My Controversial Top/Bottom 5 List

Things have been kind of quiet in the KI community lately so I though I’d shake things up a bit with another one of my controversial forum posts. It’s probably also important to note that there will probably be some more balances changes coming in patch 3.5 but this is where I believe everything is sitting at for now in 3.4. This top/bottom 5 list will be in order listed from strongest to weakest.


1 - Fulgore

Where Fulgore truly sits on the tier list has always been widely debated about for a long time now mostly in S2 and S3 however at this point undoubtedly I believe most people would unanimously agree that he is probably the best character in the game. Keits once described to us that every character has weaknesses and strengths but with Fulgore you could argue that he in fact doesn’t have any weaknesses at all. He could be described as the “Perfect Killing Machine”.

Fulgore has access to every tool imaginable while having some of the best offense in the game but also some of the best defense due to him having two invincible reversals which can potentially be made safe. His ability to keep players out with fantastic zoning capabilities is second to none which is enhanced even further by his trait which I will talk about in a moment. Fulgore’s only flaw comes into play at the hands of the player, not the design of the character because is there no matchup where he finds himself saying…“what do I do against this?”

What seals the deal for me and why he is #1 is his pip cancel combo trait which I personally believe to be one of if not the best trait in the game which is the ability to cancel specials into specials, something Tusk has to spend an entire instinct to achieve just for reference. Having to spend only one pip to cancel into another special is extremely strong especially in a game like Killer Instinct. Take Orchid for example who struggles to approach a zoner character like Fulgore; she sometimes has to take a risk to get in like getting a perfect jumpin read on a fireball but that doesn’t matter because his bad fireball just became his advantage. Even if you want to try and relieve some his amazing pressure and Shadow Counter, he can avoid this as well. Could you imagine Ryu or Guile being able to cancel their bad fireballs into a DP in SFV? Spending a single pip I believe made sense in S1 because his difficult ability to build meter back then but now in S2/S3 he “always” has meter; a powerful mechanic like this should be more costly don’t you think? Most likely not an oversight on the part of IG but probably could use a re-evaluation in the future.

2 - Jago

The original shoto himself has always been great in this game no matter which season you choose to look at. He has progressively improved as time has gone on however receiving very few negative lasting effects. Similar to Fulgore you would hard pressed for time trying to figure out what this characters weakness is which really just comes down to the player again and not the character.

For me personally what made Jago an S-tier character in S3 is his fireball shenanigans they added. Being able to trick his opponent into thinking he will throw a fireball allows him to get away with a ton of free high/low mixups resulting in big damage at the cost of no resource. For those who have ever played Thompxson or seen him play know that he loves to use these as his main source of offense because why not right; it’s extremely powerful.

What makes Jago truly so great since season2 even is his Instinct. Underneath it seems like a pretty simple activation but deep down there is so much more underlying strengths that some may not even think about. On top of getting access to double fireballs and the ability to get health regen, we also have to think about everything else that is happening on top of that:

  • Frame Advantage
  • Chip Damage
  • Building Meter
  • Unbreakables
  • Health Gain
  • Zoning
  • Block Pressure

Because of the extra blockstun on bigger fireballs and the additional frame advantage during instinct activation you are essentially in an infinite frame trap during this time and if you’re a character without a real reversal then GG. This allows him to go for even crazier pressure than he was capable of before getting in as many resets as possible during this time with high/low mixups which also during this time is building tons and tons of meter on block. STOP THE MADNESS!

3 - Aria

It should be a shock to no one that Aria is making my top5 list and obvious as to why. Aria is three characters in one which gives her access to amazing tools that she can call to at any point during a match as she sees fit. Are you way ahead and want to play lame, then switch to base body. Do you want to pressure with ambiguous high/lows while simultaneously stopping pressure, switch to blade body. Do you want play Orchid style and take a visit to Vortex City, switch to booster body.

Even with the few Aria players their are, it’s easy to understand why she is such a strong character; this coupled with all her other added benefits which don’t often get taken advantage of. These being things such as having very fast and ambiguous linkers/doubles, having the ability to avoid death by switching bodies, and last but not least having guaranteed throw setups.

Aria’s weakness are very apparent however her lengthy number of strengths heavily outweigh the ladder.

