How to get better at rushdown with Ken/Cammy and offensive characters in general


In Marvel I have been a big time rushdown guy since the old days of Wolvie/Strider. In this game, though everything is so unsafe on block, dashes are slow, and reversal moves have a TON of priority. It just seems like the risk doesn’t outweigh the reward unless I am able to punish with an Ultra. I actually play a pretty offensive Guile, but its pretty safe since his normals and anti-airs are so good and I can put a light boom out and force them to block while I dash in for tick throws or cross 'em up.

With Cammy getting in is tough because she has such a bad frame disadvantage on her specials. I have to weave through a bunch of stuff and take a lot of chip and anti-airs. Once in reversal DPs auto-correct so well and do so much damage that it starts to make me afraid to begin her vortex…that and I lose a ton of health. I pick her U2 to make people not wakeup DP as much, but it still hits a crazy amount.

With Ken, it is similar to Cammy except his mixups are a lot more transparent. I am actually fairly decent with his kara throw, but after knock down it doesn’t do enough damage to justify the risk of getting wakeup DP’d or ultra’d. I try to cross up or sweep in his mixups, but either people read me or reversal. The damage I don’t think justifies his risk after a knockdown…at least for me.

I would like to be able to rushdown again. I miss the days of steam rolling people with Wolverine/Strider.


I have the same problem with Cammy. With enough practice of setups she has a really good vortex game, but she’s not a pure rushdown character imo. If you want to play cammy you should practice footsies, and then setups off of knockdowns. For pure rushdown yun would probably be a good choice, just divekick/light attacks and repeat.


With Cammy you just have to walk forward and bulldozer your way through your opponents defense. Which means you will eat a decent amount of chipdamage, you will eat a few fireballs, you might as well eat an antiair but once she is close you can end the game in like 10 seconds. But it’s really important that you learn to walk forward. If you walk into someones face, he has to do something if he doesn’t want you to be close which means he will either start pressing buttons, or he will walk back or maybe neutraljump / jump towards you. Once he starts pressing buttons you can try to counter them. If it’s a slow move like Cammys own far.HK then try to predict when he is going to do it and jump in. If it’s a cr.MK or a sweep try to get over it via really low EX strikes (just off the ground EX strikes, not grounded EX strikes.
Jump ? Antiair with DP. He walks back ? Awesome he will be in the corner in no time.
If your opponent plays a character with a fireball then try to build meter with Focus or try to move around fireballs with low height LK strikes or simply neutraljump.
Once you got enough meter (either EX for EX Arrow or Ultra 1) he just can’t use fireballs anymore and you can move on to normal pressure (and punish fireballs on reaction).

If you have trouble closing that last piece of distance you can try to predict a move and do the low EX strikes. Even if he blocks it you’re at a decent amount of frame advantage (+7 or something if you hit them around their gutts) and this is where the fun begins. You’re close and you have frame advantage. I just assume you know how frametraps and throws work in SF4 (4 button teching, crouchtech etc) If you don’t know it, read it up.

There is 1 simple and safe way to figure out your opponents defensive patterns. Just do ~ 2 cr.LP’s and walk back and ask yourself these questions.

  • Did he tech ? Yes ? How late did he tech and what button did he use ?
    If he used cr.MP or cr.HP or cr.MK (e.g. Makoto) then you can be sure that hes teching with buttons to beat instant divekicks. What did we learn from this ? If you get close and you want to use EX dives be sure to do them a tad higher. What can you do to score a knockdown after you walked back ? After he whiffed something, lets say a cr.LK just walkup and backthrow him. Also if your throw attempt got interrupted be aware of how he interrupted it. Did he tech ? Did you get hit by another cr.LK ? You can force these scenarios again and punish his patterns.

  • Did he mash ?
    Yes ? Fuck yeah, cl.HP, far.HP xx HK arrow. 250 Dmg (USF4), that dude just lost a quarter of his life.
    No ? Well watch the first paragraph then.

  • Did he standtech ?
    Probably not, but sometimes people prefer to standtech, especially if you’re at a range around Ryus cr.MP.
    If you hit them, you don’t get a counterhit which means you have to be on point with your combos and if you’re too close and your frametraps are too big you get thrown out of them.
    Predict standtechs and EX strike them. The next time you get close do cr.LP into EX strike or a safejump into EX strike etc.

  • Did he backdash ?
    If your opponent backdashes a lot you can just do 1 cr.LP and then walk forward and throw him once hes done backdashing.
    I do that too on wakeup when I predict a backdash. I just walk into their face and expect a backdash. It looks really funny when they don’t backdash though haha.

  • Did he backjump / neutraljump ?
    If your opponent jumps out of your strings you can either try to tighten your strings or you smack them out of it with cl.HP (only neutraljumps or backjumps in the corner) If you want to be perfect then antiair them everytime they leave the ground.

