I’ve mentioned the idea of “Noise” a few times in passing,
but thought it was worth a proper explanation.
When I start playing against someone, I usually stick to really standard oki.
Safe jumps, meaties, throw mixups, whatever. Stuff that everyone does.
I like to use this time to begin conditioning the opponent.
Repeated and predictable patterns with small variations for mixups.
Rook safejump splash followed by either a quick but not instant nA or slightly more delayed nA.
When Rook’s splash is blocked early in a set, I like to always follow up with nA.
The only variable is if it’s a true blockstring or not.
I want the opponent to recognize that there’s pattern.
I want them to expect it, and I will spend time reinforcing this pattern.
When they get knocked down, I will do a safejump crossup splash into their wakeup.
When it is blocked, I will follow it with nA very consistently.
I’ll use that nA as a tick setup if it’s blocked, and simply start over if they tried to jump or yomi.
It’s a real mixup, and I could continue doing it to great effect without changing a thing, however…
I am not satisfied with that.
One of the things I do once the initial conditioning is done is to break the pattern entirely:
I call it that because it’s basically white noise.
Useless information that you can and probably should ignore.
Instead of doing the safejump splash,
I won’t jump at all and will walk back and forth in place rapidly.
There’s no in-game advantage to doing this at all.
It is functionally identical to simply standing still and doing nothing.
Another bit of noise would be to simply whiff a grab or two while they’re lying down.
If Fantasy Strike had taunts, this would also be where I would use them.
It can be anything so long as you’re neutral in time to do some actual real oki.
It takes no real thought on my part to do, so I am free to consider other things of actual import.
Ideally the opponent will waste time thinking about something that is ultimately pointless.
However, the main purpose is to break the illusion of consistency I built earlier.
Cashing in on the investment I made into conditioning them earlier.
It’s an interruption to an established pattern, like playing the wrong note in a song, or like if consistent formatting in a forum post suddenly changed from neatly separated lines to a homogenous block of text. You can’t help but notice. Noise is just one of the many ways I try to accomplish this, but is significant in how far removed it is from the established pattern. It is not always applicable or ideal, but sometimes that is exactly what you need to grasp or maintain your advantage.
Now, some of you might be thinking something like:
“Tidazi, that’s great and all,
but should you really be posting this publicly so close to Frosty Faustings?
Isn’t this just giving away an advantage?”
Perhaps I just want to give something back to the community I’ve grown to love,
and I am unconcerned with the timing.
Knowledge should be shared, after all!
To improve the skill of the group is to foster rivals that can push you further ahead!
Perhaps I am being a Sneaky Snake,
and this is merely some pre-tournament conditioning that I can take advantage of later.
Imagine my opponent’s reaction if they’ve read this and I completely skip the conditioning.
I start playing and simply do entirely random mixups the whole time with no rhyme or reason.
Maybe it’s a little of both.
Happy Holidays, lovelies.
Edited for formatting and emergent examples.
Explained that the nA is being used as a tick setup.