Capcom vs SNK 2/Sagat/Strategy

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Despite being the strongest character in the game, Sagat in practice is not that complicated of a character. When boiling it down, he has two real main playstyles: a neutral heavy Sagat that focuses on using his pokes to confirm into damage, and a pressure heavy Sagat that uses his run pressure and short hops to kill the opponent slowly. As you would expect, the Capcom grooves are where you'd play the neutral Sagat, and the SNK grooves are the ones where you'd play pressure Sagat.

Team Position

Best Position: Anchor
Since Sagat is so good, you honestly get the freedom to put him anywhere you want and the team will still be cohesive and strong, provided that the other 2 characters are wisely ordered. Almost every top Sagat player puts him at anchor simply because he's the best anchor. He's tanky, can make crazy comebacks with regularity, and closes out games better than anyone. He also doesn't need meter to wash a character, but uses meter just as well as anyone. He's the perfect fit on any team, and though you can put him anywhere, it is recommended to put him as the ratio 2 anchor simply because he has the best comeback factor and just by virtue of being the best character in the game.


Sagat's neutral game is the best the game has to offer. He sports a cavalcade of powerful, damaging pokes. If used right, Sagat becomes a giant, imposing wall that's hard to break down. He's got it all, from fast annoying pokes to strong, punishing ones. There are many bits and pieces to Sagat's neutral, and they will be detailed here.


5LK: Good for space control. Mainly used at max range to badger the opponent and stuff out their longer range pokes which most likely have slower startup. 5LK has the range to outrange jabs and has the speed to beat pokes that can reach 5LK. You can use it up close for frame traps, as it is -1, but at max range is where this button is most effective.

5MK: Sagat's longest ranged poke, but is really unsafe to compensate. Because of that, spacing is necessary to avoid getting punished. When spaced, it can be a nice way of checking opponents from even longer distances and keeping them honest, as it can halt bad approaches pretty well. Although, 900 damage is pretty low for Sagat's standards, but it's still useful.

5HP: Really powerful counterpoke. Because of it's crazy priority, it can check a lot of standing pokes easily. As a standard poke, it can easily be crouched under (with some exceptions, those are the matchups Sagat tends to dominate), so it's not nearly as threatening as 2HP. If landed in neutral, it does a crazy 1600 damage, tied for the highest single button damage with other big body guys like Zangief and Raiden. In neutral, if you anticipate a standing poke or approach, use this button to counter.

2LK: A good up close poke, hits low and can lead into more pokes. Generally it's good for combos and pressure, but if you can use it's quick speed, it can be a pretty nice poke in Sagat's arsenal.

2MK: One of Sagat's best pokes. At a very fast 4 frames, it also sports great range. It has both a special and super cancel to guarantee chip, and also hits low. It can stop a lot of pokes by itself, and it is only -2, so basically unpunishable without parry or JD. In which case it's very hard to get either of those due to it's speed, especially when used unpredictably. Overall a very nice tool in Sagat's kit.

2HP: The button you were probably thinking of. Every Sagat loves this button, but there's a catch. If you overuse this button, which is a very tempting thing to do, a good player can take advantage of this. The main weakness of 2HP is its speed. Plus frames don't matter if the move whiffs, and if it whiffs or gets i-framed on, Sagat is left open.

Some ways opponent's counter 2HP include:

  • Activating Custom Combo: because of its long hurtbox, activations can punish this move from long distances.
  • Low Jumps: Any low hop can take this button out. Some jump-ins can't really counter this move, fair enough, but every character has some answer for low jumping a vulnerable Sagat in the 2HP state.
  • Roll Cancels: An opponent anticipating a 2HP can simply roll cancel past it. It may not lead to huge damage in some instances but if it happens multiple times the damage can rack up.
  • Parries/JDs: Both of these mechanics can turn the +2 that 2HP has into something much worse and punishable. Predictably using 2HP is just asking for these defensive mechanics to shut it down.
  • Lvl.2s / Lvl.3s: Due to their high i-frames, an opponent anticipating this poke can i-frame through it. It has high active frames, so level 1 supers will most likely trade or straight up lose, but level 2s and 3s can beat it out.

Now that I've downplayed this poke, reminder that these weaknesses apply if you overuse this button. Situational or not, using this button predictably can result in these events happening, but if you have a healthy variety of all the pokes mentioned, you will most likely not face these difficulties. It has great range, very powerful damage, and even better reward when cancelled into super (Mainly Low Tiger Cannon). It's definitely his strongest poke, but has to be used wisely. Despite how powerful Sagat's button is he cannot cheat neutral against a good player.

Low Hop j.HK: Only available in grooves that allow short hops (P, S, N, K). Sagat's normal jump is too slow for low jump HK to work as something he can use in neutral. Due to the opponent expecting Sagat's potent low pokes, they aren't expecting a quick and damaging overhead like j.HK. Due to it hitting fairly low, it can make contact with standing and crouching characters, but there are some exceptions where hitting low jump HK is really difficult (i.e. Athena and Yuri).

Low Tiger Shot: This sounds weird, but it can be a poke against button-based zoners. However, it's only really effective against long disjointed pokes and nothing much else. In neutral, if you know your opponent can't zone you out well, then don't try to push too many fireballs in neutral. If they know you will throw a fireball, they can close the space by rolling. You can punish this roll, through throwing or using a meaty 2MK/2HP, although it can sometimes whiff due to range.


Long Range Buttons: If the opponent intends to zone but is still in the range of things like 5MK, you can use it to either force a trade or beat them entirely. Sagat can kinda have a hard time getting in on characters like Hibiki due to his speed, but if he can manage his button usage and approach carefully, his threatening neutral game alone can give him some space.

Roll: A pretty self-explanatory option, however it's not good to just spam roll to anti-zone. His roll is pretty easy to sniff out, and a quick meaty or throw can punish it. Carefully pick and choose when the opponent cannot recover in time for you to roll past.

Jump: Unfortunately, Sagat's jump is pretty slow, but against slower zoning moves j.HK can be a good punish option. Don't jump-in too much though, as he is open to anti-airs.

