Raphael Prep stance

NGKrush

[08] Mercenary
A big part of raph has always been his prep stance, so I thought a separate thread about it would be ok. A good place to discuss the stance and find all it's strengths and weaknesses.

Two problems I am having when starting to incorporate the stance into my game is how to deal with crouchers. 6B is a good option but risky if evaded, AA and AB don't give a very good reward. Secondly, people who just guard. As there is no throw or low options from basic prep, you either need to go into AS or SE for the full mixup of those stances, use BB and exit the stance quickly or get smart with really mixing when you go into prep stance or not to keep the opponent on their toes. I guess the last option will be strongest, but you need to get more comfortable with the character to effectively use that.

Options:
- AA (mid, mid)
- A (mid, high) hold to go back to prep
- 6A (?) a longer range horizontal
- B (high, high) hold to go back to prep
- BB~B (high, high, mid) just frame for more damage
- BK (high, high) knocks down opponent in front of you, natural combo
- BBA (high, high, low) low mixup option, just for damage
- 6B (mid) kinda like 236B
- KK~B (high, mid, high)
- CE
- RE (mid) can cancel with 4
- B+K (mid) kinda like 4B+K, guess for when opponents want to get to your back, you can annoy them with this.
- 6K
Soul Charge additions:
- BBA+B (high,high, mids) a followup to the BB string, natural combo on ch
- 6KK (mid, high) a followup to 6K, natural combo. can 2nd hit be ducked on block?

When in prep, hold 6 to keep it going. Raph will automatically go into his Shadow Evade (SE) stance (you can also manually enter by pressing 2) when the opponent retaliates with a high attack. Press 4 to go into Aerial Shift which GIs lows and evades short range attacks.

Here are some of my findings, hope you guys can help me add to it. I'll post more later.

VS Sidestep:
- AA
- A (gives a stun that has good combo potential when going back to prep)
- 6A (a good option if you are not sure if A will connect because of it's shorter range)
- K (gives stun for small followup)
- KK~B
- 6K (gives longer stun for good followup)

VS Attack
- B-strings (fastest attack, but high)
- 6B (depending on the advantage you have when entering)
- A-strings (depending on the advantage you have when entering)
- *nothing* or 2 = Shadow Evade stance (possibly whiff punish with SE B for a combo)
- 4 = Aerial Shift (against lows)
- B+G (reversal edge)

VS Crouch guard
- 6B (can follow up with a small combo)
- AA
- A (you don't get the CH stun for this string, so I think it isn't a strong options vs crouch)
- CE (not sure if you can block on reaction after super-freeze)

VS Reversal Edge
- CE (A+B+K)
- don't go into stance and evade
 

Real_Bojack

[10] Knight
I know this is sorta shitty to say in a prep thread but the biggest part of prep is being able play without it since it does still have a bunch of holes. That being said, im liking a lot of things about vi prep. Mostly the i prep variations and what you can do with it.
 

darkfender

[10] Knight
Against crouchers you have K
Against people who blocks you can try (for now that raph is not known) SE stance or 4 options
first will give you a strong mixup powerful on block and deadly on the block bar.
second will aGI 2A attempts

and stuff like that

all i am concerned of is to get a punisher on left step and guard from 44AB or 66B prep.
That is the only hole for now.
I guess delaying a vertical could let you stay in prep realigning but not sure yet.
 

WuHT

Premium Moderator
Stance pressure against a defending opponent (so focusing on block and lows):

• 1(B)~prep on hit gives you entry at even frames, but you're stuck really up close. Can easily threaten CH prep BB:B 2A+B unless the opponent specifically tries to counter prep pressure. Gets too close so that SE can't really evade anything but highs. 1 is fast enough so you're going to score a hit as long as the opponent is not planning on moving.

• 66(B)~prep has huge range (nearly 236B range) at only i16. On block it enters prep at -6, and there isn't that much pushback to give Raph safety / options. Its strong when the opponent's dont know the matchup, and the frame data suggests this is one of the weaker prep entries. This move seems more like a whiff/guard punisher and a CH fisher, rather that an offense-starter. A sad loss from the good ol' days of 3 back from SC4/5.

• 3(B)~prep from block is only -4 and has enough push back to dodge 2A attempts with SE (not even mentioning prep4~AG options). 3 is a little too slow/short ranged for my tastes to spam, but it does have a TC frame.

• 44A(B)~prep is also -4 on block going into prep, and the move itself is much too slow to try to start your offense. I'd reserve it after getting a a reading of the opponent's tendencies to sidestep+crouch. Does not put the opponent into FC on block.

• 6B46~prep is cute, but you're probably only going to pressure this string on block if the opponent is doing something barely safe and you want to keep them honest with a i10 face poke. Most of the time this move is going to hit as a punisher rather than something you throw out to train the opponent on block.

• wrBB46~prep is also really cute, but being mid and i10 means this is more spammable than 6B46. While the opponent can duck the 2nd hit, prep4~AG aGI is fast enough to snag 2A. The opponents will have to commit to a non-low from crouch (since the threat of of the AG aGI) and a non-high, since prep naturally evades highs (and no one wants to whiff into a SE B combo). This leaves the opponent to doing some sort of mid from crouch and i'll depend on character matchups.

• 6B(B)~prep isn't anything to hang your hat on , being also -4. There's some confusion bonus because the opponent may expect 6BBB.

• 4(B) is also -4 on block but psychologically no one really tries to interrupt since there is huge pushback. Expect the opponent to lock up and just defend and step guard. Prep A is too short ranged to catch movement usually, and SE B has no tracking (unless delayed).

