Additionally, the post includes ranking for the walk speed of every character, from the top tier Akuma, Chun Li, Bison, and (my favorite) Vega, to the lowly, slowly… Makoto. But, all is not lost, for while many characters’ walk and dash speeds are similarly scaled, she’s one of many exceptions.
Although I have always understood that some characters have faster walks and dashes than others, it hadn’t particularly occurred to me that these dash speeds give those fighters different frame advantage/disadvantage following a blocked focus attack. Often I would get frustrated watching Ryu apply easy pressure by following a blocked focus attack with a forward dash, while my attempts to do so with Vega often failed miserably. Ryu’s dashes led to simple mixups: throws, high attacks, low attacks… or just LP shoryuken spam. My dashes led to watching Vega get pummeled.
As Venomish’s frame data show, if an opponent blocks Ryu’s lvl 2 focus attack, and Ryu dashes forward, Ryu recovers from the dash 4 frames before the opponent recovers from the blocking animation (written as +4). This means Ryu can use any attack that starts up in under 4 frames, and the opponent can’t do anything about it other than block/tech. If Ryu uses a lvl 1 focus attack, he is at a disadvantage of 2 frames (-2), which is not horrible since most opponents don’t have moves other than throws or risky reversals that can start up that quickly.
By contrast, Vega pulling the same maneuver only gets +2 advantage on a blocked level 2 FA, and -4 on a level 1 FA! A +2 advantage for Vega is almost useless, as it only really lets him use his throw when rushing down the opponent. And, obviously, a -4 disadvantage can lead to a lot of pain, since almost any opponent can punish this maneuver with a strong combo or a simple throw.
Of course, I use these examples only because they’re the ones I deal with most often. Dhalsim, with his terribad dash, gets -16/-10 for levels 1/2, respectively. And several characters, including Abel, Chun Li, El Fuerte, and Gouken, all have +0/+6 or even +1/+7, meaning they have really great focus attack pressure even using level 1 focus attack!
While this is all fairly geeky technical, understanding these numbers can give you a lot of information on the strengths and weaknesses of each character. Even if you don’t pore over the data day and night, you should at least learn the figures for your main and your worst rival, to get a better understanding of what they’re each capable of.