Gouken Backthrow guide for SSFIV v1.04
Gouken’s backthrow is one of the things that made me very interested in the character in the first place. I threw my opponent, did 0 damage and 0 stun, and figured that there must be something to this character that I wasn’t getting. Turns out there’s lots of things you can do after a backthrow, and even more in Super than there were in SFIV. Below I’m going to outline the main options that Gouken has on a backthrow, as the best option will depend on how much meter and skill the player has, and what you’re trying to accomplish.
I hope that this guide will help Gouken players use the right follow up in the right situation. As I expect most SSFIV players would have played SFIV to some degree, I’ll also point out the differences between SFIV and Super, as some combos have become more or less attractive due to damage and stun changes.
The beauty of the backthrow is that more than any other situation in the game, once you’ve confirmed the backthrow, everything from that moment is fully under your control, and with the exception of distance to the corner, each backthrow should be the same as every other backthrow you’ve performed. For everything but the most difficult combos below, the execution will be the same for every opponent. Assuming you learn the best follows ups for your style and ability, all you need to do is practice them so that the execution becomes automatic, and you’ll be able to take full advantage of Gouken’s options every time you successfully backthrow.
If I haven’t listed it as an option, it’s likely because I don’t think it’s useful enough to be considered for the level of difficulty required to pull it off, or I’m not aware the option exists. If you feel I’ve left a good option out, please let me know. After each follow up, I’ll list the damage, the stun and the meter gained for each scenario, please note that the meter gain listed does not include the initial 40 meter that you get for successfully backthrowing an opponent. (For now, the meter is based on SFIV data, so if there have been any changes to meter gain, please let me know. 250 meter equals one block of EX stock.)
I’ve grouped possible follow-ups below based on meter requirements:
No EX meter, no Ultra – Basic (non jf.mp) follow-ups
HP Palm (hp Senkugoshoha, which I’ll call palm from this point on)
Unlike lp and mp palm, the timing for hp palm is strict. It does do 10 damage more than mp palm, but tatsu or jf.mp options can do more if your timing is good enough to land hp palm consistently.
140 damage, 200 stun, 20 meter Difficulty: Somewhat Easy
The easiest move, in my mind, off of a backthrow. Both lp and mp can be mashed until they come out on a backthrow or thrown right around the time the opponent is coming down from the arc of the throw. As non-EX versions of tatsu can be dangerous near a corner, this can be a safe and easy knockdown to use near a corner if you’re used to using tatsu elsewhere.
130 damage, 200 stun, 20 meter Difficulty: Easy
1 frame faster than mp palm, but less damage. I’d recommend mp palm.
120 damage, 200 stun, 20 meter Difficulty: Easy
Standing HP (35 less damage in Super)
So-so damage but decent stun, one of Gouken’s many normals that received a damage nerf, this now does 35 less damage. After a backthrow, you’re at Gouken’s far hp distance (which is no longer does more damage than close hp), which will knock them away and reset them so they land standing almost half a screen away. If you’re in corner when you backthrow, the hp will still be Gouken’s far hp, but your opponent will be slightly closer to you. Pressing the hp button too early will cause the attack to whiff, but the window where you can throw it is relatively large. The advantages over a mp palm is more meter, and you can cancel it into DF, though you’re also able to jump in on your opponent normally as well. One of the few times I think this is absolutely a great option is dizzying your opponent when they’re almost dead, as backthrow followed by st.hp gives great meter for the next round.
In SFIV, [media=youtube]gJSYXJVasm0"]Nos99 demonstrated how canceling an early st.hp with a HK DF kick could be a great reset, especially against certain match-ups. In his own words, “This gives me more time to get the demonflip out and into that sweet spot where divekick beats DPs.” The video is here: [url[/media]. Damage changes and DF divekick changes in Super mean this follow-up is probably not as practical as it was in SFIV.
90 damage, 200 stun, 60 meter Difficulty: Easy (-35 damage)
Crouching HP (20 less damage in Super)
So-so damage but decent stun, one of Gouken’s many normals that received a damage nerf, this now does 20 less damage. This normal has the benefit of being cancelable into demon flip, so in cases where the character does not have a strong reversal they can punish your demon flip with, c.hp canceled into demon flip can be a good way to keep pressuring your opponent. One interesting point about cr. hp is that while both the hits do 80 damage, the first (lower) hit does 200 stun, while the higher hit that you’ll get if you throw the move earlier only does 150 stun. Throw the move later for the 200 stun.
