Official Competitive Character Impressions 2.0

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StrangeKitten

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This was a very, very wacky tournament.
Many players upsetted early, unconventional character picks advancing far, and the very strange stagelist, this was a very.... interesting tournament to say the least.
Makes me think this sort of stagelist might be good. It's good to see unconventional characters do well, and I wonder how much the bigger stagelist played a part in that. It's hard to glean much from just one tournament, though. At the very least, I hope Mew2King and Salem continue using it, and I'm sure they will. Stagelist experimentation is a good thing. I get why it's not done often - it's kind of a hard thing to do when majors are running pretty conservative lists, and locals need to be a good training ground for majors. But it's still something I'd like to see done more often, since Ult is a young game.
 

SwagGuy99

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FPS Online 2

1st: Maister :ultgnw:
2nd: mabelssb:ultdoc:
3rd: LeoN:ultbowser:
4th: Joker:ultsamus:
5th: KirbyKid:ultkrool:
5th: Sytonix:ultken:
7th: Mr. E:ultlucina:
7th: ChunkyKong:ultdk:
9th: Pokelam:ultvillager:
9th: Waymas:ultwario:
9th: Sparg0:ultcloud:
9th: Aaron:ultdiddy:


This was a very, very wacky tournament.
Many players upsetted early, unconventional character picks advancing far, and the very strange stagelist, this was a very.... interesting tournament to say the least.
Mabelssb has been gotten several decent placings at online events in the last 2 months, has beat Sinji (offline, I'm pretty sure), and upset LeoN and Joker this tournament as well. Definitely someone to be watching out for at online events and potentially offline as well (once offline events start up again). Mabel is probably one of the best (if not the best) Dr. Mario players outside of Japan right now and I'm curious to see if Mabel's consistency with this supposedly inconsistent character continues.

On a completely unrelated note, CharlieDaKing made a tier list for Ultimate recently on stream, and it has some very interesting takes that might be worth discussing (sorry for the bad cropping on the image). This list is fully ordered (and I think the Doc placement was a joke, but he's said things in the past that seem to suggest that he thinks Doc isn't an awful character).
1600578384447.png


Specific things standing out to me here are his placements of :ultwiifittrainer::ulticeclimbers::ultfalcon::ultlucas::ultken::ultyoshi::ultmewtwo::ultridley::ultbayonetta::ultbowserjr::ultjoker::ultdk::ultdaisy:

Edit: He left out Marth and Min Min intentionally.
 
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StrangeKitten

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Mabelssb has been gotten several decent placings at online events in the last 2 months, has beat Sinji (offline, I'm pretty sure), and upset LeoN and Joker this tournament as well. Definitely someone to be watching out for at online events and potentially offline as well (once offline events start up again). Mabel is probably one of the best (if not the best) Dr. Mario players outside of Japan right now and I'm curious to see if Mabel's consistency with this supposedly inconsistent character continues.

On a completely unrelated note, CharlieDaKing made a tier list for Ultimate recently on stream, and it has some very interesting takes that might be worth discussing (sorry for the bad cropping on the image). This list is fully ordered (and I think the Doc placement was a joke, but he's said things in the past that seem to suggest that he thinks Doc isn't an awful character).
View attachment 286194

Specific things standing out to me here are his placements of :ultwiifittrainer::ulticeclimbers::ultfalcon::ultlucas::ultken::ultyoshi::ultmewtwo::ultridley::ultbayonetta::ultbowserjr::ultjoker::ultdk::ultdaisy:
My opinions:
:ultjigglypuff:, :ulticeclimbers:, :ultdoc:, :ultsimon:, :ultbowserjr:, and :ultmetaknight: too high, should be in eh
Miis should be in eh, maybe low Good for Brawler and Gunner
:ultbayonetta: too low, should be in eh
:ultridley:too high, should be upper Good
:ultike: and :ultluigi:too low, should be around where :ultpacman: is
:ultjoker:too low, I think he's the best character in the game. You can make arguments for other characters to be the best, but Joker is definitely top 5
:ultwario: too low, should be top 10
Agreed on the high placements of :ultfalcon: and :ultyoshi:, they are both consistently great characters I've had a positive view on as of late
 

KirbySquad101

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I like that players like Dabuz and Charlie are getting more experimental with their tier lists; offline tourney data is just about nearing 7 months old now, and while online tournament data shouldn't be dismissed at all, it doesn't translate quite as well when you consider the differences between the circumstances of both environments. This leaves a lot more room for theorycrafting to take the helm, and it can certainly lead to some bizarre takes (most notably, I REALLY don't get this "low-mid tier" stigma DH seems to be getting everywhere all of a sudden), it can lead to some perspectives we weren't aware of.

That said... I could potentially see Cloud that high? I certainly wouldn't say better than Joker or Peach, but the more I think about it and the more I've listened to Dabuz's thoughts, the idea is sort of there. We know right off the bat the added delay benefits his fairly linear neutral and whiffed Climhazzards, but the former can be worked around if Palu is any indication to go by and the latter doesn't really matter given that you're not going to be fishing for Climhazzards that often offline to begin with.

But even those points in mind, the way I see Sparg0 perform with this character online, and from what I've seen, the character looks absolutely hopeless to fight against sometimes. Having a Limit Charge that punishes zoners for just trying to play the game their way on top of the fact that most zoners lack the burst options to answer his Buster Sword. Having massively safe buttons on top of insane movement, yolo dash attacks, mix-ups on Cross Slash, and a frame 7 OoS that makes short ranged rushdown characters trying to get in against him an utter nightmare. Having some of the best range in the game on top of having a top 15 dash speed that allows him to play the swordies spacies game better than most swordies can. While I did mention that online can't be taken at face value, the way I'm seeing this guy constantly floor every :ultness::ultgnw::ultrob::ultfox::ultlucina::ultpalutena::ultyounglink::ultchrom::ultdiddy::ultsamus::ultpacman::ultluigi::ultpikachu: he comes across really makes me wonder at times what answer these characters (and more) have against this impenetrable wall. I'm not even convinced he does bad against Pika like very Cloud main says he does (aside from Sparg0).

I'm struggling to think of who actually gives this character a hard time aside from the occasional swordie/big boy that does his spacing job better (:ultshulk::ultbylethf::ultridley::ultminmin:ultbowser:) or characters who are just really good at zone breaking (:ultjoker::ultgreninja::ultsheik:).

This is all pure speculation on my part, and I didn't touch into the offstage play as much as I probably should've, but this has been on my mind for a while now.
 
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DougEfresh

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I like that players like Dabuz and Charlie are getting more experimental with their tier lists; offline tourney data is just about nearing 7 months old now, and while online tournament data shouldn't be dismissed at all, it doesn't translate quite as well when you consider the differences between the circumstances of both environments. This leaves a lot more room for theorycrafting to take the helm, and it can certainly lead to some bizarre takes (most notably, I REALLY don't get this "low-mid tier" stigma DH seems to be getting everywhere all of a sudden), it can lead to some perspectives we weren't aware of.

With that in mind... I could potentially see Cloud that high? I certainly wouldn't say better than Joker or Peach, but the more I think about it and the more I've listened to Dabuz's thoughts, the idea is sort of there. We know right off the bat the added delay benefits his fairly linear neutral and whiffed Climhazzards, but the former can be worked around if Palu is any indication to go by and the latter doesn't really matter given that you're not going to be fishing for Climhazzards that often offline to begin with.

But even those points in mind, the way I see Sparg0 perform with this character online, and from what I've seen, the character looks absolutely hopeless to fight against sometimes. Having a Limit Charge that punishes zoners for just trying to play the game their way on top of the fact that most zoners lack the burst options to answer his Buster Sword. Having massively safe buttons on top of insane movement, yolo dash attacks, mix-ups on Cross Slash, and a frame 7 OoS that makes short ranged rushdown characters trying to get in against him an utter nightmare. Having some of the best range in the game on top of having a top 15 dash speed that allows him to play the swordies spacies game better than most swordies can. While I did mention that online can't be taken at face value, the way I'm seeing this guy constantly floor every :ultness::ultgnw::ultrob::ultfox::ultlucina::ultpalutena::ultyounglink::ultchrom::ultdiddy::ultsamus::ultpacman::ultluigi::ultpikachu: he comes across really makes me wonder at times what answer these characters (and more) have against this impenetrable wall. I'm not even convinced he does bad against Pika like very Cloud main says he does (aside from Sparg0).

I'm struggling to think of who actually gives this character a hard time aside from the occasional swordie/superheavy that does his spacing job better (:ultshulk::ultbylethf::ultridley::ultminmin:ultbowser:) or characters who are just really good at zone breaking (:ultjoker::ultgreninja::ultsheik:).

This is all pure speculation on my part, and I didn't touch into the offstage play as much as I probably should've, but this has been on my mind for a while now.
Yea I've said before that this pandemic period is a good opportunity for players to really explore their characters, since most everybody hates online or at least knows not to take results nearly as seriously. Hopefully we'll see some new things from much of the cast once this is all over.

Some other thoughts: I personally can see :ultduckhunt:in low-mid tier like a lot of players have placed him on their tierlists. The character thrives off of MU inexperience, and indeed, getting in against duck hunt can be pretty annoying for a lot of the cast. But once you learn the match up, know how he uses can and clay pigeon (and gunman) to wall you out or set up for combos in neutral, and understand how he can use them for ledge traps to work around those set ups, what else is this character left with? He isn't particularly good at approaching at all, he's light, and has a very slow and exploitable recovery off-stage. It just seems extremely difficult for :ultduckhunt: to keep up against an opponent who knows how to avoid his combos and traps (unless they suddenly get impatient and just run into all of his set ups). Raito is a phenomenal player, but since his placement of 5th at Evo 2019, I haven't seen the character do much at almost any level of play. More subjectively, both of my characters do quite well against duck hunt Imo, so I could be downplaying the character a bit due to that. Idk though, just seems like there are many better zoners to play (like :ultpacman::ultmegaman: and :ultyounglink: just to name a few) if that's the kind of playstyle you're into.

Re: :ultcloud:

I agree with you that the character is clearly very good, especially since his buffs in 7.0. Even if he's buffed online, Spargo is, like you said, certainly putting on a clinic with Cloud these days. I do wonder if this is a case similar to Mkleo and :ultjoker: though: while both characters are very strong in their respective ways, they each have one top player representative that is a cut above the rest in terms of skill and results. But if spargo's tear with :ultcloud: keeps up once offline returns, then I can definitely see Cloud as a top tier contender. His recovery is an obvious and rather severe weakness, though I think all that really does is make the match up a bit easier for characters who struggle to approach and/or contend with his range (although I must concede, Spargo is exceptional in his ability to recover safely with Cloud).

Haven't heard much of Dabuz's thoughts on him, so maybe I'll go back to see where I can get more info on that to better understand the philosophy that Cloud is a top tier character offline.
 

