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Koji’s KOF14 tier list and explanations

Translations for Koji’s (@kkkog) KOF14 tier list explanations by @TheBonkler
Original tweet here:
What follows that tweet are a bunch of explanations for why Koji thinks each character is where they are.

KOF14 tier list as of 2/4/2017 (version 1.12)

After talking with a number of people, here are the results, this is what I (being Koji) think the tiers are:



Top 5:

Kula, Robert, Verse, Mai, K’

Next 10 strongest:

Yuri, Benimaru, Andy, Nakoruru, Athena, Iori, Leong, Kim, Mature, Gang Il

(not sure if order matters within tiers)

Tier list supplement:
– Korea thinks really highly of Beni, Geese, and Andy
– Meitenkun and Geese are probably strong. But in the end, doesn’t Gang Il seem stronger? …is how those two unfortunately didn’t make it
– If a new patch comes out, I’m going to pick the 10 strongest characters in the next version that (currently?) only worry about Kula and Leona. I’m especially looking at Benimaru, who hasn’t really been nerfed yet.

God Tier:

She’s probably been the strongest throughout all the patches and due to not really receiving nerfs is the strongest character in the game. She has a 2b that is able to link to 2c that’s plus and all kinds of crossup air normals. She also has a really easy time OS-ing against rolls, an instant overhead, and when you get bored you can just go ham with ex grand saber ([4]6ac) that’s +3 and does a whole lot of chip. God.

Top 5:

Unbelievably they buffed far B which starts up in 5f and is +-0 on block, easily making her top tier. Also, the fact that both far B and far C are special cancellable is all kinds of crazy. Cancelling into ray spin (214b) is low-risk and high-reward which is great. Since she doesn’t really need to use more than 2 meters and opponents without meter get kinda screwed against her, Kula’s a great point.

Has a fireball and DP, overhead, command grab, crossup, multi-hitting rush, ability to change air trajectory, fairly strong air-to-air, really invincible ranbu super, and the most important thing in this game: has both a long reaching far B and 2b. This character has it all, a high-spec standard character. Combos are also easy. You can play this dude anywhere, from point to anchor.

This character will take out half your life with EX meteor super. He can do so with command grab, collision (421c), 6b, etc. making this character really strong. Has some weaknesses, like a slow dash and 2a and being a big-body that allows characters to get instant overheads on him. Can also play a neutral game with fireball and warp that keeps the opponent off. Last Boss.

She got nerfed really early on but she’s still easily top tier. Neutral is really strong. She runs away really easily, her front and back roll distance is far. She has an easy time controlling space with fans. Also her 2b, far B, blowback, and jump blowbacks all match the game’s system really well. Her high reliance on meter is a weakness.

He got some lethal nerfs but is still a top 5 character. Hitboxes for 2b, far b, and jCD are all amazing, cl.D is also a standing low which is a strong thing to use after a party starter (after a MAX cancel, ex: far B > MAX > cl.D). There’s rumors that an easier combo for him than the current one was discovered, so not only is the game system on his side, so is luck.

Strong 10:

With her meter gain for whiffing command grab and saying “A-re-re?”, ability to intercept opponents with air fireball and a 2c Mexican uppercut that’s 3f for some reason, an extremely annoying and dangerous crossup jD, this character is annoying as hell to deal with. Really stable gameplan if you’re willing to play the clock. Her short reach is a disadvantage. Her ability to capitalize off of MAX cancels is also relatively weak, making her better suited for point.

Raijinken (236a/c) and Iaigeri (236b/d) are strong pokes that also build a lot of meter. Mixing up between jD and air Raijinken (j236a/c) make anti-airing him hard. Raimeitou (214a/c) is great as a combo part or pressure tool and he has a varied set of good tools in general. A strong thing he can do is MAX cancel from something into a mixup of 2b or ex command grab, it’s really easy for him to suddenly run offense on somebody.

His neutral game of mostly fireballs and jCD is good enough, but once opponents get tired of that, you can pressure them with Zan-eiken (elbow), his low-profile 2d, and 5c MAX into 2b, etc. He’s good at either gameplan, especially if the other character is weak against projectiles. He’s the kind of character that makes up for short reach by covering himself via his neutral game.

This girl was one of the contenders for strongest character in the last version of this game. Unlike Leona and K’, there haven’t really been new combo routes that have been discovered for her, so she’s dropped out of Top 5. Still, even after being nerfed, hawk cling and its followups are still a threat and her only untouched special Annu Mutsube (236a/c) is perfect for putting on horizontal pressure. Raw MAX activation is still strong for her so she still finds use as an anchor.

In this game where projectiles are so strong, having a reflector that bounces back any projectiles, whether it’s EX or super is a godsend. Her kit is great, with a fireball, DP, command grab, and overhead. Her weak A/B moves and excessively floaty jump are pretty lethal disadvantages but being able to do raw MAX activation and use any of her amazing EX specials is great.

Old-man character that was good even for the people playing KOF 20 years ago. A really strong point in this version is the ability to do far D into MAX activation into 2b, Kuzukaze (command grab), or Yuriori (taco kick) crossup to open them up for sure. They also gave Yaotome (ranbu super) a big explosion animation at the end that gives unseeable okizeme, it’s kinda gimmicky but it’s nevertheless a strong buff.

Has a bunch of moves that lead to hard knockdown, allowing her to smoothly run her okizeme and mixup game which she’s strong at. When she does open you up, the reward for it is really high, and because of that she’s going to spend quite a bit of meter, but by doing so, she can run over characters quickly. You can actually just run offense with nothing but stand CD, but she doesn’t really have defensive options which is a problem.

On the subject of the Kim team in general, they struggle getting in on characters that play a projectile or long-range game. But, with things like a jC that hits crouchers while rising and a low-invincible, multi-hitting far D, Kim’s close-combat ability is number one. Has a really strong C throw and overhead. If you don’t know what to do, there’s always the option to just throw out EX Hangetsuzan (214bd), just like in KOF13.

With the fastest run and really strong normals to throw out while running, Mature is an excellent rushdown character. Being able to get a lot of damage from landing a Despair (623a/c/ac) is really nice, and once your opponent starts to think about that, it opens up the option of Metal Massacre (214b/d). Due to how Ebony Tears (projectile) is, she struggles against zoners who can quickly throw out projectiles. She has a hard time opening people up which is also a weakness.

With things like a good meter-building special, a relatively fast far D and jD that have strong hitboxes, mixups in pressure from Hakikyaku (22b/d) and its followups, rising jA into Hangetsuzan (j214b/d), a 3f safejump, and an overhead that’s +4f on block, just on paper, this character is really strong, and it’s rough playing against Gang-Il before you learn the matchup, and once you learn the matchup… it’s still rough. If this wasn’t KOF, he’d be in the running for strongest character.

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3 Responses

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  1. BzChoy says

    What about Mature and Gang-Il?

  2. The Bonkler says

    Just finished them!

  3. Kane Blueriver says

    Gracias Bonkler Basado.

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