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Honda is a strange character. He destroys most non-fireball characters, yet he's destroyed by most fireball characters. He alternates between rushdown and mixups to extreme turtling.
If you are willing to use Honda, just be aware that fighting against good zoning characters is an extremely hard task, as his ways to get in are easily countered by good anti-air moves. You'll spend all the match patiently trying to get in once, and if you manage to get in, you have to be brutal enough and end the round right there.
Generally considered high mid-tier. Basically he typically dominates non-fireball characters and gets murdered by fireball characters.
Strengths & Weaknesses
- Has the ability to land an incredible amount of non-combo damage and dizzy in a very short amount of time.
- Hundred Hand Slap pressure does great damage (hit and chip) and is very difficult for most of the cast to deal with.
- Has two good reversals that have invincible startup (jab headbutt, and lk/mk buttslam).
- The stored ochio is one of the games most oppressive moves. Basically makes you immune to tick throws, only hawks spd and super, as well as giefs spd have more range.
- Relatively easy for a beginner to pick up (lots of safe on block moves, easy to spam with HHS).
- Great crossup (down-MK in the air) that pretty much can't miss.
- Being a fat hurtbox character with a slow jump arc makes it very difficult to navigate a competent zoning fireball game.
- Has mostly poor normals on the ground, and not many good options in the air either.
- Usually is screwed if caught without a down-back charge (most characters can jump on honda for free if he is walking forward).
- Super might be the worst in the game despite being storeable.
- MP and HP HHS require very quick button mashing, which can be an undesired variable when considering to main Honda since they are so vital to his game.
New & Old Versions Comparison
To select O.E.Honda, choose E.Honda and then press ← → → → Jab/Fierce, pressing Short simultaneously with the punch button for the alternate color.
Here is the list of differences:
- Obvious stuff: O.E.Honda can not tech throws, does not have the Oicho Throw and Super;
- O.E.Honda has some differences in some of his normals:
- Close Standing Jab is exactly like the Far version. N.E.Honda received a new Close punch that combos into itself;
- Far Standing Jab has faster startup/recovery and can be special canceled;
- Crouching Jab can be special canceled;
- Close Standing Strong is exactly like the Far version. N.E.Honda received a new Close punch that can be used in ticking;
- Far Standing Strong has faster recovery;
- Crouching Strong has better range and priority and can be used as anti air;
- Close Standing Fierce first active part has less active frames and the other active part has more active frames and better priority/range. The total of active frames is the same though;
- Far Standing Fierce is exactly like the Far version. N.E.Honda has a different version of O.E.Honda's Crouching Fierce with worse priority, worse startup, no knockdown, less damage potential, and no special cancel, but with a lot better recovery;
- Crouching Fierce is his classic sweep punch. N.E.Honda received a new Crouching punch that hits twice;
- Close Standing Short is a low hitting kick. N.E.Honda received a new Close knee that can be used in ticking;
- Far Standing Short is a fast hitting sweep. N.E.Honda has a different version of O.E.Honda's Crouching Short with bigger hurtbox and worse priority;
- Crouching Short is his classic spear kick. N.E.Honda received a near identical version of O.E.Honda Close Standing Short instead;
- Close Standing Forward is a low hitting kick. N.E.Honda received a new Close knee that can be used in ticking;
- Far Standing Forward is a fast hitting sweep. N.E.Honda has a different version of O.E.Honda's Crouching Forward with bigger hurtbox, less damage on the first hit and worse priority;
- Crouching Forward is his classic 2-hit spear kick. N.E.Honda received a near identical version of O.E.Honda Close Standing Forward;
- Far Standing Roundhouse is his classic long range sweep. For N.E.Honda it's the same as the Close version and that long range sweep became a Command Normal;
- Neutral Jumping Jab is basically the same but with bigger hurtbox during the active frames. The horizontal priority is the same though;
- Diagonal Jumping Jab has faster startup and a lot more active frames but with bigger hurtbox during the active frames. The horizontal priority is the same though;
- Neutral Jumping Strong second active part has bigger hurtbox. The horizontal priority is the same though;
- Diagonal Jumping Strong has 2 active parts and more active frames, but the first hitting part has less active frames if compared with N.E.Honda's version;
- Neutral Jumping Fierce can not be steered and has bigger hurtbox during the active frames and some frames later. The horizontal priority is the same though;
- Diagonal Jumping Fierce has bigger hurtbox during the active frames and some frames later. The horizontal priority is the same though;
- Neutral Jumping Short has better horizontal priority;
- Both Jumping Forwards have better horizontal priority but worse vertical priority. All in all N.E.Honda's version is better;
- Neutral Jumping Roundhouse has a lot better priority and twice as many active frames;
- Diagonal Jumping Roundhouse has a lot better priority but can not be used as a crossup attack;
- O.E.Honda's HHS behaves differently: has a little faster startup, a lot faster recovery, less minimal attacking duration and steerable properties. N.E.Honda's version is slower and can not be steered but Strong and Fierce versions create a fast impulse once activated;
- O.E.Honda's Headbutts do less knockback on block/hit;
- O.E.Honda's Jab Headbutt has slower startup and Strong headbutt has twice as much active frames;
- O.E.Honda's Butt Drop has smaller hitbox on the second active part (when he's falling) which gives him worse crossup ability;
In general, O.E.Honda has a better normal set (has a awesome Standing Jab, can use his Fierce Chop from any range, has all his knockdown normals from HF and most of his other normals have little benefits). But because his HHS is so different he is played in a different way (like HF Honda). Both versions have pretty much the same strength though, they are just played differently. Choose whichever version suits your style better.
Disclaimer: To better understand the diagrams, read this.
- Close Standing Jab: (Base max activation range: 32)
|Simplified||1 + 3||2||3|
Good as a tick and for some combos, but not much else.
- Far Standing Jab:
|Simplified||1 + 5||4||5|
Good priority makes it a great way to deal with "rushing" moves (Blanka Rolls, Hawk dives, Honda Headbutts, etc) and can be used as an anti-air. Will beat most pokes. The best attack to start your Fierce HHS from since it's quite fast, but for that same reason it requires more execution. Hits mid against every character but Blanka so it can be used as a safe meaty on most knockdowns. Especially handy against shoto wakeup jab SRK (harder to do against Ken because his SRK has more horizontal range than Ryu).
- Crouching Jab:
|Simplified||1 + 4||8||3|
Nice poke, doesn't have as much priority as Standing Jab but has better range and is not as vulnerable to low attacks. It's great for buffering Fierce HHS, either whiffed or blocked, due to its long active time. This also makes it a good meaty to start ticks.
- Close Standing Strong: (Base max activation range: 32)
|Simplified||1 + 4||2||5|
This move gives huge frame advantage: you can link it into most normal moves for some decent combos. This can also be used as a tick into ochio as an unexpected variation: Honda players usually use normals that do low blockstun (usually Crouching Jab) when tick throwing, and this can get too predictable. Having the option to do a medium blockstun can be good as a mixup, just have in mind that against everyone but Zangief you'll have to walk a little bit before the ochio (otherwise you'll be out of ochio's range) which is no problem since this move gives you huge frame advantage so there's plenty of time to do it. You can even mix up your ticks with Close Standing Jab for a different blockstun time, since they look the same.
- Far Standing Strong:
|Simplified||1 + 6||4||6|
More range than Standing Jab, it's another good way to mask your Fierce HHS, and you can use it to stuff / trade with the startup of projectiles.
- Crouching Strong:
|Simplified||1 + 6||8||11|
Its hitbox makes it great for beating some key crouching attacks, like Guile's and Chun's Crouching Forward kicks. A bit slow though.
- Close Standing Fierce: (Base max activation range: 48)
|Frame Advantage||-3 / +2|
|Simplified||1 + 6||7|
Can be used to anti-air attacks directly above you (such as a Vega trying to wall-dive you against your corner, when you are cornered). Its main problem is that you have to be very close for this attack to come out. Time it incorrectly and Far Standing Fierce will come out instead, leaving you completely open. Due to its slow startup it takes quite a skillful player to get it to come out when you need it, making it rarely used on purpose.
- Far Standing Fierce:
|Simplified||1 + 7||4|
Usually, what you get for mistiming Close Standing Fierce or not doing Fierce HHS correctly. Unlike O.Honda's Crouching Fierce, it doesn't hit low, it's not cancelable and is very slow. Outside of a particular combo, its only use is to leave you wide open.
- Crouching Fierce:
|Damage||16 + 16|
|Stun||1~7 + 1~7|
|Stun Timer||70 + 70|
|Super Cancel||Yes / No|
|Frame Advantage||-6 / +3(+2)|
|Simplified||1 + 4||4||6|
Not very useful outside a few combos. Can be used to deter Boxer's low rushes. Usually seen when you mess up the ochio command.
- Close Standing Short: (Base max activation range: 11)
|Simplified||1 + 3||3||5|
Totally outprioritized by Close Standing Jab. It's also impossible to use against some characters (unless they jump over you) since the maximum activation range isn't big enough to activate the move even when on point-blank range. Avoid this move.
- Far Standing Short:
|Simplified||1 + 9||3||7|
Like Far Standing Forward (just as useless): it's a faster (but weaker) alternative to it.
