(Request) Match-up Strategy (Boxer + Fei Long) and Mindset Advice

Let me preface this by stating that I’m, at best, the worst/only Dan main this side of San Francisco (shout outs to those around the Bay Area). I normally play in the arcades (yes they exist over here) and spend a fair amount of cash to play. Stronger players in my general play group have long since learned all of my habits and gimmick patterns but I can still get there by randoming it out.

Here’s my analysis of these two match-ups pertaining specifically to myself as a player and not anyone else. I’m having serious problems with these two characters.

The stronger Boxers I play put up a huge “No Fly Zone” and play a strong footies game at mid range, effectively limiting my options to s.MK, cr.MK, reaction cr.MP, and Dankus. The worse part is that trying to play footies results in random headbutts colliding with my foot and I end up eating U1 at times. Even with Dankus, they can headbutt on reaction to knock me out of it.

Getting in is a pain, but if I miraculously make it in and combo it out, they can wake-up headbutt to beat most of my options. I cannot safely cl.HK frame trap in fear of headbutts.

I’ve been conditioned so fiercely by this one local Boxer player. He literally walks up to cr.LP to set up tick throws, but he never steps forward to throw me. I end up whiffing my (tech) throw, and THEN to walks up to cr.LP again and tick throws me. Some times, he just backs up and does rush punch or sweeps.

Gimmicks are no go. KRK fadc anything does not work as almost all Boxers I’ve played just techs, resetting me to midrange, or mashes out cr.lp combos like there’s no tomorrow.

Advice would be helpful.

Fei Long
This guy is probably worse than Boxer. I don’t even want to try to play footies or space; reaction Rekkas are pretty godlike against me. I can’t Danku all the time as Fei can just reaction flame kick me. I can try to zone with Gadoukens, but that’s pretty underwhelming unless I’m a little bit outside of midrange.

Basically, take everything I said about Boxer, and throw it into an Asian guy with a good reversal upper holding a massive “NO FLY ZONE” sign at me. The flame kicks scare me more than headbutts.

Advice would be helpful.

I have been having absolutely zero success playing as Dan. Gimmicks are running dry, I get very emotionally frustrated and make more mistakes than necessary, and I’m learning zero information from playing against the stronger players in my group. I am getting bodied before I learn any habits, discover any new technology, or anything at all.

I haven’t played T.Hawk in months, and someone yelled at me to play someone else so I picked T.Hawk. Immediately start winning matches out of nowhere.

I love playing as Dan, he’s simply too much fun. Not exactly boring, with the right about of troll in his character to make me continue to main Dan. But this phase of my getting absolutely bodied is a real waste of my cash, time, and energy if I’m learning nothing from it. Hell, I’m not even having fun after all these repeated beatings by various players.

What should I do? Should I take a break? Should I just “get better”? How can I learn with zero leads to go on?

Have some leads!

I think you need to Focus Attack more, especially against Balrog. All of the pokes Balrog would be using from your s.MK/c.MK range are focus-bait. And most of Balrog’s good ones (s.HK, c.HK) are guaranteed crumples. Add more Focus Attacks to your game. Be aware of when he’s sitting on a charge, as well. You’re getting hit with occasional random Headbutts, but because he has to charge to use those, they’re not entirely random. And you can focus a Headbutt just as easily as any of the other pokes. If he starts using his armour-breaking dash punches, or the Turn Punch, great! The dash punch should be punishable on block with s.LP xx EX Danku, as long as the range is right. When Turn Punches start showing up, try to Koryuken them on reaction before the punch comes out. Right now the Balrogs you play have no reason to use these moves. Give them a reason to, and then make them pay when you can bait them out!

People are actually using wakeup Headbutts against you? c.MK on his wakeup. The Headbutt is only invincible on the upper body, so c.MK and other such low attacks will stuff it. If he tries an EX Headbutt, which has complete invincibility, all is not lost! c.MK puts you so low to the ground that the Headbutt will still whiff, giving you whatever punish you want (as long as you remember to block if you recover before his Headbutt is done, a sad side-effect of Dan’s sped-up c.MK recovery in AE).

Once you’ve destroyed his wakeup headbutts a few times, he’ll have to try other things. An EX Dash Punch of some type besides Upper will absorb your meaty c.MK and hit you, but those lose to throws. A backdash can be beaten by a meaty Danku or potentially an OSed c.LK/EX Danku. And then there’s the final trick, the dreaded wakeup Ultra, which has hit me more times than it should. When you’ve frustrated a player to the point where they throw that out, hopefully you’ve picked up on it and are simply ready to block.

Finally, you say that they’re good at late teching, so KRK > FADC doesn’t work. That means it’s time to change your timing. Add just a bit of a delay before you do the Koryuken in a mixup situation. Their late tech suddenly isn’t late anymore, and your uppercut will hit. This is risky, since if they do an immediate throw or jab after blocking your Danku, you’ll eat it. But if they’re consistently late teching because it is the smart thing to do after a blocked Danku, you’ll be able to catch them once you get the timing on it. And once you can do that, suddenly they become scared again, knowing that they might have to throw out an immediate c.LP or throw after the blocked Danku to stop you, but knowing that if you do the immediate KRK > FADC that they’ll get hit trying it. You want to inspire that fear.

I can’t give as much advice against Fei Long, I don’t play against as many of those. Neutral jumping can help you catch and punish random Rekkas, and there’s not a lot Fei can do to stop it from the right range. Occasional random EX Dankus in footsies can keep him guessing, and set up the throw/KRK/backdash mixup. Be wary of his meter and try to bait out his Flame Kick > FADCs to make it go away. Cross him up on wakeup, as long as it’s properly timed, and you can keep an offensive advantage. And against Fei’s pokes, like s.HP, c.HP and even c.MP, Focus Attacks again can be the answer. Don’t rely on them as much as against Balrog, though, because Rekkas usually fire off fast enough to get their second hit in before you can release your Focus on reaction to the first.

General tips? Are you taunting enough? Whether they admit it or not, taunts will affect most players’ psyche. When a Fei tries to jump in on you and is anti-aired by your crouching taunt, they’re going to be a little salty. Take that and use it to your advantage when they start playing too aggressively and taking risks they shouldn’t.

Thanks for the tips, Xiahou Mao.

I should have mentioned my focus habits. While I do focus quite a bit, I guess my biggest glaring weakness is that I do not know what moves armor break. I was under the assumption that Boxer’s headbutt could armor break so I never did it as an oki. Perhaps it’s only reversal headbutts that armor breaks? I’m grinding away at the labs to figure some of this stuff out.

lol at the first general advice is to taunt more. cr.Taunt as an anti-air seems to have a really small hitbox, so it’s pretty risky. Won’t deter me from trying it out though.

Non-projectile reversal moves gain armour-breaking properties, so you don’t want to focus a reversal Headbutt. Even a crouching taunt reversal breaks armour! Normal random Headbutts are tasty Focus-bait though.

As for the taunting, well… you’re playing Dan. Taunts are Dan’s thing. Playing Dan without taunting is like playing Ryu without Hadokens, or Ken without the step kick, or Zangief without a Spinning Piledriver. That doesn’t mean you should be stupid and taunt in bad places and get punished/lose games for it, but it is still a vital tool in your mindgames!

I believe the mindgame aspect of my play needs definite work. I am easily conditioned to react a certain way by the stronger players, and against weaker players I don’t give enough respect to think about what sort of crap they can do.

I probably out think myself and lose to myself more often than I can count.

You’re from SF? I’m guessing you play at either Southtown or Starbase?

Southtown and SFState. I’m the Dan mainer/Marn-hater.

Oh sick, I also play at Southtown and I asked someone over there if there were any other Dan players other than me and I think he mentioned you

Oh shit what? So you know, there’s a ranbat this Sunday and I’ll be around the area on Thursday (today) and possible Saturday before the ranbats.

I forgot to update/ask more questions as time goes on.

At the ranbat, I played a Fei Long (Win. Mediocre Fei, I managed to lose to him in casuals but mindgamed him hard in tourney.), a Dee Jay (Lost,. Solid player, I play against him often so he knows the mix-ups I can do, ended up winning the ranbat.), and a Sagat (Lost, knocked out. Another solid player, I play against him often and I should have known better than to go into this match without a counter pick).

I came to the realization that my match-up knowledge is woefully underwhelming. I slowly understanding that I must go out there and lose much more matches so I know what is going on. Despite the match-up threads I read online, they are zero substitute for actual offline experience.


Cool stuff running into you. Too bad we couldn’t sit down more and see what other stuff we could both work on.
BTW, was that Dudley player your friend? You should tell him to not be afraid to go in more often and he should no way in hell be scared to rush down Dan. He didn’t freeze until I knocked him down and went in for dat corner pressure.

Speaking of which, I have no business losing to that Dudley player in the first place. Getting in and not anti-airing properly was my problem this evening.

Yup cool meeting you too, and yeah the Dudley player is my friend.


Some of my friends were mentioning how they got blown up versus a Dan at the arcade a few days ago. It clearly was not I, so it must have been you. Kudos for passing salt around.

I’m generally very surprised at the lack of Dan knowledge around the net. It’s always amusing to me and I hope it stays that way for a long while.

Word? Sick, well I took your advice and I guess it worked out. Thanks dude. I don’t exactly know what friends of yours I played but I hope your friends don’t hate me! Hahaha