O. E. Honda (ST)
- 1 Introduction
- 2 Moves Analysis
- 3 The Basics
- 4 Advanced Strategy
- 5 Match-ups
- 5.1 Serious Advantage Matchups
- 5.2 Advantage Matchups
- 5.3 Fair Matchups
- 5.4 Disadvantage Matchups
- 5.5 Serious Disadvantage Matchups
Why pick Old Honda? Old Honda loses ST Honda's Oicho mixups, but gains important things as well:
- Regains his standing sweep kicks
- Has better ground fierce attacks
- Retains moving handslap
So the basics are HF-style grabby-into-slappy mixups.
O.Honda must be played with a fundamental understanding of SF2 mechanics and basic gameplay since he loses the ability to negative-edge oicho throw out many pressure situations and setups. O.Honda's general style will be more reliant on an understanding of proper usage of normals, throws, sweeps and footsies (stuffing attacks, baiting attacks, and continually applying safe pressure).
O.Honda does very well against non-fireball characters, but keep in mind that two of his worst matchups (Guile and DeeJay) are generally made even more difficult without the ability to quickly advance with Fierce HHS or continuously lock down your opponent with oicho setups in the corner. Shotos present a very difficult fight, especially O.Ken as he limits your ability to pressure with HHS due to his excellent SRK hitbox. As such, in a competitive environment you will ultimately end up facing many disadvantaged matchups and must learn to play perfectly in order to succeed. On the plus side, Honda vs. Claw is a very even matchup and perfectly winnable as long as you do not get knocked down midscreen.
Picking Old E.Honda
To select O.E.Honda, choose E.Honda and then press ↑ ↑ ↑ ↓ Jab/Fierce, pressing Short simultaneously with the punch button for the alternate color.
New & Old Versions Comparison
Here is the list of differences:
- Obvious stuff: O.E.Honda can not tech throws, does not have the Oicho Throw and Super;
- O.E.Honda has some differences in some of his normals:
- Close Standing Jab is exactly like the Far version. N.E.Honda received a new Close punch that combos into itself;
- Far Standing Jab has faster startup/recovery and can be special canceled;
- Crouching Jab can be special canceled;
- Close Standing Strong is exactly like the Far version. N.E.Honda received a new Close punch that can be used in ticking;
- Far Standing Strong has faster recovery;
- Crouching Strong has better range and priority and can be used as anti air;
- Close Standing Fierce first active part has less active frames and the other active part has more active frames and better priority/range. The total of active frames is the same though;
- Far Standing Fierce is exactly like the Far version. N.E.Honda has a different version of O.E.Honda's Crouching Fierce with worse priority, worse startup, no knockdown, less damage potential, and no special cancel, but with a lot better recovery;
- Crouching Fierce is his classic sweep punch. N.E.Honda received a new Crouching punch that hits twice;
- Close Standing Short is a low hitting kick. N.E.Honda received a new Close knee that can be used in ticking;
- Far Standing Short is a fast hitting sweep. N.E.Honda has a different version of O.E.Honda's Crouching Short with bigger hurtbox and worse priority;
- Crouching Short is his classic spear kick. N.E.Honda received a near identical version of O.E.Honda Close Standing Short instead;
- Close Standing Forward is a low hitting kick. N.E.Honda received a new Close knee that can be used in ticking;
- Far Standing Forward is a fast hitting sweep. N.E.Honda has a different version of O.E.Honda's Crouching Forward with bigger hurtbox, less damage on the first hit and worse priority;
- Crouching Forward is his classic 2-hit spear kick. N.E.Honda received a near identical version of O.E.Honda Close Standing Forward;
- Far Standing Roundhouse is his classic long range sweep. For N.E.Honda it's the same as the Close version and that long range sweep became a Command Normal;
- Neutral Jumping Jab is basically the same but with bigger hurtbox during the active frames. The horizontal priority is the same though;
- Diagonal Jumping Jab has faster startup and a lot more active frames but with bigger hurtbox during the active frames. The horizontal priority is the same though;
- Neutral Jumping Strong second active part has bigger hurtbox. The horizontal priority is the same though;
- Diagonal Jumping Strong has 2 active parts and more active frames, but the first hitting part has less active frames if compared with N.E.Honda's version;
- Neutral Jumping Fierce can not be steered and has bigger hurtbox during the active frames and some frames later. The horizontal priority is the same though;
- Diagonal Jumping Fierce has bigger hurtbox during the active frames and some frames later. The horizontal priority is the same though;
- Neutral Jumping Short has better horizontal priority;
- Both Jumping Forwards have better horizontal priority but worse vertical priority. All in all N.E.Honda's version is better;
- Neutral Jumping Roundhouse has a lot better priority and twice as many active frames;
- Diagonal Jumping Roundhouse has a lot better priority but can not be used as a crossup attack;
- O.E.Honda's HHS behaves differently: has a little faster startup, a lot faster recovery, less minimal attacking duration and steerable properties. N.E.Honda's version is slower and can not be steered but Strong and Fierce versions create a fast impulse once activated;
- O.E.Honda's Headbutts do less knockback on block/hit;
- O.E.Honda's Jab Headbutt has slower startup and Strong headbutt has twice as much active frames;
- O.E.Honda's Butt Drop has smaller hitbox on the second active part (when he's falling) which gives him worse crossup ability;
In general, O.E.Honda has a better normal set (has a awesome Standing Jab, can use his Fierce Chop from any range, has all his knockdown normals from HF and most of his other normals have little benefits). But because his HHS is so different he is played in a different way (like HF Honda). Both versions have pretty much the same strength though, they are just played differently. Choose whichever version suits your style better.
Disclaimer: To better understand the diagrams, read this.
- Close/Far Standing Jab:
|Simplified||1 + 4||4||3|
O.Honda's single most important normal due to the fast speed, great range, and invincible hitbox along the length of arm. This move will hit standing and crouching characters. Constantly poke with this move to apply safe pressure at max range, stuff your opponent's normals and specials, and bait reversals. This move is also special-cancellable, often used to cancel into jab HHS for combos, pressure and punishing. This move also makes a good anti-air.
