The Season 2 character adjustments of Street Fighter V has been generally well-received. It put some of the weaker characters into the higher tiers and made some of the stronger characters a little bit more manageable to face off against. Well, that was the idea anyway. Some characters were hit a little too hard by the nerf stick and some strong characters became nightmares to fight. If you’ve ever fought against a Urien online who just spams his standing hard punch all day long, you know what I mean.
But it’s not just Urien that’s dominating the online world of Street Fighter V. Capcom somehow managed to mess up the balance of the characters dramatically, making it difficult for the more mid-tier characters to become effective. Well, it’s a good thing that Capcom is going to rebalance the characters once more soon! With that in mind, here are some of the buffs and nerfs I would want to see. I’ll start out with the characters that are in sorely needing some buffs…
The worst character in the game. Seriously. The. Worst. Character. I will admire the players that are sticking with FANG through thick and thin. But he is the worst character in Street Fighter V, bar none. On paper, FANG should be a really awesome character. Most of his normal attacks hit twice due to his obsession with the number 2. Not only that, he can indirectly drain his opponent’s life by sticking them with poison. Yet, he languishes in the bottom tier because of his low damage potential. So, what did Capcom do? Nerf him even more! Brilliant!
I can suggest two changes and those revolve around FANG’s poison gimmick. For one, make it scary to be afflicted by poison. Maybe make the duration shorter but drain much faster. This way, opponents will be forced to try to get rid of the poison in a hurry. Another suggestion would be to give FANG’s V-Trigger an added element so that it powers up the damage output of his poison based attacks. The damage from the poison would still be the same, but the immediate damage the attacks causes, like his arching projectiles and his charging poison punches, would hurt a lot more.
Being someone who used to main Vega/Claw way back in Street Fighter IV, I think it’s sad that he’s kind of pitiful in Street Fighter V. Okay, he was always one of the weaker characters even in the fourth game. But he seems really weak here as well. Since Vega/Claw has two forms, claw and clawless mode, I’m going to give two suggestions on how to buff him.
The first thing I would like to see improve is the range of his punch normal attacks in claw mode. This was one of the weirdest things Capcom ever did, even in Street Fighter IV. Why doesn’t the hitbox actually match the length of his weapon? And why can someone “punch” the claw so that it’ll hurt the beautiful matador ninja? It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. I really hope Capcom fixes this and make the hitboxes and hurboxes match what they look like on screen.
In clawless mode, Vega/Claw has a new special move. They gave him a command throw, which should have been awesome but it’s actually the worst command throw in the game. I’m not complaining about how wimpy its range is (but it is a point of contention) or how much damage is does. The reason why it’s the worst command throw in Street Fighter V is because it’s the slowest one. Every command throw comes out in 5 frames; Vega/Claw’s version comes out in 6. In the interest of fairness, Capcom should really make it on par with the other command throws so that Vega/Claw’s comes out in 5 frames as well.
I will be honest, I don’t know much about Ibuki but, since she’s a female character, I did try my hand at her when she first came out and I didn’t like controlling her a whole lot. I will say that, since she is generally a mixup character and a highly technical one at that, she doesn’t suit my playstyle. She can pull off some really damaging combos, especially when she can activate her bomb V-Trigger. But there is something that really bugs me about Ibuki and that’s her V-Gauge. Rather, I’m annoyed on why her V-Gauge is 3 bars instead of 2.
While it may destroy her balancing because she can get it faster, I think Ibuki should have a 2-bar V-Gauge. This would be in line with the other low life characters like Chun-Li and Cammy. As you can only charge the V-Gauge by taking damage or using the V-Skill, this just seems appropriate because of her low life and, frankly, her V-Skill plain sucks. To balance out this buff, Capcom can increase the damage scaling on the bomb combos so that it doesn’t get too out of hand.
The poster boy for the Street Fighter series is now regarded to be one of the more weaker characters in the game? Well, that’s an issue. The problem is that Ryu just doesn’t have the power of Akuma nor the speed of Ken. That’s what you get when you decide to be a well rounded character; you never excel in anything.
I do think Ryu is viable for the most part, however. But he’s just not as viable as Akuma or Ken. Why would I pick Ryu when Akuma and Ken seem much better? Well, I think you can buff two particular aspects of Ryu that would make him seem better than the other Shotos: his V-Skill and his V-Trigger.
His V-Skill, the parry, may seem useful but no one really uses it because the risk of missing the parry isn’t worth eating a full combo. Right now, successfully parrying an attack fills up the V-Gauge a miniscule amount. Capcom should make his V-Skill fill up the V-Gauge meter at a faster rate, making Ryu players actually want to use it so they can fill the meter up without taking the huge damage required to fill it up quickly.
The second buff would involve his V-Trigger mode. Specifically, it’s his ability to charge up his fireballs when in V-Trigger. It seems pretty much useless to do this unless you do a hard knockdown. And even still, with the many ways you can get around projectiles, this can prove to be dangerous to charge it up even then. There should be a way for Ryu to cancel out from charging the fireball safely without having to throw it. They can model it the way Juri can cancel charging her V-Skill by dashing or Birdie cancelling the chain throw by pressing a kick button. This would also be a great way for Ryu to fake out opponents into thinking they can do something to stuff out the charging only to be punished hard.
It was actually kind of hard for me to pick who would be the last one who deserves a buff for the Mid-Season 2 update. Everyone did get some upgrades and, although some guys got too strong, everyone else did get significant changes to their game. I looked through the characters and really couldn’t decide who needed an extra buff. So I decided to look at it at a different angle. Rather than look at the characters who are weak, I looked at who usually doesn’t get picked. And, for me, that person seems to be Rashid.
I actually think, in the hands of a really good player, Rashid can be really deadly. But he’s generally overlooked because there are so many characters that can do much more damage. It always feels like you have to work extra hard just to really punish your opponents when you use the man from the Turbulent Wind. So I would suggest giving him some damage buffs.
First, I would like to see strengthened would be is Spinning Mixer specials. They do relatively pitiful damage and I think it’s only aggravated by the fact that they’re multi-hitting specials. I’m not sure you’re getting all the bang for your buck from this because of damage scaling. A quick fix to would be to increase the amount of damage from the first one or two hits and then reduce the damage for the later hits. This would allow the first two hits hurt more without that much damage scaling.
Second, Rashid’s V-Trigger improves his mobility. That’s good but I expected it to also increase the damage inflicted from his specials. Since Rashid is in need of damage buffs, I guess adding this would also be great for the character.
So, those are some of the characters that I feel need to be strengthened in the upcoming Mid-Season 2 update. Next week, I guess I’ll talk on who deserves to be nerfed (Hint: one of them rhymes with “orien”).
Who else deserves buffs in Street Fighter V? How would you buff them? Let me know in the comments section below!