You only need one button to have a fun and strong start with Honda in Street Fighter 5

We didn't say you can WIN with just this one button, but you can start building a sound foundation that will lead to success with it

Posted by John 'Velociraptor' Guerrero • August 12, 2019 at 7:39 p.m. PDT | Comments: 19

Some people love exploring new characters while others might see the process of picking someone new up as a mountainous task that demands a ton of hours and nuanced attention so as to ensure they know what to do in every single possible situation that might come up during play.

In my recent ventures with Street Fighter 5's newly-released E. Honda, I've found that while is a fairly sophisticated character with plenty of options and situations to explore, he also comes with the gift of a single move that serves as a very clear starting block that's simple, fun to play with, and will help players naturally develop their game into other avenues as they use it: standing fierce (heavy) punch.

This isn't to claim that a career Honda player will be able to get by with using only one button while they face off against foes... that's just silly. The focus here is on the fact that standing heavy punch has been designed in such a way that we can use it as an introduction to playing the character that's fun, informative, and reduces that potentially demoralizing mountain down to a much more manageable molehill to overcome.

If you've been considering Honda but have been a little intimidated by the concept of Hundred Hand Slap cancels, or even if you're just not used to charge characters, you can throw all that out the window for the time being and just focus on this one move to get your bearings. You'll also probably win more than you'd expect while playing such a simplified game.

Your first step is to pick Honda, head into training or a casual game, (this can be against the computer if you'd prefer) and only worry about walking and heavy punching. Your goals here aren't winning (so don't do this in Ranked) but instead to become as familiar and efficient as possible with standing fierce.

You'll want to note things like exactly how far it reaches, how fast it comes out, and how risky it is when it whiffs. You'll want to know these things both on paper and how they feel in the immediacy of actual gameplay. I'll give you a headstart by sharing some frame data.

Standing fierce has eight frames of start-up, (pretty fast for a heavy button) is negative 7 on block, (you'll need to space yourself far enough away so that opponents cannot efficiently punish if they block) and has 22 frames of recovery on whiff (have to be careful).

Here's yet another resource as alb3530 has graciously uploaded footage of the World Warrior's hitboxes in action. You can use this reference for any and all of Honda's moves, but let's just take a gander at how standing fierce works for now: (please note that the yellow box is not the hitbox, it is proximity guard box. The hitbox is displayed in red.)

You'll notice that not only does this attack put up a nice wall in front of Honda, but that it also does this above his head. Standing heavy serves as both a great footsie tool and and anti-air, which is a hugely significant part of why this one move works so well for learning this character. Two birds with one, single-input, stone.

Without the baggage of being preoccupied with all of Honda's other attacks, you can simplify your life down to watching for two things and two things only: when is my foe going to be in range for a heavy punch, and when are they going to be jumping at me?

Put up enough of a wall in front of you and your opponents will inevitably take to the air. While Honda does have other anti-air options and heavy punch won't catch everything, it's efficient enough to get us started.

This move is versatile enough to use by itself and still give you an introductory idea of what Honda can do. Stop yourself from using any other buttons and focus on becoming the most efficient heavy punch user in the world. No one jumps in on you, and everyone has a hell of a time getting in your face as you wiggle around with the threat of this powerful attack always keeping foes on toes.

The process is actually quite fun when you start to get the hang of it. Relieving yourself of the burden of worrying about all the other moves you can/should be using helps to expedite progress in this particular avenue, and turn you into something of a wall that foes get increasingly frustrated with trying to topple.

You may not be getting a ton of wins here, but after a while, you will find that your subconscious understands this move to the point where you can use it extremely well without thinking about it. Once that happens, you have successfully laid down a massive cornerstone on which you'll build the rest of your Honda temple.

Standing heavy is good for damage, but more importantly, it manipulates opponents into dancing around and away from it. Your newfound, badass standing heavy skills will make foes afraid to jump and be intimidated whenever you're in range to do it, which means you can begin to predict their movements and start using other attacks to counter their dances.

Maybe now you can get them to hesitate long enough to move even closer and start using standing jab to poke them as well. Now you can pester them a bit with jab a few times, walk backward, and then pop them with ol' reliable fierce as they try to follow your retreat.

"You may not be getting a ton of wins here, but after a while, you will find that your subconscious understands this move to the point where you can use it extremely well without thinking about it. Once that happens, you have successfully laid down a massive cornerstone on which you'll build the rest of your Honda temple"

Once you master the particular uses of jab, you can pepper in some standing/crouching medium punches (another very good poke tool) to take your game one level deeper. All of these moves work with the threat and potential of each other to be efficient.

Things continue from there, as you'll eventually learn to start incorporating all of the sumo's buttons and even special moves. Pretty soon a successful heavy punch will become a successful heavy punch into Hundred Hand Slap or headbutt. You'll be able to choose to anti-air with standing fierce, heavy headbutt, EX butt slam, or even other attacks depending on range and situation.

The rest of the temple will come, brick by brick, but each new move should mean something within the context of everything else. You can apply this process to most anyone in any fighting game, but it's especially apparent with Honda here in SF5 because of the particular way this one move works for his "turtle up until you earn a big rush down moment" game plan.

If you're exploring Honda, try this approach of building out from a simple center and let us know if it works for you. If you have any of your own opinions on how to better learn the ins and outs of the character, feel free to share them in the comments.

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