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So, the new BM and Des.


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Before we get started, I just want to say that I know there is counterplay to these classes. There is counterplay to everything regardless of how powerful or weak they are. However, the point of this post is to simply point out how hilariously difficult the counterplay can be. So let's get started.


BM: From the beginning of the game, BM has had the most solid defense in the game, only rivaled by KFM. It's fine, to say the least as it helps it stand out. While the defense is very useful in most situations, in the context of the arena, a quirk of the defense begins to stick out as too useful. That would be the dreaded deflect. You see, it's fine to have something happen whenever you time a block just right, but that thing that happens should not be a stun. In fact, I'd think it's best that we don't have anything happen at all whenever a BM blocks at just the right time except maybe shortening the CD on something or some other buff. But given that a BM can stun you whenever you use your standard "get up" skill, it can easily swing the fight in the BM's favor and when they're able to do it consistently, you might as well just stay on the floor and let the BM have his/her way. Sticking to the defensive profile of the BM, the new Awakened build for BM having a passive frontal block is absolutely ridiculous. Sure it's unfair that Des get to be immune to CCs when using Emberstomp (which is a placed down AoE buff on a 45sec CD time with short reach), but for BM to be immune to punishment of any kind for like 12 seconds or so, that's just stupid. Sure you can just go around, but there's no guarantee you'll actually be behind the BM as they can Q/E behind you while you're behind them. Don't believe me? I've seen it happen plenty of times in the arena, suggesting it must be some kind of bug. On top of that, they might even stack it with some other iframe ability to make them completely invincible. Furthermore, their basic bubble that we all know and "love" can heal them about 20% or so HP. I won't complain about that as it's completely fair. But to add insult to injury, they also have two, two escape skills: their backstep, and their tab. Given what I've described their defenses so far and what's still yet to come, you might say this is overkill. Well it is, as their Q/E makes them untargetable on top of their iframes. Then we have five-point dash which is also an iframe and if they resist something while using it (which is all the time), you proc up cyclone, giving them a decent amount of damage dealt, while also being immune to damage in return for quite some time. So it's very clear that in the hands of a skilled player, you're never killing a BM unless you're lucky or really good at the game.


Now we move on to offensive abilities which won't take long for me to describe as BM has to only press the same button three times in a row with their Lightning Build in order to win any match. Flashstep is stupid. It makes them untargetable, again, and with just three hits you can bring a fully healthy SF to only inches from death. And this is just the beginning because now we get to their dreaded Awakened Build which I shall call their "Shadow Build". With this build they get just about all the benefits of their defensive profile while trading out Flashstep for a WL style 100-0 air combo that somehow makes the original WL air combo look fair. You stay up in the air for an unholy amount of time as you watch your HP bar slowly disappear as they keep launching you back in the air and all because you refused to tab on the first stun they got on you. The class is no longer a melee class, it's a ranged class that just so happens to be good at melee. Now for two universal skills on BM that have been the bane of almost every player's existence: boot and soaring falcon. Never before have I seen a class more dependant on one button in order to win a match. The second I use Second Wind I know immediately that the BM is going to try his Z pull. It has become such a predictable pattern that I refuse to use my tab until he/she uses it, or until I see that they miss with it. Now for their other skill, boot, it too can dominate and dictate the way a match goes, As stated earlier, a BM's block can stun a player if they try to get up from KD. But what about counter? Well boot or X, can easily let the BM completely dominate the ground game. Instead of being an inconvenience like SF's Howling Blast (which KDs a target while piercing Block and Parry), Boot allows a BM to stun anything that's blocking or using a counter, including if that target is on the ground. This is usually followed up with Flashstep, ending the match before you had a chance to do anything. Then we have their opening moves, which is the most dominating thing about BM. They can dictate when and how the game begins at any time, and it usually begins with them getting a cheeky stun off you. If you have any problems with loading in first, you'll know the pain of losing to Shadow BM because the arena didn't load in fast enough. This wind riding attack is also present on BDs as well but is a follow up to them using their version of Soaring Falcon.


