Full disclosure: I am not a Clark god and this is a work in progress guide. All of this info has been tested and is effective unless otherwise noted. If you notice any mistakes, bum strategy, whatever, politely point it out and I will correct the error.
*Note: I do not have an HD capture card, so any pics for reference are taken from other youtube sources.
What's needed: Frame data, and screenshots and video for example
Introduction to KOF 13's Clark and his true origins
A long time ago in a galaxy far far away Clark was in one of SNK's breakout arcade games Ikari Warriors along with his brother Ralf. They were your typical Rambo characters in a top down shooter with a unique 8 way shooting and movement mechanic that came after Robotron and Capcom's Commando but before the more popular Smash TV. Flash foward to 1994 and SNK unleashes the King of Fighters franchise on arcades the world over. Clark, Ralf, and eventually two new characters Leona (their, uhm, comrade) and Heidern (their commander) have been an ongoing team up in the franchise. Clark has been consistently considered one of the best grapplers in the franchise, usually around high-mid tier status. The last KOF game using traditional sprites was KOFXI that came out in 2005.
In 1997 Capcom released Street Fighter 3: The New Generation. It could best be described as a failed experiment. But it introduced a new lead character to the franchise; Alex. A hybrid grappler character hailing from Brooklyn NY. Flash forward to 1999 and Capcom releases Street Fighter 3: 3rd Strike. The high learning curve and death of the local arcade resulted in a lacklustre performance for the game in arcades but it remains extremely popular in Japan and eventually becomes one of the most renowned fighters ever made by the FGC despite tier lists. Alex is considered a low tier character due to his lack of footsie game, bad supers, and having a 7-3 matchup against the 'top tier' character Chun Li.
In 2004 Capcom releases what is to be the last fighting game developed internally at their studios Capcom Fighting Jam. It is the first fighting game produced by Yoshinori Ono who would later go on with much debated success with the Street Fighter 4 franchise. Capcom Fighting Jam was a financial dissapointment and was the last game developed by Capcom's fighting game division until Capcom began outsourcing their fighting games starting in 2008.
In 2009 the now SNKP following the mild success of their previous fighting games and sensing the fighting game market expanding following the release of Street Fighter 4 decide to to make a KOF game to compete with the high production quality of SF4. The result was KOF12, a game dismissed by the fans for being too different from the other games and having a buggy and lacklustre home port. Clark was among the returning characters but to fans was seen as being largley incomplete and was a bottom tier character.
But a legend was waiting to be reborn...
In the year 2010 SNKP releases KOF13 to arcades. The game is a success but fans were frustrated by the game's balance. In the year 2011 the game is finally released to console with balance changes and it is there that a miraculous fusion had occured.
The similar but different characters of Clark from KOF and Alex from 3S had merged. How this happened no one knows, but one suggests it was similar to how Jason was reborn in Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (AKA Friday the 13th Part 9).
Regardless, players of either character will come to find Clark in KOF 13 to be all too familar but possessing tools that alter either character's game and improve upon them. I propose that Clark in KOF13 should be regarded as Alex Clark
s.D is exactly like Alex's s.MK.
Clark has almost the same exact tick throw setups as Alex.
Clark's Gatlin' being very similar to Alex's Shoulder. EX Gatlin' can go through projectiles and can punish Sweeps. Alex's EX Shoulder was excellent at punishing sweeps.
Clark's air grab could be argued as being a buffed Air Knee Smash.
Clark's EX SAB has similar range to Alex's LP Powerbomb.
Similar wakeup game pressure.
Normals and properties
Frame data fourth coming
st.A: hits mid. cr.A: hits mid.
j.A: Will overhead. One of Clark's best jump ins. Works best as a hop, like all of his jump ins it has plenty of hitstun and can comboed into anything. It's fast enough to counter a lot of air-to-air attacks and will beat or trade AA normals like Billy's cr.C.
Downfoward A: Pretty worthless. Too slow to use as an AA, can be comboed from a close C or D.
