Thursday, September 29, 2011

Ryu vs Ibuki


This might be a lot of people’s worst match up and it’s also one of my worst. Even though it’s one of my least favorite match up, I think it’s only slightly in Ibuki’s favor because of her unblockable on Ryu. Ibuki actually has a hard time getting in against Ryu, and I know for a fact since I used to main her when Super just released (there are videos of my Ibuki beating Daigo and Tokido!! But I think it’s because they didn’t know the match up like how you guys are reading this to find out how to fight Ibuki.) The key is to focus on Ibuki’s movement, all her moves are actually not that fast and the strategy is to run away from her and throw fireballs (a.k.a TURTLE!!)

Ground Game:

Far Range: As long as Ibuki has no ex meter, she can’t really do much. Her kunai doesn’t hit full screen so basically she can only build meter and like every match up, at this distance, just keep chucking fireball and build meter on your own while interrupting her meter management. Take the chance to push her near the corner as she backs off or focus back dash your hadokens.

Mid Range: Watch out for her slide since it hits low and go through projectiles. This is Ibuki’s best tool to get in but it’s punishable on block with Ryu’s HP SRK unless slid from max range. Aside from the slide, she also has other normals you have to be cautious in this range, such as her low strong and standing forward. Usually I throw fireball at a range that is hard to react to and just simply low forward to keep her out or wait for a whiff and punish.

Close Range: Ibuki has fast low jabs which can link to any BnB combos leading to a knock down, it’s extremely dangerous. Her close up standing strong frame trap is rather scary as well, so mashing on tech throw might be risky as well as mashing on SRK. Depends how good you are with blocking and delay tech throws, I would say taking a throw might be worth it. (Even though after a throw, it might lead to a chaos…..)


Neck Breaker: An attack causes hard knock down that hits low. This attack can only be countered by SRK/Super/Ultra, any normals fails to touch her. I would recommend you to block it rather than countering because the timing is strict especially using SRK as the counter. If you miss your timing, your SRK whiffs while Ibuki goes under it.

Ex Version: Any version of SRK

Kunai: Any normals can beat the Kunai as long as it’s right before hitting you.

Ex Version: standing round house, low fierce or any version of SRK (except EX actually…) right before they hit you.

Raida: I don’t really understand how this move works to be honest, but from my understanding this is a blockable grab. On top of that it's somewhat like the twin’s palm that has a shorter range projectile that doesn't negate projectiles (I don't know what i am saying, lol) and this attack has no invincibility. So far from what I have tested, any move beats it except grab.

Ex Version: From what I have tested, most of the move beats it, but some other normals like low jab or low short will trade against it, however without losing any life…it’s like a move that can beat high priority moves which sucks you in before your attack hits her (something like that....) Therefore hit her before she can perform this move.

Dash: Any attack or grab can hit her out of the dash.

Kazegiri: Any normal beats it.

Ex Version: Only ex SRK.

Tsumuji: SRK can beat it clean, and the jab or fierce version usually trades.

Ex Version: Same as normal version

Hop Kick: Low fierce or any version of SRK

Ex Version: Same as normal version

Against Ultra 1: This is actually a command grab, simple, just respect it when she has ultra meter and don’t try to attempt to grab on her wake up. One more thing you got to beware of is when she has Ultra 1 in stock, safe jump in attack doesn't work, however, a later timed jump in attack would work and of course, cross up attacks as well. 

Against Ultra 2:  An ultra that goes through projectiles which is mainly used in a combo, other than that, beware not to throw reckless fireballs.

On Ryu’s Wake up:

Unless you get knocked down by Ibuki's sweep or her neckbreaker, the chances of the Kunai crossing up is quite low. The best way to tell if her Kunai is going to cross up or not, is to judge based on your opponent's setups. If you don't have enough time to see the setups, the general idea is to see how high Ibuki jumped before she threw the Kunai. If she throws it at almost maximum height, the Kunai will probably cross up. But if she throws it from a slightly lower height, the chance of it crossing up is much slimmer.

However all that is pretty much useless if Ibuki does a different setup after a Neckbreaker or a sweep. After a Neckbreaker, Ibuki players like to command dash forward to set up the position, however take a close look at whether they step forward before/after the command dash, as that affects the timing on her crossing you up. If she does take a step forward, the following kunai is almost guaranteed to crossup UNLESS she does it at a extremely low point in her jump.

A personal tip that helps me is that to leave the stick in neutral state when you're getting up, then as Ibuki throws the kunai, commit to one side. As a psychological thing, second guessing yourself is where you might end up making mistakes. Learn a few setups, look online for a few, etc and try them all out in training mode (as certain characters with different hitboxes makes a difference). The key point though, is to learn some of the setups from experience. If you have access to training mode, set up a few different ways of it crossing up and not, and then look not at the kunai, but focus entirely on Ibuki's movements starting from the knockdown. Also, crouch block to shrink your hit box can make the kunai harder to cross up and even if you get hit in crouching motion, the (lp > mp > hp) target combo whiffs. 

