Official Competitive Character Impressions 2.0

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NotLiquid

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Oh, and back to Wolf seemingly falling off despite still being really good, do you think he suffers from "not being hype?" As I understand it while he can kill decently well, he doesn't have anything too ridiculous.
Statistically, Wolf's quantitative player base never really went away. The way he trended on OrionStats all the way up to March this year can attest to his ubiquity.

As for your overall question, "hype" is a meaningless metric from a player's perspective. If top players cared about a character having a publicized hype factor, there'd be far more low tier heroes living it up among the crowd (not to say that there aren't quite a portion of those, particularly online). Hype is a peripheral factor that's dictated by a lot of context and circumstance. Most players who watch competitive Smash probably won't think Sonic is hype, but the people who play Sonic will likely pop off if they steal a win state under the opponent's noses. Players care a lot more about picks that make them feel comfortable in their desired play style and how they hope to keep winning.

A good example of that: after the recent buffs, Cosmos has now seemingly committed to going full-time Corrin. It's superseded his Inkling, and it even seems to have put his plans to main Pikachu on hold. We can argue to what extent Corrin's newfound strengths place her on the pecking order of Ultimate's cast, but if there's anything you probably won't find most pros saying it's that Corrin is a better pick than Pikachu (and the "hype" factor between the two is debatable if you've seen half the stunts ESAM does to commit highway robbery); probably a lot of them would still rate Inkling over her. Yet despite that, Cosmos justified his switch simply because Corrin is the character he feels most at home playing. Now obviously we don't know if that's going to stick; one of the main reasons he wanted to pick up Pikachu in the first place was because in his own words, if he wanted to be the best player he had to play the best character, meaning that at some point he thought his original main became untenable. But before the Corrin buffs he still largely ended up playing Inkling and regularly kept defaulting to her over Pikachu because, similarly to post-buff Corrin (and Smash 4 Corrin), he had the most fun/felt most comfortable with playing the squid.

Going back to the original character you mention, Wolf certainly is that character for a lot of people, but result-wise he is a character that statistically was bound to drop once players discover what kind of "niche" they're looking to attain, partially because his initial player base was so inflated in the first place as many players would go for him simply out of his ease-of-use, and how easy it is to get good with him. Given Ultimate's best characters aren't nearly as great as the best characters of previous Smash games, a lot of players went through growing pains in adapting to the fact that covering character weaknesses became much more of an uphill battle. It also means that by proxy, a lot of those players may not have explored options and characters that are more in line with their own preferred play style. Unless you're a character loyalist like Dark Wizzy or ESAM (even the latter of which is now on the market for pockets like Shulk and Min Min), a lot of Smash's top brass haven't stuck with the original character they opted to main. Players like VoiD and Dabuz come to mind in a general sense, and among the Wolf players there's MKLeo, Tweek and Zackray.

Wolf is by most objective metrics one of the strongest cast picks you can go for, but he's so neutral heavy that he's going to be one of the fastest MUs that people learn to play around, and despite having the data of a top tier, a lot of facets of his disadvantage is anything but. Even by spacie standards, his survivability is dangerously exploitable. That's not really a dealbreaker for him in the end though; there's more than one great character on the roster who gets by just fine despite being vulnerable in critical situations.
 
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Arthur97

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Perhaps hype was not the best term. Though, being considered "boring" may still be more important than it should be as top players are also showmen. However, it seemed that both Wolf and Lucina got a certain reputation early on (along with, imo, unneeded slaps on the wrists in patches) for being "easy" "simple" and if they want to be particularly rude, "braindead" and therefore got a bit of a negative connotation. In fact, despite Wolf probably being my most wanted cut veteran to return, I think such connotations may have played a part in me using him less.

Actually, that brings up the broader topic of fighter perception. Something which I think can be quite skewed by personalities. Like people complaining Zelda got any buffs at all even if part of their YouTube act. Sure, people like you and me may know better, but they can perpetuate stuff like that and bring down a fighter's perception. Plus, there may be an exposure effect. Like, why would you be surprised to find Simon is not totally eclipsed and may even surpass Richter in usage and/or win rate (forget which one it was)? Sure, a lot of pros and people on forums may show bias for the latter, but that's hardly all the people who play Smash. However, it can still lead to an assumption like Richter or Female Robin being more popular without much concrete proof. While that may have little to no effect on competitive play in those cases, it does show a potential tendency to just kind of...accept things as fact even if they can't prove it.

While on the topic of Smash personalities though, I am actually kind of glad those people are not in charge of balancing though. Take Fatality, who most would probably agree is the best Captain Falcon player. He has said repeatedly that these are not the buffs he would have given him even though he's happy with them. He would have balanced out his weaknesses more which generally seems to be the way a lot of pros think. Personally, I like some more unorthodox approaches here. In a sense, many players may be too stooped in the tried and true to the point of assuming fighters need to be made one way to be good, or a general distaste for polarization. While on some level that may be true...how boring would the game be then? I guess, in a sense, a lot of pros may lack creativity.
 
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Swamp Sensei

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However, it seemed that both Wolf and Lucina got a certain reputation early on (along with, imo, unneeded slaps on the wrists in patches) for being "easy" "simple" and if they want to be particularly rude, "braindead" and therefore got a bit of a negative connotation.
That's mostly just salt from other players, not gonna lie.
 

Lacrimosa

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That's mostly just salt from other players, not gonna lie.
Same reason as to why Nayru's Love or Roller are "braindead" moves. I know that from myself: Everytime I get hit by an Inkling at the beginning of Ult I cursed this move but adapted by time.

Yes, it is braindead in non-high/top-level play, I give Twitter/Youtube/etc that.
 

Swamp Sensei

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Same reason as to why Nayru's Love or Roller are "braindead" moves. I know that from myself: Everytime I get hit by an Inkling at the beginning of Ult I cursed this move but adapted by time.

Yes, it is braindead in non-high/top-level play, I give Twitter/Youtube/etc that.
See those moves are actually braindead cause I have trouble with them. :troll:


For real though, Roller ain't too bad to deal with, but I will ask how does one deal with Nayru's Love? Like, the answer seems to be to wait it out and punish on the recovery frames but I seem to be really bad at it. Am I doing it wrong or? The timing just seems stricter than it first appears.
 
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Lacrimosa

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See those moves are actually braindead cause I have trouble with them. :troll:


For real though, Roller ain't too bad to deal with, but I will ask how does one deal with Nayru's Love? Like, the answer seems to be to wait it out and punish on the recovery frames but I seem to be really bad at it. Am I doing it wrong or? The timing just seems stricter than it first appears.
Answer: You don't.
I always get hit by it in dittos even though I should know this moves properties in-and-out. Fugg this move :,).
Also I have to say I talked smack about this move but that's probably because I haven't played the game for 3 months when I said that and my usage of it is still very wrong (but better, it's still really hard to get past the habit of pressing b everytime someone approaches).

But seriously, maybe have a Zelda set to only using neutral-B in training mode and see how and when you can punish this move.
Not sure if that's an actual setting you can do (otherwise use a 2nd controller and have it press B somehow).
I rarely ever used the training mode as most of my experience comes from practice in "real" matches.
 
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Rizen

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There are several characters who reward strong fundamentals and :ultwolf:'s the best of them. He's one of those top tiers who seems to have gotten everything. Nothing he has is particularly complex but everything's effective.

He has great chains. Fair and Uair are functionally identical except one hits in front and the other hits above. If he lands one Fair there's a good chance he'll hit you with at least one more F/Uair. You don't need to know complicated combos, just hold towards the opponent and press 'A'. His tech chases are the same way; Nair, Dthrow and Dtilt send the opponent at a low angle and Wolf's DA and Dsmash both have great coverage and reward to follow up.

His midrange game is fantastic between great air speed, a DA that has long lasting hitboxes and a transcendent blaster Wolf can beat most characters at midrange. All these are simple, effective options. Blaster has good hitboxes, deals good damage and has a bayonet. All you have to do is fire when the opponent's in front of you and you beat out most approaches.

Great airspeed gives him an above average disadvantage state. He's very good at weaving out of the way of Uairs. He also has a reflector so you can't snipe him. Nair is a sex kick which in general are good ledge trapping/landing moves due to covering his lower body in long lasting hitboxes. He has good weight for a space animal too.

All this and Wolf has simple, strong kill options. Bair and Dsmash can kill at 90%+. Fsmash is strong and relatively low commitment for a smash. Usmash serves the purpose of a Usmash and hits platforms. When the opponent's over 140% Wolf can kill with lower commitment F/Utilt. He even has a kill Bthrow. All his buttons are high reward on hit.

Although he has simple options that doesn't mean Wolf's skill ceiling is low. Wolf has a lot of room for optimization and becomes even more effective with practice.

tl;dr Wolf is an all around great character. He's stood the test of time and gotten top tier results even when top players stopped using him.
 
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Oh, and back to Wolf seemingly falling off despite still being really good, do you think he suffers from "not being hype?" As I understand it while he can kill decently well, he doesn't have anything too ridiculous.
you answered your own question he is victim to what happened to lucina. he's solid he has some more cheese than lucina does but wolf is a character that just thrives on solid play but theres nothing oppressive in his kit.
 

The_Bookworm

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Since a Wi-Fi "PGR" came out recently:



"But Zelda's top-tier online"
When looking at the list, note that the person who made the list mentioned that he messed up, and associated Sword:ultchrom: with :ultroy:.
That means that Chrom is moved up to 1 rep and Roy is moved down to 1 rep.

Btw, the whole Zelda being top tier online is usually pertained to low-level online play.
In the early online days, there where many tier lists made to be associated with online, but even since then, the online metagame has developed in a way that we have a better idea on what high level online play looks like, at least in the USA.
 
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When looking at the list, note that the person who made the list mentioned that he messed up, and associated Sword:ultchrom: with :ultroy:.
That means that Chrom is moved up to 1 rep and Roy is moved down to 1 rep.

Btw, the whole Zelda being top tier online is usually pertained to low-level online play.
In the early online days, there where many tier lists made to be associated with online, but even since then, the online metagame has developed in a way that we have a better idea on what high level online play looks like, at least in the USA.
Roy would still be 2 reps because of Goblin.
 

The_Bookworm

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Roy would still be 2 reps because of Goblin.
I am not sure if he entirely counts. He has been relatively quiet for a long time in the online scene.
Gastly himself says that both Roy and Chrom would be under the "1 rep" category.

Btw, I am curious on the 3 reps for Pikachu. ESAM and Cosmos is easily two of them, but who is the third Pikachu rep?
 

NotLiquid

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Oddly appropriate that Cosmos finally entering a Top 10 player list is one that's based on wi-fi. Conversely it's pretty quaint that Inkling's first ever 1st place at an S-tier event, let alone A-tier, was also online. Certainly counts for something given the current state of the world though.

I am not sure if he entirely counts. He has been relatively quiet for a long time in the online scene.
Gastly himself says that both Roy and Chrom would be under the "1 rep" category.

Btw, I am curious on the 3 reps for Pikachu. ESAM and Cosmos is easily two of them, but who is the third Pikachu rep?
ShinyMark. He's almost exclusively a wi-fi warrior.
 

Rizen

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I am not sure if he entirely counts. He has been relatively quiet for a long time in the online scene.
Gastly himself says that both Roy and Chrom would be under the "1 rep" category.

Btw, I am curious on the 3 reps for Pikachu. ESAM and Cosmos is easily two of them, but who is the third Pikachu rep?
Goblin got #21 on the rankings, he counts.
 
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75. GamingHI9x9 :ultluigi:
74. ChunkyKong :ultdk:
73. LeoN :ultbowser:
72. Frido :ultgnw:
71. Haven :ultwario:
70. Angel :ultrobin:
69. colinies :ultyounglink:
68. Mr. L :ultpikachu:
67. VoiD :ultsheik:
66. Whisky :ultrobin:
65. MVD :ultsnake:
64. Holopup :ultpalutena:
63. Sumgai :ultpichu:
62. BluStriker :ultsonic:
61. Fatality :ultfalcon::ultganondorf:
60. Sogoodpop :ultwiifittrainer:
59. WebbJP :ultlucas:
58. SuperGirlKels :ultsonic:
57. Pandarian :ultpokemontrainerf:
56. Chag :ultpalutena::ultinkling:
55. ApolloKage :ultsnake:
54. Justin :ultsamus::ultdarksamus:
53. Atticus :ultyoshi:
52. Ravenking :ultike:
51. Gen :ultpalutena:
50. AndresFn :ultken::ultryu:
49. Samsora :ultpeach:
48. SuperStriker :ultsonic:
47. Regi Shikimi :ultgnw::ultpiranha:
46. The 6Master:ultpacman:
45. Sword :ultchrom::ultroy:
44. Aikota :ultgunner::ultlucas:
43. Snormanda :ultbowserjr:
42. Vinny G :ultsnake:
41. Middy :ultpacman:
40. MiLe :ultyoshi:
39. Mr. E :ultlucina:
38. Peabnut :ultmegaman:
37. Laid :ultpacman:
36. Yez :ultike:
35. Tarik :ultgreninja:
34. TonyZTank :ultsonic:
33. ShinyMark :ultpikachu::ultpit::ultdarkpit:
32. Ned :ultcloud::ultpokemontrainerf:
31. Raffi-X :ultrob:
30. Benny&TheJets :ultrob:
29. enhancedpv :ultcloud::ultwolf:
28. Br1 AV :ultsnake:
27. Pokelam :ultvillager::ultisabelle:
26. Grayson :ultrob:
25. RobinGG :ultpeach:
24. 8BitMan :ultrob:
23. Lui$ :ultmario::ultdoc::ultfox:
22. Pelca :ultsnake:
21. Goblin :ultroy::ultchrom:
20. Riddles :ult_terry:
19. JW :ultgreninja:
18. Sytonix :ultken:
17. LingLing :ultpeach:
16. Sebayee :ultgnw:
15. Sharp :ultsheik::ultwolf::ultzss:
14. ESAM :ultpikachu:
13. SKITTLES!! :ultyounglink:
12. Epic_Gabriel :ultrob:
11. MKLeo :ultcloud::ultgreninja::ultbyleth::ultlink::ultmewtwo:
10. Lights :ultzss::ultcloud:
9. Dabuz :ultolimar::ultrosalina:
8. Maister :ultgnw:
7. BestNess :ultness::ultpiranha:
6. Wrath :ultsonic:
5. Cosmos :ultinkling::ultpikachu:
4. Sparg0 :ultcloud::ultzss:
3. Tweek :ultwario::ultwolf::ultpalutena:
2. Sonix :ultsonic:
1. Kola :ultcloud::ultroy::ultsnake:

Can you post that as a link? All that's loading for me is a white bar.
You mean like this? https://twitter.com/gastlyhaze/status/1289281346607575040?ref_src=twsrc^tfw|twcamp^tweetembed|twterm^1289281346607575040|twgr^&ref_url=https://smashboards.com/threads/competitive-character-impressions-2-0.464762/page-423
 
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Flat Realm 7

1st: Sonix:ultsonic:
2nd: Sparg0:ultcloud:
3rd: MkLeo:ultmarth:
4th: ShinyMark:ultpikachu:
5th: SKITTLES!!:ultyounglink:
5th: BestNess:ultness::ultpalutena: (DQ'ed at loser's)
7th: Mr.L:ultpikachu:
7th: Ven:ultzelda:
9th: Chewie:ultmewtwo:
9th: Cloudy:ultcloud::ultroy::ultjoker::ultminmin
9th: Nair^:ultcloud::ultridley::ulthero:
9th: ATATA:ultness:
13th: Waymas:ultwario:
13th: Sharp:ultsheik::ultzss:
13th: Fatality:ultfalcon: (DQ'ed at loser's)
13th: Luisfer:ultcloud:


Oof.
Sparg0 made a strong loser's bracket run. After losing to SKITTLES!! shortly before top 8, he pretty much destroyed everyone (including MkLeo) in loser's, then got the 3-0 victory against Sonix in grand finals set 1.
 
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Honestly, my main takeaway from these games is that if anything, Doc would love more shield safety on his non-pill approaches.
It'd be nice, but that'd hardly fix anything...

He still would have low range and mobility, thus:

-He'd still struggle to approach.
-He'd still get camped.
-He'd still struggle to recover.

As said before, VOID kept approaching when he didn't need to, and that very well may have been from lack of MU knowledge.
There's over 80+ character in a meta where even the bottom 3 can still be scary, MU inexperience matters more than ever.

But what happens if you learn that MU later on and you now know to stay at a distance... (Which isn't that hard to do with :ultsheik: against one of the slowest movers BTW)
It turns into an uphill battle for :ultdoc: as he struggles to get anything done if he doesn't get the snag and maintain the lead first.


I get you are optimistic, but characters don't improve if you overlook their flaws and the counterplay that spawns from it.
 
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Thinkaman

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The tautology that a character is bad because of [bad property], and will always be bad because of [bad property] is not worth reponding to.

This isn't 2009. We don't, or shouldn't, sit around listing out the strengths and flaws of characters like it gives any insight into anything.

We know that Ness b-throw is bonkers. We know that Ness PKT is gimpable. Both of those could be true, and Ness could be the worst in the game or the best.

"But his recovery", whether we're talking about Little Mac, Doc, Incineroar, or whoever, is not just unhelpful, it's anti-helpful. In an all-to-familiar mimickry of modern American politics, it's aborting the current discussion and regressing to preestablished talking points.



I wanna slap these mofos; we all know Ganon has a bad recovery! None of us started playing the game yesterday. In any conversation where this is brought up, no one gains any new information or perspective. "Oh, Joker Arsene bair is really good? Well gee I'm gonna have to go revise my matchup chart!"

I've been subject to 2 pages of blather about how Doc can't approach and blah blah blah. I give you 7 high-level VODs of the best Doc in the world, that took me all of 10 seconds to find on Google, in which he doesn't have trouble approaching. Like it's not great. Again: Doc is not a good character! But based on everything being said here, one would fully expect this unplayable mess to be getting 3-stocked left and right in an abundance of hopeless matchups that are 2:8 at best.

But instead of a discussion on Lui$'s apt use of Pill, the close range options he uses to maximize grab threat, and how his ledge game differs from that of his Mario, I find myself getting forum-splained yet again with another episode of but his recovery. What could be one of the most instructive Doc sets of all time apparently doesn't count because... *looks at notes* ...Void isn't a good enough player? Maybe he'll pay you for some lessons when quarantine ends.



Some people just want to complain, and they are easy to spot because they are always the ones playing low tiers while specifically complaining that they should have the particular distinguishing properties of high tiers.

Who they could just play anyway!
 
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The tautology that a character is bad because of [bad property], and will always be bad because of [bad property] is not worth reponding to.

This isn't 2009. We don't, or shouldn't, sit around listing out the strengths and flaws of characters like it gives any insight into anything.

We know that Ness b-throw is bonkers. We know that Ness PKT is gimpable. Both of those could be true, and Ness could be the worst in the game or the best.

"But his recovery", whether we're talking about Little Mac, Doc, Incineroar, or whoever, is not just unhelpful, it's anti-helpful. In an all-to-familiar mimickry of modern American politics, it's aborting the current discussion and regressing to preestablished talking points.



I wanna slap these mofos; we all know Ganon has a bad recovery! None of us started playing the game yesterday. In any conversation where this is brought up, no one gains any new information or perspective. "Oh, Joker Arsene bair is really good? Well gee I'm gonna have to go revise my matchup chart!"

I've been subject to 2 pages of blather about how Doc can't approach and blah blah blah. I give you 7 high-level VODs of the best Doc in the world, that took me all of 10 seconds to find on Google, in which he doesn't have trouble approaching. Like it's not great. Again: Doc is not a good character! But based on everything being said here, one would fully expect this unplayable mess to be getting 3-stocked left and right in an abundance of hopeless matchups that are 2:8 at best.

