Episode 321: The Fundamental Fighting Game Strategy Used to Beat Shadow Lady


I don’t play Street Fighter V as much as I would like to. I did watch Evo and the majority of the tournaments there but I haven’t picked up a fighting game in ages. All of that changed when Capcom dropped the next 3 characters for Season 4. After what seemed like ages, fans finally got their hands and Lucia from Final Fight 3, Poison from Ultra Street Fighter IV and E. Honda from Street Fighter II. I really have to put up reviews with all those characters soon but, suffice to say, it took their introduction to get me to boot up Street Fighter V once again.

After doing my due diligence exploring what the 3 new additions to the roster could do, which included going through the trials and their stories, I was laden with a pile of Fight Money. It got me wondering what I should do with my newfound riches. I went to the Challenges section to see if there were any new Extra Battles I can try. There was indeed a new one called “Pursue the Mysterious Mech!” I actually love these extremely challenging matches because I think they’re fun, in a masochistic kind of way.

Hmmm… she looks rather familiar…

I was going to begin the battle when I realized that there wasn’t a big reward for winning. All you would get is a new Title or something. No big pot of Fight Money or anything like that. All you get is the prestige of showing off the title that says “I beat this Extremely Hard challenge” and the pride of knowing you accomplished something that only a few people would do.

The privilege of attempting, however, was going to cost me 1,000 Fight Money each try. So I decided before jumping in, I wanted to do a little research on the character and find out what exactly I was going to go up against. What I saw scared me.

It turns out that the “Mysterious Mech” in question was Shadow Lady. While she looks like a simple palette swap of Chun-Li, Shadow Lady is actually a Marvel vs. Capcom character and Capcom decided to put her in Street Fighter V. I don’t mean that Shadow Lady is is just Chun-Li with more powerful moves. I mean Capcom literally put a Marvel vs. Capcom character in Street Fighter V!

Not only does she have ultra fast moves and recovery, she also gets the gameplay mechanics from the Marvel vs. Capcom series! That means Shadow Lady has air dashes, advance guards, double jumps, launchers, air combos and the ability to hit a character off the ground to continue the combo! Essentially, when you fight against her, you’re playing with a handicap for using Street Fighter V mechanics! Not only that, Shadow Lady gets her assortment of attacks she had in Marvel vs. Capcom. She brings her Miracle Drill, Rainbow Missiles, Plasma Barrier and her 2 super damaging Super Combos, one that can be done on the ground and one in the air! Thank God Capcom went a little easy on us since they didn’t include her Missile Super Combo or the Big Bang Laser!

Just looking at what Shadow Lady can do was daunting! I went online to check how the pros were faring against her and seeing what they were going through put a lot of fear in me, let me tell you! I seen some pros losing a ton of Fight Money (if not all of their Fight Money) and some just giving up because Shadow Lady looked impossible to defeat!

During my research, I did find some players who were successful against Shadow Lady. I wouldn’t say it looked easy but some of them even got some Perfects against her! How is that possible? Well, they did something that pro players do a lot in order to beat their opponents, actually. I’ll inform you what it is later but I’ll go tell my story about how I fought against Shadow Lady and beat her. It only took me 4 tries and I did it with my main, Vega AKA Claw. I beat her the almost impossibly difficult Shadow Lady with a low tier character! You may figure out the strategy and put two and two together to solve what pro players do, actually.

I went ahead and chose Vega/Claw. Like I said, he’s considered to be a low tier character for a lot of reasons. His anti-airs suck. He doesn’t have an invincible move. His V-Reversal actually puts him in the corner. Vega/Claw does have something that other characters don’t have, however. He has the Wall Dive special move. That’s what I basically did over and over again. I spammed the heck out of the Wall Dive into Flying Barcelona Attack. As long as it worked more than 50% of the time, I felt I could beat Shadow Lady. After 4 tries, I did just that!

You might ask how is spamming Vega/Claw’s Flying Barcelona Attack something pros do to win. It seems more like something a scrub would do instead of someone like Daigo and Justin Wong. Well, you’d be wrong because you will see pros just like Daigo and Justin Wong do the exact same thing! Are you telling me that you’ve never seen Daigo perform continuous Ume-Shory/Ume-Flash Kicks during a match? Have you never seen Justin Wong use Menat’s heavy punch button to keep the opponent away? They’re pros but they’re not under spamming moves that are effective.

That’s the operative word: effective. Newbies and scrubs will do the same move over and over again, regardless if the attack connects or not. Advanced and pro players will repeatedly perform the same attack ad nauseam if it continues to work. You’ve seen Phenom use Necalli’s command grab against Daigo 4 times in a row. Why would you stop doing it if it works?

Viewers may call spamming a move cheap or unsportsmanlike. I don’t think it’s the case. If the goal is to win and you can do the same thing over and over and over again to ensure victory, why wouldn’t you do it? It’s not on you do change your tactics. It’s on the opponent to find a way to counter the move that you’re repeatedly doing to beat them! It may sound like an undignified or uncouth way to victory but it’s a legitimate strategy and it’s a fundamental strategy to victory as well.

Have you fought Shadow Lady? Did you beat her and, if so, what did you do to do so? Let me know in the comments section below!


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