How would you rebalance S1 & S2 characters before season 3?

Long post, but the question in the title more or less speaks for itself if you want to skip what I’m saying below.

Prior to season 2, the season 1 characters got rebalanced and a fair number of people freaked out a bit. But with season 3 on the horizon, it’s entirely possible that we could see another rebalance.

Now, keep in mind that we have no idea what kind of mechanics IG might introduce for season 3, so there might be some rebalancing out of necessity and I’m not talking about that, of course.

I’m curious what types of changes you’d want to see in specific characters prior to season 3.

Do you like every character’s instinct? Who’s would you change and why?

How about each characters enders? Would you change any of them for any reason?

How about older characters? Any way you’d want to freshen them up a bit without drastically changing altering their ease of use or their general makeup? Or would you shake them up a bit and give them some new tech or change existing tech?

Anything you’d add or take away from season 2 characters? Anyone you think have too many tools or too few from both seasons? I’ve read a few people’s opinions that characters like Cinder and Aria are a bit too different than the likes of Jago, Sabrwulf and Thunder.

I’ve seen some talk about damage being the great equalizer might work from a balance perspective, but it doesn’t change the fact that some characters feel so different from others that it can feel like playing a different game a times. Do you think that, and how would you pull each end of the spectrum a little closer to the middle, or would you?

I’d nerf fulgore into the ground but i think I’m in minority thinking he’s to powerful for his own good…and I just plain out dislike the character in general… but i digress (not here to be bias)


Jago: Fine as is

Sabrewulf: Fine as is

Glacius: Needs a damage buff with ice lance… but I think that’s it

Thunder: Fine as is

Sadira: Give her a recaput-- I’m mean…Fine as is

Orchid: Damage Nerf in some way which I won’t get into… Buff instinct maybe…

Spinal: Fine as is


I’m kidding… Damage buff but nerf Hype Beam white damage

Tj combo: Fine as is

Maya: Buff her dagger damage but thats it

Kan-ra: Give him the sadira treatment a new tool but nerf all around…I’m ready for it :disappointed:

Riptor: Buff… ANYTHING!

Omen: Fine as is

Aganos: Fine as is…Maybe…

Hisako: Deserves a new tool… and Maybe buff her teleport

Cinder: Fine as is

Aria: Anything welcome :smile:

I’m sorry i’m not being that serious… but I think as of right now… Only small changes are needed Just my Opinion :wink:

give glacius ranged manuals :slight_smile:

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Fix Cinder’s normals, the crouching forward is terrible. Also, I think Fulgore is really well balanced at this point, with the exception of the ridiculous backdash. He has enough ways to runaway from the opponent, he doesn’t need this one.

First off, make Aganos actually viable to use. Either make collecting chunks a faster process or reduce his speed penalty when he has chunks. I also think his instinct mode could use something more. Right know it feels pretty barebones with just the club.

Maybe each time a clubs goes to his hand, he gains a chunk. Also I was thinking that if he goes heavier and slower when chunked, he could use a increase of damage also. More chunks=more damaging normals

Sacrifice the club for a chunk, maybe?

yea not a bad idea.

I would also to argue to fix his chunks to begin with. I don’t know how many fights I’ve had against Aganos when he’s absorbing all attacks even without chunks. Nothing like winning a match just with throws.

Yeah, but Aganos is a hard one to balance. Like Thunder, he’s one of those whose hard to touch because the slightest things can really make or break him. Balance on the big power characters is never easy.

Not saying it can’t happen, but it’s difficult. But seeing as Aganos is highly underutilized at the moment for more mobile characters, he probably is going to need something new at the drop of season 3. I don’t recall any players on the EVO streams using the stone man, so that should be enough to say it’s an under appreciated character who is mainly filling a character slot and that’s about it.

Not trying to make anyone mad or anything on this by the way, just an honest assessment. Does anyone here consider Aganos as Dan Hibiki tier?

No, Aganos it’s very capable of wining most fights. In my opinion, all characters are very well balanced, and maybe Aganos is the worst, but that doesn’t make him bad.

He needs something, I’m still doubtful about what exactly, but he’s very close to be a well rounded character among the cast.

To me, “rebalance” implies more than just “how do we keep the characters balanced.” Maybe that’s the literal use of the term, but to me, I think that it could (or should) imply a few things:

  1. Is this character competitive enough? What can be done to buff or nerf them in to line with the rest of the cast?

  2. Is there anything that can be improved upon with this character without hurting the game’s balance?

  3. Is there anything from a cosmetic standpoint that could be done to make this character more enjoyable without changing what their move sets currently accomplish?

There it is… The Killer Instinct character hierarchy of needs. 1 is the base level: Does this character need legit work done? 2 is more helping characters be what they are or be what they should be to a better degree and 3, the top item (but most superfluous) would be cosmetic changes.

To me, every character falls somewhere on the hierarchy because every character in every fighting game could be improved upon somehow, in some small way. Never stop getting better if you can help it.

The good news, to me at least, is that there are very few characters at the base, most essential level (1).

Level 1: I think that these characters could use a little work to improve a bit.

-Omen: This is the big one for me. IG knows how a good number of fans feel when it comes to Omen. I’d say this… Take out every obviously reused animation from Jago or Sabrewulf and give him new, unique moves and animations. So no Orda Shield. Replace it with a move that has him pulling one wing up, over his head as he’s spinning, so the wing extends up, out and over him the way his old move did with the fireball.

Remove the random fireballs and give him his own, unique, non-Shadow Jago-looking fireball. Also get rid of the slide. Give him something new there, like maybe a sort of lunging winged corkscrew, arms outstretched. Also allow him to do that while air dashing.

When it comes to his look, I’d say get rid of his masks. Give him armor so he looks more like a warrior. Let his wings be out all the time or draped on his shoulders like a cape ala Gargoyles. Give him some height, weight and power behind him as opposed to him being uber-slender. He should be more imposing. Maybe give him forward arching demon horns. I’d say imprint a face and physical features on him like black eyes and a mouth hole, but defined facial features as well. He should almost look like a demonic, photo-negative version of Jago. Maybe give him Jago’s hair, but black, twinged with a glowing blue outline.

-TJ Combo: Is he weak? No. But in my humble opinion, his autobarrage needs to be changed or dropped entirely. It’s become this sort of isolated thing away from how he normally does combos, so is it really even a general combo trait at this point? I’d just say drop it, drop his autobarrage ender, and give him a new combo trait that actually works within his movelist instead of outside of it.

Perhaps something like “juke autos” where pressing light, medium, heavy in succession causes a delay in the hits as he does a juke move before the medium auto and before the heavy auto, faking like he’s about to throw a punch with one hand before punching with the other, throwing off your opponents timing for when to break. After three hits though, you’d have to follow up with a linker to continue the combo.

Cinder: Maybe I’m in the minority here, but I’m not a fan of the eight second “fired up” trait. It feels too random. I like being able to use what a character has, not what they’ll have in eight seconds. I think that Cinder could actually stand to be simplified a bit. Take away “fired up” entirely. Always have the fire piller on fire flash, but get rid of all other fired up benefits on other special moves.

I would also ask that trailblazer remove the option for “hold a direction and hit kick” to trigger the next direction you go. It should be a double tap in that direction. It’s not much of a change in input, but it would remove the accidental “charge in on opponent and then charge out” aspect and remove a little of the precision needed to use Cinder. Given all the changes, I’d give him a slight damage buff so that he doesn’t have to work quite so hard to do what some other characters can do in a few moves.

-Aganos: Awesome character, awesome concept, and he certainly has some great tools. But while any character in this game can be a big time threat, he seems closer to the bottom than most. I feel like he could use a slight boost to his damage in certain areas and I also think that he needs to move a bit better, especially when he’s chunked.

Not saying Aganos at level 4 should move like Aganos without chunks at all, but maybe have Aganos with 2 chunks currently be as slow as he moves?

Those are by far the biggest things I’d change. Some might hate those, some might think there’s too much buffing / nerfing / changing. I just think that these characters would be better for this and if you disagree, that’s cool.

Level 2: Not nearly the bandaid rip that Level 1 is. Just some stuff to help make good characters a little better in terms of what they’re trying to do.

Orchid: I’d also like to see her get a tonfa uppercut like the one from classic KI. Perhaps allow her to charge the final hit of MP ichi ni san and have it start low on the opponent so they have to block low. This would give her a high low charge mixup that could panic some players. Short startup because it takes a while to charge, but this could launch the opponent in to the air providing another danger zone throw recapture opportunity.

It also wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world if they upped the damage a little on her smoke bomb.

Level 3 Orchid: She should twirl her tonfas in her hands during ichi ni san. Kinda like Omega Red’s ropes.

Glacius: His instinct is among the worst in the game. I’d like to see him get the use of ranged manuals as well as a fairly good, quick back dash during instinct. Do that and maybe add a slight armor upgrade to his current instinct armor and that’d make for a solid, though likely not top tier instinct.

