Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure is best known for its psychic stands today. However, when the series premiered, “stands” were not canon. Instead, the Joestars trained in the ancient martial arts technique, Hamon. Hamon was essential to Jojo’s plot in its early arcs because the training generated sunlight, the antithesis to Dio and the Pillar Men’s vampiric powers.
In turn, while most of the characters in Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle R use stands, heroes from Phantom Blood and Battle Tendency do not. Luckily, the Hamon style is an excellent introductory groove for players new to ASBR because its gameplay most closely resembles traditional fighting games.
What Characters Use Hamon?
Hamon is a scarce ability to come by in ASBR. Still, the characters that use it are some of the series’ most notable. One particular Hamon user, Joseph Joestar, has appeared in three of the manga’s arcs: Battle Tendency, Stardust Crusaders, and Diamond Is Unbreakable. Hamon characters include the following:
|Part 1: Phantom Blood||Jonathan Joestar|
|Will A. Zeppeli|
|Part 2: Battle Tendency||Joseph Joestar|
|Caesar Anthonio Zeppeli|
|Lisa Lisa (Elizabeth)|
While Old Joseph Joestar is a Stand-Style character, he can perform Hamon attacks like Solar Energy Hamon, Hamon Overdrive, and his GHA, Hermit Purple And Hamon. Additionally, he is capable of Hamon-Breathing [⬇️⬇️ + Style].
What Unique Abilities Can Hamon Fighters Use?
Hamon-Style characters tout rare abilities that their numerous stand-using peers cannot replicate. Most notably, Hamon characters can charge their Heart Heat Gauge at will, amplify attacks with Hamon, and sometimes improve their defense with Hamon. Additionally, their attacks deal extra damage to vampires and Pillar Men. Here’s a breakdown of the unique skills they can use.
Hamon-Breathing is one of the most significant advantages available to Hamon characters. This technique allows fighters to charge their Heart Heat Gauge by holding the style button (R1 [PS], RB[Xbox and PC], SR [Switch]). Unfortunately, Hamon-Breathing leaves fighters defenseless, making it a costly move when recklessly used.
For fighting game veterans looking for a parallel, Hamon-Breathing is similar to meter charging in SNK games like KOF ’94.
Upgrade Attacks With Hamon
Another valuable skill that Hamon characters can utilize is amplifying their special moves. To add Hamon to a special move, all you do is replace the attack button in the command input with the style button. So, for example, if a special move’s command is ⬇️↘️➡️+ Attack, enter ⬇️↘️➡️+ Style instead. A successful input will cause your character to glow blue while attacking.
Adding Hamon to a special move parallels EX move mechanics that you would come across in Capcom titles like Street Fighter and Darkstalkers. Hamon-infused attacks often damage more, have more reach, and further knock back your opponent. However, the skill costs .5 Heart Heat bars to use.
Hamon characters hold a clear advantage in match-ups with vampires and Pillar Men. Since Dio Brando, his vampiric servants, and the Pillar Men are canonically vulnerable to Hamon’s sunlight, the same holds in ASBR. Therefore, amplifying an attack with Hamon damages these beings even more than other characters.
Hamon Guard (Will A. Zeppeli And Joseph Joestar ONLY)
Not all Hamon-trained characters can Hamon Guard. However, the skill is beneficial if you fight as Will A. Zeppeli or Joseph Joestar.
A Hamon Guard [⬅️ + Style] provides advanced defense by disabling chip damage from skills, nullifying guard breaks, and blocking against unblockable attacks (except throws). However, the tactic drains Heart Heat Guage for as long as it’s employed. In short, it’s comparable to the faultless defense mechanic in Guilty Gear Strive.
Tips For Playing As Hamon Characters
Hamon characters have a “risk vs. reward” playstyle. On the one hand, amplified special moves and meter-charging give these characters an offensive advantage. But, on the other hand, without a strong use of spacing and defensive skills, you could lose out on these offensive benefits, specifically the meter-charging.
From an advanced perspective, Stylish Evades and Guards can open small windows for Hamon-Breathing or offer a safety net afterward. However, until you’re comfortable with these advanced defensive maneuvers, it’s best to focus on making the time and space for Hamon-breaths.
Use Hamon-Breathing In Short Periods
Since Hamon-Breathing makes you vulnerable, engaging in the maneuver for extended periods is risky. Therefore, it’s more practical to execute Hamon breaths for short spurts after applying pressure on your foe.
Consider this example. Suppose you down an opponent but have no attacks for downed foes. In this case, their downtime is a perfect opportunity for your Hamon-Breath break. Still, make sure you finish Hamon-Breathing before your foe gets up. Otherwise, they’ll punish you for the poor timing.
Give Yourself Distance For Hamon-Breathing
Time is one factor that affects Hamon-Breathing. The other factor is space. So, as you gain distance from your opponent, you can extend the amount of time you Hamon-Breathe.
Additionally, taking a long Hamon-Breath in these situations can bait and switch your opponent. After all, if your opponent assumes you’re vulnerable, it may compel them to charge toward you. However, once your foe is close enough, dropping out of Hamon-Breathing before they attack can punish them for their recklessly aggressive behavior.
Memorize Which Characters Are Weak Against Hamon
As we mentioned earlier, some characters in ASBR are especially vulnerable to Hamon-infused attacks. Therefore, it would help if you knew who these characters were should the match-up arise. Look out for these foes:
|Part 1: Phantom Blood||Dio Brando|
|Part 2: Battle Tendency||Esidisi|
|Part 3: Stardust Crusaders||Cool Ice|
If you’re unsure, remember these characters have stone mask icons on their picture in the Character Select menu.