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Skullgirls Current Meta, Annie Team Compositions and Balance Suggestions for the Future


Pyoro Time
Oct 31, 2013
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Ms. Fortune Unknown Eliza
Currently, the state of SG is in a less than ideal state balance wise. Annie has becoming a staple of most teams, and for good reason. Her explosive damage and DHC synergy with pillar of creation make her a staple of most teams. Before Annie, the three anchor characters were generally Double, Bella, and Band. While it is nice Annie adds another option for players, she is quickly becoming a must have on most teams. Fortune/Annie kills off of one reset for two bars, and there are many ways to do this. As post Pillar of Creation routes are optimized, this is only going to become more common. When this happens, the creativity of the game goes down, because there becomes an optimal way to play every character, rather than optimal ways to enable characters are playstyles. Point character with high meter build -> super -DHC poc kill is going to become the optimal way to play SG.

Those who remember the M Shadow Fukua vortex days know that this is not necessarily something that is fun or good for the game.

Additionally, myself and many other players feel as though Peacock didn't really get normalized, but rather got a slap on the wrist. A damage reduction doesn't really touch on the more egregious aspects of the character and she really needs at least more real nerf so that she isn't the definitive best character in the game in 95% of situations.

Finally, Fortune needs some changes to make her less oppressive, and to highlight the weaknesses all characters should have and she really doesn't.

I've already made a post about the changes I think Eliza should get, I won't retread those here. Rather I'll focus on normalizing who I believe are top 3: Peacock, Annie, Fortune.

I also believe Fortune should be looked at, as her meter gain is kind of out of control for how much damage she does.

Here are the changes I'm proposing:


1. Revert teleport + assist

Reasoning. Liam has spoken and peacock gets to keep her teleport. The issue is said teleport + assist call leads to the best L/R mixup in the entire game. While all characters have tricky left rights, the character with the strongest neutral also has access to a left right that does the following

A) can hit assists
B) can be converted off anywhere on screen
C) cannot be reliably punished
D) is plus on block and leads to additional pressure and mixups

Peacock's existing kit is incredibly strong and she does not need something like this. Some of you may remember that Peacock's teleport did not use to be this way. I'm proposing we change it back to what it was.


2. If teleport + assist is here to stay, the following changes need to be applied to normalize how insanely good item drop is

Additional scaling on combos started with level 2 item drop
Level 3 item drop is now a hard knockdown

Forcing Peacock to play neutral once or twice more in a match (when its already arguably the best in the game) is a reasonable compromise for how strong she is, and these changes would address that.


Annie is an incredibly strong character, however she does not need to be significantly nerfed. With a few small changes I feel like she can be a much more fair character.

1. Additional scaling on Pillar of Creation

Reasoning: As explained above, having a strategy this strong is ultimately bad for creativity and the meta of the game. Players would need to be more creative to get around limitations of PoC scaling, with better resets or more optimized routes, rather than everyone just basically doing Pillar -> f.hp into a string or two to kill a character.

2. Install drains meter faster when Annie has 3 bar or more

Reasoning: Annie install is absurdly strong and anyone who has played Cloudking's Annie can attest to this. 5 bar install Annie can wipe out entire teams in seconds as her j.HP ADC j.hp force crossup is insanely strong, beats absolute guard, and forces a player to switch block at 1f timing at different intervals. Rather than nerf the install itself, I propose we make it drain meter faster when Annie has 3 or more meter. This would encourage the Annie player to be more mindful of meter use and remove the 5 bars = instant win neutral aspect


1. Slightly reduced meter gain

: Fortune's damage and neutral are incredible, she doesn't have many bad matchups and the one she has are not that bad. headless fortune is a terror with amazing neutral. On top of all these things, I think it is fair if the character does not build meter as fast. She is strong enough without just generating bar by existing

2. No hitstop on head during combos
Self explanatory, this would stop the head from messing up combos/confirms and ultimately is would solve a lot of people's problems about the character. I believe Liam did this once in a build so it might be worth trying again. The bonus damage is still applied when a hitbox makes contact with a head, however the head can now never make a combo drop

I believe this changes could lead to a much healthier SG meta wise. Please let me know what you think.


Retired Till Hes Not
Mar 1, 2021
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Waldorf, Maryland
Parasoul Fukua Cerebella
Just gonna throw my para hat in the pot as an addition.


