Mekong Delta Tactical Handbook: Ultra Street Fighter 4 Rolento Guide
11/06/14 - Added Stinger section.
14/06/14 - Added EX Stinger info.
19/06/14 - Added Mekong Delta Attack and Mekong Delta Air Raid sections.
15/08/14 - Added some more EX Stinger info, Mekong Delta Escape and Super sections.
03/09/14 - Added information on U1 and U2, and a section comparing the two.
An Introduction from the Author
I love Street Fighter, and I love Rolento. I’ve loved using him since the Street Fighter Alpha days, and now that he’s been brought to Street Fighter 4, I will be using him in that. When I first started playing fighting games 10+ years ago, I can remember clearly being entirely at a loss for how to do the most basic moves or combos. I dug around online, and was amazed at the amount of information I was able to find in FAQs and guides that members of the community had written. I am eternally grateful for the time these people put into sharing information and making the games/characters I wanted to play that much more accessible.
Well, I’ve been playing Street Fighter 4 for 5 years now, I’ve had some success in the game - even won a tournament here or there, and have what I humbly consider a thorough understanding of the game’s underlying system mechanics. It occurs to me that now is my chance to give back to the community that was so good to me coming up, so I’ve begun assembling this guide. I intend for it to be a comprehensive breakdown of all things Rolento, and a tool that beginner - intermediate players will be able to reference to help them pick up this amazingly fun character. I’m posting it before completing so that I can get the community’s input and feedback, both on content and formatting. Please share any criticism or contribution with me, and I will happily take it into consideration!
Rolento is a highly mobile fighter with a solid array of mid-range neutral tools and close-up pressure options. His balanced tool set allows him to play comfortably at all ranges, though it’s difficult for him to apply pressure from outside his sweep range.
In the neutral, he is best suited to a hit-and-run game plan - leveraging his long-range pokes and signature Stinger special move to frustrate the opponent and eke out a life advantage while punishing sloppy approach attempts. Rolento should be looking for a knockdown with sweep or Patriot Circles to set up pressure, and always slowly and methodically pushing the opponent in to the corner, which is where Rolento can truly shine.
Once the opponent is cornered, any opening becomes an opportunity for massive damage. With some of the most confusing and relentless corner oki in the game, every knockdown leads into ambiguous cross-up/empty-jump low/throw mix-ups, or resets into instant Stinger to keep the opponent pinned in place, or any of Rolento’s Mekong Delta specials to catch a confused opponent unaware. When Rolento is able to control space freely, he can completely dominate with his long-range normals, quickly punishing any attempt to jump out by meeting it with an air-to-air.
His powerful poking tools and ridiculous corner pressure do come with a price - Rolento is a very weak character on his heels. He does not have great anti-air coverage, and he can be easily opened up after a knockdown. He has no attacks with invincibility, and so is forced to rely on patient blocking/throw escapes, or attempting to escape pressure with his backdash, Mekong Delta Backflip, or EX Mekong Delta Escape - all of which have startup invulnerability, but are easily punished if predicted.
- Strong mid-range footsie game
- Absolutely dominant inside of s.lp range
- Patriot Circles allow all his combos to end in knockdown
- Fairly good damage
- Stinger is a very useful tool for starting pressure and maintaining it up close (with instant Stinger)
- The ‘Mekong Delta’ moves (Backflip, Roll, Escape) give Rolento very unpredictable movement and attack options
- 2 strong ultras with lots of utility
- Anti-air options are situational and are quite high risk : low reward
- No invincible reversal attacks
- No safe way to escape the corner
- Hard to get big damage outside of c.mk range
- Average walk speed
- Forward and Back dash are both pretty ‘meh’
- Has a lot of confusing, but ‘gimmicky’ tools. If your opponent is diligent in anticipating and punishing them, Rolento’s options are much more restricted.
- Patriot Circles are punishable on block
- Lack of chainable normals makes it difficult to create tight, safe block strings
Quick Note on Reading Frame Data
Frame data in this guide will be presented thus:
H:Number of hits | BL:How the move is blocked | D:Damage | S:Stun | ST:Startup | A:Active Frames | R:Recovery | OH:Advantage on hit | OB:Advantage on block | C:Cancellability
*Notes: Any special properties of the move (e.g. ‘Forces Stand’, ‘Invincible frame 1-11’, etc.) will be listed here.
H:1 | BL:HL | D:30 | S:50 | ST:4 | A:2 | R:6 | OH:+6 | OB:+3 | C:Sp,Su
Rolento juts his stick out at chest-level for a quick poke - this is one of Rolento’s go-to moves for close-up pressure. At 4f, it’s extremely quick, and its hitbox stretches deceptively far down, allowing it to connect against all of the cast when crouching. Leaving Rolento at +6 on hit, it’s one of his best combo starters - linking easily into all of his light attacks, c.mk and cl.mk (2f link), as well as cl.hp and cl.hk (1f link). It’s +3 on block, which allows for a true block string into cl.lk (3f startup), as well as a ton of frame traps - [cl./s.]lp (1f trap), cl.mk (2f trap), cl.hk (3f), and more.
This move will be used a lot when you’re up close to your opponent to frustrate them, mixing block strings, frame traps, walking forward, and kara throws to keep them guessing on defense.
H:1 | BL:HL | D:70 | S:100 | ST:6 | A:3 | R:11 | OH:-3 | OB:-6 | C:Sp,Su
Notes: Juggle Potential 2
Rolento pokes his stick up at 60% angle starting from about his hip. cl.mp and s.mp are two of Rolento’s more consistent anti-airs, and for that purpose are virtually identical. Most of the time standing mp is used as an anti-air, it will come out as the far version due to its hit-box - it’s not a very strong move against people jumping right on top of you. Outside of anti-air applications, this move does have some juggle potential. It is the only normal that can be comboed after all 3 of EX Stinger’s knives hit - and it can then be cancelled into Stinger to continue applying pressure, or one of Rolento’s Mekong Delta specials for a gimmicky mix-up. Don’t use this button for pressure.
H:1 | BL:HL | D:90 | S:200 | ST:6 | A:8 | R:15 | OH:0 | OB:-5 | C:Sp,Su
Note: Forces Stand on Hit
Rolento performs an uppercut-looking move with his stick, which is minus on hit and block but can be special- and super-cancelled. This move can be linked after cl.lp and cancelled into Patriot Circles for a high-damage combo - this is especially useful against characters with small lower-body hitboxes (e.g. Balrog, Poison, Juri), against whom the more damaging cl.lp, cl.hk, c.mk will whiff. cl.hp can be used to combo into EX Stinger, although there is little practical application for this - EX Patriot Circle is always preferred. It can also combo into Rolento’s super, which is quite damaging, and leaves Rolento in a great position to apply wake-up pressure off the hard knockdown.
cl.hp can be used as an anti-air against opponents who are right on top of Rolento. Its hit-box reaches up quite high, so it’s quite effective against opponents neutral jumping right in-front of him, or who attempt to jump from close range. It works well against Guy’s Bushin flip, and Akuma’s Demon Flip if he uses it in neutral.
