What characters you want to know about? I know a lot 'o shit, so, if we’re talking combos/strats/infs/whatever, you gotta give me a base. (I’m not too hot with Chun/Cammy/Rogue/Storm, though. Just so you know. Just about everyone else, though…)
I’ve recently re-picked up Ken in the game… My newest interest… I’ll rant about him for a minute if you want… I generally play for fun, and leave the Infinites out… But I’ll list em for ya…
[ NOTE: Ken is not ‘Top Tier’. Top Tier doesn’t neccessarily mean as much in XvsSF as it does in, say, MvC2, but nonetheless, many a person thinks Ken can’t do anything in this game. I disagree. ]
Main Corner Combo : c.fierce /\ sj.jab -> sj.short -> sj.up.forward, Air Throw / c.jab xx ShinRyuKen / s.fierce -> s.roundhouse /\ Air Throw / c.jab xx ShinRyuKen / /\ j.up.roundhouse / Insert FS Ground Combo (If you mash on the ShinRyuKens, they won’t live past the second one anyway.)
The Air Throw -> c.jab xx ShinRyuKen is one of his most important combo links, and it works on absolutely anybody. You don’t need it vs Cammy/Chun, though. You can just do Air Throw -> ShinRyuKen pretty easily.
Useful Infinites : After FS Setup(SJ.up.roundhouse x 2 / )
/\ j.jab -> j.up.roundhouse / [ /\ j.jab -> j.up.forward -> j.up.roundhouse / ] Repeat Brackets. You may need to add a j.short for heavy characters, and adjust for light characters, ect ect.
If you catch a jumping opponent with any jumping attack, see if you can cancel it into a Roundhouse Air Hurricane and go into this…
[ / /\ j.strong -> j.up.forward(Small Pause) xx Roundhouse Hurricane Kick(One Hit) ]
Use that to get them into the corner, then do whatever. It’s very possible to follow up a Juggle Air Hurricane hit with a ShinRyuKen.
Several ways to go about playing Ken… Most of them need to be used at once for him to be effective…
Rushdown Poke Games - Ken’s dash is tricky. There’s a part at the beginning of it that you can’t cancel out of. You need to learn the exact point at which you ‘can’, and know it well. Use that point, and use small dashes, to poke with c.jab -> c.short, or c.forward… If it connects, cancel into ShoRyuReppa. If it get’s blocked, and you’re far, cancel into FB, or Short Ground Hurricane Kick(Don’t get predictable with it. It’s just there to provide a Fake Out option.) If you’re close, follow through with Jab DP. Very little can be done to counter an XvsSF Jab DP, as long as it doesn’t wiff.
(A note about the ShoRyuReppa… Don’t do it on Heavy Characters. Juggernaut and Gambit are ‘BIG’ No Nos. Gambit can counter with a Jab Cajun Slash even if it connects… He can counter with an Inf[Hard] if you’re in the corner, or a generally nasty combo, all EVEN IF it connects. Juggernaut can counter with a HeadCrush, EVEN IF it connects. Or a throw.(Jugg Throw = Bad. Jugg Throw = Launch -> Air combo -> Bouncing Throw -> Jab Juggernaut Punch -> OTG -> Headcrush -> Dead) Mag/Sabre can counter with throws too… Be careful of doing the super on heavy characters near the corner.)
Air Fireball Zoning - Ken’s Air FB is pretty decent. Try to learn how to Super Jump and do it relatively low… Often, Super Jumping Towards them, doing Jab Air FB, Fierce Air FB, and coming down on them is effective. It’s also decent in playing Keepaway. By doing the FBs during a Super Jump, you have more control over how you come down, and can better setup the range of your j.roundhouse, or just land and play some poking. Also, I’m suprised how many people don’t know how Normal Jumping FBs, work… It’s possible to do a normal jump, throw a Fireball, and block on the way down… You just have to be careful that ‘all’ you do is a fireball… Not j.jab xx Jab Air FB, ect… Don’t press the punch until the QCF has been fully completed, that way you can avoid a premature cancel, and can attack/block on the way down from the FB.
Corner DP Games - Ken’s DP is very strong. It has a good horizontal range compared to other Shotos. Also, there is a mindgame that it works with in the corner. After a DP in the corner, it’s possible to Super Jump and air throw them on the way up. It’s also possible to just wait and do another DP. Test out your opponent a little to see how he reacts to falling next to you. Then, act accordingly. If he’s defensive and blocks on the way down, next time, meet him with an air throw, ect. Next time, do the other. As a perpetrator of a 50/50 mindgame your opponent most likely isn’t aware of, you have more than a 50/50 advantage. The only problem is that a Jab DP, against a standing opponent, does not always hit them high enough to start this mindgame. Sometimes they could use a boost. Another trick you can use with Ken’s DP, is his Air Jab DP. A specific technique that can be very effective is doing a SJ, then a Jab DP an inch off the ground. It holds almost the same safety as your normal Jab DP, it avoids low pokes, and also, sends them flying extremely high. One way to do it is pressing Forward, Down, Down/Forward, Forward, Forward/Up, Jab. The DP motion takes precedence over the FB motion. I would advise against using 3K to SJ into it, as it results in frequent accidental ShinRyuKen activations, because that takes precedence over the DP motion.
Roll Counters - Ken’s Punch Throw is his better ground throw… It does slightly less damage, but he can OTG into Launch after it. This means two things… One, that it opens up combos… Two, it gives your opponent a reason to roll. Ken has one of the better Roll Counter games. After a Punch Throw into the corner, he has 4 viable options.
One, immediately hold back and Dash away from the corner. If they roll, at the moment they recover, you can have a c.forward waiting for them on their ‘Away from the Corner’ side. That, xx ShoRyuReppa, and they’re back in the corner, and primed for DP Corner Games.
Two, immediately hold back, and wait a second before dashing away from the corner. If they roll, at the moment they recover, you can have a c.forward waiting for them on their ‘Towards the Corner’ side.
Three, immediately hold back, and dash away from the corner as they roll. Right before they recover(You should be approximately right next to where they will recover), tap down to cancel the dash, and throw them as they recover. Preferably, with a Punch Throw into the corner. Familiar?
Four, OTG them into Launch, and combo them to their death.
Because the game doesn’t enforce a character’s space on the stage when they’re in a Rolling state, it’s possible to be standing ‘right’ where they will recover as they roll. The line between ‘Left Side’ and ‘Right Side’ is literally a pixel, and with practice, impossible for them to tell which side you’ll be hitting and act in response. To make things ‘worse’, the state of them rolling past you reverses their controls. dashing with them and hitting them on their ‘Towards the Corner’ side ‘often’ forces them to block as if you were hitting their other side. You can also switch out the c.forward for a c.fierce.
Air Hurricane Movement - Ken’s momentum is accellerated when doing an Air Hurricane. Against most characters, this can be a viable way to close in for his closer Poke/DP/Throw games. It is also a decent way to build meter. It’s always best to cancel out of an attack on the way up when doing an air hurricane, though… If only building meter… When facing a cornered opponent, it’s often very effective to give them an opening(The breather after a blocked Jab DP often fills this spot well), then jump and land an early j.roundhouse, xx Air Roundhouse Hurricane(Two Hits) / ShinRyuKen. You can also throw out a j.strong at them on the way up, and hurricane on the way down, just to keep the pressure on them and to make your Low Pokes more effective.
Also, Ken’s Air Hurricane is very good at crossing up opponents. At the right distance, a jumping roundhouse hurricane hits them in the back of the head. You’ll land too far away to do a whole lot… Except ShoRyuReppa. s.fierce xx Fierce FB works on heavier opponents that you shouldn’t risk using that super on. Learn the distance vs enemy height that sets up this crossup, and play with it.
Miscellaneous - What did I forget… Oh, Right, his Invincibility/Priority. It comes in ‘very’ useful. First, you need to know what Advancing Guard Cancel (AG Cancel) is. Every player should know it really. If it’s not useful to you, which it probably will be, it will be used against you at the least.
When you Pushblock(Advancing Guard… 3P While Blocking, of course), in XvsSF, you recover a specific time after that. Regardless of what just hit you. Let’s use Chun Li’s QCF+KK Super as an example.(That annoying Rushing Super that’s invincible at the end so you can’t counter it after the fact) In the middle of blocking it, you hit 3P, and Pushblock it. If you let go of the controls, in a second, you’ll recover from the pushblock, return to neutral state, and then eat the second half of the super. If you hold block, he’ll pushblock, recover, then continue blocking. However, during that split second, you ‘are’ in Neutral state. With that said…
Ken has ridiculous Priority in his Dragon Punch, and he has startup invulnerability in his ShoRyuReppa AND his entire ShinRyuKen. What this means… Is that when you pushblock the middle of that Chun Li Super, during those few frames of Neutral State, you can hit her with a Jab Dragon Punch(Hell, a Fierce Dragon Punch), and stop her flatout. It also means, that you can input a ShinRyuKen, and Ken will be invulnerable as the super comes out(Two or three kicks wiff), then hit the Very Close Chun Li with the whole thing. Ken can interrupt ‘anything’ short of Beam Supers(You cannot AG Cancel a beam super), but, just as important, he can preemptively avoid much more. At Full Screen, if Storm does a Hail Storm, he can do a Strong Dragon Punch(You can even do it ‘after’ the Pause Screen Effect) and bypass the whole thing, taking maybe One hit of hail at the end. That means if Cyclops pulls a random Mega Optic Blast on you at full screen, you can ShinRyuKen your way out of it. That means if Juggernaut, or ANYBODY, comes at you with anything and you have 2 frames to respond, you can stop it with a DP. (Stopping Headcrushes with a DP is not hard. However, if you’re already in neutral state and the chip damage won’t kill you, it is, of course, better to block it and counter after. Try stopping a HeadCrush with a ShinRyuKen. That’s a funny one.) Bypassing Magnetic Shockwaves with ShoRyuReppa… Everything. A big part of playing Ken is working his DP/Supers to aid in evasion.
Oh yeah, one more thing. His sweep opens up some options too. In the corner, you can do Sweep -> ShinRyuKen. Midscreen, you can do Sweep -> Fierce DP(OTG). Also, midscreen, you can do Sweep -> Jab DP, and cross them up for a meaty attack… Wether or not you cross them up depends on how close you where when you did the sweep. You can play with that, and different strength DPs, and even different strength Hurricanes. Another pseudo trick is Sweep -> Jab Fireball. It doesn’t connect at all, but they generally get the impression that you’re vulnerable… As soon as you recover, do a Jab DP, which will be ‘right’ before they get up. It’ll stuff any Wake Up attacks, even knock them into the FB(They can block the FB, if they’re expecting it), and at the worst, they block it and you’re relatively safe.
Eh… I’m tired. That’s about all I got for Ken right now. Except character specific combos, matchups, and good teamates… (He has killer Vs Dhal and Vs Jugg combos) But I’ll leave that for later. If anyone even wants it.
Nice to see a XvsSF thread. Sorry for spamming it with too much info.
P.S.: Screw typos, I’m lazy.