Where did the Wulfs go?

I would lie if I say I don’t miss seeying the Wulf playing at top 8.
One of the things I like the most in tournaments was watching some top Wulf players, for instance: I really miss MyGod playing him.

The last tournament Dayton tried Wulf vs Nicky’s Fulgore and despite I don’t loathe the match up it can be a hard one for the Wulfie. I was happy he picked the dog, but I knew it was going to be hard u.u

I can’t tell you how much I would love to see more Wulfs playing top 8 but since the nerfs (yes, I do think some stuff were op, like other characters as well) and other characters having better options or being higher tiers I see it’s not going to happen.

Maybe is pretty clear:

  • Wulf is not top tier anymore (having a lot bad match ups)
  • it’s a match up most top players know very well (same as Sadira, which everybody at top play knows her by heart or that it seems).
  • His risk reward game isn’t good enough. The moment he is broken and the flip out happening he would have to get in again and it’s specially hard with some characters.
  • His damage isn’t that good.
  • He has nice buttons, but not a big toolset
  • Very easy to break

I’m not saying Wulf is bad at all, I’m saying he might not be viable for top play anymore, and I’m sad to not seeying him there considering I enjoyed watching the character very much :cry::sob:


Or maybe the roster has expanded and the amount of character specialists on each character has thinned out?

I won’t turn this into a Wulf balance debate, but I seriously don’t think he’s unviable. At all.


Agreed, Wulf is a great character and he can demoralize somebody who isn’t prepared to fight him.

Sonic is right though, the cast has expanded considerably since the days of Wong, MyGod, and such. You have more characters to choose from, you’re going to see people gravitate away from some characters in favor of others.

Flash still mains Wulf and he’s crazy and incredibly nice at the same time.

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Cupcake used him in Top 8 at NEC, and DaytonJ has one that is also Top 8 worthy (though I do think his Tusk is better). Warmachine made top 32 at Evo with him also, which was a 500+ man tournament, and Paul B also ran the character in that tournament in Top 8.

The character is still good. You’ve just got a broader cast now and a lot of players in general have multiple characters they use in tournament. Your likelihood of seeing a given character run consistently in Top 8 is just naturally lower now. If Nicky and Thompxson don’t show to a tournament, do you see Jago or Fulgore in Top 8?


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I would say that he is a character that takes more than just using one strategy for most matchups. (Looking at you Fulgore) Like Kan-Ra, you have to play relatively differently for almost every single matchup. This makes harder to play, and that’s just about it. That’s it. That’s why.
I think.

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Normally I ignore you, but I have to ask: what are you actually mad about? That Fulgore and Jago are good? They were good in S2 also. That Wulf doesn’t get near-unbreakable 70% instinct combos anymore? He’s still made Top 8 several times in S3, both online and off. He’s still a monster up close, and he still has amazing buttons. Are you mad that Sadira doesn’t hit hard enough? Have you seen what her reset potential is now with flipouts? That Kan-Ra isn’t stupidly godlike? Have you seen Fubuki play?

I haven’t loved every balance decision IG has made (in fact, I agree that Sadira could probably hit a touch harder), but the team has very legit reasons for why they changed the things they changed. Unreactable mixup monsters shouldn’t be hitting like trucks, and Kan-Ra shouldn’t be getting level 3 unbreakables and having the best shadow cashout in the game. The team has gone in and made significant changes to Fulgore (reducing frame advantage on laser, reworking his instinct AGAIN to make him work for his skates), Omen (throw loops being addressed, meter gain and blockstun tweaked) and Jago (meter gain, blockstun on shadow fireball). The team has gone out of their way again and again and again to remove degenerate strategies and reward people for playing solid, and have buffed “low tier” characters a few times this season.

You don’t know what you’re talking about 80% of the time. The game isn’t perfectly balanced and never will be, and there will always be top tiers in any fighter worth playing. Feel free to not like IG’s balance changes, but it gets really annoying reading rants about how they’ve ruined everything whenever you post. They haven’t ruined everything - you mostly just need to learn how to use your character.


I can agree with that.

Cupcake used him in Top 8 at NEC, and DaytonJ has one that is also Top 8 worthy (though I do think his Tusk is better). Warmachine made top 32 at Evo with him also, which was a 500+ man tournament, and Paul B also ran the character in that tournament in Top 8.

I like Dayton’s playstyle with Wulf and also enjoyed when Paul B streamed that character too. But still MyGod was my favourite Wulf player along with others in South America (that have solid gameplay with defense and offense).

Flash has a very fast Wulf and amazing juggles nontheless. But that’s not my style of play, however “suprising” and chasing someone is not a bad idea with the Wulf.

Ok, so I’ve heard this Saturday a known player from this latitude will be back in a tourney (again, in South America) and he was a known Wulf player (who defeated Justin W). I’m eager to seeying some nice Wulf gameplay =D or whatever he comes up with, but honestly I want to see the dog. I’m curious about if he’s going with his main or will change it.

This makes me :cry:.

It shouldn’t. The only way to perfectly balance a game is to give everyone the same toolset and buttons. There is no world in which Raam goes even with a hardcore zoner without also buffing him in MU’s that currently go even, and the same is true across the cast. If you change Hisako to better be able to deal with Riptor or Aria with their current toolsets, you also change other MU’s where Hisako is probably already favored.

A perfectly balanced fighter isn’t desirable - it’s the clash of character styles and toolsets that make a game worth playing. A game where everyone is viable is desirable, and I think KI comes closer to that than any modern fighter.


Honestly, that’s the biggest reason why I stopped using him. But that’s just me. That’s not to say that he’s unviable, as I think he’s absolutely capable from a utilitarian perspective (especially up close, where his speed and mixups are still rather menacing) and I still see some top players using him really well. I also think he’s still a relatively popular character, at least if shadow lab is anything to go off of.

I just personally don’t have all that much fun with him, especially once IG came in and started creating characters with larger toolsets that I’ve really enjoyed. Even Spinal and Fulgore’s DH designs had me drifting away from the dog in season one because of how much they could do and how fun they were to use.

Once IG redid Wulf’s instinct and removed the thrill (for me) of increased damage, which I’ll fully admit was too strong, replacing it with an ability that I don’t particularly use well or enjoy using in feral cancels, well… that plus the small toolset kinda sealed it for me in terms of moving on. I switched as soon as Kan Ra came out and since then, I’ve floated from character to character.

Right now, I’ve been using Sadira a lot, especially after they gave her a new ender, added salticidae, changed up her combo trait, and others have been kind enough to show me some really fun tech with her that makes her both more fun and more complex in season 3, even if she doesn’t exactly hit like a powerhouse. Some of it’s flash, some of it’s visual variety, while some stuff, like her flipout open up a good amount of gameplay / utilitarian variety. To me, she got the best of both worlds.

I’d love to see Wulf get more fun stuff to use, more flashy moves and more stuff going on that give me a greater feeling of visual variety when I use him, even if I know he doesn’t need it from a utilitarian perspective. Yes, he got a dive kick and flipout, and I messed with those a bit and they do add to his options, no doubt. I just don’t think, for me, that it goes far enough toward making him a fun character. Who knows, maybe I just need to track down more videos of how good Wulf players use him in season 3.

If he doesn’t get more cool, flashy stuff, that’s fine, I don’t need to like every character in the game. It sucks a little that I have almost no desire to use the character that was always my favorite in the past, but I’m certainly not hurting for fun characters to use in this game.


I know his playstyle is not fancy compared to other characters but I have a lot of fun using him. After trying TJ and Riptor I can also say I had a lot of fun with them but I have to play them in a different way and I’m impressed of of many things you can do with them (TJ with all the baitings and powerline cancerl, target combos, aire juggles, etc) and Riptor with all the mix ups, predator stance, fireballs etc. But I’ve always liked characters with some nice buttons and decent anti air (not still happy with guessing how the eclipse hitbox will connect since the hitbox changes and there’s no visual cue on it but it may be made so it’s harder to break, who knows).

But I can see Wulf it’s pretty much truth to his origins in the old games (and he never was top tier there…However I can’t really say if he was hight in KI 2) but the roster has changed and added so much stuff that I feel he plays a different game.

And being a little evil here I felt some pleasure using Gargos against characters that struggle against him (even Wulf). I was saying to myself “that’s how it feels when you are bullying me to death with your annoying character and making work like crazy while you can sit and take a coffe and read a magazine while playing” (ok, I exagerated that…) :joy: and at the same time I felt guilty because…I know the feeling! :disappointed_relieved:

But anyway, I can study a match up (even or not) a lot and then got totally bodied because the player was better than me and destroyed me in the mind game (which isn’t that hard to see).