On counterhit, cl.hp will combo into a minimum height Stinger (non-EX), and allow you to combo c.mk xx Patriot Circles, sweep, or even U1/U2 afterward. It is -5 on block, so make sure that whenever you use this move, you’re cancelling it into one of Rolento’s specials to ensure you aren’t punished for it.
H:1 | BL:HL | D:30 | S:50 | ST:3 | A:6 | R:4 | OH:+4 | OB:+1 | C:Sp,Su
Rolento performs a quick knee to the chest. This move is great, and is important especially because it’s Rolento’s only 3f normal. It links into all of his light moves on hit, and provides moderate advantage at +1 on block. It can be followed-up with another cl.lk for a 2f trap, and [cl.lp,s.lp,s.lk,c.lp,c.lk] is a 3f trap. This quick knee is Rolento’s best bet for interrupting block strings, or checking opponents who are walking toward you in an attempt to reset pressure. It’s also important for situations that require a 3f punish. On offense, cl.lk will often be used after walking forward to check opponents attempting to crouch tech, or interrupt you with their own 3f normals.
Rolento’s lackluster wakeup options actually make this a viable reversal against opponents who you think will attempt a delayed throw or frame trap (think of the way Sakura players will use their cl.hp). It’s quite high-risk, however as it will lose to both meaty attacks and throws.
H:1 | BL:HL | D:70 | S:100 | ST:5 | A:6 | R:6 | OH:+5 | OB:+2 | C:Sp,Su
Rolento performs a slightly slower knee to the chest. With a 5f startup, +5 on hit, and +3 on block, this is a fantastic normal for frame traps and combos. It links into any of Rolento’s light attacks, as well as c.mk. It can be linked after all of his light attacks except cl.lk, and into c.mk xx Rekkas or c.lp, c.mk xx Rekkas for big damage. This move is great in pressure patterns like c.lk, cl.mk, which will combo on hit, and give a frame trap if the first hit his blocked. Against characters where cl.hk, c.mk will whiff, cl.mk, c.mk xx Rekkas is your most damaging punisher.
It looks very similar to cl.lk and s.lk, which are commonly used to set up tick throws. Use this to your advantage by cancelling it into instant Stinger, which will counter-hit a throw tech and allow you to follow-up with a combo of your choosing. cl.mk does push fairly far back on block, but Rolento’s excellent kara throw range means even from that distance, your opponent must be afraid of being scooped. Here you can use it’s +3 block advantage to create frame traps with s.lp or c.lp, which can then be comboed into c.mk xx Rekkas. On counter-hit, cl.mk is +8, and can be linked into either of his ultras (2f), and even his super (1f)!
H:1 | BL:HL | D:90 | S:200 | ST:6 | A:4 | R:12 | OH:+6 | OB:+2 | C:–
Rolento turns his back to his opponent and does a funky-looking upward-angled kick. This move is great for slower frame traps - with a startup of 6 frames, it is best applied to catch people attempting delayed techs in your block strings. It is also Rolento’s go-to combo starter for punish/focus crumple/jump-in situations (cl.rh, c.mk xx Rekkas.) It’s +6 on hit, and on CH will combo into either ultra for huge damage. It leaves Rolento at +2 on block, but pushes him outside of kara throw range, so you will often have to take risks to close distance if your opponent guards the move.
H:1 | BL:HL | D:30 | S:50 | ST:4 | A:3 | R:5 | OH:+6 | OB:+3 | C:–
For all intents and purposes, this move is identical to cl.lp. It starts up in the same number of frames, and provides the same advantage on hit and block, although it has one more active frame. Its range is quite good, and it is the second furthest-reaching of Rolento’s light normals. On hit, can be comboed into c.mk xx Rekkas. Use this move to apply pressure from outside most character’s light normal ranges.
H:1 | BL:HL | D:70 | S:100 | ST:6 | A:3 | R:11 | OH:+3 | OB:0 | C:–
Very similar to the close-standing counterpart. It does not have the ability to be cancelled into special or super, and leaves Rolento at +3 on hit, and even on block - but this move should never be used against grounded opponents. It is useful as an anti-air for opponents jumping in-front of Rolento.
H:2 | BL:HL | D:70,50 | S:150,50 | ST:8 | A:2,3 | R:23 | OH:-4 | OB:-8 | C:–
Rolento slams the ground with his stick, hitting the opponent twice on the way down. This move is Rolento’s furthest-reaching poke, although only the second hit (50 damage) connects from maximum range. There are very few characters with moves that extend further than s.hp, and it’s a fantastic asset to his mid-range neutral game. If you are within range for both hits to connect, it will beat Focus attacks and some armored moves as well. s.hp’s animation makes it look like it would work as an anti-air, but it is unreliable at best, and only gets 1 hit if it does work - it is recommended to use the more consistent s.mp and s.rh instead.
The recovery on this move is absolutely brutal, and if your opponent correctly anticipates it, you can expect to eat a full jump-in combo for your efforts. However, most characters when jumping in from max-range are at the perfect distance to be anti-aired with s.mp or s.hk - so if you notice your opponents getting jump-happy, float around at that range and wait for your opportunity to knock them out of the sky. s.hp is -4 on hit, and -8 on block - so you need to be exceptionally careful against characters capable of punishing from long range like Vega with his c.mp, Ryu/Chun with their Supers, or Rolento and Decapre with their far-reaching, quick Ultra attacks.
H:1 | BL:HL | D:30 | S:50 | ST:4 | A:3 | R:5 | OH:+6 | OB:+3 | C:–
s.lk looks very similary to cl.lk, though it comes out 1 frame slower, and it’s advantage on hit and block are superior. Overall, this move is very similar to s.lp, though it is not as far reaching. It can be mixed into pressure to add confusion and style points when in range, but s.lp is generally preferred.
s.lk’s other important application is for Rolento’s kara throw (lk~lk+lp). It moves Rolento roughly 3.5 training mode squares forward, which is on par with Vega’s kara (although Rolento’s normal throw range is not as far.) The kara throw is absolutely essential to Rolento’s game, as it’s the threat of being thrown that will induce your opponents to start pressing buttons from further out which can be punished on counter-hit for huge damage.
H:1 | BL:HL | D:70 | S:100 | ST:8 | A:5 | R:11 | OH:+1 | OB:-2 | C:–
Rolento juts his leg out parallel to the ground in a straight kick. s.mk is a fantastic poke with great range. It is great for conditioning your opponent not to press buttons from just outside s.lp/c.lp range - when you notice them hesitating, you can take a step in to start pressure with your jabs. It starts up quickly, provides solid damage for a mid-range poke, and is safe on block. Use this move liberally, as its speed, range and safety make it one of Rolento’s most annoying mid-range tools. If you notice opponents dancing in and out of s.mk range attempting a whiff punish, you can whack them with the further-reaching s.hp or c.hp, or bait a sweep attempt with c.lk, and punish with your own c.mk xx Rekkas.
