King of Fighters 98 Ultimate Match: Final Edition Tier list

Kof 98 UM FE Tier list

Mode tier list

1. Extra
2. Ultimate
3. Advanced

Extra mode- Quick max is really strong. For some characters more than others. It’s not broken strong but just strong. For example Ex Ryo does qcb.B as a poke and you block it, he could quick max it on block and recover faster to avoid a punish. Another example would be Ex Terry, if he lands fire kick he can go into quick max then super for hefty damage but if he had advanced gauge he would only get normal follow ups like rising tackle or early cancel burn knuckle.

Ultimate mode- Mix and match anything you want. Mainly used to create specific modes for certain teams. Like maybe an advanced gauge team with dodge, or Ex Blue Mary with extra gauge/run/roll.

Advanced mode- Overall the preferred mode for most strong rush down characters because of run and always having access to meter. Kyo for example really benefits from this. He builds meter while attacking you then tags you with cr.B and goes into super from there. In Extra gauge at that point with his meter spent he would have to get damaged or charge to have a new super ready meaning he would lose his momentum and mix-up opportunities.

Overall Quick max is strong but you can still use Advanced gauge with the right characters. Either gauge could be used but you need to think what is best for the team.

Run is preferred if you intend on playing a rush down heavy team. Dash is preferred if you plan on zoning and playing footsies.

Roll is better for characters with gimmicks/combos with it.  Dodge is probably overall better in this game. Dodge attacks can lead into combos. Dodge recovery is hard to punish.

In no particular order currently.
Top 5

O.Chris- Easily one of the best rush down. Jump CD is very strong and has a lot of reach. He can follow up after his fireball in a lot of situations and makes a great meaty. He has a strong option select with his proximity unblockable. J.D is one of the best jump ins for sure and crosses up easily. Invincible dp for a reversal. Pretty easy bnb into super.- Any mode, Run is preferred but O.Chris aerials are strong enough for him to get by without run. Can easily go into super from f.A command normal.

Eiji – St.D has good range and goes over most cr.Atks, fireball super start is fast enough to punish whiffs, dash move is hard to punish. – Extra mode

Heavy D – good combos from cr.B and overhead, solid pokes, proximity unblockable, good invincible anti-air and reversal move, super buffs normal moves for more damage. – Extra mode

Ex Mary- Great rush down, Solid bnbs, activate super leads into cr.c or move into super. Invincible dodge that can be canceled into a command grab. Once she buffs herself with her buff super any special move can go into super. Pretty long hit confirms. Hyperhop jump arc is perfect for rush down.- Extra gauge/run or dash/roll- she can use dodge but if you are good with her dodge move you can use roll with her and have the best of both worlds.

Choi- Hard to hit, best hit and run, strong but limited combos. Works great with Extra mode teams as walk back st.A is a solid turtling strat. There’s no real reason for him to be anything other than Extra Mode. With Quick Max he has a very long hit confirm to super with st.C, f.B, cr.C xx super or in corner another f.B xx super. – Extra mode

A tier

Ex Geese- Zoner with large ground based projectiles, they appear larger than the actual hitbox is. Combo opportunity is worse than normal Geese but his zoning is much stronger. Can be a tough match up for some characters like Brian but has a disadvantage against characters that can counter zone. -Extra gauge/run/roll preferred for st.D roll cancel into command grab.

