Guilty Gear Strive patch 1.09 is nearly here and the patch notes have dropped – here are the biggest changes to keep in mind.

Guilty Gear Strive’s latest update goes live on 08/27/2021 for all versions of the game (PS4, PS5, Steam). This Guilty Gear Strive patch includes the new character, Jack-O, as well as a few balance changes for every member of the cast. We’re here to tell you the most significant changes that you want to look out for.


Sol Badguy: the king of gorillas

Sol Badguy has been crowned the king of top tier since the game has released. This patch changes his forward Slash to have a smaller hitbox on both the top and bottom of the move. This means that more moves can low profile and beat it, making it a less viable poke option. Both versions of his Bandit Bringer have increased knockback. The aerial version also has more recovery, making it easier to punish. His command grab, Wild Throw, now has follow-ups available with roman cancel.

One of the biggest changes that many people have asked for is a nerf to his far slash. Now the move has more knockback and increased scaling. This means the move cannot be used to generate near-infinite pressure.


Leo Whitefang: the mixup machine

Leo Has been an absolute menace since day 1. Prominent players such as Sonicfox have been absolutely dominant with him. His high damage and crazy mix-ups have made him a popular character, and he received some minor buffs from this Guilty Gear Strive patch.

When he is in his Brynhildr Stance, his kick can be dash or jumped canceled, opening up more options. Because his dash in this stance can cross up the opponent, they will have to be aware of potential side switches at any point. Pressing the dash button will always move him towards the opponent now. This makes his side switch mix-ups more potent, both when the opponent is knocked down or blocking.


Giovanna: the plus frame monster

Giovanna has been putting in work recently, with players such as Marn winning many tournaments or placing very well. While there were some who wrote her off as a scrub killer or a noob-friendly character, these buffs might make more people think she’s top tier.

Her forward punch anti-air can now be comboed into and has a faster start-up. This bolsters her defense, and gives her better combos from her standing punch.

The final hit of her forward Heavy Slash now knocks the opponent down on hit. This gives her better okizeme, and it gives her a reason to not cancel into special moves in some situations. Because of her myriad of plus frames, she might suffocate you with her pressure on knockdown!


I-no: the rushdown witch

I-no is seen by many to be one of the bottom 4 characters in the game. Many cite her slow dash speed as the source of her issues. This Guilty Gear Strive patch gave her a ton of buffs, meaning players like Daru I-no, the runner-up of Evo online Asia, are likely going to be running rampant.

Both her grounded and aerial dash have increased speed and distance, letting her rush down her opponents more easily. Her standing Heavy Slash got a faster start-up and now places her opponents in a floating state if hit on the ground. With changes to her Stroke the Big Tree (Heavy Slash version), she has access to even more combos than before.


May: the dolphin demon

Everyone’s most hated character by far. The constant cries of “Totsugeki!” and images of dolphins make people cower in fear of her. While she got a minor nerf for two normals, she received a few buffs in compensation.

May’s far-standing slash has a smaller hitbox (and hurt box) on the lower part of the move. Her crouching slash has less active frames and a larger hurt box, meaning that it is easier to whiff punish her for constantly throwing out the move. Her standing heavy slash now comes out faster and has less recovery, incentivizing players to use this button more. Finally, her command grab can now combo mid-screen, but lost some damage.


Arc System works has shown with this patch that rather than nerf characters to the ground, they want to buff up the entire roster. While some characters like Sol or May might not have needed any buffs, many characters on the weaker side have certainly got some nice changes. You can check out the full patch notes here to find out exactly what happened to your main.

For more news and updates on Guilty Gear Strive, and the FGC in general, follow us here on esports.gg!

Tyus Hotta-Takahashi -

Tyus Hotta-Takahashi

| Twitter: @KazeFGC

By day Tyus is a quality assurance tester for Idea Factory International but by night he is a prolific Street Fighter fan and aspiring competitive player.