Tier Lists That Matter? How Does Your Personal Style Affect Your Top Tier


I saw something today that caused me to wonder about how tier lists relate to one’s personal style. It shouldn’t be too difficult for me to rearrange the list of fighters based on how easily each one syncs to how I play and navigate fights. I mean some characters just seem built to allow me to fight my way, which feels amazing. On the other hand others seem like I am trying to force a square peg through a round hole :confused: , which may cause me to think that they suck due to how severely they restrict my style. I guess with personal style one person’s trash tier might very well be another one’s treasure.

Thus far I’ve figured out that Necalli fits me the most, so should probably top my tier list whereas F.A.N.G. feels the most foreign and as such is the worst character for me to try to ENJOY playing. I think that I still need to think through this a bit more but for now, what’s your personal tier list based on style of SFV? Who do you feel syncs with you best? Which character totally sucks?

  1. Laura - She is exactly right. She’s got the momentum I like, but she’s not unsafe - hell, most of her moves are safe, you have to go out of your way to take the risks that make you that way. Her footsies seem stubby on paper but are great when actually fighting, her clap lets her force her opponent into a pattern and both makes for amazing resets and wakeup pressure. Her wakeup pressure and meaties in general are amazing, with lots of branching options based on the knockdown. Overall, I think Laura is my best character in the game by far. There’s no question about it, and it’s just so damn satisfying that my natural drive to do stuff like EX Bolt resets gels naturally with what she is intended to do. Train your reads, keep up the safe pressure, and capitalize off knockdowns like crazy.

  2. Ken - One word - Momentum. Everything he does is about keeping that momentum, that pressure going. Run cancels, making your opponent think you’re unsafe when you’re not - and the other way around too - and just the huge amount of movement options and forward-facing footsies he has complements me extremely well. I really need to play him more, watching Julio gives me inspiration goosebumps. Plus, all it takes is one read, or one instinctive gamble, and you’ve got a huge chunk of damage on your hands - that’s one of my favorite parts. And his wakeup game is great, leading to strong reversals, which I like a lot too.

  3. Balrog - In SF4 I loved Dudley. I loved his extreme pressure, his incredible corner carry, ability to dodge projectiles and throws at will, and the fact that with just one touch at the right time you can take your opponent all the way to Duff City with combos that go on and on. I’ve never been much good with charge characters, and in SF4 Balrog’s style just didn’t gel with me at all compared to Dudley’s, but here in SFV they somehow managed to combine the two characters and make them even better as a powerhouse of punching. Everything I like in Dudley is here. Only reason he’s not #2 is because I don’t like charge moves lol.


  1. Necalli - Whenever I think of Necalli, I do think of rushdown, but not remotely in the same way as someone like Laura does. He’s a lot more about intimidating your opponent and hunting them like a hungry wolf, not so much overwhelming them with amazing constant pressure. Plus, his pressure strings, while safe, don’t give you the kind of mixups I want (and his command throw is super slow to boot). While as a whole I can deal with his normals, I’d just get bodied if I tried to play rushdown Laura-style Necalli.

  2. Bison - Every time I see someone dash in with him it seems to go really badly. He doesn’t really have closeup mixups that are nearly as strong as those from Laura, and overall his game seems centered on intimidating and scaring your opponent. I’d just scissor kick all day and probably get bodied once people figured out my timings - waiting patiently to strike is really not my thing.

  3. Juri - Her playstyle revolves around intimidating and conditioning people, “drawing them in to your Spider’s Web” essentially. Combine that with a lot of her stuff being unsafe and her hurtboxes stretching out past a lot of her hitboxes, and I just can’t play this sort of character without getting bodied. I’d try to throw out stuff subconsciously even when I know it’s not safe, and get nothing out of it. The moves that are safe on her are not the type I would rely on for that sort of pressure, either, and the lack of stuff she can do against opponent wakeup makes it especially bad. So overall, she’s probably the worst in the cast for me.

