Blanka is a bit of a strange…beast in Street Fighter V. In past games, he’s been mostly built to be a tricky and annoying character to pin down. This is still true in this game, but his trickiness is slightly toned down. His combos aren’t that powerful but he can become extremely annoying once you manage to get offense going.
- Great vital stats
- Good at harassing opponents in neutral
- Can be surprisingly tricky for players unfamiliar with the matchup
- His slide is one of the best anti-projectile attacks in the game
- Lacks good defensive options
- Low combo damage
- EX Rolling Attack doesn’t go through fireballs
Blanka Basic Stats
- Life bar – 1025
- Stun bar – 1050
- Forward Walk Speed – 0.043
- Backward Walk Speed – 0.032
- Forward Dash Speed – 16
- Backward Dash Speed – 24
- Neutral Jump Speed – 46
- Forward Jump Speed – 45
- Backward Jump Speed – 46
- Throw Range – 0.8
Despite having a diverse set of normals, Blanka actually relies on very few of them. Due to his offensive playstyle, you’ll want to use his faster moves that place him at advantage in order to keep your offense going. In neutral, you’ll mostly rely on Rolling Attack to harass and slide to go under projectiles and upper body attacks.
Punches (startup frames, block advantage)
- Standing Light Punch (5 frames, +2)
- It’s got decent range that allows it to be used as a poke and a far away hit confirm.
- Standing Medium Punch (7 frames, 0)
- This move has decent range so it can be used as a poke but lacks utility.
- Standing Heavy Punch (10 frames, -6)
- Blanka’s most powerful combo tool. It’s primarily used in punish combos for big damage. Has deceptively short range so be wary when tossing it out in neutral. You can follow up a Crush Counter with his Suprise Forward into his target combo.
- Crouching Light Punch (4 frames, +2)
- His most reliable fast normal for defensive situations, primarily because he’s a charge character.
- Crouching Medium Punch (6 frames, -3)
- Blanka’s most reliable anti-air. It’s got upper body invincibility and goes slightly past his head covering a good amount of air space.
- Crouching Heavy Punch (13 frames, -3)
- A decent move with pretty good range and speed for its class. Primarily used to catch an opponent doing something at range. If you can hit confirm and have charge, you can cancel into Critical Art.
Kicks (startup frames, block advantage)
- Standing Light Kick (4 frames, +3)
- Great light pressure tool that works well for tick-throws.
- Standing Medium Kick (7 frames, +2)
- One of Blanka’s best normals. It’s an amazing pressure tool that hits twice, making it easy to hit confirm into target combos for easy damage.
- Standing Heavy Kick (10 frames, -4)
- One of the least used moves in Blanka’s kit. This attack would have been amazing as a counter to throws because it’s airborne. However, it’s too risky as it’s very punishable when blocked.
- Crouching Light Kick (4 frames, +1)
- Works just like most other cr.LKs in the game. It’s not reliable for defense due to its range.
- Crouching Medium Kick (6 frames, -1)
- Primarily a combo tool, confirming into this normal can net you some quick damage when canceling into Vertical Rolling or Rolling Attack.
- Crouching Heavy Kick (8 frames, -12)
- One of the faster sweeps in the game. It sacrifices range for speed which makes it slightly riskier to use during footsies.
Unique Attacks & Target Combos
Blanka has a good array of unique attacks and target combos in SFV. To perform target combos, you need to execute the buttons in sequence, like a chain. Some of these lead to some solid hit confirm damage and knockdown pressure.
- Rock Crusher – f + MP (21 frames, -7)
- An overhead attack with decent range. Landing a hit doesn’t net you any combos but you can continue your offense.
- Amazon River – df + HP (11 frames, -14)
- Blanka’s infamous slide. Timing it correctly allows him to go under fireballs and at the right range can even punish the opponent.
- Raging Bash 1st – MK > HK
- Raging Bash 2nd – MK > HK > HP
- Raging Bash > Surprise Forward – MK > HK > f + KKK
- Raging Bash > Surprise Back – MK > HK > df + KKK
- Lightning Dance – MK > HK > MP+MK
Surprise Forward (forward or down-forward + KKK) & Surprise Back (back or down-back + KKK)
These are Blanka’s main mobility tools. As their name implies, they’re primarily used for their surprise factor. Tossing them out regularly, especially the Forward one, can become predictable, making it easy for your opponent to counter. The main instances you want to use it is canceling from a hit or to mix up after a knockdown. Surprise Forward can go through opponents, which is particularly useful when canceling from a shorter ranged normal.
Rolling Attack (charge back (40f), forward + P)
This is Blanka’s most iconic move. It behaves almost similarly to past games as it can be used as both a harassment tool and a long-range punish. The HP version is the fastest, enabling him to get punishes. It also lands the closest to the opponent giving him the most potential to start his offense. The LP version travels the shortest distance but when it’s blocked, it places Blanka at a safe range, with only a few characters able to punish it. The EX version doesn’t go through projectiles, unlike past SF games. The tradeoff is that landing EX Rolling Attack puts the opponent in a fast juggle state, giving Blanka an opportunity to land a follow-up attack, such as his slide.
Back Step Rolling (charge back (40f), forward + K)
This move has become surprisingly powerful when compared to SF4. Its primary advantage is that it’s safe on block. On hit, it nets you a combo, making it, overall, one of Blanka’s best specials. The one thing to keep in mind is that, even though this move can go over the opponent’s head, the attack doesn’t cross up. The EX version can be used to beat frame traps thanks to its initial invincibility frames.
Vertical Rolling (charge down (40f), up + K)
Another iconic move for Blanka. It works decently as an anti-air but it’s advisable that you use it for longer jump situations, as cr.MP handles most other ranges. Outside of defense, Vertical Rolling can be used to end combos for good damage. You generally want to end your combos with Vertical because dashing up after it hits will place you at plus frames, where Rolling Attack is minus.