100 damage, 200 stun, 60 meter Difficulty: Relatively Easy
So-so damage and so-so stun, this normal has the benefit of being an untechable knockdown, so in cases where the character does have a strong reversal to stop resets, or where you just want a hard knockdown, this will allow you to set up so you can apply wake-up pressure however you’d like.
100 damage, 100 stun, 60 meter Difficulty: Somewhat Easy
HK Tatsu (hk Hurricane Kick, which I’ll call tatsu from this point on)
HK Tatsu does more damage and more stun than Gouken’s forward throw, and feels easier to land on backthrow in Super. Landing all five hits of the HK Tatsu is simply a matter of timing, and it’s pretty easy to hit. However, it’s a bit more difficult to get all 5 hits. The trick to getting all 5 hits is to avoid throwing the move too early. In Super, it seems that the most common results of throwing hk tatsu too early is missing the last hit (doing 130, 160, 50) or second-to-last (doing 165, 180, 50) hit. One problem with HK tatsu is that the opponent will recover quickly relative to you, and for that reason, HK tatsu may not be a good move when the opponent and you will both land near each other in a corner.
From a consistency standpoint, most players will probably find that for meterless damage, HK tatsu is the highest damage off a backthrow. Players that are able to constantly able to land jf.mp into MK tatsu will get an extra 20 damage and 25 stun.
185 damage, 200 stun, 60 meter Difficulty: Somewhat Easy
LP Hado, Standing HK (I’ll refer to Gouken’s fireballs as “hados” or “FBs”)
New to Super Street Fighter IV, you can now throw both normal and EX hados after a backthrow. This gives Gouken even more options, as some of his backthrow options starting with hados can be quite good. Both lp and mp hado will connect with the opponent after a backthrow, and can be followed with a standing hk. The timing on the standing hk is a bit tight, but it should be possible for any Gouken player with a little practice. This 2-hit combo does good stun, pretty good damage, and leaves the character standing more than half the screen away from you. It is also possible from anywhere on the screen.
165 damage, 250 stun, 80 meter Difficulty: Somewhat Easy
LP Hado, Crouching HK (Character specific)
This is a tricky one. While it doesn’t work against all of the roster, Gouken can land this outside of the corner. The lp (or mp) hado must be thrown very late and the timing on the cr.hk has to be just right to connect. It does not work against smaller character like Cammy or Juri, and the timing for characters it does work on seems to vary some from character to character. I’m not comfortable enough with the execution to give any advice beyond that, and for me personally, for 5 damage less, I’d rather set the cr.hk up with jf.mp instead. (In addition to the extra 5 damage, the spacing off of lp hado > cr.hk may be more advantageous than the spacing on jf.mp > cr.hk, if you’re able to land both consistently)
155 damage, 150 stun, +80 meter Difficulty: Slightly Difficult - Impossible (depends upon opponent’s character)
LP Hado, Normal of your choice (in corner or near corner only)
After a lp (or mp) hado off a backthrow from the corner, you have your option of basically almost any normal for either a reset or a hard knockdown with cr.hk. I’d say all the hp and hk normals are easy to land. The four most damaging normal options are: st.hk (165), cr.hk (155, hard knockdown, but only 150 stun), st.hp (145), and cr.hp (135)
165-135 damage, 250 stun, +80 meter Difficulty: Somewhat Easy
LP Hado, MK Tatsu (in corner or near corner only)
When near the corner on a backthrow with no meter, it is possible to follow up a lp or mp hado with a mk tatsu. The timing is not difficult, but a hk tatsu doesn’t seem possible (didn’t try that many times). Not the greatest follow up, but more damage than anything else listed in this section.
210 damage, 225 stun, 70 meter Difficulty: Somewhat Easy
No EX meter, no Ultra – Advanced follow-ups
All of these follow-ups depend on a Jumping MP to start. When you see a combo off a backthrow start with jumping medium punch, I am referring to hitting with only one of the two hits of the jf.mp, unless I explicitly state otherwise. The hit you want is the hit from Gouken’s elbow. You will know it is the right hit if in Training Mode, with attack data turned on, the hit gives you 50 damage. The 30 damage hit, which we are trying to avoid, changes the juggle state properties of your opponent, and makes most follow-up hits impossible.
