- 1 Introduction
- 2 Groove Choice
- 3 Moves List
- 4 The Basics
- 5 Advanced Strategy
With Akuma, the name of the game is rushdown. Akuma is best suited to putting your opponents into akward guessing games situations, resulting in damaging combos if they guess wrong.
When playing Akuma, your main goal is to score a knockdown on your opponent and keep the pressure on them. Once you have them knocked down, you have a major advantage over your opponent, and must maintain control of the match in order to stay alive. To accomplish this task, Akuma must confuse the opponent into guessing how to defend his onslaught. Akuma has a 3 frame crouching low kick that can cancel into a hurricane kick, which can be followed up by a dragon punch, which puts the opponent back on the ground and leaves Akuma in control of the match. By using the lk hurricane kick over a knocked down opponent, Akuma can either cross up, or fake cross up, the grounded opponent, and spam c.lk to catch them back into the same combo. Add to this arsenal a good cross up mk, an overhead special move that can either hit high, low, or even throw, and then you might begin to see this potential. On top of this, Akuma has a teleport glitch that allows him to teleport into a cornered opponent, and instant be on the other side of them for a quick cross up. He has major potential.
The major drawback of this character is his low stun meter, his low defense, and his low life guage. In fact, Akuma takes the worst damage in the game (Aside from a Vega without his mask). This makes Akuma a risky character in general, and his matches tend to landslide one way or another with not much middle ground.
Akumas best groove is considered to be N groove. In order to be at his most potential, he needs run, and this groove offers that. What it also offers is Roll Cancelled red fireballs, and a way to store his raging demon for when he needs it. This puts it above the rest of the pack.
His second best groove is K groove, where his ability to pull off damage increases greatly. By making the opponent scared of eating a raging demon, he is able to actually land more bread and butter combos than normal. The rage mode also allows him to suck up a bit more damage than he otherwise would be able to, and access to 2 raging demon attempts a round helps him out a lot.
His third best groove would be a tie between C groove and A groove. Both of these lack run, which is important to his game plan, but they both offer up something in exchange. C gives him level 2 cancels which can do a lot of damage to an opponent, and A gives him a guaranteed hit into custom combo (by doing c.lk, lk hurricane kick, activate, juggle). However, the lack of mobility from run really hinders him here.
Lastly would be S and P. S gives him run, but his lack of good level 1's and the handicap of having Raging Demon available only when he's about to die hurt him. As well, P doesn't give him much to work with, with no run or Roll Cancelled moves. The only exception is in CvS2 EO (such as on X-Box Live), where the P-groove cancel glitch allows him to do some damaging verifiable damage. Still not worth playing him in P groove.
Fireball[Normal Version - 1 HIT] - Down, Down-Forward, Forward+any punch.
Dragon punch[3 HITS] - Forward, Down, Down-Forward+any punch.
Red Fireball[3 HITS] - Forward, Down-Forward, Down, Down-Back, Back+any punch. [Jab does 1 hit, strong punch does 2 hits, and fierce punch does 3 hits].
Hurricane Kick[Up to 3 hits] - Down, Down-Back, Back+any kick.
Daemon Flip - Forward, Down, Down-Forward+punch [There are variations for this move. If you hit punch, you will perform an overhead knockdown punch dead on. If you hit a kick, then you will perform an overhead kick that is good for landing from above. If you hold forward while in the air and performing this move, a punch will do a flip grab, and a kick will do a grab that will take your opponent in the air and land him/her on their neck].
Forward Teleport - Forward, Down, Down-Forward + All 3 punches or kicks [Kick teleports Akuma to a short distance forward, punches teleports Akuma to a long distance forward]
Backwards Teleport - Back, Down, Down-Back + All 3 punches or kicks [Kick teleports Akuma to a short distance backwards, punches teleports Akuma to a long distance backwards]
Messatsu-Go-Shoryu - 2xRegular Fireball motion, then a punch.
