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Official Competitive Character Impressions 2.0

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    551

Frihetsanka

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Seems a little early to be putting him in top tier with little to actually base it off of, but Smash community is going to Smash community I suppose.
At this point in time, it's kind of like making a bet where you think a character will end up. If you think a character will end up in top tier, you might as well say so now, giving you the opportunity to say "I called it" later. I made the mistake of being too cautious with Joker: I thought he'd be high tier, but I was wrong, he turned out to be top tier! Of course, it's also very possible to overestimate a character. A DLC character being top tier wouldn't be surprising at all, we've seen it happen several times before, with Joker in Ultimate (and some say Min Min), Bayonetta and Cloud in 4 and potentially Ryu and/or Corrin as well.

Sephiroth is a very interesting case since a majority of top players seem to think that he's at least high tier. Has there ever been a DLC character where top players near unanimously agreed that the character was good and the character turned out to not be good? If not, then this would either be the first time, or Sephiroth will turn out to be good. My bet is on the latter.
 

Arthur97

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At this point in time, it's kind of like making a bet where you think a character will end up. If you think a character will end up in top tier, you might as well say so now, giving you the opportunity to say "I called it" later. I made the mistake of being too cautious with Joker: I thought he'd be high tier, but I was wrong, he turned out to be top tier! Of course, it's also very possible to overestimate a character. A DLC character being top tier wouldn't be surprising at all, we've seen it happen several times before, with Joker in Ultimate (and some say Min Min), Bayonetta and Cloud in 4 and potentially Ryu and/or Corrin as well.

Sephiroth is a very interesting case since a majority of top players seem to think that he's at least high tier. Has there ever been a DLC character where top players near unanimously agreed that the character was good and the character turned out to not be good? If not, then this would either be the first time, or Sephiroth will turn out to be good. My bet is on the latter.
Actually, in Ultimate it'd be a bit more surprising that DLC is top tier. The betting goes both ways though. Can end up with egg on your face. As it is, it's largely online and opinions. Seph hasn't really been tried by fire much if at all as it were to see if those opinions hold true.
 

Thinkaman

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Saying Sephiroth is probably in the top 2 of 4 tiers is not exactly a bold or risky position. Jason is suggesting Sephiroth is in the top 50 or 40%, not 10 or 5%.
 

Frihetsanka

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Saying Sephiroth is probably in the top 2 of 4 tiers is not exactly a bold or risky position. Jason is suggesting Sephiroth is in the top 50 or 40%, not 10 or 5%.
"Probably on the border of high and top". which, given his previous tier lists, would indicate somewhere around top 15 or maybe top 20 for offline.
 

Melonsismyusername

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"Probably on the border of high and top". which, given his previous tier lists, would indicate somewhere around top 15 or maybe top 20 for offline.
M2k is also somewhat notorious for overrating new characters, remember when he said that Richter was high tier


Personally, I don't see him as top tier, he just has so many flaws
 

Nobie

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Raito released a video showing that Duck Hunt can increase the amount of hits he lands during smash attacks when Can is out. Down smash can do a whopping 40%!


It's probably a bug and will likely be removed, but for now, Duck Hunt might jump up a tier.
 

Zachmac

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Now that he's been out for a short while I can see Sephiroth being a pretty good character. He has all the makings of one, and I'm of the belief that he's strong in all three game states.

He's got a strong neutral game. On top of his ridiculous sword range and a fast projectile that demands a lot of respect in side b, he's actually more flexible then you'd think. He's got a lagless Nair, a good d-tilt and decent dash attack for wiff punish and good grab reward (albeit with a pitiful grab itself) to keep things mixed up and avoid pigeonholing his gameplan too much. His poor grab is also made up for in part by his ability to condition shield. He absolutely should primarily be played defensively with spaced side b and sword swings, but he's got other mix ups for when he needs it.

Good mobility for such a defensive behemoth also means he can position himself quickly in advantage and really abuse his giant hitboxes. His ledge trapping is particularly strong as we've seen M2K discuss. His Smash attacks with are extremely risky in neutral really shine here, and the mere threat of his Uair can force defensive options despite its lag. Kill power is also no issue for him, especially with the reliability of a well-spaced Bair.

