Well, things have gotten a whole lot interesting for Street Fighter V fans as of late. Not only did Capcom release a new balance patch to coincide with the latest and possibly final season for the game, they also unleashed Dan as a new playable character. As most fighting game fans know, Dan was designed to be a parody of Ryo and Robert, two characters from SNK’s Art of Fighting franchise, as they both closely imitate Street Fighter mainstays Ryu and Ken. He was basically supposed to be a joke character. Not overly weak that you can’t win matches with him but winning using him was supposed to be more difficult than normal.
This seems to have changed with his introduction in Street Fighter V. He still has a lot of the things that made him not as good as the other characters in the roster, like a laughably short projectile and no 3-frame normal attacks. He does have a specific thing that seems to strike fear in a lot of players as he has something that no other character in Street Fighter V has.
Dan has an infinite combo. What this means is that Dan, under the right circumstances and spacing, can outright kill his opponent with one, just one, combo.
The discovery of this infinite has lead a lot of fans to either request for this to be patched out or left in. Now, there are certainly arguments to be made by both sides as this is certainly something that could potentially make one specific character dominate over the others. However, as of right now, I fall in the camp that would let Capcom keep it in… at least for now.
To go into more detail, I do need to give a more in-depth explanation on Dan’s infinite as it stands. There are three specific components to it. The first being is that Dan should have brought his character in the corner, which should actually be easy since he does have several moves that can do this in a short amount of time. The second thing is that Dan should be using V-Skill II. This V-Skill is unique as it allows him to cancel any normal and buffer in another attack. Basically, it allows Dan to chain or link into two attacks that would normally not cause a combo.
The third and possibly most important aspect of the Dan infinite is the spacing. Not only should Dan have placed his opponent in the corner, he also should be as a specific distance away from him or her. This is because of the distance Dan has to be when he throws his limp fireball. It has to connect as some distance for Dan to recover just enough for him to throw another heavy punch. Dan will push himself further and further out, eventually breaking the infinite. However, there are ways to maintain the distance but those are very difficult to execute.
If you’re looking at it in a vacuum, this is a very powerful tactic to do as, at the very least, it can take off a good chunk of your opponent’s lifebar without spending any meter. At its worst, Dan can outright kill his foe with this combo. There are already specific setups that show people, including desk, the man who discovered the infinite, delivering 100% damage combos. However, as strong as it seems, there are several reasons why I’m okay if Capcom leaves it in for now.
For one thing, the setup to actually get the infinite going is super specific. Not only do you need to have cornered your opponent and using V-Skill II, you also have to be at a specific distance away from him or her to actually get it started. It would seem possible to do in an actual match but, since everyone knows about the specific circumstances, I’m not sure how many Dan opponents will allow themselves to get sucked in. There are defensive options, like V-Reversals and the new V-Shift mechanic, that should allow people to get out of the pressure if they see it coming.
Additionally, the combo itself does have some degree of difficulty to perform flawlessly. Most non-professional players who don’t have the muscle memory or the time to practice strict execution to consistently cancel the V-Skill II move. I have tried to do Dan’s Infinite several times and I have managed to repeat the loop maybe around five or six times before I dropped it. There is a certain rhythm you can fall into once you get it started but once it drops, it’s gone. It’s not as difficult as, say Street Fighter IV’s El Fuerte’s frightening Run-Stop-Fierce infinite, but still challenging enough for the general Street Fighter public to execute on a regular basis.
While this may be true for most players, this doesn’t apply to professional fighting game players, the ones who really take their time to focus on developing the necessary muscle memory to perform complex combos on the fly like Dan’s infinite combo. They have to practice these kinds of moves day in and day out if they want to be good at their job. As this is a very powerful thing to have in their arsenal, you can bet they will be also developing setups and situations to be able to put their opponents into the necessary conditions to perform it. And they will be able to perform the Dan infinite as consistently as possible.
This is why, as much as I wish Capcom will keep Dan’s infinite, much like how El Fuerte kept his Run-Stop-Fierce infinite throughout Street Fighter IV’s lifetime, I know they’ll patch it out eventually. They will eventually have to if, in the future, we’ll see most pro players picking Dan for competitions as he’s the one who can eke out the most damage. Dan’s infinite combo does feel much more straightforward and, as we’ve come to see, some pros are able to perform it even when blindfolded!
There’s also a chance when even non-pro players will be able to perform this consistently, basically destroying the fun of other players. Now, like I said, this probably won’t happen but, if enough players do get good at doing it and it’s sabotaging the fun aspect of others, then I can definitely see Capcom squashing Dan’s infinite sooner than later.
And, honestly, it would be easy enough to patch out. They can make it so his standing heavy punch pushes his opponent just a smidge further than it does now, causing Dan to drop out of the loop much faster. The nice thing about this it would still retain the loop but it wouldn’t be an infinite. A more drastic change would revamp V-Skill 2 in a way that Dan cannot do it a certain number of times or there would be some kind of cooldown before he’s allowed to perform the cancel. It would be more in line with Dan being a joke character. But I still wouldn’t be in favor of this as it would limit his damage potential in the long run. They can even change the property of the fireball in the sense that it causes a knockdown on something like the third loop like how they patched out Urien’s headbutt loop.
So, yeah, I’m all for keeping Dan’s infinite in for the time being. Right now, it’s more of a novelty and seeing this supposedly joke character wipe out opponents with a devastating combo is still funny in a strange way. I wouldn’t be surprised, however, when the time comes in the future and Capcom makes changes to Dan, crippling the infinite.
As long as Dan can still do the Legendary Taunt and attacking him at the right time can kill him, I’ll be okay with that.
Now that’s Saikyo-Ryu’s true power!
What do you think Capcom should do with Dan’s infinite? Let me know in the comments section below!