Real Talk: Is Aganos Top 5?

I know already the vast majority of people who see this topic are immediately thinking I’m mental but here me out.

Aganos, while in my recent discoveries indicate that he may be extremely powerful, is the hardest character to play in KI because he is totally dependent on strong fundamentals and fantastic reactions. Which is part of the reason I believe people still want buffs. But when played with such fundamentals, Aganos can be tough to beat.

I’ve also discovered that amount other things Aganos has fantastic close ranged mixups, along with great AA abilities, as well as potentially the best shadow ended in the game (shadow payload assault). On top of that Aganos has (next to glacius) some of the best corner pressure in the game, plus he can move the opponent very effectively to the corner, or create immediate corner pressure on knock down.

Aganos even has a setup (which requires, off the top of my head, 1 bar of meter, instinct and 2 or 3 rocks (I can’t remember)) which sets up for a 3 wall crash.

This setup essentially gives you 3 mixup attempts (possibly more of you don’t get knocked down) and if any of them are sucessful you essentially kill your opponent.

Again Aganos is, in my opinion, the hardest character to play consistently in KI, but he is highly underrated and extremely powerful.


He doesn’t need any buffs. He is really strong but he is like kan ra not everybody can play him at high level and that’s why people ask for buffs.

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I main and destroy people using Aganos on a regular basis. Many people underestimate him, or even better, fear him. Just the other day, I had 5 opponents all quit after the 1st match, all in a row. It gave me a good laugh.

It’s the fundamentals that you mentioned that are important. Knowing how to use his normals to great effect to keep your opponents away and your chunk armor to punish them if they get in to close is key. I find often being patient and waiting for the opponent to do things 1st is a great strategy. Having armor, Aganos can afford to wait longer than most and then counter effectively, because he can absorb the hit.

They shoot a projectile? Flick it, block for meter, or perform a shadow ruin (careful with the timing though!

They jump from far away? Wait and counter with a (shadow) ruin, a MP payload assault, sHP, sHK, sHP peacekeeper (if you have it), throw the peacekeeper to push them back, etc.!

They jump at you from medium range? Upper finger-flick!

They jump at you up close or try to cross-over? Any pulverize!

They jump at you from ANY range? Natural disaster!

They walk or dash towards you - poke’m (d+HK works great too for chunking up, if you need it)!

If they run away? Put a wall behind them!

They stand still? Chunk up and move in for the kill!

There are so many options with Aganos, it’s ridiculous! People really do not understand just how good he is - simply having his peacekeeper during instinct, which many people think is terrible, gives you numerous great options. It immediately gives him a near full-screen 50-50 low-overhead mix-up (simply switch between d+HP and HP) that can also be used to recapture or destory projectiles, get hard knockdowns, causes knockback, and gives him time to chunk up if needed. Sure, it’s not as great up-close, but his K normals are so good overall, it doesn’t matter!

Sure his ADs are easy to read and combo-break, but if they start breaking you, then you can either lock them out with a counter-breaker, or change it up after doing the same ADs for a short time to fake them into a lockout, or perform an additional special move after one (for example, natural disaster followed by another natural disaster) to mix things up. Either way, the ball’s in your court as Aganos.

One of my favorite things to do is to start a combo and end it with shadow payload assault - most of the time, the enemy doesn’t recover from the combo before the assault hits them. Once it does, you have enough time to chunk up, place a wall behind them, and then to smash them through it with ruin. This setup, sans combo, is worth a great deal of damage on its own (and then you add the combo or any additional walls on top of it)!

I don’t know if he’s top 5, but he’s definitely better than most people think he is in the right hands.


If you look at the “Best Character” Category in the Ranked Leaderboards for the past 5 months, this is the number of times you’ll see Aganos in the top 100:

April: 0
May: 0
June: 1
July: 1 (me)
August: 2 (including me again)

I’d conclude, that no, he’s not Top 5.

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That has very little to do with it. Not many people play Aganos, you need to take that in to Account. Im not saying he os top 5 but your math is flawed.

But if you had the fundamentals and reaction time to effectively break Aganos you could do the same with almost any other character in the cast much more easily.

This is very true. In fact I think Kan-Ra and Aganos have enough tools to answer to anyone. They aren’t filler in the game at all unlike other fighting games that add quirky fighters just because and then everyone realizes they are ineffective fighters against most match-ups. This is not the case in KI, every fighter is effective, it all depends on you as a player.

