My Controversial Top/Bottom 5 List

Assuming you two are constantly trading exchanges…

1 Like

Ya, its more like 10-15% to their 31%, except theyll get their 31 more than youll get your 15. Btw love your new vid on shago. What you said really clicked, his offense is too fragile.

Take out the “too.”

Then you’re playing him wrong. Shago has so many ways to open you up that you should be getting confirms far more often that your opponent, or you’re playing him wrong.

Did I even lose any sets in that video? Heck, I even won the recent random character tourney on the forums with him. It’s all about staying on the move and baiting the opponent because he can’t keep up.

Can you do a tutorial on shago? Everyone keeps throwing out that i play him wrong but nobody ever steps up to show me how its done.

My replies make up half the shago tech thread and im still nowhere near this illusive right way to play shago.

Top 5:

  1. Mira
  2. Fulgore
  3. Jago
  4. ARIA
  5. Riptor

To play Mira at even a semicompetent level (which, let’s face it, is where everyone is with her) is to feel the immense untapped potential the character possesses. Anyone broadly familiar with the broad experience of competitive gaming should be aware that wringing your hands over life payment is virtually always a wrong-minded and scrubby thing to do when what you’re getting out of the blood payments are near game-breaking benefits (a ton of box dashes, basically safe unreactable midscreen mixups, projectile assists that persist for fricking aeons, a wind kick that is also a double roundhouse, etc), especially when you can get that life back (using a move that gives a command grab to a character who maybe doesn’t deserve a command grab, no less).

Riptor is probably the only other controversial choice here, but she measures up well next to Jago: better approach, better frame traps, better mixups. Run-forward HP is better than wind kick in almost every regard, and is backed up by a powerline-like suite of options including an armored headbutt, a pressure enabler, a great throw, a safe-ish flying knee, and a safe low that hits hard and staggers. Riptor can frame trap with clMP for longer than Jago can, can get back in more easily, can throw from far further out, her jump options are far more effective for throw baits, and she has access to three grounded overheads. She loses out a little on defense (backrun+HK is a fiddly thing to box in with science, but it’s no meterless DP) and damage (respectable but not notable), and projectiles shut down the runaway aspect of her gameplan which gives her ~7 moderately bad matchups, factors without which I’d probably place her higher.

I have few thoughts, as a Jago main, since I’ve been thinking about Jago’s balance a lot lately. Here’s probably as good a place as any to bring those thoughts up.

I don’t think the extra frame advantage during instinct is that big of a deal. It makes a few buttons better and opens up a few fun links, but Jago mostly has plus buttons at all the same ranges as he does outside of instinct, and well-spaced double fireballs would give frame advantage either way. (I’m pretty sure double fireball is currently negative point-blank?) If anything, it’s a shame that the expanded manual options aren’t really relevant, due to meter gain fireballs into health gain antics.

I wouldn’t mind seeing the meter go – both as a reasonable route to nerfing the character, and as a way of dealing with what I see as some degeneracy in Jago’s gameplan. Currently it seems like fireball ender is useless outside of end-of-round and lifegain juggles, because Jago just kinda has meter all the time. Combined with the recent damage nerfs, it’s basically always correct to do launcher ender into flipout or sweep for oki, since you don’t need meter and the damage you miss out on from not going for damage ender (tops out at 3%) is made up by the juggle and surpassed by the oki. It also seems like it’d be a good thing for Jago to come out of these unbreakable two-meter juggles with a real prospect of playing meterless for a while, rather than just quickly rebuilding that meter, especially in instinct.

I’d probably nerf meter gain off of blocked fireballs down to a sliver, and give the opponent two or three slivers for blocking those same fireballs. I’d also maybe nerf level 1 and 2 fireball ender meter gain. I’d leave level 3 and 4 ender meter gain the same, or even consider buffing them, so that a Jago who is willing to sacrifice damage and oki for meter on big cashouts can have access to comparable amounts of meter to what Jago gets passively now. The net effect is a nerf, because Jago has to choose between the meter, the damage, and the oki, rather than having everything.

Otherwise, I’m not sure how else to nerf Jago’s meter gain, because there’s nowhere else that I can think of where Jago gets a big portion of his meter from. I do think I get a lot of meter just playing neutral, but his buttons and most specials don’t appear to gain abnormal amounts of meter relative to the rest of the cast. I guess it’s probably the combination of connecting with those buttons a lot as a frame-trapper, and the meterless DP meaning Jago doesn’t naturally purge his meter in ways that other characters do, so it just kinda sits there until it’s needed in neutral (against, say, a zoner) or until Jago gets an opening and converts it into damage.

That being the case, I could see downscaling the amount of meter gained on Jago’s normals to somewhere lower than what other characters get for equivalent moves. But I don’t know, it might be sufficient to nerf the fireball meter gain and call it a day.

