The King of Fighters XIII/King
In a nutshell
King is one of the more zoning characters in XIII due to her strong normals, but she has the tools to press the advantage on a knockdown. Her jump-ins now more relevant from a hop, her hitconfirms are easy, and with meter she has some of the strongest antiair options. Overall King requires a good knowledge of controlling space with normals, the caution to apply passive-aggressive rushdown, and solid blocking fundamentals to find a way out of enemy rushdown.
- Standing Light Punch - () - Standard anti-air jab against a hop. No longer will hit crouching opponents other than Raiden and Daimon. Worth occasionally canceling into a Venom Strike ( + ) upon a successful hit.
- Standing Light Kick - () - A standing kick to the shin that reaches further than her crouching light kick while being cancellable at that. Having this normal without needing close proximity ups King's offense and defense. It serves as her fastest and longest ranged poke that hits crouchers, while also being good on the attack due to its speed, range, cancel-ability, and forces the opponent to block low. Adds another hit into her low hitconfirm series and helps against crouching opponents outside the range of her crouching normals. A fine addition.
- Standing Heavy Punch - () - A beefy horizontal punch with good range and speed. Infamous for being superb in King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match, this move has the same application as ever. A great preventive anti-air, as well as a great anti-air if spaced so that you hit the opponent with King's fist. Also a strong part of her ground game being a quick, long poke. However it isn't a normal to throw out haplessly due to its long recovery and most importantly it can be crouched and punished with lows. Essentially a slower, but buffed standing light punch.
- Close Heavy Punch - (Close ) - A standing uppercut that's good to mix up your blockstrings with occasionally instead of going with the two hit Close Heavy Kick. More notable its application as an anti-air by running under an opponent as they're jumping and tagging them from below. While King has a good Crouching Heavy Punch, the close version is faster and has a taller hitbox. Another application you may want to use this move is for throw pressure. If your throw connects, you toss the opponent toward the corner, if they block or the throw doesn't come out King should perform a Close Heavy Punch which is safe and would also catch a jump attempt. If too far for a throw, Standing Heavy Punch would come out which could still hit the opponent.
- Standing Heavy Kick - () - A high kick that comes out a little slower than Standing Heavy Punch, but covers a higher horizontal angle as well as a longer range. There's a sort of sweet spot near the end of her leg that can hit crouching opponents making it a good poke when spaced far, another preventive anti-air, and an anti-air for situations that other normals can't reach. Requires some space to work with though due to the longer startup and heavy recovery.
- Close Heavy Kick - (Close ) - A two-hitting high kick and King's most common heavy combo starter as it gives you enough time to hit confirm into a combo or blockstring. The hitbox is large enough to be a good anti-air if it comes out instead of Standing Heavy Kick. However its throw application isn't always as strong as Close Heavy Punch. The player risks throwing the opponent out of the corner, or if the opponent jumps and get anti-aired, the opponent could potentially land and punish King's second kick for whiffing.
- Crouching Light Punch - ( + ) - Pretty basic Crouching Light Punch. While it won't be used in combos anymore due to Standing Light Kick taking its place as a cancelable normal (as well as hitting low), it serves as a cancelable normal for up close whereas crouching light kick is uncancelable. Not that noteworthy at first, but good to keep in mind for frametraps or guard breaks.
- Crouching Light Kick - ( + ) - Standard Crouching Light Kick that can't be canceled but has a normal reach. It's main use is for chaining into hitconfirms or pressuring the opponent with lows.
- Crouching Heavy Punch - ( + ) - A strong 'Mexican Upper' crouching anti-air uppercut. It has a big vertical hitbox making it great to anti-air jumps, but the horizontal range is poor which will lead to it losing if used against hops or jump-ins spaced so that the tip if their hitbox touches you. Don't whiff it, and know when a horizontal anti-air is needed.
- Crouching Heavy Kick - ( + ) - A really pitiful uncancelable sweep with poor range. Crouching Light Kick has the same range with better risk/reward anyway, so don't expect to use this often.
