I find this to be the hardest match up for Akuma… I really stuggle against this guy and find him to be incredibly annoying. I don’t know what the hell to do, even a newbie with less than 1000gp can usually beat me by just charging back-down and turtling, when I get close they just mash jab jab jab then HK. When I’m far they do the turn around punch and get close and then there is the rock solid AA. I occasionally can FA the HK after blocking the jabs and I demon when they do an EX charge attack, but even with demon it’s not enough to win. I’m sure you’re all familiar with Balrog players (they all play the same). What do you guys think? Hardest match up? I almost consider Sagats/Shotos a free match now, but this damn balrog, whenever someone selects him I feel like I already lost…


Don’t rush him (unless he is really asking for it by doing stupid things like not blocking). I found I lost everytime to Balrog players if I even thought about rushing them - either my rushdown sucks (which is does) or its the wrong way for Akuma to play him.

Sit at the back and throw fireballs. Ocassioanlly mix in air-hado, but for the most part just lob HP, MP and LP fireballs across the screen. Put a shaku in now and then to mix it up. Mostly, DON’T throw the same speed. Don’t sit there and throw. Throw a HP, HP then LP or something. Keep him guessing.

The online players I’ve experienced do the following:

Sit there and run into fireballs. Don’t get too cocky when you get a few hits - its a LONG way to KO on fireballs and he’ll be ahead on life in an instand if you let him get in and bash you.

Try to jump over and approach - at which point I either start putting in air hado’s for some free hit or AA with SRK (if you’re feeling lucky).

Now, as long as Balrog doen’st want to die to chip death you’re going to end up in the corner as you fireball and move back. Delay this by moving back and forht and poking with HK, covering HK with air hado then moving back and throwing more fireballs. Never the less, a relentless Balrog will slowly move you back. The best thing about Akuma is he doesn’t have to take sh!t from others in the corner. Let Balrog come in and teleport out. Now start your nonsense from the other side.

If you EVER connect HK either BnB or (if you’re not confident) c.MK+hado and backwards teleport. Balrogs c.LP is FAST and has a lot of priority. Pretty sure it links into headbutt for knockdown and damage. Don’t mess with it. With low life you WILL lose an attritition battle to Balrog.

Mostly Ive found the matchup is about patience and keeping your nerve. Much like Geif - you’ll die if you screw it up so just keep on keeping on.

Oh yeah, if you can get him in teh habit of jumping make sure you bait the AA Ultra. A nice chunk of life followed by a teleport and back to hado’s. I can’t tell how many matches this has helped when I’ve been at 50% health after working him down to about the same. One ultra and you know you can grind out the win.


EDIT - I think c.MK stuff his charge move (except EX). You can also FA them on reaction if you are on your game. Punish him and he won’t be so keep to charge in to you.


just be careful when you zone like that, one of balrog’s can go through fireballs


I base my play on what he does.

FA are great against most Rogs that I play against. It’s basically a 50% (close to 100% against bad Rogs) chance you will get an attack that you will absorb and crumple him for a free combo or free demon.

I also like to spam fireballs and see what he does. If he turn punches or headbutts through it, remember this! This will give you a free ultra later on. Doing a demon after he turn punches or just as he is head butting is guaranteed demon landing each time.

If you do not have a demon ready, then after fireballs, I tend do a roundhouse (fk) right after. If he turn punches through the fireball, you get your party starter landing, which means you can do the combo of your choice.

If charges a lot, and you have EX stock, an EX hurricane kick during ANY charge always wins.

If you have a full super, once he does anything again (special move) as long as you can buffer the first two light punches, you will land the super EVERY TIME.

Other than that, most damage will be done by chip damage. Don’t forget to teleport, stay away, and watch for his headbutts.


I need to use the roundhouse more often, I rarely use it…


i also hate this matchup lost to a lot of rogs who werent so skilled
best thing you can do like L-A sayed

sit back relax throw some fireballs some airfireballs to mix stuff up
and then react to his movements thats all i can say

i also search a specific tactic against him :frowning:


VS Balrog play defensively with zoning and making him constantly lose his charge. When Balrog loses his charge he cannot throw out dashing straights/whatever at anyytime. Make him lose his charge with well placed fireballs, both grounded and in the air.

Do not be afraid to use focus to let him know he can’t just toss out dashing straights whenever he wants. This mixed with a strady dose of fireballs makes this match a lot easier. Of course, keep in mind that there is risk with the focus due to his dashing lunge and overhead shattering focus, so be careful.

