Official Competitive Character Impressions 2.0

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Vyrnx

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Some stuff on Joker:

-Players still seem really unsure on when Joker's moves do and don't cross up--especially dash attack and nair--in general dash attacks aren't crossing up and (Leo's) nairs are. I'm not sure if I've seen Samsora successfully punish Leo when he dash attacks his shield when it should be a free grab every time. similarly Joker's bair and nair on shield are regularly mispunished since they're so deceptively safe (-5 on shield, add in Ultimate's 4 frame nerf on shield grabs and you have lots of whiffing).

-Waiting out Arsene on the angel platform is absolutely necessary, there's no fun involved in doing so, but the character has the potential to remove nearly two stocks in a thirty second span of Arsene--one more second on the angel platform can easily be the difference between taking an extra 40%+. I'm convinced that not waiting out on the angel platform is the main reason that Tweek and Samsora lost their respective set 1 game 4s at EVO and Smashcon after having huge leads.

-There are a few reasons why leads vs Joker are so misleading--he's a combo fiend and he can kill really, really early even without Arsene, add in the best comeback mechanic in the game and a two stock lead vs Joker is nowhere near a guaranteed game, a one stock lead is barely meaningful for some characters.

-Beyond that he has what's almost certainly the overall best edgeguarding capability in the game--because bair (both versions) is a ridiculous move offstage, frame 7, very low FAF, sweeping hitbox, good BKB. Without Arsene he can return to ledge immediately from anywhere if a bair whiffs and ledge trap or try again, with Arsene you have Tetrakarn's hitbox size, a pretty good spike, an amazing projectile in side b, and busted af Arsene bair, and guns gimp as well (which players will have to learn not to buffer air dodges through and "SD").

-Non-Arsene's up b is absolutely amazing, on and off stage. Amazing distance for a tether, especially vertically, which all-in-all makes his edgeguard attempts carry very little risk (this is why Leo basically always runs off stage for an edgeguard attempt)--if bair doesn't just kill he isn't in any way sacrificing ledge trapping or a second edgeguard attempt with restored double jump. It's also a great recovery move for the same reasons. Failed edgeguard attempts vs non-Arsene Joker put you on the backside of Joker's bair offstage (since a failed attempt means he's already clipped ledge and restored his double jump, so it's a legit reverse edgeguard)--or he's just ledgetrapping you.

-If you legitimately think that all you have to do vs Joker's tether recovery is "run off nair him" then you just have no idea how tether recoveries work--the player commands when to snap ledge and the snap happens fast--most run off nairs are pitiful and easy for a tether recovery to avoid, plus you're guaranteed to get reversaled on in some form (e.g., Zackray did a run off nair vs Leo at EVO last week and just immediately got blown up by Leo in a reversal). Ledge snap timing mixups are easier to do when you have a lot of tether distance to work with (S4 ZSS, but Joker even moreso) There are some moves that do work well though, Palu nair for example, since the move lasts long and Palu can fastfall with it while still getting back to ledge reasonably fast. For another example, Samsora eventually started drop down floating and nair/dairing whenever he saw Leo's non-Arsene Joker off stage, Leo always just timed the up b to snap between aerials and then Samsora was getting ledgetrapped--best move here for Samsora would've just been turnips-->ledge trapping if turnips missed.

-Edgeguarding Arsene Joker is more doable but carries a higher risk--Joker has a lot of distance to work with in terms of timing mixups as well as startup invincibility, plus he can side b you/the ledge (which really screwed up Samsora's float edgeguards)--the cost for a missed edgeguard attempt on Arsene Joker is getting edgeguarded by Arsene Joker, so good luck with that.

-Joker's aerial game is just amazing--great short hop, high fast fall speed, safe aerials, fair 1... just good stuff all around.

-Joker is a perfect character for top levels of competitive play--he's top tier as hell, has a fantastic built in comeback mechanic--which also makes him super tilting. I get frustrated watching the absurdities that Leo's Joker brings to the table, imagine playing vs it--almost every player that's gone up vs Leo recently looks visibly frustrated and then visibly defeated, then the match just snowballs--which could happen vs any character, but looks even worse vs a character designed to snowball you (it's a feedback loop, and then you have reverse 6-0s and whatnot).
 
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You know why MKLeo wins tournaments? It's not because Arsene is broken (though maybe overtuned) or even that he adapts the fastest (which he does).

It's his composure.

Top players are by necessity remarkably composed in high-stakes environments, but when Tweek or Samsora or Marss are down in games, they can crumble. They might doubt their character or their ability. They might give up.

But not Leo.

When Zackray suffered his emotionally overwhelming loss, Leo wasn't popping off. He was standing around waiting for a handshake and ready to offer emotional support. And that's not to say that popping off is a sign of weakness--but it paints a picture of MKLeo as the quintessential competitive player. He lives to reach the top, to be the best, and doesn't let anything stop him: not emotion, not percent or stock or game count, not the crowd cheering "1 more stock" or "Let's go Nairo," not twitter accounts claiming that he's carried, not character or stage.

Not to go all EmblemLord on you guys, but that, my friends, is the spirit of a warrior.
 
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Diddy Kong

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You know why MKLeo wins tournaments? It's not because Arsene is broken (though maybe overtuned) or even that he adapts the fastest (which he does).

It's his composure.

Top players are by necessity remarkably composed in high-stakes environments, but when Tweek or Samsora or Marss are down in games, they can crumble. They might doubt their character or their ability. They might give up.

But not Leo.

When Zackray suffered his emotionally overwhelming loss, Leo wasn't popping off. He was standing around waiting for a handshake and ready to offer emotional support. And that's not to say that popping off is a sign of weakness--but it paints a picture of MKLeo as the quintessential competitive player. He lives to reach the top, to be the best, and doesn't let anything stop him: not emotion, not percent or stock or game count, not the crowd cheering "1 more stock" or "Let's go Nairo," not twitter accounts claiming that he's carried, not character or stage.

Not to go all EmblemLord on you guys, but that, my friends, is the spirit of a warrior.
You make competitive Smash look like serious warfare, I like it.

I guess Diddy has fallen off a lot since he wasn't buffed any further in the 4.0 patch. It's a shame, because he could've used more buffs.

Any chance of there being an official tier list any time soon?
 

DJ3DS

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So about :ultrob:. I think it's safe to say that its had what is by far its most notable breakout tournament. Raffi-X considerably stepped up his performance to reach 12th, while Zackray finally dug out the good old robot to almost send Leo to losers. We also had WaDi, who placed 17th. A few Japanese players think ROB rests at the mid-point of high tier, which is a reasonable position I've long agreed with.

