With most of my opponents on psn being at the intermediate level and not truly high level, (I am perhaps significantly below intermediate), I find a lot of my offense being beaten by people mashing crouch tech.
I try and do a string into an overhead, I get crouching shorted out of my overhead. I walk up for a throw and get crouch shorted. You get the point.
I always think to myself, why are these guys mashing crouch tech so much? Aren’t they afraid of frame traps, of perhaps being baited into a crouch tech that could be punished into something big like a dp fadc ultra?
Then I realised: it absolutely makes sense to mash crouch tech because nobody they play is at the level to take advantage of their mashing with good consistent frame traps, so why not mash all day! It probably is a generally solid defensive strategy at our level.
Mariodood wrote an excellent article on this:
The science behind a frame trap, is that throws come in frame 3. They beat normals that become active on the same frame. If you do a crouch tech, obviously then you have to know how many frames your character’s crouching short comes out in. For instance Ryu’s crouching short comes out in 4 frames.
The bad thing about a crouch tech, is that 4 initial frames (Let’s assume we’re crouch teching with Ryu). When you tech a throw, you have ten frames in which to tech. And since throw beats normal if occurring on the same frame, if the opponent tries to throw you from frame 1-4, you will get thrown during the startup of your crouch short. It is in your best interest to do what is called a “delayed crouch tech” which is crouch teching from frame 4-10.
This can actually nullify a lot of 50-50 games. Let’s take Ken’s ex tatsu on block for example. I’m not sure of the frame data, but for the sake of our discussion, let’s assume it’s even or +0 on block. Normally, if you tech after the ex tatsu on block, you’d beat a throw from Ken, but eat a SRK. Inversely if you just block, you’d block the SRK, but eat the throw right? Well if you do a delayed crouch tech you can actually beat both. Since Ken’s fp srk has a 3 frame startup, and a throw hits on the 3rd frame as well, all you need to do is a delayed crouch tech on frame 4, and you’d block the SRK as well tech the throw. (Assuming your crouch tech has a 3 frame crouch short).
However all this assumes that people do throws/normals/specials on the first available frame. Obviously delaying the SRK would beat a delayed crouch tech, which is where frame traps and advanced mindgames come in.
Mariodood covered some great frame trap examples, such as Ryu’s ex Tatsu, but what I need personally is a few attack setups to test my opponent’s tendency to crouch tech, and perhaps to condition him to do otherwise. Therefore I need a few setups to do early in the round that are preferably meterless.
Right now, at the start of a game, I generally will either do a blockstring on block, or throw after a few jabs. This generally doesn’t tell me much about the opponent except that maybe he can tech tick throws.
I need to work frame traps into my initial pressure game for advanced scouting basically!
One thing I see Valle and Daigo do a lot, such as in this match is after a block jumped attack, walk forward for a frame, and immediately do cmp cmp chk. This catches people mashing anything and serves as great conditioning as well getting another untechable knockdown.
Obviously to do frame traps, you need to know the frame date for your main attacks. Fortunately, Ryu’s frame data on block is dead easy to remember:
cmp: +2 on block, 4 frame startup
clp: +2 on block, 3 frame startup
cmk: -3 on block if uncancelled, 5 frame startup
A lot of times I get a noob frame trap when I do clp clp cmk hadoken, with the cmk counterhitting. This is because clp is +2 on block, and cmk has a 5 frame startup, so there is naturally a 3 frame gap in between for an opponent’s crouching tech to come out.
It’s going to be a lot of work incorporating frame traps into my game, as it feels so risky initially, purposely leaving gaps in the blockstun for my opponent to attack? What if I get SRKed or reversaled in the gap?
Well, when watching Ryus like Poongko and Valle, I realise that leaving gaps is obviously dangerous, but since you are leaving the gaps intentionally, YOU are still in control. You can see that reversal coming, and anything you choose to do can further serve to mindfuck the opponent. I’m not that fluid yet in my offense, but hopefully one day I can be confident enough to leave gaps like that, to invite people to press something, upon which I mercilessly proceed to punish with a counterhit into big damage.