Dong Dong Never Die/Ken

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Character Type: Shoto/Footsies
Home Province: Zhe Jiang
Age: 31
Power: ⭐⭐
Speed: ⭐⭐⭐
Health: ⭐⭐

Character Overview

Ken (肯 kěn) is a straightforward shoto-type character with solid long-ranged pokes, strong, consistent confirms, and a variety of special moves that allow him to control space, anti-air, and mix the opponent up.

Ken boasts long-reaching normals such as 5C, 3C, 2D, and 5D, as well as good projectiles, which are excellent for boxing the opponent out. To complement these tools, Ken has excellent anti-airs in the form of 623A/B and 2B, which can both be extended off of using RC in order to carry the opponent to the corner. Once Ken has closed the distance, he can use his extremely plus cl.B and light normals in order to push nasty mixups using 214C, or more conventional strike/throw mixups.

Ken's biggest weakness is the lack of any overly powerful individual options. While he is very consistent and solid in all aspects of his game, he lacks a lot of the grime that other characters have in terms of their pressure sequences and setups. He also doesn't have a ton of ways to optimize his corner combos for extra damage, meaning he generally has to spend a lot of resources in order to secure a ToD.

Strengths Weaknesses
  • Good Pokes: Ken has access to many long-reaching normals, such as 5C, 3C and 5D. 2D is a monstrously long sweep that can notably be confirmed into H-Tatsu (214D) even from the very edge of its range. His fireballs are also a useful, if committal, method of boxing the opponent out.
  • Good Anti-Airs: Ken's DPs are consistent, deal good damage, and can be extended off of with RC.
  • Strong, Consistent Damage: Ken can easily deal 40-50% off any random poke with a simple confirm into super, allowing him to consistently take rounds off of just 2-3 openings.
  • Fast Run Speed: Ken's run speed is faster than average, helping him approach in neutral and making his effective range even larger due to him being able to get to his preferred spacing more quickly.
  • Consistent Corner Carry: Ken can put the opponent into the corner from any screen position for 1 bar by RC'ing one of his DPs and going into a juggle into air tatsu. Air tatsu itself is a risky, but rewarding anti-air option when TK'ed due the the corner carry and can be TK'ed to extend anti-air combos as well. This can lead to a full wall combo from any screen position with good execution or by spending additional resources.
  • Fireball RC: Ken can easily get in for 1 bar by RCing fireball, and even pick up a combo if the opponent wasn't already blocking by the time RC started up.
  • Light Tatsu Mix: Light tatsu is a nasty mixup move, allowing Ken to hit overhead either on the same side or the opposite side if the opponent isn't ready for it.
  • Tech Coverage: Heavy tatsu has a reverse hit that can hit opponents trying to tech roll behind Ken, making it a good option for trying to cover the opponent's wakeup.
  • No BS: Ken doesn't have any overpoweringly strong options in any respect.
  • Meter Hungry: Ken's options for extending combos without meter are limited. This issue is made worse because he starts the match with only 1 bar, and struggles to build meter due to a lack of safe specials to whiff and using less specials in each combo than many other characters.
  • Limited Corner Combo Options: Ken lacks ways to extend corner combos before going into a wall stick. This makes it somewhat difficult for him to have explosive sequences where he kills the opponent in a single opening, despite his good damage overall. Ken also has no way of starting a wall stick combo from a grounded hit in the corner without spending meter.
  • Combo Food: Ken has a quirk that causes him to start moving later than other characters do on some of his juggle animations. Because of that, there are many Ken-exclusive combos that can rack up a lot of damage by repeatedly looping sequences that would drop against most other characters.

Character Data


Meter Build per Hit:

Meter Build per Enemy Hit/Special Use:

Walk Speed:

Run Speed:

Prejump frames:


Note: Dong Dong Never Die's engine runs at 100 frames per second. Frame data and damage are taken directly from the game files.

Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery Hit Reaction Block Reaction
9 Mid 10 8 6 Light, Air Reset Light (+20)

Far-reaching jab with quick recovery. Whiffs on crouching characters, and as such has limited application in combos and neutral. Best used as an anti-air or to extend juggles due to its high hitbox and low recovery, allowing for microdash followups on airborne opponents.

POV you missed your meaty throw timing
POV you missed your meaty throw timing
Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery Hit Reaction Block Reaction
18 Mid 15 8 28 Heavy, Air Reset Heavy (+6)

Far-reaching punch with good frame data for a heavy. Despite its good frame data, it's probably Ken's least useful ground normal as it whiffs on most crouching characters and has significantly less range than 5D. Technically has some links out of it (including a link to 5D or 2D against Jian Ci Lang) but at most ranges where you'd be able to link a normal after 5B you'd be in range for cl.B anyway. Best use case is probably in corner combos to build up wall stick if you're too far for cl.B.

Mix starter
Mix starter
Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery Hit Reaction Block Reaction
20 Mid 14 10 17 Heavy, Air Reset, Forces Stand Heavy (+15), Forces Stand

Godlike button, but limited by its short range. Plus enough on hit to link into other buttons, including 3C from point blank on everyone except Terminator and Violent Dong Dong, microdash 5C, and 2D. This makes it a core part of Ken's max damage combos. On block, is extremely plus and forces stand, allowing for a mixup between a 214C cancel, a 3C/2D, a dash up throw, or another strike. Is also Ken's best option for building wall stick in the corner when microdashed.

Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery Hit Reaction Block Reaction
9 Mid 10 10 8 Light, Air Reset Light (+16)

Ken's farthest-reaching light. Your go-to option for a quick mid poke or for punishing unsafe moves.

Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery Hit Reaction Block Reaction
18 Mid 13 10 34 Heavy, Air Reset Heavy (-2)

Stupidly good poke. Far range, fast startup, and hard to whiff punish due to the hurtbox retracting immediately after the active frames. Advances forward slightly, making it good for comboing into 623A/B.

Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery Hit Reaction Block Reaction
9 Mid 10 10 8 Light, Air Reset Light (+16)

Short-reaching mid. Has identical frame data to 5C with less reach. Use in situations where its lower hitbox and hurtbox might be useful, such as when picking up juggle combos or to beat high-hitting normals.

Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery Hit Reaction Block Reaction
18 Mid 14 16 26 Heavy, Air Reset, Forces Stand Heavy (+0), Forces Stand

High-hitting normal, best used as an anti-air due to its high, disjointed hitbox. As an anti-air, its less committal than a DP, but comes out slower and doesn't have upper-body invincibility. Can be used to force stand at ranges where cl.B won't come out, in order to blockstring into 214C on a crouching opponent. Depending on the character and spacing, can pick up a full juggle combo off an anti-air by immediately canceling into 236A and RCing forward.

Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery Hit Reaction Block Reaction
9 Low 10 8 10 Light, Air Reset Light (+16)

Ken's fastest low. Useful for opening up an opponent trying to block high or tech throws.

Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery Hit Reaction Block Reaction
18 Low 13 10 37 Sweep knockdown, Juggles on air connect Heavy (-5)

Obscenely good sweep. Ken's farthest range ground normal by a fair margin, and tied for his fastest heavy. Can combo into 214C/D even from the very edge of its range against most characters. Has a fairly large and active hurtbox while recovering making it slightly risky to throw out willy-nilly. Useful against some characters for extending corner combos without going into wall stick.

Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery Hit Reaction Block Reaction
9 Overhead 10 8 Until Landing Light, Air Reset Light

Quick air normal. Has more horizontal reach than j.C, making it useful for picking up air combos from a distance.

Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery Hit Reaction Block Reaction
18 Overhead 15 15 Until Landing Heavy, Air Reset Heavy

Ken's lowest-reaching air normal. Works well as a jump-in. Also useful for air chain combos.

Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery Hit Reaction Block Reaction
9 Overhead 10 10 Until Landing Light, Air Reset Light

Same frame data as j.A, but hits lower, making it better for picking up combos on opponents who are lower in the air. Also has a sizable crossup hitbox.

Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery Hit Reaction Block Reaction
18 Overhead 20 12 Until Landing Heavy, Air Reset Heavy

Has the most horizontal range out of ken's air normals, making it a good air-to-air. Also has a big crossup hitbox, making it Ken's preferred crossup jump-in.

Command Normals

Footsies: pt. 2
Footsies: pt. 2
Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery Hit Reaction Block Reaction
15 Low 12 12 14 Light, Air Reset Light (+8)

Input like a command normal, but serves as a light normal for the purpose of the cancel hierarchy. Has somewhat more range than 2C, making it a better low option at longer ranges where 2C won't connect. Can sometimes be tacked on at the end of a light link combo where other lights won't connect.


气功波 (qìgōng bō)
Version Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery Hit Reaction Block Reaction
236A 24 Mid 24 -- 72 Heavy, Air Reset Heavy (-30 point-blank)
Version Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery Hit Reaction Block Reaction
236B 24 Mid 24 -- 72 Down Heavy (-30 point-blank)

Ken's fireball. Fires a horizontally-moving projectile, which travels fullscreen.

A version travels slower than the B version, which is the only difference between the two.

Useful for keeping the opponent at an arm's length, as you'd expect. Possesses a high hitbox that makes them surprisingly difficult to jump over, but is vulnerable to being low-profiled. Be wary of advancing low-profile moves, such as Wu Liao Jun's Viper and Jiang Bao's Sliding Shadowless Kick. Will also whiff on some characters while crouching, including Dong Dong, Ming Boy, Mo Shu Shi, and Mario.

Both versions are useful as a blockstring ender. The light version grants better frame advantage if used from farther than point-blank, but the heavy version can more consistently create a true blockstring

236A travels slow enough that you can follow it in to pressure the opponent if performed from fullscreen. This gets even better when combined with RC, allowing you to get in at the cost of 1 bar, and potentially starting a combo if the opponent doesn't block the fireball.

236B is a good option for extending grounded combos using RC. When using RC to extend fireball combos, make sure to only RC after the fireball has hit the opponent. Otherwise, the opponent will get hit out of the pause from RC by the fireball, and your combo will likely drop. 236B is also a good option for confirming into 236236D.

Both versions of fireball can also be used to jumpscare the opponent in neutral using RC. The fireball will continue traveling while the opponent is frozen from the RC. If the opponent wasn't already blocking by the start of the RC, and the fireball hits them while they're frozen, then they will be unable to block it. Because the fireball must hit the opponent out of the RC pause, the combo situation is not as good as RCing after the fireball has already hit. At closer ranges (up to slightly less than halfscreen), you should use the A version, as it will give you more frame advantage on hit. From farther ranges, use the B version, as the A version may not reach the opponent before the freeze time runs out.

升龙拳 (shēnglóngquán)
Version Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery Hit Reaction Block Reaction
623A 30 (early hit), 20 (late hit) Mid 5 10 (early hit) + 18 (late hit) 34 airborne + 15 landing Big Diagonal Launch, Heavy Vertical Launch (late hit) Heavy (-36)

Extremely fast anti-air. Has upper-body invincibility from frame 1 until the early hitbox ends. Due to its speed, it can be tacked on at the end of many juggle combos where nothing else will connect, or used to punish slightly minus moves.

Can also be used on wakeup or as a counterpoke in order to beat high profile normals.

The early hit can be canceled into roll in order to set up juggle combos.

If the late hit connects, you can juggle into another 623A, or if you're quick, even a light normal.

Version Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery Hit Reaction Block Reaction
236B 18*3 Mid 10 10+10+8 55 airborne + 15 landing Heavy Vertical Launch (first hit), Light Vertical Launch (second hit), Heavy Air Juggle (final hit) Heavy (-36)

Slightly slower than 623A, but significantly more damaging. Advances forward on startup, rises much higher, and travels faster horizontally, allowing it to hit from farther away than 623A.

Is Ken's best meterless damage option for ending combos (outside of wall stick) when it's available.

Can be RCed on either the first or second hit. RCing on the second hit deals slightly more damage, but doesn't launch the opponent as high. After RC, you can follow up with a jumping normal for a juggle combo.

Tatsumaki Senpukyaku
旋兒腿 (xuánertuǐ)
214C/D, Air OK
Version Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery Hit Reaction Block Reaction
214C 20 Overhead 29 (initial hit) + 16 (reverse hit) 6 (initial hit), 3 (reverse hit Heavy Floaty Juggle, Heavy Juggle (air connect) Heavy

Advancing overhead kick. Has a lot of gimmicky properties.

Whiffs on most crouching characters. This would seem to defeat the purpose of it being an overhead, but cl.B and 2B or any jumping normal can force the opponent to stand, allowing for 214C to hit if they decide to block low afterward.

Has invincibility on the pivoting leg from frame 7-48. This allows it to hop over low-hitting attacks and punish them.

Can hop over most crouching characters if done close enough. If this happens, then it has a reverse hit (that also hits overhead). The hitbox of the reverse hit is lower, allowing it to hit without needing to force the opponent to stand first.

The last 18 frames of recovery can be canceled into any special move.

Version Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery Hit Reaction Block Reaction
214D - Mid - - - - -

Ken's standard grounded combo ender for corner carry and going into supers.

Whiffs on crouch, so its best to cancel into it from 2D. Also tends to drop if the initial hit is connected too high.

Can combo into 623A in the corner if the initial hit connects high enough.

Has a reverse hitbox, which can be useful for comboing after a crossup 214C or for covering the opponent's getup roll.

Version Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery Hit Reaction Block Reaction
j.214C/D - Mid - - - - -

Air tatsu is a useful tool for extending midair combos. Both versions slow Ken's falling speed and gravity. Additionally, the C version gives Ken a slight amount of backward momentum, and the D version gives him a slight amount of forward momentum.


Shin Shoryuken
Version Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery Hit Reaction Block Reaction
Normal - - - - - - -
Version Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery Hit Reaction Block Reaction
Rage - - - - - - -
Version Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery Hit Reaction Block Reaction
Normal - - - - - - -
Version Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery Hit Reaction Block Reaction
Rage - - - - - - -
Shippu Jinraikyaku
Version Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery Hit Reaction Block Reaction
Normal - - - - - - -
Version Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery Hit Reaction Block Reaction
Rage - - - - - - -


This is not meant to be a comprehensive list of all viable combos, and not all of these combos work on every character. Combos are heavily dependent on spacing and the opposing character, so it's best to learn combo theory and what works in what situation rather than canned combo strings.

Grounded Starters

Light Link Sequences

  • light > 3C > 5D/2D

Off a point-blank light normal:

  • light > cl.B > 3C > 5D/2D. cl.B to 3C will not link on Terminator.
  • light > cl.B > 5C > 5D/2D. Variation of previous combo that works on Terminator. Requires you to be very close.
  • light > cl.B > microdash 5C > 3C > 5D/2D. Slightly more difficult variation of the link combo. Depending on character, may be able to get more microdash normals.

Grounded Enders

Off of 5D:

  • 5D > 623B. Works consistently at max range.
  • 5D > 236B > 236236D. Easy 1 bar super confirm. Time the super so that the opponent has already gotten hit by the fireball by the time the freeze happens.
  • 5D > 236B > Forward RC > light link sequence. Allows you to go into your desired ground combo from 1 bar from any range.
  • 5D > 623B > RC (either direction, on first or second hit) > air chain combo. Standard launcher sequence. RC forward or back depending on whether you want to side swap or not.

Off of 2D:

  • 2D > 214C > 214D > 623A (if in corner). Good corner carry combo. At farther ranges or on certain characters, 214D may not connect after 214C. In those cases, go directly into 214D.
  • 2D > 214D > 236236A: Good super confirm. Tends to whiff against some characters (Ken, Ming Boy).


