[quote][-] Feral Cancel has a 30 frame longer cooldown, and a new indicator when it is ready for use again.
[-] Fixed a bug preventing Feral Cancel from carrying over breaker windows for a few frames from the previous move correctly.
[-] Sabrewulf no longer gets any damage bonus during instinct. He still deals chip damage with normals, however.
In instinct, his damage bonus will be removed, and the bug fix will make him easier to break. Obviously, the bug fix was needed, but I’m not okay with the damage bonus removal (which was only 10%) combined with the Feral Cancel cooldown increase. One of those two changes would be fine, but both make his instinct less useful. It hurts both players who use Feral Cancel and those who don’t, but players in the latter category get hit harder because they gain nothing from his instinct. Also, the chip damage on normals is nothing to fear, and no one will just sit still and block during Feral Cancel. They’re more likely to break or Shadow Counter when they see a chance, and the changes will make that much easier.
This change means humans can react to Leaping Slash now, and it will be in line with other overhead attacks in the game. The slower startup means you will have one less option for getting over fireballs and low attacks. Still, I’ll say this is a fair change.
This change will prevent him from spamming this for advancement (while also protecting him from nearly all air attacks). A timing change was also mentioned during the stream (and we haven’t seen how that works), but the opponent will still be in trouble if it hits or is blocked. This is a fair change.
[quote][-] Eclipse damage reduced by ~15%
[-] Shadow Eclipse Damage Reduced by ~35% (because you can juggle after it)
[-] All Ender damage reduced by ~15%[/quote]
All characters except Fulgore, Hisako, and Aria received significant damage reductions, and the (obvious) intent was to facilitate more combos, longer combos, and creative combos. The Shadow Eclipse damage reduction makes sense because of the juggle system change. However, the damage reduction on normal Eclipse is a head-scratcher. Eclipse has fast startup, but it also has very few active frames and no invulnerability (unlike a true DP). The change was likely added to stop the dash -> Eclipse shenanigans (which worked very well in S1 and only slightly less so in S2), but it also hurts Eclipse when its used as anti-air. Furthermore, they didn’t change the frames and it appears to retain its soft knockdown property (no juggle after it). So… ?
[quote][-] The frame on which Wulf can cancel his dash into a special has moved from frame 14 to frame 16.
[-] Eclipse and Shadow Eclipse no longer auto correct to turn around and face the opponent after a forward dash.
[-] Eclipse and Shadow Eclipse inflict less blockstun, making them a bit easier to punish.[/quote]
These changes also aid with the dash -> Eclipse tactics that were hard to deal with. These are fair.
Jago received the same adjustment. This is fair.
I’ll say this is a fair change because Sabrewulf didn’t follow the linker hit rule. Personally, I felt that was another quality that made him unique, kinda like how Orchid’s shadow Flik Flak hits aren’t rhythmic, and it certainly wasn’t game-breaking. Still, this was obviously done to satisfy other players, especially newcomers, and I can understand that. I do hope the heavy versions are more damaging, and not simply the same as the current two-hit damage spread over three hits. If nothing else, it will be a little easier to add a counter breaker to them
[quote][+] Standing HK causes Stagger.
[+] The final hit of Ragged Edge and Shadow Ragged Edge now causes a ground bounce against airborne opponents for increased juggle opportunities.
[+] Crouching LK causes Flip Out.[/quote]
Sabrewulf gets to play with both of the major system changes, and that’s good. I still don’t like the idea of adding jump/air-attack stopping properties to moves that weren’t designed for it (the same was done when they added recapture to Shadow Leaping Slash in S2), but I guess we’ll have to wait and see how that works out in S3.
[quote][+] MK and HK versions of Run move faster.
[+] Hamstring’s slide travels farther.[/quote]
The Run change does make sense when paired with the change to Running Uppercut. As for other uses, I suppose Sabrewulf can use the different runs as the opponent’s position changes. The Hamstring change is good, but I think opponents will be looking for it since they’ll be able to react to Leaping Slash.
[quote][+] New command move: Diving Slash! During Jump Up or Jump Forward, F+MK.
-Cannot be done from a jump back.
-Has very few active frames, but tends to leave Sabrewulf roughly even with his opponent.
-Has the landing recovery of a normal jump attack, making it useful for repositioning.[/quote]
I’m not sold on this, and I see very little utility in it. It seems they wanted to give Sabrewulf something to make up for the Leaping Slash change, but didn’t want it to be an overhead (it even uses the same animations). He doesn’t have a high or arcing jump, and getting behind opponents with it will require a closer jump-in, which can be easily stopped by DPs and other anti-air attacks.
And against Glacius, his worst matchup in the game? Before I saw the Glacius changes, I thought Diving Slash would be very good for getting around his Shatter and Hail tactics. After I saw the Glacius changes, I thought Diving Slash would have situational use, at best. Sabrewulf will certainly catch a Glacius throwing out a raw Shatter or Hail, but the new Multi-Hail and Hail hold will still keep Sabrewulf zoned out (and any decent Glacius player will do that). I don’t see this matchup changing much for Sabrewulf because Glacius will become an even stronger zoner. The ground bounce Hail still limits Sabrewulf’s approach, and he’ll be able to counter Diving Slash (and at the same time). Hail damage was also reduced, though… maybe fighting Glacius will be similar to fighting Kan-Ra (eat the lower damage to avoid the higher damage)?
Overall, I’m not sure how I feel about all of the changes. On the surface, it seems Sabrewulf has to earn most of his damage while playing within the confines of the new system (and its changes), while all of the other characters received new ways to do damage outside of Flip Out, Stagger, or juggle tactics. He’s been weakened considerably again, but I can’t help feeling IG went a little too far, this time.