Just wanted some perspective on a decision I’m making in regards to getting better and trying to improve versus accepting I may need to make the choice to move to a different character in order to start picking up wins more efficiently and having better coverage against the majority of the cast.
I’ve played mostly Cinder since the moment he launched, and put more hours into him than any other in the cast, with probably second place as Thunder and Rash in third. I’ve been there for the changes, the nerfs, buffs (what few there were), and I just have to say that Cinder is not in the best place. Compared to much of the cast, Cinder is just underpowered IMO, and given I see very little representation of him online, and even the major players who used to rep him have taken up other characters (of particular interest is Bass), the objective conclusion you reach from observing the data is he is just not very good.
I’ve been thinking about it logically for some time now, and considered this problem from a number of different perspectives. First, most of the time, when I come across a situation online where I am out-played, I usually try to recreate the situation when from replays, and then try to counter it. However, it’s not just about countering it, but denying the other player the opportunity to lock you into the position or situation he wants you into. Knowing how to escape it is good, but not being locked into that position would be better. I also try to create my own tech to try and tap into my own characters strengths to outplay, but in trying to create my own stuff and seeing how little other people are using Cinder in training, coming up with brilliant tech, hard to break practical stuff, and powerful options don’t seem to exist for this character.
I’m pretty sure there are a number of people who will say, Cinder’s really good though, just look at what he can do! I have to say to them though, have you tried to use any of the stuff he is capable of on paper? He looks amazing when you write it all down and read it, but when you put it into practical use, Cinder is just underwhelming and most any move he does, there is a character who does it better, and the sum of the parts isn’t very good. I get told he’s really strong all the time by people who haven’t put an ounce of time into playing him online, and it gets infuriating when you are dismissed so quickly by someone who hasn’t ever tried it themselves to see how far you can get with the character. I saw the same arguments made about SF4 Bison (Dictator), and anyone who remembers that game knows Bison was underwhelming and hard to win with, especially in a system where FADC did charge characters no favors.
If anyone wants to know anything more intricate and in depth about any move Cinder has, I’d gladly go into detail and welcome any corrections to the record. Until then, I don’t want to be theory crafted an explanation why he’s better than I think without a realistic expectation of why there is a possible fault in said gameplan. I don’t expect any one character to counter anything and everything, but Cinder seems to have very few, if any favorable matchups. I understand that no matter what character I pick, there is always a counter or fault, and the player is also just as important. It just seems like he’s just not built to handle much at all, despite how fantastic his moveset is described.
Second, while most characters tend to be represented in tournaments and online play, I do believe the frequency with which you encounter them seems to give an indication about how fun and or how/good the character is in the wild. If they aren’t fun or good, fewer people tend to follow or play them. I’m not saying be a trend chaser or counter picker, but reading the room, these characters are usually the least represented for very real reasons, and having a smaller community of the Cinder loyalists versus those who lab Eagle or ARIA or any number of other characters tends to produce less data to build off of and a stagnation for that character’s growth potential. People find new stuff all the time for the popular characters, but when you see a new Cinder tech item tends to be exceedingly rare, even on these forums.
Finally, I have fun with Cinder, I really do, but I’m starting to think, no pun intended, I may be getting a little burnt out of him. I think regardless of the discussion that may come of this thread, I will likely try several other characters for a while to gain perspective, wake up from the funk, and maybe have a little unexpected fun too. When Hisako came out, I had the worst time trying to counter her and fight her, until I tried playing as her, figuring out what she was capable of and using this knowledge to my advantage. In learning new characters, I think I may gain some extra perspective to get better.
I would really like to have a top 32 star at some point, but it seems like a difficult road right now. and I feel like Cinder isn’t going to be the guy I can rely on to effectively get there. I keep wondering if the guys at tournaments make decisions to change characters to win with some of these things in mind, or did they genuinely just find a favorite character that seems to have a lot of strengths to cover the most matchups they’ll encounter?
I know it’s been a while since I discussed much of anything here. For a while I was on and off KI, until I finally managed to upgrade my connection from something other than snail’s pace, and the game has been much more fun with less disconnects and interruptions. So I’m really wanting to get back into it now and harder than ever.