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Not necessarily Aganos is extremely strengthened by good fundamentals, as is Jago, but other characters only benefit so much. Look at Kan Ra for example. Having good footsies doesn’t benefit you as Kan Ra doesn’t play footsies. You need good reactions and forward thinking but a lot of fundentals (like spacing out your pokes in neutral aren’t required) are not part of Kan Ras game. But Almost all fundamentals are part of Aganos’s game and if they are very strong you can knock down the opponent more effectively, and hence get more chunks, or put up walls. Having good fundamentals is even a big part of his offence, which gets you those wall crashes and chunks

I understand what you’re saying, but could it be simply a “tier” thing? That it isn’t as immediately easy to use Aganos to his full potential, and so not as many people play him on a regular basis?

Maybe most people choose to play simpler characters rather than work out the more advanced setups and tricks with Aganos. From my experience fighting against a few really good Aganos players in Ranked Leagues, I feel like I agree that he actually falls higher on the character tier list than most would think.

This is the thing with tiers in KI. We’re such a small community with really no true professionals heavily playing it except for maybe Rico but that’s it. No one else is getting paid to play KI or relatively sponsored and receiving free gear like say Razor or MadCatz or any other brand you would see in games like SF or MK. With that being said, this is also a lot of player’s that some call “Pros” like Paul B and others first fighting game they actually took serious and are doing well.

Anyone can say/put any character in tiers in any order. The problem with this community, is people idolize what some of these top players are saying when really, no one is truly playing the entire roster. Lots of these Top Players are either Character Specialists or barely use up to 3 characters. Rico is an exception once again to this.

If you haven’t payed attention yet, the tier lists given by these top players are based off of their own character they main and how they can perform against other characters , EVEN IF THAT CHARACTER IS RELATIVLEY NEW. Example, when Aganos first released, 2 months in, Cupcake stated over and over Wulf beats Aganos 6-4. Now that more people are starting to branch off away from their mans and utilizing Aganos more, the tables have turned. Cupcake now says Aganos beats Wulf 6-4. See where I’m going with this.

Anyways, Aganos for me is my secret top tier character. Everyone is just playing him wrong or just don’t have the fundamentals yet to truly be a threat with him. He’s literally a character that plays like a rock which means, you stay there and let your opponent come to you or force them to with walls. That’s another tool (walls) players aren’t utilizing much. Just learn your frame data, how to anti air (which like 95% of KI players still don’t do), has an overhead up close, a recapture, and the ability to really trap your opponent and just bully them.

This is pretty close to what I was estimating, but you’ve definitely got a lot more information backing you up.

At least it looks like others might share my “underused” guess.

I always thought he was good, just needed time to fully tap into his potential. When they gave him some buffs a long time ago like his new anti air and other stuff, I was shocked. I immediately knew he would be a threat in the right hands.
People need to use his projectiles (chunks) in the combo too since projectiles are unbreakable. You can literally get your chunks back if you choose to do his ender to get them back while at the same time, giving your opponent little to no chance to combo break.

He also has (can’t remember exactly, I think 53%?) an unbreakable for all resources (2 bars of meter and Instinct activation) and no prior wall set ups too. If you do have prior wall set ups, this unbreakable damage can get scary.

Actually he has multiple unbreakables ranging from 40% or so to 85%. He’s scary

I think you would have to make a real strong argument for me to believe Aganos is not bottom 5.

IMO he’s certainly nowhere close to top 5; it’s easy to think of 5 characters in the game I think are better.

It’s not that he can’t be good in the right hands… it’s just that those same hands can probably control other characters with similar or more effectiveness. He has some good strengths, but unlike other characters in the game, he has no fall back plan when they fail. That wouldn’t be a problem if those strengths were SO good that he could never fail at them (consequently, that wouldn’t be a very fun game), but no player right now is able to do that, and we have history from past games (SF4 Hakan, for instance) that shows that these such characters never really live up to their on paper potential in practice.

The amount of perfect play required to get Aganos to win consistently against top competition is just so much greater than most other characters (who can also be played perfectly in theory and their near-perfect play, for when perfect play fails, is much more effective) that I can’t see the current version of Aganos anywhere near the top.

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Well, no further argument was made, I guess… I’ll try to start it up again. I was going to separate this into three replies, but the site yelled at me. So, get ready to read.

That’s kinda the point, isn’t it? If he was in or close to the Top 5 (which OP is asking), wouldn’t people play him? A Top 5 character that nobody plays is like a Lamborghini without an engine.

Same kind of thing here. “Harder to use” can very often be synonymous with “harder to win with”. There are other characters that have to use advanced methods to attain damage, but aren’t nearly as handicapped when the match isn’t in their control.

I find it hard to believe that people can quickly ‘figure out’ characters like Kan-Ra and ARIA to make them competitively viable, then just not feel like picking up Aganos… particularly when each character had a separate month in the spotlight where everybody has a chance to start liking them.

The low chunk is good for a +20ish advantage on block and an instant manual on hit. Outside of that, they act as manual-only openers and add insane numbers to the KV meter. It’s good for resets (until the opponent learns to just block high). Even then, he suffers the most in the game from a combo breaker, since you’re not replacing the chunk(s) you just used.

As far as crazy setups go, they’re not worth it. The setup that’s being talked about requires two chunks, a bar of meter, an Instinct cancel, and a manual that will waste your meter if broken. Also, it has to be done at midscreen and the “easier” version of it hinges on an input bug not happening. If you’re smart, you should already be getting ~35% anti-airs or one-chance break combos that still leave you with resources afterwards.

Aganos doesn’t really need crazy stuff like that in his ‘in-control’ play. They obviously don’t mean anything when he’s down, either. All resources from that point forward are used just to bring the game back to neutral, which is still hard to do with his giant hurtbox, awful mobility, worthless backdash, and rock-paper-scissors defensive options.

As a side note, I’m always surprised when people say he has good anti-air, particularly Back+LP.

  1. 8-frame startup (plus who knows per chunk). Cinder’s DP is looked down upon with that same kind of startup, but it at least has invulnerability. Even worse, you have less time to react with it because of Aganos’ height.
  2. It’s a light attack, meaning it loses to jumping heavies. Also, if you’re chunked, multi-hitting attacks put you in those BS armor freeze frames for every hit, meaning your 8 frame anti-air is at about 15 frames of startup now.
  3. It does about 2% damage and a soft knockdown. If you manage to hit the small cancel window with a light Ruin, your Wall Crash is scaled down to 25% damage.

Another heads up, this isn’t safe for about half of his matchups, and for just about everybody else if they have meter. It’s also not safe in the corner most of the time.

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Yep, chunking after d+HK isn’t possible against most characters, since Aganos is probably about -15 or so if he does it frame perfect. Characters with amazing shadows (like Jago shadow wind kick) have no trouble punishing him, and it never works in the corner. In fact, this is one of my suggested buffs for him; longer knockdown time on cr.HK (and back throw) so he can always chunk.

I also agree that Aganos is hurt the most when he is combo broken. For him it always means more than just missed damage, it means he probably spent chunks and then can’t recover them, and now he has to deal with opponent pressure with no meaningful reversal. There’s always more at stake for Aganos than his opponent when he puts them in the combo system (he also needs meter to get a good counter breaker punish).

Also, for as low damage as back+LP is, it misses a surprising amount of the time. It has a hard time with certain jump arcs; if you can get at or around Aganos’s head, you can make b+LP miss completely. Canceling into a special is surprisingly hard as well, so you often only get the 2% damage and a soft knockdown (what other character’s best anti-air is only 2% damage?) If Aganos doesn’t have chunks, this soft knockdown isn’t even really that great for him because it’s kinda hard for him to apply meaningful pressure.

no thats not the point. He is harder to play and thats why. Kan ra is top 5 a IMO and i barelt see kan ras in ranked, he isnt for everyone.

Hard character to play as: Yes
In top five: No

I use aganos as a second/third main and while I’m not the most competitive player…He is very dangerous when used right!

Aganos is hard to use but in a different way than Kan Ra. With Kan Ra you need to know how to control space and build/control resources. You also need to have mixups and pressure strings or else you’ll get bodied.

Aganos is hard to use because he requires a rediculous knowledge and execution of footsies, as well as strong fundementals.

I’ve been focusing my game on this recently and so my Aganos has grown in power significantly. I’ve even found myself landing 2-3 wall crashes more often. And even if you can land those semi consistantly it’s enough to make a difference when we’re talking 40-60%

I would love to learn how to use Aganos, but I feel like his is kinda a difficult character with me, because I don’t like not having a backup plan, in case something goes wrong.