Severe Balrog problems with Breathless, include other undiscussed characters as well

I recognize there are already plenty of threads on Breathless in elsewhere on SRK, including this Abel section. However, the Balrog forums are terribly uninformative and incomplete with regards to many things. That said, there is a dramatic lack of sensible data as to how Rog can counter Breathless without being *extremely *lucky.

I already know of many ways Rog can counter it, but Abel is **always **at advantage unless Rog has charge. Rog is at risk to do anything at medium range because he can’t jump over him or away from him if he delays it. It is also too fast at certain ranges to reactively dodge. This pretty much forces the Rog player to shut down his offense entirely so he can maintain charge at the constant, massive threat of U2.

Even upon knock down, it is absurdly risky, much more so than any other character (including Zangief), to attempt continued pressure. The only things I’m aware Rog can do on Abel’s wakeup are…

-do a meaty TAP (can be countered by EX TT)
-do a meaty Dash Low Smash (can be countered by EX TT)
-do a meaty Dash Swing Blow (can be countered by EX TT)
-wait, and do an EX headbutt at point blank range after flash if you don’t have U1 (if you don’t do EX headbutt extremely close, you will end up back in front of Abel, because his hitbox changes, and get hit)
-wait, and do U1 after flash (the absolute best option, but only if you are fortunate enough to have charge)

All of those are very poor options as they can be countered on reaction or stop match momentum entirely. With the level of risk there is to being hit, and the poor counter/bait options available on Abel’s wake-up (especially if you don’t have U1), it is more viable to never pressure Abel once you knock him down, giving him a bizarre match advantage. Breathless, as it is on Rog, counters every single wakeup pressure option at the same time.

This compounded with Abel’s natural mixup options, and U2 eliminating your ability to jump at all from nearly any viable range, makes the match have an extreme swing in his favor. especially considering you can’t even safe jump him once he has it. edit: incorrect info

**EDIT: BREATHLESS CAN BE SAFE JUMPED / JAN 2nd, 2011 **(thanks to HAV for promoting the idea)
For a safe jump after forward throw.
Jump in using FP. Use c.MK after the throw to time the jump-in. RH is more difficult to time a proper safe jump.
For a safe jump after backward throw.
Jump in using RH. Use c.jab after the throw to time the jump-in. If you use FP, it will whiff, causing Breathless to hit you quicker than usual.
The ability to safe jump does not eliminate the threat, but it helps to bait it. Be wary of using a safe jump on Abel as he can still EX TT you.

I need some genuine help from the Abel player-base to develop what Rog can do to counter Breathless.

-Despite what you would expect you cannot do meaty jab (have it absorbed into armor) and special cancel into EX headbutt. You get grabbed before you can even cancel, truly absurd. edit: incorrect info
-I think you can jump in on Abel, have him activate, and then do EX headbutt immediately once you land (works because of the additional time gained in ultra flash) causing him to whiff it. However, this may be purely because the Abel player mistimes the ultra. edit: has been disapproved, does not work
-I am also not certain if you can jump and then mash back dash crazily and escape. It has worked before, but it may be another case of the Abel player mistiming his ultra. edit: has been disapproved, does not work
-*AMAZINGLY *Balrog’s U2 does NOT WORK after the flash on Breathless. You can almost see him whiff the throw for a moment before Abel snatches him out of it.

What legitimate options does Balrog have to counter U2 without retaining an absurd risk? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Other players feel free to post your character concerns in here as well, if your particular character thread does not have sufficient data.

To backup what HAV said initially, this thread is horribly riddled with wrong information. Im going to clear some things up…

  1. you CANNOT cancel landing frames into ultra, super, or EX headbutt if Breathless was properly timed. If you were able to jump away, ultra, super or EX headbutt as you were landing, you did so during the 7 START-UP frames of breathless (it doesn’t grab until the 8th frame). If Abel properly times Breathless on your jump, there is NOTHING you can do. If you were able to “cancel” landing frames then everyone would just hold up and spam empty jumps on Abel with U2… You need to accept that you jumped wrong and then work other ways to attack other than jumping.

  2. you CAN cancel low jab (or low short, or low strong) into super or headbutt as long as you cancel Immediately after the ultra freeze. If you try to cancel before the freeze it will not work. Meaty low strong gives you more frames to cancel and does more damage so it’s the better option for that situation.

  3. you never have to waste meter with EX headbutt vs Breathless. Breathless is a throw and all headbutts are unthrowable. Fierce headbutt is the better option because it only does 10 less points of damage, same stun, has more range, and builds meter.

  4. there is no such thing as “reversal timing” to make a headbutt (or any other non-armor break move in the game) break armor. The only way a non-armor break move can break armor is if it is truly a reversal (the words reversal will pop up on the screen)
    Requirements for a reversal:

A) performing the move as you are waking up from knockdown state
B) performing the move as you are landing after being reset in the air
C) performing the move as you are coming out of Hitstun or blockstun.

