Lost Strategy Series: Street Fighter Pros Share Their Secrets to Winning – Day 1: Juicebox Abel

By on September 11, 2012 at 1:48 pm

Buried deep within the SRK servers are lost strategy articles written by the likes of Valle, Choi and many other fighting game greats. We’ll be republishing these must-read gems as we find them.

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Street Fighter Pros Share Their Secrets to Winning – Day 1: Juicebox Abel

Originally published October 21, 2010.

Eric ‘Juicebox’ Albino hails from Arizona and exploded onto the competitive Street Fighter scene with not just his strong Abel game play but his infectious personality. His special dance where he performs Abel’s ultra movements personally has been a real crowd pleaser. Despite his goofy antics, he is a very meticulous thinker and applies his logic to a strong Street Fighter game and happily shares his knowledge with the community. Due to his efforts, he was recently signed to a one year contract with BLGaming.

General tips:
  • Never EVER be satisfied with your progress. Stay hungry. Focus on winning local tournaments if you want to get better. Those matches will give you plenty of feedback on what to improve on, if you’re astute and attentive. If you don’t have a community, start one! If no one wants to play in your area, then you’ll have to make due with online. But you’ll have to play offline eventually, so make every effort to go to tournaments and get experience. Best place to start? Regional forums on SRK!
  • Frame data is the key to discovering frame traps for your character. Go to sites such as SRK and find the frame data for your character in Super Street Fighter IV. If you do not understand block and hit advantage, your offensive and defensive abilities will be stunted by misunderstanding.
  • Avoid playing on “auto-pilot” as much as possible. Every action you take in the game should have a strategic reason. Walking forward is for baiting jumps, normal moves, or to threaten with a possible throw. Jumping is for predicting a slow poke from your opponent, or to be unpredictable. Instant Cannon Strike is for catching opponents who try to tech your throws.
Abel specific tips:
  • All of Abel’s bad matchups are based around you having below-average normal moves to poke with and being susceptible to throw mix-ups on wakeup. Focus on covering these weaknesses. One way to do so is to avoid footsies altogether. Try lots of random movement at 1/2 screen or farther away, and when your opponent gets complacent, attempt getting in with a jump, roll, or a surprise dash fallowed by F+MK~dash. Another way is to stay at point blank as much as possible. If you can stay there for an extended period of time, your opponent is obviously not good at getting away. That, or you’re doing tons of damage! Keep at it until you’re forced out! Remember that the best defense is a good offense.
  • Turtle. You’d be surprised how many players defeat themselves just because they couldn’t handle waiting 50 seconds for something to happen. Your success with Abel largely depends on your ability to combo after the Forward Kick (F+MK). Learn the 1-frame link into close Hard Punch and perfect it. Then do combos into Change of Direction and Soulless.
  • Abel’s Wheel Kick is your trump card. Use it to go over annoying low pokes and cause that last bit of guard damage. But don’t be predictable! Use it sparingly and its usefulness will skyrocket.
Choi’s Key Takeaway:

Avoiding the ‘auto pilot’ syndrome is very key. I’ve met plenty of players over the years that play the game just so they can do certain combos or cool patterns. While this may be fun to do, if your goal is to win, then this impedes your goal. You must train yourself to avoid falling into these predictable patterns. Recording your own matches and watching them can help you identify and break this habit.

As Juicebox mentions, Abel’s forward kick into the 1 frame link is absolutely crucial as that is the main way for Abel to do big damage outside of his tornado throw. Learn this combo at all costs!

This post is a part of the 7-day Street Fighter Pros Share their Secrets to Winning series.

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