Yun may be the best character in 3s, but that doesn’t me he outright wins for free. There is a lot Ken can do to beat him.
For Ken to win, he has to not only out play Yun, but out think him as well. You have to understand what Yun is trying to go for in order to know how to counter against it. Certain situations come up where all good Yuns will generally do the same thing, because it is the best option available for him. So to beat Yun, you have to pay attention to a lot of things you can usually take for granted in other matches, particularly screen position and super meter.
First, let’s break the match down into two different modes: Yun without meter, and Yun with meter. Yun without meter is Yun with roughly less than 80% bar. At around 80%, any random shoulder charge or chain combo can give him enough meter to start Genei Jin. Once Yun gets meter, you have to change the way you go about fighting him.
But first, Yun without meter. Yun without meter is helpless. He can’t do anything to you. Think about it, what can he do to Ken? Chain combo, throw, command grab; all worthless. You are never at risk to anything high damage. You therefore have absolutely nothing to fear from Yun without meter. Yun fears Ken. Why do you think he runs away and builds meter? Because he has no real offense outside of Genei Jin that’s threatening in any way. So Ken has to go after him and be on the attack. Ken’s goal is to attack Yun and not let him get meter.
Basic strategy is as follows: Walk towards Yun and put pressure on him. Do not dash; do not jump. Just walk forward. Yun does lots of random stuff. If you dash, you are at risk of getting hit by all the random moves he whiffs to get meter, or worse, a random shoulder charge. You do not want to get knocked down by Yun. You just want to steadily apply pressure on Yun and get him into the corner. Getting knocked down doesn’t help you achieve this goal. So don’t dash. Don’t jump either. Yun has too many anti air mixups. If Yun is on the ground, you stay on the ground, and just walk towards him.
Now if you continue to walk towards Yun, he is going to get backed into the corner, and he doesn’t want this, so jumping is his answer to this. When Yun jumps, you jump towards him at the same time. Jump roundhouse as early as you can. If you catch Yun on the way up, or if he goes for a dive kick, you will hit him. You have to pay close attention to Yun and be ready to jump as soon as you see him jump. If Yun is across the screen, jump EX hurricane kick. Yun is jumping to counter the pressure you are putting on him, either by jumping to escape, or attack by dive kicking. You jump kick him to knock him back down and keep putting pressure on him so you can get him into the corner.
If you manage to get Yun into the corner, you now have the advantage. Yun has very few options to deal with being down in the corner. If Yun is on his feet and has some distance from you, he is going to try to jump his way out of the corner. Watch for this and jump with him. If you knock him down in the corner, Yun is almost helpless to get himself out of this situation. He has no high priority wake up move without wasting meter, and Yun doesn’t want to waste his meter! If he goes for EX dragon kick and hits you, who cares. Yun’s super meter going in the opposite direction is always a good thing. Who cares about the little damage you took, Yun is back to being helpless.
But back to the corner. If you knock him down, the only way Yun can really escape is to wake up throw, or wake up parry. Yun gets up from a knock down really fast, and can throw you before you get your next move out if you are not quick enough. Most Yuns will wake up throw the majority of the time because it’s usually in his favor. The other option for Yun in this situation is to parry. If you have no meter, he will absolutely wake up high parry. Ken can’t do anything low which he can verify against Yun, so Yun is expecting chain combo. That means he is only going to parry high, unless of course he is stupid. An even slicker Yun will wake up option parry throw. That is his best tactic to get him out of the corner. Knowing this, you should always do low forward jab Dragon Punch to Yun as he gets up. You will usually hit him because he is either going for a throw or high parry. Low forward DP kara DP does a lot of damage. But let’s suppose Yun blocked low, you whiff a jab DP in his face; no big deal! Yun without meter can’t hurt you. It is worth the risk. Just do low forward DP.
Of course, like with any tactic, you can’t do it 20 times in a row and expect it to work every time. But Ken should definitely do low forward DP to Yun in the corner often. Other times, in order to mix it up, throw. Straight up throw him, low short tick throw, you can even mix it up even more and do low short tick and bait out the tech and low forward DP. Don’t even try to verify it, just guess. Remember, no risk, Yun can’t hurt you. Tick throws are good, but if Ken has no meter, never tick with stand close strong, because Yun parries in this situation.
