The King of Fighters '98: Ultimate Match/Saisyu Kusanagi

From SuperCombo Wiki
what a horrid Kwanzaa


After losing a few bets with the Yakuza, Saisyu becomes an alcoholic and has to go into hiding. He then becomes a Getbacker, living day to day doing oddjobs trying to bring a smile to the faces of those who have lost theirs.


Snka.gif Snkb.gif Snkc.gif Snkd.gif
Saisyu98 colorA.png Saisyu98 colorB.png Saisyu98 colorC.png Saisyu98 colorD.png

Final Edition Change List


  • DP+B - second hit has a larger hitbox so it shouldn't whiff if the first connects.
  • HCB+K - less recovery, second hit should be easier to connect if the first connects.
  • QCB+P - First hit has a bigger hitbox and less recovery.
  • QCFx2+P - A version and MAX version have faster startup.

Gameplay Overview

Saisyu is a zoning/pressure/raw damage character. He lacks the options/normals of Iori or '95 Kyo, but he still has some great tools specific to him. His main weakness is the lack of fast short hop anti-airs and mid/long-range pokes. He is lighter on execution than most characters, the hardest things he has are f+A to super or cr.B,cr.A to dp. He is a great character for a beginner.

In-depth Overview

Normal Throws

b or f+C - Forward knockdown, face forward, un-rollable.

b or f+D - Reverse knockdown, back turned, un-rollable.

D throw preferred, not only because of back turned wakeups, but because it takes longer for the blue grab 'effect' to appear, making it a bit harder to break on reaction.


Frames Advantage Cancel Block Hitbox Notes
Standing Close
Snka.gif 2/4/4 +4/+2 HL
Saisyu98 clA.png
Links into close C, but there's no reason to use it.
Snkb.gif 4/3/11 -2/-4 HL
Saisyu98 clB.png
Can replace cr.A in his cr.B,cr.A combo when close for easier execution to dp+B, although the short activation range for this move makes it a poor choice.
Snkc.gif 1/2(3)4/24 -8/-10 C,S,Su HL
Saisyu98 clC1.png
Saisyu98 clC2.png
Fast, cancelable on both hits. Using both hits makes hit-confirming and buffering motions easy, though the second hit will whiff on back turned crouchers.
Snkd.gif 7/5/21 -6/-8 HL
Saisyu98 stD.png
Saisyu's best normal anti air. Has a bit of a hefty startup so you have to be a bit more predictive than most anti airs, but not the worst thing to throw out.
Standing Far
Snka.gif 4/3/8 +1/-1 HL
Saisyu98 stA.png
Snkb.gif 6/3/12 -3/-5 HL
Saisyu98 stB.png
Saisyu's best normal mid-range poke. This is the go to spacing move.
Snkc.gif 9/4/21 -5/-7 S,Su HL
Saisyu98 stC.png
Note that this is cancelable on whiff. Pretty much a bad idea all the time.
Snkd.gif 7/5/21 -6/-8 HL
Saisyu98 stD.png
Same as close.
Snkc.gif+Snkd.gif 14/5/28 KD/-11 S,Su HL
Saisyu98 stCD.png
Relatively fast, easily cancelable and whiff cancelable, good for block strings into fireball.
Snka.gif 2/4/4 +4/+2 C,S,Su HL
Saisyu98 crA.png
Use to cancel into f+B as a pressure string, and links from f+B as well.
Snkb.gif 2/4/5 +3/+1 L
Saisyu98 crB.png
Solid cr.B, the party starter. Links into cl.C have been made harder from original 98.
Snkc.gif 5/4/27 -11/-13 HL
Saisyu98 crC.png
What should be an okay anti air is actually a bit inconsistent. The second hitbox seems to come out rather late to legitimately anti air on reaction and the whiff recovery isn't super stellar, although it is whiff cancellable. Not the worst button to use, but there are better options.
Snkd.gif 10/4/23 KD/-9 C,S,Su L
Saisyu98 crD.png
Whiff and hit cancel, very good range, decent speed, Saisyu's second go to mid range poking normal. Also chains into command normals, so f+B pressure is possible.
Snka.gif 4/5 -/- H
Saisyu98 jA.png
Fast jumping normal that can be used for air to air or jump in. A decent swap for j.D if you want the speed.
Snkb.gif 4/11 -/- H
Saisyu98 jB.png
The best jump-in. It can cross up, but not as well as Kyo's. Really, it's a slightly less effective version of Kyo's jumping B, which means it's still very, very good.
Snkc.gif 7/4 -/- H
Saisyu98 jC.png
Another nice jump-in, good if they are dizzy to get max damage.
Snkd.gif 7/4 -/- H
Saisyu98 jD.png
Great air-to-air, or mid range poking option. Think Kyo's jumping D.
Snkc.gif+Snkd.gif 12/5 KD/- HL
Saisyu98 jCD.png
Fast, nice hitbox, similar to Shingo's. Good early air-to-air.
Neutral Jump
Snkc.gif 9/4 -/- H
Saisyu98 njC.png
A neutral jump swap for j.D basically. Not bad but maybe not the move you'd think to use in the heat of the moment.
Command Normals


