Aganos vs. Thunder matchup

Okay, so after handedly beating an opponent over and over again, he stated that he was going to pick his main character - which happened to be Thunder. I’ve fought this matchup enough times to relatively know how to beat it, or so I thought - until I met this guy. Once he picked Thunder, I got destroyed over and over again. The worst part? It wasn’t even because he was good. He was actually pretty lousy. Why? Because he beat me doing only 1 thing over and over again…

d+HP into CotE.

I never realized just how broken this simple manuever is against Aganos (and potentially against other characters as well).

I tried virtually everything to counter this setup.

I try to poke him out of it with standing LK - he starts his attack before I can even get up (due to a previous hard knockdown), so he automatically gets frame advantage no matter what and wins out with his d+HP…

I block it, and I instantly get frame-trapped and hit by his CotE anyways, which results into another hard knockdown, which sets him up to do it all over yet again.

I try to shadow-counter his d+HP. It simply doesn’t work (I don’t even know why, 'cause it should) and wastes my meter in the process AND I still get hit by his CotE.

I try to tech his command grab. It obviously doesn’t work because well, it’s a command grab (duh).

I try to break his setup with a HP+HK combo breaker, because it’s an opener-ender combo, but it doesn’t work (again, this should work, as per the rules of the game, but for some reason doesn’t - if you know why, please explain it to me*).

I try to jump. His d+HP is an anti-air, so I get hit by it, which he can then follow up with a Sammamish (so far, I think this is the best option I’ve been able to find, since it won’t result in a hard knockdown and can be broken if he attempts a skyfall - although the latter can get me counter-broken, which he knew to do into a full damage combo, so it’s all still relatively in his favor).

I try to backdash. This actually works to avoid his d+HP, but because this is so slow with Aganos, he can still hit me with the range of his command grab.

So, let’s review:
Poke? No.
Block? No.
Jump? No.
Backdash? No.
Combo-break? No.
Shadow-counter? No.

The ONLY thing I can think of left to do, which now that I think of it, I wish I had thought of during the fight, is to do shadow ruin, which would smash through his d+HP with the infinite armor and likely hit before the startup of his CotE ends. This can work, I’m sure of it, but it doesn’t result in anything really useful except for some minor non-combo damage (10-15% at most) and a soft knockdown far away, which he can quickly get back up from and close the distance. Furthermore, even if I did this, this particular player probably would’ve been good enough to wise-up to it and bait me into doing it with a block into the very same setup that I’ve been talking about.

So, why can’t I shadow counter his d+HP?
Why can’t I combo-break his obvious opener-ender combo?*

*…wait, don’t answer that last 1 - it’s because it’s NOT an opener-ender combo (it’s just an opener - DAGNABBIT!)… :’(

Did I miss something?

…or is Thunder just really that good of a counter-pick against Aganos?

Also, why haven’t I seen this being so useful against other characters *my guess is simply because they have a much better back-dash, but I digress)?

I’d like to know the answers to all of these questions and more! Please comment below. :wink:

Down HP into CoTE is nota combo so you cannot break it. If you block the down Hp,jump right after you block it. The grab will whiff. You cannot shadow counter since CoTE is a command grab. Just jump after you block the down HP.


^That, and you can do a shadow pulverize (arm spin) after the d+hp (or before it if you have a chunk).

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^ exactly what they said

But maybe if you don’t fully understand.
Thunder using cr.HP into CotE is what is called a tick throw, similar to an aganos using LK into a grab.

What’s happening here is he is using cr.HP to put you in either block stun or hit stun, which leaves the perfect amount of frames in either one for his follow up of H.CotE to connect just as you come out of said stun.

You can see what I mean in the lab if you tried the same thing with cr.HP into L.CotE. It would not work, since the startup of the light version is too fast, it will whiff.

You can actually block his first hit then follow up with a jump and his command grab will whiff. Neutral jump into HP does wonders for punishing grabs.

Either that or I could even do some exhibition with you to spar and show you just how even this match up is :smile:

COTE is a grab, and thus not shadow counterable.

[quote=“GalacticGeek, post:1, topic:2512”]
I try to break his setup with a HP+HK combo breaker, because it’s an opener-ender combo, but it doesn’t work (again, this should work, as per the rules of the game, but for some reason doesn’t - if you know why, please explain it to me*).[/quote]

Not a real combo. There’s no such thing as a raw command grab combo. You’re getting hit (or not), and then thrown right after you come out of hitstun (or block stun, if you block the down+HP). It’s not a combo, you’re effectively just getting tagged by a raw command grab every time. In any case, you can just hold up after either blocking or getting hit by the down+HP - you’ll be in pre-jump frames as he command grabs you, and should be able to land in time for a full punish since heavy COTE is so slow.

