A safe and sane guide to the Coward Dive (Oil Dive--guard position cancel)

So, for fun (and in attempt to wake up our forum section) I thought I would write a few quick things about one of Hakan’s new tricks that have popped up in the AE patch, which of course would be the ability to cancel Hakan’s silly slip-slide animation from holding Oil Dive by using his guard position (down+PPP).

So, here’s some information on what I’ve coined the Coward Dive.

Firstly, I know a lot of people were excited about the fact that CD builds meter, but to be frank, you really shouldn’t be using CD just for the sole purpose of building meter against those that would allow you to be full screen. It might think it’s fun to get into a meter building contest with Yun/Yang, but the fact is that Hakan builds meter pretty quickly on his own without relying on this.

Why, exactly? Even though this is a nice and quick way to cut Oil Dive’s animation short, it still takes a long time to do so. Trying to do this over and over (without messing up, mind you, as 360 rotations can be hard to do ad nauseum) just isn’t worth the time when you could be taking the time to oil up (which is far more productive).

So, why use Coward Dive, then? Simple: Mindgames.

The Coward Dive can be applied in ways that will let you draw opponents out of that natural predator of Oil Dive, the crouch. Because, as we all know (and have painfully experienced) a crouched opponent will not be going on the Hakan slip-N-slide.


By using zoning techniques with Hakan and keeping a midscreen lock on your opponent you can condition your opponent is certain ways using the Coward Dive. The zoning in question is fairly easy to apply, as Hakan has three throwing options that can all potentially shove your opponent into the corner, which includes his base throws and his two command throws.

By combining Hakan’s AA throw, j.mp and lp, s.HP and j.HK with midscreen use of Coward dive, you can use it potentially as a feint, similar to Viper (with less speed of course, but in my experience of over 500 matches online with Hakan, people typically are unsure of how to go about a guard positioned Hakan).

By doing so, I’ve found you can catch people coming out of their crouch, either due to jumping, walking/dashing, or my personal favorite, attempting to catch you with a vertical special such as SRK, tiger uppercut, cannon spike, or the Twin’s lame little wake up specials.

You can also use Coward Dive conditioning for an opponent’s wake up situation. By moving in close after a knock down, backdashing, and following up with Oil Dive, you can once in awhile catch an opponent whiffing a wake up manuever, or at the least not bothering to crouch because they might think there is a 50/50 chance that you cancel the oil dive animation.

Or course, they could also be hedging their bets and crouching constantly, which in that case you can be safe in most instances, as the backdash prior to the oil dive puts you in safe distance. Backdash once back on your feet, and reset your game.

One final mindgame application for you, involving creating a setup for U2, Oil Combination Hold. Some characters reactions to Coward Dive may potentially be jumping at you, either a safe jump, or in the case of dive kick characters, their dive kick (which includes Cammy, the Twins, Rufus, Gen, E. Ryu, and I’m sure others, but these are the most notable).

Since guard position can be hit by those dives, it’s possible to condition the opponent to use the dive kick upon seeing you coward dive. As such, folllow the previous format of backdashing upon knockdown and coward diving. With quick reaction time, you more often than not will have the time to go into U2 after standing up from the guard position if you have baited the jump (which, against a lot of sloppy dive kick characters, you will).

There are negatives to this, as players who are savvy to you may just ignore psychology all together. In which case, back off and try to slow the match down as much as you can. A well placed base throw can reach this goal more often than not (though try to use the forward and not backward throw, as it gives you more time to oil up, post throw).

I’ll add to this as we go along, but until then, here are the highlights.

-use Coward Dive for shenanigans. Meter building is just a happy bonus of doing it, not the main course
-Using the cancel can set up situations of anti-air use if properly applied
-Oil is fun for everyone

I hope this helps someone. I know it seems like “Well, duh” information, but I’ve found that psychology is a big part of playing Hakan.

Thank God I have a degree in Psych, then. >_>

This is a great write-up, EyePawd! I appreciate the time you put into all of this.

At the lower levels (aka my level) I think this is more prevalent because they don’t even know what mindgames are yet. Most people are going to do whatever it is they know how, regardless of how I’m acting.

Psychology is a HUGE part of playing Hakan on both ends: ours and our opponents. I’ve found that the less I think “I wish Hakan was better!” and the more I think “Hakan is a straight up baller,” the better I do.

Oh yeah, and I tried to subscribe to your replays on PSN, but it said you haven’t set up a channel yet…?

That’s true, a lot of the time tactics will simply fail because the other person is just reacting. This is why, once in awhile, we all fall to flow chart Ken or spinning lariat over and over Zangief.

Frankly, people thinking Hakan is ass is the greatest advantage anyone can have. Others not knowing the match up gives Hakan users a solid advantage.

Hrm. Bizarre. I set up a channel yesterday. I must have to do it more than once. Add me on PSN @ EyePawd. I’ll send you a message and let ya know.

I did just upload a few new ones, so maybe it spazzed out on me. =\

Also, as for the time I put into it…let’s just say that I’m glad I have a job where I sit at a computer for eight hours. =P Lots of time to troll message boards!

I’m sorry but I just don’t see this as being as effective as it sounds. If the opponent is going to duck if we coward dive and we’re trying to bait him into ducking then what’s the bait accomplishing? Do you have a video or a match to reference? I want to understand better because I may be misinterpreting your point.

The bait isn’t solely for duck baiting. While it is good to give you 50/50 odds on catching an open oil dive (which, let’s face it,as crouch centric as the SF4 engine is, I’d say normally you have a 25% chance of catching them with it), it gives you some additional options to mess with. I’ve been able to draw out dive kicks because opponent’s think they can do so when I’m in guard and catch them with an l.oil dive.

As I said, it mainly has shenanigans/mindgames uses, it’s all kind of well duh information. I’d love to put videos up, but I don’t have a capture card and my only video cam only does HD, and frankly I don’t have time to sit around and convert a massive file. ;\ lol

If you’re on PSN, check out my Replay channel once I get it up and running. I’ll be sure to get some example matches going.

Sure. I’m on XBOX sadly though. But I don’t want you to go to all that trouble either. If anybody comes up with a good example just throw it up here. I’d love to get any new Hakan tech under my belt.

I’ll see what I can do, Sir. At the least, I may re-write this down the line and add a few more concepts to it.

How can this be applied offline vs. Players that understand the match up?

I don’t really feel like offline and online applications differ. I guess I only mean that I’ve used this offline against my girlfriend, whom knows the Hakan matchup pretty damn well at this point, and I can still find ways to use these concepts to trip even her up.

I’m not saying this is a strategy to employ in every match, I’m merely saying that you can use it as a way of adding something else for Hakan to do in a match that makes your opponent have to do guesswork on what you may possibly do. To be fair, this won’t apply in every match up, and I’m certainly not touting it as a high level technique. Just another tool to use.