JagoBlake's outlook on Jago's 3.7 changes

(be warned, gigantic post incoming)

First of all, Happy Easter! I don’t really celebrate it myself, but to those who do, enjoy it.

On to the subject. I’d wondered for a while if I should post my thoughts on Jago’s recent nerfs. I know it’s been a month since the 3.7 patch, and what with me coming back of retirement for Killer Instinct - or trying to, anyway - I might not feel fully qualified to give my thoughts on them. Then I was just like, what the hell.

For those unaware, I’ll keep it simple: all versions of Wind Kick got nerfed, even the shadow version which is now -1 on block. His fireball damage, regular or charged, got a slight reduction. His overhead lost some range and was slowed down to 22 frames. Finally, his double kick is now +2 on block instead of +3.

You might be thinking to yourself that as I’m a Jago loyalist, I’d be displeased with these changes, but here’s where it gets surprising: I actually APPROVE of them. Why?

I never did agree with the community’s shared opinion that Jago was among the top five characters before these nerfs, despite Thompxson consistently winning majors or otherwise maintaining respectable placings. I’d always felt there were plenty of characters that had stronger dirt than Jago did - more than five, actually. That being said, in the times where I’d actually watched a KI stream, I did notice that certain parts of Jago’s playstyle were becoming a tad…repetitive and understandably annoying.

  • it became incredibly common to see Jago throw out a Wind Kick after completing a blockstring, whether he was negative or positive. Typically this happens after the blockstun pushes him back a slight distance, so if their normals won’t reach, they throw out a Wind Kick out of the desire to maintain pressure, usually with no consequence. If you tried to counter-poke with a normal, you would lose due to the priority system. You had to trade with a special or block and take your turn, provided Jago doesn’t rob you by using his DP.

  • how does a Jago typically close distance? Wind Kick, of course, especially if you have Instinct to make it safe. Shadow fireball will also make it safe…ish, as it’s -6 on block but still has some pushback meaning that punishes are limited. If the opponent has no meter, cancel into Shadow Laser Sword or Shadow Wind Kick and enjoy your plus frames.

  • in relation to the above two items, all versions of the Wind Kick except the heavy were safe. A few characters could punish a poorly spaced medium Wind Kick with reversal DP (Jago and Fulgore, obviously), but the problem is that not every character shared this option. Additionally, as unsafe as heavy Wind Kick is, there were still characters like Orchid who had to use meter to punish it. As frustrating as it is for me to fight her, even I thought that was stupid.

  • one of the reasons Jago’s fireball damage got regularly nerfed is due to what is perhaps the most frustrating thing about him: his ability to regenerate health. Even if we opted not to cash out, we were still getting the best of both worlds: unbreakable damage and extra health. The nerfs will now force a Jago to decide between dishing out damage or recovering health, and perhaps we’ll also be encouraged to explore the other benefits we get from our Instinct, specifically increased block advantage and extra possibilities for manuals due to improved hitstun.

  • when you consider that our overhead has excellent range and is able to be cancelled, the fact it was 18 frames on start-up made this move difficult to react to and therefore overwhelming in the neutral. It’s POSSIBLE to react to it, but it’s one of those things you really have to be looking for. If you wandered inside the range of his crouching medium kick, you were subjected to practical 50/50s. The change to our overhead will force us to explore mix-up options outside of the low/overhead scenario, like shimmying and throwing.

TL;DR - we now have to use our walk speed to close distance instead of just leaning on Wind Kick. Our hit-confirms will have to become less brainless. Our neutral will need to be revamped. We have to get more creative with mix-ups. And of course, our Instinct will require us to commit to one benefit instead of getting the whole pizza.

I can totally get on board with this, especially since I’ve already been playing a defensive Jago since my entrance to the scene, whilst the majority of Jagos I’ve fought were batshit crazy. Now I have to get more creative with my use of Jago’s tools? All the better!

BUT, I do have a gripe with this…specifically, consistency.