H:1 | BL:HL | D:100 | S:200 | ST:6 | A:4 | R:15 | OH:+3 | OB:-1 | C:–
Rolento’s s.hk looks identical to his cl.rh, though it’s uses in footsies are quite limited. It can be used situationally as an anti-air against poorly spaced jumps, though its hitbox is poor and it often trades. Its range is worse than s.mk, but can be peppered in against tall grapplers to check early jump attempts. Overall not a very strong button.
H:1 | BL:HL | D:30 | S:50 | ST:4 | A:2 | R:7 | OH:+5 | OB:+2 | C:Sp,Su
Rolento crouches down and shoots out a quick poke to the kneecaps with his stick. c.lp is Rolento’s favourite button. It is his furthest-reaching light attack (with even further range than Balrog c.lp!) It’s +5 on hit, so from close-up, it can be linked into cl.mk, or cl.lp/s.lp, and from max-range it links into c.mk. c.lp is +2 on block, allowing 1f trap with cl.lk up-close, or 2f traps with cl.lp/s.lp/s.lk, and 3f with cl.mk. Due to this move’s great range and quick start-up, it’s Rolento’s best tool for checking mid-range foes attempting to walk up to him. From just outside max-range, you can buffer an EX Patriot Circle. If your opponent walks into the c.lp or presses a button, it will combo, allowing you to follow-up with a juggle.
H:3 | BL:HL | D:20,20,30 | S:20,20,60 | ST:8 | A:9 | R:5 | OH:+6 | OB:+4 | C:–
Rolento sticks out his baton and twirls it, tickling the opponent’s toes. c.mp is an interesting move - starting with the obvious: 3 hits means it will break armor, and it links into c.mk and hit and leaves Rolento at +4 on block, which allows for a lot of . It pushes fairly far out, which is not idea for Rolento’s pressure, and 8 frames is a pretty slow start-up. It can be used for catching crouch techers, but in my opinion is out-classed by several of Rolento’s other options in that aspect. The multi-hit property is definitely where this move shines. If you notice your opponent is trying to escape your pressure by Focus-back dashing, c.mp can throw a serious monkey wrench in that tactic, and allow you to land big damage afterward. This logic can also be applied to characters attempting to escape with armored specials like Balrog’s EX Dash Punches, or Abel’s EX COD.
H:1 | BL:HL | D:100 | S:200 | ST:11 | A:4 | R:15 | OH:+3 | OB:-1 | C:–
Rolento leans forward from a crouched position and swipes at the opponent’s shins. c.hp is a solid, damaging poke with slightly more range than s.mk, and slightly less than s.hp. It’s slow to start up at 11 frames, and has a fair amount of recovery, so can’t be thrown too recklessly. It’s a great counter-poke, as it gets full 100 damage at max range, where s.hp only gets 50. It’s another of the tools in Rolento’s arsenal to make your opponent fear you at mid-range, and clam up allowing you to close space. Up-close, it can function as a gimmicky counter-hit setup, as it’s +6 on CH and can be linked into c.mk. With 11 frames of startup, however, it’s not reliable, and Rolento has far better frame trap tools.
H:1 | BL:L | D:30 | S:50 | ST:4 | A:4 | R:5 | OH:+5 | OB:+2 | C:Sp,Su
Rolento’s sticks out a little kick that looks like every other low short in the game. Rolento’s c.lk is markedly improved over its iterations in other games. For the first time, c.lk has been given enough advantage on hit to allow it to link into other normals. At +5/+2, and 4f startup, it’s frame data is pretty much the same as c.lp - except, of course, for the fact that c.lk must be blocked low. Its range is much lower than c.lp, but it’s low-hitting property makes it Rolento’s low normal of choice at point-blank. On hit, it links into c.mk, or any other light attack for an easier confirm. I love the c.lk, cl.mk pressure pattern, as it combos on hit, and nets a beefy counterhit if your opponent tries to tech, but there are many more to explore. Rolento’s pogo mixups on wake-up were confusing enough in SFxT, but now the threat of empty jump - low is all too real.
H:1 | BL:L | D:65 | S:100 | ST:5 | A:3 | R:16 | OH:0 | OB:-5 | C:Sp,Su
Rolento sticks out his leg to kick at the opponent’s foot, low profiling him considerably. Ah, c.lk may have seen improvements over previous versions, but c.mk has certainly seen better days… the range on this move has been gimped considerably. The hitbox just disappears after Rolento’s ankle, and so its use in footsies is pretty well relegated to whiff punishing. Luckily, Rolento does have several other great mid-range options to make up for it.
The main application for c.mk is finishing combos, as it’s his go-to normal to cancel into Rekkas. It can also be used at the end of block strings cancelled into Stinger/Roll/Backflip (it’s at a large disadvantage on block, so should usually be cancelled to compensate.) c.mk can also combo into EX Stinger, which has some potential in the corner where it can be followed up with a move cancelled into Mekong shenanigans. c.mk also has limited applications as an anti-air against some moves. It brings Rolento’s hurtbox very low to the ground and can catch opponents in their landing frames, hitting grounded and leading into a full combo. It’s risky and situational, but the potential reward is high.
H:1 | BL:L | D:100 | S:200 | ST:10 | A:7 | R:22 | OH:KD | OB:-11 | C:–
Note: Hard Knockdown on hit
Rolento slides on the ground and trips his opponent on hit - similar to Claw/Dictator sweep. Rolento’s sweep is his furthest range normal, but it’s extremely punishable if blocked. Even when blocked right at the tip, it’s -4, and can’t be FADC’d like Dictator’s. Generally, this move should be reserved for long-range punishes, and comboing after mid-range Stinger when U2 is not available. However, as with all sliding sweeps, it can occasionally be thrown out against opponents if you’re certain you can catch them attempting to walk back. Sweep also combos after EX Patriot Circle against some of the cast, and EX Stinger when 2 or fewer of the knives hit.
After the hard knockdown, Rolento can set up a safe jump with nj.fp or nj.rh, although you must remain cognisant of the possibility of delayed wakeup. All-in-all, this move should be used very sparingly, if at all in neutral, but if you see a guaranteed chance to land it, do so, as it can set up Rolento’s incredible up-close pressure.
H:1 | BL:H | D:40 | S:50 | ST:4 | A:3
Rolento pokes his stick forward parallel to the ground at chest-level in the air. nj.lp is a very effective air-to-air to stuff out characters attempting to jump right on top of Rolento (where s.mp is useless) - it is overall Rolento’s most consistent anti-air option, though the damage is quite low. This move has very little air-to-ground utility, and should generally be reserved for situations where both you and your opponent are close in the air, as j.lp is fast and has good range and priority to beat out other air options. nj.lp is one of Rolento’s most important corner control tools - it can be used to stuff almost any jumping escape attempt, and typically causes Rolento to land before the opponent, allowing you to apply meaty reset pressure.
