Is Thunder the wrong archtype?

Seriously, this thing is not some grappler/rushdown character, he a hardcore mix up character. Highs, lows, tick throws of a ton of his buttons, dash throughs, cross up stomps that require you to be familiar with the spacing to react to, resets for days, two flip outs that give him different follow up options that you can’t just wait to break because hes always got meter to cash out his juggles so you have to actively try to break the juggles but even if he cashes out he still has more flip out opportunities. And all of that is tacked ontop of a high damage character because he’s balanced as a grappler/rushdown character instead of a mix up character. Other characters with his mix up potential all do low damage and are left unsafe on their mix ups, Thunder does high damage and is only unsafe on DP follow ups which can be made safe with a call of sky charge. Other characters that struggle with zoning literally have to walk their way in in long drawn out matches that test the players patience,Thunder just yolo cross up DPs in or crow dash past a projectile into a mix up. Seriously, does he even have a weakness anymore?

Heck, take a look at the win percentages for all the characters in the ranked leaderboards. Most characters average 60%-70% and you might get one or two people in the low 80%, but for Thunder’s top players 80% is the norm and the rest are high 70% with only one guy below 60%. Only character with a top ten as impressive as Thunder’s is Kan-ra and that’s because of how ridiculous he was in S2. Look at the people that have built a reputation for being multi prostar hunters, most of them are Thunder players. The evidence is adding up here people!

Sure this post was motivated after a long salt fueled set but you can’t tell me what I’m saying doesn’t make sense.


It makes sense bro I play alot of thunder and I use the command grab sparingly. Flipout was honestly a godsend for thunder however before flipout I would have to disagree as he was much more of a hardcore grappler. Flipout just made his mixup game much scarier so I see where your coming from. Even so the command grab is an integral par of his kit, and his overhead is fairly easy to react to and shadowcounter. His high lows arent the greatest in the world but they can be effective if you are properly conditioned. His mixups are scariest when you are scared if u can look that 7 foot tall hunk of native american muscle in the face and not flinch you have a much better chance of beating him.


Disclaimer: I could be wrong.

I’m pretty sure I’ve seen @TheKeits flat out say he does not classify Thunder as a grappler character.

I think just because he was the first S1 character to have a command grab he got the reputation as being a grappler and that has kind of stuck with him since then.

It’s an interesting discussion I think, what classify’s a character as a grappler?

Exactly! Omen…mix up character…damage equals sheet!

Thunder even more mix ups and juggles…2nd highest damage in the game.

Makes sense!

I fought a thunder in ranked the other day that literally, IM not joking, he did nothing but Sammish . stomp or MK or flip out into juggle and cash outs. He did no other combos at all.
And when he wasnt doing that he would tic throw with call of the earth.

He did no grounded normal combos at all.

Once I caught on to hvy stomp, he switched to MK or flip out or CB.

It was quite ridiculous.


Usally, it’s reliance on a command grab and poor mobility. That isn’t always the case but thats usually it. For example, Shazam in Injustice is considered a grappler and has great mobility with his teleports.

Dnt get me wrong thunder has a myriad of weaknesses. You can low crush his wakeup dps. You have to pressure him to make him use his meter to get out of pressure. People often complain about how he can fly pas zoning and he can but its hella risky cuz if u block it hes minus everything. His mobility isnt the best without instinct and if hes in instinct and he dashes through you just jab check him it takes away a tun of his options.


He can make the space to get a Dash Charge to make that safe though, if you can’t keep constant pressure on him he will get a safe way in meter free to boot. Not to mention his backdash goes surprisingly far for what the animation looks like it should.

One thing I dont get about thunder is that he can follow up a blocked normal with a command grab.Shouldnt command grabs only work in neutral. Plus that command grab is literally unreactable in that situatiob when u have to guess about his other 5 or 6 possible followups


These are what’s called “Tic Throws/Grabs”, and they can be done with every character. Using a move that has a low enough block stun that you can follow up almost immediately with a throw/command grab is a pretty common site when I fight online (and even with certain characters AI, like Kan-Ra) and is essential to certain characters’ high end game plans (namely Thunder, Shago, TJ, Kan-Ra, Hisako, and General RAAM).

