Why should I keep playing Maya?

NOTE: I don’t have a lot of time and I wrote this out quickly, so sorry if it has a lot of grammar issues.

I’m not an amazing player by any means, but I am above average. I used to sit around Killer Rank 500 in Leagues, but I’ve dropped since I’ve quit for a while to play more Exhibition matches to learn more characters (for more knowledge). I would usually play Jago and Cinder (and sometimes TJ Combo, but I wasn’t very good with him), but now that I’ve been learning new characters I’m now good with Thunder and Sadira as well.

The thing about these characters is that if I focus on one for a long period of time I get progressively better with them. Like I’m always learning something and the chances of me winning (my win-lose ratio) gets better. I’ve recently decided that I was going to try to learn Maya. I’ve been playing as her for the past couple of days. Reading guides, spending lots of time in training mode, and of course playing plenty of online matches.

It’s been rough so far.

Everyone said that Cinder and Sadira were hard to play, but I found it pretty easy to pick them up (my Cinder has a 56% win ratio right now, and I think if I played as him more it would get better). With Maya, I figured that it was going to be the same way; surprisingly easy to play even though everyone was saying otherwise. I was wrong. Maya has been the hardest character for me to play, I think I even had an easier time with Aganos before I gave up on learning him. Not only that, but I find myself having very little fun with her in the long run compared to other characters – I think I had more fun with Aganos too, using him as an example again. I just feel like she is missing something big, so why should I keep playing as her?

I know that you are probably thinking “Well, why don’t you switch to another character you have more fun with? That’s simple. Not every character is for you”… well, yeah. But that’s not really the true point of this thread. I want to talk about my issues with Maya, as well as buffs she could receive to make her better.

  • “Inconsistencies” with Leap Kick: While light Leap Kick (and medium?) has an invincibility window, you can still be hit before the attack really starts up. While I’m not sure that Maya really needs a true DP, she needs some sort of way handling pressure other than Shadow Leap Kick. Obviously she is supposed to be weak without her daggers, but even if you do have them, when your opponent is pressuring and throwing constant mix-ups at you while in the corner you have no good ways of dealing with that (other than maybe getting lucky with a Shadow Counter, or again, using Shadow Leap Kick). Even Shadow Leap Kick though, I can almost swear that I’ve been hit out of my start-up multiple times, but I’m not 100% sure about this.

  • No low, upperbody, or throw invincible Shadow Moves: While a lot of characters have a Shadow Move(s) with those properties listed, Maya has none. If feel like if Leap Kick isn’t going to get the true DP treatment, then she can get at least one of these properties on Shadow Tumble Kick. I know that is already has projectile invincibility, but I don’t feel like that’s enough and she needs a little something to help her defense. I personally think that grab invincibility would be good; you can still poke her out of it, you just can’t grab or hit her with projectiles.

  • Dagger Ender is useless: I think most people agree with this. I’m pretty sure it makes her +1 if you do it, but that’s not enough. It has way to many cons to be good, especially considering the fact that your daggers do not return when you use it – which of course is TERRIBLE for Maya. This ender needs significant changes, or needs to be scrapped completely for a new ender. I don’t think she needs a damage ender, but she could use a battery or wallsplat/carry ender.

  • Juggles are important for cashing out damage, but hard to do: Everyone talks about how important it is to learn Maya’s juggles, and you pretty much NEED to learn how to do it. Since Maya doesn’t have a damage ender and her damage has been “normalized” is Season 3, to max out as much damage as you can with her you need to learn her juggles. Juggling, and juggling cash-outs haven’t been an issue for me… besides with Maya. I feel like when I’m juggling with Maya my KV Meter starts maxing out quicker than other characters. Not only that, but I feel like Maya requires a LOT more practice and knowledge to pull off correctly, while with other characters I can just kinda do it. If she isn’t going to get any major changes to her dagger ender, maybe she could get more generous juggles.

I feel like Maya is a character that is hard to learn, but doesn’t really have any big rewards. Other characters have better offense, better defense, better mix-ups, better set-ups, better gimmicks, are more versatile, etc… The only reason why I feel like I would play Maya is if I was a character loyalist and that’s it – pretty much playing/learning Maya just so I could play/learn Maya… for reasons. So if there’s no real reason to play Maya, why should I keep playing as her?

Am I missing something? Am I wrong? Am I right? What do you think?

If you ever want to (re)learn the golem, hit me up sometime. :wink:

As for Maya, I don’t think any of her leap kicks are invincible except for the shadow version (and I’m not even entirely certain about that 1 either).

From Infil’s guide:
Llight is the most invulnerable but can be hit 1 frame before the active frames begin, while heavy has no invulnerability. Shadow Leap Kick is fully invulnerable.

