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Frost's Future

Sultan

Kitana, Scorpion
I had some of these thoughts after watching Astronaut and xKhaoTik do their thing at Civil War. Based on the commentators, based on gameplay, based on the tier talk and match-up talk that came out of that top 8 - I feel that there's a number of misconceptions about this character that should be addressed as we move forward into fleshing Frost out.

(This is all meant for discussion - much of it's opinion based, I just want to generate conversation on our subforum. There's been a lack of it as of late.)



Frost is a shitty Batgirl... Frost is a vortex character...

This is the first topic I want to address. There's this serious misconception on the part of people who don't play Frost that she's just a weaker version of Batgirl. The basic argument goes, Batgirl is a more well-rounded character with a meterless re-stand vortex, while Killer Frost is an incomplete character with a meter-dependent re-stand vortex. The latter (vortex) is true, and the former (completeness) is highly debatable.

Not that either of those things matter: the heart of the argument is that Frost and Batgirl are "vortex characters" instead of "characters with vortexes." The former "vortex characters" moniker implies that a character is defined by their vortex, and while the vortex is everyone's favorite talking point when it comes to Frost, that's far from a fair representation of what Frost is as a character.

A vortex alone doesn't define a character - Sinestro is a zoning character with a vortex. Batgirl is a rushdown character with a vortex. Neither of these characters identities are monopolized by their ability to vortex, yet Frost is. So what's Frost?



Killer Frost is a _____ character with a vortex.

The goal of this thing is to fill in that _____.

My position: Frost is a defensive character with a top tier clutch factor - if you want to draw a comparison, think of her as a watered down Aquaman with insane momentum. Mb.Parry is the best parry in the game and one of the most broken tools in all of Injustice. It's 1-frame, catches an enormous number of tools and leads to an unscaled combo of your choosing. d2 is one of the best anti-airs in the game. Killer Frost's mb.f3 ranks among the best, serving multiple purposes: anti-airing virtually un-anti-airable attacks, blowing up almost every good footsie tool in the game, a strong anti-frame trap/anti-pressure tool, etc. Lastly, Frost has a great wake-up game: the psychology of slide alone forces the opponent to spend a meter on f3/b3 in anticipation (and open themselves up to a parry on read) or jump backwards and possibly give up all momentum on a hunch.

Frost's daggers and iceberg are great for most match-ups. They force most characters to approach her when she has a health lead or when health is even. Daggers build meter for Frost while keeping the opponent in check, while iceberg forces most characters to rely on an aerial approach, which opens them up to Frost's various anti-air options (trip-guard slide, d2, mb.f3). Frost's forward airdash leaves alot to be desired, while her back airdash is the best in the game: when IA'd allowing her to cover great distance while zoning.

Another perspective: Frost is a footsie character. There's this notion floating around: "outside of slide, Frost doesn't have great footsies" .......Seriously? That's like saying outside of fireball Ryu doesn't have great zoning. Frost's slide single-handedly forces the opponent to second guess their entire approach. I honestly don't think I have to say anything else about that.

The point of all of the above: I think Frost's real strategy revolves around solid fundamentals - strict defensive play, calculated reads, great reactions and precise execution (we'll get to that). Frost cannot fumble an anti-air, she cannot drop a combo, and she most certainly cannot give away the health lead: her whole strategy is based on forcing the opponent to hang themselves by turning every anti-air/read/whiff punish/whatever/mix-up into a vortex/reset situation. She has the ability to convert literally everything above (d2, slide, iceberg, parry, mb.f3, etc.) into top tier momentum.

Frost is a defensive character with a vortex.



Meter management and HKD oki

Frost, unfortunately, is a meter-dependent character. Also unfortunate: her meter-building skills are average at best. Despite this, we have to learn how to play her without meter. Especially in certain match-ups.

Wonder Woman is a fine example of this. The general consensus on this match-up is it's basically even, but Wonder Woman definitely has a slight advantage. We could break it down, but let's focus on one notable advantage: WoWo spends no meter, Frost throws meter around like crazy.

The above creates a troublesome end-game for Frost in this match-up. Usually, in my experience at least, Frost and WoWo go blow for blow until their both sitting on the shorter half of their second life bar. In this scenario, WoWo has a full stick of butter, and Frost has 1 meter stocked at best because she just blew 2 stocks evening out the health war. Now we're in a fucked up situation where getting hit by or hitting WoWo means losing a clash war and dying a slow, painful death.