Sounds like you’re actually talking about a variation on the setup above, as OS’ing COTE and sammamish would be somewhat…difficult, given their respective inputs. Jumping should reliably get you out of the meaty down+HP->COTE setup, as even if you get tagged by the normal, you’d either still be in hitstun when the COTE comes out (which would make it whiff, tick grabs tend to be timed to hit blocking opponents), or you’d be out of hitstun and free to jump out of it and punish. If he’s following up down+HP with Sammamish, he’s making something of a hard read on what he expects you to do.

The point is somewhat academic when you’re on the receiving end of a command grab character’s oki, but it’s still good to know when the opponent is making hard reads, as that gives a bead on their playstyle and what they’re willing to risk.

Don’t. Aganos’ backdash is ■■■■-awful, and will just get you hit in pretty much all situations ever.

Aganos’ terribad backdash certainly makes Thunder’s vortex more potent, but overall you do see Thunder use this setup on a lot of characters. Perhaps not all the time, but definitely in instances against pretty much the entire cast. The big thing to note from what you’ve said here is just that you’re actually completely free to jump out of down+HP->COTE. If Thunder goes for it and you hold up, regardless of whether you block the down+HP or not, the COTE will never hit you. So if that’s your biggest fear, then that’s your answer.

The next logical step for Thunder if you begin jumping out of it is of course to just start hitting you with down HP (or other meaty)->tripleax or something like that, which will catch your pre-jump frames if you’re holding up and get you for a full combo punish. That’s Thunder’s goal in every MU really, to make you guess (hopefully wrongly) between whether or not Thunder’s going to throw you or hit you with buttons.

[quote=“STORM179, post:5, topic:2512”]
Not a real combo.
[/quote]I know that! I stated as much at the bottom of my post![quote=“STORM179, post:5, topic:2512”]
Sounds like you’re actually talking about a variation on the setup above
[/quote]I’m only ever talking about ONE setup = d+HP immediately followed by CotE, as I stated in my post.

[quote=“STORM179, post:5, topic:2512”]
COTE is a grab, and thus not shadow counterable
[/quote]Please actually read what I wrote - I wasn’t trying to shadow counter his command grab, but the attack BEFORE the command grab (the d+HP).

I realize you’re trying to help (and you, in fact, are), but I’m getting the feeling you either a) didn’t read my entire post or b) fully understand it… :expressionless:

@SmoothWhiteDuck @STORM179 @MBABanemobius @Sasuke99I

As for jumping after blocking the d+HP, that does the trick. The block stun isn’t as bad as I realized as I thought that this wasn’t possible (it just turns out that I wasn’t letting go of the block button fast enough to jump).

As for the shadow pulverize, I know it would work, but the hard knockdown from the previous hit prevented me from pulling it off, as he would already be swinging with his d+HP and hit me BEFORE the move can even come out due to frame advantage and me still trying to well, stand up.

I’m going to ask this guy for a rematch. Thanks everyone!

Also you can’t shadow counter a raw Down-Hp because in order to shadow counter,you need to block a hit,activate the shadow counter,and the opponent has to hit you right after. If the opponent does Lp Down-Hp,CoTE,then you can shadow counter the Down-Hp. If the opponent just does a Down-Hp,CoTE,then you cannot shadow counter the Down-Hp since you didn’t block a move right before.

Just so you know there is no such thing as there being enough block stun to make a grab inescapable. If you get hit by any grab in any situation (outside of a punish) then you could have jumped, all you need is one frame.

I know, which is why I quoted the top :smirk:

You are not. You expressly stated "I try to jump. His d+HP is an anti-air, so I get hit by it, which he can then follow up with a Sammamish… " If he is following up down+HP with a Sammamish, then he is by definition no longer hitting you with a down+HP->COTE tick throw.

Apologies - I was giving you more credit than you apparently deserved. It is not and has never been possible to shadow counter a single normal or button that hits meaty, so I assumed you were trying to shadow counter the second hit. I’ll try not to assume you know how shadow counters actually work in the future. :unamused:

I read your post (all of it), and tried to provide help as I could. Try not to contradict yourself within the body of your own post and to be more precise with your language if you want better answers in the future.

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Hmm… seemed pretty precise to me, Storm…

As for the Sammamish setup, I said that he can do it, not that he actually did (“could” would’ve been a better word to use).

And no, it’s obvious that I didn’t know how exactly shadow counters worked. I merely thought that if I had meter that I could activate it at any time to basically negate 1 hit, creating an opening for a counter-combo (I just thought it was always better to do it on block as it was more convenient). However, now that I know how it actually does work, this particular aspect won’t be a problem anymore. I guess that’s what I get for not using it too often… I should probably change that too.

@SithLordEDP @Sasuke99I Thanks for the additional info. :slight_smile: