HNK/Kenshiro

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Overview

Overview

Kenshiro's play-style is quite standard, as one would expect from the main character of a fighting game. A strong set of normals, well balanced specials, and straightforward combos make Kenshiro very easy to pick up and play. His mixup abilities are excellent in the corner, and he makes great use of Chikuseki to carry momentum between rounds. His defensive options are just as strong, having one of the two invincible DPs in the entire game and his Musou Tensei "parry" super.

However, Kenshiro is marred by long recovery on some normals, limited effective range, and difficult matchups against top tiers. His large hurtbox makes him combo fodder for most of the cast, leading to a few Kenshiro only combos and great consistency and resource efficiency for other routes. On top of this, his 100% combos are difficult, require quite a bit of resources, and are very character specific. This forces Kenshiro to generally play a two-touch game, rather than the one-touch game other characters can be allowed to play.

Overall, Ken is a great, well-rounded character to learn HNK with. At lower levels, he will teach you all you need to know about the mechanics of the game, while at higher levels his more advanced combos will show you just what this game is capable of.

Kenshiro
HNK Kenshiro Portrait.png
Damage Taken
100%
Jump Startup
4f
Backdash
24f

Kenshiro is a well rounded character with a versatile tool set great for learning the game or committing to long term.

Pros Cons
  • Well-Rounded: Ken's got a fireballHNK Kenshiro 236A.pngGuard:
    All
    Startup:
    16
    Recovery:
    30
    Advantage:
    , a good DPHNK Kenshiro 623C.pngGuard:
    All
    Startup:
    7
    Recovery:
    until landing + 14
    Advantage:
    , a solid set of normals to work with, and makes good use of all the mechanics available to him. He's great to learn the game with.
  • Fantastic Mixups: Kenshiro has a lot of ways to open up the opponent. Fast overheads, IAD strings that end in a double-overhead, plus on block lows, and a comboable throw that can all lead to massive stun make him a great corner threat.
  • Star Shredder: Thanks to his strong BD throw, InstallHNK Kenshiro 214C.pngGuard:
    N/A
    Startup:
    28
    Recovery:
    43
    Advantage:
    and consistent stuns, Kenshiro is one of the very few characters with realistic 4 and 5 star combos.
  • Defense: With a parry Install SuperHNK Kenshiro 214214B.pngGuard:
    N/A
    Startup:
    5+8
    Recovery:
    Advantage:
    , a catch counter that doubles as a reflector,HNK Kenshiro 214A1.pngGuard:
    All
    Startup:
    4
    Recovery:
    12
    Advantage:
    and an invincible DP that can be comboed from, Kenshiro is no slouch on defense.
  • Steamroller: Ken carries momentum between rounds very well. By depleting most of the opponent's stars and entering the next round with full Aura and Boost thanks to Chikuseki, Ken becomes incredibly frightening. His Fatal K.O.HNK Kenshiro 236C+D1.pngGuard:
    All
    Startup:
    8+3
    Recovery:
    16
    Advantage:
    -7
    is very easy to combo into, allowing him to close out the match very quickly.
  • Bad Matchups against Toki and Juda: Toki's small hurtbox makes him incredibly difficult for Kenshiro to combo him, and Juda's screen control and pokes make navigating neutral extremely hard.
  • Massive Hurtbox: Ken has one of the largest air hurtboxes in the game, making him incredibly easy to combo for the rest of the cast.
  • Execution: While his Fatal K.O. routes are very strong and fairly easy, Kenshiro's dribble routes are quite difficult and character specific compared to other characters. This means that Ken likes to play a two-touch game as opposed to the one-touch game at high levels. At lower levels, this is less of an issue.

Unique Mechanics

HNK Kenshiro Stock.gif Tenha No Kamae Stocks

Tenha no KamaeHNK Kenshiro 214C.pngGuard:
N/A
Startup:
28
Recovery:
43
Advantage:
grants Kenshiro one stock. These power–up Kenshiro's next attack and cause it to remove 1 more star than usual.

Normals

c.A

c.A
Guard Damage Startup Active Recovery On-Block Star Damage
All 9 5 4 8 -4

A quick jab. Not very useful for pressure or zoning, but used in some combos.

On-Hit Boost Gain Aura Gain GC Level
1

c.B

c.B
Guard Damage Startup Active Recovery On-Block Star Damage
All 9 8 4 4 +2

A low kick. Decent but lacking in comparison to 2BHNK Kenshiro 2B.pngGuard:
low
Startup:
7
Recovery:
4
Advantage:
+6
.

On-Hit Boost Gain Aura Gain GC Level
2

c.C

c.C
Guard Damage Startup Active Recovery On-Block Star Damage
All 10x2 9 4(4)4 12 -1

Two quick punches. No real use, seen mostly when missing a throw attempt.

