1/4 block auto-block and 1/6 block auto throw tech: effective destruction of SFxT

(Disclaimer: If you’re one of the lucky ones who has people to play with who never use gems, good for you. You can be on your merry way. No need to respond here reminding everyone of this. The majority of people who play this game against others play it online and dont have this luxury.)

There’s a definite line between something being annoying and then something being so destructive to gameplay that it literally destroys the game.

Topic 1) Character Destruction
From my experience, I can say that certain characters who rely heavily on opening someone up via a good mixup have been destroyed.

I play Hwoarang. He works really hard to get in, then has to perform a creative mixup with his kick strings to open someone up, or get lucky and hit them with one of his slow/telegraphed ground bounce overheads. It’s not something he pulls off often, but when he does connect he can score huge dmg (400+). 1/4 bar auto-block has killed Hwoarang. He cannot overcome the tiny cost of someone using this gem, unless he were to literally land his ground bounce overheads like 10+ times against them (this simply can’t happen against a good player). The 1/4 block autoblock gem is practically a requirement for someone who plays strictly to win. It is literally so powerful that without it, a top tier character will become a bottom tier character against any other character in the game who does have the gem equipped (assuming two people of equal skill fighting).

Question 1) Post how these auto block gems have ruined your character if you feel they have.

Topic 2) Overall Gameplay Destruction

Instead of becoming more strategic and rich with gems, the game has continued to devolve into more and more brainless tactics, catering to sloppy poor gameplay. I originally did not hate the idea of gems; I liked them and was excited to customize my character to my own fighting style. But Capcom has gone about it the completely wrong way. It’s like they put 3rd graders in charge of the gems department. Don’t like throws? Take a gem to negate them at the tiny cost of 1/6 a block. Don’t like when people outsmart you with an overhead or low or well placed cross-up? Take a gem to negate them at the tiny cost of 1/4 a block. What is the counterargument to this? Yes, these gems take up two slots. But they could take up all three and would still be vastly superior to any other gem. In all honesty, throws don’t matter that much since they suck to begin with, but they still do serve the purpose of opening up someone who is just downbacking the entire fight and at least getting the chance for some sort of wakeup offense on them. The very idea that you can use a gem to completely negate a strategy present in the game and make it a more simple braindead game is counterproductive to what a fulfilling fighting game should aim for. But it seems to be a design philosophy Capcom has taken to heart for SFxT. Oh, and you remember how timeouts were already rampant in this game before this patch? Prepare for an all out pandemic once everyone starts using these gems. Cheers.

Question 2) Post how these gems have ruined overall gameplay if you feel they have, or post how you feel that haven’t affected it that much or have even enhanced gameplay experience.

There is a poll included in this thread. I would like to get everyones feedback. Hopefully this thread isn’t closed too soon. Maybe if enough people voice their opinion Capcom might change things for the better (lol, I doubt it).

I called it when the Gems were first anouced, instead of doing interesting things wiht them they’d just be bland stat buffs and things like this.

Also, banning assist gems is a bitchmade move by the community, don’t ever wanna hear shit sad about the smash community banning anything.

I enjoy playing with Gem loadouts and am looking for a reason to equip auto-tech being that throws are only good for the occasional mixup. GodsGarden didn’t seem to have many problems with Assist Gems so I’m fine by it.

This is DIFFERENT! (It really isn’t, I just wish it was)

You know what. For as much bitching and complaining as there is about these new gems, they are actually very useful for players that want to improve their game. Before throwing on the haterade, let me finish. The autoblock gem especially, will show a player, who’s attentive, where holes lie in their defence. You see that blue spark fly and you know you should’ve been blocking there. On the other end of the spectrum, when you have meter and can auto-block but are hit instead, you know there’s a hole in your attack string, or you’ve performed something unsafe. So again, if you’re an attentive player, you immediately realize that, “oh hey I just performed something unsafe, won’t be doing that again”.

