I have been a silent member of this community for ages now and finally have summed up the courage to officially register and start contributing to these forums.
I am a HUGE Ken fan and will rarely touch any other character and it has been this way since Street Fighter 2 on the SNES.
Now I am well aware that this probably means I will never go pro, but who cares…
I’m glad to say that after months of dipping my toe into the Ken Forum on and off, it is finally starting to sound a bit more intelligent as all the scrubby kids start to lose interest in the game or move onto more scrubby characters (read, Sagat ;)). The threads on Frame Data are great and I really enjoyed reading the SF4 Dash ideas too. But now it is my turn to try to say something useful!!
So, not wanting to risk being told I’m an idiot, I have spent quite a while trying to find some new Mix-Ups for Ken that wont get me laughed out of the forum.
This all started when I started paying real close attention to some of Dr Chaos’s matches and I noticed how he uses an IMMEDIATE jump-in after a f.SRK that has connected (not anti-air, i.e after his cr.lk, cr.lp, f.SRK).
I spent a couple of hours in training with the AI using quick stand and realised how the distance they fall from you after the f.SRK is almost a perfect ambiguous cross-up distance. If you immediately jump after the SRK, the timing is as damned close to safe jumping as you could ask for without being totally unfair to the other character too!!
So I started using this technique EVERY time I landed a f.SRK with what I can only describe as awesome levels of success.
Looking at this situation again, I came to the conclusion that this “perfect” distance and “perfect” timing for the ambig cross-up after the f.SRK was not just a lucky coincidence. I felt that it was engineered that way.
And so, with this in mind I decided to see if they had engineered any other little gems that we Ken players had yet to discover that we could utilise to make our rush down games better and take Ken up a tier notch.
I’ve come up with a few…
I’m not talking rushdown awesomeness on the level of say, a skilled Rufus, but I hope that some of what I’m about to explain could start to be used more often. As it is, I haven’t seen any of my mix-ups used by any “Pro” Kens, so I am assuming that either I’ve had an epiphany or I may get shot down in flames very soon, so please put me right if I am wasting people’s time!!!
Instaed of using cr.lk, cr.lp - f.srk USE cr.lk, cr.lp - jab.srk.
Does 20 less damage but…
If this combo is then followed by an IMMEDIATE jump in, it will always land NON cross up. Sometimes this is enough to throw your opponent out of sync and you’ll land the regular jump attack as they try to walk underneath you for the throw or to block a cross-up.
Also, if you do an IMMEDIATE jump but then just empty jump from this distance it will give you the perfect timing for a safe jump, i.e, even Ryu will whiff his reversal SRK.
Final mix-up from this set-up is to perform an ex-tatsu during your IMMEDIATE jump-in to score the cross-up that they thought you couldn’t reach!!
All these mix-ups also work from st.rh, jab.srk
Instead of IMMEDIATE jump in after a f.srk USE an immediate fake kick - f.rh (hold).
Now this is starting to become a favourite of mine!
The beauty of this technique is that it puts immediate pressure/guess work/mind games back onto the opponent.
If you time the fake kick on the first frame possible after the f.srk, you will come out of the fake kick with what seems like the tiniest amount of frame advantage (guesstimate here). This means the opponent has very little time to decide what to do. Is it the true overhead? Shall I block it? Shall I reversal it? Shall I throw? Shall I mash a jab??
Here’s the good news. As Ken, follow the fake kick with an OST. Simple. If the opponent went for the reversal, it seems very easy to block it and punish. If the opponent tries to throw, you will tech it. If the oppponent tried to mash a jab, you will beat theirs out and you can hit confirm into another BnB combo. Best of all, if they were sold by the fake kick, they will stand up and you will land your cr.lk instead of attempting the throw and again, you can punish, preferably with a tatsu combo or another BnB f.srk ender!!
In simple terms, this mix-up is very simialr to the mind games you can play at the end of an ex tatsu combo but with the added bonus of the threat of an overhead to block and the speed at which the opponent has to decide! You are literaaly all over them straight after your last combo!
It makes me feel like Rufus when i start throwing this mix-up at them!!!
The twist on this mix-up is that once you have them trained with this routine, pause for 2 frames after the first f.srk and throw the overhead kick instead. It comes out slightly quicker than the fake kick, so you need to pause to avoid whiffing. The meatier you can land it, the better. They will simply not have enough time to differentiate the fake from the true kick in time to make an educated decision and will most likely eat the overhead very regularly.
I honestly feel that these mix-ups along with some others I’ll post later, really start to turn Ken into more of the rushdown monster we wnat him to be. Constant pressure from more than just the threat of the ambiguous cross-up game that many characters can just brush off.
I’d certainly love to hear from some of you guys who have had real competitive experience (Dr Chaos, Magneto etc), let me know what you think. If the ex tatsu is one of Kens best moves, then I would like to think that this little set-up creates almost exactly the same guessing game but with the OH threat as well!!
Anyway, this post is very long and I have to get to work. I have 5 or 6 more variants to talk about that will really allow you to apply almost constant pressure to a quick rising opponent.
But I’ll let you guys discuss these 2 and I’ll hop back on later to see the feedback as I’m off to work now!!
Go easy on me guys, I’m new to this…
Note- I think I am correct in saying that there is a “frame window” on quick rising. i.e, you have a few frames of opportunity in which to perform your quick rise tech and so none of these mix-ups can be frame perfect all the time as it will depend on how effectively the opponent performs their quick rise.
But so far, with my testing, the variations have been very reliable in creating ambiguous blocking situations and we all know that Ken only needs 1 or 2 opportunities to punish and we can take a match.