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Ken is a shoto-style character, which means he focuses in on versatility and adaptability. Utilizing his pokes and effective pressure tools, Ken can walk opponents down very easily with great, safe offense. He has the same shoto base normals, equipped with at least one tool for every situation. His 2MK is a great poke and cancel tool, 2LK is a great low starter and combos into most of his specials and his main super, Shoryureppa, and his 2HP is a good anti-air with good speed and active frames. What really makes Ken work though is his specials. His 623P specials, Shoryuken, are a set of very good uppercut specials. The light punch version is mainly what you want to use, as it's the fastest overall while still being a true reversal. It's a powerful anti-air, anti-poke, and even just a hard callout tool when used correctly.
Use 2MK () to poke around in neutral and to catch people after a blockstring. At max range you cannot combo this into much of anything, but cancelling into heavy fireball () allows you to safely put out a fireball and make the opponent block it.
Ken has a few specials that allow him to approach when used sparingly. His heavy flip kick () is a slow but far reaching overhead kick that knocks down on hit and leaves Ken safe on block (save for some supers and some matchup specific punishes). His air tatsu () lets him move safely in the air, allowing him good retreat and some hard to see crossups. You can even cancel it from some of his jump normals, like his j.MP (), which allows for safer jump ins and even some damaging combos.
Keep Ken's neutral simple, and leave his surprise tools for when your opponent won't see them coming. His dash speed is good, and his run is solid if you play him in a run groove. Walk and dash your opponents down, and use strong pokes and anti-airs to make them afraid to move. That's when you can get in and start pressuring.
Pressure and Mixup
Once you win neutral, Ken has some amazing pressure tools to keep himself in. Luckily Ken has amazing pressure tools, namely his light Geri kick () special. While it won't knock down, it does solid damage and has great range while being a whole +2 on block! It has strong reach, and can be cancelled from Ken's light strings like 2LK, 2LK (, ).
Ken has a few sneaky ways to mix between lows and overheads. His Inazuma kick (Hold after any Geri) can be used on opponents who expect you to reset pressure or return to neutral off of a light Geri kick. The medium Geri kick is especially useful for this mixup, as the first hit will usually whiff making it a bit harder to react to. His overhead flip kicks (/) can also be useful. The light version is the best as an overhead mix, but is unsafe. The medium kick version is very reactable but leaves you fairly safe and lets you reset pressure well. Don't overuse any of these, as you'll likely eat a hit for trying to against wary opponents.
Ken's defense is fairly strong, especially in grooves with rolls. He has solid jabs to mash out with, the obvious and powerful light Shoryuken () for a fast invincible reversal, and still has average health stats even if he does get hit. Play safe on defense, block it out and wait for an opportunity to escape with a well timed jab, roll, or uppercut, and don't get discouraged if you guess wrong! One good guess leads to a knockdown or a situation with Ken being plus, and those can spiral into a victory quickly.
One thing to remember while mashing out is that his 2LP () links into his 2HK (). This can be done at anytime, but on a counterhit it's much easier. It isn't very range dependent, and can be confirmed fairly easily since it's a link. This can make Ken mashing a bit scarier as he can reverse the situation into a knockdown quickly, even if it doesn't do much damage.