That said I still have very little-to-no interest in SF4 other than waiting for SSF4, or whichever of the 4-series they decide to "get it right" on (probably the third iteration as per usual).
Anyway. SFIV Rose is similar to SFA3 Rose, except that she's been "SF4'd" so to speak. Changes (AFAIK):
- c.LP combos into qcf+LK or qcb+HP.
- c.LK links into either c.LP or c.MP and both of which are cancelable/comboable.
- All her special moves are super cancelable, making hitconfirm off qcf+LK or qcb+HP very easy (c.LK c.LP qcf+LK xx super for example).
- Her oc.MK (Slide) goes under fireballs during it's active hitframes and the frame data for it was changed.
- Recovery on Sparks were modified so that LP-Spark has fast startup but slow recovery while HP-Spark has slow startup and really fast recovery.
- No pushback on Sparks.
- Spirals are all 1-hit (which effects pushback and chip damage, etc).
- Her reflects are all terrible. Not good as reflects, not good as pokes, not good as meaties, not good as anti-air, etc. Her absorb is decent if only for meter and spark power-ups, while her reflects are just garbage.
- No airthrow (aarrgg).
- Her vertical jumping attacks were changed, but they are still pretty good.
^ Unlike poor Cammy and Claw whose vertical jumping attacks were completely bastardized horribly.
Regarding her EX-moves.
- Her EX-Spiral has invulnerable startup for the first 11 frames but the active hitframes aren't until the 13th frame. So it's kinda like 3S Chun's EX-SBK. It's a decent reversal in the sense that it will blow through meaties that have less than 11 active frames (which is nearly everything). But the downsides is that it can trade with intentional non-meaties, be option-selected against, and punished on block since it moves her forward and is -6 on block (easily punishable).
- Her EX-S.Throw is 6F startup inv and 6F startup, so it will beat meaty airborne attacks and can technically be used to get out of meaty traps. It's a far cry from her old supers but every character only gained their level one super anyway so Rose is no exception.
- Her EX-Spark is basically as one would expect, comes out as fast as the LP version and has a lot more damage and stun. Being two hit, it also kills FA's and will beat normal 1-hit projectiles. The advantage on block isn't as good as MP or HP versions but it's definitely better than LP version, which at least makes it a good combo item as well as a pretty good utility item. In a way it's basically a more buff version of the LP-Spark.
- The EX-Reflect may be the rotten egg of the bunch. Her normal reflect can only reflect/absorb normal projectiles, not EX ones, while the EX-Reflect can reflect EX projectiles and powers up the damage by 10%. Other than that it's a pretty crappy move.
Close MK, far MK, and far HK come off the ground. I know at least that close MK is unthrowable from the first frame which makes it a good anti-throw reversal or anti-tick-throw. Since the other two are "far" moves its a moot point, they're out of throw range, but presumably those aren't throwable either.
Rose's oc.MK slides under fireballs as said. But it's also -6/-3 on block/hit, though with 8 active frames the range then becomes -6/-3 to +1/+4. That means you can link it into c.MP on a meaty hit but timing must be perfect on the slide and the c.MP. It's actually a pretty good move in SF4, decent meaty and decent tick throw setup or utility move (poke/anti-air/cross-under, etc).
Rose's qcf+K armor breaks and is super cancelable and sets up a decent crossup j.MK if the opponent quick recovers. It may be one of the better armor breakers in the game, though I doubt it's the "best armor breaker" due to it's weaknesses -- C.Viper's qcb+P also armor breaks and works basically the same way except it's not nearly as punishable as Rose's. The LK-Spiral is horrifically punishable and moves her forwards, making it a really unsafe move to just use randomly, particularly at close raneg. Ideally you'd hit-confirm it from c.LK c.LP into LK-Spiral or c.LP c.LP LK-Spiral or c.LK c.MP N-Spiral. The advantage of it armor breaking is that it discourages the opponent from using FA's during blockstrings due to potential Spirals causing armor breaks. Also, since it moves forwards, if the first few active frames whiff air before connecting then the disadvantage on block is reduced (eg. meaty/far is safer).
Both c.MP hcf+LP and c.HP hcf+MP combo midscreen or corner and you can FADC then link c.MP into whatever (typically into S.Spiral). On block this is pretty safe midscreen due to pushback, and in the corner it's mostly safe depending on other variables. Something to consider using in lieu of the punishable LK-Spiral. Though the opponent can FA1 through the projectile but it won't score a counterhit. They also don't have enough time to FA2. The only real threat is if the opponent reversals through the projectile with an inv-move or does FA1 through the c.MP/c.HP which will score a counterhit and/or trade against the projectile, causing crumple. Though, the other downside is that c.HP is ridiculously punishable on whiff/block/hit so it's not a good idea to use c.HP without intending to cancel it. With the threat of Spirals at least the opponent should be shy of using FA's during block strings though. An opponent Rose can c.MP to punish the MP-Spark on block in the corner since it's -4 but the c.MP must be perfect reversal timing and will only combo at that range into qcf+2K or super. The plus-side though is that MP-Spark looks very similar to HP-Spark. HP-Spark doesn't combo on hit, but on block is +2F which allows her additional corner pressure or blockstrings or whatever. Although there is a large frame gap before the Spark hits it's still not a terrible idea to use in moderation to Spirals or empty baits because Spirals will beat FA's and empty baits will allow you to punish reversal mashing. For example doing c.HP HP-Spark in the corner when you know the opponent will block gives you +F to do more stuff with (like c.MP).
