SF4 Game Mechanics: Option-Selects



SF4 Game Mechanics: Option Selects

Youtube Video - Proof of Concept - SF4 Game Mechanics: Option-Selects 1
Youtube Video - Proof of Concept - SF4 Game Mechanics: Option-Selects 2

Table of Contents:

POST 1-3
[]Option Select Flowchart
]Option Select Concepts
[]Defensive Option-Selects
]Option-Select Block/delayed DP
[]Focus Attack O/S Crouch-tech Backdash
Overlapping Input Priority
]Armor Cancels
[]Crouch-techs/modified crouch-techs
[]Ground Buffers
]Air Buffers
[]Projectile Option Selects
]Testing Option Selects
[]Boxer Option-Selects
]Boxer O/S 1 - Meaty jab O/S Sweep
[]Boxer O/S 2 - Safe Jump O/S TAP
]Boxer O/S 3 - Meaty normal buffered Super/Ultra
[]Boxer O/S 4 - Ground normal cancelled Super
]Boxer O/S 5 - Modified Crouch-techs for dive kick throw mixups
[]Boxer O/S 6 - Safe Jump/meaty cr.lp buffered st.hp (C. Viper)
]Boxer O/S 7 - Safe Jump buffered normal throw (Makoto)
[]Opponent Option-Selects
]Opp O/S 1 - Akuma - Safe Jump demon-palm buffered cr.hk/U1/U2/Super
[]Opp O/S 2 - Ken - blocked f+mk, cr.mk cancelled dp/super | buffered U1/U2/tatsu
]Opp O/S 3 - Gen - Safe Jump O/S Crane Super/Ultra
[*]Opp O/S 4 - Sagat - lk.ts buffered kara ex.k-ts]

An option-select is used to create a situation where you can nullify the effective options of your opponent to a 50/50 guess, force them to only take a single option or put themselves in an unfavorable situation. The most well-known option-selects are offensive option-selects, such as buffers. There are also defensive option-selects like crouch-techs and option-select blocks, which can be used while under pressure or to generally return the match to neutral. The best kind of option-select is where all of the options your opponent can do are in your favor in terms of damage, positioning, and frame advantage. An option-select consists of two parts: a setup and a the actual option-select. A setup will force a situation that otherwise wouldn’t be present such as meaties after invincible recoveries, safe jumps after knockdowns as well as character specific setups (e.g. Ken blocked f+mk, cr.mk); usually nullifying 70% of their options (e.g. safe jump) while the option-select is what creates the unfavorable situation which accounts for the other 30%. Option Selects are heavily depending on the opponents access to meter, as well as the properties of their movesets.

Option Select Flow Chart:


Ultra freeze suspends input other than block
]A Block can only be characterized as an actual block, whether crouch blocking or stand blocking, the end result is that the opponent sustains chip damage if its a special, and enters block stun for a certain amount of time depending on the attack.
[]A Hit is characterized by anything that causes base damage (not chip) as well as some counter attacks (e.g. Dudley’s and Juri’s special counter as well as Fei Long and Cammy’s counter ultra). The “absorb” associated with focus attacks and armored attacks will also count as a hit.
]A Whiff is characterized by the attack not coming into contact with the opp, this outcome can be activated by the use of a backdash or invincible special.
[]A Normal throw is characterized by the opponent standing and hitting light punch and light kick together.
]3-5f DPs are listed because they can be safe jumped and frame trapped to some degree, but they either beat most setups, or can’t be option-selected.
Defensive Option-Selects

Option-Select Block/Delayed DP

This is a VERY basic option-select that allows a person to block primarily and counter-attack. This kind of option-selects is heavily based on reactions (and character knowledge to some extent). This is most useful for characters who have invincible specials that allow them to maintain a defensive crouch.

An option-select block is setting up a situation that entice a character to reversal and performing a delayed invincible (or blocking). For example, as Fei Long, you knock your character down (techable or untechable), and you stand over the character and do the wiggle dp shortcut motion, look for the reversal signage, and press the buttons necessary for a dp. The only thing that can beat a delayed invincible is block or an attack with greater invincibility (but not a screen freeze). The invincible special HAS to be executed AFTER the opponent wakes up (at least one frame after the opp wakes up), not before.

Screen freezes occur during specific specials, noteably Ultra’s Supers, and very specific specials (Sagat’s tiger scar). During a screen freeze the only input that is accepted is block. Also any type of buffer is negated, whether through the attack itself whiffing or because the actual whiff buffer is cleared (more on this later). Thus if you block a split second before inputting a dp on an opponents wakeup, if they perform a reversal with an ultra freeze, you’ll block, and if they do an attack with a similar number of invincibility frames on startup you’ll beat them.

Let us look at an example: Ken versus Boxer. Ken sweeps boxer, empty jumps and does a delayed ex.dp a few frames after Boxer wakes up. If boxer does a reversal non-ex.hb, Ken’s dp will beat every headbutt except ex.hb. If Balrog does a reversal Ultra/super (with a screen freeze), the dragon punch input will be dropped and Ken will be able to block or counter-attack. The longer Ken delays his dp, the easier it will be for him to beat a reversal headbutt.

Option-select block/delayed DP:

Wins : Some reversal DPs (doesn’t give
CH and is character specific)
Invincible reversals with freezes
Loses : block (but some can still dp FADC fwd.dash)
delayed DPs
Characters with invincible specials possible from defensive crouch or stand


[]Boxer - lp/mp/hp/ex.hb, TAP
]Honda - ex.ss, lp/mp/hp/ex.hb
[]Fei Long - lk/mk/hk/ex.fk
]C. Viper - hp.tk
[]Dee Jay - lk/mk/hk/ex.jm
]Blanka - lp/mp/hp/ex.vert-ball
[]Chun-Li - ex.sbk
]Cody - non-ex/ex.zonk
[]Guy - ex.hk
]Ibuki - lk/mk/hk/ex.dk
[]Guile - lk/mk/hk/ex.fk
]Makoto - ex.chop
[]Dictator - ex.headstomp, ex.devil reverse
]Rufus - ex.mk
[*]Zangief - double lariat

This is a tactic I used a lot, most characters don’t have an answer for delayed ex.hb in the corner on their wakeup when they only have chip damage left. For these types of attacks, backdash is never an option, and for about 3/4 of the cast, ultra isn’t an option either because ex.hb can go through or beat most ultras outright. For characters who can make this type of guess/setup safe with fadc fwd, this can really open their opponents to all kinds of things that otherwise wouldn’t be possible because they’re afraid to do reversals on wakeup. Balrog can get a similar effect with delayed ex.dash punches (delayed long enough to avoid the reversal window because they break armor).

Focus Attack O/S Crouch-Tech backdash

cr.lp+cr.lk+cr.mp+cr.mk, bwd.dash

Wins : Normal throw (tech)
Non-Armor breaking strike/projectile (multi hits YES, multi projectiles NO)
Loses : Attacks that break armor
Some command throws

For more information about crouch-techs look at the section at the bottom of this post.

Another defensive option-select is focus attack O/S crouch-tech backdash. It sounds really complicated but it’s extremely useful against some opponents who try to put you in a 50/50 mixup. For example lets say that Sagat does DP FADC dash.fwd. On block he’s positive (he can block chun-li’s reversal super). So you can effectively be 50/50’d with normal throw or another DP. In some cases backdash isn’t as safe an option, in some cases DP will outright beat backdash (especially in the corner).

