With a multitude of major tournaments and new competitors entering the fray, it has been a pretty busy year for Smash for Wii U. It's been a bit more than 6 months since our previous Tier List in March, and many characters have maintained their trends (such as Lucina or Ness) while some further solidified their current positions (like Bayonetta and Jigglypuff).
As an ever repeated disclaimer, the Smash for Wii U Backroom (4BR) acknowledges the fact tier lists are subjective and hence not always (or ever) fully accurate, if not typically controversial. However, we feel that, despite the frequent discourse that often results because of tier lists, this process is necessary in order to archive and reflect on the history of the changing meta.
The holiday season is a hectic time of the year for many and as a time consuming process it has been difficult bringing something together which satisfies myself and my colleagues, let alone the community. Although a shift in views can occur after any large tournament (post-majoritus is very infectious!), it's important to consider how rarely any perceivable difference would be sizable. Regardless, we appreciate your understanding and patience; let's talk about the 4BR Official Smash for Wii U Tier List V4.
Unlike individual tier lists, we collect samples from around the world (and are always looking for more, especially from the Central/South American and European regions) in order to find a reasonable middle ground to represent a character's viability. Ultimately, even 3 years after the game's release (and nearly 2 years without any patches or balance adjustments), consensus is still quite rare and character specialists are continually working to prove something to all of us.
Over the course of November, we asked 4BR members to distribute all of the 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'd like, and order characters within tiers if so desired. Players were to assume the most recent set of balance changes were being played (1.1.6, or 1.1.7, due to the differences between each version being amiibo compatibility and nothing else) and that traditional tournament rulesets were taken into account.
In regards to characters, the following criteria was specified:
For an example, here is Liberation's vote. He ordered characters within each tier and opted for 4 tiers total (of Top, High, Mid and Low Tier).
- Pit and Dark Pit were treated as the same character. At this point, the primary consensus is that, due to the nature of these characters being nearly identical (beyond a handful of immediate differences, as well as a general idea of which Pit fares better), there is effectively no reason to not pair them together.
- Miis were excluded. Over time, voting input regarding this trio has largely dwindled due to the status on their legality and the growing rarity of their players. Despite our desire to do so, it is incredibly difficult to give a detailed and accurate rating for them and they were not included in the final ranking. Given the potential status of their re-legalization going into 2018, it wouldn't be a surprise if they were considered for V5 or future versions of the 4BR Tier List.
In addition, we had opted to remove outliers from the voting data. After initial voting, we created a preliminary tier list, allowing for outliers to be remedied for 4BR voters. Following this, final votes that were outside of the interquartile range (IQR) of a character's spread (±1.5*IQR from the median) were disregarded in the final ranking. While there were a handful of outliers, it did not majorly change the landscape of the Tier List.
For the sake of placement differences between lists, we have given tied spots to characters whose average scores differed by less than 0.1. This applies to the following pairs of characters:
- Cloud & Diddy (.02 difference)
- Fox & Sonic (.04 difference)
- Marth & Ryu (.07 difference)
- Ness & Lucas (.02 difference)
- Robin & Samus (.02 difference)
- Ganondorf & Zelda (.01 difference)
Voting had mostly concluded around the 26th of November, meaning that the 2GGC Championship was not taken into account as a result. We ended up having a total of 39 votes, mostly focused within the US, Australia, and Japan. As always, we do not publicly release the lists of voters, but individual correspondents are free to release their own.
The following people submitted a vote:
Similar to the ranking process of V3, we generated two scores based upon two factors from voter submissions: average placements and average groupings (or tiers). Also included in our voting data is the standard deviations for each of the two main factors, as well as the placement differences from V3 to V4, accounting for the change in format.