- Crouching Jab:
|Simplified||1 + 4||8||3|
Due to the range of this attack, it can be used as a good neutral poke/counter-poke to stuff opponent's moves that would go under st.jab, and is often used to continue pressure after a blocked jump-in. It is also special-cancellable, for example into HHS. cr.jab can be a surprisingly good FAR anti-air when you are not close enough to properly use st.fierce.
- Close/Far Standing Strong:
|Simplified||1 + 6||4||5|
Not an awful punisher when you need a quick button to use. This can serve you well getting some damage from a blocked or whiffed SRK or flash kick that you otherwise may be unable to punish. Grounded combo starter if you don't wish to use a jump-in, as you can link cr.jab xx HHS after a hit as long as it's close enough.
- Crouching Strong:
|Simplified||1 + 6||8||11|
Can serve as a decent damage counter-poke due to its range. This move works well vs. Guile's cr.forward.
- Close/Far Standing Fierce:
|Frame Advantage||-3 / +0|
|Simplified||1 + 6||7|
Excellent attack that N.Honda players wish they had. The first part of this move makes for an excellent late anti-air/trade, just wait for the opponent to almost reach you before throwing out. This is also a pretty good range poke/punish, that can be used to punish SRK recovery and fireball startup, for example, if you have nothing else to attack with.
- Crouching Fierce:
|Simplified||1 + 5||4|
This attack is crucial to O.Honda's throw mixup game. Since throwing is done with back or forward plus an attack, opponents must STAND to throw or counter-throw, so the most basic ST throw mixup is throw or low attack. Use this normal in situations where you expect your opponent to throw or counter-throw, or just throw this move out to condition players to expect this attack and habitually block low. Grants a sweep knockdown so you can continue forward with pressure. This move has pretty bad recovery, so you are best to cancel to fierce HHS every time you use cr.fierce. This is also a good attack to link into if you see your opponent stand-blocking your st.jab pokes.
- Close Standing Short: (Base max activation range: 57)
|Simplified||1 + 3||3||4|
Fast low hitting normal that can be combo'ed off of with some practice. This move is useful in mixing up O.Honda's tick-throw game.
- Far Standing Short:
|Simplified||1 + 9||4||7|
Fast standing normal that grants a sweep knockdown if it hits. Generally if you are close enough to use this attack you have other options available, but keep it in mind.
- Crouching Short:
|Simplified||1 + 9||3||7|
While this move has a good hitbox, it is rarely used when st.jab could be used in its stead. Some additional experimentation may yield some good uses for this normal.
- Close Standing Forward: (Base max activation range: 70)
|Simplified||1 + 6||5||8|
A lot like close stand lk, but not cancellable, mainly used as tick into throw.
- Far Standing Forward:
|Simplified||1 + 9||4||12|
Sweep knockdown low hitting attack, great to interrupt the startup or recovery of certain attacks. To be used in conjunction with far standing RH, depending on distance.
- Crouching Forward:
|Damage||14 + 24|
|Stun||5~11 + 5~11|
|Stun Timer||60 + 60|
|Frame Advantage||-1 / +2(+1)|
|Simplified||1 + 6||3||6||10|
A beefy hitbox and large active time make this a great normal to whiff in front of you if expecting the opponent to throw something out, or to stuff attacks already on-screen. Funnily enough, this is a great normal to use in a Honda mirror match as it beats HHS and headbutt.
- Close Standing Roundhouse: (Base max activation range: 70)
|Damage||4 + 30|
|Stun||3~9 + 10~16|
|Stun Timer||40 + 80|
|Frame Advantage||-4 / -1(-2)|
|Simplified||1 + 7||3||5|
Good damage and stun but no followups. Has use as an O/S between throw/opponent jumping out of your throw attempt.
- Far Standing Roundhouse:
|Simplified||1 + 9||6||19|
This is your other go-to normal aside from st.jab. Excellent long-range poke that knocks down on hit. It can beat or trade with fireball startup, can punish the recovery of whiffed normals and specials, and is an all-around annoying attack to use. Presents a safe-jump opportunity after knockdown if you can perfect your jump timing. At max hit range of this normal, once you jump in you are in perfect range for st.jab and throw attempts (walk forward a few pixels to be in throw range, therefore safe from every other character's normal throw range).
- Crouching Roundhouse:
|Frame Advantage||-3 / +7|
|Simplified||1 + 7||6||4||8||7|
Due to the length of active frames, this move has great use as an 'early' counter-poke, a move to throw out and beat your opponent's attack and sweep him in the process. This is especially good in the Guile matchup when expecting Guile to poke with cr.forward or a sweep of his own. This move is also ripe for wake-up shenanigans, as your opponent will often have to block the wrong way if this is used as a meaty on their wakeup or landing from the air.
- Neutral Jumping Jab:
This move is able to stuff some attacks, e.g. if Chun-Li is trying to tripguard with cr.RH while you land, but you most likely won't be using this move very much.
- Diagonal Jumping Jab:
Great 'priority' so to speak. Good reactive anti-air to swat opponents out of the air, or pressed early if expecting opponent to meet you in the air. This is also a good move to use for safe-jump setups since it has very little hit and blockstun.
- Neutral Jumping Strong:
Same as diagonal jump strong, good to defend yourself if they jump at you, or from walldives/headstomps.
- Diagonal Jumping Strong:
This move may be useful in hitting opponents above you in the air due to its hitbox arrangement.
- Neutral Jumping Fierce:
This move may be useful in a neutral-jump counter attack attempt for opponents jumping in at you, but nj.RH is usually better for this.
- Diagonal Jumping Fierce:
Hits above and further than RH and can be a good attack to use when jumping on on crouching characters or trying to stuff certain moves, e.g. Dhalsim's slide. It can beat or trade with many normals that dj.RH is unable to, so if you find your dj.RH losing, this is a good attack to try for the next time the situation presents itself.
- Neutral Jumping Short:
Great normal to use along with nj.RH for fireball evasion as it shrinks Honda's hurtbox enough. Depending on the opponent and strength of fireball, you can experiment with either jumping early over the fireball and using this move on your way down from the jump, or jumping at the last minute and throwing this move out to go through the early part of the fireball.
