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Unmasked Sub-Zero Guide
Rank: 15

Unmasked Sub-zero (Updated 2/5/11) New text bolded

Unmasked Sub-zero is considered a mid to low tier character, perhaps approaching the 20s, but there is a certain level of effort behind this generally defensive character that can make him into a beast. When use to his fullest ability, he is an excellent counter character for Kabal, however, it requires a much patience and craftiness. Zoning is particularly important and this can be done with the ice clone and ice showers. Sub has some decent corner traps I will get into later, but overall his damage is low and requires some creativity to make up for it. In UMK3 his ice clone is relatively limited compared to that of MK3 since you cannot get the freeze effect from it if you are too close. Remember his freeze is very fast and catches character when ducking on occasion. Set up the best possible combos from these situations. You can eek out a little extra damage in the corner on his combos by putting in ducking LKs on everyone, but for example, Kabal can spin you for free after that, and the Robots can teleport uppercut you, so on Kabal, kara jab (cancel a LP with block) and try to bait a spin out of him, and then capitalize with a combo, and against the Robots you can stick in a standing LK after his combo to add 6% giving him a reasonable 40% off a freeze in or near the corner. Sub-zero can be easily juggle to max potential by all characters who have good juggle combos, so that hurts him. Remember that his 6 hit ground combo does less damage on its own than his 5 hit, but off a jump punch or JK starter, the 6 hit combo does a tad more than the 5 hit. Against the female ninjas you cannot link a starter to combo mid screen, so this is a time specifically when the 5 hit combo is beneficial. It is sometimes a good idea to leave off the roundhouse part of that combo and then stick in a HK afterwards as a wake up, or even blocked it will do more damage than the comboed roundhouse. Make sure you time this correctly or the other person will be able to HK you first if they what you're going to do. You might actually want to block the incoming HK and then try to freeze them before they recover.

Sub-zero's basics are very good. His uppercut is excellent in virtually all situations, just generally hits the mark. His roundhouse is a bit sluggish and hits just a tad late, when used as anti air you have to be a bit early with it and a good distance away, or directly underneath. It would be a better idea to go for the anti air HP instead because his HPs are very good, and off them you can easily link a freeze even if you kara cancel the HP to avoid being hit during a snuffed HP, or if you aren't good at timing that yet, a standing HK will work just fine. His LPs have nice range and are good for run jabbing. His sweep, JK, standing HK, ducking LK, and straight up JK are all very good. His jump punch is a bit awkward, as the collision for it is very high in relation to where he can be hit, so it might be a good idea to cancel early HPs to ice clones whenever possible, but watch out for being scouted and countered. It is possible to freeze off his throw in the corner before they hit the ground and set up some tricky, but damage combos this way.

The Deep Freeze is an age old move that still has some benefits to it. It has a hit limit of 1, but breakable to 2, allowing up to 3 freezes per combo, but it's tricky timing and usually not worth it. Some characters are easier to glitch hit counter rule break than others, like the Robot Ninjas, Jax, and Stryker. You can use the freeze as an anti cross up. Scout a cross up jump kick, perhaps in a run jab situation, and run under their jump, and do the freeze as they kick, it'll freeze them in air and set up a decent combo. Its start up is noticeably faster than Classic Sub-zero's freeze and that is a plus of course. The freeze is OK for zoning, watch for jumping backwards opponents and freeze as you see them jump. Often times the freeze will hit in a situation where they are physically standing on the ground but cannot block, so watch for these situations. It will look like you should do an aaHPHP combo, but really you should go for a JK starter into his 6 hit ground combo. Take note that sometimes characters can be nabbed by a freeze when ducking in close range, especially Shang and Kano. If a person does a JK, block it and instantly do a freeze as soon as they hit the ground. This is useful because it's rare a person does a jump kick and lands and doesn't continue pressure, the chance of them landing and just blocking are slim, and often time it happens more than once. This will either work almost every time, or they will stop doing random jump kicks altogether, making them chance their strategy and psychologically giving Sub the upper hand. Sub can freeze within the amount of time it takes for them to land, and even if they block, he's relatively safe. The Freeze can punish blocked standing attacks easily and also sets up the corner jab infinite when close enough.

The Slide is good for adding damage to to juggle combos and as a wake up, but don't over abuse it, as it's easily punishable. It's the second fastest of the three slides with average range, making it questionable to use on juggle combos depending on distance. Sometimes you can stick one in for free after an uppercut as people tend to jump away, or sticking in an extra slide after one because often times people do not anticipate a second slide. Unmasked Sub's slide does not have the same collision detection trouble with certain characters like Classic Sub and Reptile's do. It is possible to break through the recovery of a comboer while blocking and slide in between hits, for example the female ninjas kick combo. It has a point of lag in the middle where you can actually go from standing block to ducking block, and if you time it right, the slide will come out here and you can beat them to their next hit. It's a great way to end a match if they are on danger, run in for a chip damage combo that will beat you, and you interrupt their last hit with a slide and win. You can also use the slide to escape run jabs and counter various basic moves before they recover, or on early jump kicks you can slide under and hit them from the other side. It has a lot of different uses but make sure you punish blocked attacks constantly.

