please elaborate on her strong lows?
c.lk - cannot be chained, 0 on block, 1f unplinkable into c.lp, must commit immediately to combo
c.mk - cannot be linked into or out of, must commit to unsafe specials immediately, -1f hit /-4f block so if you don’t cancel your pressure is over immediately even on hit
sweep - great range, incredibly unsafe on whiff, -16(!) on block, can sometimes low profile stuff
slide - insane range, mega unsafe on block / whiff unless spaced very carefully vs. fast characters
for comparison’s sake, a good low game looks like viper’s - incredible overhead to make you flinch, ex seismo (safe), low forward into mp tk (safe), both can lead into huge damage. also see: sakura, dudley. elena’s gameplan is inverted: lows to make you flinch (sweep, slide) and ex overhead to open up combo possibilities. except ex mallet isn’t safe, and neither are either of her sweeps the majority of the time. plus, you have to spend meter to even try, which sucks because elena has no meterless reversal.
really elena’s close game is basically just smoke and mirrors:
-her frame trap game is pretty garbage (no strong 1-hit hitconfirms like cammy close hp, rose close mk, adon close mk etc.)
-c.lp is the only normal that’s + frames on block (+2)
-c.lk is only 0 on block and you can’t chain so it’s almost impossible to abare c.lk into damage, also makes it easy to backdash out of her pressure because you don’t have to block low
-round arch has a great hitbox for beating lows (yay) but it’s incredibly slow (13f) and for some reason really hard to combo on counterhit
-regular mallet cancels aren’t very strong because the hitbox is terrible; even shoto c.mk will hit her when she’s way in the air
what’s left is a really strong poking game midscreen, right?
-b.dash is good to maintain space
-f+mk is a really fast overhead with range
-s.lk is good, but can’t cancel into anything at range
-c.mp is amazing, but you can only cancel into ex mallet at range because everything else whiffs hits
-sweep from max range is safe-ish against some characters
-slide to whiff punish if you have great reactions
-ex mallet to try and force an opening, but it’s -4f on block and you’re always right up against people
i don’t know how the game’s going to evolve, but she feels really one-dimensional to me and very rarely gets a real reward for her trouble. are your X seconds of space control and whiff punishing + 50 damage overheads going to do more damage than their Y seconds of whiff punishing /your/ normals + knockdown / frametrap pressure? remember, this is a character with 950/900 and no meterless reversal (and a POS meter’d reversal to boot).
she’s like vega, but vega has better midscreen normals (c.mk, c.mp, s.lk, s.hk), a way better throw / frametrap game, much stronger jumpins / better jump, safe jump oki setups off his primary combo ender (ex barcelona), ability to chip w/ RCF, etc.
i’d love to hear some arguments otherwise. for what it’s worth i played rose from vanilla to usf4 so i think i have a handle on how ‘honest’ characters are supposed to play.