Neutral


#1

In fighting games, they are 3 main phases: offense, defense, and neutral. Offense and defense are simple enough to understand. Neutral is the hard part. It’s when both players are just out there. The thing is, I don’t really understand exactly what to do here. If I’m far away, I throw fireballs and teleport occasionally. If I’m closer, I just block and wait for the opponent to do something punishable or set up some offense for myself. I’m not really sure what exactly I’m supposed to think during neutral. Any pointers?


#2

Who do you play?

As far as I know neutral is simply phase when nobody gets comboed and both players fish for opportunity to deal damage, with baiting opponent into whiffing his attack, using all tools necessary. Having good neutral is having enough matchup knowledge, skill and patience to win this test of endurance.

Of course there is lot of crazyness in KI and phase of “neutral” tends to get unclear, like, when Arbiter pressures you with full screen carbine shots or Rash… exists.


#3

I play Fulgore. From far away, I just throw fireballs and teleport around. Up close, it’s either just hold down back or cr.mk into fireball/laser. I’m not really sure what I’m supposed to be doing in neutral.


#4

I dont know much about Fulgore but his tools allow for many playstyles, like, you can go full cocaine with fireballs and teleport crossups, or you can take advantage of charged blade dash (its safe on block i believe).

Neutral changes depending on matchup and you sometimes gotta respect your opponents options even while using criaziest character, that is the neutral.

EDIT: I came with pretty accurate definition.

Neutral is surviving against Aganos who placed 4 walls behind you.


#5

@Sasuke99I you’re a really good player so I suspect you are intuitively doing a lot of things well in neutral and you just don’t realize it because they come automatically to you.

Neutral in most games is the part of the game where both guys have decisions to make. You are typically worrying a lot about spacing - trying to maintain a spacing where your moves can hit your opponent and his have a hard Tim hitting you. Knowing what your safe or hard to react to moves are, what the optimal spacing is for those moves while trying to maintain a spacing that limits your opponents ability to do anything.

The thing is, it’s like playing a musical instrument. If you are thinking about each and all of these things there’s no way you can play music. You have to practice them until it becomes intuitive and then you can start to play music.

As I said, you are a good player so you are probably doing most of this already without thinking about it. If you want to improve your neutral game I would spend some time thinking about Fulgores neutral strategy (which is what you already describe above) and then if you identify an area you want to improve (eg maintaining good spacing for zoning) just work in that one thing. Otherwise you will just end up thinking too hard and ruining your play.


#6

Well said! This is the part of my game I need to work on along with not dropping inputs in crucial moments.
I also need a blockade to keep my kids from walking back n forth across my TV! lol… that split second makes all the difference. @BigBadAndy dude you would so laugh if you seen how they will wait till its in between rounds or an ultra before they cross my KI path LOLOL


#7

THIS! Take this as gospel. It is extremely important to not overthink things when you already have a good grasp of neutral.

Simply, learn how MUs change your playstyle and change accordingly. Try to find a weakness in every character/player and abuse that. (Does the opponent have a bad AA or can’t react, use jumpins more, stuff like that).

Maybe working on things such as Fireball to DP cancel will help, but just work on small things since I have think you have a good grasp on how neutral should work (mostly with Fulgore running the pace of the match)


#8

Hmm, the best pointer I could suggest is to change your approach by using a character with strengths in the neutral and pick apart what you learn from them to apply to Fulgore. Some from the top of my head is Orchid, Kim and Wulf.

Also trying different games like SFV that put an emphasis on footsies also help.