Help me get better at analyzing my games!

One of my FGC goals for 2016 is to finally start taking the time to analyze and learn from my games, but I’m not sure that I know how to approach this analysis. I’m pretty certain I’m missing a lot of things that higher level players can point out and get me to notice them. I’ve already performed this exercise with a Rising Thunder set and got some very valuable feedback, so I’m doing it again for KI.

If you could spare a few minutes of you time toward this end, I would be very greatful. You should know that I’m a less-is-more kind of player. I like to play things safe and steady, not take crazy risks or do flashy combos. If you notice particular one-off things, like “you missed a combo at x:xx”, feel free to let me know, but it’s mostly obvious. What I’m most interested in is any patterns or trends in my gameplay that I may not be aware of, set-ups I can incorporate or fail at, what I need to drill in training mode, stuff like that. Feel free to rip me a new one, as long as you’re civil and want to help rather than bash on a noob. :slightly_smiling:

Here are a few games I played yesterday against forum member Goldbaum (thanks again). We played close to 30 games, so this is just a snippet that doesn’t show everything, but I feel these games both showed that I wasn’t an absolute and complete arse at this game, as well as showcased some of my shortcomings very well. I used to main Jago, but hadn’t played him for a long time; I had some fun with Cinder, Thunder and Shadow Jago since season 2 ended. Now I want to get back to my main, with a side of Shago for some matchups where his superior mobility is a factor (Thunder, Aganos, Kan-Ra?).

Some things I’ve learned so far from these matches, as well as the others we played last night:


  • I’m making way too many execution errors. Dropped combos all over, dropped juggles, the textbook error of cr.MK xx DP instead of fireball and so on. Obviously things I can drill, but with KI’s freestyle combo system, I’m not sure how to train this effectively.
  • I can’t break shadow linkers for the life of me. Every time I try I get locked out on the first or second button press. This I can practice both ingame and through Infil’s site, so that’s all good.
  • My opponent outspaced me most of the time. He was just outside the range of my best normals, I was just in range of his sweep, and I had trouble punishing it even if I blocked it. In general, my punishes are mediocre at their best and completely non-existent at their worst. This needs more lab time.
  • I suck at anti-airing. I used to be better at it with Ryu in SF, but a lot of KI’s normal anti-airs (especially Jago’s cr.HP) have a weird timing and/or hitbox to me, plus I got used to Shago’s vertical DP, which threw off my regular Jago DP spacing. Still, I didn’t do it enough and I have to do a lot more.
  • I may be walking back too much. Granted, I’m playing against Thunder and want to get away from him, but then I’m late with anti-airs because I was holding back and so on.
  • I use raw instinct too much. The reasoning is that it’s easier to keep Thunder out with double fireballs and I could theoretically put on more pressure, also taking away his meter as Shago, but it’s not working out.


  • I use the overhead cancelled into fireball outside of instinct, which doesn’t really confer any advantage; I should probably be cancelling it into wind kick (light? medium?) for additional pressure. In fact, I should be pressuring a lot more against all characters, even if I don’t necessarily want to be close to Thunder, but I don’t really know how to do that outside of the corner (and I can’t get him there very often).
  • I tried raw shadow moves way too often. It worked sometimes, but for the most part I was just hoping he would press something; he didn’t.


  • I literally have no juggles. Well, I do have the Maximillian corner carry into shadow cashout combo, but that’s very situational and predicated on my opponent not breaking the f.H. If my juggles were better, I would almost certainly have won the second match and possibly the third as well.
  • It would also have helped if I didn’t panic at the end of the third match. I think this comes down to the fact that I like to play patient, as I should especially against Thunder, but Shago in general just screams “GO HAM!” and sometimes I just crack, throw the unsafe stuff out there and hope for the best. That clearly doesn’t work. Not sure what I can do about this other than just repeating it over and over in my head. “Go slow, don’t panic, go slow, don’t panic”.
  • I have no real idea how I should be using the tether part of Shago’s instinct. The Annihilation attempt you see in the video is completely botched, but I did get my opponent a few other times, including catching him in his landing frames after a jump, so not too terribly worried there yet. But whenever I opt for the tether option and manage to get a hit, I will generally just spam fireballs from full screen, including surged and shadowed, to keep Thunder out and take away his meter. I’m sure there are better ways to use it; any ideas?

If you want to help further, I am also looking for sparring partners to play extended sets with. I am in Europe and play mainly on the weekends; I also play KI and soon SFV, so I usually only get to play one of them any given weekend, but when I do sit down to play, I do so in longer stretches.

Thank you!

PS. Also posted this on Reddit if you prefer to reply there.


I did not watch your matches because you first asked for advice on how to find issues YOURSELF, so i will help you do that.

Here are a few things you can look out for that apply to EVERY situation:
-Are you anti-airing? People in KI jump WAY too much, so keeping them on the ground will really mess with their head and give you some momentum. even if a character does not have an uppercut, GROUND MOVES ALWAYS BEAT AIR MOVES ON TRADE, so characters with high kicks or normal anti-airs can also keep enemies on the ground.

-Are you using your shadow moves correctly? NEVER waste shadow moves by letting them get blocked, or using them as an opener. ONLY use them for maximizing damage near the end of a round, or if you NEED their “special properties” like projectile invincibility. Shadow counters are always a great way to use meter. If you master shadow countering, then NO offense can trap you.

-Are you always using the correct ender? For some characters, ender-types are a HUGE part of their game plan.