In general, the only DP that breaks armor is Sagat’s powered up tiger uppercut (Angry Scar) and reversal DPs. In the above situation, Sagat would have burned the powered up tiger uppercut and can’t reversal since he recovers first. So if Sagat goes for another DP, you absorb the first hit and backdash, if he goes for a normal throw, you tech the throw. Obviously this isn’t full proof, Sagat can beat the O/S with tiger knee, but that CAN be thrown on startup.

This defensive O/S also incorporates option-select block. The mechanics of a crouch-tech dictates that it has to be delayed a certain amount of time since the window for teching throws is much smaller for crouch-techs versus stand-techs. Thus you’ll have an opportunity to block if he doesn’t delay his Ultra. Also unlike a crouch-tech, you can’t have your normal CH or hit by some invincible reversals.

Overlapping Input Priority O/S

Auxiliary Functions:
-Throw, Focus Attack, Taunt
Combo Input:
-Chain, Cancel, Link
Special move order priority
-rush upper|torpedo
-dash straight|low|overhead

Overlapping input priority uses the SF4 engine’s method for dealing with simultaneous input. If buttons are pressed at the same time, the higher input takes priority. For example if you press LP+HK you get HK. Since LP has the least priority, it means that normally you can never press two buttons together and get LP (although i’ve been told you can plink jab with the select button or other buttons without function). This is what makes p-linking (priority linking) possible. This is also the basis for a crouch-tech since you can only throw standing, but can tech both crouching and standing. Conversely hitting LK+LP while standing always results in a normal throw and hitting HK+HP while in neutral will always result in a taunt. Thus if an opp taunts, they have to forfeit any stored charge. As far as the special functions (throw, focus attack, taunt), Taunt has more priority than focus attack and if you input them simultaneously while being hit you can “cancel” a focus attack into a taunt.

In general, you can only cancel a focus attack into a select number of special functions which include taunt (not the special taunts like Dudley’s Rose or Guile’s Shades), and Gen’s stance change (which has useful applications as it allows you to recover from a focus attack in 5f versus the 15f-25f associated with a forward dash or backdash). Focus attack cancelled into taunt has a single other usage aside from trolling. Dan’s super-taunt is considered a taunt and not a super so Dan can actually focus attack cancel into super taunt into Ultra 1 (or Ultra 2).

Special move input priority which translates mashed/overlapping inputs into what you were most likely doing, kind of like auto-correct for text input engines. Thus when you have input that’s ambiguous enough to be interpreted as two specials, depending on the character, a special is assumed. When you hold down back and wiggle the stick, it’s more likely that you’ll get rush upper with kicks and dash straight with punches because they have the most priority out of horizontal charge specials with punches and kicks.

Armor Cancels
An armor cancel allows you to cancel a special with ex.armor into a higher priority special. The only situation in which an armor cancel does not burn meter is when you cancel an ex.dash into TAP. These inherently lose to attacks that break armor, grabs (unless the initial attack is throw invincible), and attacks that recover before the high order special goes active. Keep in mind that armor cancels (like kara grabs) have more startup than just doing the move itself, so at times it can make a punish more difficult/impossible. These can be used as loose option selects where you gamble an EX meter with a relatively safe special on block that can lead into into Ultra. For example, if you read that your opponent is going to throw a fireball (e.g. Maeda Taison Ultra Setup) you can ex.ru with AC input and if you read correctly you punish with an ultra, otherwise you hit the opponent with an opportunity for an ex.ru loop, safety on block, or worst case scenario, get hit with whatever horribly demoralizing combo your opponent can come up with.

Uses for Armor Cancels
[]AC laggy meaties, for example, if Balrog does a meaty far st.hp, which has a lot of active frames you can ex.ru AC Ultra 1. If he does it too early, you can tag him during his recovery for ex.ru loop combo, but if you do it during the meaty you get a cancel into ultra.
]This can also be useful for punishing Dhalsim’s bait into U2 (in specific instances). e.g. full screen lp.fb j.teleport/tk U2 when you ex.dash/TAP to avoid it. You can ex.dash ac ex.hb and have enough back-charge to link U1. This can be baited and punished with teleporting in place, but its an option.
[*]Hit-confirming: If you think you’re opponent is going to press a button, you can ex.ru AC Ultra, this will give them an opportunity to press a button and if they do, you cancel into Ultra and you have no need to hit-confirm or have your ex.hb low profiled
Crouch-techs/modified crouch-techs
A generic crouch-tech is holding down and pressing jab and short together. This O/S is only activated if the opponent attempts a normal throw (which they have to do standing). This does two things: allows teching of throws AND performs a crouching short if the op doesn’t perform a normal throw. For some characters with really good crouching shorts (e.g. Chun-Li, M.Bison, Ken), crouch-teching can be combined into block strings to combat tick throws. It can also be applied defensively with modified crouch-techs which involve three button presses, two being the jab and short and the third being a button of a higher priority to get that normal instead of a short. Crouch-teching is one of the most well-known defensive option-selects. Crouch-teching is very susceptible to frame traps, more so than stand teching. If a throw is interrupted during startup, it doesn’t yield a counterhit, while a crouch-tech will. In some instances crouch-teching is more unsafe than stand teching because of the risk of frame traps and counterhits as well as telegraphing what you’re trying to prevent.

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Optimizing combos

Ground/air buffers
This is an option-select that’s activated on hit/block or whiff. If you perform a normal (in the air or on the ground), and then input the motion and button presses for a special during the attack you have multiple outcomes if the attack whiffs or if the attack hits. There are TWO types of buffers: whiff buffers and cancel buffers. The options are reversed for the two. Whiff buffers are activated on whiff and will be negated by the attack hitting while cancel buffers are activated on hit and can be negated by making the attack whiff. You can also force an attack to hit by using the “absorb” function of ex-armor. This tactic will UNIVERSALLY beat most air buffers except for opponents that have the ability to special cancel air normals (e.g. C.Viper’s j.hk). This tactic can also be beat with buffered normals by manually inputting the motions after the attack (delayed/double tapping). (e.g. safe jump, (cr.hk) cr.hk will catch backdash and FADC backdash).

The input for whiff buffers is done during the attacks recovery, while the input for cancel buffers occur during the hitstop (the point where the hitboxes come into contact with the hurtbox and there are sparks etc.)

Originally on the Balrog Option-Selects thread

The buffer window for normals both on the ground and in the air is pretty big (between the first hitting active frame and the last frame of recovery). With whiff buffers, the “when” for the input of the attack is really important. So it is possible to do the safe jump correctly but botch the whiff buffer O/S because you do it too late. For example, if you do a jump-in close to the ground, you have from the time the attack starts up until the time it gets close to the ground and the attack itself is cancelled by the landing frames to buffer in any input. Thus if you put the buffer in too late, the buffer will still come out, just not at the earliest possible moment which could be the difference between it activating and beating what you’re trying to option select and it losing.

-Meaty O/S (normals)
These types of O/S use all of their outcomes rather equally. For example a universal O/S is meaty jab O/S sweep. These can be beat by performing an invincible special with startup less than the recovery of the meaty. This is usually performed on the ground after an opponents invincible recovery.