4 - Thunder

Probably one of the most underrated characters in KI’s history has always been the Chief himself. Thunder has always gotten progressively better as the seasons went on and only recently in S3 seeing his share of adjustments. Being a hybrid grappler his weakness to zoners is obvious although getting in on keep-away characters hasn’t seemed to be much of problem lately for him.

Thunder has always been a very scary character for most simply due to his constant mixup game he places you in, you never know what hes going to do. Will he wakeup Ankle Slicer? Will he dash command grab? Will he go for DP instead of a normal? Will he Skyfall or Dropkick or let it rock? You never know whats going to happen with Thunder which is the reason he will always be a great character. His ability to dominate the mind game between players is outstanding that coupled with his great set of long range normals makes anyone want to turn off their PC or throw their Xbox out the window.

Undoubtedly for most and correct me if I’m wrong here, that makes Thunder so scary is his Instinct which at first glance is just a dash but like Jago he can do so much more with. This instinct allows his to basically go nuts getting in for free with DP into Skyfall which can be made safe via dash cancel. This is extremely fast and can even cross you up which most often get hit by. Thunder is amazing to me and I’m sure I’m not alone.

5 - Sako

The most perfectly and well thought out character design in the history of fighting games is awarded to…(drum roll) Sako! Thank you IG for a brilliant addition.

What else can I say about this character other than she is amazing! During season2 there weren’t very many Sako players and most didn’t really grasp the concept of the character but going into season3 that all kind of changed. There were many more players who picked her up an as a result more tekk was being found and the concept was being better grasped. The end result has been the creation of an unstoppable vortex monster (pun intended) that is very hard to shake off.

Sako is making my top5 list based on her amazing ability to play neutral, having some of the best long range buttons in the game, and her innate ability to keep you guessing. She can be played as a grappler or as a long ranged poke character that can do big damage when needed. Some of the things I’ve seen still haunt me at night to this day.

Also never forget that LCD is the OG Sako :slight_smile:

(This list was much harder than the last and was carefully calculated with much time devoted. In a game like Killer Instinct it can be tough times trying to narrow everything down to the wire because every character can win. It really just comes down to who is worth playing from a competitive standpoint. Sorted again strongest to weakest.)

5 - Kimberly Wu

To the absolute shock of no one Kim Poo is making my bottom5 list.

I was engorged with joy when people were telling me I inspired them to learn Kim Wu after my placements at Northwest Majors and Combo Breaker 2016. Not much later though I decided I inadvertently encouraged the play of one of the worst characters in the game. Aside from being one of the worst visually looking designed female characters in the history of fighting games, I’ve gone on record many times now saying that I don’t believe Kimberly is a very well designed character in this version of Killer Instinct.

“Kim Wu is good, but she is not as good as the rest of the cast.” I’ll explain this in a moment.

Mentioned in the early beginnings of this original post, I mentioned Keits explaining that every character is designed to have weaknesses and strengths but I think this is the complete opposite when it comes to Kim. She has her weakness but then she has her “strengths” which also double as secondary weaknesses. There isn’t anything that Kim does that she doesn’t inherently get punished for later. Want to whiff punish that S.HP with light Dragon Kick, well you better sit in the corner now afterwards and give up all that space you fought for earlier. Want to get a dragon to start some offense, well you better sacrifice upwards of 50% damage to do dragon ender. Want to try and stop pressure with Shadow Dragon Kick, well you better hope they aren’t standing an inch away from you. Want to parry Tusks normals on reaction, you better be ready to get punished afterwards. Need I go on? Okay I will. Below is a list of all her other “normal” weaknesses.

  • Floaty jump
  • Stubby limbs
  • Weak defensive options
  • Easily shadow countered
  • No real reversal
  • Builds ender levels slowly
  • Easily breakable
  • Terrible shadow counter
    …okay I’ll stop

Kim Wu is the only character I know of that gets punished for doing what she is suppose to do. Does Orchid’s damage ender put her into the corner? Does Sako get punished for landing a successful parry? Don’t get it twisted though because this was a very hard decision to put her as bottom five because she can undoubtedly win if the player wants to work very hard for it. The amount of effort that is required of Kim is very daunting and doesn’t make quite much sense especially since she is a semi-clone archetype of similar characters like Jago and Orchid who are clearly higher up on the echelon of tiers. She may seem like a simple basic character but she has so many random tools that she becomes very unmanageable and doesn’t make her feel cohesive. Like what is the point of reflecting fireballs with firecracker, to give Fuglore or Spinal a reason to freely teleport behind her? Make Mira bait me and instant-air dash mist in front of her?

