Best / Worst Matchups?

My opinion on some of the matches below have definitely changed as I have played more knowledgable players. I’ll see if I can find some time to update it in the future

Hey everybody I haven’t seen very many new posts lately regarding our boy Ryu so I’m starting this thread in the hopes of sparking some discussions at this stage of the game. If this thread needs to be deleted for any reason just let me know and I’ll gladly trash it.

So a little background before I start off, I am a SF4 Balrog main coming into SFV maining Ryu, who I believe to definitely be top 5 in terms of tiers. He is very strong in this iteration of the game with his reversal dp, strong footsies, huge damage output and comboability. The meta in SFV is really not that different compared to SF4, I feel that if you have strong fundamentals in this game you will do very well. I’ve put in about 50 hours and reached 5200 pp.

Alright, so, I’m wondering what you eternal wanderers think about current matchups as of now. How do you approach certain characters? Numbers (4-6,5-5-,6-4,10-0)?

Let’s kick it off:

Alex 6-4 for Ryu

A lot of Alex’s moves are punishable on block(swipe, dash swipe, HK (held), V trigger clothesline, divekick), his air shenanigans are reactable with a dp, jump ins are an easy dp, his AA capabilites are lacking at the right ranges. His command throw mixups are troublesome but really that’s all he has. An Alex at the right hands could easily make this a 5-5 matchup however. I don’t have too hard of a time against Alex.

Birdie 5-5

Under normal circumstances against grapplers I would say Ryu has the advantage. This is not really the case against Birdie though, he has tools to punish Ryu’s fireball game via chaingrabs, slide, armour specials. His EX dolphin dive is not easy to react to unless you’re expecting it, I feel that he out footsies Ryu with his long ass limbs and he doesn’t give you much room to breath when he’s in. With nicely spaced fireballs, optimal punishes on blocked specials, jumping reactions on command grabs, anti airing and overall turtle play, we can make this an even matchup. Patience is key here.

Don’t be afraid of spending your Vbar to reversal and have your opponent play some Super Mario with your fieballs.

Cammy 5-5

It seems like a lot of Ryu players have trouble against Cammy. I feel that she is not as strong in SFV as she was in SF4. Her EX spiral arrow goes under fireballs, hooligan vortex (not really) could be scary, VTrigger combo for huge damage, EX cannon strike, safe vskill and strong normals. She has tools but so do you. Badly timed hooligan gets beat out clean by st. lp which leads to a reset in your favour. Blocked spiral arrow is punishable, blocked DP gets punished hard. Her EX cannon strike to get in is where she’ll try and open you up. Defence defence defence. Keep in mind that Cammy does not have much health so a couple throws here and there, one or two blocked dp punish will end the game. Switching up from aggresive when you have the chance to turtling the neutral is recommended.

Chun Li 6-4 against Ryu

Chun is scary. She has all the tools. Slide goes under fireballs, Super goes through fireballs, reliable pokes, immense pressure, combos that hit like a train and her vtrigger is pretty godlike. This is not an easy match for us but it can be done. Play the neutral game with fireballs ourside of her slide range, mixing in some dashing is a great tool in this match. Sweep, slide, all variations of bird kick, all legs except EX are punishable and SHOULD be punished everytime. You need all the damage and life lead you can get. Watch out for the overhead and slide into vtrigger into combos, they hurt. The key is to get Chun on the defensive, respect and bait the EX birdkick, on block it’s free damage. This match is all about who has the better fundamentals.

Dhalsim 5.5 - 4.5 for Ryu

Update Dhalsim is a pretty fun matchup. Slow in the neutral but once you score that juicy knockdown, preshh city man. Stay out of range of his cr.hp or whichever button that hits low. Your fireball is better than his. Not counting his EX but it’s fine if he wants to spend the meter.

A good panic check I have been using against wakeup back teleport is to straight up jump forward on my opponent’s wakeup to see if he wants a free get away. Very useful when you have the momentum

A simple st,lp to counter air teleport pressure will put you in a favourable position. I found that spending v reversal on Dhaslim’s slide Vtrigger combo is worth it, even if he blocks it. tick grab conditioning is your friend in this match. A good thing to lookout for as well is Dhaslim’s dive kicks. If you see if coming just parry and give him some love.

I feel that Ryu has the slight edge against Dhalsim.

FANG 6-4 for Ryu

FANG is not a scary match for us. Sweep, sotoja (dash punch), slide, poison balls are all punishable either on block or on reaction. Being a solid wall in this match will have FANG players stumped. His AA is pretty good so pick your jump in’s carefully. Fireballs in the neutral to bait out slide and jump ins, sotoja on block except EX is punishable with a sweep, his sweep is also punishable with a sweep. When you get those knockdowns that’s when you put on the hurt. When he throws out horizontal ball, don’t be scared, walk through that mother like you own it. When he throws out poison balls in your sweep range, trip him. You’ll either have enough time to block or get hit by the balls which do absolutely no damage. FANG does not hit hard at all. Respect him when he has full bar, thats when he DOES hit hard otherwise you can bully him pretty much for free, if you play smart.


I’m still trying to figure her out. Her special moves are punishable except for her shoulder I believe. Her high low mixup game is annoying but can be dealt with either from neutral jumps, cr. mp, DP, delayed fireballs. I cannot comment much on this matchup as of now. I actually have some trouble with her.

Ken 5-5

Classic matchup. Ken can be tricky but with strong footsies and solid defence he can be beat. His Vskill is a free sweep or fireball to the face. AA on jump ins, respect the EX air tatsu (or don’t, you can DP if you’re fast), bait out those shoryu’s SF4 style. Don’t let him in on you and you’re golden. Watch out for his crossover ground tatsu setups.

Laura 6-4 for Ryu

Laura without meter in the neutral game is so ass. Free fireballs. Free AA. Until she has meter, when she has meter or has you pushed in the corner she can be scary. Every Laura plays differently but most have the same setups in when they will throw out those command throws. Read it and react accordingly and this should not be a problematic matchup. Her dash attack special is punishable except for light. EX has armour but can be grabbed on wakeup and on block is free damage. Go for meaty setups when she is meterless.

M. Bison 5-5

Bips hits like a truck on his counter hit setups. Refrain from pressing too many buttons in this match or else you might get punished hard for it. Fireball conservatively since his vskill will absorb it and he has the choice of giving it back to you twofold. Best not to jump when he vskills fireballs either on that note, unless you want to eat a faceful of psycho fist. All his headstomp/ devils reverse shenanigans are DPable, don’t let Bisons do it for free on you. Slide is punishable, dash is punishable on reaction or with hit buffering. His is scary but if you don’t let him get that close to you and give him the chance to use it, there won’t be many problems. Don’t let bisons pressure for free with their forward hp, it’s not a true blockstring. Scissor kick into anything or anything into scissor kick is not a true block string. When he is triggered, watch out for dash as it will go behind you. Vtriggered devil’s reverse can be stuffed with a cr.hp everytime. Play defence like a boss. Done.

Nash 5-5

Charlie has great offense but is lacking in defence. Walk him towards the corner, respect his horizontal kick unless he does it close to you. Once in the corner they will start to feel that pressure and will want to reset the field with jumps and v trigger. EX air somersault is safe on block and you will have to deal with pressure. Classic Nash tactics involve sonic boom into v trigger mixup. Expect it. I found that parrying his air somersault kick takes away that option completely. This is not an easy match but with patience it can be done. Treat it like playing against Guile in SF4.

Necalli 5-5

Necalli’s cr and st lp is like Balrog’s. Careful about jumping in on him and time your meatys perfectly. Also, be wary of throwing out too many fireballs in this matchup. Vskill, dash punch, super will go through one way or another. St. MK is a great poke to throw out during neutral. AA accordingly and punish blocked dash punches and DPs. You want Necalli right around st. mk range, he only has st. hk (-4 on block), st.hp and at that range. st. hk and st.hp will get beat by your Watch out for dash and light normals into command throws. When Necalli is triggered he becomes scarier but you really don’t have to play scared. He will more likely than not have low HP and will want to get damage in. Watch out for his dash, it’s now super fast. His Vskill startup is reduced as well. Keep playing your game.

