For more information, check the Hazama Guide.
Hazama is a rather interesting member of the BlazBlue cast. At first, he doesn't appear all that threatening, having stubby normals, little defensive options, and a heavy reliance on a resource for movement. However, if one goes and expects an easy win, they couldn't be more wrong. Hazama carries a powerful array of tools at his disposal to confuse and destroy the opponent, from his amazing normals to his variety of useful specials. Good damage and/or corner carry can be attained from virtually any good hit that is taken advantage of. His Overdrive is by far one of the best in the game, giving him the ability to life drain, a fast and fully invulnerable reversal, and heavily strengthening his chains.
Hazama is an open character that can be played by anybody. He has many different tools and tricks to facilitate different playstyles. With his Ouroboros Drive and follow-ups, Hazama can move across the stage for keep-away, go about zoning and keep the opponent at bay, or use it to approach and pressure an opponent.
Hazama's neutral is one of his most flexible areas. With his Drive, Hazama has a multitude of options to suit his needs. He can throw chains out for zoning, fling himself across the screen to play keepaway, or threaten approaches from a multitude of angles. The key to an effective neutral on Hazama is understanding chains and your opponent's intentions.
Without chains, Hazama's movement is very limited. He's confined to a stepdash and a small air-dash range. Unlike most stepdash characters, he can't cancel his dash into a jump. However, Hazama can cancel his dash into barrier at any time. He can also cancel his dash into normals and specials. Super jump and air Barrier are solid ways of moving, though you won't charge stocks while in the air.
Chains and Their Followups
As most of Haz's normal moves have very short range, you'll mostly rely on your Drive to approach your opponents. Popular options include:
- j.4DD (superdash)
It's critical to mix up approaches. If you only use 5DD > j.B to approach, you will get very predictable and will eat an anti-air every time. Please note that many of the followups listed below apply to Hazama's other chains in some fashion. Hazama's chains are one of the most flexible parts of his kit, so don't be afraid to get creative and try entirely different followups.
- No Cancel: Leaves you with the least frame advantage, but works on whiff and doesn't spend a stock. Useful against opponents who can't punish this at long range.
- 214D~D: On a blocked chain, you can perform a stance cancel (cancel into stance and then end stance) to shorten the recovery time. This does not cost any stocks. In the air, you can opt for j.214B instead.
- 5D~A : A standard response to an opponent blocking 5D. You can also do it on whiff to make your opponent nervous. Costs a stock, but in certain matchups you can wait and build back stocks before trying again.
- 5D~D > j.B(hit): A standard overhead option, loses to most anti-air but wins against 5As.
- 5D~D > BC: If they try to jump after your chain hits, you can throw them.
- 5D~D > j.214B(whiff): j.214B brings Hazama to the ground can bait out antiairs and more:
- 5D~D > j.214B > 2B for a low;
- 5D~D > j.214B > 66BC for a throw (or 236C).
- 5D~D > j.2C(hit/whiff): A pretty good high/low/throw guess and can block immediately after landing. An earlier j.2C gives whiff which can be followed by 2B for a low (or a throw), and a later j.2C is a high. Loses to most anti-airs(including 5As) however.
- On hit, can jump cancel to j.4D, which can caught opponents off guard and start combo.
- 5D~D > j.A(hit/whiff): Not as good as j.2C but it is faster and relatively safer.
- 5D~B: A built-in anti-air bait. You can mostly replace the D followup ideas with 5D~B and they'll still work. Remember that you have to wait longer before cancelling into an air normal than the other followups. You can also spend another stock on an air chain, though you risk crippling your mobility until you build stocks back.
- 5D~C: Another built-in anti-air bait that change sides, useful for certain anti-airs but not for 5As. Can only followed up by an air normal due to positioning.
All of above mixups are still very punishable (by a lot of moves) if the chain is too far away, so try to find a good middle ground where it's most effective.
Hazama's pressure, for the most part, is structured around his normals. As of CF, his pressure is less focused on his stance due to being unable to use uncharged versions from 214D. 236C is also a strong option. Though it may not lead to much damage, it's unreactable and encourages your opponent to try and jump. 5B, 2B, 6A/6B are great buttons for pressure. 5B is +2 on block, so you can microdash it to reset pressure and call out mashes. 2B is a solid low, and 6A is a strong overhead that combos into Hotenjin (236236B). 6B is also a great button to throw in the mix. It naturally staggers, hits low, and is +1 on block. If opponents actively use Barrier and Instant Barrier, 3C is a good option to hit if your opponent believes you'll end pressure earlier.
Stance is not as strong in Hazama's pressure, but against conditioned opponents it has its use. It starts RPS between 214D~A and 214~C, and it gives him access to his command grab super. A common way to enter stance up close is to use 214B. Although Hazama doesn't get strong damage off of the unenhanced A and C followups, he still exerts solid pressure. The C followup is also great because it will still beat out or clash with most reversals. Lastly, Hazama can use his command grab super from stance. This option is less popular because most people will fuzzy jump once they see stance, but it can catch people off guard.
Meter usage varies by character and even more by players. Hazama has many good ways to spend meter, so you'll have to weigh your options when making a decision. Here are some of the major ways you might spend meter.
