Vs Brickhouses/Tanks (Honda, Bison, Balrog, Blanka, ~Guile, ~Zangief, ~Cammy)
She’s a brick - house. Mighty mighty, just lettin it all hang out. - The Commodores
Brickhouses are similar to run away in that their greatest strength lies in their defense. If you are attacking them, they have great ways to counter you. Unlike runaways, they don’t necessarily want to keep moving backwards. Most brickhouses will want to gain a life lead on you fairly quickly - from there, they will simply sit on down-back and invite you to come challenge them. And the simple truth is that you don’t have a choice otherwise - they’d be more than happy to run the clock down and get the time-over victory.
To start off the match, brickhouses will probably be somewhat offensive. They want to get that life lead, plus without meter, Chun doesn’t have EX SBK for AA, or her EX Legs B&B combo. Mid-level players may start the round off with an attack - Rog dash punch, Blanka Roll or jab roll into throw, Bison Scissors Kick, etc. Most high-level players seem to play more conservatively though. Many good players will anticipate you trying to anticipate them, and then punish you for it accordingly. Either way, your brickhouse will be more offensive at the start of the round, so it’s up to you to guard Chun well - and use the opportunity to do some damage.
Without EX SBK for AA, you will have to rely on Chun’s other AA options. One of her best options is JS.RH - it acts as a nice wall in front of her against opponents trying to invade her airspace. It is vulnerable however to your opponent walking under you and doing some sort of AA (Bison S.RH, Balrog Headbutt, Blanka Up Ball, etc) so be careful that you are not predictable with its usage. For grounded AA, S.MK works if the opponent is coming in fairly early, and S.FP has its uses as well, especially against Balrog (FP should be your favorite button in the Rog fight…). Against most of the brickhouse characters, FA can be used as AA, since they don’t have anything they can use immediately upon landing to overpower the FA (exception: Cammy).
At the very beginning of the fight, many of the brickhouses will be without EX meter, which they may rely on for certain parts of their strategy. This is your opportunity to take the fight to them, as you don’t have to worry about EX Scissors/EX Dash Punch/EX Blank Ball through Kikouken, EX Flash Kick beating your jump in, or other EX moves ruining your poking game. Fundamentals will be key here - well-thought out offense as well as solid defense.
Without meter, Chun can’t do EX Legs - so instead, learn how to do with c.jab -> s.fierce link for your damage (note - only works against standing opponents). You can also use throw to do damage, and mix it up with Hasan Shu to keep your opponent guessing and taking damage. For example, if you jump in on an opponent and have no meter, you can try to either…
- C.short, throw.
- C.short, Hasan Shu.
- C.short, c.short, throw.
- C.short, c.short, Hasan Shu. …etc
Of course, you can also throw in the DF+RH crossup to really throw your opponents off-guard. As always, you have to be careful about reversals, but unlike the shotos, eating one reversal doesn’t hurt as much, which allows you to be somewhat more offensive. Especially in the opening moments, as your opponent doesn’t have EX meter.
A Taste Of Their Own Medicine
If you are able to gain a life lead, you can turn the tables on them and start playing Chun as a brickhouse herself - sit back and force your opponent to come to you. In some situations, this may be the best course of action, as trying to continue to rush them down can possibly result in you losing the life lead, or in some cases, the entire match (coughBlanka Ultracough).
You don’t have to play runaway, but gaining some distance and forcing them to go on offense is in many ways the smart way to deal with brickhouses once you have the lead. You don’t have to turtle though - but just recognize that with brickhouse being more offensive, they will be taking more risks, so its up to you to capitalize on that.
The Hunt, Again
If you do lose the life lead and your brickhouse starts doing what they do best, you are going to have to go on the offense. Remember though that this is what they want you to do, so getting predictable with your offense will be how your brickhouse opponent finishes you off. You’ll have to attack them - carefully - so that you don’t end up losing more life in the process.
Some things to avoid while chasing down your brickhouse…
– Kikouken - Most of the brickhouses have ways of getting around/through Kikouken, especially if they have EX meter. So you won’t be able to zone them with this. In these cases, its best to forget that Chun has a fireball at all. The only two characters where Kikouken pressure will work is Honda and Zangief, and they require specific zones, and with Honda, forget about it if he has full super meter.
– Long Range Hasan Shu - Most of your opponents can react to it on sight and punish you for it. There are much better, less risky ways to cover ground. Even if you go for the fake-out, you can be punished in recovery by anything that moves forward at a quick enough rate.
– Blatant jump-ins - When you leave the ground, you have given up any possibility to block. As such, there are plenty of ways to hurt you while you are airborne, and considering that the brickhouse was waiting for you to do something they can punish, they will take the opportunity and hurt you.
What you will want to do - for now, just work on closing the distance. You can walk or carefully dash forward, with your moments interrupted by pokes and down-back. This lets you help close the distance while keeping your openings relatively few. For now, you just want to close the distance - worry about actually attacking later. Depending on your opponent, you may have some limited jumping capabilities, but Chun has great foot speed - use it.
Once you get within a decent striking range, you can go back into Chun’s regular mix-up game. As always, don’t forget to incorporate the “do-nothing” option to help see that you don’t eat a painful reversal. As these characters can potentially lose big if their reversal is blocked, they may not be willing to throw it out as hastily. Baiting out the reversal is one way of dealing damage to brickhouses - scaring them into not throwing it, then catching them in your mix-up game is another.
The key is to stay calm and not throw out anything recklessly that will lead to you losing more life. Honestly put, letting the brickhouse get a life lead on you IS a disadvantage, one you will have to work carefully around if you want to win the match. Therefore, you should try to strike first and force the brickhouses to become more offensive. But if you do lose the life lead, you can still win by playing smartly.