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Jack-O goodness

Jack-O by Oro

Jack-O by Oro

So the Guilty Gear Xrd -REVELATOR- PS4 demo is out for both US and Japan, and Jack-O has been getting a lot of tech worked out for her. Perhaps as a response, 2djazz on Twitter was able to set up two exhibitions this past weekend featuring top Japanese Jack-O players. So there is plenty of material to study here for anyone who wants to learn her. These exhibitions are also special because they have English commentary! First up was mike Jack-O vs Hase Slayer, both of whom need no introduction. This was streamed at Mikado, and the archive is already up on Jonio’s Youtube channel.
mike(Jack-O) vs Hase(Slayer) FT7

Next was Samitto Chipp vs FG Jack-O, which was streamed in a Chiba arcade. The archive is up on 2djazz’s Youtube channel.
Samitto(Chipp) vs FG(Jack-O) FT7

Everybody knows Samitto, but FG is slightly less well known despite being one of the top Jack-O players. Here are some other matches of him, recorded at Funabashi:
FG(Jack-O) vs LOX(Bedman) 1 2
FG(Jack-O) vs Samitto(Chipp) 1 2

Millia by haik

Millia by haik

Guilty Gear Xrd has been out for a while, and I’ve been wanting to write my impressions on the new Millia. Unfortunately, a mook has not yet been released and the Japanese wiki does not have a changelog available, so everything here comes from my notes from watching a lot of Xrd Millia videos cross referenced with Teyah’s dustloop thread.  These changes use AC+R as a reference point.  If an official changelog does get released, I will update this post accordingly.

General changes

  • Dash speed and acceleration are slower(universal)
  • Jump and double jump are a bit floatier
  • Backdash total duration increased
  • Can no longer air dash cancel anything

New moves

214k(roll): Not a new move, but it can now be cancelled early into followups

  • k(roll): Starts up a bit faster than the original
  • s(Lust Shaker): Does not appear to be any different than the original Lust Shaker
  • h(Digitalis): A very fast strike that blows back the opponent.  On counterhit, will willsplat if opponent was near the corner

214214s(Chroming Rose): A new Install super that causes roses to appear behind Millia every time she moves or does an attack.  The roses launch the opponent, and the install lasts for a very long time, about 8 seconds.  Super is a bit slow to start up, so it’s mainly used after knockdown.

Normals

5s(c)

  • Can now gatling and combo into 2d
  • Hurtbox(not hitbox!) seems to be a bit bigger than before

5s(f)

  • No longer jump cancellable
  • Recovery increased so that static difference changed from -4 -> -6

5d

  • A completely different move now.  Millia rolls backwards and creates a rose on the ground where she was previously, launching the opponent.
  • The roll appears to have a low profile state, like her 214k

2h

  • Untechable time on normal hit increased back to pre-AC+R status

6p

  • No longer jump cancellable
  • Hitbox appears to be weakened(universal)
  • Startup slowed down from 7f -> 10f

6k

  • Startup slowed down from 18f -> 19f
  • Frame advantage decreased from +5 -> +3

6h

  • Hitbox weakened
  • Now hits twice
  • 1st hit is jump cancellable
  • 2nd hit is overhead

j.k

  • No longer gatlings into j.h
  • Active frames decreased from 9f -> 6f

j.s

  • Can now gatling and combo into j.d
  • Startup slowed down from 9f -> 10f

j.h

  • Reverted back to #R style helicopter, with extremely high untechable time on every hit.
  • Plummets opponent downward very quickly, moreso than any other version of helicopter

j.d

  • Startup sped up from 17f -> 11f.  Basically back to pre-AC+R speed
  • As a result, j.kd is a valid combo again
  • No longer knocks down a grounded opponent.  Is just a normal hit
  • On counterhit, will knock down an opponent midscreen.
  • On a corner counterhit, will cause a techable wallbounce

Throw

  • Untechable knockdown
  • Damage increased from 50 -> 55
  • Recovery increased greatly, can no longer follow up her throw into dash 5s combos.  However, dash 2p still works against certain characters.
  • Can now be roman cancelled

Special moves

236s(Tandem Top): No longer has the 42f cooldown after using H Tandem Top and Secret Garden

236h(Tandem Top)

