When did everyone start playing Ibuki? There are already seven in top 64 at NCR with eight more pools yet to play out

Posted by John 'Velociraptor' Guerrero • April 15, 2017 at 4:34 p.m. PDT

Ibuki has gone from a character somewhat seldom seen in tournament to easily the most popular fighter from the pools played out thus far at NorCal Regionals.

The young ninja has appeared no less than seven times today in the top 64 bracket, and we've only seen about half the tournament's pools play out. We're leaning towards blaming RZR|Xian and his stellar performance at Final Round 20 last month wherein he revealed just how fun and exciting of a character Ibuki can be in Street Fighter 5.

Here's a reminder of just how hype things got:

It seems now players from all over the skill spectrum are trying their hand with Ibuki, either using her as a main character or as a pocket pick to help with certain match ups.

At this point we have record of the following players using her: CO|Go1 (winners), FOX|Momochi (winners), OG Shine (losers), YouDeal|Yukadon (losers), Rise|Marn (33rd), Sgt. Slap a *** (49th) and HB|YLT Cole (49th).

Ibuki is not necessarily the easiest character to play given her relatively technical nature and below average health, yet it seems a good portion of the community is trying their hand at her. Will this sudden boom in popularity become a norm in SF5 tournaments, or do you think we'll see Ibuki army dwindle after a short while?

Let us know your thoughts as to why she's suddenly so common and how long you think she'll be that way in the comments below. Check out our NCR coverage page for live results.


hakan_mania said on April 15, 2017 at 4:38 p.m.

Tier whores in action!

Rambro said on April 15, 2017 at 4:38 p.m.

Dayuuum Eventhubs, back at it again with the banners

BMTrajan said on April 15, 2017 at 4:38 p.m.

Because she is good

Rambro said on April 15, 2017 at 4:40 p.m.

I remember when Xian won EVO and my local scene had a sudden rise of Gen mains

dvjr22 said on April 15, 2017 at 4:41 p.m.

It's because she's good AND fun. She's one of the few characters in the game that you can be creative with. There's no creativity with Balrog.

CODYYY said on April 15, 2017 at 4:42 p.m.

mid screen 50/50.... comeback factor... good normals... ibuki is a top tier character. simple as that. why wouldnt there be more ibukis this season.

whens urien though?

Chuck_Remixed said on April 15, 2017 at 4:44 p.m.

The real question is where are all the rogs? He's suppose to be braindead, ez mode, v-trigger popping monster. They want to win right? Pick Rog right?

thesagaof said on April 15, 2017 at 4:45 p.m.

Started right after Xian won that tournament with her, a month or so back. Final Round, I think.

Garu said on April 15, 2017 at 4:47 p.m.

Ibuki is a great character no surprised at all

oArnello said on April 15, 2017 at 4:50 p.m.

Not disrespect, but um....monkey see monkey do.

Few people play with who they actually like unfortunately, instead they pick the same characters they see the better player(s) playing with.

I'm not saying it's a bad/good strategy, just a trend that's become obvious years ago.

TheTTimeLives said on April 15, 2017 at 4:59 p.m.

Best banner 2017?

vindeeezel said on April 15, 2017 at 5 p.m.

Given the choice between two top tier characters, most people would pick the waifu.

riku157 said on April 15, 2017 at 5:05 p.m.

This is pretty much it. It isn't even anything special. You had Xian win the first premier in this season with her and multiple pros saying she's top tier. That's all it took.

malcrash01 said on April 15, 2017 at 5:09 p.m.

The Matrix: Path of Ibuki

Chuck_Remixed said on April 15, 2017 at 5:12 p.m.

lol xd

SF91er said on April 15, 2017 at 5:21 p.m.

By capcom logic, it's time to nerf her to death then.

AsgardianWarrior said on April 15, 2017 at 5:27 p.m.

