How to make it better (From a Street Fighter player's perspective)

I fully expect my opinions to be crapped on by the KI diehards and dudes calling me an 09’er or 16’er or casual or whatever. I’ll give a little context; I rented KI when it came to the SNES and used Spinal. I did play it in the arcade once. As a little kid I sucked at fighters of course. I got back into fighters around 2004 and mainly stuck with Street Fighter. I skipped the 4 series for a lot of reasons and have been playing a lot of V. When I heard of the KI reboot I got hype but was always hoping that it would come to PC. After all these years later it finally comes to PC, I upgraded to 10 specifically to play KI, and… I’m a little underwhelmed.

Presentation-wise it’s fantastic. Tutorial is amazing. All the little touches are fantastic. Netcode is very good but I have had it happen on occasion where it drops an input at a critical moment. But the problem I have is with the gameplay.

I feel like the game rewards YOLO play style too much and Combo Breaking is too much of a Rock Paper Scissors style of gameplay.

The Combo Breaking system is sometimes compared to Street Fighter 3 3rd Strike’s Parry system and I would say there’s only a surface similarity between the two. In that, someone who’s good at it can dramatically change the flow of the match. But in 3rd Strike, the Parry is easy to understand. You hit forward or down to Parry a standing or low attack. You can also Red Parry if you’re blocking and you have the timing to interrupt a blockstring. It becomes intuitive because everyone knows what an attack looks like in a fighting game.

Now compare that to Combo Breakers where you can only break auto-doubles or manuals with a Breaker of the same strength. This is when it gets complex because every single character -aside from season 1 characters- auto’s look entirely different. Some characters like Aganos have slower looking auto’s that are in fact Light or even Medium auto’s. And there’s a Punch and Kick version of every Auto.

I’ve tried carefully looking at the Auto, I’ve tried listening for the specific hit sounds, and I’ve tried looking at the way my character is being hit. And I cannot tell the difference between the various Auto’s aside from Lights that pretty much all look alike. The only solution to this, I feel, is to train with every single character and memorize what every single Auto looks like. That isn’t exactly friendly to newcomers, just saying.

This leads to the 2nd problem I have with the game, that the YOLO play style is heavily rewarded in a game like this. I’ve rarely fought anyone who blocks on wakeup. Almost every single person wakes up with a special or a wakeup Jab. I’ve fought dudes who have refused to block, who have refused to tech throws, who refuse to stop jumping in and etcetera. But yet these dudes know their auto doubles and enders and all that. I’ve fought dudes who literally just look for that one move that lets them in and get their combos going. Moves that can be difficult to read or block on reaction. Now, that’s just how fighting games are designed, I’m not complaining about this. But, a lot of these moves are safe unless you have meter to punish, plus it’s a little ridiculous that a guy can just throw out Jago’s Tatsuo from almost fullscreen, catches me, and gets to do his combo. That could be it for me just from one guess and what if my characters sucks at punishing that move?

That all said, here’s my suggestions:

Auto doubles and Manuals should emit a specific aura. Like say, if you do a Light Double, you emit a blue aura. Medium double is Yellow. Hard double is green.

This would make it unquestionably easier for anyone to know when to combo break and the player on the attack could still mix it up to an extent. This would encourage players to learn manuals and try to mix it up more.

Make any move that lets a character in do only Light auto kind of damage. Again, this forces people to mix it up and stop being (in the words of Geese Howard) Predictabo!

Also, change how Ultra Combos work at the end of the match. It definitely does not encourage a newbie to continue playing when a guy wins, does his long ultra combo where he’s allowed to cancel repeatedly, and then he has plenty of time to teabag you. Iaintevenmad. I’m used to disrespect in fighting games. But does the combo really need to be that long? Why not make it like the Marvel series where you win, and you can do a dead body combo, but you only have so much time and the match will end regardless of how far you’re into your dead body combo.

I expect dudes to yell at me and tell me I’m wrong but this is my opinion regarding KI.

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That was a pretty mindless copy/paste response. Not sure if that was intentional or not. I gave my reasoning for the changes and I think the changes I proposed don’t radically change the game to be like Street Fighter or this or that.

Making Auto doubles and Manuals emit a specific color is easy for anyone to spot when they can break something. But you’d still have to have good reactions to do that and the attacking player can still mix it up appropriately.

Adjusting the damage dealt by specials that allow players in and may be safe or safe-ish on block would decrease YOLO gameplay.

And the Ultra Combos at the end of a match is just obnoxious. It looks cool for sure, but I just want to play the game, and when a dude thinks he’s the ultimate badass and does 120 hit combo and I have to sit there for about a minute waiting to play. It doesn’t inspire me to continue.

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Honestly, I don’t think there is anything you can do about it. Killer Instincts identity was built on the premise that you could do outrageously long combos during and after a match. That’s like asking Mortal Kombat to get rid of fatalities or street fighter to get rid of ultra supers. I get his annoying and obnoxious they can be, that’s why the devs gave the WINNER the power to end the combo with ultra enders. Since the opponent win the match, the game rewards you by giving you an ultra combo sequence. I think it’d be more reasonable to ask if the opponent can leave rather than watch their ultra combo continue.

None of these complaints really have anything to do with Street Fighter though. It sounds like you’re mostly saying that being late to the party makes it harder to get into since you have to learn 126 double animations, and everything feels yolo and too strong because you still don’t fully get what’s going on and how to effectively stop it. If people don’t want to block on wake up then keep hitting them. If people want to throw out full screen special moves then block it and start pressuring them. Yes most full screen specials in this game are safe but they’re not plus and let you start your own pressure, the game is supposed to be more of a back and forth, not a wait and punish.


I question this because I don’t see how that’s feasible. In hindsight I could see someone trying to memorize the way rash move looks but they come so quick you don’t know. Most times good combo breakers come from ppl who train their rejected by playing the game or guessing in a 1/3 chance.

Last nitpick, the part where you said "Auto doubles and Manuals should emit a specific aura. Like say, if you do a Light Double, you emit a blue aura. Medium double is Yellow. Hard double is green.

This would make it unquestionably easier for anyone to know when to combo break "

I think this is actually a solid suggestion, HOWEVER, id like to see if the newcomer player compared to the veteran player would welcome this change. Color recognition simplifies reaction and coordination, which in theory could help. But some ppl react on sound ques, some react on animation. I don’t think sting “unquestionably” is wise until you have some sort of study. Just to add, I do think this is a good suggestion though.


I won’t yell at you, but I will tell you what your opinion actually means for the game.

Combo breaking is, definitely, a complex area of the game, and if a player knows how to combo break you, they will be allowed to make more mistakes than you. This is the nature of KI and there’s no denying it, but I also don’t think it’s a bad thing, because the players you are playing against should be, roughly, about as good at breaking as they are at everything else in the game. There aren’t very many players who are spectacular combo breakers but who have terrible neutral. In fact, it’s much more likely to be the opposite (good neutral but bad combo breakers).

Nobody starts by identifying all 25+ characters’ auto doubles and linkers and puts them in a spreadsheet. The best thing to do is to try and identify a heavy auto-double from the rest; this will “look” and “feel” actually quite similar for most characters in the cast (with a few exceptions, including TJ Combo, Hisako, and maybe Sabrewulf, whose autos are quite confusing at first). Heavy autos are the easiest part of the combo system to recognize, and if you can identify Jago’s, you can probably identify about 80% of the cast’s without much more effort. To me, this is no different than finding out whether a character in SF has a good overhead or what their longest range poke looks like.

Start with the heavies and look specifically for those. Ignore everything else at the start. You will probably have more success this way and you will actually start to learn what other auto-doubles look like because “hmm that wasn’t a heavy” and there aren’t too many other possibilities.

I know you said you skipped SF4, but here’s an example from that game (and I could find similar examples from your favorite game):

I’m going to teach a Viper player to do nothing but Burn Kick, crouch MK xx thunder knuckle, and throw. On wakeup, she is going to do one of three things at random: burn kick, DP, or backdash. I’m going to teach this player no other combos, no setups, no spacing, nothing.

If you’re a beginner at SF, I think this is monumentally difficult to beat. Probably about as hard as beating a KI character going ham, and maybe harder. My point being, “going ham” in a fighting game is not unique to KI. There is no doubt that offense is strong in KI, but it’s roughly comparable to, say… Marvel, Guilty Gear, or MKX in terms of how hard things are to block and how “random” games with beginners can feel.

If you’re getting frustrated with a particular strategy, and you know fighting games well enough to do some research (as it seems you do), you should have no trouble figuring out answers for most of KI’s basic offense. Jago’s full screen wind kick is unsafe on block, and learning to punish it in training mode takes about 3 minutes. If somebody is throwing unpunishable, “good” offense at you, they’re probably better than a random scrub.

This is just beginner fighting games, no? Beginners in SF won’t stop jumping and won’t block meaties on wakeup either. I don’t really see the difference.

I would say it’s true that this gameplan works for longer in KI than it would in SF5; I don’t think this is a failing of the game, but rather its players and the fact that KI has a lot going on so it is often easier to “do something” rather than try to block. It doesn’t mean blocking is bad, though… on the contrary, I think blocking is quite good in KI and all players should do it more. But intermediate players can’t/won’t block Marvel or GG offense either, and if the first 4 months of SFV are to be believed, doing wake up jab and disrespecting meaties with jump back throw OSes is actually the preferred way to play that game too.

This would make the game considerably worse for everyone past the beginner stage. It’s already arguably too easy to break auto-doubles at a high level, and forcing a player to learn manuals to survive someone who knows what a color is would make the game way less fun.

KI is a high damage game, no doubt about it, but it’s not just your opponent’s character that does high damage… it’s also your character. Lowering damage on good moves actually doesn’t stop them from being used or “mix it up”, it just means you will see them more often. For the most part, KI’s damage is pretty well scaled, with only a few outliers that do too much/too little.

I agree that long double/triple ultras are frustrating and annoying in ranked matches. I don’t know that there’s an easy solution, sadly (because these things being possible make for great combo videos/challenges), without literally just taking away a user’s ability to ever do ultra in a real match. But I sympathize with you on this one.


I’m not a KI diehard in any branding sense. (I was drawn into the FGC by nostalgia for the KI brand, but in retrospect I wish this brilliant game wasn’t associated with a brand that drew out so many lunatics.) I’m not going to call you any of those things, either, because why would I? I’m not a SF player. The rest of this post comes with my pre-emptive apologies, since it’s likely to inflame, but I think there’s some merit in getting this out raw.

But I will tell you to either adapt or go back to Street Fighter. The things you are complaining about (aside from beginner players going ham and having no fighting sense, but that’s a problem in SF too) are the things that epitomize what I love about this game. They’re not YOLO – they are correct, they are the regime here, and you will either adapt or be called a wimpy SF scrubchild for having the nerve to suggest that you should be able to daydream at half-screen without worrying about getting seriously rekt for your insolent complacency. Either downback to demonstrate your prostrated respect for the glorious wind kick, or get destroyed for being a precious little snowflake who couldn’t fathom being threatened at midscreen.

The KI community gets this a lot: someone on the SF side of things who has been enamored by the elitist idea that footsies driven almost exclusively by normals, whiff-punishing, etc, are the only pure, true, honest regime of play, putting no end of ■■■■ on KI for breathing life into gameplans which, whilst still often concerned with spacing and normals, tend to trample all over that SF footsies style of play. The clear counterargument to that party line is this: SF games are for wimps and children who can’t handle the sheer terror of accounting for options as strong as wind kick in neutral. You’re not too pure for this scrubby game, you’re afraid of it. You can take some of your own medicine and feel inadequate for associating yourself with SF for a change.

Or at least, years of berating and sanctimony from SF elitists has driven me to this point. I apologize for turning the blowtorch on you in particular, and I hope you realize you’re largely just getting caught in the crossfire on this one and that the aggressive language is nothing personal. You’re probably pretty cool. But the SF scene at large deserves to feel bad for the way it relentlessly ■■■■■ on other games that other people find deep and enjoyable. KI players just want to enjoy their wind kicks without being called terrible names for enjoying a thing they like.

How is this different from the 99% of SF players who don’t know their way through neutral or oki, but spend hours in training learning their links? People have thought that being good at fighting games was exclusively about executing difficult combos since combos were first discovered. Unlike in SF, at least in KI these players are engaging in a combo game that involves more decision-making than Guitar Hero.

