The King of Fighters XI/Kyo Kusanagi

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Kyo Kusanagi is the central character to the King of Fighters narrative. Born with the ability to wield orange flames and a practictioner of the traditional Kusanagi style, Kyo has played a large role in every King of Fighters saga to date. During the 1995-1997 tournaments, he fought with then aided his rival Iori Yagami in the conflict against the Orochi threat. Later, he disappeared only to reappear in time for the 1999 tournament. He was kidnapped by the sinister NEST corporation who used his DNA in a range of experiments that included infusion and cloning. Once again, he played a pivotal role in the saga, helping K' and Iori topple the NEST leader Igniz at the conclusion of the 2001 tournament. In the Neo-Orochi saga (KoF 2003 and XI), Kyo, along with Iori and Chizuru Kagura, are being sought out by the mysterious Ash Crimson for their herritages and what their clans did to help seal the Orochi. Ash successfully drained Chizuru of her Sacred Treasure powers during the last tournament. Kyo teams with Iori and his protege Shingo Yabuki for the eleventh King of Fighters tournament.

Normal Moves

Unique Moves

Shiki Goufu You - Press forward + B

The Shiki Goufu You is a command overhead with a large amount of start up. As a standalone overhead, it's highly reccomended that you never do this move. When canceled into from a normal attack, however, this attack becomes a 2 hit axe kick. It's possible to cancel the 2nd hit of this attack into the special move of your choice. This allows Kyo to commence standing combos such as standing C--> f + B--> QCF + C, HCB + C, f + C, DP + C.

88 Shiki - Press down-forward + D

Kyo performes a 2 hit leg sweep. Although useless as a standalone attack, the 88 Shiki becomes cancelable off of the first hit if canceled into from a normal attack. Because of this, the 88 Shiki is now the main component to Kyo's new bread & butter combo (Refer to combo section).

Ge Shiki Naraku Otoshi - Press down + C in air

Kyo attacks with a downward two-handed hammer punch. When it connects, this attack produces a much longer hit stun then normal jumping attacks. Although difficult to impliment, it's possible to use this attack as a very ambiguous cross up if done just as you pass over your opponent's head. The extended hit stun the attack produces allows you to score a huge combo off of the successfull hit with ease.

Special Moves

108 Shiki: Yami Barai - qcb + A or C

Kyo throws a ground based projectile towards his opponent. Although the Yami Barai's start up time and travel speed are fairly fast, its recovery time is exceedingly large. Because of this, the Yami Barai is a highly vulnerable to low jumps, making it rarely worth commiting to.

100 Shiki: Oniyaki - DP + A or C(SC)

Kyo's basic anti air maneuver. The Oniyaki is only affective against jump attacks during it's later frames of attack. This requires you to initiate the Oniyaki very early in reaction to a jump. As a side note, this attack can be super canceled into Kyo's 182 Shiki. This is unfortunately only useful for corner juggles starting off of the 75 Shiki Kai maneuver.

R.E.D. Kick - RDP + B or D

Kyo leaps forward with an arcing drop kick. Although it's fast enough to punish anticipated ground attacks and projectiles, the R.E.D. Kick hasn't been safe when blocked for a quite a few years now. Although most characters have trouble punishing it consistently, characters with fast super attacks (Like Gato), have no trouble dealing damage to anyone thinking it's a good idea to do this move. In most cases there's simply no reason to use this move over a low jump, which is safe, an overhead, leads to huge combos, and almost as fast.

114 Shiki: Aragami - qcf + A (SC)

  • Aragami 2nd Attack - 128 Shiki Kono Kizu: QCF + A
  • Kono Kizu Follow Up - 127 Shiki Yano Sabi: P
  • Kono Kizu Follow Up - 125 Shiki Nana Se: K
  • Aragami 2nd Attack - 127 Shiki Yano Sabi: HCB + P
  • Yano Sabi Follow Up - Ge Shiki: Migiri Ugachi: P
  • Yano Sabi Follow Up - 125 Shiki Nana Se: K
  • Yano Sabi Follow Up - 212 Shiki Hikigane: HCB + K

The Aragami is the opening attack to a combination of follow up attacks. The Aragami itself has a small window of Auto Guard just before the strike. Although not incredibly useful, the auto guard can be helpful for beating anticipated counter attacks at semi close range. If close enough, the QCF + P--> K follow up will combo after the first initial hit, scoring you a knock down.

Hikigane is the KOF 2000 onward version, except now it can only be preformed during the Aragami rekka attack, for some reason. I guess they felt Kyo having it stand alone along with his old fireball would be overpowered or something.