This is just speculation, but what I suspect is going to hold back ROB from going any higher than that point is that for his explosive traits, I have a hard time thinking of any top tier MUs besides Inkling that he does really well at. Despite having hitboxes the size of a truck, a large majority of his biggest moves are fairly punishable and probably the easiest ones to parry. His aerial game is tremendous when pushing his advantage, but in neutral they leave a bit to be desired, and when so many of Ult's top tier contenders have amazing range options, kill options, aerial maneuverability or a combination of all of the above, the character seems kind of hamstrung into an uphill battle.

That is of course, still a good thing in its own right because unlike Brawl and Smash 4, ROB isn't particularly suspect to the same level of power creep that he was before.
This is perhaps an unpopular opinion but as a ROB player he is being heavily overrated and will drop over time.

ROB has been improved since Smash 4, but these improvements have mostly been to his (low %) advantage and a bit to his neutral. Down tilt is nice and spammable now and side b kills early if you get a hard read off stage. He has some situational 0-deaths but they all start off of a slow and unsafe z-dropped n-air or very situational dash attacks.
His high % advantage, on the other hand, has actually suffered from the transition - his ledge traps are noticeably worse thanks to getup attack invincibility and his down throw is considerably worse - the only percents it guarantees a kill against good mashers are ones where up throw would kill anyway (that's also been nerfed since 4) and it gains no combo potential in exchange, which low percent down throw did in 4.

His disadvantage, on the other hand, is still terrible. He is floaty with a massive hitbox and (just as importantly) he has no good out of shield options for well spaced aerials and crossups unless he has gyro in hand. Up Smash oos is good against poorly spaced ones, but this move also has noticeable linking problems now (which you can see in the Raffi Vs Nairo set). His recovery is also criminally overrated; it has massive distance and affords a few mixups but is seriously vulnerable and fuel DOES NOT REGENERATE ON THE LEDGE. This makes ROB uniquely weak to ledgetrapping, which is also a state he is not well equipped to deal with.

In terms of matchups, I also think ROB has far too many losing ones to be solo viable:

:ultbayonetta::ultgreninja::ultisabelle::ultjoker::ultmario::ultlucina::ultmegaman::ultgnw::ultpalutena::ultpeach::ultpichu::ultpikachu::ultrosalina::ultroy::ultchrom::ultsnake::ultvillager::ultwario::ultzss:

Shout-outs to Palutena, Pikachu and Zero Suit Samus for making the game feel near unplayable at times thanks to having significantly better pressure in neutral, massive combos on ROB and an easier time killing whilst all three have the tools to effectively circumvent ROBs advantage state.

That isn't a definitive list, by the way. There are others very much in contention (Young Link, for example, if you listen to 8bitman, and the only reason Fox is up for debate is that one good read offstage and he's dead) and even against the characters ROB is supposed to beat like Incineroar he can never switch off lest he eat a 50% juggle before he can escape it by retreating to ledge and hoping the opponent is worse at trapping.
 
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It was nice to see two Zeldas in the Top 48 (33rd with Ven and 25th with Aikota's secondary).
But judging from Ven's Twitter it seems that he will most likely take a break from Smash now and given how rare she is in competitive play I doubt she'Ll appear in future S-tiers, even less than in season 1. But she still gets decent results and is able to fight against super bad MUs, like :ultgreninja:.
 
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This is perhaps an unpopular opinion but as a ROB player he is being heavily overrated and will drop over time.

ROB has been improved since Smash 4, but these improvements have mostly been to his (low %) advantage and a bit to his neutral. Down tilt is nice and spammable now and side b kills early if you get a hard read off stage. He has some situational 0-deaths but they all start off of a slow and unsafe z-dropped n-air or very situational dash attacks.
His high % advantage, on the other hand, has actually suffered from the transition - his ledge traps are noticeably worse thanks to getup attack invincibility and his down throw is considerably worse - the only percents it guarantees a kill against good mashers are ones where up throw would kill anyway (that's also been nerfed since 4) and it gains no combo potential in exchange, which low percent down throw did in 4.

His disadvantage, on the other hand, is still terrible. He is floaty with a massive hitbox and (just as importantly) he has no good out of shield options for well spaced aerials and crossups unless he has gyro in hand. Up Smash oos is good against poorly spaced ones, but this move also has noticeable linking problems now (which you can see in the Raffi Vs Nairo set). His recovery is also criminally overrated; it has massive distance and affords a few mixups but is seriously vulnerable and fuel DOES NOT REGENERATE ON THE LEDGE. This makes ROB uniquely weak to ledgetrapping, which is also a state he is not well equipped to deal with.

In terms of matchups, I also think ROB has far too many losing ones to be solo viable:

:ultbayonetta::ultgreninja::ultisabelle::ultjoker::ultmario::ultlucina::ultmegaman::ultgnw::ultpalutena::ultpeach::ultpichu::ultpikachu::ultrosalina::ultroy::ultchrom::ultsnake::ultvillager::ultwario::ultzss:

Shout-outs to Palutena, Pikachu and Zero Suit Samus for making the game feel near unplayable at times thanks to having significantly better pressure in neutral, massive combos on ROB and an easier time killing whilst all three have the tools to effectively circumvent ROBs advantage state.

That isn't a definitive list, by the way. There are others very much in contention (Young Link, for example, if you listen to 8bitman, and the only reason Fox is up for debate is that one good read offstage and he's dead) and even against the characters ROB is supposed to beat like Incineroar he can never switch off lest he eat a 50% juggle before he can escape it by retreating to ledge and hoping the opponent is worse at trapping.
Isabelle?
Villager?
Rosalina?
Can you explain those? I don't play R.O.B.
 
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DJ3DS

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Isabelle?
Villager?
Rosalina?
Can you explain those? I don't play R.O.B.
Isabelle and Villager can permanently pocket gyro which eliminates a significant aspect of ROBs play; massively nerfing his advantage state and reducing his lack of OoS options even further. He lacks the speed and burst options to properly punish Villager and Isabelle safely attacking his shield, and his massive hurtbox makes it very easy to get chipped at. He hasn't got a reliable kill option on the two until upthrow starts killing (which is 150%+ without platforms) and relies on reads with something like bair or edgeguarding. The two are also among the few characters who are not scooped out of the ground when buried by upsmash, so they have much better options to mix up down throw.

Rosalina is pretty much the same story as smash 4. She can shut down gyro play, juggles ROB well and forces ROB to overcommit to one of his laggy burner moves to get around Luma. It's not as bad as in 4 and it's not a matchup that gets a lot of discussion as the Rosa's jumped ship, but I don't think any of what I've said is controversial either.
 

