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Dictator is a mid-tier character. He has long range standing moves with good reach, but not good priority, and his crouching ones have either long recovery or short reach. His walk speed is very fast, and his throw range is also good, so his long range pokes and special attacks together with the threat of throws keep the enemy pressured when you are in melee range.
While Dictator is strong in both ground and air, he actually has weak points related to his jumps. The first one is that his jump is floaty, which means he can be easily countered by good priority anti-airs if he jumps honestly. The other problem is his anti-air: he needs some room to jump diagonally with the Strong punch juggle. If he does not have both time and range, this is either risky or impossible. His only invulnerable anti-air move is his super, and it rarely hits more than twice in that situation.
Dictator's super is also his only way around cross-ups and tick-throws. Particularly, Thunder Hawk, Zangief and Honda can loop him to death if they score a knockdown at the corner. He also has no way to escape a tick after a jump, if the enemy scores a full knockdown mid-screen.
Dictator has a plethora of tricks that can take advantage of hesitation from your enemy. However, as the level of competition gets higher, those get mostly countered and players are forced to rely on positioning, high priority attacks such as Head Stomp on wake-up, and his extremely dangerous combos. Dictator can finish his opponents off a single opening with damaging combos that cause dizzy, which then leads to another combo that kills them.
In a nutshell, Dictator has strong, long range pokes: you risk getting dizzied by exchanging hits with him. His walk speed is fast, so you risk eating a throw if you resort to turtle. He has few ways around projectiles, however, you risk eating a touch-of-death combo if he guesses but a single one right and combos you. On the other hand, he has trouble with anti-air and has no reversals, but his super.
Strengths & Weaknesses
- Long range moves;
- Dizzy potential;
- Good throw range;
- Extremely fast walk speed;
- Good air mobility with jumps, Devil's Reverse and Head Stomp;
- Outstanding combo potential;
- Has many tricks under his sleeve;
- No dedicated anti-air;
- Short range on most crouching normals;
- His only reversal is his super;
- Has great trouble with fireball traps at the corner.
New & Old Versions Comparison
To select O.M.Bison, choose M.Bison and then press ↓ ↑ ↑ ↓ Jab/Fierce, pressing Short simultaneously with the punch button for the alternate color.
Here is the list of differences:
- Obvious stuff: O.M.Bison can not tech throws and does not have a Super;
- O.M.Bison has some differences in some of his normals:
- Close Standing Forward has much worse priority;
- Far Standing Forward has worse priority as a poke, but is less vulnerable to low normals (overall, N.M.Bison's better);
- Far Standing Roundhouse has same changes as the far forward;
- Diagonal Jump Strong is a 1-hit normal that does not have juggle properties;
- Devil's Reverse special move was reworked, and O.M.Bison's has a reversal bug similar to those of T.Hawk's Rising Hawk and the supers of Sagat, Ken, and Dhalsim (executing the last special you did instead);
O.M.Bison is a waste of time. His standing kicks are worse, he does not have his powerful Diagonal Jump Strong that juggles, his Devil's Reverse is useless and he can not tech throws as well. But what really puts O.M.Bison very far from his N.counterpart is the lack of his awesome super, which can save your life from many situations where you find yourself helpless without it.
Disclaimer: To better understand the diagrams, read this.
- Close/Far Standing Jab:
|Simplified||1 + 3||4||4|
Bison does a quick standing jab, can be rapid fired to stop Honda's Torpedos and Blanka's Ball though it's not entirely reliable, useful in some anti-air situations.
- Crouching Jab:
|Simplified||1 + 3||4||4|
This is a rapid-fire move that is used in combos and ticks. The priority is hideous, so it has mostly no use anywhere else.
- Close Standing Strong: (Base max activation range: 29)
|Special Cancel||Yes / No|
|Super Cancel||Yes / No|
|Frame Advantage||+2 / +6|
|Simplified||1 + 2||8||8|
Bison does a body shot that can be used in ticks, also doubles as a throw command, can favorably trade with Dhalsim. Also, this move has the odd property of behaving like a low hitting move against some characters, but for that to happen, it must hit with the first active part.
- Far Standing Strong:
|Simplified||1 + 6||4||8|
Mostly goes unused, not terrible priority, but is generally outclassed by other moves.
- Crouching Strong:
|Simplified||1 + 4||4||8|
Viable in combos, but cr mk is usually favoured for better damage, and hitting low if they block. It also can be used to set up one of the Dhalsim corner infinites.
- Close Standing Fierce: (Base max activation range: 53)
|Simplified||1 + 8||6||19|
Pretty awful move, avoid it.
- Far Standing Fierce:
|Simplified||1 + 8||6||19|
Bison's main ground to air defense in lieu of a Knee Press Nightmare, also doubles as a throw command, can favorably trade with Dhalsim.
- Crouching Fierce:
|Simplified||1 + 8||6||19|
Bison does a slow punch while crouching, with correct timing it can be used to beat T.Hawk's splash, as well as other moves when used as an anti-air.
- Close Standing Short: (Base max activation range: 24)
|Simplified||1 + 2||2||1|
Bison does a quick knee that is used mainly in combos and ticking. This has great recovery, you can even advance while comboing this move. The fast recovery also allows this move to be used as a safe meaty/tick.
- Far Standing Short:
|Simplified||1 + 4||4||3|
It is similar to close standing Short, but the recovery is worse.
- Crouching Short:
|Simplified||1 + 4||4||5|
Has use in combos, but is outclassed, can be cancelled into from close st lk, and is an alright tick on occasion. Not much use in neutral due to the poor reach and priority, one nice trick however, is to whiff it before they get up when close, acts as a fake meaty cr mk since they share a sprite, this can discourage them from trying reversal throw, or bait reversals.
- Close Standing Forward: (Base max activation range: 16)
|Simplified||1 + 6||5||9|
Very similar to far st mk, the worse priority rarely matters when you are this close. This move has no special use individually.
- Far Standing Forward:
|Simplified||1 + 6||5||9|
Bison's main "harassment" move. It is safe, beats fireballs, controls a large amount of space, and can be whiffed while charging to start a pindown.
- Crouching Forward:
|Simplified||1 + 4||8||5|
This move is great as a meaty on wakeup. This often dizzies if comboed into standing Roundhouse. Bufferable, on block can safely be used to setup an lk Scissor Kick for a pindown.
- Close Standing Roundhouse: (Base max activation range: 53)
|Simplified||1 + 6||6||18|
This is not really useful, but by comboing after a Skull Diver attack.
- Far Standing Roundhouse:
|Simplified||1 + 6||6||18|
A slower version of MK. Deals really solid damage and has some of the same uses as MK. It is great as a whiff punisher for things such as OG Ken Jab Shoryuken.
- Crouching Roundhouse:
|Simplified||1 + 6||29||17|
Slide trip. Useful if opponent techs your tick throw. Also great for positioning with a knockdown. This is quite unsafe on block, from most distances.
- Neutral Jumping Jab:
Decent defensive move, stays active the whole jump.
- Diagonal Jumping Jab:
Can be used as a crossup.
- Neutral Jumping Strong:
Pretty much the same uses as Neutral Jumping Jab.
- Diagonal Jumping Strong:
|Damage||12 + 12|
|Stun||0~4 + 5~11|
|Stun Timer||20 + 50(+10)|
Connects up to three times, either on 2 jumps or 3, can be comboed into after Super. Landing this will almost always put you in a spot to attempt an ambiguous crossup. It can be used as anti-air in a similar way of shotos's Diagonal Jumping Fierce. One of Dictator's best moves.
- Neutral Jumping Fierce:
Good horizontal priority and ok reach. Stays out a little longer than Neutral Jumping Roundhouse, has almost the same horizontal priority than it and its hurtboxes are not expanded forward as much while active but has less reach and slower startup. Mainly used as a defensive move since it has very good priority and it hardly loses or trades on air to air, if timed properly.
- Diagonal Jumping Fierce:
Nothing special, if you want a high damage diagonal jump normal, favour Diagonal Jumping Roundhouse for the better priority.
- Neutral Jumping Short:
Great priority, stays out for a really long time, low damage but it does beat a lot air to air. It's also the lowest hitting neutral jump move in Dictator's arsenal, it hits low enough to beat Blanka's Crouching Rh and slide, DeeJay's slide, Guile's Crouching Forward or Dhalsim's crouching punches, but whiffs against Shoto crouching kicks, Cammy's Crouching Forward or Claw's slide, for example.
- Diagonal Jumping Short:
Not very useful in general. Good vs Blanka as a "bail out" move. Can stuff horizontal, and vertical ball clean.
- Neutral Jumping Forward:
Stay out a decent amount of time, horizontal kick can stuff problem jump ins like Shoto's Diagonal Jumping Roundhouse quite well. It's also Dictator's best neutral jumping move for projectile avoidance as it's easy to time while also having the smallest hurtbox downwards while active.
- Diagonal Jumping Forward:
Great when used as an instant overhead, excellent cross-up, can stuff Blanka's Up Ball which comes into play very often. It's the lowest hitting diagonal jumping move Dictator has, it has so much downwards reach that it can beat/trade with every low move on the game.
- Neutral Jumping Roundhouse:
Like Neutral Jumping Forward but with more range and priority but less attacking frames. Can be very effective as a reaction anti air.
- Diagonal Jumping Roundhouse:
Great cross-up and combo starter, big damage, easier to use than Diagonal Jumping Forward on slimmer characters. Can be used on air to air too since the horizontal priority is quite decent.
M.Bison can only throw with Strong and Fierce. He has no kick throws, but Bison can still tech throws with any medium or higher punch or kick even if Bison has no kick throws. This rule applies to all characters.
- Deadly Throw: (←/↖/↗/→ + Strong/Fierce)
|(from throwable box)||24|
A good throw, in certain situations near the corner you can try a crossup slide. Use this sparingly. A couple of characters, like Sim for instance, this can be done mid screen as well.
- Psycho Crusher a.k.a. Torpedo: (Charge ←, → P)
Detailed Input: (Charge ←/↙/↖ for at least 60f, [7~14f] → [11/9/7f] Jab/Strong/Fierce. It is needed to wait at least 1 frame after leaving the charge direction to enter with the P button)
Bison flies across the screen in flames. It can do a maximum of 3 blocked hits. The distance and the speed at which it travels depends on the strength of the punch. It can be used to escape corners at times and can also hit opponents from behind/underneath with ridiculous timing and a lot of balls. This move must be used with caution, as if you make a mistake, you can easily corner yourself.
This move has a very short invulnerability period during its start-up. This can be used to avoid ticks in certain situations, specially mid-screen and against holds, which allows you to break out of loops if you have an horizontal charge. Watch out when using this: after the invulnerability ends, you are left grounded, vulnerable, and still not actively attacking. For instance, never use this against Ryu: a rush punch will come out, and you may get dizzied and killed. This can help you escape Hawk's and Zangief's special throws if Hawk does not option-select a Rising Hawk and Gief does not mash punch for more throw attempts. It is unreliable, of course, and if baited, it will lead to a knockdown but giving them a chance to cross you up.
This move can be very unsafe in most cases, if you space it so you only hit them towards the end of the move (usually with the lp version) then you're usually ok. The mp/hp versions often pass through on block, despite looking safe, it isn't. The punishments other characters can do can vary in some cases based on distance and when they blocked it. Though if you land behind them in the corner, they can throw you just like with unsafe scissor kicks.
