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Starting out with VF5FS Brad

Jun 12, 2014
Starting out with VF5FS Brad
  • Hi, I'm ChinoBrad, a Brad player from Nagoya, Japan. I started using Akira in VF4Evo and switched to Brad for good when VF Final Tuned came out.

    Brad's Characteristics, Strengths and Weaknesses(top)

    Brad's combo firepower really deserves special mention here. His ability to punish easily ranks among the best of all charaters so maximising the damage you can get off punishing is vital to Brad's game. His [P][+][G] catch throw or a mid attack from ducking (entered by [6] or [6][P][+][K][+][G] after certain moves) is great for nitaku pressure, so in general I think Brad is particularly well-suited for players who favor a strong attacking playstyle.

    Another strength lies in his circular attacks. Brad has full-circular attacks on all levels; low, mid and high. His half-circular attacks cover both his stomach and back, so I guess you can say he's well-armed in that regard.

    Brad isn't without his weaknesses, though. His throw damage is low, his special half-circular hits high only and damage values for attacks are not that great. He also struggles to deal with moves that have special properties like Akira's shoulder [2_][3][P][+][K] and Aoi's [4][4][P][+][K] and [2_][3][P].

    Basic skills(top)

    Elbow class(top)

    [6][P]: This is your standard elbow mid attack, but has many uses. At advantage your basic main strategy should be [6][P] or a throw for applying nitaku pressure. There is also a follow-up [K] that will knock down on hit. Hitchecking [6][P] for a counterhit and knocking down with [K] is also a key strategy. You can enter Brad's unique movement 'Ducking' with [6][P][6] or 'Slipping' with [6][P][2] or [8] opening up possibilities for even more attacking options.

    [6][P][+][K]: A high that launches. Used primarily to punish, using this move with precision is key for winning matches.

    1. Combos
    2. [6][P][+][K], [3][P][P], [9][K]
      up to midweight characters
    3. [6][P][+][K], [K][P][K]
      for heavyweights
    4. [6][P][+][K], [3][P][+][K][P]
      for Taka

    Upper class(top)

    [2_][3][P]: Launches on counterhit for combo opportunities.

    1. Combos
    2. [2_][3][P], [3][P][P], [9][K]
      up to heavyweight characters
    3. [2_][3][P], [6][P][+][K], [9][K]
      for Taka

    [2][P][+][K][6][P]: An excellent move. A natural combo on counterhit and against a crouching opponent that can be followed with a combo.

    1. Combos
    2. [2][P][+][K][6][P], [3][P][P], [9][K]
      up to midweight characters
    3. [2][P][+][K][6][P], [K][P][K]
      for heavyweights
    4. [2][P][+][K][6][P], [3][P][+][K][P]
      for Taka

    Knee class(top)

    [6][K][+][G]: Launches on normal hit, but only a slight float against a crouching opponent.

    1. Combos
    2. [6][K][+][G], [3][P][P], [9][K]
      up to heavyweight characters
    3. [6][K][+][G], [6][P][+][K], [9][K]
      for Taka


    [K][+][G]: High full-circular. [6][6][K]: Mid full-circular. [2][K][+][G]: Low full-circular.

    [4][P][K]: High half-circular. [6_][K]: Ex. high half-circular. [1][K][+][G] and [1][P]: Low half-circulars.


    Most useful throws, in order of highest damage.
    1. [6][6][P][+][G]: Down attack [3][K] is guaranteed.
    2. [4][P][+][G]
    3. [P][+][G]
    When the opponent is against a wall go for [4][6][P][+][G], then [3][K] for the greatest throw damage.

    Basic Strategy(top)

    Attacking in fuzzyable (slight disadvantage) situations:
    Basically try to put you opponent in nitaku with [6][P] and a throw. Your opponent will most likely be able to fuzzy guard this so delay the throw, go for a low attack or look for nitaku out of ducking.

    Attacking in non-fuzzyable (large disadvantage) situations:
    As above but mix with [4][K] and circular attacks, particularly his ex. high half-circular [6_][K] which leads to combos on counterhit.

    • [6_][K]CH, [3][P][P], [9][K]

    Brad's Unique Movement(top)

    Brad has 3 unique 'movements';
    1. Ducking- entered with [6][P][+][K][+][G] or [6] after certain moves,
    2. Slipping- entered with [2]/[8][P][+][K][+][G] or [2]/[8] after certain moves, and
    3. Sway Back- entered with [4][P][+][K][+][G] or [4] after ducking/slipping.

    When transitioning into ducking, slipping or sway back from certain moves you'll notice frame advantages, which attacks form strings, effects on counterhit etc. vary widely so I'll omit some details here to prevent confusion.

    Also, note that sway back can't be entered from an attack, only [4][P][+][K][+][G] from normal stance or with [4] after ducking or slipping.


    An attacking movement, from ducking you have a fast [P][P][P][P], [P][+][K] and [K][+][G] mid combo launchers, and a [P][+][G] catch throw for defeating guarding opponents.