He's also got a number of disadvantage mix ups. Up special is a great tool to have with the weak version being decently fast for what it is and having the ability to cross up shields, with Octaslash serving as a risky mix up. Dair isn't truly safe but it is really good for a move of its type. There's his b-reversable counter as a mix up that's already been discussed and of course, his near lagless Nair. He will also tend to have his third jump at kill percent, which is when it will matter to him most. You'd think being tall and light would give him poor disadvantage but with all the mix up tools he has at his disposal I'd say he's actually got a really strong disadvantage, relative to most of the cast.

His one big Achilles heel, and the thing I see gatekeeping him from being a true "top tier", is his struggle against characters who low profile. I see Pikachu, Joker and Squirtle as being particularly problematic due to their relevance. On top of being able to low profile, their mobility and frame data will also allow them to attack Sephiroth at angles that are difficult for his narrow attacks to deal with. I'm of the belief that the higher a tier you are, the more important being "solo viable" is, and that the very best characters in the game are the ones who can work around their weaknesses with only a little difficulty. I suspect the best Sephiroth players are probably going to carry secondaries to deal with these threats, or have to fight a steeper uphill battle greater then high tiers usually have to deal with. It's hard to say this in a game where most characters have a notable weakness, but it's hard to call him one of the best of the best when his players are going to occasionally be forced to switch to a character they're not as well versed in or be forced to suffer from bullying by a popular character. He makes me think of Bowser in that way, despite being a totally different character.

Also as a side note, I don't see projectile specialist as too big of a problem for him as while he does have a huge hurtbox, he does benefit from being able to chase opponents into the corner and his long hitboxes are going to make it difficult for them to regain stage control or reset neutral. He just controls so much space with his sword that once he gets in, his opponent won't have much room to run. I can still see him having some bad matchups here but I think they'll all be more then manageable.
 
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The_Bookworm

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To break up the conversation a little bit, apparently Sephiroth has a glitch were he could literally shut off visual effects / animations, if Pokemon Trainer dies right when Shadow Flare is about to hit him.

This video shows the specifics, as well as how each Final Smash looks like when this glitch is active.



Not competitive relevant at all (unless this somehow happens in tournaments), but it is cool to see some of these Final Smash animations without all the visual effects in the way.
 
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Krysco

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Speaking of that Duck Hunt glitch, I saw it and a similar one on Twitter the other day. The other glitch was also involving the can and smash attacks and allowed them to come out faster. I believe I saw it mentioned that usmash can be frame 7 instead of frame 12. I should see about finding it to add to this post as I'm not even sure if the 2 glitches are one and the same.
Edit: found it
 
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TCT~Phantom

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Win rate is heavily used for card game balance. For example when demon hunter launched in hearthstone it had a 60 percent win rate and had to be nerfed.
If a character in smash was in the top 5 in usage AND had North of a 55 percent win rate I think you would see that character get nerfed. That's Likely that is what happened with Mac in smash 4 launch.

Most esports in both the fgc and others use win rate data but they also have people that just actively play test. Given that Nintendo has actively overnerfed a character just to appease a crowd reaction, I'd guess and wager they aren't using better approaches on what characters should get nerfed or buffed.
If you thought Demon Hunter was bad, Darkglare Warlock in Wild was way worse.

But on topic, the main thing that surprised me about this was how low Lucina and Corrin are. I thought that those two would not do that bad due to their strong disjoints online. I expected them around Cloud tbh.
 

Aaron1997

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Yea this new DH might be game changing. He now has kill confirms off of Clay Pigeon that can kill you as early as 50%.



This kill confirm that was removed when Clay Pigeon got nerfed is back again.


The frame 7 start-up the tech gives to up smash makes this possible


Up-smash might became one of the scariest OOS kill options in the game



To bad there's no offline because I would be telling people to abuse while you can.
 

Arthur97

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Yeah, that's very likely getting patched though. Then again, maybe not. They haven't hit every bug.
 

