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Rufus Ultra Street Fighter 4 Moves, Combos, Strategy Guide

Guide last updated on
June 2, 2014 at 9:10 p.m. PDT

Rufus Ultra Street Fighter 4 Character Guide

Character Overview
Rufus is a mobile rushdown character with extremely strong offensive tactics. The strength of Rufus is the ability to get into the opponent's face quickly and place them in a four-way mixup which can lead to some incredible damage. He also has a ton of useful tools outside of simply rushing down the opponent making him a strong overall character.

Rufus has some real problems with defense though. Once knocked down with no meter, he is absolutely helpless against rushdown. He also has no way to bypass fireballs without real risk or prediction. Lastly, you must master a one-frame link to perform Rufus's normal combo, meaning that your execution must always be on point.

+ Very damaging and deceptive offense.
+ Dive kick.
+ Has some worthwhile pokes to control mid range.
+ Walks quickly.
+ Very damaging forward throw.
+ Can sneeze and land an Ultra.

- Horrible backdash.
- Terrible reversal game.
- Can't do any real damage without the one-frame link combo.
- Has trouble against characters with projectiles that come out quickly.
- All moves have a ton of whiff recovery.
- Normal move startup is slower than average.

Notable Normal Moves

Far Standing Hard Kick
Rufus's launcher. It's completely lower-body invincible during the attack and it offers frame advantage on block. It also leads into Ultra 1 or a sweep knockdown depending on your preference. Long story short; this move is incredibly good with its only real weakness being that its startup is slow.

Far Standing Medium Kick
While this move doesn't have much priority, it has good range and gives Rufus a solid poke option.
Anti-Air: Far Standing Hard Punch and Crouching Medium Punch
Rufus's anti-air attacks. Crouching Medium Punch is faster and will anti-air people on top of you whereas Far Standing Hard Punch works for those who jump in front of you. Both of these moves have good priority, too.

Crouching Hard Punch
Rufus's only long range option. While it has a lot of recovery, Rufus usually is safe when this move is blocked. It's best not to try and test this move against characters with fast horizontal reversals though (such as Makoto or Fei Long).

The slow startup is also something to watch out for as good players will leap over this move and attack you. Sometimes the only real good use of this move is to punish things that you wouldn't normally be able to punish such as Blanka's Beast Roll.

Crouching Hard Kick (Sweep)
While Rufus's sweep has slow startup, it has a surprising amount of range and it's much safer on block compared to other sweeps in the game. Use this in whiff punishes.

Jumping Hard Kick
Rufus's jumping Hard Kick has incredibly good air-to-air priority and it will juggle into some really damaging combo enders. Use this move if you predict that an opponent will jump to meet you in the air as the rewards are massive.

Vulture Kick
An overhead attack. Rufus is airborne for a brief period after the startup of this move, making him unthrowable and low-invincible. While this move isn't necessarily bad, Rufus's mixups with the dive kick are so strong that this move is largely ignored.

Fragrance Palm
This move works in juggles and it leads to Ultra 1 in the corner, but anywhere else it's not a good move to use because it knocks opponents out of Rufus's offensive range. Largely unused.

Glory Kick
An underused move for Rufus. An extremely good move that is always completely safe on block and can be used to fish for counterhits into combos. If you're having trouble getting into dive kick range, start abusing this move to get in.

Falcon Kick (Dive Kick) [Air Only]
The core of Rufus's offensive power and his most feared attack. Rufus can activate this move in any jump direction and at any height. The closer you use this dive kick to the ground the more deadly it becomes.

Should this move land, it allows enough time to go into combos easily. It also gets you into throw range. Repeatedly doing dive kicks doesn't give the opponent a chance much room to do a reversal and it starts an incredibly difficult-to-predict mixup game.

