Let me start off by saying Fei long’s normal grab range blows. At .85, it is the third lowest in the game. For the less tech savy, anything after 2 crouching light attacks, and you have to walk foward in order to get your throw to connect. Usually Fei whimpers, and you get punched as your opponent starts his own combo.
For a character so dependant on close range combat, you are seemingly defeated by your opponent simply staying in a crouch blocked position. At first glance, this is a major weakness. But in reality, it keeps Fei’s throw game from being completely broken.
Enter The Command Grab
input-HCB+K. HCB+2K for EX
Normal command grab-14 frames of start up, 2 active frames, 51 recovery frames
Ex command grab-12 frames of start up, 2 active frames, 51 recovery frames
10+ Frames of Start up!!? WTF?
When stacked up to other command throws in the game, which generally have 5 frames or less of start up, plus additional properties such as being strike invincible, or throw invincible, or just doing damned massive damage, it may seem as though Fei is getting the short end of the throw. But the fact of the matter is quite the contrary.
But Mike, 10+ frames? Yeah, thats a long ass time. Most decent players will be able to to see the noticable break in your movements, and jab, short, or throw you well before the tenshin connects. Which is why you shouldn’t throw it out nakedly unless you have seriously just mind fucked your opponent.
Fei Long’s command throw has the unique ability, due to that long ass startup, of still hitting after being cancelled from a normal. What is the normal of choice? Either a close standing jab, or a crouching jab. Both moves offer 10 frames of block stun, and 13 frames of hitstun. Meaning that from a blocked cancelled jab(into an ex tenshin), your opponent has only two frames of freedom. In this situation, the EX Tenshin will beat anything non-invincible, except escape jumps.
A normal tenshin from a block cancelled jab leaves a 4 frame hole. That means most characters can jab you out of it, and all can throw you out of it. Despite its reduced range, and longer start up time, the normal tenshin still has its uses. Namely, you can cancell a connected jab into a tenshin. However, the one frame hole that it leaves sometimes interferes with the active frames of the tenshin if you cancel it too fast. Characters can not be thrown while in hit or block stun, and if the active frames overlap, the throw whiffs.
The real use of of the normal tenshin is to land your super. All of your close standing and crouching normals, except close standing light kick, cancel into super. This is what makes the tenshin really dangerous, and is also why it dosen’t get all the fancy bells and whistles of the games other command throws. 500 damage from a throw that comes out during block strings becomes broken if you don’t give it some weak spots.
When Should I Whip It Out?
The command throw is best used as a mix-up tool in your block strings. You can land much more damage from tenshin resets and the like than any normal tick throw setups in the game. This move is still relatively young in its development cycle, but I and other Fei users who have been implementing can already see how powerful this move can be. You can land it raw from a blocked jump in. Or blocked jump in stand jabxxtenshin. Or in any situation where you know a jab will be blocked. For example, from a hit Mk CW. It only leaves you at a two frame advantage, so a follow up jab will likely be blocked and allow you to tenshin.
The tenshin is a great move, but beware of mash happy opponents. Tenshins are more likely to land on more skilled opponents than scrubs. Tenshin does not have any invincibility, and you can be hit by anything that has invulnerable or non throwable start up. So dont be supprised if you jump on XBL or PSN, and your immediate attempts are thwarted by the genius that is G-1