1. Make her Jab not so minus on hit

Alot of people I've talked to about this sort of have the misconception that I want this button to be plus on hit. I could care less about this. I don't think in fighting games there should be a character that is minus for using their own jab. At a high level being conscious of this frame data is important and I have been punished for using it at max range, not being able to convert because its longer than sMP and getting hit by a mashed super. If it was 0 or -1 it would be fine. You couldn't tick throw off it or jab dash throw off it (which has been a lot of peoples concerns. you cant really tick throw unless your like +4-6 anyway). -9/-10 for a jab is egregious though.

2. Make M egret last longer and/or exit sooner.

M egrets use for blocking projectile window is extremely small. So small that you have to special cancel immediately into sniper and will still probably get punished by peacock doing argus fullscreen if snipe doesn't hit while shes holding item. While its decent meter gain when it blocks projectiles/assists its use and function doesn't make it feel like a really good tool or threat against zoners. He also stays out sometimes what feels like forever and isn't use-able for a long time after he's done doing his thing.

Also sub ask because I just think it wouldn't be too busted. But being able to summon 2 egrets at a time would be so helpful and useful. M egret into H egret would actually change lives even if it like cost a bar or something. Not neccessary I guess but would be welcome to try it out.


Skill pending
May 29, 2015
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Ms. Fortune Valentine Double
I'm just gonna stick to Fortune since I don't want to get bogged down w/arguing about Pea/Annie. But I will say that I think the meta is in a fine place and I, personally, think Annie's fine and has her own niche among the glue characters. My thoughts on Val/Double (my other 2 mains) are that they're both in a fine place and I don't think they need/deserve significant balance changes in either direction.

Changes to Fortune that I think she definitely should get:
- Make the head not break combos or at least do it less often (I think everyone is agreed on this tbh).
Idk how it should be done, maybe make it behave differently if Fortune is in a combo or not (since I think it absorbing hits in neutral is fine, Double players pay attention when you do Car challenge :P) but I'm sure Liam/HV could figure something out.
- Make headless' air and ground throw progress to stage 3 even if you don't cancel them and instead convert with a head attack. That or some other nerf to headless' throws targeting her max undizzy corner vortex.
The way it is now allows Headless Fortune to deal crazy damage at max undizzy in the corner while looping into a 50/50 airthrow/burst bait. The way max undizzy works and forces you to do resets with bigger gaps is one of my favourite pieces of design about SG, so I'm against anything that avoids that dynamic. This vortex does build the opponent a huge amount of meter but I don't think that's enough to outweigh how crazy it is (off of a throw as well!).
This would have some effect on headless' throw damage in non-max ud situations but she also does very good damage there and has other options to open people up so I think that's fine.
The vortex is airthrow Zoom (OTG) sLPx2 sLK sMP sMK sHK dl M Rekka Headbutt sLPx2 sLK sMP sMK sHK H Fiber airthrow/burst.
- Nom should always fly behind Fortune when she hits someone out of it.
This would make her combos less unreliable (her midscreen optimal changes depending on what direction you're facing at the start which is jank af) and it makes her resets off of Nom worse since she doesn't have the head to continue pressure on block. This would technically be better than how it is currently in a few situations but generally speaking this would be a nerf compared to how it is now.

Changes to Fortune that I think are understandable but I wouldn't push for:
- Remove crLK loops or heavily nerf them
I think they're fine due to the balance of difficulty, how much meter they build the opponent and the fact that they are only worth going for vs lights usually (vs mids/heavies they typically do less damage than other routes). But, if they do become very common then I could see them becoming boring to watch/get hit by since they do take a while. This would also nerf headless' corner damage vs lights by ~400 or so damage. Which leads me to...
- OR nerf headless' corner damage by ~400
I think headless' corner damage being so high is ok due to her taking a bunch of damage if you hit her and the head (especially if it's fixed so that the head doesn't drop her out of combos), especially in the corner + the fact that she builds more meter for her opponent in the corner than any other character in the game by a lot.
All that said, I think it's also understandable to look at her combo damage and say it needs to be normalised a bit. I think she should still be a high damage character in the corner but I can understand bringing her average corner damage down from ~9.6k to ~9.2k. I don't think her midscreen damage should be touched though since her damage drops a lot if you aren't able to land her optimal midscreen routings, which is pretty common. Eg her optimal sandwich route is very finnicky based on head position and her optimal side-swap will semi-often need to be adjusted to an early Feral route if you can't cross-under. This drops her damage down from ~8.9k to 7.3k and below. Ideas for specifically targeting corner damage would be decap attack damage + Gato damage, since those are almost exclusive to corner routes.
If crLK loops are removed then I don't think headless would need/deserve any other damage nerfs though.
- Extend the lockout window for head attacks after a blocked super
I don't think this one particularly matters one way or the other since it's rather trivial to punish all of her blocked supers if you know how, regardless of head position. But this would make it less of a knowledge check at least so I think it's fine if people want it.

