Official Competitive Character Impressions 2.0

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DelugeFGC

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So..

Raptor boost finally got the hitbox fixed, has even more armor AND it has more hitstun.

FTilt kills at high % now.

BAir kills earlier and is a viable option.

Knee is way better / easier to land.

Falcon kick is also better..

I feel a strange urge to uh.. show my moves, now..

:ultfalcon: is home boys. I've been waiting for this day since launch. My old main lives again. If he had his turnaround / dash improved he'd be a top tier with these buffs. NAir 1 to knee is so much more consistent now, DThrow to knee actually works as a confirm without the sourspot ruining it at certain percents, knee reads feel easier.. knee got way better.


G&W UTilt got fixed too.. wow. I'm really happy with this patch, this patch actually seems like they looked at the real competitive meta of the game in some areas. I'm not thrilled about the Pichu stuff and such, but OVERALL this patch is real spicy.
 
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Then they should leave him alone. Not buff him. In what world does he need buffed? Especially perhaps his most annoying special.
I don't care how good a character is, nobody deserves moves that don't work right. And the major theme of this patch was fixing multihits, just as the previous one was about making projectile spam easier to deal with by shielding.
Patch notes from 3.1.0
https://en-americas-support.nintendo.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/45405

Some big takeaways from patch notes:

:ultolimar: got slammed with nerfs, his smashes now have more endlag - most notably, he got a hurtbox increase(?!)
:ultpichu: got almost nerfed across the board as well; all his self-damaging attacks now inflict more damage on himself, and FTilt and FSmash got nerfed
:ultpeach: most notable nerf is probably FAir having less knockback
:ultlucina: got her FSmash and FAir knockback nerfed
:ultwolf: his down Smash range got nerfed - again - and his blaster now has more endlag
:ultjoker: is basically untouched, aside from a small buff to Eigaon
:ultdiddy: got a lot of nice QoL buffs; up smash works now and he has better UAir
:ultfalcon: also seems to have quite a bit of nice upgrades, FAir and BAir are stronger now
:ultinkling: untouched - outside of a buffed rapid jab
:ultsnake: untouched
:ultbayonetta: got some buffs but, they don't seem too significant honestly
:ultryu::ultken::ultrosalina::ultlucario::ultlittlemac: all got a laundry list of buffs, buffs and more buffs - mains better check these out cause I'm no expert on these

There's a lot more here to digest.
:ultpeach::ultdaisy: Turnips being slower to pull out could make matchups versus fast characters more problematic.

:ultryu: & :ultken: both have buffs that conspicuously aren't shared by the other, and point to attempts to make their personal benefits more pronounced from one another. Ryu's unique buffs were to his Hadokens, having less endlag on all shots, more damage and a greater ability to control their travel speed. He might be able to ''follow'' light hadokens or at least use them better in tech-chase situations, and all-in-all is now truly more proficient in their use compared to Ken, just like in the Street Fighter games. Ken himself got a buffed dair and crazy kicks, further encouraging a more aggressive style than Ryu.

:ultlucario: Similar to Ryu, he can zone more effectively with Aura Spheres than before.

:ultwolf: His down smash nerf reads more like it's knockback was nerfed, not it's range. It's not all nerfs for him, though. His reflector is all-around faster.
 

DelugeFGC

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Wow. Wow.

I think I was too distracted by the Smash nerfs to notice that Olimar's up B is legit garbage now. If you get gimped while using it, you die.

This is insane.
Not really? At all? He just can't recover for free out of a lot of meteors / gimps now, that doesn't make the move garbage. It's still easily one of the best recoveries in the game.

With the theme of his other nerfs, it means it is easier to punish. All said Olimar really didn't get NERFED in the traditional sense of the term, he was made easier to deal with and punish, he can still do pretty much everything he could before (if not more because of how FSmash sourspot makes follow ups more consistent now, actually) and all.. just without quite as much safety.

