First, I am a 7th Dan Kage (Dawho5, I was feeling un-creative that day) with a record of 439-98. Subtract my 100 wins in vs. mode and you get my real record. I started off as more of a masher type, doing a lot of the p,p,p,k combos and the like, but after a few training sessions I started to get an understanding of the game. I started to use more and more throws to do my damage, including NOT comboing off the TFT. I consider it an original style of playing the character, but I have yet to fully develop it. I'll put what I have for right now though. My strategy revolves completely around setting up the opponent for a throw. Everything that doesn't end up with me throwing them is to keep them from knowing when I will throw them. Also, all throws are used in this strategy. The p+g throw and catch throw are used simply as confusion, but the d/f+p+g; b,f+p+g; b+p+g; b,d+p+g; and f+p+g are used (in order of preference) after every set-up, leaving the opponent guessing as to which one(s) to escape each time. The d/f+p+g is preferred for two reasons. One, it has tremendous range. It will reach a very long way, and if you are in doubt about whether your throw will reach this is the choice. Two, you are guaranteed a d/f+k follow-up. After this, you can usually back up enough to get a f,f+p+k+g (I try and only use this when they will hit a wall) of f, f+k+g in as well to stop rising attacks. The b,f+p+g does not have the guaranteed follow, but I can usually get it in. Another reason I use it more than the TFT is the CPU is on the lookout for the TFT when fighting Kage (at higher levels anyway). The TFT is used in combination with the Izuna Drop. For one, if I back off and hit one of my two follow-ups (same as above), I get more damage than any combo. Second, if the opponent QR or TRs, I miss a hit on the more damaging combos and leave myself wide open. The b,d+p+g I have been trying to work into my arsenal more for variety, and it helps at the higher Dans to not get your throws countered. The f+p+g is just for those rare occasions when I feel the need to position myself opposite the opponent, usually followed with the guaranteed DP, k combo. Now, the set-ups are the important part. I have developed a semi-complex set-up system from three basic moves, the sidekick, the elbow, and the p, p, b+p combo. Using only these, it is possible to set up both throws and juggles, but I have gone the way of throwing more often. here is the way the flowchart goes. d/f+k >throw >p,p,b+p (flowchart for this below) >elbow >>throw >>d/f+p >>elbow >>b+p >>p, p, b+p >>d/b+k >>d+p p,p,b+p >delayed heelkick combo finish >elbow (elbow follow-ups) >throw >d/f+p >reversal >d+k+g I've started to develop more, but these are the options I know work in different situations. I continue to develop them as I go, so I'll update it when I get more. The sidekick leaves you with an 8 frame advantage on major counter and even frames on minor counter. This is ample opportunity for a throw, but you can be jabbed out of it. The elbow will usually counter the jab for another 8 frame advantage for Kage. Now, I didn't know this for a while, I just noticed that these two moves, when they hit as counters, didn't allow the opponent to do anything but jab to interrupt you. So after the elbow, the throws come pretty easily. Even if it doesn't hit as a counter, it is possibe to get a throw after either move. The jab combo is great to throw in after the sidekick as well, as Kage will beat out pretty much anything with it on an 8 frame advantage or an even recovery. If you get beat out on jabs, use the d/b+p starter. Now after the elbow, the options get a little more open. The d/f+p is risky. If you get attacked with a low or mid attack, you can be punished. BUT, if they try the jab route, you duck under it and pop them up for the combo of your choice. I don't recall the frames on this if it is blocked, but I rarely get punished after it is blocked. The elbow is for low jab pokers. It may seem redundant, and I haven't fully tsted it, but it will stagger low jabbers on an 8 frame adavantage. The b+p gives you an 8 frame advantage on major counter, but it hits high. If you hit the major counter elbow and don't want to throw, this is a good option. It can be followed with a throw as well. The jab combo after the elbow has the same effect as after the sidekick. The d/f+k is pretty risky. You should be close enough after a counter elbow to make sure it hits, but be careful for mid attacks. It is basically there as a low hit to keep them guessing. The d+p is there because it is pretty much impossible for the opponent to do anything fast enough to beat. If you get a counter with it you have a guaranteed throw, but I hate low jabs. NEVER use this against a low thrower. The p,p,b+p combo has a lot of follows as well. The delayed heelkick will surprise anyone after you stop the combo almost every time. If it hits as a counter, you get a knockdown and the okizeme game is set up. I didn't list even a fraction of all of those I have seen listed. I use mainly the same ones as after the elbow because I like to set up the throws, which is what they do. The d+k+g is a nice place to use that move (or after the sidekick, the elbow leaves you a bit close) if you like to use throws a lot. The opponent will not like to block as you throw them constantly from this position. This is an excuse to use a lot of moves I suppose. The reversal is o deter jab-happy people. I like using the b+p on it's own for it's countering properties (and frame advantage). Now I only have the opportunity to play the CPU because my roomies and friends don't play VF4. Most of what I do is geared towards the CPU, and I know the sidekick and elbow can be evaded pretty easily. I have looked at several moves as deterrents to evading, and put them to use against the quicker chars (Lion especially). I feel that my offense with Kage is good enough to get me where I need to be, and it's time to work on defense. Any additions to this strategy would be appreciated, as well as weakneses.