The King of Fighters '98 UMFE/EX Yamazaki
EX Yamazaki is a midrange poking character with a strong emphasis on neutral mindgames and pressure. EX Yamazaki's most defining feature is his long-ranged poke specials, which can cover space in different angles in front of him. Combine this with some good poking normals, and EX Yamazaki's neutral space control becomes quite strong. EX Yamazaki wants to keep you guessing over which move he will do, so that the opponent starts to hesitate in neutral. EX Yamazaki can then use this hesitation to go in, as his own close-range pressure game is quite strong due to his ability to cancel his poking specials' startup to create huge frame advantage for free. He can then make the most of this pressure with his overhead and 1f command grab DM. EX Yamazaki also gets some quite damaging combos, especially when you have a lot of meter to spend.
Changes from Previous Versions
98UM to 98UMFE
- st.C is now cancelable
- f+A's second hit now causes a hard knockdown on the raw version of the move
- qcb+C now has less recovery and is -2 if Guard Cancel Rolled
- hcf+K's damage has been increased from 13 to 21
- qcfx2+P now fully connects more consistently
- cl.A: Standard cl.A, decent combo filler with okay frame advantage. Cancelable.
- cl.B: Solid standing low for mixups and combo filler. Chainable and cancelable.
- cl.C: Very fast combo starter and nice frame trap option. Cancelable.
- cl.D: Slower than cl.C, but has long-reaching second hitbox. Cancelable only on the first hit.
- st.A: Very long anti-hop button.
- st.B: A lower version of st.A. Still does okay as a hop check, but works better at stopping run-ins and similar grounded movement. Chainable.
- st.C: Slow punch, cancelable but too slow to have much use.
- st.D: A big long poke. Large recovery makes it quite risky. Useful as an occasional option, but bad to be predictable with.
- cr.A: Quite typical crouching jab, with okay range and frame advantage. Chainable and cancelable.
- cr.B: Pretty long low, and your main low confirm. Chainable.
- cr.C: Fast upward backfist. Cancelable on hit, block, and whiff.
- cr.D: Long and fast sweep.
- j.A: Somewhat similar to Kyo's and Saisyu's j.B, but not as deep and without the ability to crossup. Still an okay fast jump-in.
- j.B: A very long horizontal ranged kick. Nice air spacing tool. Can crossup, but you can only convert from it on crouchers.
- j.C: Opposite of j.B, great vertical ranged punch. A great air control move.
- j.D: Very deep downward kick. Nice close-ranged jump-in, but the range is very short. Can crossup on some crouchers.
- st.CD: Generic st.CD, not so great. Cancelable on hit, block, and whiff.
- j.CD: A great jump-in and air-to-air with fast start up and good priority.
- Regular throw, techable. EX Yamazaki grabs the opponent by the neck and slams them down into the groun,d sending them fullscreen away with a hard knockdown.
- Regular throw, techable. EX Yamazaki grabs the opponent by the neck and throws them into the ground behind him, leaving them a small distance away from him with a hard knockdown.
- Two-hitting overhead that causes a hard knockdown when done raw, standard combo filler when canceled into (unless you late-cancel it).
Serpent Slash (Upper):
qcb+A (can be held)
- EX Yamazaki delivers a long-range slash aimed diagonally upwards. Can be held down to delay the attack until the button is released.
- A good anti-airing move to stop people from trying to jump over qcb+B and qcb+C.
- Whiffs on all crouchers.
Serpent Slash (Mid):
qcb+B (can be held)
- EX Yamazaki delivers a long-range slash aimed straight in front of him. When done close enough, it will hit two times. Can be held down to delay the attack until the button is released.
- Combos from lights and heavies.
- Whiffs on short crouchers.
- Good for poking at midrange, will stop hops and other attempts at moving forwards.
- If you successfully anti-air with it, it causes a sliding hard knockdown, which allows for a qcb+C or d,d+B OTG followup if close enough.
- Can be quite susceptible to being rolled through, so be ready to react to rolls with the D cancel.
Serpent Slash (Lower):
qcb+C (can be held)
- EX Yamazaki delivers a long-range slash aimed diagonally downward in front of him. When done close enough, it will hit two times. Can be held down to delay the attack until the button is released.
- Hits low and has a huge disjointed hitbox.
- Good poke and combo ender, as the other variants can whiff on the smaller characters during combos.
- Combos from heavies.
- Can be a good sneaky low poke from far range.
- OTGs from any hard knockdown, safer than d,d+B OTG, especially if Quick MAXed in Extra meter mode.
- For some reason, in MAX Mode cannot be followed up with after dp+b, so make sure to use d,d+B in MAX Mode after.
Big Serpent Slash:
Hold A/B/C (during qcb+X)
- Hold the pose until he chatters three times, then once he chatters the third time, release and he will do ALL THREE versions of the move from low to high.
- Can juggle into into qcfx2+P for a metered ender, qcb+A for reset, and qcb+B for a meterless hard knockdown before they land.
Serpent Slash Cancel:
D (during qcb+X)
- EX Yamazaki cancels the stance and returns to normal.
- Can be used as soon as possible after qcb+X to reduce the recovery on some moves. This results in significant frame advantage and can even allow for some new combos.
- Can also be used repeatedly with the Advanced mode meter as a safe way of building meter.
- EX Yamazaki enters a stance that allows him to automatically counter mid and high attacks.
- Does not counter low attacks.
- D version lasts a little longer than the B version.
- EX Yamazaki does a close-range swiping strike.
- Hits twice up close.
- A version will nullify projectiles; doing the same motion again afterward will release a projectile of EX Yamazaki's own.
- C version sends the projectile back immediately, but is slower.
- EX Yamazaki slashes twice with his knife.
- If you whiff the first slash, he does not go for the second.
- dp+A has a lot of reach, so it's good to use when you're out of range of dp+B.
- dp+C has less reach, but does more damage.
- dp+A is relatively punishable on block, but dp+C is a bit safer if this does hit on block by accident due to spacing, and can be made safer with Quick MAX. Still, EX Yamazaki has enough good pressure options that you should not abuse this at midrange.
Fight of Tempering:
- EX Yamazaki delivers a big stomping kick with two parts.
- The first hit hits mid, and the second hit is an overhead.
- Causes a hard knockdown.
- One of EX Yamazaki's best combo enders, due to the hard knockdown and the dd+B/qcb+C followup.
- Punishable on block.
Flying Dragon Kick:
d,d+B (while opponent is knocked down)
- This is a key OTG followup after doing dp+B. Puts EX Yamazaki's meterless damage through the roof.
- The lengthy recovery of this move is completely unskippable, making it hugely minus on hit, but is also fully invincible, meaning that it actually leaves EX Yamazaki at advantage because he can react and respond to whatever the opponent is doing.
- Very fast reversal move with some nice invincibility on startup.
- Punishable on block.
- The second part can whiff if the first part hits an airborne opponent that is too high up in the air.
- Causes a hard knockdown.
- This hard knockdown leads to, you guessed it, qcb+C/d,d+B OTG followups.
- MAX version does more damage, but does not allow a followup after for some strange reason.
- A 1-frame command grab DM.
- Mash the punch buttons in the interval between the first hit and the rest of the animation for new animations that do more damage with more mashing (there are 4 total, excluding level 5).
- Good for combos and mixups.
- MAX version does more damage and has different animations.
- Drill Lv.5:
ABC (during hcbx2+P, mashed as much as possible)
- A much more powerful version of the DM.
- In any metered combo, you can replace qcfx2+P with qcfx2+AC or hcbx2+P with hcbx2+AC for more damage if you have the resources.
- In any combo involving the d,d+B OTG followup, you can optionally omit it and do qcb+C for more conventional oki in exchange for less damage.
cr.Bx1-2, cr.A/cl.A, dp+B, d,d+B/qcb+C
(j.X), cl.C, f+A, qcb+C
(j.X), cl.C, dp+B, d,d+B/qcb+C
cl.C/D, f+A, d,d+B/qcb+C
- Late-cancel combo into overhead; true combo, but pretty tight and generally not worth going for outside of specific pressure/mixup scenarios.
- OTG combo from a raw overhead.
cr.B/cl.B, cr.A/cl.A, qcfx2+P
- You can do this as cr.B, qcf+A, qcf+P or cl.B qcf+A (hold halfway through) qcf+P for an easier cancel.
cr.B/cl.B, cr.A/cl.A, hcbx2+P
- You can do this as cr.B, hcb+A, hcb+P or cl.B, hcb+A (hold halfway through) hcb+P for an easier cancel.
(j.X), cl.C/cr.C, qcfx2+P
With Quick MAX
(j.X), cl.C, qcb+ABC > D, cl.C, dp+B, d,d+B
- The qcb+ABC input will do the qcb+X and activate MAX mode at the same time: the D afterwards should be inputted immediately after the ABC to cancel the stance, then you need to microwalk up and hit cl.C. This becomes easier if you have an ABC macro and plink from ABC to D.
(j.X), cl.C, qcb+ABC > D, walk-up cl.C, qcfx2+P/hcbx2+P:
- Harder, more damaging variant ending in a DM.
Strategy & Tips
- Cancel heavy normals and CD to qcb+X and immediately cancel with D to get massive frame advantage (enough to combo to a second heavy attack). The light moves, crouching A and close standing B, are +0 when cancelled in this way. Also, crouching C is whiff cancellable, so you can cancel it using this technique to reduce its recovery while also building some meter. CD is also whiff cancellable.
- Once you have conditioned the opponent to block low at different ranges, start mixing f+A late-canceled off of lights into your gameplan.
- Generally wait for your opponent to make the mistake first, EX Yamazaki is able to play a very strong reactive game against both rushdown characters and zoners, due to his wide variety of hard counters to zoning tools and approach options.