I originally chose Sakura in vanilla SFIV because she was weak and relatively fast. It seemed like a good way to stay interested in offline matches against my friend (whom I would regularly defeat).
I stuck with her when I started playing online because she was relatively ignored and I did not want to be forced to learn the dial-a-combo sequences that would be necessary to even be a mediocre Ryu/Ken. Man, I sure did lose a LOT (like 90% of the time) when I first started playing online.
Fast forward to a few years later… I am a low ‘B’ rated Sakura with a ~65% win percentage… but my wins come through brute strength. I don’t dash. I don’t use combos, I don’t option select, I don’t FADC, I don’t use cross-ups and I certainly do not ever use MK or MP (pad player).
I don’t really care about raising my win percentage, but I would like to hold my own better against players who exploit the decidedly non-balanced nature of the game (dial-a-combos that do 35%+ damage with relatively safe set ups… Ken Masters I am look at you, among others).
Playing as Dan (and eventually reaching C+ with ~50% wins) has shown me that its still possible to put up a good fight with a character who has limited offensive tools if their vitality is high enough… but I’m not sure that learning ‘tricks’ or resorting to dial-a-combos will make me happier when I’m facing Balrog or Dictator.
What do you think?