The_Bookworm

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Mabelssb has been gotten several decent placings at online events in the last 2 months, has beat Sinji (offline, I'm pretty sure), and upset LeoN and Joker this tournament as well. Definitely someone to be watching out for at online events and potentially offline as well (once offline events start up again). Mabel is probably one of the best (if not the best) Dr. Mario players outside of Japan right now and I'm curious to see if Mabel's consistency with this supposedly inconsistent character continues.

On a completely unrelated note, CharlieDaKing made a tier list for Ultimate recently on stream, and it has some very interesting takes that might be worth discussing (sorry for the bad cropping on the image). This list is fully ordered (and I think the Doc placement was a joke, but he's said things in the past that seem to suggest that he thinks Doc isn't an awful character).
View attachment 286194

Specific things standing out to me here are his placements of :ultwiifittrainer::ulticeclimbers::ultfalcon::ultlucas::ultken::ultyoshi::ultmewtwo::ultridley::ultbayonetta::ultbowserjr::ultjoker::ultdk::ultdaisy:
I noticed that :ultmarth: is missing from this tier list.
Either he forgot about him or he decided to pair him with Lucina. If it is the latter, then that is a rather big hot take.
 

Hydreigonfan01

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Raito is a phenomenal player, but since his placement of 5th at Evo 2019, I haven't seen the character do much at almost any level of play.
Raito also got 5th at EVO Japan, 3rd at Umebura SP 7 and 13th at Mainstage. That said, Raito is certainly inconsistent, he got 33rd at Frostbite 2020 and Kongo Saga, while at Super Smash Con 2019 he got 65th for some reason.
 

The_Bookworm

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Raito has also not been active in the online scene. The last recorded tournament he has participated in is Voyage, back at May.

In terms of what I think of Duck Hunt, I do think he is simply a mid tier character, mostly due to being outshined by the sheer intensity of buffs other characters formerly below him got in the last two patches.

However, due to how long ago his last major placement was, I think Duck Hunt's impact in the metagame simply has slipped through the memories of many players. Raito is ranked 20th on the Spring 2019 PGRU and 17th on the Fall 2019 PGRU for a reason.

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It does remind me of Earth:4pit:. When he active and placing consistently very high in tournaments, people thought Pit was a solid high tier, or upper mid-tier at worst. It continued into 2017, when he got 17th at Civil War and 25th at Umebura Japan Major 2017, as well as consistent high placements in various Japanese events.

Then he became inactive in USA and his results as a whole became incredibly inconsistent, even when picking up Corrin. Then everyone's opinions on the character plummeted. Since Earth cannot participate in Ultimate tournaments, this stigma translated into Ultimate.

It took until 8.0's buffs and a top player representing the character (Dabuz) for people to once again view the character in a positive light once again.
 

StrangeKitten

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I can also see low mid for :ultduckhunt:. It's been ages now since Raito has done anything convincing, and there haven't been other DHs performing well, either. And yeah, nearly every character that got buffed only bumped them up the tier list and helped them in the DH matchup. Meanwhile, DH is starting to look like one of the characters getting left behind as others get buffed.

I agree that the character folds to MU experience. DH becomes much easier to fight when you understand how long the frisbee lingers, how the can travels, etc. Without such understanding, it's gonna be rough. But with understanding, DH's gameplan gets a lot weaker.

And it kinda feels like other characters can do the job better. DH's projectiles are some of the best in the game... but so are Young Link's. Adult Link has worse projectiles, but tons of range and is heavy while still being able to play the projectile game if he wants to. With poor kill power, poor range, and being light, I can see DH fall to lower mid. There are also many characters in high and top tier that do really well vs DH, like the Links, swordies, spacies, chus, Palu, and Joker to name a few.
 

SwagGuy99

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Mid Tier to Lower Mid Tier seems appropriate for :ultduckhunt:. With the exceptions of :ultdoc::ultsimon::ultzelda: and maybe :ultisabelle: he's generally a very good pick against the characters on par with or worse than him, and in the hands of Raito, I think we've seen a lot what the character is capable of.

Duck Hunt has amazing set ups, great zoning tools, a good neutral, a solid camping game against a lot of the cast, he's small and fast so a lot of characters can struggle to hit him, and he does have strong counterpick potential against some characters that are somewhat common in the meta, most notably against :ultpeach: and :ultsamus:. The former of whom struggles to approach Duck Hunt through his wall of projectiles he can set up for himself, and the latter of whom relies on projectiles that aren't effective against Duck Hunt's own projectiles, which hinders a lot of Samus's gameplan.

However, Duck Hunt also struggles in some areas. His kill power is severely lacking, and it's not uncommon to see middleweights and heavyweights live until over 150% against him. His recovery (while far distanced) is easy to mess with for a decent amount of the cast and Duck Hunt lacks answers to both reflectors and disjoints bigger than his own. Characters like :ultsimon::ultchrom::ultlucina::ultcloud::ultlink::ultfox: and :ultwolf: are able to abuse these weaknesses extremely well. :ultfalco:verses Duck Hunt in my opinion, is probably in the 20 most polarizing matchups in the game and it very heavily favors Falco. The reasoning here isn't so much that Falco has a gameplan that counters Duck Hunt's gameplan extremely well, but more that Duck Hunt has no ways to easily play the game against Falco because of a few specific tools that Falco has. Between Falco's fast hitboxes that have just enough range to stuff Duck Hunt out well, the lasers that can stop Duck Hunt from setting up his wall of projectiles, and the frame 1 disjointed reflector that gives Falco even more additional safety from the projectiles than just his lasers do, I don't really see how Duck Hunt is expected to play the game against Falco.
 

