The King of Fighters XIII/Hwa Jai

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Hwa Jai

KOFXIII-Hwa Jai Face.png

In a nutshell

Hwa Jai stopped drowning his Fatal Fury sorrows from defeat in alcohol and makes his first appearance KOF. Hwa Jai shares an almost identical set of normals with Joe, but his options form his special moves allow him to play much different than his Muay Thai predecessor. Hwa has a tricky set of tools that allows him to set up aerial traps akin to Mai's 'gimmicky' techniques. He can easily alter his aerial trajectories and his specials have been considerably improved across the board, which includes his damage power up and command grab DMs.

Video Walkthrough

Move List

Normal Moves

Special Properties (glossary)
Standing Light Punch
Chaincancel.png Cancel.png
Standing Light Kick
Standing Heavy Punch
Close Heavy Punch
Close Kof.sp.png
Standing Heavy Kick
Close Heavy Kick
Crouching Light Punch
D.png + Kof.lp.png
Chaincancel.png Cancel.png
Crouching Light Kick
D.png +
Low.png Chaincancel.png
Crouching Heavy Punch
D.png + Kof.sp.png
Crouching Heavy Kick
D.png +
Low.png Softknockdown.png Cancel.png
Blowback Attack
Kof.sp.png +
Lowerbodyinv.png Softknockdown.png Specialcancel.png
Jumping Light Punch
Air Kof.lp.png
Jump: 45
Hop: 40
High.png Cancel.png
Jumping Light Kick
Jump: 45
Hop: 40
Jumping Heavy Punch
Air Kof.sp.png
Jump: 72
Hop: 70
High.png Cancel.png
Jumping Heavy Kick
Jump: 70
Hop: 68
Jumping Blowback Attack
Air Kof.sp.png +
Jump: 90
Hop: 80
Softknockdown.png Cancel.png

Unique Attacks

Special Properties (glossary)
Df.png +
Low.png Softknockdown.png Specialcancel.png


Special Properties (glossary)
Shushouboku ~ Hiza Jigoku
F.png or B.png + Kof.sp.png or (while close)
Throw.png Softknockdown.png

Special Moves

Special Properties (glossary)
Qcf.png + P.png
Kof.lp.png : 20×3
Kof.sp.png : 20×6
Ex.png : 20×3+30+50
Ex.png : Softknockdown.png
Bakuretsuken Finish
P.png Bakuretsuken, then Qcf.png + P.png
Softknockdown.png Drivecancel.png
Dragon Tail
Qcb.png + K.png : 50 : 50×4 (50×3)
Ex.png : 50×4
Air : 50
Air : 70
Air Ex.png : 90×2
Airok.png Drivecancel.png
Ground Ex.png : Hardknockdown.png
Air and Ex.png : Softknockdown.png
Dragon Kick
Dp.png + K.png : 70 : 70×2
Ex.png : 90+35×2
Air K.png : 70
Air Ex.png : 35×3
Airok.png Softknockdown.png Drivecancel.png
Ground Ex.png and Air Ex.png : Anywherejuggle.png

Desperation Moves

Special Properties (glossary)
Drink Nomi
Qcb.png Qcb.png + P.png
For 10 seconds, the following effects are applied:
10% damage increase, increased velocity on special moves, opponents float higher during juggles
Dragon Dance
Qcf.png Qcf.png + K.png
K.png : 0+10×9+20×2+20×2+40
Ex.png : 0+10×9+20×6+90
Ex.png : Startupinv.png
Dragon Backbreaker
Qcf.png Hcb.png + P.png
Drink Pink: 50+200+55
Throw.png Startupinv.png Hardknockdown.png Maxcancel.png
Final: Dragon Kick
Qcf.png Hcb.png + +
Direct hit: 450
Indirect hit: 40+40×8
Direct hit: Hardknockdown.png
Indirect hit: Softknockdown.png

Console Changes

  • Standing CD now moves forward and has lower-body invincibility.
  • Heavy Dragon Tail (qcb+D) has faster recovery; it can be followed up with a normal move after it hits.
  • Light Dragon Tail (qcb+B) has faster startup and can be comboed from heavy attacks.
  • EX Dragon Tail (qcb+BD) does less guard crush damage.
  • EX Air Dragon Kick (Air dp+BD) now hits 3 times like its ground version and does 154 damage (previously 35×3).
  • All frames on Drink Nomi (qcb qcb+P) have been changed. It recovers faster now.
  • Light Dragon Backbreaker (qcf hcb+A) is now a 1F throw instead of a leaping throw.


