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Match-Up Discussion - Sonya Blade Sonya Blade Matchup Thread

I figured I'd go ahead and create this since a few of us were speaking about it on the Sonya general discussion board the past week, so here it is! I'll list off a few to begin with and hopefully others can add as they feel like it.

Sub-Zero (Grandmaster): Probably the most difficult time I've had using Covert Ops. Your dive kick isn't a great tool unless you can time the clone ending or while he's shooting an ice ball, which is tough since he'll be doing it behind a clone all day. Your best bet is to be patient and bait out his slide if possible. When he does, punish it and see how far you can get before he pops another clone (or his breaker). This might be a long match, just take your time and read his mistakes. Switching to Special Forces for this matchup makes things a lot easier since you can pop SZ's defensive tactics with your own projectiles. Demo makes this matchup a hell of a lot simpler if you can time your grenades with his clone animations right. If you throw your stun grenades while SZ places a clone and hit both with it, you'll have more than enough time to run in and punish with whatever (I like f2 xx df1 as a starter for the gap closing) and possibly push him to corner. Wake and Bake (1 on wakeup with two grenades) will definitely relieve a ton of pressure if you're jammed in the corner with a clone. Love the Demo variation in this matchup.

Raiden (Thunder God): Tough, but not impossible. Raiden's 50/50s with his overhead and low options are tough to read, but are also pretty unsafe on block, so if you block his overhead you can punish it. STAY AWAY FROM THE CORNER. If he gets you in there, it'll be a nightmare to get out and he'll have a pretty solid advantage with his 50/50s on keeping you there. Also, watch that EX rising wakeup he can do, it has armor and does quite a bit of damage. Try doing hard knockdowns if possible to prevent your momentum from getting crushed.

Kano (Cutthroat): I know this isn't the Cybernetics like everyone else has been playing, but I've been playing against someone who mains Cutthroat. Pretty damaging if he gets the combos going, not to mention the knife projectile comes out quick and recovers quick. Blocking low should be on reaction in this one since his overhead can trick you out (he steps back and it looks like it hits low, but it's really an overhead). Keep your poke game strong and punish his special moves if possible. The ball is super unsafe if blocked, wall carry BnB if that happens. Your corner game against him is strong, and he'll most likely try using EX ball to get out which is easy to bait, so get him there as often as possible.

Kung Jin (Bojitsu): This match seems to be hit or miss depending on how well you can read his mixup game. EX db3 or EX bf3 will be KJ's main wakeups about 90% of the time, so don't try being fancy and punishing him on his way up, you'll end up losing about 33% of your health (combo dependent). The upside to facing KJ is that the majority of his moves are really unsafe. You can punish a lot of the strings or even get a nice dive kick in if you're able to read how often he shoots arrows. Watch out for his f3 when you're getting off the ground and make sure you block high, it'll hit overhead and put you back down. If you think he'll go for it, either stay on the ground long enough for it to whiff, or punish it with EX db4 to carry him across the screen. Oh yeah, his dive kick has the worst recovery ever, so if he ever just throws it out while you're blocking, punish the living hell out of him for doing it.

Scorpion (Inferno): Be very careful jumping. His j3 is a godlike air normal that gives him 34% damage and a reset 50/50 attempt. The best you can hope for is a j1 into 20% and a hkd, so be very careful with jumps and divekicks. Once you start staying grounded he will try to abuse his d3 normal which outranges your best normals. I try to bait his d3 and instant air divekick. Once you get in range of your d1/d3 then things are in your favor. on a knockdown just bait his highly punishable wakeups and then put him in that 50/50 wakeup sonya grinder, rinse and repeat. Provided by: @chores

Kotal Kahn (War God): With the emergence of a few top finishers with KK War God recently, I've seen a lot more on ranked, which is nice because fighting against Scorpion/SZ/KJ all the time isn't fun. I'd limit dive kick unless you're using it for mobility, if he blocks it he'll punish you for a good 36-40% depending on how much meter he plans on using. Stick to the ground and learn his pokes, counter what you can and try pressuring him down. Don't rush down on his wakeup, EX db1 will usually be KK's go-to, has armor, and can start up a solid BnB. If he has distance against you he might try building meter by whiffing df1 repeatedly, in that case you can try running in to land something. Otherwise, nothing special.

