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Level 16 Blank Slate
Ranked as Police Lieutenant
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Far Standing Normals
Jab: Extremely good normal; quick, hard to punish, exceedingly high priority. Mainly used on defense, as the hitbox is entirely active and doesn't put Honda in much danger. Is amazing against Ryu, as it stuffs his reversal shoryuken if used at max range once you get a knockdown, and against Zangief, as it beats every single jumping attack he has.
Strong: Reaches out a bit further than jab with a bigger vulnerable hitbox. A bit better if your opponent is just out of jab range and is getting careless with the startups of their special moves and normals.
Fierce: Useless on offense unless you're tagging it onto a combo that you aren't using Hundred Hand Slap for. Less useless on defense, as it comes out fairly quickly and sticks out a fair deal. Use only as a punish against whiffed moves.
Short: Abjectly useless. Only active for a short time, has a very thin active hitbox, and takes 12 frames to recover. You have specials, don't bother with this move.
Forward: More useless than short; takes just as long to recover and leaves Honda vulnerable to jumps. Once again, you have specials, don't bother using this.
Roundhouse: Excessively worthless. The passive/hitable part of Honda's leg is actually wider than the active/hitting part of it, and it has a whopping 17 frames of recovery. Only way you would use this is accidentally.
Close Standing Normals
Jab: Use this to either tick or buffer into Hundred Hand slap, this is much worse than his normal standing jab.
Strong: Excellent in combos, as you can link into most of his normals or cancel into Hundred Hand Slap. Otherwise, it's not a very good move.
Fierce: Extremely situational; this move is intended as an anti-air, but in general Honda's specials are much better for that. Really only works against Vega/Claw's wall dives and Cammy. Otherwise, don't touch it.
Short: Almost no hitbox to speak of. Pretty terrible move.
Forward: Just as bad a hitbox as close short, and has an extra two frames of recovery. Horrible move.
Roundhouse: Exactly the same as his standing roundhouse with (gasp) an extra hitting frame! Still absolutely horrible.
Jab: Honda's best tick throw move, especially with the stored Ochio glitch. Also has a pretty far-reaching hitbox, and stuffs Balrog/Boxer's rush punches and Blanka balls clean.
Strong: Only useable against Dee Jay and Guile if they're spamming out low kicks, but not a good normal otherwise. Your crouching jab and specials outclass this at about everything else.
Fierce: Every use this move has is outclassed by crouching jab and specials, with one exception; this move is actually quite good against Balrog/Boxer's rush punches. Otherwise, not a normal you're using unless you mess up a tick or an Ochio throw.
Short: Good against Dhalsim's limbs, and very good in combos, as it cancels into Hundred Hand Slap and Torpedo. High-priority, use for anything crouching jab doesn't beat.
Forward: Good against Dhalsim's libs (again), but doesn't combo at all. Otherwise, if you must stick out a kick, not the worst choice you can make.
Roundhouse: Knocks down on hit, knocks Boxer out of his rush punches, and sets up Medium Punch Hundred Hand Slap on block. Careful not to abuse, as on whiff you're asking for someone to punish you. Very good crouching normal on offense.
Jab: This is Honda's only real no-charge move against Blanka's jumping shorts. The diagonal jump jab has a much better hitbox, so use that exclusively. Also a good anti-air in general, beats anything that is to the side of you or is in j. strong's blind spot.
Strong: Vega constantly walldiving? Cammy spamming neutral jump strongs? Chun-Li being a massive pain in your ass with jumping forwards? Your jumping strong answers those problems mess-free. Also a good anti-air in general, beats anything going over your head.
Fierce: Ooh boy oh boy oh boy. Neutral jump fierce is very probably Honda's best normal move period, simply because you can steer Honda left or right while using it (hence the term "Floating Fierce"). Against characters with a projectile (excluding Sagat), it's a zero-risk way to maneuver around fireballs. Against characters without one, it helps space forward or backward, and can also knock characters like Cammy out of their jump-ins. Floating fierce into Hundred Hands is also a good way to force trades or just advance Honda in general. This move is godlike.
Even diagonal jump fierce is an excellent move. Situationally crosses up, gets Honda around fireballs at closer ranges while tagging the opposing character in the head, sets up throws, and can set up combos. Learn j. fierce, and learn it well.
Short: Neutral jump short is only good against Dhalsim, Chun Li, and Dictator to set up ticks. Otherwise, it's godawful, as Honda's vulnerable hitbox actually extends past his active one. Generally avoid like the black death.
