The King of Fighters '98 UMFE/Sie Kensou
Kensou has a large projectile that is difficult to jump over. He also shrinks when he throws it, letting it beat jumps from angles that other projectiles would lose at. The A version moves slowly and can thus be positive on block. The C version moves quickly. This allows for Street Fighter 2 style frame traps that beat attempts to reversal super jump after blocking the slow one. He has a DP that's performed backwards, making it a bit easier and safer for him to anti air. On offense, he has proximity unblockables that can be done raw or in combos. These unblockables lack any sort of whiff animation, and they don't have inputs that overlap with any other special moves, letting Kensou use a built in option select to forego hit confirming in combos and frame traps. Two weaknesses that he has are that his meterless combos do low damage, and that his jumps are a bit slow.
Changes from Previous Versions
98 to 98UM
- His taunt now has a hitbox that is cancelable, allowing for some combos out of it
- cl.D now has 1 frame faster startup
- st.C now has 4 frames faster startup
- f+A now has 4 frames faster startup and 4 frames shorter recovery
- f+B now has 2 frames slower startup and 2 frames slower recovery
- j.qcb+P's recovery has been reduced
- rdp+D now launches from 1st hit, so it will always connect as a combo
- hcf+P now has 3 frames faster startup, so you can combo it from lights
- qcf,hcb+K now has 4 frames faster startup, so you can combo it from lights
- qcfx2+P is now fully startup invincible
98UM to 98UMFE
- st.A doesn't whiff against crouching short characters anymore
- cr.B is now easier to combo into itself
- st.B's damage has been increased from 4 to 6
- f+A now has less recovery
- j.qcb+P now can be canceled into other special attacks if the final hit connects
- cl.A: Same as st.A.
- cl.B: A very unremarkable move that is generally outshined by his other close options. Chainable and cancelable.
- cl.C: Has a lot of startup for a close normal and is heavily outshined by cl.D, so use that button instead. Cancelable.
- cl.D: Kensou's fastest heavy normal, making it good for combos. Also a good meaty, since it has a lot of active frames and is cancelable so you can combo from it or make it safe if they block it.
- st.A: The hitbox doesn't hit very high up, so it's not great at dealing with hops. Good to throw out as a checking move in the close range. Chainable and cancelable.
- st.B: A fast button to stop hops with and catch the opponent's forward movement, making it one of his main pokes. Whiffs on tiny crouchers.
- st.C: Slow to start up and leaves Kensou pretty open. The second hit is cancelable on hit, block, and whiff, so you can cancel it into qcb+P to make it a bit safer. It's best to avoid intentionally using this move. Cancelable.
- st.D: It's quite slow on startup and recovery, but the hitbox is nice for anti-airs, so it can make a good poke on reads.
- cr.A: One of Kensou's best close options for blockstrings and light chains, since it has nice range and is plus on block. Chainable and cancelable.
- cr.B: Kensou's only option for low combos, making it a key tool, though it is fairly slow on startup. It is plus on block, so it's good to use in blockstrings. Chainable.
- cr.C: This move is decent, but has fairly slow startup, so Kensou has better tools for poking in cr.D and st.B and for combos in cl.D. Cancelable.
- cr.D: This is an amazing sweep. It low-profiles moves very easily, and can be used to catch roll recovery or badly spaced jump-ins from people trying to avoid qcb+P. It's cancelable on hit, block, and whiff, so you can cancel it into qcb+P for pressure and into rdp+K for anti-airs.
- j.A: Can be used as an okay air-to-air or jump-in. Not terrible, but not Kensou's best option for either. Cancelable.
- j.B: Good range for air-to-airs, the hitbox is very flat and long so it can work as a good crossup as well. Cancelable.
- nj.B: A decent air-to-air option if you happen to be neutral jumping. Not good for much else.
- j.C: A decent jump-in that can crossup, though it is hard. His most damaging jumping button, but otherwise not his best option.
- j.D: Kensou's best jump-in and crossup tool.
- st.CD: A horse stance palm strike. Has fairly slow startup, but has a decent hitbox once out. The startup looks very similar to his qcb+P startup, so you can whiff cancel it into qcb+P to change the timing to throw people off. Cancelable on hit, block, and whiff.
- j.CD: A great air-to-air, as it comes out fast and has a nice hitbox. Can crossup, but the window is fairly small. Good to use from hop pressure as well.
- Regular throw, techable. Kensou sends the opponent flying away with a blast of energy, making them land halfscreen away.
- Regular throw, techable. Kensou flips the opponent behind him with a kick, making them land fullscreen away.
Reverse Mass Kick:
- Kensou does a hopping high kick.
- Has some lower-body invincibility, beating lows and throws.
- Good to cancel into sometimes to move forward while having an active hitbox out.
- Whiffs on low crouchers.
Tiger Takedown Punch:
- A downwards chopping double palm strike. Overhead strike when done raw, and a cancelable mid when canceled into.
- When late-canceled into, it maintains the overhead property, allowing you to slip mixups into pressure.
- Good to use in blockstrings, as it pushes Kensou out and can be canceled into qcb+P for pressure.
- Can be used in combos in specific conditions.
Super Bullet Attack:
- A ball-shaped airborne projectile. A version travels slower and C version travels faster. Both go fullscreen.
