Street Fighter IV/Vega

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Introduction

Basic Stats
Health: 1000 (With Mask), 750 (Without Mask)
Stun: 900
Forward Dash Speed: 20f
Back Dash Speed: 22f
Jump Speed: 4+35

Forum Links

Claw Q&A
Claw Combos
Viva Las Vegas - The Vega Match-Up Guide
Matador Video Thread

Videos

  • Helpful Videos:

Pierce & Pierce, whitecrowz
Kara throw setups, whitecrowz

  • Japanese Videos:

About the Rolling Crystal Flash
About Izuna Drop

  • Matchvideos:

Claw vs Abel
Claw vs Abel
Claw vs Abel
Claw vs Claw
Claw vs E. Honda
Claw vs E. Honda
Claw vs E. Honda
Claw vs E. Honda
Claw vs E. Honda
Claw vs E. Honda
Claw vs E. Honda

If you're not a member of nico nico douga, you can simply paste the url here and view it like this: http://mmcafe.com/nico.html

Notation

  • F - Forward - Tilt stick forward/towards the opponent. (X-axis)
  • B - Backward/Back - Tilt stick backward/away from the opponent. (X-axis)
  • U - Up - Tilt stick upwards. (Y-axis)
  • D - Down - Tilt stick downwards. (Y-axis)
  • QCF - D, DF, F - Quarter circle forward/Hadouken/Fireball - Tilt stick downwards, then to downwards and forward, then forward.
  • QCB - D, DB, B - Quarter circle backward - Tilt stick downwards, then to downwards and backward, then backward.
  • HCF - Half circle forward - Tilt stick backwards, then to downwards and backward, then to downward, then to downwards and forward, then forward.
  • HCB - Half circle backward - Tilt stick forwards, then to downwards and forward, then to downward, then to downwards and backward, then backward.
  • DP - F, D, DF - Dragon punch - Tilt stick forwards, then to downward, then to downward and forward. In SFIV, there is a "shortcut" for this motion: DF, neutral, DF.
  • 360 - Full circle - Complete a full rotation of the stick.
  • 720 - Complete a 720 degree rotation of the stick.
  • Charge - Hold a tilt - Hold the stick in either B or D (Depending) then move to F or U respectively.

X-axis functions can be used interchangeably with Y-axis functions and vice versa. X-axis functions cannot be used in conjunction with another X-axis function and vice versa.

Six Button Notation

  • Jab - weak punch (also called LP or WP)
  • Strong - medium punch (also called MP)
  • Fierce - fierce punch (also called HP or FP)
  • P - any punch
  • PPP or 3P - all three punches simultaneously
  • Short - weak kick (also called LK or WK)
  • Forward - medium kick (also called MK)
  • Roundhouse (RH) - fierce kick (also called HK)
  • K = any kick
  • KKK or 3K - all three kicks simultaneously

Connectors

  • ~ Immediately after, e.g "Strong~Fierce" means press Fierce IMMEDIATELY after Strong, f~f means to double tap forward (dash).
  • , Link
  • xx Cancel

State Modifiers

  • st. - The following move should be performed in the standing position (neutral in the Y-axis). i.e. st.Fierce, perform a Fierce whilst standing.
  • c. - The following move should be performed in the crouched position (held down in the Y-axis). i.e. cr.Fierce, perform a Fierce whilst crouching.
  • cl. - The following move should be performed in the standing position beside your opponent (neutral in the Y-axis). i.e. cl. Fierce, perform a fierce whilst close to your opponent.
  • j. - The following move should be performed in the "in the air" position (After having held up in the Y-axis). i.e. j.Fierce, perform a Fierce whilst in the air.

Miscellaneous Notation

  • Claw = American Vega = Japanese Balrog
  • Boxer = American Balrog = Japanese Bison
  • Dictator (Dic) = American Bison = Japanese Vega

Not everyone plays on the American version, and some character names are different in the Japanese version, so to avoid confusion, we should not use the names Vega, Bison, or Balrog.

Soak in your Blood

Claw is a bottom tier character for a reason. The first thing to know about Claw is that of all the characters in the cast, every single one of them has a move that grants invincibility frames except Claw. This means that by principle, Claw is the worst character when it comes to getting out of a sticky situation. To accommodate for Claw's lack of defensive moves, his back dash grants him invincibility and Claw has a long-range focus attack coupled with a long back dash to act as a reversal. However, since the use of the backdash is situational, as well as the use of a focus backdash, this basically means that under most circumstances Claw can not escape. A skilled player who knows the matchup will ensure that he has you under his thumb for as long as he can pin you down. Some matchups, like against Boxer, Rufus, and Abel, will at times have you extremely frustrated, mainly because you're pinned down and constantly getting thrown when you're blocking, meaty'd when you're trying to Scarlet Terror, and other such stuff.

