Dear Team Ninja, (PLEASE READ)
There was once a time where I felt that Helena was the perfect fighting game character. She embodied all of the tools to make her a serious and respectable character in DOA4. In DOA5, all that changed... The fighting system has changed in DOA5 to where we now have unholdable stuns, pretty good frame advantage on block, etc. As the game changed, Helena did not. DOA5 Helena plays a lot like DOA4 Helena. The best way I can describe her now is if DOA4 ever came out with a patch and they nerfed her by making her unsafe and taking away her force techs, this would be that character. The problem is that this isn't DOA4 and this is a new system. She plays EXACTLY like a DOA4 character. She has to be the only character in DOA5 that got worse since DOA4 while every other character got either a little better or a lot better.
I wanted my next blog post to be a breakdown of Helena's best moves, but I felt that this could not wait. People feel that Helena is "still good" because they aren't fighting her correctly. A lot of players aren't punishing her unsafe moves at all. She doesn't have safe ways going into her stances. She is one of the most unsafe characters in the game now for no reason. She lacks good unholdable stuns. One of her sitdown stuns, (6pp) is the second punch in the middle of a string. I also find her sitdown stuns to be easily Slow Escaped before any good followups can connect. This is a character that people feel is strong early on, but she will only get very weak later on down the road once people learn to properly fight her.
Now I'm not a big fan of nerfing the other characters. (Especially this early on in the game's life) Just straight up making the "good" characters worse can hurt the game in the long run. Instead, make the weaker characters better. Give them buffs to also make them good. In this post I decided to list a couple of changes that Helena should get in a future balance patch of DOA5:
This move should be +1 on block.
Helena lacks any real good DOA5 unholdable stuns. What I suggest is give her back her Limbo Stun on Counter Hit for 6P, like how it was in DOA2. Keep people honest. This would be a really great addition for Helena and make her one step closer to feeling like a DOA5 character.
When this move is used in a juggle state, it should hard knockdown. (like Tina's 6f+k) That way, you can force tech the opponent with BKO 6p or BKO Sweep.
I feel you should be able to go into either BKO Stance or Back Turn Stance from this move. Do F+K and hold the DOWN button to go into BKO, and to go into BT, hold the BACK button after inputting F+K. Going into either stance after F+K should leave you at least +3 on block. Helena needs more safe and advantageous ways to go into her stances. This would be fair too because the move isn't really that fast and it's a high.
This move, on CH and in middle of stun, should give her that unholdable stun where you lean backwards and fall to the ground. It's the same stun that Gen Fu's 4p+k on CH and in stun gives. Again, she needs more of these type of stuns to truly fit the DOA5 mold.
236p+k leaves her at neutral on block right now. I think she should be at +1 on block. She has strings that end with the handslaps that leave her at -4 on block. (BT 4ppp, 4p2p, 33p4p) They should be either neutral or -1 on block.
Not even gonna say 8k should be real safe or advantage on block, but I don't think it should be -8 on block. I think -5 is pretty respectable. That way it can still be punished by only Grappler Characters.
Why was this move made unsafe? Not even that it's unsafe, but it's REALLY unsafe. This move and any string that ends with this open palm should be -2 or -3 on block. This was her "Get in" move. I think it should also sitdown stun as well. It wouldn't be cheap because I'm pretty sure you won't get anything guaranteed on hit by the time you recover.
Helena needs more safe ways to go into her stances and just overall more safe moves in general. She needs these unholdable DOA5 stuns that everyone else has. The BKO duck nerf makes sense to me. She needs to be an overall better character because, like I said earlier, she is gonna get much worse as the game matures. This Helena that we were delivered right now, is just a bad version of DOA4 Helena. She needs buffs.