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'Season 2 is pretty much the year of Zangief' - Nemo outlines 5 characters to look out for next year, with detailed explanations for why

Posted by Nicholas 'MajinTenshinhan' Taylor • December 29, 2016 at 8:02 a.m. PST • Comments: 85

AW|Nemo, one of Japan's best fighting game players, proving himself in a big way in both Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and Ultra Street Fighter 4 in recent times, did a blog post the other day where he detailed which characters he's personally keeping an extra watchful eye on in Season 2 of Street Fighter 5.

AW|Nemo made top 8 at EVO this year, using Vega, but didn't attend that many events afterwards, and never made it to Capcom Cup in the end. Now, however, the balance changes have made him switch characters to Urien, and you can see in his own words right here what his whole blog post is about.
AW|Nemo: Street Fighter 5 received its "Season 2" update on the 21st of December. In this article, I'm going to outline the characters that I'm personally paying extra attention to, and why I think they're worth this for other people as well.
Check out his listings below, all personally translated by me, Nicholas "MajinTenshinhan" Taylor.

Character #1 - Guile

1. Sonic Boom buffs
• Since they are now +2 frames more on block, there are more circumstances where he can throw fireballs safely.
• Their damage being buffed from 50 to 60, it hurts more to mess up countering a fireball.

2. Solid Puncher (V-Trigger)
• Since it got changed from a 3-bar V-Trigger to a 2-bar V-Trigger, it's easier for Guile to put out some serious firepower now.

3. Knee Bazooka leaves less of an opening
• Its change to -1f on hit and -3f on block makes it easier to throw it out while charging, and more difficult to punish when you see it.

There are other areas where Guile has been buffed as well, but personally, I think these 3 are probably the most significant. People are saying he's a candidate for best in the game, so this is definitely someone you need to study up on.

Character #2 - Urien

1. His elbow (crouching HP)'s buff to startup and followups
• Being able to follow up with mediums and lights, and it being comboable into from counter hits means that there are more opportunities to land this move, and that its payoff when you do is much higher.

2. His stamina going from 1000 to 1025
• He'll stay in the game more often, and it's easier to aim for a full comeback via Aegis now.

3. The command change to Choral Kick
• It's much easier now to anti-air with standing heavy kick.

Urien has had such fun changes that I've even ended up switching to him. I don't know what'll happen when new characters start getting released, but for now I'm committed to plaaying Urien in Season 2.

Character #3 - Rashid

1. The changes to his crouching HP
• The first hit of his crouching HP giving 2 frames more blockstun means that he can go straight into EX Whirlwind Shot to beat backdashes, making it easier for him to keep up his attacking pressure.

2. The buffs to Altair
• You can no longer get through it using projectile-invincible moves, which means Rashid can keep up his offense much better against characters who previously relied on that.

3. The buffs to Assault Roll
• Its projectile invulnerable time has been increased, so it's easier for Rashid to counter fireballs.

Guile is said to be super strong in this season, so Rashid might end up being the go-to Guile killer. Also, he was said to do too little damage before, but now his damage has been buffed, and he's probably a character who'll benefit from the invulnerability removal prevalent this season, I think.

Character #4 - Ibuki

1. HP change from 900 to 950
• She's safer by default now, and has an easier time making a comeback.

2. Her forward dash being changed to 16 frames
• After Raida, she can now do crouching light kick -> standing light kick -> Raida, she can stop her opponent's escape.

3. The buffs to standing MK
• It became +5 on hit, so she can combo with it with st. MP now.
• It also became +2 on block, so she can continue her offense more easily now.

Her okizeme got buffed, making her feel more Ibuk-y, and instantly became an actual contending character. I do wonder, however, if she's actually solid, even though she became better, so I'll be keeping my eyes on Ibuki mains to make sure of her role.

Character #5 - Zangief

1. The buffs to his normal moves
• Most of his moves have become more + on hit, making it easier to connect into Critical Art.

2. The headbutt buffs
• By countering a projectile with a headbutt, you now gain 50 meter, making opponents unable to throw fireballs from afar.

3. The buffs to Double Lariat
• They changed its hitbox, making it easier to counter fireballs with it.
• It depends on the character, but he can also connect to it from crouching light kick on some of them.

4. Heavy and EX Screw Piledriver
• He's close enough to connect with a headbutt, so his okizeme has gotten better.

5. Heavy Borscht Dynamite
• It's easier to okizeme after it.

The removal of invulnerability, coupled with a stronger okizeme for Zangief... Zangief being stronger against projectiles... At least until the next rebalancing, I definitely have to learn how to fight Zangief...

There are other characters I've heard good buffs about as well, but I haven't played enough against them to give a properly informed opinion. I've heard that both Balrog and Juri users are very happy with the changes, so I'm looking forward to playing against those characters. Also, you definitely need to pay attention to the latest character, Akuma.

Well, Season 2 is pretty much "The Year of Zangief", though...

Source: AlienWare.
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