I felt your wrath the other day, when you were using Gargos and nullified my sad little Sadira. :stuck_out_tongue:

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Speaking from my heart, I felt really guilty :cry: But I can say that playing Wulf vs Sadira stress me too much and I was already fed up before I ran into you. I’m so sorry!! next time I’ll go Wulf, no matter if I lose XD

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It actually was a total surprise for me, as I was expecting to see your Wulf and then I saw Gargos… I admit, there was a collective sigh of angst the moment I saw his mug. :smiley:

Honestly Wuff is great for murdering Sadira. Eclipse is one of the best anti-airs in the game. His jumping HP has great range for knocking Sadira out of the air. You just have to be aggressive with her. You get her cornered and its a dead Sadira in no time.

While you guys whinge, Flash keeps getting his stars.

Keep in mind too Geek that one of the fun things about knowing a game is not perfectly balanced is finding out when everyone is wrong about a particular matchup because someone shows up with a low tier character and lays waste to the field.

Regarding Wulf, the thing about Wulf is that his very basic gameplay and execution is really easy and intuitive. Even beginners can see what his gameplay is. It’s extremely rare for a beginner friendly character to be even remotely worthwhile in high level play and I think DH/MS/IG have been brilliant in making sure Wulf has challenging high level play and isn’t OP because of his beginner friendly tool kit. The basic problem with Wulf is that his close range/rushdown playstyle essentially necessitates some bad matchups if the field is 20+ unique characters. In earlier incarnations this was balanced by being so damn strong, but that wasn’t going to last forever.

I think Wulf is still “viable,” but it gets harder as the game expands to avoid any bad matchups and be consistently in the podium with a character like this who is really linked to one play style.

I guess I’ve just never seen tech for wulf that I looked at and thought “good god, that looks cool as hell, I need to learn how to do that!” I’ve searched for it, but I’ve never found it. So when the thrill of popping instinct for the damage buff was taken away (not the biggest deal ever, but it was something I liked), and the thrill of dash through mix ups, high / low mix ups, etc faded… It just didn’t feel like there was much left, even with flipout, dive kick, dunking, etc added.

I can respect that. He has great buttons, no doubt.

In the old games, he had fire bats, a pounce move that (I believe) could be held, a cartwheel (not that I’d want to see that return lol), howling, a flip kick, etc. Obviously ragged edge replaces his old spin and there’s no reason why a rushdown character like wulf should have a projectile, but there was still a lot of visual variety, which I think is kinda lacking with new wulf.

I’m not saying he should have a ton of new moves that fill in all of his weaknesses, but maybe something else to help him get upstream even a tiny bit better against zoners wouldn’t be terrible along with a few more moves that provide a little visual flair and style, even if they might overlap in some ways with existing moves; things to surprise the opponent with and give them a different look, etc.

The response usually tends to be utilitarian in nature; wulf doesn’t need this stuff. Wulf is in a good place. That’s all fine. It very well could be that a vast majority of players that may have moved on from Wulf did so simply because there are so many more characters then there were before. But for me personally, I moved on because his move list didn’t hold my interest the way others do, so just from my own perspective, I’d like to see them push on that a bit, if possible.

Hahaha, same here!! In addition to Wulf, I loved using Glacius in season one, so keeping him out felt like borderline trolling and cracked me up given how many times I was on the receiving end of a good, long zone out. :slight_smile:

Dang… Pretty sure you’ve forgotten more about Sadie then I’ll ever know, so if she’s bodying your Sadira with Gargos, I shudder to think what she’d do to mine! :open_mouth:

Would you say that Wulf is trending downward then? If so, do you think he needs anything to combat that trend? I’m not talking about new moves since I know I’m more or less on an island in that regard. I’m just curious how both you and @MaruMDQ would like to see him balanced in the future to remain viable.

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Well, since Wulf was the Fulgore of S1 (actually worse, the undisputed top tier and it wasn’t unusual to see a Wulf vs Wulf finals or have 5 Sabrewulf players in top 8), he almost HAS to be declining if you draw the trend from then until now. I remember there was a lot of complaining that he was no longer viable in S2 and then UA myGod got like second place at EVO. I’m not the right guy to ask for subtle distinctions at high level. I’m at best a thoughtful observer, but I think you could say he’s declining. But more importantly, you could ask “is he where he should be?” And I think he probably is. I don’t think Wulf is the right archetype to be getting giant damage off ambiguous mixups leading to one chance cashouts. Keeping him “honest” in the combo game seems like the right path to me.

But one thing that occurs to me is that Wulf has a flipout, and a recapture and he stands to benefit as much or more than anyone from actually using counterbreakers. I think it more folks were willing to adopt a more risk taking approach at high levels more of them would see the advantages of Wulf as a character.

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I don’t play wulf anymore not even as an extra or “pocket” character because I feel that many characters can keep him out of reach and know what to do against him.