I go from thinking Honda has a slight advantage in this fight, to thinking Abel has a slight advantage in this fight often enough to just call it even. Well, maybe at the end of the day, Honda has a slight advantage, but w/e. It’s not so huge that it should scare you at all.
This is yet another fight that requires a good deal of patience from Abel, as Honda has tools and quirks that cans stop you in your tracks. Defensively, Abel has some issues with some of Honda’s shit. Honda can be tough to AA, and once a good Honda starts working his grab/low Jab mix-up, it can be tough for Abel to deal with.
From mid-range, Honda out pokes Abel between s. RH, s. FP, and Jab xx Hands. It can be really tough for Abel to get in, and trying to force your way in from this range is a surefire way to kill yourself. Another issue from mid-range is that Honda will inexplicably just phase through your shit, if you land a Step Kick. s. FP seems to just miss most of the time, and even Low Jab will miss on CH Step Kicks. Shit is silly. You can combo S. FP from Step Kick from close to max range, so it’s better to operate from just a little further out that you would against other characters. Honda out-ranges you, so it’s best to dance just outside of your poke range, and look to punish whiffs with Step Kicks, and work to maybe score CH Step Kicks when you get more comfortable with the footsies in this fight. CH Step Kick leads to an easy combo into s. Strong, that won’t miss. If you’re confident in your links, CH Step Kick also combos into Low Fierce.
If you can dance around this range enough, you can get the damage you need , while avoiding Honda’s bullshit, and maybe induce a jump or two. If you get beat up around this range, don’t compound your issues by starting to attack Honda recklessly. There’s nothing worse you can do in this fight.
I’ve seen countless Abel’s fuck their shit up by being hyper aggressive on Honda, as if he doesn’t have one easy-ass answer to any linear offense you throw at him. You have to pick your spots well, and mix up really well to be effective on offense. Honda has braindead reversals, so your offense has to be intelligent. Check this video for help on this. It’s from Vanilla, but it still applies.
Defensively speaking, you need to utilize all of your anti-airs in this fight. Depending on spacing and jump angles, you’re gonna want to have cr. FP, s. FP, cr. MK and Falling Sky at the ready. When Honda gets in, he can make it really tough. I just block until the Honda shows me he can run a good throw mix-up, personally. If Honda can throw well, it gets a lot trickier. You can’t rely on jumping way, as Low Jab will ground you into hands for big damage. Backdash will lose to Jab xx Hands also, as Honda can just see the backdash, and mash FP to get Hands out. You just have to pay attention and find ways out. No easy answer here, as far as I know.
As for Ultra, personally, I prefer Breathless, as it completely shuts down Honda’s jumping (which can be tricky to deal with), punishes ALL Headbutts, and has a few good set-ups to deal with common Honda shit. It just disrupts his game greatly, IMO, and takes things off the table that Honda really needs to use in this match-up. That being said, while Breathless does take shit off the table, it requires Abel to differ in a lot of situations and choose to block, which changes the dynamic in it’s own way. There’s a little back and forth, but overall, I think Breathless is very useful in this fight.
Soulless also has uses. There are a couple of extra set-ups against Honda to land raw Ultra (like point blank Roll through EX Headbutt-> Ultra), and obviously you can combo it, which has its uses.
Overall, Abel has a tough time dealing with Honda’s shit once he gets going, but Abel can keep Honda from getting going. Offensively, if you know how to fight Honda, there is all sorts of shit you can, actually must, do to be effective. This is not a fight that allows you to play standard Abel game and win, IMO. You need Honda-specific shit, but with Honda-specific shit, Abel can be very effective offensively.
Either way, though, this is a tough fight for both characters. Even, IMO.
Abel’s got a pretty decent OS against Honda.