R. Mika 5-5

Her neutral game is so bad. Her corner game is so good. Play the neutral game as much as you can and don’t get pushed back. Dropkick goes over fireballs and is safe on block. foward mp is safe on block and will lead to some nasty damage with meter unless she presses mp again, in which case punish away. All variations of Shooting Peach is punishable on block. jump ins are slow but watch out for the body slam bait on DPs as it will go straight downwards. Stay away from the corner and you’re good.


Haven’t played enough decent Rashids to contribute information. Watch out for his light horizontal tornado pressure, it’s pretty safe. Need some insight on this one.

Ryu 5-5

Whoever has the stronger fundamentals will come away with the win. Simple as that. Fireball smartly. Jump in smartly. Play it slow, bait DPs, AA jumps. Poke, poke, poke. Don’t succumb to the satsui, make Gouken proud.

Vega 6-4 against Ryu

I haven’t played enough good Vega’s to give a solid opinion but I feel that he has the advantage in this match. Some insight would be appreciated.

Zangief 6-4 for Ryu

Last but not least, the Red Cyclone. Standard matchup in pretty much all versions of SF. Fireball, wait for jump, Dp. Only this time he has a surprise. His Vtrigger which if properly spaced out will beat your fireball. It is punishable on block but also not because of the distance you get pushed back to, better to just block or jump back to reset the field. Once you’ve conditioned him with throwing fireballs, mix in some dash grabs then back to fireballs. Play it turtle and you’ll have Giefs rage quitting on you in no time.

I feel Ryu is a solid character choice for any player. His potential is huge and he is just plain fun to play. Anyway, I hope this will help some people out there, as well as spark some discussions on current matchups. Please feel free to include any information / knowledge you guys have, let’s grow and get better together.

As an end note, I haven’t even touched on Ryu’s Vskill (Parry) which completely changes up everything such as Necalli’s stomp blockstring, Mika’s dropkick, Chun’s overhead and air legs, Bison’s scissor kicks, head stomp, devil’s reverse, etc. Once we all learn WHAT moves and timing for those moves can be parried, we’ll be seeing a huge jump in tiers for Ryu no doubt. Peace.

Rashid’s eagle kick is punishable by HK Tatsu’s all day long.

I feel like Nash is 5.5-4.5 against Ryu. Working him towards a corner sucks when his V-reversal gets him out.

Yeah I can definitely see the Nash matchup favouring against Ryu. Some players will not make it easy if they have a good grasp on their character. Also, for that matter, most matchups will change depending on the player so it’s really hard to say with certainty the real numbers game. Nice to have some sort of reference though

Am I just retarded or what? I dread fighting giefs because I consistently get beat by pressure even against lower level players

Gief is capable of pressuring players now with his attacks, especially against Ryu. His Vskill, F+hp, Vtrig, and f+mk are the moves he will use to open you up. Gief’s that I play love to f+mk into command grab or Vtrig tornado into command grab on whiff. If you are able to space your fireballs outside of the range of those attacks you will be able to dictate the match entirely. Turtling and patient play is your best friend in this fight.

To add, turtling and patient play with the life lead will win you many games in almost any matchup. Give it a try, you will be surprised.

I was playing a Guile the other day and I just wanted to see how lame and boring I could play against him. Fireballs all day until he got impatient, jumped in, got dped in the face and repeat. It worked really well. The guile matchup is essentially the same as it is in SF4. Walk him to the corner, bait Flashkicks and punish. Not a hard matchup at all so far.

This used to get me every time until I realized he’s minus when his VT sucks you in but whiffs. I’m not sure by how much, but I believe I’ve successfully used srk and throw to punish it. Not sure what happens if he immediately ultras or what the best options for Ryu are.

The one that still has me scratching my head is his little hop knee move into CA. I’m used to being able to hold up while getting hit by normals to escape tick grabs including ultra grabs, but it seems like he can actually combo this?

