Author Topic: Tier lists and Character Discussion Thread  (Read 116546 times)

Frofighter

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Re: Tier lists and Character Discussion Thread
« Reply #435 on: April 10, 2014, 08:47:48 AM »
So I feel that discussion here tends to slow down a lot from time to time, and I would like to provide a suggestion to help with that. Take a look at this Dustloop thread regarding Blazblue Continuum Shift: Extend (BBCSEX)

http://www.dustloop.com/forums/index.php?/topic/4368-bbcs-extend-tier-list-thread/

To give the big takeaway from this, Xie uses a set of parameters to rate each character and come to an overall rating (NOTE: NOT the average of the above ratings). Here are what he used and how I think we can apply them to KOF (where applicable):

Reward Assessment: A general outlook on a character’s average damage and heat gain, taking into account how often maximum or minimum damage situations can occur. Also assess other potential rewards.

Definitely applicable in terms of average damage and meter gain, as well as how often a character can land full damage based on different combo starters from different situations.


Neutral Viability: A review of how well the character fairs in neutral situations, especially in respect to how the character can shift into an offensive or damage dealing state, as well as avoid being put into a defensive or receiving damage state.

Also highly applicable. Space control options (different angles of aerials, projectiles, jump arcs, etc.) present several good comparison points.


Offensive Viability: An overview of the character’s ability to create damage opportunities when they have the advantage, as well as prevent the opponent from escaping or safely retaliating.

Pretty self-explanatory. Some characters in KOF maintain pressure better than others, while others make up for lack of solid pressure by using potentially damaging mixups and traps.


Defensive Viability: An evaluation of the character’s ability to escape from situations where they are at a disadvantage or create opportunities to retaliate.


Strength of reversals and unique defensive options would weigh the most here.

Versatility: A flavorful descriptor with little impact on tier placing, a brief assessment of how many options the character has at any given time. Ranks: Very Specialized > Specialized > Well Rounded > Very Well Rounded

Don't know how much we can use this (or how much it would matter) due to KOF's more universal character design when compared to Blazblue.


One-Chance: A flavorful descriptor with little impact on tier placing, an assessment of how well the character can make a comeback in a one-chance situation. Takes into account meter availability, potential mixups, useful reversals, and damage.

Tough one to use as well. HD combos give many characters a way to "One Chance" a victory. On the other hand, certain characters have much scarier ways to convert their chance (e.g. Vice with full HD and an EX sleeve handy)

Current Assessment: General assessment of all factors. Current placement on the list


Final grade. As noted above, this would not be an average of the above factors, but rather how the factors come together to form the package that is the character.

One I would add would be:

Team Flexibility: How well a character adjusts to being on different spots in a team in terms of meter need/usage relative to their teammates, as well as how they adjust to opponent's different options and resources based on their position

The team dynamic makes a difference as we have pointed out numerous times in this thread.




I think we can do something like this here, where we could have a week-long discussion for each character where one member presents their assessment, and we go back and forth on how we view the different factors and come to a conclusion by the end of the week. Once that's done for all characters we can compile a Dream Cancel tier list based on that. The list isn't the goal, however. The goal is to have a real in-depth discussion of the characters' strengths and weaknesses that can help new information come to light, especially when considering lesser-played characters.

As for which members suggest the character discussions, I wouldn't know how to establish a priority among us, so for now all I can suggest is that goes in turns, and no one member can start the discussion twice in a row.
 

Please let me know what you guys think. If you feel you have a better way to conduct the discussion (timelines, parameters, etc.) do mention that as well.
"NO PROBREM!" -Terry, KOF 2002/UM

Crimson_King15

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Re: Tier lists and Character Discussion Thread
« Reply #436 on: April 30, 2014, 03:46:44 PM »
So I feel that discussion here tends to slow down a lot from time to time, and I would like to provide a suggestion to help with that. Take a look at this Dustloop thread regarding Blazblue Continuum Shift: Extend (BBCSEX)

http://www.dustloop.com/forums/index.php?/topic/4368-bbcs-extend-tier-list-thread/

To give the big takeaway from this, Xie uses a set of parameters to rate each character and come to an overall rating (NOTE: NOT the average of the above ratings). Here are what he used and how I think we can apply them to KOF (where applicable):

Reward Assessment: A general outlook on a character’s average damage and heat gain, taking into account how often maximum or minimum damage situations can occur. Also assess other potential rewards.

