What are strategies or methods to successfully and consistently bait out and punish counter breakers?

I was wondering if @Infilament could help me out with this one.

I know that you can bait out combo breakers by purposefully using predictable combo patterns, and that this is possible as a result of doubles and linkers (especially of higher strengths) being reactable, meaning that combo breakers involve some level of reaction.

On the other hand, the problem I’m having is that there’s nothing for my opponent to immediately react to before he counter breaks, so how do I successfully draw out their counter break on consistent basis?

The counter break is a purely offensive choice, the defender gets to have no say in when or why that happens. That’s one of the disadvantages of being on the receiving end of a combo.

You can predict when your opponent might counter break, based on his previous habits or the state of the health bars or stuff like that, but I don’t think that’s what you’re asking about here.

Break their combos a lot, preferably the same strength of something or at the same point during their combo. That way they see a pattern and will eventually attempt to catch you.

As Infil says, it is primarily the offensive player’s prerogative on whether or not to counterbreak. That said, if you break at consistent points within a combo, or break consistently on certain strength doubles or linkers, then you will increase the chances on having the opponent try for a counter breaker on those in the future.

One of my general rules when I’m breaking is to never break the same strength more than twice in a row. If I break your heavy double twice, I will just about always let the third one slide through. I find this works for me as a general tactic for the most part.

I’m not a high level player by any means, but I’ve used/read a few things that might help.

-By showing one of you is willing to break something, it opens up the other to counter break/bait. For example, you break a guy’s heavies a fee times. It’s safe to say that he would use it for bait. On the other hand, showing that you’re willing to counter break on your heavies etc may coax your opponent not to break since they think you’ll probably counterbreak.

I usually bait a counter breaker when I used heavy moves. Heavies are usually easily broken by most people and if you play Jago or Sadira people tend to know how their heavies look and for me that’s an easy way to counter break. Another way to bait a counter breaker is to get them locked out, after the lock out and you’re doing a huge combo the person is usually super eager to break and if you do a heavy right when the lock out is about to end the opponent will try to break it that’s when I do a counter breaker.

This usually only works in gold or killer ranked fights. The other ranks usually aren’t too big into predictable breaking and guess break almost always.

Thanks for the input.

If they’re a decent player and constantly switching up, then what do I break (to form a noticeable breaking pattern) to consistently draw out the counter?

Is it best to focus on breaking just one particular strength early on regardless?

I think trying to “bait” a counter breaker (while on defense) is generally a bad way to think about the question of breaking. Outside of shadow moves, where you have the opportunity to stagger your breaking in a real “bait”, for the most part your in-combo thoughts should just be on breaking or not. The problem with trying to bait a counterbreaker is that at the end of the day, whether or not the opponent goes for it is ENTIRELY up to him, and KI gives him quite a few other options if he wants to make your breaking successfully less likely. Generally speaking, the better the player is, the less likely he will be to go for counter breakers. He will do what you said instead - vary up his combos, utilize manuals, keep combos short, etc. Speaking for myself, you have to consistently show me that you can react to my offense, or just be a guess breaking savant, to ever force me to utilize a counter breaker. I’ll take being broken three or four times without batting an eye - I trust that I’m better in the neutral and can simply open you up again at my leisure.

But to actually answer your question, if you’re truly committed to the idea that you want to encourage counterbreak attempts, then there are a few options. One is to always break on linkers, preferably the first one that you see in combo. The other is to break juggles, again preferably at the first opportunity to do so. Your general goal is to throw a pattern or habit that’s so wildly obvious at your opponent that they can’t fail to miss it. I think juggles are probably the easier of the two to “force” a counterbreak attempt. Against a character like Shago, I will ALWAYS try to break the very first juggle they hit me with. If I actually get the break I will thereafter never break again on any juggle, and usually will wind up getting one or two free punishes for the remainder of the fight as they try to catch me going for it again. Basically, utilize the fact that they are accustomed to seeing people going for those break opportunities against them. Make them think you’re like everyone else who mashes at the first possible moment, and then play reserved and wait for them to act on it. Linkers can accomplish the same thing, but unless you’re hitting the break consistently, I find they are less likely to make an opponent annoyed enough to go for it.

But again - KI has a lot of ways to punish someone who breaks too much or too quickly, and counter breaking is not the most popular of these choices as you get better at the game.