The King of Fighters 2002 UM/Iori Yagami
Super Desperation Move
cr.B, cr.A/cl.B, qcb+Ax3 = 19%
(jump-in), cl.C, qcb+Px3 = 20%
cr.B, cr.A/cl.B, f+A, qcf,hcb+P = 32%
(jump-in), cl.C, f+A, qcf,hcb+P = 34%
cr.B, cr.A/cl.B, f+A, qcf,hcb+P > qcfx4+AC = 40%
(jump-in), cl.C, f+A, qcf,hcb+P > qcfx4+AC = 42%
Iori is one of the classic KoF characters who has gained quite a reputation over the years for his strength in KoF games like '98, 2000 and XIII. He's commonly called a rushdown/mixup character, but he's fairly versatile and has a simple but universal toolset. He has both a projectile and a DP, as well as a rekka and a command grab, all with a great set of ground and air normals. But the most notorious part about him is his oki/mixups. Iori's main BnB always leads into hard knockdown, and then he can force the opponent to guess between a meaty, a command grab, or his ridiculously good crossup, which again leads into another hard knockdown. This "vortex" style of play with a very strong mixup game is perhaps what earned Iori his reputation. He is often called "easy to pick up, but difficult to master"; his tools are easy to understand and don't change much from game to game, but when used right, Iori becomes a pain to deal with.
Changes from other games
Despite his reputation as the series' top tier, in this game Iori is commonly put into mid tier, which often leads to confusion and questions. So to make it clear, Iori is still largely the same, but a few small nerfs change the picture:
1) f+A is not cancelable. This seemingly small change shortens Iori's confirms and lowers the damage on his BnBs. It adds up with other small nerfs, bringing Iori's combo damage noticeably below other top tier characters (such as K' or Kasumi).
2) Scum Gale is not invincible, making it harder to land without getting hit, and not allowing it to be used as reversal.
3) Iori's Max Mode damage is on the lower end of average, and with only 1 hit to confirm from for optimal damage.
4) No stun means that unlike in KoF '98 and 2000, Iori can't stun in 2-3 combos anymore.
5) Priority on his buttons has gotten worse, making him more likely to get beaten and zoned out.
This may sound like a deal breaker, but otherwise, as said above, Iori is still largely the same. Most of his moves are virtually the same as before, and the same mixups that made him notoriously strong in other games still do apply, it's just that he won't kill in 2 combos anymore, and will need to work harder in order to win.
- cl.A/B/C are cancelable.
- cl.A hits around waistline (so not very good vs hop), chainable so can be used as combo filler. Can link into cl.C on hit.
- cl.B is a low attack with a close activation range. Has best frame advantage (+2 on block/+4 on hit) among his cancelable light normals, so good for strings/confirm chains. You can link cl.C after it on hit (1f link, not 2f due to pushback).
- cl.C is very fast with a 3f startup. Main combo starter after a jump-in or for when you need a heavy attack. Also great for close punishes, frametraps, and as a close anti-air as well to stop hops/jumps. Reaches very high, so it works well for run-unders and stopping opponents from jumping above your head. Only the first part before his arm is stretched is cancelable.
- cl.D doesn't cancel into anything but covers a big area and is useful for a quick anti-air to stop opponents from jumping out of the corner. Has better activation range than cl.C.
- st.C is cancelable, the rest isn't.
- st.A is +4 on block which is good for poking at a close range and to bait and block Guard Cancel Attacks, also useful for frametraps. The distance on the stand A is rather short, though. Doesn't hit very high so unlike most st.As, this one isn't very good to stop hops.
- st.B is a good close range poke that is aimed at the opponents lower midsection. It is fast, has good recovery, and can be used to frame trap opponents with qcb+A.
- st.C has good range and is cancelable. It's good for punishes just outside of close normals' range. The recovery isn't great but can be canceled into specials for safety.
- st.D is a long button with decent speed that hits pretty high too. Good for pokes when done on the tip, and also for preemptively stopping hop attacks, but its whiff recovery is bad.
- cr.A/B/C are cancelable.
- cr.A has great range and can be canceled into qcb+A. Chainable.
- cr.B will be used a lot for his high low/pressure, rush down and for starting combos. It's a little slower than other cr.Bs in the game and chains a bit slower too, but stays out for a long time, making it very good to catch jump landings with. When running at your opponent, you can use this to stop your dash and to throw out a quick low attack, next to hyper hopping j.C.