The only way to avoid the above is to preserve our meter - and I think this is possible. One cool thing about the WoWo match-up is her wake-ups aren't stellar and Frost has a deadly oki game - a deadly oki game we rarely use because we're usually comboing into mb.Freeze for our safe 50/50.

I think we should be focusing on developing our anti-wake-up game (which we are, admittedly) - specifically a meterless anti-wake-up game. This doesn't outright remedy the issue, but it'll certainly soothe it.



Execution (Is Frost middle tier online?)

Every single Frost players is guilty of this: either we rely on easy to execute combos that do 10-15% less than optimal damage, or we're dropping our optimal combos. I don't think Frost is a character with the luxury or low execution. I'd argue that when optimized she ranks up there with Zatanna and Zod in terms of execution.

And to anyone who scoffed at that: go to training mode, practice comboing into and completing her various trait combos, practice her 2~flash freeze cancel, dare to execute her inescapable reset. None of these things are easy, and outside of the 2~flash freeze cancel, all of it's borderline impossible online.

Which stinks - and I think it's a large part of Frost's perception of "not being that great." Outside of Civil War, Killer Frost's only notable performances appeared on XBL or PSN to an audience of 1 in their boxers. Meaning most peoples ideas of Frost come from playing as or playing against her online.

The more I play online, the more obvious is becomes that an optimal Frost may never appear there.

With all that said, let's re-focus: execution. Frost players need to master their shit, for real. I have tournament nerves myself, so I know that plays a part, but this character doesn't get many chances to mount an offense. She doesn't have a stellar forward dash, and she doesn't have a stellar advancing move outside of slide (which, is imo, an archaic way of playing this character: slide in, commence "post-slide game," and then lose against anyone with a brain).

When Frost hits you she has sooo many ways to fuck you up (just check @RiBBz22 tech vault), and she is by no means a low damage character: she's arguably the hardest hitting character in the game, between averaging 35-45% per combo, arguably the best vortex in the game (every successful mix-up = 75% damage pay off), trait combos that hit 55% min - 65% max... and a guaranteed reset for 75%-100% damage.



Is "post-slide game" a bill?

For real, is it? I don't understand all this talk about "post-slide game." I understand that some character can't do much with +4 frames versus Frost, but they're still at +4. That's never good for us.

And I get that sometimes it's our best option to cover needed space when our health's low.

But why is "post-slide game" such a talking point in match-up discussions? In fact, it's THE talking point - it implies that Frost players are sliding all over the place, and that Frost is hella reliant on it. Slide should be used surgically - if you're not threading the needle with it, or if you don't have a read/feel, you probably shouldn't use it... imo, you're better off using the threat of it than actually using it. The psychology of slide is more important than the move itself.

And if Frost players are in fact sliding all over the place, shame on you. You could also dash forward to cover some space too - the majority of players when waiting for a slide are not prepared for a forward dash as well. And if you're ever sliding in recklessly with a health lead, what in the actual fuck is wrong with you?



A better way to vortex?

The last thing I want to touch on here is our bread and butter: the mb.Flash Freeze restand vortex. The typical way to go about this is to end a combo in mb.freeze, j2, 2, and then go for a guaranteed 50/50 between f3 or b1.

It's great. I love this vortex, but I think we can improve it.

I was never happy with spending a meter and having a 50% chance of it going to waste. No matter how you cut it, a failed 50/50 equaled negative frames. Meaning some matches I struggle the whole time at a health deficit praying for a hit, and when that hit finally came, my only chance at a comeback was a Hail Mary 50/50, and when my opponent blocked it..... ;_;

But that's not our only option. We do have an ambiguous cross-up 50/50, that when blocked means we still have options. Hope is not lost.

There are two different ways to go about this. The prototype and the final form.

The prototype:
mb.freeze, jump back, forward air dash into j1/2/3


Depending on how the forward dash is timed, this equaled an ambiguous 50/50 into plus frames on block. And there are options off of this... but I never felt this was very good. This 50/50 always felt gimmicky, and the options when blocked always felt limp-wristed and finicky.

The final form:
mb.freeze, instant air dash forward, j1/2/3


It's so beautiful. When performed properly (there's a lot of variance depending on how you perform you instant air dash) the forward air dash leaves you standing at the perfect location to set-up an inescapable cross-up situation that is imperceptibly ambiguous.