Mary- solid rush down with a lot of options to get around projectiles. Command grabs to help open people up. Her grounded command grab is instant compared to ex.mary. Better defense with counters which she can super after. Less damage potential overall than ex.mary.-Advanced mode

Ex Terry- Easy firekick into quick max super. Fire kick is punishable on block more so than power charge. Pseudo block string infinite with fire kick and round wave. It can really lock down a lot of characters and can be frame perfect so they couldn’t reversal. Hard hitting quick max combo. Crack shoot quick max st.D super does a huge amount of damage. His defense is a lot worse than regular Terry because he has to charge for rising tackle and no power dunk. Much easier to anti-air with power geyser than normal Terry. Anti-air crack shoot into power geyser works fairly easy. – Extra mode

Ex Ryo- solid zoning, his lp dp has a huge hit box and he can air fb after. Not many combos compared to Ryo but he doesn’t need them.  Much better at zoning than Ryo.- Extra mode

Ex King- strong character with strong pokes that can be used for anti-hops. Great zoning and combo damage. Her proximity unblockable leads to huge damage follow ups like her super.- Extra mode

Yuri – Good pokes with St.A, qcf+P, St.D. Overhead has good range and beats most cr.Atks. Yuri has good combos. – Any mode

Lucky- Strong zoning, good pokes, great combo damage. A lot of potential as a character. Long limbs to poke and space people out with. His basketballs are pretty quick and can hit as low attacks at the right angle. The one that falls from the sky is very useful. Extremely fast command dash with quick recovery. His combos can do a lot of damage. One of the tallest characters in the game makes him a big target. He has a dp with limited invincibility and a super that is a proximity unblockable to help get people off him.- Extra mode

Brian- long string that goes into super, Screw body press hard to deal with. It can be ambiguous and he can potentially combo off front hit or cross over. His st.A and cr.A have excellent range. Lots of damage from core bnbs, like from his rekka chain or tackle into super. Strong character. – Extra mode

Iori – Amazing cross-up. Good pokes with some cancelable into rekkas. Command grab. Good combos that lead to super or knockdown. Good mix ups options with command grab, cross-up, and rolling after knockdown from rekkas. – Run and roll preferred for rush down.

Benimaru – Good damage combos if opponent is standing with qcf+C. and St.D have good range. St.B hits crouching opponents. Invincible reversal. Command grab. – Adv mode.

Krauser – High and low fireballs. Cr.C has good range and is special cancelable. CD has great range, anti-airs, and is special cancelable even on whiff. Counters. Command grabs. Qcf+K is an overhead and can quick max to krauser wave. – Extra mode

Geese- Has low counter, counter can go into super, more pressure oriented fireballs, strong corner combo. St.D
cancel into roll then command grab and combos from dp after activate and run for the pressure are reasons he could use ultimate mode.- Extra gauge/run/roll

Ex Yuri – Good zoning with ground fireball and air. St.A. St.D, and cr.D are great pokes. Good anti airs with cr.C and qcb+P. Unblockable moving throw. Good overhead that goes out far and beats most cr.atks – Any mode.

Ex robert – Far reaching overhead. A high projectile that can stop jumpers. Good anti-airs with cr.C and dp+C. Amazing corner combos with quick max. – Extra mode.

O.Yashiro- invincible command grab for a reversal that leads to mix-ups and a one frame command grab for instant grabs. Strong pokes. With run he can store his command grab and run then instantly grab the opponent with no stutter. Mix up game is much better than normal Yashiro. – Any mode. Preferably with run.

Andy – Far reaching overhead that can go into good damage with quick max. Proximity unblockable can lead to good damage and mix up. Air moves are safe and start up quick. Invincible reversal. – Extra mode.

Kim- Strong rush down with free cancel, execution heavy but worth it. – Extra mode, the walk speed increase is very good for Kim because it makes his free cancel combos much easier compared to having to run after the cancel. And while using extra you don’t build any meter from hitting the opponent so you know when your super will activate and when it won’t during pressure/combos etc.

Chizuru- great pokes and reversal. Solid combo damage. Mix-ups off qcfx2.K. Great character. Takes practice learning to time the shadow attacks. Her dp.C is has a lot of invincibility. The dd.Button shadows hit overhead now and are quicker than og 98. She could be good for any team in any mode really. -Any mode

Chris-Strong rush down. No proximity unblockable like O.chris but does have a leaping command grab which you can combo after. Safe block string/combo from anything into slide special move. Great rush down mix-ups like anti-air cr.C into dash move. Dive kick for ambiguous approach. In my opinion it’s harder to go into super with Chris compared to O.Chris.- Any mode

Ex Andy – Far reaching overhead that can go into combos with quick max. First hit of rekka is safe on block. Great projectile. Invincible reversal. – Extra mode.

