Official Competitive Character Impressions 2.0

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Gleam

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Everyone's making Tier Lists and I thought I'd try something a bit different. I selected a few characters and ranked them in a very specific way.

The Yellow Line represents the range the characters have fallen into between the last update of Phase 02 Orion and the current update to Phase 03 Orion. Some of those ranges I think aren't necessary, and I doubt Rosalina's line would be a large if I were to re-evaluate the ranges again. But you do with what you got.

The yellow dot represents a relative average to where the character currently falls in thanks to Phase 03 Orion. DK for example has a large range but is currently on the upper end of his line, imo.

The Red dot represents a relative highest potential seen through the character. In other words, how much is Elegant actually pushing Luigi in comparison to the rest of the players? This was a bit rough because I didn't know as well some of the placements pushed by others. So some of it is just a bit of guesswork.

Don't take the distance and size too seriously. This is mostly just to try to represent a combination of how characters can fluctuate throughout such a short tenure (about 2 months) and a relative impression of where some characters could be if pushed to their best. I think such a thing could offer a more unique discussion. Instead of just saying 'Blah! Blah, Mario Top Tier now cause blah blah!" Discuss how Mario has developed across the time span of Ultimate's career and how his best players have pushed him.

That's all I'm going to say for now. I didn't want to make a whole chart (cause 70+ characters) but I wanted to give a new impression on the idea of how we could rank characters.
 

SwagGuy99

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So Dabuz made a tier list yesturday, and there are some surprisingly high placements for a few characters (:ultyoshi::ultkingdedede::ultdiddy::ultrosalina::ultcloud:) and a few notably low ones as well (:ultpichu::ulthero::ultlucas:).

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IMO, this list is a pretty good representation of the current meta, especially with recent results taken into account. All of the characters ranked between :ultwario: and :ultlucina: have the results to back up their placings (with the exception of :ultpikachu: who has not gotten as many notable results in PGR S3 so far due to ESAM's relative inactivity before the corona-virus hit) and all of these characters have shown to be very capable in the current meta.

I feel like a lot of people will feel like he's overrating :ultdiddy: and :ultyoshi: especially, but IMO, Yoshi at least, is deserving of that placement, and I don't think Diddy is too far off from where Dabuz has him, even if he might be overrating him slightly in light of more recent events.

:ultyoshi: has been getting solid results since day 1 of Ultimate and yet I still see people putting him underneath characters like :ultlink: and :ultinkling: who have been struggling a lot more as of late; neither of those characters are bad, but they lack the consistency that Yoshi has IMO due to their poor disadvantage states and inability to kill reliably respectively. His moves have good hitboxes (especially for a more close-ranged fighter), his movement speed is among the best in the game, his approach is pretty good, his OOS game is great, he has strong kill power, a decent recovery, great edgeguarding options, decent (possibly winning?) matchups against :ultpikachu::ultfox::ultzss: and :ultmario:, and a solid neutral game. The fact that he now has solid kill power off b-air, up-air, up-smash, sourspot f-air, and even d-air off the top takes away what was arguably the main issue holding him back in Smash 4: lack of kill power. His mains have been getting consistent results since launch with consistently good placements at majors, and his matchup spread is good enough to where there are only a few characters that give him significant amounts of trouble. Outside of :ultlucina::ultpalutena::ultjoker::ultwolf::ultroy::ultchrom: and maybe :ultike::ultlink::ultcloud: and :ultsamus:, there he doesn't really have too many losing matchups and of those, Palutena is the only one that I would say is a matchup worse than a slight disadvantage for Yoshi. I also think he benefits a decent amount from the nerfs to both Palutena and Joker. Nerfing downward angle guns buffs helps Yoshi in that MU since Joker can't try to edgeguard or land on him with them from as far away. The nerfs to Palu's n-air is also helpful to Yoshi, since she can't edgeguard him as easily now, due to the decreased knockback at higher percents.

IMO :ultyoshi: is a bit underrated, partially due to the negative stigma around him as a simple character, and partially due to players thinking his results are going to suffer a huge drop eventually like in Smash 4. I'm personally optimistic about this character, and I feel like his solid matchups against certain relevent characters as well as having great matchups against the mid, low, and bottom tiers will give him a bit more staying power than in Smash 4.
 
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Of course it only takes one good player to make a character jump. That good player is showcasing things that most of us didn't know about the character. Kola is doing things like sour d-air to b-air and consistently landing sour up-airs to bladed up-airs at percents where Goblin and others don't. Moreover, he uses Roy's strong initial dash to weave in against top tier threats like Palutena and ZSS in ways that those others don't as well. When you see these things, you go, "oh, shoot, guess that does work pretty well in practice in those matchups at the highest level," and you re-evaluate your position on Roy. Isn't that just normal?

