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Question How Close Is Smoke To Cyrax?

What do you think?


  • Total voters
    62

THTB

When's Syzoth?
Coming from a pretty heavy discussion in REO's stream today, the topic was brought up that Smoke may be pretty close to Cyrax on the tier list. While obviously tier lists take matchups into account (which for an interesting note, Smoke is currently the only character who is noted to have an advantage matchup worse than 7-3 against a character that is potentially top 5), these notes may make you look at his matchups a little more and look and say "maybe I'm not as correct about this as I thought...". Let's look at some of the relative similarities.


Damage: Let's be up front about this...both characters can convert practically ANYTHING into 50+% if they have a bar. Hell, with enough meter, they both convert to 100%. The main outlier is Cyrax has better unbreakable damage and, if you want to make it a point, has less difficult combos to perform. He also nets more damage on average. So Cyrax wins this one, but it's not like Smoke hits like a week-old kitten, and is still a strong talking point as they both need just 1 touch to end your life, put you at a heavy deficit, or even come back.

Neutral: Cyrax's neutral game is generally considered pretty good, as is Smoke's. Cyrax's projectiles keep opponents on their toes and more careful with their own use of projectiles, and generally covers a good deal of space. Smoke's one projectile doesn't cover as much space, but controls other characters grounded projectiles very well, and due to shake, he can make even instant air projectiles off-limits. When it comes to the closer parts of footsies Cyrax isn't bad here either, with normals and strings such as d1, d3, d4, f2, 21, and 121, and even using net and bombs to make opponents be wary of how they approach him. Saw is also a solid overhead option that can be spaced to be a safe poke that gives Cyrax bomb opportunities. This works well in tandem with EX ragdoll, which is a very fast low. Smoke's close-up game is really solid, too. With great normals in d1, d3, d4, b23, and 3d12, and a solid retreating option in smoke away, Smoke can be very treacherous to approach. To compare the two, Smoke's b2 has insane range and gives him a very powerful normal to keep opponents in line from really far out. While Cyrax has f2, which has a retracting hurtbox on startup and is very advantageous on block, it isn't the fastest option Cyrax has. Both characters can space out their projectiles to be safe on block. It's hard to say who is better objectively, as both characters have their perks and downsides to their neutral options.

Pressure: Both characters scare you out of pressing buttons just because letting go of block can lead to death if done at the wrong time. What they can do with that is fairly different, though. Cyrax can open up your guard by using a command throw that leads to a safe jump into more fear of letting go of block. This is also aided by the fact that Cyrax can reset you back to standing after combos, so that you don't have an opportunity to wake up if he chooses to save his meter. Smoke's b2 is a fairly quick overhead that can lead to combos, while his d4 has very heavy advantage on hit. Getting hit by d4 can put you in a nasty guessing game of high/low 50/50s. Do I continue to let Smoke slowly whittle down my health? Or do I take the chance and block low to stop this little game, while opening myself up to a b2 into oblivion? Not to mention, Smoke can pepper you with d1s and d3s cancelled to smoke bomb to make you weary of counter-poking. Pretty scary. Maybe not as scary as Cyrax's general offensive onslaught, but enough to make you hate having to block him.

Defense: With all these advantages, both characters have one notable shortcoming...a lack of useful armor/any armor. In a game where it can be difficult to escape pressure without using it, it's definitely a problem for both characters, as they have to rely on poking their way out. Smoke gets a slight saving grace here, just because of EX shake functioning as a parry. On wakeup, Cyrax is subpar outside of EX ragdoll, with regular ragdoll not activating fast enough to cover the wakeup invincibility and anti air being a decent escape on overzealous opponents. On Smoke's side, teleport is invincible until he leaves the screeen and even hits the opponent, so that's worth something, though it whiffs on crouching opponents. But Smoke also has smoke teleports, which allow him to escape. Without meter, however, they are stuffable. He also has EX shake, which can be stuffed with low attacks, giving him a general difficulty dealing with crouching opponents. On the anti-air side of things, Cyrax has an actual invincible anti-air, but outside of that, both characters do a really solid job of knocking opponents out of the air with their normals and low profiling things. So it's another actually tough call.

These are just really simplified notes, so things don't end there. But with some of these things in mind, what do you think? Is Smoke not that far from sitting in the S-tier court as Cyrax? Or is the idea just a pipe dream?

@R.E.O.
 
Cyrax's ability to drain meter is a big deal, and the command grab and unbreakables... but smoke has better anti-zoning and runaway... and with perfect execution does absurd damage.... I guess in theory pretty close... but i would argue cyrax has a much more threatening pressure game...
 

The_REAL_xVAPORx

smoke reset bot
i play both characters and I must say, cyrax is easier to grasp as a character and play at high levels with. his resets are easier to pull off and are viable in multiple situations (smoke is extremely difficult to land resets with off of a standing 2 AA unless youre facing the corner) cyrax has better block string pressure, and a lot of tools to give him the ability to deal with a wide variety of MUs and playstyles. I have cyrax down as #3 in the game and I put smoke as #8-9. cyraxs breaker traps, meter drain and command grab make this decision pretty clear cut.
 

GRieVeR_SKeiTH

bad player
Its not about pressure. Its Smokes ability to build meter while simultaneously running away and negating attempts to zone him. Character is ridiculous and its a huge blow up how downplayed he is. Not to mention good smokes trade smokebomb w/ insert footsie tool here and then its right back to round critical dmg. He's dumb
 

LaidbackOne

Scrubby nice guy
Its not about pressure. Its Smokes ability to build meter while simultaneously running away and negating attempts to zone him. Character is ridiculous and its a huge blow up how downplayed he is. Not to mention good smokes trade smokebomb w/ insert footsie tool here and then its right back to round critical dmg. He's dumb
He's not downplayed. Its just the fact that other top10 characters tend to exploit his weaknesses. I agree that the resets are bullshit but this character is far from 'dumb'.
 

