I remember hearing that about Helena early on. I'm not sure if she did get nerfed afterwards, or if it just turned out to be a symptom of not quite knowing enough about the game. Or both.
Everything I can find now has Helena listed as decidedly average (along with most of the characters). The people at FreeStepDodge have probably put the most effort into constructing and analyzing tier lists, and even they mention that some characters (e.g. Rig) haven't been looked into enough to be accurately placed. This is what they've come up with:
S: Leifang, Ayane, Christie, Kasumi, Sarah A: Jannlee, Akira, Alpha-152 B: Genfu, Pai, Hayabusa, Brad Wong, Helena, Mila, Bayman, Hitomi, Kokoro, Lisa (La Mariposa), Hayate, Tina C: Rig, Zack, Bass, Eliot
Something to keep in mind when looking at this, though, is that these are rankings built by people who know their characters at a tournament level. Not everyone is going to know which of their characters moves beats out what on another character. That's why, even as someone who likes to use Kokoro, for example, I get destroyed by Rig (a favourable match up), but can do very well against Christie (unfavourable). I don't know how to use Rig at all. I use Christie quite a bit.
I think it says a lot that half the cast fits into one tier. Even the entire A tier is barely above B, and Rig and Zack aren't too far out.
Pff the only thing I can agree with here is Sarah being on S tier. The rest of the tier list is BIASED. Ryu hayabusa, Helena, Kokoro and LIsa on B is the proof of that. Leifang on S tier.....naaaaaa and Akira...a crap tier character on A lol. Totally BIASED.
You sir have not seen Destruction's or Galen's Akira:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOOGD6f0Zfw --- You assumed I was black because of the name, Well no...I'm Italian & Hispanic. PSN: chrisblack24