Shadow leap kick is fully low, upperbody and throw invincible. It’s her “get out of jail” button. Some characters(TJ, Maya, Kan-Ra, Aganos…) lacks a meterless invincible reversal. This is intended for the sake of balance, with different reasons in each character. Also, as side bonus, Shadow Tumble kick is projectile invulnerable

Dagger ender is VERY hard to use. I don’t know how to emphasize this enough. Is REALLY situational, sometimes Match up dependant, and very hard to use consistenly. This doesn’t means that the move couldn’t get some improvement, but is far from useless

Juggling is key to succed with Maya. And of course are hard. This factor, coupled with this:[quote=“ULTRASUBZER0, post:1, topic:15700”]
I’ve been playing as her for the past couple of days.
says me that if you haven’t get rewarded with Maya… is because it’s too soon.
Maya SEEMS easy to play, as you thought. But she is really really hard to master. IMO, all juggling characters have a higher learning curve than most of the not juggling characters. You can get limited success with them, but only mastering juggles, a science which is very extreme, you can unlock their true potential. Juggling skills(as player, not character) are very hard to develop, but very rewarding, and when I say that it’s extreme I mean that usually, a player is very good or very bad with juggles. The middle point is less frequent.

Also, Maya is a very unorthodox gameplan. She has projectiles, but their primary use is not zoning. You have to learn never droping her daggers for a long period. High juggle potential. A potentially unlockable projectile that can lead to combo. Too much stuff, and very different from other characters. She is hard to learn, has big rewards, good offense, not so great defense, she can somehow ignore mixups(her dagger throw can eventually ignore mixups: it just wins blocking and can’t be avoided), has counterintuitive stuff(Mantis is an areial move that can only avoided by crouching, which is counterintuitive since all aerial normals should be blocked high)…

Just take a look to Pink Diamond videos, and you will see that she can get good rewards.

Also, Maya has few MU where she is clearly in disadvantage. Maybe she doesn’t have much MUs where she dominates, but having lots of even MU is not bad at all.

She has no reasons to be played only by loyalists. She is powerful enough to be viable and competitive. But she is HARD to use. VERY HARD to use. Much more than she looks at the first glance.

My advice is: watch some Pink Diamond videos, learn her dirty stuff, try to improve in juggling and the use of her unblockable daggers into combo, and you will see a great improvement

1 Like

Simple “” don’t be loyalist" cause it pay only with nerf at the end, if i was you, ill search just another character with better tools. :smirk: you will find alot in S3 cast and some of the S1( 6 characters )& S2 ( 5 characters )but the majority are in the S3 cast

i used to main maya as second character in S2 and just dropped her instantly after her first nerfs in S3.

look at really good the cast, cause they are characters with full tools :relaxed: i mean 'much options,damages, good defenses, pressure, flip out, staggers, etc…and all new stuff coming with the s3, just take your time to analyse.

HERE i give you a sample TRY again Tj combo if you can masterize him i think you should be satisfied ( note: he’s only one of these characters with full tools, now on you to search the others peace peace bro and good luck. :grinning:

She isn’t the only character without these things - many KI characters are explicitly balanced around not being able to get up freely. Which Maya actually can do - shadow leap kick fills all those roles you laid out there. A fully invincible reversal is much better to have than any of those situational properties.

More to the point though, Maya kind of has to be at least a little bit abusable on knockdown. Her neutral game is actually very strong, and because of her insane mobility and the threat of air dagger toss she can be very difficult to lock down. There has to be some sort of penalty to her for messing up and finally getting caught.

On the larger question of “why should I play her”, I think that just comes down to what you (or anyone else) like about your characters. Maya speaks to a very particular brand of movement and offensive pressure, and I think that in large part that’s her appeal to her fans. People like being able to fly all around the screen tossing out nonsense that people hate to block but can’t afford to get hit by, and cashing out glancing hits via stylish and technically challenging juggles. I think those things are why a lot of people play the character.


You pretty much gave yourself the answer here.

Go look up PinkDiamond on twitter, she’s got some awesome clips of using it. It’s hard to use, but not useless.

You mean buffed?


I’ve always believe one should stick to the character you like and feel comfortable to play with. The only reason to use top tier characters imo is when you go to compete for money. The better tools and tier = chances to win, so why not use the fitest character for that?.
However many players, as myself, prefer to stick with their main even though there’s money or prizes, and yes, many other players do this as well. You really put work into your character if you compete, and in those levels you need go with the one you feel stronger with.

What I meant was besides Shadow Leap Kick, she doesn’t have any of those. Orchid for an example has a fully invincible Shadow DP, and she also has more invincibility properties on other attacks (Shadow Flick Flack is low invincible for an example). I should have clarified what I meant in the OP. I’m just saying that a possible buff – not exactly NEEDED – is to give her something else on her Shadow Tumble Kick for better defense. Just an idea, though.

Watching Pink Diamond up against Thompxson is actually what made me want to play Maya. She is super fun to watch, in my opinion. Which is why I figured I would have a lot of fun playing her, but it’s been more frustrating than fun. I know that Maya is a good character if you learn her, but I just feel like maybe more characters are able to get the same results – if not better – with a far less learning curve?

I don’t exactly want to give up on Maya, but I also kinda do. It’s weird. Maya is the only FG character that has me stuck between wanting to play her and not wanting to play her.

