Rufus Matchups + Strategy Thread (no longer being updated)


Stamina: 1000

Rufus is a rushdown character oriented around his divekick.

SFxT Changes

+EX GT wallbounce properties.
+F.HP special cancellable and less startup.
[S]+Divekick has more hitstun.[/S] v13 Nerf
+Hitting an airborne opponent with a divekick puts them in juggle state.
+EX Messiah finally doesn’t go over crouching opponents.
+Ultra 2 is his Super Art.

-Stamina decreased by 50.
-GT requires more startup before it can absorb projectiles.
-Small height restriction added to divekick.

Version 2013 Changes (significant changes have been bolded)

• Close LK - Block pushback increased
• Close MK - 6 frames added to Boost combo (-7F/-11F)

  • Push back on block for boost combos reduced
    • Far MP - 6 frames added to Boost combo (-6F/-10F)
  • Push back on block for boost combos reduced
    • Far MK - 4 frames added to Boost combo (-7F/-11F)
  • Push back on block for boost combos reduced
    • Far HP - 4 frames added to Boost combo (-9F/-14F)
    • cr. LK - Hitbox reduced
    • Hand Machinegun - Damage increased from 120 to 130
    • Vulture Kick - Frame advantage on hit reduced by 2 frames (on hit +1)
    • Falcon Kick - Frame advantage on hit reduced by 7 frames
    • Target Combo - Damage decreased from 90 to 60
    • Galactic Tornado - “Damage adjusted:
    • MP 100->80
    • HP 120->90
    • EX 160->80”
    • Messiah Kick (mid) - Block stun reduced by 2 frames (On block -1)
    • Messiah Kick (high) - Block stun reduced by 5 frames (On block -5)

Special move meter gain
• Messiah Kick (high): whiff 5->10
• Messiah Kick (mid): whiff 5->10
• Messiah Kick (low) whiff 5->10
• Snake Strike: whiff 15->5, on hit 16 x Number of attacks->10 x Number of attacks
• Galactic Tornado (L): whiff 15->0, on hit 10+20(30)->30+15(45)
• Galactic Tornado (M and H): whiff 15->0, on hit 10 x 2+20(40)->30+8 x 2(46)


DK = Divekick
GT = Galactic Tornado
SS = Snake Strike
GK = Glory Kick
FP = Fragrance Palm
OH = Overhead
SA = Super Art
CA = Cross Art

Although these abbreviations won’t be used often in the guide they should help people when discussing or contributing to the thread.

Special Moves

Galactic Tornado :qcf::p:

Rufus’ best combo ender.
Absorbs projectiles.
Safe on block and travels a far distance.
Great corner carry.

EX - Sucks the opponent in and causes a wallbounce. Great damage and his best option for spending meter.

Messiah Kick :qcf::k:

Each kick has different range.
Can evade projectiles by leaping over them.
3 different followups - LK, MK and HK.
Do not use this as a way of mixing your opponent up if they have a solid way out of it.

~:lk: - Natural combo followup. On block this is very unsafe. Has invincibility frames.
~:mk: - Low hitting sweep rewarding a hard knockdown.
~:hk: - Hopkick overhead also rewarding a hard knockdown. Mix it up with :mk:. -5 in V13

EX - Fully invincible on startup. Your way of escaping your opponent’s offense.

Snake Strike :dp::p:

Each punch jumps higher than the previous.
Can leap over projectiles, making it a good strategy for avoiding projectiles while still keeping distance.
Best juggle combo ender.
:lp: can be followed up against most standing opponents.

EX - Good anti air and a chunk of damage. Fully invincible making this a perfect way to counter specific airborne attacks.

Unique Attacks

Falcon Kick J.:df::mk:

Can be performed in any jumping direction and a small height restriction.
Can be blocked high or low.
The lower it connects with your opponent the more frame advantage you will be left at after you land.

Glory Kick :df::mk:

A forward roll that hits low.
Good way to get in through the ground without using the divekick.
Safe on block and can be followed up on counter hit.

