Street Fighter V balance update coming in late April

Street Fighter V will receive another balance update in April.

Developer Peter “Combofiend” Rosas detailed the upcoming balance patch, which includes changes to gameplay systems and individual characters.

The most prominent change is the removal of the “jump-back throw select,” in which a player can hold up and input a throw command after getting knocked down and the computer will choose the safest option upon wake-up.

Street Fighter V
Street Fighter V (Capcom)

Correctly guessing an opponent’s next move is one of the hallmarks of Street Fighter,” Combofiend said. “Option selects, which allow multiple options to be covered with overlapping commands, directly conflict with this idea, as the guesswork is removed, leading to a positive result quite frequently. This low risk, high reward scenario can be frustrating to fight as it seems that the opponent is always guessing right.”

The other big change is an upgrade to invincible Shoryuken attacks. Previously, Season 2 removed invincibility from meterless dragon punches. Dragon punches granted brief invincibility in many previous Street Fighter games; if a player was knocked down, they could dragon punch the attacking opponent to safely get out of the situation. This had a huge effect on the Street Fighter V meta. The Season 2 update might have been a little too effective because it also neutralized being able to anti-air with dragon punches.

The changes to dragon punches will affect Akuma, Cammy, Juri, Ken, and Ryu and are as follows:

L Shoryuken attacks – maintain throw invincibility
M Shoryuken attacks – added airborne invincibility
H Shoryuken attacks – added attack and projectile invincibility

“After analyzing player data, we felt that the change to invincible Shoryuken attacks resulted in a risk/reward ratio that has become risk intensive, yet yields little reward,” Combofiend said. “Additionally, as Shoryuken attacks now occasionally trade with jump-in attacks, players who use characters with Shoryuken attacks are no longer confident in using this attack as an anti-air as intended.”

Combofiend said Capcom’s intent with this new update is to strengthen characters who aren’t performing well in Season 2.

Alex’s start ups on some of his moves were slowed down for Season 2, but this new update will speed them back up. He also enjoys a slight upgrade to his vitality, which should please many Alex players who weren’t happy with his Season 2 changes.

Akuma is a glass cannon in Street Fighter V, possessing high damage output but extremely low health. He also received a slight vitality upgrade. In contrast, Balrog’s health was reduced after initially being upgraded in Season 2.

FANG will receive some love in the new update after being hit so hard with the nerf bat, Final Round 20 winner Kun Xian Ho dropped him for Ibuki. Apparently, Capcom thought FANG might have been a little too powerful with the Season 2 update, so his nerfs were done preemptively to keep him in line with the rest of the cast. Many of his attacks have been sped up, making him more viable in Season 2.

Lastly, aside Shoryuken invincibility, Ryu’s hitbox for his standing light kick and medium punch have been upgraded. Season 2 downgraded some of Ryu’s normals, making it harder for Ryu players to get in close to their opponents. It remains to be seen if these changes will be effective enough for Daigo Umehara (or myself, after dropping him for Kolin) to continue playing Ryu, or if he’ll make the switch to Guile, who has been a much higher tier character in Season 2 so far.

It should be noted that Capcom does not appear to be updating Kolin in the new patch. The full list of changes is detailed on Combofiend’s blog post.

It is interesting Capcom decided to release a balance update after the start of Capcom Pro Tour 2017. Depending on the timing of these changes, it might not affect play until Combo Breaker 2017. Until then, players committed to alternate characters will need to make some tough choices in order to secure points at Premier and Ranking Events.

Capcom did not specify an exact date for the upcoming balance change.

Michael Martin is so in love with Kolin in Season 2, no minor dragon punch changes will make him go back to Ryu. Follow him on Twitter @Bizarro_Mike.