Gouken wakeup, let's improve this!



Ok, i’m close to my limit, because every match i lose with gouken is only because a single knockout leads to 3 wrong guess on my wakeup, and my death.

Gouken’s wakeup is really bad, we all know, and it is really dangerous, so instead of collecting lost data across the forums, let’s sumarize it all in a single thread, and discuss and theorize from here.

[]Options on Wakeup, opponent close (throw or kara throw range)
]Block, wait a split second, tech Throw
]Ex-Demon flip
[*]Counter or ex-counter

[]Options on Wakeup, opponent just jumped for a crossup
]reverse Block, wait a split second, tech Throw
[]Input Counter (shoryuken to the front) and hit late P.
]Input Ex-tatsu, (or ex-Demon flip if tatsu don’t come out).

[]To avoid chip damage
]Ex-Demon flip (the only option)


When i fight shotos, their options seem to be, up close:
[]Poke, usually low poke into something (because tatsu will fail if they are crouched)
[]FA, both timed to hit at lvl 3 as i wake up, or release just on my wakeup and dash poke_and_combo/poke_and_throw, or FA and backdash cancel just on my wakeup.
]block and wait
[]Ex shoryuken
]Go for the crossup / void crossup, into poke/poke_and_throw.

The answer to what they do is:
[*]Low hit confirm Poke into combo
-> ex-tatsu usually fails because they are crouching, owned big time
-> ex-demon flip fails on shotos and fast characters (they go below you and punish you, no matter what you do).
-> backdash usually “dodges” one poke, but the combo goes on so you usually are punished.
**#> **gouken’s block and tech it is usually safe.
**#> **counter or ex counter beats the poke… they may change the timming to bait this though.

[*]Low poke intro throw
-> ex-tatsu usually fails because they are crouching, owned
-> ex-demon flip jumps over them… if they are too close it can and usuallly is punished.
-> backdash usually “dodges” one poke, but he may get you with the throw anyway.
**#> **gouken’s block and tech it is usually safe, but sometimes you will fail the timming and it’s back to a wakeup and to the mixup.
**#> **counter or ex counter beats the initial poke…

-> backdash may be safe, or may be punished if his reaction is good.
**#> ** ex-tatsu wins vs throw.

[*]FA, both timed to hit at lvl 3 as i wake up
-> block and whatever is owned.
-> jumping is usually owned
-> counter is owned
**#> **backdash, if timming is good, leads you to safety.
**#> **ex-demon flip leads to safety with enough time to even punish them.
**#> **ex-tatsu beats FA lvl 3.
**#> **ultra beats FA lvl 3.

[*]FA and release just on my wakeup, dash, poke_and_combo/poke_and_throw
-> same as avobe

[*]FA and backdash cancel just on my wakeup (they can even mash back when they see the ultra animation and be safe).
-> if you used ex-tatsu or ultra to beat FA, it will fail and you will be punished big time.
-> new option if you anticipate the FA cancel is to palm or ex-palm them out of the backdash.
**#> ** ex-demon flip works (is usually blocked, but we have advantage from there).

[*]block and wait
-> backdash will be punished by a sweep in your recovery.
-> ex-tatsu, ex-demon flip, counter, ultra will be punished big time.
**-> **if you grabbed… ok, but they still may tech.
**-> **if you blocked, and tech throw… well, your throw may come out… ok, but they still may tech.

[*]Ex shoryuken (shotos), or a ex-move…
-> if you grabbed from the start, owned
-> ex-tatsu… character dependant… usually both ex-shoryuken and ex-tatsu go up in the invencible frames, and then… usually the tatsu is owned.
**-> **counter, if the shoyuken is ex, he will avoid your hit, you will recover more or less at the same time as theirs…
**-> **if you bloked / block_and_tech, it’s time for your B&B combo.
**-> **ex-demon flip switches sides, you will land faster if you air-throw to recover fast
**-> **backdash may lead you to safety, and punish them on the way down.

[*]Go for the crossup / void crossup, into poke/poke_and_throw.
-> input ex-tatsu with late kkk… depends on timming.
-> input counter to the front and input late P… if you manage to pull this out, 50% mixup.
-> input ex-demon flip / you will get ex-counter if he crossups you, or fly away if he dont… it may be safe… or lead to the 50% mixup.
**-> **backdash “may” lead you to safety
**-> **block and tech may lead you to safety, unless you fail the tech.

The shit in this wakeup game is that we don’t have any single options that beat several from theirs… the choce is really hard, and the choices that may give us the lead can be owned into a big punishment.

