Official Competitive Character Impressions 2.0

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Kiligar

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Hot take: Steve is top 10. No one wants to say it because they don’t want to be wrong, reminds me of those people saying Joker was mid tier, Arsene included when he first came out. This character has poor mobility but such power and reversals in the disadvantage state as well as the lava block being ridiculously good make him a lot better than some may think. When he’s fully optimized perhaps we’ll see this more clearly.
 

Thinkaman

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I dunno, even if Steve does turn out to have the proverbial sauce, he seems too inherently polarized matchup-wise to reign that high on the charts. My experience so far is obviously extremely limited, but the one thing that seems pretty sure is that he just hates being outranged.
 

ARISTOS

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Hot take: Steve is top 10. No one wants to say it because they don’t want to be wrong, reminds me of those people saying Joker was mid tier, Arsene included when he first came out. This character has poor mobility but such power and reversals in the disadvantage state as well as the lava block being ridiculously good make him a lot better than some may think. When he’s fully optimized perhaps we’ll see this more clearly.
I haven't played Steve yet but watching Hungrybox play Dabuz I feel this is a character that will only get worse in time as people learn to play around the reversal options.

Yeah extending vs Anvil or Minecart is painful and he can use blocks to reset jumps but his actual ability to deal with good SH pressure and crossups seems very sus. Hbox's Jigglypuff could pretty repeatedly pressure Dabuz in a way that a lot of other characters have easy answers to. Jumping out of situations is usually the de facto safest option to get out of pressure, but Steve's short jump means he'll get clipped by a lot of both air-to-airs as well as grounded buttons.

I feel as long as you're not trying to juggle the character a lot you can run a pretty strong pressure game until they explode.
 

Thinkaman

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I feel as long as you're not trying to juggle the character a lot you can run a pretty strong pressure game until they explode.
This is more or less how I've attempted to play every Steve matchup--imagine I'm Yoshi, and just try to suffocate him. My goal at all points is to get Steve to have 0 iron. (At which point he's a pretty unambiguously bad character.) If I also keep him from getting diamond, that's a bonus.

This goal is much easier with some characters than others. In my limited games, Min Min had it the easiest.
 

ARISTOS

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This is more or less how I've attempted to play every Steve matchup--imagine I'm Yoshi, and just try to suffocate him. My goal at all points is to get Steve to have 0 iron. (At which point he's a pretty unambiguously bad character.) If I also keep him from getting diamond, that's a bonus.

This goal is much easier with some characters than others. In my limited games, Min Min had it the easiest.
Yeah that MU seems incredibly awful just thinking out loud (again, haven't played with Steve). With no mobility, jump or armor to get around Ram Ram I don't know how Steve even gets to start his gameplan. Steve's CQC is good enough to punish Min Min if he gets in with resources but I'm not sure how he has time to be able to both mine resources and get in on the character. Obviously Min Min's disadvantage is exploitable but that's usually by the vortex-y characters.
 

Thinkaman

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Steve has two important tools that force people to respect him outside of his scary advantage: Minecart and dair. Both require iron and are screwed by reflectors.

Min Min's is a particularly rough case for him though, because her reflector isn't an either-or. Isabelle Pocketing anvil is great, but I still have to decide/commit to whether I'm doing Pocket or attack (u-tilt) when Steve is trying to land on me. Min Min doesn't have to decide, she always wins that specific choice, and Steve loses his valued mixup.

So now he's fighting a Min Min, with trash mobility, an inability to jump over Ramram, and no way to come down on her besides air dodge. And I can't think of a ledgeguarder who cares less about Steve's ability to play around with blocks off-stage.
 

Wunderwaft

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Here's an interesting video I found that showcases what can and cannot go through Steve's blocks. Not all characters are available here, but the majority of them are here.

 
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Thinkaman

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Well, that is interesting.
There's probably more that changed but might not be discovered, yet.
I confirmed this side-by-side.

Ruben's stage files show that the stage hasn't changed, but there is no difference in Samus's file either. Falco full hop, almost exactly the same height, fails to land on the platform in either version.

It seems to be a subtle change in collision logic, which Steve would have 100% required various changes and bugfixes to.
 

meleebrawler

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Here's an interesting video I found that showcases what can and cannot go through Steve's blocks. Not all characters are available here, but the majority of them are here.

