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

Newb question: how do you handle people who constantly jump at you up close, where they avoid your mp and cr. hp?

What OS’s do I have to learn for Boxer?

Does he have some that I can use in every match up? What are the ones he does on certain characters?

Is there a list of viable ones anywhere?


Also Boxer is a pretty easy character, I don’t need to learn how to plink do I? Haha.

thanks for using the Q&A thread.

If someone’s pressuring you up close and you find you can’t AA, then, do one of three things: 1) do it earlier/pre-emptively, is really good for this, like with Deejay or Blanka who have jump arcs that are low to the ground. 2) if it’s a match with Gief and he does jump forward or jump fierce which are difficult to AA, use headbutt or use, and 3) if you can’t AA, then space and get to a range where you can, Balrogs walk speed is OK and his backdash is good.

check out the 3rd post for O/S
Plinking isn’t necessary with Balrog, but it helps. I plink st.lp, and cr.lp,

Awesome thank’s so much!

Sort of a noob question (at least I consider it), but recently I was at a SSF4AE tourny and for the record I was playing Balrog. Now, I feel my gameplay was slightly on point, only thing is after almost every attack or movement my opponents made they would charge their focus attack, which would bait me succesfully, and hit me with it to cause me to go into the crumple state and therefore hit me with a combo.

My question is how to counter this sort of tactic. The only way I see it at the moment really is to just use his smash fist but I can’t always do that, not to mention if i’m blocked it’s unsafe. So any suggestions would be nice. Thanks.

~Side note: I would usually have to stay at a distance and sit dormant because of being worried about being hit by their focus attack if I charge into their space. Than if I don’t charge in than they would mix me up or cross me up very quickly, leaving me with very little options (at least in my opinion). So tips on this problem would be nice as well. I hope this section of the post made some sort of sense…


think of it this way, any attack with at least 20f of recovery is bait for focus attacks, so that’s pretty much all of balrog’s heavy attacks and specials that don’t break armor. If he charges up a focus attack, you can charge yours up and that will make him or he think, do i want to charge up to a lvl3 or do I want to backdash. From this point, you can release, backdash, and counterpoke with st.hp if they try to release simultaneously (they may be past the point of no recovery if they’re charging a lvl3). You can also hit him during the swing since he only has armor during the swing on lvl 3, or if you’re poking with, you can cancel into super or a focus attack. You can also forward dash/backdash into U1/super to punish focus attacks as well.

Without meter there’s not much you can do because smash is kinda slow and they can release early to hit you on startup. You can throw him any time during his focus attack unless he spaces you weird and release as you attempt to walk forward. You can also jump as well. If he does focus attack and doesn’t come into contact with anything he HAS to dash to not have to go through the lengthy recovery of a whiffed focus attack. Keep that in mind.

This may also give you some ideas about focus attacks in general:

Wasn’t entirely sure where to put this, because it applies to all charge characters, but: Is it possible to maintain charge when being crossed-up? Cheers.

Basically the answer is yes: you can maintain down-charge regardless of being crossed up, but you can’t maintain back-charge. This is a half truth (see below).

I’ll describe balrog specifically since it works best for him (utilizing back-charge when being crossed up because he has armored dashes). When an opponents center line crosses over yours, you lose your backcharge, but you can maintain your down-charge, this is generally the case, but there are specific situations where this is half true. So if an opponent cross you up, and you do the motion for…
If you’re inbetween the back and forward motion as the opps center line passes over yours, you’ve already “lost” your back-charge because you’ve used it for the special, and it’ll come out, often it will auto-correct. This is dangerous because depending on spacing it may put you at risk for further damage especially if it’s a cross-up safe jump since you could go the wrong way. Best case scenario, you auto-correct, absorb a hit and connect with a grounded you can follow up with. Worst case scenario, You go the wrong way and they reaction ultra/full combo so you take more damage. It’s better to learn to block correctly (unless it’s an unblockable) and backdash/create space.

Awesome! Thanks for the response. Is headbutt safe AA against a crossup?

For the most part, no.
If they’re trying to just jump in at you and do a crossup, you can hit them with st. mp if you react early enough. Jump-back fierce also works for this. If they’re crossing you up on wakeup, the best thing to do is just block it. (or you can do a auto correct ex dash)

squirtguns is on point, if you can do auto-correct headbutt, you have enough time to properly AA with or maybe even punish with walk under st.lp, . It’s useful against Seth or some opponents who try to dive kick in really close (At least the once with height restrictions)

just curious if its good to learn to link ultra off of rog’s aa ex upper? i mean train to react too it bc it seems that no one does it really

you can pretty much land utra off any AA dash punch. I’d definitely do it once or twice, so you know what the opportunity looks like. You’re much more likely to land AA TAP to Ultra/super for sure though. The spacing and situation for it is really unsafe, so don’t plan to land it on purpose, but know what it looks like if you get the opportunity.

To actually land the juggle, you have to do it from about 3/4 screen and hit them with the last active frames where they’re either going up, or generally higher in the air, since there’s a lot more recovery from the dash punches and it doesn’t really pop them very high in the air (unlike TAP). You can set the dummy to jump, and just practice, and ex.ds from about 1/2 to 3/4 screen.

You an actually juggle ultra off an lk/ex.smash in the corner grounded if you hit with just the tip, but it’s not easy.

:nunchuck:more tools added to my arsenal lol…ok let me ask you guys this question: the other day i was sparring with a rufus player who did consistent dive kick pressure (triangle dive kick, throw etc.) anyways i started to notice a pattern…so i decided that everytime he did a dive kick, i did cr.:hp:+:lp:+:lk:…if he’d dive kick he ate aa’s…if he attempted to throw, it throw tech’d…so basically is this an option select for balrog against rufus? (sorry for the noobness, but currently learning anything that will level up my game

Yes, it’s a crouch-tech, can also be called a modified crouch-tech (e.g. or This may also be useful knowledge against Rufus’ dive kicks. Although, for the most part any/all technology with Balrog is “well-known” or “Vanilla tactics”, don’t be afraid to mention something that you discover or find out in the event that’s its new, or it leads to something new.


well, hopefully i was on to something :clapdos:maybe i should experiment this idea with the twins to see if it goes anywhere

Ah didn’t know this was possible. Learn something new all the time.

How do you dictate a match with Boxer so that you can create situations where you can make “good reads”

For Example, Ryu can throw a fireball which can force a jump. Thats a simple option of what I mean. Does Balrog have this ability. It just feels like Balrog always is being forced to deal with my opponents action, and its less about ok I do this they have to this. I have reached the point where I have to generate an offense to win, and its less about just punishing what I can. Its possibly my brain is just wired to always worry about what my opponent is doing.

Understand that my roommate is an Akuma player who vortexs and demon traps well. So I feel like I am constantly on my heals in most matches even when not fighting Akuma.

cliff notes: increase your yomi, most if not all of Balrog’s baits/reads/conditioning comes from meta-game and not from certain attacks to some extent.

it’s one thing balrog has a lot of trouble with, i think. and even more so a lot of that “baiting” or “good reads” comes from experience. When you play a certain way to force the opponent into tunnel vision so they feel that they don’t have any options to beat your offense/defensive that puts you in position to take advantage of good reads.

I’ll give three examples i think of ways Balrog can bait or force some opponents to make mistakes:
(1)use of, certain sweeps in the game are -6 on block, but have a crap ton of pushback. A trick a japanese balrog (maeda I believe) did was to use Afterwards, during the blockstun, he’d buffer U1 and if he saw the reversal signage, he press 3k/3p to punish their attempted reversal.
(2)if you’re in the heat of the match toward the end and you’ve got the life lead and only need chip damage to win, you can fake them out and get a dash straight (or bait focus attack/jump, by walking forward slightly, using crouching jab, or doing a walk forward lp.ds (which can be telegraphed by walking forward if you’ve used it before, kinda to snipe opponents @ 3/4 screen). If you’re unsure of how this looks PR Balrog’s video on specials shows it in action as a way to extend the reach of your dash punches.
(3)lp.ds used as a way to get in is expected from all Balrog players, most opponents (except Cody), can’t punish it on block at max distance, nor can punish it on reaction. Thus what opponents will do is neutral jump or focus fish to crumple stun you. With this in mind, varying your max distance dash punches with short smash and jab dash straight effectively makes the opponent not want to risk trying to focus fish or neutral jump (which can be beat by short rush upper). Toward the end of the match when they don’t have a lot of life left, you can use this to your favor because some opps may get tunnel vision and think that the only way they can win the match is by punishing the inevitable dash straight, so you walk forward and jab and they fire off their buffered ultra.

it’s extremely character specific, for example the idea you mentioned earlier about ryu forcing a jump with hadouken, he’s not necessarily forcing a jump, so much as if gives it as an option. To bait a jump safely, he’d had to hadouken at max distance where you couldn’t punish it with a jump-in, hp.hb, or dash ultra. so a lot goes with it as far as weighing your characters options, and having a feel for the options they will most likely chose, a lot of it, well all of it comes from really good observation and sometimes conditioning.

I am aware of Rogs’ two non-super non-ultra armour breakers, but sometimes when I do a dash-straight, I get the glass breaking effect. Why does this happen?