Match breakdown: 1 (A-Rose vs X-Birdie)

(the following is posted as a thought exercise, and possibly just because I had too much free time)

I play a lot of Rose, personally. So I feel the need to make a confession: I have no idea how to fight Rose when I’m on the other side of the match. Because I play somewhat uncommon characters as a rule, my experience vs my own characters is low, even with my large frame of reference.

I should mention from the start that these matches should be considered biased in my favor, simply because I was aware I was recording and the opponent wasn’t. It’s not that I was trying especially hard, but on some level I’m sure it had some effect on my end. I should mention also that there is a lot of “auto-pilot” going on here- I’m just kind of throwing things out there and reacting to things, which is generally how I play, especially in casual matches. Keep expectations low.

A lot of jumping from me here. The reason being that Birdie, despite the limitations of his moveset (no quick or rapid fire chains, or overheads, shortest regular throw range etc), his air normals are pretty good. Jumping Forward and Roundhouse in particular will beat out other jumping attacks. It can be used defensively, which is good since Birdie lacks certain anti-air options. You see me here using it as [a mostly-braindead] offensive tool, because if you hit someone out of their attack in midair in A3, the counter hit system lets you crouch cancel and juggle afterward. However, I dropped the cc juggle part more than a few times, my brain wasn’t really working.

First thing that strikes me in hindsight is that I really should have been using Birdie’s far standing Fierce more often. It works as a long-distance poke, and also as long-range anti-air because of the arc of it. It is not spectacular at either of these, but it can be very useful. I started using it right at the start of the first match (00:09, where it hits Rose on the way of a jump), but managed to mostly forget it by the end of the first round. I’m normally not really shy about spamming it, but it’d just been a while since I’d played Birdie.

I do a Bull Horn at 00:11, and that move requires some explanation. Bull Horn is a button hold/release move, like Balrog’s turn punch, only with 2P/2K instead of 3p/3k. It charges from 1 to 5 levels/hits, instead of Balrog’s 10 levels. It has some degree of invulnerability, though mostly just from the knees up, and while Birdie is turned around (which is why I got hit. It will lose to low attacks and deep jumping attacks, but it is pretty useful, even if limiting by nature. Another problem is that I do the move with 2P (Jab and Strong to get a quicker, shorter-range version than Strong+Fierce), because it’s a hell of a lot more comfortable for me than using 2K. Unfortunately I use Jab and Strong more than I would generally use Short and Forward in most matches.

More importantly, I can’t do an air recovery while holding the Bull Horn charge, and if I were playing A or V-ISM Birdie, it would also make doing a ground recovery (2K) awkward as well. So at 00:13, you see me get hit with the first of several juggles which I didn’t avoid because I didn’t see the juggle coming and/or wanted to hold my charge. (Bull Horn does big damage, especially from X-Birdie)

At 00:48 I do X-Birdie’s super, The Birdie. At lower levels (A-Birdie versions) this might have juggled better, but by itself it will drop the opponent. I believe you can combo into it for better damage, but I wasn’t thinking about that at the time, and moreover wouldn’t trust Birdie’s attacks to not be beaten by the jumping attack (though it’d be worth a shot).

Since the Bull Horn beats mid attacks, I rely on it to counter pokes fairly often, but it loses to two sweeps at 00:53 and 00:55 The latter was trying to interrupt a poke string.

Birdie’s crouching Fierce is actually pretty decent, and so after a jump in I often use crouching FP xx Bull Horn as an option select: reversal throws usually won’t catch it (most non-special throws in A3 have a 5-frame startup), and if it’s blocked Bull Horn is fairly safe. Crouching Fierce into Bull Horn won’t actually combo vs a standing opponent, but it does decent guard/block damage and so it works as a poke string. If they try to counter in between the jumping attack and the crouching Fierce, the odds of Birdie winning the exchange are pretty high, and then I get a crossup setup (00:58):

counter hit crouching FP xx whiffed Bull Horn puts Birdie at the range for a crossup jumping splash (d+FP during a forward/backward jump). From there you can try to do something smart, or just do the same series over again.

At 01:07 I made the mistake of doing a late neutral jump Fierce, which led into me getting juggled into the corner- two notes: First, the juggle wasn’t legit, since the Rose player wasn’t really consistent with their crouch cancels. It’s just that, like usual, I was holding my Bull Horn charge, and so I didn’t air recover. Secondly, that should have been the end of the round, as the crouching Fierce could/should have been canceled into a level 2 super.

I’m trying to anti-air with the Bull Horn at 01:12, but either my timing is off and/or Rose’s hitboxes are not accommodating. It sinks into my head at this point that this particular option is more or less off of the table for me in this match.

I smell the jump coming at 01:17, but was wrong about the timing. I try to pre-empt with my own air throw- because Birdie’s air throw area starts at his legs, I would have caught Rose on her way up had she jumped sooner.

