So, when I hear people talking about nerfing Kratos, it sounds like a lot of people just want to nerf his AP gain. However, Kratos's chain blades and combos don't really generate much more AP than the attacks of other characters.
For example, if you do a basic S, S, S combo with Kratos you generate 40 AP. Dante's S, S, S, S gets you 40 AP too.
Both characters can also finish the combo in the air instead, using uS.
For Kratos: S, S, dS, uS, S, S, S will get you 80 AP.
For Dante: S, S, S, uS, S, S, S will get you 80 AP too.
A lot of characters have combos that generate roughly the same amount of AP. So, why do Kratos players win matches far more often than, say, Dante? There's a few reasons:
1. Kratos's chain blades have longe range.
2. Kratos's chain blades are very fast and have little start-up time.
3. Kratos has very, very little recovery time for his square attacks. This is very important. With Dante, after you use his S attack or his S, S, S, S, combo, he stumbles a bit as he recovers. During that brief second, he is vulnerable. Thus, if you block during Dante's combo, once he finishes, you can follow up with an attack. Kratos, however, doesn't stumble or pause after using uS, dS, or S, or any combo of those 3 moves. Kratos players can just mash the S button without any consequence. This is why Kratos players can just run around the map and jump through the air constantly throwing their chain blades at anything that moves, only using the most basic combos, and still win matches.
If SuperBot is going to nerf Kratos, reducing his AP gain isn't the right way to go about it. In my opinion, the only two moves he has that should have their AP gain reduced are his side square (chain grab) and down triangle (hammer). His chain blade attacks and combos, however, generate the same AP as most characters. Instead of just decreasing AP gain, SuperBot should slow down his chain blades by quite a bit. And, more importantly, we should increase the recovery time on his attacks, so that way players can't just mash square without leaving themselves vulnerable.
I see even the worst Kratos players easily work their meters up to threes, In my opinion it should be nerfed. A level three is game changing, and when it is so easily established I think it is unfair.
Then again I've seen some beastly combos with him, sadly none of these I've seen online. Now, Instead of constant forward square it's air triangle I want to say? The hard chain slam Down I've seen a lot more of now.
dante has a creative move set with multiple dashing / mid range projectile abilities. also can combo into his level one from the ground. Kratos can only combo into his level one from fully charged down circle and air down circle. More often than not kratos is not peoples number 1 problem.
Voice of survival...out
As a Kratos main, I totally agree! I think his AP gain is fine; it's just the chain grab attack that gains a little too much AP. Most of his imbalances just come from his lack of recovery.
Like you said, his Square attacks need some serious recovery time. Especially his Up Square attack. It's easily the most spammer-friendly move in Kratos' entire moveset (which is a problem because it's a pretty powerful combo starter).
Other than that I think he's pretty well balanced. For example, nobody complains about his counter, because it has an extremely long recovery (like Dante's). But tons of people complain about Sly's and Nariko's counters because they have close to no recovery.