Overall tier list:

Karin (played as if she were Dudley)
Guile (US Marine style)

Chun Li (rushdown)


  1. Ken, he is my main. I just like pretty much everything about him. I like that his footsies are not the greatest but are good at whiff punishing stuff, I like that he has mostly unsafe stuff but many options so if done right you can get away with a lot of things. I like his damage and his agressive nature.

  2. Ryu because he is basically a safer Ken with less fake stuff and more solid game overall.

  3. Vega because I really like his ground game. And I enjoy the change of pace of not having any reversals. His footsies also play on a completely different way.

  4. Juri, seems fairly complex and interesting so far, plenty of tools and interesting trigger.

Characters I really don’t like are Mika and Laura because I really dislike this heavy mixups and reset style.

Characters I like but I am bad at are Zangief and Alex and charge characters, especially Guile which kinda makes me want to improve at charge.


I love mix ups. Ryu and Nash are pretty strong, maybe the strongest, but they don’t really have that. They have /surprises/ sure. But their mix up game is lower than say, my profile pic. I need characters with a lot of options to keep the opponent guessing. I like conditioning my opponent so that unsafe things become safe by psychology. So the things that suit my style best are when I don’t have to worry about what /I/ do so much as what I want my opponent to do. Things that don’t jive with me as much are when I have to think more about what /I/ am doing.

So my tier list is pretty easy for me.

Top Three

  1. R.Mika
  2. Juri
  3. M.Bison (Gotta force your opponent to feel intimidated to be successful)

Bottom Three
21. Nash (Feels a lot like flow chart ken 3.0. Yes he has /some/ ways to mix things up in pressure strings, but never have I met a more boring character to watch and play against. V Trigger cool tho.)
20. Guile (Swings too extremely from really defensive, to fairly predictable combo chains.)
19. Claw (Not even a wake up move ;~;. Game plan at least has fun aerial set ups going for it though.)


I started in SF4 with Rose, when SF5 came out I stuck with Laura and felt very happy about that. It might seem a little weird to go from a zoner with good footsies to a rushdown/mixup grappler with no defense and okay buttons (leaving aside the fact that they’re both dark-haired latinas with interesting assets), but when I think of it I was already playing Rose in a very offensive way, using Soul Spirals to get in and going for throws and knockdowns as much as I could. There are a few things they have in common though, like the lack of reversals, the short combos, the ground to air throw (I found so funny to read my opponent and go for a Soul Throw right at the beginning of a round), the safe nature of most of their tools or the projectile. And Rose’s grab range was so huge that throwing people around is just a must.

I’m pretty satisfied with Laura because I can dictate the pace of the match with safe pressure and find always new creative ways to trick and harass my opponent. Her buttons have so much frame advantage I can press them freely in range and it gives me enough time to decide for the next mixup. The fireball has a slow startup but it’s often harder to deal with than other projectiles because of my H Bolt ready to catch jump-ins. She also has a surprising mobility in spite of her walk speed thanks to her command dashes, and that is very important because I really don’t like sluggish characters that struggle to get in. Her lack of invincible reversals also fits my style because it means I don’t really have to commit to extremely unsafe stuff aside from her overhead.

When I feel like having a little more range or space control I usually go for Vega or Rashid. Vega was very hard for me to understand at the beginning precisely because I was used to rush down my opponent with Laura, but after a while I got the hang of most of his tool in both stances. I like to be able to walk in and out their range whenever I feel like it and to bully them from distance with his normals, or do random fake wall dives just to see my opponent jumping around and pressing buttons. Rashid is funny too but the work you have to put in to score damage made me play him less and less.

Worst characters for me are the ones who feel very slow like Gief or Sim and the charge characters in general because I’m simply not used to thinking of holding down/back for everything I do. I’m only able to use Alex in 3S because his slash elbows are safer and he has much more meter to burn for EX specials.
I could give Gief a shot from time to time though because I like getting on my opponent, reading him and seeing him getting him scared. I also tried a little Necalli for the same reason, but I didn’t put too much effort in it because he felt too similar to Laura, just with shorter range and less complexity.


