Earlier in the year, Arc System Works promised two major patches for Guilty Gear Strive: one minor patch addressing the imbalances of launch characters and one major patch revisiting system mechanics and character toolkits. The first patch helped to bring the roster closer together in strength but didn’t impact the game too heavily. The same cannot be said for yesterday’s patch, Version 1.10. Characters have been drastically updated, game mechanics have been revised, and the community is pouncing at the chance to explore what’s new. Here’s what to expect the next time you fire up Guilty Gear Strive.
System Changes in Strive Patch 1.10
The first major change to address is that the infamous network connection times have been reduced. How significant that reduction is will depend on your Internet connection, but the connection time can now be as low as 45 seconds (compared to over 2 minutes before). This is the quality of life factor that has had the most impact on the player base, with many players criticizing the time commitment it takes to actually start playing the game. Hopefully, the connection times will continue to improve, but this is certainly a step in the right direction.
Other big quality of life changes include:
- Training mode now prioritizing counter attacks over automatic bursts or Roman cancels
- Tournament mode implemented on Playstation 4
- Celestial Floor players now playing on Celestial when using Quick Match
In addition, there are several other smaller updates and bug fixes that you can explore in the full patch notes.
Universal Mechanic Changes in Strive Patch 1.10
The Strive devs have been hard at work these last few months. This patch introduces several changes that seemingly introduce more kinetic options to the game. Projectiles across the board have had their recovery frames reduced in order to make them better neutral tools. To balance this, the reward for landing aerial attacks (like the jump-ins you would use to counter projectile spam) has been increased. Aerial attacks that cause a Counter Hit state lead to higher-damage combos. More air moves can be airdash canceled and more air move gatlings have been introduced, allowing for creativity in your counter hit routes.
Of course, with air attacks more powerful, anti-airs have also been upgraded. The universal 6P anti-air now leads to higher rewards for the full cast. This helps close the gap between the top tiers and the characters who couldn’t previously capitalize on a successful 6P. Also in the spirit of closing the gap, startup frames on fast normals have been revised. The dreaded 6-frame jabs have been changed to be more viable as abares and throw counters, a major improvement for characters like Zato-1.
Throws have been altered to become easier to create a clash situation, helping to reduce their potency. This is bolstered by a universally increased input buffer, which is intended to help get intended moves out on the first possible frame. The devs have also made it possible to Roman cancel during throw animations. This change also removes the option select high-level players were using where a connected throw would not activate Roman cancel but a whiffed one would to save the player from punishment.
Finally, a major change to the pushback of faultless defense has been implemented. This helps to create more space when defending, making faultless a more profitable use of meter. Ideally, this change will make for some more nuanced situations while defending against potent pressure.
To read the finer points of the system changes, check out the full patch notes here.
Balance Winners and Losers of Strive Patch 1.10
Every character in the game has been touched up in Patch 1.10, with the majority of the cast getting some fantastic buffs.
On the winners’ side, we have to discuss Faust. Considered to be towards the bottom of the tier list so far, Faust got some great buffs that allow him to play his game. When Donut or Banana are on screen, they become less likely to be thrown out again, meaning his more powerful items will likely come next. The properties of Love’s explosion are changed, now leaving Faust unaffected. Banana’s chances of being a banana peel have also been altered. Essentially, Faust’s chaos has been tweaked in his favor.
Millia is another winner, as her mixups have been blown wide open. In addition to the universal change to dash canceling air moves, Millia has exclusive access to air backdash cancels. Her command movements, Mirazh and Turbo Fall, are now both special cancellable, leading to a wide array of mixup options. 6K has also been made special cancellable, and can true combo into Lust Shaker to maintain pressure. If you thought Millia was scary before, start practicing your blocking.
The biggest winners of the patch, however, may be Ramlethal and Nagoriyuki. Both were already incredible powerhouses, and both received some frankly mind-boggling buffs. Nagoriyuki’s 6P changes allow for some incredibly damaging routes off of a simple anti-air, and his Zarameyuki move (where an afterimage of him advances) has been improved for ranged poking. Meanwhile, Ram’s new combo potential is staggering. Her Sildo Detruo, the overhead flip, has been changed to a mid but also improved to be useful in significantly more situations. Her rekka, Erarlumo, was previously dash cancellable, and now the dash startup can be special canceled to create new routes. It seems that the common complaint that Ram’s combos are bland is now very much addressed.
Where there are winners, though, there are also losers. Chipp has been hit by the nerf hammer once more. After having the potency of his j2K reduced in the last patch, Chipp’s pressure options take another hit in 1.10. Time will tell if players can find some silver linings in his new changes, but overall Chipp seems to be much lower in power than he initially was. Axl has also had some changes, although they seem to be more of a tradeoff. His combo routes can be more effective now when optimized, especially from his air options. However, his normals have been altered. The new philosophy is that Axl’s normals should be used with distinct intentions, as opposed to just filling space with hitboxes. While this will be an adjustment for Axl mains up front, it should make him both more fun to fight and more interesting to spectate as time goes on.
This, of course, is just a highlight reel of the changes in Patch 1.10. In order to read the full list of character balance changes (which is extensive), you can see the full patch notes here.