To put it simply, blocks are treated like solid walls, something that doesn't exist in legal stages. So Falcon and Wizard kicks bounce off dramatically, piercing projectiles don't go through and Ridley splats people against them for a silly amount of knockback.
 

SwagGuy99

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I'm actually a huge fan of this change as someone whos character's worst matchup is (in my opinion) Samus. Not sure if it was intentional or not, but (in my totally biased opinion) I want it to stay this way.
 
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Gleam

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I think it would be arrogant to call Steve Top Tier, and frankly idiotic to call him the worst thing ever, but there's one thing that Steve does have. He's got a hell of a lot of different flavors of cheese on him. This guy is just filled with so many types of cheesy and tricky techniques that only a masochistic bully who torments small children would have.

The idea that I can just, walk off stage, place blocks more or less anywhere I want and utterly deny most recoveries is, borderline BS, and it might become actual BS depending on what's found. And even if it isn't foolproof, it still provides a major advantage to Steve and a force of approach to the opponent. And that's just a small slice of the swiss Steve has.

Steve, IMO, is a massive bully who will most likely screw you over when you're least expecting it, by means that are sadistic.
 

Frihetsanka

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This forum legit had a thread for character viability speculation before the game was released. I don't think we're in much of a position to judge people for speculating how viable Steve is, that would be quite hypocritical. And people were making viability judgements from day 1 (or even pre-patch, sometimes even based on very little information).

We've also learned that people are often mistaken, often underrating and (more often) overrating characters.
 

blackghost

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i feel like steve is a character we will see a random japanease player come up with stuff for, but overall i doubt his staying power. we know what makes characters good in smash we have 20+ years of data to look through. mobility being low always always catches up to characters.

side note that ledge invincibility thing MUST be patched out thats potentially toxic.

steve is the first resource character that doesnt start of full and gradually run out ver the course of a stock he starts of with bare min and has to grow it back. on some stages he cannot even get back certain resources in general.
his greatest assest seems to be harassing the coveries of charatcers that already had suspect recoveries. only difference is he can harass teleport recoveries in way others cannnot.

lastly if i had to write a smash commandment it would be A character cannot live on edge gaurds alone." assuming your character will get kills on edge guarding is to assume a lot already happened in the match that went your way.
 

StrangeKitten

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lastly if i had to write a smash commandment it would be A character cannot live on edge gaurds alone." assuming your character will get kills on edge guarding is to assume a lot already happened in the match that went your way.
Especially because edgeguarding in Ultimate is hard against most characters. There's a high chance they'll make it back or even reverse you.

Anyway, I don't see the problem with us sharing our thoughts on how good or bad we think Steve is. It's called competitive character impressions, which would entail that we share how we feel about characters competitively. Plus, I don't think anyone here is saying "Steve is definitely good/Steve is definitely bad and that will never change!" or anything like that. I think we're all open to being wrong. To assume we have Steve completely pinned day 2 would be silly.
 

StoicPhantom

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So here's Plup edgeguarding an Inkling effortlessly, what could Inkling do here?
It looks like there was room to squeeze an Up-B in after the first jump. But there was much more wrong like not managing ink properly. Had they been able to toss a grenade at Steve to disrupt his setup then that probably would have not happened.
 

DungeonMaster

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So I have no interest whatsoever in minecraft, no skin in the game so to speak in the fandom sphere.

My opinion about Steve is that he's something that has been missing from Smash, he's a true-traps character.
Ultimate has a bunch of characters like Snake, Isabelle, Villager, Pacman that have a variety of setups and situations which can be very powerful if you have never seen them before, but with some experience you learn their setups and they gradually lose their potency.
I'm not talking about "gimmicks" like KRool trying to suck you offstage with his blunderbuss and spitting you out to your death. Anyone can run into those, but once you're wise, they're impotent. This is a gimmick: https://twitter.com/MLDeku/status/1316814791273578496?s=19
I'm talking about stage positioning traps, where if you are at point X, you are literally forced to go to point Y and will suffer the damage and death.
So far everyone is labbing ledge traps like this: https://twitter.com/codyisike/status/1316217284566937601
But he will also be able to do them all over the stage, and you won't realize the significance of block being in position Z until you're forced into position Y and X happens.

