Abel doesnt rely on fundamentals?

I am no master abel player and I still got a lot to learn but lately I hear comments or complaints when Im winning that abel doesn’t need any knowledge of fundamentals and he just a vortex character. I was wondering are their complaints valid? and if so, should I practice learning another character who has more focus on sf4 fundamentals?

I am a firm believer that although he is a vortex character, it is impossible to get to a decent level with him without learning good fundamentals(relatively speaking b/c all characters require good fundamentals once you hit a certain skill cap). He has a REALLY good vortex, but a lot of his vortex options are very “committed” in the sense that if he/she blocks the mixup or neutral jumps a tornado throw, Abel will almost always get punished or at the very least, reset the situation and abel needs to find his way back in again.

Unless you have good fundamentals you will not find your way back in against good players: they will read bad stepkicks and jump in on you or even CounterHit you, they will read the roll ins and grab you, they will anti air you to death, etc. Abel isn’t like cammy where you have a free way in if you have one thing of meter(ex dive kick); He isn’t like akuma or seth where he can just lame it out for the rest of the game if he has health lead; nor is he like yun where he can just bypass footsies completely…AND abel doesn’t have a single button get off me move(i’m talking dragon punches) so he needs good knowledge of game from player in order to block/defend well and find specific points to counter attack or reset situation when defending. Moreover, if you can’t AntiAir with Abel, you gonna get Wrecked. One can argue that his stepkick is a free way in as if it is blocked, you can be in opponents face instantly with +1 advantage, but stepkick is hard to use without good understanding of the basics like spacings, limb footsies, pocket footsies(this is term I use for the little exchanges that happen from point blank to like tick throw/frametrap ranges), etc.

All of this said…Abel IS a vortex character and he does have multiple ways in, albeit all of them being inherently punishable and by no means a “free” or safe way in, so it is very easy to get tunnel vision of just finding new mixups and new vortex options to mess people up even more once u get knockdown. Afterall the gameplan of abel is to get knockdown and go ham. But w/o solid fundamentals, there will come a point where you play someone with solid fundamentals or the people you play with get used to abel and you will actually not get knockdowns except maybe ONCE every other round…and if the opponent is solid enough… NEVER~

Although it is possible to learn fundamentals of the game and learn the games mechanics deeply with abel, it is consensus that ryu is the go-to character to learn that stuff. He is afterall the character that has everything, but excels at nothing. And if you play honestly with Ryu, it is near impossible to beat someone with actually having out played him/her

Abel does rely on fundamentals but isn’t the best character to learn them. He gets a bad rap cause he’s easy to beat low/average level players with who don’t know how to deal with his pressure, but is very hard to play at a high level. He’s easily one of the most read-heavy characters in the game, because unlike pretty much every other vortex in the game, none of his options are safe and in-fact pretty easily punishable with big damage.

At a high level, you not only have to read people consistently, but you have to spot-on footsies and, like said, you have to know how to use his anti-airs properly which is a lot trickier than a good amount of characters.

And lastly, fuck the haters. Play who you like :smiley:

thanks pills and guymcperson, these are very helpful and detailed replies, answered my questions perfectly lol. i really like abel so i will stay with him i know i still gotta work with my footsie games and my anti air game is decent but not great yet. sounds like people were just upset with their loss when they were complaining that i dont need to use sf4 fundamentals. regardless i think i should try brushing up with ryu or someone else for a little, to work on my fundamentals. thanks guys.

Abel guide: one of the biggest problems playing Abel is having to deal with the whining and complaining from people after you beat them :-p

actually i was thinking of trying out yang for little to work on my fundamentals. i feel he decent normals but thats really it, no good damage, vortex, life. so ill really have to work on playing solid to win. what you guys think?

he is a great choice as he can played at a very high level with just strong fundamentals and a good grasp of the game. instead of focusing on his setups and whatnot, i’d say just practice BnBs, spacing of normals and rekkas, blockstrings, movement, and probably most importantly: whiff punishing. This way you should learn to get wins by pure “solid-ness” and this is very possible to do with yang, especially if u can push the guy into corner~

You want fundamentals, go play sakura. Sharpen your links as well with her, cause it’ll help the footsies game off a step kick when you play Abel.


Abel is one of the most skill demanding characters in the game. Lol at people whining about him.