Level 3 Glacius: I’d like to see his hands change shape more. His ice lance should be a tad longer, but also more defined looking. Perhaps his wall splat ender could conclude with a cold shoulder immediately followed by him smacking the opponent with two good sized double sided axe shaped ice fists and his hands explode in icy particles with how hard he hits them off of the opponent.

Sadira: She’s the “air” character, yet it seems like there are others that have as many, or more options as Sadira in the air. I’d like to see them give her a command move that’s only available when she launches someone. So if she uses a light breakable auto plus, let’s say down/forward K, she does an air throw.

Medium breakable auto plus down/forward K could be a quick, unblockable string of three spinning kicks followed by a fourth back flip kick that pushes the opponent to the ground for a hard knockdown and heavy breakable auto plus down/forward kick could be flipkicking the opponent to the ground with webs attached to them, and Sadira pulls herself down for recapture. Her KV meter would be full though, so she’d immediately have to do an ender, and launcher ender wouldn’t allow her to take to the air in time to follow up.

Thunder: Still not loving Call of the Sky. Would like to see it replaced with something that pushes the opponent toward you from behind, like a mass of his crows. It’d have a long start up, but even if it’s blocked, Thunder could still make his way a little closer to his opponent.

I also think that his Sky Fall off of samamish shouldn’t be his only air option. He should have an air throw off of samamish. It should do slightly less damage than sky fall and he throws the opponent across the arena, but it’s unbreakable. He’s the grappler of the game. He should have more throwing options. This gives him something small and contextual without giving him anything too horribly damaging.

Hisako: Would it be the worst thing in the world if her air ORZ was a little easier to catch opponents in the air with? I get it, if an opponent jumps at me and I have the reaction time to jump and hit a midair ORZ, we’re back to the ground for some recapture goodness.

But I feel like there are a few situations where midair ORZ should hit an opponent and knock them to the ground for recapture, but without instinct activated, it simply doesn’t connect. Given how limited her options are with initiating combos on the ground, it’d be nice to have this tool a bit more readily available for use in mid air so that when I smack an opponent up in the air with… Ah… I want to say down MP(?) launches, that I can follow that up with a midair ORZ and bring the combo right back to the ground. Would that make her too OP? Maybe midair ORZ fills the KV meter a bit faster in this situation to compensate?

Either way, it’s a cool move that I feel like I hardly get the chance to take advantage of, so it’d be nice to have a few more contexts within which to utilize it that don’t rely on my reacting to my opponent jumping at me.

ARIA: She has two unique moves in two of her forms, (hover and crescendo in booster and blade slice/allegro in blade form) but only one (or variations on one) in her bass form. I know that her bass form is strong. But would it be too much to add a projectile to her throw that does a slightly more damage in this form than in her other forms? Doesn’t have to be three hits like her normal projectile, but just a small difference to give her a little added oomph when in the form that doesn’t want people in on her to begin with.

Level 3: Characters that don’t NEED anything, but could stand to have some added cosmetic enhancements. Bear in mind, these are all moves to add to or replace what’s already there without changing any damage or what anything actually does.

Spinal: I think that his boneshaker ender is a tad dull. He just sort of ends it with a shield hit. Instead of lunging forward with his shield, I’d rather he stands in place, quickly slices his sword along his shield, which lets out that sort of deep kraken shriek (like from his victory pose), the shield glows red and lets out five quick bursts of small, red skulls shaped in a ring that get slightly larger as they reach the opponent like what his classic searing skull used to look like.

Jago: Give him different animations for his DP ender. Have the light one be his double roundhouse followed by a small uppercut. His medium be a quick jump kick to mid air glowing laser sword uppercut and the fierce one be his regular uppercut, but have his hand and forearm be on fire, the same color as his endokuken, a small blast of sparks careening off of the opponent when they get hit (yes, I’m aware that’s VERY similar to Ken’s fierce DP but well, so is Jago’s regular DP without the fire).

Sabrewulf: Replace his eclipse with his backward flip kick. Keep the glowing green trail. Give him green electrical charges on all of his enders that strike from Sabrewulf to his opponent when his instinct is active.

Give him his sabre roll and have it hit low out of run instead of hamstring (still have it go through) and put a small glowing green spiral animation (and have him spiral through the air instead of just leap) on jumping slash.

Riptor: I like her MK attack in predator stance a lot, but for a stance… I feel like there should be a special throw for it. Maybe replace her HK sweep with her wrapping her tail around the opponents legs, opponent falls over and Riptor flips the opponent over her to the other side of her, which cause the opponent to bounce or wall splat for a quick punish. It could be blocked low if opponent sees it coming and leaves her somewhat unsafe on block, but not horribly easy to punish either if she whiffs. If she does whiff though, she’s out of predator stance.

Kan Ra: I’d just make his sand traps and his scarabs slightly smaller. I feel like he’s able to take up too much of the screen at one time. I guess you could call this a nerf, but I don’t think it’d have a massive difference on how people play him or how good he is. It might be a stretch to call this a cosmetic change, but I can’t imagine it affecting him to any huge degree.

Another small thing… I think he has two scorpion tails and his antlion if I’m not mistaken. Maybe instead of one of the scorpion tails, he brings up a sand version of him, breathing blue air on the opponent which has the same effect. I know, VERY cosmetic, but mummies create sand versions of themselves. It’s what they do. I saw it in The Mummy lol.

Fulgore: There’s not a lot to dislike about this character, but I must say… Not a huge fan of his throw. It kinda just looks like you’re stuck in his taunt. Maybe instead of just lifting the opponent up with the claw part, and tossing them he lifts the opponent up with one hand, shoots two quick eye lasers in to you at close range, then holds his other hand up, which glows for a moment as the claw part spins briefly, then he punches you with it and follows through hard, blue particles flying as the opponent goes… Flying.

That’s all I’ve got for the moment. I’d put Maya in there, but while I think she needs something, I can’t for the life of me think what that might be. I feel like her dagger mechanic could be more accessible, more easy to use without feeling like you’re trying to juggle them. Also not a fan of the dagger pips.

I don’t know how to change any of that though without completely ruining what she does for those that like her. For me, it’s a bit of a wall between me and getting in to this character more, but ya can’t like em all, I guess. Nothing wrong with that. :grin:

I think that there are a few characters that can be improved upon in general, a few more characters that could use some slight enhancements to what they already do, or few minor alterations, but most of them could simply use some cosmetic upgrades to existing moves without changing what they actually do.

LONGEST POST EVER lol. Sorry! :relaxed:

Fulgore needs his damage toned up a little bit, he should be slightly higher than Maya and Kan-Ra. His HP Eye laser needs to have a steeper angle, should be similar to Aganos Flick or Aria Bass HP Projectiles. Either that or he needs some sort of way to compensate for the loss of spin speed and meter on his mixups since characters like spinal get them for free outside of his meter. Don’t go all Spinal needs skulls for his mixups… A good Spinal almost always has skulls aside from the first few seconds in a match. Only argument for his damage coming up, lack of shadow counters/moves in combo where Maya and Kan-Ra have plenty from the meter they gain from projectiles on block. Fulgore gains no meter while blocking where everyone else does. That’s a weakness that hits pretty damn hard early on.

You make it sound like aganos has infinite chunks…

one well placed shadow attack and there all gone

Anyone think Orchid needs something? She seems to be the character that’s decent at a lot, but elite at nothing.

Is she destined to be this sort of Jack of all trades type or would you skew her in any particular direction and if so, how would you do it?

Would a damage buff somewhere do her some good or do you think she does enough?

I think my fellow web crawlers will agree with me on giving Sadira somekind of recapture or ender…

:L Or atleast be able to use her racluse in the air. She does it in her ultra.

