The King of Fighters XIII/Kula
In a nutshell
Quite the fan favorite, Kula makes her return in the latest installment of KOF. Originally designed as the anti-K' in KOF 2000, Kula shares several "sister" moves and normals to her counterpart K'. She's a very strong character to have on point or anchor due to her fast meter building and that she doesn't rely on HD combos for large damage output. Her corner carry combos and easy hit-confirms make her strong in any place on your team. Kula's game plan revolves around a mixture of rushdown and smartly spaced pokes, as her poke-game is extremely good.
aka sweet icy love
- Standing B moves forward more, so it has more reach than in Arcade.
- Slider Shoot (df+B) has faster recovery.
- EX Ray Spin (qcb+BD) no longer has invincibility.
- EX Ray Spin > Sit (qcb+BD > f+D) has faster recovery.
- EX Diamond Edge (qcf qcf+AC) has faster startup.
- Freeze Execution (hcb hcb+AC) has an improved hitbox and faster startup.
- EX Counter Shell (qcb+AC) has a larger hitbox.
- Standing Light Punch () - Standard quick jab that isn't too useful compared to Standing Light Kick anti-airs hops better, reaches further, and hits crouchers.
- Standing Light Kick () - Fast poke with far range that cancels into specials. Kula's hitbox is angled high enough to anti-air short hops while also being able to connect against crouching opponents. The player can walk forward while pressing to pin down the opponent with the threat of canceling into Diamond Breath ( + ) to punish counterpokes, or bait a sweep which can be hyper hopped over and punished with Kula's great Jumping Heavy Punch. Highly abusable.
- Standing Heavy Punch () - Much less useful than in previous games. Kula punches with a long, frozen pike that can be canceled into specials, but the startup is very slow and the attack moves Kula forward before becoming active, furthering the chance of being hit out of the attack. The range is long, but Standing Light Kick is an overall safer and better move in comparison to this.
- Close Heavy Punch (Close ) - Kula's fastest grounded normal. Hits twice, although the second hit deals a small amount of damage. Players can instead cancel the first hit into One Inch ( + ) for better damage while having the same combo potential. Fills the role as combo starter, punish commencer, and blockstring creator.
- Standing Heavy Kick () - Reaches somewhat far, but isn't very well suited as an anti-air despite its looks.
- Close Heavy Kick (Close ) - Twice-hitting high kick outclassed by Close Heavy Punch's quick speed. Close Heavy Kick could be used as a vertical anti-air, or when intentionally creating more gaps in blockstrings, as otherwise Close Heavy Punch is more reliable.
- Crouching Light Punch ( + ) - Silly upward kick with almost no use as Kula has better anti-airs (including Crouching Light Kick) and this attack can't be chain canceled.
- Crouching Light Kick ( + ) - Fast low kick that confirms well and creates the basis of Kula's high/low mixups along with Jumping Heavy Punch. Chains into itself and Standing Light Kick, both of which are cancelable. One of the best Crouching Light Kicks in the game.
- Crouching Heavy Punch ( + ) - Kula stabs diagonally upward with solidified hair, though the horizontal hitbox does not extend nearly as far as it appears to. The bulk of the reach is vertical, so treat this move like a crouching uppercut when anti-airing.
- Crouching Heavy Kick ( + ) - Basic cancelable sweep. Reaches further than Crouching Light Kick and causes heavier blockstun which will in turn create tighter blockstrings when canceling. Less damaging tripguard anti-air, but a solid one nonetheless.
- Blowback Attack ( + ) - Kula sticks out a giant ice ball from her hand which can anti-air, although setting up the correct spacing while reacting fast enough is difficult. Not too great in comparison to her other normal options, though this could find use in the occasional blockstring.
- Jumping Light Punch (Air ) - A smaller Jumping Heavy Punch. Alright for when trying to mix up blockstun from a jump-in, but harder to combo off of.
- Jumping Light Kick (Air ) - Horizontal air-to-air kick with agile startup. Kula's fastest and most reliable air-to-air attack, similar to Iori's Jumping Light Kick. Wont connect against crouching characters and can be punished by a low attack if whiffed.
- Jumping Heavy Punch (Air ) - Kula's main air-to-ground attack for opening up the opponent from a close range. The hitbox is deeply vertical, which allows this attack to hit on the way up on a hop, like a slower instant overhead, while allowing the player to recover possibly at neutral or with the advantage depending on the timing. This can hit very early from jump-ins, from angles where most jumping attacks can't yet hit the grounded opponent, and the attack causes heavy hitstun which allows the player to go wild between Jumping Heavy Punch and Crouching Light Kick for fast high/low mixups.
