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The Future of Noob Saibot.

Hitoshura

Head Cage
I'm creating this thread separately because I feel that this topic has become a big talking point as of late, and I don't wish for it and the responses to be fragmented and buried within the general discussion thread. This will be a relatively long read, so I do apologize in advance, but I feel like this is something that needs to be discussed.

Mustard recently released a tier list that is based on character placements in tournament (mainly combo breaker), tools, and how well said character(s) work within the mechanics of the game. At the beginning of the video he states that this list is subject to change a lot and will change as long as the game is played. Below is a link to the exact video and the time stamp where he starts discussing about Noob Saibot.

Mustard's Post-Combo Breaker Tier List

Here is the image of the tier list he made:


Mustard makes a lot of valid points that I agree with. Noob Saibot is a good character on paper. He has some of the best pokes in the game, good neutral game, a fast hitting mid at 9 frames that leads into a full combo, and his damage equates to the damage one would receive when hit by a truck. The issue is that when put into practice there are things that are holding him back from being as good as he is on paper. I've spent many hours playing this game, maining our lord of shadows, and will be competing in Defend the North this upcoming July. It will more than likely be one of the only majors I attend and that's if I decide not to attend Winter Brawl this winter. I see the pros and the cons playing this character. Most characters have cons, but some cons can have detrimental effects on the overall state of the match.

What are some of Noob's cons?

  • His b1,1+3 is minus on block to the point where a chunk of the cast can punish it, whether with a full combo or just a special move that provides them with advantage.
- This removes one of Noob's biggest tools used in neutral and cripples his footsie game severely. Anyone that can punish this move automatically has an advantage of Noob since this is a more neutral heavy MK game than previous installments. This one is a bit tricky because most characters that can punish b1,1+3 can only punish it with a single move, so it's not like Noob is at a major disadvantage when punished, except the other characters that can stick on him after the fact. Not sure if this should remain how it is or change in an update, but it is our only mid though. I'd rather keep it the same and wait to see how Noob fares once the top tiers are properly balanced.
  • His Shadow Tackle is only usable in combo as it is a slow traveling projectile that disappears when Noob is hit. It can not be used in the projectile war because it can not trade.
- One of Noob's main zoning tools is useless as a zoning tool. This one is self explanatory.
  • Noob has no way of opening up the opponent for damage and has to rely on the opponent whiffing their own moves or block a highly punishable string in order to deal damage.
- Now, I don't want anyone here to misconstrue this point. I'm not asking for Noob to become a 50/50 mixup character like Sonya. That's the last thing I want to be honest. Noob's entire gameplan is to punish the opponent for big damage while simultaneously advancing them towards the corner. When we reach the corner, it is our job to bully them and attempt to open them to land consistent damage. Noob's midscreen damage varies depending on what starter you use and that varies depending on the situation you're in. With no way of opening the opponent up in the corner it becomes increasingly hard to get the damage you want when you have your opponent right where you want them, especially in a game where wake up options are super strong.

He needs another low starter. I suggested f4 be special cancelable because a move that was similar to it was special cancelable in MK9. What I find funny was that in MK9, Noob's b1,2,1,4 had an overhead move in it. In MK9 he suffered from weak midscreen damage, lack of corner carry, and lack of damage in the corner in contrast to the rest of the cast when not using meter. In MK11, Noob has corner carry, but suffers from consistent damage midscreen. Noob has corner damage that exceeds everyone's in the game, but they removed the mixup options he once had, so he has no way of netting such damage. It's as though they solved the issues we had in MK9, but then took away some of his strengths. Instead of getting fixes we received a trade. His mixups in MK9 were fair because his one overhead was in the middle of the b1,2,1,4 string and his only low was the start of f4,4; so one could block Noob low all day, but just adjust to a high block to block the one hit that was overhead in his b1,2,1,4 string.

What good is high damage if you can't consistently land it? In a game where a lot of strings are safe and our best way to land damage is based on whiff normals and special moves, landing damage becomes increasingly hard when players become better defensively. I'd rather have scaled down damage to have Noob's ability to open up the opponent again. Again, his mixups in MK9 were fair and no where near the level of MKX's 50/50 coin flip extravaganza, or Sonya's Mixup's in the game.

If there any other general issues with Noob that aren't variation specific let me know and I can update the OP with them.

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The philosophy behind the variation system is to give characters an alternative options and tools that allow them to approach a match differently. This can help if a character has a bad matchup against a certain character in one variation. The other variation(s) could have tools to help assist in that bad matchup. Some characters do not get this luxury. Some characters have tools to handle situations and are cut by the limbs and separated into to different variations, leaving the character feeling incomplete. Sound familiar? Y'all remember MKX?

MK11 was designed to have the option of customizing ones own variation and playing the character as they saw fit. In a competitive environment it would of worked similarly to trading card games such as: Magic the Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh, Vanguard, Pokemon, and et cetera, where after a match players are given time to look at their side deck which consists of 15 cards that can be used to cover holes in a decks overall gameplan that another deck can expose, or to cripple a deck that performs better than it. This would have been done in a similar manner if customized variations where allowed in the competitive scene for MK11. Instead we're left with the same problem that was in MKX, but with less variations.

Noob's alternative variation, Seeing Double, suffers from this problem. it's supposed to be a zoning variation, but has problems of its own that makes it unusable in a competitive environment.

  • Shadow Slide doesn't travel full screen. It disappears when it reaches half screen.
- Name me a zoner in FGC history that has projectiles that don't travel past midscreen? I'll stop you right there, because they don't exist, and if they do then more than likely are unusable. All characters have a gameplan that allows them to gain the advantage of the match. Rushdown characters run in and overwhelm the opponent with blockstrings and mixups in order to gain the advantage during a match. Grapplers maneuver slowly, but have great reach and have tools to advance themselves next to the opponent to land some devastating and damaging grabs. Frame trap characters set the opponent up in situations that force them to block and leave themselves at advantage, so when the opponent decides to press buttons they are able to land a counter hit and land some insane damage. For my Guilty Gear players out there you know I'm referring to Slayer. Zoning is no different. The philosophy of zoning is that a character uses projectiles to control the space around an opponent in order to gain advantage during a match. Without proper projectiles the character fails to operate and becomes unusable.
  • Due to lack of a combo extension, Noob's damage has severally dropped in this variation.
- I get that zoners don't need high damage to operate. Look at Skarlet and Centrion, but Noob's damage is the lowest in the game in his Seeing Double variation. It averages around 16-18% midscreen meterless and 20ish% in the corner. Both Skarlet and Centrion do more damage than this and they operate better than we do as zoners. Just seems a bit silly that we get shafted in the damage department and the projectile department.
  • Ghostball, which in MK9 was used for setups, is too slow to be used at all.
- Ghostball is trash. It starts at 40 frames and is just too damn slow to be used in combo and outside of one. I get that it's an unblockable, but it can be altered to be useful. Why take up a slow in the variation when it's never going to be used. You're just wasting space then.

It seems like this variation fails to operate properly and just wont cut it. So, our boy Noob is left with his only viable variation, Dark Sabbath, and doesn't have the luxury of have an alternative way of handling bad matchups.
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Noob struggles in the neutral game and is slowly falling out of favor on the tier list because of these issues. There are characters who can do what Noob does, but better. Baraka and Kabal come to mind. Kabal can whiff punish well, rushdown and restand the opponent, but does low damage to compensate for it. Baraka is a good punisher with better reaching normals and posses good neutral game, better than Noob's in my opinion, with consistent midscreen and corner damage/ Plus, he can consistently utilize his krushing blows. Some user sproclaim if the top tiered characters are nerfed that there is a good chance he'll perform better. As much as I would like to believe that, there are still characters who hinder our character to play neutral, so I do believe said proclamation, but I don't think it will make him budge much.

