Street Fighter X Tekken/Capcom Juggle System
The Juggle System
Juggling is a big part of Street Fighter X Tekken. More than any Street Fighter game in history, including Street Fighter Alpha 3, Juggles are the most important factor in Street Fighter X Tekken’s combo system. Take a look inside how the Juggle System works in Street Fighter X Tekken.
The Capcom Juggle System
- The same Juggle System used in the majority of Street Fighter games.
- All hits on a character that have been knocked down will also knock the opponent down.
- Every move in the game has the ability to juggle.
The biggest problem is that the Juggle System in Street Fighter X Tekken is not very straight forward. Moves seemingly hit and whiff on whim, and things that look like they should be connecting don’t. And what works with one character oddly does not work with other characters at all!
The funny thing is that the Juggle System in Street Fighter X Tekken isn’t all that new. In fact, it remains consistent with almost every Street Fighter game in history when it comes to Juggles, including Super Street Fighter II Turbo. In fact, the only Street Fighter games that do not follow this Juggle System are Street Fighter Alpha 3 and the Street Fighter III series (4 total games). But Super Turbo, Alpha 1 and 2, CvS1 and 2, and all versions of Street Fighter IV have used the same Juggle System at its core.
There are really only two things that make Street Fighter X Tekken different than all of the previous Street Fighter games that use this Juggle System. 1) Once a character has been put into a Knock Down state, all hits turn into Knock Downs. 2) Every move in the game has the ability to Juggle, whereas in previous games, only specific moves had any “juggle potential.”
This Juggle System, which I had called the “Capcom Juggle System” since the days of Capcom Vs. SNK 2, really involves two main basic concepts: the Juggle Count and the Juggle Potential. And new to Street Fighter X Tekken is the system of the Juggle Cost.
The Juggle Set Up
- All Juggles must be set up with a Knock Down move.
Before we even start talking about how the Capcom Juggle System works, we have to talk about how to set up a Juggle. This part is the easiest: just score a Knock Down on the opponent. Anything that will cause the opponent to land on their backs is a Juggle Set Up. This can be a Special Move, like a Shoryuken, that pops the opponent off the ground, a Normal Move that counter hits the opponent out of the air, a move that ground bounces or wall bounces the opponent, like Xiaoyu’s Cyanide (her overhead kick), or a Tekken String that pops the opponent into the air, like Julia’s Slow Power Punch Combo. Once they have been knocked into the air by a Knock Down, they are ready to be Juggled.
Also, as mentioned above, it is very important to note that, once struck by a Knock Down, every move that connects on the falling body is also a Knock Down. So a Standing Light Punch, for example, normally isn’t a Knock Down against an airborne opponent without a Counter Hit. However, if the opponent has already been struck by a Knock Down, a Standing Light Punch that juggles, even though it’s not a Counter Hit, will still be a Knock Down, thus continually setting up future Juggles.
The Juggle Count
- An internal counter in the game increases as a character is juggled.
- The move that causes the Knock Down sets the initial Juggle Count based on its Juggle Start value.
As characters are being Juggled in the game, there is actually an internal counter that I like to call the Juggle Count that keeps track of how many times a character has been juggled. So for example, let’s say you land a Cross Rush on your opponent and your teammate, Zangief, runs into the screen. You then combo his standard Standing Medium Punch, Standing Medium Punch, Standing Medium Kick chained into Standing Roundhouse combo. As each of those hits connect, this Juggle Count increase one by one. On the first Medium Punch, the Juggle Count reaches 1. On the second, it gets to 2. The Medium Kick then brings the count to 3 and the chain into Roundhouse finishes the Juggle Count to 4.
This Count is very important because it determines what can juggle and what cannot anymore. How this works will be explained in the next section. Just remember that this Juggle Count kicks in as soon as the opponent is put into the air by a Knock Down attack. Also, please note that the first hit that puts them into the Knock Down state does not register towards the Juggle Count. The Knock Down sets the initial Juggle Count according to the move's Juggle Start value, which in most cases is 0 or 1. So let’s say you hit someone out of the air with a Crouching Hard Punch that Counter Hits, so it acts as a Knock Down. Even though you hit them out of the air, it does NOT count as part of the Juggle. Instead, it counts as the Juggle Set Up. The Crouching Hard Punch has a Juggle Start value of 1, so after that Counter Hit Crouching Hard Punch connects, the Juggle Count starts up at 1.
