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Balrog Ultra Street Fighter 4 Moves, Combos, Strategy Guide

Guide last updated on
June 2, 2014 at 9:11 p.m. PDT


Balrog Ultra Street Fighter 4 Character Guide


Character Overview
Guide by Nyoronoru

Balrog is one of the strongest characters in Super Street Fighter IV. He has above average stamina, a huge amount of ways to attack the opponent and a great anti-air game. He also has more armored moves than any other character along with the most armor breakers. His pokes are very hard to punish and his jabs are the best in the game. Couple this up with very good walk speed, strong short jump and meterless combos into his Ultra 1 and Balrog is a very dangerous beast.

Balrog's weaknesses lie in his wakeup game. Most of the time he has to commit to an EX attack to try and escape from continuous knockdown pressure. Balrog also has the worst Focus Attack in the game. He has several mixups but nearly all of them are punishable if he guesses incorrectly, forcing him to adopt a linear playstyle that makes him easier to counter. He also has no crossup attack.

Strengths
+ Has a huge amount of armored moves.
+ Easy and meterless combos to Ultra.
+ Confusing tick throw setups.
+ Dominant normal anti-airs.
+ A fast dash with very little recovery.
+ Has very few problems with projectiles.
+ A great punish and rushdown game.
+ Is very strong when his opponent is cornered.

Weaknesses
- Has no two-hit normal attacks.
- Relies on resets or EX to perform big punishes.
- One long-range Cancelable normal move, and it's slow.
- Wakeup game is very bad
- Wide hitbox allows for easier crossups.
- A poor backdash with very little range.

Notable Normal Moves
  or
Standing or Crouching Light Punch
Balrog's jab is a very dominating attack. Not only will it beat out most attacks with its speed and priority, it gives Balrog an enormous amount of frame advantage on block or hit. The jab is one of the best ways to set up a tick throw.

The Crouching Light Punch is the best one of the two to go for tick throws with. The Standing Light Punch will whiff on crouching characters, so use it to stuff the opponent's movement options or non-invincible special moves.
  or 
Anti Airs: Crouching Hard Punch or Standing Medium Punch
Balrog's anti-air normal attacks. Both have amazing hitboxes, but Standing Medium Punch is slightly faster than Crouching Hard Punch and reaches a little higher.

Sweep
Balrog's sweep is exceptional by being very fast both on startup and recovery. Focus Attacks will punish the abuse of this move, though.
or
Jumping Hard Kick and Jumping Hard Punch
These moves are Balrog's best jump-in attacks. Jumping Hard Kick in particular is such a dominating jump-in that even characters with strong anti-air normals cannot defend against it.

Jumping Hard Punch is a good attack to use when jumping away as well. Due to Balrog's speed at which he falls it is very difficult if not impossible to hit Balrog if he jumps backwards to escape with this move.
Special Moves
or
Dashing Punch (Running Straight)
Damage
Light
100
Medium
110
Hard
120
EX
120

Properties

Balrog's most basic special attack. You can use this to apply straightforward pressure, especially with the Light version. Just throwing this punch out constantly against good players is a very bad idea, since it is fodder for Focus Attacks. To prevent this, you should cancel from a normal attack with a lot of range, like Balrog's Crouching Medium Punch.

This attack is unsafe if you are too close to the opponent when it's blocked, opening you up to either Dragon Punches or throws. Try to attack so that the opponent blocks the end of Balrog's glove.

EX Version: This offers you a nice amount of frame advantage if you land it, though you can't combo after connecting with it. It's also completely safe on block no matter how deep it is blocked except against grapple characters like Zangief and T. Hawk.

or
Dashing Uppercut (Running Upper)
Damage
Light
100
Medium
110
Hard
120
EX
120

Properties

An uppercut that will whiff on crouching characters and has no special use. The Light version of Dashing Uppercut is just as unsafe as the Light Dash Punch. Since most players are accustomed to blocking your regular dash punches, it is entirely possible that they will not react fast enough to punish your whiffed Upper. It's an okay anti-air especially against players that like to neutral jump to counter regular dash punches.

