Gouken Rushdown?



Everywhere I read it is something to the effect of “Gouken is a defensive punisher, counter char…” blah blah blah.

Can Gouken be played as a rushdown?

Is fireball spam a necessary part of his game>?


I don’t think you can be too defensive when playing Gouken since he has some good mixup tools and hit so hard. I think the fireball spam just depends on what character you are playing against. It’s one of his best weapons so it’s hard not to take advantage of it.


Of Course you can use Gouken as a rush down character. Playing a defensive Gouken makes you miss out on all the fun comboing and juggleing you can do with him. I personally hate playing a defensive Gouken so I use rush down tactics with him.


Sure you can, you just won’t win as much.


Actually u would win alot of matches bec of that, playing Gouken defensive gives the opponent to much opportunity to take advantage to empty jump-ins etc.


Enlightening, but it’s actually the exact opposite. Playing defensively and reacting to their jump means you don’t need to guess what they’re going to do during the jump, you choose an option that beats all of theirs.


So, you are agreeing that Gouken must/should be played defensivly/reactively in order to reach full potential??


There’s a reason the guy moves like goddamn molasses, his blockstrings suck, and most of his moves are unsafe on block.

I mean, he obviously has good mixups out of his demon flip and to set up his backthrow -> ultra. He also has very damaging combos. But Gouken’s fireball, rush punch, and parry are all fairly defensive in nature. You can use a parry to beat counterpokes, but that’s risky.


I mix Gouken up. He has extremely good defensive capabilities but at the same time he can be mounstrous if you take the initiative to get stuck in.

When I first started using him I was largely defensive and reactive in my play. Playing him offensively allows you to land some extremely damaging combos due to the wide variety of offensive approaches he has for tearing himself an opening. He has arguably one of the best cross-ups in the game and his demon-flip allows you to open combo doors from extremely far away under the right circumstances.

Also, once you start pushing the offensive with Gouken he has he ability to maintain a very smooth offensive momentum for a while provided you have two to three EX stocks on hand. I also find that if you push the offensive with Gouken it can often coax your opponent to emulate your agression after which you change gears and get ready with the counter and any punishing combo from a mistake borne of their offensive.

It all really depends on the play-style of your opponent however. A wholly defensive or offensive approach won’t work on everyone and you need to judge accordingly. The good thing about Gouken though is that in a defensive or conservatively played match if you manage to steal just ONE opening, you can capitalise on it heavily. If you choose the offensive route and hit confirm, you can take away vitality in huge chunks.


every character was designed with and ideal style of play. That doesnt mean that you cant play a character however you want to. it just means that when capcom made the character they had a central philosophy about how that character fit into SF4 and how they should be played. Now even if a set of techniques lends it self to multiple applications, there will undoubtedly be a singular original purpose. For example Goukens rushing palm. It allows Gouken to pass projectiles and strike his opponents. Its not that the palm can only be used to punish fireballs, its just that this was the original idea behind the move.

Now as to styles of play. we tend to classify things in two categories rush down and turtle but in my opinion SF4 has several styles and some characters blurring the lines between even these shades of gray. look at Vega and Balrog. Both charge characters (which means its in the players best interest to maintain a down back charge as much as possible). How ever both have very different core philosophies behind their intended style of play. Vega is a hit and run character, exploit openings in the opponent and avoid damage. Balrog is from the bully style. force the opponent towards a corner with a punctuated offences surrounding a solid defensive stances. very different styles that both fall under the broad category of rush down.

Dhalsim and Guile both focus on a strong zoning game. sim using evasion and a multitude of specials and normals. Guile with a just a few core tools and solid blocking , throw teching, and footsies. Both styles are called turtleing but look and feel nothing alike.

Gouken falls under the vast and uncertain category of defensive fighter. Ideally he should anticipate or at least react to his opponents actions and punish them. that is what he was made for, and you will have more success in the long term shaping your individual play style around what is ideal to the strengths of your character. You can fit a square peg into a round hole with enough force. but that doesnt change the fact that its the wrong way to go about it.


gouken CAN be used as a rushdown cha, but only when the momentum is in his favor. rushing down with gouken is extremely risky as well, seeing as his only moves are the flying kick thing and jump to roundhouse. the main thing when rushing down is to never do the same thing twice keep mixing it up and your opponent wont know whats going on. also try crossup mk to fierce->DP, works like a charm

but yes fireball spam mindgames are definitely part of his game plan, gouken at full screen is most effective


Full screen is not good for gouken, it is more like 3/4 screen.


it depends on what character they are playing for me.
against gief i spend the whole match flying away with aerial tatsu and spamming fireballs.
against dhalsim all i want to do is jump on him.
demon flip’s dive kick is a fantastic jump in.
you can harass just about anyone with it repeatedly for big chip damage (flip + ground special).
unfortunately gief’s LOLriat disrupts my flipping, but i still try to hit him in the toe when he does one at 3/4 screen.
i feel like i need an extra round against gief to figure out what they like to do when i get up!


gouken needs to learn to get off his ass better once he falls down is a better way of putting it… …lol. seriously one of the worst wakeup games in the fricken game…

he is NOT a rushdown character. You can play sim rushdown too… but its stupid because he just doesn’t have the tools… neither does the big G-unit. He has combo damage… but thats because he is a 3 hit wonder type character like geif. Its hard to GET those combos to land… which means he isn’t rushdown. rushdown means you are on them like a fly to stickypaper and gouken doesn’t have the block strings and pokes to do that.

The closest you can say to him having rushdown is moving towards them and hope they fuck up… which really is just a different form of defense imo. You are just forcing the defense NEXT to them as opposed to turtling. His demon flip is a good move though and is the only thing that gives him ANY chance of “rushdown.” His back throw is great damage… but the range is trash and its not hard for ppl to guess your PROBABLY gonna try and throw since he really has nothing else one the opponent is blocking.

that being said… there are times where he CAN rush in. But to play gouken and try and build “rushdown” as your staple playstyle with him is suicide against anyone good.

Think of it like this…
-his tatsu goes UP… that means anti-air. DEFENSE.
-his fireball is obviously defensive with its diagnol up stuff. DEF (can be used to lock down in a weird sort of rushdown game though)
-he doesn’t have a SRK… and instead is given a BACKWARDS SRK motion (moving backwards to buffer… hmmmmm) which does a defensive move.
-palm rush isn’t that great on block but it is an armor break. This is a punisher. Which is defensive but allows for a start to a rush game.
-demon flip… same as palm rush but with more rush potential.

That all being said… if your only real way to get in on someone is to jump in on them…well… then you have a problem. SRK SRK SRK SRK SRK!!!

so yess… “fireball spam” is necessary. That is… fireball spam while looking to get them to fireball spam back to punish or fireball spam to just zone them. This becomes especially clear the moment you get knocked on your ass and realize how hard it can be to get back up when you don’t have a wake-up move -.- once that happens you realize… you don’t want that to happen…lol.

of course you can rush down a scrub with ANYONE so… if your playing online you’ll probably find 50% scrub or more even which means rushing with him can work better…especially with lag making anti-air harder.


Is dhalsim a defensive character?
Just because most of his tools are meant to hit from a distance, don’t make dhalsim defensive. With dhalsim you want them to be medium to far from you, and the enemy want to close distance to dhalsim, both when they are attacking and when they are defending.