Character’s Offensive options against meaty cr.lp (6-7 vul frames):
-0/100 : Adon, Akuma, Blanka, Cammy, Dan, Evil Ryu, Fei Long, Gen, Gouken, Guile, Ken, Oni, Ryu, Sagat, Seth, Yang, Zangief
-50/50 : Abel, Boxer, C. Viper*, Chun-li, Dee Jay, Dhalsim, Dudley, El Fuerte, Guy, Hakan, Honda*, Ibuki, Makoto, T. Hawk, Yun*
-100/0 : Claw, Cody, Dictator, Juri, Rose, Rufus, Sakura

*only have single option

Automatic meaty setups (2nd Active frame):
Meaty 1: cr.hk, j.normal (cr.lp)*
Meaty 2: fwd throw, fwd dash, j.hp (cr.lp)*

*Doesn’t work on Sagat/Fei Long/Cammy/Fuerte (meaty cr.lp was eyeballed)
**Funny Wakeup hitbox: Blanka/Gen/Zangief/Chun-li

Character options against meaty cr.lp

All options, assume attack hits with 2nd active frame.
Attacks that would hit if you did the meaty on the 1st active frame are in curly braces/vertical mustaches.

Exhaustive list of offensive options against Balrog’s meaty cr.lp:

0/100 - Meterless offensive options
[]Adon - mk/hk/ex.rj
]Akuma - lp/mp/hp/ex.dp, super, U1
[]Blanka - U1, ex.aa-ball, super, {U2.PPP}
]Cammy - lk/mk/hk/ex.dp, Super, U2
[]Dan - lp/mp/hp/ex.dp, super
]Evil Ryu - lp/mp/hp/ex.dp, super
[]Fei Long - lk/mk/hk/ex.fk, super, U2
]Gen - lk.dp [M]super, {mk/hk/ex.dk}
[]Gouken - mp/ex.counter
]Guile - lk/mk/hk/ex.fk, super, {U1}
[]Ken - lp/mp/hp/ex.dp, super
]Oni - mp/hp/ex.dp, super
[]Ryu - lp/mp/hp/ex.dp, super
]Sagat - lp/mp/hp/ex.dp, lk/mk.super
[]Seth - mp/hp/ex.dp, ex.spd, lp.super
]Yang - lk.dk
[]Zangief - double lariat, ex.pspd, ex.kspd, Super, U1
50/50 - One or more offensive options requiring meter
]Abel - ex.tt, lp.super
[]Boxer - ex.ds, U2
]C. Viper - hp.super {U1, hp.tk}
[]Chun-li - ex.sbk, lk.super (mk/hk trade with meaty cr.lp), {U1}
]Dee Jay - ex.jm
[]Dhalsim - super, U1 (trades)
]Dudley - ex.dp, super
[]El Fuerte - U2, super
]Guy - ex.hk, U2
[]Hakan - U1, ex.pspd
]Honda - U2
[]Ibuki - U1, ex.dp, ex.raida
]Makoto - ex.grab, U1
[]T. Hawk - ex.spd, U1, super, ex.thb
]Yun - ex.dk
100/0 - No offensive options
[]Claw - only invincible option is U2 and it has 9f startup
]Cody - invinc specials have >=7f {ex.cu, U2}
[]Dictator - invinc specials have >=7f {lk.super}
]Juri - Counter special works, but you recover in time to block/avoid any followup {ex.senpusha}
[]Rose - Fastest invincible reversal is 9f
]Rufus - invinc specials have >=7f {lp.super}
[]Sakura - invinc specials have >=7f {super}
Defensive options
]FADC backdash
[]Juri Counter
]Abel ex.roll
[*]Teleport: Seth, Dhalsim, Akuma, Dictator, Vega, Yang, Evil Ryu

Character’s Offensive options against meaty cr.mk (9-10 vul frames):
-0/100 : Adon, Akuma, Cammy, Dan, Evil Ryu, Fei Long, Gouken, Guile, Ken, Oni, Ryu, Sagat, Seth, Yun, Zangief
-50/50 : Abel, Blanka, Balrog, Chun-li, Cody, C. Viper, Dee Jay, Dhalsim, Dictator*, Dudley, E. Honda, El Fuerte, Gen, Guy, Hakan**, Hakan (oiled), Ibuki, Juri, Makoto, Rose*, Rufus, Sakura*, T. Hawk, Vega*, Yang*
*only have single option
**options avoided by range
Automatic meaty setups:

2nd Active frame -
Meaty 1: fwd.throw, cr.lp, j.hp (whiff) (cr.mk)*

*Doesn’t work on Cammy/Sagat/Blanka/Dhalsim
*Doesn’t work reliably mid-screen against Seth/Abel
*Weird with Zangief/Akuma

Character options against meaty cr.mk

Exhaustive list of offensive options against Balrog’s meaty cr.mk:

0/100 - meterless offensive options not affected by range
[]Adon - hk/ex.rj, super
]Akuma - lp/mp/hp/ex.dp, U1 (Super loses to setup)
[]Cammy - lk/mk/hk/ex.dp, U2, super
]Dan - lp/mp/hp/ex.dp, super (All hits may not connect)
[]Evil Ryu - lp/mp/hp/ex.dp, U2
]Fei Long - lk/mk/hk/ex.fk, U2, super
[]Gouken - low/ex.counter
]Guile - lk/mk/hk/ex.fk, U1, super
[]Ken - lp/mp/hp/ex.dp, U2, super
]Oni - mp/hp/ex.dp, U2, super
[]Ryu - lp/mp/hp/ex.dp, super, U2
]Sagat - lp/mp/hp/ex.dp, super
[]Seth - lp/mp.dp (if in range), hp/ex.dp, ex.spd (if in range), lp.super
]Yun - hk/ex.dk, U1
[]Zangief - Double Lariat, ex.p-spd, U1, super (if in range)
50/50 - 1 or more offensive options requiring meter or affected by range
]Abel - lp.super, ex.tt, U2
[]Blanka - ex.aa-ball, U1, U2, super
]Balrog - ex.ds, U2 (if in range), super (straights)
[]Chun-Li - ex.sbk, U1, lk.super (mk/hk trade)
]Cody - ex.cu, U2, mk.super
[]C. Viper - hp.tk (if in range), U1, mp/hp.super
]Dee Jay - lk/mk/hk/ex.jm (if in range), U2, lk.super
[]Dhalsim - super, U1
]Dictator - lk.super
[]Dudley - ex.dp, U1, U2, super
]E. Honda - ex.hb (if in range), U2 (if in range), lp.super
[]El Fuerte - super, U2
]Gen - lk/mk/hk/ex.gk (if in range), [M]U2, [M]super
[]Guy - ex.tatsu, U2 (if in range)
]Hakan(oiled) - ex.p-spd, U1 (if in range)
[]Hakan - ex.p-spd (if in range), U1 (if in range)
]Ibuki - ex.dp, ex.raida, U1 (if in range), U2
[]Juri - ex.pinwheel, lk/mk.super
]Makoto - ex.grab (if in range), U1
[]Rose - super
]Rufus - lp.super, U1
[]Sakura - super
]T.Hawk - ex.spd, ex.thb, super, U1
[]Vega - U2
]Yang - U1
Defensive options
[]FADC backdash
]Juri Counter
[]Teleport: Seth, Dhalsim, Akuma, Dictator, Vega, Abel, Yang, Evil Ryu
]Guile f+lk
[]Yang: lp.palm
]Gen: after fwd throw, wakeup neutral has invincibility
There’s no better place then here to speak briefly about meaty throws. Meaty throws are scary for some characters. In general, meaty throws can be avoided universally by backdashing, and jumping. These are the two things that meaty jab (and option-selects) punish/prevent. Meaty throws in and of itself can open an opponent up to option-selects. Alone it can be a tool to bully your opponent on their wakeup. Meaty throw is especially (however counter-intuitive) useful against grappler characters on their wakeup. For example, Zangief’s only tools against meaty throw are U1 and super, thus Gief without super or ultra on wakeup has to either block on wakeup, or go airborne, which makes it a 50/50 for him on his wakeup. The same goes for El Fuerte, T. Hawk, and Hakan (although oiled Hakan has better options). Meaty throws are also useful against characters who have charging attacks (Cody’s zonk knuckle, Balrog’s TAP, Fuerte’s Quesadilla bomb), since it’s harder to tech throws and still hold the buttons, they can be forced to let go of their charge, get thrown, or move out of the way.