Off of high connect 623A:

  • High connect 623A > 623A. The first 623A may travel to the other side of the opponent so be prepared to do the DP input in the other direction depending on spacing.
  • High connect 623A > 5C > 5D > 214D.
  • High connect 623A > 5A > Forward Jump > instant j.A/j.C (char. dependent) > j.B > j.214D. Highly rewarding meterless AA sequence that can lead to further extensions (see Air Chain Combos - Enders). Requires the opponent to be higher up than for the previous two juggles.

Off of 5A:

  • 5A > microdash 5A > microdash 5A etc. Good when landing 5A close to the opponent. Can go into other 5A options.
  • 5A > microdash 3C > 5D > 214D.
  • 5A > instant j.A/j.C > j.B > j.214D. Highly rewarding, only works when close to the opponent.
  • 5A > TK j.214D. Works from farther out than the above combo, but is much harder to do and requires opponent to be high in the air.

All of these combos get easier the later into its active frames 5A hits. A preemptive anti-air 5A can lead to a huge combo.

Off of 2B:

  • 2B > 214C. The 214C will generally require a slight delay depending on opponent's height. Will not work at farther ranges.
  • 2B > 236A > RC forward > Hadoken hits > dash > 5A into followups OR instant j.A/j.C into followups. Fairly consistent 1 bar extension with good corner carry.
  • 2B > 236A > RC forward > 623A > Hadoken hits > dash > instant j.A/j.C/j.214D into followups. Mostly just for style points. Requires the opponent to be super high up and is fairly character-specific.

Off of an air-to-air light: see "Air Chain Combos" section.

Off of a TK air tatsu:

  • TK j.214D > 623B. Consistent meterless ender.
  • TK j.214D > rising j.A into an air chain. Has very high reward if you can land it.
  • TK j.214D > 236236A. Can sometimes work against A Shuang, Wu Liao Jun, and Terminator at ranges where nothing else will connect due to them getting knocked farther back in their air reset animations.
  • TK j.214D > RC forward > 5A > 623B. More consistent combo against Shuang, Wu Liao Jun, and Terminator.

Air Chain Combos

Ken generally starts his air chains in many ways: off a raw air-to-air, after a DP > RC launcher from a grounded combo, after throw > RC, or after an anti-air, such as 5A or 2B > 236A > RC.

Ken's air chain combos usually go something like this:

  • Rising j.Light > j.Heavy > j.214D > grounded ender.

The light can be either j.A or j.C. j.A has more horizontal range, allowing it to pick up a combo from further away, but j.C hits lower, allowing it to hit opponents who are low in the air. Likewise, the heavy can be either j.B or j.C. j.B hits lower and comes out faster, while j.D has more horizontal range.

The heavy and the j.214D may need to be delayed in order to allow the opponent to rise into the air more.

Against certain characters, Ken can also do

  • Rising j.Light > Delay j.Heavy > Delay j.214D > Rising j.Light > Delay j.Heavy > j.214D > TK j.214D

This can usually carry the opponent from corner to corner and lead to a wallsplat combo. Microdashes may be required during the grounded portions in order to pick the combo up. This combo is difficult and character-specific, but is notably much easier on Jie Jie, Xiao Pan, and Huo Chai Ren due to their floatier Heavy Air Reset animations.

Against characters whose air reset animations have them fly back faster (A Shuang, Wu Liao Jun, and Terminator), it may not be possible to combo after a light > heavy > tatsu sequence. Against those characters, you can still extend further for 1 bar with a sequence of

  • Rising j.Light > Delay j.Heavy > 236A/B (during j.Heavy landing lag) > RC forward


After landing, Ken can end the combo in a few ways depending on spacing and the opponent. At midscreen:

  • dash > 5C > 214C > 214D > 623A (if in corner). Lots of corner carry and damage. The 214D will put the opponent in the corner, allowing for a juggle to 623A.
  • dash > 5C > 214D > 623A (if in corner). Use when the opponent is too far out for 214C > 214D to work.
  • dash > 5D > 214D > 623A (if in corner). 214D may sometimes be too far out to work.
  • dash > 3C > 5D > 214D > 623A (if in corner). Works on some characters, could be a good option at certain ranges where nothing else will reach in time due to 3C hitting low to the ground.
  • dash > 5A > microdash 5C > 214C > 214D > 623A (if in corner). Cute little sequence that can push the opponent farther to the corner.
  • Do another air chain, either with a rising light normal or a TK air tatsu.

In the corner: Can usually connect a grounded light normal, leading into a full wall stick combo.

Corner Combos

Like most characters, the best thing Ken can do with his combos in the corner is go into a wall stick. Outside of wall stick, the only notable thing that changes about Ken's combos in the corner is that he can combo 623A after 214D. An standard no-wallstick Ken corner combo is:

  • 2C > cl.B > 3C > 2D > 214C > 214D > 623D (138 damage)

If your opponent is airborne and in the corner or if you want to spend bar, the best thing to do is to go for a wall stick combo.

Like with every character, your goal with a wall stick combo is to get to 6 air reset hits while getting in as many non-air reset hits as possible. Here are some sequences that will help in that process:

  • 5A > dash 5A > dash 5A etc. Builds the wall stick counter and will cause most opponents to gradually rise into the air
  • cl.B > dash cl.B > dash cl.B etc. Good for building up the wall stick counter, although the opponent will lose height over time
  • cl.B > 214C > 5A. Sneaks in a 214C, after which you can start raising the opponent's height again. Requires opponent to be sufficiently high up, but if they're too high 214C can whiff.
  • j.A/j.C > j.B/j.D > j.214C/D. Can raise the opponent's height considerably, allowing you to set up the late hit of 623A or other sequences that require a specific height.
  • cl.B/2B > 214C (reverse hit) > 623A > 5A. Difficult, requires precise spacing, extremely character specific (of characters tested, only seems to work consistently on Jiang Bao), but rewarding. Note that the 623A input must be done in the opposite direction as the 214C crosses up.
  • 214C > 214C > 5A. If 214C hits high enough or late enough into its active frames, you can do another one and continue the combo after.
  • High connect normal > 214C (late active frames) > 214C > 214C > 214D > 623A > RC. Probably Ken's best way of spending a bar to continue a wall combo. On some characters, you can only land 214C twice before going into 214D if you want to extend with 623A.

Ken's most damaging single hit for triggering the wall flyoff is 623A.

Off of 214C mix

Ken can land his 214C overhead if the opponent has a tall crouching hurtbox (ex: Jian Ci Lang) or by forcing the opponent to stand first with cl.B, 2B, or a jumping normal (It will still whiff on a stand-blocking Mario, however). After hitting with 214C in this way, Ken can follow up:

  • 214C > 623B. Lots of meterless damage, works on everyone (needs verification). DP can be RCed for extensions
  • 214C > 214D > 623A (if in corner). Only works on Ken.

If the initial hit whiffs, Ken can land the reverse hit by hopping over a crouching opponent. If it hits, some followups are:

  • 214C (reverse hit) > 623A. Works on characters with wide hurtboxes during the juggle animation (ex: Jie Jie, needs further testing). Can RC the 623A for a big combo.
  • 214C (reverse hit) > 214D (reverse hits). Works on everyone. Can be RCed for further extenstions, but options are limited.
  • 214C (reverse hit) > 5C > 214C > 623B. Works on Dong Dong, Ken, Jie Mei Hua, Jie Jie, Mario, and Violent Dong Dong.
  • 214C (reverse hit) > cl.B > 214C > 214C > 214D (if in corner) > 2A > full corner combo. Ken only, very funny.

Throw Combos

Ken can link a 2A or 5C off his forward throw in the corner against certain characters (confirmed to work on A Shuang and Yin Yin, may be others). Against other characters, he has to extend using meter. On forward/back throw RC, Ken will usually be in a position to start an air chain combo with an instant j.C or j.A, which is usually his best option.