The dust is going to settle from the Guilty Gear Strive Season 3 update for some time yet, but players quickly got a feel for which characters got the biggest buffs and nerfs.
Guilty Gear Strive got a major overhaul, to the point where it’s been likened to a new game by many. Most characters received a mix of buffs and nerfs to their moves, but changes to universal mechanics in Season 3 could impact some fighters more than the direct balance tweaks.
That said, players have discovered new combos or tools that bode very well for a character’s potential. With that in mind, here are the characters that got the biggest buffs of Guilty Gear Strive Season 3, and those who got the toughest nerfs.
Who got the biggest buffs and nerfs in Guilty Gear Strive Season 3?
Most characters got a mix of buffs and nerfs in Season 3, which will impact players in different ways. That said, some characters have received new tools or can make better use of the newly introduced universal mechanics. Others are negatively impacted by them. This likely foretells a power shift for these characters that will remain in place for at least some time moving forward.
Faust gets enormous buff with new ability to store items, Wild Assault
Faust now has the ability to shove an item from What Could This Be into his face and use it at a later time. This opens up a wealth of new combo opportunities depending on which item is stored. While the impact won’t necessarily be felt below floor nine on the tower, dedicated Faust mains and top-level players will now have a new set of combos to learn based on what item they have stored. Couple with that, Faust’s Wild Assault lets him apply more pressure and push characters into the corner much more easily.
Chipp Zanuff buffed by new offensive and defensive tools in Guilty Gear Strive Season 3
Chipp might finally be top-tier material in Guilty Gear Strive. The introduction of Wild Assault increases his offensive potential and Deflect Shield offers a much-needed boost to his defenses. The addition of a wall bounce effect to his jumping dust also makes him even deadlier in the corners. Players were quick to find devastating new combos that melted health bars or gave an almost free positive bonus with little or no meter investment.
Nagoriyuki gets terrifying new mixups
Nagoriyuki’s damage potential was dropped in several ways. That’s not a particularly big deal as every character had that happen to some degree. The difference for Nagoriyuki is that any losses suffered in that regard are paid back with the gains made in his mixup game.
His Beyblade spin now counts as a low attack while the second strike of his DP now counts as an overhead. Add to that how Wild Assault can help him close distance without building up his blood meter and Guilty Gear Strive Season 3 could be Nagoriyuki’s best season so far.
Leffen’s win at Evo 2023 sees Happy Chaos brutalized with nerfs
Usually, characters get a mix of buffs and nerfs with an update. For example, Sol’s Bandit Bringer was made worse but Fafnir enjoyed a significant increase in its range. That’s not really the case with Happy Chaos, though. Happy Chaos received what is likely to shake out as a profound nerf. Just as important, he’s particularly hard hit by the changes to Burst which will let players break out of his long-range juggles. Changes to his control scheme will be welcomed by many players, but his damage potential likely received a deep cut.
Zato-1 gets nerfed hard, to the surprise of nobody
Balancing games is hard and many major multiplayer titles have had that one character that just can’t quite be brought into line. They’re always wildly overpowered or are nerfed into the bottom tier. Zato-1 wasn’t wildly overpowered of late, but a top-tier Season 1 and high-tier Season 2 netted the character some harsh treatment from Arc System Works. Zato-1’s options without using Eddie are much more limited and Eddie now charges more slowly upon death.