The Onryō: Thoughts on her Current State



So as we all know, Onryō got another set of changes with the release of 7.5.0 and to say they weren't well received would be an understatement. I was unfortunately too busy during the 7.5.0 PTB to write up my own thoughts here on the forums, but was satisfied with the feedback being given by other Onryō players. Mostly, that she was much more fun and healthy, albeit slightly weak.

I think it's safe to say most of us expected her to hit the live servers either relatively untouched or with some buffs/QoL adjustments -- certainly not with the hefty nerfs she ended up getting.

I've been playing the new Onryō for the past few days and wanted to share my thoughts. I'm certain much of this will echo what has already been said by other Onryō players so forgive me if I sound like a broken record. or would a broken VHS tape be a more appropriate simile?

I'll start by going through the 7.5.0 patch notes and commenting on the changes.

7.5.0 Changes

While Demanifested:

- The Onryo can gain Bloodlust as usual.

- The Onryo can enter chases as usual.

When Demanifesting:

- Bloodlust is no longer lost.

Good changes. They're nothing too drastic but they help her to use her power in chase a little more easily.

Increase Demanifested state invisibility duration from 1 to 1.2 seconds.

Great change. Making Reiko's Watch (partially) basekit is something that's been asked for for a long time, and means she actually has a semblance of a chase power without needing add-ons. Obviously Demanifestation mindgames are sort of gimmicky and don't work at a lot of loops, but they're fun and that's what's important.

Teleport cooldown from previous update removed.

Glad to see this go. Onryō's ability to move around the map quickly was one of the things that was so appealing about her original power. Having a cooldown felt clunky, especially considering her teleports can be denied by survivors anyways. It's a massive shame this change is effectively undone by the introduction of another cooldown.

Condemned gained from teleports increased to 1 full stack.

Another positive change. Having to keep track of Condemned gain in 0.75 increments was a little confusing for both roles.

New Power Meter:

- Resets on teleport and charges automatically afterwards (10 seconds).

- If the power meter is at 98% or more when teleporting, the teleport applies Condemned to Survivors within 16 meters of the TV where The Onryo projected or any other powered TV.

- If the power meter is <98%, no Condemned is applied.

I'll start by saying I'm thrilled that local Condemned has returned. Global Condemned gain removed a lot of skill expression from Onryō. You no longer needed to be judicious in where you teleported and it felt very cheap. Now that local Condemned is back, you're incentivised to corral survivors into your TVs and not just mindlessly teleport. You can also use projection as a tracking tool again. If you teleport and see someone gain a stack, you know they're within 16 m of one of your powered TVs and you can use other clues to deduce their location. I like it.

Unfortunately the rest of this change is just bad. Adding a new cooldown defeats the point of removing the previous one. While you can still use Projection as a map traversal tool during this time, it's sort of pointless as you're missing out on applying your slowdown on the survivors. And as a killer with a weak (almost nonexistant) chase power, you really do need the slowdown from Condemned.

Not to mention the justification for this change in the Developer Update is nonesensical:

[...] crafty Onryō players discovered that they could intentionally teleport to the wrong TVs first in order to spread more than one stack of Condemned to Survivors near/heading towards a powered one. Clever!

Given that survivors already had plenty of counterplay to Onryō on the PTB, and the developers themselves admit that this is a clever use of her power, I can't understand why they decided to nerf her ability to spread Condemned like this. Surely tactical, thought-out gameplay is what we should be promoting? This change punishes Onryō for simply using her power, which doesn't feel good to play with. Not to mention it disincentivises survivors from engaging with her counterplay. The only way survivors would be racking up Condemned from this is if they're blithely sitting in range of a powered TV, which they should never because:

  • TVs are now highlighted to survivors through walls.
  • TVs now have a visual indicator that you're in range to be Condemned.
  • TVs give give off sound cues when powered and a survivor is in range to be Condemned.
  • Interacting with Tapes has been Onryō's counterplay for the last half a year.
  • And most importantly, TVs can now be disabled with a very, very short animation and no consequences for the survivor!

I'm sorry but to me this just feels like the developers have gone: "(Some) survivors didn't want to engage in her counterplay so we just decided to to it for them and slap Onryō with a self-inflicted cooldown." Maybe I'm being too harsh but I just don't understand this change at all.

Powered TVs:

- Now have VFX showing range at all times (when powered).

- Are revealed to Survivors within 16 meters.

I actually like the staticky VFX that make it clear when survivors are in Condemned range. It signposts to survivors when they're at risk, allowing them to make calculated decisions about where to run to during a chase, where to heal etc., and also makes it easier for players to learn distances. I also thought the static lines were criminally underutilised. Prior to 7.5.0, you'd only see them if an Onryō was running Sea-Soaked Cloth or Rickety Pinwheel. And given how lacklustre those two add-ons are, you'd never get to see it and it's such a cool effect. A nice addition!