I never liked advancing special attacks being safe, so I totally understand the nerf to our Wind Kick, but here’s what some may not have considered: why didn’t other characters with a similar tool get the same change? I won’t list ALL characters, but here’s some examples with explanations attached:

  • Fulgore (charged or not, all versions of his Blade Dash are safe. The only way to punish it is if you played Jago or Fulgore, since their reversal DPs can punish any medium or heavy dashes that aren’t charged, but otherwise, it’s just as overbearing)

  • Glacius (yes, his Cold Shoulder got nerfed already, but the frame data to our Wind Kicks were more or less the same as what his shoulders are now. Due to pushback, you aren’t punishing any shoulders unless it’s heavy and even then, you generally have to use meter to compensate for the distance. When you also consider that his Ice Lance AND his close-ranged normals are less negative on block, what’s up with that?)

  • Thunder (yes, his Triplax can be Shadow Countered, but while meter builds fast, we’re not always going to have it. And I’m fairly certain we all hate having to deal with his mix-up game between DPs and command grabs. Seriously, must I go into detail? No? Okay, then)

I could go on, but you get the idea.

I’ll give Iron Galaxy the benefit of the doubt, though. They are probably planning to introduce changes to better equalize the roster so that they follow similar rules. If you recall, when Gargos was introduced to the game, his air grab was breakable. Therefore, Orchid’s became breakable for the sake of consistency.

Anyway, these are pretty much my thoughts on Jago’s adjustments. Feel free to discuss.


The point u brought about fulore blade dash and thunder triple axe is one that makes me very salty. Another one is orchid slide she goes full screen and is safe due to pushback but shago and omen are very negative

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Orchid’s slide is a lot slower than Shago’s and Omen’s. Omen and Shago will catch you not watching your toes while Orchid’s slide can be seen coming from a mile away.


Orchid is not safe.


Well said. I love Shago but he shouldn’t have to work so hard to get in, he has negative specials no matter the strength…it’s infuriating at times. I occasionally like to end a string that’s blocked with a special that isn’the a fireball and not eat a normal for doing so.

No offence but I don’t think it really mattered in the long run anyway. Jago already does good damage even outside of instinct so you pop it you’re most likely just going for the life gain anyway (least from my experience). As far as the extra manual opportunities go, (at least as far as I tested) the most mileage you get out of it is being able to manual one strength higher than what’s usually allowed. Not really much but I’ll admit can be effective if used sparingly.

All in all the latest changes are still taking some getting used to for me. But I’m sure I’ll adjust sooner or later. However i’ll admit, if weren’t good with things like hit confirms then, you better start getting good with them now.

Fulgore’s blade dash is really the one other safe advancing special I believe should be made unsafe when uncharged, and marginally safe when charged up (so he needs to commit to a DP if he wants to keep his turn after a charged blade dash).

I also believe shadow blade dash should be - 1.

Thunder’s triplax has much less reach than the others mentioned, l and can be easily shadow countered, so I believe leaving him at - frames is fair enough. Orchid’s slide is pretty slow, when compared to most other slides, and it’s already negative enough as well, IMO. Glacius’ shoulders, well, before these last changes I’d say it was fine as it was negative enough as it was, even if it wasn’t always strictly punishable, he always had to give up his turn to the opponent. With the huge buffs he got to some of his key normals, though, especially ice Lance, I don’t know if I still think that.

Anyway, great analysis of the changes altogether. I believe jago is in a really good place right now, and I’m hoping these changes will lead to more thoughtful and technical jago play, which is the kind I really like to see from the character.

Even with pushback, I can still punish Orchid’s heavy slide consistently with forward roundhouse, so I don’t agree about her. Shadow Jago and Omen, on the other hand, are very annoying since they have such fast start-up.

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Because Shadow Jago is built to be a zoning character that’s not as strong on the offensive side.

That said, I personally find his specials hard to block on reaction, especially the divekick since you get to choose where Shadow Jago reappears depending on the strength of the input. And once Shadow Jago finds a knockdown, I hope you’re good at blocking.

If you’re looking for pressure, you could experiment with his crouching medium kick and close medium kick as both are plus 1 on block. I’m sure you also know that a surged fireball is actually plus on block when done at close quarters (at least it seems to be since I always get Counter Hit unless I DP). His forward heavy kick is good for harassing the opponent at a range, too.

Not trying to tell you how to play your character, just offering opinions.

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Yes, Thunder’s Triplax does not have as much travel distance as the other specials I mentioned, but again, let me highlight his powerful mix-up game between DP and command grab that already occupies so much of the screen. If not for that, I would agree with you.

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Yeah, of course, but his triplax is already - right? I mean, I don’t feel that it being safe makes it an abusable tool, or something that’s too strong. I’m actually not sure of the frame data right now, but if it’s + then I’m totally mistaken and I agree with you.

