The King of Fighters '98: Ultimate Match/Athena Asamiya

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With tweaks and a new move, her defense has been strengthened from OG.

Move list

At a glance

Normal throws
Bit Throw (throw) f/b + C
Psychic Throw (throw) f/b + D
Midair throw
Psychic Shoot (air throw) b/d/f + C/D
Command moves
(Triangle jump) (rear jump, edge of screen) uf
Renkantai f + B
Phœnix Bomb (air) d + B
Special moves
Psycho Ball Attack qcb + P
Psycho Sword dp + P (possible in midair)
Psycho Reflector hcb + B
ν Psycho Reflector hcb + D
Phœnix Arrow (air) qcb + P
Psychic Teleport qcf + K
Super Psychic Throw (throw) hcf + P
Super special move
Shining Crystal Bit hcb hcb + P (possible in midair), (ABCD)
┗ Crystal Shoot (during Shining Crystal Bit) qcb + P (can be held)
Phœnix Fang Arrow (air) qcf qcf + K
Psycho Ball: Revolution qcf qcf + P

Normal moves

  • st.C – zoning move with an extremely high-priority hitbox.
  • cr.C – another zoner with an extremely high-priority hitbox; this has been strengthened from OG in the sense that it is now cancelable.
  • st.D – long reach, foot-level invincibility. Also usable for zoning.
  • st.A – somewhat high-priority hitbox, can be used in zoning; cancelable.
  • j.C – extremely high-priority hitbox horizontally; can be used in air-to-air.
  • j.D and j.A – the hit is oriented downwards, so use it for jumping in. Same directional idea kind of applies to j.B and j.CD, but to a much lesser extent.

Command moves

  • Renkantai
  • f + B
  • A two-hit move, the second hit of which is cancelable into a midair move. There is a good chance that the first hit won’t get the opponent if Renkantai is cancelled into from a strong attack, but the second hit will generally combo anyway.

  • Phœnix Bomb
  • d + B in midair
  • A dropping tailbone attack with good priority. It does a lot of pushback if it is blocked (or knocks the opponent quite a ways back if it hits). It leaves you very open, so you should cancel it into Phœnix Arrow.

Special moves

  • Psycho Ball Attack
  • qcb + P
  • An easy-to-use projectile. It’s powerful in the sense that it doesn’t leave you all that open.

  • Phœnix Arrow
  • qcb + K in midair
  • Swoops down at an angle. It does multiple hits.
  • The weak version doesn’t leave you very open at all and has a steeper angle. The strong version has a post-landing kick at the end, which does knockdown.
  • The weak version is better for blockstrings, the strong version is better for combos.

  • Psycho Reflector
  • hcb + B
  • A projectile reflector (it can also be used as a really fast, really weak unlaunched projectile). The move ends quickly after it touches anything, so it doesn’t leave you too open.
  • ν Psycho Reflector
  • hcb + D
  • Just like Psycho Reflector, it reflects projectiles (and can be used as a weaksauce unlaunched projectile). It does not end faster even if it reflects something. It does three hits total and there isn’t much to worry about if it’s blocked, so you can use it for the chip damage if necessary.

  • Psycho Sword
  • dp + P
  • An anti-air. The invincibility time has been substantially lengthened, so it is now a safer anti-air and stuffer. Furthermore, the hitbox has been widened horizontally, so there is a smaller chance of whiffing.

  • Psychic Teleport
  • qcf + K
  • Gets Athena from here to there in a jiffy. She can take damage while moving, and if this happens she returns to (remains in?) the original spot. During the startup, there is a hitbox that undoes the blocking stance, so it is a part of the unblockable projectile setup.

  • Super Psychic Throw
  • hcf + P
  • A command throw with a narrow throwing range. It is not a 1-frame throw, but it has complete invincibility until the hitbox is ready. After a successful throw, the opponent is launched. Unlike in OG, it does damage for the initial launch, not when the opponent hits the ground (and it does a lot less damage, too, so it is now in your interests to juggle).

Super special moves

  • Shining Crystal Bit
  • hcb hcb + P (possible in midair), (ABCD to halt)
  • Projectiles surround Athena entirely. Has full-body invincibility during startup. If you press ABCD before Athena calls back the spinny bits, you can stop the move.
  • You can use it as an anti-air and such, but since Psycho Sword has been strengthened, there is less need for this purpose.
  • The MAX version will randomly display Athena in her original bikini costume, and will do more damage when this happens.
  • Crystal Shoot
  • qcb + P during Shining Crystal Bit (can be held)
  • Athena collects the bits at her fingertip and hurls them. The weak version goes straight forward; the strong version arcs upward; the midair version arcs downward regardless of the button you use. If you delay the firing by holding the button, there is a hitbox at Athena’s fingertip.