The easiest way to explain the timing for the jf.mp is as follows. As soon as you are backthrowing, hold up and back, so that you will be jumping toward your opponent as they fall down from your back throw. Delay the jf.mp so that you’re pressing it at the last moment before their body reappears on the screen. Basically, if you’re hitting with both hits, you want to be throwing the jf.mp later than you are. (It does feel that the timing and window for this has changed slightly in Super, but the elbow juggle hit is the same.)
Jumping Forward MP, HK Tatsu
This was possible against more of the cast in SFIV, but is now very character and timing specific in SSFIV. Obviously, there have been some changes to Gouken’s tatsu, and possibly to his backthrow properties as well (as he can now hit with hados), but this combo is possible against at least the following characters: Guy, Sakura, C.Viper, Hakan, Zangief
235 damage, 250 stun, 100 meter Difficulty: Very difficult - Impossible (depends upon opponent’s character)
Jumping Forward MP, MK Tatsu
This was a great, relatively easy follow up to jf.mp in SFIV, but it is a bit more difficult to connect in Super, and in addition to being more difficult to land it consistently, it seems that it’s impossible to land against Ibuki and Claw. This combo does have much better damage and stun than most options, and I like the fact that you can option select MK tatsu by hitting both lk and mk at the same time, as you’d want to use EX tatsu if you have the meter. While I felt that skilled players should be able to consistently land this outside of games where lag is affecting the timing in SFIV, it now depends on the character you are facing.
Highly recommended against Guy, Sakura, C.Viper, Hakan and Zangief. The ability to hit them with HK tatsu means you should have the easiest time landing MK tatsu consistently against these characters.
205 damage, 225 stun, 90 meter Difficulty: Slightly Difficult - Impossible (depends upon opponent’s character)
Jumping Forward MP, LK Tatsu
Much more consistent than MK tatsu, if you’re able to hit with the single jf.mp hit, you should be able to land lk tatsu every time. However, comparing this with a hado into st.hk, you’re doing 5 damage more for 50 stun less and a slightly more difficult combo, and it does 15 damage less than just throwing HK tatsu.
170 damage, 200 stun, 80 meter Difficulty: Slightly difficult
(lk tatsu is also possible, and comes out much faster, but only for 170, 200, 80)
Jumping Forward MP, Standing HP (5 less damage in Super)
Unlike st.hp, jf.mp > st.hp will use Gouken’s close standing hp, which did less damage in SFIV, but does the same damage here. It will do 20 more damage than cr.hp, but it seems that unlike throwing st.hp immediately after the backthrow, the jf.mp means you will not have the same frame advantage if following with a DF.
One big benefit of jf.mp > st.hp over just normal st.hp after backthrow is that this puts the opponent just inside Gouken’s sweep range, so you can throw cr.hk immediately if you think you can catch your opponent with it.
150 damage, 250 stun, 100 meter Difficulty: Slightly difficult
Jumping Forward MP, Crouching HP (20 less damage in Super)
As with cr.hp, cancelable into demon flip, but with an extra 50 damage, 50 stun and 40 meter. cr.hp can be thrown immediately after landing from jf.mp. One big benefit of jf.mp > cr.hp over just normal cr.hp after backthrow is that this puts the opponent just inside Gouken’s sweep range, so you can throw cr.hk immediately if you think you can catch your opponent with it.
130 damage, 250 stun, 100 meter Difficulty: Slightly difficult
Jumping Forward MP, Crouching HK
As with cr.hk, grants you a hard knockdown so you can apply wake-up pressure however you’d like, but with an extra 50 damage, 50 stun and 40 meter. cr.hk can be thrown immediately after landing from jf.mp.
150 damage, 150 stun, 100 meter Difficulty: Slightly difficult
Jumping Forward MP, Crouching MK
Specifically knocks the opponent away at a distance so that canceling into mk DF can cross up the opponent, while lk DF can throw and normal DF kick the opponent. However, cross up is timing and character dependent, and if you aren’t able to intentionally cross up your opponent, the HP resets will provide more damage, stun and meter without any disadvantages for DF.
120 damage, 150 stun, 80 meter Difficulty: Slightly difficult
Jumping Forward MP, Crouching LK
Allows you the latest possible reset, while looking like you’re going for a sweep for the knockdown. Possibly helpful for catching your opponent off guard, but if they’re not already familiar with the HP and HK resets and knockdowns, you’re better off going with one of those off of jf.mp.
