Sunday, July 13, 2008

SDT Notes

Here are some comments that players sent me along with the numbers. At the bottom of this post I'll explain the concept a little bit more.

Player Comments

CigarBoB @ Ken
As you know N.Ken is at a disadvantage for most matches vs top tier. To win you must play very solid and then be able to mix in your tricks and throws with out fear.

I think this list is fairly accurate but I dont feel that Ken as a large advantage in any one match. Even vs Honda and Fei (who die to FB's easy) Ken's FB is much easier to get around so it can't be depended on as much as o.ken or Ryu's.

Wes @ Ken
Ryu: 4.5
Ryu does most things that Ken can do, except better (namely fb trap).

Ken: 5

O.Ken: 5.5
O. Ken is easier to control and has the invincible dp but new Ken has the super, knee bash, overhead, and standing roundhouse that can all help him in different situations to push him over the top.

Honda: 6
Maybe I haven't played the best Honda's, but this fool still dies horribly to fb traps and gets swept everytime he jumps over a fb (from most distances).

Chun: 4.5
70% super, a move that you can't wake up against (d/f+rh), and she has great tools to play footsie and counter Ken's air and cross up game.

Blanka: 6
It seems like they buffed Blanka's jump moves so he can't be swept after jumping over a fb (I could be wrong on this but at least it is way more difficult). If Ken can keep Blanka at bay and control space with fbs and jump kicks, we can win this match as long as I'm not the one playing Ken.

Zangief: 6
Punchxxair hk, sweep 3-hit really forces Gief be careful when he can lariat. I realize Gief can low fierce Ken's punch but Ken can jump kick it instead if he expects it. Ken's slower fb can help him to control space and the standing rh kick can help in footsie games.

Guile: 4
Guile has an answer for all of Ken's moves and Ken is often forced to jump to mount an offense (which gets him hit more). The faster speed has made this match more difficult for Guile but Ken's slower fb hurts him in this match I think.

Dhalsim: 3
Ken can wreck Sim if he gets in, but that's the problem, he can't. A lucky dp, hurricane or sweep can sometimes get him in but overall, Ken has a tough time. Again, the slow fb hurts him in this match and Sim has perfect anti-air with his slides.

Hawk: 6
If Hawk can get a safe jump trap going, its all over. That's the case against all characters though, right? I think Ken controls space nicely in this match. His jump kick hits Hawk's jumping moves from most distances and standing jab beats the dive (if you don't simply dp).

Cammy: 5.5
I don't really have any great insight into this one. Cammy can give Ken trouble with poking low forwards and cannon drills but Ken can still battle her poke for poke with standing rh, low forward and low rh cancelled into fb for space control. If Ken knowcks her down, his cross up is tough for her to block and never misses. If is connects, he can dizzy her most the time with: cross up, low strongxxhurricane = game over.

Fei: 6
Most of Kens tools nullify Fei's. He can sweep all of his jump in moves, the chicken wing can be dp'd (if you're not asleep), jump back jump kick stops his rekkas cold AND Fei has a really hard time blocking cross ups. In fact, Fei is the fattest character in the game (its the Hammer pants) and Ken is obviously cap'n combo. Game over with one wrong guess.

DJ: 5
Ken can control space but DJ has fairly consistent answers to Ken's jumpng moves. Ken can't cross him up but can safe jump on him all day setting up his mix up game.

Balrog: 5
Ken can't cross him up but can safe jump on him all day setting up his mix up game. If Rog isn't cafeful his can be fb trapped and tagged out of his headbutts with standing rh. Once Rog has the super, he gives Ken trouble but he's always in danger of Ken's buff mix up game.

Vega: 5.5
Air hurricane does wonders to cross him up and pin him to the ground and also sets up his mix up game. The fierce dp takes him out of his wall dive from almost anywhere on reaction. Ken can also safe jump on this fool all day and Vega takes hella damage.

O.Sagat: 4
Ken's short hurricane doesn't recover fast enough to be of much use here. If Ken can knock Sagat down, fireball to back of the head as gets up sets up a really nice guessing game, but that's about all Ken has here.

Bison: 6
Ken's throw/dp/sweep mix up game can give Bison a lot of trouble. Bison also has to be careful when he's up in the air because Ken can scrape him with a fierce dp from verry far away which sets up his neck kick. Bison is one of the easiest characters to cross up and has a hard time blocking which often = game over for him after one knock down.

Fatboy @ Blanka
Sadly, I have to say that he is only on par with the other lower tiers in the game. However, the tiers are tight in ST, and any character can beat any character! (That is why we love it!)

Basically mean the opponent can go on easy auto pilot with a simple zone and Blanka has to work REALLY hard to get around it or wait for the opponent to make a stupid error.

Simply put it is a bitch to get around the cr. strong /air slash/ up-kick zone. Somewhere, Blanka has to get a lucky guess around the air slash for a combo or knock down.