H:3 | BL:H | D:20,20,40 | S:20,20,26 | ST:5 | A:12
Notes: 1st hit causes limited juggle state, 2nd hit juggle potential 1, 3rd hit juggle potential 2
Rolento twirls his baton below his feet for a multi-hitting aerial attack. j.mp has two principle applications - one is a jump-in attack to beat out Focus and armored specials/normals. The other is as an air-to-air - although it doesn’t work well against opponents above him, its 5 frame startup and whopping 12 active frames make it extremely effective against opponents attempting to meet you in the air. Unfortunately, only the first hit of j.mp needs to be blocked high, so it can’t be used to open up opponents used to blocking high-low (like Ryu’s j.mp or Chun-Li’s j.hp,hp). Mix this move into your offensive jump patterns to make your opponent second-guess attempting to focus dash or use armored reversals to get away.
H:1 | BL:H | D:100 | S:200 | ST:7 | A:4
Rolento swats with his stick in a downward arc ending below his feet. j.hp is the go-to jump-in for punishing fireballs and maximizing damage. It does high damage and stun, and has quite far range in-front of Rolento, although its lack of active frames can make it very difficult to space correctly, and it will often whiff with Rolento’s baton passing straight through the opposing character if timed poorly. If opponents are attempting to disrespectfully cross you up from close-range, bj.hp will swat them out of the air, and often net you a counter-hit while putting Rolento in a more favourable screen position. The hitbox for this move extends far down below Rolento, allowing him to hit targets directly below him. Unfortunately, there is not much hit-box above Rolento - this fact, combined with its lack of active frames make it a so-so air-to-air normal. fj.hp can be used as an instant overhead against all the male cast except Gen, Vega, Guy and Adon, as well as Rose and Makoto of the females. You can be punished with a full combo during your landing frames even on hit, so it’s generally only recommended to pull this out as a round closer.
H:1 | BL:H | D:40 | S:50 | ST:3 | A:7
Rolento kicks diagonally upward, hitting above his head. j.lk is a funny move, with a couple specific applications. It can be used as an air-to-air in many of the same situations as j.lp - it doesn’t have as much forward range, but it reaches higher vertically, starts up quicker and has more active frames, which means it can be used a little more preemptively. Its other application is the standard gimmick of using j.lk as a jump-in when the opponent expects j.hp or j.mk and using the short block stun to create a quicker throw/frame trap mix-up than expected. j.lk can also be used at the apex of Spike Rod’s bounce to fake out an opponent expecting another jumping attack before going for an empty bounce -> low.
H:1 | BL:H | D:70 | S:100 | ST:6 | A:6
Rolento kicks straight-forward, but with a hitbox that extends quite far behind as well. j.mk is Rolento’s ambiguous cross-up move, his most consistent far-reaching air-to-ground normal, and Rolento’s best overall jumping attack. It gives quite a good amount of hit-stun, allowing you to use this move early in your jump arc, and still combo when you land (you can hit Hugo around his collar-bone, and still link a cl.lk or cl.lp on landing.) Air-to-air, it’s not bad - the forward range is quite good, and it stays active for a while - it will lose to opponents above the leg, though. Your main uses for this will be in setting up ambiguous cross-ups on your opponent’s wake-up (with or without Spike Rod), as a far-reaching air-to-air, and as a jump-in from max ranges where j.hp is inclined to whiff.
H:1 | BL:H | D:100 | S:200 | ST:6 | A:4
Rolento extends his leg, kicking at a downward angle. j.hk can be used interchangably with j.hp in a lot of jump-in situations, though it does not have as good horizontal range. The main unique applications for j.hk are defending against dive kick characters (bj.hk’s hitbox seems to extend a little further horizontally than bj.hp’s), and setting up fuzzy guard situations with j.hp/j.hk, bj.hk. j.hk can also be used to catch opponents who are attempting to anti-air Rolento with low-profile ground normals to catch him on trip guard, since j.hk is very difficult to duck. j.hk can cross-up in certain situations, but is not reliable.
Trick Rod (f+mk)
H:1 | BL:H | D:70 | S:100 | ST:17 | A:4 | R:12 | OH:+1 | OB:-2 | C:–
Notes: Low crush, airborne frames 4-29, throw invulnerable from frame 1
Rolento hops up on his rod like a pogo-stick, dodging low attacks and throws, and hitting overheard. Trick Rod is a great little tool for Rolento’s pressure. It hits high, and leaves him at slight advantage while being generally safe on block at -2. On counter-hit, it can link into c.lk, c.mk xx Rekkas for reasonable damage, but it’s 17f start-up makes it a somewhat impractical frame trap normal. If performed on the opponent’s wake-up such that the last active frame is the one that connects, it can be linked into Rolento’s light attacks without a counter-hit.
It is worth mentioning some of the defensive applications of Trick Rod. From neutral situations, if you suspect your opponent is going to attempt a low forward or sweep, Trick Rod will beat them all out clean. It’s also effective against sliding sweeps like Elena’s or Fuerte’s. There are some matchup-specific applications as well - e.g. it can be used to hop over Juri’s ground fireballs (both regular and EX).
Trick Rod can be used, sparingly, as a sneaky tool to disrupt your opponent’s pressure. Effectively, it’s utility is in that it beats both low attacks and throws. So a situation you may want to use it in could be if you’re fighting a meterless Cammy who knocks you down, pressures you with a c.lk,c.lp,c.lp block string and starts walking toward you. You think it’s likely she will either go for a throw, or c.lk again to reset her pressure - Trick Rod will beat both options, and put you at a slight advantage to start pressure of your own.
Trick Rod is highly punishable if anticipated, and can even be heavily punished on reaction if it whiffs. It takes 4 frames for the move to become airborne, so even low attacks can beat it if they catch it during the grounded frames. It’s a neat tool, and complement’s Rolento’s game nicely, but it can cost you dearly if you get too predictable with it.
Spike Rod (d+mk in air)
H:1 | BL:HL | D:60 | S:50 | ST:6 | A:-- | R: Till landing +41-44 | OH:-- | OB:-- | C:–
Notes: 9 airborne ground-level recovery frames after Spike Rod, then 26 frame airborne bounce in chosen direction. 4 landing recovery frames if jumping normal used during bounce, 7 landing recovery frames if no jumping normal used. Forward bounce distance 1.28, backward bounce distance 1.19994
Rolento uses his stick as a pogo, neutralizing his jump momentum and falling straight down on his baton, hitting for minor damage as he lands, and then hopping up low in the air and allowing him to do another air attack. Spike Rod can be performed out of any jump, or Mekong Delta Escape after the wall-bounce. It can be steered by holding forward (which causes Rolento to bounce forward), back (bounces backward), or up (bounces in place) - if you do not steer, Rolento will continue moving in the direction of the original jump. This is one the tools that makes Rolento such a frustrating character to deal with when he gets in. This move can be mixed into Rolento’s neutral game sparingly. Rolento is completely vulnerable for the first 9 frames after Spike Rod, and can be easily anti-aired out of it by a vigilant opponent.