- Blowback Attack - ( + ) - King does a sobat that kicks straight out at waist level but doesn't go over lows too well. Has a lot of startup as all blowback attacks do, but carries with it a good range and beefy hitbox. Serves as a "big" meaty that should stuff all moves that aren't actually invulnerable at startup, and can be canceled on hit or whiff. Not the best move in the poking game since it can be jumped over or beaten by a faster move, but good on the passive offense and works well as a frametrap. It's a move that traditionally works well as a meaty on okizeme to blockstring into Venom Strike ( + ). It typically is able to beat out most reversal attacks from a safe distance, but due to the introduction of EX Desperation Moves that have better invulnerability compared to normal Desperation Moves, and that King is now able to do better jump-ins and hitconfirm combos; King has better options to perform on okizeme such as a safe-jump/hop and set up for an empty hop mix-up.
- Jumping Light Punch - (Air ) - A jumping punch that hits less deep than Jumping Heavy Punch, lacks range as an air-to-air, and should only be used if looking for less hit-stun from a jump-in.
- Jumping Light Kick - (Air ) - A high side kick that appears to aim diagonally upward but really only goes horizontally. Nevertheless it's her best air-to-air that comes out fast and beats many aerial moves cleanly.
- Jumping Heavy Punch - (Air ) - A downward-angled punch with about average hit-stun, making it a viable jump-in. The horizontal range is shorter than Jumping Heavy Kick, but it covers an area closer in to her body, is cancelable, and extends her vulnerable hitbox out less further than Jumping Heavy Kick.
- Jumping Heavy Kick - (Air ) - A downward-angled kick with some reach to it. In previous games the startup was so fast it could be used as an instant overhead but it made for a poor jump-in. Now it handles more like a standard jumping heavy normal and can even cross up opponents. King's get-to vertical jumping normal, it carries poor horizontal range so don't use it to keep opponents from coming closer to you. For that King has...
- Jumping Blowback Attack - (Air + ) - A wheeling kick that arcs from her head then downward. This move traditionally has two hitboxes; the initial higher hitbox that works as a beefy air-to-air, and then the lower hitbox that works as a jump-in while also commanding a horizontal range that can hit approaching opponents. Simply hopping forward or neutrally and using this move both anti-airs opponents should they approach you aerially, then controls the lower space with the downward arc. Timing is important with this move as using it early from a jump or hyper hop controls the air space well with both hitboxes, but the active frame will run out leaving you vulnerable if the opponent reads this and crouches. Using it late gives you a large frame advantage on block, but gives more time for the opponent to meet you with a faster air-to-air, so be aware which areas you want to control.
- Slide Kick - ( + ) - King slides about 1/4 the screen's distance. This is a swiss army knife of command normals, where to start? First let's note that the player can always combo into this move from any of King's cancelable normals and end the combo with whatever special move or Desperation Move you like. Easy combo filler and works in blockstrings; no need to delay cancel this move ever as you'd just lose the cancelable property and both versions hit low. In fact there's a trick to do the opposite; by kara/whiff canceling King's Standing Light Kick into the slide it becomes cancelable. Like any slide in a 2-D Fighting Game if spaced properly, the slide becomes a real annoying move to deal with being safe on block.
- Another great use is to take advantage of King's small hitbox during the duration of the slide to your advantage. Non-grounded projectiles (Athena's Psychoball ( + ), Takuma's Koken ( + ) can be slid under with proper timing, and the player can even anti-air opponent's air-to-ground attempts by sliding under the opponent's jumping normal attacks and meaty the opponent upon landing. There is no trip guard in KOF, meaning if you see an aerial normal that doesn't hit deep and low enough to hit her out of the slide, the player can anti-air.
- There are a few main weaknesses to watch out for when using this move. First the startup is slow and you can be hit out of this period easily. Second, the deeper you hit the opponent with an uncanceled slide, the worse your frame advantage afterward will be. Finally remember that strong, downward reaching jumping normals can hit you out of the slide which will lead to eating a full combo.