Fireballs: Sagat's fireballs are still pretty good for zoning. He isn't a zoning character in CvS2 but if he has to engage in a fireball war, he can actually come out on top against a fair amount of fireballs. By winning in a fireball war, or anticipating a bad fireball, he can jump over and get a free punish. Alternatively, if he's being zoned out through buttons, he can use his fireball to have a long ranged "poke" of his own, though very unorthodox. If the opponent keeps on eating those fireballs, they may be tempted to poke less and instead try to answer the fireball.


Despite Sagat preferring neutral in dash grooves, Sagat can pressure in both dash and run grooves, it's just that he has more freeform rushdown in the run/short hop grooves. Regardless, his very high damage can leave opponents scrambling trying to prevent a round ending confirm into super. Here are some of his pressure options, ranging from blockstrings, to tick throw setups.

Up-Close Options

5LP: A 2-frame jab that can annoy the opponent. Leads into Sagat's throw pretty easily and can be a nice button to repeatedly use. This is especially good on characters who cannot crouch this button, as they will have to deal with this button a lot up close.

2LK: 1 frame slower than 5LP, but hits all crouchers. Not only that but it hits low, although when up close players tend to crouch block anyways. Great button to pressure with and even moreso tick throw with.

5LK: At just -1, this button can frame trap into buttons like the previously mentioned 2LK and 5LP, however reversals can trounce on those attempted frame traps. If the opponent is scared to do anything too committing, this button isn't a bad thing to use up close.

Throw: Pretty obvious. Unblockable, and leads into more pressure. Sagat usually likes to tick throw into this from 5LP, 2LK, 5LK or any jump button.


* x n means the move notated can be repeated as many times until it falls out of range.

5LP x n *, 2HP: Not complicated, just hold forward while linking a few 5LPs and when it eventually is out of range end in a 2HP. Very good guard damage and safe on block, ending with a +2 button. Can force opponents to get really impatient due to the repeated use of 5LP, or scare them into doing nothing, leading to more free pressure. It's a simple blockstring and leaves just a 1-frame gap if done right, which means that reversals are almost never going to beat this blockstring.

2LK x 2, 5LP, 2HP: Requires some microwalking, but pretty much the same idea. Ends in 2HP, and does decent guard damage. However, this time 2LK can only be landed two to three times, but because it's a low poke it can account for crouchers and it's still a decent blockstring.

5LP, 2MP, 2MK xx Low Tiger Shot: Uses a very plus button in 2MP. It doesn't serve much use but here it can be used. Cancelling into Low Tiger Shot tacks on extra guard and some chip, and due to the spacing the blockstring created it's no longer minus. Does a good amount of guard damage, can be used if you are good at linking very odd normals that you wouldn't normally try to link.

5LP x n, 2LK, 2MK xx Low Tiger Shot: Depending on how many 5LPs you can string, this blockstring can go from good guard damage to north of 70% guard break. By using two 5LPs (the bare minimum for most characters), then doing the rest of the string the guard damage is good.

2LK x 3, 2HP: Quick low string if you were trying to confirm and noticed that 2LK got blocked. Does okay guard damage for the limited moves that you are using.

2LK x 3, 2MK xx Low Tiger Shot: The same 2LK starter but instead it uses a 2MK link into Low Tiger Shot. Gets free chip, but slightly less guard damage.

2LK x 2, 5LK, 2LK, 2HP: Uses a small frame-trap in 5LK, 2LK. There is a small microwalk between 5LK and 2LK, meaning it can get hit by reversals, but because of the spacing 5LK leaves Sagat, he can choose to hold the pressure for a slight moment and wait for a reversal or an attempt to poke out. He can do nothing against the reversal and punish, and beat the light normal with 2HP. If they choose to stay blocking, this blockstring is pretty good.

Throw Setups

Empty Jump: Can be used in both short hop and normal jump grooves, but low hop grooves prove more effective since Sagat's j.HK is even more of a threat.

Light Normal Pressure: 5LP, 5LK and 2LK can be great tick throw options. When pressuring with these buttons, you can simply just not pressure and catch the block with a throw.

Empty Dash/Run: If Sagat finds himself out of range for his light normals to land, he can dash or run forward and immediately throw. Due to Sagat's dash being a little slow, it can be mashed out of, but it can work in very tense situations where options like these are not considered in the moment.


Sagat is slow. One of his few weaknesses is that he can struggle a little against fast, agile rushdown characters like Cammy and Blanka because of his sluggish speed. However, with the correct use of Sagat's defensive options, he can be a very good character on defense and even do a little but of zoning. There are many aspects to Sagat's defense, from anti-airs to zoning, and while some are more important than others, it is important that a Sagat player must learn to deal with what they dish out.


5LP: A hard move to anti-air with, but it's doable. A 2-frame startup move can beat a lot of preemptive jump-ins but it usually loses against jump-ins with active hitboxes.

5HP: Usually done against short hops. Against longer jumps it has a tendency to whiff. Due to the big damage, some opponents might even stop doing repeated shorthops if it means they eat 1600 damage in one punch. Sagat being a big body character is weak to things like shorthop jump-ins, and scaring the opponent from doing them can be a great way of barring one of Sagat's defensive liabilities. If JD'd, Sagat can do a Tiger Uppercut to make it harder to JD, but Parries can beat this move if they are low enough to the ground unless cancelled into super.

5MK: Better done as a late anti-air. Plus frames don't matter since it's an anti-air. It has a lot of horizontal range, but not too much vertical range. It's best to land this against jumps that land short of Sagat, rather than jumping right in on him.

5HK: The button for longer jumps. Against shorthops it tends to trade due to it's slower speed. Against 45-degree angle jumps this button can shine, however it can trade even at the tip, though Sagat's high health usually means he can afford to take those trades.

High Tiger Shot: Not exactly the best anti-air, but it does cause a knockdown. It's hard to space the shot to where the opponent jumps right into it but it is possible. The button strength is also important in terms of what you want to use to anti-air with.

Tiger Uppercut: An obvious one, since it is a true DP. Light Tiger Uppercut is a good anti-air that can strike most jump arcs and ranges. Heavy Tiger Uppercut is far more damaging but also far more committing, but it is a satisfying move to land if you know they're going to jump in. Alternatively, if you sense that a P or K groove opponent is empty jumping and fishing for a parry/JD, then the HP version is great for that since it is multi-hitting and hard to get all the hits taken out. The i-frames also make it even better as jump-ins have a hard time trading with it, but deep jump-ins can do so. If this move trades normally Sagat has the advantage, as he remains standing but the opponent gets knocked down.

