Balrog (Boxer) Beginner's Guide

Comprehensive Move List

Now that we have dedicated character sections, let this thread serve as the “general info” thread. Things like special moves and normals can go in here.

More specific strategies should be kept in their own individual threads. This will allow new people who want to learn Rog easy access of the information that they need.

Once you feel you are comfortable with the game / engine and with Rog as a character, feel free to check out the frame data thread where a more technical analysis of the moves can be found.

If you think I have missed anything, speak up and I will edit my post!



General Syntax / Notations:

Across my posts in this forum, I may have (unintentionally) used terms interchangably. Here is a general break down of what the terms mean:

Attacking Notations:

jab = LP = light punch
strong = MP = medium punch
feirce = HP = hard punch

short = LK = light kick
forward = MK = medium kick
roundhouse = HK = hard kick

Joystick Notations:

d,b,f,u (down, back, forward, up)

or the “num pad” notation

789 | ub u uf
456 | b n f
123 | db d df

Look at the number pad on your keyboard. Each digit represents a direction (assuming that your character is on the 1P side)


Normals to Note:

cr fierce - general anti air
cr short, cr jab, cr strong, cr forward, far st jab - all are great block string pokes

st HP, HK - great pokes at max range (don’t get baited by FA tho!)

jump straight up fierce P (hold b or f while still in the air) - good for avoiding fireballs (“wiggle” punch from ST)
jump in fierce P - your jump in to use for combos / block strings / air to air hits
jump in roundhouse - more of a “downward” hitbox. hitting at a 45deg angle

General Note about EX moves

  • Some EX moves have invincibility on startup. Others have a 1 hit super armour and/or register for multiple hits.
  • All of Rog’s EX moves have 1 hit super armour except headbutt which has invincibility (Credit: Thanks Cole)
  • Each character however has an “armour break” move. This will nullify the super armour of your attack.
  • If your super armour absorbs a non armour break hit during the move, you will take the damage from the hit as “recoverable” damage (similar to SA)
  • However Rog will continue forward with the move
  • If you don’t have enough health to take first hit, then you will die.
    For example: if you try and EX rush punch through a fireball with a sliver of life left, you will die.

How To Maximize Your Charge Time
Credit: Sean Gilley


Gilley, SF Guile expert, has been kind enough to upload a video demonstrating the trick behind maximizing your back (or down) charge time. He uses Guile as an example in the video but the same principles can be applied to Rog.

This trick is particularly useful in those EX Rush Upper loop combos, where the extra frames of charge really make the world of difference.

Charge “storing” or “partitioning” does not exist in SF4.


Special Moves:

Rush Punch - Charge :l:, :r:+:p: (:2p: for EX)

  • LP/EX version safe on block at max range (tip of glove hitting opponent)
  • can hit crouching opponents
  • EX rush punch is good for going thru fireballs (via hit absorb)

Rush Upper - Charge :l:, :r:+:k: (:2k: for EX)

  • whiffs crouching opponents
  • after landing EX, there is enough hit stun to link either (depending on your spacing and size of character):
    cr jab or cr short

**Ground / Lower Rush Punch - Charge :l:, :df:+:p: (:2p: for EX) **

*must be blocked low
*safe on block if tip if not too close
*knocks down
*opponent can not tech/quick get up after knockdown

**Overhead Rush Punch - Charge :l:, :df: + :p:, Hold :p: (:df: + :2p:, Hold :2p: for EX) - ARMOUR BREAK **

  • must be blocked high
  • breaks SA
  • does not knock down
  • lots of startup on punch, not combable
  • after landing EX, there is enough hit stun to link (depending on your spacing and size of character):
    cr jab
    cr short (has slightly better range than cr jab, good for combos)
    cr roundhouse (timing is tight)
  • sample combo: EX overhead rush punch, ~ cr LK xx HP Headbutt, Ultra. This combo doesn’t work on a crouching Blanka (the headbutt whiffs). Something to do with the size of his hitbox.
  • see this thread below for more follow ups

Torpedo Punch - Charge :l:, :df: + :k: (:2k: for EX) - ARMOUR BREAK

  • hits crouching opponents
  • breaks SA
  • knocks down, sends opponent to the end of the screen (ala marvel series ?flying screen? air combo enders) ? useful when you want to force opponents to corner
  • can be combo’d off a normal at point blank range
  • another thread with more info:

**Headbutt - Charge :d:, :u: + :p: (:2p: for EX) **

  • invincibility frames on startup (can go thru fireballs!)
  • FP headbutt has hella horizontal range
  • get into the habit of executing the move using UP BACK. This way you keep your back charge!