My biggest problem with Kim since day 1 is that she doesn’t have anything that makes her unique or gives incentives to a player to choose her over other characters some whom don’t have to work nearly as hard for the same result while Kim has to play perfectly to receive results. When I picked up Kim at the begining of the season it was simply due to my history with her in KI2, I didn’t really know what to expect going in. I don’t really see ‘putting yourself into the corner constantly’ and ‘dashing forward’ as great selling points. Some of Orchid selling points include having the best walk speed in the game, some of the best normals in the game, a real reversal…okay that’s already too much.

People keep telling me that Kim Wu is good and that shes underrated, yet they refuse to show me proof. How can you watch a top level Kim get 10-0ed then babble on about her being good? Has she ever made consistent top16s let alone top 8s? Do you frequently see this character win in online battles? Show me some evidence to back up your claims. Take Ibuki in SFV for example, people insist on saying she has potential and is viable but where is the evidence to back that up when not a single person plays her in tournament. Sako one of the gods of fighting games dropped her after the first week even though she was his main in SF4 and went back to Chun-Li…cuz why would you ever play Ibuki when Chun is in the game. Why would you ever play Kim when Orchid is in the game…so I can watch my Shadow Dragon kick wiff 100 times and waste a dragon to dash cancel into nothing?

Even through the constant string of buffs during this season she still stays in the same rut, why you ask? Because the problem is not her strengths under-performing but because she is fundamentally flawed from the ground up…at least in my humble opinion.

One thing I will say is that Kim Wu is fun to play and I’ve definitely heard IG express the same sentiment on their weekly streams. Unfortunately however sometimes fun doesn’t always translate to others in the same ways.

4 - Aganos

Things started out rough for the rock man but over time I feel he has gotten a lot better, but was it enough? Similar to Kim Wu I would describe Aganos as a “word hard” (pun intended) character. Even if you enjoy playing him it means wins won’t come so easy to him.

While we’ve seen a few notable players such as ZergKiller, Mr.J, and LetalisVenator among others do work with him, it’s hard to argue that this characters suffers from few extreme notable weaknesses. Aside from being a big body hes an amazing character with chunks and otherwise a walking target without chunks. I feel being able to circumvent chunks using standing heavy attacks severely hurt Aganos in the long run this season as his entire design is based around using armored moves. If you can out footsie Aganos in the neutral (as most characters can) he virtually becomes useless in most matchups.

I love watching this character do work but at what cost? I sure hope he sees love in the future or perhaps mechanics changes may help him out in the future who knows but as of 3.4 he is definitely one of the overall weaker characters.

3 - Eyedol

This is a strange pick for me and in all honestly it doesn’t really have anything to do with Eyedol being considered weak but more to do with the fact his pick rate is in obscurity. I have not seen a single Eyedol in tournament, ranked, or in a YouTube video since his first week of release when J.HP was broken. Therefore there is not enough data to determine where he falls if over or under in the tiers.

One thing I will say is that I feel the random switching of heads can be quite cumbersome although this is an intentional design decision to balance out the character. Before the last round of fixes and nerfs in 3.4 I would of considered Eyedol one of the stronger characters probably higher mid-tier, but now he isn’t really wroth the effort of playing. Most players like to lock into one style of play when they choose what characters they want to play and having to change play styles on the fly most likely just ins’t clicking for most although the design of the character is brilliant in itself.

2 - Mira

Vampire girl being the second worst character in the game is probably going to be widely refuted by most of you here, but please hear me out before doing so.

For me Mira just isn’t worth playing…like at all. People see Mira and say “OMG big damage” but they don’t really realize where the big damage comes from and why it doesn’t really matter. To this day since her inception I have never lost a set to a Mira player whether it be PaulB, Amenty, Draman, Bass with any of my characters. This isn’t the meat and potatoes of my argument but it does certainly matter in terms of theorizing why she isn’t very good.

Everything Mira does isn’t real. This dawned on me when I finally decided to take her into the lab which is when I realized that her entire kit has holes around it. Arguably her only real offense comes from instant-air dash cross-up which can definitely be a pain to block but everything else surrounding it is not hard to deal with. No matter how hard she works or what she does to me I will always be at advantage because she can’t simultaneously gain health back and deal damage at the same time, she has to choose. She can control the entire first round of the match, then I hit her with one auto-double and shes dead. You could argue that as a glass cannon character health management is key, but is it really? Predictability with command grab is apparent based on her missing health and you seldom if ever get hit by it.

