Is Kim Wu's Design Lackluster?

Over the last few days it seems Kim Wu has been a popular subject of debate whether it have anything to do with all these community tier lists popping up and her being at the bottom of all of them or Rico (EVO2015 champion) streaming her lately is yet to be seen but also rather irrelevant to this discussion; everyone just seems to think she is extremely boring to play including Rico who said that very statement on his stream earlier today someone who enjoys to play a multitude of characters.

Personally speaking for myself I think she is fun to play but also boring at the same time, it’s hard to explain really. I’ve always been pretty critical of Kim’s design in this game and I think that has a lot to do with her being considered “boring”. Iron Galaxy set out to make a bunch of fun and interesting characters yet Kim seems to be the most un-interesting character in the game according to myself and others I’ve spoken with over time. Granted not every character is going to appeal to all players because people like different things and that is obviously a given but I’d love to see where Kim was placed in the survey on most “fun” character to play chart.

Kim was designed to be a basic grounded footsies character (correct me if I’m wrong) so I can understand why that character archetype could seem boring to most, however at the same time I feel they could of done more with her dragon mechanics to make her more unique and overall more exciting. She just feels out of place in this game honestly given the craziest thing she can do is a dash forward simply in the form of a mechanic called a dragon; it just simply isn’t interesting at all and feels lackluster. Even comparing her to a similar archetype character like Orchid, even she can throw grenades, do full screen unblockables, turn into a tiger, and cancel slides into uppercuts already seems more fun while also having a resource-less dash cancel. Also comparing her design to some other characters like Fulgore or Arbiter who fulfill the fantasys of a futuristic cyborg who can shoot lasers and teleport around the screen or impale people with a Laser Sword etc just seems overall more exciting than a tiny teenage girl who can dash forward.

Speaking to her design specially if feels like she has every tool imaginable to deal with the other characters in this game but does that necessarily correlate to fun? I think most would agree that Kim is hard to learn and play especially at high level while a character like Arbiter is quite easy to play but is also considered very fun and top tier…see where I’m going with this? Sometimes ease of use translates better in a players mind.

…again I don’t want to confuse people by making them think I’m saying just make every character in the game super easy to play and never have any hard to learn characters, I’m simply suggesting that perhaps Kimberly isn’t the right character for that particular design direction.

If I was to offer any suggestion to spice Kim up a bit putting aside any and all balanced discussion, I would say give her more things to do with Dragons. Her dragons should be more of a core focus in her kit rather just being used for a dash forward or a Dragon Cannon which can only be used in instinct. Right now in my own experience Kim simply just never has dragons until she pops instinct while dragon ender is only ever used to end rounds because of how poor the ability is compared to damage ender or the utility/mixup potential of wallsplat. Looking at spinal, he can do 4 or 5 different things with skulls including dash canceling while Kim can only do just that. In my point of view solely designing a character whos purpose is to get dragons to dash cancel (her main mechanic) but then giving characters like Jago for example the ability to dash cancel whenever they want without having to use resources just seems very odd to me and counterproductive to the goal of making every character feel unique and must play.

Keits also once spoke of an early internal build of Wu that made use of her dragons as some sort of shield, perhaps revisit this and make a fun interesting use of it?

I’m hoping to have a friendly discussion about miss Kimberly with you all. Do you find her fun or boring to play? What do you think they could do differently with her in the future? Also I’d like not for this thread to turn into a balance debate.



I am surprised at how much I enjoy playing Kim. I lose a lot, but I find her play style to be pretty fun and surprisingly basic. Basic doesn’t mean easy, but her gameplan is mostly obvious. Plus, I love catching people off guard with a random dragon kick. It’s just too fun - even though I go for it too much and it usually gets me killed.

I would like to be able to better use her dragon counter but my only real design complaint (from a fighting style standpoint) is that I don’t understand her weak shadow counter. As far as her tools, I don’t feel like she has an overwhelming toolbox like, say, Cinder. But her tools all require precision to use and I don’t use many of them well. But I find it fun. Obviously your mileage will vary.

The damage :open_mouth: I love it.
I’m working on her 200 matches in Ranked, and I have to say I enjoy playing her, she’s frustrating at times but then watching a tiny girl take so much life off with one combo, fills my heart with joy. Using a dragon for a reset mid-combo is pretty neat too, catches a lot of people off-guard
I think the resource ender should be changed a little, as it stands there’s no real reason to use it instead of the damage ender. Maybe level 1 and 2 enders give you 1 dragon, level 3 and 4 enders give you 2? Its an idea, not sure if that would be broken. @TheNinjaOstrich & @SonicDolphin117 inputs?

Don’t know to be honest. I kinda use it for a quick reset to neutral. I use it a lot, because I like to always have one dragon at disposal. But 2-3 based on Level? I really couldn’t tell you if that would be broken or OP without seeing and using it in action.

