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I know there is delayed wake up, and fast wake up, and presumably neither-delayed-nor-fast wakeup.

How do I select which wake up to use?

Is there any particular reason to select one or the other, or do I just mix them up?

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As you noticed, there are a few different types of wake up. We can split them into two distinct categories:

  • Regular ("non tech") wakeup.
  • Technical ("tech") wakeup.

The first category is easy: Don't press any buttons or directions. Your character will wake up in the "normal" time. The normal time to wake up depends on if a move leaves your character face up or face down on the floor. The normal timing is 31 frames if you're facing up and 21 frames if you're facing down.

So for technical wakeups you have two main types:

  • Quick rise (sometimes called "quick stand")
  • Delayed wake up

You activate both of them in the same way. Press two or more buttons after being knocked down. Before Ultra, there was only quick rise. Since Ultra, there is now delayed wake up. To quick rise you can also double-tap the down direction

Quick rise is possible for any move which causes a 'soft' knockdown. Delayed wake up is possible for any move which causes a 'hard' knockdown. I can't give a comprehensive list of every possible way to cause a knockdown and which type it results in but I can give you the following information which is correct in most instances:

Hard knockdowns:

  • Throws
  • Sweeps (crouching hard kick / "roundhouse")
  • Ultra combos
  • Super combos

Soft knockdowns:

  • Everything else

Note that there are also reversal wake ups which are either quick, normal or delayed. Simply you use a move on the first possible frame for any type of wake up. If this move is a non-projectile special move it breaks armour. Armour absorbs a certain amount of hits and allows the character to slowly regenerate the damage which is dealt. Some moves grants it (normally EX variants) as well as focus attack.

As a final point, Cody can press up+any punch to perform "bad spray" from a soft knockdown.

So when do you use which? It depends, really. Some characters will be able to perform certain mixups against you if you either use regular or tech wake up. Normally they can only target one of them (not both, but there are some exceptions). So using them at random can help against some setups or using one specifically may be more useful against another setup. You also need to consider your opponent -- If they keep using a setup to catch a quick rise and you never quick rise they may alter their setup.

An example of a setup that can catch quick rise is Akuma's LK Tatsu > Shoyuken > FADC > HP Shakunetsu Hadouken. This causes a soft knockdown but there's a long enough period before you hit the floor and can perform it that Akuma is able to perform a HK demon flip > divekick. Depending on the type of Shoryuken used and your character, this can either hit you in the front or behind (sometimes randomly). If you do a regular wake up, he awkwardly misses you with his divekick and has no time to do much else (perhaps they can time an attack that you must block as you stand).

An example of a setup that can catch a regular wakeup is the same chain: LK Tatsu > Shoyuken > FADC > HP Shakunetsu Hadouken. Except this time, Akuma will jump forward and perform an air fireball. Upon landing, he will either perform a forward jump, teleport or demon flip. Aiming to be directly on top of you when the fireball hits (making it difficult or impossible to guess which way to block).

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