Meter Management Early Strategy

Signia

[13] Hero
Hey all, just some ideas on meter management in SC6 so far which I think will be really important. Still no access to training mode pre-release so I only have rough damage estimates.

Meter Gain Moves

4B - Very low damage and small meter gain. Other moves that do a more damage gain a similar amount of meter, following the usual rules of bigger move, more on-hit meter gain. To me it's less so a meter building move as much as the meter gain makes it tolerable to use with how little damage it does. It might the right move to use to rack up absorbs for the 6A LH though, which requires 10 absorbs.

BBB - My favorite meter gain move, you can BB and if it CHs, you press B again. Unsafe on block if you just go for it, and the string is not deceptive enough to try and condition them with BBs and then do BBB to catch them retaliating too early.

b:A - My comments made later in the thread: "It's hard to tell how good b:A is right now. I heard from the French it was i12, and I heard from Boom that it might be AA punishable. I do know that it's - on hit in this game. I'm also not a fan of the position change. If we're trying to build meter and want to CH them, there's also BBB CH confirm. Meter reduction of the opponent will probably impact the match once in while but it's difficult to plan for. The position change could be part of a strategy where you mostly run away and MED until you get cornered, and then try to b:A to turn things around, but you could also MED 2 to get behind them. Not sure if the damage is high enough to warrant using it when you have no meter in combos such as CH 44bB or side hit MCF. If it really is that fast, then it can't be overlooked, though."

FLE A+B - A break attack from FLE that does hardly any damage but gives some meter. I haven't used this move at all yet, so I can't comment further. Not sure whether it does more damage, meter gain or has better oki than FLE 66 for meter building combo ender purposes.

FLE 66 - A Special Low now, it now knocks down on hit and gains some meter, though the oki situation it gives is weak. The damage is very low, but using it in combos where the scaling is already severe, you can get meter gain out of it.

RE K - RE B is a popular choice, so RE K is nice to have with its high meter gain and respectable damage.

66A - Still -12 or so, still a little bit slow, but on CH you get a nice chunk of damage and good meter gain, which makes it worth using if the opponent is stepping or attacking with TCs a lot.

3AA, CH second hit only - High damage, good meter gain, but difficult to land. The best way to set this up is to use a lot of 3A on its own, CH confirming for the 3AB and gauging their response. If they're passive after they block 3A, go aggressive after they block 3A, and then finally start doing 3AA when you expect them to stop your aggression after blocking 3A.

FC 3K - not a meter gain move itself, but if you want to gain meter from a low without sacrificing combo damage, FC 3K 6A+B ~FLE 66 is a good way. It might actually be the easiest way to gain meter from attacks.

RE - Yes, like everyone else, you gain meter from landing REs. Yoshi's RE "Special Phase" mixup isn't that strong and the initial hit is short range, but by the ring edge, both the A and B options ring out. The A option is high damaging. The B option is low damage but sends them flying. The K option pushes them a long distance and gives you even more meter.

Brave Edge Usage

There's differences in efficiency or damage per point of meter for each BE usage (calling them BEs or Brave Edges, the SCV term for EX moves for now for lack of a better one). I'll rank what I think they are.

1. CH AA BE by wall - you can get a full wall combo off of the wall splat. Of course, you should CH confirm this. Not sure what the optimal combo will be, but it'll be something like the 50ish damage from the first string, then at least another 20 damage from the second wall splat move, then at least 20 scaled damage after that, so that's 90+ damage with half a bar. However, you could do something similar with a 3AB CH confirm.

2. CE - 80 damage and 20 healing for a full bar. A lot of the time you have no other option when you use this move, since it has infinite range.

3. 4A BE - Punish a -16+ move or step something up close and you get a combo that does around 80 damage. The gain over the alternative meterless option depends on the possible alternative. A -14 punish would be 80 damage instead of a 32 damage BB, or 48 extra damage for one bar. A 22B whiff punish would 60 damage, so it's not quite as worth it getting 20 extra damage. 22B 4A BE meter extension does about the same damage as 4A BE as far as I know right now.

4. WS A BE - Duck a throw or punish a -16+ low and instead of a 40ish damage 6K at best, you get a combo that does around 75 damage (WR A BE ~DGF B 236KK). So, ~35 extra damage for one bar.

5. 6K BE - Rare that you'd want to do this over 4A BE, but if that's all that will reach, it's still very much worth it, doing an extra 35 damage or so. Edit: Nvm, this is for -15 standing punish.

6. CH 6BB BE - Instead of the already damaging 6BBBB you get 6BB BE 6K. The extra damage you could get off of a 4A BE combo extension might not be worth it due to the scaling. Using 6BB from neutral or combo extension grants about 25 damage.

7. CH AA BE - it may not do that much damage, but it's a lot more than your CH AA would have done. ~25 extra damage.

8. Mid-combo CE - Haven't seen the damage numbers but scaling and meter cost might be high enough that you shouldn't do this unless it'll kill or put your opponent one mixup away.

So what can we conclude about the implied damage value of meter? It's important to understand its value when we take other risks or give up damage to gain meter. If you only used it for CEs and never missed, it'd be 100 damage differential for every bar of meter.

Meter Gain Tactics
  • MED stance, when you have low meter, such as the start of a game, gains more meter per tick. It's worth doing this at the start for a game for 1/6 of a bar or in general when you have under 50% meter.
  • 4B+K teleport steps gain 1/4 bar for 24 health, and they recover very quickly in this game. Doing this when you have a big lead can build meter when you're probably going to win the round anyway. Using this instead of regular stepping is always questionable though, as in SCIV-V it didn't really start stepping any faster, it just moved faster once it started. There are rare situations where it steps crazy stuff
  • Soul Absorption throw, 6A+G_6A+G4 I think it is, will either damage Yoshimitsu if broken or damage the opponent if not broken, but will always give Yoshimitsu 1/4 bar. This means on average you give and take 0 damage, but you gain meter guaranteed, as long as they don't duck the throw.
  • 6A+B ~FLE 66 combo enders - not sure how much damage we sacrifice by doing this, but the oki is also not great, so it better be worth it.
  • 4B punishing - notice this move only does like 12 damage and the meter gain isn't even that much.

