This cool guy in this section is Ken Masters, as you obviously know, but I know you came here because he looks cool, or because you used him in other game. Ken is that character that is very fun to play, and even watch! If you like rushdown characters(Or those "In your face!" characters), Ken can be your char, that's what I can say, but... He isn't that easy to play compared to the other Shotos in this game(I can say that he can be the hardest to learn, but he is still a little easy to play).
Ken's Good and Bad Things
- He is fun to play(Like any other Shoto character);
- Has good normals and Command Moves to use in the match(If you used any shoto, you'll know some of them);
- Can grab his opponents in the air(By pressing HP and HK in the air);
- Has easy, short, and damaging combos;
- Has excellent anti-air options(Has one of the best DP anti-airs in the game);
- His Super Moves are very easy to do on combos(And they will help him on his game);
- Has the cr.MK(Like any other Shoto in this game);
- Is the only Shoto in this game that can link the cr.MK 2 times;
- Can connect multiple DPs(I'll talk about this later).
- Has bad stamina;
- Exceed is very hard to hit(Remember the Shinryuken? Yeah, that's his Exceed, sadly);
- His projectile is almost useless(It won't help you so much in his game, only because it has bad recovery when compared to the other shotos, which makes him lose those fireball wars against most of the characters in the cast);
- His ground tatsu can be unsafe even if the kicks connect(Which makes it useless too);
- Remember that unique roll from the Alpha Series? He don't have it anymore.
s.LP - (Far) Good poking move. It's a incredible one just because it doesn't whiff on low crouching chars(It looked like, really). Can be normal canceled, and even chained into itself(The timing is tricky). (Close) Not that good for Light Attack chains, because it will whiff on some characters, but he can cancel it anyway.
s.LK - (Far) Can be useful as an anti-air, but he can just do a DP instead. Cannot be canceled. (Close) Good for Light Attack chains, but as a ender(You can't chain this move into itself, or other Light Attacks).
s.HP - (Far) Fast, but not that useful. Will whiff on low crouching chars(That's why f.LP is better), and cannot be normal canceled. (Close) Use this normal on combos. Can be easily canceled(And comboed) into almost all of Ken's Special/Super Moves.
s.HK - (Far) Ken's poke with the best reach. Won't whiff on low crouching chars, and it has a decent recovery too, which makes it good to use. Can't be normal canceled. (Close) Like the cl.HP, but it's a knee, and cannot be canceled(Just use the cl.HP).
j.LP - (Diagonal) Can be used as a jump-in attack, but Ken has better options for that. (Neutral) Can be used as a neutral jump-in attack for combos. Only that.
j.LK - (Diagonal) One of Ken's jump attacks for crossup combos, and it's very easy to combo after it. Ken has better options for crossup attacks, but that doesn't mean that you can't use this move. (Neutral) Kick aiming up. Good to use if your opponent has a high jump.
j.HP - (Diagonal) Punch for jump-in attacks. Good damage on this one. (Neutral) Almost the same as the above, but aiming a little for the ground.
j.HK - (Diagonal) Ken's move in the air! Useful as an air-to-air, air to ground, and for crossup(and damaging) combos! Learn this move(Or the diagonal j.LK) for crossup combos, you'll need it in your game(Remember: Ken is an "In your face" char, so if you have an opportunity, do stylish combos on your opponent). (Neutral) Just an air-to-air defensive move. You can use this, but you'll need to know what to do after it.
cr.LP - Just a little punch that is useful as a poke(Has a little more reach than the f.LP). Can be normal canceled, chains into itself, and even other Light Attacks.
cr.LK - A kick that hits low. Good to use on Light Attack chains, but as a starter. Can be normal canceled, and chained into itself.
cr.HP - Another anti-air. Just do a DP instead. Can be normal canceled too(You can use this on combos instead of the cl.HP, but that's optional).
cr.HK - The Shoto's sweep. Can be used as a low poke. You can actually cancel this move, so if you need meter, cancel it into a Projectile/DP/Tatsu.
Inazuma Kakato Wari
- f+LK - Ken's overhead kick. It's a little fast, but you cannot cancel it(Outside of MAXIMUM Mode). Do it mostly on the opponent's wakeup. You can MAX cancel his normals into this move, but you can't connect them.
Kurubushi Kick (aka cr.MK)
- db+HK - The Shoto's classic cr.MK. Ken has the fastest cr.MK between the Shotos in this game(It is so fast that he can link two cr.MKs), which is good for him and his combos. It hits low too.
- QCF+P - Not a good projectile. Very unsafe if hits. Don't use this, unless if you want to negate another projectile, or even to cancel the cr.HK, if you need meter.
- DP+P - This move is awesome! One of the best anti-airs in the game! So quick, and even has fast startup(With some invincibility frames). The LP version is better for anti-airing your opponent(The hit can be MAX canceled, but you combo only if you get a counter hit), and the HP version is better on combos(Does 3 hits, and the first 2 hits can be Supercanceled in MAXIMUM Mode).
Tatsumaki Senpuu Kyaku
- QCB+K - Not a good tastu. After the move connects(Let's... Suppose you canceled the cl.HP into this move) Ken will be at a frame disadvantage(That means your opponent will recover after you after the attack, and the version used won't even matter, and if he was on a frame advantage, he could make easy infinites, making Ken Masters, a broken char). The best way to use it is if you're sure that your opponent will get a stun while/after the move hits(Use the HK version for that in the corner, but if not, use the LK version).
Kuuchuu Tatsumaki Senpuu Kyaku
- QCB+K (In the air) - This is a good version of Ken's tatsu. Can be used to move in the air, to do crossups, and even as a jump-in attack! The bigger the opponent, more hits he/she will get, and you can score a combo after it! If you need more hits on a combo, or if you want to practice Ken's rushdown game, learn how to use this move, you'll need it.
Kama Barai Geri
- HCF+LK - One of Ken's "Geri"(Means "Kick"). Pretty fast, and can be MAX canceled (Only), which is a little good, but will whiff on small crouching chars. Ken's "Geri" Moves are important for him, so learn them.
Nata Otoshi Geri
- HCF+HK - Ken's best "Geri" move for combos. He will perform a kick with 2 hits, and the two of them can be MAX canceled (Only), and Ken can do some good combos involving it(In MAXIMUM Mode, I mean). The second hit can whiff on some crouching chars.
Oosoto Mawashi Geri
- HCF+KK - Useful as anti-air, but, again, just do a DP instead. It's the only "Geri" move that will knock your opponent down. Can whiff on some crouching chars, and if you want to use it on combos, forget it, Ken has better options.
- Inazuma Kakato Wari
- Hold K after any "Geri" move - Ken will do his f+LK overhead. In the HK "Geri", Ken will do only one hit, like in the other versions(He should do 2 hits, but it's okay), and after that, he will do the overhead(And they won't connect too).
- Inazuma Kakato Wari
- QCB(2x)+K - Do you use him in Street Fighter 3: 3rd Strike? If yes, you'll know the move, it's just the most used, and here, it's the same thing. It does more hits and (A little more) damage than the Super below. Oh, for the 3S players, don't try to do projectile+SA3 combos, okay? His projectile is horrible for him.
- QCF(2x)+P - The less used in Ken's combos, but the easier to land. Use this if you're in trouble with the "SA3". If you want to try, just MAX cancel a DP+HP into this super, and see how easy it is(It even has a shortcut, DP+HP, QCF+P).
- QCF(2x)+K, mash buttons to add damage and hits - Ken's... Exceed... Really, SNK? The Shinryuken is his Exceed? I quit. First, the epic roll, now this hard-to-hit Exceed? Thank you, SNK... It doesn't matter, Ken has some hit-confirm combos for this Exceed(Almost auto-win ones). Remember that you have only one chance to do it, so mash like if you need to win! Or use controllers with turbo... Which I don't like that much...