So, firstly, it’s called a wind kick. Tatsu is a terrible move that shotos in SF games have that is almost pointless outside of combo situations, and so wasn’t really even worth the development expense to animate. Wind kick is one of the best moves in KI, would be utterly unfair in a SF game (the closest thing might be Ken’s V-trigger tatsu?), and is such a potent special that it commands the basic respect of being known by its actual name, since you’ll spend some amount of time kneeling in deference to it anyway.

Wind kick is unreactable by design, high priority, and the light and medium ones are safe on block. The heavy one isn’t the one you need to worry about – you can get a consistent punish on that one with probably every character if you bust out your 7-frame medium normal with reversal timing, so a Jago player shouldn’t be busting out this move without a good read or a bar of meter to blow on xx shadow fireball. (It’s still good, though.)

Medium mind kick, however, is a monster. Standing in a certain interval of space at midscreen, if we boil your options down to either “block” or “don’t block”, then to reduce the expected damage of a random wind kick to 0 you need stick to the “block” option ~80% of the time. (Solve, say, 20(1-p) - 5p = 0 for p.) That’s 80% of the time which you could be spending setting up your gameplan, putting fireballs on the screen or closing some distance or using your own wind kick-like move or whatever. Medium wind kick imposes an oppressive regime upon most opponents at midscreen.

But that’s the hyperbole speaking, and that’s not to say I’d actually advise blocking as much as 80% of the time at midscreen – it makes far more sense to take on some more risk to get something started and impose your own oppressive regime on your opponent! Two Jagos, rightly afraid of each others’ wind kicks, can use that fear to get fireballs on the screen, go in with a double roundhouse, just walk up and do a raw overhead, etc. (These are the kinds of things which keep me coming back to Jago mirrors.) Many characters also play a credible game on the edge of wind kick range, making a whiff a real possibility. But the point is that KI is played with these oppressive threats that are effective well outside of the typical edge of a SF character’s safe range. There’s nothing YOLO about using tools like medium wind kick – it is correct, and plenty of players enjoy the high-adrenaline challenge of representing these threats and accounting for the threat of them in their gameplan. It’s a beautiful interplay which SF players rarely demonstrate any understanding of.

Lastly, it isn’t just one guess – you still have the combo game to play. Granted in expected terms you’re probably eating 20-25% for getting opened up, but there are still decisions to be made.


Actually aside from the combo breaking change suggestion i can feel the OP.

Of course you will have a hard time on this forum when you say KI is too yolo and stuff. You will hear go back to where your from - KI wont change.

Your breaker change suggestion would just make combos easier too break which would lead to a even more yolo playstyle.

The problem will always be the lack of guaranteed damage above the 20% mark (gargos and Tusk aside) against the yolo playstyle.

I myself do yolo stuff all the time - why cause it is damn effective in KI. Catching a forward dash with a horizontal travel safe move is just one example.

When i win vs a equally skilled player cause i have hit him with 3 yolo travel moves i feel i wasnt better - i think just i won fine next. KI is the only fight game where i dont care if i win or lose. I can play gimmicky and beat a better player - not with better play though and the worst part i dont even try to play the solid ground game in ki cause than i will get mad at trying to do so and eat a low invul horizontal safe travel move followed by a dp or throw guessing game if blocked.

I have accepted that in KI and have fun but i would never play this game competitive.

But all that is just my personal opinion about KI.

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First of all, welcome to the KI community. There’s lots of folks here who will always be happy to discuss the game with you in a thoughtful way. Nobody should be yelling at you (we have some of those, like any other community), but I wouldn’t expect your opinions to be popular. @Infilament has already given you great advice, and I think @Marbledecker (who is a pillar of the community) was just pointing you to a thread where you could find more discussion about whether KI rewards mindless gameplay or not. It has obviously come up before.

Here’s what I will tell you - and I fully expect you to take it as criticism but that is not how it is intended. The complaints you have are essentially because you are losing matches and are upset because you think you should be winning them. These guys can’t even block on wakeup, but I am losing because they can break my combos and I can’t break theirs = make combo breakers easier for me. I keep getting hit by the same things over and over again = nerf those things.

