Throws are moves that play through a choreographed sequence when they connect. Most throws are fast highs that go through through an opponent's guard but can be broken on reaction with correct input.
Breaking throws consistently takes some practice, making them a potent form of cheese. However, throws are still useful against opponents who are good at breaking them, being effective against—
- strings, since if a throw interrupts the first attack, it's likely the next attack's input will fail the throw break before the opponent can react; and
- powercrushes, since if a throw interrupts a powercrush it becomes unbreakable. (For this to happen, the opponent must be in the powercrush state, which typically starts on frame 8 and much later than the white sparks. If your throw still gets broken, it's because it interrupted too early.)
The okizeme situation after a throw is usually consistent, with both players recovering at the same distance and with ample time to prepare. However, some throws don't allow attacks to be buffered during recovery, which can make the situation less consistent.
Many throws have guaranteed damage after them, or
Types of throws
See also: Generic movelist
- Regular throw
- A fast high that goes through the opponent's guard with a startup animation of the attacker's hands literally grabbing the opponent and which doesn't get counter hit if interrupted (except during its active frames).
- If a regular throw hits the opponent in the side or back, the throw will into a different throw based on where it hit, ignoring the input. Side throws can be broken with 1 if it hit the left side and 2 if it hit the right side. Back throws can't be broken.
- Some of Armor King, Gigas, King, Marduk's regular throws can hit airborne opponents. If they do, they'll turn into a different throw that can't be broken.
- Generic throw
- Two regular throws every character has bound to 1+3 and 2+4. Both are i12~14, deal 35 damage, and are broken by either 1 or 2. The 2+4 throw will switch sides, sometimes even when broken. Some generic throws will cause a stage break.
- These throws can also be done with f+1+3 and f+2+4, making them homing and giving them extra range, at the cost of being 3 frames slower and having longer recovery.
- Command throw
- A regular throw with an input specific to the character. For these throws, the input to break the throw is indicated by which hand is in front during the startup animation: left hand is a 1 break, right hand is a 2 break, and both hands is a 1+2 break.
- The input for these throws is often a bufferable motion input, which can make them easier to use after an attack (such as a jab) rather than on their own.
- Chain throw
- A throw which connects into another throw. Usually each link in the chain can be broken, but what input to break with is a pure knowledge check and often a mixup. If the attacking player does the chain throw by mashing 1+2+3+4, it's usually a 1 break. Only Anna, Armor King, King, and Nina have chain throws, Dragunov has breakable qcf+4 extensions.
- Ground throw
- A throw that only hits grounded opponents.
- Mid throw
- A throw that only hits crouching opponents.
- Mid-air throw
- A throw that can hit airborne opponents. When a character has a mid-air throw, some of their on-land throws can be mid-air throws.
- A type of chain throw that is not a regular throw. Every character has a tackle in form of ultimate tackle, and Marduk has his own unique tackle.
- Attack throw
- A throw from a blockable attack. These are either bonus damage for an attack on counter hit, or a way to make a move look cool on hit, and as such are usually unbreakable. Attack throws typically don't transition to the throw when they're blocked or when they hit the opponent's back or side.
- A throw occurring after parrying an attack.
- Any other throw.
Most breakable throws are broken by pressing one of 1, 2, or 1+2 within the throw break window. Pressing the wrong attack button will immediately fail the throw break (so mashing out each one doesn't work). The throw break window of most throws is 19 frames, starting from the frame after the throw connects. The throw break window of most chain throw links is 9 frames.
Most regular throws tell you the correct throw break with their startup animation by the hands rule:
- Left hand in front is a 1 break
- Right hand in front is a 2 break
- Both hands together is a 1+2 break
The exceptions to the hands rule are:
- Generic throws, which can be broken with either 1 or 2
- Throws done from back turned, which always have both hands together
- Armor King and King's Giant Swing (f,n,hcf+1), which has both hands together but is a 1 break
- Armor King and King's chain throws, which have both hands together but are either a 1 or 2 break depending on how they were input
In addition, there are some breakable throws which don't have a regular startup animation:
Practicing throw breaks is a pretty simple matter of building muscle memory. The goal is for your brain to immediately recognize and act on – without thinking – the animation of left hand, right hand, or both hands grabbing.
Go in to practice mode and choose Dragunov for the opponent. Set «CPU Opponent Action 1» to «Repeat Action», and choose the throws to practice against from the movelist: Reverse Victor Clutch for 1 break, Victor Clutch for 2 break, and Blizzard Rush for 1+2 break.
For beginners, start with only a 2-way mixup. Once this is comfortable, move up to the full 3-way mixup. Some people recommend making the bot also do things other than throws, but it's unclear if this is actually useful and is arguably just wasting time.
Make sure you practice on both sides.
This practice is more efficiently done in small amounts over a long period, rather than in large amounts very quickly. For example, 5 minutes a day for 90 days is better than 90 minutes for 5 days.
The following throws go through guard and can't be broken:
- Armor King and King's d/f+3+4 – smid, but doesn't throw against crouch
- Akuma's Hyakkishu 3+4
- Asuka's d/b+1+2 - +8 but deals no damage
- Asuka's 1+2+3+4,d/f+3+4,3+4,1+2 - special ultimate tackle
- Dragunov's Rage Drive into tackle R.f,f,f+1+2,d/b+1+2, but the extensions are breakable
- Dragunov's f,f+2,1+2 with ki charge. Otherwise a 1+2 break
- Eddy's Handstand 3+4 – i26
- Geese's Rage Art
- Kazumi's Fearless Warrior 1+3 – i46 mid
- Lee's 3~3:4 – i30
- Negan's Intimidation 1+3 – i25
- Nina's qcb+1+4 – chain throw with breakable links
- Yoshimitsu's DGF 3+4 - parriable
- Yoshimitsu's Soul Siphon - against qcf+2 by pressing 1+2 can make Yoshimitsu's health go down. qcb,f+2 version does that by default.
If a throw connects during the hitstun of Armor King's Rage Drive, it becomes unbreakable.