The King of Fighters XIII/K'
In a nutshell
Sporting classy new sunglasses and the continued favouritism of the new SNK', K' returns to KoF once more. Sporting extremely high damage off practically everything, insane corner carry, hard knockdowns, easy crossups, good zoning and great meter building potential, K' is one of the best characters in XIII. K's versatility in the front of almost any situation means he can find a slot in basically any team, though he is most commonly used as a battery due to his damage output not requiring meter, and continuous use of Ein Trigger being so safe. However, K' has rewarding powerful combos for those that master him, meaning he's a character that can appeal to anyone. Using K' effectively will take a moderate amount of execution overall, as well as solid understanding of how to adapt your playstyle to each situation in a match as is appropriate.
- Standing Light Punch () - A typical standing A. Has great reach, but cannot hit crouchers. Mostly used as an anti air against hops.
- Standing Light Kick () - Resembles K's old close B, but with slightly more range. This move does not really sport any advantages over crouching B, but reaches slightly further, so may be used in pressure strings if you feel like mixing it up a bit at a distance.
- Standing Heavy Punch () - K' lunges forward to punch the opponent. Considerably slower than usual, this move is difficult to anti air with due to the startup, and will miss some crouchers at varying angles. It can work as a more damaging but riskier hop deterrent, and is cancelable so whiffing it into Ein Trigger (qcf+P) isn't all too bad.
- Close Heavy Punch (Close ) - A 2 hit close uppercut, K's close C is fairly speedy and has the advantage of being easy to confirm off due to its 2 hit nature. Unfortunately the overall low vertical range of his punch and its fairly mediocre activation distance make it an underused move. Most effective when used to frametrap an opponent from a light attack, or as part of punisher combos leading into f+A.
- Standing Heavy Kick () - A somewhat awkward roundhouse kick aimed at a high angle. This move is much faster than it usually is, but lacks the cancel option of standing C, so it's application as a hop counter is somewhat limited. It can work better as an anti air for larger jumps, but usually K's dragon punch would be preferred.
- Close Heavy Kick (Close ) - K' kicks his opponents shins in. A rarity among most close heavies, this move hits low, but its startup is not terribly hot and it doesn't combo into f+A. The activation range is also not very good, so for the most part, this move should only really be used if you're trying to do a low mixup but wish to secure some higher initial damage.
- Crouching Light Punch ( + ) - A pretty average crouching jab. In some games, K' cannot cancel his crouch B, so this is his go to cancelable move for combos, but in XIII it's use is mostly limited to experimenting with different blockstrings.
- Crouching Light Kick ( + ) - If there was a normal to sum K' up, it would be this one. You may have noticed that most of K's normals are a little finicky or trickier to use than most, but this bad boy pretty much picks up the slack. Great range, cancelable, combos into nearly all his main bnbs, is + frames on block, can be staggered easily, and lowers K's hitbox enough that it can be used as a fairly effective tripguard against less effective jumpins. This is your go to move for footsies, pressure, mixup, and just general tomfoolery.
- Crouching Heavy Punch ( + ) - K's mexican uppercut. Is slower than his other two close heavies, so can be used to create longer gaps in blockstrings if desired. The horizontal range is significantly less than what it used to be however, so it's mostly relegated to use as an anti air. One of the few anti air cr.C's that cancels properly in XIII.
- Crouching Heavy Kick ( + ) - K's sweep has gotten a significant boost in speed at the result of losing a lot of the range it originally had. Still an effective tripguard or general blockstring move or distanced meaty, but cr.B by itself is by far a much more useful and scarier tool.
- Blowback Attack ( + ) - After a brief delay, K kicks the dirt in front of him with his hands in his pockets. Has a good amount of horizontal range and has significant blockstun, but the startup makes it pretty bad for trying to poke or string with. Can be used after a string of cr.B's against a cornered opponent if you expect them to try to guard roll your Ein Trigger qcf+P and want to make them miss the timing, as you can cancel it on whiff into it to catch them as they roll.