The Juggle Potential
- Every move in the game has a Juggle Potential value tied to it.
- A move can connect and juggle the opponent so long as the Juggle Potential of the move is higher than the current Juggle Count.
- In general, the following values are a good starting point for Juggle Potential assumptions:
- Light Attacks have a Juggle Potential of 1.
- Medium Attacks have a Juggle Potential of 2.
- Hard Attacks have a Juggle Potential of 3.
- Special Moves have a Juggle Potential of 3.
- Those values will vary from character to character, move to move. Get to know your character's exceptions.
Every single move in Street Fighter X Tekken has been assigned a “Juggle Potential” value, and what the number is is pre-determined by the makers of the game. There is no universal formula, just a bunch of arbitrary numbers decided by those who spent the time balancing the game.
So what is the Juggle Potential? It essentially is the number that tells you whether or not you are “allowed” to Juggle the opponent at the time. So how does this work? Well, let’s take a specific move as an example: Cammy’s Cannon Spike. The Cannon Spike has a Juggle Potential of 3. So what does that mean, exactly?
Remember the Juggle Count? As soon as I remind you of its existence, I think things start to click into place very quickly. As the Juggle Count increases, only moves with a Juggle Potential greater than or equal to the current Juggle Count will be allowed to connect. So in other words, if we have a move with a Juggle Potential of 3, as long as the Juggle Count is currently at 0, 1, 2, or 3, it will actually juggle. As soon as the Juggle Count reaches 4, however, moves with the Juggle Potential of 3 will whiff.
So let’s look at Cammy’s Cannon Spike Again. I mentioned that this move has a Juggle Potential of 3. How was this determined? Simple. If you take any teammate and perform a Launcher on the opponent in the corner with Cammy as the Reserve Character, Cammy will run in and can do the following combo: Close Standing Hard Punch, Crouching Medium Punch, Crouching Hard Punch, and Cannon Spike -- each linked after the other. The Launcher that brought Cammy in is the Juggle Set Up. Then, when Cammy comes in, the first Hard Punch brings the Juggle Count up to 1. Then, the Crouching Medium Punch brings it to 2, the Crouching Hard Punch brings it to 3, and, with a Juggle Potential of 3, the Cannon Spike connects on the opponent bringing the Juggle Count to 4.
However, since we know we can link the Cannon Spike after a Crouching Hard Punch in the corner, let’s try to extend the combo, shall we? We can actually do, in the corner after a Launcher, Standing Hard Punch, Standing Medium Punch, Crouching Medium Punch, and end it with a Crouching Hard Punch. It’s the same combo as above, but with a Standing Medium Punch thrown in there. However, this time, if we try tacking on the Cannon Spike at the end of this combo... it whiffs! It can no longer connect because the Juggle Count is at 4 and the Cannon Spike only has a Juggle Potential of 3, so it can’t be the 5th move that juggles.
So again, the thing that makes this so tough is that every move has a pre-determined Juggle Potential that has been arbitrarily chosen by the people balancing this game. However, there is a very basic rule that most moves follow, but there are exceptions all over the place. So use this rule set as a BASIS of what Juggles can be performed. To know what actually can be done, you’ll have to look up your character’s Juggle Potentials (JPs).
- Light Attacks: JP of 1
- Medium Attacks: JP of 2
- Hard Attacks: JP of 3
- Special Moves: JP of 3
Again, this is a VERY rough base rule to follow. But it’s very dependent on the character. For example, Cammy’s Close Hard Punch only has a Juggle Potential of 1, instead of 3. Ryu’s Shoryuken, all three versions have only a Juggle Potential of 1. Every hit of Chun Li’s Hyakuretsukyaku, the Lightning Kick, has a Juggle Potential of 4.
So while this rule can be followed a bit, please understand that every character will have exceptions.
Multiple Hit Moves
- Moves that hit multiple times will increase the Juggle Count with every hit.
- Every hit of a multiple hitting move can potentially have different Juggle Potentials, though some will have the same potential for every hit.