The punish guide:
- Ryu - Fierce fireball/super (Seems inconsistent as it sometimes won't reach)
- Ken - N.Ken st hk, or fierce srk (both versions)
- Guile - cr mk, backfist, flash kick
- Gief - sweep, st mk
- Chun - sweep
- Dhalsim - Most stretchy normals will work, st mk and st hp seem the most reliable
- Blanka - cr hp, cr mp
- Honda - N.Honda - mp/hp hands, Old Honda - any version of hands
- DJ - st hk, slide (slide is a little inconsistent)
- Cammy - st hk, st hp
- Hawk - st hk, cr mp
- Fei - rekka 1st hit(fierce is usually best), cr mp
- Boxer - st hp
- Dictator - st hk, st mk
- Claw - st hp, cr mp, cr lp
- Sagat - st hp, st mk
- Double Knee Press a.k.a. Scissor Kick: (Charge ←, → K)
Detailed Input: (Charge ←/↙/↖ for at least 78f, [7~14f] →/↘/↗ [11/9/7f] Short/Forward/Roundhouse. It is needed to wait at least 1 frame after leaving the charge direction to enter with the K button)
Bison kicks the opponent twice in a forward motion. The distance and speed at which it travels depends on the strength of the kick. When properly spaced to do only one hit, they can be quite safe and useful in pindown strategies. They also are quite useful for scoring knockdowns if opponent tries to counter standing kicks or do low attacks. Can be used as a ghetto anti air, unlike the Psycho Crusher which gets stuffed a lot.
- Head Stomp: (Charge ↓, ↑ K)
Detailed Input: (Charge ↓/↙/↘ for at least 60f, [7~14f] ↑/↖/↗ [11/9/7/1f] Short/Forward/Roundhouse/any K if you are at a jumpable state. It is needed to wait at least 1 frame after leaving the charge direction to enter with the K button)
- Startup + Active:
|Short||Forward||Rh||Short||Forward & Rh|
|Frame Count||7 (IF)||7 (IF) + 1||6||6||6||6||∞||6|
Bison flies towards the opponent and stomps their head with his boots. You can move very flexibly after the head stomp makes contact with a grounded opponent, but when the head stomp hits an airborne opponent, the control over mobility is not as flexible. Works well to get over fireballs. The Short version is safe on the wake-up of most characters, stuffing their reversals and basically anything but blocking.
The arc of the move and the active part duration depend on the enemy' character and y axis. The taller the character and the higher the y axis, the higher the arc will be. Enemies can avoid this move, if they are not cornered, by standing still and crouching as Dictator approaches. On wake-up, most characters are forced to block this move, so keep that in mind when going for free damage after scoring a knockdown. This is particularly useful when cornered: use a Head Stomp, then fly out of the corner after the move hits. Note this move has "trip-guard" and thus cannot be sweeped or low tiger'ed.
- Somersault Skull Diver: (P, during the Bounce/Recovery animation of Head Stomp)
This is the punch that hits the opponent's head after head stomp. You can move left or right using the joystick while performing this move. The active hitting duration of the move depends on the strength of the punch. The damage increases with punch strength, but Jab has a much longer active (i.e., attacking) part, so it is often favored. All versions of the move do high stun damage and are a combo starter against grounded enemies.
- Devil Reverse: (Charge ↓, ↑ P)
Detailed Input: (Charge ↓/↙/↘ for at least 61f, [7~14f] ↑/↖/↗ [11/9/7/1f] Jab/Strong/Fierce/any P if you are at a jumpable state. It is needed to wait at least 1 frame after leaving the charge direction to enter with the P button)
|Frame Count (Jab)||2||2||1||6|
|Frame Count (Strong)||2||2||1||8|
|Frame Count (Fierce)||2||2||1||10|
Bison jumps into the air and when the player presses another punch, he turns upside down midair and does a flaming punch. You can control the movement of the attack with the joystick. Learn how to control this as it can be a safe move to do. Also good for trying to charge up and get out of the corner.
This move actually has a minor bug: the second punch press determines the damage of the move, but not how long the recovery will be. This is actually determined by the first punch press which is also the only thing it determines. So, it's pretty obvious that you should allways activate the move with Jab (for better recovery), and then activate the flaming punch with Fierce (for more damage).
- Knee Press Nightmare: (Charge ←, → ← → K)
Detailed Input: (Charge ←/↙/↖ for at least 70f, [7~14f] →/↘/↗ [7~14f] ←/↙/↖ [7~14f] →/↘/↗ [12f] K)
|Damage||20 * 4|
|Stun||0~4 * 4|
|Stun Timer||20 * 4|
|Frame Count||1 +  + 3||2||3||8||10|
Dictator becomes invulnerable and performs a Double Knee Press, then loses invincibility and immediately follows up with another Double Knee Press kick. All four attacks have juggle properties, and the last one acts as a launcher, so that you can combo diagonal Strong punches after it. As the move has invincible start-up, it is Dictator's only proper reversal attack. If the opponent defaults to crouch-block, Dictator will often cross over the opponent during it, which will result in it doing only 2 to 3 chip hits as well in Dictator landing from the super in frame disadvantage, which won't be too bad as long Dictator lands far away from the opponent. Sadly, on certain matchups (E.Honda, Zangief, T.Hawk) the first Double Knee Press kick will not cross over the opponent, but the second will, and as a result Dictator will recover from the Super animation very close to the opponent (inside their throw range) and in frame disadvantage, which means he can be punished for free. Also, if the opponent is using an smaller character, he can achieve the same effect by stand-blocking the first Double Knee Press and then crouch-blocking the second. The only character which Dictator will never cross over during his super is Dhalsim.
--Laugh 03:56, 4 May 2007 (UTC)
- Neutral/Back/Forward Jump:
|Frame Count (Neutral)||1||1||12||8||8||8||12||1||7*|
|Frame Count (Back)||1||1||12||8||8||8||13||1||7*|
|Frame Count (Forward)||1||1||12||8||8||8||11||1||7*|
Dictator's prejump animation is the fastest on the game(tied with Dhalsim and O.Sagat). This not only helps with his aerial game, but also makes him very "slippery". He jumps so fast that he can even escape tick throws (specially Zangief's SPDs) by just jumping, even though it's not an optimal way to deal with it and you shouldn't really rely on it. But sometimes you're too low on super meter (eating SPDs on purpose while getting super meter by doing Reversal Head Stomps/Devil Reverses will kill you before you get full meter to attempt to escape) that jumping back is unfortunatelly the best option you have.
The landing recovery has a special property which allows it to be "canceled"/skipped depending on what you do. At the first landing frame, it's not possible to jump again (i.e. can't go directly to the prejump animation), to have a move to startup instantly (normal and special moves) or to block (which is why sweeps can be used as anti airs in this game), but you can do all that on the second landing frame. Throws are an exception and can be performed on the first landing frame(not the first ground throwable frame) and this includes command throws too, but since the hitbox-hurtbox interaction have priority over the throwbox-throw vulnerabillity box interaction, this can't be used as a counter to well timed anti air sweeps. You'll only be stuck for the entirety of the landing recovery if you want to walk back/forward.
Things are different on jumps that crosses over the opponent (landing on the other side) though. In that situation it's possible to walk back/forward, to jump again or to even block on the first landing frame! Strangelly, if a throw is timed on the first landing frame of a jump that crosses over, a throwbox will never come out, even though that input will result in a normal coming out 2 frames later (like it normally would). Anyway, being able to block on the first landing frame can help a little bit on some safe jump crossup setups, or maybe in other situations as well if your character has a huge jump arc.
Bison is a high pressure, high risk/reward character. He can deal big damage but has unreliable defense. He has one of the best ticking games in ST and can control the mid range with his standing kicks. There are a couple of ways to play M Bison, you can try to do a pindown/harassment offense because his pokes are pretty safe, and the scissor kick can beat a lot. You can also bait quite well and stuff a lot on wakeup with meaty clk. Other players try to go for big combos and secure a win with his dizzying high damage stuff, that's not my style, but it seems viable.
No matter your style, the main objective with Bison is to not allow yourself to get cornered. There are a lot of ways to do this, personally, in a serious match I rarely jump backward and NEVER walk backward. If I need to get over firballs at a range just outside of my mk/hk where I can't counter them, I will hop straight up over fireballs or simply block them. If I can see they're going to do it again, I want to walk up and kick them out of their fireball animation. When I can make them fear throwing fireballs, I can bait and use scissor kicks for knockdowns/chip and pressure. In the corner, his tick throws are quite difficult to get around.
If I have an aggressive one on my hands, I deal with their jumping at me with stand hp, neutral jump kicks and jmp if I have the opportunity. Jmp is great because you can push them into the corner from mid screen with 3 jmps (I don't usually do the juggle with 2 jumps only as the spacing is a lot better.)
I hope some of you add what your style is, so this can expand. Remember, there is no "right" way to play Super Turbo.
What to do in the corner without meter
This depends on the matchup and how things are going. If your opponent is playing a fireballer like Ryu and has you trapped, your best bet is to initiate head presses or whatever. Unless the Ryu sucks, you'll be getting hit out of it obviously. That doesn't matter. You're likely to lose more energy in the corner blocking fireballs/trying to hop them and hoping they make an execution mistake. Hoping for an execution mistake is the wrong way to go about it. Once you get your kneepress nightmare, try to get out of there and turn things around.
If your opponent is E Honda, sincerely hope that his hand explodes. Without meter in the corner you take Ochios until you die. There's not really a way out. Gief is also great at keeping you pinned with his body splash and can tick you to death as well as T Hawk. Basically, the only way to win these matches is to get them before they get you, don't block their jump ins, don't get cornered and try not to take a tick. Easier said than done against Honda, but Gief and T Hawk are quite a bit more "controllable" because they don't out prioritize you as badly.
Against a lesser tick thrower, aka somebody without a command grab, try to reverse their throw. You might atleast get a tech, and if you get a throw, you can escape with a slide.
Attack Info and Frame Data
Dictator's Psycho Crusher (charge b,f+p) requires a charge time of 60 frames. Scissor Kicks (charge b,f+k) on the other way requires 78 frames of charge.
The charge time difference between Psycho Crusher (60 frames) and Scissor Kicks (78 frames), of 18 frames, is extremely important. The reason that it is important is that some combos, and some block strings, will give you enough time to charge for a Psycho Crusher, but not enough time to charge Scissor Kicks. So knowing when you can only use a Psycho Crusher, and when attempting a Scissor Kick will fail, because of charge time, is very important.
Let's take a look at a basic example of where a Psycho Crusher will work in a combo and where a Scissor Kick will not. Jump at your opponent with jumping roundhouse, then combo a low forward kick, then try to combo a fierce Psycho Crusher. This basic three-hit combo should work every time. Now substitute the last fierce Psycho Crusher with roundhouse strength Scissor Kicks. So you'll perform a jumping roundhouse, then combo a low forward kick, then try to combo roundhouse strength Scissor Kicks. You'll notice that after a jumping roundhouse, then low forward kick, the Scissor Kicks will not come out. The reason is that that specific jumping sequence allows only for enough charge for the Psycho Crusher and not the Scissor Kicks.
That is just a basic example of when you need to be aware of how the difference in charge times between Psycho Crushers and Scissor Kicks affects playing as Dictator. There are many other situations, usually combos and block strings, where you need to be knowledgeable about how much charge time can be built into those combos and strings.