- Diagonal Jumping Short:
Great for Honda's tick-throw game and an essential followup for tick-grab loops on some characters after a fierce grab. Low hitstun and blockstun means you can easily go into another throw or grab, or instead go for the cr.RH if opponent is expecting your throw and attempting to counter your throw. cl.st.short can very easily be linked into this move to start a combo if you hit your opponent after the fierce grab, or if your opponent is crouching. This can also be used as a jumping-forward instant overhead to finish off your opponent. The move itself lowers Honda's jump arc and can make for a surprising option at sweep range, but being pretty slow in that sense, it is best used sparingly. Also can be used as a crossup, but at the height that it hits, the opponent will recover by the time you reach the ground.
- Neutral Jumping Forward:
Not horrible, but is pretty much outclassed by nj hk.
- Diagonal Jumping Forward:
While it has worse priority than diagonal jump hk, it hits earlier, making it useful for punishment, and when jumping fireballs.
- Neutral Jumping Roundhouse:
Great normal to use along with nj.short for fireball evasion as it shrinks Honda's hurtbox. Depending on the opponent and strength of fireball, you can experiment with either jumping early over the fireball and using this move on your way down from the jump, or jumping at the last minute and throwing this move out to go through the early part of the fireball.
- Diagonal Jumping Roundhouse:
Your main jump-in attack that can stuff a surprising amount of moves. Don't be afraid to throw this move out as it can bully many characters. Just bear in mind if you are jumping in with no chance of this move hitting, it can extend Honda's hurtbox, letting opponents hit you where otherwise an empty jump would've been safe. For example, jumping at a shoto and having them walk forward and sweep. In general, you're safer off being pretty sure this move will hit something if you're going to use it.
- Double Knee Attack: (On ground and close, ←/↖/↑/↗/→ + Forward. Base max activation range: 11)
|Damage||26 + 16|
|Stun||5~11 + 5~11|
|Stun Timer||60 + 60|
|Frame Advantage||+5 / +8(+7)|
|Simplified||1 + 9||3||3|
Slow startup means you won't be linking this off a jump-in (normally), but at or near point-blank you can link a cr.jab xx HHS for solid damage and stun. After hitting with this attack you are in perfect range to mix up between throw and sweep, so the move does have situational uses.
- Flying Sumo Press: (Jump diagonally, ↙/↓/↘ + Forward)
Beefy hitbox that can be great to use to counter an opponent's anti-air normals or air-to-air normals and also makes for a fairly braindead crossup. When using as a crossup, keep in mind that Honda's hurtbox will be wide enough that a proper reversal can still knock him out of this move. You will need to ensure your timing is correct such that Honda will reach the ground and recover from this move before the active frames of your opponent's reversal, otherwise you'll be smacked out of it regardless of what side of the opponent you are on.
E.Honda can throw using Strong, Fierce and Roundhouse. All his throws have the same range, which happens to be the best normal throw range in the game.
- Grabs Throwboxes:
|Damage||32||Damage||24 + 4*n|
|Stun||7~13||Set amount of hits||8 / 7|
|Stun Timer||100||Holds do no stun|
|Range||(from axis)||64||(from throwable box)||36|
- Tawara Nage: (←/↖/↑/↗/→ + Strong)
E.Honda tosses the opponent. The direction of the joystick determines the direction the enemy gets tossed at. Useful to throw characters at a corner and due to the advantage Honda gets as a result of sending many opponents to the corner, it is often best to use this throw in place of a grab mixup until you have your opponent near the corner. This is also a great throw to use when your opponent is low on life due to the way ST calculates throw damage and recovery. The end result is if your opponent would die from taking full throw damage, they will and will be unable to throw-tech. Keep this in mind when performing your throw mixups and your opponent is low on life.
There is a glitch with this move as Old Honda, if you throw them toward the corner, and they tech out at a specific range, Honda will be stuck in his throw stance, and he cannot cancel out of it. He cannot be hit, or thrown, the timer will run out, and the game essentially softlocks.
- Saba Ori: (←/↖/↑/↗/→ + Fierce)
This is the throw you will be using the most. It's untechable, does nice damage, and sets up crossup / walk under / tick shenanigans. You can even crossup / walk under when in the corner after a fierce grab (you can walk under, cr. RH for a crossup, or go for a crossup d + Forward, cr.Jab, Oicho, etc). Note that some characters (Balrog, Cammy, DeeJay, Vega, Fei Long) cannot be walked under outside of the corner.
This grab is essential to O.Honda's mixup and provides some very dirty pressure opportunities depending on the character which will be written up in further detail in the strategy section. In general, it is best to remain on the ground and walk forward to pressure shoto characters following this grab, and you are free to hold up-forward when the grab is ending and jump in pressure against the rest of the cast (Guile, DeeJay, Chun, Cammy, Dhalsim, Boxer, etc.)
- Sekkan Kyaku: (←/↖/↑/↗/→ + Roundhouse)
You can start a loop against any character with this grab (unless they recover against the corner). After a successful HK grab, hold up-forward to jump in with an air attack (such as j.MK) while the character is still recovering in the air, and you'll get to repeat the tick again. This usually does one hit less than the Fierce Grab. Note that following up with a jump-in attack after this grab is completely unsafe and can be reversed by pretty much every character.
- Hyakuretsu Harite a.k.a. Hundred Hands Slap: (Press P repeatedly)
|Frame Count (Jab)||1||3|
|Frame Count (Strong)||3||4|
|Frame Count (Fierce)||4||6|
|Damage||24 / 22||26 / 24||28 / 26|
|Frame Count (Jab)||4||4||4|
|Frame Count (Strong)||2||2||2|
|Frame Count (Fierce)||1||1||1|
|Frame Count (Jab)||4||4||4|
|Frame Count (Strong)||2||2||2|
|Frame Count (Fierce)||1||1||1|
NOTE: That frame data only provides the frame data for one "cycle" of the HHS animation, but does not present the Minimal Durations of the move. So, in case you only do the 4 punch presses needed you will get the minimal duration. Note that O.E.Honda can slap forever unlike N.E.Honda which has a limit. That detailed frame data can be found here:
|Frame Count (Jab)||1||1|
|Frame Count (Strong)||3||1|
|Frame Count (Fierce)||5||1|
The lower damage value is for the low hitting frames.
