The King of Fighters '98 UMFE/EX Mai

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EX Mai is a poking character with some above-average movement options. In neutral, she has access to some great pokes and specials that make her hard to approach. She has decent anti-air options as well, to catch people trying to jump over her pokes. In the air, she has a divekick move that she can use to change her aerial trajectory, making her harder to anti-air. She has an invincible reversal as well, so her defense is decent, although it does require a charge. Her primary weakness is that her mixup game isn't that strong, as her overhead is quite slow and her low confirm isn't great.

Changes to Previous Versions

98 to 98UM


  • st.B's priority has been reduced
  • cr.D's priority has been reduced


  • qcf+P's recovery has been shortened
  • d~u+K has been added; series of flame pillars that work well as an anti-air
  • j.qcf+K has been added; K and P followups have also been added
  • qcb+K's startup has been reduced, B version can combo from lights and D version can combo from heavies


  • qcb,hcf+K now travels diagonally upwards
  • qcfx2+P can now have its travel distance modified by holding the button

98UM to 98UMFE


d~u+K now has invincible startup, but less damage and longer recovery as a result

Normal Moves


  • cl.A: Fairly standard cl.A. Her best choice when it comes to combos from lights. Chainable and cancelable.
  • cl.B: Mai's only other cancelable light except for cl.A, and simply a worse choice than it when it comes to combos and cancels. Cancelable.
  • cl.C: Works well as an anti-air when they're close enough for it to activate. Cancelable.
  • cl.D: Hits a good vertical portion in front of Mai. Another decent anti-air if they're up close, but it doesn't have as much range as cl.C, so stick to that one for anti-airing purposes. Cancelable.


  • st.A: Fast poke, but with short reach and bad priority.
  • st.B: Fast and long-ranged. Excellent poke to stop the opponent's hops. Whiffs on all crouchers.
  • st.C: Poke with decent range that can function as an anti-air for hops and occasionally jumps. Can also be used as an occasional poke to try and beat an opponent's button.
  • st.D: Has low invincibility starting from the active frames through half of the recovery frames.


  • cr.A: Long range and good priority for a cr.A, so it works well as a poke; unfortunately, unlike most cr.As it's not chainable or cancelable.
  • cr.B: EX Mai's only low combo starter and therefore an important tool, but when compared to other cr.Bs it is quite slow. Chainable.
  • cr.C: EX Mai's main combo normal alongside cr.B. It comes out fast, has good range, and has a nice amount of active frames, making it good for meaties. This also makes it a good hit-confirming tool. Cancelable.
  • cr.D: It has good range and a nice amount of active frames, making it good for meaties, and is cancelable into qcf+P or something like d~u+P. Altogether a nice sweep. Cancelable.


  • j.A: Has a nice long hitbox below her, so it can be used as a jump-in, though it is outclassed by j.D for this. Cancelable.
  • nj.A: A jumping attack, very similar to j.A, but with her fan fully unfolded. Just like with j.A, EX Mai has better options for downwards-hitting attacks than this.
  • j.B: This move has nice priority, making it useful as an air-to-air. Can also crossup.
  • nj.B: Has a long hitbox in front of her, but doesn't have good priority, so it's prone to trading or getting beaten as an air-to-air. Therefore, it's best to avoid this move.
  • j.C: This move comes out fast and has a good hitbox for air-to-airs. On grounded opponents, it has less hitstop than other jumping heavies, making it trickier to combo out of as you need to do the following attack in the combo very quickly. Cancelable.
  • nj.C: Can hit people above EX Mai, but has no other real uses.
  • j.D: EX Mai's main jump-in attack of choice, as it is fairly fast and has a good hitbox. It can also be used as an air-to-air when jumping back. Cancelable.
  • nj.D: Your best air-to-air normal when you happen to be neutral jumping.


Shiranui Flaming Steel Crush: b/f+C (close)

  • Regular throw, techable. EX Mai grabs the opponent and does a front flip above the opponent, and then flings them forward fullscreen away. EX Mai moves forward a bit with the throw.

