The King of Fighters XIII/Mai
In a nutshell
Of course this Fatal Fury femme fatale returns with this iteration of The King of Fighters. Although she has uniquely fast but high-arcing jumps and hops that makes her high and low game slightly more obvious, her focus is in her ability to zone and coax the opponent into approaching and setting them up for a trap. She's a tricky character with strong ground and aerial game. Though she may lack a fast attack that quickly rises above her vertically for an easy anti-air, she could play in a proactive manner that covers her bases thoroughly make up for her short comings. So while she may require the player to be more familiar and comfortable with spacing with normals, she's a fun and tricky character to play and has great attacks that beat out and control hop usage really well.
- Crouching C has more cancelable frames.
- Ukihane (Air d+B) has a different trajectory than Arcade, and recovery time has been changed.
- Added new target combo: st.B > st.D. It can be used to connect into HD mode and also gives Mai more damage on pokes.
- Kachousen (qcf+P) has faster startup and faster recovery.
- Musasabi no Mai (from ground) (d~u+P) can be canceled with Ukihane (d+B).
- Light Ryuu Enbu (qcb+A) hitbox is larger vertically.
- Added EX Air Chou Hissatsu Shinobibachi (Air qcb hcf+BD). It is invincible until it becomes active.
- Shiranui Ryuu: Kunoichi no Mai (qcf hcb+AC) has faster startup and freezes time after flying to the edge of screen.
- Standing Light Punch () - One of Mai's best normals. Functions in the similar manner such as most Standing Light Punches in Garou: Mark of the Wolves and Balrog's (Boxer) Standing Jab in the Street Fighter IV series. It pressures standing and crouching characters from afar and is fast enough to lock down the opponent without much chances for the opponent to counter hit or escape via jumping. Also a good move to follow up meaty attacks. In some certain, few circumstances, this move could be swept or slid under. Upon trapping an opponent with a plethora of Standing Light Punches and Standing Light Kicks, Mai may earn the opportunity to lock the opponent from the air with early jump-in attacks such Jumping Heavy Punch and Jumping Heavy Kick, or hop in anticipation against sweeps and slides that would normally punish Standing Light Punch.
- What's neat and new in The King of Fighters XIII is that Standing Light Punch is now cancelable and attack strings easily into Ryuu Enbu ( + ) with safety, not taking Guard Counter Rolls into account. Since this move is cancelable, the player could hitconfirm from about 1 or 2 Crouching Light Kicks (spacing dependent) into a Standing Light Punch and combo into Hissatsu Shinobibachi ( + ) for the knockdown.
- Close Light Punch (Close ) - Covers about the same area as far Standing A but is closer and has a bit better frame advantage than Standing Light Punch on block. This move functions as a means of checking the opponent up close so the opponent's character won't be able to do much, much less to be able to jump or hop out or escape by rolling only for Mai to recover quickly and punish accordingly. Eventually Mai would be pushed out too much continue her staggered Close Light Punch attack strings, so she could mix up into other attacks such as Crouching Heavy Punch to function as frame trap or use Standing Heavy Punch to catch opponents who think they could escape by jumping or so.
- Standing Light Kick () - A great compliment to Mai's Standing Light Punch. It covers that range right above Mai's Standing Light Punch that Standing Light Punch can't reach and works quite well as an anti-air attacks. It catches most hops and works well against jumps and super jumps that were spaced to land about mid to mid-close range from Mai's position. If an opponent full neutral jumps in mid-close range, the tip of far Standing B will anti-air that kind of jump as well. This move has been redesigned in The King of Fighters XIII to actually hit crouching opponents and force them to block; sweeping or counter poking it won't be easy in this game as it was previously.
- Stringing together Standing Light Punches and Standing Light Kicks is a great tool for controlling the frontal space and especially pressure cornered opponents. Whiffing just by a little bit against opponents may be used to give the opponent a false sense of freedom to try to move forward or attack and Mai may recover in time to punish an escape or counter poke with a Ryuu Enbu ( + ), Standing or Crouching Light Punch, or running up with Crouching Heavy Punch that is spaced near the tip (but not exactly at it) and canceled into Ryuu Enbu, or a whiffed Crouching Heavy Punch canceled into Ryuu Enbu.