The old heavy version can be preformed after the first Aragami attack, and still dodges high attacks, while the old light version can be preformed after the second QCF+P attack, and can hop over low attacks. I believe it also still launches opponents into the air.

115 Shiki: Dokugami, 401 Shiki: Tsumi Yomi, 402 Shiki: Batsu Yomi, 100 Shiki: Oniyaki

QCF + C, HCB + C, f + C, DP + C

Kyo lunges forward with a series of punches. With the ability to combo this attack off of hard attacks and Kyo's df + D, the Dokugami should be used strictly for combos.

75 Shiki Kai

QCF + K, K

Kyo leaps into the air with a 2 hit kick. This attack puts your opponent into a jugglable state after it connects, making it highly useful for damaging combos when you get an opening.

Basic Combos

Combo #1) Crouching B, crouching A--> df + D (1hit)--> QCF + C, HCB + C, f + C, DP + C

Combo #2) Close standing C--> QCF D, D, run forward and juggle with a late DP + C.

Combo #3) Close standing C--> QCF D, D, juggle with an early QCB, HCF + C (See early release Orochinagi under Advanced Strategy).

Combo #4) When opponent is cornered, close standing C--> QCF + D, D, juggle with an early QCF + A, let it recover, then immediately juggle with another QCF + A, HCB + D, when you recover, juggle with a very late DP + C , super canceled into QCF x 2 + A, dream canceled into HCB x 2 + E.

Combo #5) Crouching B, crouching A--> df + D (1hit)--> QCF + C, HCB + C, Quick Shift, link an early jump attack with whatever character you tag in and link after the jump in.


Kyo's Objective

Simply put, Kyo's objective is to establish close range. His effective low jump attacks, confusing throw, and flexible combos, allow him to score big damage off of basic mix ups that knock his opponent down and reset the same situation all over again.

To accomplish this objective, Kyo must rely on finding gaps in his opponent's defense while also utilizing his strong low jump game. Anticipate ground attacks to low jump over, look for missed attacks to punish with crouching D, and take advantage of any moment where your opponent isn't looking for an aggressive movement to low jump your way into close range.


Although Kyo's arsenal of attacks is large, the majority of his special attacks have very limited uses in general. That bieng the case, he has nothing extraordinary available to him that helps him attack or established his desired position. Kyo players must have a strong understanding of basic guessing games and a "back to the basics" mind set in order to succeed.

Team Placement

Outside of corner combos, Kyo has very little use for super meter. The supers available too him tend to lack flexibility and damage output. That bieng said, Kyo deals plenty of damage without super meter. His wide variety of flexible combos allow him to make the best out of every opportunity given to him without spending a huge amount of rescources. Additonally, an edited version of his "bread & butter" combo (crouching B, crouching A--> df + D--> QCF + C, HCB + C) is a strong opening for damaging tag combos that allow you to safetly tag in the next character while eliminating one of your opponent's characters. The end result is a battery character worthy as the starting member of your team.

Advanced Strategy

Common Wake Up Patterns

In any situation where you're on the offensive, veriifcation is an important tool. Being able to see whether your inititial attack has hit or not allows you to mount secondary attack plans if the first happens to fail. With that in mind, the information below is designed to show you not only what to do if your attack hits, but also the options available if it doesn't.

With that bieng said, score a knockdown and time a forward low jump so that it lands just after your opponent stands up. After the jump, initiate either a super late jumping B, or allow yourself to land and go for crouching B, crouching A. This commonly used "empty jump" set up forces your opponent to guess whether or not you're going to go high or low. Depending on which option you choose and how your opponent reacts to it, do the following:

If jumping B connects:

  • Link into whatever standing combo you desire

If jumping B is blocked:

  • Land, then walk up and throw.
  • Land, then walk up and go for crouching B, crouching A.
  • Land, then immediately low jump forward. If your opponent continues to crouch, Kyo will leap over your opponent, allowing you to come out of the jump with a cross up jumping B. If they react to the jump early and stand, the jump will stay in front of your opponent.

If crouching B, crouching A connects:

  • Cancel the crouching A into df + D (1 hits)--> QCF + C, HCB + C, f + C, DP + C.

If crouching B, crouching A is blocked:

  • Walk up and go for a delayed throw.
  • Walk up then go for crouching B, crouching A.
  • Immediately low jump forward with jumping B. Adjust your timing and hit B at different points depending on whether or not you think your opponent will attempt an anti air.
  • Do an immediate standing D or QCF + A to beat attempts to counter your secondary offense with quick normal attacks.

Throw Exploit

Kyo's normal throw has a very strange property that causes his opponents to be facing the wrong direction after they recover. This causes your opponent's control scheme to actually be reversed as they start to stand up. During this period, any attack performed on top of your opponent as they stand up must be blocked with reverse commands.

An effective way to take advantage of this situation is to use cross up attacks to thoroughly confuse your opponent's guard. Specifically, if you land a throw mid screen, run forward then immediately super jump towards your opponent, timed so that you'll barely land on the other side of them. As they are about to stand up, immediately do Kyo's d + C on the way down from your jump to meet your opponent just as they stand up. If timed correctly, the d + C will cross up, which must be blocked in a normal fashion. You can adjust the timing and jump slightly earlier then normal to position the d + C to hit from the front, which must be block with reverse commands. This confusing array of cross ups, combined with the reverse control scheme, is very difficult to defend against and often leads to a free jump in combo of your choice.

Note: The above information may not be accurate. Needs testing and confirmation--Kamui 15:59, 19 February 2006 (CST)

75 Shiki Kai Advantage

Kyo's QCF + D, D special attack has an interesting use outside of combos. The second hit of this attack can be delayed slightly, which allows you to perform the second kick very late after the first kick's descent. If the second kick is done as late as possible on a defending opponent, Kyo lands from the attack sitting on a hefty window of frame advantage. Although you're pushed too far away when this is performed mid screen, Kyo stays almost directly next to his opponent when this is done on a cornered opponent. After you recover from the attack, go for the mix up of your choice. Commonly used options in this situation consist of a quick run up close standing C--> QCF D, D (If it hits, go for a corner juggle, if not, the situation is reset), a delayed walk up throw, or the delayed combo of your choice.

Keep in mind that this pattern is very much vulnerable to Counter Movements, which can be initiated against the standing C to score a free combo on you.

Hammer Punch Back Dash Cancel

The ability to cancel back dashes into jumping command attacks has been present in KOF for many years. Kyo retains the ability to cancel his back dash into his Ge Shiki Naraku Otoshi (A.K.A. Hammer Punch, Jump, d + C) once again in KOF XI. This performed with the simple motion, b, b, db, d + C.

Canceling Kyo's back dash in this manner increases the distance Kyo travels while also killing some of the back dash recovery. This is helpful in regards to making quick escapes or keeping away from your opponent altogether (Which is useful in time out situations if you've landed the last combo). Additionally, this ability is useful for safely baiting and punishing your opponent's whiffed moves. For example, Terry Bogard's standing D is a commonly used low jump deterrent. If a Terry player believes you may low jump straight up after he begins to run towards you (A common reaction if a player thinks someone may run up with a ground attack), he may run up and hit standing D to keep you grounded. To counter this for a substantial amount of damage, quickly cancel a back dash into a hammer punch to evade the standing D, then super low jump forward to punish it's heavy recovery with a combo.

Dark Geese EDIT- While it is great they posted this, one thing they are forgetting is that the Hammer Punch by itself without the backdash has a substantial amount of priority..meaning I will put it up in air to air battles and it will knock the opponent down.

Early Release Orochinagi

Normally, Kyo's Orochinagi is far too slow to be used in juggles or basic ground combos. However, it's possible to speed up the release time for the Orochinagi so that it can be used for a variety of combos. To do so, input QCB, HCF + C, then hold C. When the super freeze screen expires, immediately release C for the Orochinagi to come out instantaneously.

This technique works because of Kyo's ability to delay the release of the Orochinagi. This is done by holding the C button down after the initial Orochinagi command. When initiated, the Orochinagi's normal start up time is bypassed, and releasing the C button at any point afterwards launches the attack insantly without the original wind up time. Using this technique, it's possible to combo the Orochinagi after Kyo's QCF + D,D, or any of his basic normal attacks.

The King of Fighters XI

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Adelheid BernsteinAsh CrimsonAthena AsamiyaB.JenetBenimaru NikaidoBlue MaryClark StillDuck KingDuo LonEX Kyo KusanagiEiji KisaragiElisabeth BranctorcheGai TendoGatoGeese HowardHotaru FutubaIori YagamiJazuK'Kasumi TodohKim KaphwanKingKula DiamondKyo KusanagiMagakiMai ShiranuiMalinMaximaMomokoMr. BigOswaldRalf JonesRamonRobert GarciaRyo SakazakiShen WooShingo YabukiShionSho HayateSie KensouSilverTerry BogardThe GriffonTung Fu RueVanessaWhipYuri Sakazaki