NeoGeo Battle Coliseum/Rock Howard
- cl.A/B/C/D are cancel-able.
- cl.A chains into itself, cr.B, st.A (whiffs), st.B (cl.B doesn't come out due to start-up), and cr.A (hits, doesn't combo).
- cl.B is not good across the board. Start-up makes it hard to combo and punish with, is less plus on both hit and block to cl.A, and can whiff from usually common jump-in timings.
- cl.C is the go-to heavy for combos, being faster than and doing the same damage as cl.D.
- cl.D, though outmatched in punish situations compared to cl.C, can help put more pressure on the opponent's wake-up in combination with its optional follow-up, see command normals.
- st.A/D are cancel-able.
- st.A/D whiff on normal sized crouchers.
- st.B hits mid despite the low kick animation. Has the 2nd longest range to st.D by mere pixels making for a more consistent poke.
- st.C doesn't have the range of Rock's far kicks, and has slower start-up than st.D. But hitting more in the center than either does give it one upside when one may whiff on crouchers and another more easily fails to catch the first frames of a jump.
- cr.A/B/C/D are cancel-able.
- cr.A chains into itself. While you can land up to 3 point-blank, the 2nd cr.A will not combo into the 3rd.
- cr.B chains into itself.
- cr.C is a moderately good meterless anti-air if Rising Tackle can't be done quick enough, or if there's no meter for Raging Storm (qcfx2+A/C).
- cr.D is a pretty average/decent sweep, and can be canceled on hit, preferably into Reppuken or Double Reppuken. Don't try qcb+A or be careful doing it; it will whiff if sweep is spaced or if too close, ends up minus on block.
- j.B has the longest range of all of Rock's jump normals, and invalidates A in everything but a miniscule difference in start-up; good air-to-air, significantly more active frames than A.
- j.C can be used in combos if used deep enough.
- j.D keeps the classic Rock angle that's in every one of his appearances. Pretty good jump-in/air-to-ground. Preemptive, more-dmg-than-j.B air-to-air. Can cross-up by hitting with Rock's bent back leg.
Guard Cancel Tag Attack Pressing the E button while in blockstun will have Rock counter with close D, before he then tags out.
Kokuusen: b/f + CD
- Can be broken. Hard knockdown. This throw leaves the opponent close enough for applied pressure or for a command throw.
Upper Evade: AC
- Garou's low profile attack. Actually pretty good at said low profiling, though it's not frame 1, and is even on block.
- Also helped by having both good range, and special/super cancelability. qcb+A combos from it so long as AC doesn't hit at its very tip, and Shine Knuckle's B and D versions both fully connect on hit with a grounded opponent. This is the only somewhat reliable one-poke confirm into Deadly Rave Rock has.
Lower Evade: BD
- Garou's universal overhead. No cancelable properties on either of the two hits (both of which are true overheads, it's not something where one or the other is a mid).
- More plus on both hit and block than dedicated low profile.
Overhead: after cl.D, f+D
- Inputting f+D after cl.D leads Rock to perform a different axe kick from BD. This overhead attack is one hit and can be used to mix up what Rock will do from a cl.D on an opponent's wake-up, as both kicks can be canceled into a special or super.
- Rock throws a projectile that travels along the ground. It's rather slow in its recovery, but can pressure an opponent when canceled into.
Double Reppuken: qcf+C
- Rock stays one Reppuken before throwing in another for a bigger and faster, still grounded projectile.
- Moves faster than the A version.
- The first Reppuken will negate projectiles, while the full Double Reppuken will still count as a level 1 projectile.
- Will deal 2 hits point blank, but unlike Geese, Rock is too minus on hit to combo out of it. Also unlike Geese, does not deal any knockdown on CH.
Rising Tackle: [d]~u+A/C
- Rock's one and only true reversal option. Being a charge input, you'll have to be more committal to performing this in both reversal and anti-air situations.
- Both versions can be super cancelled, though only qcfx2+C held briefly will connect.
- A version has invuln only up to the 1st hit and does 3 total.
- C version has invuln throughout the start-up and first hit, rises higher than A, and does more damage with a total of 4 hits.
Hard Edge: qcb+A/C
- Rock does a dashing elbow strike. The C version adds on an additional palm strike. The A version is super cancelable -- though into qcfx2+B midscreen it should be linked out of instead for full connection -- and can extend juggle combos. qcb+C should be used only on grounded opponents from heavy confirms for being both negative on block and the palm strike not connecting after the elbow on aerial opponents.
