KoF13 Tier List Discussion


Oh yea Beni too. But outside of the top 5-6 the list gets crowded.


Guilty as charged :stuck_out_tongue:

Crowded, and team slots start mattering a lot more. Even EX Kyo I’d say is already a character that isn’t top tier material in all slots.


A stab at top 10ish list (grouped by tiers, no order within the tiers)

Mr. Karate
EX Iori

EX Kyo

I would argue these dozen characters pretty much dominate the game. Best in the game? I’d say Kim is tops, with Karate and EX Iori close behind. I’d put Kim above Karate just because it’s harder to keep Kim out than Karate and IMO Kim’s neutral game is more oppressive than Karate’s.

I’d say there’s been some movement in the last year. I think Kim overtook Mr. K as number one, and I think EX Kyo, Takuma, and Vice have seen an increase in presence. I’d also say Hwa and Kyo have trended downward (and so has claw Iori, to a lesser extent). I thought Benimaru would see a big jump in usage, but it hasn’t really happened.

Of the mid and low-tiered characters, nobody’s really distinguished themselves too much from the pack. Does anybody think otherwise?


Well Beni might appeal to those who are into…flamboyant characters let’s say. He does have an interesting playstyle. Mr. Karate though…playstyle wise or aesthetic wise, I don’t think anyone would play him he wasn’t so powerful.



Poor Mr. Karate…I never knew. Was Kim the culprit all along?


Pretty odd that I like the feel of my whole team’s playstyles a lot, then? Damn, I’ve done something impossible, better call a news crew.


Dang even if it started of as a joke, the joke smack that started it all was pretty damn hard to begin with.


I honestly think Claw is a little lower in the list. Still not bad, but people have figured out how to play against him. I would honestly put Beni in the top 6 characters because the number of tools and his versatility in team order allows you to be flexible with how you use him.


My tiers weren’t ordered, but I would mostly agree with what you said. Beni may very well be the best character of that second tier - his oki isn’t quite as abusive as the top-tier characters and he isn’t as versatile with his midscreen damage, but his neutral game is as good or better than the top-tier characters.

I have less experience with claw Iori than anybody in the second tier, with the possible exception of EX Kyo. Though he may have slipped somewhat from his early usage/rating, as an anchor I think he’s as versatile or more versatile than anybody in the second tier (except maybe Vice). I guess my point is, he’s still aged better than Kyo and Hwa, whose limitations have been exposed IMO.

Do you see anybody standing out from the “rest of the pack” characters? I kinda forgot about Yuri, who you could make a good argument belongs in the second tier. I think she’s easier to keep out than the best rushdown characters, but she still has a really good mixup and does good damage. Other than that, I think Elizabeth, Duo Lon, and K’ have good potential to stand above the rest. Liz and K’ require more work than the higher-tiered characters, but their tools and damage are good enough to compete IMO. Duo Lon’s pretty handicapped by his inability to do damage, but his space control is pretty unique, and his mixup game still gives people a lot of problems.


Liz I would still put pretty low, but of course not saying she is bad. Her problem is that she does a lot of work for not always a ton of damage. K’ to me feels like a one trick pony. He’s probably one of the most one dimensional characters in the game.

Duo though is easily near the top. As a point or 2nd character he is absolutely dangerous. He isn’t a character who will do a lot of damage quickly because of his low damage output, but man is it hard to pin him down and actually get a hit on him. He’s probably one of the best at keeping a lead in the entire game. He’s also really meter efficient.

Here is how I personally would do the first couple tiers based on overall versatility.

Put them anywhere in any situation
Mr.K, EX Iori, Kim, Benimaru, Hwa

Has problem match ups or positions, but overall still really good and can play multiple roles
Shen, King, Yuri, Duo Long, EX Kyo, Kyo, Athena, Takuma, Ryo, Sakai, Ash, Chin, Vice

All the other characters IMO start to fall into roles of “specialist” where the roles they can take on a team are limited, but they still perform those roles well. For instance Joe is still really good, but it’s hard to put him anywhere besides #2 on a team because he needs the meter for the stun combo and also he doesn’t make the best anchor. Mai makes a very good anchor, Mature is an awesome point character, etc.

Overall no character is unusable, but where the tops make their mark is that there isn’t a bad spot to put them. They can play any match up and play any position. They have good tools, high enough damage output to play anchor, and also can be meter efficient on point.


When I see Liz players, I’m always impressed how they seem to get damage off of such a wide variety of situations. She has to to hustle, but for lower-tier characters, the test for me is how they stack up against the tops. The best Liz players can definitely hang with the top-tier characters.

Why do you see K’ as one-dimensional? His normals are pretty good, and everything he does pushes you to the corner, where his damage is really scary. Eins trigger is an annoying neutral tool that helps him in his goal to corner his opponents. He has his weaknesses (meter-dependent, not as safe as the top tiers), but he again seems like he can hang with the top-tier characters.

I think what makes the top characters top is that they have really oppressive neutral tools. Kim has probably the best footsies in the game and his oki mixup is a nightmare. It’s very hard to react to Karate’s pressure, and he can convert his DM/SDM off of a million different situations. EX Iori might have the best oki in the game, and controls space very well with his normals and rekkas. Shen can punish and convert damage off of a ton of situations, and his pressure is tough to react to as well. The common thread IMO is versatility in terms of landing damage, not so much meter usage or team placement.