Close Standing Strong's Low Hitting Properties
I've realized that Dictator's close standing strong can hit your opponent low. I've tested this and it only works against 6 members of the cast. Sometimes you need to use a standing short first in order for this to work. Other times the timing / spacing is difficult (though this only applies for 2 of these characters).
I've compiled a list below of the characters this will work against and how it functions against them.
CSS = Close Standing Strong
SS = Standing Short
JS = Jumping Short
Chun-Li: CSS on it's own will work 100%. Using other moves into it wont work as far strong will come out instead.
Cammy: SS -> CSS or JS -> SS -> CSS or JS - > CSS. Works consistently.
Claw: SS -> CSS or JS -> SS -> CSS or JS - > CSS. Works consistently.
Fei Long: SS -> CSS or JS -> SS -> CSS or JS - > CSS. Works consistently.
DeeJay: SS - > CSS or JS -> CSS. The timing / spacing is difficult.
T.Hawk: SS -> CSS or JS -> SS -> CSS or JS - > CSS. The timing on T.Hawk is tricky, but not impossible. Due to the nature of the match-up it's usefulness is questionable.
The timing is slightly different against each character but nothing too difficult (except against DeeJay). This doesn't seem to work if used from a cross-up, though I've not been able to test this extensively yet.
It may be useful as a mix-up against these characters and is an added tool if nothing else. Also, if you are good at hit confirming, CSS can be cancelled into Psycho or Scissors depending on the situation.
Dictator has only one reliable reversal, which happens to be his Super. However you only have access to the Super attack when you have a full Super meter. Meaning, in some matchups, it is especially, critically important, to know how to effectively and efficiently build meter in case you need your Super to escape a difficult trap. It also means that anyone who has a larger throw range than Dictator (like Dhalsim), can terrorize Dictator if he's without meter, with repeated throws, without fear of being reversed. This constantly comes into play against T.Hawk, Zangief, and Honda especially, who all can relentlessly tick into command throw against Dictator while giving him no chance to escape (providing that Dictator is without a full meter). Having meter is important.
Building meter can be a simple exercise at first glance. Hitting your opponent with normal attacks during combos or block strings. Retreating to a corner and doing a few Devil's Hands. Looks and sounds simple. But all of those techniques require Dictator to be on offense, or at least far enough away from his opponent where he isn't immediately open to being attacked. It's easy to build meter when you are in control over the match. Building meter on defense however, or while at a situation where you are at an extreme disadvantage (such as after getting knocked down), requires enormous dexterity and precision execution. I'll link some video examples below that illustrate just how difficult building meter at disadvantage can be, yet also showing how mastering the technique of reversal meter building, can give you a powerful weapon that few players can truly use and will completely take your opponents, even the best ones, by surprise.
Getting out of the corner against Dhalsim's throw and flame traps is enormously difficult if you don't have a full meter for a Super. If Dhalsim puts Dictator in the corner, and Dictator doesn't have meter, then Dhalsim is at a huge advantage, and can trap Dictator and lock him into the corner with Yoga flames and tick throws over and over with very little risk. So while getting out of the corner using Dictator's Super attack is the best way to go...it requires a full meter. This is why having a full Super meter before getting cornered can make such a tremendous difference in a round. However if you get put at a serious disadvantage, like a corner trap, and are a few special moves away from having a full Super meter, then you can employ a special meter building technique, involving reversal special attacks, to build enough meter to the point where you can use a reversal Super on wakeup and escape the disadvantage.
If you get cornered (or knocked down), and are close to having a full super meter, then you can sacrifice some life to build meter enough to get a Super. If you have enough life where you can take a few hits and not die, and are a few special moves away (two or three at most) from having a full meter, then you still have a chance to completely reverse the situation to your favor if your execution is really good.
Here we have a match between Hakase (Dhalsim) and Taira (Dictator). The second round opens up with Dictator getting off a few hits, and using a few special moves as well (including some that whiff), all of which build meter. However, before he has a chance to build a full Super meter, Dictator gets cornered and dizzied, and now Taira knows that he has no way to directly escape from the corner without a Super. So after the first Yoga Flame knockdown from the dizzy, Taira wakes up and blocks a meaty Yoga Flame, the next attack from Dhalsim is a Yoga Fire, Taira does a reversal special attack (either Devil's Hand or Head Stomp), and the reversal attack builds him some Super meter (pay attention to Dictator's Super meter in this sequence of events), however he eats damage and gets knocked down. Now Taira needs one more special move to come out before he can get a full Super meter. Hakase does another meaty Yoga Flame on wakeup, Taira does a reversal Devil's Hand, which gives him just enough meter that he has a full Super bar, the Yoga Flame also knocks him down. The third time Taira wakes up, Hakase tries a meaty slide, however this time Taira has built up enough meter for a Super, and unleashes it right into Hakase, who obviously hasn't been paying attention to Dictator's sneaky meter building.
So in that sequence of events starting from the dizzy, Taira (playing Dictator) has gone from being repeatedly knocked down in the corner, to getting a reversal Super combo that hits his opponent for over 50% of his life and turns the match around completely in an instant. Taira went from a situation of enormous disadvantage into winning the round with one move. Because he used a meter building strategy to give him enough meter for a Super he was able to come out on top. He had three successful reversals in three chances all in a row. The first two were reversal Devil's Hands to build meter, the last was a reversal Super to get out of the corner trap. Going three for three in back to back reversal chances in the middle of a heated tournament match is no small feat which is why this is an advanced technique. Even using the piano method with negative edge, getting a 1 frame link reversal, three times in three chances isn't something that most players can do and will require considerable practice to master.
This technique doesn't just have to be used to escape corner traps. This can be used to get Dictator out of any disadvantage situation. Or to even unexpectedly turn the tables on your opponent like outlined below.
Taira (Dictator) is facing off against YuuBou (Fei Long) and tries to use Devil's Hand while being nearly a full screen away from his opponent. YuuBou however jumps right at Taira and hits him air to air. Taira doesn't panic and immediately begins charging down and back upon getting hit in the air. He sees that YuuBou has done a chicken wing upon landing, and that it will hit Taira immediately upon his own landing. Taira is also one special move away from having a full Super meter. So Taira does a reversal Devil's Hand upon landing, which gives him enough meter, at the cost of the damage from the chicken wing. YuuBou, having followed up his last chicken wing with a throw, probably expects his opponent to counter throw, so he crouches out of Dictator's throw range and attempts a sweep. However, Taira is a few steps ahead of him, and immediately performs a reversal Super. YuuBou is completey taken by surprise, his sweep is met with a Super for massive damage. He didn't realize that Taira was building meter, and thought that his ground normal attack would be safe from anything that Dictator could throw at him. Taira wasn't at a huge disadvantage in that sequence of events during the match. He didn't need a reversal Super, but he saw an opening, a way to fool his opponent into sticking out a limb that he could Super into, and he seized it, giving him a well earned victory.
In the above example it is important to note that Taira immediately begins charging down+back (defensive crouch) after getting hit air to air. The reason is that the down part of the down+back charge was used to perform the reversal Devil's Hand on landing wakeup that gave Taira enough meter to use a Super. So Taira performs a reversal Devil's Hand by going from down+back to up+back. Because he has held back through the execution of the Devil's Hand at all times, he still maintains the necessary charge direction for the reversal Super. If you are doing two reversals, the first to build meter, the second a reversal Super, back to back, you need to overlap the horizontal charge with the vertical charge.
Here is another example of meter building from disadvantage, this time to beat tick command throws. Homer (T.Hawk) knocks Taira (Dictator) down in the corner with a command throw. T.Hawk jumps in on Dictator with a jumping forward, Taira performs a reversal Devil's Hand on wake up, the reversal Devil's Hand gives him a full Super meter, the T.Hawk player combos the jumping forward with a low jab. Now, the T.Hawk player could have done a dragon punch from the low jab and knocked Dictator down, but instead of hit confirming, he sticks with a bread and butter tick into command throw. The T.Hawk player is completely unaware that his opponent has built up a full Super meter during the jump-in sequence, and when he attempts the command throw, it is met with a reversal Super. And even worse for T.Hawk in this situation is that he does not negative edge his command throw, so a normal attack (standing fierce) comes out, and he eats every bit of damage from Dictator's Super instead of blocking it.
Yet another example against T.Hawk where meter building while taking damage wins a round. YuuVega (Dictator) is knocked down his Inomata (T.Hawk), he is one move away from having a full Meter. Dictator's opponent hits him with a meaty low jab, he does a reversal Devil's Hand, and it gives him a full Super meter. T.Hawk then tries to use a command throw, doesn't negative edge, a standing fierce instead come out, because YuuVega has done a reversal Super, and now T.Hawk gets rocked for 50% of his health and loses the round. Two reversals in a row in back to back chances, first one vertical charge for Devil's Hand reversal, second one horizontal charge for reversal Super.
This example is the most incredible of all. Taira (Dictator) against Saitou (Zangief). In the last round of this match, Taira does three reversals in three chances in a row, including doing two reversal immediately back to back. GigaMSX did a video tutorial explaining what happens in the match. I'll add more details about this match sometime in the future.
Some side notes, reversal Devil's Hand, or reversal Head Stomp, on wake up, will come out and count as reversals (you'll see the reversal message and get 1000 points). However those moves are vulnerable at startup, and will lose to jumping attacks and meaty ground normals. This is why you must sacrifice damage to build meter as Dictator. It also doesn't matter if you use Devil's Hand or Head Stomp to build meter from disadvantage as they both reward the same amount of meter (eight points).
--VirtuaFighterFour January 31, 2010
Dictator's diagonal jumping forward kick (medium kick), can be used as an instant overhead, when performed immediately after leaving the ground. So, while you are point blank next to your opponent, you do a diagonal jump (either away from or towards them), and hit the medium kick button as quickly as possible (you only have a few frames, the timing is unforgivably strict). If you do this, the jumping diagonal medium kick will come out immediately after you leave the ground, and you'll be close enough to your opponent (or low enough off the ground), so that they will have to block the attack high. If they try to block the attack low, and it is close enough to connect, then they will unsuccessfully block and instead take the hit.
What this means is that there are certain situations, where when you are close enough to your opponent, than you can force them into a 50/50 guessing game of whether they need to block high or low. So, for a basic example, let's say that you throw your opponent and they don't soften the throw, and you walk right up next to them as they are waking up. You now have two options, you can try for a meaty low forward, an attack that they'll have to block low, or you can try a meaty jumping diagonal forward as an instant overhead, an attack that your opponent must block while standing. If your opponent wants to play defensively then they cannot protect against both a low and overhead attack, they must make a decision, and an incorrect choice means that they will take damage and stun.
Your opponent doesn't necessarily have to block when they wake up from a knockdown, they can go for a reversal attack, however reversal attacks are always risky because the execution barrier is high. If they fail a reversal, and you stuck out a meaty low forward in a knockdown situation, then you can potentially score massive damage and possibly a dizzy. So most of the time your opponents will simply block low, because they'll want to protect against meaty ground attacks, and this is when you need to start using the instant overhead to wreak havoc.
One thing to remember, is that a meaty low forward is much safer, can be followed with safe block strings, can be used to tick into throw, and has serious combo potential. The jumping medium kick instant overhead has no real combo potential, is not safe in my circumstances, and has low damage potential. So why use the instant overhead at all and not simply go for a meaty low forward every time off of a knockdown and try to hit-confirm into a mix up or combos? The answer, is that a successful connect of an instant overhead, can lead to a dizzy and a huge free combo.