As for the TV auras, I think it's a little too much. TVs follow predictable spawns (almost always close to a generator), survivors can see the range in which they can get Condemned, and survivors hear the noises given off by TVs. There's plenty of information there for survivors to be able to locate TVs. Highlighting their precise location gives survivors too much information in a chase. If you Project, they now know exactly where you're coming from. It lessens The Onryō's already-limited ability to ambush survivors with Projection.

Hooking a Survivor locks in up to 2 stacks of Condemned (applies for each hook action). These stacks become impossible to remove.

This is probably the worst change. Condemned lock-in on the PTB was perfect. It was such a healthy change and it finally gave Onryō an incentive to hook survivors. We finally could put an end to long, drawn out matches spent bleeding out on the floor and then you nerfed the mechanic and it's the optimal strategy again...

I thought Condemned lock-in was a very engaging mechanic that led to interesting gameplay as a survivor. It made Condemned an actual threat, forcing you to carefully decision make around it. Survivors could either ignore their Condemned to focus on their objectives at the risk of being found and the stacks getting locked in, or they could manage their Condemned -- slowing their objectives a little but guaranteeing their safety. It felt fun and high stakes on the PTB.

Capping the lock-in -- especially at such a low number -- makes the mechanic pointless. Two stacks is not worth confirming on a survivor. And, again, it just feels overkill given she already had adequate counterplay. If you disable TVs (and transport a Tape once or twice) you're never going to reach a threatening level of Condemned in the first place.

I think what bothers me most about the change is the justification for it:

[locking in several stacks] indirectly encouraged the Killer to seek out and chase the same Survivor after they were unhooked (or “tunnelling” for short).

The lock-in mechanic actually discouraged tunnelling:

  • Locking in stacks on a survivor meant that they'd be forced to go on Tape runs more frequently, meaning less time spent on objectives. This rewarded The Onryō with some slowdown for successfully spreading Condemned to a survivor, downing them, and then hooking them.
  • For the rest of the match that survivor is now less efficient than their teammates at completing objectives as they have to manage their Condemned more often.
  • Naturally you'd want to go and bother their teammates, who can still work at full efficiency, forcing the inefficient survivor to do more of the work and thus slowing the match down.

Don't get me wrong, you absolutely could try and tunnel off hook, but then you're self-sabotaging your own slowdown. It's similar to Pig. You could tunnel the survivor who has a Trap on their head to guarantee a kill. But in doing so, you're wasting time chasing a person who isn't in a position to contribute to objectives -- allowing their teammates to do generators uncontested. I think people would quickly realise that they'd get more value from spreading pressure rather than focusing it on one survivor.

Instead, the capped lock-in encourages tunnelling:

  • If a survivor has anything greater than 2 stacks when hooked, only two of them are now made permanent. The remaining stacks can be removed. The optimal strategy is now to bother them after being unhooked in order to prevent them removing the additional stacks. If you don't tunnel, the stacks will quickly be removed and the time you spent spreading them is wasted.

- Tapes no longer grant protection from gaining Condemned while holding them.

- Survivors no longer gain Condemned if hit while holding a Tape.

- Survivors no longer lose their Tape when attacked.

These are all fine.

Survivors must bring their Tape to the furthest TV.

- Highlighted in yellow.

Great change. This nicely standardises the amount of slowdown The Onryō gets per Tape run and makes her slowdown more consistent. Attentive Onryō players can now also deduce where survivors will likely be heading based upon where they retrieved their Tapes.

Retrieving a Tape now takes 1 second (was 2).

Inserting a Tape in a TV now takes 1 second (was 2).

This allows survivors to insert a Tape during the killer's successful attack cooldown, even with full stacks of STBFL. In my opinion, survivors who retrieve a Tape and transport it to their target TV should be rewarded for it -- they're engaging in the correct counterplay. You still have adequate time to interrupt them before they get to their target TV (especially since you can deduce which TV it is and plan ahead). But once they're already there, they should be able to insert the Tape.

I think it's also important to note that if they do insert a Tape right in front of you, they're effectively throwing the chase and will almost certainly go down afterwards. To me, a down in exchange for removing 3 stacks is a fair trade-off.

With that being said, the number didn't need to be lowered that much. With the recent STBFL nerf, the shortest successful attack cooldown is ~1.8 s so anything shorter than that allows the survivors time to insert their Tape. Halving the time was overkill and makes the animations look janky. 1.5 seconds seems like a good middle ground to me.

Add-on Pass

By this point, Onryō has already had two add-on passes but neither have really addressed the issues with her add-ons. Some of them are very lacklustre, especially her rarer ones. I'll go through and give my thoughts on each:

  • Cabin Sign, Mother's Mirror, and Old Newspaper: These are okay little number buffs to her kit. Perfectly reasonable for common add-ons in my opinion.

  • Videotape Copy: This one is great. Increasing Condemned range by +2 metres is immensely helpful and makes TVs that spawn in awkward places more useful. The one note I have for this add-on is that it's flavour text doesn't match its effects anymore. Previously it was a meme add-on that lessened the amount of Condemned Projection would inflict and so the add-on states that it "dampens the desire for revenge". Now it does the opposite so I propose that the text be updated to something along the lines of "A copy of the deadly videotape imprinted upon by Sadako. Serves as a means to spread her curse."