- Jumping Light Punch (Air ) - A steep angled, but short ranged jump attack, K' sticks his "Fire Fist" out below him. In terms of practical use, the move is overshadowed by his jumping C, as both have very similar angles for close jumpins and crossups, with this move having slightly more horizontal reach, and C having more vertical. It's pretty fast, so it can work as an effective air to air if necessary. Can cancel into aerial qcb+K, which isn't too useful, but canceling into qcb+BD can be valuable in air to air situations, as that move has anywhere juggle, letting you net some nice damage off an otherwise impossible to capitalize situation.
- Jumping Light Kick (Air ) - K' does a tiger knee pose while in the air. Whilst the range isn't very good, it's another quick startup air normal, and overall has more horizontal reach than jumping A. It's also much easier to crossup with this move from lower, close range hops, as it hits pretty much all round itself.
- Jumping Heavy Punch (Air ) - Very similar to jumping A, except that K' uses his other hand to punch down instead. Has a deeper vertical hitbox and works better for jump crossups, this is overall K's most used close ranged jumping normal.
- Jumping Heavy Kick (Air ) - K' preforms a near upside down kick to the floor. This move sports incredible range and has a great hitbox. It has a bit more startup than the average jumping D, but is K's most valuable distanced jumpin or general air spacing tool. Hitting with j.D at the tip will beat out many contemporary anti airs if you are spaced correctly, as the hitbox is fairly disjointed.
- Jumping Blowback Attack (Air + ) - What looks like a more traditional jumping D is K's j.CD. Aiming at a downward angle, this move is a fairly effective air to air, but is typically used for putting the opponent in a lot of blockstun to set up a mixup, or for whiffing into a low during a hop. Has slightly less range than it usually does, but can still be used effectively for hyperhop spacing, and can cancel into qcb+BD in the air for a combo, even on non counterhit. On counter hit, K' can typically follow this up with a qcb+K qcb+K on the ground into a dp ender.
Tips and Tricks
- The combo cr.B qcf+A f+D qcb+D qcb+D (whiff) dp+P can technically done with another cr.B to hitconfirm, but this has to be at an extremely close range. Since qcf+A is safe on block anyway, there is little reason to bother hitconfirming before the special.
- With the input buffer of KOFXIII getting cl.C f+A xx qcf+A to not come out as cl.C f+A xx dp+A can be a real hassle. Luckily the weird input buffer it is possible to bypass this difficulty. If you input the qcf+A as 2369 (that is: Down, down-forward, forward, up-forward) the qcf+A will always come out.
- K's C dp ender combos work much easier the greater the distance you were from the opponent when launching with qcf+A f+D. Although doing a single cr.B qcf+A f+D qcb+D qcb+D(whiff) dp+C combo is tricky, doing a cr.B cr.B or cl.C f.A combo makes it a lot easier, and the average range you will be doing cr.B qcf+A is not point blank in a real match anyway, so it's worth practicing.
- When in the corner or near it, you can use qcb+B qcb+B instead of D to make the combos slightly easier.
- cr.B cr.B xx qcf+A f+B - (137, 18)
A keepaway combo that isn't very damaging, but it is hit-confirmable and can be mixed in with cancels into b+B for pressure.
- (jump attack) cr.B xx qcf+A f+D qcb+D qcb+D (whiff) dp+C f+B - (289, 37)
- cl.C f+A xx qcf+A f+D qcb+D qcb+D (whiff) dp+C f+B- (340, 44)
Alternatively you can end this combo in dp+A to make it easier, at the cost of a lot of damage. The same trend applies for pretty much all K' combos ending in dp+P.
- (jump attack) cr.B xx qcf+A f+D qcb+BD qcb+K (whiff) dp+C f+B - (357, 31)
- cl.C f+A xx qcf+A f+D qcb+BD qcb+K (whiff) dp+C f+B- (404, 38)
- (jump attack) cr.B xx qcf+A f+D qcfhcb+AC - (438, 13)
- cl.C f+A xx qcf+A f+D qcfhcb+AC - (489, 20)
All of the combos not involving K's Chain Drive SDM here are corner carry combos. They work anywhere but outside of the corner you may need to delay your dp+A to make sure your second qcb+K will connect properly.
