Actual discussion of buffs/tweaks for Robin's kit

Could Robin win a Major in her current iteration


  • Total voters
    11
Joined
Mar 24, 2019
Messages
7
#1
Okay so I want to preface this thread with this, this thread is intended as a hypothetical discussion of the minimum viable buffs necessary to make Robin a viable pick in majors. Please do not cry about Robin's kit being unusable, it's not it really isn't in-fact I wouldn't say any character in this game is unusable and anyone should be able to learn even Kirbro to a competitive level for locals. My issue with past balance threads is that the tone has quickly become "Don't cry, this is what we've got just learn to use it as is" which, as has been mentioned, completely glosses over the fact that the character has glaring issues and is not necessarily in line with even top-mid tier or bottom-high tier characters. Again, I am not crying for buffs or even thinking this thread will have any influence on the matter but simply want to open a serious discourse to collect and show where the Robin community feels she lacks.

Personally I was aiming to be a Robin main initially, I still play her as a secondary but I have since switched to Link as I felt I was looking only at the characters flaws which was overshadowing the things that drew me to her in the first place. My personal set of buffs I think would make the character major viable would be:
  • Earlier FAF for Arc-fire (no need for a casting speed increase) OR slight increase to ground speed.
  • Levin sword comes out after 4-5 seconds rather than 10.
Really thats all I think would be necessary for Robin to be a genuinely great character without disrupting the balance of the game. Right now I feel the massive issue that Robin has is she gets into disadvantage way too easily and has no real ways to get out once she's in it. I feel that arc-fire even if used out of neutral is extremely punishable, far more than what the payoff for actually landing it is. I think that having the FAF buff to arc-fire would solve this and make her gameplay flow more fluid and it only having 6 uses already negates the ability of using it as a spam tool in neutral.
The other option would be to slightly increase her ground speed allowing for better follow-up and making it slightly harder to put her into a disadvantage state. I don't think she needs both at least from the state she's in now I feel one or the other would be absolutely fine, my personal preference would be FAF buffs as it makes arc-fire more versatile and I like the idea of that.
Levin sword coming out after 10 seconds is ridiculous, on a character with already bad disadvantage you start the game with a massive gimp makes no sense, I see this buff as completely necessary as currently what should be done is a game of keep-away using ledge invulnerability and el-thunder to zone which isn't fun to play and isn't fun to play against IMO.

Now I'd like to address some common buff suggestions and why I think they're not necessary
  • FAF + casting speed buff to arc-fire aka ARCFIRE IS USELESS - I think this is complete rubbish, arcfire is a great tool that has real advantages over ness' PK Fire and fit into the respective characters kits differently. Arc-fire shouldn't be spammed and shouldn't be used in neutral even if this buff came through as with only 6 uses you should really be thinking about how and when to use the ability. It's also much better than holy fire so people who say its worse really don't know what they're saying.
  • Start with levin sword - I think this idea is in the right direction but ignores why you don't start with it as is, levin sword is a power spike and really scary for your opponent, in the same way robin feels gimped by not starting with levin sword your opponent would feel massively pressured by fairs and up-airs coming out right out the gate, I think the 4-5 second compromise works well however 10 seconds is definitely too much.
  • Remove degradation/ give abilities infinite uses - no, just no in my opinion - tome management is one of the draws to Robin (at least for me) she can do really neat stuff with the depleted tomes and sword and the cooldowns really aren't that unfair its a fun mechanic and frankly if this buff was in game at launch robin would be boring and it would be much harder to make a claim that she should have any buffs at all and would still feel unviable at a major level. There's more to be said on this but I don't think that most Robin mains think this would actually benefit the character that much so nuff said really.
This was originally above but as I was writing decided this should have it's own section as I really think a discussion on the merits of this tweak would be helpful.
  • Buff el-wind so it has a hitbox above Robin - this one is a hard one for me as I suffer from the same issue that I think a lot of Robin players have who want this buff, its far too easy to punish Robins recovery. However, El-winds saving grace is that it goes super far, you can recover from most places low and be absolutely fine which is great for stalling while you wait on tomes or sword. Oh and you can spike with it although that doesn't really come in to play at least with me and not seen other Robins get much use out of it either. I think that if this buff would go through there would need to be a nerf to the distance that El-wind travels and I don't know if I'd even want that tbh. Most curious about peoples thoughts on this one.
I look forward to hearing what people think of my suggestions and what they think would be better buff/tweaks they'd like to see. Please try keep it friendly as the last thread had a wee bit of passive-aggressive tribalism going on.
 

Nah

Smash Lord
Joined
May 31, 2015
Messages
1,934
Location
NJ, USA
NNID
Nah527
#2
Probably a good place to start with this discussion would be to nail down a specific definition of what "viable" is in this case. People generally have differing views on what viable means. Once we have that then we can, go from there.
 
Joined
Mar 24, 2019
Messages
7
#3
Probably a good place to start with this discussion would be to nail down a specific definition of what "viable" is in this case. People generally have differing views on what viable means. Once we have that then we can, go from there.
Agreed, my apologies I thought it was clear from the original post but... attempting to not get bogged down in semantics, I'd say a top player being able to place top 16 in a major or consistently win semi-major tournaments such as xeno. Curious what your definition of viable would be however.
 

