I Feel Many People Have Misjudged the Ground Freeze
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I Feel Many People Have Misjudged the Ground Freeze
04/09/2011 09:14 PM EDT

Had my second playing session with the demo last night, and my friend and I were discussing move sets. I mentioned the ground freeze was underrated, and my friend said, "Are you kidding me? It has ridiculously long startup!" to which I replied, "Well, your mom has ridiculously long startup."

But truthfully, I have been seeing a lot of criticism in regards to the ice freeze, and all of it seems premature to me. Perhaps it is useless as a direct offensive/defensive tool, but from what I've seen so far, it can be used for mix-ups and baiting tactics. There are definitely situations where it can be a good (if not the best) possible option.

You see, the ground freeze really comes to life when it is properly positioned (also much like my friend's mom). The problem is that the area which you need to be positioned is dangerously close to the opponent. Hence, why a lot of people think it's not useful; Sub simply has quicker tactics to rely on. And yet, those tactics won't necessarily win you a free combo, and if you have full meter/x-ray potential, you WANT to connect that fucking ground freeze!

From what I've seen, it can be done.
From my playing experience, I'm pretty sure you can punish neutral jumps with it. Just make sure you're safely distanced. You don't want to get popped up, and some of the character hit boxes are... strange. Use an EX-Version if your too far. Not much more to say on that aspect
The second-best way to use it is as a mix-up. Start by getting your opponent into a defensive mindset. Read your opponent, be unpredictable (which you should be anyway), and if necessary try to be a little random. If you have the life to spare, do a few risky slides. Let your strategy communicate to your opponent, "If you're not attacking or blocking, I will hit you. Hard." Work on your footsies as well. Dash in as much as you can, and do a healthy mix of pokes and specials to convince your opponent that you are ready to do everything BUT the ground freeze.

Step 2? Well, the actual mix-up of course. Dash into sweep distance from your opponent and do a ground freeze. I'm not even fucking joking. You'd be so surprised how often this works (though don't abuse it). If your opponent switches keep-away mode, he's either laming you out or (hopefully) s/he's cracked. Think about what your opponent has done so far and if you're confident s/he's not going to do random bullshit out of pure desperation, then the ground freeze has become a powerful mix-up tool in your arsenal.

Do note that the ground freeze is a risk-reward move. It's usefulness is proportionate to how well you can read your opponent, BUT IT IS USEFUL! Also, don't try this shit on a Scorpion player with full meter. Take risks when the cost is reasonable. I'm sure you already know that, but it's important to me that you know I'm not preaching otherwise.

Now I realize I only gave two possible scenarios for one move, but these are not rare scenarios. Neutral jumps are a huge part of combo building and baiting, and overly-defensive opponents are not uncommon.

Don't let tools go unused. If you're going to be play Sub-Zero to his full potential, you're going to want to use everything he's got, and the ground freeze is too good of a move to ignore.
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RE: I Feel Many People Have Misjudged the Ground Freeze
04/09/2011 10:04 PM EDT
Sure there are situations where the ground freeze can work, but Sub has much better options. Throwing out a random Ground Freeze from sweep distance could cost you the match.
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RE: I Feel Many People Have Misjudged the Ground Freeze
04/09/2011 10:14 PM EDT
SubMan799 Wrote:
Sure there are situations where the ground freeze can work, but Sub has much better options. Throwing out a random Ground Freeze from sweep distance could cost you the match.

Well, if it works consistently against baited neutral jumps... I don't know. It might very well be the best option against badly timed neutral jumps. Then again, I still need to test that thoroughly. I don't know how many active frames it has. At least I don't THINK it wiffs if you execute it while the opponent is airborne.

But the spirit of your statement is true. Like I said, if your opponent has full meter and you have less than 70% health, don't try this. The usefulness hinges completely on how well you can read your opponent. If your opponent is getting skiddish, they have little meter, and you know you can defeat them with a grounded combo, it's a powerful tactic. All I'm trying to demonstrate here is viability. It isn't going to replace your ice blast.
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RE: I Feel Many People Have Misjudged the Ground Freeze
04/10/2011 03:47 PM EDT
The problem with the ground freeze is:

Even if you conditioned your opponent to standing/crouching block at sweep range, if you mix-up to the ground freeze, that startup is so long that the opponent can actually react to seeing the animation, easily. This is not the same for his other options--if they react to those animations, the damage will already be done.

Another problem with it is you cannot 2-in-1 it from a normal attack. Subs freeze from a 2-in-1 leads to his biggest combos.

Also, the ES version of the ground freeze gives it much more range, but if you are outside of 2 dash range, Subs combos plummet from 40+% to mid 20% range (26% is techinically the most damage from oustide of two dashes). Even if you get the ES to hit around two dashes, the timing is tricky to double dash and land the JP Pop-up, which is Subs big combo.

I've thrown out the ground freeze against opponents that I felt I had no chance of losing against, but if I were playing seriously, I would not use the ground freeze as a mix-up tactic.

Good post though, sometimes a move is dismissed as useless, so it's good that you're not giving up on it without thoroughly testing. Also, this is just my opinion, but I'm basing it after playing somewhere in the range of 1,000 matches and I ALWAYS punish someone who attempts a ground freeze, without fail. NRS needs to trim somewhere around 5-7 frames off of the startup, and then the ground freeze would be a viable setup.
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RE: I Feel Many People Have Misjudged the Ground Freeze
04/10/2011 04:33 PM EDT
I still think the start-up is too long to be used like this. Even the most unalert, unaware opponent has enough time to realize that a ground freeze is in fact coming as opposed to the attack they were expecting, they can contemplate life for a little, and then react to avoid the slide.
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RE: I Feel Many People Have Misjudged the Ground Freeze
04/14/2011 06:48 PM EDT
Ay everybody has a diffrent style of playing with a character.
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