On-Hit Boost Gain Aura Gain GC Level
3

c.D

c.D
Guard Damage Startup Active Recovery On-Block Star Damage
All 20 7 4 28 -17

An upward kick. Its quick startup and big hitbox make it a very good anti-air. Also useful in combos.

On-Hit Boost Gain Aura Gain GC Level
4

f.A

f.A
Guard Damage Startup Active Recovery On-Block Star Damage
All 7 5 4 8 -4

A straight punch. Mostly the same as close A but perhaps slightly more useful as an anti-air.

On-Hit Boost Gain Aura Gain GC Level
1

f.B

f.B
Guard Damage Startup Active Recovery On-Block Star Damage
All 7 7 4 4 +2

A straight kick. Gives advantage on guard and cancelable into itself. Very useful for mid-range zoning.

On-Hit Boost Gain Aura Gain GC Level
2

f.C

f.C
Guard Damage Startup Active Recovery On-Block Star Damage
All 18 11 4 16 -5

A two-handed punch. Long active frames and good range. Very useful for zoning, can hit confirm Boost into a combo. Against Rei only, far C combos into 236D when you hit him crouching - this is very useful as far D does not hit crouching opponents.

On-Hit Boost Gain Aura Gain GC Level
4

f.D

f.D
Guard Damage Startup Active Recovery On-Block Star Damage
All 18 7 4 28 -14

A strong kick. With 7 frame startup, great range, and good comboability, this is without a doubt one of Kenshiro's best normals.

On-Hit Boost Gain Aura Gain GC Level
5

2A

2A
Guard Damage Startup Active Recovery On-Block Star Damage
All 6 5 4 8 -4

A crouching jab. Fast startup, used at close range and in combos.

On-Hit Boost Gain Aura Gain GC Level
1

2B

2B
Guard Damage Startup Active Recovery On-Block Star Damage
low 6 7 2 4 +6

A low crouching kick. 6 frame advantage on block, allowing for mixup with another 2B or air dash B. Very useful.

On-Hit Boost Gain Aura Gain GC Level
3

2C

2C
Guard Damage Startup Active Recovery On-Block Star Damage
All 17 11 4 16 -5

A crouching straight punch. Cancelable into itself, but it's slow startup and short range makes it not very useful.

On-Hit Boost Gain Aura Gain GC Level
4

2D

2D
Guard Damage Startup Active Recovery On-Block Star Damage
Low 14 9 4 20 -6

A sweep kick. Fairly long range but slow startup.

On-Hit Boost Gain Aura Gain GC Level
5

j.A

j.A
Guard Damage Startup Active Recovery On-Block Star Damage
High 6 3 6 4

A quick air jab. Used mostly for getting out of pressure and as a mixup option after an air dash B.

On-Hit Boost Gain Aura Gain GC Level
2

j.B

j.B
Guard Damage Startup Active Recovery On-Block Star Damage
High 6 10 3

An air kick. Its long range and quick execution make this move Kenshiro's main overhead.

On-Hit Boost Gain Aura Gain GC Level

j.C

j.C
Guard Damage Startup Active Recovery On-Block Star Damage
High 10 6

A strong air punch. Fairly slow startup, works alright as an air-to-ground. Used mostly in combos.

On-Hit Boost Gain Aura Gain GC Level

j.D

j.D
Guard Damage Startup Active Recovery On-Block Star Damage
High 9 2/2/2

A 3-hit air kick. Good range to the side but not very effective against opponents below you. Use mostly in combos or for long range zoning.

On-Hit Boost Gain Aura Gain GC Level

Command Normals

6A

6A
Guard Damage Startup Active Recovery On-Block Star Damage
High 20 27 4 -1

An overhead chop. Aside from being quite slow with a 27 frame startup, Kenshiro screaming 'GANZANRYOUZANHA!' at the top of his lungs doesn't help make this move any less telegraphed either. Still, using Boost it is possible follow up with a combo on a successful hit or a quick low on guard, making this move worth using every once in a while.

On-Hit Boost Gain Aura Gain GC Level

6B

6B
Guard Damage Startup Active Recovery On-Block Star Damage
All 20 23 4 -1

A backhand punch. Jump cancelable and possesses Super Armor. Knocks opponent into the air on normal hit and causes wall bounce on counter. Very useful for dealing with Guard Cancels.

On-Hit Boost Gain Aura Gain GC Level

Universal Mechanics

Throw

6C or 4C
Guard Damage Startup Active Recovery On-Block Star Damage
Throw 14x2 4 4 28

Kenshiro picks up his opponent, slaps them around a bit, then tosses them to the ground. Follow up possible in the corner. Can also follow up mid-screen with the use of Boost. Very useful and an important part of Kenshiro's mixup game.