And that is where the instant jumping overhead for Dictator shines the most. In situations when, if it connects for that one hit, it will almost certainly guarantee a dizzy. Watch this round of Professor Jones (Dictator) against R3ko (N.Honda). Professor Jones knocks his opponent down with a standard three-hit combo, he then approaches his opponent, and throws out two low forward kicks while his opponent is waking up. His opponent, R3ko, is conditioned to block low against meaty low forwards, so he assumes that the low forwards that were thrown out are being used to help Professor Jones successful time a meaty low forward. However those low forwards are bait, and R3ko is fooled into blocking low, and right as he wakes up Professor Jones leaps right at him with a jumping diagonal medium kick. The instant overhead connects point blank against Honda and Professor Jones gets a dizzy (which he follows up with a successful high damage combo). The Honda player in that match saw the two low forwards and mentally focused on them enough that he blocked low and was unable to protect against an overhead level attack.
The other best scenario to try to use an instant overhead on an opponent is when the person is one hit away from losing the round. The reason why you want a successful instant overhead to either dizzy or finish your opponent off is because the move is often unsafe even if it hits (especially in the corner). The reason is it unsafe is because, as a jumping attack, it leaves you helplessly stranded in the air. Pay attention in this match as Taira throw his opponent into the corner and uses an instant overhead as his opponent, playing Fei Long, lands. The instant overhead connects for damage, but it doesn't kill, nor dizzy his opponent, and it leaves Taira cornered. Taira proceeds to be nearly beaten to death in the corner, going from having two-thirds of his life remaining, to one hit away from losing the round. So the reward of using the jumping instant overhead in that situation was a small amount of damage, and the risk was losing nearly two-thirds of your health, and possibly the entire round.
The instant overhead doesn't just have to be used in situations where your opponent is waking up from being knocked down or thrown. You can simply walk up your opponent hit them with an instant overhead at any time if they are crouching (though the risk/reward is heavily skewed towards the risk side). You can also jump at your opponent with a cross-up, then immediately jump away from them with an instant jumping overhead, so if they shift to low block after the jumping cross-up attack, you'll hit them with the instant overhead. In this round Taira hits his opponent with a few consecutive attacks, possibly enough attacks where one more hit of medium or heavy strength will cause a dizzy. So he jumps at his opponent, who is using Chun, and she blocks the first hit of the cross-up. However immediately after the first blocked hit, the Chun player moves to defensive crouch, and Taira guesses right and does a jumping back instant overhead. The overhead hits, and while it doesn't dizzy, is done jumping backwards and is safe from being punished. And, if that that initial cross-up jumping attack had hit, Taira's jumping overhead immediately afterward, would have been a two-hit combo.
A neat trick with the instant overhead is the Yuuvega Special. Jump at your opponent with either a kick, from a distance so that you land on the other side, or simply empty-jump just before they wake up. As soon as you land, immediately follow with an instant overhead, hitting them while they are still in blockstun or just as they are waking up.
Below is a table containing the degree of dificulty for timing the overhead. In summary, it's possible to do it on all match-ups, but against Cammy and Blanka the window is so small that it's not advisable to go for it.
If Dictator knocks down an opponent in the corner (i.e. the opponent is cornered and is touching the corner), it is possible to change sides (by doing a Fierce/HP Psycho Crusher and/or a Roundhouse/HK Scissor Kick) for a surprise a combo, before the opponent can react by changing the block direction.
The only problem is that which move to use for the corner pass deppends on a few factors. First, it differs per matchup. Second, it differs if you're on your starting side (i.e. you're P1 and you're on the left side, or you're P2 and you're on the right side) or not. Lastly, it also differs from the type of knockdown (Full Knockdown vs Sweep Knockdown) though that's only a factor if you're on your starting side, and that only makes a difference in a few matchups.
I'm not sure if it's viable to just memorize the whole list, so see the table below as reference material:
|Starting side, Full KD||Starting side, Sweep KD||Not on starting side, Any KD|
|E.Honda/Zangief/Fei Long||Crusher + Scissor||Crusher + Scissor||Crusher|
|Sagat||Crusher + Scissor||Crusher||Crusher|
|T.Hawk||Crusher||Crusher + Scissor||Crusher|
|Boxer/Claw/Dictator||Crusher + Scissor||Crusher + Scissor||Scissor|
|Ryu/Ken/Guile/Dhalsim||Crusher + Scissor||Crusher||Scissor|
NOTE: Bold text means that special move can be used in every situation on that matchup.
Summarized versions (incomplete, but easier to memorize):
- Version 1 (Character group isolation):
|Starting side||Not on starting side||Memorization tip|
|E.Honda/Blanka/Zangief/Fei Long/Sagat/T.Hawk/Dee Jay||Crusher||Remaining|
|Boxer/Claw/Dictator||Scissor||Bosses, except Sagat|
|Ryu/Ken/Guile/Dhalsim||Crusher||Scissor||WW fireball chars|
- Version 2 (Crusher preference):
|Starting side||Not on starting side||Memorization tip|
|E.Honda/Blanka/Zangief/Fei Long/Sagat/T.Hawk/Dee Jay||Crusher||Remaining|
|Ryu/Ken/Guile/Dhalsim/Boxer/Claw/Dictator||Crusher||Scissor||WW fireball chars + Bosses, except Sagat|
Cross-up Slide, Head Stomp, Skull Driver, Devil's Hand
After an aerial recovery, such as after your opponent softens on of your throws, or you knock them out of the air with a standing jab, you can execute a slide (down+roundhouse). The slide can be timed so that it hits your opponent on the first frame after they land, and it can hit behind them, meaning it will cross them up as they land.
Let's take a took at an example of a cross-up slide. YuuVega playing Dictator, knocks his opponent Otochun (who is playing Chun) down, then crosses him up from the air, and then eventually throwing him. You will see Otochun soften the throw successfully, going into an aerial recovery, as soon as he does that YuuVega initiates a slide. Watch how the slide actually crosses underneath Otochun and hits him from behind as he lands. This crosses Otochun up and he blocks the wrong way and gets knocked down yet again. This is a cross-up slide done to an opponent recovering in the air from a softened throw.
In the same tournament we see YuuVega executing a cross-up slide on Otochun after a forced aerial recovery by hitting Otochun's whiffed upkicks out of the air. Watch as YuuVega quickly backs Otochun into the corner to open the round, he baits Otochun to use upkicks, and then pokes them out of the air. Otochun is forced into aerial recovery, and at this point YuuVega does a slide, and again ends up behind Otochun crossing him up. Immediately after the cross-up slide you see YuuVega use Devil's Hand and he shoots to the top of the screen. Otochun cannot tell which way the Devil's Hand is going to hit as it is coming down and he gets crossed up. This is an example of where Devil's Hand can cross someone up.
Here is another example of a Dictator player crossing someone up with a slide after an aerial recovery and then immediately crossing the opponent up again using Devil's Hand. Watch as Kimoyan (Dictator) throws his opponent, Kachu (Claw), into the corner. Kachu softens the throw, goes into aerial recovery, and then is crossed up by a slide upon landing. Then he's crossed up by a Devil's Hand in the following sequence which dizzies him and gives Kimoyan a free combo.
Dictator's Head Stomp can cross someone up but it is extremely difficult to actually set up the proper situations where it will happen. Just like cross-up Devil's Hand, cross-up Head Stomp is usually most effective after doing a cross-up slide. It is also useful against Claw and Blanka after passing through them at mid-screen, or against anyone from the cast after passing through them using the corner-pass trick. Watch as ARG (purple Dictator) knocks his opponent, Head Press Oomura (green and red Dictator), down with a cr.mk into fierce psycho crusher combo. As soon as ARG recovers from the psycho crusher he immediately goes into a Head Stomp animation. The Head Stomp travels across his opponent's character model and hits him from the opposite side crossing him up.
Dictator has a 100% free damage set up against Guile providing that Dictator can knock Guile down and is close enough for a safe cross-up or vertical safe-jump in the corner.
Guile's only two options to beat ticks throws are his flash kick (a reversal special move) and his normal throws. In order to beat a tick into throw attempt with a flash kick you need a downward charge of at least 60 frames. In order to beat a tick throw attempt with a normal throw you need to be within Guile's normal throw range.
So how does this affect Dictator vs Guile?
When Dictator knocks Guile down at mid screen he's looking for a cross up into combo. However, sometimes Dictator's cross up forward or roundhouse is blocked by the opponent, and instead of a huge combo and dizzy you are left with a block string into either throw or short scissor kicks for chip. Against Guile though, if you can hit confirm really quickly, you have a guaranteed throw setup against him. Why? Because Dictator's throw range is six pixels larger than Guile's.
If you use a safe cross up from the air against Guile, he has to block high, if he crouches then he'll get wrecked with a huge combo. If he reverses the cross up with a flash kick, and you've done a safe cross up, then you'll land and you can try to punish the flash kick during its recovery. However if Guile stands to block the cross up, it means he doesn't have enough charge for a flash kick for another 60 frames, so he immediately loses one of his options, his best option, to beat tick throws. And, after a cross up forward or roundhouse that is blocked, you can input a standing strong immediately (as a two-hit block string), and it will leave you outside of Guile's throw range and just barely outside of Dictator's throw range. After the standing strong is blocked, you can walk forward just a bit, and input a throw (backwards or forwards depending on how far from the corner you are), and Guile cannot do a thing about it except soften the throw.
Why can't Guile do anything? He has no charge for flash kicks so those are out of the window. And he cannot use a reversal throw because you are throwing him from outside of his throw range. The best he can do in that situation is simply soften your throw and go from there. This means that if you knock Guile down, and you have enough time to set up a safe cross up, you have guaranteed damage if you have good hit confirming skills and solid execution and reaction times.
This ST match between Taira (Dictator) and Yoshio (Guile) has the set up in it right in the first round. Watch at 22 seconds in as Taira knocks his opponent down with scissor kicks. He does a cross up roundhouse, then standing strong as a block string, and then a throw. Yoshio can do nothing about it other than take the throw and soften it.
This also works in the corner against Guile as well. Instead of doing a cross up you do a vertical safe jump short kick and then a standing short. That tick set up should leave you just barely outside of Guile's throw range where you can use a free throw against him that he can only soften. If he doesn't soften the throw then you can repeat the set up again. If he does a flash kick against a safe jump in the corner you can try to punish it out of the air. If he softens the throw then you can try a cross up slide or some other corner shenanigan. If Guile takes the vertical jump short, and you have amazing reflexes, you can combo the vertical short, standing short, into a psycho crusher. No matter what if you put Guile in the corner and knock him down you should be able to wreak havoc for a few sequences before he can escape.
This setup also works against DeeJay but only at mid-screen and not in the corner. If you cross DeeJay up with a jumping forward or roundhouse and blocks the attack, and then you tick with a standing strong, and then throw him out of rage, the best he can do is soften it. The reason is that he won't have the vertical charge for his up kicks, and won't have long enough horizontal charge for his dread kicks or his Super, and he'll be slightly out of his throw range, meaning he has nothing to beat a throw from that setup. However in the corner DeeJay can keep a horizontal charge for his dread kicks or his Super, so the guaranteed setup that Dictator has against Guile in the corner will not work, and you'll have to use different tactics instead.