You can't combo after you land it and whiffing crouching opponents is not something you will want to do against experienced players.

EX Version: The EX Uppercut is much more useful than its regular counterpart. You can combo afterwards with a Crouching Light Punch or Kick and it's safe on block except against grapplers. It still whiffs on crouching characters, though. Using the frame advantage of this move is the key to unlocking Balrog’s damaging combos.

Another advantage of the EX version is that the recovery on whiff is very quick, making it a good wakeup option against crossups.

or
Dashing Low Punch (Running Low Straight)
Damage
Light
90
Medium
100
Hard
110
EX
110

Properties

Balrog steps forward and slides down with a punch that must be blocked low. While it's a good chance for a mixup, most players block low against all of your rush punches anyway. Also, all of the regular versions are very unsafe on block. If you space them correctly, it’s possible to use the move’s blockstun to push the opponent out of punishing range.

EX Version: Compared to the regular Low Punches, this version is a lot safer on block. Use this attack to keep opponents wary of your low and high options.

or
Dashing Overhead Punch (Running Swing Blow)
Damage
Light
80
Medium
90
Hard
100
EX
100

Properties

Balrog winds up a bit and them slams down an overhead attack. All versions of this attack are punishable on block. It's a really great mixup, one of Balrog's best since it's difficult for even experienced players to see it coming. You'll want to be very unpredictable with this attack if you want to land it, though.

Since most Balrog players end their attack strings with a Dashing Punch for chip damage, switch it up between the Dashing Punch, EX Low Punch and (EX) Overhead Punch to be confusing and unreadable.

If the Overhead Punch is used randomly without any sort of setup most players will knock you out of it with some sort of reversal or just neutral jump and punish you. If you manage to land the Overhead Punch, you can follow it up easily with a crouching Medium Punch canceled into whatever move you want next. Some small characters require a crouching Light Kick followup instead but this is rare.

EX Version: The EX Overhead Punch is just as unsafe as the Light Punch version on block but the super armor can be a lifesaver as it prevents an opponent from poking you out of the slow startup.

or
Dashing Low Uppercut (Running Low Smash)
Damage
Light
100
Medium
110
Hard
120
EX
120

Properties

Balrog steps sideways and throws out a smashing punch that is meant to be used as a standalone armor breaker. All of the versions are unsafe on block, but the Light version can be hard to punish if you space it correctly. This attack knocks the opponent down and far away, forcing the opposing character to the corner.

If your opponent is abusing Focus Attacks in an attempt to catch your dash punches, then this is the direct answer to it.

EX Version: EX Low Smash cannot be punished on block except by grapplers, making it a good use of EX meter if you want to force the opponent to stop Focusing. Even if the opponent releases a Level 2 Focus Attack, you'll absorb the hit and keep going to smash them out of it. Level 3 Focus Attacks are too slow to break you out of your Low Smash.

or
Turn Punch (TAP)
Damage
Level 1
130
Level 2
150
Level 3
180
Level 4
210

Properties

Balrog spins in place and then moves forward for an armor breaking attack that looks similar to his normal Dash Punch. This attack is invulnerable on startup to attacks and projectiles.

The longer you hold down the buttons the more powerful the Turn Punch becomes. Balrog shouts out the number as he turns to let you know how far he is charged up. If you hold down the buttons long enough you can deal out an obscene amount of damage with just one hit, but it takes an insanely long time to charge it up to a level that does the crazy amounts of damage. Also, the longer you charge the Turn Punch, the more unsafe it becomes on block.

