Tick Throws: A great tactic or a complete gamble?



After brushing up on my Zangiefology in preparation for an upcoming local tournament, I had a slight question in regard to tick throws, particularly the LP>SPD or LK>SPD.

I’ve seen various individuals use these to great effect. After watching, I figured that the idea was to trick the opponent into thinking a block string was being continued and to keep the opponent blocking, opening himself wide open for a free SPD.

Now, my personal experience makes me believe that this is too much of a gamble to just consistently try again and again. The reason is that I find a great number of opponents mashing a jab or even a DP motion during the block sting in anticipation of me dropping the blockstring, which is what I have to do to advance towards a SPD. If they succeed, depending on various circumstances, I’m in for a world of hurt.

Now, with this in mind, do any of you other players have a specific tactic to minimalize the risk of this of happening? Is there something specific you look for when you do it? If so, what is it?


Almost any SPD is a gamble, so I wouldn’t worry about it too much in that fashion. For me the round develops in one of 2 ways; either they are terrified of being grabbed and are pre-conditioned to flee or they are less aware of the matchup and are open to almost all SPD setups. In the case of them being pre-conditioned to flee: the potential for landing combos is much greater. Eventually (hopefully) this will coerce them to block, which opens up the tick game. No grab is guaranteed except for punishes and dizzys/crumples. The key is keeping your tick setups somewhat fresh, for example:

You get knockdown-
-they block follow up- c.lp x 3 tick SPD
-next time they block follow up- c.lp x 2 tick SPD or c.lp s.lk tick SPD or c.lp to nothing to see if they are mashing/jumping whatever. Keeo in mind how many great options you have on their wakeup- mix it up.

Learning what the opponent is trying to do to get away is almost more important that what you want to do, since you can store that knowledge for the next time you have them in that situation. If your opponent is used to mashing through blockstrings then adjust accordingly. Also, if they are used to tick setups walk up SPD can be a pretty great mindfuck.


landing spds become less of a gamble if you understand how to use it.

Almost all players tend to have a favourite getaway from gief, they either like to mash backdash, hold UP, mash reversal or block. The better the player, the more they are likely to block and try to react.

What i find important, to landing grabs, is learning a hitconfirm from a low attack, this way you can actually confirm if the enemy is trying to JUMP or not, if the enemy then tries to jump, you can continue onwards to finish your combo with EX-Banishing flats.

The best combo is the old clkx3-4, but every hit from the first c.lk is a one frame link, to keep it a combo. You should try and master the c.lk plink withc.lp and confirm your ticks of of this.

For instance, c.lk(block) TICK SPD or c.lk(block) c.lk(block) c.lk(hitconfirmed) c.lk(cancle EX-Ban) After the second C.lk most chars with viable backdashes can just mash their way out though. You should never tick during your first mixup chance vs. a player, forcing them to block by continiously dropping potential damage by playing it safe, will coherse your opponents to grudgefully hold DB. Some will rather MASH reversal, you have to get a feel of how to bait that out.

When you have an opponent locked in a DB pattern, you should start ticking of of one - three c.lk. if you they block four of your c.lk, then proceed with a far standing round house, to catch any attempt at jumping away, locking them down and forcing them to be more prone to block. It is only when you have succeded in establishing your danger as a combo-gief, that you will be able to start landing tons of grabs. After this, you should mix it up, by hitconfirming, and mixing up how many c.lk you use before you tick.

If learning c.lk x 4 is too hard, remember that once ou have Hitconfirm you only need one more to land the EX-Ban. Or you can learn simpler comboes, that immitates the c.lk. For instance. C.lk - c.lp - c.lp - c.lk or c.lk - c.lp - s.lk - s.lk The most important thing is not to chain to many moves, because when you chain your moves together, you can never confirm if someone is holding up, or not. You could ofc do c.lp -CHAIN- c.lp -LINK- s.lk - s.lk and HC of of the third hit.

Using Zangiefs combo-tools, makes hes grab less random. For you atleast… Your opponent will still hate you!


Those cr.LK links are murder to get down.


Yeah, if you do em without plink id say its near to impossible to be somewhat consistent.

Try to P-Link it with LP

Itl “be” a 2frame link, if you hit it consistently.