He'll probably be very strong in the late meta, but will get the tar kicked out of him for some time, like all trap characters in more general fighting games.
 

Kiligar

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This is more or less how I've attempted to play every Steve matchup--imagine I'm Yoshi, and just try to suffocate him. My goal at all points is to get Steve to have 0 iron. (At which point he's a pretty unambiguously bad character.) If I also keep him from getting diamond, that's a bonus.

This goal is much easier with some characters than others. In my limited games, Min Min had it the easiest.
Steve mining is unpunishable. There is effectively 0 end lag whenever he decides to stop. There’s even less end lag than Olimar Pikmin pull it’s basically instantaneous. So it’s really hard to get Steve to burn his resources from my experience facing these Elite Steves. Once they get you offstage they have further opportunity to mine, but they don’t even need that they can do it in the neutral. This is one of the aspects of Steve that makes him so good, he can gather resources very easily, if you play well with him you shouldn’t be put into a spot with few resources, unlike Hero for example.
 
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Gleam

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I actually went to see how a Level 9 Steve would react in a match, and the AI did some pretty insane things. He literally hid TNT behind a block darn well instantly. Had I blinked I would've missed it completely. At one point he managed to get an anvil ready, as it was falling, get it on top a block midair in which I landed on the anvil, and then immediately took out the block. Not only was I caught completely off guard, but the sudden change in momentum threw me off and killed me. Then to mock me, he literally SD with cart twice, and I don't just mean he messed up an input, this crazy *******, on stage, rode out into the wind to the blast zone.

I think Steve has enough weaknesses that'll keep him from being "broken" but goodness, when I see the setups mere computers can pull out, it really does make me think what true Steve players will pull out.
 

Minix0

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that's not really as hot of a take as it might sound
Yeah, I know I was just being smug by using another response as a base (not disrespectfully of course).

...uh...if that makes any sense I mean. I don't really know how to say it lol.

This forum legit had a thread for character viability speculation before the game was released. I don't think we're in much of a position to judge people for speculating how viable Steve is, that would be quite hypocritical. And people were making viability judgements from day 1 (or even pre-patch, sometimes even based on very little information).

We've also learned that people are often mistaken, often underrating and (more often) overrating characters.
Yeah, honestly most of this that I'm seeing is just clickbaiting Youtubers trying to cash in on the hype, which in turn drives buzz in the community. The internet sure does love lying for the sake of an extra click. I mean, compare "hey this character might be good?" to
"O M G T O P 5 C H A R A C T E R?!?!?!?!??!?!?!?! I N S A N E LEDGE SET UPS?!?!??!?!?!??!"
 
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L9999

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It surprises me a bit that people are objecting so strongly to the Sonic and Ness buffs. Neither Sonic nor Ness were considered even top 20 prior to this patch, them getting some buffs that make their weaker tools better probably isn't going to make either of them top 10 or anything. Characters like Joker and Pikachu and Palutena are still better, and I doubt Ness will even be top 20 after this patch (perhaps Sonic is, I don't know how significant his buffs were and he was pretty good pre-patch anyway).
Honestly that is just recent bias because of how Wi-Fi meta developed, as well as the loud circlejerk that feel pleasure when BestNess and Sonix lose a match because their success at a competitive event doesn't align with their precious vision of "what Smash should be." What the buff crowd should pay attention to is that the Smash team is being careful of not making another tier 0 meta, buff a character a little too much, it could go wrong real bad, take somebody like Lucas or Lucario, they could be broken if you really wanted to. In "mid tier" and low tier , there are former tier 0s, :ultdiddy::ultsheik::ultmetaknight::ultbayonetta:. They don't deserve to be unplayable trash but there is prescedent they can be broken.
 

Nobie

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I can see on paper that Steve has bad mobility stats overall, but in practice they don't SEEM bad, and I can't fully wrap my head around why.

One thing I suspect that contributes to this is the fact that the character's extremely thin hurtbox almost never shifts to any significant degree. Combined with the ability to attack and move at the same time AND the sheer ambiguity of his actions, and it can feel at times impossible to see when he's vulnerable. That's what you get when your walk, dash, roll, jump, and getting hit animation are all basically the same thing.

