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Tekken 8 Patch 1.04 Takes Dragunov’s Legs Away

Patrick Bonifacio

Tekken 8 developer and publisher Bandai Namco has released the changelog for Patch 1.04, which focuses entirely on balance changes after the tournament at Evo Japan. Containing six whole pages of tweaks and adjustments, the changelog itself brings plenty for players to sink their teeth into.

Tekken 8 Patch Dragunov

via Bandai Namco

Chief among the changes here is the litany of nerfs to Dragunov, the character that has been considered by many since launch to be the best in the game. Indeed, Dragunov did show up at the Evo Japan Grand Finals, in the hands of Yoon “LowHigh” Sun-woong. But it’s not all just nerfs to the top tiers in Tekken 8 Patch 1.04, as there are also some nice buffs to lower tier characters to be found here.

Drag(unov) Me to Hell

Dragunov’s overall strength as a character in Tekken 8 has been quite apparent since the game came out. He is probably the best character in the game at locking down opposing players, thanks to the plus frames of his power mid Russian Assault (WR 2) and power low Deadly Scorpion (d/b+3+4). He is therefore able to force his opponents to play at his pace and on his terms very often.

Russian Assault’s presence alone isn’t really enough to make him broken, since he wasn’t really that oppressive in Tekken 7 after Season 1 in 2017. But the fact that he now has a highly damaging low akin to Bryan’s Hatchet Kick means that people will have to crouch against Dragunov, which opens the floor for his excellent mids.

This was pretty much the aspect of Dragunov as a Tekken 8 character that rubbed the community the wrong way. His identity is supposed to revolve around strong mids and a varied throw game, but instead the dev team decided to give him that and threatening lows. But not anymore, as Patch 1.04 reduces the frame advantage of Deadly Scorpion on hit — down from +7 to +3. In addition, its forward hitbox has been reduced in size, making it worse for long-range tagging.

Dragunov’s absurd combo damage has also taken a hit this patch. His Spetsnaz Assault (WR 4 at the wall) now deals reduced damage, which limits his combo potential somewhat. Still, we expect his juggle damage to still be among the highest in the game even after this change.

Azucena Nerfed for the Third Time

Elsewhere in the changelog, it’s clear that Bandai Namco want Azucena’s Espresso Agresión (WR 3,2) to be irrelevant from here on. Patch 1.04 greatly reduces its damage, down to 20 from 27 previously. Worse still, it is now just +2 on block, so it can’t be used as a sheer lockdown tool as much as before.

Considering that Espresso Agresión is Azucena’s most important move, this could very well be the death sentence for her as a high tier pick. But at least matches involving her won’t just boil down to how many instances WR 3,2 her player can crank out during a round. Azucena will have to actually work for her pressure now if this change works as intended.

The first one didn’t, so maybe it’ll take another nerf after this before she’s finally considered unviable.

Asuka on the Rise

Fans of Asuka Kazama can rejoice now, as she is probably the biggest winner of Tekken 8 Patch 1.04. Her new mechanics in Naniwa Gusto and Destabilizer have both received huge buffs, with her Tenjin Upward Strike (NWG WR 1+2) now being a whopping +11 on block. This means she can do whatever she pleases in terms of pressure, though it does consume a stock of Naniwa Gusto.

Considering that Asuka is already all about whiff punishment and practically nothing else, giving her this much pressure off of a single move could allow her to mount comebacks after surrendering a life lead. Whether or not all of her buffs will be enough to catapult her into tournament relevance, though, is still anyone’s guess right now.

Tekken 8 Patch 1.04’s changelog can be found on the official Tekken 8 website. The update itself releases on all platforms on May 7th.