- Standing Heavy Punch () - Mai slashes with her fan in a manner similar to her old attack from past games, Sachiyo Dori ( + ). What this means is that she covers the vertical and horizontal space in front of her like E. Honda does in the Street Fighter series with his Far Standing Fierce, like Alex does in Street Fighter 3: Third Strike with his Forward Standing Strong, or like how Hibiki does with her Standing B in The Last Blade 2. One of Mai's weaknesses is that her grounded, vertical space control is really weak and she has to supplement her spacing game with her great air-to-air normals and pro-actively control that area. To give her a breather, Standing Heavy Punch could cover that straight vertical space above her, but she has to preempt the opponent's jump and time it a bit early in order for the "far range activation." Otherwise, this move covers a good frontal and vertical space and is good to use in attack strings now and then, but the frame disadvantage usually ends her offensive momentum. So be sure to use this move a bit more sparingly and use it to check the opponent's ability to escape.
- Close Heavy Punch (Close ) - Other than Standing Heavy Punch, this is Mai's best attempt to controlling the space right above her. While pretty good, it's a bit short compared to other characters' Close Heavy Punches such as Kyo's and Iori's, and Mai's Close Heavy Punch may be prone to trading with deep vertical attacks such as Kula's Jumping Heavy Punch or Leona's Neutral Jumping Heavy Kick. Other than that, this is Mai's fastest heavy-hitting attack to follow a jump-in with to continue her pressure strings.
- Standing Heavy Kick () - A higher risk yet higher reward version of Standing Light Kick. It has slightly more horizontal coverage than Standing Light Kick and does more damage as well. It's just that this attack is more prone to punishes, so please use it smartly.
- Close Heavy Kick (Close ) - Similar to Standing Heavy Kick but it's cancelable. If one is trying to run in with a Close Heavy Punch to pressure the opponent but have an inkling that the opponent may hop back in retaliation, a Close Heavy Kick may prove useful to tag the opponent horizontally. If the opponent responds with a full jump instead, then stick with the Close Heavy Punch.
- Crouching Light Punch ( + ) - Effectively a crouching version of Standing Light Punch. In comparison to Standing Light Punch, Crouching Light punch has slightly less range. Regardless, it still has its applications within pressure strings and hit confirms.
- Crouching Light Kick ( + ) - A standard Crouching Light Kick for high and low mix-ups and pressuring the opponent. Mai could also use this move in conjunction with running under to catch people doing sloppy jump-ins trying to get around Ryuu Enbu ( + ). So, this move acts as one of Mai's lovely anti-air attacks that she could easily set up the opponent for and hit confirm into a knockdown combo.
- Crouching Heavy Punch ( + ) - Mai's furthest reaching, hardest hitting, cancelable normal attack. It's great for poking and counter poking as well as for punishing opponents. It's quite fast and it's hard for the opponent to gauge when or when not to try to Guard Cancel Roll against this move, suspecting that Mai will cancel into another attack afterwards. If Mai doesn't cancel into another attack, she'll be left with enough frame advantage against a Guard Cancel Roll to meaty the recovery of the roll with another Crouching Heavy Punch or a different attack. So while at times it may seem contrived to attack and string with this attack, it's not a free ride to try to counter it at all.
- Crouching Heavy Kick ( + ) - A standard sweep with moderate range and speed. It's cancel properties makes it good to pressure and attack string with, but of course will knockdown the opponent upon hit; as opposed to counter poking with a Crouching Heavy Punch, hitting, and canceling into Ryuu Enbu ( + ) for the knockdown. So in comparison with Crouching Heavy Punch, Crouching Heavy Kick has the advantage of hitting low but in return does less damage upon hit if the opponent just so happens to be caught by an attack. Generally it has about the same range and coverage as Crouching Heavy Punch but might boast a slight range advantage over it.
