Kyo Kusanagi (KoF '02 UM)
This nigga is on fire.
At a glance:
|Hatsugane||(throw) f/b + C|
|Issetsu Seoi Nage||(throw) f/b + D|
|Geshiki: Naraku Otoshi||(air) d + C|
|Geshiki: Gōfu – Yō||f + B|
|88-Shiki||df + D|
|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|
|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)|
|524 Shiki: Kamichiri||(throw) hcb hcb + PP|
Close Standing Normals
- 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 Standing Normals
- 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.
- st.CD – Shoulder ram. Kyo retracts for a bit then rams forward with his body. This attack is not use too often due to the lengthy start up of the attack for the range it covers but it can win in certain situations thanks to the retraction making moves whiff and the following attack. It is pretty much a standard Blowback attack.
- Crouch(ing) A
- cr.A – Small, crouching jab. It's a standard, crouching light punch that one could find in most fighting games. Low committal, doesn't hit low but is a pressure tool. It can be chained into from other light attacks but can't chain out. It's cancelable and combos into 88 Shiki, Oniyaki, 182 Shiki, and Close C. The biggest plus to use this move over Crouch B is that some characters can reversal super jump or hop out from certain ranges when Crouch B is used, but Crouch A in those cases would stop those characters.
- Crouch(ing) B
- cr.B – Crouching kick. This attack has great speed, in regards to start up and recovery, for the range it reaches. It can abuse other characters by attack outside the range of their light attacks and the speed stuffs out most sweeps and slower grounded attacks. Crouch B is Kyo's main low attack for mix-ups and helps Kyo open up opponents. It chains into other light attacks and could link into Close C.
- Crouch(ing) C
- cr.C – Uppercut while crouching. An anti-air mainly used upon reaction against jumps, but it can be used to anti-air hops depending on the range and the player's ability to react. It's a really strong anti-air but it isn't as fast as Close C by just a tad. The hit box is a bit strange and has the tendency to whiff at point blank against grounded, crouching characters such as Angel or Iori. Use with care, but it is a strong tool. Crouch C can cancel into other moves but not from using the hit box in the tip of the punch.
- Crouch(ing) D
- cr.D – Sweep. It's a standard sweep but isn't as fast as other sweeps in the game. Still, it is very usable and can cancel into other attacks upon whiff to cover for its vulnerability to varying degrees of effectiveness. One good instance to use it is after cl.C on block from point blank, or to be used after being pushed out of Crouch B range.
- 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, Full 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, Full 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
- 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.
- Geshiki: Goufu You – f. + B
- A slow overhead. When cancel into, the attack speeds up and becomes a double hitting move although with the loss of overhead properties. Although slow, it is one way of opening up the opponent and confirming into a Max Mode combo. When canceled into, it functions well as a frame trap from Crouch A
- Geshiki: Naraku Otoshi – d. + C in midair
- Untechable knockdown upon air-to-air and exhibits great hit stun upon air-to-ground. It's great for crossing up standing characters and larger crouching characters. Kyo could cancel his back dash into Naraku Otoshi to increase the speed and range of his back dash while decreasing the recovery period. This move is an essential function to Kyo's offensive options and defensive movement.
- 88-Shiki – df. + D
- Two-part low-hitting move. It recovers slowly so it's best to use this move from further ranges that tips with each kick. Whiffing the second part could mean a big punish for the opponent.
- 100-Shiki: Oni Yaki
- dp + P
- Has shoulder-level guard point, and the strong version has some invincibility frames. As a reversal, this attack has the tendency to miss and be beaten out by low attacks from crouching characters. Unless the player knows that the opponent is airborne or standing, the player is better off just blocking or using other defensive options.
- R.E.D. Kick
- rdp + K
- Arcs through the air and kicks from above. It's a pretty annoying move to deal with from the receiver's end, but a good player would be able to check Kyo by appropriately doing quick anti-air and air-to-airs safely while approaching. In a Kyo mirror match, a common tactic at the start of the round is for Kyo to walk forward a little bit and pressing Far A just to check a start of the round, light R.E.D. Kick. Although the recovery on a whiffed R.E.D. Kick is decent, a good player should still be able to punish it. Depending on the match up, R.E.D. Kick could be even punished on block by quick command throws. This move is pretty abusable especially with inexperienced players.
- 427-Shiki: Hikigane
- hcb + B or D
- The B Version has lower body invulnerability while the D Version had upper body invulnerability. The B Version is unsafe on block while the D Version is safe. Each version is super cancelable. Mainly, the player would want to use the B Version as a juggle after the D Version of 75-Shiki: Kai and further combo after the Hikigane juggle. The D Version of Hikigane could beat out certain attacks such as invulnerable "dragon punch" type attacks depending on how one times the Hikigane. The D Version of Hikigane could juggle as well but generally ends the combo unless one super cancels from it. Each version has its place and purpose but aren't use that quite often as stand alone moves.
- 75-Shiki: Kai
- qcf + K, K
- A two part, hop kick attack. The main one to use is the D Version for its juggle properties and ability to combo from Close Heavy Attacks. At mid-screen, this move would only combo from a Close Heavy Attack if the Close C or D is used point blank; meaning, that the second hit of Kai would whiff if Kyo starts his combo with something such as a Jump B (but there is no issue if the Jump B is used as a cross up because Kyo would then be point blank.) Unlike mid-screen, Kyo could easily combo from a jump-in with a cornered opponent. The player could use this attack on block for pressure and is safe as long as the second kick is delayed. Characters that have invulnerable reversals or can low profile against the second kick could punish the attack in between kicks, so please be wary of using this attack depending on the match up. The B Version is faster and has slightly less range than the D Version, but it can't juggle anything afterwards other than a C Version Oniyaki. B Version could also be used to juggle after a D Version Kai.
