This might be the last character review I have for Street Fighter V. Nothing seems to be on the horizon and I’m predicting Capcom will be announcing Street Fighter VI sometime this year. The only questions is if they’re ending their string of DLC roster additions with a bang or a whimper.
Well, I am glad to say that Seth, the latest addition to Street Fighter V’s cast of characters, is a really fun character to play as. While he/she is a worthy addition to the roster, I’m not sure if we’ll be seeing much of him/her in the last year of tournaments.
Seth is a returning character from Street Fighter IV, however, he’s sporting a new look… or is it “she” now? I guess it doesn’t matter all that much because Seth is a machine so, technically, Seth has no gender. Still, it’s going to be rather confusing so I’ll be referring to Seth as a “he” from hereon out. Don’t @ me for being insensitive, okay?
Anyway, Seth is now sporting a female body in Street Fighter V and, well, I like it! I never really liked his original bald musclebound body in Street Fighter IV. Thankfully, in Street Fighter V, he’s sporting a new, sleek look in his feminine shell. What makes me like it even more is the fact that he still sounds like a man when he speaks! It’s weird but I like the direction Capcom took here! Seth’s new female body does share similarities to Juri as I guess the people who designed his new look liked Juri’s appearance. To come along with his new look, most of Seth’s normals are now vastly different from his Street Fighter IV iteration. He cannot stretch his arms anymore nor can he throw out a Sonic Boom normally. Still, the normals that he does have this time around is a mix of good and bad, with the good outnumbering the bad ones.
Probably his most notable normal attack would be his crouching medium punch. This move has a lot of range and is safe on block. Not only that, it has enough hit stun so that you can go into his standing medium punch to standing heavy punch target combo. You’re going to be seeing this move a whole lot! Another move that’s really good but a lot of people are going to be sleeping on is his crouching heavy punch. This is a very unique move as this is actually Seth’s sweep! Yes, his crouching heavy kick is kind of a decent far-reaching anti-air. Capcom mixed them up kind of like Makoto in Street Fighter III and IV so it’ll take some getting used to. The thing that makes Seth’s crouching heavy punch super good is that, not only does it hit low, he slides forward a bit, giving the move good range. The slide will also go over all grounded projectiles, even Sagat’s Low Tiger Shot! I also have to mention that Seth’s standing heavy kick, while it doesn’t have much range and is kind of slpw, is one of the best anti-airs out there since hits behind him and launches the opponent, leading to a quick juggle combo!
Of course, what makes Seth really fun to play are his special attacks. He only has 4 but they all have their uses. Hecatoncheires are his rushing punches, which have a lot of active frames. While the light and medium ones are unsafe, they can all be spaced out so Seth can’t be counterattacked. Cruel Disaster is a spin kick that is projectile invincible so it can be used to counter fireball tossers when they get too predictable. Mad Cradle is a jumping uppercut and does a good chunk of damage; the heavy version can even combo from Seth’s light attacks! Finally, his Annihilate Sword is an axe kick that can only be done while jumping. You can use it to combo from his jumping medium punch or change his jump arc slightly. I would say that the Annihilate Sword is the scariest special Seth has since you can do this instantly when jumping and will beat out a lot of attacks. What makes all of these special attacks neat is that, if you’ve played other Capcom fighting games, you can see all the references to its history!
Seth’s normals and special attacks already make him a formidable opponent because all of these moves have some use in the right time. However, what makes Seth terrifying are his V-Skills and V-Triggers. In the grand scheme of things, his 2nd V-Skill and V-Trigger are not that impressive but still useful under the right circumstances, so we’ll talk about those first.
Seth’s V-Skill II is the Tanden Booster. It’s a command dash that covers a lot of the screen quickly. You can stop by pressing the V-Skill command while he’s doing the dash. It a quick way to get it but its main use is for enhancing Seth’s grounded special attacks. If you connect with any of these enhanced moves, Seth can easily put his opponent in the corner quickly. The only problem is the dash has no properties in itself. I can see some players using this V-Skill as a way to surprise the opponent but, in general, I see more people using V-Skill 1.
