[KOF Arena] The return of IChiGoCh — strong Aoibana, ‘Yagami Iori’ review

Kusanagi’s eternal rival, ‘Yagami Iori’


Iori is a balanced fighter that has blast, strike, and dash-strike-grapple skills with 3,589 ATK and 3,231 DEF. His basic attack, Aoibana, helps connect his quick attack combos. His skills also have quick motions, so he’s an offensive fighter who’s great when played aggressively.


▲ Iori’s combo connections are better than any other fighter.

The core of combos! In-depth analysis of the ‘basic attack’


127 Shiki Aoibana (LP, 1st, 2nd attack) → Ge Shiki Gofun In Shinigami → 100 Shiki Oniyaki (LP, Airborne)

※ Counterable after guarding up to 2nd strike (Difficulty: Easy)


Iori’s attacks have the best performance. The Aoibana of the original versions are included in his basic attacks as the 1st and 2nd strikes, so they assist when you want to connect skill combos. The 1st, 2nd strikes, Aoibana, and 3rd strike, Gofun, have paralysis effects, and the 4th strike, Oniyaki, has an airborne effect. There’s a gap where opponents can counter between the 2nd and 3rd strikes, so if the opponent guards the first two strikes, stop the basic attacks and connect skills to be safe.


▲ Iori’s basic attack progression from 1st-4th strike, 3rd strike Gofun being reduced to a single strike move is a small flaw
▲ If the opponent is guarding, you can easily be countered between Aoibana and Gofun.

In-depth analysis of the Q skill — 108 Shiki Yamibarai


- Fast projectile, standing effect on hit

※ Counterable with basic attack after guarding from close range (Difficulty: Normal)

Emergency dodge possible


‘Yamibarai’ has a fast projectile speed, so it’s good to contain your opponent or use it to take them by surprise. If the opponent is hit, they are forced into a standing paralysis state, so you can connect combos stably with basic attacks or other skills. Also, if you combine it with the basic attacks and motion canceling, it can be great connections that lead to strong big hits.


▲ The projectile speed is fast, so you can take the opponent by surprise from close range.
▲ The opponent can use emergency dodge immediately when hit. Connecting big hit combos get much easier afterward.
▲ As the paralysis time is quite long, you can continue combos by dashing from mid-range.
▲ If the opponent guards, their post-delay finishes first, and they can counter, so try not to use it from close range.
▲ To make a big hit combo, get used to canceling the 4th basic attack, Oniyaki, and connecting Yamibarai afterward.

In-depth analysis of the W skill — 127 Shiki Aoibana

127 Shiki Aoibana (HP, 1st-3rd strikes) → Kin 1218 Shiki Yatagarasu (4th strike, Airborne)

※ Counterable with basic attack (Difficulty: Hard), grapple&strike skill attack (Difficulty: Normal) between 2nd and 3rd strikes.

Guard counter possible after 1st strike (Difficulty: Hard)

Emergency dodge possible after 3rd strike


In KOF Arena, 127 Shiki Aoibana connects to Kin 1218 Shiki Yatagarasu. There’s a standing effect on the 1st to 3rd strikes Aoibana, and an airborne effect on the 4th strike Yatagarasu. Opponents can use emergency dodge between Aoibana and Yatagarasu.


▲ Aoibana is the HP version of the origianl KOF series. It has great horizontal movement, so it is very useful when pressuring the opponent.
▲ As soon as Yatagarasu hits an opponent after the 3 Aoibana strikes, they can use emergency dodge.
▲ There’s a danger of getting countered right after the 1st strike by quick skills like Kyo’s Dokugami.
▲ Grapples skills can counter more easily, so you have to be even more careful.
▲ After the 2nd strike, you can easily be countered by basic attacks as well.
▲ Example of standard combo utilizing Aoibana: 1st-4th basic attacks → 1st-2nd basic attacks → 1st-4th attacks of Aoibana

In-depth analysis of the E skill — 212 Shiki Kotosuki In


Dash → Strike+Grab (Airborne) → 100 Shiki Oniyaki (HP, Airborne)

※ Counterable with basic attacks or skills between the dash-strike and grapple attacks. (Difficulty: Normal)

Emergency dodge impossible


Kotosuki In, which dashes quickly, strikes once, and grabs the opponent to smash on the ground, is good for taking advantage of the opponent’s gaps. However, if you use it when the distance is too far, the opponent can easily dodge it or counter it after guarding the first strike. The best timing to use it is when an opponent fighter’s skill misses or right after they used dodge.


If you use basic attacks right after the grapple attack, you can connect a standing combo. This is a great technique to use to connect to big hits when the opponent’s emergency dodge is on cooldown.


▲ Kotosuki In is great to take opponents by surprise
▲ If you use a basic attack after the grapple attack, you can connect a standing combo
▲ If the opponent guards the 1st strike, you can be countered by basic/grapple/strike attacks, so you should be careful.

In-depth analysis of the ‘finisher’ — Kin 1211 Shiki Yaotome


- 7.7-second animation

- Yaotome → Ura 316 Shiki Saika (Connected)

※ Escape + emergency dodge possible during the multiple hits of Yaotome


Yaotome is a finisher that dashes to the opponent fighter, strikes the opponent multiple times, and finishes with Ura 316 Shiki Saika. There’s a unique factor of Iori’s finisher — most other finishers have an animation time of within 4 seconds, but Yaotome’s animation is 7.7 seconds. Using this, it’s possible to aim for a time over win if the opponent doesn’t have escape.


▲ Iori’s signature finisher, Yaotome, is concluded with Saika, so the animation time is very long.
▲ If the opponent gets away during Yaotome, Iori doesn’t use Saika, so watch out for counters.

In-depth analysis of the ‘ultimate’ — Sanjingi no Ni


- 7.4-second animation

- Double blast attack combo possible (MAX mode + Yamibarai + Sanjingi no Ni + Yamibarai)


After Sanjingi no Ni, the skill throws the opponent to a close distance from Iori. You can follow the opponent to connect combos by using Yamibarai, Aoibana, and Kotosuki In, so you can keep the initiative after the skill. The animation time is quite short at 7.4 seconds, so you can aim to turn the game around with about 8 seconds left.


▲ Sanjingi no Ni wasn’t a very good move in the original series, but in KOF Arena, it’s one of the best ultimates.
▲ Example of ultimate combo: MAX Mode (Z) → Yamibarai (Q) → Ultimate (F) → Yamibarai (Q) → Kotosuki In (E)

Iori’s unavoidable ‘death combo’


Aoibana (A1, A2) → Gofun (A3) → Oniyaki (A4, Cancel motion) → Yamibarai (Q) →

Aoibana (A1, A2) → Gofun (A3) → Oniyaki (A4) → Aoibana (A1, A2) →

Aoibana (W, Cancel 2nd strike) → Aoibana (A1, A2) → Gofun (A3) →

Oniyaki (A4) → Kotosuki In (E) → Yamibarai (Q) → Sanjingi no Ni


▲ If the opponent’s emergency dodge is on cooldown, it’s showtime.

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