Studying infiltration and trying to reverse engineer his style

This will probably be long, quite long, depending on how much time I have to type. It will also more than likely be full of autocorrect mishaps. I apologize in advance and will do my best to keep the errors to a minimum.

The reason for this post is boredom and to hopefully spark some meaty discussion.

Infiltration is currently the player that I would consider to be the best player of streetfighter 5 right now. It’s arguable and I don’t want to argue the point, but we all can probably agree on the fact that he’s a very good player, and that combined with how… Obvious his style of play is, I thought it would be a decent venture to break his style down and see what I could reverse engineer about it to suit my Chun and maybe even future characters. The thing is, infiltration uses a very easy to see “flowchart” this is becaus the game is new and because he as a player isn’t the gimmicky Pete type. He’s solid. He uses fundamentals. He uses reads and baits and he spams certain things… Let’s get into it.

The primary pattern that his Nash seems to “threaten” is:

Backdash>throw fireball>follow fireball in for pressure

But he doesn’t actually use that entire pattern much at all. What he tends to do is backdash, throw a couple of jabs then look for the opponent to jump at him, at which point he AA’s them. If they didn’t jump, then he tends to throw his fireball.

But he mixes things up quite a bit. He might instead decide to dash in or air scythe in, or he might decide to backdash again. But that’s kinda where his options stop. So it’s backdash then threaten fireball then mixup between AA, back or forward dash or scythe kick thing.

This is the pattern p/flowchart that I’m theoretically trying to reverse engineer with Chun, but already we see that there are problems:

Chun doesn’t have a motion fireball. So she CANT backdash and then threaten an immediate fireball… And that’s a big problem because that’s the BASIS of Infiltrations pattern even if he rarely does it. She can backdash and then jab to bait for the AA, but since there is no fireball threat, the jab is a weak bait.

So how can this be overcome?

That’s a good question.

My answer is… Maybe I can use something else as my “fireball”, or maybe I can use use a simple walk back, in place of the dash, or maybe I can simply always dash back and do 2 jabs (to look for the jump/dash and to gain enough time for a charge) the first 2 ways I wasn’t able to come up with a good way of making work… But the 2 jabs thing is actually doable:

Backdash, 2 jabs>throw fireball>dash in after fireball and pressure is VERY close to the pattern infiltration threatens… YES!!!

Ok so now that I have that theoretically “solved” that part of the pattern I have to look at all the other things infiltration does since he doesn’t actually use the entire pattern that often. As I said befor he likes to mix it up with forward and backdash… Chun has even better variants of these than Nash does… So good to go right there. The other thing he likes to do is use his scythe to bypass neutral and just get in… Does Chun have a variant? Actually… She does. Her v skill right here is a tool that can be used much like nashes… It has less range, but it’s ranges can be mixed up by stopping short with air lk legs, or letting the entire thing go into one of her jump attacks. This is non standard even for Nash since if expected it’s an easy AA for the opponent. But all in all, Infiltrations neutral flowchart can more than likely be reverse engineered by Chun players with some obvious substitutes here and there to make it work.

Now of course a word of warning is needed here:

What infiltration is doing SEEMS easy, but like daigos fireball game, it isn’t. The devil is in the details. Just because we can see the pattern doesn’t mean we can pull it off the way infiltration does, even if we were to use Nash ourselves. So of course MUCH can be lost in translation when converting it to different characters. So don’t anyone reading mistake for a second that I’m saying that you can just use this pattern and win like infil… LOL… If only it were that easy. But still, copying top players is a great way to get better and understand games quicker.

One thing to point out here is that even though Chun might not be able to use this pattern as well as Nash… There are more than likely options in the variants that Chun has that are BETTER than what Nash could do… Looking for things like this is a way to really make her come into her own.

Ok so now that we’ve covered the neutral game flowchart… Time to look at how infiltration likes to attack and try to reverse engineer that as well:

Infiltration LOVES to make his opponent block one attack or maybe two, then backdash and do his fireball pattern. Chun can do this as well. He also loves to throw out a poke, have it wiff on accident and then backdash immediately. He basically loves to backdash all damn day.

So where is he getting his damage?

He gets it from:

Anti airs
Hit and blocked fireballs
his v trigger mixups into combos
the occasional random poke from the ground that hits, like his scythe
Using all the meter he’s built with fireballs to combo into super after he gets a good v trigger mixup

It’s important to note that he doesn’t throw often at all… He’s all about his safety and using his v trigger and anti airs to get his damage. This isn’t to say that he NEVER throws, but he doesn’t try to throw to enforce a frame trap style of mixup, he mostly throws opportunistically or after a blocked jumpin. He does also like his overhead of course.

