UltraDavid’s Meaninglessly Late SFV Season 2 Wishlist

Published On December 19, 2016 | By UltraDavid | Street Fighter V

Back in October, I began slowly and occasionally working on my SFV Season 2 wishlist for game mechanic and character changes. I was planning to publish it after Capcom Cup, expecting that that would mark the end of Season 1 but come before any Season 2 changes were announced, but of course that idea died when some form of Season 2 changes were available AT Capcom Cup. So, sure, this is useless, but why waste content? On a website that… doesn’t get… ad revenue… Hm. Maybe I should look into that, but in the meantime, just humor me here.

In creating this change list, I wanted to highlight unique and fun aspects of each character, find uses for useless moves, and make minimal, economical changes while keeping strong characters strong and not taking too many risks in buffing the rest. In general, I’m fine with top tier characters staying top tier as long as they’re smoothed out a bit and their opponents can fight them better.  I’d also planned to offer reasoning for every change listed here, but that would take way too long for a meaningless a vanity post, so, I’ll just stick to more general explanations.

By the way, tomorrow night we’ll have a complete Street Fighter V Season 1 Retrospective on our Tuesday Show! We’ll go over our final season 1 tier lists, talk about how the game fared and evolved, and break down the best players of the season. Check it out on December 20 at 8pm Pacific time at twitch.tv/ultrachentv. Enjoy!


Game Changes

  1. Input lag: 5f input lag like SF4 (from 6.5f)
    1. To compensate, all toward dashes 2f faster
    2. To compensate, duration of all jump arcs 2f less
  2. Gray life: 20% of regular damage from normals (from 16.67%), 10% of regular damage by specials (from 0%)
  3. Stand light antiairs: ones not animated to hit above the character’s head don’t work as antiair against crossups
  4. Player 2 has a post-game rematch/character select/etc menu and oh yeah major UI and single player overhaul etc

Explanation: Less input lag is something everyone’s wanted of course, but because it would effectively make everyone’s reactions slightly better, movement tools should be buffed a bit to keep them useful. I love the idea of gray life, but it rarely has enough impact to make people scared. Making it more important is useful for both offensive characters like Cammy and zoners like Dhalsim, as well as for fireball characters like Nash and Guile if special moves both chip and build gray damage. I’m fine with most antiair jabs because taking 30-40 damage in order to potentially deal way way more with a connected jump in seems like a fine risk-reward situation, but I do think it’s dumb that buttons animated to hit in the front can somehow beat crossups.


Alex

  1. Toward+mp: startup 16f (from 22), recovery 16f (from 18f) but 1f less hitstun/blockstun so +2 on hit and -3 on block (from +1, -4)
  2. Flash chop
    1. Hp: +1 on block (from -4), very little pushback on block
  3. Stomp
    1. Lk/mk/hk: 30f startup (from 27-33f), 100 damage (from 120), widened hitbox in front for better spacing and in back for potential crossups, but pushback much less when crossing up so punishes are easier
  4. Head crush
    1. Lp/mp/hp: 30f startup (from 36-44)
  5. Vskill: 45 total frames (from 55)

Explanation: I feel Alex is already strong in neutral, but I want to bring back or improve some of the mixups that I loved in Third Strike. Alex had great overheads in 3S, but in season 1 his overhead was absurdly slow. Alex’s stomps were really fun in 3S, but in season 1 they required hard reads and couldn’t cross up. Stomp or head crush is a fun if mildly risky mixup, but it’s silly that they take so long to start up and have different startup times. I also think he has one of the most unique vskills in the game and it’s a shame he can’t get it going in most matchups. I don’t want it to be super easy to set up, but it should be a bit easier.

Balrog

  1. Cr mk: hits low
  2. Dash straight
    1. Lp: active 2f (from 4f), recovery 20f (from 22), +2 to +3 on hit and -3 to -2 on block (from +1 to +5, -4 to 0)
    2. Mp: recovery 21f (from 22), -3 to +1 on block (from -6 to -2)
    3. Hp: startup 24f (from 19f), +2 on hit and -1 on block (from +3, -7), very little pushback
  3. Dash low
    1. Lk/mk/hk: recovery 24f (from 26f), -5 on block (from -7)
  4. Screw smash
    1. All: charge time 40f (from 45)
    2. Hk: startup 19f (from 24f) and 100 damage (from 90)
  5. Tap: max level is lv5
    1. Lv2: 120 damage (from 100) and charge time 1.5 seconds (from 2)
    2. Lv3: 160 damage (from 120) and charge time 3 seconds (from 4)
    3. Lv4: 200 damage (from 160) and charge time 5 seconds (from 8)
    4. Lv5: 250 damage (from 200) and charge time 10 seconds (from 16)
    5. New ex tap (hold ppp or kkk): charge time 3 seconds, 12f startup, full invul frames 1-14, knockdown on hit, -20 on block, cannot be vskill canceled, 80 damage

