[KOF Arena] Drastic Striker ‘Ralf Jones’ guide

Fighter that can have infinite combos like a flytrap

Ralf’s attack stat is average, with 3,855, but you shouldn’t evaluate him with his raw stats. He’s a fighter that hits his opponent one-sidedly with his ‘basic attack -> skill’ combos, so if the situation is right, the opponent can’t do anything and have to get beaten up.


To strengthen Ralf’s ability, you need the process to build up where the game could go in your favor. You need to go for when your opponent doesn't have emergency dodge or escape. Since Ralf isn't a quick fighter, the main focus has to be measuring the distance between Ralf and the opponent and inducing the opponent to use their defensive skills endlessly by using Ralf's skills.


▲ Fighters that have good connections between their basic attacks and skills like Ralf shouldn't be just evaluated with their raw stats.

Foundation for infinite combos! In-depth look into 'basic attacks'

Counter difficulty between 1st-4th strike: Basico attack, all skills - very easy


Right hand downward strike (1st) → Left hand short upper (2nd) → Right knee kick (3rd) → Left hand long upper (4th)

All four strikes are straightforward, and they hit in a slightly slow speed. It's not fancy, but the first three strikes give a paralysis effect to the opponent, and the fourth strike airbornes them, so if you maintain a close distance, you can connect the strikes. Another advantage is that it's difficult to tell whether they're skills or basic attacks.

▲ The 4th strike has an airborne effect, but if you can't hit, you shouldn't use it to prevent being countered.

- 1-4 strikes are all straightforward strike moves

- 1-4 strikes can connect without getting far from the opponent

- 1st and 3rd strikes forces knocked down opponents into a standing state

- 4th strike has airborne effect
- Opponent can counter on 4th strike as there's a long delay after 3rd strike

Ralf's basic attacks should be used as build-ups to induce the opponent's emergency dodge and escape. Since they are simple strikes that aren't very fast, there's a good chance of being countered after the opponent guards. You need to utilize the combo where you mix skills after the 2nd strike to prevent the opponent's counter.


If the opponent doesn't have any defense skills left, that's when Ralf's ability shines. If the opponent is in a standing state, they get paralyzed, but if they're airborne, Ralf can keep the opponent in the air while connecting combos, so an infinite combo is possible. Since 'emergency dodge' can't be used in an airborne state, they must use escape. If the opponent got away with escape, Ralf can start over the basic attack - skill combo to pressure them, and they won't be able to get away until the next defense skill cooldown is refreshed.


- Inducing 'emergency dodge' is key

- Refrain from using the 4th strike since it's slow and it can be easily countered after guarding

- If the opponent's emergency dodge is on cooldown and you landed a basic attack, start the infinite combo

▲ There's a good chance of getting countered between the 3rd and 4ths trike, so if the 1st-3rd strike didn't hit, you need to refrain from using the 4th strike to be safe.


In-depth analysis of the Q skill - Gatling Attack

Counter difficulty between 1st-2nd hit:  Basic attack, blast attack, grapple skill - very hard / Strike attack - easy


- Backspin blow moving forward → connected with uppercut

 - The uppercut has airborne effect 

- Airborne effect is good, so it’s easy to connect combos afterward

- The activation/moving forward speed is slow, so you need to use it up close

This is a strike skill that moves forward, and its hit judgment is average. The hit judgment is similar to that of the W skills of Kyo and Iori. The backspin blow → uppercut is connected. Since the uppercut’s airborne effect is very effective, you can easily connect combos afterward with basic attacks.


However, its speed and ability to move forward are rather slow, so it shouldn’t be used alone as a surprise attack. The opponent can easily see and evade the skill, so you should mix basic attacks or utilize it as a bridge to connect combos.


▲ The airborne effect is great, but its speed and ability to move forward is slow, so you should connect it with basic attacks than use it on its own.
▲ There’s a small gap to counter between the 1st and 2nd hit, but it’s quite difficult.