On knockdown, however, Spike Rod is much more valuable. Positioning the Spike Rod such that you bounce either directly in-front, or directly behind your opponent allows you to set up a very solid 50/50 between neutral bouncing and coming down with an attack on the same side, or bouncing forward/back to cross-up. Remember that if the spike rod lands behind your opponent, you will have to reverse the directions of where you want to bounce - holding forward will make you bounce back, and vice versa. This takes some getting used to, but once you get the hang of it’s quite easy.
It’s worth noting that Spike Rod has 7 frames of landing recovery if don’t press a button on the way down, but only 4 if you do - it is, therefore, pretty much always advisable to press something. Even if your intention is to fake the opponent out by doing an empty Spike Rod into low/throw, you’re better off whiffing a j.lp at the apex of the bounce, as you’ll recover faster when you land and be able to go quicker into your c.lk or grab.
Trick Landing (KKK just before landing from jump)
Neutral Jump Trick Landing: 1-24f airborne, 25-32f landing recovery
Forward Jump Trick Landing: 1-30f airborne, 31-38f landing recovery, forward travel distance 2.46641
Backward Jump Trick Landing: 1-31f airborne, 32-39f landing recovery, backward travel distance 2.08
Rolento hops on his baton out of a jump, much like Spike Rod - except Trick Landing is quicker overall, hops lower to the ground, cannot be steered, travels further (forward/backward versions), does not have any attack component, and can not be followed up with an air normal. Trick Landing is not an exceptionally useful move. It can be used to create major space between Rolento and his opponent after a back-jump, or if Rolento manages to jump over them in the corner, he can Trick Landing to put himself even further out harm’s way. Aside from that, avoid using this move, as Spike Rod is almost entirely superior.
LP Patriot Circle (QCF+LP)
H:3 | BL:HL | D:10,10,20 | S:10,10,20 | ST:14 | A:10 | R:22 | OH:+1 | OB:-3 | C:Su
Notes: Sets up limited juggle state on airborne foe, 2nd hit juggle potential 1, 3rd hit juggle potential 2
MP Patriot Cricle (QCF+MP)
H:3 | BL:HL | D:10,10,20 | S:10,10,20 | ST:16 | A:10 | R:24 | OH:-1 | OB:-4 | C:Su
Notes: Sets up limited juggle state on airborne foe, 2nd hit juggle potential 1, 3rd hit juggle potential 2
HP Patriot Circle (QCF+HP)
H:3 | BL:HL | D:10,10,20 | S:10,10,20 | ST:18 | A:10 | R:26 | OH:-3 | OB:-6 | C:Su
Notes: Sets up limited juggle state on airborne foe, 2nd hit juggle potential 1, 3rd hit juggle potential 2
Patriot Cirlce 2nd (QCF+P during Patriot Circle)
H:3 | BL:HL | D:10,10,20 | S:10,10,20 | ST:14 | A:9 | R:26 | OH:-3 | OB:-6 | C:Su
Notes: Sets up limited juggle state on airborne foe, 2nd hit juggle potential 3, 3rd hit juggle potential 4
Patriot Circle 3rd (QCF+P during Patriot Circle 2nd
H:3 | BL:HL | D:20,20,40 | S:20,20,40 | ST:15 | A:13 | R:31 | OH:SKD | OB:-22 | C:Su
Notes: Soft knockdown on hit. Sets up limited juggle state on airborne foe, 2nd hit juggle potential 4, 3rd hit juggle potential 5
EX Patriot Cirlce
H:7 | BL:HL | D:15x6,10 | S:10x7 | ST:12 | A:19 | R:21 | OH:SKD | OB:-7 | C:–
Notes: Soft knockdown on hit. All hits cause limited juggle state, final hit causes free juggle state on grounded foes, all hits juggle potential 7, first 6 hits don’t increase juggle count
Rolento lunges forward twirling his baton - the regular version has two ‘Rekka-like’ follow-ups, and the EX pops the opponent up for a Juggle on hit. The Patriot Circle (PC/Rekka) is Rolento’s signature special move, and has been his go-to combo ender since the inception of the character. Almost all of your combos will be (ideally) ending in either regular or EX Patriot Circles, as they do great damage, knock down, and corner-push quite well. Typically, hp Patriot Circle is used as the combo finisher as it reaches furthest, however there are some specific situations in which other strengths are preferred. Against Elena, for example, after c.lp,c.lp,c.mk, HP Rekka can sometimes be blocked due to Elena’s weird hitbox, and its slightly lower start-up. In this situation, MP Rekka will work every time. If you are in range for LP or MP Rekkas, you might prefer using those as a default as a safeguard against dropped links, as they are less punishable. Mid-screen, after connecting with full Rekkas, forward dash into c.lk/c.lp/s.lp will hit meaty and can be linked into c.mk against most characters.
Generally speaking, you should only use PC as a combo ender - the LP version has the best frames, leaving him -3 on block. Against shotos and grapplers, you should never use Rekkas outside of combos, as they can get a free DP/Command Grab after any blocked PC. Against characters who don’t have a 3f normal to punish you with (e.g. Vega), you can go into the first hit of LP Rekka safely, but generally you’re still better off fishing for a counter-hit with light attacks, and confirming into Rekkas from there. If your Rekka does end up getting blocked (either because you dropped a combo, or refused to heed my advice and are using it in block strings), you can FADC for safety. PC xx FADC Forward is +3 on block, which catches a lot of people off guard, as they expect it to be negative. PC2 xx FADC Forward is +2, and PC3 xx FADC Forward is -6 (punished by Chun EX SBK, but not Viper HP TK.) So, as a rule of thumb, PC1/2 - FADC Forward to continue pressure. PC3 - FADC Back.
On hit, PC1 and PC2 can be FADC’d forward, and linked into cl.rh (or a combo of your choosing, but cl.hr, c.mk maximizes damage.) PC1/2 are both +6 on hit, but it is advised to FADC the first Rekka, as your follow-up combo will do more damage due to damage scaling. All hits of Rekka can also be cancelled into Super, which is useful if you have the bars and are going for the kill. Again, cancelling out of PC1 will do the most damage due to damage scaling, but the difference is small.
Rekkas can be useful as a chip move to close out a round, or if you have bar to make them safe. The first 2 Rekkas deal 11 chip each (3,3,5), and the 3rd deals 23 (5,5,13) - meaning all 3 of them deal 45 damage, which is a fairly healthy amount. Again, if you have the bar, the 3rd Rekka can be cancelled into Super to add even more inescapable chip damage. It’s worth noting here that the only normal which cancels into Rekkas as a true block string is cl.hp, and it must be cancelled into LP or MP Rekkas.
EX PC is Rolento’s preferred 1 meter combo ender. It leaves the opponent in a juggle state, allowing for a follow-up (generally s.hk or c.hk mid-screen, and cl.hp or c.hk in the corner.) U1 will juggle after, but should only be used when it is close to full, or opponent is very low on life, as it does not give Rolento any pressure afterward. Only some of the cast can be swept after EX PC (I haven’t compiled an entire list yet, but it seems roughly similar to the characters who can be swept after Akuma’s LK Tatsu) - against those characters, EX PC is always the preferred combo ender when meter is available, regardless of screen position. The c.hk knockdown puts Rolento right where wants to be (on top of the opponent), and allows for safe jumps, ambiguous cross-ups and Pogo mix-ups. Against the characters who can not be comboed with sweep after EX PC (and instead must be hit with s.rh), it should be used situationally. If they are close to death, then go for the extra damage, but it trades a soft knockdown (from regular Rekkas) for a reset at the cost of 1 bar. Not as easy a decision. If you are close enough after EX PC, you can juggle cl.hp afterward midscreen, which can be cancelled into min height Stinger, or Mekong Delta Air Raid Roll for mix-up potential.
In the corner, your combos should be ending in EX PC whenever the meter is available. You are able to combo cl.hp afterward regardless of your initial distance, which can set up crazy corner pressure. Against the characters who can be swept, that option may still be preferred, but the introduction of Delayed Wake-up (DWU) in USF4 has increased the appeal of resets. After EX PC, cl.hp xx Instant Light Stinger causes the knife to hit extremely meaty, leaving Rolento at massive advantage on block. It is also safe against 6f and slower reversals (so, no Shoto DP/Flash Kicks/Tiger Uppercuts) - against a lot of the cast, they have no option to evade it but back dash - and since you know that’s their only option, you can just watch for it, and if you see it, punish accordingly. Mekong Delta Air Raid, Empty EX Stinger Jump -> Throw, Mekong Delta Roll can also all be cancelled into to keep your opponent on their toes. More on all this later in the guide.
EX Rekka is extremely unsafe on block, and should never be used in block strings. It does less Chip than full non-EX Rekkas, and can not be made safe by FADCing Forward (which leaves Rolento at -5.) If this move is blocked (probably because you dropped a combo), FADC backward to safety, and wonder where all your meter went. EX PC works very situationally as an anti-air - it has no invincibility and often trades, and can only be comboed into U1 against air-borne foes (in which case U1 itself is a much better anti-air), so I would say overall is not worth it.
Stinger Jump LK (DP+LK)
Notes: 1-29f projectile invincible, 12-45f airborne, 46-52f landing recovery (if no Stinger thrown), Stinger throw possible after 9th frame
Stinger Jump MK (DP+MK)
Notes: 1-29f projectile invincible, 12-47f airborne, 48-54f landing recovery (if no Stinger thrown), Stinger throw possible after 9th frame
Stinger Jump HK (DP+HK)
Notes: 1-29f projectile invincible, 12-52f airborne, 53-59f landing recovery (if no Stinger thrown), Stinger throw possible after 9th frame
Stinger (P or K during Stinger Jump)
H:1 | BL:HL | D:50 | S:50 | ST:16 | A:-- | R:Till landing +7 on ground | OH:+19 max | OB:+11 max | C:–
Notes: Button strength determines Stinger release angle, causes free juggle state against airborne foe, juggle potential 2
EX Stinger Jump (DP+KK)
Notes: 1-22f projectile invincible, 6-22f airborne, 23-29f landing recovery (if no EX Stinger thrown), Stinger throw possible after 9th frame
EX Stinger (P or K during EX Stinger Jump)
H:3 | BL:HL | D:30x3 | S:50x3 | ST:9 | A:-- | R:Till landing +6 on ground | OH:SKD | OB:+3 | C:–
Notes: 1st hit causes free juggle state, all hits juggle potential 3, soft knockdown on hit
Rolento jumps vertically in the air, brandishing a barely visible knife on his way up, and performs a flip while releasing throwing the knife at a downward angle when a button is pressed. The strength of the button pressed determines the maximum height of the Stinger Jump, and its total duration (LK being a short hop, and HK being slightly loftier than his neutral jump.) Stinger Jump can be cancelled at any time after the 9th execution frame into the Stinger. Light buttons cause the knife to be released at a very steep angle right in-front of Rolento, medium buttons open the angle u slightly more, and the Heavy buttons throw the knife the furthest, and at the widest angle.
Stinger is Rolento’s most unique special move, and one he will make a lot of use of in both the neutral game and in his close-up pressure. The Stinger Jump does not leave the ground until the 12th frame, so it can’t be used to evade throws or low attacks - but it is completely projectile invincible from the first frame, making it useful for passing through fireballs from 3/4 to full screen (any closer, and you’re likely to get punished for it.) As soon as Stinger Jump is cancelled into Stinger, the projectile invincibility disappears - so make sure the fireball has passed through Rolento completely before throwing the knife. Stinger Jump by itself doesn’t build any meter.
From a neutral situation at at least 1/2 screen distance, min height Stingers can be thrown with relative impunity - it’s very difficult to react to, and the animation looks very similar to those of Rolento’s neutral jump, and his Mekong Delta Attack Backflip. This builds meter for Rolento quickly, while controlling the space on the ground about 2.5 character lengths in front of him. If opponents attempt to jump in from this range, you will often recover from Stinger quickly enough to stuff them with a well-timed s.mp. From 3/4 to full screen, you can let Rolento float a little higher before releasing the Stinger, in order to control more of the screen with the move. Often, the opponent will attempt to punish your Stinger attempts by jumping forward to air-to-air you during the Stinger Jump. In these instances, you can fake a Stinger Jump by neutral jumping (the animations look almost identical), and beat the opponent’s air-to-air attempt with an early j.mk or j.hp.
Up-close, instant Stinger cancelled out of any of Rolento’s normals (or sometimes even raw) is a great tool. It works a little like a dive kick, but slower and much easier to be hit out of. Instant Stinger is +19/+11 at point-blank, which is massive frame advantage, and allows you to set-up the counter-hit/throw set-up of your choice. Cancelled out of c.lk, c.lk, c.lp, etc. is quite unsafe on start-up, but often catches opponents attempting delayed crouch techs. Counter-hit cl.hp actually combos into minimum height Stinger, which is then easily linked into the most damaging combos Rolento has access to, making it his single most intimidating frame trap setup. In the corner, after a combo ending in EX PC, you can reset with cl.hp xx Instant LP Stinger, which is safe against 6f reversals, and puts an incredibly meaty knife on top of the opponent as they are reset. Once blocked, you can follow-up with any pressure pattern you like. If you reset with HP Stinger, the animation looks identical, but the knife will whiff entirely against most of the cast, and you can throw the opponent as they are expecting to block.
If Stinger connects on a grounded opponent, it leaves them in quite a bit of hit-stun, typically allowing you to combo afterwards if you are close enough to the ground. What you combo with depends entirely on spacing, meter availability, and your estimation of frame advantage from when you land - it’s hard to quantify, but you get a sense for it soon enough. Generally from further away, you want to use c.hk or c.hp (U2 if you have it), and from close-up either c.mk or cl.hk to start a combo, depending on just how close you are (again, raw Ultra if you have one.)
