Iori Yagami (KoF '98 UM)

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Introduction

Although Iori’s offensive ability doesn’t look too good at first glance, his diverse moves all have first-class efficacy. With a little effort, he is easily an upper-tier character.

For better or worse, he only has a few changes from OG.

When Iori doesn’t have gauge, defense is a little bit of a problem, but his offense is irregularly strong. The only real trick is to avoid falling into a pattern so that the opponent doesn’t read you like a book.

Colors

Snka.gif Snkb.gif Snkc.gif Snkd.gif
Iori98 colorA.png Iori98 colorB.png Iori98 colorC.png Iori98 colorD.png

Final Edition Change List

Kof98umfe00.png

  • Step in Extra mode's distance the same as Kyo's
  • Kuzu Kage (hcb f + p) has more recovery on hit

Move List (at a glance)

Normal Throws
Saka Hagi (throw) f/b + C
Saka Saka Hagi (throw) f/b + D
Unique Attacks
Geshiki: Yume Biki f + A, A
Geshiki: Gōfu – In – “Shini Gami” f + B
Geshiki: Yuri Ori (air) b + B
Special Moves
108-Shiki: Yami Barai qcf + P
100-Shiki: Oni Yaki dp + P
127-Shiki: Aoi Bana qcb + P, qcb + P, qcb + P
212-Shiki: Koto Tsuki – In hcb + K
311-Shiki: Tsuma Kushi dp + K
Kuzu Kaze (throw) hcb f + P
Desperation Moves
Kin 1211-Shiki: Ya Wotome qcf hcb + P
Ura 108-Shiki: Ya Sakazuki qcb hcf + P (can be held)

Move Analysis

Normal Moves

A lot of Iori’s ground normals are kind of half-baked, but among them are proffered some with outstanding performance. In contrast, he has many strong jump attacks.

  • cl.C – quick to get out; cancelable.
  • cl.B – low-level hitbox; cancelable into command and special moves.
  • st.C – longish reach and cancelable, making it extremely suitable for countering.
  • cr.D – aims high, has long reach; however, it leaves you pretty open and it isn’t cancelable.
  • j.C – has quite the downward hitbox; it makes quite the powerful attack for jumping in if used from a hop.
  • j.A – quick to get out; suitable for jumping in.
  • j.D – the hitbox goes from diagonally upward to horizontal, making it powerful in air-to-air.

Unique Attacks

  • Geshiki: Yume Biki
  • f + A, A
  • Iori claws at the opponent (same animation as st.C) for the first step and follows with a backfist for the second. Both steps are cancelable, and what’s more, the input is buffered, so you don’t have to (i.e. shouldn’t) delay like most command moves.

  • Geshiki: Gōfu – In – “Shinigami”
  • f + B
  • A two-step ax kick; both steps are overheads. It is quite slow to get out, so its main fault is that it’s easy to see coming. It doesn’t even combo from strong attacks, but it is cancelable if cancelled into.

  • Geshiki: Yuri Ori
  • b + B
  • Oddball backwards kick intended strictly for crossup. It’s Iori’s only move with crossup capability, so you should definitely learn how to use it.

Special Moves

  • 100-Shiki: Oni Yaki
  • dp + P
  • An anti-air move. Only the strong version has invincibility frames. The strong version can be used for interruption and anti-air; the weak version is difficult to counter if you make the very tip touch, so it’s not like you can’t use them for zoning or jump checking. A midair hit with the strong version can now do two, or even the full three hits if you catch it right.

  • 212-Shiki: Koto Tsuki – In
  • hcb + K
  • A high-damage rushing move (with the appearance of a moving throw). It can be countered by moves with long reach if blocked. It’s basically for use in combos, but Aoi Bana is easier to use; in other words, this move isn’t used very often.

  • 127-Shiki: Aoi Bana
  • qcb + P, qcb + P, qcb + P
  • A tripartite rushing move with invincibility at its startup. It is pivotal for comboing, and its ease of use as an interrupting move is also good. The recovery time for stopping at the second hit has been increased, but it’s not for nothing: the additional inputs now require a delay. Also, the invincibility has been shortened.

  • Kuzu Kaze
  • hcb f + P at throwing distance
  • A command throw that does no damage and is slow to get out. It has invincibility frames at startup. You can follow up the move with a ground combo. Because this last ability is extremely powerful, you should be aiming for it proactively. The startup time has been made slightly faster (making this a key component to Iori’s infinite).

