I think Rashid still needs to be nerfed in Street Fighter 5, and here's how I'd do it

Alright! I did it! 10 POINTS!

Posted by John 'Velociraptor' Guerrero • June 18, 2019 at 7:37 p.m. PDT

He's undergone a handful of nerfs over the last few season of Street Fighter 5, and yet Rashid still persists as one of the game's most dominant and, in my opinion, imbalanced characters.

I'll be the first to admit that things are much better than they have been, (especially during the earlier days of Season 3) but the fighter used to win Capcom Cup 2018 could use just a few more tweaks that, if done right, would make the game more enjoyable for everyone else.

The majority of Rashid's design issues have already been fixed as Capcom has attended to him in previous patches. His normals have had their frame data altered so players cannot use them quite so liberally, his EX Eagle Spike is no longer a free "just do it" move, and his Whirlwind Shot block strings have been made less oppressive.

Even with all of these alterations, (as well as a few others) Rashid still stands as one of SF5's most frustrating opponents to face, and continues to be one of the most commonly referenced characters when it comes to "top three in the game" discussions.

As of the writing of this article, he is also the most popular character in the top 25 of the Capcom Pro Tour standings with no less than four separate appearances.

There's no doubt the aforementioned nerfs have lessened the avatar's ability to win, so then why is he still so powerful and popular? I think it has something to do with his corner game.

The first and less drastic example comes in the Middle Eastern combatant's corner carry abilities. For a fighter that has such efficient mobility, (and therefore can come at you in very sudden manners from various angles) he's able to corner foes exceptionally quickly.

His Eagle Spike is already a good combo ender for achieving this, but if you use his medium punch Spinning Mixer he winds up covering almost half the stage while using no meter to do so. After a successful MP Spinning Mixer he is then able to perform two dashes and still be at enough advantage to counter hit three-frame wake up attacks.

Here's an example of this move performed from the middle of the arena so you can see just how far the corner carry is. With as advantageous as Rashid is after cornering his opposition, I don't think this move should carry this far:

Click image for animated version

The other example concerns a technique that has already been nerfed once, but still remains a prevalent issue: his wall jump. Wall jumps have been around in the franchise since Street Fighter 2, and a handful of other SF5 roster members have them, so it's not some anomalous situation we're dealing with here.

The issue arises when you consider the way Rashid is able to change his wall jump trajectory from the traditional evasive maneuver into a cross up jump-in attack that's +3 to +5 on block.

Taking a character to the corner places you in one of, if not the, most advantageous positions you can be in in Street Fighter 5. Taking Rashid to the corner often makes you feel as though you've put yourself in a mix up.

Indeed, it's not at all uncommon to see even pro players choose to back off and essentially give up valuable pressure to avoid having to deal with Rashid's off the wall antics.

It's not "free" for him to escape, but paired with the other options he has (wake up DP, three frame normal interrupt) we often see a good deal of hesitation to apply pressure to a cornered Rashid. As soon as that hesitation hits (or you go for a throw or command grab) Rashid has the opportunity to neutral jump and thus immediately turn the tables in his favor.

Due to the fact that he can choose to either leap out from the corner (further augmented by using his Eagle Spike kick to get some sizable distance) or choose to zip down at an angle that very often enables a cross up attack, players are forced to guess whether to try to follow him across the screen in hopes of reaching him in time for a punish, anti-air, (this can easily result in a total whiff and extreme punish for the player facing Rashid) or stay where they are in case he's not going to go off the wall at all.

You can attempt to thwart all Rashid jump options with a preemptive forward jump, but that will leave you with your back to the corner if he hasn't actually chosen to go for one of his leaps. It's not that Rashid always comes out on top here, but rather that he very often winds up either escaping, cornering his foe with pressure to follow up with, or getting a full combo and knock down along with a side switch.

I wouldn't be upset if Capcom decided to get rid of the character's ability to perform that downward knee drop altogether, leaving him with a more traditional escape option only. It's probably a bit much to ask for an entire attack be removed, so perhaps if it were -2 on block (he'd still be out of the corner and be safe) that would appropriately balance it.

No, Rashid isn't winning every tournament, and no, I don't think he's necessarily breaking the game. We very well might not see a new balance patch from Capcom for SF5, and if that were the case I don't think it would be the worst news ever.

Still, if you want to fine tune your product even further, I think this would be a good way of going about it. That's just one opinion on the matter, though, and I'd love to hear yours.

Does Rashid need to be changed at all? Would altering the aforementioned moves do the trick? Is there a better way of going about it? Keep the conversation going by sharing your thoughts in the comments.

Load comments (61)