The King of Fighters XIII/Leona Heidern

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Leonaxiii.jpgSpacer.gifLeona sprite.gif


Console Changes

- Baltic Launcher chips less guard meter

- Strike Arch (directon move) comes out faster

- Fierce V-Slasher has different angle; weak travels short, fierce goes far. EX version is the same as the arcade.

- Ground Saber has longer recovery when blocked. About even when fierce version gets blocked.

- Moon Slasher has less hitback when blocked. All of them (weak, fierce, EX) are easier to get punished than the arcade.

- EX X-Caliber comes out faster. Still can’t be comboed from a normal or direction attack.

Producer Yamamoto says: Moves such as the Ground Saber and Moon Slasher are easier to get punished so be careful. We’ve balanced her so that she can do things such as attack strings with her EX X-Calibur, or break into the opponent with her Strike Arch. Her Fierce V slasher has been buffed, and she’s a character that’s good in various occasions such as air-to-air combat or against projectiles.

Gameplay Overview

First and foremost, Leona is a charge motion based character. This alone begins to differentiate Leona amongst the rest of the cast (aside from Ash). Without a typical anti-air, projectile, etc., Leona must resort to other means of offense, while still being able to maintain a solid defense thanks to her inherent charge nature. With the exception of her Earring Explosive, Leona only has close range moves which means two things: she's poor at zoning, but excels at close range. Though her pokes have been toned down from previous years (very minimally), they're still great setups for Moon Slashers/combos and breathing room.

Luckily, her aerial dominance has not changed. V-slasher is still, by a large margin, the best air-to-air/air-to-ground super in the game. It retains its near invincible properties, and you'd be hard pressed to find something in the game that would outprioritize it (if any). It will virtually shut down the opponent's air movement and projectile game if used properly. Her j.B and j.D are great tools in a midair battle, and her j.C has a massive hitbox for ambiguous crossups.

Though Leona has many tools at her disposal, she still has her share of downfalls. Being a charge based character, Leona lacks any real anti-air options on the fly aside from her s.D (c.C is difficult to use as an anti-air). Arguably, Leona's specials are terrible outside of combos (aside from Moon Slasher). She has nothing outright abuseable, lest she risk getting punished for it, and as aforementioned, most demand charging motions. This also causes difficulties in mastering Leona's drive cancels/HD combos, requiring shortcuts and quickly storing charge motions. Though not impossible, it is quite different when compared to a majority of the cast. Some may find the execution barrier to be discouraging, though when mastered, unlocks Leona's highest damage potential.

That being said, your main priorities will be to stay out of the corner, and to pressure your opponent into one using throws, high/low mixups (via crouch pokes, Strike Arch, and hopped normals) and CD attacks. Once in the corner, you'll be able to pressure the opponent with pokes and confirm combos for big damage. Unless running down the clock, Leona NEVER wants to be in the open and at a distance, unless resetting to neutral to restart her offense. Again, you don't want to be playing defense, as you wont have many options at your disposal outside of a GCCD/GC rolls, Moon Slashers, or instant V-Slashers (which is, more often than not, a big gamble unless they're jumping towards you).

As far as team composition, Leona can fit in well either as battery or anchor. She can be played well with or without meter, though she definitely shines when she has EX Moon Slashers/V-slashers/drive meter at her disposal. Her instant overheads are hop A and jump D. Both of these are unsafe on block but Leona has many ways to force the opponent to guess between low/high. Her frames on her normals are quite good... cr.B and s.A can be used to pressure the opponent really well since they are +2 and +3 on block.

Gameplay Notes

Moon Slasher: Probably the most notable and user friendly specials in Leona's arsenal. While quick to come out and decent priority, on block this move suffers from terrible recovery. Not to be used for pressure, as a whiffed or blocked Moon Slasher is punishable with disastrous results. This move is often used as a defensive measure, typically on wakeup to counter pressure. However, an experienced opponent will often try to bait a Moon Slasher knowing Leona's vulnerability afterwards. Although Moon Slasher can also be used as an anti-air, the timing can be rather strict and, being a charge move, it cannot be performed on impulse. Moon Slasher is best used to end combos after quick pokes if there is not enough meter for a super.

Earring Bomb: At first glance, you would think that Leona's Earring Bomb has too much startup time to be useful enough for gameplay. Fortunately, on an opponent's wakeup, this weakness is removed. After knocking down the opponent, an immediately thrown Earring Bomb forces the opponent to make a decision: block low, jump, or roll. While blocking low, Leona can run up to the opponent and Strike Arc for a knockdown, one of the most favorable positions for a Leona player. On jump, Leona gets a free V-slasher. On a roll, Leona can either throw the rolling opponent, or wait for the vulnerability frames at the end of the roll to combo into a super. In the rare case that the Earring Bomb does connect, it may be followed by a well timed V-Slasher or Slash Sabre. NEVER attempt to use this on a close or standing opponent. With such a long startup, it is easily avoided (possibly ducked) and even a slow reacting opponent can and will punish you. Predictability is a key factor. As a projectile with long startup, it is prone to being countered by EX moves/supers which bypass traditional projectiles.

Baltic Launcher: The A version will most likely be the version of choice as, it has faster startup than its C counterpart Baltic Launcher not only does notable chip damage, but also gives Leona slight advantage on block. On hit, its stunning properties make it easy to set up Leona's supers. Baltic Launcher is best used on opponents with meter below 1 stock in order to best nullify retaliation in the form of a guard evasion. Although it may be tempting to use Baltic Launcher to nullify projectiles, much like Earring Bomb, it suffers from being susceptible to projectile bypassing punishes. The EX version is amazing as it does huge damage on hit and a lot of chip damage on block...

X-Caliber: This move is exclusively meant for combos; however, the EX version is great to use in pressure strings as it forces block stun and can allow Leona to mix-up a low/overhead. Any other use will likely result in getting punished due to its recovery properties. While miscreen, only the A version will combo. In the corner, both will combo, but the C version allows them to be further juggled or reset.


- Great normals

- Good rushdown/pressure

- Solid defense with meter

- Air-to-air dominance

- Best instant overheads in the game


- Poor zoning (lack of a quick projectile)

- Highly unsafe special moves

- No true reversals without meter

- Execution barrier for high damage combos and maximizing hit confirms



st. A: 25 damage, chain/cancellable, hits high. A standing straight-forward chop, good speed and recovery.

st. B: 30 damage, cancellable, hits low. A kick to the shin, quick and deceptively low (for a standing normal) with decent forward range.

st. C: 80 damage, hits high. A forward to downward swipe, fast and great range. Great as a long range poke and after blockstrings to keep you in close range. Moves Leona forward.

st. D: 70 damage, hits high. A high-angled spin kick to the head, very slow start up and recovery. Not recommended as a general anti-air.

cl. C: 40+70 damage, cancellable, hits high. A mid to upward swipe, decent as a close-range hitconfirm.

cl. D: 40x2 damage, cancellable, hits high. Two standing knee strikes to the body, fast startup and long duration. One of Leona's best normals.


cr. A: 25 damage, chain/cancellable, hits high. A crouching straight-forward chop, good speed and recovery. A staple in hitconfirming combos.

cr. B: 30 damage, chainable, hits low. A kick aimed at the feet, great range and speed. Leona's best ground poke/combo starter. At close range, can combo into st.B.

cr. C: 70 damage, cancellable, hits high. A vertical elbow strike, decent startup. Works well as an anti-air against close neutral jumps and corner jump-ins. May not work as well midscreen due to its poor horizontal hitbox.

cr. D: 80 damage, hits low. A full-body lunging sweep, great range but slow recovery. Can go under high standing normals and high projectiles (ex. Robert's Ryugekiken).


j. A: 45(40) damage, cancellable, hits mid. An aerial downward claw strike, quick startup. Can be used as an instant overhead into X-Calibur/V-Slasher.

j. B: 45(40) damage, cancellable, hits mid. An extended upwards kick, great range. Leona's best air-to-air poke. Will whiff on crouching characters due to its up-forward hitbox (untested on crouching Raiden).

j. C: 72(70) damage, hits mid. A two-handed cross slash, massive hitbox. Leona's best jump-in for ambiguous crossups.

j. D: 70(68) damage, cancellable, hits mid. A jumping dropkick, good range and startup. Leona's most versatile jumping normal which can be used for air-to-air, air-to-ground, or V-Slasher hitconfirming.

nj. D: 70(68) damage, cancellable, hits mid. A back-turned downwards kick, poor recovery. Like j.A, it can be used as an instant overhead into V-Slasher or X-Calibur.

Blowback Attack

CD: 75 damage, (whiff) cancellable, hits high. A straight one-handed stab, quick startup. Decent for midscreen pressure or to put an oppponent into the corner. On counter, it can be followed up with Grand Sabre.

j. CD: 90(80) damage, hits high. A jumpkick imbued with energy, very slow startup. Causes a large amount of blockstun. Counterhit causes a free juggle state.

GCCD: 10 damage, hits high. A mid to upward swipe. Same animation as her close st.C except only 1 hit.


Leona Crush = (b/f+C/D): 100 damage, can be broken with C or D. A deep chest gouge followed by a quick reverse pull. Long throw animation good for milking the clock or letting the opponent's HD meter drain. "Apple Juice."

Command Moves

Strike Arch = f+B: Standalone: 70 damage, hits mid. Cancelled into: 50 damage, cancellable and hits high. A high-arcing forward overhead kick. If done as a standalone move, Strike Arch has overhead and knockdown properties. If cancelled from a normal attack, Strike Arch loses both overhead and knockdown properties and can be blocked low, but it becomes cancellable. It can be comboed into X-Calibur or V-Slasher.

Special Moves

Moon Slasher = (d~u+P) - A circular energy slash performed with the hands. Great anti-air but vulnerable on the first few frames of startup. C version has slightly more range. Damage dependent on distance of opponent.

(EX) = d~u+AC - Has similar properties to the C version. During its active frames, the EX version has invulnerability to non-DM/non-projectile attacks. Decreased startup and recovery.

  • Drive- / Super-cancellable
  • Hit Detection: High
  • Damage: 80 (60); EX Damage: 160

Baltic Launcher = (b~f+P) - A ball of energy imbued with slashing force, slow startup. Can negate non-DM projectiles.

(EX) = b~f+AC - Has similar properties to the C version. Decreased startup and recovery.

  • Hit Detection: High
  • A Damage: 20 x 9; C Damage: 20 x 13; EX Damage: 25 x 13

Earring Bakuden = (qcb+K) - An explosive earring thrown at a downwards arc, slow startup speed. B version will bounce at half-screen distance, D version will at full-screen, then dissipate after second bounce. Explodes on contact.

(EX) = qcb+BD - Has similar properties to the D version. Decreased startup and recovery.

  • Hit Detection: High
  • Damage: 65; EX Damage: 120

Grand Sabre = (b~f+K) - A one-handed forward slash of energy. D version goes further than B version.

(EX) = b~f+BD - Has similar properties to the D version. Two hits. Decreased startup and recovery.

  • Drive- / Super-cancellable
  • Hit Detection: High
  • Damage: 70; EX Damage: 90 x 2

X-Calibur = (qcb+P) in air - A downwards X-shaped energy slash. A version creates a short-range projectile and causes Leona to jump backwards. C version causes a down-forward dashing strike.

(EX) = qcb+AC in air - Has properties similar to the A version. Multi-hitting, slow moving projectile.

  • Drive- / Super-cancellable
  • Hit Detection: High
  • Damage: 60; EX Damage: 25 x 6

Desperation Moves

V-Slasher = qcf hcb+P - A diving, explosive energy slash in the shape of a V. Definitively the best air super in the game. Has full invulnerability during its active frames. A version travels at a steep angle, while C version travels farther.

(EX) = qcf hcb+AC in air - Automatically homes in on the opponent.

  • MAX Cancellable (EX only)
  • Hit Detection: High
  • Damage: 220; EX Damage: 340

Slash Saber = qcb hcf+K - A series of Grand Sabres followed by an explosion. Its only real utility is to be comboed off of standing normals. Vulnerable to projectiles .

  • MAX Cancellable
  • Hit Detection: High
  • Damage: 0, 20 x 7, 60


Leona Blade = (qcb hcf+AC) - Orochi transformation to channel energy into a massive explosive stab. If the opponent is out of range, Leona performs a swipe instead of the stab. After superflash, Leona Blade has a 1-frame startup.

  • Hit Detection: High
  • Damage: 450 (180 if opponent is too far away)


0 Stock, No Drive Gauge

s.D, f+B charge b~f+K (141 dmg)

d.C, charge d~u+P (146 dmg)

s.C, f+B, air qcb+A (202 dmg)

cr.B, st.B, f+B, (air) qcb+A (154 dmg or 175 dmg if done with 2 cr.B's)

nj.D, (air) qcb+A (127 dmg)

cr.B, cr.C, d~u+C (168 dmg)

1 Stock, No Drive Gauge

cr.B, st.B, f+B, (air) qcf hcb+P (290 dmg)

nj.D, (air) qcf hcb+P (279 dmg)

st.C, qcb hcf+K (292 dmg)

st.C, f+B, air qcf,hcb+P (338 dmg)

2 Stock, No Drive Gauge

cr.B, st.B, f+B, (air) qcf hcb+AC (392 dmg)

nj.D, (air) qcf hcb+AC (376 dmg)

st.C, f+B, air qcf,hcb+AC (423 dmg)

st.C, qcb+BD, qcb hcf+K (393 dmg)

No Stock, 1+ Drive Gauge

(Corner) s.C, f.B, air qcb+C, d~u+C, [DC] b~f+D, d~u+P (344 dmg)

1 Stock, 1+ Drive Gauge

cr.B, st.B, f+B, (air) qcb+C, d~u+C, (DC) b~f+D, (air) qcf hcb+P (408 dmg)

nj.D, (air) qcb+A, (SC, air) qcf hcb+P (325 dmg)

cr.B, cr.C, d~u+C, (DC) b~f+BD, b~f+B (368 dmg)

(anti-air) d~u+P, [DC] b~f+D, qcb,hcf+K (332 dmg)

d.B, d.A, d~u+P, [DC] b~f+BD, b~f+B (307 dmg)

(Corner) s.C, f.B, air qcb+C, d~u+C, [DC] b~f+D, qcf,hcb+P (456 dmg)

cr.B, st.B, f+B xx qcb+A [SC] qcf,hcb+P

2 Stock, 1+ Drive Gauge

cr.B, cr.C, d~u+C, (DC) b~f+BD, qcb hcf+K (481 dmg)

d.B, d.A, d~u+P, [DC] b~f+BD, qcb,hcf+K (420dmg)

(Corner) s.D, b~f+B, [DC] qcb+BD, b~f+D, qcf,hcb+P

5 Stock, 1+ Drive Gauge

(corner) cr.B, st.B, f+B, (air) qcb+C, d~u+C, (DC) qcb+BD, qcf(uf) hcb+AC, d~u+AC, b~f+D, qcf(uf) hcb+P

Hyper Drive Combos

2 Stock

s.C, HD, d.C, (d~u+A [HDC] b~f+B) x5, d~u+A [HDC] b~f+D, air qcf,hcb+AC

3 Stock

d.C, HD, d.C, b~f+B [HDC] d~u+C, [HDC] b~f+D, qcb,hcf+K [MC] qcb,hcf+AC

4 Stock

j.D, s.D, HD, s.D, f.B, air qcb+C, d~u+C [HDC] b~f+D, d~u+AC [HDC] b~f+D, d~u+C [HDC] b~f+D, qcb,hcf+K [MC] qcf,hcb+AC (901 dmg) [See Links & References for video]

(Instant Mid-Air HD activation, then simultaneously input) (air) qcf hcb+AC, (MC) qcb hcf+BD


Far Range

Mid Range

Close Range

Cornered Opponent


With No Meter/No Drive

With 1+ Meter/No Drive

With No Meter/50%-100% Drive

With 1+ Meter/50%-100% Drive

Best Team Position?


- You can charge db~ub+P (Moon Slasher), f+D (buffers into charge b~f+D).

- To do Leona's short hop V-Slasher input qcf,uf,hcb + A/C.

Character Matchups

Andy Bogard

Ash Crimson

Athena Asamiya

Benimaru Nikaido

Billy Kane

Chin Gentsai

Clark Still

Duo Lon

Elisabeth Branctorche

Goro Daimon

Hwa Jai

Iori Yagami (Claw)

Iori Yagami (Flame)

Joe Higashi


Kim Kaphwan


Kula Diamond

Kyo Kusanagi (XIII) (mirror match)

Kyo Kusanagi (NESTS)

Leona Heidern

Mai Shiranui




Ralf Jones

Robert Garcia

Ryo Sakazaki


Shen Woo

Sie Kensou

Takuma Sakazaki

Mr. Karate

Terry Bogard


Yuri Sakazaki

Move Metadata

Move Damage Stun Startup On Guard Remarks
s.A 25 3 4 +3
d.A 25 3 5 +1
Far A 25 3 4 +3
j.A 45 3 5 -
hop A 40 3 5 -
s.B 30 3 5 0
d.B 30 3 4 +2
Far B 30 3 5 0
j.B 45 3 4 -
hop B 40 3 4 -
s.C (1) 40 8 7 -
s.C (2) 40 4 - -4
d.C 70 7 4 -18
Far C 80 7 8 -2
j.C 72 7 7 -
hop C 70 7 5 -
s.D (1) 40 8 6 -
s.D (2) 40 4 - -2
Far D 80 7 8 -9
d.D 80 7 10 -3
j.D 70 7 4 - u.j.D is instant
hop D 68 7 4 -
st.CD 75 10 14 -1
j.CD 90 8 16 -
hop CD 80 8 16 -
Strike Arch (stand alone) 70 8 19 -7
Strike Arch (canceled into) 50 4 13 -4
Leona Crush (throw) 100 0 1 - Apple Juice!
GCCD 4 0 13 -15 vs attacks: Weak 13, Strong 17, Jump 17
A Baltic Launcher1 20 1 27 -
A Baltic Launcher2-9 20 1 - +11
C Baltic Launcher1 20 1 22 - +6 when close as possible
C Baltic Launcher2-13 20 1 - +20 Close as possible in corner +2
Moon Slasher 80 8 7 -23,-34
Earing Bomb 65 8 40,45 +11,+8 Touching、Full animation 55,63,(12 Eyes flash)
Grand Saber 70 6 19,23 -11,0
X-Calibur 60 8 11,17 -24,-4~ When touching 20
EX Baltic Launcher1 25 0 23 -
EX Baltic Launcher2-13 25 0 - +29
EX Moon Slasher 160 0 4 -30
EX Earing Bomb 120 0 12 -2 Touching
EX Grand Saber1 90 0 15 -
EX Grand Saber2 90 0 - +3
EX X-Calibur1 25 0 22 -
EX X-Calibur2-6 25 0 - +34
V Slasher 220 0 33(4) -46 Freeze 29
Slash Saber1 0 0 46(11) -14 Freeze 30
Slash Saber2-8 20 0 - -
Slash Saber9 60 0 - -
EX V Slasher1 0 0 34(5) -20 Freeze 29
EX V Slasher2 340 0 - -
Leona Blade 450 0 144(10) -22 Freeze 134
Leona Blade (graze) 180 0 - -

Links & References

Technical Reference

HD Combo Video

Discussion Threads

Discuss at Dream Cancel

The King of Fighters XIII

FAQControlsMovementOffenseDefenseMeters and GaugesHitboxesFrame Data


Andy BogardAsh CrimsonAthena AsamiyaBenimaru NikaidoBilly KaneChin GentsaiClark StillDuo LonElisabeth BranctorcheEX IoriGoro DaimonHwa JaiIori YagamiJoe HigashiK'Kim KaphwanKingKula DiamondKyo KusanagiLeona HeidernMai ShiranuiMatureMaximaMr. KarateNESTS KyoRaidenRalf JonesRobert GarciaRyo SakazakiSaikiShen WooSie KensouTakuma SakazakiTerry BogardViceYuri Sakazaki