Urien just received one of the most extreme balance changes ever seen in Street Fighter 5

It will go into effect tomorrow when the definitive update goes live

Capcom unleashed the highly anticipated Street Fighter 5 definitive update patch notes yesterday which, as expected, came filled to the brim with balance changes for every character on the roster. The community is collectively sifting through everything before the update officially goes live tomorrow to find who the biggest winners are, the biggest losers, and any stand out changes that might be game changers.

Well, on the subject of biggest losers and potential game changers, it seems like one extreme balance tweak is being talked about the most by the community at this point in time. Urien’s EX Headbutt has seen a series of alterations in the upcoming patch, but most importantly is the fact that it has had its invincibility entirely removed.

Urien has been considered a strong character for several years now, with the season 5 version of him being particularly good. The powerful Street Fighter 3 Third Strike contender this season is often placed within the top 5 on tier lists, with some having him as high as number 1 in the entire game.

By Capcom’s own admission in the latest patch notes, Urien just had a bit too much in too many areas of combat. His reach, strong normals, zoning with Metallic Sphere, and integral V-Trigger 1 Aegis Reflector make for a tough fighter to defeat, so this time around a conscious effort was made to nerf his defensive options instead of the offensive aspects that make him Urien .

EX Dangerous Headbutt, a move that was designed to be an invincible reversal and has been since season 1, has now had all of its invincibility removed. This is definitely one of the most extreme changes we’ve ever seen made in Street Fighter 5, and the implications of what that might mean for the character are significant.

While there have been probably thousands of balance changes made to Street Fighter 5 over its six year lifespan, I cannot recall a time where a move that was built to be an invincible EX reversal at its core has seen that facet of it stripped away. We have seen the universal change of regular Dragon Punches and uppercuts losing invulnerability way back in season 1, but that was a sweeping change to the overall game and not a specific tweak aimed at one character.

The full changes to EX Dangerous Headbutt in the upcoming definitive update are listed as such:

[Normal/V-Skill I] EX Dangerous Headbutt

1. Added a hurtbox between frames 1 and 16.

2. Added a throw hurtbox between frames 5 and 16.
3. Removed the counterable box after the hitbox is generated.
4. Increased damage from 80 to 100.
5. Increased stun damage from 80 to 100.
6. Changed frame advantage on block from -17F to -10F.
7. Decreased landing recovery time on block from 21F to 14F.
8. Decreased landing recovery time on whiff from 31F to 16F.
9. Increased landing recovery time on hit from 16F to 17F.
10. Increased the combo-count limit on the 1st and 2nd attacks.
11. Reduced the combo-count start value and gain of the 1st attack.
12. Increased combo-count gain for the 2nd attack.
13. Increased the knockback distance on hit for the 2nd attack.
14. Will no longer pass through the opponent during mid-air hitstun in the corner.
15. Removed 1.2x damage hitbox from the entire action.

• [Normal] EX Dangerous Headbutt Increased distance traveled forward.

• [V-Skill I] EX Dangerous Headbutt Added armor to the hurtbox between frames 3 and 15.

Capcom explained the most significant change to the special move in layman’s terms with the overall Urien changes description. “In addition to removing his total invincibility while performing an EX Dangerous Headbutt, we have adjusted its reach and combo count, and it can now be used to follow up on a combo,” the patch notes say.

There are a couple of new benefits to the move, such as the aforementioned increased range and combo-ability, but losing all invincibility is a major, staggering change that will alter the way the character is played.

Now, Urien’s EX Dangerous Headbutt is slower to start up than other EX wake up attacks in the game, and as a result players who have labbed the match up often bait it out with meaty light attacks allowing them to block and punish it fully. Regardless, losing that wake up “get off me” trait is huge, and it now means that the threat of such an attack is gone for Urien.

When Urien has meter, simply knowing that an EX Headbutt could be fired off at any time during an enemy blockstring creates that pressure and fear for the opponent forcing them to respect Urien’s space even when he’s on his back. On top of that, when an EX Headbutt is successfully landed, it leads to follow up combos including ones using his powerful Aegis Reflector.

With that gone, though, Urien will have to endure more offensive pressure, learn to block more effectively, and really pick his spots to find room to breathe when the opponent is smothering him. When the opponent gets in Urien’s face after the update, they will be able to stay there and continue to rush him down without much fear of a counter attack.

As far as defensive attacks go, Urien can still utilize V-Skill 1 to coat himself in armor and then EX Headbutt through oncoming attacks for a chance to break through. He can also use Critical Art for a higher risk, higher reward option of getting the opponent to back off.

But one thing cannot be overstated, losing the utility and convenience that a 1-bar EX invincible reversal offers is a massive blow to one’s arsenal. This is one of those extreme balance changes that could very well see Urien players flock away from the fighter en masse in search for someone stronger.

All of that having been said, it is entirely possible that Urien’s highly powerful offensive options and newly stripped away effectiveness on his best defensive option could very well help balance the character out and make him more palatable to fight. This definitely seems to be the plan Capcom has for the high tier combatant, and we won’t know how things shake out until the community gets their hands on the update.

Even if Urien ends up remaining strong, but becomes more fair and normalized, the removal of invincibility on EX Dangerous Headbutt as a standalone change (in a vacuum) is really extreme. It’s interesting to see Capcom make such a wild 180 turn on a move that’s been around since season 1 with literally the final major balance update the game is expected to see, but ultimately it could end up being the right choice.

One thing is for sure, Urien players surely won’t be happy about it up front.

What do you think of this big change to Urien’s EX Dangerous Headbutt? Let us know in the comments below.


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