Street Fighter 5's most boring character? Why is everyone suddenly dropping Necalli?

Too dull? Not good enough? Both?

Posted by John 'Velociraptor' Guerrero • March 27, 2018 at 7:59 p.m. PDT

With numerous top eight finishes at huge events, FD|Haitani has been the most proficient Necalli player Street Fighter 5 has seen thus far. At his two big appearances this year, EVO Japan and Final Round, he forsook the Aztec warrior for Akuma.

CYG|GamerBee is one of the most notable fighting game competitors of recent times, but it seems the Taiwanese player may no longer have time for devour-hour as he only used Cammy during his run at Final Round last weekend.

Indeed we're seeing other prominent Necalli users entertain the idea of character migration or move on as UYU|Kami has also picked up Akuma, and NVD|Phenom (though still using Necalli in tournament thus far) has entertained the idea of switching in Arcade Edition.

So what's exactly going on here? The long haired, rush down fighter certainly took a tier chart hit with the removal of such tools as his incredible anti-air jab and his corner throw loops (he can still loop via back throw while in V-Trigger) but many would still place him at a viable spot on the game's tier list.

Or could it be his game play presentation? Is he just too linear to maintain interest? Let's take a closer look to see why this sudden exodus from Camp Necalli is happening.

Let's first examine Necalli's potential here in Arcade Edition. How good of a character is he?

He came out as one of the best in Season 1 as a fighter that could capitalize on most all the things that made a character good. He had a meterless, invincible DP, a three frame jab, and anti air jab, plenty of damage, great rush down and a forward dash that may only have been trumped by Nash's.

In Season 2 he was toned down a bit, and fell out of the top three discussion for sure as other characters like Laura, Balrog, Urien and Ibuki emerged as the new SF5 hotness, but was still played fairly prominently and regarded as a formidable threat to run into.

Season 3 saw Necalli lose the aforementioned tools in anti air jab and throw loops, but he also underwent a more passive change in the idea that the game kind of updated around him.

By this I mean that the aspect of game play Necalli is best at, flypaper rush down, and the aspect he's probably worst at, converting from the neutral, were respectively toned down and emphasized in Arcade Edition.

With a command grabs and great frame traps, Necalli shines when he's in your face. Arcade Edition has tried to shift emphasis away from set play rush down and more toward isolated bursts from successful approaches.

His reach is simply not as good as most others, and his ability to convert successful hits into damage or at least set up intimidating situations requires him to be right up next to his foe. It's not to say Necalli can't get to this sweet spot, but there are other characters (such as Cammy) that do what Necalli wants to do more efficiently.

The other big strike against the character I've been hearing even more often than usual in recent months is the fact that he's boring. With a somewhat one track offense, Necalli has been regarded as a little more boring to watch, now we're hearing that he's boring to play as well.

This is a little more subjective than the first point, but it does fit a likely narrative that players were only sticking with Necalli because he had strong enough potential to win.

Seeing as he's dropped from top three, to top five, to a now debatable top 10, people probably don't see his fairly monotonous rush down style as all that appealing to use, and thus perhaps the players have joined the spectators on the "too boring" front.

Without a Street Fighter legacy to stand on, Necalli relies heavily on being some combination of fun, exciting or good. He seems to fall on the level of "meh" in all three categories.

As a Necalli main myself, I've decided to continue with him as I personally don't find his simplistic approach too boring and I'm more concerned with trying to level up than win big tourneys.

What are your thoughts on the SF5 newcomer? What kind of changes would it take for you to want to see more of him? Let us know in the comments.

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