But instead of a discussion on Lui$'s apt use of Pill, the close range options he uses to maximize grab threat, and how his ledge game differs from that of his Mario, I find myself getting forum-splained yet again with another episode of but his recovery. What could be one of the most instructive Doc sets of all time apparently doesn't count because... *looks at notes* ...Void isn't a good enough player? Maybe he'll pay you for some lessons when quarantine ends.



Some people just want to complain, and they are easy to spot because they are always the ones playing low tiers while specifically complaining that they should have the particular distinguishing properties of high tiers.

Who they could just play anyway!
I don't really get this "just camp him" mantra. He is slow, but his frame data and good damage relative to it makes it rather hard to actually pin him in situations where he has no choice but to get hit, his bouncy pills can occupy a surprising amount of space, and again, a reflector that doesn't disrupt his movement unless you want it to. Maybe you're aiming for a time-out by not engaging him at all, but that requires you to have done so sucessfully at some point.

Doc doesn't fear camping, that's just an annoyance to him. What he fears is swords due to his combination of bad speed and reach.
 

Swamp Sensei

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Characters have weaknesses. All characters have weaknesses. Sometimes those weaknesses are incredibly frustrating. But players are supposed to find ways to get around those weaknesses. They develop counterplay. They change their gameplan. They learn to deal with their weaknesses best they can. There's so much you can do.

It's absurd simplification to assume a character's viability in the meta or even their potential performance in a match is dictated by one or two things.
 
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People, especially on these boards, have a tendency to put too much emphasis on weaknesses to the point where they are likely to underestimate a character. Remember people thinking Smash 4 Cloud wasn't top 5 (sometimes even top 10) because of his recovery? Remember when people thought Smash 4 Corrin was high-mid because of her relativity slow movement speed? Remember when people thought Chrom would be Low tier because of his recovery? People have a tendency to focus too much on weaknesses and not enough on strengths. We know now that Smash 4 Cloud was the second best character in the game. We know now that Smash 4 Corrin was high tier or top tier. We know that Ultimate Chrom is top tier or high tier. Weaknesses matter, but having great strengths often means that characters can play around those weaknesses.

What about Dr. Mario? Well, he's still a pretty bad character, but he's hardly super easy. Many of his losing MUs are probably only -1 or -2. His weaknesses are severe, but his strengths are also significant. We should not discount character's strengths.

I don't want to hear "Just camp Kirby", "Just gimp Little Mac", "Corrin is worse than in 4 because of mobility*" anymore. Yes, those are flaws, but they're not nearly as significant as one might think, and they can be played around.

*She might be worse than in 4, she might be around the same level, or she might be better, we don't know yet, but either way mobility won't be the reason.
 
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For me, talking about a character's viability doesn't just come down to mentioning their weaknesses, but how well those characters can compensate for their shortcomings. For instance - :ultpacman:- a character often regarded as a high/top tier has a few shortcomings that :ultdoc: has (poor range and mobility), but that only matters against characters who can either exploit his weakness well or can his mitigate his tremendous advantages, that being his insane damage output, really strong boxing, stellar ledge options, and projectile mix-ups/walls that can make it hard for a lot of characters to approach him. Characters like :ultmario::ultpalutena: and :ultwolf: don't have to deal with his boxing or hydrant shenanigans when they have their own projectiles to poke at his wall from a distance, as well as really good answers to his projectiles and equally strong (if not better) boxing, but characters like :ultpikachu::ultshulk::ultsonic: and :ultpeach: in particular don't really have those luxuries, which is why we tend to see those characters struggle a bit more in comparison. This is a really rough write-up that could be wrong, but it's meant to act more as an example.

Or if you might think Pac-Man isn't a fair comparison because he's a much better character than Doc, let's take a look at another low tier: :ultkirby:. Kirby's shortcomings somewhat parallel Doc's: He's got little to no disjoints, his air movement's terrible, and while his recovery isn't bad per say, it has a few blemishes. This would make you think he loses to a lot of what Doc does lose too, and I don't blame you for doing so, but Kirby's range is actually fairly above average for a brawler thanks to his feet; it won't beat out most swordies, but it will beat out most brawlers' range. And one of the biggest misconceptions ever thrown around about the character, his ground movement - despite being considered slow - is better than over the half the cast AND is only .03 units away from :ultmario:, a character who's considered to have average mobility. With his small size allowing him to low profile a good chunk of attacks, Kirby doesn't have it NEARLY as bad as Doc does in terms of swordies. Most swordies like :ultlucina::ultshulk::ultike::ultcorrinf: are all fairly doable for him and some like :ultcloud::ultchrom::ultroy: and :ultpalutena: can even be argued as even or in his favor (I recall SuperGirlKels listing Cloud and Chroy as winning match-ups for Kirby). And this isn't even talking about how well he can mow down swordies once he gets in due to their poor up close options against his insane up close pressure. However, unlike Doc, Kirby has very mediocre answers to projectiles, with Inhale acting as a very niche absorber in comparison to Super Sheet and Final Cutter having much more commitment than something like Pills, which, in turn, leads him to suffering in areas where his ground movement, small frame, and legs just don't cut it for approaching. This makes characters who can turn the stage into a literal bullet hell while also being able to poke his tiny butt like :ultyounglink::ultrob::ultpacman::ultduckhunt::ultsnake: far worse than what any character with a toothpick can accomplish against him.

:ultdoc: has it worse in terms of movement, but he also has a much easier time with projectiles because he has his own annoying pills (which confirms btw) and a cape that can auto-cancel in a short hop. His worse movement/range can give him having a much harder time against disjoints, leading to him performing worse against the likes of :ultgnw::ultrosalina::ultlucina::ultpalutena::ultike::ultcloud::ultcorrinf: and :ultshulk:, the latter of which is often considered to be his absolute worst MU. However, he also doesn't need to care NEARLY about as much about bombs or grenades being tossed in his face like Kirby does, so characters like :ultolimar::ultpacman::ultsamus::ultmegaman::ultrob::ultsnake: aren't all that bad for him and he can even perform well against some of them, like :ultyounglink::ultwiifittrainer:.


Both characters in general have a good time when they can box out to their hearts' content (i.e. when they're at their strongest), so they don't mind having to go up against characters like :ultpikachu::ultpichu::ultfox: and :ultmario: to a lesser extent.


I'm sorry if it sound like I'm just rambling without making a point, but the point isn't so much that I'm arguing Kirby and Doc aren't low tiers as much as it's that I took 3 characters with similar problems, but because they have radically different strengths, gave them three different MU charts. Kirby's bad air movement and answers to projectiles is only an issue if you don't care about his legs or his tiny frame; likewise, Doc's poor range and speed is only a problem if you don't care about his pills. And if characters didn't care about both characters' strengths nearly as much as we let on, Tsumusuto wouldn't be having his +50% winrates against over half the cast, and Ron wouldn't be sweeping most recent tournaments in Japan right now.
 
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What good does ending the discussion do unless you're trying to foster that matchup inexperience, or buff fishing?
???
I was clearly talking about my discussion with Thinkaman.
No clue where you got that idea, but it wasn't my intention so whatever.


Characters have weaknesses. All characters have weaknesses. Sometimes those weaknesses are incredibly frustrating. But players are supposed to find ways to get around those weaknesses. They develop counterplay. They change their gameplan. They learn to deal with their weaknesses best they can. There's so much you can do.

It's absurd simplification to assume a character's viability in the meta or even their potential performance in a match is dictated by one or two things.
It's not just Doc has that certain problem.
It's that he has that problem ON-TOP of many others that I already explained and gave my thoughts about in this previous post:

It's pretty frustrating honestly, he's so close to being a good character with his fast, hard-hitting moves, but is plagued with too many big and even little issues that hold him back.

-We all know :ultdoc: is slow, but I'm not convinced many know by how much.

-Air Acceleration:
*Base: 0.007648
*Additional: 0.053536

*Max: 0.061184

(31st Slowest)

-Air Speed: 0.9238784 (11th Slowest)


-Run Speed: 1.397792 (7th Slowest)

-Initial Dash: 1.5375712 (The number 1 Slowest)

He's one of the slowest movers in the game, so trying to play approach, run away, or push advantage can be hell at times.
He doesn't have any fast and/or ambiguous approach options which only adds on to his problem of trying to escape pressure. Forcing him to rely on rolls and spot dodges.

:ultdoc: has to alleviate this with Pills, which can work, but many characters can invalidate their use by hitting them, or just crouching under them as a shorter character.
He's simply not mobile enough to threaten on stage unless he goes all in, which he can't afford to mess up thanks to his horrible recovery.

-His recovery stinks, he doesn't drift far nor jump high enough. Air dodging only does so much. Up-B has smaller hitboxes, doesn't grant invincibility, and goes a shorter distance than Mario's while still containing the same 30 frames of landing lag.

While mashing Tornado can help, that function doesn't refresh if you get hit after the attack ends sort of like :ultlittlemac: Side-B.
It's another, laggier, and more limited jump at the end of the day, so I don't get why the one uses limit at all. Air Tornado doesn't even grant armor at all unlike the grounded version. (Not that it would have mattered much since it's only a 10 HP threshold that lasts from frames 5-9 which hardly does much.)

This squeezes into his edge-guarding, while his options are powerful, he can't go far off-stage without the risk of SDing.


-Just like :ultmario:, his frame data is amazing but at the cost of reach.
While his hitboxes aren't bad, they just lack the range and priority to challenge head-on, especially since he can't drift around to cover space well enough with his aerial moment.
Doesn't help that his F-Smash, B-Air, and Cape have less reach then :ultmario:'s. (Although his Up-Smash has an extra active frame)









In F-Smash case, he can't 2-Frame some recoveries and Cape is too small to challenge aerial approaches.

-:ultdoc: has too many negative on hit moves at low percents, including his aerials unless you instantly land with some of them, which you obviously can't do when using them as a rising option out of shield.
Up-Tilt:


Up-Smash:


Sour/Early N-Air:


Sweet N-Air


B-Air


Up-Air:


D-Air:



Granted, most spikes at low %'s have this problem since the devs don't want spikes to kill super early off-stage.

