It's been a while since I've played VF3 in the arcades, and since my ShadowBlade arcade stick isn't the greatest for VF4 I chose Wolf to get through Kumite mode since all of his commands are pretty simple. Anyway, I'd really appreciate input/feedback from the more experienced players here to see if I can make this strategy even better. ------- VF4 Kumite CPU-Killing Strategy with Wolf Like most of us, I've been playing VF4 for about a week and although I've barely explored all of the characters, I'd say Wolf is one of the easiest to get through Kumite with by using only his more powerful moves/combos, judging attack ranges correctly, retaining control of the match, and learning to evade well. The float combos I tend to use on Akira, Vanessa, and anyone lighter are [f+K, hcb+p~p, u+P] or [b~f+P+K keeping joystick/d-pad held forward for P after it launches, d+P, b~f+P+K, u+P] for Major Counters (MC) and the "safer" [f+K, d+P, b~f+P+K, u+P] for minor counters (mc) and/or heavy characters. These combos usually do 40-50% damage to the victims apiece. Any blocked knee, blocked Short Shoulder, and low kick or rising kick attempt that contacts the opponent (whether they hit for damage or are blocked) should be followed by a quick up or down tap of the joystick/d-pad for an evade during the attack's recovery time window. After the evade dodges the typical counterattack from the CPU opponent, do another knee as soon as possible afterwards for a very high chance of starting a MC combo opportunity. You may be interrupted by later hits of an opponent's attack string or sweeps, and sometimes the CPU will block or attempt to throw (or even reverse the knee), but these are exceptions to the norm. If your follow-up knee is blocked, input another evade as Wolf starts to fall again. (I'd say most people who are having trouble getting past 1st Dan either aren't evading when they should, or perhaps at all...) Wolf's "Kumite killer" attack sequence most often starts when your opponent is on the ground and you're just out of rising kick range. Do the fully-charged Shoulder Attack [b~f+P (hold P)] right as the opponent starts to get up or roll to the side. Once Wolf's hand reaches the ground, the CPU often just stands there and guards like a "deer in the headlights" since it knows you can release the button at any time to start the attack. So, instead of trying to interrupt you, evade it, or dash backwards out of range, it foolishly just stands there and takes it. Anyway, as long as the opponent is within range and blocking, your fully-charged Shoulder Attack will stagger him/her long enough for you to follow with an immediate [f+P] after you make contact. This often crumples the victim for a free low throw opportunity. In the event you don't think the opponent is within the Shoulder Attack's range, tap down without releasing P to cancel out of it. Another way to go into the crumple hit is via [f+K+G, f+P], but Wolf doesn't have nearly as much range as he gets from the fully-charged Shoulder Attack and the victim has a better chance of recovering before [f+P] connects due to Wolf's distance after the [f+K+G] animation ends (maybe I just don't have the timing tight enough yet, though). The ideal low throw to use when you get a crumple is [df+P+K+G], since it's his most damaging and Wolf will roll away afterwards -- usually out of range of the opponent's rising kick attacks and in good position to repeat this process all over again. Another fun option after a crumple is the [df~df+P+K+G] low throw. It does slightly less damage, but can be followed by a guaranteed [d+P+G] ground pickup throw when the victim's feet slide down from Wolf's shoulders. You can use his other low throws if you want to switch places with the opponent in case you're too close to an edge of the ring. The only 100% sure-to-connect attack after using [d+P+G] to pick a face-up opponent off the ground seems to be [df+K+G]. It rarely hits the CPU for damage, but always succeeds in staggering the victim backwards a step or two (this combined with the initial push from the ground throw may lead to a ring out or wall stagger). After this move Wolf turns his back on the opponent, so the only sensible (but risky) follow-ups are [d+K] or [d+P], which the CPU almost always blocks unless the [df+K+G] staggers it backwards into a wall and the timing is just right. However, whenever [d+K] knocks down an opponent facing you, you'll get another free [d+P+G] throw if you input the command just before Wolf is standing upright again. The same may be true of [d+P], but I haven't experimented with it yet against high-Dan Kumite opponents due to [d+K] being force of habit... if true it would be the better follow-up because it seems to execute and recover a bit faster. So, the basic killing combos are: [b~f+P (hold P), f+P, df+P+K+G] -- the "bread and butter" combo; repeat until opponent is knocked out [b~f+P (hold P), f+P, df~df+P+K+G, d+P+G, df+K+G] -- for ring outs [b~f+P (hold P), f+P, df~df+P+K+G, d+P+G, df+K+G, (opponent hits wall), d+K (or d+P?), d+P+G] -- to set up possible back-turned float combo The opponent's back-turned scenario after [d+P+G] grabs a face-down opponent is actually harder to follow up on reliably (occasionally due to camera angle switches that may occur in the smaller rings). Sometimes the victims are pushed far away, and sometimes they remain close by. When they're close, go for a knee. The worst that can happen is they'll turn and block it and you'll have to go into an evade afterwards. When they're pushed far away, I guess you can go for the [df+K+G] again, but I have limited success with that and usually go for a Drop Kick [uf+K] instead. Oddly enough, if the Drop Kick is blocked Wolf will be lying face-down feet-towards, and the CPU is sometimes bad about letting a "rising" [d+K~K~K] kick hit it afterwards, which leads to yet another ground pickup throw. ------- There's a lot more you can do with Wolf, but so far that's pretty much all that's needed to pound on the CPU in Kumite mode. Of course, any additional skills you have (blocking attacks and combo strings effectively, punch interrupts into standing throws, working in low throws after blocked sweep attempts, etc.) make you that much more likely to succeed in moving up the ranks. Once you get proficient at doing everything outlined in this strategy, _especially_ evading, you should have a _much_ easier time earning higher ranks in Kumite mode. Two days ago I was stuck in limbo between 1st and 2nd Dans. Yesterday I went from 2nd Dan (65% victory) to 5th Dan (72% victory), beating two Heros and two Champions, in a bit over 4 hours. I generally lose 1 out of every 5 or 6 matches now (3 rounds to win), but I'm still working on my other skills. The longest winning streak I've had so far was 22, but if I created a new Wolf character and started all over from the beginning that record could _easily_ be overshadowed with this strategy. I now try to get two rounds ahead right off the bat so I can practice with Wolf "up close" to the opponent; if I ever play against a human in an arcade I don't want to completely stink because I have no inside game. I don't do this against same-Dan opponents, though... they don't get cut any slack for all the grief they gave me when I was in 1/2-Dan limbo. /versus/images/icons/smile.gif As mentioned before, my VF skills haven't been up to par for quite some time, so I'm hoping the more knowledgable people here will help me improve this strategy, so please post if you have helpful suggestions. I suppose it might be possible to get all the way to Grand Emperor using it without any changes, but I'm assuming some tweaks and additional skills (evading throw escapes directly guarding, for example) will be required as the skill level of the CPU increases; so far I can only say it works against CPU-controlled high Dan opponents and the occasional Hero/Champion. BTW, could someone tell me what the most reliable combos that start with Elbow Butts [b+P] are? I'd like to work them into my repertoire to use against opponents who "combo away" from Wolf's knee attempts since this move has extra range.