Seth was known for copying moves of the other Street Fighter characters. With his V-Skill 1, the Tanden Engine, he can literally copy one of his opponent’s special attacks! You do have to suck your opponent in and, if it’s unblocked, you have to press the punch button to store the attack. Each character will give Seth a specific special attack of theirs so Seth mains will have to be familiar with what move they get. One of the best things when you do have the move installed is you can activate it during any of Seth’s special attacks, leading to some longer combos and, of course, more damage. It also helps that you can use a stolen special attack to make previously unsafe moves safe, depending on the character Seth is facing.
There are some issues with the Tanden Engine. It’s rather slow so you can’t just throw it out willy-nilly. If you try to get the special move and the punch is blocked, prepare to eat a very damaging punish. Some of the stolen special moves also are strange. With Ibuki, Seth steals her command dash, which is lame. He gets Dhalsim Yoga Flame when it would’ve been cool if he got his stretchy heavy punch instead. With Ryu and Akuma, you get a fireball. Capcom should’ve either made it so Seth gets Ryu’s side kick or Akuma’s medium hurricane kick or his air fireball to kind of individualize them.
The biggest issue I have with it is you can only use the stolen special move once. I wish they game Seth a counter or he can keep doing the move unless he gets knocked down or something. However, I can’t also knock Capcom for doing this because, while stealing a special move is great, the actual sucking move is fantastic! It’s safe on both hit or block, though you will lose your turn if it’s blocked. It also has decent range so you can actually punish some whiff attacks with it! V-Skill 1 is much more than just getting a different special attack. It’s also all about getting your opponent close if need be.
Both of Seth’s V-Triggers are really good but V-Trigger 1, Tanden Ignition, edges out his V-Trigger 2, Tanden Maneuver. The Tanden Maneuver is a 2-bar V-Trigger that has Seth fire off an energy sphere that he can control. It stays on the screen for a while as well and you can detonate it manually for a good chunk of damage. While it doesn’t look like much, Tanden Maneuver is deceptively dangerous. If you “bounce” the sphere on the floor and it hits, Seth’s opponent will be launched in the air, leading to juggle combos. It’s also a good way to cover Seth when he needs to get in. You can even be really sneaky and throw it out, get it out of the way so Seth can land a throw. It’s a pure utility V-Trigger and a very scary one. The problem is the barrier of difficulty to know all the setups for it. Also, I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong but I can’t seem to control it for long! Once it stops hitting the opponent, it seems like Seth loses his connection with the sphere. I’m probably doing something wrong but I can’t figure out what it is!
Seth’s other V-Trigger, Tanden Ignition, is much more easy to understand. While this is active, Seth can add an additional attack to the end of his special moves and stolen special attacks from the Tanden Engine. This can lead to some damaging combos that will destroy your opponent’s life bar! There are ways you can even use the follow ups to juggle into each other! This can lead to some really dramatic comebacks and cool combo videos. Additionally, Seth’s Critical Art, Tanden Destruction, does a little more damage and while not draining out his V-Trigger gauge! The biggest issue of Tanden Ignition is the amount of damage scaling since the combos can be incredibly long. Still, damage is damage.
Both V-Triggers definitely have its pros and cons but they’re both extremely useful. I would like to think that the choice of which V-Trigger would be all about the matchup but I just see more people using Tanden Ignition because of its potential for enabling a comeback right now.
Seth does has some flaws. Both his health and stun are on the low side, making him on par with Cammy regarding those factors. Some of his normal attacks, such as his standing medium kick, are wonky and inconsistent. Most of his heavy special attacks can’t combo from his light and medium attacks. However, those issues can be easily covered up by his vast toolset.
I can see Seth being a part of the Street Fighter tournament scene but, because of his low health stats, I believe a lot of pros will keep away and stay with their mains and keep Seth as a backup character. He doesn’t really seem to have any bad matchups but he has to stay in the mid-range to stay a threat, which may be more difficult than it seems. I do think Seth is a fun character and Capcom did a great job adapting him to Street Fighter V. He’s going to be the last character but it’s great that he’s a good character to close out the game’s run.
What do you think of Seth? Let me know in the comments section below!