Impax

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In terms of matchups, I also think ROB has far too many losing ones to be solo viable:

:ultbayonetta::ultgreninja::ultisabelle::ultjoker::ultmario::ultlucina::ultmegaman::ultgnw::ultpalutena::ultpeach::ultpichu::ultpikachu::ultrosalina::ultroy::ultchrom::ultsnake::ultvillager::ultwario::ultzss:

Shout-outs to Palutena, Pikachu and Zero Suit Samus for making the game feel near unplayable at times thanks to having significantly better pressure in neutral....
What gets me about the list is how many meta relevant characters are losing

Joker, Mario, Lucina, mega man, palutena, peach, electric rats, Roy, chrom, snake, wario and greninja (to a lesser extent) are all very meta relevant. You can have all the tools in the world but it does matter if your matchup spread is poor.

I imagine that's why wadi is still trying out secondaries (wft, mewtwo , etc)
 

Thinkaman

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My pessimistic (community) assumption is that Joker will one day get his Arsene meter numbers toned down a bit to be not-quite-so-very-generous, and we'll be subjected to endless virtue signalling about how nerfing Joker is bad something something MKLeo blah blah blah that is just as reactionary, just as banal, and just as inappropriately-focused-on-top-5-play as the dumbest anti-Joker hot takes.
 
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We don't need to nerf Joker but to nerf Leo.
Leo is the kind of player that can make look any character broken. I think if we talk about Joker nerfs then we don't give the credit to the player, Leo.
Of course Joker is a good character but he isn't in any way as broken as N64 Pika, Brawl MK or 4 Bayo.

I think Sakurai shares the same way of thought and the only nerf Joker received so far is an oversight by the developers (every reflector breaks when the damage is over 50%).
I think it is Leo that makes Joker look broken but I gladly repeat myself: Leo could make that with every character (well, maybe not with Mac).
 

Rizen

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Some stuff on Joker:



-Beyond that he has what's almost certainly the overall best edgeguarding capability in the game--because bair (both versions) is a ridiculous move offstage, frame 7, very low FAF, sweeping hitbox, good BKB. Without Arsene he can return to ledge immediately from anywhere if a bair whiffs and ledge trap or try again, with Arsene you have Tetrakarn's hitbox size, a pretty good spike, an amazing projectile in side b, and busted af Arsene bair, and guns gimp as well (which players will have to learn not to buffer air dodges through and "SD").



-If you legitimately think that all you have to do vs Joker's tether recovery is "run off nair him" then you just have no idea how tether recoveries work--the player commands when to snap ledge and the snap happens fast--most run off nairs are pitiful and easy for a tether recovery to avoid, plus you're guaranteed to get reversaled on in some form (e.g., Zackray did a run off nair vs Leo at EVO last week and just immediately got blown up by Leo in a reversal). Ledge snap timing mixups are easier to do when you have a lot of tether distance to work with (S4 ZSS, but Joker even moreso) There are some moves that do work well though, Palu nair for example, since the move lasts long and Palu can fastfall with it while still getting back to ledge reasonably fast. For another example, Samsora eventually started drop down floating and nair/dairing whenever he saw Leo's non-Arsene Joker off stage, Leo always just timed the up b to snap between aerials and then Samsora was getting ledgetrapped--best move here for Samsora would've just been turnips-->ledge trapping if turnips missed.

.
I agree with most of what you said except these 2 points.

Joker does not have the best edge guarding in the game. Shulk, Lucina and Ridley to name 3 all have better hitboxes that wall harder than anything Joker can do. Joker is quick and can go deep so his edge guarding is very good but there are better.

If you run off Nair you're setting yourself up for failure because tether recoveries swing down toward the stage and reel in from under it. That's why YL's tether is a good mixup it doesn't travel directly toward the ledge. But Joker without Arsene has to go to the same spot under the ledge every time he tethers so you can hold the ledge>drop>jump and Dair spike him or failing that simply drop with a long lasting aerial like a sex kick and have a pretty good shot at hitting joker.
 

Thinkaman

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A similar but more extreme case to Arsene might be PK Freeze.

I am not calling for PK Freeze to be nerfed. Lucas does not "need" to be nerfed. People who say "PK FREEZE IS BROKEN!" are silly, and probably need to play less wifi.

But all of us kinda look at PK Freeze and say "Wow uh, why does it do that???" It's disproportionate, it's jarring, it raises both eyebrows, it's just sort of weird that it kills like it does. It can be all of these things without actually being that great of a move or making the character overpowered.

If PK Freeze knockback was nerfed in a patch, I feel like the only sane response is a half-shrug half-nod saying "Yeah, sounds about right I guess."


This is pretty much how I see Joker, albeit centered on a mechanic that is more relevant to higher levels of play. I look at how quick Arsene charges + how long it lasts, and it reminds me of initial Smash 4 Cloud: "Gee, how often he gets his superpower seems rather generous." And if it's nerfed, which I'd put roughly even odds on, you'll catch me saying "Yeah, sounds about right I guess."
 
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I'm gonna have to rant a bit at the "Don't nerf Joker" side. I just find the typical sentiments of "Joker is not broken so don't nerf" or "buff lower tiers instead of nerfing top tiers" somewhat disingenuous when:

-The dev teams have already demonstrated a willingness to nerf other top tiers who weren't broken and sometimes even targets things the online community didn't even complain about. Seriously, where exactly was the massive clamor to nerf Peach's fair, Olimar's recovery, or to almost double Pichu's self damage?

-The call for "all buff, no nerfs" fells hollow when the dev team is generally unwilling to buff a character straight to high tier short of cases like Ryu/Ken where the character initially didn't even work properly nor feel willing to give already good but merely high tier or high-mid tier characters any sort of substantial buff (the two exceptions being Charizard who's high tier by association with Squirtle and Ivysaur and ROB who's jab to dtilt loop was a complete accident that was later reverted) but are willing to give top tier some trims. Hell, the dev team if anything is more willing to nerf a lower tier if they don't fit their vision then leave it alone (see the case of Little Mac where the devs actively went back on an accidental buff to his jab that was largely employed by knowledgeable players of the character and had no actual bearing on lower levels of play i.e. Online Macs).



Now whether that means Joker should be adjusted like Peach/Snake/Wolf/Olimar/Pichu or left alone like ZSS/Palutena/Wario is a different matter though personally I feel some aspects of Joker are absurd even ignoring Leo and could stand to be nerfed:

-Arsene Dair being much faster than most other Dairs.
-Arsena Dair to UpSmash killing off the top at earlier percents than even Ike/Fox/Snake.
-Back Air being an excellent and near lagless corner pressure/edgeguard tool akin Peach's bair except disjointed and on a more mobile character.
-Eiagon being a better projectile than Frizzle/Elthunder with none of the drawbacks of needing to be charged and again being on a more mobile character.
-Tetrakarn in general though I personally just hate smash bros counters period.
 
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Thinkaman

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Tbqh, I don't find a single aspect of Joker's kits to be excessive outside of dragdown uair and its platform dynamics. It's okay for characters to have good moves, and it's to be expected that Arsene moves are fantastic. But getting Arsene consistently twice a stock for 30 seconds each is maybe a bit much.