Combo breaking is a “fundamental” for KI. We’ve had scores of threads talking about how KI players have bad fundamentals (meaning “fundamentals” for SF) but still win therefore the game is too YOLO. But it’s a different game and while a lot of your SF skills will carry over (blocking, special moves, special move cancelling) you need to understand the fundamentals of this game if you want to succeed. @Fnrslvr’s post may come across as a little harsh, but he is pretty spot on in his point, in my opinion. KI is an offense driven game. You can’t play it safe and expect to win. You have to take some risks. That’s not YOLO, that’s risk/reward. The combo breaking system improves the game because it allows a player to recover from an expected number of “mistakes” in neutral.

So, your first task in this game is to learn the KI specific fundamentals and accept that you are a beginner at the game. You’re learning and so you will get beat up by guys who you would cream in SF. Because this isn’t SF. @Infilament’s advice to learn Heavy AD’s first and just look to break those is by far the best way to approach learning the breaker system. Heavy ADs are responsible for by far the most damage in damaging combos and as better players than me have said in other threads - your goal in breaking combos isn’t just to “get out of combo” it’s to limit the damage the other player can do to you. If your opponent sees you breaking heavies he may throw in a counter breaker - so be at least a little unpredictable and he may start ending his combos early for you. The very next thing you should do is learn how to maximize your characters damage once you get a lockout. This is often light linker into Heavy AD but it can be different depending on when the lockout comes. So you will have to think about timing of the lockout etc. Truly random breakers will lock themselves out 2/3 of the time, so if you are even remotely mixing up your combos you will get lockouts. @Infilament has published a fantastic guide that will help with this and a lot of other really great advice for playing KI. ( - this thing is so good. Please go read it.

Keep in mind that KI is essentially a double elimination game. If you make a mistake in neutral you either compound that mistake by messing up your breaker game or you can make a good decision and escape. Similarly when you open up an opponent with a good decision in neutral you aren’t finished, you have to also beat them at the combo game in order to earn your damage. This sort of “two decisions deep” gameplay is what allows the game to have offense from neutral that looks YOLO and dirty when viewed through the lens of other games. But every character in KI has some variation of these dirty tricks from neutral and it is part of what keeps the game moving at it’s pace. The flip side to this is that you don’t have the “light jab of doom” that drives me crazy in a game like SF - two guys dancing back and forth trying to optimize range and throwing out basically random safe moves until one guy gets tagged and then the other robotically adds on his never changing high damage combo - maybe throwing in a long animated super. Some people find that the epitome of fighting, but I think it’s lame.

As far as Ultra’s - no one likes to lose and get ultra’ed. Most serious players don’t do them often because they want to get to the next match. Just deal with it and move on. It’s part of the game and a big appeal to casual players. If you win more this won’t be a problem.

Anyway, TL/DR there’s nothing inherently wrong with your suggestions, or with thinking about how to make the game more enjoyable for you. But some of these things are already pretty well balanced within KI. You may not ever like KI - but if you play it understanding that it isn’t SF and approach it’s fundamentals as “real” fundamentals that you are expected to understand in order to be good then you will have a better chance at success. The people who beat you are beating you at this game and are therefore better than you at this game. Focusing on why they would be worse than you at SF is just getting in the way of improving your own KI game.


<nervously tugs collar>

I agree with a lot of what you say of course. And I can’t say I even fault you for the way in which you said it… sometimes this frustration bubbles over.

As an interesting aside, I wanted to take a second to talk about SFV, the game most players in the scene are playing right now.

I thought the game was designed to be relatively slow pace (and, to be honest, I still believe it “should” be played that way, and people who are taking all these chances when they don’t need to are playing suboptimally, but whatever). But for whatever reason… a combination of 8 frames of lag (imo, the biggest contributor), fast dashes, low damage anti-airs, few characters with DPs and the threat of crush counter, the game has turned out to be extremely aggressive. There are very few people who are choosing to play it the way I envisioned… a slow paced footsies war with tons of low-risk, low-reward decisions, where blocking wins because throws don’t lead to meaningful pressure outside the corner for most characters. Justin might be the only person, actually, but he plays every game like this where possible, including KI S1 (and I do believe he would have had equal success in S2 and S3 with this same playstyle, had he played).

I’m watching TWFighter as we speak, and MAN these guys are playing aggressive. Taking huge risks, waking up with buttons in situations where it doesn’t make sense, gambling on tons of reversals in situations where they had huge life leads, not whiff punishing all that much, and missing lots of anti-airs (except Tokido, but even he’s missing a few). And the mixups are largely “shimmy or not”, a completely unreactable mixup that operates on conditioning (which sounds mighty familiar to me).

The neutral seems to resolve itself in one of these ways: a sweep that is not whiff punished if it misses, a strong low poke into safe special followed by some scramble where someone takes a crazy risk, some walking around for a few seconds before someone gets fed up and jumps (and is not often anti-aired), or a very fast dash into mixup. As I was typing that last sentence, in grand finals, Tokido literally did forward dash, DP in footsies, trying to catch Mago flinching. Spooky said “why would he do that?”. But by the time I finished typing THAT sentence, Tokido had won the round by doing something else risky (but it paid off).

Tokido/Daigo in the last few days have demonstrated a strategy where they do meaty tatsu on YOUR wakeup to stop you from doing the jump/throw OS (because the tatsu hits with the perfect delay to catch the OS timing). You’re hugely minus on block and you get killed (but not crushed, so probably around the 20% damage Lycan was mentioning for being too low for punishing yolo), but it’s a (seemingly) smart risk because they are playing within the SFV rules where this OS is strong. You’ve probably even seen the gif where Daigo did it to Infiltration 3 times in a row and was right all 3 times… then went for a throw the 4th time and Infiltration teched (meaning it would have worked a 4th time). SFV players will applaud Daigo for playing with pure passion and reads. KI players are scorned for correctly predicting a light auto-double.

I don’t even really know where I’m going with this anymore, since this rant isn’t even targeted at the OP specifically, nor anyone else in this thread.

I just want to say that, if you’ve watched any of the best players in SFV play, the game is full of nonsensical yolo. Like, super full of it, a lot of it of the “wha… why? how did that work?” variety. Meaty tatsu on their wakeup is SF now? Jumping forward because you can’t easily whiff punish and they can’t easily anti-air you is fundamentals? Challenging all guaranteed meaty setups with wakeup stand jab xx v-trigger until it works or you die? But tons of SF fans will defend SFV’s gameplay as amazing and best in class, full of honest play. And to be fair, it does have (lots of) moments where there is “honest” (I hate that word, but okay) neutral, just like KI has a lot of moments like that. But even this game, the puringest, honestest game that ever pured or honested by some accounts, is just full of crazy risks and decision making and it’s looking like it’s just going to be the person who is most aggressive and most risky that will have the best success. Earlier in the top 8, Tokido did wake up solar plexus (a slow normal that is -2 on block). It was somehow blocked rather than meatied, and then he did DP xx super while he was at minus frames. It worked, because that’s how fighting games work. And it was a cool and interesting risk, because if he’s wrong he dies AND loses his bar. That’s cool! Let’s applaud the decision making rather than say it’s yolo and dumb. Or, at least, if someone said KI is full of these types of yolo decisions, let’s keep our reaction consistent between games.

I would never ask you to play a game you don’t like, nor would I ask you to stop playing a game you do like. If KI didn’t do it for you but SF is your jam, I couldn’t be happier for you. And this is coming from a lifelong SF fan who played 3rd Strike and SFIV for nearly 15 combined years and dabbled extensively in the others. I just want people to call a spade a spade, that’s all. After watching all of TWFighter SFV top 8 just now (and being pretty entertained, because I like that high stress decision making!), all I could think of was “I wonder how the people who love SF but hate other yolo games are going to call it pure and honest this time.”

Again, this isn’t directed at anyone. Sorry you had to read it.


Why do you expect us to just yell at you about your opinion?

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Its funny, because I feel the same thing with I used to play ranked in Street Fighter. Unsafe Jump ins, Wake Up DPs, applying pressure with untrue block strings…

Believe it or not, characters are not YOLO. It is the playerbase that is YOLO. You see plenty of YOLO players in other fighting games too.


The big difference between KI and SFV (aside from the time players have put into - a big factor for SFV) is that you commit.

If you do a yolo dp in SFV and the opponent punishs you - you eat 30%-50%+ depending on meter of the opponent and your life. They implemented a way to show you it hurts if you do unsafe moves. For moves that dont give you crush counter stuff you end up between 20%-40%+ depending on your resources (in KI a light into opener does about 10%±3%) guaranteed.

In KI this is different you do a dp its blocked and eat 12%-20% guaranteed depending on your resources. After that you get possibly more. But lets make math dp is blocked i eat 15% punish and break the combo - earn instinct and am back to neutral (more or less). Now i do the same something slightly -on block and the get a counter hit dp for 17% or so and a soft knockdown with +frames.

That is just one example why you can not compare SFV yoloness with KI yoloness aside from missing mid/fullscreen travel moves that are safe on block in SFV.

As many examples as you show it will never be the same. If Daigo does that 3 times succesful he guessed 3 times right. He committed - if infiltration would have guessed right daigo would have lost a good amount of life - guaranteed.


Players can only be yolo if they have the tools to do so - and players are even more yolo when they know they can correct their mistake afterwards.

In Street Fighter a wakeup dp is just saying thank you for the max damage punish - they commit without the option to correct it afterwards.

Thats why a lot of Street Fighter players like SFV. You can play yolo in every! fight game. Its just about how the game let you counter this stuff.

Why did everyone cried about Tusk and his unbreakable high damage?

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I never said it was the same. I’m just saying that its there and it always will be there.

KI caters to those who want to be YOLO. SFV doesn’t. But no matter what being YOLO is never viable in High Level play in either game.

Ypu are assuming you get the break though. What if you fail? Big damage. They counter break? Big damage. There is nothing wrong with extending the mindgames to the combo game as well. Who said they had to he exclusive. Ypu can correct the mistake but you still lost a descent chunk of health. A good amount of life is relative. You might think that KI’s damage isn’t much,I do. Unbreakable high damage isn’t that great with KI. Exceptions exost though.

I don’t really see how “players can mash jab on wakeup” or “players can randomly jump” or “Jago has -3 to unsafe advancing special move” is heavily rewarding the YOLO playstyle.

All those lead to a loss pretty quick.

If fatalities in Mortal Kombat went on for over 1 minute (right now they’re around 20 seconds) people- including me- would RIOT.

The Ultra Combo’s in this game are MUUUUUUUUUUCH longer than in any other KI. And if we’re going to go by Ultra Combo’s being OK despite how long they are, then why did they remove my ability to rag-doll combo my defeated opponent for 30 minutes after a match? Clearly a line has to be drawn somewhere.


No doubt, there is tons of commitment to wake up DPs in SF5 (except Ken’s with VT). It’s a good decision they made.

But commitment doesn’t stop people from taking risks, is my point. Top players will continue to take massive risks all the time. That top 8 I just watched looked like 30% honest play, 70% mom’s spaghetti from my point of view… apart from DPs (which are reliably crushed now, because the reaction is easy), tons of big risks went UNpunished. Again, scramble situations, some of the 8 frames of lag, what have you. Even those tatsu risks often get punished by a tickle, because the guy wakes up jab or something, so he just hits you out of startup and you get air reset. That’s part of the reason why the tatsu risk is worth it, only on block do you get hit for 250 damage, and if the guy isn’t blocking, well… your risk/reward is different. To your point, Infiltration did block several Daigo tatsus and did punish with the max damage, but Daigo also got away with lots of them.

By 70% mom’s spaghetti, I don’t mean poor play, by the way. I just mean risky, scrambly play that KI often gets a bad rap for. Unpunished jumps, no whiff punishes on big moves, big bets on stuff, etc. I find that play just as interesting as the honest play, myself. Fighting games are about risks and I like that.

Also, for the record, I don’t just mean DP risks when I talk about this type of thing. Definitely in KI, DPs can be made safe-ish with shadow meter for some characters, so you have to bait it by standing out of range or whatever. S3 is way better about that, taking away Jago’s DP DP, Maya’s dagger toss on blocked DP, etc, but it’s there. What I mean is, KI is a game that is built on risk assessment, a lot like poker. The breaker game in particular is full of that type of decision making, and there are real consequences for being wrong in the breaker game… the damage swing can be higher than even being crush countered in SFV. But it’s often “yolo breakers” that get complained about a lot, rather than requiring the player to punish it properly with lockout confirms into flip out into mixup into death. If you wake up stand jab and hit Daigo out of his meaty tatsu, that’s on YOU for not punishing his risky read. The same goes in KI, but many people have a double standard that I don’t find honest.