- Hook Buster - ( / + / [while close]) - A cool looking throw where King tosses the opponent about 1/2 the screen's length for a hard knockdown. You can use the distance gained to make more breathing space between your opponent, or immediately super jump at them for a safe jump.
- Trap Shot - ( + ) - King performs a backflip and kicks forward. On hit the opponent is trapped in a multi-hitting auto-combo (commonly referred to as "Ranbu"), on block or whiff she recoils from her flip which can be punished. Despite having a big hitbox and being a DP motion, this move is a terrible anti-air due to the slow startup, lack of invulnerability and because it deals no damage from trading. However it's good in her combos, most notably in her corner loops and Drive Cancel/Hyper Drive combos as otherwise use Tornado Kick ( + ) as an ender.
- - ( + + ) - Here we go! Improved startup speed, invulnerability, a big hitbox, and solid damage. While it's not that notable in combos the main draw of this move is that it's a great reversal and superb anti-air. With one meter King actually has the threat of a reversal, and a really good one at that. The hitbox reaches out far in front of her and stretches out tall. The only possible gap right above her head can be covered by her Surprise Rose DM.
- Venom Strike - ( + ) - King's signature fireball from The Art of Fighting series. The version moves slower therefore stays on screen longer and has better recovery, where the version is faster. The projectile travels above the ground which means that certain characters have ways to lower their hitbox to pass below it (such as Iori's Ya Otome ( + ) Desperation Move, or half of Chin's move set). With that in mind also note that the projectile isn't too big and the startup gives the opponent time to easily jump over the Venom Strike and punish King, especially when telegraphed from fullscreen. Sounds pretty cool right? Actually, the King player wants the opponent to jump in order to counter the approach with the appropriate antiair and start King's offense. Once the opponent thinks twice about jumping in, Venom Strikes become more threatening as they inhibit many grounded approaches. While not too menacing from fullscreen's length, the player can use it as a jump bait and go from there. At mid range the threat of the opponent eating a poke such as Standing Heavy Punch increases which opens more leeway to toss projectiles. Up close the player can mix in Venom Strike into blockstrings and frametraps, leaving room for punish only if the opponent does a reversal or performs a Guard Cancel Roll at the right time.
- Air Venom Strike - ( + ) - King's aerial momentum is halted and she throws out a Venom Strike identical to the grounded version. The startup requires more time to become airborne, even a 'Tiger Knee' Air Venom Strike carries extra startup. What's more is that the recovery is significantly different on this aerial version. The version drops King straight down from where she was hovering; the version sends King flying backwards until she reaches the ground. Both recovery 'air times' add further vulnerability to this move. While is may seem like a good idea to use the risk isn't worthwhile often. The 'Tiger Knee' height version is thrown at about most characters' head height which still can limit forward movement, but from this height the projectile can be crouched or worse as it opens more room for ways to escape underneath the hitbox. While it could be used to anti-air the startup doesn't warrant it being reliable and King already has numerous good options to cover anti-airs. If the player is to be cautious throwing grounded Venom Strikes, then the aerial version should be used significantly much less sparingly. Making good use of this move requires keeping it inside of combos, or a strong setup.
- Tornado Kick '95 - ( + ) - King flies forward while performing two spinning kicks. The version of this move travels roughly one character length short of 1/2 screen and allows for more follow-ups in combos but when used on its own it will whiff on crouching characters (except for Daimon and Raiden). The version travels about one character length passed 1/2 screen and when used alone will hit crouching opponents. Taking into account both properties it it possible for the player to control a large segment of the screen and the hop space with a Tornado Kick. The key to using it in this fashion is to space is so that if the opponent blocks the tip of the second kick, otherwise the opponent can punish the move on block. The player will most often combo into the 'B' version from King's Slide Kick both midscreen and in the corner in order to take advantage of the extra frame advantage on hit which sets up for more juggles or reset opportunities.
- Double Strike - ( + ) - King's old Art of Fighting DM of which she kicks not one but two pink projectiles out. They travel about as fast as her EX Venom Strike, only dealing more damage and having DM projectile priority. While it may seem a little redundant to have both EX Venom Strike and Double Strike which cost the same amount of meter, EX Venom Strike is more of a combo extending tool where Double Strike typically ends a combo. Works as a fast fullscreen punish or to plow through opponent's projectiles, in addition to being able to combo off of King's Slide Kick off her hitconfirms.