Now, Ken with meter knocks Yun down in the corner. In this situation, Yun isn’t as likely to wake up guess parry as often because it is no longer as safe to do so. Ken should go for his usual mix ups on a waking opponent. However, ticking into something verifiable, such as stand strong low strong, or low short – short short, or low short low strong for instance is not safe against Yun. After the first tick hit, The only ways for Ken to verify hit a super can all be parried low. This is because Ken’s stand far strong whiffs over crouching Yun. Mixing in his axe kick more often can spare Ken from being low parried after every tick set up. Anyways, keep mixing it up, but don’t do something that puts Ken at risk of being parried safely. Yun is looking for an easy chance to escape, don’t give him one. If you are going to do any hesitation attacks, make sure you are far enough away to avoid wake up throw by Yun. Ken owns Yun in the corner. Get him there and keep him there.
Back to the middle of the screen. You are walking towards Yun to force him into the corner, but before you can react in time he jumps and dive kicks you. Yun is attacking you, but he has no meter, so nothing to worry about. After a dive kick, generally there are 3 things he could do: 1) chain combo/stand forward, 2) command grab, or 3) jump again. If Yun has no meter, and he lands and attacks with chain combo or anything else and Ken blocks, Yun has accomplished nothing. In fact, he is at a disadvantage, especially if he does jab short strong chain. If Ken blocks this, he can jab Dragon Punch or super before he recovers. But even if he hits you, no big deal, that damage means nothing in the grand scheme of things. A good Yun knows that chain combo accomplishes nothing, so he is most likely going to command grab or jump again. Command grab gets a knock down and he has advantage to first attack. Jumping is his other good option because he can repeat the process and dive kick you again, jump and cross up dive kick you, or simple jump away. So when Yun dive kicks you, as soon as he lands, chain combo him. If he jumps or command grabs, you hit him. Even better, option parry forward as you chain combo, this covers all 3 options Yun has. Also chain combo, never dragon punch. If Yun jumps, he can instant air parry on the way up. Short whiffed dive kick or roundhouse blocked dive kick, it’s all the same, always chain combo him.
Suppose Yun without meter knocks you down. If he stays on the ground and approaches Ken on wake up, there is generally only two things he is going for: command grab, or close stand forward. The only thing Yun has verifiable low is short short dash punch. Have you ever seen the damage that does? It does next to nothing. Yun without meter can’t hurt Ken. Ken has nothing to worry about low, and the Yun player knows this. But everything else Yun has is parry bait high, so the only things Ken has to worry about is command grab, and walk back stand forward. Both of those knock Ken down and repeat the process. So what should Ken do? If Yun stays close and approaches Ken as he gets up, it means he is most likely going for command grab, so fierce Dragon Punch on wake up. Say he blocks, no big deal, it’s worth it. However, you have to pay attention. If Yun looks like he is going to hesitate or take a step back, don’t DP. He is probably going for close stand forward. That stupid move has incredible range and hits from further than it looks. He is trying to trick you into sticking something out, and hit you first. In this case just block, whether he does the move or not, not big deal, you are both on the ground at this point, and Ken is back in control.
If Ken is in the corner and gets knocked down by Yun, always quick recover while paying attention to what Yun does. Some Yuns immediately go for the corner cross up, but others will super jump up and delay it going for either an ambiguous cross up, or a short dive kick to stay in front of you. But either way, if Yun doesn’t go for the cross up immediately, depending on how he knocked you down, Ken can get up and dash underneath Yun before he can dive kick. By dashing underneath him you change his direction up so he can’t dive kick. Yun will just come back down. If Yun went for the dive kick, he will just come straight down doing a kick and not be able to block when he lands. But even if he didn’t press a button, people are usually not quick enough to react to block the other way, especially since they were in the mindset of attacking you. Dash under him and short short or chain combo super.
If Ken is in the corner and gets knocked down by Yun and he goes for the corner cross up dive kick, just block. Don’t try to be slick and Dragon Punch, just block. Yun lands after the dive kick in the corner. That’s exactly where you want him to be. What can Yun do to you at this point, chain combo? If Ken blocks, he is screwed. He’s at a disadvantage in the corner with no meter. Sucks for him. If he is smart he is not going to chain combo. He is going to go for command grab. Command grab gets him out of the corner, puts you into the corner, and lands a knock down. That’s exactly what Yun wants, so that is what he is most likely to go for (unless of course he is dumb). So what Ken should do is block the dive kick, then jab Dragon Punch. You will hit him as he goes for the command grab, then kara DP him, and now Ken is back in control. But suppose Yun blocks your DP for some strange reason, no problem. He chain combo dash punches you or something. No damage, plus you are back in the middle of the screen and out of the corner.