Bobthealligator

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I mean this new tech is good but it's not really that broken. Do they really need to patch it when all it's really achieved is a significant buff to an underused character?
 

Cutie Gwen

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I mean this new tech is good but it's not really that broken. Do they really need to patch it when all it's really achieved is a significant buff to an underused character?
Nintendo has a very conservative mindset for patches in general and Smash isn't very different in that regard, the glitch makes it so that smash attacks don't 'work as intended' due to the shortened framedata, meaning Nintendo's likely going to patch it out. After all, they patched out countless glitches that only affect speedrunners in games like Mario Oddysey for similar reasons
 

Arthur97

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It technically is broken in that this is almost certainly a bug. Whether you like it or not should be irrelevant, if it was unintentionally added, odds are they'll take it out. Simple. Not that every bug gets taken out like the Terry exploit or the dark/falcon dive thing.
 

Thinkaman

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It being unintended (a bug) is not itself a reason to patch it out.

But having a character's damage output and/or frame data be based on arbitrary, feedback-less, single-frame inputs of a different button is a very good reason, practically a half-dozen reasons in one. One unbufferable frame-perfect input is bad enough, but three in a row???

It's also not even always positive when you get it; I've found that on certain characters/spacing/percents, hitting the first double hit pushes them too far for the second shot; It's a mess.
 

Arthur97

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It being a bug may be kind of reason enough to patch it out depending on philosophy. But more than that, if unintended, then it may affect balance in ways unexpected. Even if it were not a mess.
 

RonNewcomb

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I wouldn't be surprised if it was intended. DuckHunt is the light gun zapper character, a device about making precise shots. It wouldn't surprise me at all if it's just an Easter-egg mechanic to mimic the precision of zapping in the context of a rhythm minigame. Particular since the 1f unbufferable inputs are self-balancing, yet also give no real penalty for messing it up.

Veering closer to tinfoil hat theory, I wouldn't be surprised if it has always been there since the character launched in 4, spawning "DH can't kill" memes cause we didn't know we were supposed to be using it all along.

🤷
 

Idon

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I wouldn't be surprised if it was intended. DuckHunt is the light gun zapper character, a device about making precise shots. It wouldn't surprise me at all if it's just an Easter-egg mechanic to mimic the precision of zapping in the context of a rhythm minigame. Particular since the 1f unbufferable inputs are self-balancing, yet also give no real penalty for messing it up.

Veering closer to tinfoil hat theory, I wouldn't be surprised if it has always been there since the character launched in 4, spawning "DH can't kill" memes cause we didn't know we were supposed to be using it all along.

🤷
Look there's no way this is intended. With this kind of reaching you could justify any sort of bizarre glitch with it being a reference to a vague philosophy of the original game.
 

Zachmac

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So I'm not usually a big fan of discussing match up charts, but I did stumble across this interesting challenging how we should think about and make them.
I think what he's getting at is that if a low tier main and high tier main are ranked at around the same spot, the low tier main will probably have had more experience in their bad match ups, and thus will probably perform better in the match up in practice then in theory. I'm not sure if I totally buy into it but it's an interesting point.
 

Thinkaman

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It's a pretty simple bug. The game uses the same duckhunt_reticle article for both can and the smashes. The difference is that the hitbox(es) are on the article for the can shot, but attached to Duck Hunt for his smashes. (The reticle article is summoned but only for the visual animation on them.) So apparently there's a single-frame where we can get it on smashes with the neutral-b hitbox still active.

Off the top of my head without looking into the code I dunno why the damage is what it is (instead of the typical neutral-b hitbox value), but the important thing is it's not being cleared when the article is reinstantiated.

So I'm not usually a big fan of discussing match up charts, but I did stumble across this interesting challenging how we should think about and make them.
I think what he's getting at is that if a low tier main and high tier main are ranked at around the same spot, the low tier main will probably have had more experience in their bad match ups, and thus will probably perform better in the match up in practice then in theory. I'm not sure if I totally buy into it but it's an interesting point.
This is a pretty real effect. As a Brawl Jigglypuff player, I was the poster-child for this; no-one had Jiggs experience or knew anything about my character. Jiggs was a very poor character in Brawl, but this was a giant silver-lining. For example, Jiggs could rest MK out of nado, or rest Diddy out of dash attack and u-smash; never once did an opponent know that my bottom-tier never-played character could do such a thing.

