Yay, another Deadshot thread! This was a bit too much for a post in his already-toxic nerf threads, so here you go. (Note: I was a Deathstroke main, so I'm all about zoning.) Deadshot is a zoning character. That's what he does. He should be amazing at it, and he is. That's fine. Zoning is a scrub-killer and people are going to complain about it no matter what. This post is not directly about his zoning. The problem with Deadshot is his ability to do everything else in the game better than a lot of characters who focus on those specific things; characters who don't have arguably the best zoning in the game. We'll dive into that topic in general in a minute, but specifically I want talk about his 50/50. So he's got great zoning, fine. And you're a patient player and you manage to work your way in, great. But then you've got a coin-flip guess: guess wrong and you take a nice chunk of damage and are back to square one. Guess right and it doesn't matter because he can always remain almost totally safe thanks to Wrist Cannon and Bullet Barrage. A total guess that's weighted in Deadshot's favor. Well is the 50/50 short-ranged like Ivy's low-starter? No, both options are sweep distance. Well can one option not be canceled, like most other 50/50's in the game? Nope, both options can be special-canceled. Well does he have to commit to one or the other? Nope, he can actually stagger b1's to make the 50/50 even harder to block. In fact, the only downside to either string is that b12 has a gap. Ok, great, so his 50/50 is pretty good...so what? Well, look at the characters who have poor zoning options. You'd think they should be better up close in just about every way; their rushdown should be at least as good as his zoning. But nope; he's got: 6-frame high starter (that ends with a mostly safe low that can be ended early). No rushdown character beats that. 6-frame advancing mid that's 0 on block and pushes the opponent back past sweep distance and benefits from his trait. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think any rushdown character has a 6-frame mid. Maybe Aquaman? You can't even punish the gap in f123 because the 3 is a step-back triple-hitting move, so it creates space while breaking armor. A low-hitting safe 8-frame d1. an f3 that's +6 on block an 11-frame sweep that's only -5 and outranges even Cheetah's d3; the phantom hitbox actually extends well past his boot A long-range low-overhead b12 that sends full-screen on hit and is only -1 on block a long-range overhead that sends full-screen on hit Ok, so look at those tools. What rushdown character has access to that many amazing up-close tools? A 6-frame mid? Safe, staggerable 50/50? Why does he even need zoning when he's got that kind of up-close game? Catwoman doesn't have those tools. Cheetah doesn't have those tools. Bane doesn't even come close to those tools. And those are all characters that are completely defined by their up-close game; they literally don't even have projectiles. Ok, so you work your way in and guess right on his 50/50 and manage to land a hit and get a knock-down. Woo, this must be where his weak point is, correct? No one character can have zoning that good and rushdown that good and also have a decent wakeup, right? Wrong; he's got an invincible wakeup that's totally safe with meter (and he always has meter thanks to how quickly he builds it with his zoning). If it hits, yup, you guessed it; full screen. If you make a read, it's still a difficult move to whiff-punish due to how far he travels. Hell, if it whiffs, you just saved him a meter. So there's almost no downside to using this wakeup. Ok, so he's got amazing zoning, amazing rushdown, and arguably a top-10 wakeup move (maybe even top 5?)? Yes, and that's the problem with Deadshot; not that his zoning is so strong, but that his everything is so strong. [Note: I said "strong", not "unbeatable". And I only mean strong for how much versatility he has. I've heard him called a "hybrid" character by his defenders. Great, but a "hybrid" means versatility, not strength; a hybrid doesn't have amazing zoning and amazing rushdown and a 50/50 and an amazing wakeup, they should have adequate tools that compliment each other and create strength in their versatility. /note) He's a mess of a character, just in a very strong way. If you look at the opposite end of the "what the fuck was NRS thinking" spectrum, we see Brainiac; a character who's just as messed up, but in a way that makes him borderline unusable. No wakeup? Check. No projectile? Check (including trait; if your projectile goes away on block, fuck you, you do not have a projectile). No safe specials to cancel into? Check. Has to use crazy setups to get any damage? Check. So he's useless and difficult to use? Yes; opposite of Deadshot. Ideally, every character should be somewhere between those two extremes. So that's the problem with Deadshot. I want him to be an amazing zoner. That's totally fine. But when you give him the best zoning in the game without any weaknesses to offset it (other than a mediocre d2), it offsets the game balance dramatically. Why use Bane when I can use a character who dominates from both up close and full-screen? Why use half the cast when Deadshot does what they do better than them while being easier to play? [Fun fact: Deadshot can build 1 meter every 3 seconds while keeping his opponent locked down from up to full-screen, whether or not his opponent is blocking. If the opponent is crouching, it just becomes 1 meter every 7 seconds.] If you want to keep Deadshot as good at zoning as he currently is, you really need to bite the bullet (no pun intended) and admit that he needs nerfs. Whether or not you agree, he's going to get nerfs. You know it, I know it, and Ed Boon knows it. If you want him to keep his zoning, you need to admit that his up-close game is maybe a bit too intense. Hopefully when he receives his inevitable nerfs, they'll focus on his up-close game and leave his zoning alone. That's a best-case scenario for you Deadshot mains. I was a Kano main in Mk9, a Deathstroke main in I1, and a Jax main in MKX: I'm all too familiar with the nerf hammer. It's coming, and you can either complain like the anti-Deadshot zealots are doing right now, or you can at least attempt some damage control by redirecting the hate towards his up-close game. Phew, so in conclusion: The issue is that Deadshot makes easily 25% of the cast redundant because he does what they do better than they do it, while also having top 1 or 2 zoning. That is the problem with Deadshot. That's not an opinion, that is an objective fact. I didn't say he's too good. I didn't say he's overpowered. I said he makes much of the cast redundant.