Super combos

I played a few high level Guiles, if points mean anything, the really good Guiles won’t leave the ground to often. They’ll match your fireballs and start to win the fireball war with V Skill SB. I know this sounds universal, but vs Guile when you get the chance to do you max punish - DO IT. Please have your SRK game on point also. I’m talking about reverse input DP and standard DP. Remember to punish his Cr.Hk properly. And try not to jump if he whiffs Cr.Mk. As he’s probably charging FK. And don’t try to compete with him when he activates VT. It will not work.

I need help against dhalsim. Can’t time the s lp right when he teleports. I unnecessarily eat a lot of the teleport, hp, mk, fire combo.


I think cr.HP is the better option or s.MP will do better. s.lp has such short range that unless someone goes deep on you, it will whiff a lot.

Other option is neutral jump to be more aggressive but isn’t consistent.


Those could be solid options to beat out a teleport. I just have a feeling that cr.hp will be too slow on startup. It may work though. If you are having troubles getting the timing down, definitely try timing practice in training mode. Just record Dhalsim throwing out an EX fireball, and jump teleport in front and behind you (motion for insta tele should be shoryuken motion into up+forward ppp or kkk)

Hey could some ryu players look at some of my matches and help me what I can improve on as a ryu player?

On cfn you can find me by typing in JustinAkatsuki

Hey JustinAkatsuki, I took a peak at some of your matches and I feel that you have a solid Ryu.

Just keep in mind that being solid defensively doesn’t mean to only block and throw out pokes when you have the chance. Having a good defense means knowing what you can punish, punishing as optimal as you can in the moment, knowing what is vreversible, knowing when to dp shoryu vs when to st.lp aa vs just taking the block, and of course knowing when to turn up the offence. All this has to be learnt but you are definitely on the right track.

I am always analyzing my opponent. It’s not easy to do it on the fly but it is a must in any fighting game. Does he jump over fireballs? At what range usually? What does he do on his wakeup? What does he do on my wakeup? Is he teching grabs? Is he AAing? etc…

Matchup knowledge goes a long way into making you a better player overall. I like to spend time in the lab recording special moves at first and seeing what I can punish. I then only look for those particular moves in game and start my knowledge from there.

I liked your corner pressure a lot. Very scary stuff, but I felt in the neutral you gave your opponents too much space and they ended up opening you up and bullying you on knockdowns. Your punish game is on point too, good stuff. All this is only from a few battle lounge matches but hopefully you find some things you could work on. Good luck

I have played a couple of Guile’s and the ones I play don’t jump at all or use CHK. They just keep throwing fireball after fireball. And of course use their VT and VS. If you try to jump over their fireballs, it was either dash in CHP, flashkick, backhand, or more fireballs. I couldn’t get it and I got destroyed. You can’t keep up with his fireballs and I was able to get a few DPs in there but nothing great. I feel in SF4 you were able to bate flashkicks more.

Birdie and Bison. Low/mid tier characters winning against my high tier. Does wonders for my self-esteem

High tier in this game means more 6-4 than 4-6 matchups. Any high tier choices are going to be a more frequent matchup for them for you so what I suggest is going to BL and getting in some sets to work on that aspect of the game. You may even try the Character forums or General Lounge to find mains who will play you

I think you should look into using HK tatsu during fireball fights. I was having trouble with this match up and honestly felt kind of lost. Then I remembered how I use to use HK tatsu(as Evil Ryu) in USF4 sometimes. It’s actually not a bad idea since Guile’s booms aren’t as good as they were in SF4. Obviously it’s a read and not a reaction but I think it’s a risk that should be taken sometimes.

I can normally land that first tatsu because the Guile player won’t be expecting it. After that it gets more risky since they’re expecting it. But that’s also a good thing since they’ll be more hesitant to throw out booms. This gives me the upper hand in the fireball fight and if they go back to matching my fireballs non stop than I’ll try to remind them why they shouldn’t again. Again I know this can get you blown up pretty bad, but I think it’s important to let the Guile know the threat of it.