The King of Fighters '98 UMFE/Kyo Kusanagi

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255px-Kyo kusanagi.jpg


Kyo is primarily a close-range pressure and mixup character. In neutral, he has access to some helpful moves for getting in, including his guard-point rekkas, as well as some solid poking normals. Close range is where Kyo is really good, as he can use his strong hop normals and lows to open up the opponent. He has good confirms into his DMs from both lows and heavies, as well as strong corner juggles, making his damage fairly high overall. On defense he has access to a good invincible DP. Kyo's weaknesses are that he lacks anything to fight at long range, since he doesn't have a projectile, and that his meterless low confirms are pretty lackluster.

Preferred Mode and Position

Although he slightly prefers some aspects of Advanced mode, Kyo can be effective in both Advanced and Extra mode.

Run vs Step

  • Kyo prefers Run over Step as it helps him with his up-close, rushdown game and it makes it easier to set up cross-ups after knockdowns.
  • However, Kyo isn't bad with Step as his step dash has good length and speed, and the increased walk speed helps with tick throws and can make a couple quick max combos easier.

Roll vs Dodge

  • Personal preference.

Advanced vs Extra Gauge

  • Kyo prefers Advanced gauge over Extra gauge, as he can build meter with his offense, Advanced gauge can store multiple stocks at once which allows Kyo to have more consistent access to his cr.B, cr.A, qcfx2+P super combo as a mid or anchor which is quite useful as his meterless low options are not great, and he doesn't need to stop his offense to charge after using meter.
  • However, Kyo can make pretty good use of Extra gauge as well since he has good quick max combos.

Preferred Position

  • Kyo benefits from being further back in your team order with both gauges: to have access to more saved up stocks for his super combos with Advanced gauge, or because with Extra gauge, the red health window for free supers gets progressively bigger from the first to the third character.
  • Although, Kyo on point is more effective in Extra mode as he can charge up to get meter more quickly.

Changes from Previous Versions

98 to 98UM


  • cl.C activation range has been decreased
  • st.A now has reduced priority
  • st.D now has 4 frames less startup
  • The first hitbox on cr.C has been shortened and the second hitbox has been lengthened
  • cr.D now has reduced priority
  • j.D now has reduced priority
  • You can no longer use j.2C during step dash


  • hcb+K now has increased damage
  • qcf+P now has reduced reach
  • dp+C now reliably hits twice, even when hitting an airborne opponent


  • qcb,hcf+P now has increased damage
  • qcfx2+C now has decreased damage

98UM to 98UMFE


  • cl.A now has 2 frames less recovery
  • cr.A now has 1 frame less recovery


  • qcf+A damage has been increased from 10 to 13, guard point has been lengthened by 2 frames
  • More moves will now trigger qcb+P's counterhit during the startup frames

Normal Moves


  • cl.A: Can work as a close-range anti-air against hops. Whiffs on crouchers. Chainable and cancelable.
  • cl.B: Standing low. Chainable and cancelable.
  • cl.C: Has very fast start-up. Great combo starter and anti-air. Cancelable.
  • cl.D: A bit slower than cl. C. Cancelable.


  • st.A: Good for stopping hops. Whiffs on crouchers. Cancelable.
  • st.B: Has more recovery than st.A, but more range.
  • st.C: Poke with lots of startup. Cancelable on hit, block, and whiff.
  • st.D: A sobat kick. Can avoid lows.


  • cr.A: Standard outward jab. Chainable and cancelable.
  • cr.B: Fast low combo starter. Chainable.
  • cr.C: Standard anti-air against jumps and hops. Cancelable on hit, block, and whiff.
  • cr.D: Can low-profile some moves. Cancelable.


  • j.A: Ok air-to-air.
  • j.B: Great crossup and jump-in from a hop. Also an instant-overhead. Swiss army knife of a button.
  • nj.B: Decent air-to-air.
  • j.C: Another good jump-in.
  • j.D: Can act as a pressure tool when spaced. A bit difficult to crossup with.
  • nj.D: Good air-to-air.

CD Normals

  • st.CD: Soft knockdown, average start-up. Cancelable on hit, block, and whiff.
  • j.CD: Soft knockdown. Pretty big hitbox.


Anvil Slam: b/f+C (close)

  • Regular throw, techable. Kyo smacks his opponent in the face with his forearm for a soft knockdown.

Swift Shoulder Throw: b/f+D (close)

  • Regular throw, techable. Kyo throws his opponent behind him, then does an elbow drop. Causes a backturned hard knockdown.

Command Moves

Thundering Axe Burst: f+B

  • Two-hit axe-kick.
  • Second hit hits overhead.
  • Can be canceled into from normals at the cost of its overhead property, making it cancelable.
  • If late-canceled into, it acts like the overhead version, allowing you to slip overheads into pressure.

Drop to Naraku: d+C (in air)

  • Two-handed hammerfist.
  • Has a ton of hitstun and blockstun on grounded opponents, allowing Kyo to continue pressure.
  • Causes a hard knockdown on airborne opponents.
  • Great crossup. Aim to have Kyo's bent legs right over the opponent's head.

Style 818: df+D

  • Kyo kicks near the ground twice, one foot then the other.
  • Hits low, even when canceled into.

Special Moves

Wicked Chew: qcf+A

  • A lunging punch, and one of Kyo's rekka starters.
  • Has autoguard at the beginning of the move.
  • Can nullify projectiles.
  • Combos from close heavy attacks.
Oxidation: hcb+A/C (during qcf+A)
  • Overhead rekka followup to qcf+A.
  • Too slow to combo on the ground, but causes a hard knockdown if it hits.
Instantaneous Smash: A/C (during hcb+P)
  • OTG followup to hcb+P, adding more damage if that move connected.
Rapids of Rage: B/D (during hcb+P)
  • Alternate followup to hcb+P.
Masticate: qcf+A/C (during qcf+A)
  • Rekka followup to qcf+A. Kyo takes another step forward and does an uppercut with his other hand.
  • Combos from qcf+A on the ground, unlike hcb+P. Launches the opponent for further rekka followups.
  • Causes a soft knockdown if not followed up.
Oxidation: A/C (during qcf+P)
  • Identical to hcb+P followup to qcf+A, but since qcf+P launches the opponent it actually combos on the ground this time. As a tradeoff, it no longer has an OTG followup.
Rapids of Rage: B/D (during qcf+P)
  • Identical to the K followup to hcb+P, but here it's your damage-optimal ender. Launches the opponent fullscreen, causing a soft knockdown.

Poison Gnawfest: qcf+C

  • A bigger lunging punch, and Kyo's other rekka starter.
  • Has autoguard at the beginning of the move.
  • Can nullify projectiles.
Recitation of Sins: hcb+A/C (during qcf+C)
  • Rekka followup to qcf+C.
  • Unsafe on block, so don't use if qcf+C is blocked.
Verdict: f+A/C (during hcb+P)
  • Final hit of the qcf+C rekka.
  • Causes a soft knockdown.
  • Even more unsafe on block. If the first two hits are blocked, do NOT use this or you will be punished severely.

Fire Ball: dp+A/C

  • Kyo's DP. Can be combo-ed into from most normals.
  • Causes a soft knockdown.
  • Has some invincibility on startup, but not extending through the active frames, making neither version a good reversal.
  • The hitbox hits high and in front of Kyo.
  • A version deals one hit. Safer to use in combos.
  • C version deals two hits, travels higher, and has more invincibility, making it a better reversal.

R.E.D. Kick: rdp+K

  • Kyo flies through the air and lands his foot directly on top of the opponent.
  • Hits mid. Hard knockdown.
  • B version travels 1/2 screen distance, D version travels 3/4 screen distance.

New Wave Smash: qcf+B/D,B/D

  • Kyo does a hopping kick with one foot, then kicks with the other foot. The second kick is triggered by the second button press.
  • Both hits launch the opponent, but the second launches them high enough for followups.
  • Causes a soft knockdown if not followed up.
  • B version only allows for dp+P to connect afterward, D version can be followed with almost anything, including full rekka strings.

Phantom Mauler: qcb+A/C

  • Kyo does a sort of uppercut. Has counters associated with it if it's hit during certain parts of move.
  • Causes a soft knockdown if it hits raw.
  • Can counter lows when arm is lowered, and mids and highs while the arm is rising.
  • Low counter causes a hard knockdown.
  • Mid/high counter causes a soft knockdown.
  • C version has Kyo wait longer before rising than the A version, letting the low counter stay active for longer.

Crescent Slash: hcb+B/D

  • Kyo runs after the opponent, faster than his normal run, then does a hitgrab.
  • Very unsafe on block.
  • Can be combo-ed into from heavy normals and f+B.
  • Causes a hard knockdown, with good oki, if it connects.
  • B version travels 3/4 screen distance, D version travels full screen distance.

Desperation Moves

Final Showdown: qcfx2+A/C

  • Kyo throws down a pillar of fire and follows up with a chain of punches.
  • Causes a soft knockdown.
  • Can be combo'd into from lights, including low confirms.
  • Regular version deals 5 hits. Press C or D at the end for a special taunt.
  • MAX version deals 14 hits and a lot more damage.

Serpent Wave: qcb,hcf+A/C (can be held)

  • Kyo throws a wave of fire in front of him.
  • Causes a soft knockdown.
  • Regular version does one hit. C version seems to have slightly faster startup and can combo from heavy attacks on the ground.
  • A version has lower-body invincibility.
  • C version has upper-body invincibility.
  • MAX version has Kyo set his own body on fire, having its own hitbox with up to 3 hits. The fire wave itself does 3 hits as well.
  • Both versions can be juggled into from qcf+K,K.
  • If timed right, only two hits of the MAX version will connect. This puts the opponent in a juggle state that can be followed up with dp+C.


General Notes

  • In Max Mode moves have more pushback, so some combos won't work the same. Most notably for Kyo, you cannot do two cr.Bs into a cr.A, and cl.C into qcf+D will only work at the corner, at midscreen it will miss even if do a cross-up or you don't do a jump-in.
  • cl.C is generally the preferred close normal to use in combos as it is slightly faster, but cl.D has a larger cancellable window which can be useful if you have trouble comboing into say, qcfx2+P.
  • In any metered combo, you can replace qcfx2+P with qcfx2+AC or qcb,hcf+P with qcb,hcf+AC if you have 3 stocks in Advanced mode or are at low health and in max mode in Extra Mode.



cr.Bx1~2, cr.A, df+D
  • Easy and reliable low combo that is safe on block so no need to hit confirm, but not much damage and no knockdown.
  • You can add a second cr.B for more damage and a longer confirm but you will need to hit confirm the cr.A, df+D, as cr.A will whiff after two blocked cr.Bs.
cr.B, cr.A, dp+C
  • More damaging low combo, results in a soft knockdown.
cr.B, cl.C, qcf+C > hcb+P > f+P
  • Kyo's most damaging meterless low conversion, but requires a very tight 1-frame link from cr.B to cl.C.


(j.X), cl.C, qcf+C > hcb+P > f+P
  • Standard jump-in combo.
(j.X), cl.C, rdp+B/hcb+K
  • Does less damage, but offers a hard knockdown instead of a soft one.
  • Note, rdp+B only combos on standing opponents.

Very Close

(j.X), cl.C, qcf+D > D, rdp+B
  • Damaging upkick combo ending in hard knockdown that can be done anywhere on the screen, most commonly from a cross-up j.d+C or j.B. You need to be very close for qcf+D to connect after cl.C.


(j.X), cl.C, qcf+D > D, qcf+A > hcb+P > P
  • Kyo's most damaging meterless combo, ends in hard knockdown. Can only be done near the corner.

With Meter


cr.Bx1~2, cr.A, qcfx2+P
  • Strong low confirm.
cr.B, cl.A, qcfx2+P
  • Easier alternative to the previous combo. You can do this as cr.B, qcf+A, qcf+P for an easier cancel.


(j.X), cr.B, cr.A, qcfx2+P
  • Good confirm into super.
(j.X), cr.A, qcfx2+P
  • Use this variant to combo into super after a non-crossup j.d+C or if you're in max mode, as in either of these situations there will be too much pushback to reliably combo two crouching lights into super. Also useful if you are too far to connect cr.B, cr.A after a jump-in.
(j.X), cr.C, qcb,hcf+C
  • Alternate super combo. Does less damage than comboing into qcfx2+P outside of max mode, but will do more damage in max mode than the previous combo. Does not work with the SDM version qcb,hcf+AC.

Very Close

(j.X), cl.C, qcf+D > D, qcb,hcf+P
  • More damaging super combo. Can work from either midscreen or corner provided you're close enough for the upkicks to connect.

With Quick MAX


cr.B, cr.A, ABC, cl.C, qcf+C > hcb+P > f+P
  • Damaging quick max low combo.
  • You need a slight microwalk after the quick max activation for the full combo to connect. This combo is much easier with the increased walk speed from step.
cr.B, cr.A, ABC, cl.D, rdp+B
  • Easy quick max combo from lows, no microwalk required and gives hard knockdown but less damaging and only works on standing opponents.
cr.Bx1~2, cr.A, qcfx2+ABC
  • Max Bypass combo to go into SDM from crouching lights if you are not already in max mode. Make sure you are not holding any directions when you press ABC.
cr.B, cl.A, qcfx2+ABC
  • Easier alternative to the previous combo. You can do this as cr.B, qcf+A, qcf+ABC for an easier cancel. Make sure you are not holding any directions when you press ABC.


(j.X), cl.C, qcf+C, ABC, cl.C, qcf+C > hcb+P > f+P
  • Standard quick max combo, good damage and gets you into max mode.
(j.X), cl.C, qcf+C, ABC, cl.C, rdp+B
  • Alternate quick max combo. Does a little less damage but ends in hard knockdown, only works on standing opponents.
j.B, ABC, cl.C, qcf+C > hcb+P > f+P
  • High and fast jump-in combo enabled by quick max.
(j.X), cl.C, qcf+C, ABC, cr.A, qcfx2+P
  • Quick max combo into super. Most useful when you're at low health and have access to the SDM version of qcfx2+P, otherwise the first jump-in combo is better, as it lets you stay in max mode and the damage difference is small.
(j.X), cl.C, qcf+C, ABC, qcb,hcf+AC
  • Useful when you're at low health and have access to the SDM version of qcb,hcf+P. The first part of the SDM where Kyo is holding the flame will juggle the opponent, then you release to get the rest of the hits. Easier to execute than the previous combo, as you can do the super input during the quick max qcf+C recovery and hold the button to have it come out as soon as possible. Make sure you quick max as early as possible on the qcf+C so you have as much frame advantage as possible.
  • At the corner, you can get up to three hits with the initial part of the SDM qcb,hcf+P where Kyo is holding the flame.
  • Note: against small and tiny crouchers, qcb,hcf+AC can be more prone to whiffing and you need to be quite close to the opponent for the combo to connect. When you recover from the qcf+C, after doing the super motion (qcb,hcf) you can continue to hold forward and delay the A/C press slightly so you get a slight walk forward, this will bring you a little closer and help you connect the SDM.


(j.X), cl.C, qcf+C, ABC, cl.C, qcf+D > D, qcf+A > hcb+P > P
  • Even more damaging quick max corner combo ending in hard knockdown, but you need to be very close for qcf+D to connect. On the initial jump-in, try timing cl.C so it hits as soon as you land so there's minimal pushback, and after quick max activation hold forward to ensure you're as close as possible for the upkicks to connect.
  • Try to delay the final follow-up of qcf+A a little bit, as max mode will result in the opponent bouncing slightly higher after hcb+P, so the final P follow-up can whiff if you do it too quickly.
(j.X), cl.C, qcf+C, ABC, cl.C, qcf+D > D, qcb,hcf+AC(2), qcf+A > hcb+P > P
  • Kyo's highest damage combo possible. Requires low health as you need the SDM version of qcb,hcf+P to get the juggle. You need to be very close as with the previous combo.
  • To hit qcf+A after the SDM, you need to time the SDM so that only two hits connect. Make sure you delay the second kick of qcf+D.


King of Fighters 98 UM FE: Kyo Guide by Mash It Out
KOF 98 UM FE Kyo Quick Max Combos by VolcanoShed

External Links

The King of Fighters '98 Ultimate Match Final Edition

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Andy BogardAthena AsamiyaBenimaru NikaidoBilly KaneBlue MaryBrian BattlerChang KoehanChin GentsaiChizuru KaguraChoi BoungeChrisClark StillEiji KisaragiGeese HowardGoro DaimonHeavy D!HeidernIori YagamiJoe HigashiKasumi TodohKim KaphwanKingKyo KusanagiLeona HeidernLucky GlauberMai ShiranuiMatureMr. BigRalf JonesRobert GarciaRugal BernsteinRyo SakazakiRyuji YamazakiSaisyu KusanagiShermieShingo YabukiSie KensouTakuma SakazakiTerry BogardViceWolfgang KrauserYashiro NanakaseYuri Sakazaki

EX Characters

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