Killer Instinct – Upcoming Balance Update Buffs Jago, Nerfs Glacius, and More

Microsoft's fighter is getting its first hefty balance update since 2018 and even fixes a long-standing bug with projectiles.

Posted By | On 23rd, Nov. 2023

Killer Instinct

Iron Galaxy announced that Killer Instinct’s base version will go free to play when the 10th Anniversary Update drops, with the new Anniversary Edition containing all content. That’s not all, as several balance changes are on the way, making this the first big balance pass since Version 3.9.13 went live in August 2018.

The patch has been created with the help of the game’s “strongest and smartest players” and includes several buffs to Jago, who gets faster backward and forward move speed. Jumping Heavy Punch’s hitbox and active time have also decreased, while Tiger’s Fury has seen several adjustments. Glacius has received several nerfs, including reduced pushback on block from Light, Medium and Heavy versions of Cold Shoulder.

There’s also a fix for a bug causing projectiles to not receive the first-hit double damage bonus. Check out some of the patch notes below and full notes here. Characters like Sabrewulf, TJ Combo Kan-Ra, Hisako, Shadow Jago and more remain unchanged, so keep that in mind. It was to avoid making “risky changes just for the sake of making changes” since the developer believes they’re still “capable and strong” without them.

Killer Instinct is available for Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and PC. Stay tuned for more details on the 10th Anniversary Update and its release date in the coming weeks.

Patch Notes 3.10 (UPCOMING)

System

  • Fixed a game wide bug that could sometimes cause projectiles to not get the first-hit 2x damage bonus.

Jago

  • [+] Increased Jago’s forward and backward walk speeds by 10%.
  • This small improvement will help Jago maintain favorable screen position.
  • [+] Drastically improved the hitbox and active time of Jago’s jumping Heavy Punch.
  • This move has that ‘pizza cutter’ quality to its animation, but the hitbox on it was very conservative compared to other similar jumping attacks. These improvements should make it feel as good as it looks.
  • [+] Tiger’s Fury adjustments
  • Jack-of-all-trades protagonist characters often find themselves in an undesirable spot late in a game’s life cycle. Jago is a very complete character, but he does not stand out and isn’t scary in the way much of the rest of the cast is. We wanted to figure out how to add some threat to Jago’s tool kit and decided to lean into our mantra of “high risk, high reward”. To do this, we’ve decided to center Jago’s identity around the idea of “high damage Tiger’s Fury”.
    – Light Tiger’s Fury damage is now 26 (was 18)
    – Counterhit damage is now 32 (was 24)
    – Medium Tiger’s Fury damage is now 30 (was 22)
    – Counterhit damage is now 40 (was 28)
     – Heavy Tiger’s Fury damage is now 34 (was 26)
    – Counterhit damage is now 50 (was 32)
  • A very significant amount of extra hitstop has been added on counterhit to help express the dramatic damage these now deal when counterhitting.
  • While Jago’s other tools may still feel ‘middle of the road’, this change forces the opponent to respect him a lot more often for fear of the juicy counter damage. This, in turn, should allow Jago player’s a lot more chances to use the rest of their kit and give them more opportunities.
  • The Shadow Version did not get a damage increase, as we did not want to increase Jago’s damage when cashing out juggles.
  • [+] Made the first active frame of Shadow Wind Kick reach lower. Also made the pushbox taller for the first 4 frames.
  • This is mainly because his Shadow Counter and normal version of Shadow Wind Kick are the same move, and he had a few situations where his Shadow Counter would whiff over top of low profiling enemies. This should alleviate that situation, but also slightly buffs the normal version of the move.
    Moves that pass through opponents on block, like Omen’s Slide, will still cause Jago’s Shadow Counter to whiff.

Glacius

  • [-] Reduced frame advantage after a successful Combo Breaker to 0 (was +4).
  • Previously, Glacius had the most advantageous Breaker in the game, and it also put his opponent at a range that usually benefit him more than his opponents. This change should make the situation feel a bit more manageable after Glacius breaks your combo.
  • [-] Reduced pushback on block from the Light, Medium, and Heavy Cold Shoulder attacks, so that their frame data actually matters. These are (-3, -5, and -8) on block, which remain unchanged.
  • Previously, Glacius could be so far out of range after this attack was Blocked that most characters could not punish him even if he was very negative.  Glacius players will now need to use this move more thoughtfully, or use Hail to cover themselves on block.
  • [-] Added 4 frames of recovery time on whiff and block to Instinct Teleport Puddle Punch (both versions).
    – It is now -16 on block (was -12)
    – All combos from it on hit are the same, as the manual cancel window has not changed.
  • This should make this powerful move a bit easier to punish on whiff or block for characters that previously struggled to do so.

Thunder

  • [-] Limited the time window in which a followup must be chosen after all versions of Sammamish.
  • Visually, once Thunder’s feet start to drop below Jago’s head (using Jago as a measuring stick), followups will no longer be possible. 
  • Previously, Thunder could choose a Sammamish Followup up until the frame before he landed.
    This change should give players more time to react to Thunder’s followup choice, and force Thunder players to make that choice sooner.
  • [-] Added 5 additional frames of recovery time to landing after a Sammamish, Surprise Knee, or Dropkick. 
  • No extra recovery time was added to landing after a Skyfall.
  • [+] Increased forward and backward walk speeds by 20% to compensate for the longer landing recovery on Sammamish, and to help him play a more grounded game with his strong set of normal and special attacks.
  • [+] Shortened the recovery time of Call of Sky by 5 frames. This should help him establish the Crows buff in matches against characters that can send themselves across the screen very quickly.

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