Move Analysis

Normal Moves

  • Standing Light Punch (Snka.gif) - Beats out hops.
  • Standing Light Kick (Snkb.gif) - Quick with good range and it combos into the slide. Good way to start a punish if there isn't much time and you need to make up the distance. Chains from crouching Light kick easily.
  • Standing Heavy Punch (Snkc.gif) - Good range and special cancellable (try the heavy Dragon Kick), helps Hwa confirm a combo from a greater distance. Also works as a far anti-air but can trade.
  • Close Heavy Punch (Close Snkc.gif) - Standard close normal. Likely to see some heavy use as a combo starter. Press forwards and Heavy punch when the opponent is cornerered and you're covered for a roll attempt. You'll either get the heavy or throw them straight back into the corner.
  • Standing Heavy Kick (Snkd.gif) - Great poking tool, reasonably fast and abusable. Stuffs a lot of attacks so you can afford to abuse it a little. Throw it out on an opponents wakeup if they don't have any reversal options (look at their meter first depending on the character)
  • Close Heavy Kick (Close Snkd.gif) - Close knee attack. Seems to have a smaller hit stun window than close Heavy Punch in which to combo afterwards.
  • Crouching Light Punch (Down.gif + Snka.gif ) - Not all that useful really unless for stuffing and block strings.
  • Crouching Light Kick (Down.gif + Snkb.gif) - Quick prod, chains into itself, crouch Light punch and stand Light kick or even the slide. Hwa's main low combo starter aside from sliding.
  • Crouching Heavy Punch (Down.gif + Snkc.gif) - Great horizontal reach but has little verticality. Doesn't work well as anti-air. Good to start a blockstring with from a fair distance because it can't be ducked.
  • Crouching Heavy Kick (Down.gif + Snkd.gif) - Decent reach. Punishable.
  • Blowback Attack (Snkc.gif + Snkd.gif) - Use when you detect a sweep or slide. More utility than most blowback attacks due to the lower body invulnerablity. Nice and fast but also punishable so be prepared to eventually have this move baited by good players.
  • Jumping Light Punch (Air Snka.gif) - Horizontal tap that hits fairly high up. Speedy air-to-air.
  • Jumping Light Kick (Air Snkb.gif) - Standard jumping prod. Fast but not that good range.
  • Jumping Heavy Punch (Air Snkc.gif) - Great jump-in attack. Cancelling this deep into light aerial Dragon Tail allows you to link a close heavy punch afterwards.
  • Jumping Heavy Kick (Air Snkd.gif) - Diagonally angled kick that's lovely for jumping in with, though maybe not as much hit stun as the heavy punch. Use them interchangably.
  • Jumping Blowback Attack (Air Snkc.gif + Snkd.gif) - Hangs out for a while and is ok in an air-to-air situation. Possible to block it low like all aerial blowback attacks.

Unique Attacks

  • Sliding (Downright.gif+ Snkb.gif) - A great cancellable slide. Superb range for a combo starter or to put inbetween a close normal and a special. Cancels into DMs. Doesn't go under projectiles unfortunately.


  • Shushouboku ~ Hiza Jigoku (Right.gif or Left.gif + Snkc.gif or Snkd.gif [while close]) - Standard throw. Heavy kick switches sides, Heavy punch doesn't. Bear this in mind when you have the opportunity to put or keep your opponent in the corner. Refer to 'Heavy punch' description above.

Special Moves

  • Bakuretsuken (Qcf.gif + Punch.gif) - Combos from close normals but not mid-screen after a slide. The follow up ( Qcf.gif + Punch.gif ) launches. Cancel it into a Heavy Dragon Tail and the opponent is still airborne for further punishment with a Dragon dance or Ex Dragon dance. Not a great hit box on this (the hurtbox seems huge) so it's for combos only.
    • Ex.png Bakuretsuken (Qcf.gif + Snka.gif + Snkc.gif) - Combos easily from a slide mid-screen and the follow up is automatic. Much better hit box than the non-EX version but still gets beat out often so best to leave this move to combos.
  • Dragon Tail (Qcb.gif + Kick.gif) - Not an overhead. Heavy travels much higher in the air. This is a move for keeping the pressure on, light is pretty safe against most of the cast, though grapplers can punish the move on block with instant throws unless Hwa Jai is spaced outside of command grab range on block.
    • Ex.png Dragon Tail (Qcb.gif + Snkb.gif + Snkd.gif) - Comes out very fast and has great range. Hits twice on the first jump and twice on the second. A clutch, burst move. Causes a hard knockdown; keep this outside of standard combos.
  • Air Dragon Tail (Air Qcb.gif + Kick.gif) - The light allows you to continue moving with jump momentum while the heavy moves you backwards. The light combos from a jumping Heavy punch.
    • Air Ex.png Dragon Tail (Air Qcb.gif + Snkb.gif + Snkd.gif) - Very similar looking to the hard version but has a better horizontal hitbox. Beats out a lot of air moves done early enough. Unfortunately, this move has more extreme pushback which limits most followups on hit.
  • Dragon Kick (Dp.gif + Kick.gif) - Heavy has horizontal range, Light is the reversal/anti-air. Heavy can be cancelled on either hit which is important to bear in mind when working on combos in the lab. Both are punishable on block or whiff, particularily the Heavy.
    • Ex.png Dragon Kick (Dp.gif + Snkb.gif + Snkd.gif) - Hits up to three times and the latter two hits are direction selectable. Hold the direction desired and press kick after the first hit connects. If you see the opponent has blocked the first two hits then use the third to pussy off across the screen away from punishment.
      • Counts as an anywhere juggle and it's fast horizontal speed allows Hwa Jai to tack on extra damage from a quick anti-air.
  • Air Dragon Kick (Air Dp.gif + Kick.gif) - Heavy is very similar to the grounded version, light is angled 45 degrees downwards and allows for altering jump trajectory. The Snkb.gif 'divekick' is incredibly safe on block, sometimes even leaving Hwa Jai positive on block! Just be aware of the short range of the attack, and know that it's quite possible for the opponent to anti-air Hwa Jai out of this move.
    • Air Ex.png Dragon Kick (Air Dp.gif + Snkb.gif + Snkd.gif) - About the same as the grounded EX and can be followed up in the same way. Travels diagonally downwards. Beats out quite a few attacks.

Desperation Moves

  • Drink Nomi (Qcb.gifQcb.gif + Punch.gif) - Increases damage done by 10%, adds 55 points worth of damage to Dragon Backbreaker and specials have more lift to them, allowing you to keep juggle combos going longer. Hwa hangs out his tongue for 10 seconds on the in-game timer.
    • Pretty slow on startup, possibly only comboing from a Super Canceled EX Bakuretsuken ( Qcf.gif + Snka.gif + Snkc.gif ). If Hwa Jai is hit out of the startup, he remains drunken.
  • Dragon Dance (Qcf.gifQcf.gif + Kick.gif) - A smashing move for finishing juggle combos. Sod all priority. Don't expect to hit with this raw very often.
    • Ex.png Dragon Dance (Qcf.gifQcf.gif + Snkb.gif + Snkd.gif) - The damage scaling was slightly toned down on this move from the arcade version, though it still packs a nice punch as a combo ender. Works in all the same situations and it has faster startup and invuln frames, too.
  • Dragon Backbreaker (Down.gifDownright.gifHcb.gif + Punch.gif) - Light is a close one frame grab, Heavy a far jumping one. Use the Light when you're opponent close at a frame disadvantage or from a tick/empty hop attempt. Be consistent with the input and your opponent will be hesitant to do anything unsafe. Empty jump/hop and rolls are also a decent method to get in range. The Heavy can be worked into quite a few natural setups or used to punish mistakes. Has startup invulnerability. Keep the pressure on with a flurry of physical attacks and condition the opponent to block or move predictably, then strike. Gets a hefty damage boost from 'Drink Nomi' which makes it really something scary. An excellent DM overall.
  • Final: Dragon Kick (Down.gifDownright.gifHcb.gif + Snkb.gif + Snkd.gif) - Deals decent damage when scaled down from a long combo, though in many instances Hwa Jai can get better or identical damage by ending combos with his EX Dragon Dance DM. If this Neomax doesn't connect deep enough, it triggers a multi-hitting Dragon Tail move that keeps the opponent airborne, allowing for followups. Getting this indirect hit to register is crucial for most of Hwa Jai's more meter-costly HD combos.