The reason we think Game and Watch is top tier now isn't that Maister is so good, it's just that when we see Maister play we see that Game and Watch is capable of getting up to 40%+ in advantage at low percents, and has mixups with ledgetrapping between bacon low, normal, high that extend this sometimes to 60% or more--we see these numbers and think, well, shoot, this character is just obviously top tier. It's hard to come to any other conclusion.

Numbers, like string percents, movement parameters, reward from ledgetrapping, don't lie, but with a cast this big, we don't have the insight to understand all the numbers. When a top player appears who shows how all the numbers of a character work together. it's perfectly reasonable that we look at the numbers in a new light and go, okay, maybe we were wrong about where this character was before.

Don't think of results as causing bias. Think of it as results making us reconsider our biases.
 

TennisBall

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So, one good player is all it really takes, huh? That seems like a somewhat faulty premise. It wouldn't be the first time if that's the case though. Looking at you, Mr. Game & Watch.
Ok let's add more than.

Kola has been doing incredibly well.
Goblin also does very well and has beaten Tweek twice.
Tweek himself plays Roy frequently and has done a lot with the character.
So let's compare this to Chrom.
Rivers is sadly going though mental issues as his second cat has died, leaving him not competing a lot.
Mr.R is defintly for sure good but he does struggle a lot.
MattyG is solid but as of now doesn't have results on par with say Goblin or Kola.
Doesn't it make sense more?
~~Also Kome got 2nd at Japan EVO, this isn't a Pikachu scenario here.~~
 
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I suppose, but he's one of the most infamous cases. At least since Joker saw some success with others even if never to the same degree as Leo.

Shulk also comes to mind, but he's also been carried by "potential."
But really, what is a tier list other than " a comparison of what a character is capable of at the highest potential?"
 
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Arthur97

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But really, what is a tier list other than "what a character is capable of at the highest potential?"
The problem is, there are many we may never see at highest potential for one reason or another. Like on the other end of the spectrum, the Corrins probably aren't the worst in the game, but since people just don't pick them, they can be perceived that way if results are what you base everything off of. Then, what happens when a prominent player takes a break or retires? Is that fighter suddenly worse? No, of course not, but people may think that because their results tapered off.

Now, there is a point to be made for cause and effect. Is a fighter perceived as worse because fewer people play them, or do fewer people play them because they are worse? Though, the common perception can be wrong as many seemed to write G&W off early on. So then, the question is, how many have the potential to truly be amazing with no top level player to demonstrate it? It may be easy to think that there are no sleepers left, but how can you really know?

Of course, you need results to back up the theory to avoid a Shulk situation (who now may join the one amazing player club), but there is a problem with that metric just like pretty much any other metric.
 
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The problem is, there are many we may never see at highest potential for one reason or another. Like on the other end of the spectrum, the Corrins probably aren't the worst in the game, but since people just don't pick them, they can be perceived that way if results are what you base everything off of. Then, what happens when a prominent player takes a break or retires? Is that fighter suddenly worse? No, of course not, but people may think that because their results tapered off.

Now, there is a point to be made for cause and effect. Is a fighter perceived as worse because fewer people play them, or do fewer people play them because they are worse? Though, the common perception can be wrong as many seemed to write G&W off early on. So then, the question is, how many have the potential to truly be amazing with no top level player to demonstrate it? It may be easy to think that there are no sleepers left, but how can you really know?

Of course, you need results to back up the theory to avoid a Shulk situation (who now may join the one amazing player club), but there is a problem with that metric just like pretty much any other metric.
I agree with what you're getting across. But that's why despite not having consistent results lately, there are characters that are still being put in High Tier by many top level players.

The answer to your question is that it technically doesn't matter how many people play a character at top level. What matters is how well a character can stack up in a top level environment at the character's highest potential. You still have those 1-rep wonders who play that one character and land Top 8 majors.

The amount of players playing a character will only impact OrionStats in actuality, however much it may impact personal views of said characters. That's why you have quite a few people here telling you not to think of those stats TOO much. It's a good basis to go off of, but it's worth noting that these stats are heavily affected by player representation.

Sorry, I bring up the Links a lot but what if we had a T or two in the west, for example. What's the first thing that would be affected? Link's showing a decline in OrionStats but think about why that is. And then relate that to how top level players still feel about him. They're judging him at what they view as his highest potential with a Top Level Player against the rest of the cast of characters with a Top Level Player, despite stats and representation. And those views are there even with the lack of representation.
 
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Rizen

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But really, what is a tier list other than " a comparison of what a character is capable of at the highest potential?"
If that were true :ultpichu: would be the best character in the game because he has insane vortexing and kill potential. The thing is he also is the least forgiving character in the game. Tier list should look at characters as a whole with their strengths and flaws.
 