Remove burnouts from Cinder. Or at least give me a way to rid myself of them without having to let Cinder put me in a combo. Burnouts remove the risk from Cinder’s pressure, because, even if I hit him with my reversal move while I’m burned out, he wins, because it refreshed the burnout timer.
Remove the gaining of pips from Maya’s daggers on block. Give her a faster overhead, so she can actually open you up with mix-ups instead of relying on a mechanic that punishes me for good defense, and give her pips on successful dagger hits (including linkers).
Reduce the advantage an airborne opponent has over a grounded opponent. As of now, there are very few characters that can truly capitalize on an airborne opponent, and that would be Jago with his Instinct and Spinal with the meter suck. If you are airborne, you are at an advantage because the most I can get is a few stray juggle hits without a cash out, which is all very easily breakable. Allow me to perform auto doubles, linkers, and enders on an airborne opponent, as a juggle, but with a higher KV penalty for each hit than if they were grounded. So, if the hit would cause 10 KV on a grounded opponent, it would cause 15 on an airborne opponent.
Give Sadira a recapture on her heavy Widow’s Bite.
Alter Aganos’ Instinct to be something with chunks (Payload Assault doesn’t cost a chunk, maybe?), not the Peacemaker.
Remove the range limitation on Fulgore’s heavy eye laser, but move the angle higher up.
Glacius needs ranged manuals so his ranged combo game is viable.
Do… something with TJ’s Auto Barrage. I like the rework you guys did to some extent, but I think the “Advantage Ender” is kind of useless at this point. It might need a bigger frame advantage or go back to the ability to cancel out of Auto Barrage, but keep the frame slowdown between linkers instead of resetting it. And give him all 6 of his animations back please.
Reduce the randomness of Kan-Ra’s Whirl. It’s better than it was, but it still throws people out for no reason sometimes. Also, open up his manuals on a cursed opponent (leave the slower frames on during a combo so they’re in hitstun longer). And please make Antlion breakable.
Return to S1 manuals, but with the increased hitstop on manuals.
Give Omen’s fireballs greater hitstun so that he can use them to interrupt a combo if he’s lucky enough instead of just giving the opponent a manual chance. Change his slide to a Spiral Arrow type corkscrew dive since Shago is getting the Slide. Change Orda Shield to him using one of his wings to knock the opponent away (same hitbox).
Remove the auto correct on the second fireball in Jago’s instinct if he gets crossed up between the two.
Either make Skyfall unbreakable or allow Thunder to use any of the three kick buttons to change his direction for Skyfall.
Go back and touch up Maya and TJ’s animations. They still animate like 90-year-old people, stiff and not fluid.
Sorry for the marathon post XD

I see a lot of changes, very drastical, and maybe the game is already well balanced, aside from minor tweaks?

For me:

1)Season 1
-Jago, Sabrewulf, Sadira, Spinal and Fulgore doesn’t need any change, all of them are fine
-Thunder: I would add light and medium version to skyfall. Nothing more.
-Orchid: I don’t find either useful or interesting her combo trait. Maybe using it grants you one free firecat, similar to Thunder CoTS? Maybe it’s to powerful, maybe a improvement to her rekkas. Use combo trait, your next rekka hits faster?
-Glacius: Instinct looks outdated, not sure how, but it should be improved. Faster armor regeneration(and more than 5 possible points of armor along the instinct), better mobility of liquidize during instinct… There are ideas in the Glacius Discussion thread. Needs something, but not a total revamp

2)Season 2
-Kan-Ra, Hisako, Cinder and ARIA(aside for switching body pre fight) are fine
-TJ: Don’t know if TJ needs something. I see him OK, but I dont fight many TJ’s to elaborate
-Maya: I simply hate Maya(Aganos user here), so I’m biased here and don’t know if the problem it’s only mine or she is part of the problem too. I think she’s pretty fine.
-Riptor: Riptor’s combo trait it’s very similar to Wulf’s, but only with HP/HK, so it’s very telegraphed. As it’s a chained auto-double and linker, after the linker, the next button you use should always be a manual, regardless the strength of the button. Maybe this will give her more randomness in combo breaking her.
-Omen: Shadow orda shield and shadow rashakukens should stay when Omen it’s hit
-Aganos: Instinct, peacemaker, and maybe wake up game needs improvements. It’s my main so maybe I sound biased, but surely Aganos needs some improvements.

Aside for Aganos, who needs a proper study, all my suggestions are not drastic. The game it’s very well balanced, leave it evolve.

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This seems to be the attitude that I run in to a lot when talking about making changes and I’m not trying to sound combative about it at all. It’s a perfectly valid and logical sentiment from where I’m standing.

I just tend to wonder though, for all of those characters you say are “fine” or don’t “need” any changes… Aren’t there any small ways in which you’d upgrade their visuals or effects or anything that maybe didn’t change how they fought or (certainly) not the balance of the game, but maybe improved the characters in other ways?

Like wouldn’t it look cool if Thunder fired a bunch of crows at the opponent out of his tomahawk at the end of his FP wall splat ender? No need to change the damage it does or how the opponent responds, but just something that provides a bit of visual oomph to add some style to the move?

I think that a lot of characters, especially in season one, could use some visual touch ups like this, or maybe even get new moves that don’t change who they are as a character or the competitive balance of the game, but still might give some characters a bit more to do within the realm of what they already do. What do you think?

Season one more than anything but yes, more balancing needs to happen. Season 2 is pretty good where it is but season one still feels like it’s lagging behind the pack.

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