First video in a series about HOS. The series is divided into 6 parts and teaches important aspects about the character ranging from mechanics, combos, mixups, tech, etc. Will increase your understanding on how to play HOS.
<5Min written tutorial on HoS and how to play him: https://www.evernote.com/shard/s465/sh/0042861a-c0f7-6230-664b-18ca59a19a25/7d90bcae8d536dce5f6d6eb89e09021b
Who is Order-Sol and what does he do?
Order-Sol is a freeform rushdown character, characterized by his extremely varied pressure, fast and unusual movement, and a constantly changing moveset thanks to his charge mechanic.
His pressure includes a myriad of options, such as jump cancels with his small, KOF-like hop; stance cancels with his charge mechanic, allowing almost all of his normals to be safe or even plus on block; and, a very wide gatling table, which opens up many nice frametraps. While Order-Sol does have access to a series of overheads and lows, his mixup game is mostly reliant on his strike/throw and conditioning. While his pressure is still mostly reliant on reads and yomi, the additional options make it much more potent.
The other aspect that makes up Order-Sol is his charge mechanic, being your secondary meter which can be filled up by Manual Charging (214D) or Action Charging (Press D shortly after a sp. move), your charge gauge is the single most important thing about your character, it determines your neutral, pressure, combo routes, etc. It is extremely important to learn how to manage it and keep it always at a good amount, generally, level 2 is good enough, but the more the merrier.
Staying In Control
The question that most HOSs will eventually face is "How do I keep control of a match?". Sure, if you're playing other relative beginners who don't understand the matchup, you should have no problem with winning via HOS' easy and damaging combos. Newbies will eat GB cross-ups and late GBs all day, and CH Fafnir will get you over 150 damage any time someone throws out a poke without thinking. The problem comes when you're facing opponents who understand what HOS can do and know his weakpoints. It is at that point that you *have* to capitalize on HOS' strengths. Luckily, HOS' gameplay is designed so that he stays effective at all levels of play. Through the use of fast normals that leave HOS with frame advantage or almost no disadvantage, good CHs that lead to solid damage, and specials that force your opponent to sit and guard, HOS can push forward and keep control as long for as you know what to do.
Tips For Solid Offense
1: Fish (bait) for pokes and punish them. 2P, 5K, and 2S are all good close-range pokes for this. 2D can get you under alot of normals/specials and net you a knockdown. J.P and j.HS are good for air-to-air and air-to-ground, respectively.
2: Throw! At some point you'll notice that your opponent will just sit there and guard your offense until they can find a point to escape. Inspire fear and make them WANT to poke or escape by throwing them often. Don't get carried away though; throwing IS risky and can leave you either eating a combo or getting thrown yourself and losing control.
3: Bait for potential throws/escape attempts by your opponent and punish them. 6K and, to an extent, 2H are great for throw baits. Both are combo starters if you nail a CH, and they're safe on guard (6K if it's CC'd or special cancelled). J.P, air throw, or anti-air/jump with 5S(f) and 5H if your opponent wants to hop out. Backdashes can be punished with either a 2D or a RI. Bait shoryus and overdrives and punish them effectively to deter your opponent from doing them again.
4: Don't get zoned. Easier said than done, right? Long range is not HOS' specialty. HOS does not thrive from mid range. Close range is where HOS shines, and that's where you should try and stay. If your opponent pushes you out and attempts to keep you out, then you need to find a safe way back in. This doesn't mean you should be barrelling in on your opponent constantly without regard to safety or the consequences of your actions. Make intelligent decisions and close the gap if there is one. That way you can continue to use your intimidating inside game and score some damage.
5: Make them fear. Going hand-in-hand with points 1, 2, and 3, fear is HOS' main pressure and damaging tool. The moment your opponent fears is the moment you control the match. Getting in and constantly being in their face, poking with normals and using specials effectively, and consistantly breaking their guard will wreck havoc on your opponent's ability to escape and guard your assault for prolonged periods of time. This means that the corner is your friend. Your opponent being in the corner is an absolute nightmare for them. HOS' most damaging combos all involve the corner, and your Throw becomes much more intimidating when you can follow it up for 120+ damage.
Another important aspect of playing HOS effectively is resource management. Not only do you have Tension to spend, you also have Charge. Without Charge or Tension, your damage is subpar and gimmicky. Having both Charge AND Tension allows for HOS to have numerous launch opportunities and increases the damage output of your combos, along with potential knockdowns and setup. A lack of Tension and Charge means a weak offense. Charge and Tension are essential to getting damage and winning matches!