Fragrance Palm :f::hp:

Can now be cancelled and has faster startup.
His best corner combo filler.
On hit knocks the opponent fullscreen away.
The pushback means it is a safe way to hard tag against almost all characters.

Vulture Kick :f::mk:

Punishable on block.
Useful for surprising your opponent instead of doing the same old offensive routine.

Target Combo :lk::f::hk:

Can be done from both close and far standing :lk:.
Launches the opponent into a juggle state.
Unsafe on block.


:qcf: :3p:

Although not as good against zoners as Ultra 2 was this is still very good.
It’s active for a long time and despite how late it hits you’ll always get max damage off it.
Good priority in matchups like stopping Vega wallbounce gimmicks and catching Dhalsim limbs.


Average Cross Art. Good Anti air and a short amount of recovery.


:mk: - Great range but slow startup and slow whiff recovery.
:d::hk: - Same range as fs.MK. Slower startup and the hitbox is closer to the ground but a free hard knockdown on hit.
:d::hp: - Long reaching range. Abusing this move will allow your opponent a free jump or counter. Punishable on block by some characters at certain ranges.
:hp: - Good for stuffing some high pokes in a battle of pokes.
:mp: - Good counter poke but short range.

Anti Airs

:hp: - Both close and far standing are good anti airs, although the latter has slower startup.
:d::mp: - A fast anti air good for stopping deep jumping attacks.

Jumping Normals

:hk: - Can be followed up for a combo. Useful for countering predicted jumps. NJ is also useful for AA.
:mk: - Good forward reaching hitbox and comes out quite fast.
:hp: - Great button for jumping in and mixing up with the divekick occasionally.


Below are sections filled with information to help you improve in different areas, from combos to okizeme. These are all very important to your gameplan and should be learned once you’re comfortable with the basics.

If you think there’s anything else that has to be explained in more detail then please post in the thread.

Playing Offensively

[details=Spoiler]It takes patience before you’re able to get in against your opponent and begin pressuring them. This section is to help you lock down your opponent and keeping your mixups strong.

Important Moves

j.:df::mk: (DK)
:df::mk: Glory Kick
:qcf::p: Galactic Tornado
:qcf::k: Messiah Kick

Walking, blocking and dashing is your basic way of advancing.

Your best way of getting in is by using the Divekick (j.:df::mk: ). Catching your opponent unexpectedly or whiffing your DK so they mistime their anti airs is very important. Just focusing on the DK and taking your chances to get in with this alone will show how linear you are, so using :df::mk: to catch them off guard is a great way of clearing up the empty space between both of you.

GT and Messiah Kick both do a great job of clearing up the gap between both of you, but they can be very risky and unsafe if blocked or whiffed. Try to focus on using these only in certain matchups to advance (projectile characters).

:d::hk: might not move you any closer, but if it connects you’ll have a knockdown and enough time to be right in the opponents face before they wake up. This is why it’s good to take a break from rushing in and instead look for a knockdown.

Jumping in with a solid j.:hp: after no luck with the DK is good for confusing the opponent and throwing off the timing off their anti airs.

fs.:hk: isn’t great for clearing space, but it’s +1 on block and leads to big damage on a successful hit.


Stay in your opponents face until you can secure something to hit confirm off or land your BnBs. If you’re getting tired of no success after a DK and not being successful on opening them up then here’s some mixups to scare them into letting down their guard.

