How Does Ken Win?

I don’t play Ken often but I like him. However, something feels off bout him when he’s in my hands. I play ryu and akuma but Ken feels sluggish and not a fast character. I don’t know how one can win with this character even with spacing because I feel he’s weak and doesn’t do enough damage. His mixups are nasty though.

I would like information from the masters of ken here to give me insight. I’m not saying he’s bad, Momochi going in and winning majors with him. IT justs feels like it’s only him and not the fact the character’s viable.

Idk how you can say Ken feels sluggish after playing Ryu.

In any case, just from how I play, Ken is strong in that he can almost always have a way to attack and hit the opponent. Fireballs, step kick, kara throw, overheads, cr. mk, ex tatsu, he has so many tools for coming in an imposing himself in a match. His damage may not be as high as Akuma or Ryu, but he shines in mid-range and close up in ways the other two do not

Ken’s combo and punches doesn’t have a kick or an oomph like Akuma or Ryu have. Guess that’s what I’m saying. He just doesn’t feel strong or as active like these two. Though, Ken got some combos that do ridiculous damage without meter and with. Like, I don’t see other Ken fighting at a high level like Momochi. I mean, Momochi is Momochi but if everyone can use Evil ryu and get some wins, shouldn’t that be a sign of the character more than the player?

I think it’s the tech and guesses Ken can give you and have you looking like a fool trying to understand what just happened.

Maybe you just haven’t seen many high level Kens.

I’ve seen momochi, that’s awesome but I guess you’re right, not enough high level kens that can be considered amazing or top notch.

Trying ken now and he’s fun but still feels like a chore and need to do lots of shit to mix up opponents.

Ken is work.

I picked up Ken and found some new patterns and very scary options like anti air dp coming out pretty soon, overhead jump and it’s a full hit. Another thing is the overhead hk causing players to stand up only to cancel it into a ex tatsu or such. That’s tough and dangerous.

Now I see but back then, thought he was weak and not damaging.

I’ve been playing ken since sf4 vanilla, i must agree for the large part of sf4 ken has been sluggish with slower walking speed than ryu. In ultra however, i instantly feel that ken has better footsie because of his improved movement speed. But still, the game for ken has always been different than ryu. Ken does not have good normals like ryu’s that can combo itself and into sweep. Ken’s medium normal cannot connect into any good moves if opponent is crouching and is far from you, often times you see ken players punish whiff moves with only a one hit His super sucks, shoryureppa is hardly every used for a good reason. It juggles badly that it is useless for AA, little to none useful ways to connect, extremely unsafe if blocked. I mean just look at ryu’s super and compare. Ken’s damage is weaker than most other shotos, his special moves have higher hit count which means they scale badly and deal lesser damage if they do not connect fully. slow fireball and weak recovery means he does not have a good zoning game and is much riskier to throw fireball at close range.

Ken’s advantage is his step kick, kara grab, thunderkick mixup and 3hit srk for hit confirm. These are some small stuffs here and there but if smartly used, it adds a new dimension to ken’s footsie and close range games. His air tatsu is good pressure after scoring a knockdown. The ex version can be used to catch some zoning characters from afar.

My understanding of ken is that he is a reaction based play character. He cannot zone well like ryu or akuma, he does not have strong normals that he can spam like rose. He cant connect his ultras or super as easily. But he still have the right tools to be competitive and powerful although you have to be on point and execute him really well. Which is why i think momochi is really really good.

4 frame

Ken is the type of character where you really have to play your opponent and by that I mean you have to get in their head. Ken really doesn’t have much that he can abuse therefore you have to condition your opponent to do what you want them to do. Make them press a button when you want to uppercut,make them press a button when you look for a counter hit,make them block low when you want to overhead them,etc.

He is by all means not a very straight forward character when it comes to mastering him. He has plenty of useful tools but every single one of those tools are risky as hell when the opponent sees them coming. And sometimes all the work you put into a mix up isn’t that rewarding due to how little damage it will sometimes get you so you mostly have to plan ahead for the next set up instead of worrying about damage. I do agree that he is a bit more sluggish than Ryu is. I know when I switch to Ryu I always feel like a DBZ character who has just taken off his weighted clothing or something. lol.