- Jul 14, 2014
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.
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 It's superseded his Inkling, and it even seems to have put his plans to main Pikachu on hold.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.