All these blockstrings can be started with Divekicks and jumpins.

cl.:lk:, cl.:lk: - This is Rufus’s best blockstring. Walk forward between the CL.LK’s and use them to hit confirm into your BnBs.
cl.:lk:, Throw
j.:df::mk: , Throw
:d::lk:, :d::lk: - Hits low so if your opponent isn’t blocking low use the :d::lk: to chain into a damaging combo.
cl.:hp: xx CADC, Throw - If the jumpin > cl.:hp: doesn’t hit cancel it into a CADC into a tick throw. Don’t abuse it, this is risky.
cl.:lk:, cl.:mp:, :d::lp: - Use the cl.:mp: as a frame trap and the :d::lp: to hit confirm.
cl.:mp:, :d::lp:, fs.:hk: - If the :d::lp: doesn’t hit quickly try to get back in their face with a fs.:hk:.
cl.:mp:, :d::lp:, j.:df::mk: - If they successfully block the string DK back in.
cl.:lk:, :f::mk: - One of the few times to use Rufus’s overhead other than on wakeup.
j.:hp:, j.:df::mk: - If the J.HP doesn’t hit, just go for another DK but walk forward between them to fool your opponent into going for a grab.
fs.:hk:, :d::lp:, Repeat - Spam it till you can confirm off the FS.HK! Seriously, abuse this if your opponent doesn’t know what to do.

Although most of your pressure will consist of basic j.:df::mk:, cl.:lk:, these should be enough if you can’t find a way to break their defense.[/details]

Playing Defensively

[details=Spoiler]Rufus is best played offensively so being the defender should only be when you have a confident lifelead or in specific matchups.


Rufus has very long range pokes, but the whiff recovery on them means you have to be less predictable with them. Know the range of all your pokes so there’s no chance of them whiffing.

fs.:mk: - Rufus’s best poke and good for controlling mid range. If it hits you can chain into :d::hp: into a launcher for massive damage. The whiff recovery is slow so be careful not to whiff it.

:d::hp: - This has very far range, but just as much recovery as fs.:mk:. Some characters can punish this on block which you should look out for in the character sections. Only use when almost at max range.

:d::hk: - Slow startup but rewards a hard knockdown if it connects. Although it’s slow the far range makes it useful for whiff punishing slow pokes.

Rufus has other useful pokes like his :mp: and :hp: but mostly for specific matchups.

Anti airing

Eventually your opponent may get frustrated with no luck of advancing through moving forward and instead attempt to jump in against you. Rufus’s very strong anti airs :hp: and :d::mp: will stop them from getting in. The huge whiff recovery on your pokes means it’s easy for them to jump in so don’t whiff too many pokes.

:hp: - Both far and close standing do a good job of anti airing. The far standing is slower but it covers a better distance. Close standing can be cancelled meaning if you get a counter hit in the air you can get something off of it. Much weaker against crossups than its SF4 self.

:d::mp: - Almost like a shield. The fast startup proves it useful for reacting late to jumping opponents. This can be stuffed by a few jumping attacks in the game so time it well and use :hp: instead if you have the chance.

Snake strikes can also work as an anti air but not as reliable. EX Snake Strikes is good for punishing predictions.

SA - Rufus does not have a solid answer against crossups and so sometimes he will have to waste two bars to get them out of the air. This will wipe anything out of the air very cleanly including moves like Vega’s wallbounces and Bison’s headstomps.


Rufus has average health and bad options to defend himself.

EX Messiah Kick is Rufus’s best reversal but it will cost you a meter. If it successfully hits, follow up with ~:lk:. If blocked, you have plenty of options. You could either switch cancel and begin pressuring with the second character or you could follow up with the ~:mk: or ~:hk:options. Most character don’t have to deal with the mixup afterwards because they have ways out of it. Everyone in the cast can Alpha Counter EX Messiah Kick on block.

It’s important you learn how to use the system mechanics in defending yourself too. Alpha Counter successfully blocked moves and counter with launcher obvious low attacks. These are both very rewarding ways to counter offensive opponents if you don’t have the meter nor want to risk an EX Messiah Kick.

Rufus’s light Snake Strikes can also be useful for defending yourself. It hops over low attacks but will whiff on a crouching opponent excluding Hugo. Good for countering predicted throws.

