Character specific notes
- 5A > 9jc > j.B > j.2A > j.C:
- 214A > IAD j.B > j.2A > 5C:
- Optimal midscreen air ender:
Amane is one of Haku's toughest MU. His long range, non projectiles normals are great at dealing with Hakumen most common tools (4C and 623AA) and approaches. His aerial mobility is also excellent which makes him very difficult to anti-air. Moreover, his entire gimmick revolves around punishing the opponent for blocking. This is devastating against Hakumen since he is a very defensive character. For all those reasons, this match-up is challenging for Hakumen. It is still manageable but requires a fair bit of practice and knowledge.
Understanding where to position oneself against Amane is key. His 4C, 2C and 1C are all fantastic buttons against Hakumen and they deal with 623AA as well as 4C if spaced correctly. However, those buttons do not have a hitbox at close range.
There are thus two way to approach this match-up. The first way is to stay just a bit further than Amane's normals range and generate magatamas. Amane will be forced to approach to do anything. If they chose to approach via the air, that makes him an easy 623AA target. However, it is important that you do not go beyond that distance as he will be able to safely use 236D to freely level up his drill.
The second strategy is to stay in Amane's face all the time. This strategy will deny Amane of his C-normals. Since Amane's normals are on the slow side and his only defensive options are CA and a reversal super, he has a hard time escaping once you get close. The main issues with this strategy are keeping Amane pressured while managing resources and approaching Amane in the first place.
Approaching Amane with airdash and 66 is tricky. Amane's 6A is an amazing, fast, high reward anti-air. It is recommended to use 669 > barrier to approach instead. His 623C is an air unblockable command grab that tracks and deals with fullscreen 44/66. Fortunately, it doesn't hit at midrange and close range.
Air neutral is also challenging, Amane's 214A/B/236A/B give Amane another command dash. The A versions travels Amane a short distance both vertically and horizontally; The B-version lets him travel a long distance. Amane can special cancel his air normals into them to either flee or extend his pressure. Moreover, they do not consume any air options, which mean that Amane can still freely JUMP afterward to keep himself safe. Those options give Amane outstanding air mobility, combined with his long range normals this makes air neutral very challenging. There are some limits though, those command dash have a noticeable total duration and 214/236X can only be done once in the air. Keeping track of Amane's remaining air options is very important, once he has used his air 214/236 and jumped he can be freely anti-aired with 623AA (if in range).
Offensively, Amane only has 1 overhead: his j.A. Blocking low is thus the go to against Amane and it's only required to block high if Amane is in the air at close range.
The core of Amane's pressure comes from his drives. They deal significant chip damage and have plenty of blockstun at level 2 and 3.
In order to raise his drill level, Amane has to either use 236D, any drill or OD in neutral. Against 236D if you are at midrange use this opportunity to approach and start pressuring him.
At the core of Amane's drill pressure is 5D > 236A > j.D, this can be dealt with either 6D or 623AA regardless of drill level. Amane can easily bait 6D with 236A > delay j.D or 236A > j.214B > j.B/j.C but those options lose to 623AA. 623AA is beaten by 5D > delay 214C. 214C is -8 but pushes Amane too far to be punished. Consequently, the key is to vary blocking, 6D and 623AA.
In order to avoid 6D, the strategy is to use either wake-up 2D, forward roll or backroll. 2D loses to delay 6D, forward loses to 236D~A, backroll loses to 236D~B.
Amane's defensive options are limited, his CA is very good and his 236236D is a 10-frame reversal. 236236D is -23 (Punishable with 5C CH) and considerably easier to punish on block than on whiff since it makes Amane travel a long distance. It is recommended to barrier it to avoid chip damage.
Character specific notes
- 5A > 9jc > j.B > j.2A > j.C: Works.
- 214A > IAD j.B > j.2A > 5C: Delay the 5C or 7hjc.
- Optimal midscreen air ender: 6A > 6B > 5A > 5B > j.B2A > jc > j.B2AC
Azrael is a close range character with subpar mobility that focuses on potent mixups, pressure resets and potentially big damage with weakpoints.
Azrael tends to struggle to approach Hakumen in the neutral as he lacks the options to deal with 4C, jC and 623AA. Offensively, Azrael blockstrings tend to have a lot of gaps that be exploited with Hakumen's drives, hindering his most common pressure routes. However, Azrael gets heavily rewarded from calling out parry attempts and doesn't need to make hard read for them either.
Neutral is where Azrael struggles the most against Hakumen as he has trouble dealing with Hakumen's disjointed hitboxes and 623AA.
At roundstart, Azrael has high-risk high-reward options to deal with 4C and 623A but Hakumen has safer and more effective options. Simply walking back at roundstart is extremely effective in terms of option coverage. If Azrael does 3C, walking back will make it whiff and leave Azrael in crouching state, allowing a reactable 2B crouch confirm. Walking back also makes it easier to anti-air IAD approaches. Another option for Azrael at roundstart is 236A. This only leads to a modest RPS and most notably loses to 4C, 623AA or jump back j.C/j.2C.
Once in neutral, it will be on Azrael to try to approach as Hakumen tries to keep him at bay, gaining meter and waiting for mistakes. Azrael lacks a run, having a teleport in its stead, this makes moving forward consirably more committal compared to other characters as it means he won't be able to cancel it directly into barrier. Azrael's 236A, usually a strong but pretty committal option depending on matchup, carries a much more significant risk when being used against Hakumen, especially at longer ranges. This is because not only does Hakumen have a variety of options to stuff it preemptively, as mentioned above, but he also gets the ability to punish it on reaction with the use of 2D, as 236A increases in startup the further away it's used, this is also really effective in case they tried to Rapid cancel it.
In case of dealing with jump ins, preemptive jC works really well due to Azrael's lack of a run, reactionary 5A also works well in this matchup due to Azrael's lack of a disjointed jump in and 5A having too low of a recovery to be baited effectively.
As for controlling space on the ground, Azrael lacks ways to play effectively around 4C and jC, notably, his 3C can technically low profile 4C, but the timing is ultimately too strict for this to be a consistent option, on top of 3C being a highly committal button. What may be Azrael's biggest problem in the neutral though, is 623AA, with him lacking a good F property poke that can be thrown out, an always available projectile or solid whiff punish abilities, 623AA becomes a wall that Azrael really struggles to get past and/or deal with, going through so many moves that Azrael may try to use, hitting both the ground and high in the air and leading to solid damage on hit, possibly resetting Azrael back to fullscreen where he is at a disadvantage, all for very low cost, this is arguably Hakumen's best option in the matchup.
In the case of Hakumen trying to approach himself, Azrael AA options becomes much weaker when challenged by big disjoints, this means that Azrael will have a hard time trying to AA a spaced j2C, when you start adding j214A and jD as options on top of it, it becomes easy to see how Azrael struggles to stop Hakumen from jumping in and will have to really overextend when trying to do so.
Azrael is a character that, just like Hakumen, makes use of delayed gatlings. What this implies is that a lot of blockstrings he may try to go for will have gaps, which Hakumen can exploit, this makes Azrael's offence unusually more risky and restricts his options when trying to stay relatively safe with strings like 2A > 5A or 5A > 5A. On top of this, 6C is an option that Azrael players may try to use to reset pressure, but this is beaten cleanly by reacting with 2D, making it important to remain aware of it. On the other hand, Azrael gets big rewards from calling out parry attempts, even without hard callouts, common example being 5D to CH our 2D. Azrael's 236A is a +1 on block advancing special, this can be used by the Azrael to reset pressure by cancelling normals into it, predicting this and IB'ing it is ideal, as it will leave Azrael at -2 in front of you and allowing you to take your turn, Azrael can still delay 236A in order to avoid the IB timing but this in turn leaves a considerable gap for you to exploit.
Azrael has access to a teleport dash that can crossup the opponent and it's jump cancellable, something Azrael can do is dash forward during pressure and press a button to catch the opponent off guard but this can be reacted to when looking out for it or option selected by pressing 1A + B, if Azrael stays in front, barrier will come out, but if he crosses up 2B will come out and allow for a combo, important to note that this will work when done during pressure and will likely net Azrael a CH if done on wake up. Moreover, Azrael has actually access to a much more potent crossup option at the cost of meter in tk 214B RC, this is as fast as frame 14, making it completely unreactable, this cannot be OS'ed in pressure either as 214B speed will stuff the button coming out if done properly and lead to a full combo. This one requires meter to RC as 214B normally leads to nothing on hit and is very unsafe on block, this means that it's particularly important to be aware of it whenever the Azrael is running offence with 50 or more meter.
On defense, Azrael has access to a number of options, 623B is an unusually slow meterless DP at 18 frames of startup, this means that on oki it can be reliably option selected by doing 1A > 1B, this will come out only on hit/block and allow you to block the reversal on whiff. 623A can also be done on read to go through the Azrael trying to do DP RC and get a full punish. While the DP is on the slow side, Azrael also boasts the arguably best backdash in the game, with 20 frames of invul out of 28 while also covering a good distance, Azrael may try to use this to get out of pressure, best way to deal with this is by checking with lows during blockstrings to catch the input, common one is to use 2A > 2B. When used on wake up, the previously mentioned 1A > 1B doubles as a way to meaty while keeping your turn if the Azrael was to backdash, one option that's available to beat both DP RC and backdash is to use delayed 623AA on oki, this will allow to catch the backdash into a combo and, against the DP, if timed right 623AA will whiff but recover much faster than the DP, allowing you to dash up and punish, this will however lose to wake up abare.
Es is a very powerful and well rounded character boasting most notably strong space control, mobility and setplay on top of other tools that allow her to be a threat in almost any situation. Despite her really solid toolbox however, Hakumen has quite the set of unorthodox tools which allows him to deal with Es's options in ways unique to him, such as the projectile cutting normals hindering Es's fireball game or parries allowing him to negate Es's otherwise powerful pressure resets.
As stated previously, what would usually be one of Es's most potent neutral options is her fireball game, Hakumen's projectile cutting abilities however allow you to deter her from using those fireballs as much as she would like to, this means that for neutral in this matchup she will be relying on her normals more than usual.
One thing that the Es player will be looking to do in this matchup is to store Bors(which allows her strong meterless conversions and ways to extend pressure) in neutral, as Hakumen's subpar mobility considerably decreases the risks usually involved in doing so, as such, try to keep close enough distance in order to remain a threat in case she tried to go for it, otherwise, going for this will usually end up in her giving up a considerable amount of space for you to take in a matchup where spacing is really important, also remember that she loses Bors if you manage to get any hit on her.
On the ground, dash 2B and 3C are buttons she can use to deal with both 4C and 623AA, however those formers have considerable recovery and extend her hurtbox, which means making them whiff is a good strategy, on top of using 214D as a deterrent.
In the air, you want to use spaced j.C as it outranges her options, besides that, her j.B can be a quite hard button to contest, especially head on, so beware of your spacing.
Es drives would generally offer her powerful options to reset pressure, with most characters having to mash on a read with a big risk of getting frame trapped to stop her, however, Hakumen having access to one button parries active on frame 1 allows him to avoid this entirely, making you able to punish them on reaction without taking risks, this severely hinders how much she can apply and/or reset pressure.
For overheads Es has access to a j.C IOH and a 6A standing overhead
j.C IOH here is the main threat, being completely unreactable and with her being able to go directly into it from any jump cancellable move(those being 5A, 2C and 2D), however she needs either a CH or resources to get anything off of it, on top of that, without crests to cover herself or RC, it's unsafe on block and not cancellable into anything, you can punish it by using 2B.
6A is a rather slow standing overhead that the Es player may throw out from time to time to catch you off guard as it's rather safe on block and it has F invul to beat mashing out of her pressure with 2A, look out if you think the Es player is going to use it as you can punish it with 6D on reaction, other than that, as already mentioned, this is not the major threat she has to open you up due to the startup.
On defense Es has a notoriously big and very active Dp, which means that making this whiff when she has meter to RC becomes quite the challenge, the 2nd hitbox will make it impossible for you to make it whiff with 623A and punish with 6C/5C, however you can still bulldog through it with 623AA, leads to less damage than the previous method but it will still make her think twice about using Dp when she has meter, on top of catching her trying to backdash.
The mirror is often considered by Hakumen players as particularly frustrating to play. In neutral, Hakumen can easily deal with his own toolbox. His usual low-risk tools such as 4C and j.C lose to 623AA and j.D respectively. In return, 3C beats 623AA and drives lose to doing nothing. This turns the match-ups into a perpetual RPS. Moreover, the high emphasis on meter and OD management entails that it's sometime better for both players to just sit it out and wait until both players have enough meter to do anything.
Meter management is especially important in this match-up as the meter is usually more important than the lifebar in this match-up. A player with 30% HP but full resources is in a better position than a player with 60% HP but no OD and meter. It is much easier for an Hakumen with a lot of magatamas to kill an opponent with a lot of HP than to kill an opponent with low HP while on low resources.
In short, this match-up is a very volatile risk-heavy RPS match-up which is as predictable as a Russian dashcam. On the plus side, this match-up has a few niche interactions to add a bit of flavor to it. This includes a few character specifics routes, 5A hitting crouched or picking a sub and avoiding the mirror match altogether.
Neutral is essentially a gamble between 2B, 3C, 4C, 623AA, 214D, Drive and doing nothing.
- 4C loses to 3C, 623AA, 214D, drives and is minus on block. It is still useful at preventing the other player from getting closer and beating poorrly spaced buttons.
- 2B beats 623AA but loses to drives/214D.
- 3C beats 4C and 623AA, but loses to doing nothing, drives/214D. On block, it is punishable with 3C, 4C and 2B and at close range.
- 623AA beats 4C but loses to 2B, 3C, drives and 214D.
- Drives beats everything except doing nothing and are easily punished with 3C CH.
- 214D beats everything except doing nothing. However, it is very expensive, requires meter to make it safe and is punishable otherwise.
- Doing nothing makes it possible to punish drives, but let the opponent starts pressure with 2B or 623AA. However, Hakumen's pressure is not scary unless the other player has a lot of resources.