  1. you cannot do dirty bull on breathless because it is unthrowable.

  2. Nick T. : charge times are not “full 2 or 3 seconds”. charge time for all of rogs special moves except TAP is [[ 55 frames ]] which is slightly under one second.

It amazes how little people know of this game’s engine and just other things that have been the same since street fighter 2…

You’re probably going to get this answer: If an Abel has placed you in a situation where you are without charge and unable to jump out of the range (or over Abel’s head), that Abel has earned the ultra.

However, I would also like to mention [media=youtube]msHERxaVwH4"[/media] beating Abel’s Breathless. I realize that required charge and super, but you gotta learn a lot of little things to get better, I suppose.

U1 is your best choice, you got that correct. You should have enough time to charge during the freeze frame. Second best choice is if Breathless is activated after you jump, cancel landing frames into headbutt. Again, you should have enough time to charge during the freeze frame (well, depending on when Breathless is activated when you’re in the air-- ie, if it’s early in your jump, or right before you land).

That’s interesting you can do meaty jab into super, but not EX headbutt. Maybe my meaty was a frame or so off for the meatiest special cancel… however if it is in fact that strict, it’s too risky to attempt to begin with. I’ll try out the super cancel later. Even still that is an extreme situational punishment, THOUGH it helps.

tip for rogs dont reversal anything on wake up freeee breathless.

Back dash is usually the safest option to avoid breathless. Invincible frames and airborne ftw. Breathless comes out in 8 frames so i believe it can be safe jumped.

balrogs back dash isnt good against breathless. i catch his backdash all day with breathless. the only back dash i really have trouble catching is giefs. shit is weird

Yeh, backdash is not viable on reaction, simply because you can vary the timing. But if you just randomly do and release immediately, sure. Also where have you seen Balrog safe jump Breathless? It absorbs the jump in and you can’t possibly jump away from it or back dash before your landing is finished, unless I’m very mistaken.

You can’t safe jump it. But, if Breathless is activated when you’re in the air (empty jump) you can hold a down charge and cancel your landing frames to headbutt. If you’re near him and it’s reversal timing, you break Abel’s armor. Backdash is an option but yeah, there’s the factor that Abel may hold it.

U1 is really the best option and you’re most likely going to hold on to your U1 the whole match anyways. I think it can be obvious when Abel is going for Breathless, so try to anticipate it. I still think you can hold enough charge for U1 right after you see the freeze frame for Breathless.

Do you mean attacking him with a jump in, then head butting (2 hits) ? It sounds like you’re promoting the idea that doing a special after a jump in can be done as a reversal (which grants specials armor break properties) lol

Wouldn’t it be a reversal if you empty jump then cancel your landing frames into a special? if it’s not, my bad.

I’m pretty sure you can’t be thrown out of the beginning 20 or so frames of headbutts.

Nope, you only get a reversal after exiting block/hit stun or after waking up from a hard knock down or reset situation

Breathless can be safe-jumped, it’s just not a safe jump in the “true” sense. Forward throw,, j.hp lets you land in time to jump out of breathless (if done on wakeup) AND have enough time to get the back-charge required for U1. Reversal U2 doesn’t work because it’s a 2 frame grab vs a 1 frame (added with his lowered grab box and the shit range on U2), it’s easier to see if you have ryu do his U1, then do a reversal U2 with Abel; abel snatches him before the fireball reaches him and you see it cross the screen as abel’s twirling him in the air. I’m pretty sure if abel let it go instantly and balrog delayed it by a bit, both ops would whiff completely or abel would be grabbed.

@electric you can also get a reversal when you do a move right after you op does it (e.g. from neutral). The timing is weird, but if Abel does U2, and he holds it, you can reversal dash punch and the freeze and it’ll break the armor.

Take it with a grain of salt though, I could be talking out of my ass.

Abel is completely throw invincible during U2 unless you catch him during his recovery.

Pretty positive you can only reversal after leaving a non neutral state like block/hit stun, waking up, air reset etc.

Soooo is this thread gonna be changed to "Is Breathless Cheap v. 2 " ??

@electric, I’m pretty sure you’re right, but i’ll do some tests tonight/tomorrow to satisfy my own curiosity. I think i might be referring to counter hits and not reversals. The weirdness was when i was testing lvl3 FA’s against Abel’s U2. If you activate it before the swing of the FA it won’t break armor, but if you active it during the swing it breaks armor because it counts as a CH. That’s where my reasoning is coming from.

@Nick T. , The fact that breathless has hyper armor makes it not cheap IMO.

