EDIT: SSFIV, not SFIV. Dear God, what was I thinking?
The criteria being:
Does not require 1-frame links to be competitive.
Does not have a fireball.
In general does not have to fight an uphill battle against characters with fireballs.
I’ve been playing Honda for a couple weeks now and greatly enjoy how he plays, but it’s so ungodly frustrating playing against characters with fireballs with him. I arrived at Honda initially because of the first three criteria, but didn’t realize how much I’d hate playing against characters with fireballs. I realize I could just stick it out and learn how to deal with said matchups, which is what I’m most likely going to do, but I’d like to see other character options anyways.
I play T.Hawk, and he really isn’t that bad against fireball users (except Guile since he has godlike recovery on Sonic Boom). His pokes are great, and he doesn’t have any 1-frame links that are particularly useful enough to need to be known. You just have to be extremely careful with Condor Dive, since it’s pretty much the most unsafe move in the game on block, you can get counter Ultra’d by a lot of characters if you screw up with it.
I agree with SSblanka, Rog and Bison would both be very good choices to meet your criteria. Rog in particular has several ways to deal with fireball spam: TAP, and headbutt, any EX dash punch, super, ultra 1.
Is there a reason for the fireball character hate?
Playing a non fireball character you are always going to be at the disadvantage vs fireball characters since they can stay a full screen away and spam while you are forced to get in on them if you wish to do any damage.
I would say Balrog fits what you’re looking for though
Well let’s get this straight first of all. There is not one single character in this game that NEEDS 1 frame links to be competitive. 95% of 1 frame links have an easier to execute alternative that serves the same purpose, and the other 5% is pretty unnecessary to know. Sure it doesn’t hurt to know them, but there’s no way in hell they’re necessary. 1 frame links are far too hard to do consistently to be depended on in high level play, it’s fairly rare you’ll see even the best players using 1 frame links.
That said, Balrog, Blanka and Bison are the first three that come to mind for easily handling FB characters, Blanka being the easiest of the 3 to pick up (lol spamming 3 charge skills and electricity is fun, sadly doing so will let you beat 95% of people on Live), and Balrog being debatably the most rewarding in the long run, with Bison in a close second. Blanka sadly is weak at high level play as just about all high level players know how to handle him and his shenanigans.
Guy and Fei Long also are not bad at all, although a little unorthodox and not as strong as the above 3 mentioned characters.
Not exactly true, if you’re playing let’s say Balrog and letting a fireball character stay a full screen away, you’re bad. It’s extremely easy to get in on the majority of fireball characters, even Sagat now that he was nerfed. Dhalsim can be problematic if you don’t know his tricks, same with Akuma, but with a little experience it isn’t bad.
If fireball characters always had the advantage against non-FB characters, nobody would pick non-FB characters now would they?
Balrog seems like a good pick based on your requirements. His one framer is useful, but you can do a lot with out it. It’s a pretty easy plink too, so if you decide to pick it up, there are much worse ones out there.