Rufus’s backdash is slow and doesn’t move him very far. It’s best not to use this too much if your opponent knows what to do against it.[/details]


[details=Spoiler]Best Launcher Chain: :d::lk:~:d::mk:~:d::hp: or :mk:~:d::hp:

Midscreen Meterless

:lk:~:f::hk:, :lk:~:f::hk:, :df::mk:, cl.:hp:
cl.:lk:, :d::mk: xx :qcf::p:
cl.:hp: xx :qcf::p:
cl.:hp: xx :qcf::lk:~:lk:
fs.:hk:, fs.:hk:, [:d::hk:] OR [:f::hp:]
fs.:hk:, fs.:hk:, cl.:hp: xx :dp::p:
j.:hk:, cl.:hp: xx :dp::p: (airborne opponent)
j.:df::mk:, :lk:~:f::hk:, :d::hk: (airborne opponent)

Midscreen Meter

[cl.:lk:, :d::mk:] OR [cl.:hp:] xx :qcf::2p:, fs.:hk:, fs.:hk:, cl.:hp: xx [:dp::2p:] OR [:qcf::3p:]
j.:hk:, cl.:hp: xx [:dp::2p:] OR [:qcf::3p:] OR [:qcf::mp::mk:]
fs.:hk:, fs.:hk:, cl.:hp: xx [:dp::2p:] OR [:qcf::3p:] OR [:qcf::mp::mk:]

Corner Meterless

[cl.:lk:, :d::mk:] OR [cl.:hp:] xx :qcf::p:, :lk:~:f::hk:, :f::hp: xx :qcf::hk:~:mk:
:lk:~:f::hk:, :f::hp:, :f::hp:, :f::hp: xx :qcf::hk:~:mk:
:lk:~:f::hk:, :lk:~:f::hk:, :f::hp: xx :qcf::hk:~:mk:
fs.:hk:, fs.:hk:, :f::hp: xx :qcf::hk:~:mk:
j.:df::mk:, :f::hp: xx :qcf::hk:~:mk: (airborne opponent)

Corner Meter

[cl.:lk:, :d::mk:] OR [cl.:hp:] xx :qcf::2p:, :f::hp:, :f::hp:, :f::hp: xx :qcf::hk:~:mk:
[cl.:lk:, :d::mk:] OR [cl.:hp:] xx :qcf::2p:, :f::hp:, :f::hp:, cl.:hp: xx [:dp::2p:] OR [:qcf::3p:]
[cl.:lk:, :d::mk:] OR [cl.:hp:] xx :qcf::p:, :lk:~:f::hk:, cl.:hp: xx [:qcf::mp::mk:] OR [:qcf::3p:] OR [:dp::2p:]

Counter Hit

:d::hp:, :d::hp:
:df::mk:, :d::lp:/:d::lk:, _____
:qcf::k:~:mk: (against crouching opponent), j.:df::mk:, _____

Switch Cancel/Cross Rush

Midscreen Meterless

cl.:mp:, :lk:~:f::hk:, :d::hk:
cl.:hp: xx :dp::hp:
cl.:hp: xx CADC, :lk:~:f::hk:, :d::hk:

Midscreen Meter

cl.:hp: xx :dp::2p:
cl.:mp:, :d::mk: xx [:qcf::mp::mk:] OR [:qcf::3p:]
cl.:hp: xx CADC, :lk:~:f::hk:, [:qcf::mp::mk:] OR [:qcf::3p:]

Corner Meterless

:lk:~:f::hk:, :f::hp: xx :qcf::hk:~:mk:
:f::hp:, :f::hp:, :f::hp: xx :qcf::hk:~:mk: (Switch Cancel only)

Corner Meter

cl.:mp:, cl.:mp:~cl.:hp: xx [:qcf::mp::mk:] OR [:qcf::3p:]
:lk:~:f::hk:, cl.:hp: xx [:qcf::mp::mk:] OR [:qcf::3p:] OR [:dp::2p:]
:f::hp:, :f::hp:, cl.:hp: xx [:qcf::mp::mk:] OR [:qcf::3p:] OR [:dp::2p:] (Switch Cancel only)

Thanks to Deikan, unprotectedSEX, foger, Mouseke, Mubress, dhalsim22 and the other members who contributed to the combo thread.[/details]

Okizeme (Including Safejumps and Anti-Rolls)

[details=Spoiler]Rufus’s combos all lead to good knockdown setups and most of them can be ended in a sweep. This means he can keep up the momentum while creating some vortex mixups. Rufus’s okizeme game focuses mostly on safely jumping in at the opponent and confusing them with his floaty jump, ambiguous jumpins and his divekick.


