Balrog Block Strings

Hey guys, this is a pretty basic inquiry. I don’t see much talk about block strings for Rog. I never asked so all I could was guess I was doing the okay thing w/ c. lp, c. lp., c. lk. I never know what to really do when somebody blocks but that and follow up with a lp rush straight, or try to bait mashes or tick throw (things they are all prepared for).

The reason why I ask is because I’ve been running into a lot of shoryuken mashers online or people who are actually aware of what is safe and unsafe for me. I’d feel a lot more confident if I knew what strings to do, how to finish them and what to follow up with if everything has been blocked.

Some times the things I’ll do push me so far back that I give up pressure spacing. Against another Balrog even the c. lp, c.lp., c. lk whiffs and I’m so :wtf: I’ll eat a sweep and give up momentum. Jump in block strings seem to work better than walk ups. I’m a little lost.

I know this is very noob question, but I’m not too prideful to ask like a man. Balrog Block Strings. What are they?

The mystery continues.

A true block string is a string that can’t be interrupted and generally ends with a safe special to score unavoidable chip damage. Balrog does not have a completely safe true block string that ends in chip. The best you can do without meter is end a block string with jab straight, which puts you at -3. This is horrible in certain matchups, but not terribly bad in others. With meter (though I would never personally burn meter on a block string) the best you can do is end the block string with an ex.upper (providing your opponent is standing), which puts you at -1. The easiest way to confirm it is with jabs, low or high. You can chain a couple low jabs together then link the last (2 frame link on block) before you cancel into the dash. If they’re standing (or a large char, like Sagat), you can chain into a high jab then link a low short (2 frame link as well) before you cancel into the dash, but it’s not necessary. You might want to avoid the risk of linking a low jab into a low short before the cancel because that is very tight (a 1 frame link on block), and if you drop it you’ll most likely eat a reversal, which you’ve no doubt experienced.

So, to sum up, while Balrog does have true block strings that end with specials for unavoidable chip damage, they are not entirely safe depending on the matchup. It’s generally a better idea with Rog to mix up your timing with tick throws instead of going for chip.

low jab, throw
low jab, low jab, throw
low jab, low jab, low jab, throw
low jab, high jab, throw
low jab, low short, throw
low jab, low jab, wait, throw

and so on…

EDIT - Just wanted to elaborate a bit on matchup specific safety like I mentioned above. You’ll want to learn how individual characters can react to Rogs blocked straight. If you choose to use Rogs block string that ends in a jab straight you should know that it revolves around that -3. Study frame data and matchups and you’ll learn things like why that block string is a fine idea vs a Sagat that doesn’t have Super, but a terrible idea vs a Ryu anytime.

Xaaz, this is excellent information. It’s something casual and novice Balrog players should know. There are some guides out there giving conflicting info. For people who don’t read frame data this stuff would get you demolished without even understanding why it happens (like what happens to me sometime)

Block Strings

Crouching LP, Crouching LP, Crouching LK, Crouching MK :xeye:

Crouching LP, Crouching LP, Crouching LK, Crouching HK :lame:

I understand now why my “strings” were being broken by mashes when I’m trying to link c. lk, and I now understand why after a rush straight at the end of these strings, I’d get countered when trying to poke after, or why I’d just get punished. For now on I’m gonna go with tick throw mind games.

Simple basic, yet vastly valuable information. Thank you good sir.

cr. lk > cr. mk/cr. hk is a terrible way to end your block string. cr. lk leaves you at +0 on block, and cr. mk has 8 frames of start up which means you’ll have a pretty big hole that you can be poked out of.

In general, it’s never a good idea to end your strings with cr. lk because it gives you no frame advantage on block and usually pushes you out of jab range, leaving you vulnerable to your opponent’s counterpokes. Note that Rog’s medium/long range pokes all have mediocre start up (7+ frames), so if you end your block string with cr. lk, you’ll have no way of beating out a well timed counterpoke from someone with faster medium range normals.

