The King of Fighters XIII/Raiden
In a nutshell
Raiden became instantly infamous in the arcade version of KOF XIII due to his invulnerable drop kicks leading to simple 100% combos. In this newer version, his drop kicks have been toned down and so Raiden players must now use his lesser-explored grappling tools and abusively safe normals to use him effectively. Raiden can set up (really stupid) ambiguous cross ups after his command grab, hitconfirm back into his grabs quite easily, and he can build meter and still land his dropkicks so don't write him off as a nerf victim.
- Jump D's hitbox has been improved to hit downwards. It should whiff less often on short opponents.
- Light Dokugiri (qcb+A) has faster recovery. When it hits, you can follow up with Head Crush (hcf+K).
- Adjustments to Super Dropkick:
- Charge times have been increased. Previously, the charge times were 4 seconds for level 1, 8 seconds for level 2, 12 seconds for level 3, and 16 seconds for level 4.
- Invincibility has been removed.
- Guard crush damage has been reduced.
- Can no longer be connected after a guard cancel attack.
- Knocks the opponent away, preventing mid-screen follow-ups.
- Giant Bomb Feint (db~f+P > AB) has faster recovery.
- EX Raiden Bomb's (dp+AC) forward movement has been reduced.
- Raiden Bomber (qcf qcf+BD) now has complete invincibility.
- Standing Light Punch () - Enormous stopsign palm. Superb anti-hop tool due to Raiden's height and hulk hands. Hits crouchers inside combos, whiffs otherwise. Good fakeout choice into command grab on the opponent's wakeup. Chains into itself!
- Standing Light Kick () - Shin kick that doesn't hit low or cancel into anything. Not very notable since Standing cancels and anti-airs better while Crouching hits low.
- Standing Heavy Punch () - Though seemingly slow, Raiden's sidehook has deceptive reach and it dominates the hop space while also hitting and thus controlling grounded/crouching characters. Far and Far were Raiden's two best normals for playing lame to build a dropkick, though if you opt for only charging one (a better option in console XIII) you'll have a more complete set of normals available. Still, a nice checking move though Raiden steps forward so he's easier to whiff punish with sweeps should you mis-space the attack.
- Close Heavy Punch (Close ) - Blanka's double headbutt, but not an overhead. Cancelable on the first hit into specials ( namely + ) for punishes and the like. The second hit only cancels into a dropkick is safe on block and works as an easy HD hitconfirm since it provides ample hitconfirm length (and doesn't involve using a potential dropkick button). Due to the duration and pushback this makes a safe tool for buying time for a dropkick charge if that's your goal.
- Standing Heavy Kick () - The boot. A decent grounded poke that's slightly faster than Standing but the tradeoff is that it's more likely to be hopped over due to the lower hitbox. It also has slightly less range than Standing . Not a notable tradeoff for deciding to charge a or dropkick.
- Close Heavy Kick (Close ) - Two-part overhead. The first hit whiffs crouchers while the second is the high. Can only be canceled into a dropkick (for obvious reasons, only a charge will work from the overhead since you need to press for this move) or into HD. Unfortunately, hitconfirming this is impossible so you're either gambling your entire HD bar or committing to a move that's unsafe on block, so beware.
- Reactable if done predictably (and even punishable by lows if done super obviously) so you'll need to condition the opponent to respect Raiden's low(s) which isn't too hard.
- Crouching Light Punch ( + ) - Crouching stopsign. Covers a different angle for AAing lower hop approaches. Chain cancelable (the timing is more delayed than usual), so feel free to use this move to hitconfirm or start up a frametrap. Even if you charge a dropkick, you have this move for chaining a confirm for your basic game.
- Crouching Light Kick ( + ) - Raiden has two low attacks. This is the better one. Fairly standard cr.B fare for breaking the opponent's guard, hitconfirming, breaking alternate guard, and poking. Since it's plus on hit, you can link his 1 frame grabs directly off this move with practice.
- Crouching Heavy Punch ( + ) - Beefy low strong. Identical reach as Crouching , but slower (which can help frametraps) and it provides enough hitstun to combo into his non-grab specials. Anti-airs decently and works as a nice poke into , + for a punish or blockstring or post HD activation launcher/starter.
- Crouching Heavy Kick ( + ) - Raiden's other low. Goes a little further than Crouching , though it's still trumped by Standing . Though simple, it's important to note this move if you decide to charge a dropkick with that you'll need to sweep the opponent in order to get them to want to block low which sets them up for the overhead Standing .
- Cancelable. A sweep canceled into a fully charge dropkick will combo. Another good candidate is sweeping into a shoulder tackle to cover the ground and then the hop space in one quick motion.
- Blowback Attack ( + ) - Gravity defying standing dropkick, Shermie style. After the initial startup, Raiden becomes lower body invulnerable. A neat option for blowing up sweeps that simultaneously functions as a beefy low air AA. Still, the startup is lengthy so whiffing this move can lead grounded whiff punishes or being jumped in on, so use sparingly/cautiously. Can easily be followed up on CH in the corner.
- Jumping Light Punch (Air ) - Flying stopsign. Super fast and horizontal. Raiden's best air-to-air and counter to full jumps. Great air control tool combined with Raiden's insane upward height/speed.
- Jumping Light Kick (Air ) - Pretty useless.
- Jumping Heavy Punch (Air ) - Whiffs crouching opponents, but occasionally works as an air-to-air vs lower opponents in cases where j.A may lose.
- Jumping Heavy Kick (Air ) - One of the most broken jump-ins in the game. Raiden's belly splash will seemingly randomly cross up anti-air attempts or outright win cleanly against nearly all but certain invuln moves (and even then it's iffy since some DPs lose or trade). Enormous amount of active frames allow you to jump in early with this move, and Raiden can naturally hop over all standing characters for cross up attempts. It's even low risk to be in footsie range of say hop j.CD or st.C and then try jumping forward on the opponent since Raiden's jump speed is fast and the hitbox is so good (plus you wont be counterhit from a full jump. Yo grasshopper games!).
- Can lose to well-spaced air-to-airs, vertical DPs, and perfectly spaced run-under trip anti-airs.
- Jumping Blowback Attack (Air + ) - Oh hey, we haven't seen this animation before! Standard good KOFXIII j.CD that works as an air-to-air or jump-in. A great amalgamation of j.D and j.A, plus you can score a soft knockdown or counterhit combo. Overextends Raiden's body, so this move's more susceptible to DPs than his other jumping attacks.
- Neck Hanging ( or + or [while close]) - A boss choke into hard knockdown. Sets up a cross-up or ambiguous roll midscreen, a safejump attempt, or gives you more time to build meter by whiffing specials.
- Dokugiri ( + ) - Spit on them! Has a fat hitbox that can anti-air hops and it counts as a projectile which can nullify normal fireballs. The version is faster as you'd expect, so it's better for AA and it combos from heavy attacks and lets you link a command grab afterward. It's poor on block though. The version is more for frametraps or meaties, and on hit you can link a Crouching/Close C for a full combo.
- Raiden Bomb ( + ) - A Soul Throw style AA grab. Not invuln, so it's mainly used to end combos or as a yomi counter to backdashes/jumps out of command grab attempts.
- Head Crush ( + ) - Raiden's main command grab. It's a true 1 frame grab, so it will link off plenty of moves on hit and punish plenty of moves and strings. Raiden tosses the opponent behind him for a hard knockdown which perfectly sets up his oki game which can quite easily lead back into the command grab again.
- Giant Bomb ( [charge] + ) - A downright annoying move that has a fat (but sometimes iffy) hitbox that can be spaced to be pretty much airtight on block while doing nice guard damage. The tackle is used for combos (only combos from heavy moves) or tighter traps, but the has guard points on the startup (while he's crouching) which can allow Raiden to play really lame or stick out an armored move to catch the opponent. Like Kyo's rekka, this can often anti-air hops from the right ranges or from whiff canceling Raiden's sweep.
- Both versions can be outpoked by most st.As or cr.Bs, though depending on the timing and spacing Raiden may end up trading which is in his favor.
- Naturally allows you to cancel into a dropkick on hit!
- Giant Bomb ( [charge] + + ) - Another amazing EX move. Fast and startup invuln, so you can downback and react to hops and usually link Raiden Bomb, or combo it from a light attack. The only downside is that it's heavily punishable on block.
- Giant Bomb Feint ( Giant Bomb, then + ) - Occasionally useful for fakeouts or for making cool blockstrings, but you'll end up semi negative on block in most instances. What's more interesting is that you build meter off a canceled Giant Bomb, so you can repeatedly do feints to gain meter. If you feint the version you get the guard points before the canecl, so you can nullify projectiles and gain meter! For pure speed, the Giant Bomb can be canceled faster so keep that in mind. Along with Dokugiri, Raiden can force zoners to come to him since he'll gain meter at a much faster rate than they could fullscreen. For instance, Raiden can out-lame K' easily.
