Combofiend: Guile's previous buffs in Ultra Street Fighter 4 would have pretty much made him unbeatable, so he got nerfed

Posted by Jonathan 'Catalyst' Grey • May 6, 2014 at 5:52 p.m. PDT

Many people had wondered why Guile saw nerfs in the latest round of balance changes for Ultra Street Fighter 4, and Capcom's Peter "Combofiend" Rosas recently addressed this during a live stream.

"There are some buffs that went into these characters that actually accelerated them from the lowest of tiers, to the highest," said Rosas, about the overall balancing process.

Rosas was asked if there was any specific characters in regards to this statement, and he named one fighter in particular, Guile.

"Guile who's always been pretty decent, there were some changes that were granted to him that in the right hands would make him pretty much unbeatable," said Rosas.

"That's a concern to us, cause we want to make sure the game is indeed balanced and fun," he added saying that they looked at the buffs made to the character and maybe put in some new changes to address that.

"People were getting ready for these super characters, 'Here it comes, I'm just going to be invincible!' but that's not balance," said Rosas.

Story continues after the break.

"We had to minimize some of those buffs, and give [Guile] some nerfs," Rosas said, "Nobody wants to see nerfs," he noted, but added that sometimes it's just what needs to be done.

Combofiend said they're looking at the Japanese arcade release and feedback from players, but they're particularly trying to find things that might be deemed overpowered.

Also, the arcade release will eventually see Decapre, and the other balance changes, at some point.

On the T. Hawk vs. Blanka match up, Combofiend said that they tried to address how bad it was, and Hawk has plenty of tools to use now.

You can hear these details and more on GameSpot's latest episode of The Lobby which we've embedded below.

The segment with Peter starts at the 36 minute mark, and continues on for about 20 minutes.
Video from GameSpot.


ElectricBlanka said on May 6, 2014 at 5:55 p.m.

Yo Peter, make Blanka OP.

GammaChemical said on May 6, 2014 at 5:59 p.m.

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Ozyroth said on May 6, 2014 at 6 p.m.

Vega (Claw) need that EX Scarlet terror invulnerability frames and he will finally be good. Nothing more, nothing less.

Jayson619 said on May 6, 2014 at 6:01 p.m.

Guile nerds = loss of respect!

DannyBoyPERU said on May 6, 2014 at 6:02 p.m.

Combofind is right '

iloveolives said on May 6, 2014 at 6:03 p.m.

S tier guile = boring game. Just sayin.

Wasted said on May 6, 2014 at 6:04 p.m.


There's no justification for the 950 health nerf and you know it.

HiryuMK said on May 6, 2014 at 6:07 p.m.

The Sonicboomers (Guile & Seth) are joining Charlie in the afterlife since they both got buried.

brandaman69 said on May 6, 2014 at 6:08 p.m.

What about nerfing Ken, Tokido and many others still thought that he was only decent after the buffs. With this in mind why would they nerf him and get rid of changes that made him finally viable.

EnsignHiro said on May 6, 2014 at 6:08 p.m.

Yet another character may be dropped because the company cannot properly balance the cast without making certain characters too weak or near unusable in competition.

trufenix said on May 6, 2014 at 6:09 p.m.

I love that the question even got asked. Like he was going to say "Because we hate Guile players and we want to see them struggle." or "We thought it was funny, see? I'm laughing." Like really, what do people even want to hear.

DannyBoyPERU said on May 6, 2014 at 6:10 p.m.

Now, let's tune down Ken and Oni !!!

kaka said on May 6, 2014 at 6:10 p.m.

starts at 36:00

etrotman said on May 6, 2014 at 6:10 p.m.

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Lilith said on May 6, 2014 at 6:11 p.m.


etrotman said on May 6, 2014 at 6:13 p.m.

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Catalyst said on May 6, 2014 at 6:14 p.m.

Thanks, I forgot to add that in.

jimbo1123 said on May 6, 2014 at 6:15 p.m.

