Elena Tutorial (USF4) by Bafael

Elena

  • Preferred ultras: U1 for most chars, U2/UCW for heavy zoners where you get lots of ultra meter but few ultra setups, like Guile and Chun-Li, as well as against characters with poor approach, like Hugo and Zangief
  • Entry level difficulty: [2/10]
  • Advanced difficulty: [7/10]
  • Strengths:
    • +Enormous range 3f jab that converts even at max distance
    • +Very fast overheads and ability to convert high damage from overhead
    • +Good whiff punishing ability
    • +Tiny hurtbox
    • +Good fullscreen presence with slide
  • Weaknesses:
    • -Horrendous jump, can't use it to punish fireballs nor easily hit grounded opponents
    • -All low attacks are either short range or unsafe and uncomboable.
    • -Highly reliant on her overheads, which are unsafe or reactable.
    • -safe reversal costs 3 bars

Anti airs

  • st. MP (meterless, faster and more consistent than cr. HP, dramatically weaker)
  • cr. HP (meterless, high damage, reliable)
  • EX scratch wheel (invincible, high damage, costs a bar, can FADC u1 on air connect)
  • jump or jump-back HP (very high priority air to air normal)
  • MK scratch wheel (early will get easy counterhits, late LK SW can actually trade into super or ultra 1 but it's unreliable)
  • st. MK (low profiles and works consistently but not very rewarding, good against divekicks)
  • st. LP (weak, no invincibility, but very fast and can counter hit easily, good against divekicks)
  • st. HP (great hitbox but very slow, won't work from very close)
  • cr. HK (low profiles but not a true anti air, difficult to time but good on some jump in mixups)
  • Super (inconsistent, only works on far jump ins)
  • U1 (inconsistent, can trade, can go under, hard to beat empty jumps)

Anti focus

  • st. LK/cr. MP xx HK lynx tail (most reliable, but risky if they backdash after absorbing the normal)
  • st. LK/cr. MP xx LK lynx tail (somewhat reliable, meterless, low damage, not very risky)
  • st. LK/cr. MP xx HK/EX scratch wheel (also bad if they backdash, otherwise high damage response)
  • st. LK/cr. MP xx EX lynx tail (more rewarding. If normal counter hits, EX lynx tail might drop from push back)
  • U1 (catches backdash, release, forward dash, won't catch all backdashes)
  • cr. MP xx EX rhino horn (follow up EX scratch wheel loses hits, not worth the bar unless you corner them)
  • st. MK cr.hp (high reward, only from very close)
  • EX mallet smash (extra frame advantage if 2nd hit breaks armor, can link cr. MP)
  • HP mallet smash (extra frame advantage if 2nd hit breaks armor, can link U1 or st. mk cr. HP)
  • j. LP j. MK (target combo 1, good for breaking armor on jump ins)

Anti fireball

  • d/f+HK - Must be done predictively or with very quick reactions, but is quite effective especially on slow fireballs.
  • EX rhino horn - Typically won't get more than one hit but quite reliable.
  • cr. HK - more incidentally useful but her sweep interacts favorably with fireballs even when it trades
  • U1 - requires buffering and quick reaction
  • (cr. MK xx fireball) EX rhino horn / super / U1 - These attacks have the fireball invincibility necessary to interrupt blockstrings.
  • (block fireball) super - Most fireballs are highly minus on block and Elena's super goes inordinately fast for a 4f attack.