Re: nerfing Fortune's metergain; I am heavily against it. Tldr is I think it makes her less interesting to play and team build around, + her meterbuild just straight up isn't an outlier (there are other characters with better metergain on hit).
Fortune has one of the worst selections of assists and DHCs in the game, so meterbuild is the primary way she adds value to the other characters on her team (instead of just being a blackhole). This leads to interesting synergies like old Fortune/Butchers, Fortune/Squig enabling Sing SBO and Fortune/Annie or Double since they love meter on anchor. Nerfing her meterbuild would just make all of this way less interesting and remove a key part of the character's identity. Synergies like this make the game and teambuilding fun.

Fortune's meterbuild is also balanced by the fact that she builds her opponent a lot of meter. The only characters who build their opponent more meter (for a full combo) than head-on Fortune are Robo, Band and headless Fortune.

Fortune's meterbuild also gets overhyped quite a lot imo (or perhaps it's that there are quite a few whose meterbuild is severely underhyped in comparison). Her meterbuild is really good to be clear and is easily near the top of the cast, but characters like Bella and Eliza have comparable meterbuild on hit. Eliza sacrifices some damage for that meterbuild but Bella straight up builds more meter than either version of Fortune while doing close to headless damage and building a lot less meter for her opponent. Both of these two (as well as most of the other high meterbuild characters) also have good assists, so they already contribute a lot more to team building than Fortune.
For anyone wondering about meterbuild for short combos into resets: Eliza drops off a bit but Bella still outclasses Fortune in meterbuild, building more meter for herself and less for her opponent (while doing 1k more damage for the same undizzy compared to head-on).

Here are some numbers to back up those last 2 points btw:
Here's a graph of everyone's meterbuild for a full combo off of a light. Head-on is 3rd while headless is 4th after Bella and Eliza. Note that "Fortune - Overall" is just an average of head-on and headless' numbers.

And then here's how much meter they build their opponent. Headless builds a huge amount of meter for her opponent in the corner especially (and this isn't including the meter they build from super, where CSF builds more meter for the opponent than any other lvl 1 super in the game) while head-on is only behind Band, Robo and headless.

Here's the link to the above data for anyone curious along with an explainer for the combo criteria and links to almost all of the combos used.

As for the point about meterbuild from short combo into reset:
Head-on: crLK sHP H Rekka x2 Slide crLK sHK(2) L Fiber jMP jMK(1) jHP (fastfall) into left/right/airthrow is probably head-on's best undizzy to meter built reset and it does:
3449 damage, builds Fortune 55% and it builds her opponent 26%
Bella: crLK crMP sHP Kanchou crMK jMP jHK crLP crMK RS left/right/airthrow uses the same undizzy as the above reset (105) but it does:
4486 damage, builds Bella 57% and it builds her opponent 24%
Bella wins in every category (for reference, headless builds the same meter as head-on but deals ~4.8k/5.1k damage.

Also yes, I know, I posted graphs and a spreadsheet. I am the big nerd.

To be clear, I'm not saying Fortune's meter build is bad just because Bella builds more but I don't see anyone complain about Bella meterbuild even though she already offers far more to her team (one of the best assist selections + good DHCs) than Fortune even without it. So Fortune isn't the meterbuild outlier that she's often painted as and she already has stuff balancing that meterbuild.


