The King of Fighters '98: Ultimate Match/EX Mai

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The normal moves are no different from normal Mai’s, so her strength in midair is still first-class.

EX Mai’s special moves are substantially different from OG, though. When you don’t have gauge, you have no anti-air, which is a pain.

Move list

At a glance

Normal throws
Shiranui Gōrin (throw) f/b + C
Fūsha Kuzushi (throw) f/b + D
Midair throw
Yume Zakura (air throw) f/d/b + C/D
Command moves
(Triangle jump) (rear jump, edge of screen) uf
Kōkaku no Mai df + B
Kokuen no Mai f + B
Dairin Fūsha Otoshi (air) d + A
Special moves
Kachōsen qcf + P
Ryūenbu qcb + P
Hissatsu Shinobi Bachi hcf + K
Musasabi no Mai (ground) d (charge) u + P (hold)
Musasabi no Mai (midair) (air) qcb + P
Sayo Chidori qcb + K
┗ (Ryūenbu) (during Sayo Chidori) qcb + P
Kagerō no Mai d (charge) u + K
Gen'ei Shiranui (air) qcf + K
┣ Gen'ei Shiranui: Shimo Agito (during Gen'ei Shiranui) P
┗ Gen'ei Shiranui: Uwa Agito (during Gen'ei Shiranui) K
Super special moves
Chō Hissatsu Shinobi Bachi qcb hcf + K
Hana Arashi qcf qcf + P (hold)

Normal moves

  • st.A – zoning move against the ground.
  • st.B – zoning move against the air.
  • st.D – advances Mai’s position when done. Powerful in tandem with st.A and st.B zoning.
  • cl.C – wide interval, longish reach, startup is extremely fast. A mainstay of combos.
  • j.C – powerful hitbox horizontally, so use it for air-to-air.
  • j.D – long-reaching, high-priority hitbox downward, so use it for jumping in.

Command moves

  • Kōkaku no Mai
  • df + B
  • A sliding kick. The first step hits low, and the second step does knockdown. Very vulnerable if blocked, and the ease-of-use is bad.
  • Kokuen no Mai
  • f + B
  • Overhead with slowish startup. 50–50 when blocked, advantageous when it hits. Possible to combo into moves with quick startup.
  • Dairin Fūsha Otoshi
  • d + A in midair
  • Does unrollable knockdown for midair hits. Despite the midair nature, this can be blocked low. Cancelable into midair moves.

Special moves

  • Kachōsen
  • qcf + P
  • Fan projectile with slowish startup. Hard to use just because it leaves you that open.

  • Ryūenbu
  • qcb + P
  • Amounts to flames with an unlaunched projectile hitbox. The strong version also has an elbow strike right before that, so the startup is actually extremely fast. If the flame portion hits, it will do knockdown.

  • Hissatsu Shinobi Bachi
  • hcf + K
  • A two-step rushing move. Although there are not so many vulnerabilities if the very tip touches, it is not easy to use on its own.

  • Musasabi no Mai
  • d (charge) u + P (hold) / qcb + P in midair
  • There are two versions, one ground and one midair.
  • For the midair version Mai pauses in place and swoops down therewith. The weak version falls closer.
  • For the ground version, she first latches onto a screen edge (if you input u or ub she latches onto the edge behind her, and if you input uf she latches onto the edge behind the opponent), from which she descends. If you have continued holding the button, she descends into the attack; if you let go before this happens, she just drops down (which has its uses, obviously).
  • Regardless of the version, this move doesn’t leave you open so long as you get the very tip to hit.

  • Sayo Chidori
  • qcb + K
  • Fan slash with crazy hitbox. You can cancel it into Ryūenbu, but there isn’t much use for that since the pushback can make it not combo.

  • Kagerō no Mai
  • d (charge) u + K
  • Projects burning images of Mai to the left and right. It’s actually a strike hitbox, but it can still nullify projectiles. The moving projections take some time, and if it touches the opponent, the images will spin around a little, making it take more time. The move has no invincibility, but the hitbox has good priority, and you can use it as a fast-ish anti-air. It does not do pushback if blocked, so it does a lot of chip damage close in.

  • Gen'ei Shiranui
  • qcf + K in midair
  • Pretty much the same as Andy’s. Mai swoops down from midair; the angles are the same as Musasabi no Mai. Unlike Musasabi no Mai, you can use this after leaping over the opponent so that both of you switch sides (making crossup very easy).
  • Gen'ei Shiranui: Shimo Agito
  • P (during Gen'ei Shiranui)
  • Of the derived moves, only this one really combos from Gen'ei Shiranui. It is possible to juggle off this when it hits.
  • Gen'ei Shiranui: Uwa Agito
  • K (during Gen'ei Shiranui)
  • An overhead, but it leaves you very open and thus its ease-of-use is bad.

Super special moves

  • Chō Hissatsu Shinobi Bachi
  • qcb hcf + K
  • Attack in which Mai’s entire body is clad in flame. In UM, it now rushes diagonally upwards. The strong version rolls forward once, then attacks, so it combos from strong attacks, and has invincibility frames during startup. The weak version springs up immediately, so you can use it as an anti-air

  • Hana Arashi
  • qcf qcf + P (hold)
  • A rushing move. In UM, you hold the button down to keep her rushing, so you can now attack more distant spots. If you let go right away, then depending on the situation, you can use it as a psychic anti-air.
  • It is invincible only during the startup rushing. If the opponent is not close, then if you use this and hold the button, you can counter while avoiding any attacks.



  • j.D > cl.C >> Hissatsu Shinobi Bachi or strong Chō Hissatsu Shinobi Bachi
  • If you can’t hit confirm this, strong Ryūenbu will also work.
  • cr.B >> cl.B >> Kōkaku no Mai or strong Ryūenbu
  • Combo from low hits.
  • Kokuen no Mai > strong Ryūenbu
  • In the corner, a special move from a cl.C from Kokuen no Mai will also combo.

The Basics

First thing to do is to keep zoning at point-blank until the opponent can manage to deal with it. The basic thing to use for zoning is strong Ryūenbu. The hitbox for the second step is big, so if you use it with good timing, it is also an anti-air; the first step is quick to get out, so it can often outright stuff the opponent’s moves. Other than that, even just poking with st.A and jump-checking with st.B will be tremendously effective.

When you want to shorten the distance, use j.CD. From there, go on to to aim for a combo by canceling into cl.C or cr.C; if that’s blocked, use a weak Ryūenbu so that you’re not in any real trouble even with a guard cancel, or delay a little and use Kokuen no Mai.

If you are in a position to attack at point blank, then moderately part the distance with cr.D or Ryūenbu, then sh.CD or sh.D to close the gap, in order to clam up the opponent. Occasionally, aim for a normal throw or an overhead with Kokuen no Mai; alternate guard at this distance is also sound policy.

If you’ve made the opponent jump, then if you’ve got gauge, use the high-damage weak Chō Hissatsu Shinobi Bachi to the best of your ability. If you don’t have gauge, smack them down with a canned j.C for the midair throw. It is annoying that you will have to redraw the lines if it is successful, but the damage is good, and it is convenient in the sense that it reliably puts them on the ground.

The midair version of Musasabi no Mai doesn’t leave you very open, and the distance is short. Gen'ei Shiranui will leave you open if you do not use the add-ons, as they can give you pushback. Making the correct distinction instantly is tough. If you make frequent use of Uwa Agito after Gen'ei Shiranui, some opponents will come to mess with that, so you should then use an unexpected Musasabi no Mai, and deploy an offense from there. If you delay the Uwa Agito, at least, that will abate the risk of the Gen'ei Shiranui itself.

Advanced Strategy