Mestatsu-Go-Hadou - 2xRed Fireball motion, then a punch
Raging Daemon - Jab, Jab, Tap Forward(->), Short Kick, Fierce Punch [Requires Level 3 super]
Target Combo: standing opponent jump in FP, c.lp, c.hp, mk hurricane (2 hits), dp juggle
Bread and Butter Combos
- c.lk(or c.lp) x2, lk hurricane, dp (or lk hurricane again)
(opp crouching) note: all these combos also work on standing opponents too
- c.lk x2, hp fireball
- c.mk, hp fireball
- c.lk, lk hurricane, dp
- (c.lk/c.lp), c.lp, c.hk, lk hurricane, dp (or lk hurricane) Note: The d.LP, d.HK link is only for when you're fishing for counter hits with d.LP anyway. It's just as easy to hit confirm a counter hit crouching jab and link it into sweep xx qcb+LK
- c.lp, c.hp, hp fireball
Note: all of these combos can be done after a crossup fireball setup. If the fireball hits you can do the standing combos because the fireball will cause your opponent to stand.
for all intents and purposes these are all the NON meter b&b combos. there are many variations of these that you can use but its just personal style from here.
- c.lk x2 or 3, qcfx2 + p
- c.lp, c.hp, qcfx2 + p
- c.lk, c.lp, c.mk, qcb x2 + p
and as usual you can add jump ins and modify these combos slightly for different situations.
Akuma sometimes has a hard time getting close to opponents with good pokes. There are a variety of different ways to earn your position, but he doesn't have any of the "One button" strategies like the top tiers have. In other words, there is no magical crouching fierce or standing roundhouse to get the job done. It requires a bit of work, and a bit of luck.
- Crouching MK
Poking wise, his basic nice mid-range poke is crouching mk. This can link to a fireball if it connects. To capitalize on this, throw out the c.mk and immediately do a fireball. If it hits, it will cancel to the fireball. Be warned if they block the c.mk and the fireball comes it, they can roll on reaction from the fireball.
- Crouching HK
Not quite as much range as a MK, but this one knocks down. Use for punishment and whiffs. Much like the buffer into fireball trick above, buffer this move into a lk hurricane kick. The RH -> Hurricane Kick can be followed up by a dragon punch.
- Mid-Screen Red Fireball
Not good if they are expecting it, but good for punishment and whiffs. Scores a knockdown if it hits. Good chip/Guard Crush damage if it is blocked. Don't throw these out predictably unless you want to eat an RC or a Jump in combo.
- Standing RH
Nice distance, good for punishing low jumps and jump ins. Will beat out a handful of low pokes.
- Tiger Knee Fireball
This is one move you MUST learn in order to play Akuma. In A groove and C groove, this is possibly the most important aspect of his footsies game due to his lack of mobility. The concept of "Tiger Kneeing" a move basically means that you do a special move as close to off the ground as possible. It comes from the fact that in SF:Championship Edition, Sagats "Tiger Knee" move was d df f fu + kick. This is the same motion you need to do for his fireball. Input D, DF, F, FU + Punch. Akuma will leap off the ground and throw an air fireball instantly. For best results, use MP or LP fireballs, as the FP fireball is generally too fast.
The goal here is to have the fireball come out, and then akuma flies over his opponent, crossing them up. The fireball hits them in the back as Akuma hits them in the front. Even if they block the fireball, it allows Akuma to move in close for free (Except for Alpha counters, or S groove dodge attacks through the fireball). If it hits, it allows Akuma to follow up with a bnb combo, setting up another knockdown and putting him into prime position above them.
Basic Match Strategy
With Akuma, you really need to get close and deal some damage. Luckily, he is provided with a lot of mixup options to help you get the job done. You need to think Rushdown with Akuma. Rushdown implies the fact that you are constantly keeping the pressure on your opponent, forcing them to make quick decisions and take big damage if they guess wrong. It is basically the opposite of turtling.
1) Step one in a basic match is to score a knockdown. How can he do this? Well, he has a few options
- Red Fireball (3 hits) Knocks down
- c.lk, lk hurricane kick, juggle with dragon punch (lp)
- c.RH (sweep)
- c.mk, fireball (FP) knocks down up close
- dragon punch any jump in
The goal is to score the knock down, then run in close over the opponents body, and set up stage two.
2) Step two, now that you're standing over the opponents body, throw in some mix ups. Again, he has a few options.
