With the Evo 2019 announcement of Tekken 7 season 3, the game’s community patiently awaited the release of patch notes to understand how Bandai Namco will be balancing characters for the title’s competitive future. Recently on September 5th, the TWT website updated to reveal these changes, causing plenty of speculation and excitement building up to the update’s full release on Monday, September 9th.
Absorbing this new info, Accelerate Gaming’s InVaines took a bit of time to discuss his initial thoughts on what this new patch will bring to the competitive Tekken scene.
“There’s always going to be top tiers people talk a lot about, and in season 2 you had characters like Geese, Steve, Jin, and so on,” said InVaines. “One of the biggest things I really wanted to see changed from season 2 was how Steve’s flicker stance worked, along with some of his tools like b1 and df2.”
Once the patch notes finally arrived, InVaines had a chance to see how the Tekken balance team decided to shake up the game’s roster.
For the big winners of the season 3 update, he mentioned Claudio and Lee looking stronger than ever.
“I think Lee was already very good in season 2 but he had some inconsistencies like his f3 string occasionally whiffing, which appears fixed now. It was also interesting to see some tools he gained, such as the 1+2 into hitman stance transition they gave him, and being able to mist step after flip kicks definitely seems good. His wall bounce also received a great buff in becoming safe, which further improves his wall game. His d3 having reduced tracking is a slight nerf, but he pretty much received buffs across the board.”
Looking at Claudio changes, InVaines was also quite impressed by what he saw. “The first clearly big change he received was ss4 being +6 on hit now, along with good frame and damage buffs across the board.” After what seemed to be a step in the right direction going into season 2 for Claudio, these new changes further raise the character’s potential to be more threatening than ever. “His new string, b3,3, seems like it’ll be a counterhit launcher, which could be pretty crazy if it ends up being safe too. Hell, they even buffed his hopkick range!”
While characters such as Lee, Claudio, and some others seem to hugely benefit from the season 3 update, there are a few being toned down in some areas for the sake of balance.
“Katarina and Geese definitely got nerfed a bit, but Kat may have been hit even harder than Geese was,” he stated. Though the initial English patch notes misrepresented changes made to Katarina’s df1 (claiming the move became -1 on hit), the attack was still nerfed down from -1 to -3 on block. “Her ff2,4 seems like it won’t launch anymore, as well as reducing the range and evasiveness on her hopkick. Even her harrier stance got hit quite a bit by damage nerfs, though at least her harrier 4 is safe now.”
Moving on to talking about Geese Howard, InVaines expressed understanding of the character’s season 3 adjustments.
“He definitely did get hit with the nerf hammer, although it seems like he also got some nice new stuff to compensate for it. His new move, a DP input similar to what it was in SvC Chaos, could mean that he can now get a full launch from his standing 2. The move used to be highly unsafe though, so we’ll see about that in this game.” Geese’s f2 has also been buffed to become a slightly faster launcher, which will greatly help with the character’s punishment against some currently problematic moves.
Moving on to discuss the key nerfs to Geese, InVaines mentioned his standing 4, df1, and df2. “They probably really just didn’t want to see people still abusing Geese’s counterhit d1 jab after them, but these tools can still be complemented by his parries. Sure, it’s a risk, but those parries being untouched means they’ll still be a core part of the character.”
Although Geese’s d1 jab was also toned down, he mentioned how the character could still be rewarded through proper usage of the move. “They didn’t touch d1 to f3, or d1 to qcb1, so especially at the wall, he could still get big damage from this. My prediction is that they simply wanted it to be a bit more like Jinpachi’s counterhit crouch jab tool in Tag 2, where there’s a bit of a risk to it.”
Aside from Geese and Katarina, InVaines also noticed what he considers a lack of balancing love for Lili. “She just didn’t really seem to receive anything significant, so overall she could’ve just used a little more.”
On top of the competitive balance changes for Tekken 7 season 3, the game will be receiving new content in the form of additional preset costumes for characters, and more detailed online player data tracking for ranked mode.
“I personally love the new presets,” InVaines stated. “I think it’s a really nice addition to have, especially for tournament mode. The online data looks interesting, but I’m wondering how it’s going to work. We don’t know whether it’s your overall record, or just the past ten or twenty games or so. I think it’s a cool addition, but I’m just hoping it’s implemented fairly well.”
As the launch of a new season looms, players like InVaines are eager to get their hands on this latest patch to test out changes for themselves. Be sure to keep up with InVaines on Twitter at @InVaines to hear his thoughts about season 3 once it releases, and follow his team Accelerate Gaming at @AXL_FGC.