- Faster-than-average startup speed for a projectile, but slower recovery, so it can be hit by superjumps from far away easier than other projectiles.
- One of Kensou's key moves for his zoning gameplan, alongside moves to catch people trying to avoid the projectile like his rdp+K and cr.D.
- It can also be good for setting up his pressure game, as blocked projectiles can provide frame advantage if spaced correctly.
- Kensou crouches down when throwing the projectile, meaning that his hurtbox becomes pretty small. This means that the fireball can actually work as an anti-air when it's close to Kensou.
- Kensou does a series of punches, with the final one launching the opponent into the air.
- Proximity unblockable. One of Kensou's best mixup tools.
- Has 9 startup frames with no invincibility, so it can get beaten out or trade pretty easily.
- Launches on hit for a followup juggle, meaning you can get a knockdown or a reset after it.
- You can mash C during the C version to make it do 2 extra hits. A version always does 4 hits whether you mash or not.
Dragon Talon Tear:
qcb+A/C (in air)
- Kensou pauses slightly in the air, then does a diving energy punch.
- Good to change up Kensou's air trajectory and timing.
- You can cancel into it from some of his air normals, but it's too slow to combo.
- Can be canceled into any of Kensou's grounded specials on hit or block for extra damage or pressure.
- Can be either safe or unsafe depending on how it hits and how many hits connect.
Earth Dragon Fang Nibble:
- A series of attacks leaping forward.
- Kensou's main combo ender when dp+P won't reach.
- Unsafe on whiff or block, so it's best to limit its use to inside combos.
Heaven Dragon Fang Nibble:
- A series of attacks leaping diagonally upwards.
- Has upper body autoguard on the first hit.
- Whiffs on low crouchers, so not as good of a combo tool as hcf+A.
- Can be used as an anti-air, though it's not as consistent as rdp+K.
- A spinning helicopter kick upwards. Kensou's DP.
- B version has some startup invincibility, but it ends before the active frames. Comes out faster than the D version so it can be good as an anti-air.
- D version has invincibility all throughout the startup frames and into the first hit, making this your reversal of choice. Can also be good as a late anti-air, using the invincibility to go through the opponents jump-in attack.
- Unsafe on block or whiff.
Eat Meat Dumplings:
- Kensou pulls out a dumpling and eats it, which heals him.
- This DM has a ton of recovery, so the opponent has plenty of time to hit Kensou and take off more health than he gained when using it.
- Even so, it has some niche uses. You can use it at the end of a round to make sure you have more health than the opponent just before time runs out.
- You can also use it fullscreen to make your projectiles unblockable with the unblockable projectile glitch.
- The MAX version takes longer to finish, but Kensou recovers more health.
Hermit Power Blast:
- Kensou sends a large amount of energy into the opponent up close, hurting them.
- Proximity unblockable.
- Good mixup option when your opponent has been blocking your pokes and projectiles.
- It can still trade after the super flash though, since it's not invincible.
- The MAX version does more damage and Kensou flies backwards when it's finished.
Dragon God Kick:
- Kensou does a series of strikes leaping forwards, he then finishes it with a straight upwards helicopter kick.
- Good DM for ending combos, but not much else.
Dragon God Drubbing:
- Kensou does a series of strikes leaping diagonally upwards, he then finishes with a straight upwards helicopter kick.
- Not a good anti-air, since it has no invincibility, and not as good of a combo ender as the B version, so this move is safe to avoid.
- The MAX version does more damage and more hits, and is a good combo ender for spending lots of resources.
- In any combo involving dp+P, you have multiple ender options. dp+P will juggle your opponent, afterwards, you can use:
- - j.C for decent damage and an air reset.
- - j.CD for decent damage into a soft knockdown.
- - hcf+C at midscreen for better damage but worse oki.
- - rdp+D for maximum damage into soft knockdown. rdp+D can be done right out of dp+P at the corner but anywhere else, you'll need to run closer to the opponent for it to connect.
- In any metered combo, you can replace qcfx2+P with qcfx2+AC or qcf,hcb+B with qcf,hcb+BD for more damage if you have the resources.
- Both of Kensou's regular DMs do the same damage; qcfx2+P pushes your opponent fullscreen away and lets you throw out a projectile before they recovery roll, while qcf,hcb+K has better corner carry.
cr.B, cr.A/st.A, hcf+A
cr.B, cr.A/st.A, dp+P, j.C/j.CD/hcf+C/rdp+D
- rdp+D ender requires a short run beforehand if not in the corner.
(j.X), cl.D, dp+P, j.C/j.CD/hcf+C/run-up rdp+D
cr.Bx1~2, cr.A/st.A, qcfx2+P/qcf,hcb+K
- You can do this as cr.Bx1~2, qcf+A, qcf+A/hcb+K for an easier cancel.
(j.X), cl.D, qcfx2+P/qcf,hcb+K
(crossup j.B/j.C/j.D), cl.D, f+A, qcf,hcb+B
- Crossup combo into DM. You can also start this combo from cl.D by itself.
With Quick MAX
f+A, ABC, cr.D
- Overhead Quick MAX combo.
cl.D, f+B, ABC, cl.D, qcf,hcb+K
- Requires a short walk-up before the cl.D. Only works on standing opponents, and can be done midscreen if you exclude the jump-in.