LCD on Kimberly Wu

Let me preface this lengthy post by explicitly acknowledging that Season 3 is still early in its life cycle so a lot of what is said here will be based on what has been seen/played so far and not dictated on the future; some things change some things stay the same. Also remember that I am one person and don’t speak for anyone but myself. I have opinions that should be respected whether you agree or not, but also feel free to discuss the things I talk about in a constructive manner. This post isn’t so much exactly directed towards the developers but rather an out loud discussion amongst the community of Kim players.


Kimberly Wu is an extremely fun character to play in my opinion. Her goal is to slow down the pace of matches and make her opponents scared to push buttons by whiff punishing from long distances. She can be very rewarding with her amazing damage output and ability to confirm into combos from almost anywhere on the screen.

While season 3 has been out I’ve found Kim to probably be the least played character out of the new cast, mostly seeing Rash and Tusk. I believe she is quite difficult to play which is probably why beginners have not gravitated towards her from what I can tell.


Kimberly is a very tiny character compared to the rest of the cast only being out done probably by Sako in terms of stature. This leaves a neutral footsie based character in a really weird spot where most of her buttons don’t cover great ranges. As far as I can tell her best buttons are S.MP, S.HK. and S.MK. These are the ones that cover good ranges and can be used to play footsies or whiff punish while the rest are not very good especially her sweep which covers almost no range and is basically like not even having a sweep. I especially love S.HK because it’s forward advancing so the range can be deceiving to someone who isn’t aware of it. I’ve also experienced a tough time fighting against a lot of the cast simply because they have better buttons than her which seems to be the vast majority of them.

I found it quite odd that for a grounded footsie heavy character like Kimberly, that her walk speed wasn’t a little better. It makes sense though that her movement might be a trade off due to Dragon Kicks but that move really isn’t a get in for free type of move and is even still punishable on block when dragon canceled which I’ll cover a little later. Compared to a character like Sadira who has slightly better walk speed even though her job is to abuse double jump and control the air.

When Kimberly was first revealed and demoed for the first time at the World Cup she didn’t have such a floaty jump as she does now. While she should always be focused on the ground game and not jumping often, I don’t quite understand this change. It can be very difficult for her to bait out throws or even jump of out wake up options in which other characters can avoid like Spinals Shadow Teleport which can be jumped out of on reaction so they can’t instinct cancel it but Kimberly can not. Was jumping HP too good?


Currently Kimberly is the only character in the game that doesn’t have a Shadow Counter(SC) that moves her forward, so while it may start up in 8 frames like the rest of the cast, this small problem leads to it constantly whiffing and wasting meter on counters where the rest of the casts would work 100% of the time. My suggestion was to allow her SC or Firecracker to use her S.MP+S.HP combination which does move her forward. One of the other things I’ve suggested in the past is to give her a shadow move that uses her QCB+HK animation or thrust kicks which would also give her a forward advancing shadow move.

Shadow overhead can cover some great range and is well used against zoners like Glacius who want to shatter or hail at unsafe distances. Would be nice to see the startup reduced a little on the move as there have been plenty of times when I’ve tried to punish at point blank ranges yet somehow Glacius was able to block in time. The move being -7 can definitely be a pain especially without a dragon.

Shadow Dragon kick is her only reversal and also acts as a damage ender. The damage ender portion of it is great while the reversal option for it is kind of weak which I talk about in the defense portion of this post.


Kimberly has a very basic offense until she gets dragons mostly just walking back and forth waiting for an opening, then once she does get them she can become a mixup/pressure heavy monster. QCB+MK is her forward roundhouse and is always +2 on block. I abuse this a lot when my opponent doesn’t have meter because since it’s two hits can easily be shadow countered. From what I’ve played so far, season 3 of Killer Instinct feels like a very mixup/reset heavy game even much more so than S1 and S2. With the additions of flip out and stagger this has all but been made very clear. It can be tough time for a character like ms Wu though because there are many characters in the game that don’t focus on the grounded game and refuse to play it with her. So her biggest strength then becomes her biggest weakness because most players/characters just want to fly in or do some kind of special to quickly close the distance and avoid the neutral game entirely. All she asks for is 3-5 seconds of neutral game where she excels but most of the cast nullifies that entirely.

