But of course.
The damage nerf will definitely hurt, the worst thing hitting rufus this iteration, but it is by no means crippling. Yes, the damage on U1 made rufus a clutch character and the increased throw damage in concordance with his throw setups made him deadly on offence. This being said i will be the first to admit that even i feel that the damage is a little ridiculous. Why should rufus get such massive damage off of an ultra that is so easily comboed into when characters like chun and adon get less damage for ultra that have nowhere near as many ways to be comboed into? I saw this nerf coming from miles away, im not happy about it but im also not heartbroken seeing as ive still got all my tools to get people into the ultra. As far as the argument goes that “rufus needs this damage because he has to work so hard to get in, taking risks and making reads to use it” while i do think this is a valid statement id say that it still does not justify the ultra damage given that while it can be hard in certain matchups that he still does have great versatility in his approach. He can really open people up with the divekick if used correctly (as everyone here knows), along with hk.messiah, forward roll, and his decent walk speed im not worried about having to rely on a highly damaging ultra to do my work for me. Also the best part about rufus’s U1 isnt the damage, its the varied ways he has to hit into it. We got st.rh, dk target combo, gt in the corner, j.rh, messiah fadc, and even a few more. Even without the damage all of these will still be viable ways to get into this ultra, and even if it does less damage its still going to hurt and can quite easily lead to a momentum shift. Same for ultra goes for throw, i think rufus has incredibly strong throw setups, so im less worried about the dmg decrease simply because with all his other tools in tact ill still be getting plenty of damage getting into my opponents head.
As far the nerfs to messiah kick go i feel the move will function as well as it did in ae. I think the fact that it wont whiff on crouching opponents is more key than anything of the nerfs it got. Will keep opponents much more honest of rufus’s wakeup and now with 3 bars will be a lot safer, making the metagame (for some character like sakura) very different. HK followup will still go over ultras and some punishes, will have to wait and see if chars with 3f jab can punish or if the pushback is enough to leave rufus ok. This being said if you’re already using the hk followup you are taking a risk (same with mk) can be focused for huge damage. Also the lk followup remains untouched, something that i was actually pleasantly surprised by. Its got 11f of invincibility and goes through many ultra, not to mention its focus breaking. It is the true thing to be scared of after ex messiah, and the fact that i can still potentially trade with dps after a messiah is nice. As far as invincibility on it goes im not a big fan of it being decreased, but 13f of invincibility is still a ton. Beats just about everything still (besides some ultra/ex dp etc) and still certainly be used to go through many attacks. If fucking sucks that it loses to ex headbutt now though, thats a bit of a pain honestly. Messiah should be utilized less as a mixup tool and more exclusively as a get off me, meaning that it is now better at what is really its primary job.
The divekick is the only nerf that genuinely bothers me on a fundamental level. The instant air divekick is essential to his character, and while i seriously doubt that a 1f nerf will affect any of his matchups the fact that they felt the need to tamper with it is a bad sign. Ive had friends try modded versions of the game with altered divekicks and they said that a 1f difference is unoticeable though, which makes me feel a bit better but still, fuck you capcom…This being said i still dont think it will hurt rufus too much, still +7 on a blocked divekick which is key to him maintaining his ability to pressure with his divekick.
Do i feel like they needed to nerf him as hard as they did? Absolutely not, and i feel like a lot of people would agree with me. I feel like on a fundamental level he is very much the same character, and personally i dont think it will be as bad as everyone thinks it is. There are also a solid amount of characters that got hit hard by the nerfing, like seth and gief (mp nerfed), that should make rufus’s life a tad easier. He’s probably not going to be quite as good, but i say that with hesistation seeing as its impossible to tell when this is such a large update. The thing that i feel needs to be focused on are some of the buffs hitting people, and a lack of nerfs on some fronts. The fact that viper got nothing but buffs is flat out baffling. Im with the rest of you here in hoping that some of these changes dont go through, and i do feel that relatively speaking the way rufus got treated is outrageous. He should definitely have gotten more buffs to compensate for the nerfs but he got nothing, even when just about everybody else did get something. This being said im sticking with the fatman more out of a love for his character than his standing in the cast at this point, which should fall a bit (unless i have underestimated some of the nerfs hitting other characters. so even if i have to work a little harder fuck it, character loyalty isnt quite dead yet. Also one last thing, felt 2012 was very balanced and feel this update should be to, so even if rufus is relatively low tier i think he will be just as viable (if not more so) than he is in this rendition.