Gouken is the same.
His normal grab sends them away, his counter sends them away, palm and ex tatsu too.
My palm is unsafe if i end too close to them, so this is tricky to do, but demon flip is incredible, and i have a lot of options too

I don’t want my enemy to attack me, i am usually the one with the initiative and momemtum, i want my enemy not to be able to get close to me SAFELY because i’m attacking them, and i want them to take a risk in some move that i can punish no matter where i am.
I want them to use hadoukens so i can punish, or jump to me so i can punish and combo, or use some “jump” move to get close like rufus, dictator, claw, etc…

When they attack, that attack becomes a mindgame just because i’m there and i can negate whatever they do if i guess right, and when i attack, i force them to do the “unsafe” move to get to me.
But… because i am a “3 hit wonder” as you say, when i guess right, i take advantage :smiley:


BTW, palm often times looks safe but it just ‘looks’ that way. With -6 on block Gouken is very vulnerable. Most shoryu have a 3 frame startup. You get the picture.


Interesting note about “effective ranges” considering 95% of all combos start with being at arm’s length. Possible flaw in game theory…?


As an experiment, I played after a few intense local ladder matches a slew of purely offensive minded games against a whole host of random opponents.

The results were interesting to say the least. Key for me to getting my offensive game kicked up a notch was getting in close on the ground and leading in with focus attack when they stuck anything out. Fireballs, kicks, punches, pokes. I absorbed one and just went crazy. It went surprisingly well and as a result of playing overly aggressively, I found myself with EX stocks in constant supply, further fueling my damage output and rampage. I landed much more FADCs > Ultra last night than I have in the past and netted more dizzies than I have before.

I continued pushing the offensive and refused to let up and managed to maintain my momentum. I also pushed offensive routes by demon flipping in with parry and punishing whatever they threw away at my flying parry ball.

In short? Damn. I’m wondering if I’m too caged in my playstyle with Gouken. Perhaps I got lucky. Some of my opponents weren’t very tidy, though some of the guys I recognised as good players and my angry Gouken fared quite well.

Food for thought. Try it as an experiment with your Gouken play. Just go absolutely reckless and see where it takes you. Discard any common sense idea of self preservation and just throw yourself at opponents. The idea isn’t so much to convert your style, but moreso to establish better with yourself where your offensive capabilities lie and perhaps where you could be pushing the offensive more in your game and as such strike a balance that better reflects your overall potential as a Gouken player. Yes, Gouken is well tooled for defensive and punishment play, but he also does very well when he’s pissed. For me personally, I’m beginning to think I should be getting my hands just a little bit dirtier. There were many instances where I’d reflect on a round and realise how much of the punishment I dished out in spades wouldn’t have been possible had I not gone ‘fuck it’ and got stuck in.

I also received the best message in response to this rampage experiment last night:

“Jesus fucking christ dude!”

I think that pretty much summed that session up quite well :smiley:


Quick, take two days off!

Seriously, if i were you, i’d stop playing for a bit and simply reflect on this experiment - build new strategies and tactics in your mind before you start developing patterns that later become habits that become walls to your progression. I honestly think it will be better for your game in the long run.


Interesting point of view. I could actually use a couple nights of decent sleep and my study would benefit greatly :slight_smile:

Thing is, I’m right smack in the middle of a competition in Australia right now, so I want to keep the gears kinda oiled. I’m trying to practice remaining calm, but focused in matches so I’m trying to throw myself into all kinds of random situations in player, ranked and championship matches. Because I’m trying all sorts of varying options and approaches (currently with a leaning towards aggression) I haven’t developed any habitual approaches yet, moreso just random or overly ballsy “hey I wonder if this works?” grab-bags. I’m taking note of what is actually working and variations of that. After this comp I’ll bow out for a while and try and rebuild things I think. Frankly, losing such a close match in the comp last night motivated me to focus on improvement, which is seeing me toss all my previous reservations away and try them on to see what can potentially work.

COMPLETELY off-topic thought from my offence-fest: I did a lot of walking up to Zangief’s and standing fp their stupid lariats. Goddamn that is so satisfying. Zangief yells out “OOORI-YAAR!” and I say from my couch “oh, shutup” and give him one of those standing palm-stabs to the face. So awesome. Gouken’s so kickass he even stomps the floor as he does it. Rar.