Makutu. Reworked or Broken? Very, Very Broken
It is no secret that the community were hyped to hear that a hero was getting a rework very early into this game's life. It is no secret that the developers made the right call on who to rework first. It is no secret that what they made was an insanely powerful hero that is pretty much a staple of any team comp. Many a match is determined by the better Makutu. What can the devs do to combat this?
The man deals a tremendous amount of damage. Replacing Pekeke stance with Huaki stance seemed like a minimum change, at first, but as the stacking damage buffs from the stance, mods, and Power Ups began to come together he became so frightening that the only way to deal with him was to pile on him. Every hero/player should be able to lose a 1v1. There has to be counter play beyond ganking. Makutu's dps and the fact that he is a tank makes it so getting caught out by him alone is pretty much run or die. He is too durable to kill quickly in a duel and all he needs to do is get you once with a Barge and the fight is pretty much over.
As stated in the Damage paragraph the change from Pekeke stance to Huaki stance didn't seem like too big a deal. WRONG. Attraction is great and can let you set up guaranteed Barges, Barge became easier to use and now deals more damage, Leg-it is so good it is basically a Super. The worst part about this is his healing stance, Ora, only received one change which made it so Repellent now stuns. What? A tank received only one change to his defensive stance? If that isn't a red flag I don't know what is. Katamori was buffed but meh, thats barely noteworthy unless you can juggle someone in a corner with it. Huaki stance uppercut is pretty busted. I like the idea of applying hit stun through shields/on super armored heroes but I don't think if it should do both. Conceptually it is cool, execution wise it is broken.
-What Didn't Change:
Cheese. Happy Thoughts, the mod that let's you, and your team, turn in cells for free didn't change. Back in the day I defended this cheese tactic because at the time Makutu was weak and saving a Super to only turn in cells seemed like a win to me. "You can team fight knowing he won't use it, and if he does his whole strategy falls apart," I would say. Welp, I apologize to those I disagreed with and since Makutu is so strong now there is no excuse for him to be this powerful and also have the capability of ignoring everything but 3 Supers to turn in cells. For those of you who didn't know Can't Touch Us cheese can be countered by Azrael's Wing Blast, Kulev's Bamboozle, and Mekko's Exclusion Bubble.
To spark some conversation in the community and maybe something the dev's can reference into future patches and hero design, here are some thoughts:
Across the Board DPS Nerf:
Lower Huaki stance damage and lower dps related to mods. Its hard to tell how much damage he does when you are dead after a Back Breaker buffed Barge (Back Breaker increases Barge's damage by 50%(who thought this was a good idea?(I know this mod has been around for a while but that doesn't mean it isn't busted))).
Crowd Control Nerf:
Change Huaki stance uppercut so it doesn't effect both shielded targets and heroes who have super armor (channeled abilities except for Zerocool's Recharge beam grant super armor and all tanks except for El Bastardo have super armor constantly). Effecting one or the other would be nice. Attraction no longer stuns so Makutu would have to choose between stunning opponents and knocking them away with Repellent or pulling them in close with Attraction. If you want to stop a channeled ability you would have to use Repellent. If you want to keep someone close with Attraction for combo's you would no longer stun them. Seems like a good method to lower the amount of bullying he can do.
Ora Stance Buff:
Huaki stance provides both speed and dps while Ora stance only provides healing. Add some innate damage resistance, something low like 5-10% to Ora stance, so Makutu can time his stance changes for when he is about to receive some burst damage instead of only hopping into Ora for heals. The best Makutu's spend as much time out of Ora stance as they can. He should have more incentive to switch between stances as fights progress/certain hero match ups in order to get the most value out of both stances.
Do something about the cheese. I'm open to anything. Decrease the mod Happy Thoughts' duration. Decrease both the base duration of Can't Touch Us and Happy Thoughts. Increase the turn in time for cells. Make it so you can't turn in while Invulerable. Something, man. Anything.
These are ideas that I have been thinking over and have heard from other players. I figured I should share them here to see what people think/want out of a nerfed Makutu. I don't want what he used to be but what he currently is is too much. Overwhelming even.
@thetruepilliger Here's what I have to say about the rework...
) Normal movement speed is normal
) Barge is more maneuverable
) Uppercutting tanks
) Repellent buff
( They gave a tank with heals DAMAGE! No fighter should be able to effective do all 3 main aspects (i.e. tank, heal, damage), that's just unbalanced as hell
( Thanks to attractive, barge's improved hitbox makes it too strong
( The AoE unstoppable from Leg-It
 Swap back to Pepeke stance for more speed or make Huaki provide damage reduction. Put damage back to how it was. Makutu 1.0 damage was grand, it's not important when he can be such a good peeler/bully. There's 5 damage fighters to choose from for damage thus HE DOES NOT NEED IT!
 Simply put the hitbox back as it was. He got the maneuverability buff and Attractive, that should've been enough to make Barge easier to use.
 A decent speed boost and maybe some very minor damage reduction on Leg-It should be plenty instead of the unstoppable. I suppose you could go with minor DR for AoE and the brief unstoppable for just Makutu himself. Team wide unstoppable on that cooldown is a bit overkill.
 As you said, nerf Happy Thoughts. I'm perfectly ok with it being used as a strat but as annoying as it is it needs a brief window of opportunity to allow those who know the timing a chance to get a clutch delivery interrupt.
So yeah, for the most part, I think the problems in balance stem mostly just from the rework touching parts of the kit that really were fine and the biggest issue with the whole rework was adding damage.
As far as the crowd control, I think that's what Makutu does best and that's really as it should be. He was always a good bully really, it's just piss easy now but I'm ok with that. The uppercut is nice and strong but in fairness it's kinda balanced out by the way it's specific to only one stance. What you're suggesting has the potential to be a way bigger nerf than you may realize.