Meaty throws beat reversal normals and any attacks with non-throw invincible startup. If an opponent jumps or backdashes, normal throw recovery is in the range of 20-22f of recovery, so most opponents can’t punish a whiffed throw by backdashing or jumping. Some opponents like Fuerte (who has a 15f backdash), can backdash and at times still be in range to punish since he has a short backdash. Also opponents who can instant air normal or special can punish whiffed throws heavily (e.g. Adon).

Every character has the ability to do unthrowable specials. They cancel pre-jump frames into specials. During pre-jump frames, you’re considered airborne (so invincible to all throws), but you can still cancel those frames into specials (albeit more difficult for some characters). A well-known example is Zangief’s unthrowable lariat. If you perform an unthrowable lariat against a meaty throw, it doesn’t register as a reversal since the first wakeup frame is him being airborne. The only caveat to unthrowable attacks, is that they inherently lose to meaty strikes. So unthrowable lariat would beat meaty throw, but meaty jab would beat unthrowable lariat and vice versa (meaty jab can be beat with lariat, but meaty throw beats lariat). Zangief can also perform an unthrowable ex.spd (which is his slowest grab) by tiger kneeing the input. Unthrowable options are not taken into consideration for the table below since it’s a universal ability.

Character’s Offensive options against meaty normal throw (21-22 vul frames):
-0/100 : Abel, Adon, Akuma, Balrog, C. Viper, Cammy, Cody, Dan, Dee Jay, Dudley, E. Honda, Evil Ryu, Fei Long, Gen, Guile, Hakan (oiled), Ibuki, Juri, Ken, Makoto, Oni, Rose, Ryu, Sagat, Seth, Vega, Yang, Yun
-50/50 : Blanka, Chun-li, Dhalsim, Dictator, El Fuerte, Gouken, Guy, Hakan*, Rufus, Sakura, T. Hawk, Zangief
*only have single option

Some character’s grabable hitboxes on wakeup are weird, so it can be difficult to grab them on their wakeup frames, the below setups grab for sure sometime between waking frame 1 and 3, which for the most part qualifies as meaty. The spacing of the knockdown is very important since you don’t have time to adjust horizontally if you do the automatic setup.

Automatic meaty setups (2nd Active frame):
Meaty 1: cr.hk, j.normal (st.lp+st.lk)*
Meaty 2: fwd throw, fwd dash, j.hp (st.lp+st.lk)*

*Doesn’t work on Cammy/Sagat/Blanka

Character options against meaty normal throw

Exhaustive list of offensive options against meaty normal throw:

0/100 - Meterless offensive options
[]Abel - lp/mp/hp.tt, mp.super, U1, U2
]Adon - Super, U1, U2, mk/hk/ex.rj, ia.jk
[]Akuma - lp/mp/hp/ex.dp, U1, U2, super
]Balrog - lp/mp/hp/ex.hb, U1, U2, super
[]C. Viper - U1, ia.U2 (qcb+sj, qcb 3K), super, lk/ex.bk, ex.seizmo, hp.tk
]Cammy - lk/mk/hk/ex.dp, U1, super, tk-ex.cs
[]Cody - ex.cu, U1, U2, super, ex.zonk, lk/mk/ex.rk
]Dan - lp/mp/hp/ex.dp, super, U2, U1
[]Dee Jay - lk/mk/hk/ex.jm, U1, U2, super
]Dudley - lp/mp/hp/ex.dp, U1, U2, super, lk/mk.ssb
[]E. Honda - ex.hb, lk/mk/ex.ss, U1, U2, super
]Evil Ryu - lp/mp/hp/ex.dp, super, U2, U1
[]Fei Long - lk/mk/hk/ex.fk, U1, super, lk/mk/ex.cw, <f+mk>
]Gen - lk/mk/hk/ex.gk, [M]U1/U2, [M]super, ia.mp
[]Guile - lk/mk/hk/ex.fk, U1, super, U2
]Hakan(oiled) - U1, backdash-DNC, cr.mk/f+mp/f+hk etc.
[]Ibuki - lk/mk/hk/ex.dk, lp/mp/hp/ex.raida, U1, U2 <Super>
]Juri - ex.pinwheel, Super, U2, ex.fb (mk+hk), ia.dk
[]Ken - lp/mp/hp/ex.dp, U2, U1, super
]Makoto - U1, U2, super, ia.ak
[]Oni - lp/mp/hp/ex.dp, U1 (grounded), U2, super, lk/mk/ex.OH
]Rose - super, U1, ex.ss, cl.mk
[]Ryu - lp/mp/hp/ex.dp, U1, U2
]Sagat - lp/mp/hp/ex.dp, super, U1, U2
[]Seth - lp/mp/hp/ex.dp, lp/mp/hp.spd, super, U1, U2
]Vega - lk/mk/hk/ex.flip kick, U1 (forward only), U2
[]Yang - lk/mk/hk/ex.dk, U1, U2, ex.grab
]Yun - lk/mk/hk/ex.dk, U1, ex.grab
50/50 - 1 or more offensive options requiring meter
[]Blanka - ex.aa-ball, U1, U2, super
]Chun-Li - ex.sbk, U1, U2, super
[]Dhalsim - super, tk.U2, U1 (loses if you meaty throw w/first active frame)
]Dictator - super, ex.pc, ex.sk, U1, U2
[]El Fuerte - super, U1, U2
]Gouken - super, U1, ex.tatsu
[]Guy - ex.tatsu, U1, U2, super
]Hakan - U1
[]Rufus - ex.mk, lp/mp.super, U1, U2
]Sakura - super, ex.dp, U1, U2
[]T.Hawk - ex.thb, U1, super
]Zangief - U1, super
Defensive options
[]Jump (neutral, back, forward)
[]Teleport: Seth, Dhalsim, Akuma, Dictator, Vega, Evil Ryu
]Gen: ex.oga
[]Gouken: ex.flip (Balrog recovers first)
]Guy: ex.flip (Balrog recovers first)
[*]Dictator: ex.dr (Balrog recovers first)


-Safe jump O/S (normals)

A safe jump will allow you to block certain invincible strikes (and some throws). This O/S allows an opponent to perform a meaty jump-in and then a combination of inputs to perform some function specific to the opponent to combat their wake-up options. Safe jumps lose to slow strike invincible grabs (this is a weakness of the safe jump and not the O/S) and invincible specials that startup in 5f or less. They can be spaced appropriately to mitigate this. Example attacks that’ll beat safe jump are Abel’s ex.tt and Zangief’s ex.spd as well as some 3-4f invincible dps.

