The King of Fighters 2002 UM/Iori Yagami
Super Desperation Move
- cl. A/B/C are cancelable.
- cl. A hits around waistline, chainable so can be used as combo filler.
- cl. B is a low attack with a close activation range. Has best frame advantage (+2 on block/+4 on hit) among his cancelable light normals, so good for strings/confirm chains. You can link cl.C after it on hit.
- cl. C is very fast with a 3f startup. Good for a quick close punish, and for stopping opponents jumping above your head. Only the first part before his arm is stretched is cancelable.
- cl. D doesn't cancel into anything but it's good for a quick anti-air to stop opponents from jumping out of the corner.
- St.C is cancelable, the rest isn't.
- Stand A is +4 on block which is a good for poking at a close range to bait and block Guard Cancel Attacks. The distance on the stand A is rather short, though. Doesn't hit very high so unlike most st.As, this one isn't very good to stop hops.
- Stand B is a good close range poke that is aimed at the opponents lower midsection. It is fast, had great recovery, and can be used to frame trap opponents with his qcb+A rekka.
- Stand C has good range and is cancelable. It's good for punishes just outside of close normals' range. The recovery isn't great but can be canceled into specials for safety.
- Stand D is good for preemptively stopping hop attacks but it's whiff recovery is bad.
- cr. A/B/C are cancelable.
- cr. A has great range and can be canceled into qcb+A. Chainable.
- cr. B will be used a lot for his high low/pressure, rush down and for starting combos. When running at your opponent, use this to stop your dash and to throw out a quick low attack, next to hyper hopping j.C.
- cr. C can be used to anti-air opponents but it might trade sometimes if timed incorrectly.
- cr. D is fast but has very bad recovery and isn't cancel-able on hit or on block, so whiffing it or having it blocked can leave you wide open. Use with caution.
- j. A has a rather sharp downward angle which can be good to use next to his j.C because it start quicker.
- j. B is a very long poke that stays out for a long time. Good for air-to-air attacks, and stopping incoming hop pressure. Be careful though because it whiffs on low crouchers.
- j. C is a bit slow, but very deep jump-in which will always hit crouching opponents, no matter if they are using a normal attack that can be used as anti-air against certain jumping attacks. It is also fairly hard to anti-air against as well on wake up. Use it to fully utilize his annoying high/low mixup game on a fallen opponent, or to pressure at close range next to his cr.B. It's a little weak as an air-to-air normal, so use j.B for that purpose.
- j. D can be used as an air-to-air attack during certain ranges, and as a good jump-in, but it may miss on crouching opponents if performed too early.
- st.CD is standard, cancelable on hit/block/whiff, but also can be canceled into command normals. You can try to use it as a preemptive anti-hop attack, but it isn't guaranteed.
- j.CD comes out pretty quick, and has a horizontal angle. Good for air-to-airs and works as a jump-in too, but will whiffs on low crouchers. Good priority (better than his other jump attacks).
Reverse Skinner - (f/b + C) close
- Standard C throw. Breakable and sends the opponent flying far away but it recovers fast enough to meaty the opponent if they didn't tech the knockdown.
- Can be broken
- Soft knockdown
Double-reverse Skinner - (f/b + D) close
- Same deal as above. Sadly, unlike many characters' D throws, this one doesn't cause hard knockdown.
- Can be broken
- Back turned soft knockdown
Dream Blast - (f + A, A)
- Iori performs a slash looking identical to his st.C, then an optional 2nd hit that looks like a backhand punch. To get the 2nd hit, you either press A twice really quick, or time it after the 1st hit (the timing is strict though). If you press f+A, only the first hit will come out.
- The first hit is a quick long range attack that doesn't do much damage or knock down, but comboes from light and heavy attacks and is pretty safe on block from distance. Sadly, unlike in most other KoF games, in this game this attack can't be canceled into specials, which impacts Iori's confirms and damage in a negative way. However, f+A can still be canceled into supers, notably into Maiden Masher, giving Iori a 3 hit confirm into a DM. It also can be used for combos in cases when ending in qcb+A is dangerous (e.g. vs Kula or Ryo), although the damage is very low and sub-optimal. Because of the pushback, it's not exactly good for max mode confirms either, although it can still work with max bypass into qcb+BC or with tighter run (after cl. light normal xx f+A). Otherwise, it has situational uses, but not really much for neutral or combos.