In case it helps, here are some block string mix-ups I use (aside from the usual tick throw mixups mentioned by Xaaz):

cr. jab (2-3x), walk back -
Jab them out to the tip of their medium poke range, then take a step back while they’re in block stun to make their counter-poke whiff. Ready an fs. hk to punish. This works well against characters who have good medium range pokes, and is also a safe way to gauge how they handle themselves during your block strings at the start of the match.

cr. jab (2-3x), step back, block low -
Use this instead of the first option if you notice that they’re counterpoking your block strings with sweeps, but when you don’t want to risk laying a frame trap for it. You sometimes won’t have enough time to step out of their sweep range to make it whiff, but you can punish certain sweeps (like Ryu’s) on block. Once again, this option is a good way of reading your opponent’s reactions to your block string pressure at the start of a match.

cr. jab (2x-3x), step forward, cr. jab -
Jab them till you can’t reach them with a jab, then step forward into the tip of your jab range and do another crouching jab. Mix this in with your tick throws every now and then if you notice that they’re being extra defensive and are just blocking and late crouch teching. Against certain characters, you can use the delayed cr. jab to start a hit confirm string into cr. hk (cr. lp, fs. lp, cr. hk), or you can take a relatively safe gamble and go directly into cr. hk instead. It should combo on a counter hit, but you can’t hit confirm it.

cr. jab (2x-3x), cr. mp (option select) dash straight -
jab them until they’re outside your cr. mp range, then input cr. mp xx dash straight. If the cr. mp whiffs, you don’t get anything (although note that you risk getting punished for the whiff if they were expecting it). If they were mashing out a normal, the cr. mp will hit their extended hitbox and cancel into dash straight.

cr. jab (1-2x), cr. mk, cr. mk/hk - Jab them outside their jab and short range, then cr. mk > cr. hk. Use this to frame trap your opponent’s medium pokes. This works because cr. mk puts you at +4 on block but has an animation that looks deceptively slow, so some people may get fooled into trying to counterpoke you after blocking it. Note that there are holes in this string, so use it sparingly or not at all against reversal mashers.

Good stuff rainscape.

I don’t know what the writer of that guide was thinking about when they just put that out there like it was a known fact and basic strategy of Rogs. It’s misinformation by a shoto player or something LOL.

Can’t you just chain a bunch of jabs together? Like, if you want to pressure on wakeup, can’t you just rapidfire a couple c.jabs and see if they hit? If they do, LINK a next c.jab / c.short and finish with the full combo. If they don’t hit, just jab till you’re at the distance you want to be at.

You just described hit-confirming, which is a related topic, but something different altogether.

The options I listed down are counters you can use against some of the things your opponent might possibly do after or during your block string.

A blockstring is a string of attacks that keep your opponent in blockstun. Normally you don’t attack your opponent with the intention of initiating a blockstring. Rather, you attempt to initiate a combo, see that it’s not hitting (where hit-confirming comes in), and turn your combo attempt into a blockstring.

What YOU listed are options after c.jab(x2) that all involve walking forward/back, attempting a counter-poke, etc. (For the record, you wouldn’t do any of these things if you saw your c.jab hitting.) For the most part, these options aren’t ‘true’ blockstrings, because you allow your opponent an escape from blockstun.

It seems as though you’re trying to suggest that c.jab xx c.jab IS Balrog’s blockstring, and then there are a bunch of things you can do after that to counter your opponent. But, um, as far as I understand, if you see your first c.jabs being blocked and you need to safely make space, you can just rapidfire a bunch of c.jabs/s.jabs.

I know what hit confirming is, and I know what a block string is. And yes, I also know that you don’t go looking to start a block string, but that’s what you go into when your hit-confirm attack(s) get blocked. Was there a point in bringing the definitions up?

Anyway, my earlier post was merely contributing to the discussion by adding some additional options to the mix-ups that xaaz mentioned earlier, if that wasn’t immediately obvious.

Look at my post again. Did I ever say the sequences I listed were true block strings? For the record, I said they were block string mix-ups. In case it wasn’t obvious for you, these are options you can use if you happen to get your opponent into a block string consisting of a couple of jabs (2x-3x).

Sorry, I’m not really sure what point you’re trying to make. Indeed, you can rapidfire a bunch of jabs as a blockstring to make space between you and your opponent. I never said you couldn’t. In fact, my post even goes a few steps further by discussing a few methods you can use to capitalize on the spacing generated by jab block strings. Is there something wrong with that?

Oh, I was just being helpful and teaching you your ABC’s. I figured I would return the favour, considering you were nice enough to educate me on how hit-confirming and blockstrings were related (but altogether different) concepts. :rofl:

Re-read my initial post. It mentions hit-confirms, but it’s quite clearly about a blockstring made of cancelled jabs.

…‘if that wasn’t immediately obvious.’

Brahs, brahs!

Chill out, brahs.

Save the the hate for those dickhole Sagats.

Yeah guys, we are here to load each other up on the information we need to win, not destory each other’s morale.