Reversals/Invincibility

  • EX scratch wheel 4f, anti safe jump, can auto correct quite easily
  • Backdash - Elena has tied for the shortest duration backdash in the game and it only has 4f of grounded recovery while going a good distance. Lots of OS punishes don't work on it.
  • U1 - Invincible, but kind of slow. Recovers very quickly, so can be hard to punish and allow her to escape crossups.
  • Super - invincible, can anti air, 4f startup

Punishing combos

  • Block blanka ball, slide
  • block Thawk dive, u1
  • cr. LP punishing fei's rekka, cr. LP xx MK spin scythe (178 damage)
  • cr. MP xx MK spin scythe (208 damage, BnB meterless punish, can RFC first hit of spin scythe if so desired, not usually worth the bar)
  • cr. MP xx LK rhino horn, EX scratch wheel (300 damage, 1 bar, can use MK rhino horn from st. HP)
  • cr. MP xx EX lynx tail, U1 (473 damage, 1 bar, BnB punish U1)
  • cr. MP xx HK lynx tail FADC st. HP, HK spin scythe (340 damage, 2 bars, standing opponents only. On crouching opponents, swap after the focus for cr. MP xx MK spin scythe, 294 damage)
  • cr. MP xx HK lynx tail FADC st. HP, MK rhino horn, EX scratch wheel (415 damage, 3 bars, standing opponents only. On crouching opponents, swap after the focus for cr. MP xx LK rhino horn, EX scratch wheel, 362 damage)
  • cr. MP xx EX mallet smash, cr. LP cr. MP xx anything above (doing much more than one EX mallet smash scales the combo a lot)
  • cr. MP xx MK lynx tail xx Super (4 bars, 470 damage, BnB super punish)

Confirm combos

  • cr. LP, cr. LP, cr. LP, cr. LP xx HK lynx tail (generic jab hit confirm, hard knockdown)
  • cr. LK, cr. LP, cr. LP xx MK spin scythe (190 damage, BnB low hit confirm)
  • cr. LK, cr. LP, cr. mp xx EX mallet smash, cr. LP, cr. MP xx MK spin scythe (270 damage, 1 bar, BnB combo extension)
  • cr. LK, cr. LP, st. LK xx EX lynx tail, U1 (387 damage, 1 bar+ultra, BnB low conversion to ultra)
  • EX mallet smash, cr. LP, cr. MP xx MK spin scythe (264 damage, 1 bar, BnB conversion from EX mallet)
  • EX mallet smash, cr. LP xx LK rhino horn, EX scratch wheel (311 damage, 2 bars, BnB conversion from EX mallet)
  • HP mallet smash, cr. MP xx MK spin scythe (312 damage, BnB conversion from HP mallet)
  • HP mallet smash, cr. MP xx LK rhino horn, EX scratch wheel (391 damage, 1 bar, BnB conversion from HP mallet)
  • f+MP, cr. LP cr. LP xx MK spin scythe (230 damage, combo from standing overhead)
  • EX scratch wheel fadc cr. LP, cr. LP, cr. LP, MK spin scythe (225 damage, 3 bars, BnB conversion from invincible reversal)

Focus

  • Focus backdash, hard mallet smash (184 damage, max meterless damage from backdash)
  • Focus backdash, U1 (394 damage, requires walk/dash in to connect)
  • Focus forward dash, cr. MP, LK rhino horn, EX scratch wheel (302 damage, BnB crumple combo)
  • Focus forward dash, st. HK, cr. LP, cr. MP, MK spin scythe (291, max damage meterless crumple combo)
  • Anti air focus, HK/EX scratch wheel (176, BnB anti air focus conversion)

Important Juggles

  • trade anti air scratch wheel, dash forward scratch wheel (140 damage)
  • trade anti air scratch wheel, super/U1 (430 damage/437 damage)
  • anti air EX scratch wheel FADC U1 (417 damage)
  • st. MK, cr. HP, super (410 damage)

Corner

  • spin scythe, HK scratch wheel (250 damage, character specific)
  • spin scythe, EX scratch wheel (313 damage, 1 bar)
  • cr. MP xx EX spin scythe, LK scratch wheel, HK scratch wheel (254 damage, 1 bar)
  • cr. MP xx EX spin scythe, LK scratch wheel, EX scratch wheel (317 damage, 2 bars)
  • cr. MP xx EX spin scythe, U1 (494 damage, 1 bar+ultra)
  • cr. MP xx EX spin scythe, EX rhino horn, EX scratch wheel (405 damage, 3 bars, costs a lot of meter but does a lot of damage)
  • cr. LP, cr. LP, cr. MP xx EX mallet smash, cr. LP, cr. MP xx LK rhino horn, EX scratch wheel (305 damage, 2 bars, works midscreen but loses hits)