As for Ora stance, that's fine as is, honestly. It does what it should do, give healing and repellent is a really good ability for numerous reasons. Basically, don't try fix what's not broken and sadly that seems to be where this rework went wrong, in my opinion.
Overall, I realize I basically repeated a lot of what you said. I just had to lay it out my way to help myself make my points.
@thetruepilliger in general I agree w @b4njAx on this. I'm probably actually on the other side of him a little. I like a number of your ideas, but imo all of them together is too big a nerf. Which of your ideas to pick really depends on what you want Makutu to be in the end. For me, Makutu should be a defensive disruptor, so I really only see two problems with him: (1) the cheese, and (2) the insane damage. I tend to think his abilities (uppercut, leggit) wouldn't feel as broken if he wasn't disrupting and then punishing you on top of the disruption. He should only be able to do one or the other (imo, disrupting but not punishing). Problem w uppercut is not just that it stuns. W the right combo, it basically takes a number of fighters out of the fight. THAT'S what it shouldn't do, imo.
Aside from the cheese fix, I favor one simple nerf: significantly reduce base damage for regular combo sequence attacks and barge. Makutu should not be able to 1v1 absolutely anyone, as you said. Picking Makutu should mean you're choosing to be a utility tank who peels, disrupts, and helps sustain, but still has to rely on your DPS to do some actual work after you peel and disrupt for them. Switching to huaki with buffs and damage mods should make you do decent damage, not be a god. I don't know the exact right number for the damage value nerf, but it should be sizeable.
@Matolius His aggressive stance should not have a damage buff at all. For the style of disruption Makutu naturally fits in to, his aggressive stance shouldn't have anything to do with damage or healing(Ora stance has healing covered). It should be a proper movement speed or damage reduction buff.
Also seriously, the uppercut is perfect in my opinion. It's really good for what it does but is somewhat limited by a few factors that I believe make it reasonable. Those factors being you have to combo to it and hold the attack button, you gotta be in the right stance AND obviously, it can be evaded. Once damage buff is removed, the whole uppercut combo won't have much of a bite. That said, any damage from mods is fair game.
The Uppercut is strong not because of its damage, in my opinion, but the devestating stun lock against tanks. If you uppercut a tank and then mid air cast Leg-it you plummet to the ground while you opponent slowly descends. You go straight into another basic attack combo and by the time the tank is standing up they are already being carried back into the air by another uppercut where they will surely be stun locked. Attraction, Barge, back into another combo, take your pick. It would be nice it did more damage but honestly Makutu should be good at bullying squishies, which he is, but he is best at bullying tanks who genuninely cannot escape on their own.
I thought the damage reduction would be best in Ora Stance since that is his defensive stance. Huaki should be reserved for attacking or running away. In my opinion, of course.
Leg-it granting Unstoppable is a bit much but I do like how it can be used. Maybe it should only grant himself Unstoppable while his allies would be cleansed of slows and become slow immune (mesh the old Leg-it with the new) while still granting everyone move speed.
Removing the stun from Attraction was more of an idea to prevent Huaki stance from being SO effective.
@thetruepilliger I made a typo:
"It would be nice it did more damage but honestly Makutu should be good at bullying squishies, which he is, but he is best at bullying tanks who genuninely cannot escape on their own."
The bit about "it would be nice if it did more damage." That could be easily misunderstood. I like HOW the uppercut does more damage and should be a hard hitting attack. The problem is when he is able to perform the attack over and over against a high hp hero who genuinely cannot get away. Squishies can evade it but after the first one lands on a tank they are pretty much guaranteed to receive another two. Busted
@thetruepilliger I'll be honest, I didn't notice that was a thing and totally forgot about tanks mostly not being able to parry. I can now sorta see how that can be problematic
@b4njAx there is a trick where if you are playing a tank you stopping locking onto Makutu, walk away from him during his Uppercut animation, and then turn back after he gets airborne. He misses the uppercut and it is the ONLY way to consistently evade the attack as a tank. For some reason the initial animation of the Uppercut doesn't apply hitstun, it is only the follow up airborne animations that carry tanks. So there is some counter play but the technique to dodging the attack is strange, obscure, and annoying to repeat.
I mean if you are playing Buttercup and you have to turn around every 5 seconds to avoid being juggled you'll be happy to avoid the stun lock but it gets old really fast. For some reason if you are playing Mekko, use this technique, but leave your shield up Makutu will still carry you into the air. I guess it is because with the shield up Mekko has a bigger hit box. Point being, even though there is a way for tanks to play around the uppercut it is obnoxious and dumb.
@thetruepilliger I don't think the uppercut itself is obnoxious and dumb, just the ability to be endlessly combo'd by it. Even then, only really in solo queue when you don't have teammates who can actually back you up. If you're trying to 1v1 a Makutu as a tank (or anything else for that matter) as he is now, you're asking for trouble anyways. If your team can CC him at all then it shouldn't be a big deal.
Cheers for the tip about lock-off and stepping back, that seems quite useful in a pinch!
@thetruepilliger that's is almost exactly thing whose l thinking about his uppercut tanks
Like, isn't a bad idea,but isn't ideal or balance for a tank can make any tank invaluable,even el bastardo have more chances than other tanks might have.
The majority tanks doesn't have evade options and can be catch in another uppercut very quickly while still getting up
If this uppercut just cause a little stager while tanks are stand up and doesn't pull up them, honestly l didn't have nothing against,and like you said isn't about damage but is about the basic stun(or bullying) that makutu massively do.
Attraction l ok if this,the problem is his shoulder whose with his buff damage very strong (think has other one whose is strong too)