Explanation: To me, Rog is in the lower half of the cast in season 1, but not far away from being very strong. His mixups lead to too much damage to be made much safer, but improvements to his neutral game with safer dash punches, less required upsmash charge time, and actually practical turn around punch levels will help a bit. Also, I like the idea of giving him an invincible ex tap like USF4 Fuerte’s ex quesadilla bomb, except with much less damage and safety. This is a unique enough option and requires enough planning and risk that I don’t mind giving it to a character with such big damage output.

Birdie

  1. Backward walk speed: slightly increased in both regular and vtrigger modes
  2. Hanging chain
    1. Lk: recovery 15f (from 24f), -14 on block (from -23), counts as a projectile, does chip damage
    2. Mk: recovery 19f (from 24f), -18 on block (from -23)
    3. Hk: startup 20f (from 25f), recovery 20f (from 31)
  3. Revenger
    1. Lk/mk/hk: 25f startup (from 35-43f), airborne frames 5-23 (from 7-38)
    2. Ex: 20f startup (from 23)
  4. Vskill
    1. Banana: startup 40f (from 50f) and recovery 8f (from 9f)
    2. Can: startup 40f (from 50f) and recovery 8f (from 11f), counts as a projectile
    3. Donut: 30f startup (from 40f) and recovery 10f (from 12f)

Explanation: I want to highlight Birdie’s unique archetype of slow, wall-like, defensive grappler! With that in mind, I want to give him a bit better backward mobility without improving his offensive mobility, improve hanging chain zoning a bit, and make the very unique vskills more viable more often. Also, with less input lag, dolphin dive should be buffed by a bit to still be able to catch opponents off guard.

Cammy

  1. St mp: 50 damage (from 60)
  2. Cr mp: 50 damage (from 60)
  3. St mk: 50 damage (from 60)
  4. Throws: 120 damage (from 130-140)
  5. Spiral arrow
    1. Lk: 60 damage (from 80)
    2. Mk: 70 damage (from 90)
    3. Hk: 80 damage (from 100)
    4. Ex: 100 damage (from 120), 150 stun (from 200)
  6. Cannon spike
    1. Lk/mk/hk: 100/60 damage (from 120/80), 150 stun (from 200)
    2. Ex: 140 damage (from 160)
  7. Cannon strike
    1. All versions: 50 damage (from 60)
  8. Hooligan
    1. All versions: faster movement speed
    2. Divekick followup: 50 damage (from 60), slightly less height restriction
    3. Slide followup: 80 damage (from 100)
    4. Ex slide followup: 120 damage (from 150)
    5. Grab followup: 120 damage (from 150)
  9. Vskill: startup 30f (from 36f), is a crush counter that causes launch
  10. Vtrigger
    1. Vspiral arrow: 100 damage (from 120)
    2. V cannon spike: 140 damage (from 160)
    3. V cannon strike: 60 damage (from 80)
    4. New v hooligan: followup grab can grab crouching and standing opponents, followup divekick 50 damage and hits overhead, followup low 80 damage

Explanation: Cammy is one of the best characters in season 1 because she has great mobility, hit confirms, pressure, footsies, and defensive tools, while still dealing good damage. I’m fine with her keeping her options because options are fun, I just want her to have to work a bit more two to take a round. I also want to find a use for her vskill and hooligan, at least in vtrigger, because James always complains about them.

Chun Li

  1. St hp: startup 12f (from 11f), recovery 17f (from 16f), -1 on hit and -4 on block (from 0, -3)
  2. St lk: 6f startup (from 4f startup), 9f recovery (from 7f), -1 on hit, -5 on block (from +1, -3), more pushback on hit
  3. Cr mp: recovery 21f (from 18), still -3 on hit but -9 on block (from -3, -8), cr mp vtrigger cancel -1 on block (from 0)
  4. Spinning bird
    1. Ex: -16 on block (from -12), vacuums in on block, recovers standing (from crouching)
  5. Legs
    1. Ground ex: 100 damage (from 140)
    2. Air lk/mk/hk: hurtboxes lowered and 0 on block at minimum height (from -1, +1, -7)
  6. Fireball
    1. All: hurtbox extended slightly forward
  7. Crouching hurtbox: same height as other short characters

Explanation: Chun is the best character in season 1. I want her to stay strong and fun, but the edges do need to be shaved down a bit. So I’d nerf her neutral game slightly by making her most important neutral normal and fireball just slightly worse, making it harder to get crossunder mixups after st lk antiair, letting opponents whiff punish cr mp more easily, and giving less of a benefit to cr mp vtc and random ex legs. I’m cool with instant air legs because they’re hard and fun to do, and in fact I think it’d be cool if each version was useful because they come out with different timings. I just think they should be more easily hit as they come down.