  • Recovers slower, by about 3f
  • Now hits twice
  • Disc disappears if Millia is forced to block

214k(roll): Total duration increased from 24f -> 28f.  Also has followups, written in the new moves section

j.214s(Silent Force)

  • Pin travel speed slowed down significantly
  • Recovery increased greatly
  • Untechable time on air hit decreased back to pre-AC+R status
  • No longer has the cooldown from AC+R
  • On air counterhit, blows back the opponent more than before.  Makes followup combos more difficult

214h(Secret Garden)

  • Can no longer cancel early with the d button
  • Startup increased from 56f -> 57f

Overdrives

2141236(Winger): last hit no longer causes groundslide.  Wallbounces like pre-AC+R

Moves lost

j.2h

j.214k/h(Silent Force)

236d/j.236d(FB Pretty Maze)

214s->214d(FB Longinus)

214d(FB Secret Garden)

j.2141236h(Air Winger)

From these changes and the videos I’ve seen, Xrd Millia is still strong but a significant step down from AC+R, and even #R if you want to use that as a reference.  She got weakened a bit going from AC to AC+R, but the nerfs were fairly minor and didn’t change her overall gameplan.  Unfortunately, that is not the case for AC+R -> Xrd, as the nerfs are quite significant this time around.  Though, I do want to note that this is not Millia specific, as a similar thing happened to many other characters.  However, some of the stuff that Millia lost were things that she had throughout the entire XX series.

To summarize her changes, Millia is much more meter reliant than before.  Most of Millia’s important tools in the XX series(j.d, pin, H Tandem Top, throw) have been nerfed in various ways.  I have also heard that antiair hitboxes were weakened across the board in Xrd, and from all the videos I’ve seen this seems to be the case.  So her amazing 6p is also nerfed.  But in exchange, she has some great new metered options along with one of the most broken supers in the game. One of Millia’s greatest strengths throughout the entire XX series was how well she functioned without meter.  There are some GG characters who absolutely must have meter to do damage or start rushdown, but the old Millia could do just fine without it.  So I believe it was the intent of the developers to change that and force her to use meter more often.

Going over individual parts of her game, Millia’s neutral is much worse.  j.d no longer knocks down grounded opponents, which is a pretty big deal.  The pin nerf is also huge, as the slower travel speed makes it much harder to surprise people with now.  The increased blowback effect on air counterhit also makes it really difficult and sometimes impossible to do a followup combo.  She is also slower than before.  While the nerfed dash speed and acceleration are changes that happened across the board, it is most significant with the speed demon characters: namely Chipp and Millia.

Millia’s mix up potential is also worse.  H Tandem Top is much much slower now, so it is more difficult to get a proper knockdown for disc okizeme.  Basically, you have to use meter(for YRC disc) more often to get real disc setups.  The disc disappearing on block doesn’t help either.  While 214p Iron Savior does not have any changes, it actually did get indirectly nerfed as a result of the system changes.  The new RC mechanics and the removal of FRC make the old 214p FRC mixups obsolete, so she has lost her only true unreactable high/low.  The reason is that you cannot YRC when the opponent is in hitstun/blockstun, and doing 214p YRC makes the screen freeze and turn black. Meanwhile, Millia does this very obvious pose in the air, so there is pretty much no mixup.

The nerf to throw is also huge.  While people often talk about how Millia has amazing mixup, most assume that just refers to high/low.  But that’s just part of the big picture: it’s really the high/low/throw that completes the puzzle.  In older games, getting ground thrown by Millia was scary because she could combo off of it into a knockdown.  Sure, the damage was low, but no matter where you were on the screen, getting thrown by Millia meant you got sent into the corner.  Now in Xrd, the reward for landing a throw is a lot smaller than before.  She can only consistently combo off of throw against Faust.  It could be worse, though…  at least it’s not Slash, where throw was completely techable and not comboable.

The game environment changes are also bad for Millia.  The damage levels in Xrd are higher than AC+R, one of the reasons being that life totals were lowered from 460 back to 420.  Millia’s damage output is also lower than her AC+R counterpart.  Her defensive options seem to be the same.  Although her backdash did get nerfed slightly(by having its duration extended), it’s a bit too early to say if it really changes anything.  And while her jump is slower and floatier, I have no idea if the actual startup of her jump has been changed.