- Blowback Attack ( + ) -
- Jumping Light Punch (Air ) - A very quick attack that is great for limiting opponents' approach options. Such as if the opponent is too fond of doing early, hop forward heavy attacks, Mai could just stick out an early neutral hop Jumping Light Punch or an early hop back Jumping Light Punch to preempt an opponent.
- Jumping Light Kick (Air ) - Mai jumps and attacks with her knee some what similarly to M.Bison (Dictator) does in the Street Fighter series with his Jumping Forward Kick. So this move covers mainly the space below Mai's waist, near her knee and crosses up quite well. Within closer ranges, trying to do this move as a hop-in attack will generally whiff most opponents due to Mai's unique hop arc so this move is usually spaced from about mid-close range or from full jumps to gain the cross-up.
- Jumping Heavy Punch (Air ) - One of Mai's best air-to-air attacks. It covers a good "half-circular" range in front of Mai in the air and makes it's particularly good for air-to-air against jumps and hops while Mai commits to a hop. Upon an air-to-air hit, Mai could easily run under and go for cross-under Crouching Light Kick mix-up and meaty from the other side of the opponent. If the opponent is too close and tried to hit Mai early out of her Jumping Heavy Punch, the player could choose to do the Jumping Heavy Punch while holding forward or back and "Option Select" with an air throw, Yumezakura (Air or + [while close]), at this moment. While this move has a good downward hitbox, it doesn't reach the downward portion just as fast as Jumping Heavy Kick or her other normals, so it's not entirely the preferred jump-in of choice. Jumping Heavy Punch is great for occupying multiple areas in a small amount of time that gives Mai optimal control.
- Jumping Heavy Kick (Air ) - Mai's most standard jump-in attack. Somewhat similar to Jumping Light Punch in application, this move could be used during early during a hop or so to preempt an opponent's approaching hop or attempt to run in. From certain spacings, this attack may cancel into Musasabi no Mai (air) (Air + ) as proper attack string to throw off the opponent's timing. Just be wary of mis-spacing it or getting countered by a Guard Cancel Roll in the corner.
- Jumping Blowback Attack (Air + ) - Effectively, this is an aerial Ryuu Enbu ( + ). It has great air control and good enough speed; but to hit upon crouching opponents, it must be timed very late. Late, to the point that the opponent could already react and it Mai with an anti-air normal or so. So be sure to mix-up Mai's jump-in attacks so the opponent has to second guess whether or not if there is enough time to anti-air Mai from the correct angle or commit blocking while standing.
- Kachousen ( + ) -
- Ryuu Enbu ( + ) -
- Hissatsu Shinobibachi ( + ) -
- Musasabi no Mai ( [charge] + [hold]) -
- Musasabi no Mai (air) (Air + ) -
- Chou Hissatsu Shinobibachi ( + ) -
- Air Chou Hissatsu Shinobibachi (Air + ) -
- Shiranui Ryuu: Kunoichi no Mai ( + + ) -
- Air Shiranui Ryuu: Kunoichi no Mai (Air + + ) -
Tips and Tricks
- cr.B cr.A xx qcf+C - (144, 18)
- (jump attack) cl.C xx qcb+C - (166, 19)
- j.D xx d+B -127/17
- (corner only) cl.C xx qcb+A, cr.C - (194, 22)
- (jump attack) cl.C xx qcb+AC, hcf+D - (267, 15 [mid-screen] / 308, 19 [corner])
- (corner only) (jump attack) cl.C xx qcb+AC, qcb+C, qcb+C, cl.C or airgrab - (395, 38 / 431, 31)
These combos can be optionally started with cr.BA to allow a hitconfirm.
- cl.C xx qcb hcf+BD, airgrab - (408, 7)
- (corner only) (jump attack) cl.C xx hcf+D (2 hits) (DC) air qcb+C, qcb+C, cr.C or airgrab - (345, 42 / 383, 35)
- (corner only) cl.C xx qcb+ AC, qcb+C, qcb+C (1 hit) (DC) qcf+A, qcb+C, qcb+C, cl.C or airgrab - (497, 62 / 514,55)