Dragunov (pt. 2)
In this article I will discuss a few of Dragunov's changes, or lack thereof, to his moves. Overall this is a complement to my TZ write ups of TTT2 testing that I did at EVO this year. You can find the thread here.
1,2,1 - The hit box of the 2 has been drastically increased, namely I've yet to see a 1,2,1 not fully land on an airborne character in TTT2. Assuming that the properties are retained from BR to TTT2, a fully landing 1,2,1 guarantees a 1,3,2, B! follow up. This makes 1,2,1 an even stronger option than it already is.
d/f+2 - Even though when I tested d/f+2 against Lars u/f+3, I couldn't properly punish it, that was during Day 1 testing and didn't get a chance to test it again. There were two more (major) revisions done to the game by day 3, so I'm still hopeful that the problem has been fixed. What I do like is that not only has the hit box been (seemingly) fixed, but it also has been increased. Over the course of EVO I saw d/f+2 hit SS to both sides, is it possible we now have a mid option to stop SS at range 0?
f+3~d/f - The closest thing Dragunov has to a stance and boy is it fun. The d/f motion counts as Dragunov's CD, therefore can be followed with CD+1_2_3_4. Tapping 'u' (e.g. f+3~d/f~u) will cancel his CD, which is news by itself, and can be followed by a standing attack. The type of combos we may see start to evolve will most likely be very similar to Bryan's b+3's strings. It will be very exciting times once TTT2 is released and the CMV monsters get a hold of this extension.
b+1 - I originally wanted b+2 to high crush and instead I got a bad ass new attack. Solid poke, high crushing, unusual tracking, and very jarring frames on block. If Dragunov can also get some follow ups against mid-air opponents, similar to b+2, then b+1 will be very strong in almost all situations.
CH d/f+1,4 - With the 1,2,1 hit box buff, I can't think of a reason why you should bother with any attack other than 1,2,1 for catching the opponent in CH. Sure it's nice to have a mid starting W!, but the applications for such a move that is already incredibly hard to CH confirm at the risk of launch punishment is incredibly limited.
u/f+4 - With the mobility buffs to some characters and the unfortunate lack of changes, u/f+4 is/has been suffering drastically. The damage potential is so low that I can't understand why it hasn't been improved at all. It either needs better tracking or at least a respectable small combo on hit, i.e. d+4,1, d+4,1,3 would be fine, but tracking to one way and only a d+4,1,3 on hit doesn't cut it.
CH (f+2),4 - I'm not exactly sure why CH (f+2),4 no longer W!. The animation is identical to BR but the opponent now does a CH u/f+1 flip instead of a W!. Now on one hand this does set up better wall oki options as the opponent should be left FDFA post combo, but the guaranteed damage potential is reduced without the hard W! and b,b, 4,3, B! option.
d+4,4 - No longer the guaranteed damage workhorse of BR, instead something has been tinkered with making it magically whiff. For instance the combo qcf+1, b+1+2, B!, SSL 3,1, 4,1, d+4,4, no longer works. Hopefully all that is required is a deep dash, similar to the 3,1,2 string, after a long combo.
CH 4,3 - I haven't seen it personally and I only briefly remember seeing it in a recent-ish video (if anyone has the link, please post it on TZ), but supposedly the damage of the 3 has been buffed such that it sparks now. It's nice that it's a buff, but overall 4,3 is and will remain a poor option. +3/4 traps are fairly common for Dragunov but opponents are so ingrained to do a generic d+1 that 4,3 will realistically never work. Instead 4,3 is best used in situations where you believe the opponent may attack at negative frames or if you think the opponent will SS or duck the last hit. Maybe I'm missing the point of 4,3, but it's such a wasted option compared to its (magic 4) DR version.
1+2 - Admittedly I haven't used 1+2 much and therefore shouldn't be passing judgement on it but 1+2, in its current state, is really terrible. If it wasn't for 1+2,4 being a NC KND/W!, I would completely write off this attack. Instead of a decently fast, tracking mid used to interrupt SS/W abuse, we got 1+2. Now I don't want to completely crap on Namco, firstly this is in the "Meh" section on purpose, but secondly because I do realize that moves such as Bryan and Jack 1+2 have been nerfed in TTT2. Bryan's 1+2 is slower while Jack's 1+2 supposedly is punishable on block.
Tag throws - I understand that we only had access to the latest build during the last day of EVO, which supposedly was the build that included a ton of the new partner animations, but there was a noticeable lack of them. I'm not only talking about specific tag throwing, such as Dragunov's f,f+1+2~5 with Bryan, but the complete inability to tag out immediately after any of his throws. A good example is Nina u/f+1+2~5, works with all characters as there is no special follow up animation, their next character simply runs on screen from the other side. Dragunov on the other hand had nothing, hopefully it won't stay that way.
Update - 9/2: According to sunlight yellow, Dragunov's 1+3 grab can now be used to tag in your teammate. This is great news as most characters can only tag after a 1+2 grab and the less few can tag after a 2+4 grab. What this means is that Dragunov has two separate grab inputs in order to tag in his partner, 1+3~5 and 2+5 respectively. Therefore where many players will unknowingly fall into a pattern to favor 2+4 grabs to "safely" tag in their partner, Dragunov has the option to do either.