- Crouching Short:
|Simplified||1 + 3||3||4|
Excellent cancelable normal. Good for tick throwing as well. The best pro Hondas can cancel out of this normal into any strength HHS for a nasty frame trap, but it takes serious button mashing skills to do (specially Strong and Fierce HHS). You are almost always in range for an ochio if you manage to land a cancelled Short into Strong or Fierce HHS.
- Close Standing Forward: (Base max activation range: 11)
|Simplified||1 + 5||3||7|
Totally outprioritized by Close Standing Strong. It requires you to go to neutral otherwise the command kick comes out if holding backwards for charge, which is a problem. It's also impossible to use against some characters (unless they jump over you) since the maximum activation range isn't big enough to activate the move even when on point-blank range. Avoid this move.
- Far Standing Forward:
|Damage||4 + 24|
|Stun||5~11 + 5~11|
|Stun Timer||60 + 60|
|Frame Advantage||-1 / +2(+1)|
|Simplified||1 + 6||3||6||10|
Can be used as a counter poke agaisnt Dhalsim's Standing Kicks, Boxer's Standing Fierce (!) and Claw's Standing Strong. The 2nd hitbox isn't as as good as O.E.Honda's Crouching Forward, but in exchange it has better leg hurtboxes which allow it to whiff vs some low normals (but this is not really usefull since this isn't a good move to play footsies anyway).
- Crouching Forward:
|Simplified||1 + 6||5||8|
Can use to buffer Strong or Fierce HHS on block. The timing on the buffered HHS coming out of this move can be awkward for an opponent to deal with making it good for surprises. Works great as a counter-poke against certain characters annoying crouching pokes like Guile's Crouching Forward kick.
- Close/Far Standing Roundhouse:
|Damage||4 + 30|
|Stun||3~9 + 10~16|
|Stun Timer||40 + 80|
|Frame Advantage||-4 / -1(-2)|
|Simplified||1 + 7||3||5|
Good damage and stun but no followups, it can be used as 2 hitter if you want to show off when finishing an opponent, but even then it's safer to just use command Forward kick instead, since it does more damage than this. It's not really a viable anti air option since Honda has way better options for that. You also can't do it while charging back (because of command sweep) which makes it even less usable.
- Crouching Roundhouse:
|Frame Advantage||-3 / +7|
|Simplified||1 + 7||6||4||8||7|
A bit faster startup than towards+Rh. Its usefulness rises in the corner, as it allows several shenanigans such as walking under after a throw and then hitting them with its backwards hitbox, or timing it a bit early so it whiffs and then negative edge Oicho as you recover.
Note: Using Crouching Rh in the corner to crossup after a Fierce Hold works on everyone BUT Sagat, Chun, and Vega. The secret to timing this ground crossup is to hold forward (so you're ready to continuously walk into the corner) and wait until your opponent gets released from the hold and touches the wall. The moment they hit the wall initiate the Crouching Rh. While this is a cool sequence it isn't full-proof (you can get thrown or SRKed out if they take the chance but it is a pretty big gamble so a block is more likely). Like Bison's ground crossup with his slide, it is also painfully easy to see coming and block the correct way (not ambiguous at all). Unlike Bison's slide though, you have frame advantage if your crossup attempt gets blocked.
Another use of this sweep is using it as a safe meaty against horizontal-based reversal moves (SRKs, upkicks, etc) forcing them to wiff. Say you're fighting Ryu, knock him down and use this sweep outside of his throw range making sure you're meaty-ing him with the last active frames of the sweep. One of 3 things will happen assuming he doesn't launch a reversal super: He uses a SRK which will wiff against your recovery giving you an easy punish, he uses a normal which will get beat, or he blocks. A harder variation of this is purposely missing meaty timing by a very short amount while in ochio range to get an ochio coming right out of the recovery.
Finally, on hit this will set up a built-in safe jump against Sagat and Claw. All you have to do is hold up-forward to jump on the very first moment after Honda recovers from it, and that jump will be a safe-jump against these characters, unless they touch the corner or a destroyable object.
- Neutral Jumping Jab:
Not particularly useful, has decent reach.
- Diagonal Jumping Jab:
Good air-to-air move due to the long horizontal hitbox. If you got good reflexes you can use this to trade or beat tough jump-ins like Chun-Li's LK/MK. This move is excellent for tick-throws and safe jumps. Bison and Blanka can duck it though and will make you pay for using it.
- Neutral Jumping Strong:
First part is like diagonal j mp, but you also have a second part as well. This can still be used like the diagonal version to counter air attacks and walldives/headstomps.
- Diagonal Jumping Strong:
Very useful against Vega's walldives jumping back. Also, like neutral jumping Strong, it's one of your only reliable moves with a red hitbox ABOVE you. This can save you in a pinch when you don't have a charge for jab headbutt.
- Neutral Jumping Fierce:
One of Honda's main options for avoiding projectiles. You can steer this attack left or right to jump over projectiles in a safer way than just jumping forward.
- Diagonal Jumping Fierce:
Some players prefer to use this instead of diagonal jumping Forward kick as their main jump-in for the damage increase. It has slightly less vertical priority but more horizontal priority. Also has slightly less reach than jumping Forward kick. Use what feels more comfortable.
- Neutral Jumping Short:
A trick you can do with this otherwise worthless move is doing a neutral jumping short and landing on someone as a tick (so pretty circumstantial, likely requiring a knockdown in a corner). This move will not only push you out of most characters throw range but will still leave you in ochio range for an unexpected and hard to deal with tick.
- Diagonal Jumping Short:
Important move for Honda. Small hurtbox helps jumping over projectiles. The hitbox has decent vertical properties and hits low to the ground, which makes it good for stuffing slides and poorly placed anti-air sweeps.
- Neutral Jumping Forward:
Ok for protection as you come down, but nj hp is often favoured as it can be steered.
- Diagonal Jumping Forward:
Your best frontal jump-in, it has very good vertical priority so it can stuff a lot of anti-air normals if spaced properly.
- Neutral Jumping Roundhouse:
Nj mk protects you better, but this does more damage. Some Honda users will opt to use this neutral jump over (steer-able) Neutral Jump Fierce because of its truncated hurtboxes for jumping over projectiles. Try both and see what works best for your playstyle. -x64
- Diagonal Jumping Roundhouse:
Great cross-up, usually harder to counter than j.d+MK. Critical crossup against Chun, since her upkicks will wiff (and usually get hit) if you place this correctly -x64
- Double Knee Attack: (On ground and close, ←/↖/↑/↗/→ + Forward. Base max activation range: 11)
|Damage||26 + 16|
|Stun||5~11 + 5~11|
|Stun Timer||60 + 60|
|Frame Advantage||+5 / +8(+7)|
|Simplified||1 + 9||3||3|
Kind of slow, you can link it after a crossup if it hits very deep. Not much use since you can't do much afterwards, and Honda has better tick options.
- Harai Geri a.k.a. Sweep: (On ground, ←/↖/↑/↗/→ + Roundhouse)
|Simplified||1 + 9||6||19|
Honda's longest ranged normal, you'll be using it a lot against projectile characters. You can use it from max range to stop or trade with projectile attempts. Since it knocks down, you'll keep the initiative and get a chance to get in close. Take notice that Honda's hurtbox shifts out when the leg is extended. It is a bit harder to use this sweep as an anti-air because of it.
Also, on hit this will set up a built-in safe jump against Sagat and Claw. All you have to do is hold up-forward to jump on the very first moment after Honda recovers from it, and that jump will be a safe-jump against these characters, unless they touch the corner or a destroyable object.
- Flying Sumo Press: (Jump diagonally, ↙/↓/↘ + Forward)
Good crossup. Not much priority for frontal jumps though.
E.Honda can throw using Strong, Fierce and Roundhouse. All his throws have the same range, which happens to be the best normal throw range in the game. Honda has access to some nasty throw loops and shenanigans off his Fierce and Roundhouse throws. Absolutely vital information for aspiring Honda players.
- Normal Grabs Throwboxes:
|Damage||32||Damage||24 + 4*n|
|Stun||7~13||Set amount of hits||8 / 7|
|Stun Timer||100||Holds do no stun|
|Range||(from axis)||64||(from throwable box)||36|
- Tawara Nage: (←/↖/↑/↗/→ + Strong)
E.Honda tosses the opponent. The direction of the joystick determines the direction the enemy gets tossed at. Useful to throw characters at a corner. This throw can't softlock the game like old Honda's version, even though they're the same move.
- Saba Ori: (←/↖/↑/↗/→ + Fierce)
This is the throw you will be using the most. It's untechable, does nice damage, and sets up crossup / walk under / tick shenanigans. You can even crossup / walk under when in the corner after a fierce grab (you can walk under, cr. RH for a crossup, or go for a crossup d + Forward, cr.Jab, Oicho, etc). Note that some characters (Balrog, Cammy, DeeJay, Vega, Fei Long) cannot be walked under outside of the corner.
You get a free safejump/crossup (random depending on how the opponent shakes out of the hold) against most characters with this move. Doesn't work (will wiff) on Ryu/Ken, Sagat, and Blanka. You will always get a regular safejump (no crossup) against Deejay, Vega and Balrog. Both HP and HK grab loops will wiff if the opponent is close to the corner. -x64
- Sekkan Kyaku: (←/↖/↑/↗/→ + Roundhouse)
You can start a loop against any character with this grab (unless they recover against the corner). After a successful HK grab, hold up-forward to jump in with an air attack (such as j.MK) while the character is still recovering in the air, and you'll get to repeat the tick again. This usually does one hit less than the Fierce Grab. Doing this against Ryu will sometimes not be a safejump depending on how the opponent mashes out of the hold.
Note: The RH throw-loop is not safe against any character with access to a 3-frame or less startup special attack, so don't use it against Ken/Chun/Sagat/Blanka unless you know their reversal timing isn't great. -x64
- Hyakuretsu Harite a.k.a. Hundred Hands Slap: (Press P four times in quick succession)
Detailed Input: (The maximum time between each input is 15/12/9f (Jab/Strong/Fierce). Every P input of the same strenght is added to the input counter and everytime the counter is updated the timer is also reseted to its maximum value. The timer is decremented each frame. If the timer reaches 0, the counter is reseted to 0. To get the move out, first you need 4+ inputs within the required frequency, then the move will come out on the 4th or later P input that is within that frequency and is also entered during a moment in which a special move can come out i.e. with no move out or during a normal move startup frames so it can come out as a kara cancel)
|Frame Count (Jab)||2||3|
|Frame Count (Strong)||4||4|
|Frame Count (Fierce)||5||6|
|Damage||24 / 22||26 / 24||28 / 26|
|Frame Count (Jab)||4||4||4|
|Frame Count (Strong)||2||2||2|
|Frame Count (Fierce)||1||1||1|
|Frame Count (Jab)||4||4||3|
|Frame Count (Strong)||2||2||1|
|Frame Count (Fierce)||1||1||1|
NOTE: The low hitting frames (i.e. 3rd and 6th active parts on the "cycle") do slightly less damage.
NOTE: That frame data only provides the frame data for one "cycle" of the HHS animation, but does not present the minimal and maximum durations of the move. So, in case you only do the 4 punch presses needed you will get the minimal duration. If you keep mashing at some point Honda will stop slapping. Another important point is that the frame data is not always the same in all cycles, since the first active hitbox of the first cycle will always have one additional frame and the Fierce HHS has some frames skipped. That detailed frame data can be found here:
|Frame Count (Jab)||5||2||3||2||1|
|Frame Count (Strong)||7||2||3||2||1|
|Frame Count (Fierce)||8||3||4||3||1|
Honda delivers several open-hand strikes. Jab is stationary and a good way to turtle and build meter fast. Strong, on the other hand, moves Honda forward, and it is great to pressure, ticking and chipping. Except for when you are chipping, don't keep mashing (this goes for all versions really) strong so the HHS recovers very quickly, which allows you to go for a throw if you are relatively close, or a second HHS to catch your opponent if they try to retaliate. Another good pressure option is to use it after a f + roundhouse. Finally, the Fierce version moves you further forward than Strong, and faster too. It is a good way to attempt to get into certain fireballers (such as Chun), especially after a neutral jumping fierce.
This move looks like the Hyakuretsu Kyaku (Lightning Legs) from Chun Li, but the properties are different. First, the HHS has more range. In addition to it, it can move Honda horizontally, which is important for him since he can maintain charge while advancing and attacking. Chun Li does not need it, since she has a projectile for offense and defense. Lastly, Honda's move demands less button presses to come out (four instead of five).
The HHS has a special property in the sense that it will never combo into itself. This is to say that, regardless of one of the attacks hitting the opponent (read "not blocked"), further hits will simply whiff, and as he recovers from hitstun, he will always be able to block the remaining attacks. However, if blocked, further attacks will not whiff. This means this move does relatively more damage than other attacks on block.
- Super Zutsuki a.k.a. Headbutt: (Charge ←, → P)
Detailed Input: (Charge ←/↙/↖ for at least 60f, [7~14f] → [10/9/7f] Jab/Strong/Fierce. It is needed to wait at least 1 frame after leaving the charge direction to enter with the P button)
- Startup + Active:
NOTE: The last damage value is for the advancing/flying part of the move.
- Recovery/Knockback: (If it hits during the airbone part, the knockback will be airbone till the 4º hitbox image)
Jab headbutt will be your main defensive tool. It has invincibility on startup and has excellent vertical and horizontal range, which makes jumping in or getting in-close Honda a nearly impossible task. Learn to time your Jab headbutt and matches against non-fireballers will become way easier.
Fierce version is very fast and can be used to safely pressure and punish mistakes (whiffs or people coming down from a jumping attack for example) at mid range. Fierce headbutt also has a lot better horizontal hitbox than the Jab version, which can make for a better anti-air if your opponent is jumping in front of you instead of right on you. You may trade damage using the fierce version but you'll almost always come out on top positioning-wise. Avoid using it from full-screen especially if out opponent is near the corner as he can jump it on reaction and punish you afterwards. Strong headbutt should really only be used for positioning. Example being if you know your opponent is going to jump backwards at the start of a round, use strong headbutt immediately. You'll land close to them right when they land and have them close to the corner.
- Super Hyakkan Otoshi a.k.a. Butt Drop: (Charge ↓, ↑ K)
Detailed Input: (Charge ↓/↙/↘ for at least 60f, [7~14f] ↑/↖/↗ [10/9/7/5f] Short/Forward/Roundhouse/any K if you are at a jumpable state. It is needed to wait at least 1 frame after leaving the charge direction to enter with the K button)
|Frame Count (Short)||1||4||5||2||5||4|
|Frame Count (Forward)||1||3||4||2||5||4|
|Frame Count (Rh)||1||3||4||2||4||4|
|Simplified (Rh)||18... (42)|
- Active + Recovery:
Short version hits on the way up (so it's a decent antiand is useful to get over projectiles from far away. Also, it's a good mixup in Oicho setups. Forward hits on the way up too, can be used to stuff projectile attempts at the right distance, and is a risky way to get over projectiles (can be punished by sweeps -shotos- and jumping attacks -Guile, DeeJay- if they see it coming). Roundhouse should be used mainly for crossups, mixups and setting ticks rather than as a way to avoid projectiles, as it is extremely easy to punish in those situations. It hits only on the way down unlike the other versions.
To use as a pressure / mixup tool, it's a good idea to do cr.Short xx Smash, varying strenghts to make the opponent guess if you are going to cross-up or not, and mixing up ticks in-between. Be careful about using Short/Forward smashes as an anti-air. Due to the very long startup frames, if you don't hit them out of the air they will have time to stand-block the first hit. This causes the second downward hit to miss and leaves a small but fairly easy window to punish you. Good players know this and will make you pay for it.
The lower stun value is for the downward active part of the Short version only.
- Ooichou Nage: (→↘↓← P)
Detailed Input: (→ [7~14f] ↘ [7~14f] ↓ [7~14f] ←/↙/↖ [10/9/7f] Jab/Strong/Fierce)
NOTE: That above is the fixed motion from HSF2. In ST, there is a bug in the input of this move which allows you to keep it stored as much as you want if you keep holding ↖, ← or ↙. You have a window of 10 frames to go to any other direction and then go back to ↖, ← or ↙ and still keep it stored. In HSF2 this was fixed, but there is a "hidden" version of E.Honda which still has this bug. To select it, hold start while choosing the character version, if done right you'll hear a different sound.
|Damage||16 + 28||18 + 30||20 + 32|
|Stun||7~13 + 7~13|
|Stun Timer||100 + 100|
|(from throwable box)||41|
Honda's most powerful move. Easy to tick into, very good damage, high dizzy, it's his main offensive weapon and can end a round by itself when in the corner. Besides of its obvious offensive uses, the Oicho Throw is also an excellent defensive tool due to a programming bug: the stored Oicho (see the Advanced Strategy section for more info).
- Oni Musou: (Charge ←, → ← → P)
Detailed Input: (Charge ←/↙/↖ for at least 60f, [7~14f] →/↘/↗ [7~14f] ←/↙/↖ [7~14f] →/↘/↗ [13f] P)
NOTE: That above is the fixed motion from HSF2. In ST, there is a bug in the input of this move which allows you to keep it stored as much as you want if you keep holding ↗, → or ↘. You have a window of 14 frames to go to any other direction and then go back to ↗, → or ↘ and still keep it stored. In HSF2 this was fixed, but it has a "hidden" version of E.Honda which still has this bug. To select it, hold start while choosing the character version, if done right you'll hear a different sound.
|Damage||20 * 4|
|Stun||0~4 * 4|
|Stun Timer||20 * 4|
|Frame Count||1|| + 4||1||1||53?|
Honda's Super is sadly one of the worst in the game. It's extremely unsafe on block (some characters can Dragon Punch / Flash Kick after blocking the first hit, and others can punish you heavily after blocking both), the second hit will randomly miss, low priority (can be stopped by standing jabs). On the plus side, it can go through projectiles and (this can be a downside too) sometimes it won't knock down leaving you just beside your opponent, allowing to Oicho him afterwards. Also, like Chun's super, it can be stored by doing the super motion and holding forward. But still it's a very unreliable move and you should use it sparingly. Consider Honda's super a walking anti-air since it can be stored to walk forward like Chun-Li's super. Notice Honda only has one single frame of invincible red hitbox on his super, compared to the 3 frames of invulnerable hitting frames on his jab headbutt. Also notice that his invulnerable hitting frame is a lot larger than his jab headbutt hitbox (especially the realestate infront of his face). This is important to note because it can catch several things that a normal jab headbutt can't from the same position.
- Neutral/Back Jump, Airborne + Landing:
|Frame Count (Neutral)||1||10||5||5||5||5||5||8||1||7*|
|Frame Count (Back)||1||10||5||5||5||5||5||8||1||7*|
- Forward Jump, Airborne + Landing:
Honda has the slowest prejump animation on the game. This is part of the reason why he suffers so much to get in vs projectile zoners. With that said, knowing how to jump correctly can make these matchups less annoying.
First of all, you'll be jumping neutrally frequently, it will not always be possible to jump forward safelly. Looking at Honda's Neutral Jump hurtboxes, it's easy to notice that the last 9 frames of the jump animation has the leg hurtbox positioned very low, which will make jumping over projectiles extra hard. To deal with that, it's wise to do a move that reduces Honda's hurtboxes during that time, so you can avoid having big vulnerable hurtboxes. A good option is to press Rh as soon as you hit the apex of the jump, that way you'll not only have very small "lower-back" hurtboxes through out the entirety of the jump, but also may trigger the opponents proximity block. This is extra effective with O.Honda, as his Neutral Jumping Roundhouse have amazing priority at the front. N.Honda can also control the horizontal movement of the Neutral Jump if he does a Fierce, but keep in mind that Neutral Jumping Fierce have bigger "lower-back" hurtboxes, leaving him more vulnerable to projectiles. It's also optimal to activate Fierce a little before Honda hits the apex of the jump so it's possible to steer the maximum possible.
As for forward jumps, an important thing to be aware of is how his hurtboxes are positioned on the last 13 frames of the jump. Take a look at the hitbox images above, did you noticed how Honda's hurtboxes are way less vulnerable at his front than if he did a move? Just compare the forward edge of the pushbox (green box) which is the same on all jumping animations, with the edge of the closest hurtbox (blue box) on all diagonal jumping animations (empty jump + diagonal jumping normals). A well spaced empty jump can be usefull if the opponent defaults to non sweep anti airs, as this can make these anti airs simply whiff (e.g. vs a DeeJay that defaults to Upkick anti air when he has charge). This trick can be just what Honda needs to finally get in and apply his extremelly strong close range pressure. Of course, if the opponent is aware of this, he may counter it appropriately, but then Honda can just jump with one of his good anti-anti-air normals instead, creating a mix-up situation.
The landing recovery has a special property which allows it to be canceled into certain actions. At the first landing frame, you can perform throws (including command throws), and on the second landing frame, you can start another jump, attack with a normal or special move, or block. Blocking not being until the second landing frame, as well as hitbox-hurtbox interactions having priority over throwbox-throw hurtbox is why sweeps work as anti airs in this game.
Things are different when jumping over your opponent, however. In that situation it's possible to walk back/forward, to jump again or to even block on the first landing frame! Strangely, if a throw is timed on the first landing frame of a jump that crosses over, a throwbox will never come out, even though that input will result in a normal coming out 2 frames later (like it normally would). Anyway, being able to block on the first landing frame can help a little bit on some safe jump crossup setups, or maybe in other situations as well if your character has a huge jump arc.
Honda's overall strategy has two main variations. Against non-fireballers, turtling is usually the way to go. Jab headbutt can beat practically every attempt to get into Honda, while Oicho Throw (especially when piano-ed) can take care of throw attempts, and you make things even harder to your opponents with HHS pressure (while keeping charge to headbutt / sumo smash and storing an Oicho at the same time!), which gives Honda the upper hand against most characters that lack a fireball.
Against characters with projectiles things become difficult though...
One of the major hurdles a beginner Honda player will run into is dealing with projectile spam - at the start you'll probably think its a lost cause dealing with the random hits/block damage caused due to his size, but after a while you'll learn how to deal with it.
First thing to know is NEVER EVER use HK Sumo Splash, that thing is serious counter bait, don't use it.
LK Sumo Splash over projectiles from max distance away does very well if you are willing to "creep" towards your opponent - remember that patience will serve you well in the long run as all it takes is to win is 1 mistake or trapping the opponent in the corner and keeping them there.
MK Sumo Splash is very risky, especially against shotos, but if it is used once in a while it may help gain some ground if you have the health to take the risk with.
Straight Up j.HP - this is controllable, so you can move forward slightly while in the air, learning to do this is pretty essential because overuse of any type of Sumo Splash will lead to being countered all the time.
The Super - Don't forget about it and remember to have a back up plan if it doesn't work correctly.
j.LK - this comes in handy since makes Honda a smaller target and seems to have pretty high priority, i've seen this do pretty really well against Guile in particular.
MP HHS - this isn't “avoiding” the projectile par say, but if you are willing to be a man (and have the health to back it up), you can at least trade hits from a fair distance away, this can be a psychological advantage knowing you always have a way to at least trade off in the damage department.
I’ll also use the MP (and sometimes HP) HHS after a straight up j.HP, this can be decent pressure against characters with longer projectile recovery time, New Ken and New Sagat being prime targets.
Another method of countering projectile spam is by simply trying to “bulldog” your way to the opponent - walk forward, block, repeat (and perhaps do the occastional poke now and then)... you'll slowly but surely back your opponent up into a corner. This is, of course, a very dangerous way of getting in, as proven in one of the A-cho tournaments, it can actually get you completely owned so only use this if you have strong reactions.
As stated earlier, patience is the key against someone who knows how to use their projectiles, take your time with the confidence that you'll eventually get in (even if it takes the whole round and nearly all your health to do it) and you should go far.
Fierce Hundred Hands Slap
Fierce hands are absolutely vital for Honda's rushdown, and they are a great way to trade and get in close to projectile characters. They are, also, quite hard to pull off consistently without a proper method. But with one, you'll realize you don't need to be Kusumondo or use autofire to do them.
The trick lies in buffering them during something else. This makes it look as if you are doing them "out of nowhere" to the average player. Depending on the situation, you have different moves you can use as a buffer to mask your inputs:
- Standing LP: One of the most useful moves since you can use it to poke and control space in front of you with its nice priority, and is pretty fast so it makes it harder to see the HHS coming. Its speed also makes it one of the tougher moves to do fierce HHS from though. You need to start inputting the HHS as soon as you do the LP, so do it as LP+HP (LP comes out due to input priority), then keep mashing HP.
- Crouching LP: Also very useful, and a bit easier to execute due to its extra active frames. Use the method explained for standing LP.
- Standing MP: Easy alternative (also easier to see it coming though) to standing LP. Do it as MP+HP, mash HP.
- Crouching MP: Nice against Guile / Chun when trying to counter their cr.MKs with your cr.MP.
- f+HK: You have a lot of time to input fierce hands during this move's lengthy animation.
- Neutral Jumping Fierce: Keep mashing HP after your first HP input. You'll do the HHS as soon as you land from the jump.
Note that you need to do four button presses for any HHS strength, so you only need three additional HP presses after LP+HP. Here's a video showing how to perform this technique on stick.
The nightmare move of ST... this makes Honda an iron fortress and is arguably the most broken thing in the game - learning to use and abuse this is completely essential for high level play.
Oicho is performed with a HCB + P movement right? Well, a glitch in ST makes it so Honda can store the move and use it at will - this is done by doing the HCB movement then holding onto either Back, Up-Back or Down-Back and not letting go.
Why is this technique so good? Oochio is a zero frame command throw (with no whiff animation, unlike Gief's SPD) with decent range, which means under reversal circumstances it will beat every ground based attack in the game... period. This also means when Honda is knockdowned, he can store Oochio and basically be impossible to meaty attack.
Other plus points is the fact when your holding onto Back/Down-Back so you are essentially charging up for Sumo Headbutt and Sumo Splash while having a perfect reversal waiting. In other words, everything you want for the "tank-like" defensive is covered, if you wanted, you could also use MP and HP slaps as a way of moving forward while keeping all 3 attacks ready.
One last point; when the opponent isn't in range for an Oicho, you can use any normal attack you wish and not lose the store.
Whenever you land an Oicho (stored or not) you have a whole host of options to play with, here we go:
c.MK - this doesn't work on all characters and i'll update this with a list at a later date, but because Oicho does a HUGE amount of stun damage, generally, the next hit will probably dizzy the opponent.
MP HHS - this is a no brainer, the lunging slaps get chip damage for free... unless your opponent is a reversal demon they'll most likely do the safe option and block.
c.MK > MP HHS - an extention of the above, if the c.MK doesn't get them... the chip damage from the HHS will...
HK Sumo Splash - this will cross the opponent over and probably dizzy them if it connects.
MK Sumo Splash - just to mix up paranoia about the crossover HK Sumo Splash with a non-crossover Sumo Splash.
j-d.MK (the splash) > Oicho - this is risky but is worth it if you connect with another Oicho afterwards.
(in the corner) c.LK xx Sumo Splash - the c.LK is cancellable so it should flow like a thing of beauty for a high/low block string, can also lead to another Oochio.
(in the corner) LP HHS - like the MP HHS, chip damage for all, just watch out for those reversal throws.
(in the corner) Oicho Loop - see the next section...
B/F+HK - the sweep of doom, use if you forget the above follow ups... >_>
c.LP > Oicho - this can be done when you land an Oicho close to the corner but you still switch sides with the opponent, this is done the same way as the Oicho Loop (talked about in the next section) only you can’t carry with the loop after the second Oicho hits.
Oicho Corner Loop
This is Honda’s fast route to 100% victory, here is how to do it:
Step 1) Get opponent into the corner and knock them down.
Step 2) Do a point blank meaty c.LP (stand LP and c.LK are also options, but c.LP is by far the better attack).
Step 3) Oicho them when they recover from block/hit stun - this can be done by 3 methods;
- By quick storing then piano tapping the Oochio - this gives 6 chances for the Oochio to connect with the opponent but also runs the risk of being reversaled by a special move easier if a normal comes out during a mistime.
- By quick storing, holding down the 3 punches when the c.LP is still out, and releasing them one after the other piano style - this method cuts the number of chances for the Oochio to come out by 3, but also removes the risk of being reversaled by a special move since Honda will always block it instead.
- Or by doing it “normally” with a brief pause between the c.LP and Oochio (like you would when doing something like Gief's LK > SPD) - I seriously recommend not using this method at all.
Step 4) Repeat Steps 2 and 3 - the Oochio in the corner puts the opponent into perfect position for another meaty c.LP, so this is a pretty easy loop to learn.
While this trick is pretty nasty, it can (like anything else) be escaped by reversals - I generally don't recommend using this against characters with access to a hold rather than a throw since at least if you get reversal thrown while attempting this, odds are you can tech out of it for minimal damage... unlike most holds while lead to a whole load of pain even if you escape quickly.
To make things easier, here is a list of characters that you should not attempt the Oicho Loop on unless you are feeling brave and have the health to spare:
Dhalsim, Boxer, Blanka, T-Hawk and (New) Ken
T-Hawk, Gief and Honda (obviously) can also use their own command grabs to get out the loop
When doing the loop, I recommend mixing it up with LP slaps, Sumo Splashes and LP Sumo Headbutt’s to keep the opponent from thinking twice when trying to reversal throw you - of course, this is still open to something like a reversal DP, but mixing up your options even when it might not be needed will keep your Honda from being predictable.
Sumo Auto mix-up
When using E.Honda you can take advantage of his stored command throw glitch to do a special Sumo Auto Mix-up that can defeat some tick escape attempts.
Here is the command for this trick:
→↘↓↙ charge ↖ + P + K
In plain english we've got:
- Half circle back stopping at down-back to store the Oicho command throw
- Continue to hold down-back for a couple seconds to charge a butt slam
- Up-back plus punch plus kick to complete the auto mix-up
You'll want to use this as part of a tick. After you knock your opponent down, make them block a crouching jab as they stand up then finish the above command. If they do nothing you'll snatch them with a command throw. If they try to escape the tick with a special move you'll pass right through it with a butt slam attack. At least, you'll start to go through it -- this trick won't work against all reversal attacks.
Note that in order to have the butt slam charged in time you'll need to do the first part of the command well before you try to tick.
Honda doesn't really need combos, but there are some useful ones (especially on dizzied opponents)
- crouching or close standing Jab. Hundred Slaps (2-in-1 old school with piano inputs)
- j.Fierce , close Roundhouse (old school combo that still works for high stun possibility)
- j.Fierce, crouching Short, Fierce Headbutt (start charging db as soon as you jump)
- Crossup down + Forward, cl.st.Jab, cl.st.Strong, st.Fierce (may dizzy). Might only be possible to land on fat hurtbox characters and ducking characters.
Matchups classified with this diagram in mind. For the old characters I guessed the positions.
Serious Advantage Match-ups
- 7.5 - 2.5
Get to a corner and start cr.LP. It's not really that simple but for the most part that's how this matchup plays out. The cr.LP will beat everything Blanka has on the ground but his standing LK, which is sweepable. Try not to chase Blanka with headbutts, they want you to do that so they can jump straight up and combo you.
Stuff to know
Blanka's electricity is really good against honda. If it trades or hits outright, Honda is put into crossup hell (Blanka's main goal against Honda).
Blanka's electricity is fairly easily defeatable if you know where to look. His vulnerable hurtbox is just outside of his mouth area (see: http://wiki.shoryuken.com/File:Blanka_elec2anm.gif). So max range sweeps and jumping MK/HP (not the bellyflop crossup, the kick) will hit him out of it. As will max range LP HHS, his crouching lk (any distance, even point blank), and mk from a distance.
If you find yourself facing crossup hell (a series of will-he-or-won't-he continue to crossup jumps) use a HK sumo smash or jump back LP/MP (if your timing is really good) to escape. You'll likely eat a blanka slide but trading a little damage for getting out is never the worst idea.
Blanka balls can be punished with HP Headbutt on block. Watch out for purposely wiffed blanka balls into bite.
A lot of blankas like to jump up and down with LK daring you to headbutt. Don't. Walkup sweep them or catch them on the rise with a jumping MK.
Blanka's jumping HK has deceptive speed and length (hitbox extends past his feet). Try to be aware of this so you don't get caught off guard.
How to win
Headbutt all jump ins. Be on your toes (blanka is a very fast character with tons of ways to create opportunities). Try not to get knocked down. Jump in from max range with jumping MK if you feel you need to jump. It will ether trade with a ball (or beat it) and will beat electricity. Meaty crouching LP (outside of throw range) into MP HHS is very very strong against blanka. If you block a blanka super you get a free hit of MP HHS plus HHS block damage.
- 8 - 2
Similar to playing against Fei (i.e. has no projectile and has to come at you to win). If you have good timing with your headbutt, Cammy just has a damned difficult time getting anything going.
Stuff to look out for
Her hooligan throw (jumping/spinning throw) is tough to counter because it comes at you so fast and can cancel out of normals. If you get the timing down to headbutt her out of this, you're not going to have a hard time.
Cannon drills can ether be blocked or use headbutt to counter directly. Good Cammy's won't use drills unless they are safe, but it is easy to mess up, giving you a free ochio or headbutt.
Her jumping MP has a big hitbox on it that can knock you out of your headbutt. If she's just neutral jumping MP hoping you'll try to headbutt it, walkup sweep it.
Spin knuckles can be hit out of on reaction with a LP or MP sumo smash.
Good cammys make the most out of their opportunities. If they hit you with a crossup or normal that can be combo'ed, you're eating a lot of damage.
Her thrust kick (SRK) lands deceptively quick. Try not to throw her out of a wiffed SRK because you'll likely get thrown yourself. Just sweep or headbutt the recovery.
How to win
Patience, headbutts, sweeps, and HHS. Lots of HHS. Cammy has to create opportunity for offense while you can just stay in the corner at down-back if you felt like it. Everything she has, you have an answer to that equals more damage. Basically Cammy players have to bore you to death.
Vs. Fei Long:
- 7 - 3
A match that a lot of Honda players take for granted as an easy win. Playing against great Feis usually change that perception.
Stuff to know
Good Fei players know that their standing and crouching HP is a great anti-headbutt counter. It also works well against max range HHS. if you see them doing this, well timed Headbutts (inbetween them spamming HP) and sweeps take care of this.
Fei's jumping punches have very good hitboxes. If your timing is off even by a little bit with a headbutt you're getting a trade or worse.
You should already know this, but get good at blocking Fei's chicken wing high (it's an overhead!). If they land it, you're eating a big combo against someone competent. A lot of Fei's offense starts off a blocked chicken wing so knocking it out of the air with a jab headbutt is obviously preferable.
Fei's overhead kicking normal is the slowest overhead in the game. Don't get caught by it.
Fei's super is completely invincible until near the end of the 5x rekka set. If he launches it, jump over it and sweep him at the end.
How to win
Fei's going to have to come at you to win if you play the matchup right. If you like to play aggressively try not to chase enemy Fei, that's what they want. Your headbutt counters all his jump-ins and chicken wing (has to be countered close, your headbutt will lose against his chicken wing if launched too early). Your sweep counters his normals. It's boring, but Fei has to get creative to break your iron fortress of holding down-back (with ochio stored, of course). If you're aware of what Fei is capable of, you aren't going to lose this match often.
- 8.5 - 1.5
Honda's best matchup. Don't think that means an instant win though. Great Giefs tend to have great clutch and never-say-die ability. That being said Gief has an IMMEASURABLY difficult time dealing with Honda's HHS, sweep, and headbutt. Knowing how to utilize these weapons to the fullest will make it hard-pressed to lose against most giefs.
A few tips:
1. Starting the round with LP HHS works pretty damn good.
2. Giefs will constantly spam lariats. Sweep them or hit them with the tip of your HHS (speed depending on where you are). Stay out of SPD range when you do this.
3. Giefs will constantly spam crouching LP to try to hit you out of a headbutt or HHS. Sweep those too.
4. Try not to jump on Gief. Purposely getting close to Gief is exactly what the enemy player wants. You have all the tools necessary to win staying grounded.
5. Use your headbutt sparingly (i.e. only anti-air and close situations). Giefs will trade damage all day long to knock you out of a headbutt with lariats to get their SPD game going.
6. Standing LP makes for a surprisingly good anti-air against Gief. Gief players tend to jump at you when you aren't holding down-back. Put them in their place with some well timed standing LPs.
