tldr; version ^
The above chart shows the frame advantage on hit/block for every possible Cannon Strike on a regular sized character at each height. The frame captured is the “hit check” frame - just as the CS makes contact, but before the enemy Ken reacts with a hit/block animation.
If you want to use the chart for taller characters… all you need to do is keep in mind that if you strike the air above their heads, you’re really in trouble (-3/-6 and worse).
If you want to use these height comparisons for EX Cannon Strike numbers, then add +7/+6 to hit/block values and visualize Cammy glowing yellow and spinning.
Important stuff to know! Head Strikes vs Shoulder Strikes
There are two general places where you can hit with Cannon Strike: the head and the shoulder. Your reaction should be different depending on which area you strike. You can safely group the strikes into:
a) “shoulder (and lower)”: +7 to +11 on hit, +4 to +8 on block.
b) “head”: +2 to +4 on hit, -1 to +1 on block. If you really screw up and hit from near peak jump height: -2 to +1 on hit, -5 to -1 on block
If you strike their head hitbox, you lose 2-3 frame advantage and are generally anywhere from -2/-5 to +4/+1 on hit/block depending on your height.You won’t get -2 or -1 on hit unless you screwed up pretty badly. If you make contact with the air above their head, you’re in trouble. But if you strike their head and didn’t do a near-apex strike, you’re generally at -1 or +1 on block, or +2 or +4 on hit so if you see it’s low enough, go for that cr.lp if you hit.
If you get a head hit at reasonable height, get ready to be on the defensive if they block, and combo with cr.lp if it hits. But if it’s a very high (near apex) head hit, you are at up to -4 on block (vs Ken size), so get ready to block and tech.
Hitting at at 45 to 60 degree angle at head height results in either a +3/0 or +4/+1 dive, on Ken. A frame or so more if they’re shorter (eg. Yun), and a frame or two less if taller (eg. Sagat).
By the way, the lowest possible Cannon Strike in AE, done on frame 10 of jump. is a low head strike and is +1/-2 on hit/block. In SF4 and SSF4, the lowest possible strike was immediate TKCS, the +11/+8 strike.
Another important thing… for head area strikes, if the enemy is holding back, this shrinks their hitbox so that CS hits one frame later than if they were standing normally, making the dive hit 1F lower. Still, if you use the visuals, the data is correct based on the height as CS makes contact. Note that this does mean that a -5 on block strike is not possible on Ken, it always drops one frame further to a -4 on block strike. But if he were standing it would hit earlier (-2 on hit).
If you strike below their head and tag their shoulder on down, you’re at heavy advantage. If you confirm a hit on the shoulder or below, you can start a heavy combo with a cr.hp into far hp / cr.mk xx EX arrow for big damage. On block, you don’t have to worry about mashed reversals if you do an immediate cr.lk since they’ll still be in blockstun, and you might even catch them standing if they’re the type that mashes SRK or raw throws.
If you hit a shoulder strike, you’re at +7/+4 or better, so get that cr.hp combo or mixup ready depending on if they are hit or block.
Assuming a +7 on hit shoulder strike, the hitconfirm time to determine hit or block and head or shoulder hit, is 13 hitspark frames + 12F to recovery = 25 frames. Then you have time to link a cr.hp into big combo. This is very doable on reaction, but you have to specifically be watching for what kind of hit you landed when you did the strike. If you do a less safe strike, let’s say a +3/0, then you have 29F to react to the head area hit, which is a rather long time.
There are a couple more situations…
These are the +5/+2 and +6/+3 strikes, and are pretty rare to land since you have to strike the very top of the body hitbox while completely avoiding the head hitbox. Most of the time you’re in the head/shoulder boundary you’ll get a +7/+4 shoulder strike or a +4/+1 head strike… at least against Ken anyway.
A Cannon Strike that hits a crouching enemy is almost always +6/+3 and up. Like with regular standing enemies, you can still strike their heads - you lose 2 frames on hit/block if you do this, making the worst crouching strike a +4/+1 on Ken - but this is quite hard to actually do in practice. The most common crouching strikes are +7/+4 and +6/+3, so if you can see you hit a crouching enemy not square on top of their head, you can go directly into cr.hp combos. Close mp and close hp will always connect on regular sized crouching enemies hit by CS.
I could do a chart on crouching strikes too if anyone wants.
Hopefully this info helps you guys make better decisions in choosing how to follow up Cannon Strike in AE. Remember that you have more than enough time to confirm which type of strike you landed and followup accordingly, but you do need to be watching for it. :tup: