I’d lay down here, what I think are the must-knows for claw’s matchups against most of the cast. Take them, and if you apply them correctly, I am positively sure that you would start winning and enjoying your worst matchups.
There would be no material that would amount to a comprehensive strategy against any character. Reason being, it would simply take too long to do so, because it would take too long to justify any of my judgements with empirical information, and furthermore, I’m not completely sure about every matchup myself.
Also, I would not explain any abstractions that have anything to do with the basics of the game, because ideas such as offense, defense, footsies or applying pressure would take several posts, or maybe even threads to deliver a rich and proper explanation.
I. Rufus has problems dealing with jump fierce at a certain height and distance. Your claw would rip through his palms (cr.MP) and eat into his puddings and blubberings.
II. A far standing middle kick always beats his roll and tornado.
III. So he would jump from ¾ screen. To beat that do jump back strong at the maximum distance of his jump. Scarlet terror is a consistent anti-air, but it trades with dive kick from that distance. Still, it is in your favour, since you get him on the ground.
IV. Messiah kick and all it’s follow ups get trashed by Heavy Kick and EX Scarlet Terror. Even if he does his Light Kick followup, it will not hit; in fact both characters would zip through each other, allowing Claw to deliver a beautiful cr.MP into a stunning Izuna.
V. In defense, claw’s jump back Fierce is very, very important. It forces him to do cr.mk or st.lk after a dive, which can be blocked, allowing you to earn a good distance from him to jump away.
VI. Know all your un-jumpable blockstrings. The main anti-air against Rufus should not be Scarlet Terror or jump back Strong – it should be about not making him jump in the first place. This is very important, because if you put him in a blockstring, and you mess up, and he jumps, there is nothing you can do to prevent him from dive kicking. Further more, he could just kill you with that.
VII. Figure out the post-Izuna 50/50 against Rufus. After the Izuna, dash forward. If you jump at the earlies possible timing that would hit Rufus, you'd hit him at the BACK, allowing you to link H.P. Any later, you hit and land on the front. This, above anything, would make Rufus scared shit of you, because it really, really hurts. Claw is a high damage character. If he has a crossup in a matchup... GG.
I. Jump back Strong is a very important anti-air against Zangief. Do it from 6.5/8 screen away if you know he loves his J.HP.
II. Zangief is very weak to Izuna. Either grab him directly, or steer close to him to make him Lariat, so that you could Ultra 2 or EX wall dive into Izuna yet again. It’s a good guessing game.
III. If Zangief is knocked down at the corner, a meaty Izuna is free. Even if he backdashes it, it’s a free hit anyway. Go for it.
IV: st.hk is a good tool to push gief out with. Optimal distance is just right within his green/ex green hand distance. That way it is easy to block the hand and punish with st.hk (or a nice combo of your choice) and st.hk AAs quite a number of his jump ins (need to know the timing, and the distance. GO TEST). Watch our for his jump mk. (Neko)
I. Stay just outside crouching strong. Over there, his jump Heavy Kick would never ever reach you unless he walks into your distance, where he is completely vulnerable to your vicious stabs. When his jump whiffs, go for a free blockstring or mixup.
II. At that distance mentioned in I., bait for hop, slide or ball, and punish them on reaction.
III: It is good to know that his U1 is air-throwable. If you are daring enough, backdash on his U1 activation (dodge that ground hit), then jump backwards and air throw. (Neko)
I. Stay outside the range of LK scissors kick. If he does any other scissors kick, you will block it and you must stab him. Bait for slide, EX psycho crusher and jump and punish them on reaction.
II. A blocked EX psycho up close would give you a free EX Flying Barcelona Attack or a Splendid Claw (U2). And if you have neither Ultra not Super do a simple slide.
III. Sit on the lead.
I. To deal with J.HK stay out of it’s range. That’s about ¾ Screen.
II. To deal with you staying out of J.HK distance, he would start throwing fireballs. Mix up between jumping up and forward. And at times, if you are very, very certain, do a J.HK from that distance. Yes it would reach him. Claw’s Jump attacks have good range.
