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

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EX Yamazaki is a new “character” for UM. His powerful combos are fascinating, but he has more difficulty in regular conduct.

EX Yamazaki lacks the non-gauge command throw, which seriously gimps your ability to put pressure on the opponent, but gains a powered up version of the Serpent Slash at full charge, making him a more focused keepaway character.

Move list

At a glance

Normal throws
Shimeage (throw) f/b + C
Bun Nage (throw) f/b + D
Command move
Bussashi f + A
Special moves
Hebi Tsukai: Jōdan qcb + A (can be held)
┣ Hebi Damashi (holding Hebi Tsukai) D
┗ Daija hold Hebi Tsukai till third step, let go
Hebi Tsukai: Chūdan qcb + B (can be held)
┣ Hebi Damashi (holding Hebi Tsukai) D
┗ Daija hold Hebi Tsukai till third step, let go
Hebi Tsukai: Gedan qcb + C (can be held)
┣ Hebi Damashi (holding Hebi Tsukai) D
┗ Daija hold Hebi Tsukai till third step, let go
Sado-Maso hcf + K
Bai Gaeshi qcf + P
Sabaki no Aikuchi dp + P
Yakiire dp + B
Todome (opponent grounded) d d + B
Super special moves
Guillotine qcf qcf + P
Drill (Lv 1) (throw) hcb hcb + P (repeatedly)
┗ Drill Lv 5 (during Drill Lv 4) ABC

Normal moves

  • st.A, st.B, st.D, and cr.* – easy-to-use zoning moves with long reach. Even random whiffing with these is fearsome.
  • j.C – faces upward, so you can use it for air-to-air. The occasional preventative whiffing serves as a reminder for the opponent about jumping.
  • j.B and vertical j.D – the reach is long, making them useful in zoning.
  • j.D – faces nearly straight down, so it functions as an overhead. Though it is a bit easy to come up short distance-wise, so it isn’t really suitable for jumping in.

Command move

  • Bussashi
  • f + A
  • Two hit move, both are overheads. The motion is kind of small, so it can easily make an unexpected hit.

Special moves

  • Hebi Tsukai: Jōdan
  • qcb + A (can be held)
  • A snakelike strike diagonally upward. The angle is so sharp, it’s pretty much just for anti-air. It has no invincibility, and you must read ahead to use it.
  • Hebi Tsukai: Chūdan
  • qcb + B (can be held)
  • A snakelike strike straight forward. Compared to normal Yamazaki’s, the reach is shorter. Its hit position is high. Nothing’s changed in regard to the fact that you can use it for zoning and jump-checking, but this does make it somewhat more difficult to use.
  • Hebi Tsukai: Gedan
  • qcb + C (can be held)
  • A snakelike strike downward. It only combos from strong attacks, but it can also touch short opponents. Also, it does OTG.
  • Hebi Damashi
  • D while holding Hebi Tsukai
  • You can hold the button for any Hebi Tsukai move to delay its release (this changes none of the move properties, Yamazaki just waits, poised to strike). You cannot change the version to use while holding. You can press D to cancel any time before its mandatory release. Compared to normal Yamazaki, the amount of gauge you can charge by calling off the Hebi Tsukai is slightly greater, but EX Yamazaki’s Hebi Tsukai only does one hit.
  • Daija
  • hold Hebi Tsukai till third step (“iku zo... iku zo... IKU ZO...!”), let go
  • Performs the three Hebi Tsukai moves in rapid succession, from low to high. The necessary holding time to get this out is extremely long (during which you are quite vulnerable unless you’re lucky or the opponent sucks), so it’s probably safe to say that there is no way to use this in sane situations.

  • Sado-Maso
  • hcf + K
  • Yamazaki makes a face, and will respond to (but not take damage from) strikes that are not low hits (even from behind, though it won’t hit!). The length varies according to the button you use, so you can feint. Also, when you score a counter-hit, you can juggle with Hebi Tsukai: Jōdan or Guillotine (depending on how it hit, it may not be possible), making this a pretty cool move to have.

  • Bai Gaeshi
  • qcf + P
  • Wipes out an opponent’s projectile, and reflects back a new projectile. The strong version reflects it right away, but the weak version wipes it out and stocks it (which carries for the duration of the round). While stocked, simply re-input the command and the projectile-firing portion (only) will activate. There is no difference between the strong and weak version as far as the projectile goes. The damage is low, but its speed is high, it doesn’t leave you very open, it combos from weak moves, and it can juggle launched opponents.
  • Bai Gaeshi is also a striking move; it combos from weak attacks, but the damage is low, it doesn’t do knockdown, and it leaves you pretty open.

  • Sabaki no Aikuchi
  • dp + P
  • Yamazaki takes a big step in with a downward slash, and if it hits, he does a second slash. The weak version combos from weak moves; the strong version combos from strong attacks. The reach is extremely long

  • Yakiire
  • dp + B
  • A two-step kick; the second hit is an overhead. It does unrollable knockdown, and the damage is high-ish. The first step combos from small moves, and safely combos even from the very tip of cr.A. You can safely do OTG afterwards, so it goes right into combos. However, you have to be somewhat careful, for when it is blocked, you are left wide open.

  • Todome
  • d d + B over grounded opponent
  • Yamazaki stomps on the opponent a couple of times, kicks them about a screen’s length away, then laughs like a maniac. It is too slow to use as a wakeup option. If the opponent was down in the corner (or close to it), they’ll do wakeup right next to you before you’ve recovered from the laugh (hey, I’d take my time if I were an Orochi psycho, too).; the good news is that the laughing motion is invincible, so you’re not really vulnerable. The major danger with this move is that if you whiff, you are left very, very open.

Super special moves

  • Guillotine
  • qcf qcf + P
  • Yamazaki jumps and uppercuts, then runs the opponent into the ground, dragging them along for a while, then kicking them upward. It has some invincibility at startup; the height is short, and the hitbox has high priority, so it is a move that is powerful in anti-air and interruption. The gauge should revolve around this as much as possible.

  • Drill
  • hcb hcb + P (repeatedly) at throwing distance, (P at end for special taunt)
  • A one-frame throw with a short grabbing range. From the moment it grabs until the moment Yamazaki begins his barrage of attacks, you can change the move he does (and increase the amount of damage)by mashing A and C. Alternating from both buttons quickly.
  • Drill Lv. 5
  • ABC during level 4 of Drill
  • An additional move derived from Drill; requires another gauge stock to expend (and Extra gauge won’t cut it due to this requirement; Extra gauge users need a flashing lifebar to use it). The damage is extremely high. If you try to activate this by pressing ABC repeatedly, well, you shouldn’t unless you’re really good at it: a single registration of the B button on its own will send Drill back to level 1.



  • cl.B >> cl.B >> cr.A >> Yakiire > (Hebi Tsukai: Gedan or Todome)
  • Combo from low hits. If you aren’t close, use cr.B for cl.B. For the OTG, use the former to be safer (i.e. against wakeup), and the latter when damage is the consideration.
  • cr.B >> cr.A >> Guillotine
  • If the opponent is cornered, you can go for the OTG, too.
  • cl.C >> Bussashi (2 hit) >> weak Sabaki no Aikuchi
  • When blocked, use Hebi Tsukai >> Hebi Damashi so you aren’t as open.
  • (corner) cr.A >> cr.A >> Bai Gaeshi > Hebi Tsukai: Chūdan > (Hebi Tsukai: Gedan or Todome)
  • This becomes possible when you have stocked a projectile in Bai Gaeshi; this can miss characters with short crouching heights, so you need to be careful about that.

The Basics

Generally speaking, his strength is in jump attacks. For jumping in, j.A; for zoning, j.B; for air-to-air, j.C and j.CD; for overhead, j.D. Also, vertical jump j.C and j.D are powerful in air-to-air as well.

For ground normals, st.A, st.B, st.D, cr.A, cr.C, and cr.D all are strong in various aspects such as zoning. However, both the D’s leave you pretty open; if the opponent rolls through it, you’re in trouble. Basically, with such a wide range of normals, you’ll have to come to know which one(s) to use instinctively.

For anti-air, Hebi Tsukai: Jōdan, or an early st.CD, or Guillotine are the basics. Or possibly, before the opponent’s jump attack’s hitbox cuts off, Sado-Maso could be helpful. In this case, it can toss the opponent up extremely high, so extremely advantageous meaty options are available, though there isn’t any particularly reliable move for this purpose.

You’ve got the Hebi Tsukai: Chūdan weakened, and yet, there are many situations in which you cannot help but use it for zoning. The pressure comes more indirectly, from the immediate threat of Hebi Tsukai. You won’t hit randomly; while using it together with Hebi Tsukai: Jōdan, you set up shop and watch the opponent’s actions. If the version you chose won’t work, use Hebi Damashi right away and block or something.

With Yakiire being strengthened, the opportunity for wakeup meaties is better, but if you don’t have the gauge, the wakeup pressure is practically nil. You’ve got JD and Bussashi, but lucky you, Bussashi is just slow (it could be not an overhead...). When that happens, opponents with good response may well just smack you. Conversely, when you use j.D, the risk is low for one, but since you have to jump it’s a dead giveaway, and above all, when it is blocked, you are wide open.

Less unreasonably, you could forget about meaties and either do OTG damage with Todome, or use j.D to get them blocking right away.

Finally, why not to aim for Bai Gaeshi and Sado-Maso unreasonably. If the opponent is vigilant about Bai Gaeshi, then even by using the weak and strong versions properly, it is easy for them to mess you up. Even if you are successful, many opponents can block or AB no problem. If the opponent is vigilant about Sado-Maso, they’ll do mixup on you with weak and crouching attacks, and you may see yourself on the receiving end of an unexpected large amount of damage. It takes some luck to use either; either the opponent slips up, or has a lapse about one of them.

Advanced Strategy