Official Competitive Character Impressions 2.0

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Nope I haven't seen any top 16 results with Joker by anyone except MKLeo. Instead of guessing around throw up some links and facts. I know it'd be a pain but I have yet to see a Joker main or Secondary aside from MKLeo win anything.
 

The_Bookworm

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Also, I thought Leon was a Bowser main, not Lucina. I also don't like only seeing one Lucina.
Leon from UFA 2019 is a completely different Leon.

Leon, the Bowser player, is labeled as "LeoN".

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I think Joker personally is a great contender for #1 in the game, not only because Leo keeps winning with the character, but because the Joker playerbase has considerably grown since Leo first dominated tournaments with him. We have the notable players such as Lemmon, Wishes, Eim, and Zackray (prior to focusing on R.O.B.) doing quite a lot of work with the character. Japan nowadays is sprawling with Joker players.

Leo may not be taking tournaments with an iron fist as much as the second-half of season, and his best players may not quite have the result peak ratio to their best player as other top/high tiers with a big amount of representation (such as Palutena, R.O.B., and Mario), but it still pretty great nevertheless.
 

Arthur97

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The main problem is that the Joker players still seem to do worse than others. Just because there are more of them doesn't suddenly make them outperform other fighters. Also, even Leo's cracks might be showing with Joker.
 

Gearkeeper-8a

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You all seems to really want a best character in this game, is that really that important?? the game is still young and there still DLC characters, don't get me wrong the subject of what is the best character is important because we can analize why that character is the best, how they morph the metagame around them and how much they abuse the game mechanics, but i think the powerlevel between characters is too close to get such information, maybe in a year or two we can get a better picture of the meta game.
 

TimG57867

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Nope I haven't seen any top 16 results with Joker by anyone except MKLeo. Instead of guessing around throw up some links and facts. I know it'd be a pain but I have yet to see a Joker main or Secondary aside from MKLeo win anything.
Taking a quick look at some of the :ultjoker: players listed on the ssbwiki page here:

https://www.ssbwiki.com/Joker_(SSBU)

The gap in resume between MkLeo and the rest listed....is pretty noticeable. The 2 solo Joker's with the biggest achievements outside of Mkleo are Lemmon with a rather impressive 17th at Super Smash Con 2019 and Eim with a 33rd at EVO 2019 (both Category 6s on the TTS). But as lovely as those placings are, many other characters were able to place like that and outside of these placings these 2 have strong records but not ones you can call truly dominating.

Then when you look beyond them, something becomes immediately noticeable: many of Joker's most famous users are not full on mains. The page has players like Stroder, Tsu, and Wrath listed but many of the people co-main him or use him as a pocket/secondary. Even Zackray who recently announced maining him found himself still dabbles with many other characters in brackets while Void who was adamant in making him work for a while seems to be drifting back to his roots in :ultpichu::ultsheik:.

Joker being neck in neck with :ultwolf: on the OrionStats could be rather fitting because if this page is anything to go by, both he and Wolf seem to have bolstered their scores due less to having a bunch of dominating players and more to being very popular at all levels of play while having a bunch of capable high level players who can make nice placings at majors even if they don't outright win while also being very popular as pockets/secondaries/comains even amognst top players. Although because of Mkleo Joker is probably a lot more top heavy in that regard. Removing Mkleo's points Joker's total would probably have a FAR more profound effect on his overall score than taking out whoever the most contributing Wolf player for Phase 2 would.

So basically as ubiquitous as the phrase "It's just Mkleo" is, it actually has merit to it. We have a few high/top level Jokers that get solid placings at these super stacked tournies, but when it comes to outright winning the big things, it really only seems to Mkleo who's widely agreed to be the outright best player in the world. Outside of him, the Jokers either just don't place as highly or consistently as he does or aren't as invested or commited to the character to the point that they truly push him. Now obviously we all know that you can't just discredit a character's objective abilities by saying that their players' skill infaltes their performance. But when you're trying to argue a definitive best character in the game, only having 1 player get the kind of results you'd expect from a flat out best character in the game with said player having fundamentals so good that he near singlehandedly made people dogpile on :ultike: of all characters early on for being overpowered (seriously I can't remember the last time I saw someone claim he's busted) , it doesn't exactly help your argument. If Joker had a nice sized pool of potent players not too far below Mkleo in competence getting results around the place while Mkleo dominated his case would definitely look a lot stronger. As is, the results aren't quite just there yet and while Joker's theory is superb, a lot of other characters boast potent theory too.

We'll just have to wait and see if the Jokers below Mkleo start to show up higher and more consistently. More folks are dabbling into Joker compared to when Mkleo started taking names with him a few months ago, but the playerbase still has a ton of catch up to play with consistently putting out results comparable to his.
 

Arthur97

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I mean, I still don't like that fair. It probably contributes to me not using him all that much despite me liking the character. I tend to prefer more honest moves for stuff like that. Having a fair that doesn't, you know, go forward as much as it goes down is something I don't personally like. That said, more skilled players (haven't really seen them at work) could potentially use it even better than the old one.
 

Rran

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I mean, I still don't like that fair. It probably contributes to me not using him all that much despite me liking the character. I tend to prefer more honest moves for stuff like that. Having a fair that doesn't, you know, go forward as much as it goes down is something I don't personally like. That said, more skilled players (haven't really seen them at work) could potentially use it even better than the old one.
The bolded part confuses me... what do you mean by "honest" in this context? I've only seen this word used (in fighting game jargon) when describing a move(set)/ character as something that's "fair."

EDIT: ...and now that I think about it, what could be more fair that a fighter's fair? ;p
 
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DJ3DS

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So :ultrob: just won a supermajor. Well, sort of. But before celebrating that and drawing hasty conclusions from it (other than the fact Zackray is sick) I think it's really important to note the amount of counterpicks he used.Z Zackray had to CP both Nairos Palutena (a popular character who serves as a blanket check to any Rob in bracket) and Maisters GW (one of the several other less popular characters who gives ROB a ton of trouble). There are several other characters that make ROBs gameplan very hard to execute, and in spite of this win I still don't believe ROB is solo viable at the top level.
 
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Looks like Myst really plans on dropping :ultzelda: after getting 65th at TBH9.
Meaning Ven will remein the only Zelda player at high to top-level play which kinda suggs.

But yeah, she needs better nAir and From-ledge option. She's trapped endlessly on the ledge against multiple characters.
 
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Arthur97

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The bolded part confuses me... what do you mean by "honest" in this context? I've only seen this word used (in fighting game jargon) when describing a move(set)/ character as something that's "fair."

EDIT: ...and now that I think about it, what could be more fair that a fighter's fair? ;p
Fair as in moved that function how you would expect them to. In this case, something like Volcano Kick would be another example Something that doesn't function like a normal up tilt meaning you are kind of without a quick upward hitting grounded move that so many others have. In a similar vein, the bomb just doesn't function like a typical fair.
 

Impax

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I know a lot of people remain skeptical of wiifit trainer due to lack of results but her mains are beginning to come through even without a top player.

Despite no wiifits being seeded in the top 100 3 managed to place within the top 100. (Stas and CPU at 33rd and Acestarthe3rd at 97th)

This is following the trend of wiifit mains moving up on their local PR. (See varun, adastran and stas). And then other recent performances at tournaments like mainstage. Not to mention John Numbers picking her back up

Personally, I think theres probanly 10-15 wiifit mains in the world that have shown the ability to top 64 a major. So give it another year and we may begin to have those breakthrough to0 16 performancess people are looking for.
 
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|RK|

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You know, maybe we shouldn't have discussed whether Leo was the only great Joker, that discussion didn't exactly age well.
Ehhhhh

It aged fine for two reasons:

1) Leo was/is still far and away the best Joker
2) Zackray's Joker, while good, was part of a LARGE supporting cast
 

SwagGuy99

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I still think :ultpikachu:and :ultpeach: are the best in the game and while the gap between them and the next best character isn't huge, they do great against just about every character on paper and in practice. Other possible contenders for Top 5 IMO are:ultpokemontrainer::ultzss::ultroy::ultjoker::ultlucina:.
 

TimG57867

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You know, maybe we shouldn't have discussed whether Leo was the only great Joker, that discussion didn't exactly age well.
No one said Leo was the only great Joker. The point was he’s the only one getting the kind of results you’d expect the definitive best character to get and if anything The Big House 9 highlighted that.

As RK said, Zackray went many characters in bracket with his :ultrob: in particular winning a lot of the key sets so you can’t really credit the overall performance to his Joker.

Looking here:

https://www.ssbwiki.com/Tournament:The_Big_House_9

The other Jokers present placed a fair bit lower with Ned at 13th, Wishes at 17th, and dyr at 49th. And none of them played solely Joker either. A large portion of Ned’s bracket was done with :ultpokemontrainer: while Wishes pulled out :ultpokemontrainerf: and :ulttoonlink: and dyr used :ultbanjokazooie: and :ultdiddy:.

This tournament really just reinforced the notion that MkLeo is currently the only one who is regular getting dominate placings with Primarily Joker. The other Jokers either don’t place as well, use other characters a lot for bracket, or a combination.
 
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Ziodyne 21

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Just to point out the huge roster of charatets Zackray used ij this path to victory st Big House 9. Here is what he used from top64 thoigh GF

:ultrob: vs Cosmos

:ultrob: vs Tweek

:ultgnw:vs RFang

:ultcorrin::ultjoker: vs First set vs Maister but neithet got a game in the set

:ultrob: vs Runback match with Tweek

:ultwolf::ultjoker: vs Nairo

:ultsonic::ultjoker: vs rematch vs Maister. He lost the first two sets as Sonic and got the reverse 3-0 with Joker


:ultwolf: vs the first GF set vs Dabuz to reset the bracket, and finally .l back to :ultrob: to take the tounament.

So taking characters he actullay wom sets with. That is :ultrob::ultjoker::ultwolf::ultgnw:. So those membere was Zackrays' ensemble cast if characters were the winners of this supermajor.
 
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blackghost

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game and watch may actually be a legit top tier (not just high tier).

before you continue to read this no i dont regard lightwieght as a negative or even worth talking about.

From game and watch i've seen the following traits:
an OOS option that legit resets neutral

good frame data jab is frame 4, ftilt is frame 8, dtilt frame 6, frame nair, up b is frame 3 and invincible (frame 5).

his normals often have unique quirks and properties fsmash on shield into dtilt is a huge frame trap. bucket hilariously invalidates moves and characters. fair is good. different but good game and watch is one of two characters that can use a bomb that cannot hit them for being close to it. no kill throw but reacting to the di makes players get surprised.
judge existing cannot be understated.
i don't know how well he does mu wise across the game but i do feel game and watch has unique and strong tools that warrant him in top tier.
 

Gleam

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Looks like Myst really plans on dropping :ultzelda: after getting 65th at TBH9.
Meaning Ven will remein the only Zelda player at high to top-level play which kinda suggs.

But yeah, she needs better nAir and From-ledge option. She's trapped endlessly on the ledge against multiple characters.
Mysterica, Riddles and so many others attitudes paints the constant negative picture that anyone using a character not currently ranked in the Top 16 on Orion faces. This bitter, almost resentful hatred of a system that they feel keeps them back. There's nothing but bitterness and even the more optimistic of these players show off a level of bitterness. Bitter resentment that they can't use a character they clearly like and have put so much effort in because they hit a wall and the only way to pass that way seemingly, is to switch to a better character.