Megamang

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Recovery issues aside, I believe there are more differences practically than people realize between the two. Roy is terrifying because of his obscene power, and having confirms into that power just makes it more stark. Chrom is consistent, yes, but my fear vs roy is when I get knocked into disadvantage and I end up getting bair'd or, god forbid, read into f-smash. If the game is close it only takes one good read to blow it wide open, then a pretty terrifying climb vs such a mobile character.

And the sour spots aren't that bad, at all. Getting sour jab kinda sucks, but besides that really tons of them are scary. I'd rather got chrom uair-d at mid-high percentages than Roy uair'd, where the low knockback actually puts you in a drastically worse scenario.


But I definitely have some bias. I have lots of close sets with the local Roy, and he has upset me more in my small local more than anyone else. So... how common is that occurrence? I would imagine lots of people have the same experience. It kinda ties into my point earlier, about how scary characters are to the player... roy is just scarier. There isn't really a chrom presence here, but if the Roy goes chrom I feel more confident.


So thats my bias... and hydro pump is a godsend vs Chrom, but only pretty good vs Roy. I won't harp because this exact topic has come up a TON, but there are lots of reasons Roy's recovery is better. But as an OOS, Chrom's does more damage... but it also leaves you wide open with less range to move around. Sure you are going to get punished if you whiff one either way, but with Roy you can take to a platform etc to make the punish less hard, for Chrom they are going to probably parry the landing and get a hard smack on you. If you get hard called out with Roy you'll get charge smashed, but if you can manuever to a platform its a little safer. But... roy doesn't have a hitbox on landing, so you might get charge smashed if you have nowhere to go.

But hey, you probably have somewhere to go if you're using blazer oos, right? :). Or you know it will hit.


Someone also made an excellent post earlier, Roy's slightly better safety on some moves actually hits a significant breakpoint in some not-so-uncommon scenarios. This and that being one frame safer doesn't sound like much (its the smallest possible difference after all) but the mix between getting a shieldgrab for sure vs a mixup battle is really significant.


Tl;dr getting jabbed by Roy is terrifying.
 
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If that were true :ultpichu: would be the best character in the game because he has insane vortexing and kill potential. The thing is he also is the least forgiving character in the game. Tier list should look at characters as a whole with their strengths and flaws.
Right but you're thinking in the sense of perfect play. In perfect play, his shortcomings don't matter. But perfect play doesn't actually exist, does it?

Highest potential should, and does imo, factor in a character's shortcomings and how it affect's a character's performance as a whole. No matter how good a player is, a character's weakness will hold them back in one way or another, dominant or not.
 
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Lacrimosa

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If that were true :ultpichu: would be the best character in the game because he has insane vortexing and kill potential. The thing is he also is the least forgiving character in the game. Tier list should look at characters as a whole with their strengths and flaws.
I think what Tri Knight said was exactly that. Flaws are also part of a character's potential.

Anyway, I still like to compare Zelda with Sheik in that context and it seems that most players, aside from a few (Samsora who ranked them very similarly, Glutonny) think that Sheik has a higher potential than Zelda, even before both receiving buffs.
Why is that? Is it because Sheik players (VoiD) are more vocal about their character being busted and that she has a higher followership on websites like Twich and Twitter because of her combo-orientated playstyle? Because result-wise, they are very similar. Yes, VoiD received 13th at Frostbite but sadly that is still a single placement and there isn't much data of 7.0 characters because everything is frozen because of the virus. In other words, there's no way of telling if VoiD can get these results on a more consistent basis now. VoiD did fairly well with pre-patch Sheik at one tournament but couldn't replicate this good placement again.
Meanwhile, ven is getting 33rd almost everytime with mostly pre-patch Zelda. That is very consistent and has the honour of running into very good players (Samsora and an upsetted Glutonny at Frostbite).
Tierlists should. to some extend. reflect potential but when two characters receive very similar results I wonder why there is a nearly two-tier difference between said characters on tier-lists. Dabuz's tier-list is a great example of that.

And no, I don't think Sheik is misplaced in the upper echelons of a tier-lists, it seems that certain characters are very underrated.



Speaking of tier-lists, Meru is mentioning something really interesting and that is:
Why is :ultpikachu:almost everywhere considered the best character (I don't agree with that, imo it's ZSS):

So yeah, why is everyone ranking Pika so highly when his results, as Meru puts it, are similar to Tea and :ultpacman:.
 
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The_Bookworm

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I think a major reason behind the backings of :ultroy:, is that :ultchrom:, imo, is harder to play.

On one hand, it seems that the existence of Roy's sourspots singlehandely makes him more difficult to play.

However, with Chrom, and I say this because I play with both characters a lot, you need to be precise with everything: combo windows and recovery.
If you mess up with jab -> bair, killing can be kind of awkward. If you misjudged your spacing on your recovery, or you are not smart about it, then offstage can be a mess.

What separates the good from the bad Chrom players is if get these combo windows and recovery situations consistently, which is why there are fewer top Chrom players than Roy players.

It doesn't help that the current best Chrom player, Rivers, doesn't really attend too much nowadays thanks to personal issues.

I do say that Chrom does a stronger presence in Europe than Roy, with Mr.R and Lancelot running around and placing high with the character.

Someone also made an excellent post earlier, Roy's slightly better safety on some moves actually hits a significant breakpoint in some not-so-uncommon scenarios. This and that being one frame safer doesn't sound like much (its the smallest possible difference after all) but the mix between getting a shieldgrab for sure vs a mixup battle is really significant.
Yes, but it only really happens if you land the sweetspot of Roy's blade on shield that you get slightly more safety. Otherwise, you would be less safe than Chrom's blade (and by a bigger frame difference). It doesn't help that Chrom's forward tilt and jab has slightly more reach thanks to how Chrom swings his sword.

Right but you're thinking in the sense of perfect play. In perfect play, his shortcomings don't matter. But perfect play doesn't actually exist, does it?

Highest potential should, and does imo, factor in a character's shortcomings and how it affect's a character's performance as a whole.
Another thing is that even in perfect play, a character's shortcomings do still exist.
If we are in the scenario that the metagame has reached "perfect play" with a character, then we can assume that every other character in the game is also playing perfectly, in which they WILL abuse the opponent's weaknesses.

Also, what defines "perfect play" is also kind of odd. From what I can see, it comes down to reading every opponent's options perfectly, reacting accordingly, and punishing perfectly. However, unless you are doing a TAS that can frame-perfectly read an opponent's inputs, then this is pretty much impossible to do.
 

Rizen

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Right but you're thinking in the sense of perfect play. In perfect play, his shortcomings don't matter. But perfect play doesn't actually exist, does it?

Highest potential should, and does imo, factor in a character's shortcomings and how it affect's a character's performance as a whole. No matter how good a player is, a character's weakness will hold them back in one way or another, dominant or not.
I agree but also think you have to account for phantom potential. Just because someone thinks a character is good doesn't make them good; people can be wrong. Theory should be supported by results with this factor applying more the better the character is claimed to be. Top tiers should have top tier results and be winning tournaments. If you look at Orion Stats they have hundreds of points. I used this logic to pick Palutena as a top tier long before she was recognized and I'm saying the same thing about ROB. ROB's commenly placed a entire tier under Pikachu yet he's out placing top 8 in a slew of tournaments and Pikachu's nonexistant. Mid tiers and low tiers are a foggier area because they have few results and therefor a single good performance could boost them several places. It's a lot harder to say if Ridley's better than DK than if ROB's better than Young Link. The bigger the sample size the stronger the case of a character being good.
 

Arthur97

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For the perfect play thing, where does someone like R.O.B. fall then? If he's playing perfectly, his advantage state will destroy you, but on paper his disadvantage state should get him destroyed. The problem with perfect play is not only that it has to be perfect, but it also means your opponent is playing perfectly too, but if there are no mistakes than that does, as has been mentioned, eliminates part of the game. It creates sort of a paradox relying on forcing the other fighter into disadvantage, but if they're playing absolutely perfectly, can that even be done in most match ups?

As for tier lists, there is the problem with one's own bubble. Like the conversation of the person's local Roy. They don't have as much experience with a Chrom. On the flip side, someone whose locals are dominated by a Chrom might be terrified of fighting him instead.

Though, for Soaring Slash out of shield, you should probably be going for that below a platform if possible anyway as it would add kill potential since it drags opponents back down unlike Blazer.
I agree but also think you have to account for phantom potential. Just because someone thinks a character is good doesn't make them good; people can be wrong. Theory should be supported by results with this factor applying more the better the character is claimed to be. Top tiers should have top tier results and be winning tournaments. If you look at Orion Stats they have hundreds of points. I used this logic to pick Palutena as a top tier long before she was recognized and I'm saying the same thing about ROB. ROB's commenly placed a entire tier under Pikachu yet he's out placing top 8 in a slew of tournaments and Pikachu's nonexistant. Mid tiers and low tiers are a foggier area because they have few results and therefor a single good performance could boost them several places. It's a lot harder to say if Ridley's better than DK than if ROB's better than Young Link. The bigger the sample size the stronger the case of a character being good.
Well, yeah, but on the other end, sheer quantity of usage can inflate that. I'm not saying results aren't important in the slightest, but I do tend to feel like Chrom in particular is given a bit of a short end of the stick, but at least people seem to actually be looking beyond their recoveries which range from bad to not good. There are biases in the Smash community to be looked out for. Such as the desire for "explosive" fighters that seemed to hurt Lucina. There are also regional differences to be looked at as you can see by comparing US and Japanese opinions for example. Like the Links.
 
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I agree but also think you have to account for phantom potential. Just because someone thinks a character is good doesn't make them good; people can be wrong. Theory should be supported by results with this factor applying more the better the character is claimed to be. Top tiers should have top tier results and be winning tournaments. If you look at Orion Stats they have hundreds of points. I used this logic to pick Palutena as a top tier long before she was recognized and I'm saying the same thing about ROB. ROB's commenly placed a entire tier under Pikachu yet he's out placing top 8 in a slew of tournaments and Pikachu's nonexistant. Mid tiers and low tiers are a foggier area because they have few results and therefor a single good performance could boost them several places. It's a lot harder to say if Ridley's better than DK than if ROB's better than Young Link. The bigger the sample size the stronger the case of a character being good.
You're not wrong. I did briefly try to stress exactly this in one of my first comments. But remember, those numbers can be affected by representation. Again, right now, what if Link had another T or two in the west?
 
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Rizen

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Well, yeah, but on the other end, sheer quantity of usage can inflate that. I'm not saying results aren't important in the slightest, but I do tend to feel like Chrom in particular is given a bit of a short end of the stick, but at least people seem to actually be looking beyond their recoveries which range from bad to not good. There are biases in the Smash community to be looked out for. Such as the desire for "explosive" fighters that seemed to hurt Lucina. There are also regional differences to be looked at as you can see by comparing US and Japanese opinions for example. Like the Links.
Smash rankings aren't an exact science, sometimes top reps drop out for non-smash related reasons and ease of use does come into play. But being technical isn't enough to stop true top tiers from getting results. Peach for example is #7 on Orion stats and she's very technical. I think players want to win and more players will be drawn to top tiers. This has a snowball effect and that's why I say top tiers are more indicated by results than mid or low tiers. The cream rises to the top.

The case of Chrom vs Roy is a special one because they're echo fighters. I think if Roy pulls significantly ahead, and he's starting to, it might be time to reevaluate my stance on Chrom being better. I'd give it more time though; long term results are what matters. But because they have almost identical frame data and mobility stats, they can't be very far apart. Marth is a good example of not being nearly as bad as his absolute bottom results suggest but rather he's not used because Lucina's the better echo fighter.
 

Arthur97

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Smash rankings aren't an exact science, sometimes top reps drop out for non-smash related reasons and ease of use does come into play. But being technical isn't enough to stop true top tiers from getting results. Peach for example is #7 on Orion stats and she's very technical. I think players want to win and more players will be drawn to top tiers. This has a snowball effect and that's why I say top tiers are more indicated by results than mid or low tiers. The cream rises to the top.

The case of Chrom vs Roy is a special one because they're echo fighters. I think if Roy pulls significantly ahead, and he's starting to, it might be time to reevaluate my stance on Chrom being better. I'd give it more time though; long term results are what matters. But because they have almost identical frame data and mobility stats, they can't be very far apart. Marth is a good example of not being nearly as bad as his absolute bottom results suggest but rather he's not used because Lucina's the better echo fighter.
Well, I don't think Chrom's issue is really how technical he is, though maybe he is the harder one to play, rather the mentality of the top Smash players.

I do think Marth suffers more than either Chrom or Roy if just because his sweetspots are much harder to use than Roy's making him especially hard to keep up, but, yes, he is probably better than his rankings both in tournaments and tiers would suggest though I do think the gap is larger between him and Lucina. Marth hasn't really found much success even with Leo at the helm, and I think that was the most telling part. Though, perhaps that is all pretty obvious by just how much better Lucina does compared to him. But, hey, at least they aren't interchangeable practically like some echoes. Kind of ironic considering all the salt about Fire Emblem.
 

Lacrimosa

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Winners Final:

Sparg0 :ultcloud:3-1 Riddles :ult_terry:
Very close game and it seems that Terry's combo are very sdi-able.
Jab-Jab-Power Dunk almost never worked which was a huge deal in this match.

And BestNess:ultness: is dqed for not showing up, giving ZeroTwoNone:ultzelda: a free win in Losers Bracket.
 
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NotLiquid

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SDI'ing Jab-jab-power dunk has been Terry counterplay since day one. Conversely, Jab-jab-rising tackle covers the standard SDI route, though you'll be KOing 10-20% later (which is a drop in the bucket for a character like Terry).
 

Lacrimosa

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SDI'ing Jab-jab-power dunk has been Terry counterplay since day one. Conversely, Jab-jab-rising tackle covers the standard SDI route, though you'll be KOing 10-20% later (which is a drop in the bucket for a character like Terry).
But Riddles has never gone for this option. I wonder why because Sparg0 just kept sding the jab-jab.


Anyway,
Kola :ultcloud:3-0 Toast :ultlink::ultyounglink:
 

mimgrim

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Winners Final:

Sparg0 :ultcloud:3-1 Riddles :ult_terry:
Very close game and it seems that Terry's combo are very sdi-able.
Jab-Jab-Power Dunk almost never worked which was a huge deal in this match.

