Formulating the best possible play style for Eagle

This might be like the 100th time I’ve asked for advice, so sorry in advance for this.

But I’m in a dilemma at the moment. I don’t know where to go with Eagle…I’m at this point just a flashy Eagle who’s trying to be competitive but just can’t get there

Let me explain, I’ve been trying to train myself so that I would be able to beat or even compete with big names. I’ve come close at times but I still need work (of course). But, I feel like I’ve hit a mental roadblock.

I have a playstyle that focuses on making the opponent feel trapped and incapacitated with my pressure. To frustrate them and make them commit mistakes.

It ain’t working no more, and I need to change it, or improve it vastly.

Know, if you don’t already know, my defense is bad. And I mean bad.

I’ve tried really hard to improve it. I’ve put restrictions on myself online to help me, I’ve shadow countered everything thing I see, I try to block things out I try to tech grab. But when push comes to shove I just collapse under pressure.

Doesn’t help that I get frustrated as well when nothing I do works. I need to control that.

So, what can I do to radically change my game style? Should I copy another Eagle player? I feel like that’s the way to go. Should I be slower in how I play and focus more on footsies then mixups? Or go all out zoning?

This would seriously help if someone gave me their opinion on this. Thanks to everyone in advance.


Sounds like your issue isn’t necessarily Eagle specific as it’s more a general need to up your defense/fundamentals. Eagle having the worst defense in the game means you have to be on point in those aspects to compensate for that.


I don’t think that’s the answer. But finding a way to adapt faster against your opponent would be better. We all have different ways to play. IMO developing your own playstyle is one of the best things that can happen as long as you can optimize the situations that are in your favor to get the damage (damaging combos during lockouts/take advantage of their mistakes/punishes) or put the rival in a bad position for themselves (eg: corner/setups)

You can watch them and take whatever ideas you think will help you improve your gameplay or understand how they approach in different match ups, but I don’t think that copying is the answer when you are going to face a good/better player.

You exercize how to identify the person you are playing. KI has this thing that many characters can be played in a different way and that can be a little confusing and hard,I would say it can be overwhelming at times (specially when some go nuts,even with characters you don’t expect it)

If you know the mu you will know that: e.g zoning can be a better way to play against a rushdown character and be prepared to block when they get close to you.
Or when you can take advantage of Eagle’s pressure against those characters that have less options against him in certain situations.

Or you can work on studying your opponent’s gameplan, looking for weaknesses-gaps and use that in your favor.

I get the feeling…
I must say that playing long sets have helped me to feel more comfortable and confident as the same time I enjoy the game and the challenge.

But if I’m losing with a huge difference then:

  • The MU is really strange to me
  • The player is waaay more skilled
  • Both
    • Lag! XD (why not?)

  • I’d take a break and comeback when I feel better

That’s when I rewatch the matches to check what I’m doing wrong or to think how can I improve.

But it’s not easy. However it does get easier when you are enjoying the game :wink:


Well, top players are top players to a large extent because they are hard to open up, and are adaptable even under extreme circumstances. Hitting a really good player with the same mixup repeatedly is hard, because the very best players are themselves quite good at patterning/recognizing pressure strings and tendencies.

In terms of opening up top players, I will shamelessly plug this thread, where we talk about patterning (“the read”) and why people get hit when they do.

Basically, I suspect your pressure has a large amount of flowchart to it - “I have thrown you, I shall now do X”, or “I have a bird and an arrow coming down, I shall do Y”. That’s fine as far as it goes, but if there’s no more thought to it than that then you have no systematic way to shut down/punish options or bait the kind of defensive mistakes that you want to impose. Think of your pressure in terms of “what options do I wish to limit/punish”, and then structure your offense to force the opponent to eventually switch to a less good option that you can punish even harder.

Defensively, I think consistently playing top players is probably your best bet, because that’s the only way you can see and acclimate to the kind of dirt that you need to react to. Don’t expect to win your sets - play to learn and to see how your opponents handle neutral. Don’t vortex them to death; your goal is to get as many chances at neutral/defense as possible, so that the next time you play that character at that level, the things they are doing are all things you’ve seen before.


I’m glad you felt the need to make a post like this. It’s very helpful to players looking to improve. One of the tactics I use in order to improve is to visualise my gameplay and have trusted advisers give me perspective on what I do during the match. @STORM179 for a number of times gave me intrinsic advice on my bad habits and tendencies when it came to my disadvantage in games. Maybe you can find that individual to help you.

P.S. make sure its someone you trust, advice is good but i’d be a fool to tell you all advice is good or helpfu. @FallibleJoker14 I think like you, like many of us, are hitting a wall where you are good enough to win but not good enough to win the players that win a lot. Its tough and frustrating and it may take a LONG TIME to get to that elite player point. Trust and work with yourself, you are good enough to get there.


