I’ve been spending a lot of time in twitch chats lately, and the character that I see getting the most hate is Arbiter. They give these reasons like “His vortex is braindead/too good,” “His carbine is broken,” “His command grab is dumb,” and all this other nonsense.
And it’s REALLY starting to get on my nerves. So fare warning, if I sound like a salty b**** on this thread, forgive me.
First off, the carbine got nerfed recently. It only deals about 8% a shot, and 12% after three shots. And may I remind everyone it’s only got 18 bullets that don’t regenerate, as well is it having relatively low chip damage. Which means jump gun isn’t free, you have to be conservative with it. That’s not “braindead” in the slightest. If his shots get blocked or dodged, he’s not getting them back, and if he runs out he’s in BIG trouble. I see a lot of complaints around his carbine one chances, but that damage was severely nerfed in the recent patch. 4 shots->lunge->damage ender used to be 37%, now it’s down to around 27%. For 4 bullets, which could has been used for a safe approach, AA’ing or whiff punishing. So that damage is something you are taking a risk for.
Second, the plasma grenade. I see so many people talking about how the grenade is a “free meaty.” Yeah sure, it recaps you if you jump at the wrong time, gives him another chance at a mixup, and rewards him with a combo if he lands a grab or a low mixup. But there’s three things that everyone seems to fail to consider: 1) He can get hit by his own grenade and could give you a free combo. 2)He has a limited amount that takes 15 seconds to recharge one at a time (which can feel like forever sometimes). And 3) It doesn’t hit you if you’re performing a grab on Arbiter.
So, let me explain how this works. Let’s say you get caught in the corner with a grenade on you. Unless the Arbiter has an overshield, he’s either going to go for a mixup immediately to try and recap you, or jump back and space himself to ensure the grenade doesn’t hit him.
-For the first situation, you have a few choices against it. You can try and reversal, which is the riskiest option IMO. You can take the first mixup and then grab/attack him so that the grenade doesn’t hit you or hits both of you and returns the battle to neutral. Or you can just block the whole way, wait for the grenade to explode, then pick an option to punish his followup, like a shadow counter.
-For the second situation where he jumps back, his mixup options are less threatening (which I’ll get into more in a sec.). So getting out of the setup is simpler, and you have more space to breathe.
My point is, this setup is not “free.” It is very possible to escape this mixup just like all others in the game, as well as even use it against Arbiter. Not to mention if the setup doesn’t pay off, Arby just wasted a grenade that he has to wait 15 seconds to get back. That’s not nothing.
Next, I want to talk about is punishing his mixup options. The two big moves are Truth Seeker (the overhead) and Prophet’s Bane (the command grab).
-Truth Seeker is complained about due to its range and the fact the the medium and heavy versions are plus on block. But the big weakness to this move is its long startup. You can easily poke/reversal/grab/parry him out of this move on reaction with practice.
-Prophet’s Bane also has a bit of a problem with long startup. With experience, it is very possible to react and dodge the move if you are watching for it. My suggestion is to just hold back since his overhead threat is greater, and watch his model. If he suddenly resets to a standing position after a normal, hold up immediately (or do other grab-invulnerable dodge options if your character has them). You will get an easy punish on him. If you have a grenade on you and it blows up, try to get Arbiter in the blast radius. Being recaptured takes less time to recover than being staggered, so if you both get hit you will recover in time to combo Arbiter. If Arbiter does the knockdown grenade into Shadow Prophet’s Bane setup, my advice is to jump as you get up once, then sit and block. The jump will prevent him from recapturing you after a grab, and the block when you land will make it so he only gets the low grab damage and not the grenade.
One last thing is Arbiter’s biggest weakness: his defense. He has two AA’s and two reversals, but they all have problems. His two AA’s are rather slow, so they have to be used in anticipation. His grenade self-destruct is grab vulnerable, so you can stuff him with that. The shield pop reversal doesn’t hit far off his model, so a well timed jump or well spaced medium can easily punish it (or you can parry it). Also, both his reversals do not hit people who are crossing him up, he has to eat crossups whether he likes it or not. His big size adds to this flaw as well.
Forgive me for the wall of text. My point is, Arbiter is a very good character, but he is NOT a character that nets you free wins. His vortex is escapable, his resources are limited, and his defense is horrible.
Learn the matchup and get rewarded. Keep complaining, and…well I can’t stop you, but you’re only ruining your own enjoyment.