90 damage, 100 stun, 60 meter Difficulty: Slightly difficult
One EX meter, no Ultra
Don’t do this. It’s hard to get the timing for both hits, and regardless of whether or not you can get both hits, you can find a better option in this guide. (Note that you cannot juggle moves normally after this EX palm like you can in a normal EX palm combo!)
160 damage, 150 stun, -250 meter Difficulty: Somewhat Easy
In my mind, this is more difficult than jf.mp > EX tatsu. Getting all eight hits is definitely possible, but so is being slightly off, having your opponent fly out early, and recover in time to punish you. If you’re not 100% on your timing, you probably shouldn’t throw this, and if you are 100% on your timing, throw jf.mp > EX tatsu.
200 damage, 200 stun, -250 meter Difficulty: Somewhat Difficult
Jumping Forward MP, EX Tatsu
This is my favorite thing to do after backthrow. A flashy 9-hit combo that, off Gouken’s backthrow, does more stun and damage than any throw in the game, including Zangief’s hp SPD. Simply throw the EX tatsu immediately after landing from the jf.mp, and you’ll have the right timing every time. A good habit to develop for throwing EX tatsu is to activate the tatsu with lk + mk, that way if you don’t have the meter, mk tatsu will come, which does have a chance to connect.
250 damage, 250 stun, +40, -250 meter Difficulty: Somewhat Difficult
MP Hado, EX Tatsu (in corner or near corner only)
This is safer than throwing EX hado into HK tatsu, as the HK tatsu in the corner isn’t safe while the EX tatsu recovers quicker, but damage wise, you’re giving up a lot by using the meter on the hado instead of the follow up.
255 damage, 250 stun, +20, -250 meter Difficulty: Somewhat Difficult
EX Hado, HK Tatsu (in corner or near corner only)
Not safe, as you’re throwing HK tatsu in the corner, but great damage if you can K.O. or dizzy someone with it. Throwing HK tatsu after an EX hado seems to be pretty easy to do, getting all the hits with both.
305 damage, 360 stun, -250, +60 meter Difficulty: Somewhat Difficult
EX Hado, LP Palm (in corner or near corner only)
Works a surprising distance from the corner. As long as their body’s trajectory is impeded by the wall, and you throw the EX hado and lp palm early enough, it connects. However, it’s location specific, and does less damage than jf.mp into EX tatsu, while requiring somewhat tight timing.
240 damage, 360 stun, -250, +20 meter Difficulty: Moderately Difficult
EX Hado, Normal of your choice (in corner or near corner only)
After an EX Hado, you have your option of basically almost any normal for either a reset or a hard knockdown with cr.hk. With the exception of cr.hk, I’d say all the hp and hk normals are easy to land. The four most damaging normal options are: st.hk (230), cr.hk (220, hard knockdown, but only 260 stun), st.hp (210), and cr.hp (200)
230-200 damage, 360 stun, -250, +60 meter Difficulty: Somewhat Difficult
Two or more EX meter, no Ultra – non-FADC follow-ups
In each of the following combos, you’ll be throwing EX hados to juggle your opponent in the corner. Depending on your opponent, it may not be possible to juggle as many EX hados as you have EX stock for. I am listing the main options below using 4 EX bars, but it is possible to simply throw less EX hados for either meter or combo feasibility reasons. Should anyone really want to see the damage break down for each EX, let me know, but it should be enough to know that you want to throw as many EX hados as you can but still finish your combo. (Balrog is probably the easiest character to perform these on, and Seth is not far behind and significantly easier to stun.)
EX Hado, EX Hado, EX Hado, EX Hado, Normal of your choice (in corner or near corner only)
After an EX Hado, you have your option of basically almost any normal for either a reset or a hard knockdown with cr.hk. With the exception of cr.hk, I’d say all the hp and hk normals are easy to land. The four most damaging normal options are: st.hk (486), cr.hk (480, hard knockdown, but only 620 stun), st.hp (474), and cr.hp (468)
486-468 damage, 680 stun, -1000, +60 meter Difficulty: Very Difficult
EX Hado, EX Hado, EX Hado, EX Hado, LP Palm (in corner or near corner only)
More damage than ending with a normal, but safer than ending with HK Tatsu.
