Which character to main


I am not really sure if this is the right forum for it, but we will see.

I have been playing SF4 on and off since it came out, and i am terrible at it. God Awful terrible. I love fighting games, and i am trying to like this one. In SF2 i am VERY GOOD, i could probably goto evo in SF2 and actually do pretty well for myself. Im decent in SF3, i can hold my own against people. But in SF4 i am terrible.

The reason i feel i am terrible is that i like to play a rushdown style, but anytime i put pressure on an opponent in this game, bam srk. Its really bad, do meatys even exist in this game?

It wasnt a problem in sf2 because the reversal window wasn’t 10 years long, and even if a reversal did come out, most of the time you could block it.

It wasn’t a problem in sf3 because, well srks didn’t have 10 years of invincibility frames.

It is a problem is sf4 when there are huge reversal windows and srks have huge amounts of invincibility frames.

Anyway, i know i kind of rambled but it is important to see my problem.

When the game first came out, i tried playing sakura, did ok, but she just is a bad character.
Then i tried balrog, my alt from SF2, currently i would say he is one of my best characters.
Then i tried akuma, didn’t do too well with his low health.
Then i tried gief, who i love to play as and actually do great with him as long as im not fighting seth.
Then, in an effort to learn how to beat him, i played seth, but i found him a difficult character.

So here is my deal. What character should i pick up and REALLY put myself into to learn. I want to get back into the game before SSF4 comes out so i can keep my skills up. These are the characters i play in other games.

SF2 :

Main - Vega
Alts - Balrog/DJ

SF3 :

Main - Makoto
Alt - Dudley

So based on this info, who should i main?

EDIT: Something else i should mention, is that i have never really been good with executing huge complex combos and links, which is why these characters always suited me. Makoto was a very simple character and was really easy for me to learn, same with dudley, and in SF2 vega is simple as well. Anyway, i would prefer a character that doesnt require perfect execution, and by that i mean, no c.viper lol.


I’m guessing this thread might be moved at some point, but, might as well toss in my five cents. You like to play rushdown? Go with Rufus. He has ONE barrier that separates high-level execution from casual play, and that’s the one-frame link of his BnB (lk-hp-fierce tornado). Otherwise he’s easy to learn… Though of course, Sagat and Ryu are among his toughest matchups. But hey, you’ll have to deal with the threat of being shoryukened no matter who you choose in this game, and at least Ruf beats out most shoryus with his EX Messiah.


T20thoughts has it to a T. Rufus has an amazing rushdown style and a lot of mixups as well as ultra setups (I am curious as to whether him or Ryu have more XD)

You said you mained Vega in SF2? He’s not as bad as you’re making him out to be in SF4, he just takes a lot of patience and practice to learn to use efficiently, get to know him a bit more and you might find yourself liking him, He’s not uber rushdown but he has decent poking games.

Practice makes perfect.


Rufus must have most ultra setups. It seems that no matter what you do, you can always end it into ultra. Every special move can be ended into ultra and it’s easy to poke->ultra.
Rufus is absolute rushdown character. When I play defensive Guile my friend always rushes like crazy with his rufus. He does same patterns all over with slight changes so it’s always a little guessing game if you would dare to do something.


I’d guess it was Rufus because you’ve got:
Target Combo > Ultra
Fragrance palm > Ultra (against wall)
Snake strike > Ultra (wall)
Messiah Kick > FADC > Ultra
Messiah kick > FADC > Medium Snake strike > Ultra (My personal favourite for showing off purposes, can only be done against wall though).
Galactic tornado > Ultra (Against wall)
Heavy kick a jumping opponent out of the air > Ultra.

I’ve probably missed a few, but even looking at that list makes me go “wtf.”


Ask yourself if you:

  • like characters that are technically very challenging (Gen, Viper etc)
  • like characters that are defensively oriented (Guile, Dhalsim)
  • like characters that rely more on mix-up games (Fuerte)
  • like characters that are suited for rushdown (Rufus, Akuma)

You already said that you prefer to play rushdown style but didn’t really did well with akuma due to his health. I take it from this you do not like to lose so the really technically characters and defensive ones are out. I’d suggest Rufus, a very strong character with all the right tools to play rushdown.