I think what seriously needs to be implemented now is a Tier Tournament system, a system of tournaments in which characters are broken down into similar groups, if only High/Top and Bottom/Low/Mid. Maybe one day :ultzelda: will get an epic patch and become a crazy High/Top Tier, but for now, let's assume she's never going to be that good. Instead of trying to force her to win a majority of matches she may just not be good at, let her and everyone else fight on their level, not :ultsnake:'s level or :ultpalutena:'s level.

Such a new system would motivate players from this bitter resentment of characters they clearly like and clearly want to put effort in. It would do something that so many players miss about a game.

Having fun.

Winning would feel like a personal accomplishment in which you won because of your skill and not because the other player didn't know how to use their superior character correctly. Losing would motivate you to improve if you believe your loss came from an issue as a player and not an issue with your character. At the cost of possibly lesser reward compared to an actual "all character" tournament, you could have fun. Fun to use the character you've always wanted to use and not be bitter.

I'm going to be paraphrasing but there was some time ago, an article about steroid use in things like sports (which that doesn't matter here) but there was a very notable line by a runner in the Olympics who was devastated that no matter what she did, she could never do well, much less beat these steroid enhanced other players. She compared it to facing off against an impossible robot. No matter the effort she put in, she would never be on that level. How could flesh possibly beat machine?

That analogy and idea fits perfectly with all of this. :ultzelda: isn't a bad character. :ultrichter: is not a bad character. :ultpiranha: is not a bad character.

It's not that these characters are total garbage...it's just that :ultsnake: is the ****ing Terminator, Judgement Day has come, and he's brought his army of other Top Tier Terminators to beat your *** senseless and toss you into the bin.
 

FruitLoop

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game and watch may actually be a legit top tier (not just high tier).

before you continue to read this no i dont regard lightwieght as a negative or even worth talking about.

From game and watch i've seen the following traits:
an OOS option that legit resets neutral

good frame data jab is frame 4, ftilt is frame 8, dtilt frame 6, frame nair, up b is frame 3 and invincible (frame 5).

his normals often have unique quirks and properties fsmash on shield into dtilt is a huge frame trap. bucket hilariously invalidates moves and characters. fair is good. different but good game and watch is one of two characters that can use a bomb that cannot hit them for being close to it. no kill throw but reacting to the di makes players get surprised.
judge existing cannot be understated.
i don't know how well he does mu wise across the game but i do feel game and watch has unique and strong tools that warrant him in top tier.
I mean, I do agree somewhat but I do want to give it time before I truly call him top tier. Imo Game and Watch Up-B is by FAR the best move in the game, even better than Snake's Nikita imo. While Nikita invalidates half of the cast alone, G&W Up-B invalidates pretty much every character alone except for maybe ZSS and Palutena or another G&W. Coming out frame 3 with a ludicrously good hitbox that sets up into whatever he wants for free alongside making every one of G&W's moves superbly safe due to this ONE move means that G&W has an absurd defensive game for a "Lightweight". There's actually no REAL counterplay for the move due to G&W's lack of freefall on the move and he still can double jump, use a suprisingly safe down-air, double fullhop fair, nair to catch other landings and air to air alongside having a hitbox below him for free, etc. When mixed with every other one of G&W's moves, I feel like trampoline alone could make G&W a future top tier when optimized.
 

Vyrnx

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Yeah, Joker making possible an S tier win by a non-Leo player through multiple game wins over a few of the best players in the world, making use of many of the same things that Leo uses to win almost every major--proving that everything Leo does with the character is entirely replicable (which should already have been obvious--Leo isn't better than Joker)--really drives it home for me that this performance, contrary to bolstering Joker's position as clearly in contention for best in the game, should actually be used as evidence for Joker being overrated.

wtf
 
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VodkaHaze

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game and watch may actually be a legit top tier (not just high tier).

before you continue to read this no i dont regard lightwieght as a negative or even worth talking about.

From game and watch i've seen the following traits:
an OOS option that legit resets neutral

good frame data jab is frame 4, ftilt is frame 8, dtilt frame 6, frame nair, up b is frame 3 and invincible (frame 5).

his normals often have unique quirks and properties fsmash on shield into dtilt is a huge frame trap. bucket hilariously invalidates moves and characters. fair is good. different but good game and watch is one of two characters that can use a bomb that cannot hit them for being close to it. no kill throw but reacting to the di makes players get surprised.
judge existing cannot be understated.
i don't know how well he does mu wise across the game but i do feel game and watch has unique and strong tools that warrant him in top tier.
The worst match-ups for :ultgnw: tend to be characters with large disjointed hitboxes, like :ultlucina: or :ultshulk: because they can keep him at arm's length. It's why zackray switched to :ultcorrin: against Maister because of the range (though I don't know who wins in that match-up).
 

Gearkeeper-8a

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Mysterica, Riddles and so many others attitudes paints the constant negative picture that anyone using a character not currently ranked in the Top 16 on Orion faces. This bitter, almost resentful hatred of a system that they feel keeps them back. There's nothing but bitterness and even the more optimistic of these players show off a level of bitterness. Bitter resentment that they can't use a character they clearly like and have put so much effort in because they hit a wall and the only way to pass that way seemingly, is to switch to a better character.


I think what seriously needs to be implemented now is a Tier Tournament system, a system of tournaments in which characters are broken down into similar groups, if only High/Top and Bottom/Low/Mid. Maybe one day :ultzelda: will get an epic patch and become a crazy High/Top Tier, but for now, let's assume she's never going to be that good. Instead of trying to force her to win a majority of matches she may just not be good at, let her and everyone else fight on their level, not :ultsnake:'s level or :ultpalutena:'s level.

Such a new system would motivate players from this bitter resentment of characters they clearly like and clearly want to put effort in. It would do something that so many players miss about a game.

Having fun.

Winning would feel like a personal accomplishment in which you won because of your skill and not because the other player didn't know how to use their superior character correctly. Losing would motivate you to improve if you believe your loss came from an issue as a player and not an issue with your character. At the cost of possibly lesser reward compared to an actual "all character" tournament, you could have fun. Fun to use the character you've always wanted to use and not be bitter.

I'm going to be paraphrasing but there was some time ago, an article about steroid use in things like sports (which that doesn't matter here) but there was a very notable line by a runner in the Olympics who was devastated that no matter what she did, she could never do well, much less beat these steroid enhanced other players. She compared it to facing off against an impossible robot. No matter the effort she put in, she would never be on that level. How could flesh possibly beat machine?

That analogy and idea fits perfectly with all of this. :ultzelda: isn't a bad character. :ultrichter: is not a bad character. :ultpiranha: is not a bad character.

It's not that these characters are total garbage...it's just that :ultsnake: is the ****ing Terminator, Judgement Day has come, and he's brought his army of other Top Tier Terminators to beat your *** senseless and toss you into the bin.
The thing is that nobody is forcing them to use these characters, improving yourself as players should come from you not thanks to a system, and considering you a 70 growing roster with small gaps between characters how you can say that this is feasible? considering how fast some opinions on characters change I cant see this system working or being good, example 3 months ago people were talking how bad :ultgnw: and :ultpiranha: were and how snake would dominante the meta game, now a solo mr game and watch did better that some of the best snakes in this system you can choose any character so there is not problem in logístics because any character can be used, in your system the pool of characters will change regulary to the point that specialist players will have to learn new characters because now suddenly their mid tier or low tier is considered high tier or to the contrary top tier, sorry but I dont see this system being good for this game, character variety is already great it could be better yes, but the game is in a good place.
 

AxelVDP

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G&W has stubby range, average mobility and a REAL hard time of getting in and creating pressure. (no range, no forward facing aerials, no fast anti airs)
the thing is, he is an uncommon matchup and thus very few players actually know how to deal with him.
If you're approaching G&W you're playing the matchup wrong. rushing him just means getting up B'd, which puts you in a disadvantageous position and prone to his juggling
there was a set recently (I believe it was maister vs esam, can't remember which tourney tho) that showcased exactly this, when esam was playing slowly he had no trouble with G&W (and you could clearly see G&W struggling vs mobility camping), maister was still able to keep the matches competitive because at random times esam forgot he should not approach G&W
 
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We really wildly overrating GnW today.

Here I thought I’d come into some wild ROB knee-jerking, but instead it’s about everyone’s favorite 2D character.

As AxelVDP AxelVDP noted, what’s this character gonna do against a a defensive opponent with a disjoint? Sausage? For real? Fair?

Come on.

GnW suffers similar issues to say, Luigi: bottom line is he has to get in, somehow. Luigi has a pretty nice fireball to condition, and GnW has a great disadvantage, but why are you getting close anyway?

“But he has bucket!”

Cool? So he gets to store three charges of whatever projectile and turns it into... a shorter range version of whatever he stored. It’s a much less impressive version of Villager’s pocket, and does only so much to dissuade projectile users from harassing him and forcing an approach.
 
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How has Maister been doing as well as he has been? Is it because people, even top level players, suck at the match-up? Is it because Maister is just that strong of player? Is it because :ultgnw: is a high tier and a possible top tier?

I feel like it's probably a combination of all three things, and I should go into them one by one:

- Like it or not, the match-up inexperience does hold some weight. While there are other strong G&Ws out there (Extra and Frido come to mind), one is only available in Australia, and the other is only available in Chile. That mainly leaves Maister left, and while there are players who play with him a lot (MKLeo, Gluttony, Nairo, Dabuz come to mind), there are others who are who are not so lucky (Light definitely comes to mind here). If you read any of his tweets/comments, you will know that ESAM is NOT a fan of G&W in the slightest, and the biggest reason I can come up with is that for someone who has such an aggressive playstyle with such an aggressive character (:ultpikachu:), G&W forces you to play the slow and campy game. Do you really think ESAM, the dude who wants his 70% combo off of a grab as fast as possible, would be on board with that? He tried that both at Combo Breaker and Full Bloom, and it worked disastrously for him. Then think about who Light used when he fought Maister at Super Smash Con: :ultfox:. Again, much like ESAM at Full Bloom/Combo Breaker, Light kept trying to force an opening, whether it was attacking right into his shield or jumping right into up smashes, and guess what? The set was a total cakewalk for Maister. To me, I think the biggest sign that a player isn't well versed in a match-up is when they end up getting 2/3-stocked multiple times in one set, which is kiiiiiiiiinda what happened in Maister's clash with Gluttony in Smash Factor 8. That said, to say that Maister got this far only based on match-up inexperience would be an absolute disservice both to Maister's skill and G&W's viability, which leads me into my second point:

- Yes, Maister is one hell of a player. If match-up inexperience was the only thing that carried G&W, then we would be seeing Widget or Dingus Joe doing much better than they currently have been. The thing is, even when players know what to do against G&W, Maister knows how to switch up his play and keep up with the best of them; the only player I feel can actually consistently beat him is probably just MKLeo. We've seen him keep up with players like ESAM, Samsora, Marss, zackray, shuton, yeti, Dabuz and Gluttony even WHEN they know how they dance around G&W's BS. And the biggest contributing factor to that is that he takes G&W's few strong tools in neutral and knows exactly when to use them. If he sees a player is throwing out aerials all willy nilly, he'll jump up when the time is right and NAir through that aerial, or in most instances, he'll shield and go for the classic up B, or for safety measures, he'll BAir through it because it is one of the few attacks that contest swordies. If he sees that a player is being too defensive/shielding in anticipation of an aerial, he'll either use his Fair which takes a dump on shields, or in the case of him being in the ground, he'll go for a grab because G&W's grab is massively disjointed. When the opponent is offstage, he'll know when to use G&W's BAir/DAir/Chef. When he sees that a player is getting too comfortable with camping/playing patient, he'll know when to bust out the bucket or when to hop around with his massively disjointed NAir or when to start going full aggro with his grab/Dash Attack. Perfect example of this is game 5 in ESAM's set against Maister at Super Smash Con.

If you recall, ESAM switched up his strategy after game 3 to start playing more patiently and wait for an opening. This worked extremely well for ESAM in Games 3 and 4. Problem is, when he tried that strategy game 5, Maister ended up playing far more aggressively, going for grabs and dash attacks that ESAM wasn't mentally prepared for. And that was catching ESAM off guard BADLY to a point where Maister ended up 3 stocking him. Quite possibly the most hypnotizing thing about his gameplay is that Maister takes a character who, theoretically, has a lacking neutral and makes it work. He was able to make dash attack and grab work in his set against ESAM because Maister knew when to actually start using it. It's easy to say "ESAM didn't know what to do!", but there's no denying that Maister's adaptability was incredible in that set, and his use of G&W's neutral tools was on point Game 5. And when Maister finds the opening with G&W, the reward he gets off of it is rich; to me, that's the biggest thing that's separating Maister from all the other G&W mains at the moment.

The biggest problem with Maister's gameplay is the same as most others not named MKLeo: Desperation and pressure. And that's when you see Maister fall behind the most: In many instances (against both Marss and Dabuz), Maister will just choke up really badly and randomly SD. When an opponent is up at a high percent and if they're a stock above or if they're both at their last stock, Maister will start getting desperate for an USmash/DSmash kill, and it'll cost him the set. And I've noticed this in particular against zackray, but much like LeoN, he'll start getting too willy nilly with throwing out his DAir, and while it is without a doubt, one of the best fastfall DAirs in the game, it's also easy to predict if you start using it too much. It's clear he still has room to grow, but when the chips are down, Maister DOES know how to adapt to his opponents, regardless of how well they know the match-up. He just has to do better at not choking game 5 and then he'll get real good at abusing G&W's baloney.

- Now onto my final point. Let's get his out of the way: Match-up inexperience does paint :ultgnw: to be a much better character than he actually is, and like others said, G&W's biggest problem is a generally mediocre neutral. Or rather, a lack of strong neutral tools. He has the tools for a manageable neutral (FAir, NAir, Jab, Grab, Chef, BAir, Dash Attack, Shield, Up B), but you GOTTA know when to use them, because they come with their set of drawbacks. Yes, even Up B, as stupid as it is, has its problems; if you whiff the move, you're essentially relinquishing stage control to the opponent. Then it becomes YOUR job to try return to neutral, and while this is manageable, it's nevertheless a position you don't want to be in. NAir is defintiely one of his best tools for neutral, but it lacks much horizontal range, so you need to know how close you need to be to the opponent to land it. Grab and Jab come with their own drawbacks in that G&W's ground mobility is only average, and FAir is only solid for reading an opponent's spotdoge or shield. Chef is good, but it's also laggy, and it leaves G&W vulnerable if the opponent is in his face already. Dash Attack is great in that it has a lot range and crosses up shields, but in the case that it DOESN'T cross up a shield, you're eating a grab for that. That leaves BAir, which is G&W's best neutral tool in my opinion as it's the only one that doesn't have a gaping flaw compared to his other neutral tools. That said, it doesn't leave him with a ton of reward. Main point of this is that as a whole, he doesn't have a neutral tool that's anywhere near as practical as Mario's BAir, Palutena's Fair, or Lucina's... everything.

Now, I don't think his neutral is outright terrible; from what we've seen from Maister, it is manageable enough for most, if not, all situations. I also don't think there's any match-ups that are so bad you need a secondary for them (though :ultcloud: and his neverending tirade of BAirs comes close to that), and the "just use disjoints" argument doesn't hold much weight when you consider how well zackray, Maister, Dingus Joe, Extra, and Frido are able to handle swordies/characters with strong disjoints, particularly :ultlucina:, :ultchrom:, and :ultpalutena:. It gives G&W trouble, but destroys him? I've yet to see that come to play, but nevertheless, it does give him a hard time, and it is a legit issue. It's not really something you can just gloss over it, and it should be something to consider when determining how good G&W is.

That said, most people probably should be glad that G&W is held back from a mediocre neutral, because he's kind of just bogus everywhere else. In other words, he's very much a character that kind of has the answer for everything; all of his attacks play a role and they all serve to keep the opponent on their toes. Most already know what he's good at so I'll keep it brief: NAir/Grab lead into massive damage racking combos, FTilt is fast and kills, which makes it a great OoS, USmash/DSmash are safe on block, hard to contest, and can turn the tide in G&W's favor almost instantly, UAir combos forever and keeps people in disadvantage, BAir contests most aerials and is great for edgeguarding, DAir makes sure you have to respect him in disadvantage, Chef is oppressive at the ledge, Bucket helps mix up his recovery and deals with projectiles, Judge is a last resort to sack a game, Dash Attack 2-frames and is an absurd burst option, Fire makes people pull their hair out with how stupid of an OoS option it is, etc. I've talked a little with Maister about this, and he agrees with me in the sense that G&W is very "all-roundish" in this game. He sacrifices a rich neutral and weight to have the ability to essentially do whatever he wants at any time. Now where exactly does this leave him as a character in terms of viability? I can't really give a clear answer to that, at least not yet.

I am VERY hesitant in calling him a potential top tier, both for two reasons: 1. A lacking neutral IS a glaring issue, which is something that most other top tiers don't suffer from, and 2. Outside of zackray, Maister, and to a lesser extent, Extra, we have yet to see a major breakout in G&Ws at a high level, compared to other top tiers like :ultpalutena:, :ultzss:, :ultsnake:, or even :ultmario:. I'm not saying it can never happen, but until it does, I think we should remain cautious, at least for now.

That said, if Maister is able to do this consistently well 10 months into the game, especially compared to other character specialists (particularly Raito:ultduckhunt:, Elegant :ultluigi:, and T :ultlink:), that tells me two things: 1. Maister ain't just carried by match-up inexperience alone, and 2. :ultgnw: is a viable high tier threat. Top tier? I personally disagree, I think his lacking neutral holds him back a bit too much, but we'll see. Maybe Maister will prove us wrong? Who knows.

That's just my two cents as a (cautiously optimistic) G&W main lol.
 
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Arthur97

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How has Maister been doing as well as he has been? Is it because people, even top level players, suck at the match-up? Is it because Maister is just that strong of player? Is it because :ultgnw: is a high tier and a possible top tier?

I feel like it's probably a combination of all three things (minus the last bit), and I should go into them one by one:

- Like it or not, the match-up inexperience does hold some weight. While there are other strong G&Ws out there (Extra and Frido come to mind), one is only available in Australia, and the other is only available in Chile. That mainly leaves Maister left, and while there are players who play with him a lot (MKLeo, Gluttony, Nairo, Dabuz come to mind), there are others who are who are not so lucky (Light definitely comes to mind here). If you read any of his tweets/comments, you will know that ESAM is NOT a fan of G&W in the slightest, and the biggest reason I can come up with is that for someone who has such an aggressive playstyle with such an aggressive character (:ultpikachu:), G&W forces you to play the slow and campy game. Do you really think ESAM would be on board with that? You can tell in their set at Super Smash Con 2019, game 5 was really when ESAM started trying so hard to steamroll over Maister, and what happened? Maister 3-stocked him. Then think about who Light uses when he fought Maister next: :ultfox:. Again, Light kept trying to force an opening, whether it was attacking right into his shield or jumping right into up smashes, and as a result, the set was a total cakewalk for Maister. To me, I think the biggest signs that a player isn't well versed in a match-up is when they end up getting 2/3-stocked multiple times in one set, which is kinda the opposite of what happened with Gluttony in Smash Factor 8. That said, to say that Maister got this far only based on match-up inexperience would be an absolute disservice both to Maister's skill and G&W's viability, which leads me into my second point:

- Yes, Maister is one hell of a player. If match-up inexperience was the only thing that carried G&W, then we would be seeing Widget or Dingus Joe doing much better than they have. The thing is, even when players know what to do against G&W, Maister knows how to switch up his play and keep up with the best of them; the only player I feel can actually consistently beat him is probably just MKLeo. We've seen him keep up with players like ESAM, Samsora, Marss, zackray, Dabuz and Gluttony even WHEN they know how they dance around G&W's BS. And the biggest contributing factor to that is that he takes G&W's few strong tools in neutral and knows exactly when to use them. If he see a player is throwing out aerials all willy nilly, he'll jump up when the time is right and NAir through that aerial, or in most instances, he'll shield and go for the classic up B, or for safety measures, he'll BAir through it because it is one of the few attacks that contest swordies. If he sees that a player is being too defensive/shielding in anticipation of an aerial, he'll either use his Fair which takes a dump on shields, or in the case of him being in the ground, he'll go for a grab because G&W's grab is massively disjointed. When he sees that a player is getting too comfortable with camping, he'll know when to bust out the bucket and/or when to hop around with his massively disjointed NAir. And as of now, he's gotten way better at when to properly extend a lead. And while doing so may only give him 50% damage instead of 60%, it's much better than the possibility of losing stage control. When the opponent is offstage, he'll know when to use G&W's BAir/DAir/Chef. Quite possibly the hypnotizing thing about his gameplay is that Maister takes a character who, theoretically, has a lacking neutral and makes it work. And when he does, the reward he gets off of it is rich.

The biggest problem with Maister's gameplay is the same as most others not named MKLeo: Desperation and pressure. And that's when you see Maister fall behind the most: In many instances (against both Marss and Dabuz), Maister will just choke up really badly and randomly SD. When an opponent is up at a high percent and if they're a stock above or if they're both at their last stock, Maister will really start getting desperate for am USmash/DSmash, and it'll cost him the set. And I've noticed this in particular against zackray, but much like LeoN, he'll start get too willy nilly with throwing out his DAir, and while it is without a doubt, one of the best fastfall DAirs in the game, it's also easy to predict if you start using it too much. It's clear he still has room to grow, but when the chips are down, Maister DOES know how to adapt to his opponents, regardless of how well they know the match-up. He just has to do better at not choking game 5 and then he'll get real good at abusing G&W's baloney.

- Now onto my final point. Let's get his out of the way, match-up inexperience does paint :ultgnw: to be a much better character than he actually is, and like others said, G&W's biggest problem is a generally mediocre neutral. Or rather, a lack of strong neutral tools. He has the tools for a manageable neutral (FAir, NAir, Jab, Grab, Chef, BAir, Dash Attack, Shield, UpB), but you GOTTA know when to use them, because they come with their set of drawbacks. Yes, even Up B, as stupid as it is, has its problems; if you whiff the move, you're essentially relinquishing stage control to the opponent. Then it becomes YOUR job to try return to neutral. NAir is defintiely one of his best tools for neutral, but it lacks much horizontal range, so you need to know when it's okay to use it. Grab and Jab come with their own drawbacks in that G&W's ground mobility is only average, and FAir is only solid for reading an opponent's spotdoge or shield. Chef is good, but it's also laggy, and it leaves G&W vulnerable if the opponent is in his face already. Dash Attack is great in that it has a lot range and crosses up shields, but in the case that it DOESN'T cross up a shield, you're eating a grab for that. That leaves BAir, which is G&W's best neutral tool in my opinion as it's the only one that doesn't have a gaping flaw compared to his other neutral tools. That said, it doesn't leave him with a ton of reward. Main point of this is that as a whole, he doesn't have a neutral tool that's anywhere near as practical as Mario's BAir, Palutena's Fair, or Lucina's... everything.

Now, I don't think there's any match-ups that are so bad you need a secondary for them (though :ultcloud: and his neverending tirade of BAirs comes close to that), and the "just use disjoints" argument doesn't hold much weight when you consider how well zackray, Maister, Dingus Joe, and Frido are able to handle swordies/characters with strong disjoints, particularly :ultlucina: and :ultpalutena:. It gives G&W trouble, but destroys him? I've yet to see that come to play, but nevertheless, it does give him a hard time, and it is a legit issue. It's not really something you can just gloss over it, and it should be something to consider when determining how good G&W is.

That said, most people probably should glad that G&W is held back from a mediocre neutral, because he's kind of just bogus everywhere else. In other words, he's very much a character that kind of has the answer for everything; all of his attacks play a role and they all serve to keep the opponent on their toes. Most already know what he's good at so I'll keep it brief: NAir/Grab lead into massive damage racking combos, FTilt is fast and kills, which makes it a great OoS, USmash/DSmash are safe on block, hard to contest, and can turn the tide in G&W's favor almost instantly, UAir combos forever and keeps people in disadvantage, BAir contests most aerials and is great for edge guarding, DAir makes sure you have to respect him in disadvantage, Chef is oppressive at the ledge, Bucket helps mix up his recovery and deals with projectiles, Judge is a last resort to sack a game, Dash Attack 2-frames and catches most landing options, Fire makes people pull their hair out with how stupid of an OoS option it is, etc. I've talked a little with Maister about this, and he agrees with me in the sense that G&W is very "all-roundish" in this game. He sacrifices a rich neutral and weight to have the ability to essentially do whatever he wants at any time. Now where exactly does this leave him as a character in terms of viability? I can't really give a clear answer to that, at least not yet.

I am VERY hesitant in calling him a potential top tier, both for two reasons: 1. A lacking neutral IS a glaring issue, which is something that most other top tiers don't suffer from, and 2. Outside of zackray, Maister, and to a lesser extent, Extra, we have yet to see a major breakout in G&Ws at a high level, compared to other top tiers like :ultpalutena:, :ultzss:, :ultsnake:, or even :ultmario:. Unless Regi suddenly starts becoming more active like in SSB4, I don't think we should suddenly start being overly optimistic about G&W's viability.

That said, if Maister is able to do this consistently well 10 months into the game, especially compared to other character specialists (particularly Raito:ultduckhunt:, Elegant :ultluigi:, and T :ultlink:), that tells me two things: 1. Maister ain't just carried by match-up inexperience alone, and 2. :ultgnw: is a viable high tier threat. Top tier? Naaaaahhhhh, I think his lacking neutral holds him back too much, but we'll see. Maybe Maister will prove us wrong? Who knows.

That's just my two cents as a (cautiously optimistic) G&W main lol.
Wait, if a lack of breakout results from other players bars from top tier, wouldn't that eliminate Joker? While it may bar them from best in the game status, the logic seems iffy there as most still consider Joker top tier despite sparse results from anyone not MKLeo.
 

TimG57867

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Messages
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Yeah, Joker making possible an S tier win by a non-Leo player through multiple game wins over a few of the best players in the world, making use of many of the same things that Leo uses to win almost every major--proving that everything Leo does with the character is entirely replicable (which should already have been obvious--Leo isn't better than Joker)--really drives it home for me that this performance, contrary to bolstering Joker's position as clearly in contention for best in the game, should actually be used as evidence for Joker being overrated.

wtf
Can’t speak for others but I personally wasn’t really trying to claim Joker is overrated at all. I was just noting that the omnipresent phrase “It’s just Leo” isn’t totally unfounded so I could understand why someone wouldn’t be dead set on calling him the best at this time.

I actually noted in my original post that I feel the other Jokers have a bit of catchup to do to start fully replicating Mkleo’s success. Many of the most skilled ones employ other characters frequently or only secondary him rather than truly going in with him the way MKLeo is willing to.

If anything I actually agree that, while Zackray’s Joker wasn’t the bulk of his bracket, it nevertheless showcased a lot of impressive play not too unlike Mkleo’s and shows that progress amongst the playerbase is still being made and will continue.

Joker is definitely a #1 contender and certainly has theory down pat but I imagine many are waiting for that entourage of Jokers to start taking the scene by storm and solidify the argument, similar to folks waiting a bit for the :4bayonetta:‘s dominance in SSB4 to spread out before confidently calling her the best. Ultimate’s far better balance overall only further reinforces that hesitation.
 

Molk

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Messages
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We really wildly overrating GnW today.

Here I thought I’d come into some wild ROB knee-jerking, but instead it’s about everyone’s favorite 2D character.

As AxelVDP AxelVDP noted, what’s this character gonna do against a a defensive opponent with a disjoint? Sausage? For real? Fair?

Come on.

GnW suffers similar issues to say, Luigi: bottom line is he has to get in, somehow. Luigi has a pretty nice fireball to condition, and GnW has a great disadvantage, but why are you getting close anyway?