#ex-tatsu beats 2 options (throw and FA release).
-risk is high.
-reward is medium damage (except that you avoided the FA release into a big combo)

#counter up/low or ex, usually low or ex, beats 3 options (pokes, FA release without lvl 3, and crossups)
-risk is high
-reward is low

#throw just as you wakeup, beats 2 options (they just block to bait something, and void crossup to bait counter)
-risk is high
-reward is low

#ex-demon flip beats “two” options (all FA, release or backdash, and may lead to safety on crossup and pokes), but it is character dependant, a lot of chars can just walk a little below you and you will fail all options from demon flip.
-risk is medium (they usually sweep or throw you)
-reward is… only maybe safety

#block and tech beats 5 options, (fails vs FA lvl 3, grab, and an overhead if you block low), but you won’t tech all throws… so if you fail, is back to a mixup.
-risk is low, (you will either fail the tech, or eat an overhead if you block low)
-reward is… maybe safety

#backdash… should work in nearly all situation, but is risky because it fails at random, and gouken don’t go very far, so he can be punished… and back to another mixup.
-risk is medium
-reward is… maybe safety.

So we have backdash at random, block and tech that is fairy safe if you tech ok, and back to the same situation if you don’t, and then… a hard mixup with high risk/low reward options.
Only with a FA every character in the game can make us guess if they will backdash or not…

My conclusion is: we are forced to play safe and do “block and tech” in nearly every situation, but that gives free room for them to apply any kind of low risk high reward pressure, so we are in the middle of their blockstring again, and with the risk of the grab at 1 or 2 jabs…

Did i miss something?
is this list wrong?
Please contribute :smiley:

**Note: **I have not confirmed if the ex-demon flip lead you to safety if opponent try to FA/FAbackdash… it is hard to do because of timming and it’s character dependant too, like doing backdash on our wakeup.


About “Block and Tech”:


Good post.

For the most part, I agree with your conclusion. Gouken is subject to wake-up pressure that MANY characters simply don’t have to worry about. Why don’t they have to worry about it? Because many characters have wake-up options that invoke caution or fear in the attacker that forces the attacker to evaluate potentially putting themselves at risk - as such, the occurrence of wake-up pressure the likes of which Gouken is subjected to isn’t near as big a problem for them. Against Gouken though, the risks of pressuring his wake-up aren’t near as pronounced and people get quite cocky.

I have been dabbling with Ken lately for example and it is a huge relief to be freed from a lot of the wake-up considerations I have to deal with when playing as my beloved Gouken.

Frankly, I’ve almost entirely dropped EX tatsu as a wake-up. Like you’ve said, the risks are just far too great for somewhat average damage. Additionally, on connect it provides your opponent with a stock of EX in exchange too. EX Demon flip is ideal given its invincibility, but the tracking property seldom delivers you to safety and can often make things worse or simply reset your situation. Against good opponents, you really are flipping a coin here.

My approach? Blocking. Just block be at the ready for a tech. It really is the safest option (for me) that reduces risk. Against good opponents you get just plain lucky if an EX tatsu connects or if you manage to do something viable with your demon flip. Either that, or you capitalise on demon flip confusion until they get wise to your (limited) wake-up options.

The thing is, there is no single ‘go-to’ option for Gouken on wake-up. It is wholly situational and character dependent what you can potentially do. Even then, often you find yourself weighing up a couple of options - with little guarantees. I’d argue this is the case with many characters, but I find the point I mentioned earlier (Gouken doesn’t have a large fear or caution factor on wake-up) affords opponents to capitalise on their favourable odds moreso against Gouken.

I really like this character and he is still my ‘main’ so to speak, but lately I am finding that he has some serious problems at high level play that many characters simply don’t have to concern themselves as much with.

A while back we all discussed the ‘knock down’ situation and I maintain now what I said back then - at high level play you really need to ensure you remain on your feet. When Gouken gets knocked down, a capable player knows that he momentarily has the upper-hand of the match and has the potential to leverage serious pressure. When I lose my footing in a match when playing as Gouken, my brain automatically kicks into a frenzy of situational analysis very quickly and I find myself evaluating many potential choices. Sometimes I make a wise choice, or at least a choice that works. Sometimes it utterly fails. Sometimes it utterly fails and I also get seriously punished. I make a note of situations that work and what doesn’t. As mentioned earlier, I find a LOT of the time, blocking has actually worked out for the best.

