I personally feel that some people just don’t know how to play him. You poke, and you poke somemore. It doesn’t matter that he doesn’t have a good combo that starts with C.LK. He has his S.MK into Heavy Gougetsuzan for close range punish.
His heavy slash is over rated, yet under rated by people (huh???). If people are baiting you, don’t get baited. Sounds simple? Who can punish a blocked Heavy Slash at heavy slash distance? A discussion about how a heavy slash is too slow is useless, it all depends on how well you read your opponent. if you guess he isn’t going to roll or RC something, HS. It’s not so slow that people can see it coming a mile away. And
We don’t have to go to basics here. A lot of characters have good anti air. Haohmaru has an average one. So let’s skip that. He doesn’t have a good, comboable fireball, so let’s skip that. but what he does have, are pokes that should be used over and over again. The way a Haohmaru should poke should put non-psychic people in fear because it is relentless. In K, when you trap someone in the corner, you poke. When you aren’t Poking, you are tapping back. With these two combined, you will have occasional JDs in between pokes that lead to more pokes. And you poke and poke and poke. When someone gets too near, you hop back. And Poke. If they turtle, you WALK forward slowly, and you poke some more.
Poke with what? With what was mentioned. S.MP. S.HP. the occasional S.HK. Short jump HS. It’s the pressure that counts. It’s rushdown without the Rushdown.
Anything comes your way to push you away, JD it. Tell them you’re standing rooted at that spot and you ain’t movin’.
The key to this all is intelligent poking. You aren’t ryu going in for LKLKLKMKFIREBALL. You aren’t Geese going in for you Guard crush combos. You aren’t Rolento doing KKK MP C.LK C.MK.
You are Haohmaru. He moves for no one. That’s why HIS face is on K Groove.
Let’s talk some matches for haoh on K.
Sakura, a FULL RC A- Sakura has almost nothing on K Haoh. Some of you may beg to differ when the CC comes in, but that’s just it, the CC. Other than that, what does Sakura have on Haoh? Both of you will be poking, she has her distance, you have yours. It’s now a matter of who is better at zoning. Her S.HK? Her RC Hurricane? Her jump-in? What?
A Bison. What does he have on Haoh? his pokes? What pokes? Your range is longer than his. No Bison is stupid to random jump, no bison is stupid to do a full psycho crusher at any character. So what now?
K-Sagat. ok NOW we have a problem. but again it is a problem of zoning. If the opponent’s Sagat Knows where to jump and JD Haoh’s single hit moves, then don’t be there for him to jump in at? I see people stubbornly trying to do something when they should be hopping BACK. Then they complain ‘Haoh Sucks! He couldn’t do anything back there!’ No Sagat would random fireball a K Haoh, it’s just free life.
K Blanka - Another zoning game.
Yes, K Blanka and Sagat have very powerful short Jump attacks, but no one asked you not to block high.
Sagat doing S.HP continuously? You don’t know what to do? learnt to find the distance and C.HP his FIST. Your sword arc should hit it clean. it’s safer than his DP. It recovers faster if you miss. (Note when i type this I am thinking of Haoh Trapped in a Corner, with Sagat Whiffeing HPs to keep him there)
Sure, people might be thinking, this is a generic strat for EVERYONE. but no. You can’t do it with ryu, his range is shorter than Sagat’s or Blanka’s. You can’t do it with Eagle, he has different types of pokes that aren’t as fast and are different in use.
What Haohmaru has , in the end is STILL his Heavy Slash. As Underrated or Overrated it is. It IS his tool, and the fact that it’s presence is there is what makes the opponent’s reaction’s to him different. So you play on that.
When people start getting complacent and play footsies with you, you jump back and show them you have that Heavy Slash, continuously make them remember it’s there. It’s now a game of hitting their body, blocked or not. whatever you have to do to just get into contact with them.
Don’t think of it as a game of Guard breaking. It is not a game of damage. It is a Game of TAG. And you just have to keep tagging him. You have to just keep hitting him SOMEHOW. The thing is the Guard bar stops moving once a character get’s hit right? Now you have to go to the ends of the earth to just get that guard bar down. Even if you have to jump all the way back and throw a fireball to throw him off only to run forward and Tag him ONCE with a C.LP BLOCKED you’ve done your job.
When this is natural for you, eventually you’ll work it into your Haohmaru play, and somehow the damage just accumulates. Learn to gauge the two types of Punish moves. Who else besides haohmaru can punish someone severely from half a screen away?
And when he makes a Mistake Right In Front Of You, don’t Throw him for damage, S.MK into heavy Gougetsuzan. THAT’s damage. Not the LKLPLight Gougetsuzan crap.
And JD. JDing is so important. It’s his means of staying rooted. He has three basic needs.
Only k groove gives you this.
He doesn’t need to roll at all. If you want to escape corner traps, remember you have JD into Pokes.
That’s all I have now considering I’m just typing non-stop without stopping to think, so i’d be missing out some stuff like pther match ups etc. Does anyone else have something to say for haoh in K?