After a throw midscreen. Whenever possible, always throw Yun with Ken’s neutral throw. After neutral throw you can dash up and do far stand fierce linked into super on Yuns standing crouch frame. But if you end of doing forward throw and Yun quick recovers, if you dash and do any normal attack, Yun can hit you first, so you are at a disadvantage after throwing him. However, a good Yun player knows this and always goes into attack mode after a throw. So you knowing that he knows this, can use this to your advantage. After he quick recovers and you dash, he is either going to chain combo, throw, or dash back. If you are quick enough, dash forward fierce dragon punch is the best thing to do. But some people find it hard to dash DP, so dash super works just as well. Yun is always going to try to hit you after quick recovering from a forward throw when Ken dashes, so just dash up and super him in his face. Smart Yuns will get hit. But if he blocks, who cares, he has no meter, no big loss.
A need trick to do midscreen, if you catch Yun with a fierce Dragon Punch mid screen when he’s air-born, but hit with it when Yun is half way up in the air or higher so the DP only hits once, you land next to Yun so that if he quick recovers you can ground cross him up really quickly.
The other mode Ken plays in is when Yun has meter. During this time, Ken’s overall strategy is to not do anything stupid. When Yun activates Genei Jin, it’s inevitable that you are going to lose some life. Just be calm and wait it out. Yun is going to get some damage for free, nothing you can do about that. But how much damage he gets depends on you; either how smart, or foolish you are.
Genei Jin Yun is all about control. Once he starts Genei Jin, Yun controls the match. You have to realize though that Yun’s goal is to not do a massive damage juggle combo on you. Sure if that happens, that’s like a huge plus for him, but it isn’t his primary objective. What Yun accomplishes by starting Genei Jin is basically making you helpless for the duration of Genei Jin. It’s all about control. Ken can’t attack, it’s too risky. The only thing Yun is trying to do during Genei Jin is knock you down in a way where he gets as much meter as possible and stays in control of the match. If Yun ever loses control, he’s done. That’s why Yun runs away and builds meter when things aren’t working out for him. He doesn't have a solid offense outside of Genei Jin and his knockdown wakeup games.
When Ken is near the corner, there are 4 ways Yun can start Genei Jin. 1), he can hit you with jab short strong chain combo or stand forward. This is the worst possible scenario, never let this happen. It’s 100% your fault if you let this happen. If Yun has meter, don’t do anything stupid to get hit. If he dive kicks at you, just block.That leads us to 2), he can start it next to you when you are blocking. 3), he can knock you down and start Genei Jin. And 4), he starts it across the screen. When Yun has meter, he wants to start Genei Jin next to you, but also in a way that he is safe and gets first attack to maintain control. Therefore, Yun wants to do 1, 2 or 3. So Ken’s job is to make him do 4. When Yun has meter, don’t get hit, don’t get knocked down, and don’t let him get next to you. As long as Yun hasn’t activated yet, he is still scared of Ken. Give him no choice but to start Genei Jin on the other side of the screen.
When Yun eventually does activate, if he’s got you in the corner, then his goal is to juggle you by the time his meter gets to less than 1/3 left. At around 1/3 or less, he is either going to command grab you, or he is going to fake like he is going to command grab, and hit you with stand close forward. The he gets his little juggle, he gets mad meter for it, gets a knock down in the corner, and remains in control of the match with first attack as you get up. Yun isn’t going to command grab you any earlier because it has no benefit. He can do just as much damage from juggling you after the command grab if he waits towards the end of Genei Jin. So for the first 2/3 of Genei Jin he is free to try to mix it up and trick you into thinking a command grab is coming and juggle you that way and get even more damage, or just go for random hop kicks for free damage until it’s time to do his 1/3 command grab/stand forward mix up.
Ken should just block for the first half of Genei Jin. It’s not worth it to try to hit him, you will just get hit and get juggled and lose massive amounts of life. Just block. He’s not going to command grab you until the end, it does just the same amount of damage and gives him less meter, so he isn’t going to do it. If he does a hop kick, if you can see it, block it high and then you can reversal super him before he can land and block. But if you can’t see the hop kicks, don’t guess, cause he could low short palm you or something instead. If you can see it, go for it, but don’t guess. Block low is Genei Jin fundamentals.
