Toxic: How These Poison Players Are Finding Success

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The glamorous Poison, who came bundled in the most recent Street Fighter V DLC character pack, has been somewhat overlooked. Squished between the fiery rushdown of Lucia and Honda?s heavy-hitting hands, her new unorthodox whip-based moves left players a little stumped on how to operate her in the neutral.

Great buttons like her multi-purpose crouching medium punch weren?t enough for those too caught up with whiff-punishable normals, the lack of a reversal beyond a 3-frame button, and, at first glance, V-Triggers that lacked enough bite.

But as top players began piecing her gameplan together, Poison revealed herself to be a menace, and in contention for the strongest in the DLC drop. To get the real rundown, I?ve rounded up four players who?ve been putting in some serious practice into Final Fight character for their insight.

Ryan ?Saint Cola? Collins: ?How much have you been using Poison this season compared to your other characters, and what was the cause for switching over??

Derek ?iDom? Ruffin: ?I?ve been using Poison a lot, but I still have been playing Laura a lot to make sure she stays tournament ready. I started playing Poison as I was embarrassed about Street Fighter League Season 1.

I showed up with a crappy Birdie because I didn?t know there was a ban system in effect, so in Season 2 I wanted to actually have a good secondary. I kept playing her because I was having fun with the character and saw potential in her.?

Justin Wong: ?I haven?t touched any character outside of Poison since she came out. I?ve only been playing Poison in every game of Street Fighter V I have played since then.

The cause of switching over was just me casually just trying her out and then I discovered that I can just force people to jump while holding the heavy punch Heart Raid and I never went back ever since then.?

Sanford Kelly: ?I?ve been playing Poison since she released back in August. I was a Zeku main for the past year and a half. When I saw Poison, I liked that she controlled space and she looked cool.?

R: ?How strong do you feel Poison is currently in the meta of SFV Season 4, and how do you feel about other players viewing her as ?weak???

I: ?I think Poison is really good in this game, but she can be stressful to play at times. For example, I get annoyed when someone like G or Abigail makes a comeback with V-Trigger or something.

But then I just laugh it off and remember I do the same thing to people with Laura. I do think she is a Top 10?15 character if played well but let?s hope everyone thinks she is weak so she will get buffed in Season 5.?

J: ?I think Poison is pretty strong, to be honest. She has almost every tool except for 2 things ? a reversal and a counter-hit 3 frame light punch confirm into medium punch. But besides that, I can see her hitting Top 15 easy. It ain?t no Top 10, but she?s actually viable versus the majority of the top tiers from my book such as Karin, Akuma and Rashid.

Though she gets destroyed by Ibuki, sadly. People saying she is weak makes me laugh because people look at a Street Fighter V character if they can maul or setplay somebody. People don?t care for the art of defense anymore.?

Joesph ?Mo-Joe? Porter: ?I think Poison is like a solid space-control type of character. Similar to Sim but obviously without the fireball. She?s also a character that?ll test how well you can deal with the Street Fighter V clownery [laughs].

But seriously, I think she?s a solid character overall. One V-Trigger for high damage and stun output and the other for 50/50?s.?

S: ?I think Poison?s potential is high, but right now she?s still fairly new. I do believe she?s a strong character possibly between 15th and 17th. Players saying she?s weak are the same players that either aren?t REALLY labbing her or aren?t playing her well.?

R: ?What do you think other players aren?t doing right with her in terms of optimization??

I: ?I think in terms of optimization, you have to know the right V-Trigger combos and when to do them, but I don?t think combos are her strong suit. In my opinion, you need defensive optimization and to have good defense to really make Poison shine.

Justin Wong is probably my favorite Poison player to watch (other than myself), and he doesn?t do anything fancy ? it?s just good button usage at the right time and good defensive decision making.?

J: ?I think other players try to play her too much like Street Fighter V ? meaning too aggressive. She can really frustrate people with her crouching heavy punch, medium and heavy punch Heart Raid, feints, ex mid Heart Raids, and really great anti-airs.

She has so many anti-offense tactics that it?s great. People legit kill themselves when fighting against her. But other players using her will fish for a crush counter standing heavy kick, which is -4, and I?m like why??

S: ?Most players aren?t very creative in SFV because they use training mode for set-ups and punishes. Optimization isn?t just combos ? it?s situational awareness and opponent knowledge. Adapting to playstyles is very essential.?

R: ?We?ve only seen a little bit of her new V-Skill 2. How, if at all, do you think it?ll improve your gameplan with her?? (Note: this question was asked prior to the longer reveal)

I: ?I don?t know how good or bad her V-Skill 2 will be, but if it?s a good corner escape for characters like Karin or Rashid then it could be helpful. If she gets the ability to do like standing heavy punch into a V ? Skill 2 side swap, that could be really good.?

J: ?The V-Skill 2 seems really good just by definition. It obviously needs some testing for what I want it to do but I am thinking already the following: can I use it as a side switch from a knockdown, cancel into it from a normal, escape the corner, and can I confirm into the EX Heel Kick move for a combo.

Also, how many invincibility frames does it have, will it leave me in a crush counter/counter hit state, can it go through projectiles and normals, etc. Overall I am excited and I hope Capcom doesn?t nerf the way I play her in the next patch because they be hurting my characters. Don?t make crouching heavy punch a mid or I will hate you Capcom!?

S: ?I need to see Poisons V-Skill 2 more, I want to see it in combos particularly to make a judgment on whether I?d use it over her current V- Skill 1 ? Perfume Swing.?

M: ?It seems like she can have a way to avoid corner pressure and in some cases get a full punish.?

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