- Crush Trigger: Used in combos (after 3C) where a kill is needed but not enough meter is available for Houtenjin/Rekkazan. Hazama does have sufficient tools to open the opponent up, so he don't need to use this to guard break, but it may catch an opponent by surprise.
- Jayoku Houtenjin (236236B): Combo filler. In OD, a situational reversal.
- Mizuchi Rekkazan (632146C): Combo ender, or a situational callout tool to close a round.
- Orochi Burensou: Fast command grab frequently used to kill or assert pressure from stance
- Counter Assault: A great option to create space and end someone's pressure. One of Hazama's few defensive tools outside of Overdrive.
- Rapid Cancels: Just like any other character, Hazama uses RC to make himself safe, bait bursts, extend combos in tricky situations, or create new mixups.
Hazama has no resource-less reversal moves, so his best option on Defense is to simply block. IBs and IBBs are extremely useful for pushing out an opponent. Hazama's counter assault is also a useful defensive tool. You can use it to get people off of you and then use chains to navigate back to neutral, or potentially set up stance.
Here are Hazama's reversal options:
- EA (ABCD in OD, 1~22 All) is the second most reliable reversal option, and is the only reversal that does not rely on meter. But most of the time you will save it and instead use...
- Houtenjin (236236B, 1~4 All in OD): More or less only sees use as a reversal in OD. Houtenjin has several benefits over Hazama's EA. The hitbox is massive, and you can followup afterwards. Unfortunately, it costs meter, and it's much less safe. You can use this to disrespect some pressure strings. Guard cancel OD into Houtenjin can punish any move within 24F, which is enough for most specials and big normals.
While it isn't a reversal, Counter Assault is also a popular defensive option. The hitbox on it is solid and it usually ends an opponent's pressure outright. However, it is important to not be predictable with counter assault. Like many other counter assaults, it can be baited with a jump cancel, or by the opponent poking and simply blocking afterwards. Watch for jump cancellable normals and ways your opponent likes to reset pressure.
Most of Hazama's blockstrings end in either 3C > 236A, 5B, 6C, or 214B~44. 3C > 236A is also a common blockstring ender because it pushes Hazama away from his opponent so they can' counterattack. Understanding an opponent's defensive habits is critical for adjusting blockstrings. Some opponents like to mash, in which case 5B may be more useful. Others may rely on barrier, in which case 3C > 236As reach may be useful. If you want to focus more on resetting pressure and baiting a response from an opponent, 5B is your best friend. 5B's a common pressure reset because it's very fast and +2 on block. You can use these plus frames to make opponents anxious, and then start slipping in staggers to catch mash attempts. Here are some examples of blockstrings:
2A > 2B > 5B > 665B > 665B > X
Hazama's standard frame trap. You can go into other normals from any of the 5Bs. The microdashes help Hazama stay in. Somewhat weak to IBB and Barrier, as both will actively space out Hazama far enough for a 5B to whiff. IBB will also leave you at 0 on block. However, you can use this knowledge to bait IBBs and stagger, or opt for a new option entirely.
2A > 5B > 3C > 236A
A common pressure string to space out an opponent far enough for Hazama to safely reset to neutral.
2A > 5B > 5C > 6C
Another common pressure string to space out opponents.
5A > 2B > 214B~44
214B is a solid special to end pressure on because it leaves you in stance, and you can use uncharged followups. From stance, you can back off completely, sit in stance in front of them, or start a backdash to lure someone in and cancel into a stance followup.
Hazama's safejump. You can call out back rolls with it at midscreen, but they can block.
A great way to call out rolls and quick rise in the corner. Leaves you in stance for followup combos or mixups.
Used after a close knockdown such as Jameijin. Using this immediately will put you above and behind the opponent, which lets you open them up with a high from behind. This oki can be faked out with 4D~A, which can be used to open your opponent up with a low from the front. Loses to rolls.
Tips and Tricks
- Keep track of your stocks and your position. Getting caught up close without stocks is dangerous because of your limited movement.
- Hitting an opponent in a chain's deadzone is generally a waste
- You can use j.8D~D > j.4D~D to fling yourself out of the corner and reset to neutral. It'll fling you out of range of most characters.
- If you don't have two stocks, you can use super jump > j.8D~B to escape some positions instead. It's slower, but about as effective.
- Hazama's Overdrive is extremely powerful. Consider using burst less and leaning into Overdrive more.
- Don't jump in every time with chains. Instead, you can stay in the same position or jump around your opponent to reposition.
- 214D~C beats most reversals.
- Once Hazama has used up his chains, it's your time to approach! Without chains, Hazama's mobility is very limited. Additionally, he needs to stand on the ground for at least 3 seconds to recover stocks.
- Hazama's defensive options are lackluster. Once you're in, he's usually forced to rely on system mechanics.
- If you see stance, you can fuzzy jump and barrier to deal with most stance followups. If you air IB, you may be able to j.A any followups after the stance followup.
- Instant Barrier is a strong option against Hazama's 5B. It will push him out while making it 0 on block.
- Try using less committal anti-airs like most 5As. It'll beat out some approaches and still give you time to watch Hazama in case he changes his movement.
- Try experimenting at playing outside 5B range, and inside his 3C and 236A range. Hazama struggles against characters with strong buttons at this spacing.
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