Tiger Knee: Hits really high and can hit at distances Tiger Uppercut cannot. If RC'd, it becomes Sagat's preferred long jump anti-air, but it can work against short hops as well. There isn't much else you can do with it in terms of anti-airing, against close but not too close jumps it can work just fine.

High Tiger Cannon: Sagat's only real anti-air super. It costs some meter, but it has i-frames, and if you can land the level 2 or 3 version, you can get big damage for an opponent making an untimely jump. Most times you won't use this as an anti-air unless you have infinite level 1s and can spend meter without much care but otherwise you're better off saving the meter for something much more dangerous, as Sagat's anti-airs are versatile enough to where avoiding this option does not hurt him.


5LP: As a 2-frame jab, Sagat can poke out of pressure with this button. This allows him to prepare for his next move as it leaves just a little bit of breathing room for him to deal with the opponent's next move.

Roll: Depending on what the opponent is pressuring with, this option can either be good or bad. If they end up trying to use heavier, slower normals to end their blockstrings with gaps, then you can roll and punish. If they're mostly pressuring with lights, they may be able to react to the roll and throw it.

Counter Movement/Guard Cancel: Both good options. If you spend a little meter you can get your opponent off of you and save a little bit of your guard meter. Sagat's guard cancel is pretty good, but it can be blocked. Fortunately it's not a guaranteed punish so you won't lose much (well except 1 bar of meter).

Throw: If the opponent is pressuring close enough and is not trying to tick throw, you can sit them down with a quick throw. Against good players, most times you end up with a throw tech, and in the cast of a throw tech, using 2MK is a great move since it's really fast and reaches all characters after a throw tech.

2LK: A 3-frame move, yes, but it can account for crouchers and is still really fast. If landed you can try and push the opponent out with a blockstring as 2LK has very flexible blockstring routes.

2MK: The same deal as 2LK, can cancel into Low Tiger Shot for some breathing room but it's 1 frame slower. It's better to use when the opponent isn't in throw range.

2HP: A very committing attempt to get out, but it can work. If you see obvious gaps in blockstrings or pressure, abuse it with a hard hitting 2HP. This can force opponent's to get smarter with their pressure as they know they can eat a big button and potentially a super as well if they don't play it smart with their offense.

Tiger Uppercut: This option can either go really good or really bad. If the opponent is close enough and you know they are going to press something then check them with this move. If it fails, you are open to a big punish. If it hits, you got your turn back. It's really risky, but if it works it works good.

Super: Like Tiger Uppercut, you're risking a lot by doing wake-up super. Tiger Cannons are not super punishable, but Tiger Raid and Genocide are. It's not really recommended, since Sagat likes to be conservative with his meter, but if it gets to that point and the opponent oversteps their boundaries, you can certainly try it.


Sagat's Okizeme game is rather average. He doesn't possess crazy mixups all the time (discounting the Tiger Raid mixup), his dash doesn't corpse hop and his overhead/low presence isn't super threatening on wake-up. The best thing Sagat can do is simply maintain offensive presence after a knockdown.

Here are some okizeme options Sagat can do, just note that they aren't that great.

  • Low Jump ("Fake" Corpse Hop): Sagat's dash doesnt corpse hop, but his low jump can. It's not going to make the opponent anymore confused on where to block, but it's something to get them scared on what Sagat is preparing.
  • Meaty j.LK: Sagat can cross-up j.LK easily. With the right positioning, he can get this move to look tricky in terms of which direction to block. If hit low enough, Sagat can confirm into whatever options are available to him.
  • Empty Jump: Sagat can jump and appear to be preparing a safe-jump, until he hits the ground and now the opponent has to quickly figure out what he will do next since he doesn't have blockstun to protect them from throws. This can be done into a low, a throw, or a Lvl.3 Tiger Raid if they are caught stand blocking, though it's a risky option.
  • Meaty: Meaties work well at stopping failed reversals and just aggressive behavior on wake-up in general. He can also use meaties to continue blockstring pressure or just pressure in general. In terms of Sagat's best meaty options, 2LK, 2MK and 2HP are some notable ones.
  • Throw: With so many options to kill the opponent, Sagat can simply punish their blocking by throwing them. This is good against opponents who are scared of what Sagat will do and not taking into account that he has options for punishing blocking.
  • Nothing (But look like you're gonna do something): If Sagat predicts a reversal from the opponent, he can simply choose to not do anything and avoid/block the reversal. Most times he's getting a punish, usually either a confirm into super, or if he doesn't have that, cl.HP xx HP Tiger Uppercut. The only times he can't consistently get a punish are against supers, but even if he doesn't punish the opponent still spent resources unfavorably. If he notices that the opponent is doing nothing either he can simply just take back pressure with either a 5LP, 2LK or throw.

Groove Strategy

Cvs2 C-Groove Label.png

C-Groove Sagat is scary. He pretty much always has a meter lead and has access to a lot of supers, and the system mechanics in place really compliment the type of character he is, like air blocking, rolling, and the unique level 2 super cancel that gives him access to really high damage.

Pros Cons
  • Level 2 Super Cancels deal great damage.
  • Air Blocking makes air-to-air situations safer.
  • Strong meter usage with a lot of flexibility.
  • Good defensive subsystems (Guard Cancel, Roll)
  • Pressuring is difficult, but it can be done.
  • No short hop, meaning his jumps will be very sluggish.

Playing Cvs2 C-Groove Label.png

The key to making C-Sagat effective is his neutral. He has no shorthop to push any mixups with his lows and low jump HK. You have to resourcefully manage meter and use his pokes to slowly chip away at the opponent's health until the opportunity arises to confirm into super.

When it comes to C-Groove squads, Sagat is one of the best characters you can use. If you like a fundamental-heavy character with high damage, plenty of supers and top tier button quality then C-Sagat is for you. He also has access to good defensive subsystems that mask his defensive liabilities. Rushdown happy opponents can get sat down with a quick guard cancel, and due to C-Groove's good meterbuild he can get it right back.

If you have at least 2 bars stocked, a mindful opponent generally doesn't like getting in as often due to the potency of Sagat's level 2 cancels and the massive damage they can bag. Sagat has great meterbuild in C, especially with Heavy Tiger Uppercut, as it gives him near a full bar when confirmed into it.

Because of this, Sagat almost always has a meter lead. Overall, C-Sagat is very neutral heavy, but due to his great synergy with C-Groove he is still one of the most threatening characters in the game.

Vs. Cvs2 C-Groove Label.png

Generally a matchup Sagat can handle. Some of his moves are weak to roll cancels, and his pressure can be denied through guard cancels, but C-Groove does not usually have the subsystems in place that invalidate Sagat's kit. Sagat himself can use some defensive subsystems to beat roll cancels and bait guard cancels. He can also apply anti-roll cancel techniques that are semi-universal, like jumping, counter rolling, or throwing. Some C-Groove characters you will find yourself fighting a lot are Ryu, Ken, Iori, Blanka, Cammy, Chun-Li, Guile, Geese and Sagat himself. Sagat can fight them all just fine (Cammy and Blanka may give him some issues) if he plays it smart. Against C-Groove, Sagat has to be slow and methodical. C-Groove has the tools to punish really aggressive opponents, especially with their frequent access to damaging level 2 or 3 supers. If you can push a lot of offense, you can get the C-Groove character to crack. Sagat himself is slow, but pushing the opponent more and more into the corner can give him the opening he needs. Usually he plays a lot of neutral against C-Groove, so whip out the pokes and slowly kill their guard and health. By countering the roll cancels, forcing the opponent to mismanage their meter, and playing a smart game overall, C-Groove characters are ones you won't find yourself having too much trouble fighting.

Cvs2 A-Groove Label.png

You might come to believe this variation of Sagat would be very strong. Custom Combos in general do get big damage, however this version of Sagat is just redundant. In practice, he's merely a worse version of C-Sagat. His CC also has little practicality, only working as either an anti air or up-close activation. Even worse the CC itself is quite difficult to perform. Overall, there's way better A-groove characters out there and C-Sagat is just a better pick for this playstyle.

Pros Cons
  • Simple meter to work with.
  • Decent meterbuild
  • Custom Combos, even if Sagat isn't great at them, it's still a powerful mechanic
  • Good defensive subsystems (Guard Cancel, Roll)
  • Pressuring is difficult.
  • No short hop.
  • Subpar synergy with Custom Combo, can't use it as effectively as other characters.

Playing Cvs2 A-Groove Label.png

There isn't much to talk about. A-Sagat is essentially C-Sagat but without his access to scary good supers. The only supers he has are level 1s, and Tiger Cannon is Sagat's only real worthwhile level 1. He still has the defensive subsystems in place to help him out, and while the meterbuild isn't nearly as good as it is in C-Groove, he can still build meter faily quickly to stock a Custom Combo.

The only problem is that Sagat is mostly a battery character if he's on an A-Groove team. If anything he's good on an A-Groove squad to build meter for the next guy coming in, whether it be Sakura, Blanka, or Dictator.

His Custom Combo does the average amount of damage, getting up to 8k in some situations, but overall a competent player is not going to be that scared of Sagat's CC, if anything they're more worried about Sagat's buttons. Overall, just a redundant character.

If you want to see Sagat's Custom Combos, refer to the Combos Section

Vs. Cvs2 A-Groove Label.png

Think of fighting C-Groove but now you have to be super careful once the opponent stocks a Custom Combo. Against characters who have really good customs, like Dictator and Sakura, you always have to be weary of the fact that they can activate it at any time, and just one mistake can result in a huge loss of health. Essentially you fight A-Groove players the same as you would C-Groove players (refer to the C-Groove section for any A-Groove stuff shared from C-Groove), but the catch is that they replaced their supers with a crazy potent offensive tool that can do big damage. There are many types of ways an A-Groove opponent can activate their CC on you. Most will be listed here and their counters as well.

  • Blocked CC: If the A-Groove player either failed to link into or mix into a custom. They will usually do a long blockstring that will tear your guard bar apart. Now, if you are in a groove with Guard Cancel or Counter Movement, then that is great. Just dock them in the face with it if you have the resources. If you don't, then you will either have to hope there's a punishable gap, or in the case of the ShoSho, pray that they drop the custom and get a free punish. Because Sagat is a big guy, certain custom combo mixups are more effective on him as well, so you will have to be ready to block some really weird but true blockstrings. Blocking a CC kinda sucks since you don't really get an opportunity to punish unless you have the resources to Guard Cancel but if that's what has to happen then it's better to do that instead of eating it.
  • Roll CC: Oldest trick in the book. Basically roll super but instead it's a CC. If you notice the opponent getting a little roll happy then try to avoid getting greedy and stick with your faster buttons. If they are getting roll happy close to you then throwing is also a great option. Buttons like 2HP can get rolled past and you might eat a custom, but if you simply play it safe and defensively, then you will most likely shut down this attempt.
  • Wake-Up CC: Another old trick that catches a lot of players. Generally gets beaten by doing nothing on wakeup and promptly punishing afterwards, though note they still have i-frames after the super freeze so you can't hit them right afterwards. If they immediately attack with something unsafe then get away and punish. If they use something safe just try to run away as best as you can. Throw some Tiger Shots out if need me. The most important thing is hitting the opponent so they lose custom. They cannot block, so their best option of avoiding anything is jumping or rolling, and by that point they lost the i-frames to blow through your counterattack.
  • Anti-Air Custom: This one is pretty simple. Just don't jump. Sagat doesn't rely on his jumps to create offense, so he can afford to stay on the ground.
  • Trip-Guard Custom: Custom Combos that are done by blowing through the jump-in then countering with a low attack that will hit. Most times A-Groove players go for tripguard customs as answers to jumps than actual anti-air customs, since they are a little more difficult to perform. To beat these, just do an empty jump. You will be able to guard whatever hits you on the ground. It's even better if you have a low jump and intend to bait the custom.
  • Up Close Custom: Can work as a footsies tool and a mixup tool. Very hard to beat and can be mixed with pokes, throws, and empty movements. To stop this, it's best to not throw out any greedy, unnecessary moves. If the opponent senses you will do something that their CC can tag and follow up with, then it's best to stick to the fast buttons. As well, if they are doing it as an offensive mix-up tool, then you will have to just keep them out as best you can. Jumping is a decent option if they are right on you, but note they can still anti-air you. Rolling can also work, but it may get meatied if they see it in time, and throwing them is extremely risky but it can work.
  • Jump-In Custom: Pretty much beats any anti-air in the game. Instead of anti-airing them, try to get out of the jump-in and either air-to-air them, or use 2MK/2HK to punish their lack of tripguard.