“But he has bucket!”

Cool? So he gets to store three charges of whatever projectile and turns it into... a shorter range version of whatever he stored. It’s a much less impressive version of Villager’s pocket, and does only so much to dissuade projectile users from harassing him and forcing an approach.

You're heavily underestimating bucket's use, sorry.

For one thing, you completely neglected to mention that not only does bucket absorb projectiles, but in Ultimate it reflects them as well, unlike other Reflectors, it doesn't have an increased multiplier to it, but the option is still there.

On top of that, you're heavily underestimating how good bucket's attack can be. As far as i can remember the damage on bucket is the damage of every projectile absorbed combinedx2 (down from 2.8 in smash 4), with a maximum of 48% and a minimum of 16%, because knockback scales with damage, higher damage buckets can KO at extremely early percents and oftentimes can simply instakill the opponent (for example, any bucket G&W gets in the snake matchup is going to instakill him lol). The attack is also frame 2, very disjointed, lingers for over 20 frames, and is EXTREMELY easy to combo into because of its speed, basically any move that leaves the opponent close to him is going to be able to true combo into it reliably, even including jab 1 at mid percents. Also, unlike smash 4 the animation when G&W puts away the bucket is completely intangible until the first frame he can act, making it very hard to punish him for absorbing something compared to previous games.

Of course because the damage output of energy based projectiles varies, just how early bucket will KO is matchup dependent. But even weaker buckets are a solid combo ender and can still KO at high percents, and letting him get a full bucket in matchups such as the rats, snake, villager, and basically any character with a charge shot is suicide.

If a frame 2 disjointed lingering instakill that's extremely easy to true combo into isn't impressive to you, i don't know what to say dude.
 

Thinkaman

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"Don't move. I've got a gun to the back of your head."

"Um, okay, what do you want?"

"I want you to tell me who you think the #1 character in Smash Ultimate is right now."

"...what? Well, I think the game is pretty well-balanced and at this point it's too early--"

"Shut up, this is exactly the sort of milquetoast nilly-waffling I brought a gun to prevent. There has to be some #1, and now you'll tell me or I'll blow your brains out."

"Okay, but don't you think this unorthodox polling method might taint your data?"

"What do you mean?"

"Well, I think it's clear by your methods--and please don't take this the wrong way--that you are somewhat unstable. So therefore, in my head right now, I'm not really pulling my genuine best reflections. I'm thinking, 'God, what does this psycho want to hear? Maybe I should say Hero or some bull**** like that?'"

"I appreciate your concern, but I assure you: This situation is an overindulgent hypothetical frame device, and as such I am completely rational. Please take a moment to collect your thoughts and give your honest, accurate response."

"In that case, I feel like you are leading me on. You know I'm going to say Joker, which makes the entire scenario... well it's a bit dramatic for such a mundane opinion, isn't it?

"Joker isn't at the top of OrionStats."

"But we both know he will be in like, a few days. Acceleration is the most important trend."

"No one is performing as well as MkLeo though."

"And that precludes Joker from being #1 how? If you didn't have a gun, I'd explain to you how players switching mains is the best weathervane of top-tier character strength, and point out that more players have picked up Joker in the middle of this game's competitive life than anyone else."

"To mediocre results. No one has come close to MkLeo."

"I'm gonna ignore you ignoring Zackray and say that doesn't really matter. It tooks eons for people in Brawl to catch up to M2K's MetaKnight, but it was still significant that they were switching."

"MK wasn't DLC. People picking up DLC characters doesn't mean the same thing."

"Yes, which is why we're just drowning in Plant mains. I feel like you're being adversarial to my honest answer for no reason. If it's not Joker, then who is it? And don't say Wolf."

"Hey, don't turn this around on me. I'm the one with the gun here, I'm asking the question."

"Right, you asked a straightforward question and I gave you a straightforward answer. If you aren't satisfied with it, any further questions should be directed at yourself."

"It just feels like a cop-out. Are you sure you aren't just intimidated by the gun and going with whatever you read on reddit?"

"Look, we just had the top 12 players at TBH9 play 20 different characters between them. And across the pond they had 15 characters in top 12, and the most played character was frickin' Greninja."

"I'm not trying to say Greninja is the #1 character."

"Yes, we already established that you are rational. I'm just laying out the duality that we can simultaneously have a sort-of-clear #1 character and that this distinction can mean jack-squat."

"Fine. I guess there's nothing else I can expect out of this conversation."

"So, am I free to go? I really would prefer to be talking about Banjo again, or revisit the Bayo/ROB matchup kerfuffle without this gun to my head."

"Sounds good. I don't want the gun though, you can keep it."

"Thanks. I'll use it to see if we can get anyone to main Pit, and once and for all decide if he's good or not."
 

Idon

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And the point of all that was? I'm seriously confused as to what you're trying to explain because the analogy threw me off.
Probably a commentary on the cyclical nature of the competitive thread and the circular reasoning and discussions we go through day in and day out...
or something.

When push comes to shove, the question of "best Ultimate character" even as a hypothetical, leads to Joker as a topic, then leads to people saying it's only one person, then leading to some other person saying that it's too early and the pool of characters used in competitive play is too large, and then loops around to asking who is the best out of that pool.
 
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That is a problem, but it can't be helped. It's the only thing people care about at this point, sad a fact as that may be. People care about the R.O.B matchup, to a point, but then they get bored and talk shifts back to who's the best.
You can gripe and moan about it all you want but the sad fact is most people just want to know who the best character is?
Why?
That's tough to answer because there are a lot of reasons, one of which is they want to know who they might face or who to pick.
It's depressing but the cyclical nature of this thread is because the topic is what quite a few people in this thread care about.
 
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