Definitely applicable in terms of average damage and meter gain, as well as how often a character can land full damage based on different combo starters from different situations.


Neutral Viability: A review of how well the character fairs in neutral situations, especially in respect to how the character can shift into an offensive or damage dealing state, as well as avoid being put into a defensive or receiving damage state.

Also highly applicable. Space control options (different angles of aerials, projectiles, jump arcs, etc.) present several good comparison points.


Offensive Viability: An overview of the character’s ability to create damage opportunities when they have the advantage, as well as prevent the opponent from escaping or safely retaliating.

Pretty self-explanatory. Some characters in KOF maintain pressure better than others, while others make up for lack of solid pressure by using potentially damaging mixups and traps.


Defensive Viability: An evaluation of the character’s ability to escape from situations where they are at a disadvantage or create opportunities to retaliate.


Strength of reversals and unique defensive options would weigh the most here.

Versatility: A flavorful descriptor with little impact on tier placing, a brief assessment of how many options the character has at any given time. Ranks: Very Specialized > Specialized > Well Rounded > Very Well Rounded

Don't know how much we can use this (or how much it would matter) due to KOF's more universal character design when compared to Blazblue.


One-Chance: A flavorful descriptor with little impact on tier placing, an assessment of how well the character can make a comeback in a one-chance situation. Takes into account meter availability, potential mixups, useful reversals, and damage.

Tough one to use as well. HD combos give many characters a way to "One Chance" a victory. On the other hand, certain characters have much scarier ways to convert their chance (e.g. Vice with full HD and an EX sleeve handy)

Current Assessment: General assessment of all factors. Current placement on the list


Final grade. As noted above, this would not be an average of the above factors, but rather how the factors come together to form the package that is the character.

One I would add would be:

Team Flexibility: How well a character adjusts to being on different spots in a team in terms of meter need/usage relative to their teammates, as well as how they adjust to opponent's different options and resources based on their position

The team dynamic makes a difference as we have pointed out numerous times in this thread.




I think we can do something like this here, where we could have a week-long discussion for each character where one member presents their assessment, and we go back and forth on how we view the different factors and come to a conclusion by the end of the week. Once that's done for all characters we can compile a Dream Cancel tier list based on that. The list isn't the goal, however. The goal is to have a real in-depth discussion of the characters' strengths and weaknesses that can help new information come to light, especially when considering lesser-played characters.

As for which members suggest the character discussions, I wouldn't know how to establish a priority among us, so for now all I can suggest is that goes in turns, and no one member can start the discussion twice in a row.
 

Please let me know what you guys think. If you feel you have a better way to conduct the discussion (timelines, parameters, etc.) do mention that as well.

I genuinely love this idea. Nothing else really to say about it other than we should get the ball Rolling on this ASAP

The Fluke

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Re: Tier lists and Character Discussion Thread
« Reply #437 on: May 01, 2014, 03:42:38 AM »
It does seem like it could be interesting. Kind of hard to pick a character to start with and give him/her a rating, but if we start with a top character and set a standard, we could work our way down from there.

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Re: Tier lists and Character Discussion Thread
« Reply #438 on: May 02, 2014, 02:33:24 AM »
It does seem like it could be interesting. Kind of hard to pick a character to start with and give him/her a rating, but if we start with a top character and set a standard, we could work our way down from there.


Sounds good! I think Kim can be a good example to start with, but I sadly don't have time to make an initial write-up at the moment. I'll try to make it as thorough as possible, but of course the goal is to discuss it and come to a conclusion among ourselves.
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Frofighter

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Re: Tier lists and Character Discussion Thread
« Reply #439 on: May 04, 2014, 09:50:42 AM »
So here's my shot at Kim. The max rank for any parameter is S. How low can it go? Won't set a bottom. Use whatever sense of scale makes your point in terms of defining balance gaps. I typically wouldn't go below C for example.