Another thing I'm unsure of is how much Steve benefits from online lag. I think the minecart is downright obnoxious, and some of the tricky movement feels enhanced by lag, but I can't say for certain.
 
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Envoy of Chaos

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I can see on paper that Steve has bad mobility stats overall, but in practice they don't SEEM bad, and I can't fully wrap my head around why.

One thing I suspect that contributes to this is the fact that the character's extremely thin hurtbox almost never shifts to any significant degree. Combined with the ability to attack and move at the same time AND the sheer ambiguity of his actions, and it can feel at times impossible to see when he's vulnerable. That's what you get when your walk, dash, roll, jump, and getting hit animation are all basically the same thing.

Another thing I'm unsure of is how much Steve benefits from online lag. I think the minecart is downright obnoxious, and some of the tricky movement feels enhanced by lag, but I can't say for certain.
That’s a challenge I am having when facing him. His overall lack of animations and sound effects throws me off. Just seeing him flail his legs when he gets hit, no change in expression nor at least visibly shift in his hurtbox. It just feels so “off”. I know when he should be in tumble but not actually seeing him tumble...it’s confusing lol. Everything looks identical. And then when he does do something that uses a different animation it’s so drastic and sudden a shift it’s taking me a moment to notice, but I’m old so I just blame slower reaction speed on that.

Do we know if he truly doesn’t shift his hurtbox at all when he’s hit? I can imagine that could lead to things working against him (or not) that don’t work on anyone else as everyone else’s hurtbox contorts and shifts as they are hit.
 
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StrangeKitten

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Much like we predicted, Steve does not have a good time against rushdowns. Level 9 Kirby, Falcon, Pichu, and especially Sonic all smothered my day 2 Zombie. This character's disadvantage feels like one of the roughest in the game. The good news is, Create Block helps halt your momentum or if you have a block down, you can tech against it when you probably would've died otherwise. And with such strong kill moves, rage Steve + diamond tools is very good at comebacks. I'm getting more used to the recovery but it still did let me down once.
 

Mikazuki

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Envoy of Chaos said:
Do we know if he truly doesn’t shift his hurtbox at all when he’s hit? I can imagine that could lead to things working against him (or not) that don’t work on anyone else as everyone else’s hurtbox contorts and shifts as they are hit.
I noticed this while playing as Wobin against Steve. Arcfire doesn't work as good against him as on other characters and he escapes it nearly immediately. So maybe?
 

NotLiquid

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I can see on paper that Steve has bad mobility stats overall, but in practice they don't SEEM bad, and I can't fully wrap my head around why.
Combination of great frame data and hitbox data can also contribute to that.

Reminds me a bit of Incineroar actually, where they don't actually seem to mind a whole lot that the opponent wants to engage via direct approaches. I don't think Steve struggles against rushdown as much as people like to believe. I legitimately feel that if this character has any Achilles heel, it's range more than it is speed.
 

Nobie

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Combination of great frame data and hitbox data can also contribute to that.

Reminds me a bit of Incineroar actually, where they don't actually seem to mind a whole lot that the opponent wants to engage via direct approaches. I don't think Steve struggles against rushdown as much as people like to believe. I legitimately feel that if this character has any Achilles heel, it's range more than it is speed.
I imagine Shulk, Lucina, and Marth are going to be among his biggest problems, and I'm convinced that Zelda is an incredibly bad matchup for Steve as well, all due to the horizontal range on their hitboxes.

I think one flaw of Steve's very rigid hurtbox is that he seems surprisingly easy to sweetspot, perhaps due to poor initial dash and that the thin hurtbox ironically might make it harder to land a sourspot. I noticed this while fighting a Zelda as Steve, and I suspect Marth is probably similar.
 

Plain Yogurt

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Yeah Mine Cart has been blowing me up online. My Mac and ICs were stuck just chasing Steve back and forth across the stage and when they did get in he could just swat me away to reset the situation if I messed up my approach. Meanwhile my day 1 Lucario eventually just turned into sitting back and throwing Aura Spheres.