- The 2nd hit is cancelable into specials. It will only connect if f+A was done close (at most after 1 light attack). The interesting property of this move is its high damage, it deals quite a lot on its own and allows for some of the most damaging combos for Iori. However, because you need to be point blank, it's not very convenient to start combos with it, and the pushback only allows for the longest range attacks to combo after it (qcb+C/qcf, hcb+P); any more distance, and the attacks may whiff, so be very careful if you choose to combo from this move at all, and if you do, make sure you're point blank to the opponent (eg after a crossup). Otherwise, the move may be useful for frametraps and to surprise the unsuspecting opponent. Overall, a pretty tricky move, and not easy to use.
- First hit cancel-able into the second hit
- First hit only cancelable only into supers
- Second hit cancel-able on hit
Combo Advice: You can cancel f+A (the 1st hit) into Maiden Masher (qcf, hcb+P), but the timing is a bit strict. It may also serve to give Iori a 2–3 hit confirm into max mode, but the damage/routes will get worse than after cl.C. While f+A becomes cancelable in max mode, it doesn't add much damage and canceling it drains your max mode bar, so it's not very useful in this scenario. For properly connecting the second hit (f+A>A), you can only start with point blank cl.B/cl.A/cr.A and then input f+A,A. If you place any other normals or strings before it, the second hit may whiff.
Thunder Axe Shadow Reaper - (f + B)
- Iori's standing overhead. Long range, but slow and bad recovery on block. Not cancelable when done raw, so not very useful this way but may work once in a blue moon. Becomes cancelable when canceled into; won't combo from anything, but somewhat OK to use as a frametrap after cl.C.
- Overhead attack
- Only cancel-able on block if canceled from a cancel-able normal
Lily Breaker - in air, (b + B)
- A command cross-up also known as "taco" that hits behind Iori. Technically you press "back"+B to perform it, but if you want to crossup with it, it can be easier to think of it as holding "forward", jumping, then pressing B when you still keep holding the same direction.
- As a crossup, this move has huge range and also does more hitstun/blockstun than most attacks in the game, making comboing after it easier than after other air normals. Obviously, this is very useful for mixups. The move may even appear overpowered at a glance, however there are several caveats to it. First is that Iori cannot hop/hyperhop over a standing opponent, so either you commit to a full jump (which is slower and easier to react to), or you need to force the opponent to crouch to go over them quicker. Second is that this move will whiff on low crouchers, so about half the game's roster if they crouch; and other character may have a move that shrinks their hurtbox, e.g. cr.B, to go under it. Third, the "taco" is not an overhead, and can be blocked crouching. Still, with all these caveats, this can be a scary mixup option, especially VS unprepared players and those unfamiliar with Iori. Landing it may get easier if you find good setups; it may be used several times in a row to harass your opponent, too, and paired with Iori's other mixup options, the "taco" can become a nightmare for the opponent to block.
- This move has another important use: you may perform it during backdash (like b, b+B). This causes Iori to leap much further backwards than he normally does, almost full stage distance. This is an excellent tool to reset the spacing or run away from the opponent very quickly.
- Cross-up attack only
Combo Advice: It's rather easy to combo from this kick into anything. The stun from this move is so long that it can allow to confirm from one hit.
Fireball - (dp + A/C)
- A pretty standard DP. The light version is only invincible up to the hit (can trade) and recovers relatively quickly, also on a counter it will deal 2 hits and a bit more damage. The heavy version deals 3 hits and is fully invincible on the 1st hit (can't trade); it goes very high and is very unsafe. This move is used as any other DP, i.e. as an anti-air/reversal. The slight downside here is that both versions hit a little low on the first few frames, so take this into account when timing it.
Combo Advice: Not the best move to combo into normally, but it forms the base of Iori's max mode combos, and can also supercancel into his DMs, so there's that.
