Arc System Works has released patch notes for Guilty Gear Strive's 1.10 update, confirming general changes and specific character improvements. However, which of these characters are the patch's winners and losers?
Here's what you need to know:
Winners - Characters With New Routes
As seen in Arc System Works' patch notes , some characters were given new combo routes. In this patch, most cast members were given new cancel routes and option to cut special moves short which could greatly improve combos. Every character from Sol Badguy up to the newly released Jack-O' got this improvement.
Winners - General Aerial Offense and Defense
Arc System Works also introduced more cancel routes for connecting heavier buttons in mid-air, offering more options for characters to add pressure in the air. Players can now cancel their Slash and Heavy Slash attacks to Dust. These heavier attack buttons up to Dust can also be jump and airdash cancelled, which can help players discover new pressure and combo routes.
Coupled with these aerial option improvement, Arc System Works has also improved the universal anti-air option, Forward Punch, for every character, and successful anti-airs launch the foe upward consistently. Character combos may vary but this is a general improvement that can help players reliably hurt foes with sloppy air approaches.
Winners - Characters With Slower Jabs
Patch 1.10 also improves characters with slower jabs, speeding them up to offer reliably fast jabs. Right now, jabs must be at least have 5 frames startup if aiming to use it as a reliable interrupt option to stop enemy pressure. Characters without moves like this often struggle in defense as they're too slow to interrupt, making some matchups worse to defend when pressure builds.
Characters like Goldlewis Dickinson, Anji Mito, Faust, Zato-1, Millia Rage, and I-no may have a better time if aiming to interrupt pressure.
Winners - Defending From Pressure
Defensive buffs are also arriving as Faultless Defense pushback gets improved. Upon successfully blocking with a Faultless Defense, the attacker is pushed back even further, helping defenders get more breathing space from consistent pressure.
Prior to this patch, top tier characters had options to keep on piling pressure-effective attacks on cornered foes. Most players only had to lose one or two exchanges mid-screen to get cornered, as they don't have resources to use a defensive Roman Cancel. Rapidly drain their small Tension bar with Faultless Defense and using Burst can be a gamble, as it can further snowball the round away if successfully punished.
Potentially, this Faultless Defense buff can get strong pressure characters - like Sol Badguy, May, Potemkin, Giovanna, and Ramlethal Valentine - off you faster and find quicker openings in their blockstrings.
Losers - Potemkin's Garuda Impact
As a character, Potemkin has found himself to be an oppressive beast whenever he gets breathing room in matches. Approaching isn't a problem for him, as he can cancel his Hammerfall lunging attack to work like an armored dash, kill foes for jumping when in range of his Heavenly Potemkin Buster. He can also rely on his far reaching, high damage normals to hurt foes from afar.
Even with that advantage, Potemkin also had an oppressive knockdown game as when players take a hit from his Garuda Impact, that staggers foes on hit and guard breaks foes on block. Both situations leave his foes primed to take his signature Potemkin Buster command throw, taking at least 40% of a character's health on land.
Alternatively, Potemkin can play around with the threat of his command throw after knockdown and punish attempts to escape it. Lastly, Potemkin can keep going for more Garuda Impacts to deal strong chip damage if his foe is too shaken to escape his pressure. To help players defend against this situation, Faultless Defense can help foes get out of Garuda Impact more reliably.
Losers - Top Tiers Prior To Patch 1.10
So far, most of the changes to top tiers - such as Sol Badguy, May, Ramlethal Valentine, and Nagoriyuki - were adjustments to their strong kit, making their usual tools less effective.
However, these adjustments come with new combo routes for these characters as some of their moves have new cancels, which can open new combos and playstyles. Overall, these characters didn't lose much as most moves received damage scaling improvements across the board in Patch 1.10.