Official Competitive Character Impressions 2.0

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Thinkaman

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I think it's due how soft Joker's midrange game is against the big cat and how Eiha / guns can be Revenge'd making zoning/run-away cost prohibitive against Incineroar ( the former is slow-ish with mid reward and the latter needs to be close to have any effect). It also helps that the recovery of Revenge was buffed so this tactic is more viable.
Personally, I don't get a lot of protectile Revenge in against Joker. The reward is too low--Eiha's low base damage means the bonus is marginal compared to what Joker gets for landing it. (You still take the DoT!) While Revenging bullet spam prevents Joker from pursuing that as a strategy and exploiting his slowness, I just have never really had it come up.

Non-projectile Revenge thrives when 2 conditions are met:
  • The enemy has a safe button they would normally never be punished for. (And is thus inclined to spam it as their "default")
  • If you miss, the enemy doesn't get to somehow do 40% or kill you.
Joker bair is a great case. It's painfully predictable how much Joker can get away with it, so you know when he is going to. To the point where I'll even Revenge Joker bairs and nairs when he has Arsene up--he could delete me if I miss, but Arsene makes him even more trigger happy.

As a reminder, Revenge is more than just a reward amplifier. It does 2 things:
  • Makes all of Incineroar's attacks safer on shields.
  • Pressures the opponent to fish for grabs, which puts them on equal frame and range footing with Incineroar while he is at his most dangerous.
What is it about Incineroar that allows the cat to do well against Joker? Is it that Rebel Guard is discouraged against a grappler? Is it that Joker's main damage comes from being very close and thus in danger of getting grabbed?
Yes. Rebel's Guard is pretty horrific against Incineroar. As both a grab and burst movement option, with a bonkers reward even at zero Revenge, running the ropes is arguably the best all-purpose tool in the game against a Rebel Guard whiff. I land more side-Bs against Joker than I would ordinarily have any business landing against a character of that speed. Like, we compare Joker to Sheik (at least I do), but good luck landing that against her.

Joker's slipperierness, generously evasive hurtbox, and +90% fastfall speed really don't interfere with the cat's gameplan much. Yet Joker is still light, and it's hard to get a second Arsene when Rebel's Guard doesn't exist and your opponent is killing you with the consistency of Ness. And as a fast faller, Incineroar's d-tilt setups are at their best.

On top of this, Incineroar has the range and frame data to contest Joker's buttons coupled with nair OOS to make pressuring Incineroar surprisingly difficult. Even Incineroar's disadvantage state is to be noted since he can either fast-fall nair or Revenge through some frame traps to get out of trouble (both have risks, but also have their uses). The only area I can think of where Joker oppresses the cat is edge-guarding, however Incineroar can edge-guard non-Arsene with equal prejudice thanks to being able to move slightly during Darkest Lariat such that he can fall off the edge while the move is active and hit Joker (Browny brought the Lariat edge-guard up a couple times).
Dunno if it's enough to have the matchup even, but its enough to not write Incineroar off as "lol. Heavy get combo'd".
Incineroar does just generally dislike Joker's raw speed and solid grab game. Arsene also forces Incineroar to double down on the make-or-break big plays, which is somewhat fine but no one likes feeling pressured. As mentioned, Eiha is uniquely poor to Revenge.

For that matter, a character with good Joker and G&W matchups sounds like something people would be desperate for.
Right??? Incineroar does okay against G&W for many of the same reasons he does against Joker. G&W is so slippery that you were only hitting him with hard reads anyway, so why not play the hard read king?

However, the data suggests that "Dabuz characters" have a pattern of beating Incineroar, along with people like Mario/Wario. Ness too. This data has him as Meta Knight's easiest matchup. He supposedly does very well against Bowser, which surprises me.

Edit for more matchups: The data suggests he has a positive record against Pikachu, which surprises me too but I guess is possible--it's a brutal matchup on both sides. Pikachu's chains are just awful, but Revenge (post-patch!) is the perfect tool for thunder jolts as long as you are careful about avoiding the narrow range window at which he can dash grab you. Pikachu is so light, builds Revenge so easily, and is so exposed in those brief moments of coming in, that it can make up for the rest feeling like one of the most abusive matchups in the game. I once had a Pikachu main tell me after some sets that it was the most stressful matchup he had ever played, despite the fact that he was nair chaining me to 50.

Incineroar also shows as having a great matchup against Wolf. Lasers? Tasty!



Aside: It's extra-impressive that Jigglypuff has the 10th highest overall win-rate, in that her worst matchups tend to be the highest usage characters. With very, very little deviation, she loses to every character with a sword (not-named-Hero) and wins against every character without a sword.

It's not going to be wise to look into the Byleth data too much, but it stands out because the overall win rate is so dang high. You expect new DLC to be an outlier on the low end in terms of raw win-rate; the character is new, and the effect of "no one knows how to play them" is always expected to be bigger than "no one knows how to fight them." But Byleth is sitting at 51.5% smash.gg wins, #11! Joker himself is merely #7!

All the DLC characters enjoyed decent adoption that more than made up for their late arrival, but in 5 months Byleth already has lifetime usage matching that of Wario, without compromising on win-rate. There seems to be a lot of grass-roots support of this character, and not from those going 0-2.


Also, it's impressive that Mewtwo and Corrin have such sky-high win-rates. This is lifetime data, including pre-patch games for both. More evidence (as if we needed any) that the balance team is focused very heavily on higher levels of play than this level of data.
 
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The_Bookworm

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Aside: It's extra-impressive that Jigglypuff has the 10th highest overall win-rate, in that her worst matchups tend to be the highest usage characters. With very, very little deviation, she loses to every character with a sword (not-named-Hero) and wins against every character without a sword.

It's not going to be wise to look into the Byleth data too much, but it stands out because the overall win rate is so dang high. You expect new DLC to be an outlier on the low end in terms of raw win-rate; the character is new, and the effect of "no one knows how to play them" is always expected to be bigger than "no one knows how to fight them." But Byleth is sitting at 51.5% smash.gg wins, #11! Joker himself is merely #7!

All the DLC characters enjoyed decent adoption that more than made up for their late arrival, but in 5 months Byleth already has lifetime usage matching that of Wario, without compromising on win-rate. There seems to be a lot of grass-roots support of this character, and not from those going 0-2.


Also, it's impressive that Mewtwo and Corrin have such sky-high win-rates. This is lifetime data, including pre-patch games for both. More evidence (as if we needed any) that the balance team is focused very heavily on higher levels of play than this level of data.
The thing about looking in win rates on low-usage characters, is that a lot of the wins tend to be backed up by a single player doing the work.
Typically if a character is used very little, their tendency to have higher win rates also increases because it solely depends on how much the very few mains on the player performs.

That is why Puff, Mewtwo, Corrin, and Byleth have win rates so very high.
Byleth is a bit of an outlier due to being out less than 2 months before quarantine happened, so it is hard to get accurate data for him, and it will be the same case for Min Min.

In other words, there are oftentimes moments where you take win rates, especially with rarer characters, with a grain of salt.
I have seen other games deal with a similar situation myself.
 
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FruitLoop

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Now that 8.0.0 is going to roll out in a few days, I guess I'll update you guys on some of the last major online tournaments.

Naifu Wars #13 (512 Entrants):

1st: Maister :ultgnw:

2nd: Sinji :ultpacman:

3rd: BestNess :ultness:

4th: Sonix :ultsonic:

5th: MkLeo :ultgreninja:

5th: Yez :ultike:

7th: Myran:ultolimar:

7th: MiLe :ultyoshi:

9th: ShinyMark:ultsheik:

9th: Guts :ultike:

9th: LeoN :ultbowser:

9th: Rickles :ultganondorf:

13th: ATATA:ultness:

13th: Dabuz:ultrosalina:

13th: Middy :ultpacman:

13th: Smallleft :ultpokemontrainer:

17th: Epic_Gabriel :ultrob:

17th: Player 7 :ultgnw:

17th: Fatality :ultfalcon:

17th: 8BitMan :ultrob:


Domic's Atomic Arena (4000$ Pot) (5605 Entrants) (G&W, Pikachu, Hero, Yoshi, and Sonic BANNED):

1st: Sparg0 :ultcloud:

2nd: Riddles:ult_terry:

3rd: Kola :ultroy::ultcloud:

4th: Fatality :ultfalcon::ultganondorf:

5th: Hisoka96 :ult_terry:

5th: SKITTLES!! :ultyounglink:

7th: Viri :ultrob:

7th: Sharp :ultwolf::ultjoker:

9th: Regalo :ultlucas:

9th: M.M Leo:ultgunner::ultswordfighter:

9th: BestNess :ultness:

9th: Pelca :ultsnake:

13th: The6Master :ultpacman:

13th: Slime :ultbowserjr:

13th: Cosmos :ultinkling::ultpikachu:

13th: Ned :ultpokemontrainer::ultchrom:

17th: JW :ultgreninja:

17th: FruitLoops :ultkingdedede: (Das me)

17th: TheMightyDialga :ultbayonetta:

17th: Steve-Man who Smashes :ultganondorf:

17th: Sytonix :ultken:

17th: Middy :ultpacman:

17th: JP :ultness:

25th: Skew :ultbanjokazooie:

25th: ZeroTwoNone :ultzelda:

25th: Fermata :ultrobin:

25th: Kosmic :ultisabelle:

25th: MRW :ultincineroar:

25th: Phoen1x :ultcloud:

25th: Hareta :ultrob:

25th: MariyoTree :ultisabelle:


Playing For Pride (1500$ Pot) (1144 Entrants):

1st: Maister:ultgnw:

2nd: BestNess :ultness:

3rd: Sonix :ultsonic:

4th: MKLeo :ultgreninja:

5th: Cosmos :ultinkling::ultpikachu:

5th: Pandarian :ultpokemontrainer:

7th: Mr. E :ultlucina:

7th: BlueStriker :ultsonic:

9th: Kola :ultroy::ultcloud:

9th: Otakuni :ultlink:

9th: Ling Ling :ultpeach:

9th: Tony Pajamas :ultness:

13th: SuperStriker :ultsonic:

13th: ChunkyKong:ultdk:

13th: Yeetucus :ultgreninja:

13th: Smallleft :ultpokemontrainer:

17th: Sharp :ultwolf::ultjoker:

17th: Maxou :ultrichter:

17th: SKITTLES!! :ultyounglink:

17th: NationWide :ultbowserjr:

17th: RavenKing :ultike:

17th: Atticus:ultyoshi:

17th: BlueJay :ultsonic:

17th: Ray Kalm :ultganondorf:


Some Quick Trends:

- Maister winning both events (He didn't participate in Domics and G&W was banned anyways) with G&W is an interesting thing to note given how :ultgnw: is usually seen as a better character on wifi. So it's pretty safe to assume that Maisterr is quite comfortable on the wifi scene.

- There is still no notable :ultzelda: placement despite her dominance in the wifi meta it seems (ZeroTwoNone did DQ out of winners quite early but played the rest of his bracket outside of that). This also ironically goes for :ultsamus: as well despite her being seen as one of the best characters in the game with wifi. While I do believe that both characters benefit from wifi and that :ultsamus: in particular just doesn't happen to have any of her notable players playing in the recent tournaments (The only record of her doing well in the tournaments being listed was with MKleo using her for a few matches before losing).

- :ultganondorf: ironically is getting a bit of results. It's not indicative of much and I don't think he's a super notable character on wifi, but from what I've seen from a lot of wifi tournaments (past the ones I've listed) he's been getting noticeably better results from Ganon specialists than one might think.

- It's not a FruitLoops post without a ":ultkingdedede: is bad" post so ima do it. :ultkingdedede:shares a trend outside of the tournaments I posted of kind of not doing much. This could be due to the inactivity of a lot of :ultkingdedede:players in recent but even for the ones that do enter I generally hear that they underperform. I did get 17th at Domics but that was with the character bans in place. While I believe :ultkingdedede:is certainly a better character in a wifi atmosphere, I honestly believe that people frequently overrate the character on wifi and he still is around the upper low tier or the bottom of mid tier area at best due to his inability to deal with a lot of the cast still (With a lot of wifi characters tending to do very well against him as well) while he's inable to adapt to a lot of wifi-based strategies due to his lackluster mobility and neutral alongside lackluster reward on his moves.


But yea with the new patch rolling out, I'm just curious to see how Sakurai and the team will handle the balancing now that Smash Ultimate is now wifi-only (Especially since last patch they buffed mostly the characters who tend to be seen as wifi-characters).
 
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Lacrimosa

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- Maister winning both events (He didn't participate in Domics and G&W was banned anyways) with G&W is an interesting thing to note given how :ultgnw: is usually seen as a better character on wifi. So it's pretty safe to assume that Maisterr is quite comfortable on the wifi scene.

- There is still no notable :ultzelda: placement despite her dominance in the wifi meta it seems (ZeroTwoNone did DQ out of winners quite early but played the rest of his bracket outside of that). This also ironically goes for :ultsamus: as well despite her being seen as one of the best characters in the game with wifi. While I do believe that both characters benefit from wifi and that :ultsamus: in particular just doesn't happen to have any of her notable players playing in the recent tournaments (The only record of her doing well in the tournaments being listed was with MKleo using her for a few matches before losing).
Which dominance if I may ask?
 

Arthur97

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So, people talked Incineroar Vs. Joker, but what potentially makes Little Mac decent against Mega Man? I mean, I guess I can see him being a nightmare for the robot up close, but getting close seems like it might be a nightmare for Mac?
 

B_Burg

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So, people talked Incineroar Vs. Joker, but what potentially makes Little Mac decent against Mega Man? I mean, I guess I can see him being a nightmare for the robot up close, but getting close seems like it might be a nightmare for Mac?
I suppose I'll throw my thoughts out here based on my own experience.

I feel like Megaman is a character that has a lot of theory crafting behind his gameplan and matchups that doesn't necessarily line up with how the character works in practice. I say that, but should also point out I play the character a lot online but don't have any tournament experience so grains of salt all around here.

I feel like the idea people have with Megaman is that he's a pure zoner, which I understand because I think he's the only character in the game with a moveset that is over 50% projectiles, but I don't think that archetype really fits him. Without going too much into detail about all that, my point here is that the actual playstyle the character has that is effective isn't as bad for Mac as one might initially think.

Now with my own experience, I find Mac pretty tough to fight against because of a few factors. His speed is a big one, combined with his jolt haymaker makes it tricky to stay at pellet range. Megaman will so often approach with pellets and then knock the opponent back with nair, but the timing and positioning of that is tricky, especially online and can easily get punished by a character like Mac with a few big hits that are going to do a lot a lot of damage. Megaman's generally low damage output can make it easy for Mac to turn things around pretty quickly.

But Megaman isn't really all that effective from all the way across the stage either. The only moves that have particularly good distance are a thrown Metal Blade, Crash Bomb and a thrown Leaf Shield. Crash Bomb is the only one that can really apply pressure from that far though and all of them are slow enough either in execution or afterwards that it can let Mac get some distance. Characters with stronger hitting projectiles or more long range options like Samus or Duck Hunt would probably be more effective for that sorta thing.

The biggest challenge I think Megaman has against Mac though is actually landing. Again this is just my experience, but if Mac can get in and get Megaman off stage or in the air even one time, it can really snowball quickly in his favor. Most of Megaman's landing options, fair, dair, bair, can all be challenged with Mac's combination of hitboxes and armor, and again, those hits are going to do a lot of damage.

Trying to land with Metal blade or leaf shield can work, but that's where Mac's speed helps him. Simply throwing a metal blade has just enough end lag to make it something you don't want to do too low to the ground, but too high and you risk giving Mac the opportunity to dip right past it with his speed. Leaf Shield can give Mac some grief, but if he knows it's coming he can pretty easily punch through. That or just hold shield and punish after Megaman throws it. Sometimes for Megaman it feels better to drop Rush on stage and try to use that with something like dair to punish a Mac who is going too aggressively for landing punishes. That or just trying to avoid the stage and instead go to the ledge. Anything to keep Mac guessing.


Keep in mind those are just some ideas for why the matchup might not be so bad for Mac and not neccessarily why the data fell the way it did. It also doesn't account for things like stages or Mac's KO punch or things like that. It's actually a matchup I've had a good bit of fun with, even if it's tricky. I'd be curious to hear what others think on it.
 
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Thinkaman

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The thing about looking in win rates on low-usage characters, is that a lot of the wins tend to be backed up by a single player doing the work.
This data set is too broad for this to be a common effect. No character has fewer than 6000 games.

At certain moments in OrionRank, even "major" characters could have 25% of their results be from a single MKLeo, Dabuz, or ESAM. (And obviously anyone with 1 point is 100% one guy.) Here, the absolute worst case is Olimar's (a very rare character) results being inflated by Dabuz. However, Dabuz is still ~2% of Olimar's data tops, and thus we see no effect.

Patch impact on lifetime data will be a far bigger confounder.

Typically if a character is used very little, their tendency to have higher win rates also increases because it solely depends on how much the very few mains on the player performs.

That is why Puff, Mewtwo, Corrin, and Byleth have win rates so very high.
False. The first thing I did was make/post this graph:
https://smashboards.com/attachments/smash_gg_data_1_0-png.276242/

There is no correlation.

For every Puff/Mewtwo/Corrin/Falco, there is a Simon/Ryu/Bayo/Doc. And for every Lucina or Joker, there is a Snake or ROB.

In other words, there are oftentimes moments where you take win rates, especially with rarer characters, with a grain of salt.
I have seen other games deal with a similar situation myself.
Yes, raw win-rates are, in a vacuum, very poor data to take at face value. But they are very nice as part of a bigger picture.

The question of "Who is the best character in the game?" is hard.

The reason it's hard is that what it is asking for is undefined. There's really three ways this could be interpretted:

Usage - Players are good at different characters, and will almost always play the characters they are best at. Therefore, the amount of players playing each character is a natural and democratic measure of how good that character is.

Win-Rate - The best character should win more, on average. Pretty straight-forward, no?

Theory - A character that is best must be so for a reason, and that reason can be worked out academically. It reframes the problem as an abstract scenario: "Who would win the most between a set of players with identical skill level, preferences, and experience?"

But all of these have major limitations and confounders:

Focusing on Usage implies that players are perfectly informed and character preferences are completely elastic--that "character loyalty" doesn't exist and people will learn, master, and adopt a new character at a drop of a hat. (This is obviously not reality, and yet we're about to see this is the least egregious assumption!)

Win-Rate meanwhile assumes completely inelastic character preferences--that players will never switch characters, and never even tried multiple characters to pick their favorite Day 1. Characters must be viewed as fully random and arbitrary, a true independent variable, for this "experiment" to be valid. What's more, it must be assumed that the popluations of players for each character have no confounding patterns; that every character attracts the same personality of player with the same average skill level.

These flaws are so obvious that many people jump to Theory--which can attempt to ad hoc control for these and other issues, while also extrapolating towards future convergence of trends. However, raw Theory is by nature based on no data, arguably the biggest flaw of all. Theory is prone to circular logic (that never gets corrected) and unprovable assertions. That abstract scenario it defines gets more absurd the longer you look at at, with no relevance to any real player's experience playing the game.

So Usage will understate niche characters with high barriers or narrow appeal, Win-Rate will end up measuring demographic trends in the players more than trends in the game, and Theory will claim to be a unique truth about reality that is neither unique nor true nor tied to reality, but actually just fabricated from the table scraps of the other two.

What's more, all of this is orthogonal to skill level: We can ask our core question as it pertains to any particular skill level of the game, and answer it being any of the 3 at any skill level. However, it's important to note that data collection often gets harder the lower you go, and gets vastly lower-quality/smaller-sample/more-confounded the higher you go. Once you get high enough, your data set becomes merely the behavior of a handful of players who tally lower than the roster size of the game. The experiences of one level have minimal relevance to distant ones, and it should never be forgotten than the vastly more populous lower levels are what predominantly defines the lived experience of "the game" as a metaphysical entity.


Who what do we do? Well, for starters, we keep in mind that Usage, Win-Rate, and Theory are independent pillars and discuss them seperately. For there we can also come up with hybrid measures that are, to some extent, a mix of usage and win-rate. This makes sense, as the biggest flaw with either is that character preferences are not fully elastic/inelastic, but somewhere inbetween. These measures aim to merge the insights of both sources while filtering their confounding issues, reconciling them into one more accurate view of reality. However, this process quires wrestling with its own confounders, and methodology is key.

We can then augment gaps the the data with Theory. We can, with firm footing on the scaffolding of the other 2 and what we've built between them, extrapolate into the future and interpolate where are data is insufficient or suspected to be confounded. We can also exploit the tendency for higher levels of play to be "in the future" realtive to lower levels, with many trends trickling down over time.

In this way, we can resolve the original ambiguity and build a single, maximially accurate outlook from three independent (and often contradictory) lens of data. But the lens will always be inherently separate--we just become like a spider seeing through multiple eyes.

So, people talked Incineroar Vs. Joker, but what potentially makes Little Mac decent against Mega Man? I mean, I guess I can see him being a nightmare for the robot up close, but getting close seems like it might be a nightmare for Mac?
Good question! Mac is actually great at closing gaps, which is key to his design as otherwise he'd be unplayable.

Mac's ground speed is obviously fantastic, and he has a wide range of options out of it that all offer amazing reward for their frame data--from a 1f jab all the way up to near-heavyweight smashes. While he does not have a good dash grab, these ground options are surprisingly okay on block and do lots of shield damage. The trample effect of f-tilt and the armor of the smashes further open up opportunities, and KO Punch bypasses shield and can be combo'd out of spaced d-tilt.

All of that applies to all matchups, but then projectiles show up. Typical projectiles shot down all of the above, but this is where Mac's Actually Great Design comes to the rescue again. Jolt Haymaker is the best anti-projectile gap closer in the game. It has variable range/timing, a 60 frame low-end that is absolutely usable, 13 generous frames of lower body intangibility, and does around 17% with huge knockback. It jumps over Wolf lasers, Sheik Needles, Joker bullets, PK fire, ROB crap, Link junk, whatever. Even if you only call out half their projectiles, you are still doing more damage and killing them at low %s.

And if they stop using projectiles? You win the ground game! You're Little Mac!

Jolt Haymaker typically fails against angled projectiles like Eiha or Arcfire, but Little Mac's super-low running profile evades those.

Pellets is the most extreme case of this. He was trying to do 2% to you, you call him out and do 17% to him, maybe kill. He can move while doing it? Who cares, Jolt Haymaker is controlled release. And when Mac gets one wrong and gets shielded or dodged? This isn't Bowser or Wario; what is Mega Man gonna do?

Independent of all of this, Mega Man also thrives in being at a really annoying combination of weight and slipperiness. He is just slippery enough, via his ranged style, that the things you are managing to hit him with aren't enough. Sure, those things might seal the deal on Pikachu, Fox, or even Greninja, but Mega Man weights about as much as Link. So we get Mega Man living to 180% all the time, because the medium-risk moves most people have don't have sufficient knockback growth.

Little Mac has never had this problem in his life.

Mega Man says "I'll out-live you!" and Mac says "No you won't." Mega Man says "You'll never grab me!" and Mac says "Wasn't planning on it." Mega Man says "I can recover through any off-stage edgeguard!" and Mac says sorry, he doesn't speak Italian or whatever that language is.

It's not all bad for Mega Man. Fair and Bair are super great moves to have against Mac. There's a lot of good stuff he can do with Metal Blades beyond throw them horizontally in the neutral. Leaf Shield is a relevant option that Mac can't call out the same way as other stuff.



But generally speaking, Mac's design reminds me of the Zerg. The core design of the Zerg that runs throughout all their units and paths is actually snowball--they are the faction that gets a bigger and bigger advantage over time. Creep spreads, units heal, their endgame biggest unit more all-purpose rather than specialized. They don't even have noteworthy defense tools to augment or balance this design.

But such a one-dimensional race would make for a boring experience--every Terran or Protoss would always rush the Zerg, and it's either work and they'd win or die and they'd fail. And Zerg would obviously never rush--what, you are going to tech up to hydralisks and inch them across the map with no creep? Some "rush."

Everyone knows how they fixed this. They didn't give the Zerg Terran-like defensive tools to help them turtle and snowball more. Instead, they just gave them Zerglings, the single best rush tool in the game. To such an extreme extent that Zerg is associated with Rushing even more than snowballing! Balanced between two extremes.

This is how I feel about Mac. He's structurally all-in on this dominant ground game, just like everything aobut the Zerg wins late game. But then he has these very specific tools grafted on that let him dominate outside his territory under very specific conditions. The fastest aerial in the game. One of the game's only 1f invincible moves. The best anti-projectile gap closer.

So yeah. When life gives you lemons, build Zerglings.
 

Arthur97

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Ironically, I think I had heard that Haymaker wasn't that good at getting over projectiles. Though, I think knowing that it has that intangibility may have helped me time some of them better.

That said, I'm curious as to if you think his nair has any use outside of just a get off me tool in the air? I mean, as much as people tout his aerials as almost completely worthless, I have edgeguarded with fair. Was it the best idea? Maybe not, but it has worked.
 

The_Bookworm

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I just noticed that we got the :ultminmin stock icon now. Usually we get it over week after the character gets released, but we have it now. Nice!

Min Min and 8.0 is coming out tomorrow.
Does any of you have any last words/thoughts on the current meta, the meta prior to the online era, and character specific things like their place in the meta, before 7.0 comes to an end?
 
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I think Jolt Haymaker gets a real run for its money from Terry’s Power Dunk. The input version has invincibility on frame 6-12, can be buffered from a jump to autocancel, has variable heights and distances, and can also kill.

Jolt Haymaker is still probably the better anti-projectile since it carries that earlier invincibility and travels in the same sort of arcing burst that Crackshoot does, but kills.

Fwiw, I rather enjoy the Mac/Terry MU. A whole bunch of footsies and movement baits resulting in quick, brutal exchanges - emulates a street fight quite well, actually.
 
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The_Bookworm

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While Jolt Haymaker can be useful in the situations mentioned already, a common issue I commonly run with the move is that :ultlittlemac: jumps too low to the ground to take advantage of the lower body invincibility.

Whenever I play Mac and use this Jolt Haymaker tech to close the gap against projectile users, sometimes the projectile is too big, or the opponent is slightly in air when throwing out the projectile, and I get hit anyways. Then, of course, the move itself can be baited and it has very punishable endlag, putting Mac in his dreaded territory of disadvantage.

If the move has full body invincibility, then the move automatically becomes a lot better in dealing with projectiles, as you won't be swatted out of doing the move in the way it is supposed to do. Not saying the move is bad at it's job, but I am saying that it is not very consistent at it's job than it should be, which is coupled on an already inconsistent character.
 

Thinkaman

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While Jolt Haymaker can be useful in the situations mentioned already, a common issue I commonly run with the move is that :ultlittlemac: jumps too low to the ground to take advantage of the lower body invincibility.

Whenever I play Mac and use this Jolt Haymaker tech to close the gap against projectile users, sometimes the projectile is too big, or the opponent is slightly in air when throwing out the projectile, and I get hit anyways. Then, of course, the move itself can be baited and it has very punishable endlag, putting Mac in his dreaded territory of disadvantage.
I mean it varies--you won't be leaping past any Charge Shots. But you can clear Wolf blaster and Ryu Hadoken, which are about as meaty/tall as spammable projectiles get. And if the opponent's in the air, you should just be approaching at a (low!) run, no need for hard commitments to gap close. That's not really the time to use side-b.

That said, I'm curious as to if you think his nair has any use outside of just a get off me tool in the air?
Apart from the juggle situation where they are literally on top of you, Nair can aid you in landing and transitioning down from a platform. Little Mac nairing a shield creates trivial shieldstun and may be unexpected, so thanks to reaction time its result on-block is often in practice better than the -8 it is mechanically. (Which is already not that risky, especially when we're discussing Little Mac disadvantage.) If you are extra cheeky, especially if their OoS options aren't great, you can even go straight into that 1f invincible up-b.

I mean, as much as people tout his aerials as almost completely worthless, I have edgeguarded with fair. Was it the best idea? Maybe not, but it has worked.
Mac fair's poor knockback lets it gimp plenty of characters with poor recoveries in specific situations. It's hardly a good option, but anything that outright kills the opponent if they forget about it has some value.

Fair and bair mostly function as highly unexpected landing options, which combo into tilts at low %s and send into tumble at mid-%s.

In Smash 4, Mac could SHAC fair and it saw some use as a string extender out of the generously low endlag d-tilt. Now that d-tilt is less safe and fair no longer SHACs, this delightful trick no longer applies unfortunately.

I think Jolt Haymaker gets a real run for its money from Terry’s Power Dunk. The input version has invincibility on frame 6-12, can be buffered from a jump to autocancel, has variable heights and distances, and can also kill.

Jolt Haymaker is still probably the better anti-projectile since it carries that earlier invincibility and travels in the same sort of arcing burst that Crackshoot does, but kills.
Yeah Terry has 3 of the best gap closers in the game for different purposes. When I typed that Mac's was "the best", I actually paused and looked up Terry's frame data on all 3 haha.

I think Mac's is probably the best holistically for the purpose under discussion, assuming we aren't factoring in Terry's cancel setups. I'd consider trading Mac's side-b for all three of Terry's, but just as raw moves (no cancel shenanigans) I'm still not sure I'd take the deal.
 

Arthur97

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Actually, just in some moderate testing I did, you might be surprised what you can jump over. Like Mega Man's charge shot for one. Though, it seems you really got to time it right for a lot of them. Like, I may have made it past Kanonball a few times, but the thing is so massive and relatively slow that it can be tricky. Though, I wouldn't say no to them buffing it's evasion abilities.
 

Rizen

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To quote GladOS: "Now these points of data make a beautiful line and we've out of beta; we're releasing on time. So I'm glad I got burned, think of all the things we learned for the people who are still alive!"
I just want to point out that none of the characters I consider high tier that many consider top tier (:ultpikachu::ultgnw::ultshulk:) are preforming out of the high tier range. They're about where :ultyounglink: is, which seems right to me.

_________________________________
:ultminmin mmmmm, candy corn.
_______________________________
All this talk about zone breaking and no one's mentioned :ultbanjokazooie:'s wonder wing? (or did I miss it?)

I don't have a lot of experience in the :ultyounglink: vs :ultlittlemac: mu but have played it in live tournaments. While projectile like wolf's laser force him to stand in place, YL's are not like that; he should be running around and hopping off platforms angling his projectiles down. From what I've seen YL's zoning gives Mac a ton of trouble even with jolt haymaker. This looks like a bad MU for Mac.
 

Thinkaman

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All this talk about zone breaking and no one's mentioned :ultbanjokazooie:'s wonder wing? (or did I miss it?)
Wonderwing doesn't hit/go invincible until frame 18, could be frame 30+ in terms of hitting at projectile range. Jolt Haymaker is invincible 1-3, lower body intangible from there in the travel arc, and can be triggered to hit as soon as frame 8. So it takes a lot less of a read to use, and is less prone to being accidentally interrupted. (Pretty much anything we discussed that would screw with a misspaced Jolt Haymaker will hit BK before frame 18.)

Then, if you whiff? Jolt Haymaker is -36/39 on shield, which is obviously pretty dang bad. (But at least the shield push is okay.) However, Wonderwing is up to -54 on shield, and pushes into you so that there's no real "shield push." -54 is like, "Unshield, DDD f-smash, and still take the time to charge a bit" territory. Yeah, you are unlikely, to suffer the full amount, but we're still talking about a disadvantage even worse than Jolt Haymaker. If the opponent moved (jumped), they probably have 22 entire frames more to punish than they would have against Mac.

And of course Wonderwing has its quirks: Resource-limited, loses to grabs. It's a really good move, as with proper timing/spacing it can sort of beat anything (and kill at great %s), but throwing it out as your go-to answer for projectiles in the neutral is nuking an anthill.

Jolt Haymaker is already somewhat overly aggressive and risky, but at least that's on theme for Mac. Banjo has other tools in the neutral, and a desire to save those feathers for better purposes.
 
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As a :ultbanjokazooie: main, Wonderwing would greatly benefit from a sharp decrease in end lag as a burst option. As it is, I treat it like a high risk, high reward move that acts on similar principles to a charge shot. Also it works great as a recovery option as we all know.
Still if its endlag was dramatically reduced, it would give Banjo a lot more dynamic options and would arguably change his archetype.
 

Nate1080

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Since :ultminmin drops tomorrow, I had a thought. It might not matter in the long run even if it does work, but still worth saying:

I noticed that in the presentation, Sakurai said that you can change arms whenever you’re able to do an input. Since we know that you can throw out arms near simultaneously, as well as nearly move your character freely with them, I assume you can make an input as soon as you throw out an arm. Would it be worth anything if you can change your right arm, as you throw out your left arm (A button)? As somewhat of a mix up or whatever.

Obviously we won’t know for sure until tomorrow, but still something to think about imo.
 

The_Bookworm

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Since :ultminmin drops tomorrow, I had a thought. It might not matter in the long run even if it does work, but still worth saying:

I noticed that in the presentation, Sakurai said that you can change arms whenever you’re able to do an input. Since we know that you can throw out arms near simultaneously, as well as nearly move your character freely with them, I assume you can make an input as soon as you throw out an arm. Would it be worth anything if you can change your right arm, as you throw out your left arm (A button)? As somewhat of a mix up or whatever.

Obviously we won’t know for sure until tomorrow, but still something to think about imo.
I personally don't think you can switch arms if the left one is out throwing a punch.
I don't play ARMS, so I don't know if this is possible within the home series.

However if you can, then there is definitely some mixup potential. For example, you could potentially switch between Ramram and Megawatt to condition the opponent from avoiding up-angled Ramram, only to get a Megawatt to the face.


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Off-topic, put in preparation for Min Min coming tomorrow, ZeRo has put a video of him playing against (and getting bodied against) one of the best players of ARMS in... ARMS.

This is simply a fun video, not really to take seriously in a Smash Ultimate metagame perspective, but it does make me ashamed that Nintendo did not really market this game well, because this gameplay showed actually did get people in comment section pretty interested in the game. Others in the comment section are already veterans of the game and praised it quite a bit. The gameplay shown was pretty cool in my opinion.


That is the magic of Smash Bros. sometimes, it introduces people to new franchises.

When I first played Brawl as a kid, I barely knew most of franchises the game has to offer. I knew the Mario series, Pokemon series, and Zelda series, and is only aware of a few others like the Kirby series and Sonic series., but that is it. However, I now play quite a bit of these series, such as the Kid Icarus and Metroid series, and it knowledgeable on the other franchises as well.

The inclusion of Joker and Hero got quite a bit of people to play Persona 5 (P3 & P4 as well) and Dragon Quest 11S, widely seen as two of the best modern RPGs right now, and they became a fan favorite for many people, especially the former game.
 
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Blade (one of the best Byleth players) just released a matchup chart for :ultbyleth: and it's interesting when compared to the charts that MKLeo and Pink Fresh made a few months back.


It seems very pessimistic compared to MKLeo's and Pink Fresh's but I personally agree with this chart much more than theirs.

Some things that I feel are worth pointing out:

  • He thinks :ultbyleth: has no +2 matchups.
  • Characters who commonly struggle against swordies like :ultkirby: and :ultgnw: are put as even and losing for Byleth respectively, likely due to her struggle to hit shorter characters.
  • :ultluigi: is listed as being even, which I find interesting since most people who main swordies seem to see him as a winning matchup (except Roy players).
  • :ultinkling: in even seems really weird, since I feel like she would be extremely hard for Byleth to hit and play neutral against.
  • :ultkrool: was put in even surprisingly, but given that he can keep up with Byleth in terms of speed, range, and frame data, I can honestly see him going even in this matchup.
  • I personally disagree with :ultincineroar: in losing. I feel like he's too slow to get in against Byleth's range most of the time and lacks the range himself to contest with Byleth's hitboxes properly.
 
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ARISTOS

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This is simply a fun video, not really to take seriously in a Smash Ultimate metagame perspective, but it does make me ashamed that Nintendo did not really market this game well, because this gameplay showed actually did get people in comment section pretty interested in the game. Others in the comment section are already veterans of the game and praised it quite a bit. The gameplay shown was pretty cool in my opinion.
ARMS is a cool game. It's very quirky and non-traditional, and it's definitely not as complex as a true traditional fighting game but all the concepts of those games are represented in ARMS in different ways. I'm not too surprised the marketing couldn't sell the game as it's a game where you kind of have to see how others are utilizing the engine to great extent to see how you yourself can manifest a gameplan. Otherwise you might feel like you're waggling, which is the opposite of what the game wants you to do.
 

Firox

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Blade (one of the best Byleth players) just released a matchup chart for :ultbyleth: and it's interesting when compared to the charts that MKLeo and Pink Fresh made a few months back.


It seems very pessimistic compared to MKLeo's and Pink Fresh's but I personally agree with this chart much more than theirs.

Some things that I feel are worth pointing out:

  • He thinks :ultbyleth: has no +2 matchups.
  • Characters who commonly struggle against swordies like :ultkirby: and :ultgnw: are put as even and losing for Byleth respectively, likely due to her struggle to hit shorter characters.
  • :ultluigi: is listed as being even, which I find interesting since most people who main swordies seem to see him as a winning matchup (except Roy players).
  • :ultinkling: in even seems really weird, since I feel like she would be extremely hard for Byleth to hit and play neutral against.
  • :ultkrool: was put in even surprisingly, but given that he can keep up with Byleth in terms of speed, range, and frame data, I can honestly see him going even in this matchup.
  • I personally disagree with :ultincineroar: in losing. I feel like he's too slow to get in against Byleth's range most of the time and lacks the range himself to contest with Byleth's hitboxes properly.
As a :ultgreninja: main, I can attest to the fact that he tears :ultbyleth: to shreds. The shuriken can out-camp the arrows and Greninja's mobility lets him easily get in and out of attack range. Byleth's aerials and air speed are just too slow to compensate.
 

StrangeKitten

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Ganon MU chart by "Twitter".


Looks accurate, although Doc, Mac, Rool and Incin probably win as well.
Incin gets insane reward with Revenge, and Ganon is one of the characters he edgeguards well. Mac outspeeds as well as cheeses with KO Punch. Doc and Rool have projectiles to wall Ganon out, and I'd imagine Doc's Cape and K Rool's Nair to be good here, too.

Poor Ganon. He really is loaded with far too many issues. Here's hoping he gets some buffs and fixes in a few hours.
 

The_Bookworm

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Ganon MU chart by "Twitter".

0 winning matchups. Yikes!
I knew that Ganondorf's matchup spread is going to be rather poor, but only 4 even matchups is almost :ganondorf: levels of poor matchups.
Granted that most of his losing matchups is -1.5, but still.

:ultganondorf: in this game has it rough. The transition from SSB4 did not do a good job at all fixing his issues, while some of his best tools from SSB4, such as up air, up smash, and aerial side B, got noticeably nerfed as well. The changes to airdodges did not help him as well, as it makes his already poor disadvantage state arguably even worse.

Then there is the fact that the SSB4 low tiers, even those a lot of them are at the low tiers in Ultimate, received more significant buffs, while other SSB4 low tiers like Zelda, Wii Fit Trainer, and Palutena, straight up got buffed out of the low tiers.

It also doesn't help that his playerbase and arguably results is even smaller than it is in SSB4, where at the very least he was borderline not bottom 10 (or straight up not bottom 10) in terms of results alone. Easily bottom 10 in terms of an overall character, but at least has that much going for him. Ultimate Ganondorf after the first few months of the game doesn't.

So unless he receives meaningful buffs tonight, he is going to remain a bottom 3 character, likely the worst character in the game.
 
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StrangeKitten

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:ultganondorf: Would greatly benefit from a powerful projectile. Get rid of warlock bunch and give the man some damn sorcery
He could honestly be so good if they did that, fixed some of his hitboxes, and improved either his airspeed or up special travel distance. Or even just allowed you to side special and then up special, without side putting you in freefall
 

Nah

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I wouldn't really expect much from the upcoming patch. Besides the fact that updates so far in regards to character changes have been conservative for the most part, it's probably been difficult for the development team to do a lot of work over the past few months. Probably had their hands full just working on Min Min, I would think.

Besides, there's a reason why Ganondorf's been considered varying degrees of not viable in the 4 games he's been in, and it's not something they're going to ever change really.
 

Nate1080

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I wouldn't really expect much from the upcoming patch. Besides the fact that updates so far in regards to character changes have been conservative for the most part, it's probably been difficult for the development team to do a lot of work over the past few months. Probably had their hands full just working on Min Min, I would think.
While you have reasonable points, it wouldn’t be wild to expect quite a bit out of this next patch. It has been 6 months since the last one and considering this is a whole new season of characters, maybe their approach to balancing/patches has changed.
 

StrangeKitten

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Six months is an awfully long time. And who knows if they were working on changes that just didn't get finished in time for Byleth? Could even be longer if that's the case. Terry brought buffs for DK, K Rool, Incineroar, Jiggs, Kirby, and Robin, who were all said to be pretty bad characters. Byleth brought slight nerfs to Joker, Palutena, and ZSS. This makes me feel like they listen when fans want buffs or nerfs. So hopefully, Ganondorf, the Pits, and others get some love this patch.

I could see it having a lot of changes, considering how long it's been. I could also see it not having many changes, since nothing is guaranteed. Keeping my expectations in check, but here's hoping!
 

Rizen

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And of course Wonderwing has its quirks: Resource-limited, loses to grabs. It's a really good move, as with proper timing/spacing it can sort of beat anything (and kill at great %s), but throwing it out as your go-to answer for projectiles in the neutral is nuking an anthill.

Jolt Haymaker is already somewhat overly aggressive and risky, but at least that's on theme for Mac. Banjo has other tools in the neutral, and a desire to save those feathers for better purposes.
Sometimes nuking an anthill is what you need; not because it's the best go-to option but because it shows you can. WW is the move that ties Banjo's moveset together in a similar way revenge does for Incineroar. Banjo is a good zoner but also has the threat of beating out the opponent's zoning at any time he has feathers left. In MUs like vs YL this changes the entire game plan of what's safe to zone Banjo with. You have to zone much more conservatively against him because at any point he can beat all your hitboxes and nuke your anthill. IMO WW alone is what keeps this MU from being in YL's favor.

I'm not saying WW is better than jolthaymaker. Mac has some of the best (and worst) tools in the game. When people were talking about the best of each move I thought 'has everyone forgotten about Mac's super armored, strong smashes?'
Blade (one of the best Byleth players) just released a matchup chart for :ultbyleth: and it's interesting when compared to the charts that MKLeo and Pink Fresh made a few months back.


It seems very pessimistic compared to MKLeo's and Pink Fresh's but I personally agree with this chart much more than theirs.

