Understanding Blanka's Ultra

Notes: Frame info comes from here: http://www.sfframedata.com/walkthrough/pages/ssf4_intro.php
All damage values are computed from full opponent vitality, with full Ultra meter.
Ultra #1: Lightning cannonball
Command: Charge B, F, B, F + PPP
Frame startup: 1+3
Damage: 500 if the four ground hits land. 495 if landed from the ground shock hit (120, 125, 125, 125). 150 damage on chip (30, 30, 30, 30, 30)

This is the ultra that caused this post to be made in the first place since the properties were misunderstood. To clear it up. The first hit of this ultra is an invisible hit that does not show up on the combo meter but can be combo’d into. It has all the properties of a low hit and must be blocked low. It trip guards as well, however the timing of this is very hard to pull off since it is only active for 2 frames. Exact frame data for this is 2(20)46.

After the initial low hit, he hops into the air and is completely inactive for 20 frames. This is why this ultra does not really function for anti-air; the part where the ball hops upwards has no active hit boxes for 20 frames. Which sucks. As the ball is descending however, it becomes active again and is a mid-hit meaning that it must be blocked high. The remaining ground hits can be blocked high or low.
TO REVIEW: To block this ultra, block low at first. As the ball descends onto you, block high. Then block the rest however you wish. **

Practical applications:
This ultra is more useful for chip damage than Ultra #2 and has faster startup meaning that if you like to throw stuff out randomly, this will work out better for you. This ultra also acts as a punisher. There are an awful lot of practical things that recover slower than -4. Sagat 2 hit tiger knees. Balrog swing blows/overheads. Turn punches of higher level than 1. Bison scissors using a button other than short. Shoto sweeps. On and on. This ultra also combos as a 1 frame link off of low forward and low short. You can also forward hop into it (charge back, forward + KKK, back, forward, hit PPP when Blanka recovers from the hop), which has been made easier in Super due to forward hop being slightly sped up.

Ultra #2a: Shout of Earth (anti-air)
Command: Charge D/B, D/F, D/B, U + PPP
Frame startup: 1+6
Damage: 500

This Ultra acts as anti-air solely. There is virtually zero ground range on it as an opponent can get right next to you and block and take no chip damage (which looks funny since there is a lightning effect happening around them). If someone happens to stick their hand into you, they will take the full damage, however with 1+6 frame startup, this move does not really act as an anti-poke.

Practical applications:
The main use for this version of the Ultra is to stop things happening directly above you. This Ultra does not function as anti jump-in at a 45 degree angle, it pretty much just stops things in a straight line above you. Blanka is a character who is not easy to cross up anyways due to EX up ball, but this gives you a large incentive not to even try. Viper flame kick mixups above your head are shut down, as are Akuma vortex options. You can hop forward into this Ultra, charging D/B, D/F+KKK, D/B, U+PPP when Blanka lands. Slightly more difficult to land than the hop->cannonball setup. This is useful vs. people who jump straight up from a slight distance away. Zangief sometimes will neutral jump headbutt from a slight distance as part of his poking game. A character like Chun-Li will also neutral jump RH from a slight distance away to try and convince you to walk under her. This shuts things like that down.

Ultra #2b: Shout of Earth (ground shock)
Command: Charge D/B, D/F, D/B, U + KKK
Frame startup: 1+11
Damage: Full damage (4 hits) is 420. 3 hits is 300. 2 hits is 180. Yes these are full ultra values. Chip damage is 150 for the full ultra, 120-130 for the 3 hit version. ***

Blanka slams the ground at first creating a ground shockwave. Then he slams the ground again creating a second ground shockwave. The first one affects only things directly touching the ground and is active only for a very short period of time. At full screen distance, when you land this Ultra you will get the 3 hit version. From half screen and closer you will get the full 4 hit version and the extra 120 damage. If someone jumps over the 1st shockwave and lands on the 2nd one, you only get the 2 hit version for 180 damage.

