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SvC Chaos: SNK Vs Capcom/Athena

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アテナ姫, Princess Athena
"I am Athena. Protector of Heaven."
Difficulty Simple
Max Mode Needed? Almost Useless
Tier Placement Non-Threat (D)
Standing Hitbox Short
Crouching Hitbox Short



Are you here because you thought that this was the Athena from KOF? Those two could be the same person, but this Athena is based on the first Athena game, an arcade platformer released in 1987. She is, without a doubt, the weakest boss in the game, but she is pretty strong compared to some of the non-boss characters, and against the low tiers, gives them a lot of trouble. She may appear impossible, but it takes little work to figure out how to deal with her.

Pros Cons
  • Fun to play
  • Small hitbox (She is a little taller than Zero but smaller than most characters)
  • Some of the most damaging normals in the game
  • Almost all of her normals can be cancelled
  • Her arrows are great for pressuring tall crouching characters
  • Can link some Lights with Heavies, and Heavies with Heavies
  • Her Exceed is almost impossible to jump over
  • Only needs meter for Blowback and maybe GCFS
  • Destroys players who don't know better
  • Hard to master; Very one note character
  • Doesn't have any super moves
  • Can only backthrow
  • Some normals are identical (in other words pointless)
  • Meter is almost useless as well outside of Blowback/GCFS
  • Cannot do Max Mode combos, only basic cancels for mixups
  • Extremely limited combos overall
  • Specials are a death sentence on block due to GCFS and awful recovery
  • Either Athena blows the other player up, or the other player blows Athena up

How to select Athena (Outside of Super Plus)

  • You want to play with Athena, but cannot select her? If you're with the Arcade version, you can only select her by cheating, or with the bootleg hacked roms. If you're using a console (XBOX and PS2 only), you can unlock her in the Survival Mode along with RA. Just defeat her or Red Arremer in the 36th fight.

Moves List

Normal Moves

Far/Close Normals

Since Athena has no standing proximity normals, she only has 4 standing normals. Regardless if you're far or close to the opponent, the attack for the corresponding button doesn't change.

Damage Counter Dmg Guard G. Crush Stun Meter Cancel Startup Active Recovery Total Hit Adv Block Adv Invulnerability
- - Mid - - - - 2 2 6 10 +4 +2 -
  • This is a quick attack with her little shield. Can chain into itself and all of her other lights, and even link/chain with her cr.HP. This move is useful to do some walking jab pressure.

Damage Counter Dmg Guard G. Crush Stun Meter Cancel Startup Active Recovery Total Hit Adv Block Adv Invulnerability
- - Mid - - - - 6 5 13 24 -6 -8 -
  • Athena stabs the opponent with her sword. This move cannot chain into itself, and cannot link with other normals, so it isn't very useful in Light Attack combos, but can be used to poke the opponent. Can be canceled too.

Damage Counter Dmg Guard G. Crush Stun Meter Cancel Startup Active Recovery Total Hit Adv Block Adv Invulnerability
- - Mid - - - - 14 2 21 37 -3 -5 -
  • It looks like an anti-air, but it's not. The move has bad startup, and more importantly, completely lacks a vertical hitbox above Athena despite the sword slash effect looking like it hits above her. The first frame of the attack has auto-guard frames, but even then it's not that useful. The attack can be canceled too.

Damage Counter Dmg Guard G. Crush Stun Meter Cancel Startup Active Recovery Total Hit Adv Block Adv Invulnerability
- - Mid - - - - 6 6 18 30 -4 -6 -
  • It's her best anti-air, other than her QCF + K Wave attack. Cancel it into her slide for her BnB.

Crouch Normals

Damage Counter Dmg Guard G. Crush Stun Meter Cancel Startup Active Recovery Total Hit Adv Block Adv Invulnerability
- - Low - - - - 2 5 7 14 A/B= +0 ; C= +8 A/B= -2 ; C= +6 -
  • A/B Version
  • A quick kick that hits low. Use it in Light Attack combos. Cancellable, but there's barely anything you can do with it.
  • Just use cr.C instead.
  • C Version
  • Incredible crouching move. The animation and properties of this move are the same as the crouching light attacks, but has more damage and frame advantage making the lights pointless. It's cancelable, and you can link it with a st.B/D.

Damage Counter Dmg Guard G. Crush Stun Meter Cancel Startup Active Recovery Total Hit Adv Block Adv Invulnerability
- - Low - - - - 17 3 3 23 SKD +12 -
  • Athena sweeps her sword. This move has auto-guard frames too, but use this move as a low poke, that is also difficult to whiff punish. It's very slow, and there's no point if you're going to cancel it. Avoid this move if you want. If you want to knock down your opponent, there are better options, including df.D.

