Ken (ST)

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Introduction

Ryu's training partner, Ken, has developed his own style of moves and variations since his clone days of Street Fighter II: World Warrior. In ST, he can be a very tough character to beat if played right with the tools he has and the right mindset.

Color Options

New Ken Colors

To choose the "Hold" color, press and hold any button except Start for 2 seconds. To choose any other color, simply tap the desired button.

Old Ken Colors

Old Ken's input code is LLLR. Pressing Short simultaneously with Jab or Fierce will give you the alternate color.

Moves

Normal Moves

Normal Throws

Special Moves

Hadouken aka Fireball (qcf + P)- Speed depends on the strength of the punch. O.Ken has slower Jab fireball and faster Fierce fireball, which makes O.Ken a better FB trap character than his new version.

Shoryuken aka Dragon Punch (DP + P) - Only Jab DP can go through fireballs. Jab DP does 1 hit, strong does 2, and fierce does 3. Note that strong and fierce DPs won't knock down if only the first hit connects. O.Ken has full invincibility on the way up for all of his DPs as opposed to N.Ken's invincibility during the early frames.

Hurricane Kick (qcb + K) - Can be done in air. He spins more depending on the strength of the button.

Inside Crescent (qcf + K) - A fast high hitting kick. Good for jump in combos, since comboing a FB with Ken is hard in ST and this funky kick will combo easily off of low short or forward.

Outside Crescent (f, df, d + K) - A two-hit kick that gives Ken a lot of frame advantage if blocked/hit but has slow startup. Hits crouching characters.

Roundhouse (hcf + K) - His old far standing Roundhouse became this move with less active hitting frames. Not very useful for anything really.

Super Combo

Shoryureppa (qcf x 2 + P) - His double-Shoryuken super. Note that this super is invincible until he's on the way down from the second DP. It seems he has very little landing recovery frames, so a throw or a DP on landing can catch an unsuspecting opponent (if you're allowed to land in the first place). As one of the oddities of ST, Ken cannot use his super for a reversal attack. If you input the super at the reversal timing you'll get your last special move instead.


The Basics

Anti-air

Ken has a perfectly good invincible anti-air (Shoryuken), but sometimes that's not enough for certain situations. Be smart with them and use effective anti-air options for each situation.

*When the opponent jumps at you honestly.

-Jab DP
-Super (this does about 3 hits max and will do more damage than a Jab DP)
-Stand far forward (just decent, use it like you would with Ryu's s.RH)
-hcf+kick (this looks like his old stand far RH, time it well since it doesn't last very long)
-c.Fierce (be aware that it could trade with the opponent's normals)

*When the opponent jumps at you and decides to stick out a move that would reach, but is still far enough away to cause a Jab DP to whiff.

-Stand far Strong (this will beat most any jumping attack at the tip of the punch if the other person sticks out on the way down, and it's safe if they decide not to stick out anything since you pull back your arm really quickly. It's the safest option but beware against Sagat's RH since his legs are really long and s.Strong won't beat it.)
-Super (It travels far forward and will hit them regardless. It's the best option with no guessing involved.)
-Early forward j.RH (Jump at the opponent and kick them before they press their attack)
-Jab DP (If the opponent stuck something out it works, but if they didn't, the DP whiffs and you eat a combo)
-c.RH (If the opponent stuck something out you get hit in the head but that's usually about it, if they didn't stick something out you sweep the opponent clean)

*Against cross up jumps

-Jab DP (You'll need to perform this with a modified command to get it to face the other way. When they are going over your head, do f,df,d,db+Jab and it'll turn Ken around and hit them clean in the back.)
-s.fierce (if you weren't knocked down when the opponent tried a cross up on you, you can shoot them down on the way up with a close stand fierce)

Ground Pokes/Footsies

Pokes
Ken's best pokes are c.Short, c.Forward, c.Strong and s.Roundhouse. For close up pokes c.Strong and c.Short are best, since you gain frame advantage from those two, and for ranges where c.RH won't reach, s.RH is good, but be careful since the move is a bit laggy and can be bad news if whiffed.

Footsie tools
c.Short, c.Forward, and c.Roundhouse are the best for footsies. Usually it consists of several c.Shorts into either c.Forward or c.RH into a fireball.

Advanced Strategy

Knee Bash Mix-Ups

This is one nasty mofo of a throw. Not only does it do good damage, it offers you the chance to mixup and go for something else afterward. Here are some options:

  • Walk up, c.Short x2, hit confirm to super.
  • Walk underneath the opponent, combo. (Go for s.HP xx Jab DP as you recover quickly in case the opponent blocks).
  • Jump in Jab XX Hurricane. When you land you get another mixup, you can go for knee bash, Dragon Punch, tick throw, c.Forward into Dragon, sweep XX fireball. Loads of stuff.
  • Tick throw (e.g. crouching short into Knee Bash)
  • Jab Dragon (If you think the opponent will try to tech out of another Knee Bash attempt)
  • Jump over cross-up j.Forward.
  • c.Forward/sweep into fireball.
  • Walk underneath, c.Forward/sweep into fireball.
  • Nothing at all (If you have conditioned them with a lot of follow-up tick throws, they may well try to reversal, so do nothing, wait for them to land from their reversal move and then combo them).

Safe jump Jab after Knee Bash throw

(From the Yoga Book Hyper, translated by NKI) "If you jump immediately after the Knee Bash throw, it can be a safe jump depending on who your opponent is. It is extremely useful against Ryu, Boxer and Dee Jay, so you definitely want to use it against them. All you have to do is hold up/towards as the throw is finishing. As soon as you're airborne, hit Jab and it will be a meaty on the landing opponent."