Safe Jump O/S Proof of Concept

[details=Spoiler]Gen’s Safe jump:

fwd.throw, 2x fwd.dash, [C]j.hp

This safe jump if done perfectly, can hit on the last airborne/active frame of the jump-in. By this math, the opponents first invincibility frame is during it’s airborne active frame, and the rest is during his recovery. So this safe jump will always lose to invincible attacks that go active in the first 3f (since you can never block during landing frame 1 or 2). If Gen just does the safe jump, then he can block during landing frames 3 and 4 (4 and 5f invincible specials), but if he does the O/S he will be unable to block during frames 3 and 4, so he can be hit by 4f and 5f specials that don’t freeze the screen. Also keep in mind that because he hits with the last airborne active frame it loses to all invincible grabs in range, since all of them at least have a single invincibility frame.

Invincible specials to test:

Sagat lk.super - 1f su
Ken super - 2f su
Dudley super/shoto dp - 3f su
Ken mp.dp - 4f su
Ibuki dk - 5f su
Chun-li ex.sbk - 6f su
C. Viper hp.tk - 7f su
Dhalsim U1 - 12f su (1f invincibility)[/details]

Buffers are usually executed the moment a character recovers from their landing frames. This depends heavily on when, you perform the input for the buffered attack. The window is from the moment you initiate the jumping attack, until the point where the attack/jump is cancelled into landing frames. If you do it too late, the neutral frames between initiating the jumping attack and landing on the ground are translated and the buffer may be executed late. Ideally, you always want your buffered attack to come out as soon as your character recovers to be the most effective. If your opponent uses a reversal with a screen freeze, the buffered is cleared and this is a non-issue.

All but a few character have tools that either beat the setup (meaty/safe jump) or beat the Option-select. For example, any character with a teleport (Akuma, Abel, Vega, Bison, Dhalsim, Yang, Evil Ryu, Seth) can blow up any type of whiff buffer O/S but only defensively. Some teleports can be punished see Safe Jump O/S TAP. These are usually moves with many frames of startup, but most of it is invincible, allowing enough time for them to activate your O/S and be hit during your non-invincible recovery. For example, meaty jab O/S sweep can lose to attacks like Cody’s ex.zonk or Balrog’s TAP because they have significant invincible startup. This is the branch of the O/S flow chart that has to do with attacks without screen freezes with unsafe startup.

Character’s Offensive options against safe jumps (5f):

-0/100 : Ryu, Ken, Akuma, Zangief, Dan, Gouken, Guile**, Evil Ryu, Oni
-50/50 : Abel$, Boxer$, Dudley$, Cammy*$, Chun-Li$, Dhalsim$, El Fuerte$, Fei Long$, Sagat$, Rose$, Seth$, Hakan(oiled)$, Hakan(dry)$, T. Hawk$, Makoto$, Blanka$, Dee Jay$, Guy$, Gen**, Yun, Adon$
-100/0 : C.Viper, Cody, Dictator, Claw, Rufus, Sakura, Honda, Juri, Super Adon, Ibuki, Rose, Yang

*only have single option
$All options require meter

**Options can be avoided with appropriate safe jump

Automatic Safe Jumps:

Safe Jump 1: bwd throw, fwd dash, j.hk/j.hp
Safe Jump 2: cr.hk, cr.lp, j.hk/j.hp
Safe Jump 3: fwd throw, cr.mk (two steps), j.hk/j.hp*
Safe Jump 4: fwd throw, cr.mp, j.hp$
Safe Jump 5: fwd throw, fwd dash, cr.lp, j.hp/j.hk
Safe Jump 6: fwd throw, cr.mk, j.hp$**

*4f situational
**Only useful against Super Adon
$Out of 1.35 grab range (mid-screen), also can be used to safe jump most 4f reversals, but the jump-in is so maxed out, most opponents can walk or jump out of it.

All of the above safe jumps are airborne (and Active) for at least one frame before landing so 1+0f/0+1f grabs lose. (excluding SJ4, it’s weird that way)

Character safe jump options


Exhaustive list of offensive options against Balrog’s safe jumps:

Boxer’s only invincible air buffer is safe jump O/S TAP, so in general that would lose to 4-5f reversals, but characters that’s useful against don’t have 5f reversals. So I won’t go through the trouble to note reversals that would lose to safe jump buffer O/S.

0/100 - Meterless Offensive options
[]Ryu - lp/mp/hp/ex.dp, super
]Ken - lp/mp/hp/ex.dp, lp/mp/hp.super
[]Akuma - lp/mp/hp/ex.dp, super, U1
]Zangief - Double Lariat, ex.pspd, ex.kspd, SJ3 can avoid Double Lariat
[]Dan - lp/mp/hp/ex.dp
]Gouken - k/p/ex.counter
[]Guile - lk/mk/hk/ex.fk, lk/mk.super, SJ3 avoids all offensive options
]Yang - lk.dk SJ3 avoids all offensive options
[]Evil Ryu - lp/mp/hp/ex.dp
]Oni - mp/hp/ex.dp
50/50 - 1 or more offensive options requiring meter
[]Abel - ex.tt, U2
]Adon - ex.rj
[]Boxer - All ex.dashes (doesn’t work consistently against meaty cross-ups)
]Dudley - ex.dp, super (counter’s don’t have armor)
[]Cammy - U2
]Chun-li - lk/mk/hk.super
[]Dhalsim - U1
]El Fuerte - U2,lp.super, <U1>
[]Fei Long - U2
]Sagat - lp/mp/hp.super
[]Seth - ex.spd
]Hakan(oiled) - ex.pspd, U2
[]Hakan - U2, SJ4 avoids ex.pspd
]T. Hawk - ex.thb, ex.spd. SJ2 avoids ex.thb
[]Makoto - ex.grab, SJ3 ONLY works mid-screen to beat all of her offensive options.
]Blanka - ex.aa-ball, lp/mp/hp.super, U1 has 4f su but initial no-damage “hit” doesn’t connect during safe jump and you can block the rest.
[]Dee Jay - ex.jm, SJ3 avoids all offensive options
]Guy - ex.hk, SJ3 avoids all offensive options, full jump-in on blocked bushin kick (Jav1ts)
[]Gen - lk.gk, ex.gk, [C]lk/mk/hk.super, SJ3 avoids all offensive options, SJ1 loses to lk.gk, SJ2 loses to [C]lk/mk/hk.Super
]Yun - ex.dk, lk.dk can be safe jumped with SJ2
100/0 - Absolutely no offensive options
[]C. Viper - invinc specials have >=7f su
]Cody - invinc specials have >=7f su
[]Dictator - invinc specials have >=7f
]Claw - Only U2 has 9f invinc startup
[]Rose - invinc specials have >=12f of startup
]Rufus - invinc specials have >=7f startup
[]Sakura - invinc specials have >=7f startup
]E. Honda - invinc specials have >=8f startup, U2 gets stuffed by meaty jump-in
[]Juri - Counter move works, but you recover in time to block/avoid any followup
]Ibuki - invinc specials have >=5f startup
[]Super Adon - Reversals are >=5f, only ex.rj has invincibility, tested with SJ6
Defensive options
]FADC backdash
[]Juri Counter
]DP FADC backdash (punishable by super/ultra 1 against some characters (see spreadsheet)
[*]C.Viper hp.tk/ex.seizmo feint

Projectile Option-Selects

These have to do with the one fireball per character rule. Some characters like Sagat, Guile, Chun-Li, and Ryu, can only have a single fireball on the screen at once and they can use this to their advantage. Often when you see someone spamming fireballs, then you TAP through one and they whiff a st.hp or something stupid like that, it’s because they attempted to throw a fireball while another one was still on the screen. Some characters can buffer fireballs at just the right times to punish attacks that take the fireball out of play. For example, Sagat can buffer in a low ex.tiger shot after a light low tiger shot to punish any attempts to FADC back or forward dash, or ex.dash through. These are only activated when you take them out of play by moving the screen or absorbing them.