- cr.C can be used to anti-air opponents but, it might trade sometimes if timed incorrectly. A bit slow to use on reaction, but decent vs hops (Iori doesn't have many buttons to cover this for him).
- cr.D is very fast and long, but has very bad recovery and isn't cancel-able on hit or on block, so whiffing it or having it blocked can leave you wide open. Use with caution. Might work as a punish when nothing else reaches in time.
- j.A has a rather sharp downward angle which can be good to use next to his j.C because it start quicker. Stays out for quite a while.
- j.B is a very long poke that stays out for a long time. Good for air-to-air attacks, and stopping incoming hop pressure. Be careful though because it whiffs on low crouchers but Chris.
- j.C is a bit slow, but very deep jump-in. Good because it can't be low profiled easily, and it is also fairly hard to anti-air against as well on wake up. Use it to fully utilize Iori's annoying high/low mixup game on a fallen opponent, or to pressure at close range next to his cr.B. It's a little weak as an air-to-air normal, so use j.B for that purpose.
- j.D is a good multi-purpose button that can be used as an air-to-air attack during certain ranges, and as a jump-in as well, but it may miss on crouching opponents if performed too early. Useful because of its versatility and how much air it covers.
- st.CD is standard, cancelable on hit/block/whiff, but also can be canceled into command normals. You can try to use it as a preemptive anti-hop attack, but it isn't guaranteed.
- j.CD comes out pretty quick, and has a horizontal angle. Good for air-to-airs and works as a jump-in too, but will whiffs on low crouchers but Chris. Good priority (better than his other jump attacks).
Reverse Skinner - (f/b + C) close
- Standard C throw. Breakable and sends the opponent flying far away but it recovers fast enough to meaty the opponent if they didn't tech the knockdown.
- Can be broken
- Soft knockdown
Double-reverse Skinner - (f/b + D) close
- Same deal as above. Sadly, unlike many characters' D throws, this one doesn't cause hard knockdown.
- Can be broken
- Back turned soft knockdown
Dream Blast - (f + A > A)
- Iori performs a f+A slash looking identical to his st.C, then an optional 2nd hit that looks like a backhand punch if the player inputs a 2nd A on a pretty fast timing, a double tap may help.
- The first hit is a quick long range attack that doesn't do much damage or knock down, but comboes from light and heavy attacks and is pretty safe on block from distance. Sadly, unlike in most other KoF games, in this game this attack can't be canceled into specials but only supers, which impacts Iori's confirms and damage in a negative way. It can replace a qcb+A ender that'd be unsafe against some characters (e.g. vs Kula or Ryo), although the damage is very low and sub-optimal. It mostly gets some situational use in combos.
- The 2nd hit is cancelable into specials. The interesting property of this move is its high damage, it deals quite a lot on its own and allows for some of the most damaging combos for Iori. However, because you need to be point-blank, it's not very convenient to start combos with it, and the pushback only allows for the longest range attacks to combo after it (qcb+C/qcf, hcb+P); any more distance and the attacks may whiff, so be very careful if you choose to combo from this move. Otherwise, the move may be useful for frametrap and to surprise an unsuspecting opponent. Overall, a pretty tricky move, and not easy to use.
- First hit cancel-able only into the second hit and supers.
- Second hit cancel-able on hit
Combo Advice: f+A (the 1st hit) gives Iori 2-3 hit confirms by canceling into Maiden Masher (qcf, hcb+P), or a fairly limiting but useful max bypass qcb+BC. While f+A becomes cancelable in max mode, it doesn't add much damage, and canceling it drains your max mode bar, so not very useful to do that. The second hit f+A > A will properly connect only off a point-blank cl.B/cl.A/cr.A which makes it best after a j.b+B cross-up.
Thunder Axe Shadow Reaper - (f + B)
- Iori's standing overhead. Long range, but slow and bad recovery on block. Not cancelable when done raw, so not very useful this way but may work once in a blue moon. Becomes cancelable when canceled into; won't combo from anything, but somewhat OK to use as a frametrap after cl.C.
- Overhead attack
- Only cancel-able on block if canceled from a cancel-able normal
Lily Breaker - in air, (b + B)
- A command cross-up also known as "taco" that hits behind Iori. Technically you press "back"+B to perform it, but if you want to crossup with it, it can be easier to think of it as holding "forward", jumping, then pressing B when you still keep holding the same direction.
