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Understanding Blanka's Lightning Cannonball (Ultra 1)

This Ultra is often misunderstood by both Blanka players and opponents alike.  From almost the outset of Street Fighter 4's release, fearsome Blanka player Viscant has been worked to clear up the mystery behind this potentially devastating Ultra. This article is based on posts Viscant has made on Shoryuken on the subject*.  If you are a Blanka player, it is a good idea to know how this Ultra works so that you can apply it in your game more effectively.  Opponents who play against Blanka can also benefit from knowing its mechanics so that you have an idea how to deal with it.

This article specifically deals with how the Ultra 1 works. Applications, setups, tricks, and other information will be presented elsewhere.

The information in this article is for Super Street Fighter 4, although most of the mechanics of how the Ultra works are accurate for regular Street Fighter 4.

This article is meant for players who are of any level of skill.

If you have anything that you feel should be added to this article or a correction needs to be made, (regarding the situations in this article, further articles are planned for other situations), feel free to hit the comments. If we incorporate it into the article we will add your name to the article as a contributor.

Contributions by: Viscant, Dannyc



Frame startup: 1+3
Damage: 500 if the four ground hits land. 495 if landed from the ground shock hit (120, 125, 125, 125). 150 damage on chip (30, 30, 30, 30, 30)

SUMMARY OF HOW TO DEFEND: To block this Ultra, block low at first as the Ultra is initiated. As the ball descends onto you, block high. Then block the rest however you wish once it hits the ground (High or Low).


The first hit of this ultra (1) is an invisible hit that does not show up on the combo meter but can be combo'd into. It has all the properties of a low hit and must be blocked low. It trip guards as well, however the timing of this is very hard to pull off since it is only active for 2 frames. Exact frame data for this is 2(20)46 (for those who want precise numbers).

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Continuing our series of interviews with top San Diego players, The Box Arena presents Yeb! Yeb is a household name in the West Coast Street fighter scene, making a name for himself worldwide with his intricate knowledge of Gen. Yeb talks about switching from Gen to another character in Super Street Fighter 4 and also why he chose the Pelican stick over all others! 

Next up we will have the final interview with Shady K, so keep an eye out for it in the following days.


Hi, I'm yeb.  If you've heard of me, it's probably for my Gen, and showing that he could be competitive by placing top 8 at West Coast Warzone.  I'd only been going to tournaments for about 4 months at that point, and it was just my second trip to a major.  I made top 8 at SoCal tourneys pretty regularly after that.  I actually started playing fighting games back with CvS2 on xbl, but I didn't start going to tournaments until SF4.  People were calling me the best Gen on xbl, but I just wanted to see how well I'd do offline.

Capcom was so amazed by my Gen that they decided he was broken and nerfed/removed *everything* I liked about him.  Now, after finally getting reasonably good at SF, I have to start over.  Thanks guys! 

1. How often do you practice to be so Godlike?

I try to get in at least some time every night.  There's always some combo I want to work on, habits I want to develop for certain matchups, etc.  I can easily get distracted by other games though, and I always need to wind down for a while after tourneys.

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Tetra put together a great interview with both Choco-Blanka and Gama no Abura. If you're not familiar with these two, Choco Blanka is a great Blanka player and the best female SF4 player in Japan, famed for defeating Mago last year. Gama no Abura is responsible for organizing tournaments such as the Nagoya Street Battle and the legendary GODSGARDEN event.

Below you can view the famous Choco Blanka vs Mago video if you have not seen it yet, and a short excerpt from the interview. You can read the entire interview by clicking here.  

Tetra: What do you feel about the idea of console tournaments?

Choco: I like how everyone go “Wai Wai” while a match is on.
Tetra’s Note: Wai Wai basically means cheering and other forms of loud coordinated voices.

Choco: I became a tournament organizer because I want to hype up the atmosphere in the arcades. There is a possibility that even the players who only played at home would come to the arcades. But arcade and console SF4 is slightly different.

