[KOF Arena] Bother your opponent constantly with endless combo connections, ‘Leona Heidern’ review

Combo-specializing fighter that covers its low ATK with combo connections


Leona has a low ATK stat at 3,476, but her basic attack is good, so you can connect an endless combo with ‘skill → basic attack → skill → basic attack’. With one opening, you can deal explosive damage. She has a blast attack that stays in one spot and has a great dashing ability, so you can easily destroy the opponent’s guard. Normally, Leona should be played aggressively, but her ability to counter after playing defensively is also top-notch, so there’s an all-rounder side to Leona.


▲ The endless combo that can be connected easily can do much more than make up for her low ATK stat


In-depth analysis of the ‘basic attack’ that strikes twice each attack

Double strike → Double kneekick → Uppercut (Airborne) → Sting attack (Knockdown)

Counterable with basic attack after guarding up to 2nd strike (Difficulty: Hard)


As all attacks have two strikes, there’s a very small opening to counter.  Leona has great horizontal movement, so she can easily catch up with an opponent that tries to get away. There’s a paralysis effect on the 1st-3rd attacks, an airborne effect on the uppercut of the 3rd attack, and a knockdown effect on the 4th attack. The 1st to 3rd attacks keep the opponent airborne to help the combo connections — it is one of the best compositions of basic attacks.


▲ 2 hits on 1 strike! The combo damage of the basic attack is very high.

You can cancel the 2nd motion on the 1st to 4th basic attacks. Since the 1st to 3rd basic attacks have great striking abilities, so you don’t need to cancel them, but the 2nd motion of the 4th attack knocks down the opponent, so they can get away by dodging. Therefore, you need to cancel the 2nd motion of the 4th attack to continue your combo.


Since there are 2 hits on 1 basic attack, the ability to connect combos when the opponent is airborne is great. If you land Baltic Launcher (W) or Moon Slasher EX (E) and make your opponent airborne, you can connect all four basic attacks. However, you have to use your basic attacks when the opponent is at the highest point, so when you practice, you need to use fewer attacks, and then attempt to connect all four attacks after you’ve become proficient at connecting combos.


▲ The 2nd motion of the last 4th attack gives a chance for the opponent to get away, so you must cancel it.

In-depth analysis of the Q skill - Moon Slasher

- Dashes through about 90% of the screen, neutralizes blast attacks

- Forces an airborne opponent into a standing state

Counterable with basic attack after guarding (Difficulty: Normal)

Although the speed looks average, the hit judgment is fast, so if you attempt to react after seeing it through, it’ll be too late. Since the dash speed is fast and it moves through about 90% of the screen, it’s great to take your opponent by surprise. However, the post delay of the skill is long, so you need to be careful of getting countered if the opponent dodges or guards.


▲ If you use it from slightly ahead from the end of the screen, it goes long enough to reach the opponent.
▲ The opponent can easily counter after guarding, so use it carefully.


Since it forces an airborne opponent into a standing state, you can easily connect combos. You simply need to use basic attacks after using Moon Slasher. From mid range, you can also counter blast attacks using its ability to neutralize blast attacks. By widening the distance, lure the opponent to use a blast attack, then counter it by using Moon Slasher and connecting combos. It’s difficult to counter blast attacks that follow your position, like Goenitz or Orochi, but if the timing is right, you can still neutralize them as if you have a barrier around your body.


▲ Connecting combos with basic attacks after forcing Goenitz, who’s airborne due to Moon Slasher EX (E), into a standing state by using Moon Slasher (Q)
▲ If the timing is right, you can neutralize pursuing blast attacks, but it’s very difficult to use in actual fights.

In-depth analysis of the W skill - Baltic Launcher

- Slow projectile

- Last hit has airborne effect


Emergency dodge possible before last strike

Baltic Launcher is a skill that throws a very slow projectile. It has a short range but lasts for a long time, so you can block an opponent from approaching and force them to step back. You can control the distance by using this. The last strike makes the opponent airborne, so it can be connected smoothly with following basic attacks or skills.


▲ Although slow, the duration is long, so you can contain your opponent

It’s difficult to gain the initiative with Baltic Lancher. However, it’s very reliable against fighters that dash forward since it keeps them away. Also, if the skill hits, the opponent gets airborne high enough to easily connect all four basic attacks.


▲ If you place Baltic Launcher well, it’s reliable even when the opponent attempts to hit you from behind.
▲ Since the projectile is slow, it means nothing if you use it after escape.

In-depth analysis of the E skill - Moon Slasher EX

Moon Slasher EX (Knockdown) → Strike Arch (Airborne)

Counterable with basic attack after guarding 1st attack (Difficulty: Normal)

Moon Slasher EX is a skill that combines Moon Slasher (Q) and Strike Arch from the old version. The 1st attack of Moon Slasher EX is similar to that of Moon Slasher (Q), but it dashes a short distance and knocks the opponent down. The 2nd strike hits the opponent and makes the opponent airborne. The connecting motions are short and simple, so opponents can’t use emergency dodge when they’re knocked down.

Also, you can connect up to four basic attacks on an airborne opponent after hitting Strike Arch, so you can start a combo with Moon Slasher EX. Its weakness is that you can get countered between the 1st and 2nd attacks if the opponent guards. You can cancel after the 1st attack, so if the opponent is guarding, you can transition to play defensively or use basic attacks and connect different skills to destroy the guard.


▲ If it hits, the opponent can’t use emergency dodge.
▲ The airborne effect of 2nd attack, Strike Arch, is good enough to connect all four basic attacks.
▲ It is easy to counter, so if the opponent is guarding, transition to play defensively!

In-depth analysis of the ‘finisher’ - Slash Saber (R) 

Dash → Consecutive slashes → Stab → Explosion (Airborne)

- Following motions continue even if the dash doesn’t hit

Escape + dodge possible between stab and explosion

This finisher covers more than 90% of the screen with dash, so it can be used without worrying about the distance. Regardless of the dash hitting, the following motions continue, so it’s very difficult to avoid. Among the finishers that attack many times, it has a very good performance. The opponent can escape just before the explosion occurs, but it’s quite difficult and risky.


After the last explosion, it makes the opponent airborne. The airborne effect is very good — if you use your basic attack right away, it doesn’t connect, so the opponent can get away by breaking their fall and dodging. In this case, you should connect Baltic Launcher (W) or Moon Slasher EX (E) to control how high the opponent is airborne before using basic attacks.


▲ Slash Saber is a finisher with a very long range.
▲ You can be countered with escape + dodge just before the explosion.
▲ It’s the most efficient to connect Moon Slasher EX (E) after the finisher.

In-depth analysis of the ‘ultimate’ - Leona Blade (F)

- 5.5-second animation

- Moon Slasher (Q) can be connected after ultimate

The situation is good after the ultimate. Since it controls the distance to about mid range, the opponent’s escape doesn’t reach you. Also, you can connect Moon Slasher (Q) right away after checking whether your opponent used escape or not. If you want to connect Moon Slasher EX (E), you need to move slightly forward.


The cooldown of escape is 9 seconds and the animation time is 5.5 seconds, so if you use your ultimate just after the opponent used escape, you can connect Moon Slasher EX (E) and all four basic attacks.


▲ Leona Blade has a simple animation.
▲ After the animation, move slightly forward to connect Moon Slasher EX!

Leona’s unavoidable ‘death’ combo

Double Strike (A1) → Double Kneekick (A2) → Sweep & Uppercut (A3) →

Sting Attack (A4, Cancel 2nd motion) → Moon Slasher EX (E) → Double Strike (A1) →

Double Kneekick (A2) → Sweep & Uppercut (A3) → Sting Attack (A4, Cancel 2nd motion) 

Baltic Launcher (W) → Double Strike (A1) → Double Kneekick (A2) → Sweep & Uppercut (A3) →

Sting Attack(A4, Cancel 2nd motion) → Moon Slasher (Q) → Repeat

The key is controlling how many basic attacks to use after Moon Slasher EX (E) and Baltic Launcher (W), depending on how high the opponent is airborne, and canceling the 2nd motion of the 4th basic attack. If you’re not used to canceling the 2nd motion, just use up to the 3rd basic attack, but in this case, you can’t connect the combos infinitely.

▲ If you get used to canceling the 2nd motion of the 4th attack, the cooldowns are refreshed perfectly, so you can connect infinite combos.

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