Also, NOTHING IS SET IN STONE! This is just my current view, and the goal is to come to a consensus. Preferably, I would hope not to take longer than a week discussing one character so that we can move through the cast at a decent pace. Without further ado, here goes:

Kim Kaphwan

Reward Assessment:S- rank.
 Subpar meterless damage, good damage with meter and in some situations deadly with meter (specific corner HDs). Gets a hard knockdown from just about all combos that lead to safe jumps / mixups, which puts him in his strong offensive state. With more overall damage would be S for sure.

Neutral Viability: A- Rank.
Kim has no options outside his poke range beyond moving forward. He gains more with meter thanks to EX hangetsuzan. Once in poke range he becomes more dangerous thanks to the threat of standing D making opponents more passive, which opens up the rest of his buttons. He can get lamed out thanks to not having any anti-projectile measures.

Offensive Viability: S Rank.
Getting hard knockdowns off of any hit and the amount of pressure he can keep up afterwards is what makes Kim the monster that he is. His buttons both serve to pressure and to contain attempts to escape, and his long hit confirms have many layers of frame traps. He also has an overhead as an added threat when he has HD ready.Has a unique anti reversal tool in air EX Hangetsuzan.

Defensive Viability: A+
With meter, access to the 3-frame EX Hienzan makes safe jumping Kim difficult for many characters. Hou'ou Hiten Kyaku (qcf x 2 +K) is a viable reversal against extended ground pressure, as well as a good anti-air and nets a full combo to the ever-so valuable hard knockdown. Instant Air EX Hangetsuzan helps as a slower, safer optio with tons of invincibility. Meterless, Kim can struggle because his fastest invincible move is D hienzan (8 frames). His 3 frame close D can help, but it doesn't cover above him all that well and can lose to strong jump-ins. Overall, deals well with wakeups, not so much with pressure.

Once Chance: S Rank.
Hard knockdown shenanigans and good HD damage have made Kim one of the leading anchors, and with good reason.

Team Flexibility: S- Rank.
Point: Loses damage output but still has the buttons and the hard knockdowns to work with. Probably weakest position and what stops him from a pure S rank.
Second: Gets more meter to work with which strengthens him in all phases. May have to conserve for his anchor if things get rough which would limit him.
Anchor: Gets all the meter to play with and doesn't have to worry about anyone else. Gives him the most flexibility and maximizes his strengths, typically more so than most of the game's cast.

Current Assessment: S rank.
Kim is a very strong character with great options that put him into favorable situations from which he can keep forcing more pressure and damage. His lack of truly strong meterless options, as well as his neutral being limited in certain areas, are the main factors stopping him from vying for the rank of the best.

EDIT: Decided to take off the minus and make his rank S. He is still not the #1 character but he is definitely deserving of ranking among the very elite.

 
« Last Edit: April 15, 2015, 06:01:39 PM by Frofighter »
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The Fluke

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Re: Tier lists and Character Discussion Thread
« Reply #440 on: May 06, 2014, 07:06:46 AM »
Your character breakdown seems sound to me. I think Kim's biggest weakness when compared to EX Iori (a in some ways similar top tier) is damage, because both of them have great normals and both of them get hard knockdowns off of bnb's but EX Iori gets upwards 100 more damage on a meterless bnb. Kim still has most of his pressure regardless of having meter so i think that what position he has on his team doesn't matter that much when you're just looking at him. Instead you get to think about whether you need to save a certain amount of bar or drive for your next character for some reason.

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Re: Tier lists and Character Discussion Thread
« Reply #441 on: May 06, 2014, 10:47:50 AM »
Your character breakdown seems sound to me. I think Kim's biggest weakness when compared to EX Iori (a in some ways similar top tier) is damage, because both of them have great normals and both of them get hard knockdowns off of bnb's but EX Iori gets upwards 100 more damage on a meterless bnb. Kim still has most of his pressure regardless of having meter so i think that what position he has on his team doesn't matter that much when you're just looking at him. Instead you get to think about whether you need to save a certain amount of bar or drive for your next character for some reason.

My main issue with Kim on point is that he doesn't come out of the box with his EX specials available. That means losing both his best whiff punish and his best reversals, as well as giving more opportunities for safe jumps against him. Understandably that's a weakness other characters suffer from, too, but I think Kim loses more from it because his meter-based tools add that much more to him as strong as he is already.