Dhalsim

  1. St mp: 10f startup (from 12f), 15f recovery (from 17f), +2 on hit, -2 on block (from 0, -4)
  2. St hp: 18f startup (from 20f), 20f recovery (from 22f), -1 on hit, -4 on block (from -3, -6)
  3. St hk: 14f startup (from 16f), 19f recovery (from 21), -1 on hit, -3 on block (from -3, -5)
  4. Cr lk: special cancelable
  5. Jump hk: 10f startup (from 12f)
  6. Drills: landing recovery 5f (from 7f) but 2f less hitstun/blockstun
  7. Teleport
    1. Ground version: removed, always does instant air teleport with startup 10f, recovery 19f, and frames 6-23 invulnerable (all same as current instant air teleport)
    2. Back+ppp: hit invul frames 1-5
    3. Back+kkk: throw invul frames 1-5
  8. Flame
    1. Ex: range buffed just enough so that max range b+mk xx ex flame always works
  9. Vskill
    1. Ground: startup 16f like air vskill (from 30f)
    2. Air: lower height restriction
    3. All versions: pressing mp+mk again makes him fall quickly to the ground
  10. Vtrigger: goes away only if hit during frames 1-5 (from 1-active frames)

Explanation: Dhalsim ended up as one of the weakest characters in season 1, but he’s a dangerous character to give drastic buffs. Without a horizontal fireball to control space, I think he deserves some buffs to his important screen grounded and airborne control normals. I also like the idea of a mobile Dhalsim, so I’d slightly improve drills in whiff situations. Also, it bugs me that grounded teleport is so terrible in season 1. Yes, it’s hit invulnerable, but the recovery is so bad that even Zangief can wait, react, dash in, and punish. Why even keep it in? Instead, and in order to give more people access to instant air teleport, I’d just combine them while making it a mixup as to whether Dhalsim should try to escape with kkk or ppp. And come on, it’s stupid that vreversals get rid of his vtrigger.

Fang

  1. All 2 hitting normals: on block 1st hit deals full season 1 gray damage, 2nd hit adds 20% more gray damage
  2. St hk: +2 on block (from +1)
  3. Coward crouch: cancelable into nishikyu 5 frames earlier
  4. Nishikyu
    1. Lp/mp/hp: cancelable into ex command dash frames 35-42 (from 40-42)
    2. Ex: cancelable into any command dash frames 30-42 (from 40-42)
  5. Command dash
    1. Lk/mk/hk: cancelable into coward crouch frames 22-28 (from 27-28)
    2. Ex: cancelable into coward crouch frames 22-32 (from 31-32)
  6. Vskill: poison damage 60 over 8 seconds (from 50 damage), builds 75 vmeter when it connects (from 50), doesn’t build opponent’s vmeter gauge
  7. Vtrigger
    1. Poison: 60 damage over 8 seconds (from 50 damage), doesn’t build opponent’s vmeter gauge
    2. Duration: 10 seconds (from 15 seconds)
    3. All blocked normals do 10% more gray damage (on top of the extra I’d put on two hitting normals by default)

Explanation: Fang definitely needs help, and I think the best way is to highlight his unique abuse of the gray damage mechanic and his weird cancelability for better zoning and pressuring. I already want all gray damage output upped, but this Fang should be better at it than everyone else. His combos and normals would still be weak by themselves, but cashing out lots of gray damage would make even a jab jab short matter. I also love his zoning and pressure options, but they suffer in lots of matchups. Being able to cancel his tools into each other better means he could make better use of them in both defense and offense, again, without actually dealing more damage themselves. Lastly, his vskill and vtrigger are among the worst in season 1, so I’d make their poisons more worthwhile, buff gray damage output even more in trigger, and keep the trigger short as both a nerf for this new good trigger but also a buff to give him more access to building a second trigger for button vtc in neutral.