They announced at the Evo debut that Ultra would be the edition where the low tier finally saw their dream buffs. I'm pretty sure the nerfs in Ultra vastly outweigh the buffs overall, and due to new mechanics characters like SIM and Guile are coming across as acutely worse, while Cammy and Fei still hog the top tier.

AceKombat said on May 6, 2014 at 6:16 p.m.

When's USFIV Elimination (KOF) mode for offline :3?

Team Scumbag Comebacks: C.Viper/Gen/Rufus
Team Divekick: Cammy/Yun/Rufus
Team Lame: Sim/Guile/Rose

Catalyst said on May 6, 2014 at 6:16 p.m.

Combofiend's comments came from a live show today, so I assume they came in response to what Dieminion said.

Also, Combofiend was talking about the previous build(s) of the character, I assume the Japanese arcade release, and not the Stunfest build, which Dieminion played and was basing his opinions on.

GiBGUN said on May 6, 2014 at 6:17 p.m.

So Ken has already been nerfed and that's sticking?

Shinebox said on May 6, 2014 at 6:20 p.m.

There is one build left and whatever they do there is pretty much what we are going to be playing

etrotman said on May 6, 2014 at 6:21 p.m.

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spman2099 said on May 6, 2014 at 6:21 p.m.

Dieminion said that the most recent version was weaker, that is the version that Combo nerfed. Before the Guile nerf the general impression, coming out of the Japanese location test, was that Guile was a little broken. You are getting your timeline confused. Also, just for the record, I would take the word of someone who has a vested interest with a grain of salt. Sim's two hit kick was going to nullify certain characters. Guile was just too good. Nerfs have to happen sometimes. That is the shuck-and-jive that is balancing fighting games.

keebler said on May 6, 2014 at 6:22 p.m.

He doesn't have to explain those nerfs...

Some of y'all really underestimate guile getting his wakeup hurt box fixed, along with dwu. His bad matchups were vortex characters, and they won't have nearly as easy a time at just bulldogging him anymore.

As far as his sonic boom counter hit nerf, if u are getting your sonic booms countered a lot, then you are throwing them far too predictably. You deserve to eat some good damage because if someone counters you, they either took a guess, or predicted. His booms for the most part are far too quick to react to from any distance besides within sweep to actually counter.

FakeSypha said on May 6, 2014 at 6:24 p.m.

The same happened to Vega, when they added i-frames to the EX Scarlet Terror, and made de cr.lp +5 on hit (making the cr.lp > cr.lp link a 2f link), etc. They try stuff, then they take that stuff back. Nerf bat and all that jazz.

Biohuzzah said on May 6, 2014 at 6:25 p.m.

Unstoppable? Seriously? I'm sorry but I can't see Guile being S tier with just 50 more health and an auto correcting U1. Even with those buffs he previously had, I don't see Guile being Vanilla Sagat/Akuma or AE Yun/Yang status.

sarif2soon said on May 6, 2014 at 6:26 p.m.

Peter pls. BibleThump

DarkKirby said on May 6, 2014 at 6:27 p.m.

It seems zoning characters are often intentionally made to be weak on purpose because of the large amount of people who simply dislike playing against it or watching it and they fear if a zoning character is dominant it will make people hate the game.

That said, please don't nerf Juri. Leave her alone.

Quakeulf said on May 6, 2014 at 6:27 p.m.

I was the one asking Mr. Friend about the Hawk-Blanka mup. :3

OmegaNITRO said on May 6, 2014 at 6:28 p.m.

It was more of a problem not so much with the animation on the autocorrect, but the fact that it's 5 frame startup with great range and invincible with big damage. Outside of a 5 frame safe jump, it was a free punish for leaving the ground against a charging Guile. With delayed wakeup and autocorrecting Ultra, oki on Guile with Ultra sucked.

He may or may not be worse now, but before this latest round of nerfs, Ultra Guile was probably the best he's ever been in SFIV, outside of Lite Mode 3DS version.

etrotman said on May 6, 2014 at 6:29 p.m.

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Alouroua said on May 6, 2014 at 6:30 p.m.

Isn't delayed wakeup a massive Guile buff?

yoonakame said on May 6, 2014 at 6:31 p.m.

Hmmm after seeing numerous Guiles on 20+ win streaks in the arcades, I agree with giving him his nerfs.

etrotman said on May 6, 2014 at 6:33 p.m.

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Slaystation said on May 6, 2014 at 6:34 p.m.

I don't understand why they're so concerned about Guile. How about you focus on Cammy, Fei Long, and Sagat, who have always been overpowered and, according to the tiers from Japan, still are!

It's like they took the S-tiers from each iteration of SF4 and made them all S-tier again: Sagat, Fei, Yun, Cammy.

Can we get a new S-tier!? For once, I'd like to see Dan, a grappler or two, and some other NEW faces at the top of the tier list. If I have to watch one more Cammy vs Cammy or Fei vs Fei matchup, I'm going to flip my table.

FakeVariable said on May 6, 2014 at 6:34 p.m.

I think the health Nerf is pretty ridiculous and I really don't see how it can be justified.

I also think u1 should auto correct although removing that does not seem as crazy as the health nerf to me.

The counter hit on sonicboom seems reasonable to me on its own. However, combining that with other nerfs is going overboard for sure unless they want him to be on the low end of mid tier again.

Slash357 said on May 6, 2014 at 6:37 p.m.

IMO Guile and Dhalsim lost some of their OP buffs because they're boring to spectate and fight against. Instead players will choose to fight as the more hype characters that got buffs invariably making the game seem more exciting and appealing to newcomers.

keebler said on May 6, 2014 at 6:39 p.m.

Of course he said that. He's a pro player, as in a professional that attempts to make money using his main. In his position, I'd say the same thing lol. No one wants nerfs to their main, and they will say whatever they have to say.

I don't blame him. I'd be bitter too if my main was THAT strong during testing, and then brought back down to earth. 50 health is a very small sacrifice for someone that will not be nearly as abused on wakeup now.

etrotman said on May 6, 2014 at 6:39 p.m.

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etrotman said on May 6, 2014 at 6:41 p.m.

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suicine94 said on May 6, 2014 at 6:42 p.m.

So peter said they tried to fix the hawk and blanka match up.then jist said hawk has tools now.... thats a lame answer. If you break down the match up what tools does hawk have to improve the match up?

Red focus is not usefull against blanka as he breaks armour lot and not a combo heavy character. His hp ball can knock you down now. So can put hop pressurr on hawk more often. One of his normals are airborn faster so hawk cant grab... his push back more so hawk cant grab. All the hawk buffs dont make it possible to punish blankas move apart from the ones he could already punish so i think the match up has worsen.

Biohuzzah said on May 6, 2014 at 6:42 p.m.

Which characters are fun to play against is a personal opinion. I personally prefer playing a zoning game. I'd rather play against an opponent who has a solid fireball and spacing game than someone who plays Rufus/Cammy and goes auto pilot as soon as I get knocked down.

EG2 said on May 6, 2014 at 6:45 p.m.

Sorry, but this is some garbage reasoning. Health nerf is nonsense. Perhaps rethink the original buffs and scale them back. Don't take one step forward and two back leaving him worse off than AE2012 version.

keebler said on May 6, 2014 at 6:47 p.m.

The point of rebalancing isn't just to shift people throughout tiers for the sake of change. Its to make the tiers have smaller gaps. And frankly, 2012 already had good balance. Just needed refining with parts of the system. Those characters you named simply have solid design for the sf4 system. But who cares if they are or aren't top? What matters is bringing the other characters closer to them. Three of the four characters u named got nerfs, so it will be harder to win with them. Sagat got buffed, but mostly glitchy issues he never should have had. And I would argue sagat is the hardest top tier to win with, as in you have to be rather skilled in fundamentals and he doesn't have any go-to abusable moves.

KeNnii said on May 6, 2014 at 6:47 p.m.

Should have left Guile as he was in AE. No need to make changes to every god damn character. Too many changes is bad. Nerf Decapre she looks pretty darn good.

etrotman said on May 6, 2014 at 6:48 p.m.