Honda delivers several open-hand strikes. You can (slowly) steer Honda horizontally while attacking, but you will not be able to maintain a down charge. Jab comes out faster and rovers faster, but does less damage and cycles slowly. The Fierce version, however, has longer start-up and recovery, but does more damage and cycles much faster.
HHS will often be your go-to poke and special-move stuffer outside of st.jab range, within or just outside of sweep range. This attack will beat or trade with fireball startup and is essential to your pressure game with Honda. The best position of this move is where Honda's hands are about 1.5 character head distances from your opponent's head, if that makes sense. That will allow you to whiff the attack and beat out many special attacks. This range, however, is character dependent. You will primarily be cancelling jab or cr.jab into jab HHS, and using fierce HHS when cancelling cr.fierce to make it safe.
The HHS has a special property in the sense that it will never combo into itself. This is to say that, regardless of one of the attacks hitting the opponent (read "not blocked"), further hits will simply whiff, and as he recovers from hitstun, he will always be able to block the remaining attacks. However, if blocked, further attacks will not whiff. This means this move does relatively more damage than other attacks on block.
This move looks like the Hyakuretsu Kyaku (Lightning Legs) from Chun Li, but its properties are different. First, the HHS has more range. In addition to it, it can move Honda horizontally, which is important for him since he can maintain charge while advancing and attacking. Chun Li does not need it, since she has a projectile for offense and defense. Lastly, Honda's move demands less button presses to come out (four instead of five). It has one major disadvantage, on the other side: Honda's hands are not invulnerable, so this move can be countered by several normals.
- Super Zutsuki a.k.a. Headbutt: (Charge ←, →, P)
Detailed Input: (Charge ← for at least 60f, [0~7f] → [0~10/9/7f] Jab/Strong/Fierce. It is needed to wait at least 1 frame after leaving the charge direction to enter with the P button)
- Startup + Active:
NOTE: The last damage value is for the advancing/flying part of the move.
- Recovery/Knockback: (If it hits during the airbone part, the knockback will be airbone till the 4º hitbox image)
Jab headbutt will be your main defensive tool. It has invincibility on startup and has excellent vertical and horizontal range, which makes jumping in or getting in-close Honda a nearly impossible task. Learn to time your Jab headbutt and matches against non-fireballers will become way easier.
Fierce version is very fast and can be used to safely pressure and punish mistakes (whiffs or people coming down from a jumping attack for example) at mid range. Avoid using it from full-screen especially if out opponent is near the corner as he can jump it on reaction and punish you afterwards.
Jab headbutt is an excellent tool to use as an anti-air or reversal or anti-super against some characters. You should practice reversal timing using your jab headbutt as the other strength versions are far worse when used as a reversal. Fierce headbutt is also a great move to use to interrupt fireball startup and knock down your opponent.
- Super Hyakkan Otoshi a.k.a. Butt Drop: (Charge ↓, ↑, K)
Detailed Input: (Charge ↓ for at least 60f, [0~7f] ↑ [0~10/9/7/5f] Short/Forward/Roundhouse/any K 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 K button)
|Frame Count (Short)||1||4||5||2||5||4|
|Frame Count (Forward)||1||3||4||2||5||4|
|Frame Count (Rh)||1||3||4||2||4||4|
|Simplified (Rh)||18... (42)|
- Active + Recovery:
Short version hits on the way up (so it's a decent antiand is useful to get over projectiles from far away. Forward hits on the way up too, can be used to stuff projectile attempts at the right distance, and is a risky way to get over projectiles (can be punished by sweeps -shotos- and jumping attacks -Guile, DeeJay- if they see it coming). Roundhouse should be used mainly for crossups, mixups and setting ticks rather than as a way to avoid projectiles, as it is extremely easy to punish in those situations. It hits only on the way down unlike the other versions.
To use as a pressure / mixup tool, it's a good idea to do cr.Short xx Smash, varying strengths to make the opponent guess if you are going to cross-up or not, and mixing up ticks in-between.
The lower stun value is for the downward active part of the Short version only.
Short and forward versions of this move make for an excellent anti-super reversal. If you have charge, after the super-freeze this move can beat Chun's, Boxer's and Deejay's supers clean.
Your basic gameplay will be heavily dependent on the type of character you are facing. With fireball characters, you want to get within far st.RH range to knock them down with a sweep, immediately jump in and then pressure. Continue this pressure until dead. If you get knocked down, the situation is reset and you need to try to get in again. Ultimately you will want to get within st.jab range for pressure and then proceed to mixup as described below.
Against non-fireball characters you will be playing keepout with a mix of st/cr.jab, far st.RH, cr.forward and headbutts. Headbutt is a very good reversal since it's difficult to whiff and has good block pushback. Opponents will need to work hard to beat your defensive options. Try to keep your opponents in sweep/HHS range to maintain pressure and headbutt them if they get closer.
Keep in mind that you will generally want to be using all of Honda's options at their max possible range. If you are using HHS in an opponent's face, don't be surprised to get hit by a reversal.
Basic Mixup/Pressure Options
Within sweep/HHS max range, pressure between these two options and consider the possibility of jumping in on your opponent to keep them on their toes. At this range, if they stand up to throw an attack, you can get a knockdown with sweep, if they throw something out you can probably hit them out of it or trade with HHS. Use the threat of this pressure to walk closer to your opponent.
Once you manage to get within st.jab range, you can whiff st.jab in your opponent's face or get him to block the tip - this move will stuff most other normals and specials, and at max range, most reversals from the opponent will miss. From here, you can mix between st.jab xx HHS, st.jab, walk in throw or grab, st.jab to cr.fierce to sweep them, far st.short, st.jab and wait. You can omit the standing jab altogether and go into these options as well, just be aware of the range you are playing in. In general, you can keep poking with st.jab if you expect the opponent to counter attack, wait and do nothing if you expect them to reversal and then punish the reversal, walk forward and throw or grab if you expect them to block, and go into cr.fierce/far st.short sweep if you expect them to stand up to throw or counter-throw you.
And while I say 'expect,' a key element of Honda's gameplay is conditioning the opponent to do what you want them to do. For example, if you start throwing your opponent repeatedly, they may start focusing on either a reversal attempt or counter-throw. If you stay at max jab range you can avoid and punish both, or walk in and out of this range to bait reversal attempts. When they have been punished enough by these options, go back to throwing. Just an example.