Good to see where people's minds are at, though. Olimar can still net 80%+ out of a single USmash and make neutral approaches hell with FSmash, don't be so short sighted and assume the moves got an additional 30+ frames of endlag or something. Taking Olimar on Elite Smash for 10 games didn't leave me feeling the character had changed significantly, just that it's easier to get punished for doing stupid things or going for riskier reads. If you know how to recover properly with Olimar, getting hit out of your Up-B period is hard in most MU's unless it's like Snake or something, so that nerf isn't even super relevant in a lot of matchups.
 
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Repli.Cant

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Warning: :ultbowserjr: stuff ahead



Just gonna go down the list here:

-Dash attack sends more horizontally now. It originally sent at a 45ish degree angle.

-Utilt endlag reduction allows for utilt x3 into uair stuff. Before it had to much endlag to do anything true after the second utilt.

-Usmash is stronger by like 15%. A nice f7 OoS option that kills midweights at about 120% now.

-Aerial cannonball was a thing beforehand, but now it's faster and maybe sets up for offstage shenanigans? It has less endlag in the air.

-Kart starts up so much faster... it was a punish tool beforehand, but now... it's even better. It allows us to follow up from dthrow techchases so much faster. Movement is better. I'm itching to find more about this move.

-Up B hammer is just better. Bigger hitbox and lasts longer. The kart hits into the explosion better on the ground, and grounded opponents are now launched at an angle that makes it easy to follow up with the hammer swing afterwards.

I was always optimistic about Jr., but now.... I'm very happy. I'm excited to find more of what we can do now.
 

Disfunkshunal

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Here are the list Pichu self-damage input changes from 3.0.0. To 3.1.0
1134268440523476994 is not a valid tweet id
For what it's worth, Void seems to think those value changes won't have a huge impact on Pichu's meta, or at least his Pichu play.
Lucina's aerials are already lower knockback and she's been losing players, but sure, nerf her best killing options when killing is already an issue. Also, Marth not getting these really bugs me. They make sure Daisy keeps the same veggie physics, but this is fine.

That combined with buffing Joker just...why?
So how bad were the Lucina nerfs? I don't suppose I can hope for Wolf Down Smash levels of nerfs?
I think you posted these in the wrong order.
 
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Man watching Smash'n'Splash5 this week is going to feel really weird now. They are surely going to use Ver 3.0.1, so if we see the Likes of Olimar, Pichu or Peach do well there, I have to remind myself that they are not as strong in the actual game now . Heck how much are Lucina's and Wolfs nerfs will end up impacting them as well
 
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So how bad were the Lucina nerfs? I don't suppose I can hope for Wolf Down Smash levels of nerfs?
Chill out man, these Lucina nerfs seem like little more than slaps on the wrist, likely to make just a little less blatantly superior to Marth in some areas. If anything, lower knockback on fair might make low percent chains easier, and you still have bair for killing in the air.
 

Arthur97

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Chill out man, these Lucina nerfs seem like little more than slaps on the wrist, likely to make just a little less blatantly superior to Marth in some areas. If anything, lower knockback on fair might make low percent chains easier, and you still have bair for killing in the air.
As I understand it, killing is already one of her weakest areas, and of the top tiers she was probably least in need of nerfing, but aside from that, I may be most upset they didn't touch Marth after the Daisy incident.

Also, this is still not an answer. If it was like Wolf last patch then no big deal, but a severe nerf to one of her best kill options...
 

NotLiquid

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Not really? At all? He just can't recover for free out of a lot of meteors / gimps now, that doesn't make the move garbage. It's still easily one of the best recoveries in the game.
Mate, you're free to argue that Olimar is still good - because he is - but I really think you're underselling how severe that recovery nerf is. I dislike Olimar with a burning passion and even I don't think he deserved to have his off-stage survivability plunge this hard.
 

DelugeFGC

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I'm gonna go ahead and make a prediction. People aren't going to stop hating Olimar.

The nerfs he got don't take away any of his most hated options, he can still net boatloads of % out of a single USmash and FSmash is still a spammable problem in neutral, it's just easier to punish in some situations, in some MU's but not across the board. These moves were not given significant increases in endlag.

His Up-B nerf isn't even relevant outside of like, maybe the Snake MU and a couple of other ones, If you know how to recover with Olimar, you shouldn't be getting gimped out of your Up-B often as-is. I'd say the biggest / most significant actual NERF was his hurtbox being made larger, but again that just sort of makes him easier to punish. Maybe I'm wrong here, I don't know, but getting gimped isn't a significant problem I've had with Olimar, I usually make it back to the ledge or die, there's very rarely interaction between that makes it a task to get back.. it tends to go one way or the other. So this just solidified that as far as I am able to tell. Maybe it's a huge deal and people I play suck at gimping me, but it's not something that immediately stuck out.

His combo game, still there. His follow up / confirm options, still there. His insane damage output, still there. His ability to kill you mad early, still there, his oppressive neutral, still there.

I'm still very happy with the nerfs though as it does make him feel a bit more fair, but it didn't push him out of top tier or anything, there is just no way. They aren't significant enough changes, he's still able to do all the things he was before, it's just not as safe if you whiff now. You can't spam his smash attacks quite so easily.. but they're still some of the most spammable smash attacks in the entire game. That did NOT change.



My interest is here, though >>>>>:ultfalcon:<<<<<

I have been waiting for this day since launch. Since the first time I saw raptor boost's hitbox come off and hit nothing, since the first time I had a BAir fail to kill at high %'s, since the first time I whiffed a knee kill confirm.. the time is HERE, at last.
 
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PK Gaming

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I'm seeing some players getting pressed over their mains not getting buffed, but... it should absolutely be stressed that some of these changes are substantial indirect buffs for certain characters.

Here's an important example:


The hitbox & nerfs to Olimar alone make most of the cast objectively more viable.
 
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Phoenix_is_OK

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Congrats Emblem Lord, I'm happy you aren't invalidated by SDI now.

Bayonetta looks super close to viable now. Here is Geist with what appears to be a super hot kill confirm:
Feels good man.

Also I'm digging the entitlement from Olimar mains. Dabuz is threatening to drop the character after one patch. Myren is flipping out.

Imagine giving **** to Bayonetta mains, who remained faithful, to this. Getting livid and quitting before the patch has been out for 24h. After adding 3 frames to his smashes and making his recovery worse if they keep bonking him. Olimar is still high I'm guessing, but Christ would they stop crying.

Edit 1: my apologies to Deluge who is being more than professional rn, props to you man, Dabuz and Myren shouldn't represent the character as a whole.

Also I legit haven't been this happy since the game came out right before I unlocked Bayo. This is **hype**
 
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DelugeFGC

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Congrats Emblem Lord, I'm happy you aren't invalidated by SDI now.

Bayonetta looks super close to viable now. Here is Geist with what appears to be a super hot kill confirm:
Feels good man.

Also I'm digging the entitlement from Olimar mains. Dabuz is threatening to drop the character after one patch. Myren is flipping out.

Imagine giving **** to Bayonetta mains, who remained faithful, to this. Getting livid and quitting before the patch has been out for 24h. After adding 3 frames to his smashes and making his recovery worse if they keep bonking him. Olimar is still high I'm guessing, but Christ would they stop crying.

Edit 1: my apologies to Deluge who is being more than professional rn, props to you man, Dabuz and Myren shouldn't represent the character as a whole.

Also I legit haven't been this happy since the game came out right before I unlocked Bayo. This is **hype**
Olimar's nerfs were super fair and don't take away much of his viability at all, anyone threatening to drop him over these nerfs was never a big fan of the character in the first place. I still adore the Space Cowboy, but I'm also doing backflips (Or UAir's, lmfao) over CF's buffs because I've been screaming for those for a while.

All said I'm actually legitimately happy one can't just say 'you just flick C-Stick to win' to an Olimar player and be somewhat correct. LOL
 
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Shyy_Guy595

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Yeah, the nerfs should just stop at this point. Maube a few more inconsequential ones, but focus on BUFFING the rest of the cast to make up for any notable gaps. The game is pretty balanced as is; there's no need for Smash 4 Bayo and Brawl Meta Knight levels of nerfs like lots of people seem to want for the top tiers.

Hell, the stuff they did makes it so that the characters are still good, it's just that now others have more reliable ways of dealing with them should their skill level be up to it. Another problem is the fact that the meta seems to he based around what legitimate experts think despite them generally having more skill and technical knowledge than the majority. The only thing that should really matter are the technical things involved, as less endlag is a definite advantage against those with more and the analytics involved with seeing how said character can compare to the rest of the cast -- the MUs.

People tend to look at the bigs and say "Nerf!" but rarely do you see the masses look at the low tiers and say "Buff!"

Like, I thought we WANTED competitive viability for ALL of our characters, not just the one's we pick-and-choose because we're mad that they're at the top of the game, and even then, most would say it's not extremely blatant as tier lists and opinions vary massively in terms of where the higher tiers are; can't say the same for the low tiers, though.

That's why I hope some lower tier characters got the buffs needed to compete. A full game of people where even the low tiers would still be C or B Tier when compared to the balancing in previous Smash games due to how competent the meta is would be amazing.
 

Phoenix_is_OK

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Yeah, the nerfs should just stop at this point. Maube a few more inconsequential ones, but focus on BUFFING the rest of the cast to make up for any notable gaps. The game is pretty balanced as is; there's no need for Smash 4 Bayo and Brawl Meta Knight levels of nerfs like lots of people seem to want for the top tiers.

Hell, the stuff they did makes it so that the characters are still good, it's just that now others have more reliable ways of dealing with them should their skill level be up to it. Another problem is the fact that the meta seems to he based around what legitimate experts think despite them generally having more skill and technical knowledge than the majority. The only thing that should really matter are the technical things involved, as less endlag is a definite advantage against those with more and the analytics involved with seeing how said character can compare to the rest of the cast -- the MUs.

People tend to look at the bigs and say "Nerf!" but rarely do you see the masses look at the low tiers and say "Buff!"

Like, I thought we WANTED competitive viability for ALL of our characters, not just the one's we pick-and-choose because we're mad that they're at the top of the game, and even then, most would say it's not extremely blatant as tier lists and opinions vary massively in terms of where the higher tiers are; can't say the same for the low tiers, though.

That's why I hope some lower tier characters got the buffs needed to compete. A full game of people where even the low tiers would still be C or B Tier when compared to the balancing in previous Smash games due to how competent the meta is would be amazing.
Honestly, I approve almost all the nerfs they shoved down our throats this patch, I want to see more careful small nerfs to tend the meta. Sometimes you have to nerf really janky stuff to preserve the fragile meta that is this game. The meta is most likely going to be more diverse than before this patch, and while I don't approve of every nerf here I would like to see more of these tweeks. I have faith in their ability to fix stuff, and let's not get so afraid of nerfs that we let game ruining things slide under the table.
 

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Rosalina got some nice buffs but nothing too major. Her biggest issue of Luma dying too easily wasn't changed. A quick summary of the notable changes:

-Luma HP went from 60 to 48, respawn timer went from 11 to 10 seconds. Interestingly, Luma takes the same knockback despite having his max HP lowered. The nerf to HP is not too significant because Luma almost always dies by being sent offstage. 1 second taken off the respawn timer is nice too.

-All of Rosa's grabs come out 1 frame faster. Her standing grab comes out frame 6 now (!), helping to fix her generally underwhelming OoS options. This meshes well with the fact that she gets good followups and combos off of grabs.

-Fsmash got much stronger. It was already pretty strong, now it's VERY strong and kills early. Watch out for this move if you fight Rosa. Despite the patch notes writing that only Luma f-smash was buffed "when he's close to Rosalina", his F-smash got stronger even when detethered and even Rosa's F-smash is stronger.

-Despite the patch notes, Rosa fair still fails to link properly a lot of the time, especially when fading back or fast falling.

There were some miscellaneous changes as well that aren't really worth mentioning. Overall she's certainly better, but really isn't that different. It's nice for her that top tiers got nerfed, but I don't predict she'll be jumping any tiers as a result of this patch.

Congrats Emblem Lord, I'm happy you aren't invalidated by SDI now.

Bayonetta looks super close to viable now. Here is Geist with what appears to be a super hot kill confirm:
Feels good man.

