Chizuru Kagura (KoF '98 UM)
Nearly all of Chizuru’s special moves are bodily projections. The way you use these, is based on the idea that the opponent can’t tell which one will be where you will end up until the projection disappears (and you are no longer vulnerable). If it is the projection itself that is attacked, then unless it is a locking move, Chizuru takes the damage in her actual location, which means that it is difficult to take a severe counterattack. The gameplan, of course, is to trifle the opponent between the projections and Chizuru’s actual body such that you cannot be easily countered.
She is somewhat weaker than her OG counterpart, but there isn’t really anything in particular that has changed about how she is played.
At a glance
|Reigetsu||(throw) f/b + C|
|Kaiten||(throw) f/b + D|
|Jokatsu: Sōsō||f + A|
|Jokatsu: Sōsō||f + B|
|Jokatsu: Sōsō||df + B|
|108-Katsu: Tamayura no Shitsune||qcf + P|
|100-Katsu: Tenjin no Kotowari||dp + P|
|212-Katsu: Shinsoku no Norito||hcb + P/K, (P/K)|
|┗ 212-Katsu: Shinsoku no Norito – Tenzui||(during Shinsoku no Norito) qcb + P/K|
|212-Katsu: Otsushiki – Chōmon no Isshin||d d + P/K|
|Super special moves|
|Rimen 85-Katsu: Reigi no Ishizue||qcb hcf + P|
|Rimen 1-Katsu: Sanrai no Fujin||qcf qcf + K|
- cl.C – does not touch crouching opponents. cr.C and cl.D are safer choices.
- cr.D – the reach is longish, but the startup is somewhat slow.
- st.B and st.D – Powerful as zoners (primarily in the jump-checking department). You have to be careful that you don’t accidentally use the command moves, though.
- st.C – powerful in the same light as the standing kicks, but the recovery has been increased somewhat.
- j.A – easy to use for jumping in.
- j.B – so-so ability for jumping in. Also functions as an overhead.
- j.C – high-priority hitbox horizontally, so use it in air-to-air.
- Jokatsu: Sōsō (錚錚)
- f + A
- Combos from strong attacks. When not cancelled into, it is an overhead. The not-cancelled-into version now does unrollable knockdown, so the vulnerability when it hits has been decreased, but you cannot use a combo to avoid anything afterwards (since it cannot be cancelled because it wasn’t cancelled into).
- Jokatsu: Sōsō (瑲瑲)
- f + B
- Chizuru takes a hop and kicks. It covers a bit of distance like all of Chizuru’s moves, but there isn’t much point to using this one.
- Jokatsu: Sōsō (淙淙)
- df + B
- A sliding kick with long reach. Doesn’t leave you open at all if the very tip touches. It also combos from weak moves, and hits low even if cancelled into, but it cannot itself be cancelled regardless.
- 100-Katsu: Tenjin no Kotowari
- dp + P
- Resembles the average Shōryūken clone. The attacker is the projection for the weak version and the real body for the strong version. The strong version makes for a strong anti-air, but the weak version is just plain weak and has no real merits to it (except maybe if you’re really quick on the draw – the problem is, it leaves you open on the ground). It is now more difficult to score a skirting blow.
- 108-Katsu: Tamayura no Shitsune
- qcf + P
- A striking move that reflects projectiles. The strong version has some seriously slow startup, but there is also some serious invincibility time, and it is an overhead. The recovery has been sharply reduced.
- 212-Katsu: Shinsoku no Norito
- hcb + P/K, (P/K)
- The punch versions launch the opponent, the kick versions do unrollable knockdown. The advance is done by the projection for the weak versions and the real body for the strong versions; the strong versions also have longer recovery. The kick versions do more damage. By pressing the same button again during the rushing portion, Chizuru will begin the attack portion from that spot instead.
- 212-Katsu: Shinsoku no Norito – Tenzui
- qcb + P/K during Shinsoku no Norito
- First note: you can only use punch versions of this for punch versions of the original Shinsoku no Norito; same goes for kicks. The weak version strikes the opponent upwards, the strong version slams downward, doing an unrollable knockdown on hit (except from a kick version, where it does an OTG).
- Regardless of which Shinsoku no Norito version you used, the real body is used for this move, leaving you close to the opponent regardless.
- 212-Katsu: Otsushiki – Chōmon no Isshin
- d d + P/K
- A rushing move that strikes from low altitude. Contrary to its appearance, it is not an overhead. If you’re careful about interruption, you can use this reduce the vulnerable spots in combos. The projection is used for punch versions; the real body is used for kick versions. The weak versions have short reach and the strong versions have long reach. The C version has a short hitbox and won’t touch crouching opponents.