Character Mean (Placement) Standard Deviation (Placement) Mean (Group) Standard Deviation (Group) Difference from V3 1 1.19 0.401 8.63 0.669 ±0 2 2.49 0.768 8.55 0.732 +1 3 2.51 0.887 8.54 0.751 ±0 4 4.68 1.772 8.17 0.792 ±0 5 5.99 2.034 7.92 0.761 3 6 6.46 1.839 7.75 0.737 +5 7 6.56 1.463 7.78 0.699 ±0 8 6.6 1.488 7.82 0.763 -2 9 9.81 1.732 7.5 0.685 -3 10 10.38 1.332 7.42 0.605 -1 11 11.54 1.705 7.14 0.705 -1 12 11.61 2.491 7.29 0.677 +1 13 13.29 1.822 6.8 0.732 ±0 14 14.39 3.378 6.69 0.826 +4 15 17.37 4.054 6.19 0.615 ±0 16 17.97 3.453 6.18 0.65 -2 17 18.41 4.662 6.11 0.881 +2 18 19.07 4.325 5.96 0.675 +8 19 19.25 3.876 6.07 0.778 +4 20 20.14 4.063 5.96 0.761 +1 21 20.68 4.871 5.8 0.754 +6 22 20.82 3.958 5.78 0.875 +6 23 23.31 4.244 5.58 0.816 -3 24 23.73 5.059 5.39 0.851 +1 25 24.85 5.107 5.45 0.85 -8 26 24.96 4.711 5.44 0.723 -4 27 25.89 3.552 5.24 0.67 -11 28 28.62 4.522 4.93 0.753 -4 29 28.64 4.793 4.91 0.784 +3 30 31.59 6.046 4.49 0.91 +6 31 32.11 3.46 4.45 0.658 +7 32 32.27 6.09 4.47 0.902 -2 33 32.96 4.615 4.35 0.711 -4 34 33.21 5.448 4.28 0.767 +3 35 34.59 5.276 4.28 1.019 -3 36 35.11 4.167 4.23 0.817 -3 37 35.13 4.399 4.02 0.927 +4 38 37.95 3.71 3.75 0.783 +1 39 38.58 4.556 3.63 0.982 -5 40 39.12 5.07 3.6 0.963 -5 41 39.66 4.182 3.48 0.9 +2 42 41.95 3.069 3.23 0.784 +2 43 43.43 2.941 2.97 0.786 -1 44 43.96 3.846 2.92 0.784 -3 45 45.43 3.687 2.72 0.778 ±0 46 45.65 2.84 2.65 0.805 +3 47 47.01 3.241 2.44 0.969 ±0 48 47.64 2.643 2.45 0.869 +2 49 48.86 3.578 2.14 0.999 -3 50 49.32 2.972 2.11 0.901 -2 51 49.59 3.3 1.94 0.87 ±0 52 51.21 1.786 1.69 0.822 ±0 53 51.22 2.022 1.68 0.765 +1 54 53.47 0.735 1.35 0.672 ±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 when there was a discrepancy in the order of characters on the list.
Here are the individual groupings for each tier, which uses the group score rating. We decided between doing groupings between whole numbers, and between mid-points between each number, eventually settling on the former with some edge cases being moved based on proximity to other tiers. While we avoided giving strict designations (Top, High, Mid and Low) for this edition of the Tier List, for those looking towards specific character tier events, tiers F and G would be fair to consider for Low Tier; for Mid Tier, tiers D and E.
Tier Group Score Range Defined Range 1 S 8.63 - 8.54 9 - 8 2 A 8.17 - 7.29 8 - 7 3 B 6.8 - 5.98 7 - 6 4 C 5.8 - 4.91 6 - 5 5 D 4.49 - 4.02 5 - 4 6 E 3.75 - 2.92 4 - 3 7 F 2.72 - 2.11 3 - 2 8 G 1.94 - 1.35 2 - 1
Said edge cases:
- Sheik (moved down) - 8.17
- Luigi, Peach (moved up) - 5.96
- Ness (moved up) - 4.93
- Lucas (moved up) - 4.91
- Little Mac (moved up) - 2.97
- Palutena (moved up) - 2.92
With our methodology accounted for, we're happy to present to you...
Official 4BR Wii U Tier List V4
S: Bayonetta, Cloud, Diddy Kong
A: Sheik, Rosalina, Zero Suit Samus, Fox, Sonic, Mario, Mewtwo, Marth, Ryu
B: Corrin, Lucina, Pikachu, Meta Knight, Lucario, Luigi, Captain Falcon, Peach
C: Olimar, Donkey Kong, Toon Link, Bowser, Villager, Greninja, Mega Man, Ness, Lucas
D: Duck Hunt Dog, Link, Pit & Dark Pit, Yoshi, Shulk, R.O.B., Robin, Samus
E: Mr. Game & Watch, Ike, Wario, Roy, Charizard, Little Mac, Palutena
F: Pac-Man, Falco, Bowser Jr., Dr. Mario, Kirby, Wii Fit Trainer
G: King Dedede, Ganondorf, Zelda, Jigglypuff
Image Credit: @shrooby
Comments and Notes
Included here are some comments from a few members of the 4BR, as well as the two heads of this project.
Pit & Dark Pit - 6.09
Duck Hunt - 6.046
Shulk - 5.448
R.O.B. - 5.276
Villager - 5.107
Bayonetta - .401
Jigglypuff - .735
Cloud - .768
Diddy - .887
Mewtwo - 1.332
In terms of highest standard deviation, things have mostly remained the same from V3 - while Olimar has dropped a bit, he is still a contested character. Instead, Pit and Dark Pit - given the relative obscurity of the character - has taken the top spot (last time, they had the 3rd highest standard deviation), and Duck Hunt remains at 2nd. Lucina has taken a sharp drop from the top, now having a standard deviation that puts her around the middle point of the cast. Most of all, however, it is important to note - while V3's largest standard deviation was 7.005, V4's is 6.09 (coming from a mixture of slightly less volatile voting and removal of outliers), showing that even at points of volatility, a good consensus is coming to fruition.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, given the relative emergence of Bayonetta and her solidification as the game's strongest, it comes as little surprise that she holds the lowest standard deviation by a decent margin. Other than her, Cloud and Diddy solidify themselves as the top 3 by most voters with deviations below 1 - and Jigglypuff keeps herself at the bottom by having the second lowest standard deviation as a whole.