Also I'm digging the entitlement from Olimar mains. Dabuz is threatening to drop the character after one patch. Myren is flipping out.

Imagine giving **** to Bayonetta mains, who remained faithful, to this. Getting livid and quitting before the patch has been out for 24h. After adding 3 frames to his smashes and making his recovery worse if they keep bonking him. Olimar is still high I'm guessing, but Christ would they stop crying.

Edit 1: my apologies to Deluge who is being more than professional rn, props to you man, Dabuz and Myren shouldn't represent the character as a whole.

Also I legit haven't been this happy since the game came out right before I unlocked Bayo. This is **hype**
Dabuz was in the Rosacord labbing stuff out. Looks like we're going back to Smash 4.
 
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Shyy_Guy595

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I think I said I'd rather it be inconsequential stuff like these nerfs if they continued, as I don't want a character to be hugely gimped in any way. But still, very small tweaks while helping push those lower tiers up with buffs would help. Maybe give them and the low tiers enough to have a chance against the mid tiers and have that be divisive and close to call as far as a tier list and then have the upper mids gain small tweaks to allow them to challenge the high tiers more reliably.

I know it's unrealistic to have all characterd bapanced equally, but that kind of segmented Tier List still allows for the full A to E if you wanna go that far, but also would allow the characters to be so closely balanced that the tier list could like like a simple S-to-C. I mean, there's always gonna be the outliers, and given the quantity, it seems unlikely, but not improbable.

I mean, hell, have you seen the amount of people in the mid tier section alone? I'd be happy even if the vottom tiers could at least integrate into the low tiers so that we have the top/high:mid:low going on rather than the five we used to have. (Dunno if Mac or Kirby got anything to help move them up or not in the update, but given what I've seem, it doesn't appear so, although not EVERYTHING is clear yet, so it could come to pass)
 
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Thinkaman

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It is far easier, more predictable, and less reckless to make a couple small changes to the top characters (or all) than numerous large changes to the worst.

Targeting the top (or bottom) requires double the amount of aggregate changes than adjusting everyone towards the mean. And, realistically, volatility is not linear with respect to magnitude of change--large/multitude changes are disproportiately more likely to have untended consequences. If we assume the relationship is quadratic as a simple ballpark guess, we'd expect "change everyone to rival the top character" to produce ~6.8x as much volatility and unintended consequences as conservatively bumping everyone towards the mean.

This is not an acceptable price for a competitive scene to pay purely for the emotional benefit of children on the internet.
 

Shyy_Guy595

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I never was asking for insane numbers. Heck, I even applied the small tweaks to the other tiers as well in my second post nor did I imply how far I wanted the bottom tiers to move up. I definitely see the merit in that.

Though I guess If I were to nerf a top tier in any way, I'd change some small things about Snake since he seems to benefit the most from having not been touched as of this update.

Said children also tend to be Smash's target audience as well as Sakurai's.
 
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Olimar nerfs honestly do hurt a lot. His Up smash may still combo but it's no longer a safe combo move or kill move which is pretty big. Since aside from blue you don't really need to fear his grabs (plus the grabs themselves are quite slow) the ability to safely shield around him is a lot better now. Preliminary Olimar had from what I've been seeing 5/6 frames added in lag to his Up smash, purple and yellow were -5 on shield pre patch the only thing that could punish that were the very few frame 4 or faster Up Bs. Now being able to be punished by a far wider range of OOS options really hampers his ability to safely fish for kills since he's wasn't getting kills off aerials before unless his opponents are near ledge.

But what really doesn't need much looking into is was the recovery nerf. That HURTS, he loses a lot of range and he doesn't reset fuel for being hit. If Olimar has to come low which isn't hard to force (since going high every time will get you blown up). Simply hitting his hitboxes less Up B as he's coming back to stage will seriously impede his ability to make it back to stage, projectiles in particular like Nikita and PKT can seriously hamper his off stage survivablity. I do not blame Dabuz for already thinking of dropping he character these changes shouldn't not be blown off.

That's not even getting into his larger hurtbox.

