Gargos being able to get a free combo breaker after a lockout with Instinct

Seems like a bad idea and im guessing it will be rebalanced after someone masters Gargos to where you either have to use the free combo breaker if you want out with no free guess break or you guess break to try and maintain instinct. Getting a free combo breaker after failing a normal break seems to make it way too risk adverse and braindead, not to mention he keeps half of his remaining instinct and can regain instinct from minions, meaning a good player will have this ridiculous tool often. Just my thoughts on the matter, what do you all think.

Well, you’re focusing on one part of a bigger picture here. I don’t think you are considering all Gargos is actually giving up to use this “free combo breaker”. It seems powerful, but he has to sacrifice so much more to actually get it. For one, each minion he summons costs meter, which means you have to sacrifice two stocks of meter to get two minions, and devouring them both gave about half a bar of instinct.

Personally, I think wasting that much meter to convert to instinct is a misuse of your resources, not to mention, the minions seems like something you will want to have a decent setup for, as using them for a resource conversion seems like a waste by itself. Devouring them is a situational gamble, and on top of that, you assume your opponent is going to give you the time of day to allow Gargos to devour them too, which any smart player who’s on there feat is going to take it as an opportunity to get in on Gargos unopposed.

Another point is that while all the other Instincts in the game provide nothing but advantage to that character, Gargos is the only character in the game who takes on disadvantages while he is in instinct mode, and these disadvantages aren’t minor either. His mobility with his multi-jumps is gone, and he doesn’t even look like he could clear over Hisako, his stone speed is super slow where even Aganos would laugh at him, and for the perpetual armor he has on, it’s completely ignored by the fact heavies were made to now ignore armored moves. Then there is the BIGGEST disadvantage of all: he can no longer block attacks, you HAVE to take all attacks, or stay on the offensive, which will be tough considering all your mobility will be diminished.

If anything, Gargos does deserve this one exception to the rule, especially given his boss status. Gargos should be every bit menacing, brooding, and powerful. This is the ancient immortal boss bad guy the whole game has been building up to for some time now, and personally, his presence shouldn’t be anything nearly as underwhelming as ARIA’s. IG has done a fantastic job at making a boss character and at the same time, a well thought out, balanced character.

I also don’t think the explosion causes any real damage either from what I saw, but I’ll have to rewatch the stream to verify, it was slightly laggy and low res when I watched it, so I couldn’t make out much of the health bars if it did any damage or not.

So basically Gargos takes on huge risks in his Instinct mode, unlike any other character in the game, his stone skin by itself wouldn’t be worth taking all those hits to his gameplan by itself.

I don’t see it being a huge problem. Though IG is constantly evolving the gameplay and rebalancing all things within to be either fair or more on par with what the intended effect of a move/character was supposed to be, they could always revisit it down the road. I don’t think the scenario you also have played out is fairly realistic or even wise given what he could do with meter. That 20% damage shadow grab is impressive, definitely on par with Thunder’s command grab, despite not being able to have any kind of follow up (on the shadow version).


I just don’t want the combo break to be completely braindead, if you take the risk of a guess break to save your instinct you should pay for it. If you don’t want to take that risk simply use half of your instinct to get a free combo break.

Also a practical safe setup is after a hard knockdown ender summon 1 minion then devour them for instinct. Shadow meter builds fast in ki so it’s easily worth the trade most of the time.

I don’t think it’s too OP. It’s a free breaker, but Gargos need to be on instinct mode and it completely ends it. Plus, he cannot block for the duration of the Instinc, so it’s a fair “desperate move”.

You can just mind play him to force him to break with it (as I guess alot of people will use that brainless)

I think it’s ok. It’s not like he gets infinite free breakers every match. He might get 2, maybe 3. It also works because his Instinct already doesn’t allow him to block, and heavys ignore his super armor too plus the free break ends his Instinct. It does sound good on paper (as Gargos does in general) but lets give it some time.

It’s not insanely Op and I’m ok with the free Combo breaker existing, it just shouldn’t be allowed to be used after you have been locked out (only before), that Imo is bad design because it encourages brain dead play.

A smart/great Gargos player will probably get about 3-5 instinct combo breakers per match (thanks to the break only costing half of your current meter and consuming a minion giving half a bar) that’s not including all the safe guess breaks you get while instinct is on thanks to you being able to break safely after being locked out. Imagine you get 3 guess breaks done to you besides the 3-5 free breaks, that’s potentially 8 times the opponent out played you and you got out with 0 risk. That’s not even including all the random breakers throughout a normal match.

As is i think it’s too abusable but I guess we will have to wait and see how it is once the community gets their hands on him. I can almost guarantee IG will have to make this free break not usable when locked out in a combo later on.

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I think you are giving this mechanic TOO much credit and overestimating just how often he will be able to acquire it and your numbers are a bit unrealistic. 3-5 times in one match is actually a little on the insane side. Even by devouring the minions and acquiring more instinct, you still have to build up for it, and you are going through resources like crazy just to do this. From the looks of things during the stream, it doesn’t seem like either minion is going to last long enough for you to do this often, and you leave yourself HIGHLY vulnerable doing it.