Ultra setups
(1)

  • st. MK, cr. HP, U1 (444 damage, meterless ultra launcher, doesn't work on Blanka, Decapre, El Fuerte, Ibuki, Rolento, Rufus)
  • cr. LP, cr. LP xx EX lynx tail, U1 (407 damage, 1 bar, BnB launcher to ultra)
  • EX mallet smash, cr. LP EX lynx tail, U1 (457 damage, 2 bars, BnB ultra from an overhead)
  • EX scratch wheel FADC cr. LP, cr. LP xx EX lynx tail, U1 (408 damage, 4 bars, BnB invincible reversal to U1)
  • cr. MP xx HK lynx tail FADC U1 (454 damage, 2 bars, usually outclassed by EX lynx tail combos)
  • cr. MK xx HK lynx tail FADC st. HP xx EX lynx tail, U1 (514 damage, 3 bars, just a demo of a high damage FADC combo)

(2)

  • Different characters will be able to stop you different ways from finishing a healing. This is highly matchup dependent.
  • Forward throw, U2 (partial)
  • Back throw, U2 (full)
  • super combo, U2 (full)
  • EX spin scythe, U2 (full)
  • spin scythe (partial)
  • EX scratch wheel (partial)
  • focus crumple, backdash backdash U2 (good over backthrow if you have them cornered or they have you cornered)
  • Focus crumple, partial U2, sweep
  • Focus crumple, partial U2, super

Counter hit combos

  • f+MK, cr. LP
  • b+HK, cr. LP
  • f+MP, cr. MP

Important Juggles

  • d/f+HK when spaced can be safe on block, but mind focus attacks
  • cr. LP can punish a lot of things. Very long range and can cancel into MK spin
  • scythe. 3f startup.
  • cr. MP doesn't go quite as far as cr. LP but does much more damage and has a nice hitbox and very little hurtbox
  • cr. MK loses range from cr. MP but hits low, which functions well with Elena's overheads.
  • st. LK goes very far and will combo into LK lynx tail at almost all ranges, which is generally safe at max range.
  • f+MK is a fast overhead that's too fast to react to, though it's minus on block.
  • f+MP is a slower, safer, farther reaching overhead you can link out of.
  • st. HK goes far, deals high damage, beats lows, and can combo easily on counter hit. It's also unthrowable for most of its animation.
  • b+HK is airborne, unthrowable, and beats lows. It tends to beat crouch techs reliably if you can get it out in time, and when it counter hits you can link cr. LP on reaction easily.
  • cr. HP is a good poke for hitting attacks that don't hit crouching opponents.
  • j. MK is Elena's crossup

Mixups

  • f+MK vs cr. HK (opponents must block high or low with little time to react)
  • st. LK xx LK/MK lynx tail vs st. LK xx EX mallet smash (opponents must block high or low with little time to react)
  • jump HP, throw vs j. HP, b+HK counter hit, combo (b+HK is invincible to crouch+stand techs)
  • anti air st. MP, forward dash throw vs anti air st. MP, forward dash b+HK vs anti air st. MP, HP mallet smash + follow up (b+HK is invincible to crouch+stand techs)
  • level 2 focus dash into throw vs focus dash into close HK, combo (close HK is invincible to crouch+stand techs)
  • jump LP MK (double overhead) vs jump LP cr. LK (overhead low) then confirm to combo
  • jump MK to cross up, jump HP to not cross up (opponents must block left/right with little time to react)