Because of Claw's disadvantageous position being at the receiving end of a rushdown, Claw has abilities that help him avoid these situations altogether. As a Claw player, if you find yourself in matches constantly getting corner-raped and beatdown hard, you need to rethink your strategy. Coupled with the claw and mask losses, it's simply dangerous to be careless. The tools that help Claw avoid getting beatdown are:

  • Long-Range Ground Pokes : Claw's crouching strong, standing roundhouse, standing fierce, standing forward, and crouching forward kick are all top of the line pokes. Standing Roundhouse hits twice so as to defend against armored attacks like an EX Dash punch, while crouching strong is simply a move Claw could not go without. When it comes to keeping opponents out with a strong ground game, Claw is one of the best. Poke strings also help an offensive Claw safely return to max poke range. Claw's sweep also has considerable range, though it is ineffective at close range.
  • Aerial Dominance: Claw has many formidable attacks in the air. Most notably are the Air Grab, triangle jump fierce, and roundhouse for jump ins, and triangle jump strong and forward kick for powerful air-to-air. Claw's jump straight up moves are strong as well: roundhouse keeps many jump-happy opponents at bay with a strong defensive hitbox, and fierce has spectacular reach, though an odd hitbox. Forward kick can be used for neutral jump offense. If used correctly, Claw can dominate just about any other character in the air-to-air department.
  • Agility: Claw is very quick on his feet. His walk speed is above average, and while his forward dash is mediocre, his backdash ranks highly among the best. His jumps are quick, and coupled with the timely use of Flying Barcelona, Claw can avoid many hostile situations by jumping out. As Claw you should always be moving on your feet. Not enough to expose yourself: jumping in and random barcelonas are very dangerous. In a matchup like Zangief, Claw can strike him once and avoid him for the rest of the match for a Time Over victory. Another weapon Claw has is a deadly throw, used in conjunction with Standing Roundhouse Kick (kara-canceled). It moves three squares, only bested by Ken's kara throw, and aids considerably in zoning and surprise attacks.

These three attributes are key to succesful Claw play. Claw's footsies are very solid: crouching strong is unrivaled in speed and range. The main thing bogging Claw down is his situational ultra, and inability to escape rushdowns. If you can create a gameplan that helps you avoid being rushed, and with solid footsies and aerial prowess, you can win. The gap between Sagat and Claw may be immense, but enough of Claw's matchups are 5-5 to be OK, and the ones that are 6-4 are tricky, but do-able. The 7-3's are disheartening, however. Note that of the above three advantages, anti-air options are not one of them. Almost any opponent can lock Claw down if he is forced to block a jump-in attack, so try to avoid this situation at all costs.

Hopefully with the knowledge you gain from this wiki we can make Claw a serious contender; I'm convinced he has the potential but it's tough to see.


~ all contributions as of August 18th 2009 minus frame data by Jozhear of the Vega Boards

Move Analysis

Normal Moves

  • Standing Light Kick: A great move for many reasons. It comes out in 5 frames, which is reasonably fast, and has a delusively long-ranged hitbox. You can hit people from a pretty decent distance away from this move, and it sets up lots of great opportunities. Its advantage on hit and block, meaning its great for tick throws. The knee can also combo into standing roundhouse, which is great for footsies, and also be combo'd into out of another knee, crouching forward or close fierce.

Combos into St. Light, C. Jab, C. Strong, St. RH, C. Fierce
Combos out of St. Light, C. Forward, Cl. Fierce

  • Standing Forward Kick: A beastly poke. It is the longest-ranged move Claw has from the ground. Its only use is really its considerable range: while alot of Claw's moves can be used for offensive and defensive purposes, this is simply a great poke that you can use for footsies. It's not as slow as roundhouse is either, meaning its safer to use in many situations.

Combos into Nothing
Combos out of Nothing

  • Standing Roundhouse Kick: One of Claw's best moves. It comes out in 4 frames, which for a hard move is extremely fast. It hits twice, which gives it a key property in an otherwise hopeless matchup vs Balrog, since it breaks EX Dash Punch Armor. It breaks focus, but against characters with a low focus animation like Dhalsim it could miss. You can combo into this against certain characters out of a close fierce, which is a massive meterless damage opportunity. It's also one of Claw's only legitimate anti-air moves from the ground. At max range you can pick people out of the air but it will trade. At close range, it helps to keep opponents out of the air if you predict when they are going to jump. However, though it comes out fast, it has a long recovery, and as such should be used wisely. Whiffing this move completely is a free jump-in for the opponent. This move is also used for kara throwing.

Combos into Nothing
Combos out of St. Light, C. Jab, C. Forward, Cl. Fierce

  • Standing Jab: A move with very limited use. You might as well use the crouching version. It is better in almost every aspect, though it does lose a little reach.

Combos into Nothing
Combos out of c. jab, st. light, c. forward

  • Standing Strong: Another move with limited use. Decent range, but in this case, it's definitely worse than it's crouching counter part. Stick to crouching strong.

Combos into Nothing
Combos out of Nothing

  • Standing Fierce: A great poke. It reaches a considerable distance, only a tiny bit shorter than standing forward. It deals greater damage too, though it is much slower. Use this sparingly while you use Standing Forward pokes. It can also be used to force a trade with an airborne opponent, but this should only be considered when you have a substantial life lead and the opponent is near, or guaranteed, death.

Combos into Nothing
Combos out of Nothing

  • Close Light Kick: An inferior counterpart to the standing light kick. I'm pretty sure this was a design decision: Claw's close normals are indisputably worse than his crouching and standing normals, probably to discourage Claw players from attacking at close range altogether. You can't combo out of this move like you can with the standing light kick either. This can interrupt throws, and also set up a quick tick.

Combos into Nothing
Combos out of Nothing

  • Close Medium Kick: A move that I don't really understand. It definitely looks cool, but I really fail to see what purpose it could serve. You can cancel this into other moves, but why? It's not fast, you can't combo into it, and it's generally just a crappy move when there are people who can jab you with 3 frame moves no problem.

Combos into Nothing
Combos out of Nothing

  • Close Roundhouse Kick: Same as standing roundhouse. It has uses up close, due to its considerable speed, and it can be difficult to punish for characters without reach.

Combos into Nothing
Combos out of St. Light, C. Jab, C. Forward, Cl. Fierce

  • Close Jab: Like the standing version, a pretty limited move. It kind of looks like a throw: but for all intents and purposes, this move is lacking. The one use it does have is a follow up to Cosmic Heel: use this as soon as you are able, and then focus cancel into a forward dash to cross under the airborne opponent. This only works against bigger characters.

Combos into Nothing
Combos out of Nothing

  • Close Strong: Again, similar to the standing version. A forgettable move with forgettable attributes. Use the crouching version.

Combos into Nothing
Combos out of Nothing

  • Close Fierce: The only close move Claw has that is any good. This move has a slow start up, so it is NOT to be used in close quarters confrontations. What it does do is very beneficial. Use this as a followup to a jump in: if they block, you're back at max poke distance and can begin running away again. If it hits, you can hit confirm by beginning a charge, then using c. strong xx EX FBA for a combo against tall characters. It also combos into a standing roundhouse, crouching fierce, and the standing light kick. You can also use this move as a meaty; 3 active frames on the first swipe after a 9 frame start up. If you hit with the meaty move, you are pushed out a short distance so combo potential is lessened but some characters can still be punished. This move is also great to punish characters, considering it's combo ability. This move forces stand.

Combos into St. Light kick, c. strong, st. RH, c. fierce (crouching jab will not reach)
Combos out of Nothing

  • Crouching Light Kick: A solid move. Comes out in 4 frames, the same speed as c. jab, c. strong and st. rh. You can't combo out of it, but it is great for a follow up to a crouching jab. If you cancel it into a jab rolling crystal flash you can combo and you're also safe. When in the corner, try to use this move to escape by cancelling it into EX FBA. Since it hits low, you might get lucky and catch an opponent standing up.

Combos into Nothing
Combos out of c. jab (Everything else that normally would combo pushes you out too far to hit with this move)

  • Crouching Medium Kick: Great move. Like the close fierce, it has many uses. As a meaty, it can beat a lot of characters moves, specifically, Boxer's headbutt. You can also combo out of it with a c. strong, which means you can use this move to hit confirm after a jump in. Its also a solid poke, and considering how easy it is to follow up with the c. strong, it creates a solid 1-2 poke combo.

Combos into c. jab, c. strong, st. light kick, st. RH, c. fierce
Combos out of Nothing

  • Crouching Roundhouse Kick: Claw's slide. It has great distance, but is terrible on block. Unless you hit it with absolute max range, it is unsafe. It is very good against opponents from max range though, is extremely meaty and somewhat fast. The distance added to it is great: Jumping out and sweeping isn't exactly a max range sweep, but it catches alot of people off guard.

Combos into Nothing
Combos out of Nothing

  • Crouching Jab: A solid move. It's not great for defensive purposes: crouching light kick is faster and any link coming out of this move is a solid 1 framer, which is quite difficult to connect with. You can use it on a jump in to set up ticks or combo into crouching strong, but I'd recommend it. The more I play this game the less I use this move: using Crouching medium as a substitute for jump ins is a much better choice. Against certain characters who are too short to be comboed by some moves, c. jab is used instead.

Combos into c. jab, c. strong, st. RH
Combos out of c. jab, st. light kick, c. forward

  • Crouching Strong: Easily Claw's best move. Great range, great speed, great everything (except damage). You need to use this move a lot. It's amazing for pokes and offense, considering you can combo out of it from so far away against tall characters and it is simply great. Not much to say about it: It's solid, and you should use it.

Combos into Nothing
Combos out of c. jab, st. light kick, c. forward, cl. fierce

  • Crouching Fierce: Another move I have yet to figure out. It's terrible as a poke; bad on block, bad on hit (you're at frame disadvantage even on hit), and not that fast. You should try to stick to anti-air with this move, but frankly it gets stuffed alot and you trade more often then not. Perhaps it is used to force a trade. A great way to set up this move is when anticipating a jump in from basic jump in range, back dash, and use this move. The key to this move is using the angle of the stab to your advantage. Hide your body behind the claw and let it stick out and skewer an opponent. You can use this move on the ground as a follow up to a couple normals. It does good damage in that regard. This move forces stand.

Combos into Nothing
Combos out of st. light kick, c. forward, cl. fierce

Normal Throws

  • Neutral + Forward Throw = A standard throw. The throw range is better than most, and upon connection, puts the downed opponent at max Cosmic Smart range. Use it to initiate mix ups.
  • Back Throw = Pretty much identical to the forward throw, but the positions are reversed. Again, puts downed opponents at max Cosmic Smart range.
  • Air Throw = Second to Guile in terms of range, Claw's air throw is integral to stopping momentum. Nothing is as disheartening as being air grabbed: while Claw's air-to-air game is strong, and you can build ground momentum quickly thanks to Claw's quick jump, his air throw is exceptional at putting people in the corner. It throws them back a considerable distance and is great to integrate into a corner-rape of poke string pressure and air-to-air lockdown. When used at the lower part of Claw's jump you can corpsehop with Cosmic Smart into mixups. For some reason, you can't use it immediately after your feet leave the ground, but rather past the initial rising portion of your jump. For a stylin', but utterly useless combo, Focus Crumple someone, forward dash cancel, and hold up to immediately jump. Air grab the *technically* airborne opponent on your way down.
  • Kara Throw (Used with Standing Roundhouse) = Second only to Ken in terms of Range. Claw's Kara throw is formidable: coupled with his quick walk speed and tick set ups, Claw can set up a very intimidating throw game. Certain set ups include a jump in, two short pokes, and an immediate Kara Throw. Jump in fierce, crouching jab, crouching short pushes you out to max Kara throw range. It is very surprising to an opponent, though it can still be teched: your best option is to stay unpredictable. If you're taking huge advantage of your kara game, begin to alternate throwing with c. strong against an opponent you expect to tech a throw. You can always skirt in and out of max range thanks to Claw's pokes and quick walk speed. Use his mobility to his advantage, and be creative: a good Okizeme option is walk up to someone, then as they're getting up, take a few steps back to max kara throw range and grab. Often times you can catch people trying to tech a nonexistent grab on their wake up. This would mean that your ensuing grab is untechable.


The Method: I use a stick, and I can pull out a kara grab about 90% of the time. The method is to hit roundhouse, and immediately, literally 1 frame after, press throw. You don't have to have lightning quick fingers to do this; rather, try and press with all three fingers simultaneously, favoring the RH finger a small, very small amount. The sound it makes would be like a flan on a drum: you want to be as close to simultaneous as you can without being simultaneous. You'll notice when Claw is doing it because he'll take a large step before his grab. The Standing Roundhouse animation involves Claw's far foot pivoting a considerable distance: this pivot movement is where the large step in the kara throw is from. When practicing the Kara, regular grabs are a better sign of progress than whiffed roundhouses. If you're kicking, you're too late keying in the throw. If you're grabbing and not moving, you're too early keying in the throw (meaning you're hitting them simultaneously).


A great way of practicing Kara Grabs: In order to make sure you're doing it right, there is a method: in training, hit someone with Cosmic Smart. Use a standing jab shortly thereafter for a follow up. As they settle on to the ground, you'll notice they're about c. jab distance away. If you throw, you can't reach them. However, if you use the kara grab, you will. I practice this for a very long time: in actual matches, while St. RH is fast and safe if blocked, whiffing it can get you a beatdown hard.

Command Normals

df. forward kick: Piece of Mercury

A very situational, very match up dependant move. It's absolutely useless against shotos. Free SRK. Considering it's slow start up, they can always react. However, this move can beat certain reversals; with good timing you can beat a buffalo headbutt, an up ball, and some other kick reversals. The only problem is, still, you're not going to be using it much. Crouching medium beats headbutts as well, and is more safe. This move is somewhat meaty, but if used incorrectly has disadvantage on hit. The only use this move will always have is to corpsehop people after a sweep. It also beats low attacks and throws, since Claw is airborne for this move.

df. roundhouse kick: Cosmic Smart

A great move and one of Claw's best moves. Like piece of mercury, Claw is airborne. It's meaty, with 5 active frames. This move is great to add to your footsies; a hit with this is another combo opportunity. Follow up with RH Scarlet Terror (you can use light scarlet to ex scarlet if you want but its really a waste of meter) or EX FBA for maximum results; you can also try and get reset momentum going, but I suggest if you're going to do that then to try and set up jump out fierce. Most of Claw's reset options are pretty obvious except for that one. Another choice is to hit someone with a move as they're being juggled and cancel into a Barcelona or Sky High for a quick cross up. This move is very versatile: it's key to advanced Vega play. I'm still figuring it out myself. Every time you hit with this, you should be charging down back. If you're not following up with RH Scarlet Terror, you need to figure out how you can do it.

Focus / Saving Attack

Vega's focus attack is one of the best. Its long range, coupled with Vega's great backdash make for an awesome offensive and defensive focus attack. Pretty much every time you use this move you should cancel into the backdash. If they block, and you forward dash, you're at a disadvantage and are just asking to be SPD'd or SRK'd. The good news is, even if you backdash, you can still walk forward and Cosmic Heel into Scarlet Terror for a great combo. A great way to use this move is to quickly charge a level 2 focus for a possible surprise crumple. Considering Vega's ONLY ultra combo comes out of a focus attack, you should practice using Bloody High Claw as a follow up. The only option you lose if you backdash is Close Fierce shenanigans, but still, a backdash is much more safe and there's nothing wrong with a Cosmic Heel into Scarlet Terror. It sets up corpsehop opportunities.

Vega can also charge an ultra through a focus, and use it out of a dash. This is used mainly as a surprise ultra: normally people won't expect you to be charging if you are using a focus. This works great against Sonic Boom happy Guiles: at fullscreen a Guile might be constantly shooting Sonic Booms at you. Normally, you have to predict exactly when Guile does a sonic boom to do an ultra, considering his recovery is so quick. However, if you focus a Sonic Boom and Guile immediately shoots another, you can use the ultra through the dash for an instant punish. This gives you the upper hand in some situations, but like the ultra, should still be used sparingly. It's always a gamble: of course, if you miss, you're going to get ultra'd yourself.

