As a perfect continuation about the miseducation of fighting game players post from a few days ago, a post from Kotaku perfectly highlighted my point about how misinformed opinions can take life and spread. In it, author Cecilia D’Anastasio highlights a common tactic that Ninjara players use in ARMS to score grabs. She even provides an example in the above gif.
Let’s use this as teachable moment to break down how to counter this particular tactic while breaking down the notion that throws are not cheap in ARMS.
In this gif, Master Mummy is in fairly close range to Ninjara. He throws a right-handed punch. Normally, when Ninjara is blocking, he does not stand still to block the punch. Instead, he teleports to the side. At this point, Ninjara goes for the throw.
What the author failed to mention, or maybe realize, is that Master Mummy was not a sitting duck in this situation. In reality, Master Mummy’s left hand was free. The Master Mummy player could simply punch through the throw with that left hand, breaking the throw and breaking Ninjara’s jaw at the same time.
But isn’t it too fast? Anticipation is the key.
Not necessarily, no. Ideally, you space yourself out in such a way to give you time to react. But in this exact scenario shown off in the gif, maybe it would be too fast to react to. But that’s where anticipation comes into play.
When you go into any ARMS match, you should already have it in the back of your mind that Ninjara is going to try this trick, as it’s commonplace in the current meta. Even if you didn’t know that, if you saw this tactic once or twice, you should anticipate that they’re going to do it again.
Knowing this, you should be playing with the counter already in mind. The correct thing for the Master Mummy player to do was from a safe range, throw out the right arm to bait out the teleport and throw attempt. Once Ninjara takes the bait, you throw the punch with the left hand, knowing that they were already going to do it.
If they don’t try to throw you, you’re probably still okay in most cases. Your left hand could break an incoming throw attempt. If they throw a punch, use your left arm to knock the incoming punch down or punch through it. This doesn’t always work if their glove is heavier than yours, but then you should also factor that into your calculations when you go for the bait.
Countering the jumping teleport into grab
The more popular version of this tactic is for Ninjara players to jump into the air, then teleport dash to the side before throwing. This is arguably even easier to counter.
For one, as soon as you see Ninjara jump in the air, you should already have it in your head that a throw might be their next move. At that point, wait for the teleport. As soon as they re-appear, they’re a sitting duck.
Upon reappearing, if they try to throw, you have multiple options. One, you can throw a punch, breaking the throw and landing a free hit. Or two, simply dash to the side of the throw attempt. At this point, Ninjara’s downward trajectory is fixed, and he has to deal with trip guard recovery, leaving him wide open for a counter attack. During this state, you are free to punch, throw, or rush him.
If you fast forward to about the 7-minute mark of this live stream, you can see me punishing a Ninjara repeatedly when he attempts to jump/teleport/throw. My approach was a bit specific to Twintelle, but the principles for punishing this tactic are the same.
Throws are not overpowered or cheap in ARMS. In fact, throws actually very dangerous because you sacrifice all of your defense and mobility when you stretch both arms out. Unless you have a read on your opponent or toss them out at a relatively safe distance, throws can leave you in a world of hurt. Practice the appropriate countermeasures so that you can end this Ninjara nonsense once and for all!