When Yun’s meter gets to about ½, this is when you pay close attention to what he does. He is getting ready to set up the command grab, so watch for him to get close to you, and as soon as he does, fierce Dragon Punch him. The majority of the time Yun is going for the command grab, so it is best to fierce Dragon Punch. If he hesitated and was going for close stand forward or something else, he might still get hit by fierce DP, or not, but it doesn’t matter. If Yun blocks and hits you on the way down, oh well. Yun gets free damage as soon as he activates, you did the best you could to limit how much he gets, he is only going to get the minimum this way, live with it, no big deal. At least you hit him every time he tries to command grab.
There are some other tricks Yun can go for during the first ½ of Genei Jin. After hop kicks or low short palm strike, Yun gets pushed back a big, so Yun wants to get back in close again. A lot of Yun players with make you block something like stand fierce, and then dash in while you are in block stun. Most people are slow to react to this and try to hit him or throw at the end of his dash but end of getting hit instead. Train yourself to look for Yun dashing in on you during Genei Jin. He is totally vulnerable at the end of his dash. You can hit him with anything you want, although it is easiest just to throw him since that is quick and easy execution wise. You should never get hit by dash up low short or command grab or something. Always throw him first.
Another trick Yun can do is get you blocking and jump towards you while you are in block stun. There are numerous things he can do to trick you and start a juggle. Don’t try to guess, just fierce Dragon punch. Don’t dash, don’t jump, just DP. If he parries it, oh well, better than doing nothing and getting hit because you couldn’t tell whether to block high or low. You have to remember that when Yun is in Genei Jin, he is going to get free damage no matter what. You can either be passive about it and always let him get lots of damage, or be smart and take control and do your best to limit what he can do. But you can only do so much, and from time to time he is going to get his damage, just live with it. Ken isn’t going to win by what he does during Genei Jin, he is going to win by going after Yun when he doesn’t have meter and prevent him from activating Genei Jin.
When Ken is out of the corner but still near it and Yun starts Genei Jin, he is almost always going to command grab you immediately and juggle you to the corner for almost a full combo. In this situation fierce DP immediately is a good idea.
If Ken is midscreen and Yun activates next to Ken, he is going to try to push you into the corner. The most common setup is low strong stand fierce, dash punch. Dash punch hits 3 times during Genei Jin, but if he does this setup, it will only hit twice because of the distance he is at and because you are blocking low. The way it hits it totally looks like Yun is vulnerable and you can hit him, but it’s a trick and you can’t hit him. If you blocked it low, just keep blocking low. But against Yun, you always have to be in the mindset of thinking about what Yun is going to do, what his best option is. So if you see him going into this pattern, block the dash punch high. If you do so, it will hit for the full 3 hits and he will be vulnerable, and you can combo him before he can recover. Otherwise, if he jumps or anything, just fierce DP him. Like always, when he is at less than half meter, he is looking for a command grab, so try to read it and fierce Dragon Punch him.
During Genei Jin, your goal is Ken is to not get knocked down. If you get knocked down, Yun gets meter, and stays in control. If you can DP him first or manage to avoid getting hit, then Yun has no meter and loses control of the match. But even if he does knock you down at the end of Genei Jin, just pay attention to what he does. Dash under him if he jumps and hesitates, or if he crosses you up with a dive kick, fierce DP his command grab attempt. You have to stop his momentum and prevent him from starting Genei Jin again. He is going to try to knock you down again so he can build his meter up and activate safely and as quickly as possible. Prevent him from doing this, that is Ken’s goal.
Other times during Genei Jin if Ken manages to knock Yun down while he still has meter, such as if Yun dashes and you throw him, as Yun is getting up, he most likely will try to hit you first since his moves are all quicker and out prioritize everything you can do. So just low forward super him. Who cares if he blocks, you waste time and his meter might run out by then.
Ken Vs, Yun is really tough for Ken. Ken has to work so hard and earn his damage, whereas Yun gets free damage every time he fills his meter. Ken has to be active in pressuring Yun and attacking as much as possible while Yun is building his meter. Prevent him from activating. Yun can only win if he can maintain control. Don’t ever let him get in control. Ken can totally win this match. But you have to always pay attention to where Yun is, how much meter he has, and think about what Yun is most likely to be going for in order to counter him effectively. Yun is a very robotic character in the sense that he has a lot of tactics that are generally agreed upon as being the best thing to do in each situation, so most Yun players are likely to do those things often. So by being aware of Yun’s strategy, you are implementing part of Ken’s anti-Yun strategy.
Ken can beat Yun!