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> 4-Wide Guide, library of knowledge regarding 4-wide combos
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ZeroT
post May 21 2010, 01:13 AM
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1. 4-Wides Burst on the scene- The 4-wide was not a new technique at the time, but when Secret Salamander featured the middle-gap 4-wide in his epic playoff match versus Blink in HDO2, people were left in awe. Salamander eventually lost the match, but won an astounding 7 of 10 matches in which he used the 4-wide.

the match

This was perhaps one of the most influential recent match-ups as it has spread like a wildfire throughout the Tetris realm.



2. Middle vs. Side stacked- There are two effective ways in which to stack for a 4-wide, in the middle and on the side. Both have advantages and downfalls.

a. Middle- The middle stacked 4-wide was revolutionized by Secret Salamander and unveiled spectacularly in his match-up versus Blink. This version of the technique is the more difficult of the two to preform, as it takes a lot of practice to learn the stacking methods that go into the middle gap. However, this has much more power potential than the side stacked. You can stack higher, will less risk of topping out. Because the stacking method is more difficult, players often find themselves clearing lines in the center in order to greaten the potential of the combo. This means that this stacking method takes longer to build, than side stacked.

b. Side- This more traditional combo method has different advantages than the alt. method. Since its staking method is much simpler, it is much quicker to build and begin your combo. However, the power potential is much less since there is a fairly high likely hood of a top out.



3. Starts- There are 4 basic starts when beginning a 4-wide: S/Z, alt. S/Z, I, and L/J.

Please see fumen of the starts at the bottom.



4. Previews- its is important to use your previews continuously during the comboing process. Make sure to play out in your head the next few pieces to capture the best possible approach.



5. Hold- It is imperative you use your holds wisely when comboing using 4-wide. The best pieces to save are the I, O, and T blocks as they are useful is most situations you may encounter.



6. Piece Selection during combo- Most newbie 4-widers have the most trouble in this particular skill of 4-wide. This is unfortunate because THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART! Most throw the combo away making little mistakes here and there, nullifying the power of the 4-wide completely. You must strive to keep a "start"-like situation for the next block to continue.

Salamander's situational map

also: see fumen at end



7. Use of 4-wide- Though not as effective as it once was (see blink 3-wide Smile.png) the 4-wide is still hated by many who have meet a quick doom. Many swear by this tactic and almost exclusively use it. For others is it a feel, match-up, or simply the only hope they have. For slower players, the power of the 4-wide is the only chance for one to steal a victory off of the elite.



8. Combo Garbage-for combo chains the lines sent are as follows: (combo#, lines sent), (1.0)(2,1)(3,1)(4,2)(5,2)(6,3)(7,3)(8+,4)



9. Fumen library-

Sample builds of middle combo (from SS v Blink)

With S/Z Start-

With I Start-


4-starts-

S/Z-

I-

Alt. S/Z- 1

L/J-



NOTE: Both S/Z starts give you a greater amount of options than the others. "I" start is vastly over rated (IMO), also L/J Start is not very practical.



Sample combo piece placement-




Sample stacked methods-

Middle-
Side-



~ Video Example



10. Conclusion You will not learn this overnight, this will take a lot of practice to gain a feel and develop your own style. We will continue to add on to this so please leave suggestions, note errors, ask questions etc. Grin.png Good Luck

This post has been edited by ZeroT: Jan 24 2011, 06:59 AM


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blazen_azn
post May 21 2010, 01:18 AM
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QUOTE(ZeroT @ May 21 2010, 01:13 AM) *

*blazen_azn will add a video tutorial later on biggrin.gif enjoy

LOL WUT?
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Blink
post May 21 2010, 01:19 AM
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Yeah kotetsu definitely made 4wide middle combo gap popular after the HDO2 playoff match. When he pulled it on me, I didn't know what to do because I never faced this strategy before. I think I've figured out a pretty good counter now though, and the neatness of TF's garbage was another thing I should have taken into consideration before sending him garbage he could send back to me as soon as he finished his combo. This is a good guide, i'm sure it will help alot of players who are trying to learn this (although I find combo starters annoying!) . icon13.gif
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chowmain24
post May 21 2010, 03:24 AM
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there are no downfalls for middle unless you suck. its faster once you get it down by far


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SecretSalamander
post May 21 2010, 03:30 AM
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3. Starts- There are 4 possible starts when beginning a 4-wide: S/Z, alt. S/Z, I, and L/J.
not true, there are many ways to set up/execute a 4-wide combo, and do NOT try to memorize my chart as the ultimate reference, that's ONLY if you want to play with 3 pieces of "junk" (you don't have to) and there are a few states that I didn't even take into account when making that. (I won't add them any time soon btw)

I did this as a "throwaway" technique; I saw someone do it on TOJ, I thought it was broken so I tried it out. It didn't work at all against Maserati, but I tried it against Blink anyway since that was the only practical way I could get points against him. In the end it still didn't work (7-15, not 7-10) so I threw it away. I tried it again on TOJ and rowaks, Hebo-MAI, etc will simply flat-out not let you do it.

