[KOF Arena] Expert technique for big hits, ‘Canceling 4th basic attack’

The need to cancel 4th basic attack: Big hits

All fighters’ basic attacks consist of four connected attacks. Generally, the 4th strike airbornes the opponent, so you can easily connect a combo to the airborne opponent who can’t use emergency dodge. However, some skills have a smoother connection when the opponent is standing compared to when they’re airborne.


For these fighters, canceling the 4th basic attack is better. You can use just 3 basic attacks and connect with following skills, but if you use your skill the moment the 4th basic attack starts, you can deal the damage of the 4th strike while canceling the following motion to keep the opponent in a standing state.


It is difficult to cancel the 4th basic attack, but this is a technique that can maximize the damage of combos — you can save your skills while you aim for a big hit with basic attacks. The key is to save your skills and keep the initiative with a combo based on basic attacks.


Unfortunately, this isn’t available for all fighters. Kyo, Iori, Yuri, Athena, Rugal, Ryo, and Orochi Chris can connect standing combos through the 4th attack cancel.


▲ Most fighters make the opponent airborne with their 4th hit. You want to cancel this.

Hardest to use in actual fights ‘Kusanagi Kyo’

The 4th basic attack of Kyo, ‘100 Shiki Oniyaki,’ makes the opponent airborne. It’s difficult to learn the timing of when to cancel, so you need to get used to it in practice mode before attempting in actual fights. If you’re used to canceling it, you can connect Yami Barai (Q), then connect combos with basic attacks again.


Kyo is a balanced fighter that uses blast attacks, strike attacks, and charging grapple attacks, so the combo route is simplified with only 1 strike skill. If you meet an opponent that understands this pattern, they can easily dodge and counter. That’s why you need to learn the technique of connecting skills in diverse routes, like connecting your Q skill after canceling the 4th strike.


▲ Using Yami Bari (Q) after canceling Kyo’s 4th basic attack, Oniyaki.
▲ Combo example: Basic attacks 1-4(Cancel) → Yami Barai (Q) → Basic attacks 1-4 → Dokugami.


Similar to Kyo, but easier, ‘Yagami Iori’

Iori’s 4th basic attack is Oniyaki which makes the opponent airborne. This is the same as Kyo. Iori can also connect Yami Barai (Q) like Kyo, but it’s much easier to do in actual fights, so you can connect combos easily. If you can use it in actual fights, you can secure diverse combo routes, so you must learn this technique.


The core of Iori’s combo is Aoibana (W). If Aoibana (W) is a strong attack, the 1st and 2nd strikes of his basic attack are weak attacks that glue combos together. On the other hand, if Aoibana (W) is on cooldown, the attack style gets simple, so the opponent can react easily. If you learn the new combo route that connects Yami Bari (Q), you can pressure the opponent with more diverse patterns.


▲ Iori’s 4th basic attack Oniyaki can be canceled easier than that of Kyo.
▲ Combo example: Basic attacks 1-4 (Cancel) → Yami Bari (Q) → Basic attacks 1-4.

Essential for big damage combos! Ryo Sakazaki

The 4th basic attack, ‘Hyouchuu Wari’, knocks down the opponent and gives them a chance to dodge, so he’s a fighter that must utilize the cancel technique. It is very difficult to connect basic attacks with skills due to Hyouchuu Wari, but if you can cancel it, the combos get very easy.


To use Ryo, who is a striker, in actual fights, you need to utilize his basic attacks and Zanretsuken (E) well. You need to make the opponent unaware of when to counter and keep inducing them to use emergency dodge to connect combos, but if the opponent has a good eye, it isn’t easy. Therefore, if you want to make a big hit with one chance, you need to increase the damage of the combo by canceling the 4th strike.


▲ Canceling Ryo’s 4th basic attack Hyouchuu Wari to connect Ko-Ou Ken (Q)
▲ Combo example: Basic attacks 1-4 (Cancel) → Ko-Ou Ken (Q) → 1-4 Basic attacks


Big hit when the opponent doesn’t have emergency dodge! ‘Yuri Sakazaki’


With the airborne effects of Yuri’s 4th basic attack and Rai’ou Ken (W), you can connect combos that force the opponent to use emergency dodge. However, when the opponent is airborne, the combo is often interrupted depending on the opponent fighter’s build/hitbox/distance. Therefore, if the opponent doesn’t have emergency dodge, you can go for a more stable big hit by canceling the 4th basic attack and connecting the combo uninterrupted.


To connect the standing combo to a big hit, you need to cancel the 4th basic attack and use Ko-Ou Ken (Q), connect basic attacks while canceling the 4th strike again, use just 1 strike of Rai’ou Ken (W), and cancel it with Oni Harite (E). Afterward, you need to connect with forced airborne combos — you need to connect all four basic attacks without canceling. In this situation, even if the opponent’s emergency dodge cooldown is refreshed, they won’t be able to get away unless they use escape.


▲ Canceling Yuri’s 4th basic attack and connecting the standing combo with Ko-Ou Ken
▲ Combo example: Basic attacks 1-4 (Cancel) → Ko-Ou Ken (Q) → Basic attacks 1-4


A combo like a ray of sunshine! ‘Rugal Bernstein’

Rugal’s 4th basic attack, ‘Double Tomahawk (improved version)’, pounds the opponent down with a knockdown effect, but this gives them a chance to dodge. As all three skills of Rugal has an airborne effect, so making full use of the ‘airborne combo’ is connected directly to a big hit. Since the 4th basic attack has a knockdown effect, it’s much more efficient to cancel it, as it gets in the way.


The 4th strike Double Tomahawk makes two hits, as its name suggests. Rugal kicks with his right leg, then his left leg. The key is to cancel the left leg attack motion.


Rugal is a defensive fighter that has to aim for the opponent’s weak points or counter them while guarding and dodging. It’s difficult to take the initiative to connect combos or make a big hit, so you need to deal as much damage as you can with one opening. That’s why you need to learn to cancel the 4th basic attack.


▲ The 4th strike of the basic attacks (Double Tomahawk) gives the opponent a chance to use emergency dodge, so you should use it up to the 3rd strike.

▲ If you cancel the left leg attack of the 4th strike, which has two hits, you can connect skills

▲ Combo example: Basic attack 1-4 (Cancel) → Reppuken (W) → Basic attack 1-4 (Cancel) → Genocide Cutter


Possible but impractical… Asamiya Athena


Athena has airborne effects on Psycho Ball (Q) and Super Psychic Throw (E), so most of the combos, including big hits, have to be connected in an airborne state. Her 3rd and 4th basic attacks, upper kick and Psycho Sword, have airborne effects, so her basic attacks and skills connect smoothly. However, if you don’t cancel Psycho Sword, the opponent has a chance to dodge. That being said, you need to cancel Psycho Sword to make a big hit.


If you think of efficiency, it’s actually riskier. There aren’t even other pattern combos to pressure the opponent. Since the command is tricky, make sure you have mastered the trade before using it in actual fights, and use it only when you really have to deal a little bit more damage.


▲ Canceling 4th basic attack Psycho Sword with Phoenix Arrow
▲ The combos can be connected even without canceling the 4th basic attack, so it can be impractical to use in actual fights.

More impractical than Athena… Orochi Chris

Orochi Chris’ basic attacks have 2 hits on the second strike, and an airborne effect with 3 hits on the last 4th strike, ‘Tsuki O Tsumu Honoo’. So there are 7 hits in the 4 basic attacks where the 4th strike starts with the 5th hit. Since the attack has a multiple-hit motion, you have to cancel it while watching the attack motion, so it’s quite difficult. It also has a very similar motion to his Q skill. You can think of the original Tsuki O Tsumu Honoo as the 4th basic attack and the changed Tsuki O Tsumu Honoo as the Q skill. 


Also, since Tsuki O Tsumu Honoo  (Q) and Taiyou O Iru Honoo (W) have airborne effects, and Shishi O Kamu Honoo (E) has a standing effect, you don’t need to use the basic attacks up to the 4th strike to connect combos. The connection between basic attacks and skills is also very smooth, so it’s not very efficient. Unless it’s to go for a big hit when the opponent doesn’t have emergency dodge, it’s unpractical to use like Athena. 


▲ Canceling the 4th basic attack with Tsuki O Tsumu Honoo (Q). The opponent could misinterpret the motion. 
▲ Since it doesn’t interfere with the combo even if you just not use the 4th basic attack, it’s not a must-know technique.

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