The King of Fighters XIII/King
In a nutshell
King is one of the more zoning-oriented characters in XIII due to her strong normals, but she has the tools to press the advantage on a knockdown. Her jump-ins are now more relevant from a hop compared to previous games, her hit-confirms are easy, and with meter she has multiple strong anti-air options. Overall King requires a good knowledge of controlling space with normals, the caution to apply passive-aggressive rushdown, and solid blocking fundamentals to find a way out of enemy rushdown.
- Great spacial control with her normals, slide, and projectile.
- Her slide is incredibly safe on block and can be canceled into specials. It's often possible to hitconfirm a raw slide, or certainly any chain into the slide.
- Her metered anti-air options can cover multiple spaces and even stop cross-ups.
- Her normal anti-airs struggle against certain jump-ins (Benimaru j.D) and also against early jump-ins, such as a pre-emptive j.CD from Mr. Karate. Instead she must block, use meter for an invuln AA, air-to-air, or fish for a run-under or tripguard anti-air.
- King's damage output is low. Her only HD options rely on the corner, and even then it's nothing special. Her more conservative combos are still outclassed by most other characters.
- Her basic hop offense is standard, and aside from cross-ups she wont be forcing the opponent into many 50/50s.
- An in-depth discussion on how to deal with and counter King's tools. A HUGE resource.
- Close C has faster startup.
- Far standing D has faster recovery.
- Jump D has increased active frames.
- Slide Kick (df+D) can be canceled without being canceled into. (It no longer has different properties when canceled into.)
- Heavy Air Venom Strike (Air qcf+D) has less recoil.
- Standing Light Punch - () - Standard anti-air jab against a hop. Will not hit crouching opponents other than Raiden and Daimon and Maxima. While cancelable, it's hard to find a situation where this move is guaranteed to hit an opponent and since it can whiff crouchers, King could be baited and punished for tossing out this move, though the risk is quite low.
- Standing Light Kick - () - A standing kick to the shin that reaches further than her crouching light kick while being cancelable at that. This normal serves as her best pokes due to its speed, range, cancelability, and low-hitting property. Adds another hit into her low hit-confirm series and helps against crouching opponents outside the range of her crouching normals. While the move is technically -1 on block, the disadvantage is minimal and because of spacing, King can easily frametrap this move into itself to continually check the opponent, and all it takes is one safe cancel into a Slide Kick to convert a poke into a knockdown.
- Standing Heavy Punch - () - A beefy horizontal punch with good range and ludacris speed. Infamous for being superb in King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match, this move has the same application as always. A great anti-air and preventive poke; a strong part of her ground game. The punch comes out in 3 frames, meaning that it's just as fast as her Standing Light Punch and is even faster than her Close Heavy normals: because of this, King can easily end blockstrings with a Far C such as after making the opponent block a Venom Strike in the corner. However, it isn't a normal to throw out haplessly due to its long recovery, and most importantly, it can be crouched and punished with lows. Essentially a slower but stronger standing light punch.
- Close Heavy Punch - (Close ) - A standing uppercut that's good to mix up your blockstrings with occasionally instead of going with the two hit Close Heavy Kick. Scales less than Standing Heavy Kick, though hitconfirm practicality tends to make Close Heavy Kick the more favored close normal. King's upper has a modest vertical hitbox that can sometimes function as an anti-air, though she doesn't reach quite high enough for this move to anti-air as strongly as Iori's cl.C.
- Despite the startup speed boost, King's cl.C is actually slower than her cl.D, so you should stick with pressing D when attempting to punish the opponent.
- Standing Heavy Kick - () - A high kick that comes out a little slower than Standing Heavy Punch, but covers a higher horizontal angle as well as a longer range. This hits crouching opponents, making it an amazing poke when spaced decently: another preventive anti-air, and an anti-air for situations that other normals can't reach. The startup isn't as crazy fast as Standing Heavy Punch, though once active its hitbox is overall better. King's Far C can be used to create tighter frametraps and to anti-air faster, but the tradeoff is that her Far D reaches further and is less prone to beaten by lows.
- Close Heavy Kick - (Close ) - A two-hitting high kick and King's most common heavy combo starter as it gives you enough time to hit confirm into a combo or blockstring. The hitbox is large enough to be a passable anti-air if it comes out instead of Standing Heavy Kick: note that if the opponent backdashes/jumps and get anti-aired, the opponent could potentially land and punish King's second kick for whiffing.
- King's fastest close normal and a generally safe move for hitconfirming and starting blockstrings.
- Crouching Light Punch - ( + ) - Pretty basic Crouching Light Punch. While it won't be used in combos anymore due to Standing Light Kick taking its place as a cancelable normal (as well as hitting low), it serves as a cancelable normal for up close, whereas crouching light kick is uncancelable. More advantageous on block than Crouching Light Kick, meaning it can set up for tighter frametraps and setups.
- Crouching Light Kick - ( + ) - Standard Crouching Light Kick that can't be special canceled but has a nice, standard reach. King's main chain starter and quickest low threat.
- Crouching Heavy Punch - ( + ) - A decent 'Mexican Upper' crouching anti-air uppercut. It has a big vertical hitbox making it (sometimes) great to anti-air jumps and hops, but the horizontal range is poor which will lead to it losing if used against hops or jump-ins spaced so that the tip if their hitbox touches you. Don't whiff it, and know when a horizontal anti-air is needed.
- In spite of this move's looks, King's cr.C isn't as buff as it previously was in older games. Certain jumping attacks and angles of approach will cleanly beat out her Crouching Heavy Punch, such as Raiden's Jumping Heavy Kick. If her cr.C doesn't work, be prepared to use an invulnerable anti-air, an air-to-air, a run-under, or submit and block against the opponent's approach.
- Crouching Heavy Kick - ( + ) - King's traditionally bad sweep, although this time around it's actually cancelable. Works as the occasional tripguard anti-air, and can be used occasionally in blockstrings now. However, Crouching Light Kick has the same range with better risk/reward anyway, so don't expect to use this often.
- Blowback Attack - ( + ) - King does a sobat that kicks straight out at waist level but doesn't go over lows too well. Has a lot of startup as all blowback attacks do, but carries with it a good range and beefy hitbox. Serves as a "big" meaty that should stuff all moves that aren't actually invulnerable at startup, and can be canceled on hit or whiff. Not very abusive in the poking game since it can be jumped over or beaten by a faster move, but good on the passive offense and works well as a frame trap.
- By canceling a st.CD into a Venom Strike in the corner, King can follow up the blocked projectile with a Standing Heavy Punch to stuff counterpoke attempts, wait and bait an action such as a roll, DP, or hop, or continue locking down the opponent with pokes and Venom Strikes.
- Jumping Light Punch - (Air ) - A quick air-to-air downward punch. While King's j.B is technically a better air-to-air, sometimes when trying to hop/jump forward into j.B the player may accidentally get an Aerial Venom Strike, so use j.A for forward moving air-to-airs. Certain full jump attacks can be difficult for King to deal with, and in those instances a forward jump/hop j.A may be the player's best option out and depending on both players' heights, the King player may be able to land and run underneath the opponent before they hit the ground.
- Jumping Light Kick - (Air ) - A high side kick that appears to aim diagonally upward but really only goes horizontally. Nevertheless, it's her best air-to-air that comes out fast and beats many aerial moves cleanly.
- Jumping Heavy Punch - (Air ) - A downward-angled punch with about average hitstun, making it a viable jump-in. The horizontal range is shorter than Jumping Heavy Kick, but it covers an area closer in to her body, is cancelable, and extends her vulnerable hitbox out less further than Jumping Heavy Kick.
- Jumping Heavy Kick - (Air ) - A downward-angled kick with some reach to it. In previous games, the startup was so fast that it could be used as an instant overhead but it made for a poor jump-in. Now it handles more like a standard jumping heavy normal and can even cross up opponents. As King's go-to vertical jumping normal, it carries poor horizontal range so don't use it to keep opponents from coming closer to you. For that King has...
- Jumping Blowback Attack - (Air + ) - A wheeling kick that arcs from her head then downward. This move traditionally has two hitboxes; the initial higher hitbox that works as a beefy air-to-air, and then the lower hitbox that works as a jump-in while also commanding a horizontal range that can hit approaching opponents. Simply hopping forward or neutrally and using this move both anti-airs opponents should they approach you aerially, then controls the lower space with the downward arc.
- Timing is important with this move, as using it early from a jump or hyper hop controls the air space well with both hitboxes, but the active frame will run out leaving you vulnerable if the opponent reads this and crouches. Using it late gives you a large frame advantage on block, but gives more time for the opponent to meet you with a faster air-to-air, so be aware which areas you want to control.
- Slide Kick - ( + ) - King slides about 1/4 the screen's distance. This is a swiss army knife of command normals, where to start? First let's note that the player can always combo into this move from any of King's cancelable normals and end the combo with any special move or Desperation Move of choice. An easy combo filler that also works in blockstrings. Unless performed raw at point blank, King's slide is frustratingly safe on block, even from such strings as Cl.D > df.D.
- King's slide is always cancelable into specials and DMs. She can annoy the opponent by sliding into Venom Strike as a simple blockstring, but the opponent could Guard Cancel Roll her slide and punish a 2-in-1 into her projectile. Being cancelable allows King to slide as an anti-air, projectile escape method, or as a long low poke and then score a combo off of it.
- The slide has a long cancelable window and so by delaying a cancel the player may be able to bait early Guard Cancel Rolls and then react by not canceling her slide in order to allow King to recover and avoid being punished by a GC Roll. Delaying when to cancel into her slide comes with combo benefits, as it puts King deeper in toward the opponent which allows Trap Shot to connect, as well as permitting more followups after Tornado Kick.
- Another great use is to take advantage of King's slightly smaller hitbox during the duration of the slide. A few non-grounded projectiles can be slid under with proper timing, and the player can even anti-air certain air-to-ground attacks that don't hit too deep, such as Iori's j.D.
- King's slide can go under the following projectile attacks:
- Ash's [b],f+C (only the fast version)
- Benimaru's qcf+P
- Andy's qcb+A (only the slow version)
- Saiki's qcf+A
- Leona's [b], f+P
- King cannot slide under:
- Kensou's qcb+P
- Robert's qcf+P
- King's qcf+K
- Mai's qcf+P
- K's qcf+P, f+B
- Athena's qcb+P
- Takuma's qcf+P
- King's slide can go under the following projectile attacks:
- There are a few main weaknesses to watch out for when using this move. First, the startup is slow and you can be hit out of this period easily. Second, the deeper you hit the opponent with an uncanceled slide, the worse your frame advantage afterward will be. Finally remember that strong, downward reaching jumping normals can hit you out of the slide which will lead to eating a full combo.
- Hook Buster - ( / + / [while close]) - A cool looking throw where King tosses the opponent about 1/2 the screen's length for a hard knockdown.
- Can push the opponent fullscreen and be used to further zone and out-space the opponent.
- By delaying until the opponent hits the ground and then super jumping forward, King can perform a safe jump.
- By running forward and then super jumping with a late Jumping Heavy Kick, King can cross up the opponent from midscreen.
- After throwing the opponent into the corner, it's possible to hop/jump into the corner and cross them up, though no jumping attack seems to hit as a crossup, so you only place yourself into the corner.
- Trap Shot - ( + ) - King performs a backflip and kicks forward. On hit, the opponent is trapped in a multi-hitting auto-combo (commonly referred to as "Ranbu"). On block or whiff, she recoils from her flip, which can be heavily punished.
- Despite having a big hitbox and being a DP motion, this move is a terrible anti-air due to the slow startup and lack of invulnerability and because it deals no damage from trading. However, it's good in her combos, most notably in her corner loops and Drive Cancel/Hyper Drive combos as otherwise use Tornado Kick ( + ) as an ender.
- Trap Shot - ( + + ) - Here we go! Improved startup speed, invulnerability, a big hitbox, and solid damage. Connects against a midscreen opponent after Tornado Kick ( + ), but is otherwise only slightly more damaging than the normal versions.
- A great reversal and superb anti-air. With one meter, King actually has the threat of a reversal, and a really good one at that. The hitbox reaches out far in front of her and stretches out tall. The only possible gap right above her head can be covered by her Surprise Rose DM (×2 + ).
- Although King is invulnerable on startup, at times against early jump-ins this move can trade, dealing 0 damage to the opponent.
- Venom Strike - ( + ) - King's signature fireball from The Art of Fighting series. The version moves slower (and therefore stays on screen longer) and has better recovery, where the version is faster.
- The projectile travels above the ground, which means that certain characters have ways to lower their hitbox to pass below it (such as Duo Lon's DM ( + ) Desperation Move, or half of Chin's move set). With that in mind, also note that the projectile isn't too big, and the startup gives the opponent time to easily jump over the Venom Strike and punish King, especially when telegraphed from fullscreen. Sounds pretty cool right?
- Actually, the King player wants the opponent to jump in order to counter the approach with the appropriate anti-air and start King's offense. Once the opponent thinks twice about jumping in, Venom Strikes become more threatening as they inhibit many grounded approaches.
- King has three main optons from her projectiles. The first is to throw a fireball and then watch for the opponent to jump or hop, and then anti-air with a normal or invulnerable move. If the opponent is more settled down, King can trail behind her Venom Strike to close in on the opponent and go on offense. Finally, the shot is much harder to react to and properly hop or escape in time when anticipating the version, so it's good for traditional zoning and keeping the opponent away.
- At mid range, the threat of the opponent hopping into a poke such as Standing Heavy Punch increases, which opens more leeway to toss projectiles.
- Up close, the player can mix in Venom Strike into blockstrings and frame traps, leaving room for punish only if the opponent does a reversal or performs a Guard Cancel Roll at the right time.
- Venom Strike - ( + + ) - Moves faster than the version and is able to destroy and pass through normal projectiles and will nullify other EX projectiles. On hit, the opponent is put into a juggable stage, which can be followed up depending on spacing. On block, deals more guard damage.
- Air Venom Strike - ( + ) - King's aerial momentum is halted, and she throws out a Venom Strike identical to the grounded version. The startup requires more time to become airborne; even a 'Tiger Knee' Air Venom Strike carries extra startup. What's more is that the recovery is significantly different on this aerial version:
- The version drops King straight down from where she was hovering; the version sends King flying backwards until she reaches the ground and it causes a soft knockdown on hit. Both recovery 'air times' add further vulnerability to this move.
- While this may seem like an abusable move, the risk isn't often worthwhile. The 'Tiger Knee' height version is thrown at about most characters' head height, which still can limit forward movement, but from this height, the projectile can be crouched or worse, as it opens more room for ways to escape underneath the hitbox. While it could be used to anti-air, the startup doesn't warrant it being reliable and King already has numerous good options to cover anti-airs. If King uses an Air Venom Strike too high up, the opponent can freely run forward and punish King as she lands.
- If the player is to be cautious throwing grounded Venom Strikes, then the aerial version should be used much more sparingly. Making good use of this move requires keeping it inside of combos, or a strong setup.
- Air Venom Strike - ( + + ) - Moves faster than the version and is able to destroy and pass through normal projectiles and will nullify other EX projectiles. On hit, the opponent is put into a juggle state that can be followed up depending on spacing. On block, it deals more guard damage.
- King quickly flies backward in recoil, moreso than with the version.
- Tornado Kick '95 - ( + ) - King flies forward while performing two spinning kicks. The '95 notates that this Tornado Kick is styled from its appearance in The King of Fighters '95.
- The version of this move travels roughly one 1/4 the screen and allows for more followups in combos, but when used on its own, the second hit will whiff on crouching characters (except for characters with large hitboxes). This makes it difficult for King to ever safely use this move outside combos unless the opponent doesn't crouch or know how to punish it on block.
- The version travels about one character length past 1/2 screen and when used alone will hit crouching opponents. King can only juggle after this version by Drive Canceling a hit into aerial Venom Strike or by linking an EX Surprise Rose or Venom Shot afterward, so it's typically a finisher. Gives King enough frame advantage on hit to time a hyper hop/super jump to be a safe jump if the opponent quickrises.
- Taking into account both properties, it is possible for the player to control a large segment of the screen and the hop space with a Tornado Kick. However, even if spaced perfectly most of the cast can still punish this special on block, making it a rather gutsy attack to commit to.
- The player will most often combo into the version from King's Slide Kick both mid-screen and in the corner in order to take advantage of the extra frame advantage on hit, which sets up for more juggles or reset opportunities.
- Tornado Kick '95 - ( + + ) - The EX Tornado Kick starts up faster while having a window of invulnerability, hits 3 times and covers a further distance than the version.
- While not as strong of a reversal option as her + + , the forward movement allows King to blow forward through moves such as projectiles and can still anti-air opponents.
- The combo opportunities afterward are more restricted than the version.
- Severely unsafe on block from any range.
- Double Strike - ( + ) - King's old Art of Fighting DM where she kicks not one, but two pink projectiles out. They travel about as fast as her EX Venom Strike, only dealing more damage and having DM projectile priority.
- When activated with , the two projectiles are spaced closer together than in the version, though both projectile speeds are identical. This difference is important in certain combo instances.
- While it may seem a little redundant to have both EX Venom Strike and Double Strike which cost the same amount of meter, EX Venom Strike is more for launching the opponent where Double Strike can barely be followed up on hit.
- Works as a fullscreen punish or to plow through opponent's projectiles. Also notable for tagging aerial opponents in a counterhit state.
- Surprise Rose - (×2 + ) - King jumps forward then descends downward at a 45° angle. The DM's active and invulnerable when traveling up though the downward kick must connect for the ranbu to trigger, but in most cases it doesn't drop. On hit, King goes into an aerial auto-combo/ranbu where she rides an invisible bike on the opponent's face and ends with a kick that sends the enemy flying away into a soft knockdown.
- Superb reversal and anti-air DM on wakeup on on reaction, but make sure that the opponent is just in front of or above King. If too far away or if the Desperation Move is blocked, prepare for the opponent to land free damage.
- Unfortunately, this DM scales terribly when comboed into in nearly all of King's combos.
- Surprise Rose - (×2 + + ) - King jumps directly upward and on hit King lands one more rep of kick loops which buffs the damage. Works as King's strongest combo finisher.
- The forward movement and faster startup makes this move an even more reliable reversal.
- The startup hit detection is noticeably better, which allows it to combo in situations where no other move of hers would.
- The last hit always deals 100 damage, so unlike the normal DM this one is actually worthwhile as a combo ender.
- Venom Shot - (×2 + + ) - King kicks a spray of projectiles that fly forth and burst like champagne bubbles. Despite having an instant startup, the projectiles take a while to travel and scatter fast, covering a 90° area from below her knee to in front of her leg. In a combo, all of the bubbles don't always all hit, which wastes damage and meter. Even as a fullscreen punish, few would hit and using Double Strike would be much more damage and meter-efficient. In short there isn't much good about this Neomax from utility to damage to efficiency. At least it looks pretty damn sexy. Frothy even.
- King's NeoMax has one frame of startup so it can work in silly gimmick situations as a costly punish, instant reversal, or as a crossup that must be blocked before the super flash.
Tips and Tricks
All of King's combos can be started with cr.B cr.B st.B df.D or with a jump-in or from a raw df.D.
Her damage output is fairly low, but by using one super stock or one Drive Cancel she can push around 30% and net a nice knockdown anywhere on the screen.
King's hitconfirms are very easy due to her Sliding Kick having a long startup and cancelability window.
Like others, she follows the rule of 3-4 hits in her standard "full" grounded chains:
- cr.B cr.B st.B df.D...
- King's longest grounded series. It all hits low, her slide is safe on block, and the series gives a player plenty of time to see whether the opponent was hit.
- j.D cr.B st.B df.D...
- Unless the opponent is cornered, adding a jump-in causes pushback, but King can still manage four hits before hacing to commit to a potentially unsafe special/DM cancel.
- j.D cl.D df.D...
- cl.D is easy to hitconfirm on its own, but the added time of the j.D and df.D makes this blockstring perfect for hitconfirming.
- cl.D is easy to hitconfirm on its own, but the added time of the j.D and df.D makes this blockstring perfect for hitconfirming.
While these "fuller" attack strings are fine, it's not always practical to get the full chain. As a simple example, if you can confirm that cr.B st.B is blocked, you could move back in on the opponent, wait for them to act, or frametrap back into st.B df.D and have enough time to confirm if the slide hit. In short, if you can chain even one normal into the slide, you have ample time to hitconfirm.
Trying to react to a raw slide is somewhat doable, though difficult. Instead of confirming blockstun or hitstun, the key here is to look at what the opponent is doing right before the slide hits. If they whiffed a horizontal jump-in, or you see that they've whiffed a heavy normal, then you can know that your slide will cleanly connect even before it hits.
- cl.D df+D xx hcb+B, st.B/st.C - (189/227)
- Basic meterless combo. Cancel the slide late in order to add on either normal. Far C deals more damage while st.B gives better frame advantage.
- (corner only) cl.D df.D xx hcb+B, dp+K - (250)
- Simple corner combo that leaves the opponent high enough for Trap Shot to link afterward. The player could instead end the combo with a normal for a hitreset.
- (counter hit) j.CD hcb+D - (211)
- Basic j.CD counterhit combo that works anywhere. The hcb+D must be timed late which is nice as it gives the player more time to confirm the counter hit message. Strong knockdown.
- cl.D df+D xx qcf+BD, hcb+D - (320)
- Low resource, decently-damaging, pushes toward the corner, and gives King time to super jump in on the opponent. Becomes a little better in the corner:
- (corner only) cl.D df+D xx qcf+BD, qcf+B, hcb+D - (362)
- An extra qcf+B can be added on the preceding combo in the corner.
- (corner only) (counter hit) j.CD, qcb+B, qcf,qcf+D - (349)
- More damaging corner counterhit combo. Slightly harder to confirm in time, but qcf+B must be a little delayed anyway for the DM to fully connect so it's still realistic to confirm into. More damage and range and arguably better followup than ending with qcf,qcf+P.
- cl.D df+D xx qcf+BD, qcf qcf+K - (389)
- Not ever really worth doing unless it would kill.
- (corner only) cl.D df.D xx hcb+D, qcf qcf+AC - (481)
- Straightforward way into EX Surprise Rose without using Drive Meter.
- (corner only) cl.D df+D xx qcf+BD, qcf+B, hcb+D, qcf qcf+AC - (600)
- Higher damage option available without spending any Drive stocks.
- (corner only) cl.D df+D xx hcb+B, dp+K (DC) hcb+B, hcb+D - (323)
- King's basic corner DC; the opponent is launched higher from the dp+K which allows for two Tornado Kicks to connect afterward. The last hcb+D could be omitted for a different ender, like dp+K or a hitreset, though hcb+D leaves the player with a large frame advantage afterward.
- cl.D df.D xx dp+K (DC) hcb+B, hcb+D- (306)
- A midscreen alteration, and a good alternative to King's standard one bar qcf+BD midscreen combo. The df.D must be canceled late in order for King's dp+K to connect. This combo carries the opponent into the corner while dealing decent damage for a conservative cost.
- (corner) (counter hit) j.CD dp+K (DC) hcb+B, hcb+D - (300)
- Concise DC counterhit combo and alternative to the 1 bar version listed above.
- dp+BD (DC) hcb+B, hdb+D - (242)
- Adds a little more damage to a reversal EX Trap Shot and carries the opponent halfway across the screen.
- (corner only) cl.D df+D xx hcb+B, dp+K (DC) hcb+B qcf+B qcf qcf+P - (375)
- By omitting a hcb+D from the above meterless combo, the player can instead follow a DC'd hcb+B into a Surprise Rose DM for more damage.
- (corner only) cl.D df+D xx hcb+B, dp+K (DC) hcb+B, hcb+D, qcf qcf+AC - (515)
- Similar corner combo with EX Surprise Rose being linked after a hcb+D.
- (corner only) cl.D df+D BC cl.D df+D xx [dp+K (HDC) hcb+B] x 4 ...
- hcb+D - (466)
- The meterless ender, strongest frame advantage.
- qcf+K, qcf qcf+P - (526)
- Uses 1 bar for a normal Surprise Rose for most damaging 1-bar finisher.
- hcb+D, qcf qcf+AC - (658)
- Standard EX DM finisher.
- dp+K (HDC) qcf+B, qcf qcf+K, qcf qcf+AC - (719)
- 3 bar finish, linking DM into EX DM for maximum damage once HD mode has ended.
- King can really throw away meter and not see much of a return in terms of damage since her loops inflict so much scaling. These are easy HD combos but with one stock she can net better damage overall and better knockdowns, so look into the following combo;
- 3 bar finish, linking DM into EX DM for maximum damage once HD mode has ended.
- hcb+D - (466)
- (corner only) cl.D df+D BC cl.D df+D xx hcb+D (HDC) qcf+BD, run forward (dp+K (HDC) hcb+B) x2...
- dp+K (HDC) hcb+B, hcb+D - (546)
- Getting in an early EX Venom Strike buffs up King's HD combo damage and lets her end with better moves or go for a hitreset since she doesn't have to end with a DM. Overall a better option that could additionally be ended with DMs, but stick with the basic meterless loop if King's out of meter.
- dp+K (HDC) hcb+B, hcb+D - (546)
- cl.D df+D BC cl.D df+D xx hcb+B, dp+BD (HDC) hcb+BD, dp+BD (HDC) hcb+B, dp+K (HDC) hcb+B, hcb+D - (417, 28 / 446, 34)
- Pretty terrible damage, more of a novelty than a practical use of 3 stocks and a full HD gauge.
- King can run her basic spacing/zoning control game decently without meter.
- The opponent wont have many opportunities to use EX moves to deal with her projectiles.
- The opponent wont have meter for Guard Cancel Rolls, so she can blockstring into Venom Strike with no risk until the opponent gains one stock.
- Most of her simple BnBs don't require meter, and her damage output with meter isn't much better.
- Decent meter battery.
- King isn't likely to die in one touch from an HD combo in the first or second round.
- King can struggle to anti-air some characters without meter. Benimaru's j.D beats her cr.C and df.D, so she has to try meeting it early with a j.B/j.CD air-to-air or try out-spacing it to cause it to whiff or just anti-air before the attack comes out. Running under isn't a good idea since Benimaru's j.D crosses up so well, so it's a huge threat to King. With meter, King can fall back in EX Trap Shot, Surprise Rose, and EX Tornado Kick to beat it consistently.
- She needs meter to have a reversal.
- Small damage output. Her metered anti-airs stack on decent damage when she can land them, but on point she'll have to work or get beaten up to gain a stock.
- Likely to have Drive and Super meter when her turn comes up. This means more utility for her invulnerable moves, and better combo damage and corner carry combos.
- King has easily confirmable corner HD combos, though they aren't the most damaging.
- Can still easily build or rebuild meter for her or the anchor.
- Opponent will nearly certainly have meter for EX moves and Guard Cancel Rolls.
- The opponent may land a heavy HD combo on King if the player makes a mistake.
- King will most likely come in with some meter and she can spend it pretty easily in the neutral game or in combos.
- King has good options for controlling a match, unlike someone like Claw Iori who has to get in to do anything. So she's a more 'solid' type character as an anchor, as opposed to a heavy-hitter like Maxima.
- Even if she comes in with full meters, King can't kill in one combo like some other characters so she lacks that easy burst damage comeback threat.
- One mistake like a poor air Venom Strike could lose the match.
- King plays more of a passive aggressive offense in that she doesn't have a really threatening high/low mixup like Kyo or K', but she makes up for that in blockstring pressure and keeping the opponent cornered where her combos hurt the most.
- Her basic blockstring of cr.B, cr.B, st.B df.D xx Venom Strike works well against opponents with no meter, but Slide Kick (df.D) can be Guard Cancel Rolled and punished if canceled into Venom Strike. By not canceling Slide Kick, King remains perfectly safe on block against nearly all counterattacks, which could be used to safely frustrate the opponent into acting out of haste.
- Once cornered, King has the threat of her Hyper Drive combo, extra damage from all of her combos, less room for the opponent to space their hop/jump making it easier to anti-air, and easier setups for guardbreaks.
- King's Jumping Heavy Kick now has more startup and hitstun, allowing you to use it earlier in a jump while still having time to combo afterward.
- King has the normals to control the hop space in front of her, tools to anti-air full jumps, good air-to-airs, and then Venom Strike (qcf+K) to control the ground.
- Venom Strike is easy to jump over if throw out predictably - however, because of this it is easy to bait the opponent into jumping, and that's where you use the appropriate anti-air to hit them. Once they respect your air control and become cautious of jumping, you can use Venom Strike to control the ground space and force them to deal with it another way. Remember to be cautious for opponents willing to roll forward, and watch the opponent's meter in order to avoid an invincible DM or EX special.
- Standing Heavy Punch serves as an anti-air, preventive jump check, and long poke against standing opponents. A flustered opponent moving forward could easily be made run or hop in to King's arm. However it will completely whiff on crouching opponents and loses to lows; the same running opponent could wise up and run into a sweep. The next counter or 'yomi layer' would be to toss a Venom Strike ( + ) or to read the sweep and hop over it for a full punish.
- Crouching Heavy Punch is King's 'best' normal against full jumps. If the opponent out-spaces King or uses a jump-in from a well-spaced angle, adjust to a different move. Standing Heavy Kick's tip covers a unique angle that Standing Heavy Punch may miss, and it's worth noting that her Slide Kick ( + ) can go underneath non-vertical jump-ins. Meeting the opponent in the air from below Jumping Light Kick usually wins, and Jumping Blowback Attack can serve this purpose when under less offensive pressure as it starts up slow. When in doubt, Surprise Rose will beat everything clean.
- Other than getting hopped on, King has a 'weak spot' just outside her Standing Light Kick range. Her sweep is slow and short while Slide Kick ( + ) is too slow and would be unsafe from this range. Standing Heavy Punch or Kick could whiff if the opponent is crouching from this range. Using her Blowback Attack or Venom Strike ( + ) will cover this range but poses a large risk from the delayed startup. King's safest option would be to walk forward and use Standing Light Kick, but always beware of long-ranged sweeps which can out-space King from the proper positioning. A player's safest option would be to block and react to the opponent's next action or commit to a hop in anticipation of the sweep. Be aware of this range.
* Note: Startup does not include first active frame. ** Note: Hitstun and blockstun values do not include the hitting frame.