The State of Grappler's in SSF4

What do you think of the state of grappler’s in SSF4. Hakan and T. Hawk get shit talked on, and Zangief was nerfed (on paper) from SF4 to SSF4.

On the other hand we saw what Vance did at Evo…

What do you think? What do you hope see in the balance patch? Do you even think Grappler’s fit well into SSF4 play style?

They absolutely do. There’s also a lot more grapplers than just the ones you listed if you think about it. Abel and (some consider her to be) Makoto for instance. They provide an interesting alternative playstyle.

I don’t think grapplers will dominate a game, in terms of tier lists. But in the hands of the right players (eg: Vance, SnakeEyes) they can sure be way up there. Though imo they probably have to work 2x harder than most characters. I don’t think constantly buffering 360’s and 720’s is an easy thing to do.

Giefs nerfs are VERY VERY real my friend. His biggest nerf (other than his jump and now 1 frame is that he got better in NO areas and got a shit random U2 where other top tier characters improved like Rufus. Vance’s success is likely due to GDLK reflexes, dedication to a single character and mastering buffering like a madman. I think a guy like Vance could win with other characters too so I don’t buy that Gief is that good a character. Vance took Gief, Gief the character didn’t bring him.

I think grapplers have a very hard time in this game (Abel is not a TRUE grappler to me) but what would a fighting game be without them.

I honestly am surprised Hawk isnt better than what people say though. His normals have hella priority and his whole 50-50 game is a nightmare…BUT then again, i don’t play characters with DPs or Hadokens so all match up dependent I guess.

I was considering including Abel, and he’s obviously very good, I guess I was thinking more in the realm of 360/720 character’s

They sure do fit. They and rush down characters are my favorite type of characters. Being a grappler is more about being patient then going in SPD’ing all over the place. Gotta know how to play footsies and take a couple hits. Also got to know how to hide the 720 or its useless. etc etc.
To bad I’m to lazy to learn a second main.

Why isn’t Abel a grappler? Just because he has well developed mixups outside of command throw ticks (which he also has) doesn’t mean he’s not a grappler. He’d be Makoto tier without Tornado Throw.

He can combo into u1, NUFF said…

T.Hawk and Hakan kind of suck to really suck. Zangief should not have gotten the nerfs (other than damage in order to keep it proportional to the rest of the cast damage nerfs), and Alex and Hugo need to be in this game.

Zangief was high tier in SFIV and Abel is high tier in SSFIV. Honestly, a lot of the grappler characters are just hard to play and are not played in very large numbers. The few players who are both extremely talented and play grapple characters do well for themselves as was shown at Evo.

I do think they fit into the SSF4 playstyle, however I think that some mechanics need to be changed to make them completely viable.

Aside from actually fixing most grapplers in the game (Gief is the only true grappler who’s still viable at top tier events, and I’m not just saying that because of Vance, he’s really not a bad character), as well as one of the sort-of grapplers (Makoto), the big thing that needs to be changed is that they NEED to be able to combo into their grabs. If this comes at the cost of a little bit of the damage that command grabs offer, then so be it, because until grapplers are actually able to combo into their grabs, they will not be high or even top tier.

Look at games like KoF, Blazblue and Guilty Gear (and since it was just announced for console, Arcana Hearts 1-3), the grapplers in every single one of these games has a way to combo into their grabs, and in every single one of these games the grapplers are high or top tier (Daimon/Clark in KoF, Potemkin in GG, Kira in AH, and Tager in BBCS is mid/high tier, although he is low tier in CT). None of the grapplers mentioned there are broken in any way, shape or form, they are just far more effective than SF grapplers.

Alex is the only grappler we’ve ever had that was able to combo into a grab and he could only do that in one way.

The reason for this is right now command grabs can only be used by themselves to punish, not in a combo, so you can’t go into it off of a hit confirm which severely limits damage. For example just look at Vance’s matches from EVO, 95%+ of them were spent simply playing footsies and zoning, which while important, is not exactly what I picture a grappler to be doing. Vance was getting a ton of pokes that, if the above change was implemented, he could have comboed off of.

Also, Hakan needs to be fixed in a huge way. Overlapping inputs and a broken oil up system (either remove it and make it so his moves always have the range that they currently do oiled up and damage somewhere in the middle of unoiled/oiled and remove moving while focusing, or make it last at least 4 seconds longer for each level and make it a little faster) severely limit him. T. Hawk has great range on his grabs but outside of his grabs has no way to do damage.

So in short, some changes need to be made, but yes grapplers should and can be viable in SF4 while still fitting in the game playstyle-wise. Gief already is viable, just stuck at low mid tier.

I don’t know why, but when thinking of comboing into grabs, i can’t let go of the idea of abel-like moves, his third hit of COD. It combo’s into it and it looks like a grab but it actually isn’t. Wouldn’t grabs be too powerfull if you could combo into them? I have never played third strike so i can’t tell you anything about Alex, but from the occasional things i read in replies mentioning third strike, i didn’t get the impression that he was top-tier. Might just have been me though.

Of course they fit. It doesn’t even really need a long discussion. Grapplers have been in every SF game since day 2. Why would they all of a sudden not fit? And how do you define the SSF4 play style that might bring up the question whether they fit or not? There still aren’t any characters that can combo into grapples as it should be. Grapple characters really should only be able to punish with command grabs because they would be too crazy teir. If it were possible, Gief would be comboing into both U1 and U2 making him god tier if he didn’t get a damage nerf in return.

Abel’s U1 does not count as a grapple since you can block it.

IMO, zoning and footsies is what a grappler really should be instead of being able to combo into crap. It is nice to have some characters in the game that aren’t soley based on learning and landing large combos.

I’m not sure if comboing into grabs is the best way to go ( I mean, Hawk was good in his older iterations and built entirely around throwing shit ), dunno what is… but it is sort of sad to see high level play with “grapplers” consisting primary of pokes and some combos… it’s like rushing down with Sagat or turtling with Dudley.

I didn’t mean to suggest they shouldn’t be in the game, quite the contrary. The main reason I started the thread is because I would like to see them used more often and wanted to see what people thought, if anything, needed to be changed.

lots of problems with the things you say. notably, your depiction of tager and bb in general is highly misleading and you don’t seem to understand that grapplers in ssf4 are actually all about scoring a knockdown/command grab to start their REAL game. for t.hawk it’s safe jump shenanigans into either a tick or a combo. for gief, the threat of the command grab is actually a diversion while he smashes you to death while you try to jump away and repeatedly combos into knockdown and frightening wake up situations. also, t.hawk has many combos that do way more damage than his command grabs (he even has a couple that out-damage his super).

^this. at least in ssf4 and at least at mid screen.

Alex wasn’t top tier, but he was high tier. At the same time he only had one way to combo into his grab, and it wasn’t a very good one -.-

The ability to combo into some grabs doesn’t necessarily dictate the ability to combo into all, startup frames influence this. It could easily be changed so Gief could combo into SPD but not into U1/U2. Also, note that I did suggest a damage nerf if the ability to combo into U1/U2 was added.

I’m sorry, so you’re saying that characters who’s playstyle is grappling (i.e. grabbing shit) should be based around using footsies/zoning? In what way does that make ANY sense? I would’ve thought that zoning/footsies should be left to, you know, zoning characters? And I’m not saying that comboable grabs should be meant for use in long combos, since the meat of the damage should come from the grab and a long combo would kill the grab damage from damage scaling, but I think there needs to be a way to at least hit confirm into them.

Exactly. Hawk isn’t even viable in this because all he can do to damage is throw shit, if his original playstyle is sacrificed to make him more viable, then so be it.

How exactly was my depiction of Tager and BB in general highly misleading? Wait, when did I even give an overall depiction of Tager OR BB anyways? All I said was that Tager is able to combo into his command grabs, which he can.

I do understand that what grapplers are currently about is scoring a knockdown to start a mixup (if by grapplers you mean Gief, because Hawk and Hakan both have pathetic mixup and really don’t even deserve to be discussed as far as balance goes until they get some fixes), and that’s fine, but if you haven’t noticed, just about every other character with a good mixup game (Akuma, Ibuki, etc.) have ways to combo in their mixup to further improve their mixup game (“Oh hey, he started with a jab so I’m not gonna get knocked into vortex again! Wait… FUCK!”). All I’m suggesting is that Gief be given a way to do the same using his most damaging moves, and if the damage needs to be nerfed somewhat, so be it (although due to damage scaling I seriously doubt it would be).

Well, again T.Hawk is basically a joke atm, he has like one viable combo in the game and it does pretty mediocre damage, his only really good option on opponent’s wake up is a throw. And as far as Gief goes, again, as I said above, he is a GRAPPLER (hell, he’s depicted as a wrestler in the game is he not?), which means that he shouldn’t be based around punching and kicking the fuck out of you, his big damage should come things involving grabs.

Also, there was a thread awhile back about grapplers in different games, the mass opinion was that SF grapplers do not play like grapplers at all and do not really deserve to be classified as such.

Comboing into command throws defeat the purpose of them being command throws. Throws are big damage tools that work against overly defensive players. Why would you want to combo into a command throw for nerf damage when you can do it outside of a combo for full damage? That’s what we like to call Resets.

I don’t understand the need to create fake distinctions between whose a grappler and who isn’t. Hawk, Gief, and Hak are grapplers but Honda and Abel aren’t? The only difference between an 360 and a hcb command grab is one input because of short cuts. The purpose of command grabs in SF are to force the other player to react or they take unblockable damage. When a grapplers is close to you blocking, teching, and or FA’ing are no longer safe options and what you do instead opens you to addition damage.

As to the original question, except for Gief, big slow spd grapplers are not very good. The more mobile but still hard hitting grapplers (Abel, Honda) are very good. Mak is not very good. Elf and Seth are middle of the pack. There are alot of characters who have command grabs (Cammy, Fei, Claw, Guy, Akuma, and Gouken) but their grabs are deemphasized by design and the characters aren’t based on them. Those character are all over the place when it comes to tier list.

They need to make gief back to the way he was before except for the lariat change. The and jump nerfs are totally asinine. I pray to god they fix that back when they get feed back from the arcade release but I really doubt they will. Ono pretty much said he doesn’t want Gief to be good.