Special Moves

Flying Barcelona Attack

Charge Down, Up + Kick (direction + up chooses wall), then press punch in the air for Flying Barcelona Strike / press punch and a horizontal direction in the air near an opponent for Izuna Drop.

/sigh... The most misunderstood move ever. It has ridiculous potential, but is ridiculously hard to make effective. Aiming a Flying Barcelona is an art form: Izuna drops are very hard to pull off on command, much less against a Bison who is meeting you air to air, a Guile who is using flash kick... pretty much anyone moving will not get hit by Izunas often. The purpose of the barcelona strike and izuna drop are not to overpower and rush opponents: by pretty much every standard its a garbage move. 90 damage, techable knockdown, gets raped by focus, raped by everything, free ultra for some characters, when you land you hop around uselessly... etc. The list of faults goes on. Fortunately, this move can be very effective. When playing a patient, defensive footsie Claw, cancelling c. strong into this move is very effective for stage mobility and corner escape. I mean, you can aim yourself anywhere you want: but its so matchup specific. Some people can punish your flight no matter what you do (Blanka). This is key. You need to use this move sparingly as it is riddled with faults. However, its greatest strength is that it is so flexible: don't intend to use this move just as an attack... its so bad. Full screen Barcelonas against a fireballing opponent is exactly what they would hope you do. Ryu meets you in the air, j. strong, ultra combo'd. That sucks! Even if you whiff... Ryu with his marksmanship prowess can still hit you with his ultra. I can name endless situations like this.

Anyway, as I said: this move is best when its a surprise. Forget about charging in a lot of matches. Unless you're disguising Barcelonas, or cancelling into them they are pretty useless. UNLESS you can predict how your opponent will counter. Lets say you're fighting a Tiger Upper happy Sagat (hypothetical). You've already tested a Barcelona on him, and he nailed you. Now you want to out wit him. You can fly directly over his head immediately as you take off from the wall, land on his other side just out of reach of his tiger upper. You'll land, and just have time to punish with a combo of your choice (not really a lot of stuff might be too slow). If you can expect how they'll react, you can build momentum with this move. If they don't tech a knockdown, you can corpsehop and initiate okizeme. or, position yourself about the screen better. There are plenty of tricks with Barcelona: you can hang out near the wall and act like you're whiffing it, then veer in out of nowhere and strike. Or, you can zoom directly above their head and come down on them with an ambiguous cross up. Like I said. This move is all about creativity. It has a ton of potential, I mean you can move anywhere you want, and you CAN counter many, many moves with is move. Be creative.

Izuna Drop: Yep, the Izuna drop is ridiculously hard to hit with. When using Claw's EX Barcelona Strike, you'll notice he strikes twice: the first strike is him striking vertically, putting his hands together for a double stab into the opponent. His hands seperate for the normal strike. The hitbox for the Izuna is at the point Claw makes the vertical strike: so basically you want to land on top of people and sort of grab their shoulders / head. There are a couple methods floating around on how best to hit with it: personally, I lob myself like a grenade when I use barcelona. After I jump from the wall I don't steer at all: you'll notice that from any part of the screen, when you do this you land very near your opponent. Claw steers himself in their direction. With that in mind, make a last minute correction, steering into them while holding the direction. If you collide with their upper body, you should Izuna. Another method I used, and a lot of others do, is after jumping from the wall, wiggle the controller. Then, steer into them. Its a habitual way of doing it: a little method you do every time that helps you succeed. Another way to hit with the Izuna is to steer directly over their head as soon as you can. Then, drop vertically and at the last second use a direction and punch. This is pretty hard to hit with. Against characters who are huge its not that bad, but against others you might just cross up instead. Try and find what works for you, because really thats the way Barcelona is supposed to be used.

EX Barcelona: More info about Barcelona. Luckily, Claw has an amazing EX move he could never go without. This is it. Any time you combo into this, its 185 damage (combo scaling will always hinder the Izuna drop considering they are considered two different moves to scale). Great ways to set this up: Corpsehop, c. short into EX FBA. Cl. Fierce, c. strong xx EX FBA (you can hit confirm this way too). Like the original barcelona, the initial hit of the EX FBA that launches people into the air can be used in many situations. Reiketsu, A japanese claw player, used it to punish a whiffed focus attack into a back dash from just out of that focus attacks' range. You can punish full screen whiffs, like lariats, from full screen with this as well. Just be careful: characters like Sagat and Gief get hit by this easily becasue they are so tall, but you will literally never hit Blanka with an EX FBA outside of countering blocked balls. It also factors differently into combos. You can hit Sagat from nearly max c. strong range and this will still combo. The double Barcelona strike mentioned above is also safe on block. This move is integral to the Blanka matchup which is otherwise extremely bleak. Relying on this move for punishing blocked balls is essential. I recommend always holding on to one EX meter for emergencies: this move is great for corner escape cause it can still trade and launch people into the air. This also means you always have the potential to combo into a powerful move, something that other people might pick up on and cause them to have to adapt.