Combos & Block Strings
Dictator's combos, especially his jumping combos, are critical to successfully playing using him. I've put his best jumping combos, cross-ups, meaty combos, ground combos, Super combos, and block strings in the section below. The key thing with Dictator is precision execution and lots of practice. Being able to perform all of his best combos, even the most difficult ones, in the heat of battle will make your life tremendously easier. Dictator's ability to score huge combos and dizzy opponents easily is unmatched in Super Turbo. Once you master his combos you'll notice the wins will start coming in far more rapidly than before. However, unless you are an advanced player from another fighting game migrating over to Super Turbo, or an already experienced Super Turbo player using another character, you'll have to have extra patience and dedication to get to a competitive and consistent level with Dictator's combo.
Jumping Combos & Block Strings
Jumping combos with charge:
- up+forward + j.hk, st.lk, cr.mk, fierce psycho crusher or roundhouse scissors
- up+forward + j.hk, st.lk, cr.mp, fierce psycho crusher or roundhouse scissors
- up+forward + j.hk, cr.mk, fierce psycho crusher <- best combo against Claw
The first combo does extreme damage is a 99% dizzy against everyone. If you dizzy an opponent and have enough time to jump at them from the front, the first combo is the one you want to use. You can substitute a crouching medium punch for the crouching forward, however the timing is more strict, so I would recommend sticking with the more reliable crouching medium kick.
The last combo is what you'll want to use against Claw. The reasons is that Claw has an annoyingly thin hitbox, so trying to hit him with the first two combos up above will not work. The third combo however will hit Claw from the front. And while it does less damage and dizzy overall, it doesn't matter as much against Claw, because Claw dizzies extremely easily.
The trick to performing these combos it to jump at your opponent, and the second you leave the ground, you need to move the joystick to the backwards direction and hold it there. Then while you hit your opponent with the first jumping attack, and the successive ground normals, you still must keep holding back to maintain charge. Then, once you get to the last move, you move the joystick forward, breaking charge, and your special move will come out. So let's look at the first combo with every input detailed:
- up+forward (this will make you jump at your opponent)
- back (now hold back in the joystick immediately after jumping and keep it held until the last move)
- back + heavy kick(this is the first hit of the combo, performed in air as a jumping attack)
- back + standing light kick (second hit of the combo, you should still be holding back)
- down+back + crouching medium kick (third hit, you need to hold down+back to preserve charge and to get a crouching attack)
- forward + heavy kick (within the jumping sequence and subsequent ground normals you have charge for scissor kicks, so pressing forward + heavy kick will get you roundhouse scissors)
Remember, with these combos you jump and land on the same side of your opponent, these are different from Dictator's cross-up combos where he jumps from one side and lands on the opposite side (which are detailed further below.
You don't just have to start the jumping attacks with jumping towards roundhouse, you can use any jumping attack, and you can even start the combos with a vertical jumping attack while you are right next to your opponent.
Jumping combos without charge:
- up+forward + j.hk, st.lk x 3, st.rh
The jumping attack can be anything, but jumping roundhouse does the most damage, inflicts the most dizzy, and is the most reliable to combo with for this combo. If the three standing light kicks are pushing you out of range for the last standing roundhouse then hold forward on the joystick during the ground attacks of the combo. You can also only use one or two standing light kicks in the combo instead of all three to help make executing the last link of the combo easier. Against Claw the standing light kicks won't combo because of his thin hitbox, so just do an immediate standing roundhouse or standing fierce after the jumping attack.
Jumping cross-up combos with charge:
- cross-up j.hk, st.lk x 2, cr.mk, fierce psycho crusher
- cross-up j.mk, st.lk x 2, cr.mk, fierce psycho crusher
These two combos are Dictator's most famous combos. Mastery of these is essential for achieving a competitive level with Dictator. The reason why these combos are so powerful is that you can slightly vary the position where you hit your opponent. A few pixel's difference of distance of the jumping roundhouse or forward as a cross-up and it will change which direction (left or right) that your opponent has to guard. This basically means that your opponent is put into a 50/50 guessing game when you cross-up them up with these two jumping attacks. If either of these combos land you are looking at virtually a guaranteed dizzy and then a huge free combo to follow that up. So let's break down the inputs of the first combo to see how you finish the combo with a charge attack even after you've jumped all the way over your opponent at the start of the combo:
- up+forward (this will make you jump at your opponent at a distance where you will land just behind them)
- forward (now hold forward in the joystick immediately after jumping and keep it held until the last move)
- forward + heavy kick(this is the first hit of the combo, performed in air as a jumping attack)
Now at this point in the combo you will have hit your opponent in the air with a jumping attack, you will then land on the opposite side of your opponent. So the joystick direction of 'forward' is now actually 'backwards', because you have switched sides.
- back + standing light kick (second hit of the combo, you should still be holding the same direction as you were at the start of the combo)
- back + standing light kick (third hit of the combo, keep holding back to maintain directional charge)
- down+back + crouching medium kick (fourth hit, you need to hold down+back to preserve charge and to get a crouching attack)
- forward + heavy punch (this will combo the crouching medium kick directly into a fierce psycho crusher)
So in this combo you've gone from jumping over your opponent, while charging in, at first, the opposite direction, then landing after the jumping attack while continuing to hold what was originally forward on the joystick, which then becomes backwards because of the side change. After the ground normals are done as part of the overall combo you will have enough charge time to finish the combo with a fierce psycho crusher.
Jumping cross-up combos without charge:
- cross-up j.hk, st.lk x 3, st.rh
The jumping attack can be anything, but jumping roundhouse does the most damage, inflicts the most dizzy, and is the most reliable to combo with for this combo. If the three standing light kicks are pushing you out of range for the last standing roundhouse then hold forward on the joystick during the ground attacks of the combo. You can also only use one or two standing light kicks in the combo instead of all three to help make executing the last link of the combo easier. Against Claw the standing light kicks won't combo because of his thin hitbox, so just do an immediate standing roundhouse or standing fierce after the jumping attack.
Jumping attacks into block strings:
If your opponent blocks a jumping attack, you can continue with the normal combo sequence. However instead of finishing with fierce psycho crusher, roundhouse scissor kicks, you can finish with short scissor kicks (only if you have charge). Short scissor kicks will do block damage to your opponent and leave you safely out of range from your opponent's attacks. So the string would look like this:
- safe jump (hold back for charge), st.lk, cr.mk, short scissor kicks
- cross-up jumping attack, st.lk x 2, cr.mk, short scissor kicks
At any time during that block string you can stop, interrupt your own block string, and go for a throw. If your opponent is expecting you to finish the block string they won't be prepared or ready for your throw. Even if they are expecting a throw you can change which attack you finish the block string with and when you attempt the throw. For example:
- safe jump, st.lk, throw
- safe jump, st.lk x 2, throw
- cross-up jumping attack, st.lk, throw
- cross-up jumping attack, st.mp, throw
So if your opponent blocks your jumping attack then switch to a block string tactic with either short scissor kicks for block damage or a mix-up into throw. If the opponent is hit by your jumping attack then finish the combo for high damage.
Meaty Combos & Block Strings
Dictator's meaty sequences always start with crouching medium kick (low forward). From a meaty low forward you have several options depending on the situation and whether or not the meaty low forward connects for a hit or is blocked. Using a meaty attack is useful when you've knocked your opponent down and don't have enough time, or aren't at the right distance, to set up a safe jump or a cross up.
However, meaty ground attacks are carry a far higher risk than safe jumps or cross ups. So don't rely on meaty attacks for okizeme situations unless you are relatively certain that your opponent won't reverse your attack. If you try a meaty low forward and every time your opponent successfully uses a reversal then you must change tactics.
With that being said, let's start off with combos that you'll want to use when your meaty crouching medium kick successfully hits the opponent:
Meaty combos with charge:
- meaty cr.mk, cr.mk, fierce psycho crusher
- meaty cr.mk, cr.mk, roundhouse scissor kicks
Scissor kicks do more damage and dizzy but have a slightly longer charge time. So some setups that don't allow for the full charge time for scissor kicks need to have the psycho crusher used as the combo finisher instead.
Meaty combos without charge:
- meaty cr.mk, st.hk
- meaty cr.mk, st.lk, st.hk
- meaty cr.mk, cr.mk
Meaty low forward into standing roundhouse does a good amount of damage and dizzy and is fairly easy and reliable to combo. Standing roundhouse whiffs against Blanka if he's crouching, so substitute a crouching or standing medium kick instead, if you hit a crouching opponent playing Blanka with a meaty low forward.
Now let's see what options Dictator has when his meaty low forward is blocked by the opponent:
- meaty cr.mk, throw
- meaty cr.mk, st.lk, throw
- meaty cr.mk, cr.mk, short scissor kicks
If your meaty crouching medium kick is blocked you have two options, go for a mix up tick throw, or do another crouching medium kick into short scissors to chip your opponent and leave you safely out of any direct counters (like throws or special attacks).
Dictator's Super does enormous damage and can be followed up with two jumping diagonal strong punches as a juggle at most distances.
- Super, j.mp x 2
This combo is basic and should be done every time you land a Super. If you land a Super you can juggle the opponent with jumping diagonal strong punches afterward for even more damage. Never waste the extra damage from the juggling punches.
Some of Dictator's normal attacks can be used to combo directly into Super. The usefulness of doing a combo into Super is almost entirely limited to situations where your opponent is dizzied. Considering that a Super combo or a regular jumping combo from Dictator is likely to take more than half of the opponent's health anyways, doing a combo into Super is mostly done for flashiness or showing off.
- cr.lp, cr.lp, st.lp, 2-in-1 Super, j.mp x 2
This combo requires a backwards charge before you hit the first crouching jab so be prepared beforehand. You'll want to combo the first to low jabs while holding defensive crouch, as this will preserve the charge for Dictator's Super. Then you'll want to move the stick to back, then forward, then back, then hit standing jab and hold it down, then hit forward on the joystick plus any kick buttons at the same time. The standing jab should combo directly into Super. Finish it off with the jumping medium punches for a juggle. The reason you want to hold down jab after the standing jab is that if you release the button you might accidentally get a negative edge jab strength psycho crusher. A jab psycho crusher after a standing jab won't combo, it will interrupt your Super combo, and will result in far less damage than a Super would have. I detailed this combo in a post in the HDR section.
- st.mp, 2-in-1 Super, j.mp x 2
This is another combo that requires a full charge before you start it. You must be right next to your opponent (who should be dizzied) and have enough charge for a Super. While holding back, move the joystick rapidly to forward, then back, then forward again, then go to neutral (I usually just let go of the stick). Right after, like on the first frame if you can do it, you go to neutral, hit medium punch and hold it down, then immediately hit any strength kick. A standing medium punch should come out and it should combo directly into Dictator's Super. Remember to hold medium punch down and don't release it until the Super has come out. If you release medium punch before the Super comes out you risk getting a medium strength psycho crusher because of negatived edge.
Dictator's normals like cr.mp, st.lk, cr.mk, can be used to combo into Super, but they are entirely impractical, way too difficult to execute in the heat of battle (impossible in my opinion), and pointless when there are much better options to use anyways. I have never seen anyone combo anything but st.lp or st.mp into Super with Dictator in all my years of playing and spectating matches. Most of the time you do a Super combo with Dictator, the Super will be the move to start off the combo anyways.