The move just seems wildly overtuned. Hits hard, hits harder with Redstone, command grabs, and is fast and decently large. It also seems to switch from a hit box to a grab box at some point after Steve jumps out? The lone cart has both hit and grabbed me, so I’m having a hard time figuring how best to avoid it. And while I puzzle that out, Steve is chilling out and grabbing more iron so he can do it again.

Day 3 bias is telling me that it’s a scrub killer and I just need to get used to it, but as of right now it’s quite a frustrating attack.
 
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blackghost

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people willget used to mine cart. at this point people were also getting hit by moves like roller and wonderwing. this phase will pass.
i think steve long term is a character that uses the blocks much more than what we are currently seeing. steve is also a character that doesnt really have aflow chart. he is very MU specefic as to what he should be doing.

watching him th eother thing that stands out is he is perhaps the only character with mobility stats this low with frame data this good. its a wierd thing to watch.

also steve may be one of the scariest characters to have below you since he can ladder essentially his hearts desire and he can create his own platform pressure.
 

SwagGuy99

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I noticed this while playing as Wobin against Steve. Arcfire doesn't work as good against him as on other characters and he escapes it nearly immediately. So maybe?
Yeah, the normal Luigi ZTD variations don't work on him due to his hurtbox being extremely weird, but he's also not too hard to combo otherwise. It's weird.

watching him th eother thing that stands out is he is perhaps the only character with mobility stats this low with frame data this good. its a wierd thing to watch.
Edit: He's surprisingly similar to Luigi in this sense. Although Steve's air speed is faster than Luigi and his ground speed is slower, their frame data seems fairly comparable on their normals (Luigi's might be better by a small margin) and they are both fairly sluggish overall. However, I think Steve's lack of options at midrange is something that Luigi doesn't lack (z-air, fireball, RAR b-air) and I think Steve's poor(?) neutral may hurt him as well. Luigi's neutral isn't amazing or anything, but fireballs, z-air, and ff aerials used in combination with each other are usually are good enough to allow him to make and take advantage of an opening on most of the cast. Steve doesn't really have any options like this outside of Minecart since his options (like Luigi's) have poor range and he doesn't really have a good projectile in neutral.
 
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Gleam

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Ledge TNT against Ike and especially Chrom seems like borderline abuse. I mean it's not impossible for Chrom to recover and get the invincibility frames on ledge before the detonation hits him. But because his Up-B has a continuous hit detection, he'll often set off the TNT 8/10 times. Sometimes simply pushing the TNT offstage via D-Tilt will catch him off, slightly push him back or if he does get past it, will still get hit by the D-tilt itself.

Again, it's not impossible for him to recover, I've seen it. But it just seems that, when someone like Chrom is put into a position where he has to recover vertically, he's got to really think of his spacing.
 

Rizen

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If you haven’t already seen it
The anvil part will probably be patched but this does show a good command grab esk setup at the ledge like Kirby or K.Rool sucking you in. Players will have to watch out for that on its own.

OT but relevant to competitive smash: The WHO says that vaccines for the corona virus probably won't be available to young healthy people until 2022. I really hate to say this but make friends with wifi because it's not going away any time soon.
 

Hydreigonfan01

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The anvil part will probably be patched but this does show a good command grab esk setup at the ledge like Kirby or K.Rool sucking you in. Players will have to watch out for that on its own.

OT but relevant to competitive smash: The WHO says that vaccines for the corona virus probably won't be available to young healthy people until 2022. I really hate to say this but make friends with wifi because it's not going away any time soon.
While it's not the WHO, Dr Fauci predicted the COVID-19 vaccine could arrive as early as April 2021.
 

Lacrimosa

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The anvil part will probably be patched but this does show a good command grab esk setup at the ledge like Kirby or K.Rool sucking you in. Players will have to watch out for that on its own.

OT but relevant to competitive smash: The WHO says that vaccines for the corona virus probably won't be available to young healthy people until 2022. I really hate to say this but make friends with wifi because it's not going away any time soon.
I mean, in Europe and Japan there have been some tournaments and for France, they want to continue the "WANTED" (French weekly on a national level and sometimes with Dutch and German players) series soon.
But yeah, I don't expect them to be very frequent as they used to be.
 
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