Playing Ken Correctly in SFV!

This stuff really opened my eyes up about Ken. I really like these options and style.

I don’t particularly think this is “Playing Ken correctly” as much as it is “Not viewing Ken from an SF4/SF3 perspective” which people have been refusing to do, I think a fair amount of this is kinda lacking proper judgement.

The dude made a good video I don’t dislike it because it’s one of the first positive things I’ve seen about Ken so I hate to do this, but I’m willing to ever so slightly dissect it based upon what I see and what I think. Feel free to call me out wherever I’m wrong as it makes a decent discussion.

Firstly I don’t think the dash forward - is quite as lethal as made out to be, it’s too easy to stop in a real match because footsies are a thing that exist. It’s also hard to space your dash in an area that gives you a legitimate confirm, not a confirm from a single which is impossible to do consistently without gut feeling coming into play, I don’t give a damn what anyone says. To correctly pull this off you need too many variable factors -

1 - No retaliation from the opponent.

2 - The perfect spacing for your to be confirmed from into

3 - No fireballs, no jumps, no walk back, nothing. You need a standing opponent or it fails, you need a training dummy essentially.

4 - If you decide to confirm solely from the, you need to confirm that hit which is damn hard to do consistently.

The jump - EX Tatsu is common Ken tech that’s been around since the dark times. It’s one of Momochi’s most heavily used tools, everybody knows EX Tatsu is godlike and how it can be confirmed from a jump, it’s how Ken closes space full screen against certain characters. This doesn’t mean that Ken should stand 3/4 of the screen and fish for an opportunity, he has no sufficient strengths from that space other than fireball/air EX Tatsu.

He’s talking about crazy whiff punish opportunities, a M.Tatsu to whiff punish a stray Nobody is ready for that, it was obviously a training dummy set to record and he was actively aware when it was coming, I doubt many players would do that in a real match as there are WAY too many options you’re looking out for to have a M.Tatsu ready to go out of nowhere. However I do think certain special moves are highly applicable for whiff punishing, EX Tatsu and M.Tatsu are both good at whiff punishing for sure, just certain scenarios and not mid-close range applicable, it’s so much safer to just sweep them.

I disagree with Ken’s whiff punish ability comment also, his sweep and V-Skill are actually pretty good at whiff punishing a lot of normals as long as you properly space yourself and hold the position Ken wants. He also didn’t mention Ken’s major footsie strength - counter poking into insane corner carry.

I also don’t like how he states playing the fireball game is the way to go, Ken’s anti-airs are legit for sure, probably the best in the game by a mile with what he gets off of them and how strong they are. But playing a fireball game with Ken is a bad decision, he didn’t factor in the mass amount of anti-fireball utility the current roster has, half of them don’t even need to jump and a couple of characters will even punish you for attempting to play the fireball game. He isn’t taking into account their ability to fight back against it without jumping or walking into the path of his anti-air. Yet again this seems to stem from theory fighting that isn’t taking into account a human opponent, just a training dummy on record.

What is my overall opinion of this video?

It’s great, I love this guy for actually bothering to look into Ken’s options and make a cohesive video about them that ultimately changes the general opinion of the community. Since people have been sharing this around I’ve seen nothing but praise for Ken and I love it, the mindless “bottom tier” train seems to be fading away a little. However I think the options he’s explored aren’t presented properly, and not heavily, just slightly misguided and lacking proper theory/foresight behind them. There are more things I have to pick out, but I feel like everybody gets what I’m saying at this point.

Does anybody else agree with me? I’ve had this in my head since I saw the video but didn’t want to give the guy flak. If I’m being too harsh on this then feel free to disagree, I’m not trying to come off as a pretentious asshole who knows everything, I just genuinely think it’s misguided information.


For real. Most of what’s in that video is either gimmicky or assumes your opponent is a moron who doesn’t know the match up. I applaud him for trying to make people give Ken a chance though. I’m still waiting for something to get me to have a change of heart myself. Been seeing people post the crap out of this video on social media like it’s the gospel truth though. Everyone gets mad if you say anything bad about it. Lol

I love the video, but like Froztey said, I wouldn’t label it as the CORRECT way to play. I’d rather look at it as a prime example to show that Ken is a lot more versatile than people give him credit for.

People have been pegging Ken as a rushdown-only character, playing him as such, and not succeeding. And frankly, I don’t blame them, since Capcom themselves have been giving off this impression, so I think this video does well to drive home the fact that he isn’t such a one-dimensional character. But I sure as hell wouldn’t say this is the CORRECT way to play him. It’s frankly too early, and seeing his proper playstyle which is highly subjective will take a lot of play and experimentation.

I personally DO plan to use a mid-range footsie and zoning game, and have planned to do so long before this video came out, since I use him at Evo 2015, to be exact. I look forward to seeing this character played in a LOT of different ways and seeing/learning what works and what doesn’t.

To echo everyone, that isn’t the “correct” way to play the character. Ken just isn’t a threat to a lot of characters at that range imo. However it did explore options in certain situations that Ken can take advantage of I had no idea about which to me was very enlightening and enough to make be pick up the character again. In that regard it’s still a must watch.

I like the guy for trying however this is not the correct way to play Ken. Will only wok against average players.

I fell like this is a great start for new players or people looking for a game plan to take in matches. There is never one correct way to play a character. And at high level your playing your opponent as much as your character so sticking to just range or play style for everyone will not work in the long run.

This video is cool but its not really applicable all of the time.

I find the best way to play ken is to hope you aren’t playing a laggy match and you have extremely good footsies and button timing in close range.

His standing lk is underrated right now, I find that if I can get a I can ease in by a few pixels against most normal ranges and get a crush counter or at least a counterhit

I dont think Ken is meant to be played at this long/medium distance, he just requires extremely active and careful button timings in the close range, and you have to be sure you get a knockdown on EVERY counter-hit as much as possible.

What are some good ways to set up crush counters and baits, other than just pressing & praying? I know about cr. mp>backdash, but that’s about it.

Check out the tech thread, ddissa posted some good stuff.

Right now im against Karin in training.

If you do Cr.lp Cr.lp blockstring straight into low fierce you will get crush counter launcher against Karins fast standing mp reversal.

However, I dont think non-scrubs will be mashing this move, better players might test your pressure with a jab reversal.

Might be char specific, but right now I just figured out kens fierce punch is excellent for whiff punishing some reversal jabs.

If you are close range do cr.lp cr.lp blockstring, then into standing fierce. It pushes you just enough away to whiff punish Karins st.lp

If you are at medium range, if you space kens perfectly you are just far enough away to whiff punish karins st.lp with fierce, and maybe even a few other moves but I have to test it.

I think if you string a whiff punish from fierce into his vskill you might be able to create some really scary pressure, but I am not sure for now.


will take this and incorporate it into my gameplay :3

I am one of those greener players that have been mentioned that are looking towards videos like this to determine a character’s gameplan and provide a template for improvement. As a result, I am happy to have encountered the productive criticism of this thread alongside it.

The way I see it has mostly already been mentioned. A video like this has merit in its attempts to solve a current problem by looking at it from a new perspective. The consensus is that the thinking in it swings the pendulum too far in the other direction, but I feel that needs to happen in order for us to discover the equilibrium.

Outside of the more impractical things like tatsu punishes, I wonder if this style has greater merit in particular matches (perhaps Gief and Mika)?