  • Clump of Hair: A very underwhelming add-on. I like what it's trying to do but it's way too conservative. I think it could be decent with a number buff:

Number change: Reduced the threshold for full invisibility while Demanifested to -8 m (was -4 m).

  • Reiko's Watch: Good add-on -- makes Demanifesting during chase a more viable option.

  • Sea-Soaked Cloth: The concept is neat, but the execution isn't quite there. The area of effect is small and it lasts a very short amount of time. Given that both yourself and the survivors can disable your TVs throughout a match, I think it's okay to up the AoE:

Reworked: Survivors within Condemned range of a powered TV suffer from the Blindess status effect. This effect lingers for 7 seconds after turning off a TV or moving out of range.

  • With this the add-on would also synergise nicely with Videotape Copy, allowing you to extend the area of effect by an additional 2 m.

  • Well Stone: Fine. Essentially just a better version of Cabin Sign.

  • Yoichi's Fishing Net: Having two Blindness add-ons is unnecessary. This add-on needs a new effect:

Reworked: Decreases the time taken to Manifest by 10%.

  • Bloody Fingernails: Probably my favourite add-on. Zooming around is fun :D

  • Mother's Comb: This is a great add-on. It allows you to more efficiently manage your TVs as well as keep tabs on survivor movements.

  • Rickety Pinwheel: Needs its AoE upped and to give a more stronger Status Effect. Oblivious doesn't work well for Onryō because of her Lullaby and also provides no value in a chase.

Reworked: Survivors within Condemned range of a powered TV suffer from the Exhausted status effect. This effect lingers for 7 seconds after turning off a TV or moving out of range.

  • Ring Drawing: Great that it now encourages and rewards hooking (rather than slugging). Although it seems to be bugged at the moment and is still granting its old effects in addition to its new ones - needs looking into.

  • Well Water: Easily one of her worst add-ons. It's almost impossible to get value from Onryō's Undetectable, even with this add-on. Her Lullaby is too overbearing for this to be useful. On that note, I'm not even sure why Onryō even has a Lullaby. She's an M1 killer -- she can't deal damage from afar like Trickster or Huntress can. Do survivors really need the early warning that she's near? I think this add-on should be reworked completely:

Reworked: Survivors hear the Lullaby map-wide while The Onryō is Demanifested.

  • This still lets survivors know that they need to keep an eye out, but doesn't give away her exact location -- allowing for stealthier plays. It would also pair nicely with the buffed Clump of Hair to make Onryō a decent stealth killer.
  • Personally, I'd scrap the Lullaby altogether but I don't see the developers doing that so this suggeation seems like a more realistic option.

  • Distorted Photo: This isn't a bad add-on, it's just very underpowered for its rarity. An easy upgrade would be to make it work with Projection to give you more chances to actually use it in a match:

Reworked: Survivors who witness a Manifestation by any means from within 16 meters scream and reveal their auras for 4 seconds.

  • Tape Editing Deck: Not an add-on I ever run but it does have its uses. Preventing survivors from using Toolboxes straight in the early game can be pretty significant. I don't think it particularly needs any changes.

  • Telephone: This add-on is just awful. The Hindered penalty is barely noticeable and getting it to activate is impractical given how close you have to be to the survivor. If my maths is correct, this add-on causes the survivor to lose 36 cm of distance. That's close to Licker's Tongue level of bad. I'd be hesitant to up the Hindered because these things can quickly get out of hand, but upping the range and making it work with Projection seems reasonable:

Reworked: Manifestating by any means inflicts survivors within 16 m with -3% Hindered for 3 seconds.

  • With that change it could pair nicely with Bloody Fingernails to get hits after Projecting.

  • VCR: Honestly this is kind of a meme effect. It's only useful for tricking survivors into activating Dead Man's Switch by letting go of their generators. It's fun to use though so I don't mind it.

  • Iridescent Videotape: This is far too weak for an ultra rare. No longer being able to apply Condemned is enough of a downside, it doesn't need the added penalty of increased TV cooldowns too. I love when ultra rare add-ons do something creative with the power so the concept is good, but it definitely doesn't need two drawbacks.

Reworked: Projection no longer turns off TVs, but does not apply any Condemned.

  • Remote Control: This one is in a good spot.

Fixing the Problems

The developers have acknowledged the dissatisifcation with the 7.5.0 Onryō changes and are planning some further updates. Personally, I think the best thing to do is just revert her to the PTB version and go from there.

The general consensus seemed to be that her PTB version was almost perfect. A little weak. But otherwise fun and healthy, which is all the really matters to me. I'm not bothered about her being an S tier killer, I just want to enjoy playing as and against her -- which I did on the PTB. Her live version feels undertuned and clunky in comparison.

This was an outrageously long post, oops.