Balrog can punish these types of setups with well spaced armor canceled TAPs or headbutts, as well as focus attack dash forward U1/Super. These projectile option-selects also work with Super and ultra based fireballs (e.g. Guile Sonic Hurricane, Chun-Li Kikosho).

Testing O/S

One of the main things players want to know when doing option-selects is how do you know you did it right? how do you actually “test” an option select? If you’re by yourself, the easiest way to test an option-select is to record yourself performing it after a setup, this is also really useful if you want to go through through the whole cast and test their options against a specific O/S and only record it once. 10s should be more than enough time to record the setup and the O/S as well as a second or so of idle time at the beginning or end so charge doesn’t carry over. If recording a safe jump, a 5f safe jump off of cr.hk is cr.hk, cr.lp, j.hp/j.hk for most of the cast. After recording Balrog doing the motions and confirming that the safe jump or meaty is done correctly you can cycle through the cast testing everyone’s options.

Some tips to remember:
[]Always look for the reversal window signage when testing wakeup-specials.
]A few characters get up at different times and have different hitboxes, there amy be some characters who you have to re-record a meaty/safe jump O/S or use a different setup (e.g. Super Adon, Blanka) to test and get the desired effect.
[]Check mid-screen versus corner, some safe jumps have strict spacing requirements.
]Spend a fraction of time at the beginning or end at neutral so no charge carries over after the recording loops.
[]If you test a meaty versus an attack with a screen freeze, you should see the meaty attack going through the opps body, if Balrog’s standing still or not in the middle of any animation, then it’s NOT meaty.
]If you have significant left over time, use it crouch blocking to account for time passing during a screen freeze.
[]You can also pause and set the dummy to all block if you can’t record enough crouch-blocking to block after a cinematic sequence.
]Also if you’re trying to see if the dummy can jump to avoid a throw, you can pause and set the dummy to jump.
In my opinion option-select blocks and option-selects with delayed sweeps are the most powerful in the game because they have an inherent necessity for the use of reactions. For example if an opponent wakes up with a reversal you can condition yourself to punish that reversal with a block or an attack in general. At its most basic option selects are used to punish backdashes and restrict movements on wakeup, that’s it. Delayed sweeps can’t be blown up by teleports or certain invincible specials because they have to be reversals to avoid the setup.

I’ve painted a really rigid idea of option-selects, picking it apart and showing their definite loses and wins. Option-selects go hand in hand with knowing what your opponent can do and knowing when to use it. Between analyzing your opponents patterns and paying attention to their access to meter, this information is what lets you know if attempting an O/S is safe and most likely to succeed. You can also force your opponent to make a decision to burn meter to punish you (or attempt to punish if you feint). And as far as overall player tools, this is a drop in the bucket and nowhere near as important as footsies or pattern recognition.

The Sweet Science: Balrog (Boxer) Q&A Thread

The rest of the article will list Balrog specific O/S (and a few used against him). I have a feeling i’m going to get something wrong through execution or whatnot, so lmk if what’s here isn’t correct. This I do plan to keep valid and update as necessary (not with new O/S though, probably). Especially if it involves any other character’s O/S, i’ll cross-post in those character forums so they read it and can confirm if what i have is wrong or not.

Note: This is not meant to be a compendium of every option select Balrog has, although semi-comprehensive most are given as examples, and because they are/should be well known.

[1] Meaty jab O/S Sweep/Fierce
[cr.hk, j.hp (whiff), meaty cr.lp], (cr.lp+cr.hk)
[cr.hk, j.hp (whiff), meaty cr.lp], (st.lp+st/cl.hp)

-hit/block: two chained jabs
-whiff: cr.hk, st/cl.hp
-special w/ultra freeze - block

-loses: invincible specials <= 6f-7f su (as a meaty) invincible specials with extended startup and no freeze >=8f (as an option-select)

  • wins: non-invincible specials, backdash, block
    -fails: Makoto (backdash mid-screen), El Fuerte (backdash),
    -notes: hitting with 2nd active frames makes it safer on whiff

This O/S can force some opponents to block on wakeup or force a character to burn meter. It really helps shut some characters down like Dudley who can only offensively beat the setup with ex.dp, and super (you’re safe from his ultras if you hit with the 2nd active frame). He can beat the O/S with ex.thunderbolt as well. Some characters have much fewer options to beat meaty cr.lp versus the option-select. From a gameplay perspective, you can mix up using just the meaty and using the option-select, since their attack, that would actually beat the meaty is inherently unsafe (Zangief ex.gh comes to mind as a move that has extended startup but is unsafe on block/hit). You can mix the two and make them have to guess; the end result being that they always block on wakeup. Some characters like Rose who absolutely have to block the O/S can be really shutdown by the O/S on wakeup. I mention buffering fierce since it can have a similar effect with the opponent going into an invincible recovery (which you can O/S again if in range) but with more damage and more stun (100/120 damage, 200 stun).

Jav1ts Explanation about O/S against Abel

[details=Spoiler]Originally from Balrog Option Selects and how to apply them in combat


Also, it’s really important to list the sheer number of opportunities Balrog has for this O/S. He can set it up from any invincible recovery. Viable opportunities are:
[]AA cr.hp FADC.fwd meaty cr.lp, cr.lp+cr.hk
]lvl2 FA, cr.lp reset, dash under meaty cr.lp, cr.lp+cr.hk (mid-screen)
[]lvl2 FA, cr.lk xx lk.smash under, meaty cr.lp, cr.lp+cr.hk (mid-screen)
]lvl3 FA, cr.mk reset, dash under meaty cr.lp, cr.lp+cr.hk (corner)
[]lvl3 FA, nj.hp reset, dash under meaty cr.lp, cr.lp+cr.hk (mid-screen)
]lk.smash, walk forward, cr.lp (corner)
[*]lp.dash low, walk forward, cr.lp (corner/mid-screen)

You can do these setups and change your dash timing slightly to get the same affect but be in front instead of behind, these are resets from Vanilla that Jay Wang made a table on.

[2] Safe Jump/meaty, O/S TAP
[cr.lk+cr.mk+cr.hk (charge), cr.lp/slight delay, j.hp] (release)
[cr.lk+cr.mk+cr.hk (charge), j.hp (whiff), cr.lp] (release)

-hit/block: Deep jump-in blockstun
-whiff: TAP (strike/projectile invincible)

-loses: Setup - options that beat safe-jumps, O/S - backdash blows up the O/S Universally, FADC backdash nullifies the buffer but you still recover first.

  • wins: invincible strikes with extended startup (>6f), some teleports.
  • char: Dictator

This option-select is useful to bait out slow invincible reversals and has the most use for Dictator. Most (if not all) characters can backdash and punish tap by sweep, throw, or a low profile normal/special once its invincibility is gone. Dictator can only punish/avoid this O/S with backdash and fwd p.teleport.