_____________ > :f::hp: xx :qcf::hk: ~:mk:. Jump forward :mk:.

In the corner, a techable knockdown is actually better than a hard knockdown, because you have enough time to jump over them and stop them from rolling out of the corner.

Depending on when you do the J.MK depends on which side you land on. Do it a little early, you land in front of them, do it a little later and cross them up, or empty jump and go for a c.LK. There might be some reversals that beat it, but so far everything I’ve seen has whiffed against this setup.

Back Throw > Jump forward :hp: (front)
Back Throw > Quick walk forward > Jump forward :mk: (crossup)

If the opponent doesn’t roll then they have to guess between these very ambiguous jumpins. J.HP isn’t a safe jump, but if you time the J.MK crossup right you can force reversals to whiff.

:qcf::p: > Jump forward :hp:
:qcf::p: > Jump forward > :d::lk: OR :d::mk:
:qcf::p: > Jump forward > Throw

A forward jump after a Galactic Tornado places you right in front of the opponent. Because this is also a safejump it gives you the chance to perform some mixups afterward. An empty jump into a low or an empty jump into a throw are very effective if the opponent is expecting a jumpin.


3F+ [:qcf::2p:] FS.:hk: > FS.:hk: > :f::hp: (very close to ground) xx CAFDC > (wait for couple frames) Forward jump :hp:. (MIDSCREEN ONLY)

This is difficult because if you don’t do the F.HP when the opponent’s just about to land you’ll have to change your timing. It’s very useful because if you aren’t close to the corner this should put them at least very close to it. If you’re close to the corner cancel the F.HP into Messiah corner combo. I tested this out on Ken.

3F+ Front Throw > :d: :lp: > Forward jump deep :hp: .

:d: :lp: has to be timed very well. If anyone can find a better setup please post. Tested against Ken.

4F+ :qcf::mp: > Forward jump :hp:. If opponent does a quick wakeup.
5F+ :qcf::hp: > Forward jump :hp:. (Use this instead of MP GT against 5F+ reversals because it’s more damaging) If opponent does a quick wakeup.

Sweep > Delayed forward jump still works obviously.

Forward Rolls

If the opponent rolls out of your knockdown then it’s pretty simple on how to counter it. Mixing up between a jump back Divekick and the universal, ambiguous backdash mixup should discourage them enough to stop rolling and putting themselves in these 50:50 situations.

Here’s a few examples on how to counter rolls:

If they don’t quick wakeup after a GT and instead go for a roll do this ambiguous setup.

:qcf::p: > Forward jump :hp: > backdash: Appear in front of them.
:qcf::p: > Forward jump :hp: > quick walk forward > backdash: Appear behind them.

Far range sweep:

:d::hk: > Forward dash > Jump back :df::mk: OR :d::hk: > walk forward > Jump back :df::mk:

Close range sweep:

:d::hk: > Back dash > Neutral jump :df::mk: OR :d::hk: > walk backwards > Neutral jump :df::mk:

Both of these are very ambiguous setups after a sweep that can be very hard to tell which side you’ll land on. It’s probably best to walk instead of dash since it’ll give them less time to wakeup.

Simple setups like these are all you need to stop your opponent from abusing the roll too much. Once they’re too scared to roll anymore you can play around again with knockdowns.

