I feel Ken still has great advantage in neutral and can still send her with ease in the corner where the match just becomes one sided. Her strings didn’t really change either, she only gained more mix-ups up close, but Ken imho can play very easily outside her mix-up range due to his movement.
The whole one-sided situation of being cornered could be said with almost everyone, although this is where Ken becomes most scary. Most people, even Laura, can find a sweet spot range to get out, and regardless of taking damage, it is going to be worth it.
Could bring up that, unlike Ken, some of Laura’s enders give a proper meaty setup anywhere on specials alone without needing the corner. Ken’s oki factor mainly plays a strong role when cornerering the opponent (primarily most consistent after a throw… or after certain attack enders against 4-frame minimum options, which Laura isn’t categorized in). In season 1 she had to deal with a lot worse, but most of what made it inconsistent is that the DP was there to throw out any loose followups or oki. She technically can now play around as she is intended to now unless Ken has meter.
Hope you don’t mind me using the Ryu MU reference, but I would say the same applies with Ryu but in a bad way since corner oki isn’t consistent and his pokes are lacking, but has a 3f normal and somewhat workable strings… seeing that as 4-6 is feasible against Laura… but seeing a huge jump when it comes to Ken at a +1.5 difference because of those changes is odd to me. I can see +1.0 change at best because Ken’s traits are more scary in SFV. The gameplan at neutral is relatively similar imo (Mediums against Laura are generally really strong), there are just a few differences from both that just overall puts Ken ahead because the meta of offense is preferred. From playing with Ryu against a Laura trainer in the past, I would say it’s somewhat noticeable to see the match-up lean towards Ryu than Laura. For Season 2 Ryu VS Laura I would think that MU changed, but not too much (might be 5.5 in Laura’s favor against Ryu).
I’m not sure about the 6-4 against Ryu either, and the fact that most people just dropped Ryu means we probably won’t get to know how good he really is in some MUs. The most reasonable statement imho would be 5.5 for Laura against Ryu and 5.5 for Ken against Laura.
This is how I view FANG’s MUs:
Birdie 6 Birdie in VT 5
Chun Li 4
M. Bison 5
R. Mika 4
I think S1 his worst MUs were Cammy, Ken, and Chun. Going in to S2 I don’t think they really fixed the issues he had in those MUs, but Ken and Chun did get weaker overall. I think going forward his MUs are based around:
How Long can he keep pressure going safely?
What are the opponent’s damage output compared to his? VT comback factor is important here as well imo.
Do they have an easy way around him trying to switch to a zoning gameplan?
Right now I’m gravitating to Cammy,Ken, Laura, Urien being his worst MUs this go around. The 3 MUs I’m not too sure on from experience are Rashid or Ibuki, but given their toolset I think they would be unfavorable for him.
Here’s where I think Ken’s match ups are in S2.
Advantaged: Fang, Nash
Even: Necali, Zangief, Alex, Urien, Juri, Akuma, Ryu, Ibuki, Dhalsim, Laura, Mika, Bison, Vega
Disadvantaged: Guile, Birdie, Chun Li, Karin, Cammy
Horrible: Rashid, Balrog
I think the biggest problem is that Ken plays a little too honest now until he gets a hit. Before you always had to worry about Ken jumping, but his jump in game isn’t strong enough now to really scare people consistently yet at the same time they nerfed his ground game. The few buffs he did get really didn’t give him access to any new “play styles” in the sense that his new overhead buff helps him in a situation he already dominated in which is corner pressure. The one frame nerf across the board hurt Ken badly since his ability to punish things in the neutral game is greatly diminished. There’s a lot of situations where c.MP > Tatsu or b.MP were the optimal punishes, but now you have to settle for much weaker punishes. This in turn gives Ken less pressure situations overall.
The loss of a lot of threats in the neutral game make Ken a lot more one dimensional in his approach. He’s still viable and you can put in the time to make him good, but I think compared to many of the “great” characters in S2 he just leaves a lot to be desired. They just took way too much away from him.
Don’t get me wrong, Ken is still deadly in the corner. If he gets his optimal situation he’s downright terrifying, but simply it’s a lot harder for him to get started. He’s a viable mid tier character, but I think a lot of the fun of playing him is kinda gone.
Eh the biggest problem is that Ken’s defense against Laura is much worse. The nerf to MP DP and LK Tatsu in addition to Laura’s buffs have absolutely wrecked Ken’s options. There’s a lot less for Laura to worry about.
Before Ken had probably one of the best defenses in the game which helped him a lot against Mika or Laura, but now his defense is not much better than many characters.
There’s a typo. You’ve got Chun-Laura as a 4-4 matchup.
Reasoning why Chun-Birdie is 5-5? She destroys him in v-trigger with her multihitting moves.
