F.A.N.G is one of the new characters added to the Street Fighter series in Street Fighter 5. He’s also a very unique character in that he’s the first Street Fighter character to use poison as their primary form of attack. Add in F.A.N.G’s unique movement options and he has confused more than a few players, both new and old. We’ve been playing a lot of F.A.N.G since launch, so we thought it was about time to run down some of the ways you can get around F.A.N.G’s shenanigans.
First and foremost, F.A.N.G’s poison follows a few rules. Anytime you’re poisoned, if F.A.N.G takes damage the poison effect immediately stops. In addition, he cannot kill you with poison alone. If you’re poisoned and your health is running low, don’t think you have to rush him down to score a hit and stop the poison. Even if you have no health remaining, F.A.N.G still has to hit you to win the round. He can’t simply sit back and let the poison do its work.
Another big factor of F.A.N.G’s poison is that it doesn’t inflict all that much damage. Capcom has done a very good job balancing F.A.N.G’s poison to make sure it’s not overpowered. If you ask some F.A.N.G players they’ll even tell you it’s not effective enough.
The bottom line is that F.A.N.G’s poison doesn’t inflict as much damage as you probably think it does. At most F.A.N.G’s poison inflicts 50 points of damage across 8 seconds. Now every time you’re hit with a poison attack it will reset that counter, but if F.A.N.G is across the screen and you get poisoned, you can sit back and wait it out, only taking 50 points of damage.
A very important issue with F.A.N.G’s offense is that his fastest attack is 4 frames. That means many characters (Ryu, Ken, Cammy, etc.) have faster attacks at 3 frames. In addition, his frame traps aren’t as powerful because of his relatively slow attack speed. Most F.A.N.G players rely heavily on standing Heavy Kick, which is +1 when blocked. If you have a 3-frame attack, that’s not a frame trap. At best you will trade with F.A.N.G, which usually ends in your favor.
The only time you need to be concerned with frame traps off of F.A.N.G’s normals are when he’s using an attack that gives him +2 when blocked. Usually this is his crouching Medium Kick, which hits twice. However, it’s important to note that if only the second hit of the crouching Medium Kick is blocked (meaning F.A.N.G was slightly out of range for the first kick to make contact), he’s probably too far away to properly frame trap you with one of his limited 4-frame attacks.
A lot of F.A.N.G players will go for a cross-up setup that generally consists of knocking you down, then going for his Nishikyu projectile attack. He can then cancel the recovery frames of the attack into the Nikankyaku slide, crossing through the opponent just as the projectiles are hitting. Even if you manage to block the projectiles correctly, F.A.N.G has plenty of time to start another frame trap and keep you locked down. Generally speaking, one combo into this cross-up setup will dizzy an opponent if it all connects.
One of the easiest ways to avoid the initial cross-up mix-up is to avoid a quick rise. This forces the F.A.N.G player to change his mix-up and alter the timing on the projectile attack and the slide in order to make it work. With all that extra time, you can easily see it coming and avoid it. It’s also good to remember that F.A.N.G’s slide is not throw invincible, which means you can throw him out of it at almost any point. This is especially significant when you have F.A.N.G trapped in the corner as his only means of a reversal escape option is the EX slide, which you can throw him out of.
As you can see, F.A.N.G is easily to fight when you know some of his weaknesses. You should also take a look at how to play as F.A.N.G so you can better understand how F.A.N.G players are thinking about every situation.