- Regular knockdown
- Super cancellable
Dark Thrust - (qcf + A/C)
- A standard low projectile, but with good speed. Light version travels slowly, heavy version travels much quicker. This move comes out faster than most projectiles, which is a big plus, but the recovery on it is pretty average. Since this is a low projectile, it's not hard to go over it with a jump or a hyperhop. For this reason, this move is not exactly good for "zoning" out your opponent per se, as it doesn't cover the air very well, and it is pretty dangerous for Iori to throw it carelessly in close/mid range as he risks eating a full combo with it. Still, this move works well in a standard projectile fashion — to hit the grounded opponent, as a sort of safe poke or a frmetrap or an ender to blockstrings, as well as catch jump landings, - and it is still relatively safe to throw from far distance.
Combo Advice: Not really a "combo" move, but it will combo from light attacks up close. Also OK to cancel into from st.C/st.CD for frametraps/combos.
- Ground projectile
Deadly Flower - (qcb + A/C up to 3 times)
- Iori quickly slides forward with 3 strikes, slamming the opponent into the ground with the last one. This is a "rekka" special, i.e. you perform each of the 3 hits with a separate qcb+P input; you can stop on 1-2 hits, or delay the hits a bit. The 2nd hit launches, the 3rd hit is an overhead and causes hard knockdown.
- Both versions deal the same damage. The light version is very fast, safe, goes a good distance forward and comboes from both light and heavy attacks. The heavy version only comboes from heavy attacks, but goes even further; it is not as safe as the light version though. (Also note that the 1st hit of qcb+C has a short window of upper body invincibility on startup that may allow it to slide under some attacks/projectiles.)
- This is an important move for Iori that can serve many purposes. It works very well for combos, as a fast & long range punisher, and can also be used as a poke or even a situational anti-air (from far range). And the last hit of the rekka gives Iori a lot of advantage on knockdown.
- This move can be landed from pretty much any normal Iori has. The first hit of qcb+A is pretty hard to punish on tip, so it works as an extra hit to confirm off, and a safe-ish poke or an ender to blockstrings. That said, every hit of the rekka chain is punishable to some extent, and the more hits you do, the more punishable it gets; but if the opponent gets hasty after a hit, you may catch him with a delayed 2nd/3rd hit (although this is a bit of a gamble). To be safe though, you either confirm into qcb+A/C, or stop on 1 hit of qcb+A. The rekka can be used to punish things that other moves won't reach in time, like blocked light DPs (qcb+A/qcb+C can punish everything -9/-12 and slower in their range, respectively).
- The hard knockdown finisher of the rekka is a convenient setup for Iori's okizeme, for example meaty / ambiguous roll / crossup / scum gale / etc., which again can lead to another landed rekka, resulting in "vortex" offense that gives Iori a lot of advantage and momentum.
Combo Advice: The rekka can be comboed into from pretty much everything and in any situation. From cr.B, cl.B/cr.A and whenever unsure of the hit always use qcb+A to confirm. Qcb+C is only preferred around st.C's tip and when you've confirmed the hit prior, to get some extra carry.
- Hard knockdown
- Can be used up to 3 times in a row
- Last hit is an overhead
Dark Crescent Slice - (hcb + B/D)
- Iori runs up to the opponent, slams their head on the ground, then blasts them with fire. This is a hit-grab, i.e. it's blockable, but it looks like a grab. Light version travels half screen while the heavy version travels full screen; both versions deal the same damage. This move deals 5% more damage than Iori's rekkas, but only comboes from cl.C and is really unsafe on block, so its mainly used in combos to get more damage on punish/after confirm. Not a good move to use in the neutral or throw on block randomly though. Iori runs a bit faster during this move than he does normally, so it can be used to cover distance faster after a knockdown. Has invincibility to some cr.Bs, although probably this won't find much use.
Combo Advice: Comboes from Iori's cl.C and cr.C (from close only). Causes hard knockdown which you can use set up a few wake-up options, much like with the rekka. Also useful for max mode combo strings.
