- 1 Introduction
- 2 Moves Analysis
- 3 The Basics
- 4 Advanced Strategy
- 5 Combos
- 6 Match-ups
- 6.1 Serious Advantage Match-ups
- 6.2 Advantage Match-ups
- 6.3 Fair Match-ups
- 6.4 Disadvantage Match-ups
- 6.5 Serious Disadvantage Match-ups
Balrog is considered one of the Big 5 in ST (Vega, Sim, O.Sagat, Balrog, Chun). So, top-tier as one would say. He has virtually no bad matches and only a few arguably losing ones (most notably against Zangief, which most consider one of if not the worst characters in the game). He is also fairly easy to pick up for a beginner due to a lot of his staple attacks being easy to execute and abuse. A solid choice if you're looking for a main and a very good choice for a 2nd or counterpick type.
Strengths & Weaknesses
Strengths: His rushes (especially his low rush) are incredibly difficult for opposition to deal with, especially if the Balrog player has good reflexes. Fully invincible reversal on startup (headbutt and super). Super is one of the best if not the best in the game. MP throw has excellent range and can set up some hellacious throw loops. Excellent set of normals can deal with nearly every situation without relying on a special or super. Likely the best rushdown character to ever appear in a Street Fighter 2 game.
Weaknesses: Headbutt has very bad startup, which makes it incredibly easy to safejump. If Balrog doesn't have super, he can be fairly easily abused via okizeme (wake up games) by some characters. Super has a glitch that can cause a slowdown that can be cashed in for a reversal (usually happens on the 2nd or 3rd hit but can happen any time after the first hit). His MP and HP throws have different ranges. Since the HP one has such bad range, he can really only safely use the MP throw to mash out a counter-throw.
New & Old Versions Comparison
To select O.Balrog, choose Balrog and then press → ← ← → Jab/Fierce, pressing Short simultaneously with the punch button for the alternate color.
Here is the list of differences:
- Obvious stuff: O.Balrog can not tech throws, does not have the Low Straight Rush, Low Upper Rush and Super;
- O.Balrog's Head Bomber (his grab) usually does more hits, but if the opponent actually mashes to escape it will not make much difference;
- O.Balrog's Neutral Jumping Fierce can not be controlled;
- O.Balrog's Straight Rush hits crouching opponents, and the Jab version knocks down, but the Fierce version doesn't;
- O.Balrog's Upper Rush requires 2 frames of additional charging to come out;
O.Balrog is a very well balanced character that can compete with pretty much everyone on the cast (excluding maybe Zangief). But since N.Balrog is straight better you should favor using him instead.
Disclaimer: To better understand the diagrams, read this.
- Close/Far Standing Jab:
|Simplified||1 + 3||4||5|
A standard jab punch. Balrog's arm is fully invincible. Useful to cancel into super / rushes. Also good to stop some stuff (Honda's headbutts for example).
- Crouching Jab:
|Simplified||1 + 2||4||4|
It's very fast and has the repeating property (something low short doesn't), but it has a different hit box and is not invulnerable, unlike the standing version. I really don't use low short much, only low jab for ticking and combos.
- Close Standing Strong: (Base max activation range: 41)
|Simplified||1 + 5||4||7|
Acceptable anti air, but cr hp is often preferred. Can catch opponents trying to jump away when going for a throw, similar to far mp.
- Far Standing Strong:
|Simplified||1 + 6||4||7|
Second best anti-air move. Has more range than cr.HP.
- Crouching Strong:
|Simplified||1 + 4||4||7|
This is his best ground attack, despite not hitting low. Most of Balrog's arm is safe and cannot be hit, but can hit the enemy (it has a small vulnerability on his shoulder). Can cancel into rushes and link into Super. It can also be made safe on wake-up from the proper distance, since it doesn't leave any vulnerable limb during its recovery.
- Close Standing Fierce: (Base max activation range: 31)
|Simplified||1 + 8||6||15|
A pretty ordinary straight punch. It's a relatively slow move, but one wouldn't use it much, since he has better options up close.
- Far Standing Fierce:
|Simplified||1 + 8||6||15|
Great poke to use at max range. Hits mid against most of the cast which makes it a must know move. It CAN'T hit the following opponents when they're crouching: Ryu, Blanka, Guile, Ken, Chun Li, Cammy and Dictator. It will hit a crouching Deejay but his crouching hitbox is wonky so it will only connect closer than max range, limiting its usefullness in that matchup.
- Crouching Fierce:
|Super Cancel||Yes / No|
|Frame Advantage||-1 / +1|
|Simplified||1 + 5||6||17|
Best anti-air non-special. Hits early and late, unlike most moves in game.
- Close/Far Standing Short:
|Simplified||1 + 3||4||5|
Elbow attack with no notable properties. It is overshadowed by Jab in almost every situation.
- Crouching Short:
|Simplified||1 + 2||4||4|
This is a crouching jab attack that hits low. It can be used to stuff some slide attacks, but you will find yourself using crouching Forward kick instead, most of the time. Oddly enough, this move can also be chain cancelled into Crouching Jabs, even though it can't be chain cancelled into itself or to it's standing version, like most chain cancelable normals. Also, this odd property is key for the Standing Jab mash while charging for headbutt trick.
- Close Standing Forward: (Base max activation range: 31)
|Simplified||1 + 4||4||7|
Body punch. This could be used as a tick against characters that might hop over his better moves, such as crouching Strong, Forward and Jab.
- Far Standing Forward:
|Simplified||1 + 5||4||7|
A punch to the body. It can be used in block strings and when you predict a move that is vulnerable during its start-up, but you shouldn't try footsies with this move, since the priority is not very good.
- Crouching Forward:
|Simplified||1 + 5||6||4|
Catches some moves that go under Crouching Strong (like Vega's slide). Links into cr.Strong and the Super. Your move of choice to tick / combo in throw mixups. Quick recovery and great for hitting limbs in footsies (like Guile's d. Forward).
- Close Standing Roundhouse: (Base max activation range: 41)
|Simplified||1 + 6||6||15|
A punch to the body. Nothing interesting.
- Far Standing Roundhouse:
|Simplified||1 + 8||6||15|
Hook punch to the face. It does slightly more damage than Fierce, but it has less range. It is useful in the same manner as far Forward kick, with the advantage of doing more damage and dizzy, at the cost of a longer recovery.
- Crouching Roundhouse:
|Simplified||1 + 8||6||18|
Best horizontal range out of his ducking moves and knocks down. Useful for footsies when a crouching Forward won't reach. Long recovery so be careful.
- Neutral Jumping Jab:
Same as Neutral Jumping Short.
- Diagonal Jumping Jab:
Lasts long with a slightly higher hitbox than the Jumping Strong but shitty priority.
- Neutral Jumping Strong:
Like nj hp, but slightly less priority/reach. Not steerable, so you can use it to protect yourself while charging and not move back.
- Diagonal Jumping Strong:
Good horizontal range on this makes it useful for hitting fireballers when a jumping Roundhouse/Fierce won't reach.
- Neutral Jumping Fierce:
You can control it as soon as you hit fierce.
If you just want to clear a projectile:
1. You can jump early, hit fierce and edge forward to hop over it
2. You can jump normally over it and then hit fierce and guide your way down.
- Diagonal Jumping Fierce:
Best air to ground priority available. Can crossup some characters. Hits very low to the ground which means it can hit pesky anti-air slides from Sim and Blanka.
- Neutral/Diagonal Jumping Short:
Good jump-in for getting in close to start Boxer's combos and mixup strings since it doesn't push the opponent back too far. Also can be used as an instant overhead.
- Neutral/Diagonal Jumping Forward:
The slower speed makes it harder to use as an overhead usually. But this is still decent since it has the same priority, but with better damage.
- Neutral Jumping Roundhouse:
Slightly better priority as air to air than the Diagonal version.
- Diagonal Jumping Roundhouse:
Same as Diagonal Jumping Fierce.
To grab your opponent, hold towards or back and press Strong or Fierce punch. Boxer will hold the opponent in place for a few seconds and repeatedly headbutt them.
The first hit of the grab deals about 19.5% damage. Subsequent hits add almost 3% more each. If Boxer wiggles the joystick and/or mashes buttons while the grab is taking place, it will extend the duration. Similarly, his opponent may do the same to reduce the grab's duration. Sometimes people playing charge characters will elect to do this only for a moment before opting to charge during the grab's animation instead.
Weirdly, the Strong grab has more range than the Fierce grab even though they seem identical. You should favor using the Strong grab in situations where range is an issue.
