Although Hwoarang’s offense tends to revolve around his strings, don’t underestimate the power of solitary normals! You will have problems with alpha counters if you’re not able to break up the rhythm of your attacks.
cr.LP and cr.LK - These are your fastest normals outside of FLA stance. cr.LP has better range and frame advantage, but cr.LK has less pushback on block up close, making it better for setting up a tick throw.
st.LK - This normal leads to a number of options, starting the st.LK>MK string as well as being able to go into the st.MK>MK string. See the ‘Tekken Strings’ (st.LK>MK) section for more information.
st.LP - Although this attack is slow, it is useful for being a standing low and having great recovery. It can be especially useful as a meaty attack. It links into st.MP and st.MK.
FLA LK - This is a fast standing low and starts the very useful FLA LK>MK string. A perfectly executed Motion Switch~FLA LK (press KKK on frame 1, release on frame 2, and press LK on frame 3) has a 6f startup, which is a useful tool if mastered. See the ‘Tekken Strings’ (FLA LK>MK) section for more information.
FLA LP - This is Hwoarang’s only 3f normal, useful for frame trapping other characters with 3f normals after Dynamite Heel (hcb+P). It is 0 on block, but as long as you’re not predictable with it, it is highly unlikely that an opponent would press something after blocking it. It can also be canceled into LP Dynamite Heel (hcb+LP) for a frame trap. It links into FLA LK, cr.LP, and cr.LK.
f+MK - This is a great overhead that can lead to high damage combos. It is hit-confirmable and can be followed up with a variety of frame traps on block.
f+HK - This overhead is slow, but it has very good range. It can be useful when an opponent is scared of pressing buttons at mid-range.
b+LK - This slow low attack can catch people off-guard when looking to block Hwoarang’s overheads.
b+MK - Since this attack crushes crouching attacks, it can be a very good tool to mix up with throws. It is recommended to cancel it into MP Dynamite Heel (hcb+MP) or HK Hunting Hawk (qcb+HK) into a switch cancel.
These strings form the core of Hwoarang’s hit-confirms and frame traps.
st.MK>MK - This string is great overall for strings and pressure when started with a boost chain from a light attack. Unfortunately, this is also a great opportunity for opponents to alpha counter, since it can only be canceled into a boost combo or string follow-up. Be careful if using the stance transition to frame trap with FLA LK, as it can often be out of range. See the ‘Option-Selects’ (Backdash OS 3, Reversal OS 1, Reversal OS 2) section for more information.
st.MK>MK>HK - Due to the high blockstun, this string makes a good tool for pressure and frame traps. See the ‘Special-Cancel Pressure’ section for more information.
st.LK>MK - This string can be useful for hit-confirms and frame traps. It looks identical to FLA LK>MK but has shorter blockstun, which could be used to confuse opponents. See the ‘Option-Selects’ (Backdash OS 1) section for more information.
st.MP>MP - This string is useful to create some distance from the opponent on block and hit-confirm into cross rush or HK Hunting Hawk (qcb+HK). cr.HK can be used to frame trap after the FLA transition.
FLA LK>MK - Just like st.MK>MK>HK, this is a good tool for pressure and frame traps due to the high blockstun. It has the added benefit of starting with a 4f standing low, but it is harder to hit-confirm. (Recommended followups on hit would be launcher or EX Hunting Hawk.) In addition, it has some built-in forward movement, allowing a cancel into Dynamite Heel (hcb+P) to have very little pushback without requiring a Special Step (dp+P). See the ‘Special-Cancel Pressure’ and ‘Option-Selects’ (Backdash OS 2) sections for more information.
FLA MK>LK - This is a very effective tool for footsies and pressure against those characters that it can hit crouching due to the frame advantage on block and the forward movement punishing backdashes.
Special cancels can be used to create a variety of frame traps. The more blockstun a move has, the better it is for these frame traps because it allows for safer SCDC’s and Special Steps. Normal blockstun is 12 for light attacks, 16 for medium attacks, and 19 for heavy attacks. (cr.HK has a delayed cancel, so the effective “cancel blockstun” is only 12.) In addition, some of Hwoarang’s strings have 21 blockstun, making them even better for this kind of pressure. Note that using special moves in FLA stance causes you to retain the stance on recovery.
[dp+HP xx] hcb+P - This is your primary option when applying pressure with special cancels. Dynamite Heel (hcb+P) can be delayed in two different ways, either by varying the timing of the input after Special Step (dp+P) or by super charging it. On counterhit, Dynamite Heel leads to some of Hwoarang’s more damaging combos, especially if this is done in FLA stance. If your opponent reads the Dynamite Heel frame trap, they can backdash to make it whiff and possibly punish it. However, you can also punish their backdash attempt with an SCDC forward (into an OS if done early) or with a very delayed cancel from Special Step to Dynamite Heel. If Dynamite Heel is blocked (or hits), you can continue with additional frame traps.
hcb+[P]>f~f - This dash cancel leaves you at a frame disadvantage, so using it to re-apply pressure is somewhat risky. However, taking this risk encourages your opponent to attempt to punish it, which can set them up for a counterhit Dynamite Heel. Dashing always ends FLA stance, so if you want to use FLA LK here, you must re-input Motion Switch (KKK).
hcf+K - This move is quite risky, but it can be useful to bait certain moves, such as command grabs. It has advantage on block and can be followed with combos on hit.
Flamingo stance can be very helpful for offense, but it also comes with its disadvantages. For one thing, Hwoarang’s movement speed is slowed down dramatically during the stance, making it rather impractical to walk up to throw or re-apply pressure during the stance. In addition, he also loses access to his command normals. To work around these limitations, you can instantly cancel the stance by crouching for 1 frame. When using the FLA transition from strings, hold df to double as the input for the transition and the crouch input to cancel it. Otherwise, just tap/hold any down direction (db_d_df). Once Hwoarang crouches for 1 frame, you can walk forward or perform any standing attack or command normal.
Hwoarang has relatively increased freedom with jumps compared to other characters because of his aerial options. To jump out of an FLA transition, simply hold uf.
j.LP>MP - This is a good tool for mix-ups when your opponent doesn’t anti-air you. It comes out even on whiff, so opponents cannot crouch under it. Due to the high blockstun, a variety of blockstring/frame trap options can be used to follow it up.
hcf+K - This divekick is slow, but it hits overhead and has good frame advantage on block and hit.
hcf+KK - This version of the divekick is faster and has some startup invincibility, making it less reactable and more effective for baiting anti-airs.
(land)>cr.LP/cr.LK/FLA LK - Empty jumps into low attacks can be effective with Hwoarang to complement his aerial overhead options.
Backdash OS 1 (Low & High Smash Kick Combo)
Inputs: LK > hcb+MK > LP > MK
If the opponent blocks or gets hit, it will register as st.LK~st.MK>MK. If the opponent backdashes, the st.LK>MK 2nd hit will hit and cancel into Dynamite Heel for a bound.
Backdash OS 2 (Flamingo Kick Combo)
Inputs: (FLA stance) LK > hcb+MK > LP
If the opponent backdashes, the FLA LK>MK 2nd hit will hit and cancel into Dynamite Heel for a bound.
Backdash OS 3 (Crouch HK)
Inputs (no stance): (L attack)~n+MK > d+MK+HK
Inputs (FLA stance): LK > d+MK>HK
- If you start with st.LK, n+MK must be inputted quickly enough for the game not to register st.LK>MK on whiff.
- The timing of the final input is strict (depending on opponent character), and it can be plinked with LP or MP if necessary.
If the opponent blocks or gets hit, it will register as ~st.MK>MK. If the opponent backdashes, cr.HK will register.
From +1 frame advantage:
Does not work on: Kazuya, Ogre, Steve
Corner only: Chun-Li, Dhalsim, Ibuki, Nina, Xiaoyu, Asuka, Hwoarang, Law, Marduk
Reversal OS 1 (Guard)
Inputs (no stance): (L attack)~b+MK > b+MK
Inputs (FLA stance): LK > b+MK
If the opponent uses a (slow) invincible reversal, you should block it.
Reversal OS 2 (EX Special Step)
Inputs (no stance): (L attack)~n+MK > dp+LP+MP+MK
Inputs (FLA stance): LK > dp+LP+MP+MK
If the opponent uses a (slow) invincible reversal, EX Special Step will register.
Corner ARS Cross-up
After hitting with HK Hunting Hawk (qcb+HK) in the corner, it’s possible to set up an ambiguous cross-up and/or guaranteed roll-proof corner pressure.
To set this up, jump forward into the corner, and upon landing, immediately jump again and input Air Raid Special (hcf+K) to dive back to the ground. The position where Hwoarang lands can be altered depending on the direction of the jump and the version and timing of Air Raid Special. This also depends on the size of the opponent character. The only way for the opponent to avoid this mix-up is by rolling into the corner, forcing Hwoarang outside of the corner. In any case, you will always be right in front of the opponent with enough frame advantage to maintain pressure.
On average-sized characters, Hwoarang can still cross up if his second jump is towards the corner. However, on larger characters, the direction of the jump has to be changed.
When being crossed up by the opponent, there is a window during which dash inputs are suppressed, making it possible to do anti-roll option-selects.
One way in which Hwoarang can set this up is after HK Hunting Hawk, jumping forward and whiffing st.MK upon landing. As the st.MK recovers, input a dash forward, then immediately hold back and either input b+HK or a delayed f+LK > hcf+LP. If the opponent doesn’t roll, Hwoarang will simply dash forward. If the opponent does roll, either an overhead (f+HK) or a low (b+LK) will come out, depending on what was inputted. f+HK doesn’t quite hit as a meaty attack, so it is vulnerable to being stuffed. However, it catches reversal backdashes. b+LK cannot be stuffed but can be escaped with a reversal backdash.
Auto-correct Command Normals