If the opponent ends up using a custom randomly and can't do anything with it, you can punish it with super pretty easily. Overall, a very tense battle for Sagat that can either go right or wrong in one poor move. Characters you will have to fight in A-Groove a lot include Bison, Blanka, Sakura, and Claw among others.

Cvs2 P-Groove Label.png

P-Groove sucks. Common knowledge, but even with P-Groove you can make Sagat work. He's a weird mix of pressure and neutral, as he has both a shorthop and dash, so his mobility is in the middle. He's still strong, but it's really hard to deal with good grooves as P Sagat. You need to make good use of parries and the rare times you can use a level 3 super.

Pros Cons
  • Parry is a strong mechanic if used right.
  • Sagat doesn't absolutely need parries to win.
  • Has a shorthop for pressuring.
  • At most he gets access to one super per round.
  • No defensive options outside of parries.
  • Poor guard bar

Playing Cvs2 P-Groove Label.png

P-Sagat is an odd character. He's the strongest P-Groove character, so constructing a P-Groove squad is definitely going to see some success with Sagat on it, but he has to make use of the main selling point of this groove: parries.

You probably know what parries are. You tap forward or down at the right time and you get time to punish whatever it is you parried. What makes P-Sagat a nice character to have however is that he's not completely reliant on parries, unlike some other P-Groove characters. The difference is that regardless of groove base Sagat is extremely powerful, and no matter the lack of synergy or strength the groove has Sagat can work in it.

P-Sagat is a healthy blend of his neutral playstyle and pressure playstyle. He has a short hop, meaning that he can be threatening with a level 3 and can push a mixup. Unlike other short hop grooves, Sagat can keep his level 3 until he wants to use it, whereas S, N and K have limited time periods for you to use a level 3. Even though Sagat doesn't rely on parries, it's still needed to stand a good chance against the top tiers in good grooves. Parrying gives both meter and a free punish, typically Sagat likes to punish with 2MK (or 2HP if it's a slow move) for ground parries. For anti-air parries Sagat can use many types of anti-airs, whatever is preferred against that given air attack, and j.HK is used for air-to-air or air-to-ground parries. If Sagat has a super, parry into 2MK xx Low Tiger Cannon is a great super confirm that destroys the health bar.

What makes P-Sagat difficult is that the P-Groove guard bar is the lowest of all grooves, meaning the lack of any defensive subsystems will kill him if he doesn't use his defensive options properly, but also it means that if he doesn't want to waste too much guard bar on blocking aggressive rushdown, he may need to parry if things get bad. On top of that, the meter for P-Groove is not that strong. If Sagat can stay alive, he can maybe use a super once. If he is the R2 guy, then he can get a super in most likely, but it's probably going to happen once. The meterbuild is not good, meaning Sagat has to rely on winning with only one good chance at a super, which is doable but when supers are so frequent in other grooves it really gives Sagat noticeably less of a potent threat for very high damage in this groove.

Overall, he's a great pick if not the pick for a P-Groove squad, however P-Groove as a whole is difficult to work with, but if used right, P-Sagat can make some noise, and dedicated P-Groove players have proven that it can be done that way.

Vs. Cvs2 P-Groove Label.png

This is an interesting matchup. As bad as P-Groove is, going up against a good P-Groove player is an unorthodox matchup. Due to the fact that they will check you if you use your buttons predictably with parries, you will have to switch up your game to make sure they don't land the parries, especially when they have a level 3 and you can lose a lot of health from a single parry punish.

Firstly, when does the opponent like to parry? It's different from player to player but most times P-Groove players have common setups where they will fish for a parry that they know will give them a free punish.

Wake-Up parries all have one thing in common: Option-select parry throw. If you're a Third Strike player you've probably heard that term a lot, and while it is kind of a thing in CvS2 it's far less threatening. Throws are not instant, and if you throw them early, then that option wins. On the opponent's wake-up, Sagat also has a basic 50/50 mixup between 2LK and 5LK. This is something specific to P-Groove, as 5LP can only be parried high and 2LK low. Mixing these up on oki against a parry hungry opponent can be a nice way to remind them to stop fishing for wake up parries.

Empty jump parry is also a Third Strike concept that's carried over here. While this beats Sagat's single or double hitting anti-airs, if you see that the opponent is fishing for an empty jump parry, either use HP Tiger Uppercut, a multi hitting attack, or get out of range from the jump and stick out a poke on their landing. Chances are they will try normal blocking instead of trying another parry.

They may also just be looking for parries in neutral or post-throw tech. For parries in neutral, you can simply mix your pokes, which is what you should be doing anyways, and it should deter the opponent from fishing for those parries that are essentially guesses. For post throw-tech parries, since they like to throw a lot, you might find yourself teching a throw. Most times players try to stick out a low poke after a throw tech, and the P-Groove player can get a free low parry there, but you can instead do a move like 5LK or 5MK, which cannot be parried low. If you mix those options then throw techs can still be in your favor.

On top of all that, the opponent has access to shorthops, which is a mechanic that a Sagat player can struggle with. However, the good thing here is that parries cannot be done from short hops, meaning you essentially have to worry only about the short hop attacks. Sagat has reign to anti-air, and against shorthops he prefers his Tiger Uppercut and 5HP. If you find it hard to react to shorthops, either preemptively stick out anti-air buttons (risky but doable) or simply attack them more instead and try to not be on defense, better you're the one doing the hitting than the blocking. If Sagat can deal with shorthops, this will make the matchup a lot easier.

Overall, you just have to mix it up to stop P-Groove players from using their main mechanic. Most P-Groovers have really odd teams (minus the usual Cammy, Blanka Sagat squads) so you could face anyone really, but just know that mixing up your game and playing more unpredictably makes this matchup a fairly easy one for Sagat.

Cvs2 S-Groove Label.png

S-Sagat is the best character you can possibly use in S-Groove. That's not saying much, since S-Groove in general sucks, but Sagat has some niche tools in S-Groove like using his dodge attack in neutral, or replacing his tiger shot for his tiger cannon once he reaches low health. His damage output only really gets high when he gets those infinite level 1 supers, but again he can only get them if he's about to die, making it a very risky situation to be in.

Pros Cons
  • Dodge attacks are among the best S-Groove has.
  • Great Desperation (infinite lvl.1) Supers.
  • Has a shorthop and run for pressuring.
  • Has a Guard Cancel for escaping pressure.
  • Supers are scarce until low health.
  • Power charging is difficult against rushdown opponents.
  • No consistently reliable source of meter.

Playing Cvs2 S-Groove Label.png

S-Sagat is a character who has to abuse S-Grooves limited subsystems. Sometimes even more so against characters in grooves that can trounce S-Groove. Sagat does have a run and a short hop, meaning he has good pressure, but the lack of super frequency hurts him, and that's mainly because of S-Groove's charge mechanic.

S-Groove's power charge mechanic may seem useful, as from afar Sagat can basically get free meter for holding two buttons, but the catch is that S-Groove's power charge isn't linear. At the start, it slowly charges power then exponentially increases as you charge longer. In terms of the total time it takes to charge a bar, you have to charge for about a second and a half. Most times Sagat doesn't charge for that long. Due to the fact that power charges force you to hold your offensive pressure and stay on defense, Sagat can't charge power for that long. He's relegated to these "micro" charges that barely give him meter, and while he can push an offensive move from the opponent by simply power charging, there isn't really much from it. Sagat's level 1s are good but they won't make him uber threatening. Until he has low health, that's when the opponent will start respecting the power charge, as when Sagat has low like he gets a level 3 instead of a level 1.

The dodge mechanic is also unique to S-Groove. It has the i-frames of a roll but puts Sagat in place and can counterattack from it. This is something that you have to take advantage of. Against greedy pokes, a quick dodge can avoid the poke, and the punch counterattack might be able to hit it out. This is really useful against long recovery moves, even if those moves are plus. The dodge can get thrown though, so overusing the dodge leads into a free punch against you. In neutral, using dodge occasionally is not bad, as it can avoid longer ranges moves that can get countered by the punch counterattack. You just have to know when the opponent will try to use their more laggy attacks in neutral.

Overall, S-Sagat is a character who has to utilize the S-Groove subsystems really well in order to see success. By punishing frequently with his dodge attack and carefully picking and choosing when to power charge, he can make S-Groove work.

Vs. Cvs2 S-Groove Label.png

S-Groove has tools that can make Sagat look a little stupid if he doesn't know what he's dealing with. When it comes to the two main S-Groove mechanics of dodge and power charging, Sagat has ways of dealing with these, but if handled poorly you might get swept up.

In terms of what S-Groove offensively has, run and short hop make some characters have really strong pressure. They also have a Guard Cancel to stop any pressure you have, although due to the infrequency of S-Groove's meter it's something you won't see often. Dealing with shorthops and running are things you will have to grapple with a lot considering one of the most popular grooves (K) has them. Just make use of your anti-airs and anti-pressure and you should be fine.

The dodge attack is something that might be able to punish your slower moves. For opponents who like dodging, get in on their face more often and force a bad dodge. It leads into an easy throw and pressure. However, you can't be too eager, as most good dodge attacks knock down, meaning you will have to work your way back in again. Sometimes you may not be able to get the dodge at all, but at the very least if they attempt a counter attack (most of the time close range dodges usually will be followed up by a dodge attack) then using a quick poke can sit them down. 2MK is a good option for that since dodge attacks are standing and might whiff on the low poke.

In terms of opponents who like to power charge or push an interaction from power charging, it depends on the character. Most times level 1 supers can get beat hard by your moves, so you don't necessarily have to respect it, but if they are at low health that level 3 might hurt. All characters have a recovery on power charge, so if you are in the midrange and they are attempting a power charge, you can poke with 5LK or 5MK and force some free offense. Power charging forces the opponent to hold pressure, and while some characters like to stay away, others do not. Use that lack of being able to get away to push offense, however you don't need to bite every time, as the opponent is expecting it the first or second time.

Infinite Level 1's are annoying, but it's only annoying on some characters. Others have difficult times using their infinite level 1s. In order to deal with this, stick out buttons like 2HP. Those infinite level 1's have poor i-frames, and 2HP has to much priority and has so much active frames that it's going to beat whatever comes out. Don't overuse 2HP, as mentioned earlier it has weaknesses but if you know a super is coming (or just see the super flash and the super itself is slow) then 2HP will shut that super down. At worst it will trade.

Most times S-Groove isn't that threatening until you leave the opponent at low health, but even then getting that level 3 is difficult. Their run and shorthop can be annoying but Sagat has the tools to deal with it.

Cvs2 N-Groove Label.png

N-Groove Sagat may be less threatening compared to his optimal grooves but don't get it twisted. He's still very strong. He still has access good supers, and can "pop" to bag in some really big damage. Not to mention he still has a short hop. He's like a fusion of C and K but with the core parts of each groove taken out, you still end up with a very strong character.

Pros Cons
  • Easy control of meter, similar to C-Groove.
  • Retains great defensive subsystems.
  • Has a run and shorthop for pressuring.
  • Difficult meterbuilding.
  • "Pop" tricks are difficult and most times you have to just find a good time to use level 3 with limited time.

Playing Cvs2 N-Groove Label.png

N-Sagat is a character who is fairly versatile. Meter is fairly harder to come by generally because of N-Groove's natural meterbuild, but if MAX Mode is active, then you can make the opponent scared of what you can do compared to what you are doing. N-Groove having the most subsystems of any groove means that Sagat can play in various ways, however there isn't any groove subsystem or unique mechanic that makes Sagat more powerful than C or K, but N is a great way to combine the two.

N-Groove is the only groove to have a run, shorthop and roll. This means that Sagat can pressure well but also has a good defensive mechanic to get him out of some trouble. Not only that but he has a Guard Cancel attack and a Guard Cancel roll, meaning Sagat can pick and choose which situation is better fit for him in that moment. Generally against high recovery moves the roll guard cancel is better since Sagat gets a free combo, but against blockstrings that can sniff out rolls (runstop pressure, blocked Customs), the guard cancel attack is better. The damage is fairly low but Sagat gets a knockdown.

The main thing with N-Groove is it's unique groove system, "Max Mode." This gives Sagat a slight attack and defense buff and costs 1 bar of meter, and by spending another bar during Max Mode, his level 1 super turns into a level 3 super. While N-Groove's meterbuild is not as good as C, Sagat can still build meter really well in N, with things like raw specials and landed Tiger Uppercuts building large amounts of meter. Sagat sometimes needs a quick super so he's fine with level 1s from time to time but once Max Mode is on, Sagat can do some serious damage. Now that you also have a roll, any huge attempt to get you out, that can lead to a big punish.

Be resourceful with your meter, if you feel like you're able to get in a level 3, it's best that you find a good place to activate, as it doesn't last forever. N-Sagat is a versatile character and a really good pick for an N-Groove team.

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There's a lot you have to keep track of with N-Groove. They not only have great offensive tools, but defensive ones as well, however this groove is more or less the "jack of all trades master of none" function. Key word being master of none. They may be tooled up, however they don't have any one specific tool outside of MAX Mode that is incredibly threatening outside of roll cancels.

N-Groove has an alpha counter and a guard cancel roll to use in different scenarios. Guard cancel roll is unique to N-Groove, and it can be a dangerous option against Sagat's more unsafe options. One thing to be aware of is that cancelling into specials from pokes can be vulnerable to GCRs, for example a cr.MK xx Low Tiger Shot block-string can get GCR'd on the first poke, and Sagat is left wide open. Because of this, you might want to randomize the block-strings to force the opponent to hit a button instead. At worst you get hit by a single poke, and chances are the opponent cannot react fast enough to get more out of it. This will also make opponents roll more often instead for Sagat having certain moments of being "paused" during his offensive pressure. Baiting rolls will do a lot against N-Groove. Putting the opponent just far enough for them to feel like a roll is safe but not far enough to where you can't stop them is optimal against rolls.

Roll cancelling is going to be tough, as many characters in this game have great RCs. You can refer to the C-Groove section for general counters but they will be more explained here:

  • Roll/Dodge: Basically fighting fire with fire. Rolling against a roll cancel works against long RCs, examples include: Claw's Rolling Ball, Sakura's Fireball and Tatsumaki, Eagle's Sticks, Honda's Hands, Chun's Spinning Bird Kick (just hope she doesn't hit you from behind), Yamazaki's Snake Arms, etc. Dodging does not work nearly as well as rolling but it can get you out of sticky situations. It is horrible against fast RCs if you don't commit to a dodge attack as you are vulnerable to a quick throw.
  • Throwing: RCs are invincible against everything against throws. Reversal RCs are not technically reversals as throws can beat them on wake-up and in other close-up scenarios. Use it if you are in range and suspect the opponent might try to surprise you with it. When the battle is face-to-face, you might want to stray away from other options since the opponent can do the same things to you.
  • Get Out: Jump out of the attack. Works well against moves shown in the roll/dodge bullet point, however for specials that can actually anti-air like Honda's Hands or Yamazaki's Snake Arms, they might not work, however specials like Rock's Elbow and Eagle's Sticks will eat shit once you get out of their range. Not always a recommended tool but it is effective in the right scenario.
  • Guard Cancel: Against moves that are difficult to get out of, especially in the corner (Honda RC Hands, Iori RC Rekka), you can spend a little on a guard cancel to get your turn back. This is also going to do wonders for your guard bar. If you aren't in a groove with a guard cancel (basically P or K) then this option won't be available and you have to try something else, most likely just parry or JD the best you can.

When it comes to MAX Mode, you can play it like K-Groove's Rage mechanic and go more defensive. It only takes two bars for a character to have a level 3 prepared, and they can make it hurt. Playing defensively can stall out the timer and eventually they are forced to use another bar to reactivate MAX Mode. However, the opponent can get in with roll, which is something you need to look out for as they can immediately skip the defensive wall the Sagat makes and go in. This is where you can bait rolls, space your distance perfectly to meaty rolls, etc. Anti-roll options are going to be useful here and against N-Groove in general.

N-Groove is a very unproven groove, with few notable users making considerable noise with it's mechanics, however Sagat should still do fine if he plays his cards right.

Cvs2 K-Groove Label.png

The strongest CvS2 character. K-Sagat is the scariest man in the whole game. He has access to a short hop, already making his pressure insanely good, and benefits the most from K-Groove's Rage and Just Defense. Once Sagat is raged, one good super turns the round in his favor, and thanks to the extremely convenient Just Defense (JD) it makes getting rage far easier that you think.

Pros Cons
  • JDs are great in Sagat's punish game and gets him rage faster.
  • Terrifying damage with Rage buffs, can easily shift the round momentum in his favor.
  • Due to high health, he can get raged two or even three times per round with good JDs.
  • Has a run and shorthop for pressuring.
  • No defensive subsystems to help Sagat's defense.
  • No control over meter due to the nature of K-Groove's meterbuild.

Playing Cvs2 K-Groove Label.png

K-Sagat is the ultimate anchor. While K-Groove has the same run and shorthop subsystems as N and S, it has other mechanics that the other two don't, most notably being Just Defend (JD) and Rage. Sagat has great synergy with these two mechanics and make him an incredibly threatening character on both offense and defense.

Sagat's pressure is just as good as it is in S and N, with both a run and shorthop. However, Sagat loses any sort of defensive subsystem to help him get out of pressure, like guard cancels. This is padded because of the fact that he has JDs, which can make whatever poke he blocked more unsafe, leading to a potential punish. The most important part about JDs is that they not only reward life, but meter as well. This is really important as Sagat can JD many moves to gain a lot of meter and life, which comes in handy when he can be one chip point away from death but JDing helps keep him alive from those guaranteed setups. Consistent JDs can also give Sagat many level 3s per round. there are instances where he might even have up to three rage supers in a round because of the JDs. This mechanic can do so much for Sagat. It can give him good defense, it can give him potential punishes, it gives him life and a chunk of meter, it helps him get rage quick and can give him many opportunities to steal a win. K-Sagat is notorious for having crazy comebacks, and this is one of the main reasons why.