Every character should be able to get 15% with heavy xx shadow opener so let’s go with that (it’s as high as 19-20% for many characters, but we’ll say this as a conservative baseline). Let’s assume it starts you at level 2 ender, and you get a free 1/3 manual, and let’s say you one-chance the manual into damage ender for around… 32%.

If you break the combo 1/3rd of the time on average, my expected damage here, even with the weakest possible offensive strategy, is 0.15 x 1/3 + 0.32 * 2/3 = 26% damage. Let’s assume timing lockouts are impossible, which is a generous assumption considering your one chance could be an unreactable linker designed to cause timing lockouts. But ok, weak offensive strategy.

If you counter hit DP me, I’m going to say it’s around 12-13% damage (Jago is 17-18%, but most characters will only be slightly higher than 10%, not all characters have a DP, some characters have to spend meter and then the counter hit bonus only applies to hit 1 of 5 from the shadow move, etc).

This means that, with my weak offensive strategy, I only need to block 1 in 3 DPs for me to come out tied or ahead. To bring in SF4 for a moment, these numbers are better than that game for some characters! Rufus/Rose/some others only got around 200 damage for a punish (without ultra) for DPs that did 160-170 damage raw. That’s pretty close to 1 to 1. In SFV, let’s say a counterhit DP does 160 and your punish is, let’s say… 350 on average. Let’s assume weakest offensive strategy again (meaning you never capitalize on corner push or stun to get more damage), so it doesn’t get higher than 350. This is more reward than KI but only slightly! Maybe 1 in 3.5 instead of 1 in 3. I’ll even grant you 1 in 4 if my numbers are slightly skewed, but that’s a high ceiling.

Of course, in real games these numbers are different. In KI I’m going to do a long combo to you, and if I hit you with the following mixup (ie, you lock out) I’m getting to level 4 ender and doing 55-60% at minimum. I don’t even have to take too big of a risk to get level 3 ender (one manual and one linker should do it), where my expected damage gets a big boost. My expected damage is way higher than 26% here. Same in SFV… a lot of the time my crush counter combo is going to put you in the corner and with high stun, and you might take 50-60% damage if I hit you on the following mixup.

The numbers are actually surprisingly similar! It just doesn’t feel like it because a) combo breakers have a big psychological impact on people and b) people suck at punishing in KI, opting for crouch MK xx light wind kick as the punish to DP instead of fierce xx shadow.


Sorry mate, really didn’t mean to be rude. It was 2:00am-ish where I was, and I definitely had 2:00am-ism when I posted the link to the “YOLO?” thread.

But this is definitely not the first time a SF player has come by to tell us that they’ve been around the block, that we’re scrubby and our game doesn’t reward careful play, so you’ll have to forgive us being so blunt. @Fnrslvr’s reply may seem heavy-handed to you; but with the storied history of being called “YOLO” for having a game with unique neutral and different risk/reward scenarios that you haven’t been privy to, I assure you that it was a dose of the right medicine.

And as @Infilament has stated - recent high-level SFV tournament play lacks the sanctimony we keep hearing about each time we’re told our game has no footsies and rewards YOLO use of specials…

Hmm. Come to think of it, this idea didn’t go over well the first time it came up. And I think that’s because - when you distill this statement down to it’s basic sentiment - it sounds a whole lot like “I’m better than your game”. Things like “the game rewards YOLO play style too much” sound a lot like “you can just do stuff and win”, which is totally demeaning to anyone who’s put the time in to develop the skills required to be consistent.

I actually wanted to make a glass of tea last night to wake up and tell you about how Combo Breaker Training mode is actually doing more for your brain than you think it is when you use it (because science!) but I have to be honest - as soon as I saw the word “YOLO” the desire completely vanished and I just posted the biggest YOLO thread I could think of.

So again - sorry friend, I wish we didn’t get off on the wrong foot.