7. Some Giefs like to use their HP splash a little differently on Honda. Instead of using it as a safejump/pressure tool, they will delay it slightly (and maybe try to ambiguously cross you up) to fool you. This works pretty well because it will flat out beat everything but a solidly timed LP headbutt (or standing HP chop, but those are unreliable with N. Honda). If you see a Gief player doing this, don't freak out and launch a LP headbutt right before it lands. You'll beat it every time, cross up or not.
Quite frankly, if you're getting beat by a Gief player, they are ether amazing or you need a lot more practice.
Vs. M. Bison (dictator):
This is a match that is actually closer to 5-5 against great players but for the most part Honda has a big advantage. Your main goal should be to stay on the ground as much as possible (Bison rules the air with his damaging jumping MP juggle) and bully Bison into the corner to start your ochio loop. Bison has no counter to the loop other than reversal throw and super, so Honda's ochio loop is most effective here. If your opponent is really good at reversal throws (as Bison players tend to be), mix up a LK or MK sumo smash after your initial crouching LP instead of going for an ochio, which will hit them out whatever button their jamming on for the throw. This will keep them guessing and scared, making your corner shenanigans more effective. A lot of Bison's pressure game goes out the window because you have your constant threat of ochio. Never let a Bison player bully you into tick throws!
Good things to do:
Use neutral jumping MK to bait Bison's torpedo. The jumping MK will hit bison out of it 90% of the time (Honda is only vulnerable at the tip of his foot against Bison's torpedo).
Use your HHS! MP hands are a great opener against Bison and will be your main tool for close quarter combat. HHS loses or trades for the most part with Bison's torpedo, but Bison takes a chance most times with random torpedos because it ether leaves Bison close or blows past Honda (which leaves him open to getting slapped with MP HHS on his way down).
Use your normal throws! You can hold up-towards after a HP throw with ether a down-MK or HK (Honda's two cross-ups) for a random crossup chance (but always a safe jump). I find that you will cross up 90% of the time if you aren't near the corners. You can also walk backwards and throw with HK after a blocked crossup attempt while Bison is in blockstun and follow the throw up with an immediate jumping LP for an easy safe jump into throw.
Things to watch out for:
Good Bison players will spend the entire round trying to knock you down and put you in a very difficult ambiguous crossup situation that usually results in close to a 100% damage combo if they land it. Honda's fat hurtbox makes him very susceptible to Bison's jumping MK, which makes blocking it on wakeup pretty tough. You ether have a choice of attempting the block or using a HK Sumo Smash reversal to get yourself away. You will likely get hit on the way down, but its usually better to eat a little damage and keep on fighting than eating a round ending combo.
If your bison opponent tries to get cute with jumping MP straight up and down in the corner (which can be tough because he can use it on the way up and down), trip him with your HK sweep. It has to be done at close to max range, but it will hit Bison's awkward jumping MP hitbox.
Vs. T. Hawk:
N. Hawk has worse normals and specials than O.Hawk. Only thing that really differs between O and N Hawk is that N.Hawk mains are typically good at landing 720 supers, which are typically round enders.
Vs. O. T. Hawk:
- 6.5 - 3.5
This is one of Hondas best matchups. The air game should not come into play at all in this matchup because Honda does not need to jump or be in the air at all. Honda must beware of a few things against Hawk. The first being his short dive into DP. nice trick easily stopped by either headbutt after the DP or hands. Headbutt the dive itself (if in range). if not in range. use hands or safe low jab. Hawk is unable to use Far dives that will hit deep or high. Headbutt stops this. Headbutt stops just about everything that Hawk has to offer. WARNING DO NOT GET KNOCKED DOWN! Get to the air if Hawk is able to get in after he knocks you down. Jumping back with out hitting any buttons is preferred it tightens your hitboxes and you become tougher to hit. if not Hit fierce or RH very Early. Get in the corner and sit there, headbutt every jumpin and hands often to build meter. If things get up-close and personal Ochio. I cannot emphasize this more
- DO NOT GET KNOCKED DOWN!
- Head butt ALL jump ins.
- Do Hands often to keep him out of typhoon range.
Vs. E. Honda (self):
Considered one of the most annoying mirror matches in the game because it usually comes down to trading headbutts. There is one secret in this matchup that is hard but critical: learn the timing to use jab headbutt to directly counter the enemy Honda's fierce headbutt. It's not easy in the slightest, but if you get it down to even 50% success rate, you'll scare the hell out of your opponent making it much easier for you to turtle and have them come to you, which is Honda's dream scenario. If you don't have the reaction time necessary for that, crouching and standing LPs work good for stuffing enemy Honda headbutts. Neutral jump MK also works well (if they torpedo under you and miss, follow them after you land and immediately trip them once they are in sweep range).
Know your Headbutt hitbox ranges. LP headbutt only has a red hitbox in his face area, but it's invulnerable (no blue hitbox anywhere). This is good for stopping incoming headbutts and Sumo Smashes that are liable to land right on top of you. MP and HP heabutts have a hitbox that has some vulnerability but also has an extended red hitbox that goes beyond his face, which is good for incoming attacks that are slightly in front of you. Super, while mostly useless, has a great starting invulnerable hitbox that is up and away from honda's face, which is great for getting out of a tough spot, even if you won't land much damage. Obviously don't use super against a grounded opponent unless one chip hit will = death or they are in the air.
Mirror matches at higher levels comes down to experience and reaction time. Even if you don't like the honda mirror match, you got to practice it until you feel like it isn't a burden.
Vs. Balrog (boxer):
- 4 - 6
Against defensive Balrogs, bulldog up to standing roundhouse range, blocking dash punches on reaction or prediction, throwing out standing or crouching jab from time to time both to beat out dash punches and to hide the startup of an occasional strong hands. Don't do the hands too close to Boxer because they can actually lose to his jabs, and don't leave them out very long because you can get punished by low dash punch, use them mostly as a quick dash. But don't do the slaps too much, they're not as safe as just trying to walk up.
At some point before you actually get into standing roundhouse range it becomes impossible to block a dash punch on reaction, so start throwing out crouching jab more and more frequently because it really contains Boxer well (but obviously don't get too predictable with it). If he tries to do a crouching attack to beat your crouching strong, that's fine, it means you've broken his standing jab defense and can go into other stuff.
Honda gets a free safe jump off Balrog when he grabs Rog with a HP or HK throw (unless Balrog has super). A great tactic is to grab with HP/HK, hold up-towards into HK after the throw and then ether go for another normal throw or ochio. You can ride Rog from one end of the screen to the other if they are not great with reversal throws. Balrog's MP throw almost has the same range against your ochio so just be wary you're probably going to be vulnerable to a counter throw any time you go for a tick. Also, every time you are blocking or even getting hit by Barlog's super, get a stored ochio ready. If Balrog's super is launched from a certain distance (usually against someone in a corner), the 2nd or 3rd hit will miss or lag, allowing time to ochio out.
- 3.5 - 6.5
He has an answer to almost all of Sim's moves. Crouching Jab stops the slide and his hands pretty much own everthing else. Dhalsim's objective is to keep Honda away. If you can keep Honda guessing and keep him out you can win easily. I just need one knock down and this sets up the buttsmash insanity. When you do crossup butt smash (after a knock down) you can do many things. Either a low short into head butt or another smash, a f + Roundhouse to trip him and crossup starts all over again. Next you can do the Oicho grab (after buttsmash). Crossup butt smash again. And hope he tries to counter grab, then do another low move or smash. But at this point Sim has lost over 75% and is pretty much toasted. Once in the corner punish with hands again. The Slide beats hands cleanly so change up with low jabs to stop the slide then link the jab into more hands.
Also, you must learn how to cancel your medium hands into another medium hands. Tough to do but once you get the timing down it can lead to big chip damage. Another way on knocking Sim down or stunning him is through Jumping fierce or jumping med splash. Constantly change up your jump ins. once you get your meter built up sacrifice it to get in close by going through one of his FBs with it. Learn the timing of his Yoga Flame to sneak a full screen Fierce headbutt in as it dissipates. Once Sim has his meter built up things change and you need to bait him into blowing it off at the wrong time. Sometimes you can get over it with a butt smash but this rarely works. I still try and remain aggressive, don't let Sim get his feet settled or he can keep you away again. His drills/mummys can be tricky the trick here is to not use your instincts to headbutt them but buttsmash them instead. Or block them and attempt an Oicho; it's tough because of block stun against this move. This pretty much sums up that matchup.
Honda gets a free safejump or crossup (random) off a HP throw and just a free safejump off a HK throw. Usually can end the match if you catch sim in the middle of the screen and start looping throws together. If the Dhalsim player you are facing is great at reversal throws, mix in a lk/mk sumo smash instead of throw to keep him guessing (so, HK throw into jumping LP, crouching LK, throw or cancel into lk/mk sumo smash. If Sim has you in a Yoga Flame lockdown in the corner, neutral jump MK. It will hit him on the way down and push him out of range. Also, if Sim raw launches super against you and misses, you'll have enough time usually to hit him with a HP headbutt in the super recovery. It is tough to time and takes practice, but you absolutely need to get it in your playbook. If you catch Sim in a Fierce hold when he's in a corner, jumping with LK right out of the hold will cross him up with meaty timing.
Vs. Vega (claw):
- 4 - 6
The main problems Honda has vs. Claw are Claw's jumping speed and is mid screen cross up game. First thing to know when fighting claw: get in the corner as fast as you can. If you get caught in the middle of the screen, you more than likely will take chip damage from the crossup walldives, enough to put Claw on the run and you want to have a lead vs Claw, not be chasing him all over the board. You must make Claw come to you. (If he gets the lead it will be extremely difficult to get it back.). Sit in that corner and splash or headbutt every jump in he attempts. Another trick is to block then Ochio the jump-in. you may notice that you cannot headbutt claws jumps most of the time. This is due to the speed of his jumps.
The Air game: Honda actually fairs quite well in this. Jump back jab stops just about all of the wall dives. Anything off of the wall, jump back jab. If he goes off of his wall sit and head butt it. If he tries to go off of your wall you must use jump back jab to prevent Claw from going of off your wall and causing you to lose your charge. If you are caught not charging or with cement feet use standing fierce.
The ground game: Honda does well, but beware of the rolls, sometimes they can hit all of Honda's ground moves. Hands is a nice way to get him out of his ground game. Another danger is the full screen headbutt. Most expert Claw players invite you to do full screen HB then they can do a single back flip then throw you then RUN! Scrolling the screen also messes up Claw so doing repeated Hands (even if they miss) can screw his wall game up.
Honda gets a free safejump off a HP or HK throw (i.e. follow up the throw with a jumping HK and then go into your mixup game). This is extremely important to try to set up for Honda, as it keeps Vega out of the air and guessing whether you are going to go with a regular throw to repeat the loop or negative edge ochio to counter his flipkick (and then grab him out of his recovery to keep the throw loop going lol). Get good at this and it starts to get a little lopsided in Honda's favor. Catching great Vega players with even a single throw is pretty tough in its own right though. Crouching LK and MK are free meaties against upkicks. Empty jump against Vega using upkicks coming off a knockdown will cause it to wiff like against Deejay's upkicks when properly spaced.
- 4 - 6
Easier than O.Gat obviously but still a pain. You will rarely run into N.Sagat players because there is very little reason to use him over O.Sagat. Only notable differences are N.Sagat has a reliable crossup, slower tiger shots, extended hurtboxes on tiger shots (makes it easier to hit or trade), HP tiger upper hits multiple times, and he has a super that can't be used as a reversal. This is probably your easiest match against a fireball chucker.
Serious Disadvantage Match-ups
- 2.5 - 7.5
Getting around Chun's fireballs is really your biggest hurdle. If you can manage to accomplish that, the match isn't so hard.
Hundred Hand Slap is really good against Chun, 'cause she doesn't have anything solid to beat it consistently. So say you j.Forward over a fireball, hit or blocked, you're guaranteed some free chip damage with hands unless she has super.
She also has a tough time with the butt slam in the corner. If she doesn't predict it, the only thing she can really do is Short upkicks, but that's kinda hard to time.
Also, just his regular punches (st.Jab and st.Strong especially) are great pokes. If you're in close, but not close enough for an Ochio, you can do a st.Jab or st.Strong and keep mashing on punch to get free block damage. Charge down while you're doing this, so that if she throws a fireball, you can butt slam.
Chun's fireball has the fastest startup of any fireball in the game, making it incredibly hard to trade headbutts against her. She also has very few pre-jump frames, which allows her to just continually jump back with LK or MK making it very hard to time a headbutt. You have very few attack vectors when Chun is not in the corner. If you are moving forward Chun can essentially jump at you with very little resistance. Your jumping LP can trade with her jumping LK/MK if you get it out early enough. An advanced tactic is to wait until the last second and trade with a standing HP (Chun has to be very close for the standing chop to come out, so you'll need to practice this to get it right). If you get the hit or trade with standing HP, you then get a free standing LP meaty off her air reset that you can start your shenanigans off of. If Chun decides to jump at you with a charge you should only use LP (on top of you) or HP headbutt (right out in front of you) against it. Your goal against good Chuns should be bull-dogging Chun into a corner where she has to guess whether to use a fireball (jump over) or jump straight up (use a sweep, standing LP, or time a jumping MK that forces Chun to block your HHS). Chun can use a LK or MK SBK to get out of the corner and it is tough to punish if N.Honda is very close so watch out for it. Use crouching LP to punish, it won't hit at the SBK's apex but it will hit in the beginning and end of it, just make sure it doesn't go over your head so she can't escape a corner.
Chun's throw is NOT safe against you if she throws you into a corner. If she does, tech the throw and jam ochio and you will almost always get the throw AND put Chun in the corner at the same time. It is sometimes worth it to let a walk-up throw happen when you are in the corner to trade damage and positioning.
Honda's meaty standing LP (hits standing or crouching!) outside of throw range is unbeatable (upkicks and SBK will wiff and super won't have enough time to connect before you can block). You can use standing LP on any knockdown where you can get close to set up a nice mesh point (do nothing, HHS, walk-up throw).
Honda gets a semi-safethrow off of HP (random crossup chance off HP throw which is actually safe against upkicks) and HK throws. I say semi because it is beatable by her HK upkicks if you don't cross up. Chun has to be weary though because if her one button reversal doesn't work, she faces a repeated throw loop scenario from Honda, potentially ending the round. You can usually tell if they are charging for upkicks because they won't be mashing out of your hold. If you feel they are charging for upkicks don't auto-safejump after the hold and just walk up stand LP into shenanigans. You can position a meaty jumping HK crossup off a knockdown so it forces upkicks to wiff.
Chun's super has a lot of startup. If they launch it raw at you, you should have plenty of time to swat it with a MK sumo smash (which will beat it every time).
Vs. Dee Jay:
- 2 - 8
Very similar to the Guile matchup (i.e. bad matchup for Honda). Bulldog (walk-up block) your way past DJs fireballs and get him in the corner. Jump ins with LK are typically the best because they trade or beat DJs sweeps. Good DJ players will try to foil your HHS by constantly throwing out crouching MP. Beat this by sweeping them with HK. Like the Guile match, NEVER EVER jump or sumo smash at DJ when he has a downcharge. You will lose to upkicks every time. Also remember that using HP torpedos in a predictive manner will likely get jumped over and comboed against DJ. DJ's jumping jab will beat all torpedo attempts but sometimes its worth taking a little damage to get closer to him. Remember that if you block DJ's super from just outside of point blank range the second or third kick will miss, allowing you to super or headbutt after the missed kick. Use HHS and HK sweep to pressure DJ in the corner. Repeated ochio throws in the corner against DJ (except when he has super) work great as long as you don't use non-negative edge HP (lk upkicks will recover before your HP normal will recover if he gets the reversal off). Meaty crouching LP outside of throw range is unbeatable against DJ (super has very bad startup, upkicks will wiff, and sobat will get hit) which makes crouching LP into guessing games very hard for DJ to deal with. If you catch DJ with a HP or HK throw you can follow up with a free safejump (use HP throw since it's more damaging and you don't have to worry about it randomly crossing up). Like against Balrog, you can potentially throw loop DJ from one side of the screen to the other and end the match. Empty jump against deejay will force upkicks to wiff. Obviously is very susceptible to sweeps and fireball but its hard for deejay players to condition themselves into not getting easy upkicks.
- 2 - 8
Honda's key here is to bait Guile into throwing Booms. Even if Honda does anticipate, Guile can still jump up to counter a buttsmash over the Boom, since Guiles lag time after the boom is very short. The Key in this situation is to be as close to Guile as possible and do Medium B.Smash through the boom hitting him on the way up. If you are to far away to hit him on the way up you will hit him on the way down (unless Guile jumps away or air grabs him [tough to do ] Guile can recover and counter this move when you land.
Pinning Guile in the corner is essential to beating him. Using ticks and foot games with cr.short, cr.forward, standing roundhouse and low strong and jab. These prevent booms and various moves in Guiles arsenal. You cannot fight Guile mid screen (much like against Vega). Chipping away at Guile with 100 hands is a nice way to get block damage and to close to set up the Oicho. I like early Jumps vs Guile as well after you knock him down do a Crossup Msplash early hope that Guile does a wake up and then Hit him with Hands 2X the 1st will hit, the other will make them block. Or after the initial hit do Bsmash. And attempt to grab or do low Short into Headbutt. Try not to knock him down again until you have done sufficient damage to him.
Here are a list of NEVERS:
- Never do Forward or Rhouse smashes over booms from full screen. only use short until close.
- Never Turtle. ( unless you have an 80% lead or so and time is running out of course)
- Never do full screen Headbutts.
- Never allow him to jump in.
- Never allow him to tick throw you. * you do have oichio remember that!!!!!!!!!
This strategy section is for both versions of Guile.
Guile can be pretty annoying. You wanna limit jumping over booms to attack him to a minimum, because you're probably gonna get flash kicked and maybe crouching fierced. The only time that's a reasonable thing to do is if you're standing at about the range of your jumping forward or roundhouse and you have great reactions and jump over a boom as soon as it comes out, but that's pretty rare. Jumping is also ok if see the Guile player standing... also rare.
Better ways to get around booms depend on where you are on screen, but usually you want controllable neutral jumping fierce or neutral jumping kick or just bulldogging (walking up and blocking booms on reaction, then walking forward again), but toward jumping forward/roundhouse/short and forward buttslam are fine in some situations too. Make sure that if you're going to jump over a boom that you recognize what speed it is first, and if in doubt just block. You can follow up a jump over a boom with strong/fierce slaps, bulldogging, buttslam, headbutt, jumping toward forward/roundhouse, or toward standing roundhouse sweep.
A great spot for you to try to stand is at like standing sweep range. Here you can sweep Guile with toward standing roundhouse, chip him strong/fierce slaps, beat out crouching forward with your crouching forward/strong/roundhouse, or do walk up fierce grab or ochio.
One thing to note is that if you do fierce grab on Guile midscreen, you can hold jumping toward and do down+fierce for the splash, and it'll usually cross him up and always be a safe jump. The only problem is that since it usually but randomly crosses up, you can't be sure which way to block if Guile does a reversal flash kick/super. Generally just block like you're gonna cross up. It's stupid for Guile to try reversal most of the time because most of the time you'll safe jump, so he'll probably just block expecting a cross up. Once you're there, you can do all sorts of things, like crouching jab to fierce grab or ochio, crouching short to whatever-strength buttslam, strong slaps, crouching roundhouse, whatever. You can also mix this up by just doing toward jumping forward after the fierce grab, which will never be a crossup.
- 3 - 7
See Ryu section. Just know Ken's differences (knee bash shenanigans, slower hadokens, tatsus don't knock down, SRKs have a larger horizontal and vertical hitbox and less recovery frames (making it harder to punish), and HP SRK hits on the first frame and has a wide arc. Don't try to safejump Ken.
Vs. O. Ken:
- 2 - 8
Fairly identical to Ryu match. Differences include invulnerable SRK's, tatsus that don't knock down, slower hadokens (which can throw you off if you neutral jump them), and HP SRK is invincible/hits on second frame/wide arc. Don't try to safejump Ken!
- 2 - 8
Probably the matchup you've played the most since Ryu is typically the most used character in SF2. Also happens to be yet another incredibly tough match if your opponent is great at zoning and has at least a basic concept on how to fight Honda. Let's break this fight down:
What to know
Good Shoto (i.e. Ryu/Ken) players will typically spend the entire round running away from you while chucking hadokens, which might sound cowardly but it is good strategy. Honda doesn't have a projectile so he needs to be close to do damage. Honda can't win if he can't catch opponents. The only time they will jump at you (something that Honda players typically invite) is when they can safe-jump you after a knockdown, which usually results in you being forced to block and eat a blockstring that pushes you back out. To make matters worse, when you finally corner a shoto (your main objective in most matches with Honda) they have a very easy way out with their juice kick tatsu. What's a sumo to do against that shit? Man up. It can be done.
What to watch out for
Shoto players will typically actively look for two things against Honda: Jumping over projectiles and chasing backjumps with a HP headbutt. If you forward jump over a hadoken (or sumo smash) and they recover before you connect, you will get tripped or SRK'ed. Probably the most important part of this matchup is being able to neutral jump over hadokens (remember to use your "Floating Fierce") and recognizing the right time to forward jump over hadokens to hit shotos during recovery. There's not much to say here as acquiring this skill takes matchup knowledge and time. As always, watching youtube fights will help tremendously (pretty much any japanese tournament will do).
Whenever a shoto jumps backwards and lands with HP or HK, your instincts will tell you to try and time a HP headbutt to hit them when they land. This can work sometimes but most of the time it's a bad idea. If the shoto player is on their game, they can use a LP SRK immediately when they land. If your timing is off even by a few frames they can jump back again and land on you with a crossup into combo, likely losing the round for you. Try very hard to not chase down shotos with your HP headbutt. Instead, try to use LP and MP headbutts to gain ground but still keep you out of range. Bulldogging (walking forward and blocking fireballs) is also a great skill to master. You'll eat chip damage but you'll get close eventually.
How to fight
Good Ryu players will start the round one of three ways: HP Hadoken, step back cr.MP (to stop HHS), and jump back HP or HK. The safest way to deal with these is to simply block and do nothing, but good Ryu players aren't going to give you a lot of openings. Get a feel for how your opponent starts off the match and start taking chances. If they like to start by jumping back with a HP or HK, do NOT try to use HP headbutt, they will likely SRK you upon landing if you don't get hit by the HP or HK (both of which have great hitboxes). MP Headbutt will get you right next to them out of harms way, letting you start your guessing games. If they like to step back/cr.MP, sweep them with standing HK. If they throw hados at the start, sumo smash through it.
Your main goal against shotos is to corner them (they can't run away and are forced to engage in the corner). Since they can get out of the corner relatively easy with a juice kick tatsu, you need to make the most of your opportunity when you get them there. Use sweeps and HHS pressure. If they are being too safe and just crouch blocking, go in for a surprise grab. Not many Honda players attempt this because of Honda's slow walking speed, so it catches opponents off guard. Be careful to not eat fireballs here because against Ryu it will likely be a red fireball, which will knock you down and allow them to escape the corner. If you are good with safejumps (very hard to do against shoto's SRK) jump in on them after a knockdown with jumping LP. From there you can ether ochio or go into your mixup of choice. Using your ochio trap in the corner is risky here. Try to only use negative edge ochios because good shoto players are typically good with wakeup reversals. You're more likely to get reversal thrown doing this, but it is usually worth a teched throw for the chance and shouldn't put you in a worse position.
Tips and tricks
After a HP throw, you can walk under them and use a crouching HK sweep (the circle sweep). Since the sweep hits on both sides of you, blocking it as the opponent lands can be a tricky proposition.
If you catch a shoto with a HP throw and they suck at mashing out, time a HK sumo smash right after they get out of the hold. You will cross them up and likely hit them if your timing is right, giving you damage and another crossup chance.
After a HK throw you can jump forward LP for a safejump (unless you are close to the corner). Negative edge ochio or mixup games afterward.
If you are good with HP HHS, if you connect with them from somewhere outside of point blank range you are usually in ochio range. This technique is difficult but deadly if mastered.
Remember that ochio throws have a lot of dizzy potential. Hitting someone right after a ochio has a good chance of stunning.
Standing LP can be used as a safe meaty attack against Ryu and is a good poke in general (all red hitbox in the extended arm). Since it doesn't have long range it is difficult to get the spacing right.
Vs. O. Sagat:
- 2.5 - 7.5
This match is one of the more difficult ones for Honda to Handle. The speed of Sagats Tigers are formidable. Also Sagats jumping RH is difficult to get around. Your reactions must be at their best. The air Game: Honda Jumping towards Fierce works well as well as his early jumping jab. Sagats jumping roundhouse can keep you at bay through out the match. Timing a headbutt after the RH retracts till when they hit the ground is not recommended.
Ground game: You MUST keep constant pressure on Sagat so he cannot set up his tigers. His Tigers in reality are not that difficult to get around. Jumping over the slow high ones or crouching under the fast high ones make them worthless against Honda. The ones you have to worry about are the low ones. Believe it or not the slow low Tigers are Jail Bait. If go over these from full screen you will be DPed and if you go over the fast ones you need to almost guess at what is being throw unless you are full screen and the slow tigers may trade anyways because Honda can land on the slow low tigers after Honda Hits Sagat. Reacting and guessing correctly is key. So I do not recommend going over low tigers too much, unless they are just throwing constant low tigers then keep them honest.. So how do you keep on the pressure? Constant Hands as well as f + roundhouse. If you can link these together you can keep a constant barrage of hits going (not a combo). E.g. hands - f + Rh -hands - f + Rh repeat. Hondas Butt smash has very little use unless you have him trapped. If you do do it you must execute it early so that J.RH does not snuff it out.
Throws: Normal throws work great vs. OG sagat but if you face off against new sagat use the Oicho when in close as much as possible. Starting off the match many Sagat players will start with a j.roundhouse or a Tiger or a tiger knee into DP. If they do the latter then punish them as the DP is landing. if the J.roundhouse do a f + roundhouse to trip them. if they catch on to this, pause just a second and make them guess at what is coming. As for how you can start... Hands, f + roundhouse, Block, Cr. Jab. or if you can guess a tiger then use forward Buttsmash. Another trick is to do Short butt smashes over the low tigers as well as his short squat jump over them.
O.Sagat might be Honda's worst non-charge fireball matchup. Even though his jumping HK hitbox might not look like much, it can knock you out of virtually everything but a well timed headbutt. If you are walking forward there isn't much you can do to stop him from jumping at you. If you block his jumping HK he will likely just use crouching MK into fireball and there is nothing you can do to get out of it. His sweep hits very low which means not even your jumping LK can hit it. Do not chase O.Sagat when he jumps back with a headbutt. He has very few pre-jump frames (unlike N.Sagat for whatever reason) so he can likely just neutral or jump back again and land before you recover and combo you. Your main strategy here is like all fireballers, get them in a corner without taking too much damage and force them to make bad choices. Usually you're doing this by navigating Sagat's tiger obstacle course getting in HHS and standing HK sweep in whenever possible. When you do get him in a corner, be INCREDIBLY WARY of using headbutt. If the Sagat player successfully jumps over your headbutt in the corner you just lost the round against someone competent (easy jumping HK into standing LK/MK into SRK). Also don't even think about trying to safejump sagat if your opponent is competent with reversals. Even though his 3-frame startup SRK is technically safe-jumpable, virtually no one is able to do it consistently. I'm not going to lie, this matchup will make you wonder why you like using Honda lol.