In short, yes, we have options. But from the opponent’s perspective, the risks associated with pressuring a downed Gouken aren’t near as large as it is pressuring many other downed characters. Is this a problem? In some ways, yes, it is. But its just how this character is. We have many positive attributes (high damage combos, quite a versatile tool set, wide ranging zoning abilities, a great focus attack) and if you choose to go with Gouken, you need to acknowledge that while he’s a good character, he’s not a GREAT one. This tends to get illustrated to many people in two areas: wakeup, and anti-air (though I argue our anti-air options are fine.)


look at all that text!
i block, jump or counter on wake up.
sometimes i ex demon flip.


Great post Gamago, I’m just picking Gouken up so I’d love to play you sometime and get a few pointers. :slight_smile:


If they are still winding up a focus after I’ve EX flipped, I grab.

If they have cancelled their focus with a back-dash, I trip.

Again, its situational and very difficult a lot of the time to react accordingly. Usually I try to identify patterns or habits and anticipate. I feel anticipation and predicting what your opponent will do is a huge part of a solid Gouken player. The old man is wise in character and you need to be wise when using him. If you can read your opponent’s habits and style, you are equipped to counter most of their options. Anticipate wrong though, and you’re in for a world of hurt.


I’ve also found that EX flip’s tracking ability seemingly locks on to the state/position opponents are in on execution. So if they move or shift positions quickly after execution, you can be ousted into the wrong place.

Additonally, EX flip on wake-up is quite easy to screw with if you’re an opponent. You can jump over Gouken, or quickly dash to foul up his positioning or simply walk under him and punish from behind. So while EX flip will launch you out of lock-down with partial invincibility, sometimes it moves you from one frying pan into another. It would be nice if an escape EX flip was feasible that just plain got you the hell out of there to perhaps half way across the screen. The problem with EX flip is that yes, you invoke invincibility to fluff wake-up pressure, but the EX property also puts you in the face of the attacker.

Obviously you can mix up you EX flip follow-up with grab, parry, dive kick or sweep but its often difficult to determine quickly what your best option is. All in a day’s play for Gouken’s wake-up dramas though :slight_smile:

Edit: On EX tatsu wakeup:

One thing that annoys is that startup on regular tatsu (except in some cases for the lk version) makes it a poor wake-up option. It is easily stuffed. So, we opt for EX. Now, some characters can whip out a command wake-up (lets say shoryu or flash kick) and if its blocked, FADC cancel. This ALSO puts them at a frame advantage in some cases and allows a further follow-up. Gouken can also do this, but we must use EX tatsu. Now if we FADC this, what happens? We just lost three EX stocks. This sucks. Additionally, We can only FADC an EX tatsu if they have blocked high, making it an unlikely “whoops, I’ll cancel that” option that we can perform. For many other characters a.) they don’t need to use an EX version to guarantee a fast wake-up and b.) they have the luxury of a wake-up that hits low and thus one they can reliably FADC out of, regardless of the opponent’s block stance.


Sure dude, just add me (PSN = Gamogo).

Flick me a message if you have trouble though, as my contact list is full and I’m forever juggling folks on and off so I can accommodate new contacts. When its full, you’ll receive an error trying to add me. Sony really need to up that contact list’s capacity.


Thanks for your post, ElMuochoLoco, great analysis. I sometimes use j.mp vs jumping opponents on wake up, it can stuff some of them if their jump is still not low enough, although it’s quite a hit and miss and very risky.

As far as I can see from what you and Gamogo say, I should block more. I tend to use ex tatsu and ex flip a lot, however indeed sometimes they make things worse and you even waste ex meter on the way.

Part of the reason that makes me be totally defensive with Gouken is his terrible wakeup game. His offensive game can be high damage but it’s very risky, so I prefer to zone to death (oh my beloved cr.fp!), play safe so that I get knocked down the least possible and I don’t have to get mad guessing the best wake up solutions, and it usually works although people hate playing against me lol. He’s a defensive juggernaut, let’s take him for what he is, although it can make him boring to play against. I always say to myself before any combat, that only three things matter with Gouken “defense, defense, defense” XP Besides Gouken only needs one opening and he can beat the hell out of you, so the key for me is zone, block, tech throw, patience.