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The first installment of The Box Arena  Super Street Fighter 4 2v2 RANBAT results are in, and we've got the premire on the videos! Below you can check out the matches and also see the overall standings. Click here to see pictures from the event. 

Don't forget, we have more exclusive interviews coming soon for more top players from San Diego!


Ranking Battles 1.1 - (2v2) Teams Tournament - Grand Finals Playlist

- Team FMRoss - ShadyK (Akuma) & Sann Sann (Dhalsim) protected San Diego's Home Turf. 

- Team IfyouLikeCyclopsoverwolverineuradouche Tatsu (Vega), Warahk (Guile) came down from the OC. Manage to reset Grand Finals which took 40mins because of the Guile & Dhalsim match ups. They put up a very good and exhausting fight.

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"Rose is Good Now!" Super Street Fighter Rose Tutorial and Combo Video by Renegade

For those of you who were wondering why Rose has moved up in our tier list, here are a few reasons.  Rose has gotten some nice buffs in Super Street Fighter 4 which really helps her game tremendously.  This video tutorial by Renegade is rough on the video quality side but is A+ in content.  It features combos, option selects, mixups, matchup-specific tips and tricks, some of the many uses for Rose's Ultra, and more. 

Thanks to Valkyrie for the tip on the vid.


BlazBlue: Continuum Shift Trailer

A new BlazBlue: Continuum Shift trailer has surfaced.  The first installment in the BlazBlue series looked amazing and had great gameplay.  The sequel has all that plus several new characters, new modes (like the Legion mode found in the BlazBlue Portable release for PSP), and balance tweaks. 

Thanks to Nite for the tip!


GameShark's Beginners Guide to Super Street Fighter IV’s New Characters

GameShark has written a nice overview Super Street Fighter 4's new characters aimed at new players.  The article gives their opinion on the characters' strengths and weaknesses as well as a general overview of some of the characters standout traits and moves as well as a tip or two.  If you are new to the game and are looking for a quick, broad look at all of the new characters in order to decide who you will play, give this a look.

Source: GameShark



Remember the days when we used to look forward to the next Japanese Super Street Fighter 4 blog update each week? With the game out and all the secrets revealed, I haven't thought too much of it up until now.

According to the new Saikyo Blog, there is an update coming on June 15th that will not only include the upcoming Tournament Mode, but will patch certain elements of the game as well.

Anoop Gantayat over at AndriaSang translated the blog to give everyone a rundown on what the patch will adjust in the game:

  • Certain Fei Long combos turning into an endless combo
  • When you unleash an Ultra Combo and time freezes, your guard input cancels out. This, Ayano admitted, is actually something that was known prior to the release, but they left it in as an interesting play mechanic. After the game's release, they realized that there were a number of characters that ended up in being able to unleash their Ultra Combos with no risk.
  • The effect of Sagat's Angry Charge move does not reflect on his EX Tiger Uppercut in some circumstances.
  • Counter damage against Bison's Ultra Combo II Psycho Punisher move is too low
  • When Ibuki attacks a ducking Chun-Li, the second hit of the attack will not register
  • When Ibuki rises from the ground in certain instances, she'll retain her invincibility for a long time.

Some of the stuff I've known about such as Sagat's Angry Scar only powering up EX uppercuts when used in combos, and I'm sure everyone has heard about the unblockable set ups by now. Though, Ibuki having some sort of invincibility when she rises which I had no idea about up until now -- I'm not even sure how it works exactly. 

Source: AndriaSang 



Every new video of King of Fighters XIII makes the game look better each time and this new trailer is no exception. It covers all the bases for the new game, from the new characters added to the roster NEOMAX Specials (Hey, who put Ultras in my KOF?) and Drive Canceling. 

There are also some new gameplay videos and other random footage over at SRK, check it out.



I was given a link last night by my idiot brother, Lamerboi, and being the lame Guile player that he is, he finds a YouTube channel of some dude who replaces game/movie/show themes with Guile's theme song. Much to my surprise and amusement, I got some pretty good laughs. Although, they were cheap ones. Love me or hate me for this, I thought this was worth sharing with you guys, and here are the two videos that provided me with cheap and quick entertainment. Enjoy! Edit: This is definitely a guilty pleasure for me.




Flash Metroid of put together a great tutorial to help players wrap their head around how to use Makoto. You'll find a lot of ways to further your game with her such as the Mini Kara-Karakusa among other techniques but it's still yet to be seen if she can hang on a competitive level. 



Another awesome tournament concluded last night, and here are the results with the overall standing so far. If you want to play in the tournament next week, the signs ups page will be live either later tonight or tomorrow afternoon so keep an eye out for it.

Below you can check out the results, and here is a quick write up from the guys over at

- Both 1st and 2nd place in XBL and PSN respectively are new contenders to the tournament. They did not enter in the 1.1 ranbat or the very first tournament.

- YahYahs and Madmax in the PSN bracket were both eliminated. YahYah placed 5 while Madmax didn't do as well as he did in 1.1, placing 7th.

- Envi played kramCakes and Stoic TWICE this tournament. Lost to Kram in the winners bracket, then was sent to the losers bracket to defeat kramCakes and Stoic. Envi played 2 Rose players, Stoic and Anton. 

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Vote for your Favorite Darkstalkers Character at Capcom Unity

A poll has popped up recently over at Capcom Unity blog asking you to vote for your favorite Darkstalkers character! One can only ponder what the purpose is behind this (market research, perhaps?).  Either way, it's always good to see a company reaching out for fan feedback! I encourage every one to go and make your click known! Think hard though, you have 22 choices and only one pick!



Now, I cant imagine anyone reading this site to not have a copy of Super Street Fighter 4 by now, but if you were holding off on picking up the game or simply want another copy for your other system, it's on sale right now for $29.99 at and other online vendors. 

Click here for the PS3 version.

Click here for the XBOX360 version.

I'm not sure if this is a temporary price cut or permanent and how long this sale has been going on, but either way it's a great deal. Thanks to Eric for the heads up on this. 

Update: It's also on sale at Gamestop. Thanks to Stubbs for the tip on this!

Buy at Gamestop for $29.99 New or $24.99 used, plus get a $10 credit towards future purchase

Also make sure to use coupon code: SAVER and get free value shipping.


Ask Capcom: No Demo Planned for Marvel vs Capcom 3

Capcom Unity has a forum, appropriately called Ask Capcom, where readers ask questions and Capcom staffers answer them. IPW will post the more interesting fighting game related q&as for your convenience.

Recently Capcom answered a question about the possibility of a Marvel vs Capcom 3 demo and a question about Super Street Fighter 4's story


I remember reading the events of SSF4 took place 1 or 2 years after SF4.  Why does it seem the same things are happening with some people and some things seem different with others?  Is this a post-SF4 story or a replacement to the past events in question?

Seth Killian (Capcom):

The concept of SSFIV story was that it was supposed to be it's own thing, and move beyond the SFIV story.  Obviously some details leave, um.... room for interpretation :)


Will we get a playable demo for MVC3 after E3?

Christian Svensson (Capcom):

That is not the plan, no.

Seth Killian (Capcom):

We'd like to give people the chance to play the game early and often, but it may be more along the lines of SFIV with live events.  As Sven mentioned, the plan you mentioned for a demo is... not the plan.




The artistic talent within the fighting game community is truly astounding, as is the level of creativity.  gavacho13 has used his talents to combine Sesame Street with Street Fighter.  What do you think? If you want to see more of his creations on deviantART, hit the source link below.

Source: gavacho13 on deviantART. Tip from Capcom Unity



Continuing our special feature with The Box Arena, we have an interview with old school player Viscant where he talks about his history in the scene and gives his thoughts on Marvel vs Capcom 3. Not only has he been around for quite sometime playing competitively, year after year he's written some great articles about fighting games and now helps commentate for the Box Arena live streams. I also have found out through first hand experience he plays a mean Blanka in Super Street Fighter 4 as well!