- Surprise Rose - ( + ) - King jumps straight upward then descends downward at a 45° angle. On hit she goes into an aerial auto-combo/ranbu where she rides an invisible bike on the opponent's face and ends with a kick that sends the enemy flying away into a soft knockdown. Works as a reversal and anti-air DM on wakeup, but remember that King flys up with absolutely no forward movement, meaning for it to connect the opponent has to be right on top of King. If too far away or if the Desperation Move is blocked, prepare for the opponent to land free damage. The odd startup movement limits its use in combos outside of the corner, but a player should use Double Strike for midscreen Desperation Move damage anyhow if anything.
- - ( + + ) - King jumps upward with more forward movement, meaning the range as a reversal and anti-air is improved. The startup is noticeably faster which allows it to combo in situations where no other move of hers would. On hit King lands more hits and deals more damage. Best saved for combos, as this is the most damaging move a player will realistically land as King.
- Venom Shot - ( + + ) - King kicks a spray of projectiles that fly forth and burst like champagne bubbles. The startup of this Neomax isn't much to brag about, but even if it was fast there are other problems with it. The projectiles scatter fast, covering a 90° area from below her legs to in front of her face. In a combo all of the projectiles don't all hit which wastes damage and meter. Even as a fullscreen punish little would hit and using Double Strike would be much more meter-efficient. In short there isn't anything good about this Neomax from utility to damage to efficiency. At least it looks pretty damn sexy. Frothy even.
Tips and Tricks
0 Bar 0% Drive
- cr.B cr.B st.B df+D xx hcb+B, far C
- (corner only) cr.B cr.B st.B df+D xx hcb+B, dp+K - 221, 24
- cl.D df+D xx hcb+B, st.C - 227, 37
- (corner only) cl.D df+D xx hcb+B, dp+K - 250, 30
0 Bar 50% Drive
- (corner only) cr.B cr.A df+D xx hcb+B, dp+K (DC) hcb+B, hcb+D - 294, 52
- cl.D xx dp+K (DC) hcb+B, hcb+D - 286, 40
- (corner only) cl.D df+D xx hcb+B, dp+K (DC) hcb+B, hcb+D - 323, 58
0 Bar 100% Drive
- (corner only) [cr.B cr.A df+D] or [cl.D df+D] (HD) cr.C df+D xx [dp+K (HDC) hcb+B] x 4, hcb+D - 441, 40 / 470, 46
1 Bar 0% Drive
- cr.B cr.A df+D xx qcf+BD, hcb+D - 291, 28
- cl.D df+D xx qcf+BD, hcb+D - 320, 34
- (corner only) [cr.B cr.A df+D] or [cl.D df+D] xx qcf+BD, qcf+B, hcb+D - 333, 34 / 362, 40
1 Bar 50% Drive
- (corner only) [cr.B cr.A df+D] or [cl.D df+D] xx hcb+B, dp+K xx qcf qcf+P - 321, 24 / 350, 30
1 Bar 100% Drive
- (corner only) [cr.B cr.A df+D] or [cl.D df+D] (HD) cr.C df+D xx [dp+K (HDC) hcb+B] x 4, qcf+K, qcf qcf+P - 530, 30 / 559, 36
2 Bar 0% Drive
- cr.B cr.A df+D xx qcf+BD, qcf qcf+K - 360, 12
- (corner only) [cr.B cr.A df+D] or [cl.D df+D] xx hcb+B, qcf qcf+AC - 402, 24 / 431, 30
2 Bar 50% Drive
- (corner only) [cr.B cr.A df+D] or [cl.D df+D] xx hcb+B, dp+K (DC) hcb+B, hcb+D, qcf qcf+AC - 509, 52 / 538, 58
2 Bar 100% Drive
- (corner only) [cr.B cr.A df+D] or [cl.D df+D] (HD) cr.C df+D xx [dp+K (HDC) hcb+B] x 4, hcb+D, qcf qcf+AC - 656, 40 / 685, 46
3 Bar 0% Drive
- (corner only) [cr.B cr.A df+D] or [cl.D df+D] xx qcf+BD, qcf+B, hcb+D, qcf qcf+AC - 571, 34 / 600, 40
3 Bar 50% Drive
- (corner only) h.C, cr.A df+D xx qcf+BD, qcf+B, dp+K (DC) hcb+B, hcb+D, qcf qcf+AC - 647, 50