**** Maintaining your back charge is the key to juggle with ultra afterwards:
charge d, ub+punch, [hold b as you land], f,d,f+PPP, then during ultra hold KKK for rush uppers to juggle***

more info here:

Turn Around Punch (TAP) - Hold :3p: (or :3k:), Release :3p: (or :3k:) - ARMOUR BREAK

  • invincibility frames on startup (use it to go through fireballs!)
  • does more dmg the longer you hold PPP (or KKK)
  • can hit crouching opponents
  • can link a cr jab afterwards if TAP was a counter hit
  • more info found here:


** Crazy Buffalo Charge (Super Combo) - Charge :l:, :r:, :l:, :r: + :p:, (Hold :k: for Rush Uppers) - ARMOUR BREAK **

  • can super cancel from a rush punch and TAP
  • rush uppers is useful for juggling
  • goes thru fireballs on startup
  • can use to juggle after a headbutt
  • not safe on block


** Violent Buffalo Charge (Ultra Combo) - Charge :l:, :r:, :l:, :r: + :3p:, (Hold :k: for Rush Uppers) - ARMOUR BREAK **

  • main use is to juggle after a headbutt (also possible to juggle after TAP and Torpedo Punch, if you hit them out of the air)
  • goes through fireballs on start up
  • not safe on block (your opponent can punish you 2 ways: a) after blocking the last rush punch b) in between the 2nd last and last punch)

During the Ultra, Balrog does 5 “waves” of punches. During each wave, the type of punch which he executes depends on whether or not you are holding a kick button.

Holding a kick button - Upper punch animation (has more of a vertical hitbox, use this to juggle)
Holding a punch button (or holding nothing) - straight punch animation (has more of a horizontal hitbox, does not juggle)

Depending on where you are on the screen when juggling with the Ultra, there are optimal wave patterns for your punches in order to connect for max damage / hits.

P = straight
K = upper


KKKKK - Midscreen
KPKKK - At or near corner
PPKKK - Works anywhere
PKPKK - At corner and if they are at or below your head height.

more details on how to juggle the ultra after a headbutt:

  • All EX moves have 1 hit super armor

Just want to clarify, this means that every single one of Balrog’s EX moves can pass through any single fireball?

And another thing, how often is TAP used? I play on pad, so I really hate 3 button moves. When this hits console, will lack of being able to use TAP handicap me so much I shouldn’t even bother?


Im all set for this game.

**Offensive Strategies **

I will start off by explaining the basics of the combo engine and then follow with example combos and block strings.

I believe there is something programed into the engine that won’t let you cancel a special off a normal IF that normal was canceled from another normal. However if that normal was LINKED from the previous normal, then a canceled special move can be executed. This is similar to the combo engine from ST.

For example with Rog:

[ xx = cancel ]

cr jab xx cr jab xx cr jab xx jab rush punch WILL NOT WORK.

If you try and cancel a special after the last jab, the special move doesn’t come out and instead you get a normal attack (ie a standing jab… for a total 4 hit combo of 3 cr jabs, 1 st jab) This is because the 3rd jab was canceled off the 2nd jab.


  1. cr jab [link] cr jab [link] cr jab xx rush punch WILL WORK!

  2. cr jab xx cr jab [link] cr strong xx rush punch WILL WORK!

The difference is that the last jab was LINKED from the previous jab (not canceled), therefore canceling the special move off the last cr jab will register (since it was linked) and you have yourself a sexy 4 hit combo. (3 cr jabs, 1 rush punch)

You can still cancel normals into each other as part of combos, however the last normal leading to the special must be linked. In this example the 2nd jab was canceled off the 1st jab but the cr strong was LINKED from the 2nd jab.

Therefore the rush punch can be cancelled off the strong and you have yourself a 4 hit combo.

Timing of Links vs. Cancels

With Balrog, the timing for the cr jab links is hard to describe in writing but I will try: If you have ever played a musical instrument before, think 4/4 time with 4 single notes in a bar. Imagine yourself tapping jab at that speed for the link.

If you mindlessly mash on jab (rapid fire jabs), the jabs will cancel off each other and you will not be able to cancel into a special move, losing the potential to futher extend your combo.

Exception to this Rule

The only exception to this rule that I can think of would be “chains” ie. Ken’s st strong to st fierce (and any other chains in the game?)

However I’m not sure if “Chained” normals should be classified as links, cancels or have their own category. Ahhhh! Where is James Chen when you need him???

Basic Combos

*If you are beginning a combo off a jump in, fierce or roundhouse should be your attack of choice

cr jab, cr jab, [link] cr short, canceled by your choice (EX or Normal):

  • jab rush punch
  • jab low rush punch
  • fp headbutt (land that ultra/super afterward if you have it! this is the combo you should do when you have a wide opening)
  • short rush upper (if opponent is blocking low, this will whiff, and you will be in throwing range to grab them!)

or if you don’t have charge, you can end it with a normal for a nice block string:

  • st FP
  • cr RK
  • Get into the habit of mixing it up once in a while. What will sometimes happen is that your opponent might “fish” for your ending poke with a SA/FA. If you expect this to you happen you can:
  • walk up throw
  • perform an armor break move: TAP, overhead rush, torpedo rush punch

Another option to mix it up is to: do a SADC foward after the last move in your chain. After Rog dashes forward you can either go for a grab or continue another block string for pressure.