Note from NKI: It's only a safe jump against Boxer, and DeeJay's Forward and RH upkicks. (DeeJay can hit Ken with reversal Short upkicks, but not Forward or RH.)

Connecting jump Jab to Hurricane Kick

This is another tricky piece of execution with Ken. You can combo his jumping Jab into any Hurricane Kick (HK is best). This is particularly good after a Knee Bash. The best way to do it is to do a QCB and then at back press Jab followed by HK very quickly. (Or do the Jab at down-back).

"Juice Kick"

Ken's air Hurricane in ST is really nasty and there are several different variations on it. One of the best is known as the "Juice Kick." This is when you do an air hurricane almost immediately after jumping toward the opponent. If you do it right, Ken's arc of travel will be REALLY low to the ground. This almost has the effect of a Dhalsim-style teleport, but you hit at the same time! This is really good against Sagat; if you sense he is going to throw a Low Tiger, you can Juice Kick and connect with his limbs before he recovers!

Walking Dragon Punch

(From the Yoga Book Hyper, translated by NKI) "Equally as important as well-timed fireballs is the walking DP. That is, walking towards the opponent, and when you get close, doing a Jab DP. If the opponent sticks out a move to try to stop you from walking forward, not only will pretty much every move lose to the DP, but they also get knocked down, so you can continue to pressure them as they get up. Of course if you whiff the DP, the opponent can punish it, but because they'll be scared of that DP, it's pretty easy to close the gap just by walking towards them. You want to keep the pressure on the opponent."

Psychic Dragon Punches

Ken's DP is one of the best moves in ST. It comes out quickly, has mad priority and recovers really fast. Only O. Ken has a better DP style move in this game. You can therefore exploit the assets of the DP to use "Psychic" style tactics to beat pokes and throw attempts to really head-fuck your opponent. The use of Psychic DP's is matchup-dependent, but you can DP through Dhalsim's long limbs, a Shoto's sweep or you can clip an opponent throwing a fireball on startup and pass through the fireball or trade. AI won't expand on this, but take a look at any high-level N. Ken player (particularly Japanese players Ani-Ken and M.Tsun) and you will see lots of uses of this technique.

Fireball Trap

On top of this Ken also has the classic Fireball trap, although in comparison to Sagat and Ryu, Ken's version is weak. At the right ranges, if you throw a Jab fireball and it gets blocked, then you can throw a Fierce fireball for free which the opponent will have no choice but to block. The Jab fireball also travels pretty slowly, allowing you to advance towards the opponent. If they jump over your fireball, anti-air them with one of the methods above, or if they are jumping from far away, sweep them as they land and cancel into a fireball in case they land safely. Mix-up your fireballs when applying pressure from afar and be wary of Ken's recovery on his Fierce fireball, you're asking to be jumped at if you throw this at the wrong time. Be wary when fighting characters like Guile, Sagat and Ryu, whose faster-traveling projectiles will wear you down gradually in a fireball war.

Combos

Ken doesn't have a dizzy combo that consistently works against every character in the game, but he has pretty buff combos that dizzy depending on your luck.

  • Cross up j.Forward, c.Strong, c.Forward XX qcf+K will dizzy almost always, but it only works against fat characters like Guile, Sim or 'Gief. Against normal characters, switch the c.Forward with c.Short and it still combos. It only works against standing characters.
  • Cross up j.Forward, c.Short XX qcf+K (hold K to get the overhead), c.RH. This combo also only works against standing fat characters, but this combo is one of the most fancy combos you can pull off in real matches.
  • Jump/Crossup j.Forward, s.Fierce XX DP+Jab. Although it may not dizzy a lot, this combo usually takes off about 40%-50% of the opponent's life.

j.Forward/Fierce/RH, c.Forward XX qcf+K. This is the standard 3-hit combo. Easy to land with good enough damage against standing characters (missed FB is a good occasion to use this combo) from a non-crossup jump attack.

j.Jab/Fierce XX air Hurricane Kick, s./c.RH. You may be able to switch out the RH at the end with a c.Short XX qcf+K for a 4-hit combo against fat characters. Has to be standing. The air Hurricane Kick gives you a lot of frame advantage so a walk-up throw is also a viable strategy here, especially since N.Ken's forward throw is so good.

Crossup j.Forward, c.Short x2 XX Super. This is the most powerful combo that Ken has and is very easy to execute once you get the hang of it. For this combo to work you need to press Short+any punch for the Super since rapid-fire shorts cannot be canceled normally, but rapid cancel does allow this combo to work with just 1 added button press for the Super. Do it slowly, as if pressing another rapid fire short instead of the ordinary cancel timing. Note that this combo doesn't work 9 times out of 10 against a standing Chun even if executed perfectly, because Chun is too skinny and the first hit of the Super will completely whiff and give her the opportunity to block the rest.

Attack Info and Frame Data

Match-ups

Vs. Balrog (Boxer):

Vs. Blanka:

Vs. Cammy:

Vs. Chun-Li:

Vs. Dee Jay:

Vs. Dhalsim:

Vs. E. Honda:

Vs. Fei Long:

Vs. Guile:

Vs. Ken (self):

Vs. M. Bison (Dictator):

Vs. Ryu:

Vs. Sagat:

Vs. T. Hawk:

Vs. Vega (Claw):

Vs. Zangief: