The King of Fighters 2002/Kula Diamond
|qcb+A/C ||4||14||18||Fi, Fo||HL|
|AC BD ABC ||19||9||22||HL|
 Stuns opponent for 44 frames.
 Invincible: Frame 1, Invincible Above thigh: Frame 2~5,8~11 Invincible above hip Frame 6~7.
 Invincible: Frame 1~2, Invincible below waist frame 3~8.
 Reflects projectiles on first 3 and last 3 active frames.
 Invincible: Frame 1~5.
 Projectile is released one frame after the active frames of the move.
 Doesn't free cancel into qcb+K.
 Invincible: Frame 1~10.
 Invincible: Up until Recovery.
 Invincible: Frame 1~5
Notes on the Cancel column:
S = Special Cancel
C = Chain cancel
Su= Super Cancel
Fi= Free cancel into
Fo= Free cancel out of
Number between brackets behind cancel implies the hits on which the move can be cancelled. If no numbers is supplied it can be cancelled on every hit.
Kula KOF 2002 Mook
1. Ice Coffin - b/f+C
- Kula grabs the opponent and freezes them in a block of ice before knocking them back
- this is a mash grab - that means, mashing the buttons rapidly will increase the damage, and the opponent mashing on their side will decrease the damage
2. Behind Slash - b/f+D
- Kula grabs the opponent and slashes them, throwing them behind her
1. One Inch - f+A (17,21,22 by itself), (12,21,22 cancelled into)
- Kula performs a slow strike that stays out on screen for a long time
- cancellable if cancelled into, and comes out faster when cancelled into
- hard knockdown and has a counterwire property if not cancelled into, otherwise opponent stays grounded
- cancellable to DMs, cancellable to special moves if cancelled into
2. Slider Shoot - df+B
- Kula slides forward low to the ground, going a little less than half screen distance
- hits low
- has fairly good recovery as long as she doesn't hit deep with it
- useful for going under some fireballs that hover above ground, such as Athena and Robert's
3. Critical Ice - df+C
- hits low an icicle extends from Kula's hand, reaching about 3/4 screen in length
- hits low
- hard knockdown on the third hit
- counterwire if only the third hit connects on counterhit
1. Diamond Breath - qcf+P
- Kula blows ice in front of her, which acts as a projectile
- qcf+A comes out fast and knocks down, putting the opponent into a jugglable state
- qcf+C comes out much slower than qcf+A and doesn't knock down, but stuns the opponent for a long time, allowing her to run/hyper hop in and combo. The stun on qcf+C also puts opponents into a standing state for the next hit, even if they were crouching when they got hit
- free cancellable into
2. Crow Bites - dp+P
- Kula performs a rising uppercut that comes out quick
- dp+A comes out slower than dp+C and does not travel far vertically, but has some startup invinciblity. It's not possible to juggle if cancelling out of the dp+A. dp+A knocks down on hit
- dp+C comes out extremely fast but will make her fly all the way across the screen, having major recovery time
- the first hit of dp+C doesn't knockdown but the second hit does. Second hit can whiff even if the first hit connected
- dp+A and dp+C on the first hit are supercancellable on the first hit to ground DMs, dp+C is supercancellable on the second hit to air SDM
- dp+C is punishable on hit if it connects against a standing opponent, if they recovery roll the knockdown
- free cancellable into
- free cancellable out of on the first hit
3. Counter Shell - qcb+P
- Kula does a quick icy swipe with her hand, which reflects normal and DM projectiles, creating a projectile of her own
- the projectile she fires back can be juggled after and also absorbs other projectiles without dissipating
- works as a decent anti-air as long as the opponent isn't directly above her
- has very good recovery time if blocked and pushes her back on block
- hard knockdown and counterwire
- free cancellable into
- it is possible to free cancel out of this move sometimes but it isn't clear when it can work. Either way, it's useless
4. Ray Spin - qcb+K
- Kula does a twirling kick in the air that has very good recovery on block
- qcb+B does one hit, doesn't knockdown and travels vertically and horizontally shorter than qcb+D
- qcb+D will do two hits on block, where the first knocks the opponent into the air but the second doesn't
- free cancellable into
- can be followed up with her f+B or f+D, listed below
4a. Stand - f+B (after qcb+K)
- kicks forward, sending out an ice projectile that absorbs other projectiles
- not punishable on block but can be rolled right before it comes out and punished badly
- supercancellable on the first hit
- free cancellable out of on the first hit into any special move but qcb+K
4b. Sit - f+D (after qcb+K)
- looks the same as her df+B, except is more punishable if blocked
- knocks the opponent into the air, where they can be further juggled
- hits low
- free cancellable out of into any special move but qcb+K
1. Diamond Edge - qcfx2+P
- sends three icicles forward, coming up from the ground
- fairly good anti-air only against opponents jumping from very far away, it will whiff against jumps that are close to Kula. It can also be rolled easily on block and punished
- not useful outside of combos as she has more reliable anti-airs
1. Freeze Execution - hcbx2+AC
- Kula sends out Diana, who flies horizontally across the screen. If she hits, the opponent is launched into the air
- regardless of whether she hits or whiffs, Kula does full screen attack that cannot be evaded, doing multiple hits
- Kula is invincible during the move and can only be hit at the very end of it, though the recovery is very small
- does great damage if it hits, can be comboed fairly easily as well
- this move does more damage if Kula is in the corner and she is facing away from the corner when the move connects
2. La * Cachora - qcfx2+BD(air)
- slowly drops on top of the opponent, doing pitiful damage if it connects
- removes one stock from the opponent if it connects
- a useless DM, hard to connect with, cannot be comboed into and doesn't do much even if it does happen to hit
1. Freeze Completion - AC BD ABC
- does an attack similar to her f+A, although comes out a bit slower
- if it connects, she will hurt the opponent for about 55% damage
- can be easily rolled behind on reaction, and punished
- cancellable normals are close A, far A, crouch A, close B, far B, crouch B, close C, far C, close D(2), crouch D
- CD is cancellable into specials and DMs
Kula's close D(1) has extra hitstun, allowing Kula to do a hyperhop C into practically any combo listed. It's not practical but technically possible, though I didn't want to list it as a possible starter since it will make things messy.
1. [Jump attack] (Close C(1), f+A)/Close C(2), qcb+B, f+D, dp+C - 30-32% (0 stocks)
This is Kula's most basic combo, that does decent damage for no meter, as well as building about 2/3 of a stock. The reason why I've listed two different starters is that while Close C(1), f+A does more damage than close C(2), you can't try to confirm on the f+A because that move is punishable if not cancelled out of. If the combo is started from a jump attack, then it's not hard to hit confirm into the f+A.
2. [Jump attack] (Close C(1), f+A)/Close C(2), qcb+B, f+D, qcb+P - 25-27% (0 stocks)
Very similar to the combo above except ending with qcb+P. It does slightly less damage but since qcb+P is a hard knockdown, it allows Kula to setup some meaty traps on wakeup. They are explained in the strategy section.
3. Crouch BB, far B, dp+C - 30% (0 stocks)
This is a decent combo from her weak attack pokes but has one problem - it can be punished on hit by a number of characters. The second hit of dp+C also whiffs against a number of crouching characters. Refer to the strategy section for more information about this.
4. Crouch BB, far B, df+B - 19% (0 stocks)
This is a safe but less damaging version of the above combo. Use this one if you don't have meter to supercancel the dp+C and the opponent can punish it on hit, or if the opponent's low crouch will make the second hit of dp+C whiff.
5. Crouch BB, far B, dp+C(1), (S)qcfx2+P - 52% (2 stocks)
This is one of Kula's best combos because it allows her to do big damage off of her low attacks. It's a combo that must be mastered as a Kula player. The supercancel after dp+C must be done very quick, since it comes out fast and has very few cancel frames. Also keep in mind that this combo shouldn't be used in the corner because the DM will do only one hit for small damage, as opposed to the usual 4 hits from midscreen.
6. [Jump attack] (Close C(1), f+A)/Close C(2), BC, run up Close C(1), f+A, hcbx2+AC - 55-70% (3 stocks)
This is your most damaging midscreen combo. The reason the damage varies so much is that the SDM does different damage depending on where Kula and the opponent are on the screen. If Kula is in the corner and the opponent is not, this combo will do 70%.