I enjoy Wus ability to deal with zoner characters quite well by taking advantage of Firecracker to repel fireballs and in some cases get a full punish depending on the distance. Pleasantly enough the KanRa matchup looks to be in her favor with a little practice. Unfortunately enough though there is a gap in her Firecracker rotations meaning sometimes fireballs will get through if not timed correctly and in some cases like Glacius make her get locked out and eat a full damage combo. It’s also important to note that this does not work on Maya’s homing unblockable at all.


Most of my games with Kim have not been pleasant ones. I’ve had a chance to play relatively long sets as her against the entire cast with high level players since shes been out and all of them resulted in her being abused in the corner for lengthy periods of time which is not fun. Her ability to deal with pressure heavy characters like Sabrewulf or Riptor is completely absent. She does not have great way to deal with pressure outside of a random parry which can be baited out and even if successful leaves her 0 on hit or vulnerable if the opponent has armor or using an armored move. Parry also does not work on Maya’s daggers since they hit twice.

Her only other option is to spend meter on Shadow Dragon kick reversal which has not been kind to me. I’d like to say the moves whiffs about 60% of the time when I’ve used it as a reversal. I’ve also had instances when the move would be stuffed out completely. There have also been times when a player jumped over me on my wakeup the second part of the kick just passes right through their body even though it’s suppose to hit them. It can be very saddening to be abused in the corner forever until you get meter and when the time finally comes only to completely whiff feels terrible. I’d personally love to see the hitbox on this widened up a little bit because my philosophy is that If I’m spending meter on something it better work.

As I’ve made publicly known many times on my live streams, I’m not very happy with how Kimberly handles anti-airs. I have found her C.HP to be mostly unreliable no matter how quick I am to react to a jump in. This makes matchups against Sadira and other jump heavy characters like Cinder and Sako very troublesome especially in the corner. Just yesterday I played a set in which my opponent had me in the corner and on knock down tried to bait a throw by neutral jumping. I didn’t fall for it and immediately C.HP which got stuffed out. He proceeded to neutral jump three more times and each time C.HP lost. Dragon kicks are also unreliable due to them having no priority and will will usually get stuffed out every time. Some have suggested to parry to deal with jump ins but as mentioned earlier these can be baited very hard. A good fundamentals based FG player should not be be forced into playing a guessing game by throwing out a parry that may or may not work to stop jumping. I should be rewarded for being a good player and anti-airing. By no means am I asking Kim to receive a real dragon punch but some love to her C.HP would be nice in my opinion and hopefully I’m not the only one who feels this way.


For starters on this subject, I really dislike that poor Kimberly doesn’t have a dragon indicator like Aganos does chunks. Many a times have I thought I had a dragon but didn’t and so proceeded to get bodied. They just blend in very well to some stages and with crazy particle effects going on constantly it can be very difficult to see when you have them or not so hopefully they can add that feature in at some point… if you’re color blind then GG.

I feel dragons are very critical for Kim in many aspects. She needs them for not only offense but for defense as well and in my time with the game which has been spent 95% playing Kim Wu so far, she rarely ever has them. Her focus is to play this extremely long-winded neutral game and then be rewarded by having absurdly high damage output as her reward. I’d rather take my opening to deal real damage instead of using her Dragon ender which only gives me 1 dragon no matter what ender level it is and does absolutely no damage. The dragon ender is a risk in itself because this dragon may or may not lead to anything, meanwhile I think back to how I could of done 60%. It feels really bad when your opponent is at 15% life and you do a level 4 dragon ender that doesn’t kill him (happened to me today).

(Aganos starts the game with chunks so why doesn’t kim start the game with a dragon? Am I the only one who noticed that Kim says “I have a friggen dragon” in her intro and shows it but does not have it anymore once the match starts?)

Going off of what I explained earlier that Kim struggles with getting off her back, I found it odd that Kim is unable to regenerate dragons while she is in block or hit stun; similar to Aganos who cannot generate clubs during the same circumstances. I find her situation a little different though because her dragons are magical and just hover around her and aren’t something she is holding like Aganos has to hold clubs so it makes sense they would be destroyed on a knock down. Dragons allow her to get things going and get off her back. If the this current restriction stays she should be compensated by allowing dragons to regenerate faster than they currently do. When Kim has a big life deficit dragon cannons are her go to way to quickly close the gap and get in, but they just don’t come fast enough.


