Vega and Frame Traps

I just listened to Juicebox’s latest podcast about throwing, and I didn’t really understand what a frame trap is until now. Now that I do, I obviously want to use them as much as possible, but does Vega have any frame traps?

I’d say Vega is much better at catching people at a disadvantagous range (kicking/stabbing or kara-throwing opponents who don’t have the reach to properly fight back) than he is at frame-trapping people, but he does have a couple that are certainly useful.

Just as a refresher, the term “frame trap” means making a situation where you can hit/throw an opponent before they have ANY chance to start up even one of their fastest non-invincible moves, such as a jab or their own throw. A “frame” is 1/60th of a second, and 3 frames is about as fast as almost all the quickest moves in the game can possibly get, although many characters do have 3-frame jabs and other fast moves.

Vega’s quickest normal and special moves are no faster than 4 frames (they are vulnerable to counter-hits during the first 3 frames, and hit on the 4th). For one of these moves to work effectively as a frame trap it needs to be “+2 on block” or better. That means, when the opponent blocks the move, you are able to start acting again 2 frames before the opponent exits block stun. If you then immediately do a 4-frame move (such as crouching jab), it will hit the opponent 2 frames after they leave blockstun (4-2=2), and it will stuff any non-invincible move they try to do.

Vega’s crouching jab is only “+1” on block, which isn’t fast enough to avoid trading hits with 3-frame moves or avoid being thrown if you try and just mash a bunch out. In that situation, after the blocked cr.lp you would have 4 frames to start up another 4-frame move while your opponent would have 3 frames to do one of their 3-frame moves. In training mode you can record Vega comboing some cr.lp’s and then have it playback as you block and try throwing him out of it. It’s still quite tricky to do (especially if the opponent is hesitant, caught off guard, or is having trouble with timing), but its possible and so it isn’t quite as good. However, since throws come out in 3 frames, cr.lp’s +1 on block is sufficient to create a frame trap for throwing. Crouching jab is actually a great move to use as the second part of a frame trap because it starts up fast enough and can combo into itself or for some great hit-confirmed combos if you are consistent with your timing.

Vega has 2 normal moves that give him +2 advantage on block, so use them well:
far light kick (5 frame startup / +2 block / +5 hit)
crouching medium kick (8 frame startup / +2 block / +5 hit)

Vega’s special “Rolling Crystal Flash” also ends at a +2 on HIT for all versions (thanks Deuy for correcting me).

For the frame trap, follow these moves up immediately with one of the following:
crouching light punch (4 frame startup / +1 block / +4 hit)
crouching medium punch (4 frame startup / -4 block / -1 hit) good if they are farther away
standing hard kick (4 frame startup / -7 block / -2 hit) if you expect them to focus or armored rush, although that -7 makes it risky

If the opponent DOES try to attack you during the trap, you will get a counter hit, which does more damage/stun and extends the hitstun by 1 frame, allowing you to combo slower moves like cr.hp (5 frame startup) if you so choose.

Here is a link for Vega’s frame data, there is a also a guide to reading it at the top:
Vega’s Frame Data Super Street Fighter 4 :

Here is OneHandedTerror’s video guide to reading frame data:

Additionally, frame traps are one of the best places to learn to use some [media=youtube]aHHoGHcgK9k"]option-selects. That’s a whole different concept, but basically during a frame trap, your opponent should be forced to block or be hit by your move. IF they DO NOT get hit, that means they probably backdashed (even a jump is not fast enough to escape a frame trap, unless it was Bison’s ex-headstomp or something). This will cause the second part of your frame trap to wiff, and the wiff animation takes a bit less time than the hit/blockstun animation. It is possible to time something like a [URL=“”[/media], Cosmic Heel, or even ultra2 in the middle of that time difference to automatically catch their escape attempt.

Lastly, frame traps are easy to create after jumpins, because a blocked jump-in can create a wide variety of blockstun durations depending on how high the move was blocked and which move was used. Of course, the trade-off is that jump-ins are highly visible, risky if mistimed, and the opponent will be expecting to have to act defensively.