Ex Mai – St.A has good range and St.B can stop jumpers. Good air moves. Invincible anti-air with meter. Overhead. – Any mode.

B tier

Shingo – Proximity unblockable. Critical hits that happen randomly can turn special moves damage into doing a lot of damage. Good overhead that causes knockdown. Shingo kick or qcf+P can get Shingo close to the opponent. – Any mode.

Mr. Big – Cr.A has good range. Qcfx2+P has great range and recovery. Command grab. Hcb+P can go over ground projectiles and whiff punish. Hcb+K can reflect projectiles. – Extra mode.

Robert – Far reaching overhead. St.D has good range. Cr.D has good range and is cancelable to F+A or qcf+P. Fireball sits there to stop jumpers and beat certain pokes. Proximity unblockable. – Adv mode.

King- Strong pokes and anti-hop buttons. Decent zoning. Better anti-air than normal King because of invincible DP. Limited range projectiles but they are quick. Meterless double strike but super risky to use. High damage meterless combos in the corner. Ryuuko Ranbu type super.-Extra gauge/run/Either

Takuma- Solid zoning and good cross over. J.D’s hit box is really good for cross overs. Good combo damage. He has long hit confirms. Much longer than most characters. Unblock able running grab. Combos that can lead to unblockable fireball. Lacks real invincible reversals so he needs meter to use blowback to get people off of him. He’s strong up close and from a distance though. – Any mode

Ryo- a lot of combo potential but even if he lands a dizzy super, if you are in opponents corner their teammates can jump out and interrupt. Proximity unblockable for rushdown. His combos corner carry very easily. Long meterless combo and with quick max in corner the damage can easily be more than 50%. Has a totally invincible move to avoid blowback and keep on pressure with little risk.- Extra gauge/run/either

Terry- better defense than ex terry and power charge is safer on block than fire kick. Doesn’t have as much potential combos to super bc of slower power geyser speed. Power dunk combos give him more time to apply pressure. Better rush down than EX.Terry. – Advanced mode

Yashiro- Rekkas safe on block but on hit if quick maxed lead to super. Less mixup oriented than O.Yashiro but safer if played that way. Better anti-air than O.Yashiro. Completely invincible special move to keep pressure and avoid blowblack. – Extra gauge/run/any. Extra gauge for the combo from rekka. Rekka 1 hit abc super.

Kyo- His stun was lowered considerably but he is still a good character. Lacks many ways to take advantage of quick max. He can be used with Extra gauge for stuff like C rekka abc st.c but overall he is better with advanced gauge. Since having the meter is more beneficial to his rush down style. Otherwise his damage from a hit confirming low string is very low. His qcf.A and qcf.C have armor on them and qcf.A is still a solid poke. His j.down+C is one of the best crossovers in the game. His hyperhop B is strong as well.-Advanced guage/run.

Yamazaki – St.A has good range and can stop jumpers. St.D and cr.D have good range. Far St.C is good if opponent is close and is special cancelable. Counter. Command grab. Qcb+B is great for whiff punishing and to poke at the opponent. – Any mode.

Ex Yamazaki – St.A has good range and can stop jumpers. St.D and cr.D have good range. Far St.C is good if opponent is close and is special cancelable. Counter. Moves that hit opponents laying on the ground. qcf+P can reflect or store projectiles. Dp+P can combo easily and has good reach. – Any mode.

Clark – Fully strike invincible grab move. Command grabs do good damage. Anti-air move and super. j.D is good air-air and whiffs on most opponents crouching so you can land command grabs as you land. – Adv mode.