Depending on what attack your using, j1, j2 or j3, and depending on when you use it, you can control where it hits. I wish I had this recorded to show you guys.

If the opponent guesses right, the j1/j2 options jail your opponent on block into one of her plus frame strings (f113 or 111~tc~dash forward = +4 frames) or a hitconfirmable 3 (which means +15 frame on block: e.g. another 50/50 between slide or f3... or a full combo on hit).

Long story short, with a little bit of execution, we can eliminate the one downside to the vortex: now instead of "guess wrong? lose momentum" we can "guess wrong? frame trap/mix-up."



So fellow Frosts: thoughts? opinions?
@xKhaoTik
@RiBBz22
@teh_kingdunch
@Rickyraws
@Vak Phoenix
@Cabronium
@Madog32
@astronout
@Pan1cMode
@ApocaLips
@RunwayMafia
@Queen
@AK cyusstrike


UPDATE:

Inescapable reset implications

-It is masterable: I've been stuck at hitting it 6-7 times out of every 10 attempts as of late, but I get more consistent everyday. 30 minutes/day has been my training regimen. I have a foolproof OS to guarantee that the trait is just-framed timed. So even when I mess it up I can confirm a 50/50.

-When mastered, certain match-ups have the potential to change. For example, I think that Hawkgirl will even out in most peoples eyes when our guaranteed damage output is boosted by this.

-When mastered, certain mix-up gimmicks are outdated. For example: mb.freeze, j2, 2... b1~bc.f3. Why waste three meters for something not guaranteed? Obviously the j1~mb.freeze thing and all it's variants are basically phased out as well.

UPDATE 2:

Mb.Freeze, IADF, J1/J2 cross-up demonstration:

Video breakdown:
The first half of the video demonstrates the cross-up j.1 option. The first example is a cross-up. The second example shows a variant of the j.1 non-cross-up where Killer Frost hits the opponent in the front and lands behind them (yes, an ambiguous cross-up j1, followed by a ground cross-up, it's dope).

The second half shows that j.2 can cross-up or not as well.

I prefer j.1 personally. It's more visually ambiguous and less strict in timing and placement. Also, j.1 is the only option for the "hit in front, land behind" thing.

In the video you can see how dashing is not an escape option (nor are reversals, meterburn f3/b3, ducking, jumping, etc. --- these cross-ups are 100% inescapable).

Obviously I didn't demonstrate the jailed j.1,3 thing or the j.1,111~tc~forward dash string or anything like that. I just wanted to demonstrate the cross-up so you guys can get a visual of it's awesomeness.
 
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The PantyChrist

Rest in Pantiez
For frost someone described her as a "reactionary whiff punisher" which may be the best way to categorize her that I've heard
 

Vak Phoenix

did i mention that im poison?
mh mh. i absolutely agree with you. she is my main yes and i also main hawkgirl and raven but... with frost you.. we.. have to play smart and punish and be patient. her 1 is 6 frames which is great and it leads to a slide which makes it even better. no now i admit sometimes i have my moments and i fuck up with a slide but heres a thing. my personal strategy with frost against lets say aquaman is to go back... zone him out... build meter, punish from the deep and when the fool starts to jump over my daggers.. voila caught him with the slide. now about big combos i do use trait in every match and i can say that @Madog32 does too. it is actually a great strategy to lure. and the way i use my trait is.. actually 2 ways. mb parry.. or 50/50 also another thing about frost is that she is really nasty in the corner... lets not forget the neutral 3 or continuous meterless icebergs. (111 iceberg 111 iceberg 1133 slide u3 etc.) so i yes we get patronized by a lot of people for using killer frost but hey... she needs to be really smart in every mu. you have put it well by saying that shes a defensive fighter... she is. i mean i guess thats it. i agree with everything that you have stated above. and im working on her b2 and b23 things. it is more valuable than it looks. yes instead of dashing under u3's you can do b2 and go for b1 slide, overhead or a crossup 3 into slide but if you time it correctly after flash freeze and go for a slide... they cannot wakeup... im working on it right now.
anyways a great post.
p.s
lets not forget that she can reverse wakeups
 

KillaGthug4Life

Believe in Magic yet? Let us Dance
Frost is underrated because too many people spam slide and people know how to blow it up now. I thought she was way worse until I ran into a few frosts who only used slide as a punish. She's a character who's really only high tier good in the right hands imao, although the execution of her combos in online makes her less credible due to how often it's dropped. I love the airdash set up though.
 

