How do you feel about Phoenix's re-balancing in Ultimate?

phoenix

#1

Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds

[LIST]
[]Vitality is 420,000.
[
]Multiple air specials allow for a projectile wall with little to no risk to the user.
[]Persistent shots and traps allow Phoenix to escape combos.
[
]With level three X-Factor, Dark Phoenix gains a dramatic increase in speed and a total 90% damage boost.
[]Traps and teleports allow for easy 50/50 mix-up situations.
[
]Dark Phoenix resurrection empowers the user with a 20% net increase in damage output.
[]If the killing blow brings Phoenix to level five, she will die without transforming.
[
]It is impossible to loop TK Traps without X-Factor due to hit stun decay.
[/LIST]
“Her health is too low,” they said. “She’s not viable.” Imagine the surprise when Phoenix became the game’s most dominant character, the poster girl for X-Factor comebacks. Phoenix essentially embodied what makes the *Marvel vs. Capcom *series so broken. The amount of tools and tricks in her arsenal far outweighed any drawbacks, elevating her to the top of the roster. A poor design choice, by many standards. This led to a lot of hate, cries for nerfs. Five months later, Capcom announced Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. On their to-do list? Balance changes.

With Capcom’s insistence on keeping Dark Phoenix in the game, this was a tricky proposition. By nature, Phoenix is already walking on a tight rope when it comes to balancing. The character revolves around a high-risk, high-reward situation. Dark Phoenix was a powerhouse in *Fate of Two Worlds *because, on paper, she needs to be. Phoenix is a glass cannon taken to the highest extreme. On her own, a stable character with a lot of options and respectable damage output, but her vitality is so low that the first hit being a game-ender is a very real possibility. Keeping this in mind, Capcom had to carefully select elements of the character that stuck out as problems. Nine months later…

Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3

[LIST]
[]X-Factor may now be activated in mid-air, preventing death from chip damage on entry and allowing for more combo options.
[
]If the killing blow brings Phoenix to level five, she will resurrect as Dark Phoenix.
[]It is possible to link TK Overdrive M to Burn Out Beak mid-screen.
[
]TK Shot L has fewer start-up frames.
[]Traps and teleports allow for easy 50/50 mix-up situations.
[
]Dark Phoenix resurrection empowers the user with a 20% net increase in damage output.
[]Vitality is 375,000.
[
]Only one air special per jump, unless flight is used first.
[]TK Shot H has increased start-up frames.
[
]Tracking on TK Shot H has been reduced considerably.
[]Shots and traps now disappear when Phoenix is hit.
[
]Tracking on Flare Sword has been removed.
[]Crouching M slide length reduced by 50%.
[
]With level three X-Factor, Dark Phoenix gains a dramatic increase in speed and a total 70% damage boost.
[]The duration of level three X-Factor has been reduced slightly.
[
]Team aerial exchanges may now steal one level from your hyper combo gauge.
[]Certain moves now steal a portion of your hyper combo gauge.
[
]The rate of meter building has been halved.**
[/LIST]
…did they go too far?

A plethora of changes to the game’s mechanics indirectly put Phoenix in an undesirable position. Decreased X-Factor damage bonuses and character-specific duration, the introduction of meter-draining moves, and the overhaul to the team aerial exchange system threw Phoenix players one hell of a curve ball, regardless of team composition.

In Fate of Two Worlds, Phoenix’s ability to break out of combos with persistent traps and homing shots made her a surprisingly stable and reliable point character. Her crouching M enabled her to slide under airborne opponents and dodge attacks, giving her a fairly safe retreat option.

In Ultimate, she’s lost two of her biggest defensive options. Shots and traps disappear upon being hit, and the length of her slide has been halved. Her offense has also taken a slight hit, now that her forward heavy attack, Flare Sword, also lost its ability to track opponents.

On the flip side, she has received a few favorable changes. A raw TK Overdrive M can now be linked into Burn Out Beak from mid-screen, giving her more ways to get in and build meter. However, given that building meter is harder to do in Ultimate, this buff should be taken with a grain of salt. TK Shot L has also been sped up, allowing for a slightly larger window for an off-the-ground combo.