If that were all that we needed to know for Juggles, that would be awfully convenient, but life is never that convenient. No, there is one more thing about Juggle Potentials that must be clarified, and that’s for multiple hitting moves. Obviously, there are many moves in the game that hit more than once, so how does Juggle Potentials work with those?
First of all, it must be said that, unlike Damage Scaling, every HIT adds to the Juggle Count. So if you juggle an opponent with a multiple hitting move, each hit will add to the Juggle Count. Hitting an opponent air-to-air with all three hits of Rolento’s Jumping Medium Punch will result in a Juggle Count of 3 when you land (the first hit is the Juggle Set Up with a Juggle Start value of 1, and the next two hits are Juggle Counts 2 and 3). So if you are trying to maximize Juggles, you should try to avoid multiple hit moves, as they general have much lower damage output per hit than single hits but eat up a lot more of the Juggle Count.
Now, within one multiple hitting move itself, every hit of the move can actually be assigned a different Juggle Potential as well. The perfect example of this is with Akuma’s Hard Punch Goshoryuken. The move has three hits, but each of the three hits has a different Juggle Potential. The first hit has a Juggle Potential of 2, the second hit has a Juggle Potential of 3, and the last hit has a Juggle Potential of 4. That’s why the farther along in a Juggle you do the Goshoryuken, the fewer hits it produces. Juggle with only 2 moves before landing a Goshoryuken, and it’ll juggle all 3 hits. Juggle with 4 moves before lancing a Goshoryuken, and it’ll only juggle with 1 because only the last hit has the Juggle Potential of 4.
Also, you’ll notice that it gets progressively harder and harder to hit the Goshoryuken “deep” with each Juggle, because it takes longer to “reach” the hit with the higher Juggle Potential. Of off a Launcher in the corner, you can juggle with two Light Punches and then do a super deep Goshoryuken. However, if you juggle with two Light Punches and then a Medium Punch and then try to link a Hard Punch Goshoryuken afterwards, that same “deep” Ghoshoryuken will whiff, because the first hit of the Goshoryuken can no longer hit due to surpassed Juggle Potential. Only the second hit can, which comes out a few frames slower than the first hit.
However, contrast this with Elena’s Hard Kick Scratch Wheel. All three hits have the same Juggle Potential of 3, so while you’ll end up with less hits with the more Juggles you do before the move, you’ll notice you can use that same deep timing no matter now many Juggles you’ve done.
Another example of different hits having different Juggle Potentials is Ryu’s EX Shoryuken. Those familiar with Ryu know that, if the first hit connects, he goes into a "Shin Shoryuken" animation with the slow and dramatic 4 hit uppercut. However, if the first hit whiffs, Ryu performs a standard Dragon Punch animation with multiple hits at the top. Well, those hits have a much higher Juggle Potential than the first hit. The first hit’s Juggle Potential is 3, so if you try to Juggle after bringing the Juggle Count up to 4 already, the first hit completely whiffs and the EX Shoryuken goes into the "miss" animation and the other hits at the top of the EX Shoryuken will connect, thanks to their higher Juggle Potentials.
The Juggle Cost
- Moves, Special Moves in particular, may have different Juggle Costs, increasing the Juggle Count by more than 1, or sometimes 0.
New to Street Fighter X Tekken is the concept of the Juggle Cost. This was a new system put in place to prevent Juggle Combos that were too powerful and damaging. In every previous Street Fighter game, it was pretty straight forward: every hit that counted as a Juggle added 1 to the Juggle Count. This is no longer true.
Now, in Street Fighter X Tekken, moves can actually add more than one point to the Juggle Count! This mostly applies only to Special Moves.
Let’s look at an example. If Zangief lands his Headbutt (jumping Up + Hard Punch) against another airborne opponent in the corner, he gets a Juggle Set Up off of the Ground Bounce it causes. He can Juggle immediately with a Banishing Flat and then follow up with anything that has a Juggle Potential of at least 3, which includes the Double Lariat, a Close Hard Punch, or even a Crouching Hard Kick. However, moves like his Close Medium Punch or Close Medium Kick, with Juggle Potentials of only 3, will whiff after the Banishing Flat. This is because the Banishing Flat automatically jumped the Juggle Count from 0 to 3.
Another example is Ken’s Light Punch Shoryuken. That move has a whopping Juggle Cost of 4!! That means whenever you Juggle with a Light Punch Shoryuken, the Juggle Count doesn’t go up by 1, it goes up by 4!! This was done very intentionally, as the Light Punch Shoryuken has a Juggle Potential of 3. By jumping the Juggle Count instantly by 4, this prevents Ken from juggling two Light Punch Shoryukens in one Combo after a Juggle Set Up.
(However, as a note, Ken’s Hard Kick Tatsumaki Senpukyaku has a Juggle Potential of 7 for every hit, so you can combo one of those after a Juggled Light Punch Shoryuken instead.)
Some Special Moves don’t have any extra costs at all. Ryu’s Joudan Shokutogeri, for example, has a Juggle Cost of just 1, like any Normal Move. However, since it has a Juggle Potential of only 2, it can’t be abused by using it multiple times in a combo.
Putting It Together
- Knowing how the Juggle System works allows you to properly construct the highest damage combos possible when you know all the Juggle Potentials and Costs of your moves.
Knowing all of these things really helps you maximize your combos. For example, if your opponent tags out in the corner and you predict it, giving you a free Jump-In Combo with Ryu, knowing all of the above information helps a lot. Knowing his Joudan Shokutogeri has a Juggle Cost of 1 and his Hard Punches and Tatsumaki Senpukyaku have Juggle Potentials of 3 allows you to put together this combo:
Jump forward and do a Jumping Hard Punch and land with a Crouch Hard Punch into a Light Kick Tatsumaki Senpukyaku. That pops them up into the air which lets you land and juggle with a Crouching Hard Punch canceled into a Light Kick Joudan Shokutogeri. The Juggle Count, now being at only 2 thanks to the low Juggle Cost of the Joudan Shokutgeri, allows yet another Crouch Heavy Punch to juggle canceled into another Light Kick Tatsumaki Senpukyaku for a total damage of 436 with no meter usage at all! So you can see how understanding the Juggle System in this game can help you come up with more powerful combos.
Switch Cancels and Juggle Counts
- Performing a Switch Cancel resets the Juggle Counter for both characters.
- Character who activated Switch Cancel can get extra Juggles off of Switch Cancels as well.
- Some moves, however, prevent any Juggles afterwards regardless of Switch Cancels.
Anyone who has played Street Fighter X Tekken for any amount of time has realized that utilizing Switch Cancels allows you to extend Juggles. So what exactly happens when a Switch Cancel is performed? The best way to think of it is that each character on your team has their own individual Juggle Counts. This is important to note because the Juggle Count for BOTH characters gets reset to 0 when a Switch Cancel is performed! And the hits from one character will not affect the Juggle Count of the other character!
Let’s take a look at this scenario. Ken can perform, against an opponent in the corner, a Light Punch Shoryuken and, after landing, juggle with Crouching Light Punch before the opponent hits the ground. Then, he can link a Crouching Medium Punch and, after that, link a Close Hard Punch canceled into an EX Shoryuken. You’ll notice that the EX Shoryuken hits only once with the first hit and the rest of it whiffs.
Now, let’s see what happens if we perform the same combo but activate a Switch Cancel on that single hit of the EX Shoryuken.
Ken’s EX Shoryuken has a Juggle Potential of 3 for every hit. So in the above combo, it’s the first hit that connects and the rest that whiff. However, when the Switch Cancel is activated, look what happens: the entire EX Shoryuken connects! In other words, even Ken’s Juggle Count gets shifted immediately back to 0 so that his entire EX Shoryuken connects.
But how does that affect Ryu? It was mentioned that every hit raises the Juggle Count. So if Ken’s EX Shoryuken lands all four hits, does that mean, on their way down, the Juggle Count is already at 3 for Ryu? The answer is no. Remember I said that it appears both characters have their own unique Juggle Counts? That’s because no matter what Ken does, Ryu’s Juggle Count starts at 0 so, after the opponent falls back down from Ken’s EX Shoryuken, you can start juggling with Ryu as if they were just hit by a Juggle Set Up.
Keep in mind, however, that there are some moves that just straight up prevent juggling of ANY kind afterwards. Ryu’s EX Shoryuken is like this. After it connects, even if you Switch Cancel, you can no longer hit the opponent after Ryu finishes the EX Shoryuken. The opponent is just put into a special non-jugglable state.