I pretty sure it was nerfed, wasn’t it? I wasn’t around in Season 2 but I was watching a lot of videos at the time and she seemed to have been a better character overall with better damage. Plus I just watched a Season 3 Maya guide last night by LCD and he said she had 50%+ damage combos in Season 2. Apparently she also had a damage ender at one point?

After watching some videos it seems that most of her combos will do around 40% now, maybe a little less or more.

That’s fair.

That’s also fair. I know that not all characters are going to be just as easy to learn as the past ones I have, but Maya just feels a little too hard considering what she can do but that’s just me.

Really, I just want more solid reasons to play her. I want to be convinced to stick with her. I’ll be watching more Pink Diamond videos, but she isn’t exactly the best example of what I could do with her considering she is like one of the top 32 players in the world, and I’m not. Definitely an example of what the character can do, but probably not me. I just want to see other players opinions and experiences on the current state of Maya – players around my skill level.

Is Maya worth learning for players around my skill level, or should I wait until I’m a better player? And in the meantime I can learn other characters like maybe Orchid, or heck, maybe even Aganos that I dropped before.

Well Maya is a very interesting character to learn because there is so much to learn. Learning the nuances of the character can take an extremely long time and that is time you have to put in. I am what you would call a Maya loyalist so trust me when I say, the only way to understand why you would want to play her is to master all of her strengths and weaknesses. In regards to her defensive options the “best defense is a good offense” statement could not be more true here. You have to control the match and don’t let them work up an offense. If you do find yourself being put in a mixup then there isn’t really anything you can do, and that may be a major turn off to the character.

In S2 she had a damage ender that required full pips on both daggers to activate. In exchange her regular combo damage was pitiful, weakest hitter in the game, 30% combos were considered high for her. So for S3 they removed the damage ender and buffed her normal damage so that she hit like a normal character.

1 Like

Also, keep an eye on this guy (KDD86): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6iJaKYJf18

Maya’s damage was generally buffed in S3, but she lost her full charge dagger ender cashout, which used to give something like a 45% one-chance combo. So Maya hits harder in general now, but has to work a bit harder within the combo game to get tthat damage. She doesn’t have to absolutely rely on dagger pip damage though, which is somewhat helpful to her.

Probably true. Also probably true of Raam, Kan-Ra, Fulgore, Sadira, Mira, Gargos, Kim-Wu, etc. Any character with a more nuanced gameplan is probably going to be relatively more difficult to learn and win with when compared to some of the more simple powerhouses of the game. Indeed, that’s part of the fun of playing such a character. I like that it took me almost a year to really unlock truly powerful high-level Hisako play - the journey of learning and getting better with her is a big part of why I found her fun. Contra S1 and S2 Sadira, I found that I much preferred it when my wins felt like I was actively out-thinking and outplaying my opponent, as opposed to just throwing stuff at them that they couldn’t block. The difficulty of winning with her was part of my enjoyment with her.


That’s one of the reasons why I play Kim, so yeah, Solid Advice :slight_smile: :thumbsup:

I decided that I’m going to give her a longer chance to click for me. But I feel like if she doesn’t click within a couple of weeks then I’m probably done with her, for then anyway. I’m practicing/finding some tech in training mode, too.

But I’ve come across an issue. For some reason I can’t throw a dagger to extend juggles after doing Shadow Leap Kick (I know it doesn’t work on block, but it still doesn’t work on hit or whiff). I can throw a dagger after any normal Leap Kick, but the Shadow version doesn’t work for some reason. I just wanted to see if maybe you could check it out, so I would know if it’s happening to other people too.

I think that was part of her balance changes.

She can no longer throw daggers after shadow leap kick, on hit or on block. She had some nasty 30% one chances off that, so the capability was removed entirely.

It’s not the no-throw on the hit/blocked s.leap kick that bothers me, but rather, it’s the no-throw on the blocked (regular) leap kick that gets me. I understand why it’s there, but I haven’t adjusted to it yet, so I often get confused, then upset mid-match as I’m basically forced to remember that it no longer works… SIGH

I also think her dagger ender needs a bit of a buff, as it’s too easy to lose it once hit. Maybe if it took multiple hits based upon ender level (so, a lvl. 3 ender would require you to hit her 3x or weather the storm until it ends - no pun intended)? You have to remember that once she uses that ender, she loses ALL of her dagger-based attacks, so getting in to take advantage of those auto-dagger hits is still kind of hard since you’re only left with her overall weaker and more easily punishable attacks.

TBH I kind of wish they would buff Shadow Leap Kick’s damage to be in line with other shadow reversals. I mean it’s not like it’s as fast as Jago’s or Rash’s shadow reversals, so it wouldn’t be that bad in her hands in comparison…

1 Like

From my experience with Maya i just wish her juggles were a bit more consistent. Basic 2 dagger juggles into mantis cash out are really really fickle and finding the sweet spot for it seems different per character. So learning to juggle every character in the game individually is frustrating.

Maybe they could allow her to throw daggers after dp only on instinct or put a restriction on it…

1 Like