Quan Chi (Summoner): The match is pretty even for the most part. Quan Chi benefits from keeping Sonya out by mixing up projectiles between Skull, Rune, and the bat and setting up a safe vortex. While Sonya benefits from getting a knockdown. Since Quan generally doesn't have a strong reversal, a lot of Sonya's strings (B322, B14) are actually fast enough to blow up the armor. In the close neutral one of Quan Chi's best options to blow up your approach is n.jP. It has a large hitbox that's extremely hard to anti-air and comes out very quickly (5 frames). Your best options against this is to read the jump and beat it with a jP before he does, D2 (typically trades unless you're very close), or wait and try to trip guard him on landing. Last bit of advice is to just play very patient. If Quan Chi has a bat out, just wait. If you try to approach you'll get hit and get pushed back again. Just wait, bock, duck, until he either uses the bat or it times out. Then there's you chance to start moving in. Oh, and don't push buttons after MB Rune pressue. It's +14, just block or in some cases you can back dash the mix-up if they're not looking for it. Provided by @NoremacX8

Jaqui Briggs (Full-Auto): Not as bad as one might think. Yeah I'm sure you've had those cheese matches where scrubs sit back and just wail on you with the machine gun fullscreen, but you have plenty of options to avoid taking damage. Don't block the machine gun hits unless you positively have to, or if you can read the EX at the end which will hit you regardless of ducking. In between shots you can inch closer by running or walking then ducking/blocking immediately. You can also dive kick over the shots when you're in range to start up some BnBs. Her close game isn't difficult, but if she lands a hit she can carry you across the screen pretty far with no meter for about 32-33% (with one bar I think it's something close to 36%). You're going to find yourself blocking low a lot randomly for her low missile shot, but don't underestimate her overhead when you do. Other than that, it's a pretty clean sweep.

Kung Lao (Buzzsaw, Tempest): Man, I hate this guy. Kung Lao is equally as pressure hungry as you are in this matchup, so it'll easily be an in-your-face bloodbath the majority of the fight if you're playing Covert Ops. If you can read his low hat mixup combos and the floor hat + overhead 50/50, you should be alright. Be patient on his wakeup game since he'll be spinning most of the time if you try starting a BnB, but if you block it it's a full punish, so just bait it the best you can. Special Forces may actually work a bit better in this matchup due to spacing/hard knockdowns for drone setups. I've recently played a sparring buddy of mine with Demo against both his Buzzsaw and Tempest Kung Laos and found the matchup particularly easier than in Covert Ops. Your Wake and Bake (1 while waking up with two grenades) works wonders against his constant pressure and if you time it right while he's teleporting, you'll still hit him. If you don't have any grenades, but you have meter, 112 xx EXdd1 totally caught him off guard since he expected the combo animation with the grenade and everything. This will buy you some time to reload as well and putting you in a pretty good situation for a bit of zoning.

Cassie Cage (In General): People that have a hard time in the Cassie match up I feel aren't punishing everything they can. If you know her strings, and block everything right, then you have a free 50/50 afterwards. If you do nothing but trade 50/50's, you'll come out ahead because you have more dmg than she does. However, you have the tools to get ahead! Cassie is free to your air game. Crossing over every wake up is free, and she can do nothing about it if the timing is right. Flip kick will whiff and get hit for a full punish (even EX), wake up rising kick whiffs and you can run in to punish, if she just blocks, then you get another free 50/50 to play into. Don't bother trying to zone, you'll tend to lose the trades. Just stay up and in her face. Force trades, be consistent, make sure you make the most of opportunities and you shouldn't have too many problems. Provided by @HugeMcBigLarge