I use the middle of my thumb on LK, and i arch my pointer to hit LP. Try it!


And here I was trying to just wing it input by input.

I’m off to the labs.


So, I decided to try p-linking and I must say I’m surprised by the results, but I’m no where near confident enough to make it a tool inside of a match.

I’m having some difficulty in trying to hit a cr.LK>cr.LK>cr.LK>EX-Banishing Flat.

Then again, ever since the cr.LK was made into a 1-frame link, I’ve noticed a drop in it’s uses in several videos during the Vanilla-to-Super transition.

But, since this is a thread about tick throws, I did try to utilize cr.LK as a way to get some throws in and I can already see why having a 1-frame tick is so much more useful than say cr.LP. It give the opponents less time to think, whereas the cr.LP has more frames and is technically easier to read.

I’m going to see how I can work this in with my general strategy, but I was wondering: If I start p-linking while the opponent is trying to throw me on wakeup, will it tech out?


Try doing cr.lk links as throw techs. lk+lp each time. I find it easier for some reason.


When you hit throw-techs, you will proabably most of the time plink the c.lk with c.lp im sure if you make yourself aware of it, youl nail the link 100% in Training mode. In battle is ofc, a whole nother situation :smiley: Atleast i can choke on comboes more in combat!


I like SPD for fear purposes…shrug. It IS a gamble…all ticks are invariably gambles…but the fear of it is a HUGE part of Gief’s game, and wil lbe even moreso with AE.

I’m still surprised when I catch people with ‘whiffs’ to SPD…I expect to lose those EVERY time, but s.rh to SPD, and wel lspaced gh to SPD both net me more oppurtunities than actual ticks do. Why - I don’t know - it doesn’t make sense to me, but thats the breaks.

J.fp is AWESOME as well, if it lands…great, if they block - like 9/10 times your range is good enough to land a jab SPD.

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Lol, to my INSTANT suprise… <— >_<

c.lp c.lp c.lp c.lp LINKED works just asswell as c.lk comboes to stuff jumpers… >_> I cant believe i actually believed you could hold up vs. jabs… The only reason oune would use clk is really for dmg(not worth it) OR to stuff backdashing and get combo there…

Just try and do it, jab LINK jab LINK jab LINK jab, instead of jabjabjabjab(CHAAAAAAAIN) :stuck_out_tongue:

I feel so stupid >_<


how do you tell when you are successfully linking a rapid fire attack?
I do it…naturally…because of training so long for the c.lk linking (still suck at it heh)…but its not something I’d say is reliable enough. I still love 4 c.lk -> c.rh on the iPad version of SF4…I WISH it was that easy.

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Go into training mode:


DB for 3 sec, JUMP, DB for remaining seconds.

Do jabs at different speeds, until you start catching opponents jump, then you’ll know you’re not truly chaining the jabs.


What if they are holding up back?


you will catch them with normals >_<


It eats normals if timed right,

if they are mashing DP block and grab after they do it once.

throw a low into your blockstring to train them not to stand or jump. (c.jab, c.jab, c.jab, c.short, ex hand)

Also the occasional jabtick > spd, or jabtick > ultra is less of a gamble depending on when you do it. it only become predictable if you are doing it at the end of your jab combo every time. do it when they least expect it and they will treat it like a random poke.


It’s not a gamble…it’s a read. You have to feel out your opponent in R1 and work on a strategy depending on his style of play and based on what they do during blockstrings (e.g. block, backdash, jump or mash), modify that strategy (i.e "He’s inclined to mashing DP, so next blockstring, I’ll bait DP and punish it).

If what you want to do is minimize risks, develop a strategy for hit confirms. For me, I work off of CR.LK x 4, so for most matchups, I start the match using a system like this one:

]CR.LK (blocked) CR.LK (hit) CR.LK x 2 EX.GH
[*]CR.LK x 2 (blocked) SPD


Anyone use the splash xx Cl.s. Mp xx ultra in a OR. Splash c.lk xx Hp.SPD tick setups in a match? i feel mp stops the jumper if trying immediate jump. i think having tick setups are one of gief best setups if u have conditioned the opponent not to jump.


It’s both risk and tactics with too many variables. The best thing you can do is maximize spacing. Aka the distance between you and your opponent.