I agree that it doesn't matter that much but on a comparative basis with some other characters (as will probably be apparent when we get to them) it's enough to not get the full grade here.
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marchefelix

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Re: Tier lists and Character Discussion Thread
« Reply #442 on: June 02, 2014, 11:27:52 PM »
I was a bit skeptical when I first saw the new Arcadia tier list placing EX Iori above everyone, but after seeing a lot of high level play since then I no longer have those doubts. It seems people have really figured out how to maximize his talent. There's quite a bit of players now who can do his rekka loop in tournament play.

Here's to 2014 being the year of EX Iori! (With 2012 being the year or Mr. Karate and 2013 being the year of Luigi... I mean Kim. Of course, I'm only basing this off of what I saw in high level play during those years...)
« Last Edit: June 02, 2014, 11:42:39 PM by marchefelix »

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Re: Tier lists and Character Discussion Thread
« Reply #443 on: July 29, 2014, 07:12:49 PM »
I tried to make a list of the ten best point characters in the game for fun. It's actually really hard O_o. Five or six or so are pretty trivial, but a full Top10 is just hard IMO.

So for fun and activity, your personal point character Top10? Doesn't have to be in order or can be in order or grouped or whatever, however you wish.

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Re: Tier lists and Character Discussion Thread
« Reply #444 on: July 31, 2014, 07:24:22 AM »
It is hard to make a top 10 for point cause thats based upon a player like i prefer to use shen takuma and ralf on point

Frofighter

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Re: Tier lists and Character Discussion Thread
« Reply #445 on: April 08, 2015, 06:54:22 PM »
So I feel that discussion here tends to slow down a lot from time to time, and I would like to provide a suggestion to help with that. Take a look at this Dustloop thread regarding Blazblue Continuum Shift: Extend (BBCSEX)

http://www.dustloop.com/forums/index.php?/topic/4368-bbcs-extend-tier-list-thread/
 
*explanation*


After attending IGT, I am feeling inspired enough to try finishing this now. Time for the second writeup, this time on the point heroine of IGT's champion team, King!

Reward Assessment: B+ Rank
King is not about damage overall, but she is capable of some damaging drive cancel combos on par with some of the stronger characters. Her HD damage is where she severely lags behind, but it's not a crippling weakness by ay means. Most of her damage comes from the next category, or the threat of it at the very least.

Neutral Viability: S Rank
King has every space control tool in the book. Between standing A,C,D and crouch C for anti airs, slide for low profile anti airs, j.CD and j. B for air to air , j.D and j.CD for jumpins, she's got a lot, and this is before we get to her great projectile game. Venom Strike is very good, but its air version is what seals this deal by providing a unique angle that no other character can consistently cover, and allows her to win aerial battles especially when backing up. She even gains long range anti airs with meter thanks to EX tornado kick. Neutral is where King shines, her biggest strength by far.

Offensive Viability: B+Rank
King can keep some lengthy, if predictable, hit confirms going. The fear of her crouch to stand B chains and her ability to poke if the opponent tries to escape too early can make her a threat once she gains the advantage, and makes her throw game stronger, giving her hard knockdowns to work with for crossup attempts if necessary. (EDIT THANKS TO EX WILD WOLF) Midscreen, she can reset using standing B into Venom Strike off a B Tornado Kick, which keeps her in a very advantageous position. The predictability is what keeps this lower, as is her potential vulnerability to GC rolls if she keeps canceling into Venom Strike. Her 1-frame Neomax can be a nice one-time surprise off a crossup hop if you so desire a crazy killing method.

Defensive Viability: B+ Rank
Without meter, King has nothing to fend off a disadvantaged state aside from guessing with her buttons if she senses a chance, and although her buttons are good, that is still risky. With it, she gains some situational reversals that can help her out. Surprise Rose (both versions) help her against any errant safe jumps, and EX trap shot and tornado kick are invincible enough for the read situations. Her Neomax is a unique 1-frame option but can be too costly as a defensive measure unless it kills. Good ground-based offense can murder her, and that is what keeps her rank as such.

One chance: C+ Rank
King can definitely keep momentum going her way well with her neutral. That being said, she is always liable to get lit up in big meter situations thanks to her relatively low overall damage. Don't rely on her for comebacks.