III. Wall dives are great against shotos.
IV. Learn to Focus Attack cr.MK and fireballs.
V. After a Rolling Crystal Flash, a Cosmic Heel would win every normal except a single crouch jab. It will lose to Hadouken or Tatsu.
VI. If the Ryu keeps OS teching your throws with cr.mk or cr.mp, kara throw them on reaction. cr.mp can be cosmic heeled, but not that it is -4 on block don't do it often. A very good trick, is to use st.HP to catch OS throw techs; press the HP at the timing you use to throw a person after blockstun. (Neko + Yuan)
I. Same as Ryu, except for his step kick. Everytime he whiffs it, go for a kara throw or a free st.HK or cr.MP.
II. If the Ryu keeps OS teching your throws with cr.mk or cr.mp, kara throw them on reaction. cr.mp can be cosmic heeled, but not that it is -4 on block don't do it often. A very good trick, is to use st.HP to catch OS throw techs; press the HP at the timing you use to throw a person after blockstun. (Neko + Yuan)
I. Punish his sweep with Cr.MP into EX wall dive.
II. The second hit of far st.HK will whiff only if it’s blocked at maximum distance, and that’s really far away.
III. Slide his air fireballs on reaction.
IV. Flip kick as an anti-air is viable against him because it eats demon flips.
V. Learn to EX Flying Barcelona Attack teleports on reaction.
VI. Triple Kick Somersault can mess up his vortex; If he does an option select into sweep, you get away because the sweep will whiff.
VII. Gouki’s tend to keep walking back in blockstrings. It’s a habit that people who play quick moving characters tend to develop.
I. You walk forward, you jump, and just as you jump, guile does sonic boom. Being guile, it's unlikely that jump HP would hit. But being claw, Guile can't cr.HP or st.HP your J.HP at that time and place. Your j.HPs hit box is ridiculous, and it hurts guile in the matchup.
II. If Guile sees you jump, and he does flash kick, Claw's jump HP might win. Know the distance. Force him to use the EX version. Burn his bar. Burn his hair (I h8 it).
III. If you see Guile squat, he is charging his only reliable anti-air against claw. this makes him immobile. This is a free chance for a roll, or a st.lk to start pressure. Good guiles would be less predictable with this, but over here, most guiles are.
IV. Guile is weak to wall dives. Learn to beat air-throw by pressing punch as soon as you gracefully leap off the wall, and you will get him. Steering just outside flash kick range will get the flash kick to whiff for a free and painful punish. -scratch-scratch-
V. Learn the Izuna loop at corner. It's literally FREE if he doesn't do flash kick. And even if he does, you will hit him with the fanning of the nails and blades. To do this at the corner, Izuna away from the corner, leaving claw with his back to the wall. Fly to the wall, after a bit of delay to do a MEATY izuna grab. But before the grab, you MUST steer to one side of guile, then back to the corner to make the flash kick whiff, so you can throw him again.
VI. Guile has a bigger back hitbox. Therefore it is easier to crossup Izuna him.
VII. After the Rolling Crystal Flash, cr.MP will win everthing Guile does except Ultra, Super, backdash and jump.
VIII. Guile's flash kick cannot be cancelled when blocked further out.
I. Know the timing to catch uppercut, throw tech, backdash, ex seismo all at the same time. You should only lose to EX burning kick.
II. Know the distance to do a vertical jump HK to beat super jump.
III. At that distance, all burning kicks can be focused, and Viper will want to burning kick you if she cant win your pokes. Well she can't.
IV. Push her out with cr.MP and cr.MK. Force her to try to use thunder knuckles to try and compete. Whiff punish them for free. Force her to do a burning kicks and jump so that you can execute tip III. and II.
V. At the corner, do not tech. Eat throws a few times. Try to jump away if you can. A lot of vipers love to burning kick techers and kill them with ultra. But do not be too predictable with jumps because she can ultra that too.... and don't eat too many throws because they lead to crossups into ultra. Viper is crazy.
( Will add to it when free)