Here are some more combos to check out:

From Tooomke:

  1. Overhead Rush Punch [link] c.short xx Headbutt [link] Super/Ultra
  2. In the corner SA crumple > Dash > s.foward [link] s.jab xx Ex Rush Upper [link] c.jabx2 xx headbutt as seen here at around the 12:15 mark.

Saving / Focus Attack Uses (FA or SA)

More to Come Later!
(I will compile stuff from the other threads and enter it all in here!)

Defensive Strategies

Here are some common situations that you will come across with Rog in the game and what tools you have at your disposal to overcome them!
(I am writing all of this from memory as I have been busy and haven’t been to the arcade for a couple of weeks now so the info could be slightly off. I will work on cleaning it up and confirming it over the next few weeks)

Getting Around Fireballs

  • jump straight up, FP, then hold f or b in the air (use this when you don’t have any specials charged or to psych out an oppenent waiting for you to TAP or jump in)
  • startup invincibility: headbutt, TAP (will pass through fireballs on startup, main advantage is that they can advance Rog forward while maintaining back charge)
  • EX rush punch specials (low risk / high reward situation as eating 1 fireball damage can lead to you dishing out out huge damage!)
  • ultra / super (even larger risk/reward situation)


TAP can be done by holding PPP or KKK. Get into the habit of using the KKK version over the PPP version as you maintain the ability to do your rush punches, headbutt and super/ultra.

If you are charging TAP and want to release the charge without without performing the move, just simply jump back and release the KKK or PPP while in the air.

The trick to charge with KKK and still being able to play is to use the area of where your fingers meet your palm to rest on the KKK buttons. Then you can still use the tips of your index, middle and ringer fingers for jab, strong and feirce respectivley.

This will require some dexterity and practice but is well worth the time that you put in.

TAP has invincilibity frames on startup and can pass thru normals as well as fireball. The timing to releasing the PPP (or KKK) is to wait until the fireball is right about to hit Rog.

The longer you charge PPP (or KKK), 2 things will happen: 1) an increase in damage and 2) further distance travelled. I’m not sure of all the charge levels / distances but a quick charge (1-2 sec) will do the same distance as a jab rush punch while a long charge (6-8 sec) will take you the full screen.

Be careful when using TAP to pass thru fireball at full screen or vs characters like chun or guile who have quick fb recovery. Rog is vulnerable to be hit during the forward movement of the TAP. So you might face a case where your opponent will bait out a TAP from you and then hit you out of it.

If they block the TAP …

Depending on the level of TAP, you will be at a certain frame disadvantage. However this does not mean you are not safe. For example if you do a lvl 1 TAP, Rog is at a -2 frame disadvantage. If you did the TAP from close range and finish right beside the opponent (point blank range) then you’ll end up eating a big combo.

However if you did the TAP from its’ max range where the tip of his glove hits the opponent, you will finish at about just inside sweep range at the same -2 disadvantage. However at this range, your opponent will have to use a medium or heavy attack to reach you (LP and LK are too short) and those attacks tend to have 5-7 frames of startup. Therefore you return to neutral state and will be able to block!

Therefore become comfortable with the ranges of all of Rog’s punches to maximize their uses!

You can continue a block string or do a super/ultra if you think your opponent is going to stick out a poke.


Useful for characters who like to follow their projectiles and try to poke you afterward (guile, chun). Remember to charge for the move like this:
charge db, ub + P, (hold db or b when landing)

EX Specials

Another option is to use one of his EX specials. EX Rush Upper and EX Overhead Punch are ideal as the advantage of landing a hit can lead to a huge combo. However the other EX punches (Rush punch, Low Rush Punch, and the Tornado Punch) are all viable options.

The disadvantages are you will take full damage (recoverable) off the fireball on the 1 hit super armor.

Dealing With Crossups on Wakeup (aka “Meaty” Crossups )

On knockdown,

1 - do a very deep headbutt. i found jab works the best because it goes more upwards than it does forwards.

For example if you did it right, Rog (originally on 1P side) will turn around the other way and smack them with the headbutt (as if he started on 2P side).

If you do the headbutt too early, you stay on the original side, the headbutt whiffs, the opponent lands behind you and you eat a combo/throw/whatever.

2 - or you can not even deal with the cross up by doing a deep TAP. Their jump in will whiff while Rog ends up on the other side of hte screen (say 2 sweep lengths), far away and safe.

Ideal vs. Gief, Honda, Abel… you can avoid playing guessing games for grabs all together. fuck that noise.

