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SFV Character Guide #3 - Akuma

In this guide we will be discussing about Akuma (or Gouki in the Japanese version)

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Akuma's strengths

Akuma has an amazing comeback fact via his V-Trigger as well has having an all-round toolset better than every other character in the game. However, due to the large amount of tools, Akuma players need to master knowing which tools to use at the right spacing and position on screen.

Main moves 

  • Zanku Hadoken (Air Fireball)
    - You can only use this during a forward jump and only at certain heights. However you are able to manipulate the trajectory, and will beat most character anti-air normals as well as beat or trade against anti-air specials. Either way it is in your favour.
    - Mix this with normal jump in attacks to keep the opponent guessing, considering that the jump trajectories are different, the opponent will likely miss the anti-air allowing for a punish. Use the light/medium/heavy buttons to control the angle of projectile and aim for the top of the opponent when you come down. Your opponent might give up on anti-air and go for air-to-air moves, which in this case you can counter with EX Zanku
    - VT1 changes Zanku Hadoken to fire 2 fireballs instead of one. And you can use it during neutral and back jump. Once you've activated trigger, you can use Zanku Hadoken to get in and do a throw mixup. This will allow you to begin your potentially powerful offense.
  • st.MK
    - Known as the knee attack. This attack moves Akuma forward, and by buffering light tatsu or hadoken, this is an amazing tool as a poke in neutral and to whiff punish.
  • cr.HP
    - Plus on block AND crush counters.
    - Has long (4 frames) active frames, making it an excellent meaty attack.
    - Because Akuma is plus he can walk up and throw mix up the opponent. The opponent will need to keep guessing.
  • Goshoyruken (DP)
    - The standard is Medium DP for anti-air
    - For combos use Heavy DP
    - Use EX for abare
    - DP during VT1 grants hard knockdown, allowing for easy oki setups.

    - A. Immediate Light Demon Flip
         - Even the opponent does wakeup DP it will not hit. From there you can mix the opponent with the follow ups from demon flip.
    - B. Immediate Light Tatsu
         - Used as a frame kill (uses up exact frames to avoid manual timing)
         - Can follow up with throw or cr.MP
         - As long as the opponent doesn't immediately jump, you can also do Raging Demon (true Akuma style)
    - C.(During VT1) forward jump light air fireball
         - If Akuma still have active trigger 1 this will hit the opponent meaty.
         - If they guard then Akuma is plus and can do a mixup.
  • Demon Flip
    - Akuma's famous move. Depending on the strength, jump properties change.
    - During EX Demon Flip Akuma has an active hitbox. A good option on wakeup
    - It's a good idea to save bar for EX Demon Flip
    - After Demon Flip input you can cancel into different moves.
        - Hyakki Gozan (Slide, No input)
           - Hits low. Similar range as a sweep. Causes knockdown.
           - Even if they guard in most cases the opponent cannot punish. On hit you can dash and do a throw mixup.
         - Hyakkishu ->  Hyakki Gosho (Palm, Punch input)
           - Hits as an overhead, however the reach is a bit short
           - Plus on block so you can follow up with more pressure
           - Beats out opponents air-to-airs so use when you think the opponent will jump.
         - Hyakkishu -> Hyakki Gojin (Divekick, Kick input)
           - Landing recovery is a bit long.
           - Frame advantage depends on height.
           - The opponent might be looking out for the grab version of demon flip and will be crouching. 
         - Hyakkishu -> Hyakki Gosai (throw, throw input)
           - Throws the opponent if they are standing. 
           - This requires paying attention if the opponent will be crouching or standing.
         - Other variations
           
    - EX air fireball, EX air tatsu, (VT1) air fireball
           - Akuma can use EX air fireball to cause the opponent to miss their anti-air
           - EX tatsu is used for combo conversion. 

Combos

 Akuma's character requires you to change your combo routes depending on how much gauge he has. Pay attention to the situation and use your combos well.

  • (1) st.MK -> Light Tatsumaki -> Hard Tatsumaki
    - Hit confirm combo from st.MK
    - Because light tatsu is minus on block, use st.MK as a poke (okiwaza) as well as fishing for whiff punishes.
    - After the combo Akuma can dash up and use cr.HP as a meaty (both quick and backrise.
  • (2) cr.MP -> st.MK -> V-Skill (kick) -> H. Demon Flip (to punch)
    - A combo that incorporates V-Skill
    - Because you used V-Skill you also gain V-Gauge from this combo, so try to actively use this combo.
    - The Hard Demon Flip carries to the corner the furthest.
  • (3) cr.HP (Crush Counter) -> forward dash -> b.HP -> H. Demonflip (to punch)
    - cr.HP when crush countering, cause the opponent to enter a crumple state, allowing Akuma to dash and combo.
  • (4) (During VT1) cr.MK -> Gohadoken -> Goshoryuken (DP)
    - VT1 allows fireball to connect with DP.
    - DP in VT1 allows excellent oki, so try use DP in your combos.

Closing Remarks

Akuma has 900 HP and stun, making him a glass cannon archetype. To make up for the low health he has great tools and near unstoppable offense, if you play him well. Practice hard and utilise your V-Trigger in your offense to take the lead!