What's new

Overlooked Variations

Dreamcatcher

BaCk FrOm ThE dEaD
Royal Contributor
Anyone else feel like there might be some tourney variations that aren't getting as much love as they deserve? I'm not talking about the characters with 2 that are interchangeable like Scorpion, I mean characters where 99% of the time you only see one of them.

Here are some things I've noticed this far into the game with the "less used" variations. Again, just based on what I've personally seen. I mean no offense to anyone actively using these variations against other players already. If anything, help me raise awareness to value in some of these and explore more tech that we might not be using properly. You'll notice I have less info for some than others. Feel free to add anything I'm missing or that you've discovered.


Cassie
- That drone bubble has some unique setups with amp. You can still go into restand and throw from nutcracker, and it seems like less damaging combos, but the opponent CAN'T breakaway. You can still go in to throw right after. SonicFox vs NinjaKilla (using Yaas Queen) @ 5:27

Jax
- It's obviously not as braindead easy to use as Hunker Down, no offense to Jax mains since I'm one myself... but the Ripped is an actual launcher amp into a combo, which you can use from Duck and Weave. D&W is better than Stiff Arm in some ways but worse in others. It does provide easier control and you have options, the cancel can inch you closer through zoning while keeping a decent attack available. If you read correctly, you can go straight into amp launcher combo.
- You do lose the quad grab (with the KB) and the Grappler strings with KB. Without the Grapplers, you do miss out on some extra heat from punches to use your remaining missile and throw KB's. Long story short, it looks like the potential for combos is trying to overshadow a complete focus on just maxing out with KB's and pressure. I do PREFER Hunker Down personally, yet I play around with this one a little bit too.

Noob Saibot
- That Ghostball is a little underrated eh? Slow as shit yeah, but unblockable. I think that and the Slide could add some interesting possibilities to a mix, despite losing a couple valuable specials from DS variation.

Baraka
- You lose some potentially massive damage without Gutted, but Blood Lunge has a mind game factor to it. You can't block it since it's technically a command grab with range, so you have to respect it with ducking. The Spine Burst is stupid anti-air last resort and can help create space... space you use to lunge, spark, F4, you name it.

Jacqui
- 1st Round KO is strong af and I'm definitely NOT saying that Next Gen is better by any means; however, those plasma grenades have some cool setups similar to EB's acid. Not to mention that Tech Bubble stops 1/3 damage against her inside it. (even FB/KB) She loses the Clinch in general, and the KB... but gains the Tech Bubble throw KB. (even though it doesn't popup unfortunately like the Clinch)
- The most alarming thing lacking other than the Clinch itself, most players will also hate missing the cancels... understandable, but I think this variation while not having as much face value is still perfectly usable and fun in a lot of ways. There's some unique setups that most players probably haven't played against (similar to CC's Yaas Queen) and won't know how to react.

Sub-Zero
- That Ice Ball amp can shut down a lot... the Cold Shoulder has a KB. This one is weird and kinda barebones, maybe someone can add more because other than possible huge strength full screen I'm at a loss.

Liu Kang
- I might be cheating a little bit with this one because I think I've seen this variation more now, but holy hell is Dragon Fire a monkey wrench thrown into the fight? Let's be real, the high is really the only safe teleport. If you can force a bad read going between that with the low and overhead tele, it's a lot of fun. I've had some tricky players using it. @MKF30 is an excellent zoner and uses this move (and variation) really well. There was another strong player online but can't remember their name? Now granted, you could try to read the teleport in general, or jump back with a kick... that's worked and sometimes it hasn't, leaving you punishable.

Kitana
- I guess I don't see much value in Edenian Razors? I would if it blocked/reflected projectiles, but to my knowledge it's just a physical shield. (haven't tested against everyone) Half Blood Stance has some incredibly fast options, the sais for one, mixed with the tele-kick.

Jade
- I've seen wayyyyyy more of the ED variation, but damn the Pole Vault cancel is real in this variation. Takes some skill and timing, plus it's basically the only run in the game not counting any wave dashing. From ED to this, you're pretty much trading to more watered down zoning but adding actual rushdown pressure in a decent balance. (IMO)
Raptor vs Vman @ 12:00

Frost
- Excuse my language but holy fucking CYRAX, Batman! The Cryo Crown is fun as hell to use and can create some space while going into mix pressure. It's dangerous to use up close unless coming off knockdown... There are downsides to it, you can't use it for all the setups you hope for... and you lose Microburst along with it's potential juggle. You can end combos with the Arctic Barrage but it's not huge damage, truthfully the Spin Blade is interchangeable to finish. In a nutshell, paying homage to Cyrax and Cyber-Sub playing ice bomb mind games.

