Kyo Kusanagi (SvC)

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"So, tell me. How does it feel to be charcoal?" By: Kyo Kusanagi



This guy is Kyo, the main character(One of them, actually) from the KoF series. His first appearence was on the first KoF game(Where he wasn't an important character yet). Here, he is with his classic costume(The school boy one), but with his pos-'95 movelist(Which can be confusing at first). He isn't a hard character to play, and he will be very easier if you're used to his KoF 2002 version(He is almost an copy and paste from there, but with some more things). Now for his pros and cons.

Kyo Kusanagi's Good and Bad things

Good Things:

  • Easy to learn and master;
  • Has effective corner combos;
  • Has a great anti-air(It can beat anything on the startup);
  • Has varied special moves(The strings, and more things);
  • Can charge his supers(Meaning that you can delay the attack);
  • Exceed does great chip damage(It is a great cheap finisher) and;
  • It's different from his KoF 2002 version(Yeah, it's not a grab);
  • Has easy MAXIMUM Mode loops(And many ways to do them).

Bad Things:

  • Has no projectile(I liked that classic ground projectile);
  • Requires a lot of stocks and MAXIMUM Mode meter to do damage;
  • Not many midscreen options for combos(On normal mode);
  • His 182 Shiki can't be unblockable (If you hold the button) anymore.

Moves List

Normal Moves

s.LP - (Far) Punch that whiffs on small crouching characters, but can be normal canceled. Nothing very special on it. (Close) Elbow attack. Can chain into any Light Normal, including itself.
s.LK - (Far) Kick with good reach, but can't be normal canceled. Use it as a poke, mainly. (Close) Good move. Can be normal canceled, can chain into any Light Attack, and hits low(Which isn't something usual for standing attacks; Iori's cl.LK has this same property). Can be used as a Light Attack chain starter too.
s.HP - (Far) Nothing special. Can whiff on some crouching characters, and can't be normal canceled. (Close) For comboing(If you need damage). Cancel it into something, and you'll be fine.
s.HK - (Far) A fast kick with decent horizontal reach. Kyo will move forward during the move. This normal can't be normal canceled. (Close) Has the same properties as the cl.HP, but just use the HP, it has better startup(Which is better for combos)

j.LP - The Diagonal and the Neutral versions are the same. Dunno if it can be useful. You can use this as a Jump-in attack, but you'll need to time well if you want to combo with it(Kyo has better options too).
j.LK - (Diagonal) Used as a Jump-in attack with priority. It can crossup too. (Neutral) Use it as a defensive air-to-air(You won't neutral jump that much, so I think that this move can be useless for you).
j.HP - The Diagonal and the Neutral versions are the same. Jump-in attack that can crossup if you aim well. It does more damage than the j.LK(Obviously), but it's harder to crossup with it.
j.HK - (Diagonal) The most used Jump Attack for Kyo. Think of it as like a mix of the j.LK with the j.HP(It has damage, it's very easy to crossup with it, and it has better reach as well, unlike the other two moves). (Neutral) Another defensive air-to-air, but you can use this move for neutral Jump-in attacks.

cr.LP - This move is good. It's mainly used after a cl./cr.LK, to begin doing combos. Can be normal canceled, and can chain into other Lights.
cr.LK - One of his Light Attack chain starters, but this one can't be normal canceled(Which forces you to chain it into other Light to do your combos).
cr.HP - An anti-air attack that can be normal canceled. You can use it on your combos too.
cr.HK - Another cancelable sweep. Cancel it into something if you need meter(Or even to pressure your opponent in case it gets blocked).

Command Moves

Geshiki: Naraku Otoshi

  • d+HP (In the air only) - Normally used as a Jump-in attack. It can crossup too, but no, you can't cancel a jumping normal into it. If it hits the opponent while he/she is in the air, he/she will get a beautiful hard knockdown(Making it a great air-to-air too). If you want to run away, you can use it during a backdash, it will make Kyo dash longer.

Geshiki: Goufu You

  • f+LK - (If used alone) Just an overhead. A simple, non-cancelable overhead. (If canceled into) It will do 2 hits(Depending of which normal you canceled), while those two can be normal canceled, but it will lose the overhead properties.

88 Shiki

  • df+HK - A two-hitting kick. It can't be normal canceled on any hit (No matter how you use it), but on the MAXIMUM Mode it can be useful.

Special Moves

Kyo's special moves can be the most confusing part, due to the strings...

114 Shiki: Aragami

  • QCF+LP - Just a starter for your strings. It's used, because it's easy to confirm it. You can combo it after any cancelable Heavy Normal. The fire on Kyo's fist can negate projectiles, and it has some autoguard frames on the startup. It can be MAX canceled into any Special(But obviously, you can't MAX cancel into the string's followups).
    • Follow-Ups(String number one):
      • 128 Shiki: Konokizu
        • QCF+P(After Aragami) - A linker. It will send your opponent to the air, letting you juggle him/her(With one of the finishers below). It can be MAX canceled too, and it's one of the leads for Kyo's loops.
      • 127 Shiki: Yanosabi
        • P(Finisher) - It's a good move, but won't hit the opponent if used on midscreen(It can hit EQ). Use it on the corner for a hard knockdown on the opponent. It can be MAX canceled, but you can't combo after it hits. It will hit as an overhead too.
      • 125 Shiki: Nanase
        • K(Finisher) - The best finisher for midscreen combos. Use it, you'll need. It can't be MAX canceled, unlike the other moves.
  • Follow-Ups(String number two):
    • 127 Shiki: Yanosabi
      • HCB+P(After Aragami) - Will hit as an overhead, won't combo after the Aragami, and will do a hard knockdown on the opponent. Good to use if your opponent likes to block low. You can use it on midscreen too, although it won't combo. You can MAX cancel it, but why? To get this one, time well.
    • Geshiki: Migiri Ugachi
      • P(Finisher) - Will OTG(On/Off the ground) the opponent(Will hit him/her while he/she's knocked down). You can't MAX cancel it.
    • 125 Shiki: Nanase
      • K (Finisher) - Has the same properties as the K(Finisher) above, but won't hit the opponent. Useless if you used this string.
    • 212 Shiki: Kototsuki You
      • HCB+K(Finisher) - An OTG grab. The timing to get it is a little restrict too. You can't MAX cancel it(Pretty normal, it's a grab).

115 Shiki: Dokugami

  • QCF+HP - The most used on midscreen. It's like the QCF+LP(Can negate projectiles, and those things), but Kyo will move further, and it still has autoguard frames. It can be MAX canceled too(It's part of his loops).
    • Follow-Ups:
      • 401 Shiki: Tsumi Yomi
        • HCB+P(After Dokugami) - Only a linker for the Dokugami. It won't do anything special, but it can be MAX canceled too(It is another part of Kyo's loops).
      • 402 Shiki: Batsu Yomi
        • f+P(After Tsumi Yomi) - Kyo will launch his opponent to the air. It's just a linker for the above, but it can't be MAX canceled.
      • 100 Shiki: Oniyaki
        • DP+P(Finisher) - Just a thing to add damage. Learn how to use this string for comboing the opponent, you can need(If you're having trouble with it, just use the LP strings instead). It can't be MAX canceled.

75 Shiki Kai

  • QCF+K - Just a kick. It can be used as an anti-air, but you have better options to use.
    • Follow-Ups:
      • 75 Shiki Kai(Second kick)
        • K - After the second kick, you can juggle with something(In the LK version, only for a limited time, because after some frames, even if the opponent is still in the air, you can't juggle on him). The HK version is a little slower than the LK, but you can easily juggle after it(You can even juggle the HK version with the LK version on the corner).

212 Shiki: Kototsuki You

  • HCB+K - A cool grab with two hits, but it's blockable on the first one(And the opponent will punish you easily). The first hit can be MAX canceled, and it's another part of Kyo's MAX loops. This move is generally used after the HK version of the QCF+K if you don't have meter.

100 Shiki: Oniyaki

  • DP+P - His main anti-air. It has some autoguard frames on the startup, which makes it safer to anti-air. On MAXIMUM Mode, the first hit(On every version), can be MAX canceled, but even into Supers! Use the HP version if you want to do that.

R.E.D. Kick

  • RDP+K - It can look like, but it isn't an overhead. Can be used as an anti-air too, because it will hard knockdown the opponent if it hits him/her in the air. You can even use the LK version after the QCF+HK, for a hard knockdown setup! You can't combo it from a normal too, which is sad.

