When to go for Command Grabs

How do you incorporate command grabs into your gameplay?

condition them to block and then grab instead.

So if they block a crouching L would you then go for a grab?

If they are blocking a few teleport mix ups, then you know they are very cautious and have good defense. Thats how you know they will be susceptible for a command grab. After they block an H teleport, j.H, c.L, either kara the L grab or an H command grab.

if you poke with c.L before you do the grab you’ll have to wait for blockstun to wear off (very slight pause after c.L), or just forget the c.L and go for the grab when you land (or dash up and grab if you’ve been dashing up into c.M and they’ve been blocking it).

use the L command grab so you can cr.M > whatever immediately after and not waste your wallbounce with the H command grab.

Your opponent has to respect you for command grabs to work. If they don’t respect you they will up-back the entire match, so you have to condition them to stay on the ground with cr.L frame traps.

Awesome answers! Few questions:
What is kara?
What are cr.L frame traps?
No one mentioned M command grabs…are they generally not that great to go for?

You kara the L grab by inputting s.H and cancelling that very quickly into L grab before the kicks come out. Gives you added distance for the grab since the L grab has the least range.

Ace is referring to if you do a c.L and they block it then they just hold back, you will whiff your grab. If your command grab setup is always c.L into command grab, they will catch on and realize just holding back beats it. But if you did c.L, slight pause, c.L, you could catch them walking back and get a combo. This trains your opponent to stay there and crouch block which gives you the opportunity to go for the grab.

I think M doesn’t come out as fast as L grab but has more range? Somebody correct me.

they’re all 1 frame, but the harder the attack strength the smaller the range. people talk about kara-ing them a lot…i mean…yeah you get range…(kara with cM is also very powerful) but cL, dash xx command grab L is pretty damn fast by itself and a good place to start.

if you’re trying to ambiguously cross up with jS and are constantly being pushblocked out before you can start a ground blockstring–>that’s primetime for empty teleport command grab right there.

if you’re near someone on the ground, xf with command grab L in the freeze frame is gross

if you’re playing a guy who whores up back, put it in your backpocket and airthrow his ass constantly. eventually they’ll start to ground themselves.

Depends on the opponent, command grabs don’t work well with people who like to mash buttons when they can, you have to force them to be scared of your normals if you want them holding down-back.

Related to the topic, here’s each character with command grab and the variants they have (so no one will be like, OMG Spencer has a command grab?).

Felicia - normal command grab (Hellcat)
Frank West - level 1 hyper anti-air grab (Funny Face Crusher) Frank needs to be level 3 or higher to do this hyper
Ghost Rider - level 3 hyper grab (Penance Stare)
Haggar - normal command grab (Piledriver), moving command grab (Hoodlum Launcher M), air-to-air command grab (Backdrop), level 3 hyper grab (Final Haggar Buster)
Hulk - normal command grab (Gamma Tornado L, M), anti-air command grab (Gamma Tornado H)
Hsien-Ko - normal command grab (Houten-Geki)
Jill Valentine - normal command grab (Position Change)
M.O.D.O.K. - level 1 hyper grab (Killer Illumination) Can be jumped out of even after the super flash
Morrigan - normal command grab (Vector Drain)
Nemesis - normal command grab (Tentacle Grab L), ranged anti-air command grab (Tentacle Grab M,H), level 3 hyper grab (Fatal Mutation)
Sentinel - normal command grab (Human Catapult)
She-Hulk - normal command grab (Heavy Strike L), moving command grab (Heavy Strike M), anti-air command grab (Heavy Strike H), level 1 hyper anti-air grab(Take Out The Trash), level 3 hyper grab (Road Rage)
Shuma-Gorath - normal command grab (Devitilization)
Spencer - normal command grab (Jaw-Breaker L, M), anti-air command grab (Jaw-Breaker H)
Super Skrull - normal command grab (Elastic Slam L), ranged command grab (Elastic Slam M), ranged anti-air command grab (Elastic Slam H)
Thor - normal command grab (Mighty Hurricane), air-to-air command grab (Air Mighty Hurricane), level 1 hyper grab (Mighty Punish)
Tron Bonne - normal command grab (Bonne Mixer), level 3 hyper grab (Shakedown Mixer)
Wesker - normal command grab (Mustang Kick)
X-23 - moving command grab (Decapitating Slice)

normal command grab - just pretty much like a normal grab with varying reaches and speed.