Erron Black
- Okay so... what the hell? A lot of players are still wondering how this is all supposed to cohesively fit together in the same variation. EB loses some huge muscle without Scud AND LnL alone... for a command grab, a projectile that HURTS him, and cancelling moves that don't do anything additional except mind games in your mix. I was hoping many things when I started labbing this loadout for hours upon hours. I thought I might find a cool setup involving the amp TNT, where you could shoot them (when he shoots to ignite the TNT) and then connect something in between that. No, doesn't work. Despite throwing the TNT wherever, his gunshot to light it ALWAYS hits the same spot. So unless that's where the opponent is then it doesn't matter AND it doesn't open anything else up. Nope, that's it. Mind games, and not even very good ones.
- The Slide and Boot cancels can be a great add to your mixup, fake the slide from your string and go to command grab... sign me up. The rest of it is just purely not worth the sacrifice. 52 Kard is so strong it completely overshadows this one. While BI is fun to mess around with, it's practical use pales in comparison. I did want to do a short analysis so my time with it amounts to something at least. Lol
SonicFox vs Gunshow @ 15:45 (starts using BI)
 
Last edited:

ismael4790

Stay focused or get Caged
Noob's Seeing double variation is garbo, not the "premiere zoner" they advertised. He actually gets more threatening zoning in the other variation with the fast projectile. He loses too much from the other variation and what he gets in exchange in nowhere near as good.

I main Bonepicker and although he has some weaknesses and is more high risk/low reward oriented than Marauder, imo he is solid and a good complement to that variation. A completely different style.
 

Dreamcatcher

BaCk FrOm ThE dEaD
Royal Contributor
Noob's Seeing double variation is garbo, not the "premiere zoner" they advertised. He actually gets more threatening zoning in the other variation with the fast projectile. He loses too much from the other variation and what he gets in exchange in nowhere near as good.

I main Bonepicker and although he has some weaknesses and is more high risk/low reward oriented than Marauder, imo he is solid and a good complement to that variation. A completely different style.
Yeah I agree with you on Noob. I'm going to keep labbing the ghostball because I feel like there still might be something there. It might not be worth using over DS anyway but oh well. Lol

I freaking LOVE Bone Picker. It sucks not having the high damage juggle with gutted, but that lunge is lethal.

@Sutter Pain has been having a lot of success with Next Gen Jacqui. Yes, she loses her cancels, but her stagger pressure is still insane. She still gets crazy damage and conversions. But now she’s got a projectile and setups. That fire DoT damage is substantial.
I need to watch him using it. What I love about that DOT she gains is it can cover significant area spreading it too. She also doesn't lose her grease kick or regular strings, so she's still a mix nightmare that can do good damage without the clinch. I'm just in love with that bubble too, that shit is so unique it's insane. I know most pros will argue that "a good defense is a better offense" and trading cancels + clinch doesn't make up for preventing 1/3 damage with the risk in setup... but if you can win with it, it's useable in my book.
 
Seeing Double is alright. I've had success with it. The slide catches people off guard way more than it probably should and because you hit so many of them, you are actually able to get the shadow tackle Krushing Blow. Also the air teleport helps against zoning because it's so fast. He loses mid screen combos but his corner combos are still pretty good.

Still not as good as Dark Sabbath but it isn't bad.
 

karaokelove

Dead or alive, you’re coming with me.
Premium Supporter
I need to watch him using it. What I love about that DOT she gains is it can cover significant area spreading it too. She also doesn't lose her grease kick or regular strings, so she's still a mix nightmare that can do good damage without the clinch. I'm just in love with that bubble too, that shit is so unique it's insane. I know most pros will argue that "a good defense is a better offense" and trading cancels + clinch doesn't make up for preventing 1/3 damage with the risk in setup... but if you can win with it, it's useable in my book.
Here you go:
https://www.twitch.tv/videos/437780095
 

Wetdoba

All too easy...
There is literally nothing to use ghostball for except catching people holding up forward on knockdown but you might as well just hit them with a klone to add the the KB counter instead. It is the most reactable move Ive ever seen with the most hilariously obvious tell with him waving his big glowing hands around in a circle first. If you cant duck it on reaction in any scenario i dont know what to say.

