ACR loke test was last night (and might be going still?) watched some of the stream.. I’m beyond hype for a new GG. Sad stuff though - they buffed Axl’s neutral substantially, but, nerfed his mix up, and his damage output.
I don’t really agree with this, I feel like what’s going to happen is he’s going to become Venom-lite. They have many similarities in how their pressure screen control/functions.. but they were like opposite sides of a coin. Venom has top class screen control, really strong pressure, strong safe mixups, and mediocre damage. Axl has solid screen control (particularly air control), decent, meter reliant pressure, solid but unsafe mix ups, and good damage.
The biggest misconception of Axl, in AC, is that Axl is a zoning character. He has maybe, 3 match ups where he actually wins by zoning.. Johnny, Order Sol, I-no. Otherwise Axl’s goal is to use his air control to discourage you from jumping, in order start his ground pressure game, and ultimately take you to the corner, and land bomber loops.
With the changes to the GB- on his chains, non-overhead bomber, and bomber’s GB- nerf and the buffs to his chains (new, more powerful gatling routes and the option to choose 1 hit or 2 hit chain), he’s going to end up playing a lot more like Venom.. more emphasis on controlling the screen, and longer pressure strings (longer pressure = more guard = better damage). The problem being that Axl’s screen control, even with buffs will never be Venom level, simply because the chains have hurt boxes. If you play BB, think of what Lambda/Nu would be like if you CH her by hitting her sword from 5 char lengths away. :(
TL;DR unless things change between loke tests, or people come up with new tech to get around using 2 hit chains in combos (no way around the b-loop damage nerf though), Axl players may as well just pick up Venom. Unless, you play Axl because you just think Axl is cool is fuck. In which case, welcome to the Axl army. All five of us.
And of course, shout outs to THAT MOTHERFUCKING HONEY BADGER AD the stream played every half hour or so last night. seriously. EAD.