492 damage, 680 stun, -1000, +60 meter Difficulty: Very Difficult
EX Hado, EX Hado, EX Hado, EX Hado, HK Tatsu (in corner or near corner only)
More damage than any other non-Ultra backthrow combo I am aware of. The four EX hados seem much easier to pull of in Super than they were in SFIV.
531 damage, 680 stun, -1000, +60 meter Difficulty: Very Difficult
Two EX meter, no Ultra – FADC follow-ups
All of the combos below for 2 and 3 EX meter are advanced combos that start with FADCing the first hit of tatsu, and you must dash in for each combo below. The properties of FADCing a tatsu depend on the opponent’s character, so these combos are not one size fit all. You must use LK tatsu with Cammy, Honda and Abel in place of MK tatsu, which will do five less damage, and will hit three frames sooner. Adjust the damage and timing accordingly for those characters. (See this post by Nos99 for more details on tatsu > FADC and turn around) (I have not tested on any of the new characters.)
Each FADC combo listed below is also followed by either lp hado or EX hado. As with any dash-in FADC, you must return the joystick to a neutral state before inputting the hado motion, otherwise the dash input followed by hado motion will create a DP motion, and lp palm or EX palm will come out instead. The earlier you are able to hit with tatsu, the more time you will have after your FADC to throw hado, and if you hit early, you can connect with a mp hado instead of a lp hado against some characters, although there is no benefit to using mp hado, nor does it enable any additional combos that I am aware of.
Even with the proper tatsu strength and execution, many backthrow > tatsu > FADC combos are character specific, and are noted as such below:
MK tatsu, FADC-in, LP hado, Crouching HK (15 less damage and 50 less stun in Super)
High damage, hard knockdown.
Works vs all SFIV characters except Fei/Cammy/Chun/Viper/Fuerte/Sakura
200 damage, 230 stun, +20, -500, +80 meter Difficulty: Very difficult
MK tatsu, FADC-in, LP hado, Standing HK (15 less damage and 50 less stun in Super)
Finishes with Gouken’s far HK, resetting your opponent quite far away, with so-so damage and stun.
Works vs everyone
208 damage, 310 stun, +20, -500, +80 meter Difficulty: Very difficult
MK tatsu, FADC-in, LP hado, Crouching HP (31 less damage and 50 less stun in Super)
Resets the opponent closer than finishing with st.hk, but is less damage and character specific.
Works vs everyone except Shotos/Chun/Honda/Sagat/Abel/Fuerte
184 damage, 310 stun, +20, -500, +80 meter Difficulty: Very difficult
Three EX meter, no Ultra – Advanced follow-ups
Interested in feedback, as I’m thinking about removing or combining the below grey combos. It’s seems pretty difficult to even land the EX hado after the MK tatsu > FADC-in, and I didn’t have the patience to do the below combos in writing up the first version of this guide.
MK tatsu, FADC-in, EX hado, Crouching HK
High damage, hard knockdown.
Works vs Sagat/Vega/Balrog/Gen
285 damage, 380 stun, +20, -750, +60 meter Difficulty: Very difficult
MK tatsu, FADC-in, EX hado, Standing MK
Resets the opponent closer by finishing with far st.mk, and works on most characters.
Works vs Fei/Cammy/Gouken/Honda/Zangief/Seth/Sagat/Vega/Balrog/Viper/Rufus/Fuerte/Sakura/Gen
265 damage, 360 stun, +20, -750, +40 meter Difficulty: Very difficult
MK tatsu, FADC-in, EX hado, Standing HK
Finishes with Gouken’s far HK, resetting your opponent quite far away, with good damage and stun, but unlike lp hado version, does not work on all characters.
Works vs Fei/Gouken/Honda/Zangief/Seth/Sagat/Vega/Balrog/Rufus/Gen
293 damage, 460 stun, +20, -500, +60 meter Difficulty: Very difficult
HK tatsu, FADC-in, EX tatsu
Something that at least a few people, myself included, originally thought was impossible off of backthrow. Not sure how many characters this works on, but it’s definitely possible to connect with all 8 of the EX tatsu hits against Balrog. The HK means your FADC-in will cross under opponent. This combo seems substantially easier in Super than it was in SFIV
Confirmed with Balrog, should work with others.
270 damage, 300 stun, +20, -1000, +60 meter Difficulty: Moderately difficult