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|Health (at Ratio 2)|
|19 Frames||Very Long|
|Hop||Corpse Hop=Yes, Proj. Hop=No|
|Wakeup Speed compared to Ryu|
Kyo Kusanagi, the face of the famous King of Fighters series and the main protagonist of it's first saga, the Orochi Saga. Kyo is the heir to the Kusanagi clan, one of 3 legendary clans in possession of the three Sacred Treasures. The Kusanagi clan weilds powerful fire, and Kyo uses it very well. Kyo is a master of the Kusanagi flame, taught by his father Saisyu. Outside of his martial art skill and legendary family name, Kyo is a highschool dropout who enters the King of Fighters tournaments mostly to stop the evil guys behind them or for the fun of fighting when there are no evil guys. He has a girlfriend he loves named Yuki. In the first saga of KOF, he teamed up with his best friends Benimaru and Daimon to form Team Japan. In KOF 97', Kyo and the other Sacred Treasures Chizuru and Iori are forced to confront Team Orochi, who eventually resummon Orochi. Kyo and Iori seal Orochi back into the Earth, hopefully destroying it forever.
Kyo is the epitome of a rushdown character. His ability to mix and punish the opponent is almost unmatched, with massive damage output off any starter. He has a solid low confirm, a few great overheads, one of the best normal throws, and two very ambiguous crossups. Mix that with his signature rekka special Aragami, which can be followed up in multiple ways or done to leave Kyo safe at the end of a blockstring, and Kyo gets a vortex of guesses that can close out a round quick. He also has stellar defense, with great normals for mashing and a very scary DP, and plenty of good anti-airs.
This isn't without sacrifice though. Kyo struggles very hard in neutral, lacking any kind of projectile or even a consistent rewarding poke. Kyo has to take a risk to get in, whether by jumping or running or rolling, as he gets beaten in neutral by almost everyone. While he does have decent reach with normals like 5HK and 3HK, these have various weaknesses such as being crouchable or having a lot of endlag. Kyo can very rarely convert a poke into knockdown either, forcing him to rely on his up-close game to secure rounds.
If you like a character who can get in the opponents face and spin the wheel of mix until they die, you'll love Kyo. Especially if you're willing to put up with his underwhelming neutral.
Best - K: Kyo can be run well with almost any groove, but shines mostly in K groove. While rolls do help him, JD and rage turn the already high damage Kyo into a punish machine, dishing out damage from almost any starter. Rage also makes his already scary oki mixup even scarier, as it only takes a few good hits for Kyo to win, and he can easily combo into level 3 Orochinagi in the corner for massive damage.
Useful - C/N/A/P: The other grooves are all varying in usefulness but generally are good. C-Kyo gets access to damaging and flashy level 2 combos and can more easily end combos in his autocombo super, alongside airblock and Alpha Counters that aid his defense. N-Kyo is sort of a lesser K-Kyo, with roll giving him a good defensive tool and RC specials for neutral use. You lose out on a lot of meter potential however, as Kyo's level 1 supers are very weak. A-Kyo gets access to the powerful Custom Combo mechanic, and in classic Kyo style his CC is highly damaging and puts your opponent in the corner where you want them. P-Kyo is shockingly good, as his meterless punishes are devastating and his level 3 punishes even more so. One good parry from P-Kyo puts your opponent deep in the corner.
Worst - S: Despite his usefulness in other grooves, S-Kyo has very little going for him. Kyo has decent but underwhelming and combo-oriented supers, so having infinite level 1s means nothing to him. S-Kyo also has to actively give up space to build meter, which harms his heavily aggro gameplan.
Kyo is a close range brawler with stellar mixup and some of the highest damage in the game. His pressure and ability to open up opponents make him terrifying up close, and his combo potential is much higher than average. He has to struggle through neutral to get there first, however. Kyo is best in K-Groove.
Kyo's Rekka series can be intimidating at first, but the tree is fairly simple! Here is a quick rundown.
Aragami > Konokizu > Nanase/Yanosabi
Aragami > Yanosabi > Nanase/Migiri Ugachi
There are different reasons to use either of these two trees and the two possible enders for each, but memorizing the order is simple.
Bread and Butter Combos
Kyo has high combo freedom generally, and you should experiment to see what's possible and what isn't (or read further past this page). This isn't every Kyo combo possible, but it should be enough to get you learning how his combos work. All damage values were recorded using C-Groove Kyo vs a full health C-Groove Ryu. All combos are written in Numpad Notation, refer to this visual aide if you need help reading it.
General Combo Tips
In place of 623HK, you can usually do 623HP for an easier juggle at a small damage/stun cost in the corner.
Kyo normally won't use his level 1 supers in combos, as they aren't very strong and the stun is usually more worth it.
236LKK (Light Kai and Followup) has very limited combo potential, only comboing into level 2/3 Orochinagi.
|2LK > 2LK, 2MP > 236MP > 236P > K||Anywhere||3223||18||Medium||Kyo's main combo from a 2LK starter. Powerful and long hitconfirm that has a few places to end safely.|
|(j.HK) > 2MP > 236MP > 236P > K||Anywhere||4095||26||Easy||Not Kyo's best jump-in but fairly reliable when the range for a cl.HK isn't guaranteed.|
|2LK, 2MP > 236MKK, 623HK||Anywhere||4072||40||Medium||A shorter hitconfirm that ends in a launcher into 623HK. While rekka ender isn't bad at all, Kyo's 623HK is an amazing knockdown and gives tons of corner carry.|
|(j.HK) cl.HK > 236HKK, 623HK||Anywhere||5647||55||Easy||One of the best combos to learn. cl.HK is your main punishment normal, so learn this one. Basically guarantees corner from most parts of the screen, does massive damage, and gives an amazing knockdown.|
|2MP, 2MP > 236LP > 236P > K||Anywhere||3675||22||Medium||A double 2MP combo into rekkas. 2MP is one of your main meaties, and this can be a nice way to enhance the damage from one. Especially good on counterhit|
|2LK > 2LK > 2LK > 623HK||Anywhere||2677||26||Easy||An easier 2LK combo if you can't do the link. Unless you seriously struggle with 2LK, 2MP, don't use this one, and practice doing 2LK, 2MP.|
|2LK > 2LK > 236LKK||Anywhere||1365||13||Easy||A combo into 236LKK. The light version of Kai has very limited juggles afterwards, but this is a useful confirm into level 2/3 Orochinagi.|
|2MP, 2LK > 623HK||Anywhere||3150||30||Medium||Reverse link into 623HK. Better knockdown but harder to do and worse damage.|
|hop.HK > 623HK||Anywhere||3200||32||Easy||A simple combo from a hop into 623HK. In hop grooves this is very useful.|
|2LK > 2LK > 236236P||Anywhere||3360/5040/6510||4||Medium||A low combo into super. Can be a bit hard to buffer as you can easily misinput into 236LK, but is a worthwhile way to spend meter once you have it down as 2LK is a move you'll hit often and Orochinagi level 1 is not very juggle friendly.|
|2LK > 2LK > 236LKK, 2141236HP||Anywhere||3675/6090||0||Easy||Orochinagi juggles from LK Kai. Level 1 Orochinagi can't be juggled into after any version of Kai, limiting it's use in combos to mainly the level 3 version. You won't always want to use this as other enders will give better corner carry where level 3 Orochinagi is stronger.|
|(j.HK) cl.HK > 236MKK, 2141236HP||Anywhere||5775||34||Easy||High damage jump in into Orochinagi. Generally you won't use this, saving the meter for higher damage combos in the corner is usually more worth it and midscreen ending in 623HK for stun, corner carry, and knockdown is more valuable. Still, if you get a midscreen jump in and need to kill this might do it.|
|(j.HK) cl.HK > 236HKK, Charge 2141236HP, Release||Corner||8820||35||Easy||Flamebody juggle into Orochinagi. Massive corner damage from a solid punish. In the corner, the fire surrounding Kyo will juggle for a single hit after Kai. Let it juggle once, and as they fall in front of Kyo, release it. If done right it will hit 3 times.|
|2LK > 2LK > 236LKK, Charge 2141236HP, Release||Corner||6510||13||Easy||Flamebody juggle from a light starter. Expensive but worthwhile if it will kill, and very easy to do.|
|2LK > 2LK, 2MP > 236LKK, Charge 2141236HP, Release||Corner||7245||21||Medium||Corner 2LK 2MP link into 236LKK. Damaging super ender from Kyo's main combo. Worth learning over the above combo for the added damage. If you only do one 2LK into 2MP, do 236MKK as that combo does the exact same damage as this.|
|(j.HK) cl.HK > 236HKK, 623MK, Charge 2141236HP, Release||Corner||10451||51||Medium||Massive damage combo off a jump-in. Especially strong in grooves like K or P, as this can be done from outside the corner so long as you reach the corner by the end of 623MK.|
|5HK > 2141236P||Anywhere||3990/5250/6090||13||Easy||A heavy poke into super, and one of the only ways to combo into level 1 Orochinagi. Seems hard at first, but doing this as 214HK then 41236P makes it a pretty consistent cancel|
|2LK > 2LK > 236236MP > 236MKK, 623HK||Anywhere||6940||34||Medium||2 bar BNB off of 2LK. Kyo has stronger level 2 combos but this gives massive corner carry, good stun, and is very consistent. In the corner, you can do 236HKK instead for some extra damage. Generally this is the best you get midscreen with|
|2LK > 2LK > 236LKK, 2141235MP > (delay) 236HKK, 623HK||Corner||6458||44||Medium||Worse than the above combo, but it's mostly so you know you can get a level 2 Orochinagi off of 236LKK.|
|(j.HK) cl.HK > 236LKK, 2141236MP > 236HKK, 623HK||Corner||8453||63||Medium||High damage jump-in combo. Level 2 Orochinagi is hard to use in juggles similar to level 1, so this can only be done off of 236LKK.|
|Any combo into a level 2 > 2141236LP||Anywhere||7245/6510||0||Easy||After 236236MP or 2141236MP, you can add a 2141236LP for added damage. Damage values are listed as if done raw, with 236236MP first and 2141236MP second. Generally C-Kyo won't end with these, as the stun from the other finishers will be more worthwhile and being able to build back to a level 2 quickly is strong.|
|(j.HK) cl.HK > 236HKK, 236236MP (1) > 236HKK, 623HK||Corner||7718||66||Easy||Silly looking 3 bar combo. Not as high damage as the two bar version, but does a ton of stun. If you hit them at all shortly before landing this they may be stunned. Even without any meter Kyo can get high damage, so this is very worthwhile in those situations.|
Kyo has ways to combo into Custom Combo. The CC confirms are listed in this table, and his actual CCs are listed in the next.
|(j.HK) cl.HK > 236MKK, 623LP, Activate...||Anywhere||4100...||41||Easy||Jump in/Heavy confirm into CC.|
|2LK > 2LK > 236LKK, Activate...||Corner||1300...||13||Easy||Corner low confirm into CC.|
|Meaty cr.MP, Activate, cr.LK...||Anywhere||704...||8||Hard||Activation link. Not entirely useful but if you can do it it's a confirm Kyo can get fairly easily.|
|Anti-Air 623LP, Activate...||Anywhere||800...||8||Easy||Anti-Air CC Confirm. Useful to make Kyo's powerful anti-air dp even scarier.|
|2HK, Activate...||Anywhere||1300...||13||Above Average||Sweep CC confirm. Tight and requires close range, making it very niche and rare.|
These are Kyo's CCs. In this table, "xN" means however many work. If you can do it 4 times, 5 times, 6 times, however many depends usually on the character. For visuals and more CC data, check out this Google Presentation by Gunter. You can internalize these and use them but CCs are incredibly flexible and learning the theory behind them will benefit you much more in the long run.
|Activate, (623MP > 3HK whiff)xN > 2HP > 2141236P||Anywhere||8084||0||Above Average||Kyo's main CC. Does good damage and is very versatile, working from grounded activations, anti-air activations, and all his listed starters.|
|Activate, 2LK > (2HPxN > 236HP)xN > 3HKxN > 2HP > 236236P||Anywhere||6884||0||Medium||Easier grounded CC. After the 2HP > 236HP loop reaches max scaling, start doing 3HK repeatedly until you have to super.|
|Anti-Air Activate, 623MKxN, Reach corner, 2MP, j.LPxN, 2141236P||Anywhere||5220||0||Medium||One of the first anti-air CCs found. Generally stick to the BNB CC but this is a bit easier.|
Kyo has possibly the most useful kick throw in the entire game.
The opponent is left right next to you, is unable to tech roll or slow getup, and the 52 pixel range of Kyo's kick throw even lets him do it after the pushback from a d.LK.
Wake-Up Pressure/Knockdown Mixups
Kyo has some of the nastiest mix-up in the game. The whole point of Kyo is correct meter management coupled with use of low shorts to get your opponent afraid of getting super'd or CC'd. You use his mix-up strategies to make your opponent defensive and afraid so that you can throw them when necessary or confuse them, opening up situations where you can combo into Serpent Wave or Final Showdown.
Tools Kyo has for mix-ups:
LP Aragami (safe on block, not jd)
Low short or wait and then low short (link to c.mp and then cancel to Aragami/Kai)
Whiff to Throw or just Walk-up throw
Counterhit s.rh to super (difficult)
Meaty S.Strong xx LP Aragami
LP Aragami => Yasabi (overhead that is unsafe on block and can be slightly delayed for confusion)
Low jump to low shorts (50/50 mix-up)
Low jump crossup shorts (hop over the grounded opponent and work in shorts)
D+FP command normal mix-up (Small Jump D+FP, Whiffed SJ D+FP to throw, Crossup SJ D+FP *tall characters only*)
Jump into corner to avoid DP (situational and only on cornered opponents)
Against players with a nasty DP such as Ken, Sagat or Iori, it's important to not start out reckless. You should try to recognize if your opponent is prone to throw out wake-up dp's. Free jump-ins combined with waiting/blocking should be used when necessary to bait out whiffed dp's that open up huge punishment combos (c.lk x 2, c.mp xx aragami, etc.). Once your opponent is afraid to wake-up dp, begin to throw out more low shorts and to fish for counterhits with c.mp. Do not be afraid to walk up and kick throw, tick throw, or whiff to kick throw.
Groove Specific Strategy
In A-Groove CC setups (random activates)
blocked close s.HK, CC
blocked c.HK, CC
blocked meaty rdp+LK, CC
blocked meaty c.MK, CC
blocked 2nd hit of qcf+LK,K, CC
combo into qcf+MK,K, close s.HK xx rdp+LK (whiffs), CC
CC, RC rekka
CC, f+MK overhead, continue
hit with qcf+HP, hcb+P, wait, CC
the other obvious random activates, like empty jump, walk forward, etc
CC, (c.LK), close s.HK x 2, far s.HK, df+HK (1-hit), [far s.HK x 2, df+HK (1-hit)] x N to corner, df+HK xx qcfx2+P
- you can also switch up to mashed c.LK, df+HK (2-hit) at the end, but i find it smarter to keep it simple.
CC, [dp+MP, df+HK whiff]x8 (or to 8 hits), c.HP, c.HP, qcb,hcf+P
- this is your combo for many things, like anti-air CC, comboing after all sorts of juggles, or traded dp+LP/MP
- start with dp+HP (1-hit), df+HK whiff if you need the range, like after a traded dp
j.HK, close s.HK xx qcf+MK,K, dp+MK, CC, [dp+MP, df+HK whiff] x 2,
dp+MP, s.LK whiff, [j.LP x 4] x N until no meter, close s.HK/c.HP xx
qcf+HK,K, dp+HK (opponent dizzy), j.HK, close s.HK xx qcf+MK,K, dp+HK
- this should dizzy all characters 70 stun and lower if you land the qcf+HK,K correctly, without a jumpin it should dizzy 60 stun chars
- the final hits after the dizzy won't do good damage because the CC scaling will still be in effect, this is only useful for flash
- it's smarter to end this combo with a super, then try to land another combo afterwards to get some real dizzy damage
Special Custom enders
- combo to 8 hits, juggle with hcb+HK, qcf+LP, hcb+P, P (all 3 hits), continue with mashed ground custom into qcfx2+P super or qcf+MK,K, dp+HK for dizzy
- combo to 8 hits, juggle with c.HP x 2 (think rolento super at the end of CC), qcf+LP, hcb+P, P (first 2 whiff), continue with mashed ground custom into qcfx2+P super or qcf+MK,K, dp+HK for dizzy
- the execution of the connected rekka chains is pretty hard in CC mode, with kara cancels and shit, sometimes you do one rekka, juggle with a jab, then do another jab when you try for the hcb+P, it's hard, i would stick to setting up whiffed chains if you're gonna really practice this
- ground custom, end with qcf+MK,K, dp+HK for dizzy
Make it one of your goals to get in and land a kick throw. Once you do, you put your self in a highly advantageous mixup situation. Remember that since Blanka is a charge character, it becomes extremely confusing for him on how to keep his charge if you play tricky and keep switching sides with him. After the kick throw...
-low jump forward, crossup j.LK
This is safe against RC electricity, and you actually have frame advantage when you land.
-wait, kick throw again
-wait, d.LK combo to counter Blanka trying to throw you
Although it's not necessary in this instance, you can take a complete guess and try to dp+HP after the crossup low jump LK also
After the kick throw...
-low jump forward, land, kick throw again This grabs Blanka right out of his wakeup RC electricity startup.
-low jump foward, land, meaty d.MP, d.MP xx combo
The d.MP hit perfectly meaty when you do it like this.
Whenever Blanka sticks out a d.HP, you can sweep his limb from far away if he whiffed. You can even try to do far s.HK xx super if you like.
Kyo far s.HK is a guaranteed counter to Blanka's d.MK.
One of Kyo's most often used moves is his df+HK. Blanka knows this and will be jumping up and down with his vertical j.HK to counter you. Use your Kyo dp+HP to take him out of the air whenever you're in range.
The counter to Blanka trying to do super jump MK to cross you up is to use your Kyo close s.MK anti-air.