But in reference to the OP, breathless for sure shuts down balrog’s game, without a back-charge midscreen, he absolutely has no answers for it. Jump back into U1 is definitely an option, especially if Abel’s U2 is activated while he’s in the air but he can cancel and recover in time to block i believe. Breathless definitely skews the match in Abel’s favor because it means he can punish anything on block, but it works against you as well because in a sense its a trump card and if you burn it to early for whatever reason you can’t use it anymore.

As a Balrog main, I usually play the match as if he didn’t have breathless until i’m at half health and he has a full ultra and a mistake like a meaty jab could mean the end of the match, because if he uses it (unlike Akuma who also has a non ex invincible dp), his viable options on wakeup plummet between meaty jabs, throws on wakeup, and neutral jump because even though Abel has an answer to each of those options, they all lose to two of the other options so he has a 1/3 chance of guessing right. And this is only taking into consideration tt,, and falling sky.

yay more thread about breathless.

So much misinformation in this thread.

Breathless is very safe jumpable. It’s an 8 frame move from start to grab. 7 frames after the flash. Last I checked, no SF game ever gives you 6 landing frames where you can’t do anything.

SSF4 gives 4 frames of recovery after a jump-in attack. Meaning if you attack Abel properly in a controlled safe jump situation (ie. after a knockdown), there’s 3 frame leeway for your safe jump, which is an eternity if you’re even remotely good at this game. Rog can pressure with meaty Jump Roundhouse, and if Abel does Breathless, he can just hold up/forward. Safe jump, then if and only if Abel does Breathless, hold up/forward to get out for free.

The problem with that, is that Abel isn’t safe-jumpable, due to EX TT. That’s the real issue. You can’t safe jump that move, but it’s extremely difficult for Abel to actually react to your air move, and EX TT the safe jump. What Abel players do (or at least what I do) is react to the timing of the jump itself, to see if we can EX TT it. So if you do an empty jump with the same timing as a safe jump, you can backdash out, or neutral jump and punish the EX TT attempt hard.

None of this is completely foolproof, but this is SF. Nothing is. You have to make proper reads, and sometimes roll the dice. Still, if I’m Rog, I’m not letting Breathless keep me from attacking. I’d safe jump it ALL DAY. The most you’re gonna eat is EX TT, and while that’s no joke, at least it isn’t Breathless, and it’s still a large risk for Abel to even attempt that.

As for general tips for Rog to deal with Breathless, my first piece of advice is to just keep Ultra/Super stored up.

If you don’t have Ultra yet, but you have super, DO NOT USE ANY EX. If I ever see Rog without Ultra or Super, I’m just gonna do Breathless. Success rate here is extremely high if you get him in the right range.

If you have Ultra/Super, I’m pretty sure you can charge during the Breathless flash, and just do you Super/Ultra to beat it free (don’t quote me on that, but that’s what I always thought).

If you get caught in that really bad range for Rog, IMO, the best thing you can do is walk. Depending on if you’re closer to a range at which you’ll be able to jump over Abel, or jump back out of Breathless’ range, either walk forward or backwards. Don’t dash. Don’t jump. Don’t TAP. Don’t do any rush punch (especially not EX, because those are dead-easy to react to).

If you do any of the above listed things, it’s just a matter of the Abel player seeing it, and punishing. There’s no guess work. If you walk, you put the guess-work back on Abel’s side of things. There is a much more limited time to do something, so you force action. If you’re walking out of range, or into a range where you can jump over me, I only have a second or two before I HAVE to release.

Now, if I see you committing to walking to escape, I can just release Breathless and catch you, but that actually takes a tad bit of balls that the Abel player might not have. Also, you can use the walk as impetus for the release, then jump early, before you’re actually out of range, to jump Abel’s attempt to catch you before you’re gone (this sounds like random guess shit, but it actually works extremely well, because as you walk, Abel’s time that he HAS to release becomes more and more obvious).

Against Rog players that just walk, sometimes I’ll just activate Breathless and release it immediately, since I know they’re gonna walk. Obviously, this carriers a large risk, because at that point, they can start to mix in back dashes or jumps, and now I’m fucked.

Still, I feel like random Breathless puts Rog in really shitty spots, but there are definitely things he can do to thwart Abel’s attempts to get free damage. While Abel still has advantage in this situation, and it’s best to avoid it, outright, you can make random Breathless pose a large threat to Abel, so that the Abel player will be less likely to even do it (which obviously can open your game up a bit).


Yes you can charge during the ultra freeze. Even if you fuck with Rogs charge rolling past, walking backwards for spacing then do Breathless, he can still charge for the full 2 - 3 seconds during the freeze. If you activate breathless JUST as Rog walks forward, he STILL has the 2-3 seconds for charge time. A friend and I have played this match left and right up and down, I’ve tried different setups to fuck with the timing and it’s just not possible unless they DON’T hold charge right away. It’s not a free ultra if you space it right.

So in this match U2 is good vs jumps and random wtf moments and punishes(limbs/rushes/etc), but for a solid ground fight I stick with U1 in this match.