Incidentally, GnarlyFeats is interested in playing you. He said he wanted to see a good Eagle and I recommended you, and he said he was super down to run a set with you sometime. He’s still in Japan right now, but should be back stateside in like a week or so. :+1:t5:


Adaptation…hmm. How can I learn that exactly. I know through experience, but what about in extreme condition (high stress). I know only basic adaption, but I agree. I feel like I should focus on building that skill (however I can)

Well, i guess you might be right but my mindset was that if I copied the aspects of the player that perform well, I would do well as well. Idk, it’s kinda hard to think how to outperform those strengths of high players with my own strength. Could be just confidence i don’t know.

But yea, I feel confidence has too do a good deal on gameplay at times, especially when I’m losing an important match (to me at least) and it makes me perform much worse then I usually play. I wonder if any of you have that problem as well, or you think completely different from that.

You have described my mindset better then I ever could. I’ve always keep my options in my mind in any situation. I always think, Use Y, X, or Z setup after an ender or use block string A,B, or C to open him up. I always worry about enemy options J,K, and L and might have to adjust to that. But I feel that I don’t go any deeper then that. Maybe I have to stop thinking so “mathematically” and try to use more of these read based adaptions that high players seem to be so good at.

So…what you’re saying is I should focus more on the player then the character and use that knowledge for future matches? What about new players? What can I do at that moment then?

I hope so, but that is easier said then done. I don’t think many would like to take a newcomer like me under their wing (I could be wrong but I’m not sure). But I’ll stay positive

Really? Kinda surprised you recommended me and not someone like Amenty. But thanks! It would be awesome if I were to play with him. I bet it’ll be fun!

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So? That’s not meant to be a put down or anything, but what is the shame in asking for help in trying to get better? I’ve done it a ton, as have others within this very thread. If you can’t set aside whatever it might be that prevents you from asking, that’s probably going to do more harm than help in the long run.

I can’t really help you with the frustration thing. That’s a issue that, i feel, doesn’t have a general golden rule in how to overcome it since many things can frustrate players. But there’s one thing you asked on that i want to clarify…

Please tell me more about this in particular. Why would you want to radically change your gameplay? That seems a drastic step. Also, if i recall correctly, i don’t think you’ve given a set for analysis outside of the one Infil broke down between yourself and @oTigerSpirit a while back.


You’re very wrong. :joy: don’t speak for me. I’d love to help you. Just record some gameplay then send it to me then I’ll gauge what happened and give you feedback. That’s all there is to it.

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Lol my bad,I just feel like I can get annoying at times with the constant asking for advice. I don’t want people to get annoyed of me. I’ll take what you said into account

From recent criticism and a repeated losing from big names, I thought that maybe if I change up how I play (since it’s not effective against really good players) i would be more successful. I know there are plenty of ways to play Eagle and I feel like if I change my playstyle closer to those said playstyles, I would be more successful.

P.S. I did have a set with @STORM179 on it as well, but your point still stands that I kinda underutilize that thread. I should probably find some time to post there.


■■■■, sometimes I really overthink things. I didn’t think it would be that simple. Lol I’m sorry about that. That would be awesome! Once I’m able to play again I’ll absolutely do this. Thanks!

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Apologies in advance for the long post - just trying to address all the questions/comments I saw.

I actually had a long conversation with @Infilament about that very thing when I found myself hitting that wall. It’s a difficult skill to build to be honest, and looks different if the goal is to, say, win tournament sets versus winning FT10’s. I always recommend using Ranked to build general adaptability (as you fight a variety of characters with a variety of gameplans), but above a certain skill level that yields rapidly diminishing returns. You’re trying to break through a wall now that will probably only fall by playing intentional sets - the level of skill you need to train with simply doesn’t exist in high enough quantities in Ranked.

Infil’s advice to me (which was focused more on winning tournament encounters than sets):
I guess my advice boils down to; have a specific gameplan about things you want to find out about the unknown player, how you will go ABOUT finding that stuff out (have 1 or 2 specific, canned setups you will test them on), and then know in advance what you will do with the information. Maybe even try writing it down in a little matrix.

Basically, Infil’s advice kind of helped me be a bit more intentional about some the early ideas discussed in that “Developing the Read” thread I created, thinking of systematic ways to categorize and break down player reactions to particular things. I already did this at a low level, but that was the first time anyone ever suggested writing it down.

Across longer sets, I recommend taking a breather every few matches or so to really think about how your offense and defense are shaking out. Ask yourself “what am I getting hit by”, and ask the same about your opponent. Then try to break that down further into “how can I avoid/mitigate/capitalize on that dynamic”. The goal is to understand what you’re getting hit by, how you’re hitting them, and the implications and opportunities of both.

