So I've shared my thoughts on Baiken in a recent character breakdown and livestream, but boy howdy have I been having fun with her in Guilty Gear Strive. For a moment, I was starting to feel a bit like I had plateaud with Ky and Anji, who were my regulars. I still play them, but I was kind of feeling like I'm not sure where to go with my playstyle on them. Baiken is a breath of fresh air. And not only that, I feel like I can commit crimes against health bars if people don't shut me down quick.
It's the tether. Baiken's Kabari special move and normal throw allow her to tether an opponent and keep them from moving away from her in a rubberband effect. You can play endless mind games with this depending on the character match up. Sometimes it works in Baiken's favor. Sometimes it doesn't, but it's fantastically fun to lock someone in with the tether and turn a Guilty Gear Strive match into a new kind of game. Here's a combo I discovered by complete accident and a good example of the horrible things Baiken can do when people guess incorrectly.
Dang near 70% of a lifebar off of one combo. I felt dirty, and yet with characters like Sol Badguy and Nagoriyuki in this game that can also do that kind of the damage off the right setup, it felt so good to discover I'm playing a character with the potential to commit scaling damage atrocities as well.
Baiken definitely has her weaknesses and limitations. I think her parry throw is too risky and her anti-air game is far too limited. Still, learning how to play her is maybe the most fun I've had with Guilty Gear Strive since it launched. Really enjoying the gimmicks Arc System Works has been putting on its new characters and how they have the potential to make the game play differently.
Have you had any luck with Baiken in the time since she came out? Played against any really good ones? Played her and then dropped her? Let me know. Till then, I'm still out here learning everything I can and grinding for them Ws. Don't let me catch you with a counter Kabari tether. You will regret it.