And one last thing to say about him:

He LOVES to run because his v trigger allows him to crossup and get out of the corner damn near for free. I’ve actually seen him have his opponent cornered, then he walked himself into his own corner… V triggered out… And and damn near walked himself back into the corner again… That’s ALOT of running and he did almost all of it without ever throwing a fireball or dashing forward.

Chun doesnt have a v trigger mixup or ability to get out of the corner, so she won’t be able to spam it so easily, but she DOES have a v trigger which backs people up on activation… Not quite as good, but… A reasonable facsimile?

Also, we have to remember, Chun has better re pressure options after getting in on her opponent with her fireball chasing game, so she doesn’t need to back off after one or 2 pokes all the time… She can press her luck with instant air legs if she so chooses.

Going back to how infiltration gets his damage, Chun won’t be able to get fireball damage like Nash does, but she does have AA damage, she also has a better tick throw game than Nash, because of her fast walkspeed.

Well, I hope this analysis of Infiltrations Nash maybe helps some lower level players out when the game drops, I also hope I’m right about being able to reverse engineer the footsie pattern… I could be totally wrong. But I really hope this maybe sparks some discussion on the deeper plays that infiltration as well as other top players use. I only barely scratched the surface here and I’ve left more minute things out.

I really hope people are willing to discuss these things the way that jap players do… Really get into things and dissect players. I hope others maybe see how some of this might work for their character in certain ways.

Also, the pattern may not work against certain players for various reasons… Adaptation will always be needed over anything else. As an example, Chun might want to dash backwards twice and omit the jabs versus certain players or characters… But the basic pattern to try and understand is still there.


Nice post. I like how you made a disclaimer so people don’t take this as the end all be all of infiltration’s style.

But I think we’ve all done something similar in the past. Study specific top player match videos and incorporate each player’s style, patterns, and decision making into our own gameplan.

And yes, I do agree with you. Infiltration seems to be one of the stronger sf5 players currently by far. Even watching the sf4 top players (which has been improving slowly) is hard to watch just because everything done is so unoptimal, but infiltration just changes that. He just gets the game, and gets how it should be played.

I always admired him for that because when he became the head honcho during the unstoppable laugh-infiltration duo days, he played Akuma the way he wanted to (very defensive, lame and low risk, while also calculated) which, at the time, was spoken like law that Akuma’s offense is his best defense.

Yeah, it’s kind of disheartening that one has to put in a disclaimer like that… Like as if anyone actually believes that a top players complete style could captured in one forum post…

But yeah had I not said that there would probably be people in here saying stuff like… I saw infiltration do a super after a backdash… SO YOU’RE WRONG DIME. Thats not all that infil does.

Yeah, you get those people unfortunately that can’t read between the lines and use common sense.
And I honestly think this might be a part of the reason why so many top players don’t bother posting stuff… People argue semantics with them or just simply tell them they are stupid… Granted it’s perfectly possible for a top player to be wrong about something… But a good deal of respect imho is warranted when arguing anything with a known top player.

(Not saying I’m a top player, btw… Fucking disclaimers… Sigh)

Good post. Nothing wrong in studying the greats. If he’s not the best in SF5 by ranking or not winning tournaments, you just know he’ll be a killer once he starts going to tournaments. Never struck me as a defensive player because he’s so active on screen, but now that I think about it, he’s very conservative in his approach not taking many risks.

He’s definitely the best Street Fighter 5 player I’ve seen so far. It’s like he is always 2 steps ahead, the man is a freaking machine with that Nash. What’s incredible is how little time he has had with the game, imagine what he will be able to do in 1 year.

I wish he would pick up every character for a week or so each the upload his matches. He’ll save us all a lot of time by figuring them out in hours rather than days or weeks.

One thing that might break the entire first post is - what if Infiltration just begins to play everybody in the cast?

In Ultra alone, he has - Akuma, Gouken, Ryu, Abel, Evil Ryu, Decapre, Juri, Chun-Li, Abel, Hugo, Rolento and he even played Hakan a couple of years ago

All of these characters have vastly different play styles, tactics, and general strategies, as well as match up plans not just between each other, but against the rest of the cast (which is 43 characters for each and every one of the above mentioned “mains”)

So how can we link Infiltration’s style to just one character just because he used Nash in the beta the most, when he might be able to play like the entire SFV roster come EVO 2016? He even showed Ken at a couple of tournaments

Yeah, I should have name the thread “studying Infiltrations style with Nash”

I don’t assume there aren’t other potent styles of play lurking out there for even more characters.
Daemons hit the nail on the head with his “I wish infiltration would play every character to teach us how to play them”

This is a study of his defensive Nash currently. It will be outdated in a month or so.
He also has an offensive Nash style that he uses for certain skill ranges of players and differing matchups or when he gets bored.