This sort of thing is also covered in the Dojo lesson on Resets

Your argument is not wrong however it assumes he is given the space to do so or has made that space through some means. If he gets his offense started this is easy but if vs a zoning hero its hard to find the time to do this without getting tagged. Yes it destroys projectiles but you are still leaving yourself open. His back dash is deceptively good.

1 Like

As an Aganos player, it can be challenging against a mixup heavy thunder, but I don’t mind the challenge. It feels like he’s got Mira/Glacius damage. Because I’m still leveling up with this matchup, I’m absolutely fine with adapting to him as he is and overcoming my personal weaknesses with fighting this character. Right now, when I fight Thunder, I can’t honestly say I shadow counter everything I need to. I can’t say I can read the animation for overhead right after flipout. I don’t have a mashable jab, but I haven’t truly seen the effects of mashing jab against Thunder. I don’t shadow counter dp followups. I’m not sure if it’s even a good idea or not yet, I currently just block, but due to my hitbox, I often get duped on the dp stomp crosssup. But again, I haven’t worked on it. I just recently understood that you can dp his dp’s on wakeup.

But as to the question of whether he is the wrong archetype, I remember keits talking about the point of grapplers are to make you scared of the command grab so that you’ll get hit by other things … or something like that lol … it was a while back and im tired lol.

I think this s3 version of thunder allows him to play the KI combo game a bit more with the dp followups even though he is still a grappler at heart. I’d call him a “flying grappler” lol. I actually like the variety of grapplers KI have and think it’s pretty nice how they all have moves that allow grappling into the combo system.

To me, all grapplers in KI can be considered mixup characters, not just thunder. For instance you have to have the right read with hisako when she’s close, but she has great options just like thunder up close where she can either command grab you or use her up slash that has a pretty far range like a dp, but completely safe. Kan-ra can put you in situations that make you decide whether to jump his normal command grab or not jump his aerial command grab (which has great range). Raam has his otg vortex. All of these KI grapplers are even crazier to deal with in instinct. And on top of that, they also have decent mobility or mobility tools.

Hisako - horrible walk speed, but donatello @$$ long-range normals, plus a pretty fast teleport, a sick forward dash and wall jumps

Kan Ra - floaty normal jump, but can change his arc via scarabs, sand jumps, teleport with sand

Raam - bear grab run, that can be cancelled with 1/4 meter, huge air to air normals, and decimate covers a good distance

Overall, seems like KI should be a fun place for those who like grappler archetypes. It’s up to us to figure how to exploit their weaknesses.

When Aganos bullies somebody in the corner with pokes, overheads, aerial attacks, wall splats, or throws … would you say he has mixups?

I do wish Sammish into MK wasnt so dang active and took so much priority tho, lol. That thing is active forever!

I dont know, Im not really speaking to Thunders neutral mix up ground game. Im speaking more to his juggles out of Sammish and the ability to mix up the strengths so you cant break it or mixing in CBs.

Add the damage and the tick throws with grounded over head and its a night mare.

Id rather fight Aganos than Thunder…I have a much better chance against Aganos.

But I have had a fewmatches where the Aganos corner game was strong and it was def a tough battle.

People need to realize this, because I think they don’t. So, low meaties will hit Thunder’s DP?

As far as the rest of @SithLordEDP’s original post, it is a self admitted rant. Normally I wouldn’t engage at all, but you’re a regular contributor to the forums who has a lot of smart things to say.

One of the things Infil will often talk about is how players “beat themselves” when they try to do analysis by saying “if I do X, then he can just crush it with Y.” That’s true, but maybe he won’t. Don’t theory craft your way out of the match.