Let’s talk about what has gotten better!  Her ground pressure, which was quite bad in earlier GG games, has gotten better in Xrd.  She now has some decent ways to frametrap people with the Digitalis followup on roll, the new 5d, and the ability to YRC S Tandem Top.  While Digitalis is techable on normal hit, it causes a wallsplat on a corner counterhit that is very easy to combo off of.  Millia had the worst 5d by a huge margin in the XX series, but her new 5d makes her roll backwards, which is a great evasive tool to make people whiff pokes.

While the new RC mechanics took away her strongest mixup with Iron Savior, they have made her ground poking game a bit stronger.  It is mainly contributed by red RC and how it adds hitstun.  In earlier games, whenever Millia poked with far slash, she could not get any real damage and/or knockdown out of it unless the opponent was close to the corner and she had 50% meter for Emerald Rain.  And in AC+R, she could use 25% meter for FB Longinus.  But now, the new RC mechanics make 5s5h RC into dash followup combo a very real thing.  It’s definitely a welcome change, because she can do this anywhere.  So she isn’t limited to the corner like previous games.

And then there’s Chroming Rose.  This new super is RIDICULOUS.  Sure, it has slow startup, but once it’s activated, it basically makes it impossible for anyone to approach Millia.  The roses launch the opponent, so they are easy to combo off of.  They also launch the opponent if Millia lands a TK Badmoon or 214p, so they have great utility for high/low mixup.  What’s even more broken is that even if TK Badmoon or 214p are blocked, the roses will still appear and keep the opponent in blockstun so that Millia can attempt another mixup.  There is a lot of potential with this super, and normally I would say that it is completely broken but I suppose that the intent was to have Chroming Rose make up for all the things she lost.

In general, I’m not really a big fan of the way Millia got changed in Xrd.  The nerfs don’t bother me that much though: it’s the general direction of removing existing options and making her more meter reliant.  Just look at her moveset: she used to have 3 different ways to throw her pin: now it’s back to 1!  I am also really disappointed in the loss of air dash cancels, because that was by far the coolest thing that she got in AC and AC+R.  It was also the mechanic that really set her apart from all the other characters and made her unique.  Her new combos are a mixture of AC and #R style, leaning more towards #R, so they’re a lot more standardized and not as varied as they were in AC+R.  One thing I loved about her AC+R counterpart was that if she had her pin or at least 25% meter in corner, she could totally swag all over the opponent’s face.  Now in Xrd, most of the swag is gone and there is less variation in her combos. Additionally, even if she has meter she can’t use it to add more damage.

On a side note, it was pretty interesting reading the Japanese BBS for Xrd.  The members of the Millia thread were despairing pretty hard for the first month of the game, because it seemed like she had lost everything.  Even Woshige and Nakamura expressed their distaste over the Millia changes, although Nakamura eventually came around.  Their consensus was that although Millia gained some new tools, they did not make up for what she had lost.  And that her general playstyle in Xrd is not as interesting as AC+R’s.

Also, her combo theory has been completely changed AGAIN.  This is the 4th game in a row where this has happened, all the way from #R -> Slash -> AC -> AC+R -> Xrd.  So, none of her AC+R combos work anymore, and all Millia players have to basically re-learn the character again.  Her new combos don’t seem anywhere near as character specific as AC/AC+R though, so it shouldn’t take too long to learn them.  Millia’s combos were already made easier from AC to AC+R, but I guess that wasn’t enough.

Anyway, if Millia gets any more changes, I will update this post accordingly.  Until next time!

Guilty Gear girls in JoJo's artstyle

Guilty Gear girls in JoJo’s artstyle


I’d like to make this post to consolidate the most notable character rankings for Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R. I made similar posts in the past for Accent Core and for previous games, and since Xrd is out now, I thought it would be a good time to do this.

AC+R came out in September 2012 but it received a big balance patch with Ver 1.10 in January 2013, which is the version that we have now. As I’m writing this, the game has been out for about a year and three months, and the metagame has matured quite nicely. AC+R as a game had a relatively low key release, with minimal promotion from ASW and not much media coverage. It’s a pretty big contrast to how Blazblue and GG Xrd are being pushed. As such, there weren’t that many publications detailing top player opinions of certain matchups or the overall balance of the game like there were in previous versions.

