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Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo/Ken/Strategy

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The Basics


N.Ken has a very good, high-priority 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), and O.shotos and O.Chun whose legs are invulnerable.
-Crouching Strong (same as above, specially against low-priority aerial attacks, such as Guile's kicks)
-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

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!

Button-Release Hadouken

Check this article from Nohoho's blog.

Built-in Shoryuken

Check this article from Nohoho's blog.

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.

Built-in Safe jumps on sweep

Ken have a a built-in safe jump from his sweep's fast knockdown against a number of characters, when they don't touch the corner. Below is the list of known setups:

  • Sweep canceled into the non-overhead Roundhouse crazy kick (HCF+K) and hold up-forward so Ken jumps on the first possible frame:

Works on Cammy, DeeJay, Dictator, Fei, Honda and Ryu.

  • Sweep canceled into the non-overhead Inside Crescent crazy kick (QCF+K) and hold up-forward so Ken jumps on the first possible frame:

Works on Cammy and Fei, and may as well work vs Zangief too but you have to jump with Jumping Jab (to be able to hit Lariat's head hurtbox) but if he's aware of that he may just crouch it so it will whiff.

  • Don't cancel into anything, just hold up-forward so Ken jumps on the first possible frame:

Works on Guile as well as Chun's Short and Forward Up Kicks, but not her Rh Up Kicks.


Game Navigation

Controls and Notation
New Characters
Dee Jay
E. Honda
Fei Long
M. Bison
T. Hawk
Old Characters
O. Balrog
O. Blanka
O. Cammy
O. Chun-Li
O. Dee Jay
O. Dhalsim
O. E. Honda
O. Fei Long
O. Guile
O. Ken
O. M. Bison
O. Ryu
O. Sagat
O. T. Hawk
O. Vega
O. Zangief