Baiting and Provoking

Yukari f.5A hj9 fj.5A, Youmu D6 HJ9
In all Fighters there's many ways to set up traps using the archetypical hook-line-sinker to bait the opponent into a trap or trick. Due to the movement system in IaMP there tends to be instances that are somewhat more common due to seemingly intuitive reactions for many situations. A particularly common occurrence among newer players is to pass through bullets by forward dashing and then highjumping into an airborne opponent, such as in the above image. The route of this movement is outlined with the yellow arrow. Perhaps because using D6 then pushing 9 will transition you from a dash into a highjump very seamlessly, we sometimes do this without thinking.

Trap set - Baited
However, the bait was Yukari herself, floating around in the air where she appears vulnerable. The trap occurs once Yukari air dash cancels her bullets and uses height, range, and speed to her advantage. The result of this exchange is often like what you see in the above image, with Yukari at a height and range advantage. Here, Yukari is free to flop Youmu right in the face, causing a counterhit ground bounce which leads to a massively damaging combo. The speed advantage Yukari has comes from the fact that she is able to attack immediately after the airdash startup ends, whereas Youmu can't attack until first passing through all the bullets, which doesn't happen until some time after Yukari has already started to attack.

Though, this certainly isn't limited to just Yukari, many characters have bullets that they can cancel in the air very quickly, such as; Reimu, Marisa, Sakuya, and Patchouli.

Sakuya j.2C baiting Patchouli anti-air
It's also all too tempting to try and do a graze attack in a lot of situations. But graze attacks are often laggy, either on startup or recovery. Therefor, we can attempt to take advantage of this by provoking our opponent into doing it when we want them to like in the above image, then punishing it.

Sakuya avoids Patchouli's D3B anti-air
Shoe to face
Since we have two airdashes, we can not only avoid these attacks but also punish them. The Sakuya player in the above image first used an air backdash to avoid Patchouli's D3B anti-air, then after the attack had whiffed Sakuya used the second airdash to kick Patchouli in the face, as seen above.

Not all baiting occurs in the air, though. I'm not really sure where the bad habit of jumping at your opponent comes from -- within ourselves -- but it's rather intrinsic to the Fighting game genre in general to try it, even when we know it will probably fail. In IaMP it's a bit easier to goad the opponent into doing such a thing, partly because anti-airs in IaMP aren't quite as consistent and guaranteed as they are in other games (like CvS2 lol), and also partly because of the way grazing works.

Youmu jumps over Yukari's 6B Stopsign
Firing off some bullets on the ground that recover quickly, then covering the nearby horizontal area with ground melee, allows us to set up yet another trap. Our opponent knows that we can cover the ground with some large attacks before they can move close enough to attack, so it can be rather enticing to try and jump over them and hit from above.

Yukari anti-airs
But this isn't an uncounterable action. As we see in the case of Yukari, we can jump back and attack from far away which takes advantage of range. We can HJ8 and attack from above which takes advantage of height, since HJ8 moves vertically higher and faster than an opponent's diagonal jump does. We can also anti-air with a ground normal provided we have a good one. And we can use a graze attack or special move with graze frames, such as Yukari's 623B.

The correct action the opponent should take is not to fall for these obvious traps in the first place. But rather, taking evasive actions and then setting up their own array of bullet cover is really ideal, as outlined in my Moving Backwards to Win post.

So what we end up with is a game of actions, counter actions, and countering counter-actions. Thus, nothing we do is really just free and simple, but rather we have to work for our rewards.

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