The King of Fighters '98/Saisyu

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Also known as the M.O.B. (Master Of Beard), Saisyu's uses a secret form of Kung-Fu known as Beard-Fu. His Beard gives him special super powers that allow him to wield fire at his fingertips. He also celebrates Kwanzaa, which is referenced by his Horrid Kwanzaa super. It refers to a Kwanzaa one year where his son, Kyo, revealed that he wants to be a male model, much to the disdain of his father.


Snka.gif Snkb.gif Snkc.gif Snkd.gif
Saisyu98 colorA.png Saisyu98 colorB.png Saisyu98 colorC.png Saisyu98 colorD.png

Gameplay Overview

Saisyu is a zoning/pressure/raw damage character. He lacks the options/normals of Iori or '95 Kyo, but he still has some great tools specific to him, the star of which is his outrageous super damage. His main weakness is the lack of fast short hop anti-airs and mid/long-range pokes. He is lighter on execution than most characters, the hardest things he has are f + A to super or cr.B, cr.A to dp. He is a great character for a beginner.

In-depth Overview


Frames Advantage Cancel Block Hitbox Notes
Standing Close
Snka.gif 2/4/4 +4/+2 C HL
Saisyu98 clA.png
Links into close C, but there's no reason to use it.
Snkb.gif 4/3/11 -2/-4 C HL
Saisyu98 clB.png
Can replace cr.A in his cr.B,cr.A combo when close for easier execution to dp + B.
Snkc.gif 1/2(3)4/24 -8/-10 C/C HL/HL
Saisyu98 clC1.png
Saisyu98 clC2.png
Fast, cancelable on both hits, his main combo tool. Using both hits makes hit-confirming and buffering motions easy, though the second hit will whiff on back turned crouchers.
Snkd.gif 7/5/21 -6/-8 - HL
Saisyu98 stD.png
Standing Far
Snka.gif 4/3/8 +1/-1 - HL
Saisyu98 stA.png
Snkb.gif 6/3/12 -3/-5 - HL
Saisyu98 stB.png
Really Saisyu's only normal mid-range poke. And it doesn't go very far for one, either. Still, better than nothing.
Snkc.gif 9/4/21 -5/-7 S HL
Saisyu98 stC.png
Note that this is cancelable on whiff. You might be able to stop a jump in some situations with this, despite it's horrible speed, just make sure you whiff cancel it into fireball.
Snkd.gif 7/5/21 -6/-8 - HL
Saisyu98 stD.png
Same idea as above, but not cancelable and his crouchers. Normally I wouldn't bother to talk about moves like these, but Saisyu is limited in the normals area.
Snkc.gif+Snkd.gif 14/5/28 KD/-11 S HL
Saisyu98 stCD.png
Relatively fast, easily cancelable and whiff cancelable, good for block strings into fireball.
Snka.gif 2/4/4 +4/+2 C HL
Saisyu98 crA.png
Use to cancel into f + B as a pressure string, and links from f + B as well.
Snkb.gif 2/4/5 +3/+1 - L
Saisyu98 crB.png
Pretty nice cr.B, links into close C.
Snkc.gif 5/4/27 -11/-13 C HL
Saisyu98 crC.png
Not a bad move to whiff cancel into a fireball up close if you are trying to stop a short hop.
Snkd.gif 10/4/23 KD/-9 C L
Saisyu98 crD.png
Very nice sweep, almost as much range as st.B. Easily cancelable and whiff cancelable, so use it!
Snka.gif 4/5 -/- - H
Saisyu98 jA.png
Best air-to-air of Saisyu cause great priority, even if jumping D gets best range. It is faster than jumping D and almost invincible though.
Snkb.gif 4/11 -/- - H
Saisyu98 jB.png
The best jump-in. It can cross up, but not as well as Kyo's. Really, it's a slightly less effective version of Kyo's jumping B, which means it's still very, very good.
Snkc.gif 7/4 -/- - H
Saisyu98 jC.png
Another nice jump-in, good if they are dizzy to get max damage.
Snkd.gif 7/4 -/- - H
Saisyu98 jD.png
Great air-to-air, or air-to-ground from range. Think Kyo's jumping D. Use this from up short hops from range as a poke, since Saisyu is lacking in that area.
Snkc.gif+Snkd.gif 12/5 KD/- - HL
Saisyu98 jCD.png
Fast, nice hitbox, similar to Shingo's. Good early air-to-air.
Neutral Jump
Snkc.gif 9/4 -/- - H
Saisyu98 njC.png
Command Normals

f + Snka.gif

19/4/14 +2/0 - H
Saisyu98 fA.png
Slow, overhead, uncancelable when done alone. Fast, non-overhead, cancelable when chained. Main combo tool as mentioned above. As an overhead, not bad.
f + Snka.gif (cancel) 14/4/14 +2/0 S HL
f + Snkb.gif 20/1/8 +11/+9 - HL
Saisyu98 fB.png
Always the same speed and not overhead or cancelable, but big advantage on block or hit. Good to cancel into for pressure, and you can link some moves from it (refer to combos below).

Normal Throws

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

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

D throw preferred, not only because of back turned wakeups, but because it takes longer for the blue grab 'effect' to appear, making it a bit harder to break on reaction.

Special Moves

  • Fireball (qcf + P) - A little more recovery than Iori's, but still great. Cancel into this when your moves get blocked! Whiff cancel moves into it! It's a good fireball, not much more to say.

  • Flame Uppers (qcb + P > qcb + P) - C version recommended since it goes further and allows you to combo after (look above for combos). Not safe any way you cut it, so please hit-confirm. Like I said before, I think this move sucks compared to his Slam Kick (dp + K).

  • Dragon Punch (dp + P) - It's that time again. Time to do a DP. A version is invincible up to the hit (ie will trade with meaties), while C version is fully invincible at startup. The C version doesn't knock down on the first hit, so don't use it against a grounded opponent.

  • Slam Kick (dp + K) - Main meterless combo move. D version combos from hard hits, B version combos from light hits. Slams them down and give you un-rollable wakeups, so you can do whatever you want. I recommend an ambiguous roll cross/anti-cross. Saisyu's roll is actually pretty bullshit here. Try rolling very close to them, when you are in a position where with any other character you'd expect to cross over, Saisyu magically stays on the same side. Honestly this is very hard to block, so your opponent better be able to reversal roll!

  • Overhead Elbow (hcb + K) - Overhead attack. Both B and D are overhead, but D is slower.............sooooooo just use the B version. Very punishable on block, however, so pick your spots.

Desperation Moves

  • Horrid Kwanzaa (qcb hcf + P) - Saisyu's bread and butter! You can charge it...if you want, I guess. Safe on block, too. Upper invincible while charging. You can do shenanigans on block with A strength DP after to stuff/trade whatever they try to do. MAX version does more damage and gives advantage on block. Even more shenanigans!

  • Flame Pillar (qcf qcf + P) - The C version is actually invincible on startup, but is really slow. MAX version shares the same properties and does more damage.

Fastest Attacks

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


  • Best jump-ins:
    • j.B (Can crossup.)

  • cl.C (2 hits) > f + A >
    • (S)DM Horrid Kwanzaa (qcb hcf + P)
    • (S)DM qcf qcf + C (Point blank.)

  • cl.C (2 hits) / (cl.C (1 hit) > f + A) >
    • (S)DM Horrid Kwanzaa (qcb hcf + P)
    • (S)DM qcf qcf + C
    • C Flame Uppers (qcb + C > qcb + C), [jungler] (Close. Corner. Out of MAX.)
    • D Slam Kick (dp + D)
    • C Flame Uppers (qcb + C > qcb + C) (Out of MAX.)
    • qcf + C

  • cr.B, cr.A / cl.B > B Slam Kick (dp + B)

  • cr.B, cl.C (2 hits) / (cl.C (1 hit) > f + A) >
    • (S)DM Horrid Kwanzaa (qcb hcf + P)
    • D Slam Kick (dp + D)

  • cr.B, cl.C (1 hit) > C Flame Uppers (qcb + C > qcb + C), [junggler]

  • st.C > (S)DM qcb hcf + P

  • f + B,
    • st.C > (S)DM qcb hcf + P
    • st.D
    • st.C
    • dp + A
    • cr.A
    • st.B

  • Close & Corner & out of MAX: ... C Flame Uppers (qcb + C > qcb + C),
    • dp + A
    • j.B (Timming required.)

  • Simple buffers:


Always combo into super when you get a chance! That is Saisyu's main threat.

About Flame Uppers (qcb + C > qcb + C):

  • It can combo only out of MAX (second hit will not combo on MAX if you do a hard attack before.)
  • You can follow only if you are close and in the corner (You may follow out of the corner only if you do not do a hard attack before...).
    • You can follow either with A Dragon Punch (dp + A) or a superjump B for a reset.
  • The dp + D deals more damage than just qcb + C > qcb + C, but a tiny less damage than qcb + C > qcb + C, dp + A. So unless you are out MAX, in the corner and close, there is no much reason to use qcb + C > qcb + C over dp + D and even on that situation, the dp + D hard knockdown may be a better choice over a tiny more damage.

Note that generally, close C (1 hit) into f + A is your best bet. Close C (2 hits) by itself is easier to buffer motions from and does slight more damage, but the 2nd hit whiffs if your opponent is back turned + crouching. You can still use close C by itself, just be aware when things have the potential to hit back turned (ie after a crossup, certain knockdowns, etc.). Close C (2 hits) into f + A will only connect if you are very close, but does connect from a jump-in if you perform the jump-in early/close enough.

Crouching B links into close C, and the link is not as hard as Kyo's so make sure you can do it consistently so that you can do big damage from a low attack.

Strategy Corner

  • MAX: cl.C (1 hit) > f + A > dp + D

deals ??? than

  • cl.C (2 hits) > f + A > qcb hcf + P

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