What Ken does well (Edited to have video in first post)


I’ve been playing Ken since the game dropped, which admittedly isn’t very long, but I’ve done well enough to come up with a theory on what Ken does well, and how he can force those situations.

To start, I think above everything ken does oki and corner pressure quite well. I’ve made a lot of comebacks by putting someone in the corner and then whittling away at their 700 health over 40 seconds.

So what we want then, is corner carry off of combos and time enough to be able to get back in their face to put meaty buttons on their wakeup. Both those things are solved really helpfully by medium tatsu.

The setup I grinded out is pretty simple, though will take some time to get used to. Do whatever combo and end it with m.tatsu. dash twice and then go for c.lk/ throw, or dash once and go for Ken’s Stepkick Overhead.

The c.lk will counterhit any button pressed by the opponent (including 3 frame normals) and let you get a basic confirm into more damage. The throw will also beat any button (including 3 frame normals) since it’s meaty, and will push the opponent further towards the corner and do damage, all in one. The Overhead will counterhit any button pressed, and let you push buttons on them at advantage. If it counter hits while they’re crouching, you can combo into cr.lp xx h.SRK.

What’s extra neat about this whole setup is that it lets you cover and react to neutral tech and back tech. During the dash or dashes, if you see them neutral tech, you want to do the throw/ overhead/ cr.lk immediately after the second dash. If they back tech, you wait a tiny amount of time after the two dashes, and then input one of the three options.

Another tidbit is that the options cover each other, so if the opponent predicts throw, and tries to tech, overhead or low will beat it. If they predict low and crouch block throw and overhead will beat it. If they predict high and stand block, low and throw will beat it. This makes it so that you’ve got 2/3 right options while the opponent has 1/3 (ignoring MU’s where they have invulnerable reversals).

On top of the corner carry from the m.tatsu, the dash or dashes further push them as they get up, so if you land whatever combo midscreen, end it with m.tatsu, and then go for that setup, the opponent will be pushed completely into the corner. I just worked this out because I thought that Ken probably can play to his strengths real well, and I think the setup proof of concepts that pretty well.

How do you press with Ken ? I try cr.mp > b.mp > st.mk et get ready to hitconfirm, but none of these pokes make Ken move forward to continu the pressing …

You gotta play footsies. When you get the hit, you go for a combo that lets you mix them up on wakeup, so you can threaten hit/ throw/ overhead.

He has good enough buttons in neutral to walk people to the corner though.

On the wake up i have no idea about what to do, there is no cross up except jump.mk and tatsu mk (lk doesn’t combo right ?) but the tatsu is too slow and hit the cross up then combo after it is sooo hard :frowning:

I can’t say i’m a fan of meaty, i always eat a dragon when i try … the overhead (mk and HK) are not bad but not to do at every wake up … do you have mix ups to share ?

For now i’m trying to press with cr.mp > b.mp > st.mp, then i’m focus to hitconfirm a mk.tatsu … not easy at all for the moment ! cr.lk>cr.lp>hp.dp is really hard for me at the time, i don’t connect it at 100% in training. I’m trying to use the dash more than the VSkill … i’m so bad right now xD

Everyone starts somewhere my dude. For meaties I prefer going for cr.lk > s.lp > h.SRK, or meaty throw, or overhead. You just have to get a sense for when they’ll DP, or get good at baiting it out, by like, dashing up to them when you knock them down, and then walking backwards, for example.

It’s tough though. Being able to confirm off of two hits is really important.

I’ll take note of that. Thanks a lot :slight_smile:

When you say c.lk are you saying crouching light kick or close light kick? I’m assuming crouching lol.

Yeah, crouching. I’m actually working on a video showing a more complete version of this whole write up, which’ll make everything more understandable.

Here’s the proof of concept

Thanks for the video!

I love your choice of music. Fujiwara Tofu Shop approves.

Yeah dude! Ken’s the T86 of SFV. Common conception is that he’s really bad, but he fucking blasts people with unexpected strats.

I just love the fact his v-skill has a large forward movement. Makes for extending pokes into some gnarly combos. He, IMO, feels like a very mobile pressure oriented character…I love it

This is so gross.

you probably already know this but if you have super bar, after the overhead you can do light DP into super for 426 more damage on this ridiculously good set up.

That might work. It depends on how late the overhead hits in the setup, and it doesn’t hit very late, so I’m inclined to say it won’t off of that specific thing.

Getting tagged with overhead in general is spooky though, and people are inclined to push buttons and generally wig out. His overheads are both doubly good because unlike some characters, they have dumb long range. Ken can actually overhead from outside throw range, and it’s really fucking good.

Awesome write-up. There is one thing I didn’t understand for the longest time though (forgive me though, as I because practically skipped out on SF4 for Marvel 3 and SoulCal because I was not a fan). I was under the impression that meaties (this set-up included) beat out ANY non-invincible move, INCLUDING non-invincible reversal DPs. I was labbing it earlier and found out that isn’t the case though. It’s weird. For example, Ryu and Ken’s mp DP are understood as being “invincible moves”, yet lp DP will still beat out most meaties (from my experience and testing, unless I’m doing something wrong, in which case please correct me). Things like jabs (standing and crouching), cr. mp, crush counters, DPs of your own, overheads (timing and spacing is tricky though) will beat non-invincible reversals (at least lp DP), whereas things like any low or throws will not. They’re basically semi-invincible wake-up options. I was wondering why I always kept getting blown up on the opponents wake-up, and it’s because the set-ups/meaties I was doing DON’T counter that particular reversal. Forgive me if this is news from '09, but this is something I never really looked into until now.

A meaty move will stuff the fuck out of lp SRK. grab won’t work because I think they’re considered airborne frame 1? I’m not 100% sure on that though. Lights can stuff it, it’s just harder to have your move active on just the right frame.

I mean, not really. I’ve tested this extensively with against both Ryu and Ken. Maybe in SF4, but not in this game. Lows will NOT meaty/stuff DPs (at least not light and medium DPs). I’ve tested it on all three techs, too. It just goes right through them. Try it for yourself. Until I see some video proof and a tutorial on how to time it exactly right, I won’t believe it. I wasn’t aware of that about the throws though.

EDIT: maybe this is just a shoto thing? I haven’t tested this with any other characters yet. But Ken’s lows will 100% not beat any DP.

Just tested it with Chun and Vega against Ryu and Ken. Vega’s was the same story. No dice. Chun’s low short and forwards did nothing. Went right though, just like with Ken. Her sweep however, I’m assuming due to the way the hitbox works and how she’s positioned, WAS able to stuff the DP for a crush counter. It can also trade with it. Haven’t tested anyone else yet.

Anyway, more stuff that Ken sucks at. sigh

The capcom guide says Ken LP DP crushes lows, so maybe that is what is going on here?