No.

In my opinion, she’s perfectly fine now. She’s still a capable point character and a formidable anchor, she just requires more finesse than she used to. Her overall damage output has been increased slightly thanks to the changes to her hit stun. Some of these changes were necessary, like the air special limitation and TK Shot H homing reduction. Wolverine, X-23, and several other rushdown-oriented characters had no way around a Phoenix player that relied on airborne zoning. With Hawkeye and Doctor Strange, Phoenix actually has bad match-ups now. She’s no longer the unstoppable wall of feathers she used to be, but she’s still one of the game’s biggest threats in the right hands.


#2

With her health nerf whenever she gets snapped in I get the same feeling as seeing a baby crawl accross a busy highway. “OH GOD MAH BABAY!”. It was a bit too extreme IMO.


#3

She dies to some extremely stupid stuff now, I’ll agree. If Capcom brought her back up to 420,000, I certainly wouldn’t complain.


#4

She’s fine now, albeit more specilaized. I play her rushdown: her traps are good for snapping her out, and her balls are good for approaching (you can’t saltyballs, but you can superjump flight ball teleport.) So i usually just rushdown with her. As dark phoenix, if u hold onto level 3 x factor, she CAN still saltyball spam, albeit on the ground.


#5

Completely agree with the OP.The amount of changes Phoenix has been through have definitely made her more balanced. In truth, I hated a lot of the nerfs (i’d wish they nerfed Dark Phoenix instead of Jean) but I know understand that Capcom’s intent was to make Phoenix “an all in baby” type character and a lot of vanilla stuff made her base form too good. I’m having a lot of fun with Phoenix in Ultimate though, her teleport mixups are beautiful, tk shots are fun and Dark Phoenix makes you feel like a boss character. In short, I think Phoenix is fine in this game.

I still think she’s a contender for top tier though, she’s really awesome.


#6

I posted this in a different thread so I’ll just copy paste:

Phoenix’s REAL nerfs are outside of the character imo.

Slower meter gain - This is probably the most noticeable. Even after having some fairly dominant matches with my first 2 characters, killing my opponent’s first two, and then getting xfactor ran back on them, phoenix still comes in with less than 5 bars. Getting her there is a real chore and honestly I’m not sure it’s worth it when I could be running a more solid anchor and using meter more liberally

Side exchange - We all know it drains meter. Easy to counter if you’re looking for it. The problem is that as a Phoenix player you’re ALWAYS looking for it meaning up and down exchanges are basically free for your opponent. Of course you can guess other directions and at higher levels it’ll be a bit of a mind game but at the same time, losing a meter, especially with the slow meter gain is disastrous for a Phoenix team so it may not even be worth guessing other directions.

Air xfactor - I know people are saying this is a buff for Phoenix but I’m not convinced. If you manage to get 5 meters, get her in, get her dark, and tag her out; air xfactor is wonderful. However, for your opponent, it’s a get out of jail free card on Phoenix’s easy bake trap and teleport mixup as well as another factor players can use to get the jump on her when she’s dark.

Other characters - Strider feels almost like a hard counter at times. H vajra owns Phoenix, assist or not, and I’m not sure there’s going to be a good answer to it besides reacting with Super. It tracks and you have to eat it, even if you’re at superjump height. That being said, you wont be at super jump height because you’re flying if you’re doing anything up there really. Ouroboros also kicks phoenix’s ass pretty hard. I say other characterS because I’m sure there will be more anti phoenix tech out there soon between Morrigan’s drain fireball and air xfactor stuff

Edit: I’ve been playing her more and more in casuals and I still feel that she might not be worth it. The amount of work it takes to build 5 meters in this game generally means that you’ve beaten your opponent badly enough that you could have won the match or come very close to it had you have been using the meter and had better utility in your anchor assist. Even if you JUST played for anchor, I’d rather have dark strider and vajra assist the whole match or dark wesker and low s edge the whole match.