Because she's strong, but also deep and fun. I think she's easily the most fun character in the game, there's so much room for creativity. She's also challenging to play. There's a lot to think about with her. I definitely agree that Xian's success has played a role in it, but I don't think you can chalk it up to tier whoring. She has some BS, but it takes real work to do well with her, and I still think there are several characters better than her. She's either on the very bottom of top 5 or just outside of it. I think she just offers a lot of what many people feel most of the cast lack, while also being a very strong character.

robot_mauk said on April 15, 2017 at 5:30 p.m.

Best banner of the year. Idk if you guys can top it.

ShinjiMimura said on April 15, 2017 at 5:31 p.m.
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flowtron said on April 15, 2017 at 5:41 p.m.

because people are racist, they pick asian instead of thug

spydersword said on April 15, 2017 at 5:43 p.m.

Sure, give Xian the credit. It's not like those players played the character before final round or at the beginning of season 2 or anything.

Darc_Requiem said on April 15, 2017 at 6:08 p.m.

Velociraptor with another God Tier banner. EH needs to nerf his banner game in the next patch.

Rahul_S said on April 15, 2017 at 6:20 p.m.

Nope no gen army dude.

Phtm_Miria said on April 15, 2017 at 6:31 p.m.

Ibuki: "The best thing about me, mr. Ryu, is that there are many 'me's"
"Shotos are a disease, a cancer of this game. You're a plague mr. Ryu, and we are the cure"

shoryukid said on April 15, 2017 at 6:32 p.m.

Ibuki was my main right when she came out. I was messing with Vega beforehand but she was so much fun to play even in s1 when she was supposed to be trash.

i actually thought she was somewhere in the middle and didnt mind her being unpopular.

with the buffs they gave her i knew it was a matter of time. Xian winning a major with her gave the character the legitimacy for people to start picking her up.

MooMeowCat said on April 15, 2017 at 6:35 p.m.

"Ibuki is not necessarily the easiest character to play given her relatively technical nature"

Disagree with this. Ibuki is the EASIEST character to learn for a pocket. You don't need to learn any matches up, you don't need to practice neutral, just ex kunai or air ex kunai and you get in for a mixup. Her vskill is one of the best footsies tool in game. F.HK also a very good tool that can beat just about any crouching buttons in game.

Her tools are generally universal and works on the entire cast.

shoryukid said on April 15, 2017 at 6:37 p.m.

maybe its the charging. I never understood how to play how to play him properly. i like cross-ups and all that

and canceling dash low into v-skill feels unnatural for me.

i guess i coupd practice but for a fact his game doesnt come naturally to me

RHayabusa said on April 15, 2017 at 6:40 p.m.

Weak players will often change to the highest tier character instead of themselves getting better. It's understandable if your a pro gamer and all players are 1.2 iteration or less and you need that edge, or maybe if your not pro but your guy/girl got nerfed to oblivion - but not if your a non-pro with a middle tier character.

shoryukid said on April 15, 2017 at 6:41 p.m.

as long as you learn how to vary her approach.

you can only do the same setup so many times before a good player catches on to how to defend it or what you're doing.

with out the mixup her damage output is fairly low so she usually needs to get in a few mixups for a win so you should know how to keep switching between setups.

unless they dont know how to block her stuff then yes it can become very easy

oscuro said on April 15, 2017 at 6:42 p.m.

id say this I think a top level ibuki is stronger then say a top level akuma. I think ibuki is better then akuma because her mixups are so much stronger.

RHayabusa said on April 15, 2017 at 6:47 p.m.

FEW PEOPLE PLAY BALROG BECAUSE HE'S A CHARGE CHARACTER and so people choose Ibuki, a normal style character. I love charge characters the most, but in my experience few people ever use charge types, most people will not seriously choose one, rather just tinker with them.

Eventhubs, do a poll of charge characters vs normal and see who plays more - although charge characters are far outnumbered in the roster.

Magatsuhi said on April 15, 2017 at 6:57 p.m.

Ugh I can no longer be a hipster as an ibuki main. Guess I'll switch back to juri.

DaveNotti said on April 15, 2017 at 7:05 p.m.

First post in this comments section says it all about the FGC.

PLAYER: That Character is so ass!

PRO: (Wins tourney with "ass" character)


AveMcree said on April 15, 2017 at 7:10 p.m.

Just wait and see everyone jump on the Vega train when he gets buffed this next patch

javert said on April 15, 2017 at 7:46 p.m.

Banners going stronk!

That said, they have been dropping like flies. Only two remaining in top 16 and one of them in losers.

labolas said on April 15, 2017 at 8:01 p.m.

Well shes handed everything to get an easy win minus low health I guess, why not main her?

ProfessorLester said on April 15, 2017 at 8:06 p.m.

I miss Mika so yeah.. Ibuki was a logical. I need my set play

shadowhumane said on April 15, 2017 at 8:51 p.m.

oh now people wanna cry now everyone was calling her trash in day one now someone won with her she is top tier. everyone bandwagon nobody did not say nothing back then super turbo Vega bison sagat guile ryu every match oh how about mvc2 msp mss teams when daigo won sf4 first tourney everyone was playing ryu or sagat until Nerf. etc when ae came out everyone was using yun yang Seth evil ryu rose gen i been using her since sf3 now people wanna send me hate mail over her seriously when character wins then people gonna false clam characters XD stop crying

shadowhumane said on April 15, 2017 at 8:52 p.m.

its never ending story

NotDemented7 said on April 15, 2017 at 8:53 p.m.

she isnt a top tier though.. Remember Balrog isnt top 6 neither is Ibuki

Azure_Black said on April 15, 2017 at 9:43 p.m.


Dude! That happens sooooo much it's not even funny...but it IS funny!!! XD

Here's what I think though.

If you're a sponsored player, you're gonna want to win as much as possible. If a character looks strong (for the moment) then pick 'em up and play.

If you're a free agent/unknown player, you're gonna want to make a splash and get noticed. What's the quickest way to get noticed? Win. May some folks think,"Hey, well...if he/she can win with that character, I can too."

Maybe they think,"If I can copy his/her play style to a "T", I can win tourneys too. No problem! It worked for that guy/gal. I can Copy and Paste those results with that same character." Kind foolish to think this way, but hey I'm just guessing.

What do I know? I'm a Juri main. LOL! XD

Yawdan said on April 15, 2017 at 9:58 p.m.

Brilliant banner.

It's definitely because of Xian. I remember this site reporting that Fuudo and another Japanese player (whom I have forgotten :$ ) said Ibuki was top tier during day 2 of Final Round, and that mamy Japanese players had her in their top 5. People disagreed. As soon as Xian won Final Round, people switched to her, picked her as a pocket, and put her in the top of their tier lists.

keebler said on April 15, 2017 at 10:26 p.m.

Xian was the first to show how good she is in a competitive offline tourney post patch, but Japan had already been talking about how strong she was. She has everything you could want in a character in sf5 besides a command grab. Very strong character. I see her usage rate going up over the coming months unless a new character catches our eye. Pretty sure there are people labbing her that just arent ready to bring her out yet, or haven't made it to one of the relatively few events that have occured so far.

keebler said on April 15, 2017 at 10:30 p.m.

agreed. I'm pretty scared of some of the buffs he received. He won't be ibuki popular, but we're gonna see a good deal more of them in any given major.

LemanRuss said on April 16, 2017 at 1:39 a.m.

Yeah, imho this community can be a f.cking Sheep herd sometimes. Same thing happened with mika. She was trash, then fuudo took second place at Evo and she was op all of a sudden. I always thought ibuki was a strong character since day 1, so now i Can't wait to see salty dudes raging and claiming she is impossible to deal with XD

Lioncross said on April 16, 2017 at 1:51 a.m.

