Art of Fighting 3/Ryo Sakazaki

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リョウ・サカザキ, Ryo Sakazaki

Introduction

Difficulty: Easy Playstyle: Shoto with offensive tools

The poster boy of Art of Fighting, Ryo is your typical fighting game shoto, a mix between both Ryu and Ken of Street Fighter fame. That being said, that doesn't stop him from being cool in his own right. With a tool for every situation, solid fundamentals, a balance between both offense and defense, and strong damage overall, Ryo makes for a great character in Art of Fighting 3. He's easy to pick up and play as, due to a wide selection of easy to use and versatile tools, including the best crossup in the game.

That's not to say he doesn't have some shortcomings, however. For one, his C button is pretty much worth ignoring most of the match, and lower than average corner carry and strange juggle combos can leave him lacking in stable offense.

As opposed to Robert, Ryo has slightly more offense focused tools overall than Robert does, and an emphasis on close range fighting and hard hitting, single strikes.

Strengths Weaknesses
  • Fast fireballs and other useful special moves
  • Great low kick with fast startup and long range, in addition to having a full crouch version which is faster
  • Cross up j.C
  • High chip damage
  • Largest toolkit in the game
  • Pretty mobile despite not looking like it
  • Unblockable ranbu super
  • Easy to use
  • They gave him a taco for some reason
  • Specials, while useful, can be very punishable if blocked or whiffed
  • Juggle combos can be awkward to pull off
  • His C button isn’t very useful
  • His corner carry isn’t very stellar aside from a couple pokes
  • Slightly beaten by specialists, particularly Robert who has more utility to his specials
  • Brought Yuri with him on the road trip but she isn’t playable
Player 1 Color Player 2 Color
AOF3 Ryo Sakazaki 1P.png AOF3 Ryo Sakazaki 2P.png

Move List

Grounded Normals

5A
Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery Total Hit Adv Block Adv Wrong Block Adv Invul Property
- - - - - - - - - - Ground

Good jab. Not as abusable as other jabs but it still gets the job done and stops the opponent in their tracks, giving you a few free hits up close.

5B
Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery Total Hit Adv Block Adv Wrong Block Adv Invul Property
- - - - - - - - - - Ground

Solid anti-air tool, but if you use it in neutral, it will almost always whiff above the opponent, so be very careful to not use it or else it’s a free punish.

5C
Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery Total Hit Adv Block Adv Wrong Block Adv Invul Property
- - - - - - - - - - Ground

Straight strong punch. Honestly not very useful even in combos, but it does decent chip damage. It’s fast enough to do a chip kill at least, but you have far better buttons that lead to bigger results, or even a plain 5A jab combo.

2A
Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery Total Hit Adv Block Adv Wrong Block Adv Invul Property
- - - - - - - - - - Ground

A somewhat slow low punch that doesn’t really combo into anything, but it makes for an okay tool to throw your opponent off with a free poke.

Full Crouch 2A
Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery Total Hit Adv Block Adv Wrong Block Adv Invul Property
- - - - - - - - - - Ground

Simple but fast crouching light kick. Good for interrupting the opponent if you need something very slightly faster than 2B, but you will probably use 2B regardless.

2B
Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery Total Hit Adv Block Adv Wrong Block Adv Invul Property
- - - - - - - - - - Ground

Arguably one of the best lows in the game with solid reach and near instant startup. While it won’t knockdown from far away, its high priority quickly shuts the opponent down and gives Ryo a free turn. It has some recovery on block, but it’s hard to punish.

Jumps

j.A
Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery Total Hit Adv Block Adv Wrong Block Adv Invul Property
- - - - - - - - - - Ground

Comes out fast as a quick punch if you need an immediate trade, and is also angled downwards. Probably won’t use too often.

j.B
Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery Total Hit Adv Block Adv Wrong Block Adv Invul Property
- - - - - - - - - - Ground

Comes out slower than j.A, but has more range being that it’s a kick, and is also angled downwards, so you’ll likely use this as a jump in.

j.C
Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery Total Hit Adv Block Adv Wrong Block Adv Invul Property
- - - - - - - - - - Ground

Ryo does the Iori Yagami taco, or in otherwords a backwards crossup kick. Obviously not useful for taking on opponents directly, but the hitbox is quite large and it’s easy to cross up with so it’s an air move you should definitely be aware to use, kinda like Iori’s j.4B in the KOF games.

Dashing Normals

66AA
Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery Total Hit Adv Block Adv Wrong Block Adv Invul Property
- - - - - - - - - - Ground

Not a bad dash attack by itself. It deals okay damage with some reach, but the launch height is so low and it pushes the opponent far away enough that at best you can only follow up with 214A if you time it right.

66BB
Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery Total Hit Adv Block Adv Wrong Block Adv Invul Property
- - - - - - - - - - Ground

Covers really good reach and, to our knowledge, is slightly faster than Kasumi’s 66B lunging kick. However, it’s also more punishable than Kasumi’s 66B, so use it sparingly.

Command Normals

5AB
Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery Total Hit Adv Block Adv Wrong Block Adv Invul Property
- - - - - - - - - - Ground

Spot dodge similar to that of Samurai Shodown 3 or Smash. Not the biggest window in the world for dodging, but it can throw the opponent’s rhythm off.

5BC
Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery Total Hit Adv Block Adv Wrong Block Adv Invul Property
- - - - - - - - - - Ground

Very slow startup with decent range kick attack that pushes the enemy far away. The damage is nothing special, however, and although the wall carry is good, the range might whiff when you don’t expect it to, on top of extending his hurtbox. You’d need a fairly good read for it to connect, so you might be better off ignoring the move with low reward in comparison to many of Ryo’s other stellar moves.

Against Wall A/B
Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery Total Hit Adv Block Adv Wrong Block Adv Invul Property
- - - - - - - - - - Ground

The A version of this command normal gives Ryo a really big jump away from the wall, making it an unusually good tool for him to get out of the corner with, despite him not looking like someone who could pull it off. The B version has him do a downwards lunging kick as opposed to jumping away from the wall, albeit it still travels pretty far. If you connect with it it does a hard knockdown and if you follow up with 214A, that’s a guaranteed 25% damage. Make sure not to do it too high or too close to the opponent though, because otherwise it’ll whiff above them and potentially lead to a punish. This move is what defines Ryo's hit and run game, if that's the way you want to approach playing him, although be aware of the window that the opponent can set up a punish to anti-air you.

33A
Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery Total Hit Adv Block Adv Wrong Block Adv Invul Property
- - - - - - - - - - Ground

This turns Ryo’s otherwise average low poke into a dashing normal with some hurtbox reduction to make it slightly easier to rush in. Plus, the attack knocks down with good corner carry, so although it might not be possible to follow up on anything, it will throw the opponent in for a loop.

3BB
Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery Total Hit Adv Block Adv Wrong Block Adv Invul Property
- - - - - - - - - - Ground

Not particularly damaging on its own, but it has good reach and a surprising amount of corner carry, so if you need to force the opponent into the corner, it can do the job just fine. That is until you realize that 4B does the same thing and with only one B press as opposed to two B presses, where the second one is awkwardly timed.

4B
Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery Total Hit Adv Block Adv Wrong Block Adv Invul Property
- - - - - - - - - - Ground

Same deal as 3BB, only much more practical to use.

3BC
Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery Total Hit Adv Block Adv Wrong Block Adv Invul Property
- - - - - - - - - - Ground

This is the better option to use than 3BB, since there’s slightly more damage and wall carry to it with the same startup. It launches pretty far so you most likely will have zero room to follow up with anything, however.

Launchers

3A
Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery Total Hit Adv Block Adv Wrong Block Adv Invul Property
- - - - - - - - - - Ground

Standard launcher. On block it’s really punishable with long recovery, but it hits fairly low so it works on a good read.

64B+C
Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery Total Hit Adv Block Adv Wrong Block Adv Invul Property
- - - - - - - - - - Ground

One of Ryo’s best launchers. It hits rather high, but has next to no recovery and gives Ryo ample room to recover and follow up with juggle combos.

28A
Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery Total Hit Adv Block Adv Wrong Block Adv Invul Property
- - - - - - - - - - Ground

Almost no different from the 3A launcher beyond the funky input. It’s slightly faster? That’s about all we can notice.

Specials

Ko’oh Ken
236A/C
Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery Total Hit Adv Block Adv Wrong Block Adv Invul Property
- - - - - - - - - - Ground
  • Spirit Cost: 25%
  • His A version is a “slow” version of the fireball while his C version is lightning fast. They’re both fast one way or the other, so unfortunately you can’t trap an opponent from a jump in (or at least not as well), but the high damage makes it a solid punish tool to zone with.

Hien Shippū Kyaku
16B
Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery Total Hit Adv Block Adv Wrong Block Adv Invul Property
- - - - - - - - - - Ground
  • Spirit Cost: 25%
  • Ryo’s leaping kick attack that deals just under a third of damage, and can hit from fullscreen. It has some startup, and the opponent can react fast enough to block in time if possible, but it’s a great move to both get in and punish the enemy with if a fireball won’t do. Can be a decent anti-air, too, if timed right. Okizeme is free off of a knockdown since Ryo lands right next to the opponent.

Kohou
623A/C
Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery Total Hit Adv Block Adv Wrong Block Adv Invul Property
- - - - - - - - - - Ground
  • Spirit Cost: 25%
  • It’s your ordinary DP attack, nothing crazy to see here. His A DP is typical range for a DP, whereas his C DP reaches as high as the ceiling of the stage, but both deal the same amount of damage. Good anti-air as per usual, but nothing crazy.

Zan Retsu Ken
646A
Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery Total Hit Adv Block Adv Wrong Block Adv Invul Property
- - - - - - - - - - Ground
  • Spirit Cost: 33%
  • Ryo does this attack for a surprisingly long amount of time, giving you ample leg room to catch the opponent if used right, but on the flipside that gives the opponent more time to punish you as well, assuming they can because the move has very little recovery. It deals about a third of health, and is simple to combo into, so if you have the Spirit to spare, it’s a solid juggle ender. Although there's a blind spot below it, the only character who can actually punish it is Kasumi with low crushing sweeps, and everyone else is forced to respect it. Technically, Wang can punish it with 2AB, and Jin with 2B, but they both need near perfect spacing. Sinclair can also punish 646A with her 28A special, since she jumps above Ryo, but even this is very unreliable. 646A will vacuum above Ryo, so you have to time it while Ryo's hitbox is lowered, or else Sinclair will either trade or get squashed.

Koh Geki
214A on grounded opponent
Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery Total Hit Adv Block Adv Wrong Block Adv Invul Property
- - - - - - - - - - Ground
  • Spirit Cost: 25%
  • If you have the spirit to spend, this makes for a significantly more damaging OTG attack than the normal 3A/B attack everyone else has. That’s about it though, but if you catch your opponent in time, this makes for some seriously damaging combos. That is if you can catch your opponent, because if they tech fast enough it will whiff and leave Ryo open. If you can land it consistently (particularly in the corner) then great, but if you can’t, it’s best not to try since whiffing it will hurt.

Haoh Shoukou Ken
641236C
Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery Total Hit Adv Block Adv Wrong Block Adv Invul Property
- - - - - - - - - - Ground
  • Spirit Cost: 40%
  • While it’s a super powerful and fast projectile that for whatever reason isn’t a super, the startup takes way too long to activate, and by the time the opponent realizes it, they can probably just block or jump over it in time. If you do manage to land it, you deserve a pat on the back, but this is a move you’ll likely only land if the opponent isn’t paying attention, that or it becomes a trade.

Ryuko Ranbu
641236 (slight delay) B
Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery Total Hit Adv Block Adv Wrong Block Adv Invul Property
- - - - - - - - - - Ground
  • Spirit Cost: 75%
  • Standard rush forward super attack that you’re probably familiar with in King of Fighters. It has a pinch of startup on it, but if you have a solid read, it deals over 50% life and carries the opponent fairly far. However, this one is unblockable, so that alone gives Ryo a very solid comeback to fall back on.

Strategy

Ryo can be played however the player desires to play him, however Ryo does have tools that favor more aggressive play. You can play Ryo like a typical shoto, a hit and run character, a rushdown character kinda like Iori from King of Fighters, a bit of a turtle, he has tools that let him play any type of style. Almost all of Ryo's tools are effective and have some sort of use that the only major downsides are his C button being very limited and his corner carry being relatively weak. That being said, he is still limited by the game's Spirit system preventing him from having 24/7 access to his specials, and regardless of being able to play any way he wants and well, he can still be countered with general strategies. Specialists will also still beat him, but only slightly that it's not much of a setback. The only arguably bad moves that Ryo has are his 5C (albeit decent for chip damage kills), 5BC, 3BB, and 28A. He has so many other tools at his disposal though that it hardly matters.

If you play him as a typical shoto character, he has all the tools you would expect: a fireball, DP, and a leaping kick special. He also has access to his Haoh Shou Kou Ken, or the giant fireball, as a special and not a super. His super, instead, is an unblockable ranbu, so overall a very well-rounded kit with a great set of normals. By this point, it's a matter of knowing when to use each of his moves effectively, and when to attempt juggle combos. As a hit-and-run character, Ryo can utilize both his C fireballs to punish opponents from afar very quickly and also his wall jumps. They give Ryo an easy way to escape the corner, whether it be jumping right above the opponent or divekicking off the wall. Ryo can sit on a life lead this way, but this leads to the issue of not really using any of his other moves and playing chicken instead. When divekicking, he can still be anti-aired while he's jumping down, that or an air-to-air will catch him, too. So careless players who choose to hit-and-run will eventually be called out on it once the opponent picks up their rhythm and steal the momentum back. For rushdown, Ryo attempts to score as many combos and raw pokes as possible, and upon okizeme, can go for an overhead, a low, his 646A, or even jump and force the opponent into an ambiguous crossup thanks to having the Iori taco in his Jump C. It only takes one block or a poorly timed special for the opponent to be given the window to punish him, though, since most everything is easy to punish on block or with patience on whiff. As a turtle, Ryo doesn't have a whole lot other than his raw pokes, fireballs, and 646A to keep the opponent out, with the occasional DP. Not a bad setup per se, but it doesn't utilize Ryo's other unique tools, and makes getting back on an opponent with a life lead a little difficult. Overall though, he can handle any situation well and with little setback, so long as the player adjusts accordingly.

Ryo will be able to handle the rest of the cast just fine, other than Kasumi who can stuff him fairly well. While he is beaten by specialists, he can make up for it by playing differently anyways. His matchups fluctuate a bit, since for example, he has really good matchups against Rody and Lenny due to his infinite, but is only slightly better than someone like Robert or Karman, and otherwise loses to Kasumi.

Combos

Rush Combos
Combo Damage Works On Notes
6A > 6B Basic rush combo. Ryo's jab range makes this more reliable than other characters, making long ranged punishes off of a basic poke easier. The recovery is quite lengthy after the 6B, however.
6AA > 6B Same deal as 6A > 6B, but an extra hit and less recovery.
6A > 66B
6AA > 6CC
6AA > 6C 6B Ryo's nastiest rush combo under the right conditions. While a couple of characters, including himself, can only be hit by it once, others can be looped with it in the corner for absurd damage, and a very unlucky couple of characters can even be infinite comboed off of it. Although getting the timing on characters who need the corner is among the strictest in the game, the characters who suffer most have lenient windows to perform it. More details can be found under Juggle Combos.
6AA > 6B
6AA > 6C > 6B
6BB
3B > 5C > 2A
Juggle Combos
Combo Damage Works On Notes
Launcher > 5A > 646A Basic juggle combo that while tough to time the jab link, is effective for around 40% health. Almost zero corner carry, however.
Launcher, 6AA, 6AACC
(close to corner) Launcher, 6AACB, 646A
3A, 6AA, 5AAA, 646A
3A, 6AA, 5AAA, 6AACB
Launcher (preferably 3A) > 6AA~6C~6B Loop > 623P or 646A Depends; usually Rody and Lenny Ryo's TOD combo, or otherwise a very painful combo when the spacing is optimal. Even if Ryo can't loop someone with it, he can probably still end it with a special move that makes for a very painful wakeup call that always ends on a knockdown. However, aside from the couple few who are affected most by it, it's a pretty tough combo to pull off.
  • Works anywhere: Rody, Lenny, Wyler
It's easiest to perform on Wyler because he's the lightest character in the game, ironically enough. Against Lenny and Rody, where it actually matters, a 3A launcher will guarantee you're closest to land the full combo, but any launcher should work. It's harder to time against Lenny, but it's still fairly lenient. The reason you must use 6AA 6C 6B is because the recovery on the 6B is the shortest in this rush combo, as opposed to 6AA 6B or even 6A 6B. If you're in the corner, you might need to use 6AA 6B to keep the juggle going, since the second 6A will push Ryo back and make 6C whiff. Against Rody, this shouldn't be an issue. As a midscreen combo though, this combo will guarantee a round win, special ender or not. Rody probably has his worst matchup here simply because he's a character who captalizes off of being in your face 24/7.
  • Works, but second loop requires the corner: Sinclair, Karman, Robert, Wang
When using the second loop in the corner, unless against Rody, you must shorten the string to its 6AA > 6B variant, as 6C will whiff due to the pushback, and drop the combo. On characters where it only loops in the corner, the timing depends on who you’re fighting. For example, it’s more consistent against Karman, but against Sinclair, it’s very strict timing both on the string itself and timing the reloop. Special attack follow up after the second loop technically can work, but it’s extremely hard timing. Reason you need the corner for some characters is because from midscreen, the rush combo pushes them too far back. Special after one loop is easier to time than after a second loop.
  • Doesn’t work: Jin, Ryo, Kasumi
Against Kasumi, you can try as hard as you want but it doesn’t matter how close you are, you cannot loop her even with the corner. Landing the string alone is rather difficult against Kasumi, since it’s very easy for an attack to whiff and drop the whole combo, or worse, you run past Kasumi and give her enough time to recover and punish you. Even if you land the string correctly, you cannot follow up against her, other than a Pursuit. Jin and Ryo are both too heavy to land the juggle, as they'll always drop past the rush combo. Only one loop will work and a Pursuit.


General
FAQ
Controls
HUD
System
Training Mode
Characters
Jin
Karman
Kasumi
Lenny
Robert
Rody
Ryo
Sinclair
Wang
Wyler