Ermac (Master of Souls): MOS Ermac does more damage than you, so what that means is you will have open him up more than he does, trading won't work at all. However, he has pretty ass wake ups... You can neutral jump his wake up options, or if he starts to do the proximity blast thing w/ armor, you can either be right on top of him because it has a buggy hurt box that misses point blank, or you can get a cross up early in the knockdown and just keep pressuring him. I found blocking his strings not too bad at all; block low for everything and then on reaction fuzzy guard the overhead because it's like 20 frames. You can normally get it. He does stay pretty neutral on his advancing string (something like -1 or -2), so you're going to have to poke out of it. I believe you can neutral jump out of his pressure as well, so once you block a string it's your turn. Just be patient and play is like a punish game. Sonya is pretty mentally taxing to play against because the opponent will keep guessing and noticing how much they're guessing wrong and will start to get frustrated. Mostly only viable in longer sets than a BO1, but stay on him and watch your own tendencies/patterns to make sure you're actually mixing him up. The last big thing that I was able to catch on Ermacs a lot is the sweet 3/4 screen distance jump-ins over his projectile. If you are closer than full screen, bait a projectile and dive kick it. You should be able to full punish any time he throws it from more than full screen. He'll try to teleport once you catch him once or twice and he sees you at that distance, so you can just start to neutral jump instead of jumping in, and that full punishes the whiffed tele (I used njp, 12, ~run 21u4 OR njp, 12, ~run 121bf4). Provided by @HugeMcBigLarge

Johnny Cage (A-List, Fisticuffs): Shouldn't be that difficult of a matchup between either of these JC variations since both play fairly similar (aside from A-List being able to delay and RC). Most of JC's poking will come from his d4 and usually followed up with f3 most of the time, in A-List especially, so you can decide whether you want to block both, or parry the f3 if you have great timing. I know all characters are deadly in the corner, but JC is particularly annoying to break away from if you don't have meter or if he blocks your EX db4. Most people will still cheese you with the b1212.... for decent damage in the corner and serious meter gain on block, but since it only hits 9 times (I believe) before the combo counter resets, that should buy you a small window to counter it, unless they end with nut punch of course, then you can punish that instead. His starting strings aren't anything special and his f24 has a decent loadup time, so it's easy to block high and punish. A-Listers will mostly RC off of f34 or some small starter into shadowkick, so watch out for that as well. 113 might be the only thing you'll get caught with, but that only really leads into a nut punch anyway. Nothing crazy, just bring your best Sonya.

Jason Voorhees (Slasher): Cross overs are strong against him. His uppercut is slow enough and your ji1 has a dumb enough active period to catch him most of the time and give you the free 50/50 every jump is. Cross over his wake up option every time. Nothing he can do will hit you. Easy oki that nullifies his armor, doesn't detract from your pressure too much, and keeps you mid-screen. Jason's only real mix-up comes from his low->overhead stomp to sword slash string. He's pretty negative on this, so you can take over pressure once you block it right. Jason has HUGE advance on a lot of his strings. Either stay full screen or RIGHT on top of him. You don't want to be jump in distance because he'll be able to hit you w/o you answering. Covert ops just has to go toe-to-toe with him more than anything. Demolition should be able to out damage him in most scenario's, and once you get to full screen you get a free reload. You can just zone him with special forces as well. Apart from that poking and baiting I find is effective, go for lows, most important learn how to avoid his xray, because you don't want to be necessarily caught in that when all you have to do is duck. Provided by @HugeMcBigLarge @Dedlock