Sultan

Kitana, Scorpion
the execution tip key. immediately after Civil War, I went into the lab and began to master all of her optimal bnb's which means im doing almost 10% more damage each time i land a combo. i would love to see a video regarding the IAD mixups.
All I have is a handycam, but I'm going to make it work. More than likely that'll be my Sunday project after work. It's super dope, and there are so many layers to it:

All of her jumping normals can ambiguously cross-up or not.

You can perform a j1 that when blocked in the front, Frost lands in the back for some crazy ambiguous stuff.

Obviously j1/j2 jails, so there are multiple strings you can use for frame advantage on block. Meaning frame traps, tick throws, mix-up opportunities and other gimmicks.

You can also threaten with something like j1/j2, f3/mb.f3.

My favorite option is j1(front or back), 3. You can hitconfirm this based on the j1, so it's easy to see if the cross-up 50/50 succeeded and to continue the combo from there. If it's blocked obviously you have your normal post-blocked 3 options. Only downside is 6-7 frame normals/specials can poke out of the j1,3 gap - but only the most yolo of players will attempt that when j1,111/f113 is air-tight... I haven't tested to see if the j2,3 gap is large enough for a counterpoke/backdash or anything...
 

Sultan

Kitana, Scorpion
There was one section I forgot to add, but it's in regards to the inescapable reset. I wanted to point out some implications:

-It is masterable: I've been stuck at hitting it 6-7 times out of every 10 attempts as of late, but I get more consistent everyday. 30 minutes/day has been my training regimen. I have a foolproof OS to guarantee that the trait is just-framed timed. So even when I mess it up I can confirm a 50/50.

-When mastered, certain match-ups have the potential to change. For example, I think that Hawkgirl will even out in most peoples eyes when our guaranteed damage output is boosted by this.

-When mastered, certain mix-up gimmicks are outdated. For example: mb.freeze, j2, 2... b1~bc.f3. Why waste three meters for something not guaranteed? Obviously the j1~mb.freeze thing and all it's variants are basically phased out as well.
 
Well my piece on KF definitely agrees with your notion on defensive with a vortex. The more mus I learn the more and more I see this,Ive always seen Frost as a oppertunist meaning she creates opening an holes or a pshycological fear that makes a opponents think before leaping creating oppertuniys to come in freely.

Now for those who know of me in MK9 I was a excptional Subzero player so me being defensive and creating oppertunitys was what Sub was all about as well as corner traping and raping the opponent there.

Kf slide definitely creates a fear also a great whiff punisher if you ever played tekken Julia Chang has a quick sticking lunging elbow attack that if it hits you your kd and have to deal with the oki options KF reminds me alot lime this cause he dances around that range of comfort and at the fight time sgrike like a cobra into a quick slidd dash up mbf3 parry or slide or even throw al creating mind games.

I kind of dont see enough Frost mixing throws with Vortexs I utilize it when I see my opponent blking vortex thien I switch up timing by walking forward doing two things switching timing for b1 or f3 or possibly throw that really throws the opponent off ssome time and make them aware that juzt cant block allday.

Next Dagger spam definitely helps Frost build meter and causes your opponent to walk duck in or jump where Frost definitely does have great AA.

Meterless vortexing characters whith bad wake ups is definitely something im getting more hip to as I playdd Saltfaces Harley in casuals on Wensday I was going evn and toe to toe Salface really agrees to 5-5 mu now.

Another interesting tool after playing Theo AM recently is creating space and footsies Frost slide definitely is a good one but b1,b1 slide or f3 as well lately ive been using 2,2 or 2,2,slide max distance kind of like Subzero 2,2 or 2.24 because of range and how the 2nd hit might catch a advancing opponent so far ive been establishing a better game with Frost spacing and making ppl respect my spacingeven more out side of slide and f3.
 

Pan1cMode

AUS FGC represent!
Premium Supporter
the execution tip key. immediately after Civil War, I went into the lab and began to master all of her optimal bnb's which means im doing almost 10% more damage each time i land a combo. i would love to see a video regarding the IAD mixups.
While I agree, I think that if a combo is remarkably more difficult and only nets 1-2% more, it's not worth it. There's nothing wrong with doing slightly sub-optimal (talking 1-2%) BnBs if it means you'll hit them 10/10 times.
 

