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Gouken Ultra Street Fighter 4 Moves, Combos, Strategy Guide

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

Gouken Ultra Street Fighter 4 Character Guide

Character Overview
Guide by Nyoronoru

Gouken is a hard hitting zoning char with powerful resets and great damage in his combos. His fireball is great at zoning players out and forcing opponents to engage him. Gouken can also switch to attack mode quickly with his Demon Flip to catch the opponent off guard, letting him switch up between offense and defense. Most of Gouken's combos end with the opponent being flung far away where Gouken can begin his two-sided zoning game.

Gouken has some real problems with defense though. All of his reversals are extremely sub-par, forcing him to take very risky guesses on wakeup. Gouken also has no good link combos from Light Attacks and has to rely on the opponent to make major mistakes in order to land his big damage.

+ Can really lay on the hurt when he gets a hit confirm.
+ Can set up a real maze with his fireballs.
+ Has an incredibly good reset game.
+ Corner pressure is really brutal.
+ A fast forward dash.
+ Great range on his Focus Attack.
+ Untechable knockdowns are the name of his game.

- Really bad backdash.
- Has very few reliable ground normals for poking.
- Fireball has slow startup, so it's hard to use at mid range.
- No link combos into knockdowns from Light Attacks.
- Only safe approach options are very slow.

Special Moves
Fireball (Gohadouken)
All Versions
Charged EX


Gouken's projectiles have the same startup and recovery regardless of the version used. You'll want to be using the Light version and Medium version to pressure opponents at mid screen and farther, and the Hard version to catch people jumping at you recklessly. The recovery on all the fireballs is pretty short, so as long as the opponent doesn't react before the fireball has left Gouken's hand you should be able to defend yourself.

All of Gouken's fireballs juggle the opponent, so you can follow up with a variety of moves, including your Ultra (if you are in the corner). The most common juggles off anti-air fireballs is the Hard Senkugoshoha or the Demon Flip Sweep attack.

Gohadoukens give Gouken a lot of frame advantage if they are blocked. Because of this, you can set up some really brutal corner pressure, locking the opponent down with crouching Hard Punch, far standing Hard Kick and a fireball barrage. The frame advantage also helps for allowing the opponent less time to react to your Demon Flip.

Just like any other fireball in the game, Gohadouken can be used in FADC combos to add on some extra damage or to get a hard knockdown in your combo. Also while all of the Gohadoukens can be charged by holding the button down, it's generally unwise to do so as the startup is so incredibly long.

EX Version: EX Gohadouken throws out the Light and Medium versions that are very difficult to avoid. Because they take up so much space and they juggle just like the regular fireballs, they're ideal for chipping an opponent close to KO or to get a powerful juggle combo that turns the tides in your favor.

Be wary if you are fighting a character with good anti-projectile attacks, because the recovery of the EX version is longer than the recovery of the regular version making it more likely for you to be punished with such tactics.

Running Palm (Senkugoshoha)


This rushing Palm attack from Gouken has a variety of uses, both for combos, as a long range attack and punishing fireballs. Only the Light Running Palm is safe on block; all other versions can be heavily punished!

The Light Running Palm is a meter-building tool for Gouken. It's also the fastest one which allows him easy combos off faster hit confirms such as close standing Medium Kick. If the opponent has made a mistake in front of you, but you are unsure if you have enough time to land a more damaging punish, then this move will offer the knockdown you need.

The Medium and Hard versions have invincibility after the brief pose at the beginning of the move, allowing them to bypass attacks, throws and projectiles. This invincibility doesn't cover the attacking portion of the move where Gouken sticks out his palm, so it's possible to get interrupted at the end of the move. It's still good if you can predict a fireball coming though.

The Medium version will connect easily from both crouching and standing Hard Punch at any range whereas the Hard version will only combo from from those at very close range. Keep this in mind for combos. If you want to land a Running Palm from an anti-air fireball juggle, all that really matters is how far the opponent is when the fireball hits.

EX Version: EX Senkugoshoha is a two-hit attack that only launches on the second hit. You can combo into this just as easily as the Medium version. If you land this move midscreen, you can dash forward and perform a variety of moves such as EX Hurricane Kick or your Sweep. You can also just follow up with the Hard Palm as an easy damage increase.

The juggles from this move are extremely powerful in the corner, due to the ability of Gohadoukens to juggle afterwards. It also allows you more reset opportunities with your normal attacks.

Hurricane Kick (Tatsumaki Gorasen)
A. Light
A. Medium
A. Hard


Gouken's grounded Hurricane Kick does not have any startup invincibility of any kind, but it can be used as an anti-air due to its good hitbox. Still, its use in this regard is very risky, so most players use the move to add on damage in juggles. This especially applies in the corner or after an EX Senkugoshoha.

All of the Hurricane Kicks can be FADCed on the first hit. If you have really fast reactions, you can FADC the Hurricane Kick and juggle into Ultra 1. The Light version starts up the fastest.

The aerial Hurricane Kick has several uses; comboing after a jumping Medium Punch or to try and escape the corner. The only version of this attack you need is the Hard version to escape corners and to add damage. It's a bit too slow to be used in air-to-air counters, so it's best to just stick with one of your jumping normals.

EX Version: EX Tatsumaki Gorasen is completely invincible on startup, allowing you to use it as a reversal. If you catch an opponent with it, you can FADC the first hit and land Ultra 1. The only problem is that it's a very slow reversal, making it hard to catch opponents who pressure you with Light Attacks.

Because of the invincibility of the move, it is very possible to use as an anti-air, although it's a bit slow compared to other invincible anti-airs in the game. This move is also really damaging, so apply it in juggle combos.

The aerial EX Hurricane Kick can have its travel path altered by holding the joystick forward or backwards. It's max range of distance traveled doesn't go any farther than the Hard version, so don't bother trying to use it to escape corners.

Demon Flip (Hyakki Shuu)
Slide Kick
Dive Kick


Gouken's Demon Flip is one of the very few ways he can approach the opponent safely. After Gouken begins his descent, you have several options. Since the button depressed determines how far Gouken flips, you can bait anti-airs by traveling the right distance and punish when you land.
  • Punch: Pressing this will cause Gouken to perform an aerial parry attack that can absorb a single hit. It's possible to go through some multi-hit moves, but it all depends on the juggle mechanics of the anti-air being parried. This counter motion can be broken by armor breaking attacks so be mindful of certain matchups.

  • Kick: Gouken's dive kick is active until it reaches the ground (and it's safe on block) and regardless of how high the dive kick is when it starts, you should be able to combo into either a standing Hard Punch or a standing Medium Kick easily if the Dive Kick lands.

    The dive kick itself is tough to counter and the ground recovery is short, but since it takes so long for Gouken to flip to the opponent's location it's quite possible to get intercepted by a jump back attack. This attack can also be blocked low, despite it being an aerial attack.

  • Throw: The demon flip throw has to be spaced very carefully in order for it to land. There is also more ground recovery on whiff than any other move. Still, this move is the go-to move when you reset the opponent during a combo string. It's damaging and sets up a great knockdown situation for you.

  • Nothing: Pressing nothing will have Gouken perform an unsafe slide kick. There's no real use for this unless you're comboing after a juggle in some way (such as an anti-air fireball juggle)

EX Version: This move has a humongous amount of startup invincibility, covering the startup flip and some of the travel path. This is probably Gouken's best reversal, but the problem is that it takes so long for Gouken to get to a state where he can attack that this can be easily countered.

EX Demon Flip has the same startup as the regular Demon Flip, but it auto-tracks towards wherever the opponent is standing. It also travels through the air much faster.

Counter (Kongoshin)


Gouken's counter will work on any move that is not a throw or armor breaking. The punch button determines which tiype of attack the counter can intercept. Light counters lows, Medium counters mids and Hard counters high attacks. After Gouken gets struck, he has complete invulnerability until the counter ends.

This one of Gouken's reversal options, but it's quite easy to punish and guessing which way the opponent will attack can often get you killed. It's still good if you see an obvious attack coming though such as a crossup for example.

If you absorb an attack with this move, you'll get "grey damage" just like with a Focus Attack. Also, you can use this counter against projectiles, but it's not worth it unless the opponent is in close proximity with his own projectile (like Akuma and his air fireballs).

One of the best uses for this move is to punish crouch techs. Poke the opponent carefully and if they are attempting to tech a throw, go for a low counter to lay on the hurt.

EX Version: EX Kongoshin can counter a move regardless of where it strikes Gouken, eliminating the guessing game. It doesn't do more damage than the regular version though, but it's a nice reversal if you can't predict the opponent's next attack direction.

Super and Ultra Moves

Super — Forbidden Shoryuken


This Super has really slow startup, so it's not good for punishes. It has good potential as an anti air because it is completely invincible on startup, but the slow speed really hinders it.

The damage of ths Super is good, but if you don't connect the initial punch of the move the damage is lessened considerably (such as during juggles). It's not hard to combo into, but Gouken's EX moves are far better than anything this Super could offer.

Ultra 1 — Shin Shoryuken
Ultra 1


Shin Shoryuken is a very damaging Ultra that has two variations. The full cinematic does more damage than the non-cinematic variation though, so you should always try to combo into the former. It's not hard at all to combo into this Ultra once you have the right amounts of EX but it doesn't really have any use outside of juggles. Combos into Ultra include:
  • Air fireball (corner only)
  • EX air fireball (corner only)
  • Throw (backwards)
  • EX Senkugoshoha, dash forward (non-cinematic, large chars only)
  • EX Senkugoshoha FADC dash forward
  • Tatsumaki FADC (must be very fast)
  • EX Tatsumaki FADC (see above)
  • Forward jumping medium punch (must catch opponent high, pathetic damage)
This Ultra has slow startup just like the Super, so it's hard to use as an anti-air unless you can anticipate a jump.

Ultra 2 — Denjin Hadouken
Ultra 2


Unlike its Third Strike counterpart, Denjin Hadouken is a blockable Ultra. It gains some unique properties though in exchange which make it a viable Ultra depending on your playstyle. For example, the fireball now wallbounces the opponent allowing followups.

This is one of two Ultras in the game that actively inflict stun on the opponent. You can charge the Ultra by holding down the Kick buttons, and the longer you charge the more damage and stun you will do. Naturally, the longer you charge the move the harder it is to land from combos.

Another unique property of the Ultra is that it can add stun to a blocking opponent. While the game won't allow a full stun if someone is blocking, it can set them up for an easy stun afterwards especially if their stun limit is close to being reached. Keep in mind that the stun inflicted on a blocking opponent is scaled by 50% compared to a non-blocking one.

The worst qualities of this Ultra are that it doesn't inflict as much damage as Shin Shoryuken, it's too slow to be used as a counter or punish (you can be thrown out of the startup too), It's difficult to take advantage of the wallbounce unless your opponent's back is to the wall, and the stun-based mixup game is poor compared to guaranteed damage.

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.

5 Hits
116 damage
Gouken's chain combo from light attacks.

Cancel into Hard Senkugoshoha
2 Hits
240 damage
Meterless punish combo.

Cancel into Medium Senkugoshoha
3 Hits
249 Damage
A slightly more damaging meterless combo.

EX Senkugoshoha, juggle Hard Senkugoshoha
4 Hits
362 Damage
The best punish combo with a single bar of EX.

Light Senkugoshoha
2 Hits
160 Damage
A very quick and easy punish combo.

Back Throw, juggle into Tatsumaki Gorasen
6 Hits
186 Damage
Easy damage off the back throw if you don't have Ultra.

Light Gohadouken Medium Senkugoshoha
4 Hits
310 Damage
Simple and effective FADC combo.

EX Senkugoshoha, juggle Hard Fireball, then EX Hurricane Kick
12 Hits
434 Damage
Basic corner combo.

EX Senkugoshoha juggle Ultra 1
7 Hits
617 Damage
Hit confirm to Ultra 1. If you get the non-cinematic version it does 100 less damage.

EX Senkugoshoha, juggle Hard Fireball, then EX Hurricane Kick
12 Hits
434 Damage
Basic corner combo.

EX Senkugoshoha, juggle Ultra 2
9 Hits
429 Damage
No charge on Ultra 2 required. Also does 60% stun on most characters.
Notable Normal Moves

Standing Hard Kick
Gouken's best mid range poke. Can also be used as a kara throw starter.

Crouching Hard Kick
Gouken's sweep is very fast, making it a good long range punish option.
Anti-airs: Crouching Hard Punch and Crouching Medium Kick
Gouken's crouching Hard Punch is for opponents that are almost directly above you, whereas crouching Medium Kick is for those who jump in front of you.

Overhead (Sakotsukudaki)
An overhead attack that has slow startup but is fast once it gets going. The range is pretty good.

Tenma Kuujinkyaku (Manual Dive Kick) [Air Only]
Performing this motion at the peak of Gouken's forward jump will cause him to change trajectories and do a dive kick attack. It is extremely difficult to combo from this move, so use it for approaches instead. It's faster than your Demon Flip Dive Kick so it's harder to react against.
Jumping Medium or Light Kick
Both of these attacks can crossup for Gouken. Comboing from the Light Kick is really tough unless it's done deep but you might be able to tick into a throw instead. Medium Kick is much more reliable and can be done much more "deep" than the Light Kick.
Jumping Hard Kick or Neutral Jump Hard Punch
Both of these moves slam the opponent into the ground if they make contact in air-to-air situations. You can also perform them during juggles such as after EX Senkugoshoha in the corner.

Throw (Backwards)
Gouken's backwards throw launches the opponent. You can land a large amount of attacks when the opponent descends behind you. These options include juggling into both of your Ultras, your Super, into a cancelable normal and so forth. Choose whichever is best for the situation.
Gouken General Strategy
Gouken doesn't have any combos from his light attacks that lead into anything important. Because of that, all of your damage will come solely from forcing your opponent to flinch or make the wrong decisions. The payout for Gouken's tricks is very big but it's difficult to capitalize on a defensive opponent.

You're going to want to be looking for damage resets and ambiguous crossups as much as possible because these set up the best situations for Gouken. If you're not close to the opponent, then your Demon Flip Dive Kick is really your only option to get in and start the frame traps. Don't make it easy for your opponent to counter your Dive Kick; try to feint your approach with empty jumps and fireballs.

Gouken's fireballs have slower than average startup but good recovery, so it's not hard at all to win fireball wars. Since Gouken also has so much trouble getting in on a lot of characters, the fireball is a great tool to chip opponents at long range and force them to come to him instead.

Other Resources and Credit
You can find more information about playing Gouken on the Central Character Discussion Thread on the forums
Contributions to this guide by Nyoronoru and Stiffler2100.


goukenmaster said on April 18, 2010 at 6:47 p.m.

gouken has always been sick to me

lol said on April 20, 2010 at 5:54 a.m.


Well he is meant to be slow and powerful and btw he is pretty good.

TheMasterPlayer said on April 26, 2010 at 6:37 p.m.

My main problem when using Gouken is that he has little to no, good anti-air moves especially when his ooponents gets close and attempts a cross up. Basically his play style is a keep away character, relying more on his ground to air fireball mix ups. He has no good close up normal moves as well. and once you anticipate and bait out his reversal then he is gonna eat a big time combo or get thrown easily.

In short, he has real limited options especially in close up battle. Give him a shoryuken and for sure he would rise near the top, if not at the top of the ladder.

Existent said on May 2, 2010 at 1:05 a.m.

@209 Gouken is not a keep-away character. He is a mix-up character who has to adapt to every opponent. He is weak against cross-ups as has been previously stated but he doesn't lack anti-air attacks. Intermediate to advanced Gouken play involves heavy use of the demon flip and cancelling into it from various normal hits like the crouching HP and crouching MP to confuse your opponent. I hope I cleared some things up.

darkspirit138 said on May 2, 2010 at 2:57 p.m.

Gouken's problem is that he is slow. By slow, I don't mean he moves slow-although he does-I mean everything about him is slow. He hits slow, his super and ultra is slow, his recovery is slow, and he has to charge up his hadokens. As a result of that, he has a very difficult time against absolutely constant aggression.

Existent said on May 2, 2010 at 3:28 p.m.

@211 Well spoken, that's exactly the reason I abandoned playing him seriously.

Tvetan said on May 12, 2010 at 5:22 p.m.

Gouken is a good charachter, in my opinion he has a drawback because he is slow, but that is a fact. The people that are much unlike that Johnny guy would agree that every charachter has his ups and downs, doesnt make them a bad charachter, just not your preferance. Dont slam charachters just because they arnt buttery for you. And yea he is slow, but get caugt up in his Ultra lead ups (FADC,Ex-Running Palm,Ultra) and pray that he makes a mistake, cuz if he doesn't kiss 2/3 of your health bar goodbye. Oh and BP doesnt mean a damn thing, you dont know the person on the other side of the TV, there is multiple variables of what could of made him lose.

drakoran said on May 17, 2010 at 4:16 a.m.

@206: hahahah poor hadouken?!?!?!
@211: again, you dont HAVE to charge his hadoukens, you CAN charge his hadoukens. thats a big difference.

They have speed up most of his normals, gave his c.hp more hit box and improved tatsu hitbox as well, but its still gonna whiff on some crouching chars. Unfortunately they didn't fix the ex running palm second hit connection, it still misses if you dont hit good. They nerfed his diving kick, no more overhead and added short recovery on whiffed flip grab. I think they boosted him overall tho, his normals are faster, his antiair is now pretty damn good and i like it anyway so...he's not top tier, but you give him more s**t than he deserves eheh

Seygneuriial said on May 17, 2010 at 7:28 a.m.

Is it me or the "demon flip" with dive kick is not as confusing as it was before? I was using it to hit low or high so my opponent had to block low or high, but now, looks like always blocking high is ok.

BIG turn off. But still my main!!

drakoran said on May 17, 2010 at 8:24 a.m.

you should have read my reply. they took away the overhead property on the dive kick. it sucks, but he had lot of little buffs on normals to make up for. I wish they kept it overhead, but watching the changes as a while I can say he got buffed afterall.

Kilo79 said on June 6, 2010 at 4:45 p.m.

People who say that his anti-air game is rubbish are complete lunatics. He has at least 3 moves that are making him a countering beast.
1-parry (excellent one! works against lots of specials)
2-MP+HP hadokens (massive defensive weapon against wall-jumpers + good to keep the opponent away from you)
3-hurricane kick (works well as a counter but needs timing)
Optional - MK (needs lots of work on timing for it to work well as an anti-air counter)

SSF actually improved his character even though I don't really like U2.

Existent said on June 10, 2010 at 11:45 a.m.

@217 How in the world could you leave out the best AA of all? Cr.hp

SF4junkie said on August 18, 2010 at 2:02 a.m.

Gouken is a beast in the corner. j.hp, hp, ex dashing palm, hp fireball, ex fireball and finish with ultra or huricane kick. Then wake up game is crazy from there. Tick throw, counter or forward mp. or even demon flip. He has alot of options. He is a shoto killer, and since 90% of online players use shotos, he owns them all. Want a good Gouken battle? Hell, I'll even play you random.

PSN: OoDemonSeedoO
XBL: GotDemonSeed

TheMasterPlayer said on December 15, 2010 at 11:28 a.m.

Gouken is not a very good character in terms of high level play. That's why you don't see him in tournaments, and I mean ever. He has just too many bad match ups to begin with. And the few good match ups he has is against lower-tier characters. Trust me, I've tried maining him t one point (in Vanilla SF4 and also now in SUPER) but he is just too slow as many others here have pointed out. I'm glad to see his buffs in the AE. Hopefully they gave him a better Anti-air normal than just his c.HP. Also they should bring back the property on his demon flip kick which hits low instead of High so he can have better mix ups like in SF4. Lastly, although, unlikely, they should discard his Useless U2 and give him a brand new one imo. Something along the lines of an unblockable ultra like Akuma's Raging Demon. I hope they bring the AE out as DLC in consoles so I could get to play him once again. Coz I'm really not liking his iteration here in Super.

Existent said on December 18, 2010 at 7:28 a.m.

Most of what you're saying is true to an extent but I've been using him for 2 years and can say that it's not quite that extreme. Anti-air's aren't a problem for him. His walk speed is average, and Ultra 2 is far from useless. In fact I've been using more than 1 lately. His problem is lack of frame traps and ways to hit confirm. Both of those issues look as if they've been fixed in AE.

johnsonic7 said on July 11, 2011 at 5:58 p.m.

I believe there is a typo/error in the ultra 2 section. Because of the typo it incorrectly says that the third strike counterpart is not unblockable and the ultra is. Those should be reversed.

RagingAkuma said on August 24, 2011 at 10:20 p.m.

a great corner combo but requires a bit of timing
ex senkugoshoha > ex hadoken (time charge so the first hits and juggles into 2nd hadoken) > ultra 1 or 2

shotoman said on September 15, 2011 at 1:39 p.m.

@222 no they said that the 3rd strike is not and the ssf4 is

seby said on August 4, 2012 at 9:25 p.m.

seby said 0 minutes ago
Gouken should be @ akuma power level at least. He doesnt have a shoryuken and his onward offense is only the dash hit. and a vertical spin kick. Fireballs are also slower and weaker..
That sounds pretty weak to someone who is the master of ken and ryu !! Even his overall average is lower than ryu and ken. LOL funny master that.. I suppose that is the power of nothingness.. He has nothing !
Is capcom listening ?

EraserRain said on June 13, 2014 at 5:24 a.m.

Gouken has very much improved in Ultra. I use him as 2nd for specific mach ups. This version is more combo friendly in his normals. He's not the best fighter, but fun to play with.

ViperGoomba said on August 17, 2014 at 10:15 a.m.

Hey Gouken players -- Been meaning to write this for a while now, since Ultra’s come out. I wonder what other Gouken players will think about it, so I figured I’d post here and check in periodically. The following is a commentary on the changes Gouken’s received, focusing mainly on what STILL has not been addressed, and why Gouken remains incapable of consistently winning at high-level play.

Gouken’s gotten better in Ultra, no arguments there. The radically buffed hit-box on Ex-Tatsu is the most dramatic buff in my opinion. It’s the only thing to make the opponent show some respect and back the hell off you. The 3-frame cr.LP is also nice, helping him out a tad when it comes to waking up with the opponent right in your face.

Nevertheless, I think Gouken’s got 3 major flaws that have yet to ever be addressed, and it’s these three things in combination that keep him from being competitive enough at high levels. Some of these flaws even end up flat out negating some of the buffs he received.

ViperGoomba said on August 17, 2014 at 10:16 a.m.

Flaw #1: No safe specials --> NONE of Gouken’s specials (most importantly, light Palm) is safe on block. All of them can eat a DP on block. Aside from the general problem of not being able to cause chip damage with anything beyond fireballs (provided they’re thrown far enough away), this ends up creating an extremely awful risk-reward situation when it comes to combos from light attacks/footsies. Below are 2 direct consequences from his specials not being safe on block, which directly negate 2 buffs Gouken got in Ultra.

Consequence #1: The buff to crouching LP allows Gouken now to perform a 1-frame link with cr.LP after cr.LP, allowing something like cr.LP - (1-frame-link) - cr.LP > palm/tatsu/fireball. The problem is that if Gouken misses the 1-frame link, then he will eat a DP (best case scenario) at the end of the string. That is, if Gouken ends the blocked string with palm/fireball, he eats a DP punish, and if he ends with a tatsu, he eats a lv3 focus attack or whatever maximum damage combo the opponent chooses. The 1-frame link isn’t worth attempting (particularly online) because the damage from ending with a light palm or fireball is pathetic, and ending with a tatsu, while allowing big damage, isn’t worth the risk of eating a lv3 focus if anything in the string goes wrong.