On-Hit Boost Gain Aura Gain GC Level

Kick Throw

B+D
Guard Damage Startup Active Recovery On-Block Star Damage
Throw 3x8 9 4 18 1

Kenshiro throws his opponent into the air then hits them with his nunchaku. Follow up possible in the corner. Can also follow up mid-screen with the use of Boost. As it hits multiple times it is great for building meter. Like all BD throws its use is pretty much limited to dizzied opponents.

On-Hit Boost Gain Aura Gain GC Level

Grave Shoot

A+C
Guard Damage Startup Active Recovery On-Block Star Damage
All 20 17 4 12 +2

A really, really high kick that launches the opponent into the air. Great range both above and to the sides, but will not hit crouching opponents. Extremely powerful as an early anti-air, and has a fairly short recovery. Also an important combo part.

On-Hit Boost Gain Aura Gain GC Level
Grave Launch

Heavy Strike

A+B
Guard Damage Startup Active Recovery On-Block Star Damage
Unblockable 6 39 4 20 1

A body shot. Its really short range makes it one of the least useful Heavy Strikes in the game.

On-Hit Boost Gain Aura Gain GC Level
Stagger

Banishing Strike

C+D
Guard Damage Startup Active Recovery On-Block Star Damage
All 20 19-39 4 20 -9 1

A left-hook. Important combo part.

On-Hit Boost Gain Aura Gain GC Level
Banishing Launch

Special Moves

Touki

236A
Guard Damage Startup Active Recovery On-Block Star Damage
All 15 16 20 30 (1)

A small fireball that travels roughly half-screen. Used mostly for putting out other fireball moves and applying pressure. Takes off one star on counter hit.

On-Hit Boost Gain Aura Gain GC Level

Hokuto Ujou Moushouha

623A or j.623A or 623C
Version Guard Damage Startup Active Recovery On-Block Star Damage
Hokuto Ujou Moushouha A All 22 7 4 20 -8 1(2)
Hokuto Ujou Moushouha A (Air version) All 11x2 7 4,4 until landing + 14 (1)
Hokuto Ujou Moushouha C (Air OK) All 7x3 7 4,4,4 until landing + 14 (1)
623A

A dragon punch move with two versions - the A version(left picture) does a quick uppercut and Kenshiro remains grounded, while the C version(right picture) rises into the air. The ground A version has upper-body invulnerability and takes off a star on hit. On counterhit it takes off 2 stars, and the opponent is launched high into the air. It cannot be air guarded, even with the use of Aura Guard.


623C

The ground C version of the uppercut is your classic invulnerable dragon punch, and takes one star on counter hit. An interesting bug exists in which it is possible to cancel the uppercut into ground moves, even though you are in the air. This makes Kenshiro's reversals particularly deadly when he has meter. While very unpractical, it is also possible to perform some extremely confusing mixups using this bug. See this video for some examples.

For the most part it is best to forget that the air versions of the uppercut exist as they have absolutely no use whatsoever.

Version On-Hit Boost Gain Aura Gain GC Level
623A
j.623A
623C
  • 623A (notes: air OK)
  • j.623A (notes: air OK)
  • 623C (notes: air OK)

Hokuto Hieiken

623B
Guard Damage Startup Active Recovery On-Block Star Damage
All 22 11 12 (1)

A diagonal rising kick move similar in appearance to Shin's Gokutoken, but lacking any invulnerability. Used mostly as a combo ender when it isn't possible to continue into anything else and as a very situational anti-air. Connecting with an airborne opponent causes wall bounce and can lead to some very big combos. Removes one star on counter hit.

On-Hit Boost Gain Aura Gain GC Level
Banishing Launch
  • air OK

Hokuto Seieikou

236C
Guard Damage Startup Active Recovery On-Block Star Damage
All 22 14 6 12 -2 1(2)

A short-ranged move in which Kenshiro strikes his opponent's pressure point, stunning them and taking off one star on normal hit and two on counter hit. Connecting with Seieikou also causes the victim to take chip damage from normal moves for a short duration. Due to its short range it is considered a combo-only move.

On-Hit Boost Gain Aura Gain GC Level

Tenha No Kamae

214C
Guard Damage Startup Active Recovery On-Block Star Damage
N/A 28 43

A charge type move that when executed causes the next attack to take off one extra star than it usually would if it connects. However, the charge is used up when you perform any attack, including normal moves, making it rather hard to use effectively. Even Guard Cancels will take off a star, and interestingly do not use up the charge, even after a successful hit. For some reason the C version Moushouha only will take off two stars(three on counterhit) when connecting. A small amount of Boost and Aura is gained when executing this move so it is also possible to build up meter when at a distance, provided your opponent doesn't have any Boost. The most common spot to use Tenha no Kamae is after dizzying an opponent in the corner, when coupled with a BD throw one can easily pull off a 5-star combo.