For jump-in combos, you will primarily be using dj.RH, but dj.fierce or dj.down+medium kick can be substituted as well
- dj.RH, cr.fierce xx HHS - standard jumping attack to sweep, good basic 2-hit combo, canceling into fierce HHS is only to make the cr.fierce safe. The HHS will whiff
- dj.RH, cr.jab xx HHS - easy to use jump-in that can hit all of the cast regardless of spacing
- dj.RH, st.short xx fierce HB - must be close to opponent, grants knockdown
- st/cr.jab xx HHS - not much of a combo but the damage adds up when you are constantly poking an opponent
General Anti-Shoto Strategy
I felt this portion of E.Honda's gameplan required its own section as its integral to being able stand toe-to-toe with shoto characters, and the match-ups themselves differ little in how you approach them.
Proper spacing is an integral part of this match-up. Understand that shoto characters in general WANT you to jump over their fireball so they can punish. With that in mind, you need to ensure that you do not diagonal jump when close to one of these characters unless you want to bank on guessing that they'll throw a fireball, in which case you can punish them nicely if you guessed right.
From match start, if you step inside just a few pixels is where you'll get to the initial range you want to be in vs a shoto character. Within this range, you should have HHS whiffing in front of your opponent, with approx 1-1.5 character heads in between the opponent's head and your hands. This is a safe distance to apply HHS pressure as it will beat characters out of their fireball startup, and is generally far enough away to avoid eating a SRK (watch for O.Ken, however). Learn this range well, as with O.Honda you can move back and forward with HHS, this is a great range to play with to bait SRK reversal attempts. You can HHS at this range on an opponent's wakeup to bait an uppercut, and move closer to punish, or move closer than this range to bait and move back in time to avoid the SRK and punish. It's a very confusing range for shoto characters to deal with. Note that some characters do have options to beat HHS, notably Ryu and Ken's cr.strong, however if you stagger your HHS and mix it up with sweep, you can punish your opponent for throwing out these normals. This is also perfect sweep range, where all you really need is one landed sweep to get in to the ultimate spot you want to be in, which is st.jab range.
Whiffing st.jab right in front of the opponent's face is the perfect st.jab range you want to be in. From here you can force the opponent to block and move in for a throw or grab attempt, stay at this range to bait a reversal attempt and punish, or go for a cr.fierce or st.short, forward, or roundhouse as your low options if your opponent is planning to stand up to throw or counter-throw. At this range you will knock your opponent out of the startup of most or all of his normals. If they try and jump out or at you, you can use either st.fierce, jab headbutt, st.jab or neutral jump RH as anti-air options.
Getting in to either of these positions can be difficult, after all you are dealing with projectile characters. You need to train yourself not to diagonal jump over fireballs unless you are full-screen away. Any closer, and if you jump late, giving the opponent time to recover, will ultimately lead to you getting punished and the situation being reset. If you do manage to get knocked down, don't get frustrated, and most of all, do NOT block one fireball on wakeup just to try and jump over the second one - a fireball after a meaty fireball is known as a fireball trap, and you will probably just get hit by the second one. If you are knocked down against a Ryu or Ken pressuring you with fireballs, the single best option is to block the fireballs, get pushed back to near full-screen, then jump over the third or fourth fireball to put you back IN or NEAR sweep/max HHS range, from there using grounded attacks to get yourself back in.
Honda has a plethora of setups following his fierce grab (bearhug) that can be used to mixup your opponent until death, many of which are character specific or specific to a group of characters. Understanding what works with which character is essential in maintaining momentum with Honda and grants you the ability to decimate your opponent after getting that first grab in. The content of this section still requires some character-specific research and its accuracy is not 100% guaranteed, but I have tested it to the best of my ability.
Against shoto characters, following a fierce grab you will want to stay on the ground and walk forward. From here you can:
- walk forward just within far st.jab range and continue your basic mixup pressure
- walk forward and under your opponent to crossup with an attack of your choosing (I recommend cl.st.short, good low combo starter and low block stun for tick-attempts)
- walk forward and stop just short of crossing up your opponent and pressuring with st.jab or cl.st.short (fake crossup)
- walk forward and cr.RH, opponent will need to block this attack backwards due to cr.RH's weird active hitbox
As you can see, these options can be tricky if your opponent is reversal happy. The safest option is to stay within max st.jab range and continue pressure again, but these are great options if you can prove to your opponent that you can consistently punish them for their reversal attempts.
Against non-shoto characters, you can hold up-forward following the fierce grab to jump with the opponent escaping, and pressure them on their landing with safe options.
- vs Boxer, Deejay - dj.short and dj.RH are safejumps (dj.short is inconsistent with Deejay)
- vs Chun-Li, Guile, Dhalsim - crossup dj.down+forward(mk) is a safejump
With a possible dj.short mixup, you can perform the following
- dj.short, grab/throw or cr.fierce
- dj.short. cl.st.short, grab or cr.fierce
- dj.short, cl.st.short, nothing to bait out possible reversal attack (should be safe from reversal throw range, your opponent will need to walk in a bit to get a throw)
- dj.short, cl.st.short xx HHS - if you see dj.short hit, can go for decent damage combo
- dj.RH, cr.jab xx HHS - solid damage
- dj.RH plus any combination of the above
- empty jump, cl.st.short, cl.st.short xx HHS - if your opponent is expecting the overhead dj.short, mix it up with a low attack
- empty jump, cr.fierce - easier low option than above
Against opponents who you can mixup with a Flying Sumo Press
- dj.down+forward(mk) into combo of your choice
- dj.down+forward, stop at any point in the combo to grab, sweep, or bait reversal
As your throw game is essential to Honda and your Headbutt and buttslam reversals are actually pretty good, if you can get the charge time down, e.g. off a jump in or while the opponent is waking up, you have some good throw/reversal option-selects available to you
- charge down-back, press back+fierce (hold fierce), forward+jab - will fierce grab opponent if they are grabbable, and will kara-cancel st.fierce into jab headbutt if opponent cannot be thrown. The timing on this one is tricky but is probably the best of both (jab headbutt plus fierce grab)
- charge down-back, press back+fierce, up-back+short or forward - cancel your fierce grab into buttslam
- charge down-back, press forward+RH, then jab a split second later - RH grab into jab headbutt - RH grab presents fewer mixup opportunities, but you can still walk forward and continue pressure
I will re-iterate these options in the matchup-specific notes, but it's important to remember that as a charge character you do have the option to use reversals against opponent's super attacks. ST is known for 'eating inputs' during the super freeze, and as such it is difficult if not impossible to counter a super with something like a SRK. However, as long as there is a startup time and the super is not ridiculously invincible, Honda will be able to counter the super if you reversal immediately when you see the super freeze. Typically short and forward buttslam work best, however if you only have headbutt charge, it will often work as well - it just may trade a hit in the process.