And BestNess:ultness: is dqed for not showing up, giving ZeroTwoNone:ultzelda: a free win in Losers Bracket.
SDI'ing Jab-jab-power dunk has been Terry counterplay since day one. Conversely, Jab-jab-rising tackle covers the standard SDI route, though you'll be KOing 10-20% later (which is a drop in the bucket for a character like Terry).
Ok coming out of lurk cause this is something I actually want to talk about.

I really don't understand the obssesion that most Terrys' seem to have with doing jab-jab-power dunk 100% of the time and never mixing it up. Jab-jab-rising tackle does the same amount of damage, keeps power dunk staling as fast, can still land the standard sdi, and only kills a little later. You also don't have to do jab-jab everytime, you can do jab-dunk or jab-tackle to mix it up and throw off sdi for a little less damage. Generally speaking holding down after throwing out jab is, imo, the best thing to do as you charge for tackle but can still go into dunk, albeit it is a little bit harder, but also allows for faster access to jab-jab-crack shoot if you hit shield. Holding down after jab gives you better reaction timing based on how jab lands and whether it hits shield or not and how opponent might sdi. But I digress. Back to lurk mode.
 
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But Riddles has never gone for this option. I wonder why because Sparg0 just kept sding the jab-jab.


Anyway,
Kola :ultcloud:3-0 Toast :ultlink::ultyounglink:
Interesting that Toast went Link twice. I think this exact thing happened to Kobe against Kola in a recent tournament, if I'm not mistaken. Is Cloud a bad MU for YL?
 

The_Bookworm

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Interesting that Toast went Link twice. I think this exact thing happened to Kobe against Kola in a recent tournament, if I'm not mistaken. Is Cloud a bad MU for YL?
:ultcloud: is a character with good frame data, good mobility, and most importantly, great range. Those are some things :ultyounglink: hates to deal with.

It also helps that Kola defeated Toast earlier in the bracket with Cloud when his Roy failed.

Is it just me or have I been seeing Toast and Kola in Top 8 in like every tournament lately
It is mostly because the tournaments lately have been small, and are online ones.
These two are particularly active online.


Anyways, here is the results of the tourney since it just ended:
1st: Sparg0:ultcloud:
2nd: ZeroTwoNone:ultzelda:
3rd: Riddles:ult_terry:
4th: Kola:ultroy::ultcloud::ultsnake:
5th: LingLing:ultpeach:
5th: Toast:ultyounglink:
7th: BestNess:ultness: (DQ'ed)
7th: Mekos:ultlucas:
9th: Sharp:ultsheik::ultzss:
9th: ATATA:ultness:
9th: Wrath:ultsonic:
9th: Epic_Gabriel:ultrob:
13th: ZekeTRP:ultyoshi:
13th: IcyMist:ultsamus:
13th: Jakal:ultwolf:
13th: Boodabam:ultwolf:

ZeroTwoNone:ultzelda: had an impressive run.
In winner's, he defeated Goblin:ultroy: 2-0.
In loser's, he defeated ZekeTRP:ultyoshi: 2-1, Sharp:ultsheik: 2-0, LingLing:ultpeach: 3-0 (the person who sent him to loser's), Kola:ultcloud::ultroy: 3-0, and Riddles:ultjoker::ult_terry: 3-2, before losing to Sparg0:ultzss::ultcloud: 3-2 in grand finals.
 

Gleam

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On the discussion of :ultpikachu:, let's for argument sake say that Pikachu is only High Tier, or what his current results paint him as compared to the "Top Tier" much less "2nd best in the game" many have put him in and why there is such a high consideration for a character whom at this point, may be doing worse than he has all throughout Ultimate.

1.) The first is, well ESAM. Not just in the fact that ESAM has such a high opinion on Pikachu and his ideology can travel across player mindset. But as someone who pushes Pikachu higher than anyone else and does so rather consistently, one can't help but admire it. The same way Maister has pushed :ultgnw:, Nicko has pushed :ultshulk: or even how Lucky has pushed :ultpiranha:. True or not, to the audience, seeing one player do good with a character means more than if a thousand players failed. Because, true or not, it gives the implication to the audience that, if a character wins, regardless of context sometimes, that must make them good.


2.) The second is lack of information. Somehow I doubt many people know about Orion Stats, SSB World or all this plethora of information that's so readily available to a forum such as this. I'd say myself that if I didn't know about all this data we have and had to base my rankings on personal perceptions and the tournaments I saw, I'd probably have a far different list compared to actual results as well too.