Thunder is clearly a strong character and he clearly has benefited from flip out. I think the biggest issue is that people simply don’t have the full breakdowns in their minds for S3 characters. It’s become more difficult to know the ins and outs of every character as the roster has expanded, and you just don’t run into 10 Thunder players in an afternoon the way you would have in season 1. Yes, his flip out makes him mix heavy now and his damage is high. But there are ways to deal with him.

It’s also very true that Thunder players do well online. But if we are going to talk about win % it’s worth noting that Thunder players don’t do well in tournaments - even in KIWC where all the characters being negatively compared to Thunder’s toolset in this thread showed up in top 8. I don’t believe in pointing to tournament results to make tier lists, but it’s worth considering. There’s really only three possible explanations for this. 1. No good Thunders go to tournaments (not true). 2. Thunder has tech that works better online due to input delay making reactions harder (possible - but he’s not the only character for whom this might be true) 3. Tournament players have figured out how to deal with Thunder and his tools aren’t as potent as we imagine. I think 3 is the most likely. It may be that you need to have insane reactions and great game knowledge (which doesn’t help me), but I find it compelling that Thunder isn’t making it into the higher ranks of tournaments. Again, I wouldn’t just bring this up to say “buff Thunder,” but in the context of this discussion I think it matters.


I’ve come to the realization that Thunder is DUMB.

1 Like

Really? Explain further why exactly you think this. I only have a couple of ideas

He’s dumb because:

-He can fly, which is basically a get in free card that induces stupid play.

-His sky fall follow up is totally ambiguous when done in neutral, & can be very hard to block; unless of course you’re using a character that is equally stupid, if not more stupid.

-In addition to that, he can buff crows to keep himself safe when performing sky fall (which too is also completely ambiguous) & totally unfair considering said player committed to doing a risky sky fall to begin with.

-He gets way too much off of set play with the potentials listed, & his damage output.

-You can’t really play a solid neutral game against him because ankle slicer has the potential to bypass any short forward normal in the game (mind you it’s +5 on hit, & God tier for resets).

-Playing against him online doesn’t make any of this any easier.

It took me a good while to realize all of this. I’ve spent time in the lab against him and there is really nothing anyone can do against a good Thunder player. I’ve started playing Eagle, & Jago to help me with my footsies and my defense game, because I want to be good at this game over all; not just win because I’m using Thunder. KI has become a bit of an unentertaining freak show regarding the characters; which is why Thunder has become so stupid. I personally blame the induction of Kan-Ra back in s2; whoever’s stupid idea he was. In my opinion, the nuttiness started with him.


I’d like to see all of the characters in the cast toned down.

1 Like

I don’t think any KI character adheres to any particular archtype.

Sure some of them lean more heavily one way or the other but for the most part they’re all a mish-mash of various archtypes that make something unique. To me Thunder has never been a grappler, he just happens to have one really good grapple. :stuck_out_tongue:

While I can agree with some of your points, I believe that the certain aspects of him are dumb, but he’s not completely dumb. Every character has these dumb factors, even people like Eagle and Jago

I guess he can…but it only works against careless or dumb play. It isn’t the safest thing and it can be countered very easily if you keep it in your mind that he has this option

Mixups are crazy in this game either way. This is just another example for that. Look at fulgure and shago for example. Besides it’s a point of risk and reward, the opponent guesses right, eat a combo, you hit, mixups for you. You can also avoid much of the shy fall shenanigans with correct spacing at mid range. He simple isn’t someone who you want to be close with anyways.

Agreed. But you might say stuff like this for other characters like RAAM and Glacius

He simply has superior neutral.

Although you may think that characters might need to be toned down a lil, I perfectly think that it’s fine like it is. Sure there are some annoying features but a like this “chaotic balance” where everyone has some kind of nuttiness to them. Still, this is just my opinion and Ik that your much better then me game wise soooo, you might have a better understanding