Arguably her biggest weakness is combo breakers. She spends chunks of health to open you up but then you instantly get guess broken effectively killing yourself just simply due to the nature of the game.

Another one of her struggles is her easy ability to break, thus resulting in the “counter break” style of play where you are willing to take giant risks because of her potential damage output. For me personally I’ve never been a fan of characters that are designed with counter breakers in mind as it should be an option and not a mandatory style of play just because of the characters damage ouput. Kim Wu is the same way, she does absoultely no damage unless she has a lockout therefore it encourage even more so the use of counter breakers. Am I wrong, or does Mira still need more time to be fleshed out? Can she be played in tournament?

1 - Shadow Jago

I actually feel sorry for Shadow Jago because I feel he is probably the weakest character in the game. He started out very strong but received nerf after nerf which I believe went a little to far. Shadow Jago is already a risky character due to his being unsafe on a lot of his ■■■■■■■ but on top of that does some of the worst damage in the game. Where is the balance there? The design goal here is that he can open you up easily but as a result can’t cash out well; but is that still the case?

I feel Shadow Jago is working just a tad too hard for very little result right now and could benefit from receiving a slight damage buff or restoring some of his original frame data. He needs more than just dash up grab, dash up dp.

There you have it folks, that is my controversial posting on who I think are the best/worst characters right now in the game. I seriously doubt there will be much agreement in the replies to this posting but that’s what makes this so fun and spicy.

It would of been easy to just post 10 names but I felt it was important to give my reasoning behind the list.
Reply away!


I feel that Eyedol is gonna be strong with someone like Nicky at the helm. He’s two great characters in one with a lot of depth due to the random switching. I find that the randomness isn’t just a detriment meant to balance him out. It’s also a great “mix-up” tool. Not only does it encourage the person playing Eyedol to change playstyles, but it forces your opponent to also switch defensive and offensive options to favor that head.

While I definitely don’t think he’s A tier, I feel he’s got a solid spot at around B+ to B.

Shadow Jago isn’t supposed to hit you twice and get 50% each time. As another user on this forum once said, “He’s supposed to hit you with 25% 4 times, and never get caught.” Shadow Jago is a trickster who relies on wild mixups and risks. He is a struggle and hard to adapt to (I still accidentally surge out of panic). But, I still think he’s a good pick against much of the cast. KI’s roster and its effectiveness is usually dependent on the player. There are obvious choices that are better than others, but I don’t believe in choosing a specific character because they’re “high tier”. I choose them for what I play video games for:


Fun in 2016 LUL.

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It’s always nice to have some comedic posts around in trying times. I got a real laugh out of Mira in bottom 5.


Do you have reasoning or data to say otherwise? Can’t really say well this character might be good because I think so. You can’t just laugh at me and then not explain why :’(


A character with the highest one-bar one-chance damage in the game, an airdash when airdashes are not a standard feature, one of the best projectiles in the game, excellent normals, extremely far-reaching high and low moves, hands down the best approach special in the game, the only shadow ender in the game that always gets maximum payout regardless of ender level, a 6 frame command grab for a bar that reaches further than most characters’ buttons and a 22 frame command grab with the same range and little recovery, one of the best lockdown specials in the game for a bar, a meterless recapture that works off anti-air, an instinct that makes her offense more sustainable and more damaging, and of course the ability to essentially guarantee a lifebar off a counterbreaker.

A character that just won a tournament.

And you say she’s the second worst in the game because you lose if you play carelessly. I dunno man, can you really not look past the risk and see just how insanely strong her tools are?


You picked 5 good characters for top, though I think Thunder is maybe not quite that high (still very good though). Omen probably fits that spot for me. Hisako as 5th best isn’t really that controversial, since I think most people agree she is very good. I was worried she would be weak during the buildup to S3 and the start of S3 so I’m glad to see I was wrong on that.

Bottom 5, aside from Mira and Eyedol, is fine. I think Sadira might still be in this spot, because while she’s better at mixing you up, the mixups still don’t hurt overly much. But I have a mental block against this character so I don’t mind.

