‘All-rounder’ fighters that can react flexibly according to the situation
The ‘all-rounder fighters’ that can react to the situations flexibly according to any situation — the cooldowns of attack and defensive skills, PG gauges, etc. have diverse skill types in blast, strike, dash, and grapple. They have a good balance among their skills. Although they have to play the mind game constantly, they can easily start an attack to connect to combos.
Fighters like Kyo, Iori, Takuma, Yuri, and Athena have clear attributes of an all-rounder. They all have blast, strike, and dash-grapple skills in their skillsets. They can contain their opponent with blast attacks and charge their opponents with their dash-grapple skills to induce infighting when they want. Also, their basic attacks have good performance, so they can easily mix them with strike skills to connect combos.
Chang Koehan has 2 strike skills and 1 grapple skill, and Heidern has strike, blast, and close-range grapple skills, so they’re optimized for playing a countering style or seeking gaps while guarding. Also, their skill damage is high, so you need to suppress your opponent with single-skill attacks rather than connect combos. It goes the same for Vice, who has 2 close-range grapple skills and 1 strike skill.
One of the most perfect fighters among the all-rounders is KOF ‘96’s boss, Goenitz. It’s almost a counter to all fighters in KOF Arena as it has the dominance of the original KOF versions. A blast skill that rises from below the opponent’s position, a grapple skill that grabs an opponent from mid range, and a dashing strike skill with a huge hitbox and afterimage that even covers the back of the fighter. Even the basic attacks are high above average.
“Hitters”, who must connect combos
The ‘hitters’, whose skills mostly consist of strike-type attacks, always look for weak spots in the opponent and try to force the opponent to use escape or emergency dodge. They are weak against defensive styles that guard and counter, but they still have to take the risk to press the opponent and connect to a big hit combo.
The hitters have very smooth connection between basic attacks and skills, so they can easily connect combos and induce the opponent’s emergency dodge. Even if you didn’t intend it, if the opponent times their dodge badly, they waste their emergency dodge — which happens more often than you’d think. You have to persistently aim to make these gaps to make your opponent vulnerable.
Ryo, Kim Kaphwan, Benimaru, Shingo, and Chizuru all have 3 strike-type skills, so you need to counter after guarding or use the skills in timely situations to suppress your opponent. Andy has a short blast attack, Joe has a slow blast attack, Orochi Iori has a very fast blast attack, and Orochi Chris has a close-range blast attack — these fighters can use those skills to play the game more easily by containing the opponent with the blast attack. Yashiro has 1 close-range grapple attack, but the key point to playing him is following up on attacks and connecting strike-type combos.
Orochi Iori is extremely fast compared to other fighters, so the opponents often miss the timing to dodge or guard. He’s a great fighter to take the opponent off guard. However, the motion of his basic attacks isn’t good, so it’s difficult to connect combos. You would have to play him based on skill attacks. Also, due to the quickness, players often miscalculate the distance and get into the opponent’s attack range. It is very important to maintain a moderate distance from the opponent.
“Rush” fighters that attack the opponent endlessly
‘Rush fighters’ are similar to strike-type fighters in a way but different. They have a style that rushes their opponent with reckless attacks. Their skills are activated quickly, and they have great hitbox judgment. As they have a great rushing ability, if they get one chance for an opening, they can destroy the game. However, they’re extremely weak against guard counter attacks. Due to this, they have a high win rate up to gold tier, but it gets difficult to pick them in platinum or above.
“Shooting” fighters, that manage the distance with skillshots
Shooting fighters attack the opponent from mid to far distance. Rather than using basic attacks, they mainly connect skills. Most of their skills deal more damage than other fighters, and they’re more of a threat from further away, so they have to avoid close-range fights.
Mai and Rugal manage the game with their blast and dashing skills. As the hit judgment of their blast attacks is good, they pressure the opponent with the blast-dash attack combo followed by a close-range skill, then moving far away to recover the cooldowns.
Orochi and Orochi Shermie are typical shooters who can suppress opponents from a far distance to make the opponents guard. Although the skills are slow, their blast attacks track the opponents, so the opponents are always exposed to attacks. It’s effective if you use skills when the opponent dodges.
Mature has a short dash skill and a triple dash skill along with her blast skill, and she has great attack attributes. Accordingly, she can effectively attack opponents from mid range and fight from close range as well. Depending on the situation, you can play Mature in both shooting and infighting styles.
‘Loop Combo’ fighters, who can easily connect endless combos
Fighters with great paralysis or airborne effects on their basic attacks and skills can connect an endless combo that can only be avoided with escape and emergency dodge. When you face a loop combo fighter, you need to use your defense skills very carefully, and if you slip, you could helplessly get ‘beaten up’ for more than 8 seconds.
The loop combo fighters always have to mix basic attacks between skills. All of these fighters have to play this way: Skill → Basic Attack → Skill → Basic Attack → Skill → Basic Attack. The styles vary just a little bit depending on how much the fighters move forward during skills or which effects (airborne, standing, knockdown) they have, and the mechanisms are generally the same. Robert, Ralf, Choi Bounge, Leona, Chris, and Orochi Leona are loop combo fighters. King, who connects combos very quickly to make a big hit, can also be considered a rush-type fighter, like Terry.
‘Grappler’ fighters, who can’t be avoided through emergency dodge and escape
Grappler fighters who mostly have grapple skills can always have the upper hand in the mind game, since the opponent can’t escape or use emergency dodge during a grapple skill. By connecting grapple skills, you can deal certain damage and play calculative. It’s effective when you can confuse your opponent with 1-2 basic attacks and rolling (dodging). Since the attacking pattern is quite simple, it is very important to manage a reasonable distance — not too close, not too far — from your opponent.
Currently, the easiest and strongest fighter among grapplers is Orochi Yashiro. Shermie has a similar style, but her grapple skill has 1 strike before the grab, so there’s the risk of getting countered after guarding. Both fighters can suppress the opponent without using the basic attack at all.
Goro has a skill that attacks in all directions with him in the center, and the damage of the two grapple skills is very high. The basic attack stat is almost as good as Terry’s, so you can suppress the opponent, but since he’s slow, he can be difficult to play.
Clark has two grapple skills, so you can easily gobble up your opponent, but there are major flaws — the damage is lower than that of other fighters’ grapple skills, and it’s difficult to maintain the initiative because he has quick connections. This means that it takes a long time for cooldowns to be refreshed. You would have to defend for a long time, and it’s very risky when your skills miss.