Because i play regulary with gouken, my friends have learned him, and that’s sad, because their options on my wakeup are:

->low poke/throw mixup: just throw, or c.lp into throw, or 2 c.lp into throw… I just block and i can’t mash lp+lk to tech while i’m blocking because a c.lk will come out (i hear the sould and see the start of the animation) and thus their throw is guaranteed. Tech is dificult and i can’t simply be safe here…
Backdash don’t help a lot vs this c.lp thing because they will c.hk on reaction.
This is the worst, because nothing work except block and try to tech…
…but Raun gave me an idea, i will try to block and backjump+hk (i’ve seen a video of backjump hk beating shoryukens and trade with sagat shoryuken)

->FA mixup, just doing FA aiming for the lvl 3 just on my wakeup, and then backdash and cancel, or don’t backdash.
If i’m without ex-stock, i can only pray for my backdash to dodge.
If i have ex… take the risk of ex-tatsu, or ex-demon flip… If we fail the mixup we eat another big combo.

-crossup/void crossup
Another difficult approach because by default we will be blocking, so i usually don’t have reaction time to input a shoryuken motion for the counter to come in :frowning:

What i hate the most is that i can’t do the same to them. I can only throw aiming for their first standing frame, or block and tech (if they shoryuken or throw at wakeup), or f.mp, or close.hp into demon flip (that may be beaten with a shoryuken). Our pressure options kinda suck too


I think Gouken has actually gotten worse since a few months ago. There hasn’t really been anything to come out that is new about him for a while now and more people are now familiar with playing against him. I think it speaks volumes that Gouken’s biggest champion for the longest time doesn’t even main him anymore. It frustrates me that he isn’t really that good in defending himself and he isn’t that good at applying pressure either. Just seems like he should have at least one of those.


i dont know if anyone said this already… but the main problem with the ex-demon flip as wake up is that you have a long recovery time.

If you are trying to get away, esp. from the corner trap, you can ex-demon flipGrab, or ex-demon flipPunch…

even though you’re not actually grabbing at anything, you land with very little to no recovery time, and quickly dash back…

this has worked so far, but it does take meter.

Good luck.


The problem I have is the tracking. It makes it so that you can’t get away, especially if your opponent is crossing you over.


I don’t really get why it’s considered such a big problem that being cautious is your best bet on wakeup. I mean, being cautious is the best bet for most characters, even for meterless Ryu and Sagat; nobody wants to whiff a dp etc and lose however much of their life the opponent can take off. I mean my main is Zangief over here and I tend to play wakeup situations pretty similarly with both characters (ie, strong emphasis on blocking, keeping my fingers over jab-short in case I see a throw, occasional or desperation-mode wakeup things). Gouken has one of the best anti-meaty crossup games in the game, which forces a cautious opponent to stay in front of you and makes a risky opponent take guesses he doesn’t to take against other characters when crossing you up (ie empty jump or attack, whereas against most characters he’d always attack). And when you really need to knock the opponent away, you have the tools you need, you just have to guess a little harder than some characters in that you have ex counter for attacks and throw tech or ex hurricane for throws

This is a way better situation than that of a bunch of other characters. Would you rather be Abel, who has no good way to deal with crossups and whose wakeup options are just as beatable by throw and attack games as Gouken’s? Or Boxer, who can be safe meatied almost every time because all of his specials have too much startup time, and the one thing he has to beat meaties (ex dash punch) loses to throws, leads to nothing, does little damage, and loses to quick double attacks? Or Fuerte, who has only ex run (which is throwable and loses to multihit attacks), guacamole, which lands him right back into a combo, and super, which is really punishable? Or Rose, who can literally be safe meatied every time? Or Sakura and Bison, who can also be safe meatied? Or Claw, who can also be safe meatied and crossed up every time and whose only way out is just a backflip that can be punished on reaction? Or Dhalsim, who has nothing safe once cornered? Or Chun, whose ex sbk can be safely cross up meatied, loses to many characters’ jump-ins, and can be punished on block by a million things? Or how about Guile and Honda, who can deal with some kinds of meaty pressure but can be crossed up all day?

Gouken’s wakeup isn’t great, but it’s not a serious problem. And keep in mind, everyone’s backdash is invincible in this game, so when in doubt, just tap back twice.


Seriously. It’s that simple. People really underestimate backdashes in this game. Eight frames of invincibility - you’re not gonna get thrown, hit, poked, anything unless you’re just backdashing all the time and they absolutely know you’ll backdash. Then you know you’re backdashing too much.

But Focus attacks on wakeup? backdash. Focus attack fakes into them doing a backdash? backdash. It’s not good to get in the habit of backdashing on wakeup (blocking is underrated, lol), but really don’t blow your meter on wakeup as gouken unless you’re stuck in the corner and really feel the need to EX demon flip out. EX tatsu if they’re doing something so telegraphed that you absolutely know it will hit, sure.