Many characters can punish Blanka for doing this from a distance away looking for a chip win. Omegablackmage has compiled a list of what various characters can do to punish Blanka just randomly throwing this out. This list is taken from his thread here: http://shoryuken.com/showthread.php?t=233720 . Many thanks to him for his hard work. Some of these punishes are very hard to do and some are wildly impractical. The ones that all start with “jump” are especially vulnerable because if you activate the ultra while they’re already in the air, their timing on the jump to punish will be off and they will likely land on the 2nd shock and take 180 damage. An example of this would be Dhalsim. If you get in close, he will jump back or look to quickly teleport away. Well, if he’s teleporting in the air, he can’t exactly teleport again, so you have an opportunity to either make him land on something or accept the chip.

Abel - fierce wheel kick goes over first hit and hits blanka
Adon - jaguar tooth goes over first hit and hits blanka
Akuma - ex demon flip to kick will hit blanka before the second hit, rh demon flip to sweep option
Balrog (Boxer) - turn around punch, ultra 1, super all punish
Blanka - shout of earth ground version (executed after first blanka’s ultra flash), jump forward - slide
Cammy - jump forward spiral arrow, jump forward ultra 1
Chun-Li - ultra 1 after ultra flash, jump forward c.rh
Cody - jump forward ex ruffian kick, jump forward super, jump forward mk ruffian
C. Viper - ultra 2, super jump forward to j.fp
Dan - jump forward to ex hop kick, walk forward slightly then jump forward j.rh barely hits (tough punish)
Dee Jay - jump forward s.rh
Dhalsim - jump forward j.fp, yoga shangri-la
Dudley - jump forward to rolling thunder, hold back to avoid first hit then ex machine gun blow
E. Honda - holding back during ultra flash (not down back, this makes your hitbox just large enough to be forced to block the first hit), you can ex headbut right after the ultra flash, or you can ultra 1 while he’s pounding his fist for the first hit (again, you need to only hold back for this), also jump forward s.rh hits
El Fuerte - instant wall hop to f.p, jump forward ultra 2
Fei Long - jump forward to ultra 1, jump forward to super, ex chicken wing right after ultra flash, and jump forward f.rekka works
Gen - ultra 2 (the air one that punishes fireballs) right after ultra flash, jump forward s.rh
Gouken - ex demon flip to kick, rh demon flip to sweep
Guile - jump forward s.rh
Guy - demon flip to elbow, jump forward rh
Hakan - jump forward f.rh (however, you can avoid the ultra by neutral jumping and then timing a lk super as late as possible and holding the charge through the whole thing). This leaves you right next to him during his cooldown to likely punish with ultra 1, or any of his bnb’s.
Ibuki - jump forward f.kunai, jump forward super
Juri - jump forward f dive kick
Ken - jump forward instant ex tatsu barely hits him, also jump forward instant rh.tatsu works but no ultra punish right after.
Makoto - ultra 2 after ultra flash, hold back and ex hayate after first hit, jump forward quick f.fp
M. Bison (Dictator) - head stomp, ultra 2 after ultra flash
Rose - jump forward s.rh
Rufus - ultra 2, jump forward ultra 2, jump forward fp
Ryu - walk forward slightly and then jumping rh barely hits him (probably hardest punish i’ve seen)
Sagat - rh tiger knee (tight timing) over first hit to uppercut before second hit, ex tier knee (lenient timing) to upper cut, either
rh or ex knee to ultra 1, rh knee to super, super after ultra flash.
Sakura - ex jump smash (the leaping punch move), jump forward s.rh
Seth - jump forward rh, ultra 1 after ultra flash (only projectile i saw that hit him, edit, turns out this isn’t a projectile, its a hit)
T. Hawk - jump forward to condor dive
Vega (Claw) - ultra 1 after ultra flash, sky high claw (claw on/off doesn’t matter)
Zangief - jump forward to ex green hand

It should also be noted that this Ultra does not have invincibility or much priority at all for that matter. Blanka can do the ground shock version of this Ultra vs. a character hitting a button near him and the usual result is a trade. 1 hit of this Ultra does virtually no damage, nor much stun. Suffice to say, you should not use this as an interrupting attack.

While this move is active, Blanka has full projectile immunity. While he’s slamming the ground, all projectiles simply pass through. It should be noted that Ibuki kunai DOES NOT COUNT as a projectile for the purpose of this ultra. Then again, Ibuki kunais don’t count as projectiles for EX horizontal ball either.