This attack has quite a lot of startup, so many people will be able to just hit you out of it. You should really only use it if you are fighting someone who likes to use projectiles a lot, or in very specific match ups. Don't forget that you can charge any of your other special attacks while the Turn Punch is in motion.

or
Buffalo Headbutt
Damage
Light
80
Medium
120
Hard
140
EX
150

Properties

Balrog is invulnerable to throws, attacks and projectiles during the startup of Buffalo Headbutt. The Light Punch version comes out the fastest and travels the least horizontal distance. It's mildly useful as an anti-air because of the startup invincibility, but most opponents will not be jumping at you when you have a down charge.

Because of the way the hitbox is situated on Balrog's head, it can be difficult hitting opponents who do low moves on your wakeup. It's also fairly simple for opponents to jump safely against you, since the Headbutt starts up slowly for a reversal attack. The invincibility of the move wears out while Balrog is still in the air so it's possible for crossup attacks to still land if they are timed right.

The whiff recovery of this move is really massive, making it easy for characters to punish any random attempts at trying to interrupt their blockstring. If you're trying to do a desperation counter, it's best to stick with the EX Headbutt.

If you land any version of the Headbutt, you can go right into Ultra 1. This applies even if you are standing facing the corner. The Headbutt is also Balrog's most damaging combo ender.

EX Version: The EX Buffalo Headbutt has much more invincibility and will never trade hits as an anti-air. It also moves Balrog the farthest forward and extends his attack hitbox vertically making it easier for him to intercept attacks on the ground.

Super and Ultra Moves
or
Super — Crazy Buffalo
Damage
Super
345

Properties

Since Balrog has incredibly good hit confirms, it's a piece of cake to combo into this Super. You can Cancel from a variety of moves, with the most popular being the Dash Punch. If you hold down either the Punch or Kick buttons, Balrog will perform straight punches or uppercuts. You can change it up by swapping button holds as Balrog is moving forward.

Crazy Buffalo is totally invulnerable to projectiles during the first swing, making it invaluable in a matchup where Balrog has to deal with fireballs. Whether or not you deliberately stock EX for this Super is up to both your playstyle and the character you are facing.

Balrog's EX moves are exceptionally good compared to most characters. The ability to constantly gain Ultra Meter by having your super armored moves absorb hits might be too valuable to pass up.

or
Ultra 1 — Violent Buffalo
Damage
Ultra 1
336 - 491

Properties

Like his Super, Violent Buffalo is invulnerable to projectiles during the startup punch. Most opponents won't throw a fireball once they notice that you are charged for this Ultra, or they will throw them very sparingly when you don't have a charge ready. Balrog can combo into this Ultra from his Buffalo Headbutt, and since it's really easy to combo into the Headbutt with Balrog you are almost guaranteed to land this Ultra in every game unless you really have trouble closing the distance between you and your opponent.

If you do the Headbutt to Ultra combo, the buttons you press afterward are important for the maximum amount of damage. The setup changes according to the list below:
  • Midscreen: Kick for first hit, Punch for second, Kick for rest.
  • Corner, High Juggle: Punch for first two hits, Kick for rest.
  • Anti-Air Trade: Punch for first two hits, Kick for rest.
These juggles change depending on the strength of headbutt as well, so this list is still not definite. For Hard Punch Headbutts, it's best to go with the first option for catching the opponent in the air.

Ultra 2 — Dirty Bull
Damage
Ultra 2
205 - 399

Properties

This is a command grab Ultra, which is a rarity for a charge character. It doesn't do much damage, but it does a huge amount of stun.

This Ultra cannot be jumped out of once the Ultra cinematic freeze begins. The downside is that the range of this Ultra is really short, forcing you to land it point blank.

Since the damage is very low and Balrog is not a character based around stunning the opponent, most players are sticking with Ultra 1 which gives much more in terms of options and damage opportunities.

Combos
Important Note: Not every possible combo is listed here. Instead, you'll find the most common and helpful combos that you should know. There are many variations to these as well.

Cancel into Hard Punch Headbutt
2 Hits
210 damage
Quick punish combo.


4 Hits
119 Damage
Untechable knockdown combo.


Jump

Hard Dash Punch
4 Hits
318 Damage
Balrog's jump-in combo.


Overhead Punch
Hard Dash Punch
3 Hits
242 Damage
Standard reward for landing an overhead punch. This combo can vary depending on the character, look above in the Overhead Punch section for details.


EX Dashing Uppercut
Hard Punch Headbutt
6 Hits
248 Damage
One of Balrog's best punishes and it only takes one EX bar. You can keep a loop going with EX Dash Uppers until you run out of meter.


Hard Punch Headbutt, juggle with Ultra 1
10 Hits
357 Damage
Balrog's Ultra juggle combo. Because you can land this without any meter sacrifice whatsoever it's a really great combo. Powerful, and it pushes the opponent into the corner.


Hard Dash Punch
Crazy Buffalo
7 Hits
466 Damage
A quick combo into Super. Canceling into Crazy Buffalo is very easy, especially from a Dash Straight.
Tips and Tricks
If you find yourself the victim of lots of Focus Attacks, just begin charging some Level 1 Turn Punches along with a mix of Dashing Smashes. If you don't want to take the risk with either of those moves, simply keep cancelling Dash Punches from Crouching Light Punch or Medium Punch for a constant two-hit safe combo that will keep breaking Focus Attacks. Simply Chaining two Light Punches together as an armor breaker works really well too.

Don't forget that during any special move, Balrog has several ways of maintaining charges for other attacks. A simple example is Balrog's Turn Punch, which allows you to store both a down and back charge during its execution. After you have landed several knockdown moves, you can use your stored charge to build meter from a whiffed attack while your opponent stands up. Another easy example is after Balrog is done juggling the opponent using Ultra 1. Simply charge a Turn Punch and a Dash Straight while the combo is going on and unleash both once the opponent is knocked down.
Staying Charged Up
Balrog can keep his Dash Punches and Headbutt charged up even while executing some of his special moves. Also, with his Low Dashing Punch attacks, you can execute them by going from a down-back to down-forward position and the instant he's out of his Low Dash Punch — he can Headbutt, because you're never losing your downwards charge.

This sets up a lot of cheese and unpredictability with the Boxer. He can use his Low Dashing Punches to advance on his opponent while using Headbutts to go through projectiles and counter moves. Having most of his moves readily available makes him all the more deadly and unpredictable. This involves playing in a risky style, but the damage output can make it worth it.

Other Resources and Credit
You can find more information about playing Balrog on the Central Character Discussion Thread on the EventHubs.com forums
Contributions to this guide by Nyoronoru and ScytheWP.


Comments

Unomia said on March 10, 2010 at 3:48 p.m.

As a beginer balrog player, i have some notes, and recomendations for people:

Take advantage of your C.HP. This will make people think twice about randomly jumping in on you. Also gives good stun+damage. This has high priority against most skills, however avoid characters with lots of range. Example is Sakuras J.HK or zangiefs J.HK.

Against Blanka: his cannonballs have high priority over turning punches. If he throws it out there, just defend, and quickly running punch him as he is going to the ground. You can also turtle by using C.HP or stadning medium to frustrate him even more.

Against ken, ryu, akuma: Don't start rushing him yet, test the waters before you decide your moves. If a fireball is coming at you, turnaround punch and see how prepared they are. If they counter this by shoyruken, you may have a tough fight. If you are in the right range, you can avoid the double hit punch barlogs glove will hit the tip of him.

Against Zangief: this can be a tough and rewarding fight depending on their skill. watch out for lariats, they will go through EX and running punches. J.HP into him while zangief is in laryiat is safe(when the range of your punch is at maximum. While you are jumping back, and he miss the lariat, you can hit him with J.HP.

His running stance into a grab is easy to avoid. Jump back and hard punch him, or in ex, do C.LP after the J.HP.