JDs are one thing, but the main mechanic of K-Groove and why Sagat loves JDs is because of rage. Rage is a mechanic that gives a large attack and defense buff as well as a level 3 super that can be done at any time during the rage mode. While having a level 3 super is really good, the attack and defense buffs are the really important parts of this mechanic. This makes Sagat's already damaging buttons do even more damage. When raged, short hop HK does crazy damage, which makes Sagat's overhead low presence even more of a threat. Sagat's fierce buttons also deal huge damage. All of Sagat's attacks just deal big damage, which makes landing individual pokes turn the round momentum around. Supers carry over the attack buff as well, so the level 3 supers gain even more damage. When Sagat is raged, he becomes an absolute monster, if he already wasn't one already thanks to JDs and his pressure game.

Overall, K-Sagat is just a beast. Rage and JDs can make Sagat a pain to deal with once you encounter him. The crazy stat buffs rage give Sagat many, many ways to easily end a round, which makes it no surprise as to why K-Sagat is considered the best character in the game.

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K-Groove is always going to be a tough matchup, especially when a majority of the cast is at their best in this groove. Sagat has to play carefully around K-Groove's two main mechanics in Just Defend and Rage, which if not played against correctly leaves him a vulnerable character, but his overwhelming strength can get the job done.

Just Defends are hard to deal with. The risk/reward factor is far lower compared to parries, as they will most likely block if they don't time it right rather than getting hit. Against an opponent who can consistently JD, Sagat often finds himself having to time out multiple rages. Like parries, many K-Groovers tend to JD in specific situations, however they're slightly different in application than parries.

Wake-up JDs are foolproof because the risk factor is low. Sagat's meaties will usually just get JD'd once the opponent knows he will try it. If it gets JD'd, Sagat can stick out additional pokes at random timings if the opponent does not choose to throw out a poke of their own. You mostly test the waters to see if the opponent uses JDs or not and randomly try pokes to mess with their timings.

In neutral, you might find some pokes getting JD'd because the opponent has a good idea of what spacing and timing Sagat likes to throw out pokes. A couple of JDs in neutral won't hurt terribly, but Sagat's 5HP and 2HP might get punished after a JD, however due to 2HP being +2 and 5HP being -2, generally 5HP sees the punish game. Cancelling pokes into a special after a JD can work too. Throwing fireballs in neutral is risky, as it is essentially a free JD if not followed up by something. This can even apply to super fireballs if the opponent is really good at it. In neutral you can mess with JD timing by throwing out safe, noncommittal pokes like 5LP and 2LK and then throw out your real poke shortly after. By masking your actual pokes with "fake" pokes that won't touch the opponent, you won't get JD'd too much.

Punish scenarios and dropped combos can lead to free JDs if you mess up the timing. This really has no tips or tricks, just don't mess up punishes and drop combos. Really good K-Groove players will wait for any sort of dropped combo or punish to get the JD in.

During blockstrings, JDs can really rack up. For example, Sagat can throw out a 5LP, 5LP, 2LK, 2HP blockstring. If Sagat does it at a usual timing where it leaves basically no gaps, then the opponent can get 4 JDs out of it. This gives the opponent a small amount of life, but a pretty big amount of meter. During some blockstrings, you can either slot in a throw to counter attempted JD inputs, or time each button slightly different. This is another scenario that can lead to untimely JDs.

There is also empty jump JDs. Aerial JDs have a different movement than aerial parries. Aerial JDs generally don't lead to a punish like aerial parries, rather they put the opponent in a slight back jump. Good jump in buttons can counter an attempted aerial JD punish. You have a pretty good advantage against the opponent when they perform an aerial JD, that is if you didn't throw out a very unsafe anti air. You have different options. If they JD'd a jab, you can actually run or dash under the opponent for a left right mixup. Whatever happens after that can be good or bad but it's a good setup. You can also perform another anti air if the opponent hasn't attempted a punish. Because you cannot air block in K-Groove, Sagat can do pretty well with randomly timing anti airs, as the opponent will actually get hit by missing their JD. Sagat has a pretty effective move against empty jump JDs, which is HP Tiger Uppercut. This move carries obvious risks in getting punished if the opponent gets a full JD, but the timing is very difficult. Because the opponent gets put higher than Sagat if they JD the full uppercut, they might not get a massive punish, however expect something not good if they somehow manage to get all hits JD'd. Tiger Cannon is also a multi hitting anti air, however unlike Tiger Uppercut, JDing just one hit in the air has them jump over the rest of the projectile. It's not really recommended to use this anti air against a K-Groover unless you got meter to waste, which is only really prominent in S-Groove with low life.

But why do you want to avoid JDs? Well, they help the opponent get rage pretty quick, and avoiding a situation where Sagat has to work around a full level 3 super and crazy passive attack buffs is obviously ideal. It's inevitable that you will deal with at least one rage however, so it's good to know what to do to deal with it, and it's pretty simple. Just try to run out the timer. This means keeping a distance from the opponent and not throwing out anything unsafe. It's almost a death sentence if you choose to jump at the opponent. Rushdown is incredibly discouraged here, as you don't want to give the opponent many chances to use their level 3 if any at all. Staying in neutral is sufficient, as the opponent really doesn't have the leverage in that position, they only have that sort of positional advantage if they choose to close the space. That's where you stick out your anti pressure options to keep them away. Sagat's defense may not be as good as his offense, but he has more than enough options to keep the opponent out of his face. Until the timer has ran out, staying away from the opponent like the plague is the best option to not lose too much life from rage. Even getting slapped by big pokes from a raged opponent can cause Sagat to lose a fair chunk of his health. Luckily Sagat has high health so he has more margin for error.

Overall, Sagat has to carefully manage his pokes to not give the opponent many chances to Just Defend, and once they're raged Sagat has to play defensively and shut down all offensive momentum in order to not lose a lot of life. A pretty tricky matchup but due to how common K-Groove is you'll get used to the intricacies of it.

CvS2 Wiki Navigation

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