Team Flexibility:  B rank
Point: Her spot. This is where she gets to go to work, and mistakes cost far less. Also, the opponent won't have as  many options to get in, augmenting her powerful neutral
Second: Viable spot to consider thanks to her useful drive cancel combos, but makes her more open for opponents to take her out with meter
Anchor: Highly suboptimal thanks to her low HD damage and how unfavorable she compares to the rest of the cast in that aspect.

Current Assessment: A Rank
How can she get this despite having lower ranks all around? Simple: Her neutral really is that good and allows the rest of her game to function well enough to make her very threatening, to the point that opponents have to potentially plan matchups around her. One of the game's elite point characters.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2015, 07:21:48 PM by Frofighter »
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Frofighter

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Re: Tier lists and Character Discussion Thread
« Reply #446 on: April 10, 2015, 08:39:49 PM »
All right... time for the next character. I'm basically going to be doing these as often as I can since I want to keep momentum here. Next up: The popular (as a person) yet not so popular (in player base) hero of SNK, Terry Bogard!

Reward Assessment B Rank
What Terry gets from hitting, both in advantage and damage, doesn't stand out overall. His meterless damage is not good, his drive cancel damage is OK, and his HD damage is only situationally high, and average otherwise. Off Burn Knuckle and Buster Wolf, he gets to pursue into his poke/pressure range, but not much more. His confirms build decent meter, which feeds his drive cancels.

Neutral Viability A- Rank
Terry has several strong neutral tools. Pokes (Stand C and D, stand CD) anti airs (Stand A,C,df.C, Crack Shoot, Rising Tackle, Power Geyser) and a decent grounded projectile (power wave). With meter, he gains a strong "forcing" tool in EX power wave. With two meters, he can beat projectiles with EX buster wolf about half a screen away. This all sounds really strong and should have him higher, but the only reason it isn't is that he has to compare to the likes of King, Kensou, Karate, and others and he doesn't force mistake as well as they do, and is more unsafe on his errors.

Offensive Viability B Rank
This rank is almost entirely based on two things: Terry's good hit confirms (close C, crouch target combo) and how much Terry can hurt the guard gauge. EX powerwave also creates good offense for Terry that forces opponent actions. He can get a good hard knockdown situation with either throw or EX crackshoot. Otherwise, his offense off most of his knockdowns doesn't stand out. In pressure, he either resets to neutral with A power wave, or risks  a crack shoot, which can be low profiled or reversal'd out of. His hop arc is a bit high and slow, which somewhat nullifies his best jumpin (j.D). Granted, the higher jump can help him clear reversals if he baits them, but that isn't an exclusive strength to Terry. EX crackshoot is his only quick way to force a high block, and it is not very safe at -4. Overall, the risks Terry carries if he tries to go pure offense, and none of his options really standing out, is what keeps this from going any higher.

Defensive Viability B+ Rank
An invincible reversal that can be drive cancelled for solid damage (C rising tackle) as well as a 4-frame metered reversal (EX rising tackle) contribute to Terry needing some care when he's attacked. His selection of anti airs and his ability to weave back out of pressure (that isn't in the corner) with stand CD help him keep an opponent's offense honest. His vulnerability to safe jumps is problematic, however, as is the rising tackle's hitboxes starting lower to the ground, making them more vulnerable to being jumped over. His crouch target combo can be a good defensive deterrent if he spots a big enough gap since that can net him a full combo. He also suffers somewhat from having a rather large hurtbox for his character type. Terry is solid in defense but can be exploited with a good read.

One Chance: B Rank
Not the most reliable comeback character. He can't keep up an offense too consistently and that limits his ability to maintain momentum, and despite his good confirms he can struggle to land that significant hit. Decent, but you have better options for this.

Team Flexibility: B+ Rank
Point: Safest neutral spot, and will typically build one drive cancel meter when opponent is at half life setting up his KO.
Second: His other good choice. Gets more meter to drive cancel with for decent damage while getting access to his best reversal.
Anchor: His weakest spot due to his HDs being subpar. Odds are you will have another character better suited here.

Current Assessment: B Rank
Terry is solid and capable in most categories without standing out in any one of them enough to make him go above this rating. Characters below him tend to have specific, more pronounced weaknesses, which is not quite true of Terry.