Key things to look out to dictate which side to block:

Method of knockdown

*Spin kicks

Method of setups

*Command Dash
*Whiffed normals

Full ranged sweep is hard to judge whether it will cross up or not, as Ibuki will usually throw the kunai high into her jump. Just see how close she is (vertical alignment) when she throws it, the closer she is to you, the more likely it will cross up.

Close-Mid ranged sweep is similar to Neckbreaker+Command Dash setup.

Neckbreaker is typically followed up with a command dash and the following kunai is very tricky to block, if Ibuki throws the kunai roughly 50% of the way up her jump, the kunai tends to NOT cross up. Anything beyond tends to cross up more often.

Spinkicks has a few ways of following up. She can go for the full range sweep timing, or she can walk forward a bit and it goes to a Close-mid ranged sweep/Neckbreaker+Cmd Dash timing (or even go for something other than a kunai vortex)


From what I know she has one off a normal Neck Breaker and one off an ex Neck Breaker, but you can do reversal jab SRK taking the hit and get knocked out of the air to get out of this setup OR you can take the hit by focus back dash.

Here are the setups, so once you see these, make a decision of either blocking or get out by using one of the methods I mentioned (THE UNBLOCKABLE TIMING IS REALLY STRICT, SO YOU CAN ALWAYS JUST BLOCK TO SEE IF THE OPPONENT CAN LAND IT PROPERLY)

-Off Neck Breaker > walk forward little bit > wait a split sec then forward jump LK or MK
-Off EX Neck Breaker > MK command dash > wait a split sec then forward jump LK or MK

Mind Games and Option Select:

After a hard knock down, no different from any other characters, you can jump in OS any attack, but when she has meters, only OS you can do is a safe jump OS sweep. Ibuki’s  EX Kazegiri will hit Ryu before he can OS into anything, so similar to the twins, option selects are limited against them.
Mind games wise, I usually tend cross up with jump MK after I knock her down. Basically Ibuki has no answer but to block or focus dash out of it which can be easily react and punish her dash with sweep. After training my opponent with the same cross up, I will then mix it up with empty jump into throws, hitting low or simply do ambiguous jump in with jump LK.

Tips and Tricks:

On ground cross up Tatsu (Forward throw > whiff jab SRK > HK tatsu) and (Back throw > forward dash X2 > HK tatsu)

Things to be aware of:

I never mentioned about her over head, which is a slow slow over head with her lower hit box invincible (because she is off the ground).Why am I putting this in the to be aware section? It is all because of Iyo’s Ibuki who made me aware how dangerous (useful) this move can be. He likes to do an ambiguous empty jump off a Neck Breaker then mixing with either throw, low attack > combo into another hard knock down or the over head. So what I am trying to say is that it might not be a common move, but never forget about this move and focus on Ibuki’s movements expecting the over head.

Ibuki also has a really good footsie tool, the A fast normal cancelable into special moves that can beat Ryu’s low forward if in the right range. Make sure when you are playing a footsie game, you don’t want your low forward to whiff, if you are unsure about the distance, I would rather not press anything instead waiting to punish her whiff.

Let me also talk about her Tsumuji. The LK version is always a true block string and the MK version is not. Well, it is, but only the first 2 hits like the LK version, the last hit is never safe. If you predict a third slash, you can do a focus level 2 right after you block the second hit for a crumple or SRK it. However, you can just simply back dash after you block the second hit without taking any risks. The only way Ibuki can catch your back dash is to guess or anticipate. Moreover, her standing MK > MK Tsumuji is a true block string while (LP,MP,HP Target Combo) into MK Tsumuji is not. Any moves with invincibility start up can hit her in between.

Once again, I hope this guide helps whoever read this and as usual, comment or questions, leave it below or my facebook/twitter page.

Bonus: My friend discovered some really neat super mix up with Ibuki


  1. Hey Air,

    The Ibuki command grab Raida, is a "hit grab" it's something similar to a mechanic they have in SNK games. It's like any other normal in, it can be used to grab you out of specials like a hurricane kick. Mainly it will only be used in combos vs Ryu. The EX version is a few frames faster on startup and has a bigger range, it can trade with some high priority moves but won't beat them. Ex. will trade with initial hit of Ken's HP SRK.

  2. @Makoto00 thank you very much, i have edited it! :D

  3. Ibuki's target combo (LP+MP+HP) into MK Tsumuji isn't a true block string - you can SRK between the target combo and the first hit of Tsumuji.

    St.MK into MK Tsumuji is a true block string, though.

  4. Here is a video that gives you a little more insight into Raida. Forgot to post it before,

  5. I know this isn't the place to post this, but have you guys heard the great news?

    Ryu gets his full medium kick back! Yay!

  6. Crouching medium kick that is...

  7. I don't know if it's because I did it too slow, but I've been grabbed by T.Hawk's super in between blocked st.MK -> MK Tsumugi. I still have the replay.

  8. What? Clim no, xx MK tsumuji is not a true block string. That's xx LK tsumuji.

  9. 1. One thing you can add to your list of getting out of vortex is mashing hp dp. If Ibuki throws a kunai, you get put into a juggle state. If Ibuki does j.LK or j.MK, you'll go into a reset state. The risk is pretty high, but it's something to consider to keep the Ibuki player on her toes, instead of autopiloting her vortex. Not to mention the universal escape: FA dash.

    2. Crouch blocking is also generally a good idea against Ibukis simply autopiloting their vortex. It will obviously lose to jumpin attacks, but you should be able to react to those with stand block. But if Ibuki throws a kunai that isn't meaty, Ryu will go straight to a crouch position.
    -you block the kunai: Ibuki must recognize that Ryu is crouching and not go for the full TC4 blockstring
    -you eat the kunai: Ibuki still must recognize that Ryu is crouching and not go for the TC4 at all, since the st.HP part will whiff (-3 on whiff) and leaves her open to dp punish or cr.jab into combo.

    3. By the way, good luck getting out of vortex and "watching Ibuki's movement" before you get up. I've mained Ibuki since day 1 SSF4 and I still can't block the vortex consistently. There's just too much crap to consider.

    4. I don't believe neckbreaker is typically followed up with a command dash. If it is, then the burden is on the Ibuki player to have good vortex timing so that
    -she is still safe from reversals
    -she still gets a frame advantage on kunai hit
    -she can still land in time to punish escape attempts (eg: FA dash)
    I rarely if ever go for this setup. Simply walking randomly and then super jumping or whatever is easier and safer. With good Ibukis, the focus is on keeping you in the vortex and tossing you back into it over and over, not making the vortex super ambiguous, since against 99% of other players, it already is really ambiguous.

    5. I don't think you have played this matchup since Super. In Super, Ryu was able to jab dp reset himself out of the unblockable. That's no longer the case in AE. You can still do the same with HP dp, but the risk is high.

    6. I'm pretty sure you cannot "take the hit by focus back dash." You'll simply backdash into Ibuki into a punish.

    7. I'm also sure the unblockable timing is not really strict. Off an EX neckbreaker, it's really easy once you've practiced it a bit.

    8. Ryu's sweep option select depends on your safe jump timing and your option select timing. Often times than not, your sweep will whiff due to Ibuki's very airborne backdash. I generally use option select tatsu instead, or ultra if Ibuki has no meter.

  10. (post was too long so I had to break it into two)

    9. Those crossup tatsu tricks are really risky. I would not recommend using them unless you are 100% sure they will hit. Otherwise, you're in for a neckbreaker punish followed by unblockable setups up your ass.

    10. I wish you included information about Ryu's super. It's a huge help in this matchup. It punishes Ibuki's sweep, pretty much every block slide, and most importantly, her LK and HK tsumuji kicks on block (2 or 3 hits doesn't matter). This forces her to either not use tsumuji, or use the MK version which isn't always a true blockstring.

    11. In terms of spacing, midrange is easily the best spacing for Ryu to be in. Specifically, either outside of Ibuki's max slide range, so you can whiff punish it, or outside her cr.MP range, so you can "poke" with fireballs and is very hard to react to. If at Ibuki's max slide range, don't even bother throwing a fireball against a decent Ibuki. You might think you can play a traditional Ryu zoning game by chucking a jab fireball and then punishing non-blocking attempts, but this is simply going to get you EX neckbreakered. Or ultra-ed. Far range is also a good range since Ibuki has nothing to threaten you with (except maybe full screen neckbreaker lol), so you're free to build meter with jab dp or shoot some fireballs, but I don't think any Ibuki is going to let you stay at this range for long.

    Also unless it's the start of the first round, Ibuki is generally always going to have meter. She doesn't really have anything useful to spend it on, and she builds meter fast with her target combo blockstrings. Going by this, I would expect the Ibuki player to go for EX neckbreaker knockdown after knockdown simply for the easy unblockable setup. Once you play an good Ibuki that has mastered this setup, then you'll know how much the matchup is a nightmare for Ryu and how crucial it is that you never ever get knocked down.

    I strongly believe this matchup is 5.5 - 4.5 at worst, and 6-4 at best for Ibuki. She has an easy unblockable, which setups up into more unblockables, very high damage/stun output, and all the tools she needs to put up a good fight if not counter Ryu's footsie game.

  11. thx for the comments! I don't think i need to add it on to my guide i think since people will read the comments here.