Tips and Tricks


Team Order

1st position


  • Can be played offensively or defensively, though you're better off with a bar of meter so you can keep a Dragon backbreaker in the bank.


  • No meter or drive so less combo options and no Dragon backbreaker punish.

2nd position


  • Has meter to play with so can score big damage with simple combos. Also should have HD meter for drive cancels, which he can make good use of. Meter allows an instant punish with Dragon backbreaker - incredibly useful.


  • Can have a very bad round from time to time if you don't manage to keep momentum going or should you're opponent play safe and keep you out. As the meat of a team this might be an issue in certain matchups or if you're opponent knows your options very well.

3rd position


  • Ample meter so DRINK NOMI! Combo options are insane with lots of meter/drive and his EX attacks can be good to throw out at clutch moments. Also: buffed up Dragon backbreakers all day.


  • If he's kept out then there's nothing he can do. The meter will just go to waste and you're blood will turn to sodium. His Neomax isn't all that great in terms of range or utility either.

Basic Strategy

Hwa initially appears to be a straightforward rushdown character, but he also has great defensive options. The Light Dragon kick proves excellent as a fast anti-air, reversal or occasional wakeup 'get off me' attack and the Light Dragon backbreaker allows him to punish any unsafe move for very respectable damage. When in the 'Drink Nomi' state the Dragon backbreaker is further buffed and his juggle options go through the roof without even necessarily having to go into HD mode. Pester the opponent with unrelenting pressure (mix up your normals high and low and make sure to abuse the fairly safe Light Dragon tail) and keep then in hit stun with block strings while looking to land one of his simple hit comfirms into a nice beefy combo. Far standing Heavy punch and the slide have impressive range on the ground, Heavy Dragon kick in the air is a good confirm too. You don't really need to save meter exclusively for HD mode combos to do big damage with Hwa; one or two drive cancels can allow for some pretty devastating combos on they're own. Standing Heavy kick is good for stuffing attacks if you lose offensive momentum, use it when you need to keep the opponent away or as a meaty on their wakeup if the character doesn't have access to any moves with invulnerability frames.

If your opponent has solid defenses then there's always the option of using a Dragon backbreaker to break through it, so study your opponents movement habits and an opportunity will present itself. Try to always take advantage of chances to punish your opponent with Light Dragon backbreaker when you block something up close which leaves them in recovery, or the Heavy version when they whiff a move from further away or empty jump. Being able to accurately judge the distance that Hwa jumps forward is handy because it's mightily punishable on whiff. Hwa is generally pretty good when in the air, but some characters can negate this to a some degree so explore grounded options should you find yourself repeatedly punished for jumping. Utilise the lower body invulnerability of the standing blowback attack when you sniff out a low or sweep to score an easy knockdown, then continue to apply pressure and keep them in the corner if you can. Be unpredictable in you're offense because he's not particularily safe, but once in a while there's nothing wrong with playing a little recklessly to try and score some good damage. How well you know you're opponent (and they you) will dictate how successful you are in controlling the match. Just don't throw out a naked Dragon dance in a neutral situation, it has a wank hit box.

Advanced Strategy

Frame Data