EDIT: I felt in hindsight I slightly overrated a couple aspects and the overall rank. Doesn't change the reasoning behind anything, just what the final result is in each case.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2015, 08:13:27 PM by Frofighter »
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Frofighter

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Re: Tier lists and Character Discussion Thread
« Reply #447 on: April 11, 2015, 07:42:37 PM »
Next up, continuing with the trend of SNK heroes, Ryo

Reward Assessment: A- Rank
Ryo's damage is actually quite good. Granted his midscreen meterless damage isn't much, but one meter on him (and preferably some drive) and he can carry to the corner to get his strong corner pressure going. His corner combos are quite damaging when optimized, including getting close to 500 damage off a hop D with a 1-meter drive cancel combo. His throw is a hard knockdown which is always nice, but he can't do as much with it midscreen. His HD damage when optimized is also quite strong. His meterless midscreen damage and lack of strong knockdown setups are what prevent this from going higher.


Neutral Viability: A+  Rank
Ryo's neutral, particularly at midscreen, can be very oppressive to many characters. His projectile has a bigger hitbox than it lets on, and allows his other tools to be more threatening than his pure frame data lets them look, including stand C and D (especially this, with its long cancelable window), as well as sweep. Kouken stuffs normal projectiles on its way as well. Add his anti airs (crouch C, DP, EX Ranbu) into the mix, as well his strong j. CD, and you have a potentially dominant presence. with meter and drive, he gets EX Kouken, and he also gets the ability to super cancel into his Ranbu for big damage from neutral. His parries add a unique dimension to his neutral that can catch errant pokes/moves from the opponent. The reason he doesn't rank higher is that a correct whiff read from the opponent can be costly, and put Ryo to where another Kouken attempt can get stuffed, and any other whiffed poke means a punish. Still strong though.

Offensive Viability: A- Rank
Ryo's midscreen offense isn't much to write home about. A Kouken leaves him at neutral, which is the core of his offense, but that is vulnerable to GC rolls should the opponent call it out. His crouch B is plus on block, his crouch C is 3 frames (linkable from crouch B), and his standing D has tons of cancelable frames. Those three moves form a good set for Ryo to rely on while attacking. Both the heavies have lengthy recovery though, so be careful. His overhead is another strong tool that (with some work) is confirmable into supers and HD combos. He can cancel into his low parry off his heavies for seemingly quick recovery, but that option is not actually safe if the opponent sees it. His air game comes with the beefy j.D and the well-rounded j.CD. Add his hard knockdown throw and you have a solid offensive kit, held back by the risk factor if he misses (long recovery) or is read correctly.

Defensive Viability: A- Rank

A Kouhou is a 4-frame DP with decent range and enough invincibility to trade at least, and the fully invincible C version can carry a super cancel threat when Ryo has the meter to burn and finds a good read situation for its slow speed. EX Ranbu can be the heavy call against hesitant blockstrings, as well as a long-range anti air, similarly to Mr. Karate. Crouch C's speed can also make is useful under staggered pressure, when buffered into a Kouken (and maybe into super after that). Ryo has typically solid "shoto" defensive options, and his vulnerability to safe jumps are his primary weakness here, with the secondary being his punishability if he guesses wrong.

One Chance: A- Rank
Ryo's HDs can do quite some damage, and with meter he can carry across the screen very quickly. He also has good drive cancel damage and corner carry, enough to be a very viable threat from one chance. He also has the threat of an overhead to super/HD if necessary.

Team Flexibility: A Rank
Point: Gets more breathing room in terms of neutral and mistake penalty, and will build enough meter when he needs it for a combo.
Second: May be his best choice. Gets access to his corner carry combos and stronger damage from both neutral and combos
Anchor: Augments his choices in second, enough to make him a decent option here, but not stronger than the elite anchors due to a weaker knockdown/mixup game

Current Assessment: A- Rank
Ryo is a rock-solid character who is powered up by a strong neutral, and can get good damage from more than just his combos. He suffers from a rather high risk factor in close-range situations and that is what holds him back.