This is a visual of the recovery nerf https://twitter.com/Nyanarowastaken/status/1134278682997075976
 
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Thinkaman

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Though I guess If I were to nerf a top tier in any way, I'd change some small things about Snake since he seems to benefit the most from having not been touched as of this update.
We saw exactly the top 5 characters on the aggregate top player tier lists nerfed. Snake is #6 (and Palu #7), so Snake (and Palu) are the logical next suspects. If they rise in this tweaked meta, we can expect them to get a haircut in due time. (I think it's very likely for Snake, especially if he catches on in Japan)

Said children also tend to be Smash's target audience as well as Sakurai's.
Yup, and I think it's important that we keep sight of this. None of us sprang into the tournament scene from the forehead of Zeus, fully grown and ready to tussle.

But finely tuned balance patches are a feature best aimed at the elite; I very much like David Sirlin's "bullseye" analogy--you aim at the best players because across all possible play experiences they are in the center of the bullseye with regards to most balance issues. Every group has their own local opinions and biases, but the harsh reality of international competition is the most objective "true center" we have. And in this day and age, trickles down to lower levels of play over time.

In other words, we don't aim balance patches at the top 1% because we care more about them than the 99%. We aim it that way because it's simply best for everyone, because it's the "center-most truth".

Ultimately, good balance work is about good balance work, not minimizing loss aversion.

Edit for counter-example: It's appropriate for balance patches to be aimed squarely at the top players in the same way that it's best for menu UI to be aimed squarely at the lowest common denominator.
 
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Kiligar

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King Snake is here. Ryu and Ken mains are actually rewarded for their skill. Pichu got gutted, Olimar got significant nerfs. Captain Falcon is back. Diddy is back as well. Bayonetta’s begun her recovery. And as for my main, the two moves which needed buffs most were effected, Up Smash and Side Special. Not extremely significant, but alongside top tier nerfs Dark Pit is looking more decent than he has ever since his original designation as decent. A solid patch. Just don’t forget Duck Hunt and actually fix Mac next time.
EDIT: Lucario is much better now, hopefully Anti picks him up again. And Bowser Jr. seems to have improved, maybe Tweek...
 
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Nobie

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Ooh, I like this patch a lot.

Most if not all characters who received major buffs last patch weren't touched here (e.g. Bowser, Mewtwo). Makes sense, and shows they're not jumping the gun.

Both the buffs and the nerfs reinforce the characters' gameplay identities. Pichu does more self-damage but keeps all of its general attributes. Peach has a weaker fair in terms of knockback, but the move still takes full advantage of her float.

Little Mac with a BETTER jab seems odd at first, but it's like the game REALLY wants you to treat it like an actual boxer's jab and nickel-and-dime opponents (also appropriate for Mac). Falcon knee buffed, 'nuff said.

I'm not sure if Ryu's improved fireballs will be enough, given that he still takes a long time to recover, but who knows?
 

Thinkaman

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Also, monthly reminder that Mac is a reasonable solid character who specifically struggles in top-level 1v1 matches on our highly specific stage list with our particular homebrew timeout rules.

Mac is much better at lower levels.

Mac is much better in most FFA matches and pretty much all team matches.

Mac is much better on walk-off stages.

Mac is much better on FD and Battlefield than all other legal stages. Note that this was not true in Smash 4, where Mac loved T&C and could strike every problem stage!

Mac is considerably better under the game's default Sudden Death timeout rules than the homebrew stuff we use.


This is not an argument against any of these tournament policies. I'm just highlighting that Mac's tournament shortcomings in Ultimate are in large part a demon of our own devising.
 

PK Gaming

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The smash devs have opted against hopelessly trying to balance every character at the same time, and instead focus on immediate problems, and I honestly think that's really commendable? People have been throwing out statements like "Smash Ultimate is going to be impossible to balance" but it always struck me as a bit disingenuous.

Hopefully, we see less drastic changes going forward, and starts to develop into something resembling the glorious Smash 4 counterpick meta
 

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I'm very surprised by the lack of Corrin buffs, considering this patch otherwise seemed to do a good job at giving underperformers at least a little help.

Am happy to see the numerous "this move links properly now" buffs. One of the best changes about modern Smash games is that multihit moves no longer suck.
 
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