When it comes to high-damaging attacks in Street Fighter 6, it generally doesn’t get much better than Critical Arts. These super-charged versions of each character’s level 3 dish out more damage when the user’s health is low, and they work great as combo enders or a single big play to turn the tides of a match.
Some characters, such as Ryu, have a non-cinematic version of their level 3 and Critical Art that doesn’t trigger the big animation and instead hits a handful of times as a juggle. These non-direct level 3/Critical Arts are usually considered weaker due to not hitting fully, but a new discovery shows that Ryu’s non-cinematic Critical Art actually gets some very useful benefits that we didn’t realize were there previously — but it can be tricky to set up.
Ryu’s level 3 and Critical Art are his Shin Shoryuken super. When he doesn’t hit the cinematic, Ryu will lunge upward with a swift uppercut that pelts the opponent with five hits before knocking them back down to the ground.
FGC lab monster Javits has been testing some set ups, and in a recent clip demonstrated how this Critical Art can actually be more useful than the cinematic version when hit properly. As Javits explains, Ryu gets better frame advantage after the non-cinematic Critical Art than he normally would with the full attack, which allows him to set up a stronger follow-up play on the opponent’s wake up.
In addition to this, what generally makes non-cinematic a worse choice than the full Critical Art is the fact that the juggle typically does a lot less damage, especially because when it usually comes into play we’re not seeing all five of its hits actually land. However, as Javits shows, if you hit all five hits of this maneuver, the non-cinematic Critical Art actually deals similar damage to its cinematic counterpart.
The footage shows Ryu hit a Punish Counter standing heavy kick from a specific range, then whiff a crouching light punch to time the Critical Art properly so that it won’t activate the cinematic. Just for this simple combo, we see Ryu belt out an impressive 5,480 damage. For comparison’s sake, the same combo with a full animation Critical Art does 5,580 damage.
Doing that much damage AND getting better frame advantage is definitely great reason to try for this set up instead of combo-ing straight into the full super, but what’s tricky here is that setting up the spacing for this to work as intended can be very tough. We see that Javits is able to hit the non-cinematic super with all five hits thanks to his very specific spacing and timing, and with this tech being very new, we haven’t seen too much in the way of practical uses for it yet (though they are starting to surface).
If players continue to lab this set up, there’s a good chance we’ll eventually see an optimized and practical use for it that becomes commonplace.
Ryu’s non cinematic CA has better frame advantage than regular CA and deals similar damage if you can get 5 hits of it.
Here’s a concept that could potentially lead to a guaranteed stun combo if the CA burns them out.
— Javits Arias (@jav1ts) February 12, 2024