Rizen

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I can also see low mid for :ultduckhunt:. It's been ages now since Raito has done anything convincing, and there haven't been other DHs performing well, either. And yeah, nearly every character that got buffed only bumped them up the tier list and helped them in the DH matchup. Meanwhile, DH is starting to look like one of the characters getting left behind as others get buffed.

I agree that the character folds to MU experience. DH becomes much easier to fight when you understand how long the frisbee lingers, how the can travels, etc. Without such understanding, it's gonna be rough. But with understanding, DH's gameplan gets a lot weaker.

And it kinda feels like other characters can do the job better. DH's projectiles are some of the best in the game... but so are Young Link's.
:ultduckhunt:'s an example of a victim of the power creep I've mentioned, which is any time other characters get more powerful and characters left unbuffed fall out of the meta due to better options specifically :ultyounglink:. A lot of smash is popularity and buffed characters have a new toy effect where they're more likely to be picked up (corrin says hi). Before YL was buffed I said he was doomed to fall into obscurity but the buffs pumped new life into him.

Speaking of buffed characters, imo :ultcloud: is top tier on wifi. He might be offline but we really can't know and it's important to not mix the metas. Wifi only really has legitimacy because it's the only meta atm, sadly. But Cloud's showing up, and winning, tournaments everywhere. Spargo's the most notable Cloud main, with Kola as a notable Cloud secondary. It's easy to say buffed characters are not as relevant as top tiers but all it takes is a top player picking them up for it to snowball. Smash is largely a popularity contest. Tweek's :ultdiddy:, Cosmos' :ultcorrinf:and YL in general are great examples of buffed characters doing this.
 

StrangeKitten

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:ultduckhunt:'s an example of a victim of the power creep I've mentioned, which is any time other characters get more powerful and characters left unbuffed fall out of the meta due to better options specifically :ultyounglink:. A lot of smash is popularity and buffed characters have a new toy effect where they're more likely to be picked up (corrin says hi). Before YL was buffed I said he was doomed to fall into obscurity but the buffs pumped new life into him.

Speaking of buffed characters, imo :ultcloud: is top tier on wifi. He might be offline but we really can't know and it's important to not mix the metas. Wifi only really has legitimacy because it's the only meta atm, sadly. But Cloud's showing up, and winning, tournaments everywhere. Spargo's the most notable Cloud main, with Kola as a notable Cloud secondary. It's easy to say buffed characters are not as relevant as top tiers but all it takes is a top player picking them up for it to snowball. Smash is largely a popularity contest. Tweek's :ultdiddy:, Cosmos' :ultcorrinf:and YL in general are great examples of buffed characters doing this.
:ultcloud:can, at times, feel a bit on the slow and floaty side. He could still be top tier offline, but the lag of online mitigates his issues to the point he's definitely top tier online
 

Envoy of Chaos

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I feel as if Cloud suffered a lot from people overblowing how much weaker he got in the transition from 4 to Ultimate. He was frankly overpowered in 4 but was overshadowed by all the attention Bayonetta got, the initial loss in power compared to his smash 4 self is noticeable and however unlike Bayonetta he wasn’t gutted and still has most of what made him good in 4.

Excellent mobility that can be even further augmented
Limit Charge
Giant high damage hitboxes
Giant kill buttons
Safe neutral tools

He even gained an obnoxious giant oos option and his projectile is usable. I can’t really point to one area of Cloud’s game that when compared to his 4 counterpart is gutted. Weaker sure, but not like weakened to the level Bayo was. The character was always really good people are just starting to realize this again (WiFi exposure and how much better he gets over WiFi also helps with people realizing this).
 

StrangeKitten

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He even gained an obnoxious giant oos option and his projectile is usable. I can’t really point to one area of Cloud’s game that when compared to his 4 counterpart is gutted.
Probably nair. Cloud's nair in Ultimate is still missing hitboxes where they should be. One could also argue up air, though I feel like that's more of a case of going from way too generous of a hitbox in 4 to a sensible one in Ultimate.

That said, his nair is still very usable, and I agree with what you said about his strengths. I also agree that he's always been very good. For me, Cloud was a character I could select and do really well with, despite not practicing him much. That's of course not the only way I consider a character to be good; I've always been trash at Mario, and was still considering him high tier back when many argued mid tier for him (and then my consensus changed to top tier for him around the same time everyone else was realizing he's top tier, so ha!). And my ease of success with Cloud probably has a lot to do with swordies gelling really well with me. But... still. The fact that I could do very well with a character I never practiced pointed towards Cloud being very good, methinks. This was before the buffs had even remedied his weaknesses and Mew2King was calling him "Depression". Cloud was heavily slept on before his buffs.
 
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Probably nair. Cloud's nair in Ultimate is still missing hitboxes where they should be. One could also argue up air, though I feel like that's more of a case of going from way too generous of a hitbox in 4 to a sensible one in Ultimate.
It's not that Cloud's N-air is missing hitboxes. It's that the animation of his N-air changed that reduced the range of N-air.
 

MrGameguycolor

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Probably nair. Cloud's nair in Ultimate is still missing hitboxes where they should be. One could also argue up air, though I feel like that's more of a case of going from way too generous of a hitbox in 4 to a sensible one in Ultimate.
It's not that Cloud's N-air is missing hitboxes. It's that the animation of his N-air changed that reduced the range of N-air.
From the looks of it...
It's both:


Geez, well that explains why this thing whiffs more often then it should...
 