- (jump attack) cr.B xx qcf+A f+D qcb+D qcb+D (whiff) dp+A (1 hit) (DC) qcb+D qcb+D (whiff) dp+C f+D' - (357, 31)
- cl.C f+A xx qcf+A f+D qcb+D qcb+D (whiff) dp+A (1 hit) (DC) qcb+D qcb+D (whiff) dp+C f+D - (404, 38)
You may need to delay your dp+A to make sure the opponent is low enough to get hit by qcb+D with these combos, same for the rest of them. 1 Bar
- (jump attack) cr.B xx qcf+A f+D qcb+BD qcb+K (whiff) dp+A (1 hit) (DC) qcb+D qcb+D (whiff) dp+C f+D - (441, 41)
- cl.C f+A xx qcf+A f+D qcb+BD qcb+K (whiff) dp+A (1 hit) (DC) qcb+D qcb+D (whiff) dp+C f+D - (482, 48)
- (jump attack) cr.B xx qcf+A f+D qcb+BD qcb+K (whiff) dp+A (1 hit) (DC) qcb+BD qcb+K (whiff) dp+C f+D - (501, 35)
- cl.C f+A xx qcf+A f+D qcb+BD qcb+K (whiff) dp+A (1 hit) (DC) qcb+D qcb+D (whiff) dp+C f+D - (538, 42)
- (jump attack) cr.B xx qcf+A f+D qcb+D qcb+D (whiff) dp+A (1 hit) (SC) qcfhcb+AC - (527, 23)
- cl.C f+A xx qcf+A f+D qcb+D qcb+D (whiff) dp+A (1 hit) (SC) qcfhcb+AC - (572, 30)
K's Chain Drive super will only connect from a dp+A near the corner, and the dp+A has to be as low as possible to get the followup after he throws his sunglasses to actually hit. You can input the super cancel from dp+A to qcfhcb+AC as forward, down, down forward, forward A, down, down back, back AC (6236A 214AC).
- (jump attack) cr.B xx qcf+A f+D qcb+BD qcb+K (whiff) dp+A (1 hit) (SC) qcfhcb+AC - 595, 17
- cl.C f+A xx qcf+A f+D qcb+BD qcb+K (whiff) dp+A (1 hit) (SC) qcfhcb+AC - 636, 24
- cl.C f+A (HD) cl.C f+A xx qcf+A f+D qcb+D qcb+D (whiff) [dp+A (1 hit) (HDC) qcb+D qcb+D (whiff)] x4 dp+A (1 hit) (HDC) qcf+C (input dp+A qcf+C as forward, down, down forward, forward A, hold forward, C) f+D f+A dp+C f+D - 629, 50
- cl.C f+A (HD) cl.C f+A xx qcf+A f+D qcb+D qcb+D (whiff) [dp+A (1 hit) (HDC) qcb+D qcb+D (whiff)] x4 dp+A (1 hit) (HDC) qcf+C (input dp+A qcf+C as forward, down, down forward, forward A, hold forward, C) f+D f+A qcfhcb+P - 749, 32
- cl.C f+A (HD) cl.C f+A xx qcf+A f+D qcb+D qcb+D (whiff) [dp+A (1 hit) (HDC) qcb+D qcb+D (whiff)] x4 dp+A (1 hit) (HDC) qcf+C (input dp+A qcf+C as forward, down, down forward, forward A, hold forward, C) f+D f+A qcfhcb+AC - 856, 32
This is pretty much THE K' HD combo. It does insane damage for the cost, very important to learn. Using more bars after this is mostly only really a good idea if you'll kill them or it's their last char.
- cl.C f+A (HD) cl.C f+A xx qcf+A f+D qcb+BD qcb+K (whiff) [dp+A (1 hit) (HDC) qcb+D qcb+D (whiff)] x4 dp+A (1 hit) (HDC) qcf+C (input dp+A qcf+C as forward, down, down forward A, hold forward, C) f+D f+A qcfhcb+AC - 912, 32
Using more than 3 bars is not recommended. However you can do so if you really need to squeeze out that damage, in which case you will merely be adding in qcb+BD's into your HD loop as is appropriate. Make sure you have at least 2 bars left at the end to do the SDM! At max you can do an additional 3, which will net you an exactly 1000 damage combo, which is 100%.