The King of Fighters '98 UMFE/EX Mai

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Ex Mai is a poking character with some above average movement options. In neutral she has access to some great pokes and specials that make her hard to approach. She has decent anti air options as well to catch people trying to jump over her pokes. In the air she has a divekick move that she can use to change her aerial trajectory making her harder to anti air. She has an invul reversal in d~u+K so her defense is decent. It requiring a charge does hurt her a bit when it comes to anti airing though. Her mixup game isn't that strong as her overhead is quite slow and her low confirm isn't great.

Changes to previous versions

98 to 98UM


  • st.Bs priority got reduced
  • cr.Ds priority reduced


  • qcf+Ps recovery is shortened
  • d~u+K added, series of flame pillars that work well as anti air
  • j.qcf+K added, K and P followup also added
  • qcb+K startup reduced, weak can combo from lights and strong from heavies


  • qcb,hcf+K now travels diagonally upwards
  • qcfx2+P you can now choose the distance by holding down the button

98UM to 98UMFE

Specials: d~u+K invincible startup, but less damage and longer recovery as a result



  • st.A : fast poke but with short reach and bad priority. Not Chainable. Not cancelable.
  • st.B : fast and has long range. Excellent poke to stop the opponents hops. Whiffs on all crouchers. Not chainable. Not cancelable.
  • st.C : poke with decent range that can function as an anti air for hops and occasionally jumps. Can also be used as an occasional poke to try and beat an opponents button. Not cancelable.
  • st.D : has low invulnerability starting from the active frames through half of the recovery frames. Not cancelable.


  • cl.A : fairly standard close A. Her best choice when it comes to combos from lights. Chainable. Cancelable.
  • cl. B : Mais only other cancelable light except for cl.A and simply a worse choice than it when it comes to combos and cancels. Cancelable.
  • cl.C : works well as an anti air when they're close enough for it to activate. Cancelable.
  • cl.D : hits a good vertical portion in front of Mai. Another decent anti air if they're up close but it doesn't have as much range as cl.C so stick to that one for anti airing purposes. Cancelable.


  • cr.A : long range and good priority for a cr.A so it works well as a poke. Not chainable. Not Cancelable.
  • cr.B : Mais only low combo starter and therefore an important tool, but when compared to other cr.Bs it is quite slow. Chainable. Not Cancelable.
  • cr.C : Mais main combo normal alongside cr.B. It comes out fast, has good range and a nice amount of active frames making it good for meaties. This also makes it a good hitconfirming tool. Cancelable.
  • cr.D : It has good range, a nice amount of active frames making it good for meaties and is cancelable into her fireball or something like d~u+P. Altogether a nice sweep. Cancelable.


  • j.A : has a nice long hitbox below her so it can be used as a jump in though it is outclassed by j.D for this. Cancelable.
  • neutral j.A: a jumping attack very similar to j.A but with her fan fully unfolded. just like with j.A Mai has better options for downwards hitting attacks than this.
  • j.B : this move has nice priority making it useful as a air to air. Can also crossup.
  • neutral j.B : long hitbox in front of her but doesn't have good priority so is prone to trading or getting beaten as an air to air, Therefore it's best to avoid this move.
  • j.C : this move comes out fast and has a good hitbox for air to airs. On grounded opponents it has less hitstop than other jumping heavies making it trickier to combo out of as you need to do the following attack in the combo very quickly. Cancelable.
  • neutral j.C : can hit people above Mai but has no other real uses.
  • j.D : Mais main jump in attack of choice as it is fairly fast and has a good hitbox. It can also be used as an air to air when jumping back. Cancelable.
  • neutral j.D : your best air to air normal when you happen to be neutral jumping.


Shiranui Flaming Steel Crush: (close) b/f + C

  • Regular throw, techable.
  • Mai grabs the opponent and does a frontflip above the opponent and then flings them forward a full screen away. Mai moves forward a bit with the throw.

Windmill Destroyer: (close) b/f + D

  • Regular throw, techable.
  • Mai grabs the opponents head with her legs and does a backflip carrying the opponent with her and flinging them back almost full screen away. Mai moves forward a bit with the throw.

Cherry Blossom Phantasm (Air Throw): (in the air close) b/d/f + C

  • Air throw, not techable.
  • Mai grabs the opponent in the air and brings them straight down to the ground. Causes hard knockdown.

Command Moves

Crimson Crane Dance: df + B

  • A sliding kick that hits twice.
  • Hits low.
  • Does not low profile moves.
  • Not cancelable.
  • Causes soft knockdown

Black Swallow Dance: f + B

  • a long forwards hopping kick.
  • hits overhead
  • has a long startup
  • plus on block.
  • on hit you can link a cr.C afterwards for a combo if you're close enough.
  • can be used as a nice frametrap when cancelled into.

Fortune's Wheel Drop (In Air ONLY): down + A

  • a downwards hammer fist.
  • has quite small range but deals a lot of hitstun and blockstun so it can be used as a combo starter as well as for pressure.
  • When used during a backdash it makes the backdash go faster and go further. The earlier you do d+A the further the backdash will go.
  • Causes hard knockdown on aerial hit.

Special Moves

Kacho Sen: qcf + A/C

  • Mai chucks a fan as a projectile.
  • A version travels slower and the C version travels faster but they both travel full screen.
  • You can hop over it
  • One of the key tools to Mais long range zoning game as the A version projectile recovers fast enough for Mai to react to the opponents reaction to the fireball.
  • Not great to use midscreen as the opponent can easily jump or hop over it for a punish and there you have Ryu Enbu which covers a similar space but with less recovery.

Nocturnal Plover: qcb + B/D

  • a big arching swipe with her fan.
  • A version starts up faster than the D version but has a little bit less range.
  • can be used as a mixup alongside qcb+P as it will catch people trying to jump over Ryu Enbu.
  • Unsafe on block
  • cancelable into qcb+P on contact which makes it a good close combo ender.

Ryu En Bu: qcb + A/C

  • Mai produces a flame strike with the tail of her dress.
  • Counts as a projectile. This makes it have amazing priority as the entire bit of flame doesn't have a hurtbox. It's essentially a big fiery shield in front of Mai.
  • One of Ex Mais go to anti airs for jumps from further away.
  • it also works great as a safe pressure tool as the opponent can't really contest it head on and it's large hitbox and generous amount of active frames makes it good to catch hops, ill timed jumps and roll recovery frames.
  • Ex Mais Ryu Enbu causes soft knockdown.
  • This move is really good so use it a lot.

Flying Squirrel Dance: d~u + C (hold down button to change direction), qcb + A/C

  • Mai takes a big jump to the wall at the end of the screen behind her.
  • when done without the followup mai simply falls to the ground below the wall. This can be a good occasional escape option if you want to create some distance to the opponent.
  • if done with the followup Mai makes a diving attack diagonally downwards. Actually hitting an opponent with this followup can be tricky as it will most likely miss if they're not committing to some forward movement.
  • The followup can also be done as a standalone move by pressing qcb+P, Mai will do the dive from wherever she happens to be in the air. This can be a good move to use since it changes your jumping arc and can beat out opponents air to airs. If spaced well can be made fairly safe on block.
  • causes soft knockdown.

Deadly Ninja Bees: hcf + B/D

  • Mai does a cartwheeling kick that carries her forward.
  • mostly good as a combo ender since it's very risky to throw out in neutral. Though it can technically function as an anti air.
  • very unsafe on block
  • causes soft knockdown

Shiranui Shadow (In Air): qcf + B/D

  • Mai does rolls up into a spinning ball in midair and descends diagonally.
  • unsafe on block if done without a followup.
  • Can be used for some crossup shenanigans by jumping over the opponent and doing it.

(During Shiranui Shadow's landing) Shiranui Shadow Downward Jab: A/C

  • this followup does a forwards strike with the fan.
  • Combos from the dive and creates a true blockstring on block if done right away.
  • Fairly safe when properly spaced.
  • hits mid
  • causes soft knockdown.

(During Shiranui Shadow's landing) Shiranui Shadow Uppercut Crush: B/D

  • Mai does a downwards arching kick from the dive.
  • Hits overhead.
  • leaves you open to reversals.
  • The big problem with this followup is that it's less safe than her other one and since that one hits mid, there's actually no mixup from this. The opponent can always stand block the whole thing standing regardless of followup.
  • Causes soft knockdown.

Solar Flame Dance: d~u + B/D

  • Mai creates a projection of herself out of fire that then travels around Mai a bit.
  • Ex Mais go to meterless anti air and reversal choice.
  • punishable on block or whiff.
  • Has startup invincibility throughout startup and the entire first hit.
  • causes soft knockdown.

Desperation Moves

Super Deadly Ninja Bees: qcb, hcf + B/D

  • Mai does cartwheeling kick similar to her hcf+K, but this one is more fiery and travels diagonally upwards.
  • B version travels upwards directly and D version travels forward for 2 hits and then upwards.
  • B version makes for a good metered anti air.
  • D version is good for comboing into.
  • has startup invincibility.
  • deals soft knockdown.

Flower Storm: qcf, qcf + A/C

  • a forwards rushing move that flies straight upwards on contact or when you choose to.
  • If you push and hold A or C she'll charge forward and you can release at will before you hit the opponent, If you don't hold & charge she'll go straight up like a DP.
  • a good combo super since it causes hard knockdown which gives you more time to set up oki.
  • has startup invincibility


  • cr.B st.A (qcb+K) qcb+C

Most damaging meterless combo, the qcb+K qcb+C has to be done fast or the last qcb+C will whiff. You can choose to just do the qcb+C for more consistency at the cost of a small amount of damage.

  • cr.B st.A qcb,hcf+D

low combo with a metered ender.

  • (j.X) cr.C qcb+C

qcb+C is the most consistent ender for your combos. qcb+K qcb+C can be used point blank and hcf+D can be used for more damage but added risk as it's very unsafe on block or whiff.

  • (j.X) cr.C qcb,hcf+D

This is your ender for the most damage, very consistent because it carries forward before going upwards.

  • f+B cr.C qcb+C/qcb,hcf+D

link combo after hitting the overhead fairly close, can be ended with or without meter.

  • df+B AB A hcf+D/qcb,hcf+D

slide conversion with extra mode or ultimate mode with dodge. requires 1 bar for the dodge cancel.

Strategy & Tips


External Links

The King of Fighters '98 Ultimate Match Final Edition

FAQSystemControlsGuidesChangelistMatch VideosAdvanced Strategy


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

EX Characters

EX AndyEX BillyEX Blue MaryEX GeeseEX JoeEX KingEX KyoEX MaiEX RobertEX RyoEX TerryEX YamazakiEX YuriOrochi ChrisOrochi ShermieOrochi Yashiro