The King of Fighters XIII/Leona
In a nutshell
This woman of few words is quite an intense personality. Leona is a character that commands the air space with air throw option selects, great air-to-air normals, and more or less the best air-to-air and air-to-ground Desperation Move in the game. She is supplemented with good grounded normal attacks for aerial control, but she lacks a really deep jump-in attack for hopping pressure compared to rushdown oriented characters. Thus, she is more optimized for good defensive play as well as offensive play in the manner of controlling the opponent's options rather than trying to break their defenses. But in lieu of hopping pressure, she has some devastating instant overhead attacks that combo into special attacks and Desperations Moves for the knockdown (though unsafe on block if she reads the opponent incorrectly.) Leona is a great character that fits with those that really like to zone and space while having a few aces up their sleeves.
- Strike Arch (f+B) has faster startup.
- Baltic Launcher (b~f+P) does less guard crush damage.
- Grand Saber (b~f+K) has slower recovery on block. Leona recovers about even when the heavy version is blocked.
- Moon Slasher (d~u+P) has less pushback on block. All versions (light, heavy, EX) are easier for opponents to punish than in Arcade.
- EX X-Calibur (qcb+AC) comes out faster. It still cannot be comboed from a normal or command normal.
- Heavy V-Slasher (qcf hcb+P) has a different angle; light version goes a short range, heavy goes far. EX version is the same as in Arcade.
- Moon Slasher ( [charge] + ) -
- Grand Saber ( [charge] + ) -
- Baltic Launcher ( [charge] + ) -
- Earring Bakudan ( + ) -
- X-Calibur ( + ) -
Tips and Tricks
- To get the Drive Cancel from d~u+P to b~f+K, input d~u+P as db~ub+P, and then simply hold ub to f+K for b~f+K.
- Leona's cl.D has a longer activation range than cl.C and is marginally faster. As a result, you may end up wanting to use it as a combo starter more than cl.C, which will result in slightly less damage.
- You can add an additional cr.B in the low combos if you are close enough, but it's pretty strict.
- Leona cr.B links into cr.C. You can squeeze some extra damage out with this link, but it's not really that important.
- Instant Overhead (IOH) jA can be done from forward, backward, and neutral hops and hyperhops, lending it more overall versatility and safeness than neutral jump jD as an instant overhead, at the cost of a bit less damage.
- cl.C f+B xx qcb+A - (202, 27)
- cr.B st.B f+B xx qcb+A - (175, 21)
Two easy basic bnbs that will work midscreen.
- IOH j.A xx qcb+A - (97, 11)
- IOH vj.D xx qcb+A - (127, 15)
As previously explained, j.A is overall a safer a more versatile IOH than j.D. Note that air qcb+A does not combo from back hyperhop j.A except in the corner..
- charge b~f+P j.CD (190, 25 - Varies)
Leona's Baltic Launcher is a pretty solid neutral move, and can work to anti air if done early, or as a frametrap. Because it has juggle, you should be following it up with something if it hits. The damage can vary a bit on all of the combos involving them if you anti air, as they may not hit the whole projectile, and depending on the version you use.
- (near corner) charge b~f+P charge b~f+K charge d~u+C (220, 30 - Varies)
A version can only be followed up with this combo if it hits an airborne opponent.
- (corner only) cl.C f+B xx qcb+C, charge d~u+C - (250, 33)
- (corner only) cr.B st.B f+B xx qcb+C, charge d~u+C - (202, 24)
Corner combos for good meterless damage.
- cl.C f+B air qcfhcb+P - (338, 19)
- cr.B st.B f+B air qcfhcb+P - (290, 10)
Leona's basic DM combos. This is very important to learn, as her meterless damage is fairly lacklustre and getting used to using the move in combos will help it feel more natural in IOHs or air to airs.
- (near corner) (cr.B) cr.C xx charge b~f+BD charge d~u+C - (304, 15)
Corner carry combo.
- IOH j.A qcf hcb+P - (249, 3)
- IOH vj.D qcb hcf+P (279, 7)
Now this is why Leona's IOH's are so scary. Learn to utilize these, but try to learn to hitconfirm as well.
- charge b~f+P air qcfhcb+P - (280, 20 - Varies)
- (near corner) charge b~f+P charge b~f+K air qcfhcb+P (300, 30 - Varies)
More damaging juggle followups to Baltic. The A version on the corner combo will only work if it hits an airborne opponent.
- qcb+K qcbhcf+K - (265, 8)
Leona's Grenade throw is difficult to combo off effectively if it's non EX, so Slash Saber is your best chance if you can react in time.
- qcb+BD j.CD - (196, 8)
EX Grenade throw comes out extremely fast, so is overall a more useful zoning tool, but if you can't convert the use of it into a super it's not really a good idea to use it.