When Stinger connects against an air-borne opponent, it puts them into a free juggle state, allowing you to follow-up with whatever move you like. Once again, move selection depends on several factors including spacing, their height from the ground when you land, and meter availability. Generally speaking, c.hk is the best option when you don’t have access to/aren’t in range for U1. Just try to use the best button you think you have time for - c.hp works when you don’t think c.hk will quite tag them. Up-close, cl.hp or cl.mk can be used to reset them into another Stinger, or one of Rolento’s Mekong Delta moves. If you connect with a level 2 or CH level 1 FA and back dash, your most damaging follow-up is a Stinger which hits air-borne, comboed into Sweep.
EX Stinger is a different beast. Rolento flashes yellow and performs a low, forward-moving hop in the air - throwing three lightning quick knives when released instead of one. The hop itself is much shorter in duration (29 total execution frames compared to 52 of LK Stinger), and you are considered airborne on the 6th frame (as opposed to the 9th with regular Stinger.) When a 3 of EX Stinger’s knives connect, it causes a soft knockdown, and puts the opponent into a limited juggle state, after which you are able to juggle only with PC, EX PC and U1. When fewer than 3 of the knives connect, the opponent is put into a free juggle state, which allows you to follow-up with any of your normals. In combos, there are limited applications for EX Stinger - after cl.fp in the corner, you can wait until the apex of the jump to release the Stinger, causing one of the knives to whiff when you release. You can sweep afterwards, netting a hard knockdown. EX PC, c.hk does more damage, but EX Stinger (2 hits), c.hk can be used against the entire cast. EX Stinger can also be used as a combo ender on its own, as the soft knockdown it grants provides significantly better wakeup pressure options than PC3. It does, however, deal less damage.
In neutral, EX Stinger can be used as a fairly quick and safe mid-range poke. If opponents are fishing for a c.hk by charging FA at its max range, you can use EX Stinger to quickly discourage that, as its multiple hits easily break through armor, and your opponent can’t avoid it by backdashing. EX Stinger Jump can be used to pass through fireballs as it is projectilve invincible from frame 1, just like the normal version. The knives come out much faster than the normal version, so this can even be used to punish some fireballs with very bad recovery. EX Stinger leaves you at a respectable +3 on block, so up-close you can continue pressure afterwards.
It is worth mentioning that empty EX Stinger Jump can also be used for some gimmicky mix-ups. In certain situations, it will cause Rolento to corpse hop knocked down opponents, or it can be cancelled out of normals in reset situations to place you right next to the opponent so you can throw them. Rolento has myriad terrible Reversal options, of which EX Stinger is one. It’s airborne from the 6th frame, so it can sometimes avoid really late throws or low attacks - don’t use it.
Mekong Delta Attack
Mekong Delta Attack Backflip (PPP)
Notes: 1-11f invincible, 12-26f airborne, 27-45f landing recovery (27-28f landing recovery if cancelled into MDA), backward move distance 0.84
LP Mekong Delta Attack (LP During Backflip)
H:1 | BL:HL | D:12 | S:20 | ST:Backflip+3 | A:14 | R:10 | OH:-2 | OB:-8 | C:Su
Notes: Armor break, soft knockdown on counter hit or vs. airborne foe, 1-26f projectile invincible, travels 25% screen distance
MP Mekong Delta Attack (MP During Backflip
H:1 | BL:HL | D:12 | S:20 | ST:Backflip+3 | A:14 | R:10 | OH:-2 | OB:-8 | C:Su
Notes: Armor break, soft knockdown on counter hit or vs. airborne foe, 1-26f projectile invincible, travels 50% screen distance
HP Mekong Delta Attack (HP During Backflip
H:1 | BL:HL | D:12 | S:20 | ST:Backflip+3 | A:16 | R:9 | OH:-2 | OB:-8 | C:Su
Notes: Armor break, soft knockdown on counter hit or vs. airborne foe, 1-27f projectile invincible, travels 65% screen distance
EX Mekong Delta Attack (PP During Backflip)
H:5 | BL:HL | D:30x4,80 | S:30x4,100 | ST:Backflip+3 | A:24 | R:10 | OH:SKD | OB-10 | C:–
Notes: Armor break, soft knockdown on hit, juggle potential = hit number minus one
Rolento hops and does a back flip, travelling backwards on the screen. When he lands, he can cancel into a rolling attack which sends him forward different distances depending on the strength of the button pressed. Mekong Delta Attack Backflip (Backflip) is primarily notable for its 11 frames of start-up invulnerability. It’s not much, but it makes it one of Rolento’s safest reversal options mid-screen, both for getting out of block string pressure and on wakeup. It is similar to a backdash in utility, though it moves Rolento further back, is airborne longer, and has more total execution frames. It will avoid certain OS setups intended to catch backdash (e.g. Ryu’s c.lk, OS Sweep), but there are some option selects which will catch both (e.g. Ryu j.hk, OS HK Tatsu). It can be used to get out of sticky situations sparingly, but can be easily punished by any character if it’s predicted.
From half screen plus, Backflips can be good to pepper in with Stinger Jumps and neutral jumps to keep your opponents on their toes, as any Backflip might lead into a Mekong Delta Attack (MDA). MDA is a very important tool in Rolento’s arsenal for closing space - especially against characters who attempt to zone you out. It is projectile invincible from the first frame, so it can be used to go through fireballs and cover significantly more ground than a focus dash would. However, the roll has no strike invulnerability, and it will often lose out to well-timed low pokes, so it can’t be thrown out recklessly. When MDA connects, it leaves Rolento at a slight disadvantage on hit, and is punishable by a lot of the cast on block. Characters with quick, far-reaching sweeps, fast long-range reversals or ultras will be able to easily punish. It breaks armor, and knocks down on counter- or aerial hit. It also does a healthy chunk of chip damage (30) - if you notice your opponent is having difficulty punishing MDA, feel free to abuse it as it can be very annoying to deal with.
MDA can also be used in blockstrings to put you right in-front of your opponent for a counter-hit/throw set-up. Something like c.lp, s.lp, c.mk xx Backflip xx LP MDA should stop just short of hitting your opponent, allowing you to throw them while they are still waiting to block - like a Blanka jab Rolling Attack mixup.
EX MDA hits 5 times, and does a whopping 200 damage on hit (52 chip damage), scoring a soft knockdown. It does not, however, have any projectile invincibility whatsoever, and it has 2 more frames of disadvantage on block, making it easier to punish than normal MDA. If you back-flip and dodge a really laggy attack (like a DP or SPD), immediately punish with the EX MDA. It gives great corner-push, big damage, and a knockdown that gives oki roughly equivalent to PC3.
It is worth mentioning that the normal MDA can be FA or RFA-cancelled to improve its recovery. In order to punish the roll on block, most characters need to hit their button as soon as they come out of block stun. As a result, if your opponent is especially keen to punish MDA, you can catch them off guard by focus cancelling and allowing the Level 1 to hit as soon as possible - striking your opponent’s outstretched punish attempt in its opening frames, and netting you a crumple from the counter-hit. On hit, Level 1 RFA cancel will crumple allowing you to follow-up for big damage.