- Head Bomber: (←/↖/↑/↗/→ + Strong or ←/→ + Fierce)
|Damage||28 + 4*n|
|Set amount of hits||9|
|Holds do no stun|
|Range||(from axis)|| |
|(from throwable box)|| |
NOTE: Balrog's grabs can only be activated when in Close Standing Strong/Fierce activation range (which also explains why Strong grab has more range), this means that Balrog is the only character in ST (this is not true for HSF2) that has an activation range on his throw/grab(i.e. like close normals). That throw range values/image above represents how his throw box actually is, but Balrog can't activate his grab from that max range because of the Close Normal range restriction, which will vary by what character your opponent is using. On top of that, different characters have different throwablebox sizes, which as a result made Balrog grab to have a "variable" range by matchups: on some matchups his grabs have a long range(Blanka, E.Honda), on others it has a very small range(Dhalsim, Zangief).
See the chart below for his exact throw range against all characters. The Range Advantage field is in comparison with the character Normal throw, not his Command throw, if he have any.
|Strong / Fierce||RY||KE||EH||CH||BL||ZA||GU||DH||TH||CA||FE||DJ||BX||CL||SG||DI|
|Range||(from axis)||51 / 41||51 / 41||64 / 58¹||51 / 41||63 / 53||41 / 31||50 / 40||40 / 30||51 / 41||51 / 41||51 / 41||52 / 42||53 / 43||52 / 42||52 / 42||52 / 42|
|(from throwable box)||24 / 14||24 / 14||37 / 31¹||24 / 14||36 / 26||14 / 4||23 / 13||13 / 3||24 / 14||24 / 14||24 / 14||25 / 15||26 / 16||24 / 14||24 / 14||25 / 15|
|Range Advantage||+5 / -5||+5 / -5||+1 / -5¹||+1 / -9||+2 / -8||-10 / -20||+5 / -5||-11 / -21||+11 / +1||+7 / -3||+13 / +3||+7 / -3||+5 / -5||+9 / -1||+1 / -9|
|Max dist. between axes||80 / 70||80 / 70||93² / 86¹||76 / 66||93 / 83||86 / 76||80 / 70||80 / 70||86 / 76||76 / 66||80 / 70||82 / 72||80 / 70||80 / 70||84 / 74||80 / 70|
¹ Fierce has 10 pixels less range than Strong, minus against E.Honda where its only 6 pixels less.
² His throwbox is activated out of range, but its only possible by 1 pixel.
- Straight Rush: (Charge ←, →, P)
Detailed Input: (Charge ← for at least 70f, [0~7f] → [0~11/9/7f] Jab/Strong/Fierce. It is needed to wait at least 1 frame after leaving the charge direction to enter with the P button)
Comes out fast and hits high (whiffs on crouching opponents). Vulnerable to sweeps. LP and MP don't knockdown, FP does.
LP version is useful as a mid-range poke/punisher and has better priority than the st. FP, good for stuffing or trading with fireballs. Use the MP version from full screen to trade with fireballs. FP version is usually only used for going the distance on a retreating opponent, or in combos for a knockdown.
Due to its range, the LP version is a good punisher for whiffed Shoryukens and such when the Knockdown Rush Uppercut won't reach in time.
When you're charging for TAP with KKK this can be used as a substitute for the Uppercut to whiff and throw, although the recovery is a tad slower.
- Upper Rush: (Charge ←, →, K)
Detailed Input: (Charge ← for at least 60f, [0~7f] → [0~11/9/7f] Short/Forward/Roundhouse. It is needed to wait at least 1 frame after leaving the charge direction to enter with the K button)
Good anti-air. Whiffs on crouching characters. HK version is good for hitting people jumping backwards, especially at the beginning of the round. Slightly slower startup and recovery than the Knockdown Rush Uppercut. Slightly more vulnerable near the head than the Knockdown (bigger blue box) but has a larger hitbox.
- Ground Straight Rush a.k.a. Low Rush: (Charge ←, ↘, P)
Detailed Input: (Charge ← for at least 70f, [0~7f] ↘ [0~11/9/7f] Jab/Strong/Fierce. It is needed to wait at least 1 frame after leaving the charge direction to enter with the P button)
Hits low, knocks down, comes out fast, and good priority at the very tip of his fist. One of his best punishers and tools for keeping the pressure on. You'll be using the LP version the most, while MP can be used from full screen. The FP version is rarely used due to the startup lag and is only used from very far away to catch a retreating opponent. Tends to come out just barely slower than the Straight Rush since he takes a couple frames to crouch before his punch.
If you hold DF you can keep your down-charge for the Buffalo Headbutt.
- Ground Upper Rush a.k.a. Knockdown Rush: (Charge ←, ↘, K)
Detailed Input: (Charge ← for at least 62f, [0~7f] ↘ [0~11/9/7f] Short/Forward/Roundhouse. It is needed to wait at least 1 frame after leaving the charge direction to enter with the K button)
This has the fastest startup and recovery out of all his Rush punches, especially the LK version. Good anti-air, slightly smaller hitbox than the regular Rush Uppercut but also less vulnerable near his head. Whiffs on crouching opponents, and even whiffs on shorter characters who are standing neutral when done from point blank range (i.e. Shotos), or shorter characters with weird hit stun from a low attack like d. MP (i.e. Chun, Blanka) from any distance.
If you hold DF you can keep your down-charge for the Buffalo Headbutt. After a whiffed Knockdown Rush Uppercut you can go into a mixup between a throw, Headbutt, or buffered Super.
- Turn Around Punch a.k.a. TAP: (Charge PPP or KKK for at least a half second, then release)
Detailed Input: (Charge requirements: One = 30f, Two = 120f, Three = 240f, Four = 480f, Five = 960f, Six = 1440f, Seven = 1920f and Final = 2400f)
NOTE: attack levels 2~7 and Final don't do random damage, as can be seen here the random damage tables 10~16 have 100% likelihood of adding a specific value on the damage formula ([34 + that 'random' value]*char_scaling*low_energy_scaling).
Attacks that increase in strength and speed over time, making them hard to predict. They also have great hit properties able to hit nicely and on crouching opponents like his old rush punches from super did. When activated, they give a lot of super meter. Lastly, they can be used without being 'charged' like a rush punch or headbutt. --Graham
There is no difference move wise but you want to use the 3K version so you have access to his punch moves: st.FP, cr.MP, throw, rush punches and buffalo headbutt. --Shag
The Turn-Around Punch has eight levels, 1~7 and Final. The longer you hold the buttons, the higher the level you'll get. You can combo a cr.Strong into a rush punch after a 4+ meaty TAP.
It's possible to charge two TAP's at once, one with the PPP and the other with KKK. -- Janus Gemini
- Buffalo Headbutt: (Charge ↓, ↑, P)
Detailed Input: (Charge ↓ for at least 66f, [0~7f] ↑ [0~11/9/7/2f] Jab/Strong/Fierce/any P if you are at a jumpable state. It is needed to wait at least 1 frame after leaving the charge direction to enter with the P button)
Anti-air special. Its active frames come in quite late for a reversal, making safe-jumps easier to do against Balrog. Useful to avoid some fireballs (don't use against Sim since he can Standing Roundhouse you on reaction), set up grabs (whiff it so you land just in front of your opponent), get out of Vega's walldive shenanigans, stuff things after a blocked rush / super, etc.
Note that it can be made safe on block, just make sure it will hit near the last attacking frames. You can then try to grab the opponent.
You can keep your charge (to do rushes / Super as you land) if you do it with up/back instead of up or up/forward.
Jab: This version comes out the quickest (11 startup frames), travels the least, and has the best priority. It cleanly beats N. Ryu's and N. Ken's Shoryukens, and even Claw's Flipkicks if timed right, so it can be very deadly in throw mixups. Probably his most abusable move.
Strong: This version has the worst priority and will not reliably go through fireballs. I only use it when trying to stuff pokes and things from the appropriate distance.
Fierce: This version travels the farthest but comes out the slowest (15 startup frames). Slightly worse priority than the LP version. You can use this in conjunction with the Knockdown Rush Uppercut to travel across the screen while keeping charge. For example, an advanced tactic against fireballers is to do a LK Knockdown Rushdown Punch just before they release their projectile, and then use the FP Headbutt to travel through the projectile and hit them during their recovery.