Some things that I feel are worth pointing out:

  • He thinks :ultbyleth: has no +2 matchups.
  • Characters who commonly struggle against swordies like :ultkirby: and :ultgnw: are put as even and losing for Byleth respectively, likely due to her struggle to hit shorter characters.
  • :ultluigi: is listed as being even, which I find interesting since most people who main swordies seem to see him as a winning matchup (except Roy players).
  • :ultinkling: in even seems really weird, since I feel like she would be extremely hard for Byleth to hit and play neutral against.
  • :ultkrool: was put in even surprisingly, but given that he can keep up with Byleth in terms of speed, range, and frame data, I can honestly see him going even in this matchup.
  • I personally disagree with :ultincineroar: in losing. I feel like he's too slow to get in against Byleth's range most of the time and lacks the range himself to contest with Byleth's hitboxes properly.
I second Byleth and find this pessimistic. Mainly because Byleth has such high reward on hit. If she Fsmashes your ledge getup you'll die at 60%. Several of her moves hit extremely hard. She might not be in control most of a match but when she is she cleans up.


I also find the Ganon MU chart pessimestic and frankly the quality I'd expect from Twitter. IMO Ganon doesn't lose any MY by more than -2 for similar reasons I've described for Byleth. Ganon has huge hitboxes that are super strong. He only needs 3 reads each stock.
 
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I wouldn't really expect much from the upcoming patch. Besides the fact that updates so far in regards to character changes have been conservative for the most part, it's probably been difficult for the development team to do a lot of work over the past few months. Probably had their hands full just working on Min Min, I would think.

Besides, there's a reason why Ganondorf's been considered varying degrees of not viable in the 4 games he's been in, and it's not something they're going to ever change really.
Yeah, the fact that he's actually good to great at literally anything else besides 1v1 competitive and platforming. Dominates Home-Run Contest, cleans up in free-for alls, can manage AI well enough... there's a niche for characters like him, it's just not the usual ones.
 
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0 winning matchups. Yikes!
I knew that Ganondorf's matchup spread is going to be rather poor, but only 4 even matchups is almost :ganondorf: levels of poor matchups.
Granted that most of his losing matchups is -1.5, but still.

:ultganondorf: in this game has it rough. The transition from SSB4 did not do a good job at all fixing his issues, while some of his best tools from SSB4, such as up air, up smash, and aerial side B, got noticeably nerfed as well. The changes to airdodges did not help him as well, as it makes his already poor disadvantage state arguably even worse.

Then there is the fact that the SSB4 low tiers, even those a lot of them are at the low tiers in Ultimate, received more significant buffs, while other SSB4 low tiers like Zelda, Wii Fit Trainer, and Palutena, straight up got buffed out of the low tiers.

It also doesn't help that his playerbase and arguably results is even smaller than it is in SSB4, where at the very least he was borderline not bottom 10 (or straight up not bottom 10) in terms of results alone. Easily bottom 10 in terms of an overall character, but at least has that much going for him. Ultimate Ganondorf after the first few months of the game doesn't.

So unless he receives meaningful buffs tonight, he is going to remain a bottom 3 character, likely the worst character in the game.
It also hasn't helped that some characters who were initially seen as maybe losing or going even with Ganon have received buffs in the patches leading to a lot of those matchups being worse for Ganon than they used to be:

  • :ultcloud: received buffs to limit and up-smash giving him much more reliable kill options against Ganon.
  • :ultdoc:'s down-tilt receiving better combo potential and up-b gaining more kill power have given him better ways to kill and combo Ganon.
  • :ultjigglypuff: received new confirms off of pound, some of her more underwhelming moves and b-air were buffed earlier in the game's lifespan, f-throw sets up for better edgeguards on characters with poor recoveries (like Ganon), and d-air has gained additional combo potential as well.
  • :ultkirby: has received solid buffs across the board, but he's still about as close as it comes to being a winning matchup for Ganon, even if it's barely better than even for Ganon at best.
  • :ultlittlemac: received buffs to some of his grounded normals which helps him further take advantage of Ganon's poor ground movement.
  • :ultkrool: received buffs to some of his normals, with n-air's combo and edgeguarding potential on Ganon having improved especially.
  • :ultridley: received a buff to his recovery, making him harder to edgeguard.
  • :ultsheik: received buffs to her combo game and kill power which makes abusing Ganon's disadvantage much easier than it was in the initial patch of the game.
  • :ultryu:/:ultken: still seem to be considered to be among Ganon's better matchups, but they have received buffs to their combo game and gained access to new kill confirms, which may have shifted the matchup out of Ganon's favor and closer to even or slightly Ken/Ryu's favor.
It also doesn't help that as the meta has changed, some matchups that Ganon isn't terrible in (:ultike::ultkingdedede::ultlucario:) have fallen out of favor compared to the first few months of the game.

In my honest opinion, the only top tiers and high tiers currently that I can see Ganon going even with (I don't think he wins against any of them) are :ultmario::ultike::ult_terry::ultbowser::ultken::ultwolf: which already isn't good. On top of that, he has some flat out terrible matchups against some top and high tiers as well that are worth noting. :ultyounglink::ultfalco::ultpacman::ultpikachu::ultluigi::ultsnake::ultsamus::ultpichu::ultsonic: and :ultpokemontrainer: all stand out to me as poor matchups for Ganon for various reasons.

It's also worth noting that there are some mid/low tiers with extremely good matchups against Ganon as well like :ultbanjokazooie::ultdk::ultduckhunt::ultisabelle::ultvillager: and especially :ultsimon:.

I don't think that he'll leave low tier without a decent chunk of buffs, which is a shame since I like Ganon's overall design from a gameplay perspective, but it just doesn't end up being a well rounded kit.
 
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StrangeKitten

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Ganon probably isn't leaving low tier unless they MASSIVELY buff his mobility, which I doubt they'll do. Nonetheless, I still want him to receive QoL buffs so he at least feels more fucntional, like what Terry's patch did for K Rool. Ganon will still be slow with no way to deal with projectiles, which will keep him doomed. But I'd still like to see nair not be so easy to fall out of, dash attack not just lose its hitbox partway through, recovery buffs of some kind (Ganon's is the worst in the game imo), etc.
 
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Yeah, the fact that he's actually good to great at literally anything else besides 1v1 competitive and platforming. Dominates Home-Run Contest, cleans up in free-for alls, can manage AI well enough... there's a niche for characters like him, it's just not the usual ones.
Just gonna remind people that for the great majority of smash players, "the usual ones" are exactly the modes in which Ganon is great.

Ganon doesn't really need fixing. He's bad at 1v1 competitive smash, but 1v1 competitive smash is a very tiny subset of all the ways in which people play smash.
 
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