If you can land Falling Sky on Honda, if you step back just a little bit, then jump, you can cross Honda up with a safe jump MK. The way that jump works, I don’t believe Honda even has time to charge a Headbutt (I wasn’t able to do it in training mode), and even if he does, it would take so long, that the Honda would need near a near frame-perfect charge time to execute it, so he wouldn’t benefit from SF4’s huge reversal window. It would have to be a ST reversal, if it’s even possible.
Now… what you do from here depends on the situation.
You can OS a Short Roll here, and that will beat all normal Butt Slams. It loses to EX Butt Slam, though. If the Honda you’re fighting doesn’t do EX Butt Slam, or if they don’t have meter, you can just OS with Short all the time. The Butt Slams will whiff, and for punishment, well you can have whatever you like. Stacks on deck.
The problem with EX Roll is that it’s much harder/impossible to punish the Splashes without Ultra, so Short Roll is better for the punishment, but it carries a higher risk.
If you do have Ultra and one bar though, then EX Roll is what you always wanna go for. Obviously, since it’s an OS, you won’t get the EX Roll unless Honda does a Butt Splash, and any one of them, including EX, gets punished by either ultra.
The other benefit of this OS, is that it’s pretty damn good even if the Honda smartens up and just blocks. It’s pretty tough to backdash out of this set-up, so the only options are Splash or block. Splash gets covered, and if Honda blocks, he’s point blank against Abel, and he doesn’t have either charge. Back charge was lost on the cross-up, and down charge was lost to be able to block the jump-in. So you can go for whatever you want right here. It’s a small window, but it counts. SF4 has so few situations where the attacker is at 100% advantage, and this is one of them for a short time.[/details]
I’m gonna be honest… this is not a match that I know all that well, but I played a good number of games with 300 lb. Eugene yesterday, and I never really play Fei’s so now’s as good a time as I’m ever gonna have to get some match impressions out there.
I think Fei causes problems for Abel, but it’s not a horrible fight, or anything. Most Fei Longs are gonna look to control mid range with Rekkas, and then bombard you with Chicken Wings, since it’s just really effective on Abel. On block, it leaves Fei at even frames, at point blank, and Fei’s options up close, especially at even frames, trump Abel’s IMO.
Still, I don’t think the fight is that bad. Poking at mid range with Stand Short helps control what Fei can get away with. Dancing around at max range on Stand Short allows you to pepper some pressure in, and be able to block Rekkas on reaction. If Fei starts up with CW, Stand Strong beats it clean. This fight is all about footsies, IMO. If you know how to play footsies, you can earn yourself some Step Kick opportunities.
Speaking of Step Kick, Fei is another character that won’t succumb to standard Step Kick shenanigans on block. Reversal CW will beat every single normal option Abel has out of Step Kick. I find myself doing stuff like Step Kick-> Jump Back, to try to punish CW attempts. Yeah… this isn’t great, but it’s better than just giving away damage if you miss time a whiff punish or something.
If you let Fei get in on you, on the other hand, his up close game can get a little tough. Quick light attacks combo into knockdowns, and the pressure continues. He’s got an overhead, that’s safe on block against Abel (-4), and even though his command grab is slow as all hell, it really doesn’t pay to press buttons on D against Fei, so you can find yourself getting caught with Tenshin anyway. It can really get difficult if you let Fei in, and he’s never more than one CW away from establishing point blank position.
You get beat down for a little while though, and you’ll get that Ultra up. For me, this is a Breathless-only fight. When I play this match, I literally expect to land Breathless every single round on Fei. This move definitely helps out in the match.
All in all, I think Fei wins the fight up close, and he’s got pretty braindead ways to get in. All this means is that you have to play a range game, and look to earn your damage through footsies. Fei’s footsies are pretty good, but they don’t own Abel up at mid range, IMO. Between Stand Short to just cause frustration, Stand Strong/Breathless to punish CW attempts, and Step Kick to punish all whiffs (Rekka, low Fierce, etc.), Abel can more than hold his own at mid range. Up close, Abel loses, so it should be your goal to stay out of that spot. If you can do this, you can beat Fei, IMO. If not, you lose. Overall, I think it’s easier for Fei to impose his will, than it is for Abel to disrupt it, so I give the match advantage to Fei, but Abel can definitely fight this one out.