No one in Smash Ultimate is that severely weak+underplayed, but the size of the roster means some characters still get most of the effect without being anywhere near as bad.

On the flip-side, I struggled to pick up PT in Ultimate because everyone knew how to fight him. (Sure, it was 3 characters, but PT was overall the most played character according to tourney VODs for a large chunk of Ultimate's life thusfar.) Meanwhile there are certain greedy Incineroar combos (mostly stuff involving neutral-b and up-b) that I can only get away with on people without detailed Incineroar experience.

Edit: In Ultimate the biggest beneficiaries of this--without question--are the Miis. All the other least-used characters were either powerful/popular in previous games or enjoy highly visible use by a high-profile player who is probably named Dabuz. Even the lesser-played newcomers like Isabelle or Incineroar are understood much better just by virtue of being interesting new characters that got a lot of press.
 
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Zachmac

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It's a pretty simple bug. The game uses the same duckhunt_reticle article for both can and the smashes. The difference is that the hitbox(es) are on the article for the can shot, but attached to Duck Hunt for his smashes. (The reticle article is summoned but only for the visual animation on them.) So apparently there's a single-frame where we can get it on smashes with the neutral-b hitbox still active.

Off the top of my head without looking into the code I dunno why the damage is what it is (instead of the typical neutral-b hitbox value), but the important thing is it's not being cleared when the article is reinstantiated.



This is a pretty real effect. As a Brawl Jigglypuff player, I was the poster-child for this; no-one had Jiggs experience or knew anything about my character. Jiggs was a very poor character in Brawl, but this was a giant silver-lining. For example, Jiggs could rest MK out of nado, or rest Diddy out of dash attack and u-smash; never once did an opponent know that my bottom-tier never-played character could do such a thing.

No one in Smash Ultimate is that severely weak+underplayed, but the size of the roster means some characters still get most of the effect without being anywhere near as bad.

On the flip-side, I struggled to pick up PT in Ultimate because everyone knew how to fight him. (Sure, it was 3 characters, but PT was overall the most played character according to tourney VODs for a large chunk of Ultimate's life thusfar.) Meanwhile there are certain greedy Incineroar combos (mostly stuff involving neutral-b and up-b) that I can only get away with on people without detailed Incineroar experience.

Edit: In Ultimate the biggest beneficiaries of this--without question--are the Miis. All the other least-used characters were either powerful/popular in previous games or enjoy highly visible use by a high-profile player who is probably named Dabuz. Even the lesser-played newcomers like Isabelle or Incineroar are understood much better just by virtue of being interesting new characters that got a lot of press.
I think most of us can agree this effect is real. I've got first hand experience with this as well since I've been a Charizard loyalist since 4 and I'm not able to play him nearly as recklessly today as I was back then. I don't think that's entirely point he's making in the video, I just paraphrased it badly. He also suggests that in order for a lower tiered character main to rank well, they must also be a bit more skilled with their character then others of the same tank, hence evening out match up charts even further.

But the thing I'm not sure about is his suggestion that we make our match up charts to reflect this as he believes its more practical. He also mskes the point that rank can be measured more objectively then skill. I do like the idea of match up charts being more relative torwards how a character fairs against the cast as a whole (if almost everyone is +1 against you, then +1 is your "even").

Now that I've thought about it more, I suppose the thing that I'm iffy about is that his rank-based match up chart idea is still partially based on an abstract idea of skill. It's just based om the assumption that lowe tier mains are going to generally be a little more skilled against the high tier mains they get matched against in practice which seems less fair.
 

Thinkaman

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I think all tier lists and MU charts are--in theory--predicated on the assumption of optimal play. (Or rather "optimal" for some (high) level of play.)

I'm not sure the unrealistic aspects of said assumption invalidates the exercise. It seems any alternative would endue more bias rather than less?
 