Also keep in mind that a well timed cr.lp meaty beats out ALL of Balrog’s options on his wakeup except his ex headbutt and, I think(not fully tested) his ex dash attacks(which throw will beat). I know for a fact if you cr.lp and he does his ex headbutt you will recover from your cr.lp before the headbutt touches you, allowing you to punish. Essentially, Balrog is forced to either block or backdash to avoid Akuma continuing his pressure.

Knowing that you can meaty him pretty much anytime he’s not knocked down makes your advantage over him when knocked down pretty big. Also keep in mind that a well timed crouching mk will completely beatout his non ex headbutt on wake up if he tries to attempt that.

Also, relax on the use of It’s a fantastic tool, but oftentimes this move puts you in poorer positioning vs Balrog than you would be if you had not used it. Balrog’s cr.lp is simply amazing, and you want to be far away from it as much as possible. puts you right in cr.lp range, and if you misread the range you do, the second hit will whiff, giving you a free hit.

Punishing his jumps is absolutely key. Time your shoryus so they don’t trade, but rather beat him out cleanly. When in doubt, crouching fierce is alright, but it gives Balrog a reset, which means he can retain his charge, which sucks. As for the anti air raging demon, Crouching when inputing his demon greatly increases your chances of anti airing with it since Akuma avoids much of the duration of the hitbox this way. This is good not just against Balrog, but any character.

Soooo Balrog jumps at you, you crouch and tap lp lp twice, then finish the input as soon as the timing is right for the AA demon.

Also, Akuma’s goes right under Balrog’s best jumping attacks. Use this to help with demon and shoryu timing if you’re having trouble. It also allows you to sneak in a throw every now and then upon their landing since they are expecting contact(blocked or hit) when they do it, not a full whiff. in general helps a lot against balrog. Use it often, but always be aware of balrog’s and dashing straight which will beat it out if they anticipate you doing it.

Hope this helps a little. My friend who has a very good Balrog is getting a capture device soon, so I should be able to post up some fights.


thx for all the advices versatilebjn !
what about demon flips should i avoid them in this matchup ?


^rams Dive kick is great if you over shoot a little you wanna cross up or go over with demon flip palm for mix-up/make him loose his charge otherwise cHP and headbutt both stuff or trade with dive kick which can lead to no escape :frowning:

there’s your problem right there. How do you use akuma and not his HK?!?!?! It’s one of his best pressure tools and actually has a couple of demon setups as well.


Coming from someone who mains Balrog, I will say these few words to you all. TAP at maximum range is a great tool for Rog, but if you’re going to fireball - Demon (once he tries to come through the fireball) make sure he is not at MAX RANGE, otherwise the tip of the glove will knock Akuma out of the demon. I’m sure some of you have experienced that. Meaty xx fireball, dragon are great ways to punish a Rog who tries to dash punch on wakeup. Remember your zoning with fbs and air fbs, teleport when Rog gets close, and launch a few well placed unsuspecting moves (demon flip). If he DOES get close, note that Rog loves the grab/tick throw game, and once he gets a couple of jabs blocked, he will either A) throw B) s.RH or C) Dash Punch. You can back dash, teleport, jump straight up, dragon (timing is key here), tech… Hell. It just depends on how that Rog is playing.

The AA Demon is a GREAT way to stop Rogs who jump recklessly, and of course using a demon to counter dash punches, misplaced headbutts and random ultras should be pure reflex. ALSO. You can grab Rog out of all of his EX moves (except headbutt). So, with that in mind, remember that if he does a random EX move from a mid distance, you can throw, or Demon him. Hope some of this helps, I would like to fight better Akumas. The ones I do fight generally don’t know the matchup.


thank you for your advice
but one general question not akuma specific

is that normal that you cant tech a throw if you crouching block cause i get catched a lot oft time by throws when im blocking in the crounch position

i play on pc and there arent so many balrogs so i dont get much experience about him
thats maybe the fact why a lot of ppl dont know the matchup
everybody play against ryu ken akuma sagat so in the most case they know what to do


I find that most balrogs are rushers
provoke them into doing a special rush and hurl a flame fire ball at them, or a special hadoken.
or provoke them into doing a headbutt which u block and respond to like u would a shoryu. if ur fast enough can stick ultra onto both attacks.

balrog’s worst thing is his piss idle juggle. it starts with a low light tap… and goes into a full fledged fuck fest juggle, without using any special bars… its friggin ridiciulous…

block low a lot…


Balrog’s a tricky match for me also.