Diagonal jump short is another story. Honda all of a sudden becomes extremely hard to hit (this move contracts his hitbox), he lands quicker, and can land on early/mistimed sweeps. Honda's best jumping normal for setting up ticks, since he lands relatively quickly. Very good against fireballers to avoid landing on a knockdown into fireball.
Forward: Neutral jump forward is very good in the Honda mirror match, and also sets up a tick loop on Dhalsim. Diagonal jump forward has exactly the same hitbox. Pretty decent situationally.
Roundhouse: Crosses up everybody (except Boxer), does good damage, and sets up Honda's combos and tick setups very well. This is also a very good move for hitting fireballers if you anticipate a fireball. Not much to say, this is very good as an offensive jump-in.
Far sweep (forward + Roundhouse): Honda's best poke. Knocks down on hit, safe on block, and can stuff the startup of most fireballs. This also hits some characters out of very annoying moves (namely, Fei Long's standing fierces and Blanka's electricity). Solid normal.
Body splash (during diagonal jump, down + Forward): Crosses up everyone, and has transcendant priority (Honda's entire body except for the very top of his head is an active hitbox). Just as good as jumping roundhouse at setting up combos and ticks. Another solid normal.
("charge" means to hold the given direction for slightly longer than a second. All charge moves can be charged by holding down and back simultaneously.):
Hundred Hand Slap (press the same punch button three times rapidly): E. Honda has a flurry of hands directly in front of him and a grumpy look on his face. Jab Hundred Hand Slap keeps Honda stationary, hits every four frames, and has the least startup time. Strong Hundred Hand Slap moves Honda forward, hits every two frames, and has slightly longer startup time. Fierce Hundred Hand Slap moves Honda further forward, hits every frame, and has the longest startup.
Hundred Hand Slap is an extremely good move. On block, it deals inordinate amounts of chip damage and the opponent is stuck in blockstun until they're completely pushed back, more or less creating a do-it-yourself blockstring. If blocked high, Hundred Hands will still hit low periodically. On a single deep hit, Strong and Fierce Hundred Hands can be immediately followed up by an Ochio Throw. Doing Strong or Fierce Hundred Hands after another Strong or Fierce Hundred Hands is very handy for closing gaps and Excluding very high-priority moves such as T. Hawk's crouching jabs, Hundred Hands has pretty good priority and can be spaced to stuff a lot of moves. And to top it off, this can be used to trade with fireballs at mid-to-close range. Very very good special. Get used to the carpal tunnel, you'll be using this a lot. See here for how to combo into Hundred Hand Slap!
Torpedo/Sumo Headbutt (charge back, then towards + punch): E. Honda laughs in the face of the laws of physics and propels himself at the enemy headfirst as though by some sumo magic. Jab Torpedo and Strong Torpedo have the most invulnerability (11 frames), while Fierce Torpedo has 6 frames of full invuln. Jab Torpedo launches Honda one-half of a screen, Strong Torpedo carries him three-quarters of a screen, and Fierce Torpedo takes him full-screen. All Torpedos knock down on hit and are safe on block.
Each Torpedo is good in its own special way. Jab Torpedo is by far Honda's staple defensive special; it beats jump-ins (as Honda has 5 frames where his head is a fully invulnerable hitbox) and beats pretty much all close-in normals. However, Jab Torpedo is also very good on offense, as when Honda is fully extended, it destroys fireballs. At close-range or full-screen, this is a risk-free way to advance against someone launching a stream of fireballs.
Strong Torpedo is mostly good for shenanigans, and also does pretty well against Dhalsim. Otherwise, it's slightly weaker than both of the other Torpedos.
Fierce Torpedo is the best overall offensive Torpedo. Safe on block, carries Honda full-screen, and is very very hard to react to if you're any closer than the very edge of full-screen. Against Sagat, this will hit his arms during one of his low tiger shots. Once again, Torpedo is a good special move in general, be prepared to use it quite a bit.
Buttslam/Ass Drop/Sumo Drop/Flying Sumo/Flying Fat Man (charge down, then up+kick): E. Honda further ignores the laws of physics, and proceeds to use his jet-powered rear end to launch himself upwards and then come crashing down on an opponent. Short and Forward Buttslams hit on the way up as well as on the way down, while Roundhouse Buttslams only hit on the way down. Short Buttslam has the most invulnerability. All are invulnerable on startup, knock down on hit, must be blocked high, and are safe on block.
The Buttslam is a very good special. Not only is it an overhead, and not only is it a knockdown on hit, it can also keep charge for both Ochio Throw and Torpedo if you input up-back for your Buttslam. Buttslams can also be chained off of (and are great setups for) Hundred Hand Slap. Every Buttslam is very good at escaping cross-up attempts, escaping fireballs at certain ranges, and occasionally they trade with uppercuts. A whiffed Buttslam landing close range also opens up a free Ochio Throw unless your opponent has superhuman reactions. Buttslam is a pretty good move, so get used to using this one too.