- Hard knockdown
- Running hit-grab
- Can be blocked
Scum Gale - close, (hcb, f + A/C)
- A delayed command grab. Iori grasps the opponent and switches sides with them, pushing them away. By itself, this move deals no damage, but you're free to connect any combo after it (as long as it reaches). This is a very important tool for Iori's mixups that works to open up your opponent, and can be a very scary option if used well. Sadly, unlike in some other games, in this game this move has no invincibility whatsoever, so it can get beaten with any attack on its startup, and throwing it randomly is pretty risky — even more so if you become predictable with it. However, when paired with Iori's other mixup options, it is not so easy to see Scum Gale coming. Getting unpredictable with the move is key, and Iori has many opportunities where he can land this. You can try it on opponent's wakeup, you can run in with it (works great if you buffer it with the run), you can throw it from an empty hop, after a jump-in attack, etc etc. Any time when the opponent is scared to press buttons and chooses to block, there's a chance to land this move, so get inventive with it. If you're good enough, you may be able to land max mode combos for 50-60% damage from Scum Gale, which makes this move much scarier than it already is.
Combo Advice: Any time you land Scum Gale, you have several choices. For an easy good option, you can do st.C xx qcb+Cx3 or qcf, hcb+P. For a harder but more damaging option, if you are quick enough, you can run up with a close C to land pretty much any 0-3 bar combo. The timing is tricky but it's worth learning. The grab itself can be comboed into from light attacks point blank, which opens up some advanced combos for Iori, and even an infinite (see combos section); however, they are not strictly essential, and some of them add somewhat little damage for the high difficulty.
- Deals no damage
- Slow command grab
Maiden Masher - (qcf~hcb + A/C)
- Iori rushes towards the opponent then performs a flurry of claws and scratches ending off in a blast of purple flames. A typical ranbu super that hasn't changed much compared to other KOF titles. It has moderate start-up (which isn't invincible) which can punish a fair amount of special moves that have poor recovery. Against mid-air projectiles (like Athena's Psycho Ball) he can't duck underneath them during his rush anymore, but he can use this super as a reaction anti-air against regular jumps and hyper hops. On block, the recovery is horrible, so try your best to make sure this DM connects or else you will be punished hard. There is a hard knockdown after the purple flame blast at the end, but the opponent is thrown at almost a half-screen away, so be sure to act quickly if you want to continue the pressure on their wake up.
Combo Advice: You can cancel this DM from many of his normals (except his close D) but the timings is a bit stricter in this game. You can also super cancel it from his dp+C.
- Wolf Bloom - During Maiden masher, (qcf x 4 + AC)
- If you have an extra bar to spare, and you're in the mood in inflict 10% more damage to your opponent, feel free to follow up the Maiden Masher with this extension. It also gives the opponent an un-techable, hard knockdown which gives you enough time to run in and apply okizeme pressure. Keep in mind that the animation for the DM is quite long, so it may help or harm you when the clock is approaching it's final seconds. Be sure to crank out the 4 qcf's during the last hits of the Maiden Masher then hit A+C when Iori blasts them away. Practice the timing in practice mode a few times to ensure that you don't input the motions too early or too late.
- Hard knockdown
Flame Comber - (qcf x 2 + B/D)
- Iori leaps and spins towards the opponent to slam-dunk them into the ground, then spinning them around helicopter style to throw them across the screen. This DM, which is new to Iori's arsenal in 2002UM, can be somewhat gimmicky to someone that isn't familiar with it's hit properties. It's basically a full-screen overhead attack that is horribly unsafe on block. It looks like it can be a throw or a mid/high attack, but it isn't. You can even hit him out of it to score a counter hit or roll when you see him leap. Even though it does more damage than the Maiden Masher, it's very risky to use, and you can't even combo it from anything. So, if you feel that your opponent doesn't understand that this DM is simply a slow overhead, or that they have never seen it before, it's very likely they will get hit by it.
Combo Advice: The only full combo opportunities with this DM can only be found in Max Mode. You can cancel it from his qcb+P rekkas or his hcb+K command throw.
- Overhead attack
- Hard knockdown
Super Desperation Move
Maiden Masher - (qcf~hcb + AC)
- This SDM version of the Maiden Masher has a bit slower start-up but outputs at least 20% more damage. It is a bit harder to combo into than the normal DM version but it's much easier in Max Mode. Even the opponent can't tech after the knockdown, Iori rises at the same time the opponent does making it impossible to apply oki pressure. It's probably best to use this super (if you have enough stocks) to punish the opponent extremely hard from whiff a special move or DM that has really bad recovery at the end of a match, or doing a Max Mode combo string.
Flame Disentangle - (qcb~hcf + AC)
- This HSDM is basically a much powerful spin-off of the Flame Comber (qcfx2+K) DM. Iori leaps towards the opponent quickly at hop height to slam them to the ground, to lift, spin and toss them across the screen. There isn't a super flash when Iori takes off before he leaps which can surprise some players when it connects. But it can be easily expected if the player notices the meter requirements needed for HSDMs. Unlike the Flame Comber, which is an overhead, the hit detection is a throw. To avoid it, you can roll, or even simply jump in any direction. You can hit him during his leap but it's rather risky because of the speed he travels towards the opponent.
Combo Advice: Unfortunately you can't really combo this HDSM into anything. It's mainly a moving command throw that has very slow start-up.
- Hard knockdown
- Moving Command Throw
- cr.B, cl.B/cr.A/cl.A, qcb+Ax3 = 19% dmg
- Main ground hitconfirm combo. Cr.A has more range but it's -1 on block, while cl.B is +2, so cl.B is a bit better for pressure if you're in range for it. Qcb+A (1st hit) is hard to punish for a lot of the characters, so it can sort of work as a 3rd hit to confirm from (although ideally you want to stop before it if your chain gets blocked).
- cr.B, cl.B/cr.A/cl.A, f+A = 10% dmg
- Not much damage, but it's safe on block vs certain characters who can punish the first hit of qcb+A (Ryo, Kula, etc.).
- (jump-in attack), cl.C, qcb+A/Cx3 = 20% dmg
- Main combo from a jump-in. See notes about qcb+A above.
- st.C, qcb+Cx3 = 22% dmg
- Good combo for punishes, also the easier followup from Scum Gale.
- (jump-in attack), cl.C, hcb+K = 25% dmg
- Better damage than qcb+Px3, but hcb+K is very unsafe on block, so only throw it if you're 100% sure it won't get blocked. Can be done after Scum Gale, but you need to run in to get a cl.C, and the timing for it is pretty tight, so if you aren't confident with it, just do st.C, qcb+Cx3.
- cl.B, f+A,A, qcb+Cx3 = 30% dmg
- Most damaging meterless combo for Iori, however there's a catch: you need to be point blank for it to work. Even a slight step back may result in qcb+C not reaching. You can't add a jump-in attack before cl.B either, but you can do this combo after a crossup (which is a good setup to land it).
- (cr.A/cl.A), hcb,f+P, (st.C, qcb+Cx3)/(run in, cl.C, hcb+K) = 22%/25% dmg
- As mentioned above, 2 basic followups after Scum Gale. To combo the grab from cr.A, you can buffer cr.A like: f, d+A, b, f+P.
- (standing in the corner) (cr.A/cl.A) hcb,f+P, cr.A/cl.A, hcb,f+P, (st.C, qcb+Cx3)/(run in, cl.C, hcb+K)
- A tricky combo to land from the corner to get a little more damage.
- (cr.A/cl.A), hcb,f+P, [run-in cr.A/cl.A, hcb,f+P] (repeat)
- Iori's infinite that is really tricky to perform and hard not to drop. A drop will leave the opponent standing, and this can give them opportunity for a punish. Not exactly a beginner combo.
- cr.B, cr.A/cl.B, f+A, qcf~hcb+P
- Approx 32% dmg. 11 hits.
- Standard damage but good confirm. This combo may be done using special input suppression: when you press B, you keep holding it, then input A, qcf+A (and release B), qcb+P.
- cl.C, f+A, qcf~hcb+P
- Approx 34% dmg. 10 hits.
- cr.B, cr.A, f+A, qcf~hcb+P, qcfx4+AC
- 40% damage. 18 hits.
- 2 bar version of the similar 1 bar combo. Not as much damage as max mode, but this one has a good confirm and is consistent.
- cl.C, dp+C (2) (SC) qcf~hcb+P
- 42% damage. 11 hits.
- Easy to input (as f, qcf+C, qcb+P), but a lot of caveats here. Cl.C dp+C will whiff on a lot of crouchers, and no real way to confirm for this combo (can't add a jump-in, or dp+C will whiff). Ideally, you want more consistent combos though.
Max Mode Combos
- cr.B, [BC], f+A, qcb+Cx2, (C) hcb+K (1), (C) dp+C (2) (SC) qcfx2+K
- Approx 38% damage. 8 hits. The BC activation after cr.B is a bypass of cl.B when cancelled from cr.B.
- f+B [BC] far C, qcb+Cx2, (C) hcb+K (1), (C) dp+C (2) (SC) qcfx2+K
- Approx 42% damage. 7 hits.
- j.C, cl.C [BC] far C, qcb+Cx2, (C) hcb+K (1), (C) dp+C (2) (SC) qcfx2+K
- Approx 54% damage. 8 hits. Delay the Far C after Max Mode activation slightly for it to connect properly.
- j.C, cl.C [BC] cl.C, qcb+C, (C) hcb+K (1), (C) dp+C (2), (C) hcb+K (1), (C) dp+C (2) (SC) qcf~hcb+P
- Approx 55% damage. 18 hits. The cl.C after Max Mode activation must be inputted quickly with a slight walk or dash toward the opponent.
- j.C, cl.C [BC] cl.C, [dp+C (2), (C) qcb+C]x2, (C) dp+C (2) (SC) qcf~hcb+P
- Approx 58% damage. 19 hits. dp+C(2) whiffs on low crouchers and a few mid crouchers
- j.C, cl.C [BC] cl.C, qcb+C, (C) hcb+K (1), (C) dp+C (2), (C) qcb+Cx2, (C) dp+C (2) (SC) qcfx2+K
- Approx 59% damage.
- One of the best routes that work from any position on the screen.
- f+B [BC] far C, qcb+Cx2 (SC) qcf~hcb+AC
- Approx 46% damage. 5 hits.
- cr.B, [BC], f+A, qcb+Cx2 (SC) qcf~hcb+AC
- Approx 51% damage. 6 hits.
- j.C, cl.C [BC] far C, qcb+Cx2 (SC) qcf~hcb+AC
- Approx 60% damage. 6 hits.
- j.C, cl.C [BC] cl.C, qcb+C, (C) hcb+K, (C) dp+C (2), (C) hcb+K (1), (C) dp+C (2) (SC) qcb~hcf+AC
- Approx 68% damage. 10 hits.
- j.C, cl.C [BC] cl.C, [dp+C (2), (C) qcb+C]x2, (C) dp+C (2) (SC) qcf~hcb+AC
- Approx 71% damage. dp+C(2) whiffs on low crouchers and a few mid crouchers
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cl A - 5F (+ 1F)
cl B - 6F (+2F)
cl C - 3F (-3F)
cl D - 6F (-1F)
far A - 7F (+4F)
far B - 7F (-1F)
far C - 8F (-5F)
far D - 9F (-10F)
st. CD - 12F (-7F)
cr A - 6F (-1F)
cr B - 6F (+ 0F)
cr C - 8F (-3F)
cr D - 6F (-19F)
f + A[1st hit] - 9F (-5F)
f + A[2nd hit] - ?F (-4F)
f+B - 28F(-11F)
cancel f+B - 24F(-13F)
QCF+A - 12F (-9F)→when blocked close
QCF+C - 11F(-10F)→when blocked close
DP+A[startup] - 6F
DP+A[ground without guard] - (-17F)
DP+A[far guard] - (-17F)
DP+C[startup] - 6F
DP+C[ground without guard] - (-36F)
HCF+B - 18F (-26F)
HCB D - 18F (-30F)
QCB+A x 3[1st hit] - 9F(-11F)
QCB+A x 3[2nd hit] - 8F(-13F)
QCB+A x 3[3rd hit] - ?F(-13F)
QCB+C x 3[1st hit] - 12F(-13F)
QCB+C x 3[2nd hit] - 12F(-14F)
QCB+C x 3[3rd hit] - ?F(-22F)
attack-> HCB,F P - (-26F)
QCF~HCB+A - 7F(-25F)
QCF~HCB+C - 7F(-27F)
QCFx2+B - 20F(-19F)
QCFx2+D - 24F(-26F)
QCF~HCB A+C - 13F(-27F)
QCB~HCF A+C - 33F
Iori -Max- combos by Franck Frost