Once again I have to say that Kimberly is really fun to play but also can be very frustrating to play, especially for newer players. I have been consistently approached via my YouTube and Twitch channels asking me for tips as to why they keep losing with her. In this “early” assumption I feel she is probably the weakest out of the newer characters added to the game and is obviously way to “early” to say where she fits among the entire cast.


I can only speak my mind about my own personal experiences playing her, but I feel she is probably working a lot harder in comparison to a lot of the other characters in the cast especially in S3 which is really pressure/reset heavy. I’d love to discuss what everyone else thinks as well.

Thanks for reading.


I’ve gotta say, I’ve actually encountered very few Kim Wu players so far. Of all the season 3 matches I’ve played, this one is the one I’ve played least. I play a lot of Tusks for the most part, and Arbiter and Rash have also made plenty of appearances.

I hope to use some of this knowledge in preparation to fight her should I ever do, or should I ever use her online.

Good review LCD.

I can describe her in 3 words: 1-inch punch.

It seems to me that Kan Ra suffers from a similar fate of hard, long fights (because of slightly different reasons). I am casual player who just wants to have fun, but such hard work for what should be a fun game experience…I haven’t touch Kimchi for this reason. She used to be my main, and I waited so many years but…

I love playing Kim but she does seem to be a bit short changed

i love KIM-CHI WU

that fly kick is great for punishing tusk! lol

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She’s a slow, patient character, whereas Rash gets to do a bunch of wacky stuff and Tusk gets to push large buttons that do 20% in a game where most players willingly throw themselves at the buttons regularly. So yeah, I understand why Kim is a bit underused right now.

I can understand the frustration with the shadow counter, considering S3 was supposed to normalize these a fair bit. I’d be fine with her getting more range on that thing, if it somehow didn’t affect her neutral game (I don’t know how shadow counters are programmed, if they use the neutral version’s hitboxes or what).

Her defense is better than you suggest, I think. She has a shadow reversal (also useful for anti-air) and a parry that beats highs AND lows; she has better defense than Hisako, Kan-Ra, Aganos, Arbiter (probably), and probably some others. If you’re regularly hitting with shadow Dragon Kick’s first half and the second half is whiffing, then I can see that being a problem. I’m not sure if this is the situation you were describing or not, though.

I don’t know enough about her cr.HP to say whether it’s good enough or not. I also don’t know enough to suggest whether she gets dragons frequently enough. If Kim is garbage trash in 3 months, I can see them doing some things to help that, maybe starting her with 1 dragon (especially considering the I have a friggin dragon line), or maybe making Firecracker ender give her 1 dragon for levels 1 and 2, and 2 dragons for levels 3 and 4 (or something). I don’t think it’s a change they should give her right away, though.


One of your better posts LCD. I think you have a legitimate complaint about the shadow counter and they should fix that in some way. I do think the fact that her parry covers high and low makes it quite good and the logic you have for not using it defensively is really flawed. Because it can be baited as a reason not to use it is an argument you can use for almost any move in the game. I mean you can bait out DP’s but it doesn’t mean people shouldn’t use them to get out of pressure.

The dragon kick though hard to land is just absolutely devastating when it does land. I also believe there are some corner setups you can use with her to condition your opponent to play your game and jump right into some dragon kicks. And speaking form experience when it does land it makes your opponent think twice about trying to jump out again.

Anyways overall I can only speak on what my experience has been with the character. I do think she’s a bit more difficult to play and I do think her shadow counter is a problem. Like I said I think this was a well made post and appreciate the time you put into making it. Hopefully it garners the attention you desire.

I agree with some of LCD’s points, but not all of them. I feel like Kim might be in the same situation as Aganos at his launch; they don’t have her at the “full power” that they’re planning to set her to, and we will see the “correct” version of Kim a little while later.

As someone who has also been playing Kim almost exclusively for the last two weeks with more than 200 matches and level 50 under my belt, I think I have enough experience with her to talk about this a little, even though my skill level is much lower than LCD’s.

  • I almost never use the Dragon ender, simply because of the amount of damage that you give up by not going for the damage or wallsplat. It’s great if you’re doing opener-ender, or a tiny quick combo just for the dragon, but if you land a solid open, it seems counterproductive to cut it short or do less damage for a single Dragon.

  • Her Sh Dragon Kick, as far as I’m aware, was supposed to be fully invincible. The hitbox on both the initial stomp and the upward kick seem too small to me, and it misses at times when I definitely expected to land one, if not both of the hits. I’ve also been stuffed out if it before, so either it isn’t as invincible as it’s supposed to be, or the invincibility wears off incredibly fast. I’d like to see some clarification about the move, and I suspect it will get changed at some point. I also agree that there should be some sort of priority on her normal dragon kicks, because it occasionally gets stuffed when I would expect to at least trade, if not land a solid hit.

  • I think her low options are too short, too slow, or a combination of both. I’d like to see her cr. mk get some sort of little bump.

  • Shadow Dance does seem to get stuffed out at times (sometimes seems like it shouldn’t) and I have had people block mid combo when I activate it. I’m not sure if it’s me, or if it’s a problem with Sh DD. I also have had issues with regular DD on crossup, where I input DD and get a DK going back the way I came, instead. That might be a problem with how fast I’m inputting the move, making it register as a DK before she’s turned around, or it might be a problem with the character, I don’t know.

  • I think her Shadow Counter ought to be changed to a five hit version of Heavy Dragon Dance, so that she can move forward and stop whiffing, or maybe the Sh. Dragon Dance. Or even to a series of nunchuk hits like her target combos.

  • I don’t use the projectile reflect on firecracker too often, but I have seen that the timing is super important. I don’t think the “gap” is a balance issue, but I think it’s something which I need to put time into to really understand.

I think Kim is a really fun, solid character, but she’s just got some very specific rough edges that I hope will be smoothed out throughout the season.

I was thinking something similar. Here’s what I would do differently however, since the ender does little to no damage:

Lvl. 1 = 1 dragon
Lvl. 2 = 2 dragons
Lvl. 3 = 3 dragons
Lvl. 4 = 3 dragons AND moderate damage

Great to see you finally addressed her static shadow firecracker.

I agree

Also I would love if the devs would consider giving Kim faster walk speed or a slower smaller dragon (why not one the same size as the ones that circle her) as a projectile for each dragon with 3p along with the instinct 3k dragon cannon.

Dragon kicks reassessment
Fight begin with dragon/ faster dragon regenerate ( think of orchid, her cat doesn’t need to ‘load’)
Spacing reassessment
Counter reassessment
Low damage FP ( a 20 hit with a shadow dragon kick and firecracker ender adds up to 16%???)

Thanks for the discussion

Nah, I think he’s talking about the annoying tendency of the first hit (the stomp) to whiff on anything that isn’t the opponent meatying you. Shadow dragon kick is one of the easiest reversals in the game to beat. It loses to cross-ups, mis-timed meaties, and a whole host of other things. I honestly just go for parry half the time as my reversal - it’ll beat more things than the dragon kick will.

I think I tend to fall along the side that says Kim Wu is a struggle character. Not that she’s bad, just that she has to really work for stuff. I do think she has slightly better defense than you might be giving her credit for - that omni-counter will get you killed, but it does catch just about everything when the read is right. The neutral situation is obviously less impressive than counter/deflect->combo or parry->plus frames, but I’ve found the dragon can be useful for just getting out of that spot in many situations. Her dragon kicks can also punish an awful lot on start-up I’ve found, and in general that trade will always be in Kim’s favor. On the whole though, I do agree that once she’s knocked down in the corner it can just be really tough times. Her down+HP is idiosyncratic as all hell - it whiffs and gets stuffed in all kinds of situations :confused:

The shadow counter failure is super weird. I can’t imagine IG didn’t look at it and go “huh - that’s interesting”, and so I must conclude that it’s supposed to suck, but I’m just not entirely sure why that decision was made. She has enough defensive woes that “bad shadow counter” probably didn’t need to make the list.

Firecracker ender is virtually useless. It just does no damage. Like. At all. About the only time it’s worth it is if you’re doing a combo off a raw dragon grasp or if you’re done with the lifebar. I agree wholeheartedly with the idea that it’s cool to make people choose what they want to get out of their enders, but the problem is that for that to work, all the enders have to be viable. Firecracker isn’t like TJ advantage ender (+4) or Cinder burnouts (insane potential damage) - the resource it gives you is very easy to “waste”, and Kim’s flipout at the end leaves you at a range that isn’t particularly favorable for her. For where it places you on the screen, that ender will need a bit more damage to be a credible alternative to her other options IMO.

Her instinct is an interesting animal. I feel like her dragons probably regenerate too slowly, but if that was upped too much then Kim would be functionally unbreakable while in instinct, which is obviously bad. I think a happier medium might be to just let her regenerate dragons at the same speed regardless of what’s happening to her. Right now, Kim’s instinct is probably the absolute easiest in the game to waste. It serves very little purpose half the time because if you aren’t in pure neutral or already winning, you’re getting precisely zero benefit from it.

I was watching the stream yesterday @CrazyLCD - curious why you think you get bashed on the forums. I feel like your posts pretty much always get a fair hearing, even when most posters disagree with you. :open_mouth:

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Kim wu top 5

Really? I’ve seen Kim Wu the most and by quite a large margin.

The only thing I think they should do is adjust the dragon ender. I’d like to see her get more for longer combos.

I haven’t seen a ton of Kim Wu, so I would agree with LCD that she is the least used new character. I haven’t played her a ton either.

I’m not a guy who ever demands nerfs or buffs. It’s sort of a never ending saga and it’s like trying to adjust the color on your tv. Once you mess with it, it never seems quite right. But I will agree with a couple of suggestions.

I can’t think of any reason for Kim to be the only character with a shadow counter that doesn’t go forward. I don’t think whiffed shadow counters are a desirable outcome ever for anyone period. I think the adjustments to SC overall are the best S3 change and so this just seems like a step backwards. And for no real reason, as others have pointed out.

I also think her floaty jump is just too floaty. And I’m a s1-S2 Glacius main. But Glacius has a reason to be up there so long and it doesn’t feel so awkward. With Kim It makes no sense. Granted having th dragon cancels while she is up there is a real advantage, (and I’ve seen people use it for fantastic cross ups with J.HP) I still don’t really get why she has to be THIS floaty. It just feels wrong.

Beyond that, I don’t have enough experience to judge.

I’ve also been playing Kim Wu a lot and I think at least a few things could do with a touchup. I really wish her cr. HP anti-air was more consistent. It loses flat out to a lot of stuff, Riptor j.HP, Shago j.HP, Wulf Divekick, and Rash j. HP. It just feels like when I am making the right read and am in neutral and hit my anti-air I shouldn’t be rewarded with my opponent getting a combo.

Her MK and HK Dragon Kicks are also a bit discouraging. They’re a good tool to stop neutral jumps, but their hitboxes are so bad that they can easily lose to stuff that is designed to be beaten by air to airs. (Cinder Trailblazer, Glacius limbs) They’re okay as mobility tools when you have dragons, but I feel like they should work when you predict an obvious trailblazer.

The gap in Firecracker is just absurd. It’s a 9 frame startup move, so a fireball has to be somewhat telegraphed to use it anyway, and getting hit by a fireball you read is just silly. Also against Maya her daggers actually beat parry, which is pretty nuts.

Her shadow counter is just silly. It needs to move you forward. I’ve had it whiff on Laser Sword.

Also I wouldn’t mind a bit of a tuneup on her Shadow Dragon Kick hitbox. It often whiffs in combo. If you do juggle to Light Dragon Dance to standing Medium Kick to Medium Dragon Dance then do Shadow Dragon Kick it whiffs about 20% of the time and it really shouldn’t.

Giving her dragons at the start of the round or changing dragon ender I’m still a bit uncertain on. The stuff above feels like fixes to tools that have obvious issues with doing their job. I’d be content with just having it so that her moves work as they appear they should.

Instead of anti air try a dragon counter.

So we should do a punishable risky move that sets us back at neutral to react to the opponent taking a risk? I don’t know how I feel about that.

Great post and detailed analysis of her overall play style.

Side note, did you really have to try to stand out by calling her Kimberly, just say Kim bro lol

Edit: Seriously though, thanks for going in depth with every aspect about her, it really is a well done overview of her character.