S tier

1 - R. Mika --> imo she plays like Makoto in this, great pressure, high damage, stubby normals, weak reversals, no mention to her funny trick gameplay. In other words, one touch and you are dead!

2 - Juri --> I use to play at least one fireball char in each fighting game which I spend my time. Like her mobility mainly. Therefore, those I can’t deal with Mika (zonners), I target on Juri’s hands (or feet, if you wish).

3 - Birdie --> It’s intriguing playing him in SFV. A strong wall who got great range + bananas and cans + massive damage, which force the opponent to get intimidated.

Z tier

1 - Necalli --> I hate every single detail about this guy. I don’t accept he getting a good reversal + 3f jabs (I’m not even talking about his super saiyajin mode).

2 - Rashid --> It’s super cool all that wind stuff and whatever, but god damn, this guy plays very close to Fuerte. It’s a torture facing him online!

3 - Bison --> Since SFII I hate challenging him. I dunno why exactly, maybe his double knee press that is hard to punish.


After reading the responses here and thinking a bit more on it, I realise that I seem to have a different experience with the character roster. For me a character that initially feels restrictive is probably due to me not appropriately understanding how that character moves and flows. Once I figure that out, I can sync that character’s fighting style to a compatible part of myself and adapt my play style accordingly in order to enjoy playing that character…except maybe F.A.N.G. he’s a dork. >.<

That said, I wonder if tier lists truly apply to me since I can mostly adapt to and play any character in the roster. Is it that for me, trash tier and top tier are basically determined by how much exposure I’ve had to given character in order to figure out how to adapt? If that’s possible for some persons, assuming that I’m not an anomaly, I’m not sure that tier lists are for everyone.


I certainly understand the benefit of being able to play lots of different characters, and being sure to train up more than one, but it seems a bit suspicious to me to have NO preference whatsoever. Even if you are able to figure out a character’s style and learn how to sync with and play them, don’t you have characters where this is easier or harder to do? Someone having NO meaningful personal style or preferences seems strange to me. What makes you choose Necalli then? (And come to think of it, do you dislike FANG’s style, or just his personality? I’m not sure what to make of “dork”.) Perhaps you do have personal tendencies after all, and just haven’t figured them out?

At the end of the day, I feel like everyone’s going to be better or worse at something, and some characters must be better or worse at what you’re good at, or even just what you like doing.


Cammy Cammy Cammy

Her aerial combat is just too addicting. I only picked her in the first beta because I didn’t wanna be cliche and play Ryu. Before 5 I never gave Cammy a second glance.

• Amazing corner carry
• Super fun buttons and mix ups
• Invincible DP ;^)

I never really feel trapped with her. I don’t feel like I have to fear being stuck in a situation that I can’t get out of.

She’s just so fast and fun lol

Plus her alts looks super bueno



I didn’t know Cammy had a focus attack since Alpha times.


She didn’t. That’s a custom sprite.


Rashid just resonates with me so perfectly. He has the arguably the best mobility of the game, his wall jump crossup shenanigans are so fun to use, and making opponents guess between blocking and throw teching is fun. I also love ex divekicking through projectiles. His V-Trigger is also so creative and versatile; I love it. He isn’t a total BS character, however, as he still has to play footsies, and his standing mk, cr.mk, f.mp, and cr.hp are his tools to do so. Chun was fun, but dropping her for Rashid has made it so I can truly enjoy this game as much as possible. If FANG is buffed, I might pick him up again, because he’s so fun. Unfortunately, he’s just so weak.


Ryu is my main and I just love the concept of him as a character. No frills, the standard character that the game is built/balanced around. I love that everyone knows him so that you’re winning based on your decisions and not from being a novel character/gimmicks.

I love the "meta’ aspect of his character story. Capcom designed his story such that it parallels all of us as Street Fighter players; playing for the thrill of the fight and always seeking challenges.

“Victory is nothing, the fight is everything.”