Buffing the Worst V-Triggers in Street Fighter V

Another year, another season of Street Fighter V over with. In just a couple of weeks, we’ll be crowning a new Capcom Cup winner. Yes, I say “new” because I highly doubt MenaRD will be taking home the grand prize this year. I could be wrong, of course. But I don’t think I am, especially with the way the some of the top ranked players have been throughout the year.

But with the close of the 2018 Capcom Cup season comes a new beginning of sorts. Street Fighter V will be getting new characters once again and, probably more importantly, more balance changes. While there are a lot of specific buffs and nerfs I would want for some characters, I like to focus on the V-Triggers because they can be considered to be the game’s comeback mechanic. How many times has an Abigail player snatch victory from the jaws of defeat? Too many, thanks to his V-Trigger 1!

Capcom did give all characters in Street Fighter V two V-Triggers. Some characters, like Abigail, Rashid and M. Bison, have two good V-Triggers which can be switched depending on a player’s playstyle or situation. Other characters, like the ones were going to be discussing, weren’t so lucky. Instead of focusing on nerfing the V-Triggers of other characters, I’d like to give my suggestions on what Capcom can do to buff the weaker and more useless V-Triggers in the game. In this list, however, I’ll be focusing on the characters that seem to be on the low tier portion of the game. No need giving good V-Triggers to the top tier characters now, is there? So, don’t expect to see Menat’s V-Trigger 2 here, okay? Her V-Trigger 1 is frightening enough!

So, let’s get to buffing some of these V-Triggers, shall we?

Karuna Tenzan: Zeku’s V-Trigger 2

In my opinion, the weakest of all the V-Triggers in Street Fighter V right now is Zeku’s Karuna Tenzan. Let’s go start with that.

There is just so much wrong with this V-Trigger. It had limited invincibility. It doesn’t do that much damage. It leaves you wide open if blocked and in a Crush Counter state. There is virtually no reason to pick this V-Trigger unless you’re desperate to give Zeku’s Young Form a good anti-air.

There are three ways I would buff Karuna Tenzan. First, I would make the startup up to the active frames fully invincible, making it easier for it to connect with and you’ll be able to sneak it in during fake block strings. Second, make it do a hard knockdown if it connects. While Zeku does have advantage if it lands, giving his V-Trigger 2 a hard knockdown will allow for more setups. Finally, it should be an install V-Trigger. As it only functions as a combo ender, give Zeku players a little more bang for their buck. Buff it so that it comes out instantly on initial activate and you can then have a limited time to use a second one.

Feng Shui Engine Beta: Juri’s V-Trigger 2

A V-Trigger that drains the opponent’s CA meter? Sounds good on paper but its execution, not so much.

There are a couple of things that Feng Shui Engine Beta does right. It is safe on block, so using it at the end of a combo is good. It does drain your opponent’s meter and siphoning it to Juri’s significantly, provided you can actually stick close to your foe and keep both of the characters upright. The problem is Feng Shui Engine Alpha, Juri’s V-Trigger 1 is just so much better as it enable her to string impossible hits together and activates all her Fuharenkyaku kicks without having to store it. There’s just no reason to pick her V-Trigger 2 as it simply does not have that much functionality.

To buff Feng Shui Engine Beta, I’d make it so that you can activate the V-Trigger during special attacks. This will enable Juri to extend combos and make her specials safe. Second, I’d make it that activating it will store all of her Fuharenkyaku kicks. You’ll still use them up though, but at least you’ll get a free stock of them instantly.

Finally, I’ll buff it so that Juri can do the activation kick animation while the V-Trigger is active, giving her an additional attack which can also suck in the opponent. Doing the kick will drain the timer meter much faster, though. But at least she doesn’t have to chase the opponent since she can simply suck them back into the CA meter draining vortex at the right range.

Kakko Fubatsu: Ryu’s V-Trigger 2

Wait, isn’t this just his V-Skill?