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Minordeth

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I’m with DungeonMaster DungeonMaster - IDJ has been around forever, just not explored in most characters.

Falco players refer to IDJ as an “Active Hop” - popularized by the combo extensions of a PR’d Falco from Oregon. He’s been using it almost since release.

The Captain Falcon-cord has been exploring it since Raptor Boost was buffed, as it leads to what was shown in the video.

It’s not necessarily the easiest tech to learn, which will likely hinder adoption, but the extensions possible are rather tantalizing. Actually, now that I think about it, it’s probably on the same level as consistently short hopping.

I’m not sold on it being quite the neutral tool that it’s portrayed as being. Some characters really, really don’t want to risk being knocked offstage without their double jump (e.g. Marcina), which limits the neutral applicability.
 

stixie

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That statement was relative to Sm4sh :4zelda:
You're right, my bad. I missed that.

:ultdoc::ultganondorf::ultlittlemac: do just that and they're strong contenders for the absolute worst.
The ONLY reason all 3 of those characters are contenders for the worst character is because they have the 3 worst recoveries in the game. Neutral isn't their problems, it's getting back on stage after getting hit. Zelda has one of the best recoveries in the game imo.

I mean... this is a HUGE deal. If mac or ganon had superb recoveries I'd say they both would need nerfed because (as I said) killing someone in 3 hits when you don't die very easy yourself would be broken. Zelda obviously needs more than 3 hits to get to 60ish but when the opponent gets in the 65-90% range they have to be very careful they don't just explode from pretty much any of Zelda's kill moves... of which there are many.
 

Ziodyne 21

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You're right, my bad. I missed that.



The ONLY reason all 3 of those characters are contenders for the worst character is because they have the 3 worst recoveries in the game. Neutral isn't their problems, it's getting back on stage after getting hit. Zelda has one of the best recoveries in the game imo.

I mean... this is a HUGE deal. If mac or ganon had superb recoveries I'd say they both would need nerfed because (as I said) killing someone in 3 hits when you don't die very easy yourself would be broken. Zelda obviously needs more than 3 hits to get to 60ish but when the opponent gets in the 65-90% range they have to be very careful they don't just explode from pretty much any of Zelda's kill moves... of which there are many.
:ultdoc::ultganondorf::ultlittlemac:issues go beyond just thier piss-poor recvoeries sadly . Thief netiral games are also pretty flawed.


:ultlittlemac:problem becomes obvious on any stage with platforms. Most of the cast can easily platform camp him and he had basically no awnser to it.


:ultganondorf: has likely one of if not the worst disadvantage states in the game. With his big body and non existent OoS game Characters with strong combo games are likely to do even more damage to him by winning neutral then he ever can His frame data is generally terrible meaning he has a hard time even approaching safely without getting a hard read. He is terribly slow with no awnsers to any form of zoning .
All of this combined with his bottom-tier recvoery makes him contender for worst character in the game now.

:ultdoc: very poor mobility and range is going to be a big handicap to your viability in most cases. Just ask any Kirby or Puff mains since Smash 4. Most swordies or characters with range can decide to just not let ijr high range characters will him to even get close and there is little he can do He does have some good neutral tools like pills and side-b. But they are not really enough in MU's he really struggles against
 
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StrangeKitten

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Meanwhile, Phantom is an excellent neutral tool for :ultzelda:. Din's Fire is a usable projectile that will net some kills if it hits offstage. Zelda has pretty good throw combos and a great recovery. Strong backthrow for when the % gets up there but you don't find what you need to take stocks another way, too.

She's still a little rough around the edges, though. Still slow, and her neutral is pretty awkward and gets shut down pretty well by the characters that can deal with it. I'd consider her fair and bair to be some of the worst in the game. They're great if you hit the sweet spot and KO absurdly early. The issue is the sour spot is really bad, and they don't cover as much area as you'd like them to. Zelda would probably like to have a fair and bair more akin to Lucina's, where they don't kill that early, but they're much better at being reliable. Being light and floaty is also a bad combination, though Zelda has some solid escape options. I'd say this leaves us with a decent mid-tier character
 

TCT~Phantom

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TCT~Phantom
If we are gonna talk about bad characters, lets talk :ultdk:.

DK has actually good things about him. Good grab game, Dtilt is good, and one of the best back airs in the game. The problem is he has a bottom five recovery. DK is one of the easiest characters to edgeguard since he has a very predictable recovery. I would say if we agree :ultganondorf::ultdoc::ultlittlemac:are bottom 3 in recovery, DK is at least bottom 5. I struggle to see how anyone can say this character is not bottom five material. Awful disadvantage (arguably as bad as Ganon), massive hitbox, and a bunch of moves that feel awkward to use. His advantage state is great... but having arguably the worst disadvantage in the game is awful.
 

StoicPhantom

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I think a better framing would have been centered around the 60% kill option being more versatile. There's a big difference between a frame 6 aerial that can kill at 60% and an Fsmash or something similar that can kill at 60%. Lightning Kicks are usable in a variety of different situations and can punish quite a lot of various types of whiffs and the like. You can punish whiffs, use them off a platform for defense against chases, as edgeguards, from reads, OoS, and combo into them.

:ultganondorf::ultlittlemac::ultdoc: have much more situational equivalents in comparison, so I don't think focusing solely on just whether they have equivalent power is useful.
 

StrangeKitten

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If we are gonna talk about bad characters, lets talk :ultdk:.

DK has actually good things about him. Good grab game, Dtilt is good, and one of the best back airs in the game. The problem is he has a bottom five recovery. DK is one of the easiest characters to edgeguard since he has a very predictable recovery. I would say if we agree :ultganondorf::ultdoc::ultlittlemac:are bottom 3 in recovery, DK is at least bottom 5. I struggle to see how anyone can say this character is not bottom five material. Awful disadvantage (arguably as bad as Ganon), massive hitbox, and a bunch of moves that feel awkward to use. His advantage state is great... but having arguably the worst disadvantage in the game is awful.
DK is probably one of the most polarizing characters. He's fast, and the only superheavy that's practically a swordie. It feels like he's close to amazing at times. But then, nearly every character puts him into a cutscene in disadvantage. And his recovery barely doesn't make it when almost anyone else's would. And he doesn't have answers to projectile camping. If they buff him again, I hope they give his recovery more verticality. He could manage to be a good midtier with a recovery that isn't trash.
 

MrGameguycolor

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:ultdoc::ultganondorf::ultlittlemac:issues go beyond just thier piss-poor recvoeries sadly . Thief netiral games are also pretty flawed.
Basically this.

While their advantages are good enough for their design, they struggle in neutral and get ripped apart in disadvantage.
That doesn't even out in those areas, which has them more often than not focuses them to rely on reads, the opponent's mistakes, or match-up inexperience to win consistently...
At her absolute worst, :ultzelda: is pretty decent in those 3 states.
If we are gonna talk about bad characters, lets talk :ultdk:.
IMO :ultdk: get's a bad rep.

Yeah, he's not great and he has some super bad MU's.
But unlike :ultdoc::ultganondorf::ultlittlemac: , he has some actual good mobility with decent frame data, air game, and one of the best grab games. (Platform Ding Dong FTW) So he can actually make uses of his buttons, mainly with his B-Air and Up-Air strings/vortexes.

Along with classic heavyweight cheese, viable armor moves, and shield break ability.

I'd agure :ulticeclimbers::ultluigi::ultminmin:ultsimon::ultrichter: have weaker and less consistent recoveries, but eh...
:ultdk: can still put up a good fight and realistically steal stocks, so he's not that bad IMO.


Not-so-hot-take:
Most characters strengths and weakness balances out fine in an overall competitive setting.
If they're weak in 1 of the 3 states, they're good enough in the other 2 to make up.

Unless you're talking :ultdoc::ultganondorf::ultlittlemac:

I think a better framing would have been centered around the 60% kill option being more versatile.

:ultganondorf: :ultlittlemac::ultdoc: have much more situational equivalents in comparison, so I don't think focusing solely on just whether they have equivalent power is useful.
True.
Even :ultsheik: can kill at 60% with a fully charged Up-Smash under Small Battlefield's platforms and we all know how often that happens...
 
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TennisBall

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:ultdk: is by no means amazing, and his disadvantage is quite bad, but :ultlittlemac::ultganondorf: without question have worse disadvantage with worse recoveries, and even less options with dealing with lame play, :ultdoc: probably fits in there too but I'm not as experienced on Doc so I'll let the Doc players make that call.
Mediocre recoveries will rarely, if ever, be a make-or-break trait for a character on its own.

See also: Wolf, Terry.
True. Many characters have not great recoveries and still been able to be viable, i.e :ultfox: :ultchrom::ultwolf::ult_terry::ultness:, albeit with much more good tools and counterplay than the previously mentioned characters.
 

Envoy of Chaos

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Recoveries are important sure but like it’s important to note how easy it is to get characters in situations where their bad recovery comes into play? DK’s super linear at zero to a fault due to some of his moves being minus at zero and low low percentages which get him punished for hitting someone but after that? He’s fairly solid in neutral depending on the matchup. I don’t see DK being too bad either when you look at the full package. He has very clearly defined weakness but also very clearly defined strengths. And unlike a lot of other characters he is lumped with and characters of his archetype he has rather great mobility one of the most important things to have in a platform fighter if you lack stuff like projectiles, busted combos, absurd range (Min Min), etc.
 

SwagGuy99

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:ultdk: is by no means amazing, and his disadvantage is quite bad, but :ultlittlemac::ultganondorf: without question have worse disadvantage with worse recoveries, and even less options with dealing with lame play, :ultdoc: probably fits in there too but I'm not as experienced on Doc so I'll let the Doc players make that call.
:ultdoc: disadvantage isn't awful against non swordies. Having multiple frame 3 escape options (up-b and n-air) along with being small and somewhat floaty means that comboing him is surprisingly hard for some characters. But if Doc's opponent has a very large disjoint, his disadvantage isn't much better than the other characters you mentioned there (DK, Mac, Ganon). I won't sugar coat his recovery though, it's a little unsafe to contest if he's really close to the stage, but otherwise, it's extremely gimpable and the distance is not good at all, especially vertically (although having access to wall jumps improves his recovery slightly on Yoshi's and Kalos).
 

MrGameguycolor

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:ultdk: is by no means amazing, and his disadvantage is quite bad, but :ultlittlemac::ultganondorf: without question have worse disadvantage with worse recoveries, and even less options with dealing with lame play, :ultdoc: probably fits in there too but I'm not as experienced on Doc so I'll let the Doc players make that call.
:ultdoc: disadvantage isn't too bad on stage since you have B-Reverse Cape and multiple combo breakers with N-Air, Up-Air, and Up-B.
But as soon as you're off-stage, you better hope you have your double jump cause Tornado and Up-B will only do so much.