Keits offered some good advice on this when I asked him about playing nervous. Basically, put yourself in those stressful stakes matches as much as you can, and over time you just get acclimated to playing in stressful environments. Play tournament matches whenever you can, in small tournaments, online tournaments, whatever, just so that you get used to playing in matches with stakes. If you’re playing with friends, play for dinner or for a pack of Skittles or for whatever - the idea is just to get you (and your play) acclimated to the idea that losing means something.

While I certainly recommend stealing from other players, I think it’s probably a mistake to try and wholesale emulate a style. It’s one thing to pull a setup from myself or Amenty or Dayton; it’s quite another to entirely ape one of our styles. All players have preferences and predilections and idiosyncrasies, and each of those comes with its own suite of advantages and disadvantages and tiny things we all have to play around. Don’t try to be Amenty - you’ll fail and wind up a pale shadow of him. Instead, focus on being the best FallibleJoker you can be, with your own style and quirks and strengths and weaknesses.

Take what you can from other players, but also seek to exemplify your own unique approach to the game.

In a word, yes. Playing nervous or scared is a real thing, and something I know I’ve dealt with in every tournament I’ve ever participated in. I’ve often said the purpose of practice is to raise not your skill ceiling, but to raise your skill floor. You run all these sets and sessions so that you have the memory of that play soaked into your bones, and so that even your “bad” play looks stellar. I’ve said a few times that I think I played like crap at CEO this year - my reactions were slow, my execution was off, and I made bad mental calls in every single set I played. And yet, I won my pool (beating Thompxson) and 6-0’d the Combo Breaker champion for 2017 in Top 8, losing only to the winner of the entire tournament.

Practice. Practice so that even when you know you played like garbage, your garbage play is worthy of a Top 8 finish.

Hm. As an engineer, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with approaching HKD’s or any other facet of the game procedurally (or “mathematically”, in your parlance). Instead, I think the issue is that you probably want to adjust your thought process such that you have a reason for selecting X, Y, or Z, and that you have a rationale for why you need to be worried J, K, or L at a given time. Why would Y be likely to hit your opponent, and why is your opponent likely to try L there?

Try to understand the underlying reason for why certain things work when they do, and why people go for certain things when they do. If I wake up with DP, what does that mean, and if I wake up with throw tech what does that mean? Players don’t pick from their wheel of options at random. Our play reveals our fears - figure those fears out and exploit them.

Against new players, I think Infil’s advice is good, where you test them to see what they know and then respond accordingly. Run them over if you can. At the same time, you’re finding that great players don’t really get run over easily, and because of that you’re struggling. Against those players you will need to analyze their particular habits and weakness, and exploit those patterns that you find as best you can. Playing the character MU is important, but at the highest levels you have to play the player MU as well. Against Charbok you can probably let some heavy AD’s rock and meaty consistently with lows - you’re unlikely to get that to stick against me. But for the same reason, counter breakers and meaty throws will be quite strong against me, where they might not be great options against Charbok.

There are no 100% right answers all the time. By defending against one thing, a player necessarily leaves himself open to another. Understanding the “why” behind player preferences (Storm179 doesn’t like to eat damage he doesn’t have to, Dul is crazy difficult to condition on wakeup, etc) will allow you to exploit the gaps endemic to those playstyles.

I mentioned Amenty as well, but you are the one I know who is looking specifically to face strong opponents and level up your game. I like and respect that, and am pretty happy to help facilitate that growth where I can. Looking forward to seeing/hearing how the set goes. :slight_smile:


I’m loving this topic

This reminded me of my practice to improve for the tournament.

Before the tourney I divided my training in three stages:

  1. Lab: practicing advanced execution and set ups based on the opponent I have in front of me.
    Which would be my best approach or gameplan after seeying my opponent performance the first match? (even if I win,but more if I’m losing). What type of player is he/she? What are my options against their character and playstyle??
    In short: everything that matters regarding execution and adapting to the player and mu.

  2. Exhibition: run sets against different players I consider a challenge to gain matchup knowledge and to put in practice the things I mentioned above, but in real fights.

  3. Ranked: play ranked matches and take a little break between matches. The idea is winning or checking how fast I can solve the match. If I lost then try to fix what I did wrong. I’m not playing for points, I’m playing to emulate tournament pools.

And about the nervs, I have nothing to say. I struggle a lot too, but that’s because I don’t have a way to play an offline tourney often. I didn’t used to have this before, but the adrenalina was always there. Going to play with a mindset of “having fun” helps me, for a while at least.

However it’s easy to say this, but since I believe I was a heart and body player (I just added a some brain aspects investing time in the lab) all these concepts and analisys may confuse me if I stick to much to them. I do care about understanding those concepts but without forgetting I also prefer to work on my muscle memory (reactions to different situations) to solve things faster than my thinking.

If I stop to think way too much in a fight it would be the same as playing Super Mario Bros and doubting in the middle of a long jump: I’ll hit the d-pad the other way around for less than a second but when I realize it will be late and I’ll fall.