Guile

  1. Toward+hk: startup 13f (from 16f), recovery 16f (from 18), +5 on hit and +1 on block (from +3 and -1), airborne enough to get over low attacks frames 3-30 (from unthrowable 8-32)
  2. Flash kicks
    1. Lk/mk: recovery 30f (from 37f) so -21 on block (from -28)
    2. Hk: recovery 30f (from 38f), -21 on block (from -28)
    3. Ex: recovery 25f (from 44f), -18 on block (from -41)
  3. Vtrigger: booms in regular boom series will juggle up to 2 times
  4. Crouch walk: slightly faster

Explanation: Guile is really good in season 1 imo, enough that I feel any buffs should be limited to minimal quality of life things. Buffing toward+hk lets him deal with people who can get under booms better. Lessening flash kick recovery still gets him busted if the opponent blocks, but on hit he can move into position better. Booms juggling better in trigger lets him control the screen a tiny bit better. And crouch walk? It’ll still suck, but it’s such a cool idea that I want to see people at least style with it a bit more.

Ibuki

  1. Vitality: 950 (from 900)
  2. Toward+hk: less pushback on block and hit
  3. Kunai: maximum of 8 kunais at once (from 6) but still starts each round with 6
  4. Kunai recharge
    1. Charge time: 30f for 1 (from 54f), 45f for 2 (from 74f), 60 for 3 (from 82f), 100 for 6 (from 115f)
    2. New ex: 30f charge time for 4 kunais
  5. Kunai charge specials
    1. All: require 35f of charge (from 49)
  6. Float: can do normal attacks out of float

Explanation: Ibuki is in the bottom half of the cast, but not far away from being very strong. I’d just give her a minor neutral buff, more access to kunais for more frequent screen control, pressure setups, and damage output, and a bit more life so that having a 3-bar vtrigger makes more sense.

Juri

  1. St mp: +5 on hit (from +4) and less pushback
  2. Fuharenkyaku
    1. Charge up: recovery 16f (from 18f), 0 on block (from -2)
    2. Lk release: fireball lasts for 90f (from 60f)
    3. New ex charge up: charges up lk/mk/hk fuharenkyaku based on button combination with same frame data as regular charge up, but can cancel into ex charge up out of any hitting, blocked, or whiffed lk fuharenkyaku release and out of any hitting or blocked mk/hk fuharenkyaku release
  3. Tensenrin
    1. Lk: always -2 on block (from -3 to -8)
  4. Vskill
    1. Lv1: charge 20f (from 34)
    2. Lv2: charge 34f (from 48f) and precharged release 25f (from 32f)
    3. Lv3: charge 60f (from 73f)
    4. Can cancel into lv2 and lv3 vskills out of any hitting, blocked, or whiffed fuharenkyaku lk release and out of any hitting or blocked mk/hk fuharenkyaku release
  5. Vreversal: more range
  6. Vvtrigger
    1. All normals: cancelable into specials
    2. Chain combos: deplete 3 seconds of vtrigger time (from 4.1)
    3. Lk fuharenkyaku release: fireballs deplete 4 seconds of vtrigger time (from 6.6)
    4. Can cancel any fuharenkyaku release into any ex move

Explanation: To me, Juri is bottom 3 in season 1. I love the idea of her as a funky resource character, but the payoff for building them and the difficulty of doing so just don’t fit together. I’d make them a bit stronger and make building them a bit easier. I also think she has a super cool vskill idea, but charging it takes a while without much benefit, so I’d make the charge time a bit smaller and fit it into the cool fuharenkyaku charge and release mechanics.

Karin

  1. Vskill
    1. Regular: builds 50 vmeter on hit and 20 on block (from 60 on hit, 30 on block)
    2. Charged: builds 80 vmeter on hit and 30 on block (from 100 on hit, 50 on block)
  2. Ressenha
    1. Grab followup: grabs crouching opponents only (from grabs standing opponents only)
  3. Vtrigger
    1. Guren ken grab followup: grabs crouching opponents only (from grabs standing opponents only)

Explanation: Karin is really good in season 1 already, but not the best. So with nerfs to the top tier bringing them down a bit, I’d just make Karin’s mixups a bit more interesting, make it slightly tougher to build vtrigger (although still probably the best in the game), and call it a day.