Mekong Delta Air Raid
LP Mekong Delta Air Raid Roll (QCB+LP)
Notes: Rolls backwards for 22 frames and 20% screen distance. Mekong Delta Air Raid possible after 6th frame
MP Mekong Delta Air Raid Roll (QCB+MP)
Notes: Rolls backwards for 36 frames and 40% screen distance. Mekong Delta Air Raid possible after 6th frame
HP Mekong Delta Air Raid Roll (QCB+HP)
Notes: Rolls backwards for 46 frames and 60% screen distance. Mekong Delta Air Raid possible after 6th frame
Mekong Delta Air Raid (P During Mekong Delta Air Raid Roll)
H:1 | BL:H | D:90 | S:150 | ST:Roll+30 | A:3 | R:11 | OH:+11 | OB:+3 | C:–
Notes: Hit against airborne foe causes limited juggle state, armor break, strength button pressed determines jump distance
EX Mekong Delta Air Raid Roll (QCB+PP)
Notes: Rolls backwards for 45 frames and 80% screen distance, 1-39f projectile invincible, EX Mekong Delta Air Raid possible after 5th frame
EX Mekong Delta Air Raid (P During EX Mekong Delta Air Raid Roll)
H:1 | BL:H | D:90 | S:150 | ST:EX Roll+20 | A:4 | R:13 | OH:+8 | OB:-3 | C:–
Notes: 1-19f projectile invincible, 1-23f airborne, hit against airborne foe causes limited juggle state
Rolento rolls backward and then leaps into the air swinging his baton downward, and striking the opponent with a surprise overhead. The Mekong Delta Air Raid Roll (Back roll) is a great tool to quickly adjust your positioning and create some space between you and your opponent. With 22 total execution frames (for the LP version), it’s a fair bit quicker than Rolento’s laggy backdash (at 27f), and your opponent must respect your ability to cancel it into the Air Raid. Although with Rolento we do not often endeavour to create space (we are normally trying to close it!), it is a useful tool to keep in your bag of tricks, and it helps keep the opponent confused and on their heels - precisely where we want them mentally.
The Mekong Delta Air Raid (MDAR/Air Raid/AR) is relatively slow overhead during which Rolento enters an airborne state, and which leaves Rolento at enormous advantage on hit, and still considerable advantage on block. The button you press will determine how far Rolento leaps (HP being the furthest and LP being the shortest). On hit, combo into either Ultra, or whatever BnB you like. On block, you can leverage your +3 advantage to continue applying pressure with frame traps/throws. Sharp opponents will be able to hit you out of the start-up of AR, especially if they have a fast uppercut like Ryu or Oni’s DP. Therefore, it’s important we not get predictable with when and how we use it. From the right spacing, you can bait out opponents looking to DP Air Raid by performing an LP roll, jumping forward and immediately cancelling your jump momentum into Spike Rod and bouncing backward - causing your twitchy opponent’s DP to whiff, and allowing you a punish. If AR hits your opponent air-borne (perhaps because of a poorly-timed backdash or jump-back attempt), you can combo with U1.
EX Mekong Delta Air Raid Roll (EX Back roll) looks identical to its non-EX counterpart, save for the fact that Rolento flashes yellow while performing it. It moves backwards fast and far, so it can be used as a quick “Get outta dodge” type escape, but it has no strike or throw invulnerability, so it is not particularly reliable for escaping pressure. It is noteworthy, however, for the projectile invincibility it provides. Althought moving backwards with projectile invincibility seems a little counter-productive, it makes more sense when you take into consideration the fact that it can be cancelled into…
EX Mekong Delta Air Raid (EX AR) looks identical to its non-EX counterpart, but flashes yellow. It has a tracking property, and will follow any opponent within about half-screen distance (never dropping short or going over their head as Normal AR might.) The EX Back Roll can be cancelled out of after 5 frames, and EX AR starts up in 20, so it’s a little more difficult to react to than the normal version. On hit, it leaves the opponent at a more modest +8, and on block is considered slightly punishable at -3. You are still able to combo into either ultra, although the timing is a little tighter. EX AR also has projectile invincibility on start-up - and I have found that, outside of gimmicky resets and tricky overheads in block strings, the best application for EX Back Roll / EX AR is during your opponent’s block strings when they get too predictable with their fireballs. If you are facing a Ryu, and he has consistently cancelled c.mk into Hadouken from max range, you can punish hard by performing a reversal EX Back roll into immediate EX AR. This will net huge damage and should make your opponent very hesitant to throw out sloppy fireballs in future. Once again, you can juggle into U1 if this move hits your opponent air-borne.
Mekong Delta Escape
Mekong Delta Escape (QCB+K)
Notes: Airborne starting on 12th frame, wall jump on 33rd frame, wall jump crosses 80% stage distance, 9 frames landing recovery if no jumping attack is performed after jump
EX Mekong Delta Escape (QCB+KK)
Notes: 1-32f Invincible, airborne starting with wall jump on 33rd frame, can alter wall jump trajectory with 4 or 6, 9 frame landing recovery if no jumping attack is performed after jump
Rolento leaps backward, jumping off the wall behind him and launching himself toward the opponent. In the EX version, he flashes yellow and can control his movement in the air after the wall bounce. After jumping off the wall, you can attack with any of Rolento’s air normals, as well as Spike Rod. Mekong Delta Escape (MDE) is a move with very limited applications. Only the EX version is steerable (the normal version will always carry him about 80% of the way across the screen), although you can use Spike Rod after the wall jump to stall your momentum and drop straight to the ground. You don’t build any meter for this, however, and a good opponent will be able to take advantage of your backtracking and push you further to the corner. Occasionally, if I want to back off from my pressure and play defensively, I will cancel a c.lp or c.mk into MDE and Spike Rod as soon as possible to put myself back at full distance, and force my opponents to come to me. If you have initiative with your back to the wall, you can also use the same tactic to surprise your opponent by leaping off the wall and escaping the corner. This can be punished, however, if your opponent reacts in time.
EX MDE has full invincibility until Rolento hits the wall, and can be steered. It’s one of two of Rolento’s invincible specials (the other being Backflip), and can be used to escape pressure from an unprepared opponent. Unfortunately, there is ample time for the opponent to react to the move, and meet Rolento with an air-to-air as becomes vulnerable leaving the wall. As a result, EX MDE must be used sparingly, if at all, against good opponents. Rolento is less open to punishment if you use this move when there is ample distance between Rolento and the wall he’s jumping off, as you can quickly steer yourself back, or drop down with Spike Rod, and your opponent won’t be in position to capitalize.
It’s worth noting that with both versions of MDE, you will have 9f of landing recovery if you don’t press a button in the air, so if your goal is just to escape, it still makes sense to whiff a normal on the way down to reduce the recovery to 2f.