Rage Run ~ Type Dunk: qcb+B
- Rock runs towards the opponent, and does his version of Terry's "Power Dunk" move. Hits high, unsafe on block. There's a lot of risk attached to this move, and only really has a place as a YOLO low callout, overhead, or in ballsy frame traps (e.g. st.D, qcb+B).
Rage Run ~ Type Shift: (qcb+D)
- Rock runs towards the opponent, and does a dashing teleport to the other side of the opponent. Aside from using this for mixups, this move can sometimes prove worthy when it comes to getting out of the corner.
Shinkuu Nage: 360+C
- Rock does a command throw one-to-one with Geese's own. It retains its break property from Garou where by tapping AB after the throw, the flourish animation is canceled. If AB is held for a certain length of time, Rock will transition into Rasetsu. This break mechanic is very important, because it can allow for Rock to combo his opponent afterward, especially in the corner. The best option to use after the Break is qcb+A, and if in the corner, qcb+A can be canceled into Raging Storm.
Rasetsu: After Shinkuu Nage, hold AB
- Immediately after breaking the command throw's recovery animation, Rock's hand will begin to charge. Upon releasing AB, Rock will shoot out an energy burst from his hand, doing a substantial amount of damage. This is the "easier" option after 'breaking' Shinkuu Nage, compared to timing a dash into qcb+A into another ender.
Atemi Nage Joudan: qcf+B
- Do not get fooled, this counter does not work on any grounded normals at all. It's exclusively functional against physical jump-ins. The oki is very good, giving Rock nearly a whole second of adv. while the opponent is at his feet, threatening his Shinkuu Nage.
Atemi Nage Gedan: qcf+D
- Similar to the B counter, this counter likes to play extremes by only countering low kicks and not low attacks in general, meaning it's happy to let Rock get punched in the face by a jab even though his hands are in a position to stop it. Works on higher hitting sweeps like from Terry and Hanzo. Oki on successful counter is identical to qcf+B.
Raging Storm: qcfx2+A/C
- Rock does a smaller and wilder version of Geese's Raging Storm. The button strength determines the amount of damage, the color of the blast, and bar used. Both deal SKD.
- In combos, both versions of RS only work in the corner. The C version can be followed up with a jump attack for an air reset, qcb+A, [d]~u+A/C, or A ver. Raging Storm should you have that remaining bar. Defensively, both versions of the move do not have strike or projectile invincibility during the start-up, meaning you'll need the RS' hitbox to protect Rock when using it as an anti-air.
Shine Knuckle: qcfx2+B/D
- Rock's own spin on Buster Wolf. The button strength determines the amount of damage and meter used. Both deal HKD.
- B uses one bar and is Rock's best super ender outside the corner for the consistent straight path, both in juggles after Shinkuu Nage, and in cr.B confirms.
- D uses two bar and for the love of god never use this in a juggle. In fact only ever use it when you land cl.D.f+D, because the damage difference between this and the B version is smaller than it is between Rock's two levels of RS, and Shine Knuckle's B version loses hits after cl.D.f+D because of the pushback. Of course if you can see ending a character's lifebar with that extra chunk of damage, go for it.
- Like RS, Shine Knuckle does not have any reversal utility due to a lack of start-up invuln.
Neo Deadly Rave: hcb,f+A, A,A,B,B,C,C,D,D.qcb+C (consumes 3 bar)
- Rock does his version of Geese's Deadly Rave. The move does not have start-up invuln, capping off the trilogy of zero-invuln supers from one, Rock Howard.
- qcb+C finisher deals SKD.
- Unlike Garou or CvS2, there is no upside to ending the rave early to do cl.C into qcb+C. It does not do more damage than outright completing Neo Deadly Rave, which is nearly half of max health, and in this game, qcb+C does SKD, so there's no oki to be gained either.
- You can do cl.C into qcf+E after the 2nd D input to take out a lot of red health.
- Can combo from lights, but you better know you if have that confirm, or that is all your bar gone and a GC tag from the opponent received -- because if you have the bar to spend on a Deadly Rave, the opponent has at least one to do exactly that.
- The initial hit and inputs "1st A input to 1st D input" are even on block with the opponent. The 2nd D input has enough advantage to combo a cl.C after on hit, so on block it actually does leave Rock plus.
- If the opponent decides to take all your Deadly Rave attacks on block, do not fall into the trap of doing the qcb+C finisher; the chip damage is quite impressive but Rock will be eating a full punish immediately afterward.
