Glad I happened across this thread. There was mention of this very same thing in the old 94-2k2 thread years and years ago and I wrote a lengthy write-up on Lucky as a response. I’ll see if I can dig that up for ya.
I think folks see that he throws “:lol: basketballs :lol:” and write him off. But he’s actually really quite good. In fact, I really do think he’s the best member of US Sports in the original '98. He can build meter like no other. It’s easy to finish the first round with 3 full stocks with him.
Ahh, here it is…and wow I wrote this in 2004. :wow: Geez. Anyway, this is for the original '98. It’s been a while since I’ve messed with '98 UM, but few changes I can recall were that the angles of his Death Bounds were different, and it was much easier to combo his f+B into things (not sure if they made it an overhead, though), his Cyclone Break knocked down (something it -really- needed) and he could do his Death Dunks in the air.
Again this was written of the Original '98.
Anyway, onto the writeup!
:snka:: They’re okay, but I don’t use any of his A’s that much. The crouching A is about the best of the set.
:snkb:: The far standing B is an iffy anti-air, and the close B looks like it would hit low, but it doesn’t. The crouching B I’ll use to push them a blocking opponent further away when he’s out of range of the crouching A’s. The air B could possibly be used as a crossup.
:snkc:: Ahh, this is where it starts getting good. Lucky’s far C and crouching C have basically the same properties: good range, fast, high priorty…a great poke, but not cancellable. However both versions will whiff over some crouching chars (even the low C will whiff over Mai, Chin, Choi…). The close C is near instantaneous, has great priority, and is the one C that is bufferable. This will be the move you’ll use in the few combos Lucky has. This will also whiff over some crouching chars (hey, Lucky’s a tall dude).
:snkd:: ENORMOUS range. Lucky puts those basketball legs to good use in all of his D’s. The standing D is fast and has great priority. Right from the start of the match, Lucky and throw his far D and hit the opponent (it has half-screen range).
The crouching D is…the best sweep of KOF98: Fast, high priority, near half-screen range, and bufferable. This will be the normal you’ll use the most with Lucky.
His air D has nice range and has okay crossup properies, as well.
His CD is a slow elbow check, which I wouldn’t recommend using: due to it’s lack of speed and range. It is cancellable, however. His air CD is a shorter range version of his D, which has it’s uses, but not much priority.
Ack, I’ll have to get back to this later. Things are picking up. Then I’ll be able to get to his fun stuff: his specials. =D
Before I get started with Lucky’s specials, I should mention his two command normals and his throws.
Lucky Kick (:r:+:snkb:): A Benimaru-style soccer kick without the hop. About the only time I use this move is only accident. It has -much- less range than it appears, which is the main reason why I never use it. Treat it much like you would Vice’s f+A: if you combo into it with anything other than a close C by itself, it’ll miss.
Death Otoshi (:d:+:snka: in the air): A decent move that I don’t use enough. Lucky does a monster dunk motion and slams the opponent to the ground. It has a bit of startup and not much range, but it flattens the opponent to the ground when it hits (can’t safefall it), which buys Lucky more than the quarter-second he needs to move a full screen away. Also can be used during his backdash to make him fly back across the screen (sort as a teleport away from the enemy).
Lucky’s throws are a huge part of his game, which is why I got them here. =D
Dunk Buster (:snkc: throw): Lucky picks up the opponent, leaps to the top of the screen, and monster dunks the opponent to the other side. Can’t safefall this throw, and you don’t have much time to break it. Enemy in your face and need some breathing room? This throw will give it to ya. Also puts them in perfect position for a low-hitting :qcb:+:snka:, or a :d::d:+:snkc:
Lucky Crash (:snkd: throw): Lucky grabs the opponent, and delivers a wicked bunch of knees to the gut before twisting and throwing the opponent behind him and across the screen. Being a mash throw, it can’t be broken, and when Lucky throws you, you slide across the ground, so you can’t safefall. If your back is in the corner, or near it, do this and not only will your opponent be in the corner, but they’ll be about a full screen away. And it also sets up his zoning game.
Adds to Lucky’s psych game, too. Fighting Lucky can be hugely frustrating, but that’s how he’s designed: the angrier you are, the more likely you’ll make mistakes and eat a basketball for it.
Whew, okay…now to get into his specials. And hang on, folks…because Lucky’s specials are complicated.
Deathbound (:qcf:+:p:): “Deathbound!” The first of Lucky’s many complicated, projectiles.
Lucky points to the sky and calls down a basketball, he then slams it off the ground to send it at an angle towards the opponent. Has a bit of startup, but near instant recovery, so you can combo just about anything you want after this.
When he slams it on the ground, and for a instant afterwards, you -have- to block the basketball low.
The A flies at a higher angle than the C version: but both are hard to jump over and near impossible to hop over. One of Lucky’s essential moves.
If Lucky is moved before the falling basketball reaches him (enemy runs into him, or Lucky is sliding backward while trying to do this from a combo), he’ll fake and do a straight punch to the face (same animation as the far C). This punch does a little more damage than the Deathbound itself and knocks down. I’ll sometimes set this up intentionally as part of a mindgame.
