Zane was originally inspired by Bison (aka DICTATOR), right? I just rewatched Sirlin’s old SSF2T tutorial videos the other day, and he mentioned that Bison’s Super didn’t do much damage but was still useful as a way to get pressure off of him.
Zane’s problem (or at least one of them) is that Maximum Anarchy, instead of being the “weirdo trickshot” it was meant to be, is actually just a really good move. There’s risk involved, since you do have to spend all four Aces on a single attempt at it, but it just does so much damage and beats all other attacks if you’re willing to combat-reveal it (yes, I know about Final Authority, but the point stands).
So as a step one, how about we just reduce the damage on MA to, say, 20? Now it’s definitely not something you’ll want to use unless you really need a 0.0 speed attack (though I still think that it should be 0.3 for flavor reasons, but that’s a minor point). Most of the time it’ll be as if that move doesn’t exist, since Slipstream Phase would be almost twice as damage efficient and an Ender, but unlike removing it outright it’ll still be there if you’re really in a position where you just need the option, never mind how much damage it does.
Now, the main problem I see with this is that the name becomes even more unfitting than Maximum Ven is for Vendetta. What kind of Maximum Anarchy is this if it only does 20 damage and nothing else, anyway? Well, it’s supposed to be a “weirdo trickshot” move, right? That made me think that putting an ability on it could help. Inspired by how Maximum Anarchy works in Puzzle Strike, how about giving Maximum Anarchy the ability to force the effect of Creator and Destroyer on everyone, including himself? Now in addition to its use as a (damage inefficient) reversal, it can also reset everyone’s hands, including the benched players in a four-player game, which seems like the kind of chaos that Zane would love. It should probably have a clause that lets him draw a card (or more than one?) afterward to make up for losing 4 aces at once, similar to the Puzzle Strike chip. Now it really seems like a “weirdo trickshot” move, as was originally intended.
All that said, I’m just theorizing here since I don’t have nearly enough experience or skill at this game to make any real balance claims. This was all inspired by seeing this discussion of MA and connecting it to Sirlin’s old SFII videos, and I just wanted to throw it out there to spark more discussion and ideas. Maybe this is good, or maybe it’s garbage as I suggested it but the ideas behind it could be used to find something better!