Daimon – Invincible command grab. df+C is a great anti-air. St.B is a good poke that hits low when close. Full screen move that hits low. – Adv mode.

Leona – Run move goes under non-grounded projectiles. Air super with fast start up can hit whiffed attacks and she can combo into it from other special moves and f+B. Cr.D has great range. Good anti-air. – Adv mode.

Saisyu – Grounded projectile good for whiff punishing. Invincible reversal. F+B can beat most cr.atks. dp+K gives unrollable knockdown. Qcb+Px2 can go into quick max then super. – Any mode.

Mai – St.A has good range and St.B can stop jumpers. Overhead. Projectile. Qcb+P is fast and great to poke with. – Any mode.

Shermie – Hcf+P command grab has great range and is 1 frame. Qcb+P can catch jumpers and retreats Shermie so it isn’t so bad if whiffed. Qcb+K has invincibility on start up. Dp+K grabs opponents from the air. – Any mode.

Athena- Very strong zoning. The fire balls are very quick and if the opponent isn’t in a good position they can easily be turned into unblockable projectiles, which she could potentially combo after or go into command grab then set up another unblockable projectile. Command grab has a lot of invincibility and you can follow up after with a number of options. Her dp is a very solid anti-air. Teleport is very fast and can be used to run or rush down. New super. If you need to win by time out you can triangle jump and go into her shinning crystal bit into shoot and waste about 5 seconds maybe more.-Any mode

C tier

Ralf-his normals are slowed from OG but he is still good. Simple character overall. cr.a x2 and cr.b goes into command grab. If positioned right his air punch and ralph kick can be safe on block. If timed perfectly you can meaty Ralph punch off his ground and pound super. It is escapable with a fully invincible reversal. Very strong depending on matchup. – Advanced mode

Rugal- long hit confirm from lows that can lead to decent damage. Good zoning and dp.His dp has a nice hit box on it. One of the big characters. Slow. Long reaching pokes and hit confirms. Can setup an unblockable projectile but not easily. He can reflect projectiles in zoning wars. For example Rugal throws a projectile, Eiji blocks it then buffers his fireball super and waits for Rugals follow up projectile then Rugal does his reflect instead. – Any mode

Kasumi – Command grab. Rekkas can cover ground. Projectile for poking. In corner can do super to super with adv mode. Counters that you can combo after. – Adv mode.

O.Shermie – Qcb+P steps in and does a projectile which is good for whiff punishing. Projectile that instantly appears. Qcf+Px2 start up really fast. – Any mode.

mature – Huge projectile with great recovery. Rekkas that she can easily combo into. – Any mode.

vice – Command grab. Qcf+Px2 can go over projectiles. Overhead. Qcb+P can be safe depending on distance and is a good whiff punishing move. – Adv mode.

Heidern- Tall fireball, which can be unblockable. Moves that restore health. Tall and awkward character overall. Long reach on pokes. Whiff his du+p charge move gives him more damage on command grab and punch super.- Any mode

Joe- Very tall fireball but doesn’t go full screen. Great anti-air with his DP. Safe-ish approaching moves with hcb.K. Solid combo damage especially in the corner.-Extra guage/run or dash/any

Ex Joe- Strong DP. Pretty good combo damage. His bnb off light attacks lead to an unrollable knockdown. Full screen zoning. Pretty tough to do his mash combos but they are worth the damage.- Extra gauge/run or dash/any

Kensou- Eat food before time over his level 3 eat super will choke him but if done at time out you can avoid the damage from that and only get the life bonus. Decent combo potential. Fireball can be unblockable if you eat before the opponent blocks it. His zoning is pretty strong and st.D is a great anti hop/poke button. Invincible anti-air in rdp.K. His combo potential is much stronger than 98 and 98um. He has a proximity unblockable that he can follow up after.- Any mode- Doesn’t really benefit from quick max but with his pokes and zoning being able to charge and activate is good. Run if you want to rush down, otherwise dash for better footsies through walk speed.  Roll and dodge is either or based on team.

Ex.Kyo- Fireball and some pretty good combo potential in the corner. maybe better than kyo. Special sound effects. Less rush down oriented than normal Kyo. Less bnb damage outside of corner. He can potentially corner carry easier than Kyo from stuff like cr.Bx2 st.A xx rdp.K. Like normal Kyo his jump down C and hyperhop B are strong jump ins and crossovers. -Extra mode.

billy – F+A can beat most cr.atks. cr.A has good range. Counters. Can lead to super in corner after dp+B. – Adv mode.

ex billy – F+A can beat most cr.atks. cr.A has good range. Qcb+K is great for poking in closer ranges. Qcfx2+K has invincibility on start up. Can lead to super in corner after dp+B. Adv mode.

Bottom 2

Chin – Qcb+P has great range to beat whiff pokes. Dp+P has auto-guard. Can get around projectiles. – Any mode.

Chang – j.CD has a really good hitbox. Cr.D is special cancelable. Mash P move is great for poking and stopping jumps. Command grab. – Adv mode.

Japanese 2015 tier list. From Japanese wiki.

S + Wolfgang Krauser
S Iori yagami
A + Kisaragi shadow two , Blue Mary , Geese Howard , (back) Yuri Sakazaki , (back) Blue Mary ,(back) Geese Howard
A Yuri Sakazaki , dry earth of the company , Chris , of the provisions of the flame Chris , (back) King
B + Kyo Kusanagi , Goro Daimon , King , Leona , Chizuru Kagura , Yashiro Nanakase , Andy Bogard ,Mai Shiranui , heavy · D! , Brian Butler , Kim Kaphwan , Choi Bonge , Rugal Bernstein , Sherumi of raging lightning , (back) Mai Shiranui , (back) Ryuji Yamazaki
B Nikaido Benimaru , Shiken Takashi , ’95 Kyo Kusanagi , Joe Higashi , Ryo sakazakii , Clark ,Heidern , Saishu Kusanagi , Ryuji Yamazaki , vice , (back) Andy Bogard , (back) Ryo sakazakii
C + Asamiya Athena , Shingo Yabuki , Kasumi Todo , Ralph , mature , Sherumi , Mr.BIG , Takuma sakazakii , Lucky Glover , Billy Kane , Terry Bogard , Robert Garcia , (back) Billy Khan , (back) Terry Bogard , (back) Joe Higashi , (back) Robert Garcia
C 鎮元Hitoshi , Chang Cohan

Mexican tier list from Darkgeese.

S Class:

Krauser, Iori, Geese/EX, Eiji, EX Yuri, O. Yashiro, Kyo, O. Chris, Daimon, EX King, Choi, EX Blue Mary,

Robert, Yuri, Heavy D, Brian

A Class:

Mr. Big, EX Ryo/Ryo, Takuma, Leona, Athena, Kensou, Ralf, Saisyu, Terry, Chizuru, Clark, EX Robert

B Class:
Everyone else

Japanese UM tier list from 08/09
SSS Tier: Krauser, Geese, Iori SS Tier: Chris (Orochi), Geese (Ex), Choi S Tier: Daimon, Terry (Both), Saisyu, Takuma
A Tier: Brian, Ryo, King (Both), Chris, Yashiro (Orochi), Athena, Mr. Big
B Tier: Kim, Mature, Yamazaki (both), Yuri (Ex), Benimaru, Kagura, Ryo (Ex), Robert, Kyo (Ex), Heidern
C Tier: Kasumi, Yuri (Normal), Leona, Eiji, Yashiro, Mai (Both), Mary (Both), Joe (Both), Kyo, Ralf
D Tier: Clark, Heavy D!, Chang, Robert (Ex), Vice, Billy (Both), Andy (Both), Shermie E Tier: Shermie (Orochi), Shingo, Lucky Missing Tier: Rugal, Chin, and Kensou


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