RonNewcomb

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Look there's no way this is intended. With this kind of reaching you could justify any sort of bizarre glitch with it being a reference to a vague philosophy of the original game.
It's less of a reach when his side-B already works similarly. I'm not saying y'all are wrong calling it a bug, but I am saying I'm surprised we're all so sure about it.

I think most of us can agree this effect is real. I've got first hand experience with this as well since I've been a Charizard loyalist since 4 and I'm not able to play him nearly as recklessly today as I was back then. I don't think that's entirely point he's making in the video, I just paraphrased it badly. He also suggests that in order for a lower tiered character main to rank well, they must also be a bit more skilled with their character then others of the same tank, hence evening out match up charts even further.

But the thing I'm not sure about is his suggestion that we make our match up charts to reflect this as he believes its more practical. He also mskes the point that rank can be measured more objectively then skill. I do like the idea of match up charts being more relative torwards how a character fairs against the cast as a whole (if almost everyone is +1 against you, then +1 is your "even").

Now that I've thought about it more, I suppose the thing that I'm iffy about is that his rank-based match up chart idea is still partially based on an abstract idea of skill. It's just based om the assumption that lowe tier mains are going to generally be a little more skilled against the high tier mains they get matched against in practice which seems less fair.
Frauding out wins based on MU inexperience has been a thing for a long time. I'd get hatemail in SF4 that demanded I play "a normal character" cause then I'd allegedly never beat the guy I just beat.

But altering a MU chart based on how easy or reliable it is to fraud out a win that way? I dunno. I mean, yeah rosters are huge nowadays, but a MU has always assumed "endgame" development. Both players know both character's everything, and both players are highly skilled, and equally skilled. And yeah how does one measure or compare that has always been an impossibility.

Even if we did give K.Rool (for instance) a bump in the tier list to reflect 'fraudability', wouldn't being higher on the tier list with a highly skilled player piloting them draw more attention to K.Rool, which then starts to dampen the very surprise factor that's propping him up there?
 

Idon

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It's less of a reach when his side-B already works similarly. I'm not saying y'all are wrong calling it a bug, but I am saying I'm surprised we're all so sure about it.
Because, as repeatedly stated, in a game where they added multiple shortcuts and an extremely lenient buffer system, a series of 1 frame links wherein an entirely different move improves the frame data of another different move does not make sense to include intentionally.

Side B on the other hand does not do anything... remotely similar to this. I'm more surprised anyone could even come to the conclusion that this is intentional in any way.
 
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Nobie

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There was a reasonable argument that Little Mac's Dreamland Express was intentional (precise timing matches Punch-Out!!), but that got patched out.
 

Thinkaman

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There was a reasonable argument that Little Mac's Dreamland Express was intentional (precise timing matches Punch-Out!!), but that got patched out.
I dunno if I'd say reasonable; it was a stretch that they'd throw out the broader design philosophy of the game in pursuit of esoteric balance changes. (When all balance changes historically have been anything but that.) It was also immediately easy to see what the bug was, how it was an unintended edge case consequence of their bigger change.

But as you suggest, at least "esoteric Mac technique that only affects top-level play" is at least what he "needs."

(As opposed to say, someone looking at Duck Hunt and saying "Yeah, but you know what this character needs? A higher skill ceiling and less reliable smashes.")
 

Diddy Kong

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Seems a little early to be putting him in top tier with little to actually base it off of, but Smash community is going to Smash community I suppose.
To be honest, with the whole Sakurai presentation and all talking about frames and what not, I think Sephiroth was meant to be a meta relevant character by design from the get go.

The fact pro's seem to think highly of him, and everyone else wanting him buffed speaks volumes alone.
 

Thinkaman

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I think it's more that while aspects of Sephiroth's overall design are quite unique, most the individual pieces are known, well-understood tools in terms of fundamentals.