If he tries to advance you, time your running punches in an off tempo, to try to get some hits. However, i think it's possible that zangief can grab you after the dash punch; I am not sure yet. When in the corner, don't rush punch him; he will easily grab you. Instead, try grabing him or J.HP him if hes in lariat. you can also sweep him when he is vulnerable after green glove attack and the lariat so watch out for that.

Against Guile: watch out for reversal flash kicks. They are killer and can go through EX moves. If you can bring him down to a lower health than you, just turtle, and light headbutt his fireballs. When he does his double sweep, you can use your ultra after the first sweep, or you can ex him. Take advantage of those times as many noob guiles use this move alot.

Combo: If you can land this, this does a lot of damage and stun:

J.HK, Standing H.K, Link into Standing L.P, cancel into running punch(any version).
Instead of doing EX when they are stunned, just use this combo.

You can also do a light punch and cancel into ultra, but that is extremely difficult to do.

#1
Stylecrap said on March 31, 2010 at 8:47 a.m.

Many thanks to all who contributed to this page. I'm actually pretty decent with Rog now. Sometimes to a point im kicked out of the game after 1 fight -_-. Any1 wanna battle? (PSN ID finegood) Add me.

#2
MasterBIson said on April 14, 2010 at 6:41 p.m.

this guy nickname (and i mean story wise) should be ''hadoken eater'' or something like that, seriously this guy is a beast against missile throwers, he just nullifies their gayness and turns it into pain

#3
andriand said on April 23, 2010 at 9:19 p.m.

his 2nd ultra sucks real bad. very limited range, and using 720 move for someone that needs lots of charging is just weird. I think most people will stick with the first ultra.

#4
SeedyROM said on April 24, 2010 at 6:42 p.m.

Ultra 2 (Dirty Bull) Setups Video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFhG0z...

I fully agree Ultra 1 is superior but here are some early ways to get a slight edge in landing Ultra 2. I hope we'll find more as time goes on!

#5
THORNCRUSHER760 said on April 28, 2010 at 6:02 p.m.

has the headbutt juggel to ultra changed from all 3 punches to all 3 kicks or am i trippin?

#6
Fujisawa_Loser said on May 4, 2010 at 2:46 p.m.

Aside from Bison. Balrog is my first character of choice though it took me the release of 4 to really like using him. My friends hate it when I pick him. This guide helped me quite a bit so thanks to those that contributed to this page.

#7
Zeekin said on May 20, 2010 at 8:24 p.m.

"Timing on some of his charge combos takes a lot of practice to learn."

... No it doesn't.

#8
FADCTAUNT said on June 2, 2010 at 2:01 p.m.

They should also remove the learning curve part in the negatives bit. SFIV Boxer is one of the most braindead characters in the game, if you can't use him you truly must suck balls.

#9
PwnDizzle0 said on June 8, 2010 at 11:55 a.m.

Balrog is a cool bully

#10
Drippy_Nozzle said on June 17, 2010 at 12:42 a.m.

What the timing for his 19th trial? headbutt to super...
I can do it with ultra so easily, why is it any harder with super?

#11
Drippy_Nozzle said on June 18, 2010 at 1:49 a.m.

ok, oh my god, finally; i just found out I have to hold down the kick buttons. lol. sorted first try.

#12
ScytheWP said on July 14, 2010 at 7:50 p.m.

why does it say that his headbutt is armor breaking?

#13
mach1545 said on July 29, 2010 at 4:53 p.m.

Cheap, broken, overpowered.

...

Three words that don't describe Balrog. I suck at this matchup no matter what character I am. Gawd!

#14
riku45 said on August 7, 2010 at 12:02 p.m.
#15
Meety said on August 14, 2010 at 9:02 a.m.

dis my main i dont like spamming fireballs nd also physical strength solves evrything

#16
SF4junkie said on August 17, 2010 at 11 p.m.

I can never connect the head butt to U1. What is the trick? I can connect dash punch to super but never head butt to U1. It doesnt even come out. Any ideas on good set ups for U2?

Anyone feel like playing random vs random?

