It is over eight months since we got the latest S2 DLC – Hwang. He is the most flashy and most complex character in the whole SC6… But is he also good? That is the question for Boom – with the support of Skyll and Shen Chan!
Boom is not only one of SCPortal “State of” regulars, but also one of the most notable SC players worldwide – and also the most well-known Hwang main. That is why I asked him to elaborate on Hwang’s abilities, options and drawbacks.
Okay so, this character is stupidly complex. It’s been about 8 months and I still haven’t fully mastered or figured out this character so take my thoughts with the expectation that they could change at any point in time.
So Hwang is the latest DLC character in SoulCalibur VI and he’s probably the coolest one as well! As far as the state of the character though, I think he is actually in a pretty good state! The complexity of this character comes with his subsystems. Positive lifeforce gives you certain lethal hits and meter at the end of rounds, while negative lifeforce also gives you certain lethal hits, but these lethal hits are only once per game. You also lose life if you end rounds at 0 lifeforce or below. He has 4 auras, Green (gives extra life on certain tracks), Red (gives meter on certain attacks), Blue (gives guard stamina on certain attacks), and Yellow (next move that hits becomes an automatic counterhit).
- Probably the best sidestep in the game, considering he can step X 22B, Cass 6BB, Azwel 6BA up close, and some other cool niche places where he can step.
Skyll: Agreed, going from Mitsu to him feels like another game ahah
- Fantastic keepout game with moves like a6, 6a+b, general movement and a throw range that is absolutely absurd at times.
Skyll: I agree with that too but it becomes harder to keep out people whe they manage to get a bit closer to you. This is mainly due to the bad frames on hit for most of Hwang’s fast moves.
- Some moves are just completely stupid. 66B+K is a fantastic defensive tool that nets 110 on successful armor parry, 22A+B is a completely safe NH launcher that is +16 and combos into CE, Soul Attack, 66B, or whatever you need pretty much.
Skyll: 66B+K is very situational but when it’s good, it’s VERY good. Really depends on MUs though. I agree with rest.
- Ability to control Soul Charge interactions with Red Aura LH (8A+B). I value this very highly in the sense that I get to delete your Soul Charge while gaining meter for myself. This also allows you to do cheeky things with RI’s. If you RI, and if you guess right on the interaction, their SC is deleted, and you gain tons of meter.
Skyll: I think a vertical high move that needs to be in a specific aura is too easy to be played around for it to be controlling opponent’s Soulcharge.
- Post GI game in positive lifeforce is really good with bK B+K LH.
- If you make it to the last round, you pretty much become one of the best characters in the game.
- His Soul Charge is actually pretty annoying when everything comes together. With Chain Stance, Fly Stance, 1KK, Unbreakable CMD Grab, and the secret broken move 22KB Hwang has plenty of ways to keep you guessing.
Skyll: In Soulcharge, I do think it’s either hard to get in (except if we manage to use a Soul Attack) or very expensive in terms of gauge (SC8B+K A isn’t cheap). The lack of good plus frames is a problem to setup a good command grab too. And if the opponent ducks it, it can be game losing.
- Guard Break game is actually pretty solid. A lot of his safe moves do either 9% or 15% on guard, AND he has moves that take guard damage on hit!
Skyll: I think Hwang’s guard break game is bad. You have to pay too many talismans to make it worth it. You also get a worse oki if you go for that. Last thing, most of his moves scale a LOT when you actually guard break, making it pointless to adopt a guard break gameplan.
- You have a plethora of horizontal mids, so you cant get beat by Step 2G =)
Skyll: You do have a lot of hori mids, but most are only doing little damages and bad frame advantage (0 on hit). You also “lose” to step G because you lack frames to actually beat the guard on almost all your hori mids. And I say “lose” because you end up being safe but at -8 or -10 in front of your opponent, giving him a very nice situation..
- His Damage is actually pretty solid when you have an aura. When you guess right on certain moves like 66B+K or 236k or FC3B, his damage gets pretty consistently high.
