Why so much hate? How to Combat Arbiter

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.


I’ve never truly believed anything was wrong with him - and that’s coming from an Aganos player, who’s very wary of how those carbine shots can easily take away chunks. The matchup is tough, I admit, but certainly not impossible, IMO. If I can trap Arby in the corner (which is easier than you might think, 'cause walls… Duh!), then most of what he can do goes right out the window.


Isn’t the only way to combo after the carbine is while in the air?

Idk, he’s obviously good, but it seems like this character takes a lot of work to use right though, I hardly call that a brain dead character. I think you’re problem is you’re reading twitch chat and taking it to heart, that’s like reading youtube comments, it’s like asking for a brain aneurysm.

I guess it’s more the fact that it seems like every top player including some of my friends are saying it.

I’m petty, I know.

You’re not petty, bud. As a fellow Arbiter main, I, too, was flabbergasted at the response. Arbiter is strong, yes, but there are a lot of ways around what he can do. For instance, you forgot to mention ender animations and projectile invulnerability will also beat the grenade as well as a combo break (the last isn’t as practical but you get my point).

People clearly have not labbed the match up and are suffering for being fools. Those of us who have or play as him understand it well and don’t have much fear for him anymore. Heck, I’m pretty sure the biggest thing towards winning the match is not being afraid of the grenade. Once you get over plasmaphobia, Arbiter loses almost all of his intimidation.

In short, Arbiter can be fought and beat. He is strong, but the good kind of strong that takes skill and practice. And feel some vindication through your fellow Alien brothers and the fact the people complaining haven’t gone to the lab with him.

Not all ender animations. Also, yes shadows work, but they weren’t really needed in my rant because having the grenade hit both of you is good enough to escape IMO.

[quote=“Somea2V, post:6, topic:12895”]
don’t have much fear for him anymore
[/quote]Nope. Arbiter doesn’t scare me at all, really. I almost beat Sleep’s Arbiter in a small set with Kim Wu just blocking and parrying.

[quote=“Somea2V, post:6, topic:12895”]

I couldn’t believe how severe his recent nerfs were. Keits said that most of them were designed to reduce the damage he can get off of one chance breaks, thing is, I have never seen an Arbiter take advantage of those one chance breaks except for Hollywood Sleep. Sleep is a great player, who is doing things that as far as I know, nobody else is doing. They shouldn’t nerf the character, just nerf Sleep :smirk:

Actually plenty of arby’s have been doing it, however, those aren’t were getting good milage out of the raw carbine damage. Eh, it never changed arby’s gameplan much.

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[quote=“SonicDolphin117, post:7, topic:12895, full:true”]Not all ender animations. Also, yes shadows work, but they weren’t really needed in my rant because having the grenade hit both of you is good enough to escape IMO.

Some of the Enders can be interrupted by grenade? I hadn’t seen this happen. Interesting. Which ones, if you can recall?

And the trade-nade is a good neutral reset, like the face-nade. But if you can turn the grenade against Arby, that’s always preferable. Hence, shadows or moves with projectile invulnerability to turn it around into your own pressure or just taking the grenade back to him and blocking as it goes off.

I remember the good ol’ days of Halo split screen. You’d sneak up on someone and they’d turn and stick you. You just run in and hug them saying something like, “screen-peekers never prosper!”

Most enders, really. Depends on the ender. For example, Hisako’s Possession ender and Arbiter’s Prophet’s Bane ender do not get interrupted due to invulnerability. But most other enders get interrupted.

I’m going to have to hit the lab then. My experience has been enders and most “animation” type moves, be they throws, enders or what, will ignore the one-frame explosion. Clearly, I have been lucky thus far.

Easy salt-fueled answer to this one: Just play Raam, Jago, or any other character in the game. Arbiter currently seems too slow to be remotely viable in ranked with all the players who haven’t really learned how to play a good neutral/defensive game, just hitting buttons to see whether they work, which Arbiter in his current form can do absolutely nothing about to my knowledge. If anyone has tips on how to get anti-airing with Arbiter, that’d be great, as all everyone seems to do is jump around with near enough zero responses available from Arbiter to counter.

Sightless, dude… I consider you a pal, but nothing you’ve said in this post is correct. Your opinion of several KI characters is filled with so much hyperbole that it’s hard to offer meaningful advice.

You say Arbiter is too slow, but then you say “just play Raam instead”, probably the slowest, least mobile character in the game. Arbiter has excellent responses for people who “just hit buttons” from almost all ranges (in fact, he is one of the best characters in the entire game for handling this). Arbiter’s AAs are a bit slow so you have to be on point, but they are definitely not lacking in active frames or hitboxes (crouch HP is his slowest but serviceable with a read or good reactions, anti-air gun works from far range, down-forward HK is faster and great for above his head, and if all else fails he can use overshield for one meter).

I understand that the way I said that was rather hyperbolic. But Having just been soundly thrashed by a Raam who appeared to just be jumping and hitting buttons and hitconfirming etc whilst playing as Arbiter, I felt justified (as much as salt can justify responses).

Thanks for the tips and advice, regardless of your completely valid opinion as to my initial response. I’ll be sure to keep those in mind. If only the lab was less complicated to set up without sight, I’d practice anti-airing etc and get the timing down… :frowning:

In all seriousness, most of my hyperbole actually comes from ranked, not from exhibition. I’ve never quite understood why that is, but I think it’s because I fight players regularly in exhibition so I can learn how they fight and work to counter it. Having no general Raam players of a high level (that I know of) in my friends list, fighting this particular character comes down to just being lucky. However, luck seems to be on the other players side, just because they happen to be able to see which way I’m blocking, a common and unavoidable issue in KI. But Arbiter has, since his initial release, felt rather slower than I thought he should be to be more balanced out within the scope of the cast. Aganos works with his slow pacing because of his ranges and the ability to throw virtually limitless projectiles (at a cost of course), heck, even Raam has a reliable way to get in (even if the opponent jumps and punishes you still have a chance to break after an avoided qcb+hk, normally. It seems a shame that this character is so difficult to win with, as I really like the design and the playstyle, just a large amount of his moves feel far too sluggish compared to other characters.

Now that I’ve cooled off from that frankly humiliating defeat, I can consider this in a clearer light. I understand exactly what you’re getting at though, Normally when I respond with hyperbole it’s not because I don’t have valid reasoning (from my personal perspective at least), but the salt as with most players can cloud your judgement but I feel I have to get my opinions on character faults out there somewhere. But that’s just me I guess.

I’m happy to fight matches with you and learn from you if you think that’d be a better method of instruction, happy to learn from an individual who clearly knows far more about the game than me.

So apparently his parry only has 6 frames of recovery…that’s really small given the reward of it. While having 11 active frames.

Totalling 17 frames. The recovery on it is pretty ridiculous for what it can do. VERY small window to punish if it whiffs.

All im going to say is thanks for making this post for me.