“It seems as though you’re trying to suggest that c.jab xx c.jab IS Balrog’s blockstring, and then there are a bunch of things you can do after that to counter your opponent.”

Yes, this is a correct statement. Cancelling on crouching jab into the next until the opponent is out of reach is a blockstring that Balrog has. And yes, I believe Rainscape was was pointing out the very helpful fact that if you are having your chained crouching jabs blocked you can briefly pause, reposition, or just stand and throw out a standing roundhouse setting up a frame trap to punish and move/poke your opponent may have started to retaliate with. (if you’re interested cr.LP on block leaves you at a +4 frame advantage with a far st.HK executing in 8 frames. On hit cr.LP puts you at +7 frames and since the far st.HK executes in 8 frames the difference being one frame, that may,given the situation be a good enough reason to let off your cr.LP that hit and go for the frame trap since patterns kill.)

A sincere thank you to Rainscape for the list of options to punish the whiffed pokes of possible mashers. At higher and higher levels of play, I am tending to notice this more and more frequently.

Ok so regarding blockstrings, don’t forget that even though one very important aspect of block strings is getting that little bit of chip damage which adds up over the course of a game, that it is not the only purpose for a block string. What about to push a character, say one with a command throw, out of range to give yourself a little breathing room?

So with the purpose of chip damage and/or pushing your opponent away to gain some breathing room, what do you we have guys?

Xaaz, if you say that the best that can be done is a couple of jabs into a dash straight resulting in -3 frame advantage (disadvantage?), your word is as good as gold as far as I’m concerned. But if there is any doubt, I say we look into the frame data, keeping in mind that perhaps not each and every move will necessarily connect on the first active frame, which would give you a little bit better frame advantage.

Come on guys, lets help each other out, and if you are questioning someones reasoning for posting something ask in a way that is not condescending and you may just get a practical answer that could shed light on a different aspect of the game.

Here here. I think this is a valuable discussion for all Balrogs, because knowing what your viable options are on block can save a lot of grief. Considering we can get thrown out of dash punches and TAP, HB not being safe on block, AND not really having a sure fire high low game we see A LOT of block against our normals.

P.S. rainscapes and xaazs tick throw options has given me something tangible to mentally fall back on. This is good help.

Just to clarify:

The cr. lp (2-3x) > walk back > fs. hk that I mentioned isn’t actually a frame trap. The idea is, you use the jabs to push your opponent to the tip of their poke range to bait out a counterpoke, and then step back while they’re still in block stun in order to make it whiff. You can then do the fs. hk on reaction.

You can definitely use fs. hk as a frame trap by just ending your string with it. Personally though, I prefer the cr. mk frame trap because you can combo easily into cr. hk if it counter hits, and it’s also less susceptible to FAs. Range isn’t that good though.

Ah, I see. Thanks for the clarification, Rainscape. Seems that this would be a good way to wait and see what your opponent does and react before committing to anything. Thank you for your insight and taking the time to shed some light on it for me.

Oh and another little thing I thought I’d throw out there since we mentioned a frame trap (your cr.jab x2 -> cr.foward as counter hit -> st.roundhouse). If you throw out a Level 1 TAP and it hits (all the while you are charging back) you will be at +2 frames. Throw out a cr.LP immediately as it executes in 3 frames working as a frame trap. If the cr.LP hits as a counter, adding 3 additional frames to your hit advantage, you will be able to link the Ultra off of the cr.LP (as a counter hit).

If you check the frame data, level 1 tap is -2, so if it gets blocked point blank you’ll be in trouble. If you space it correctly however, you can still use it as a frame trap in some match-ups, though doing so has its risks.

Also, counterhit jabs only give 1 extra frame of hitstun, so trying to nail an ultra of a counterhit crouching jab wouldn’t be practical because that would be a 1 frame link that can’t be hit-confirmed.

The only character I have trouble with is Abel and his EX Grab. It seems I’ll do a into c.lp then get grabbed when I’m trying jab again in range. Other times I’ll get SRK’ed out of a blocked jump-in at close range.

I swear sometimes I find my block strings to be air tight and stuff like this happens. I guess I understand why im getting punished.

It should be pointed out, that a LP Dash Straight against Sagat (which leaves you at -3) from a block string, as far as I am aware, is not a great idea, Super or not. Sagat can land a guaranteed c.lp if the Dash Straight is too meaty. It’s one frame, so it’s hard to hit, but I’ve faced Sagat’s who land it 85%+ of the time.
Block strings tend to be better ended with frame traps from my experience.