Rose's qcb+HP also combos from c.LP and is also hitconfirmable into super both midscreen and corner by linking it rather than supercancelling it (making it a stupidly easy hitconfirm). Even though it's -7 on block which is about as bad as the LK-Spiral, the difference is that HP-Reflect pushes Rose back pretty far instead of moving her forwards, so it's safer than the LK-Spiral. So for example if you do c.LK c.LP LK-Spiral the opponent can punish the Spiral on block with almost anything (c.HP is easy to punish with for most characters). But if you do c.LK c.LP HP-Reflect an opponent Rose's only option to punish the HP-Reflect is c.MK into super, which requires 1F reversal timing to connect with c.MK (which is not easy and not confirmable). Likewise with Sparks the opponent can FA1 through the HP-Reflect but it's a lot harder to time it since Reflects and c.LP are both so fast and it still doesn't score a counterhit on the Reflect. They also don't have enough time for an FA2 either, and it's incredibly difficult (albeit not entirely impossible) to FA through the c.LP and beat the HP-Reflect for a counterhit which makes it a bit less of a gamble than Sparks.
The downside is that for some stupid reason c.LK c.LP HP-Reflect doesn't work on crouching thin opponents despite working on standing and/or fat characters, forcing Rose to simply do one c.LP into HP-Reflect against the skinnies (like a crouching opponent Rose). The plus side though is that if you step back just a little bit then do c.LP HP-Reflect an opponent Rose's only option to punish this is with reversal c.MK into super, because the pushback puts her too far away to be punished even by c.MK into EX-Spiral or anything else. Oddly close MK combos to HP-Reflect on crouching characters but not standing characters, and HP/c.MP can combo to HP-Reflect but then the Reflect can whiff on block.
Funny thing about Rose's Ultra, the "shamwow" as it's been dubbed, is that it does more damage if you land it randomly off nothing than if you combo it from an FA or most other options (as seen in the previous Rose post). But it's probably the most practical way to hitconfirm into Shamwow. Alternately a max-range c.MP into hcf+2P FADC Ultra will combo but it's quite difficult to space it and time it and buffer it. It also costs 3 stocks of super, for that matter. But since it is possible there's a couple of ways to set up the correct distance, such as N.MP c.MP EX-Spark which sets the distance perfectly, or c.LK c.LK c.MP EX-Spark which again sets you at the ideal distance but is also by far the weakest way to combo it. Really I don't think the Shamwow was meant to be a combo-type Ultra, though it just happens that there's several situational ways to combo it. It's strongest attributes are that it's invulnerable up until it's first active hit frame and it can grab airborne opponents, so it's quite easy to land it off a crumple or if the opponent jumps.
Rose's f+HK (Piede) will knock down an airborne opponent rather than resetting them. Has very little juggle potential though, as the only thing you can combo after it is one hit of EX-Spark or super (same as HP-Reflect). However practical applications of this would be as an anti-air, or if you crumple the opponent and you only have enough time to land a juggle move (due to backdash or trade or whatever). Though she can combo into super off HP-Reflect or Spiral (and juggle FA1 for that matter), the Piede is the strongest juggle-only option.
Rose's super, though so easily hitconfirmable, is also pretty good for chipping too. Her Sparks and AS.Spark are powered up by absorbing projectiles with LP-Reflect which IIRC is how it worked in every game. In SF4 it's 5% increase per absorb with 35% max (7 times). Incidentally though the powerup also affects chip damage, which I suppose is kind of cool. Storing powerups for super may not be worth it though since normal Sparks are so valuable.
Other than that, I think Rose is pretty straight forward, though definitely not a very strong character. Many people regard SF4 Rose as either bottom tier or at least low tier. It comes as no surprise to me though since Rose was only ever top tier in SFA2. She was low tier in SFA3 and low tier in CFJ, so it doesn't really seem out of place for her to be low tier in SF4 either. To me she "feels" like Rose in the sense that most of her moves are the same, unlike Cammy and Claw who don't feel anything like Cammy or Claw to me at all (they were changed SO much). Though she gained a lot of things in SF4 that she wasn't able to do before, most notably the c.LK into c.MP/c.LP links and the ability to combo LK-Spiral from c.LP (and super cancels and ex moves for that matter). I mean sure she sucks but she's still Rose with some interesting improvements/modifications over "old-Rose". O.Rose didn't have any links and couldn't combo off c.LP, she also couldn't slide under fireballs or supercancel her specials or link her super off HP-Reflect, among other things. I would say that it's pretty inarguable that O.Rose is stronger due to CCs/VCs and her old supers (friends) and better reflects, but disregarding the supers I think SF4 Rose is the stronger "core character" so to speak. Honestly I do really miss her SFA3 airthrow though, that's probably the one/only thing that irks me about SF4 Rose, hopefully she gets that back in SSF4 or whatever.
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