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:
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!).
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.
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?