How to minimize your chances of being "robbed" by Balrog's V-Trigger in Street Fighter 5

Posted by John 'Velociraptor' Guerrero • May 18, 2017 at 6:15 p.m. PDT

There's little doubt that Balrog has become one of the best characters in Street Fighter 5 post Season 2 patch changes, and though the boxer is losing 25 health in the upcoming iteration, not much else will be changing about him.

Given his high damage output, his ability to carry his foes to the corner with surprising ease and his deadly mix ups, Rog has been deemed one of Street Fighter 5's "robbery characters." Just ask FOX|Tokido:

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Everyone is entitled to their fair share of SF5 Balrog salt, but the sooner you can get past the "this is unfair" and move on to the "how do I counter it?" the sooner you'll up your wins against the Shadaloo sub-boss.

Balrog's most obvious and powerful tool is his V-Trigger. Rog players can use this to turn the tide of a round virtually regardless of how much of a life deficit they're at.

The natural process here becomes "the more you hit Balrog, the more V-Trigger you give him, the more potential he has to KO you with it." Whether or not you appreciate this fact, it's very much going to be in your face, and you'll be rudely reminded should you choose to ignore it.

Seeing as simply not attacking Balrog isn't an option, we must accept that we're not going to keep Rog from having V-Trigger. So what's the next best counter?

The best case scenario is that your Balrog opponent never gets the chance to activate. Street Fighter 5 is very much an offensive player's game, and many characters are more than capable of smothering Rog to the point of KO.

This requires that your meaties are perfect and consistent, and that your offense has virtually no holes in it. All it takes is a mistimed move or few frames of extra delay for a Balrog player to flail their way into a V-Trigger activation.

Barring online lag, your execution is on you. Ride the offensive wave for as long as you feel comfortably in control, and then stop the moment you aren't. If you feel you may have missed the timing of your knock down set up, or just finished a sequence that doesn't allow you to follow up, stop and wait.

More often than not, Balrog players will target combo or rush punch their way into V-Trigger. Here's the next crucial step: Let them, and be comfortable blocking it.

Balrog is actually not very scary in V-Trig if he's not hitting you. It's the reset potential on hit that will do you in, but if you're blocking you're still very much in the driver's seat. If Rog is spending his Trigger on blocked rush punches, you can count that as a victory in itself.

His "mix up" here is to stop said punches for a spin into overhead. You don't have to fear this either, as it's a free hit for you if you're looking for it. Rog is very negative if he stops and goes into a V-Skill, and you can hit him on reaction to the spin with a five frame move.

It may feel counter intuitive to take up the defense in an offense-based game, but I've found success grow at an exponential rate in my personal matches by doing this. Block, let them burn their meter, and spend most of your focus looking for a spin.

Minimizing the risk of a stray hit into death sentence resets is key when fighting boxer. It's not his only tool, but it's surely his most powerful one. While this may not be a catch all against the most elite players, I'm certain it will do wonders against the hordes Balrogs you'll run into online.

Implement this and see if you can't eek out a few more wins in your own sessions, and please let us know your anti-boxer strategies in the comments below. Now if we could only figure out how to deal with that pesky tap move...

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