Nah

Smash Lord
Joined
May 31, 2015
Messages
1,934
Location
NJ, USA
NNID
Nah527
#4
Agreed, my apologies I thought it was clear from the original post but... attempting to not get bogged down in semantics
It's fine, I just figured that the semantics would get brought up eventually and that we might as well get it out of the way asap so we can all be on the same page sooner rather than later and focus on the real discussion that you'd like to have

Curious what your definition of viable would be however.
Honestly, I'm not sure how to put into words what I think I would define viable as. All I know is that Robin, both in her current form and in Smash 4, is not really a truly viable character. That's probably not helpful, sorry.
 
Joined
Mar 24, 2019
Messages
7
#5
I wasn't present for smash 4 so can't really comment on her place in that game but I really think she has great high tier potential and a brilliantly nuanced gameplay with a high skill ceiling, but with the current issues in her kit make her neutral sub-par and her disadvantage state darn right miserable, her biggest saving grace just now is great levin sword aerials, really nice projectile in the form of el-thunder and nice followup from hitting an arc-fire but with the gimp of so much lag on arc-fire and such a slow ground speed makes her play with such rigidity whereas with a couple of small buffs she'd have a really nice gameplay flow.
 
Last edited:

Arthur97

Smash Lord
Joined
Jun 7, 2016
Messages
1,757
#6
"She" Well, good to know Male Robin could win one I guess.

I don't think a Robin is likely to win a major alone, no, but then again, we see too little of them.
 
Joined
Mar 24, 2019
Messages
7
#7
Believe me even male Robin prefers the female pronoun, she's weird like that (Corrin too). And I think we see so little of Robin because her kit lacks any real gameplay flow as is, if you watch Robins in tourneys even at locals she's typically running away and trying to react constantly to pressure her opponent applies and struggles to apply her own in a number of matchups. I pull her out in some matchups if I think the person has no matchup experience and I can scare with levin sword hits and arcfire combos but the higher you go the less benefit this gives and often times is more frustrating than worth.
 

Avokha

A+B smash tech is my baby <3
Premium
Joined
Mar 23, 2015
Messages
555
Location
Corpus Christi, Texas
3DS FC
4914-3109-5720
NNID
Avokha00
#8
Something to keep in mind when talking about what defines "viable" is the characters playerbase in question; extremely popular characters like wolf or pichu are more likely to get a lot of results not necessarily because they're carrying their players, but simply because there is a legion of people playing said character, in other words it's the inverse; players are carrying the character. In a 100 man regional, as an example, say 40 entrants all play fox, and 3 entrants play robin, and let's assume the individual skill levels of each player are about equal. Which character is more likely to take 1st place? The answer should be obvious. Of course, another factor to consider is skill level distribution, or what characters have the best players and how many. If we take the aforementioned scenario and make all players mid level, except 1 of the 3 robins is now top level, now which character will win?

The reality for our character is that we have one of the smallest playerbases in the community. These low numbers makes it quite difficult for Robin to break into really great results in part because we often find ourselves being the sole representatives of robin at the events we attend unless you happen to be among the best players around. Keep in mind, most of this applies mainly to mid level robins going up against the legions of other mid level players. For us, sometimes its 1 Robin vs. the world.

Now something else that matters is that we do have high to even top level players (Athena, Dath, Jul, Kuroitsu, Ke-Ya, etc.) that are dedicated to robin and could be making waves at big events, but unfortunately most of them don't or are unable to travel to said events. I suppose one could say that the PLAYERBASE is unviable because of its immobility compared to other playerbases, but that's probably pushing it lol.

T.l.d.r. It's not robin, it's us lmao
 
Last edited:
Joined
Oct 14, 2018
Messages
4
#9
Personally, I'd just like to be able to use the Levin Sword with tilt-stick aerials by default again. That was a change from Smash 4 that I don't think was necessary. Bronze aerials aren't worth the difficulty in getting the Levin aerials out. (Yes, I know about Attack Canceling, but I still think this is something that shouldn't have been changed. If you have the Levin Sword, you shouldn't see Bronze aerials, period.)
 

Dhaos

Smash Rookie
Joined
Dec 11, 2018
Messages
1
#10
I don't think Robin needs to much to be on par with high tier, the biggest issues are his disadvantage states, and less reliable kill confirms around 100.
The second part I don't really see much of an issue with, but emphasizes the issue with his disadvantage state since he can slip back into disadvantage at a crucial moment instead of securing a kill, then struggle to get out of it. Maybe it's my biased perspective but from what I see this is what makes a lot of his matchups unfavorable.

- Arc fire triggering when hit would make it much more useful. I think it would still be bad in neutral but if spaced properly could let you trade in disadvantage state and reset.

- I actually don't mind current Levin and the cooldown at the start, and I don't know if you'd consider this overpowered. However, if we're following Fire Emblem's logic; melee weapons don't lose durability when they miss.
Maybe I'm the only one who thinks this, and I can accept if I'm just flat out wrong. But sure; Levin aerials rack up a lot of damage. However, am I the only who thinks the kill power is no more or less on par with a lot of the cast's aerials? Then just worse with bronze? If I'm correct in that assessment to me that would justify not losing durability on whiffs. I could also accept that if this was to strong having a longer cooldown time.

- Two Elwind casts even with 2 bars. Like common, if I can Thoron with 1, give me the full usage of Elwind.

- He needs a better out of shield option that isn't a mediocre grab, OR make the grab less mediocre.

Bonus: Buff so final smash isn't literally another playable character. (like Grima!) -kappa-

Edit:
-One more thing I think needs to be buffed is the Nosferatu's vertical hit box, I find it quite narrow and flat when it should realistically grab something pretty close directly above it and below it.
 
Last edited:
Top