- Crazy Buffalo: (Charge ←, → ← → P/K)
Detailed Input: (Charge ← for at least 70f, [0~14f] → [0~14f] ← [0~14f] → [0~10f] P/K. Also, 2nd, 3rd and 4th punches will be uppers if any K is held during their startup)
- First hit, Straight:
|Frame Count||1 + ||2||3||8||6||2|
- First hit, Upper:
|Frame Count||1 + ||3||1||3||8||6|
- Second, third and fourth hits, Straight:
- Second, third and fourth hits, Upper:
- Last hit:
Best super move in the game. As long as Boxer doesn't run into an empty wall, he does 5 punches in succession.
Having this in stock can turn the entire tide of a match, especially in some matchups like Dhalsim, Guile and Chun Li where it will limit their zoning options and instill in them the fear of losing over half of their life. That's why for many matches it's key to build up Super meter through a combination of TAPs, dashes, Buffalo headbutts, and hit/block strings.
If you press P, the first hit will be a Straight punch, if you press K it will be an Uppercut. Regardless, the first hit is completely invincible (red hitbox only!). Afterwards he becomes vulnerable but the punches still have great priority.
The 2nd, 3rd, and 4th punches are controllable as well; Do nothing and the punches will be Straight, hold down any K button and they will be Uppercuts. The Straight punches will hit ducking opponents just like O.Balrog Straight punch. The 5th and final punch will always be Straight (with TAP hitboxes).
Sometimes the Super will randomly pause once for a second between the punches, usually after the 2nd or 3rd punch when it happens. This pause is long enough for the opponent to come out of block stun and reversal or even throw you! Smart players know this, so beware of this random occurrence.
If someone jumps in on you, you can use this as an air counter and you'll juggle for 1-3 hits, usually 2, but hold down K for Uppers to increase your chances.
When defending against this super from mid-distance, people will often try to jump backwards and kick you in the head when you're vulnerable during your 2nd punch or so. If you are decently close enough, you can counter this by buffering the Super from a Low Dash Upper. The Low Dash Upper will cover some ground first before you nail them with the 1st hit of the super which is completely invulnerable.
If you can catch your opponent jumping in the corner, it is possible to nail them with all 5 hits when they are inches off the ground. If you hit them when they're high near the apex of their jump with Uppers, it juggles them too high and some of the punches will whiff.
This move can be a lifesaver as a reversal, especially against safe-jump ticks, because after you block high for your opponent's jump-in you have no down-charge for the Buffalo Headbutt.
In some situations, it's also possible to Reversal Super after blocking a normal cancelled into a projectile. For example, a Ryu player will d. HK xx Hadoken. If you're far away enough after you block the d. HK, you have just enough time to reversal Super and blow through their fireball.
-- Janus Gemini
- Neutral/Back/Forward Jump:
|Frame Count (Neutral)||2||1||14||5||12||5||8||1||7*|
|Frame Count (Back)||2||1||14||5||12||5||9||1||7*|
|Frame Count (Forward)||2||1||14||5||12||5||7||1||7*|
Boxer has a considerably fast prejump. He also has a very low jump arc, and this can be good and bad, deppending on the situation.
The landing recovery has a special property which allows it to be "canceled"/skipped depending on what you do. At the first landing frame, it's not possible to jump again (i.e. can't go directly to the prejump animation), to have a move to startup instantly (normal and special moves) or to block (which is why sweeps can be used as anti airs in this game), but you can do all that on the second landing frame. Throws are an exception and can be performed on the first landing frame(not the first ground throwable frame) and this includes command throws too, but since the hitbox-hurtbox interaction have priority over the throwbox-throw vulnerabillity box interaction, this can't be used as a counter to well timed anti air sweeps. You'll only be stuck for the entirety of the landing recovery if you want to walk back/forward.
Things are different on jumps that crosses over the opponent (landing on the other side) though. In that situation it's possible to walk back/forward, to jump again or to even block on the first landing frame! Strangelly, if a throw is timed on the first landing frame of a jump that crosses over, a throwbox will never come out, even though that input will result in a normal coming out 2 frames later (like it normally would). Anyway, being able to block on the first landing frame can help a little bit on some safe jump crossup setups, or maybe in other situations as well if your character has a huge jump arc.
There are basically 4 styles of Balrog play.
- Fast paced = no TAP or very limited usage of it (level 1 TAP), so you can do dashing shorts and grabs a lot. This style is good vs Guile, Blanka, and other chars without fireballs.
- Fast paced TAP = level 2-4 max TAPs mixed with occasional dash shorts and lots of consecutive tap+low dashes usually vs shotos.
- Mixed = sometimes charging TAP up to level 3-4 and sometimes playing without TAP, this is usually for oddball chars like vs st Chun.
- Slow paced TAP = charging sometimes up to level 5-7 TAP along with a lot of blocking and carefully selected low dashes, this generally happens vs Sim
By the way, there is also a defensive style with Rog which is good vs Gief and Honda. I don't consider it one of his 4 'stances' though. --Graham
- Against Shotos I use the TAP randomly making sure that it never saves up past 4; between 1-4 is a good pace for them. Usually try not to do too many 1's though.
- Against Sim I use the higher TAPs, sometimes reaching up to 6.
- Against Guile, Chun and DeeJay I occasionally throw in TAPs, not frequently though because these characters projectiles protect themselves.
A technique I use to sometimes land the TAP is to release it from very far right when the opponent is getting up from a knockdown, so that they are actually on their feet when I release it. This space I'm giving them to get up usually makes them attack or do something and then the punch flies across the screen and hits them. --Graham
Finger positioning for the TAP
I use the bottom of my fingers (directly above the lower joints) to charge kick TAP and use my fingertips for punch buttons. Place your fingers over the 3 rows so that all 6 buttons are pressed. Now try to lift the top of your fingers while still holding the lower column (kick buttons) in place.
I'm sure this is awkward for some but I've done this since HF days and I'm quite used to it now. --Shag
Yes, it does limit your ability to play, which is why when I'm being cheaped a lot I tend to stop charging TAP to have better control of my button presses. I still play well with TAP held down and can reverse cheaps etc., but I just don't like trying to shake outta noogies with TAP held as much but yes it is possible and I do that sometimes if I need to save my TAP (down by 75% life) or whatever. --Graham
Cancelling into Super
- cr.Jab x 2 xx Super: charge down-back, jab jab, towards-back-towards, jab~fierce. You're cancelling the ducking jabs into standing jab, but then you kara-cancel the standing jab into super.
Also: cr.Jab x 2, f, neutral, b + Jab, f + Jab
- After a Rush Punch: charge b, f + P / K, b, f + P / K. Since they start with the same notation you just add another b, f after the Rush to finish the super motion.
It's a lot easier to whiff with the down / towards kick rush because it actually has less frames than the straight kick rush. (The short version of the straight kick rush has 25 frames, while the down/towards version only has 21.) --NKI
- After Headbutt: Charge db, ub + Punch, then do f, b, f + Punch as you land.
After the throw, Boxer can immediately perform a jump-in on the following characters:
- Another Boxer
I know that in the Boxer mirror it is a safe jump-in, but I'm not sure about the others (think they are as well, but not positive). It does not work in the corner, either, since the opponent reaches the ground much more quickly.
You can do cr.Jab x 2, st.Jab xx Rush Punch on a crouching Honda. But, for some reason, that won't work on Blanka; the st.Jab will whiff. Note that you cant combo cr.Jab into st.Jab on a standing Blanka as well. The reason seems to be his akward small hitbox (even when standing) while being hit. Don't know if this was mentioned before but you can also combo cr.Jab in st.Jab on crouching Gief and Balrog.
Another thing I found out about his cr.Forward, cr.Strong link combo:
Won't work on
- st.Chun (but on crouching)
- st.Deejay (but on crouching)
- st.Vega (but on crouching)
- st.Balrog himself (but on crouching)
- cr.Honda (but on standing)
- cr.Blanka (but on standing)
Only explanation I can think of is that the animation of those characters, while being hit, moves their hitbox back so that the cr.Strong won't hit on the first frame, but on a later hitframe, after the opponent has recovered from the cr.Forward.
- Go behind your opponent and then do cr.Forward, cr.Strong xx Low Jab Rush Punch or instead do cr.Forward and then grab.
or, as an alternate:
- Act as if you'll go under, then cr.Roundhouse from the front.
Reversal Throw from Opponent
If you are within your opponent's throw range when he lands be careful for reversal throws. You can however, then bait the reversal throw and punish with a far cr. Roundhouse.
Advanced From-Behind Mixup Notes
Against some characters like Cammy, it is difficult to get behind your opponent in time for the cr. Forward to be a true meaty (hitting them the instant they land), which means you can get thrown easily.
