SSC

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Shadowslice Snow Columns Method
ECE-finalstep.png
Information about the method
Proposer(s): Joseph Briggs, Julien Adam
Proposed: 2015
Alt Names: ECE, Briggs-Adam
Variants: Original variant, L6E variant, Broken variant, Permute-last variant, EZD variant, NoEO variant
No. Steps: 4 major though lots of flexibility. Depends on variant
No. Algs: around 50 depending on variant, 10 min.
Avg Moves: ~40-50 depending on variant STM
Purpose(s):

SSC, short for Shadowslice Snow Columns, commonly alternatively called ECE, is a method that has variously been described as a variation on Orient First, an improved version of the Human Thistlethwaite Algorithm, an advanced Belt Method and a Columns first method. It is a method that requires few (28) algorithms but requires proficiency in various relatively advanced techniques such as the EOLine (which is rotated 90 degrees to create an EOEdge) as well as being able to efficiently orient corners while placing an edge. It is an efficient method which averages below 50 STM in the hands of an expert.

Intially, it was proposed simply with the SSC-WV variant though this quickly became the set of methods which is known today. After the SSC-M variant was introduced, the idea was quickly expanded on by Julien Adam who created what is collectively known as the ECE variants which, while following the same basic steps as vanilla SSC-M have various advantages depending on the method. Notable variants include SSC-O and EZD for speedsolving and SSC-Domino as an FMC alternative.


Method Overview

This method has been independently proposed by at least 3 people though it was perhaps developed most by Joseph Briggs and Julien Adam. It is one of the most move efficient methods that has been developed; potentially on par with Heise, Human Thistlethwaite Algorithm and ZB depending on the variant. Also similar to Heise, it is quite intuitive and has a low algorithm count though in terms of procedure it is more similar to HTA or PCMS.


General Structure

  1. Solve EoEdge (EOLine but placing FL and BL rather than DF and DB).
  2. Orient corners and edges and place FR and BR edges.
  3. Solve the rest of the cube using one of many variants.

Pros

  • Low movecount
  • Ergonomic- mostly {R,U,D,M}
  • Low algorithm count compared to more popular speedsolving methods

Cons

  • Can be difficult to transition from other popular methods as it does not directly solve many pieces until the final few steps.
  • Pseudopairs can be difficult to get used to.
  • Lookahead can be made difficult due to the lack of direct solving
  • It is generally acknowledged that the current last step variants are not the best and so it is an area of constant development so any variant learned may be out of date or superseded by better variants relatively quickly.

Beginner's SSC

  1. Solve EoEdge and place one additional E-slice edge
  2. Orient 3 D-layer corners and create a pseudopair to insert the final E-slice edge
  3. OCLL
  4. Separate corners
  5. Solve corners
  6. LEE (last eight edges)

Intermediate SSC

  1. Solve Eoedge and place one additional E-slice edges
  2. Orient 3 D-layer corners and create a pseudopair
  3. WV (winter variation) using the pseudopair
  4. Separate corners
  5. Solve corners
  6. LEE (last eight edges)

There are actually quite a few ways to go about intermediate SSC however the above is the one most frequently recommended by those most familiar with the method.

Advanced SSC

  1. EoEdge
  2. Orient corners
    1. Create a pseudopair and pseudotriplet using the remaining E-slice edges
    2. OL5C
  3. Solve corners
  4. LEE

In fact there are many different last two steps for Advanced SSC similar to Intermediate and by the time one attains this level they should evaluate all the options in order to find the variant most suited to them.

Variants

There are quite a few variants to SSC, mostly to do with differences in the solving of the final step(s)

  • EZD
    • For LEE, the edges are separated before being permuted with a set of algorithms.
    • This is the variant used by Julien Adam to obtain his sub-13 averages.
  • Broken
    • Similar to the Belt method, the F2L is solved after step 2 using {R2,L2,M2,U,D}
    • PLL
  • Permute last
    • This is even more similar to the Belt method where edges are separated then PLL is applied to both sides.

See Also

External links