The King of Fighters XIII/Benimaru

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Benimaru Nikaido

KOFXIII-Benimaru Face.png

In a nutshell

Benimaru excells in controlling space against grounded, hopping, and jumping opponents. His dominant poking tools allow him to play a strong neutral game and although Benimaru's offensive options are straight-forward his cross ups, hitconfirms, and grab mixups make his rushdown devastating.

He's quite the electrifying ladies' man.

Strengths

  • Great normals that can cover most situations.
  • Plenty of grab options: He has an airthrow, Benimaru Collider is one of the better command grabs in the game, and he can combo off his normal throw in the corner.
  • Frightening strong corner game with multiple ways to land his TK Raijinken loop.

Weaknesses

  • j.D is predictable and he lacks a viable j.CD for setting up grounded frametraps. However, j.D is so good that this point is almost moot.
  • Midscreen damage is lacking, even with HD, plus most of his common knockdowns can be teched by the opponent before Benimaru can land any followups. Once the opponent is cornered, his damage and oki setups are much more threatening.



IPlayWinner Guide - Benimaru

  • A detailed guide on punishing Benimaru's specials and attacks. Contains important information for Benimaru players, as knowing what can be punished should apply caution to your playstyle.


Video Walkthrough

Move List

Normal Moves

Name
Command
Damage
Special Properties (glossary)
Standing Light Punch
Kof.lp.png
25
Chaincancel.png Cancel.png
Standing Light Kick
Kof.lk.png
30
Standing Heavy Punch
Kof.sp.png
80
Close Heavy Punch
Close Kof.sp.png
70
Cancel.png
Standing Heavy Kick
Kof.sk.png
80
Lowerbodyinv.png
Close Heavy Kick
Close Kof.sk.png
70
Cancel.png
Crouching Light Punch
D.png + Kof.lp.png
25
Chaincancel.png Cancel.png
Crouching Light Kick
D.png + Kof.lk.png
30
Low.png Chaincancel.png Cancel.png
Crouching Heavy Punch
D.png + Kof.sp.png
70
Cancel.png
Crouching Heavy Kick
D.png + Kof.sk.png
80
Low.png Softknockdown.png Cancel.png
Blowback Attack
Kof.sp.png + Kof.sk.png
75
Softknockdown.png Specialcancel.png
Jumping Light Punch
Air Kof.lp.png
Jump: 45
Hop: 40
High.png Cancel.png
Jumping Light Kick
Air Kof.lk.png
Jump: 45
Hop: 40
High.png Cancel.png
Jumping Heavy Punch
Air Kof.sp.png
Jump: 72
Hop: 70
High.png Cancel.png
Jumping Heavy Kick
Air Kof.sk.png
Jump: 70
Hop: 68
High.png
Jumping Blowback Attack
Air Kof.sp.png + Kof.sk.png
Jump: 90
Hop: 80
Softknockdown.png Cancel.png

Unique Attacks

Name
Command
Damage
Special Properties (glossary)
Jackknife Kick
F.png + Kof.lk.png
65
Lowerbodyinv.png Specialcancel.png
Flying Drill
Air D.png + Kof.sk.png
25×n
Aironly.png

Throw

Name
Command
Damage
Special Properties (glossary)
Catch and Shoot
F.png or B.png + Kof.sp.png or Kof.sk.png (While Close)
100
Throw.png Softknockdown.png
Spinning Knee Drop
Air F.png or B.png + Kof.sp.png (While Close)
125
Airthrow.png Hardknockdown.png

Special Moves

Name
Command
Damage
Special Properties (glossary)
Raijinken
Qcf.png + P.png
P.png : 35x2
Ex.png : 110
Air Ex.png : 50×4
Airok.png
Ground: Supercancel.png
Ground Kof.sp.png and Ex.png : Softknockdown.png
Benimaru Lancer
Qcb.png + P.png
P.png : 70
Ex.png : 150
Softknockdown.png
Super Inazuma Kick
Dp.png + K.png
Kof.lk.png : 60
Kof.lk.png (Lightning Strike) : 40
Kof.sk.png : 100
Kof.sk.png (Lightning Strike) : 50
Ex.png : 100+50×2
Startupinv.png Drivecancel.png
Iaigeri
Qcf.png + K.png
K.png : 45
Ex.png : 60
Drivecancel.png
Handou Sandangeri
After Iaigeri,
D.png U.png + K.png
K.png : 40+50
Ex.png : 60+40×3
Drivecancel.png
Benimaru Collider
Hcb.png F.png + P.png
P.png : 13×15
Ex.png : 100
Throw.png
P.png : Hardknockdown.png
Ex.png : Crumple.png

Desperation Moves

Name
Command
Damage
Special Properties (glossary)
Raikouken
Qcf.png Qcf.png + P.png
P.png : 35×4+60
Ex.png : 27×9+70
Softknockdown.png Maxcancel.png
Ex.png : Startupinv.png
Rolling Thunder
Qcb.png Qcb.png + P.png
0+13×14
Startupinv.png Softknockdown.png
Raiouken
Qcf.png Qcf.png + Kof.lk.png + Kof.sk.png
(Can be directed Uf.png or Df.png after activation)
50×9
Softknockdown.png

Console Changes

  • Flying Drill (Air d+D) has faster recovery, so a normal hit can combo afterwards.
  • EX Raijinken (qcf+AC) is a single hit attack (previously 15×3). On a hit, the opponent will be stuck in the air afterwards for a limited period. They can be attacked with another move or even get pushed by running to the edge of the screen.
  • EX Air Raijinken (Air qcf+AC) lasts for a longer time. The time in between the hits are longer than in Arcade. It now sort of works as a special that can be "placed" on the screen.
  • Heavy/EX Super Inazuma Kick (dp+K) does more damage. On a full hit, the heavy version's damage has been increased from 70 to 100, EX from 135 (80+30×2) to 192.
  • EX Iaigeri > Handou Sandangeri damage has been reduced from 263 (70+70+50×3) to 219.
  • Benimaru Collider (hcb f+P) has faster recovery when whiffed, so it can rarely be punished if canceled from a blocked heavy punch.
  • EX Benimaru Collider (hcb f+AC) has fewer hits (previously 15×15). This makes it cause less scaling for combos afterwards.
  • Rai Kou Ken (qcf qcf+BD) has faster startup, and the Max Cancel timing is different. Invincibility runs out before it becomes active.

Strategy

Move Analysis

Normal Moves

  • Standing Light Punch (Snka.gif) - A standard, Standing Light Punch anti-air attack. Usually Standing Light Kick is the better anti-air against hops; and angles of jumps that Standing Light Kick can't cover but Standing Light Punch could is covered better by Close Heavy Punch/Kick or a Super Inazuma Kick (Dp.gif + Kick.gif).
    • Whiffs on crouchers, but recovers very quickly as a potential hop check or when baiting an opponent to try to react in anticipation of another move.
  • Standing Light Kick (Snkb.gif) - One of Benimaru's best anti-air attacks. This move is quick, has little recovery, and has long range. So it's difficult to punish with a sweep at times, especially when Benimaru follows up immediately with a Standing Heavy Kick that goes over most crouching attacks and is fast enough to counter poke most sweeps before the sweep come out. Sometimes, a myriad of Standing Light Kicks and Standing Heavy Kicks encourages the opponent to try to full jump or super jump to get over both normal moves while staying outside of the hop range. In this case, it's easy for Benimaru to react to that sort of jump and anti-air with a Super Inazuma Kick (Dp.gif + Kick.gif).
    • The hitbox will connect against opponent that are crouching in hitstun and blockstun, but if a player simply neutral crouches, their hitbox shrinks to where Standing Light Kick whiffs and could potentially be whiff punished from a bold read.
  • Standing Heavy Punch (Snkc.gif) - In application, this move is a more damaging Standing Light Kick. It's the same speed as Standing Heavy Kick and is almost as horizontally long but whiffs against any sort of crouching opponents (the larger crouching characters such as Goro are exceptions.) Standing Heavy Punch is a good move to use instead of Standing Light Kick in terms of damage if the player is sure of the opponent going to hop. However, due to the recovery compared to Standing Light Kick, it has more risk against sweeps and other attacks.
  • Close Heavy Punch (Close Snkc.gif) - Typical, fast Close Snkc.gif attack. Close Heavy Punch has worse recovery on block than Close Heavy Kick, and it seems to have a smaller window of time to confirm a cancel. The player may want to use Close Heavy Punch to punish an opponent's mistake given the spacing and the faster speed that Close Heavy Punch has over Close Heavy Kick. Otherwise Close Heavy Kick has it outclassed in blockstring and combos.
  • Standing Heavy Kick (Snkd.gif) - One of the better grounded pokes in the game. This move is relatively fast and it beats a plethora of standing and crouching normal moves and there are just only a few attacks that could actually beat it such as Iori's sweep (risky for Iori though since his sweep is incredibly unsafe on block/whiff and Benimaru could easily respond with his own sweep to punish Iori). Due to its function as a sobat similar to Guile's Standing Forward Kick from the Street Fighter series, not only does Standing Heavy Kick goes over most low attacks but over most slides as well.
    • Occasionally, this move acts as a preemptive anti-air from situations such as the opponent blocking two of Benimaru's Crouching Light Kicks and the opponent commits to a hop/jump afterwards only to be hit by an immediate Standing Heavy Kick. For his sobat to cleanly anti-air a hop, the Benimaru player will need to establish a sort of frame advantage so that his sobat can gain the preemptive edge.
    • Since this move covers a deal of ground space close to Benimaru, the opponent will be encouraged to approach from about mid to mid-close screen with a hop or a jump. In this case, Benimaru could readily anti-air the opponent with a Standing Light Kick, a Standing Heavy Punch, a Super Inazuma Kick (Dp.gif + Kick.gif), one of Benimaru's jumping normal moves, or an air throw. Just don't be caught being lazy and accidentally commit to a Standing Heavy Kick while the opponent is already at the peak of the opponent's hop.
  • Close Heavy Kick (Close Snkd.gif) - Benimaru's other close, heavy attack. Due to it's wider activation range than Close Heavy Punch, Close Heavy Kick could anti-air neutral jumps on reaction more easily and be used in frame traps such as going from Crouching Light Kick to Close Heavy Kick better than Close Heavy Punch could. This attack is also preferred in option select Close
    Snkc.gif / Snkd.gif situations.
  • Crouching Light Punch (Down.gif + Snka.gif) - Fast cancelable normal. Doesn't have much of a point since Crouching Light Kick faster, and Crouching Light Kick has longer range while at the same time hitting low. Crouching Light Punch has some applications as a frame trap since it's more positive on block and Crouching Light Kick.
    • Links into Close Heavy Kick on hit, and on block the frametrap becomes tight enough to beat any non-invuln attack the opponent may throw out when trying to interrupt the string.
  • Crouching Light Kick (Down.gif + Snkb.gif) - Another one of Benimaru's great normals. Fast, cancelable, and mid ranged crouching attack that's great for pressuring and spacing Benimaru for setting up cross-up attempts. It's threatening because of its ability to break alternate guard attempts and confirms into decent damage with a knockdown. The opponent would rather try to block Crouching Light Kick most of the time rather than try to alternate guard against tick command throw attempts. One of the key functions of Benimaru's pressure. Crouching Light Kick is also good for shrinking under and punishing bad hop and jump attempts. It also could be used in pressuring blockstrings and frame traps such as canceling a Crouching Light Kick into a
    Raijinken (Qcf.gif + Punch.gif) and what not.
  • Crouching Heavy Punch (Down.gif + Snkc.gif) - A long, low-to-the-ground cancelable normal. It's Benimaru's longest normal move that could cancel into a special without knocking down the opponent which makes it a welcome addition when trying to punish certain moves on block or whiff. Crouching Heavy Punch is better as an anti-air this time around in King of Fighters XIII, but not by that much. As a crouching punch attack, of course it doesn't have low hitting properties. Mainly used in frame trap situations to continue pressure, such as after a blocked Crouching Light Kick blockstring. Similar to quite a number of Crouching Heavy Punches and Crouching Heavy Kicks in the game, this move could cancel upon whiff as well.
  • Crouching Heavy Kick (Down.gif + Snkd.gif) - Nice cancelable sweep. Has relatively moderate range amongst the cast, but it's one of the faster sweeps and works well to punish opponents. Also another tool to use in blockstring as it cancels as well. Could almost simultaneous control ground and airspace by canceling itself on whiff into Raijinken (Qcf.gif + Punch.gif) or any other anti-air Special Move.
  • Blowback Attack (Snkc.gif + Snkd.gif) - Similar but slightly slower and shorter in range than Standing Heavy Kick; but, it is cancelable on whiff and on hit like all Blowback Attacks. The delayed startup makes it an occasionally tricky move to use to mix in with Standing Heavy Kick to mix up Benimaru's rhythm. Becomes more threatening in the corner as Benimaru can quite easily hitconfirm and combo off a counter hit Blowback Attack for a nice combo.
  • Jumping Light Punch (Air Snka.gif) - Has little to no point. Jumping Light Punch is irrelevant because the speed and the range it covers is outclassed better by all of the other jumping normal attacks Benimaru has.
  • Jumping Light Kick (Air Snkb.gif) - A fast jump in with good air-to-air and cross-up properties. Think of M. Bison's (Dictator) Jumping Forward Kick from the Street Fighter series. Due to the kind of hop and jump arc Benimaru has compared to any other character in King of Fighters series, Jumping Light Kick functions even better as an air-to-air. Given the situation just like with Jumping Heavy Kick, Benimaru could air-to-air an opponent and have enough time to land to run under the opponent as the opponent lands on the ground, thus setting up for a mix-up. Typically this happens as Benimaru connects his attack from the peak or descent from a hop as the opponent is hit from a full or super jump. If Benimaru air-to-airs an opponent that also hops, Benimaru is unlikely to be able to run under at all.
  • Jumping Heavy Punch (Air Snkc.gif) - An air-to-air normal that covers the range near Benimaru's head. Covers that range above Benimaru that Jumping Light Kick and Jumping Heavy Kick don't reach. Jumping Heavy Punch also doubles as an air throw option select. If the player executes Jumping Heavy Punch while holding Right.gif or Left.gif, there's a chance that the opponent might happen to jump or hop given the set up and be hit by an air throw, Spinning Knee Drop (Air Right.gif or Left.gif + Snkc.gif [While Close]) Given the proper spacing, this attack is known to cross-up.
  • Jumping Heavy Kick (Air Snkd.gif) - Astounding overall jumping attack. It works well as an air-to-ground, cross-up, air-to-air move. The vertical hitbox is deceptively large even compared to his older iterations of this kick; Benimaru can now more easily jump in on slides and is more likely to trade or cleanly beat crouching uppercut anti-airs. As mentioned with Jumping Light Kick, this attack could set up into a run under opportunity given the correct air-to-air set up. Although a good air-to-air and has more horizontal range over Jumping Light Kick, it lacks the speed Jumping Light Kick has. Each move has its own utility and situation.
    • Good tool to use from a neutral hop since it can air-to-air hopping opponents and if timed to come out during Benimaru's apex or descent his leg can hit standing, walking, and running opponents. Like with any jumping attack though, if done too preemptively Benimaru is vulnerable to being swept as he lands as an anti-air.
    • Possibly the most all-encompassing jumping move in the game: crosses up easily, air-to-airs, incredibly difficult to anti-air.
  • Jumping Blowback Attack (Air Snkc.gif + Snkd.gif) - This attack is an air-to-air attack similar to Jumping Heavy Kick, but angled and curved more upwards. In past games, the shape of this move in King of Fighters XIII was actually Benimaru's Neutral Jumping Heavy Kick. The previous Jumping Blowback Attack was a kick attack that was 45° angled downwards that was used often early during a hop as a frame trap that catches preemptive anti-air attempts by the opponent. Now that Benimaru could do Raijinken (Qcf.gif + Punch.gif) attacks during a hop this time around, it somewhat replaces the function that the old Jumping Blowback Attack had. So overall, the current Jumping Blowback Attack has little application other than fishing for air-to-air counter hits to combo off of.

Unique Attacks

  • Jackknife Kick (Right.gif + Snkb.gif) - Although Jackknife Kick cancels from many of Benimaru's normal moves, it doesn't actually combo from any of them. Due to its slow speed, Jackknife Kick is mainly used to mix-up and stagger blockstrings to make the opponent mess up counter pokes or Guard Cancel Blowback timings. On its own, Jackknife Kick is too slow to be used as a practical anti-air attack.
  • Flying Drill (Air Down.gif + Snkd.gif) - An aerial, diving drill attack similar to Dhalsim's Drill Dives from the Street Fighter series. In this iteration of KOF, the Flying Drill doesn't induce much push back upon block as it used to. In past games, the push back made Flying Drill spaced away from the opponent upon landing, making the Flying Drill safe and giving neutral frame advantage. This allowed Benimaru go for a 50/50 mix-up in previous games. Now, the attack barely pushes the opponent back and it requires more minute spacing in order to make Flying Drill safe. The recovery feels about the same but the amount of blockstun induced upon an opponent feels decreased, making Benimaru move vulnerable to punishes, especially command throws. The actual descent of the Flying Drill is faster; as applied as a means of changing aerial momentum and direction, Flying Drill is still useful for running away from an opponent or maneuvering around projectiles.
    • Benimaru can link a followup combo on hit. Due to spacing, Benimaru may not be in Close Heavy Kick activation range, but he can nearly always link a Crouching Light Kick or Benimaru Collider ( Hcb.gifF.gif + Punch.gif ). Getting the timing can be difficult at first, but Benimaru will only hit three times with his Flying Drill against standing opponents and from any other spacing or against crouchers it only hits twice. Once familiar with when the attack should end, getting the followup combo becomes much easier.

Throw

  • Catch and Shoot (Right.gif or Left.gif + Snkc.gif or Snkd.gif [While Close]) - A seemingly standard throw, only Benimaru can combo afterward against a cornered opponent!

What also makes this throw powerful is the kind of option select mix-up it has, especially given how strong both Catch and Shoot and Benimaru Collider are in the corner..

    • As with most grapplers or characters with command throws if a knockdown is scored upon an opponent, the player may attempt a safe jump/hop set up and safely lead into an empty hop > command throw mix-up. Since the opponent should be scared in this situation and recognizes if the player does not do a jump-in attack, that the opponent wouldn't be able to alternate guard to force the command throw to miss. So, the opponent's option in this case would be to hop or jump out of the situation. If the player knows that the opponent will jump/hop, the player could have Benimaru (or any other character with a command throw) land and go for a normal throw (in Benimaru's case, his Catch and Shoot.)
      • If the opponent jumped/hopped, the opponent will be hit with a Close Heavy Punch or Heavy Kick since normal throws don't have whiff animations.
      • If the opponent, for whatever reason, decided to stay grounded, then the opponent will be thrown. Be cautious, more wary players might try to read this set-up and just tech Benimaru's normal throw. In this case, the mix-up would be an actual command throw.
  • Spinning Knee Drop (Air Right.gif or Left.gif + Snkc.gif [While Close]) - A simple aerial throw attack. Further details upon its option select is in the description for Jumping Heavy Punch.

Special Moves

  • Raijinken (Qcf.gif + Punch.gif) - A good chip-damage, pressure attack. Could be used as a preemptive anti-air. A common way of chipping/frame-trapping an opponent is by doing one or two Crouching Light Kicks then canceling the last one into Raijinken. Now in King of Fighters XIII, the Snkc.gif Version of Raijinken combos from Crouching Light Kick and knocks down the opponent upon hit. The Snka.gif Version remains similar to previous versions as it has slower start up, only being able to combo from a heavy hitting attack, and it doesn't knockdown. So the latter that has more start up is somewhat better for frametraps while the former is good for guaranteed chip in blockstrings and knocking down for combos. Both are susceptible to Guard Cancel Rolls and are punishable. The player has to make sure to creatively mix-up the blockstrings.
    • In certain cases an improperly spaced, blocked Raijinken may be punished by fast reversal attacks. For example, Iori could punish Raijinken simply with Ex.png Kin 1211 Shiki: Ya Otome (Down.gifDownforward.gifHcb.gif + Snka.gif + Snkc.gif). Most characters can simply sweep Benimaru for whiffing this move, or react with a quick special/DM, so be sure to know at what distances and in which blockstrings that Raijinken would or would not be safe against each character.
    • Ex.png Raijinken (Qcf.gif + Snka.gif + Snkc.gif) - Essentially a faster, safer variance of Snkc.gif Version Raijinken. Freezes the opponent in the air on hit which gives Benimaru huge corner combo potential, though midscreen it doesn't lead into too much damage. Amazingly good in the corner from a Crouching Light Kick hitconfirm since Benimaru can easily take the opponent for a ride and almost build back the meter spent to use this move.
  • Air Raijinken (Air Qcf.gif + Punch.gif) - The application of this move warrants its own description separate from the grounded Raijinken. This attack returns with a bang, being able to initiate from a hop (as most previous iterations couldn't) and could be activated very close to the ground, "tiger-kneed" even. While the Snka.gif Version, upon a deep hit, will allow for a follow up combo, the Snkc.gif Version is safer to commit to on block as Benimaru is pushed away from the opponent after the attack. The Snka.gif Version is able to combo because Benimaru lands towards the opponent after the attack and be able to link a Close Heavy Punch and be able to combo further.
    • In previous KOF titles, Benimaru had a downward-angled Jumping Blowback Attack to hit at deeper angles that Benimaru would otherwise not reach. As Benimaru no longer has that kind of attack, being able to Raijinken from a hop covers that application he lost with Jumping Blowback Attack. It might not be the best substitute as the old Jumping Blowback Attack maintained the same aerial momentum (for better or worse) during the duration of the move. Air Raijinken at least gives the benefit of chip damage, change of direction depending on what type of Air Raijinken is used, and an opportunity for a combo given the correct setup.
    • Benimaru can do this move from a backdash, though it doesn't build any meter on whiff. It can nullify projectiles or discourage the opponent from following Benimaru, but the active frames of the move run out while the lightning is still visible and so characters can punish Benimaru's Raijinken backdash with fast horizontal moves like King's Tornado Kick.
    • Air Ex.png Raijinken (Air Qcf.gif + Snka.gif + Snkc.gif) - While a bit slower than the Snka.gif Version, this attack stays active and shocks up to four times before disappearing and is able to confirm into a combo as well. After the attack is finished, Benimaru is dropped directly downwards from the air unlike the normal versions of Air Raijinken. Could be placed in the air like a mine which limits mobility and forces a blockstring, cross up, high/low hop mixup, or simply a frametrap; just be wise to properly use Benimaru's meter and just not to simply burn it all on this attack.
  • Benimaru Lancer (Qcb.gif + Punch.gif) - This attack is comparable to Orochi Shermie's Takeru Mikadzuchi from King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited match. That is, both Takeru Mikadzuchi and Benimaru Lancer don't have much application what so ever in the neutral game. The best Benimaru Lancer could be used as on its own is as an anti-air against cross-ups and what not, but it's far too slow to be used in that application. So the best usage of this move is continuing juggles in Drive Combos and Hyper Drive Combos.
    • Ex.png Benimaru Lancer (Qcb.gif + Snka.gif + Snkc.gif) - This attack is even slower than the normal Lancer, but it has homing properties and a lightning strike lands upon the opponent's position as the move was initiated. So during times when the opponent is about to use a projectile, Benimaru could toss this move out to punish the opponent's start up. Don't use this move too generously as it's pretty easy to evade (with a forward or backwards roll) and Benimaru is left open for a punish, but use it as a means to check the opponent's willingness to use projectiles or hop/jump.
  • Super Inazuma Kick (Dp.gif + Kick.gif) - The standard anti-air Special Move. This move has great vertical range that Benimaru's grounded Normal Moves don't cover. Super Inazuma Kick's lightning strike completely covers that vertical part of the play field, effectively being a complete wall. Of course, upon block or whiff either version of Super Inazuma Kick is unsafe and open to be punished. A very neat Kamen Rider/Gainax reference although it isn't a very dynamic dive/drop kick.
    • Snkb.gif version comes out a little faster but lacks any invuln, meaning it mainly anti-airs only when it hits the opponent before they hit Benimaru. The Snkd.gif version is the get-to anti-air and reversal due to its startup invuln. Both versions are unsafe on block, but the recovery is still a little faster than you might expect, so the Snkb.gif version in particular can be annoying for gimmicks.
    • Ex.png Super Inazuma Kick (Dp.gif + Snkb.gif + Snkd.gif) - A more reliable Super Inazuma Kick for when the opponent is deeper on Benimaru. Better invincibility, speed, and damage overall. Faster than Rolling Thunder.
  • Iaigeri (Qcf.gif + Kick.gif) - One of Benimaru's safest special moves to end an attack string with due to the heavy pushback. However, Iaigeri is susceptible to Guard Cancel Rolls and is negative on block so some characters can punish it every time* with fast specials and DMs, so Qcf.gif + Snkc.gif is a safer tool for feeling out a knockdown such as when tripguard anti-airing the opponent. Upon hit, it is followed up by Handou Sandangeri (After Iaigeri, Down.gifUp.gif + Kick.gif) and does the most damage in a combo that doesn't require any Drive or Super meter.
    • Even if a character can punish Iaigeri on block, it's possible for the Benimaru player to look for movement and cancel into Handou Sandangeri late to beat any non-invulnerable punish attempt. The only downside to this method of making this special safer on block is that the opponent could bait the followup which will cause Benimaru to take much heftier damage.
    • The Snkd.gif version connects in more instances than the Snkb.gif kick, so always go for the Snkd.gif kick to get Benimaru's corner combos to work properly.
    • Ex.png Iaigeri (Qcf.gif + Snkb.gif + Snkd.gif) - Not very impressive in combos, though the crazy startup speed coupled with its lengthy hitbox makes it nice as an occasional punishing tool when no other attack can suffice. It can be used for simple 1 meter combos, but EX Raijinken can do a better job unless you prefer the knockdown given from this move.
    • Handou Sandangeri (After Iaigeri, Down.gifUp.gif + Kick.gif) - Used to knock down after Iaigeri (Qcf.gif + Kick.gif). It's not safe on block so it's advised against to use it for chipping the opponent unless the situation calls for it, such as finishing off an opponent in a surprise manner. The first hit is Drive Cancelable and is often called upon in combos. Just be sure not to accidentally Drive Cancel into Super Inazuma Kick ( Dp.gif + Kick.gif ) when attempting this followup.
  • Benimaru Collider (Hcb.gifRight.gif + Punch.gif) - Benimaru's electrifying command grab/throw. Sets up for cross ups, fake cross ups, safejumps, ambiguous rolls, or whatever gimmick of followup you want. Sucks the opponent just out of the corner, so the cross up threat is always available.
    • Although it may lack range compared to other command throws in the game, Benimaru could easily set up for the throw as his ability to get in and scare the opponent into blocking or hesitating is really good. Benimaru could easily break Alternate Guard attempts by having a fast, lengthy Crouching Light Kick that chains into itself as well and cancels into other attacks for the knockdown; it sets up for tick throws since the opponent will most likely think of blocking low than risk alternating between high or low because of a tick throw. Perhaps another Gunbuster reference.
    • Has crazy good recovery. Benimaru can pretty safely cancel his Heavy normal into this move on block, and even if hopped over or beaten with Alternate Guard the opponent will have to act fast to punish Benimaru.
    • Ex.png Benimaru Collider (Hcb.gifRight.gif + Snka.gif + Snkc.gif) - Similar application as the normal version, this attack induces a crumple state upon the opponent. Of course, this means the player may follow up with an attack to continue the combo.
    • The recovery period where Benimaru lifts his arms away can be canceled into specials and DMs. Finding this timing makes all his followups much easier to land.

Desperation Moves

  • Raikouken (Qcf.gifQcf.gif + Punch.gif) - A powered up verison of Raijinken (Qcf.gif + Punch.gif). Mainly used in combos and isn't particularly safe upon block or whiff so be sure to use this attack when it'll work. Note that this attack doesn't any invulnerability and has a bit of significant start up so please do use it with care.
    • Ex.png Raikouken (Qcf.gif + Snka.gif + Snkc.gif) - An invicible, much faster and more orange version of Raikouken. Since it's nearly instant, it may be used to punish numerous attacks on block or whiff. It's also fast enough to act as an anti-air depending on the spacing and situation.
  • Rolling Thunder (Qcb.gifQcb.gif + Punch.gif) - Very electrifying. Benimaru uses an electric field to encompass himself and covers the space around him quite well. Much like Athena's Shining Crystal Bit, this DM is a wonderful anti-air that starts up pretty fast (though it can be safejumped), and the motion can be buffered during blockstun to punish a hop or cross up attempt on reaction. It's an okay reversal attack to get the opponents off Benimaru a bit. It may not do as much damage as Ex.png Raikouken (Qcf.gif + Snka.gif + Snkc.gif), and EX Inazuma Kick ( Dp.gif + Snkb.gif + Snkd.gif ) may be faster, but it certainly has a bit more utility and availability.
    • You can pretty safely buffer Qcb.gif in blockstun since the input gives you Downleft.gif and Left.gif motions, so you're almost always blocking. You could still be hit by a high or a low if you're not careful, but by recognizing blockstrings and the opponent's hop patterns, it's quite easy to put a shock on their short hop offense.
  • Raiouken (Qcf.gifQcf.gif + Snkb.gif + Snkd.gif) - A powered up version of Raikouken (Qcf.gifQcf.gif + Punch.gif). Although this attack quickly travels full screen, it isn't invulnerable on startup so Benimaru can be hit before the lightning becomes active. But, it's good enough to win in projectile wars, anti-air and whiff punish to close out a match. The player can aim this Neo Max Up.gif or Down.gif in addition to leaving the controls at neutral to direct the current to its target.

Tips and Tricks

Cross-ups

Against Standing Opponent

  • Deep j.D > hop forward > j.D/j.B
  • Deep cr.B > hop forward > j.D/j.B
  • Deep cr.B > cr.B > hyper hop forward > j.D/j.B
  • Deep cr.B > cr.B > st.B > hyper hop forward > j.D/j.B
  • Far j.D > hyper hop forward > j.D/j.B

Against Crouching Opponent

  • Deep cr.B > cr.B/cr.A/st.B > hop forward > j.D/j.B
  • Deep j.D > cr.B/cr.A/st.B > hop forward > j.D/j.B
  • Deep cr.B/cr.A > cl.D > hyper hop forward > j.D/j.B
  • Far j.D > hop forward > j.D/j.B

Universal

  • Benimaru Collider > walk backwards > hop forward > j.D/j.B


A notable change to Benimaru's cross-ups from previous games is that his setups no longer function as universally as before, meaning it's important to know what crosses up a crouching opponent as well as which blockstrings are needed to land on a standing opponent. This means that his cross-ups are more prone to being botched and punished, so be careful from these tighter setups.

Okizeme

cr.D

  • Quickrise:
    • Immediately hyper hop forward for a safejump. You can't hitconfirm this, so you're guessing they'll want to tech.
    • (corner) React to the grounded roll and put the opponent into an immediate guessing game between Benimaru's normal throw, command grab, or go for a cr.B to catch the opponent trying to escape a throw.
  • Hard Knockdown:
    • React to the opponent bouncing on the ground, and time a forward hop for a potential safejump.
    • React to the ground bounce and if in range, feel out a crossup j.B/j.D.

st.CD

  • Quickrise:
    • (midscreen) Run forward or stay back depending on the situation; no guaranteed followups or even meaty setups.
    • (corner) React to the grounded roll and put the opponent into an immediate guessing game between Benimaru's normal throw, command grab, or go for a cr.B to catch the opponent trying to escape a throw.
  • Hard Knockdown:
    • React to the opponent bouncing on the ground, and time a forward hop for a potential safejump.
    • React to the ground bounce and if in range, feel out a crossup j.B/j.D.

Catch and Shoot (normal throw)

  • Quickrise:
    • Immediately superjump forward or run and hyperhop forward for a meaty jump-in. Note that this isn't a very tight safejump, though characters such as Duo Lon who lack a good reversal are forced to block.
    • (corner) Do a combo!
  • Hard Knockdown:
    • React to the opponent bouncing on the ground, and time a forward hop for a potential safejump.
    • React to the ground bounce and if in range, feel out a crossup j.B/j.D.
    • (corner) Do a combo!

Spinning Knee Drop (airthrow)

  • Forced Hard Knockdown
    • Little frame advantage; no safe meaty followups available.

Raijinken (236+C)

  • Quickrise:
    • Pushes opponent too far back when midscreen to get any setups other than running forward into footsie range safely.
    • (corner) React to the grounded roll and put the opponent into an immediate guessing game between Benimaru's normal throw, command grab, or go for a cr.B to catch the opponent trying to escape a throw.
  • Hard Knockdown:
    • React to the ground bounce with a forward (hyper)hop for a safejump or crossup.

Iaigeri > Handou Sandangeri (236+k > 28+k)

  • Quickrise:
    • No real followup setups other than repositioning Benimaru while the opponent recovers.
    • (corner) React to the grounded roll and put the opponent into an immediate guessing game between Benimaru's normal throw, command grab, or go for a cr.B to catch the opponent trying to escape a throw.

Benimaru Collider (632146+P)

  • Forced Hard Knockdown
    • Take a step backwards, then hop forward with j.D or j.B for a cross-up.
    • Walk backwards for a decent amount of time, and then hop forward with j.B or j.D to fake the cross-up.
    • Perform a cross-up j.B, then cancel into df.D. The j.B hits as a cross-up, while the Drill will cross the opponent up again (but not actually combo). If the Drill divekick hits, combo back into Benimaru Collider.
    • Time a safejump.
    • Walk backwards, and then roll forard as the opponent finally collapses onto the ground. Depending on when you stop moving backwards, you will either land in front of or behind the opponent with frame advantage, allowing you to quickly put the opponent into a 50/50 blocking mixup.
    • (corner) Roll forward, into the corner, and then walk forward for a split second before hopping forward with j.B/j.D. What results is that you'll get a cross-up while positioning the opponent back into the corner.

Rolling Thunder (214214+p), RaiKouKen (236236+P)

  • Quickrise:
    • Depending upon the height the opponent was anti-aired at, your frame advantage will vary and you may be able to land a meaty jump-in.
    • (corner) React to the grounded roll and put the opponent into an immediate guessing game between Benimaru's normal throw, command grab, or go for a cr.B to catch the opponent trying to escape a throw.
  • Hard Knockdown:
    • React to the opponent bouncing on the ground, and time a forward hop for a potential safejump.
    • React to the ground bounce and if in range, feel out a crossup j.B/j.D.

Raiouken (236236+BD)

  • Quickrise:
    • (corner) Hop forward for a safejump setup.
    • (corner) React to the grounded roll and put the opponent into an immediate guessing game between Benimaru's normal throw, command grab, or go for a cr.B to catch the opponent trying to escape a throw.
  • Hard Knockdown:
    • (corner)It's possible to feel out a safejump/emptyhop if you can read that they wont tech.

The shorthand here is that Benimaru's midscreen followups are pretty limited and opponents will generally always want to quicktech everything midscreen to avoid eating setups. Benimaru Collider always sets up for nice, inescapable setups from anywhere on the screen, though it's difficult to hitconfirm into the grab. Once Benimaru corner an opponent, they'll need to think twice about teching knockdowns because of Benimaru's superb throw/low mixup he can go for off of a quickrise due to the opponent forfeiting all initial wakeup throw invuln. Be sure to react to quicktechs in the corner, though also be conscious of reversals.

Combos

Benimaru can get up to three hits into his hitconfirms: cr.B cr.B cr.B or j.D cr.B cr.B. Both require Benimaru to be in deep on the opponent, so due to spacing it may be necessary to omit a cr.B.

Benimaru can use either A or C Air Raijinken for his corner TK loops, though the C version pushes him further away. The A version is ideal since it keeps him in close, but the combo needs to end with qcf+C. Failing to TK with the A version will drop the combo; failing to TK with the C version often gives a C Raijinken and salvages the combo. An effective method then, is to do two or three 2369+A's, then switch to 2369+C to option select any executional mistakes.

0% Drive

0 Bar

  • j.D cl.C xx qcf+K > du+K
  • j.D/cr.B cr.B cr.B xx qcf+K > du+K
    • Simple hitconfirm into a knockdown. Getting three cr.Bs is difficult, so most of the time Benimaru relies on confirming from two attacks, such as cr.B cr.B xx qcf+K or j.D cr.B xx qcf+K. Because Iaigeri is negative on block, it's beneficial to use the following when unable to hitconfirm with certainty:
  • j.D cl.D qcf+C
  • j.D/cr.B cr.B cr.B xx qcf+C
    • qcf+C combos from light attacks and causes a knockdown, and it's safer on block than qcf+K. This makes it a safer option such as when tripguard anti-airing the opponent with a cr.B and wanting to transfer it into a knockdown while still being somewhat safe on block if mis-timed.
  • j.D cl.D xx hcb f+P
  • j.D/cr.B cr.B xx hcb f+P
    • Comboing into Benimaru Collider deals a little less damage than Iaigeri, though it sets up a nice hard knockdown into cross up, safejump, ambiguous rolls, you name it.
  • (requires corner) Catch and Shoot > qcf+K > du+K
    • Benimaru can always tack on damage after throwing the opponent in to the corner.

1 Bar

  • j.D cl.D xx hcb f+AC xx qcb+P, qcf+K > du+K
    • A simple combo from EX Collider. You must cancel the recovery of the command grab into Benimaru Lancer for this to combo.
  • j.D cl.D xx qcf+AC...
  • j.D/cr.B cr.B xx qcf+AC...
    • hop > Spinning Knee Drop
    • empty hop, qcf+K > du+K
    • (corner) [2369+A] x5, qcf+C, qcf+D > du+K
      • The first two enders do about the same damage, though the airthrow deals slightly less and results in a different pushback. The corner loop does huge damage and builds about 70% of a super stock so it almost pays for itself. You can get up to five 'Tiger Knee' Raijinkens before closing it out and if you screw up and get a grounded Raijinken you may be able to still tack on the Iaigeri for the knockdown, or at minimum Benimaru isn't easily punished for dropping the combo.

2 Bar

  • j.D cl.D xx hcb f+AC xx...
    • qcb qcb+P
    • (corner) qcb+AC, [2369+A] xn, qcf+C, qcf+D > du+K
      • The DM finish is only worthwhile if the added damage over the normal meterless combo would kill. The corner combo, however is quite worth the damage and like with all of Benimaru's TK Raijinken loops it builds a lot of meter.
  • j.D/cr.B cr.B xx qcf qcf+AC
    • EX Raikouken is hella fast and will connect from any 2-in-1.

50% Drive

0 Bar

  • j.D cl.D xx qcf+K > du+K (1) (DC) qcb+P, qcf+K > du+K
  • j.D/cr.B cr.B xx qcf+K > du+K (1) (DC) qcb+P, qcf+K > du+K
    • Adds a slight bit more damage, though only go for this combo if it'd kill since the additional damage isn't much.

1 Bar

  • (corner) j.D cl.D xx qcf+K > du+K (1) (DC) qcf+AC, qcb+P, [2369+A] xn, qcf+C, qcf+K > du+K
  • (corner) j.D/cr.B cr.B xx qcf+K > du+K (1) (DC) qcf+AC, qcb+P, [2369+A] xn, qcf+C, qcf+K > du+K
  • (corner) Catch and Shoot, qcf+K > du+K (1) (DC) qcf+AC, qcb+P, [2369+A] xn, qcf+C, qcf+K > du+K
    • Of these combos, the last is the one of most importance since you could hitconfirm into qcf+AC directly to save a Drive Cancel. Benimaru can crank out big damage from his normal throw in the corner by only using 1 Drive and 1 Stock.

2 Bar

  • j.D cl.D xx qcf+K > du+K (1) (DC) qcb+P, qcf qcf+AC
  • j.D/cr.B cr.B xx qcf+K > du+K (1) (DC) qcb+P, qcf qcf+AC
    • A nice way to tack on Beni's EX DM without using a Super Cancel.

100% Drive

If cr.B cr.B st.B (HD) cl.D is difficult, try using an HD bypass alternative: cr.B cr.B xx qcf+BC will cancel a cr.B into qcf+K and also active HD mode.

2 Bar

  • j.D/cr.B cr.B st.B (HD) cl.D xx qcf+K > du+K (1) (HDC) qcb+P, qcf+K xx qcf qcf+BD
    • A simple midscreen combo, and really about his only good midscreen HD option.
  • (corner) j.D/cr.B cr.B st.B (HD) cl.D xx [qcf+k > du+k (1) (HDC) qcb+P,] x2 [qcf+A, qcf+K > du+K (1) (HDC) qcb+P] x2 qcf qcf+BD
    • A basic corner loop. This is by no means Benimaru's optimal HD combo, though it's simple.

Team Order

1st position

Pros

  • Benimaru has access to all of his footsie tools without meter, so his offense and defense is fully available from the get-go.

Cons

  • Benimaru's meterless damage output is modest, though if you can build one bar he'll have access to his corner EX Raijinken loop.

2nd position

Pros

  • It's quite possible that Benimaru will come in with meter, so he can convert harder from hits and possibly even land a HD combo.
    • On the topic of meter, he also has his EX Benimaru Collider which converts into a combo, Rolling Thunder is easy to buffer and use on reactions to hops, and when in doubt EX Raikouken can be used to plow through just about any oncoming attack.

Cons

  • Benimaru's HD loops only work in the corner, as otherwise your only option is a very short midscreen combo into NEOMAX.
    • However, Benimaru can make nice use of Drive Cancels into EX Raikouken and keep a portion of his Drive Gauge for future use.

3rd position

Pros

  • There isn't much of a bad position for Benimaru, and as an anchor his offensive capabilities are hefty and his stonewall defense allows him to shut down the opponent's options. Benimaru really is a great all-rounder.

Cons

  • Benimaru's HD loops only work in the corner, as otherwise your only option is a very short midscreen combo into NEOMAX.
  • Benimaru lacks a comboable command normal for his hitconfirms, so in order to land his HD combos you'll have to be able to practice and land cr.B cr.B st.B (BC) cl.D..., and comboing the Close Heavy Kick from lights requires fast timing.

Basic Strategy

Zone and control space with air lightning orbs and EX lightning. Bully your opponent up-close with Benimaru's great pokes (which most of the time is his kicks) Once your opponent is scared into blocking, start up your throw game. Remember that you can combo off regular throws in the corner and EX grab.

Offense

Defense

Advanced Strategy

Frame Data

Move Name Block Damage Cancel Ability Startup* Active Recovery Hitstun** Blockstun** On Hit On Guard Notes
Standing Snka.gif HL 25 ch/sp/su 4 3 7 14 12 +5 +3 Whiffs standard crouchers.
Standing Snkb.gif HL 30 - 5 3 11 14 12 +1 -1 Whiffs neutral crouchers.
Standing Snkc.gif HL 80 - 5 3 21 20 18 -3 -5 Whiffs standard crouchers.
Close Snkc.gif HL 70 sp/su 4 3 20 20 18 -2 -4
Standing Snkd.gif HL 80 - 12 5 16 20 18 0 -2 Lowerbody Invuln.
Close Snkd.gif HL 70 sp/su 4 6 16 20 18 -3 -1
Crouching Snka.gif HL 25 ch/sp/su 5 3 7 14 12 +5 +3
Crouching Snkb.gif L 30 ch/sp/su 3 4 8 14 12 +3 +1
Crouching Snkc.gif HL 70 sp/su 6 6 17 20 18 -2 -4
Crouching Snkd.gif L 80 sp/su 5 3 24 KD 18 KD -8
Standing Snkc.gif + Snkd.gif HL 75 sp/su 11 5 15 - 22 KD +3
Jumping Snka.gif H 45 (40) sp 4 10 (9) Land+1 12 12 - -
Jumping Snkb.gif H 45 (40) sp 4 12 (9) Land+1 12 12 - -
Jumping Snkc.gif H 72 (70) sp 5 7 (5) Land+1 12 15 - -
Jumping Snkd.gif H 70 (68) - 6 7 (6) Land+1 12 15 - -
Jumping Snkc.gif + Snkd.gif HL 90 (80) sp 8 7 (5) Land+1 KD 22 (18) - -
F.gif + Snkb.gif HL 65 sp/su 20 3 22 20 18 -4 -6 Lowerbody Invuln.
Jumping Down.gif + Snkd.gif HL 25×3 - 15 3(3),3(3),3 Land+14 20 18 +6 +4 1+7F hitstop. Highest possible advantage is listed (perform almost at peak of jump so 3rd hit connects).
F.gif or B.gif + Snkc.gif or Snkd.gif Throw 100 - 0 1 - KD - +7,KD -
Qcf.gif + Snka.gif HL 35×2 su 18 10,14 14 16 13 0 -3 1+11F hitstop for defender only.
Qcf.gif + Snkc.gif HL 35×2 su 13 10,14 18 KD 13 KD -7 1+11F hitstop for defender only.
Qcf.gif + Snka.gif + Snkc.gif HL 110 su 13 20 7 KD 17 +40,KD +2 1+11F hitstop for defender only.
Air Qcf.gif + Snka.gif HL 35×2 - 12 6,8 Land+15 16 13 +9 +6 1+7F hitstop for defender only. Advantage is listed as at lowest possible height.
Air Qcf.gif + Snkc.gif HL 35×2 - 12 6,8 Land+15 16 13 +9 +6 1+7F hitstop for defender only. Advantage is listed as at lowest possible height.
Air Qcf.gif + Snka.gif + Snkc.gif HL 50×4 - 13 19×4 Land+15 13 10 +48 +45 1+11F hitstop for defender only. Advantage is listed as at lowest possible height.
Qcf.gif + Snkb.gif HL 45 su 5 4 29 20 17 -12 -15
Qcf.gif + Snkd.gif HL 45 su 4 4 29 20 17 -12 -15
-> Down.gifUp.gif + Kick.gif HL 40+50 su 4 2(5)12 18+25 KD 17 KD -37
Qcf.gif + Snkb.gif + Snkd.gif HL 60 su 2 4 21 20 17 -4 -7
-> Down.gifUp.gif + Kick.gif HL 60,40×3 su 4 2(5),4,4 26+25 KD 17 KD -37 2nd & 3rd hits: 1+7F hitstop
Dp.gif + Snkb.gif HL 60 su 3 9 19+20 KD 17 KD -30
Dp.gif + Snkd.gif HL 100 su 5 9 30+20 KD 17 KD -41
Dp.gif + Snkb.gif + Snkd.gif HL 100,50×2 su 3 2,3,4 30+20 KD 17 KD -36 2nd & 3rd hits: 1+4F hitstop.
Qcb.gif + Snka.gif HL 70 - 21 - 50 (Total) KD 17 +11,KD 0 1+11F hitstop for defender only.
Qcb.gif + Snkc.gif HL 70 - 21 - 50 (Total) KD 17 +11,KD 0 1+11F hitstop for defender only.
Qcb.gif + Snka.gif + Snkc.gif HL 150 - 33 - 57 (Total) KD 10 +27,KD -3 1+11F hitstop for defender only. Cannot use to juggle aerial opponents.
Hcb.gifF.gif + Snka.gif Throw 13×15 - 0 1 21 KD - KD -
Hcb.gifF.gif + Snkc.gif Throw 13×15 - 0 1 21 KD - KD -
Hcb.gifF.gif + Snka.gif + Snkc.gif Throw 100 - 0 1 29 KD - +14,KD - Can be special cancelled out of 25 frames earlier (total of +39 on special cancel).
Qcf.gif×2 + Snka.gif or Snkc.gif HL 35×4+60 - 1+15 6,5,6×3 41 KD 17 KD -18 30F total super freeze. 1+11F hitstop for defender only. No additional scaling on first 4 hits. No scaling on last hit.
Qcf.gif×2 + Snka.gif + Snkc.gif HL 27×9+70 - 1+3 3×10 46 KD 10 KD -27 30F total super freeze. 1+11F hitstop for defender only. No additional scaling on first 9 hits. No scaling on last hit.
Qcb.gif×2 + Snka.gif or Snkc.gif HL 13×15 - 1+3 3,5×14 43 KD 17 KD -33 On block: 4,5×8 active, 53 recovery. 30F total super freeze. No additional scaling on all hits.
Qcf.gif×2 + Snkb.gif + Snkd.gif HL 50×9 - 1+11 1×9 62 (Total) KD KD -13 52F total super freeze. No additional scaling on first 8 hits. No scaling on last hit.
Move Name HL Damage Cancel Ability Startup* Active Recovery Hitstun** Blockstun** On Hit On Guard Notes

* Note: Startup does not include first active frame. ** Note: Hitstun and blockstun values do not include the hitting frame.