Jumping Normals

Like her standing normals, Athena has no differentiation between neutral and diagonal jumping normals, so again, the attack only matters based on what button is pressed.

Damage Counter Dmg Guard G. Crush Stun Meter Cancel Startup Active Recovery Total Hit Adv Block Adv Invulnerability
- - Overhead - - - - 4 27 - - - - -
  • Neutral/Diagonal Jumping Attack
  • A quick stab aiming down with her sword. The reach of this move is mediocre, and it's hard to combo with it. It can crossup the opponent too.

Damage Counter Dmg Guard G. Crush Stun Meter Cancel Startup Active Recovery Total Hit Adv Block Adv Invulnerability
- - Overhead - - - - 9 3 - - - - -
  • Neutral/Diagonal Jumping Attack
  • Good jump-in, and it does nice damage. It can crossup, and it's way better than the two jumping attacks above. You can use it in combos too.

Damage Counter Dmg Guard G. Crush Stun Meter Cancel Startup Active Recovery Total Hit Adv Block Adv Invulnerability
- - Overhead - - - - 5 10 - - - - -
  • Neutral/Diagonal Jumping Attack
  • Great jump-in attack and air-to-air move. This move has auto-guard frames, so you can use it to counter most anti-air attempts. It can crossup too, and it's very easy to combo after it.

Command Moves


  • df+HK - This, ladies and gentlemen, is Athena's slide (Slides are cool). The damage is very high, it knocks down(It's better than that cr.HK mentioned above, and this is the better option mentioned in there), and it's great as a finisher for her short combos. You can use it to go under certain projectiles too.

Special Moves

Some of her Special Moves are really easy to block, and this makes them almost useless sometimes. Good luck if you want to learn them.

Heaven's Gate

  • QCF+P - Athena summons a Lion and it throws some fast fireballs that can negate normal projectiles. In the LP version, the lion throws 2 fireballs, and in the HP version, it throws 3 fireballs or more. Athena can be hit while she is getting up in the lion. The mouth of the lion can hit your opponent too, and you can MAX cancel this move if this happens (No, you can't combo). This move is very bad due to the slow startup (Where she jumps on the lion), and the opponent can GCFS it with ease, but Athena is totally invincible after she jumps. When she recovers though, if the opponent is able to dash in, it's pretty much a free punish due to the awful recovery of it. It can be used to force chip damage to close out a round though, force a guard break, or even force a time out. If Athena is in Max Mode, she can also Max Cancel the recovery into her Wave Attack as a mixup, that leaves her invincible during the transition, thus punishing players for getting cocky. This too though, can be read and if the Wave is blocked, either way Athena is getting punished.

Poseidon Rage

  • QCF+K - Athena's "Animal Summon" move with the best startup. She will become a mermaid, and will slap the opponent 9 times if it wasn't blocked. There's no difference between the two versions. Good to use on the opponent's wakeup, as an anti-air or even as an invincible reversal, but just like any of her other moves, it's easy to GCFS, and leaves her wide open for a punish on block. Great damage. While you can Max Cancel from the lion into this move, you cannot Max Cancel this move at any point, so be careful about using it.

Milk Crown

  • QCB+P - Athena will summon a bird and it will peck the ground, causing a low earthquake. After that, Athena will follow it up with an overhead spiked mace. The second hit of the move will hit as an OTG after the bird pecks the ground if the opponent got hit. You cannot cancel any of the hits. Don't use this move, most opponents will just know how to avoid it. You can easily block low then high, GCFS and do any punish you can think of. Alternatively, you can jump the low attack and as she's falling down, you can hit her with a DP and there's nothing she can do with it. Even a five year old can punish this move; worst special in the game. The only people who will fall for it are those who don't know better. You can't even say it's a move that you could maybe troll with by using it at a random point on unsuspecting players, because the startup is so long that it's impossible to not see it coming.

Bow of Judgement

  • Charge b, f+P - Great move against tall crouching hurtbox characters like Demitri and Red Arremer. But even as a punish tool against anyone else, the damage is amazing, and is practically impossible to GCFS. There's no difference between the two versions. It's very fast and good for punishing most projectiles, but Athena is not at all invincible during the move. Forced trades can happen or just a well timed attack because of carelessness from the Athena player. The usefulness of this move is also reduced against characters with low crouching hitboxes because it will completely whiff against them. The move is in fact an unblockable move... but only if the opponent blocks standing. If the opponent is Demitri and they block low, while they will still get hit by the arrow, it will only deal chip damage instead. In other words there is zero reason to block high.

end of the TRIP or NIGHT

  • Charge b, f+K - Avoid this move. Slow, but the damage is good, and you can MAX cancel when she hits (On the second hit), but you have no reason to do that. The opponent will just jump over it, and if he blocks, he can GCFS. Athena is invincible during the move, but it's still an easy punish.


