I’m glad that people will stop complaining about things like combo breaker xx instinct cancel lifegain, but since it didn’t matter at all before (like all instinct cancel after breaker shenanigans), I’m pretty unfazed about losing it.
Similar thing goes for the shadow fireball, fireball xx shadow DP unbreakable becoming breakable under opener-ender rules. Sure I lose some marginal utility from not being able to close out 30% of a lifebar with a throw, but most of the time I’m tagging that sequence onto the end of a longer, breakable combo, so that bit at the end is still an unbreakable source of an extra few ender levels.
Sweeps becoming breakable is another stealth nerf that I don’t care about very much. I did the numbers at some point a few months ago and concluded that yes, launcher ender into sweep is a decent alternative to damage ender if you’re not going to close out the lifebar – but hard knockdowns aren’t really that good for Jago, either. I’ve found that mostly I want to be doing longer combos into meter ender, because the in-combo mixup just has far better expected lifeswing attached to it than Jago’s oki, and the meter is just useful all over the place for Jago. I don’t know where all of this is going to lie coming into season 3, but anything that gets us away from this dumb one-chance launcher sweep garbage that various Jagos think is good, will probably be welcomed by me.
Related, the effects of the damage normalization (specifically the ender stuff) are yet to be seen, but it seems pretty cast-wide, and flip-out on breaker basically means that average combo lifeswing goes up for not having to defend on wakeup from even a soft knockdown anymore. The juggles could help expected damage, too. Overall I’m not worried, to say the least.
Regarding the juggles, I don’t have too much to say about it, but I’m kinda keen to explore Jago’s new juggles, considering that I’ve labbed some stuff several times before and been disappointed at the blowouts. I don’t expect this to be a “focus” of the game come season 3, but not adding 80+ KV per juggle hit will be a welcome change!
The double roundhouse change is kinda amusing, since that thing was basically an auto double anyway. The extra frame probably shouldn’t be too big of a deal in neutral – it’ll still be a great move with some notable caveats.
The only things which bother or concern me at all are:
- I feel wounded that I’m losing things like the DP manual into shadow DP, and shadow fireball, fireball xx shadow DP, due to the loss of the DP recovery cancel. Mind, I don’t ever do the Thompxson on whiff or block, I don’t even want that to be a viable option for me because I don’t like the execution on that during a frantic DP whiff situation, and I think it’s probably too good and not very fun anyway. But I’d’ve appreciated a proper cancel window (with a more generous buffer) being enshrined into the game that only becomes available on hit (which has been done for various moves across the cast, e.g. riptor’s shoulder charge and talon rake), since it’s kinda useful and very cool.
- Is the lifegain going to be any good anymore? I mean, yes the double fireballs are still good (wait…charged double fireballs?) and it’ll always be nice to gain 3% plus meter whenever fireball pressure happens to connect, but I’m not entirely convinced that we’ll still be going for those flashy double shadow fireball juggles and the like that kinda headlined the instinct rework when the reward is often sub-20%. I guess we might wind up settling for something like shadow fireball -> double fireball -> wind kick -> shadow DP, thanks to the lower juggle KV, to abuse the PD and also get 10% lifegain incidentally. Alternatively, the lifegain might still be good enough to justify the meter usage. But I guess while I’m concerned, I’m not infatuated with the lifegain antics either, so this concern is very secondary to my (still pretty mild) first concern.
It should be pretty clear that this stuff is pretty minor. I’m still baffled that Jago got off so lightly on the nerfs, especially considering the new toys we have to work with.
I think most accepted that Jago wasn’t really a zoner in season 2. There are matchups where his fireballs are more relevant than just as a cancel option off HP and back+HP, but against most opponents you’re obviously either getting rushed the moment you throw one in neutral, or getting outclassed by superior projectiles on the other side, or giving your opponent a free skull, or…
But honestly, I never really minded, either, because all I ever wanted to do was wind kick and frame trap and play some footsies. And he was solid with just those things, I’d happily say he was “fine as is”. Jago doesn’t need to be a credible zoner to be formidable.
Which is to say that now I feel a bit spoilt by all the riches IG is delivering us come season 3. Not only can we put a respectable fireball on the screen (which granted, rushier characters are still going to largely ignore – but maybe we can bait with the fakeout?), but we get a fun toy that makes a thing like crMK xx fireball a somewhat worthwhile option to explore for the first time in, well, ever. Probably makes HP xx fireball a bit sweeter, too. There might also be some dumb juggle shenanigans to be had with the light laser sword flip-out, marking the first time I’ll ever have used a light laser sword in an actual match.
Basically, as a Jago main I feel that we’re going to do really well out of the rebalance, to the extent that I feel surprised to state that I’m currently more worried about the lot of certain other characters that I’ve never even bothered to learn to play competently. It really feels like we mostly just got buffs.