I’ve mentioned Ken’s Fake Thunder Kick (FTK) a few times in various other threads and I thought it would tidy the place up if I put all the small bits of info from all the other threads into a single point of reference.
I’ve been playing around with it a lot lately and discovered a few extra bits of info so here goes.
I’ll start from the beginning:
FTK - Ken’s Fake Thunder Kick (hold towards and press and hold Roundhouse (hard kick)). 27 frame duration.
TTK - Ken’s True Thunder Kick (hold towards and tap roundhouse (hard kick)) 21 frame start-up, 2 active frames
Following on from a combo that has ended with a fierce DP, Ken is afforded the perfect timing to perform an immediate FTK followed up by an immediate cr.lk.
If you hit both moves (FTK and cr.lk) on the first possible frames, Ken will land the cr.lk as a perfect meaty when the opponent quick rises (excluding Adon).
This technique will even allow Ken to recover his cr.lk in time to block slower reversals such as Bison’s EX scissors (14 frame start-up) and EX Psycho crusher(13 frame start-up). I’d be tempted to say you can even recover to block in time to block Balrog’s EX Headbutt (12 frame start-up), but at the time of writing, I haven’t experimented with this properly yet.
So why is this such a good thing, I hear you ask?
Well. when Ken fights against a select few characters, he is able to do a character specific safe jump if he immediately does a forward jump lk after his fierce DP.
Characters such as Ryu, Cammy, Akuma and Fei Long, for example, cannot perform a reversal DP when they quick rise on Ken if he is using this technique. This is a very strong way of applying continued pressure after a fierce DP combo, albeit very well known.
But many other characters can simply reversal ANYTHING that Ken does (from a jump in) after a fierce DP. Thus, as soon as your opponent sees you jump after your fiery DP, he knows that you just committed to his reversal.
The end result in these matches tends to be that using Ken’s fierce DP to end your combo can sometimes “stall” your offensive pressure. Here is where Ken’s immediate FTK follow up can become useful.
Why don’t I just walk up and do a meaty normally?
Well you can. But using the FTK to advance, gives your opponent a whole extra outcome to worry about, an OVERHEAD ATTACK. It also puts you slightly closer in on your opponent than normal walking does. This allows Ken to do cr.lk, cr.lp, cr.hp as a follow-up on characters that would normally wake up too far away had you just walked up to them to do a meaty cr.lk.
Using the FTK follow-up after a fierce DP is making your opponent think about ALL these following outcomes:
Is he going to do a meaty step kick (the start-up is almost identical)?
Is he going to do a FTK into a low attack (cr.lk)?
Is he going to do a FTK into a meaty throw?
Is he going to do a FTK into a delayed crouch tech (baiting the reversal)?
Is he going to do the TTK and hit me with an overhead (Ken’s 2nd most damaging normal at 120dmg)?
In fact, Ken can even do a FTK into a cr.mp. Although it won’t land as a true meaty, it will very often hit opponents during the start-up of any 3 frame normal attack and land you a counterhit combo opportunity.
So, to summarise:
Ken’s fierce DP gives you automatic timing for a perfect FTK > cr.lk follow-up into the mix-up of your choice.
Using Ken’s FTK as the set-up to a meaty attack increases the amount of actions that your opponent has to think about. This is a good thing!!
Using Ken’s FTK follow-up increases your combo options on certain characters by getting you closer in on their wake-up. A good example is Rufus’s EX Messiah will whiff half way through, even on hit!! This doesn’t always work if you just walk up and do cr.lk.
Remember to use Ken’s TTK once you have them trained to block the cr.lk. The timing is almost identical but you just need to pause for a split second before you tap hk. I always hold backwards during the DP and as soon as I see Ken take a tiny step back, I know I have the timing right.
I hope this has been helpful guys.
At the moment, this is what I see as my unique Ken playstyle, but if it helps out other Ken’s, I’d be glad to have been the inspiration!!
Feedback and questions appreciated…
Arcade Edition 2012 update:
Fake Thunder Kick duration reduced to 24 frames (was 27 frames).
This reduction in duration now makes all the previous FTK set-ups more leniant. When following up a fierce DP with an FTK into meaty cr.lk, there is no longer a need to do the FTK frame perfect upon landing. This makes it much easier. It also makes it look more like a True Thunder Kick attempt (21 frame start up) which required a minute delay after landing from the DP to land meaty on the opponent.
Result = high low mix-up has become stronger and easier.
Now, because we have 3 extra frames to perform an attack (due to the reduction in length from 27 to 24 frames), we can now use any move with 6 frames or less start up with the old immediate FTK timings.
If you follow up your fierce DP with an immediate FTK, you can now land an immediate cr.mk, cr.mp, or cr.fp as your follow-up.
Currently, I believe using the immediate FTK into immediate cr.mp to be a VERY useful mix-up when combined with the FTK into cr.lk and TTK follow ups.
If you do the FTK immediately and the cr.mp immediately, it hits meaty on it’s second or third active frame, giving you +2 or +3 on block and +5 or +6 on hit.
From here, you can continue a combo, use the varied timing to get a kara throw, OS U2 etc, etc. In the corner, you can follow up the cr.mp with cr.mk xx fireball, FADC, cr.fp xx tatsu/DP for a dizzy on most of the cast (depending on what led to your fierce DP knockdown).
Moving on to the EX DP follow up:
We can now follow up an EX DP knockdown with an immediate FTK into an immediate cr.lk on all the cast. It is EXTREMELY tight, as was the old FTK mix-up before after the regular fierce DP. The timing is probably the hardest part to get used to as Ken lands from the EX DP slightly differently than the fierce DP, so practicing the 2 will be necessary if you want to use both.
This is all I have so far, so have a good read through this and let me know what you think…