- c.lk (as they wake up), lk hurricane kick, dragon punch (lp) juggle
- lk hurricane kick(over their body) into cross up, c.lk, lk hurricane kick, dragon punch (lp) juggle
- lk hurricane kick(over their body) for fake cross up, c.lk, lk hurricane kick, dragon punch (lp) juggle
- low jump mk (cross up), c.lk, lk hurricane kick, dragon punch (lp) juggle
- Punch throw, Teleport (F D DF + PPP) to their body. You recover before they do
- Raging Demon setup (See Raging Demon setup section
- low jump empty jump (Cross up), c.lk, lk hurricane kick, dragon punch (lp) juggle
- (corner only) Teleport (F D DF + PPP) into corner. Akuma will glitch, and you will cross them up and come out of the teleport instantly. Follow up with c.lk (as they wake up), lk hurricane kick, dragon punch (lp) juggle
- (corner only) Teleport (F D DF + PPP) into corner. Akuma will glitch, and you will cross them up and come out of the teleport instantly. Follow up with lk hurricane kick (Cross up) c.lk, lk hurricane kick, dragon punch (lp) juggle
- Block. Used if expecting a wake up uppercut/super, though a late teleport also cures this (usually)
From here, if you succeed, then step 2 loops back around to itself. You should still be over their grounded body. If not, go back to step 1 and score another knockdown.
Dealing with Quick Recover
When you work so hard to set up your opponent after a knockdown, the last thing you want is to have them quick roll your way out of the setup. Luckily, every setup listed gives you ample time to recover before your opponent. The answer to this is simple if you are in a run groove: Simply run up to your opponent after every knockdown. If you see them quick roll, just do c.lk -> Punishment of your choice. If they don't quick roll, then go into your mixups (c.lk, lk hurricane kick, stop -> throw, etc). You should be able to control the flow of the match very effectively with this tactic. Because of this, you should WANT the opponent to quick roll, as it results in free damage for you.
Note on Dragon Punch juggle
Akuma thrives on juggling with his dragon punch. Every version hits 3 times. However, the damage of the 3 hits is greatly different. On the LP uppercut, the damage is 1000 for the first hit, 400 for the second, and 300 for the last. Therefore, when juggling, it is in your best interest to juggle with the FIRST hit. Thus, the later the juggle, the better.
As well, it is best to juggle with the lp version, since it only does 200 damage less than the FP version, but leaves you in a major advantage standing over their grounded body.
Firstly I'm gonna exclude dizzy comboes as they aren't really practical IMO, as well as comboes that start with 'jump straight up qcf+lp, then tigerknee qcf+hp' and the like for the same reason.
Also, although these all start with 'j.hp, c.hp', that's not the only way to land them. That's the best way to land them as you get the most damage out of it, but you won't get a free jump in that often. When they're dizzy though go for it ;). More practically though you can replace the 'j.hp, c.hp' with 'c.lk, c.lk' or 'c.mk' to start any of these.
Here are some of C-Groove Akuma's most damaging combos in a variety of situations.
- Level 2, Anywhere on Screen
j.hp, c.hp, qcfx2+mp xx (last hit, but you still on ground) qcb+lk, dp+hp (2 hits) Damage:7902
- Level 3, Anywhere on Screen
j.hp, c.hp, qcfx2+mp xx (last hit, but you still on ground) hcbx2+lp Damage:8715
- Level 2, Opponent In or Near Corner
j.hp, c.hp, qcfx2+mp xx (2nd last hit) hcb+hp, dp+hp (2 hits) Damage:8086
- Level 3, Opponent In or Near Corner
j.hp, c.hp, qcfx2+mp xx (2nd last hit) hcbx2+lp, dp+hp (2 hits) Damage:9571
- Level 2, Mid-Screen, Pseudo Combo
Most damage with lvl2, does not work in corner, DOES NOT COMBO: j.hp, c.hp, qcfx2+mp xx (2nd last hit) dp+lk, f+hp xx dp+hp (2 hits) Damage:8715
- Level 3, Mid-Screen, Pseudo Combo
Most damage with lvl3, does not work in corner, DOES NOT COMBO: j.hp, c.hp, qcfx2+mp xx (2nd last hit) dp+lk, f+hp xx qcfx2+lp (4hits) Damage:8925
NOTE: Those last two have a hole in the combo between the lvl2 super cancel and the grab off the demon flip. Each of them is actually two comboes. The point of listing this is that 9.99993% of players getting hit with the traditional lvl2 combo will either:
- sit back and do nothing.
- hold on block in case you're too slow on a cancel and miss it.
This means that if you cancel the lvl2 into demon kick and command grab them, they will NOT react in time to you doing so. Hence they will get grabbed and you can continue the combo as listed.
