Ibuki is one of my favourite characters from the Street Fighter series, I mean, the concept of Ninja schoolgirl is an absolute hit for the likes of Otakus all over the world. Apparently, Ibuki was top tier in Second Impact, but dropped in Third Strike. Now fully updated for Super Street Fighter 4: AE 2012, Ibuki is what some might consider, mid-high tier with loads of gimmicks and setups to cheat even the strongest of players.
Since closing the book on my Ibuki days, I've decided to release a memoirs of sorts that I've previously gathered only in my brain. All my tricks, setups and knowledge that I've garnered through sheer grinding or from fellow community members, I share with you now, so you may never lose to another Ibuki again and go, "Si mi lan jiao gan tyco lor."
What you need to know is, most Ibuki players are shit on D. That means, they are shit on defense. They can't block their own setups, they can't block glaringly obvious crossups, they have no idea what your safe jump is and so on and so forth... What this means is:
1. Their Anti-Air reactions are actually quite good. Because some big combos come off their primary AA (B.MP), as well as that being the one weak spot most players will try to exploit. So jump in a few times to see how on point his/her reactions for AA is but don't go over.
2. When in panic, they will spam EX Kazegiri (EX Dragon Kick), because they have no manners and have absolutely no clue what your safe jump is. ALWAYS watch their meter the way you watch a Rufus player's meter. Learn the maximum punish for your character against the Kunai followup or without and deal it. Although here in Singapore, you can punish a thousand mistakes, they'll still fly up with that EX Kazegiri.
3. While shit on D, most Ibuki players are aggressive as well as random in their offense patterns which is key to being a strong Ibuki player. You'll find them coming at you with infinite block strings, command dash resets and random jumping. What this actually means is, they'll never throw you. They'll never throw you because they do not understand Vanilla 50/50 throw mixups and the logic behind Frame Traps. Every button they hit is strange and pure random. Do not give Ibuki too much credit unless you're up against Iyo, or you'll die a fatal death filled with riddles.
4. Shutting them down early when they have no meter is crucial. Even when they get one, punishing the whiff EX Kazegiri heavily will throw the match slightly towards your favour. Most Ibuki players are momentum-based players, take that away, and they've got nothing.
5. DO NOT FALL DOWN.
The legendary Kunai setups on knockdown that have been cheating people since 2008! Now traditionally, these setups are suppose to be done after an untechable knockdown thus making them "safe", with variations even being able to crossup. Never ask an Ibuki player how to see if the Kunai is a crossup, because chances are, even he or she does not know which direction it is going.
Rely on your sense of hearing for this. Ibuki's Super Jump comes with a "HIAAA~!!!" and her normal jump is silent. NORMALLY, Super Jumps will result in a crossup.
It is important to recognize the distance in which you fall after a knockdown, how far away are you from your opponent, Ibuki. Only after a Neckbreaker knockdown is the position fixed (That is why this knockdown creates the most setups), other then that, off a sweep or off a Spinning Kicks, check to see how far away are you from Ibuki, THE FURTHER YOU ARE, THE HARDER IT IS TO CROSSUP KUNAI. For example, a knockdown created from a EX Spinning Kicks at mid-screen will put you so far out, however much Ibuki Super Jumps, it'll never cross you up.
But of course, sometimes the sound of her Super Jump may ALSO cheat you. Sometimes Ibuki might might Super Jump too late and is forced to throw the Kunai early. This results in a Kunai hitting infront and Ibuki landing behind.
LEARN TO FOCUS ATTACK, BACKDASH.
Oh and one last thing, that setup after forward throw? Where you see Ibuki taking a step back slightly, then short jumps into a Kunai? You can just backdash out of that.
There are character specific tricks to get out of Kunai setups i.e Viper's EX Seismo Feint into throw (I don't know if this still works). Find out what is yours, or if you even have one.
You need only remember that Ibuki's standing Light Punch is 3 Frames and has quite a good hitbox, watch out for that. Crouching Medium Punch has good active frames to bait out dashes and cancel from hit-confirms. Crouching Medium Kick lowers and pulls back hitbox to avoid Burning Kicks, Air Tatsus, Devil Reverses etc...
Ultra 1, Yoroitoshi, is a command grab Ultra with frames 1+(1) which means 1 Frame freezes for animation, 1 more frame before you get caught, THEREFORE, if you've not inputted anything, you can actually jump out of this unlike Zangief's which is 1+(0).
Yoroitoshi guards Ibuki against Boxer's Turn Punch, Adon's Jaguar Kicks, Guy's safe jump after slide, Vega's Cosmic Heel and Dudley's Heavy and EX Machine Gun Blow all of which are free punishes on block. I'm pretty sure there's more but this is as much as I can remember.
Ultra 2, Hashinsho, the Super Jump cancelable Ultra for stylin' has frames 1+(8) and will go through projectiles. It is a relative fast Ultra with good reach.
Hashinsho guards you against Ryu's sweep (Free punish on block), Juri's EX Pinwheel (Free punish on block) amongst many others...
AMBIGUOUS 50/50 LIGHT KICK SETUP AFTER KNOCKDOWN
There are variations to this. But the one most commonly seen would be after Neckbreaker knockdown, buffer B.MP, NORMAL or SUPER JUMP Light Kick for front and crossup respectively. Again, LISTEN TO THE SOUND.
There is a setup whereby they buffer a ST.LK into either jump and is really hard to see, but seldom, Ibuki's know that setup.
Only Xian knows the setup after knockdown where he just twitches a little, jumps, and is horrible 50/50. It's the hardest to see, you can check with Xian for that setup.
You can't safe jump a 3 Frame Uppercut.
These safe jumps won't work against Sagat and Cammy because of their lan jiao wake up timing.
The safe jump after Neckbreaker for Sagat and Cammy is to buffer CR.MK instead, and jump MK, which is a frontal safe jump, pretty easy to see.
If you don't want to face Ibuki on your main, or rather, if your main is in a disadvantage against Ibuki, here are some characters you can counterpick with:
Bad for Ibuki - Zangief, Dictator, Boxer, Chun Li, Blanka (For lower level Ibuki Players).
Good for Ibuki - ALL SHOTOS (Due to Unblockables), Cody, Gouken, Sakura, Makoto, Dudley.
5/5s for Ibuki - Adon, Ibuki, Cammy, C.Viper, Akuma, Gen, Fei Long, Rufus.
There is really no sure-fire way of getting consistent victories against Ibuki. Even the most seasoned of players who are confident of the matchup will drop games to Ibuki. Ibuki IS that sort of character.
But Ibuki being a mixup heavy/centric character, won't survive long sets. Always go for FT_10s onwards if you want to money match an Ibuki.
My parting words to you are, watch that meter, recognize which is Super Jump and which is normal from sound, read her patterns. Basic Vanilla fundamentals like throw mix-ups and frame traps will put Ibuki players into a state of hysteria. Ibuki only has 900HP, 3 big combos that is it.
Take away their momentum, they got nothing. Half the time they don't even know what they are doing, so don't bother trying to figure it out. Take away their momentum, watch their meter, take the game.