Practical applications:
This version of the Ultra is primarily used to stop fireball characters. In SF4, one of Blanka’s worst matchups was Sagat largely because at distance you could not threaten him at all and he had virtually no incentive to not throw a fireball when you were 2/3 screen away or greater. Which, if you focused or blocked simply led to more fireballs. Blanka’s character identity in SF4 is the anti-projectile and anti-air character, so him losing to Sagat mostly off of fireballs didn’t make much sense at all. Shout of Earth closes this hole. Firstly, you now have a reward for absorbing fireballs. And secondly, you are now dangerous at full screen away. Projectile characters now have to think about what they’re doing from full screen away, which is pretty nice.

This move also functions as a whiff punisher from full screen away. A character like Honda will whiff oicho throws after a knockdown. Now he has to be careful of that. Zangief will whiff kick lariats from full screen away and will occasionally whiff one trying to predict a blanka ball. That’s not going to work anymore.

And even more excitingly to expand on the above, it’s now unsafe to whiff air moves for meter since this ultra can be used to trip guard. A character like Viper will occasionally jump back flame kick for meter or whiff flame kicks somewhat more near you as part of the mixup game. Or Akuma will jump back air fireball just to stall for time. (If you notice, Akuma and Viper appear in both sections of the Shout of Earth applications). Now, you can trip guard them with this Ultra. It should be noted that you don’t have much time to land the trip guard, but with practice you can get it down.

Lastly, you can hop into Ultra with this Ultra as well, however one difference is that with this move, hopping BACKWARDS into Ultra is useful. You don’t have to do any fancy commands either since you can hop back while still charging D/B. This looks like a broken charge, especially in situations that a backdash would normally go which will convince even some smart opponents to throw a fireball. If close enough, you can even get the full 4 hit version.

–Jay Snyder

If you jump into the move, and take only that initial hit as you said, you can’t charge the super and then make them fall down into it? I know the charged portion comes after the initial hop, so if you get one hit after or during the hop, shouldnt you be able to charge a second and drop them into it?

Are you say that, what I’ll refer to as the “ground shock” portion of the move hits low, or not?

Also why wouldn’t you be able to 2-in-1 into super off low forward? I think ultras are abled to be cancelled into, just wont combo… not sure on this but I think thats the case.

What I don’t understand is if the Ultra can catch someone sticking out a foot on the ground why can’t it catch someone sticking out a foot in the air? I guess the “active” area starts much faster than the actual electricity hit box.

Also as a predictive anti-air it works. You try to activate it the moment you think they’ll jump forward. Jump arcs and things like that may play a major role on whether you’ll catch them or not. And that goes double for anything after the first hit. But I’ve gotten all hits many times before. If your opponent telegraphs his jump you might as well go for it.

The low forward link into ultra was actually listed on a move list that circulated Chinatown fair during the first week. I never pulled it off, but I also didn’t believe it would work so I didn’t really try.

OH SHIT… Just glancing at the nohoho movelist… Why didnt I notice that before…

Yea that shit works (c.forward -> ultra). Doesn’t really specify link or cancel. Im thinking cancel because links are generally denoted otherwise.

Go for it. ugh blanka.

It also says “hits low, then overhead”, so I guess that answers my other question.

So considering it’s anti air ability… first, it shold be able to work as trip guard for a telegraphed super if you time the ground electricity portion. Then its charging the hop once you land on the ground if you forego the ground shock portion and just hit them straight out of the air with the hop… otherwise you tend to roll to the other side of the screen and take only one hit as Viscant said.

It doesnt link, though I early on theorized it. Heres why, in SFIV there is no actual freeze screen after blankas ultra, infact it is something new that shares many supers/ultras. It is actually a matrix like effect where your character can move in slow motion, so instead of a move being out then the ultra activating and hitting it, your actually hitting a couple frames later(due to it moving in slow mo) plus the actual start up of the ground shave(which is fact NOT instant.)

EDIT: I have actually got it to work as an antiair when I did hop ultra in two instances. One being at basically point blank when they jumped back(all hits), the second is when you anticipate a dive attack at the right distance.

Him linking into ultra would just be…damn :confused:


I have something to say about the anti air bit:

I can say for certaint that I have been hit by the ultra (rising ball part) in the air.