Sky High Claw

Charge Down, Up+Punch (direction + up chooses wall)

A rather strange attack. Claw leaps from the ground like he does for Flying Barcelona, but after jumping from the wall performs a horizontal dash attack across the whole screen instead of flying through the air at your whim. The harder the punch, the lower the slash: jab is meant strictly for air-to-air, while strong hovers low above the tallest characters, and fierce dives right at them. The problem with this move is its poor essentials. Its bad on hit and if you whiff, you can be easily punished. The EX version goes through fireballs and is extremely fast, so you can use it to cross people up. Be creative with how you use it. Close Fierce, crouching strong xx EX Sky High Claw to the opposite wall is great for resets. This goes through Ryu and Dhalsim's ultra too. Against most characters it is safe but for some, they can block while crouching. This, for some reason, causes you to stab further into them then you normally would, and hence, bounce closer in front of them. Free sweep for them basically. The best way to use this move is when frequently using Barcelona: this move can also surprise characters who take to the air often like Gen or C. Viper. Otherwise, it's seldom used and is rather seldom seen. The EX version is pretty much the only one I use. Even though EX SHC avoids fireballs, there have been situations where it has been *hit* by a fireball upon startup, due to the loose command interpreter thinking you executed a normal SHC at first.

Super Move

Flying Barcelona Special: charge db,df,db,uf+P
Rolling Izuna Drop: press P close to opponent after FBS startup

Ultra Move

Bloody High Claw: charge db,df,db,uf+PPP

Notes:

  • Beginning leap to wall is invulnerable to fireballs?
  • Only comboable off of crumple (Focus Attack)

The Basics

Combos

Meterless Combos

c. Jab xx Jab Rolling Crystal Flash -- 140 Damage, 60 Meter, 170 Stun

c. Jab, c. Jab, c. Jab, c. Jab, c. Strong -- 160 Damage, 102 Meter, 255 Stun

c. Forward / c. Strong xx Jab rolling crystal flash -- 180 Damage, 100 Meter, 220 Stun

j. Fierce, c. Jab, c. Strong -- 193 Damage, 116 Meter, 340 Stun

j. Fierce, j. Fierce -- 200 Damage, 120 Meter, 400 Stun

c. Strong xx Roundhouse Scarlet Terror -- 230 Damage, 110 Meter, 300 Stun

j. Fierce, c. Forward, c. Strong -- 233 Damage, 136 Meter, 390 Stun

df. Roundhouse, Roundhouse Scarlet Terror -- 240 Damage, 130 Meter, 300 Stun

j. Fierce, c. Jab, c. Strong xx Jab Rolling Crystal Flash -- 281 Damage, 176 Meter, 436 Stun

j. Fierce, cl. Fierce, st. Roundhouse -- 299 Damage, 194 Meter, 580 Stun (Only works on specific chars: see Close Fierce Combos)

j. Fierce, c. Forward, rh. Scarlet Terror -- 314 Damage, 163 Meter, 480 Stun


EX Combos

df. Roundhouse, EX Flying Barcelona Attack, Izuna Drop -- 265 Damage, 285 Stun

df. Roundhouse, EX Scarlet Terror -- 260 Damage, 350 Stun

j. Fierce, c. Forward xx EX Scarlet Terror -- 332 Damage, 435 Stun

j. Fierce, c. Forward, c. Jab xx EX Flying Barcelona Attack, Izuna Drop -- 352 Damage, 500 Stun

j. Fierce, c. Forward, c. Strong xx EX Flying Barcelona Attack, Izuna Drop -- 388 Damage, 545 Stun (Only works on specific chars: see Close Fierce Combos)

j. Fierce, cl. Fierce, c. strong xx EX Flying Barcelona Attack, Izuna Drop -- 418 Damage, 455 Stun (Only works on specific chars: see Close Fierce Combos)


Close Fierce Combos

One key advantage Claw has in several match ups that isn't normally a deciding factor is character size: against large opponents such as Sagat and Rufus, Claw can combo into his strongest move, EX FBA, from nearly max c. strong range, which is great as not only does it aid in footsies, but it also makes for more combo potential.

A specific move Claw has that it is strong and opens up many combo opportunities is Close Fierce. This move has a 9 frame start up: meaning you shouldn't use it unless out of a jump in or focus crumple. One characteristic this move does have though is numerous active frames on the first swipe: try this move as a meaty. After this move, Claw is +5 hit on hit: meaning he can st. lk, c. strong, st. rh, and c. fierce. The most damaging meterless combo Claw can perform from this move is a close fierce to standing roundhouse. The most damaging combo using EX meter he can perform is Close fierce to crouching strong to EX FBA. All of these combos do over 300 damage: add a jump in and it does around 400. These are very powerful combos. Coupled with Claw's intense footsies and jump ins, they can be very formidable. EX FBA hit confirms are key to high level play: while whiffing them usually means you can be safe, it can be devastating in certain matchups; for instance, Abel gets a free ultra.

Another great move that opens up offensive opportunities is crouching forward: +5 on hit like close fierce. You can combo into EX FBA from c. strong.

The only problem with these two moves and their combos is that on certain characters, you are pushed back too far to lift them up with the EX FBA you are comboing into. Often it will go over their head and be inneffective... In certain matchups a 400 damage combo you once had is reduced to about 250. Here is a list of two combos: Close Fierce, Roundhouse and Close Fierce, C. Strong, EX FBA and who they work on.