These two do more damage than the traditional lvl2 cancels, but are risky. They are to only be used extremely scarcely as gimmicks in casual, or if you know that you only need 100 more damage to kill off a character. In which case they can be used. Generally though do the first 4, as the more consistent you are with them, the less they will expect the mixup ones.
- Mid Screen (Hit confirmable)
C.lk, C.lk, lk hurricane kick, lk hurricane kick (juggle), activate, lk hurricane kick (juggle) x N (repeat until they are in the corner), Red Fireball (FP) x N (Time these to keep them juggled in the air), end with HCB HCB + P (Fireball Super)
- Corner (hit confirmable)
C.lk, C.lk, lk hurricane kick, activate, FP (juggle), Red Fireball (FP) x N, end with HCB HCB + P (Fireball Super)
- Mid Screen (Hit Confirmable)
Demon Flip + P Near opponents head (to throw), lk hurricane kick (juggle), activate, lk hurricane kick x N (juggle) until opponent is in corner, Red Fireball (FP) X N, HCB HCB + P (Fireball Super)
- Guard Crush String (Corner)
Activate, Red Fireball (FP) X N, once guard is crushed, follow up with HCB HCB + P (Fireball Super)
- Guard Crush String (Mid Screen)
Activate, Dragon Punch (FP) X N until crushed, follow up with QCF QCF + P (Uppercut super)
Insanely Hard Combos
- choi special (corner only)
c/s.mk, hp red fireball, lp dp (1 hit), hp dp (1 hit).
J.Hp,land S.Lp,S.Hp into HCBX2(lV.1), QCB.Lk, QCF.Mp(LV.2) and while akuma is coming down QCB.HK and finish with DP.HP
- Air Juggle
j.mp -> j.hk hurricane, land, lk hurricane (juggle), Dragon Punch any strength(Juggle)
- Fireball Juggle (Corner Only) All grooves except A
C.mk, HCB HCB + FP (Level 3 super fireball), juggle afterwards with lk hurricane kick, juggle with Dragon Punch (LP) for one hit
- Double DP Juggle
Anti-Air a move with a Dragon punch that only hits with one hit (i.e. you hit them high). When you land, run forward a little and do another dragon punch, this will allow you to land 2 more hits. Only works in run grooves, though sometimes they are "Deep" enough to not need to run forward a bit.
- Triple DP Juggle
This is more for show than for damage. Get the opponent into the corner, and on their wakeup, do a Raging Demon. If they jump straight up to get away (like most do), do a Dragon Punch (lp) for one hit, follow up with a Dragon Punch (lp) for a second hit, and then finally throw out a Deep Dragon Punch (lp) for the third hit. It does more damage to just do the first Dragon Punch (lp), followed by a Deep 2 hit Dragon Punch (lp).
Raging Demon Setups
A lot of Akumas power comes from the fact that one mistake the opponent makes can lead to big damage from his Raging Demon. Akuma luckily has a lot of way to set up these guessing games, and land his raging demons for huge damage.
- [blocked] crossup MK, land, s.lp, s.fp, whiff lk hurricane, land, demon
- [after BnB], small pause, TK mp FB crossup (whiffs), land, demon.
- [blocked] c.lp, c.lp, dash > demon
- Knockdown your opponent in the corner. From here, DP + PPP teleport into the corner. This will cross them up, and also give Akuma a nice glitch where he instantly comes out of the teleport. From here, pull the Raging Demon (by buffering the command within the teleport). Mix this up with Teleport -> Hurricane Kick -> Dragon Punch so that if/when they try to jump the demon, they get caught with this instead. Because of this, it sets up a 50/50 mind game with the opponent. Also, teleport -> Fireball super works when they jump, expecting a Raging Demon, but instead eat a level 3 fireball super.
- Back to corner, RDP + PPP Telport in place, Demon. Most people don't expect it, but don't get used to using this.
- C.lk, lk hurricane kick (all blocked), demon as you land. Not 100% safe, but with perfect timing, you can catch a lot of punishment attempts.
- While opponent is knocked down, throw out S.mp. This is Akumas 2 hit overhead. From here, cancel into the Raging Demon BEFORE it connects with the opponent. At point blank range, if they are crouching, this is un-escapable.
- [N-Groove Only] Walk up, break stock/pop (HP + HK), into Raging Demon. This is the ultimate in quick Demon inputs. For tips, Pop with your pinky+thumb, start the LP quickly with your index finder, and then practice doing F (joystick hand) -> LK (thumb) -> HP (Ring finger/Pinky).