Punishable Teleports

[details=Spoiler][LIST][]Bison - bwd p.teleport, fwd k.teleport, bwd k.teleport
]Akuma - bwd k.teleport
[]Evil Ryu - bwd k.teleport
]Dhalsim - bwd p/k.teleport (Can’t teleport into U2 because tk.teleport requires they jump and you can’t jump out of a meaty)
[]Seth - bwd p/k.teleport
]Vega - kick flip
[]Cody - Beats bingo, loses to ex.cu
]Dudley - ex.thunderbolt doesn’t track the TAP only the jump-in.[/LIST][/details]

[3] Meaty normal ground buffered Ultra/Super
[fwd throw, TAP, Meaty cr.mk] (B, F, B, F + PPP/KKK)

-hit : regular hit/CH frame advantage
-block: regular blocked frame advantage
-whiff: buffered Ultra

-loses: options that beat meaties (cr.mk has 9-10 vulnerable frames), FADC backdash and armored specials nullify the buffer

This will punish MOST backdashes specifically, if you notice or guess that your opponent is going to backdash you can do this and punish the backdash with a full grounded ultra. Jab is obviously the best meaty to use since it’s safer, but it’s significantly harder to impossible (imo) to buffer in specials (not to mention Ultra) during the recovery animation since it’s so short (5f). Alternatively, if you think the opp is going to wakeup with an armored attack you can buffer in a special for a two-in-one or invincible follow-up (cr.lp xx super, cr.lp xx ex.hb).

This can also be used to punish some reversal specials with extended invincible startup that would beat jab O/S Sweep (beats the O/S NOT the meaty jab). For example, Balrog’s TAP has 30f of Startup with 18f of strike/projectile invincibility from frames 1-18. TAP blows up jab O/S sweep, but if you buffer in a throw or an invincible special that goes active during vulnerable frames (19-30 etc) you can get a trade/CH or beat it clean. This tactic works best on moves with a great deal of startup and invincibility like Makoto’s ex.chop, Cody’s ex.bingo, Balrog’s TAP, etc. It can punish some teleports, but it’s not as reliable as safe jump O/S TAP (e.g. does not work on either of Vega’s flips).

[4] Frame trap or meaty normal ground buffer super cancel
[st.lp, cr.hk (block)] , cr.mk/st.mk xx super (blocked cr.hk)
[cr.lp, cr.lp, st.lp], cr.mk/st.mk xx super (Max distance st.lp)
[fwd.throw, TAP], meaty cr.mk xx super
[cr.lp,cr.lp, st.lp], cr.hk xx super

-hit/block: normal cancel into super (block string)
-whiff: whiffed normal

-loses: counter-poke/invincible special during recovery/startup, Gouken’s Counter

  • wins: FADC backdash/Focus attack/armored special
  • char: Shoto cr.mk, Yang cr.mk, Rufus df+mk
    -notes: Makoto, Cammy, Fei Long, and Chun-li can punish cr.hk on block (requires meter).

This is a frame trap and a setup made to catch counterpoke attempts by the shoto crouching forward (cr.mk) in some situations. A blocked sweep places you just out of reach for most crouching forwards thus you can punish with this option-select where if they do nothing the attack will whiff, but if they cr.mk you tag them in their recovery with a normal cancel into super. This can also be used to beat armored attacks, both on wakeup, and during blockstrings where an opp will try to focus absorb and release to catch cr.hk in it’s recovery (Dudley).

[5]Crouch-tech and Modified Crouch-tech for dive kick throw mixups

-hit/block/whiff: cr.mp/cr.hp AA
-normal throw: normal throw tech
-crouch tech: CH/trade

-loses: opp reads, attacks faster than 7f, invincible specials
-wins : normal throws, dive kicks
-char : Rufus, Cammy, Balrog

Crouch-techs allow you to perform a normal and tech a throw at the same time instead of stand teching where if you whiff the attack you have 20 frames of recover versus Boxer’s crouching short which only has 10-11f of recovery. For example, UNIVERSALLY a delayed crouch-tech on boxer’s wakeup will beat all non-ex.headbutts, as well as stuff non-invincible specials AND tech throws.

[6] Safe Jump/meaty cr.lp delayed st.hp/normal throw (C. Viper)
[bwd.throw, fwd.dash, j.hp] (b+st.hp)
[cr.hk, whiff j.hp, meaty cr.lp] (b+st.hp)
[bwd.throw, fwd.dash, j.hp] (st.lk+st.lk)
[cr.hk, whiff j.hp, meaty cr.lp] (st.lk+st.lk)

-hit/block: Deep jump-in blockstun/hitstun
-whiff: cl.hp/st.hp, block

-lose: meaty cr.lp - hp.super
safe jump - no offensive options
O/S st.hp - hp.tk/ex.seizmo feint beats the O/S defensively
O/S throw - hp.tk, ex.seizmo
-wins: O/S st.hp - backdash, all other options
O/S throw - hp.tk/ex.seizmo feint
All other options

This option-select can be applied using setups from meaty cr.lp or a 5f safe jump. The st.hp has to be delayed slightly so it won’t lose to hp.tk. A buffered cl.hp will still work, but will lose to hp.tk (although it will beat ex.seizmo feint). This option-select beats all of Viper’s offensive options and backdash. As C. Viper is a very meter intensive character, Balrog should be able to safely apply the O/S from all of his safe jump and meaty cr.lp setups. If the Viper repeatedly defensively beats the O/S by feinting, you can buffer a normal throw (or U2) which will catch the recovery of feint, this can ONLY be done from a safe jump setup that’s in range. Obviously this will lose to hp.tk and ex.seizmo, but will still beat Ultra 1 and hp.super.

[7] Safe Jump buffered normal throw (Makoto)
[fwd throw, cr.mk (walk slightly forward), j.hp] (normal throw/U2/fwd.dash)

-hit/block: Deep jump-in hit/blockstun
-whiff: buffered normal throw
-special w/ultra freeze - block

-chars: Makoto
-loses: setup - ex.grab in the corner, buffered throw - U2, buffered fwd.dash - ex.chop, U2

This O/S will avoid/safe jump most of her invincible/armored wakeup options, and if she wakes up with ex.oroshi (the OH chop) she gets thrown. She can beat this O/S in the corner by doing ex.grab or using U2 since the freeze doesn’t occur until she hits the wall and the buffered grab comes out before. It mainly works because of the spacing of the jump-in. The safe jump will still safe jump her U1. IF she backdashes, the buffered throw comes out but she can’t punish it. Makoto can also reversal super to avoid the jump in and prevent the buffered grab from coming out. She’s still in range for hk.karakusa, but the match is still neutral, there’s nothing she can do to punish balrog on his landing recovery and vice versa. Mid-screen, Balrog has an impossible time of punishing her backdash, buffering in a forward dash can help you maintain the pressure and push her closer to the corner safely. In general, boxer is relatively even after buffered forward dash since he has 4f of grounded landing recovery, her backdash being 22f and his fwd dash being 18f. This kind of setup can effectively 50/50 Makoto on her mid-screen wakeup if she doesn’t have U2.

"Gettin' that Bike $!" AE Balrog Match-up Thread

Against Boxer

[1] Akuma: Safe jump demon Palm O/S <f*ck you boxer>
[cr.hk, delayed lk.df xx demon palm] O/S U2/sweep/demon
[fwd.throw, 2x fwd.dash, lk.df xx demon palm] O/S U2/sweep/demon
-hit : techable knockdown
-block: blockstun
-whiff: sweep/raging demon/U2

-loses: headbutt (can beat demon setups)
-wins: Balrog’s Armored specials, safe jump all other specials
-notes: In general Balrog can ONLY block

This option-select is made to shut down all of Balrog's options on wakeup.  As a safe jump, Balrog can ONLY block or backdash, it recovers in time to block all of his specials, and his only tool against safe jumps (high ex.dashes) gets armor broken b/c of the palm. The demon flip is a toss-up in it self, but as palm beats boxer when he has meter. If Akuma safe jumps with demon flip to any of his other specials, headbutt will either whiff spectacularly, be blocked, or stuffed. buffered U2 beats all of balrog's options to beat the safe jump.  In the event you get knocked down, beware of teching the knockdown and falling into a simple palm vortex.