Super special moves
- Rimen 85-Katsu: Reigi no Ishizue
- qcb hcf + P
- When it hits successfully, the opponent will be unable to use special moves for a certain period of time (and with some characters, it seals command moves, too). It is powerful, but you have to be careful about relying on this secondary effect, because a temporary lack of special moves doesn’t mean much to some characters. The weak version has quick startup to the extent that it will combo from weak moves; the strong version doesn’t make combos, but it has long invincibility time. The startup of the MAX version is now faster.
- Rimen 1-Katsu: Sanrai no Fujin
- qcf qcf + K
- Sends out a series of projections that continue attacking in the meantime. During this period, you may move Chizuru’s actual body around freely.
- When the opponent blocks it, you can use low and overhead hits to make the opponent start taking damage, and during the hits, you can pile on extra hits of your own (though none that do knockdown).
- On the downside, it doesn’t have anything like invincibility frames, and until the projections disappear, you can only use normal moves. Also, the attack duration of the normal version is now much shorter.
- If you use the three-stock MAX with the ADVANCED gauge (qcf qcf + BD with no MAX activation), it will safely combo from strong attacks.
- (corner) j.B > cl.D >> Jokatsu: Sōsō (f + A) >> 212-Katsu: Shinsoku no Norito (A) > st.C or weak Rimen 85-Katsu: Reigi no Ishizue
- It’s extremely powerful, so you’ll want to proactively set up for this one. You need to hit the button again for Shinsoku no Norito so that it attacks faster.
- j.B > cl.D >> Jokatsu: Sōsō (f + A) >> 212-Katsu: Shinsoku no Norito (B) >> strong 212-Katsu: Shinsoku no Norito – Tenzui
- Use this pattern when in the middle of the screen or when you have no gauge. You need to hit the button again for Shinsoku no Norito on this one, too.
- cr.B >> cr.A >> weak 100-Katsu: Tenjin no Kotowari or weak Rimen 85-Katsu: Reigi no Ishizue
- A combo from weak moves.
When approaching, Shinsoku no Norito or jump, or maybe even Sōsō (df + B), will be good. Until you’ve arrived at close distance, you should use a backstep when you need open up space.
If you can get to mid-range, continue to zone with various normals with st.C and cr.C as the crux, along with Chōmon no Isshin and such. Occasionally, mixup with cr.B for the low hit and Sōsō (f + A) for the overhead will be good, most likely. If you have been able to get the opponent to make a mistake with any of these, then slap them down with a combo (or knock them out of a jump with an anti-air). Also, getting them to turtle up by jumping in with stuff like j.CD is good, too.
In UM, whiffing Tamayura no Shitsune in preparation is also valid; it can smash hops and hyper hops in many cases, and since it doesn’t leave you really open, it’s generally safe to use this, more or less.
If Sōsō (f + A) is blocked, you’ll have a 50–50 situation, so the likelihood that the opponent will use a counterattack is very high. So if you will take a leap of faith, put out a strong Tenjin no Kotowari to smash the opponent’s move. Then the next time, the chances that they will block instead of countering will probably rise, so this time, try making them block the weak version. If your opponent isn’t the type that catches on quickly, they might be looking to wait and counter you once you land from the strong version, but in that timing the weak version would have already recovered with Chizuru on the ground.
In zoning, Shinsoku no Norito and Chōmon no Isshin are pretty much the same. By using the real body and projection’s positions properly, you can zone or even approach relatively safely. After a Shinsoku no Norito, you can hit confirm into the Tenzui add-on; when you use Tenzui, her real position will be near the opponent, which is extremely useful.
The proper use of movements like these, where the actual location and the projection location are properly positioned (or rather, inconveniently positioned for the opponent), ought to put the opponent on edge. You get real chances to mess things up if you can crack their composure.
Chizuru doesn’t have any particularly safe wakeup attacks, so when it comes to reversals, you only really have the two options of strong Tenjin no Kotowari and the normal throws. Depending on the opponent’s character, a strong Reigi no Ishizue may also be good to use, but it is very risky. If the opponent isn’t using a grappler, it’s probably okay to settle for blocking or rolling.
Chizuru’s meaties are also pretty limited. The two options are between the escapable normal throws and striking moves, or between cr.B spam and overhead moves, but since this is a chance to be able to chip off some damage, this is one place you will want to have steady performance.