Death Dunk (:qcb:+:p:): “Death Dunk!” Lucky calls a basketball as he jumps into the air, and dunks it down towards the ground. The A version does a windmill jam, while the C version does a monsterdunk. As with the Deathbound, the angles of the Death Dunk differ with the button, -and- when the ball is near the ground, it has to be blocked low. I’ll use this to follow up throws a lot. It’s also possible to Death Dunk, land, teleport, and hit the opponent before basketball is off the screen (yes, you can combo from this, too).
Death Shoot (:d: :d:+:p: or :k:): “Swish!” Lucky hops up as a basketball drops towards him, he then does a 3-Point shot to one of 4 spots on the screen. Much like O. Shermie’s lightning kisses, A is next to Lucky, B is just inside mid screen, C’s just outside mid screen, D is at the back of the screen. But, unlike Shermie’s kisses, the distance doesn’t effect how long it takes for the ball to drop.
You guessed it, you can combo from this too. It’ll also hit low when near the ground, but it’s -really- hard to do. Can also be used to juggle an opponent who’s been hit in the air by a counter-hit Deathbound or Death Dunk.
Like the Deathbound, Lucky has a fake with the Deathshoot. When he’s moved out of the path of the basketball he’s jumping up to catch, he’ll do a one-hit knockdown jump kick. Less range than the Deathbound fake, though.
Lucky Vision (:hcf:+:k:): I kinda miss the original voice Lucky made during this move (in 94) which sounded just like Prince. :lol: But anyway, this is probably the best teleport in the game and your “Get Out of Corner Free” card.
Lucky flinches, then flashes across the screen with a trail of images after him. The B version has practically no startup or recovery, is -stupid- fast, and is near immune to all mid/high attacks. The D version has a minor bit of startup and recovery, but goes full screen and is immune to most low attacks. You’ll generally stick to the B version of this move.
This move makes Lucky -hard- as hell to catch, perhaps 2nd to Choi. Especially if you get into the habit of using it from his :d:+:snkd: sweep. I’ve Visioned from the front of the opponent, to the back, and back to the front again before they could react. That’s how fast this move is.
Also great for pressure when you really want to go offensive with Lucky. Against a blocking opponent, you could do…crouch A, A, B, D into B Lucky Vision, and do it again. Or close C, f+b, B Lucky Vision, etc. Great for breaking guards.
You can use this as a ghetto-version dash throw. Lucky Vision from around half-screen range, and C or D throw. This is amazingly effective.
Cyclone Break (:qcb:+:k:): Lucky ducks down, then leaps at the opponent while his long legs circle in the air with energy trailing from them (imagine something like a moving version of Billy’s cane spin). Small start up and recovery, decent priority, and an -HUGE- hit area. Lucky swinging his legs around takes about about 3 quarters of the screen. Hits about 5-6 times. Great against rolls, (this move will eat the opponent up if it his them in the back).
I’ll use it every now and then, but the fact that it doesn’t knockdown hurts its effectiveness.
Death Heel (:dp:+:k:): Lucky does a rising knee into the air, then does a wicked axe kick down towards the ground (can’t be safefalled). Supposedly his AA, it his crap priority, rarely hits properly, and has a good bit of recovery. I use this move so little that I actually forget his has it most of the time. It’d be nice if this was a good AA, but it would make Lucky too powerful.
That’s about all of his specials. His specials mostly center around his various projectiles, and his crazy-fast teleport. He builds meter like a fiend. I mean, he can build up 3-4 stocks before the end of the first match. That’s another thing that makes Lucky strong: once you have a stock, you can keep him in a near continuous state of POW mode because of how quickly he builds meter. That was his main use in European tournies: a battery. There was a place that had a bunch of videos from a big KOF tourney in France, although I’ve forgotten where they are now. But you’ll see Lucky a lot in them.
Oh well, since I’ve done so much already, may as well do the supers.
Hellbound (:qcf:x2+:p:) “Hellbound!” I love this move. Lucky points to the sky, then slams his hand to the ground, causing a great shaft of energy to blast up from the ground.
The A version does it from where he is, the C version causes Lucky to step forward before conjuring the Hellbound.
Almost impossible to roll, totally impossible to get over (the column of light goes off the screen), the Hellbound is Lucky’s best anti-air. It’s pretty fast (comboable), has little recovery, and does big damage. I’ll use this a lot against air opponents, or when they eat one of Lucky’s many projectiles on the ground (or in the air as a counter hit).
This move -hurts- on a counter hit. But, if Lucky is hit before the blast comes out (hard, but possible) the blast will whiff.
The SDM version causes 3 basketball-sized blasts of energy to fly up from the ground. Hurts a ton, but not always easy to hit the opponent with all 3 blasts.
Lucky Driver (:qcf: x2+:k:): Lucky jumps forward into a hands stand, does a split, and spins, propeller-style, up towards the opponent. A pretty goofy and ineffective move with -HUGE- recovery if missed. The SDM version will make a basketball hit the grounded opponent in the head after the kick, while Lucky taunts. Basically, a move you’d do if you’re trying to be flashy.
Another thing about Lucky is that he tends to counter hit often. So although he doesn’t have big combos, he can still do good damage.
Now, as for how to fight Lucky? One important thing to remember: always, always, ALWAYS block low. The only time Lucky can hit overhead is in the air, which you’ll be able to see coming. And when you’re on him, stay on him as long as you can. Keep your combos short, but damaging, because Lucky can put a whole screen between you if you so much as mistime a jab.
Whew okay…may fingers are tired and the keyboard is smoking. So I’ll see you all later!