Pegasus Fantasy

  • QCB+KK - This is her Exceed (Saint Seiya reference?). The damage is good, but it's very easy to block. You can use it as an anti-air, or even while the opponent is stunned. You can't confirm it from normals/in Max Mode. Athena is fully invincible until she lands.


The Basics

Athena's Gameplan

Well... Athough Athena has damaging normals, she is a zoning glass cannon. Her Summon Specials can make her almost invincible, unless the opponent blocks it and in some cases, they can quite easily punish her with a GCFS that's not difficult to time. If you need an anti-air, just do a s.HP/QCF+K and be happy. If you need to punish, all she really has are her anti-airs or her very basic combos. While her Exceed also makes for a great punish, especially as an anti-air, you need to be careful not to do it too late or else it will whiff/be blocked, and thus you have just lost it. When it comes to characters with large crouching hitboxes like Demitri, Genjuro and Red Arremer, her arrow charge special is quite useful as although it's not unblockable, their crouch height means they'll still be stuffed by it for some pretty good chip damage, aside from being a good punish tool in some situations. Do be careful still though, since she's not invincible during the move, so it is possible to fight back against it. Of the summons Athena has, the Lion is not as threatening as he appears. The startup is almost completely invincible and has its own hitbox, but the recovery is pretty lengthy giving the opponent enough time to approach. The only real mixup you have is changing how many fireballs the lion throws out, but anyone with an ounce of patience will see through it. It's useful for forcing a guard break though, and if you need the emergency chip damage to close out the round. The lion is hard to use otherwise. Athena's QCF + K is a great anti-air to catch jump ins, and you can Max Cancel from the lion into it to make lion recovery safe, but if blocked, Athena is wide open for any sort of punish, so never use it willy nilly. Her beetle charge lets her be fully invincible, but it's not terribly useful. Mostly just there to shrug people off since they likely won't expect it. Whatever you do, don't summon the parakeet. It is arguably the worst special move in the game, and is extremely easy to punish. Against anyone who knows the matchup, they will never fall for it. Otherwise, when just moving about in neutral, her C buttons are useful for midranged pokes, her D buttons are useful for getting her BnB combos going. Her A and B buttons are pretty forgettable, unless you need cr.B to shrug people off. Lastly, since Athena hardly ever uses her meter, this is one character where Blowback is very useful. She has nothing else to spend it on, so why not? It'll give her breathing room to try and be annoying again, at least.

A glitch with EQ

Yeah, a glitch for one character. It's a little easy to do in a real match, it just depends of your opponent. Just wait for him to do a Fat Copy (That move where he warps and goes above you). Now, time well, and do a QCF+K when he's near from you. He will stop in a hitstun animation, and he'll be open for ANY combo after it, or you can even use it to confirm the Exceed! (And the combo counter will say "02 hits" forever. Oh yeah, you can just wait for a time over if you're with a life advantage too, which will probably make him ragequit). A video with an example is here (Just jump to 0:15, but in the beginning of the video, you'll see two more Athena glitches). (Note: The glitch works while EQ is on the corner, and Athena near from him, but I'm sure that it works on midscreen too, I just need to prove it.)

Advanced Strategy

While Athena may be easy to play and learn, actually getting a grasp of what you should be doing with her is another story. As mentioned in the basics, her parakeet is useless, and her beetle summon is just kinda there. All that leaves you with is her lion, wave attack and her arrows for specials, and her heavy buttons. The only optimal zone to use Athena's lion is from fullscreen as that makes it significantly harder for the opponent to punish it, but even from midscreen they will have just enough time to punish Athena upon recovery, assuming they do a successful GCFS followed by some extra dashing. It can punish hard reads, but it's unlikely to happen. Her wave attack is to never be used point blank range or even on the ground unless you have a hard read. Only use it for when the opponent is in the air otherwise, albeit it is invincible. Ideally, you should also never use her arrows unless those too are from fullscreen, due to being unsafe. So what does that leave Athena with in neutral if there's no good chance for her to use her specials? Her heavy buttons. Jump C and Jump D are her only meaningful jump-ins, but even these are risky since the range is quite short for jump-ins. It doesn't take much for the opponent to at the least force a trade. For the rare instances she actually needs to use GCFS herself, she can punish many things with her st.D > df.D combo, which is way safer than any of her summons are while still doing good enough damage. Standing C and Crouching C are useful if you need the quick midrange poke to keep the opponent in check.

Athena, as you probably already know, is a knowledge check character. Either she blows up the other player, or they blow her up. Even if you're better than the other player while using Athena, her average damage output still requires you poke at the opponent several times, unlike most of the other characters who, even with basic combos, can mop Athena's health away. For example, say Athena is against Kyo, and he does a successful GCFS against her, then he has plenty of time to do a very simple combo: st.C > QCF + DD > QCB~HCF + P, thus removing a little more than a third of Athena's health. For Athena, it would take 2-4 hits for the same result against Kyo. The problem most Athena players have is the lack of patience, or carelessness. Especially if they fight someone and they win from spamming her summons, they get the idea that this is all Athena is and thus, she's a win button for little work. This is not at all the case. Competent players will call Athena out for anything unsafe she does, and if they have the life lead, they are effectively in control since now Athena is the one who has to approach them to open them up, not the other way around. Being able to huard break with her lion summon can help a little as it'll eventually force the opponent to start acting again, because otherwise they're sitting there and eating both chip and guard damage. It's still risky, though. Against rushdown/close up characters, Blowback is a very useful resource for Athena to spend by helping her knock the opponent across the screen and allowing her to potentially reassert her screen presence. Against zoners, Athena is definitely fighting an uphill battle, being that many zoners can force trades or setups that Athena doesn't have much of an answer for. That, or they can force her to jump which leaves her with few options she can use.

Overall, Athena is a zoner who you must play with a hit and run mindset. She's absolutely not designed for close combat, but sitting in one spot and repeating the same moves over and over is also a death sentence for her in most matchups. Athena players need to be very deliberate about when they use each of her specials and how they approach the opponent, because one mistake can lead to her losing all of her momentum. It's hard to fight back though if the Athena player knows their matchups very well.


Red Arremer

It doesn't look like it, but this matchup is actually in Athena's favor. There are three main reasons: First, Athena can always exploit the fact that RA cannot crouch with arrows. While he can still low block, it doesn't change the fact that he will always be hit by arrows on the ground and can only truly avoid them if he jumps. Even then, he's wide open during his summons so eating an arrow is not that difficult. Second, Athena's Exceed can effectively shut out RA from ever summoning bats at the risk of getting half his life bar deleted. Third, RA can's approach all that safely since Athena's Wave attack will anti-air him if he tries to jump in, on top of completely bypassing his minions. Her lion summon will be nullified by RA's zombie minion, making the lion significantly less useful, though. RA can also still force trades with smartly timed summons, and if all else fails he has his fireballs. Though with Athena still being quite effective even from fullscreen away, RA has practically zero chance of setting up a combo on Athena unless the planets align. The RA player will have to force Athena into opening herself up, either by forcing Athena to approach or approaching Athena himself. But unlike RA, Athena has at least a couple more useful normals, so RA still has to try and fight from a distance, or wait very patiently for poking opportunities.


Combo Damage Notes
[Jump Attack] s.HK, df+HK - 2-3 hits Athena's BnB, and the only combo you'll probably ever use. Her best combo punish off of a GCFS, and it does pretty nice damage with a knockdown, but the rest of her combos are pretty much just for show.
s.LP(2x), s.LK - 3 hits A simple and damaging Light Attack combo. Good if you're having trouble with the other combos. If you add a jump attack after the combo, the s.LK will still hit the opponent, but the stab will not connect with the other moves (It can connect on the corner).
[Jump Attack] s.LP, cr.HP, df+HK - 3-4hits Interesting combo. This is your main combo to punish your opponent too. It's very easy to do, the damage is very high, and you can followup with a Charge b, f+P if the opponent isn't a low crouching char on his/her wakeup, but the arrow setup is too risky to justify attempting it, plus if they know to block low, it's an easy punish for them.
(Earthquake only) cr.HP, s.HK, df+HK - 3 hits This combo works against some characters while they are crouching and on the corner, and they are: Shiki and Hugo. The df+HK part can hit the opponent, but cannot connect in: standing/crouching Genjyuro, and crouching Tessa. If you're against EQ/other tall crouching characters, you can followup with a Charge b, f+P on wakeup, but you probably won't hit this if they attempt a reversal, or they know to just block low instead.
cl.HK (It needs to guard crush the opponent), Exceed - 1 Hit Not a real combo, but it's a way to confirm the Exceed

Game Navigation

SNK Characters
Choi Bounge
Geese Howard
Genjyuro Kibagami
Leopold Goenitz
Iori Yagami
Kasumi Todoh
Kim Kaphwan
Kyo Kusanagi
Mai Shiranui
Mars People
Mr. Karate
Orochi Iori
Ryo Sakazaki
Serious Mr. Karate
Terry Bogard
Capcom Characters
Dan Hibiki
Demitri Maximoff
M. Bison
Red Arremer
Rockman Zero
Shin Akuma
Violent Ken