One, two, check it out… lemme, lemme break it down. So we’re doing something a little different this time around. This is a piggyback off of my last piece about how there’s a right way to build an in-game character concept while making them standout in the cast. I present a character rehabilitation program administered by yours truly. Our first patient is Juri from Street Fighter V.
Before we begin, I have to get a few disclaimers out of the way (but if you wanna get to the nitty gritty, feel free to skip on ahead). These are personal & theoretical concepts… by no means whatsoever is this an end all, be all reconstruction... even though I’d like to get as close as possible to make players that use these characters content in every aspect. This’ll range from characters that can use a tweak to break through to ones that need a rebuild from the ground up. As far as frame data & balancing the changes, I won’t go in-depth unless there’s something glaring. If someone else has or can think of something better to polish off what I say, then more power to them. I did take some notes from common complaints & researched a little bit, but I assure you I haven’t ‘stolen’ from anyone. Topics like these are riddled with bias, so my overall goal is to do these characters justice while staying in good taste. Without further ado, let’s go to the blackboard.
Show me where it hurts
Ah, Juri…what the heck did they do to you, sweetie? Or rather, what they didn’t do with you is the case. My first impression with Juri in SF5 was a feeling of intrigue. She felt fun to perform combos with her kick stocks (Fuharenkyaku) and felt like the barrier to her advanced play was dropped by just storing the stock without holding the button anymore. She got a new tool in her V-Skill to close the gap quickly while punishing projectiles. The obvious choice for V-Trigger, her Feng Shui Engine, got buffed in a way that you can get to work mid-combo with a cancel and go straight to the frenzy pressure. That sounds great & all, but there’s a reason we’re looking at the board trying to see what’s wrong… it's that this new stock concept isn’t fully fleshed out.
Granted, as a whole SF5 is half baked and you can see that with certain characters. One side you see what the idea was and potential it has, but the execution is off on the other side. Such is the case for Juri. Despite the amount of buffs she’s got this year, it still feels like she made no moves in respect to the rest of the roster. I’m not saying she's bad & I was probably one the few people to say that she wasn’t that bad in season 1… however, the mechanics of her stocks are the crux of her problems. It’s a meme of how Juri has to back off every round to get her stocks first in order to get her combos going. All the while, she has to sacrifice neutral to do this & the payoff is nothing extraordinary. Something that requires a charge or storing of some sort should have some power to it to compensate for the time lost to execute it. Factor in how SF5 favors offense, backing off is not encouraged in the meta of this game or to keep up with the top characters.
Minor issues I’ve noticed as well are situations where her DP/pinwheel kick (Tensenrin) whiffs certain air attacks leaving her painfully open. V-Skill still feels underwhelming and for a 3-bar V-gauge character, it makes a difference. Also, like I said before, she feels half-baked. You compare her move set from Ultra and you’d see half of it is missing. Tsk, tsk, tsk... babe, you have troubles. I’ll need some more information; did you suffer some of these symptoms in the past?
History of the Character
It says here you worked in SFxT, but are best known in SF4 from Super onward. My charts read that you had third, fourth, fifth opinions on how good you were before Ultra came. At that point some considered you in the top 10 ballpark, is that right? Alright, so basically back in 4, Juri was roughly mid tier with some rumblings of being low, but you were hard pressed for a definitive answer. The road to Ultra she was given help to her speed, neutral and reversal, as well as correcting some inconsistencies with her attacks in & out of Feng Shui. Come USF4, we saw high level Juri play by the likes of AiAi, Momochi & Infiltration. Her track record is of a character that needs some polish to really shine.
Playstyle: Similar to other Tae Kwon Do fighters, Juri specializes in applying up-close pressure to the point of the opponent cracking. Using a martial art of predominately kicks, she has very good reach to do well in neutral. What’s unique to her and catches players off guard are her sneaky mobility & the frenzy that snowballs once she hits the Feng Shui. Furthermore, her fireballs (Fuhajin) & combo ending knockdowns accentuate her neutral & okizeme opportunity respectively. Her flaws, however, consist of hardly any wakeup options, with her invincible reversals requiring meter. She’s dependant on her charges & meter to gain access to her real damage, which demands attention at all times & proper execution. After looking over the notes, we can summarize…
- Freaky scary when Feng Shui Engine’s running
- Can control the pace of a match with her slow moving, mid-ranged projectiles & solid pokes
- Underestimated tools against zoning
- Combos compliment her pressure so she can stay relentless
- Needs meter to reversal
- Needs meter & special charges to do above average damage
- This learning & execution curve makes players shy away from her
- Low stun output
- Weak reversal game CHRONIC
- Complications of special moves take precious focus away from the match CHRONIC
- Missing moves to supplement character’s design of offense CONTEMPORARY
- V-System as a whole can be better CONTEMPORARY
- Reliant on Feng Shui Engine to be effective & make comebacks CONTEMPORARY
Comments: Well no wonder you can’t get any burn… you’re a smothering psycho forced to play defense! Even if you do get your rocks off, it doesn’t stand a candle next to what Balrog, Guile and Urien can get off their V-Triggers. Back in the day, Feng Shui was used to seal the deal or make a comeback. Whereas in SF5, it feels like she just became the threat she should be. It is easier to get a payout from it & the execution part of her stocks has been toned down. This chick has her weaknesses, but she can excel once again.