7. [Jump attack] (Close C(1), f+A)/Close C(2), BC, run up Close C(1), f+A, AC BD ABC - 75% (3 stocks)
This is similar to the above combo but does more damage for the same amount of stock. If you have a chance for the SDM combo, but have low enough health to execute the HSDM, there's no reason to use that combo over this one. Just keep in mind that Kula needs to be closer to the opponent after hitting the f+A for the HSDM to combo after it, making it a harder (but not impossible) combo to do off a jump attack.
8. [Jump attack] (Close C(1), f+A)/Close C(2), BC, run up Close C(1), df+C(2), (C)dp+C(1), (C)qcb+B, f+D, (C)dp+C(1), (C)qcb+C - 50% (2 stocks)
This max combo does more damage than her no stock combos but generally isn't worth unless they will barely die from it. Make sure to cancel the df+C after the second hit since thet third hit knocks down and can't be juggled from.
9. (Standing Yamazaki, outside corner) [Jump attack] (Close C(1), f+A)/Close C(2), BC, run up Close C(1), f+A, dp+C(1), (C)qcb+D, f+B, hcbx2+AC - 70% (3 stocks)
This combo only works on Yamazaki because Yamazaki has a large hitstun hitbox in the air, and it shouldn't be done in the corner, though it will still work if Yamazaki is taken to the corner as long as Kula isn't close to the corner as well. The timing is not strict, just do the hcbx2+AC SDM immediately after Kula has recovered from her f+B.
10. qcb+C(counterwire), superjump CD - 24% (0 stock)
Superjump CD is a basic followup after a counterwire qcb+C. You can land and do qcf+C which will connect as a meaty if they recovery roll.
11. qcb+C(counterwire), run up qcb+B, dp+C - 32% (0 stock)
This is a slightly more situational combo that does a bit more damage but doesn't setup anything afterwards. If Kula is too far from the edge of the screen that the opponent bounces off of, then she won't be able to run up and land qcb+B in time. At many distances though, it's possible.
1. Close C(2), f+A, qcf+A, qcb+B, f+B, qcb+D, crouch C - 45% (0 stock)
A very damaging combo that requires no stock and builds one full stock. Kula must be very close to the opponent when she starts this combo, and it can't be started from a jump attack either, otherwise the f+A will whiff. If a jump attack is used, you will have to resort to a slightly less damaging version of the combo that uses only one hit of close C.
2. [Jump attack] (Close C(1), f+A)/Close C(2), qcf+A, qcb+B, dp+C - 34% (0 stocks)
This is the combo to use if Kula is not as close to the opponent as possible, or if a jump attack was used.
3. [Jump attack] (Close C(1), f+A)/Close C(2), qcf+A, delayed qcb+B, f+B, qcb+C - 32% (0 stocks)
This is a harder version of the combo above that will result in roughly the same damage but with a hard knockdown. If the qcb+B is not delayed, then the f+B will whiff.
4. [Jump attack] (Close C(1), f+A)/Close C(2), BC, run up Close C(1), f+A, dp+C(1), (C)qcf+A, AC BD ABC - 83% (3 stocks)
This is one of Kula's most damaging combos. Inputting qcf+A after dp+C would give you a supercancel, so instead you can input the shortcut dp+C, A. After the qcf+A, the HSDM must be immediately executed or it will whiff.
Kula is a fairly strong character that in most cases, can take control of a match very well with her great pokes like far B. She builds meter very well and has damaging combos that require no meter, making her an ideal character to put first on a team. Her combos won't exceed 4 stocks, except in some extreme situations which are uncommon and very hard to pull off anyways. She has a number of relatively bad matchups, mainly against grapplers.
- fast and far reaching pokes
- builds meter easily using pokes and qcb+B
- good damage from combos that take no meter
- strong anti-airs for different situations, such as crouch C, qcb+C and dp+C
- reversal options are risky even if they hit(dp+C) or require good hit confirmation (qcb+B)
- high low game is not as strong as other characters
- no reliable crossups
Offense and Pressure
Kula has a number of useful jump attacks that work for air to ground purposes. Her jump C and jump D have almost the same purpose except that jump D has a longer vertical hitbox, allowing it to hit from higher up (although she won't be able to combo afterwards). Jump CD also works for both air to ground and air to air, though it comes out slower and some characters can crouch underneath it. Her crouch B is one of the best low pokes in the game, and is actually faster than Iori's. There is one problem however, that makes them not as powerful as they could have been - she has a df+B slide. This means it isn't possible run while holding downforward, then hit df+B to do an instant crouch B. Instead, you will have to pause your run (which takes a few frames) to crouch, then do the crouch B. This limits her ability to pressure with run forward lows. Technically it is still possible but not as easy or as quick. The poke you're going to be using the most is her far B, which happens to be one of the best pokes in the game for a number of reasons. It comes out fast, has good range with a fairly large hitbox, can be cancelled into and builds a lot of meter. In fact, Kula's weak attacks build more meter than the majority of the cast.
After the far B, Kula has a number of options:
1. slight walk forward, then far B
The walk forward should only be a few pixels, just enough to put her back into range for the far B connect.
2. repeated far B's at that spot
At the spot that the opponent is, pretty much any pokes he does will get stuff by her crouch B. If he jumps from that spot, then depending on the spacing, the far B will either hit them as they are leaving the ground, or they will be able to into the air but Kula will recover way before their jump attack can connect. Some players might decide to roll in, which would be a bad choice since Kula will definitely recover first and can punish them with any combos.
With qcb+B, you can either cancel the far B into it, or execute it after the far B has recovered. This change in timing, along with inconsistent timings of far B's, will confuse the opponent further. qcb+B is punishable midscreen by some characters, if it's executed too close to the opponent. The ideal spacing to make it safe is to cancel it at the range that you would be at after opponent was hit by or blocked a far B. Otherwise, characters with instant command grabs, as well as very fast normals (Kim close C) will be able to punish it regardless of whether she decides to followup or not. In the corner, it isn't safe to use qcb+B from that range because she will land right in throw range. You'll have to throw it out from even further away, well out of far B range. Far B into qcb+B is not a combo, but there is a slight gap in which if the opponent tries to jump, poke or reversal in between, they will get hit. Hit confirming qcb+B into her f+D is very important. You don't want to do the f+D followup on block since you will be severely punished for it. You also don't want to miss out on opportunities to do damage in case it does hit.
There is a small gap in between the far B and qcf+A in which if they do anything, they will get hit. Some reversals, such as Kim's B flash kick, can counter it unless spaced so that the tip of her far B connects. Unlike the usage of qcb+B which can be cancelled from far B or just done by itself, it isn't advisable to do qcf+A by itself because the opponent can superjump and counterhit her. They can't really punish it on reaction but they can predict it. If the opponent rolls between the far B and qcf+A, Kula would recover first and be able to throw them, though doing an attack aside from a throw would be risky. qcf+A is more useful in the corner because she can juggle after it for some decent damage.
Other Attack Strings
1. Close C(2) -> f+A -> qcf+A (corner)
Don't use this string if the opponent has stock, since they can guard roll and punish you. If the opponent tries to jump out after the f+A, or does anything but roll, they will get hit by the qcf+A, which will start the corner juggle. Kula can't be punished if they roll since she recovers first. She can punish a roll with far B hit confirmed into whatever combo, preferably into supercancelled dp+C. The qcf+A can be avoided with no punishment by rolling backwards.
2. Close C(2) -> f+A -> qcf+C (corner)
Don't use this string if the opponent has stock, for the same reason as the string above. This string should be used less often than the one above because it's more punishable, but can lead to a bigger reward if used right. The general reaction of most players when expecting a qcf+A is to roll forward. In the first string listed above, rolls can be punished though not for much damage unless the opponent has stock. You might even want to purposely not punish their roll after qcf+A, to make them think that it is a decent escape. If they roll expecting a qcf+A, and you do qcf+C instead, it will catch the roll and allow Kula to run forward into a full combo. If they rolled backwards expecting the qcf+A, they will also get hit. The problem is this string can be punished on anticipation in two ways. Opponent can roll forward
3. Close C(1) -> qcf+A -> Close C(1) -> qcf+A, ... (corner)
Generally speaking, don't use this string if the opponent has stock since they could punish you. You might be able to get away with just one repetition of close C(1), qcf+A since the opponent might not be ready to guard roll the first hit (either that or they might be expecting another string that would require guard rolling later to punish).
The first hit of close C doesn't push Kula back and neither does her qcf+A, so in theory this string can be done infinitely without Kula being pushed back out of range. After the qcf+A, she has a frame advantage, so the actual punish point here is between the cancel from close C to qcf+A and some characters don't have the tools to punish this. I wouldn't recommend continuously repeating this string, so after qcf+A, consider executing some other kind of corner string or jump attack or perhaps no string at all. You can also do a qcb+P after, which can counterwire if they decided to do some non-instant attack afterwards. Beware of grapplers, they can throw between the string easily.
4. Jump attack forward, hop back D/hyperhop back D
Kula's jump D is an instant overhead but only if hopping or hyperhopping. It's timing and spacing is also pretty tight, so you can't land the instant overhead after say, a crouch B.
5. Crouch D -> df+B
This string is only effective as a surprise so it should be used very rarely. Kula's main choice for low attacks is her crouch B, to the point where players may forget that her crouch D has more range and also hits low. The df+B also hits low and will connect at the very tip, making it safe on block.
Options on the opponent's wakeup
Unfortunately, Kula has only one practical move that allows for enough time to setup a mixup before they get up. The rest of her knockdown moves, such as df+B, dp+A, dp+C and qcf+A, all knock the opponent too far or Kula doesn't recover fast enough compared to the opponent. The main thing you're going to be able to do after these moves is to just run forward and get to your preferred spacing, which is usually far B range.
1. After qcb+P
- Midscreen, Kula has enough time to run forward and do a jump attack, as well as an empty jump into low. Safe jumping is technically possible but there isn't any reliable way to time it.
- in the corner, Kula has more time to setup an offense. Aside from the options listed for midscreen, she can also backdash and immediately do a qcf+A, which will connect as a meaty. She can also backdash into qcf+C, which won't connect as a meaty but Kula will recover first.
- in the corner, she can also do an instant overhead hopback D. She also has enough time to perform some fakeouts before executing it (such as empty jumps and whiffing low attacks).
- If Kula lands qcb+P such that the opponent is thrown into the corner but Kula is not in the corner herself (though close enough that her qcf+C ice breath would reach them), then she can do it as a meaty. Characters get up at different speeds but in most cases, a whiffing stand CD cancelled into qcf+C, will make it hit on top of them when they get up.
- after the counterwire, you can do an immediate superjump CD, then a qcf+C upon landing. If they recovery roll, then the qcf+C will connect as a meaty. If that hits, you can combo after it with a superjump D. This setup should be used rarely, so that it's more of a surprise when you do a meaty qcf+C on them after jump CD.
Kula has a number of combo resets, where she can either run under afterwards or do a meaty qcf+C.
1. after f+D followup of qcb+K, Close C(1), qcf+C (opponent in corner, Kula near corner). Technically this setup works midscreen but if it hits, Kula is too far away to followup. It doesn't work if Kula and the opponent are both in the corner since the qcf+C whiffs. The best use is when the opponent is in the corner and Kula isn't, so when the qcf+C hits, she can followup with a full combo. Also, if it's blocked, Kula will be close enough to take advantage of the blockstun.
2. qcf+A, far B, qcf+C (corner)
If qcf+A connects, you can combo a far B and cancel to qcf+C, in which it will connect as a meaty. This setup is especially useful if your qcf+A connected but you weren't ready to input the followup combo. Far B is fast and easy connect after qcf+A.
3. after f+D followup of qcb+K, Crouch C, BC, run underneath close C (midscreen) This is a nice trick that is surprisingly hardly ever used in matches. In most cases, if you use it rarely, the opponent will be caught off guard by it. The run after the BC should be done immediately, otherwise you won't make it to the other side. From there, you can hit confirm into either close C(2), hcbx2+AC or close C(2), dp+C(1), (C)qcb+B, f+D, (C)dp+C(1), (C)qcb+P.
