The King of Fighters '98 UMFE/Mai Shiranui

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Mai is a midrange poking character with excellent mobility and keepaway strategies. Mai has access to some great pokes to control space in front of her that can make approaching her difficult. St.B and her Ryu Enbu are especially good at keeping the opponent from getting close on the ground. When the opponent starts jumping to beat these Mai has access to a dp and a fast j.C that also doubles as an air throw to stop them. At long ranges Mai has a fireball and a fireball super to control space with. Up close Mai is a bit weaker as she's lacking in good light confirms but she can still pressure well with st.A and light Ryu Enbu. On defense Mai suffers some because her dp is not fully invul.

Changes from previous versions

98 to 98UM


  • neutral j.Bs priority got reduced
  • cr.Ds priority reduced

Specials: qcf+Ps recovery is shortened

  • dp+K both hits now launches the opponent on hit


  • qcbx2+P can now be done in the air
  • the 12f gap between the second and 3rd fan of qcfx2+P has been removed

98UM to 98UMFE


  • dp+P less recovery, A version is -1 on block, C version is -10 on block


  • qcfx2+P got faster startup, A version has slightly slower projectile speed, C and MAX versions have slightly faster projectile speed
  • qcbx2+P got less recovery

Normal Moves


  • 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 an 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.

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 Mais good anti air options 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.
  • Mais Ryu Enbu does not knock down.
  • This move is really good so use it a lot.

Flying Dragon Blast: dp + B/D

  • a upwards flame strike.
  • This is Mais dp and her primary anti air. Great to use in combination with her fireball for a classic zoning game.
  • unsafe on block or whiff.
  • Has startup invincibility but it ends as the first active frame comes out so it can't really be used as a proper reversal as it will at best trade with meaties.
  • on an air trade it knocks the opponent up into a juggle state.
  • 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

Snowy Heron Dance: dp + A/C

  • Mai does a spinning dance move with two fans stretched out.
  • dp+A is safe on block making it a nice combo tool
  • dp+C is unsafe on block but can be used as a combo tool.
  • causes soft knockdown.

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.

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 deals more hits.
  • B version starts up faster and the flames part comes out quicker, and the D version is the opposite.
  • D version is good for comboing into.
  • has startup invincibility.
  • deals soft knockdown.
  • The Max version has a lot more invincibility making it a good reversal.

Phoenix Fandango (also can be performed in the air): qcb, qcb + A/C

  • Mai jumps up and starts spinning creating a big wheel of fire, she then travels diagonally downwards towards the ground.
  • A version goes a shorter distance than the C version.
  • can be used for gimmicky cross up shenanigans.
  • the air version goes straight down, can be good as an unpredictable attack.
  • causes soft knockdown.
  • Max version does more hits and damage.

Waterfowl Fandango: qcf, qcf + A/C

  • Mai throws a series of fan projectiles.
  • the A version projectiles travel slower than the C versions.
  • Can be used as a zoning move, an anti zoning move against an opponents projectile or as a combo tool.
  • You can't roll through all the fans at once.
  • cannot be low profiled.
  • causes soft knockdown.


  • cr.B cl.A hcf+B/qcb+C/qcb,hcf+D

Low starter BnB. hcf+B is the most damaging meterless option but qcb+C can also be used as a safer option but it doesn't knock down. qcb,hcf+D is a metered alternative for more damage.

  • (j.X) cr.C hcf+D/qcb+C/qcb,hcf+D

Same as with the cr.B combo but from a heavy or jump in starter.

  • f+B cr.C hcf+D/qcb,hcf+D

Link combo from a close f+B overhead hit.

  • df+B(1) AB A hcf+D/qcb,hcf+K

Slide conversion with extra mode or ultimate mode with dodge selected. Requires 1 bar for the dodge cancel.

Strategy & Tips


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

External Links

The King of Fighters '98 Ultimate Match Final Edition

FAQSystemControlsGuidesChangelistMatch Videos


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 SakazakiSaisyu KusanagiShermieShingo YabukiSie KensouTakuma SakazakiTerry BogardViceWolfgang KrauserRyuji YamazakiYashiro NanakaseYuri Sakazaki

EX Characters

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