The King of Fighters '98 UMFE/Saisyu Kusanagi

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The King of Fighters '98 UMFE


Kof98 saisyu win.png


A.gif - Light Punch

B.gif - Light Kick

C.gif - Heavy Punch

D.gif - Heavy Kick


Issetsu Seoi Nage - (close) Bk.gif / Fd.gif + C.gif

Hikiri Tsuchi - (close) Bk.gif / Fd.gif + D.gif

Command Normals

Ge-Shiki Gou Tsui - Fd.gif + A.gif

Ge-Shiki Kubu Tsuchi - Fd.gif + B.gif

Special Moves

108 Shiki Yami Barai - Qcf.gif + A.gif / C.gif

100 Shiki Oniyaki - Dp.gif + A.gif / C.gif

427 Shiki Kamukakari - Hcb.gif + B.gif / D.gif

110 Shiki Nata Guruma - Dp.gif + B.gif / D.gif

720 Shiki Homuragasane 1 - Qcb.gif + A.gif / C.gif

┗ 720 Shiki Homuragasane 2 - Qcb.gif + A.gif / C.gif

Desperation Moves

Ura 108 Shiki Orochinagi - Qcb.gifHcf.gif + A.gif / C.gif

1207 Shiki Tsumugari - Qcf.gifQcf.gif + A.gif / C.gif


Saisyu is a rushdown character who has very strong pressure, which leads into equally strong mixups. Alternatively, he can somewhat zone with his ground-traveling fireball and a strong anti-air DP. His main weakness is his mostly short-ranged normals, which are easily counter-poked and stuffed out. Saisyu has to make up for this deficit with strong reactions and positioning when he is on defense, so he can use his great jump-in normals to get in and start his very strong offence.

Generally, compared to other characters with similar movesets such as EX Kyo and the EX Art of Fighting team, Saisyu is easily the most offence-oriented of the archetype, most notably due to his buttons forcing you to stay close to the opponent in order to be a real threat. Because of this, he has a playstyle not too dissimilar to Iori, but unfortunately without the few extras that make Iori so ridiculously powerful such as safe GCCD bait, a taco and a command grab. While you may be inclined to say "Hey, why don't I just play Iori?", Saisyu still has some positive differences that make playing him a different experience, such as a standing overhead that can actually convert, and a command normal that is +7 on block for incredible pressure. His strength is being able to deliver this pressure consistently while still having mixups that are not only easy to pull off, but have solid rewards.

Gameplay Overview

Saisyu is a rushdown character with very potent pressure and mixups that lead into explosive damage, but he requires immaculate positioning and careful play due to his short normals and unsafe specials.
Pros Cons
  • Balanced Kit: Saisyu's specials give him a balanced moveset, with a decent ground fireball that helps Saisyu defend his space, a DP to anti-air, a rekka, a hard knockdown combo ender and an advancing overhead with a short bout of invulnerability.
  • Suffocating Pressure: Saisyu doesn't struggle to get in, and when he does, he sticks like glue with amazing pressure and plus frames.
  • Strong Mixups: Saisyu has various ways to mix up the opponent, including two standing overheads and the infamous Kusanagi j.B for crossups, alongside some very strong low confirms.
  • Explosive Damage: With meter, Saisyu's damage is very good, meaning the reward for landing these mixups becomes even higher.
  • Unsafe Specials: While he has various uses for his specials, almost all of them are unsafe on block and all of them leave Saisyu incredibly vulnerable on whiff. This forces you to be more delicate with how you use them.
  • Stubby Buttons: Saisyu's buttons are extremely short, especially while standing, meaning he struggles in neutral when trying to poke out other characters.

System Mechanics

Run VS Step

  • Saisyu does his best with Run enabled, as this greatly enhances his pressure and allows him to unleash his explosive mixups more easily.
  • While his step dash shares the animation with his overhead special, 427 Shiki Kamukakari (63214K), this isn't too good of a point, considering the risk/reward for using Kamukakari isn't too great anyway.