In this case it is better to do:
- a cr. Jab string mixup
- a st. close Forward, cr. Strong xx Jab Low Rush Punch or Dash Upper/Low Dash Upper combo. Keep in mind the Dash Uppers have slightly less charge time so they are more dependable on coming out, but if the opponent is ducking they'll whiff. The Low Dash Upper will also whiff on shorter characters with weird hit stun properties (i.e. Chun, Blanka). Also, the link timing from the st. close Forward to cr. Strong is a little longer than the cr. Forward, cr. Strong.
- a st. close Forward then grab.
Meaty combo from the front
A riskier but greater reward mixup option from the front is a meaty cr. Forward, cr. Roundhouse combo, or against big characters, meaty cr. Forward, st. Fierce.
Different characters fall from the grab at different speeds, so you'll have to experiment and practice to get your meaty timing right so that it will combo.
Other Mixups and Options
Some opponents are automatically conditioned to block low after recovering from the throw, so using a straight jumping Fierce guided forward can catch them off guard. This is especially useful in the corner where you can easily do a throw/low attack mixup afterwards.
You can also do a Low Dash Upper (the one that knocks down) immediately after the grab ends to build meter, then follow up with the "One or Two Jabs" mixup or a Buffalo Headbutt to stuff a reversal attempt.
One or Two Jabs?
The deadly "tap throw" mixup. This is basically a tick throw mixup where you can:
- cr. Jab, then grab
- cr. Jab x2, then grab
or if you have enough down-charge from a Safe Jump-In (only against certain characters) or a Low Dash Upper after the throw:
- cr. Jab, Jab Buffalo Headbutt
- cr. Jab x2, Jab Buffalo Headbutt
If timed right, in order for the opponent to effectively reversal this mixup, he has to guess whether to complete his motion after your first jab or your possible second jab. If he tries to reversal after the first jab and you time the second jab right, he'll still be in blockstun and his reversal won't come out and you can grab him after. The trick on the second jab is to time it just late enough to bait them into doing their reversal move but quickly enough so that you don't actually get hit by the reversal. Doing the second jab too quickly/immediately after the first one is a giveaway against players with good reaction time.
Keeping and managing charge is very important with Boxer. Always remember that the Low versions of the Straight and Uppercut Dashes end in D/F, so you can hold D/F and keep your down-charge for the Buffalo Headbutt. It also works vice versa when you do the Headbutt with U/B to keep your back-charge. This way you can always have charge for a Special.
His charge times are not all equal, as shown below from T. Akiba's page:
- 56-frame charge (success rate: 1/2) Boxer's charge B, D/F+kick rush
- 60-frame charge (success rate: 1/1) Boxer's shoulder charge
- 63-frame charge (success rate: 1/2) Boxer's charge B, F+punch rush, low rush, and super
ST charge times are not 100% set, which is why the "success rate" is listed for each move. For example, with the Kick rush, about half the time you can get it with a 56-frame charge, but the other half of the time it requires a 57-frame charge. If you simply charge for one frame long than what is listed here, you will get the move pretty much every time. However, it is also possible to get the move by charging for one frame less than what is listed here.
In practical use, this also means the Kick rushes are easily used in a basic jump-in combo such as j. MK, s. MK xx Kick rush, whereas the Punch rushes are not dependable for jump-in combos cancelled off of one normal. In jump-in combos, the punch rushes have to be comboed off of two or more moves to allow for charge time, such as a cr. Jab, st. Jab.
Building Super Meter
Boxer has arguably the best Super in the game and it's vital to many of his matchups, so it's important to learn how to rapidly build Super meter through a combination of TAPs, dashes, Buffalo headbutts, and hit/block strings. By using good charge management and looking for opportunities, you can make it a habit to do the appropriate Special to build meter and even position yourself for the next move.
Some examples include:
- doing a TAP after knocking your foe out of the air with a Headbutt
- doing a Jab Headbutt after knocking down your foe with a Rush Upper, then doing a meaty Low Rush or TAP
- doing a Knockdown Rush Upper after a d. HK sweep
- a long block-string such as cr. LP, cr. LP, cr. MP xx Low Rush
Amount of Super Meter Gained In ST, the amount of meter that each move will give you. Full meter is 48 points.
- blocked Jab/Short: 1
- hitting with Jab/Short: 2
- blocked Strong/Forward: 3
- hitting with Strong/Forward: 4
- blocked Fierce/RH: 4
- hitting with Fierce/RH: 5
- straight punch rush: 6
- straight kick rush: 5
- shoulder charge: 5
- low punch rush: 6
- low kick rush: 5
- TAP 1: 7
- TAP 2: 8
- TAP 3: 9
- TAP 4: 10
- TAP 5: 12
- TAP 6: 16
- TAP 7: 20
- Final TAP: 32
-- Janus Gemini
Headbutt charge while mashing Standing Jab
The trick involves the odd property on Crouching Short that allows it to be chain cancelled into a Crouching Jab (the opposite is not true, you can't chain cancel a Crouching Jab into a Crouching Short).
Due to a programing bug, if the last ground Jab normal you did was a Standing Jab, chain canceling the Crouching Short into a Crouching Jab will give you the Standing Jab instead of a Crouching Jab, and as long you keep mashing Jab with chain cancel timing, Boxer will keep doing Standing Jabs, even though you're holding downwards. This means that you will be able to charge for Headbutt (as well as all your special moves) while mashing Jab, and this may be useful because Standing Jab actually has pretty good priority, unlike Crouching Jab.
Biggest Boxer combo I've seen is 12 hits:
- Against crouching Zangief, cross-up j.Fierce (or j.RH), cr.Jab x6, super
- cr.Forward, cr.Strong xx low rush
- safe jump Jab, cr.Jab x2->st.Jab xx high rush
- j.RH, st.Forward xx low kick rush (the one that knocks down)
Also, you can link the super after his cr.Forward.
To dizzy the opponent, Daigo uses meaty cr.Forward, far st.Fierce.
- Simple combo: Jumping Roundhouse / Fierce, cr.Strong, Low Kick Rush with Short (knockdown)
- Highest damage combo: Jumping Roundhouse / Fierce, 2 cr. Jab, Standing Jab, Straight Fierce Rush Punch
- cr.Forward early, cr.Strong, Low Jab Rush Punch
After grabbing them and walking behind:
- cr.Forward early, cr.Strong, Low Jab Rush Punch
After grabbing them:
- meaty TAP(confirm that it hits), Straight Fierce Rush Punch or Super after you recover
On wakeup for quick dizzy:
- cr.Forward early, Standing Fierce (on big chars)
On jumping on certain chars during fireball (Chun li for example):
- Refer to simple combo
On jumping on Sagat (for example, if he does low fireball):
- Jumping Roundhouse, Standing Fierce (connects cause opponent is ducking)
Simple super combo when they're dizzy or on wakeup:
- Jumping forward or jab or strong (see it hit, can't use fierce or roundhouse or you won't be able to get the full amount of jabs), 2 cr. Jabs, Standing Jab, Super
Matchups classified with this diagram in mind, for the old characters i guessed the positions.
Serious Advantage Match-ups
- 7.5 - 2.5
This is a fairly easy matchup (at least on paper). In short, Boxer should turtle (choosing when to attack wisely) and play carefully, whilst Blanka tries somehow to get in. Blanka has a hard time closing in on Boxer, although there are still two main ways that he can win:
- Knock Boxer down with cr.RH, and then immediately do a rolling ball attack, where he can control whether it crosses up or not. If you block the wrong way, you'll get hit by the standard three-hit followup, which usually results in a dizzy. Even if you do block the right way, he'll usually do a tick into bite, or tick into sweep mixup for another knockdown.
- Once he's close, he'll try a variety of footsie tricks and try to rush you down with jumping short into bites, mixed with sweeps when you expect the bite, just to throw you off. Blanka's bite mixup game is quite good, so do NOT let him get close. Jump backwards if you must to get more spacing.
What Blanka will do:
- At the start of the round, he might be mashing on electricity expecting an opening rush punch from you. If you did a low rush punch, it would lose to electricity from that range. Therefore you should wait a moment and not attack straight after the round starts. Pressing cr.MK is usually a safe bet that stops him from attacking. Be on your toes to see if Blanka tries any opening shenanigans like hop forwards into bite. You can stop that with either cr.MK, or cr.MP->low jab rush combo. If he jumps at you, headbutt will beat it.
- If you do a low rush punch from too close, Blanka's cr.RH sweep will beat it. You do NOT want to get knocked down in this matchup, as Blanka's followup mixups put you in a very bad situation. So don't do rush punches from too close or too predictably. Ideally do the low jab rush from its maximum range where it will hit with the tip of his glove. Blanka may also do jump straight up with LK, a somewhat annoying move which is designed to bait you into attacking. Wait until he stops doing this before going on the offensive.
- You must be even more careful once Blanka gets closer than that perfect jab-rush range. It is difficult to play footsies with Blanka, as his cr.RH has longer range than Boxer's best pokes, which are cr.MP and cr.MK. Boxer's cr.HK is good, but has a very slow startup so use it sparingly or you'll get tripped for your efforts.
- If he jumps towards you at close range, and you have a down charge, just headbutt. If you lack a down charge, you are in trouble, as Boxer's anti-airs (cr.HP, st.MP) are not reliable against Blanka's jumping attacks. If you can react in time, you can try jumping backwards with j.MP which has a better chance of hitting Blanka out of the air.
- Blanka will often try to do a rolling attack to close the distance quickly. You can hit him out of this with cr.MK, which has a lot of active hitting frames. Other options are cr.MP or a jab headbutt on reaction. If you have space behind you, you can even try jumping backwards, conceding the space and moving yourself further back into the corner. With this particular move by Blanka, you have to be extra careful. Often they will do a short roll, and you respond with a cr.MP to stop it. However, if spaced correctly, Blanka will land outside your cr.MP range, but within his cr.RH range, and you'll get tripped. This is an advanced Blanka trick that you should be aware of.
- Expert Blanka players will have mastered the spacing of their footsies. You may find them standing close to you, but not close enough that your cr.MP touches them. In this situation, you are in danger of being knocked down with cr.RH after you whiff a move. It is dangerous to try and out-footsie Blanka as his pokes have longer range than Boxer, and the reward for knocking Boxer down is very good from Blanka's perspective. Jump backwards if you have to, increasing the spacing and allowing room for your jab rush attacks.
What you should do:
- Do jab rush punches from a reasonably far range (not too close). You can do them meaty on Blanka's wakeup.
- TAP is not advisable in this matchup because Blanka's slide beats it. Occasionally, you can try it as a meaty, but even this is risky because it can trade or lose to Blanka's wakeup ball attacks depending on timing.
- If you block a rolling ball, punish with a rush punch.
- Use the short kick rush to counter his jump-ins from mid range.
- Use the headbutt to counter his jump-ins from close range. If you lack the down charge for headbutt, try jumping backwards with MP.
- Use cr.MK to stop his rolling attacks. Headbutt and cr.MP->jab rush are also viable (spacing-dependent).
- Don't be afraid of turtling and letting Blanka come to you. You aren't in any danger as long as you react correctly to what he does and avoid his knockdowns or getting into a bite mixup.
What you shouldn't do:
- Avoid attacking recklessly or rushing down too much. All it takes is one electricity, cr.RH or slide from Blanka to cause a knockdown that could spell the round's end.
- If you are too far away for cr.MP to touch him, do NOT try and poke him as it will whiff and you'll eat a cr.RH. Get good at judging whether your pokes will touch Blanka when he's at close range.
- Avoid jumping towards Blanka. If you must jump towards him, use j.HP (fierce) and try and hit late, with the tip only so he doesn't take the hit and bite you afterwards.
To sum up, attack with low jab rushes at mid range, but be wary of getting knocked down. Don't try and play footsies with Blanka; if your footsie pokes won't touch him, don't throw anything out that he could cr.RH on reaction to. Turtle and keep a solid defense, counter his jump-ins and stay ready for his rolls into bite/cr.RH mixups.
Grab through Electricity:
- Boxers strong throw range is long enough to snatch Blanka right out of his Electricity attack, doing so can turn things around and make a Blanka player think twice before throwing it out.
Don’t be afraid to challenge Electricity, walk up grab the moment you see Blanka light up. You also shouldn’t get overconfident with this tactic since a good Blanka player will adapt and can just bait you into walking into a forward Ball
--Og PartyMarty (2019)
- 7.5 - 2.5
The Cammy matchup is similar to Blanka in that you can let her come to you, and counter all of her attempts at damage. Hooligan and jump-ins will lose cleanly to headbutt. Once she's knocked down, you can safe-jump with a j.Short and hit confirm into combo (for example, j.LK->cr.LP->st.LP->jab rush). There is no need to charge TAP in this matchup (in fact it loses to her drills and her cannon spike), and you're free to also use kick rush as anti-air.
What Cammy will do:
- Her cr.MK is an excellent poke that will stop your jab rush punches from close and medium range. You have to adjust spacing and only jab rush from optimal range.
- Cannon drill when done at the right range is not punishable, and closes the gap as well as pushing you further into the corner.
- Jump straight up LK will land on your jab rushes (similar to Blanka's j.LK). You can counter this with a kick rush, however this requires good timing and is risky because if you mistime it, Cammy can land and do a prediction DP which will hit you.
- Walk up close to you with her fast walk speed, and whiff cr.MK in your face, preventing you from jab rushing. Whilst you're preoccupied with this, she'll do a fast hooligan throw. If you stayed put, you'll have the charge to headbutt this on reaction. You can also try cr.MP or cr.HP, but they are not reliable as counters. If you jumped backwards, you'll land and get hit by the ending animation of her hooligan throw, so watch out for that.
What you should do
- Use jab rushes from the optimum (glove tip) range. She walks quite quickly so you must prevent her from getting too close.
- If she jumps forward, do a headbutt, cr.HP or kick rush depending on range and whether you have down charge.
- You can safe jump her on wakeup. Jump LK is a good choice that can be hit confirmed. Some Cammy players like to mash DP when they're blocking your wakeup attacks. You can fish for this, and if she DP's, you block and punish with a kick rush.
What you shouldn't do
- You cannot really rushdown Cammy for most of this match because her cr.MK and drills are good at stopping your attacks. You have to turtle somewhat, yet at the same time keep her out and prevent her from just waltzing up to you and starting her shenanigans.
Be wary of attacking too much, play defensively and minimize damage taken, whilst capitalising on openings and mistakes.
- 7 - 3
This matchup is similar to fighting Guile. Deejay has great normals (cr.MK, cr. FP) that can stuff your rushes at the correct range. Similar to Guile, he can punish you for headbutting through max-outs (walk up st.HK, walk up slide, cr.FP, cr. MP) if you headbutt from the wrong range.
Options for clearing fireballs:
- Close range: fierce headbutt (risky if you predict incorrectly)
- Elsewhere: Floating fierce, j. fierce, j.MK, jab headbutt (risky if at mid-range and Deejay follows up with st.HK)
Floating fierce and j.MK are good options to clear the fireballs without endangering yourself.
Trading with fireballs:
- Mid range: Standing fierce
- Mid/far range: TAP
When you notice Deejay walking towards you, unleash a TAP from far range as he has no charge for upkicks. It is also important to use low jab rushes from the correct distance (where it hits with the tip of his glove), which reduces the chance that the rush will be stuffed by a normal move.
Up close, cr.MK usually stuffs his RH slide, and cr.HK applies lockdown pressure. When you notice Deejay hesitating for a moment, do a short rush into grab.
Note: If you safe jump Deejay, be wary that the recovery on LK upkicks is quite short. If you're not fast enough he can actually throw you first. If you see him escape like this, spam MP which usually hits him fast enough before he recovers.
Vs. Fei Long:
- 7 - 3
On paper this should be a fairly easy matchup for Balrog, but good Fei players have a knack for landing huge combos so play carefully. Especially watch out for when you tech Fei's throw, as he can do a walk behind crossup which if blocked incorrectly leads to a devastating combo. In general I would play conservatively, and turtle more than usual as Fei has good options for countering Rog's rushdown. Headbutt will beat anything he does, but avoid doing it too much within his rekka range where if it whiffs he can punish on reaction. If he jumps or does the chicken wing a headbutt will beat them cleanly.
On knockdown you can go for a safe jump tick, into either a grab or jab rush combo. Rog can follow a grab with another jump->grab loop (this loop works best on Fei and in the Rog mirror match). Mixing it up is key -- bait a flamekick reversal and punish, or fake a throw into headbutt for a reset. Fei has a large hitbox so you can also hit confirm a jumping jab/short into cr.jabx2, st.jab -> rush punch.
At mid-range standing fierce is an excellent keep-away poke. If you block his super, you can punish with super or a straight jab/kick rush. If he does too many Rekkas and you block, you can also punish with the super or cr.MP->jab rush.
Basically there are only two ways Rog can lose this matchup:
- You block the wrong way when he does the walk behind crossup after teching his throw, eating a big combo
- You get yourself cornered, and Fei starts his chicken wing loop/mix-ups.
Play conservatively, try to maintain at least a mid-range spacing, and punish his mistakes.
- 8 - 2
Vs. E. Honda:
- 6.5 - 3.5
Stay back, do low strongs to counter headbutts and keep charged for buffalo headbutt; do it if he tries to sit or jump at you.
If you can't time the low strong properly, then switch to using rapid standing jabs.
If you block his Super, you get a free Super or Rush punch. Don't try throw loop mixups or you'll get Ochioed. Lesser Hondas will try to nail you with HHS that last awhile; your cr. MP can hit the edge of his hands cleanly, which you can combo into a Low Rush. Smart Hondas will use start & stop HHS; you can counter this with a Headbutt or Super if you can see them coming. If you're using rapid standing jabs to deter Honda's Headbutts, stay out of his s. HK sweep range. Sometimes his Sumo Splash will land in front of you, the best option is usually a cr. MP xx Low Rush combo. Your cr. HK might get sat on and walking up to throw might result in eating an Ochio if you're not fast enough. If he's right next to you and you see a Sumo Splash coming, jump backwards with Jab or Strong. It's also possible to do a Low Rush to the other side and throw him when he lands.
-- Janus Gemini
- 6 - 4
Don't charge the tap, do low rushes to counter low forwards, do low forwards close, and standing fierces on occasion, jump at him when you can with fierce if he does sonic boom and you aren't too close.
- 6.5 - 3.5
Ken is a bit more difficult than fighting Ryu, due to his better DP and knee bash loop/mix-up. At the start of the round, you can wait to see if he does a DP, and punish on reaction with a straight jab rush, and then follow up with an empty TAP for meter.
Unlike the Ryu matchup, you can't headbutt safely through a fireball at mid-range, as Ken can walkup into sweep, or standing HK. You will have to block more instead of headbutting through. Therefore finding openings is key to this matchup, and being at the range to punish a whiffed DP is also key. If you're getting zoned well, remember that a straight jab rush will trade favorably with a fireball.
Unfortunately there is no absolutely safe way to escape the knee-bash loop, and it can lead to Rog taking a lot of damage, so avoid getting knocked down at all costs.
When Ken is knocked down, release TAP immediately for the meter, as having super is extremely helpful in this matchup. It goes without saying that jump-ins won't work as Ken cannot be safe-jumped, so stay on the ground in this matchup.
Vs. O. Ken:
Pretty much the same deal as fighting Ryu with a few exceptions (doesn't have N.Ryu exclusive moves, tatsu doesn't knock down).
Some things to keep in mind: It's virtually impossible to safejump O.Ken, so don't try it if you're opponent is good with reversals. O.Ken's jab fireball is very slow, which can make jumping over or headbutting through a little awkward. Also know that Ken's SRK has better horizontal and vertical range (makes it harder to walkup and punish a jab SRK) than Ryu and his SRKs has 3 landing frames (Ryu's has 5), which can make it incredibly difficult to attempt a throw or combo on landing without getting thrown or SRK'ed for your trouble. -x64
Vs. M. Bison (dictator):
- 6.5 - 3.5
In a nutshell, you should keep your distance in this matchup. From max range, backwards j.MP stops his headstomps. At closer ranges, it depends largely on who has the momentum. You'll often find yourself getting pressured with his blockstrings and tick throws. On the other hand, once you score a knockdown, it's your turn to pressure him with meaty TAPs, grabs and rush punch mixups. A key to this matchup (as with many of Boxer's fights) is knowing when to attack, and when to back off when it becomes too risky to continue attacking.
What Dictator will do:
- His cr.MK stops a lot of your attacks cleanly. It is possible for Dic to stop your rush punches with cr.MK, then on reaction hit confirm into a scissor kick combo.
- If you are knocked down in the 1P corner, the Dic player can perform a psycho crusher loop on you that if done perfectly is a frame tight trap. Although it is difficult to escape, no-one has perfect execution and often you can try escaping with a reversal super or headbutt.
- (From far): he'll probably try headstomps.
- (From mid): he'll try cr.MK, scissor kicks, psycho crusher.
- (From close): he'll try cr.MK, st.MK, as well as scissor kicks and psycho crusher.
- (On knockdown): he'll jump-in (possibly a crossup or fake crossup), into a ToD combo or tick throw, or blockstring.
- (On knockdown): he'll slide towards you, and (usually) try cr.MK for a possible hit confirm.
- When you are getting up after being knocked down, and Dic is crouched in front of you, watch out. Not only does he threaten with cr.MK, but he can also perform an instant overhead (j.MK) which must be blocked high. Deciding whether to block low or high in this situation is often a matter of guesswork.
- If you jump too much at him, he will respond with his j.MP air-juggle to stop your jump-ins.
What you should do:
- If you are not currently performing a block string or offensive setup on Dic, keep your distance. It is best to stay at full screen distance. From this range, you are better able to negate Dic's offensive options.
- (From max range): If Dic does a headstomp, respond immediately with a jump back MP which stops the headstomp cleanly. When you land, do a jab rush for extra chip damage. If there is not enough time to do a jump back MP to stop his headstomp, try ducking under it and let Dic fly over you, OR, do a fierce headbutt if you have the down charge.
- (From far): If you see him walk forwards, he has no charge and it is usually a good time to attack with a low jab or strong rush. Only do this when you're not too close for his cr.MK to stop your rushes.
- (From mid/close): This depends on who is currently attacking, and who has the offensive momentum. If Dic is currently pressuring you, don't press too many buttons. Keep your defense solid and look for an opening. On the other hand, if you're the one who's attacking, know the right moment to back off before you inadvertently get hit out of your offense.
- (From close): If you're on the defensive, cr.HK works well and knocks down.
- (On knockdown): Keep TAP charged, and use it as a meaty setup attack into further blockstring pressure. Or, simply jump in and go from there.
- (On knockdown): Some basic okizeme (set-play) possibilities you can try when you score a knockdown:
- J.HP -> grab
- J.HP -> cr.HK
- J.HP -> st.MK -> cr.HK
- Jump-in -> cr.MP/cr.MK -> low jab rush
- Jump-in -> cr.MP/cr.MK -> low jab rush -> cr.HK
- Jump-in (far) -> cr.MP/cr.MK/st.MK -> short upper rush -> Jump-in
- TAP (lvl 3 or 4) -> cr.MP/cr.MK -> low jab rush / short upper
- Doing rush uppers into headbutt is risky because of negative frame advantage if it's blocked.
- If you have pushed Dic into the corner, be careful of attacking too recklessly. Jump-ins with j.HP are quite good, however don't use it too predictably or you'll be punished with an air juggle.
- Headbutt will beat his scissor kicks cleanly. Nonetheless, good Dic players will not let you headbutt their offense that easily, and if you miss or do it at the wrong time, you're left at a clear disadvantage.
- You can try crossing up Dic with j.HP, however the spacing and timing are quite difficult. If you do manage to land the crossup, you can hit confirm with several jabs into a jab rush. (e.g. j.HP (crossup) -> cr.Jabx2 -> st.Jab -> straight rush punch)
- If you get super, you should expect Dic to back off and turtle more. Similarly, if Dic gets super, be wary and do not attack recklessly.
- If Dic does a full-screen psycho crusher and you block it, you can punish its recovery with st.Fierce, or a super. You can of course also try mashing for the throw.
What you shouldn't do:
- (From mid/close): Headbutt, unless you're SURE he's about to do a scissor kick or psycho crusher. If you guess wrong, you are vulnerable due to the headbutt's long recovery and he can walk up throw, or st.MK, or cr.MK->combo etc.
- (On knockdown): Meaty attacks (like TAP or normal ground attacks) on Dic when he has super. You can try safe jumping him to get him to use his super, however.
- Boxer's cr.MK throw loop. If you try walking underneath Dic after the first grab, he can reversal throw you quite easily thanks to his longer throw range. Even a fake underneath crossup is somewhat risky.
Overall, keep your distance and watch for openings. Take advantage of knockdowns as they give you more offensive options, but be wary of attacking too much.
- 6 - 4
Even though it may not seem that way at first glance, this is an extremely difficult matchup for Ryu. Ryu is forced to play this matchup in a certain predictable manner, whilst Rog is free to improvise and has an excellent variety of normals and moves to deal with any situation. Once Rog gets in, he can apply a ton of damage through mixup pressure. Having super is obviously key to this matchup, and the threat of super alone will shutdown the relentless fireball stream.
