The King of Fighters '98/Mai

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<FANCY_MEL> mai is one of the lead members in japanese hentai doujin mafia


Snka.gif Snkb.gif Snkc.gif Snkd.gif
Mai98 colorA.png Mai98 colorB.png Mai98 colorC.png Mai98 colorD.png

Gameplay Overview

Mai is a very solid zoning/poking/runaway-based character. Her fast but higher than average jump and air dive lets her control the air a bit different from most characters. Her Ryuu Enbu, along with her Fan Toss and pokes allow her to zone and keep advantage on the ground quite effectively. While she falls mid to low-mid on most tier lists, it is misleading because she doesn't suffer matchups vs the top tier as bad as a lot of other characters that are usually ranked above her. She requires good execution/reflexes for hit-checking cr.C, but aside from that she is pretty average on execution. A good character for a beginner.

In-depth analysis


Frames Advantage Cancel Block Hitbox Notes
Standing Close
Snka.gif 4/2+2/8 0/-2 C HL
Mai98 clA1.png
Mai98 clA2.png
Her best cancelable light attack (only other is cl.B and it sucks).
Snkb.gif 5/3/7 +2/0 C HL
Mai98 clB.png
Snkc.gif 3/3/20 -3/-5 C HL
Mai98 clC.png
Good anti-air when they are at a close/high angle. Fast, cancelable.
Snkd.gif 5/6/22 -8/-10 C HL
Mai98 clD.png
Kind of like close C, but it doesn't activate from as far, so stick with close C.
Standing Far
Snka.gif 3/3/11 -2/-4 - HL
Mai98 stA.png
Nice fast poke, just a little short-ranged. Good followup after a meaty qcb + A in the corner.
Snkb.gif 5/6/10 -4/-6 - HL
Mai98 stB.png
Fast, great as a short hop anti-air. Whiffs on crouchers, but the recovery is quick.
Snkc.gif 7/4+5/16 -5/-7 - HL
Mai98 stC1.png
Mai98 stC2.png
Snkd.gif 8/5/15 0/-2 - HL
Mai98 stD.png
Snkc.gif+Snkd.gif 17/5/24 KD/-7 S HL
Mai98 stCD.png
Snka.gif 5/3/9 0/-2 - HL
Mai98 crA.png
Snkb.gif 5/4/7 +1/-1 - L
Mai98 crB.png
It's very slow and crappy for a cr.B, but it's her only combo-able low attack.
Snkc.gif 3/7/15 -2/-4 C HL
Mai98 crC.png
The main combo/meaty normal. Lots of time to hit-confirm into hcf + K or qcb hcf + K off a normal hit, if it's meaty if course you'll have less time depending on how early you do it.
Snkd.gif 7/7/20 KD/-9 C L
Mai98 crD.png
Sweep, pretty meaty but otherwise insignificant. Cancelable.
Snka.gif 6/7 -/- C H
Mai98 jA.png
Snkb.gif 4/11 -/- - H
Mai98 jB.png
Very nice hitbox/high priority, can cross-up.
Snkc.gif 5/8 -/- C H
Mai98 jC.png
Fast, actually pretty good for air-to-air or as a jump-in. Like Chizuru's jumping C, it has less hit-freeze than most jump attacks, so you have to perform your ground followup from a jump-in very quickly. Cancelable.
Snkd.gif 4/9 -/- - H
Mai98 jD.png
Nice long-range jump-in, pretty fast too. Usually the jump-in of choice, and good jumping back air-to-air. Cancelable.
Snkc.gif+Snkd.gif 13/4 KD/- S HL
Mai98 jCD.png
Not bad, though the hitbox leaves a bit to be desired for a CD in my opinion. I think it's her jump speed/angle that makes it not as good as it could be. Still, there it is, and it's cancelable.
Neutral Jump
Snka.gif 6/7 -/- - H
Mai98 njA.png
Snkb.gif 4/10 -/- - H
Mai98 njB.png
Snkc.gif 4/9 -/- - H
Mai98 njC.png
Snkd.gif 6/9 -/- - H
Mai98 njD.png
Command Normals

f + Snkb.gif

28/5/9 +6/+4 - H
Mai98 fB.png
Slow overhead, causes enough hitstun to combo a cr.C afterward. Advantage on block. When chained, is still really slow and not overhead, and cancelable (into air qcb + P). You can slow cancel it, but remember it's REALLY slow. Can be used as a meaty.

f + Snkb.gif
28/5/9 +6/+4 S (air moves) HL

df + Snkb.gif

7/9(7)4/32 -16/-18 - L,HL
Mai98 dfB1.png
Mai98 dfB2.png
Combos from any chainable attack, but it has really bad recovery. You can go under the highest fireballs with it (EX Ryo/EX Robert/EX Yuri/Takuma).
air d + Snka.gif 8/4 -/- - HL
Mai98 jdA.png
More hitstun/blockstun than a normal jumping attack, like Kyo's jumping d + C. Cancelable, slams on an air-to-air hit. Can crossup if you hit them right on the head.

Normal Throws

  • b or f + C - Breakable, forward knockdown, face forward, rollable.

  • b or f + D - Breakable, reverse knockdown, back turned, un-rollable.

  • b or f or d + C/D in air - Unbreakable air throw, front knockdown, face forward, un-rollable

D throw is preferred, since the startup doesn't have the blue grab 'effect', making it a bit harder to break on reaction.

Other Normal Moves

  • Jump: Mai is able to triangle jump.

Special Moves

  • Fan Toss (qcf + P) - Similar properties to Athena/Kensou fireballs (same things go under them ie some slides and Iori's super). Decent to zone with from long range. Not really to use at mid range, since she has qcb + A. Average recovery, etc. What more is there to say, it's a fireball!

  • Ryuu Enbu (qcb + P) - A version is a single hit, better recovery. C version has an extra hit when she starts to turn, which lets it combo from a light hit, and has a bit more recovery. This is your #1 move, use it and abuse it. Stays out for a long time, great as an anti-air especially from a distance, at least trades (in your favor) with any jump-in from the appropriate angle. Does a shit ton of stun damage (dizzies quickly). Great as a meaty.

  • Shitty Fan Thing (dp + P) - This move sucks. You can use it for chip damage at the end of a round.

  • Wall Dive ((d) ub/u/uf + P - hold P) - You an choose the direction you fly with u/b or u/f. Hold P to attack when you reach the wall. A dives at a steeper angle than C. Not only is it good for runaway, but it builds meter, too. Mixup not attacking and attacking if they try to follow you in.

  • Killer Ninja Strike (hcf + K) - B version is faster, combos from light hits. Both are punishable. Use as a max combo damage ender when you don't have meter, and always hit-confirm it if you aren't punishing something. Good to use by itself as an easy punisher to some things that require a long range, fast attack.

  • Flame Kick (dp + K) - B version is not invincible, D version is invincible up to the hit (ie it will trade with meaties at best as a reversal). An okay dp. The first hit doesn't knock down, and the second hit commonly whiffs at longer ranges, so be careful. A good idea to only use as anti-air or at point-blank range.

  • Air Dive (qcb + P) - A version travels at a steeper angle, C version goes further. Safe if blocked from max distance. Use to punish things while jumping back, or cancel air attacks into it as a blockstring/hit a mash. Another tool to control the air with.

Desperation Moves

  • Super Killer Ninja Strike (qcb hcf + K) - Super unsafe, not invincible, pretty fast. Combos off of stuff, so...use it in a combo. MAX version is invincible up to the hit (can trade with active attacks) and does more damage.

  • Super Fan Toss (qcf qcf + P) - A/C control the speed. Okay for stalling/chip damage at full-screen to end a round, but you can guard cancel roll or just roll through the 3rd fan in some situations. You can't slide/super under this like you can her normal Fan Toss. MAX version does more damage.

  • Flying Spinny Flame Wheel (qcb qcb + P) - A/C control the angle (steep/shallow respectively). Can cross-up, punishable. Good for shenanigans as an ambiguous crossup, but anyone good will just roll away. If the MAX version hits in the air (and it won't because it's not invincible as she jumps), it will do like a billion hits and damage, especially if it hits on counter.

Fastest Attacks

  • 0F: C throw; D throw
  • 1F: -
  • 2F: -
  • 3F: cl.C; st.A; cr.C
  • 4F: cl.A
  • 5F: cl.B; cl.D; st.B; cr.A; cr.A
  • 6F: -
  • 7F: st.C; cr.D; df + B
  • 8F: st.D
  • 9F: -
  • 10F: -


  • Best jump-ins:
    • j.D

  • cr.C / cl.C >
    • (S)DM qcb qcb + P, dp + D (Corner. Point blank. Standing. Tall character.)
    • (S)DM Super Killing Ninja Strike (qcb hcf + K)
    • (S)DM qcf qcf + P (Corner. Out of corner the last hit is blockable.)
    • Killing Ninja Strike (hcf + D)
    • C Ryuu Enbu (qcb + C)
    • A Ryuu Enbu (qcb + A)

  • cr.B, cl.A >
    • (S)DM Super Killing Ninja Strike (qcb hcf + K)
    • B Killing Ninja Strike (hcf + B)
    • C Ryuu Enbu (qcb + C)

  • f + B, cr.C >
    • (S)DM Super Killing Ninja Strike (qcb hcf + K)
    • (S)DM qcf qcf + P (Corner. Out of corner the last hit is blockable.)
    • Killing Ninja Strike (hcf + D)
    • C Ryuu Enbu (qcb + C)
    • A Ryuu Enbu (qcb + A)

  • Corner only & meaty: A Ryuu Enbu (qcb + A),
    • cr.C >
      • (S)DM Super Killing Ninja Strike (qcb hcf + K)
      • (S)DM qcf qcf + P (Corner. Out of corner last hit is blockable.)
      • Killing Ninja Strike (hcf + D)
      • C Ryuu Enbu (qcb + C)
      • A Ryuu Enbu (qcb + A)
    • (S)DM Super Killing Ninja Strike (qcb hcf + K)
    • B Killing Ninja Strike (hcf + B)
    • C Ryuu Enbu (qcb + C)
    • st.A / st.B

  • Simple buffers:
    • cr.B, cl.A > (S)DM qcb hcf + K
      • cr.B, qcb + A > hcf + K (As cr.B is not cancelable, qcb + A will chain into a normal attack.)
    • cl.D / cl.B > (S)DM qcb hcf + K
      • qcb + D/B > hcf + K
    • cl.D > (S)DM qcf qcf + P
      • qcf + D > qcf + P

Note that cr.C is hit-confirmable, so never do hcf + K or (S)DM qcb hcf + K on block obviously.

The qcb + C will hit only once from distance, in this case it will do a tiny less damage than qcb + A, but as qcb + A has less range, it is very specific the range where qcb + A will still hit and qcb + C will do only one hit.

Strategy Corner

  • MAX: cr.C > hcf + D

deals ??? than

  • cr.C > qcb hcf + K

Keep this in mind, when you need to decide whether to trigger MAX or keep meter for a DM.