This article is part one of “Professional Help” a new series of tips and tricks from pro players for their favorite characters.
Ho “Xian” Kun Xian is Singapore’s most successful fighting games pro and an Evo champion. In Street Fighter V, he is most well-known for playing Ibuki, who he has mained since season one.
Okay, for real now, here are Xian’s actual pro tips to mastering Ibuki.
1. Strategy first
When playing Ibuki, strategy and game planning are a lot more important than reaction time and mechanics. Don’t try to rely on your reactions and mechanics when playing Ibuki, play strategically, and prioritize smart decisions.
2. Spend your meter wisely
Ibuki doesn’t gain meter fast, so it’s very important to spend your meter wisely and decide if you want to use EX moves or build-up for a Critical Art. I see a lot of people waste meter on EX kunai and squandering their one chance to win a game. Remember, Ibuki with Critical Art and V Trigger available is extremely scary and will force your opponents to play around that. Don’t just randomly throw out EX kunai for no reason.
3. Hit confirms
Hit confirms combos are the most important thing to practice with Ibuki. The most important hit confirm to master is Medium Kick into V trigger. As Ibuki can’t cancel down attacks into anything else, this is the perfect move to use against an opponent trying to walk backwards. Note that if you fail the hit confirm and just throw out V Trigger it’s very easy to punish, so make sure you practice this daily.
4. Plan your kunai usage
It’s very difficult to charge your kunai midgame in a high-level match, so plan carefully how you want to use your kunai before each game starts and stick to that game plan. To play Ibuki well, you should have a specific game plan in place for each matchup. Once again: don’t just randomly throw out kunai.
5. Play like a ninja
Play aggressively. Ibuki is a ninja after all. She’s meant to be played fast so your opponent can’t keep up with what you’re doing. You’ll never be able to realize Ibuki’s full potential if you try to play her slow and safe, there are better characters out there for more defensive playstyles.
READ MORE: Dear Arcade by Ho Kun Xian