As a flip-side to a lot of the approaches here, I often actually go on the offensive against Balrog. I push him into the corner and unleash unholy hell on him by way of demon flip dive kicks, block strings, cross ups and demon flip throw. I try to make him second guess what I’m about to do after a barrage of demon flips and then just plain throw him.

For me It helps to maintain a large amount of pressure and I focus on molesting his wake-up as much as I can. When I knock him down out of the corner I often aim to middle kick demon flip cross-up into whiffed hammer fist and throw him.

A couple of my mates are very skilled Balrog players and when I play them obviously I can’t rush 'em all day. I find against those guys that if my anti-air isn’t on point (crucial against Balrog due to his fast jump and far reaching j.rh) it is absolutely critical that I either block or just plain teleport away as this is the door to Balrog landing huge damage. Secondly, it is crucial you learn to identify and react between his dashing overhead (which leads to an eventual ultra) and his dashing sweep.

Also, be on the ready to unleash the demon. His many dash punches are all ripe for grabbing, but you really need to react quickly. If you can, Balrog demonstrates some of the easiest ways to land Ultra outside of focus crumples in my opinion. The trick is being confident in smashing it out fast enough.

I find mixed results with focus attack as Balrog has many armour smashers which doesn’t help me a great deal as I have an addiction for focus crumpling :smiley: Nevertheless, don’t abandon them completely but be wary that he can often snuff your focus charges.

Use teleport to screw up his charge but don’t expect this to cripple his offensive as Balrog has a wealth of fine normals that serve him equally well as his specials. It was also mentioned a while back that Balrog essentially owns the footsie game and I tend to agree with that for the most part. Stick a hoof out now and then, but don’t make it a huge focus as his c.rh is insanely effective should he decide to join to you in a footsie-fest.

Patience. Obviously when I’m not rushing like an idiot I step back and calculate my approach more. Balrog can turtle when he likes which will often make your patience simmer and evaporate which will lead you to doing dumb stuff. Don’t let him get to you like this as he’ll wreck your game. Exercise patience if it comes to a bit of turtling and be the smarter player.

Lastly, when Balrog has Ultra he’s gonna look for ways to land it. You’ll find this can sometimes make a Balrog player ripe for head-butt baiting which in turn makes him ripe for you to land some of Akuma’s most devastating combos. Try and lure him into headbutts by oddly timed jump-ins on knock-down to see if he bites. If not, just grab him but be mindful of those jabs.

I hope this helps. I’m still trying to figure this one out myself and I’m convinced we have no go-to approach for Balrog so I guess every little bit helps.


My #1 trick against Rog is to Focus Attack. Most Rog’s use two crouching jabs then a sweep, and the sweep is EXTREMELY easy to absorb and get a level 2 focus off.


I wouldn’t say to do that man. I would say to just be careful with your useage of them, though, for crouchinng fierce and headbutt with balrog beat you out if he’s ready for it. More times than not, demon flipping is very touchy feely. It all depends on how you’ve conditioned the Balrog to not expect it at certain times and such.

Check this match out.



Also, if Balrog is rushing you, eat the lowers. Unless you can predict 100% what he’s going to do, it’s better to eat a low rush than to misjudge and get hit by an overhead.


LOL, this is funny because yesterday some 1000gp and 2000gp users beat me up with balrog and I didnt know what to do (I got 8500gp), it was absurd.

But, since I did this method, I even beat up a 12000gp balrog.

The idea is, he is always turtling, keep trying to demon flip and slide, but MAINLY - demon flip and grab. This throws their balance off the game. Once you demon flip and grab which is pretty easy on a crouching balrog, you can do crossups from there or just jump again and grab. Vary those into coming up close and throwing, and you got balrog on his knees.


Turtling Balrog will headbutt/down fierce you every time if that’s all you got.


Actually if you throw them they dont think about doing it immediately. They have to charge first. They dont know you’re going to jump. Just before they get up, I jump and grab. And oh yea, focus attacks is the shit against them. I keep them guessing if im gonna FA or demon flip. Its all about a guessing game.


and what you do against a rushdown barlog
because your hole tactic depends on a turtle one :slight_smile: