The King of Fighters XIII/Mr. Karate
In a nutshell
The infamous alter-ego of Takuma appears once again as DLC, having not been seen since SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos. Mr. Karate is a dominant king of nearly any situation, sacrificing some of Takuma's damage output for some of the safest and arguably most dominant offense and defense in the game. Karate fits any position on a team, has a perfect super for reaction punishes, has possibly the best DP in the entire game which converts into a buff combo with resources, his hop arc is the lowest in the game, his j.CD is one of the best in the game which complements his safejump setups, and his combo damage is on the higher end in most situations.
Certain characters can outclass Karate in specific areas (for instance Hwa Jai builds meter better and has better damage output) but few can compare to the overwhelming general aptitude of this Tengu.
To select Mr. Karate, highlight Takuma and hit the Back/Select button after downloading him.
Differences from Takuma
- Standing Heavy Kick has improved startup and recovery, which allows it to link into Standing Heavy Punch on hit.
- Crouching Light Punch is better on block and links into cl.C. The huge hitstop lets you chain into this move and easily confirm into f+A.
- j.A, j.C, and j.CD can be canceled into air Hien Shippukyakku.
- Karate's j.CD has more startup.
- His new f+A command normal improves his damage from light hitconfirms, giving Karate better meterless damage and hitconfirm options than Takuma.
- Most of Mr. Karate's normal attacks can be superjump canceled on hit, leading to certain option selects and hit-resets into safejumps.
- Has a qcb+P counter move which can be used to counter projectiles or teleport in on the opponent, though it doesn't counter low attacks. The teleport animation is 100% unpunishable!
- Has a 'DP' uppercut. This gives him significantly improved reversal and anti-air options over Takuma.
- Lacks an anywhere juggle move.
- Lacks a fullscreen projectile, though his qcf+P does have a projectile hitbox which can nullify projectiles. In essence, it's an invisible Kouken but with much better recovery and harder to hop over.
- Inferior command grab, though it's still usable for catching quick techs or even tossed out fullscreen with the EX version.
- Has an EX ranbu which can punish just about anything if you react fast enough.
- Standing Light Punch () - Quick jab. Players can use this as an anti-air against short hops like any Standing . And although the range is short, Mr. Karate's Standing will hit crouching opponents and can be applied when up close to the opponent, though because of his + command normal he can't hold forward and press to pressure with jabs. Chain cancelable.
- Standing Light Kick () - A short shin kick that hits low but lacks range in comparison to other characters' Standing Light Kicks. Mr. Karate can chain Crouching Light Kick into this attack and then combo into + for a knockdown, and this move has more emphasis than it does with Takuma.
- Moves Mr. Karate forward very slightly when canceled, which allows cr.B cr.B st.B f+A to combo while cr.B cr.B cr.B f+A will not.
- Standing Heavy Punch () - One of Mr. Karate's longest grounded normals that behaves similarly to other Far attacks. Hits crouchers and moves Karate forward which buffs the reach, making it a good poke. Cancels into command normals or specials.
- Linkable off of Standing Heavy Kick: st.D, st.C f+B xx...
- If you buffer 412369+B from this move, you'll O/S a followup Hien Shippukyaku combo which allows you to link a ranbu.
- Close Heavy Punch (Close ) - Mr. Karate lacks a Close so this attack functions as his main fast, heavy punishing normal. It has the fastest startup of all of Mr. Karate's normal attacks and can be incorporated into blockstrings such as the near universal Crouching , Close uninterruptable string.
- Easily combos into either command normal.
- Standing Heavy Kick () - An uncancelable upward kick that covers the vertical space in front of Mr. Karate's head but is severely lacking in horizontal reach. The attack cannot connect against crouching opponents so it can be risky to use as a close-ranged poke/anti-air check. Because of Mr. Karate's better recovery and speed on this move though, it's more reliable as an anti-air but you're better off using cr.C or dp+A.
- Crouching Light Punch ( + ) - One of the best crouching jabs in the game. Chains into other lights and into f+A, plus the hitstop is crazy long which lets you confirm from a single cr.A as opposed to needing two cr.Bs. Slightly more plus on block than cr.B, which lets you frametrap or combo into cl.C.
- Crouching Light Kick ( + ) - Streamlined Crouching attacks as it chains into itself but also can be canceled on its own. From up close the player can chain two hits together before chaining into Standing Light Kick. Standard low attack that does everything you need it to do.
- Crouching Heavy Punch ( + ) - Cancelable elbow uppercut. Despite looking odd, it's one of the actually consistent crouching uppercut anti-air moves in the game and often wins cleanly if you run underneath the opponent before using this.
- Crouching Heavy Kick ( + ) - Cancelable sweep with a great range, meaning this is one of Mr. Karate's best grounded pokes. Safely cancels into Ko'ouken ( + ) on hit or block, though the opponent can Guard Cancel Roll the Crouching to punish a predictable 2-in-1.
- Whiff cancel into qcf+P to control the hop space and potentially anti-air the opponent should they hop the sweep.
- You can buffer a superjump cancel any time you use this move, then cancel into hcf+D to gain meter and stay in close on the opponent.
- Safer on block than Takuma's sweep (only -5F).
- Blowback Attack ( + ) - A rather long-reaching step kick. Karate takes a step forward during the startup and the kick itself has a long horizontal hitbox. The player could space the attack so that Mr. Karate's foot hits an aerial opponent, though the startup length and forward movement of the strike must be taken into account. As a grounded poke the range can be used to surprise an approaching opponent as Mr. Karate's normals are generally terse and should the attack whiff or the opponent jump, the player can always whiff cancel into a special to minimize the chance of being punished.
- Cannot be superjump canceled on hit.
- Jumping Light Punch (Air ) - Simple-looking downward chop with a lot of active frames, especially in comparison to the similar-looking Jumping . On top of having a long active window this attack actually has a larger vertical hitbox that can connect against opponents from higher heights. The amount of hitstun dealt is about the same as Jumping , and overall this attack can work better for air-to-ground approaches that will put both players close together.
- Cancels and combos into Air Hien Shippukyakku.
- Jumping Light Kick (Air ) - Very short-ranged jumping knee attack. The range of this attack is really short in all directions so there aren't many situations or reasons to use this aerial attack over any other. Even though it can cross up, Jumping does so just as well while serving as a good jumping attack should the opponent block or be hit.
- Jumping Heavy Punch (Air ) - Looks like a standard downward jumping punch though the vertical hitbox is shallow and has to connect somewhat deep to actually hit the opponent. Using this as an air-to-ground attack works, though the reach and active duration is inferior to Jumping . Deals more damage and slightly more hitstun than the aforementioned alternative attack.
- Cancels and combos into Air Hien Shippukyakku.
- Jumping Heavy Kick (Air ) - This jumping kick resembles Ryu's 'Jumping Forward' kick both visually and in utility. The vertical hitbox stretches further out than Jumping and can be used in spacings where range is needed to avoid whiffing an air-to-ground. Jumping or has a deeper vertical hitbox that will hit an opponent earlier in a jump arc, though Jumping also functions from up close as a standard jump-in, though the opponent can more easily anti-air the attack from below.
- Manages to be an air-to-air attack if the opponent is below Mr. Karate's waist but strong horizonal air-to-airs or anything hitting from above Mr. Karate's waist will beat out this move in the air.
- Works as a stupidly strong crossup. Karate's hop arc is short but he can still manage to hop over crouching characters characters after a blocked Crouching or go for a crossup from the knockdown from his throw.
- Cancels into Air Hien Shippukyakku.
- Jumping Blowback Attack (Air + ) - The god kick. Hits horizontally but can easily be timed to tag crouchers, making it nearly impossible to cr.B anti-air Mr. Karate. Hugely plus on block and crazy hard to anti-air without having (and reacting properly) a DP. While it can work as both an air-to-air and air-to-ground attack, the active hitbox length is short so be wise and be sure to react to situations.
- Doesn't hit high but it shuts down so many options from the opponent. Deep j.CD into early j.CD can blockstring or leave only a tiny gap which punishes them if they press any button, and if they're DP-happy all you have to do is stop after you force them to block once, or just j.CD then go low or a delayed attack or simply guard break them over time.
- Seiken Sandan Tsuki ( + ) - A three-hit command normal that looks similar to Zanretsuken, though the move isn't a 'ranbu' which means it doesn't suck the opponent in on hit. This move combos from light attacks which allows Mr. Karate to convert a light hitconfirm into a heavier combo than should he have to rely on directly canceling light attacks. This move is surprisingly airtight on block, though the recovery duration should discourage players from whiffing this move.
- Sokutougeri ( + ) - A thick side kick and general blockstring and combo filling move. Sokutougeri only combos from Heavy normals, so stick with using Seiken Sandan Tsuki ( + ) when chaining light attacks. The startup makes this kick too slow to be used safely in footsies, though surprisingly Takuma remains nearly unpunishable if this attack isn't canceled on block as he can only be punished by near-instant DMs like his own Neo Max. One great plus of this property is that Mr. Karate can bait Guard Cancel Rolls by hitconfirming and then stopping once realizing that ( + ) has been blocked.
- Ippon Seoi ( or + or [While Close]) - Causes a hard knockdown that sets up for a filthy ambiguous crossup attempt: Walk or run forward, and then superjump at the opponent with a Jumping Heavy Kick. In the corner and also midscreen, the player could attempt a safejump or empty hop into a meaty low attack.
- Ko'ouken ( + ) - An invisible projectile attack shoots from Mr. Karate's hand, though it doesn't travel fullscreen. The version comes out faster which enables it to combo from light attacks, though its range travels roughly 2/5 of the screen ( or a different way to judge its reach is that it hits about as far as Karate's Standing Blowback Attack ). The only combos from Heavy and Command normals, though its range is extended to just under 1/2 screen. The biggest buff of the heavy Ko'ouken is that it can be canceled into a forward dash on block or hit. This can extend combos or keep Karate closer to the opponent by negating pushback.
- Both versions cause a soft knockdown on hit, and there's no pushback on a clean hit.
- Ko'ouken ( + + ) - A very slow 1/2 screen attack that causes a full guard break on block or a crumple on hit. Unfortunately, the attack has huge recovery so even when it causes a guard crush the player may need to use a Super Cancel to get any damage in. This isn't a very abusable move due to the aforementioned requirements, and the opponent should be able to roll or DP the player upon reaction to the move.
- Kouhou ( + ) - A powerful and quite annoying uppercut. DP can be 'braked' to improve the recovery time to extend combos, but the DP itself isn't invulnerable and the braked DP is still unsafe on block. The uppercut is the invulnerable one, and due to it's fast speed it can wreak havoc in the hands of a player with sharp reactions. It's punishable on block, though it recovers quickly if whiffed.
- The braked Kouhou ( + ~ + ) is more of a launcher, and the DP only juggles against a grounded opponent. It's main use is to convert large damage from + or from a riskier anti-air since DP lacks invulnerability.
- Kouhou ( + + ) - Fast and invulnerable, though for one meter the player could try using Kyokugen Kohou ( ×2 + ) for more damage. However, it's easier to input a DP ( ) motion than the full DM command so it's easier to react with this move. It also travels further more horizontally and so in certain instances EX Kouhou may connect where Kyokugen Kohou would whiff.
- Shorankyaku ( + ) - A running command grab that travels 1/2 screen. This can't be Drive or Super Canceled on hit for any extra damage, so it doesn't lead into much damage. Mr. Karate stutters for a second before running which is a telltale sign that he's not just running forward and so a seasoned player can pick up on this and neutral hop to punish Mr. Karate's whiffed grab. This special must be used very seldomly or at least only after scaring the opponent into blocking.
- Shorankyaku ( + + ) - Karate disappears and then appears in front of the opponent before grabbing. While invisible, he cannot be hit so this move can be used to go through pokes or projectiles. It travels fully across the screen, and Mr. Karate will always appear in front of the opponent's current position which can occasionally cause him to teleport backwards should the opponent initially cross him up.
- Hakyoujin ( + ) - A counter move that registers against high, mid, and projectile attacks. Mr. Karate will teleport forward in front of the opponent upon a successful counter. Depending on the move, he may be at a large advantage or end up being punishable. For example, if he counters a slow moving projectile from fullscreen, the opposing player will have recovered in time to punish Karate if he should counter the projectile.
- Hakyoujin ( + + ) - If Mr. Karate counters a mid or high attack, he'll counterattack with a punch that causes a crumple against a grounded opponent, though it only causes a soft knockdown against an aerial opponent. If he counters a projectile, he'll leap into the air and smash down on the opponent's current position, dealing nice damage. However, this followup can be blocked and punished if the opposing player has recovered before Karate can dunk on them, so it's not too effective from fullscreen where a Haoh Shikouken could punish consistently.
- Zanretsuken ( + ) - Mr. Karate's Zanretsuken doesn't recover as fast as Takuma's so it's unsafe to whiff, but it's primarily a combo tool. Launches the opponent on hit which can be followed up in the corner with a light Kohoh ( File:Sp.gif + ) though the attack can heavily scale combos so it's more suited for near the end of combos.
- Hien Shippukyaku (Air + ) - kick travels horizontally and keeps the opponent in a juggable state and is great for combos such as when adding on additional damage from a j.CD counterhit. The version travels diagonally downward like a divekick and causes a knockback kick on hit which tends to end a combo. Both versions are doable just off the ground by 'Tiger Kneeing' the motion ( + ) though both are really unsafe on block so it's a pretty bad idea outside of combos.
- Haoh Shikouken ( + ) - Big projectile DM. Like the other Art of Fighting Haoh Shokoukens, this fat projectile's main usage is in fireball wars or as the occasional anti-air. This will nullify normal and EX projectiles but clash with DM projectiles, and it can also be beaten with projectile counters/reflectors. It's also punishable on block up close and from further ranges the opponent can roll the projectile and punish so think twice before tossing this out wildly.
- Ryuuko Ranbu ( + ) - Standard ranbu DM. version comes out faster, so stick with it for combos though it does have startup invuln up until the active frames. The ranbu takes longer to come out, but in turn it has more invuln which allows Karate to fly through projectiles and oncoming attacks, or anti-air just as Takuma can.
- Kyokugen Kohou (×2 + ) - Vertical uppercut DM. As you may expect, this is a great anti-air and a good reversal choice. The bulk of the damage comes from the first two hits, so to get maximum damage the opponent must be anti-aired somewhat deep. Travels more strictly upwards than ( + + ), though the initial hitbox is pretty big and can even shut down cross-up attempts.
- Max Cancelable on the first two hits.
- Kishin Sanga Geki ( + + ) - Mr. Karate lunges forward fist-first, traveling roughly 1/3 the screen. Quite easy to combo into, and the resulting damage can be enormous. On its own, this Neo Max can work as a reversal or quick punish/anti-air, though keep in mind the close range requirements and know that Mr. Karate can be punished on block. A possible reference to Raoh.
Tips and Tricks
Mid-Screen No Stock, No Drive Gauge - - j.D/cr.B, s.B, f+A (2), dp+C~A+B, TK hcf+B, dp+A = 288 dmg - j.D/cr.B, cr.B, s.B, f+A (2), dp+C~A+B, hyper hop D = 268 dmg (Reset + Easier hit confirm)
1 Stock, No Drive Gauge - - j.D/cr.B, s.B, f+A (2), dp+C~A+B, TK hcf+B, qcf~hcb+A = 439 dmg - j.D/cr.B, cr.B, s.B, f+A (2), dp+C~A+B, qcf~hcb+A = 414 dmg (Easier hit confirm)
1 Stock, 1+ Drive Gauge - - j.D, s.C, qcf+A, DC, dp+C~A+B, TK hcf+B, qcf~hcb+A = 486 dmg ("DC" Can be option selected)
2 Stock, No Drive Gauge - - j.D/cr.B, s.B, f+A (2), dp+C~A+B, TK hcf+B, qcf~hcb+AC = 529 dmg - j.D/cr.B, cr.B, s.B, f+A (2), dp+C~A+B, qcf~hcb+AC = 504 dmg (Easier hit confirm)
2 Stock, 1+ Drive Gauge - - j.D, s.C, qcf+A, DC, dp+C~A+B, TK hcf+B, qcf~hcb+AC = 583 dmg ("DC" Can be option selected) Corner No Stock, No Drive Gauge - - j.D, s.C, f+B, dp+C~A+B, qcf+A, dp+A = 323 dmg
0 Stock, 1+ Drive Gauge - - j.D, s.C, f+B, dp+C~A+B, qcf+A/dp+A/TK hcf+B, dp+A, [DC], TK hcf+B, qcf+A, dp+A = 440 dmg - j.C, s.C, f+B, dp+C~A+B, dp+A, dp+A, [DC], hcf+B, dp+A, dp+A = 444 dmg
1 Stock, No Drive Gauge - - j.D, s.C, f+B, dp+C~A+B, qcf+A, qcf~hcb+A = 477 dmg
1 Stock, 1+ Drive Gauge - - j.D, s.C, f+B, dp+C~A+B, qcf+A/dp+A/TK hcf+B, dp+A, [DC], TK hcf+B, qcf+A, qcf~hcb+A = 582 dmg
2 Stock, No Drive Gauge - - j.D, s.C, f+B, dp+C~A+B, qcf+A, qcf~hcb+AC = 574 dmg
2 Stock, 1+ Drive Gauge - - j.D, s.C, f+B, dp+C~A+B, qcf+A/dp+A/TK hcf+B, dp+A, DC, TK hcf+B, qcf+A, qcf~hcb+AC = 658 dmg
Hyper Drive Combos
1 Stock - j.D, s.C, f+B, HD, s.C, [qcf+A, DC, dp+C~A+B, TK hcf+B] x5, qcf~hcb+A = 803 dmg
- cr.B, s.B, f+A *3 hits*, HD, s.C, [qcf+A, DC, dp+C~A+B, TK hcf+B] x5, qcf~hcb+A = 687 dmg
- j.D, s.C, f+B, HD, s.C, [qcf+A, DC, dp+C~A+B, TK hcf+B] x4, qcf+A, DC, dp+C~A+B, qcf+C~ff, f~b~f+A, qcf~hcb+AC = 881 dmg
- j.D, s.C, f+B, HD, s.C, f+B, [qcf+A, DC, dp+C~A+B, TK hcf+B] x4, Neomax = 854 dmg
- cr.B, s.B, f+A *3 hits*, HD, s.C, f+B, [qcf+A, DC, dp+C~A+B, TK hcf+B] x4, Neomax = 739 dmg
- j.D, s.C, f+B, HD, s.C, [qcf+A, DC, dp+C~A+B, TK hcf+B] x4, qcf+A, DC, f~b~f+AC, qcf+C~ff, f~b~f+A, qcf~hcb+AC = 918 dmg
- j.D, s.D, *link* far s.C, f+B, HD, s.C, f+B, dp+AC, DC, air hcf+B, dp+AC, DC, air hcf+D *whiffed*, TK hcf+B, qcf+C, DC, dp+C~A+B, TK hcf+B, qcf+A, DC, dp+C~A+B, TK hcf+B, qcf+A, DC, f~b~f+AC, qcf+C~ff, f~b~f+A, qcf~hcb+AC = 1005 dmg