There are a lot of different ways to play this matchup, and that's what makes it very player-style dependent. You can be TAP heavy and rely on level 3 or 4 TAPs to build meter, or you can play virtually without TAP (giving you better normals and the kick rush). The best style is probably a combination of both depending on situation and the opponent's style.
- Close range: fierce headbutt, j. fierce (potential for combo if close enough)
- Close range: floating fierce (hits Ryu's head if close enough)
Note that you can be counter-thrown if you do j.fierce early and Ryu takes the hit.
Trading with fireballs:
- Close/Mid range: standing fierce
- Mid range: straight jab rush
- Mid/Far range: TAP
- Meaty TAP: can be DP reversaled depending on the TAP timing, but usually safe
- Meaty rush: space it so that it hits with the tip of Rog's glove
- Meaty cr.MK: confirmable into cr.MK->cr.MP->low jab rush. Vulnerable to counter-throw reversal.
- Safe-jump jab or fierce: hit confirmable into a combo (NOTE: Ryu can LK hurricane on wakeup to escape jump-ins. The counter is to use cr.Fierce when you land to stuff the hurricane).
In general you can vary the opener from above and "branch" off into any number of mixups and different pressure options. It is very difficult for Ryu to re-establish his fireball rhythm when Rog is in his face, threatening with jump-ins, headbutts, rushes and normals. Rog has absolute superiority at close range, where all of his normals will either trade favorably or beat Ryu's outright. If you notice your rushes being stuffed by Ryu's crouching normals, adjust your spacing so that when you do the low jab rush it hits with the tip only.
Be wary of wasting your super too early, as the mere threat of using it basically shuts down Ryu's options until you do unleash it. When you have super and Ryu is in the corner, be ready to counter any escape attempts (jump, air hurricane).
Occasionally if you super and the opponent is cornered, one of the super punches may "lag", giving the opponent time to DP reversal. A safe alternative is to input a kick for the second super punch, which guarantees that there will be no reversal window.
Vs. O. Sagat:
Your priority should be to build super as quickly and safely as possible, without getting hit by fireballs or eating too much block damage in the process. Use jab headbutt to clear fireballs, but be wary of the high tiger shot which can catch you off guard. Watch out for falling into the "rhythm" of spammed tiger shots, as good O.Sagat players will vary their timings to make you land on a fireball. Finally be careful not to use fierce headbutt too much because it can also be punished easily. As with most fireball matchups, don't get cornered as O.Sagat has a nasty fireball->tiger knee trap that is very hard to escape when he's got you locked down. Rog's standing Fierce works well against Sagat (moreso against N.Sagat due to worse hitboxes). It will hit mid, which is great for stuffing or trading with low tigers. Be warned though that you will wiff if Sagat is completely in his low tiger stance. Sagat's jumping Roundhouse is deceptively good. Use headbutt if you have the time. Crouching Fierce works perfectly if he's on top of you. Air to air jumping short and medium kicks will beat it out.
With a 3-frame startup SRK Sagat is nearly impossible to reliably safejump. If your opponent is good with reversal SRKs don't chance a jump in.
- Use cr.MP to hit O.Sagat up close, when he does a low tiger
- Try not to low rush too close, as O.Sagat has cr.MK which is very good at stuffing rushes.
- Use kick rush to beat Sagat's jumping roundhouse (however, this often fails due to timing)
- If you land a jump-in on a Sagat low tiger, immediately follow up with a standing Fierce for a nice damage two hit combo (and maybe dizzy). This is a common occurrence in this matchup so take advantage of it. The timing for connecting is actually quite lenient. -x64
Vs. Balrog (boxer-self):
Feel free to edit this for continuity.
When facing off versus another Balrog you have a few simple moves you'll want to do. The key to this match is largely patience. You don't want to attack aggressively like you would against other characters but rather wait there for your enemy to give you an opening then push the aggressive moves out.
Standing fierce is your main form of attack when your opponent is in range, throw it out to block, or use it when you're far away and see your opponent rushing you with a punch. If you throw it out without connecting you'll end up getting low rush punched so play patient with it. If your opponent is a low strong button masher thinking you'll be doing alot of low jab dash punches use this to stuff them.
Low Jab Dash Punch is your main punishment move or attack used to follow up after you force your opponent to block a standing fierce. Try to see them miss attacks such as standing fierce and punish them while they are still recovering.
Low Strong is a decent counter attack for the Low Jab Dash Punch. Press it when your opponent isn't at perfect range and it will stuff their move, for example if they are trying to pressure you with only Low Jab Dash Punches instead of using the standing fierce, low jab dash punch lock. Don't mash this or you'll get hit by a standing fierce.
The charged headbutt (name?) doesn't do much damage but it does knock your opponent down allowing you to get control of the match. I use it occasionally either if i'm being forced to block alot in the corner or if I see my opponent dash punching me from 3/4 to full screen away. Some players tend to use this too frequently resulting in missed headbutts, When I see this I punish with a low strong, low jab dash punch combo. The damage is too minimal to use it as a form of attack, its just a defensive move to give you control of the match.
Balrog is very susceptible to his own cheap tricks. When you get a chance on occasion use a jumpin short then grab and do the textbook Balrog cheap repeatedly, he has a very hard time reversing it like most characters. Or if the opportunity presents itself just grab him and start the cheaps. Of course to get out of this use the headbutt if you need to, reversing tends not to work well.
Jumping at Balrog can be done on occasion but do not abuse it, he has a quick jump but if the enemy knows you'll jump they can easily counter you with a low fierce or rushing uppercut.
- 4.5 - 5.5
Try to keep some distance and do rushes whenever possible. If I am close, I'll jump at her usually --Graham
Trading with fireballs:
- Standing fierce trades favorably with fireballs, but only works at the correct mid-range
- When outside mid-range, a rushing straight punch (jab or strong) also works well in trading with fireballs
Dealing with lightning legs:
- Close range: fierce headbutt
- Close range: j. fierce, but only if you know she doesn't have enough down charge for upkicks. If she takes the hit, you may be vulnerable to a counter-throw.
In general, rushes will be vulnerable to Chun's excellent normals (cr.MK, cr.HK). Whilst she's doing that it can be difficult to close in, as she has a down charge and can upkick any jump-in attempt. A lot of the matchup comes down to how easily Balrog can predict fireballs -- especially if he can land some jump-in->grabs at close range. Unfortunately this is one of Rog's hardest matchups, as Chun has a counter for everything you do.
When you're getting zoned effectively you might have to play conservatively (avoid sloppily taking damage trying to get in) and focus on building meter quickly, as once you get super you can shut down her fireball game with the threat of rush->super.
- 4.5 - 5.5
The reason I use TAP is because the match is a slow match for Balrog. Dhalsim can keep you out pretty good, the chance of getting an opening is very slim, and when it happens it's nice to have a hard hitting move. Usually I can spend sometimes 20-30 seconds waiting for an opening.
There are multiple options when you see a yoga fire. I do either a jab straight running punch (trade) if it's a slow fireball, a TAP trade, a standing fierce trade, a jump straight up if far away and guided fierce punch to move down and avoid, or a jump toward at last second and fierce / roundhouse, or I walk toward them if it's slow and block at last minute to gain a bit of ground. There are many options, you just need to be willing to block sometimes. Sometimes if the player is really close I do a fierce headbutt through it, but once you get the super you'll shut down his fireball game fast if he isn't full screen.
But honestly, most of it is just pure practice. You need to play matches a lot to get the feel of what to do. I'll say this a lot of the times: I build a strategy on the spot to accomodate some players. --Graham
Vs. T. Hawk:
- 6 - 4
Same deal as O.Hawk, except N. Hawk has weaker normals/specials and a incredibly damaging super. N.Hawk has a glitched hurtbox well in front of his crouching MP that allows Rog to easily stand HP it. If the N. Hawk player is using crouching MP to try and stuff your low rushes, start using standing HP for hilarious results.