On-Hit Boost Gain Aura Gain GC Level

Hokuto Jaraikou

236D
Guard Damage Startup Active Recovery On-Block Star Damage
All 22 18 4 20 -5 (1)

A strong rushing punch, with Super Armor at the very beginning of the animation. It combos only from far D, and is jump cancelable on hit. Despite the Super Armor this move should generally only be used in combos. Takes off one star on counter hit.

On-Hit Boost Gain Aura Gain GC Level

Hokuto Shichishiki Heizan

j.214A
Guard Damage Startup Active Recovery On-Block Star Damage
High 11 17 16 (1)

A rushing air punch that travels diagonally downward towards the ground. Used mostly as a tricky mixup option after a blocked air dash string such as j.B > j.A in the corner. While this can very hard to see it is important to use it only sparingly, as having this move blocked will usually result in your death. Generally there is not much merit in tiger kneeing Shichishiki Heizan as Kenshiro's air dash B is faster and risk free for the most part. Takes off one star on counter hit.

On-Hit Boost Gain Aura Gain GC Level

Hokuto Ryugekiko

214A
Guard Damage Startup Active Recovery On-Block Star Damage
All 4 18 12

A 'catch' move for mid and high attacks that causes wall bounce upon successfully connecting. 4F startup. Can also reflect projectiles. Removes one star on counter hit.

On-Hit Boost Gain Aura Gain GC Level

Super Moves

Musou Tensei

214214B
Guard Damage Startup Active Recovery On-Block Star Damage
N/A 5+8
  • Uses 1 bar of Aura.

A 'charge' super, that after executing(left picture) grants the ability to use the special defensive maneuver Musou Tensei(middle and right pictures) up to 7 times. While active pressing 6(for mid/high attacks) or 2(for low attacks) in time with his opponent's attack hitting will cause Kenshiro to teleport behind the opponent. Specifically, the time frame for Musou activating is 5 frames within inputing the forward or downward direction. However, if the lever is returned to neutral within 5 frames of the input, the total time is extended to 11 frames. There is a roughly 15 frame window after attempting to Musou in which it is not possible to try again, which prevents continuous Musou attempts.

Musou charges carry over rounds so it is advantageous to try to get off the super as soon as possible.

On-Hit Boost Gain Aura Gain GC Level

Tenha Kassatsu

236236A
Guard Damage Startup Active Recovery On-Block Star Damage
All 13x7 11+6 57 -33 1(2)
  • Uses 1 bar of Aura.

A laser beam super used mostly as a combo ender. While it does have some invulnerability it wears out before the super executes and except for some very rare cases(chip damage finishes, punishing fireballs), should never be used outside a combo. The opponent bounces slightly after being hit by the beam, and it is possible to follow up with some moves when in the corner. Takes off one star normally, and two as a counter hit.

On-Hit Boost Gain Aura Gain GC Level

Hokuto Zankaiken

214214C
Guard Damage Startup Active Recovery On-Block Star Damage
High 8+9 14 36 -31 1(2)
  • Uses 2 bars of Aura.

When executed, Kenshiro jumps into the air and attacks the opponent from above. If the attack is successful, a timer reading '3.00' will appear above the victim's head that will slowly begin to count down - although Kenshiro says 'you will die in 3 seconds,' it actually takes about 20 or so. Once the count reaches 0, the player dies and the round ends.

As it is extremely slow, cannot be comboed into, and uses up two full bars of Aura, Zankaiken should be considered a gimmick move only. In addition to being very easy to guard, it misses completely versus all crouching characters except Mr. Heart, and doesn't affect Thouther at all. Also, even if it does somehow connect, you still have to stay alive for 20 seconds. If you really want to use this move the only realistic spot where you can hope to get a guaranteed hit in is by using it after a missed reversal dragon punch against an opponent without any Boost.

On-Hit Boost Gain Aura Gain GC Level
  • 2 bar super

Fatal K.O

Hokuto Hyakuretsu Ken

236C+D when opponent has 0 stars
Guard Damage Startup Active Recovery On-Block Star Damage
All FATAL KO 8+3 4 16 -7

Kenshiro's most famous move, in which he strikes his opponent quickly 100 times, killing them horribly. As far as Fatal KO's go, this is one of the better ones, able to hit OTG and having a quick startup. This move is guaranteed to end with the combo counter at 100 hits, no matter how many hits before it hits. If the hitcounter is above 100, it will actually go down.

On-Hit Boost Gain Aura Gain GC Level

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