What that means is that you need to be more careful and conservative when deciding to use something that costs either Tension or Charge. You must balance effective use of your Tension, along with safely getting and keeping Charge to combo with, in order to be a real threat. Staying away from using Overdrives, only using Fafnir as a punish or strategically (no spamming!), and maintaining Charge to combo with will increase your offense and damage drastically. Now, this doesn't mean you should be prude and hoard all your resources. Charge and Tension are useless if you don't spend them periodically. The same can be said for excessive use. You cannot be an effective HOS if you stay at Lvl1 and blow all your Tension/Charge as soon as you get it. Resource conservation and management is a key factor to your success as a HOS player.
1: Action Charge often. Just don't overdo it. Be mindful that you are vulnerable when you AC, but the risk is worth the reward. You can also FRC the AC and either guard or punish someone's attempt to punish your AC, just to keep them guessing and hesistant to come in on you. Prime times to AC are after a long/mid range Lvl1 BHB (not used as much in ^C as it was in Slash, but still viable for "protected" Charge building), after a knockdown from Lvl2 BRP, after cancelling 2D into a Lvl1 GB on knockdown, and after ending an air combo with Lvl# SV. You can also squeeze in ACs are most Lvl3 specials hit, but those ACs are for flashy combos more than constructive meter building.
2: Manual Charge and Charge Cancel. Smart use of Manual Charge and CC can easily give you that little push you need to reach the next Charge level. CC'ing already has the benefit of extending your in-close offense and putting some fear into your opponent; the fact that it can build Charge as well just makes it more applicable for your game. If you need the meter, try stalling your Manual Charge after you cancel 2D or 5H; your opponent may not react as fast as they need to, giving you some free charge time. You can occasionally back off and Manual Charge from long range as well. Not only is that a relatively safe time to Charge, but characters that function at close- and mid-range will usually want to come in on you and stop you from gaining "free" Lvl3; giving you an opportunity to punish them if they make a mistake. Long range Manual Charge does not apply to zoning characters obviously, as they tend to WANT you at that range so you're ineffective. Still, any opportunity to give yourself some meter is a good one.
3: Utilize Charge Keep. Don't blow your level as soon as you get it. Charge Keep is a great tool to use. Instead of pressuring with Lvl2 BHBs and BRPs, use their lvl1 versions. Not only are they almost nearly as effective at maintaining control, they let you keep your Charge to combo with once you break your opponent's guard. Ending a pressure string with Lvl1 BHB AC FRC while you have Lvl2 is a safe (but relatively expensive) way of getting to Lvl3 while still being offensive. If you're going to end your air combos with a special, do it with Lvl1 and save that meter (unless you're taking a knockdown with Lvl2 BRP or need the damage from Lvl2/3 BRP/SV). If you can manage to AC either of those then boom, free high Charge. If you conserve your meter with Charge Keep then you can almost always have some Charge to combo with if you do get an opening.
4: Don't spam Overdrives/FB. I know, I know. They look cool, and some of them even lead to decent and free damage if you manage to hit with them. But look at the cost. Overdrives aren't cheap with a cost of 50% bar per use, adding in the Charge cost if you actually want to get decent damage out of them (only Lvl2/3 Overdrives can net you good damage that doesn't involve the corner). Using that many resources at one time should only be used if you need the damage to kill or turn the tide of the battle; haphazardly blowing your Tension and Charge on such a big gamble can easily get you killed. The same can be said of Fafnir, to an extent. Sure, the reward for landing a Fafnir is good, but what if you don't land it? If your opponent baited that Fafnir then you just blew 25% Tension on pretty much nothing, while your opponent only needs to spend a minute fraction of their Tension FD'ing your failed Fafnir to make sure they don't even suffer any chip damage. It's even worse if you do a SECOND Fafnir after the first one was blocked. Cut your losses and move on. Intelligent use of FB and Overdrives is fine and encouraged; just don't get carried away with them.
5. Learn and Use Recharge Routes. Offensively speaking, most of your advantage comes down to your resources. They give you more access to KD, damage, positioning, oki, etc. So you absolutely must learn these routes to make yourself into a constant threat on offense. Learning the theory behind them, options and mixups on oki that allows you to loop them, on top of knowing how they affect your resources on a fundamental level is key to becoming a true offensive monster with Order-Sol. They can be tricky to get a hang of, but the reward is so immense, learning them is a MUST.
