I've been meaning to write a post for a minute, but honestly everytime I feel solid about dahlia I discover something that changes my opinion. The character is super cool and with more lab time and optimization she does things very similar to the existing cast while still only being in beta.
As a warning, this will probably just be me rambling and I'll edit it later today for readability.
I'm not of the opinion that her counter should be touched just yet. I know alot of people are upset that you can be "right", but still lost the interaction. I think the ability to easily set capes in combos that last indefinitely to eleport to when needed, the ability to call an assist while doing the counter input to simultaneously cover the recovery and convert on successful hit, and the ability to counter some of the better assists in the game on reaction and create health / assist advantage for herself is insane. Countering assists and strategies like brass and downback / upback dp with a 50/50 on which way the counter hits is so incredibly strong imo I'd rather see people play into that more.
I think her air buttons are absurd and I love that for her. J.lp being another fukua j.lp. j.mp demands respect in the mid range. J.hk is really cool. Etc.
I think her bullets are all really strong and I'd like to sit on them for a little bit before changing anything. Fire shot let's her become fukua. Ice Shot dominates neutral. Electric does the same while being more intuitive to aim. Laser is really good to rng into but feels pretty bad to select intentionally. Shotgun is sick. If anything, rather than buffs or nerfs, I think Dahlia would benefit alot if she could see special ammo alot more consistently. I think if you scrutinize each bullet you'll always have a "best" one or two for the situation, and with reload super allowing you to choose, you'll always choose the "best" ones. That being said I don't think the second or third best bullets for the situation are much further behind, there's just no reason to pick them over the best ones. If she could see ammo more consistently than dumping bar I think the opinion on the "weaker" bullets would be much more favorable.
After the nerfs (and slight buff this patch) 5mk really doesn't feel like a button I want to press. It's hitbox is fairly high so sometimes it just whiffs in situations you want it to hit OTG. Its slower than the similarly ranged overhead 5hp. And it does very little damage for actually connecting. I'm unsure what exactly to change. Then the forward movement occurs pretty late in the animation so its not even useful as a carrier for kara specials. I'd personally rather just see it be a normal button with no movement attached and with an added hitbox to make it more consistent with otg hits, and more intuitive to press, but I know alot of people find the forward movement fun. While speaking candidly on stream people suggested giving it the annue 2lk treatment where it acts differently while dashing which might be cool as well.
5mp is another weird button. It's also has difficulties picking up otg. It has a high hitbox, but not high enough to be consistent as an anti air. It's high hitbox also makes it lose against traditional grounded pokes despite also being a forward moving button. It feels like a button that doesn't have a place rn. It feels like it was meant to be a button to help fix / save confirms, but with its inconsistencies and things like empower linking into 2mp and putting medium punch on IPS tracking just mean I don't press it at all.
I think that while her supers are supposed to be utility supers, all they really do is compete for damage. Barrel super does damage, c4 does damage, and reload super does damage. Both barrel and c4 just don't do enough damage to justify their meter cost over more consistent (reload super) or stronger (level 3) options. When it comes to buffing those supers, I'd rather see them get buffs separate from just making their damage go up.
Personally, I'd love to see this super transition into a conversion super. I'd like to see the barrel be faster while rolling, with a higher knockup that you could combo barrel hit -> fire explosions consistently. Right now there are ranges where the barrel hits but they tech before the fire explosions reach them.
I'd love to see the power of c4 reeled in and narrowed to be an assist punish super. Right now it's supposed to be a pillar of creation / sing sbo function where you stick it on and later explode it on reaction, but with it not having enough hitstop on the detonation you can dp through the detonation and punish Dahlia. Rather than see it buffed into another toxic red light green light super, I think it would be super cool if it filled a niche of denying assist calls. Right now at 2 bars and superflash on application and detonation, I feel it doesn't do that as well as it could.
Level 3 feels incredibly strong. I'd like to see it stay for the time being but it absolutely should dissappear on Dahlia death and Dahlia tag. Having a super that strong without needing to actually play dahlia is a bit too much imo.
I'd like to see Electric, Shotgun, and Laser locked to the L angle when used as an assist. I hate to say it but the m angle for those moves are terrible.
I'd like to try a version of Dahlia that sees special ammo more consistently. I think spending 50frames to reload to then see a special bullet after shooting 2 normals is kinda whack. I'd love to see a version of reload that gives her one of each bullet, but I can see how that would be incredibly strong
I still hate the idea of onslaught. I still very much wish I could call assists, or cancel my air buttons, or go backwards. I'm still of the opinion that alot of its uniqueness comes from the things it lacks rather than the things it provides. I've seen the idea thrown around of spending a bullet for an empowered onslaught, maybe bringing back the sj. Onslaught refreshing your assist, being able to onslaught cancel your air normals, or even the puff of air from onslaught having a hitbox and igniting the barrel.
Reload super should probably have lower recovery on hit. This way it's applicable as a combo dhc from more supers while not being safe on block.
Lastly I think normal shots should not have hitstun decay similar to Double's luger. With dahlia having limited routing options to connect normals other than empower (which she gets 1 per combo) and shots, I don't think her standard bullets should have anti-combo properties. It makes converting off neutral touches kind of awkward if you aren't familiar with the mechanic and frankly doing ABC launcher ABC restand just isn't fun at all. I don't think I should be further punished for spending a resource in combos.