Windmill Destroyer: b/f+D (close)

  • Regular throw, techable. EX Mai grabs the opponent's head with her legs and does a backflip, carrying the opponent with her and flinging them back almost fullscreen away. EX Mai moves forward a bit with the throw.

Cherry Blossom Phantasm (Air Throw): b/d/f+C (close, in air)

  • Air throw, not techable. EX Mai grabs the opponent in the air and brings them straight down to the ground. Causes a hard knockdown.

Command Moves

Crimson Crane Dance: df+B

  • A sliding kick that hits low twice.
  • Does not low-profile moves.
  • Not cancelable.
  • Causes a soft knockdown.

Black Swallow Dance: f+B

  • A long forwards-hopping kick. Hits overhead.
  • Has a lot of startup, but is plus on block.
  • On hit, you can link a cr.C afterwards for a combo if you're close enough.
  • Can be used as a nice frametrap when canceled into.

Fortune's Wheel Drop: d+A (in air)

  • A downwards hammerfist. Has quite small range, but deals a lot of hitstun and blockstun, so it can be used as a combo starter as well as for pressure.
  • When used during a backdash, it makes the backdash go faster and further. The earlier you do d+A, the further the backdash will go.
  • Causes a hard knockdown on aerial hit.

Special Moves

Kacho Sen: qcf+A/C

  • EX Mai chucks a fan as a projectile. Both versions travel fullscreen, but the A version travels slower than the C version.
  • One of the key tools in EX Mai's long-range zoning game, as the A version recovers fast enough for EX Mai to react to the opponent's reaction to the fireball.
  • Not great to use at midrange, as the opponent can easily jump or hop over it for a punish, and at that range you have qcb+P, which covers a similar space but with less recovery.

Nocturnal Plover: qcb+B/D

  • A big arching swipe with her fan.
  • B version starts up faster than the D version, but has a little bit less range.
  • Can be used as a mixup alongside qcb+P, as it will catch people trying to jump over that move.
  • Unsafe on block.
  • Cancelable into qcb+P on contact, which makes it a good close combo ender.

Ryu En Bu: qcb+A/C

  • EX Mai produces a flame strike with the tail of her dress.
  • Has a projectile hitbox, giving it amazing priority as the entire flame doesn't have a hurtbox. It's essentially a big fiery shield in front of EX Mai.
  • One of Ex Mai's go-to anti-airs for jumps from further away.
  • It also works great as a safe pressure tool, as the opponent can't really contest it head-on and its large hitbox and generous amount of active frames make it good to catch hops, ill-timed jumps, and roll recovery frames.
  • Causes a soft knockdown on hit and is safe on block.
  • A version hits once and combos from heavies, C version has a second non-projectile hit that allows it to combo from lights.
  • This move is really good, so use it a lot.

Flying Squirrel Dance: d~u+A/C (can be held)

  • EX Mai jumps to the wall at the end of the screen behind her.
  • When done without the followup, EX Mai simply falls to the ground below the wall. This can be a good occasional escape option if you want to create some distance from the opponent.
  • If done with the followup by holding the button, EX Mai does a diving attack diagonally downwards. Actually hitting an opponent with this followup can be tricky, as it will most likely miss if they're not committing to some forward movement.
  • Followup causes a soft knockdown.

Flying Squirrel Dance: qcb+A/C (in air)

  • This does the followup from d~u+P by itself from anywhere in the air, giving EX Mai a pretty standard divekick. This can be a good move to use, since it changes your jump arc and can beat out the opponent's air-to-airs. If spaced well, can be made fairly safe on block.

Deadly Ninja Bees: hcf+B/D

  • EX Mai does a cartwheeling kick that carries her forward.
  • Mostly good as a combo ender, since it's very unsafe on block and thus is risky to throw out in neutral. However, it can technically function as an anti-air.
  • Causes a soft knockdown.

Shiranui Shadow: qcf+B/D (in air)

  • EX Mai rolls up into a spinning ball in midair and descends diagonally. Her other divekick.
  • Unsafe on block if done without a followup.
  • Can be used for some crossup shenanigans by jumping over the opponent and doing it.
Shiranui Shadow Downward Jab: A/C (during qcf+K)
  • This followup to qcf+K does a mid-hitting forwards strike with the fan.
  • Combos from qcf+K and creates a true blockstring on block if done right away.
  • Fairly safe when properly spaced.
  • Causes soft knockdown.
Shiranui Shadow Uppercut Crush: B/D (during qcf+K)
  • EX Mai does a downwards arching kick from qcf+K.
  • Hits overhead.
  • Leaves you open to reversals.
  • The big problem with this followup is that it's less safe than her other one, and since that one hits mid, there's actually no mixup from this. The opponent can always stand block the whole thing, regardless of followup.
  • Causes a soft knockdown.

Solar Flame Dance: d~u+B/D

  • EX Mai creates a projection of herself out of fire that then travels around her a bit.
  • EX Mai's go-to meterless anti-air and reversal choice.
  • Punishable on block or whiff.
  • Has invincibility throughout startup and the entire first hit.
  • Causes a soft knockdown.

Desperation Moves

Super Deadly Ninja Bees: qcb,hcf+B/D

  • EX Mai does cartwheeling kick similar to her hcf+K, but this one is more fiery and travels diagonally upwards.
  • B version travels upwards directly, and D version travels forward for 2 hits and then upwards.
  • B version makes for a good metered anti-air.
  • D version is good for combo-ing into.
  • Has startup invincibility.
  • Causes a soft knockdown.

Flower Storm: qcfx2+A/C (can be held)

  • A forwards-rushing move that flies straight upwards on contact or when you choose to.
  • If you push and hold the button she'll charge forward and you can release at will before you hit the opponent; if you don't hold & charge, she'll go straight up like a DP.
  • A good combo DM, since it causes a hard knockdown, which gives you more time to set up oki.
  • Has startup invincibility.


General Notes:



cr.B, st.A, (qcb+K), qcb+C
Most damaging meterless combo from a low starter. The qcb+K, qcb+C has to be done fast or the last qcb+C will whiff. You can choose to just do the qcb+C for more consistency at the cost of a small amount of damage.


(j.X), cr.C, (qcb+K), qcb+C
qcb+C is the most consistent ender for your combos. qcb+K, qcb+C can be used point-blank.
(j.X), cr.C, hcf+D
More damaging than the above combo, but much more unsafe if not confirmed.


f+B, cr.C, qcb+C
Link combo after hitting the overhead fairly close.

With Meter


cr.B, st.A, qcb,hcf+D


(j.X), cr.C, qcb,hcf+D
Very consistent, because it carries forward before going upwards.


f+B, cr.C, qcb,hcf+D

Dodge Cancel

df+B, AB, A, hcf+D/qcb,hcf+D
Slide conversion with Extra mode or Ultimate mode with dodge.

Strategy & Tips


External Links

The King of Fighters '98 Ultimate Match Final Edition

FAQSystemControlsGuidesChangelistMatch VideosAdvanced StrategyFrame Data & Hitboxes


Andy BogardAthena AsamiyaBenimaru NikaidoBilly KaneBlue MaryBrian BattlerChang KoehanChin GentsaiChizuru KaguraChoi BoungeChrisClark StillEiji KisaragiGeese HowardGoro DaimonHeavy D!HeidernIori YagamiJoe HigashiKasumi TodohKim KaphwanKingKyo KusanagiLeona HeidernLucky GlauberMai ShiranuiMatureMr. BigRalf JonesRobert GarciaRugal BernsteinRyo SakazakiRyuji YamazakiSaisyu KusanagiShermieShingo YabukiSie KensouTakuma SakazakiTerry BogardViceWolfgang KrauserYashiro NanakaseYuri Sakazaki

EX Characters

EX AndyEX BillyEX Blue MaryEX GeeseEX JoeEX KingEX KyoEX MaiEX RobertEX RyoEX TerryEX YamazakiEX YuriOrochi ChrisOrochi ShermieOrochi Yashiro