#7

I’m still of the stance that, in the end, none of the direct changes to Phoenix made any difference at all really. You could reverse everyone of them again, and all it does is give her a viable, if risky point game, instead of being forced into second or third.

The system changes alone brought her down to where she is now, and actually made the difference. I’m still of the opinion she’s a winmore now as well, as building 4 bars with Doom generally means killing two characters, even without spending meter.


#8

I’ve only got beef with the Health nerf. It makes you not use Jean at all. Point Jean was hella risky. Now it’s just plain idiotic. I kinda wanted to at least have it be possible. Or give HF a beef (which it hasn’t to my knowledge) to counteract it somehow.

This has been THE INVINCIBLE SWORDSMAN saying:

I want it to be two air specials or at least be able to block on the fall. But w/e. I’ll live. Jean/DPh is still the best rush down character in the game.


#9

Actually, that would be amazing if they toned down the speed healing filed heals at a tad, but allowed it to heal her back to full, and not just restore red health. I really do miss point Jean.


#10

I think they overnerfed, air H fireball was the problem but they nerfed it all. She should’ve gotten the firebrand deal IMO, L and M air fireball can be done 3 times but H air fireball is limited to 1.


#11

anyone noticed that H fireball seems alittle bit worse at tracking? When i throw that in the air sometimes it seems to have a mind of it’s own lol.


#12

Her feathers need to go or they need to be tweaked so that she can’t spam them for anti air and other shenanigans. She seems okay outside of that.

Also, interesting choice of thread location. Can you really expect people in the Phoenix forums to be objective about the subject?


#13

I think everyone on the Phoenix board can agree that she was way too powerful in Fate of Two Worlds. No one’s objected to the air special nerf, because it’s something that needed to happen. Her airborne runaway and zoning game was just too good. What is debatable are the changes to her health, the length of her crouching M slide, and Flare Sword not tracking the opponent anymore. That wasn’t anything game-breaking. It doesn’t ruin her, as I still run her on point effectively. It’s just questionable, given all of the other direct and indirect changes to her.

And I disagree on the feathers. Given that it’s much harder to achieve the Dark Phoenix resurrection in Ultimate, she needs everything she can get. All the power, no matter how stupid, is warranted.


#14

I totally agree w/ you Serris. The airborne fireball H nerf was really needed because against opponents w/ no projectile or vertical offensive approach you could take advantage of that and just fire them all day.

And yeah, i do agree that the health is very debatable on weather it’s too low or not. I guess i’ll find out once I start competing in some local tournaments around florida. However usually when I get a bar w/ Dark Phoenix i save xfactor and use healing field just so i can have a constant reservoir of health and usually only use xfactor to save myself from an unsafe move or something like that.

And yes I feel like the decrease length of the crouching slide was one of regular phoenixs tools too getting in safely especially with that low health. It was also a great anti-air especially against opponents like tron who used jumping H all the time etc… I never really used Flare Sword that much so that never doesn’t really affect me that much. But yes, it is alittle disappointing that the crouching M was decreased.

And yes I agree that the feathers are needed for D. Phoenix. Especially w/ her draining health and already low vitality. Her standing L is a great antiair that not many phoenix players i see use. You might trade w/ an air attack but the feathers will save you from the trade if for example wesker does an air teleport into air h attack. Feathers are also good for setting up good blockstrings especially with the traps.


#15

My only real issue is with the health nerf. Even with my inexperience I can do a meterless 375k combo. Healing Field is pretty much moved further to the backburner since meter is now somewhat precious and it might not even do enough with such a health reduction not being able to replenish enough potential red health.

Another but smaller beef I have is with the TK shot adjustment. The H shot was the real problem, and Firebrand has a limitation specifically on his air H shot but not Phoenix for some reason. There’s also Flight somewhat circumventing the adjustment, which on the whole feels like the whole TK Shot change was a poorly thought out barrier that was left alone and forgotten after cleaner projectile limitations were devised and applied to new characters like Firebrand. I can’t be certain until playing again later in the week, but if L and M TK shots, and the H TK Trap also vanish when Phoenix is hit then that’s also something I don’t really agree with because again, those things didn’t cause the real problems.

