Early exploration looks promising
Capcom introduced V-Shift as a promising new defense mechanic for Street Fighter 5: Champion Edition early this year, but the maneuver never lived up to the hype.
The developers seem to have largely agreed with that sentiment given that they’ve given players some basic V-Shift buffs in the new update that came along with the introductions of Oro and Akira. Will these changes be enough to make the movement more relevant during regular play?
One of the biggest problems with trying to use V-Shift effectively before was that it simply failed to show up in many situations – especially during a stampede or while under extreme stress.
You will have the right to read. You were hitting a heavy punch as well as a medium kick, but you’d just end up taking a whole bunch to the face instead that probably could have stopped you.
Capcom decided to tackle this issue in two different ways, which seemed to have had a huge impact in early testing.
First, they changed the primary weak point of V-Shifts where you had to push buttons from the neutral to get them out.
This can be very difficult in the heat of battle when you are trying to go from a barred position to standing just as straight as you expect your opponent to throw the move.
If you’re a little off your timing, the V-Shift won’t happen, and you’ll be left either standing or defenseless for a moment.
Now, however, you can stick forward or backward when V-Shift is activated, which seems to work flawlessly.
V-Shift with directional inputs is another game.
– Claudie (@Hurricane_FGC) August 16, 2021
In our early tests, the V-Shift’s back-to-back transition was instantaneous and continuous.
Having an indomitable dash available as you go forward introduces an interesting new spin on the mechanic by allowing players to use it while attacking.
As to how useful this is in practice though is still to be seen as it requires the opponent to either mash or for you to read that they will press a button to check your technique while also giving up the position if you don’t. You won’t land on a V-Shift Break or follow-up attack.
The developers also acknowledged that attempting to use V-Shift under certain circumstances would cause all defensive options to fail together – as many of us likely felt during matches.
We took the fight online to test the new and improved V-Shift, and the results were even more positive with the changes implemented.
Of the few games I’ve played aiming to focus more on using V-Shift, I don’t think I’ve failed to get out once where it can.
I also felt it was easier to do this, which reduces the extra brain power you have to devote to making sure you get the movement in correctly from the neutral.
In terms of how much these buffs will affect the meta for SF5 in general, it’s still too early to tell, but these early signs are more promising compared to what we first saw in February.
It was very rare to see V-Shift in tournaments and very competitive play previously, and we would be lucky to see it used more than once during an entire group because V-Reversal has remained the best and most consistent defensive tool to spend the meter on.
The prospect of an indomitable reversal available at half the cost of using a V-reflection is certainly more tempting last.
I wouldn’t say the pendulum has completely swung in reverse now, but V-Shift now seems like an option we should actively test in attack and defense rather than leave it in the background as something that simply exists as an option to get rid of people – and remind them that it exists in the first place.
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