**[2]  Ken: Low profile frame trap ground buffered dp/Ultra/Special**
[f+mk (block)], cr.mk (Ultra 1) xx dp

-hit: (damage) cancel into DP
-block: dp xx FADC backdash if in range
-whiff: U1, U2, nothing

-loses: setup - lvl2 FA release f+mk during its recovery
frame trap - ex.dashes (situational), Ultra, Super, CH/trade with cr.lk **at that specific distance**.
O/S - FADC backdash (whiff buffer), block (cancel buffer) or backdash (cancel--situational and whiff buffer)
- wins: option-select - Armored special (will beat whiff buffer, loses to cancel buffer), headbutt (low profiles ex, stuffs non-ex), TAP

This is a frame trap that Boxer has a really difficult time punishing offensively because he has to guess if he wants to counter it offensively.  Reversal ex.dashes can beat it unless he cancels into dp since the cr.mk hits at max distance. IF you attempt to headbutt cr.mk stuffs them or if you ex.hb a buffered U1 will punish recovery.  Ken can throw this out there over and over again and cycle between the buffered specials to force you to always block cr.mk since his cr.mk xx hado is easily punishable by headbutt. You can't CH with st.mk or cr.mk because of the frame trap, but you can cause a trade with cr.lk or cr.lp and possibly make them burn a would be buffer.You can also beat this O/S outright by FA release dash forward when he does f+mk.  If timed right, you can release lvl2 for crumple stun on his recovery.

**[3] Gen: Safe jump O/S Crane U1/Super or Mantis U1/Super**
fwd.throw, 2x fwd.dash, [C] j.hp (Crane U1/Super)
-loses: safe jump - U2/high ex.dashes situationally
-wins: safe jump - U1/Super, U2/high ex.dashes situationally
crane U1 - everything but TAP and backdash mid-screen

fwd.throw, [C]cr.hk, [M]j.hp (Mantis U1/Super)
-loses: safe jump - U2/high ex.dashes situationally
mantis super - TAP
mantis U1 -  lp/mp.hb
-wins: safe jump - U1/Super, U2/high ex.dashes situationally
mantis super - headbutt and backdash (lp.super)
mantis U1 - hp/ex.hb, backdash, TAP

-notes: Ultra or super lose to specific headbutts, if you're guessing the O/S PAY ATTENTION TO HIS METER! (and his stance)


        |  lp.hb   |   mp.hb   |   hp.hb   |   ex.hb   | TAP | backdash  |
Crane   |_C__|__M__|__C__|__M__|__C__|__M__|__C__|__M__|_____|__C__|__M__|
lk.super| Y  |  Y  |  Y  |  Y  |  N  |  N  |  N  |  N  |  N  |  Y  |  N  |
mk.super| Y  |  Y  |  Y  |  Y  |  N  |  N  |  N  |  N  |  N  |  Y  |  N  |
hk.super| Y  |  Y  |  N  |  N  |  N  |  N  |  N  |  N  |  N  |  Y  |  Y  |
   Ultra| Y  |  Y  |  Y  |  Y  |  Y  |  Y  |  Y  |  Y  |  N  |  Y  |  N  |
lp.super| -  |  Y  |  -  |  Y  |  -  |  Y  |  -  |  Y  |  N  |  -  |  Y  |
mp.super| -  |  -  |  -  |  -  |  -  |  -  |  -  |  -  |  -  |  -  |  Y  |*
hp.super| -  |  Y  |  -  |  Y  |  -  |  N  |  -  |  N  |  N  |  -  |  Y  |
   Ultra| -  |  N  |  -  |  N  |  -  |  Y  |  -  |  Y  |  Y  |  -  |  Y  |
Mantis  |_C__|__M__|__C__|__M__|__C__|__M__|__C__|__M__|_____|__C__|__M__|

*didn't try

This is one situation (aside from general normal attack usage) where his stances can give him away.  Gen can only use one stance at a time and must change stances to gain access to his other set of normals and specials.  Although both of these safe jumps can be started from either stance, for the buffer to be effective and come out at the earliest possible moment, a stance change can't be buffered, thus the Crane safe jump will usually only be used with crane super and ultra and vice versa.  Both safe jumps are PERFECT safe jumps, meaning that if executed properly, they hit with the last airborne frame, thus they are vulnerable to U2 and will cause an absorb with ex.dashes, but allow them to block.  Both O/S allow a leeway in which they're still effective, but can beat U2, when this occurs, they are vulnerable to high dashes. In most cases, the Mantis safe jump is spaced well enough to usually be able to block, but the Crane safe jump's close proximity will always lose to high ex.dashes if timed late.  Gen does not have a safe jump that will beat ALL of Balrog's options, so he has to chose between mantis lp.super/U1, or Crane U1 in the corner, to have the greatest chance. Reversal TAP is the best reversal to use to blow up the O/S, but as usual, if it performs just the safe jump, he can punish with just about anything (namely a throw and start the guessing process over again).

**[4] Sagat: hp.ts delayed kara ex.ts**
lk.ts, delayed f+lk~ex.k-ts
-hit: kara ex.ts
-block: kara ex.ts
-whiff: f+lk/kara tiger-knee

-loses: FADC dash U1/Super, moving screen
-wins: FADC bwd, armored special
-notes: The ex.ts only comes out if the other fireball is no longer on the screen.

The game engine will only allow a single special fireball on the screen at once per character.  Thus when you take a fireball out of play by absorbing it or letting it pass off the screen, the opp can throw another.  This can be used against Balrog specifically because he has so many ways to avoid fireballs.  So it takes away two of his options: FADC and ex.dashes.  Dash ultra beats this since the timing is really strict, and Sagat has to chase the Ultra with f+lk, so if Rog does dash ultra, he goes through the fireball and punishes the f+lk.  Sagat can kara (f+lk & f+hk) most of his moveset (even kara focus attack) so it's a big gamble in terms of Sagat's options versus yours. Also if Sagat lands an ex.low-ts, he can tack on his U2 full-screen.


brilliant stuff, only the font is all white in a white back ground lol. A must read for anyone who attempts to understand OS


alright, the rest of the article is up, i’ll have the second vid completed and uploaded in the next day or so.


second video is up…now for Evo…


The font is white and can’t be read :stuck_out_tongue:


good shit man, sorry i never manage to give you that feedback…


As someone somewhat new to the game I find this information very useful and easy to understand. Thank you.


Please change the font in the posts after the first… The white is impossible to see on the Light theme.


it’s all good. I would have liked to wait a bit longer, but it was a really long project i was looking forward to being finished with. Its definitely more fun applying the knowledge than all the lab work associated with it, sometimes.

@j. Scogz, I use the dark theme…I suppose i’m the only one who uses it, i’ll change it in a bit, i’ve had a time with editing the posts.


Really good stuff man.


Quick advice:
put your cursor in the “edit” text box, click ctrl+a to select all the text, and then there’s an eraser in the top left corner. That removes the text formatting, but not the bullets, indents, and things like that.


*fixed, thanks for the advice.




amazing post.


How is this not sticky? Mods step your game up!