Match Breakdown: 3 (A-Chun li vs A-Honda)

Couple problems with this match, #1 being that Honda does not have reliable anti-air vs Chun. Jab headbutt only really works if she’s above him or above and in front. Chun can jump with Short or the stomp from far away and basically hit Honda at his legs, and either beat the headbutt (bad for Honda) or force him to block (also bad). So there are ranges where Chun can jump in on Honda but he can’t use the headbutt, and needs to either avoid the attack or find another option. On the other end, Honda has problems with crossups, and has a similar issue to the one above with deep crossups.

There is a way for Honda to change directions and headbutt the opposite way when crossed up (this applies charge characters in general, I assume), or maybe it’s just a timing. Whichever, it is of moderate use, but if you time it too early you get hit in the back, and if you time it too late, you get hit deep and the headbutt loses. I’m actually pretty sure that vs Chun, by the time you can turn around and headbutt in the other direction, it’s too late.

When jumped in on from the front, Honda can do a Short sumo splash to beat/trade with attacks that the headbutt loses too. That option isn’t nearly as safe vs crossups, and either way it is vulnerable to air blocking.

The level 2 headbutt super is good for anti-air purposes, with the caveat that the opponent has to be attacking. This super, unfortunately, can be air blocked- specifically the first (read: best, most important) hit of the level 2 version. So Honda is not only vulnerable to attacks in these sorts of matches, but is also vulnerable to air blocking, to some degree. These are the sort of situations where V-Honda shows advantages over A-ISM and X-ISM Honda.

Here’s the good news: Under normal circumstances (opponent jumping in on Honda with a standard attack) Honda has solid anti-air. The sumo splash can be used in some cases. Honda has good air normals, so getting in the air and using Fierce, Short, Jab etc can help him in matches where he otherwise would have problems (these will lead to crouch cancels for extra damage if they land on Counter Hit). In rare cases you can use the kick super (Fuji Oroshi) to hit attacks which are far away- but beware the whiffed sumo drop animation. On top of that, you have the standard A/V-ISM character option of jumping up and air blocking and then possibly doing a ground recovery when you hit the ground to roll behind the opponent.

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At 00:48 you see another limitation of the headbutt, which is that it’s thwarted pretty easily by most characters by jumping up/back with an attack that will bap Honda on the top of his head. It also gets stopped by Jabs, but the former is often easier and leads to bigger damage, depending on the opponent. So you should be careful to not have your headbutts baited.

01:02
I’m trying to keep the opponent in the corner here- had I been more aware I would have gone for the level 3 kick super vs the Kikoushou (puffball super), but I decide to jump in and apply pressure instead. Looking back at these matches I’m surprised how aggressive I was being, though I think in this match you kind of have to be, given the issues with Honda’s defense.

01:10
Headbutt is too early, though from the motions before it looks like I was trying to get the super instead.

01:19
Terrible level 1 super. I recorded these matches before the “Intro to Honda” blog post which precedes this one, so I wasn’t sure if the Level 1 was reliable Anti-air. It is not. The second hit is actually pretty good, but obviously that’s a bit harder to time. Also, The Chun player was just too far- even if I’d done a level 2 or probably Level 3, Chun would have already landed.

01:38
Another problem with this match is that Chun can cancel her head stomp. So stomp xx jumping Short will cross up, and it makes the stomp harder to punish if hit or blocked. I jump up into the air after the stomp to avoid being hit with a block string, though I should have been charging a headbutt or splash afterward, instead of trying to hit Chun out of the air because she was annoying me.

01:48
Worst level 2 ever. I was annoyed by this point, as I wasn’t able to commit to headbutts vs the stomp- partly because this was the first match of the set and I wasn’t used to the player, and partly because I suck. Part of the problem was that I was looking for the super, instead of a regular headbutt. The inputs are very close, but for whatever reason the headbutt is easier to get out. I commit to the super waaaaay too late (please read: Planet of the SF-Playing Apes, and burn the super in embarrassing fashion. At the end of the round I try a headbutt that I assume the Chun player will block, just so I can keep momentum. Doesn’t work.