Small lifestyle change… not a complete revamp. We can keep a few things on this board, but there needs to be some additions. Some jerk erased your work from USF4, so you need to get back in shape if you want to be yourself again. That’s first & foremost and I do have some recommendations to revitalize your strength… but let’s start with-
ADD: Shikusen (Dive Kick)
Nothing screams pressure, offense & instills panic like a dive kick. This is so obvious, it hurts! Capcom, SF5, you want offense? Put it in! 2nd Impact, 3rd Strike, New Generation all of it; bring Juri’s dive kick back and it’ll pay dividends immediately.
ADD/CHANGE: Fuhajin (Projectiles)/Fuharenkyaku (Kick Extensions)
This is a spaghetti of cables since they took the concept behind her fireball/energy wave charges and applied it to new special kicks. Bear with me, because there’s a lot to untangle here. I enjoyed the idea of kick specials for Juri. Seeing it registered in my head that ‘oh yeah, she’s a Tae Kwon Do fighter.’ Something that I think was underdeveloped in previous games she was in. I also think the counter to keep track of your charges is a good idea as well, but should be applied to her fireballs. Carry over from Ultra the QCF+P and all the inputs pertaining to Fuhajin. This time though, instead of holding a button to keep the stored projectile, it’ll release it and just inputting the command will store it. Bring back the angles, the EX variations, all the properties about it because if the low energy wave is good as is… more is better.
This will leave the kick extensions to be repurposed and missing a light variation. Keep the input at QCF+K which will make it a separate special move. Given the properties of the kicks able to cancel into each other, we got ourselves a pseudo rekka. Since a charge is no longer needed for this, just maybe the damage on it should be reduced, but I don’t think it’s an issue. If it’s needed though, I suggest giving it back while in V-Trigger to give it that zing you know? For the light extension, make it a low kick with the same numbers as the fireball is now.
ADD/CHANGE: Senpusha (Pinwheel Kick)/Tensenrin (DP Kick)
Senpusha was Juri’s go-to ender that allowed her to keep her pressure and you get a glimpse of that with the Light Tensenrin. With the rebalance of the ‘uppercut’ moves, she gains some invincibility that she didn’t have before. The move isn’t bad, at least not from a concept perspective, but we can make it better. For the Medium, Heavy and EX versions you hold the button(s) to stay in place and not soar in the air just like in SF4. This’ll grant Juri better oki since she has a lot less time to land and she can get to doing what she does best. To do a regular Tensenrin, just input as normal, but if you’re getting the same anti-air with better oki, why would you? The trade off for the okizeme would be damage as well as the option to snipe out any kind of jump in. Of course, it would make sense regardless to adjust the hitbox to make it do its intended use and not whiff a jump-in like we see in these rare instances #JuriSucksMontage. I’ve seen less of it since Season 2, but I digress.
ADD/CHANGE: Kasatushi (Counter)/Ksatsushu (V-Skill)
We’re gonna have a bit of mad science here. Juri’s V-skill got buffed to a combo ender and a proper projectile punisher… but that’s it. You really don’t see it used much, despite it being way better this year. Now… considering the above changes that help her combo potential and oki, instead of reducing the knockback of the V-skill to establish pressure, I propose fusing it with her old counter. How, you ask? When she goes into her stance, much like Kasatushi she’ll have one hit of strike armor and teleport dash away behind the enemy on hit. This is where it gets fun… you can control the direction of the teleport like the EX one. If you’re midscreen and like to reestablish neutral, teleport backwards. Stuck in the corner? Teleport behind them and get out. But wait, there’s more! Use it as another layer to your offense, why let Nash have all the fun? If you get hit with a move that has a lot of recovery, teleport either above or up-forward for a cross up punish. Level 2 of the V-skill would give it projectile armor as well for midscreen fireball bread and butter punishes as opposed to the regular kick. There is a rule, the teleport WILL activate otherwise this would give Juri a focus attack to build meter against zoners. Lastly, during Feng Shui, the V-skill will automatically go to level 2, but drain some bar.
This is a lot to unpack, I know, but Juri’s built just shy of a glass cannon. Considering that this is just her old move set being injected and not addressing her mainstay weaknesses… it won’t make her overpowered. She can still be harassed since her reversals can be telegraphed and her full potential is still put behind charges, EX moves and Feng Shui. The foundation is there to make her become the stuff of nightmares again; she’s just having a rough patch. Oh speaking of patches…
Get rid of this damn grey energy and bring back the pink/purple trademark waves. It just looks better, c’mon. FINALLY, patch her f**kin’ wack ass theme! You did it for the Thailand Stage, so why the hell not? Now get the hell outta my office, you crazy broad. For the rest of you, thanks for reading!