After Dictator's Super connects you can follow the attack up with j.mp x 2 for two extra juggle hits. However, if you hit your opponent in the air with Dictator's jumping medium punches, and you juggle them, you can tag them with a Super before they fall to the ground.
- j.mp x 2, Super
Jump at your airborne opponent and immediately put the stick in the backward direction after taking off from the ground. You'll to start charging immediately to have enough time to use the Super. Hit the opponent air-to-air with your jumping medium punches. You'll land on the ground and your opponent will still be falling. And while they are falling, you can hit them with a Super from the ground, and you will juggle them for extra damage. The timing is extremely tight for this combo, and no matter what, the Super will connect for two hits at most (for a total of four). Getting the Super to combo for two hits instead of just one requires precision timing at mid screen and is slightly more lenient in the corner.
- j.mp (first hit only), j.mp x 2, Super
Just like the first combo, except you hit your opponent in the air at first with just the first j.mp, then juggling them again with j.mp x 2 and follow the rules of the first combo from then on.
When doing this combo you have to remember that it does a good deal of damage but only if the Super connects twice. It also burns your Super meter leaving you basically helpless if you get knocked down. So try not to use this combo unless you are sure that it will end the round or at least leave you close enough to victory that you won't need a reversal Super later.
Ground combos are combos used against your opponent that start and end on the ground. They are usually done to a dizzied opponent or after your pass through your opponent with the special corner trap.
Ground combos with charge:
- cr.lp (x 1/2), st.lp, scissor kicks
- st.lk x 3, fierce psycho crusher or roundhouse scissor kicks
- st.lk x 2, cr.mk, fierce psycho crusher or roundhouse scissor kicks
In order to connect three st.lk in a row you need to be right next to your opponent. Instead of a third st.lk you can do a cr.mk or a cr.mp as well. To be safe, or if you are unsure of distance, you can just do one or two st.lk to start the combos out.
Ground combos without charge:
- st.lk x 3, st.rh
This combo is extremely difficult. Linking three st.lk in a row and then st.rh takes tremendous execution and is not something that most players can simply throw out in the heat of a match at any time. If you don't have charge and need to execute a ground combo then you might opt for only doing one or two st.lk into st.rh to lower the execution requirement. You could also just do st.lk x 2, cr.mp which still does a fair amount of damage. The max damage though is going to be st.lk x 3, st.rh for ground combos, so practice and practice.
--VirtuaFighterFour March 06, 2010
Matchups classified with this diagram in mind, for the old characters i guessed the positions.
Serious Advantage Match-ups
- 8 - 2
One of dictator's "easiest" matchups. Similar to fei, Dictator can mostly control neutral with his st mk/hk pokes, and psycho crusher, and dic also has a much larger throw range. An important skill vs Cammy is punishing drills, remember you can block them standing, so it's not like boxer's low rush where you have to be extremely careful moving around. The main punish is done with st mk/hk, if she's safe, just don't press anything as she can do psychic dp etc. For anti air, cr hp can beat her j lk if she sticks it out early, otherwise, j mp on reaction, or walk under j mp work, as well as st hk to trade when far if needed. If she tries hooligan gimmicks, use j mp to juggle her, or mash st lp to stop her before she reaches you.
Vs. T. Hawk:
- 7 - 3
Both N.Hawk and O.Hawk have a woeful time with Dictator. On paper this match looks like it should be even. Hawk is a throw centric character with a powerful command grab that has a negative edge option select mechanic built into it. Dictator has no reversal special attack to escape command grabs as well (except his Super). So Dictator can be throw looped to death unless he a Super meter. However the match of Dictator vs T.Hawk (both N.Hawk and O.Hawk) rarely comes down to a throw loop. So why does Dictator rarely get throw looped to death?
For one, Dictator's normals take priority over almost everything Hawk has. N.Hawk's splash can be beaten by crouching fierce punch from any distance and O.Hawk's splash can be beaten by crouching fierce punch unless Hawk is right on top of Dictator. So if you have enough time to get the active hitboxes for crouching fierce punch out you can beat splashes. Just make sure that you perform the attack early enough. Shutting down Hawk's splash removes one of his best tools for getting in on many characters from mid and close range. And if you get stuck in the corner, and Hawk is repeatedly using his splash over and over, you can usually cleanly fierce psycho crusher underneath the second or third splash. Worst case scenario is you defensively crouch to eat the first splash, only if Hawk is spamming splash against you in the corner, then fierce psycho crusher out of there underneath the next splash.
N.Hawk's and O.Hawk's jumping jabs and jumping shorts completely whiff against Dictator if he is crouching. So anytime you see Hawk jump at you, and seeing Hawk use jumping jab is common, the odds are that you can crouch and hit him with a crouching medium kick and win. Jumping jab is a staple jumping attack for both N.Hawk and O.Hawk and not being able to use it makes this match enormously difficult for Hawk. Pay attention to jumping jab, because anytime you see Hawk use it, it means you have an opportunity for free damage. If you stop Hawk from using jumping jab to approach from mid range, you can try to condition him from using jumping jab in other situations, like as an air-to-air move.
Hawk's dive is extremely risky against Dictator. If you block the dive, and you have charge, you can hit Hawk with a fierce psycho crusher and knock him down. If he jumps close to you to set up a dive, you could jump at him and hit him with jumping strong punches for a juggle, and those will score you a knock down as well. And knocking down Hawk is the primary goal of this match offensive wise (not getting knocked down is the most important part defensively). Hawk's dragon punch is also terrible in this match because it whiffs against Dictator if he's crouching from nearly point blank range. A whiffed dragon punch can also be juggled with jumping strong punches. Hawk's special attacks carry such extreme risks in this match if they aren't used properly.
Hawk is also susceptible to being poked by Dictator's standing forward and standing roundhouse. It might be boring but you can often take a majority of your opponent's life using just these two moves. You can easily dance in and out and win a few footsie sequences with Hawk at mid range with just standing forward and roundhouse. Even better for Dictator is when you condition your opponent to block the kicks enough that you score a walk up throw. Putting Hawk on such a defensive will cause a mental break in your opponent as well and possibly cause him to become aggressive and make a foolish mistake.
Hawk can't just walk up to Dictator as well from full screen because he'll risk getting tagged with a fierce psycho crusher. Hawk has to take a step, rapid fire crouching jab, and then take another step. It is painstakingly and unmercifully awful for Hawk to have to advance a few pixels, then rapid fire jab, only to advance a few more pixels. Dictator doesn't have to every worry about Hawk closing in the distance as long as he is standing. It is too dangerous for Hawk to approach Dictator more than a few pixels at a time.
So Hawk has a tremendously difficult time of closing in the distance in this match from both the air and the ground. Dictator can easily keep T.Hawk from getting a knockdown or getting with throw range. And if T.Hawk gets close you can simply run away and play a total runaway or turtle style.
Another effective way to play this match is to simply overwhelm T.Hawk with cross ups. Against Hawk, you can often knock your opponent down one or two times per round, and possibly three or more. And the odds of T.Hawk surviving the cross up game that Dictator has, after being knocked down two or more times, are quite low. T.Hawk is extremely vulnerable to Dictator's cross ups, so if you keep knocking him down, then putting him in a 50/50 guessing game, to block left or right, for cross ups, it's only a matter of time before your opponent guesses wrong. And if your opponent guesses wrong, you can hit him with a huge combo, and either dizzy him or outright end the round right there.
Vs. Fei Long:
- 6.5 - 3.5
Dictator has an advantage against fei thanks to his superior tools in neutral, though fei can still be dangerous if he gets in and can go for mixups. As usual, your st mk/hk are great pokes, psycho crusher is also hard for him to deal with, use jab ones when close to pressure, he has to use flame kick to stuff it. Fei is fairly easy to safejump, and you have a good mixup on him thanks to his short throw range. Cr mk can be ok for beating rekka, but it is very risky, best bet is to just block and wait for an opening, you can punish bad rekkas, and any flame kick on block, with scissors or psycho. Jump back lp can be used to escape the chicken wing corner trap, when he cancels the st hp into it, hold ub and do lp to stuff it on the way up.
Vs. O. T. Hawk:
- 6.5 - 3.5
An easier match than old sagat, due to his enlarged hurtboxes during fireballs, and the lack of st lk 2nd hit cancel in neutral/strings. Pretty much everything that applies to ogat, also applies in this match, just it's easier to pressure him and get in. He can tech your throws, but this isn't a big deal.
- 4.5 - 5.5
Vs. M. Bison (dictator-self):
Vs. Vega (claw):
- 5 - 5
- 4.5 - 5.5
- 3.5 - 6.5
Blanka has a greater throw range than Dictator, so if you get knocked down, Blanka can tick you so that he remains within his throw range and outside of yours. So he can set you up for a free hold with his bite off of a knock down (or even a well guessed jumping attack). Staying on your feet in this match is pretty significant. This also means that anytime you try to throw Blanka is means that he is within his throw range.
Blanka'a forward ball is unsafe against Dictator if you have charge. A blocked forward ball is quite easy to punish with a fierce psycho crusher (you don't even need reversal timing). Even better for Dictator is that a forward ball that hits you successfully can still be punished by a fierce psycho crusher. One thing to watch out for though is a whiffed jab or strong ball into bite. If your opponent conditions you to block a fierce ball, then mixes things up with a jab ball that whiffs, if you are too slow to react then he will throw you after he lands right next to you. So the sequence would see Blanka do a forward ball, land right at your feet, and then immediately throw you. This is actually quite difficult to react to when you are not suspecting it and can catch even the best players off guard.
Dictator's standing roundhouse kick completely whiffs against a crouching Blanka. This affects combos, such as meaty cr.mk into st.rh, or st.lk into st.rh, so if Blanka is crouching and you try to tack a st.rh onto the end of the combo it will whiff. This also pretty much removes the standing roundhouse from Dictator's arsenal for footsies as well because Blanka can simply duck under a standing roundhouse and hit you with a crouching attack for free.
Cross ups aren't a strong option against Blanka when he's waking up, because his up ball trades, or beats any meaty jumping attack that you can throw at him. This also means that safe jumping Blanka is impossible. So you can't reliably hit him with the big cross up combos nor can you safe jump consistently on Blanka. Why? Because Blanka's up ball is one of the few special moves that hits on the very first that it comes out. So a reversal up ball will beat or trade with any meaty air or ground attack. That doesn't necessarily mean that you shouldn't go for cross ups or meaty attacks, it just means you need to get a proper read on your opponent, and see how consistently he reverses. If you try to cross your opponent up from the air three times in a match and each time he performs a successful reversal up ball, then you need to adjust your tactics, and not try cross ups anymore. However if your opponent is having an off day, or just has poor execution, and you pick up on that, then you should go for traditional cross ups.
You can beat Blanka's up ball as a reversal with one jumping attack. Dictator's jumping diagonal medium kick. However the timing, and spacing, are a bit unorthodox. In order to stuff a reversal up ball you need to jump at Blanka from the front, and have the kick come out above Blanka, so the kick can't overlap Blanka when he's waking up. He must literally perform the reversal up ball into your airborne attack. If you time the j.mk well enough then you can stuff a reversal up ball, if it comes out, or hit your opponent and land in time to jump away or go for a tick or throw. However often if your opponent realizes that you are going for a j.mk to stuff his up ball then he might simply block and try to punish you if you land too late.