So I threw it away again and never use it unless I'm playing around, or someone says "I saw your game! Show me 4-wide!!!" Not like I have to do it myself since everyone seems to be doing it, nowadays.

Simply put: it's overrated, and if you try to rely on it to win, you won't get far. If you think you're hot stuff just because you can open with it every game, NEWSFLASH: you're not.
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blazen_azn
post May 21 2010, 04:00 AM
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QUOTE(SecretSalamander @ May 21 2010, 03:30 AM) *

3. Starts- There are 4 possible starts when beginning a 4-wide: S/Z, alt. S/Z, I, and L/J.
not true, there are many ways to set up/execute a 4-wide combo, and do NOT try to memorize my chart as the ultimate reference, that's ONLY if you want to play with 3 pieces of "junk" (you don't have to) and there are a few states that I didn't even take into account when making that. (I won't add them any time soon btw)

I did this as a "throwaway" technique; I saw someone do it on TOJ, I thought it was broken so I tried it out. It didn't work at all against Maserati, but I tried it against Blink anyway since that was the only practical way I could get points against him. In the end it still didn't work (7-15, not 7-10) so I threw it away. I tried it again on TOJ and rowaks, Hebo-MAI, etc will simply flat-out not let you do it.

So I threw it away again and never use it unless I'm playing around, or someone says "I saw your game! Show me 4-wide!!!" Not like I have to do it myself since everyone seems to be doing it, nowadays.

Simply put: it's overrated, and if you try to rely on it to win, you won't get far. If you think you're hot stuff just because you can open with it every game, NEWSFLASH: you're not.


agreed. i use it to have quick matches, especially on tf where competition is lower and combos are overrated

ive ventured away from it after losing in hdo3 and playing SS in nullpomino

however huge speed and a three gap might be in consideration
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Dagorath
post May 21 2010, 09:00 AM
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Paul676
post May 21 2010, 10:05 AM
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Put simply, it's another tactic. It'll work on some players on some games, and not against other players in other games. Just as on tf low tspins are a bad start but on toj they're good (Oversimplification I know but by and large it's true), 4 wide is good against some players (I remember playing an HDO match against TomatoKirby and without using it, I'd have lost hard, but with it I won) and bad against others (I got hammered by Trance when I tried to use it). The elite won't let you get away with it but it's a nice tactic against slower players.

EDIT in 2014: This post is bs, on tf low t-spins are a good start.


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post May 21 2010, 10:16 AM
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really nice tutorial


well in my opinion combos are just... lame. i mean, don't get me wrong, i do combos too, but not like combo starters, i'm kinda good with combos while downstacking, and SOMETIMES i do combo starters.

BUT the thing that i love about tetris is just that i sit and play without thinking.

And whenever you face a player who is comboer, who does mid gap 4 wide all the time... the FUN is over.

its all about finding a way to survive the initial combo and thats the point where the real game begins... and my point is, if i play a game of tetris i get excited, and whenever i play combo player im like "not this sh** again".

Sure i can do 4 wide too, and counter the combo, but i really don't like it that much. Stacking for 4 wide is boring as hell ;/ I have nothing against players who combo from time to time, but i simply hate playing against ppl who do combos only. Its just boring.

Oh and if someone wins with 4 wide combo only, can't call himself a good player. Good player is someone who can win with others playing without combos, that is tspins or even better tetrises. you call yourself a good player ? prove it in every game, not only combo/tspin friendly one smile.gif

peace out !


make tetrises not wars !
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ZeroT
post May 21 2010, 10:36 AM
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Guys, this is a strategy. PERIOD. not some sort of philosophy or religion. There is no point of bickering back and forth about the merits of using this verses not using this. It is a strategy, just like bravo openings. Are they the best thing to use every time you play, of course not. This is a weapon to have in one's arsenal, if one choses to use it every time time, thats their choice.