Here is a great post and chart by Sasaki of the Vega boards detailing which of Vega's strongest combos work on who and how.

Sasaki's Post
Sasaki's Chart

Strategy

Because of Claw's lack of ability to escape close-range beatdowns, Claw strategy revolves around preventing these situations from ever happening in the first place. Things like getting thrown and getting swept are very very bad. If you're being knocked down and people are towering over you when you wake up, you could have a very short match in front of you. With that said, how DOES Claw keep people like Rufus at bay? Solid footsies and good old running away. If Claw has a lifelead, there's absolutely no reason why he should be getting in somebody's face. He's simply bad when it comes to close quarters combat. All of his close moves are obsolete compared to others, and though his crouching moves are great they'll still get stuffed by reversals and other normals. Stick to max range to use c. strong, standing forward, standing roundhouse, crouching forward, and standing fierce for pokes. Strong air-to-air to prevent getting jumped in on will help you greatly, as will backdashing at every possible moment to keep maintaining that max poke range. Claw is seriously good at avoiding attacks. Make dodging and hip-hoppin around second nature to you and you will frustrate opponents quickly.

The key is the runaway game. Claw is at his strongest when he is on the move. He can hit confirm out of strong aerial jump ins, jump out fierce for an overhead, launch full screen EX moves to counter others, and of course his ultra. If you're using moves that are preventing you from slowing up, like crouching strong and medium, then you can avoid just about everything. The more you leave yourself open with Claw the more you feel it when your mask and claw are gone and you're at a 25% disadvantage. Claw can dodge almost anything: so basically if you're getting swept or thrown alot, you need to learn how to avoid those things. Learning how to tech throws is key.

Charging on the ground is not very effective. Scarlet Terror loses to just about everything if it's timed right, and EX FBA will also get stuffed. You might as well standup and be 100% aware of whats coming your way. Whiffing and trading Scarlet Terrors is counter productive for Vega. Be safe; find an opening, and take that opportunity to escape as soon as possible. c. light kick xx EX FBA is great for escapes, but in certain matchups you can be punished for full screen Barcelona whiffs. You must always be on your toes. The fact is many matchups have things that are simply ridiculous, and they're pretty much always in the other players favor. If you focus on defense over offense, you can succeed.

Matchups

Matchup Videos

Find a great collection of matchup specific videos from top players at streetfighterdojo.com
Contributor: zaspacer