Skyll: Agreed, very high damage in general if aura and talismans are well managed. Last round is also a big power spike.
- The CE Jingle.
Skyll: Can we get a S3 instead of spending the budget for that jingle please?
- Scrapping up close can be tough at times. You don’t have the frames or damage to really keep mashing with most characters upclose. You are forced to make a decision to either spend talismans on 6B+K/gamble on an auto GI/make a hard read just to get out of some situations when YOU hit your opponent.
Skyll: I can only agree with that. Dealing with fast characters that rely on being close is soooo annoying with Hwang’s frame data. You are forced into stupid reads after you HIT them once already.
- Even though you have a plethora of horizontal mids, most of them are 0 on hit (except wr A, bless wr A it is actually pretty good).
Skyll: Yeah okay so I don’t know why he said that in the Pros 9 ahah.
- If you have terrible situational awareness, this character will probably make you freeze up in most situations. Hwang is a character with a lot of moves that fit certain situations, and it takes time to figure those things out.
Skyll: Agreed. Where are Sieg’s aB and agA when we need them?
- Talisman management is annoyingly difficult at times.
- When this character whiffs, he actually has surprisingly big whiffs so you have to be careful with your move choice.
Skyll: Agreed, this is because the character likes doing unnecessary movements during his attacks. I guess looking cool has a price…
- Sometimes you are forced to use talismans to close rounds, and in a game with explosive damage, it can really hinder you. You use talismans to close out a round but in the next round you have to give up an interaction. It forces you to have to play extremely clean at times.
- Punishment is there, but it is nothing to write home about.
Skyll: Agreed. What is that con though.
- Alignment issues plague this character. DW A sometimes doesn’t re-track, 22A+B does its own thing whenever it wants to, 236K gets stepped for free by some characters, it’s kinda insane.
Skyll: Agreed. He needs patch. I NEED A PATCH.
- Negative Lifeforce lethal hits are pretty underwhelming. Outside of -3 Back throw LH, 44AAB LH at -6 is low damage, and YYT K LH at -9 is also low damage. I understand they are off of horizontal lows, but I’m sacrificing my life and my sanity here!
Skyll: I like them, especially the -9 one. It incentivizes the opponent to duck so I go for mids and keep my LH after for another mix. They can buff it though, I’ll take it! The Lethal hit at -6 isn’t impressive, I agree..
- Recovering Lifeforce really is super situational. Sometimes you get a lot, other times you get none. It’s hard out here.
Skyll: Agreed. And sacrificing guard gauge for talismans is way too bad.
- When you get the CE jingle but not the kill.
Skyll: MY SEASON 3 GODDAMNIT.
Overall, I think this character still has potential, but it’s going to take a while for it to be brought out. Contrary to popular belief, both positive lifeforce Hwang and -9 Hwang are viable ways to play. Mastery of them both is crucial. This character is similar to Amy in the sense that both of those characters require you to be really good at neutral. They play neutral and then force their mixups on their opponent. Either way, this character is dope and I’m definitely going to do my best to continue to master this character.
Skyll: For Boom’s conclusion, I also think both are viable ways of playing Hwang but going minus just before the last round seems probably more optimal.
Shen Cahn: I think Boom summarized most of Hwang’s pros and cons. He has pretty good moves in general when it comes to range/damage but often at the cost of frame data or speed. Good neutral and movement and you need to pay attention to many details during the match. For example, he has LH condition when the opponent has full CE bar, when Hwang himself has red guard gauge and is in blue talisman etc. One thing I want to point out though is that he’s weak to characters with good RE like Nightmare as he has few RE safe moves in general.
Skyll is someone who needs no introductions in SC community. What you may not know about him is that this Mitsu main is playing Hwang a lot, too. And he scared good share of European players with him. To death.
His opinions regarding Booms elaborate are inserted into the ext above, in green.
3rd of our guides needs about as much introduction as the previous two: This people’s champ (hailing from Singapore) is subbing Hwang in the Asia region that already lives under the terror of the dread pirate he mains.
His overall comment upon Booms text is added in blue.