MultiVersus nerfs Iron Giant because he’s ‘dominating with abnormally high win rates at every skill level’

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Warner Bros’ free-to-play character brawler MultiVersus has launched to enormous success, attracting over 20 million players so far, and looks set to become something of a cross-platform Smash Bros. It’s also created an amusing spectator sport, which is watching the traditional fighting game jargon being applied to a cast list that features characters as diverse as Tom & Jerry, Superman, Arya Stark, and Shaggy. There’s just something funny about Velma being called OP.

Pre-launch Multiversus attracted some grumbling for its inclusion of the Iron Giant, a character created for a children’s book called The Iron Man by the great author Ted Hughes. This is because the story ultimately shows the gigantic metal man setting an example of pacifism and understanding that leads to world peace.

Thus the Iron Giant may seem like an odd fit for a fighting game. Which is a fair enough perspective though, personally speaking, I don’t find that taking a bit of license with a well-known fictional character is a problem: particularly in a nonsensical cartoon brawler. I mean, we can all still read the book.

Anyway, the Iron Giant has, amusingly enough, turned out to be so powerful that developer Player First Games has been forced to apply some swingeing nerfs to the character. The game will be down today for a short maintenance period, after which it returns with a new patch that also introduces Morty from Rick & Morty.

“Iron Giant is currently dominating with abnormally high win rates at every skill level,” reads the notes on the character. “Iron Giant’s Neutral Special with stacked cooldown reduction and Velma are causing too few windows for opponents to counterplay. Updates to Iron Giant, global updates to perks, and Velma updates should help provide more windows of opportunity for opponents against Iron Giant.”

See what I mean about this stuff just being quite funny at times? The nerfs amount to increasing Iron Giant’s cooldown on certain attacks (the Velma reference above is because she can reduce cooldowns with her abilities), and reducing the rather large hitbox of his upwards air attack. His Air / Ground Up special has also had its damage slightly reduced, and the knockback from its final hit reduced.

We’ll see if that’s enough to flatten-out the big boy’s abnormally high win rate. In addition to the direct nerfs for the Iron Giant, Velma’s ‘Educated’ buff has also been nerfed: where it reduced cooldowns by 75% over 8 seconds, it now does 50% over the same time. There’s also been a reduction in how cooldown refunds are calculated for all characters.

The wider picture is probably of most interest to assassin characters, which have seen a major buff across-the-board that means they’ll all take less damage. All assassin characters have a passive ability that increases damage taken by 14%, making them high-damage but lower health picks. This 14% is being reduced to 5%, and the developer’s notes say it’s considering whether to remove it entirely: “We want to take a step towards that while trying to not to go too far too fast. We don’t want to create an assassin dominated meta.”

The full patch notes follow:

General

  • General
  • Morty will be arriving tomorrow! 08/23! He will be our first Plumbus-wielding character!
  • This patch is entirely server-side so all updates are Online Only and will not be reflected in local/lab play until the next patch.

General Perks

  • Ice To Beat You!: Projectiles will only apply Ice debuff to fighters that are not already debuffed by Ice.
  • I’ll Take That: Unstacked cooldown refund decreased from 0.5 seconds to 0.25 seconds. Stacked cooldown refund decreased from 1 second to 0.5 seconds
  • Gameplay Systems: Fixed a bug where ability cooldowns may not trigger when projectiles are spawned close to terrain

Characters

  • Arya
  • + Assassin Passive: Reduced extra damage taken from 14% to 5%.
  • We’re evaluating if this passive should be removed entirely. We want to take a step towards that while trying to not to go too far too fast. We don’t want to create an assassin dominated meta.
  • Movelist Description of this change will not be updated until the next patch
  • Finn
    Since we removed some power from the Backpack on Finn, we’re pushing some additional power into the rest of Finn’s attacks to give him more kill options.
  • + Air/Ground Neutral Special: Increased base damage from 5 to 6
  • This base damage is increased by holding and charging the attack
  • + Air/Ground Down Special (BMO Chop): Increased Damage from 18 to 20
  • Increased Knockback Scaling from 18 to 20
  • + Assassin Passive:
  • Reduced extra damage taken from 14% to 5%.
  • We’re evaluating if this passive should be removed entirely. We want to take a step towards that while trying to not to go too far too fast. We don’t want to create an assassin dominated meta.
  • Movelist Description of this change will not be updated until the next patch
  • Garnet
    Garnet buffs are incoming in the next patch!
  • Harley
  • + Assassin Passive: Reduced extra damage taken from 14% to 5%.
  • We’re evaluating if this passive should be removed entirely. We want to take a step towards that while trying to not to go too far too fast. We don’t want to create an assassin dominated meta.
  • Movelist Description of this change will not be updated until the next patch
  • Iron Giant
    Iron giant is currently dominating with abnormally high win rates at every skill level. Iron Giant’s Neutral Special with stacked cooldown reduction and Velma are causing too few windows for opponents to counterplay. Updates to Iron Giant, global updates to perks, and Velma updates should help provide more windows of opportunity for opponents against Iron Giant.
  • – Air/Ground Neutral Special: Increased cooldown from 23s to 25s
  • – Air Up Attack: Hit boxes shrank to more accurate fit the attack visuals
  • – Air/Ground Up Special: Reduced damage by 1 and base knockback on final hit of spin
  • + Air/Ground Down Special: Allow cancel out of Cannonball if it hits an enemy
  • Superman
  • Fixed a bug that would allow Superman to grapple enemies that wall bounce even if his hitboxes did not connect.
  • Taz
    Taz buffs are incoming in the next patch!
  • Velma
  • Air/Ground Down Special: Velma Educated buff reduced cooldown return from 75% over 8 seconds to 50% over 8 seconds

In our recent review, Mollie said “MultiVersus has done a bang-up job of laying the foundations for a fantastic platform fighter that has the potential to blossom into something amazing”. It’s certainly off to a strong start even if, in the case of the Iron Giant, it was maybe a little too strong.

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