How to use S. MP / S. HP?



Hey all,

I’m still a rank amateur at this game, and am trying to figure how how best to use my normals as Ken. Most of them I feel like I have a pretty good grip on, in terms of when to use them and when not to. But there are a couple that really confuse me, and they are the following:


Honestly, I feel like this is the “free counter hits on Ken” button; I regret throwing this out 90% of the time. With a 7 frame startup and the lowish range, it just just always gets beat for me. It seems like I should be using it as a poke, since it’s the farthest non-negative on block normal I have, but I just cannot find a timing or spacing where it works. Is there a particular setup where this comes out on top?


I get this in theory; it’s the faster Crush Counter, so use it as a punish. If somebody whiffs a Shoryuken next to me, this is pretty straightforward. But I have also seen some players ( Momochi, for example ) using this super-aggressively. Like, running up to people and pounding them with it. I am baffled as to how that works, as it’s a 9 frame startup. Is this some elaborate frame trap, or just a really good read?

Thanks for any advice!


This could have gone in the general questions thread but, since it didn’t here’s my 2 cents. ST. mp is very limited in its uses. the only time i really use it is after a fwd throw. Dash, st. mp is a perfect meaty in that sense. Other than that there’s really no reason to use it…st. mk and cr. mp are both superior pokes.

as far as st. hp…i agree its on the slow side a lot of times you’re reading your opponent for example you do cr. lp you’re +2, st. HP is 9 frames Your opponent has to decide after the cr. lp what they are going to do. the risk reward you get from cr. lp, walk back cr. hp is much greater than anything they will get in return for guessing correctly.


St mp is very underrated. As @MGS said, you can use it after a forward throw -> dash to beat quick rise buttons though you should keep in mind that it’s not really a meaty, it only works due to the range and its hitbox, so it can be beaten or avoided by fast specials. But its best use is as a preemptive poke. You use it from further away than it actually connects when you anticipate a poke or even a non invincible special. You can for example stuff Nash’s Sonic Scythe with it and it’s a bufferable button too. So you can do st mp -> fb and if it connects you can cancel to v-trigger.

St mp can also avoid most low light buttons when spaced right. That’s good because you can get CHs with it which allow you to link an hp/ex srk.

Momochi and others use it on wake up as a meaty, so it’s safe on block and its startup frames don’t really matter. They also shimmy with it, meaning that they pretend to go for a throw and then go back and press st hp instead. Most defenders will try to play reactively at those ranges, so 9 frames is fast enough (human reaction is around 12 frames at best and the game has 8 frames of input lag). If they chose wrong (teching), they will eat that st hp, usually as a CC.


Thanks for the tips!

Yeah, I guess maybe this topic is kinda generic? But I dunno, I figured the way you use Ken’s normals is different than how you’d use, say, Dhalsim’s normals so I plunked it here.

There’s some good stuff to think about, regarding the Hadouken cancels. That seems like it might cover up the glaring gap I always seem to leave open. And also thanks for the insight on the HP meaty/throw baits, I can see how that would work out.


What I also like about s.MP is that it preemptively stuffs jumps, which is useful when ppl are trying to deal with your throw game. Doesn’t do a ton of damage, but pushes them back towards the corner, which is Ken’s overall gameplan.


st. mp just doesnt excel at anything. does everything you just listed and more.


St mk is not special cancelable, it’s slower, it has a lower hurtbox (hurtbox is bigger in general), it misses crouching opponents at distances where st mp connects, it has 4 more total frames which means it’s easier to whiff punish and it’s -2 on block. It’s a great button for when you want to confirm into tc2, but at further distances st mp is clearly a better button. It stuffs more buttons, it’s harder to whiff punish and most importantly it allows you to buffer specials.


hopefully this doesn’t come off as being too critical but lets touch on a few of your points.

st. mp does reach a tiny bit further on crouching characters so i’ll concede that point.

In theory it might be easier to whiff punish…in reality thats not really the case. If ppl are whiff punishing your st. mk you’re definitely using it wrong.

-2 is safe unless you’re doing it point blank vs a loaded gief. it also has 3 active frames so if you’re hitting later in the active frames(because you’re not doing it point blank)…its -1 or 0.

st. mp being able to cancel into specials isn’t really a good selling point. at max distance st.mpxxFB is 105 dmg, dp(only two hits reach) 132 dmg, mk tatsu is only 114. this damage is pitiful when compared to TC2 into dp. because if you can confirm st. mp into specials you should be able to confirm into tc2.

a few more small points. when blocked st. mp pushes ken further away from the opponent where st. mk brings him closer. After st. mk players tend to hesitate to punish because you’re in ken’s wheel house .

ST. mp does have its uses in kens game(and certain match ups),not denying that but if you’re fishing i’d rather use st. mk and cr. mp over

good talk


Exchanging views help all of us improve, thanks for your input. As for your points:

I feel that this is really important in certain MUs. Vs Ryu for example, you don’t want to risk doing a st mk in the max distance it connects to crouching opponents. If you misplace your button even by a pixel he can low profile your st mk with his cr mk. This is especially dangerous when he has super.

No, right now most people don’t but it’s early days and muscle memory isn’t really developed yet. Still, a 28 frames move with a big lower hurtbox is not something you want to get used to whiffing, people will eventually start to punish it. So when playing at those distances that st mk might whiff because the opponent crouches i think that st mp is a safer tool.

Funny you mention that, as a matter of fact a friend of mine does main Gief so this was one thing to consider. Still, i don’t think it’s a good idea to challenge after a blocked st mk in general. If you are relatively close (after an attempted shimmy for example) you are -2 and even with a b mp follow up people can and eventually will learn to blow you up. From farther away st mk is indeed -1 but b mp whiffs, so you have to use a 5 frame medium (cr mp) leaving again a 6 frame gap. I am not saying that st mp should be used like this though, with its pushback there are very limited cases where you can use it like that.

I am also not talking about confirming the st mp cancel, i am talking about empty buffering. If the opponent enters its range by pressing a button or moving forward you will stuff it and also perform a special, if not you will just whiff the st mp. Damage is not great, i agree, but if you have v-trigger you can activate from pretty far (st mp -> ex hado) without having to fish with a 12 frame move (st hk). You can also buffer to ex tatsu if you think you have a good read on your opponent, since walking forward and blocking in time is a lot harder in this game.

In general, i tend to use st mp in the ranges where st mk is risky and st hk is not safe on block. It sounds like a small range but if you play vs a good opponent he will attempt to put you there. I am not saying you should oblige him and stay there, but it’s good to have an option for when you are there. It’s also good at stuffing buttons, its hitbox seems more oriented to that task than that of st mk. Try to stuff medium sonic scythe with st mk, it’s really hard, with st mp i do it all the time. In general, st mp is the button that has given me the most success at contesting buttons at those ranges, ymmv though.


Use to whiff punish standing attacks. Especially when u want to be able throw it out at a safe distance. Its like ur Hitbox hitting the tip of their hurtbox from your opponents standing attack. If your doing that, will most likely not be able to tc at that range.


Good thinking guys. I’ve gotten very frustrated with s.MK’s tendency to whiff/lose to sweeps, and am trying to get more comfortable using s.MP at those ranges.


if i had the time id go back and rewatch stun fest top 8 and count the times momochi used vs i bet its more than 10 to 1


You can watch the more recent crash tournament and see if Momo uses the button or not. You will be surprised…


i’ll check out the matches when i get a chance. st. mp definitely has its uses, theres no denying that.


Try 20 frames. No human alive is reacting to a 12-frame move.