I feel with the nerfs to IALL (the biggest issue he had), her shorter length v trigger, her nerfed punishes and his now safe on block EX bullhead (especially v trigger ex which is retarded now) he can play a more even matchup vs her. She can win the button war vs him, but once he gets the ranged game established with the v skills and sits on some meter her approach is a bit less strong than it was in Season 1.
In these couple recent videos of Nuki vs some high ranked Birdies (including Crusher) Nuki tends to struggle in the neutral a lot more than in Season 1 and once they get the trash on the ground it forces him to respect Birdie’s ground game a lot. Before you could just bypass all this stuff with IALL and EX bullhead was unsafe on block, but now with the changes it definitely seems more of an evened out match
Imo chun is still bad for birdie. Better but not even. S1 was like 7 3, s2 is like 6 4.
I personally haven’t seen anything that makes it worth pushing the matchup past even. Like maybe slight advantage for Chun now at best. Maybe in another month or 2 I might have a different opinion on it, but Birdie already get more potential damage out of the neutral than Chun does and has more options to close the gap on her than Gief does.
I feel Gief is still likely advantageous for her since there’s like 2 or 3 buttons that she can hit and there really isn’t much he can do to stop it until he gets V Trigger. She doesn’t need to use fireball much in that matchup (or in general) so the headbutt meter buff is negligible. Lot more options for Birdie in comparison.
I currently have that match listed as even in the mock up chart, but whenever we do gather info for a more concrete chart that match would most likely go in her favor either as 6 or 5.5
Chun Li 4.5
M. Bison 5
R. Mika 5
I don’t see how Sim beats Birdie 6-4 with EX bullhead being -2 now. Birdie can fuck up Dhalsim as much as anyone else once he gets in, and keeping him out is very hard when he has a fast, far-reaching 3f armored gap closer that’s safe on block. that he can mix up with EX derp dive once he scares you into not pressing buttons. sim also has a particular weakness to command grabs
that’s not to say that sim doesn’t still have a big advantage in neutral - just that a good birdie will get enough opportunities to even things out.
fchamp has it 5-5 and I’m inclined to agree
One way we could be more objective about our findings here is to have most of the characters oki listed. At the very least, on knockdowns.
Why would that be important? Gief has probably the best oki in the entire game off his command grabs yet nobody but a few Jap players call him top tier. Cammy on the other hand has very poor/limited oki yet everyone agrees she’s very good.
Probably because it’s at least a start at trying something scientific rather than just random rumblings.
An even better idea would be to make a list of “strong tools in sf5” then rank every character on how they rate amongst those tools… then add up the rankings and get your total for your theory top tier.
And if the theory top tier turns out to not be as good as the “known” top tier that means you may have missed some tools, or your list is an indicator of the future.
But LOL like anyone would ever try and do that. People wouldn’t even be able to agree on what’s a good tool or not.
so we can make evidence based claims instead of unsupported ones.
oki is one aspect of what makes a character good. Just because I’m saying we should list this doesn’t mean we should ignore everything else.
if we have everything listed, and updated to be accurate then we can point to things in a more objective way.
I’m not against it, but then we should make similar lists about damage outputs, walk speeds, pokes range, anti-airs etc.
Also since this is a MU thread and not just a tier list thread what really counts is how each character’s tools play against the tools of his/her opponent. Like a character might have the best projectile in the game, but if everyone else has good anti-projectile tools it doesn’t count that much.
Thats what I mean, we can point to things that are objectively true about each character when making claims about matchups.
We can list everything, but I think “Oki” is the low hanging fruit. Should be easy to gather this.
I think oki itself is rather complex because you need to evaluate how many moves give you a knockdown, which type of knockdown it is (backrollable/not-backrollable), how many tools the character has to cover both quickrise and backroll and if he/she has tools to easily cover both.
On an additional layer we might also consider how easy it is to score those K/Ds with said moves.
Heres mine for Ken, I am no pro tho but I guess it’s more opinions.
Left is Ken.
Akuma = 5.5 - 4.5
Alex = 5.5 - 4.5
Balrog (Boxer) = 4 - 6
Birdie = 5 - 5
Cammy = 4.5 - 5.5
Chun Li = 5 - 5
Dhalsim = 5.5 - 4.5
F.A.N.G = 6 - 4
Guile = 4.5 - 5.5
Ibuki = 5 - 5
Juri = 5 - 5
Karin = 5 - 5
Laura = 5 - 5
M.Bison (Dictator) = 5 - 5
Nash = 6 - 4
Necalli = 5 - 5
R. Mika = 5 - 5
Rashid = 4 - 6
Ryu = 5.5 - 4.5
Urien = 4.5 - 5.5
Vega (Claw) = 6-4
Zangief = 5 - 5
Long story short garbage matchups are Rog and Rashid. I almost put a 7-3 on Rashid because I saw Momochi vs Gachikun and that was crazy how bad it looked.
I think Rashid is the worst matchup for Ken.