Duck Hunt, Donkey Kong & Olimar: +6
Ike & Wario: -5
Lucina, Falcon & Samus: +4
Greninja, Ness &Yoshi: -4
Although a generalisation, it would be safe to say a lot of drops seen in V4 are reflective of dwindling tournament exposure (from their biggest namesakes), difficult matchups with DLC; in particular Bayonetta and Cloud, or both.
Compared to their status as premier projectile zoners, Villager and Megaman have declined significantly, falling out of the 'high tier' area, while many others such as Link, Duck Hunt, Samus and Olimar (now the highest of his class) have risen, all finding a spot in the middle region of C & D tier. Their cohort also contains the likes of Donkey Kong and Bowser, potent characters at a lot of levels, and can succeed at the highest in particular match ups; in other words, they are still threats. It would be nice to see any of these characters reclaim the spots Villager and Megaman once held (Olimar being close to the B-tier cutoff) but their tendency to require almost prodigal players to succeed at higher levels might mean we'll be waiting for a while.
While not as big of a drop as the likes of Megaman (-11) or Villager (-8). Yoshi still fell a fair amount by having the 4th most spots dropped, shared alongside Ness and Greninja.
For a character that was believed to be Top 3/15 with great tools at the beginning, to being a jack of all trades master of none bottom of High tier, until the eventual fading out of existence with only a few extremely rare occurrences of a Yoshi popping up out of top 64 of a Regional or National and almost being bottom of Mid tier.
Yoshi as a character preyed mostly on MU inexperience in the early days, but eventually people slowly learned Yoshi's traits and weaknesses or patches made characters better than him, along with DLC happening just making it far worse for Yoshi and his players.
His downfall can easily be linked, without question, to Bayonetta and Cloud's addition to the game. But what also hinders him is the drop of players attending less or plain retiring (Barakas/TheWall, Raptor, Firefly, Aiba etc.) The only Yoshi's to pay attention to thus far is Seth, DIO and Ron, two of which main different High tiers to deal with problematic matchups (DIO with Ryu and Ron with Mario/Luigi).
It's further exemplified, for example, at the most recent tourney as of writing this (being Midwest Mayhem 10). Seth (the best Yoshi currently) got double eliminated by Tweek's Cloud and Ned's Cloud with Tweek deconstructing the MU and showing just how to pick apart at Yoshi. Bayo/Cloud aside, Yoshi also struggles with other popular Top/High tiers such as Diddy, Rosalina, Mewtwo, Corrin, Meta Knight, Marth, and Ryu.
As Yoshi fell, players quit and his meta stagnated, other characters rose up to the occasion like Duck Hunt, Link, Samus, Shulk, DK and Luigi.
If your first instinct to him dropping a few spaces is "he's too low, his meta and results have been stellar as of late," that is true. Unfortunately, the voting period ended just a few days before his sudden explosion of results. Some, Lea, Stroder, iStudying, and Elexiao have all been doing amazing lately, and there'd definitely be more results if players like Venia started traveling as well. A lot of other characters' metas have been successfully pushed as well, so there's a greater competition for higher spots on the tier list now.
I expect him to higher on the next tier list if these results continue.
To start off - where we had her last tier list was awfully low considering.
But at the time leading up to V3, ZSS players were struggling to be consistent after a combination of the nerfs (which didn't hurt so much at first) and others becoming stronger in the match up (particularly Cloud and Bayonetta becoming increasingly more difficult). The general mood of many people was that she's too high risk to be at the highest echelons.
At the time I (Shaya) disagreed - her conversions are top 3 and I also felt matchups like Diddy were going to get better, although difficult her potency still allows her a fighting chance against our DLC overlords.
Although the aforementioned characters seem to be solidifying as potential bracket blocks to her success, it's relatively mitigated by the fact it's still a lot better than most characters - including those in her own tier. Going into the future, she boasts a supreme advantage state, an overall good match up spread throughout the cast and a lot of talented players behind her.
With the offseason in place, the game is now at a short point of rest going into 2018 - with Genesis 5 acting as the first official tournament of the PGR v5 season (and Umebura Third Anniversary Tournament being added in as an exception), this will be the time frame in which the 4BR Tier List V5's looks towards (in addition to the 2GGC Championship).
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 additional statements from various members of the 4BR.
It's thanks to the support of our members and the willingness of outside contributions that we have produced this list, but we'd like to extend thanks particularly to Vayseth, Jucchan and Luco for obtaining outside votes. In addition I must specially thank Fox Is Openly Deceptive, Shrooby and Liberation for their always appreciated help and their assistance in release.
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