If not, you're basically a goner against a confidence opponent.
 
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Myollnir

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Mediocre recoveries will rarely, if ever, be a make-or-break trait for a character on its own.

See also: Wolf, Terry.
Mediocre can be fine, but absolutely awful like :ultlittlemac::ultdoc: is definitely a death sentence for a character's viability.

You can't compare those with :ultwolf:, which has a somewhat exploitable recovery, but excellent mobility, and great hitboxes to cover himself, as well as having multiple mix-ups, with 2 recovery moves that both have different angles, plus Wolf Flash can kill you so you don't have as much freedom to edgeguard, and Fire Wolf has a surprisingly big hitbox, even post-nerf.

:ultdoc::ultlittlemac: just die if you hit them after their DownB & SideB (respectively). And they have awful double jumps. :ultlittlemac:even has the "luxury" of having a bad ledgegrab range with airdodge, a trait only shared with :ultbayonetta: (a gift from Sakurai).

:ultcloud::ultchrom: also have exploitable recoveries, but their excellent mobility and huge hitboxes help them a lot.
 

Lacrimosa

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Basically this.

While their advantages are good enough for their design, they struggle in neutral and get ripped apart in disadvantage.
That doesn't even out in those areas, which has them more often than not focuses them to rely on reads, the opponent's mistakes, or match-up inexperience to win consistently...
At her absolute worst, :ultzelda: is pretty decent in those 3 states.
Not sure about that one.
Sure, she has a top-tier recovery with an active hitbox but other than that, don't you think that her disadvantage state is fairly poor?
 

PK Bash

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From the looks of it...
It's both:


Geez, well that explains why this thing whiffs more often then it should...
For the sake of clarity, Game7a1 Game7a1 is correct in that the nair did not lose any hitboxes from S4.
DvqcUHVU8AAPO3B.jpeg
They're identical: same size, same in number and same placement on the sword and the small variance you can see can probably be attributed to the difference between the S4 model of the buster sword compared to the Ult model of the fusion sword (the sword Advent Children Cloud uses) rather than any actual difference in the hitboxes themselves.
It really is just the bending of the elbow, which is a relatively simple and certainly effective solution from a developer perspective. That's all that changed.

Cloud's really good and it's not just his buttons. Top 20 airspeed without limit and top 1 airspeed with it (sans Shulk/Hero buffs), insane shff with limit (and very effective FF airdodge especially with limit), extremely fast on the ground (6th with limit and 12th without it, faster than Chrom) and 100 weight. These specs magnify the usability of his already good buttons tenfold and it's the combination of the two which is what gives him such good innings against Palutena and G&W.

It's the same reasons another forsaken ex-top tier, Mewtwo, is still a very good character. His numbers are absolutely insane and he's in the same position today that Cloud was in 2019.
 

stixie

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Not sure about that one.
Sure, she has a top-tier recovery with an active hitbox but other than that, don't you think that her disadvantage state is fairly poor?
Nah... I never get juggled too bad as Zelda. Neutral B in the air stalls your decent and mixes people's timing up. You also get free landings if they try to jump up after you as you can just teleport down to the ground. Also you can just drift to ledge.


Mediocre can be fine, but absolutely awful like :ultlittlemac::ultdoc: is definitely a death sentence for a character's viability.

You can't compare those with :ultwolf:, which has a somewhat exploitable recovery, but excellent mobility, and great hitboxes to cover himself, as well as having multiple mix-ups, with 2 recovery moves that both have different angles, plus Wolf Flash can kill you so you don't have as much freedom to edgeguard, and Fire Wolf has a surprisingly big hitbox, even post-nerf.

:ultdoc::ultlittlemac: just die if you hit them after their DownB & SideB (respectively). And they have awful double jumps. :ultlittlemac:even has the "luxury" of having a bad ledgegrab range with airdodge, a trait only shared with :ultbayonetta: (a gift from Sakurai).

:ultcloud::ultchrom: also have exploitable recoveries, but their excellent mobility and huge hitboxes help them a lot.
Everything stated here is right on. Mac is a cheeser on the ground... killing people 100% behind them by just hitting the "b" button (which is POOR character design btw) but it's offset by basically getting nicked offstage and immediately dying. Doc also is in the same boat (well he doesn't have ko punch but he can still kill you really early) where he has a great scrap game but if he gets nicked off stage he dies.

Ganon is an online only character and a good one. Online you can throw out his massive hitboxes (like down b) with little to no fear of being punished because of input lag and being online people are usually nervous about going offstage (because your recovery might just randomly get eaten by lag) so Ganon usually doesn't have trouble recovering. Offline though........ TOTALLY different story. His recovery is so poor he just gets edge guarded into oblivion.

Now Chrom and Cloud are interesting with fairly poor recoveries but the entire rest of their kit offsets those. They both have GREAT aerials that are safe on shield, great mobility, great up b's OOS, great smash attacks, great specials, both can kill early, both have disjointed hitboxes........ these are really not the same at all.
 
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MrGameguycolor

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For the sake of clarity, Game7a1 Game7a1 is correct in that the nair did not lose any hitboxes from S4.
Well didn't know that monster of an attack was open to blind spots, but eh...
Thanks for your clarity.

Not sure about that one.
Sure, she has a top-tier recovery with an active hitbox but other than that, don't you think that her disadvantage state is fairly poor?
Speaking as an outside observer, I didn't see anything too bad.