The Ice Clone is a very unique and useful move. It is most important to use for zoning, and it should be out on the screen as often as possible. Cancel attacks with it and put it in the middle of the air to make the freezing area larger. Cancel standings HPs with it on jump ins just outside of the no freeze distance, this way they will land on the Clone in the air. If you do a Clone on the ground, it is possible for your opponent to jump on it and block it, if they do this, take this opportunity to start run jabbing them. When in the corner, it is a good idea to mix up run jabs with the Ice Clone by staying just outside the no freeze range, alternate single and double run jabs, then Ice Clone. Their options are now limited so you can move back in on them and continue but the idea is to keep that Ice Clone at a distance where they cannot do anything. Mix in some standing HKs and uppercuts on possible jump outs when the Ice clone is near the wall. Try to use the Ice Clone specifically against teleporters but setting them up to land on it as they teleport. You might take a hit but it is worth giving sometimes back 40+%. It is possible to set up the ice clone high enough so that your opponent will run towards you, try and time and uppercut, roundhouse, or his 3 hit kick combo to knock them into the ice clone, then juggle from there.

The Ice Shower is another interesting twist on his freeze move. It is excellent for zoning as people who jump forward and back are always in danger of being hit by it. If you choose to finish his 5 and 6 hit combos you might want to throw out an "in front of opponent" Ice Shower against non teleporters because of the tendency to jump forward. This sets up decent combo situations for sub. Against teleporters it's kind of a 50/50 situation. If they see you start to go for an ice shower, they have the choice to do a teleport punch and hit you for the free 9.5% and go into rub jabs, but if they hesitate and you do the "behind the opponent" Ice Shower, there is a chance you will hit them with it, and a teleport would not be worth it. If you do an in front of, or normal Ice Shower, you will get hit with the teleport punch no matter what, however if they think you might do the behind Ice Shower, they will instead commit to running in and comboing you, or doing a containment, which will result in more damage. It's all mind games with Sub-zero and it is important you know all your options, and their options. Occasionally in the corner you might want to intentionally do 3 LP run jabs in a row to force push back, then cancel this push back with an In Front Of Ice Shower, this way the person sees they are free to move, and they will either jump, or run in, with the results being an air freeze (very good situation in the corner for Sub) them getting frozen mid attack (good situation for Sub) or them having to block it and get stuck in run jabs again, and this also leaves time for you to recharge and Ice Clone.

Sub-zero has an infinite on Sheeva in the corner using his iceshower. If you catch Sheeva in the air with a HP, do a regular freeze, and push her close to the corner. Do HPHP, and cancel the second HP instantly with his air freeze, it will catch her feet. Jump over her, push her out of the corner, jump back over her, and repeat. It's very complicated, but it works. He can also perform this infinite on the Robot Ninjas on stages with a higher ground level, mid screen and coast to coast. This makes the Ice Shower descend a little earlier.

Basic Juggles:
1. aa freeze, aaHP, freeze, aa(HP,HP), JK, slide, 5 hits 43%
2. freeze, cross up jump kick, freeze, aa (HP HP), JK, slide 5 hits 33%
3. aaHP, freeze, cross up JK, aaHK or JK 36 and 37% (works well on characters who are harder to aaHPHP juggle)

Advanced Juggles:
1. aa freeze, aaHP, freeze, aaHP freeze(breaks a rule by canceling before the punch hits but still connecting)HP,HP, JK, slide, 6 hits 50% (BP)
2. aaHP, freeze, push corner, aaHP, (gc)freeze, aaHPHP, JK, HK, LK 7 hits 69% (leave off the last LK sometimes if the HK doesn't hit high enough, but a lot of position can be done during freezes, and if you aren't good at glitch canceling (gc) leave out the extra HP and you still get 50%
3. (freeze in air near corner), aaHP, freeze, aaHP (gc)freeze, aaHPHP, JK, HK, (6 hits 56%) it is possible on some characters to add a LK after the HK for 12% more (7 hits 69%)
4. aaHP, Freeze, JK, aaLP, JK 4 hits 42%

Pointlessly Complicated Corner Throw Set Up Juggles that work against Jax, Stryker and some other characters.

1. throw into corner, freeze before opponent hits the ground, deep JK, freeze, RH, R+HK 3 hits 47%
2. throw into corner, freeze before opponent hits the ground, deep JK, if too low to get a juggled HP, do a straight up JK into his 6 hit combo for 8 hits 50%
3. throw into corner, freeze before opponent hits the ground, deep JK, freeze, jump over opponent, aaHP glitch cancel to freeze out of corner, jump over opponent again, aa(HP HP), JK, aa HP, Slide 7 hits 65%
4. throw into corner, freeze before opponent hits the ground, deep JK, freeze, jump over opponent, aaHP glitch cancel to freeze out of corner, jump over opponent again, aa(HP HP), JK, HK, LK 7 hits 78%

Essentially what this does is gives you a free un-damage protected air freeze in the corner, however very low to the ground. With the right timing, this will set up potentially big combos.
Sub-zero 50% Corner Combo
Throw Counter to Advanced Juggle
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