Hindsight being 20/20, I really should have been mashing standing Fierce here, or at least jumped again with neutral jumping Forward. But, being a Rose player, I was aware that Rose could do enough block damage to take the round, and so I was trying to stay in the air to avoid the level 2 Reflect super- which the opponent was almost certainly trying to do, in hindsight; the crouching Strongs I’ll ignore, but medium reflect has no use in the context in which it appears (01:19). Anyway, I figured my neutral jump was somewhat safe, I was wrong, and that’s the end of the round.

Match 2 – 01:33
Rose rolls after the cc juggle at the start of the round, which I wasn’t ready for- rolls can be punished, most easily with Birdie’s standing or crouching Short. But the ground recovery is one of those things you notice about a player as you play them, since some people use it too much, and other players not at all. In my mind I made a note of it for future reference.

The Fierce body splash not as good as the jumping Roundhouse, I’m not exactly sure why I use it so much- I think because the hit area is different, and I was expecting Rose to be below me. Right idea at 01:39, but wrong button: you can’t do the splash during a neutral jump. A lot of missed damage opportunities for the Rose player follow, and I miss a rather huge one at 01:49 because I was looking to keep her out, and not thinking about the cc. I’ve clearly been too jumpy, and so Rose’s super seems like a good idea, and thus the end of the round.

At 02:19 I do a super to interrupt a poke string, instead of using the Bull Horn. Seeing this reminds me that Bull Horn -> super is a useful pattern. Bull Horn is mostly safe if blocked, but because people (this player in particular) will often try to counter attack to punish or keep you out, you can tag them with the super afterward. I remembered this later into the match series, but hadn’t been using it up to this point.

Was looking for the roll at 02:26, though I hit it a bit late. I try to tick into a 360°+P after, but I goof it up. Wouldn’t have landed anyway: too far, and Rose poked too soon.

Rose player accidentally cancels the c.SP into a Soul Throw, and I try to punish in a lazy way, with crouching Fierce. An SPD would have worked just fine, but I was charging Bull Horn, I’m sure, and 360° motions are awkward for me while doing so. I try to c.FP, but Birdie doesn’t turn around soon enough, and I get caught. I try to poke with the Bull Horn after the throw, and get hit with a slide, which I wasn’t looking for.

Match 3 – 03:00
Video hiccup at the start of the match, sorry. This round demonstrates pretty well X-Birdie’s potential to take over a round.

Somewhat obvious, but at 03:19 I back off, because Rose has so many super options- I was wary of Level 3 Soul Throw super especially. I try to get the poke/block damage KO at 03:22, but the Rose player has gotten used to me jumping, I think, and tried to meet me in the air. KO comes when he tries to poke with a sweep from way too close a range- sweep isn’t really that good in A3, a lot of startup frames, and the hitboxes are pretty average.

At 03:34: Note the damage/guard meter damage from a series of only 2 moves.

03:35: Not quite an option select, but whiff jumping attack -> 360 throw is an old Zangief trick, to attack while giving you time to scout a throw, and diverting attention while you do it. Believe it or not, I didn’t mean to do the Bull Horn in retaliation to the super at 03:39- I’d already let go of the buttons by the time the super freeze started, even though I appear to be in blockstun.

At 03:45 I start looking for 360°+K to throw Rose back into the corner and look for a juggle afterwards (punishing a likely air recovery). This turns out to be a bad idea, as it means I’m giving up all kinds of momentum (realized here as guard damage), since Birdie’s 360s aren’t especially easy to land.

At 03:49 I try to tick into 360 from standing Short, but it gets interrupted by a poke. I’d really decided I felt like SPDing for some reason, one of those ideas you get into your head which proves to be a bad one.

At 04:04, should have gone for the super here after the Bull Horn, but at least the idea was in my head as a reversal, which is what lead to it happening a second later.

Worth pointing out that Rose’s fireball in A3, uniquely, causes a Major Counter when it lands on a counter hit- which is why I got popped up into the air at 04:11.

Match 4 – 04:26
At 04:43 I try to interrupt a poke string with the super, as I’ve been doing, but the Rose player jumps- if it had been a level 1 super it would have done double duty and juggled for all 3 hits, but as I mentioned the X-ISM/Level 3 super has different timing.

At 04:54 I try to tick into a 360 after a standing Short, luckily my timing was off and I don’t get hit in the mouth with a reversal super. Followed by another lazy punish on my part- this time a crouching fierce which actually hits. That could have been cancelled into a Jab Bull Head (charge b, f+P rush move), but I was charging a Bull Horn as per usual, so Jab wasn’t available. If I wasn’t going to go for the 360 (obvious choice to punish, given the damage), a smarter thing to do would have been the Bad Hammer, which is an X-Birdie-only cancel of close standing Fierce into jumping Fierce.

Note the damage off of a counter hit jumping Roundhouse at 05:25- hopefully this explains why I jump around so much in these matches. As an aside, I remember thinking I should 360 after the Rose player air recovered, because they wouldn’t be expecting the throw. Again I went the lazy route and poked with walk-under crossup c.FP. I followed with a Bull Horn to punish any pokes, and then a Bull Head to catch Rose on the way up for a jump, but the timing was off on my guess.

