The King of Fighters '98/Lucky

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Lucky98 stance.gif


This is three on three street basketball

If you wanna join in you gotta answer the call.

Call, short, pass, it don't make no difference it all

'Cause when the whistle blows it's a free-for-all.

Baby better slam it gettin' ready to burn

Take a three point shot make everybody's head turn.

That's just the way it goes

Yeah I'm the finest on the court and everybody knows.


Snka.gif Snkb.gif Snkc.gif Snkd.gif
Lucky98 colorA.png Lucky98 colorB.png Lucky98 colorC.png Lucky98 colorD.png

Gameplay Overview

Though he has an unconventional playstyle and is most definitely not a beginner character, Lucky is a solid character once you understand the nuances of his moveset. An incredible battery, it's not at all unusual to gain upwards of 4 meters in a round with Lucky. What he lacks in combos, he makes up with an excellent poke and zoning game. Most of your damage is going to come from pokes, counter hits and forcing mistakes with his basketballs. Furthermore, Lucky enjoys the best sweep and teleport in the game.

In-depth Analysis


Frames Advantage Cancel Block Hitbox Notes
Standing Close
Snka.gif 2/3/7 -/- C HL
Lucky98 clA.png
Lucky elbows the opponent. Can be crouched, and has little range.
Snkb.gif 3/4/7 -/+ C HL
Lucky98 clB.png
Cancelable, but does not hit low. Less useful than cl.A, as even mutting, you can't use cl.B to buffer his DM - you will do his command attack instead.
Snkc.gif 3/4/20 -/- C HL
Lucky98 clC.png
The precursor to Makoto's infamous st.MP. Can be chained into f + B which can cancel into a DM, so this is his preferred close normal.
Snkd.gif 7/4/16 -/- - HL
Lucky98 clD.png
A knee to the chest that cannot be canceled or chained into anything. Stick with cl.C.
Standing Far
Snka.gif 2/4/5 -/- - HL
Lucky98 stA.png
A basic st.A, good for stuffing hops and has a little extra range than others.
Snkb.gif 5/4/12 -/- - HL
Lucky98 stB.png
A high kick that looks similar to Benimaru's st.B, only with a smaller hitbox, making it not as useful of an option.
Snkc.gif 7/3/21 -/- - HL
Lucky98 stC.png
Whiffs crouchers due to Lucky being so tall, but works well as a preemptive hop stuffer
Snkd.gif 9/4/24 -/- - HL
Lucky98 stD.png
Lucky's longest poke that hits mid and reaches over a quarter of the screen. The startup is slower than far C, but it's the range you want to abuse on this poke. Great to open matches with.
Snkc.gif+Snkd.gif 18/5/18 KD/- S HL
Lucky98 stCD.png
A forearm check. Basically serves the same purpose as the crouching D, but with less damage, substantially less range and more startup. Little reason to use this.
Snka.gif 2/3/7 -/- C HL
Lucky98 crA.png
Wide hitbox for a cr.A, and is cancelable. No reason to use instead of cr.B inside combos though.
Snkb.gif 5/4/12 -/- C L
Lucky98 crB.png
Decent range and can be canceled and chained into itself. It's alright, and confirming from cr.Bs into his DM is his primary way to score damage.
Snkc.gif 7/3/21 -/- - HL
Lucky98 crC.png
An uncancelable poke with longer range than his cr.A. Hits further than his st.C, however this can be crouched by some smaller characters. Inferior to the crouch D.
Snkd.gif 9/4/24 -/- C L
Lucky98 crD.png
A long range, cancelable sweep. While slightly shorter than his far D, it is one of the few sweeps that is cancelable on hit or whiff and beats many other sweeps clean (even Iori's). You will get a lot of mileage out of this.
Snka.gif 4/7/- -/- - H
Lucky98 jA.png
A downward chop. Hits fairly deep vertically,
Snkb.gif 6/9/- -/- - H
Lucky98 jB.png
A flying knee similar to Kyo's j.B. Lucky's best jump in vs crouchers.
Snkc.gif 5/4/- -/- - H
Lucky98 jC.png
Downward punch that is fickle to hit deep with, making it not the best attack to jump in with.
Snkd.gif 6/5/- -/- - H
Lucky98 jD.png
Has a long horizontal hitbox making it a good air to air and cross up, however it'll whiff on smaller crouchers. Your main jump attack the rare times you're in the air with Lucky.
Snkc.gif+Snkd.gif 9/4/- KD/- - HL
Lucky98 jCD.png
Looks almost the same as j.D, only Lucky's foot is positioned at a lower angle. Tricky to hit crouches with but can air-to-air decently.
Neutral Jump
Snka.gif 4/7/- -/- - H
Lucky98 njA.png
Snkb.gif 4/6/- -/- - H
Lucky98 njB.png
Snkc.gif 6/4/- -/- - H
Lucky98 njC.png
Snkd.gif 6/5/- -/- - H
Lucky98 njD.png
An instant overhead on all but the shortest crouchers (Chin and Choi). May just save you in a pinch.
Command Normals
f + Snkb.gif 16/4/20 - S HL
Lucky98 fB.png
A punt that is cancelable when chained into or when done alone. Best used when comboing into a super. Be warned that this does have a tendency to whiff; use sparingly.
air d + Snka.gif 11/4/- KD/- - H
Lucky98 jdA.png
Lucky does a flying dunk that goes straight down. Gives a hard knockdown on hit. Can be used during a backdash for extended backdash length, and can be used in EX Mode forward dashes to pressure.

Normal Throws

  • b or f + C - SLAM DUNK! Breakable, hard knockdown.

  • b or f + D - Lucky knees into the opponent in an overly fluid manner. Mashable, unbreakable; hard knockdown, opponent is thrown behind Lucky.

Lucky's throws are very important as both lead to untechable knockdowns and leave him in ideal positions for Death Dunks and Death Shoots.

Special Moves

  • Death Bound (qcf + P): Lucky summons a basketball from the sky that he bounces towards the opponent. The angle differs on the button version used (A-version slower and higher, C is faster and lower). While this has lengthy startup, the recovery is short enough that it is not only safe on block but Lucky can combo after. This won't win any projectile wars, but this shuts most hops down. If pushback would cause Lucky to miss the dropping ball, he'll instead throw a standing C instead that knocks down. In point blank range, this must be blocked low. In addition, here's a detail that is true for virtually every angled projectile in an SNK fighter: if it hits below the character's knee, it must be blocked low.

  • Death Dunk (qcb + P): Lucky jumps to intercept an incoming ball and bounces it downward off the ground and into the sky. Both versions create a "V"-shaped trajectory, only the D version covers a wider distance. It has slightly less startup than a Death Bound but more recovery. Lucky jumps high enough to evade most projectiles and being an angled projectile, the basketball is considered a low attack just before and just after it bounces. One of Lucky's main tools, the A version is the preferred version of this move due to it's trajectory. Great to use as a followup to a throw, as it'll be in perfect range for the basketball to hit low.

  • Cyclone Break (qcb + K): - Lucky swings his legs through the air, hitting up to four times (five in the air). A very difficult move to land correctly. Works as a preemptive anti-air due to the enormous size, but the damage makes it not worth it. Slight disadvantage, but fairly safe on block. Combos from close C, but loses damage in the process. In the rare situations where you can catch someone in the back (e.g. if they attempted to roll past you) it'll chew them up.

  • Lucky Vision (qcf + K): - Lucky slides across the screen with afterimages trailing behind him. B-version has short startup and recovery, travels three-quarters of the screen and has upperbody invincibility while the D travels full screen, slightly more startup and recovery, and lower body invincibility. Either can cross up opponents that are not in the corner. Excellent for escapes, mixups and setting up rudimentary dash throws. Often used in conjunction with the crouch D. The B version is fast enough to enable combos following fullscreen Death Bounds and Death Dunks. It is also Lucky's best response against jump-ins and rushdown, as the upper body invincibility on the B-version negates most jump attempts.

  • Death Shoot (d, d + P / K): - Lucky sets a layup. The distance the ball falls down from depends on the version used, ranging shortest to longest from A to D. As with his other projectiles, this has lengthy startup but zero recovery. Unless you have extreme frame advantage, you'll want to lead your target (e.g. if they are position for the D, use the C or B-version). Opponents will run and roll into this move often. Note: If canceled into, Lucky will not set up a ball, but instead do a kick that uses a neutral jump B animation (that knocks down). This kick will whiff crouching opponents and won't combo into anything, so don't cancel into this under any circumstance.

  • Death Heel (dp + K): - Lucky's anti-air. Not a move that you'll be using often, especially since it often won't be hit properly on airborne opponents. This move hits twice; once on the way up, and then again with an axe kick that leads to a hard knockdown. It is not a reversal, and is only good inside of combos (and even rarely at that). The axe kick whiffs on some shorter opponents.

Desperation Moves

  • Hell Bound (qcf qcf + P) - After pointing to the sky, Lucky slams his hand to the ground to create a pillar of light that leads into a hard knockdown. The A-version can combo from lights while the C-version is slower as Lucky steps forward before dunking. Deals moderate damage (40% on counter hit), can be used as an early anti-air and destroys projectiles. However, this move will not connect if Lucky is hit (even if the opponent is inside the pillar) so it'll always lose on trades. As such, be sure to not do this too late when using defensively. Opponents will often be so preoccupied with trying to avoid his basketballs that they'll dive right into this (often with a counter hit).

SDM is slower, but deals more damage. However, it is tricky for this to hit properly.

  • Lucky Driver (qcf qcf + K) - Lucky propeller spins all over the opponent before ending in a hard knockdown. Slightly more damaging than the Hellbound and does decent chip, but it is much harder to use and is dangerously unsafe. Only combos from a close C, an f +B, Death Bound or a Death Shoot. Only use for style points.

SDM version deals more damage and has a ballin' finisher.

Fastest Attacks

  • 0F: C throw; D throw
  • 1F: -
  • 2F: cl.A; st.A; cr.A
  • 3F: cl.B; cl.C
  • 4F: -
  • 5F: st.B; cr.B
  • 6F: -
  • 7F: cl.D; st.C; cr.C
  • 8F: -
  • 9F: st.D; cr.D
  • 10F: -


  • Best jump-ins:
    • j.B

  • cr.B / cr.A x 3 > DM A Hell Bound (qcf qcf + A)

Can be done off two cr.B / cr.A for safety, or you can do two cr.B / cr.A after a jump-in.

  • Very close: cr.B > Death Heel (dp + D)

In corner and outside of MAX you can do a second cr.B

  • cl.C >
    • f + B (very close) >
      • (S)DM B Lucky Driver (qcf qcf + B)
      • (S)DM C Hell Bound (qcf qcf + C)
    • (S)DM B Lucky Driver (qcf qcf + B)
    • (S)DM C Hell Bound (qcf qcf + C)
    • qcb + D (Standing. No knockdown.)
    • Death Heel (dp + D) (point blank)

  • Corner & not close & up to midscreen distance: qcf + P,
    • (S)DM B Lucky Driver (qcf qcf + B)
    • DM C Hell Bound (qcf qcf + C) (SDM has less range and will miss)
    • qcb + D (Standing. No knockdown.)
    • cr.D

  • Simple buffers:


Strategy Corner

  • MAX: cl.C > Qcb.png + D (Standing. No knockdown.)

deals ??? than

  • cr.B x 2 > Qcf.png Qcf.png + A

Keep this in mind, when you need to decide whether to trigger MAX or keep meter for a DM.


Game Navigation

Gameplay Overview
Normal Characters
Blue Mary
Heavy D!
EX Characters
EX Andy
EX Billy
EX Joe
EX Kyo
EX Mai
Orochi Chris
Orochi Shermie
Orochi Yashiro
EX Robert
EX Ryo
EX Terry
EX Yuri
Omega Rugal