In short, neutral is about gambling between pressing a button, using a drive or doing nothing. Pressing a button is high-risk, low to high reward; Drive is high-risk, intermediate reward; Doing nothing is low-risk, no to high reward. The fact that doing nothing is often optimal is part of the reason why most Hakumen players dislike the match-up so much as it can turn the game into a starring contest until both players have enough magatama to afford 214D or high-damaging combos on a successful hit.
Due to Hakumen's limited mobility is very easy to anti-air in the mirror. However, there is again a RPS. 2C beats air normals but loses to j.D; j.D loses to doing nothing; doing nothing loses to air normals.
Applying pressure is very difficult in this match-up as Hakumen can just gamble with drive and OD. Playing safely and varying between regular okizeme/pressure and doing nothing to bait the drives is key.
5A hits Hakumen crouching in this match-up. Notably, this is useful in pressure after 214A and is strictly better than 2A. Moreover, if Hakumen parries the 5A, it is possible to jump back barrier to block the follow-up.
Hakumen has a hard time dealing with his own defense. Being a frame-trap heavy character he loses to his own drives like 2D and 236236D in pressure. His okizeme being limited to meaty and grabs means that he also suffers against the usual drive / wake-up j.214C mind-game. Barrier is also very effective against Hakumen's pressure.
In pressure, 214A > 2A can be interrupted with 2D. 2A > 2B can be interrupted with 2D on instant block.
However, those options are high risk. Offensively, the key in this match-up is to be unpredictable. It is done by varying between meaty and baiting the drives into 5C CH combos. If done correctly, this will deter the other player from using drives and lead to high damage combos otherwise.
Using OD to make the first hit of 236B, 6B and 41236C means they are easily punishable. Whiffed 236B and 6B are punishable with 5C. A whiffed 41236C(1) is a bit trickier to punish as the second hit may either hit or whiff depending on how early the OD was. If the second hit whiffs, it can be punished with 5C; if it hits, it can be punished with 2D. The safest punish is EA as it covers both situations.
Raw OD is difficult and risky to contest because of OD > EA / 2D and respecting it let the the other Hakumen starts pilling up magatamas.
Jin is an Ice type Pokemon that was introduced in gen 1. It has a very good stat spread and a large movepool. Being weak to Steel-type means j.C works very well against him.
Notable Jin players include Frenchrich and Frenchrich 2.
Jin's neutral is all around very solid. He boasts very good ground and air normals. 5B, 5C, j.B, j.C, j.2C are all buttons with high priorities and are unmatched in there respective range. Staying out of those buttons' range and poking with 623AA, 4C and j.C can be used to deal with them. However, beware that due to Jin's superior mobility, it is easier for Jin to space his normals than Haku.
Jin's 3C can deal with both Haku's 4C and 623AA. Learning that move range is important as it has a long recovery and is punishable on whiff.
As far as Jin's anti-airs are concerned, they are on the weaker side. 2C is very slow and easy to bait with a j.214A. 623B is very fast but requires a CH to combo and can't be cancelled into anything on block.
j.D is a very good button to deal with Jin's air normals and 623B.
Jin's pressure can be tricky to deal with. Jin has plenty of freedom and several jump cancellable normals. To add salt to the injury, Hakumen has a fairly big crouching hurtbox, which means he has a harder time dealing with Jin's j.2C in pressure. The key to deal with Jin's pressure is to identify the opponent's habit. Lower level Jin's tend to autopilot the same pressure over and over. They can be easily dealt with well time drives before moves with long startups (6B, 2D, 9jc falling j.2C...). Higher level Jin players, however, are considerably scarier as they will vary their pressure and attempt to bait drives for high reward punishes.
Jin's overheads are 6A and j.214D. 6A can only be cancelled from 2A/5A and require 50 meter to combo or CH. With 19f of start-up, it is borderline unreactable. Paying attention to Jin's meter is key to anticipate and block it.
j.214D requires 25 meter by itself but can be done after any jump cancellable move on block (5C, 2C) or moves that leave Jin airborne (6B).
If Jin uses 236D as a mean to reset pressure with the character, this can be dealt with by parrying it 3 times with 2D. This will prevent Jin from getting any momentum.
Jin's 6B is sometime used as a pressure extender. It can be cancelled into j.236A to go back to neutral or j.214D/214D for a high-low mixup. 6B has 24f of start-up and has a fairly noticeable animation. It can be parried with 2D on reaction.
Likewise, Jin's 2D can be parried on reaction. It prevents Jin from resetting pressure for free. If the Jin player likes to autopilot 2D into other normals, this can be dealt with by cancelling 2D into 214A
Jin has multiple reversals: 623C (meterless, 13f DP, poor horizontal reach), 623D (25 meter, 13f DP, 2-hit with decent range), 236236D (Yukikaze).
Jubei (guide written by SWA)
This matchup can be annoying because Hakumen has difficulty using some of his standard neutral tools against Jubei. However, it can be equally as annoying for Jubei since his ball oki gets almost completely mitigated by the use of Zanshin. The goal is to catch Jubei and defeat him before he can activate his troublesome install. Good luck!
Neutral vs Jubei can be hard to deal with, he can force Haku to be on the defensive most of the time thanks to his fast dash attacks and drives. If you can get him to block something, however, you can gain significant advantage since he has no reliable defensive options. Contrary to most matchups, using 4C or 623AA in grounded neutral is mostly no good. Jubei can run under 4C and use one of his amazing low commitment lows to punish 623AA.
The most important thing is to not panic and not let him get you in his flow. Try to establish your own pace instead and cover yourself from far away using moves such as j.214A and j.2C. j.214A is good for throwing around since it can catch his 2B attempts and punish the extended hurtbox. It also hits out of the range of his antiair (2C) and punishes it so it is good to use it in tandem with a high jump. j.2C can be a good jump in for the Jubei match up if used at max (and only max) range, since it outranges both his 2C antiair which doesn’t hit diagonally upwards and his 3C pseudo-antiair due to better hitbox. Try not to hit much pre-emptive stuff except while in the air, because jubei can dash break and wiff punish you very effectively, be it with a 2B or a drive. Out of your pre-emptive options the best are 6C (since it can defeat both his run up 2B and run up IAD j.C). If 6C is done from max potential range, Jubei will have trouble whiff punishing it on reaction due to it’s large hitbox/relatively good recovery (the only way is to blindly do a dash break into instant 5D). If you block the drive it is minus and punishable on instant block with 2A into 214A.
Lastly, when it comes to footsies and whiff punishing, one of Jubei’s strengths is the ability to catch you, at least on block, with 2B during a whiffed air move. Hakumen can get around that by mashing 2D on a whiffed move and force some respect out of Jubei however do not abuse it too much, Jubei can just dash and throw you instead if you get too predictable. Try to be unpredictable and make them hesitant of advancing towards you (unless they can do a perfect punish).
Even without his install, Jubei has access to very strong and variable mixup options, however none of them can be done gapless (except for the lows). This includes 6C (his standing overhead) and 669j.A, his instant overhead that he can use from a short jump. In order to use this overhead, Jubei needs some respect since he needs to run before doing it and therefore cannot cancel into it from anything. Try to use fuzzy jumps and make attempts to disrespect his minus jabs and other moves, unless it is 2B, which is his only plus on block normal. If Jubei starts being jumpy you can use 5A or drive to try and beat him. If he uses either of his dash throw moves (j.236D or run through) they are minus and his follow up attempts are punishable with even 5C.
Jubei has a strong throw game which is complimented by his fast run speed but try not to use the barrier OS too much because he can dash through you and on top of that he can easily make you whiff a pre-emptive tech-throw attempt and as a result punish you harshly. Be careful and mash him out.
If Jubei uses his Install on block, he is plus since it only lasts for 3 frames and he can act immediately afterwards, so you generally don’t want to press anything there! In his install mode, things can get hectic, as Jubei gets access to more powerful pressure and mixup that lead to greater damage and the corner even without meter. From his rekka 236A he can stop at any hit to reset pressure but he is minus on block so if you can make that reaction, mash him out. This is hard to do because Jubei can cancel his rekka into any of his special options including a nigh gapless 15f version of his overhead special and a gapless 236B that is now safe on block. Try to instant block the rekka hits and go for Yukikaze or 6D in case he is trying to go for the overhead and therefore leave a small gap. This is a 50/50 situation with the gapless 236B option that can lead to 5k+ damage so you're forced to guess. CA or OD is you best option if you have the resources to spare.
When you are knocked down, if Jubei attempts to use his otherwise very strong ball oki, remind him that he can’t and use 2D into a potential special cancel and RPS him out to get out of the corner safely.
One of Jubei’s weaknesses is that he is considered to always be in crouching state for combos, when you hit him grounded. Haku can benefit from that by doing some crouch confirms into low cost damage routes such as 214A > 2C.
If you catch Jubei you don’t have much to hold back, so go ham staggering him or mixing him up. Midscreen his best tool to get away from you is backdash-forwarddash 2B which can punish you harshly on a wiffed move. However if you have the timing on the front dash down, you can anticipate him with 5C or a similar move and punish him harshly. You need to be able to recover quickly to do that, so on Jubei's wake up try to use moves such as 2A or 2B to meaty him, then react to his backdash and counterhit him.
In the corner there’s not much he can do but ib barrier and try to jump out so aim to punish such attempts. Try not to jump too much and avoid leaving big gaps since his abare 5B is relatively good and his front dash can cross you up and make you the cornered instead.
If you, for whatever reason, are unable to meaty jubei properly when he is waking up, there’s a chance he’ll try to rps you with his frame 3 6A or 6B counter move. 6A catches mids only and 6B catches lows only (high risk move that is specifically aimed to catch non meaty 2B attempts here). If that’s the case, try to make him respect you by RPSing him with a 6B since he has no options against overheads and 6B counter hit can lead to big damage. Beware though, because such slow attacks can leave an opening for Jubei to escape with a backdash.
Jubei’s mixups and general moves are mostly safe on block unless you instant block them. Such moves are 214B (his special standing overhead), 632146C (his uncharged unblockable) or 5D. Two exemptions are his special low (236B) which is -9 on block and his j.D, which is generally punishable by 5C on block and even 6C on whiff.
Lambda is a versatile high corner carry, high-damage character that can freely switch between zoning and rushdown. Although her zoning is hindered by Hakumen's ability to cut projectiles, it's still very much a threat, especially due to Hakumen's poor mobility. Moreover, Gravity Seed makes Hakumen's already subpar mobility even worse. Nonetheless, Hakumen's drives allow him to deal with Lambda's otherwise strong corner setplay quite easily.
Despite Hakumen's projectile cutting ability, approaching Lambda can be tricky due to his limited mobility options. Playing it slowly and patiently is vital. A common mistake in this match-up is being too aggressive and relying on IAD in neutral. It has a very long animation and can be easily be dealt with her 6D and 6A. Playing too patiently can also be detrimental as Lambda may use that opportunity to approach with 236X and apply pressure.
Hakumen is also further hindered by Lambda's Gravity Seed. It creates a force field that reduces movement speed by 30% while in it. Waiting for it to go out is the safest way to deal with it. Jumping into or while in it should also be avoided as it makes it very easy for Lambda to anti-air with 6D.
In neutral, j.2A coupled with 9jc barrier and forward dash jump cancel (669) are fantastic to approach while minimizing risks; 214D can punish her grounded drive if roughly half of screen away; 623AA isn't that good in this match-up as most of Lambda's neutral tools are projectiles.
Once at mid and close range. Hakumen's buttons are overall better than Lambda's. Her normals are on the slow side or have awkward hitboxes and/or long recovery. Beware, that Lambda's backdash is excellent and that can safely use it to run away. She also has 236A, a fast command dash, that can be used to sideswitch if she is cornered.
At close range, a high j.214A is excellent against Lambda as her 2C is very slow, 6A will whiff and her drives won't reach. Beware that the Lambda player may use that opportunity to dash under and go back to a comfortable zoning spot.
Additionally, while her 236D and 236236D are excellent neutral and pressure tool in most match-ups. They aren't as effective against Hakumen due to his parries. 236236D can be parried twice to nullify it entirely. It may however require a bit of practice in training mode first to get the timing down. If 236236D is done in neutral and far enough, it is even possible to cut it.
Offensively, Lambda is infamous for her 6B. It is a high-damage, 24f overhead with a deceptive animation and range. It is only -8 on block and is thus a 2B punish at most. Contrary to most overheads, this one is available after most of her normals and so is her 3C helping Lambda build mental slack. Practicing blocking 6B/3C mix-ups after 6A/ 5B/5C in training mode is highly recommended.
Her 2A and 5A are quite minus on block but her tick throw game is still solid thanks to her dash speed. Another part of her Throw game is 236A a command dash that is typically used at midrange to start applying pressure. It can be cancelled into 236B~6B or 22D to go into a low or beat mashing respectively.
236B is a rekka starter, it can be followed-up by either 236B~6A, 236B~6B or 22D. 236B~6A is a 21f overhead, it's -10 on block and is thus a 5B/2B on block, crosses up against crouching opponents. 236B~6B is -11f low that's -5 on block, it can only be punished on IB. 22D is an anti-mashing option that leads to 4k+ combos on CH. Note that good Lambda players will often wait until they have RC available before going into 236B mix-ups to frame trap and/or continue pressure.
Lambda's okizeme relies on her 214D. In the corner, it is a projectile with a lot of active frames, excellent at beating rolls and that generates a lot of frame advantage on wake-up. Fortunately, this can be dealt by Hakumen's 2D and this greatly hinders Lambda's okizeme. A possible workaround for Lambda is to do 214D very early to make it whiff on wake-up, bait the drive and punish it.
Defensively, Lambda boasts one of the best backdashes in the game. It goes far and quickly. On wake-up, it can be dealt with slightly delayed 2B at close range and 214A and 623A from further away.