Great post Meteo! One small correction: RCF is actually -2 on block (+2 on hit). So mashing out cr mp or ST after a blocked RCF isn’t a great choice.

Cosmic Heel and POM can also be used as frame traps if you space them correctly (so only the last active frames connect, letting you recover with plus frames). Since most people tech after these moves (with POM it can only frame trap on hit I believe) it’s a great way to land combos unexpectedly. I’m still not very good at this, I’m also trying to learn how to use frame traps with Vega, but I think other Vegas on this board have been doing it for a while.

Vega has so many uniqe frame traps. In fact he is very unique in my opinion when it comes to frame traps. Like Dhalsim, many of his frame traps take advantage of space range, and hit box shifts.

Many of you use and usally its the only one i ever see other Vega’s use is mid to max distance to you are effectivly out of range and can punish or catch an opponent trying to poke you, jab, or os tech.

here are a few very useful ones.

ccr.lp walk up cst.hp. it owns OS tech, and hesitation. -
cr.lp - st.hp/ - - cr.lp/mp/st.hp/whatever
CH (max distance)

Of course these are im sure very basic frame traps. Ask Joz, as I remember he said he took a field day to study all of his frame data.

edit: how could i forget cst.hp. so useful.

Holy crap, was not expecting such awesome responses. Thanks a lot guys, I’m gonna have to start messing around with all of these.

Haha, don’t mention it, it was a good topic. Thanks Deuy for the correction and pedo for giving me some good ideas of where I can use Cosmic Heel better.

Don’t get too frustrated trying to perfect this all soon, just try it out. We are literally talking about precisions in terms of 60ths of a second under high-pressure and over the internet if you play online. I think I’ve successfully used one of those slide-optionselects like once in a real match so far, haha, and there’s still so much to learn simply in the basic dynamics of fighting each character.

Frame traps are essential,

If you’re not using frame traps you’re not mixing up with Vega

Cause you certainly can’t go high / low

Frame traps:
Jump in fierce as late as possible early CH = totally tight frame trap, if they block, the CH beats mash jab clean, if they get hit, it combos. HUGE damage, and with an OS after the CH to tech all throws, you’re in the clear as far as safety is concerned. so godlike, but it doesn’t work against everybody, against some people if they do reversals than you aren’t blocking them when you do the CH so you’ll eat it. So it’s kind of defeating the purpose to use this with your safe jumps. But if people are letting you get jump ins, stack this on all day. Against Dhalsim, Vega, supreme rape. It is most effective against BALROG and BLANKA because Rog’s headbutts straight up get beat clean. EX probably doesn’t though, I’ll be damned if a Balrog does EX Headbutt to deal with a meaty jump in.

Blanka even if Ball hits you you get free punish. Possibly ultra if you have it. He can ultra you, but again, not very likely (U1).

Vega and Dhalsim can’t do anything obvs. If it’s lots of new characters with no meter, they get raped too. And it punishes a lot of backdashes.

So yeah; gdlk.

Other ones are you do a jump in and you basically want the fist (i almost always use fierce, it’s easier to see what you’re doing) to hit their head, basically, or right at shoulder level, and you press close fierce or c. mk as soon as you land. Perfect frame traps once again. Great because they’re safer than Cosmic Heel if they block and you don’t need to rely on the subsequent OS, you have better frame + and you can get into position better. Biiiiiiiiig damage and of course you can reset the situation and get another safe jump with EX meter if they get hit. EX FBA is where alll your safe jumps come from, and you need safe jumps for frame traps most times. Alot of moves, if you are pressing DB especially for c. mk, will come out inbetween and you often end up blocking, which is nice. Against others you can’t press buttons too soon, but most times safe jumps go great with the frame traps. Just not CH as you have to time it so strictly, you’ll always get punished if they do something.