Example of using Gatling Attack (Q) in actual fights

Counter difficulty between 1st-2nd strike: Basic attack, blast attack, grapple skill - very hard / Strike skill - easy


- When connecting basic attacks right after the airborne effect, the 1st strike doesn’t hit

- You need to use the basic attacks slightly later to hit the 1st-3rd strike

- Use up to 3rd basic attack strike after airborne

- When you use the 4th basic attack (uppercut), the opponent hits the ground, so they can dodge


When you’re connecting basic attacks after Gatling Attack, you should use up to the 3rd strike. If you airborne your opponent with the second hit of Gatling Attack and then connect basic attacks, the opponent’s feet would touch the ground, and they can get out by using dodge — not emergency dodge, just their normal dodge, so the combo would be interrupted. 


That being said, the key is to keep the airborne state of the opponent after using Gatling Attack. You have to connect E or W after 3 basic attacks to continue your combo.


During a slugfest, it could be difficult to measure the timing. If you have to squeeze in basic attacks, just use 2 strikes and then use the next skill to safely continue your combo. If you’re uncertain of the distance, you should also consider canceling the 2nd strike (Airborne) of Gatling Attack and continuing the combo with basic attacks.


▲ After the 2nd strike of Gatling Attack, use up to your 3rd basic attack strike and go on to the next skill!
▲ If the opponent dodges because their feet reached the ground, canceling the 2nd strike of Gatling Attack is another solution.

In-depth analysis of the W skill — Vulcan Punch



- Blind fire fists striking a short range ahead

- Strong paralysis effect

- Neutralizes blast attacks

- Uncounterable

- Strike judgment is ahead of the hitbox, so it stops most charging skills and hits them


Since it doesn’t move forward, you can’t use it as an opening hit or to pursue your opponent, but it’s activated quickly, so it’s good to use when you want to create a “wall” or counter your opponent. The duration is long and has good strike judgment, so it’s a very good melee skill. If the opponent is hit, they’re paralyzed for quite a long time, so they often use emergency dodge to avoid danger.


Vulcan Punch can also neutralize blast attacks, so it makes up for one of  the strike-type fighters’ biggest weaknesses. Even homing blast attacks like Goenitz’s Q or Shermie’s W can be neutralized if the timing is right. Against fighters that connect blast attacks with charging grapple skills like Kyo, Iori, Takumi, and Yuri, it’s a great counter skill.


▲ Vulcan Punch is effective against blast attacks and charging skills, so it’s great to use defensively.

Example of using Vulcan Punch (W) in actual fights



- Paralysis time by getting hit is very long, so it’s good to induce the opponent to use emergency dodge

- Dodging is unavailable during the paralysis effect, so you can connect all 4 strikes of your basic attack

- If the opponent uses emergency dodge, start your combo

- If you use it just before the airborne effect is finished, the opponent goes into a standing paralysis state

Vulcan Punch is the best skill in close-range combat, and its ability to crush the opponent’s guard is also great. If the opponent is too aware of the guard crush, and they use dodge while guarding, they would use up ‘emergency dodge’. Since if the guard is crushed, they get hit by the following combos, and if they use dodge, they use up their emergency dodge, so the opponent falls into a dilemma.


Since the paralysis effect is also quite long, if they don’t have emergency dodge, they fall into a more serious situation than getting airborne or knocked down. This is because you can connect all 4 strikes of the basic attacks. If the opponent doesn’t have emergency dodge, they’re just prey in front of Ralf. If you’re used to the combos, you can delay the basic attacks little by little to earn time to recover the cooldowns of your skills. 


▲ If your opponent is guarding, you can easily induce them to use emergency dodge by using Vulcan Punch.
▲ You can delay your basic attacks slightly to earn time to recover your skill cooldowns.

In-depth analysis of the E skill — Ralf Tackle

Counter difficulty between 1st-2nd strike: Basic attack, blast attack, grapple skill - very hard / Strike skill - easy

Counter difficulty between 3rd-4th strike: Basic attack, blast attack, grapple attack - normal / Strike skill - easy


- Charging strike (1st) → Quick 2nd 3rd strikes → 4th strike with a knockdown effect

- Ralf’s only charging skill, you can pursue your opponent with it

- You can use it as an opening hit, but the pre-delay is quite long, so you need to be careful


Ralf Tackle is a 4-hit skill which has a knockdown effect on its last strike. The 1st strike’s charging distance is quite long, so it’s great to use to pursue your opponent when they’re trying to get away. However, the delay is quite long, and since it can’t neutralize blast attacks like Vulcan Punch, you can easily be countered when you use it from mid-range or further. The 2nd and 3rd strikes are connected quickly, but there’s a big gap between the 3rd and 4th strikes, so it can be easily counterable. If the opponent guarded it, you would be better off canceling the 4th strike and using basic attacks or different skills.


▲ A precious charging skill for Ralf, who’s on the slow side. There’s a gap between the 1st and 2nd strikes, but it’s difficult to counter.
▲ There’s a window to counter between the 1st and 2nd strikes, but it’s difficult, so unless it’s between the 3rd and 4th strikes, Ralf Tackle is rarely countered.

Example of using Ralf Tackle (E) in actual fights

Counter difficulty between 1st-2nd strike: Basic attack, blast attack, grapple skill - very hard / Strike skill - easy

Counter difficulty between 3rd-4th strike: Basic attack, blast attack, grapple attack - normal / Strike skill - easy


- Use to pursue the opponent who’s getting away with dodge

- The 4th strike knockdown has a good chance of allowing the opponent to counter or dodge, so use up to the 3rd strike

- If the opponent is knocked down with the 4th strike, you can’t connect Gatling Attack (Q)

- To a knocked down opponent with the 4th strike, you can connect three basic attacks and then Gatling Attack (Q)

Connecting combos with Ralf Tackle in actual fights is quite difficult. If the opponent is knocked down by the 4th strike, you can’t connect Gatling Attack (Q), so you need to use basic attacks or Vulcan Punch (W). If you’re not used to the skill, your combo can be interrupted, so you must be careful. The safest way is to cancel the 4th strike and connect basic attacks.


When you’re used to using Ralf Tackle, you can use all 4 strikes and connect 3 basic attacks on the knocked-down opponent. The opponent would be slightly airborne, so you can connect Gatling Attack (Q) afterward. However, if your basic attack is slow, you can allow the opponent to dodge, or your combo could get interrupted.


▲ It’s good to use Ralf Tackle (E) up to the 3rd strike and cancel the 4th strike with a basic attack.
▲ To use a full combo, after knocking down your opponent with the 4th strike, use 3 basic attacks and connect another skill!

In-depth analysis of the ‘finisher’ — Bareback Vulcan Punch (R)

Unescapable, escape possible right after animation finishes


- Charges to the end of the screen to mount-knockdown the opponent, and hits all over

- Although it looks like they’re hitting, the opponent is knocked down, and they’re grappled, so it’s unescapable

Among the many finishers, it has quite high damage. Since the strikes are hit after knocking down the opponent, it’s considered a grapple attack, so the opponent can’t use escape. After the last hit of the finisher, the opponent can escape, but even if they do, Ralf isn’t hit by it — the opponent’s escape would be meaningless.


The normal reaction of an opponent getting hit by Ralf’s finisher is to save their escape and get further away by rolling backward. For Ralf, use guard and control the distance by using Ralf Tackle (E) to play the mind game. Especially, if you used your finisher in MAX mode and you don’t have enough PG to use escape, you need to observe the situation defensively.


▲ Bareback Vulcan Punch can’t be escaped, so it’s a high-quality finisher that doesn’t have damage loss.

Example of using Bareback Vulcan Punch (R) in actual fights

Unescapable, escape possible right after animation finishes


- Hitting the opponent to the end when you’re concluding your combo or when you have to give up the initiative

- Act accordingly to the opponent’s reaction after the finisher, but guarding first is recommended

- You need 5 PGs (Maximum) to use a double finisher, so it’s difficult to use in actual fights

Most finishers can be escaped before being hit by the biggest damage, so they have to be used when the opponent’s escape is on cooldown to deal full damage. However, Ralf’s finisher is unescapable, so if you have enough PG, you can use it whenever you like. The best timing is concluding your combo with your finisher.


The important part is after using the finisher. If the opponent uses their finisher right away and they’re overlapped with Ralf, it’s the same as wasting the escape. However, this doesn’t mean that you’re advantageous. The opponent can still move first, so rather than using a skill, guarding first is safer. If the opponent uses a skill, seek to counter after guarding. If they roll with dodge, you can counter by using a skill.


Using a double finisher is difficult to use in actual fights. Since the finisher animation is slightly long, you have to have a full 5 PGs. Also, if the opponent uses escape right after the first finisher, the second finisher would be neutralized, so you have to use the second finisher slightly later to consider the opponent’s escape.


▲ If you use a double finisher right away, you can get neutralized with the opponent’s escape, so connect it slightly later using the invulnerable time!
▲ It’s difficult to use a double finisher in actual fights since you need 5 PGs, but it has massive damage.

In-depth analysis of the ‘Ultimate(F)’ — Jet Vulcan Punch

- Explosive repetitive fire fists

- Short animation

- Opponents fly far with the last punch

- Unable to connect following combos afterward due to the distance

- After the ultimate, you need to react to how the opponent plays

The Jet Vulcan Punch blows away the opponent far with the last strike, and since Ralf is slow and can’t move a far distance quickly, you can’t connect following attacks, so you need to react to how your opponent plays. If you have more HP, it’s the opponent who would be more anxious, so try to counter when they approach.


Like the finisher, the Jet Vulcan Punch is used at the end of a combo or to finish the game when the opponent’s HP starts to be red. The damage is average, but the animation is quick, so you can aim to turn the game around with about 9-10 seconds left.


▲ Pounding fire punches! The opponent flies afar with the last strike.
▲ If you’re behind in HP, it’s best to roll forward or approach with E after the ultimate.

Combos utilized in actual fights ‘Basic combos’

Ralf Tackle - Vulcan Punch - Gatling Attack

Vulcan Punch - Ralph Tackle (Pursuit) - 3 Basic Attacks - Gatling Attack - Basic Attack

When you’re not skilled in playing Ralf, you often use Ralf tackle to attack first. The other skills don’t move forward, so it’s difficult to close the distance, and if you roll forward, you would be exposed to a counterattack. Try to start your combo with Ralf Tackle which has good horizontal movement.


When you get used to the skill’s hitbox and the distance, and you can recognize the timing of the opponent’s attack, you can counter with Vulcan Punch. The opponent would have to use emergency dodge if they’re hit due to the long paralysis. When they do, you should follow them with Ralf Tackle and continue your combo with basic attacks and remaining skills.


▲ Try to start your combo with Ralf Tackle.

‘Intensive Combos’ — To use when opponent doesn’t have emergency dodge

3 Basic Attacks - Gatling Attack - 3 Basic Attacks - Vulcan Punch - 4 Basic Attacks - Ralf Tackle

If the opponent doesn’t have escape and emergency dodge, you can connect an infinite combo that opponents can’t get out of as if they’re in a flytrap. The order of the skills isn’t important — you just need to keep the opponent from being knocked down so that they can’t roll away with dodge. If you’ve completed the full combo cycle or the opponent has gotten away with dodge, connect your finisher right away to conclude the big hit.


▲ The key to connecting infinite combos is to keep them in an airborne or standing paralysis state so that they can’t get away with dodge.

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