Fixing my Blanka matchup


At the moment I main Ken and Guile. With Ken my general strategies include pressure with f+mk and crouching mk, crossup game with jumping in (try to cross it up enough so that opponents throw out poorly timed AA to punish), and some other things that are intuitive, ergo hard to describe. My Guile is a lot more basic and not really worth mentioning.

My Ken is a pretty solid game, enough to win a decent amount against other people (non-randoms offline), and win a few matches or rounds in tournaments (though I am fairly new and have poor technique in a lot of areas). My problem, for whatever reason, is Blanka. Blanka makes me feel like I’m playing the game for the first time. His aerial ball is pretty easy to punish, and oddly enough his cross-up ball doesn’t screw me up too much either. But for whatever reason I’m terrible at punishing plain ol’ Blanka ball. I know you can punish with crouching medium punch, or crouching fierce kick, but I’m awful at timing it. I feel so stupid because it seems like the kind of shit you’d expect from scrubs online, but it seriously screws me over.

Advice? I’ve been to training mode for a long while and it didn’t help much, though it did make me realize I have to start the move a lot sooner than I thought I did. I’m going to go back and try everything tomorrow (the way gootecks describes in his guide), but I figured I’d ask to see about any helpful timing advice, or things that work well.


Find the best Blanka you can (online, wherever), and play him A LOT. If you get floored by one then request an endless battle. No big deal if they decline, just keep looking. Bonus points if you both have a mic, and you can talk about the matchup. Also, find a way to post your replay on Youtube and show people in the Ken forum, and people will give you feedback. Watch videos of good Kens vs good Blankas.


In SSFIV, there are two ways to play the Blanka matchup with Ken:

  1. Stay at 3/4 screen away so that you can punish balls. Blanka’s winning strat in this match is to play lame and do random balls because Ken doesn’t really have an answer for it. Countering balls with jab lets him land close to you so that you can start your mixups, but punishing with or DP is also good. Note that playing like this requires a lot of patience.

  2. Use to stay in his face all the time. Blanka can’t really handle this if you mix it up kara throws DP’s and x-ups.

Typically you’d wanna use a combination of 1 and 2. ie. When you manage to punish a ball, stay in his face all the time. And when you get a decent lead turtle your ass off.

Watch this match between Daigo and T SRAI:

In the first round Daigo demolishes him because of step kick pressure and mixups. An offensive Ken beats offensive Blanka because of Ken’s strong mixup game.

In round 2, T SRAI plays more turtley and starts doing random balls when Daigo gets close. Daigo can’t really do anything about this. In round 3, Daigo backs off to 3/4 screen to give himself space to punish balls, but then he gets impatient and tries to get in with step kicks. When the opponent gets impatient the match always swings to Blanka’s favour. Notice that T SRAI continues doing random balls whenever Daigo gets close.

One more thing to note though is that Daigo wasn’t using the correct punish for EX Up ball. You can just do a normal step kick - you don’t need to dash. If Blanka does it right next to you you can tag him with reversal EX Tatsu.


Thanks to both of you! My friend is pretty good with charge characters, so he has kind of a solid core for Blanka, which has been helping me.

I really appreciate the in depth help ilitirit! The video is perfect, and all the information will prove useful! Now to work it in to my game! (Hopefully).