What is it that makes Balrog so f*cking monstrous?

Ok, so recently I decided to put some time in the lab with Rog instead of switching over to Rufus as was planned. I thought “you know what, there must be much more to Rog than this.” So I went in the lab, practiced the loops, the jabs to cr.hk links, and other links. So yesterday I somehow came across some pretty famous players I’d say, ones that I thought I’d have no chance of beating because tbh I’m good, but not at a superior level. So I came across Dawgtanian yesterday, and he played as Elf but I just played negative, I took the win surprisingly. Today I ended up with StarNab who although he was using Ryu, I gave him very close games every time and even took the win. I also gave EXCH33KY some games (SCHeartless) on YouTube and won a couple of games in the Balrog mirror (but in his fairness he’d probably kick my ass if he tried and it did lag the very slightest at times) but still. In my opinion Balrog is the best character in Super Street Fighter 4 hands down, and I know its a big claim to make but I don’t hesitate to make this. I even beat a 16k Honda last night which is probably my biggest achievement to date.

So this is my question, what is it about Balrog that makes him so superior to other characters. His headbutts, normals? Because let’s be honest, his combo’s aren’t the MOST damaging without meter but I seem to grind out the win every time. I think its the fact he can be an aggresive mofo or a lame-ass turtler. He’s an all-round player. What are your guys opinions of him?

(It is a bit of a pointless post but I just thought it’d be nice to get an idea as to what you guys think makes Rog the player he is.)

Honestly, I think Headbutt to Ultra is what allows us rogs to clutch it out. It is the ultimate momentum swing. You can confirm into it from anything, it does a fair amount of damage, and it puts your opponent into the corner no matter what. We all know how effective Balrog is on a cornered opponent.

True, the guy I play with most is always saying how Rog is broken as he has such an easy hit-confirm to ultra. I think his SICK anti-air’s such as c.hp and st.mp are simply AWESOME and help a bunch too.

if you think rog is the best character in the game, you aren’t playing very good opponents.

but to me the thing that makes him so monstrous is that he is a freaking tank, and when he plays aggressive and rushdown, he can be very tough to overcome. also, his normals are great, probably the best next to chun li.

also, his defense can be very hard to break if you are playing a rog that is good at teching.

his down-back game is so solid.

Pretty simple, really.

Decent offense, decent defense, fantastic normals for footsies, fast moving, easy combos (which invariably all link potentially into Headbutt/Ultra option - As unviable as some of those may be, above poster has mentioned this forces opponents to the corner which is where Balrog is at his peak), great Stun, great Health.

All of this adds up to a very solid character who’s only downsides is lack of a crossup and pretty linear/somewhat predictable playstyle which can be abused by certain players/characters if they read the Rog properly. He has few bad matchups, few equal and quite a sum of positive.

Now, you’d think this’d sum up to one of if not the best characters in the game but you should have a read of some of the Balrog Epiphany threads that cropped up a while back as they had a really viceral/personal discussion of Balrog in top-play and focussed quite a lot on the simple fact that very few Rog players actually win major tournaments which is quite a big deal and tarnishes a lot of “BALROG IS DE BEST!” mentality to some extent.

My mediocre 2cents.

For the 100000th time, you’re not mediocre! lol
As to the “BALROG IS DE BEST” really made me chuckle, but I have always wondered that but I simply think because no-one with the right hands has picked him up. I wasn’t really aware of the scene back then but in EVO 2k9, J-Wong used Rog, but how long was he using Rog before that? Or did he just decide on the day “You know what, I’m picking Rog” because I know it didn’t really work out with Abel for him. But even still, with his Rog he did give Daigo a lot of problems.

I know in Japan there was Maeda and Pamyu, but I don’t really know what goes on in Japan, but they probably didn’t win tournaments because the competition is so fucking fierce over there.

Think about it - Daigo himself said he preferred the US style of tournaments because in Japan you lose, you’re out - And they had, what, two maybe three Balrog players.

In the US you’ve a fist full of Balrog players and a far more lenient tourny style, not to mention Balrog players outside of the US who join in on the scene - And still you very rarely if ever see a Balrog win anything.

When it comes to the Jwong/Daigo matchup/final I honestly think he had played probably a little of every character but ultimately he went for Boxer because of his tremendous footsies - You don’t really need to know Balrog inside & out to abuse his fab normals - He also apparantly said at one point he didn’t know TAP went through Fireballs, just to show some indication of how little he may have known the character at the time.

Ironically I’ve seen vids of Daigo using Balrog and, well it may be down to inexperience of the character but it was dire from him if I remember… I’d hate to think of Daigo’s reactions behind Balrog footsies if he had mained Balrog but still… Rog is relatively easy to learn to a certain degree (Thats not saying he doesn’t have complexities) but ultimately he’s a monster for footsies in general and JWong snapped that up.

In the end, as we know, still didn’t claw out the win and Balrog once again has won feck-all Fight Money :confused:

@Faz I say I’m mediocre because lets face it, I have only (and will only) ever play Online Player matches. If I was a tourny player or much higher ranked at the very least, I’d think it’s possible I was otherwise - But I’m just an onliner and only have brief moments of decency. I do not have any shame about it and I am very happy to embrace my so-called mediocrity. Sure I pump in more effort than most other casuals but I won’t accept I’m all that good for knowing just that little bit more than those who’ve just started playing the game ^^

Either way thats off-topic. Ultimately I cannot drop Balrog at all, he’s just too much fun for me and I have no reason to stop - And thats with me using Balrog to 50% efficiency, I have little concept of Spacing & Footsies yet I’ve about a 75% win ratio from basic BnB’s and my own brand of mindgames and style.

