The King of Fighters '98 UMFE/Ryuji Yamazaki
Yamazaki is a midrange poking character with a strong emphasis on neutral mindgames. Yamazaki's most defining feature is his long-range poking specials, which can cover space at different angles in front of Yamazaki. Combine this with some good poking normals, and Yamazaki's neutral space control becomes quite strong. Yamazaki wants to keep you guessing over which angles he wants to cover so that the opponent starts to hesitate in neutral. Yamazaki can then use this hesitation to go in, as his own close-range mixup game is quite strong, with access to both an overhead and a 1f command grab. He also has access to a projectile-absorbing move, so zoning him out can be difficult as well. Yamazaki's weaknesses lies in his somewhat weak combos and his lack of a meterless reversal, which makes dealing with pressure an issue for him.
Changes from Previous Versions
98 to 98UM
- st.C's startup and recovery are both now 3 frames shorter
- st.D's recovery is 6 frames shorter
- cr.D's recovery is 5 frames shorter
- st.A's priority has been decreased
- st.B's priority has been decreased
- st.D's priority has been decreased, the hurtbox is now in front of the hitbox
- qcb+B's hitbox is now slightly higher, so it whiffs on short crouchers
- qcb+C's second hit is now a low
- hcb+K can now be juggled out of on counterhit
- Meter gain on qcb+A/B/C > D has been decreased
- qcfx2+P's hitbox size in the air has been increased, so when hitting opponents higher up in the air it will still combo
98UM to 98UMFE
- st.C is now cancelable on hit and block
- qcb+C now has less recovery and is now -2 if guard cancel rolled
- hcf+K's damage has been increased from 13 to 21
- hcb,f+P's damage has been increased from 22 to 27
- qcfx2+P's downward attack now connects more consistently if a grounded opponent is hit by the rising punch
- cl.A: Decent fast button to stick out at close range, with okay frame advantage. Cancelable.
- cl.B: Standing low, also a good close-range button to stick out. Chainable and cancelable.
- cl.C: Very fast combo starter and nice frame trap option. Cancelable.
- cl.D: Slower than cl.C, but has long-reaching second hitbox. Cancelable on the first hit only.
- st.A: Very long anti-hop button.
- st.B: A lower version of st.A. Still works fine to check hops, but works better at stopping run-ins and similar grounded movement. Chainable.
- st.C: Slow punch, cancelable but too slow to have much use.
- st.D: A big long poke. Large recovery makes it quite risky. Useful as an occasional option, but bad to be predictable with.
- cr.A: Quite typical crouching jab, with ok range and plus frames on block. Chainable and cancelable.
- cr.B: Pretty long-reaching low. Your main low confirm. Chainable.
- cr.C: Fast crouched uppercut. Cancelable on hit, block, and whiff.
- cr.D: Long and fast sweep.
- j.A: Somewhat similar to Kyo's and Saisyu's j.B, but not as deep and without the ability to crossup. Still an okay fast jump-in.
- j.B: A very long horizontal ranged kick. Nice air spacing tool.
- j.C: Opposite of j.B, great vertical ranged punch. A great air control move.
- j.D: Very deep downward kick. Nice close-ranged jump-in, but the range is very short.
- st.CD: Generic st.CD, not so great. Cancelable on hit, block, and whiff.
- j.CD: A great jump-in and air-to-air with fast start up and good priority.
- Regular throw, techable. Yamazaki grabs the opponent by the neck and slams them down into the ground, sending them fullscreen away with a hard knockdown.
- Regular throw, techable. Yamazaki grabs the opponent by the neck and throws them into the ground behind him, leaving them a small distance away from him with a hard knockdown.
- Yamazaki does a two-hitting overhead punch.
- When done raw, it is an overhead that is not cancelable. When canceled into, it loses the overhead property but both hits become cancelable.
- When late-canceled into, it acts like the raw version, allowing you to surprise your opponent with an overhead.
- Minus on both hit and block, but the large amount of pushback makes it hard to punish.
Serpent Slash (Upper):
qcb+A (can be held)
- Yamazaki delivers a long-range slash aimed diagonally upwards. Can be held down to delay the attack until the button is released.
- A good anti-airing move to stop people from trying to jump over qcb+B and qcb+C.
- Whiffs against standing and crouching opponents, so it's only really useful as an anti-air.
Serpent Slash (Middle):
qcb+B (can be held)
- Yamazaki delivers a long-range slash aimed straight in front of him. When done close enough, it will hit two times. Can be held down to delay the attack until the button is released.
- Strong mid-range poke that can catch and stop most non-projectile moves at standing height with its high-priority hitbox.
- Good for controlling the opponent's movement, as it will be able to hit just about every non-invincible move in its range.
- Whiffs on small crouchers.
Serpent Slash (Lower):
qcb+C (can be held)
- Yamazaki delivers a long range slash aimed diagonally downward in front of him. When done close enough, it will hit two times. Can be held down to delay the attack until the button is released.
- Hits low and has a huge disjointed hitbox.
- Good poke and combo ender, as the other variants can whiff on the smaller characters during combos.
Serpent Slash Cancel:
D (during qcb+X)
- Yamazaki cancels his stance and goes back to his regular stance.
- This is the move that ties all the versions of qcb+X, and the mindgame around them, together. With it, you can use the stance to make the opponent commit to an action like a full jump or a roll and then cancel it and punish them.
- It can also be used to quickly change between the qcb+X versions by canceling the one you're in and doing another one.
- It can also be used for some meter building with Advanced mode meter by quickly entering the stance and canceling out of it repeatedly.
- It can also be used to make certain moves safer by canceling them into qcb+X and immediately canceling it.
- A mid counter move. B version stays out for a shorter time than the D version.
- Counters any strikes with the mid property, but loses to both overheads and lows.
- It also loses to projectiles, normal throws, and command grabs/proximity unblockables.
- Punishable on whiff.
- Anti-projectile move.
- Yamazaki delivers a series of slashes with his knife.
- A version delivers 2 strikes and is safer on block compared to the C version, which delivers 4 strikes but has more recovery.
- The C version is your most damaging meterless combo ender.
- Causes a soft knockdown.
- 1-frame command grab.
- Good for both mixups and combos.
- One of his best combo enders, due to it causing a hard knockdown and being fast enough to combo from just about anything.
Fight of Tempering:
- Yamazaki delivers a high stomping kick with 2 hits.
- The first hit is a mid but the second hit is an overhead.
- Decent combo option up close, since it gives you a hard knockdown and it puts you right next to the opponent so you can go for knockdown pressure.
- Unsafe on block.
- Yamazaki kicks up a cloud of sand.
- The thing that makes this move special is that it's cancelable into qcb+X, leading to some combos.
- You can cancel it into qcb+X > D to make it safe on block.
- Yamazaki does an uppercut and grabs the opponent, running forwards while scraping them along the ground.
- Invincible DM with fast startup.
- The large amount of invincibility makes it his only good choice for reversals, but it also functions well as an anti-air tool.
- Can be a good combo DM as well due to its large amount of corner carry.
- MAX version does more damage.
Drill: (close) hcbx2+A/C (close) (press A/C repeatedly)
- A 1f command grab DM. Can be mashed when Yamazaki laughs and does the pose in order to increase its damage and give it different animations.
- A good mixup and combo tool, as it does good damage.
- MAX versions deals more damage.
- In any metered combo, qcfx2+P/hcbx2+P can be replaced with qcfx2+AC/hcbx2+AC for more damage if you have the resources.
cr.B, cr.B, cr.A, qcb+B
- Works against all standing characters, but whiffs against small crouchers.
cr.B, st.B, hcb,f+P
- Universal low BnB that always works regardless of the opponent's size.
(j.X), cl.C, dp+C/hcb,f+C/dp+B
- His main meterless jump-in BnB. dp+C does the most damage, dp+B gives the best oki and hcb,f+C gives you a little of both.
cl.C, f+A, qcb+B/C
- Combo from a close heavy starter. Use qcb+B if they're standing and qcb+C if they're a small croucher.
cl.,C dp+D, qcb+B
- Combo into dp+D.
cr.B, st.B, qcfx2+P/hcbx2+P
- Metered combo from lows. qcfx2+P is easier to input and gives you corner carry and better oki, while hcbx2+P gives you more damage.
(j.X), cl.C, qcfx2+P/hcbx2+P
- Simple metered combo from a heavy or jump-in confirm. qcfx2+P gives you corner carry and better oki, while hcbx2+P gives you more damage.
Strategy & Tips
Yamazaki can cancel special cancellable normal moves to qcb + X (the snake arm). That special move can be held, and aborted at any time by pressing D. To instantly start a snake arm and immediately abort it, input qcb + B, then immediately D, similarly to priority linking in Street Fighter IV. This builds a little bit of meter, since you are whiffing a special move.
To perform an instant snake arm cancellation off of a normal move, do the normal move, then input qcb + CD as if you were just special cancelling it, and hold down C and D for several frames, until you see the cancellation occur.
Instant snake arm cancellations are negative from light attacks, neutral from heavy attacks, and positive from CD.
Yamazaki also has a special move that is special cancellable in DP + D. An instant snake arm cancel after DP + D is very positive; so positive in fact that you can link a new DP + D.