Ryu’s entire gameplan revolves around breaking your opponent’s guard meter with the fast and powerful far s.HP (advancing with f+MK when need be) so you can land d.MK xx Shin Shoryuken. When the opponent wants to attack you, a major part of Ryu’s defense is to zone (ie. maintain a certain range… usually just a pixel outside of the opponent’s longest normal move) and counter poke them with qcf+HP whenever they do anything.
-far s.HK (perfect far anti-air for when they try to get in by jumping)
-qcf+HP (it’s faster on the release AND recovery than Ken’s same move)
-far s.HP (does a lot of guard crush and is safe on the block)
-f+MK (is safe on the block and allows you to attack after… the guard crush can really build up with this move)
-d.LP (+7 frame advantage… I base entire game around making the opponent block or get hit by this move. It’s what sets up almost all of Ryu’s up close offense. d.LP, throw; d.LP, d.MK xx qcf+HP; etc…)
Ken’s gameplan is mainly based around getting a knockdown so he can use his extremely powerful cross-up j.MK attack. After any kind of cross-up, the opponent is drawn TOWARDS you, rather than pushed back like after a usual jump-in. From there it’s a matter of making the opponent guess by mixing up the kick throw with low shorts xx combo.
-f+HK (The range is a little less than you think it would be, but it’s still quite far… This is a very important advancing tool. You usually want the opponent to block this so you can start your up close offense.)
-far s.HK (This move is laggy, but it’s Ken’s fastest and farthest reaching normal attack. Stand outside the max range of Blanka’s d.HP. Have Blanka do d.HP, then press far s.HK with Ken when you see it whiff. Now you know how to use this move.)
-j.MK (You want to time this attack so you’re perfectly over the center line of your opponent’s character sprite whenever you press the button. They literally have to guess which way to block if you do it correctly.)
-d.LP (see Ryu)
-hcf+LK (Used for combos or to poke on the ground. Ryu doesn’t have this move.)
Ken can easily punish a Blanka ball by blocking high and then using f+HK. Ryu cannot punish outside of a super. This gives Ken a HUGE advantage over Ryu in my opinion. Ken has the superior range (although a slower qcf+P move, which is kind of annoying) and the highly useful hcf+LK move which makes him the stronger character out of the two.