Since the other thread has gone mostly to general talk, I wanted a thread for exclusive tier talk.
Tiers, opinions, matchups and the like here for analysis and discussion.
Since the other thread has gone mostly to general talk, I wanted a thread for exclusive tier talk.
Tiers, opinions, matchups and the like here for analysis and discussion.
I know nothing about it besides a few days of play so I am interest to see. Just remember Nakoruru being nerfed for a good reason and that is it.
Going by character usage and tournament results I’d say it’s something like this
S Benimaru, Iori, Kula
S- Leona, Mature, Yuri, Mai, Nakoruru
A+ Daimon, Billy, Kyo, Luong, Kim, Clark, K’, Robert
A Geese, Athena, Meitenkun, Gang-il, Andy, Angel, Love, Kensou, Verse, Choi
A- MuiMui, Ryo, King, Kukri, Nelson, Mian, Hein, Chin, Vice
S and S- are pretty much what you see on most winning teams, A+ are other common strong characters and A and A- are still strong but less frequent. Below that it’s hazier and difficult to tier. People tend to agree DLCs are pretty weak though, particularly Whip and Vanessa.
A+: Kula, Iori, Mai, Kyo, Leona, Nakoruru, Mature,
A-: Robert, Yuri, K’, Clark, Luong, Billy, Kim, Meitenkun, Vice, Daimon
A: Gang-iL, Ryo, Geese, Kukri, Shun’ei, Mui Mui, Athena, there’s more here but idk
Trash: Whip, Vanessa, Maxima
I consider Iori to be the weakest of the top 3, I bolded Vanessa because she is the absolute worst in the game, she deserves her own tier tbh. Kim has a pretty strong presence in Japan hence him being rated highly, I put Billy up there because he has good Matchups against some of the characters on his row and Kula and Iori who are above him making him a valuable character to learn.
I hope this thread gains more activity, we got plenty of data to go off including personal experiences from playing the game.
I started fiddling with the game yesterday, seems pretty balanced at first glance so my question for the people that have been playing the game for a while, do you think that there is a big gap between top tier and mid-low tier characters? Like to take an example of 2 characters I have been playing: Mai and Angel, is there that much of a gap? Like I felt that Angel is more than viable. What can you tell me?
I think the characters I listed in my post above are all viable. Below that some struggle too much especially against the top tier. But as Evo proved the game is quite balanced and will only improve with future patches.
I really think Yamazaki is good. A tier imo. He has good beefy normals and has all the tools needed to secure a win. (One frame grab, anti air super, good anti airs, projectile reflect and snake hands to keep opponent at bay
Poison can dictate the match and from what I saw, it seems underused. It’s understandable because most of the time people use him either first or last (for tod). Using him first won’t give him enough meter for poison tactics and using him 3 requires you to spend all your meter for tod.
His problems are snake hands being unsafe on hit or block. There are many ways to get around this when used in combos
Hit confirm into hk sand first. Sand is safe on block but won’t combo if opponents gets pushed too far back. For example, Hp/hk,f+lp won’t combo into sand but it will combo into hp slash or command grab.
Cancel into poison super. Level 1 only combos when you are extremely close, level 2 cancels up to 3/4 of the length of snake hands without whiffing.
Putting him first also makes him less susceptible to punishment since opponents usually have to spend a lot of bars to punish him.
Also, b sand while good, is a very unsafe overhead so that brings him down a notch too.
Other problems he has are spotty normals and defense (same problems he has in every game). Just be wary of your positioning. You should be the one dictating the match, not the opponent.
This is my view while compare with several lists
S+: Iori, Mai, Kula, Kyo, Mature, Nakoruru, Leona, Verse
S: Robert, Yuri, K’, Kim, Luong, Billy, Angel, Meitenkun, Vice, Choi, Kensou, Mian, Andy
S-: Kukri, KOD, Ryo, Clark, Athena, Shun’ei, Love Heart, Mui Mui, Bandeiras, Geese, Gang-il, Daimon
A+: Chin, Sylvie, Joe, Ramon, Yamazaki, Hein, Terry, King, Zarina, Rock
B+: Whip, Xanadu, Ralf, Antonov, Nelson, Alice
B: Chang, Maxima, Tung
I personally feel most of the cast are close together in tiers, if there’s a gap then that should tell you how bad those characters below are.
Benimaru is the best in the game, but its not a big gap from the Top Tiers, what makes Benimaru a cut above the rest is his lack of bad MU’s and his sheer dominance against most of the roster and to abuse his strengths takes little to no effort on a veteran KOF player.
 Since '96 he’s always had a very good jumping arc and he falls fast making his jump ins easy to combo off. That ontop of the hitstun on his j.D makes follow ups all the more reliable. The hitbox and hurtbox placement on his j.D is pretty much unchanged from KOF XIII which had an even better Benimaru. J.B and J.D are amazing. Very good hitbox and small hurtbox, can crossup its very ambiguous.
 Here’s a shitty pic of Benimaru’s jump arcs.
 cr.A is +4 and cr.B is +2 allowing him to stay close and apply pressure, when people think its their turn its really not. cr.B -> cr.A -> cr.D is a legit frame trap. Because of how much advantage Benimaru’s lows grant, people will go auto-pilot on them knowing that when it hits they can pop maxmode and get things going.
 Rising Shot is really good, it travels fast and hits hard. This allows him to punish rolls better than anyone else, the level 2 version has invincibility on the beginning dash so its a strong mid range tool against a bad fireball.
 Has the best backroll in the game.
 The B Iai Geri is near unpunishable for most of the cast due to the nature of how it is used as a frame trap from cr.B and the distance that it pushes back. Sadly like KOF XIII it keeps the ability to be hit confirmed late and the addition of Rising Shot in XIV allows Benimaru to spend 1 bar to gain a HKD from almost any Iai Geri hit.
 People complain that he lost his DP, but he still has a wake up 1F Command Grab.
 Raijiken is good to spam in neutral, the hitbox lingers even after Benimaru draws his arm back this becomes more apparent in the EX version. This makes Benimaru a strong meter building character, it eats fireballs and you can’t hop or jump to punish or at least not reliably.
[*] I really don’t need to say anything on Iori.
 Ridiculous normals, her cl.A is Frame 3 allowing her to punish things others cannot and convert that into big damage. Because Mai uses her fan and the ball on her tail, her normals are a cut above the rest. Her cr.A is a good example as she’s able to get 3 cr.A’s while Iori can only link 2 with the 3rd whiffing.
 Her fireball has less recovery than Athena, travels moderately slow allowing her to apply pressure very well. If you jump she can deny you with her J.CD which comes out on 9F while having very good range. Her EX fireball will bounce up with an active hitbox once its made contact, keeping you in check even if you block it with Mai most likely hot on its tail.
 Her j.B is can crossup, it is as ambiguous and Benimaru’s J.B and J.D. You see the move hit front but Mai will appear on the other side. Her hops and fall speed aren’t as fats as Benimaru or Kyo’s so its not impossible to AA with a jab.
 Her st.B is very veeery good poke, fast and hits far. She can like pre patch K’, convert this into maxmode activation so long as she goes for cr.C which comes out in 4F and is special cancellable.
 She’s one of the few characters in the game who can walljump, allowing her to escape corner pressure if the opponent doesn’t cover this escape option.
 One of the best backrolls in the game(from what I’ve labbed its tied 3rd), not on the same level of nonsense as Benimaru but its still better than the rest.
 She has a really good hyper hop range and a good hop in general, this is what makes her hop pressure so good in conjunction with her J.C which is a strong jump in that hits deep. Her J.D which comes out fast and hits lower than her J.B which also comes out fast and is a strong air to air. This asserts her dominance in mid range.
 Her far.B as we all know is potent, stuffs hops and is safe. Both her far.B and far.C are special cancellable making her Meterless damage output consistent and strong. cr.B -> cr.B -> st.B xx C.DP.
 B. Ray Spin cannot be punished by characters with 3F normals or slower. If she does Ray Spin outside of the [command] throw proximity/command range you can’t punish it, and if you attempt you’ll eat the fireball follow up. Only characters with Invincible DPs can punish in that interval. So that’s most of the roster who gets bullied by Kula.
 Her cr.B makes her hurtbox shrink a great deal, making it so she low-profiles your jump ins. This is very important in XIV moreso than past titles, her hurtbox is so small players will call her “invincible” during her cr.B.
[*] She struggles vs characters who can play outside of her comfort zone(far.C range and her hyper hop range), those characters being Benimaru, Billy, Kensou, Meitenkun, Nakoruru, Verse and Mai.
 I’m not sure if i’ll talk about Kyo, but here’s his hyper hopand super jump arcs. When I get in the mood i’ll say more about him.
 Compilation of Kyo’s moves is here.
 His jd.C is nerfed pretty hard, the hitbox is smaller and it comes out on 12F, follow the link above this and scroll to the bottom its pretty big. But despite how ass it is compared to the older versions, you still fear this move and call it good right? Anyway the basic strength Kyo has had for decades are his fast hops along with j.B beating out your normal and fast jd.C granting him a lot of hitsun to then combo off. His overhead is decent too and his most dangerous combo’s are corner specific, so the Kyo will player will use his tools to get you in the corner.
 He no longer has the shitty st.B from XIII, so he now has a good poke which he can convert into big damage. The change to EX red king so that it can hit crouchers is huge, you no longer have to go for cr.C after maxmode activation you can now go for cl.D and get maximum damage off your confirms.
 His cl.C is straight up worse here, for some reason SNK made a 2 hit move instead of a singular hit move.
 - more later
 Fastest run speed in the game, allowing her throw mixup game to be more potent than others.
 Her zoning game is surprisingly strong, her fireball has a lot of startup so it can only be used near fullscreen. Her ability to cover your options after throwing a fireball are good because of her strong AA’s, fast run speed along with her qcb.K mixups. Her j.D and j.B are very strong air to airs, her cr.C comes out on 5F and has a solid hitbox, her Despair especially her C version will beat out whatever you throw out and it comes out very fast, she can then follow up with qcb.B then super cancel off that. Because she’s so fast she can easily follow the fireball and apply pressure, giving you the opponent a very short time to figure a way around the fireball, her qcb.D not only makes her run EVEN FASTER but it leaves her +2. Add on the Iori like cl.C that can hit behind her, like Iori it was heavily nerfed now being a 5F normal instead of 3F but its still a good button to fall back on to AA and negate crossup attempts. She’s got a fuck tone of options to AA reliably along with strong pressure of her fireball.
 I also forgot about her st.D, yknow what? Here’s a reference to some of Mature’s moves that I piled together. [X]
 Now onto her EX moves, there’s not much to say unless you haven’t been playing the game. Her EX Fireball cannot be hopped over(will need to test but I’m fairly certain) so you have to commit to either blocking it, roll or Jump. All these options are favourable for Mature so long as she picks the right one. Her EX Despair is safe when spaced outside of throw range and has high invincibility.
 Her Heavens Gate has 1-18F Invulnerability making a strong mid ranged tool and counter to fireballs. Her Meterless damage is high and her Rekkas builds a lot of meter as they hit 9 times, not to mention on how safe they are on block unlike Alice and Iori’s.
 I can say a lot more about her but I want to keep the reasoning’s the same across the characters I do, she has high damage, good super, strong pressure and safety, good use of maxmode, incredible kit for AA’s ect.
[*] She also has a strong presence in tournament.
 Very safe character her C.Annu Mutsube can only be punished if the opponent is willing to spend meter. Those who can punish are: Iori(Level 1 and 2 Ranbu), Benimaru(Level 2 Rising Shot and Climax), Mature(Level 2 Heavens Gate), Luong(Level 1 and 2 Ranbu), Mui Mui(Level 2 Kamehameha), Love Heart(Sky Love Arrow Level 1(D)), Shun’ei(Level 1 and 2 Spectar Extension), K’(Heat Drive level 1 and 2)
 She’s a small sized characters so some moves will whiff her and character specific combo’s won’t work on her.
 Although cr.C was nerfed slightly it is still an obnoxious AA.
 df.A leaves her +3 on block, making her CQC presence strong the moment she lands a cl.C which is what it can cancel off. Her EX Annu Mutsube leaves her complete safe, even without the follow up it leaves her 0 on block.
 Bird Cling is still great, she has 1-5F of invincibility and her d.BD follow up not only leaves her +4 but the hitstun on this kick is like Kyo’s jd.C levels of hitstun. Nak players will abuse the fuck out of this, especially if they corner you usually going for Bird cling after cr.B -> cr.A xx A.Annu mutsabe -> cr.A reset.
 Her j.B comes out fast and hits deep, you’ll generally be blocking low due to her Annu Mutsabe but then she catches you with j.B and combo’s off it. Her j.D is an instant overhead(similar animation to Leona so duh). Her other jumping normals are lack luster so you’ll mainly see these 2 being used.
[*] Probably going to lab this character more, the only thing that turns me off from this character is her ground speed. That also gives her a hard time when she doesn’t have the life lead, her slow speed will make it hard to get in on her opponent.