OK, so the major shit here is about Breathless.
Fei is one of those characters that gets fucked by Breathless if he finds himself in the corner. As such, whenever I get openings, I try to push Fei to the corner. Standard Abel FADC combo (without the Step Kick) leaves you pretty much exactly where you started, though with a side switch, so depending on where I’m at on the screen, and where my Ultra bar is, I’ll tailor my options accordingly. If I’m almost in the corner myself, standard Abel combo is lovely for putting Fei back into the corner. If I’m at mid screen, a reset at the end, that leaves me on the same side (like s. FP xx Short Roll) works for me, though you can always go for the gusto, and go for a reset like cr. FP xx Short Roll-> Low Short xx Short Roll that will switch sides, then TT to put Fei in the corner, on his back. Either way, the point is, tailor your options to put Fei into the corner.
Once he’s there, he’s just fucked.
Jump out. From just a little closer than max Breathless range, Fei can’t do shit. CW is worthless here. It goes for one hit, that is harmlessly focused by Breathless, and you get your damage. He can’t jump. Rekka is easily hit on reaction. Even Fei’s super/Ultra aren’t options. Fei’s Super and Ultra do not break armor. If you’re at the right range, the first hit of his Super and Ultra should miss, then you can release Breathless on the 2nd hit, absorb it, and catch him. I find that if you try to release it on the first hit, if you do it too early, Fei’s invincibility will outlast Breathless’ active frames. You’ll absorb the first hit of his Ultra, but then Breathless will just whiff, and you eat the rest of the Ultra/Super. If you hold it, and release to catch the latter part of the first hit, the 2nd hit comes around too quickly for Breathless to interrupt, and you eat the whole thing. You have to space it so that the first hit whiffs, then it’s free. This is not terribly hard to set up.
Strategically, what this means is that if Fei has you in the corner, and you have Ultra… and if you know me, you know I usually don’t say shit like this at all… but it pays to try to mash out EX TT somewhere in this, or try to get EX CoD off somehow… or something. Risk/Reward is just great. You risk getting hit and staying in the corner (that was probably gonna happen anyway…), but your reward for success is whatever damage you get from EX TT or EX CoD (200 or so, depending), plus a free Breathless set-up.[/details]
Ok… some people say the Rose fight is hard… I just don’t see it. Sure, she has great pokes. Yeah, she has cl. MK, which is kinda annoying… Yeah, Soul Satellite can be stupid to deal with… I don’t think any of that translates into Rose winning the fight though.
Her pokes are cool and all, but this is just like any other fight with a character with good mid range options… just don’t get hit. It’s not like Rose has some 4F low attack that hits from half screen. There’s no mix up here. From mid range, just don’t run into shit. You can still fight well, with Stand Short and Step Kick, just like any other fight. You just need a little bit of footsies. If you’re the type of Abel that struggles against Rose, Bison, or any other character like that, you just need to focus on footsies for a while, because you really shouldn’t be losing those fights, unless you’re just being outplayed.
Anyway, yeah… don’t run into Rose’s shit, and she’s not that big of a deal from far/mid-range. While she outpokes Abel to some degree, damage output is waaaaaay in your favor here, should you land one Step Kick, or even just get one blocked. There are a lot of characters that I believe are in a favorable position after blocking a Step Kick… Rose isn’t one of those characters. Sure, her back dash is really good, and it’s hard to turn her back dashing into damage for you… but the thing about her back dash, is that it’s too good, IMO. She’s got her back to the corner after like 2 back dashes. It’s a fairly large risk for Rose to backdash. Luckily… most Rose’s don’t seem to get this. Anyway, outside of backdash, to deal with Step Kick situations, Rose has EX Spiral, which is an OK reversal, but it’s one of those reversals with invincible frames that don’t last until the move’s active frames, so you can hit it in start up. You should have set-ups for this.