I got tired of getting hit by the ultra so instead of guessing which way to block (high/low/left/right), I just jump back now on reaction (this avoids the rising part) and then when I land, I can low block the ground ball.

Obviously this won’t work all the time, once I was stuck in the corner when Blanka did the ultra… I thought there would be enough spacing for me to jump back on reaction but instead I got tagged (in the air, on the rising ball part) and ate full ultra damage.

Thanks Viscant for trying to elaborate on the ultra. Losing to random Blanka ultras because of not blocking properly is getting old.

It won’t catch you sticking out a foot in the air because there are no hitboxes on the big shiny ball at first. It’s MSPaint time so that everyone can understand this and laugh at how bad I am with MSP.


We’ll label them 1, 2, 3 and 4. The green blob is Blanka. The arrows are what is happening motion wise. The stick figure, I decided, was Bison, because I hate him. The red Xs are the actual hit boxes where you get hit.

In image #1, this is what happens when Blanka activates the Ultra. There are no hit boxes on the top side of the Blanka ball and the shock zone spreads out for quite a distance in front of him. If you are in the path of the red Xs in the “shock zone” (because I like making up retarded names for stuff) and you aren’t getting hit by the big shiny ball, this is where you stand up like you’re shocked and your guard is effectively broken. Again, if you don’t come in contact with the big shiny ball at this point, nothing happens on the combo meter and you don’t start taking damage, but as you can see by the change in your character animation, your chance to block is gone. You can only hope you’re far enough away that the ball doesn’t drop down on you, otherwise you have eaten the Ultra.

Image #2 is the interesting one. This is what happens when Blanka is on the way up. You’ll notice there are no red Xs. That’s because nothing at all is happening. When people try to use the Ultra as anti-air, they’re trying to hit with this part and they wonder why nothing happened.

Image #3 is after the apex of the jump and he’s in his descent. This part is an overhead. This is the part where if you ARE going to get hit in the air, it’s almost always for only 1 hit. That’s because if you get hit in the air, you almost always seem to bounce the wrong way. If you jump from a very far distance away or if you had just started your jump when I Ultra, you might actually eat all 4 hits. This almost never happens. There are no hit boxes behind him until he actually hits the ground or unless you walk too far forward and wind up on the underside of the ball.

Image #4 is after Blanka has hit the ground again. In this image I decided that Bison got hit, again, because I hate him. For once, what you see on screen is accurately reflecting what the actual hit boxes are like. His whole body is electrified and there are hit boxes all around, including behind him.

So the reason that it can’t catch you sticking out a foot in the air is because there’s nothing there to hit your foot in the air.

As far as other stuff goes
–Whether the first part is a low hit that needs to be blocked low. I’m not so sure about this, I think this could have been lost in translation here. We know for sure that it hits “low” on the ground. I’m not 100% sure the start of the Ultra will hit things that are slightly off the ground like Guile sobat kick or the stupid kick he does where he lifts his back leg and hits behind himself. But I don’t THINK you need to block low. I swear I’ve seen people just block high and be able to block the start. Needs concrete testing.

–If you could combo the ultra without a link, I would think people would have figured it out pretty quickly and would have been doing it from day 1 and we’d have video footage of it by now. I tried low forward xx Ultra as a 2-in-1 and it simply doesn’t work for me. As said above, I’m absolutely terrible at combos so this means nothing as to whether or not it would work if someone actually good did it. I think people should try it both ways, both as a 2-in-1 and as a link and see what happens. I think everyone’s pretty sure that low forward into Ultra DOES combo, we just don’t know how yet.

–Jay Snyder

I think the ultra does hit low at first. Twice now I’ve walked up to a Blanka with the hopes of baiting out the ultra - I got what I wanted, but was shocked when I was hit with the damn thing for full damage. I was blocking high but found I’d already been tagged by the ultra before the overhead part even kicked in.

if c+mk ultra does work then it would have to be in a link. only viper breaks the no 2 in 1 ultra rule. in theory i dont see why it shoulnt work and here is why…blankas ultra is the only ultra where if youre not blocking low when its activated, youre fucked. with every other ultra in the game, you can just stand there and when you see the ultra animation, hold B and youll always block. yea we know not gief or fuerte. anyway if blanka can link c+mk, c+mk then the hit stun from the first c+mk must be long enough for blanka do the ultra before the op is out of hit animation and since if youre already in hit stun from the c+mk, it should connect. the question though is whether that stun from the first hard to block hit of his ultra has a normal hit priority or a throw priority like raging demon where if youre in hit stun you can always jump away from it or in blanka’s case, block it. ill try it out this weekend.

at point blank range the ultra beats high block, therefore it hits low.