Up-B:
Starting at 0:03

Dark Wizzy: "Wow that was super negative on hit, I'm never doing that again."
Normally these wouldn't be a big deal. But with :ultdoc: you need to make all your hits count.

It's especially bad on Up-Air since it's meant to be your main combo starter, yet it's better at starting combos for the opponent.
This results in Doc getting average damage off of simple BnB's and by the time it becomes positive on hit, the opponent can just DI away and they're launched too far to continue the combo. (Unless it's on a heavy)

At least he does have some strong combos like landing late N-Air > Sweet D-Tilt > Grab, or D-Air Spike > Up-Smash, though they're often more situational.

-He's a powerful character who can struggle to kill.
While many of his KO options like Up-Smash, F-Air (the half that don't sourspot), D-Air, B-Throw, Up-B, and Tornado are very strong.

His mobile burst options on the other hand like F-Tilt, Sweet N-Air, B-Air and Up-Air while quite strong for their frame data are often outclassed in KO Power by other, mobile glass canon-ish characters like :ultness:, :ultmewtwo:, :ultroy:, :ultchrom:, :ultwolf:, :ult_terry:, and :ultzss:

-He's not even heavier than :ultmario:.

I've heard some argument saying this wouldn't help, and yeah while he would get combo'd harder, he does have faster escape options like a Frame 3 Air-Dodge, N-Air, Up-Air, & Up-B. (Even if they're minus on hit at low percents) And I believe those, combined with fewer chances of getting blastzone'd would do him more good in the long run.


-Most matchups usually involved the opponent taking advantage of his lack of approach options in order to win neutral, and at that point, many characters can play super lame if they gain a lead, and sometimes they can just straight-up camp/run away most of the fight, it's sadly a very viable strategy against him. Even if that's not the case, he still would have to win neutral multiple times, thus giving the opponent more chances to adapt and knock him off-stage and abuse his horrible recovery.
With all of this out of the way, this paints a clear picture of what kind of a character :ultdoc: is.
It's a bummer since he's a very fun character with a surprisingly distinct design, but also a very flawed and unpopular one since not many people know about these problems. They clearly overdid it on his weakness and he suffers from it as he has few even matchups and even less winning ones, especially after 8.0.0.

Here's hoping he'll get significantly buffed in the next 5 patches.


If you disagree with any of this, then cool, whatever, it's pushing forward a conversation.

But just wanted to clarify a few things as people here were taking what I said out of context.
 
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I don't see why we shouldn't be talking about a character's strengths and weaknesses? This thread is called "Competitive Character Impressions", which basically means, what do you think about this character competitively? Mentioning that Pills, cape, and kill power are strengths of Doctor Mario and that slowness, lack of safety on some of his moves at low %, and recovery are weaknesses is relevant to the discussion because, unless those things get changed, they are factors that will play a key role in how the character performs for years to come. And from there, we can pay attention to how much those perceived strengths and weaknesses matter. As of now, it seems that Doc's weaknesses outweigh his strengths. That is the impression we're getting after looking at vods and data of the character in a competitive environment.
 

Xfire

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I believe the bigger picture here is that we want to look outside what's been said on paper throughout the meta of said character. :ultdoc:, I also believe to have weaknesses outweight their strengths, but we want to know how we can circumvent said weaknesses. Negative on hit, stubby yet fast attacks, restrictive movement, cannot approach reliably...those are talking points that are valid and can be agreed upon. Despite 7.0.0 patch improving Doc's combo game, not much changed on counterplay against him (camping and edgeguard). How would the player themselves want to circumvent said weaknesses through their strengths? The sets between Void and Lui$ can bring insight no matter what even if character "unfamiliarity" plagues said gameplay. The pills that Doc threw out can stop the opponent from running to a particular safe spot, or give Doc a favorable position that makes it easier to close the gap, albeit small.

P.S: I saw the initial response to Thinkaman's opinion about talking points. It confirmed the scoffing attitude that some players exhibit with "high" standards. You showed a top/high level play that shows how/what you can do to circumvent said weaknesses? Meh. Opponent didn't do the "optimal" play between these 5 seconds of interaction. No need to scoff on opinions just because it felt "higher" against yours.
 
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P.S: I saw the initial response to Thinkaman's opinion about talking points. It confirmed the scoffing attitude that some players exhibit with "high" standards. You showed a top/high level play that shows how/what you can do to circumvent said weaknesses? Meh. Opponent didn't do the "optimal" play between these 5 seconds of interaction. No need to scoff on opinions just because it felt "higher" against yours.
I know you're talking about me, and to clarify that wasn't the intention/point.

The point was to counter against the logic "Well here's some high-level sets of Doc and he isn't struggling to get in, so it's not a problem."
Which these post implied:

Man, very little of what is being said for the last page aligns at all with any match you can pull up in 5 seconds on youtube from Lui$ or Big D.
But that doesn't stop him from giving us plenty of good footage, even older stuff. Not hype compliations, real games.