Granted, I have not jumped into MvC3 until Ultimate so I can’t really say anything about c. M range, but if her HP was brought back up to vanilla or some other reasonable level I wouldn’t complain.


#16

I disagree completely. Any character without a projectile or air dash can get eaten alive by a Hawkeye or a Arthur or a Chris, I guess their projectiles should all be nerfed as well. They just continued to unnecessarily pile on to Phoenix. Substantial meter gain nerfs and somehow killing her health even more wasn’t enough.


#17

Hawkeye, Arthur, and Chris don’t get a 20% damage buff from dying with a full hyper gauge. Stack that with her level 3 X-Factor percentages and the low damage scaling on the TK Shots, and you have a recipe for ridiculous chip damage with no drawbacks whatsoever. The homing projectiles definitely needed to be limited to one per jump, but I agree with everyone who says that she should have gotten the Firebrand treatment. That being said, she’s still a very capable point character if you’re not afraid to burn meter and X-Factor to get the job done. I play her up front with aggressive rushdown, and I haven’t really had an issue with the change. If she receives any buffs, yay. If she doesn’t, whatever.


#18

Point Phoenix should just start the match with a free Healing Field on her. :confused: I have no choice but to commend any point Phoenix users whose balls are that brassy.

But anyway, since Flight still allows for 2 H (or 3 L) shots per “jump” and teleport after those shots depending on which are used, what difference does the limit really make? I could just be missing something since I’m new to actually playing the game.


#19

You do understand that you CAN’T block during Flight mode OR active teleport frames?

Ohai Vergil fullscreen hyper. If that hits Phoenix during Flight mode or a mistimed teleport, not only will her onscreen fireballs and traps disappear (and as such won’t save her), but with the health nerf it just may kill her.

At this point, I wonder why they kept her on the roster at all. While I totally agree as a former Phoenix player that her air game needed to be taken down several notches, the horrid tracking on her H TK Shot (almost as bad as Strange’s daggers) combined with the air specials makes Phoenix a little more than lackluster.

I can’t use her on point. I can’t use her as an anchor. I DAMN sure can’t use her for assists. They went a little too far.


#20

Contrary to some rumors floating around, Phoenix Rage’s start-up invincibility has carried over into Ultimate, and remains one of the best defensive options in the game. Phoenix Rage has a unique hitbox that extends behind Phoenix for some of the initial frames. In short, you can punish virtually anything with it. If you use it on reaction, it knocks Vergil, Wesker, and Spencer right out of their hypers with no harm to Phoenix. It also counters beam hypers, depending on how close you are to the opponent. The only exceptions are Sentinel’s Hard Drive and Hyper Sentinel Force. Sentinel’s drones persist even after he’s hit, and he’s completely invulnerable during the Hard Drive charge. Even then, you could X-Factor to avoid chip damage or teleport out of his way. She’s not totally helpless. Phoenix players just can’t be afraid of burning meter or X-Factor anymore.

As someone who’s used Phoenix on point since day one, I can certainly empathize with what you feel about some of these nerfs. I agree that the health nerf was a bit harsh, and that the change to her TK Shot H tracking was a bit misguided, no pun intended. However, I wouldn’t go so far as to say that Phoenix has become a liability. In fact, I think some elements of her point game have been improved from Fate of Two Worlds.

Reducing the knockback on TK Overdrive M gives her a decent combo-extending option she didn’t have previously. She’s fragile, but an aggressive, rush-style Phoenix is still one hell of a threat. TK Overdrive M into air H is probably one of the safest approaches in the game, thanks to air H’s incredibly weird hitbox. It’s a very reliable lockdown with the right assist and serves Phoenix very well in the corner. If the opponent push blocks, you still have ample time to block a punish attempt or teleport, or even hit them with air H as you fall. Man, I love that hitbox.

I’m not going to argue the assist thing, though. That’s been a problem since Fate of Two Worlds, and it’s only gotten worse. Phoenix’s assists are only viable as safe combo extenders.