Kyo Kusanagi (KoF '02 UM)

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This nigga is on fire.

Move list

At a glance:

Normal Throws
Hatsugane (throw) f/b + C
Issetsu Seoi Nage (throw) f/b + D
Command Moves
Geshiki: Naraku Otoshi (air) d + C
Geshiki: Gōfu – Yō f + B
88-Shiki df + D
Special Moves
114-Shiki: Ara Gami qcf + A
┣ 128-Shiki: Ko no Kizu (during Ara Gami) qcf + P
┃┣ 127-Shiki: Ya no Sabi (during Ara Gami >> Ko no Kizu) P
┃┗ 125-Shiki: Nana Se (during Ara Gami >> Ko no Kizu) K
┗ 127-Shiki: Ya no Sabi (during Ara Gami) hcb + P
 ┣ Geshiki: Migiri Ugachi (during Ara Gami >> Ya no Sabi) P
 ┣ 125-Shiki: Nana Se (during Ara Gami >> Ya no Sabi) K
 ┗ 212-Shiki: Kototsuki You (during Ara Gami >> Ya no Sabi) hcb + K
115-Shiki: Doku Gami qcf + C
┗ 401-Shiki: Tsumi Yomi (during Doku Gami) hcb + P
 ┗ 402-Shiki: Batsu Yomi (during Tsumi Yomi) f + P
   ┗ 100-Shiki: Oni Yaki (during Batsu Yomi) dp + P
100-Shiki: Oni Yaki dp + P
R.E.D. Kick rdp + K
75-Shiki: Kai qcf + K, K
427-Shiki: Hikigane hcb + B or D) (each for different versions
Desperation Moves
Ura 108-Shiki: Orochi Nagi qcb hcf + P (can be held)
182 Shiki qcf qcf + P (can be held)
Max Desperation Moves
Ura 108-Shiki: Orochi Nagi qcb hcf + PP (can be held)
Max 2
524 Shiki: Kamichiri (throw) hcb hcb + PP

Normal Moves

  • Close A – cl.A – Quick jab with the elbow. It's one way of establishing pressure from close up without much committal. Upon hit from point blank, Kyo could link a Close C from Close A. Close A could hit most characters upon their crouch but has a tendency to whiff upon smaller crouching characters such as Bao and Choi. Close A is also cancelable.
  • Close B – cl.B – Fast kick to the shins. This attack hits low and is an alternative to using Crouching B. Close B can chain into other light normals and vice versa. A classic attack string is starting with Close B > Crouching B > Close C. Close B is also cancelable.
  • Close C – cl.C – Lightning fast uppercut. This is one of Kyo's strongest tools in his move set. It functions as a great anti-air and as a pressure tool. Opponents that get antsy and try to hop out from a throw situation would be caught by the Close C instead. It's common to see Kyo players running forward with confidence and pressing Close C to continue momentum or anti-air upon reaction against a misplaced hop or jump. Of course this move is cancelable.
  • Close D – cl.D – Weird, stanky looking kick. In terms of application, this kick is like a slower Close C with less vertical range. How this makes this move useful is as a frame trapping tool due to the slower start up speed. It combos into the same Special Moves as Close C but keep in mind that there is a tad more push back upon hit with Close D and could push the opponent out too far for a knockdown hit. Close D is cancelable.
  • Far A – Straight Jab. It's a great anti-hop check tool. Has decent range for a standing light attack to stop opponents from hopping at Kyo. It whiffs upon most crouching characters but actually touches larger characters such as Daimon and Chang upon crouch. Within that context, it could also function as a great pressure tool within those match ups. Otherwise, Kyo could do a small attack string, run half the distance between the opponent and himself, and check the hop space with Far A to catch any hop outs. Also a good low committal follow up after spacing with an aerial normal to check opponents' hops. Far A is also cancelable.
  • Far B – Quick side kick. Effectively a longer ranged Far A that hits most crouching characters (exceptions are characters such as Bao or Choi.) So It's a nice way of checking an opponent's options and making sure the opponent is either blocking or grounded after Kyo attacks with light attacks from a close range. The frame advantage/disadvantage upon block isn't too hot that is why it doesn't see as much action as Far A as an anti-air check, but it is a good way to occasionally check opponents and set yourself up for watching the opponent's choices after Kyo's Far B.
  • Far C – Snappy back fist. It's pretty much a heavy hitting, slower Far A. Most players don't use this move as a stand alone attack and usually comes out when players mess up or fudge an attempted Close C. Within this Kyo's move set, it serves very little purpose other than balancing out the effectiveness of Close C.
  • Far D – Spinning sobat kick. For this Kyo, this is one of the best iterations of this move and almost comparable to the one in Capcom vs. SNK 2. It's a very quick and snappy kick that goes over low hitting attacks. It helps Kyo maintain momentum within attack strings by frame trapping from other attacks and after Far D itself. The move is so quick that it could combo from a Jumping D and Naraku Otoshi. It's also fast enough to combo from a Max Canceled Close C without having to move Kyo forward, and from it, the player can cancel the sobat into special moves within Max Mode. Also Far D is just a wonderful move for crushing low attacks in general.
  • Jump(ing) A – j.A – Jumping elbow. It's an infrequently used air-to-air attack that is a bit underrated. The most notable range to use this move upon approaching an opponent is hopping or hyper hopping forward from the range where a Jump B would whiff; so, upon the way down it'll hit crouching opponents where Jump B would lack the horizontal range to do so while also checking the hop space, catching those that also try to move forward as Kyo hops with Jump A. It's recommended to not over-zealously use Jump A nor accidentally whiff it and get punished severely.
  • Jump(ing) B – j.B – Downward knee attack. This is Kyo's main means of jumping in on an opponent. It has a really dominant downward hit-box and has a tendency to even stuff anti-air attacks as they come out due to lengthy active frames of the attack. It has the ability to cross up although it requires a bit more precision to land compared to other cross ups in the game. The hit-stun of the attack is also pretty infamous and upon medium-height crouching characters and lower, Kyo could stick this attack out at the earliest moment that it could connect and still be able to combo into Crouching B, Close C, etc. and score a combo. Jump B is one of Kyo's quintessential parts of his move set.
  • Jump(ing) C – j.C – Jumping Punch. In overall application it could be described as Jump B that is positioned within Kyo's upper body/chest area. It doesn't have as much active frames as Jump B, and since it's positioned higher upon Kyo's body, it doesn't reach as low as Jump B and is more prone to anti-air attacks and trip anti-airs. It has an even more particular cross-up hit-box than Jump B, but adds another nuance for Kyo's jump-in choices. While it may whiff upon most crouching characters if used as an attempted cross-up, it could cross-up from ranges that Jump B would hit from the front. So, Kyo can condition the opponent to block while standing from the same jump spacing then switch it up with different option. So although not that predominantly used, Jump C adds to Kyo's cross-up ambiguity.
  • Jump(ing) D – j.D – Jumping Kick. One of Kyo's primary spacing tools. It functions as a great air-to-air attack thanks to the long range and decent speed this kick has. The tip of Kyo's kick is the sweet spot in which Kyo should make contact with opponent. It's great as an air-to-ground attack despite its lack of horizontal range as long as Kyo tips with Jump D. Since it still makes contact with the grounded opponent from a far, horizontal range, it makes it hard for the opponent to try to anti-air and counter it so most of the time the opponent is forced to either take it or block it, and this allows Kyo to keep momentum as he closes in. Some Kyo players even frame trap a Far D or Aragami after a tipped Jump D to keep momentum. Jump D upon a neutral or back hop is also a great tool to use to keep people out from running in, hopping in, and jumping in. If used appropriately, this attack is also one of Kyo's most important attacks.
  • Neutral Jump(ing) B – nj.B – Another knee attack. It's similar to Jump B but with a different animation. Although the placement of the attack is comparable to Jump B upon Kyo's figure, it seems as if it's placed slightly higher although to little or no applicative change.
  • Neutral Jump(ing) D – nj.D – Kyo twists his body to kick. It's similar to Jump D but seems to have a smaller upwards hit-box. So as an air-to-air attack it isn't as strong as Jump D. Still has functions as an air-to-air but most probably given to Kyo to balance out his move set.
  • Jump(ing) Blowback/CD – j.CD – Aerial shoulder ram. A jumping attack that isn't an overhead but induces large block stun. This move shrinks Kyo's hurt box by enough to make certain attacks, particularly horizontal anti-air normals, and clip the opponent and knock the opponent down. A great pressure move that helps Kyo maintain momentum at the expense of trying to score a high/low mix-up.

Command Normals

  • Geshiki: Gōfu – Yō
  • f + B
  • Two-step move; the second step is an overhead. Can be cancelled out of if cancelled into.
  • Geshiki: Naraku Otoshi
  • d + C in midair
  • Unrollable knockdown if it hits in the opponent in midair. If it hits them while they’re on the ground, they get considerable hit stun. Excellent crossup efficacy.
  • 88-Shiki
  • df + D
  • Two-step low-hitting move. Doesn’t do knockdown, but it has long reach, so it safely combos from most weak normals.

Special Moves

  • 100-Shiki: Oni Yaki
  • dp + P
  • Has shoulder-level autoblock, and the strong version has invincibility frames. The weak is for stuffing, the strong is for anti-air, but it is defenseless in the air, so you need to be careful in that regard. The strong version does knockdown, and does two hits (even if it’s an air hit).

  • R.E.D. KicK
  • rdp + K
  • Arcs through the air and kicks from above. Does good damage if it hits, and does an unrollable knockdown. Best kept as a surprise attack for jumping over projectiles. The weak version won’t even touch crouching opponents, though.

  • 212-Shiki: Koto Tsuki – Yō
  • hcb + K
  • An attack that connects a grab from an elbow strike. Unrollable knockdown. If blocked, it is still difficult to seriously counter it. If the first step hits an opponent in the air, the grab may still connect. The damage has been slightly raised from OG.

  • 75-Shiki: Kai
  • qcf + K, K
  • Two-step floating technique. The second hit can take a little delay, so you can delay it whether it’s hit or blocked. In the middle of the screen, it does not safely combo from strong attacks.

  • 910-Shiki: Nue Tsumi
  • qcb + P
  • An uppercut that has short reach, but combos from strong attacks. While in the crouching stage, he will trap normal and command moves, performing a derived move (Ryū Iri or Tora Fuse) according to the trapped move’s height.

  • 114-Shiki: Ara Gami
  • qcf + A
  • Combos from strong attacks; has a good autoblock at chest level. Use it for iffy hit confirm combos and zoning.
  • 128-Shiki: Ko no Kizu
  • qcf + P during Ara Gami
  • An uppercut that launches the opponent; when Ara Gami is blocked, you may be able to hit them by delaying this a little.
  • 127-Shiki: Ya no Sabi
  • P during Ko no Kizu
  • hcb + P during Ara Gami
  • Does not combo directly from a ground-to-ground Ara Gami; not guaranteed to combo from Ko no Kizu unless you’re in the corner. Overhead. Unrollable knockdown.
  • 125-Shiki: Nana Se
  • K during Ko no Kizu
  • K during Ya no Sabi directly derived from Ara Gami
  • A kick that propels forward. Helpful in that it combos from a Ko no Kizu hit, but generally leaves you wide open otherwise (so best not use it other than for a mid-screen Ko no Kizu).
  • Geshiki: Migiri Ugachi
  • P during Ya no Sabi directly derived from Ara Gami
  • A low-hitting move with an OTG hitbox. You can only use it to follow up the Ara Gami >> Ya no Sabi anyway.

  • 115-Shiki: Doku Gami
  • qcf + C
  • Combos from strong attacks; during the rushing-in stage, has chest-level autoblock. Unlike Ara Gami, this one is generally best kept towards the tail end of a combo. When blocked, you’ll stay right next to the opponent half the time, so you’ll want to reliably hit-confirm this.
  • 401-Shiki: Tsumi Yomi
  • hcb + P during Doku Gami
  • 402-Shiki: Batsu Yomi
  • f + P during Tsumi Yomi
  • These two can leave you all sorts of open; if Doku Gami is blocked, you shouldn’t follow up, even with a delay. When Doku Gami hits, these may not combo if you delay, so just input these as quickly as you like. Also, in the case that Doku Gami and Tsumi Yomi do a midair hit, there is a short period where you do have a damage hitbox.

Desperation Moves

  • Ura 108-Shiki: Orochi Nagi
  • qcb hcf + P (can be held)
  • Sends out a gigantic hitbox. During the charge-up you have some invincibility (upper-body for the strong version, lower-body for the weak version). You can hold the button to delay release, but this won’t change the move properties one whit.
  • The MAX version gives you full-body invincibility, and Kyo’s entire body is clad in flame (which happens to have a projectile hitbox). Does a maximum of three hits, but with only two hits you can juggle.