3.) But there's one thing I do want to bring up, not a fact but a possibility. The possibility in that, you can have a character with better matchups than a "Top Tier" but still be considered worse overall. What I mean by this is that :ultpikachu: could do better against Mid Tiers or lower compared to :ultroy:. While Roy might have +1 or +2 matches, Pikachu may have +2 or +3 matches. Bring them both into High Tier and it starts evening out, and when you get into Top Tier, it may be that Pikachu's gimmicks that made him so threatening in lower tiers doesn't work as well while Roy, though hardly unstoppable, at least has the tools to keep up in the highest level of plays or at the very least, requires far less skilled to use in comparison to Pikachu.

Assuming that's true, it does bring an interesting thought. How would you overall rate such a stance on a character.

Is Pikachu better because he's got 50+ matchups in his favor ranging from decent, to good to broken but falters in the say the Top 16?

Or is Roy better because although he may only have 30+ matchups in his favor and few of them broken (Don't take these numbers I'm giving seriously either) the matches he does good against or can handle are the ones most likely to be a threat in Top level play? I guess what makes this important to me is that, with everyone bringing up the potential of matchups, yeah that could play a very strong point in perception of characters.
 
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Here are the top tiers whose prominent mains (or at least one prominent main) believes that the character loses to Pikachu:

:ultjoker: :ultzss: :ultpalutena: :ultrob: :ultroy: :ultsonic: :ultchrom: :ultmegaman: :ultinkling: :ultfox: :ultwario: :ultpokemontrainer: :ultwolf: :ultlucina: :ultshulk:

That's pretty much everyone in the upper tiers minus Mario, Game and Watch, Pacman, Peach, Snake, and Greninja--of these, Pacman, Snake, and Greninja mains think that the matchup is even at best, maybe even slightly losing. So that leaves Pikachu with only two-three theoretically hard matchups in the entire roster of good characters. If you go further down the tier list, you get tons of characters who believe that their worst matchup is Pikachu. You pick up Ness along the way as another hard matchup, but that's really it.

If Pikachu isn't top 5 (as I firmly believe that he isn't), then something is very obviously broken here: what is it about Pikachu that makes people think that their character loses the matchup so hard, when that likely isn't true? If you look at his frame data or his combos they aren't that impressive relative to the top tiers. Is "small and hard to hit" really enough for people to say that he beats their characters?
 
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Zachmac

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An interesting part of the Pika Paradox, as I've just decided it, is that Pikachu was widely speculated to be the best of the game back when Ultimate was just a demo.

Perhaps a small part of it has to do with people overrating the importance of edgegaurding in Ultimate's engine. It's really scary to be off stage against a Pikachu no matter who you main, but edgeguarding is kind of an inconsistent way to get kills by nature.

It's also interesting to me that Inkling, another character who was widely speculated to be the best in the game early on, shares a lot of superficial similarities to Pikachu. Great mobility, good aerials, the ability to low profile and amazing edgeguarding.
 
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Is "small and hard to hit" really enough for people to say that he beats their characters?
Frankly, yes it appears to be the reason. Pika does have some really good edge guarding and a ton of combo routes but “small and hard to hit” is probably the main reason so many people think they get curbstomped by Pika. Being one of the few characters that universally is agreed beats Pika in Ness, the discord gets people coming in each day asking about Ness as a secondary because Pika is hard to hit and oppressive for “insert their main here”. There frankly aren’t a lot of analytical people in Smash who think deeper that a few feet into the surface, younger community with little experience compared to legacy FGC game full of actual sages with years of experience behind them.

As you mentioned his damage output really isn’t top class nor does he really get early kills that aren’t some cheesy low % edge guard or thunder spike. He has strong kill moves but they aren’t neutral moves, he’s not going to find easy kills like a lot of top tiers can straight out of neutral without some form of guess work.

I’ve said this before but I refuse to believe that Ness, G&W and Mario are the only characters that can not only stuff Pikachu out but also mitigate his only means around having his hitboxes stuffed out (Tjolt). I really just think people aren’t great at fighting Pikachu which is understandable the character does still have a lot of privilege and if you can’t deal with Tjolt whatsoever you definitely will get beat hard by him.
 
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The_Bookworm

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An interesting part of the Pika Paradox, as I've just decided it, is that Pikachu was widely speculated to be the best of the game back when Ultimate was just a demo.

Perhaps a small part of it has to do with people overrating the importance of edgegaurding in Ultimate's engine. It's really scary to be off stage against a Pikachu no matter who you main, but edgeguarding is kind of an inconsistent way to get kills by nature.

