The King of Fighters XIII/Maxima
In a nutshell
Maxima was a normal Canadian soldier that decided to get augmented to become a cyborg who acts as an elder figure for the impetuous Kula and K'. Maxima's known for the large amount of Autoguard on his attacks and in KOF XIII this is no different. His pokes are slow, but powerful and his jumping attacks are improved from previous games. With meter Maxima can deal heavy damage from simple combos and has access to powerful utility tools that can shut down many options.
- Close Heavy Punch (Close ) - A twice-hitting back knuckle attack that can be canceled on either hit. The second hit will whiff on all crouchblocking characters and can be punished by lows though the second hit connects on hit against crouchers. The startup speed is faster than Close but the whiffable second hit is a real threat. The player could cancel on the first hit to enjoy the speed bonus but this leaves even less time for a hitconfirm as compared to Close .
- Standing Heavy Kick () - One of Maxima's most Guard Frame-heavy attacks. Maxima's big boot has horizontal reach and can work as an anti-air if spaced so that the opponent jumps onto his guarded active leg. The Autoguard starts to kick in as Maxima's foot is lifted up and continues through to the early active frames.
- It can be annoying for the opponent to get around this move but the recovery is major and leaves Maxima open to a punish if mindlessly whiffed.
- Close Heavy Kick (Close ) - A standard Close Heavy Kick only unlike Close this will always hit crouching opponents. The startup speed is noticeably slower and can be more difficult to combo into after a crossup. If the player takes into account the startup speed and adjusts by hitting deeper or timing the attack as soon as possible it becomes a safer committal than Close .
- Crouching Light Kick ( + ) - A very slow Crouching that doesn't chain into any attack. The player can link a Crouching afterward on hit to start a combo so the opponent has the incentive to want to block low, but after blocking one hit Maxima's Crouching is too slow to continue threatening the opponent. Fortunately the player can use hops and Maxima Press ( + ) to supplement his weak low attacks.
- Crouching Heavy Punch ( + ) - Maxima spreads his arms out in front of and behind himself though it only attacks to the front. Has decent horizontal reach and causes a more heavy hitstun than Crouching which can combo into M4 Vapor Cannon ( + ).
- There's a window of Autoguard on this attack after the startup and right up to the active frames so it can be timed to counter an enemy attack which can be canceled into a combo on hit.
- Whiff cancelable.
- Crouching Heavy Kick ( + ) - Maxima's sweep cannot be canceled so using leaves the player completely vulnerable to hops should the opponent read the low. This has a good range and still acts as a strong fundamental normal attack.
- Blowback Attack ( + ) - Another Autoguard-heavy attack. Maxima swings both arms in an upward arc which is covered in Guard Frames. Works great if timed early enough to come out against a jump due to the upwardly swinging hitbox and the Autoguard which can save the player from being hit.
- Moves Maxima forward if whiff canceled.
- Leaves the player highly vulnerable on whiff and loses to low attacks. Canceling into M4 Vapor Cannon doesn't eliminate this issue as that move can also be easily swept.
- M9 Missile ( + ) - Maxima punches upward at a 60° angle that can anti-air but lacks any Guard Frames and is slow to start. Works better as an anti-air against jumps as the player can react and use the attack earlier. Cancels into Specials and DMs on hit or whiff and like most command normals it leaves the player at a disadvantage on block if uncanceled.
- Dynamite Drop ( or + or [while close]) - Maxima dropkicks the opponent into a soft knockdown that will push the enemy nearly fullscreen after a quickrise. The player has little frame advantage if the opponent quickrises so unless the opponent becomes cornered, then both players are set at a neutral situation.
- The poor advantage afterward makes Maxima's normal throw one of the weaker grabs in the game, especially compared to Maxima Press ( + ). Still, the input is simple enough to punish rolls effectively and works as an easy, safe tick throw. Opting for the unwhiffable Dynamite Drop at times is safer than Maxima Press and beats more of the opponent's options than a command grab.
- M4 Vapor Cannon ( + ) - Maxima takes a step forward and punches while releasing steam from the pistons in his arms. This will reach 1/3 the screen as the hitbox will extend just beyond Maxima's fist. Infamous for having Autoguard or 'Guard Points/Frames' and causing a Wallbounce on a counterhit.
- The version connects from Heavy attacks and causes a soft knockdown. It's also Super Cancelable into Double Vapor Cannon ( + ). There aren't any guardframes on this version though.