I think Eyedol is mid or upper mid tier. Your only reasoning for including him in the list is that “you never see him played” which isn’t too convincing to me. You also say that before 3.4 he was an upper-mid char? I think he was in the running for most broken character in KI history, and would easily have dominated the entire game if that version was final.

I can see Shago as worst in the game. He is a silly mixup character that I think still has a lot of untapped potential in terms of setups and tool exploration, but his damage will always be probably a bit too weak. The question is whether buffing this character’s damage will hurt the game at lower levels… it’s possible it might. One option for buffing him is to make his grounded DP ender actually hurt. A lot of Shago’s best mixups cause launches, so he can’t use the regular damage ender without either a shadow recapture or starting with something unsafe. As it stands, his current damage ender does so little damage that I can actually see literally no reason to ever use it (do the battery ender for 1 or 2% less and take the buttload of meter that Shago actually needs). Maybe if they wanted to give this a 20% buff or something, Shago could improve without letting his most brutal mixups hurt more.

I’ll never understand Mira as bottom 2. She has to walk the knife’s edge but she has the tools to play safe AND go nuts, depending on the situation. She loses the silver health that she used to approach even if she gets broken, but this is only fair considering she can do 70% meterless when she gets in. I can’t imagine a version of this character where she routinely gets to gamble with your life bar, and then not pay a bit of a price when she’s wrong. It would be just beyond silly, I think.

If you think Mira’s command grabs are telegraphed, just… use them differently! Open the opponent up and then do one chance into shadow grab ender. Mira always has bar (she is one of the king meter builders in this game, even without a battery ender) so this is always an option. Use shadow grab in neutral from st.MP range. If your opponent blocked st.MP, you could have shadow grabbed them… this very nicely complements her tick throw game, because now they have to guess between no tick at all (shadow grab), st.MP into combo, or st.MP into tick. And if they ever hesitate or freak out, you either get to air dash on their head, or hit their prejump with st.MP into a combo starter. I don’t see any reliable way an opponent will always avoid Mira’s command grab. It is very, very strong.

It’s possible Mira is not top 5, I dunno. But bottom 2 is just… I don’t understand the reasoning behind it. She has weak defense, I guess, but so does S2 Spinal and Kan-Ra and they’re super scary characters.



Mira takes work to be good with, but not nearly as much work as Kim or Aganos. She be good yo! She’s only as bad as the player makes her be. When you waste blood on useless moves and spam mist then yeah your gonna have a bad time, but when you can play effectively without risking too much is when Mira truly shines.

@CrazyLCD daamm thats all for SADIRA ! and also kan ra.

I actually feel sorry for SADIRA and kan ra because I feel she/he is probably the weakest character in the game. SHE/HE started out very strong but received nerf after nerf which I believe went a little to far (beside the last patch 3.4. Sadira/KAN RA is already a very risky character due to his being unsafe on a lot of his ■■■■■■■ but on top of that does some of the worst damage in the game AND SHE/HES NOW FORCED TO PLAY WITH A PRISON STYLE NAMED FLIPOUT!!!. where others characters with flip out dont always need it to try to kill someone.( riptor,aria,jago,thunder tj, etc…) because they have descent damages beside

ITS SO FRUSTRATING!!! all setups beein based on a flip out cause you dont have choice.


I feel Shadow Jago, SADIRA AND KAN RA are working just a that too hard for very little result right now and could benefit from receiving a slight damage buff or restoring some of his original frame data. THEY needs more than just dash up grab, dash up dp.jump jump jump or sand traps

but its been too far all these nerfs.

The points you made are very good for each character and I agree with pretty much all of it and I understand why some are in their places :grinning:

Mine is
Top (in no order):

  1. Fulgore
  2. Arbiter
  3. ARIA
  4. Jago
  5. Omen or Hisako

Bottom:(In no order)

  1. Aganos
  2. RAAM (More Mid tier)
  3. Kan-Ra (More mid tier)
  4. Shadow Jago
  5. Kim-wu

I don’t know about Mira because i don’t nor have any interest playing her (some characters though who are bottom i still consider Mid tier)

Mira Mira on the wall, who is the weakest of them all?

Seriously though perhaps you and others like @DEClimax are right and Mira is far higher perhaps even top5 but I need someone to show me. We haven’t seen any Miras rise up and show what she can do. Doing a big damage combo doesn’t really impress me although I’ve see some of her more tricky setups from Amenty and Paul but they didn’t really convert to much.

