I bet the folks over at Capcom were expecting a more positive response for Abigail, the latest Street Fighter V character to be added in Season 2, when his trailer popped up at EVO. I honestly thought his reception would have been a little bit better if he didn’t have to follow the really awesome trailers for Geese Howard for Tekken 7 and Trunks for the upcoming Dragon Ball FighterZ. Those were characters that people are excited for. No one really wanted a no name like Abigail to become a part of Street Fighter V’s roster. At least the live crowd at EVO were polite as the hulking brute got a smattering of applause, especially after his ridiculous speed bag punching Critical Art.
He’s been out for a good while now and, after some extensive time with Abigail, I will say that, despite his really awkward design, I actually think he has the potential to be a really good character. In fact, in the hands of the right player, Abigail has the potential to be an incredibly deadly character. Dare I even say, top tier?
But first, let’s go look at Abigail’s more superficial characteristics. The thing that stands out is definitely his size. If you thought Birdie and Zangief were large characters, buddy, you have no idea. According to the game itself, Birdie and Zangief stand at roughly at 7 feet tall, with Birdie being slightly taller over Zangief by an inch. Abigail, however, stands at a whopping 8 feet flat! He even makes Zangief look puny in comparison! This revelation does kind of rub me the wrong way because, well, I don’t like the idea of Zangief being the underdog when it comes to the power and health department. But here comes Abigail, surpassing the Red Cyclone in both categories.
Despite Abigail’s size, he isn’t as slow as I thought he would be. I mean, since he’s the biggest character in the game, I also expected him to be much slower than even Zangief but it does seem that he moves at around the same speed as the Protector of Russian Skies. Maybe his walk speed is a little slower but not by all that much.
Thanks to his freakishly and comical size, Abigail has one of the longest reaches in the game. All of his normals seem very good. Well, actually, half of them are anyway. That’s because, while his punches are incredible, his normal kick attacks seem pretty bad, with the notable exception of two of them: the standing and crouching versions of his hard kick. His crouching hard kick isn’t your standard sweep attack. It’s actually a two hit attack where the first one can be blocked high but the second one needs to be blocked low. It’s the second hit that actually knocks down the opponent. His standing hard kick has Abigail step forward with a big boot. It’s one of his Crush Counters and it knocks the opponent off their feet if it hits cleanly. If properly spaced, it looks like it’s safe as it can push the opponent back quite a distance so that it becomes hard to counter.
Abigail’s punch attacks is where the money’s at. His punches are deceptively far reaching, especially his crouching medium punch, which you can even cancel into a special attack. Even his light punch attacks have surprisingly far reach. In fact, remember when people were upset at how some characters can anti-air their opponents with a simple jab way back in Season 1, which is why Capcom nerfed ? Well, Abigail can do that to with his light punch right now! The scary thing about it is, if Abigail does knock you out of the air with his jab, that just means you’re close to him, which is where Abigail actually wants you as most of his special attacks work really well when up close.
Among his special attacks, you’ll probably be using his Abigail Punch, AKA his machine gun punch, the most often but generally as a combo ender. It has decent range but is unsafe on block. However, it does really good damage, especially if you mash the punch buttons rapidly if it connects. You’ll also want to mix it up with Abigail Smash command throw just to keep your opponent guessing if you’re going for an attack, normal throw or this attack. The Abigail Smash has surprisingly short range, though. Definitely not as good as Zangief’s Spinning Piledriver which can suck in his opponent in a ways but the Abigail Smash is still frightening, especially the EX version as you can juggle your opponent for a follow up combo afterwards.
Abigail also has the Giant Flip where he smashes the ground with a double axhandle smash. This move doesn’t look useful but it actually is deceptively one of his more frightening moves. While the Giant Flip comes out slow, your opponent will probably eat some damage if you connect with it, even if your foe blocks it. It seems like it’s plus on block, meaning that Abigail can still press the advantage even if his opponent does block it. This means you can try to do frame traps with it or even perform the Abigail Smash afterwards!
However, his best special move would be his Nitro Charge and all of the follow up attacks you can do during it. The Nitro Charge will make Abigail run… well, it’s more like a trot… towards his opponent. It doesn’t really do anything but Abigail can absorb one to two hits, depending if you used the EX version or not, but there are several follow ups you can do during this move. Doing a punch will make Abigail attack with his regular standing hard punch. Pressing a kick button will make Abigail flip forward with some weird somersault senton bomb which hits overhead, meaning it needs to be blocked high. His most devastating attack is probably is the throw you can perform after the Nitro Charge as it does massive damage!
Abigail’s V-Skill is some kind of parry attack. It can absorb one hit and, if your opponent gets hit by it, can lead to some devastating damage, especially once you get the hang of Abigail’s combos. This makes it a really great comeback tool when your opponent is just blindly attacking you. His V-Trigger is kind of weird. Abigail gains the ability to charge all his hard punch attacks. You can absorb one hit while your charging up the attack and, if you do get to charge it up, some of the properties change. I can’t really utilize it in the proper way but I can definitely see the pro players making full use of this V-Trigger. Oh, and despite Abigail having the highest vitality in the game, his V-Trigger is only two bars! That’s insane!
Regarding Abigail’s Critical Art, the Abigail Special, it’s probably one of the best and one of the worst ones in Street Fighter V. It’s fantastic because it does a ton of damage, it has great range, it’s easy to combo into and you can even anti-air with it easily! The biggest drawback is, if it’s blocked or is somehow avoided, Abigail will be in the longest recovery state in all of recorded history! Oh, and his Critical Art, while extremely damaging, is hard to take seriously because of how ridiculous it looks.
After some extensive testing with the character, I actually found myself having a lot of fun with the character. However, Abigail isn’t the character for me because of one big flaw in the big man’s game: his utterly puny jump range! I know you’re not supposed to be jumping around in the game but, hey! I like jumping, especially if you’re going in for a combo. Abigail’s jump height and distance is stupidly low and short. It can lead you to missing combos because of how short it travels. There are other reason why I won’t be using Abigail as well. His slow speed sucks and, while I love the range of his attacks, the fact that they’re slow means you have to meticulously plan your offense or be really good at catching your opponent off guard.
Despite all of this and all the hate he’s been getting, I do think Abigail is going to be a killer once a skilled pro player starts maining him. I actually hope someone like Poongko, someone who loves annihilating the opposition with flashy killer combos brings him to the next tournament, or Alucard, who’s known for using humongous characters, because I know they’re going to surprise everyone with how good Abigail really is. Overall, Abigail is a worthy addition to the roster. Vroom vroom!
What do you think of Abigail, Street Fighter V’s latest DLC character for Season 2? Let me know in the comments section below!