- Super Dropkick (Hold or and release) - Raiden's available options for the neutral game change depending on whether you charge a dropkick with or (or if you choose both), though since Giant Bomb freely cancels into Super Dropkick, learning to charge for or during combos is essential to playing Raiden. For simple BnBs, a level 1 charge is enough and that only takes 4 seconds minimum. The infamous bad body, the level 4 Super Dropkick, takes 16 seconds to charge. Level 1 and 4 are the most notable; level 4 is an anywhere juggle which you can combo off of in the corner for free, though midscreen you can Drive Cancel into Raiden Bomb for more damage. Though toned down, once Raiden gets his charge he can score easy burst damage from any anti-air, so playing a dropkick Raiden is still a legitimate tactic.
- Certain moves only cancel into Super Dropkick; the second hit of cl.C, cl.D's second hit, and Giant Bomber freely cancel into dropkicks.
- Raiden's dropkick are unsafe on block.
- Super Raiden Drop (×2 + ) - 1 Frame DM grab. Makes EX Head Crusher irrelevant. While the damage is still pretty low, the DM lasts a while which lets you charge up a Super Dropkick.
- Crazy Train (×2 + ) - Startup invuln but somewhat slow and unsafe on block. This DM can juggle the opponent and it MAX CANCELS into Raiden Bomber for cool damage.
- Raiden Bomber (×2 + + ) - Startup invuln, but too slow to catch hops on reaction or anything. Good damage, and highly stylish. R.I.P. Raiden's Seiyuu.
Tips and Tricks
Raiden is a grappling Character with many more tools at his disposal than just grappling. Although on the console version of KOF 13 his Dropkick has been "nerfed" it hasn't limited the characters ability to completely dominate space, and be able to turn around a match at any point. Here are some tricks that are Essential to becoming a good Raiden Player.
- Raidens standing LP is a great anti air, is perfect if you are playing against people who jump a lot
- I recommend the use of his LP Poison Spray against fireball spammers, as it is quick and stays active for a decent amount of time. It is also a good and fast anti air.
- Dropkicks are essential for corner combo's, they link after his shoulder tackle without the use of HD bar and only take 4 seconds to generate. Also I have found that if you are pressuring someone with his shoulder tackle, if you have buffered the dropkick, executing it immediately after his shoulder tackle usually connects, as people usually try to jump or press buttons after blocking the shoulder tackle.
Headcrush Follow Up's
After doing Raiden's Headcrush command throw you are given a perfect amount of time and spacing to perform some interesting follow up's.
After doing Headcrush, wait for a fraction of a second then perform a super jump in the direction of the opposing character. By doing this you will land behind them, an ambiguous move, as in his air trajectory you appear as if you are going to land in front. By pressing (Air D) you will land a hit regardless of if they are standing or crouching, as long as they are blocking in the regular direction. The beauty of this cross up is that you can't guard against it either way if you are crouching, therefore I have designed an array of mix ups for when your opponent gets wise to what you are doing.
Fake Cross Ups
After performing Headcrush immediately perform a super jump, please note that the jump must be executed in the first active frames after Headcrush. If you do this properly, Raiden will appear to be crossing over the opposing character, but will actually drop down in front as they wakeup. This move is too early to hit them with (Air D) however I would reccomend Crouching Light Kick, Standing Light Punch, Headcrush as the opponant will be expecting you to hit them high, and wont guard against the low attack, and also, the combo ends with a headcrush, leaving you with another possible set up.
Crossup to Crouching Light Kick
After doing Headcrush, wait for a fraction of a second then perform a super jump in the direction of the opposing character. Wait untill you land then perform Crouching Light Kick, Standing Light Punch, Headcrush this mix up is for if you think they suspect you to hit them high with an (Air D) so they have to block high.
The other things you can do after Headcrush is wait for a second then do a regular high jump and either land and do another headcrush, do Air D which hits high, or go for crouching LK. After doing the other mix ups people tend to sit and block so I find they are less likely to try to DP on wakeup, and therefore a basic "clarke" style jump in and grab works nicely
What If they block?
After any of the jump in's that I have mentioned above you can perform Crouching Light Kick, HP Shoulder Tackle (fake, Headcrush. The HP Shoulder Tackle Fake gives you enough frames for the Headcrush to come out. If you do two crouching LK's the EX Headcrush will work.