Kitana (In General):
Rule of thumb against Kitana:
duck fans (avoid blocking them because it gives her extra meter and gives you chip damage)
Avoid truly unnecessary jumps or random dive kicks if you can avoid it. 1 fan juggle = 30+%; however, i do random neutral jumps from 3/4 to full screen away to make the kitana think that i'm going to jump occasionally and make her jump in the air to throw fans. when that happens, you can move in and cover the ground a bit more
push her towards the corner (she might do that already to herself with jump back fans and such)
watch your spacing and be very patient. With that said, watch for run up grabs or a square boost (Royal Storm) when she conditions you to crawl
conserve meter
she'll most likely have a combo breaker with all the meter she builds from fan tosses so you're going to have to get in again her after she combo breaks. this is your big opportunity since she won't have stamina to back dash or run.
do not trade projectiles with her, but if she jumps you can shoot a projectile and hope to catch her on the way down. run in after this but respect her wake up because 1 square boost or throat slice can make you start all over from full screen again.
watch out for her mid-air float to njp. if she does it raw you have a few options here:
a) if you're not confident, block it but you end up being on the defensive and she can jump over you and switch sides afterwards.
b) if you practice this enough times, do a neutral 3. the timing is strict but you can anti air her from that. can lead to grenade juggles afterwards
c) backdash/run behind her on reaction if you are quick enough
d) ex bf4
if she jumps in attack and then do the float to njp, then you can armor through it or back dash. depending on spacing, if you block the very tip of her hand from the jump in and does the float, you can actually do a regular arc kick and hit her out of it. the arc kick shrinks sonya's hit box and avoids the kitana float > njp.
Watch out with her newly buffed rising fan move since it can be 2-in-1'd now. I think you can actually low profile this with d4. don't quote me on this but I've seen it happen.
Don't be afraid to blow a bar on ex arc kick when she jumps and throws a fan at a certain distance. You can armor through the fan and it's pretty good corner carry. Provided by @DaZengie

I'll update more as I understand more matchups. Keep it going!

06/10/15: Updated for Quan Chi (Summoner), Jaqui Briggs (Full-Auto)
06/12/15: Updated for Kung Lao (Buzzsaw)
06/19/15: Updated for Cassie Cage (In General)
06/23/15: Updated for Ermac (Master of Souls), Johnny Cage (A-List, Fisticuffs)
06/30/15: Updated for Jason (Slasher)
07/14/15: Updated for Kitana (In General), Kung Lao (Buzzsaw, Tempest), Sub-Zero (Grandmaster)
 
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Dedlock

Noob
the Strategy I've settled on for our dearest Grand Master Sub-Zero with my C.Ops Sonya,

Step1: stay the fuck away and I mean I usually am full screen away he can rot infront of his clone

Step 2:I keep sending Energy rings towards him and or Keep builiding your meter whilst your a full screen distance away

Step3: , when he decides to throw his clone jump backwards to avoid any damage (you have to practice the timing but by now I've learnt it like clockwork)

Step 4: when his majesty decides to come attack because he realizes the time is running out and the chip damage will make him lose, you attack thats when you've got a shot at pummeling him and catching mistakes,

if he decides to hide behind a clone again, repeat step 1.

Ive defeated all of my GM sub-zeros like this, I decided to not play their game and when he doesnt have his game thats when they actually have to do something to win.
 

Orbit Aquary

Want a balloon?
Grandmaster was a disaster for me, but now I just counter-pick. I go with special forces against GM Sub-Zero, because I can just zone him out with the tracking projectile, together with her energy ring. Sometimes I use covert ops and get close to the clone, and dive kick over it positioning me behind him.
 

Rude

You will serve me in The Netherrealm
I am a Cybernetics Kano main and i struggle fighting Sonya. What do good Cyber Kano's do to give you all trouble?
 
Grandmaster was a disaster for me, but now I just counter-pick. I go with special forces against GM Sub-Zero, because I can just zone him out with the tracking projectile, together with her energy ring. Sometimes I use covert ops and get close to the clone, and dive kick over it positioning me behind him.
I feel like Special Forces is on the come-up not only for the GM SZ matchup, but also for other zoners who cheese. Feeling safe when doing unsafe strings followed up by a projectile, or a high/low mixup from the drone is just too good not to take advantage of. I really need to start dipping into SF soon, I'm just having too much fun with Covert Ops ;).

I am a Cybernetics Kano main and i struggle fighting Sonya. What do good Cyber Kano's do to give you all trouble?
I've only faced Cybernetics a few times since my friend who plays Kano mains Cutthroat (and for some reason I don't see a lot of Kano on ranked), but his pressure and b1 frame traps are pretty brutal. B1 in general is enough to back you into a corner for Kano to have his way with you. I'll try to get him to play Cyber next week when we meetup so I can relay more information on the matchup, I just don't have a lot of experience against him yet.
 
Updated for Kung Jin Bojitsu. If you see a character that isn't up there, feel free to blurb about it, I'll add it to the OP and credit you for the information, thanks!
 

Orbit Aquary

Want a balloon?
How about inferno scorpio, is he just broken?
Thought about that too, but I have trouble with him with every character :p The biggest problem for me is when I try to jump into dive kick, he does his jump kick which lets him combo off it and the vortex begins... The overhead projectile is really annoying as well, especially since you wanna be up close with Sonya. Scorpion also has his wakeup teleport that you need to be careful of all the time.
 

chores

bad at things
How about inferno scorpio, is he just broken?
Thought about that too, but I have trouble with him with every character :p The biggest problem for me is when I try to jump into dive kick, he does his jump kick which lets him combo off it and the vortex begins... The overhead projectile is really annoying as well, especially since you wanna be up close with Sonya. Scorpion also has his wakeup teleport that you need to be careful of all the time.

my strat vs inferno scorp:

be very careful jumping. his j3 is a godlike air normal that gives him 34% damage and a reset 50/50 attempt. the best you can hope for is a j1 into 20% and a hkd, so be very careful with jumps and divekicks. once you start staying grounded he will try to abuse his d3 normal which outranges your best normals. i try to bait his d3 and instant air divekick. one you get in range of your d1/d3 then things are in your favor. on a knockdown just bait his highly punishable wakeups and then put him in that 50/50 wakeup sonya grinder, rinse and repeat.
 
my strat vs inferno scorp:

be very careful jumping. his j3 is a godlike air normal that gives him 34% damage and a reset 50/50 attempt. the best you can hope for is a j1 into 20% and a hkd, so be very careful with jumps and divekicks. once you start staying grounded he will try to abuse his d3 normal which outranges your best normals. i try to bait his d3 and instant air divekick. one you get in range of your d1/d3 then things are in your favor. on a knockdown just bait his highly punishable wakeups and then put him in that 50/50 wakeup sonya grinder, rinse and repeat.
I have yet to face Inferno Scorpion with my Sonya on ranked, seems like my Johnny Cage is an Inferno magnet...

Good stuff to keep in mind though, thanks Chores!
 

Dedlock

Noob
A breakthrough with Kung Jin I was able to Parry with ease both his normal and ex bow twirls on wake up And within close range.

I'm going to see how effective this plays but it felt really odd parrying Those moves with ease.

This threw of the player and shifted momentum to my side.
 
Updated for Kotal Kahn (War God).

Maybe I should date these updates in the OP, is that what people have been doing?
 

shura30

Shura
how do you guys deal against takeda?
cannot retaliate any of his strings and ex leg grab is 1 bar worthless 10% damage into no wakeup game for those kunais
also divekick is useless against 9/10 of his full screen wires that lead into teleport+combo
 

lslick

Stole this pic from Doombawkz :P
@AoK Ryan I know that you play Goro and that you think he sucks. But I need help in that matchup. I keep getting bodied by it =[. I know that flame is safe on block. Fireball can be ducked under. Punchwalk/Ex punchwalk is -5. D3 is hella annoying. But outside of those things, I keep getting bopped =[
 

Alright RyRy

Florida Kombat
Premium Supporter
@AoK Ryan I know that you play Goro and that you think he sucks. But I need help in that matchup. I keep getting bodied by it =[. I know that flame is safe on block. Fireball can be ducked under. Punchwalk/Ex punchwalk is -5. D3 is hella annoying. But outside of those things, I keep getting bopped =[
If you have PS4 add me, but I just keep jumping, since Goro has no anti airs and horrible with forward punishes.
 
