Foundation of Combos and Pressure


We know the basics of how to attack.  We know the fundamentals of how to block.  And we have a base level idea about how to move.  Now how do these attacks come together?  If you’re new to fighting games in general or Anime Fighting Games done in the style of DBFZ, chaining attacks might be a bit foreign to you, but it’s not too hard of a concept to wrap your head around.

LMHS on block and on hit

When attacking grounded opponents with normal attacks (not special moves), whether your opponent is blocking or getting hit, you can chain your attacks into each other by inputting them one after the other.  In practically all cases, the only rules that govern chaining is that you must chain your attacks into a button that is either the same strength or higher strength without using any duplicate attacks.  The attack strength hierarchy is L < M < H = S.  There are also slight deviations from chaining in the form of 6M and 2H, as they are attacks that can be chained into, but cannot chain into other attacks.  These loose rules allow for you to be really creative with the way you create block strings and pressure.  For example, you could theoretically do a chain that is 5L 2L 5M 2M 5H 5S 2H.  This chain might not be too effective on block since there’s a bunch of hits and you risk whiffing moves due to pushback and spacing, but it does show the amount of creativity you can have when creating pressure strings.

Make your opponent look silly for trying to counter hit you out of your pressure by staggering your hits!

Chaining also doesn’t have to be done instantaneously.  You can stagger the timings in which you perform buttons in your chain to create wider gaps in between your attacks.  This might be useful if you want to bait your opponent to hit buttons in between your pressure and nail them with a nice counter hit.  The idea behind staggering and chaining in general is that you are cancelling your first attack into another attack before your previous attack finishes recovering and you return back to neutral.  If you are familiar with the term ‘frame traps’, staggering pressure is basically the same concept.  As opposed to a block string where your opponent is forced to block, you are intentionally leaving a gap in your pressure where the opponent can press a button and get hit for doing so.

So that’s how my Normal Attacks come together. How about my Specials? Click Goku to go to “Foundation of Combos and Pressure: Special Cancels”
But what if I’m hit by a chain! What do I do? Click Tien to go to “Basic Defense: Recovery”