Miscellaneous Notes

  • Air target combo can break focus
  • Elena pretty much revolves around high-low mixups. When playing footsies, buffer her cr. MP and cr. MK into EX mallet as it will always combo if the normal hits.
  • buffering special moves (like st. LK, cr. MK) into LK/MK lynx tail is very effective at punishing people looking for EX mallet smash
  • HP mallet is only -1 on block (jump out of SPD reversal)
  • st. HK and b+HK beat throws (demo against grapplers)
  • MK lynx tail punished is unsafe but you can often punish attempted punishes when you FADC it
  • Use LK lynx tail to build some meter in footsies
  • On some characters, MK spin scythe will whiff. You can end combos with MK scratch wheel instead. (crouching cammy)
  • st. HP is stronger than cr. MP and combos to the same moves, in addition to HK spin scythe and MK rhino horn, but is difficult to land after focus/jump ins due to its poor hitbox and low speed. Only use it when you're sure you can time it to work.
  • Elena has a kara throw off st. LK.
  • Elena's back throw range is much higher than her forward throw range.
  • Elena's sweeps are both unsafe but are unreactable. By doing a lot of them, whether you're successful or not, you'll train them to low block. This forces them to be stationary in footsies and lets you sneak in a lot of f+MP, f+MK, and EX mallet smash.
  • Plink cr. MP with cr. LP. It will make your combos dramatically more consistent. With combos into MK spin scythe, even if you drop the plink input it will still combo.
  • LK scratch wheel is 3f and unlike her jab, she can plink it. This means she can get reliable combos out of +3 moves such as f+MP, st. HK, and MP mallet smash.
  • Crouching RDPS don't work for lynx tail, can do motion qcb qcb K for cancels from crouching normals.
  • Jump HK first hit only creates a juggle state, and you can combo U1, a MK scratch wheel, and other things. Elena really shouldn't be jumping forward in footsies however, so it's really not useful or practical in any scenario I'm aware of.
  • Doing meaty overheads mitigates their poor startup, and it's easier to link out of them.
  • Until the opponent proves they can block overheads or knock you out of them, abuse HP mallet. Only -1 and leads to big damage if it hits.
  • -1 isn't truly safe though.
  • And HP Mallet smashes can be beaten quite easily on reaction.
  • Light mallet smash is almost as fast as EX but it's -7 on block and you can't combo out of it
  • EX mallet smash is -4 on block
  • Jab combos can often be extended by cr. MP xx EX mallet smash, but it's usually not worth the bar it costs, especially doing more than one EX mallet smash in a combo.
  • However, EX mallet smash does normalize the distance away from the opponent, enabling consistent punishes from afar.
  • If EX mallet smash trades, you can still generally combo.
  • EX lynx tail final hit can be FADC'ed for safety, although it's somewhat useless since it's not a true blockstring.
  • HK lynx tail fadc can be combo'd to crumple, which makes follow ups easier but do less damage.
  • The crumple can be used for reliable hard knockdowns to set up Healing, however.
  • HK lynx tail is a hard knockdown and can set up ambiguous crossups easily.
  • Super juggles after the final hit of LK/MK lynx tail
  • It's a bit gimmicky but a meaty slide can bait people into attempting reversals if they're used to punishing slides based on the range executed
  • The final portion of Elena's healing heals the most, but it is uncancellable and lasts a long time. Almost every character can punish it on reaction regardless of your setup.
  • Lots of characters need to do some unsafe things to try and punish a healing. If you end it early you can often catch them.
  • You can trade U2 with fireballs to reliably get it off at the expense of some lost recovery
  • Elena has a LOT of character specific combos, some working for her, some against. I've done my best to not include any except the ones that work on almost everyone.
  • st. MK cr. HP, u1 does not work on Blanka, Decapre, El Fuerte, Ibuki, Rolento, Rufus

Players to watch

  • Gamerbee
  • Sako
  • Karlsson95 (XBL: Silfver Surfer)
  • onemic, Sprint, and the Elena subforum on SRK


Bafael's youtube: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtX2bD2XTL8LgykPcPY9GLg
Playlist for Bafael's other character tutorials: https://www.youtube.com/playlist&list=PLo3Zl2nq6CkDnLK7r8VTuKrQHt0c79gi-
Bafael's twitter: http://twitter.com/Bafael1
Bafael's twitch: http://www.twitch.tv/bafael