If it is -, though, then I’d say it’s fine. It’s not the tool that might need a nerf in thunder’s arsenal, IMO, as it doesn’t give him free pressure at all. I’d say his ankle slicer is much more of an issue, IMO, because of how fast it comes out and of how much stuff it evades.

It’s - but you kind of have to respect the follow up ankle slicer/DP/command grab mix up. You end up getting dunked by the upper body invincibility of DP if you try to counter an ankle slicer, and you get dunked by the lower body invincibility of ankle slicer if you try to stuff a DP, and if you decide to simply block you could get command grabbed, and if you try to back dash the DP follow ups or ankle slicer will catch you. And if you try to jump to avoid command grab and ankle slicer then the DP will bop you. Granted this isn’t an issue for some characters since they can stuff ankle slicer, DP, and command grab with one button but for others it’s really annoying.


IMO, a common misconception players have is to describe the game solely on frame data. Many other factors come to play in a set, char height, move startups, move recoverys, pushback ,block stun. Most moves that are negative infact are not in match.


Of course. Hence why I said that triplax wasn’t the issue, or the tool that might need adjustment, rather some of his other options, specifically ankle slicer.

IMO for a character like thunder it makes much more sense to nerf the tool that causes that situation after he manages to creep in, than the tool he uses to get close. He shouldn’t be punishable for advancing on you, he’s a char who already needs to take risks to move when at farther ranges. Once he manages to get into mid/close range, he should have a way to creep in, on block, that isn’t outright punishable.

What he shouldn’t have, IMO, is a safe special that’s a combo opener and gives him lower body inv and creeps out of range to creep back in with a low attack that clips your legs if you’re trying to walk back. Ankle slicer is the issue in that equation, not triplax, IMO. Take away the lower body invulnerability and it’s still a safe opener that does some good spacing job and allows him to cancel from a normal and remain at footsies distance, if he wants, while also catching walk back.

But with no lower invulnerability, any quick low hitting normal would stuff all follow ups to triplax except for shadow shammamish.

I’m basing it on the numerous orchids I’ve fought and punished. Its not safe.

Thanks I just hate that all his specials cause him to eat a button…most characters have a couple of safe specials and do insane damage…

Laser sword is still safe. And he can still throw in his fireball mixup game. Jago at this point is closer to where he was at the end of s2. Still pretty good just can’t do what he wants.

Laser sword has poor range though.

That’s the point. It’s good for when Jago gets in close. He has his near half screen safe normals for other means.

Eh…in spite of how strong specials are in KI, a rather large section of them are actually situationally punishable or force you to give up your turn at the least. Perfectly safe ways of applying continual pressure via specials actually isn’t as common in this game as you might think; normally you’re trading shadow counterability or something else for that special approach. You can frame trap behind some of them to forcibly take back turns, but being able to do that consistently without meter is additionally rare.

Wulf is unsafe on his run mixups, ragged edge is shadow counterable, and he can’t frame trap off running upper without meter. Orchid’s rekkas are both shadow counterable and unsafe, flick flak is shadow counterable (and pretty negative to boot), slide is punishable, etc. Triplax is shadow counterable and Thunder can’t frame trap without meter (though that is somewhat character dependent). Spinal gets plus frames only with resource use, Maya is negative on tumble kicks, TJ is -3 at least on most things and can’t frame trap without meter, Kan is negative all the time, ditto Hisako (who can admittedly cheat her way out of some punishes), Kim is shadow counterable on most special approaches, Mira is always shadow counterable on specials, Gargos is flat out punishable on his specials. And so on and so on. KI’s specials are strong because they cover big portions of the screen quickly and have loads of “extra” properties (armor, low crush, etc), not because you generally get to toss them out and have it still be your turn. Characters who can reliably force you to respect their negative frames without meter basically comes down to Jago (still), Fulgore, Glacius, Raam situationally, and Eyedol in warrior form. Might be missing someone in in there, but hopefully you see my point.

Jago still has special pressure that won’t have him eating buttons - you just have to be a bit more judicious about your spacing now to use them. I don’t know that I all the way agree with the wind kick nerfs (I think it presented an interesting take on the shoto archetype), but he’s definitely still a strong character. You just have to be more thoughtful about your pressure options now.