PSN: OoDemonSeedoO
XBL: GotDemonSeed

#17
Yofurt said on August 22, 2010 at 11:29 a.m.

@Meety i totally agree with that physical strength solves everything

@SF4junkie i dont know if you have figured it out by now but, when you headbutt you also keep the back charge so you can perform your ultra 1 and when your ultra 1 comes out its he does a series of straight(p) and uppers(k) (p,p,k,k,k) is going to help you land most of your ultra. sorry if this didnt help that much but try your best and have fun

#18
Raven said on August 25, 2010 at 6:23 p.m.

For people having trouble with Rog's ultra, I'll explain a concept.

In order for Balrog to juggle his opponent from Headbutt to Ultra, you need two charges in succession. So, how do you maintain your charge for the ultra?

Hold down+back, when you headbutt, keep your joystick pressed towards Balrog's backside. Letting go of the joystick negates your charge, which means no ultra. Once your feet hit the ground and you're maintaining your back charge, perform forward-back-forward+PPP to get the ultra out. HOWEVER, in order to maximize damage on the juggle, you need to hold a "kick" button, otherwise the ultra will drop him after one or two hits.

For this combo, it's essential to keep your joystick towards Balrog's back at all times, and do not let it go. Letting it go means the ultra simply won't execute since it has to be charged. Holding the Kick button gives ultra full damage from a juggle state. ;)

#19
SF4junkie said on August 27, 2010 at 11:21 p.m.

Thanks for the advice, havent alot of difficulty with it since I play with pad, for both systems. Its one of the few Boxer trials I havent been able to complete.

#20
Reyapollo said on October 24, 2010 at 6 a.m.

Does anyone have any advice regarding *how* to do the Dirty Buffalo? I bought the game the other day and it's awesome, but the actual movements for doing the move are proving extremely difficult. I can't stop Balrog from just jumping away from his opponent instead of actually doing to move. Any help would be appreciated!

#21
Megatonbeef said on October 26, 2010 at 5:58 a.m.

@Reyapollo
Since a full 720 motion has an up in it you'll always jump during the motion unless you're in a position where that is impossible. try imputting the 720 in the air and pressing 3 punches when you land, then you can practice doing the 720 while you dash forwrad. A good Zangief player can buffer the 720 motion during any attack check out some Gief replays to see how they pull it off while attacking.
Also Dirty Bull is not a good ultra everyone uses Rog's U1 but if you have fun usig Dirty Bull than that's all that matters.

#22
ragingbuffalo said on November 13, 2010 at 2:05 p.m.

i always feel like this should be said: you can charge balrogs dash punches before the match starts. just hold back as it says READY FIGHT. no one ever does it and it makes me feel bad when i hit with my super in the first frame of battle

#23
Quintero750 said on May 22, 2011 at 8:40 p.m.

ERROR ERROR ERROR!!!

You can jump out of Balrogs Ultra 2 after the freeze.......

#24
throughsilence said on August 3, 2011 at 11:46 p.m.

I've seen a few videos where a dash punch (running straight) can do the armor breaking animation when someone focuses, can anyone tell me why this happens?

#25
pnoyphenom said on August 18, 2011 at 9:43 p.m.

@through silence i guess it just breaks within the few start up frames of a focus move......or prolly ur seein the turn punch instead....

#26
ETNBalrog said on May 22, 2012 at 11:17 a.m.

@throughsilence and pnoyphenom: Actually, I believe it's because the dash punch was used as a reversal, and reversal moves always break armor. Or perhaps, as pnoyphenom said, it was a turn punch.

#27
MaysTheCraze said on June 3, 2013 at 10:37 p.m.

I find it strange the guide mentions nothing about getting some free throws off the regular and EX versions of Balrog's Dash Uppers. The recovery is pretty quick and the whiff animation is rather tricky, so you can sneak some throws in if your opponent doesn't react fast enough. The guide makes the move sound completely worthless though, when it isn't in my opinion.

#28


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