I made this guide because I have been asked by at least 10 people to teach them this tactic and if they want to learn, let them. There was a large lack of organized 4-wide material so I tried to bring everything together so people can find their way through it like we did when we were first learning t-spins.

This is exactly what the title says "a guide to 4-wide combos" not a bible preaching that these are the greatest thing since sliced bread :/


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Trance
post May 22 2010, 04:05 PM
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In my opinion, mid gap 4 wide is the strongest start possible. If players could do it every time, I don't see why they wouldn't. It's overpowered, easy to use, and you have nothing to lose if you are good at it. The only reason why I don't 4-wide is simply because I can't. I'd like to put in some time to learn it, but I'll do that after HDO3. It's the only opening attack that needs a strategy to counter it. Every other opening results in a fairly balanced opening stage regardless of if you choose to B2B tetris, B2B TSD, or B2B TST. Hell, you can even f*** up badly while the opponent spams tetris's and TSD's and it's still fairly balanced due to how the line add mechanics work. However vs a 4 wide combo'er, if you mess up your own opening... you're dead. That's that. Game over.

Rutubo is the best mid gap 4-wide combo'er hands down and he wins way more matches against me than he would without his ability to 12-15 combo every game. Everyone can say that they have their own viable way to counter this strategy, but in reality all you're saying is that you're fast enough to survive it to bring it to mid-game. Even Blink will easily die if he makes one MD. Sure, if he is able to send line after line after line at 55+ LPM, he can survive a 4-wide opening, but the only real counter is to 4-wide back.

It's an overpowered opening that seamlessly transitions you to mid game without any handicap... it's broken. I need to learn how to do it. ph34r.gif

-Edit
Another thing I noticed people are saying is whether it "works" or if it doesn't "work". It's funny because what they're really saying is whether it'll instant KO the opponent... or if it doesn't instant KO the person blink.gif . See what I did there? If it doesn't instant-KO, it's still a superior opening in the grand scheme of things. It just means that when it doesn't give you an instant win, you're at the same spot everyone else is at mid game that doesn't 4-wide except that you had a greatly increased chance to take the match at the beginning. How is this not completely broken?
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Dagorath
post May 22 2010, 06:53 PM
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Trance
post May 22 2010, 07:13 PM
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Either you didn't read my whole post or you just misunderstood me. Exactly what you typed is exactly what I said, except that you disaggreed. I normally wouldn't respond to something like this, but I'm bored at work so here goes...

-4 wide is hard to do (That's an opinion though)
-4 wide sends a huge amount of lines
-Both players have the same maps so thus the only real counter is to 4 wide back because everything else is simply less powerful, or equal to (typically requires a speed advantage using the same less powerful openings).

My post was a comparison between openings. 4 wide vs everything else. Garbage blocking mechanics and symmetrical fields does not change the fact that a 4 wide opening is the most powerful.

"In balanced games people can do whatever they want.", I don't see your point here. This has nothing to do with my conclusion that 4 wide opening is broken. It's probably just semantics here, but then you're just arguing something that I didn't say. "Broken" refers to overpowered due to a manipulation of the mechanics of the game. It's broken in terms of how actually practical it is to use and how powerful it actually is compared to every other opening out there. It's a mechanic that in 95% of mid-end game matches you will never hit a 12+ combo (and you almost always win if you can pull it off mid-end game) yet can be manipulated/taken advantage of as an opening to pull off a 12-15 combo every game. Combos are not overpowered. Combo openings are.

With this opening, someone who normally wins 1 out of every 10 games is able to win 5 out of every 10 games (10% vs 50%). Thus, with equal players who normally wins 5 out of every 10 games, they would almost certainly take the set if they opened with a 4-wide. I pulled these numbers out of my a**, but there are plenty of examples out there that prove this.

Ex. Paul676 "I remember playing an HDO match against TomatoKirby and without using it, I'd have lost hard, but with it I won"

I concluded that because there is NO opening out there that > a 4 wide, only openings that <= a 4 wide, that 4 wide is the strongest and that is why it is overpowered/broken/the best/the most powerful... whatever you want to call it.
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Dagorath
post May 22 2010, 07:37 PM
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Trance
post May 22 2010, 07:38 PM
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QUOTE(Dagorath @ May 22 2010, 07:37 PM) *

Whatever but it should stay the way it is not not nerfed or anything.


I agree. Take advantage of it.
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