Rose’s only other threat after blocking a Step Kick, is her 3f Jab. Meh… if it was a 3f Short, I’d be concerned, since she could plink it, but 3f Jab requires absolutely perfect timing to actually be a 3f attack out of the block stun, unless you’re playing somebody that does Back Plinking… and I’ve never come across that, though it is technically possible.
So yeah… now… your options to cover one thing, over the other, will leave you vulnerable to some of Rose’s options, but I still feel like Abel wins out in terms of momentum and damage.
Another huge tool in this fight, IMO, is EX CoD. There aren’t a whole lot of fights in which I think EX CoD is really important, but this is one of them. The whole way Rose even stands a chance in this fight, is because of her mid range poking game. Umm… so go through it. One trick I like to use is to empty jump in front of Rose, and EX CoD on landing. Most Rose’s rely on Low Fierce as anti-air, and that won’t hit Abel jumping from the front, if he doesn’t actually attack. Most Rose’s just freeze here, and maybe try to hit Low Strong when I land, or something like that. This gets me a bunch of knockdowns, that I can use to shorten the match.
You can see it here:
Really, that whole round was won off of landing that dumb gimmick, then taking advantage of her shitty wake-up… understanding when the Rose was gonna Satellite, blocking it, which sends the message that her little get-out-of-jail-free-shit didn’t work, so she’s free for the rest of the round, then following through on that.
Speaking of… I really think Rose is free on wake-up. Yeah, there’s Spiral, but that can be easily OS’d, and that needs meter. Against Rose, you can just Roll into her, and do what you want. Once you show that you know how to compromise her back dash (there are a bunch of ways… OS Sweep… Rolling behind when you know she’s gonna backdash… or my favorite… just saying fuck it, and dashing into her on her wake-up), and EX Spiral (delay… anything, or do cl. MP on wake-up), Rose players don’t know what to do. Take advantage of that.
I also like to just cross Rose up on wake-up. That is FREEEEEEE pressure. EX Soul Throw is a 6f move. That is a complete non-factor. If you’re still in the air 6 frames after Rose wakes up… you really need to work on your set-ups. EX Spiral is a 13f move, so again… that’s a non-factor. If a Rose even tries this, she’s basically doing EX Spiral at point-blank, which leaves her at -6. Free TT. Also, it can be tough to backdash out of cross-ups, so it’s really just free pressure.
Once Rose has U2 stocked, obviously, you need to switch up, and start peppering in blocking into the mix, but don’t let it control you.
Defensively… um… uh… I really don’t see how Rose can really hurt Abel, unless you’re just giving away damage. Rose is easily anti-aired, and her ways in on Abel all carry a large risk. If she happens to knock you down somehow… just block and late tech. It seems like all Rose players love to just stand there on my wake-up, and just hit cl. MK, like I’m some dumbfuck that’s gonna try to throw them… just don’t. Let them have that. Just block. Now what is she gonna do? I can’t think of anything… If you want, you can EX CoD. I do this sometimes. It’s fun.
Overall, this is a fight in which Abel can grab momentum really easily, IMO, and just never let it go. Like usual, you can’t just go in dumbass-Abel style, and try to grab all day, or whatever, because Rose can beat that, but if you choose to use like 10% of your brain, she doesn’t have that many options… pick one or two to cover, and live with the consequences if she happens to outguess you from a defensive position. Her pay-off for her correct guess is nowhere near as great as yours is, and you’re at a higher percentage, anyway. Don’t run into her from far range, and don’t spazz on defense like an idiot.
If you can play footsies (ie, don’t run into her pokes) and you have halfway decent defense (ie, you’re not compelled to mash some move every time you’re on the defensive), it is REALLY hard for Rose to drain your life bar.[/details]