What is Riptor's weakness?

Before I begin with this topic, I want everybody to know that I am writing this after an extremely salty loss in 8BBD. So it is very likely I’m going to offend people.

Let me begin.

Whenever people talk about their Top 5 characters for the season, I never hear any mentioning of Riptor. For a while, I always thought people had their reasons for saying the character isn’t all that great. But after fighting Riptor multiple times in Season 3, I really have to ask: why is she not top tier?

From my perspective, this character has everything she needs:
-Moderate damage
-Great aerials
-A high damaging grab
-Fantastic mobility
-Great anti-airs, including a shadow one that recaptures
-A shadow reversal and a decent back dash
-Anti-zoning tools like predator stance, running and mortars
-Many plus normals
-Great meaties
-A flame carpet to back up her offense
-Great range with tail attacks

These factors (once again, from my perspective) seem to cover every weakness the character could possibly have. The only weakness I’ve seen someone tell me is:

-Shadow counterable

And I would barely classify that as a weakness. First off, you have to make a prediction and take a risk to shadow counter her just like every character. And second, most of her shadow counterable stuff (running HP, predator stance LK) are extremely fast and hard to react to. And her jumping HP? I dunno about other characters, but I know Kim Wu can’t do it at least.

I really need help, guys. Every time I win against a Riptor, it’s usually because I did a ton of reversals with Cinder. That’s not the way I want to have to fight a character.


Personally I love Riptor, she’s my main character. As best as I can tell your argument is solid. The only answer I can give is that with riptor, much like with any character the key is balance and accurate predictions. My Riptor shadow seems to get beat up all the time, but when I man the helm the whoopins abound.

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I honestly believe the only reason she isn’t top is because even with no weaknesses she still isn’t as strong as the top characters, IMO.

Fulgore, Jago, Omen, Arby and Aria are all stronger, I’d say, and I would consider them the top 5 of the game.

I’d put riptor on the tier right below them, though. Don’t think she’s low at all.

That’s what I’m asking though. Why not?

Huumm, well, quickly making a direct comparison between her and the top 5:

Jago has better screen control with his zoning and his footsies, overall better at all distances. He has a meterless reversal. He has a safe overhead with amazing reach to open ppl up and remain safe. He has greater damage potential, considerably greater meter generation. His instinct is a much greater comeback tool, and it also betters his neutral game up close by a lot, which IMO sums up to a much stronger instinct as well.

Fulgore has everything Jago has, but much better setplay and vortex game, that even beats Riptor at what she does best, IMO, in exchange for less meter and less damage, not as good normals and a weaker instinct. Still, all the above points apply to riptor vs Gore, except this time Gore also bests her at setplay and vortex, IMO.

Omen has crazy good mobility, considerably better than Riptors. He has ridiculous meter gain, much better than Riptor’s, and has considerably better pressure, especially in the corner with potentially the strongest corner pressure game in the game, IMO. He also has a much better neutral (IMO, he has the strongest neutral in the game), more ways to open up his opponent and that remain advantageous, allowing him to continue his pressure. He also has a meterless reversal, even if it isn’t amazing. His oki is amazing, even if not as strong as Riptor’s in some situations, and he loses in the damage department, but not by much, IMO. Overall, still stronger than Riptor by a fair margin.

Arby has normals and specials that will outplay most of the characters in the game at mid range, including Riptor herself. He has the strongest and safest and most reliable vortex and setplay in the game, IMO. He also has as much damage or more than Riptor. He has a meterless reversal, even if it isn’t amazing and costs him resources. His shield is one of the best shadow reversals in the game, IMO, and he’s one the characters in the game who can actually get more health than mostly everyone else, thanks to shield. He has the best projectiles in the game by a fair margin, even if they cost him resources, and he has really strong one chance to breaks. He loses in the mobility department, but I think that’s it.

Aria has ridiculous mobility, ridiculously strong setups and oki, an amazing neutral thanks to her assists, instinct combos that are a pain the @$$ to break. She also has a meterless reversal, and tools to zone, rush down, play footsies, dominate in the air, dominate in the ground, she has one of the best overheads in the game, one of the best crouching normals that leads to a combo in the game. She loses in the damage department, but that’s about it, IMO.

Again, it’s not that Riptor is weak in any special regard. It’s just that those characters are all stronger than her in most areas, IMO.

Disclaimer: Riptor is probably my second most proficient character, after Jago.

I do think that Riptor is pretty strong this season, but she’s got stiff competition for top 5.