I would say with dragons, she can do some amazing stuff, and can frame trap/Mixup you. So if on every level 2 you got 2 dragons, that would be crazy. Not many people would use her Instinct, other than for the Dragon Cannon.

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Funny, I find Arbiter really boring to play, same as Hisako, Kan Ra or Aria (even Fulgore sometimes). Their style doesn’t suit me, even though I love Fulgore’s design a lot, same as Arbiter.
But yes, she isn’t used by many ppl. However I kind of enjoy fighthing her rather than other characters (nope, not because I can get the win, It’s not that easy against very good players when using my main).

I personally like the Wulf MU, because Wulf & Kim are very footsie based. It’s fun! :smile:

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While I don’t find Kim boring to play, or lackluster in comparison to the rest of the cast design wise, I will admit I feel the character doesn’t really have enough to her. All the things that are fun to do with her are very situational (dragon kick, reflecting projectiles), her parry is just plain not worth it on grounded pressure since it doesn’t leave you at advantage, and besides that her gameplay is just plain basic. Find a way to get in, then go nuts with plus on block pressure and kata frame traps until your opponent dp’s out and you have to get back in again.

Also, dragons are really just not that valuable. Dash cancels are great but only when your opponent doesn’t expect them, and using them creatively is kind of hard to do. And dragon cannons I find are only good for keeping people from throwing fireballs or shadow countering. As such, I do think that the resource ender is too much for too little in my opinion. Losing all your spacing/advantage, doing perhaps less that your current potential damage, all for a one use dash cancel? TBH the only really cool thing I like to do with dragons are the super high damage juggles that cost three dragons and 2 meters (and hell, I’m still learning those). I don’t feel that adding more dragons by level is a good idea, I think that would be a little much, but maybe leave me at advantage and do a little more damage?

sigh I’m going to be honest and say that I’m starting to lose my grip on the enjoyment I’m trying to have with Kim, so I hope that maybe we could just get something extra to make her feel more versatile.

Kim’s actual viability and where she places on a tier list doesn’t mean anything if no one is going to play her to begin with.


Exactly my point =)

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I use it if I have enough white damage to take the first life bar. I know I should use it more and I know I should work on making better use of Kim’s dragons. But I haven’t put that work into it.

I think that’s why I like Kim so much. I get so much satisfaction stopping a Sliding Shadow Jago with just Standing Medium Kick to the face. XD

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I mean…I feel like you’re really underselling the value of a 3f, combo starting projectile that can be cancelled into at almost any point during almost any of her moves. Whiffing anything becomes way more unsafe when she’s in instinct, regardless of what she’s committed to, and with her walkspeed she’s not exactly struggling to make you whiff things.

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Guess this is just a personal problem, but pressing HP and HK at the same time isn’t something I do instinctively, or fast in general.

Neither is flicking the analog stick.

I’m sorry to say that I don’t have much to really add, because I largely agree with what the OP said. I genuinely do think she needs a do-over, so-to-speak because she’s just not resonating with most players. I rarely see her online, and when I do, I get the distinct feeling that she’s being underplayed most of the time. That, may not be the case, though, as she could really just be (and no offense to the devs here) rather lackluster in terms of design when compared to the rest of the cast.

I know the devs wouldn’t like this idea, but I would like for them to shore up a few of her weaknesses - extend her c.HK (perhaps have a low nunchaku spin around/under her legs or something), have her s.counter push her forward, allow her to consistently deny projectile use (maybe without dragon-shot follow-ups if it’s too OP), etc. Maybe her firecracker could give her a dragon for each deflected projectile outside of the ender itself?

Apologies to OP for balance discussion.

In regards to her overall design, I also think her accessories are rather lackluster compared to the rest of the cast, and I’m still not personally liking her face or that weird hair thing with her bangs.

I do hope you see the irony/comedy in saying that HP+HK isn’t something you do INSTINCTively :stuck_out_tongue:


Honestly I love playing Kim, but I do admit the struggle is real when it come to getting better with her. As far as her dragons are concerned, while I would like to see a more versatile use of her dragon ender, it’s pretty fun. My favorite use of them is when I preform a shadow move/autodouble/linker and right before they can break me I use dragon cancel->manual. I’ve gotten way too many lockouts from that and it’s so fun.

Though some extra training with with some good kims would be nice.

+1 like for the Epic Pun.

I like using her Dragon Cannons during very shadow counter able moves, because the Dragon comes out fast enough to beat the Shadow move, AND cause stagger. :slight_smile:

Hey, I made it! :stuck_out_tongue:


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I feel like my Kim Wu just levelled up to 9000 because of this amazingly detailed and clear explanation. /sarcasm

I think I saw you use it a couple of times against Bass and I’m trying to incorporate it more in my Instinct gameplan, neat little tactic :thumbsup: i used to just waste them to counter projectiles, not very optimal :sweat:

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It’s cool, but if they catch on, they can actually shadow counter the dragon too, so be careful. :slight_smile:

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