Ken is a simple close-range(Or rushdown) char, with nice moves to help him on that, like the air tatsu and his damaging supers. He needs to be agressive, because if Ken takes a combo/is being pressured, especially in MAXIMUM Mode, he will get a free stun/guard crush, and that's why you need to master the GCF, or the CD counter. For an anti-air, just do a DP+LP, it's fast, and will knock your opponent down, which gives you time to plan on "what to do now?", and the answer is... Continue being argressive, and stylish. Oh, and the almost useless moves... The projectile, and the ground tatsu... You can avoid them, really, they won't help you. Well, play agressive, don't give your opponent time to breathe, avoid some somes, do combos, and know how to master his defensive options(They aren't that hard too). Good luck in your future matches.
Some combos (Without MAXIMUM Mode)
Ken's combo options in the normal mode are good, and easy to do, so don't think that you'll need to do long combos now. I'll add some notable ones here, and if you know some more possible combos, add them below(Please, no hadouken combos here).
1- [Jump Attack/Air tatsu(Interesting note: You can do crossups with the Air Tatsu)] cl.HP/cr.LK, cl.LK, DP+HP/Any Super/Exceed
Easy combo. You have two options on this combo too, one for damage, and the other for a low starter. For some finishers, you'll need to crossup with the Jump Attack to make it work. You should learn this combo, and practice Ken's crossups too.
2- [Jump Attack/Air tatsu(If you want to add it, make sure you crossup)] cl.HP/cr.LK, cl.LK, db+HK, QCB(2x)+K
Another good, and damaging combo. Practice this combo, and it's easier to do with the cl.HP(You'll have a little more time to react and cancel it). If you want, you can add a QCB+LK after the db+HK, but it can be safe this time. I said that it can.
Double Shoryuken cancel
This is a tech that you should learn for Ken's advanced combos(It's a good way to spend meter). The Double Shoryuken cancel is a very important thing in Ken's game(Isn't unique for him, he isn't the only character that can link more than one DP in one combo), but it's a little tricky to do. This can be called "Double", but you can repepat it many times, but based in your MAXIMUM Mode gauge. Now, "How can I do it?" First, Ken must not have the ability to use his Exceed(If you assume you are in a real match, you can either be with the yellow life, or you can even spend your Exceed before you try this). Now, Ken must be in MAXIMUM Mode(You should open your training mode while you read this). Now, do a DP+HP, and as you already know, it does 3 hits. Now, the tricky part begins. First, try to "cancel" the first hit of the DP+HP into a QCF+KK(Normally, if you had the Exceed avaliable, you would combo into the Exceed. It's like Kim's Haki cancel, if you know what I mean). You can be asking: "Is this a special move?" No, this isn't even a move, it's just part of the trick. Now, after you "canceled", did Ken flash? If not, I'm sorry, because you missed. If yes, that's fine, but that's only the easiest part. Now, try to, after the "cancel", do another DP+HP on your opponent by canceling the second hit of the DP. Ken will do another DP+HP, and remember that in MAXIMUM Mode, you can Supercancel the DP+HP, leading to more damaging combos! But sadly, you can't do DP into Exceed, because you must not have the Exceed avaliable to use this tech... I know, it's hard to do, but with practice, you can master this technique. (Important note: This thing is very harder to do with Ken's Violent version.)
Some combos (With MAXIMUM Mode)
I'll put here only some notable combos, and again, if know some more possible ones, add them below.
1- [Jump Attack/Air Tatsu(Works better if you crossup)] cl.HP/cr.LK, cl.LK, DP+HP, (Optional Double Shoryuken Cancel), QCB(2x)+K
Ken's BnB in MAXIMUM Mode, and one of Ken's most damaging ones. Pretty easy, except for the fact that you can do Double Shoryuken Cancels(But that's optional, remember that everytime). Practice this combo, you'll need it for your life.
2- (Corner only, and tall/big characters only) [Jump Attack/Air tatsu(I think the Air tatsu is better, we're talking about tall chars)] cl.HP/cr.LK, cl.LK, DP+HP, (MAX cancel the second hit) HCF+HK, (MAX cancel the second hit) DP+HP, (Optional Double Shoryuken Cancel), (Supercancel the first/second hit of any DP into) QCB(2x)+K
A variation of the combo number one. Pretty good, I can assume, but you should stick with the first, because those tall characters aren't that used(Except in Sagat/Demitri's cases). Good luck on this one, it's a little tricky too.