RiBBz22

TYM's Confirmed Prophet/Time-Traveler
Premium Supporter
LOL yeah Smoke is like right next to Cyrax on the tier list. Comparing Smoke's "pressure" to Cyrax's pressure. OK I am out of this thread.

Plus I don't understand...The Smoke community has always had Smoke around 7-9 ish in the entire game. With Cyrax in the 2-4 range, it makes me question if people actually listen to the leaders of the Smoke community or just listen to conjecture and trolling... It isn't that big of a gap, but these characters are in no way equals...
 

Fractured_Shadow

Really likes to throw things at you.
Its not about pressure. Its Smokes ability to build meter while simultaneously running away and negating attempts to zone him. Character is ridiculous and its a huge blow up how downplayed he is. Not to mention good smokes trade smokebomb w/ insert footsie tool here and then its right back to round critical dmg. He's dumb
All the meter in the world will not save Smoke from the corner and a strong pressure game.

I have played against Cyrax and Smoke A LOT and Cyrax with 2 bars is way scarier than Smoke with 2 bars.
 
cyrax is better against crossups, cyrax can drain your meter, cyrax has better pressure, he can end combos in a net, cyrax has unbreakables. You can take a step back against smoke when you don't know what to do and want to take a moment to think about what to do, cyrax can fill the screen with bombs or command grab you, the worst smoke has when you sit there and do nothing is hit you with d4 or grab you.

but yeah they are pretty close
 

STRYKIE

Are ya' ready for MK11 kids?!
I will say this, this is a better breakdown than the usual "let's milk the crap out of the lesser known matchups" talking points that you usually see in the higher tier discussions.

But he has the same problem as the rest of the could-be-top 10 group, too many bad matchups with not enough dominant matchups to make up the ground and say for sure. That much needs to be clarified before he gets a tale of the tape against a character who is a crap shoot for anywhere between 1st-6th. (Just waiting for Mt. Mutumbo or whatever his name was to make another hidey account and claim that Smoke is still one of Cyrax's worst matchups :DOGE)
 

Matix218

Get over here!
Cyrax's offensive options are superior to smokes as was stated by several people in this thread already. That coupled with the command grab, ability to drain meter and easier/more reliable resets makes Cyrax the clearly superior character.
 

AZ MotherBrain

If you believe enough, -7 could be +7
Premium Supporter
Cyrax is better than Smoke in my opinion. His pressure is better, execution is easier, two bombs on the screen, meter drain net, non-attacking teleport, etc.
I think Smoke is still a great character, but i don't feel like he quite there with Cyrax.
 

Eddy Wang

Skarlet scientist
Cyrax D4 is better than anyone on the cast because it stuns ppl on hit for 16 frames, which is addition to his unblockable command grab and 9 frames pressure makes his 50/50 mixup game much more legit than smoke. Aside from that Cyrax resets are 10 times much easier to pull of than smoke's and even on daily basis bnB resets, if Cyrax keeps the basic he still does more damage than the rest of the cast from a single mistake because his combos, 70% of what pulls his combos together are mostly unbreakable stuff, in the middle, beggining or into a point where it doesn't matter to break because you have to break on the next round. He can also drain meter which is a pretty big deal, comparing that half of the cast struggles really hard to build meter against Cyrax..

Smoke game would be a lot deadlier if he had a low starter, this would make his pressure very scarier, but he would still lose in comparision to cyrax because aside from his reset being too hard to pull off, half of the hits taken by the opponent are mosty breakable aside from the smoke cloud, which of course shows that Smoke can't kill anyone with a single combo, along the way the opponent will break or choose to do so at some point of the damage he is taking to regain momentum.
 

Fractured_Shadow

Really likes to throw things at you.
Cyrax D4 is better than anyone on the cast because it stuns ppl on hit for 16 frames, which is addition to his unblockable command grab and 9 frames pressure makes his 50/50 mixup game much more legit than smoke. Aside from that Cyrax resets are 10 times much easier to pull of than smoke's and even on daily basis bnB resets, if Cyrax keeps the basic he still does more damage than the rest of the cast from a single mistake because his combos, 70% of what pulls his combos together are mostly unbreakable stuff, in the middle, beggining or into a point where it doesn't matter to break because you have to break on the next round. He can also drain meter which is a pretty big deal, comparing that half of the cast struggles really hard to build meter against Cyrax..

Smoke game would be a lot deadlier if he had a low starter, this would make his pressure very scarier, but he would still lose in comparision to cyrax because aside from his reset being too hard to pull off, half of the hits taken by the opponent are mosty breakable aside from the smoke cloud, which of course shows that Smoke can't kill anyone with a single combo, along the way the opponent will break or choose to do so at some point of the damage he is taking to regain momentum.
Smoke with a low would be a top 3 character and better than Cyrax. He would be an un-zonable, 50/50, reset nightmare. His pokes are amazing and pressuring him could kill you.
 

Eddy Wang

Skarlet scientist
Smoke with a low would be a top 3 character and better than Cyrax. He would be an un-zonable, 50/50, reset nightmare. His pokes are amazing and pressuring him could kill you.
his still doesn't do unbreakable combos the same way cyrax does tho, his offense would surely be deadlier, but i don't think pressure him would kill anyone tho.