Focus Ultra?

I wasn’t sure if this stuff merits its own thread, but when I realized how long the post itself was I didn’t think it was appropriate for the Q&A Thread anymore.

Anyway, background first. In the Q&A thread I made a post talking about how I have seen some players who are very good at using a psychic FA to asborb a poke, then throwing the other player during the character’s recovery. I wondered if it would be possible to something similar with Ultra.

I was originally going to edit my last post, but I thought the new content was long enough to be worth posting separately.

Beware, this post is kind of long!

I figured I could do some testing on this so I tried it out. Here is my train of thought, someone correct me if my understanding of the frame data is wrong. Chun’s forward dash takes 15 frames. Chun’s Ultra has a 7 frame startup. I understood this to mean that if Chun forward dashes and activates Ultra at the soonest possible frame, her Focus > Dash Ultra (I’ll just call it Focus Ultra) takes 22 frames total of startup.

It’s also my understanding that it’s impossible to Focus Absorb an attack until the attack has begun its active frames, that is, when it is no longer in startup frames and is now in active hit frames. So I assumed that total punishable frames (the technial term for this, I believe is non-startup frames) is active frames + recovery frames.

First I tried this against a move that was not normally Ultra punishable on block, but had greater than 22 total punishable frames / non-startup frames (that is, active + recovery). I used Dhalsim. I recorded Dhalsim to do jab, jab, d+HP, then block for the remainder of the 10 seconds. I recorded those two jabs before d+HP so that I could easily predict when the d+HP was going to come out and Focus Attack ahead of time. His d+HP has 3 active frames and 21 frames of recovery, so 24 non-startup frames. Again I’m operating on the assumption that my understanding of frame data is right, which I’m not sure it is.

Dhalsim’s d+HP is easily Focus Ultra punishable. I then tried with his d+MK slide, which has 11 active frames and 11 recovery frames = 22 total non-startup frames. This also worked, which didn’t surprise me since Focus Ultra should take 22 frames, and theoretically I figured I was connecting on the last possible frame.

Here is where I started getting into territory I didn’t understand.

I tried this again against a different character, who had a move that had 21 total non-startup frames. I figured that against that move, it would be impossible for me to Focus Ultra.

I tried this against Abel’s f.HK, recording the same fashion I had before, two jabs, HK, then block for the rest of the 10 seconds. His far standing Roundhouse has 2 active frames and 19 recovery frames = 21 total non-startup frames. Before I even began I assumed that meant no matter how hard I tried I would be unable to Focus Ultra his f.HK… Imagine my surprise when I did the Focus Ultra and after only a few unsuccessul attempts, it connected.

I then decided to try a different move with 21 punishable frames but with lower recovery frames, wondering if that had anything to do with this. So, I tested against Balrog’s cl.HP, recording him to taunt first so that I wouldn’t get pushed out of range by jabs while still being able to predict when the Fierce was going to come out. Balrog’s cl.HP has 5 active frames and 16 recovery = another 21 punishable frames. I was also able to Focus Ultra this.

THEN, I tried against a move that would have 20 punishable frames. I chose Abel’s f.HP, which has 3 active frames and 17 recovery frames = 20. I could still Focus Ultra this!

I went down to 19. Chun’s f.HP has 3 active and 16 recovery = 19. Try as I might, I could not Focus Ultra her far standing Fierce. After spending nearly an hour on it and getting no success, I concluded that I personally could not Focus Ultra a move with a 19 total non-startup frames, and that if it IS possible, it would require both excellent reactions as well as excellent execution.

I haven’t gone through and tried this against all other normals in SF4 (especially not faster normals), and I haven’t tried it against specials yet, though I assume it works against specials since specials generally have longer recovery times than normals. If it does work against all moves with 20 or more non-startup frames, though, that’s pretty exciting news. Of course, in order to Focus Ultra some of the faster moves in the game you’d need ridiculous reactionary skills, or you’d need to be playing an opponent who was being VERY predictable.

Is this practical? Against most normals, I’d say probably not. Of course, Focus Super is much quicker, as would be a Focus Dash into cr.LP, so then you could combo off that. So, practical? Not really, but interesting? I certainly thought so, and I hope you guys think so too.