  • Phœnix Fang Arrow
  • qcf qcf + K in midair
  • Athena fires multiple projectiles diagonally downward from midair, then follows their path uses her body to tackle in likewise form. Since it is difficult to get the combo hits off of this one, it’s not “easy to use” (without getting countered, anyway). The startup now has invincibility, so if the opponent’s is running low on life you could, perhaps, use this as the finishing blow.

  • Psycho Ball Revolution
  • qcf qcf + P
  • A new move that amounts to a buff version of Psycho Ball Attack. It is a giant projectile that sways up and down while traveling forward.
  • You cannot activate Psychic Teleport during this time, so there is no easy way to approach the opponent at the same time. Super Psychic Throw is also disabled, so you cannot make this unblockable.
  • It doesn’t do very much damage, but the startup is pretty quick and it will combo from strong attacks.
  • It has no invincibility, but it is possible to use it as an anti-air.
  • When the MAX version hits, the opponent is juggleable (or an extra ground hit if you so choose to hit the at the same time). The traveling speed is even slower, so if Athena is far enough away and you make her run, she can outpace it.


  • cl.C or [cr.B >> cr.B] >> strong Psycho Sword
  • This is the only real basic combo. Use reliable hit confirmation.
  • (corner) j.D > cl.C >> Renkantai (2 hit) >> strong Psycho Sword or strong Phœnix Arrow or Shining Crystal Bit
  • If you use Shining Crystal Bit, press ABCD when you’re done so your opponent doesn’t just get up and attack your recovery.
  • Super Psychic Throw > strong Psycho Sword or Shining Crystal Bit
  • If the Psycho Sword is the midair version, all the hits will connect.

The Basics

By putting the balance of special moves in order, develop a solid defense.

First of all, when you are away from the opponent, use weak Psycho Ball Attack, then take a wait-and-see approach. If the approaches the problem by opposing it with a projectile of their own, then threaten/punish them with well-timed Psycho Reflector reflections. If they try jumping towards you, then of course you’d intercept with strong Psycho Sword or Shining Crystal Bit, or maybe even Psycho Ball Revolution. And if it’ll work, j.C is fine, too.

The real problem is if they roll through it. If it seems that there is still some extra space left, then firing off one more while putting off the timing with whiff cancels is pretty safe, but if they manage to avoid that second one, they’ll be at point-blank. When that happens, press with two options: either dash in to close off what little distance is left and use Super Psychic Throw, or use cr.C. The cr.C will safely cancel into a weak Psycho Ball Attack. If the Super Psychic Throw is successful, you can get the space back by juggling with Psycho Ball Attack, which is pretty handy. If the opponent doesn’t do anything, you should try to use Psychic Teleport to make it unblockable. The image you should plant is that due to this, the opponent will come to have to move, but if they move, you’ll just anti-air or throw them. This is how you dominate.

But if you use all you have and it does not affect the opponent, it has no effect on the opponent; therefore you cannot keep on doing the same old thing or the opponent catches on. Therefore, you need to go on the offensive sometimes. One touch-off point for Athena’s offense is Psychic Teleport. From there, you can press on with the two options of cr.C and Super Psychic Throw, and from there, you should primarily turtle up the opponent with all sorts of of punches and with Psycho Ball Attack. Another touch-off point is the jump. Trying for a crossup with an unexpected weak Phœnix Arrow is good, as is canceling j.CD or j.P and using weak Phœnix Arrow to land, from which you can continue to deploy the offense.

When you want to attack safely, using weak Psycho Ball Revolution is also good. Using it as a shield, approach with, say, a jump; then you can deploy the offense by doing things like block mixup with stuff like j.B or cr.B, or turtling them up with normal moves, or catching rolls with Super Psychic Throw. But the damage is low, so unfortunately, even if Psycho Ball Revolution hits, there isn’t much interesting you can do.

For anti-air, Psycho Sword is extremely safe. When it comes to using gauge, the fast-ish strong Psycho Ball Revolution will probably work. If the spacing doesn’t work, you can let them in closer and use Shining Crystal Bit.

While doing all of the above, you restrict the opponent’s movements; in general, your goal is to deal lots of damage in swift strokes with Super Psychic Throw for offense, and Shining Crystal Bit and Psycho Ball Revolution for defense.

Advanced Strategy