On Blockstring Pressure:
Frametraps (stagger) beats mashing, mashing beats resets, resets beat blocking, and blocking beats frametraps
This should be the core fundamentals you structure HoS pressure around, frametraps to punish mash, and resets to punish block You should not be trying to thing of blockstrings as concrete, exact sequences, because then that just makes you predictable and will get you killed, either by someone IBing and punishing, or by someone hard calling an option
Instead, you should think of your pressure in abstract terms of what you are looking to beat, and how you are looking to condition your opponent I would say this is one of the biggest things that separates mid and high level play. When you have the ability to pressure your opponent without using common strings, or using their foreknowledge against them, or being able to improvise on the fly, it makes it much harder for the opponent. I'm not terribly afraid of like, mid level Axl or Faust or even Zappa pressure, even if it's hard for HoS to deal with, because I know what the common strings are, where the gaps are, and I know if I just wait they will eventually go into one of them, because it's "the blockstring" that they are "supposed" to do,and I will kill them the moment I see and recognize it
But fighting top players, I'm terrified on defense half the time, because I have a much less solid idea about what the hell they will do. They aren't afraid to take advantage of me trying to wait out strings to just reset in places you "shouldn't.". I can't just sit and mindlessly IB a string, because often times I'm not really sure where their ender will be, or sometimes even what button is coming next that is the kind of thing that HoS is king of, because his frame advantage is so good,and hos Gatling chart so flexible and full of natural reset points, your opponent should be terrified every time they block you, because they have no clue where you are going to go with your string
Other Tricks and Techniques
Special Cancelling Level 3 Rock It
The third of hit Level 3 Rock It is jump-cancellable, so most players would use it for combos or to continue pressure by using it for jump-ins. However, you can also special cancel Rock It by cancelling the prejump frames into specials.
Level 3 Rock It > CC > Double Dustloop
At first glance of this combo, it would be hard to wrap around the concept of charge canceling Rock It. But the answer is clear when we convert it to numpad notations.
236S > 2147D/8214D > dash j.HD > dj.HD > land > j.HD > dj.HD
Yeah, there's the answer to CCing Rock It: a tiger knee input. It's already hard to do a tiger knee for HOS because you only have a 3f window to input the special after jump cancelling.
214D would be a consistent way to special cancel Rock It. After inputting Rock It, hold 8 until the 3rd the swing hits or gets blocked then smoothly transition into the special move input.
Stopping Jump outs
Since this is a popular question, I am moving a condensed list of generic answers from the discord to here. Note that these are not all the ways there are to do it, but its a good idea and laundry list to get started about thinking on it.
At close range:
-xx>2K (prevents fuzzy jumping)
-xx>2D (same as above)
-5K/2K/c.S>6P (frame trap and will catch them airborne, but opponent can tech after if their reactions are godlike)
-2P/5P/2K/5K/c.S>RI (will catch them leaving the ground for P/K buttons listed. For c.S will keep them grounded and locked down, frametrap)
-2P/5P/2K/5K>BHB (Lock em down)
-2P/5P>5H (Strong Frame trap that does huge damage on CH and will tag their jump)
Medium Range (2S/2D range):
-2S>RI (unless it's max range, will keep them grounded if they try to jump, frame trap.)
-2S>6H (More rewarding on hit and CH than above but is minus on block. Will knock them down on hit if they try to jump after 2S)
-2D>slight delay RI/BHB (strong frame traps)
-2S/2D/5H>CC>f.S (stagger pressure that's a pretty good frame trap and consistently catches forward jumps and neutral jumps at the right range making it strong in the corner) -RI>f.S (same as above)
-RI/2S/2D>CC>5H (really strong especially with charge, needs to be slightly closer than f.S)
-xx>BRP (can be unsafe but strong if you want to lock them down from up backing to stay out of throw range)
-xx>CC/RI>microdash j.H (resets pressure, and an OS that airthrows the opponent if they jump, satisfying)
Long range (f.S range)
-f.S>BRP (near max f.S range>BRP will be out of range of throws to stay safe and reset pressure and is a frame trap)
-f.S>IAD j.PPPPP (strong in the corner and let's you get back in, will prevent them from jumping too)
-Lvl1 GB>BRP (spaced out of throw range and keep em' locked down)
-Lvl 1 GB>Fafnir (hits low, catches jump startup if timed right)
- These all can be used at all levels even at Lvl 1
HOS offense is very free form and even at Lvl 1 his biggest strength of it is mixing up the timing of his offense with immediate frame traps, delayed frame traps with CC>whatever for example When the opponent repects you that's when you're able to go back and reset pressure by redash or jump ins
Because Order Sol does not have a traditional IK, you can bind the IK macro to a button and use it as a slashback button without fear of mistakenly activating IK mode. This means on a stick or hitbox you can double or triple tap SBs to make them significantly more lenient. This is a powerful tool for stealing turns when combined with Order Sol's 3 frame 5k. Be careful though, SB leaves you unable to block for 30 frames on whiff and other characters usually have enough wiggle room in their gatlings to stagger the attacks.