It's also interesting to me that Inkling, another character who was widely speculated to be the best in the game early on, shares a lot of superficial similarities to Pikachu. Great mobility, good aerials, the ability to low profile and amazing edgeguarding.
Here are the top tiers whose prominent mains (or at least one prominent main) believes that the character loses to Pikachu:

:ultjoker: :ultzss: :ultpalutena: :ultrob: :ultroy: :ultsonic: :ultchrom: :ultmegaman: :ultinkling: :ultfox: :ultwario: :ultpokemontrainer: :ultwolf: :ultlucina: :ultshulk:

That's pretty much everyone in the upper tiers minus Mario, Game and Watch, Pacman, Peach, Snake, and Greninja--of these, Pacman, Snake, and Greninja mains think that the matchup is even at best, maybe even slightly losing. So that leaves Pikachu with only two-three theoretically hard matchups in the entire roster of good characters. If you go further down the tier list, you get tons of characters who believe that their worst matchup is Pikachu. You pick up Ness along the way as another hard matchup, but that's really it.

If Pikachu isn't top 5 (as I firmly believe that he isn't), then something is very obviously broken here: what is it about Pikachu that makes people think that their character loses the matchup so hard, when that likely isn't true? If you look at his frame data or his combos they aren't that impressive relative to the top tiers. Is "small and hard to hit" really enough for people to say that he beats their characters?
As far as I can tell, the reason behind all of this is pretty much the combination of both what you said (and what Envoy of Chaos said).
Throughout the entirety of the Smash series, the more annoying the character is to fight, the easier it is for that said character to be rated as more powerful than he really is.

:ultpikachu: is an example of this: short character, great edgeguarding, projectile spam, and a combo game that feels irritating to get hit by (mostly due to how long it lasts). Despite online nerfing the character's combos, the more annoying traits of the character gets amplified there.
The fact that the character is also uncommon (at least in offline tournaments) only makes this worse since people won't have much experience fighting against him.
:jigglypuffmelee: is another great example of this. It is a rather annoying character to fight, and despite its rather low representation relative to other top/high tiered characters, has recently annoyed players to the point of some nowadays calling it top 3.
:ultpichu: in its glorious pre-patch days was another example of this, although it was more it embracing the inexperience of the metagame during that time.
:4pikachu: is also guilty of this in the early SSB4 metagame. Granted that ESAM's prominence was probably at its peak at the 2015-16 metagame, the character was even more rare than Ultimate Pika is today, and it's results did not match its eventual 5th placement on SBR's 1st SSB4 tier list.
It then dropped off as time went on to reach it's 15th placement in the latest tier list, and is likely around that area today, although Peach likely exceeded it since the making of that tier list (I am still surprised to this day that the official SSB4 tier list didn't receive one more update before Ultimate's release).
Part of me feels like something like this may happen with Ultimate Pikachu as well.
 

PK Bash

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I’ve said this before but I refuse to believe that Ness, G&W and Mario are the only characters that can not only stuff Pikachu out but also mitigate his only means around having his hitboxes stuffed out (Tjolt). I really just think people aren’t great at fighting Pikachu which is understandable the character does still have a lot of privilege and if you can’t deal with Tjolt whatsoever you definitely will get beat hard by him.
There's one main unifying characteristic between these characters: they're some of the only characters that Pika can't just mash on their shield.

Pika gets away with so much BS he shouldn't because of pancaking on shields, which is far and away the main reason people struggle with him. The trick to beating Pika though is to attack the tjolts, rather than shielding, and if you do shield, just try to have a bit of patience and hold that shield a little longer.

Characters like Lucina and Palu definitely beat Pika because they have hitboxes to shut down tjolt pressure (Fair, Bair) that Pika can't hope to beat, as well as the ability to antiair him more or less for free. A lot of people respect tjolt (and Pika's aerials) more than they actually need to imo.

But nobody focuses on that part of the matchup for some reason.

Luigi btw is a great example of a character who gives Pikachu a lot of problems, even if he can sometimes "struggle" to hit him oos. Loads of ways around tjolt (fireball, cyclone, aerials various), very fast vertical up B that's difficult to edgeguard, spammable dtilt to hit quick attack that still gives you time to cover a different angle, great air-to-air/anti-air, and a quick combo breaker. He's got almost everything you need to make Pikachu's life hell, but nobody's clocked him yet.

Incidentally, the other unifying characteristic between Mario, GW and Ness (and Luigi!) is they can all mash and trade favourably out of loops if Pika drops an input slightly (they will) - but frankly, it's not unique to just those three.

TL;DR - hit tjolt - life gets so much easier - and don't forget about Luigi
 

Diddy Kong

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I'll say it again, Pikachu is hard to fight because there's not a lot of experience you can have against a real great Pikachu player, because the character is extremely technical. I know it, because I tried to play Pikachu but really can't. Too damn technical, and you'll need lots of commitment to the character as well. In top level play ESAM is the only one to make this character shine this much. I don't know what else is at stake here honestly. We all fear the combos of this character, that's for sure. And such a mindset just... Sticks I guess? Pikachu is definitely Top Tier I feel. But not consistently present, kinda like Greninja and Shulk. But I guess I agree with the Melee Jigglypuff comparison too. Under represented, but Top Tier regardless.
 
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