02:33
I punish the stomp into Short because my back is to the corner, and I think because the Chun player gets out the Short too late. Had he done it sooner or done another stomp, I’m pretty confident my jumping Strong would have lost.

03:57
Invulnerability glitch happens in A3 when you block multiple hits in the air- when you land, you are invulnerable. Unfortunately I wasn’t ready to be glitched, otherwise I would have countered with a super.

04:25
I start a loop with the Short sumo drop, but I mess it up- had my timing been better I wouldn’t have been hit with the Fierce, and would have hit Chun li instead. At the end of the round and try to jump away from a poke/throw mixup and get hit on the way up with a close standing Fierce.

04:52
I see a few things I would do differently, now that I’ve played a few more sessions with Honda- I would have punished that whiffed Tenshou Kyaku (upkicks) with crouching Short into Honda kick super. And I sure as hell wouldn’t have done a level 1 super at 05:00, since I know now that it’s not reliable as anti-air. And after I burned the super, I would have been whiffing throws for meter- even though it doesn’t work as well for A-ISM Honda, it certainly would helped, and Honda’s whiffed throws are fast enough that you can still punish jumping attacks with a headbutt/splash.

06:07
Speaking of things I would have done differently, I think it would have been better to use the Level 2 as anti-air, and then have an Alpha Counter on deck. It also gives you the option of using the kick super, or, less likely, the level 1 headbutt super vs a fireball. Anyway, I mistime the headbutt vs the whiffed Chun super (that is, I underestimated the priority of that level 1 super), and I try to wake up with a headbutt when, in hindsight, I should have done a sumo drop (even if blocked it would have given me the round).

06:36
I drop another Short sumo drop loop in the corner.

06:43
Note the different arc on the jumping stomp into air Short- I counter with a jumping Strong like I did a few matches earlier, but Chun is halfway across the screen by the time it comes out.

07:17
Whiffed level 3 headbutt super. In my mind, it was going to hit Chun on the way up if she jumped back, anyway- turns out I was substantially wrong. I should have been going for a crouching Short into something or a standing Jab to punish, but even now I’m not sure of the timing- Chun level 1 kick super can be punished, but Honda’s fastest normals are a slightly slower than, say, Ryu’s.

07:37
I’m doing pretty well with the headbutts this round, though there is later a karmic reversal. Not only am I getting them out as anti-air (the opponent is testing the waters, expecting me to already be reloaded for another one after blocking one or two in a row), but I’m landing them as footsies- I’m hitting Chun as she’s walking forward, etc.

07:52
Axe kick barrage begins. This is kind of like a walkup-throw thing; you wouldn’t expect someone to keep doing the same thing over and over, because it’s stupid (no offense to the other player, just saying), and ultimately all you do is outsmart yourself. To walk you through my thought process: I get hit with two quick overheads, and because I know Chun is vulnerable low, I try to hit her with a crouching Short, but my timing is bad. I’ve already ruled out Honda’s sweep, because while it’s actually pretty good, I don’t want to whiff it (clearly he’s not going to do seven of these things in a row, so…) Meanwhile, he keeps doing them, and I’m charging a super. I’ve decided I’ve had enough of this nonsense, and do the level 1 headbutt super. DENIED. After I land a headbutt, I figure Chun is coming back into range, so I fire off another one- but, as you note the Counter Hit message at 08:01, it doesn’t work out. I try to counter with crouching Strong and another headbutt, but neither works. I finally stick out another crouching Short, but by this point he’s actually done what I’d been expecting him to do and mixes up the axe kick with a poke.

Just to be clear, Chun’s axe kick doesn’t beat all of Honda’s attacks- simplest counter would have been a Short sumo drop, which would have hit her on the way down even if the first hit whiffed. I could have timed a crouching Short better, or just done the Roundhouse sweep, though both of those lose to Chun’s standing Strong which is why I hesitated. Also, the level 1 kick super probably would have worked. Or I could have done a neutral jump, but sometimes when you’re playing charge characters, you’re too committed to keeping your charge(s).

Not much to comment on in the next game. I do a better job of countering axe kicks (meaning: I actually do it), and I start using the level 2 headbutt super vs jumping attacks.

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00:21
Not to beat a dead horse, but you’ll notice the Chun player does an axe kick and then follows it up with a poke, and I do a headbutt in between. I’m just saying, I’m not a moron. I do not normally get hit by 8 overheads in a row. Thank you.

00:27
Chun is off the ground briefly during her axe kick, so sometimes when you counter her she’ll pop up in the air. I canceled a crouching Short into a headbutt, and flew right past her. I try to do a tricky jumping Roundhouse from a long distance, but trade with Chun’s sweep.

00:35
I’m getting hit with the stomp xx Short thing that happened in the first match, but I keep my cool much, much better. I’m not exactly sure why I’m not blocking- doesn’t look to be messed up inputs for headbutts. Maybe I’m trying to keep my down charge for the sumo drop and I’m not blocking high fast enough?

00:54
I keep waiting to the level 3 headbutt super because they don’t have full invulnerability against projectiles- the later the projectile hits it the better, which means that you have to do the super early in most cases. So even from full screen I had to wait for the first sign of the fireball or guess, instead of reacting to the actual fireball itself.

01:37
It’s at this point that I realize that the headbutt isn’t safe when air blocked, particularly in the corner. That’s why I didn’t keep doing it, even though, hindsight being 20/20, it may have won me the round. At the end of the round I catch on to the pattern and go for an air throw, but apparently my timing is off.

Bad usage of supers in the next round. Run into a just-barely-a-crossup and burn the level 2, which probably would have swung the round my way. Then I use the level 1 towards the end of the round, clinging to the idea that it might be better than Jab headbutt, because that would make sense. I think I maybe should have done the sumo drop as anti-air given my lack of confidence in the headbutt while cornered, but I don’t think that’s a much better idea. Not sure why I was doing a crouching Forward at the end of the round.

03:15
Lazy poke string, get hit before the standing Fierce comes out. Fierce is good, but has a lot of startup. It does good damage/guard damage and will hit jumpers on the way up, depending on the range. Better string would have been crossup j.FK, standing FK (2 hits) into sweep, because the sweep has better priority vs low attacks and is slightly faster. Also if they try to counter and get swept, it sets up another crossup. Though in this case I could have just tried to crossup again after the Jab, since I may have pushed Chun back into position- her attack would have whiffed, and I would have gotten another crossup.

03:23
Video glitch, sorry.

03:40
Chun was too far, and so I only got two hits. Unfortunate. I even walked into it, taking a step closer before the super started. You may have noticed the fireballs before that- I was looking to super through like the previous match, but I think the Chun player thought better of it. At the end of the round I should have been trying a Short sumo drop or Jab headbutt, but I inexplicably do another crouching Forward.

04:30
WTF. I absolutely had this round, that’s just sad. I don’t know why I did the heabutt. It looks like I was thinking that he obviously wouldn’t jump in, so I wanted to chip him out with a blocked headbutt. He, somewhat randomly, does another jumping Fierce and catches me FTW. I should have just been looking for sumo drop or Alpha Counter, even if I’d abandoned the super-obvious anti-air headbutt.

05:15
Right idea, wrong game/character. Again I felt comfortable that I’d be able to hit Chun on the way up if she jumped, but I didn’t realize that the level 2 headbutt super could be blocked in the air- most supers can’t be air blocked.

05:24
I start trying to mash out HHS here, like a scrub. I don’t know what I was thinking.

Not much to say about the next round.

07:44
Combo into kick super would have been better for damage, and probably would have been easier to punish a Ground Recovery (KK roll).

07:58
I’m actually not trying to hit with these headbutts, just trying to stay out of the corner.

08:38
I scout out a walk forward, and these are the other crossup options I mentioned. Get interrupted by far standing Fierce, should have altered the timing to make the block stun different. Or used Jab or Short instead of Forward- would have done less guard meter damage, but there would have been a smaller gap between that and the sweep.

And these are the last of the matches recorded from this set. There were actually quite a few more Chun/Honda matches, but they didn’t get recorded. I ended up ahead by a few matches IIRC, but only a few- it ended up being more or less even.

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