Rickyraws

This mean you don't like me?
Excellent write up. Mirrors the thoughts heralded by our Frost brethren over the months. You guys remember our Russian brethren Belial? He said very early on that Frost, in his opinion after coming from Soul Caliber, wasn't a rush down or zoner character as the ignorant at the time labeled her. He used the term "reactionary". While he may not have been the first to make this claim, anyone who either uses her or ACTUALLY studied her in the lab outside of AI->Reversal mode on->Slide. *Block. Grab. * "yay I learned the MU, you can punish her slide with grab" can agree with this. Most people simply just don't like the character so they never really bothered. To each their own

When Frost players stop doing Slide-D2-Slide, maybe I can take them seriously once again.
THESE were the 'Frost players 'that influenced your character perception? Wow.
:DOGE
 

@MylesWright_

I'll be back 3ing
'Killer Frost is Top 5' you idiots. I don't know who said she's a bad version of Batgirl when in fact she just isn't a very good character
She is still very much a mid-tier. In the future I see her being kinda like Cyrax I guess to an extent where if she touches you properly as in b1/f3 you'll lose 70% but her opening people up will be a struggle and won't happen often. I mean let's be serious here, you deluded up-players need to just stop especially when some of you are doing d2 slide d2, that isn't even a set-up (@Rickyraws)

She could be pretty good but it won't be for the reasons the killer frost community think i.e. good zoning, dash in mb f3 opens up all my bad opponents etc. Killer Frost would be good because a player would be willing to pick her and be patient enough to deal with all the bullshit, all the jump backs, zoning, interactables that she can't even use etc etc and touch them once and kill them basically
 
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RiBBz22

TYM's Confirmed Prophet/Time-Traveler
Premium Supporter
'Killer Frost is Top 5' you idiots. I don't know who said she's a bad version of Batgirl when in fact she just isn't a very good character
She is still very much a mid-tier. In the future I see her being kinda like Cyrax I guess to an extent where if she touches you properly as in b1/f3 you'll lose 70% but her opening people up will be a struggle and won't happen often. I mean let's be serious here, you deluded up-players need to just stop especially when some of you are doing d2 slide d2, that isn't even a set-up (@Rickyraws)

She could be pretty good but it won't be for the reasons the killer frost community think i.e. good zoning, dash in mb f3 opens up all my bad opponents etc. Killer Frost would be good because a player would be willing to pick her and be patient enough to deal with all the bullshit, all the jump backs, zoning, interactables that she can't even use etc etc and touch them once and kill them basically
You use these arguments all the time but they are pointless because no one thinks what you are trying to pin on the community.
 

@MylesWright_

I'll be back 3ing
You use these arguments all the time but they are pointless because no one thinks what you are trying to pin on the community.
Even after she lost trait cancels she was still somehow Top 5 for months and then she became Top 10 and now she's Top 15ish which is what I said in the first place and I was a 'downplayer'. You just don't know; people in this community were telling me Killer Frost was top 5 because she could option-select teching a throw by going for a throw, that's when I just gave up
 

RiBBz22

TYM's Confirmed Prophet/Time-Traveler
Premium Supporter
Even after she lost trait cancels she was still somehow Top 5 for months and then she became Top 10 and now she's Top 15ish which is what I said in the first place and I was a 'downplayer'. You just don't know; people in this community were telling me Killer Frost was top 5 because she could option-select teching a throw by going for a throw, that's when I just gave up
She can option select teching a throw by going for a PARRY... inputting it db 1+3
 

Rickyraws

This mean you don't like me?
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH
You mean to say then when I do a slide, and decide to shortcut 2xxfreeze (because online) by pressing d,then 2xxslide and then dropping it, you assume it's a set up? Set up to what? OTG slide or something?LOLOLOLOLOLOL
Please guys, I drop combos. Am I not allowed?



I've started playing Injustice again, so why don't we stop with the charades and actually play matches. Don't worry I'll go easy on you as per request. I'll even let you pick the stage since I'm such a nice guy...:DOGE

Thought I was on the butt end of a joke or something for a minute there....geez Louise!