RIP Rufus, 2009-2013 (USF4 Loc Test changelist discussion)



If the loc test is an indication of what the real game is like, Rufus is dead.

Forward/Neutral Throw damage reduced from 150 to 135
Neutral/Forward Jump Falcon Kick recovery increased by 1F
Messiah Kick MK follow-up recovery increased from 19F to 22F
Messiah Kick HK follow-up recovery increased from 17F to 19F
EX Messiah Kick less likely to cross over even when hitting low-state opponents; invincibility time reduced from 16F to 13F
Space Opera Symphony (UC1) damage reduced from 460 to 420
Big Bang Typhoon (UC2) damage reduced from 420 to 360

Rufus’ entire game is nerfed. He gets less out of taking risks and making reads, and his two main tools are both weakened.

He gains no tools he didn’t already have.

Rufus will not find many ways to use Red Focus, as he needs the meter. Delayed wakeup destroys his ambiguous divekick oki game. Other characters can utilise Red Focus to get out of some of his setups. He gains nothing out choosing W, but other characters get more options against him (Gief with two ultras? All your options are now beatable).

His hard matchups are now harder, and several of his good matchups will now be harder.

And this is in a loc test that does the following to Akuma, widely regarded as the best character in the game:

Crouching HK can no longer be cancelled into Wrath of the Raging Demon (UC1)
All versions of Back jump Zanku Hadoken recovery increased by 2F
HP Goshoryuken now can only be EX Focus-cancelled on the 1st hit; invincibility time reduced from 6F to 5F

Akuma’s entire game is still intact. He might suffer from delayed wakeup, but he still has all his tools.

I cannot be the only Rufus player who looks at this changelist and is certain that this will cause them to drop the character.


It’s absolutely bewildering.

I’m the first person to acknowledge that Rufus still has some idiotic bullshit in AE, but that’s no reason to murder his game like these nerfs do. Not even salty, but there’s no plausible reason for nerfing him this badly. Nobody was doing anything amazing with him and you barely see Rufus online and in tournaments. His design is just gone now - what the hell is Rufus going to do with a nerfed dive kick and even less damage?

I’m 100% sure I’ll drop him if these come to pass. There’s just no reason to play with a character that randomly lost the only things that made him viable in the first place.


I take it im the only one who is completely unfazed by any of the nerfs hitting rufus then? Even if they made him complete and total ass id still play him, but i genuinely think he’s gonna be fine. Yes, i forsee a tier drop but i also see some of his more frustrating matchups getting much more manageable. Just saying RIP rufus is being overdramatic imo


Yea I don’t think they are going to destroy him. The worst thing is all his bad matchups are getting buffs and a few that were even or in his favor might not be so easy. I don’t care so much about the Ex Messiah Kick nerf but, the extra frame on the dive kick is going to make the shoto matchups really annoying.


Yeah, honestly i forsee him as solidly mid tier, the dive kick shouldnt be awful since its only 1 frame but that still is really annoying. And id say some of his harder matchups are actually getting nerfed, not hugely so, but still. Im thinking chars like akuma, cammy and gief will be easier, especially with the elimination of vortexes and unblockables.


Not destroyed, but these nerfs were uncalled for, were they not? As if the delay wakeup wasn’t enough to nerf his divekick ambiguity, he also gets nerfs on his damage, messiah and an extra riskier dive kick. I just cannot find any sense for it.

SadPanda actually gave a few reasons why he thinks Rufus will be shite. You could give a few concrete reasons of your own on why you think the contrary.


I agree that the nerfs were completely uncalled for since hes not that great in this version and other characters that are better than him are getting tons of buffs. I’m just hoping that Capcom realizes some of the nerfs/buffs to a lot of the characters were really stupid and change them for the next or final build.


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.


I am not going to comment yet on the messiah and dive kick changes, because I do need to see them in action to see if it’s as bad as it sounds.

However, on the U1, U2 and throw damage nerfs:

“Why do Chun and Adon get lower damage ultras which are harder to combo into?”

For a start, Chun’s ultra can be comboed into via EX legs. And her U2 is getting a damage buff to about where Rufus’s ultras are in Ultra as it stands.

Secondly, both Chun and Adon have good normals, Adon has some amazing special moves, Chun has a fireball, and Adon has a solid DP that actually does damage vs airborne opponents.

Meaning that they have more tools in a wider variety of settings than Mr Two-Inch-Crouching-Forward.

Less tools means that the utilisation of those tools that are good becomes harder. And if a tool is harder to use, the user should be rewarded more for hitting it.

Rufus can do zero damage unless he is pretty close to you. That means he has to take risks. Many characters excel at keeping Rufus out, so in those matchups the situation is very lopsided. U1 and throw damage in particular gave solid rewards for actually getting in.

If I’m not being rewarded for getting in, then there’s no justification for playing this character. He has weaker footsies, no true DP and is increadibly easy to mix up. Compare that to Cammy or Yun.

EDIT: If Capcom actually want to go through with these nerfs, I want to see Rufus getting buffed in other areas:

  1. U2 getting full damage vs airborne.
  2. Frame improvements to f+HP and f+MK. The former should be faster on startup by a few frames and have a larger hitbox. The latter should be about a frame or two faster on startup and leave the opponent at 0 frames on hit, rather than leaving Rufus at -2 (!!!) as it is currently.
  3. A small amount of invinciblity on L or M Snake Strike. As it stands the move is almost always worse than simply anti-airing the opponent. Capcom should make sure this isn’t silly, so I’d make sure that if you wake up with SS then you’d have vulnerable frames before the invincibility to make sure it doesn’t get mashed out on wakeup.
  4. Frame improvements to normal Mesisah Kick. As it stands, non EX Messiah is one of the worst special moves in the game. I’d make it faster. This would allow Rufus some interesting footsie options at mid range.


It could be that Ultra 2 has received a buff as well, if it does 360 on the ground and as an anti-air. That means you lost 60 dmg on the ground, but gained 124 on airborne opponents. Though to be honest I’d rather have a better anti-fireball ultra.


Rufus is doneskies. His entire game is based off taking risk. Reducing his damage all-around in a game where he wasn’t even a Top 10 character. Ya’ boi is gone.


i dont think rufus get nerf as char with the delayed wu,u only really mix up with dive kick after ultra (not really a big setup) or corner on wu opponent, i think is more like a buff than a nerf for rufus since his wake up options are pretty bad.


@sadpanda But chun has to use meter for her only truly reliable ultra combo, other than that a to a is the only other good option, and ad on needs two meters for his only good u2 combo. Rufus needs no meter for many of his ultra combos, off a meter less crouch jab I can do ultra (something few character can say). And less tools does not necessarily mean that they are harder to use. The dice kick takes finesse and at a high level requires a lot of skill but still, if you get in on an opponent its a guaranteed ultra pretty much. Dk tk u1 is not a hard combo, and if you honestly can’t find d any opponenings in a match u are probably just being outplayed. Rufus has more tools to get into ultra than almost all chars and they are easy tools to use. Throw is kind of the same way. Rufus punishes missed crouch techs incredibly well and his raw throw setups are also really solid, he forces opponents to guess and eat throws or full combos. Having the 150 DMG was nice but nerfing it to 135 is not a big deal. Opponents Are still going to have to not crouch tech Rufus and raw throw setups will still be very strong (no one tech a whiff dive kick throw for fear of eating a combo, and there are plenty of ways around os).

Yes footsies are weaker but he is essentially an anti footsies character, get the sweet spot where they whiff normals and you get offrnse. Midrange footsies are also quite usable, same with longish range normals. They aren’t amazing but I still think saying his normals at are negligible is totally untrue. St Mk is decent, decent mid range sweep, st mp is ok for closer mid range, crhp covers long range (this one can be iffy but also functions very well as punish tool). To just say his only good tool are tgrow and ultra is weird IMO. HK messiah is also good, HP gt is decent and dive kick is the best in the game.

Rufus has always been worse than other dive kick chars, this is something that is probably more true now than with ultra. Cammy and yun are both gonna be significantly worse in ultra, weaker vortex and yun hk dp nerf will be killer. I don’t think the disparity between the two should be more than it is now. I’m not saying Rufus is op or that I wanted him nerfed etc but just saying he’s a dead character after a damage nerf in an iteration of this game that is changing more than any other iteration of this game?? It just sounds like ppl either just want him to be high tier or are just looking for an excuse to drop him.


Never back down guys, the only real nerf worth noticing is the divekick one and that’s nowhere near as bad as what Cammy got, and if anything, the delayed wake up will help Rufus out more than hurt him. He was never really a vortex character, but vortex characters are the type that gave him some real trouble.


Combofiend mentioned during the Super Arcade location test that was streamed at the weekend that Ultra Rufus is still kind of a work in progress, and he thinks that at the moment he’s probably been nerfed a little too much and there will be more changes to come once all the feedback is in.

Hopefully that’s the case because the current change list sounds like a pretty harsh set of adjustments to a character who was only floating around the middle of the tier lists to begin with - especially when so many other characters are getting fun new stuff to play with…


fantastic! i dont think the rufus nerfs make him awful but in relation to a lot of the buffs other people got its not so cool



Nah, nothing about akuma is intact… he’s so screwed.


Yo this is what im talking about!!! lol when a new balance patch of a game comes out everyone just freaks out and says their character is dead and useless. Im pretty sure neither akuma or rufus is gonna be a burlap sack come ultra


changes from capcom cup build

Forward/Neutral Throw damage reduced from 150 to 135
Far Standing MP now cancellable
Target Combo (LK → HK near the opponent) 2nd changed from -5 to -8 on block

Neutral/Forward Jump Falcon Kick recovery increased by 1F
** Messiah Kick LK now has improved follow-up capability**
Messiah Kick MK follow-up recovery increased from 19F to 22F
Messiah Kick HK follow-up recovery increased from 17F to 19F
EX Messiah Kick less likely to cross over even when hitting low-state opponents; invincibility time reduced from 16F to 13F
Spectacle Romance (Super Combo) 2nd hit hitbox expanded beyond the fist
Space Opera Symphony (UC1) damage reduced from 460 to 420
Big Bang Typhoon (UC2) damage reduced from 420 to 360; knock back on air hit adjusted

New changes in bold. Got rid of the divekick nerf, TYBG!!! U2 more viable? Messiah kick "improved follow-up capability?? Special cancellable interesting changes, would love to see some gameplay footage from a loc test