I didn’t do a study on that because his offensive style interests me less than the defensive one.
His offensive style can also be very roughly captured by simply saying that he likes to rushdown with overhead abuse. It moves forward, is unthrowable, in many frames, is plus on hit, is 19 frames so very hard to react to, moves forward so it’s a good move to throw out after making the opponent block something, and since its plus on hit he can do silly things like cr.lp>overhead X"n" as long as the overhead keeps hitting.

There’s more to it than that but like I said I’m not dong a study on his offensive style :slight_smile:

I do hope he picks up some other characters so we can see his take on them.
His overall style across multiple characters though seems highly bait heavy, were I just to throw something out there.

I feel like he’s just a really smart guy and thinker in general. It’s sorta hard to mimic the way he thinks in a game even if you pick the same characters as he does.

We love and we play these games a lot but we’re talking like a lot of real time strategy going on during matches. lol

It isn’t about totally mimicking him at all really, it’s about taking things that one sees from his game and trying to apply them to your own.

Like if you see someone hitconfirm chuns into super on 3s… You try to do it yourself because it’s a good tactic to use in that game.

In this game, we don’t know if infiltration is onto something early, or if it’s just him. Best way to find out is to try it ourselves and see how it works out and try to throw our own spice into it.

Lots of ryus throw fireballs as an example, but that doesn’t mean they are trying to play like daigo.

I’m not trying to play like infiltration, I’m trying to use things that I see him do so I can play effectively how I want to play rather than floundering around with little rhyme or reason.

Infiltration himself did this when coming to akuma in sf4 at first he mimicked what other akumas were doing, then he made up his own style after learning more.

Stop this right now. If he sees this thread, it’ll make him a better player and theres no need for that.

I saw some of his recent games in the 4th Beta and yes I agree, as of now, he’s probably in a league of his own with the game. His dashing,spacing and fireball game were something else.

Having said that though - from the matches I watched, I was disappointed with the anti-fireball tech from his opponents. Stuff like Cammy’s Spin Knuckle V-Skill, Critical Arts, Necalli’s charge move etc etc - I didn’t see them used against Infiltration as much as is necessary to pose a threat to all that plasma. The game is new and people don’t yet know what the biggest threat is from each character e.g for Nash it’ll be shutting down his fireball game.

Speaking of Nash, I’ve done some testing myself and his Moonsaults can be low-profiled…which means you can punish them with relative ease (unless it’s from a blockstring). I didn’t see anyone abuse that - but some did anti-air them with cr.normals, which does measly damage anyway. I dunno if that’ll change in the final version.

So my take on it all - yes Infil is extremely good, but his opponents also had a part to play in letting him dominate to the extent that he did.

Excited to see what happens in the next couple of months.

this was a great written post!
I do consider him as one of the top 5 strongest SFV players in the world as well among with Alioune Sensei, Sabin, Momochi and Graham.
I have been trying to play Nash the way he is doing, I can’t.

Thanks :slight_smile:

To me this is telling. I’m going to assume some things here… Forgive me if I’m completely wrong.

Is the reason why you can’t play him that way is because you get rushed down to hard? I’ve seen infil himself have troubles with hardcore rushdown.

But one thing I noticed from his games and even from mine is that a lot of times, one backdash away isn’t enough to convince people to approach cautiously. A lot of times you need more space than that. The spacing that I remember being one that made most opponents approach more cautiously was when I was out of longest jump range. That for when dealing with jumpers. For dealing with dashers I found that being out of dash>normal range was a good way to get them to take it easy.

Also, I neglected to mention this in the original post because I didn’t want to get to far ahead of myself, but infil does other things as well… Like he uses a lot of lk scythe ( the ground special kick move) to hit people that are trying to approach him in the ground. That makes people give him space and allows him to backdash into fireballs.

Not saying this makes it completely easy or possible to use his style, but every little bit helps.

So hopefully I’m not off in the left field here of why it wasn’t working for you :slight_smile:

Nice read!

Haha, it’s like you’re trying to play out every single option 5 steps into the future. Treatin it like chess. Props to you. The main thing I take away on a most basic level is notice when a character is spaced in a way so that the options are in their advantage. Counter by trying not to let them occupy that certain space.

I will allow you to reverse engineer infiltration as long as your CFN name will be Noitartlifni

After he sees that you aren’t jumping, you throw a fireball, what does he do? Does he go into fireball war? Honest question, because i have not watched any of his V. Translating that to chun would be hard because of her having to charge.

I haven’t watched him in a bit nor have I played since the beta, I don’t actually know the answer to that question off hand… I can tell you what I think he was doing:

Uses v trigger to punish fireballs thrown at him, and just sometimes goes into a fireball war. I can’t remember but I think Nash wins most fireball wars that aren’t against Ryu… But I’m just guessing here. I think I saw him jump a lot of them as well.

Also, he may have always had the lead… Which goads people into chasing him.

But it’s a good question. I would watch Infils stream archives to find the answer, if I had the time… But I don’t :frowning: