KoF13 Tier List Discussion


hey was bored heres one i just made. i dont think its so important to make a complicated tier list for this game…in a lot of situations you can take a lot of damage for small mistakes and anyone can win from that type of thing, so the nuances of the match ups in some ways dont hinder characters the way they might in a lower damage game. the way i think of it is


S - no weaknesses, even if the character lacks something, it doesnt matter much, or their other tools are enough to significantly outweigh the disadvantages
A - strong characters, but maybe have some hard matches or drawbacks
B - characters that are strong in one way or another, but have some clear weaknesses
C - characters that lack things they need to be in a higher tier, or have weak versions of things they should have

i think kensou and maxima are maybe exceptions, enough to be ranked higher

also shen can do cr.b cr.b st.a into level 2 for not so bad damage and its easy…especially for a character that ‘doesnt do damage easily from a low’


I agree with most of it except I think Kula should be one level higher and King should be two levels higher (why is she so low in your list???). Also maybe Mature can go up one level…or half.


you think king is among the best? i had her one higher and decided to lower her. shes a proven tournament character so i guess that should do something for her, but so is billy (oh btw, the double row shes in is supposed to be all the same rank). her d and space control is good but she lacks damage and strong anti airs. both solved by meter, but she is not fitting of anything but a battery. its the same issue as billy or robert; they are strong space control/momentum characters with weak damage. they are better with meter, but so is everyone else, and once you get past that 1st character slot, it becomes more and more disadvantageous to pick characters like that.

kula i think could do up a rank if her dp or cr.C was better, or had a better jump CD, faster qcf+A, safer qcb+B…basically something to make it more difficult or riskier to disrespect this character. i feel like once you get above st.b height, she doesnt have anything truly threatening, or something she can use regularly as a part of her offense to keep you from going nuts. you can eat a lot of j.b and walk it off, and she has to mix up her strings a lot to keep people in check. i see her as a character with a similar play style to ex kyo, but i feel he does it much better. edit - actually i thought i had put kula in not the lowet tier, guess i was feeling hateful at the time hah. maybe 5 tiers would express the balance better.


Robert and Billy have weak damage? This is news to me, but maybe we have different standards as to what constitutes “good” damage. I agree with you as far as King’s damage goes, but using her as a battery is possibly one of the worst ways to utilize her given her potential with meter. She’s generally best used as mid/anchor.

I have a question. Everyone seems to rank Athena near the bottom, but to me she seems like one of those “swiss army knife” type characters that has a ton of tools and an answer for almost any situation. Maybe there’s something I’m missing, but given this, why does she seem to end up near the bottom so often?


shes underrated for sure, or at least underused. she does a lot off an invincible grab, has good normals and can get away well. her weaknesses…her dp has a blind spot, making it hard to anti air at certain angles, so you have to move around a lot and use close D. her jump is floaty, so while her jump cd is very nice for air to air, she doesnt have a low jump pressure game to pair with her grab. i think the character has a lot of potential but no top players seem to like her.

as for king, it seems wasteful to put a character who’s main strength is zoning and poking 2nd or 3rd. she has to use her meter for anti-air ex trap shot or upkicks super, spending drives and bar for standard damage, vs the more popular 2nds and 3rds who can do half life with just a meter or two, sometimes without drive, or even come close to straight up killing with hd from 1 mistake. some of those same characters have strong meterless anti airs. you can see any hilevel tournament players always put her on point, i dont think anyone plays her 2nd or 3rd except for madkof but that dude is a little crazy lol


So then, what exactly constitutes “good” damage?


350 for 1 stock, 400-450 for 1 stock+1 drive, 500+ for 2 stocks + 1 drive, 750 for hd + 2 stocks, 850 for hd + 3 stocks, a bit less if started from a cr.B is my rule of thumb. a big key is being able to do significant damage without using drive and saving for hd, something that is very common for the stronger characters


Robert meets or exceeds all of those.

1 meter:
[]cl.C, f.B, f.A [db]~f+BD, dp+C does around 340-50 Damage (does 390~ w/ jump-in)
](~30-45% screen from corner) cl.C f.B f.A dp+A (DC) qcf+P, db~f+BD, (optional) qcf+A, dp+C (461 / 425 dmg)
[](in or near corner) cl.C f.B f.A dp+C (DC) qcb+BD, qcf+P, dp+C (436 dmg)
* cl.C f.B f.A dp+C (DC) qcb+BD, db~f+D (400 dmg)
]cl.C f.B dp+C (DC) qcb+D, qcf,hcb+AC (530+ dmg)
* cl.C, f.B, dp+C (DC) qcb+BD, [db]~f+BD, qcf+A, dp+C (525 dmg)
* cl.C f.B (HD) cl.C f.B dp+C(2) (DC) qcb+D, dp+A (DC) qcf+A, db~f+D (DC) qcb+K, dp+C (DC) qcf+C, DP+C (DC) qcf,hcb+BD (814 dmg)
* cl.C, f.B HD cl.C, f.B dp+C(2) (DC) qcb+D, dp+C (DC) qcf+C, dp+A (DC) qcb+K, dp+C (DC) qcf+C, dp+A (DC),qcb+K, dp+A (delay) qcfhcb+BD, fbf+K (840 dmg)
* cl.C f.B (HD) cl.C f.B dp+C(2) (DC) qcb+D, dp+A (DC) qcf+A, [db]~f+D (DC) qcb+D, dp+C (DC) fbf+BD (DC) qcfhcb+BD (878 dmg)
* cl.C, f.B HD cl.C, f.B dp+C(2) (DC) qcb+D, dp+C (DC) qcf+C, dp+A (DC) qcb+K, dp+C (DC) qcf+C, dp+A (DC) qcb+K, dp+A (delay) qcfhcb+BD, qcf+A, fbf+BD, dp+A (899 dmg)
And for shiggles…

