My Complete Wish List
My complete wish list for Dragunov, this will be the last one I make for a while, so it isn't exactly short. I've separated the list into three distinct areas: necessary changes, suggested changes, and suggested new moves. The "necessary changes" are changes that I feel Dragunov drastically needs, if only these three move changes make it from my entire list I'll be happy. Suggested changes are changes that I feel Dragunov could use, but aren't so crucial that his offense (or defense) is severely lacking without them. Finally the "suggested new moves" are just that, new moves that I feel would make Dragunov more rounded of a character.
b+2 - Should instant high crush, not starting once Dragunov is in FC/recovering WS (as it is now)
qcf+2 - Similar to Bruce's CD+2, Dragunov's qcf+2 should high crush, both are -14 and cover similar a similar niche
d+4,1 - On hit, d+4,1 should jail, there's no reason it doesn't
f+3 - Should be reverted to its DR low crush capabilities
f+4,4 - While f+4,4 is our original i14 punisher, it doesn't have the range to be used as such, therefore it should have a little more range
f,f+4 - Should be partially reverted to its DR high/low crush capabilities, specifically reverting to at least its ability to low crush
iWR+2 - Should be +5 on block to prevent low poke spam since Dragunov's u/f+4, in its current form, is very lacklustre
iWR+4 - Would greatly benefit from improved ranged or more tracking
u/f+2 - It needs to be revamped, it either should grant small combo on hit or be a small version of like Paul u/f+2 or Miguel u/f+1 guard stun
d/f+1+2 - The reversal window should be slightly increased, not quite 6.0, but a tad more than it is currently
d+1 - I'm not sure if ina is correct, but d+1 is listed at i18, this move would greatly benefit from being i16/17
d+3 - Should be -15 on block, bringing it more in line with a non-generic low poke
qcf+3 - Should be no more than -6 on hit, bringing it more in line with Nina's qcf+3, though nowhere near Lars' f,f+3+4 at +0 on hit
qcf+4 - I'd really like to see qcf+4 get a 1+2 extension, since Dragunov doesn't have a command grab, this is the closest he can get to it
back throw - Nearly identical animation to Nina's and Anna's, but Dragunov's does 50 and theirs does 60? It's been this way since DR
Suggested new moves:
b+3+4 - Dragunov's punch parry, in its current form is a double-edged sword. On one hand it's respectable as it's possible to W! with it, assuming all the conditions are right, but on the other hand has a significant dead zone where nothing is consistent. My main complaint with b+3+4 is that the entire move animation seems to be considered an attack, more specifically if you're not successfully parrying their punch, you're getting launched via CH. This is most evident against a character such as Steve, if I input b+3+4 and he later inputs b+1 during my parry window, the b+1 will go through and even though my hands are up (not the leg I'm kicking with yet) I'm getting launched.
What I'd more like to see is Dragunov's punch parry becoming more of a punch parry similar to Bryan and Steve b+1+2, where I must input the guaranteed follow up to quantify as an attack, therefore cannot be CH by launching attacks (such as Steve b+1) when I'm reading standard jab pressure. Which leads to...
b+3+4~4 - Since Dragunov has so many conditional KNDs it would really be nice to see Dragunov get a guaranteed, standing 50/50 mix up. Out of all of Dragunov's strings, his i12 4,1 punisher is his only NC attack that grants this type of standing 50/50 and he can, in my opinion, use at least one more. b+3+4~4 would be a "command" punch parry where the 2nd input is only usable on successful punch parry (i.e. Bryan, Steve, Leo b+1+2). The follow up hit could be a really quick knee that is +10 on hit guaranteeing (for instance) 1,3 for damage or 1,2 for a mixture of damage and frames or the player could opt to go right into a bread and butter 50/50 such as b+1+2 or d/b+3.
"iSW" - My wish list article regarding an iSW for Dragunov can be found here: iSW
From the "Sergei Manifesto"
You'll often encounter this problem with iWR 2, either they'll recover not in your favor or they'll SS and iWR 2 will whiff. A good portion of the time, they'll just be out of range where they can't punish you, but Dragunov's BT options are so poor that nothing will allow you to counter-attack them. So there's this awkward moment where neither character can hit each other and it's just frustrating to experience. The other major problem is when you forcefully cross over your opponent as they wakeup or as they tech, since most good players are aware of BT d+3 and the remainder of his moves from BT being either being high, low, or s-mid; it's in their favor to duck your options.
Therefore Dragunov needs a mid option out of BT that isn't complete garbage. It could be some type of side/back kick similar to Raven BT 3 that KNDs on hit. It doesn't have to necessarily wallsplat, but if it did wall splat, it can be the typical -12 on block that Namco currently favors (for Dragunov).
What this move brings to the table:
As stated, there's currently no reason to standing guard against Dragunov when he's BT, with mid options that can be evaded by ducking, the risk vs reward is incredibly in the opponent's favor. The move would also strengthen his crossover game, especially near the wall, where a KND mixup can work wonders.
u/f+4 had a garbage hit box in DR, but it at least got the job done. It, on paper, was comparable to Bryan's orbital heel, a jumping, safe launcher with decent wall carry. Dragunov's bread and butter combo was u/f+4, SSR, d+4,4, d+4,1,3, the combo did decent damage and had semi-adjustable wall carry. It gave Dragunov a tool that he so depesrately needed in DR, namely a safe launcher. Fast forward to T6, Dragunov's u/f+4 has had its hit box improved so it doesn't so blatently whiff on most low attacks, but d+4,4 has changed from a low oki pick up to a 2-hit NCc push away. This normally wouldn't be a problem as characters are given new strings/properties to compensate for their shortcomings, but not Dragunov. Sergei's u/f+4 combo has gone from a decent damage combo with semi-adjustable wall carry to a mini-combo that is entirely dependent on wall positioning to get any damage from it. It's interesting to see this shortcoming come forth during a game where a new character gets a similar tool with incredible wall carry and damage potential (e.g. Lars' u/f+4, f+1,2,3~DE 1, f,b+2,1, B!).
What this move brings to the table:
d+4,2 would be a low,mid close range oki pick up that would give small combo on hit. The frames on pickup would be only enough to allow 1,3,2 which can be done by forcing the opponent to be picked up BT, therefore d+4,2, 1, f+4,4,3 wouldn't be an option. This string could also be used for close range oki near the wall, a problem that Dragunov currently has with 3,1 pick up since it can not be used near the wall, as there is no time to fit in a bind move therefore only the entire 3,1,2 string will connect.