Super Moves

182 Shiki

  • QCF(2x)+P (You can hold the button to delay the attack) - This move is cool, but it can be hard to confirm from normals(It can combo from a Heavy Normal). The damage will increase if you hold the button too(You'll hear up to 5 "explosions" while you charge, and that's how you can know that the damage will increase). If you charge until the end, the move won't be unblockable anymore. Kyo has upper-body invincibility while you charge.

Ura 108 Shiki: Orochinagi (aka Serpent Wave)

  • QCB, HCF+P (You can hold the button to delay the attack) - Kyo's classic Super. You can combo it from normals, but it's very hard(Very hard, I'll say again). The flame can negate projectiles too. On the KoF 2002, you could confirm it with the MAX mode, but here, you can't do BC cancels, so... Well, if you hold the button, you'll get more damage too. While you charge, Kyo can be lower body invincible(LP version), or even upper body invincible(HP version, can be useful to anti-air).


Saishuu Kessen Ougi "Mushiki"

  • QCF(2x)+PP - A very good Exceed. It does average damage(If you compare it with other Exceeds), and it's not that hard to confirm it. A good thing about it is that you can combo it from any cancelable normal, which is great for Kyo. It can be useful as a cheap finisher too(But it's very unsafe, so watch out). The flame collumn at the start of this Exceed can negate projectiles too.

The Basics

Kyo's gameplan

Kyo is a typical rushdown character with nice strings, and great mixups to use in a match. The main thing you'll need to know to play him is, without doubt, the strings. The most important moves on Kyo's arsenal. You'll need to know when and how to use each one. For the Aragami strings, try to finish with the kick(In case you used the first string), but you can use the punch if on the corner. The second string is mainly for crouching state abusers(Most of them are chargers), and you camn even do an OTG after it. For the Dokugami string, you can use it for comboing(It's the best one for that). Your main anti-airs are the DP+P, and the QCB, HCF+HP, which can easily defeat jumping normals. If you need to confirm your supers, do a QCF+HK, HK before it, it can help you. For your Exceed, it won't be that hard too(Just see below). Good Luck on your future matches.

Some combos (Without MAXIMUM Mode)
If you know some more possible combos (You can test some KoF combos with him too, but I'm not sure that they), you can add them below.

Links that you(Maybe) need to know:

1- cr.LK, cr.LP, df+HK - 4 hits; you can add a Jump Attack before it too

A very basic link for you. It begins with a low, and it finishes with a low. Very good to use as a blockstring to safely push your opponent. If you want to use a string with only low attacks, you can do: cl.LK, cr.LK, df+HK. Will get 4 hits, and will give only lows for you.

2- cl.LK, f+HK - 3 hits; it's hard to add a Jump Attack before it

A low into an "overhead"(It loses the properties). Begins with a low, and ends with a cancelable move(It's cancelable on the second hit). Wanna see the best way to combo using this one? Just continue, and you'll see.

Aragami (QCF+LP, strings) combos:

1- [Jump Attack(Make sure you crossup)] cl./cr.HP, QCF+LP, QCF+P, K - 4 hits; 5 with a Jump Attack

Pretty basic, and you can use it everywhere(Don't do a Jump Attack if you want to use this combo on the corner). You won't have problems using it, but the Dokugami combos can do more damage than this one(But those combos are harder than this one).

2- (Corner only) cl./cr.HP, QCF+LP, QCF+LP, P - 4 hits

Another simple combo that will give a knockdown for you. Sadly, it's corner only(I think you can land it against EQ on midscreen).

Dokugami (QCF+HP, string) combos:

1- [Jump Attack] cl./cr.HP, QCF+HP, HCB+P, f+P, DP+P - 5 hits; 6 with a Jump Attack

Maybe the best thing you can do on midscreen if you don't have meter/MAXIMUM Mode. Probably his most damaging combo on normal mode without using meter. It's very easy to land it, but it can be hard to perform it(The Dokugami's inputs are strange if you're not used to them).

2- [Jump Attack] cl.LK, f+LK, QCF+HP, HCB+P, f+P, DP+P - 7 hits

A version with more hits, and starting with a low. Sadly, it can be hard to combo a Jump Attack into a cl.LK, due to the startup of the normal.

Shiki Kai(QCF+K, K) combbos:

1- [Jump Attack(Crossup)] cl.HP, QCF+HK, HK, RDP+LK - 4 hits; 5 with a Jump Attack

Simple to do. Probably the most basic combo using the Shiki Kai. You can use it everywhere too.

2- (Corner only) [Jump Attack] cl.HP, QCF+LK, LK, DP+P(Early) - 4 hits; 5 with a Jump Attack

Another simple combo. The DP+P is the only move that can be used as a followup the LK version too.

3- (Corner only) [Jump Attack] cl.HP, QCF+HK, HK, wait, QCF+LK, LK, DP+HP - 5 hits; 6 with a Jump Attack

A great, but a little hard combo. The timing for each attack needs to be perfect to make it work. This is probably the most damaging combo(Using the Shiki Kai) without meter.

4- [Jump Attack(Crossup)] cl.HP, QCF+HK, HK, HCB+K(Time well) - 5 hits; 6 with a Jump Attack

The most used combo without meter on midscreen. It's cool to see it, but the timing is hard to get.

5- [Jump Attack(Crossup)] cl.HP, QCF+HK, HK, QCB, HCF+P - 4 hits; 5 with a Jump Attack

Damaging, easy to land, and you'll confirm a Super on it. If you need damage, you can use this one(In case you want to save your Exceed for a while).

6- (Corner only) [Jump Attack] cl.HP, QCF+HK, HK, QCF(2x)+P - 4 hits; 5 with a Jump Attack

Another simple one, and it's like the above, but to use on the corner.

7-(Corner) [Jumping Attack], cl.HP, qcf+HK,HK,qcf+HP,hcb+P,f+P,DP+P - Dunno if works, but if it works, you can add your thoughts here.

Kototsuki You(HCB+K) combos:

1- [Jump Attack] cl.HP, HCB+K - 3 hits; 4 with a Jump Attack

Simple combo, and it's like most of the other ones. The damage isn't that bad too.

2- [Jump Attack(Crossup)] cl.HP, QCF+HK, HK, HCB+K(Time well) - 5 hits; 6 with a Jump Attack

Refer to the 4th Shiki Kai combo.

Oniyaki (DP+P) combos:

1- [Jump Attack] cl.HP, DP+P - 2 hits; 3 with a Jump Attack

Not a bad combo(It's like the HCB+K combo above). The LP version is better for this combo(Why? Use the HP version and see why). Never use the HP version after a normal(Not outside of MAXIMUM Mode), it can be dangerous for you.

2- [Jump Attack(Crossup)] cr.LK, cr.LP, DP+LP - 3 hits; 4 with a Jump Attack

Combo starting with a low. It can be useful when you need(Can be useful on MAXIMUM Mode combos too).

3- (Corner only) [Jump Attack] cl.HP, QCF+HK, HK(Those two are optional), wait, QCF+LK, LK, DP+HP - 5 hits; 6 with a Jump Attack

You know this combo. I don't need to talk that much about it.

R.E.D. Kick(RDP+K) combos:

1- [Jump Attack] cl.HP, QCF+HK, HK, RDP+LK - 4 hits, 5 with a Jump Attack

Refer to the 1st Shiki Kai combo.

182 Shiki(QCF(2x)+P) combos:

1- [Jump Attack] cl./cr.HP, QCF(2x)+LP - 2 hits; 3 with a Jump Attack

A simple combo to use. The LP version needs to be used on combos due to the startup(The HP version won't connect on most combos).

2- [Jump Attack] cl.LK, f+LK, QCF(2x)+LP - 4 hits; 5 with a Jump Attack

Just another combo with the second link. It does good damage. Only that.

3- (Corner only) [Jump Attack] cl.HP, QCF+HK, HK, QCF(2x)+P - 4 hits; 5 with a Jump Attack

Refer to the 6th Shiki Kai combo.

Orochinagi (QCB, HCF+P) combos:

1- [Jump Attack(Crossup)] cl.HP, QCF+HK, HK, QCB, HCF+P - 4 hits; 5 with a Jump Attack

Refer to the 5th Shiki Kai combo.