Roll VS Dodge

  • As usual for most 98 UMFE characters, Saisyu does very well with Dodge due to it's natural advantages. Also, his reversals are quite good, so they can be buffered after doing a spot dodge. His dodge attack isn't the greatest as it doesn't allow for any special combos, but it still functions well for what it does.
  • Roll is the more intuitive option, and Saisyu can still benefit from having it enabled. Using roll cancels can allow him to create very ambiguous left/right mixups from standing hits, and he can set an ambiguous left/right using a roll after performing a hard knockdown.

Advanced VS Extra

  • Extra gauge has the most benefit for Saisyu, as Quick MAX gives him access to his most damaging combo routes, especially in red health. It also gives him the opportunity to convert from his 6A overhead, greatly enhancing his mixup potential.
  • Advanced is still a good pick for Saisyu, as having an abundance of meter still gives him access to high damage, considering he still has the chance to convert into super from crouching lights.

Team Position

  • With Advanced gauge, Saisyu is best mid or anchor, as to truly shine without Quick MAX he requires a lot of meter to be able to cash out into supers and MAX Mode.
  • In Extra gauge, Saisyu doesn't have a best team position. His hard knockdowns give him easy opportunity to charge meter, and he doesn't rely on red health for solid damage.

Changes from Previous Versions

98 to 98UM


  • cl.C's activation range has been reduced, it can still be linked from a cl.A or 2A
  • 5B now has 3 more active frames
  • Ge-Shiki Gou Tsui (6A) how has 2 frames less startup


  • 108 Shiki Yami Barai (236P) now has 3 frames less recovery
  • Light 427 Shiki Kamukakari (63214B) now has 2 frames less startup, now connects from heavies and 6A
  • Light 720 Shiki Homuragasane 1 (214A) now has 2 frames less startup.
  • You can now juggle from the A version of 720 Shiki Homuragasane (214A)'s second hit.


  • 1207 Shiki Tsumugari (236236P) now has less startup; both A and MAX versions have 5 frames less startup and can now connect from lights.
  • Heavy 1207 Shiki Tsumugari (236236C) is now invulnerable until after the first active frame.

98UM to 98UMFE


  • Light 110 Shiki Nata Guruma (623B)'s second hit now has a larger hitbox, so it shouldn't whiff if the first connects
  • 427 Shiki Kamukakari (63214K) now has less recovery, second hit should be easier to connect if the first connects
  • 720 Shiki Homuragasane 1 (214P)'s first hit now has a bigger hitbox and less recovery


  • 1207 Shiki Tsumugari (236236P)'s A and MAX versions have faster startup

Normal Moves


  • cl.A: Can stop hops, otherwise useless. Chainable and cancelable.
  • cl.B: Use 2A instead for more reliable range and same combo potential. Cancelable.
  • cl.C: 2f start up, 2 hits, both cancelable. Can link from 2B. Your heavy normal for combos.
  • cl.D: Same as 5D.


  • 5A: Crappy range, can stop hops from close up but no other use for it really. Chainable.
  • 5B: Farthest range of his normals. Good as a poke. Combos after 2B.
  • 5C: Cancelable, but slow and crappy range and whiffs on crouchers. Rarely useful.
  • 5D: Can work as anti-air against hops, but 623P is much more reliable.


  • 2A: Fast and good range for a 2A. Use this in confirms and blockstrings after 2B and as a short poke. Chainable and cancelable.
  • 2B: Low combo starter. Links into cl.C. Chainable.
  • 2C: Not a reliable anti-air. Can be used in punish or combo situations when too far away for cl.C. Cancelable.
  • 2D: Cancelable sweep. Not bad at what it does.


  • j.A: Nice air-to-air.
  • j.B: Typical Kusanagi knee. Often beats weaker anti-airs and air normals, and can crossup without much hassle. VERY GOOD.
  • j.C: Decent jump-in, but nothing special about it. Use this on characters j.D might whiff on.
  • j.D: Most damaging jump button (except for j.CD). Usually used for air zoning out of a hop. Can whiff on small crouchers and low-profile moves.

CD Normals

  • 5CD: Quite fast, enough range to hit after some light-button blockstrings. Saisyu has good safe options to fish for counterhit combos with this. Cancelable on hit, block, and whiff.
  • j.CD: Great move. Often wins against other good moves and anti-airs thanks to good hitbox. Good for fishing counterhit combos just like regular CD.


Issetsu Seoi Nage: 4/6C (close)

  • Regular throw, techable.
  • Does not switch sides.
  • Hard knockdown.

Hikiri Tsuchi: 4/6D (close)

  • Regular throw, techable.
  • Goes fullscreen and switches sides.
  • Backturned hard knockdown, but okizeme is only possible in the corner.

Command Moves

Ge-Shiki Gou Tsui: 6A

  • Hits overhead when done on its own.
  • Links into 236236A and 5C (Tall crouchers and standing opponents only) when Quick MAX is used.
  • No overhead but cancelable when cancelled into. Acts as heavy normal for the purpose of combos.
  • Combos from cl.C and is a true blockstring. 0 on block.
  • One of the best command normals in the game.

Ge-Shiki Kubu Tsuchi: 6B

  • Plus on block, but combos from nothing. You can link into a variety of moves on hit.
  • Mostly exists to extend your offense with plus frames, can be interrupted since it's not a true block string.

Special Moves

108 Shiki Yami Barai: 236A/C

  • Ground traveling projectile.
  • Not the greatest, but still essential for Saisyu at times.

100 Shiki Oniyaki: 623A/C

  • A DP with very good range and active frames.
  • Due to his poor anti-air normals, this is his main anti-air.
  • Both versions are extremely unsafe on block.
  • The C version has more invulnerability, and can therefore be an extremely risky callout to a Guard Cancel CD.

427 Shiki Kamukakari: 63214B/D

  • Another standing overhead.
  • Around the same speed as 6A, and shares a startup animation with his step dash.
  • Both versions have a small amount of startup invulnerability, with the D version having more.
  • Due to the invulnerability, the D version can be used to bait Guard Cancel CD.
  • Unsafe on block, with a soft knockdown on hit.

110 Shiki Nata Guruma: 623B/D

  • B version combos from 2A, D only combos from heavy buttons.
  • Very nice go-to combo move that causes a hard knockdown and has decent damage.
  • B version is a good meterless raw punish tool, more horizontal range than DP. Unsafe on block.
  • D version is only really good for comboing from heavy buttons. Safe on block.

720 Shiki Homuragasane: 214A/C (x2)

  • Saisyu's rekka. Combos from heavy buttons. A version combos into 623C.
  • Gives Saisyu access to his biggest meterless damage (although with only a soft knockdown).
  • The second hit of the A version can combo into Orochinagi if you use Quick MAX, giving Saisyu consistent damage.
  • Both versions are unsafe on block.

Desperation Moves

Ura 108 Shiki Orochinagi: 2141236A/C (can be held)

  • A/C versions are identical. Combos from heavy buttons and Quick MAX A rekka. His highest damage super.
  • SDM deals even more damage and does multiple hits, while being plus on block.
  • Best Orochinagi in the game.

1207 Shiki Tsumugari: 236236A/C

  • A version has very fast startup. Combos from 2A and 6B. Can punish almost anything unsafe. One of the best raw super punishes in the game, and very strong light confirm tool.
  • C version is slower than A but is a true reversal.
  • SDM is like the A version but deals more damage. Combos from 2A/6B and is just as fast but isn't a reversal.


King of Fighters 98 UM FE: Saisyu Guide by Mash It Out


The King of Fighters '98 UMFE


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Andy BogardAthena AsamiyaBenimaru NikaidoBilly KaneBlue MaryBrian BattlerChang KoehanChin GentsaiChizuru KaguraChoi BoungeChrisClark StillEiji KisaragiGeese HowardGoro DaimonHeavy D!HeidernIori YagamiJoe HigashiKasumi TodohKim KaphwanKingKyo KusanagiLeona HeidernLucky GlauberMai ShiranuiMatureMr. BigRalf JonesRobert GarciaRugal BernsteinRyo SakazakiRyuji YamazakiSaisyu KusanagiShermieShingo YabukiSie KensouTakuma SakazakiTerry BogardViceWolfgang KrauserYashiro NanakaseYuri Sakazaki

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