@M2Dave has stated that Chris G has dropped Noob in favor of Scorpion, Honeybee is starting to play more D'vorah because of newly found potential, Waz is exclusively using Jade now, @TheGlow mentioned that Toxin is using Skarlet and Kabal now. This is looking bad. Real bad. I never understood the point of a variation system if NRS is just going to handle it like they're handling it now. I personally think that there shouldn't be any variations. That a character should just have their options when picked, much like MK9, or other fighting games, but this is a topic for another discussion and I'm digressing from the point at hand.

What is in store for the future of Noob Saibot? Will NRS do anything to alleviate the issues he has as a character? Will they balance the game and fix the issues that contradict the philosophy of the neutral game? Will they just do what they want and make a "hype" game where characters have tools that contradict how you were selling the game? I'd like to know everyone's opinions on this. Let's get this discussion started and bring some life back into the Noob forums!
 
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M2Dave

Zoning Master
Royal Contributor
What is in store for the future of Noob Saibot? Will NRS do anything to alleviate the issues he has as a character? Will they balance the game and fix the issues that contradict the philosophy of the neutral game? Will they just do what they want and make a "hype" game where characters have tools that contradict how you were selling the game? I'd like to know everyone's opinions on this. Let's get this discussion started and bring some life back into the Noob forums!
I have just finished watching the Shang Tsung Kombat Kast and I got the impression that a major balance patch will not be released until at least after Evolution. NRS is allowing the game's meta to develop, which is the correct course of action in my opinion. Unfortunately, Noob will remain the way he is for a while, but I totally understand that the game does not revolve around Noob and that NRS needs to gather as much data as possible before making major balancing decisions.

For the record, I think Noob is neither very good nor very bad. I think he is average. Tier status aside, he does nothing special as far as I am concerned. I plan to compete locally in the summer so I will solely be using Scorpion. Shang Tsung appears as though he could be a potentially strong zoning character so I will experiment with him too.
 

Matix218

Get over here!
I feel like noob is a typical upper mid tier character. He will not compete with the current S tier characters unless the noob player does serious work and outplays their opponent significantly. He will not win a major tournament and TBH I doubt we will see him crack a Top 8 at a stacked event with the game's current build. Without his damage he would be a low-mid tier character for sure. The beauty of his current position IMO is that he is likely to get a few buffs (kb requirements, maybe faster running man clone) moreso than nerfs in any future (likely post Evo) balance patch wheras all of the S tier characters that give him and the rest of the cast trouble will likely be toned down a bit. He is currently a 1 variation character tournament wise as well which sucks. It would be nice to have the 1st variation be useful in certain matchups but I cant see many reasons to pick it over DS in the current build. Longterm I honestly see Noob being in a good position to move up the tier list when the current top tier are nerfed and he may be buffed as I think (in DS variation at least) his existing 9f mid, decent zoning, b2, d2, and strong damage/punishment with ability to end in restands combined with better kb requirements and some slight buffs may be a competitive character.
 

seanpon

Noob
He's a zoner with a 9 frame mid... be grateful, not even some rush down characters possess that. And he's one of the most obnoxius characters in the cast to fight. One wrong move and he hits you with a teleport for a BnB. He actually does very good damage as a zoner and is a threat from any position on screen due to his teleport.
 

Matix218

Get over here!
He's a zoner with a 9 frame mid... be grateful, not even some rush down characters possess that. And he's one of the most obnoxius characters in the cast to fight. One wrong move and he hits you with a teleport for a BnB. He actually does very good damage as a zoner and is a threat from any position on screen due to his teleport.
Hes really not a very strong zoner to be honest. DS has 1 decent projectile but it is not any better than other characters fast projectiles and many of those characters also have superior rushdown/mixups. With tweaks to variation 1's slide/ghostball and the base character's running shadow I might buy the whole "good zoner" thing but he is more of an average zoner with a couple of good normals and strong damage from punishments in the current build IMO.
 

