What's the purpose of forward + HK again?

I think the last time I mentioned this normal in Season 2, I was told how it’s underrated and how it has good use, but I had to bring it up again since Season 3 has come around, and only made it worse, in my opinion.

Let me break it down:

-16+ frame startup to compete with other characters’ 9-frame heavy buttons with similar range
-less range and height than cr.LP
-minus 10 on block
-pushes the opponent out of mixup range on block
-doesn’t catch backdash if a meaty one is cancelled on whiff
-does as much damage as a medium button
-the only “chain” normal in the game that is breakable (except for Aganos’ Peacemaker target combo which is breakable for reasons unknown)

-at 0 chunks, a jab can be stuck in between two cancels
-at 2 chunks, a heavy can be stuck in between two cancels
-in most cases, the opponent can just jump out after blocking one
-cancelling into Pulverize is a true block string, not a frame trap
-cancelling into Payload Assault allows the opponent to jump out fairly easily

Aganos has much better buttons for meaties that combo into the same things that this button does. He also has ways to spend chunks that have a higher expected value for the damage-per-chunk ratio than spending one on keeping this button safe outside of mixup range.

To me, the button only has three somewhat practical uses:

  1. It can be used for setup timing off of a throw, though Aganos has the least wiggle room on any knockdown situation. It also stuffs moves that are high OR low invulnerable (suck it, Sadira’s fake wakeups and nothing else!).

  2. Since it has animation similar to his sweep, you can whiff it to fake a sweep while getting into peacemaker command grab range. This is less effective in Season 3, as opponents play more buttonsy and your fake 40 frame dash can be interrupted with heavy buttons.

  3. It makes for some pretty bitchin Ultra Combos, as in “yeah, I hit you with that ridiculous button 14 times in a row!”

Are there any other command normals with such little application? This button is the most “oh yeah, I forgot he had that button” button in the game. If the button is only for the forward movement aspect of it, you might as well just speed it up, remove the hitbox, and make it his forward dash instead of the useless one he has now.

What would make this button more useful? Make it special cancellable on whiff? Increase the speed/range to catch a backdash? Make it better than -10 on block? Slow it down by ~8 frames and make it a low attack (one can dream, but probably not…)? Or am I, along with most other Aganos players that I’ve seen, missing something?

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I have been trying my hardest to find any practical use for that thing and man, it’s just not happening.

  • Jump forward moves him further in the same amount of time
  • It’s garbage as a blockstring
  • Like you said, it being -10 is horrid (any consecutive hit after is -5 on block but what does it even matter, they’re not even in range for anything after that point)
  • It does 0.1 less points of damage than Cl.HK while being 6 frames slower if you only do one hit, and does 0.1 more points of damage than Cl. HP if you do 2 hits. Anything after that is breakable, including any special you cancel (The 3-hit breaker rule really screwed the pooch on this target combo and the Peacemaker target combo although Cinder can still do his Third Degree without being broken)

I can’t imagine what exactly to do to make this move any better. I have a hunch that maybe this move’s original intention while Aganos was in development was that it used to be an overhead. I think they might have intended for this and sweep to have similar animations so that he can play a ranged high low game but then had that property removed because it would invalidate the club’s usefulness. This is just a hunch on my end though.

If anything, I don’t think I’d even notice if this move was stealth removed in a balance change. Unless there’s someone out there that has a good practical use for the move then I’m completely stumped, I’ve been trying for awhile to find anything with this move.


Yeah, with the armor change this move is even worse.

I always thought about some buffs for this move. Like:
-Making it an overhead. Since its similar to c. Hk, it could lead to some openings
-Make it ground bounce the opponent, setting a ruin into wall or natural diasaster into recapture
-Faster recovery, so it could be used to navigate zoning

Just some ideas…

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ALL target combos don’t follow the 3-hit rule EXCEPT for Aganos. Probably because they wanted forward + HK to be breakable (and why should it be, when it blows out in about 5 hits anyway?), they probably accidentally tagged the peacemaker combo with it too.

It sounds exciting, but I think it would be pretty cheap. Imagine if Jago had an attack that looked like his overhead, but hit low instead. The only characters who have high-low mixups like that (that I can think of) are Maya and Mira. Mira’s allowed to break the rules of cheapness and Maya’s mixup has a fairly significant difference in startup. I’d really like for it to be a low instead, but that would immediately push Aganos’ mixups from worst in the game to top tier. To compensate, you’d have to slow it down so much that it would become even more useless in neutral. Rather than adding mixup potential, I just wish it did what it seems like it should do in neutral, which is to help close distance, but its speed and range just don’t allow it to do so effectively.

Nowadays, I just don’t want to play the midrange game against most characters. My best normal for that is st.MP, which has 12+ frames of startup and doesn’t combo into anything without spending meter. Meanwhile, my opponent has 8-10 frame heavy buttons with similar range that will take them into a full combo… and because my opponent actually has a useful forward dash, it feels like the midrange game has a one-way door that only they can pass through. Because of this, I very often resort to doing instant overheads, which at least close the distance for me (even if it’s throw punishable) and get me corner carry on hit.