++Always use damage enders near the ends of rounds to make sure that your opponent doesn’t survive with less than 5% health. Combo openers are hard to get, so dont put yourself in a situation where you are fighting to remove 5% of health while your opponent gets 20% or more per mistake you make.

++Always use battery enders and special combo traits if you are mid-combo at the end of a round. Unless you feel that them having more instinct isn’t worth the rewards you get for ending the combo. On characters like sadira, you should drop your combo immediately so she cant get instinct next round. (if they are IN instinct, use a long combo to drain it away before next round.)

++If you want to use launcher enders or hard-knock-down enders, make sure you have a game plan for afterwards. These enders are usually ONLY useful if your character has some special setups they can do while the opponent is incapacitated. Sadira can set up mid-air mixups on characters with forward-moving DPs. Omen can set up fireball crossups. Aganos can get chunks. you get the idea. Dont use a launcher or knock down ender if you are just going to let your opponent get up.

-Are you on offense? Truth is, in KI most of the time who ever is on offense is winning. Even if you have the best defense in the world, it means nothing unless you are getting full combo reversals. If you get put on defense, look for a way out, then stay on offence. If your opponent has a plan for your offence, have a back up offence. If your opponent can counter that one too, then pretend like you are going to do one, then do the other. Every character has enough options that you can exploit your opponents lack of knowledge about the matchup to get most victories.

If you are in a match where you know EVERY option available to you and your opponent, and they also know EVERY option available to both of you, then it comes down to MIND GAMES. You may have to break some of these rules to catch your opponent off guard. Those are the funnest matches you can have.


Damn i look bad in these videos :smiley: (dropping combos, constantly jumping…)

yeah i gave you my feedback yesterday, but one thing i noticed after rewatching the games you backdash quite a lot on wakeup, especially with shago. i tried to chase you down with the overhead, but most of the time i fucked up the timing so you got away even though i got the right read. so i guess a more competent player would have punished you for that habit a lot more than i did.

looking forward for more games was fun.

It’s like you were there or did watch the videos after all! :wink: Good to know about the ground to air normals. Since I play Jago and Shago, I will use the meter ender most of the time, situationally going for the damage. That situation with 5/20%? That happened in one of the matches and I lost because of it. And the offence part… that’s what I struggle with a lot, since I’m a Ryu throw-fireball-punish-jump kind of guy for the most part; that’s also why I play KI the worst of all the fighting games I play.

That was half the reason I picked Shago - that dash got me out of trouble more times that I can count; I think you can’t actually punish it with Thunder’s overhead unless you do it meaty, in which case I will try to just block. We can test next time.

ShabuWL, Goldbaum, I added you two to my friendlist, would love to play a few games some time, I’m also at the not quite there yet point ShabuWL so I know how you feel.

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I will just offer some criticism on one of your points. NEVER cancel into a windkick if you can cancel into the laser sword. The laser swrod gives you more advantage while windkick is minus two on block. A lot of the stuff seems to be execution errors. Like flutter,I will not adress the videos but advice to help you find them. Also pausing at certain moments and slowing it down can help.

Hey man, i main shadow jago and I think I might be able to give you a bit of advice. It’s a bit hard to put into words but shoot me an add and I’ll be glad to show you what i know about him.

Gotcha. Too bad the range on laser sword is so short, though; I don’t think you can get it off a cr.MK or b.H at mid to max range (but will test to be sure).

I think I’m going to stick with Jago for now, but I’m always up for some games, so I’ll add you. I should learn just by fighting you. :slight_smile:

Alright, here’s another set of games I played with Goldbaum (thanks again, man). Disclaimer: we played more, probably around 15 games. In some of them I got completely mauled - and I mean half a green bar left Supreme victory mauled here - but they’re not particularly interesting to analyze, so I went with the closer ones.


  • I’ve started picking up on my opponent’s tendencies, which resulted in a lot of broken light doubles, as well as several failed counter breakers where I didn’t take the bait (but still did sometimes)
  • I found something that may be an ankle slicer punish after a blocked triplax - st.LK at the end of the first round of game 2
  • I’m getting better with staying outside of Thunder’s best attack ranges, although I’m still getting swept too much for my liking


  • Still dropping combos and especially punishes; I could have potentially won games 2 and 6 had I converted off of the lows
  • Throwing out shadows too arbitrarily, not paying attention to opponent’s meter - and he’s on point with his shadow counters
  • I still get impatient and nervous. For example, at the end of game 1, I wanted DP - instinct - fireball, but went too fast and didn’t get the DP, which resulted directly in the loss. At the end of game 3, I was expecting a shadow counter, I made myself safe going into instinct… and then pressed the button too early anyway and got caught. Finally, the end of game 4 should have been a full connection on the shadow wind kick into ultra, not this weird panic mash it turned out to be, if I had just waited a little before I threw out the kick


  • Make sure any stray normals are actually option selects (ie. cancelled into specials). May times I got a st or cr.MP, for example, but did not convert in any way.
  • Pay special attention to cancelling cr.LK and cr.MK after blocking and trying to punish. I’m holding back down, then trying to cr.LK xx Wind Kick or Laser Sword, but I’m missing either the down or back input on the wind kick and getting just a weird LK mash instead
  • Pay more attention to opponent’s shadow and instinct meters
  • Don’t panic :wink:

What do you guys think? Did I miss anything important?

PS. Also posted this on Reddit if you prefer to reply there.