The King of Fighters '98 UMFE/Ryuji Yamazaki

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Yamazaki is a midrange poking character with a strong emphasis on neutral mindgames. Yamazakis most defining feature is his serpent slash pokes which can cover space in different angles in front of Yamazaki. Combine this with some good poking normals and Yamazakis neutral space control becomes quite strong. Yamazaki wants to keep you guessing over which serpent slash he will do so that the opponent starts to hesitate in neutral. Yamazaki can then use this hesitation to go in as his own close range mixup game is quite strong with access to both an overhead and a 1f command grab. He also has access to a projectile absorbing move so zoning him out can be difficult as well. Yamazakis weaknesses lies in his kinda weak combo game and his lack of meterless reversals which makes dealing with pressure an issue for him.

Changes from previous versions

98 to 98UM


  • st.C startup is 3 frames shorter and recovery is 3 frames shorter
  • st.D recovery is 6 frames shorter
  • cr.D recovery is 5 frames shorter
  • st.As priority decreased
  • st.Bs priority decreased
  • st.Ds priority decreased, the hurtbox is now in front of the hitbox


  • qcb+B hitbox is slightly higher so it whiffs on short crouchers
  • qcb+C second hit is now a low
  • hcb+K can now be juggled after on counterhit
  • meter gain on serpent slash cancel decreased


  • qcfx2+Ps hitbox size in the air increased so when hitting opponents higher up in the air it will still combo

98UM to 98UMFE


  • far C can cancel into special/super moves when it connects


  • qcb+C has less recovery, is now -2 if guard cancel rolled
  • hcf+K damage increased from 13 to 21
  • hcb,f+P - damage increased from 22 to 27

Supers: QCFx2+P Made it easier for the downward attack to hit if a grounded opponent is hit by the rising punch

Normal Moves


  • cl. A: ok fast feeler button with ok frame advantage. cancelable.
  • cl. B: another feeler low button. used more than A since it is a low. cancelable.
  • cl. C: very fast combo starter and nice frame trap. cancelable.
  • cl. D: slower than cl.C but has long reaching second hitbox. only first hit is cancelable.


  • st. A: very long anti hop check.
  • st. B: a lower version of st.A. still does ok hop check. but this one is more suitable for anti run.
  • st. C: slow punch, cancelable but too slow to utilize it.
  • st. D: a big long poke. but its large recovery making it quite risky. dont spam it.


  • cr. A: quite typical crouching jab with ok range and plus on block. cancelable.
  • cr. B: pretty long low. cancelable into itself or other light buttons such as cr.A. your main low confirm.
  • cr. C: fast crouched uppercut. is cancelable/whiff cancelable on first part.
  • cr. D: uncancelable sweep. quite long and fast.


  • j. A: somewhat similar to kusanagi knee, their j.B, but not as deep and no cross up. still an ok fast jump in.
  • j. B: a very long horizontal ranged kick. nice air spacing tool.
  • j. C: opposite of j.B, great vertical ranged punch. a great air control move.
  • j. D: very deep downward kick. nice close ranged jump in. but the range is very short.


  • st. CD: generic st.CD. not so great.
  • j. CD: a great jump in, air to air with fast start up and good priority.


Choke Hold: (close) b/f + C regular throw, techable. Yamazaki grabs the opponent by the neck and slams them down into the ground sending them full screen away with a hard knockdown.

Whackdown Wallop: (close) b/f + D regular throw, techable. yamazaki grabs the opponent by the neck and throws them into the ground behind him leaving them a small distance away from him with a hard knockdown.

Command Moves

Eviscerator: f + A

  • Yamazaki does an overhead punch that hits 2 times.
  • When done raw it is an overhead that is not cancelable
  • When cancelled into it loses the overhead property but you can cancel out of it instead. Both hits are cancelable.
  • minus on both hit and block but the large amounts of pushback it does makes it hard to punish.

Special Moves

Serpent Slash (Upper): qcb + A (can be held)

  • Yamazaki delivers a long range slash aimed diagonally upwards. Can be held down to delay the attack until the button is released.
  • A good anti airing move to stop people from trying to jump over the middle and low variants of the move.
  • whiffs against standing and crouching opponents so it's only really useful as an anti air.

Serpent Slash (Middle): qcb + B (can be held)

  • Yamazaki delivers a long range slash aimed straight in front of him. When done close enough it will hit two times. Can be held down to delay the attack until the button is released.
  • strong mid range poke that can catch and stop most non projectile moves at standing height.
  • good for controlling the opponents movement as it will be able to hit everything except rolls/dodges and full/super jumps.
  • whiffs on small crouchers.

Serpent Slash (Lower): qcb + C (can be held)

  • Yamazaki delivers a long range slash aimed straight in front of him. When done close enough it will hit two times. Can be held down to delay the attack until the button is released.
  • Hits low.
  • good poke and combo ender as the other variants can whiff on the smaller characters during combos.

Serpent Slash Cancel: During Serpent Slash, D

  • Yamazaki goes out of his serpent slash stance and back to his regular stance.
  • This is the move that ties the whole serpent slash together. With it you can use the stance to make the opponent commit to an action like a full jump or a roll and then cancel it and punish them.
  • It can also be used to quickly change between the serpent slash versions by cancelling the one you're in and doing another one.
  • It can also be used for some meter building with advanced mode meter by quickly entering the stance and canceling out of it repeteadly.
  • It can also be used to make certain moves safer by canceling them into serpent slash and immediately canceling it.

Sadomaso: hcf + B/D

  • a mid counter move. B version stays out for a shorter time than the D version.
  • Counters any strikes with the mid property but loses to both overheads and lows.
  • It also loses to projectiles, throws and command grabs/proximity unblockables.
  • punishable on whiff.

Double Return: qcf + A/C

Judgement Dagger: dp: A/C

  • Yamazaki delivers a series of slashes with his knife.
  • A version delivers 2 strikes and is safer on block compared to the C version which delivers 4 strikes but has more recovery.
  • The C version is your most damaging meterless tool.
  • causes a soft knockdown.

Bombshell Badda-Bing: (close) hcb, f + A/C

  • 1 frame command grab.
  • Good for both mixups and combos.
  • one of his best combo enders due to it causing a hard knockdown and being comboable from both lights and heavies.
  • Causes hard knockdown

Fight of Tempering: dp + B

  • Yamazaki delivers a high stomping kick with 2 hits.
  • the first hit is a mid but the second hit is an overhead.
  • Decent combo option up close since it gives you a hard knockdown and it puts you right next to the opponent so you can go for knockdown pressure.
  • unsafe on block.

Sand Spray: dp + D

  • Yamazaki kicks up a cloud of sand.
  • The thing that makes this move special is that it's cancelable into his serpent slash special leading to some combos.
  • you can cancel it into a serpent slash feint to make it safe on block.

Desperation Moves

Guillotine: qcf, qcf + A/C

  • Yamazaki does an uppercut and grabs the opponent, running forwards while scraping them along the ground.
  • an invul super with fast startup.
  • This super has a lot of invul making it his only good choice for reversals but also functions well as an anti air tool.
  • can be a good combo super as well due to it's large amount of corner carry.
  • Max version does more damage.

Drill: (close) hcb, hcb + A/C (tap repeatedly for more hits)

  • a 1f command grab super.
  • a good mixup and combo tool as it does good damage.
  • Max versions deals more damage.


  • cr.B cr.B cr.A qcb+B
Works against all standing characters but whiffs against small crouchers.
  • cr.B st.B hcb,f+P
the universal low bnb that always works regardless of the opponents size.
  • (J.X)cl.C dp+C/hcb,f+C/dp+B
his main meterless jumpin bnb. dp+C does the most damage, dp+B gives the best oki and hcb,f+C gives you a little of both.

cl.C f+A qcb+B/C

combo from a close heavy starter. use qcb+B if they're standing and qcb+C if they're a small croucher.
  • cl.C dp+D qcb+B
combo into the dust kick special.
  • (j.X) cl.C qcfx2+P/hcbx2+P
simple combo into super from a heavy or jumpin confirm. qcfx2+P gives you corner carry and better oki while hcbx2+P gives you more damage. Max versions can be used for more damage as well.
  • cr.B st.B qcfx2+P/hcbx2+P
metered combo from lows. qcfx2+P is easier to input and gives you corner carry and better oki while hcbx2+P gives you more damage. Max versions can be used for more damage as well.

Strategy & Tips


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

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 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