Thanks to Viscant and DJ FrankFresh for putting this together -- next up in the series is Yeb! Stay tuned!


I started playing fighting games competitively in 1997 with Alpha 2 but really began competing at the top level in 1998 when Marvel vs. Capcom 1 and Alpha 3 came out.  I won the first major tournament I ever competed in for MvC1, USFGC in Las Vegas in what would be one of the early forerunners to Evo.  The fighting game community has taken me to tournaments all over the United States from Southern California, to Northern California, to Arizona, to Jersey for ECC, to Chicago for Midwest Championships and of course to Vegas for Evo series events.  The main highlights of my career have been finishing top 10 in a major for Alpha 3, MvC1, MvC2, CvS1, CvS2, 3s and ST.

What are you expecting of MVC3? 

For MvC3, I'm honestly expecting a step back.  I think MvC2's longevity was due more to good fortune than to good design.  At so many points along that game's development if things were slightly different the game would have broke down completely.  If Spiral's knives came out just a tiny bit faster or a tiny bit shorter.  If Cable's grenades were just a little bit better.  If Iron Man's airdash was just that much faster.  Small touches like that were the difference between MvC2 lasting for 10 years or being discarded after 1.  MvC3 will be a different kind of animal and I imagine it will be more like Guilty Gear or Tatsu vs. Capcom.  Hopefully it'll be well done, but I doubt it'll be as well loved as MvC2; so few games in fighting game history ever have been.

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CLICK FOR FULL MATCH UP CHARTA+: Rufus, Akuma, Guile, Abel, Sagat

A: Dictator, C. Viper, Ryu

B+: Boxer, Chun Li, E. Honda, Dhalsim, Ibuki

B: Zangief, Blanka, Seth, Dudley, Cammy, El Fuerte, Ken, Juri, Rose

C: T. Hawk, DeeJay, Guy, Fei Long, Cody, Gouken, Claw, Adon, Gen

D: Hakan, Makoto, Sakura, Dan




The response to our initial Super Street Fighter 4 Tier List was overwhelming and created a lot more discussion and debate than we had ever imagined. The idea was to start with an initial base concept and slowly update the tiers to get everything inline month after month. With such a massive response from the community, we took it upon ourselves to come out with an update for the tiers before June. Moving forward, we will most likely only make major updates on a monthly basis.

This was a lot of work, but we got more input from top players and now have official Match Up Consultants that look over the data and give feed back to make sure most of the match ups and numbers and character letter rankings make sense. Everyone got to work and now we have what we feel is a much more fair tier list that is more inline with match up statistics across the board at this point. That said, much can change in the coming months, and a lot is still up in the air when it comes to the new characters.

Hopefully the match up chart is a little easier to read, and if you see any corrections to be made please let us know directly. Of course, we don't expect people to ever agree on any tier list, but your feedback is more than welcome. Hit us up in the comments and let us know what you think of the update!


Street Fighter is Dead

"You are God and I am free; each of us is alone, and our anguish is akin." -- Sartre, "The Flies"

"Boop bop with da' schwoop schwop, get this idiot outta' here." -- Magus1234, Keystone II stream

Inevitably, there will come a time when you stare into the blank look of confusion splayed across the face of a new acquaintance after you tell them that you devote a lot of your free time to something that falls between “hobby” and “masturbation” on the task priority check list. Depending on how much a person masturbates. The question in their eyes is always the same : why?

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There's been a lot of talk that Ibuki is theoretically one of the best, if not the best new character in Super Street Fighter 4. But with such a high execution barrier, trying to pick her up right off the bat will leave many players scratching their head as to why she is ranked so high. That said, Japanese player Sako has a handful of videos out demonstrating what makes her so powerful. 

Below, you'll see Sako performing many of her different set ups and combos that lead to her dreaded Kunai and cross up vortex.  If you're wondering what many of these combos are and want a breakdown on her game plan, the final video is a tutorial by Rushdown TV that will give you all the basics and then some.

Click to read more ...