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

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Mai’s strength in midair is first-class. Always make use of this.

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
Hakuro no Mai dp + P
Hishō Ryūenjin dp + K
Super special moves
Chō Hissatsu Shinobi Bachi qcb hcf + K
Hōō no Mai qcb qcb + P (possible in midair)
Mizutori no Mai qcf qcf + P

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.

  • Hishō Ryūenjin
  • dp + K
  • Mai kicks up on the spot, making for an anti-air move. It has no invincibility frames, and jumps pretty much straight up, so it is somewhat hard to use. However, the damage is relatively high.

  • 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.

  • Hakuro no Mai
  • dp + P
  • A multihit fan dance move. If it is blocked, then you are vulnerable, but it is pretty suited for combos.

Super special moves

  • Chō Hissatsu Shinobi Bachi
  • qcb hcf + K
  • Rushing move in which Mai’s entire body is clad in flame. It combos from strong attacks, and has invincibility frames during startup.
  • The MAX version has long invincibility time, and still does all the hits for a midair hit, which means you can also use it as an anti-air.

  • Hōō no Mai
  • qcb qcb + P (possible in midair)
  • For the ground version, Mai rises (without any attack hitbox or invincibility), then performs a flaming somersault downwards. It can do crossup if activated close to the opponent, but that capability is difficult to use just because the opponent will probably get out of the way (roll).
  • New to UM is the midair version. She goes straight into the descending portion, so you can use it as a surprise attack.

  • Mizutori no Mai
  • qcf qcf + P
  • Mai throws three fans à la Kachōsen. Basically, use this to offset an opponent’s projectile. It cannot be rolled through, so there isn’t any reason you couldn’t use this for ultra-safe chip damage.



  • j.D > cl.C >> strong Hissatsu Shinobi Bachi or 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
  • Kind of sucks in its difficulty-to-damage ratio, but it’s the 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, 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.

Mai has no truly reliable anti-air, so if the opponent comes jumping in from close range, you will have to use guard cancel CD or MAX Chō Hissatsu Shinobi Bachi without sparing the gauge. Also, if Hishō Ryūenjin trades hits, you can juggle, so be sure to be prepared to hit them with j.C or something.

Advanced Strategy