Leona Heidern (KoF '98 UM)

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Introduction

Leona sports outstanding strength in midair. Always keep up the gauge for V-Slasher.

Other than Eye Slasher, she has no major changes from OG.

Move list

At a glance

Normal throws
Leona Crush (throw) f/b + C
Order Buckler (throw) f/b + D
Midair throw
Heidern Inferno (air throw) f/d/b + C/D
Command move
Strike Arch f + B
Special moves
Vortech Launcher b (charge) f + P
Moonslasher d (charge) u + P
Grand Saber b (charge) f + K
┗ Gliding Buster (during strong Grand Saber) f + D
X-Calibur d (charge) u + K
Eye Slasher qcb + P
Earring Bakudan qcb + K
Super special moves
V-Slasher (air) qcf hcb + P
Revol Spark qcb hcf + K
Gravity Storm qcf qcf + P

Normal moves

  • st.A, cr.A, and cr.B – the priority of the hitboxes notwithstanding, the reach of these is first-rate.
  • st.D – hard to use, but has invincibility to low hits, and does not leave you very open.
  • st.B – extremely helpful as a jump checker.
  • j.A – extremely strong for jumping in.
  • j.D – extremely strong for air-to-air, and helpful from a vertical jump for an overhead.
  • j.CD – extremely strong for zoning.

Command move

  • Strike Arch
  • f + B
  • Overhead with invincibility to low hits. Moderately easy to use, and does unrollable knockdown.
  • Does not do knockdown when cancelled into – but that’s okay, because you can and should cancel straight into V-Slasher.

Special moves

  • Moonslasher
  • d (charge) u + P
  • Sends an attack hitbox in an arc circumscribing Leona’s whole body. It has no invincibility frames, but the hitbox has some priority. The strong version slides forward slightly, and is suited for combos; the weak version is good for anti-air.

  • Grand Saber
  • b (charge) f + K
  • Leona advances with her trademark low dash, running up to the opponent to slash them (the slash is a projectile hitbox). While it doesn’t leave you that open, the startup is slow, making it consequently hard to use. UM has made this leave you ever so slightly more open, though.
  • Gliding Buster
  • f + D during strong Grand Saber
  • Good follow-up for a Grand Saber that hits, but despite the fact that this can possibly smack up opponents who try to counter a blocked Grand Saber, if this is blocked, you’ll be even more exposed.

  • X-Calibur
  • d (charge) u + K
  • Leona jumps and seeks the opponent, and if it hits, she grabs the opponent, fires a projectile (slash), and lands behind them (or right next to them in the corner). If it is blocked, she bounds off and lands in front of them if you used B, or behind them if you used D. If it whiffs, she just lands.

  • Vortech Launcher
  • b (charge) f + P
  • Leona projects a li’l vortex forward at upper-body level. With the strong version, it advances forward and Leona hops (which, to a small extent, makes it possible but difficult to dodge low hits); the projectile lasts for a while, but it’s dangerous in general because it leaves you open. The weak version stays in place, and so does Leona; if you use it in zoning, it is difficult to move around.

  • Eye Slasher
  • qcb + P
  • Leona retreats a little and throws a boomerang-like projectile. So long as Leona doesn’t get attacked, the projectile will return to her.
  • This now leaves you far less open (in fact, this move is nigh useless in OG unless you really, really, really know what you’re doing, like running down the clock, or hitting an idiot twice), and even lets you move right away so you can go for the throw. However, so long as the projectile is there, Earring Bakudan cannot be used (that would just be cheap!).
  • The projectile has a hitbox both coming in and going out, but unlike in OG, this can only do one hit per use.
  • The startup is slow, but when it hits, you can juggle.
  • Particularly with the weak version, it’ll tie up the area in front of you, so you can use it to restrict your opponent’s movements.
  • The weak version has a short retreat distance, but in return the startup is quicker.

  • Earring Bakudan
  • qcb + K
  • Leona detaches an earring (or does she? she apparently has an endless supply...) and chucks it at the opponent. It does good damage, and doesn’t leave you very open, but the startup is slow and it is hard to hit the opponent with it.
  • In UM, if it hits, you can now juggle off it.

Super special moves

  • V-Slasher
  • qcf hcb + P in midair
  • Now with startup invincibility! The hitbox has extremely high priority, and it is not much of an exaggeration to say that it can’t lose out to a midair opponent. The hitbox is now wider, so it’s now harder to miss. The weak version descends at a steeper angle than the strong version, so choose the version depending on the opponents location.
  • A misfire on the ground still does an Eye Slasher, but since it is much, much easier to save your butt from this in UM, you can afford to use the surprise V-Slasher more aggressively than in OG.

  • Revol Spark
  • qcb hcf + K
  • Has full-body invincibility on startup, but the hitbox only exists when she does the chop; while you can use it for interrupting, it is not suitable for anti-air. It can make a combo from strong attacks.

  • Gravity Storm
  • qcf qcf + P
  • Has long startup invincibility, and the initial hitbox has good priority. Although it won’t necessarily run the full gamut if it doesn’t do a ground hit, it doesn’t leave you too open, so it can be used as an easy anti-air.

Combos

  • j.A > cl.D (2 hit) >> Strike Arch (f + B) >> V-Slasher (air qcf hcb + P)
  • Her best damager; you’ll probably want to be able to do this one reliably.
  • j.A > cr.C or (cr.B >> cr.A) >> strong Moonslasher (d u + C)
  • Basic no-gauge combo.
  • j.D ou j.A >> weak V-Slasher (air qcf hcb + P)
  • Extremely powerful. If you can do this one reliably, it makes any overhead seem a potent threat.
  • special move > V-Slasher (air qcf hcb + P) or d u + C (if close) or qcb hcf + K (if close and recover fast) or qcf qcf + P (corner, opponent hit close to the ground and only DM version - stylish :))
  • Possible from Grand Saber (b f + K), Vortech Launcher (b f + K), and Earring Bakudan (qcb + K)

The Basics

While always on the lookout for anti-airs, zone at mid-range; you basically want to aim for combos from jump attacks.

At mid-range, you generally use hop j.CD, cr.B, st.A, and st.B to zone. Occasionally, using weak Grand Saber will be effective. Read through the opponent’s zoners and hops / hyper hops, and you can take ’em to town with weak Vortech Launcher. While waiting for recovery, check to see how it hit; if it only hit once, do not juggle – you don’t have the time window for that. When it does a lot of hits, though, be sure to juggle them with something – j.CD and V-Slasher are good; Moonslasher and X-Calibur, not so much, but just as annoying (who likes getting juggled?).

Against random zoning, jump in using j.A or j.D. Conversely, if they jump in on you, punish them with weak Moonslasher or do the pull out the ol’ V-Slasher warhorse. Seriously, they shouldn’t even be trying that.

The basic reversal moves are Moonslasher (against air or weak moves) and Revol Spark (against strong attacks). For times when the opponent jumps in to attack, if they don’t touch you right on wakeup, punish them with a low-altitude V-Slasher (buffer the command and jump, or Tiger Knee it with qcf, jump, hcb; whichever works for you). But if you get out an Eye Slasher on accident, you’re probably in trouble.

At far range, toss an Earring Bakudan; jumping where appropriate (concerning whether the opponent rolls, jumps, blocks its low hit, or is hit) and using j.D is a strong tactic. When you do this, the opponent is more or less put on the spot no matter what they do, especially if your timing is good.

Advanced Strategy

Match-Ups