I do have one concern though.
Does anyone have a solid enough understanding of frame data to explain why it’s possible to Focus Ultra a move that has 20 non-startup frames (active + recovery), when Chun’s dash is 15 frames and her Ultra has 7 frames of startup, equaling 22?

Interesting post.

This has peaked my curiosity.

I’ll look into it.

It’s a nifty trick vs Dhalsim st.hp

well, dashs get minusd by one frame when canceling from a facus attack… so chuns focus dash is actually 14 frames.


In a Chun mirror match, once I got Focus Dash Ultra’d off Hasan Shu. …Yeah.

I believe there’s a vid somewhere of Nuki using the Focus Dash Ultra on Sim’s C.HP. Its a good trick but it does kind of require your opponent to be sort of predictable. That, or Godlike reflexes. I think its one of those things that adds to your arsenal if you can do it, but don’t expect to be using it regularly it matches.

It’s not a matter of them being predictable, there are several situations where Dhalsim is bound to use st.hp sooner or later so just changing from “block” to “focus dash” in those situations should be enough.
I mean you don’t need godlike reflexes since you have atleast 14f to react to the fact that you absorbed st.hp before you have to press a button.

lol skatan you must just have godlike reflexes if you think that being able to reactto 14 frames is anywhere near a long time…

ive only seen any american ATTEMPT it, once.

ww versus sabin, ww has some GREAT reactions and he got it blocked… looking at it happen irl i actually thought that it was going to hit cause ww dashed almost the instant the st.fp hit the focus… but he was just a little too slow i guess cause it got blocked, and he paid for it.

now actually timing the damn thing is easy… in training mode… irl it really requires a stupid opponent, one in a million reflexes, or utter psychic daigo reading ability.

the average man doesnt really possess any of those skills in abundance though, well, except for weak opponnts… but if people ar throwing limbs out that predictably, chances are that we would be owning them up anyways.

also, if chun tries to be psychic and time focus dash against sim… he can just bait it out and then hit her dash with his fierce… its a guessing game that just doesnt seem to be in chuns favor at all, unlike dp’ing limbs which is a better, yet generally still, a losing strategy.


you have 14f AFTER the absorb to react, and 10f before it.
That’s 24f in total to react to the fact that he did st.hp and not some other poke.
You’re only looking for two things, if they did st.hp and if it got absorbed, if both those criteria are met you press 3x kicks.

However getting the dash ultra down can be difficult depending on what range you absorbed the st.hp, on max range it’s a 1f window pretty much.
And yes, Dhalsim can punish these attempts with delayed st.hp if you’re dashing forward afterwards, or even backdwards if you’re too close.

I’ve done regular dash ultra (not absorb) as whiff punish to st.hp several times, and that’s more difficult imo.
When you do that you have to read when the st.hp is coming and try to time the dash with that, if in your dash you saw that he did st.hp you press the kicks.
That’s why focus dash ultra is better, since you have a bigger window of error for timing it and you can do it from a closer range.

It should be noted that I don’t condone using either of these as a tactic, it’s a desperate last shot thing.

I read once that when you absorb a move, that move gets 3 extra recovery frames. I think that’s the reason. Anyway, nice post :wink:

If that were true, then it should technically be possible to Focus Dash Ultra a move that has 19 non-startup frames. To the best of my ability I couldn’t accomplish this, even if I could predict EXACTLY when the move was going to hit.

If this info is right, 14+7-3(dash from focus/ultra startup/added recovery) = 18, so everything that has more than 18 recovery frames when it hits in the first active frame is punishable by focus dash ultra.

can anyone do this with a ps3 controller?

Can anyone cite some kind of reliable source on the +3 frames for focus absorbed moves? It just doesn’t seem correct to me.

That would mean that Chun’s far standing fierce IS punishable if you Focus Ultra at the soonest possible moment. I have tried and tried and gotten nothing. It’s possible that my execution is just not good enough but I would think that after all these tries I would’ve gotten lucky at least once.

If this info is right, if you do focus dash ultra 2 frames too late it wont work on chun’s s.hp, so I’m not surprised you weren’t able to do it.

Like Az said, certainly nice to practice every now and then but don’t kill yourself over it as you won’t use it often