Orochi Leona (KOF '98 UM)

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Introduction

Yami no Naka Orochi no Chi ni Mezameru Leona is a boss (that is, broken) version of Leona.

You’d more or less fight with her like normal Leona (sans the Earring Bakudan and the command move), but she is much faster in practically every way. Obviously banned tier material.

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
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
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

  • 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.
  • The weak version will make a combo from strong attacks.

  • 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 pretty good priority. The strong version slides forward slightly, and is suited for combos; the weak version is good for anti-air.
  • Orochi Leona’s Moonslasher has higher priority than normal Leona’s.

  • Grand Saber
  • b (charge) f + K
  • Leona advances with her trademark low dash, running up and slashing (the slash is a projectile hitbox). While it doesn’t leave you that open, the startup is slow, making it consequently hard to use. Orochi Leona can do OTG with the weak version.
  • Gliding Buster
  • f + D during 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
  • More like the KOF ’96/’97 version. Leona jumps and floats forward; if she reaches the opponent’s Y-axis, she positions her hands downward, whereupon she releases an unlaunched projectile (slash). The strong version travels farther than the weak version. Leona lands in front regardless, so it leaves you more open than normal Leona, making it hard to use.

  • 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 leaves you nowhere near as open as OG Leona’s version; it even lets you move right away so you can go for the throw.
  • The projectile has a hitbox both coming in and going out, but unlike OG Leona’s version, 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.

Super special moves

  • V-Slasher
  • qcf hcb + P in midair
  • Has 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 wider than OG Leona’s, 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 OG Leona could.

  • 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 > cr.C or (cr.B >> cr.A) (>> cr.B >> cr.A) >> strong Moonslasher
  • Basic combo. Probably best to stick to the most basic version.
  • j.A > cl.D (2 hit) >> Revol Spark
  • Takes gauge, but powerful. The cl.D’s reach requires attention.
  • j.A > cl.D (1 hit) >> weak Vortech Launcher > juggling special move
  • The best one is probably V-Slasher.
  • j.D >> weak V-Slasher
  • Extremely powerful. If you can do this one reliably, it makes any overhead seem a potent threat.

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.

Orochi Leona does not have the overhead command move, so you have to use vertical jump j.D. This leaves you pretty open, so it is possibly best not to do it at all depending on the opponent. Use it, but be reasonable.

Advanced Strategy

Match-Ups