Blanks is vulnerable to "pass through" at mid screen. The easiest way to explain this is to simply see it. So go into training mode of any version ST (or just perform this on a 2P dummy in the arcade version), now with Dictator back yourself into the corner and have Blanka follow you, then throw Blanka forward (away from the corner), wait until he wakes up (so you should still be in the corner), then do a strong (or medium strength) psycho crusher and hit Blanka with it, then as you land right next to Blanka hold crouch. You should land on one side of Blanka, then right as he wakes up, you'll suddenly warp to his other side. This is called 'pass through' and works on Blanka after hitting him with a jab or strong psycho crusher from certain ranges. With this trick you can force your opponent to guess right or left when he's waking up because he has to guess whether or not you will switch sides. If you really want to go crazy,, you can switch sides after passing through Blanka and then go for a head stomp, this can confuse your opponent enough to completely cross him up as the head stomp will sometimes animate the opposite way. Trying to read which way to block a head stomp when the animation is backwards is very difficult.
The most important thing is to sort out your anti-air. Bison's primary air defense is going air-to-air: climbing jump strong, vertical jump rh/strong, escaping jump rh, etc. This isn't his only option, however - two other choices to keep in mind:
1) crouching fierce. If Blanka is eager to win an air-to-air clash with his jumping jab or short you can generally shut him down with this ground attack. You need a feel for the spacing and a read on your opponent, but crouching fierce is a good back-up anti-air.
2) run away. Psycho crusher underneath him as he jumps in. Or, if he's trying to start a cross-up short trap use a slide kick to sneak away.
In a ground battle standing medium kick is ok. Keep backing up - it's good to have a quick trigger finger on the scissor kicks and psycho crushers to catch him doing a slide punch or crouching roundhouse.
Cross up medium kick loses to reversal vertical ball. You can beat that ball from the front though. The jump kick has to be a little bit high (i.e. a shade later than "well timed") to avoid a trade.
Fierce psycho crusher seems to be a decent option. Blanka can block and counter with a crouching fierce but in my experience it's a little random. If you do one psycho crusher and he misses then another and he hits, the 6 ticks of life from the blocked crushers will add up to more damage than the one fierce punch. (nohoho)
Vs. E. Honda:
- 3.5 - 6.5
Honda is one of Bison's worst matches because you can be very quickly overwhelmed and get put into a situation where you will lose the round in only a matter of seconds. If Honda puts you in the corner, and you don't have a Super ready, you're going to repeatedly eat a series of command throws, most likely until you die. The 'Ochio loop' is ferocious in this match, and needs to be avoided at all costs. Being pushed into the corner is virtually a guaranteed loss. You need to constantly be aware of your proximity to the corner, how far your opponent is from you, and what attacks he can threaten to lock you into the corner.
Throwing Honda, while avoiding getting thrown yourself, is also extremely difficult. Honda's normal throws have more range than Dictator's normal throws. So if Honda crosses you up, or safe jumps at you, he can then perform a tick that puts him just outside of your throw range, and he can freely throw you with his holds or with his command throw. So getting ticked by Honda is something you need to try hard to avoid. Even worse is that when you are on the offensive, and you try to tick throw Honda, he can simply store his command throw and negative edge it, giving him a risk free option to try to beat your throw attempts.
Honda's headbutts stuff almost everything that Dictator has on the ground, besides a very early jab psycho crusher. In order to beat a headbutt, or even Honda's super, you need to time your jab psycho crusher before your opponent starts his headbutt. This makes beating headbutts almost entirely unreliable, your opponent will basically have to telegraph his headbutts in order for you to win. If you can read your opponent correctly, and pick up on when he usually goes for a headbutt, you can anticipate one and beat it with a jab psycho crusher. Score a few of these and you might even be able to make your opponent hesitant about using headbutts. And if you can condition your opponent to refrain from using the headbutt to advance and control space on the ground you can advance and control space yourself a little bit more freely. Elite level Honda players however will rarely give you that luxury. They will knock you down, and stuff your advances with headbutts, and then follow them up with devastating okizeme tactics and sequences.
The only other way to stuff headbutts, from the ground, is rapid firing standing jab. The problem is that standing jab is not entirely reliable and will sometimes trade or lose to a headbutt unless you are furiously mashing the button down. And having to rapid fire jab that way will tire your hand out if you have to do it across long stretches in the round. If you are certain that your opponent is going for a headbutt, and you can't throw out a jab psycho crusher in time, then rapid fire jab. Rapid firing jab, taking a few steps, then rapid firing again, can be an effective, albeit risky way, of slowly advancing on the ground as well.
The best way to beat a headbutt from Honda isn't to beat it on the ground, but actually jumping over it in the air, and landing on Honda and punishing the recovery with a huge combo. If you are in the corner, and Honda headbutts at you, and you jump straight up, you'll land on top of Honda (with the right timing) and you can dish out a huge jumping combo and often inflict a dizzy. Even at mid screen Honda can pass slightly under you with a whiffed headbutt if you jump over him, and you'll fall right next to him, and you can hit him with a jumping attack then a followup combo while he's recovering from the whiffed headbutt.
If Honda whiffs a butt slam, and you are close enough, you can punish him with jumping strong punches and juggle him. These will knock him down and give you enough time to set up a jumping cross up, devil's hand, or a head stomp. You can also try to go air-to-air with Honda with jumping strong punches as well.
Medium strength psycho crusher almost always leaves you point blank next to Honda and open for his command throw or a headbutt to counter your throw attempt should you try one. Fierce psycho crusher can be punished by Honda's hands or his low roundhouse almost every time as well. Using either of these special moves to directly attack Honda will get you nowhere.
If your opponent likes to use Honda's butt slam as a reversal on wake up, you can do a Devil's Hand high in the air above Honda, and it will consistently beat his butt slam and knock him out of the air. Don't get too reliant on this strategy though, it might work once or twice, but your opponent will catch on rather quickly.
With no reversal, Bison loses to clp tick Ochio Throw. Bison has only one special move that beats Honda's headbutt clean, Jab Crusher. Jab Crusher must come out before the heabutt though, so it requires great timing. Your general ticking strategies won't work so well against Honda because he can store a reversal Ochio and then start ticking you back. You can zone him with mk/hk some, however, if you don't build that meter he can eventually land the one Ochio or blocked sequence he needs to win. Headbutts beat everything you want to do clean, jab crusher is unreliable as previously stated.
Vs. Dee Jay:
- 3.5 - 6.5
- 3.5 - 6.5
Dictator versus Dhalsim is a challenging affair. On the one hand, Dictator has the most explosive offense of any character in Super Turbo, and Dhalsim can be dizzied more easily than any other character. Two standing roundhouse kicks from Dictator can easily dizzy Dhalsim. Dictator also has a few tricks in the corner were he can very effectively set up a block string that is basically an infinite lock down (though the execution for the lock down is difficult). On the other hand, Dhalsim has a powerful and simple to execute throw loop that can be utilized against Dictator (because Dhalsim has a larger throw range), and Dhalsim has some inescapable corner sequences as well (unless Dictator has a Super).
Dhalsim also has incredible zoning potential, he has projectiles that control the entire horizontal playing field, an anti-air Yoga Flame that burns head stomps, devil's hands, and late jumping attacks, and his normal attacks and drills can zone Dictator from mid range and tick Dictator outside of Dictator's throw range. Not only that but Dhalsim can simply slide under head stomps and jumping attacks, if timed properly, and he'll either avoid the attack or outright win the exchange. Dhalsim's standing jab also stuffs all of Dictator's jumping normals if Dictator is late jumping in on Dhalsim. Dhalsim also has attacks that put him low enough to duck under devil's hand yet will still hit Dictator as he's landing.
Like everyone with a fireball, Dhalsim is vulnerable to simply being jumped in on, if he throws out a yoga fire at the wrong time. If your opponent likes to throw fireballs during mid range combat, and you can anticipate it, jump at your opponent and hit him with a jumping attack during his fireball animation's recovery. If your opponent recovers early from throwing a fireball, the worst that will happen is that you'll get hit with an anti-air jab, so the risk is far lower than the reward. However if you simply jump at your opponent, when he hasn't thrown a fireball, then you are leaving yourself open for a number of damaging attacks. Mindlessly jumping at your opponent hoping to score a touch of death or some other huge combo is not something to rely on in this match.
If Dictator pins Dhalsim in the corner that Dictator's character portrait is on, then he can use a specific block string to deal a continuous series of chip damage to Dhalsim. So if Dictator is the 1P player, and Dhalsim is the 2P player, Dhalsim must be in the corner with his back facing the left side of the screen. And if Dictator is the 2P player, and Dhalsim is the 1P player, Dhalsim must be in the corner with his back facing the right side of the screen. Once you've got Dhalsim pinned in the opposite corner from which he started in, it's time to initiate this block string:
- st.lk, cr.mp, mp.psycho crusher (the psycho crusher should hit twice), repeat starting at st.lk
Hit your opponent with a standing short, then a crouching strong punch, then a strong strength psycho crusher, all as a block string. Now, if the medium strength psycho crusher hits for two hits, then you can restart the sequence again. But only if the psycho crusher hits twice, you must pay attention, if it hits once then you will be leaving yourself open for a reversal throw if you go for a standing short. As long as the medium strength psycho crusher hits twice you can repeatedly perform this block string and chip Dhalsim over and over.
Now, if Dictator pins Dhalsim in the corner that Dhalsim's character portrait is on, then he can use a different block string, to also deal a continuous series of chip damage to Dhalsim. So if Dictator is the 1P player, and Dhalsim is the 2P player, Dhalsim must be in the corner with his back facing the right side of the screen. And if Dictator is the 2P player, and Dhalsim is the 1P player, Dhalsim must be in the corner with his back facing the left side of the screen. So once you've got Dhalsim pinned in the same corner that he started in, it's time to initiate this block string:
- cr.lp, cr.lp, st.lk, mp.psycho crusher, repeat starting at cr.lp
Unlike the first block string, this corner sequence causes the medium strength psycho crusher to hit twice ever time, meaning the series is continuous with no chance of Dhalsim getting out of it. No chance of getting out of it providing that you make zero execution mistakes however. Actually performing this block string without an input error is quite hard, but escaping it, as Dhalsim, is just as hard.
Master these two corner traps and you can really terrorize your opponent.
- 4 - 6
N.Ken is a rather annoying match for Dictator but certainly winnable. Immediately you have the problem of Ken's fierce dragon punch hitting on the first frame, this means he cannot be safe jumped. The better the execution of your opponent is, meaning the higher percentage of reversal fierce dragon punches he can utilize, the more dangerous it is to jump in on him as he's waking up. Ken also has a strong throw game against Dictator with his knee bash hold. Despite Dictator having a larger throw range than Ken, successfully counter throwing against a tick throw is tough. And Ken can always bait your counter throws and go for dragon punches to knock you down and really throw you off of your game.
While Ken's fierce dragon punch cannot be safe jumped his other dragon punches can. And reversal dragon punches are not free. If your opponent has a hard time reversing, maybe he's off his game that day, then go for the jump in on wake up. Force your opponent to reverse and put him in the tough spot and see what he is capable of. If he chickens out and doesn't attempt to reverse then take advantage of that opening and strike hard.