This means it's way easier for them to safely "fly closer to the sun" than it is with say, Steve or most DLC. (I suspect Min Min and Joker ended up better than they expected, and that Byleth was held back some by movement achetype combined with noob-friendly specials. (Especially the projectile))
 

JoeZegers

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:ultlucario:: My smash main since July 2019. Underrated due to how aura works "too" well. A high risk character, you just have to know when to attack. Decent recovery, decent speed, great moveset.
:ultwolf:: Wolf is doable aside from the bad recovery. Decent underdog.
:ultmewtwo:: A decent character with a similar moveset to :ultlucario:, but less :ultlucario:-y. The hitbox on his tail is too big.
:ultincineroar:: His attacks are just insanity. However he has bad recovery and is slow.
 
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Nobie

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I recently watched a video by Melee player/commentator Toph, where he goes over a Melee "tier" list by another player named Ginger.


In it, Ginger ranks the characters not by how strong they are, how likely they are to win a tournament, overall matchup spread, or any of the stuff we usually think about. Instead, it's about where characters fall on a spectrum between what he calls "essence" and "fill."

The video mostly explains what those terms mean, but they're not obvious upfront. Basically, "essence" means characters who mainly play by aiming towards certain central win conditions or moves, whereas "fill" means sort of "throw the kitchen sink at 'em" characters who try to use smoke and mirrors to win the day. In the context of Melee, Ice Climbers are considered a "pure essence" character because wobbling/chain grabs are so fundamental to their play, while Falco is considered "all fill" at the highest levels of play because he really has to rely on his entire kit to win.

It's also worth nothing that just because a character is more "essence" or more "fill" doesn't mean they're only good at one or the other. Fox can do well in both (which is probably why he's arguably the best character there), but he's simply even better at "fill" stuff.



With that in mind, I made a quick chart for how I think characters fall in Ultimate. Characters are roughly in order, kinda?

Due to fundamental differences in the games, I think there's a higher percentage of "essence" characters in Ultimate than Melee, but I also am not that great a player, and my knowledge of every single character is limited, so take this whole chart with a grain of salt.

More than anything, framing characters along this spectrum has helped me think about why certain characters might appeal to certain types of players (regardless of competitive viability), as well as how characters may have changed in the transition between games. For example, I consider Mewtwo to be a "mostly fill" character in Ultimate because while it has certain kill confirms and reliably attacks (Shadow Ball), I feel like Mewtwo more often than not has to focus on trying to slowly build its wins using a variety of tools. However, I think Smash 4 Mewtwo is more of a "mostly essence" kind of character because of the stronger down tilt, the footstool disable, and the air dodge into fair to quickly turn games around.

Feel free to disagree with all the placements, but I also think it's worth thinking of one's own mains in these terms. It's not a very formalized or structured approach, but at least for me, it's helping me see Smash in a different light.
 

Frihetsanka

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MkLeo thinks Sephiroth is top tier offline, high tier online. At this point in time, I'm inclined to agree with him. Sure, his flaws (especially weak OoS and lackluster frame data) are quite noticeable, but his strengths, wow, his strength... Incredible. Winged Form is very potent and slept on, all of his specials are quite good, his f-tilt is incredible. Three of his aerals, fair, bair, and up-air, have great range, and while slow he can use the range to great advantage. Nair is very good too, and dair is one of the best stall-then-fall dairs in the game.

Source for his statement: https://youtu.be/ZcdDxhvPmXE (Seems his plan is to use Byleth offline as a secondary, and if Byleth isn't good enough he'll switch to Sephiroth as his secondary. Joker will remain his main either way).

So, at this point in time, we have a several top players calling him top/high tier, and only a few (most notably Marss) calling him mid tier. Zackray seems quite interested in the character as well.
:ultwolf:: Wolf is doable aside from the bad recovery. Decent underdog.
Isn't Wolf wildly considered a top 10 character? Hardly an underdog.

With that in mind, I made a quick chart for how I think characters fall in Ultimate. Characters are roughly in order, kinda?
Why is Corrin in Mostly Essence and Lucina in All Fill? Also, why is Wolf Mostly Essence?
 