Storm & Stream: rdp+CE (When partner is Terry Bogard and within 10 counts after Rage Run: Shift)
- Rock does a Rising Tackle sending the opponent in the air. Terry then follows up with a Power Geyser, and Rock finishes with a charged Raging Storm.
- Rock's strategy is similar to that in "Garou: Mark of the Wolves", which is to corner trap the opponent relentlessly. Rock has several tools that can assist in this, primarily his command throw (360 + C). After doing the command throw, Rock can charge A + B and time the attack, use qcb + A, or qcf x2 + B/D to get damage in. These options also assist in forcing the opponent into the corner. If you don't want to waste time in timing any moves and just want to force the opponent in the corner still, a simple jumping C or D will do the trick, although jumping D can work better for this case. Note that damage will be sacrificed using this option, but this can allow for better mixup since Rock will still be in range.
- Once in the corner, variations of block strings can be used to pressure the opponent. Don't expect to break their guard, however. Most of the moves (not counting hard attacks) don't do too much in that field. While continuing the corner assault, be mindful that turtlers can switch their game up with a simple GCFS/JDFS and turn offensive instantly. If that's the case, a simple forward throw will stop their attempts. If they happen to be good at breaking throws, crouching A can sometimes stop them. Don't expect to go crazy with Reppuken rushdowns. Rock's projectiles come out a bit slower than Geese's, and make him more likely to get caught with a move after GCFS/JDFS.
- If fighting opponents that tend to stay airborn, Rising Tackle (charge d, u + A/C), crouching C, standing D (within range), and sometimes Atemi Nage Joudan (qcf + B) can prevent constant air rushdowns. This should ultimately be used in the sheer goal of corner trapping.
- Some characters can give Rock a hard time, most notably Mr. Big, Marco, K', Mudman, and even Hotaru. In this case, the best suggestion would be to play patient, and command throw often. It can't be broken, and can even still assist in taking the opponent to the corner. Learn what moves Rock can block in order to get a free 360 + C, qcb + A/C, or qcf x2 + B/D. Make sure to do the strongest combos afterwards, and extend them if in the corner. Don't worry about Deadly Rave (hcb, f + A/C) because most times it will prove a waste of meter. Ensure that the second character can build a considerable amount of meter, so that by the time Rock enters the fray, he can do damage. Most opponents might know Rock's corner game, so always have a backup plan. Tactics like doing Rage Run ~ Type Shift (qcb + D) after a knockdown in order to throw the opponent back in the corner with Shinkuu Nage (360 + C) can definitely help avoid opponents from stopping Rock's game.
- Block strings to use are:
- crouching B, crouching A, qcf + A
- crouching A/B/D, qcf + C
- cl. D ~ f + D, qcf + C
- (j.X) cr.B > d~u+C
- st.D > qcb+C
Useful for those ranges where cl.C won't come out. Will not combo if st.D is done from too far away.
- A+C > qcb+C/qcf+E
A+C has slower startup than st.D, but covers more range, and moves Rock forward slightly. Relatively long hitstun allows for confirming into a qcb+C, qcf+E or qcf+K, even from maximum range.
- (j.X) cl. C > qcb + C
- (j.X) cl.C > qcb+A, d~u+C
Will not be able to link into Rising Tackle if done from too close. If done with a jump in, you're guaranteed to be at the right distance to link Rising Tackle after qcb+A.
- A+C > qcb+A, d~u+C
Will not combo from maximum range.
- 360 + C -> A+B, qcb + A, d~u+C/qcf+E
- (j.X) cr.B > cr.B > qcfx2+B
Chain into the second cr.B as soon as possible, otherwise the super will not combo.
- (j.X) cl.C > AB Tactical Step, cl.C > qcb+C
- cl.D > f+D > qcfx2+B
Will only work from point blank range.
- (j.X) cl.C > AB Tactical Step, cl.C > qcb+A, d~u+C
- (j.X) cl.C > qcb+A > SC qcfx2+C, qcb+A, d~u+C/qcf+E
- 360 + C -> A+B, qcb + A > SC qcfx2+C, qcb+A, d~u+C/qcf+E
- (j.X) cr.B > cr.B > qcfx2+D
- A+C > qcfx2+D
- cl.D > f+D > qcfx2+D
- (j.X) cl.C > AB Tactical Step, cl.C > qcfx2+B
- (j.X) cl.C > qcb+A > SC qcfx2+C, qcb+A, d~u+C
- Note: The 'S' is the start button.