On a more interesting topic, someone convince me that PT is not the best in the game?
 
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Tbqh, I don't find a single aspect of Joker's kits to be excessive outside of dragdown uair and its platform dynamics. It's okay for characters to have good moves, and it's to be expected that Arsene moves are fantastic. But getting Arsene consistently twice a stock for 30 seconds each is maybe a bit much.


On a more interesting topic, someone convince me that PT is not the best in the game?
I can't give a "legit" reason but i will say it is very rare that when I watch a pokemon trainer play it looks like the character is overwhelming the opponent. It often looks like a difference in player skill that is doing it. Outside of being below ivysuar, the character is just solid at everything not overwhelming. Mostly because only ivysaur seems like an elite character. The PTs at SC did well but i'm not sold on it being the best character. as of now i will stick with peach being the best because the character still isnt fully optimized and even with the loss off air she still has kill throws, killing air attacks, edge guard game, and immunity to short hop damage reduction.
 
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On a more interesting topic, someone convince me that PT is not the best in the game?
Their disadvantage leaves a lot to be desired. Characters like Peach in particular can absolutely decimate them if they get thrown off-stage, and I generally think people are too scared to challenge them off-stage given how there's not really much they can do at that point without committing to a potential stock loss. They also struggle to land, though Charizard's buffed Nair has certainly given them a lot more of a contextual step up in this regard.

I can't comment on how much that makes them not the best, because I don't think there is a single best character in the game right now, but those are flaws that are worth considering in the discourse.
 
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KirbySquad101

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Some notes on Super Smash Con 2019 (I would show all the placings here, but it's honestly too much of a hassle to lol):

- A lot of the more recent trends we say in EVO 2019 have sort of repeated again; both Top 8's looked very similar in terms of its character line-up, and from the looks of things, :ultpokemontrainer: and :ultpeach: are here to stay. The fact that we had SIX Pokemon Trainers hovering around top 64 honestly speaks for itself. Other trends include :ultmario: doing well, but falling just short of Top 16 again (come oooooooooonnnnnnnn, I need a breakout with this guy), :ultyoshi: being everywhere, but failing to get very far, and a major lack of :ultsnake: in top 16 once again. I think the last trend is the most interesting to me, because I can't really pin down the prime reason for this. It could be because of Ally's absence and Salem's decision to go :ulthero:, but MVD is still a really good player (ranked top 20 on the PGRU for a reason), so getting 65th at two major tournaments in a row is unlike him. I think it could be a combination of less rep and players starting to figure out how to pressure Snake without getting blown up.

Bad stuff:
- After doing phenomenal at EVO 2019, Raito had a surprisingly short run at Super Smash Con 2019, failing to break top 64 with :ultduckhunt:, making it his worse placement yet. I still think Duck Hunt's a high tier character, but his set with BestNess did make me realize just how stressful it can be to play the character. If you're playing that's as difficult and mind-taxing as DHD, you do NOT want to be down a stock, because all that time you're failing to take the opponent's stock with a can is time you're giving them to start snowballing a lead, and that's exactly what BestNess did.

- Lots of outside circumstances spelled trouble for characters' rep this tournament, particularly for :ultinkling: (Cosmos), :ultpichu: (RFang), and :ultluigi: (Elegant); Cosmos unfortunately wasn't feeling well and couldn't get far into the tournament before resigning, RFang decided to sleep in over attending, and Elegant has been feeling down lately and most likely won't be playing Smash Ultimate for a while, which would explain why his run ended so early after Day 1. It's har to judge their place in the meta currently.

- I think :ultpacman: is starting to miss Tea, because while Sinji did do well overall this tournament, his success hasn't been up to snuff with Pac-Man's breakouts earlier on. I think Pac-Man is a high tier character, but I also think Sinji shouldn't be afraid to take a more aggressive approach with the character like Tea has, because mixing up your play styles and going from passive to aggressive at the drop of the dime is the biggest thing this character has going for him.

- This tournament looked unfortunate for :ultgreninja:, with only Jw being able to place top 64 after Stroder was out surprisingly early against Seagull Joe and Ned (two tough competitors); and from the sounds of it, Jw didn't have much experience against :ultzelda: (at least compared to ven's experience with Greninja), a character that punishes you HARD for not knowing the match-up, and he ended up paying the price for it against ven. Hopefully things pick up for the frog at Shine.

- Still no :ultkirby: in top 64; fuuuuuuuuddddddgggggeeeeeeeee. Oh well, maybe at Shine.

Good stuff:

- Can someone nerf MKLeo? Because this tournament has me seriously convinced that Joker's not broken (okay, maaayyybbbeeeee Arsene might be a little overturned, particularly the ease of getting him and his DAir confirm at 50~60%, which is honestly kinda BS); but honestly, even if those things weren't a facet of Joker's gameplay, the fact that the dude was potentially at his tournament stock and the most he did was scratch his nose... HOW? How can someone remain that calm under such circumstances? That's the real mystery of Smash Ultimate right now, because anyone else would've been taking deep sighs, rolling their eyes, waving their hands, pushing back into the chair, leaning towards the screen, shaking their head, etc... but MKLeo just kept his same poker face the entire game, and guess what? He ended up winning the tournament. You can nerf Joker all you want, but unless a player out there reaches the same level of mental fortitude MKLeo has (my money's on Gluttony to do this), he's gonna keeping stealing your Grand Finals like a Phantom Thief. Oh yeah, and :ultjoker:'s a top tier, I guess.

- After their disappointing runs at EVO, it was good to see :ultfalcon: and :ultzelda: rising up once more; Zelda did decently well, with ven placing 33rd and Aikota placing 25th while using her as a secondary. It's good to see there's still some fight in her, which is more than what can be said for characters like :ultkirby::ultjigglypuff:, and :ultkrool: currently. Captain Falcon also had a much better showing, with NickC placing 17th and Fatality placing 25th, with the former taking out BlazingPasta and the latter taking out Puppeh. After EVO, Fatality seems to be in a much better place mentally (though his results on Falcon are still mixed), and I'm happy to see that he's done much better overall; hopefully both players can continue to keep up their momentum. I do wish they could fix some of his more random problems (i.e. jank like his hurtbox shifting for his turnaround dash), so that he can really shine.

- Well, :ultness: mains were quick to shut me up lol After what was looking to be a pipe dream, Ness had his first breakout at a major tournament, with BestNess placing 17th after losing to Riddles; despite this, he had a great run, taking out Raito and taking a game off of Samsora as well, and the more I watch him, the more well-rounded Ness feels. He may have problems with mobility and recovering, but that's mitigated by a fantastic air dodge; he may have problems with range, but that's mitigated by a disjointed forward aerial and dash attack. And the dude has kill options up the butt, with a back throw that kills, a back aerial that's safe on block and hits hard, a PSI Magnet that's now a kill confirm, and a Yo-Yo that can hog the ledge. Oh yeah, and at high percents literally everything starts killing.

- Speaking of which, it was really good to see :ultrichter: (and Riddles for that matter) back in action again, having one of the best runs in I've seen in a long time, only losing to MKLeo and Raffi-X. The Belmonts may have problems with their close-up prowess and recovery, but again, like Ness, a lot of that can be circumvented by things like their OoS uppercut, or their long ranged tether grab, which is surprisingly hard to intercept. And this is on top of ridiculous strengths (nutty ledge trapping, a plethora of area-covering projectiles that take a dump on things like Pikmin). Oh yeah, and forget :ulthero:, :ultken:'s the one you do NOT want to get hit by, what is up with this character's damage output and knockback? Yeesh.

- :ultrob: seems to be continuing to a make a name for himself, having an impressive run thanks to both WaDi and surprisingly enough, Raffi-X, who outplaced both WaDi and 8BitMan. The interesting thing is that 8BitMan's and Raffi-X's performances gave me two different stories: On one hand, 8BitMan looked absolutely hopeless against Maister :ultgnw:, but on the other hand, Raffi-X performed very well against ESAM :ultpikachu:, bringing him to game 5 and his tournament stock. I wish I could share DJ3DS sentiments on him falling behind, because I've been believing that for a while now, but it really looks like that time won't come. I will say I'm not a big fan of R.O.B.'s design in this game; instead of making is disadvantage less bad, they decide to give him a move that takes stocks at 50%? I guess that's one way to keep a character in the meta but still, I would've preferred a more balanced approach to the character overall.

- The :ultvillager: hype train is continuing, with kept placing a very impressive 13th after defeating Dark Wizzy, Wishes, and Puppeh to get to where he was at. One could argue that a lot of it can be chalked up to match-up inexperience, but all that tells me is that Villager is yet another character that can't be slept on; even if his zoning isn't the stuff of kings, having 8 frames of lag shaved off of his Fair and BAir and having a faster jumpsquat really helps with his zoning capabilities (can we do something about his grab range, though, it is literally sauce).

- Maister and :ultgnw: really took their successes with Smash Factor 8 and EVO 2019 to another level, because he made a really strong performance at Smash Con, placing 5th after taking out yeti, 8BitMan, NickC, Light, and ESAM (for the 3rd time) and doing pretty well against Marss, random SDs notwithstanding. I won't go too much into this because I already talked to no end about Mr. Game and Watch, but I do find it funny that people are suddenly complaining about how broken he apparently is when not too long ago they were calling him a bottom 3 character lol. But at this point, it probably is a safe bet to consider him a high tier character, at least for now. Major props to ESAM, though, he did a really good job of taking advantage of Maister's habits and highlighted Mr. Game and Watch's problems with repeating the same moves over and over again. Fire IS punishable if you spam it too often, Chef can be rolled past at the ledge if you don't space it well enough, and USmash can be punished with a long ranged option if you try to use it constantly. Just don't jump into it like Light did. Honestly, though FAir actually looked to be the MVP of the set, Maister took quite a bit of ESAM's stocks with that move. The move isn't impressive at stages like Final Destination, but with platforms that can trigger its explosion preemptively, it's both free pressure and a kill option that you REALLY have to watch out for.

To me, the best characters in this game are looking to be a toss up between :ultpokemontrainer:, :ultwario: ,:ultpeach:, and maaayyyybbbbeeeee :ultjoker: (still think it's MKLeo that's mostly godtier). Samsora and BlazingPasta are really making it look like those nerfs to Peach never happened, goddamn.
 
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I see nobody has mentioned how well Jay the :ultmetaknight: player has done, taking 17th at SSC iirc. He ended up defeating Myran 3-2. While the last game Myran made a poor move by betting it all on charging a FSmash while Jay was hanging on the ledge (which was punished with a stock sealing Dimensional Cape), the first 2 games were convincing enough to show MK has good tools to deal with Olimar. He essentially used his quick normals & aerials and neutral B to keep knocking Myran offstage and kill his Pikmin. Once Myran was back onstage Jay used MK's speed and a flurry of dash attacks and other moves to ensure Myran didn't get many opportunities to pluck Pikmin; you would even see instancess where Myran just dies without being able to pull a single Pikmin (or one at most) after Jay disposes of his lineup on a few stocks in games 1 and 2. Myran adjusted in game 3 & 4 with Whistle but Jay baited Whistle out and punished after in game 5. The suffocating playstyle was quite the impressive display of the character hindering Olimar's gameplan and of Jay's prowress; I look forward to seeing more of both of them.
 
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Chiming in on the nerf Joker bandwagon, I really don't think the timer is the major issue with the character, it's the hurtbox. Much like pichu, his hurtbox and crumpling animations are too generous. If you nerf the timer they are simply going to run away more, and the matches can already take forever if neither player can land big combos for whatever reason.

I'm on the fence as to if nerf is needed at all, but if nerf, increase the hurtbox. Games will be faster and all of these sheik-esque characters have to play with more skill and precision because trading hits sucks when your are featherweight.
 
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- This tournament looked unfortunate for :ultgreninja:, with only Jw being able to place top 64 after Stroder was out surprisingly early against Seagull Joe and Ned (two tough competitors); and from the sounds of it, Jw didn't have much experience against :ultzelda:, a character that punishes you HARD for not knowing the match-up, and he ended up paying the price for it against ven. Hopefully things pick up for the frog at Shine.
I want to say that Jw does know how to play against Zelda to some degree. I don't say he is a MU connaisseur but he's fought Mystearica at Pound and beat him. But yeah, I assume Ven just has better character knowledge against Greninja as well since there is one at the Vegas locals so I can still see Ven having an advantage at the MU, regardless of the Pound set between Myst and Jw.
 

Megamang

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While I love the dragdown combos, the dragdown confirms seem to be a bit much as far as consistency and how potent uair is in neutral. On the other hand, I feel MKLeo might just be that far ahead of everyone. Hard to say, I know ROB has some dragdown stuff coming yet there is interaction there (they can get an airdodge out, but if you read this you get a f-smash kill earlier). Late in the tournament people realized that they should avoid the platforms at kill percentages... And this is how counterplay develops, but 'avoid the area above platforms' is hardly something you can do consistently, when being in the corner is very often considered disadvantage. It just felt like he got so many kills that way, which he did, but it also feels like no other player is pulling people down into death like that.


I'm gonna go lab and see if there are other characters with guaranteed stuff like that, just messing around I know that Peach has grabs and probably nair, shiek gets f-smash (which she desperately needs), the aforementioned ROB, Greninja gets some nasty techchase scenarios... but is there much in the way of guaranteed kills?