Chun-Li is pretty good at rushing. I guess she’s kinda like Vega in ST. Great sweep, good walking speed, can hit confirm damage off of cr. LKs.
Rufus and Seth can also be played pretty aggressively in a lot of matches. For Seth, you’re just gonna have to practice a lot to avoid getting hit. Watch vids of Arturo Sanchez.

No one can rush down all the time/in every match, though, except Viper, kind of.




Well, of course, Rufus has some matches where he has to be reactive or plain turtley… He doesn’t have a chance to rushdown Zangief, for instance, and Blanka forces him to play carefully thanks to upball beating out anything Rufus does midair. Plus, half the match against Ryu and Sagat involve getting around their projectiles without getting caught by a TK/Shoryu. But again, that goes for pretty much anyone. Even the Get In And Stay In character Zangief has matches where he’s best off turtling once he’s got a life lead, right?


I hate this mindset where the character determines how you play them.

Dhalsim can be both technically challenging and rushdown. It’s my belief that Dhalsim players who run away all match, creating a lot of empty space where nobody can attack, are playing him wrong. I’ve dabbled in some Dhalsim, and just getting his normals right (such as AA s.MP, drills and yoga sniper) is challenging. I hardly get the spacing for yoga sniper right.

Fuerte can also be very defensive. He has a great focus attack. And if the Fuerte is up on life, and the time is running down, good luck ever catching him.

Anyway, my advice is to play a character you like to play. There’s no character out there who is immune to wake-up SRK. You just have to respect SRK; and once you get a life lead, try baiting it out for a punish, or to get them to burn their EX. A lot of how you’re supposed to play, depends on what character you’re facing and the options they have.

Sometimes when you provide opponents with the illusion of freedom, they just get into more trouble.


What tournaments have you gone to or what experience do you have to justify this statement?

If you’re busy playing online people all day or just beating up people in your neighborhood than your definition of ‘very good’ would get rocked at evo. Unless of course you’re mike watson or john choi’s neighbor and just play them all day.


Play Abel. His options in footsies are terrible but he has nice offense, enough health that you can get hit by DP FADC ultra and get back up, and a 500+ ultra punish combo to punish DPs on block.

Alternatively, play Dictator. He has scissor kick traps that you can’t reversal DP that are pretty easy to learn, his footsies are pretty sick, his dash, walk speed, and focus attack are good, and another 500-ish damage ultra to punish DPs. His only 3-7 matchup is against a low tier character, Guile.

Edit: If you say you aren’t good at links… then you’re not gonna master any character in SF4 besides Gouken.


How is that a hateful mindset? It’s obvious that if you really are offensive that dhalsim might not be as good a choice , which would probably result in not enjoying him.


Whether you hate the mindset or not, it’s simply the way the game works.

Dhalsim is, in fact, an absolutely terrible rush down character. Most of his good tools are worthless at a close range. Most people tend to equate technical with high execution requirements, which Dhalsim doesn’t really have.

Sure, you can play any character any way you want, but the fact of the matter is some characters have tools better suited to certain playstyles than others.


She’s simple to play OTG vs. OTG to start. When your opponent takes to the air though, it gets more complicated in learning what to do in every situation, as she has several AA’s, each suited for different ranges/attacks.

I’ll throw another vote in for Rufus based on your preferences, but also, you obviously should be chomping at the bit to try out your 3s picks. But based on what I’ve seen in Vanilla, you should definitely give Rufus a try no matter what.


Sounds like Rufus would be a good choice, but I’ll toss another vote in for Abel.


I second the recommendation for Bison. Excellent dash, great pressure game, two awesome pokes, and his links aren’t that bad. Pretty much the epitome of rushdown in SF4.


Reminds me of me. I started playing better with Bison. I’d say Abel has a steeper learning curve (IMO) but that could be me being stupid. If execution is a problem, I would stick to Bison.