View Full Version : Speculation on Season 5 Conqueror

01-27-2018, 08:12 AM
Here are some observations I've made about the brief gameplay footage of Conqueror from the recent Season 5 trailer:

Superior Block on Heavy Startup

It appears that superior block on heavy startup could be gone on the new Conqueror. In the gameplay footage there is no golden glow on the shield when the Conqueror does the killing blow with a heavy at the end, this golden glow is the indicator for when superior block is temporarily active. Now it could just be that only the indicator is removed or they removed it just for the recording of this footage for an aesthetic reason perhaps.

However it wouldn't be the most surprising thing, because superior block on heavy is largely redundant with parry and neutral superior block. The problem is that the heavy is too slow to connect after a successfully countered light and against a heavy you could have just waited for it to land, block it, and then get a guard break with none of the risk. You'd also get much more benefit from parrying because you would also take a significant amount of stamina from your opponent.

Really the only reason you'd counter using superior block on heavy startup is for style points, killing people slightly faster, or expending a little less stamina because there's no need for a guard break. It's redundant and is the least effective option as well.

On the other hand it may have been removed since it would obviously take over the same role as the current parry if it was to be nerfed since it would yield mostly the same result with the same risk and obviously they're trying to get rid of that with the parry changes.

Full Block Stance

So we see an instance of full block stance being used to feign a heavy attack into a guard break. Which implies several different things.

First off there was no delay to go from full block stance into the guard break. Right now what you'd have to do is go into full block stance, change guard direction, change guard direction back, then finally guard break. Which takes some practice especially with full block itself being it's own guard direction and is still not as fast as a regular feint into guard break. Otherwise doing the guard break input from full block stance initiates a shield bash riposte.

So this removes one of the main drawbacks of full block stance feints, however since we cannot see the stamina bars we can't tell if there's still the 5 second delay on stamina regeneration imposed by full block stance. If both were gone then it's basically just a regular feint with an additional benefit of being able to feign light attacks.

Now there's also the question of if the shield bash riposte is potentially gone since guard break is now occupying its input. I would hope not because I think that would be a real tragedy to lose that mix-up potential. It's a slower version of shield bash but it can be a surprise if you do a string of feigned attacks beforehand. I'm hoping that this shield bash just has an additional input now like maybe down on the left analog stick like a valkyrie's spear sweep or use the cancel button instead of guard break.

New Attack Animation

During the video we see at least one of the Conqueror's new animations which happens immediately after blocking an attack. It's a quick but wide swing with an obvious upward curve to it.

Some people have speculated that this is a superior block on light counter attack and that this new attack animation now replaces the light attack. I would agree that this is a strong contending theory for what this attack is, it would definitely be the right speed for a light attack, this animation may work better at 500ms compared to the current one, it would make him more like the other shield classes to have a counter attack with superior block on light instead of on heavy. It could even be to replace superior block on heavy if it is indeed gone as I mentioned earlier.

However I believe that it is something different. I think it's not a replacement for the light attack and is instead an entirely new move that can be performed upon blocking such as Nobushi's swift retreat or Lawbringer's block on shove. It appears to be guaranteed at least on a heavy block. My speculation is that it does very low damage and is more focused on applying some sort of debuff. It also seems conspicuous to me that the Shinobi chooses to dodge the follow up heavy instead of just blocking or even parrying it and I wonder if maybe this debuff somehow affects their own blocking in a negative way to make dodging a preferable option. Just to throw this out maybe it temporarily increases chip damage from blocked heavies significantly. Alternatively it may be a massive stamina reduction and the upward curve is specifically aiming towards the chest to knock the wind out of the opponent.

I don't think roughly half of the Conqueror gameplay footage would include this dodge just to show that full block stance can now immediately transition into a guard break. I don't think many people would really care about that.

Furthermore I think there's some solid evidence to disprove a superior block on light counter move. From viewing the video in slow motion I did not see any startup to the new animation before the block occurs, it seems like the Conqueror only transitions into the new animation after a brief period of time recoiling from the blocked attack and there's also no shield glow to indicate superior block either. (again indicator might be turned off)

In my opinion it just doesn't seem like the animation is the best fit for a light attack either as far as the motion of the attack goes. The Conqueror commits very heavily to the wide swing it has and doesn't have anywhere near the amount of control that he would with the current lights. Had the Conqueror not chained into a heavy attack I think it would have a very long recovery time with how long it extends past the impact, how wide the swing is, and how it curves upward.