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Tom Brady Video: Is MK11 Balanced?

By far the most annoying thing about Erron Black is that now one is scrutinising this: "52 Kard Pickup", should be FIFTY-TWO-CARD PICK-UP !! :mad:

PS: Forward-4...
 
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Ayx

Noob
"Balance" means little if the game does not prove fundamentally FUN TO PLAY, and into the medium-to-long term. No one will be watching SonicFox's 50-50 spam orgies if they've become bored of the game and moved on. Frankly, if it wasn't for Jakal's Kahn, I'd not even have watched any scene matches past that atrocious U.K. launch tournament... which nigh on gave me P.T.S.D.!

At this point, I'd encourage NRS to drop some tantalising DLC news -- to rekindle positive interest -- and make their intentions clearer, with respect to allowing customisation in tournament play and, however unlikely, loosening up the 3-slot limit for causal modes. They need to throw some meat to players, because with the vast majority of the player base being capricious casuals, those who want to stick with the game, need some reason to (beyond just the 'joy' of critiquing it, that is).

The way I see it, if people are already onto the "[insert character / set-up] is broken" stage of this game's discussion cycle, MK11 is headed for similarly short life span to the other NRS games that preceded it...
Regarding your first point, this isn't MKX or INJ batgirl. If you think this game is nothing but 50/50's you'd see SZ climb into the god tier. This game has some solid defensive play options in getup variety and flawless blocks.

You're way over your head thinking that customization is the way to go.. not to mention buffing it. If you have a character do anything the custom provides, then there's no variety. Everyone would simply pick the OP setup, then have a backup setup move for a specific match up. Have you seen Kabal's custom air dash that he gets? The amount of gimmicks that one move alone delivers opens him up like a brand new character. Every scorpion would use Misery Blade, every Cetrion would use the aura move etc. There's moves that are fun for Kasual play but for competitive some moves just transform the character completely. There's 25 matchups in the game to learn, plus 2 varieties which some chars can do both. Let's say that's 35-ish matchups since some chars are just too weak w/ the other variation. If we have kustoms, it would be an encyclopedia of matchups to learn on the fly which would allow some gimmicky wins that really just come down because someone didn't lab the Kabal air-dash setups (for example as mentioned earlier) or dealt w/ high level matchup experience, the results would just be too inconsistent.

It also allows the teams to focus from a competitive standpoint to balance the 2 variations they have now, either by removing or adding a move or simply improving that specific special move to be more viable. People always complain.. 24/7 about the game. Let it be because their char can't compete against S tier chars, or because a gimmick is super favorable week 1 (Scorpion rushdown, Erron Black dropkick/zoning, SZ's 50/50s etc.) Just gotta let it ride and see how the meta unfolds first before raising the pitchforks.
 

NeonGroovyGator

Edenia's Ambassador
The main reason I see to advocate for custom variations is the creative/freedom standpoint. It's very understandable, because there are a LOT of moves that aren't used in tournament variations, and it genuinely feels good to customize your own style and stuff.
In terms of balance, I think fixed tournament variations, while creating new moves and new variations is the way to go, but I see why people want custom variations as a feature so much. I'm personally neutral on the issue atm, since I think the game is very promising in its core anyway, and I don't feel like either/or will make or break the game.
 

CrimsonShadow

Administrator and Community Engineer
Administrator
"Balance" means little if the game does not prove fundamentally FUN TO PLAY, and into the medium-to-long term. No one will be watching SonicFox's 50-50 spam orgies if they've become bored of the game and moved on. Frankly, if it wasn't for Jakal's Kahn, I'd not even have watched any scene matches past that atrocious U.K. launch tournament... which nigh on gave me P.T.S.D.!

At this point, I'd encourage NRS to drop some tantalising DLC news -- to rekindle positive interest -- and make their intentions clearer, with respect to allowing customisation in tournament play and, however unlikely, loosening up the 3-slot limit for causal modes. They need to throw some meat to players, because with the vast majority of the player base being capricious casuals, those who want to stick with the game, need some reason to (beyond just the 'joy' of critiquing it, that is).

The way I see it, if people are already onto the "[insert character / set-up] is broken" stage of this game's discussion cycle, MK11 is headed for similarly short life span to the other NRS games that preceded it...
The reason, and the only reason, that NRS game lifespans are short is that they release a new game every two years. That’s it. Everything else is just excuses.
 
You're way over your head thinking that customization is the way to go..
The irrevocable fact of the matter, and the constant that all propositions must operate from, is that the customisation is already present, and it is going exactly nowhere.

As such, they may as well explore it as much as possible (three-slot customisation for tournaments; pointless restrictions removed for casual / superseding ability conflicts and slot cost per ability, left as is), and see where it leads. I'd love the game to have characters' with complete ability repertoires available and balanced, and to hell with the "customisation" gimmick... But, NRS have clearer committed to the system -- because casuals love it (rather, the concept thereof) and it allows them to render their games quasi-RPG's (facilitating content gating / micro-transactions). Hence, they sold the game largely on its premise. So, either they go hard, or they go home. The "middle ground" is what we have now... and no one is happy.

I could tear each, successive MK game's core mechanics a new poop chute -- as anyone with a modicum of fighting game knowledge could. We accept the rote, stilted, un-intuitive, predictive / non-reactive gameplay style of the franchise, largely because of its superlative production values, lore, character diversity et al.. However, with NRS increasingly homogenising these erstwhile strong-points on the series, they're invariably exposing the gameplay mechanics that much more... And the series has never had the wriggle room to allow the liquefaction of samey dumbing-down to loosen the its tenuous foundations. Take SFV as a salient, cautionary tale: With infinitely more refined and respected gameplay pedigree (than MK), in one iteration, once esteemed said brand has been severely damaged its reputation -- due to the regressive steps it took in its latest instalment, which have been seen as an unashamëd selling-out to the casual market, and done at the direct expense of the mortar that the series is bound by (*its gameplay; to a lesser degree, its roster).

Mortal Kombat does not have the luxury of taking the same tact and then expecting to not hurt the franchise to an even greater degree than SFV did. Indeed, when they further lose focus on what actually matters in a Mortal Kombat game -- by shoehorning money-grubbing scams and petty politicking into the product -- the game is that much more undermined, and the compounding effect become real. It's the sum of the parts of the problems afflicting the game, not any one problem per se.

Nothing could 'go wrong' with loosening the reigns on customisation. The restrictive nature of thus is the no.1 criticism that I have come across in my travels around the 'Net, and irrespective of the specific discussion or content being commented on happens to be. MK11 is a game, and no Middle East wars for neither for profit nor ideology, will be fomented from exploring the potential of the game's extant systems. Again: you can so-called "balance" the game up the wazoo... BUT, if it is not fundamentally fun to play and watch, only those die-hards still playing it, will even be aware of the game's existence... And that myopic, minority demographic would play with even a dildo--if it had "Mortal Kombat™" etched on it.

The irony of diluting so much of the game in order to pander to casual players, and filling it to overflowing with (admittedly laudable) training tools, YET, then screaming "B-B-B-B-BUT, BALANCE!!" whenever the roads of criticism lead to MK11's core gameplay and customisation systems, would be hilarious if it wasn't so idiotic. Who are they making the game for: casuals or purists? They cannot have their casual cake and eat the plaudits of deep gameplay too. Either they clearly demarcate the causal and tournament "builds" of the game, or they will end up with something neither hot nor cold, just spat out onto the pavement next to the other abandoned NRS titles.

The reason, and the only reason, that NRS game lifespans are short is that they release a new game every two years. That’s it. Everything else is just excuses.
The only excuses are those that fail to address the glaring problems that, though perhaps relatively easily fixed, seem to attract some personal umbrage from the fanboy fan base, who refuse to accept their beloved video gaming partner has cheated on them with a cashed-up, smoothing-talking casual suitor.

I'm not naïve enough to think I can persuade the apostasy of those who genuinely believe (*noting that belief is an operation of the emotional brain and, therefore, not a logic function) that the only reason NRS games have the shelf life of female porn stars, is because of their quantity--nay quality... Only electro-shock therapy, or some "MK Ultra" styled reprogramming could ever hope to achieve that. v_v
 
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CrimsonShadow

Administrator and Community Engineer
Administrator
Who are they making the game for: casuals or purists? They cannot have their casual cake and eat the plaudits of deep gameplay too. Either they clearly demarcate the causal and tournament "builds" of the game, or they will end up with something neither hot nor cold, just spat out onto the pavement next to the other abandoned NRS titles.
They have and will. The selling point behind MK is exactly that -- that it's both friendly to new players, but requires mastery of deeper mechanics for competitive play. That is why you could have people doing Swarm Queen cancels in the same game that some people will buy just for the story mode. You can have Flawless Block in the same game that explains to people how to use the block button in a tutorial.