For Ver 1.10, there were several tier lists made by random users on the Japanese BBS, as well as a community effort to make a matchup chart. But the most credible and recent list was made by top Faust player Kiisha, who actually wrote his rankings after he won the Arc Revolution Cup.
S+ Zappa
S Chipp Faust Dizzy Baiken Millia
A Jam Slayer May Anji Order-Sol
B Testament A.B.A Axl Kliff I-No
B- Johnny Justice Potemkin Eddie Sol Ky Robo Venom Bridget

Ruu also made his own AC+R tier list after Xrd got released, with unique rankings
Extremely strong: Zappa Millia Dizzy Baiken Faust Chipp
Very strong: Axl Jam Testament
Strong: May Anji A.B.A Potemkin Johnny Order-Sol Slayer Sol Ky Robo Eddie I-No Kliff Justice Venom Bridget

The other notable 1.10 list is made by raw data! AC+R was the first Guilty Gear game to have the Aime card system in its arcade version, which meant that every player who had a card registered would get their win/loss statistics recorded. The system also tracks the stats of each matchup, and during idle times every cab will display a matchup chart based on the national statistics. If you’re wondering how this works: there are 25 characters in the game, which means that every character has 24 different matchups. Each matchup is assigned a number between 1-10, with 5.0 being a perfectly even matchup, and 6.0 being a 6-4 favorable matchup. The matchup chart cannot be viewed online, but the overall stats for every character are accessible on the GGXXAC+R Player’s Guild website. The stats are constantly changing, but as I’m writing this, they are currently:
Justice 132.1
Potemkin 130.9
Testament 128.9
Kliff 126.9
Eddie 126.4
Slayer 125
May 123.8
I-No 123.8
A.B.A 122.8
Axl 122.8
Zappa 122.7
Faust 122
Dizzy 122
Venom 118
Millia 117.3
Sol 116.7
Anji 115.1
Johnny 115.1
Baiken 114.3
Jam 114.1
Order-Sol 113.5
Ky 112.4
Chipp 112.3
Bridget 110.8
Robo 110.3

You can see the character rankings based on raw statistics are drastically different compared to Kiisha’s tier list. There are a lot of different ways to explain this, and I won’t bother going into detail here, but it is definitely worth noting that the chart takes into account win/loss statistics of EVERY player(who has a card registered). Not just top players, or even highly ranked players. Everybody.

Anyway, AC+R is in my opinion the most balanced game in the entire Guilty Gear series. This is reflected in Kiisha’s list, as he deliberately assigned the lowest tier a B- to illustrate how small the gap is between top and bottom. It is pretty clear that Ruu’s list agrees too. Every character is strong, but some are stronger than others. There was an early Arcadia interview with Arisaka, who was part of AC+R’s development, about the approach in balancing the game, and he stated that the intent was to strengthen the weaker characters from AC and change the playstyles of the stronger characters. I think the team definitely succeeded in strengthening the weaker characters, as they all either got improvements to move properties and/or new moves altogether. I like the majority of the changes. Honestly, the only character who I feel did not change well is Venom, who not only is weaker than AC but is also less interesting. But I think I know the reason why: he probably got hit by some last minute nerfs, as I remember reading several complaints about him being overly strong in the +R location tests.

New translation

Well, it is now the end of January and GG Xrd is set to come out sometime during February. I’d really like to apologize for not bringing the entire Millia section of the site up to speed for +R. I got unexpectedly busy and I also wasn’t anticipating Xrd to come out so quickly. As of now, the only Millia sections that got the +R upgrade are Combos and the Videos page. And given Millia’s history in the series, all of the combos will probably become obsolete in the next version!

But that’s not the main reason I’m writing this post. The old Millia doujin “Black in Shadow of Millia Rage in Mind” has gotten an English translation! And here I was thinking that nobody other than me cared about GG doujins. Shoutouts to SaHa for the translation. You can visit his site or go to the Doujins section here to check it out.

Hello all. Ever since Plus R’s Japanese PS3 release, I have been labbing it up to get all of Millia’s new combos down. And I finally have my data compiled into something presentable! The Millia combos page has been updated for +R, and in the next few weeks all of the other pages will get updated as well so stay tuned!