Ken will be relying on fireballs, jab dragon punches, low forward, low roundhouse, and occasionally rapid fire jab or standing roundhouse for footsies. Your main tools for footsies are going to be standing medium kick and heavy kick (just like against Ryu). Your primary goal in footsies is to stuff, or at worst trade, with fireballs. If you stuff enough fireballs you will condition your opponent to be hesitant about throwing them. And you'll want to bait and punish jab dragon punches (which is quite tough) to shut him down from using those as well. Standing kicks as pokes will lose to a dragon punch on its way up so wait for the dragon punch to start descending them whack it with a standing kick. If you have really incredible reflexes and can read your opponent you can punish whiffed low roundhouses with your standing kicks however this is rather difficult as well.
As monotonous as it sounds, Dictator can win this match using almost nothing but standing kicks. You can poke your way to victory against Ken almost the same way that Claw does with his standing medium kick. Don't be afraid to rely on standing kicks across entire rounds.
Ken's ticks can be deceptive if they become block strings. Meaning Ken might tick you out of throw range, and then continue on with a block string, either for chip damage or to keep him spaced away from you. Once Ken ticks you out of his throw range then be patience and continue to block. He'll probably go for low shorts into low roundhouse into a fireball and then you can both play it from there. If he suspects that you aren't reading throw ranges properly and that you are trying to counter throw him off of ticks where he puts you out of both of your throw ranges then you will get wrecked. What your opponent will do is he'll see that you like to counter throw, maybe it's a bad habit, maybe you are nervous. But he'll tick you, then delay a bit, let your counter throw fail and whiff as standing strong or fierce, then he'll sweep or dragon punch you. You'll get knocked down and the sequence will repeat itself. Remember, Dictator has the worst defense in the game, every match has at least one incredibly tough situation that you could find yourself in.
Walking forward a ways and then throwing is much easier for Ken than walking forward and dragon punching. The execution for walking forward into a throw is very simple, you just continue to hold forward and press a button assigned to throw. Walking forward and dragon punching is harder and you'll see your opponent pause a bit and even crouch for a few frames. The pause, though brief, is because they are doing the joystick motion for the dragon punch. If your opponent pauses too long after a tick or walk up, then expect a dragon punch or a hurricane, as he's trying to bait you into counter throwing. If he walks up point blank next to you then he's probably try to get within throw range for a knee bash. If your opponent is really clever then he'll walk up to, crouch to fake a dragon punch (which will condition you to block), then he'll take a tiny step forward and throw you. Just read your opponent and discover his patterns and see how he tips his hand. If he hesitates before dragon punches off of ticks then you can read them and block. If he walks forward too far for throw attempts then read those and prepare to counter throw (and hope to get lucky).
- 3.5 - 6.5
Ryu is one of the easiest matches for Dictator to get overwhelmed in very quickly. You will get knocked down or cornered eventually. Knowing how to keep your cool in these disadvantageous situations is something that will greatly elevate your overall effectiveness in the long run. Dictator has the worst defense of any character in ST. And getting cornered by Ryu will mean you will be eating a lot of chip damage from repeated fireballs. Being cornered also sets Ryu up for all sorts of guessing games coming off of a blocked fireball as a tick. Ryu also has some pretty brutal cross ups and fantastic mid screen okizeme sequences against Dictator that can drain your life fast.
The general rule for this match is patience. Be calm. Trying to be overly aggressive and relentlessly poking Ryu to shut down his fireball game is risky. Your opponent will catch on quickly and dragon punch you, in turn knocking you down, and then you'll be set up for some difficult sequences to come out of on top. Dictator cannot survive the defensive end of okizeme after getting knocked down too many times. Try to stay standing as much as possible even if it means sitting in defensive crouch and letting your opponent throw a few fireballs at you.
One thing that you'll always want to establish, is that you know how to poke Ryu with standing forward and standing roundhouse, for the mid screen footsie game. You can effectively shut down Ryu from throwing fireballs at close to mid ranges if you stuff enough fireballs with your standing kicks. If you get a good enough read on your opponent, take a step and fool him into thinking a standing kick as a poke is coming, bait him into using a dragon punch, then counter and punish with standing kicks, scissor kicks (if you have charge), or a slide. Show him that you are reading his moves, and stop him from throwing unpunished fireballs and dragon punches, at least from close to mid range or with Ryu's back to the corner. If your own back is to the corner, then focus on reading when your opponent is going to leave you an opening, to get out of the corner or to throw him into the corner if he goes for a throw (meaning you'll have to reversal throw using the back direction).
If Ryu has a full Super meter then you have to be extremely aware of your opponent's reactions to your footsies. A standing kick as a poke will beat fireballs while they are starting up. However those same pokes will lose to Ryu's Super fireball (because it has invincible starting frames), and they will lose badly. Losing almost half of your life over one whiffed footsie attack is very costly and is often a mental break. Adjust your tactics accordingly when Ryu has a full Super meter. If you aren't paying attention then you'll pay for it and pay for it dearly. If you are playing right, then your opponent will usually use the Super to chip you, or to force you to block to then set you up for an overhead, low, or throw guessing game. If your opponent is repeatedly hitting you with the Super then you need to shift your tactics.
Head stomp, only the short version though, do not use forward or roundhouse as those have a terrible trajectory against Ryu, can be used to hit Ryu if he throws a fireball from longer ranges. You have to perform the head stomp relatively early, and far away enough that you don't get hit by the fireball on the way up (it will happen if you are close), for the head stomp to cleanly hit Ryu. If you're slightly late, then Ryu can just recover and block the head stomp after throwing a fireball. If you are way too late, then Ryu has all the time in the world to counter you. The most effective way is that he'll go air-to-air with jumping strong, juggle you, and knock you down. So don't telegraph your head stomps, or else Ryu will bait them and then knock you right out of the air.
Now, after a head stomp hits or is blocked, you have a few choices from there. You can try for the skull driver followup, this move can cross up, and does enormous dizzy. A successful head stomp, skull driver, and pretty much any move after that (like a standing roundhouse for example), will result in a dizzy. If your opponent is effectively using anti-air attacks to beat your skull drivers then simply fly away and land safely after a head stomp. You can also land next to, in front of or right behind, your opponent and then throw him after a head stomp. Don't get too caught up in using the head stomp and skull driver though in this match. Once Ryu catches on and sorts out his anti-air attacks then you'll have to back off using these setups.
Speaking of the air, Ryu's jumping strong punches are very good in this match. Annoyingly good. Trying to play air superiority with Ryu is not something that you should be going for regularly. Go for your own jumping strong punches with Dictator only to counter Ryu after a failed dragon punch or against a very poorly timed jumping attack. Going air-to-air with Ryu usually is disastrous for Dictator. Ryu's juice kick (or a hurricane kick performed in the air) is also pretty difficult to beat air to air as well.
Dictator's slide can be used in footsies this match, however it's usefulness is somewhat limited in that the move is very punishable. A slide that is blocked that puts you right next to Ryu is punishable by throws and even dragon punches. A slide that is blocked that leaves you just out of Ryu's throw range can be punished by Ryu's low roundhouse (which is his sweeping attack that knocks opponents down). The slide is rarely safe do use it sparingly. However, a successful slide does score you a knockdown, a situation that is highly prized, and can make your opponent play more defensive at close-mid ranges allowing you to close the distance to threaten pokes or walk up throws.
You should be throwing often in this match. Offensively, such as during tick setups, and off of block strings, or if your opponent whiffs an attack during footsies you can try to walk up and throw him even. And defensively, reversal throws against meaty ground attacks, and always counter throwing (because Dictator has a larger throw range than Ryu). Anytime Ryu throws you it is from inside of your own throw range so never hesitate to counter throw. Be creative with your tick throws in this match. For example, you can have your opponent block your devil's hand, then walk up and throw him. Or if he blocks a devil's hand, walk up and do a standing short as a tick, then throw him. Keep him off balance and never be obvious when you are going to throw, as a solid Ryu is going to dragon punch or hurricane kick you if he expects a throw. Mix up those ticks and then go for a throw.
One thing to remember is that if you are withing range for a jumping attack to connect you can end the round with one combo and its dizzy and a follow up combo if you need it. If you anticipate that your opponent is going to throw a fireball, and you are close enough to connect with a jumping combo, do not hesitate. If you see that opening then go for it. The recovery of Ryu's fireball animation can be slammed from the air with Dictator's huge jumping combos. Here is YuuVega turning the tables on Mike Watson at the end of the match using this very technique.
Dictator's Super is extremely useful in this match. You can blow right through fireballs and crush your opponent with a Super then followup with jumping strong punches for juggles. Your opponent will have to considerably rely less on fireballs once you acquire a full Super meter. If your opponent isn't expecting a Super, and he carelessly throws a fireball, then you can explode from a defensive position and score incredible damage. The Super is also highly useful in footsies and in throw pressure games. Let's say Ryu is knocked down in the corner, you tick him with a meaty low forward, then back off a step, and then Super. If he attacks or counter throws then he eats a Super. If he blocks then he gets four hits worth of block damage and you are safe from being punished.
Serious Disadvantage Match-ups
- 3 - 7
Arguably Dictator's worst matchup. Chun is able to pressure you very well after a knockdown, or forcing you to block a jump in/normal. You have more throw range than her though, and st mk/hk are still great tools in neutral. You can headstomp fireballs on reaction from a distance, however a decent chun just won't do it from that range. Her air normals can beat headstomps pretty well, so it cannot be used predictably. The best way for dictator to play this match is to play extremely patient, even turtle from full screen if necessary, and just force her to take a risk to get some damage on you. Your cr hp can beat her jump ins that are not j mk, j mk being one of her better tools vs dictator, you cannot anti air it at certain ranges, except if you can super it (usually a waste). From far away, far hp, and jump forward hk can work against it, or you can try walk underneath her jump when close, then juggle her with your j mp before she lands. Legs will beat all your attacks besides a close range super, you can headstomp it, but chun can often react and block in time. Your best bet after a knockdown, is to cross her up, then tick throw her using your superior range, close mp or close lk strings are good for setting up the tick, close mp will hit low on chun, so it's especially useful.
Vs. O. Ken:
Old Ken's bigger arc on his Shoryukens, together with the move's full invulnerability, make it very hard to apply your air tricks in this match. Leave the ground towards O.Ken when he is not trapped in the recovery of moves and you will get hit by his Fierce Shoryuken, no matter what move you use (diagonal jump, Head Stomp, Devil's Reverse). Moreover, your default chip damage trick -- the short kick Head Stomp -- will not help much against his Shoryuken's, for the reasons presented above. The key here is to harass him with pokes, preventing him from getting his projectile game going, then mixing up throws or jump-in combos, depending on how he behaves. O.Ken can not soften throws, so he will take full damage and a full knockdown each successful throw you land.
As you approach him on the ground, he will most certainly throw Hadoukens between your pokes or guess with a Jab SRK. In addition to it, he may try to bait a late move with neutral jumping RH (stupid range and priority), take advantage of your lack or anti-airs with a jump-in (RH has good priority from the front, but vulnerable bellow; Fierce has good priority from below, but not much range; and air Tatsumaki is annoying, may hit you from behind and hit more than once for a combo or added chip damage). Your usual anti-air options will deal with each of his options if he jumps in, but you will have to mix them up or react in time, and of course be aware of your positioning.
Each point of damage helps you here. If you know he will reverse with a throw or SRK, use a crouching Forward or let him whiff his reversal, then punish accordingly. Eating a Jab Shoryuken for free can lead to an early loss at his deadly cross-up combos and hit-confirms. Finally, take full advantage of your superior throw range. His kick throw alone can corner you. You never want any old shoto to put you in the corner, ever.