[KOF Arena] A heavy counter to turn the game around — connecting intensive combos

Step 1. Identify the features of basic attacks and skills!

If you’re at a level where you can use the basic combos easily, you need to learn the features of fighters’ basic attacks and skills thoroughly to identify them and move forward to a higher level. For example, Terry Bogard’s first attack of the basic attack can attack an opponent that’s down, and after the last attack of the E skill, the opponent can use the emergency dodge.


This means that to storm your opponent with efficient combos, you need to know which of your attacks can cause your opponent to get down or airborn and sideline them, or when opponents can attempt emergency dodges or escapes.

▲ Example 1: Terry Bogard’s basic attack can hit an opponent who’s down, so it’s good to connect combos.

▲ Example 2: Some skills have a gap where opponents can use emergency dodge, so you need to understand it well.

Step 2. When it’s an EMERGENCY, mix basic attacks!

The start of intensive combos is to mix basic attacks between skills. When you do, the power gauge supply is better than when you just blindly use skills, and you can earn some time to recover each skill’s cooldown, so you can push your opponent into a pinch with a very high hit count. These types of long combos are effective when the opponent’s guards are down — when their defensive skills, such as emergency dodge and escape, are on cooldown, and you can seek a one-shot turnaround in an unfavorable situation.

▲ Clark Steel’s intensive combo, the key point is to earn cooldown time by using a basic attack after using a skill.

Step 3. Go for opponents when they don’t have ‘escape’!

The most important point is ‘understanding’ of the defensive skills that can change the flow of a fight. Emergency dodge and escape are excellent defensive skills that can take away the opponent’s initiative. To use intensive combos, it is vital to check the opponent’s defensive skill cooldown time. The ideal situation is to drive into your opponent with combos right after they used their defensive skills, so that they don’t have any ways to resist except normal dodge or guard.


▲ If you have successfully tracked the opponent’s emergency dodge, it’s a chance to use an intensive combo.

Step 4. Induce emergency dodge and escape with loose attacks!

To keep your intensive combo from being interrupted, the opponent’s defensive skills must be on cooldown. The best way is to induce your opponent to use emergency dodge or escape by slightly loose attacks to predict their defensive skills and react accordingly.


At first, lure your opponent by connecting skills and basic attacks that can be evaded with emergency dodge. If the opponent uses emergency dodge, check the direction change and pursue the opponent with your remaining skills to connect the combo. The success rate is higher when you use your skill after you check the opponent passing your fighter with their dodge.


▲ If the opponent doesn’t have emergency dodge, even the grapple-type fighters can include basic attacks to give bigger damage.

Step 5. Use MAX mode efficiently!


Effect when MAX mode activated

1. Active skill cooldown decreases drastically to 1 second

2. Opponent power gauge gain decreased when hit

3. Finisher, ultimate power gauge consumption decreased by 2 gauges

When you have at least two power gauges, you can use MAX mode. When you use it, the power gauges decrease until it reaches 0, but you get several beneficial effects during that time. All active skills’ cooldown decreases drastically to 1 second, so combos can be connected infinitely by simply using active skills without including basic attacks. Even if the opponent uses emergency dodge, you can keep cornering them with consecutive skill combos, and you can easily pursue your opponent when they try to secure a safe distance.


▲ Example of Kagura Chizuru’s MAX mode combo. The skills are connected like infinite combos.

Step 6. MAX Mode + Finishing with ultimate skill!

When MAX mode is activated, the required number of power gauges for using finisher and ultimate skills is decreased by 2 gauges. That means finishers can be activated with 1 power gauge, and ultimate skills can be activated with 3 power gauges. You should connect your finisher (Z+ R) in MAX mode when the opponent’s escape is on cooldown and has about ⅓ HP left. Since the opponent doesn’t have escape, they would have to fall defenseless to the connected 2-3 skills after the finisher.


If you know how much damage your fighter’s ultimate skill deals, you can finish the round by using your ultimate skill (Z+F) in MAX mode. If you fail to finish the round, you’ll be exposed defenseless to your opponent’s counter after their escape, since you won’t be able to use escape because your power gauge is at 0. The opponent would have at least one power gauge for being hit by a finisher or ultimate skill.

When you’re cornered without much HP, you can scheme to counter by using escape+MAX mode+ultimate skill (Space+Z+F). In 3v3 team fights, you need to use up as much of your power gauges as possible to deal more damage to your opponent for your teammate who will play in the next round.


▲ When you have about 3.5 power gauges, you can deal massive damage with MAX mode+ultimate skill.

▲ Example of MAX mode+ultimate skill (Z+F).

Step 7. Ultimate? No! Two finishers plus intensive combos!

There are diverse types of finishers that vary by fighter, such as wild dance, grapple moves, strong single-hit strike moves, etc. If the finisher is a single-hit strike skill or one that is activated within a short period of time, you can use the finisher two consecutive times in MAX mode. Especially, some opponents tend to use escape when hit by a finisher — you can pursue the opponent safely with the second finisher and connect an intensive combo while the opponent doesn’t have escape. However, the range of some finishers is somewhat short, you’ll have to beware of the chance of missing your skill completely and wasting it.

▲ Rugal Bernstein, who has a short finisher animation, can use his finisher twice during MAX mode.

▲ Some fighters’ finishers have a short range, so you have to know the area of effect precisely.

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