Even further diving into it, if you are dominating your opponent enough to get this tactic more than twice a match, it seems like there’s a mismatch in player skill anyway at that point, at the free combo breaker is moot. I don’t see smart players being so toppled by any of his moves to the extent you get tons of free meter and instinct to get this more than twice, let alone more than three times. Also, meter builds kind of fast, but it doesn’t build that fast, and his portal punches sure didn’t seem like they build much meter on block, for him anyway, the opponent looked like they gained a good bit. His best meter options seem to come from his grab which can’t be used from long range or ranged combos, only as a close range grab or a meter ender grab.

His meter usage is key to minion use, which is key to his devour and getting instinct quicker, and I don’t see this process realistically being streamlined to the point of refinement he can get this free breaker more than twice a match.

At any rate, Gargos isn’t even in the wild yet, so it’s WAY too soon to be discussing a nerf to this mechanic yet.


I wish a Gargos would try and eat enough minions to get 4 to 5 instincts on me…


Exploding stoneskin in instinct after lockout for a free combo-break, OP?


Annoying as all get-out (on par with T.J. 's last breath)?

Heck yeah…

Seems like a fair trade off to me. Giving up instinct is a big deal just for a one time break.

I’d say thinking this is going to be OP is like thinking Arbiter’s shield is OP because he can in theory have infinite health.

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Buddy… that so-called “free breaker”, is blockable… If you saw the matches after the balance changes, there was an occassion when Keits tried it and Chase dropped his combo to block it and punish after. So unless you’re one of those people who just wants to be on the offensive with no concept of blocking or counters or reversals, learn how to pick up on it.

And that’s beside everything already mentioned about how difficult it will be to use his Instinct to the scary extent you’re going to…

I can definitely see the community hating this ability after awhile but we will see.

The free breaker move in itself is kinda OP, however, it is balanced out by limiting Gargos so much when in Instinct mode, so it’s alright.

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I don’t se this happening 3-5 times a match… Also, you are forgetting that if he simply gets the break he doesn’t have to waste his instinct meter. So it isn’t “brain dead.” Conversely, since the stone splosion can’t be counter broken if you are going to use it you may be better off hitting it right off the bat so as not to risk a counter.

I think it’s pretty good. He can try to break, and if he’s successful he gets to keep his instinct. If he’s not successful (or even if you counter break him), he just pops it.

But… he literally can’t block in instinct. So if you knock him down you just meaty him with fierce and he can literally do nothing except explode (for 0 damage). So it’s not that big of a deal. It might slow the game down a bit, but it’s not that big of a deal.

But I do think Gargos will get 3 instincts per game easily, and probably 4, and that’s without any minion eating. He gets to keep half his instinct when he explodes, so he for SURE gets 3 (full bar for 1st one, half a bar for 2nd one, half a bar for 3rd one), and smart play probably gets him 4. If he eats a minion or two and makes it a part of his gameplan, then I’m sure he could get 5. This means more free wakeups per game, which is important for Gargos because he has probably the worst wakeup game in the whole cast. Only backdash is reliable, the heavy portal kick is pretty much useless after you learn how to dodge it on reaction (it’s like 50 frames of startup). If you OS backdash you will also probably OS/dodge the portal kick.

But yeah, I think a very good use of his instinct to start is to pop it every wake you have it. If they do a fierce, explode immediately; don’t try to take the hit, combo break, and THEN explode because a smart person is going to cancel that fierce into shadow opener and then you’re just giving up 15-20% damage. If they do a throw or a non-fierce hit, get through it (via throw invincible command grab or armor) and then try to use your instinct for something good for a bit. But smart anti-Gargos play here is to always meaty him with fierce when he has instinct. Maybe he’ll pop instinct and immediately explode, but you’ve basically forced him to spend half his instinct for next to 0 benefit (except some space). As far as 7.5 seconds of instinct goes, that’s pretty crappy return.


It will be interesting to see how things play out once top players master him, Ive already been thinking of ways strategies to maintain instinct up myself…

So is the explode treated as an actual combo breaker or is it just a move that he happens to be able to do whenever he wants? If so how would it work against say Aganos, would the explode still send him flying like combo breakers do or would Aganos absorb the hit if he has one chunk and then proceed to get a free second combo opener?

As far as I know, it’s just an invincible DP that he can also do while he is knocked down or in hit stun. So it’s a physical hit. People have already found out that armor absorbs it, Hisako can parry it, etc.

So yeah, maybe against Aganos it’s really bad because Aganos can land a combo with 1 chunk and he can’t even burst his way out. I haven’t tested that specific situation but it makes sense in my head.

But most people aren’t going to be dealing with burst on reaction (like, Hisako won’t be parrying it, except maybe as a guess on a meaty attack with a wrath cancel). You’ll probably always use it in a spot where you can’t be baited by instinct cancels and stuff, like while you’re getting knocked down, during enders, during juggles, etc. Also, as the offensive player I’m probably not popping instinct as a guess that you might burst too often. Seems too risky because if I’m wrong then he just bursts afterwards and I wasted 5 seconds of instinct.

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