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KristineR said on May 6, 2014 at 6:48 p.m.

I guess Triforce is going to direct Dieminion to play the new Smash Brothers. I honestly wouldn't blame him. Taking away the buffs they did give him I understood but to nerf his health. I hope they are not insinuating that the red focus will some how compensate for it. When you are a charge character you already have a lot of difficulty getting your moves out so it is kind of strange on why they broke Guile down this way. Like i said i get the buffs they back but at least put him back to normal.

VulcanHades said on May 6, 2014 at 6:48 p.m.

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cornbread said on May 6, 2014 at 6:49 p.m.

Fei long has been nerfed the to death ... rekka nerfs, chicken wing nerfs, tenshin nerfs , overall damage nerfs, and lastly the fadc -5 nerf, what more do scrubs want from fei ? Scrubs will always complain !!!!?!?

zombie_sama said on May 6, 2014 at 6:51 p.m.

Daigo's Guile is not coming back D:

etrotman said on May 6, 2014 at 6:52 p.m.

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omglonghair said on May 6, 2014 at 6:53 p.m.

looks like america wont win evo

rocorolly said on May 6, 2014 at 6:56 p.m.

I don't think it's possible to nerf Fei Long to death, Bruce lee's spirit ain't havin that.

etrotman said on May 6, 2014 at 7 p.m.

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Slaystation said on May 6, 2014 at 7:01 p.m.

I hear ya. Personally, I wish they would continue to nerf those three, though. If you nerf them and they're still top-tier then you didn't nerf them enough or you didn't buff the rest of the cast enough. I'd be happier if they overcompensated a bit is what I'm saying. Just to freshen up the scene.

Sagat has every tool in the game. Good normals, great zoning, anti-air, two great ultras, kara moves, low jump arc, good focus, quick forward dash. His only downfall is his walk speed but who cares. He's played a full screen away anyway.

bonchon said on May 6, 2014 at 7:04 p.m.

Bottom line is would you rather trust someone from EMP or someone from Capcom?

suicine94 said on May 6, 2014 at 7:08 p.m.

WHat tools did hawk get to deal with the blanka match up? Can someone elaborate on combos comment?

tentwelve said on May 6, 2014 at 7:11 p.m.

Dieminion is seriously underestimating how much of an effect DWU will have on the game. The only way to beat guile is knock him down and mix him up, otherwise he will be unstoppable. The 5 frame auto-correcting ultra, along with DWU would make him impossible to hit, so the health nerf is justified. Sonic boom nerf will barely be an issue, its already pretty hard to hit a smart guile during the startup/recovery. If you do get hit then you clearly did not use it correctly, and deserve a stronger punish.

etrotman said on May 6, 2014 at 7:13 p.m.

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bonchon said on May 6, 2014 at 7:18 p.m.

Dieminion and Triforce are currently only eating 1 meal a day (rice + salt) in France, so they will say anything to get Guile buffed for their future meals from tournament winnings. You can find the full story here -

logitech2059 said on May 6, 2014 at 7:20 p.m.

I would prefer an S tier sagat, Fei long or cammy over Guile any day of the week.
Imagine always watching in tourney finals sonic boom, sonic boom, sonic boom, flash kick, sonic boom x 1000.
Atleast its kind of easy to get in on Sagat but guile fml.

ultraman_zoffy said on May 6, 2014 at 7:23 p.m.

As soon as auto-correcting flash kick was taken off the table, everything else they could've possibly given Guile were just scraps. And for everyone talking about DWU being a Guile buff... how is it a buff if it applies to every other character as well?

MANDINGO said on May 6, 2014 at 7:24 p.m.

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Neojaw21 said on May 6, 2014 at 7:25 p.m.

We all know Capcom, and after all the disappointment with the "new" additions (including the colossal Decapre troll), we should have expected something like this, I mean, how can you balance a game to the point of "all characters have the same chance"?
Anyway, the bright side is the new top tiers we'll see and a change in characters played in finals.

Clamper said on May 6, 2014 at 7:26 p.m.

Agreed, here's how everyone in the world fights Guile now: go in, eat a lot of chip (and some hitting) sonic booms, drive him to the corner and finally get a knockdown. THEN you can pressure him and you need to make sure he won't escape the corner.

What's gonna happen in Ultra: when you get the knockdown it won't be as simple as it is on AE 2012. He can use (or not) the DWU and entirely mess you setup or safe jump. You'll have to meaty him which isn't the best kind of pressure as we all know.

That said he won't eat the same amount of damage he would on Ultra with unblockables, 50/50 setups and all that.

Thus the nerf is necessary, he's just too strong on neutral now and his major flaw, his wake up defensive game is very buffed because of the changes in the game mechanic.

So all in all i think this nerf is fair.

kizasoza215 said on May 6, 2014 at 7:27 p.m.

Need online replay option

MANDINGO said on May 6, 2014 at 7:33 p.m.

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sagejonathan said on May 6, 2014 at 7:33 p.m.

As a Guile player, I thought the buffs were insanely good and that Guile was going to be pretty top tier, but these nerfs are harsh and ultimately weakened the character too much. I agree that some nerfs should be done to counteract all those great buffs, but this is too much.

cris25 said on May 6, 2014 at 7:35 p.m.

How can they think Vega will be op?
Remember In SFxT that even though he didnt have an invincible ST, he had the launcher that worked as an invincible gtfo move and he wasn't nowhere near the best character in the game. He has just a good one!

About Guile, just remove the autocorrect ultra and keep every other buff. That was the only absurd and he should be fine with the rest.

On the topic "expect something more for your character", how about listen to what we actually ask for? Just look at the forums, even on Capcom unity.

rosy said on May 6, 2014 at 7:37 p.m.

Agree. I think people over exaggerate about the nerfs and forgot the system changes of the game like red focus, DWU can impact the whole gameplay, not to mention he still got a good other buffs like air throw range. Nerfing the health probably it gives you more awareness to play more smart.

MANDINGO said on May 6, 2014 at 7:38 p.m.

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cris25 said on May 6, 2014 at 7:38 p.m.

To hear tigershot tigershot tigershot isn't that pleasing too, just a friendly reminder. Lol

Post_a_comment said on May 6, 2014 at 7:41 p.m.

SO, you prefer in tourney finals Tiger Shot, Tiger Shot, Tiger Shot, Tiger Shot, Tiger Shot, Tiger Shot, Tiger Shot, Tiger Upper Cut, Tiger Knee, Tiger Shot x1000 ?

It ain't easy to get in smart Sagat player, they will f.HK into Tiger Destruction or Tiger Cannon

seems that you have issues beating Guile player

fusion said on May 6, 2014 at 7:46 p.m.

Its not just DWU - guile can now use red focus to dish out damage that was previously impossible.
Therefore slightly better comeback game and pressure.

Its not like other characters have been buffed to the point of making guile even worse.
He appears to be better than he was in v2012. What more do you want?

The threats of quitting x character due to 'nerfs' are most amusing of all.
Do it, just like pr rog. See how it works out.

bagel_bytez said on May 6, 2014 at 7:53 p.m.

Team power house 1 Hugo, gief, Sagat :)

bagel_bytez said on May 6, 2014 at 7:55 p.m.


We need that 2 hit for dhalsim vs Fei, makoto, cammy, akuma..

Please make it 2 hit for 2/3rds of the limb, 1 hit past that.

Help me Combofiend, you're my only hope.

TheTHCGamer said on May 6, 2014 at 8:03 p.m.

Combofiend has turned into a CAPCOM yes man who will justify any balance change CAPCOM makes.

Pinky said on May 6, 2014 at 8:08 p.m.

While I'm sure you Guile players have it rough now, and while I agree the Guile nerfs were a bit too much.

All I can say is that no one got worse nerfs from this patch were the Seth players.

AugustAPC said on May 6, 2014 at 8:08 p.m.