The dragdowns are hype and I'd be sad to see them go, just perhaps joker should be killing without arsene a smidge later than that, when you consider that arsene bair / fair can kill you off the sides extremely early, arsene dair into usmash is its own demon... I find it interesting and dynamic that he gains some kill confirms when he isn't in arsene, and if these were strong techchase scenarios we'd have a lot of interaction and 'fighting game skill' going on... as it is, you get hit with uair and if the joker's execution is correct you sit on the platform, neutered, and die. Of course, before this moment there is a lot of dynamic stuff going on, but once you get tagged the ball is in Joker's court entirely.

He's got a pichu thing going on, basically. I find that he is able to avoid my attacks by virtue of his attacking, then I get grabbed with uair and life is over. On a platform I get usmashed, on the sides I get dsmashed.


Dunno, just something I noticed. It was hype when it first hit the scene, but now its more like 'get uair'd and you're gonna die to MKLeo at these spots on the stage', combined with the gameplan of 'get the hell out of the corner vs arsene' is just a lot to get around. He still has some struggles, but it all adds up into and impressive package.
 

PK Gaming

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My pessimistic (community) assumption is that Joker will one day get his Arsene meter numbers toned down a bit to be not-quite-so-very-generous, and we'll be subjected to endless virtue signalling about how nerfing Joker is bad something something MKLeo blah blah blah that is just as reactionary, just as banal, and just as inappropriately-focused-on-top-5-play as the dumbest anti-Joker hot takes.
Well said

Personally I don't think nerfing Arsene meter gain would significantly compromise the character, but you can't even voice that without being swarmed with "Joker isn't broken, Leo is" comments

Which is such a non-argument. I might not agree with the character being broken, but his design isn't infallible and I would love to see more tweaks that would bring him closer to the cast (without taking away what makes the character fun or exciting)
 
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The thing that sticks out the most to me regarding Arsene's meter is how Joker gets a bit of it for free when killed. Like, I sort of understand it from a thematic/flavor/fluff perspective (it's literally called the Rebellion Gauge, it represents Joker fighting back against oppression and whatnot, so getting some on death makes sense), but in terms of balance it's super weird.
 

Idon

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Designwise, it just doesn't feel particularly great knowing that by successfully doing damage and winning against a character, you're also empowering them up with a comeback boost that makes them far more dangerous, which feels worse when they have a move that lessens damage and negates knockback to build that boost even faster to begin with.
 

VodkaHaze

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At this point I think we need to buff characters who are low or bottom tier more. Always keep in mind that MKLeo does well with Joker for the same reason good drivers race well with good cars. I don't think he'd be getting this far in tournaments with Kirby. So far I haven't seen anything to indicate that Joker will overcentralise the meta in the same way Brawl MK did.
 
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The Virtuous Cycle, Balance Edition:

  1. Character X wins a major.
  2. Someone suggests that X is overtuned. This post may be reasonably well informed and insightful.
  3. Someone else rushes to defend top player Y who plays X. "Y is broken, not X. Y'all are scrubs. ADAPT!" Usually the person saying this has never played competitive smash, or competitive anything.
  4. There are 10 or so chorus posts chiming in about why X can still be broken even if we admire Y's skill. All these posts suggest nerfs, but frame the nerfs as simple and elegant, usually ending with "That's all" or some other matter-of-fact platitude that makes the poster sound like a pioneering paragon of balance wisdom.
  5. There are more voices of dissent disagreeing that X needs any nerfs. Godwin's Law applies, only with Brawl Meta Knight instead of Hitler.
  6. Someone who is evidently part of Nintendo staffing goes: "Guys, guys, guys. I HAVE IT. Why don't we buff low tiers instead of nerfing top tiers?"
  7. Thinkaman or someone similarly reasonable, experienced, and weary of balance discussion points out that "nerfing top tiers" is actually the correct response to balance but that it's just as reasonable to not expect any nerfs.
  8. The Patch hits. There may or may not be nerfs. Everyone collectively: "I guess we can live with this, yeah."
  9. Character Z wins a major.
 
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Thinkaman

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The thing that sticks out the most to me regarding Arsene's meter is how Joker gets a bit of it for free when killed. Like, I sort of understand it from a thematic/flavor/fluff perspective (it's literally called the Rebellion Gauge, it represents Joker fighting back against oppression and whatnot, so getting some on death makes sense), but in terms of balance it's super weird.
Yeah, it is a little "Um, okay, but why?"

But again, I don't want us to run down these train tracks any more. Yes, Joker isn't broken. Yes, there are plenty of small, reasonable nerfs he could potentially get one day (that he might sort of deserve--or not!) and will no way ruin the character, MKLeo, or the global economy.


We're in a weird situation right now. Normally, the majority of characters who the world considers "best" and the characters the top players main overlap pretty heavily--it's an exception when a top player plays a slightly less common character, or someone like Ness or Yoshi consistently pulls in strong regional results without a top player champion leading the way. Top players disproportionately innovate their characters and produce lots of high-quality VODs for study, further fueling the general competitive population of that character.

But according to OrionStats, we don't have an especially tight corrolation:
  • :ultwolf: continues to top the charts by a big margin despite limited top-level use--zackray's relative contribution to Wolf's aggregate results is smaller than that of any other top player to their main.
  • :ultsnake: didn't even make top 8 either of the last weekends, and MVD was only ("only") 17th on the PGR yet noteably underperformed at both those events. Yet Snake is still pulling in the second-highest character results overall, suggesting a very strong + consistent showing just below the water's surface.
  • :ultpokemontrainer: is the one exception to the exception; his performance is exactly where I'd expect.
  • :ultpalutena: is also doing way better overall than you'd expect from just watching/following Nairo, in a case similar to Zackray.
  • :ultpeach: fits the pattern too but is a little less noteworthy--I feel like everyone knows several of the second-best Peaches, who are just a step behind Samsora.
  • :ultjoker: has been discussed. There's a huge disparity between Leo's results and what everyone else has experienced. Has anyone else who switched to Joker had an improvement in results???
  • :ultwario: is also about where you'd expect.
  • But :ultzss: you'd expect to be higher. It's not as extreme as it was in Phase 1, and I don't think it's strictly the nerfs to other top tiers. Are people starting to do more with this character, learning from Marss's example?
  • And :ultmario: you'd expect to be lower (when's the last time you saw a Mario in top 8 in singles?), though like Peach a lot of us know the names of top Marios waiting just outside the peak.
  • Ditto for :ultgreninja:, and :ultinkling:.
  • I'd expect :ultolimar: to be higher, but Dabuz's recent underperformance probably contributed a lot to what we're looking at.
  • While :ultfox: and :ultlucina:, in a wild twist from phase 1, appear to be broadly underperforming relative to their peak results/usage. This is really unexpected to me.
In unrelated observations, there are some perhaps surprising signs of life from :ultlittlemac::ultbowserjr::ultpiranha: :ultkirby: and :ultridley:. All have very quickly outperformed their rate of success in Phase 1, or in Ridley's case, the absolute standstill he converged to by the end. Part of this could just be a manifestation of @DasKoopa digging deeper into results for these ultramajors, but I don't buy that dismissive explaination. (I think top 96/128 is methodologically sound for such an event) :ultpit::ultdarkpit: is also doing a bit better than he was, we'll see how that holds. :ultisabelle: seems neutral, except for her that's good news because we'd sooner expect a weaker newcomer (propelled by novelty) to lose gas and crash. (Like Ridley did.)

