
We’re stated many times that jumping is a bad habit in Street Fighter 5. However, once you understand why jumping is bad, you can start to focus on the times when it’s beneficial to jump. One of the main reasons to avoid jumping is because it’s easy for most experienced players to knock you out of the air with an anti-air attack.
For most characters, they don’t have a good way to anti-air an opponent if they’re too close. That means if someone is right in your face applying pressure, you can generally neutral jump or jump over them and they won’t have a feasible anti-air attack. This isn’t true for all characters (F.A.N.G has a very good vertical anti-air attack), but in many cases it can get you out of a tough situation.
When you’re getting pressured, normally an opponent will go for a throw or overhead at some point to get through your guard. If you can predict when the throw will come, a well-timed neutral jump can lead to a huge combo and turn the tide of the match. A throw tech is also an option, but that doesn’t lead to damage even if you guess right. A neutral jump can lead into a full jump-in combo and lots of damage.
For almost every character in the game, a standing or crouching Light Punch is their fastest and safest attack. If you’re getting pressured by an opponent, chances are you can poke out with a quick jab. This is more helpful if you know your opponent’s frame data so you know exactly when they can no longer apply offensive pressure, but even if you don’t know the frame data, a simply jab check can go a long way toward halting that offensive pressure.
A jab check is especially effective if you anticipate a throw is coming. If you see the opponent pause their pressure for a split second as they walk forward, that’s a good time to use a jab check. It means a throw is probably coming, or it means the opponent wants you to think a throw is coming. While a throw tech or neutral jump would work if the opponent attempts to throw, if they’re trying to bait you into taking action, they may be ready for both of those options. If you use a jab check instead, you can remain relatively safe in almost any situation.
Knowing the frame data of your character and the opponent’s character is the best way to escape offensive pressure. This tells you when the opponent is at advantage, meaning you should be blocking or anticipating a throw. It also tells you when they’re not at advantage, meaning you can press a button with relative safety. Knowing your frame data helps to eliminate a lot of the guess work that newer players often have to deal with. You’ll know exactly when you should and shouldn’t be attacking.