Now what tweaks would I suggest being made to BM to make it more balanced? Well for a start, their stun parry has to go, in fact, I'd remove parry as a mechanic from the game as a whole and just keep the block mechanic. Sure it keeps you on your toes, but it's over punishing for such a chance encounter, but when it can be consistently abused it gets even worse. Next, I'd suggest shortening down the Shadow BM's air combo and nerfing the damage a little. Make the combo easier to perform, but at the cost of it not being a guaranteed kill. Then I'd suggest removing the untargetable effect from BM altogether, the class never needed such a thing and it's honestly overkill given how many defensive options the class has. Just keep the Q/E iframes as they were. Furthermore, I'd have the damage from flashstep be heavily nerfed. Only needing to press one button to win is absurd and frankly unfair. By proxy, this will also nerf the dreaded Z pull and Boot as the follow up might not be an instant loss. Finally, I'd remove the backstep as an escape skill. Trying to force Tab on BM is difficult enough as it is, but having to force two of them is just too much. BMs were more than capable of reaching high long before they had two escape skills, they don't need another.




Where to begin? Let's start with their new build as that's the only thing worth complaining about. Everything else on Des seems to be perfectly fine, possibly even warranting a buff. But let's stay focused on their new "Iron Will"build, shall we? When I first returned to the game, I was dumbfounded by the sheer, unbridled stupidity of this build. So let's start with its defenses which should be fairly brief. It gets the classic spin parry, which again I despise as a mechanic, especially since you don't get stunned in real life when you are parried but left vulnerable (hint hint, perhaps consider a damage boost when you successfully parry). But that's not the problem with them, no that's their immunity to just about everything. They have a new skill which lets them unleash this Titan form. During the casting of the skill, they turn gigantic and unleash a multi-hitting daze ring around them that goes through defenses. Not much of a problem, although it deals too much damage. But what comes after is even worse. For twelve seconds they're invincible and get a damage boost. To put that into context, FM's Frost Armor lasts for 10 seconds and is purely a defensive move as they can't attack or move for that matter, and get back 30% HP. This buff, however, does CC, a lot of damage upon casting and gives them immunity to damage for 12 seconds after, along with a damage boost. You might as well call it "Temporary God-mode" because that accurately describes it. Hey, remember Fury by any chance? That damage boost that makes Des immune to CC at the cost of taking slightly more damage, and you can still knock them down? Or Persistence, which is an escape skill on a minute CD that makes them immune to CC and damage for 5 hits. Then we have their basic form, by which I refer to their "Double Axe" stance. I couldn't think of any better way to make this class a more obvious counter to FM, as not only can their dish out an absurd amount of damage for no work, but they're also immune to KB, you know, the core mechanic behind FM's wallbang? Oh and if you other classes think you're fine, you're not, as they're also immune to being knocked in the air. On top of that, they have access to an AoE of damage around them, and causing your framerates to drop so badly you'd be forgiven for thinking you were playing a consul game, all while out-competing Warden's 4 spam in the damage department. Now for their special bubble of invincibility that lasts well over five seconds and doesn't seem to be breakable by any means. This combined with their insane damage output, their ability to laugh through block, makes Des one of the most brainless classes I've seen since coming back to the game and I'm not even sure if I've covered everything about it that makes it so powerful.


Now there are ways around the new Des build, for sure. But the amount of effort it takes, stacked on top of Destroyer's already decent defense with their spins, shields, and their C ability, makes the class near impossible to hurt. So my solution would be to have Des worry about KD even with this Titanic form, and have their floating shields be breakable, or shorten the duration of it. From there, I'd also have the damage output on it slightly nerfed.



Conclusions: Now I know there are other classes out there that are also equally powerful, if not even more so (Archer), but I'll get to those one day. I'll probably even advocate for FM to have an overhaul with its PVP style as I hate its wonky and unreliable wallbang 100-0, as it's been the source of a lot of toxicity and its generally unreliable as having ping above 100ms will usually cause it to fail. Notice however, that the changes I suggested are minor for the most part (barring the suggested changes to parry), and are more of a return to form for these classes. Although, given that none of the classes I play arena with have yet to receive their awakened builds, the solution to this imbalance might just come when they finally decide to give every class their awakened builds. Ultimately, I know the Moderators, Developers, or Community Managers will never see this post or possibly even care much, as ultimately they're powerless to actually act on it and we're all doomed to just take in whatever new patch is released for the Korean server. I could be wrong, and I hope I am.

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  • 3 weeks later...

FM Frost Armor lasts for 8 seconds, not 10 anymore. That was nerfed a while back and it's about to get another nerf.

I agree with everything you wrote here. BM is just insane. A while back their parry was nerfed to something like, they could only parry once and then it would CD for like 24 seconds or something like that.

IMO, if they want to keep the parry mechanic, make it return damage or something, instead of a 2 second stun. Or maybe reduce the stun duration to 1 second.


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