Kyo Kusanagi is the heir to the Kusanagi clan and successor of the Kusanagi Style of Ancient Martial Arts. The Kusanagi clan is one of three entrusted with a Sacred Treasure, and thus a cleansing flame resides within Kyo's very own blood.
Though his biggest rival is Iori Yagami, they are both left with little option but to put aside their differences and team up once again for this latest KOF to hopefully prevent Orochi from resurrecting once again.
(*) = EX OK
(!) = MAX OK
(Midair Only) = Can only be done in the air.
Hatsugane - / +
Issestu Seoi Nage - / +
Ge-shiki * Goufu You - +
88 Shiki - +
Geshiki Naraku Otoshi - / / + (Midair Only)
100 Shiki Oniyaki - + / (*)
R.E.D. Kick - + / (*)
75 Shiki: Kai - + / (*)
- ┗Follow Up- /
212 Shiki * Kototsuki Yo - + / (*)
114 Shiki * Aragami - +
- ┗128 Shiki * Konokizu - + /
- ┗127 Shiki * Yanosabi - /
- ┗125 Shiki * Nanase - /
- ┗127 Shiki * Yanosabi - + /
- ┗212 Shiki Kototsuki You - + /
- ┗Geshiki * Migari Ugachi - /
- ┗124 Shiki * Munotsuchi - + /
- ┗427 Shiki * Hikigane - /
- ┗Ge-shiki * Tsuriganeotoshi - /
115 Shiki: Dokugami - + (*)
- ┗401 Shiki * Tsumiyomi - + /
- ┗402 Shiki * Batsuyomi - + /
- ┗100 Shiki * Oniyaki - + /
Super Special Moves
Ura 108 Shiki * Orochinagi: + / (!)
182 Shiki - + / (!)
Climax Super Special Moves
Ura 1212 Shiki * Yakumo - +
Kyo Kusanagi is a strong close-range combatant who utilizes his signature rekkas to finish his opponents or open them up.
- All-Rounder: Kyo is good at pretty much everything in the midrange and closerange game. He has great normals, great close-range specials, solid confirms, and easy damage thanks to his rekkas.
- Great Damage: Whether meterless or metered, Kyo can dish out great damage. His basic confirms often yield good damage and solid corner carry, while his meter burn routes allow to him to tack on high damage supers to anything for a big cash out.
- Great Close Range Pressure: Once Kyo is next to his opponent, he becomes a real threat. Moves like j.2C, his rekka mixups and his EX command grab let him perform high damage conversions with knockdown consistently. Once his opponent is in the corner his game becomes even better, since he gains access to his devastating (but difficult) Orochinagi Loops.
- Shiki Rekkas: Kyo's rekka's are his most valuable tool. They help him confirm, contest neutral, and muscle through his opponents offense. Good use of them is key to running his gameplan, and they always pay out well when used properly.
- Great Punish Game: At the cost of 0.5 bars, Kyo can punish moves that might be safe thanks to distance with his 623AC since it travels forward and starts up at 4F. His 236AC also lets him push forward across neutral at high speed, which can be difficult for most characters to react to.
- Fantastic Meter Battery: Kyo's heavy reliance on specials for conversions, pressure and mixups means he builds an insane amount of meter. It's not uncommon for him to be put at point and build anywhere from two to three bars by himself, which your mid can immediately take advantage of. If Kyo remains in play, he can also cash out the meter for fantastic damage in the corner.
- Punishable: Many of Kyo's specials lack either frame advantage or spacing when blocked, which makes him lose his turn off of a bad read. For example, all of Kyo's rekka enders are punishable if blocked, while his second-stage chains have immense pushback on block. While Kyo does get decent reward off of successful rekka reads, he must consistently win interactions or be punished for his mistake where other characters could simply back off.
- Stubby Range: Outside of his rekkas, Kyo lacks normals that allow him to control or challenge neutral as well as other characters. While he still functions well within his space, he is often beaten out by specialists who dominate their chosen ranges.
- Precise Timing: If you're the kind of player who doesn't like to leave any damage on the table, Kyo may be frustrating as he has many optimal combos that involve precise delays and timings. Thankfully, his combo flexibility means he has many easier combos you can opt for.
- Many Choices: Many of Kyo's listed upsides don't necessarily exist at the same time. Without meter, he loses out on oki, corner carry, defense, mixups, and his best punishment. As such, he must often make choices that other similarly powerful characters don't. Understanding when and how to use these choices is paramount in using Kyo to his fullest potential.
Kyo Kusanagi is a well-rounded character who works best at close range thanks to his many different ways to mix up the opponent. Kyo's Aragami special moves allow him to choose between a variety of different routes to hit the opponent high or low, though smart use of them is required since they are often punishable if blocked and can be reversal'ed through. In addition to high/low mixups, Kyo also has a strong cross-up game thanks to j.B and j.2C, as well as a command grab via EX Kototsuki Yo. For his neutral game, Kyo has a number of great normals to help him contest space. If all else fails, he can muscle through with his excellent DP and begin his close range game. Finally, Kyo also has great meterless/0.5 bar damage, especially in the corner. He works well in any team position, but is best played mid thanks to his great meter burn and weakness to zoning. Since many zoners become much stronger with meter, Kyo wants to get in and take care of as much of the enemy team as he can before allowing his other teammates to capitalize on his incredible meter build. Kyo is a good choice for both KOF beginners and veterans alike, as his strong fundamentals, great mixups and solid damage will take players far no matter their skill level.
Quick Combo Reference
In a nutshell:
Kyo's general combo structure can be summarized as
Any normal > 3D > 236D,D launcher > 624K > Super.
However, his most damaging routes may be more execution heavy; such as the use of charged Orochinagi, Orochinagi loops or his 212 Shiki OTG rekka follow up. This may require good use of KOF's buffering system and/or the use of shortcuts.
ex.: 623A > 2141236A = 632146A > 236A; 236C > 63214C > 2141236A = 236C > 63214C > 236A
Quick Combo Reference
2B > 2A > 3D > 236D,D > 624K = 221 dmg
Close C > 3D > 236D,D > 236C > 623C = 306 dmg
2B > 2A > 3D > 4214BD > 236B,B > 236C > 63214C > 6C > 623C = 329 dmg
2B > 2A > 3D > 4214BD > 236B,B > 236A >> 623C = 339 dmg
2B > 2A > 3D > 236D,D > 6321B/D > 2141236A/C = 338 dmg
2B > 2A > 3D > 236D,D > 236C >> 623A > 2141236A/C > 623A = 382 dmg
2B > 2A > 3D > 4214BD > 236B,B > 236BD > 236C > 63214C > 2141236A/C = 410 dmg
2B > 2A > 3D > 4214BD > 236B,B > 236A >> 236BD > 236C >> 623A > 2141236A/C > 623A = 488 dmg
Far Standing Normals
Close Standing Normals
100 Shiki • Oniyaki
75 Shiki • Kai
75 • Shiki Kai (Follow Up)
114 Shiki • Aragami
Kyo's 236A rekka can go into a couple different chains and a couple different enders, all with different uses. While they are listed seperately here as they all require detail, it may become confusing to follow along. To save you a bit of trouble, here is a table of the chains and a brief description of each, and you can scroll down and continue reading for more in-depth explanations of the specifics and usages for each rekka part.
128 Shiki • Konokizu (Aragami chain)
125 Shiki • Nanase (Aragami chain)
127 Shiki • Yanosabi 1 (Aragami chain)
127 Shiki • Yanosabi 2 (Aragami chain)
212 Shiki • Kototsuki Yo (Aragami chain)
Ge-Shiki • Migari Ugachi (Aragami chain)
124 Shiki • Munotsuchi (Aragami chain)
427 Shiki • Hikigane (Aragami chain)
Ge-Shiki • Tsurubeotoshi (Aragami chain)
115 Shiki • Dokugami
401 Shiki • Tsumiyomi (Dokugami chain)
402 Shiki • Batsuyomi (Dokugami chain)
100 Shiki • Oniyaki (Dokugami chain)
212 Shiki • Kototsuki Yo
Super Special Moves
Ura 108 Shiki • Orochinagi
Climax Super Special Moves
Ura 1212 Shiki • Yakumo