Throw Down

This post might be for Rithli.

One thing that makes games fast and exciting is good offensive options/mixups, and poor/unsafe defensive options. SF4's DP FADC is a good example of something gone awry.

I think the terms offensive and defensive options get skewed some times. People think that DP's and parries are defensive options because you can use them to counter an attack. But, they result in a knockdown and damage, which is not what I'd call a purely defensive option like a pushblock or teleport.

So for the sake of simplicity I'll say they are momentum breakers. When you have advantage, when you take control of the flow, when you have initiative, when you have momentum, things like DP FADC backdash (confirm Ultra) are breakers. They disrupt the flow because they reset the situation off an educated guess. It's difficult to bait and punish it, it's mostly safe, and so even if it fails the one who did it is at worst no longer at a disadvantage. And as long as the one doing it is taking well educated guesses then the DP won't be whiffing.

That said, this has helped me decide whether 1-button proximity throws or 2-button command normal throws were more ideal.

Initially I would say 1-button throwing is better because of simple crude option selects, such as holding back and pressing close MP to either get a block, a throw, or a close MP which could be canceled into something. Which, if the opponent jumps, the close MP may also serve as an anti-air (or anti-jump).

But it also depends heavily on throw invulnerability and throw startup. If the game had a lot of throw invulnerability duration and/or throws had a somewhat slow startup then 2B cmd is better. This is because you're able to begin the throw before the opponent becomes throwable, overlapping the active catch frames with the first vulnerable frame (like, a meaty throw, so to speak).

For example, a player does a deep crossup jumpin that leaves them at a large frame advantage. At this point they have to wait several frames before the opponent leaves blockstun and becomes throwable. With a 1B input they have to wait until blockstun ends and throw inv ends before pressing the button, then if there's any throw startup it won't be until [X] amount of frames after throw inv ends before the opponent is grabbed. With a 2B input they still have to wait for blockstun to end but they can begin the throw before throw inv ends, leaving the first active catch frame to occur right when the throw inv ends.

So on one hand 1B throws keep the game more aggressive in the sense that there are no throw whiffs only throw failures which result in attacks.

But on the other hand, if there was very little or no throw startup then it becomes a possible defensive tool as well. Where the player blocking may be option select throwing in an attempt to grab the opponent out of rushdown.

This is bad for aggressive games because it's a potential momentum breaker. Since throws are fast and 1B it means a player can try grabbing while getting rushed down and they will either block/throw/normal move. If it was 2B cmd then they will have to be willing to risk sticking out a throw whiff which will lose to things either out of range or off the ground (like hop moves). I would say this from experience, since I know with 1B games I'm more likely to be mashing a throw attempt and hoping for an option select than a game with 2B. With 2B I have to commit to that decision to do the throw and only the throw which has a punishable whiff.

In that same vein of thought, I'd say that throw softening is better than throw breaking. And, in the end, I have to think multi-input throw commands are better simply because it's less likely to disrupt momentum.

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