Vs. O. T. Hawk:
- 5.5 - 4.5
This matchup changed greatly when the new Hawk tech came about (sako ticks, which allow hawk to essentially end the round with safe SPD ticks). Before those, hawk had to take chances to get his SPD attempts in (typically with safejumps since it is incredibly easy to jump at Rog's slow headbutt). So, essentially, the main goal for Rog here is to not get knocked down. Period. Against a good Hawk, you are done once he gets in. Thankfully Rog has plenty of tools at his disposal. Basically Hawk players will try to knock you down with a dive or srk, since that will give them enough time usually to get in and start SPD'ing you. If you have the reaction time necessary to headbutt the dives, that should scare repeat attempts. Standing rapid LPs work well here too. Counter a blocked dive with a rush upper. Watch out for wiffed dives right in front of you into SPD. Most everything else Hawk is going to do (jumping at you with LP, bait you with standing and crouching MP, sweep, random SRKs) should be counterable if you are on your toes. Basically Rog wins this match outright until he gets knocked down.
Vs. Vega (claw):
- 5.5 - 4.5
Always be charged for headbutt, when he goes off the wall do a fierce headbutt before he hits you or gets near you. Thats the safe escape for off the wall move.
As for ground game, if he jumps, ducking fierce, if he is playing the poke game, your low strong hits his low strong, your low forward hits his slide. But you should attempt to jab low dash in when he is at the perfect range. What I do with Vega is counter the rushes with low strong but only when I'm far enough away to react; when he is closer than 3/4 to full screen it's hard to react to those low rushes and you can catch him offguard. If you manage to knock him down you should cheap the hell outta him. --Graham
Along with Graham's advice above, your main goal should be getting in close for throw loop mixups. The biggest challenge against a good Claw player will be countering and defending against walldives. Here are some tips:
- The farther he is from you, the less vertical advantage and control he'll have to come from above or behind you, since he is forced to descend the farther he goes.
- From his wall at full screen: When he comes off the wall, do a Fierce headbutt to knock him out of the sky. If he's already coming towards you, do a Jab headbutt as late as possible. This prevents him from faking you out with a whiff, and more importantly, the priority and small travel distance on the Jab version prevents him from crossing you up. If you use the Fierce version too late it's easy for Claw to swipe you from behind. If you don't have any down-charge, you can do a backwards j. Jab/Strong or neutral j. Fierce guided backwards (hold back). Generally the backwards j. Jab is your safest bet if you can't do a headbutt. The others do more damage but are riskier (especially neutral j. Fierce) because it's easier for Claw to get above you. Remember, distance is your friend (see first tip). The jumping Strong has a slightly lower hitbox but still works fairly well. To get maximum height when doing the neutral jump Fierce, hit the button right before the apex of your jump since it takes a few frames for the punch to come out; remember to hold back. I would only do the neutral j. Fierce from a true full screen. A Knockdown Low Rush when he comes off the wall can work as well (might trade) but you have to catch him early before he can cross you up. It's a high risk option but you're rewarded with a knockdown and getting in close.
- From above you from either wall: do a Jab headbutt. If you don't have charge and you see him holding back to gain airtime while remaining high in front/above you, a d. FP can knock him out of the sky, although it may trade if he swipes early or manages to cross you up. If you have enough time, jump backwards with a Jab. A straight jump Fierce is very risky when he's coming from above because he has the vertical advantage on you and you'll probably get Izuna Dropped.
- If you know he's going to try to dive off your wall, jump backwards with Jab or Strong (Jab has a higher hitbox). If you whiffed and he somehow makes it over you, you can block or try a d. FP given the situation.
- If he's in the corner and jumping towards his wall, catch him with a Knockdown Rush Uppercut. Be sure to keep the down-charge for a Jab Headbutt in case you miss and he starts the walldive.
- On your wakeup: Don't try to play the blocking guessing game if you don't have to. Reversal Headbutt. Do a regular piano (LP~MP~FP) if he's coming from the front. Also do a regular piano if he's coming from behind and will still be above you, since the FP version can be crossed up more easily. If you see his walldive timing is somewhat early, chances are he is going for a deep cross-up meaty. In this case, the walldive is like a crossup Safe Jump and your wakeup Headbutt will whiff, so piano in reverse order (FP~MP~LP) to get as far away as possible to try and prevent getting poked by his c. MP on your way down.
-- Janus Gemini
- 5.5 - 4.5
If Balrog knows how to fight Zangief, the fight becomes largely 50/50. Jab Low Rush with Punch beats the Lariats if you distance it properly. But Zangief can whiff stand jabs a lot which will hit the Low Rushes before they reach Zangief, discouraging you from doing the move. But Balrog can Stand Fierce Zangief from the same range he wants to do the Low Rush, which will beat or trade with Gief's Stand Jab. And, of course, Zangief can Lariat the Fierce. So you can bait him into doing the Lariat and Low Rush him.
It's cyclical, but it makes the fight much more manageable to Balrog. Good Zangiefs WILL make this a very hard fight, but a good Balrog will make the fight much more honest.
I agree with Chen. That match can be hard for Rog if he gets knocked down, that's why you have to be careful and choose your attacks wisely. Rog has some tools that he can work with. If Gief likes to use the cr. roundhouse a lot, Rog can just standing fierce on the whiff and hit him clean. For Gief's standing jabs, Rog can just st. fierce and trade in Rog's favor.
For anti airs, Rog has the st. jabs, st. strong, st. fierce, cr. fierce, and high rush depending on distance and what Gief does. Like Chen said, Rog can low rush Gief's lariat at the right distance. If Rog gets knocked down, it can be trouble so you have to play this match very carefully. Using TAP a lot isn't good cuz Gief can see it and lariat on reaction. Don't let Gief bully and corner you, use the tactics above and fight him. If you are getting near your own corner and happen to knock Gief down, do a jump in combo that ends with a low rush to push him away.
The best strat vs. Gief is one my brother created which is stupidly simple: just keep pressing low strong.
(Keep in mind Gief can grab you from outside the max range of cr.MP, for example, walk up SPD).
Normally, Balrog can't do much about Gief's lariats... it's either fist sweep or low rush, and those can be hit, and difficult to time against kick lariats.
Normally, Balrog's super gets stuffed clean everytime by Gief's lariat...
However, if you do the KICK super (starts with the uppercut), it'll hit Gief every time out of lariat, b/c it hits him in the head where he's vulnerable.
Good way to punish in a fight where Balrog doesn't really have an upper hand.
If Gief does a lariat right next to you, use d. MK to hit his feet. The d. MP will whiff and the d. HK sweep makes Rog stand up a bit so you might get hit.
When doing Jab low rushes, make sure you do it from the maximum distance possible so that the very tip of the fist hits. The tip can even beat Gief's sweep, but can be difficult to space. Just a little closer and you'll probably eat a lariat, sweep, or SPD. You can also delay meaty low rushes a bit to bait and punish a whiff reversal SPD. I always use Jab low rush; even the Strong low rush has a little delay to come out from full screen.
If you get knocked down you're in trouble. You have some options, not very good ones, but they still exist. Generally a Gief player will try to meaty tick-SPD you into the grave, so you can try a reversal wakeup Headbutt and pray they're not good at safe-jumps. If you know his safe-jumps are impeccable and he's going for a tick, you can keep your down-charge, take the hit, and try to guess whether he's going to SPD immediately after the jump or after a d. LK or something and reversal Headbutt accordingly. Expert Giefs can, however, hit-confirm the jump-in and combo you instead. Lesser Giefs will try to predict and attempt a jump-in combo, which you can block. If you have enough meter, a Reversal Super can also be useful against safe-jump ticks.
Sometimes when escaping close quarters I like to run away with a backwards j. LK for an instant overhead.
To re-iterate what Janus said, the key to this matchup is the low jab rush, from its max range (hitting with the tip). Without landing enough of these, you won't output enough damage against Gief. If you get knocked down, you're obviously in trouble, especially given Boxer's weak wakeup options. There is no absolutely safe escape from Gief's safe jump-ins into tick SPDs, and good Giefs will even use the suplex SPD to push you further towards the corner. St.MP is a good anti-air at mid-range when you don't have charge, and backwards j.LK is an extremely effective escape move as well.
--Gizzle 00:43, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
Serious Disadvantage Match-ups
|General||Notation | Game Mechanics | Tiers | Strategy|
|The Characters||Akuma | Balrog (Boxer) (O. Balrog) | Blanka (O. Blanka) | Cammy (O. Cammy) | Chun-Li (O. Chun-Li) | Dee Jay (O. Dee Jay) | Dhalsim (O. Dhalsim) | E. Honda (O. E. Honda) | Fei Long (O. Fei Long) | Guile (O. Guile) | Ken (O. Ken) | M. Bison (Dictator) (O. M. Bison) | Ryu (O. Ryu) | Sagat (O. Sagat) | T. Hawk (O. T. Hawk) | Vega (Claw) (O. Vega) | Zangief (O. Zangief)|