NotLiquid

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Why is Corrin in Mostly Essence and Lucina in All Fill? Also, why is Wolf Mostly Essence?
Based on the way the traits are described, I'd say Lucina is a perfect example of Pure Fill because her move set is built in a way where she doesn't exactly have a very specific win state. She has a decently rounded set of attacks but she's not going to fall back on a certain selection of options to play neutral or take stocks, and that's sort of for better and for worse in her case since while she's able to play neutral very well, she basically has to play all around the stage to take stocks. If I'd have to contrast her with another character on the roster who is tangentially similar, Inkling misses the Pure Fill category by a mite because, while she has the mobility and tools to play scrappy both on-stage and off-stage, she's far more likely to double down on BAirs and grabs in neutral. Corrin debatably leans essence because her character is very reliant on the pin, though not so much to the point that she can eschew her solid neutral buttons.

I'll say that I kinda sorta think Min Min would be more of a Mostly Essence character rather than Pure Essence. I think her optimal win condition being when an opponent is off-stage is well documented but that sort of sets aside the fact that she has so many potent neutral tools and reactive elements that she succeeds at killing from basically anywhere on-stage with both softer and harder punishes. She isn't really beholden to aiming to her preferred state.

I also think Ness is interesting to place so lopsidedly when online the character is almost the complete opposite - and yeah while that's online, there are some shades of truths you can find in the format; chief one being that Ness' buttons are very good, even if he too wants to get grabs a lot of the time.
 

SapphSabre777

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MkLeo thinks Sephiroth is top tier offline, high tier online. At this point in time, I'm inclined to agree with him. Sure, his flaws (especially weak OoS and lackluster frame data) are quite noticeable, but his strengths, wow, his strength... Incredible. Winged Form is very potent and slept on, all of his specials are quite good, his f-tilt is incredible. Three of his aerals, fair, bair, and up-air, have great range, and while slow he can use the range to great advantage. Nair is very good too, and dair is one of the best stall-then-fall dairs in the game.

Source for his statement: https://youtu.be/ZcdDxhvPmXE (Seems his plan is to use Byleth offline as a secondary, and if Byleth isn't good enough he'll switch to Sephiroth as his secondary. Joker will remain his main either way).
You can add Tweek to the list of top players that holds Sephiroth as a top tier offline and only slightly weaker online in his video: Is Sephiroth TOP TIER? - YouTube. He mentions namely that he takes time to use and master, so he has to take each MU to heart (which might be his biggest flaw since 80+ MUs takes some time) but his reactionary abilities and his massive plusses, especially with his range and payoff in his moves that are in "DLC" territory. I think through these two players signaling Seph's dominant traits, his meta will likely blow up and his meta explode in progress as a result, which as said by Tweek, only benefits him immensely.

Hope you like range to every character in the game.
 

Nobie

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Based on the way the traits are described, I'd say Lucina is a perfect example of Pure Fill because her move set is built in a way where she doesn't exactly have a very specific win state. She has a decently rounded set of attacks but she's not going to fall back on a certain selection of options to play neutral or take stocks, and that's sort of for better and for worse in her case since while she's able to play neutral very well, she basically has to play all around the stage to take stocks. If I'd have to contrast her with another character on the roster who is tangentially similar, Inkling misses the Pure Fill category by a mite because, while she has the mobility and tools to play scrappy both on-stage and off-stage, she's far more likely to double down on BAirs and grabs in neutral. Corrin debatably leans essence because her character is very reliant on the pin, though not so much to the point that she can eschew her solid neutral buttons.

I'll say that I kinda sorta think Min Min would be more of a Mostly Essence character rather than Pure Essence. I think her optimal win condition being when an opponent is off-stage is well documented but that sort of sets aside the fact that she has so many potent neutral tools and reactive elements that she succeeds at killing from basically anywhere on-stage with both softer and harder punishes. She isn't really beholden to aiming to her preferred state.

I also think Ness is interesting to place so lopsidedly when online the character is almost the complete opposite - and yeah while that's online, there are some shades of truths you can find in the format; chief one being that Ness' buttons are very good, even if he too wants to get grabs a lot of the time.
NotLiquid covers my thoughts on Lucina and Corrin, though I'll say that Corrin is not someone I know well.

