You're not logged in | Login / Register | News Filter | Submit News

Who were the biggest winners of Guilty Gear Strive's first balance update and were there even any losers?

Posted by Dakota 'DarkHorse' Hills • August 28, 2021 at 7:33 p.m. PDT • Comments: 13

Guilty Gear Strive received its first balance patch this week, which set out to address some issues of strength and weakness among the roster after players explored the game for over two months.

Now that we've gotten a chance to take a closer look and digest the changes to all 16 characters, who appears to have come out the other side standing much taller than before — and were there even any losers?

Arc System Works stated before the release of the update they were planning to focus on primarily buffing and fixing bugs for their fighters, and that seems to be exactly what we got.

Nerfs were ultimately few and far between despite the near-constant discussion in the community about Sol Badguy being overpowered compared to everyone else, but that doesn't mean he wasn't still visited by the nerf fairy.

All of these buffs were not created equally either, as the developers seemingly gave the most juice and new options to the roster members many deemed to be struggling the most — and some of them are looking like potential gamechangers.

Let's kick off the breakdown with who is looking much better than ever as of patch Version 1.09.



While I-No wouldn't have been considered among the absolute bottom of the tiers by many or most players prior to the new update, she still had to work quite hard in some match ups and situations to try and make her gameplan work.

Now she's flying high, quite literally.

The most impactful adjustment made to I-No overall is the rework to her hover dashes, which were fairly slow before compared to most others on the Strive cast.

Added speed and distance on both her grounded and air dashes are immediately noticeable for anyone who's touched her in Strive before.

It's not a minor speed buff either. Her ability to get in for mixups or back off to safely send out her note projectiles is now much, much better to the point that they're probably going to take some time to get used to.

If that were I-No's only change, she would have been sitting a bit prettier than before, but they didn't stop there.

Click image for short showcase of I-No's buffs in action

New combo routes and options are readily available to the time traveler as well with standing Heavy Slash now being faster and making the opponent float on hit.

This allows her to consistently and easily string into Chemical Love on hit to push the opponent closer to the corner or go into Stroke the Big Tree to keep the pressure going.

Similarly, I-No's already nice jump Dust attack also now makes grounded enemies slightly leave the floor on hit.

The applications to this might not be immediately apparent, but the added movement gives her enough time to land and combo directly into things like 5P, 5K or most importantly 6HS for nice damage or setup potential.

Anji Mito

Prior to this update, Anji kinda struggled in many situations because his general approach and gameplan was a straight line until he could get close enough to use his signature Fujin move... and even then his follow-up options out of it were not all that scary.

That's at least somewhat been thrown right out the window now because it all works differently.

One of the biggest issues with Fujin was the fact that he'd pretty much be a sitting duck if it whiffed. That's very much no longer the case.

Anji now has the ability to cancel his Fujin on whiff into any of his four follow-ups though it goes much further than that too.

Click image for short showcase of Anji's buffs in action

It may not be immediately clear reading his patch note changes, but the fan of fans can cancel out of Fujin even before the counter attack fully comes out.

This means he has access to his big overhead, sweeping low, jumping projectile or dash in no matter the situation now. These improved options open the door to a number of new approaches to finally make Anji more unpredictable and increase the mental stack on his opponents.

Far Slash no longer being punishable on block is also quite nice.

As for the other most improved characters, Ky Kiske's improved Far Slash, Stun Dipper and Dragon Install will certainly help though their impact isn't quite as big as the previously mentioned fighters.

Faust crouching Heavy Slash now reaches farther than his Far Slash, which opens up some new poke ranges. His Bone Crushing Overdrive finally being able to cause Wall Breaks allows hte good doctore to capitalize on more damage than before too.



Mr. Badguy not getting hit harder by the nerf bat should probably be considered a win in his camp, but it wasn't all good news for the series poster boy.

Aerial Bandit Bringer can no longer be used to immediately get in on the enemy and keep his pressure going with Sol's impeccable frame data and damage output with its increased knockback and landing recovery, so that's something.

Forward Slash's decreased hitbox also makes it so Sol can no longer OTG people for even further crazy combo extensions that we've all seen hundreds of times at this point.

That being said though, Wild Throw is once again a potent option to open opponents up since he can now get a Roman Cancel on hit for more combos.

Sol's still probably the best character in Strive quite easily. He just can't get literally everything for free anymore.


Whoever decided Leo needed even more mixup mind games in Brynhildr Stance... I just want to talk.



Secretary Dickinson has some rough match ups in Strive, and his changes in the patch notes don't really help him with any of them.

The most Goldlewis essentially got was his Skyfish minigun now causing a hard knockdown at level three Security. Pretty much everything else was just making him in line with the rest of the cast in a few regards like changing his landing recovery on Dust attacks.

It is understandable, however, that ArcSys would not want to perhaps prematurely overhaul Strive's first DLC fighter since he had only been available for around a month when the patch dropped.

If he continues to struggle in a similar manner, we can probably expect more substantial buffs when October's balance update rolls around.

Overall, this first attempt to rebalance the roster seems fairly nice as a first step.

Pretty much everyone came out the other side with a new tool or two at their disposal, even the already powerful characters like Sol, Ramlethal, Leo and May.

It'll certainly be interesting to see if this type of approach will continue through the rest of Strive's initial run through the FGC.

Load comments (13)