  • 108-Shiki: Yami Barai
  • qcf + P
  • A projectile that skims the ground. Leaves you more open compared to the other guys with this move; while it cannot easily be used as a compliment, it is not difficult to use by any means.

  • 311-Shiki: Tsuma Kushi
  • dp + K
  • A rushing move in which Iori hops and take a big flaming swipe downward. It has invincibility frames right after the active portion. It leaves you open if blocked, but it can be cancelled into Aoi Bana if it touches, which can certainly reduce how open you are. The strong version can be cancelled into any special or super special move besides Tsuma Kushi itself.

Desperation Moves

  • Kin 1211-Shiki: Ya Wotome
  • qcf hcb + P
  • A locking ranbu super. It has full-body invincibility at startup. Its height is low and its hitbox has good priority, so it is powerful in anti-air and interruption. However, the damage is oddly low; not all that different from that of special moves, in fact.
  • The normal version combos from weak moves, but the MAX version only combos from strong attacks.
  • The upper-body invincibility during the rushing portion now cuts off en route.

  • Ura 108-Shiki: Ya Sakazuki
  • qcb hcf + P (can be held)
  • A projectile that’s slow to get out. You can hold the button down, and while you stave off the projectile by doing this, Iori has invincibility everywhere except foot level, but this is hard to use.
  • The normal version skims the ground and ends with a pillar of fire with a big splash at the bottom. The MAX version puts up several thinner columns, spouting up in rapid succession.
  • When the move hits, the opponent is frozen in place; if you do nothing to them, they will eventually be blown back and regain mobility. During this stun, you basically get a free combo, but if you froze them in midair, you may be unable to juggle.
  • It is easy to misfire Kuzu Kaze as this move instead; caution must be exercised when attempting it.
  • In UM, the normal version now does the damage when it hits. The gradual loss of health during the stun is now only for the MAX version.

Combos

Basic

  • j.A or crossup Yuri Ori (air b + B) > cl.C or (cr.B > cr.A) >> weak Aoi Bana ((qcb + A) x 3)
  • Basic combo. If from cl.C, Koto Dzuki – In (hcb + K) does more damage.
  • crossup Yuri Ori (air b + B) > cl.B > Yume Biki (2 hit) (f + A, A) >> strong Aoi Bana ((qcb + C) x 3) or Ya Wotome (qcf hcb + P)
  • Basic combo from a crossup. You’ll want to be able to nail the Ya Wotome reliably.
  • crossup Yuri Ori (air b + B) > cl.C or (cr.B >> cl.B) >> Yume Biki (1 hit) (f + A) >> whatever special move
  • Alternate version of the above. Use whichever you like.
  • Kuzu Kaze (hcb f + P) > st.C or (run > cl.C) >> whatever special move
  • Basic combo from Kuzu Kaze (hcb f + P). The cl.C requires a dash to approach or that you are cornered. It is difficult in the middle of the screen, but the widths of the special moves that will combo are wide.

The Basics

At far range, fire off a Yami Barai spontaneously, and approach with a dash or a jump. If the opponent jumps before you arrive, drop them with Oni Yaki or j.D.

At mid-range, use hh.C to attack in one stroke. If jump-attacked or blocked, make them block a combo with few openings, or perhaps go for Yuri Ori or Kuzu Kaze. If you are presented with a slight opening, cut in with either an Oni Yaki so that the very tip will hit, or Tsuma Kushi. Don’t forget that if the Tsuma Kushi is blocked, you can reduce how open you are by continuing on with two steps of Aoi Bana.

Yuri Ori is one of Iori’s prototypical moves, so you’d better consider that the opponent will constantly be on the lookout for it. Therefore, even when you use it, assume it won’t hit; instead, think about the actions that will follow. Also, short hop Yuri Ori several times against a crouching opponent is one way to charge the gauge.

Kuzu Kaze is watched out for even more than Yuri Ori, so don’t try for it too much when it’s impossible. Pressing the two options of jump attacks (comprised of meaties or Yuri Ori) and striking moves after making them block a weak move is effective. Also, they’re a little tough to do, but stuff like interrupting by using invincibility and like using anti-air will also be good.

Advanced Strategy

Match-Ups