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From Dragdown
< SSBU‎ | Ken


Below are common wordings that the player should learn to understand how Ken’s combos are written. Afterwards, there are small parts of combos and how to escape them. If they do not say how to escape them then there is no way to escape them unless the Ken player messes up. Ken’s combo game is so free form that he can basically string any small combo into another small combo multiple times with a read or frame trap in between. At the end are some difficult, long, true combos.

  • It is expected that all specials done in combos are input specials.
  • Please read through the overview page to know the abbreviations for specials’ names.
  • The version of special will be specified by saying “l.[name]” for a light special, “m.[name]” for a medium special, and “h.[name]” for a heavy special. Specials without the letter in front mean that any version is acceptable.
  • The combos list will also assume the reader understands basic smash terms and acronyms.
  • “Apex [aerial]” = doing the aerial so that the frame after hitlag ends Ken can fast fall. This usually requires Ken to delay the aerial in which the amount of delay will be different depending on the aerial.
  • “>” = do the next action in the sequence
  • “xx” = cancel the normal into the next special in the sequence


Common Links

  • LDTilt > LDTilt
  • LDTilt > HDTilt
  • LUTilt > LUTilt
  • LUTilt > PJab
  • LUTilt > PTilt
  • LUTilt > Jab 1 > Jab 2
  • LFTilt > NAir (or another aerial)

Normal xx Special

To combo, cancel the normals LDTilt, HDTilt, LUTilt, PJab, PTilt, Jab 2, or DSmash into any special (except Focus Attack)

CK > follow up

First it should be noted that doing LDTilt xx CK doesn't work on everyone. This chart says how many LDTilts need to be done to get CK to connect properly

Crescent Kick’s entire game plan is to condition the opponent to SDI one way so that Ken can kill them for doing that SDI, so here are the possible follow up attacks:

  • DSmash is true at low percents and is avoided by SDIing up. DSmash is especially good since it provides a lot of extra damage. On most characters it can be canceled to RH for more damage, but on others it will be better to cancel into Hado to jab lock and cover a tech. It can also be canceled to Tatsu to move Ken closer to the opponent to apply pressure in a tech chase situation.
CK > DSmash xx RHLow percent damage dealer.
At 0% PJab xx CK > DSmash xx RH.

This does not work on everyone. Test out in training mode which characters it works on.

CK > DSmash xx HadoLow percent damage dealer into long range jab lock.
At 0% PJab xx CK > DSmash xx Hado.

Opponent must tech roll in to make Hado miss.

CK > DSmash xx TatsuLow percent damage dealer into tech chase.
At 0% PJab xx CK > DSmash xx Tatsu.

Tatsu in to put pressure on the opponent in this tech chase setup.

  • RH/Dash Attack is true at low to high percents and is avoided by SDIing away
    • Tip for doing CK > RH: time the RH input so that the A button is pressed as Ken is putting his foot back down on the ground
  • UAir is true at mid to high percents and is avoided by SDIing away
  • FSmash is true at high percents but only for a very small window. Try air dodging out of the combo but also SDI away
  • NAir is not true but covers certain SDI and escape options. At high percents it becomes true but Ken will not get anything from it.
  • DAir is like NAir in that it requires very similar situations to get it. It is used to kill when at the ledge with the spike hitbox. At high percents CK > DAir becomes true.
CK > DAirUse this when you have conditioned your opponent to not air dodge back to stage
PJab xx CK > SH DAir.

Counter SDI up and away

  • BAir is true at high percents and is avoided by SDIing down and away
CK > BAirDon't use attack cancel.
PJab xx CK > SH/FH BAir.

Counter SDI up and away. Whether you need to do short hop or full hop depends on the percent. Try it out on various opponents on various SDI directions.

  • H.Shoryu requires a small microstep forward before doing. It can also be done with a Kara Cancel. It is a true combo on no SDI. Best way to get out would be to hard SDI away or hard SDI in to fallout of the Shoryuken.
  • And there is, finally, CK > hard read: don’t get hard read.
CK > Hard ReadThe end goal of CK
40% NAir > SH Apex DAir > LUTilt xx CK > Run Forward (air dodge read) > PJab xx h.Shoryu.

CPU was set to DI and SDI away and set to mash air dodge away.

LUTilt > UAir

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Starts working on Mario at 57% (does require Mario to be in the air when LUTilt hits)
  • SDI down or away makes it harder to confirm at earlier percents
  • If the opponent SDIs down Ken can do LUTilt > PTilt/LFTilt

Best way to get this combo is off of LUTilt on an aerial opponent (ex: DAir/sour FAir > LUTilt > UAir)

Ground combo into ladder comboSH NAir > SH Apex DAir, LUTilt > UAir, and UAir xx m.shoryu example
At 55% SH NAir > SH Apex DAir > LUTilt > SH UAir FF > FH UAir (to platform) > FH UAir xx m.Shoryu

CPU mashing air dodge and with no DI or SDI

NAir > SH Apex DAir

  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Starts working on Mario at 45% with early, front hitbox of NAir

This is a solid confirm that is true up until sweet NAir tech chases then sour NAir will confirm into this combo. It leads to Ken’s good air combos so that he can do even more damage and potentially KO the opponent. See LUTilt > UAir for example

FH rising NAir > FF UAir

Majin AirlinesAir to Air Combo 1
At 45% Air-to-Air FH rising NAir > FF UAir > FH rising NAir > FF UAir > FH DAir.

CPU was mashing Focus Attack (frame 1 heavy armor) This small combo is actually really easy. The difficulty is in getting the combo to combo into itself and starting the combo It can be started from DAir, sour FAir, LFTilt, or from an air-to-air NAir Doing this is called Majin Airlines. You can end Majin Airlines into:

  • UAir > m.Shoryu
  • Double jump DAir
  • IRAR BAir
  • H.Shoryu

FH rising NAir > NAir

Air to Air Combo 2Stop the opponent from jumping
At 45% Air-to-air FH rising NAir > FF UAir > FH rising NAir > FF NAir > FSmash.

CPU was mashing Focus Attack (frame 1 heavy armor)

  • Is true combo on Mario at 45%

The main difficulty is starting the combo. It is the same as majin airlines but instead of ending with the opponent in the air, they are close to the ground. A lot of times the opponent isn’t ready when NAir hits as an Air-to-air, so Ken might get away with hitting this combo at earlier percents. It can also be started from a DAir, sour FAir, or LFTilt. Because the combo ends close to the ground Ken can get his grounded tilts and set up for another air combo or go for a tech chase. And at mid-high percents NAir > FSmash can kill at the ledge.

UAir FF > h.Shoryu

UAir FF > h.shoryuStrong ladder combo ender

UAir FF > h.Shoryu
  • Starts working on Mario at 40%

This is an easy way to get a kill from tipper Shoryuken, the strongest hitbox. It is a little more difficult to do so here is Beek describing how to do it:

UAir xx m.Shoryu

  • Difficulty: moderate to hard
  • DI/SDI away on the UAir especially at high percents can make Shoryu whiff.

When UAir FF > h.Shoryu won’t work, this combo will. M.Shoryu has the most knockback of all versions of aerial Shoryuken. The timing is hard but with practice it will get easier. To get m.Shoryu, hold the A or B buttons for 3-4 frames. See LUTilt > UAir for example.

Raging Demon (With max rage) FADC3 > sour FAir > SH Apex DAir FF > LUTilt > PJab > h.Shoryu

  • Difficulty: hard
  • SDI Away on LUTilt can make {{clr|tilt|PJab}|} whiff. SDI in on LUTilt > PJab xx Shoryu can make the opponent fallout Behind Ken.

This is Ken and Ryu’s ToD. The video is done with Ryu but is done the exact same way for Ken and more consistently KOs with Ken. From Pennini:

The Spanish Inquisition (DI Mixup)

  • Normal xx h.Shoryu
  • Normal xx RH
DI MixupCoined by Sytonix
First Combo: 90% PJab xx h.Shoryu Second Combo: 90% PJab xx RH

For both combos the opponent was on correct DI for Shoryuken: in between down and down-away notch Note the correct DI for Shoryuken stated above. The correct DI for Roundhouse Kick is almost the exact opposite, in and slightly up. So, DIing for Shoryuken when Roundhouse hits will cause the opponent to be KOed earlier than normal and vice versa. The counter to this is for the opponent to SDI in for Shoryuken. It will cause the opponent to fall out behind Ken when he does h.Shoryu but DI correctly if Ken does Roundhouse. The counterplay to this is for Ken is to do m.Shoryu as there are fewer hits and less hitstun for the opponent to fully SDI and fall out of m.Shoryu. This will also cause them to DI m.Shoryu inwards and be KOed early from it. Another way to counterplay SDI in on Shoryuken is to do a B-reverse Shoryuken.

Combo Theory

NAir > SH Apex DAir FF > SH UAir FF > h.shoryu/IDJ DAir/IRAR BAir/FH NAir...

  • Difficulty: hard

This combo is an example of a combination of small combos listed above put together. Once mastered it can be easy to change to cover all sorts of DI and SDI. It is an example of how to use the small combos and some imagination to come up with a larger combo to be able to KO the opponent from any percent. This could include dropping combos to do a dash forward because the opponent is heavily trying to SDI or using Crescent Kick to condition the opponent to air dodge a certain way to then start over the combo. The difficulty in Ken’s combo game is the on the fly adaptation to the opponent’s options in disadvantage. In any event that a finisher won’t kill or set up for a tech chase, It would be best to cancel into a special. Either Hado to deal extra damage or Focus Attack to apply fear to get the opponent to make a hasty mistake and to protect against single hit reversals. An example of this would be LDtilt > HDtilt xx Hado at low percents to push the opponent off the ledge or start a close range scramble or LFTilt > BAir xx FA at 0% to then cover against reversals while also setting up for a shield break if the opponent shields and also allowing mobility of a dash cancel if the opponent decides to run away. There are many more niche combos (example: Funny Punch confirms) that were not listed just because of how simple and not cohesive with the rest of Ken’s combo game they are. Here are examples of some of Ken’s most creative combos by MALASA:



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