Eight moves we'd like to see toned down in Street Fighter 5: Arcade Edition

Spoilers: All eight are Laura's standing medium kick...

Posted by John 'Velociraptor' Guerrero • November 8, 2017 at 7:26 p.m. PST

Relatively speaking, Street Fighter 5 is already a pretty decently balanced game.

Though there's certainly disparity between the game's best and worst characters, the divide isn't as vast as many of history's most iconic fighting games. That said, there are still a few tweaks we'd like to see in the nerf department.

Seeing as we're nearing the year's end, we expect information on the annual balance patch sometime soon. We've compiled eight moves in SF5 that we feel need to be toned down by developers to help make the overall experience better. The first of these is none other than Laura's standing medium kick.

One of the most feared moves in all of Street Fighter 5, Laura players the internet over have become known for their spamming of standing medium kick. This move is quite fast as a five frame medium attack, but it's the combination of far-reaching hitbox and deceptive distancing that makes it incredibly powerful.

Though it's negative on block, it often spaces Laura just out of punishment range, meaning those who go to claim their reward for a successful block are met with yet another medium kick. This leads into combos, often Laura's V-Trigger, which puts foes in a vortex-like sequence that can end the round regardless of health bar status.

We suggest this move have less push back on block, making it so that Laura's offensive turn truly does end if her opponent blocks.

Click images for animated versions

M. Bison's EX Devil Reverse

(Were you at least a little bit worried they'd all really just be Laura's standing medium kick?)

The main issue with this move is that you can see it coming, and there's still little you can do about it. As Bison flies at them from across the screen, players are first prompted to try to swat him with a well timed anti-air, but that's ill advised.

EX Devil Reverse has so much invincibility that it very often beats out any attempts at anti-airs, regardless of if they're special or normal techniques.

While there is a window wherein players can sneak in a perfectly-timed invincible reversal (if their character has one) Devil Reverse will still often win, or worse, cause the reversal to whiff completely, resulting in a Crush Counter punish.

Seeing as the best answer is simply to block, this allows Bison to get next to his opponent for free with this safe move. If DR is going to be this powerful, we think it shouldn't allow Bison to land safely right next to his opponents at a whopping +13 frames. Giving this move less frame advantage would perhaps balance it out a bit more.

Watch this clip of LI Joe trying to beat out Bison's EX Devil Reverse to absolutely no avail:

Rashid's Crouching Heavy Punch

Though he's flown widely under the radar in many regions, Rashid's tools make him one of the best characters in Street Fighter 5. We've been seeing more and more use of him from players, especially in Japan, and that's probably because of his amazing potential.

Rashid's control of the horizontal is great with far reaching normals and his safe Spinning Mixer technique. He has exceptional mobility, and can escape the corner better than most. He has very strong jump ins, and invincible reversal, a very versatile V-Trigger and offensive pressure that goes on longer than most other characters'.

The list of strengths goes on, but we'll get down to the change we'd like to see for the sake of time. Rashid's crouching heavy punch reaches incredibly far, has Crush Counter properties and is -2 on block.

Because of the distance however, Rashid hardly risks having to deal with much pressure after tossing this out, unless he does so at point blank range. To balance this, we'd want to see crouching HP's keep Rashid a little closer to his foe, so as to make him actually hold the -2 disadvantage.

Realistically, this character could probably do with a slight nerf in one or two other areas, but we feel this one is probably highest priority.

Birdie's EX Bull Head

This move got some attention in the game's last major balance change as disadvantage on block was increased from -2F to -5F. Despite this change, EX Bull Head is still seen as relatively safe because of the push back it causes.

Many characters cannot reach Birdie with their five frame moves, and are met with a punish if they try. This means Birdie can essentially throw this technique (which has armor in V-Trigger and does 150-180 damage) out with little worry of negative ramifications.

This is another instance of moves that were intended to be unsafe being safe because of push back, which seems to contradict the intention behind them. The fix? Reduce push back to make this move legitimately punishable.

Balrog's Turn Around Punch

It has a ton of invincibility on start up, does a ton of damage, can be cancelled into V-Trigger and on top of all this, is usually plus on block. TAP has been the source of a lot of frustration as players try to deal with an already incredibly powerful character in Balrog.

The argument you'll likely hear from advocates of TAP's current status is that players must hold two buttons while they charge this technique, thus losing access to them during this time, but it hardly seems to be a detriment to Balrog's fairly straightforward game plan.

TAP being plus one on level four may be the tipper on the risk/reward scale, and we think Balrog should lose advantage and be forced to deal with pressure if his opponent successfully blocks this move.

Alex's V-Trigger


Alex is no where near the top of the food chain in SF5, and is in need of some buffs for sure, but his V-Trigger is, simply put, good in a bad way.

As I said in my article that commented on the game's "technically unsafe" moves: "While activated, Alex can cancel his unsafe moves into his parry, essentially throwing the risk/reward game out the window."

It's strong, but it changes the playing field in a goofy way that ultimately detracts from the mental back and forth that makes the game fun.

Ibuki's V-Trigger

Ibuki is regarded as one of the absolute strongest characters in the game for a few reasons, but the Magnum Opus of her move list has to be her Rokushaku Horokudama, aka the bomb.

Similar to Balrog, Ibuki can take entire rounds away with her V-Trigger mix ups, but unlike most anyone else in the game, Ibuki can completely obscure players' views with the explosion her bomb causes.

The explosion can completely cover up enough of the screen to hide where Ibuki is, and so players quite literally must guess where she'll be during these mix ups. Guess wrong and she dole out the punishment, and this just feels a bit too unfair to go unchanged.

The fix is fairly straightforward: just remove the visual obstruction when the bomb explodes so you can still see the characters. This may or may not make things easier to block, but at least players won't feel quite as helpless as they do right now.

Balrog's V-Trigger

Perhaps the most complained about V-Trigger in the game, Balrog's Crazy Rush has been the deciding factor in many a round of Street Fighter 5.

The ease in which Balrog can get this move started paired with the sheer damage output makes it terrifying already, but the fact that it carries foes to the corner is the cherry on top.

To make it less dominating, we feel Capcom should reduce either the damage or amount of time Balrog gets from this V-Trigger. Juxtaposing this with many other characters' Triggers reveals it as perhaps the strongest in the game, and certainly one of the top three.

Here's a quick clip of the EVO champ, FOX|Tokido, experiencing the wrath of Rog's V-Trigger.

Giving most Crush Counter moves (such as Necalli's standing roundhouse/heavy punch and Karin's standing roundhouse) more recovery frames on whiff is also a more general change we'd hope to see.

We already see this implemented in Zeku's design, and a roster-wide application would increase the rate of whiff punishes and boost the overall footsie game.

What do you think of our list of moves? Are there others that you think should be here instead? Hit us up in the comments with your thoughts and opinions.

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