anti-air command grab - grabs opponents that are nearby and airborne.

moving command grab - projects the character a distance before they attempt the grab.

ranged command grab - exclusive to Super Skrull, he has a very far reaching ground throw.

ranged anti-air command grab - exclusive to Nemesis and Super Skrull; they have grabs that can grab airborne opponents from afar.

level 1 hyper grab - a command grab that uses 1 meter. Thor’s is invincible and can be used like a reversal. M.O.D.O.K.'s is similar, but is much slower, and can be jumped out of the hyper flash, so limit it to punishes only.

level 1 anti-air hyper grab - grabs opponents out of the air and is invincible for a brief moment at the beginning frames of the grab. Exclusive to Frank West at level 3+ and She-Hulk.

level 3 hyper grab - powerful grabs that require 3 meters. All level 3 grabs except for Nemesis’ are invincible on start up. All level 3 grabs cannot be jumped out of after the flash.

Yeah, command grabs are like bluffs in poker. They actually work better against better players. Because they’ll know to block things / respect a bet. In poker, versus weaker players you want to just play straight up, and with grapplers it’s the same. They’ll get hit by your highs and lows if you mix up decently. But play someone who’s good who can block your mixups, and suddenly now they’re blocking your mixups (and concentrating on doing so). Command grabs exist to punish that level of yomi (rock paper scissors). The better the opponent, the fancier you can get, paradoxically. Then the true mind games come when you both know that it could go either way. That’s when you have to read tendencies and train people to do things or to walk into situations where you can do things, etc. You’ll start to develop a feel for when a good player is going to block, vs poor players just assume they won’t.

My question is about the L grab. Is there an easier way to combo off this than immediate dash into chain? I can do this, but it seems like it has to be SO FAST that you really can’t confirm the grab, you just have to do the sequence. I use H grab just because I’m able to actually see if it worked or not. Call me a scrub, but sometimes you just don’t know till you see it. But I’d love the extra range and lack of wall bounce if there’s a confirmable way. But even if not, it’s kinda ridiculous Wesker even has a command throw, let alone a 1-frame one, so I don’t complain about the H version. lol

No easy way to combo it you just have to get your timing down, think of it as a trade off for being a 1 frame command grab ;D. What helped me was as soon as he kicks the enemy in the animation immidietly dash and hit c.M.The L version is more rewarding because you can combo it into his Phantom Strike( (Wall Bounce) for more damage than the H command grab. Just practice, if you want to play it safe do the H version but its defintly worth your time learning the L version follow up to improve/level up your game. :slight_smile:

There are two possible outcomes to doing a command grab: Either it hits, or it whiffs. You should be LOOKING for the animation. It’s really not that hard to hit-confirm because you’re the one doing the command grab. If it whiffs you’re punishable anyway (unless you OS into a super cancel).

On big characters you can do :l: grab, qcf :l: xx :l: teleport, gun otg -> cr.:m: s.:h: xx Ghost Butterfly.

One situation which is ripe for a command grab is when you have forced your opponent into a lockdown situation with an assist (perhaps Dante’s Weasel Shot or Amaterasu’s Cold Star), you can dash up and grab them immediately after the blockstun has worn off but before they are able to do anything. If you time it perfectly, your 1-frame command grab should beat out anything short of zero-frame startup (not sure which moves have this, maybe just hypers). Though I’m not sure if Wesker could be thrown out of his command grab attempt since regular throws are 1 frame too. All I know is I see good Wesker players getting command grabs frequently in this type of situation.

Resurrecting this, but I’m curious about using a cr.H kara throw vs. dash up non-kara throw after conditioning them with cr.L’s or cr.M’s… if they block your cr.L or cr.M and then you followup with a kara throw (using cr.H as the kara for the grab), does it reach or do you still need to dash in to get in range?

I’d love to try this on my own, but I won’t be near a console for a while and this has been bugging me…

You still need a dash.

And I don’t kara my command throws at all, don’t need to.