As a fighting game's meta progresses, it is common to see tier lists being formed, often as a reference towards a character's tournament viability. The Smash community has done this for all games, with all of them having regularly updated tier lists.
As a disclaimer, the Smash for Wii U Backroom (4BR) acknowledges the fact that tier lists are not always accurate, and are, more often than not, controversial. However, we do want to study the game at an advanced level, and give our take on the current meta of Smash for Wii U, adding another snapshot to the history of the game.
The Smash community has expanded its horizons in the past few months. Be it through new circuits, more sponsors, more prominent content creators, or simply more competition appearing, the game has continued to evolve, and shows few signs of slowing down. With that forward out of the way, I'm happy to introduce to you the 4BR Official Smash for Wii U Tier List V3.
ProcedureAfter the conclusion of Genesis 4, we asked 4BR members to distribute all characters in the game (with a handful of exceptions) across a number of tiers, with each voter having the ability to choose as many tiers as they wanted, and to order characters in their tiers if they so choose. Players were to assume that the most recent version of the game was being played (Version 1.1.6) and that customs were off. As with previous votes, we reached out to correspondents from outside of the 4BR to give their input and partake in this project.
In regards to characters, the following criteria was specified:
For an example, here is my vote. I ordered characters within each tier, and included Lucina.
- Dark Pit and Pit were to be treated as a single character. Previous votes showed that a hypermajority of voters would keep them side by side, and, while there are blatant differences between the two characters (as well as a general conception of one of the Pits being superior), the amount of overlap in their kits allows for almost identical usage, something that does not apply to any other character pair in Smash for Wii U.
- Lucina was optional, but was not treated the same as Marth. Due to the low usage of her in tournaments, many voters have stated prior that they don't really know where to place her; rather than have voters "guess", we decided to make her optional. As only 7 did not vote for her, she was placed onto the main tier list.
- Miis were optional, and could be voted on in one of two ways. These reflect the two most common rulings of Mii Fighters seen at tournaments: 1111 Guest Size (using the initial special moves Miis have), and XXXX Guest Size (being able to select any combination of special moves one desires for Miis). At this current time, the 4BR acknowledges the discrepancy in Mii rulings, and, given internal feedback and discussion, we choose to respect both options through this ruling.
We had voting run until February 20th, the week of Frostbite 2017, meaning that submissions were possible for a little less than a month; please note that Frostbite 2017 is not taken into account as a result. Eventually, we ended up with a total of 45 votes, including 25 US votes, and 20 international votes.
The following people submitted a vote (for those without a Smashboards account, Twitter handles have been listed instead):
@Fox Is Openly Deceptive
As per our tier lists, we will not publicly release individual votes, but voters are free to share their votes with the public.
Thanks to @Shaya, we were able to generate rankings on two factors from the submitted votes: average placements and average groupings (or tiers). In addition, standard deviations for each of these values, and the placement differences from v2 to v3 have been included, with the merging of the Pits' placement accounted for.
Character Ordered Score Standard Deviation Group Score Group Standard Deviation Difference from v2.0 1 Bayonetta 2.0 1.35 7.94 0.227 +10 2 Diddy Kong 2.3 0.991 7.95 0.211 -1 3 Cloud 3.31 1.443 7.77 0.438 -1 4 Sheik 4.22 1.988 7.62 0.564 -1 5 Sonic 5.63 2.257 7.35 0.608 +1 6 Mario 6.59 1.936 7.25 0.614 -1 7 Fox 7.06 1.904 7.17 0.667 ±0 8 Rosalina 8.61 2.635 7.01 0.678 -4 9 Mewtwo 9.17 2.039 6.89 0.615 +1 10 Marth 9.73 2.822 6.81 0.662 +9 11 Zero Suit Samus 9.86 2.099 6.74 0.594 -3 12 Ryu 12.4 2.758 6.51 0.766 -3 13 Corrin 15.06 3.691 6.0 0.808 +5 14 Meta Knight 15.39 3.046 5.82 0.717 -1 15 Pikachu 17.67 4.67 5.83 0.734 -3 16 Mega Man 17.7 4.126 5.62 0.556 -1 17 Villager 18.2 3.22 5.66 0.609 -3 18 Lucina 18.78 5.992 5.67 0.841 +18 19 Lucario 20.23 5.581 5.4 0.741 +3 20 Toon Link 20.84 3.874 5.33 0.654 -3 21 Peach 22.79 4.303 5.14 0.791 +5 22 Greninja 23.52 4.657 5.08 0.569 -1 23 Captain Falcon 23.61 4.608 5.11 0.801 -3 24 Ness 24.82 5.534 4.95 0.748 -8 25 Bowser 25.0 5.46 4.87 0.807 +7 26 Luigi 25.69 5.669 4.86 0.846 +3 27 Olimar 25.82 7.005 4.76 1.01 +4 28 Donkey Kong 26.63 4.32 4.71 0.644 -3 29 Yoshi 28.26 4.968 4.6 0.891 -6 30 Pit [Dark Pit] 28.69 6.021 4.52 0.825 -6 [-3] 31 Lucas 30.12 4.659 4.35 0.814 +1 32 R.O.B. 30.34 4.799 4.28 0.949 -5 33 Robin 30.64 5.555 4.22 0.782 -4 34 Ike 35.04 4.111 3.68 0.812 ±0 35 Wario 36.77 5.097 3.62 1.004 -2 36 Duck Hunt 37.09 6.539 3.42 0.917 +5 37 Shulk 37.31 5.894 3.47 0.871 +6 38 Link 38.59 4.908 3.37 0.842 +4 39 Mr. Game & Watch 39.18 5.54 3.29 0.972 -3 40 Samus 40.3 5.563 2.94 1.135 +4 41 Palutena 40.64 4.971 2.94 0.837 -2 42 Little Mac 42.0 4.461 2.87 0.911 -4 43 Roy 42.59 5.43 2.86 0.979 +6 44 Charizard 42.87 5.45 2.84 0.994 +6 45 Pac-Man 44.39 5.608 2.66 1.048 -8 46 Kirby 44.51 4.777 2.65 0.989 -6 47 Bowser Jr. 45.51 5.31 2.5 1.094 -1 48 Wii Fit Trainer 45.61 4.496 2.4 0.821 -3 49 Falco 45.68 4.059 2.39 0.829 -1 50 Dr. Mario 47.09 4.542 2.26 0.839 -3 51 King Dedede 50.0 2.991 1.71 0.859 ±0 52 Ganondorf 51.67 2.364 1.46 0.655 +3 53 Mii Gunner 51.75 2.537 1.69 0.533 -1 54 Zelda 51.93 2.531 1.43 0.579 ±0 55 Mii Brawler 52.14 3.27 1.73 1.006 -2 56 Mii Swordsman 52.5 5.099 1.61 0.629 ±0 57 Jigglypuff 53.64 1.459 1.18 0.356 ±0
A low standard deviation indicates that voters generally placed the character close to the average (mean), whereas a higher standard deviation indicates disagreement in the character's placement. The top and bottom tiers tend to have lower values of standard deviation, whereas the mid tiers tend to have higher values.
By simultaneously taking order and tiers (or groupings) under the same vote, this allowed us to have a basis for the general order of characters, as well as a baseline to decide our tier separations. While a few instances of grouping caused minimal discrepancies, order was given priority.
We ended up taking a mixture of intervals, gaps and integer scoring to decide cutoffs for each character, based on their group score. Here are the following intervals for each of our tiers, as well as the specific tier classifications:
S: 7.94 - 7.62
A: 7.35 - 6.51
B: 6.0 - 5.08
C: 4.95 - 4.52
D: 4.35 - 3.29
E: 2.94 - 2.26
F: 1.71 - 1.18
Top Tier: 7.94 - 6.51 - Tiers S & A
High Tier: 6.0 - 5.08 - Tier B
Mid Tier: 4.95 - 3.29 - Tiers C & D
Low Tier: 2.94 - 1.18 - TIers E & F
The main character affected by this system was Ryu, who was a marginal distance from both ZSS and Corrin. We decided to round him up, finalizing with a total of 7 tiers.
With our methods and data accounted for, we're happy to present to you...
Official 4BR Wii U Tier List V3 (Wii U Version 1.1.6)
S: Bayonetta, Diddy Kong, Cloud, Sheik
A: Sonic, Mario, Fox, Rosalina & Luma, Mewtwo, Marth, Zero Suit Samus, Ryu
B: Corrin, Meta Knight, Pikachu, Mega Man, Villager, Lucina, Lucario, Toon Link, Peach, Greninja, Captain Falcon
C: Ness, Bowser, Luigi, Olimar, Donkey Kong, Yoshi, Pit & Dark Pit, Lucas, R.O.B., Robin
D: Ike, Wario, Duck Hunt, Shulk, Link, Mr. Game & Watch
E: Samus, Palutena, Little Mac, Roy, Charizard, Pac-Man, Kirby, Bowser Jr., Wii Fit Trainer, Falco, Dr. Mario
F: King Dedede, Ganondorf, Zelda, Jigglypuff
As noted prior, Lucina and the Mii Fighters were optional votes. Here, we will briefly discuss the results of those 4 characters:
- Lucina: 38 of the 45 voters included Lucina (as a result, she was placed onto the main tier list and the image). She ended up having the 4th highest standard deviation of all characters.
- Miis: 10 of the 45 voters included Miis, of either ruleset. While we did not collect enough data to list XXXX Guest Size Miis, we did collect enough to place 1111 Guest Miis onto the list, resulting in the full list:-TOP-
The end of Genesis 4 marked the true end of the second year of Smash for Wii U's competitive history, but also the beginning of an exciting new chapter. Bayonetta, Cloud, Sheik and Diddy find themselves at the top 4 slots for this game, and other characters have earned their spot in the top tier, such as Marth, Ryu and Zero Suit Samus. Even high tier characters, including Lucario, Greninja and Mega Man, have been making strong cases for their viability as well. With patches seemingly finished and the potentiality of the Switch affecting Smash for Wii U's meta, there is an interesting air of ambiguity in addition to the growing presence Smash for Wii U has in competitive gaming. The 2017 Summer of Smash is already lining up with many events, and it will surely be filled to the brim with new players, more characters, and more national-level spectacles.
What do you think of the tier list? Do you agree with the placements, or would you place certain characters differently? Let us know what your thoughts and questions are and we will try to address the most common ones in a followup article, which will include statements from various members of the 4BR.
Special thanks goes to Shaya for processing data and results; Camalange, Marc, Shaya, and Jucchan for assisting with the collection of correspondent votes; and A10theHero for editing. Lastly, I'd like to thank everyone else, including the voters, for their time and input into this project. It was a genuine honor to lead the project alongside Shaya for its third iteration and to work with many people to get this out to the public!
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