There is no balance in this game chars are (too) good or bad

RedaSan said on April 16, 2017 at 3:24 a.m.

So far I would say yes lol. It will be hard to top

CoffeeClub said on April 16, 2017 at 3:38 a.m.
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Ramma said on April 16, 2017 at 6:28 a.m.

9 month of Ibuki and Balrog. Enjoy folks.

V3N0MB1T3 said on April 16, 2017 at 8:08 a.m.

She still has BS levels of comeback factor with her v-trigger, aka a "robbery character", Rog is no different. At the end of the day both these characters are on the same level of BS. One gets you with bullsh!t mix-ups due to the bomb obscuring your vision and making you guess, the other tears your face off and carries you into the corner for a corner advantage setup.

I find it hilarious that people can brim with pride watching a character like Ibuki on stream, and yet still constantly sh!t all over Rog/Laura/Urien and incessantly bitch non-stop. The irony is sadly lost on these people. Expect even MORE people to flock to this character after the patch notes because, with her ability to fly under people's BS radar, I'd be surprised if she gets touched by balance changes at all.

V3N0MB1T3 said on April 16, 2017 at 8:18 a.m.

To be fair a lot of them DIDN'T. GO-1, MOV, Momochi. All of them suffered loss after loss with there season 1 mains before switching because they wanted to win. Even Xian tried the first couple months with Season two FANG before throwing in the towel. OG Shine who got picked up by J Wong because he repped Karin has switched to Ibuki. Nothing wrong with Pros wanting to be in it to win it. I see a lot of "oh well she's fun" comments in this thread and while you are entitled to that opinion its NOT the main reason SPONSORED players have picked her up. Trust me, if MOV, GO-1 and Momochi could still perform at the level they had been during season 1 with the characters they had poured over a years worth of practice and investment into, they would. They don't switch to a character like Ibuki because she's "fun" or "creative". This is their job, they have to perform up to an expected standard. Ibuki is the character that will help them achieve this, so they switch.

Havik92 said on April 16, 2017 at 10:28 a.m.

I been on the Vega train since SF 2. I been waiting for some company lol.

theDiReW0lf said on April 16, 2017 at 10:39 a.m.

I'm sure it's just because people like the character and not because she makes you flip coins for half your life.

VengefulGiblets said on April 16, 2017 at 1:45 p.m.

At least Ibuki requires work to get that win. Obscuring your view is kind of lame, true, but it's not like they're winning using their toes while watching Netflix on the other monitor and chowing on popcorn and soda; aka Boxer.

V3N0MB1T3 said on April 16, 2017 at 1:59 p.m.

LOL at your description of boxer, the salt is real. The good ole "its skill with xxx character so its 'legit'" reasoning. Just so you know, Boxer has HORRIBLE defense. The character is given very little on wake-up and while he can v-reversal to get out of pressure from characters like Karin you rob your opponent of the crazy damage comeback factor they receive as a result. Just go back and rewatch the Mago-Rog match. Its only because boxer's offense is what people are seeing when he wins they think he's brain dead or "lacks skill" but truth is you need to actually think your approach out with Boxer cause if you give your opponent the advantage and end up keeping Boxer on his back heel you WILL lose. PR|Rog, Smug are the only TWO constant top placers with this guy for a reason.

Projectjustice said on April 16, 2017 at 6:11 p.m.

That banner!!! lol

ShockMaster said on April 16, 2017 at 7:52 p.m.

How long did it take you to make that banner John?

Rave_Zero said on April 17, 2017 at 5:30 a.m.

Funny banner, not so funny news, time to switch to another character, which is not being played so often, I really hate mirror matches.

PSPower said on April 17, 2017 at 5:44 p.m.

I've proudly played Ibuki since Season 1 as my main (albeit poorly).

She's my favorite in Third Strike, and her bombs in SFV made me love the character even more.

Just so fun to play even if you suck like me.


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