I think it might be useful in neutral if it was low-crush and special cancelable on whiff, with small quality of life changes to its speed/range. Then it would serve to counter opponents like Sabrewulf and Hisako who so easily get past the fear of st.HP with their low profile and sweep repeatedly. Aganos’ only answer to that is the pseudo-low-crush property on his sweep, but given how terrible his movement is, he really doesn’t get anything off of the hard knockdown.

I was trying to think of who else had 3-hit target combos and forgot Wulf had one as well. I feel dumb now, but still. For whatever reason, the 3-hit rule got applied to Aganos only (in terms of target combos).

I think if there was a high/low crush state applied it would make it a whole lot more viable in neutral. I can get why the devs might not do that as then it might be seen as “a mindless way for Aganos to play neutral” just like how it was remarked that his footsies were braindead when the first S3 balance changes were shown off. I’d like a crush state to be applied though. Either that or if you could at least manual more than a St. LK off of it without chunks.

It’s fun seeing how much RAAM’s St.HP can shut down Aganos’ neutral in the midrange (and by fun I mean not at all).

I see your point, but I don’t see it applied to Aganos. If forward+hk is an overhead, you shoud be stand blocking by default and try to react c. HK. Since Aganos doesn’t have a low which leads to combo(which almost anyone does have), its the same point of Arbiter: stand block by default, his low only leads into launcher (and then grenade), but not into a real combo.

So, the opponent who always block high can:
-Block f+hk and its follow ups, maybe shadow countering it at best, returning to neutral at worst
-Maybe eat a c.hk and face Aganos oki, which isnt so good

If you try to block c.hk and eat a f.hk, you are in a combo. Seems pretty expensive to me for avoid a hkd. As defense , I would prefer a hkd than a combo

IMO making f+hk an overhead doesn’t sound so degenerative due the lack of a low which can lead to combo

What do you think about my other suggestions?

Having F+HK be an overhead can also lead to some buffoonery such as L Payload Assault into War Path ambiguous high/low setups. This can be made even worse if he were to set this up off of the hard knockdown of sweep and if he also has a chunk. It would be extremely oppressive against some characters unless they had meter.

Not much different from L.payload into close mp(overhead)/j.hp/j.hk. [quote=“RFGCAtsumachi, post:7, topic:13821”]
This can be made even worse if he were to set this up off of the hard knockdown of sweep and if he also has a chunk. It would be extremely oppressive against some characters unless they had meter

You mean like almost anyone who scores a hkd against a meterless and chunkless Aganos? I believe there is more “dirty” stuff in other characters than my suggestion. But maybe you are right and it can be degenerative. Also in that setup you need resources, its not always available

If he has that then he doesn’t also need an overhead target combo (although I honestly would like him to have it be that). I’m just trying to imagine what might be reasons as to why the devs might not want to give stuff like that to him.

The 2nd part of your post is definitely true, and I think that’s fine that people could do that against him… if this were Season 2 and heavies also didn’t bypass his armor. It made sense for him to get bullied on kd since he had the arguably best neutral in the entire game if he had chunks, but now that chunks are neutered by standing heavies, I just don’t know. I’m not complaining about this system mechanic, it makes sense because then Gargos with Instinct would be completely absurd. I’ve gotten used to it, but it’s not arguable that it still really hurt Aganos in terms of effective neutral. Maybe a forward moving overhead would help him. That, or get rid of it being a target combo and just make it a single command normal that does the 2 stomps instead and leaves him at a relatively safe frame advantage.

I have no problem with the new armor mechanics. My problem its how some Aganos tools didn’t evolved.

For example, he is really slow with 4 chunks. I could understand in s2, armor was stronger then. But now, you get blocked, and most heavy attacks would hit you. Keeping 4 chunks its a suicide at the moment.

Natural disaster its very unsafe, and was ok because if you had chunks you could be covered. Right now, ANYBODY can punish a blocked ND with a heavy, so armor doesn’t matter here.

F+HK wasn’t great in s2, but now its even worse, because can’t challenge a heavy

IMO Aganos improved A LOT in this season. I like him a lot. I’m curious to see how he evolves from now

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You can actually already do that as a pretty tight link, but still… good luck getting the button to hit in the first place. You can also link a st.LK off of a cl.HP and cl.MP, and… funny enough, another st.LK.

That’s the biggest problem I have. I could go on and on about this, but instead of overhauling his whole design I’d rather just address this button which is clearly lacking.

To answer your other suggestions: yeah, something definitely needs to be done to its recovery/startup/range. That’s most important, since it gives it more viability in neutral. I’m not a fan of adding a ground bounce to it. That would mean the only grounded combo you’d get off of it would require using meter on a Shadow Natural Disaster recapture. For Aganos, a ground bounce limits options rather than opens more. A stagger (one that you can actually link something off of, please) is something that opens options for Aganos.