3 Bar 100% Drive
- (corner only) [cr.B cr.A df+D] or [cl.D df+D] (HD) cr.C df+D xx [dp+K (HDC) hcb+B] x 4, qcf qcf+K, qcf qcf+AC - 736, 24 / 765, 30
- [cr.B cr.A df+D] or [cl.D df+D] (HD) cr.A df+D xx hcb+B, dp+BD (HDC) hcb+BD, dp+BD (HDC) hcb+B, dp+K (HDC) hcb+B, hcb+D - 417, 28 / 446, 34
5 Bar 100% Drive
- [cr.B cr.A df+D] or [cl.D df+D] (HD) cr.A df+D xx hcb+B, dp+BD (HDC) hcb+BD, dp+BD (HDC) hcb+B, dp+K (HDC) hcb+B, hcb+D, qcf qcf+AC - 632, 28 / 661, 34
- King plays more of a passive aggressive offense in that she doesn't have a really threatening high/low mixup like Kyo or K', but she makes up for that in blockstring pressure and keeping the opponent cornered where her combos hurt the most.
- Her basic blockstring of cr.B, cr.B, st.B df.D xx Venom Strike works well against opponents with no meter, but Slide Kick (df.D) can be Guard Cancel Rolled and punished if canceled into Venom Strike. If Slide Kick is not canceled, the attack will be punished because the player will stop too close to the opponent. The solution is to use this series just enough to be able to condition the opponent to anticipate it, then the player may mix-up and vary blockstrings to bait out Guard Cancel Rolls.
- Once cornered, King has the threat of her Hyper Drive combo, extra damage from all of her combos, less room for the opponent to space their hop/jump making it easier to anti-air, and easier setups for guardbreaks.
- King's Jumping Heavy Kick now has more startup and hitstun, allowing you to use it earlier in a jump while still having time to combo afterward. Note that it can't be used as an instant overhead anymore.
- King has the normals to control the hop space in front of her, tools to anti-air full jumps, good air-to-airs, and then Venom Strike (qcf+K) to control the ground.
- Venom Strike is easy to jump over if throw out predictably - however, because of this it is easy to bait the opponent into jumping, and that's where you use the appropriate anti-air to hit them. Once they respect your air control and become cautious of jumping, you can use Venom Strike to control the ground space and force them to deal with it another way.
- Standing Heavy Punch serves as an anti-air, preventive jump check, and long poke against standing opponents. However it will completely whiff on crouching opponents and loses to lows.
- Crouching Heavy Punch is King's best normal against full jumps. If the opponent out-spaces you or uses a jump-in from a well-spaced angle, you may have to adjust to a different move. Standing Heavy Kick's tip covers a unique angle that Standing Heavy Punch may miss, and it's worth noting that her Slide Kick (df.D) can completely go under and meaty many jumping normals. Meeting the opponent in the air from below Jumping Light Kick usually wins, and Jumping Blowback Attack can serve this purpose although the startup is slower. When in doubt, EX Trap Shot (dp+BD) will beat everything clean.
- Other than getting hopped on, King has a 'weak spot' just outside her Crouching Light Kick range. Her sweep is slow and short and loses to hops and Slide Kick (df.D) is too slow and would be unsafe from this range and Standing Heavy Punch or Kick would whiff if the opponent is crouching here. Blowback Attack can help cover this gap, as well as Venom Strike (qcf+K) or taking a risk to move forward to do a Standing or Crouching Light Kick. Be aware of this range.