Once you gathered enough information the next time you get close you can try to adapt. Lets say you figured out that hes doing delayed crouchtechs with cr.LK (most people will do).
If you want to frametrap your opponent you just need him to block a cr.LP After that you walk up a tiny bit and frametrap him with a cl.MP. You have to press the button a bit earlier than he would press his crouchtech in order to score a counterhit. Scored that counterhit ? Good confirm into cr.MP, cr.MK xx HK Arrow.

If your opponent is really good he might not tech on purpose or he won’t tech with cr.HP/cr.MP if you don’t have ex meter. The mindgames can get really deep at high level but that approach should be enough to net you basic understanding of how to open someone up.

Also important with Cammy is to confirm every hit into a combo which should lead to a knockdown. You hit a front divekick ? Confirm, a high damaging combo too if you can! You connect a cr.LK on his wakeup ?
Confirm too even if that one is just shitty damage (185) :stuck_out_tongue: !
Best way to practise this is to set the Dummy on randomguard and then try to do this.

cr.LK cr.LP

on block:

  • throw
  • walk back > walk forward > backthrow. After backthrow use setups like the one I posted below and repeat.
  • walk back > EX divekick
  • walkup cl.MP. If the walkup cl.MP / cl.HP hits you can combo into cr.MK xx HK Arrow.
  • EX strike, on hit try to confirm at least into cl.HP, cr.MK xx HK Arrow. However don’t use cr.HP, cr.MK xx HK arrow.

on hit:

  • confirm into far.HP xx HK Arrow
  • confirm into cr.MP xx HK Arrow.

choose one ^

If you want to boost your damage output you can only do one cr.LP and on hit confirm into cr.MP, cr.MK xx HK Arrow, and on block you can try to walkup throw, walk back > walk forward throw, walk back EX divekick etc.

Now something different. Cammys “vortex” as most people call it is almost non existent if you don’t use combos that leave you at a specific distance after HK Arrow. I don’t know the specific numbers on it against every character, but against Shotos (- Akuma) she wants to be 7 1/2 or 8 squares away from her opponent in order to crossup strike them after HK Arrow. The only practical combos against shotos that force the vortex are mentioned below.

  • cr.HP, far.MP xx HK Arrow
    gone in USF4
  • cl.HP, far.HP xx HK Arrow
    USF4 BnB punisher, works on the whole cast if they’re standing except Rose, Sagat, Juri and I think 2 more) Learn this one, it will be essential at some point
  • cl.HP, cr.MK xx HK Arrow
    same distance as the combo above, add a jab before cl.HP and all crossup divekicks are gone
  • cl.MP, cr.MP xx HK Arrow
    (shitty damage, add a jab and crossup divekicks are gone)
  • cr.LK, cr.LP, far.HP xx HK Arrow
    optimal confirm
  • cr.LK cr.LP cr.MP xx HK Arrow
    only on point blank, can get inconsistent with crossup dives
  • cr.HP, cr.MK xx HK Arrow
    does not force that specific range and crossup divekicks are almost impossible after (your opponent has to delay quickstand and you have to time your divekick pretty weird)

If you want to do a divekick that evades most reversals such as Ryus and Kens DP’s then try to do a MK Strike just before you reach the peak of your jump after these combos. That one will always hit in front but it will be safe against their reversals.

However there are also combos that don’t force the okizeme but do a lot more damage which can be done mostly after divekicks which are:

EX strike into:

  • cl.MP cr.MP cr.MK xx HK Arrow (320 dmg)
  • cl.MP, cr.HP, cr.MK xx MK Arrow (320 dmg in usf4, 328 dmg now)
  • cl.HP, cr.MP, cr.MK xx HK Arrow (335 dmg)

After these you don’t have any divekicks unless you have your opponent cornered. They’re also characterspecific so you don’t need them yet I guess.
So what can you do afterwards ? Dash up and do cr.LK or cr.LP and start your offense from step 1 all over again. Or just block and punish their reversal if they mash etc.

aaaaand finally ! If you throw someone be sure to backthrow them. You don’t get safejumps off forward throw except against Guile.

One basic setup that works against almost everyone is this one:

You also have an easy safejump after backthrow against 5 frame reversals.

If you want to know the matchup specifics about Cammy be sure to checkout my thread in the Cammy subforums or just ask a question in the Q&A thread.


Kinda work in progress but I guess it’s a good resource lol.

Damn this ended up being longer than I expected lol.
Hope this helps.


Thanks for the advice guys, especially Shiroyasha. I laid some folks out flat right after I read your post, it helped a ton!

I can’t do her Sako combos yet, but I plan on it. My main combo is her clk clp cmp HK Arrow. Is the clp cmp a 1-frame link? I plink it regardless.


2-frame link.