KO comes at 05:51 because I was trying to neutral jump to avoid the incoming Rose, but I forgot that X-ISM characters can’t air block. Immediately prior I was looking to land the super, since Birdie’s X-ISM/Level 3 super can pass through projectiles pretty easily.

Next round is pretty much a squash. Not really much to be said about that one.

Match 5 – 06:35
Rose player here as in the last match shows a better understanding of the use of fireballs- Birdie has a low jump and has trouble getting over them. And if he tries to attack, with jumping Roundhouse in particular, he’s actually more likely to get hit, because his hitboxes extend backwards.

After landing the super at 06:50, I really should have considered using far standing Fierce more often as a long-distance poke, and/or anti-air. Rose player wasn’t expecting it, but the range was about right.

Lazy punish again, at 07:21, which results in a whiffed crouching Fierce- not only was my timing bad, I’m not sure the hit area of the move could punish a ground recovery as I was trying to do.

You might notice that the jump FP splash can set itself up as a crossup- see 07:37. Because Birdie’s jump arc is so low, he can get away with stupid little things like that if the spacing is right. Not sure why the super at 07:40 hit. Was trying to do a super, maybe? Wouldn’t have worked, btw. Unsure what the goal was, because it seemed to be done after the screen flash and not before.

Tried to guess a poke/anxiety jump at 07:48 and punish with a Bull Head, but a bad guess (again). ~07:54 would have been another good time to start hammering on far standing Fierce for pressure, but I was still worried about the fireball, for obvious reasons.

Match 06 – 08:10
Crossup did not reset itself at 08:25 because the spacing was off- had I slipped in a crouching Jab after the first splash, it would have pushed Rose back far enough for the crossup to have connected. Not sure why I did neutral jump Fierce at 08:27 instead of Forward or Roundhouse, other than that FP looks like it SHOULD work. Bad call. Luckily, Rose player gets the spacing wrong on the level 3 super that follows.

Did 360+P (Murderer Chain) instead of 360+K (Bandit Chain) at 08:30. I considered doing the latter and then trying to punish an air recovery, but decided that 360+P was safer because it was a knockdown. Clearly I’m lacking confidence at this point.

At 08:37 I’m too clever by half, because I decide nobody is going to keep throwing fireballs from that range, because it’s a terrible idea. I finally get the anti-air Bull Horn timing vs j.SK right at 08:44, and/or the Rose player hits the button to early. It working at all is dependant on the jump Short not being deep enough, because even when turned around, Birdie is still mostly vulnerable at the knees and below. 08:46 looks like it would have been another good use of the far standing Fierce- either early to punish a possible ground recovery, or later as a poke.

Video hiccup at 09:09, sorry.

Was expecting an air recovery at 09:07, which is why I let loose the max-charge Bull Horn. Would have been big, ugly damage, but it turns out to be a bad guess. I try to interrupt a poke string with the super at 09:19, but get the regular old Bull Head by mistake.

Drop what was potentially a high-damage/stun combo at 09:32 (another video hiccup, but you see what was going on), because I empty-cancel the crouching Fierce. Looking at it more closely, I think I was just a pixel or two too far away, anyway.

Pretty sure that was an attempted JP 360 at 09:41, I just goofed up the motion. Again, not sure why the super hits at 09:50. Animation is of a Soul Spark, but that’s a HCF+P motion. I would have to assume the motion was input before the super freeze, and just didn’t start until after, except it looks like there was just enough time to block before the super freeze. With that in mind, maybe it was an attempt at a super that went bad.

Match 7 – 10:10
Interesting note, at 10:10 I get swept out of my Bull Horn when I shouldn’t have: I accidentally got the SP+FP version of the move instead of JP+SP, which is quicker.

Looking for the ground recovery roll at 10:29, because it hasn’t sunken in yet that the opponent is playing X-Rose, who can’t do that. Whiffed Bull Horn at 10:33 to punish an air recovery which never happened- if I had to guess I’d say he actually did a ground recovery here, out of habit.

Tried to end the round with an air throw at 10:43 for the fancy KO, but hit PP too early; you have to be a certain number of frames into your jump before the air throw command will register, otherwise you’ll just get a normal jumping attack.

Far standing Fierce makes its long-awaited return at 11:02/11:07 etc. But I outsmart myself and try to do a jumping Forward to catch the opponent in the air- he wasn’t actually trying to get away from the Fierce, so he just stood there and threw another fireball.

I’m guessing the Soul Spiral at 11:12 was meant to be cancelled into the c.SP which preceded it, had it actually made contact. Luckily enough for the Rose player it comes out anyway, and beats my splash. Which is pretty cool, since that move isn’t really reliable anti-air at all.

~~~

This is a fairly shallow interpretation of the match, since I’m only looking at it from my POV, and I haven’t considered the actual matchup on paper (how does Rose do against Birdie and vice versa). Will probably take a second [third] look at it when I get time.

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