Concluding Thoughts

Upon reviewing what the actual gain is for doing BEs instead of regular moves, saving meter for CEs and defensive SCs might be best. Especially just having 1 bar to scare the opponent into not whiffing anything big might have much more impact than blowing the meter as you get it.

I'm not certain that Soul Charge is worth it, since you need to hit two BEs or DGF BBBBBs or SC 3ABs to really pay it off. The opponent should be able to stop you from making that much use of it with defensive play, in theory, unless you have them cornered already (or you juggle combo into it - this needs to be explored, e.g. 22B 6K 4A+B+K)). However, using it when the opponent has already SC'd can delay them and nullify their advantage.
 
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AndyrooSC

IVE WAITED FOR THIS!!!
Just a couple of questions :
What's the input to perform the BE after all these attacks?
B:a also steals some souls too how good is that move?
So 4A is a i14 launcher with the BE?
 

Signia

[13] Hero
Just a couple of questions :
What's the input to perform the BE after all these attacks?
B:a also steals some souls too how good is that move?
So 4A is a i14 launcher with the BE?

Just a couple of questions :
What's the input to perform the BE after all these attacks?
B:a also steals some souls too how good is that move?
So 4A is a i14 launcher with the BE?
My mistake, I made this assumption before, too. 4A was i16 in SCV so it's probably that.

The input to do BEs is A+B. I'm probably just going to start notating them that way since the whole point of it was to save time and space writing A+B+K.

It's hard to tell how good b:A is right now. I heard from the French it was i12, and I heard from Boom that it might be AA punishable. I do know that it's - on hit in this game. I'm also not a fan of the position change. If we're trying to build meter and want to CH them, there's also BBB CH confirm. Meter reduction of the opponent will probably impact the match once in while but it's difficult to plan for. The position change could be part of a strategy where you mostly run away and MED until you get cornered, and then try to b:A to turn things around, but you could also MED 2 to get behind them. Not sure if the damage is high enough to warrant using it when you have no meter in combos such as CH 44bB or side hit MCF. If it really is that fast, then it can't be overlooked, though.

I'll probably list all the meter gain moves sometime as well.
 

JustCallMeJoe

[01] Neophyte
While it has no direct value to draw from, the defensive use of Soul Charge startup is worth mentioning. The value of it differs between characters (more useful for Ivy for example) but for everyone its always a GTFOff me move, of which there may be no equivalent.
 

Signia

[13] Hero
Yeah and I should also emphasize that we're in the business of winning rounds and matches, not necessarily trading the most damage for meter over time (the way you accumulate over time and across all your games in Poker). In SCV, the meta shifted toward using meter to make comebacks for a reason. It allows you to control outcomes of matches when you need to. The further you are away from the end of a round, the less certain that any early advantage will be leveraged into a win, so early meter usage is less likely to end up winning you the round than later pushes to toward that goal. Your meter usage only pays off if you win the round.

So, if you're going to win the round anyway, don't waste your meter. If the gap is too wide to make a comeback with meter, again don't waste it. The best times to use it then is to create winnable situations, aside from the more obvious need to use it to win your third round or to avoid losing your third round. In general, I would also say that if you're going to win the round if you spend meter, you almost always should just spend the meter.

The reason behind all of this is that all reward in the game is tied to winning the match, which is tied to winning rounds, and all game-state changes to get these goals, in terms of the actual reward, isn't damage gains or health losses but is instead changes in probability that you will win the round. This is why translating meter to damage doesn't fully convey its value and we have these extra stipulations. 80 damage that puts the opponent one mixup away from death instead of two is far more impactful than 80 damage at the start of a round. As an even broader goal, we want to play in a such a way that not only do we have the highest probability of winning, but also the highest probability of winning a tournament, which has the added requirement of consistent results.

Saving meter to create comebacks has the effect of easing some of your worse rounds into better ones while letting your rounds-that-are-going-well stay just good enough to win rather than wasting it on totally wrecking your opponent in some rounds. Consistently just-barely-winning is better than winning 51% of time. Careful meter usage can allow you to push rounds right to the point of winning when you need to.

HOWEVER with Yoshimitsu you could also try and play by more of a snowball strategy (strategy that increases your chances of winning more later), since getting your opponent below 110 health or before you do each round, or putting them at 0-2 or 1-2 in the rounds has the bonus of leaving them vulnerable to 66A+K. Another snowball play would be to focus on gaining meter when you have a big lead, even sacrificing health for it with 4B+K, 6A+G, or MED charging into MED K (you have a good chance of eating a small punish for doing this). To create these situations you could aim to spend meter early. You could also use these meter-for-health options when you're way ahead.

But... I don't know how much all this will matter. If there aren't that many opportunities to spend meter effectively, then there won't be as many decisions where choosing to not spend the meter makes sense, we'll just use it when we can.
 

lolo

[11] Champion
Thanks, great post, Signia, how fast does 4B feels?, Looks like i14 t me, but I haven't played the game :)
 

Signia

[13] Hero
Thanks, great post, Signia, how fast does 4B feels?, Looks like i14 t me, but I haven't played the game :)
It feels faster than BB but definitely slower than AA, so something like i12-i13, but that's the feeling I get from it. Functionally it may be one of the fastest tools for running up and poking at particular ranges, since 4B is an easy input to do right out of a dash. So it at least has that use.