- As a crossup, this move has huge range and also does more hitstun/blockstun than most attacks in the game, making comboing after it easier than after other air normals. Obviously, this is very useful for mixups. The move may even appear overpowered at a glance, however there are several caveats to it (see Strategies section). Still, with all these caveats, this can be a scary mixup option, especially VS unprepared players and those unfamiliar with Iori. Landing it may get easier if you find good setups; it may be used several times in a row to harass your opponent, too, and paired with Iori's other mixup options, the "taco" can become a nightmare for the opponent to block.
- This move has another important use: you may perform it during backdash (like b, b+B). This causes Iori to leap much further backwards than he normally does, almost full stage distance. This is an excellent tool to reset the spacing or run away from the opponent very quickly.
- Cross-up attack only
Combo Advice: It's rather easy to combo from this kick into anything. The stun from this move is so long that it can allow to confirm from one hit.
Fireball - (dp + A/C) = 8%/13% dmg
- A pretty standard DP. The light version is only invincible up to the hit (can trade) and recovers relatively quickly, also on a counter it will deal 2 hits and a bit more damage. The heavy version deals 3 hits and is fully invincible on the 1st hit (can't trade); it goes very high and is very unsafe. This move is used as any other DP, i.e. as an anti-air/reversal. The slight downside here is that both versions hit a little low on the first few frames, so take this into account when timing it.
Combo Advice: Not the best move to combo into normally, but it forms the base of Iori's max mode combos, and can also supercancel into his DMs, so there's that.
- Regular knockdown
- Super cancellable
Dark Thrust - (qcf + A/C) = 10% dmg
- A standard low projectile, but with good speed. Light version travels slowly, heavy version travels much quicker. This move comes out faster than most projectiles, which is a big plus, but the recovery on it is pretty average. Since this is a low projectile, it's not hard to go over it with a jump or a hyperhop. For this reason, this move is not exactly good for "zoning" out your opponent per se, as it doesn't cover the air very well, and it is pretty dangerous for Iori to throw it carelessly in close/mid range as he risks eating a full combo with it. Still, this move works well in a standard projectile fashion — to hit the grounded opponent, as a sort of safe poke or a frmetrap or an ender to blockstrings, as well as catch jump landings, - and it is still relatively safe to throw from far distance.
Combo Advice: Not really a "combo" move, but it will combo from light attacks up close. Also OK to cancel into from st.C/st.CD for frametraps/combos.
- Ground projectile
Deadly Flower - (qcb + A/C up to 3 times) = 12% dmg
- Iori quickly slides forward with 3 strikes, slamming the opponent into the ground with the last one. This is a "rekka" special, i.e. you perform each of the 3 hits with a separate qcb+P input; you can stop on 1-2 hits, or delay the hits a bit. The 2nd hit launches, the 3rd hit is an overhead and causes hard knockdown.
- Both versions deal the same damage. The light version is very fast, safe, goes a good distance forward and comboes from both light and heavy attacks. The heavy version only comboes from heavy attacks, but goes even further; it is not as safe as the light version though. (Also note that the 1st hit of qcb+C has a short window of upper body invincibility on startup that may allow it to slide under some attacks/projectiles.)
- This is an important move for Iori that can serve many purposes. It works very well for combos, as a fast & long range punisher, and can also be used as a poke or even a situational anti-air (from far range). The first hit of qcb+A is pretty hard to punish on tip, so it works as an extra hit to confirm off, and a safe-ish poke or an ender to blockstrings. And the last hit of the rekka gives Iori a lot of advantage on knockdown, making a perfect setup for his oki. (see more detailed notes about the move in Strategies section)
Combo Advice: The rekka can be comboed into from pretty much everything and in any situation. From cr.B, cl.B/cr.A and whenever unsure of the hit always use qcb+A to confirm. Qcb+C is only preferred around st.C's tip and when you've confirmed the hit prior, to get some extra carry.
- Hard knockdown
- Can be used up to 3 times in a row
- Last hit is an overhead
Dark Crescent Slice - (hcb + B/D) = 17% dmg
- Iori runs up to the opponent, slams their head on the ground, then blasts them with fire. This is a hit-grab, i.e. it's blockable, but it looks like a grab. Light version travels half screen while the heavy version travels full screen; both versions deal the same damage. This move deals 5% more damage than Iori's rekkas, but only comboes from cl.C and is really unsafe on block, so its mainly used in combos to get more damage on punish/after confirm. Not a good move to use in the neutral or throw on block randomly though. Iori runs a bit faster during this move than he does normally, so it can be used to cover distance faster after a knockdown. Has invincibility to some cr.Bs, although probably this won't find much use.
Combo Advice: Comboes from Iori's cl.C and cr.C (from close only). Causes hard knockdown which you can use set up a few wake-up options, much like with the rekka. Also useful for max mode combo strings.
- Hard knockdown
- Running hit-grab
- Can be blocked
Scum Gale - close, (hcb, f + A/C) = 0% dmg
- A delayed command grab. Iori grasps the opponent and switches sides with them, pushing them away. By itself, this move deals no damage, but you're free to connect any combo after it (as long as it reaches). This is a very important tool for Iori's mixups that works to open up your opponent, and can be a very scary option if used well. Sadly, unlike in some other games, in this game this move has no invincibility whatsoever, so it can get beaten with any attack on its startup, and throwing it randomly is pretty risky — even more so if you become predictable with it. However, when paired with Iori's other mixup options, it is not so easy to see Scum Gale coming. Getting unpredictable with the move is key, and Iori has many opportunities where he can land this (please see Strategies section for some ideas). If you're good enough, you may be able to land max mode combos for 50-60% damage from Scum Gale, which makes this move much scarier than it already is.
Combo Advice: Any time you land Scum Gale, you have several choices. For an easy good option, you can do st.C xx qcb+Cx3 or qcf, hcb+P. For a harder but more damaging option, if you are quick enough, you can run up with a close C to land pretty much any 0-3 bar combo. The timing is tricky but it's worth learning. The grab itself can be comboed into from light attacks point blank, which opens up some advanced combos for Iori, and even an infinite (see combos section); however, they are not strictly essential, and some of them add somewhat little damage for the high difficulty.
- Deals no damage
- Slow command grab
Maiden Masher - (qcf,hcb + A/C) = 22% dmg
- Iori rushes towards the opponent, then performs a flurry of claws and scratches ending off in a blast of purple flames. A fast "ranbu" super that hasn't changed much compared to other KOF titles. The damage is average, but the good part is that you can cancel into it from f+A (the 1st hit), giving Iori more damage and an extra hit to confirm from in combos. It has fast start-up (which isn't invincible) which can punish a fair amount of special moves that have poor recovery. Against mid-air projectiles (like Athena's Psycho Ball) he can't duck underneath them during his rush anymore, but he can use this super as a reaction anti-air against regular jumps and hyper hops. On block, the recovery is horrible, so try your best to make sure this DM connects or else you will be punished hard. There is a hard knockdown after the purple flame blast at the end, but the opponent is thrown at almost a half-screen away, so be sure to act quickly if you want to continue the pressure on their wake up.
- Hard knockdown
Combo Advice: Comboes from any of Iori's cancelable normals, and also after f+A (1st hit), which is a preferable way to confirm into it (such as cl.C f+A or cr.B cl.B f+A). You can also super cancel it from his dp+C.
- Wolf Bloom - During Maiden masher, (qcf x 4 + AC) = 8% dmg (30% in total with the DM)
- To perform this followup, you must input the 4 quarters and press AC when Iori blasts the opponent with the ender of Maiden Masher (probably better to start inputting the quarters early, so practice this a bit beforehand). Basically, this is a way to inflict 8% more damage after the DM for 1 extra bar. This attack also ends in hard knockdown, but throws the opponent quite far away after it. Keep in mind that the animation for the DM is quite long, so it may help or harm you when the clock is approaching it's final seconds. Overall, this is a simple, but not very damaging way to spend 2 bars without going into max mode. Not the highest damage you can get for 1 extra bar, but may be worth it if it kills. Ending Max Mode combos with this is not advised, as the Maiden Masher SDM deals more damage for same amount of bar and is easier to combo into.
- Hard knockdown
Flame Comber - (qcf x 2 + B/D) = 25% dmg
- Iori leaps and spins towards the opponent to slam-dunk them into the ground, then spinning them around helicopter style to throw them across the screen. This DM is basically a slow fullscreen overhead attack that is very unsafe on block. Can catch the opponent in the air too, but too slow and unsafe to be used in the neutral, and the super flash gives it away. Won't combo into anything on the ground either. Mainly used in Iori's max mode combos, as he can easily combo into it from a launcher rekka; this move deals 3% more damage than his Maiden Masher DM, so more often than you will see it as a preferred max combo ender for 2 bars (unless you want hard knockdown). Also possible to supercancel into it from an anti-air dp+C, but the timing is very tight, so it's quite risky, and the damage isn't much for 2 bars.
Combo Advice: Won't combo from anything on a grounded opponent. Main combo opportunities with this DM lie in Max Mode, it will easily combo if you launch with qcb+Px2 beforehand.
- Overhead attack
- Regular knockdown
Super Desperation Move
Maiden Masher - (qcf,hcb + AC) = 35% dmg
- SDM version of the Maiden Masher. Deals about 13% more damage, but has pretty slow startup, so it's not very useful for neutral, and harder to combo into than the regular DM version. Good as a Max Mode combo ender though. Even the opponent can't tech after the knockdown, Iori rises at the same time the opponent does making it impossible to apply oki pressure. Best used as an ender to Max Mode combos. Can technically be used as a punisher, but it's slow and rather expensive for this purpose.
Flame Disentangle - (qcb,hcf + AC) = 34% dmg
- This HSDM looks like a more powerful spin-off of the Flame Comber DM (qcfx2+K). Iori prepares for a brief moment, then quickly leaps across the whole stage grabbing the opponent, and spins them around for some damage. This is a command grab. The important part about it is that it's fully invincible during the whole leap; and there is no super flash when Iori takes off before he leaps. All of this can be useful for a surprise invincible attack going through full screen (e.g. to go through projectiles). However, the damage of this HSDM isn't very high, and for the cost one might consider saving bar for something else; alas, it doesn't combo from anything either, so you can't use it to end max mode combos. Moreover, it can be easily expected if the opponent notices you're below 30% health and have enough bar, in which case it can be simply avoided by a hop and badly punished. All in all, this move is pretty situational; only use it if your opponent doesn't expect it and you're willing to burn so much meter for relatively small damage.
Combo Advice: Unfortunately you can't really combo this HDSM from anything. It's mainly a moving command throw that has very slow start-up.
- Regular knockdown
- Moving Command Throw
Parts in bold marked with ★ are essential combos. Parts in parentheses are optional, not counted in damage given.
- Routes starting with "cl.C (BC) ..." may be started with cl.B cl.C (link), very strict timing though
★ cr.B, cl.B/cr.A/cl.A, qcb+Ax3 = 19% dmg
- Main ground hitconfirm combo. Cr.A has more range but it's -1 on block, while cl.B is +2, so cl.B is a bit better for pressure if you're in range for it. Qcb+A (1st hit) is hard to punish for a lot of the characters, so it can sort of work as a 3rd hit to confirm from (although ideally you want to stop before it if your chain gets blocked).
- cr.B, cl.B/cr.A/cl.A, f+A = 10% dmg
- Not much damage, but it's safe on block vs certain characters who can punish the first hit of qcb+A (Ryo, Kula, etc.).
★ (jump-in attack), cl.C, qcb+A/Cx3 = 20% dmg
- Main combo from a jump-in. See notes about qcb+A above.
★ st.C, qcb+Cx3 = 22% dmg
- Good combo for punishes, also the easier followup from Scum Gale.
★ (jump-in attack), cl.C, hcb+K = 26% dmg
- Better damage than qcb+Px3, but hcb+K is very unsafe on block, so only throw it if you're 100% sure it won't get blocked. Can be done after Scum Gale, but you need to run in to get a cl.C, and the timing for it is pretty tight, so if you aren't confident with it, just do st.C, qcb+Cx3.
- (crossup), cl.B, f+A,A, qcb+Cx3 = 30% dmg
- Most damaging meterless combo for Iori, however there's a catch: you need to be point blank for it to work. Even a slight step back may result in qcb+C not reaching, and you need to cancel f+A, A as soon as possible too; delaying the rekkas may also result in whiffed hits, so all in all it is very tricky to get consistently. You can't add a jump-in attack before cl.B either, but you can do this combo after a crossup (which is a good setup to land it).
★ (cr.A/cl.A), hcb,f+P, (st.C, qcb+Cx3)/(run in, cl.C, hcb+K) = 22%/26% dmg
- As mentioned above, 2 basic followups after Scum Gale. To combo the grab from cr.A, you can buffer cr.A like: f, d+A, b, f+P.