Even losing games against players ranked above him still feature quality play that does not exhibit a binary, garbage, or fundamentally flawed character.

There's a great recent online set against Void where he pulls out Doc after his Fox goes 0-2.
Not everyone will play every MU completely optimal, it's completely unrealistic to expect that, and I get that.
I even brought up in the post:

As said before, VOID kept approaching when he didn't need to, and that very well may have been from lack of MU knowledge.
There's over 80+ character in a meta where even the bottom 3 can still be scary, MU inexperience matters more than ever.
My point was just because a weakness isn't exhibited in some high levels sets, doesn't mean that it can't be exhibited later, or is an irrelevant weakness for that matter. (The Doc Discord has expressed this many times before)
As well as pointing out that Thinkaman buff suggestions wouldn't be good enough to alleviate it:

Honestly, my main takeaway from these games is that if anything, Doc would love more shield safety on his non-pill approaches. His grab is sufficient and his reward is very high such that there's a lot of 50:50 leverage on anything that scares people into holding shield longer. A hair bigger hitbox on f-smash or couple startup frames shaved off fair would be highly relevant to some of Lui$'s personal plays we see him go for a lot, but what we see him really need is things that actually puts the fear of God into a Lucina who shields a pill from an aerial Doc--something besides Mario-speed dash grab.
No scoffing, no put-downs, that's it.
 
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Swamp Sensei

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I heard Bowser Jr gets a bad reputation competitively? Is he really that bad?
From what I gather, his reputation is that he's better than Smash 4 by a longshot.

But most other characters got better too, so he's mostly in the same place.
 
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Yeah, no character is really bad in Ultimate. Every character is functional for the most part and has strengths. Every character is capable of doing pretty well and causing occasional upsets. That said, of course there are characters who have more weaknesses than others. We probably won't see Bowser Jr get top 8 at majors, at least not in his current state. He's far from bad, he just lacks that extra oomph to make him a great character. He has great up air strings at low%, but past that, his neutral just feels a little lacking. It's a shame his projectiles aren't that useful - the canonball is too slow, mechakoopa is easy to shield or pick up and use against him. His recovery is also exploitable in certain situations, moreso than most other characters.
 

DougEfresh

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Yeah, no character is really bad in Ultimate. Every character is functional for the most part and has strengths. Every character is capable of doing pretty well and causing occasional upsets. That said, of course there are characters who have more weaknesses than others. We probably won't see Bowser Jr get top 8 at majors, at least not in his current state. He's far from bad, he just lacks that extra oomph to make him a great character. He has great up air strings at low%, but past that, his neutral just feels a little lacking. It's a shame his projectiles aren't that useful - the canonball is too slow, mechakoopa is easy to shield or pick up and use against him. His recovery is also exploitable in certain situations, moreso than most other characters.
Yea Imo it's a blessing and a curse to having a game with so many characters (majority of which are actually good, unlike past Smash games) yet is as "balanced" as Ultimate is. Nobody is a lost cause, but if a character isn't perceived to have a certain "ratio" of strengths to weaknesses or widely applicable solutions to more glaring weaknesses, they're "mediocre" and just get completely forgotten; then often a great deal of misunderstanding and bad information results that forms faulty opinions of those "lesser" characters from many people (on this thread and elsewhere). Being a player who mains characters widely perceived to be in the "lower" tiers, it really amazes me how adaptable these "lesser" characters are and despite possibly having more glaring flaws compared to the high and top tiers, the gaps between characters in each tier is not that big. There's still so much you can do to work around the weaknesses and I believe there's a much bigger threshold for us to reach than most of us think before we can actually blame our character for a lack of success/results instead of ourselves.

Also, a character requiring more effort to play well and make work =/= that character sucks (at least, to a large extent). People generally just lack work ethic and unless you're top 10-20 on the PGR, using a character that requires more effort for only slightly lesser reward relative to common high and top tiers is not going to be what's holding a player back Imo. I know competing is already hard enough in a lot of ways, but I think at least some competitive players who are not top players rob themselves of playing a character that could potentially be really fun and fitting of their playstyle (and therefore, more likely to see success as a result) just because of being heavily influenced by what the popular opinion is and/or being unwilling to put in the time to make said character work for them.
 
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Das Koopa

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My viability study isn't complete yet, but my opinion of Snake has dramatically shifted. I don't see how a character with his stats isn't a top tier; extremely high usage, good peaks, a significant quantity of hidden bosses, the #1 upsetter in brackets when Wolf is adjusted for poor seeding, etc. Character seems underrated.
 
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My viability study isn't complete yet, but my opinion of Snake has dramatically shifted. I don't see how a character with his stats isn't a top tier; extremely high usage, good peaks, a significant quantity of hidden bosses, the #1 upsetter in brackets when Wolf is adjusted for poor seeding, etc. Character seems underrated.
Snake is still great, there is no denying that, but he kinda fell behind in light of characters like Mario, R.O.B., and Roy rising in both popularity and results, both in offline and online results.
Needless to say, the competition of top 10, even top 15, is very fierce in Ultimate, with some great characters trying to nab a spot among the game's best.
 
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