• 22A(B) is the same speed as 3, but generally has to come out of side step. However, you get massive +8 frames on hit and only -2 if the opponent blocks it. There's a meaty pushback on hit, so this limits the opponents' retaliation and forces them to take a defensive option rather than an offensive option select. This is pretty underrated, considering it is a NH as well.

• 66[B+K] is undeniably the best prep entry, from all the properties (raw frame advantage, pushback, fat guard damage, lower risk of being GI'd, long range). Anytime you've mentally exhaused your opponent and forced him to sit still and guard one of your attacks, this is the move to throw out (being both decently quick and long ranged). Obviously a Raph's main problem is the opponent will rarely be willing to sit still and try to beat you with frames/range and instead opt to side step. On block it creates enough advantage so that prepBB is a must-block/crouch and stepping is prevented.

• prepB(B) is -6 on block, but you have prepBBA to at least keep the opponent somewhat honest. Leaving Raph in FC state gives him access to one of his best moves (wrBB). Otherwise its not recommended you use this to continue your momentum.

• prepA(B)~prep is -2 on block and allows for re-entry. Keep in mind they can crouch the 2nd hit. Be careful when trying to spam once the opponent starts guarding.
 

darkfender

[10] Knight
In short -2 preps are not steppable if you choose to BB but can be ducked with a 2a (to wich you can answer with AG).
>-2+ on block preps are steppable

Unfortunately:
-some stances like taki don't care and step every option maybe (not sure) except 66(B+K)
-the stepG bug seems back according to many people. Now it lets you step and duck/block being again the universal answer to preps.
Still to see it but i read it from more than 1 source.
 

Zanaken

[10] Knight
At the highest level of excecution, I don’t believe 6B(B) has any benefits over 6B46B(B)

Unless it’s the fact it can lead to faster Prep moves like 6K with less time to react from the opponent?
 

Villainous

[08] Mercenary
6B46 is definitely his best entry into prep IMO. I basically like prep as the thing that makes them respect the actual mixups coming from SE and AG. Prep AB and BB force them to respect, SE B punishes duckers and people that try to RE out. AG B, AG K, and AG AB are all great tools as well, with AG AB being the most noteworthy IMO since it's mid, stops steppers, and can be linked off of with 6B.

Plus I feel like it's more safe to do now because if you end up in a situation where you enter prep and are negative, you can always just reversal edge out of prep, and if you aren't feeling it, bail out with AG stance out of RE. 3B > Prep > RE is actually a way to punish people for attempting to punish 3B. I like that there's a lot of ways to induce hesitation now and it's a very flexible stance compared to how it was in previous games.
 

darkfender

[10] Knight
I wouldn't count too much on 46 frame advantage.
Its clearly a glitch and i bet that it will be fixed soon.
Making all preps unsteppable is simply absurd and 46 does exactly that.

AG on the opposite does what old 44B used to: gives Raph a glimpse of a spacing game expecially after a block at tip range with the AB added bonus of hindering step attempts.
Also makes most stuff safe against most characters.
I am starting to dig the move more than SE that became easily reactable during scIV and scV after a short time (when all options are reactable its not a mixup).


Btw wich are the best AG aGI combos?
I just found AG,B 2A+B.
 

LOVELAIN

[01] Neophyte
• 66(B)~prep has huge range (nearly 236B range) at only i16. On block it enters prep at -6, and there isn't that much pushback to give Raph safety / options. Its strong when the opponent's dont know the matchup, and the frame data suggests this is one of the weaker prep entries. This move seems more like a whiff/guard punisher and a CH fisher, rather that an offense-starter. A sad loss from the good ol' days of 3 back from SC4/5.
It's actually -8. The only option you have against 2As or mids faster than i18 is Reversal Edge out of prep (Prep 4 is too slow to aGI a 2A from this entry), and even that isn't that good, as some (maybe most, I haven't tested extensively) characters have fast mids that recover quickly enough that they can attack into an RE and still step the RE hit (often 3K will accomplish this) while stuffing all of your other prep options. It can still be okay at tip range, but I agree that it's much better as a punish or CH tool.

• 22A(B) is the same speed as 3, but generally has to come out of side step. However, you get massive +8 frames on hit and only -2 if the opponent blocks it.
Isn't it -4? On block, prep B clashes with Sophi's stab and gets counterhit by her WR B+K. Again, you'll have to RE if you want to beat fast mids (in this case, i12 or faster, like Raph WR BB or Mitsu WR K).
 

WuHT

Premium Moderator
It's actually -8. The only option you have against 2As or mids faster than i18 is Reversal Edge out of prep (Prep 4 is too slow to aGI a 2A from this entry), and even that isn't that good, as some (maybe most, I haven't tested extensively) characters have fast mids that recover quickly enough that they can attack into an RE and still step the RE hit (often 3K will accomplish this) while stuffing all of your other prep options. It can still be okay at tip range, but I agree that it's much better as a punish or CH tool.



Isn't it -4? On block, prep B clashes with Sophi's stab and gets counterhit by her WR B+K. Again, you'll have to RE if you want to beat fast mids (in this case, i12 or faster, like Raph WR BB or Mitsu WR K).
you're right its been -8 (the worst) as I've updated the wiki but didnt change my post.
yeah 22A(B) is -4 on block not -2

good job verifying.

The takeaway is that he no longer has a good of entering prep on advantage against an alert defending opponent. To offset this, he has a lot more options out of prep with a lot more potential for CH damage.