-Fairly quick airspeed.
-Nayru's Love as a passable combo breaker, stalling, & b-reverse option. (Same latter two for Din's Fire)
-Landing N-Air and D-Air.
-Farore's Wind for niche escape situations.

Not :ultpikachu: or :ultzss: tier, but fine enough IMO.

Although I guess when you main :ultdoc: & :ultkrool: through out the game's lifespan, most other characters' disadvantages states seem way better. lol
 
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stixie

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Speaking as an outside observer, I didn't see anything too bad.

-Fairly quick airspeed.
-Nayru's Love as a passable combo breaker, stalling, & b-reverse option. (Same latter two for Din's Fire)
-Landing N-Air and D-Air.
-Farore's Wind for niche escape situations.

Not :ultpikachu: or :ultzss: tier, but fine enough IMO.

Although I guess when you main :ultdoc: & :ultkrool: through out the game's lifespan, most other characters' disadvantages states seem way better. lol
Zelda is very floaty. She has pretty slow airspeed imo. I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing... just nit picking your first point. Landing nair in disadvantage is............................. probably a niche option depending on the situation. Zelda's landing nair......... #facepalm....... she needs a functioning nair......... but I digress. Dair is good if the opponent doesn't have a disjoint like a swordie. The love thing is right on though. I use that all the time to air stall. It's really good for mixups.
 

Zachmac

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Nah... I never get juggled too bad as Zelda. Neutral B in the air stalls your decent and mixes people's timing up. You also get free landings if they try to jump up after you as you can just teleport down to the ground. Also you can just drift to ledge.
Neither Nayru's Love or Farore's Wind will be able to help Zelda land against a play who waits and reacts. Nayru's is primarily a get off me tool as while it does have good range and invulnerability frames, it's easily punished on reaction. Farore's Wind is the same way - while the initial hitbox comes out on frame 6 making it a fast and deadly OoS option, she doesn't reappear until frame 35 making it very much within the range of human reaction time. Using those options too recklessly against an opponent who knows the match up can result in a pretty heavy punish.

Outside of those two high risk/high rewards specials, Zelda doesn't have much else going for her in the disadvantage department thanks to her poor air mobility and unimpressive aerial hitboxes. Nair's the only aerial with a hitbox really worth using defensively.

I'd definitely describe Zelda's disadvantage as poor, or at least below average. That said I wouldn't describe her as having one of the worse disadvantages in the game, unlike Ganondorf.
 

stixie

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Neither Nayru's Love or Farore's Wind will be able to help Zelda land against a play who waits and reacts. Nayru's is primarily a get off me tool as while it does have good range and invulnerability frames, it's easily punished on reaction. Farore's Wind is the same way - while the initial hitbox comes out on frame 6 making it a fast and deadly OoS option, she doesn't reappear until frame 35 making it very much within the range of human reaction time. Using those options too recklessly against an opponent who knows the match up can result in a pretty heavy punish.

Outside of those two high risk/high rewards specials, Zelda doesn't have much else going for her in the disadvantage department thanks to her poor air mobility and unimpressive aerial hitboxes. Nair's the only aerial with a hitbox really worth using defensively.

I'd definitely describe Zelda's disadvantage as poor, or at least below average. That said I wouldn't describe her as having one of the worse disadvantages in the game, unlike Ganondorf.
You don't use the same option every time. Love isn't something you land on the opponent with... it's a stall tool. It completely stalls your decent for a bit which mixes a lot of people up. People that don't even try to hit you and simply react to your landing option are people I will just drift off stage against and grab ledge. Zelda's normal recovery is one of the best in the game. Also if you still have your jump you can Love in the air to stall and then as the opponent swings at you just jump away. As I said Zelda's disadvantage state isn't bad. It's not ZSS good but I never have trouble getting down.
 

NotLiquid

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Mediocre can be fine, but absolutely awful like :ultlittlemac::ultdoc: is definitely a death sentence for a character's viability.

You can't compare those with :ultwolf:, which has a somewhat exploitable recovery, but excellent mobility, and great hitboxes to cover himself, as well as having multiple mix-ups, with 2 recovery moves that both have different angles, plus Wolf Flash can kill you so you don't have as much freedom to edgeguard, and Fire Wolf has a surprisingly big hitbox, even post-nerf.

:ultdoc::ultlittlemac: just die if you hit them after their DownB & SideB (respectively). And they have awful double jumps. :ultlittlemac:even has the "luxury" of having a bad ledgegrab range with airdodge, a trait only shared with :ultbayonetta: (a gift from Sakurai).

:ultcloud::ultchrom: also have exploitable recoveries, but their excellent mobility and huge hitboxes help them a lot.
In the grand scheme of those two character's designs, Mac's recovery being booty butt cheeks is symptomatic of a greater issue that cuts his viability. He's not terrible merely because he dies to one hit off-stage, he's terrible because he's an overall poorly rounded character that lacks an optimal aerial state and disadvantage in a game where you spend at least half of a given game in the air, which also drastically reduces the amount of flexibility he has in neutral. If Mac was any better in this regard, he wouldn't regularly be placed in unsurvivable situations, and remedying those flaws on-stage would most likely give him a bigger boon when off-stage simply by design.

Doc is in a similar boat after a fashion, I'd say to a lesser extent perhaps, though he contends with the residual problem that there's a character on the roster who covers his general archetype without overcommitting to a certain niche, making him an unappealing character when taken outside of a vacuum.
 
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