Short Buttslam specifically is best used as a full-screen fireball escape (unless against Shotos), or as a mixup in the corner with a heavier Buttslam. Only the slightest bit less recovery than the other two (4 frames), but this makes Buttslam-into-Hundred Hands come out slightly faster. It also breaks up blockstrings and can function pretty well as an anti-air.
Forward Buttslam is also a good fireball escape, and is another good mixup with heavier Buttslams. Like Short Buttlsam, Forward Buttslam breaks up blockstrings and anti-airs pretty well, as it hits on the way up, and occasionally functions as a crossup.
Roundhouse Buttslam will just about always hit a fireballer if you use it at midscreen to escape a projectile. Roundhouse Buttslam also leads naturally into Strong Hundred Hand Slap (see the Dirty Tricks Section), and crosses up at midscreen and closer. Roundhouse Buttslam escapes blockstrings, but is sadly not as handy of an anti-air. It's still an excellent move.
Ochio Throw/Oicho Throw (Half-circle back, punch): E. Honda slams his opponent into the pavement, then adds insult to injury by landing on them, ass-first. Only difference between Ochios of varying strength is damage, with Fierce Ochio doing the most damage. Like all other throws, Ochio is fully invulnerable and can thus be used as a reversal attack.
This is the move that makes E. Honda a defensive powerhouse on par with Alcatraz. The Ochio Throw is the only command throw in the game without a whiff animation, making all "negative-edge" attempts (releasing a punch button instead of pressing it) 100% safe. On top of that, the Ochio Throw can also be "stored", by inputting the motion and then holding the stick/pad in any backwards position. If you store your Ochio in the down-back position, you're essentially charging both of Honda's special moves, his Ochio Throw, and his super if you have it. How's that for an arsenal?
The stored Ochio glitch is a technique that is not only easy to master, it is completely essential to playing E. Honda. Below are just a few reasons why:
Anyone walking into your throw range gets thrown immediately if you're not in stun, effectively stopping every walk-up throw in the game except for Zangief and T. Hawk's.
Anyone who's throwable at all in your throw range gets thrown immediately. Dee Jay and Dhalsim during their slides, Dictator during his slide, Ken when landing from his Super, etc. etc. etc.
You hold both charges while ochio-ing people, enabling Buttslams, Torpedos, or more Ochios.
All of your negative-edge tick attempts are 100% safe; if they don't reversal you get the Ochio, and if they do, you block. Which usually means you get a knockdown anyway off of Torpedo or Buttslam.
You throw people completely on accident, and you're OK with that, because it hurts them more than it hurts you.
Hundred Hand Slap into Ochio becomes grotesquely easy (Ochio motion, hit punch three times, hit punch again) and does tons of damage.
And on top of all of that, you can still walk up and Ochio someone if you really feel like it. Learn the Ochio, live the Ochio, love the Ochio.
SUPER : Oni Muso (With a full super meter, charge back, then forward, back, forward + punch): E. Honda propels himself at the opponent, and while they cower in fear at the physics-defying monster that is Honda, he launches himself again! Always knocks down on hit, and sends enemy in juggle state, enabling a maximum of three hits for ~50% damage. Will destroy fireballs when fully extended, and has 24 frames of full invulnerability.
Let's make this clear: Honda's super is one of the most unreliable moves in the game, period. Low-priority when fully extended, punishable on block (sometimes after blocking the first hit!), punishable before the first hit, and gives the opponent a nice warning of the super flash right before it runs at them. Using Super offensively will usually get you killed, so don't do it. It's like a giant flashing "I Lose" button.
That being said, Honda does have an excellent DEFENSIVE super. Excluding a select few jumping attacks (such as Blanka's jumping short), Honda will straight-up beat every jump-in ever with his super. On the 24th frame (first active hitting frame), Honda's head is a large and fully invulnerable hitbox, which accounts for a third hit for a total of 50% damage if all three hits connect. This ONLY works from point-blank if the opponent is not blocking. Again, this is best used on defense against jump-ins.
Finally, from 3/4-screen to fullscreen, Honda's super is excellent at destroying fireballs on reaction, and will hit for about 30% damage on anyone but Guile (he recovers too quickly). However, his super will only destroy fireballs when fully extended, meaning a perfectly timed meaty fireball will still hit Honda out of his super for another knockdown. Be very wary when using Honda's super.