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Executed by performing a Shoryuken motion? and pressing punch, Vega will remove his claw and throw it to the ground.
The EX Special version is different; it has Vega discard his mask instead of his claw. Unlike most EX Specials in Street Fighter IV, throwing the mask away requires two sections of the Super Gauge instead of just one, a distinction shared with Seth's Tanden Engine attack.
The discarded claw and/or mask always gravitate towards the center of the stage, and both can be recovered automatically if the Vega player simply walks by them.
In Ultra Street Fighter IV, the mask must be manually picked up (by pressing downward and two punch buttons while standing right above it), while the claw can still be automatically regained by simply walking by it.
Remove Claw/Mask resets back to maximum the amount of blocked/landed hits needed to knock off Vega's claw/mask, allowing him to prolong the duration for which he has them on, and can prevent him from losing them at a crucial moment. It can also serve as a taunt of sorts.
However, tossing the claw also decreases the range of his claw attacks, and decreases their damage by 10%. Tossing the mask, on the other hand, has the effect of increasing the damage inflicted by Vega's attacks by 10%, but lowering his defensive stats by 25% (or 10% from Super Street Fighter IV on). Remove Mask can be used to boost damage before punishing an opponent's whiffed attack.
In the Street Fighter EX series, Vega has a similar move known as the Attaching Claw. This move can be used at any time, and makes him throw away the claw he is wielding and replace it with a new one. Much like its later incarnation, it resets the number of hits his claw has taken. This is also useful when he loses his claw during battle, allowing him to recover it without having to walk by the one on the floor. It can also deal some slight damage to an opponent jumping over the claw, giving it some limited use as an anti-air.