She also has a unique reversal option with 22D. It is a projectile, invulnerable from from frame 1 to 7, is unpunishable on block, leads to high-damage combos on CH, launches Lambda and pushes her backward. On the negative side, it has 26f of start-up and may whiff if too close in the corner. On wake-up, this can be addressed with a any 2A into 2B/Barrier option select. A well-timed slightly delayed 2B can deal with both backdash and 22D, however, the timing depends on how much the Lambda player delay techs. Delayed 5C can be used as a call-out against her 22D in order to catch her once the invul has run out.
At last, Lambda's 632146D is also a reversal option. It is also an overhead projectile, fully invulnerable, has 11f frames of start-up and leads to a full combo on CH. Unlike 22D is -27 on block and is thus heavily punishable. 5C can also be used as a call-out option to cut it, beware that the timing may be tricky on wake-up and is susceptible to wake-up timing.
BBCP1.1 match breakdown video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OM5sj3yFCvw
Neutral is handled the same for the most part, specific answers to Koko’s Oki is a little different from what’s shown in the video.
Mu12 is an all-purpose character with excellent normals, speed and decent zoning tools. She is very similar to Hakumen on several points: Her C-normals are the heart zoning/neutral and she can reliably deal high damage combos. She also has access to a DP, reliable projectiles, some ver solid normals (2B, jump cancellable 3C...) and an amazing backdash. However, despite her extensive toolbox, Hakumen handles that match-up very well. His C-normals outrange Mu's and her projectile-based zoning is hindered by j.2A. Moreover, her best neutral tools 5C and j.C lose to 623AA and drives deal with her common okizeme.
Still, Mu's amazing dash speed and overall mobility still makes her a threat in neutral. If she manages to corner, her high damage routes are more than enough to shred Hakumen's well-above average lifebar.
As stated in the overview, the core of her neutral lies in her C-normals, steins and dash 2B in neutral.
Her stein-based neutral doesn't work well in this match-up. If a Mu player, tries to go for it, wait a bit jump backward and cut the lasers with j.2A. Likewise, her 214D and 236D can be dealt with in a similar fashion. Beware, that they might be trickier to cut if the steins are positioned nearby or in Hakumen's back. In those instances, using a drive or 214D may work better to prevent Mu from gaining any momentum.
Our 4C both outrange and outspeed her 5C. At higher level, Mu players will use dash 2B and dash 3C to combat 4C and 623AA. Keeping a reasonable distance and trying to make her to whiff punish those normals is a reasonable strategy. Using 214D every now and then as a deterrent is also possible.
In the air, j.C also outrange her's. If Mu is above her j.2C is very difficult to deal with. It has an excellent hitbox.
Mu's main overhead is the second hit of her 6B, the first one is a mid. While it may seem easy to block in theory because of the first hit, it isn't the case in practice. First, the first hit may whiff at far range. A common setup for that is a far 5C > 6B(2). Second, Mu can rapid cancel the first hit and go for 2B instead. Paying attention to her meter is key to avoid to anticipate that mix-up and act accordingly.
Mu has a access to a DP with 623C, it is on the slower side (14f).
Naoto (guide written by von_yaourt)
Naoto is a good matchup on paper, but as most rushdown characters, he can be tricky to fight and requires some patience. Pokes, spacing, keeping distance and a good neutral are key here.
Recognizing when Naoto’s specials are in enhanced version is crucial. When enhanced, their properties are changed and usually makes better in every way, including frame advantage. Punishing his unsafe move is also, pay close to attention to his meter as RC an unsafe move into a frame-trap is a very common pressure tool with Naoto.
With discipline and awareness of Naoto’s toolset, the matchup becomes quite straightforward. The one scary thing he has is his offense and it can be countered with an active defense.
This is where the matchup is won. Keeping Naoto at 4C and 3C range is vital, at this distance 4C is safe to use and 623AA can be used on reaction to his answers.
Although Naoto is a fast character, his quick normals have poor range and cannot be used for counterpoking. He has to find solutions in either his long range normals or his moving specials, and Haku has answers for both of them as well.
Naoto's far range normals are his drives, which he can charge for very long and can cover more than half of the screen. However, all of them can be cleanly beaten with 214D. His only option is to cancel into a dash but it will still lose against 214D regardless. Naoto's neutral tools to cover distances are 214D (Also known as Slash kaid), 236B (Banishing fang) or 214A~8A (Phantom pain).
Both Slash kaid and Banishing fang can be called out easily with well-timed 4C and 3C. Slash kaid has a slightly higher startup and is slightly unsafe (-7 when enhanced), and it doesn’t travel as far as Banishing fang, making it a situational poke at best. Banishing fang will usually be the preferred option, as it can be left in the very safe initial state (-3) and cancelled into Rekkas that are either slightly unsafe (-7) for the first one, or can lead to a fatal counter frame trap for the second one, which is easily punishable (-10). He moves forward each time, and it will often be seen in neutral, as it’s a good way for Naoto to close the space while hitting with a safe move. At last, itt’s also a solid combo starter.
Phantom pain will be the real danger at 4C range, though. It’s a good move, the basic version being quick and leading to a good combo. The enhanced version being slightly slower but with the ability to cross the opponent. In both case, it’s a fully invulnerable move that can’t be blocked while standing, making it the perfect counter for Hakumen’s spacing and to bait counters on wake-up. Fortunately, it’s easy to dodge on reaction with a simple crouch, which leads to a whiff punish.
Most matchups allow Naoto to use a variety of j.D pokes, another move that can be charged and gain range. It’s a very good option on okizeme in the corner, as it baits reversal when well spaced or can be used quickly to create a large amount of blockstun and keep the pressure up. In this match-up, Hakumen can punish most uses of this move, with 623AA when it’s used far; 2C when it’s used very high; 5D/6D when it’s right above.
Finally, a Naoto that commits to end the round can use dash into enhanced DP, which is a monster of a move. It hits everywhere on the screen, can be rapid cancelled into an instant overhead that leads to a fuzzy guard at the right height, and deals tons of damage. Beware.
Naoto possesses one of the best pressure in the game. He can delay, stagger and frame trap everywhere and grab quite easily too. Reacting quickly and taking risks is required to escape. Using barrier to create a space is a viable startegy. It force Naoto to either use a special move or a jump to close the gap; That gap can be exploited with an upback or a drive.
Naoto's standing overhead, 6A, boasts an excellent range and can’t be punished on block. Again, using barrier, creating distance and chicken blocking works here.
Using drives during Naoto's Rekkas isn't recommended. They can be stopped, delayed and used as very potent frame traps. The third hit is one of his best starters.
Also, beware of his okizeme game, he can be hard to read, and reversals are heavily punished by some of his options.
Nine The Phantom
(Note: this guide was written in 1.0 and some points need to be updated)
Nine is one of the most powerful characters in this game. She is an elusive character who possesses dreadful pokes and amazing teleports, which allows her to control space very efficiently. For Hakumen whose mobilities options are limited and telegraphed, approaching Nine can be quite a laborious task.
Once she gets a knockdown, her setplay is nothing to scoff at either. If she can get the momentum in her favor, she can lock you out of the match.
A unique trait to Nine is that all of her A, B, C normals share similar properties. What set them aside is their “elements”. A is Water, B is Wind, C is Fire.
Water: Usually the fastest ones, but their hitboxes are smaller. Wind: Longest reach and active longer, but she can hardly convert into anything. Fire: As fast or slower than wind, less reach but can convert into solid combos with the right spell.
Note that her normals are not projectiles, which means you counter them but not cut them.
On block or on hit, those elements are stocked, she can then press the D-button to unleash them and get a spell.
5A: 5A is an extremely fearsome poke. It outspeeds our 4C, but 4C outranges it. At roundstart, it beats our 4C, drives don’t have enough reach to catch it, and she recovers early enough to block Yanagi. 3C does beat it, but the risk involved are too high to be reliable. 5B: Her 5B outranges our 4C by a few pixels, but 4C outspeeds it. Unlike her 5A, Yanagi can successfully catch her, unless you are at max range or if she jumps canc 5C: Her 5C is slower and has less reach than our 4C. Like 5A, she can still block Yanagi.
Kishuu (623A) goes under all of 5X, but don’t be predictable since she can just punish it with any of her 2X or 3C and get a juicy CH combo.
While Yanagi is possible as well, it will only catch her out if they aren’t paying attention and autopilot another normal. Nevertheless, even if they block Yanagi, you would still end up close to Nine, which is a victory in itself.
6A: Has a wide upward hitbox above her head, which makes approaching by air troublesome. She can also jump cancel it on block. Like most of her normals however, it has a lot of recovery. Do your best to make it whiff and punish. 6B: Similar to 6A, but with a much larger hitbox. 6C: Another Anti air with a very large hitbox. She’ll primarily use this in neutral and to catch attempts to jump out of her pressure. She can easily get knockdown even at maximum distance, so be aware when you are in range of this move.
All of her Anti airs are good for stopping any air approach, so in most cases you’ll simply have to respect them by air barriering or attempt to make them whiff and punish the recovery.
In the air, all of her J.5X are faster than our J.C. Her J.A and J.C however have less reach than our J.C. However, as far as J.C concerned, it’s only by a small margin.
Her J.B is both faster and has more reach than J.C. But fortunately she doesn’t get much out of it.
While she is close to the ground her, J.X can be dealt with with 623AA. However, beware of her airdashes.
Nine’s teleports are very strong. Combined with her great pokes, they allow her to control space very efficiently or escape when she needs it.
How they work: ...
3C: Excellent sweep with a long range. Her main neutral tool to deal with 623AA attempts. Can technically be whiff punished with a very well spaced 4C but it is very difficult.
214C: An overhead projectile that tracks. Fullscreen, it is Nine only option. Can theoretically be cut, however it cannot be done on reaction.
While approaching Nine is very challenging thanks to her amazing pokes. Nine also struggles in that regard. 623AA deters her 5X and J.X/J.2X series and 214D is strong overall tool.
Additionally, unless her overdrive is used, Nine can only store spells if her normals hit or are blocked.
Thus, a common strategy is to create spaces between the two characters early on and wait until the meter fills up. If Nine attemps to approach using her airdashes deal with them with 623AA, if she attempts 3C or 5X deal with them with 214D.
Nine’s defensive options are limited. Her backdash is only fully invincible on the 5th, so a meaty will beat it cleanly.
Her other defensive options are:
214D: With 22-frames of start-up, 214D is one of the slowest reversals in the game. Hakumen has some options on okizeme to meaty her while avoiding the DP. She also needs at least a spell stocked in her active slot to use. It’s a projectile, so it’s possible to cut it.
236236B: A 10-frame super (7+3), its invulnerability starts after the superflash and only lasts for about 4 frames, so you can beat it with a well timed meaty. However, this move is also +5 on block. It’s her turn if you block it. If you haven’t inputted anything, you can still 2D/6D after the super flash to catch her. It won’t work at max range though.
236236C: 15 frame reversal, unlike 236236B it’s actually invulnerable until its active frames.
Rachel is one of the best character in the game, she is comfortable at both zoning and heavy rushdown using wind. Although, her zoning is projectile-based, her ability to control the speed of her projectiles and setup some of them from behind make them very hard to cut. Playing passively doesn't work in this match-up, Rachel can just comfortably zone Hakumen. Fortunately, even though her zoning is strong j.2A is still an amazing tool and forces Rachel to adapt her zoning.
Neutral in this match-up is highly dependent on how the Rachel plays. Rachel's zoning can be either very or extremely difficult to deal with. This depends on the level of the Rachel player and her resources available. Rachel's zoning has to be altered significantly in this MU, a player unfamiliar with the MU may go on autopilot and get punished for it. For instance, 236A~9D and spaced 22A are usually key tools in her arsenal, however, cutting them with 4C/5C is very consistent. If the Rachel player know how to zone Hakumen efficiently, this is a different story. If they do, they will often shoot lobelias not at Hakumen but near Hakumen or close to her. This will allow her to setup multiple poles for 214C to prevent 66 and IAD approaches.
IAD in general is very risky in this match-up and not recommended. Due to its long animation, it is very easy to interrupt with a well-positioned 214C; Rachel also boasts an amazing anti-air in the shape of 6A. While j.D can be used to deal with it, it remains a high-risk mid-reward option. Only rely on it if the Rachel player is very aggressive with it.
9jc and in particular 669 > Delay j.2A are excellent tools in this match-up. They minimize the risk of getting hit by a projectile during jump start-up, travel a far distance and makes it possible to cut projectiles with j.2A.
In neutral, Rachel's 214A can be cut down using 5C, this is the most reliable way to destroy it while also preventing 236X attempts with wind. Beware that a common strategy is to setup 214A in neutral then delay wind to suddenly put into Haku's face.
Rachel's mix-ups and okizeme are among the best in the game. Fortunately, parries help circumvent part of it and deny some of her tools.
At the core of her offense is the instant overhead 9jc > 2D~j.A, it is typically done after 5A, 5B and 6B. There is a gap between 5A and the IOH on normal block to use 6D; after 5B there is only a gap on IB; after 6B there is no gap to 6D even on IB. To prevent the IOH after 6B the most reliable solution is to use barrier to push Rachel away.
However, beware that Rachel can easily beat 6D by doing 2B instead of the IOH to beat it. Alternatively, she can also do 9jc > 2D > Land > Throw.
Due to Hakumen's hitbox, Rachel can also do 9jc > 3D~j.A instead when Hakumen is too far. She usually has to delay the j.A, however this isn't case here due to Hakumen's tall crouching hurtbox. This allows Rachel to do her IOH even from a distance.
Following the IOH Rachel has several options. Her main follow-ups are j.A for another overhead but little blockstun or j.B a mid with more blockstun. A list of her most common follow-ups and their limits are as followed:
- 9jc > 2D~j.A > Land > 2B: 2B can be 2D.
- 9jc > 2D~j.A*2 > Land > 2B: 2B can be 2D.
- 9jc > 2D~j.A > j.B > Land > 2B: No gap but j.B isn't an overhead, if barrier is used her options are very limited afterward.
- 9jc > 2D~j.A*2 > 9jc > j.A: The last j.A can be 6D on IB.
- 9jc > 2D~j.A > j.B > 9jc > j.A: Cannot be .
Gambling on a drive on is possible but high-risk. Only use them if you have noticed a pattern in your opponent's pressure.
Midscreen, Rachel's okizeme is fairly limited, her most common combo ender is 5CC for corner carry. Her other midscreen okizeme enders aren't as effective, especially on Hakumen.
4B > 214A can be completely avoided by doing delay tech. 6A > 236B > 22A can be beaten by simply using 2D on the 22A.
In the corner, her okizeme gets a lot trickier but Hakumen has the tool to deal with some of them.
- 5CC / 3C > 214A: One of her weaker okizeme, it is possible to avoid the 214A completely with delay tech. Rachel players will typically use this okizeme to bait a drive and go for dash throw.
- 3C > 22A: One of her better okizeme. However, it doesn't work well on Hakumen as the 22A can be parried.
- 236B~9D > 214A: Her best okizeme in this match-up. 236B hits meaty on the way down. 236236D won't freeze Rachel and she will be able to avoid it. Additionally, Rachel can 9jc j.A after 214A for an instant overhead. 2D > 236B doesn't work against it since Rachel will be too high. 2D > 214D can be used to escape the corner against this okizeme.
Rachel's CA is excellent, it has a very good horizontal range and knockdown on CH. It can be baited by jumping or using 623AA.
Rachel also has access to backdash into wind on wake-up. This is fairly tricky for Hakumen to deal with as it deals with a lot of 3C and j.214A okizeme options, except in the corner. As such, it it recommended to prioritize sending Rachel to corner as soon as possible and 6B okizeme enders.
Otherwise, Rachel is very lacking. Her 2C has head, body and foot guardpoint starting from frame 5. It however has a very slow start-up and is heavily punishable on whiff. A good Rachel player will hardly ever or never use 2C in this match-up. It is easily punished with 5C CH.
Beware that Rachel's AH is a very fast reversal. It can be used as a last resort or a surprise to win the match.
Ragna The Bloodedge
Ragna is a fairly simple and straightforward character. His gameplan is to rush in, win neutral using his strong normals and deal damage. The two main strategies in this match-up are to zone him out and counter poke or fish for a high damage combo by exploiting gaps in his pressure/punishing his DP.
This match-up is essentially a battle of fundamentals, whoever has the best ones is almost guaranteed to win.
Ragna's core neutral tools are his 5B and j.C. They are both excellent all-around normals. His 5B, if used correctly, will in most instances beat our 4C. j.C boasts a large vertical and horizontal hitbox and leads to solid combos. IAD j.C is a very effective mean of approach thanks to Hakumen's tall hitbox. Anti-airing it is also fairly difficult. 5A will very often not work due to spacing; 2C requires a hard read and Ragna can very heavily punish it on whiff.
In order to deal with those pesky normals, a strategy is to keep a large distance between both characters. The Ragna player will have to dash a fairly long distance to get in, which makes it easier to anticipate the 5B/IAD j.C. Haku's j.C outranges Ragna's. 7jc > Barrier > Delay j.C can be used to deter IAD approach and keep Ragna away.
If the Ragna player is very 5B-happy, 623AA is a solution. However, good Ragna players will use Dash 2B to deal with it. Regardless, the risk/reward is usually in Hakumen's favor in this instance.
A well-spaced 3C can also deal with dash 5B. However, due to clear difference in mobility options, it is much easier for Ragna to space his 5B correctly than for Hakumen to space 3C.
Ragna's overheads are 6B and 214B. 6B can notably done after his 2B and 2C; Barrier will very often not be enough to make 6B whiff in blockstrings. 6B, however, has a 24f animation and can be blocked consistently with a bit of practice. To practice blocking it, record the following in training mode:
- Dash 5B > 2B > 2D
- Dash 5B > 2B > 6B
- Dash 5B > 2C > 6B
- Dash 5B > 2C > 2D
Then set it to random.
214B, on the other hand, is much more volatile. Being a special, almost all Ragna's normals can be cancelled into it. In practice, that makes it much harder to anticipate and block reliably. It is important to note that both Ragna's 2D and 214B have long horizontal range, barrier won't work to deal with them. It is worth noting that after 2D, Ragna cannot cancel it into a low, but can cancel it into 214B. As such, automatically block high after 2D.
After blocking 214B, it can be safely punished with air-hit 2B into either 623AA / 236B. This will make the j.214D follow-up whiff. 2B > 623AA may sideswap and 2B > 236B leads to 236B > 9jc > delay j.2C > 6A > 6B.
Ragna boasts a 9f reversal with a solid hitbox both vertically and horizontally. Because Hakumen has a lot of gaps in his pressure, resetting with 214A > 2A is discouraged and should be used cautiously. With 50 meter Ragna can safely escape any pressure and return to neutral. A preventive 623AA can be used to deal with it but it requires a read.
In the corner, it can be safe-jumped with 6A > 6B > 8/9jc > j.A(whiff) > j.B or j.2C. Notably, doing 8jc and j.B prevents Ragna from rolling away.
Susanoo is an heavily momentum-based character with oppressive normals and very high damage combos. The longer the round, the stronger the character becomes as his specials are unlocked.
First and foremost, this match-up requires knowing how his pressure is structured and identifying which specials are unlocked. Without such knowledge, the character is significantly harder to beat. Thus this match-up and character in general is often loathed by lower level player.
At high level, this match-up is still a threat for several reasons. Susanoo has access to a very potent fuzzy overhead in this match-up. Regardless, Haku has several tools to annoy Susanno and prevents him from gaining momentum.
Roundtstart is crucial in this match-up. Preventing Susanoo from unlocking his specials his key to greatly limit his combo and defensive options. Susanoo has a couple of powerful round start options, choosing the correct answer is key to limit Susanoo's momentum. His most notable option is 5B. It reaches Hakumen at roundstart and with only 9f of startups it is very difficult to contest. It can be dealt with 623AA, 3C CH or 7jc > Barrier. While 3C will trade in Hakumen's favor but can be heavily punished if whiffed. 623AA loses to 2B. For the safest approach, you should back away from Susanooh, and start your neutral from afar.
Neutral can be played in one two way: Hyper aggressively or the total opposite. While this may seem unorthodox, playing aggressively when Susanoo hasn't unlocked any special will put pressure on Susanoo. IAD j.A is very good against SUsanoo's air normals. Outside of 623C, Susanoo's defensive are limited. This gameplan is alas very risky and doesn't work as well when his reversal is unlocked.
Playing passively is also effective. Notably by spacing air normals like j.2C or j.C. One of your goals is to prevent, or at least delay, Susanoo from unlocking some of his specific seals as some of them are quite powerful. This can be done by zoning him and preventing him from getting any hit or by pressuring him early on in the match. Try to be in the adequate mid-range where you can instant air dash forwards if the Susanoo wants to 6A or 4D for seals. His 6A can be whiffed and punished from fullscreen with an IAD into j.C.
After collecting 4 magatamas or more, it's possible to get a little more aggressive with 623AA and 214D in order to approach while also dealing with 5B and 6B.
In the air, Hakumen outranges Susanoo. Our j.C outranges his; 7jc > Delay j.2C deals with various ground approaches. Susanoo players may try to Dash 2C to cover that option. In those instances, the solutions are too: bait it with a double jump, bait it with a high j.214A or j.D. Please note that Susaoo can heavily punish the j.D and that it thus should only be used sparingly.
Be also wary of Susanoo’s IAD. In particular, IAD j.A will hit Hakumen even if he is crouched and is a very effective way to approach. A well spaced and timed 9jc > j.A or a j.C can cover that.
Ground footsies are far trickier due to Susanoo's outstanding normals. Susanoo’s best poke is undeniably his 5B, learning his range and recovery is crucial in order to understand how to make it whiff and punish it. 4C is the safest and most consistent way to whiff punish it, although it doesn't to any combo. His 5B also loses to 623AA but good Susanoo players will use 2B to prevent that. At last, a very well spaced Susanoo's 6D is devastating. It hits Hakumen at IAD height, has a very good hitbox and is very difficult or impossible to punish due to pushback.
Mixing up approaches is crucial. Staying in the air, across the screen is the safest place in this match-up. Prevent him from approaching with j.A and j.C, build meter and then go on the offensive.
6B is one of Susanoo's scariest move. It greatly pushes him forward and his +4 on block. Learning how to instant barrier both hits of 6B is of upmost importance in this MU. This makes it very easy to 7jc away and greatly reduces Susanoo's pressure and mix-up options. This will force the Susanoo players to cancel 6B into 3C or into drives which often leads to the end of his pressure.
Susanoo is also well known for having access to multiple overheads that lead to powerful combos: 6C and 6D. They are however fairly slow and can be reliably blocked with a bit of training. This can be practiced in training mode by recording: 6B(1~2) > 3C / 6C / 6D. While drives might be tempting beware that the risk-reward is clearly on Susanoo's side here. A baited drive will often results in 4~5k combos and several unlocks. 5B > 6B has a gap that can be exploited with 2D, only use it if the Susanoo player is autopiloting it. gcOD / Raw OD is also very effective against Susanoo's pressure. Whiffed C-normal or drive can be punished with EA or even 2B to reverse the momentum.
Susanoo' main defensive option is his 623C. It is a 12f reversal with a large vertical hitbox.
Stevo’s Philosophy: My main goal of neutral in this matchup is to stay safe and build meter while trying to harass Susanoo as much as possible within our mid-range. You generally don’t want to be the aggressor between the two characters. You want them to come to you and hang themselves as they try to get in. You want the timer to be on your side, and to try to keep your HP above the Susanoo’s, or at least around the same so where a good poke or counter hit could easily turn the tide of the match. In my opinion, the damage accrued through our pokes in neutral should be more than what we could get with our limited pressure options. If you’re trying to beat Susanoo at their own game, it’s gonna be a lot riskier. Of course, if you find that the Susanoo is getting hit by your pressure options a lot more often from Zantetsu’s and 6B’s then you could deviate from this gameplan into a more aggressive one.
As you’re finishing an air combo and deciding on whether you should end your airstring with a j.C or with an Agito, think to yourself for a bit. What are you planning on doing afterward? What is your end goal from this specific choice in the match? Take into consideration the number of stars you have. Take into consideration how effective your oki options are. Take into consideration the resources the Susano'o has, what seals he has or how much meter. You’re about to take off one Star. How many do you have left? Would it be enough to accomplish what you want to do? What happens if they block whatever I plan on doing? Would I have enough stars to keep myself comfortable if my attempts fail? Take into consideration the risks if you lose the momentum after Agito. If you make a mistake, Susanoo could get a hit; unlock multiple seals and deal tremendous damage. Choose very carefully, because once a Susanoo has the momentum, it is hard to get it back.
Valkenhayn is a very tricky character to fight. His mobility in wolf is one of the best, if not, the best in the game. This makes it very difficult to zone and build meter. He also has access to excellent far-reaching lows such as 3C and w.5C. This renders 4C borderline useless and makes it very hard to use 623AA. His mix-ups and okizeme are powerful as well, with 2 IOH (j.C and w.j.A). If Valkenhayn gets a knockdown in the corner, this often spells the end of the round.
Yet, compared to other characters, Hakumen has one tool which can turn the match-up upside down: His drive. While risky, counters are one of the rare few ways to escape Valkenhayn's vortex. Moreover, using 2D to corner Valkenhayn is extremely valuable due to his limited defensive options.
This MU is consequently loathed by both Valkenhayn and Hakumen players. Hakumen cannot play neutral efficiently and Valkenhayn has to take more risks than usual to win.
Valkenhayn possesses two forms, human and wolf forms. In human form, Valkenhayn is a fairly slow character with a few long range normals, but he is overall pretty weak in that form, his mobility limited and he is fairly slow . In wolf form, however, Valkenhayn boasts one of the best mobility in the game, possessing a wide range of tools to control space and attack from any direction, amazing normals and a shortened hitbox. As a compensation, Valk is unable to block while in wolf form and it drains his wolf meter. Once the Valkenhayn player is low on wolf meter, they have no choice but to go back to human form or OD to get back their wolf meter.
In wolf form, Valk’s standing hitbox is shortened. 4C won’t reach him on the ground unless at very close. Valkenhayn can also quickly close any gap with 6D into w.j.A. On block, this leads to a 50/50 mix-up with w.j.C/w.5C. 6D > w.j.A can be dealt with a properly spaced and time 5A, it’s a low risk option if Valk is afar and can prevent the Valkenhayn player from approaching. A higher risk option is 623AA. Valkenhayn can easily make it whiff thanks to his mobility and/or punish with w.5C.
214D covers both w.5A and w.5C and cannot be blocked by Valkenhayn while he is in wolf form. However, it’s more expensive and easier to punish if it whiffs. Valkenhayn may also 7D after making contact with 214D to avoid it.
Staying in wolf form drains Valkenhayn’s wolf meter, once he is low on wolf meter or runs out of wolf meter. His neutral takes a toll and his options become a lot more limited. Use this opportunity to approach. However, even in human form, Valkenhayn has access to good neutral tools. 6A is a solid anti-air that leads to decent damage; 3C has an amazing horizontal range and deals with 623AA
His j.C also has an excellent hitbox and acts as an IOH. It requires RC or OD to combo afterward with j.C > RC > j.C > 5B. On block, there is enough time to 6D the second j.C.
At roundstart, Valkenhayn's 3C beats both 4C and 623AA. It will also CH and lead to 3k combo with significant corner carry. A very common roundstart option in this matchup is also 5D > 44. This allows Valkenhayn to create a significant gap between both characters and to use for whiff punishing purposes.
Valkenhayn’s defensive options are very limited, he only has access to one reversal super. Be warry of his CA, it is slow but has an amazing range and if he scores a CH, he has enough time to turn into wolf form and get back the momentum. His CA can be ducked under with 623A. Valkenhayn’s 632146D, his reversal super, can also be crawled under with 623A and punished with 6C FC: His backdash also has very little invulnerability.
- 3C > Hop > 2B: Catches his backdash, beats wake-up 2A/5A.
- 6A > 6B > 6A > 2B: Catches his backdash, rolls, beats wake-up 2A/5A. Loses to delay wake-up backdash and reversal 632146D.
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