SFV Essential Character Strategies: Karin, Ken, Laura, M. Bison, & Nash

Quick-and-dirty SFV fighter pro-tips from guide author Long "ShadyK" Tran.

Feb. 17, 2016, noon by Prima Games

We shared some overlooked strategies for Birdie, Cammy, Chun-Li, Dhalsim, and F.A.N.G., which should help give you the advantage over your opponents if you fight with those characters. Official guide author Long "ShadyK" Tran is back with tips for Karin, Ken, Laura, M. Bison, and Nash!


Her built-in mix-ups have obvious flaws; they’re predictable if your opponent knows the timing of each follow-up. Don’t blindly go for these mix-ups against players who know what they’re doing. Instead, you’ll need to apply an erratic tempo-based game to make these mix-ups effective. Although it may seem appealing to cancel your normal attacks into these auto-combo mix-ups, they’re actually best applied straight from the neutral game. This gives your opponent less time to react because there’s little to no precursor to the mix-up.


Don’t forget to use his back throw if given the opportunity. Most players resort to using forward throws since it’s generally better from an offensive standpoint. However, as Ken, you can chuck a foe into a corner from extremely long distances (even from mid-stage), whereas most characters’ back throws don’t afford the same kind of advantage. You can then follow up his back throw with a slow-traveling LP Hadoken to pave the way for your offense.

When it comes to getting into close range, learn the distances at which each of your dashes travel. Ken’s normal dash is quick, but doesn’t cover as much distance as his Quick Step V-Skill.


Just being next to the enemy will induce panic from your opponent thanks to Laura’s unblockable Sunset Wheel command throw. Assess your opponent’s likely moves and be ready to counter their defensive habits whenever you’re near them. If their only escape option is to backdash away from your command throw, don’t be afraid to predict it with a standing HP backdash catch (rewarding you with a Crush Counter). If your opponent has access to an invincible reversal, keep your optimal grounded Crush Counter combo in mind to punish it, if you make the right read and block their desperate reversal. If your opponent is prone to holding up to jump out of your throws, keep them grounded with standing LK link combos before they leave the ground, or simply anti-air them with HP Bolt Charge. With the threat of low-velocity projectile, you’ll usually have few issues in forcing these types of situations on your opposition when fighting as Laura.

M. Bison:

M. Bison walks slower than anyone, so you can’t walk around in footsies like Chun-Li or other speedy characters. His forward dash and jump travel a huge distance, which is great, but sharp players will learn to react to his invincible forward dash thanks to its distinct visual effect, and a floaty forward jump carries the usual risks. Thus, moving around with M. Bison is unlike moving with other characters. The forward movement of Double Knee Press is one reason it’s still valuable, despite his other new specials, and you may find yourself jumping in on your opponent more often than is usually prudent. Create uncertainty about when you’re actually jumping/Head Pressing forward by doing whiffed Devil Reverse that pulls up way short, like faking dive kicks with other characters. Dashing and jumping forward becomes much safer (temporarily) whenever you put an EX Psycho Blast projectile onscreen in front of M. Bison. And, while it’s risky, his crouching HK slide should be kept in mind as an almost fullscreen hit-check against foes that are careless about ground movement. Enemies walking or dashing are, after all, not blocking low. When moving around, don’t be beholden to holding back or down/back for Double Knee Press engagements. Instead, remember that his powerful Psycho Inferno combos don’t require charge. If you do choose to pressure with Double Knee Press, remember that the HK version is safer on block than the MK or LK ones (though it starts up much slower).


Sonic Boom isn’t nearly as effective from fullscreen as it is just outside of your opponent’s max footsie range. When firing off his Sonic Boom, Nash doesn’t present a large hurtbox for the opponent to interrupt (like Ryu and Ken do with their lunging Hadoken stance), so you can be liberal in your projectile usage just beyond your crouching MK range. Abuse this tactic whenever possible because Nash’s walk speed is abysmal for playing footsies. Of course, this can incite a forward jump out of your foe from this range, so don’t be too predictable with it. However, if you can fake out your opponent with a feigned Sonic Boom, you can shut down their aerial attack with either EX Sonic Scythe or Air Jack.

SFV Essential Character Strategies Part 1: Birdie, Cammy, Chun-Li, Dhalsim, and F.A.N.G.

SFV Essential Character Strategies Part 3: Necalli, Ryu, R. Mika, Rashid, Vega, and Zangief

Want even more character strategies to help you master your fighter in Street Fighter V? Get full frame data , reliable combos , and comprehensive character strategies for every character in the official guide !