- crossup dj.down+forward(mk)/Flying Sumo Press, st.strong, cr.jab xx HHS - excellent damage
- dj.RH, st.strong, cr.jab xx HHS - works on Guile, DeeJay, Dhalsim, perhaps others but is character specific (doesn't hit on shotos).
- st.strong, cr.jab xx HHS - useful if you don't want to jump in on an opponent's dizzy
- dj.short, cl.st.short xx HHS - good damage off a short, opponent needs to be crouching or getting up from a knockdown/recovering from a grab for this one to work, i.e. must be a late hit dj.short
- cl.st.short, cl.st.short xx HHS - great combo from a low. Double cl.st.short is a 2f-link so it will take some practice, as will being able to cancel immediately from a short to HHS. Just try tapping short and jab at almost the same time as you start inputting the HHS, making sure short is done that split-second earlier.
- crossup dj.down+forward(mk), toward or away + forward (double knee attack) OR cr.forward - the Sumo press must be done VERY deep for this to work. A sweep or strong throw is almost guaranteed to dizzy the opponent after this, allowing you to combo again. In this setup, remember to use your THROW (strong punch), not grab, as grabs do no stun damage. Between the two setups, the double-knee is harder to time but places you in perfect mixup range. cr.forward does about the same amount of dizzy damage, is far easier to hit, but pushes your opponent a little further away.
Players to look out for and analyze match videos:
- Shougatsu 正月 (Japan)
- kuroppi (USA)
- Kusa クサ (Japan)
Following tradition, this diagram will be utilized for matchup numbers. Keep in mind that the matchup info is based on new Honda and thus the matchup numbers may differ slightly as the characters have different tools but overall similar strategies.
Serious Advantage Matchups
- 8.5 - 1.5
If there's one matchup in the whole game that will make you feel bad, this is it.
Stay between jab and HHS range pressuring him constantly and poking him out of his normals (remember to use max range of each, st.jab and HHS for maximum effectiveness!). Use far st.RH to keep Zangief in check and to punish any lariat attempts. Anti-air with st.jab, cr.forward or jab headbutt, jump-back dj.fierce, or buttslam. With the proper spacing you can win this matchup using only st.jab, HHS and sweep, as st.jab will beat all of Zangief's jumping attacks at max range.
- 8 - 2
Maintain your distance, punish drill attempts with standing kicks to sweep, HB or HHS. Be wary of random hooligan setups and throw out a st.jab or st.fierce to beat this out. If you get knocked down, be wary of setups - meaty cr.fwd by Cammy can stuff reversal HB attempts, and she has ambiguous crossups that will beat your HB as well. Possibly use buttslam/RH buttslam to escape Cammy's pressure and create distance between you and your opponent.
Pressure with HHS and headbutt to keep Cammy from getting too close and eating block damage if nothing else.
RH buttslam can be used to escape Cammy's super after startup.
Vs. Fei Long
- 7 - 3
Play very defensively, force Fei to block headbutts and HHS, keep him in check with far st.RH if the opponent tries to simply walk in. Reverse chicken-wing pressure with jab headbutt, and attempt to punish flame kicks with either fierce headbutt or st.fierce (your standing kicks will most likely whiff). Jump-back RH can also work to avoid chicken-wing. Watch out for chicken wing looking like it may cross up if done close, it usually doesn't ACTUALLY cross up on Honda. Keep blocking as normal.
After last hit of Fei's super, you can use buttslam to punish.
- 6.5 - 3.5
Originally listed as 7.5 - 2.5 for new Honda, I've bumped this down a bit but am still unsure if it's accurate. At the highest levels it appears to be a fairly even matchup.
Force Blanka to eat HHS and HB chip damage and use opportunities to continue pressure when you see them. An early j.jab to start off with pressure of your own is not a bad idea, as Blanka's pressure and throw pressure can be quite overwhelming - O.Honda has no 'get out of jail free card' as oicho provides for E.Honda, thus making this matchup more difficult. You can use cr.RH to punish Blanka's electricity or when expecting a string into electricity. Use headbutt to punish whiffed moves and st.fierce to try and avert crossup attempts.
Blanka's up-ball is known for being a great reversal, but you can atleast trade with it using either dj.fierce or buttslam (short or forward).
Be wary of dirty crossup shenanigans, i.e. on your wakeup, crossup ball into Super.
- 6.5 - 3.5
Use jab and HHS pressure as these attacks can beat or trade with many of Dictator's normals. If he throws out a psycho crusher, you can react with jab headbutt or at least trade with HHS. If you block his scissor kicks, you can often go right into a throw or grab punish. As Dictator will probably go to the air, use dj.jab, dj.strong, dj.fierce to attempt to swat him out of his attacks and st.fierce if he is getting the jump on you. If you knock Dictator down, try to go for a Flying Sumo Press crossup into pressure as Dictator has no good reversal outside of super. If you block a Super attempt, quickly alternate between high and low blocking during the super and he may pass over you, allowing you to punish with a throw, grab or some other attack.
- 6.5 - 3.5
Maintain distance and poke with st.forward and st.RH. Block T.Hawk's dives and punish on recovery with fierce headbutt. Punish his sweep with st.RH or fierce Headbutt. nj and dj.RH can be good anti-air options and air-to-air options vs T.Hawk. You can also use fierce headbutt to attempt to escape T.Hawk pressure if he jumps up or attempts to dive at you, resetting the situation in the process.
If you wish to pressure T.Hawk on wakeup, be sure to use low normals at max range to avoid T.Hawk's SRK.
- 5 - 5
Try to establish an early life-lead and then turtle as much as possible. Force Honda to block HHS, headbutts, and pressure him with far st.RH. Use cr.forward to pressure, beat HHS and headbutt. Late jab headbutt will also beat headbutt pressure from your opponent. If E.Honda attempts a Super, you can reversal headbutt after the first hit, often on hit AND block (terrible Super). If you are eating buttslam pressure, block the first hit and jab headbutt before the second hit.
It is essential to this matchup that you don't get knocked down midscreen, so that being said, jumping back into a corner at the beginning of the round is not a horrible idea. You will need to understand and have the reactions to beat Claw's walldive attempts. If he is jumping off his wall and coming at you, you can attempt to jab headbutt, and this is especially good near the corner. You can also try a fierce headbutt to escape the pressure altogether. If he jumps off YOUR wall, eliminating your headbutt charge, you can either attempt to anti-air with st.fierce, attempt to block his attack (good Claw dives are incredibly difficult to perceive, so this is forced down to a guess as to which direction to block), or try RH buttslam to escape pressure (Claw can use slide to punish your buttslam, so rarely a good idea). If a walldive is done while you are already standing, a dj.jab, jumping back dj.fierce are good ways to knock Claw out of the air.
When you or Claw have your back to the wall, walldives are much easier to beat. If Claw has his back to the wall and attempts a walldive on his side, you can swat him out of the air with dj.jab or dj.fierce. st.fierce can sometimes work in this situation as well. If YOUR back is to the wall, the success rate of jab headbutt is much higher. If your back is to the wall and Claw attempts to dive off your wall, you can use st.fierce to knock him out of it.
Far st.forward/RH can be good to use to punish roll attempts, and be sure to maintain headbutt charge when pressuring Claw, especially on wakeup, so you can fierce headbutt any attempts to somersault out of your pressure.
- 3.5 - 6.5
As usual with Honda's match-ups, understanding proper spacing will go a long way towards moving this match in your favour. The key elements of this match are being able to maintain a HHS range that will punish all of Boxer's rush special punches and yet avoid his cr.strong and headbutt. cr.jab and cr.forward are also good attacks to use against rush punches. When you move in closer, it's dangerous to use HHS at this range as Boxer has a number of attacks to punish. Instead, at that range you can jump in with dj.RH (often able to beat Boxer's rush attacks), far st.RH, and st. and cr.jab to close the gap.
When playing this match, be sure to maintain pressure on Boxer and do not allow him to charge for TAPs. There are many situations in which your normals can trade with his normals or specials, and if you allow him to charge these attacks, the trades will most certainly NOT be in your favour.
The fierce grab setup detailed in the Advanced Strategy section works very well against Boxer, as a safe-jump dj.short, cl.st.short after a fierce grab puts you in a good spot to go right for another grab, sweep the opponent, or bait out a reversal. This match can often be won after one fierce grab and constantly keeping your opponent guessing.
The pace of the match will change quite a bit if and when Boxer gets enough meter for a Super move. I would not try baiting out the Super due to the ridiculously-fast start-up time of the move, you will most likely lose. Do keep in mind that if Boxer is just throwing this move out to get you with chip damage, you can beat the super clean with a reversal buttslam after the super freeze.
- 3.5 - 6.5
Beating Dhalsim will require good use of your normals and headbutt to defeat. Any time Dhalsim throws out a ground limb is a headbutt opportunity, granting you a knockdown and allowing you to close the gap. You will need to keep this in mind to dissuade Dhalsim from throwing out normals whenever he pleases or attempting to control screen space with them. cr.forward is also a great normal to use to beat out Dhalsim's limbs, but it doesn't knockdown. Use headbutt/fierce headbutt to beat Dhalsim out of his fireball startup or after a floaty jump-back. You can jump over his fireballs and attack with a mix of dj.RH, dj.fierce, Flying Sumo Press (if expecting a slide), or dj.jab. Once you get in close, mix up with your standard Honda pressure - HHS can be difficult for Sim to deal with. Lacking a proper reversal, your grab and throw setups are great opportunities to lock down Dhalsim, and fortunately all your highest-damage combos work great on him.
To get over fireballs, you can also use RH buttslam to punish or to pressure if you either predict or guess a fireball attempt, or if done very early on reaction. At range, you can also pressure Sim with a Headbutt on wakeup, since he has few options to get around this pressure.
- 3.5 - 6.5
This is a difficult matchup, but it is winnable if you can get a read on your opponent. Your initial means of getting in will most likely be to fierce headbutt over a low tiger shot for the knockdown. I have not found it possible to react to the difference between a high or low tiger shot (perhaps some people are able), but you can react to a tiger shot in general. Since you can simply duck under the high tiger shots, you can wait for your opponent to attempt to chip you with low tiger shots and get in with a headbutt. You also have the option of jumping over a high tiger shot and hitting Sagat's extended arms with a dj.RH, if he is throwing high tiger shots to dissuade your headbutt. Your opponent can also neutral jump, anticipating a fierce headbutt to try and punish you for attempting to get in, in which case you may want to mix up the strength of your headbutt in order to recovery early and punish Sagat on his way down from the neutral jump. This is a risky situation for both parties but it can happen.
Around sweep/HHS range is when you can use your far st.RH to knock Sagat out of fireball startup. HHS is also good for this and if you move a bit closer, st.fierce will work as well. The goal is to get your opponent to stop throwing fireballs and start worrying about you coming in, hopefully forcing them to make risky maneuvers in the process. Refer to anti-shoto strategies in the Advanced section for details.
Serious Disadvantage Matchups
- 3 - 7
Refer to anti-shoto strategies for general gameplay strategies shared between the shotos. Be wary of Ken's mixup possibilities, jab into hurricane kick into low attacks, to understand how to defend against the character. If you block his Super, you can punish with jump-back dj.RH. Standard anti-air strategies apply if Ken is attempting to pressure you - jab headbutt or st.fierce, or meet air-to-air with dj.jab, dj.strong, dj.fierce or dj.RH.
O.Ken's godly SRK makes pressuring with HHS far more difficult. Use more sweep and st.jab, less HHS to attempt to avoid getting taken out by a SRK.