Speaking of :ultincineroar:, gee, Magister where are you? :ultjigglypuff::ultlucas::ultmewtwo::ultcorrin::ultkrool: are also showing no signs of life, buffs or not. :ultmarth: is still an inferior being.

Bets on what percentile :ulthero: converges to by the end of Phase 2?
 

KirbySquad101

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I'll say my final piece off the whole "to-nerf-or-not-to-nerf :ultjoker:"; to me, my main point with my little spiel is that nerfing Joker wouldn't make MKLeo less potent than he already is; that said, nerfs in this game haven't made much impact aside from the ones made to :ultpichu:. *cough* :ultpeach: is still ridiculous *cough*.

One last thing to consider is that Joker is bizarrely one of the only characters in the game to have a frame 8 dash grab, something that is normally only reserved for tiny characters like :ultpichu: or :ultsquirtle: (or maybe not, :ultkirby: couldn't keep his frame 8 dash grab TwT). Considering his already decent grab range at the amount of reward he gets off his grabs, I really don't quite sure if he needed that on top of everything else.

If Salem and Ryuga do continue to stick with :ulthero:, we could see him in a pretty good spot for Phase 2; somewhere around 40~50 area, perhaps? He does have some catching up to do. Apparently Pandarian tried to pick him up, but he feels the character is extremely weak right now.
 
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Thinkaman

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The Virtuous Cycle, Balance Edition:

  1. Character X wins a major.
  2. Someone suggests that X is overtuned. This post may be reasonably well informed and insightful.
  3. Someone else rushes to defend top player Y who plays X. "Y is broken, not X. Y'all are scrubs. ADAPT!" Usually the person saying this has never played competitive smash, or competitive anything.
  4. There are 10 or so chorus posts chiming in about why X can still be broken even if we admire Y's skill. All these posts suggest nerfs, but frame the nerfs as simple and elegant, usually ending with "That's all" or some other matter-of-fact platitude that makes the poster sound like a pioneering paragon of balance wisdom.
  5. There are more voices of dissent disagreeing that X needs any nerfs. Godwin's Law applies, only with Meta Knight instead of Hitler.
  6. Someone who is evidently part of Nintendo staffing goes: "Guys, guys, guys. I HAVE IT. Why don't we buff low tiers instead of nerfing top tiers?"
  7. Thinkaman or someone similarly reasonable, experienced, and weary of balance discussion points out that "nerfing top tiers" is actually the correct response to balance but that it's just as reasonable to not expect any nerfs.
  8. The Patch hits. There may or may not be nerfs. Everyone collectively: "I guess we can live with this, yeah."
  9. Character Z wins a major.
Ironically, I do think Ultimate benefits more from low-tier buffs than high-tier nerfs atm, only because things seem really stable.

It all comes down to the problem you are trying to solve and what you have to deal with. Most "balance problems" in Ultimate as we know it come down to some low tier kits just not coming together as well as intended at top level play. It makes a lot more sense to make Isabelle's trap and jab work correctly than invent new weaknesses on top tiers.

A counter-example would be card games (digital or physical), where almost all balance concerns stem from combinatoric best-case dynamics, and pretty much all you can do is address those too-good cases directly.

9+ times out of 10, people are talking about balance because there's a problem where something is too good. And the best thing to do is fix that problem rather than change everything else in the game. But in Ultimate right now, we have an absence of those problems, so there isn't much to do besides routine maintence on the Isabelles and Mewtwos of the world.
If Salem and Ryuga do continue to stick with :ulthero:, we could see him in a pretty good spot for Phase 2; somewhere around 40~50 area, perhaps? He does have some catching up to do. Apparently Pandarian tried to pick him up, but he feels the character is extremely weak right now.
I'll be pretty stunned if Hero breaks top 50, honestly.
 
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Yeah, it is a little "Um, okay, but why?"

But again, I don't want us to run down these train tracks any more. Yes, Joker isn't broken. Yes, there are plenty of small, reasonable nerfs he could potentially get one day (that he might sort of deserve--or not!) and will no way ruin the character, MKLeo, or the global economy.


We're in a weird situation right now. Normally, the majority of characters who the world considers "best" and the characters the top players main overlap pretty heavily--it's an exception when a top player plays a slightly less common character, or someone like Ness or Yoshi consistently pulls in strong regional results without a top player champion leading the way. Top players disproportionately innovate their characters and produce lots of high-quality VODs for study, further fueling the general competitive population of that character.

But according to OrionStats, we don't have an especially tight corrolation:
  • :ultwolf: continues to top the charts by a big margin despite limited top-level use--zackray's relative contribution to Wolf's aggregate results is smaller than that of any other top player to their main.
  • :ultsnake: didn't even make top 8 either of the last weekends, and MVD was only ("only") 17th on the PGR yet noteably underperformed at both those events. Yet Snake is still pulling in the second-highest character results overall, suggesting a very strong + consistent showing just below the water's surface.
  • :ultpokemontrainer: is the one exception to the exception; his performance is exactly where I'd expect.
  • :ultpalutena: is also doing way better overall than you'd expect from just watching/following Nairo, in a case similar to Zackray.
  • :ultpeach: fits the pattern too but is a little less noteworthy--I feel like everyone knows several of the second-best Peaches, who are just a step behind Samsora.
  • :ultjoker: has been discussed. There's a huge disparity between Leo's results and what everyone else has experienced. Has anyone else who switched to Joker had an improvement in results???
  • :ultwario: is also about where you'd expect.
  • But :ultzss: you'd expect to be higher. It's not as extreme as it was in Phase 1, and I don't think it's strictly the nerfs to other top tiers. Are people starting to do more with this character, learning from Marss's example?
  • And :ultmario: you'd expect to be lower (when's the last time you saw a Mario in top 8 in singles?), though like Peach a lot of us know the names of top Marios waiting just outside the peak.
  • Ditto for :ultgreninja:, and :ultinkling:.
  • I'd expect :ultolimar: to be higher, but Dabuz's recent underperformance probably contributed a lot to what we're looking at.
  • While :ultfox: and :ultlucina:, in a wild twist from phase 1, appear to be broadly underperforming relative to their peak results/usage. This is really unexpected to me.
In unrelated observations, there are some perhaps surprising signs of life from :ultlittlemac::ultbowserjr::ultpiranha: :ultkirby: and :ultridley:. All have very quickly outperformed their rate of success in Phase 1, or in Ridley's case, the absolute standstill he converged to by the end. Part of this could just be a manifestation of @DasKoopa digging deeper into results for these ultramajors, but I don't buy that dismissive explaination. (I think top 96/128 is methodologically sound for such an event) :ultpit::ultdarkpit: is also doing a bit better than he was, we'll see how that holds. :ultisabelle: seems neutral, except for her that's good news because we'd sooner expect a weaker newcomer (propelled by novelty) to lose gas and crash. (Like Ridley did.)