  • Saishū Kessen Ōgi “Mushiki” (Sanjingi no Ichi)
  • qcf qcf + P
  • Sets up a giant pillar of fire, and hits the opponent while sending out afterimages. Has full-body invincibility at startup. Combos from weak attacks. The normal version has a relatively short recovery, so it is possible to use the pillar of fire as an anti-air. Also, you can do a special taunt after the normal version by hitting the button repeatedly. The damage has been lowered to be about the same as that of Orochi Nagi.

Max Desperation Moves

Max 2



  • cr.B or j.C > cl.C >> Doku Gami >> Batsu Yomi >> Tsumi Yomi
  • Basic non-corner combo. From a dash, the Doku Gami can easily come out as Oni Yaki instead, so it’s better not to try this one in such a situation.
  • cl.C >> strong 75-Shiki: Kai > weak R.E.D. KicK or Orochi Nagi
  • Basic juggle combo. Possible in the middle of the screen, but recommended for the corner.
  • (corner) j.C > cl.C >> strong 75-Shiki: Kai > (Ara Gami >) Ara Gami >> Ko no Kizu >> Nana Se
  • Enter the second Ara Gami just after the end of the first Ara Gami hit. Take as much time as necessary for the derived moves.
  • (corner) j.C > cl.C >> strong 75-Shiki: Kai > Ara Gami >> Ko no Kizu >> Ya no Sabi
  • The Ara Gami should hit them high. Input the derived moves as quickly as allowable.
  • cr.B >> cr.A >> 88-Shiki or Mushiki
  • Basic combo from low hits. If you are very close, you can do the cr.B twice.
  • crossup Naraku Otoshi > cl.C >> Gōfu (2 hit) >> Koto Tsuki or strong Orochi Nagi
  • The Gōfu has to be very close. Also, depending on the opponent, this may be restricted to rear hits only. It’s not generally safe.

The Basics

Kyo’s normals aren’t exactly the most efficient, nor is his defense all that strong. What does he do? Rushdown.

With j.C and Naraku Otoshi as the pivot, cut in with cr.A and cr.B; keep the right distance and aim to crossup with Naraku Otoshi. The opponent should be doing their best to avoid getting crossed up, so you should keep it unpredictable with a normal throw here and there. If you successfully use the D throw you can try to cross them up on wakeup.

Just zone when you aren’t coming in on the attack if your opponent is a genuinely good turtle; you don’t always have to come in guns a-blazin’. For starters, at mid-range, using Ara Gami so that the very tip hits or gets blocked is both prudent and powerful. By putting off the timing, you can mix in whiff cancels from cr.D and st.CD. Also, from a vertical hop, you can brandish Naraku Otoshi and j.D. In this game (as opposed to OG) st.D is also good; these are all particularly valid against characters with strong anti-air normals.

When it comes to wakeup meaties, you’ll generally want to do your best to crossup with Naraku Otoshi. It’s not really risky, and the rewards are great. When the opponent is cornered, however, and in other similar crossup-unfavorable situations, you could give them an option between either Gōfu and cr.B, or cl.C and the D throw.

In case you use Doku Gami in a combo and it is completely blocked, you have two options: either keep going, or pull out. To pull out, you can block, or backstep / roll back. To keep going, Oni Yaki and such would work, but if the opponent’s character isn’t a grappler, it’s easier to trap them with Nue Tsumi. In such a situation, the opponent would be expecting something like Oni Yaki, so you should try aiming at the undefended feet. Even if these small steps are blocked as well, it can bait them into the Nue Tsumi trap. And if they don’t take the bait, they probably won’t have the guts to belt out a special move, so a throw attempt will likely be escaped, but at least you get out safely.

The basic anti-air is strong Oni Yaki, but if you have the gauge to spare, try Mushiki. It does a lot of damage as an anti-air, and it practically never loses out to a different strike. Do it once, and the opponent will think twice before coming in to attack you when you have gauge.

Kyo isn’t really much for defense, but he has good stuffing and anti-air capability, so just use prudent offense. This will build gauge, which you can use in lieu of defense. His style is to do this in a cycle of sorts, so learn how to do his rushdown.

Advanced Strategy