Well… Rog has been my new “main” for 2-3 months, after trying Rufus, Ryu, Juri, Sagat, etc… for all the reasons above and I’ll add that his combos are quite easy to pull off - being mainly an online player, that’s a big plus; I now very rarely have a mashed srk interrupt my links. But that’s minor… I just really like how dynamic Rog is and an absolute zoning beast - I think I’ll stick to him for longer than the others.

Balrog has great normals and good dmg output… but no comeback factor.

I think Wong knew he was going to use Rog in the finals. He had already been seen using him numerous times before in arcades and he qualified for SBO with Rog and played through that entire European tournament with Rog.

He sort of did the same thing with Makoto at Season’s beatings. I was at Arcade Infinity and he was using Makoto exclusively at the arcades. I think his gameplan usually involves sandbagging and trying to surprise people in the finals.

Lol what is comeback factor? He has tons of stuff he can do to break someone

I think comeback factor refers to how good the tools are that a character has that force an opponent to guess or eat big damage. In one word “mixups”.
Without a crossup, overhead normal, vortex or even a fast invincible reversal balrog is very lacking in this department. Unless you count his high/low/over heard rush punches (which can be very easily shut down) Balrog really doesn’t have mixups like other characters do.

Yes, Balrog lacks mixups, but everything else is pretty strong. He’s one of the MOST versatile characters. If he had any of the above in a straight-forward manner he would be god-tier, easy. He’s got variable startup per strength on pretty much all of his moves. And few characters (If any) have an offensive answer for ex.hb .

Think about it this way, in sf4 dp xx FADC backdash is the ultimate get out of jail free card. Anyone who has a dash greater than 22-23f can get punished by full grounded super/ultra. And most of this is simply because he can change the startup between 8, 9 or 10f. No other character can do that, without having to manually try the timing or having a special that hits airborne.

and a 10f jab lets not forget that, I mean you can meaty jab on wakeup and be safe from 1/2 of the cast’s reversals.

but all that aside, to win with Balrog you definitely have to outplay your opponent in some matchups, especially with high-tier. Balrog can punish mistakes, hard, but he doesn’t have any overt tools to make ops make those mistakes (e.g. Ryu cr.mk, f+mp or Vipers cr.mk xx lp.tk, cr.mk xx seizmo feint f+mp/throw). And everyone knows the Balrog MU, you won’t see anything new from Balrog…even armor cancels are common place and useless for the most part.

I do mostly agree with your analysis but i think that something should be said about the limited Rog’s options on wake up.

Balrog can still do mixups efficiently also without a crossup or an overhead but on his wakeup he has tough time against akuma-like characters.

This thread is moving into the area that was gone into in depth in another thread! I can’t recall who said it but I recall the quote “Balrog has good zoning, bad offence and bad defence”. As harsh as this sounds I think it is a fair call. I would say he has the weakest wake-up and mixup games of the entire cast without exception - as even Dan has a pretty good reversal and 50-50 mixup. If you can avoid getting knocked down - A LOT easier said then done - and can keep your opponent out you can do well with Rog. However getting knocked down as Rog is scarier than when you are using anyone else as is not having the life lead against someone who is turtling.
Having said that he has some of the best normals in the game, deals good damage, has good health and one of the easiest ultra setups without using an meter. It’s really a matter of playing to his strenghts and avoiding his weaknesses :slight_smile:

Im a Balrog Player. After learning it for a few months. I was a ryu, sagat, cody, dhalsim player. Actually I just started fussing around dhalsim, cuz of filipino champ. Im liking him and his ultra 2. But a former rog player and my best charecter. I really dont know how he came to be my best charecter. It was ryu, but I kept losing rog players. and Sagat players. Then sagat I was playing, and wasnt winning as much matchups as I should. Then bam, came a rog player and won many matches quickly. Then he started came my main.

I am at a predictment now. As I have met some of the best street fighter players in hawaii. I am a stuck balrog, that knows how to do the jab, light kick, Ex Rush Upper Loop, and Jab Ultra Combo’s. I can be stylish, and do the main basic balrog. But most of the time I have relied and solely relied on the Overhead Slam. It has been my bread and butter, and restarts the damage and so on and so on. But as the players I have slammed to the dust, quickly play me alot, learned of blocking my overhand slam, I know once the read it, I pretty much lose the battle. So im intensed. My gameplay hasnt gotten better after Picking up the Ex Loop and Jab Ultra. Thought that make me a super balrog. I gotta go back to the main card, and learn more basic footsies and standing roundhouse so I was told. They told me to get rid of Overhead Slam, cuz that only works on noobs, and amatuers. On Tournament Players, they can see that a mile away and punish real quick.

And tell me not, Balrog Mirror Matches are irratiting! I mean most combo’s dont work, well if your me I mean, I alway’s start with a overheard for some reason, but yeah, overhead dont work on crouching balrog, followed by light kick/medium punch to F. Head Butt. So I follow up with roundhouse. And I laugh when somebody lands overhead to me, and follows with light kick. Lol. Im just to far away and whiffs. Hey, Im not that good to see overheads amile long, but I beat most if not all balrog players online, if your not laggy ofc.

He’s got speed, reach, armour/invulnerability on damn near everything which all come from a safe downback position. Try to overhead his downback and you’re just going to get jab jabbed. Not to mention his air game is way too good for a character of his design. His jumping fierce and roundhouses are freaking hilarious.

The only issue i have with balrog is no cross up, period. The rest is history.

If he had a crossup he would be far too overpowered.