Frame Data

Frames Frames Frames of Frames of Super Meter Block Cancel Ability
Move Name Damage Stun Startup Active Recovery Total On Block On Hit Block Stun Hit Stun Gain HL Chain Special Super Notes
Close LP 30[20] 50 4 2 10 15 -1 +2 10 13 20 HL X O O -
Close MP 70[60] 100 7 2 13 21 -1 +2 13 16 40 HL X O O -
Close HP 50[40]x2 50*50 9 3(7)3 14 35 +1 +5 17 24*21 60*20 HL X O O 1st hit cancellable, Forces stand
Close LK 30 50 4 2 10 15 -1 +2 10 13 20 HL X X X -
Close MK 70 100 6 2 13 20 -1 +2 13 16 40 HL X O O -
Close HK 40*70 125*75 4 2*2 23 30 -7 -2 17 22 60*20 HL X X O 1st hit cancellable, Forces stand
Far LP 30[20] 50 4 2 10 15 -1 +2 10 13 20 HL X O O -
Far MP 90[80] 100 7 2 14 22 -2 +1 13 16 40 HL X X O -
Far HP 120[110] 200 8 3 23 33 -8 -4 17 21 60 HL X X X -
Far LK 40 50 5 2 7 13 +2 +5 10 13 20 HL X X X -
Far MK 70 100 8 2 15 24 -3 0 13 16 40 HL X X X -
Far HK 40*70 125*75 4 2*2 23 30 -7 -2 17 22 60*20 HL X X O 1st hit cancellable, Forces stand
crouch LP 30[20] 50 4 2 8 13 +1 +4 10 13 20 HL X O O -
crouch MP 70[60] 100 4 2 16 21 -4 -1 13 16 40 HL X O O -
crouch HP 110[100] 200 5 2 27 33 -11 -6 17 22 60 HL X X X Forces stand on hit
crouch LK 20 50 4 2 9 14 0 +3 10 13 20 L X O O Low attack
crouch MK 70 100 8 3 9 19 +2 +5 13 16 40 L X O O Low attack
crouch HK 110 200 8 13 17 37 -12 D 17 - 60 L X X X Low attack, cannot fast recover
Jump up LP 50[40] 50 6 5 - - - - 8 11 20 H - - - -
Jump up MP 80[70] 100 5 3 - - - - 11 15 40 H - - - -
Jump up HP 100[90] 200 6 2 - - - - 15 18 60 H - - - -
Jump up LK 40 50 6 9 - - - - 8 11 20 H - - - -
Jump up MK 80 100 6 7 - - - - 11 15 40 H - - - -
Jump up HK 100 200 4 5 - - - - 15 18 60 H - - - -
Jump forward LP 50[40] 50 5 5 - - - - 8 11 20 H - - - -
Jump forward MP 80[70] 100 5 5 - - - - 11 15 40 H - - - -
Jump forward HP 100[90] 200 5 4 - - - - 15 18 60 H - - - -
Jump forward LK 40 50 6 7 - - - - 8 11 20 H - - - -
Jump forward MK 70 100 6 6 - - - - 11 15 40 H - - - -
Jump forward HK 100 200 6 6 - - - - 15 18 60 H - - - -
DF+MK 60 100 19 4 13 35 -5 -1 11 15 40 HL X X X -
DF+HK 80 100 14 5 10+4 32 -1 D 17 - 60 HL X X X (translate)
Triangle Jump - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Backflip PPP - - - - 65 65 - - - - - - X X X 1~57f invincible, (translate)
Backflip KKK - - - - 42 42 - - - - - - X X X 1~32f invincible, (translate)
Focus Attack LVL 1 60[50] 100 21 2 35 57 -21 -21 15 15 20 HL - - - -
Focus attack LVL 2 80[70] 150 18+11 2 35 65 -15 D 21 - 40 HL - - - -
Focus attack LVL 3 140[120] 200 65 2 35 101 D D - - 60 - - - - -
Forward Throw 120 120 3 2 20 24 - D - - 40 1.05 - - - Throw range 1.05
Back Throw 120 120 3 2 20 24 - D - - 40 1.05 - - - Throw range 1.05
Air Throw 150 130 3 2 - - - D - - 40 1.2 1~4 (translate), Throw range 1.2
Rolling Crystal Flash LP 20*90[80] 20*100 9 9(7)4 22 50 -2 +2 14*23 17*27 20/10*30 HL X X O charge 60f
Rolling Crystal Flash MP 20x3*90[80] 20x3*100 16 9(5)8(5)9(6)4 22 83 -2 +2 14x3*23 17x3*27 20/10x3*30 HL X X O charge 60f
Rolling Crystal Flash HP 20x4*90[80] 20x4*100 20 9(5)8(5)9(5)8(6)4 22 100 -2 +2 14x4*23 17x4*27 20/10x3*30 HL X X O charge 60f
Rolling Crystal Flash EX 20x4*90[80] 20x4*100 20 9(5)8(5)9(5)8(6)4 22 100 -2 +2 14x4*23 17x4*27 0/0 HL X X O 1~78f (translate), charge 60f
Scarlet Terror LK 100 150 7 10 15+8 39 -12 D 20 - 30/30 HL X X X Armor break, charge 42f
Scarlet Terror MK 80*60 100*100 7 5*5 14+9 39 -12 D 20 - 30/20*20 HL X X X 2nd hit Pursuit property, Armor break, (translate), charge 42f
Scarlet Terror HK 100*60 100*100 4 8*5 14+9 39 -15 D 20 - 30/20*20 HL X X X 2nd hit Pursuit property, Armor break, (translate), charge 42f
Scarlet Terror EX 110*70 150*100 4 8*5 14+9 39 -15 D 20 - 0/0 HL X X X 1~4 (translate), 2nd hit Pursuit property, Armor break, (translate), charge 42f
Sky High Claw 110[100] 200  ???15  ???  ???17 - -20 -16 17 21 30/40 HL X - - (translate), charge 42f
Sky High Claw EX 60[50]x2 100  ???10  ???  ???17 - -18 D 17 - 0/0 HL - - - (translate), 2nd hit Pursuit property, Armor break, charge 42f
Flying Barcelona Attack - - - - 31 - - - - - 20/- - - - - (translate)
Flying Barcelona Attack EX 50 50 8  ??? 31 - - D 20 - 0/0 HL - - - (translate)
Flying Barcelona Strike LP 70[60] 100 3 11 31 - - D 20 - -/40 H - - - Mid attack
Flying Barcelona Strike MP 80[70] 100 3 11 31 - - D 20 - -/40 H X - - Mid attack
Flying Barcelona Strike HP 90[80] 100 3 11 31 - - D 20 - -/40 H - - - Mid attack
Flying Barcelona Strike EX 50*90[40*80] 50*100 2 1(1)11 31 - - D 20 - 0/0 H - X - 2nd hit Pursuit property, Mid attack
Izuna Drop 150 150 2 1(1)11 31 - D D - - -/80 0.6 - - - -
Claw Throw - - - - 40 40 - - - - - - X X X (translate)
Mask Throw - - - - 40 40 - - - - - - X X X 10% increased offense, 25% decreased defense
Flying Barcelona Special 60[50]x3*100[90] 0  ???6 10(2)10 31 - - D 17x3*20 - 0/0 H - - - (translate), Pursuit property, Mid attack, (translate), charge 42f
Rolling Izuna Drop 100*100*130 0 2 11(2)10 31 - D D - - 0/0 0.8 - - - -
Bloody High Claw 450[375] 0  ???1 9 31 - -39 D 17 - 0/0 HL - - - (translate), (translate), Armor break, charge 42f
Frames Frames Frames of Frames of Super Meter Block Cancel Ability
Move Name Damage Stun Startup Active Recovery Total On Block On Hit Block Stun Hit Stun Gain HL Chain Special Super Notes



The 1 frame discrepancy you see between Startup+Active+Recovery and Total is because when it says a move has 4 frames startup, it really has 3 frames startup and hits on frame 4. It was written this way so you don't have to do any math to figure out what frame a move first hits on.