- 2.5 - 7.5
You will generally want to open with st.jab and moving closer with whiffed st.jabs. It will force Chun to block if she is walking back, it will avoid you getting hit from a Lightning Legs opener if they are being silly, and will allow you to react to a jump-in with a st.fierce if they are aggressive. Neutral jump or diagonal-jump over her fireballs and either punish with dj.RH, or close the gap enough so that you can pressure with HHS and sweep to knock her out of fireball startup. This match works similarly to the shotos in this way. You will want to walk Chun back into the corner where she has more limited options, in which case you can jump in and pressure with dj.RH, cr.jab xx HHS, walk forward, sweep/HHS, walk closer and st.jab into throw mixups. You can also maintain a bit of distance from Chun in the corner if expecting her to jump out, so you can use a late st.fierce to beat or trade with her jumping attacks or attempts to wall-jump out of corner pressure. Buttslam can also provide great corner pressure as Chun does not deal well with attacks from directly overhead. A blocked buttslam can push you further away than st.jab pressure but still allow for HHS/sweep distance.
Blocked fireball damage will add up so try to avoid it as much as possible, using a mix of neutral jump, diagonal jump, neutral jump short or RH, jump back dj.RH to avoid getting hit by her fireballs.
It's important to maintain pressure on Chun so she does not easily gain meter as it makes the match far more difficult for you when she has a super available. If she does get it, you can attempt to bait it out at range (midscreen) with cr.jab or some other quick normal, or jumping from full screen into mid-screen, since some Chun players like to try and make you land on the Super. If you are too close it is best not to attempt to bait the Super as you may simply get hit out of your attack and eat a ton of damage. Try and maintain your charge as much as possible so you can reverse her super with a buttslam. Expecting this, Chun may walk forward and throw you. This is a good opportunity to use your option-selects for a throw attempt or buttslam/headbutt. If the Super is done at a distance, you can jump over it at hit with nj.RH, possibly leading into a combo.
On Chun's wakeup, pressure with max range st.jab or cr.jab to avoid being hit by her upkicks. At this range, mixing st.jab into a fierce tickgrab is a good idea. Fierce grab leads to great setups vs. Chun and st.fierce can beat her reversal at the proper range.
Do not try and trade with lightning legs, as you'll lose. It looks funny but you can whiff your st.jab inside her legs at the proper range. Either wait until she's done, or jump in dj.RH to punish.
Note that Neckbreaker very, VERY rarely crosses up E.Honda no matter what it looks like.
- 2 - 8
This is a very difficult match-up. You will need to remain patient and not get too carried away as Guile can easily capitalize on your errors in judgement.
Openers - walk forward st.RH, st.jab, walk forward st.jab
Avoid fireballs with neutral jumping short/RH/empty jump, try to avoid jumping over a sonic boom late as Guile will have enough time to recover and use one of his many good normals to attempt to beat your jump-in attack. Diagonal as soon as you see a Sonic boom come out and you should be able to either punish or at least force a block, close the gap and start your pressure attempts. A LATE neutral jump can be good bait for a flash kick if you have been diagonal-jumping over his sonic booms. It's important to pay attention to Guile's charging - if he stands up you don't have to worry about a flash kick, just his good normals. If Guile attempts to meet your jump-ins air to air, you can start using dj.jab to beat out his air options. Try and get close enough so you can trip Guile with a far st.RH, then jump in for st.jab-range pressure. HHS is not as good at range vs Guile since his hands do not extend out far like Ryu's when throwing a fireball. At sweep distance, early RH buttslam is also an option, but don't do any late buttslams once the Sonic boom is well on-screen, as Guile will have recovered in time and can do just about anything.
Around sweep distance and when Guile is expecting you to sweep is not a bad time to jump in with dj.short, as it has a low jump arc and may catch Guile off-guard. Just be sure he is not crouching as a flash kick will easily destroy this.
Use all the above techniques to walk Guile into the corner and keep him there, where his options are limited. If you have the chance at an early throw, consider your options of throwing him closer into the corner and significantly reducing Guile's offensive options, or going from fierce grab into Sumo Press mixups. Depending on the opponent's ability to deal with your grab mixups, the toss into the corner may be a safer bet.
cr.RH is also a good move to throw out if expecting Guile to use cr.forward or a cr.RH of his own. Even if cr.RH is done early, if Guile attacks he will most likely get knocked down, giving you a chance to get in and pressure your opponent.
- 2 - 8
See general shoto strategy section for anti-Ryu notes. If you maintain proper spacing, this match is winnable. Ryu's super startup is too fast for you to reversal after the super freeze, so if you want to go for the gold and bet that Ryu will throw out his super, you can attempt an early buttslam or neutral or diagonal jump to evade it. Use st.fierce to attempt to negate hurricane kick mix-ups.
- 1.5 - 8.5
This match-up will make you question why you chose E.Honda in the first place. Not only is it a difficult match-up, but new Honda's advancing fierce hands is one of the few ways for Honda to get in on DeeJay - an option that you don't have with O.Honda.
As always, attempt to beat fireball startup with far st.RH to force a knockdown and get in close on DeeJay. Try to avoid jumping in unless you are outside of upkicks distance, as within this range, DeeJay can use upkicks, his slide and st.RH to easily anti-air your jump-in attempts. You can try to use dj.short and dj.fierce to beat out his slide, or dj.RH at max range but the spacing is very difficult to get properly. HHS does not work well in punishing DeeJay at range as his hurtbox does not move forward like Ryu, Ken and Sagat when throwing fireballs. Additionally, his cr.strong can punish you for attempting to use HHS.
On wake-up, you can pressure DeeJay with a meaty cr.short or cr.forward as he will be unable to use rolling sabat (forward kicks) to go over these pokes, unlike cr.jab. However, meaty cr.jab is a good option vs upkicks and MGU reversal attempts, it can be done point-blank range if you are not worried about reversal throws, and allows you to stay close to maintain pressure. If you have the opportunity, cross-up Flying Sumo Press is an excellent pressure option on wake-up.
You can reversal with buttslam after DeeJay's super freeze to beat clean. You should also have time to neutral jump over it if done immediately when you see the super freeze.
|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)|