I like how incredibly extreme the Baz is. He is the most extreme of the intercepting characters, not only because of his obvious lightning kick design, but also because he has the lowest jump height in the game and his dependency on meter almost requires a meter gem.
That being said, boy is he broken as hell if you use him right. SO MUCH INVINCIBILITY.
This is how I tend to handle the S-Kill matchup. I wait until he does any teleport, and then I’ll go for a kick to land at where he would end up at after a instant dive teleport into a cancelled second teleport-kick. If I don’t kill with my kick, then I immediately kickback and see what S-Kill does, since his pursuit abilities are very poor. If he lives to the point that he can threaten with Trick, then I try to stay horizontally mobile after his first jump, since I don’t really want to lose a round to Trick gimmicks. That said, Trick costs more than 50% meter, so he’s not going to win all five rounds with it. Shoot, even if S-Kill headshots you, he’s not going to be able to get anything meaningful off of it.
If you’re gaining meter as much as you’re supposed to be doing with the Baz, he’s invincible so often. His Thunder Shield pretty much completely shuts down every approach strategy by the enemy, especially if you’re holding the line. Skilled play can get you around two kills with every KickFactor. Against Kung Pao, MarkMan, and Jefailey, Baz’s KickFactor is pretty much a guaranteed three rounds.
His downsides are obvious. He can’t really headshot (the Mighty Swing, frankly, kinda sucks other than as a surprise tactic, so it doesn’t really count). It’s INCREDIBLY dangerous for him to try setting up something at close-range. He’s very meter dependent, so you kind of HAVE to use the meter gem. He has the lowest Dive, so escape options are limited to KickBacks, which don’t work in the corner, and horizontal kicks to the other side, which are very dangerous. He also has the most to lose of any character in a concussion, so Dr. Shoals beats him. He also is bad against characters that can change/cancel their dive/kick momentum, so, again, Dr. Shoals beats him. Dr. Shoals is far from being an unwinnable match, though. It just requires much more patience than most other match-ups.
But in exchange, he has the fastest kick in the game (aside from Kick’s New Angle), probably the best KickFactor, a move that is essentially a better parry than S-Kill’s parry, and variable kick angles. Even his Mighty Swing is variable, for what that’s worth at this point in the game. Not to mention, two of his special abilities makes him completely invincible.
In my opinion, the best characters in this game are going to be those who can abuse their ability to vary their Kick angles, and the Baz is one of them.
Right now, though, I think Dr. Shoals might be the best character in the game, though I think that may change once people take advantage of Shoals’ start-up frames for her second kick and people learn how to really use Uncle Sensei.
I don’t think they’re worthless. As a Kung Pao player, the Dive gem helps me against some matchups, including Pao mirrors. The Kick gem gives me a little extra speed, which means the opponent has a bit less time to react. Then you have to consider kick factor, which gems give a boost to.