I think if they bring back the 2-hit for Dhalsim, they need to make it so that the first hit only connects at mid range. It's a bit too much for both hits to land at the very tip.

AugustAPC said on May 6, 2014 at 8:09 p.m.

It's in the job title, tbh. You work for a company, you support the game.

Smorgasboard said on May 6, 2014 at 8:13 p.m.

Combofiend is way closer with F Champ and yet Dhalsim got nerfed as well.

Guile shouldn't be nerfed because a Guile player said so. Next you'll be telling me that Cammy shouldn't be nerfed because a Cammy player so.

When you work for a company, you are also privy to information that the public isn't. This can change your preception on things.

MANDINGO said on May 6, 2014 at 8:17 p.m.

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etrotman said on May 6, 2014 at 8:23 p.m.

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neckox said on May 6, 2014 at 8:28 p.m.

What about Dhalsim, he almost got no buffs and they took away the only new tool he got, and it was not was he needed in the first place.
If he gets cornered is game over. hes suposed to keep ppl far away, but only 1 good read and you are dead. and with focus is too hard to do anything to be an efective zoner. give him tools to get away safe... not abusable of course, but give him a second chance to live at least :)

etrotman said on May 6, 2014 at 8:31 p.m.

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tktktk43 said on May 6, 2014 at 8:31 p.m.

Honestly, I think charge characters are fundamentally weaker. They could afford to make Guile, Chun, etc stronger than their former self.

DevilMaySpy said on May 6, 2014 at 8:32 p.m.
TheOne said on May 6, 2014 at 8:39 p.m.

It's going to make Guile's match ups even worse now. I'm not even talking about the vortex characters, more or less Rose, Blanka,and Dhalsim. Rather have them buff characters (Bison needs lovin) with bad match ups against Guile than nerf Guile.

Lashimar said on May 6, 2014 at 8:45 p.m.

GOOD one. Nerf "the king" to "catty" yet

EXCh33ky said on May 6, 2014 at 8:51 p.m.

I feel bad for combofiend, because when you think about it, whenever say capcom makes a change and then revert it, we complain and bitch and it really isn't combos fault, he's a scapegoat for the stupidness that capcom produces. Sad combofiend

bagel_bytez said on May 6, 2014 at 8:57 p.m.

My point exactly. That's why I'm saying compromise. To (in this case) literally meet me half way here ;)

VulcanHades said on May 6, 2014 at 9:03 p.m.

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Cyan said on May 6, 2014 at 9:04 p.m.

Combofiend turned into Capcomfriend.

SuperRoadFighter said on May 6, 2014 at 9:08 p.m.

Doesn't Combofiend have almost no control over the balance changes and he's basically a PR guy. Why are people even asking him these questions.

gilley said on May 6, 2014 at 9:11 p.m.

What I want to know is what they are going to do with Guile's U1. It's currently one of the worst ultras in the game. If they've taken away the autocorrect and the 5f startup, all that's left is an U1 that has less invincibility and damage. You'd be insane to pick it in USF4.

I'm really confused, if they removed the U1 buffs, there's hardly a reason to give him the health nerf and the SB CH nerf. His other buffs he got hardly warrant that big of a nerf to his gameplay.

irrenmann said on May 6, 2014 at 9:22 p.m.

Too many folks in these discussions act like Capcom has no more information than they themselves do. A Capcom employee says someone's winning too much, and someone here says "that's not true!" They mine data from the games and tests, fellas. That's how they know if something's out of whack. They would have no motive to make changes, or especially to revert their own previous changes, otherwise. I know this ruins your narrative of game developers all being children irrationally pushing for favorite characters just like you are, but they have access to information you don't.

Spaghetti_Time said on May 6, 2014 at 9:22 p.m.

The health nerf felt unnecessary

Owlflame said on May 6, 2014 at 9:28 p.m.

My biggest concern is still Dalsim's medium kick having 2 hits.

godfist314 said on May 6, 2014 at 9:29 p.m.

But but Combofiend I LOVE being invincible! :P

Yeah I had to throw in that movie quote from long ago.

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