Speaking of :ultincineroar:, gee, Magister where are you? :ultjigglypuff::ultlucas::ultmewtwo::ultcorrin::ultkrool: are also showing no signs of life, buffs or not. :ultmarth: is still an inferior being.

Bets on what percentile :ulthero: converges to by the end of Phase 2?
Mario has been breaking out of the woodwork lately. Partly because of players like Lui$ and Stroder using him as a very prominent secondary, but also because of sleeper players like MastaMario, and Dark Wizzy finally going up to bat on his performance. He might've struck out early at EVO, but I get the impression that Smash Con is only going to be the beginning on him finally leveling up to being a player that can contend with the top 10. Thunder Smash wasn't accounted for in the rankings, but I think that tournament was generally a good display for where he's headed.

Similarly I feel that Greninja is in an interesting place where it's fortunate enough to have multiple players at an average ~Top 48 level minimum in majors, that's not a distinction held lightly considering how difficult of a character it is to play. It's relatively surprising to see it being one of the more gravitated characters as far as saturation go.

Inkling kinda has that working for them as well but the flipside is most of this is seen in regions outside of the US. Chag, Wonf and Bedgar are all Mexico based players, LetsTickle is in Canada, you've got cyve and Space in Europe, whereas Japan doesn't exactly have any notably large Inkling mains anymore outside of ProtoBanham using a secondary and Abadango in character crisis mode (though he still provided Inkling's most recent win at a national event at Just Roll With It 11 by going solo Inkling in a tournament that had players like Raito, Salt One and Kameme in attendance). I kinda wish Armada would travel for Ultimate events since I feel his Inkling is underrated, but he doesn't seem to plan on it.

Fox and Lucina kinda took a hit as far as I'm concerned because of where the meta moved. Fox was the king of the pack early on before Ultimate players learned to value defense. Conversely, as far as Lucina is concerned, I think it has more to do with player exodus rather than herself. Everyone and their attorney had a Lucina pocket but that stopped being a thing to default to once multiple players finally settled on being confident in their solo picks.

Brood has proven to me that Plant is far from Bottom 5. Not what I'd call good, but still decent.

Palutena is still really good and I don't know why I thought she was never solo viable. In the grand scheme of things I'd say the top 15-20 have all kinda proven themselves to stand tall.
 
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Thinkaman

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Random thought: I strongly suspect Ultimate Jiggs would be mid-tier in Smash 4's engine. And I'm assuming she doesn't get universal improvements that otherwise make most Ultimate characters "better". Jiggs just really hates almost everything engine-wise about Ultimate.

There's still probably room to talk about Riddles. :ultrichter:'s death may have been exaggerated.

:ultshulk: is also continuing to bring home results. He's about as successful as :ultpikachu:, who many see as a top tier or even a super-under-represented #1.
 

KirbySquad101

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I guess it would be pretty optimistic to expect :ulthero: to get that far already lol It is hard to estimate where he'll be, given that his performance look like they're hinged on only one-to-two major players.

To be fair to :ultfox:, he has been starting to perform really well once again; his performances at Super Smash Con should bring him up a notch or two, courtesy of Light, MegaFox and Lui$.

MVD has been underperforming, but :ultsnake: mains fortunately have Mr R, Scatt, and Pelca have been around to churn out the results, even if they haven't quite reached Top 8 material for the most part. I think a lot of that has safely secured him a top 5 spot for now.

As far as :ultjoker: goes, Lemmon seems to have made a major improvement after switching from :ultdaisy:; he placed 5th at Pinnacle, and then 17th at Super Smash Con 2019, which beats out his Genesis 6 and MomoCon performances (he got 129th and 49th there respectively).

I honestly expected :ultyoshi: to be higher, given that the green dinosaur seems to be EVERYWHERE (thanks to Saurez, Snoop, Meme, Seth, and Squerk) and is almost always responsible for a major upset or two at a big tournament. I imagine he hasn't made very notable placements lately.

I'm hoping a :ultmario: solo main is able to get into top 8 soon, DW's performance at Thunder Smash definitely has me convinced he has the potential to make it there. For now, though, he seems to be in a very comfortable spot atm.
 
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L9999

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:ultpokemontrainerf: is so strong because they can change the MU on the fly. You know that thing when top players pick random characters (ehem:ultganondorf:) in an attempt to shift their opponent's mind? :ultpokemontrainerf:does that without switching in the CSS, and they can do it multiple times per game.

Something that developed from the Leffen/Wishes days and I think is the reason of :ultpokemontrainerf:'s rise is the use of :ultcharizard:. :ultsquirtle::ultivysaur:do most of the work, but at high % the most threatening without a question is :ultcharizard:, with his meaty hitboxes that hit really freaking hard, Puppeh beat Samsora with a Bair at 45%. :ultcharizard:also preys on the negative associations given to characters his type (fat, can't land, slow). :ultivysaur:also has psychological factor because its Dair is still really stupid. You can see from every video with :ultpokemontrainerf:that players take awkward recovery options to not get Dair'd, which gives it an easier time edgeguarding people. Uair does the same but for juggle situations, its hitbox is gigantic and hits like a truck, so players tend to take suboptimal landings and get hit by Nair, only to got sideways up where :ultivysaur:likes its victims.

A lot of the top tiers have psychological factors that make them as strong as they are.

:ultpeach:touches you? You eat 40-70% and likely end in a horrible position.

:ultjoker:denies leads with Arsene and his comebacks are really demoralizing because Arsene is inevitable.

:ultwario:Waft is pretty much Arsene.

Not that any of this characters are broken or whatever, but they play with your mind.
 
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williamsga555

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Random thought: I strongly suspect Ultimate Jiggs would be mid-tier in Smash 4's engine. And I'm assuming she doesn't get universal improvements that otherwise make most Ultimate characters "better". Jiggs just really hates almost everything engine-wise about Ultimate.
This seems about right, yeah. I mentioned it in a much earlier page in the thread, but I wouldn't be shocked if Jiggs ended up being the worst singles character in Ultimate, and it's almost exclusively because she's actively fighting every new mechanic in addition to her opponent...I don't think many characters have ever wept harder in game transitions than Jiggs did with the new airdodges.
 
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