Jhonnykiller45

Shirai Ryu
What if they gave Noob a standing overhead attack? Not a special cancelable overhead starter, of course, but like if they made the 2 from 112 available as a standalone normal? I think that would be pretty good.
Something kinda like Baraka's B2 or Scorpion's B3.
 

Wemfs

The only morality in a cruel world is chance.
I feel like Noob's biggest issue is opening people up because of his lack of mixups. Solid character nonetheless.

Would be a dream come true if we could teleport in the air by default too.
 

M2Dave

Zoning Master
Royal Contributor
What if they gave Noob a standing overhead attack? Not a special cancelable overhead starter, of course, but like if they made the 2 from 112 available as a standalone normal? I think that would be pretty good.
Something kinda like Baraka's B2 or Scorpion's B3.
I doubt a slow overhead attack would be of much benefit.

As I stated in the general discussion thread, I think I speak for every Noob player when I say the character needs hitbox fixes on wake up 3 and tackle, functional krushing blows on b+3,1+3 and tackle, and a couple of improvements on tackle. Everything else is debatable because he may need nothing else if you consider the inevitable changes to the S tier characters.

I also think we as players should not waste our time and energy on elaborate buffs and nerfs lists as all character changes are beyond our control. We should instead focus on playing the game. If you are competing or playing for money, you should already know which characters to choose. If you are playing casually, enjoy Noob the way he is. It is as simple as that.
 

Dante

Noob
I completely agree with @Hitoshura but once again I fail to see how a low starter can help. If its confirmable I'm game.

About variations, the only move I care about noob getting is the safe low thing. Safe specials are invaluable in this game. Even more than getting snag imo

Now real talk on opening ppl up. In this game you either win footsies, do 50-50s or more interestingly to me do frame traps.
IMHO the healthiest change for noob would be making his 3 a mid so that way he can have a legit plus move balanced by shitty range (OK maybe make it slightly better lol) and also keeping his b11+3 unsafe and maybe making it even more unsafe. Damage nerfs are also not a big deal. At least this way we get to play instead of walk back forth d4ing all day.

Kbs definitely need to be fixed but that goes for a lot of the roster.

Solid A tier with those changes imho
 

rainuS

Prince of Edenia
B1,1+3 is hard to punish for some character, Raiden probably cant punish it at all.
It should be more minus cuz it leads to monster damage above 400 anywhere on the screen for 1 bar is ridiculous!
 

GLoRToR

You're my fan if you can't stop shitposting me.
A buff / tier thread.
Quick, someone post a gif or a snide remark!
 

Zer0_h0ur

XBL tag: South of Zero
B1,1+3 is hard to punish for some character, Raiden probably cant punish it at all.
It should be more minus cuz it leads to monster damage above 400 anywhere on the screen for 1 bar is ridiculous!
I believe the most optimal combo off 1 bar is just at about 400 and idk who you're playing but it's quite hard to pull off consistently. Most go for the ~320-360 variation
 

rainuS

Prince of Edenia
I believe the most optimal combo off 1 bar is just at about 400 and idk who you're playing but it's quite hard to pull off consistently. Most go for the ~320-360 variation
No its easy even online its about 410 something for one bar
 

Hitoshura

Head Cage
He's a zoner with a 9 frame mid... be grateful, not even some rush down characters possess that. And he's one of the most obnoxius characters in the cast to fight. One wrong move and he hits you with a teleport for a BnB. He actually does very good damage as a zoner and is a threat from any position on screen due to his teleport.
With all due respect, do you play the character? He isn't a zoner by any means. His only viable variation makes him a punishment character. If anything needs to be huffed first it's his seeing double variation, then maybe he would be the "premier zoner" NRS said he would be.

You're right about the fact that if one makes one wrong move then one will eat a lot of damage; however, better players don't just push buttons. Their defenses are much better than average players and they play more conservatively. This is where Noob has a hard time landing damage due to his inability to open the opponent up.

I am grateful that Noob finally has good tools and such. Have you played Noob in MK9? It was like making an omelette with your teeth. Don't misconstrue my original post. One can critique the hell out of something and still live it. I still love this character and always will. It's just that other characters tools contradict the philosophy of the game that was establish by NRS. Noob plays within the confines of the way the game is supposed to be played and any character that plays this way is weaker than the top tier characters by default due to the contradictory tools they possess.

Hell, b1,1+3 may not need a buff if the top tiers are altered. The more I think about asking for a buff on this string the more it may be unnecessary. We just need to discuss it as a community as the game is in a weird state.

I feel like Noob's biggest issue is opening people up because of his lack of mixups. Solid character nonetheless.

Would be a dream come true if we could teleport in the air by default too.
If he had that then we could land an air teleslam after a j3/j4 for some nice damage and the ability to amplify into a full combo midscreen.

That sounds juicy. Haha.

...also keeping his b11+3 unsafe and maybe making it even more unsafe. Damage nerfs are also not a big deal. At least this way we get to play instead of walk back forth d4ing all day.
Make b1,1+3 more unsafe? That's crazy talk, sir! Bite your tongue! :p

Real talk, if they made b1,1+3 unsafe then the range of characters that could punish the move would increase which would make the move unusable in neutral. If they don't buff it, which the more I think about it the more it should be left as is for a while seeing as the inevitable adjustments of the top tiers may make altering this move an unnecessary change, I'd be fin with it.
 

Zer0_h0ur

XBL tag: South of Zero
But what about making our 3 a mid? Wouldnt that be great?

All those ppl asking for overheads and here I am asking for a damn mid to play the game lol
Agreed. A starting mid that doesn't have t-rex arms like B1 would be a true game changer.
 
Agreed with the OP and several others in this thread. To me Noob feels so dry when I play against players who know just to block low and tech throws. Opening people up for "that big noob damage" often does not happen in a game. And when I get an opponent to the corner I pressure them with....?? F22 into nothing? Poke and hope they don't know to block b1? I know these are all MY problems with the character and I'm not asking for buffs or anything. My prediction tho is as the game progresses Noobs tier list placement will continue to go down. I would love to be proven wrong.
 

Jhonnykiller45

Shirai Ryu
I doubt a slow overhead attack would be of much benefit.

As I stated in the general discussion thread, I think I speak for every Noob player when I say the character needs hitbox fixes on wake up 3 and tackle, functional krushing blows on b+3,1+3 and tackle, and a couple of improvements on tackle. Everything else is debatable because he may need nothing else if you consider the inevitable changes to the S tier characters.

I also think we as players should not waste our time and energy on elaborate buffs and nerfs lists as all character changes are beyond our control. We should instead focus on playing the game. If you are competing or playing for money, you should already know which characters to choose. If you are playing casually, enjoy Noob the way he is. It is as simple as that.
Sure.
I dunno, I just had the idea that, maybe, with an overhead, he would be able to set up the B31+3 Krushing Blow easier.
 
Does anyone other than me wish NRS added sickle snag to a tournament variation? Im finding it really boring when i play ranked not to have sickle snag which prevents an easy 300-400 combo but then again it could bring him to S tier and make him really strong, in casuals i usually bait out breakaway with a f,2,2,1 into d,b,1. After baiting it i would amplify d,b,1 and do a full combo and id love to do this in ranked, but i think it would push noob up the tier list and make him really good.
 
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Does anyone other than me wish NRS added sickle snag to a tournament variation? Im finding it really boring when i play ranked not to have sickle snag which prevents an easy 300-400 combo but then again it could bring him to S tier and make him really strong, in casuals i usually bait out breakaway with a f,2,2,1 into d,b,1. After baiting it i would amplify d,b,1 and do a full combo and id love to do this in ranked, but i think it would push noob up the tier list and make him really good.
maybe give it to the other variation but noobs issue isnt combo length, its about opening people up without a legit overhead.
 
maybe give it to the other variation but noobs issue isnt combo length, its about opening people up without a legit overhead.
I agree with that completely i just feel like it would be a good punish tool if someone jumps to try kick and you d,b,1 amplify and just d,2 would give huge damage