 Leona has fallen off like 1 tier since the update. She basically got toned down like Nakoruru. Still has her instant overheads into super, strong normals and frame traps up the ass, 4F cr.C giving her a solid AA, fast 4F cr.B that’s +2. She’s still the same character who thrives off XIV mechanics, her normals were great in XIII but the game didn’t cater that aspect so she wasn’t strong.
 D.Grand Saber is 0 on block, you cannot press a button to punish Leona you need a good DP, Command throw(if you’re close enough) or a 3F normal if you want to punish a Leona player who will either go for cr.C or cr.B. She has the 2nd fastest overhead in the game but she cannot cancel off it, instead it grants her a HKD.
 One of the more dangerous aspects of Leona that I’ve seen Vicio abuse is her raw maxmode, her EX moves are extremely good her EX earrings goes at a good arc that discourages hops and the hitbox stays active even when close to the ground, EX Grand Saber leaves her +3 on block -
 Her st.CD is probably the best in the game along with Luong’s, it covers all roll OS(other than maybe Benimaru)
 Verse received a few MM nerfs, but contrary to popular belief the changes didn’t harm him at all. He can still punish back rolls with his command grab, his st.CD is still amazing, the changes on rpd.A allows him to access higher damaging combo’s.
 The nerf to rdp.A is the hitbox being smaller which makes it easier to jump over, they also increased the recovery on his fireball and the startup on his command grab. The nerfs worsens his mixup game due to the slower startup on his command grab, but the nerfs similar to K’, Nakoruru and to a smaller extent Mature after the 1.00 ver came to a close are overly exaggerated.
 Verse is very strong against mid ranged characters, his fireball game is threatening with meter as he can super cancel into his fireball super to punish anyone who tries to jump over his regular fireballs. His fireball super comes out on 6F and has invincibility until the fireball comes out.
 To further support the fact that he’s still strong, is the number of Verse players haven’t dropped. There weren’t many to begin with but people will wake up once they lose to one.
 Good hops and one of the best jumps in the game. The arc on her jump is incredible, it makes dealing with fireballs a cake walk because of her high jump and amazing arc. Her normals are very good, a 4F cr.B that’s +2 and her 5F cr.A that’s +3 allows for some good pressure, her cr.C like her brothers is 3F which allows for solid frame traps off cr.B. cr.B -> cr.A into A.Ko-Ou Ken is a legit frame trap that works against everyone, their 4F or 5F cr.B/A will hit but your Ko-Ou Ken will still go through its animation and hit the opponent which makes the trade favourable for you.
 Her j.D is really good, not stupid like Benimaru but its the best jump in Yuri has. It crossups reliably and that along with Yuri’s fast fall speed and her 3F cr.C this allows her to get a combo even if you didn’t hit it deep. Her j.C is also serviceable and her J.CD is far better than it was in XIII due to the new animation where she does a kick instead of thrusting her ass in the air.
 Her kit is versatile as she has a 1F command grab which she can combo into even off her far.B which is special cancellable. This also means she has 2 Meterless wake up options as she also has a DP. She has an airfireball, and her Ko-Ou Ken is a lot better than Ryo’s especially her C version making it a good spacing tool. Her Saiha is good against fireballs, not only does it eat it up but she builds a decent amount of meter on whiff. For reference it takes 20 whiffed Saiha’s to build 1 meter while it takes 34 whiffed command throws to build 1 meter. USE IT. And when she AA’s you with her normals she can use her “Demon Flip” and then A+C for a HDK.
 Because of her good DP and 3F cr.C she has one of the best AA’s in the game. That along with her solid far.D and far.C that are good for no reason makes AA an easy task for her. Her damage is high, she can get 355 on any position using 1 bar of meter if she gets a close normal, 325 off her lows and 403 with a jump in. For 1 bar. Her damage grows drastically as you move her into anchor and mid, making her flexible in any position.
[*] With her flexible kit, high damage along with her amazing jumps she doesn’t struggle in many matchups. She can deal with Benimaru somewhat and not be phased by any of the fireball characters as she beats each and everyone of them especially Athena and King. I can only see her going up in the next updates(?) and more people figure stuff out with her.
 His hop is very similar to Kyo’s but with K’ he tucks his legs in making it easier to hop over Fireballs. Like Kyo he has good normals in the air along with his fast jumps, j.B is a reliable crossup and comes out very fast allowing K’ to reset his pressure before his opponent throws out a normal. His j.B also shrinks his hurtbox making it possible to hyper hop over Roberts fireball.
 His C.DP like other good DPs has invincibility but unlike any other DP he gets a guaranteed HKD.
 Ein Trigger nullifies fireballs which you can then follow up on and throw your own fireball during projectile wars. Ein Trigger is safe on whiff but no longer builds meter after the 1.00 changes, his second shell has a big hitbox on the apex making it a strong AA which you can then follow up on with Minute Spike.
 In the early updates, K’ could super cancel his wake up DP and be safe. They nerfed this by increasing the recovery frames on Heat Drive but characters who have the same run speed as K’ or slower cannot punish him via running they’ll have to use other means such as Maxima’s laser. So Yamazaki, Gang-il, Whip, Mian, Nakoruru, Mai, King, Zarina, Chin, Xanadu and Chang cannot punish K’ reliably or at all which means they have to roll to punish his wakeup DP but rolling will erase any sort of pressure you once had. This gives K’ an edge against these specific characters. Another character specific aspect of K’ is his best damaging maxmode combo, It doesn’t work on small characters or characters who hit the ground quickly for example Chang.
 His BnB maxmode combo allows him to build meter during the combo making him a good choice for point/mid positions since he isn’t throwing the 1 bar away since he gives almost half a bar in return. All while doing 361-411 from cr.B, 395-472 from a close normal, 434-507 from a jump in.
 Maxmode K’ is underrated, his Ein Trigger in EX is +3 on block which he can then cr.B then cancel into another EX Ein Trigger. His Second Shell is also +3 and somewhat safe on whiff making it a spammable AA you can combo off. If your opponent is weary you can then hop CD, if they block you’re not in if it hits you sent them into the corner. K’ biggest strength here is being able to cancel cr.B into Ein Trigger.
 His forward throw gives him a HKD, and his corner damage potential is among the best in the game. Especially for 1 bar if you can master his cr.A -> f.B and cr.B -> One Inch Punch cancels. His overhead is very unsafe once blocked but deceptive and always catches people slipping.
 Despite his constant nerfs he’s still among the upper ranks of the roster. He’s overall a strong control based character, who relies on his Ein Triggers and get a read with his Second Shell which he can then combo off. He has strong jump in normals, high damage, a crossup, strong air to air normal, DP, fireball, HKD throw and passable normals his kit which is exactly the same as it was in XIII*(they gave him is hold st.B and improved most of his normals hitboxes)* allows him to stay strong in the tier list despite SNK nerfing him more than they nerfed Nakoruru.
 Kim is almost unchanged coming from XIII, they kept most of his normals the same in terms of hitbox and hurtbox placements. Whats been changed is how safe on block they’re but nothing drastic, such as his far.D being -2 while in XIII it was +3. EX Hangetsu is still strong in this game as its only -2 and has good pushback, his damage isn’t high but his combo starters are easy to access and are reliable.
 Kim can buffer his Hienzan as its a charge input, so long as you’re holding down-back. He’s always had this and its always a strong advantage. His Heinzan gives him a HKD and he can get this off his lows, that with his 21F overhead and again easy combo’s off his lows for either Meterless HKD or maxmode makes him very strong in all positions.
 Far.D is a very strong and abusable button, it discourages hops and Kim is mostly safe. His j.C is by far his best jumping normal, its a strong air to air and amazing as a jump in, his j.A can crossup and his j.CD is fairly decent. His sweep can low profile and is quick, good range and usually the go to button to throw out after his cr.B pressure has ended.
 Kim is a very easy character to play, but not recommended for new players as they can easily get drunk of Kims strong aspects. Mainly his far.D, sweep and EX Hangetsuzan. Because of how solid his kit is coming from XIII, reliable maxmode, HKD off his lows, and decent overhead I put Kim as a high tier character.
 His cr.C is a strong whiff punish tool, its a good normal to throw out to catch your opponent pressing a button after a block string. At max range you cannot maxmode activate for a combo, but his D.Hangetsu will still connect which you can then super cancel off. At most the opponent can trade but you’ll be winning that exchange with your 70 vs their 20-40.
 Small note, they went and buffed his hop.C so use it as your main jump in. Not like you didn’t before hand, for those who play Kim or XIV to begin with.
[*] Kims hyper hop and super jump arcs.
 First of all her damage is pure bliss, her super along with Ryo’s doesn’t scale regardless. The final hit will ALWAYS do 100. This is what makes her tools so potent and scary, is the damage on her ranbu level 2.
 Luong’s jumps are floaty but like Athena she has good normals to go with it and a special. Her j.A can be special cancelled into ren, her j.CD is solid, j.D hits deep and j.C is a surprisingly a good option as well as it has a lot of hitstun, but her strongest trait is her crossups thanks to ren. If ren connects you automatically get a ranbu for free, Luong can get these crossups off her cr.B pressure as well which is very common at high level play.
[*] From her cr.B her 2 Bar BnB maxmode combo does 556, from her cl.D xx f.B she gets 609(yes for 2 bars) and I don’t even want to know how much she gets from a jump in. If she lands a st.CD and cancels her qcf.B then does her level 2 ranbu she gets 380, her st.CD is still very abusive after the slight range nerf-
 Billy has been receiving very good buffs in the patches. His ability to play outside of his opponents comfort zone is massive.
 Fast ground speed making his run to throw mixups strong. He gets a HKD from his throws which sets up your mixups via jd.C and his stB now hitting low thanks to the 2.00 update.
 His damage is very high, he can get over 500 with 2 bars, anchor position from his lows alone. They buffed his jC in the 2.00 update making his space control capabilities all the more stronger.
 Billy is a very valuable character on any team he has favourable matchups against, Kula, Angel, All Low Tiers, Ryo, Grapplers and a couple more. Basically he can play outside of all of their ranges, they aren’t very fast, no fireballs, bonus points if they lack a Meterless reversal making them susceptible to Billy’s mixups.
 Her biggest con is getting in but, her j.CD and unpredictable slide off her chain allows her to surprise her opponents. This weakness is exploited by the top tiers and some of the high tier characters.
 Angel is the mixup Queen its near impossible to block correctly against her, she has the fastest overhead in the game at 17F, one of the highest Meterless damage output in the game, 2 taco’s, a command grab(not 1F). She’s way better than Nelson, because she not only has more mixups to worry about but when she gets you in the blender she actually does real nigga damage.
 Matchups I think Angel does well in is against all the low tiers without question, and a couple of the mid, high and top tiers. Characters that don’t have strong normals or a strong fireball game(not grounded fireballs) will have to fight Angel on a equal playing field. Those without reliable reversals without meter are fucked.
 Her Level 2 Ranbu like Luong and Ryo’s is unscaled on the final hit. It will always do 100.
 His jump arc is good and his j.CD is an especially great button that causes a lot of blockstun, combine this with his top tier sweep and good range overhead and he can become both frustrating and dangerous. His damage might not be the greatest but it’s good enough to get by.
 He has various good anti air normals and a DP you can buffer while blocking. His DP can be cancelled to fireball super and is safe(that’s what they nerfed about K’ after all…) even from a guard roll. Essentially to bait his DP you must roll yourself, giving up any presence you had to do so.
 the trap a lot of people fall into with Kensou is that you can hop cr.D > A fireball and it’s a very easy trap to fall into playing him but also a very narrow minded way to think of his weakness. That sweep is only -4 and choosing to do nothing allows Kensou to DP the jump over as it has to predictive and also opt for more damage + hard knockdown with the super cancel. To top it off his low profile is quite strong and in KoFXIV low profile is a very powerful tool. It’s a much stronger option for Kensou than it was in previous KoF games and for this reason + his overall strength and consistency I place him as a high tier character.
 The reason he isn’t played much, is honestly because of his unappealing design which turns people off from playing him. He’s never been a popular character in KOF, many thinks he looks like a dweeb and XIV sadly enhances this aspect of him along with his new voice actor.
 I like to describe Ryo as a wall, he isn’t fast and his jumps don’t cover a good distance. But his normals reach far, have solid hitboxes, among the best AAs in the game and his sweep into parry gives him an edge in the neutral.
 Ryo’s pressure game is strong, his cr.B -> cr.C is a reliable frame trap and you can then C.Ko-Ou Ken which is another frame trap. His lows are decent, his crB leaves him +1 and crA +2, as I said his jumps don’t cover much ground but his hops keep him low enough for good re hop pressure. His jB is a good example, it functions like Kyo and K’ and can crossup, his main jumping normal is jD which can crossup and grants a decent amount of hitstun for combo’s.
 The buff to his parry was huge, instead of having a stalemate against fireball users, he can outright dominate the war but building meter via parry forcing the fireball user to come to him or else he’ll A) Build meter and B ) They have to deal with his Fireball Super, which travels fast.
 Oh another note, his light DP is one of the hardest to punish on whiff and it also has full invincibility making it reliable on wake up. SNK nerfed the landing recovery but its still very hard to punish in the neutral.
 His sweep leaves him -5 on block if you parry cancel it, a lot of lows are 4F so you’ll need to stay out of that range, but it really isn’t hard as the sweep has a lot of push back. This is the main tool you’ll use in the neutral it makes your opponent either jump more or they’ll block low more than usual. If they jump you can actually react with crC, Ryo and Yuri having a 3F AA on their crC is a blessing, you can play reactionary with these 2 since the AA is immediate.
 Ryo’s damage is very high, his ranbu is the only other ranbu that doesn’t scale on the final hit. The only other character with this trait is Luong.
[*] Overall Ryo, in terms of lore, personality and playstyle is very straightforward. He plays like a wall with explosive damage, he’s at his strongest when he has the life lead so the mid position is the best. He has access to all his high damaging combo’s and when your mid comes out and you have the life lead you’re in a very good spot.
 Shun’ei is a very explosive character, from his movement right down to his damage output. There’s a lot of things you need to utilize in Shun’ei’s neutral, the obvious one is his special cancellable sweep which can also be cancelled on whiff, his airdash is good against fireballs, qcb.P is the move you’ll be using the most for burst movement and to tag jumps along with using this special to cancel the sweeps. qcb.P is similar to Burn Knuckle, but unlike BK both versions cause a HDK giving him an easy safe jump setup of his lows(cr.B -> cr.A xx qcb.A) and its safer on block but the downside is that its easier to low profile.
 His j.B and j/D hit deep so this gives him a very strong reset ability and he doesn’t need to press the button late for it to hit deep. He can hit Kula even when she’s in her cr.B hurtbox state, the normal is that reliable.
 His damage output is extremely high, for 1 bar his midscreen combo does 393 from cr.B -> cr.B -> st.B -> maxmode, does 433 from his cl.C -> maxmode and 471 from a jump in. This combo works on any position and his damage gets even more ridiculous in anchor where he ends his combo’s with his level 2 super. His damage was much higher in the demo so they nerfed him, they lowered the damage on Specter extension in the 2.00 update since him having that damage against the 950-900 HP characters would be overkill.
 One thing I’ve been seeing from the Asian KOF community is his EX airdash mixups, they do it instantly off his hop so that he’s barely off the ground when he air dashes, it has invincibility during the early portion of the dash so it’ll ignore what ever your opponent throws out.
 The thing with Shun’ei is that he’s very fast in forward movement, fast hops that cover good ground, 2nd fastest in the game in run speed and the fastest forward walk in the game alongside Choi, but his back walk Is very slow. So you’ll be propelling yourself forward but unable to walk out o your opponents range, you’ll generally see Shun’s backdash or hyper hop back while throwing out his j.B/D since walking back is so poor on this character.
 Not going to say much on her, but her mixup game is pretty weak. She has no over head and it doesn’t help that her jumps are floaty making AA’s possible to do on reaction if they try to do re hop pressure.
 6B is not an overhead so hold down back and tech her throw attempts. Be ready to AA her jumps and abuse her lack of mixups, her damage is good however.
[*] Her crB lowers her profile lower than Kula’s, I think she has the smallest hurtbox in the game when she uses crouch B. Giving her a valuable AA.
 I consider Rock to be a weaker Iori Yagami. ALOT WEAKER.
 Has everything but they just aren’t very good. His normals are subpar not as bad as they were in Garou however they still aren’t spectacular, his command throw has very poor range but easier to execute than Iori’s but he doesn’t get as much as Iori does out of his command throw for 1 bar.
 Despite his meh normals bar his good jCD, he is the 3rd fastest in the game in run speed, no other character shares this spot. His jumps are good, can fight long and close range, his Reppuken has decent recovery and Raging Storm is a strong AA.
 His damage is very high if you spend the bar using his supers, SNK clearly beefed up his damage so he’ll be decent by default. Super easy combo’s along with dumb damage that not many characters can boast. His biggest weakness and why he’s down here despite his good tools is because, they’re just good. He has nothing cheap in his kit and his normals again aren’t very strong. If you want to see what a top tier Rock looks like look no further than Iori its really that simple.
 Simplistic combo’s and she has little to no combo routes to mess around with, but they do a lot of damage. Similar to Rock where they don’t require much execution but SNK beefed up the damage output.
 Her pressure game is decent but has fatal holes, for example Iori’s Rekkas first hit is -6 while Alice’s is -8 this means after Alice does cr.B -> cr.A xx Rekka 1st hit she cannot press anything or else she’ll be eating Iori’s far.C into maxmode, this means after Alice commits to her Rekka on guard her pressure has ended. Even on her 2nd hit of the Rekka, Iori can tag her with far.D so she has to block after doing this. She has no Meterless reversal on wake up, nor a reliable AA when grounded as her DP lacks invincibility unless its the EX version but who tries to meaty someone who’s in maxmode?
 her hops are good along with her j.D being a good jump in, its also a crossup with she hyper hops before doing it. Her normals are meh and pretty unsafe, nothing spectacular in the hitboxes her cr.C isn’t that good, its serviceable but against the frequent high tiers with good jumping normals this AA won’t cut it. You’re forced to rely on her j.B or j.CD as air to air’s over her AA’s on the ground. Her overhead is fast coming out on exactly 20F so her high low mixups are scary.
 She’s overall a solid character, lacks AA’s and her pressure isn’t very strong but other than that she’s good. The reason you don’t see her is because she doesn’t excel in anything that attracts players, she’s weak to characters such as Kula, Benimaru, Iori, Kyo, Nakoruru or any offensive characters that can go ham on her and she’ll struggle to keep them off. Hence her non-existent playerbase, when someone does bring Alice into a tournament they can still make her work but when she comes across these matchups or strictly better characters, they will probably switch her out for a high tier.
 Very nerfed compared to her older iterations, they got rid of her jqcb.P and her gun. They made her farC have a vacuum effect making it unsafe on block and hit(unless you maxmode cancel).
 A lot of her moves are - on block, even moreso than it was in '02 and XI. Against King you should not rely on crC has a fierce tornado kick can punish it no matter what.
 She has poor options to deal with pressure, her stA is prone to eating trades, her crD is too slow and she has no cl normal that does the job for you such as Mature, Kyo and Iori. So basically if you want to beat a Whip, overwhelm her with your offense and hop pressure. Because unlike Billy(crC) she’s got nothing, probably have to spend the meter on a blowback or guard crush roll.
 Her crB however is a very good whiff punish tool and its now 0 on block. Her damage is decent and her mixups after her Sonic Slaughter is potent thanks to her new air special.
 Her normals are terrible not just in terms of range either.
 She needs meter to function and her stun combo’s are locked behind the anchor position. Even when she kills someone with her stun combo’s, the combo gives the opponent tones of meter usually 2 for 900hp characters, this basically puts you in a VERY BAD position since now your opponent has gained 3 bars. So the only time a stun combo is good is when your opponent is on their last character.
 A character who’s only worth using in 1 position is a strong indicator that this character sucks.
 Here’s a comparison between her normals in '02 and XIV. To get a better look at how much they suck in XIV. I haven’t done all of them, will update soon since I’m doing other characters as well, characters that actually interest me.https://imgur.com/a/z8bhF
Will add more.[/spoiler]
Kula is that high? Good. I can apprecaite that even if I am still not particularly good at KOF.
SNK has gone out of their way to make sure Kula is top tier in every game she’s in since her popularity exploded in 2002.
KOF 13 was an anomaly because neither she nor the game was ever completely finished.
Actually in the arcade version of XIII she was up there. If I remember correctly she had an untechable throw. She wasn’t top tier in early XIV, but she jumped up after they buffed her in 1.03
 Hitbox on stB was increased
 Damage value on Heavy ray spin was increased
 Her reflect hitbox was increased
 Nerfed the former top tiers
Kula is part of the SNK bias group. The only female character within that category actually, others being Iori and Benimaru. Kyo got nerfed from the Demo build to Console, they’re perfectly fine with nerfing Kyo but Iori and Benimaru? Never. Now that the FF team are back and the director of XIV is the guy who made MOTW, the FF bias is also at an all time high.
I was made well aware of SNK’s Iori bias a while back but missed Kula being in that status. Hey, if that is the truth I am all for it. I like Kula more than most SNK characters and fighting game characters in general.
I wonder if anyone has updated the tier list now that Najd, Heidern, Blue Mary & Oswald are in the picture.