Counterhit fishing

From Wavu Wiki, the 🌊 wavy Tekken wiki

Counterhit (CH) fishing refers to the usage of moves with good properties on counterhit, such as giving a launch or guaranteed follow-up, in order to get them to land as a CH. It also encompasses strategies to increase the odds of landing these moves as a CH.

A move lands as CH when it connects during the start-up of an opponent’s attack. This means opponent activity (i.e., an opponent "pressing" attack buttons) is a must to land one. Using a ki charge to manually trigger a charged state is possible, but is not generally advisable (outside of specific setups) due to the risks. Generally, one has to predict when the opponent will attack and time their moves so that it lands during the opponent's startup frames. This requires good game sense and an ability to read the opponent’s rhythm and timing. However, there are concrete variables that one can pay attention to in order to improve this ability.

Game State Variables

Predicting an opponent's tendencies to attack can be made easier by paying attention to the following game state variables. This is not an exhaustive list, and there will be other variables that you find useful to notice as you gain experience with the game.

Frame Advantage

Since frames dictate the speed of moves, being in a certain frame situation heavily influences an opponent’s ability and desire to interact. In a plus frame situation, the opponent is at a disadvantage and vulnerable to you doing a mixup. To avoid it, they might try to mash out with a quick or evasive move. This can lead to a CH for you. Conversely, in a minus frame situation, they might attempt a slower, rewarding mixup that can be CH with a fast tool. Frame traps are the idea of having a sequence of moves that take advantage of the frame situation from a certain move to increase the odds of landing a follow-up CH. A common frame trap is a jab into a magic 4.


The distance between characters dictates which moves will land. When your opponent is at a distance where they can use their character’s preferred tools, they will be more likely to use those tools. Noticing the spacing when your opponent likes to press is useful because you can preemptively keep out their attempts to get into their desired range, or fish for a CH once they’ve just gotten into their range, but haven’t attacked.

Life deficit + Timer

Your opponent has to reduce your lifebar to zero before you can, or the timer runs out, in order to win. Thus, they have to attack unless they have the life lead. The difference in lifebars can be a good predictor of how likely your opponent is to attack. With a small difference and/or a large amount of time remaining, your opponent might not feel pressured to attack.

Psychological Variables

Some psychological variables that tend to influence opponent activity are given below. As previously, this is also not an exhaustive list.


A stressed opponent is likely to either mash out of pressure situations, or play passively. Recognizing when an opponent is stressed, and their tendencies under stress, can help decide whether to fish for a CH or forego a fishing attempt to land a mixup. Pressuring the opponent is a good way to induce stress. Annoying an opponent by spamming the same move can also induce them to attack. Staying at a range where your opponent is uncomfortable is another source of stress.

Desire to Act

Blocking or remaining passive is generally uncomfortable since it can force you to guess on a mixup. Players tend to avoid this by enforcing their own pressure with attacks when they can. Controlling when they feel they can begin their offense can increase the odds of landing a counterhit. An example is to follow-up a short burst of pokes with a small period of nothing, then fishing for a CH. The gap of passivity induces the opponent to think it is "their turn" to attack, but your CH lands while they’re starting up. Another example is delayable strings - an opponent might feel like it is their turn after blocking the first hit, but then will get caught by the delayed extension.


An opponent can be led to expect certain patterns from you based on how you act during a match. Breaking those patterns at key moments can lead to counterhits. For example, never taking your turn after a move with a CH extension might lead your opponent to take their turn more frequently after. Using the CH extension then will increase the odds of landing it as a CH.

Pattern Recognition

Humans are bad at doing things at random. Players will exhibit identifiable tendencies no matter what level of play they're at. These patterns will be shaped by many variables, from their character choice and preferred playstyle, down to the specific game state they're in. Recognizing these patterns will help you find opportunities to land CHs.

Patterns in Offence

A great deal of information can be gleaned from observing how your opponent structures their offense. Noticing gaps where their pressure isn't frame-tight, or they're abusing frames to go for a mixup, can present opportunities for you to land a CH.

Patterns in Defence

Observing how your opponent responds to your offense can be a source of many CH opportunities. As the attacker, you generally have initiator advantage. Noticing predictable responses from common situations, such as okizeme or after plus on block moves, can open up many CH opportunities.

Patterns in Movement

While movement can't outright be CH, it is the foundation upon which a player's offense and defense is built. Recognizing when and how an opponent likes to move, and for what purpose, can inform when they might press a button. A player who backdashes to create space and pre-emptively throws a keep out move hoping to catch you running in can be CH by dashing forward into a fast CH tool. A player who sidesteps after a poke and prematurely whiff punishes can be CH by following up the poke with a CH tool.

Anti-CH Fishing

Since CH fishing requires predictable opponent activity to take advantage of, defeating this strategy can be accomplished by either reducing your activity (aka "turtling") or reducing your predictability.


While turtling[1] is a deep art in itself, from the perspective of defeating the CH fisher, it serves to make most fishing attempts fail. The decision to simply keep blocking until a safe opportunity to attack presents itself can pose a problem to the strategy of CH fishing, since most attempts to fish will get blocked (or even evaded with sidesteps). This can be bad in the long run for the fisher if the CH tool in question is negative on block (you will have frames to mix-up) or unsafe (you can punish them). It could also serve to discourage the CH fisher from pursuing this gameplan in favor of poking or landing mixups, which gives you information on their attack patterns in turn.

Being Unpredictable

There can be no one size fits all solution to "being unpredictable". However, recognizing the axes along which the CH fisher might try to predict your activity, and developing the muscle memory to vary your options along that axis, can quickly throw off even a seasoned opponent. For example, if you understand that your opponent might be noticing your positioning to predict when you attack, you can choose to use the same moves from different ranges. If you understand that your opponent might be predicting the timing to a small set of similarly-fast moves, you can choose to use a different move with a different speed to throw off that timing.