Commentary: st.A is one of Clark's best AA's.
st.B: hits mid, deceptive range. cr.B: hits low
j.B: Will overhead. Good air-to-air. Better used when hopping. Harder to time as a jump in to combo.
Commentary: st.B is a very good poke by Clark, if it hits he can combo into anything. You can also combo into cl.C or even cl.D but it's a one frame link and it has to be done close, if you double tap either C or D it seems to combo more frequently. What's important is that st.B can be used to frame trap. More on this later. cr.B is a good low, can be comboed into SAB or into A if close enough. Will also catch them if they do an early jump in attack that whiffs such as for example Billy's j.C.
st.C: hits mid, good poke, will whiff on crouchers, AA capabilities, easy Hyper Drive cancel into Hyper Drive mode. cr.C: still hits mid can be comboed into D SAB or either Gatlin' if done close. If not can only combo with EX Gatlin' or do Hyper Drive mode. cl.C hits mid, if it hits twice can only follow through with Vulcan or cancel into Hyper Drive mode.
j.C: Will overhead. Has startup and is difficult to land with hop C unless done early.
Commentary: St. C is just like Clark's s.C from previous KOF's. A very good poke. Easy Hyper Drive mode cancel at any
range unlike st.D which has to be done a little closer. cl.C can be cancelled after the first hit into either special or downfoward A and their either special. cr.C will AA certain jump in, see Footsies section.
st.D: hits mid, slight AA capabilities, can cancel Hyper Drive mode but not so easily at the maximum range st.D will hit. cr.D: A sweep. Hits low, very fast, safe on block, can cancel into either special such as Gatlin' but is unsafe. cl.D: hits mid, can be comobed into anything.
j.D: Hits mid, will whiff lows. Another very good air-to-air attack, usefull at his midrange game, very quick to come out, beats tons of good air-to-air attacks.. Hop D will AA except character specific jump ins.
Commentary: st.D is remarkably similar to Alex's s.MK in 3S. It's a very good poke, perfect if you think they're going to try hit you low and if you're close enough (show example) can easily activate Hyper Drive mode to do massive damage. As a cl.D it's a good meaty, does slightly less damage then doing s.C and then downfoward A and combo from there, but if you have difficulty doing that combo, cl.D is an alternative and if they AB Roll away it should catch them unlike st.C.
CD: Will AA but it's very slow and difficult to use it on reaction. j.CD is decent but is slow enough to lose out to numerous other Air-to-air attacks. On block Clark can use Step (Toward + BD) afterwards and either do B SAB or jump. CD into Step is more or less a gimmick and has ways of being countered if you're predictable. His standing CD is invincible to low attacks and Clark is considered airborne, much like Hwa's standing CD.
A Gatlin': No invcibility, good AA (more in strategy section) decent combo options (see combo section)
C Gatlin': Linkable only through C or D normals, can only be followed up with grab (QCF+A or C) towards the end of the Gatlin'. Can only corner combo. Only usefull in Hyperdrive combos.
EX Gatlin': Goes through all projectiles (including Super projectiles), range is roughly half screen distance. Not invincibile but high chance it will trade.
Death Lake Drive followup: Followup grab, can only be done after C or EX Gatlin'.
(Startup frames) A and C version have same properties. Can be punished on block with fast EX or Supers/Neomax. EX Version is completely safe on block, difficult to combo into EX version as a block string unless opponent in corner.
SAB (Super Argentine Backbreaker)
D SAB: 1 frame grab.
B SAB: Slower (frames). Has autoguard. Allows for traditional Capcom-style tick throws and Yomi.
EX SAB: 1 Frame grab. Improved range. Pic shows range for EX SAB.
can be drive cancelled into either Grab Super or Neomax.
1 frame startup. Jump and toward or away and C. Leads to hard knock down.
Unsafe. Best used after s.CD or if opponent is hit by Sweep (cr.D) see Footsie section.
Ultra Argentine Backbreaker -can also be EX'd-: Either version is not invincible.
Ultra Clark Buster. Blockable. 450 Damage.