Mind, I want this to go hand in hand with a rework of Jago’s ender damage. After much thought, I think the damage nerfs were mostly meaningless from a balance perspective, since Jago can find roughly the same level of expected damage off launcher (thanks @DEClimax for the breakdown on this). The shadow DP ender nerf is significant, but it’s sad that Jago basically doesn’t have a meaningful shadow damage ender now. I always felt that the two-meter unbreakable shadow fireball shadow DP cashout gave Jago a fun goal to work towards – something more to think about than the immediate situation when choosing enders – and if meter is hard for Jago to come by without resorting to meter ender, then I think the unbreakable with pre-nerf damage is fine because opponents are taking low-damage meter enders beforehand and afterwards are playing against a meterless Jago who can’t shadow counter and whatnot for a while.

Ideally, the balance can be found whereby Jago has a legitimate decision to make in most situations between direct damage enders, launcher ender into oki, and meter ender to plan for future possibilities including building towards unbreakable damage and/or big lifegain. Currently the balance isn’t there, I feel it’s degenerate, and I don’t mind Jago losing the “meter character” moniker, and hence becoming a worse character, in the process of getting there.

But I haven’t bounced these ideas off anyone yet, so thoughts and hole-poking from all sides are welcome.

1 Like

On riptor I also think it’s worth noting that her instinct is super slept on. I feel like I never hear it brought up in discussions of the game’s best instincts, but it’s actually nuts. Her punish damage shoots up, her buffed hitboxes are huge, and her mobility is wild. The range from which she can run forward and throw is insane.

1 Like

To start off, it must be said again that the KI chibis are adorable and awesome :3 On to the actual lists, I think I agree with much of the Top 5, and have significant disagreements with the Bottom 5.

Jago, Fulgore, and Aria all deserve their spots up there. I agree 100% that Thunder has been one of the most perennially underrated characters in KI, but I don’t think he’s quite strong enough to be in the top 5 - I’d give his spot to Omen. Hisako is very strong in S3 I agree (and I’d like to think I’ve had at least a little bit of a hand in getting people to see that :yum:), but I don’t think she’s quite top 5 either. I have believed Mira is a top 5 character since her release, and I absolutely think that she deserves a spot there more than Sako.

When we start talking about Bottom 5, I think it’s important to state that these kinds of lists have to be created with the theoretical maximum level of play in mind. “I haven’t seen anyone play Eyedol” isn’t a valid reasoning for placing him anywhere - placement has to be related to the toolkit. I think both @DEClimax and @Infilament have adequately stated why Mira belongs nowhere near bottom 5, and @SonicDolphin117 (and Bastfree, if you keep up with his Twitter) have explained why Kim Wu is neither “bad”, nor likely bottom 5. Someone has to be bottom 5, and maaaybe Kim is, but not for the reasons you’ve stated.

You have this habit of comparing Kim to Orchid on a point to point basis when the characters have extremely different kits. “Grounded footsie character” does not mean you can say “Orchid has a DP, Kim doesn’t, Orchid is therefore better.” They have extremely different reversal options, and while Kim’s metered one has it’s notable weaknesses, the bloody thing also gets an awful lot on hit if she’s got dragons, which aren’t the hardest resource in the game to have if you’re smart about managing them. The other bad habit I think you have when talking about Kim is this idea that players can get much more success more easily with other characters, so Kim is bad or in need of buffs. Well, yeah, Kim is a harder character to be successful with than Jago or S2 Wulf. But “harder to be successful with” does not equal “bad” or “underpowered”. I personally think Hisako takes a good amount of work to really be good or viable at high level. To get a grasp of the conditioning required to really maximize her reset potential takes a lot of time. But if you’re evaluating “where is this character on a tier list”, the amount of effort to unlock that part of the game shouldn’t figure into it - Hisako can do it, so it should be incorporated into the evaluation of her toolkit. Similarly, it doesn’t matter if I can win easier with Jago than Kim - only which character is better once they’re using all the character’s tools to their maximum capability.

The only two characters I agree with in your bottom list are Aganos and Shadow Jago. Mira has absolutely no business being there, I don’t personally think Kim should be there, and Eyedol is a solid mid-tier character IMO (and his pre-3.4 self was best character in the game free). I might place Sadira or Kan down there in their steads, though I think S3 Kan is also pretty consistently underrated. But hey, picking Bottom 5 in KI can be tough, so there’s definitely room for discussion.


PROBABLY??? SURELY you mean. :frowning:

Also, thanks for this thread. Been at Firestone all morning, and it’s given me something to do :joy:

No, I have doubts. And even the worst character of this game is viable and can win the best character.

The worst and the best character’s differences in this game are minimal in terms of viability.

Sadira could have bad MU (as everyone ) but she has the tools to win any.

Really cool list, as well as some debates from the community. I enjoy reading stuff like this. It shows different viewpoints from people. :slight_smile:

1 Like

Top five for me:

  1. Jago
  2. Fulgore
  3. Hisako
  4. Gargos
  5. Sadira

I don’t think KI is a game that you can put a Tier list on but that’s just me IMO.


I would say this list is very controversial. You didn’t put Kim all the way at the bottom. lol

First and foremost I’m glad you disagree with me because it puts to rest all the accusations of me brain washing people on my stream and not letting them form their own ideals. If Larry says Kim Wu sucks then it’s gospel truth or something…

You are correct, there are more uses for Shadow Dragon Kick other than using it as a reversal; however the point of my argument was that her strengths double as weaknesses. I never said this move was “useless”.

You can argue this all you want but at the end of the day you’re still putting yourself into the corner which is counter intuitive to the design of the playstyle which is footsies and controlling space. Dragon Grasp isn’t free, just because your opponent is knocked down doesn’t mean they don’t have options.

Yes she is. Perhaps because I play the character myself I seldom if ever get locked out against her. It is extremely easy to tell what she is doing.

Dragon Katas can still be SCed. Also she has the same weakness that Orchid does which is constantly having bait them out. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve seen Kims eat Shadow Counters because they want to use dragons to pressure but stick a normal out and bam.

I never argued anything against her floaty jump because it indeed make sense for her to have it. I simply listed it as a normal weakness, which it is.

I compare Kim to Orchid a lot because they are the same archetype characters which is a grounded footsie based character who wants to control space and whiff punish…am I wrong? Mika and Gief are both grapplers but it’s pretty clear one is better than the other at “grappling”.

Orchid beats Kim in literally every category outside of being able to Dragon Kick full screen and even then she has something similar with BusterSlide. [quote=“SonicDolphin117, post:17, topic:16094”]
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.

I’m glad you said this because some people just don’t understand that point of somebody HAS to be at the bottom not everyone can be in the middle. Every character is good in their own way but putting everyone at 7 isn’t how numbers work, they go up and down.

Here is the thing, most of Kim’s damage comes from their opponents getting locked out, otherwise normally she isn’t getting anything higher than a level 2 combo which roughly equates to about 15-25%. Dragons aren’t required to do big damage, just shadow meter. With that in mind why would I give up the opportunity to deal 50% and go for a dragon which may not lead to anything later? Sure dragons can come passively later on but it’s not really a core to her design she can get away without them pretty easily.

I wish I could better communicate why she doesn’t have a real reversal but I simply can’t. There is one option that beats every wakeup she has including parry and backdash, anyone who knows it can abuse the hell out of her on wakeup. I’m not saying other characters don’t struggle on wakeup because they certainly do however, to say that she has a reversal when she clearly does not is a little off pudding. We clearly differ in this regard so I’ll move on.

Correct me if I’m wrong but as a footsie character is her job not to control space and dominate the neutral? I don’t recall Orchid having give up space because she wanted to whiff punish, shes the one who actually dominates the corner. I think being in the corner is a much bigger deal in this game than others.

I only know the power of YOLO SLIDE!

With all that said though keep in mind that as I’ve said many times in the past that Kim can certainly win, it’s just a matter of how much players are willing to work. People will continue to disagree with me on this but there is not point in playing Kim when better characters exist at least from a competitive standpoint.

By all means play the character and have fun if that’s what you want but when it comes in wanting to win, Orchid and Jago are there. Again I’m glad people are coming to the aid of Kim here and trying to prove me wrong but still no one has.

The biggest promoter of Kim Bastfree whom arguably has the most knowledge about her just got 10-0ed by Bass in a set they just played the other day. Even if I’m the worst Kim Wu player there ever was what does that say about everyone else who players her? If Bastfree can’t do it then who can…who can make this character work?

Love you guys <3

I can. I will make her work…oh is that Fulgore I see? Well no one cares about Kim anyway MingLee

I think what SonicDolphin meant with Dragon Clasp usage regarding the Dragon Kick ender is that you use it mid-combo just before the ender to keep yourself out of the corner. Not on your opponent on their wakeup while you’re in the corner.

I believe this statement holds true actually, but only for the people in your chat who don’t play Kim, and are discouraged from doing so because of how you talk about her. Sorry if that sounds a bit harsh, but that’s what I think.

[quote=“CrazyLCD, post:35, topic:16094”]
the point of my argument was that her strengths double as weaknesses
[/quote]If we’re talking meterless reversals, then yes Orchid wins. But if you don’t just mean that, I am completely confused.

[quote=“CrazyLCD, post:35, topic:16094”]
counter intuitive to the design of the playstyle which is footsies and controlling space
[/quote] If you slide into me from half-screen, are you giving up your space?

[quote=“CrazyLCD, post:35, topic:16094”]
Dragon Katas can still be SCed
[/quote]You know what I mean. The only time she can be safely SC’d during katas is the first hit of heavy. Everywhere else, she can punish with dragon grasp or shadow cancelling.

[quote=“CrazyLCD, post:35, topic:16094”]
which is constantly having bait them out
[/quote]No she doesn’t. I just do st.LK on your wakeup. I’m +2 and you can’t SC. Orchid doesn’t have that. If we’re talking neutral (mid-screen), everyone has that problem.

[quote=“CrazyLCD, post:35, topic:16094”]
Orchid beats Kim in literally every category outside of being able to Dragon Kick full screen
[/quote]I’d argue that Kim has better pressure tools and juggles, and everything else is small things that differ between the characters that vary their strengths (grenades, dragons). But that’s all debatable I suppose.

For a while people considered Arby top tier or top 5 (including myself), what happened isn’t he still super good?

I don’t know why people don’t talk about him all that much. He’s super good in the right hands.