- 114-Shiki: Aragami
- qcf + A
- Combos from strong attacks; has small period of guard point at chest level. It's a great tool for frame trapping with and for controlling the hop space. Just be wary of other attacks that can attack around it such as a well timed Iori j.CD or a well placed cr.B that could stuff it out cleanly.
- 128-Shiki: Ko no Kizu
- qcf + P during Aragami
- An uppercut that launches the opponent. It has significant use as a frame trap after Aragami, and at times it could be used as an anti-air after a whiffed Aragami if the spacing and timing is right. Depending on the match up, this attack is punishable on block by fast command throws or other quick attacks.
- 127-Shiki: Ya no Sabi
- P during Ko no Kizu
- An overhead, elbow strike. It may seem safe on block but that largely depends on the match up as well. Many other characters could actually interrupt in between Ko no Kizu and the Ya no Sabi. So before the start up and after the recovery on block there is a lot of risk to this move as long as the opponent knows how to punish accordingly. Use sparingly outside of combos. Doesn't really combo that often outside of the corner, and it combos mid-screen from Ko no Kizu as long as the Aragami hits near point blank.
- hcb + P during Aragami
- Does not combo directly from Aragami if the opponent is grounded and has a very large start up. This move seems to be much more punishable than the version that comes after Ko no Kizu. It could be used as a gimmicky frame trap but one is better off using Ko no Kizu due to the speed and relative safety of the the latter.
- 125-Shiki: Nana Se
- K during Ko no Kizu
- K during Ya no Sabi directly derived from Aragami
- A spinning kick that knocks away the opponent about full screen. It's a strange move that doesn't combo often from mid-screen and is generally safe on block although it doesn't have much or any push back at all upon block. Opponents could tech roll upon knockdown after being hit by this attack so generally a different ender is preferred if one could help it to get hard knockdown. At least it kind of makes the Aragami attack strings safe at the end, somewhat.
- Geshiki: Migiri Ugachi
- P during Ya no Sabi directly derived from Aragami
- A low-hitting move with an OTG hit box. This move also isn't safe on block although it frame traps well in between Ya no Sabe and itself.
- 212-Shiki: Kototsuki You
- hcb + K during Ya no Sabi directly derived from Aragami
- Another unsafe attack on block that only really combos after a successful Ya no Sabi. So this move is mainly used in combos and is able to pick up opponents off the floor thanks to OTG properties. It's hard knockdown after contact so it's a good way to end juggle combos.
- 115-Shiki: Dokugami
- qcf + C
- Combos from strong attacks and is the main way to knock an opponent down mid-screen after using a jump-in from the front. This move is unsafe on block unless it makes contact using the tip of the hit box towards the end of the flames. Although it's a bit sluggish in speed, it's still a good attack to use during the neutral game to catch opponents off guard of the range that Kyo could actually control beyond the range of his Aragami. Use accordingly with good judgment and try not to use it too much outside of combos although it feels good to tag someone with it at neutral. This move could juggle after D Version Kai and a C Version Oniyaki could further combo after the Dokugami.
- 401-Shiki: Tsumi Yomi
- hcb + P during Dokugami
- Mainly used as a frame trap after Dokugami since Dokugami generally isn't safe on block if used at a closer range. Also unsafe on block depending on match up and range that the Tsumi Yomi connects.
- 402-Shiki: Batsu Yomi
- f + P during Tsumi Yomi
- And this is used to frame trap after a Tsumi Yomi since opponents will be tempted to punish it after block. This move is extremely unsafe and every character could punish this with ease and devastation. Only do it during combos or if one is "absolutely sure" that it will hit.
- 100-Shiki: Oniyaki
- dp or d , df + P after Batsu Yomi
- This is just an Oniyaki stacked on after Batsu Yomi for additional damage. Doesn't trap after Batsu Yomi as it must come out immediately and is equally as punishable. Not much to state about it other than doing it at the end of combos to finish with more damage.
- 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 and the Orochinagi comes out much faster than normal. Just by slightly holding the button during the super flash, the attack comes out around the same time as the normal one would but with the faster start up property of a charged version. This desperation move is unsafe on block and should be mainly used in combos anyways.
- qcf qcf + P (can be held)
- This is the '99 Version of 182 Shiki that is a two hit desperation move. Of course this move is unsafe on block, but it is unblockable after being fully charged. This move combos from light attacks and is used in a similar way that Mushiki was used in '98, a chunky finisher from a low-hitting hit confirm. Other than from light attacks, this move could connect after super cancels from either version of Hikigane and used as a finisher for mid-screen Max Mode combos.
Max Desperation Moves
- Ura 108-Shiki: Orochinagi
- qcb hcf + PP (can be held)
- The MAX version or Orochinagi gives you full-body invincibility, and Kyos 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. If the player times it properly after a D Version Kai, two hits could juggle while the third one whiffs. From there, Kyo could juggle a C Version Oniyaki afterwards for better damage to finish. Kinda safer on block since the three flames puts the opponent in large amounts of block stun. Many smarter players could guard roll the first flame and punish Kyo anyways so it's still not a smart idea just to let it rip, Tyson.
- 524-Shiki: Kamichiri
- hcb hcb + PP
- A command throw where play time is over. As a Max 2 attack, this move could only be done from Red Health and consumes 3 bars of Stock or just 1 during Max Mode. It could combo from light attacks but the main way this attack lands is as a fast command throw that most players tend to forget that exists, thus serving as a surprise way to end a round. Don't be too contrived and predictable and this move could be a great ace in the hole.
- 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.
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.