19/4/14 +2/0 H
Saisyu98 fA.png
Slow, overhead, uncancelable when done alone. Fast, non-overhead, cancelable when chained. f+A Quick Max Cancel gives you tons of options in Extra.
f+Snka.gif (cancel) 14/4/14 +2/0 S,Su HL
f+Snkb.gif 20/1/8 +11/+9 HL
Saisyu98 fB.png
Always the same speed and not overhead or cancelable, but big advantage on block or hit. Good to cancel into for pressure, and you can link some moves from it (refer to combos below). BE WARY OF OVERUSE! Can be low profiled by a good number of sweeps.
Special Moves
Fireball (qcf+P) -/-/- -/- - - A little more recovery than Iori's, but still great. Cancel into this when your moves get blocked! Whiff cancel moves into it! It's a good fireball, not much more to say.
Flame Uppers (qcb+P~qcb+P) -/-/- -/- - - C version recommended since it goes further and allows you to combo after (look above for combos). Not safe any way you cut it, so please hit-confirm. Like I said before, I think this move sucks compared to his Slam Kick (dp+K).
Dragon Punch (dp+P) -/-/- -/- - - It's that time again. Time to do a DP. A version is invincible up to the hit (ie will trade with meaties), while C version is fully invincible at startup. The C version doesn't knock down on the first hit, so don't use it against a grounded opponent.
Slam Kick (dp+K) -/-/- -/- - - Main meterless combo move. D version combos from hard hits, B version combos from light hits. Slams them down and give you un-rollable wakeups, so you can do whatever you want. I recommend an ambiguous roll cross/anti-cross. Saisyu's roll is actually pretty bullshit here. Try rolling very close to them, when you are in a position where with any other character you'd expect to cross over, Saisyu magically stays on the same side. Honestly this is very hard to block, so your opponent better be able to reversal roll!
Overhead Elbow (hcb+K) -/-/- -/- - - Overhead attack. Both B and D are overhead, but D is slower.............sooooooo just use the B version. Very punishable on block, however, so pick your spots.
Desperation Moves
Horrid Kwanzaa (qcb,hcf+P) -/-/- -/- - - Saisyu's bread and butter! You can charge it...if you want, I guess. Safe on block, too. Not invincible at all. You can do shenanigans on block with A strength DP after to stuff/trade whatever they try to do. MAX version does more damage and gives advantage on block. Even more shenanigans!
Flame Pillar (qcf,qcf+P) -/-/- -/- - - A version combos from lights. The C version is actually invincible on startup, but is really slow. MAX version has C version invincibility and A version speed.


  • cl.C (2 hits) xx DP+D/QCB+C, QCB+C/QCB,HCF+P
  • cl.C (1 hit),f+A xx DP+D/QCB+C, QCB+C/QCB,HCF+P
  • If you've gotten this confirm you should really avoid the rekka. Any air reset you get doesn't match the damage you'd get from either additional option and doesn't match the ambiguous roll or other mixup you'd get from Slam Kick.
  • cr.B,cr.A/cl.B xx DP+B/ QCF,QCF+A
  • B Slam Kick is the Saisyu BnB. It's tricky to do but you need to learn it, preferably from cr.A.
  • cr.B, cl.C (2 hits) xx DP+D/QCB,HCF+P
  • cr.B, cl.C,f+A xx DP+D/QCB,HCF+P
  • Adding in the f+A. Learn this BnB instead of the previous just for the sake of consistency.
  • (Extra guage)cr.B, cl.C(1 hit), f+A, qcb+A, qcb+A, abc, qcb,hcf+P
if your health is red, just go for cr.B, abc, cl.C, f+A, qcf,qcf+A. cause max version of qcb,hcf+P wont fully hit in air thus deals less damage. though you can get dp+C follow up in corner, and it does more damage than earlier combo. so consider about it.
  • f+B, st.B/cr.D/DP+B/cr.A xx QCF,QCF+A
  • Newly buffed A Flame Pillar makes landing this more of a threat if you can confirm.

Basic Strategy

Always combo into super when you get a chance!

After you land the Flame Uppers, you can do either A Dragon Punch (dp+A) is you are close or a superjump B for a reset. Though personally, I think that move is useless when the Slam Kick does more damage and gives you un-rollable wakeups.

Note that generally, close C (1 hit) into f+A is your best bet. Close C (2 hits) by itself is easier to buffer motions from, but the 2nd hit whiffs if your opponent is back turned + crouching. You can still use close C by itself, just be aware when things have the potential to hit back turned (ie after a crossup, certain knockdowns, etc.). Close C (2 hits) into f+A will only connect if you are very close, but does connect from a jump-in if you perform the jump-in early/close enough.

Crouching B links into close C, although it is much harder now.

Advanced Strategy