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An important point of emphasis for this guide is that this will be catered to playing Antonov at a competitive level, because the character is overall fairly bad unless you play him in a certain way. What makes Antonov stand out and shine is his ability to poke whilst maintaining a safe distance away to utilize his frame traps, which are easily amongst the best in the game, as they have both hit confirm prowess whilst still being safe on block.
While he doesn’t have any moves that are outstandingly cheap, though there are several that are overall good, at first glance he does not seem like a complete character, due to the fact his special moves are pretty dreadful, no confirms from TAPs without bar, very meter dependent gameplan, and lacking any “real” mix up.
Outside of a couple of glaring problems, his neutral game can be compared to that of a moving brick wall. 2C is a primary poke to cover a marginable amount of range to hit confirm into 6A xx 214+A, alongside covering short hops and grounded approaches, whilst j.CD is pretty much for everything in between. Coupled with his frame traps is his great tick throw game, which allows for good Okizeme and creates that exact mix up situation over again, which is especially abusable in the corner, to which Antonov has no problem getting the opponent to due to excellent corner carry in his combos.
With big damage backing him on his infiltration, if you are able to concentrate on his strengths and play a very fundamentally based game, Antonov is actually a much better character than you might have thought.
Point: Antonov won’t be taking advantage of his strengths in a timely and effective manner on point, there’s no reason for him to be here in my opinion.
Mid (Recommended) : Antonov needs the meter to work with and doesn’t take up too much for the incoming Anchor, as Antonov does pretty hefty damage for 1-2 bars plus the potential for Okizeme or a mix up.
Anchor: Okay on Anchor, access to a lot of meter at the beginning coupled with a good read is almost certain death, and Antonov gains access to his best combos. Only really for teams with flexible members (I.E Leona, Robert, Angel)
2C: One of Antonov’s most important normals. Good range and great for stuffing short hops pre-emptively, but not to the extent that this can be abused. Also doubles as a tool for meaties, frame traps, hit confirms and pressure.
5A: Pretty much his best and safest poke to check short hops. Reliable due to its speed and range it grants.
j.CD: The range and lingering active frames on this move are extremely long. Decently fast, and covers as your primary tool for turtling, spacing, keep out, opening up offence, everything about this move is important for Antonov as it makes a lot of opportunities open for him. You will be constantly using this normal whenever and wherever you can.
2B: Main pressure tool to present a low option. Unfortunately grants nothing on hit meterless, but due to him having no other low presence, you have to use it. Goes really far for a 2B, chains into itself and +2 on block. Chaining into itself or 5B, 6A is a BnB frame trap.
- He’s remembered for having a catchy jingle.
- Referring to himself as “10 Trillion times stronger” than his opponents, boosting self confidence on all levels.
- His remarkable taste in pants.
- Has a taste in haircuts which could only be rivaled by that of Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump.
- Just an all-around good sport.
- Some refer to him as Aunty, but will cry Uncle.
LP “Light Punch”
- Crouch : Okay at counter poking and can anti air short hops from a safer distance, if the spacing is proper.
- Close : Garbage. Nothing to talk about here.
- Far : Pretty much your go to for stuffing short hops. Fast and has good range, reliable for what it does.
- Jump : Situational air to air from hops. Can cover a distance/ range above Antonov if used properly, not that great otherwise.
LK “Light Kick”
- Crouch : Antonov’s only low presence. Good for pressure, only confirms available require meter.
- Close : Worthless.
- Far : Decent, fast poke. Primarily used to frame trap into 6A, however it unfortunately does not link into it. Used as a situational punish into MM xx close 5C.
- Jump : Worst air normal. Never use this, awful hit box and has no real reward. j.CD has you covered.
HP “Heavy Punch”
- Crouch : Primary tool, poking, frame traps, etc. If you haven’t gotten the message this far down about 2C, no other guide in the world can help you.
- Close : Main starter for pressure and frame traps from point blank. Primarily used in conjunction with his forward throw as a mix up tool.
- Far : Basically 5A, but reaches further out and is good for catching retreating jump ins. One additional use it has is that it doubles as a good poke against tall or big characters (Daimon, Xanadu, Self etc) due to the fact it hits them crouching.
- Jump : Deepest jump in normal. Also acts as an instant overhead when up close.
HK “Heavy Kick”
- Crouch : Antonov’s overhead, outside of j.C. Reaches unreasonably far and the start up at first glance does not telegraph an overhead to the opponent. Not that great on its own, only scores a knock down into a safe jump. However, you can MM the first hit and confirm into damage.
- Stand : Worthless, but for novelties sake, he has two target combos out of them that are both worthless. 5D, 5D and 5D, 5C.
- Far : Unique as a 5D as it’s a launcher on hit. Decent to pre-emptively beat jumps, but mostly used in combos.
- Jump : Okay as an air to air if the spacing calls for it. Not much else to apply it with.
HPHK “CD Blowback”
- Stand: Usable at times. Grants auto guard frames during some start up frames, decent as an anti air V.S neutral jumps.
- Air: Again, Antonov’s main tool for the reasons stated earlier.
→ LP “President Binta“
- Bad on its own due to poor frame data, but is used to chain off of most of his normals. Fantastic range allows it to be used from absurd distances and still manage to score damage. Use 214+A to remain safe or 63214+D for a command grab attempt on occasion. Both options can be delayed.
P “Whale Stream” [EX]
- A version is a poke tool off of 6A and other normals to remain safe and return to a manageable distance. Can be hit confirmed into Supers. C version is way too slow to apply practically. Does grant Antonov a lot of auto guard frames.
P “Vertical Macho” [EX]
- The move itself would imply a reversal, but this is not the case, no invulnerability whatsoever, albeit the EX version has some on startup. Occasional usage in neutral with Bering Wave cancels, but only really used in combos.
K “Gigantic Back” [EX]
- Huge hit box and is safe on block if well spaced. Isn’t all that great, but does provide as a decent approach provided the spacing is there. Gigantic Back Press is his command grab, and as far as command grabs go, it’s not that great. Definitely has its uses if you condition your opponent well and provides a mix up afterward.
- (air) P “Bering Wave” [EX]
- Works as an okay method of creating space with the A and C versions in neutral, but where this move is really applicable is in its Okizeme potential (more on that later). EX is much faster, travels a further distance and hits low.
Supers & Climax
x2 P “Tunguska Bomber” [Max]
- Biggest damage super, only really used as a combo ender due to the fact 236236+B offers more damage opportunities. Only usable as an ender in the corner and/ or with specific spacing.
x2 K “Kamchatka Collapse” [Max]
- Great combo extender, MAX version is just for damage as a combo ender. Both provide Oki mid screen and in the corner.
x2 PP “Moby Dick Burst”
- Pretty much your biggest damaging ender, but it sure deserves the lecture on being one of the better looking Climaxes. Otherwise there’s not much else to talk about.
— なぎへー (@nagihey) April 28, 2017
— diz @ KOF98UMFE is a splendid game (@diz0603) April 30, 2017
— abdullah Al Tuwairqi (@Twinleopards) January 7, 2017
— abdullah Al Tuwairqi (@Twinleopards) January 9, 2017
Before the patch nerfs…. just for history’s sake…
— なぎへー (@nagihey) August 26, 2016
v02 Oki (mixup)
Tutorial (Playlist!) by APE OF THE UNIVERSE (InfernoKong), explaining things just a little more in depth!
Many thanks to GunSmith for letting me finish up this guide!