Dealing With Saving Attack on Wakeup (aka “Meaty” Saving Attacks)**

USE TAP. Unleash TAP when you get up. One of the following will happen:

  • they fake you out by dashing forward or back, TAP smacks them regardless
  • they hold the FA for too long and the TAP smacks them (glass breaking effect)
  • they release the FA the same time you TAP … but the FA whiffs because of the invincibility frames on the TAP and they get SMACKED!

Therefore get into the habit of charging TAP on knockdown!

EDIT: Also, you can just simply backdash on wakeup as well to escape.

What’s the timing on his loop from EX punch to normal to another ex punch? I tried it the other day and I can’t seem to get it down consistently.

In terms of comboing the normal after the ex RU (ex rush upper) its pretty much as soon as you see boxers ex RU finish. Also make sure to buffer the charge for each ex RU. I find the easiest thing to link after the ex RU is c.jab–c.short–Ex RU.

For the motion I’m pretty sure I just do charge b, df+K without need to hold K. Can any one confirm this? Also About the lots of start up thing. Do you mean you can’t combo into this move? cos I have comboed c.short into jab tornado rush. I assume c.jab would work as well.

And by the way. Awesome job man!!

J. Wang is right you need to hold K to execute tornado rush punch

From my experience it doesn’t whiff most characters, don’t remember the smaller characters (chun, el fuert etc…) however

Wang add on there its completely safe on block!

I’m starting to love to do this move on wake up…
before I would wake up ex rush upper but there is a slight more guessing game involve and not as safe sometimes…
while wake up ex tornado rush punch is safe on block and knocks down if connected… of course you lose the combobility of ex rush upper, but it is a real momentum shifter, block or not

Good shit Jay Wang! find the frame data on boxers moves and i declare you god… of the underwearless… or something :lovin:

Hmmmm I guess I’m subconsciously holding the button(s) down.
Charge b, df+K(without holding K down) doesn’t give you Rush Upper right???
Ima check it out tomorrow. lol This is so trivial.

Confirmed today that for tornado rush punch you don’t need to hold down the kick button, just a quick tap is required.

Something you might wanna add Jay is that jump roundhouse has a better chance of trading or even stuffing anti airs than jump fierce. From what ive experienced if done very meaty it will stuff a DP. Combos like jump fierce too.

Whats the best way to activate the Ultra after the headbutt?
I usually use b,f,b,f+KKK then just piano the kick buttons. But you mention starting the first hit with the punch version then hold all the kick buttons down…

Sometimes I don’t get all the hits of the ultra or the opponent drops before the final hit, Is my activation of the ultra wrong? Is it character specific? Or is it all based on their location in the air when you activate?

Balrog’s Focus Attack is actually a really good move to use as a meaty. You can charge it up and then dash away, or you can charge it up all the way. If the opponent jumps away, they will get hit because it’s an uppercut. I’ve been seeing alot of Rogs doing this and being very successful.

No need to worry the way your doing it is the proper way to land it off the headbutt.

What I’m finding is that, as you have said, its about the opponents location in the air. The first conclusion was that it doesn’t work with characters who are in or near the corner however I believe that it is not so as I have started landing this frequently. You need to delay the activation of the ultra so that the characters body is roughly around bison’s head height. This will stop the uppercuts from juggling the character to high and therfore not getting all of the hits. Sometimes with an anti air headbutt I will wait half a second before activating. I’m not sure if its character specific but I think Ive landed it on all characters midscreen just not sure about the corner.

Hope that helps.

when ultra-ing after a headbutt I noticed a lot of boxer players do one upper one strait then the rest as upper to allow them to fall into the correct position.

Thanks for the input guys. I actually tried this out yesterday and was able to get more juggle hits off by just slightly delaying delaying the ultra. It wasn’t the fully ultra but it was better than just getting the first 2 and having the rest of them whiff.

I will add a section for SA/FA strategies. For the time being could we get a list of good followups after a dash cancel SA/FA stun??

-cr foward [link] cr jab xx rush punch OR headbutt

I’ve seen Balrog’s regular combos after a regular crumple. I’ve also seen a Guile FK a Fully charged hit on wakeup. The two hits traded, but Balrog was able to get up off the ground and STILL hit Guile with a c.RH! Also, if someone jumps and gets hit, Rog can do a s. Fierce, which does good damage.

Do you mean the SA hits them out of the air?
Then the st FP is an air juggle?
Which therefore means that your opponent would “reset” (flip out of the air and land on their feet)?
Is the juggle restricted to corner only? (ie: SA hits them too far away at midscreen?)

Sorry for so many questions but pls be more specific!

Sept 29th, 2008 @ 6:44PM EST - I updated the “Offensive Strats” section in the 4th post!

Yeah, it was in the corner. Sorry I wasn’t clear.

Lol Fob