Nah. You want a proper dash to get in on a zoner. Riptor’s run prevents her from bulldogging in because she takes more than a second to start running and stop again to block that poke or projectile coming at her, so she has to either walk in or try to cover her approach with mortars (if you don’t run straight into a projectile that’s already on the screen, if the zoner doesn’t reposition slightly, …). Being full-screen against even a Jago, let alone a real zoner, is pretty unpleasant for Riptor.

On this note, I’d be surprised if characters like Glacius, Kan-Ra, and Fulgore didn’t have favorable matchups against Riptor.

Predator stance, dash-forward HP is a pretty hard read against a certain kind of zoning at specific distances. Being in predator stance for more than half a second is a great way of getting cleaned up by a wind kick or a cold shoulder or something.

This is the bar for great defense now? Seems pretty middle-of-the-road to me.

In the interests of completeness, run back HK (7 frames of invincibility, some amount of vulnerable frames then a heavy hitbox) is also a thing that she can get away with, which leads into mortar juggle, flame carpet or even a light tailflip recap. It’s not a true reversal, but it can work if the offense isn’t tight or is foregoing locking Riptor down on wakeup to go for something else.

But yeah, Riptor generally has to think about saving a bar for wakeup, unlike many characters who typically show up in top 5 lists (Jago, Thunder, Fulgore).

This kinda applies to any character who likes to throw out a lot of frame traps, as of season 3. Clever use of predator LK can even be used to stuff out shadow counter attempts without giving up your turn, so Riptor may be more well-equipped to deal with the system buff to shadow counters than other frame trappers.

That said, if you can block something like predator MK, you should get a free shadow counter every time. Standing HK is also shadow counter bait. That might be why people are saying “shadow counterable”, but it calls for qualification with examples.

Cinder has a meterless reversal, and Riptor likes to get in close and harass with frame traps. This doesn’t sound too lopsided.

All good points. However, I feel that these flaws in her approach can only be abused by certain characters. Not every character has a moderately fast screen-crossing move (looks at Kim Wu).

I guess that’s kind of the thesis of a bad matchup, but still.

Moderately fast screen-crossing move for what? (Kim-Wu has a very fast screen-crossing move, but I don’t know what we’re talking about.)

Sorry, I mean a move that can catch predator stance mid-screen or further. Kim’s dragon kick sails right over Riptor.

I was just using that as an example. I do not intend to start another Kim discussion.

Kim’s not a zoner. I guess it’s…nice?.. that Riptor can avoid instinct dragon cannons from full screen with predator stance, but that’s not a thing.

Sorry, I guess I confused you there.

I suppose we can agree that characters with good space control can make it hard for Riptor to start her game.

Another tiny thing that Riptor has to deal with that better characters don’t is that she can’t make her unsafe moves safe with meter, only instinct. For example Jago can DP into shadow fireball or full screen heavy windkick into shadow fireball to stay safe. If Riptor gets her backrun HK blocked she can’t shadow cancel it. If Riptor get’s her tail flips blocked she can’t shadow cancel them. If Riptor gets her predator HP blocked she can’t shadow cancel it. Basically Riptor actually has to commit to her unsafe moves.

I don’t know, I consider it to be a pretty real reversal. Seven frames of invulnerability and heavy priority basically makes it equal to Cinder’s DP. On hit, it can lead to recap or do 15% unbreakable damage. We all like to marvel at Jago’s DP damage, but Riptor’s does the same amount.

I don’t know its frames, but it on block it moves back to a range that can be tough to punish for some characters. Just like Cinder’s DP, in order to beat it you need to commit to a forward-moving special which will most likely leave you minus.

I think Riptor is strong, but I don’t think she compares with the Top 5 in the game (or realistically, the top 7 or 8 since we can never agree on the top 5 :yum:). The characters at the top of KI have some combination of ridiculous setplay, damage, comeback potential, and/or neutral control. Riptor is good in these things, but she doesn’t really overwhelm like they do in any of these areas.

Looking at your takes on her offense:
-Moderate damage
True. Riptor has generally solid damage

-Great aerials
Eh, decent aerials is more like. She’s like Sadira - pretty good at locking down a grounded opponent, but not so great at contesting in air-to-airs. HP and the medium buttons are shallow, and jump+HK arcs downward and is fairly slow. Jump+HP is hurt by shadow counterability. Note: jump+HP shadow counters are never punishes - it’s just that it will beat any non-block option Riptor does after the jump+HP.

-A high damaging grab
True. Eff that grab, and the run that makes it so far-ranging and hard to tech.

-Fantastic mobility
Riptor has solid mobility, but it’s also pretty linear. She only really moves in straight lines, and that can be pretty damaging in this game. If Riptor runs at you, shadow forward-traveling special on reaction will usually beat anything Riptor tries to do.

