Street Fighter 6 is about to get some huge balance changes – here’s some highlights from the upcoming patch

By admin May10,2024

Street Fighter 6 entering its second year can mean only one thing – a meta-shattering balance patch. About damn time.

May 22nd is a big day for Street Fighter 6, as it brings classic series icon Akuma to the game. Even so, Akuma won’t be the biggest news on the day – because the Raging Demon is bringing along something even more terrifying and potentially demonic – the first major balance patch for the game.

When I got to go hands-on with Akuma’s SF6 variation, the build of SF6 I was playing also happened to be the build that featured the balance changes. While I was there, it only seemed right to highlight some additions and tweaks that stood out to me.

Now, I need to stress to all you fighting game fiends before I continue – THESE ARE NOT ALL THE BALANCE CHANGES THAT WILL BE IN THE PATCH – these are just the few that were communicated to me during the hands-on session. I didn’t have enough time or even a training mode to test anything that wasn’t in these notes, but there was enough there to make me feel the forthcoming patch could be very interesting.

Old Edmund has seen some nerfs… but it’s not all bad news.

First up, my beloved E. Honda. Reports coming out of an event in Japan that had access to this build of the game were saying all sorts of things about his Sumo Headbutt and Butt Slam being nerfed. I am afraid to confirm to all my fellow members of the Sumo Brotherhood that this is true, but not without a pretty solid buff too.

So, yes, a blocked Butt Slam now leaves Honda outside of command grab range, eliminating one of the dirtier Honda tactics used during this first season. However, a successful Butt Slam now causes a hard knockdown, allowing Honda to continue with offensive pressure because the opponent will recover on the spot they got hit, which is right next to the big man. So, a nerf to a move when blocked and a buff to it when it hits. I’ll take it.

Manon has a new combo route, with her back and heavy punch attack now connecting with the kick follow up to her OD Renversé move but the biggest change is that her level three super now grows in damage with her medal level. So, not only does her command grab get stronger with every one you land, it also buffs her level three super and her Critical Art and does a frankly absurd amount of damage. You’ll have to see that one to believe it.

Manon players will be feeling pretty good about her buffs.

DLC character A.K.I. has a couple of really useful buffs. The LP version of her Serpent Lash attack, great for whiff punishing opponent’s buttons, now stuns the other player when it lands as a punish counter, and allows for A.K.I. to Drive Rush up to them and continue with a combo. She can also combo into her level three super from her Cruel Fate move, which is a very nice tweak I’m sure all A.K.I. players will be pleased to hear.

The second hit of Zangief’s ‘Power Stomps’ can now be cancelled into special moves, opening up more combo opportunities while his crouching heavy punch now launches the opponent when it hits as a Punish Counter, again offering new ways to deal damage and perform combos.

The Red Cyclone has some improved combo potential.

Kimberly’s OD Bushin Senpukyaku can now be cancelled into her mid-air level two super, which is a pretty good bit of damage for a reliable means of anti-airing your opponent. She’s also had a tweak to one of her Assist combos that you can perform when using the Modern control scheme, which seems like a quality of life change rather than anything that majorly improves or weakens the character.

Jamie’s crouching medium punch has had the hit advantage change from +3 to +5, allowing for some significantly improved combo routes, especially when used after a Drive Rush and, to wrap things up, of all characters LUKE has received a couple of small buffs! First of all, standing heavy punch now combos with the light version of Flash Knuckle and the damage of his DDT follow up to the OD version of Flash Knuckle has been increased. He clearly needs it.

Again, these are not all of the character adjustments but show that there are some pretty interesting changes coming alongside Akuma. I’ve always said the period in a modern fighting game just after a new character or balance patch drops is one of my favourite things in all of videogames, as everyone who plays the game goes on this big shared journey of discovery, with cool stuff being shared all over social media and Discord servers.

On May 22nd, we’re getting both at once. An exciting time lies ahead for all Street Fighter 6 players as it soon starts its second season, with competition set to be fierce for the next season of the game’s pro tour, too.

By admin

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