|All appearances||and release|
DescriptionExecuted by holding down any punch button and then releasing it about three seconds after, Cody throws a powerful hook with the hand closest to his opponent. In Street Fighter V, Cody spins toward his opponent before striking his opponent with a powerful hook. If no directional input or button is pressed after the attack, Cody winds and holds up his fist proudly before dropping back in his stance.
The EX Special version requires the hold and release of two or more punch buttons. During EX Zonk Knuckle, Cody hits his opponent twice. In Street Fighter V, he delivers two alternating hook punches. If no directional input or button is pressed after the move, Cody performs an arrogant shrug before dropping back in his stance.
The move has upper body invincibility, allowing it to go through most fireballs. It also has armor breaking properties and can launch Cody's opponent a far distance away. the EX Special version has full invincibility.
Zonk Knuckle is useful for escaping pressure and breaking focus, but it has a large disadvantage on block and is easily countered with neutral jumps.
Street Fighter X Tekken
The regular version isn't used much due to being mostly outclassed by Criminal Upper as his standard special cancel. His EX version is a lot more useful, as it has interlapping invincibility with the starting hitbox. The EX version is also his main Switch Cancel, as it provides enough blockstun for the incoming ally to be safe, and on hit, combined with Screen Freeze, gives the ally ample time to set up their highest damage Juggles.
A common tactic is for Cody players to Dash point blank on their opponent's face then use EX Zonk, hoping the player is caught pushing buttons or Crouch Teching. This tactic is very similar to Law players with EX Fist Fury Rush, however since Cody's attack has interlapping invincibility with the startup of the attack he does not have to depend on trades to get the highest amount of damage possible
Street Fighter V
In Street Fighter V, Zonk Knuckle is primarily used to end combos. Despite having a longer startup, it inflicts decent damage and stun. Unlike most of his special attacks, ending combos with Zonk Knuckle is Cody's safest option. Not only Cody is +3 on hit, but it causes a standing reset. This puts him in good position to maintain pressure with strong normals or to mix it up with throws. If Cody has his second V-Trigger active, he can go for a command grab for bypass their defenses as well as inflict optimal damage and stun in one move. Additionally, it is -2 on block, making it difficult for his opponent to punish.
Using the EX version results in a knockdown on hit. It also puts Cody +3 on block. EX Zonk Knuckle has a faster startup and inflicts more damage and stun than the regular version. However, the EX version doesn't make Cody invincible to projectiles, making this move less effective against other zoning characters. In addition, even if his opponent blocks EX Zonk Knuckle, the pushback from the move leaves them just out of Cody's throw range.
Prior to the release of Street Fighter V: Champion Edition, Cody gains a second level for Zonk Knuckle. It requires the punch button to be held for at least five seconds before releasing. The range and damage are the same as his original Zonk Knuckle. However, the camera shakes to showcase that Cody is using the second level of this special move. While it is still -2 on block, it becomes +5 on hit. With this enhancement, Zonk Knuckle becomes a good combo extender, allowing Cody to get more damage from his combos. He can also link into Final Combo Throw to put the opponent back in the corner.
The EX Zonk Knuckle also gets buffed when using the second level. On hit, the opponent bounces off of the wall, allowing him to follow-up with Heavy Ruffian Kick for optimal damage or the Light version for okizeme. If blocked, Cody is +5. With this frame advantage, he can beat out 4-frame normals with Standing Medium Kick to get good damage off of a Counter Hit combo.