-Great anti-airs, including a shadow one that recaptures
Meh. Decent anti-airs, but coupled to what’s probably the widest horizontal hurtbox in the game. Riptor loses hard to ambiguous or deep jump-ins.

-A shadow reversal and a decent back dash
Shadow clever girl is one of the easier reversals to cross up in my experience. Riptor’s back run is fanstastic though, and she’s got a half decent meterless reversal coming out of it.

-Anti-zoning tools like predator stance, running and mortars
Truth. Riptor is relatively difficult to zone to my understanding. Predator stance can be punished pretty hard though since Riptor can’t block while she’s in it.

-Many plus normals
I can’t say that I think she’s got a particularly impressive suite of plus-pressure options compared to some of the other characters in the running for Top 5. Her buttons like that are very close range in general, which means that while they’re good in oki situations, they’re of limited use in neutral.

-Great meaties
Riptor only has “decent” meaties in my opinion. They’re annoying for my main to deal with, but they’re not all that special against the rest of the cast. Flame normals can be shadowed through, flame overhead is unsafe on block, headbutt->stuff can be shadow countered, low bite is shadow counterable, heavy tail and jump+HP are shadow counterable, etc. Riptor is certainly good on knockdown, don’t get me wrong, but her pressure definitely has holes.

-A flame carpet to back up her offense
Flame carpet is good, but it’s not overwhelmingly potent IMO. It adds a nice “please sit still” layer to her mixup, but realistically all it does is encourage you to block in a situation where you should probably already be blocking anyway.

-Great range with tail attacks
True, and especially true in instinct.

I dunno. I think Riptor is a good character, but I don’t find her to be overwhelming the way those other characters in the running are. Against a Fulgore or Aria you sometimes just flat-out won’t get to play, Mira can kill you in a single mistake, Omen’s space control in the neutral is ridiculous, etc. Against Riptor, you always get to play, and you can make more than a couple of mistakes against her and win. You might get outplayed by a good Riptor, but very rarely will you just get rolled.

And yes, I consider Riptor’s shadow counterability to be a bit worse than most characters, even heavily frame trappy ones. Those characters have a choice to do things that you can shadow counter - with Riptor, a lot of what she does commits to 3 hits whether the Riptor player wants that or not. I consider that a real and relevant weakness, though there is obviously room to disagree on that point.

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I personally have the hardest time escaping Riptor’s pressure compared to every other character in the game.

Maybe I just understand those characters better I dunno.

[quote=“STORM179, post:14, topic:13915, full:true”]Note: jump+HP shadow counters are never punishes - it’s just that it will beat any non-block option Riptor does after the jump+HP.

You sure? Unless KI has 0 recovery frames from landing on jumping normals, shadow countering it at certain heights should get a grounded punish.


Also, I believe KI has 4 trip guard frames on almost every jumping normal besides ones like Tusk HP.

Yeah, just saying the word “never” is pretty unambiguous there.

Her speed is ridiculously quick (I know she’s meant to be like that) and sometimes it’s difficult to avoid something like invincible command grabs from RAAM.

Run + HK is probably the most hilarious move Riptor has and useful. I do need to check up on the frame rates however.

@SonicDolphin117 What characters are you having trouble fighting against?

That could be it. Riptor’s knockdown pressure is really good, but it’s also very gappy I think. For example, if Riptor knocks you down and you down+back, what is Riptor going to do to you? Throw you? Flame overhead you? Predator stance->tail overhead? Tail flip mixup? The first two suck, but they just knock you down. The third option is wildly shadow counterable, and the fourth option is negative lol if you manage to block it.

It’s not that Riptor’s options are bad (they’re not), it’s just that what she’s going to hit you with is rarely super damaging, or alternately, not without it’s own weaknesses. Riptor has to expose herself to risk to open you up into combo in a way that other characters don’t. She doesn’t have an infinite vortex or any way to keep herself plus for days for the most part, and if she wants to start a combo she’s generally going to have to expose her self to some significant risk, either by way of being crazy negative if she gets blocked or exposing herself to shadow counter.

@DEClimax - as you say, “never” might perhaps be too strong a word. Here is what I’m referring to though:

Sadira’s shadow counter is projectile invincible and was 8 frames, which is the speed to which all shadow counters were normalized in S3. Riptor’s almost always get hit by shadow counter to jump+HP, but it isn’t (at least generally) because it’s a true punish - it’s because people like to do stuff after their big jump buttons. Riptor’s landing frames from most heights are less than the start-up frames on the shadow counter.

EDIT: h/t to @SithLordEDP for the video.