This is quite confusing and no one description of the ultra seems to be the same.

Some people say if you’re point blank and not blocking low you will be hit. So therefore his ultra must have super freeze…? thats good enough for dash mixups so i’d be happy with that, if its the case.

Point blank on startup, it’ll hit low, on the way down it’s high, after that you block however you want.

It’s shit as an AA because of the arc it moves in and because it doesn’t track people, you’d have to catch people at a certain angle just to get all the hits in.

i hit blanka out of his ultra with crouching fierce last week purely by mistake

has anyone else been able to do something like that?

i did this while the attack was right above me

One more thing you guys are not accounting for, it does NOT HIT low on start up, it just puts you into a hitstun like state if you are are not blocking low/sticking something out. So you cannot combo it because there is no actuall hit till he is at his apex of the arc, or on the ground. This is why I could not get, SA crumple xx dash xx ultra. They where in the middle of crumple stun and the ultra started, yet no combo because there is no ACTUAL HIT. Confusing, I know.

Right, the part at the beginning of the ultra that puts you into a shocked stun/guard broken state is not technically a hit. It does not add up on the combo meter, nor does it do any damage. This not working after crumple stun sucks for us, but doesn’t surprise me all that much considering that crumple stun has special properties/rules of it’s own.

However. We still aren’t completely sure as to whether or not you can go into shock stun/get your guard broken off of regular plain old hit stun. I THINK it can be done and having a few other sources say it’s possible make me believe it is so, but I’m not totally sure; there have been mistakes like this in the past, remnants from older versions and such. It requires testing.
Maybe linking low forward to Ultra is very difficult, since you mentioned that time doesn’t seem to completely stop during an Ultra flash. I’m not 100% sure whether this is so or not, but it seems pretty likely. There’s a lot about the actual engine of SF4 that’s a complete mystery to me and how Ultras function in regards to absolute time is right up there.

This is hard without a console version. How did we ever figure out shit in the days before instant console release. Suddenly old AGSF2 arguments are starting to make a lot more sense to me.

–Jay Snyder

considering that the low guardbreak does not count as a hit, maybe it doesnt regester as a combo but more as an unblockable?

Thanks for clearing up the Ultra mystery, Viscant. I had taken advice from a few other guys before this post and started blocking down within sweep range of Blanka’s Ultra first, before blocking high… and so far it’s been pretty effective. I was pretty much at a loss for words in the beginning when I kept getting my guard dropped during Ultra startup… but it makes a lot more sense nowadays and I’m better prepared for it.

As for the anti-air properties, this post was a very useful one in terms of that. I remember being scared for the longest time and told myself never to jump at Blanka when he had Ultra stocked. Reason why was because when SFIV was on location test in Nagoya, there was a guy who dominated with Blanka because every time you jumped at him when he was knocked down, he would retaliate with Ultra and hit you with all 4 hits for major damage.

I don’t play against Blanka all that often right now, but is wake-up Ultra still a good tool for Blanka to use against jump-ins? It sounds like it may not be anymore.

Ultra hits low and then high. I wrote that fucking weeks ago nobody reads my posts. :frowning:
YellowS4 has it precisely right.

Blanka can link ultra off crouching forward and crouching short. Very difficult and not otherwise practical. It’d be nice in ST hoping for a reversal miss but in SF4 you can’t miss wake-up reversals so there’s no reason to get hit by an okiseme low kick.

thats what i was saying in my post, blanka’s ultra is the only ultra where time stops when he does it and thats the reason why if youre not blocking low, youll get hit/stunned. does ultra stun cancels a regular shit stun and put you in shock stun? if it does then you should be able to link normals to ultra