- Jumping Heavy Kick (Air ) - A more horizontal air-to-ground attack that reaches out further than Jumping Heavy Punch. Best for approaching the opponent from spacings where Jumping Heavy Punch lacks the added range to hit the opponent. However, since the hitbox doesn't reach as vertically deep, this attack is susceptible to tripguard and run-under anti-airs.
- Jumping Blowback Attack (Air + ) - Although this attack is a fully wheeling kick, the active hitbox only exists horizontally in front of Kula and downward. This can be used as an air-to-air if the player has enough time to get the attack out, plus it works as an air-to-ground approach. Since this is a Blowback Attack, it can be blocked when crouching which limits this move's use when trying to overwhelm the opponent with immediate high and low mixups, instead resulting in more frame advantage to set up better frametrap followups.
- One Inch ( + ) - When done alone, the startup time is longer than when canceled into. Crumples the opponent on hit which can easily be visually confirmed. A very delayed frametrap option that pays off quite well if it hits.
- One Inch (canceled-into) ( + ) - When canceled into, Kula's One Inch punch combos from Heavy attacks and can be canceled into specials. While her Close Heavy normals hit twice, their second hits deals less damage so comboing into ( + ) nets higher damage.
- Fills the basic role as a combo extender from Heavy attacks.
- Slider Shoot ( + ) - A.K.A. 'Stardust Shooter', Kula rides a frozen Slip n' Slide that hits low while moving her forward halfscreen with a reduced vulnerable hitbox. The slide's startup allows it to combo from Light attacks to score a consistent midscreen knockdown, as ( + ) can fail to cause a knockdown against crouching characters.
- Unsafe if blocked. A deep slide can be punished by a Heavy normal while a distanced slide may only be punishable by near-instant attacks.
- Can go underneath some air projectiles.
- Will slide underneath the following air projectiles:
- Andy's qcb+A
- Ash's [b]f+A and [b]f+C
- Athena's qcb+A, qcb+C, and qcb+AC (EX)
- King's qcb+B and qcb+D, and qcb+AC (EX)
- Robert's qcf+A, qcf+C, and qcf+AC (EX)
- Saiki's qcf+A
- Takuma's qcf+A and qcf+C
- Will NOT slide underneath the following air projectiles:
- Andy's qcb+C and qcb+BD (EX)
- Ash's [b]f+AC (EX)
- K's qcf+A~f+B, qcf+C~f+B, and qcf+AC~f+B
- Kensou's qcb+A, qcb+C, and qcf+AC (EX)
- Mai's qcf+A, qcf+C, and qcf+AC (EX)
- Takuma's qcf+AC (EX)
- Will slide underneath the following air projectiles:
- Crow Bites ( + ) - The frozen sibling of K's molten 'DP'. First off, the version isn't invulnerable though it can be used to anti-air if activated early. Her strong version has slight startup invulnerability and carries her further horizontally on the ground before flying upward. However, first hit can sometimes fail to connect against crouching players which results in the attack being unsafe on hit, so Kula players generally use Slider Shoot ( + ) to end simple grounded combos.
- Diamond Breath ( + ) - Kula brings her hand up to her mouth and breathes a frigid dust. This is generally safe and powerful tool to end blockstrings and lock the opponent down, and it can be confirmed on hit into additional damage. Attacking Kula out of the startup can be difficult, especially from the max range of her ice breath. However, breath blockstrings are punishable by Guard Cancel Rolling the canceled normal so one must avoid being too predictable with this move.
- + starts faster and can be comboed into from Heavy normals or canceled into from a Light Kick to form a more tight blockstring, while leaving a large enough gap for the opponent to try to press a button. This version sends the opponent airborne on hit which is easily confirmable into a Ray Spin followup. On block, both players are left at neutral.
- + has a much slower startup and wont combo from Kula's normals. Instead, it will stagger the opponent on hit which allows the Kula player to hyper hop in for a combo, and when blocked this leaves Kula with a large frame advantage. While advantageous on block or hit and longer-range than the light version, the longer startup creates a gap that allows the opponent to more easily escape or punish Kula during the startup.
- Diamond Breath ( + + ) - Combos from Heavy attacks and causes a crumple on hit. If blocked, the player is at a greater advantage than with the breath, and it has a slightly longer reach.
- Counter Shell ( + ) - A tool of multiple functions.
- Counters projectiles and shoots back an ice chunk identical to her Stand ( + ) Ray Spin followup.
- Kula's hand has an active hitbox that causes a hard knockdown. This can be used instead of + to end a juggle combo to achieve a better advantage while losing some damage in comparison.