The Fireball /standing fierce /TU zone is very strong. Everything trades in Sagats favor. Your only hope is that some where Sagat jumps in or TNs any you can DF + fierce for a knock down. –Or- Jump in from a distance and stick out jumping jab and look to beat his standing fierce. Either way Blanka has to let Sagat make a mistake to get in.


Very similar to DJ: Blanks has to get around the Crouching strong/flip kick game. Somewhere in there he has to do a far jumping fierce to bait and beat the flip kick to earn some damage/ knock down, then close the distance to start playing his game.


These are just about as hard as the 1’s. But there is a slightly less “auto-pilot factor’ for the opponent they have to least mix there game a little bit.

Chun: 2

[hey now]

Balrog (Boxer):2

This isn’t even funny. See SRK post.


These guys have the advantage, but once Blanka can break there zone he has a strong shot to much take the match. (Provided he doesn’t do something too stupid).

Ryu: Ken: O.Ken:

Shotos are pretty standard. If you can get around the FB/upper cut/ crouching strong game and score a knock down, you can start your ground game. Then you have a soild chance. Versus a strong shoto this is much easier said then done but easier then the 1s & 2s.

There are slight nuances with each different shoto to keep in mind; however, blanka's approach to the match is built around getting around the zone and scoring a knock down.


Many think this match lends itself to Blanka. However, unless Blanka gets in hard and fast there is little he can do. As with the shoto match up he needs to score a knock down some where and start his game. Against a good Sim who plays really safe, this is going to be really hard to do.


In stead of looking at a lead in life here, who ever scores the first knock down has a strong chance to win. If Blanka get on top of guile it is GGPO unless he busts out a random FK somewhere. Conversely, if guile gets the first knock down, Blanka is going to eat lots of sonic booms to try and close the distance.


These guys have a very slight one up on the match. It basically comes down to who can get the first hit. Then the match becomes a chase down for the losing opponent which only leads to more opportunities to build the lead for the leading opponent.


I think this match is much closer than many think. It really depends on who gets the first hit. Then it becomes a game of catch up. If Honda gets the lead Blanka is not getting through his defense. If Blanka gets the lead, Honda is going to have to find a way to catch the little fucker and THEN deal with and find a way around that jumping Lk of blanka's.


Fair match if Blanka scores a knock down. It will a free throw on a get up cross >mp> bite. But, if Blanka make one mistake in his defense it is a fast a painful loss.

5’s and lower

Split even. These are some of more fun match ups in ST. Everybody has to earn each hit in each match up.


One of the more fun match ups to play in ST. I think it is split down the middle. This is really a great game of footsies. At fist glance many say Blanka wins for free with his standing strong. However, a clever & patient Zangief will have many ways around it. I.e. Jumping early rh> spinner works extremely well. You see Zangief jump, you think “Ha! I got him! Free standing strong!" Then just as you perfectly placed strong extends, geifs legs pull back, Blanka whiffs and Gief lands right in front of you for a well earned grab.

I could go on for hours about the match and it 'ro-sham-bo' game play.

Hawk: 5

This match falls into the Zangief category. Again, if Hawk constantly throws himself at Blanka wins for free. However, a real Hawk pro is one of the most patient F*ckers on the planet. More often then not they have more patience than a fucking Nun.

The do one of to things:

1) Let you throw your body at them, then use appropriate counter.

2) Bore you to tears, lull you into a sense of security, and then catch you right as you falling asleep the smash your face right into the ground.

Cammy: 5

Watch for jumping mp. Look for trip guard/landing frames use hop back > cr. RH to score knock down against the jumping MP. If you get caught in the corner and she is right on top of you with the jumping mp use crouching strong (Blanka takes a big step forward and create space behind him) to get her to whiff and land behind you to earn a throw. (Tight timing)

Fei: (5 or 6)

The one match where I think Blanka has a (very) small advantage. DF+ fierce beats 95% of Fei's air game. You have to worry about jumping Mk. However, if your opponent is wise and jumps in using that standing mp beats is clean. You can slide against chicken wing on sight.

Rekkas can be a pain, but control the ground with standing Lk, and crouching Lk, and quick Blanka balls to punish.

Your humble blog editor @ Blanka
I haven't fought much against T.Hawk. That match is probably closer than what I've got down.

With DeeJay, it's difficult to separate psychological wounds from actual in-game damage. Sometimes I'll win the match but I'm still feeling frustrated at how many crouching strongs (jabs, medium kicks, fierces, etc.) I ate along the way. Perhaps the match is closer than 3-7.

Axel @ Guile
*I'm really not sure at all about this one [Cammy], I've never faced a competent Cammy player. I based my rank purely on what I think would happen, not actual experience.

Cole @ Dhalsim
Blanka - To me this fight is all determined by distance. If blanka is successful in getting close he has advantage. If sim has blanka across the screen its all sim advantage. Iv played komoda blanka SOOOO MUCH. It might take him the entire match just to get in, but once he is in..its hard for sim to get out. His only option is to trade or teleport. Another perfectionist match up for mistake could cost him the game.

Ryu/ken: this one is difficult to me, cause with ryu its determined on how patient the ryu is and his ability to build super fast to slow sim down. With new ken, its all about tick throws. I think ryu actually has an easier time and has more knockdown his rating is better then kens. Im sure japan players prob feel different.

Honda: prob a shocker lol...i say this because both chars have a corner trap on each other. The match can go either way. Top dhalsims can keep honda out all day. But one tick throw and its over for sim. Just like one corner trap and its over for honda. So I used to think sim had disadvantage but after playing some really high lv hondas and going back and fourth, i believe its Even.

Spence @ Dhalsim
i agree with the the ranking chart for st here:

its pretty accurate, and pretty old.

Wilson @ T.Hawk, Fei, Bison
[K]eep in mind these are on DEFAULT speed 2 and Japanese 3. If it was any faster, Ryu and O Sagat would be considerably ahead of most people.

Cen @ T.Hawk
[Actually I don't have a quote but Cen wanted to emphasize that not only does T.Hawk beat Guile, but everybody beats Guile. Because Guile's weak!]

James @ Cammy
Here's my opinion on Cammy. You should ping Mike Creque as well, if you haven't already, and see how his opinion matches up with mine. But these are my opinions on EXPERT vs. EXPERT. Assuming people know the matchups inside and out.
Yes, you read that right. 0 against Honda. If I play against Chris Li's Honda, I will never win. I. Will. Never. Win. If we both played to win and played as best as we could, I can play him 100 times, and I will win 0. I'm not even joking. If Honda knows how to fight Cammy, Cammy cannot win. Period. And Chris Li has played against Creque so many times, HE knows how to play against Cammy.

Jumpsuit @ Fei
[P]lease note that this is based on my personal experience. My rankings for Fei are TOTALLY different from other Fei players because other Fei players don't play like me

Nelson @ O.Sagat
It is too difficult to make these rankings because the matches change due to a super being charged. But heres a rough with no supers charged. We did this in norcal a long time ago.

Alex Valle @ O.Sagat, Ken
*CaliPower* i dont make tiers or diagrams....
*CaliPower* its a deceiving tool for new players
*CaliPower* imo
*nohoho* ok fair enough but some matches are more balanced than others right?
*CaliPower* sf is a game of player to player base
*nohoho* i agree
*CaliPower* char match up is in the skill of the beholder =)
*nohoho* sure but there's still a difference between ryu vs. honda and ryu vs. vega
*CaliPower* i pay attention to the player more than the char match up
*nohoho* ok I dig it
*CaliPower* thats just me
*nohoho* thanks for hearing me out
*CaliPower* np

Beasley @ Dictator
I want to comment that Dictator's strength is difficult to express. He loses a lot of matches "on paper", but like T Hawk, he can punish a very small mistake with a win. If I were to express his ranking with a bayesian curve (like the rankings), this would mean that his sigma is big: the uncertainty of any given matchup is much higher than most other characters. A lot of his gameplay is based around trying many things that have a high probability of being punished (like jumping in), but have a very high reward (winning) if guessed right. I think that's why he's ranked low-ish yet voted as one of the characters players would least like to face in a tournament.


The approach I went with was to go ahead and contact people without worrying about the nuances. Figured too much stressing about details and the thing would never get done. Make chart, ask questions later! It's easy enough to do a version two.

The players that I contacted were mostly old school tough guys. Also a few middle schoolers and people who've been doing well this year. I tried to solicit opinions from all over the country. More views from the southeast would be nice...

Here is the crude form that I sent to everybody*:
[* Not including local players consulted in person.]
Last fall Arcadia ran a character ranking chart for Melty Blood where the figures all came from top players for each character. I thought I'd try something like that for american ST.

Could you hook me up with your take on ______'s different match-ups? A '1' means the match is extremely difficult. A '9' means your character has an enormous advantage. '5' means even. Whole numbers. [<- ditched after the first couple messages sent]

Sample numbers using cammy. [<- used ryu sample numbers in the note I sent to jchensor]
NOTE: I'm just putting this here to illustrate how this works. I mean these numbers are BS; please don't let them influence you one way or the other.

Ryu: 3
Ken: 4
O.Ken: 3
Honda: 2
Chun: 4
Blanka: 6
Zangief: 8
Guile: 3
Dhalsim: 5
Hawk: 9
Fei: 4
DJ: 4
Balrog: 2
Vega: 3
O.Sagat: 3
Bison: 5



  1. Nice work nohoho.
    I actually did a decent translation of that link to the tier chart.
    Let me know if you want a look at it.

    It's by no means an "ST Bible" but it is an interesting read

  2. 002 - You mean T.Akiba's joint? Are you NKI's anonymous helper?


    All I have done is translated the bottom chart for SSF2T by changing all the names.
    (sorry about using MU)

    Apparently it is old but I did it up in Excel for myself so I could understand the names easily.

    Im not NKI's anon helper :)

  4. This is really, really cool to see. Thanks for compiling it all, dude!