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Capcom vs SNK 2/Akuma/Strategy
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.
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
- 2LK > 214LK, 623LP confirms
- 2HK (sweep)
- 2MK, 236HP 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.
- 2LK (as they wake up) > 214LK, 623LP juggle
- 214LK(over their body) into cross up, 2LK > 214LK, 623LP juggle
- 214LK(over their body) for fake cross up, 2LK > 214LK, 623LP juggle
- Hop MK (cross up), 2LK > 214LK, 623LP juggle
- Punch throw, 623PP teleport to their body. You recover before they do
- Raging Demon setup (See Raging Demon setups)
- Empty hop (Cross up), 2LK > 214LK, 623LP juggle
- (corner only) 623PP teleport into corner. Akuma will glitch, and you will cross them up and come out of the teleport instantly. Follow up with meaty 2LK > 214LK, 623LP juggle
- (corner only) Do the above setup, but 214LK over them again for a double crossup, and then do the 2LK > 214LK, 623LP bnb.
- 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 recover, so you can punish them and loop the situation forever.
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).