As for Wolf, while he has a full and robust kit, I feel that he usually boils down to a few essential moves, and it largely revolves around how safe he is at decently close range. When I fight Wolf, I feel like I can see from a mile away what he wants, but I just end up getting hit by it regardless. Ness falls into a similar category, in my view.
 

Gearkeeper-8a

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I recently watched a video by Melee player/commentator Toph, where he goes over a Melee "tier" list by another player named Ginger.


In it, Ginger ranks the characters not by how strong they are, how likely they are to win a tournament, overall matchup spread, or any of the stuff we usually think about. Instead, it's about where characters fall on a spectrum between what he calls "essence" and "fill."

The video mostly explains what those terms mean, but they're not obvious upfront. Basically, "essence" means characters who mainly play by aiming towards certain central win conditions or moves, whereas "fill" means sort of "throw the kitchen sink at 'em" characters who try to use smoke and mirrors to win the day. In the context of Melee, Ice Climbers are considered a "pure essence" character because wobbling/chain grabs are so fundamental to their play, while Falco is considered "all fill" at the highest levels of play because he really has to rely on his entire kit to win.

It's also worth nothing that just because a character is more "essence" or more "fill" doesn't mean they're only good at one or the other. Fox can do well in both (which is probably why he's arguably the best character there), but he's simply even better at "fill" stuff.



With that in mind, I made a quick chart for how I think characters fall in Ultimate. Characters are roughly in order, kinda?

Due to fundamental differences in the games, I think there's a higher percentage of "essence" characters in Ultimate than Melee, but I also am not that great a player, and my knowledge of every single character is limited, so take this whole chart with a grain of salt.

More than anything, framing characters along this spectrum has helped me think about why certain characters might appeal to certain types of players (regardless of competitive viability), as well as how characters may have changed in the transition between games. For example, I consider Mewtwo to be a "mostly fill" character in Ultimate because while it has certain kill confirms and reliably attacks (Shadow Ball), I feel like Mewtwo more often than not has to focus on trying to slowly build its wins using a variety of tools. However, I think Smash 4 Mewtwo is more of a "mostly essence" kind of character because of the stronger down tilt, the footstool disable, and the air dodge into fair to quickly turn games around.

Feel free to disagree with all the placements, but I also think it's worth thinking of one's own mains in these terms. It's not a very formalized or structured approach, but at least for me, it's helping me see Smash in a different light.
First I dont know why smash players use exotics terms to explain mostly simple things, ginger is making a tierlist between well rounded and one trick pony moveset.

Second I dont think we can have a similar tierlist because Melee has been studied since DECADES and the pool of characters are way less, not to mention that I dont think any smash ultimate character design is as extreme as Melee ice climbers no character has such as extreme and consistent win condition that their whole tournament viability dependes of it.
 

Thinkaman

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I'm skeptical of the consistency of such abstract categories, but I'll play along.

I've always thought of characters as "dominant" or "reactionary." "Dominant" characters are once who presume to win neutral interactions if everything goes "to plan." (For both players, ignoring yomi.)

For example, I'd consider Sephiroth the most "dominant" character in the game. (Except maybe Min Min) Between his speed and disjoint, he should win the vast majority of possible toe-to-toe offensive neutral interactions. I'd consider probably Ganon or Incinroar the most "reactionary"; they have to pull a rabbit out of a hat to land most hits, even if that rabbit is just a little microspacing or spotdodge in the right place.

This isn't the same as Ginger's proposed lens/axis. For example, Lucina is definitely "dominant" but "fill"; "Incineroar is definitely "essence" but "reactionary." (And Little Mac is dominant/essense while Kirby is reactionary/fill.) You could almost say that he is talking about the macro (win-conditions) and my terms are focused on the micro (neutral interactions).

I am not sure if these are fully orthogonal, and also not sure that plotting them against each other would have any particular value even if they did. (And you could agree on judgements across the roster in either case.) But it's interesting to see someone categorize characters in a way radically different from my own, most of which is probably deeply rooted in playing Melee and Brawl Jigglypuff. (And being primarily occupied with my opponent's disjoint.)
 
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