Ken

  1. Back+mp hp: startup on 2nd hit 4f (from 6f) and cancel window increased by 2f so easier to confirm the b+mp
  2. Fireball
    1. Lp/mp/hp: startup 16f (from 14f), recovery 36f (from 34f), -2 on hit and -8 on block (from -4, -10)
  3. Hurricane kick
    1. Ground hk/ex: 25% less corner carry
    2. Air lk/mk/hk: front/middle of hurtbox lowered, back hurtbox kept the same to still fly over antiairs when done as a crossup
    3. Air ex: hitbox under the kick slightly nerfed and hurtbox extended slightly forward, landing recovery 17f (from 13f), but same advantage on block
  4. Vskill
    1. Run: 19f total (from 22f)
    2. Step kick: startup 21f (from 24f)
  5. Vtrigger
    1. All v special moves: cost 2.5 seconds of vtrigger duration out of the 20 seconds total (from none)
    2. Run: 17f total (from 22f), but costs 1 second of vtrigger duration (from none)
    3. Stepkick: -3 on block (from -6), costs additional 1 second of vtrigger duration on top of run (from none)
  6. Hitstop: normalized

Explanation: Ken can be played wild and zany or slowly and solidly, and I want to keep both. With less input lag, some of Ken’s tools have to be sped up so that they’ll still be viable. It’s silly that he gets such good corner carry, but I don’t want to get rid of it entirely. And while I want to keep his tools for getting in strong, I feel regular air hurricane was a bit too strong. I’d slightly nerf his already only ok zoning because I don’t want him to be jack of all trades; great pressure and great damage and great counterpoking is already enough.

Laura

  1. St hk: recovery 17 (from 19f), +1 on hit and -2 on block (from -1, -4)
  2. Toward+hp: startup 16f (from 18f)
  3. Vskill
    1. Toward dash: startup 18f (from 22) and 14f when canceled into from vskill back dash (from 18f)
    2. Back dash: recovery 23f (from 27f), can be canceled into vskill toward dash, vskill back dash, vskill overhead, special moves including command grabs, and super during frames 13-23 (from 15-26)
    3. Overhead: +2 on hit and -5 on block (from 0, -7)
  4. Command grab
    1. All: can be canceled into from normals
    2. Ex: startup 15f (from 19f)

Explanation: I think Laura is pretty good but still needs a bit of help. The most interesting things about her are her movement and her fireballs, but I’d be kinda scared to buff her fireballs, so I’d rather improve her movement. Other than that, give minimal neutral button and overhead buffs, get rid of the very un-Street-Fighter-like restriction on her cancelability, and trust Laura players to keep up the strong lab work with the new cancelability.

M Bison

  1. Toward dash: startup 18f (from 22f, but 2f faster than after gamewide change of 2f faster dashes), fully invul frames 8-13 (from 8-10 full invul, 11-14 strike/projectile invul)
  2. Down-toward+hp: recovery 19f (from 20f), +7 on hit and +2 on block (from +6, +1)
  3. Throw: range 0.75 for best in the game (from 0.65)
  4. All special moves: build 80 meter on hit (from 20-40) and 40 on block (from 10-20)
  5. Scissors
    1. Lk: recovery 13f (from 19f) but still +3 on hit and -4 on block
    2. Mk: recovery 13f (from 20f) but still +2 on hit and -3 on block
    3. Hk: recovery 13f (from 21f) but still +1 on hit and -2 on block
  6. Vskill
    1. Absorb: builds 100 vmeter (from 50)
    2. Fireball: builds 100 vmeter on hit, 50 on block (from 50, 25)
  7. Vreversal: startup 9f (from 15f) for fastest in the game (2nd places are 10f), hitbox expanded to hit above and behind better
  8. Vtrigger
    1. Ex cancels: canceling a v special move into an ex v special move still costs ex meter but no longer costs vtrigger duration as well (from costs ex meter and 2.5 seconds of vtrigger duration)
    2. Ex fireball: only dissipates on connecting with opponent
  9. Super: 240 damage (from 340), startup 3f (from 6f), recovery 10f (from 48) so ground version -2 on block (from -40), hitbox extended slightly on all sides

Explanation: Bison is bottom 3 in season 1, but has some very cool ideas. I like him having assy walk speed but good movement via dashes and special moves, so I’d improve the dash a bit for both better movement and more practicality in using its invincible frames to skirt through jump ins or whatever and also lessen scissor kick recovery so it’d be more viable to whiff in movement. I also love the idea of many of his best options, like ex fireball, ex devils, and vtrigger stuff, being hidden behind resources, but his ability to build those resources should be buffed as a result. I also want to keep him without a hit-invincible special, but to compensate, and to continue the resource emphasis, give him an excellent vreversal and a safe but much less damaging super. Still clear weaknesses like being susceptible to vreversals, having bad move speed, and needing to build resources, but things can more reliably work out in his favor.

Nash

  1. Toward dash: 14f (from 17f, but 1f faster than after gamewide change of 2f faster dashes)
  2. Back dash: 21f (from 24f)
  3. Moonsault slash
    1. All: startup 30f (from 37f)
  4. Sonic boom
    1. Hp: recovery 21f (from 23f), +5 on hit, 0 on block (from +3, -2)
  5. Vreversal
    1. Ground version: no invul frames at end (from frames 42-45 strike/projectile invul)
    2. New up+vreversal option: moves him into the air where he has an air option, like with vtrigger

Explanation: As season 1 went on, Nash went from an Evo winner to a rare top 8 finisher, and I expect having even less input lag would nerf his movement and zoning games even more. The fun and unique things about him are his movement and escapes, so I’d slightly improve them. In return for making the vreversal punishable, I’d give him a second vreversal that puts him into the air. Of course it could be antiaired if the opponent scouts it, but it’d be difficult for the opponent to cover both air and ground options, and that seems like a reasonable and fun bargain to me.

Necalli

  1. St lp: antiair hitbox nerfed
  2. St hk: recovery 19f (from 21f) and -2 on block (from -4), slightly more horizontal range, moves a bit forward during recovery
  3. Dragon punch
    1. Lp: lower body invul frames 1-4 (from 1-3)
    2. Mp: full invul frames 8-10 (from frames 7-12)
    3. Hp: upper body invul frames 1-8 (from full invul 1-7)
    4. Ex: 100 damage (from 150)
  4. Vskill: vmeter gain 90 (from 120)
  5. Vtrigger
    1. Vskill: in vtrigger, 15f startup (from 20), hitbox widened and works as antiair
    2. Dragon punch: in vtrigger, same as in season 1

Explanation: Necalli is really strong and has basically every option. If that’s his archetype, then fine, and let’s even expand on it a bit by making his footsies a bit better, but let’s also smooth the rest of him out. Antiair lp and antiair dp are both fine individually, but having both is dumb, so I’d nerf the jab and keep mp dp as a good but slightly less easily timed antiair. I’d also make his wakeup game weaker by including amixup: should he do low-invul or high-invul, or not have to bother but only by spending meter for less payoff? His vtrigger is so good that 120 vmeter built per vskill just seems like too much, but once in vtrigger, I like the idea of him having crazy movement but also having better zoning. Still strong!

R. Mika

  1. Toward dash: still 18f, not sped up like everyone else’s
  2. Toward+mp: slightly more pushback on block
  3. Air down+mp: landing recovery 27f (from 24f)
  4. Shooting peach
    1. Ex: 110 damage (from 130), 33% less corner carry on hit, knockdown advantage 75f, 16f vs quick recovery, 21f vs backroll (from 82f, 23f, 28f)
  5. Wingless airplane
    1. All: juggle limit increase increased to 1
    2. Lk/mk/hk: 150 damage (from 130), whiffed landing recovery 25f (from 20f)
    3. Ex: whiffed landing recovery 30f (from 20f)
  6. Punch command grab
    1. Lp: range 1.2 (from 0.995) and 140 damage (from 160)
    2. Mp: range 1.0 (from 0.943) and 160 damage (from 170)
    3. Hp: range 0.8 (from 0.893) and still 180 damage
    4. Ex: throw invul frames 1-5 (from none)
  7. Kick command grab
    1. Lk: range 0.85 (from 0.795) and 100 damage (from 130)
    2. Mk: range 0.7 (from 0.745) and 120 damage (from 140)
    3. Hk: range 0.6 (from 0.695) and 130 damage (from 150)
    4. Ex: range 1.2 (from 1.144), 150 damage (from 180), and same knockdown advantage as lk/mk/hk
  8. Vskill
    1. Lv1 charge: 1-60f (from 1-179f), 10% boost to command grab damage (from 25%)
    2. Lv2 charge: 61-120f (from 180-359f), 20% boost to command grab damage (from 50%)
    3. Lv3 charge: 121-180f (from 360-539f), 30% boost to command grab damage (from 100%)
    4. Lv4 charge: 181-360f (from 540-719), 50% boost to command grab damage (from 200%)
    5. Lv5 charge: 361-720f (from 720-939), 100% boost to command grab damage (from 400%)
  9. Vreversal: -6 on block (from -2)
  10. Hitstop: normalized

Explanation: To me, Mika is the 3rd best character in season 1. Her pressure, combos, and irish whip are pretty silly, but they’re also unique and fun, so they should be preserved. But with decreased input lag and no corresponding buff to her dash, dealing with her approaches will be easier. If ex butt has less corner carry, then midscreen irish whip won’t always lead to a corner situation, and if it does less damage, there would be a more practical reason to use other enders midscreen instead. And while I’m fine with her keeping super strong options when she lands hits, I do feel that that should be balanced out by nerfing her command grabs a tiny bit and by giving a penalty for attempting that very strong vskill. Her vskill is a cool idea but was very impractical, so I’d open it up a bit more. I hope this would keep her fun, unique, and strong without being quite as oppressive.

Rashid

  1. Dash run: can cancel run directly into throw
  2. Fireball
    1. Ex: 3 different angles like lk, mk, and hk, depending on button combination
  3. Vtrigger
    1. Hits: 4 hits of 30 damage each (from 3 hits of 40)
    2. Duration: active for 5 seconds (from just over 4)
    3. Wind effects: box for activating wind effects increased slightly on both sides

Explanation: I already felt Rashid was just under high tier, so any buffs should be minimal. I’d just give him a cool option to improve his resource-intensive zoning and pressure, give him a bit more time and space to make his trigger stuff work, and make his grab a tiny bit more accessible. I feel anything more than this would be risky!

Ryu

  1. St lp: antiair hitbox weakened
  2. Cr mk: slightly more range, blockstun increased by 1f for -2 on block (from -3)
  3. Cr hk: -15 on block (from -11), on vtc 0 on block (from +12)
  4. Back+hk: startup 10f (from 8f), antiair hitbox slightly improved
  5. Jump lk: hitbox slightly reduced
  6. Fireball
    1. Lp/mp/hp: startup 13f (from 14f), +2 on hit and -4 on block (from +1, -7)
    2. Ex: startup 10f (from 11f)
  7. Hurricane kick
    1. Mk: hits crouchers but knocks opponents too far to pressure after
  8. Vtrigger
    1. Activation: recovery 7f (from 4f), all normals 3f less advantaged when vtrigger canceled
    2. Duration: 10 seconds (from 13.33 seconds)
    3. Fireball: lp/mp/hp guard break charge time 50f (from 59f), ex guard break charge time 30f (from 40f)
    4. Guard break: damage scaling for followup combo 33% (from 50+%)

Explanation: Ryu is really really good in season 1, but probably just outside the ultimate top tier. I like the idea of his vtrigger a lot, but in practice it was mostly just used as a cancel for safety and pressure. So I want to weaken that a little bit, but also buff the interesting side of it. I also want to get rid of some of Ryu’s dumb stuff, but buff the interesting fireball and crouching medium kick xx fb game that he’s always been known for. He should be well rounded and strong!

Urien

  1. Headbutt
    1. Hp: startup 12f (from 13f), low invul frames 1-5 (from no invul), -10 on block (from -2)
    2. Ex: cannot hit crouching opponents, can’t be crush countered
  2. Vskill
    1. Activation: 50f (from 55f), can be done up to 2 times to give armor to next 2 special moves
    2. Armored specials: retain armor until second to last active frame (from until frame 3 of active frames)
  3. Vtrigger
    1. Second close: startup 10f (from 14f)
    2. Second far: startup 20f (from 24f)
    3. Second antiair: startup 14f (from 16f)

Explanation: Urien is already very strong and scary in season 1. I’d make his wakeup game a little more interesting while still weak, make his very interesting vskill more useful, and buff the second part of aegis reflector only slightly. Nothing big! Anything more, like making his antiairs better, and I’d be worried.

Vega

  1. Claw st mp: range slightly increased
  2. Claw cr hp: antiair hitbox slightly improved
  3. Claw toward+hp: recovery 20f (from 24) +1 on hit and -10 on block (from -3, -14), +16 on crush counter (from +12)
  4. Clawless st mp: range slightly decreased
  5. Clawless st mp hk: hk hits crouching opponents
  6. Cr hk: -11 to -2 on block (from -13 to -4)
  7. Stance switch
    1. Regular: total 21f (from 23f), so for example claw st hp xx switch +7 on hit, 0 on block (from +5 on hit, -2 on block)
    2. New ex: puts him in the new stance permanently unless he does another ex stance switch
    3. Same frame data for claw and clawless
  8. Aurora spin
    1. Lp: startup 10f (from 12f)
    2. Mp: startup 12f (from 15f)
    3. Hp: recovery 20f (from 18f), -6 on block (from -4)
  9. Vreversal
    1. Clawless kick: 20f total (from 31f)
    2. Clawless punch: 30f total (from 41f) and moves backward a little farther
    3. New claw vreversal: scarlet terror attack with startup 15f, active 2f, recovery 24f, knocks down on hit but not enough knockdown advantage to pressure after, -2 on block (like most vreversals)
  10. Vtrigger
    1. Rose: is a projectile with projectile invul (from not a projectile)
    2. Claw: Vega himself is projectile invulnerable
    3. Clawless: ground to ground 0 on block (from -2), ground to air recovery 21f before landing (from 34f) and -10 on block (from -23), air to ground 0 on block (from -2)
  11. General: never loses claw due to damage or whatever, that’s dumb