Important Moves

J.:df::mk:: Divekicks on wakeup can be very hard to tell which side you’ll land on.
J.:mk:: Crossups have always been effective for okizeme and Rufus has a good amount of uses for this.
:f::mk:: Rufus’s overhead isn’t too useful so when the opponent is waking up it’s one of the few good times to risk it.
FS.:hk:: If the opponent tries to jump away on wakeup thinking you gave them some space FS.HK is really good. It’s +1 on block so if it doesn’t hit the opponent you can keep up the pressure.

Option Selects


[spoiler=Links]GD Thread: The Rufus Thread

Combo Thread: Rufus Combo Thread - You can't learn kung fu in a day!

Frame Data: Rufus Frame Data

Q&A Thread: Rufus Q&A Thread

Video Thread: My fists will give you Amnesia! - The Rufus Video Thread

Gem Selection: Find Your Zen! The Rufus Gem Selection Thread


Rufus does best against defensive characters but struggles most with grapplers. If you’re unaware of what you should be doing in a matchup or want to go more in depth, then these character sections will help you out. Don’t become impatient or frustrated when you’re unsure of what to do in a matchup. Instead do some research on the character and play against opponents who use them. If there’s a character section that has yet to be filled, try asking for advice in the thread.

Zoning Characters

[details=Spoiler]Snake Strikes and Messiah Kick go over projectiles.
Galactic Tornado can absorb projectiles.
Use neutral jump divekicks and whiffed divekicks to quickly get in.
Rufus’s floaty but long ranged jump arc means it’s good for jumping in from far away. fj.:hp:has very good range.
Rufus’s Super Art also goes through projectiles but only has priority at close range.[/details]

Rushdown Character

[details=Spoiler]Try to maintain control of the match,
Keep them out of distance with your long range pokes.
If playing defensively be patient and don’t make any mistakes.
If you’re being pressured use EX Messiah Kick to escape.[/details]

Defensive Characters

[details=Spoiler]Play patiently and wait for a chance to advance.
Throw out fake divekicks and force them to whiff anti airs.
If they’re expecting you to come through the air catch them off guard with :df::mk:.
Use :d::hk: to poke a lot. If it lands the knockdown will give you enough time to move in.
Once in try to keep them from getting any space.
Stay outside of their range and whiff punish with divekicks and :d::hk:.[/details]

Grappler Characters

[details=Spoiler]Play defensively and try to keep your distance.
Use :mk: and :d::hp: to keep them out.
Use CADC’s to build meter while nothing is happening.
Don’t pressure them for too long.
If they’re too close get them off with EX Messiah or instant divekicks to avoid command grabs.[/details]

Character Specific Chart





























[details=Spoiler]Instant Overhead: NJ.:mk:.

Light Snake Strikes doesn’t whiff on Hugo crouching. Because on block it’s +4 this means it can be spammed without much worry and useful for offensive play.

Light Snake Strikes also beat Hugo lariats. If you successfully counter with it you can follow up for a good damage combo. Because it’s also airborne it means he can’t use his EX command grabs against it either. Hugo’s best options to counter Light Snake Strikes is using a standing :lp: or a well timed :dp::k:.

Anti air his jumping body splashes with :d::mp:. Prevent him from continuously crossing you up with them with a Snake Strike.

Backdash out of Clap pressure or EX Messiah between the string.

Rufus doesn’t have a 3 framer to punish EX Lariat so use an Alpha Counter. Punish regular Lariats with a cl.:hp: xx _____.

Play defensively when you have the health lead and frustrate him with Rufus’s long range pokes. If he begins to use Lariats to get in chain your pokes or wait and punish.





















M. Bison




























[spoiler=Strategy (Attacking and Defending)][/details]







Uhhh did you not get the memo? His divekick isn’t “his most powerful tool” anymore. They ruined it.

…It’s still his most powerful too.

He doesn’t have anything else.

Updated the guide. If anyone has anymore ideas for sections that have to be covered please post. It’d be great if people could contribute too. :woot:

Updating Hugo.

Rufus has an instant overhead on him - NJ.MK.

This is some excellent stuff, thanks for taking the time to put it all together.