Similar to Sol, he has a hard time getting in without charge or doing a dash in but unlike Sol, once Order-Sol is in, he will stay in.
Order-Sol has the speed and frames to keep up his pressure while making himself safe with Charge Cancels.
To trade off his rushdown abilities, his defenses are cut down with having subpar anti-air options and has a hard time stuffing out without resources against longer range options.
Order-Sol doesn't like being in neutral and will make move if he's an impatient one.
- His f.S, while boasting a good range, is a 10f startup; you can stuff him out with your faster pokes if available.
- Level 1 Rock It is his way to brute force through, tag you and be +3 on block; counter this with 6P, low profile or jumping over it.
- Level 2 and 3 Rock It are more dangerous when he tags a f.S at you and can confirm a combo or knockdown to get in. They can also be used effectively for whiff punishing
- 2D is similar to Sol's but a bit shorter range and moves him forward a bit; stuff out with low pokes or jump over it.
- If he doesn't do the above and starts charging, close in quickly just outside his effective range to threaten him with your pokes. Don't let him get to Level 2 Charge for a confirm long range knockdown.
Order-Sol has a lot of ways opening you up once he gets to town and getting him to leave is not an easy task.
Blockhead Buster is what makes him absurdly advantages and stops you from mashing.
- Level 1 is a gamble if the Order-Sol is able to AC FRC at frame 1 of it's FRC window. Ranges from +2 to +7.
- Level 2 is where it gets serious, +11 and even more when AC FRC.
- Level 3 is a whopping +37, ensuring that it's still his turn and can go even further beyond with AC FRC
Bandit Revolver Prototype is a quick overhead that when spaced properly, can re-establish his pressure or open you up.
- Level 1 is only safe when it's spaced properly; throw him out if he doesn't.
- Level 2 adds another hit, pay attention; similar to Level 1 but don't try to jump out without FD as the second hit will tag you.
- Level 3 will keep him in as it's +5 when the followup hits; keep blocking and FD jump out.
Other than those 2 moves, he has other ways to open up:
- 2H is an Overhead. He will condition you to block lows first before low crushing you with 2H; keep an eye out for it's startup animation and punish it. He will generally need to RC to convert (outside a meaty or CH) so keep an eye on his meter as another tell.
- 5H will make you cry if you're trying to get out. 5P > 5H has a 4f gap and catches jumps and mashes while being +5 when CC'ed on block; backdash out to make him whiff 5H.
- FD also works against him like Sol. If he is going for a blockstring, push him out and make him whiff a big move.
- Level 1 and 2 Rock it will force a pressure restart as it makes him plus; FD works against it and pushes him further out.
- 5K and 2K are 0 on block, making them a good tick throw button; Fuzzy Guard by jumping out and FDing if he attempts.
- j.H is a nigh impossible move to contest against when you're on ground; beat it out with low profiles or DPs.
Once you're on top of Order-Sol, he has to use his subpar options to get out.
Storm Viper is one of his reversals to stop pressure but it depends on how much charge he has to be able to use it:
- Level 1 and 2 is pretty slow at 12f and 10f respectively, you can bait it with fast meaty normals.
- Level 3 is at 8f and will blow through almost anything and can catch you if you're not fast enough to stuff out before the fourth hit; block and air throw before it hits you.
- Level 1 and 2 can be AC midair and FRCed to make him safe; stuff it out with air throw to make him think twice.
Other options than Storm Viper:
- 5K can interrupt gap and stuff out pokes due to it's 3f startup but its hitbox is quite stubby.
- Gunblaze can low profile through anything except lows or moves which covers to the ground. Can also be thrown
- Rising j.P and air throws are Order-Sol's reliable anti-airs to stuff out.
- FD to push him out of his effective range; he won't do good damage if he can't get in.
- Play just outside his range; his close range prowess can be subdued by ranged pressure like pokes and projectiles.
- Be patient and find an opening in his pressure; not all of Order-Sol's pressure is airtight, stuff him out when you see a chance to get out or you will get countered.