Anti-airing and Defense
Kula has a number of anti-airs moves that cover a variety of different situations.
- If the opponent is coming down in front of you, you can counter them with her dp+C. They must be in front of her and not say, directly above her, because her dp+C travels diagonally upwards with a lot of horizontal range. Her dp+C can also trade, sending the opponent vertically into the air. Kula can recover first and combo afterwards (usually with jump CD).
- If the opponent is jumping in such a way that they will land directly over you and possibly cross up, then crouch C will deal with it. It's preferable to input it as early as you can, because her hair has a decent vertical hitbox and stays out for a while.
- qcb+P is an interesting anti-air that will come in handy if the opponent is hopping/hyper hopping from close range. In most cases it will counterwire the opponent, allowing Kula to followup with a combo.
Options on your own wakeup
- Kula's qcb+B is a very good reversal because it actually has upperbody and lowerbody startup invincibility. The upperbody invincibility doesn't last very long, but the lowerbody invincibility remains until she lands.
- If you predict a low attack, then qcb+B is the ideal counter. Keep in mind though that some characters have crouch B's that go underneath her qcb+B, such as K' and Andy.
- Against mid attacks, qcb+B can still be an option but it depends on how meaty the normal is and when it was done. If for example, Clark does a close C when Kula gets up, qcb+B will go through the first hit but the later frames of the second hit will hit her out of it.
- Keep in mind that if you mispredict that they will attack, then Kula's qcb+B can be punished by some characters regardless of whether she follows up or not (such as character's with one frame grabs).
- dp+A can be used as a slightly faster, more invincibile but riskier reversal move. Just prepare to be comboed hard if it's blocked.
- Don't use dp+C as a reversal unless you are going to supercancel it. Refer to the section below which discusses the risks of using her dp+C (not just as reversals but also in combos).
The risks of Kula's dp+C
Aside from the severe punishment you would receive if her dp+C whiffs or is blocked, if Kula hits a grounded character with a dp+C, the opponent can punish Kula afterwards with certain moves by recovery rolling and doing a reversal. The characters and their moves that can punish her are:
- Clark: hcf+K, hcbx2+P
- Ralf: hcf+K
- Vice: hcb f+P, hcbx2+K
- Daimon: hcbx2+P, hcb f+P
- Yamazaki: hcbx2+P
- Athena: dp+P
- Orochi Yashiro: hcb f+P, hcbx2+P
- Maxima: hcf+K, hcbx2+K
- Shermie: hcf+P, hcbx2+P
- Ramon: hcf+P, hcbx2+P
- Iori: close C(if by the corner), dp+C
- Kim: close C(if by the corner)
- Kyo: close C(if by the corner), dp+A, dp+C(only one hit, bad idea), df+D
- Kula: dp+C
- K': crouch A, dp+A(second hit only)
- Chang: hcb f+P, close B, crouch A
- Whip: forward+B(if you just do B from that spot midscreen, you will get far B)
- Ryo: crouch C(close enough that cancelling to qcf hcb+P will combo)
This means that not only do you have to avoid using combos that end in dp+C while opponent is grounded, but you can't reversal with it unless you're going to supercancel into qcfx2+P. Keep in mind that these counters mentioned above only work when the opponent was hit while grounded - if you do a juggle combo into dp+C, or use it for anti-air, then she is safe.
In addition, there are many characters in which, if dp+C hits them while they are crouching, the first hit will connect (not knocking them down) and the second hit will whiff. The crouching characters in which both hits connect are: Maxima, Whip, Robert, Takuma, Daimon, Yamazaki, Billy, Chang, Seth, Ramon
This means that not only do you have to make sure that the opponent isn't crouching when you are going to do the combo, but also if the opponent is going to use a low attack on your wakeup when you decide to reversal. Luckily, Kula has a useful reversal move, qcb+B, that's invincible to low attacks on startup.
Players and videos to check out
Japanese player RF's performance at Evo2005 is one that everyone should check out if they are thinking of picking up Kula. His calmness, perfect spacing of pokes, execution and overall awareness is exactly what is needed to be a good Kula player. The video is here: