EX Kyo Kusanagi
Kyo with his style from KOF '95.
In a nutshell
His combos are weaker than normal Kyo’s, but unlike OG ’98, the damage of his special moves makes him a bit more up to par now. There are many points where he’s been buffed, and he is now easier to use than before.
His gameplan is pretty easy to learn, even compared to normal Kyo.
- cl.C – unusually quick startup; when practically touching the opponent can combo from cr.B; becomes an anti-air should the opponent try to jump attacks. But since the distance isn’t all that much, it’s easy to come out with st.C instead.
- st.C – has comparably slower startup and higher hit position, but it is cancelable.
- st.B – nice long reach, good for zoning. The recovery isn’t exactly short, though, so don’t overuse it.
- st.D – nice long reach, good for zoning. The recovery isn’t exactly short, though, so don’t overuse it. Invincible to low hits, decently quick startup.
- j.D – nice long reach, good for zoning.
- j.C and j.B – effective crossup moves. Good to use when jumping in.
- Geshiki: Gōfu – Yō
- f + B
- Two-step move; the second step is an overhead. Can be cancelled out of if cancelled into.
- Geshiki: Naraku Otoshi
- d + C in midair
- Unrollable knockdown if it hits in the opponent in midair. If it hits them while they’re on the ground, they get considerable hit stun. Excellent crossup efficacy.
- df + D
- Two-step low-hitting move. Doesn’t do knockdown, but it has long reach, so it safely combos from most weak normals.
- 100-Shiki: Oni Yaki
- dp + P
- Has shoulder-level autoblock, and the strong version has invincibility frames. The weak is for stuffing, the strong is for anti-air, but it is defenseless in the air, so you need to be careful in that regard. The strong version does knockdown, and does two hits (even if it’s an air hit).
- 108-Shiki: Yami Barai
- qcf + P
- A projectile that skims the ground. Doesn’t leave you too open, and does reasonable damage. You can also use it if your combo is blocked.
- 101-Shiki: Oboro Guruma
- rdp + K
- A sort-of bicycle kick that travels obliquely upwards. The strong version does three kicks, and the third one does an unrollable knockdown. The weak version leaves the opponent with a hitbox. It does decent damage, so put it in your combos. Compared to OG, the strong version has faster startup and combos from weak moves as well.
- 75-Shiki: Kai
- qcf + K, K
- Two-step floating technique. The second hit can take a little delay, so you can delay it whether it’s hit or blocked. In the middle of the screen, it does not safely combo from strong attacks.
- 212-Shiki: Koto Tsuki – Yō
- hcb + K
- An attack that connects a grab from an elbow strike. Unrollable knockdown. If blocked, it is still difficult to seriously counter it. If the first step hits an opponent in the air, the grab may still connect.
Super special moves
- Ura 108-Shiki: Orochi Nagi
- qcb hcf + P (can be held)
- Sends out a gigantic hitbox. During the charge-up you have some invincibility (upper-body for the strong version, lower-body for the weak version). You can hold the button to delay release, but this won’t change the move properties one whit.
- The MAX version gives you full-body invincibility, and Kyo’s entire body is clad in flame (which happens to have a projectile hitbox). Does a maximum of three hits, but with only two hits you can juggle.
- crossup Naraku Otoshi > cl.C >> Gōfu (2 hit) >> Koto Tsuki or strong Orochi Nagi
- The Gōfu has to be very close. Also, depending on the opponent, this may be restricted to rear hits only. It’s not generally safe.
- cr.B >> cr.A >> 88-Shiki or strong Oboro Guruma
- Basic combo from low hits. In the case of 88-Shiki, if you are very close, you can do the cr.B twice.
- (non-corner) cl.C >> strong 75-Shiki: Kai > strong Oboro Guruma or Orochi Nagi
- In the middle of the screen, this is the safe one.
- (corner) j.B > cl.C >> strong 75-Shiki: Kai > weak Oboro Guruma > strong Oni Yaki or strong Oboro Guruma
- This pattern is possible in the corner. Getting the strong Oboro Guruma to juggle off the weak one is difficult.
Kyo’s normals aren’t exactly the most efficient, nor is his defense all that strong. What does he do? Rushdown.
With j.C and Naraku Otoshi as the pivot, cut in with cr.A and cr.B; keep the right distance and aim to crossup with Naraku Otoshi. The opponent should be doing their best to avoid getting crossed up, so you should keep it unpredictable with a normal throw here and there. If you successfully use the D throw you can try to cross them up on wakeup.
Just zone when you aren’t coming in on the attack if your opponent is a genuinely good turtle; you don’t always have to come in guns a-blazin’. Of course, you use Yami Barai in these situations. Basically, use the weak version for the most part, and sometimes the strong version to mix it up. By putting off the timing, you can mix in whiff cancels from cr.D and st.CD. Also, from a vertical hop, you can brandish Naraku Otoshi and j.D. They’re particularly valid against characters with strong anti-air normals.
After you launch a Yami Barai, watch the opponents movements very carefully. If they normal/super jump towards you to avoid it, time a strong Oni Yaki to greet them before they can counterattack. If they do a forward roll and avoid it, watch their movements immediately afterward, and if they appear to be readying the defense, poke them with a something like a cr.A. From there, if they want to come in and attack, stuff it with Oni Yaki.
For wakeup meaties, simple attacks such as cr.B, the D throw, and the jump attacks are effective. By using all the patterns to transition jump attacks and cr.B to strong Oboro Guruma or Koto Tsuki, you can force them back to the ground where they belong. When they won’t work out, though, or if you want to proceed with low risk, then if you are in the middle of the screen, the crossup Naraku Otoshi is effective. When you are in the corner or some other situation where the crossup ain’t happening, you’ll have to start reading your opponent again.
Kyo isn’t really much for defense, but he has good stuffing and anti-air capability, so just use prudent offense. This will build gauge, which you can use in lieu of defense. His style is to do this in a cycle of sorts, so learn how to do his rushdown.