As a character with a horrible distanced backdash (Fuerte :sad:) I hate to see how unused people’s backdashes are.


i have run into a couple of strong gen players that use backdash a lot.
it is exceptional for relieving pressure.
i spend so much time fooling around with my wakeup jumps and demon flips that i get nailed by too many combos.
i got double perfected in the finals against dictator and after cursing myself out i realized that i did not attempt to block a single time.
tomorrow’s project, learn to block.


Do you have videos of yourself playing Gouken? I am really curious to see your take on the character.


I’m gonna try back dashing more. I know it helps against wake up SPDs.


In those other characters you’ve listed, those who can use some move on wakeup but they can be punished badly for that, there is usually one thing that gouken lacks…
…When you are on the ground and your opponent is right into you, you usually have 2 choices:
-be cautios and block and get ready to tech the throw,
-or use your best move if you see “on reaction” that the opponent is doing something big.

The characters i know from your list:

Bison better option on wakeup is charge d/b and block, or ex-headstomp
Claw’s, block or flip into scarlet terror or backdash.
Chun and Guile’s best wakeup options are block, or ex d,u+kkk move
Honda, block or ex-buttjump

I mean, with all those characters you try to play safe on wakeup, BUT if you see something comming that you can punish you do your move.
You can be baited and punished because your move is not safe, of course, but at least you don’t have to choose between 2 or 3 moves in reaction in a spit second depending of what your opponent have just done.

The point of this thread is to try to analyze what are the risk/rewards of our options on wakeup, so we will try to be safe and ready to do what we think is the “best” option.

i go down by a throw, i’m “close” to the enemy and i can’t wake up soon, may opponent begins a FA in my face, i can see it clearly…
1#- will he reach lvl 3 ? -> i am forced to ex-tatsu or ex-demon fip or backdash or ultra, or else i will eat a big combo.
2#- he won’t reach lvl 3, but he will release it just on my wakeup, dash, and pressure? -> same as avobe, plus counter, or i can just block.
3#- will he cancel it with backdash? -> then if i did something except block or ex-demon flip or backdash i will eat a big combo.

What is the best option here?
to block? -> huge risk of lvl3, and i will eat a big combo.
to backdash? -> if he don’t release on my first backdash frame i will eat a big combo.
to ex-tatsu or ultra? -> if he backdash i will eat a big combo.
to ex-demon flip? -> if he reaches lvl 3 or release i will go over him and i hope that if i grab on air i may have enough time to recover before he recovers from FA… but if he backdash i can land a kick to his face and start my big combo…

Right now i think the best options are backdash or ex-demon flip, but i don’t have the game (pc user) and i couldn’t test the ex-demon flip, besides it it is character dependant and distance dependant…
But if i reduce my options based on that i still may fail, but my “on reaction” decision have improved greatly, and my overal wakeup in that situation is way better.

We need to test or figure out new strategies for the most usual wakeup mixups they do against us:
point blank grab / crouch pokes into grab / some moveto beat our wakeup grab
crossup stuff


Further to what ElMouchoLoco has said, sometimes its not so much the effectiveness or ‘guaranteed’ aspect of some wake-ups, its the threat.

Not every Ryu, ken, or Sagat is going to whip out an SRK on wake-up because that’s just plain dumb. But the point is, the THREAT of it is there. Gouken doesn’t really have this. He is not particularly threatening when he’s downed.

When I dabble with Ken, I don’t get near the amount of cheeky wake-up dickery on me when I’m downed as I do when I am playing as Gouken. Why? Because I can SRK or EX SRK any attempts. I can also FADC out of those SRKs if they’re baited and they block which actually gives me a throw/poke advantage. Again, Gouken does NOT have this.

THIS is what makes Gouken somewhat easier to screw around with when he’s downed. We have a couple of options to respond to wake-up but on the whole they’re not particularly threatening and we lack many guarantees and for me personally, the ability to FADC cancel out of some options is something I miss.

As such, I block, a lot. I will counter sparingly and I will EX flip also but its a very mixed bag for us to be honest. I personally think the lack of a real ‘threat’ of a downed Gouken is what makes the vultures swarm in.

Still, we are not alone in this aspect - Abel for example has similar problems. Its all just in a days work for Gouken really and a somewhat lacking attribute of the character we have chosen.