Explanation: I love SFV Vega as a funky stance character, but I feel the stances are less balanced between the two than they should be. Many Vegas just played clawless, and some even thought that his strongest form was after the claw gets knocked off so that stance switch doesn’t put the claw back on. I want claw stance to be more distinctly for zoning, counter-zoning, and defense, clawless stance to be more clearly for pressure, mobility, and damage, and the ability to switch between them more viable.

Zangief

  1. Lariat: hitbox range at feet extended just enough so cr lp, cr lp, st lk xx lariat combos vs standing and crouching opponents, low hitbox does 70 damage (from 100), upper hitbox still does 100 damage
  2. Spinning piledriver
    1. Lp: range 1.6 (from 1.535) and 150 damage (from 180)
    2. Mp: range 1.3 (from 1.153) and 210 damage (from 200)
    3. Hp: range 0.9 (from 0.853), 300 damage (from 240), 300 stun (from 250), recovery frames are in counter hit state
    4. Ex: range 1.6 (from 1.435), 220 damage (from 240), startup 3f (from 5f)
  3. Borscht dynamite (air spd)
    1. Lp: range 1.7 (from 1.48) and 150 damage (from 180)
    2. Mp: range 1.3 (from 1.15), can end juggles, still 200 damage
    3. Hp: range 1.0 (from 0.85) and 250 damage (from 220)
    4. All: each strength has same knockdown closeness and frame advantage as corresponding strength of ground spd
  4. Running bear grab
    1. Lk: startup 10f (from 17f), active 4f (from 2f), 120 damage (from 170), 10% more corner carry
    2. Mk: startup 15f (from 23f), active 4f (from 2f), still 200 damage
    3. Hk: startup 22f (from 30f), active 4f (from 2f), slightly faster movement, 240 damage (from 220), leaves Zangief closer, 10% more corner carry
    4. Ex: startup 13f (from 15f) and 25% more corner carry
  5. Vskill: first absorbed hit takes 10% less gray damage, second takes 20% less, third takes 30% less, etc
  6. Vtrigger
    1. Initial activation vacuum: +2 on hit and -5 on block (from +1, -6), opponent is moved 20% less far
    2. Post-activation lv1 vacuum: range increased just enough to connect from max range st hp, +2 on hit and -3 on block (from +1 on hit, -6 on block)
    3. Lv2 spin: can continue juggles, causes full juggle like lv3, but still 120 damage
    4. Lv3 spin: can continue juggles, 0 on block (from -3), less pushback
    5. Vskill: each absorbed hit extends vtrigger duration by 30f, followup hit can cancel on hit or block into vtriger spin (from can only cancel into vtrigger spin when NOT in vtrigger), each absorbed hit extends vtrigger duration by 30f

Explanation: Zangief was bottom 3 in season 1 and clearly needs help, but I want him to be helped by highlighting what’s cool about him rather than making him more well rounded. I think of him as the opposite of Mika and Laura: Mika and Laura use minor damage command grabs to scare people into getting hit for big damage and setups, while Gief uses single hits and minor damage combos to scare people into getting grabbed for big damage and setups. I also don’t want Gief to be a defensive powerhouse again, he’s just been that way too many times. So, it’s fine if lariat can combo from a bit farther, but he shouldn’t get better setups or damage or antiair with it. Instead, his grabs should be better and more distinct. Jab spd for range but less damage; medium spd for most situations; fierce spd for super hard reads. Lk running bear grab to chase; mk for most situations; hk for damage and setups. Vtrigger can be buffed in any number of ways, but I’d like to make its activation a bit safer while also paying off less on hit, and then make the followup vacuums and spins more viable. Vskill absorbing less as he tanks more hits is important so he doesn’t get destroyed, but also means that he builds less vmeter while doing so. So it’s still hard for him to get in, he still has situational antiairs, and his combos still suck outside trigger and crush counters… but he’s a capital GRAPPLER, and a bit better as a result.

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