- cl.C f+B air qcfhcb+AC - (423, 19)
- cr.B st.B f+B air qcfhcb+AC - (375, 10)
- charge b~f+P qcfhcb+AC - (320, 20 - Varies)
- (near corner) (cr.B) cr.C xx charge b~f+BD air qcfhcb+P - (423, 7)
You may prefer this combo for it's corner carry potential.
- qcb+BD air qcfhcb+P - (329, 0)
EX grenade throw juggles for much longer, meaning you should be using V-Slasher to followup instead if you can.
- (near corner) (cr.B) cr.C xx charge b~f+BD air qcfhcb+AC - (508, 7)
Your best possible combo without using drive.
- qcb+BD air qcfhcb+AC - (426, 0)
This is a LOT of damage for getting hit by a fireball, can help shift the momentum of a match very quickly.
- (near corner) cr.B cr.A charge d~u+C (DC) charge b~f+D, charge d~u+C (248, 28)
This combo works at roughly 1/3 of the screen distance to the corner.
- (corner only) cl.C f+B qcb+C, charge d~u+C (DC) charge b~f+D charge d~u+C(344, 45)
- (corner only) cr.B st.B f+B qcb+C, charge d~u+C (DC) charge b~f+D charge d~u+C (296, 36)
These combos are pretty useful but overall it's usually worth just saving the HD if you can't use meter with them too.
- cl.C f+B xx qcb+A (SC) qcfhcb+P - (368, 27)
- cr.B st.B f+B xx qcb+A (SC) qcfhcb+P - (330, 18)
The damage increase on these combos from the non drive ones is fairly insignificant, but if you need the damage midscreen, it's worth knowing.
- cr.B cr.A xx charge d~u+C (DC) charge b~f+BD, charge b~f+D - (325, 20)
This is mostly a corner carry combo, as it will move the opponent a fair distance to the corner. If you are close enough, make sure to use the following combos instead.
- (near corner) (cr.B) cr.C xx charge b~f+BD charge d~u+C (DC) charge b~f+K, charge d~u+C - (405, 27)
- (near corner) cr.B cr.A xx charge d~u+C (DC) charge b~f+K, air qcfhcb+P - (360, 20)
- (corner only) cl.C f+B qcb+C, charge d~u+C (DC) charge b~f+D air qcfhcb+P (454, 39)
- (corner only) cr.B st.B f+B qcb+C, charge d~u+C (DC) charge b~f+D air qcfhcb+P (408, 30)
These combos are basically Leona's core meter+drive bnbs, and are what you're mostly saving up for. Very important to be able to do. To input the V-Slasher super fast enough, input the qcfhcb while still grounded, in the animation of the charge b~f+D, then roll to up back and press punch. This tiger knees the input, making it much easier.
- IOH j.A xx air qcb+A (SC) qcf hcb+P - (300, 11)
- IOH vj.D xx air qcb+A (SC qcb hcf+P (325, 15)
Another instance of only worth using if you are in need of damage desperately.
- cl.C f+B xx qcb+A (SC) qcfhcb+AC - (457, 27)
- cr.B st.B f+B xx qcb+A (SC) qcfhcb+AC - (409, 18)
You know the drill, spend the HD if you really need the damage, otherwise avoid.
- cr.B cr.A xx charge d~u+C (DC) charge b~f+BD, qcbhcf+K - (438 14)
A corner carry combo that also does pretty good damage. This is one of the very few practical uses of Leona's Slash Saber DM, as the move does less damage than V-Slasher. Avoid using this if near the corner for this reason.
- (near corner) (cr.B) cr.C xx charge b~f+BD charge d~u+C (DC) charge b~f+K, air qcfhcb+P - (525, 21)
- (near corner) cr.B cr.A xx charge d~u+C (DC) charge b~f+K, air qcfhcb+AC - (439, 20)
- (corner only) cl.C f+B qcb+C, charge d~u+C (DC) charge b~f+D air qcfhcb+AC (523, 39)
- (corner only) cr.B st.B f+B qcb+C, charge d~u+C (DC) charge b~f+D air qcfhcb+AC (475, 30)
Another set of important combos.
- IOH j.A xx air qcb+A (SC) qcf hcb+AC - (391, 11)
- IOH vj.D xx air qcb+A (SC) qcbhcf+AC (416, 15)
You guessed it, save the bar if you can.
- (near corner) (cr.B) cr.C xx charge b~f+BD charge d~u+C (DC) charge b~f+K, air qcfhcb+AC - (598, 21)
- (near corner) cr.B cr.A xx charge d~u+C (DC) charge b~f+BD, air qcfhcb+AC - (511, 14)
- (corner only) cl.C f+B qcb+C, charge d~u+AC (DC) charge b~f+D air qcfhcb+AC (603, 33)
- (corner only) cr.B st.B f+B qcb+C, charge d~u+AC (DC) charge b~f+D air qcfhcb+AC (555, 34)
Leona's core corner combos at their best. This is pretty much the best damage you're going to get without using a HD combo.
- cl.C (HD) cl.C xx qcb hcf+K (MC) qcb hcf+AC (733, 15)