Like even if you do something like bait a breakaway and think thats a good time to attempt an unblockable set up its actually in their favor to take the hit. The move is suppose to take away a bar of each meter but it wont actually take away anything but their 2nd bar and then they just get the meter back in 2 seconds anyway so you couldnt even possibly take advantage of that. It legit makes them regain the meter faster because of this, fuck waiting 32 seconds to get both defensive bars back, you could take the hit and get both back in 2 seconds instead. Also has a dick ton of recovery so midscreen or closer you are getting punished after they duck it. It is quite literally the worst gimmick in the game with no practical uses at a high level, they clearly were too scared of making the move too good so they played it way too safe and made it useless instead.
 

Vslayer

The Shinnok Slayer
Moderator
Premium Supporter
If anyone plays Yaas Queen Cassie I will delete them from my friend's list.

I guess this variation has some cool setups if you like slowing the game down, it really depends on how you like playing, but I personally feel naked without some moves and I think that has to do with the fact that most of us only practiced with 1 variation because it's better, and let's be honest, there is always one that's far better.

Maybe it's just a habit, but when I find myself full screen with Yaas Queen I try to do low gunshot, and then I cry cause I remember I don't have it. To me, bd1 is like a safety, a check, a friend even, and without it, I am hopeless and defenseless, like for real.

How you gonna duck under Baraka's blade sparks AND do damage at the same time without it, huh? You ain't. You just ain't bruh.
 

Dreamcatcher

BaCk FrOm ThE dEaD
Royal Contributor
There is literally nothing to use ghostball for except catching people holding up forward on knockdown but you might as well just hit them with a klone to add the the KB counter instead. It is the most reactable move Ive ever seen with the most hilariously obvious tell with him waving his big glowing hands around in a circle first. If you cant duck it on reaction in any scenario i dont know what to say.

Like even if you do something like bait a breakaway and think thats a good time to attempt an unblockable set up its actually in their favor to take the hit. The move is suppose to take away a bar of each meter but it wont actually take away anything but their 2nd bar and then they just get the meter back in 2 seconds anyway so you couldnt even possibly take advantage of that. It legit makes them regain the meter faster because of this, fuck waiting 32 seconds to get both defensive bars back, you could take the hit and get both back in 2 seconds instead. Also has a dick ton of recovery so midscreen or closer you are getting punished after they duck it. It is quite literally the worst gimmick in the game with no practical uses at a high level, they clearly were too scared of making the move too good so they played it way too safe and made it useless instead.
You really REALLY don't like ghostball. lmao

If I can't find anything cool out of it tonight I definitely won't try anymore. Your points are more than valid, especially the meter part.

If anyone plays Yaas Queen Cassie I will delete them from my friend's list.

I guess this variation has some cool setups if you like slowing the game down, it really depends on how you like playing, but I personally feel naked without some moves and I think that has to do with the fact that most of us only practiced with 1 variation because it's better, and let's be honest, there is always one that's far better.

Maybe it's just a habit, but when I find myself full screen with Yaas Queen I try to do low gunshot, and then I cry cause I remember I don't have it. To me, bd1 is like a safety, a check, a friend even, and without it, I am hopeless and defenseless, like for real.

How you gonna duck under Baraka's blade sparks AND do damage at the same time without it, huh? You ain't. You just ain't bruh.
Yeah I definitely know a TON of players will miss kneecappin' to death... you're trading the extra damage from low guns for unbreakable combos though. It's definitely a play style thing because I would say Yaas Queen is much more in your face pressure, DS with low guns can anti-zone like crazy but you can breakaway from all of the juggles. (very early too)
 

Dankster Morgan

she don’t call me daddy she call me Grandmaster
True, I've just seen probably 80/20 or more with Thin Ice. I think the consensus with most is it's better than Dead of Winter and I'm just trying to develop more worth out of it.
I think it is better, relying solely on an unsafe mix is a sure way to die. Honestly wether I end up choosing Thin Ice or Dead of Winter in a specific matchup is if I think slide/axe in the neutral or the threat of amp ice ball/better knockdown of cold shoulder is more useful vs the character I’m fighting.
 

Dreamcatcher

BaCk FrOm ThE dEaD
Royal Contributor
I think it is better, relying solely on an unsafe mix is a sure way to die. Honestly wether I end up choosing Thin Ice or Dead of Winter in a specific matchup is if I think slide/axe in the neutral or the threat of amp ice ball/better knockdown of cold shoulder is more useful vs the character I’m fighting.
You're right on that one. I can see DOW being much more effective against pro zoning chars.

I dont use that variation but I am curious because so many ppl zone
My bad I thought you did, must have been @MKF30 and someone else I played. I don't think the intention with that variation is pro-zoning, since the high is safe is leaves you up close to go right back into mix.
 

Dreamcatcher

BaCk FrOm ThE dEaD
Royal Contributor
You know what the best overlooked variation is? Customs :)
Lol yes definitely! We're all hoping it will be added ASAP, but I'm trying to squeeze more value and playtime out of different variations in the meantime. For all we know maybe they will never add customs but just a third tourney variation.
 

Marinjuana

Up rock incoming, ETA 5 minutes
I've never seen anyone use Showstopper Johnny but after playing him a bit he seems totally usable to me. Biggest miss to me is that he doesn't get to hit confirm into full combo from his low string when compared to the other variation, but you get to keep your big combos grounded without the chance of breakaway and I think his sunglasses KB, while not a variation seller, is very useful.
 

JBeezYBabY

Mr. Righteous
Lol yes definitely! We're all hoping it will be added ASAP, but I'm trying to squeeze more value and playtime out of different variations in the meantime. For all we know maybe they will never add customs but just a third tourney variation.
I feel u but WHY pander to the bullshit variations that were obviously thrown together without any thought into it? We need to send a message and playing the fucked up garbage ass tournament variations is NOT IT babY! Its time to stand up for betterment of this game!

Yes betterment is a word....I asked Jesus...LOOK IT UP!
 

Dreamcatcher

BaCk FrOm ThE dEaD
Royal Contributor
I've never seen anyone use Showstopper Johnny but after playing him a bit he seems totally usable to me. Biggest miss to me is that he doesn't get to hit confirm into full combo from his low string when compared to the other variation, but you get to keep your big combos grounded without the chance of breakaway and I think his sunglasses KB, while not a variation seller, is very useful.
That plus his Say Cheese KB is hilarious. Lol I would play it just for that.
 

Dreamcatcher

BaCk FrOm ThE dEaD
Royal Contributor
I feel u but WHY pander to the bullshit variations that were obviously thrown together without any thought into it? We need to send a message and playing the fucked up garbage ass tournament variations is NOT IT babY! Its time to stand up for betterment of this game!

Yes betterment is a word....I asked Jesus...LOOK IT UP!
Because in the meantime we can have fun playing the other ones and use them effectively. SonicFox beat NinjaKilla in that last set with Cassie's 2nd variation, I wouldn't say they're all garbage.
 

Name v.5.0

Iowa's Finest.
I've never seen anyone use Showstopper Johnny but after playing him a bit he seems totally usable to me. Biggest miss to me is that he doesn't get to hit confirm into full combo from his low string when compared to the other variation, but you get to keep your big combos grounded without the chance of breakaway and I think his sunglasses KB, while not a variation seller, is very useful.
It's not overlooked. The JC community looked at it hard and we found it to be horrible. The sunglasses throw is a fucking joke. It's 24f, and has dick for range and is a mid that consistently whiffs. The camera is also bad. You cant use B34, or F4, and you use lose the best restand in the game.

It's objectively bad.
 

JBeezYBabY

Mr. Righteous
Because in the meantime we can have fun playing the other ones and use them effectively. SonicFox beat NinjaKilla in that last set with Cassie's 2nd variation, I wouldn't say they're all garbage.
Y'all need to stop using SonicFox as an example for this game. SonicFox is SONIC-FUCKING-FOX! We are regular folk thats just trying to get good when hes already one of the best. Its cool to use what he does as a blueprint, but to say, "Well SonicFox does this to beat this." is not gonna go with everybody's style. Kudos to him, but i still aint using that whack ass variation.
 

Dankster Morgan

she don’t call me daddy she call me Grandmaster
Yeah showstopper is bad, you lose the best restand in the game and a probably the second best fireball for much shittier versions of both things.
 

STB Sgt Reed

Online Warrior
Premium Supporter
If anyone plays Yaas Queen Cassie I will delete them from my friend's list.

I guess this variation has some cool setups if you like slowing the game down, it really depends on how you like playing, but I personally feel naked without some moves and I think that has to do with the fact that most of us only practiced with 1 variation because it's better, and let's be honest, there is always one that's far better.

Maybe it's just a habit, but when I find myself full screen with Yaas Queen I try to do low gunshot, and then I cry cause I remember I don't have it. To me, bd1 is like a safety, a check, a friend even, and without it, I am hopeless and defenseless, like for real.

How you gonna duck under Baraka's blade sparks AND do damage at the same time without it, huh? You ain't. You just ain't bruh.
I play Yaas Queen. ;)


@Dreamcatcher

Pretty sure a lot of Sub's play DoW. There's just not a huge amount of Subs cause he's trash.