Wild Hunt (forward, down-forward, down, down-back, back + P)
With this move, Blanka leaps forward into the air. Upon landing, he throws the opponent. It generally works the same way as Birdie’s “dolphin dive”. In the same way, it should only be used sparingly as a surprise attack. Because it’s slow and easy to react to, you want to avoid relying on it unless your opponent is terrible at punishing the leap.
Electric Thunder (mash P)
Yet another iconic Blanka move, Electric Thunder is pretty much the same as it always has been in past games. In SFV, it’s easier to execute as it only requires 4 punch inputs instead of 5. You want to avoid overmashing, though, as it tends to lead to EX version that will burn your meter when you don’t intend to. Ending a combo into the EX version allows for a slide follow-up for extra damage. Overall, Electric Thunder is mostly used for pressure when st.MK isn’t an option.
Dynamic Rolling (2x down, down-forward, forward + P)
As with most Critical Arts in Street Fighter V, Dynamic Rolling is best used as a combo ender when you have all 3 EX bars. It can also be used defensively as its first 10 frames are completely invincible. If the first hit whiffs, Blanka swings a second time for 120 damage but landing that hit doesn’t go into the super cutscene.
Blanka’s V abilities are what define his playstyle. While there generally aren’t any fast and hard rules as to which are the best picks, you should be considering your choices based on matchup.
Blanka crouches to the ground, evading all regular projectiles and upper body attacks. This V-Skill can only be canceled into his Forward or Backward Surprise hop. While it primarily is a defensive tool, it can be used in a mixup context. You can further add to your fast normal into hop pressure by canceling into Coward Crouch before going into your hop. It’s not necessarily better than just canceling into hop but adds an extra mixup layer. There’s also a punch follow-up that leads into a free juggle state.
Shout of Earth
Blanka pounds the ground, striking the opponent with electricity and launching them into a restricted juggle state which can be followed up with HP Rolling Attack. Its regular version is too slow to be canceled into but can be used in the corner after his target combo to land extra damage. Shout of Earth can be charged like Juri’s V-Skill 1. After charging, the ground pound has more range and can be followed up. Also, like Juri’s VS1, Blanka can dash cancel the charge and store the ground pound. The charged ground pound is much faster and can be canceled into from various normals.
Activating this VT buffs Blanka, granting him enhanced versions of Electric Thunder, Rolling Attack, and Vertical Rolling. For the most part, his two rolling specials become like their EX versions, with pretty much the same properties. Vertical Rolling also gains invincibility frames, making it one of few non-EX moves with such properties. When performing Electric Thunder, Blanka takes a step forward, extending the attack’s range and combo-ability. It also gives it a restricted juggle state for some quick follow-ups.
Activating this VT grants Blanka access to a follow-up roll that can be executed after any of his other rolling attacks, including Back Step Rolling. After landing any of these specials, Blanka can perform up to three follow-ups by tapping HP+HK consecutively. Directional inputs can be added to make Blanka roll in other directions. One of the best aspects of this moves is its corner carry potential, which Blanka lacks.
Blanka’s V-Reversal is a knockdown type. Its main drawback is its short range which makes it a bit risky to use. The best situation to use V-Reversal is when the opponent uses a point-blank move to guarantee it hits. Generally speaking, you’ll want to avoid using it much as Blanka’s V-Meter is best spent on his other V moves.
Blanka’s Main Combos
Hit Confirm Combos
Use these combos up close during pressure when you want to confirm your opponent has gotten hit. You can choose to end combos with Straight or Grand when you want to favor pushback to the corner or a knockdown respectively.
- cr.LK, cr.LP xx MK.Vertical Rolling (can be canceled into CA)
- cr.LP, cr.LP xx HP.Rolling Attack (can be canceled into CA)
- cr.LP, st.LK, cr.LP xx HP.Rolling Attack (can be canceled into CA)
- st.LK, st.LK, cr.LP xx HP.Rolling Attack (can be canceled into CA)
- st.MK > HK > HP
- cr.MK, cr.LP xx MK.Vertical Rolling (can be canceled into CA)
Use these combos in situations where your opponent is open to attack, such as when they use an unsafe move. You can choose to end combos with Straight or Grand when you want to favor pushback to the corner or a knockdown respectively.
- cr.MP xx EX Electric Thunder, HP.Rolling Attack
- cr.MK, cr.LP xx EX.Electric Thunder, HP.Rolling Attack
- cr.MK, cr.LP xx EX.Rolling Attack, EX.Vertical Rolling
- st.HP xx VS1+P, EX.Rolling Attack, EX.Vertical Rolling
- st.HK CC, EX.Rolling Attack, EX.Vertical Rolling
Playing as Blanka requires a bit of creativity and a flair for pissing off your opponent. Rolling Attack is a great way to harass your opponent from a distance to get them to lose their cool and attempt to get in on you. It’s important to not overdo it, though, as the opponent can find ways around it. This is where mixing in your slide comes into play, as the move is very good at punishing whiffed attacks.
Once you’re in and your offense can be started, you’ll want to have a decent array of options to toss at your opponent so they can never be sure what’s coming next. Between st.MK, his hop, throws, Coward Crouch cancels and, occasionally, Wild Hunt, your opponent will have a hard time figuring out how to deal with you. Just don’t become predictable!
Blanka’s Matchups (via Eventhubs)
Blanka in Street Fighter V is generally a decent character when used correctly. While he doesn’t seem to be winning any tournaments, he’s still got a large amount of matchups that are even, as well as a decent number that are in his favor.
- M. Bison
- R. Mika
- E. Honda
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