* cl.C, f.B HD cl.C, f.B dp+C(2) (DC) qcb+D, dp+C (DC) qcf+C, dp+A (DC) qcb+K, dp+C (DC) qcf+C, dp+A (DC), qcb+K, dp+A (delay) qcfhcb+BD, qcf+A, qcfhcb+AC (970+ dmg)


haha i guess numbers dont lie. i guess i just think of him that way, as a character that tends to not do damage. i.e., they have a weak mixup game in this case. for example, i consider mature a ‘weak damage’ character even though she does like 400+ with 1 drive 1 super…the damage is there, but getting it is another story. robert is a really weird case since all the tools are there…hes got a good cross up, a command grab, etc. it all comes down to ‘how are you going to hit the other guy’. in this case, robert’s cross up is slow because of his jump arc. his command grab, even ex has start up, small range, and no invincibility. you can look at any of the characters above him and see that most of them just have better offensive options.

btw that 1 meter combo wont work on crouchers and those midscreen hd combos dont work from just anywhere, its very possible to not reach the corner by the time you do the charge b,f+d to divekick which lowers the damage a lot. theres also a spot in the middle of the stage where you will reach the corner too early, but be too far to do the corner combo and you have to change it there too, a lot of liabilities for doing his hd midscreen. this has reminded me how fun his combos are though, i might use him more in the future


I’m well aware of these things. I just wanted to correct the notion that Robert can’t do damage when he lands a hit. With good awareness of where you are on the stage, and by choosing the optimum combo, Robert does a truckload of damage. After getting used to him, I’ve never once dropped an HD because I chose the wrong combo for my location. It’s true, he doesn’t have that kind of ridiculous pressure that characters like Kyo or Iori can bring, but he’s a veritable wall if he manages to corner you. His really good j.CD and j.D, unhoppable fireball, good DP, command grab that leads to safejump, and ability to move around very quickly and easily by using the backdash + crossup all make it really tough to escape from the corner when he has you there. Hitting people with supercancel ranbu on-reaction when they roll a fireball feels real good too, haha… Mid-screen he can dance around a lot of characters with his souped up backdash, getting in a lot of free fireball hits if they should hop in and misjudge the range which can potentially lead into [db]~f+K followup, or dp if they jump expecting the fireball. On j.CD counter-hits he can follow up with a full HD combo utilizing bypassed j.qcb+BD, or just get em with bypassed NeoMAX.


Haven’t played in so long, forgot how godlike this game was. A friend came over wanting to play umvc3 and then saw that I had KoF13 “and said he was good at 98 and never played XIII.” So we played with one rule " I couldn’t use drive cancel combos cause he never learned them." He had solid fundamentals and it became obvious he wasn’t lying when he said he was good at 98. Lol
Good matches… best one was the last one with the double k.o… ahh yes, time to start hitting the training mode again, missed this game.
Ps: K’ team theme is hype…
Elizabeth, Yuri, Kyo or Ex Iori is da team<3


Hey guys, I’m getting back into this game and trying to get a better handle on the cast. How would you rate these characters?

B: Duolon, Chin, Andy, Kensou, Mature, Ralf, Clark, K’, Daimon, Robert, Billy, Ash
C: Joe, Leona, Terry, Athena, Maxima, Mai, Ryo, Raiden, Liz, Kula

The top 14 characters I have a pretty good feel for, but these I don’t. Feel free to break these 22 characters into sub-tiers or whatever, I’d just like to hear some opinions of how to assess these characters.


Here is david kong’s tier list from dreamcancel:


It’s a good list to discuss IMO. My thoughts, based on my (very) limited knowledge:

  • I generally agree with the top tier. Hwa and Beni aren’t quite as prevalent among tournament-winning teams as Mr. K and EX Iori, but I’m ok with them being where they are.

  • I do disagree, however, with King, Yuri, and Takuma in mid-high tier. In short, I don’t think Yuri and Takuma are as good as the other members of this tier in the neutral game, and King simply does not have the damage-dealing ability of characters like claw, the Kyos, Chin, and Shen.

  • Mid-tier and below I have some disagreements with, but also concede that these characters are less known than characters in the top and high tiers. Here’s a summary:

rated too low: Vice (can land her HD off of more situations than any character in the game, pretty good neutral), Elizabeth (too well-rounded to be in bottom tier)

rated too high: Andy (has a lot of gimmicks, but is basically a zoner, and he’s not nearly as good as Saiki at that game)


I know this post is a little old, but just had to make a comment. Takuma IMO is a character who can be one of the biggest threats on a team. He is one of the few characters who scares the living crap out of me when I play against him because a single mess up will most likely cost my character.


Comments are appreciated. Could you elaborate a bit? At a very high level, at least?

I know what kind of damage Takuma is capable of, but his lack of defensive tools means he has to constantly be on the offensive to inflict his damage. Do you think he’s that hard to keep out?


Takuma can kill with 1 meter 1 drive - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UwCPLueiq50&feature=player_embedded

He doesn’t have to spend the same kinds of resources as others to deliver damage. He can kill a character from full on the first round off a frametrap. His defense sucks relative to some characters, but his offense is straight up insane. Not only is he hard to keep out, he can play the ranged game just fine with fireballs and has invincible startup DMs to deal with jumpins and other things. His hop is low as shit, his air CD activates 2 frames faster than Karate’s making it arguably the best air CD in the game and he has a comboable command grab. The character is a beast. Karate’s way better defensively and maybe better rounded, but Takuma at a certain level of play/mastery is unmatched for damage.


He lacks wake up tools, but defense no. He can slow down most common pressure. Stupid jumps can be supered, he still has a great jump CD, etc. You aren’t going to just go ham on a Takuma.

No character in this game has a horrible defense to the point where they can’t do anything.

The problem is he is hard enough to keep out that he can still gain hits and he only needs one solid hit to destroy a character. For how little meter he needs he can basically run through characters if he gets momentum. He scares me more than characters like Claw Iori, Hwa, etc because of how fast he can build back the critical meter needs to run through the next character.


I guess I should’ve qualified what I said with “relative to the other characters in mid-high tier.” Here’s who I agree with David Kong is in the mid-high tier:

A+: Claw Iori, Both Kyos, Chin, Shen Woo

(I would add Vice to this tier.)

I respect Takuma, but don’t rank him as high as these six characters. Yet.

Does Takuma’s efficiency in doing damage make up for the fact that it’s harder for him to score hits compared to the other characters in this tier? I think Claw, the Kyos, and Shen are just so much better at getting big damage, from their defense as well as their offense. Their pressure is just as good, if not scarier than Takuma’s, so I just can’t see how his better efficiency overcomes that. Correct me if you think otherwise.

Takuma is closer to Chin and Vice, for sure, because, like Takuma, both Chin and Vice have sizeable holes in their games. Whether you tier them the same or differently depends on how highly you think of their respective strengths. I’d be curious to hear if you think Takuma is better, worse, or the same as those two. I currently peg him just behind, because both Chin and Vice can convert damage off of a much wider range of circumstances (from all over the screen) than Takuma, despite the fact that they aren’t as efficient at it (and their pressure isn’t as good).

about Takuma’s ranged game: His fireball is ok, but it’s hard for him to use it to gain a significant advantage. Isn’t his only invincible DM the slow, 11-frame start-up C ranbu? That’s a good move against normal/high jumps, but it seems hard to consistently use to deter people from hopping in on Takuma. He can use j.CD, but that leaves him open to quick anti-airs, and trip-guard punishes when he lands.

My point wasn’t that he was totally defenseless. I was just saying that he is forced to go offensive more than the other mid-high tier characters, because a defensive Takuma is probably a dead Takuma. Pretty much every other character in that tier has enough neutral game tools (offensive and defensive) where they aren’t under as much pressure to always go in.


Takuma doesn’t really lack anything to stop him from opening people up. Like I said, his hop is very low so it’s less reactable than many characters. He can crossup with his air D and B fairly easily. He has hard knockdowns on his Ranbu and normal throw to set up oki, not to mention the best air CD in the game that on counterhit is practically gg. Command grab is comboable into near kills. His damage dealing is far superior to Claw, Kyo or Shen for the meter spent, but it’s more difficult execution-wise.

Regular Ranbu will beat the invicibility of EX Maiden Masher when performed at the same time (wtf?). It’s pretty a pretty godly answer to his defense holes even if it does cost a meter. To be honest, I’m glad he has to rely on meter for defense because God knows I don’t want him to have any for touch-of-deaths. That’s solved by placing him second or third.

I’m of the camp that there’s very few characters that suck. Some have less oki, mixup, defense, etc. than others, but every character has enough to work with to be beast in the right hands. Vice and Chin are excellent characters, but I still think Takuma is better. Vice can convert more due to the anywhere juggle on her EX sleeve, Chin has all sorts of mixup, parries and invincibility, but neither of those two can kill you for free. That’s what Takuma does, he kills you for practically free if he touches you. All characters have to spend in excess of 2-3 meters + full drive to kill you, Takuma doesn’t. That’s more meter for the characters after him to work with, or conversely it’s more meter for the character preceding him which is a problem.

I mentioned he needs meter for defense, but so do a lot of characters (Claw, Vice), but those characters can’t kill you without 3 meters and full drive. If they touch you with 1 meter 1 drive you might lose 500 hp but you won’t be dead. Takuma touches you and it’s gg.

C Ranbu is slower but if you want to stop hops you should be using stand A.