I much enjoyed watching people make Rashid work. People thought he was bottom tier and now people think hes top10. I enjoy people proving their characters.

Only time will tell for Mira, although time is running out. So far I just don’t see it.

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This is very true

In SF5 early days people thought Bison was high/ top tier (more based on his beta self)…Now he is considered bottom :frowning:

Nash has been falling from top 3 to top 10 with Necalli, Ken and Cammy rising above him

Juri was like high tier for a day…She is with Bison now :frowning:

So yeah i agree more time or performance in tournaments will determine her placement :slight_smile:

IMO Top 5, no paticular order

Bottom 5, no particular order
Shadow Jago
Kim Wu
Not sure about the last, probably Sadira

Your know adversity to Counter Breakers could be the reason why you can’t understand this character. When playing her, you have to know how they work, and be ready to use them

Also, Eyedol is very good. Like top 10 easy.

And every bottom 5 character is viable. All of them. If you compare them with any bottom 5 from other game, these characters are just great.

“She is fun to play but I want to win more”, sounds to me. The objective of a videogame is have fun playing. And I will say: well done IG, since the game is fun to play [quote=“CrazyLCD, post:1, topic:16094”]
Aside from being one of the worst visually looking designed female characters in the history of fighting games

Just my humble opinion


Favorite quote of the month

Seriously, Mira in a bottom 5? Its comedy gold

Let me put it this way: if you spent your gray health on nothing but air dashes and the very occasional reaping mixup (ie, you played her mostly like a normal character, which removes the main complaint of getting broken = death), I still think Mira is not bottom 2 (though clearly not at her max potential).

It’s fine if you want evidence, but you may never get it because the KI scene is small and we have relatively few tournaments + high level players, and many of those high level players undersell their characters. Plus, KI characters are diverse enough that not all top players will mesh with a character’s design; this is a similar reason as to why Chun is the best character in SFV but hasn’t won a premier event yet. Using tournament results as a measure of a character’s viability is a dangerous game.

Whenever I watch Mira players play, all I can see is ways that the character is silly good but not maximized yet. And this is not an insult against the people playing her, she’s a hard character to optimize and it may never fully happen (Fulgore took years with a dedicated player, Mira is 6 months old right now). But people are still missing heavy reaping recaptures and costing themselves needless life, giving up 10% damage by not doing optimal counter breaker combos, intentionally not going for health regen when it is absolutely imperative they do so, etc etc.


My thoughts on your list:

I’ve beaten that horse dead into the ground multiple times with why I disagree with a lot of your Kim Wu statements. But you know what, you started this, so Imma do it again XD:
–All you seem to see in her shadow reversal is that it has no range and can be easily jumped over. I believe there needs to be an understanding that her reversal does 18% raw, leaves behind potential damage, can be comboed after with dragons for two meter 50% one chances, and leaves her +15 on block if she immediately dragon cancels it. Off a reversal. If it was any better, I think that would be only only use of meter for her.
–“What is the point of reflecting fireballs with firecracker, to give Fulgore or Spinal a reason to freely teleport behind her?” It’s a matchup specific tool. Plain and simple. That tool makes the Cinder matchup hard for him cause he can rarely, if ever, set up bombs on her at range. Also, it’s worked wonders against Mira with the angled firecracker.
–Dragon kick putting you in the corner really doesn’t matter that much when it’s a hard knockdown. Not to mention she has a really good and easy meaty setup off it with heavy dragon dance that leaves her +3.
–Dragon kick ender puts you in the corner? Dragon grasp exists. And you can easily link it at the end of her counter breaker combo at no risk too. Also, still a hard knockdown.
–Punished for parrying? If you’re parrying in situations where you know, most likely, that your parry explosion won’t work, then you just shouldn’t do it in the first place. And the dash cancel makes it so there are less situations where you can’t at least punish moves with it.
–Easily breakable? Compared to the rest of the cast? With somewhat confusing nunchuck patterns and manuals and dragon grasp? Not really…
–Easily shadow countered? She can’t be shadow countered in her kata strings except for very specific intervals that require good reads. In instinct, she can’t be shadow countered at all. And she doesn’t have to commit to multihit attacks to give her advantage on block.
–The way I see it, her floaty jump is meant to compensate for the fact that her air normals are ridiculous and she has cancel air dashes. And I’m not just talking about j.HP, but j.MP and j.HK as well. I went back and watched Kim play at KIWC when her jump was much faster, and I was relieved they changed it.
–You keep comparing her to Orchid. Does Orchid have a plethora of amazing plus normals? Un-shadow counterable overhead? Confirms into plus moves? A dragon kick that AA’s people from 3/4 of the screen? MUCH more damaging juggles, even without extra resources? A combo grab? A parry? I could go on and on.

OK, I’m done with Kim. Moving on.

Fulgore I completely agree with except for “two invincible reversals that can be made safe.” Air Shadow Eye Laser does not make him safe anymore. It really doesn’t.

Jago, I agree with.

Aria, I gotta see more play with her before I can make a better judgement TBH. I do think she’s pretty good though.

Thunder, agreed.

Hisako kind of came out of nowhere on this list for me. I agree with your points on her, but is that enough to make her Top 5? I’m not so sure.

Aganos? Hmm. I still think there’s some stuff to be explored with that character. But I somebody’s gotta be in bottom 5, and Aganos isn’t the most outlandish choice.

Eyedol is a very unexplored character. We still don’t really have an Eyedol specialist, do we? I’ll say this: the way I see Eyedol being played right now, he’s not a threat yet.

Mira is controversial af and I honestly don’t want to touch that. Unlike you LCD, some Mira players have given me hell and some have fell flat. Guess that’s a glass cannon, huh.

Agreed with Shadow Jago. He’s crazy, but he’s really not very scary to fight. If you keep a calm head and make good reads, he really can’t do much at all. I think worst character in the game is a stretch, but I certainly think he’s bottom 5.


Also, in my tacit endorsement of your bottom five outside Mira and Eyedol, I suppose that implies that I agreed with your long discussion of Kim’s weaknesses. I hadn’t read the whole post at first, but went back now and checked it out in a bit more detail.

I dunno, man. Some of the stuff you say about Kim is crazy, and a lot of it contradictory. For example, you have to sacrifice 50% to build a dragon, but then another of her weakness is that she builds ender levels slowly; maybe some of your combos should be built with dragons in mind, and others with damage in mind! Either every touch leads to 50%, in which case building ender levels is easy or irrelevant for her, or else some combo starters do lower damage, at which point building a dragon with 1-chance is more worthwhile. But instead, you take the negatives of both and assert them at the same time.

Or she has no reversal, when a) lots of characters have stubby reversals in KI including chars like Orchid and Aria, b) Kim’s reversal is not so stubby that it never works and if you say something contrary to this you are being super dishonest, c) she has an omni-parry that works on frame 1 and is not range dependent, useful for protecting her against standard meaties, safe jumps, and crossups, leads to a combo if you have a dragon and builds the resource back for free, that same resource you said was too costly to build, and d) shadow dragon kick does the most raw damage of any reversal in the game by my calculations and leads to even more followup damage if you want to spend a dragon. If this collection of things doesn’t equate to a “real reversal” then boy do I feel sad for a ton of characters in a ton of different games.

Like, okay, sometimes she puts herself in the corner, sometimes she gets shadow countered (just like 2/3 of the cast’s best tools), sometimes her anti-air gets hit, and she can’t shadow counter long-range pokes. But to say “her entire design is contradictory” and “she gets punished for doing the thing she is supposed to be strong at” is just hyperbole to the nth degree, man. I know you know fighting games better than this.


As a shago main you have validated my grief. Thank you.

Ive stuck with him since geting the game thinking i failed because i was playing the game wrong. While that remains to be seen, shago is definitely not the character to figure that out.

The more i think about it the more i realize shago out of all the cast relies heavily on things outside himself the most to succeed instead of utilizing actual strengths. His entire gameplan hinges on you making a mistake, either youre blocking the wrong way or you whiff something, maybe you finaly lockout trying to break his 10% grab juggle combo so he can finally go into shadow footdive and into the combosystem. While characters like jago and fulgore are more proactive with their offense.

Im free now…theres nothing left to squeeze out of this character because theres nothing left than can be optimized.

Maybe im wrong about shago but one thing is for sure, if fulgore and jago are the characters that can best test how well you know how to play, then its time to switch mains.

For every 25% damage shago does, his opponent deals 50. Hes all about highrisk and wild mixups but those highrisks means his opponents dont have to take any.