Counter hit c. mp + another c. mp after = frame trap =D

people can’t jump out, you’re +1 on that, 4 frame start up interrupts 3 frames perfectly

And then to get fancy if people are familliar with your frame traps you should use st. lk and c. lp combos. Very difficult but excellent to use because it’s just different timing, different things coming at him. Between all those moves Vega just has godlike frame traps. Of course the whole idea is that you should be mixing up with throw otherwise they’re useless. And by throw I mean kara throw. If you don’t kara throw you might as well forget about it. Mashing jab is a lot less dangerous if you have to get into range to throw. Kara throw usually thows from outside that range.

So that is why I always harp on and on about kara throw and ST after CH, cause after ST you can whifff c. mp like EX FBA knockdown and hold up and the safe jump is perfect if they tech. But only IF. You still have lots of other mixups too, with meaty close fierce, EX FBA cross up, etc. Vega has a great offensive game but it’s only footsies and high / low which is not strong if you’re not mixing up frame traps with kara throw. People need to be scared to press buttons, basically. Backdashing is usually not ever a good idea too, and focusing gets them some mileage but has so many inherent risks that it’s not a good idea ever. Not safe at all, only really an option if you’re being predictable which is why I’m suggesting integrating the light quick moves as well.

But that’s basically it. Learn the frame traps! Abuse them. If you need to know when you’re doing them right, in training, use random block. Frame trap works if the combo hits off the jump in, and if they block the jump in sometimes they’ll eat the ground portion. So useful so so so so so so useful.

What Vega is not good at though, is OS’. Very situational and I’m trying to figure out a good use for KKK Flip and Sweep OS but WIP. I’ll post updates.

Yeah I’ve been able to do them pretty well in training but on XBL is a pain.

I guess I was already using several frame traps in my game, just didn’t realize they were frame traps until now!

One great frame trap I use sometimes is if you land a Izuna Drop, immediatly dash forward, CH Corpse Hops, cr.MK. It beats jabs and throws, follow up with cr.MP and you can hit confirm into EX FBA and repeat.

Hmm, some in here I haven’t tried yet. Frame traps is something I need to brush up on.

first post in the vega forums having lurked since SF4. lots of good info in this thread.

Welcome to the boards. :slight_smile:

thanks bro

“If the opponent DOES try to attack you during the trap, you will get a counter hit, which does more damage/stun and extends the hitstun by 1 frame, allowing you to combo slower moves like cr.hp (5 frame startup) if you so choose.”

Not to nitpick, but I think it extends hitstun by 1 frame only for light attacks, but 2 frames for medium and 3 for hard attacks.

I could be wrong though, I tend to be wrong a lot


i doubt it. I have been able to link cst.lp to cr.lp of counter hit. and cst.lp leaves you at +2.


i doubt it. I have been able to link cst.lp to cr.lp of counter hit. and cst.lp leaves you at +2 on hit.

also the final hit of RCF leaves you at +2 on hit, on Conter hit you can link even the lp version

Taken from the SRK wiki:
Counter Hit

When a move hits another character’s move during its startup animation that counts as a counter hit and the “counter hit” notification will be displayed on the screen. Counter hits also give you more frame advantage and damage, but this only applies to one hit (not move) - so multi-hitting moves will show a slight damage increase, but give no frame advantage unless only one of its hits connects.

Lights normal attacks give +1 extra frame advantage
Medium and Heavy normal attacks give +3 extra frame advantage
Special attacks give +3 extra frame advantage

All counter hit attacks do an extra 25% damage.

However, this is on the vanilla article, and the SSF4 article is more vague. It’s possible that they’ve changed the counter-hit mechanism in the game engine, but it seems unlikely.

Edit: Pretty cool that CH cst.lp linked into cr.lp, are you sure you didn’t somehow hit on the 2nd active frame?

awesome thread

A few ones I use regularly are: > cosmic heel > cr.lp > > slight delay > > cosmic heel

rcf > cosmic heel

cr.lp walk forward cl.hp

After Rufus’s GT , but don’t get carried away with it because they can read you and do messiah.