- The slower Vapor Cannon gains a large window of Guard Frames after activating, though it will lose to meaty attacks. This version is more suited for fishing for Counterhit pokes or for staggering blockstrings.
- The biggest weakness of this move is that the Autoguard only covers Maxima's upper body. A simple sweep timed before the active frames will cleanly beat either Vapor Cannon.
- M4 Vapor Cannon ( + + ) - Combos from Light attacks and will always cause a Wallbounce. There are more Guard Points on this move though a more meter-efficient method of using this move is to save it for hitconfirms to easily deal 40% damage or more.
- The player can follow up the wallbounce from anywhere on the screen with M9 Missile ( + ) canceled into M4 Vapor Cannon ( + ) to push the opponent away or into M19 Blitz Cannon ( + ) to deal more damage and keep the opponent closer. If the player's back is in the corner when the wallbounce occurs, it becomes necessary to run forward in order to hit with + and the followup.
- Air M4 Vapor Cannon (air + ) - Maxima performs an aerial Vapor Cannon angled downward at a 45° angle. As with the standard version the Autoguard becomes active only after a length of the startup. Causes a hard knockdown where the opponent bounces slightly off the ground though it's an aesthetic touch and cannot be followed up.
- Air M4 Vapor Cannon (air + + ) - A magnificent aerial tool that has Autoguard from the first frame of startup. It's possible to bait reversals with intentionally bad jumps and to guard through and punish anti-airs with this attack. Keeps the opponent standing on hit so if the attack connects against a grounded opponent at a low height the player can land from their hop or jump and start a grounded combo.
- M19 Blitz Cannon ( + ) - An anti-air 'Soul Throw' grab that moves Maxima upward at a 60° angle and ends with him punching the opponent into the ground about halfscreen away from Maxima. There are Guard Frames on this attack, but they take a while to come into effect and require an early input to beat a jump and an early or 'yomi' guess to beat a hop. Functions as a damaging juggle finisher that leaves the opponent somewhat close to Maxima.
- Only conects against aerial or juggleable opponents; completely whiffs against grounded opponents.
- M19 Blitz Cannon ( + + ) - An improved anti-air and even a grounded reversal option. When the player activates this attack it immediately has Autoguard which will freeze an opponent who hits Maxima which almost guarantees the grab will hit. Maxima's lower leg has a hitbox that will hit scoop up grounded opponents into the air so that the airthrow connects.
- Maxima Press ( + ) - A good command grab that carries the opponent into the corner and can either end with a lengthy hard knockdown or be followed up with Press Plus to lead into more damaging opportunities.
- The version of the throw is a short-ranged instant grab. This gives the player the option of doing tick throws and empty hops to supplement Maxima's offensive prowess. This also can work as a punish against certain moves.
- Players familiar with Maxima from older KOF games should recognize the version of Maxima Press. Maxima crouches during the lengthier startup and then drives across the screen while attempting to throw any grounded opponent in his way. The startup length is completely vulnerable and it's possible to counterpoke Maxima as he slides forward, plus the grab is telegraphed and can be jumped out of and punished. There isn't much use for this version outside of a gimmick to catch an opponent sleeping.
- Press Plus ( + , then + ) - A Super Cancelable followup punch that must be input just after Maxima slams the opponent into the wall. The extra hit adds more damage but leaves the player with less frame advantage which doesn't allow a safejump or empty hop followup against a reversal attempt.
- There are reasons to deliberate if the followup should be used depending on what the player wants to do next. If Maxima Press is uncanceled it puts the opponent just outside of the corner which sets up for an ambiguous crossup with Jumping or leaves enough time for a safe or empty hop mixup. Ending with Press Plus and Supercanceling into Double Vapor ( + ) deals an effective amount of damage but leaves both players more at neutral. Ending with Press Plus alone still puts the player at an advantageous frame advantage and the player could abuse the fact that Maxima can't do a safehop to hop into Air M4 Vapor Cannon (air + + ) to counter what an opponent may view as 'free damage' from an easily-reactable 'bad' meaty.
- Maxima Press ( + + ) - Looks like the rungrab but this is a blockable move. It can connect against an opponent early in a hop arc although there is no invulnerability or autoguard on this move.
- Press Plus ( + + , then + ) - The followup to Maxima Press launches the opponent higher in the air and can be Drive Canceled into special moves instead of just DMs. Most notable is the Drive Cancel into M4 Vapor Cannon ( + + ) to cause a wallbounce which can be followed up with a M9 Missile ( + ) followup combo.
- Double Vapor Cannon ( + ) - Maxima executes a Vapor Cannon punch using both arms. The startup speed isn't too fast though this attack is covered in Guard Frames that will trap an opponent that hits Maxima. This can work as an anti-air and reversal though the attack is quite punishable on block.
- Causes a Wallbounce on counterhit that can be followed up from certain screen positionings.
- Double Vapor Cannon ( + + ) - Maxima steps forward for a one-two punch follwed with a sudden impact finisher. Strong as a combo finisher from something as simple as Vapor Cannon Drive Canceled into EX Double Vapor Cannon. The third hit will often drop the opponent in juggle combos or from an anti-air so its applications can be limited against aerial opponents.
- Faster and fully invulnerable on startup.
- Does not cause a counterhit Wallbounce.
- Maxima Laser ( + + ) - Maxima is secretly a super robot that can fire an enormousbeam out of his chest. Maxima Laser is a crazy fast Neomax fills the screen with a beam that will anti-hir hops and punish nearly anything from fullscreen. It also deals huge damage in a combo and the final hit always deals 120 damage regardless of damage scaling. This is everything a Neomax could want to be.
Tips and Tricks
"*" next to the most important combos. First, in any combo involving 2 cr.A,'s you can start with a cr.B, but Maxima's is very slow. His d/f+C hits against crouchers, but only from close. Some combos are much more consistent if you omit the d/f+C, and only use it for punishes and when you can confirm that you're close enough.
- *cr.A,d/f+C xx qcb+A - (214)
Safe on block, use only one cr.A for consistency. You can replace cr.A with close C, etc.
- cr.A,d/f+C xx hcb+K~qcb+P - (220)
Also works from cr.A x2, but requires an even closer distance, carries to corner. Of course you can do the same thing from close C (2 hits) or close C (1 hit), d/f+C.
- *counter-hit qcb+P, d/f+C xx dp+K - (361)
If the distance is weird, you can omit the d/f+C.
- *cr.A,cr.A xx qcb+PP, d/f+C xx dp+K - (348)
You can do 3 cr.A's or replace with a cl.C 1 or 2 hits into d/f+C, or just 2 hits of close C, you get the idea. If the distance is weird, you can omit the d/f+C after the wallbounce.
- counter-hit qcfx2+P, walk forward, qcb+A - (389)
- (corner only) counter-hit qcfx2+P, d/f+C xx dp+K - (486)
- cr.A,cr.A xx qcfx2+PP - (382)
You can replace cr.A's with whatever you want.
- counter-hit qcb+P, qcfx2+PP - (482)
- cr.A,cr.A xx qcb+PP, d/f+C xx qcfx2+PP - (536)
- counter-hit qcfx2+P, qcfx2+PP - (607)
- *hcb+K~qcb+P sc qcfx2+P - (325)
Super cancel off his command grab.
- *hcb+KK~qcb+P dc dp+K - (329)
Only works from the EX command grab. Can be ued as a combo ender...not really relevant for that use, but it does do a tiny more damage than the drive-less combo and carries to the corner.
- *hcb+K~qcb+P sc qcfx2+PP - (451)
- hcb+KK~qcb+P sc qcfx2+P - (392)
- *hcb+KK~qcb+P sc qcfx2+PP - (518)
As with any other character, with HD combos you can do whatever moves you like before the BC cancel, such as cr.A/B x2, or a far C/D to confirm into damage off a guard-point.
- cl.C (1 hit),d/f+C hd cl.C (2 hits) xx hcbx2+PP - (597)
- *counter-hit qcb+P, hcbx2+PP - (578)
- cr.A,cr.A xx qcb+PP, hcbx2+PP - (556)
- cl.C (1 hit),d/f+C hd cl.C (1 hit),d/f+C xx hcb+KK~qcb+P sc hcbx2+PP - (733)
- counter-hit qcfx2+P, hcbx2+PP - (689)
- cl.C (1 hit),d/f+C hd cl.D xx hcb+K~qcb+P sc qcf+PP xx hcbx2+PP - (985, 15)
If started with cl.D or a jumpin, this combo does over 1000 damage, aka, a 100%.