Grapple Reversal Counters

I’m new to SF4 and my friend is just a beast with Zangief. The dude can 360 like there’s no tomorrow and I’m having problems fighting him. Mainly I get reversal to death. It doesn’t matter if I land a solid standing fierce or a deep round house, heck I can’t even land a single jab on him without getting thrown by him. Are these reversals really that inescapable or is there something I’m seriously missing out on something here.

Grab can be beaten by jumping or back dashing. If you are playing a person who spams 360s during your combos just stop in the middle of the combo and hold up. Your character will jump the throw will whiff and you will get a free jump in combo. Basically any break in a combo can be reversal’ed so don’t miss the links or purposely break the combos with a jump and punish the whiff.

As soon as I get home from work this afternoon, I gotta try this. I am tired of all 'Gief users reversing the crap outta me! >.<

SPDs through dropped combos/blockstrings are always annoying, I ate quite a few of them last night myself (thankfully Hawk only knew about LP Typhoon, which does less damage and he didn’t know how to mix up afterwards).

Some basic rules to live by:

  • Unless you really don’t care about getting beat in the learning process (which is valid in itself), don’t attempt any combos on Gief/Hawk that you think you might drop. Keep it simple and safe, and if you want more damage, focus on baiting whiffed SPDs. (see below)

  • Do your homework. Know which of your blockstrings are actually airtight (hitting the opponent again while they’re still in blockstun, so that they don’t leave blockstun and their reversal doesn’t come out) and when you’re at frame disadvantage on hit or block. Don’t try any counter-hit setups after hit normals, either. Not even off stuff like low jab/low short; unless you’re trying a move that’s throw invincible on the first frame or active on the first frame (assuming you have the frame advantage…functionally, this means an SPD-type throw of your own), you’re gonna get thrown.

  • Bait their SPDs by backdashing and vertical jumping. After you finish a combo or a safe blockstring, do one of those two things. If they’re really commited to mash SPD, they’re gonna whiff and you’re gonna get a free combo. (Just don’t try one you think you might fuck up.) If you have the frame advantage and you have a throw-invincible (on the first frame) move like a Shoryuken, you could mix that in there, but bear in mind you’re gonna be in a lot more trouble if they start blocking it.

  • Never give them the benefit of the doubt. This is online SSF4 and flowcharting and bad habits go surprisingly far. Don’t trust them to stop doing SPDs after you’ve successfully baited them once. Keep doing the same goddamn bait, over and over and over again, until they absolutely prove they’ve learned their lesson by doing nothing or Lariating/DPing your vertical jump. (But since this guy is your friend, you probably wanna clue him in on this little secret to be polite. But of course, don’t stop the baiting until he proves he’s gonna put that knowledge to use. :bgrin:)