Consequence #2: The buff to cr.MP (such that it combos to fireball up close) is completely negated by his fireball not being safe on block. This is supposed to be the
poke->fireball sequence akin to Ryu’s cr.LK->fireball, which allows for zoning and footsies that cause chip damage, if not full damage on hit. The problem is that since this only works as a combo up close, when it’s blocked, Gouken eats a DP after the hadoken because he’s too close. If you try it farther away so that the fireball is safe on block, then the sequence isn’t a combo and Gouken eats a DP after the blocked cr.MP (that is, his fireball gets DPed during start-up). Bottom line --- Gouken eats a DP on block from the cr.MP->fireball sequence, regardless of spacing.

Flaw #2: Crappy backdash --> Because of Gouken’s pathetic distance on backdash, specials cannot be made safe using FADC->backdash. A fierce DP from Ryu punishes a blocked EX-palm that is FADC->backdashed, for example. Ex-Palm is a critical move that sets up Ultra or simply big damage, and unlike EX-tatsu, it’s very, very easy hit confirm for better meter management: if the first hit of EX-palm hits, then you’re golden and follow up with whatever you like, whereas if you see the first hit gets blocked, you have plenty of time to react by FADC-ing the second hit... except his back-dash leaves him vulnerable to punish.

ViperGoomba said on August 17, 2014 at 10:20 a.m.

Flaw #3: Air focus recovery time --> The recovery on landing after a successful air-focus is purposefully long, and for no good reason. It still has so much recovery that Gouken can be punished after CORRECTLY baiting an anti-air. To watch Akuma’s damn demon flip recover INSTANTLY, at 0 frames, while Gouken eats a punish after focusing a crouching fierce from Ryu, for example, is infuriating and downright unfair. The long recovery on this move ends up completely disabling a 50/50 approach by air, which Gouken is often forced to do, since his footsie game is unsafe (see flaw #1).

The 3 flaws above end up crippling Gouken in a lot of match-ups. He can’t out-footsie top tier characters and he can’t approach by air. He can’t safely get chip damage, and the 1 link combo available to him from a poke, namely cr.LP (which doesn’t have great range, btw...), ends up being too risky because all of the specials that end it are unsafe on block. Add in the fact that FADC-backdash doesn’t make him safe and you get a host of match-ups that aren’t even (5-5).

Nobody asked for Gouken to get buffed to top tier. Let tatsu be the most punishable move in the game. Leave Gouken with no chains to specials. Let his parry areas not overlap, such that jump-in attacks need to be parried with either high or mid parry depending on how delayed the attack is pressed. If any of these things were addressed, it’d be amazing and likely a bit unfair. Everybody’s got to have weaknesses. Gouken’s main weakness is still his wake-up game, which although buffed by Ex-tatsu, is still a main weakness and leads to more KO’s than anything else. The constant pressure from an opponent that does nothing but poke-throw games (mixed with some armor breaking moves that are safe on block) is still the bane of Gouken’s existence (or a Fei Long player that spams chicken wing NON-STOP while Gouken’s in the corner).

However, not addressing the flaws above end up making Gouken take risks THE ENTIRE FIGHT, because NOTHING HE CAN DO IS SAFE. Thus, the story of every Gouken fight lives up to the idea that ‘You can only guess right so many times.’ Plenty of other fighters don’t always have to guess THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE FIGHT. They have safe approaches and/or safe combos. There are specific points in a fight where a character can just DO what they want, knowing that it’s safe --> For example, after a knockdown, Sakura can safe-jump on Gouken and is free to poke into a tatsu special that is safe on block. But because of the 3 flaws above, Gouken’s only option to dominate a match is to zone out the other fighter, as up close, Gouken’s risk/reward game is simply not in his favor. It only takes one wrong guess before Gouken’s knocked down and has to deal with wake-up harassment for the rest of the fight. Ex-tatsu can only do so much, and the rest of his arsenal is UNSAFE. In sum, Gouken still has his risk-reward game heavily unbalanced in comparison to the rest of the cast.


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