Once you've had a dive kick blocked, you can...
  • Tick with Standing Light Kick into a throw.
  • Throw.
  • Do another dive kick to catch a throw tech.
  • Do a tight blockstring combo into Galactic Tornado, which is safe.
  • Do a standard combo into Galactic Tornado to build meter and chip the opponent.
All of these options tend to beat counter-options to your dive kick should you keep the roulette wheel spinning.
Special Moves
Galactic Tornado


The Galactic Tornado is a powerful move for Rufus. All versions are always safe on block and you can control how quickly Rufus moves forward with the joystick.

Galactic Tornado also knocks the opponent down, and it can nullify projectiles once Rufus starts spinning.

You'll be applying this move in combos most of the time. Usually, Galactic Tornado is too slow to counter projectiles on reaction.

EX Version: EX Galactic Tornado has Rufus spin in place, drawing the opponent in for an attack that knocks down. The main purpose of this move is to give Rufus a stronger combo from his Light Attacks.

The projectile nullification power of the move is greatly increased when EX is used as well, destroying projectiles from many ranges.

or then    or    or 
Messiah Kick
Flip Kick

Properties (Flip Kick)

Rufus throws his body up high for a spinning kick. Once Rufus is airborne, he flies high enough to avoid some projectiles. This move is largely unused because of how slow it is and because Galactic Tornado is a better combo ender.

The Light version starts up the fastest, Hard the slowest. Pressing a button after Rufus hits the opponent will cause him to do one of three things.
  • Light Kick: A flip kick that knocks the opponent into the air and has a big chunk of invincibility. You can FADC this move to combo into a variety of things or to make it safe. Very unsafe on block.
  • Medium Kick: A sweep attack. It comes out slower than the flip kick, but it's completely safe on block.
  • Hard Kick: A jumping slam kick. Can only be punished by zero-frame grabs.
You can delay the final attack of the Messiah Kick to play mindgames with the opponent, especially with the invincible flip kick.

EX Version: EX Messiah is widely considered to be one of the best EX moves in the game. It has a massive amount of startup invulnerability, can catch players trying to jump over it, and retains the followup mindgame of the regular version.

Even if you hit Rufus out of the move, he gets reset in the air instead of being comboed. Also with the flip kick's invincible followup (that is invincible the moment Rufus is grounded/grab-able), it can be truly hard to tell when to punish this attack.

You can be punished heavily if the opponent waits to block until the end, but at that point you can go for the completely safe-on-block sweep or slam followup.

Snake Strike


A non-invulnerable slow anti-air that comes out at an odd angle. Rarely used outside of combos. One benefit is that the Light Snake Strike is airborne from the first frame onwards, allowing you to avoid some grab attempts. This move is unsafe on block though.

EX Version: The EX Snake Strike is a powerful combo ender, almost always used after a jumping Hard Kick juggle.

Target Combos
Target Combo 1
Rufus's Target Combo is very easy to link into after a dive kick and leads to Ultra 1. This is a very simple and reliable method of comboing into Space Opera Symphony and you can do other followups in the corner as well. It's also reasonably safe on block.

Super and Ultra Moves

Super — Spectacle Romance


A Super that's mostly used for flash. Rufus gets far more use out of his EX moves.

Ultra 1 — Space Opera Symphony
Ultra 1


One of the most powerful Ultras in the game due to its ability to be landed from a plethora of moves that are naturally landed through Rufus gameplay. Easy juggles into Ultra 1 include...
  • Galactic Tornado (In corner)
  • EX Galactic Tornado (In corner)
  • Target Combo
  • Far Standing Hard Kick
  • Messiah Kick FADC
  • EX Messiah Kick FADC
  • Snake Strike (In corner)
  • Fragrance Palm (In corner)
Because many of these combos are simple, Ultra 1 is always a threat with Rufus. It's generally always the picked Ultra against characters without good projectiles (or any projectiles at all).

Ultra 2 — Big Bang Typhoon
Ultra 2


An Ultra that is fully projectile invincible throughout the startup and the spinning.

The only problem is that it takes a bit longer to start up than most anti-projectile Ultras. Also, juggles into it net weak damage. Another annoyance is that if you use it as an anti-projectile move, it's tough to get full damage.

Most Rufus players pick this Ultra against strong projectile characters.

Important note: Not every possible combo is listed here. Instead, you'll find the most common and helpful combos that you should know. There are many variations to these as well.

cr.LP, st.LP, st.LP, st.LP Link st.MP
5 Hits
152 Damage
Rufus's simple link combo when he doesn't have meter to use.

cr.LP, cr.LP, Link cr.LP xx EX Galactic Tornado
4 Hits
175 Damage
A fast hit confirm into a knockdown.

st.HP xx HP Galactic Tornado
4 Hits
220 Damage
Rufus's simplest punish combo.

Dive Kick, st.LK, Link st.HP xx HP Galactic Tornado
6 Hits
264 Damage
Rufus's bread and butter combo, and also a tricky one-frame link. It's his only way to hit confirm into a meterless special starting with Light Attacks. Feel free to add an extra crouching Light Kick in the combo to give yourself more hit confirm time.

Dive Kick, Target Combo 1, juggle Ultra 1
13 Hits
434 Damage
A simple hit confirm if you are sure your dive kick is going to land.

j.MK, st.LK, Link st.HP xx HP Galactic Tornado
6 Hits
274 Damage
Rufus's crossup combo.

j.HK, EX Snake Strike or Ultra 1
9/12 Hits
300/463 Damage
Rufus's juggles off jumping Hard Kick.

Rufus General Strategy
Rufus is one of the best tech trappers in the game with an extremely ambiguous and damaging throw guessing game. If you aren't getting counter hits with Rufus or getting good forward throw setups you're probably doing something incorrectly.

Should you have trouble getting in on the opponent, don't forget the Roll Kick against non-projectile characters and your Galactic Tornado against regular projectile users. Good neutral jumping and spacing with the dive kick is key to get in on defensive players.
Other Resources and Credit
You can find more information about playing Rufus on the Central Character Discussion Thread on the forums.
Contributions to this guide by Nyoro.


spitz said on March 16, 2010 at 8:23 p.m.

Megatonbeef, I use a similar training for rufus: Spam hadou with ryu and playback. No jumping, no focusing, no guard. try to avoid with lp-snakestrike or lk-messiah or tornado. and finally try to hit ryu.

CCCP said on March 19, 2010 at 3:08 a.m.

Never thought I'd see the day when moobs would be "in" with regards to fighting games.

cuttyb1987 said on April 5, 2010 at 9 p.m.

Rufus is the most over-powered character on the game he has 0 flaws and can make more mistakes than ryu in vanilla stf4 what is his nerfs again? if they kill the recovery time on his dive kicks then he will be plain or easier to deal with he is currently giving ABel problems at the moment lol

Wishpig said on April 9, 2010 at 2:17 p.m.

@ Cuttyb1987

Rufus is by no means the most over-powered character in the game... he's damn good, certainly among the best characters, but if you trust tier lists, he's lower high-tier/upper mid-tier. I tend to agree with that.

See the problem with Rufus is he's REALLY good against some characters (abel, chung li, viper), unfairly good even. However he is VERY weak against other characters (Ryu, Zangief, of course Sagat.) His style, for whatever reason, is overpowered against some characters and underpowered against others.

I will 100% fully agree his EX-Snake Strikes needs MAJOR nerfing though. Uber...

Wishpig said on April 9, 2010 at 2:19 p.m.

@ Cuttyb1987

Oh yeah! Supposedly he wasn't that nerfed. Like most characters his damage out-put was decreased... but since that happened to most characters, doubt we'll really notice.

And I do recall hearing snake-strikes ex and non ex were nerfed.

however, supposedly ex-messiah and dive kick are just as good as ever.

Wishpig said on April 9, 2010 at 4:50 p.m.

Up, nm, just did some research. Ex-messiah has been nerfed a good amount. Snake-strikes has been nerfed, but still does insane damage when combo'd w/ jhk. Hey at least it does slightly less insane damage. Right?