"NO PROBREM!" -Terry, KOF 2002/UM

BodyOrgan

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Re: Tier lists and Character Discussion Thread
« Reply #448 on: April 13, 2015, 07:49:19 PM »
Frofighter, whether or not I agree, these are are good reads. I'm enjoying the write ups.

Frofighter

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Re: Tier lists and Character Discussion Thread
« Reply #449 on: April 13, 2015, 09:49:35 PM »
Body Organ, thank you! I'm always down to discuss anything that I post, and I am willing to alter ranks based on the discussion results! I'm trying to do every character before the Evo side tourney, and hopefully afterwards there will be a reflection to see how things change.

Now on to one of SNK's oldest characters and series mainstay, Ralf!

Reward Assessment: A Rank
Ralf's damage is very good, particularly in the corner. His meter building is passable when he optimizes his combos thanks to the extra heavy punch link after QCF+C. Midscreen, his damage takes a bit of a hit, but he gets to finish his drive cancels with a hard knockdown super which grants him a basic mixup. His HDs are also some of the better damage available in the game, with legitimate 3-meter kills on hand. He also has a stun combo in the corner, should you require it for a kill. He is a bit resource-heavy, but his combos make it worth it.

Neutral Viability: C+
Ralf is a very polarized character in neutral. On the one hand, he does well against non-projectile characters thanks to a host of strong pokes at several ranges, and his j.CD providing a good hitbox for all-purpose aerial fights. His stand CD moves him forward a great distance and is +3 on block, helping to get him in/ set up whiff cancel shenanigans. His Dive Bomber gives him a rare method of changing his jump arc, baiting counterpokes. However, against projectile characters/characters with superior air games, he can really suffer. He has no straight answer to projectiles beyond moving forward and/or hoping to Dive Bomb over them, and his average air speed and low jump height don't help matters. His anti air game is also suspect, as his df+A is not that strong for that, and everything else he has is on the slow side. His air game has a blind spot above him that he can't cover at all, augmenting this issue against opponents who opt to attack him from above. His pokes are his saving grace and they can be nullified depending on the matchup.

Offensive Viability: B-
Ralf can keep up fairly solid pressure with a combination of frame traps. His Bs (standing and crouching) are both plus on block, and qcf+C is positive as well and takes a good chunk of guard gauge. Stand CD can be used to stagger pressure on its own or combined with QCF +C. He also has an instant overhead in hop D, and his short hop is useful enough on the inside with some solid jumpins (j.A, j.D). However, his somewhat lacking hop speed can stunt this. His instant overhead is his fastest way of opening up a low block, but it puts him in a more neutral state which can be bad depending on the matchup. He is rather predictable and lacks solid hit confirms, but his blockstrings are safe enough to nullify GC roll threat. Overall, his offense is OK and the damage threat behind it is what counts.

Defensive Viability C- Rank
This is where Ralf's woes come to the fore. His defensive options are very poor overall. His only fully invincible reversal doesn't have much invincibility (Bareback Vulcan), and his armored EX QCF+AC can be thrown. He doesn't have a 3-frame normal for breaking out of pressure, and his standing A is 5 frames making it difficult to snipe hops with depending on how it was set up. He is also rather large, making him more vulnerable to crossups, as well as incapable of low profiling certain attacks other cast members can. The only saving grace is that his reversals grant him a good momentum shift IF they land. His biggest crippling weakness.

One Chance: B+ Rank
Ralf's high damage and strong poke range make him a scary threat to get that one chance and obliterate your life bar with it. That being said, his neutral and defensive weaknesses make it difficult for him to find that chance to begin with.

Team Flexibility: C+ Rank
Point: Safer bet, but he loses out on his best possible damage and knockdown rewards, and loses what little he has defensively
Second: May be his best position due to the meter situation. His defensive issues can get exposed with bigger punishes, but the opportunity for damage may well be worth it
Anchor: Tough choice to justify. He has the damage for it, but many of the top anchors will make it hard for him to find his chance, and that's not what you want to rely on.

Current Assessment: C+ Rank
Ralf's poking ability, decent pressure, and damage potential are what keep him out of the lower reaches of the cast. His defensive frailty and neutral blind spots are considerable weaknesses, and make him a choice you have to balance out with characters built to set him up/ make use of his meter if he bites it.
"NO PROBREM!" -Terry, KOF 2002/UM