Ryu’s second V-Trigger is a counter that, if activated, will cause a crumple state. This does give Ryu ample time to perform his some decent combos afterward. It also does a good chunk of damage. The problem is Ryu already has a parry: his V-Skill. This does make Kakko Fubatsu feel a little redundant. Also, Capcom already buffed his V-Trigger 1 really well, making it much more useful that his new V-Trigger 2.

I would generally rework the Kakko Fubatsu. Instead of making it just work as a reversal, I’d make it function somewhat like his Focus Attack from Street Fighter IV! You can still counter hits with it as intended, however, I’d give it the added ability of executing the punch by holding down the hard punch and hard kicks. I’d even make it an unblockable strike if fully charged! To make it more useful, the Kakko Fubatsu’s punch can also be used during combos, much like the Focus Attack of yore. To balance this out, I’d leave it at two bars but Ryu’s entire V-Trigger timer is emptied out if you connect with the punch.

By the way, I’m actually fine with Karin’s V-Trigger 2, the Tenha no Kata. Yes, it’s a counter V-Trigger like Ryu’s but it feels more functional as you can activate it during special attacks and has better combo potential. 

If I were to buff it though, I’d buff it so that the counter works on projectiles, batting it back to her opponent. It’s not like Karin needs it but, honestly, I got nothing. Tenha no Kata would be good for a few matchups, in my opinion so I’d leave it alone for the most part. Besides, although Karin has fallen from grace in popularity recently, I wouldn’t exactly call her low-tier… yet.

Dokunomu: FANG’s V-Trigger 1

Wow, I finally get to talk about a V-Trigger 1 this time around!

Capcom did get around to trying to buff FANG’s first V-Trigger, the Dokumoku, by giving his V-Skill a hitbox, making it a weird projectile that poisons the opponent, even on block. But that’s essentially the only buff it got. It’s so outclassed by his V-Trigger 2, the Koryu Dokuda, as the latter buffs a couple of his specials, the Nishikyu and Robenda, and he can cancel his projectiles into his command dash. You can also get the same setups from both V-Triggers so there’s no real reason to use FANG’s Dokumoku unless you really, really want that V-Skill projectile to get a hitbox.

As much as I would like to suggest that the Dokumoku cause more poison damage, I know that’s a dangerous proposition as tweaking it too much may make FANG a top tier monster. Instead, I suggest Dokumoku enhances his two other special moves, the Sotoja, his dashing double punch, and Nikankyaku, his “escape slide” dash move.

For the Sotoja, just make it cause more damage. Maybe give it an additional hit when Dokumoku is active. However, the more interesting buff idea I have involves the Nikankyaku. Instead of just being an “escape slide,” make it so that, when FANG’s V-Trigger 1 is active, it actually has a hitbox! The active frames would be in the middle of the dash only but giving it a couple of attack frames would increase FANG’s combo potential while enabling him to close in the gap or go for mixups.

Haru Arashi: Sakura’s V-Trigger 1

When did a projectile buff install be considered weak? Well, actually, it’s not. Let me explain…

Haru Arashi, Sakura’s V-Trigger 1, isn’t exactly what I would call weak. Activating it buffs all of her projectile attacks, making her throw something like her EX fireballs. They’re all also plus on block, making them safe from counterattack. She even gains a new mini-fireball, the Hogasho, that’s great for meaty attacks. The only problem with it is it isn’t as good as her V-Trigger 2, the Sakura Senpu. Sakura Senpu powers up her Shoryuken and Shunpukyaku, giving those moves EX properties. Because of this, there just seems to be more utility for her V-Trigger 2 as you can mount better comebacks.

As Haru Arashi is already good, I just want to give Sakura players more incentive to use it. So the buffs I would suggest is to make the Hogasho a little bit faster so it can combo better in certain cases. The second buff would be, when activated, the Haru Arashi causes a different animation for her Critical Art that focuses on her projectile. Make it something like how when Ryu activates V-Trigger 1, his Shikuu Hadoken becomes the more powerful Denjin Hadoken.

What other V-Triggers do you think needs to be buffed? Let me know in the comments section below!

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