Everyone's favorite pariah! Oh well
Sep 22, 2013
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My problem with only nerfing H teleport + assist is that Peacock can do it on her own and it'd still be difficult to punish because she has invuln frames on her return as well, she shouldn't have these since it's basically a very free cross up and any scaling she would get gets mitigated by the fact that she can just melt you with supers from projectiles she whiffs that build a crap ton of meter. My general problem with a lot of nerf suggestions is that I don't feel that they look at the big picture, H teleport is just a strong tool in general, with or without the assist it's still just an insanely good tool with not that much risk since she makes it safe with assist or a projectile. Again I think her invuln frames on the way back are too much, at least this way even in the event that Peacock can still do this cross up on her own, at the very least you might actually be able to hit her on her return forcing Pea to have to make the mix up much tighter instead of being virtually for free. (The thing is, I think it's very hard to nerf something like this without making it complete garbage or nonexistant) ((Maybe for H tele specifically, hitting peacock at any point causes the assist to stop at any point, I mean, you DID hit her... Thus forcing better timing to get this really good option))

Personally, I would still very much like it if at the very least H plane would disappear if Peacock got hit. This way she would actually be punished a lot more easily instead of having to hard maneuver after already hitting her or just not get rewarded at all. (If I had a dollar everytime I hit Peacock with PW jMP and had to stop because H plane was coming down... I'd have a few thousand dollars) ((This might help with H teleport H plane cross up 'cause now you need meter to beat it)

Another thing regarding Peacock, is that if a meter gain nerf won't happen (and honestly I think other characters should just build MORE) I think it would be a pretty tame suggestion to let the projectiles on block build slightly more meter for the opponent just like with Robo. Peacock's gameplan is mostly throwing projectiles, in neutral she already has so many advantages and a lot of times the answers against her involve meter. (This would help stop something like H tele + something provided you have good supers))

Might just be me, I think Peacock's 2HK in conjuction with her projectiles is kind of a lot. it's a great approach tool as well as a mix up tool due to how far and quickly it moves (This nerf I'd consider optional but I think this is one of the tools that make her really good)

I also think her jHP should be smaller since it's mostly a movement tool anyway (smaller but without affecting her current routes)

jHK is also an insanely good wall

A character that thrives and easily converts from neutral is really good, I think it'd even the playing field if these things happened.

- Deathcrawl desperately needs a hitbox buff (It hits nothing)
- 2[H]s should work like 5[MP] currently does (all hits of armor throughout active and recovery frames because really you can't utilize all hits of armor otherwise and it sucks to lose when you spent a heavily reactable to be throw option 30-40f or whatever sucks.)
- PW should have a button that can punish things quickly (not sure how to accomplish this since if this did happen, she would have a huge fast poke that you can fly cancel from) Her throw being her fastest and largest meterless option sucks.
- I'd like it if flight was faster start up by a little bit (You'd need to change frame data so she isn't super plus because of it though)
- jLK should be a little bigger
-Max range 2LK > 2MK results in PW dying. (funnily enough Max range 2LK does work with 5HP so idk but I don't think she would get a combo anyway)
- jMP more disjointed
- Painwheel's flight ceiling is too strict (It should still be there so she isn't just like val or robo but a lot better since you can avoid the going down part)
- M Pinion is H Hairball
Personally, I think Painwheel is insanely easy to swat by the entire cast but currently not many people do sj into fast button yet, the counter to this is j[HP] 236KK or j[HP] fly but good luck reacting to it since hatred guard is hard to react to to due the lower hitstop it has than regular armor. I'm saying Hatred armor at least for j[HP] should be able to be reacted from a bit easier so she can actually utilize her punishing tools. Also characters that have fast 2 hit options would probably still win since flight is so slow even in the air.
My wishlist for PW again
PW should maybe get taller blue boxes on her crouching normals, primarily her heavy buttons since if her back is to the corner some characters can actually slip behind her and she dies for it and in normal cases this wouldn't happen OR PW should auto correct on her heavies or just fully charged normals in general

Also just a thing about Fortune's meter gain, some characters build a similar amount or even MORE while having a ton of assist reliability, idk what the meta looks like atm but if all fortune is doing is being a battery and doing damage and nothing else then I think she should just stay that way, taking away her meter gain will only make her a more niche pick than she already is. I realize that when a good player plays a character it looks a ton better than initially thought but also I think that should only make people more cautious about what they want.

Anyway, I'm not really sure what the goal is for SG anymore but that's what I think, enjoy.

This is probably my trillionth edit but if I'm up to it, I might go over my perspective on all the characters but it's highly unlikely
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. . .
Hidden Variable
Feb 11, 2021
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Unknown Unknown Unknown
I have been chipping away at some balance changes locally that will likely go out in an update that includes Umbrella's final kit, or shortly after. I suspect a lot of the things mention here (mostly as it relates to Annie, for what I've had time to work on) are already addressed.

Also if people are going to just start asking for random stuff this feels like a duplicate of this thread?