I second this. I've played a few decent ones online and I'm not totally comfortable with the matchup. Anyone else care to throw some info in?
I use allot of run cancels cause u can run under the air projectile and dive kicks to presure him all the time but its still a though mu for sonya
 

Dedlock

Noob
Guys any tips for Ermac, I've been having trouble with good Ermac players, they all seem to play in the same yet Im having difficulty.
 
I second this. I've played a few decent ones online and I'm not totally comfortable with the matchup. Anyone else care to throw some info in?
Yeah, I can weight in on the match-up a bit. My brother @BAP04 plays a very good Summoner Quan Chi. The match is pretty even for the most part. Quan Chi benefits from keeping Sonya out by mixing up projectiles between Skull, Rune, and the bat and setting up a safe vortex. While Sonya benefits from getting a knockdown. Since Quan generally doesn't have a strong reversal, a lot of Sonya's strings (B322, B14) are actually fast enough to blow up the armor.

In the close neutral one of Quan Chi's best options to blow up your approach is n.jP. It has a large hitbox that's extremely hard to anti-air and comes out very quickly (5 frames). Your best options against this is to read the jump and beat it with a jP before he does, D2 (typically trades unless you're very close), or wait and try to trip guard him on landing.

Last bit of advice is to just play very patient. If Quan Chi has a bat out, just wait. If you try to approach you'll get hit and get pushed back again. Just wait, bock, duck, until he either uses the bat or it times out. Then there's you chance to start moving in. Oh, and don't push buttons after MB Rune pressue. It's +14, just block or in some cases you can back dash the mix-up if they're not looking for it.
 
Yeah, I can weight in on the match-up a bit. My brother @BAP04 plays a very good Summoner Quan Chi. The match is pretty even for the most part. Quan Chi benefits from keeping Sonya out by mixing up projectiles between Skull, Rune, and the bat and setting up a safe vortex. While Sonya benefits from getting a knockdown. Since Quan generally doesn't have a strong reversal, a lot of Sonya's strings (B322, B14) are actually fast enough to blow up the armor.

In the close neutral one of Quan Chi's best options to blow up your approach is n.jP. It has a large hitbox that's extremely hard to anti-air and comes out very quickly (5 frames). Your best options against this is to read the jump and beat it with a jP before he does, D2 (typically trades unless you're very close), or wait and try to trip guard him on landing.

Last bit of advice is to just play very patient. If Quan Chi has a bat out, just wait. If you try to approach you'll get hit and get pushed back again. Just wait, bock, duck, until he either uses the bat or it times out. Then there's you chance to start moving in. Oh, and don't push buttons after MB Rune pressue. It's +14, just block or in some cases you can back dash the mix-up if they're not looking for it.
Thanks @NoremacX8! Added your thoughts to the OP, also updated OP for Jaqui Briggs (Full-Auto).
 

Dedlock

Noob
I played against that xrazxor guy who is number one on ranked in the leaderboards , he flawless victoried my covert ops Sonya and finished me off with a brutality, I literally could not breathe against his Hellfire Scorpion, lol I just laughed.
 

shura30

Shura
how do you guys deal against takeda?
cannot retaliate any of his strings and ex leg grab is 1 bar worthless 10% damage into no wakeup game for those kunais
also divekick is useless against 9/10 of his full screen wires that lead into teleport+combo
bump