For people that are just using them to win, yeah, it sucks, especially against someone who decides not to use them. But in the process of creating such brokeness, I think Capcom hit onto something here that is actually VERY useful in the hands of a player that wants to improve their game, and is looking for holes in attack strings and other attacks, where they can take from that and learn.

Getting hit also teachs you when block up/down/cross. If the game does it for you, you will never learn your rivals block-string.

Me and friend kick anyone from our room using these gems, so I don’t care. If they can’t block/tech by their own they probably aren’t worth playing anyway.

Loss #1 because of auto block gems. One round the screen flashed 6-7 times. In one round. Ambiguous crossup? Screen flash. A c.lk c.mk c.rh chain? 3 flashes in a row. And he always had more meter.

On the brightside i faced my first extra long pandora player. It was actually a little scary!

Hahahahaha, I’m done with ranked with these new assist gems. Are you for real, Capcom?

Making the game play for you does not help anybody improve. Much like simple mode in games like MvC3 or BB don’t help players learn the game. All they do is teach you to play with those assists activated.

As for the new gems. Yep, they ruin what little there was left to like in this game. Ironically, one character who hasn’t been rendered useless by these dumbshit new gems is Ryu…

… sigh…

That’s okay though. Next month I bet we will get an air block gem…

People still play this shitty game?

Skullgirls is out, go play that.

I really like and respect Skullgirls, but…


So the game is like killing itself before we take action?

You can’t really avoid them in online play either. Gems were already starting to be an issue already and now this.

The flaw I see in this logic is that the type of player you describe is in the minority, and in the end just gives them a false sense of security in the end anyway.

People who use these new gems:

  1. win at all cost - majority of players

  2. troll at all cost - people bored- decent amount of players

  3. new player using the gem to help learn and correct mistakes comes in third place.

“I don’t have time to learn the game”
“I don’t want to invest the time”
“Insert other bullshit crutch line here”

AKA: the reasons people give for these pieces of shit being in the game.

To all of you lovers/defenders of these auto-win gems- thanks for supporting a shit gimmick and wrecking a FG w/potential.
Instead of posting on a forum or spending time equipping your character w/ bright ass neon colors and Auto gems- hit the training room on EASY and learn how to block.

People still play this shit?

I didn’t say it was a sound argument. lol

I was just saying it COULD be useful as a learning tool. And I disagree that you could learn better by just losing or getting hit constantly. The problem with new players is they don’t understand why an attack hit. If you’ve got auto-block, it becomes clear pretty quickly when an attack your performing is either safe (auto-block) or not (hit).

But to avoid the risk of people thinking I am defending these gems in serious or tournament play, I will stop here. As I said, I don’t condone this shit, but for me at least, it’s a very interesting learning tool. Imagine if Capcom had incorporated these gems in a really intense training mode. We’d have a hell of a lot of better players.

They probably killed ranked matches. Tournaments will just keep banning gems, assuming the game itself doesn’t die after this.

Ridiculous. You learn by defeat, not by having a crutch which deals with your weaknesses for you. If the game auto-blocks a move that would have killed you, and you go on to win the round, you learn and remember nothing. However, getting sent to the bottom of the queue/losing your BP/getting sent home/losers bracket will definitely lodge it deep in there.

Anyway, I’ll repost what I posted on Eventhubs to some ignorance I encountered over there. He argued that it’s available to everyone, so it’s not a problem. Also, that’s it’s just something you have to avoid, like jumping into Ryu’s uppercut. Here’s my response:

So, because both players can do it, it has no negative effect on the game? Despite throws already being near-useless in this game (poor range, 7 frame start-up), being unable to throw a heavily defensive opponent means that you’re unlikely to ever open him up for damage, since he won’t be mashing buttons or crouch-tech for a counter-hit set-up.

How exactly are you going to damage him? Just lends itself to yet more time-over victories. Throwing is an integral part of any fighting game, and Capcom have basically disabled it with this ridiculous gem.


Comparing it to Ryu’s uppercut makes no sense. Ryu’s uppercut is heavily punishable on block/whiff. You cannot punish someone who is not actively trying to tech a throw, but still managing to tech is every time. Also, there will never be a time when they don’t have enough meter for the gem to activate, since just pressuring them into a throw mix-up has already given them enough meter on block for it to activate.

The only strategy would be continually walk-up throwing without attacking, but players aren’t training dummies and will just counter-hit your 7-frame, ass-range throw with ease into a full combo. Now you’re at the life deficit, while they’re sitting on more meter and can defend all your mix-ups.

Sound like fun?

These new assist gems are far too effective.

No disrespect but SG is overhyped and there’s better games on the horizon.

I tried my best to keep positive about this game. I still love playing it, but I wont after this patch. This game had such potential, and I really wanted it to thrive.

I can’t stand the way Skullgirls looks so that’s out of the question. I guess it’s prepping for ttt2 then… :`(

I posted this in another thread, but I think the issue people are missing out on is not the block gems just blocking mixups. If the gems only blocked when a regular player could block they’d be annoying but not destructive. The fact is that they break down a lot of vital tactics that have been a part of high level play forever. If all they did was keep blocking when you did an unsafe confirm or chain they wouldn’t be an issue. But as others have mentioned they allow you to block while moving forward.

The whole idea of footsies is to put out a limb to catch the hitbox of a character whether they’ve stuck out a poke or are moving forward. It’s very common to buffer an unsafe move into a footsie/poke. See Sakura in Arcade Edition with putting dps into her pokes. Now normally if your spacing is correct this is an entirely safe and intelligent thing to do. If the poke hits the buffered move will come off, if the poke whiffs it will not. Now the reason this is important is that normally this is safe at the right distance because your opponent has to move forward to get to the poke. Since you cannot block while moving forward there’s no way to block the poke, trigger the unsafe move and get a punish. Now there is. For characters like Vega or even my character Bob this is pretty devastating, since both of them rely on hiding chains in their midrange pokes and suddenly they are getting punished for using good strategy. It’s also especially bad with Hugo and Zangief since their game is about slowly moving forward and then dominating once they achieve point blank range. This means the strategy that non-fireball characters used against grapplers since SF2 is no longer viable, since you would use long pokes to keep them at bay.

Another situation where this becomes relevant is when trying to escape walk jab pressure from Rolento or Raven or Cammy. It’s called walk jab because it necessitates moving forward between jabs or else pushing oneself out. Now the primary effective way you get out of walk jab pressure is by using an invincible reversal and there are two situations where this hits. When they are jabbing or when they are walking. You can still bait the reversal by holding back, but it means leaving a hole in your pressure. With an autoblock gem suddenly you can continue walk jab pressure and remove one of the two states that invincible reversals beat.

Now there’s two more nebulous situations, that of unsafe overheads and then a team built specifically abusing these gems. These are less important because they don’t represent a fundamental change to the games mechanics the way annihilating footsies and removing anti-pressure options does. But they’re worth looking at.

Overheads are a calculated risk in particular tricky overheads or instant overheads etc. Most overheads are unsafe, but they also are one of the only reliable ways to break a turtle. Now most overheads can theoretically be blocked everytime, but in practice that’s not the case, and matches at high level are often decided over one overhead. Autoblock gems remove that tool completely, because using an unsafe overhead not only cannot hit, but will be punished with a full punish combo. It effectively removes this mechanic entirely.

A team built around abusing these gems, I’m thinking Dhalsim with both low meter defense gems and Xiayou so he can 3 frame short into 500+ meterless damage (Might as well put 3xdamage on her) , would in my opinion be almost unbeatable. If you give me an hour or two to practice doing Xiayou’s 6 sweep and tag back meterless I could probably even do a quick and disheartening proof of concept.