- (standing in the corner) (cr.A/cl.A) hcb,f+P, cr.A/cl.A, hcb,f+P, (st.C, qcb+Cx3)/(run in, cl.C, hcb+K)
- A tricky combo to land from the corner to get a little more damage.
- (cr.A/cl.A), hcb,f+P, [run-in cr.A/cl.A, hcb,f+P] (repeat)
- Iori's infinite that is really tricky to perform and hard not to drop. A drop will leave the opponent standing, and this can give them opportunity for a punish. Not exactly a beginner combo. Doesn't do much damage on each hit either.
- cr.B, cr.A/cl.B/cl.A, f+A, qcf,hcb+P = 32% dmg
- Standard damage but good confirm. This combo may be done using special input suppression: when you press B, you keep holding it, then input A, qcf+A (and release B), qcb+P. 11 hits.
- (jump-in attack), cl.C, f+A, qcf,hcb+P = 34% dmg
- confirm into DM from jump-in. 10 hits.
- (crossup), cl.B, f+A,A, qcf,hcb+P = 40% dmg
- Version of a similar meterless route. Very damaging 1 bar combo for Iori, but you need to be point blank for it to work, and you need to cancel f+A, A as soon as possible too, so all in all it is very tricky to get it consistently. You can't add a jump-in attack before cl.B either, but you can do this combo after a crossup (which is a good setup to land it).
- cr.B, cr.A, f+A, qcf,hcb+P > qcfx4+AC = 40% dmg
- 2 bar version of the similar 1 bar combo. Not as much damage as max mode, but this one has a good confirm and is consistent. 18 hits.
- (jump-in attack), cl.C, f+A, qcf,hcb+P > qcfx4+AC = 42% dmg
- 2 bar version of the similar 1 bar combo. 17 hits.
- cl.C, dp+C (2) (SC) qcf,hcb+P = 42% dmg
- Easy to input (as f, qcf+C, qcb+P), but a lot of caveats here. dp+C's 2nd hit will whiff on low crouchers so it's safer to cancel the first hit. Can't add a jump-in for better confirm, or dp+C whiffs even more. Ideally, you want more consistent combos. 11 hits.
- cr.B, [BC], f+A, qcb+Cx2, (C) hcb+K (1), (C) dp+C (2) (SC) qcfx2+D = 38% dmg
- Activating cr.B into f+A is a 2f window but makes you able to convert cr.B very close to the tip. 8 hits.
- f+B [BC] far C, qcb+Cx2, (C) hcb+K (1), (C) dp+C (2) (SC) qcfx2+D = 42% dmg
- A route from an overhead and without a run after BC cancel. f+B is pretty slow and not used as overhead often, but it's possible. 7 hits.
- cl.C [BC] far C, qcb+Cx2, (C) hcb+K (1), (C) dp+C (2) (SC) qcfx2+D = 46% dmg
- A route without a run after BC cancel. Delay the Far C after Max Mode activation slightly for it to connect properly. 8 hits.
★ (jump-in attack), cl.C [BC] cl.C, qcb+C, (C) hcb+K (1), (C) dp+C (2), (C) qcb+Cx2, (C) dp+C (2) (SC) qcfx2+D = 50% dmg
- One of the best routes that work from any position on the screen, and works without issue on low crouchers too. May still work if you get st.C instead of cl.C after the run (if not too far), also doesn't require some fast cancels. Note: vs Bao, Mature and Vice, when doing "hcb+K (1), (C) dp+C", the 2nd hit of dp+C will whiff, so you need to cancel it on the 1st hit.
- (jump-in attack), cl.C [BC] cl.C, hcb+K (1), (C) dp+C (2), (C) hcb+K (1), (C) qcb+Cx2, (C) dp+C (2) (SC) qcfx2+D = 50% dmg
- Very similar combo to the previous one but with slightly less range to work with as you can't afford it with st.C instead of the post-run cl.C.
- (jump-in attack), cl.C [BC] cl.C, qcb+C, (C) hcb+K (1), (C) dp+C (2), (C) hcb+K (1), (C) dp+C (2) (SC) qcf,hcb+P = 47% dmg
- A version of the route above ending with qcf,hcb+P.
★ (jump-in attack), cl.C [BC] cl.C, qcb+C, (C) dp+C (2), (C) qcb+C, (C) dp+C (2), (C) qcb+Cx2, (SC) qcfx2+D = 51% dmg
- Another optimal route that works from any position on the screen. Does a tiny bit more damage than the 2 routes above, and also works with SDM at the end. Pay attention though that when doing "qcb+C, (C) dp+C", dp+C may whiff the 2nd hit on low crouchers and some mid crouchers (e.g. Kyo), and will whiff completely on Bao, Vice and Mature; so vs these characters, you may substitute the "qcb+C, (C) dp+C" to "hcb+K (1), (C) dp+C" (this makes the run a little tighter to get "cl.C, hcb+K", but otherwise is the same).
- (jump-in attack), cl.C [BC] cl.C, dp+C (2), (C) qcb+C, (C) dp+C (2), (C) qcb+Cx2, (C) dp+C (2), (SC) qcfx2+D = 54% dmg
- The most damaging route that works anywhere for Iori, but there's a lot of caveats here. You need to be point blank to connect dp+C (2) after cl.C, and this makes the run very tight. Moreover, dp+C(2) whiffs on low crouchers and a few mid crouchers. All in all, a lot that could go wrong here for extra ~3% damage.
- (jump-in attack), cl.C [BC] cl.C, [dp+C (2), (C) qcb+C]x2, (C) dp+C (2) (SC) qcf,hcb+P = 49% dmg
- Same route as above but with qcf,hcb+P finisher, same notes apply. 19 hits.
- (crossup), cl.B, f+A>A, qcb+(BC), qcb+C, (C) hcb+K(1), (C) dp+C(2), (C) qcb+Cx2 -quickly-, (SC) qcfx2+D = 51% dmg
- Best reserved for crossup, when done very far away from the corner. You need to be point blank for this to work, and even a slight step back may result in qcb+BC not reaching. You can't add a regular jump-in attack before cl.B either, but you can do this combo after a crossup (which is a preferred setup to land it). There are alternative enders to this route after dp+C (2) that need specific distance from corner:
- ...(C) dp+C(2), (C) qcb+Cx2 -quickly-, dp+C(2), (C) qcb+C, (SC) qcfx2+D = 55% dmg
- Different ending of the route above, must be done from about the round start position or so, same notes apply. Note that the 2nd DP is NOT a cancel: you launch with the rekka and then juggle with a DP after it. Perhaps the highest damage route Iori has overall. May also be ended with a SDM after dp+C (2).
- ... (C) dp+C(2), (C) qcb+A (whiff), delay qcb+A, dp+C(2), (C) qcb+C, (SC) qcfx2+D = 55% dmg
- Another version of the same route, for when you're too close to corner for the route above to work. Same notes apply.
- cr.B, cl.B/cr.A/cl.A, f+A, qcb+(BC), qcb+C, (C) hcb+K(1), (C) dp+C(2), (C) qcb+Cx2 -quickly-, (SC) qcfx2+D = 44% dmg
- Same route as above but started from low confirm with 3 hits, doesn't require strict spacing; has same possible followups after dp+C (2) as the above route. Not as much damage as other optimal routes without the said followups, but good confirm, and easy to land (no run after BC needed). Also, better damage than doing qcf,hcb+P > qcfx4+AC from same confirm for same amount of bar, and may do even more damage and allow SDM at the end if you get the right spacing for the followups, so there's that. Getting qcb+C instead of hcb+B after f+A can be made easier if you press BC, then quickly release B and keep holding C.
- (jump-in attack), cl.C, f+A, qcb+(BC), qcb+C, (C) hcb+K(1), (C) dp+C(2), (C) qcb+Cx2 -quickly-, (SC) qcfx2+D = 46% dmg
- Same route as above with confirm from j.C cl.C, same possible followups after dp+C (2). Same notes apply.
- f+B [BC] far C, qcb+Cx2 (SC) qcf,hcb+AC = 46% dmg
- Route from an overhead without a run after BC. 5 hits.
- cr.B, [BC], f+A, qcb+Cx2 (SC) qcf,hcb+AC = 51% dmg
- Route from a low without a run after BC. 6 hits.
- cl.C [BC] far C, qcb+Cx2 (SC) qcf,hcb+AC = 52% dmg
- Route without a run after max mode activation. 6 hits.
★ (jump-in attack), cl.C [BC] cl.C, qcb+C, (C) hcb+K, (C) dp+C (2), (C) hcb+K (1), (C) dp+C (2) (SC) qcb,hcf+AC = 60% dmg
- Optimal route that works on all characters and from any position on stage. Version of the similar route ending in DM. 10 hits.
★ (jump-in attack), cl.C [BC] cl.C, qcb+C, (C) dp+C (2), (C) qcb+C, (C) dp+C (2), (C) qcb+Cx2, (SC) qcf,hcb+AC = 61% dmg
- Another optimal route, similar to the 2 bar version but ends in SDM.
- (jump-in attack), cl.C [BC] cl.C, [dp+C (2), (C) qcb+C]x2, (C) dp+C (2) (SC) qcf,hcb+AC = 63% dmg
- Version of the similar route ending in DM. Works from any position on stage. The caveat is that the run after BC is tight, and dp+C(2) whiffs on low crouchers and a few middle crouchers.
- Notes about air b+B aka taco:
- —Iori cannot hop/hyperhop over a standing opponent, so to land the taco, either you commit to a full jump (which is slower and easier to react to), or you need to force the opponent to crouch to go over them quicker.
- —The move will whiff on low and tiny crouchers but Chris, so about half the game's roster if they crouch; other character may have a move that shrinks their hurtbox, e.g. cr.B, to go under it.
- —The move is not an overhead, and can be blocked crouching.
- Some notes abot the rekka:
- —while qcb+A is relatively safe, every hit of the rekka chain is punishable to some extent, and the more hits you do, the more punishable it gets; but if the opponent gets hasty after a hit, you may catch him with a delayed 2nd/3rd hit (although this is a bit of a gamble). To be safe though, you either confirm into qcb+A/C, or stop on 1 hit of qcb+A.
- —The rekka can be used to punish things that other moves won't reach in time, like blocked light DPs (qcb+A/qcb+C can punish everything -9/-12 and slower in their range, respectively).
- —The hard knockdown finisher of the rekka is a convenient setup for Iori's okizeme, for example meaty / ambiguous roll / crossup / scum gale / etc., which again can lead to another landed rekka, resulting in "vortex" offense that gives Iori a lot of advantage and momentum.
- Iori gets many opportunities to land Scum Gale, and learning to see and use them is key. You can try it on opponent's wakeup, you can do it after a blocked cr.B, you can run in with it (works great if you buffer it with the run), you can throw it from an empty hop, after a jump-in attack, etc etc. Any time when the opponent is scared to press buttons and chooses to block, there's a chance to land this move, so get inventive with it. Also, remember that teched knockdowns don't have any throw invincibility on wakeup, so any time the opponent recovery rolls, you may be able to grab him right after it. Just don't get predictable with it.
- A very common tactic for Iori in the corner is to stand in the distance around the tip of his light rekka. From there, he may threaten both with a projectile and a rekka, while remaining mostly safe and out of reach of most buttons. When the opponent is scared enough, he may attempt Scum Gale or a hop-in attack.
cl A - 5F (+ 1F)
cl B - 6F (+2F)
cl C - 3F (-3F)
cl D - 6F (-1F)
far A - 7F (+4F)
far B - 7F (-1F)
far C - 8F (-5F)
far D - 9F (-10F)
st. CD - 12F (-7F)
cr A - 6F (-1F)
cr B - 6F (+ 0F)
cr C - 8F (-3F)
cr D - 6F (-19F)
f + A[1st hit] - 9F (-5F)
f + A[2nd hit] - ?F (-4F)
f+B - 28F(-11F)
cancel f+B - 24F(-13F)
QCF+A - 12F (-9F)→when blocked close
QCF+C - 11F(-10F)→when blocked close
DP+A[startup] - 6F
DP+A[ground without guard] - (-17F)
DP+A[far guard] - (-17F)
DP+C[startup] - 6F
DP+C[ground without guard] - (-36F)
HCF+B - 18F (-26F)
HCB D - 18F (-30F)
QCB+A x 3[1st hit] - 9F(-11F)
QCB+A x 3[2nd hit] - 8F(-13F)
QCB+A x 3[3rd hit] - ?F(-13F)
QCB+C x 3[1st hit] - 12F(-13F)
QCB+C x 3[2nd hit] - 12F(-14F)
QCB+C x 3[3rd hit] - ?F(-22F)
attack-> HCB,F P - (-26F)
QCF,HCB+A - 7F(-25F)
QCF,HCB+C - 7F(-27F)
QCFx2+B - 20F(-19F)
QCFx2+D - 24F(-26F)
QCF,HCB A+C - 13F(-27F)
QCB,HCF A+C - 33F
Check Iori Yagami's frame data
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