And MK is statistically the most successful fighting game at doing this. They sell and will continue to sell more than any other pure fighting game on the market. But we'll also have 800 people enter to play competitively at Combo Breaker and more than a thousand at EVO. It is what it is.
 

Ayx

Noob
The irrevocable fact of the matter, and the constant that all propositions must operate from, is that the customisation is already present, and it is going exactly nowhere.

tl;dr
Congrats for posting a harry potter sized paragraph that basically accomplishes nothing but basically saying "lol F balance let us do wat we want!!". I'm not sure if this is a borderline troll post but you expect the meta on month #1 to basically be top players having to learn 25 matchups w/ 2 variations each (Let's be generous and say only 10 chars have both viable vars. So 35 MUs). But instead you want to multiply this by about 8 different moves and properties under a tournament setting with thousands of dollars on the line in a 2 out of 3 setting. Not to sound like a broken record, but that's just begging for disaster and unbalance. Maybe if they allow one tournament w/ all variations enabled to see how it goes but the reality is it's way too early for something that meta breaking.

You're tooting your own horn about how casuals love it.. well yes it is fun.. because it's casual. Meaning joe schmo buttonsmasher200 can abuse Rising Spear scorpion or air dash Kabal and it's all k because it's just a custom casual game. if they want to play 15 games in a row to learn the MU? that's k. We are talking about a kompetitive setting with strict rules. People can just say "lol yah but just ban da OP movez!!11" but then it opens a HUGE can of worms of people arguing why their 1 move that is banned should be unbanned and why X or Y's 1 move is way too OP for them etc. Why are people so insistent on thinking this is the way to go? It's like they want Sonic Fox or REO to have 5 different variations and hybrid characters ready to out-gimmick the crap out of you because you weren't labbing 10 hours a day on specific setups and when you think you finally got it down, they use a move that changes the char completely.

Keep customs for casuals. It has no place for competitive based on the logistical nightmare alone.
 

John_NX

Noob
No nerfs needed. Nobody is even close to broke. Game would be boring AF if you toned down the top 6 characters. Please. You young guys never want to adapt. You like a character like Jade? Okay, use her. You want to use a "strong" character but Jade isn't what you see as "strong," then switch characters.
Excuse me but what the f does that mean? That some characters should be better than others just because? For no reason? Game should be balanced overall WITHOUT doing exactly what you just said.
 
They have and will. The selling point behind MK is exactly that -- that it's both friendly to new players, but requires mastery of deeper mechanics for competitive play.
But, then why is everyone complaining about everything (*reminder: this is not my thread) -- and often legitimately so -- if NRS has, as you allude to, caught casual-purist lightening in a bottle?

Why is the game replete with universal abilities and inputs (for aesthetically disparate characters); easy input scheme options (without any attached penalties); non-discriminatory damage-scaling (that only dissuades combo experimentation and depth); super move comeback crutches on tap (for the losing player... who else?); half-assedly implemented pseudo 'depth' that's utterly impotent in the face of the likes of the down-1/2 win buttons (Perfect Block, combo roll-outs); inordinately spam-friendly tactics for almost every character; Krushing Blow mini-supers on tap (down-2, forward-4); inversely proportional recovery frames relative to attack potency / efficacy (uppercut / shin punch / FB all day vs. get punished for any deviation from thus)... If the game is indeed the Elysium-like demarcation of the dirty casual and epicurean fighting game purist, that you say it is? =/

I'm not saying that NRS haven't made an effort to do this. What I am saying, however, is that they (i) have not gone anywhere near far enough, and (ii) that they have compromised this ideal -- either through fear of offence (example: "Oh!... So, if I choose 'casual' control configuration, I can't get muh Achievements?!... NO BUY!!") or fear of alienation (example: "I've gotta do forward-back-forw... WHAT?! to do Kang's bicycle kick?!"), they've pulled up short of drawing a thin blue line abyss deep moat between the respective demographics' wants and needs. Simply misspelling a mode "Kasual" to sequester it from another called "Tournament", then gimping the former's functionality and ruining the latter for a "balance" that's doesn't exist, isn't enough: the core gameplay of each game modes has to be fundamentally different, if it is to have any hope in preserving the essence of what a fighting game is.

If you fry your kale and tofu burger patties in month-old, cancerous, trans-fats canola oils, you're not eating healthy. Just because NRS slap labels onto certain game modes, does not mean the gameplay is being insulated from the dilution that casual pressure forces games to condescend to. Moreover, unless incentives are in place to goad casuals to graduate from their down-1/2 -> FB flowchart ways, they will never change; and the games will ingravescently debase themselves to their lowly level. A literal race to the bottom, and the proof of which pudding is in the curdled taste that everyone is complaining about.
 
Excuse me but what the f does that mean? That some characters should be better than others just because? For no reason? Game should be balanced overall WITHOUT doing exactly what you just said.
No, he's right--everyone should just switch to the top characters so that, in a game with 25 different choices, everyone ends up playing the same 3 characters over and over again. :rolleyes: I've been watching a ton of tournaments since release, and I'm already sick of watching Geras, Erron Black, and Jacqui.
 

CrimsonShadow

Administrator and Community Engineer
Administrator
Why is the game replete with universal abilities and inputs (for aesthetically disparate characters); easy input scheme options (without any attached penalties); non-discriminatory damage-scaling (that only dissuades combo experimentation and depth); super move comeback crutches on tap (for the losing player... who else?); half-assedly implemented pseudo 'depth' that's utterly impotent in the face of the likes of the down-1/2 win buttons (Perfect Block, combo roll-outs); inordinately spam-friendly tactics for almost every character; Krushing Blow mini-supers on tap (down-2, forward-4); inversely proportional recovery frames to attack potency / efficacy (uppercut / shin punch / FB all day | get punished for any deviation from thus)... If the game is indeed the Elysium-like demarcation of the dirty casual and epicurean fighting game purist, that you say it is? =/
I'm not sure I'm following you here.

This is probably the least-spam-friendly game NRS has ever released. Are you saying that spam is winning competitive matches, or that casuals are dissuaded from playing the game because of spam?

Likewise with spending defensive bar to drop out of the combo -- an auto-win button?

Is your concern that you are casual and feel unable to beat players who are doing these things? I'd legitimately like to help, but I'm not sure which side of the equation you're speaking from.
 
It's too balanced. Can barely distinguish between top and low tier. In other words: Boring!!
This^

Why is Shao Kahn faster than a bare-knuckle fighter Johnny Cage, deals more or less the same damage and can land similar combo hit-counts, when he wields a giant hammer that looks to be heavier than most of the opponents he uses it to bash? Why is Kitana so clunky and slow, and her damage so poor, for someone who wield small razor fans? Why is the "Elder God" ( :rolleyes: ) Cetrion, such a jobber as to be unable to use her rather tame AoE elemental skills in any combination, or control her balder tosses without some extra add-on... err, 'knowledge'? Why do all MK11's characters have the same HP? Why do they all get their super move at the same HP threshold? Why do they all throw projectiles? Why can so many teleport, even when they do not have any lore alluding to magick or sorcery?...

I think most of those who advocate for more "balance", fail to understand that the fighting game genre is supposed to be a fantastical and exaggerated representation of hand-to-hand combat, and not a direct facsimile of homogenised real life combat--where bouts are weighted and defined by sex (and don't, generally speaking, incorporate the use of guns and magic). If people want a simulation, there is a sub-genre for that (mostly corralled by EA) -- MK, SF etc. are not those kinds of games, and should never strive to be. I'm confident in speaking for the majority, in saying that people actually want a big, slow Zangiefs / Shao Kahns / Astaroths / Armor Kings / Earthquakes, juxtaposed against speedy Vegas / Kangs / Takis / Laws / Hanzos... It's what endears characters to players of differing tastes, and what -- their exaggerated distinguishing characteristics -- makes watching them compete so much more enjoyable, than the Mr Karate fighting Man vs. Ms. Karate Fighting Woman bouts that people often cry broken murder for.

Video gaming is escapism, and people want to escape into a fantastical world that departs from their own, often mundane corporeal existence. Yet, ironically, many will continue to argue for everything to be made more samey, because this or that isn't "fair" or "balanced", and then turn to complaining that everything boils down to a select few characters who have some small but important trait that makes them "top tier", thereby, making the game boring to watch or play. Such is the cognitively dissonant nature of the homo-sapien mind.

FUCK "balance" if the game is rendered a yawn to play. If a fighting game developer cannot achieve diversity while on their crusade for the holy grail of balance, they're developing for the wrong genre of video game.
 
Balance is pretty good right now and with customization allowed into competitive play it would be down the fucking drain. At least the way it is now it's pretty easy to identify which skill combinations make a character too strong and with how big of an impact kbs have, that it's necessary to tweak those as well. Unleash all those fucking skill combinations and you'll have a very dumb game for a very long time.

The only thing that annoys me at the moment is how the standard skill sets are not the tournament skill sets. This shit creates an unnecessary barrier between competitive and new players, who'll be pissed after playing a ranked match where none of their combos work, and makes competitive players run through 25 characters for an hour to give them the skills they need to practice against them.

Whoever in Q&A saw this and thought that was a good idea, needs to get fired.

Also why the fuck can't I look for or create competitive games in chat rooms? Am I not allowed to chat and play by the rules at the same time?
 
This is probably the least-spam-friendly game NRS has ever released.
Yeah... nah. Present me with the statistics and the sampling they are derived from, which you buttress your claims upon, or that's just a throw-away shit-post in the ballpark of "DBZ is less spammy than Naruto", I'm afraid...

Are you saying that spam is winning competitive matches, or that casuals are dissuaded from playing the game because of spam?
Firstly, "spam" -- FG vernacular definition: the repetitive use of the same moves or combination(s) of moves (usually correlating to efficacy / potency) -- isn't just throwing Liu Kang's fireballs. Spam can be Erron Black having an all-but-safe forward-4 normal, that covers 50% of the screen, is near-instant, can [incongruously] be amplified, and also has a very facile KB attached to it; or it can be Shao Kahn being forced into using one (euphemism: "BnB") combo, because he lacks anything else that even remotely works.

So, if you ask me whether spam works to win matches, the obvious answer is, YES. Just watch any give pro tier match-up, and bear witness the specials / combos / BnB's get spammed to kingdom come... And, of import, this happens irrespective of what match-up is being presented. That, final point, is perhaps the most defining aspect of the concept of "spam": if it works, more or less as well against any opponent, and is predominantly availed as such, it is spam. In other words, it can be spammed because tactics do not need to be changed -- the "spam" is as effective, irrespective of the conditions presented... And if the the character lacks such an effective spam, they are rendered "low tier" and / or are ignored.

Likewise with spending defensive bar to drop out of the combo -- an auto-win button?
In a game with so few [viable] combo and tactic options, red tape over what options are there, coupled with such pious emphasis on said "BnB's", this ability is unnecessary -- doubly so, in the context of how easily something so potentially life-saving can be availed. In SFIII, to turn an aggressor's approach against them, players had a 2-frame window to do so (see: Daigo "full parry", Evo '04); in MK11, people are gifted get-out-of-combo-free cards -- the only restrictions being a meter that fully recharges itself every 20 seconds (x2 defensive bars), an execution devoid input (compare: original Killer Instinct games' "Combo Breaker"), and panoramic 'timing' window (compare: modern Killer Instinct's "Combo Breaker"). This is, by its very nature, just another casual crutch. After all, casuals are not going to deviate from the base 3/4-hit strings or down-1/2 spam (combo escape impact potential: low), while more advanced players will optimise what few combos they have and, thus, be punished for their lab'd, refined, pro-active play (combo escape impact potential: high).

Is your concern that you are casual and feel unable to beat players who are doing these things? I'd legitimately like to help, but I'm not sure which side of the equation you're speaking from.
Nope. This has nothing to do with me personally, nor with what category of player I fall into--by whatever measure. I didn't even create this thread, and I'm an anonymous user -- who cares what "random Internet user #92889127389123" is "ranked" etc.?... I know I don't. ¯\(ツ)/¯

My only concern, and as it has been for many years, is with the direction of the genre -- not in the result of any given fight. For mine, it's all about the gameplays, baby! -- not in the least about winning or losing. To win without risk is to triumph without glory; and to win because my Karate Fighting Man happens to have a couple of frames advantage over an opponent's Karate Fighting Woman, is little more than cutting my balls off to spite my "toxic masculinity".

Neither MKII, nor KoF '95, nor Samurai Shodown II, nor SFII were balanced -- yet, they are still some of the pinnacle examples of the FG genre, and continually returned to (even played in under-card tournaments of today's major events). MK9, IJ, MKX and IJ2 were all "tournament ready" and "balanced" -- but, are all abandonware, and only a few years after release. This is the most cogent point I can put forward, when debates about gameplay design and the eternal "casual vs. purist" arise... And it really should speak for itself.
---

Balance is pretty good right now and with customization allowed into competitive play it would be down the fucking drain.
Question:
How do you know that that would be the case? (...all claims of precognition / clairvoyancy aside, of course).
 

LawAbidingCitizen

Sunlight and Blood give me strength.
I lost currently appetite for the game, but I do really look forward, for some adjustments, that will encourage me to play and commit.
I feel somewhat similar to you maybe for different reasons but I'm eagerly awaiting a patch to buff the lower characters and changes to add depth.
  • More Krushing Blows
  • More interesting character tools.
  • Fix Krushing Blow requirements.
  • DLC dropping.
  • Kotal and others get wiffing moves fixed and general hitboxes fixed across the board.
The gameplay is actually great, love the meta and neutral focus aside from a few Characters having fuck neutral tools. The game is quite enjoyable and very competitive. Some just need to adapt to the new meta.

But for me combos are lackluster and characters feel bland.
 

exflyingbooty

This dream has a sad ending
The game isn't balanced. There's characters with a lot of toolsets that are just better then other characters and i'm sick of reading that this "game is balanced" because of it. Scorpion's teleport literally shuts down 80% of neutral, sub-zero is a jack of all trades master of all. Geras literally has no proper fucking flaws either other then unsafety which i'm fine with.

The only current top tier which i don't think is as unbalanced is sonya. And when you compare characters like Kitana/D'vorah/Johnny Cage/kotal to most of the higher tiers it's pretty fucking sad.
 

DarkSado

Noob
Even though I agree that some variations are clearly better than the others, let the game breathe a little, the picture might change a lot in a couple of months. This will also help NRS to make well-thought-out changes to the game (if needed), than just a quick bandage patch.
Naw we need a patch after combo breaker there no depth in NRS
 

DarkSado

Noob
The game isn't balanced. There's characters with a lot of toolsets that are just better then other characters and i'm sick of reading that this "game is balanced" because of it. Scorpion's teleport literally shuts down 80% of neutral, sub-zero is a jack of all trades master of all. Geras literally has no proper fucking flaws either other then unsafety which i'm fine with.

The only current top tier which i don't think is as unbalanced is sonya. And when you compare characters like Kitana/D'vorah/Johnny Cage/kotal to most of the higher tiers it's pretty fucking sad.
Bro soyna is like the worst lol
 

DarkSado

Noob
Regarding your first point, this isn't MKX or INJ batgirl. If you think this game is nothing but 50/50's you'd see SZ climb into the god tier. This game has some solid defensive play options in getup variety and flawless blocks.

You're way over your head thinking that customization is the way to go.. not to mention buffing it. If you have a character do anything the custom provides, then there's no variety. Everyone would simply pick the OP setup, then have a backup setup move for a specific match up. Have you seen Kabal's custom air dash that he gets? The amount of gimmicks that one move alone delivers opens him up like a brand new character. Every scorpion would use Misery Blade, every Cetrion would use the aura move etc. There's moves that are fun for Kasual play but for competitive some moves just transform the character completely. There's 25 matchups in the game to learn, plus 2 varieties which some chars can do both. Let's say that's 35-ish matchups since some chars are just too weak w/ the other variation. If we have kustoms, it would be an encyclopedia of matchups to learn on the fly which would allow some gimmicky wins that really just come down because someone didn't lab the Kabal air-dash setups (for example as mentioned earlier) or dealt w/ high level matchup experience, the results would just be too inconsistent.

It also allows the teams to focus from a competitive standpoint to balance the 2 variations they have now, either by removing or adding a move or simply improving that specific special move to be more viable. People always complain.. 24/7 about the game. Let it be because their char can't compete against S tier chars, or because a gimmick is super favorable week 1 (Scorpion rushdown, Erron Black dropkick/zoning, SZ's 50/50s etc.) Just gotta let it ride and see how the meta unfolds first before raising the pitchforks.
Preach my brother.