Speaking of ground bounces: the one on his jumping HP? Yeah… buff that.

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*Looks at Eyedol’s j.HP

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Definitely not feeling this. As I understand it the whole point of the groundbounce is so he can have such an insanely strong jump-in WITHOUT it leading to much. You might get a recapture if you’re slick but the point isn’t for it to lead to strong conversions, just for it to be a way for his offense to be less restrictively linear.

On topic though, I legit forgot he even had the stomps until I saw this topic. Could make them OTG? I dunno. There’s so much room for improvement it’s hard to pick out one area in particular they should be improved in.


I would love to use without problem any of these after j.hp:
-Any Ruin
-Shadow ND
-Shadow payload assault

Being able to consistently land any ruin after a jump in that strong sounds mad OP.

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Yep, it sounds op, but also its breakable

It’s probably too much, just dreaming xD

Yeah, I’m not asking to make it so that he can get anything on an instant overhead like Eyedol. I’d just like the bounce to be a bit higher so that the follow up window is a bit wider for one on the way down. At the moment the follow up is pretty tight and chunk-dependent for a jump HP with pretty low depth. And if you’re wrong with that Ruin, the opponent quick rises and has an eternity to blow you up for it.

But forget I said anything about that. That air normal actually has a non-zero application even without a follow up, which f+HK doesn’t seem to have.


That’s more or less what I was actually meaning to say. In S2 I was more than fine with how his tools were because he had armor to back up how slow some of his tools were. Now that he gets punished a bit harder for trying to make the same reads in certain circumstances without getting much in return hinders him a bit. I feel that against some characters, it’s just smarter to get the peacemaker out and play a ranged game then try to go toe-to-toe with them in the mid-range area just because he wasn’t given anything to help compensate for heavies being able to blow him up. I’m not wanting him to be nonpunishable if he whiffs a normal in neutral like in S2, I would just like a something that would make it a bit easier to play that neutral and was adaptive of the general mechanic changes of S3. Maybe if his speed wasn’t so greatly diminished if he had 3-4 chunks or anything like that, or if frame advantage on hit or block didn’t get worse with each chunk in him on normals.

He has some fun links that he can do, but they’re situational at best. I agree with you in regards to the St. HK in that it doesn’t need anything like a ground bounce. I think it just needs some kind of rework though.

Well, I don’t play him often but when I do play him I generally feel like 2 chunks is the sweet spot. You have enough armor to make your opponent sweat, but aren’t slowed down to a restrictive degree. If I get to 3-4 I’ll usually spend some right away; low rock is really never a bad option when you have chunks to spare and slapping a wall behind you is less of a commitment in season 3 due to recycling.

Just my two cents. I happen to think aganos is strong in season 3. I’d be really curious to see what would happen if he didn’t slow down as much with chunks but I feel like it could get out of hand fast.

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2 chunks is just about perfect for him, he’s not too fast or slow for what he can do, and still gives him some good offensive and defensive options, it’s just any more than that and you start getting into uh-oh territory. The best use for when you have 3-4 chunks (imo) is for him to establish a smaller stage (1 wall behind and in front). Then he can start playing his gameplan like how he wants.

I’m not calling you out specifically, but the general consensus by everyone seems to be that Aganos only improved in S3 when not too terribly much changed on him. I don’t think he’s weak, he’s where he needs to be in terms of balance (with some leeway that could go either way) but he still has the same problems he had in S2. He still doesn’t have as much advantage on his jumpins as other characters do (which makes sense because of how low he can jump), the speed of his normals isn’t as good as others while being the same range (which once again, makes sense seeing as how he has armor. I just find it odd that some characters like RAAM have a 9 frame St.HP when Aganos has a 12 frame St. MP that has only slightly better reach), and he now gives the opponent even more meter than before (this is the one that irks me the most, I’m fine with heavies bypassing armor, but was this one really necessary?). One of his best buffs that I hardly see anyone mention is his damage increase because of the increased damage of Shadow Pulverizer and the general system mechanic change of Hard Knockdown enders being the 2nd most damaging enders. Once again, I’m not saying I dislike how he is, I think he’s just right where he needs to be in terms of balance. That doesn’t stop me from voicing what I believe are his weaknesses in specific circumstances. I know all characters need both strengths and weaknesses, but I just feel that some of his weaknesses weren’t really kept into consideration for the general changes in Season 3 while every one seems to agree that he only got better.

Sorry for the off-topic, I know this isn’t a, “Discuss Aganos’ Balancing” thread. It’s just I honestly have nothing else to try to reason with in regards to War Path. I would like to see the move be better but I honestly don’t know what could be done that is reasonable enough without also completely changing Aganos’ gameplan.