The following is a list of principles the writer considers 'best practice' during Ryu play. By themselves, they do not win games, however as part of an overall strategy and solid technique such methods have the potential to turn a bad round into a win.
Ryu Best Practice
- Ryu's best counter-hit setup is close st.hk. Higher-level players are particularly adept at the OS tech game and will easily block your pressure strings and tech all your throws. Break through this barrier with st.hk. Not only will it land you a counter-hit, it will also yield additional frame advantage to follow up with whatever you like (usually cr.hk if the opponent is crouching). This setup is best used after the first hit of your blockstring i.e. j.mk, cr.lp, st.hk (counter-hit) > cr.hk.
- When engaged in a footsie-battle, it generally helps to cover HP (physically on your stick) with a finger in order to anti-air quickly and easily if your opponent jumps. The reasoning behind this is two fold - while engaged in prolonged footsies, your mind is focused almost entirely on those few centimeters in front of your character. That is, you are not actively looking for your opponent to jump, and hence players will generally exhibit poorer reaction times to a jump-in. Using HP instead of a full DP addresses this by removing the need to input the dp motion, thus reducing the time needed to react and respond. The second reason is your opponent will likely cross you up if they jump from footsie range. Ryu's cr.hp hitbox is very good and will tag 99% of opponents attempting this manoeuvre. Of course, if your reaction times are good enough to auto-correct DP in time, then the above doesn't apply.
- Build super and keep it - this may seem blatantly obvious to all but the newest of players. I can't count how many times I've seen accomplished Ryu players throw away their meter advantage with useless full-screen ex fireballs. If you have super, refrain from ex fireballs, ex dp's and fancy FADC combos and concentrate on getting your super out. 300 damage is substantial, especially against characters with < 1000 hp.
- The dirty super - Having trouble getting out your super? Mash lp dragon punch during your opponent's block string. When you land, immediately input hp super for an easy 300 damage.
- Is your opponent focus-cancelling through fireballs after your cr.mk? Try doing the cr.mk then immediately into a solar plexus (forward + hp). You'll break their focus with two hits and can follow up with a hard dp.
- Throw slow fireballs up close - the reasoning behind this is fairly logical. If you throw a hp fireball up close, your opponent will likely not react in time and just block. Throwing a slow fireball will give your opponent enough time to react and (hopefully) goad them into jumping. Of course, by then you are well into your active frames and can recover in time to dp.
- Crossup mk tatsu > super. This is a very reliable setup for connecting your super, however it does require a certain degree of competence in execution. Players can use the DP shortcut motion upon landing to execute the super.
- Jumping lk is Ryu's most ambiguous crossup on a waking opponent.
- Fake fireballs with st.lk and cr.mp. This works well for baiting out jumps and ultras. Cr.mp seems to work slightly better.
- Master the 'sf dance' and goad your opponents into jumping at you. Stand at their jump-in range and dance on the spot while faking out fireballs with st.lk and cr.mp. More often than not, players will anticipate a fireball and jump. Look for it, and get a free knockdown with a dp. Remember that as Ryu, players will often assume that you want to throw a fireball if you're currently not; use this assumption to your advantage and wait for your opponent to jump.