Also, do you think Hwa is as versatile as the others in your top tier? Always viewed him as meter dependent, point Hwa wouldn’t be a great look IMO. I think Yuri is more versatile than Hwa, but it would be weird to put her in the top group just because she isn’t as good as those other characters.


I don’t have time to address all the topics, but I’ll quickly mention about this one.

Hwa doesn’t need meter to be scary by any means. He actually is pretty damn good on point. Most people know about all the things he can do while drunk, but regular Hwa still has a lot of tools to watch out for. He has probably one of the most annoy sets of normals in the game. Between s.A, slide, s.CD, s.D, etc. his set of normals is obnoxious and also converts easily into massive damage. His buttons even give Kim troubles. He’s also got a ton of shenanigans

I’ve found when playing Hwa point that instead of getting drunk in the 1st round just play it straight and then if you win the 1st round you can choose to HD (His 2 bar does an easy 80%) or activate drunk mode.


Any thoughts about the three tier lists for KOF posted here? My initial reactions:

Japanese list

  • They love themselves some Iori! Very surprised to see EX Iori rated above Karate and Kim, and even more surprised to see claw Iori in the top 4, above Shen.

  • I still think XIII Kyo and Hwa are overrated.

  • This is a very conservative list.

Anchor list

  • LOL@ the shoutout to Ash. Not saying I disagree, but I found that interesting.

  • Surprised to see Benimaru and Takuma absent from the higher tiers. Yuri should be at least in the B tier as well.

Reynald list

  • Wow @ Yuri in the top 4. Can’t say I agree with that.

  • Also can’t believe he thinks claw Iori and Shen are in D tier! And Vice too? That’s just nuts to me.


I’m not surprised at Iori being rated so high. You can’t be a complete bully with his neutral game necessarily, but his meterless game is monstrous. Everything into rekkas, rekkas into great oki into more rekkas. Both corner carry AND damage and amazing buttons. And if you have the infinite down it gets worse. He’s basically made to OCV teams.

Karate is pretty amazing too and has a bunch of free supers like Claw does with dp~break, but his meterless game still isn’t up to Iori’s standard. It’s absolutely rock solid, but it isn’t insane the way Iori’s is.


Not saying EX Iori isn’t all that, he’s for sure top tier. And that’s fine if you want to have him as the best character in the game, that’s a separate argument (I for sure rate him behind Karate and Kim). But I don’t agree that he’s a full tier higher than Karate and Kim. That’s what I found surprising.

EX Iori is more versatile than Karate and Kim, and probably has the best oki in the game. However, overall his normals are worse than both (especially in the air), and his damage is worse as well. He is the only one of the three with an infinite, but the infinite is not dominating the game by any means, and remains a risky thing to burn resources for.

I don’t even know that his meterless game is better than Karate and Kim, who don’t really need meter to execute their gameplans. (especially Kim, who gets hard knockdowns all day regardless of meter) The difference is that Karate and Kim get even better with meter, while EX Iori’s damage potential doesn’t get the same boost.


A good EX Iori is so difficult for me to pressure, that dude has like every tool on the planet for no reason. I feel like it is that completeness and versatility that puts him over the edge, he can literally play any position well and he’s always a threat. I also find him to be much scarier than say a Kim because Kim is pretty simplistic and easy to read, he has stupid stuff but it isn’t anything that will make you be like “why I die?”.

Senor Karate is also getting figured out, people know how to deal with him now. Chin is the next big project.

I feel like Hwa Jai is like the C.Viper (from UMVC3) of this game. Very good character but nobody plays him really, I wonder why.


Iori’s air normals go toe to toe with Kim and Karate’s, but they are harder to use. Kim and Mr.K can abuse the same normal for multiple situations while Iori has to press his normals based on what the opponent is doing.

And I’ll say point Iori is probably one of the best points in the game. He is so meter efficient and none of his tools absolutely need meter to be scary.


You can just drop the “probably” there, I think, as well as “one of the”. He’s got all the tools, the quality of his buttons is amazing, everything leads to rekkas ie. top notch damage, good corner carry and usable knockdowns on an oki monster, and you don’t have to choose like, say, AE Akuma has to. And that’s all without the infinite.


There’s a lot of talk about EX Iori’s buttons being so great, but I’m really not seeing it. On the ground, the only thing that stands out is s.D, which is nice, but not nearly as good as, for example, kim s.B/s.D, Shen s.C, etc. In the air, his normals are good (j.B a2a, j.CD, early j.D, that ambiguous crossup j.C), but they don’t shut down entire jump games the way karate j.CD and kim j.CD do. Most characters have a ton of difficulty dealing with the normals of Karate and Kim, but when I think of what makes EX Iori top tier, it isn’t his normals (which are “only” above-average).

I disagree with Hwa being a strong point character. Hwa on point has to deal with being zoned out by projectile characters, characters that outrange him like Billy and Duo Lon, and Hwa’s pressure/momentum is hard to sustain against solid defense without meter. I agree that Hwa’s ground normals are awesome at midrange, but it’s hard for him to get out of pressure when people get inside (his dp is slow), especially without meter. Also, how does Hwa easily convert his normals to massive damage without meter? I know he has oki dive kick shenanigans, but that’s not the easiest thing to set up, and we aren’t seeing a lot of that being done in high level play.

How do his buttons give Kim problems? He can’t really keep Kim out of the air (his air normals are completely outclassed by Kim), and while his ground poke game is really good, Kim can compete with s.B and s.D.