Whatever the case, Rufus hasn't been hit hard w/ the nerf hammer.

lol said on April 20, 2010 at 5:08 a.m.

Lol rufus ownz i take back what i said lol.

Wishpig said on April 28, 2010 at 5:34 a.m.

Lol, well, just got SSFIV, and jumping HK into EX snake strikes still takes nearly 1/3 hp. Lovely.

whitey_deluca said on April 29, 2010 at 10:01 a.m.

should add vega (claw) to the non-cornered GT to ultra

roman4328 said on May 2, 2010 at 3:02 p.m.

EX Snake Strike is 210

rob7979 said on May 4, 2010 at 8:07 a.m.

Must say I too was worried about Rufu being nerfed but he actually does not seem to different from vanilla.

AceKillah said on May 13, 2010 at 3:19 p.m.

this broken bastard i hate you rufus!!!!111!!!

derpsauce said on May 18, 2010 at 11:36 a.m.

EX-Snake Strike does 210 damage.

Why has this not been fixed yet?

Profound_sadness said on May 25, 2010 at 9:37 p.m.

@ derpsauce

because all the hits never land...ever

Profound_sadness said on May 25, 2010 at 9:38 p.m.

just be happy it doesnt do 350 damage or something anymore

liluoke said on June 14, 2010 at 10:31 a.m.

damn you to hell you fat bastard!!!

cuttyb1987 said on June 15, 2010 at 11:55 p.m.

Rufus is two good I think he is broken as long as he has dive kick pressure he should be the top tier imo. The dive kicks set up are amazing and even if he is down on life the pressure can cuz someone to make a dangerous error and its a rap I think he is flawed in the sstf4 engine i.e to good
I'm not dissing any Rufus players i hate the fat bastard lol

Coconutpete said on July 1, 2010 at 9:15 a.m.

Well according to the lasted ranks he is supposed to be the best fighter in SSF4.

lynx_vega said on August 1, 2010 at 11:03 p.m.

well must hate players too, they spam the OP move, and they know he dive kick is broken.

so rufus players are just spaming trash xD

Drippy_Nozzle said on August 2, 2010 at 4:04 a.m.

Dive kick is a very good pressure move in rufus' arsenal... but broken? I don't think so... In my experience pretty much every anti-air move will beat dive kick clean or trade, and also some random pokes (balrog cLP for instance) will beat it clean too, aswell as most air to airs. I think people just lose their cool to the pressure, especially in the corner, and thats what gives dive kick its strength.

As for "spamming" random moves; if a rufus' player can beat you with random moves outside combo, the same as if any other character can beat you by using random moves outside combo, then you need to practise more. Firing off random moves or "spamming" the same move should never win a game, regardless which character is doing it. Spamming makes you predictable, and if you can predict it, and make a good read, you can tear rufus or anyone else apart.

I just don't see what everyone is so scared of. If spammed dive kicks can beat you, then you are doing something very wrong.

lynx_vega said on August 6, 2010 at 4:30 p.m.

well lets see this, dive kick have almost no recovery time, if you see all that you need to do with rufus is just that dive kick, that fat monster yeah do pressure but a very safe one, just for vega is almost impossible to get out of that fat top tier

I think he need to get nerfed in hes priority or recovery cuz they can only spam dive kick and get safe that what I mean ;)

and no only he, top tiers cast have to got nerfed. not only reducing hes damage like rufus

Raven said on September 2, 2010 at 4:21 p.m.

Characters do not need to be nerfed, the weaker characters should get buffed up. I hate how non-competitive Sagat seems to be these days.

RedRyu said on December 30, 2013 at 4:09 p.m.

You fought the rest, now try the best! Now that's poetry! How's dat fo ya, KEN MASTAZ?

Brangief said on October 8, 2014 at 2:13 a.m.

Rufus' ultra 1 is just Fantastic!It can even be comboed after jump hk, ex snake strike but timing is very tricky


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