    Ducking [P][P][P][P] (H, H, M, Ex.H)- Not very damaging but executes very quickly. If the first [P] hits [P][P] is a natural combo, and from [P][P] you can choose to enter ducking again, go to slipping, or finish the string. Use this to attack an opponent who is slow to retaliate. Most of the 'shoo shoo' sounds you hear from Brad are probably from this move, lol. Very versatile with a counter hit [4][K] as the entire string will connect against Taka.

    1. Combos
    2. [4][K]CH[6], Ducking[P][P][P][P]
      for Taka

    Ducking [P][+][K][P] (M, M)- Puts opponents in a special stun when on hit allowing you to follow up with a combo. You can combo on normal hit if you're fast enough, and also on counterhit or against a crouching opponent if you can hitcheck it. If the second hit is blocked, you'll be at a -13 frame disadvantage.

    1. Combos
    2. Ducking[P][+][K][P], [2]/[8][P][+][K][+][G] Slipping to opponent's back, [P][P][K][K]
      Everyone up to Jeffry's weight. For everyone up to Akira you can slip to either side.
    3. Ducking[P][+][K][P], [3][P][+][K][P]
      for Taka

    Ducking [P][+][K][2][P] or [8][P] (M, H)- The second will put opponents into a side turned state. On hit the [P] can't be evaded or blocked. The direction for the opponent to evade the second hit depends on if you use [2] or [8].

    Ducking [K][+][G] (M)- A jumping knee launcher that will crush certain low attacks. Leaves you at -10 on block, meaning the opponent can attempt to throw you.

    1. Combos
    2. Ducking [K][+][G], dash, [2][P], [9][K]
      up to Jeffry's weight
    3. Ducking [K][+][G], [6][P][+][K], [3][P][+][K][P]
      for Taka
    4. Ducking [K][+][G], [2][P], [2_][3][P], [9][K]
      for lightweights

    Ducking [K] (M)- Long reach, small disadvantage on block.

    Ducking [P][+][G]- A catch throw. The 3 follow-up throws can be escaped, but the disadvantage is less compared to standard throws when escaped. From [P][+][G] you can choose between:
    1. [P][+][G]: the lowest damage option.
    2. [6][P][+][G]: With a follow-up combo is the most damaging throw. Hit [3][K] on opponents who don't techroll. Go for a wall combo when you're near one.
    3. [4][P][+][G]: Throws opponents to your back Following with [3][P][+][K][P] will work on everyone except Aoi.


    A movement with launchers and attacks that give advantage on block. Slipping lacks moves to break a standing guard, so use with caution against defensive players. In specific situations strings can be highly damaging.

    Slipping [P][+][K] (H)- Slipping's fastest high. Causes a head cumple on hit allowing for follow up combos. Great to use after a side turned CH[6][P] for big damage.

    1. Combos
    2. Slipping [P][+][K], [9][P][+][K], [4][4][P], BT [2][P], [9][K]
      up to Jeffry's weight
    3. Slipping [P][+][K], [9][P][+][K], [4][P][K][6], Ducking [K][+][G]
      for Taka

    Slipping [P][P][K] (hit or guard) [K] (M, H, M, M) - A string useful in combos. The 4th hit won't come by simply mashing away, look carefully for when the 3rd hit connects before attempting. This one takes a lot of practice.

    Slipping [P][P][2][K] (M, H, L) - A string with a low for mixing things up a little. Leaves you at -15 if blocked and wide open for punishment.

    Slipping [K] (M) - A knee attack. Crumples opponents giving you a combo opportunity.

    1. Combos
    2. Slipping[K], [3][P][P], [9][K]
      up to Jeffry's weight
    3. Slipping[K], [3][P][+][K][P]
      for Taka

    Slipping[K][+][G] (M) - A half-circular. Gives frame advantage on block (but pushes opponents back), and enough advantage on counterhit to allow a follow-up [P].

    Sway Back(top)

    The animation causes some short range moves and high attacks to whiff.

    Sway [P][P][K] (hit or guard) [K] (H, H, M, M) - If the first hit connects, the follow-ups will also connect. Look to use the sway to make opponents whiff and then go for the string. The 4th hit requires the same execution as the slipping version.

    Sway [P][P][2][K] (H, H, L) - Similar to the slipping version.

    Sway [P][+][K] (H) - A guard break. Slow, good players will be able to react to it if they see it coming, but if it breaks a guard you'll be at +15 frames giving you a guaranteed [6][P][+][K].

    Sway [K] (M) - Has the same properties as Slipping [K]. Can't follow up with attacks after a side hit with this.

    Sway [K][+][G] (L) - A slight disadvantage on normal hit, knocks down on counterhit. Has a peculiar animation on counterhit. Leaves open to punishment at -15 on block. Potentially damaging, hitting this on opponents who have their back to a wall will give a wall stagger.

    From the author(top)

    It can be hard to win when you're just starting out, and I think at times it's easy to get disheartened but it's a road everyone must travel. Don't give up, and with practice I think you'll find this to be a very fun game indeed! Watching videos of strong players is a way to improve your game quickly. Thankfully there's no shortage of good videos on the net and studying them is very important! Good luck!


    Source: ChinoBrad's Beginner's Blog post / ChinoBrad's Beginner's Blog post- Brad's Unique Movement
    Author: ChinoBrad
    Translator: Modelah

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