I am not Eagle main but I would like to give an universal advice based on my struggles while learning a new character.

When I begin Ranked with my new main, I get my butt kicked 90% of the time. No matter how hard I lab, how many pros I watch, I still won’t avoid my share of losses, its a damn law of physics.

Way back I had this problem while switching from Cinder to Orchid (lol). I had Cinder gameplan figured out and was doing okay, and for all treasures of the world I could not win with Orchid. After few weeks of getting my ■■■ whooped everything just started to click for me and I just started to win matches, and I did not even change my gameplan all that much.

I experience same stuff with Mira right now. Getting non stop losses, now slowly getting my grip back. And I am doing almost exactly same stuff I was losing with, but it just… works this time.

From my observations I conclude that while I was losing, I had a rock solid scenario of how I roll and when the smallest thing went off the plan (which happened almost immediately), my whole plan crumpled, I got salty and bam, another loss.

I realized that my tech is good, my execution is also good, but I totally ditched adapting in favor of scenarios in my head. All I needed was to switch from preemptive gameplay to adaptive. Just contantly reminding yourself to adapt, ADAPT. You gotta have more patience than your opponent, and spoil his plans, instead him spoiling yours.

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Forgive me if i’m assuming too much, but from this, your passion on Eagle and watching a stream here and there when i listen to you as you play while i’m working? I get the feeling you have a lot of pride. I don’t think you’d be satisfied at all with your Eagle being a carbon copy of players like Amenty/ThrashHeavy/etc even if it is a winning Eagle.

But i also don’t know what your end goal is, either. By end goal, at the end of the day, are you playing KI to beat the brakes off any opponent that crosses you online? Are you playing KI to get to a tournament-level and stand as a dangerous player? Are you playing KI to escape from whatever real life issues that surround you? Don’t really know, and KI (well, games in general, honestly) provide those avenues.

I guess my advice would be to certainly learn from any and every source you can, even ones outside of the game. There’s lessons that can be pulled from other games that can apply to KI. But mold that information and inspiration with your own to make something unique and, mostly, all your own.

And yeah, i don’t find you annoying in asking for advice.


Taking aspects of someone else’s gameplay isnt a bad thing to do at all. Some of the things you see me do with aganos nightslash or zerg did it 1st. Mixing your own things with things you learned from someone else will only make your play stronger no matter which game it is.


Thanks to all of you guys for your great advice! This is why I love this community!

Quoted because this makes me happy to read :slightly_smiling_face: :yum:. Just great

I feel more players should have this mindset, I honestly never thought about it this way.

I guess I do have a lot of pride in playing Eagle. I try not to…but I do. This game is something I enjoy (a lot) and actually think I have become really good at it. It’s honestly one of the few things I can proudly say I’m good at, so of course i have a lot of pride. For better or for worse.

I guess I just have conflicting truths I want to hold. I want to have my own Eagle be the top, but I also need to get to the top. My pride vs my goal. It would be a tough desicion before, but I feel like I already made my desicion now.

My goal?

“I’m just a weird kid who’s looking to bring Eagle’s name to the top”

I want to best I can be. To face off against great players and one day be one of those great players. Be known as one of those great names in KI and show the world I can be the best at something (That’s just a general picture of what I want). I can’t be at tournaments now, but in the future, be it in this game or the next, I’ll prove myself in a big tourney one day.

I also have a personal quest to beat someone specifically, all I’m gonna say about that.

Don’t we all play video games for that sometimes :yum:

Just thank you all for what you guys said. I won’t let them go to waste!


I’ve been on a hiatus lately, but have still frequented KI. I’m interested to see your growth after our first set. I know when had a set after that, but I don’t think either of us had our hearts fully set in that match. Well, it could have very well have just been me I suppose.

If you’re free tonight, or maybe even tomorrow, I’d like to have another serious set. If you’re up too it of course. Hit me up :grin:

Hehe. We have a lot in common. There are probably 128034742379823 Jago’s out there, so being among the memorable ones has always been an ambitious goal, albiet, a destructive one too.


I can do tommorow of you’d like.

I’m looking forward to it!


I’d love to see some videos of the matches after you have them :slightly_smiling_face:

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Level up your defense. This is basically all the aswers that you gonna get in this post in a nutshell. Eagle has a bad wake up (probably the second worst losing only to Gargos), so or you learn to get good defending or there’s little you can do to do the next step.

As for the best way playing Eagle, i believe that “Don’t respect anybody” is the best way to play him. When loaded with arrows and having the bird avaible, Eagle is probably the most overwhelming rushdown char in the game. So, search the oppening, use his corner carry (which is very good) to put the opponent in the corner as soon as posisble (especially if you get a lockout and have meter to spend on the shadow slide) and turn on the blender.