New mechanic: Shadow breaker

This idea was inspired from an other users idea but I think it would be better this way (sorry other user I forgot your name):

IG added air breakers in season 2 in order for the mind games to be present at all times, why not take it a step further?

This move is basically a combo breaker and you can do it at the same times as combo breakers. The shadow breaker however costs one shadow bar and does the same thing as a combo breaker, except if the opponent does a counter breaker at the same time, in that case it would act similar to a shadow counter and suddenly you would be performing the combo. Maybe to increase the risk/reward add 1 additional second to the lockout penalties.


  • Player A is performing a combo and Player B breaks the right strength at the right time = Combo Breaker (but shadow bar spent)

  • Player A is performing a combo and Player B tries to break but presses the wrong strength = 4 seconds lockout

  • Player A is performing a combo and Player B tries to break at the wrong time = 5 seconds lockout.

  • Player A is performing a combo and Player B does a shadow breaker when Player A does a counter breaker = Player B starts a combo (like shadow counter)

What do you guys think?

  • Yes
  • No

0 voters

Really bad idea. Your opponent shouldn’t get punished for making the right read just because you have meter.

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I remember the devs saying something in the past about there being a give and take, but ultimately, the favor is on the offense. It’s also important to remember that KI is a far more in-your-face and aggressive fighter when compared to others. Your idea makes it more defensive-minded, which doesn’t suit the game well, IMO.

Yo dawg, heard you like to break combos.

So we put a combo breaker in your combo breaker so you can counter break your combo breaking counter breakers.



^^ This. It can only go so far and has to stop somewhere…

In that case it would be the wrong read.

This wouldn’t be a balanced mechanic. Fulgore would never win a match. Jago would reign supreme because of his wealth of meter. No one would ever do anything but battery enders thus rendering a good portion of the cast entirely worthless.

It costs one shadow bar. People wouldn’t use it a lot anyway because its very very risky.

Or people would bait heavies all day on characters like Jago and Tj who have battery enders. Just keep doing 2 heavy rotations and if they don’t break you end. 35-40% damage, free meter, and no break. That is what it would resort to with this mechanic and since Fulgore gains no meter, he would be a free win for anyone with a battery ender since him trying to break you would be inevitable that you would burn a shadow stock to easily keep his meter locked down to nothing since he needs it for mixups.

Normal combo breakers would still be in the game so I don’t think there would be a difference really. I think that’s rather something to do once in 10 matches or something or against people that are trying to abuse counter breakers.

The intention of this move is to spend shadow meter on a combo breaker that will automatically override a counter breaker from your opponent? So you spend meter as a “failsafe” and if they don’t counter break, you just combo break like normal but you lose the bar?

There are a few reasons why this doesn’t really work IMO:

  1. You already have a way to bait counter breakers for no bar (requires a read where your method doesn’t, but that’s because…)

  2. Most fighting games need fewer “catch all” scenarios, not more; most of them end up being very good and they become the primary way to spend resources, and they devolve the mind games into “wrong if I do, wrong if I don’t” scenarios that aren’t very fun.

  3. The balance of KI’s combo breaker system is very carefully teetering on the fact that lots of moves are reactable but sometimes you simply don’t want to break because the wacko on the other end might counter break you. It gives each match a bunch of palpable tension. If you could bypass this mechanic by simply spending a shadow meter (which is pretty easy to get in this game), I think it would hurt the game’s pace and tension a lot more than you might think. And that’s to say nothing of balance; characters like Omen and Jago that flourish with shadow meter would be super difficult to perform combos on.

  4. What’s your suggestion for how to input a shadow breaker of each particular strength? Keep in mind that the input needs to be compatible with both pad and stick players, not overlap with anything else, and be easy to do in a 25 frame reaction window. How would it work for, say… breaking shadow linkers? Do you press the other button combination each time, and do you spend some shadow meter for each of the 1, 2, 3 hits?

  5. How does the offense counter someone if they KNOW they are going to do a shadow breaker? In every other case, if the offense or defense makes a hard read, they will get rewarded (the offense with a huge combo, the defense’s best option is to simply break the combo and avoid further damage). This new mechanic actually swings the combo game WAY in favor of the defense. Not only do they now get a full combo (!!) for being correct on some of their break attempts, but there is no way for the offense to bait it, except to drop the combo on purpose and try for a frame trap reset on the breaker buttons (depending on your answer to question 4, this might not even be possible), or vary the strength and hope they don’t react. The defense holds all the cards here and the offense has no answer, which is a pretty poor way to reward the offensive player for hitting someone who has 1 bar.

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Number 4 is a good point. Haven’t thought about the controls.

The idea is just pretty bad overall. Nothing good stems from it at all, it’s just a completely unbaitable shadow move that has no consequences and all the rewards. The only real consequence is that you lose a bar of meter if they don’t counter. And it’s not like that’s hard to come across in KI. It’s a free ability given to someone simply because they have a bar of meter, not because you worked for it and it has no counterpart.

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Clearly they would simple balance it by adding a way to counter shadow breakers, add like Shadow Counter Breakers. But in order to counter those we can add Instinct Shadow Combo Breakers. But since that also needs a counter we’ll have Instinct Shadow Counter Breakers. Eventually we’ll get to the point where you can spend two bars, all your instinct, and the remainder of your health for a one hit KO Ultra Combo Breaker, but the other person can also do the same for an Ultra Counter Breaker!

Lol exactly. It’s just adding another layer to a mechanic that’s already in the game and works well. This is just over complicating.

I would (probably) play this game.

As are 1, 2, 3 and 5.

I get this sense that you really have it in for some guy in ranked who landed three counter breakers on you, and just want to pay to wreck that guy without taking any major risks. Shadow breakers would’ve been degenerate enough of an idea if they just ignored the counter-breaker and broke the combo. Expecting to open your own combo is outlandishly excessive.

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Well, I said in OP that failed shadow breakers would have an additional second of penalty on the lockout, that alone is a big risk. It could make a difference if a combo is gonna be a lvl 3 or 4 ender, or someone could get because of that extra second a shadow bar filled up and end with a shadow damage ender for a massive damage increase. Spending one shadow bar will always be something that you will carefully think about if you wanna do it or not. For instance me as a riptor player its not that easy to get shadow meter so I probably wouldn’t even use it except if I see you counter breaking all your heavy doubles or something.

I gave my idea and it wasn’t well received, I accept that and maybe it isn’t a good idea after all and I even agreed with your point but don’t try to convince me that all your points were correct because I don’t agree with all of them :wink:

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Not as much as you might think. Without a KV reset, many combos will blow (EDIT: b.l.o.w) out that far into a lockout.

You’re overvaluing meter.

I’m not Infil.

The extra lockout time is an interesting idea to try and balance the strength of your proposed technique, but the problem is that most characters actually don’t get that much more damage if they have 5 seconds of lockout time compared to 4 (or 3). This is especially true in the middle of a combo, where your KV is probably around 40 or 50 when your opponent tries to break and you’re probably already thinking about ending it soon. In fact, a lot of the time, even the regular 3 second lockout will still be going on as your KV runs out.

If your idea is to make it super risky because you’ll take a ton of damage, extending the lockout window doesn’t work because players don’t have enough KV to make it hurt. You would have to do something fairly wacky, like… apply a 2x damage multiplier to all attacks while locked out or something, which isn’t very elegant.