- Recovers fast enough to be used from fullscreen to quickly build meter on occasions.
- Counter Shell ( + + ) - The physical slash does more damage while a reflected projectile does increased damage on hit.
- Ray Spin ( + ) - Kula's infamous spinning kick, the stuff combo nightmares are made of. When to use a followup or not depends on the situation, though all three possibilities are potentially punishable.
- + travels low to the ground, hits once, and will connect against crouching hitboxes, making it better for starting grounded combos. It combos from directly from Heavy normals and her One Inch punch, though this can also be comboed into from many juggle situations. This is an alternative blockstring ending tool to using Diamond Breath, but Ray Spin leaves Kula at a frame disadvantage which can always be punished by instant grabs, even if canceled into a followup.
- + travels high into the air while having two hits. This can be used to approach the opponent as an air-to-ground attack, though Kula is vulnerable to air-to-airs from this setup. Another weakness is that the opponent can crouch under the first hit, so using this up close is not suggested outside of combos.
- Ray Spin ( + + ) - Combos from Light attacks and is neutral on block. Easy to confirm into to start a corner combo, and isn't punishable by command grabs if blocked. The spinning arc behaves slightly differently which affects when it should be used in juggles.
- Stand (Ray Spin, then + ) - Projectile followup that wont combo against a grounded player though it leaves Kula neutral on block. There's a gap between a Ray Spin and her Stand followup which can be punished with command grabs or invulnerable moves, though otherwise it creates a solid frametrap.
- Combos against airborne opponents and allows the player to continue hitting the opponent afterward.
- Sit (Ray Spin, then + ) - Kula follows up with a slide that launches the opponent on hit. This makes the slide the better combo choice against grounded players. Just as with Slider Shoot, this hits low and is unsafe on block.
- Diamond Edge ( + ) - Frigid Power Geyser. The pillar of ice can anti-air, though the DM startup is lengthy and ( + + ) would be more reliable. Most combos into this DM use a Super Cancel eke out a little more damage at the end.
- Freeze Execution ( + + - Diana flies out of Kula and travels horizontally across the screen. On hit, she launches the opponent and Kula will spew out a screen-filling ice storm. Unlike EX Freeze Execution, this DM can fully connect from anywhere on the screen although the startup isn't as fast.
- Neo Freeze Execution ( + + - Similar hit detection as Freeze Execution, only Kula really makes it rain. Overall, this an improved Freeze Execution that can anti-air or punish from fullscreen.
Tips and Tricks
Kula's combos involving hitconfirming from cr.B's may be easier to do with less cr.Bs or opting out the st.B, but with the recent change to the longer range of her st.B in console version, the most optimal damage combos are listed. However, if you aren't spaced correctly, you will not be able to land all of the hits, so be aware of when and when you shouldn't use the maximum amount of pokes before hitconfirming.
- cr.B cr.B cr.B st.B xx dp+C - (203, 20)
Basic midscreen combo.
- cl.C f.A xx qcb+B~f+D, dp+C - (266, 34)
Can be combo'd from a jump attack as well, but the f.a may whiff when the jump attack isn't meaty enough.
- cl.C f.A xx qcb+b~f.D, dp+C [SC] qcfx2 A/C - (371, 30)
Simple midscreen super cancel combo
- st.C f.A xx qcb+B~f+D, dp+C (1 hit) [DC] qcb+BD~f+D, dp+C - (367, 42)
Midscreen combo, carries to the corner. You can super cancel the final dp into her super if you have the meter.
- (corner) cr.B cr.B cr.B st.B xx qcb+BD qcb+B dp+C (1 hit) [DC] qcb+D qcb+B~f+B dp+C - (373, 46)
Her main corner combo and DC loop. Learn this. Can be combo'd from a jump-in.
- (corner) st.C f.A xx qcf+AC qcf+C qcb+D qcb+B~f+B dp+C (1 hit) [DC] qcb+D qcb+B~f+B dp+C - 483, 72)
Higher damage corner combo into DC loop.
- cr.B cr.B cr.B st.B xx qcb+BD qcb+B dp+C (1 hit) [DC] qcb+D qcb+B dp+C (1 hit) [DC] qcb+D qcb+b~f+B dp+C - (413, 70)
100% drive cancel corner carry combo from a cr.b hitconfirm.
- st.C f.A xx qcf+AC qcf+C qcb+D qcb+B dp+C (1 hit) [DC] qcb+D qcb+B dp+C (1 hit) [DC] qcb+D qcb+B~f+B dp+C - (515, 92)
100% drive cancel corner carry combo.