2- cl.HP, f+LK, QCB, HCF+P - 3 hits; Not sure if you can add a Jump Attack on this one

This is a very hard combo, but it's still damaging. If you cancel the f+LK into the super, it won't combo. "So, why is this a combo? Because they can connect. "How?" Just release the button at the same time the opponent is being pushed back(By the f+LK), and yes, I saw it, frame by frame(Using an emulator, obviously).

3- cl.LK, f+LK(Cancel the second hit into), QCB, HCF+P - 4 frames, I think you can add a Jump Attack before the cl.LK, but it can be hard

It's like the above, but this one begins with a low. That trick mentioned on the combo above needs to be applied here to make this combo work.

Exceed (QCF(2x)+PP) combos

1- [Jump Attack] cl.HP, Exceed - 15 hits; 16 with a Jump Attack

The easiest confirm. It's not that hard to do it, and the damage is incredible. Learn it, you can need(It's important to know how to confirm the Exceed with your character).

2- [Jump Attack(Crossup)] cr.LK, cr.LP, Exceed - 16 hits; 17 with a Jump Attack

Confirm beginning with a low. The Exceed has great startup, which makes it good to combo after a normal.

3- (Corner only) cl.LK, f+LK, Exceed - 16 hits

Combo starting with a low, and it does more damage than the below(If you don't consider the [Jump Attack] on the first one). Don't use a Jump Attack on this one, because if you try it, the f+LK won't combo on most characters.

Advanced Strategy


This is on nearly every section, but... Resets are important, and why this wouldn't be important for Kyo? His Shiki Kai, which has juggle properties, is very used on combos, because you can confirm nearly everything after the HK version. But when we do a normal move after it(Or after any move with juggle properties), the opponent will land on the ground, but he/she won't get a knockdown, and that's the purpose of a reset, make the opponent fall, but standing, and then make him/her eat a High/Low mixup. Try this:

(Corner only) Any combo ending with QCF+HK, HK, a normal(I can recommend f./cl.LP, or cl.HP), and while the opponent is on the reset animation, you can do...

  • cl.HP into anything, or even another QCF+HK, HK - Damaging reset into reset; easiest to block
  • (Optional empty jump) cr.LK, cr.LP into something(Exceed, maybe) - Damaging low starter combo
  • Jump-in attack, any combo - Overhead into combo
  • f+LK into any special move that can be MAX canceled into, see the combos below for more details - Overhead into special move; or even reset into reset

Some combos (With MAXIMUM Mode)
Again, if you know some more combos, you can add them here.


1- [Jump Attack] cl.HP, QCF+HP(MAX cancel it into), QCF+LP(MAX cancel this one too), QCF+HP, QCF+LP ... - 2n+1 hits; 2n+2 with a Jump Attack

Probably the most basic loop on Kyo's list. A bad part of it is that you don't have a finisher for it, depending of how many loops you landed(The followups for the Dokugami/Aragami can whiff too if you try to loop, and combo after it).

2- [Jump Attack] cl.HP, HCB+K,(MAX cancel the first hit into) QCF+HP, HCB+P,(MAX cancel) HCB+K, (Again) QCF+HP, HCB+P, (You know) ... (When you want, after any HCB+K, MAX cancel the first hit into) QCF+HK, HK, followup of your choice(Generally, I use a Super, to do damage) - 3n+4(If you used a Super) hits; 3n+5 with a Jump Attack

The most used Kyo loop. It does good damage, but it can be hard to perform if you don't have good reflexes. Practice this one, you can need.

Overhead (f+LK) combos:

1- f+LK, QCF+HK, HK, followup - 3+n hits(Where n is the followup)

This one is the best of the overhead combos. It's very effective on the corner, and mainly after a reset(Remember the reset combo above? You can do a reset into another reset if you use this one), but it's possible only on MAXIMUM Mode, sadly. Kyo can MAX cancel(And connect) nearly everything he has after his overhead, but I think you should stick with this one.

Exceed combos:

1- [Jump Attack(Crossup)] cr.LK, cr.LP, DP+HP, (MAX cancel the first hit into) Exceed - 17 hits; 18 with a Jump Attack

An easy confirm with a low starter. It's kind of an extension of a normal mode combo(cr.LK, cr.LP, Exceed), but using a Supercancel now. You should learn it for when you need damage.