First Official 4BR Smash for Wii U Tier List

It is common for fighting game communities to create a tier list for their game as a source of reference and debate regarding the tournament viability of the cast. The Smash scene is no exception to this, and all games in the series have had a tier list posted to SmashBoards. More often than not, the website itself was instrumental to the creation of these lists, mainly through projects organized by the so-called Smash Back Room for each respective game.

Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS finds itself in the unique position of receiving patches, DLC characters and stages for more than a year after release, with two more characters still forthcoming. As a result of this, it made sense to hold off on tier list discussion until a period of relative stability came along. The current patch (1.1.3) left the majority of the cast relatively untouched and had Genesis 3 as a major showcase, so we chose this build as a foundation. With the recent launch of the 4BR, we were in a good position for the official tier list project to finally get underway.

The 4BR acknowledges that tier lists are often controversial and won't be perfect at the first iteration, if ever. We do, however, strive to study the game to the best of our ability and give a sincere opinion on the current state of affairs. As such, a tier list can be an important benchmark to look back on as the game progresses.

To illustrate this, compare the first and last tier lists for Brawl. Over the nearly 5 years separating the two, we saw the fall of top tier threats like King Dedede, R.O.B. and Mr. Game & Watch, the rise of supposed mid tiers like Captain Olimar and Zero Suit Samus and the blatant early misjudgment of Zelda's potential. Despite these major shifts, the majority of the cast did not end up that far from where they initially started.

Our community has pushed Smash 4 hard from day one, and we have more resources at our disposal than ever before, be it complete frame data, tutorials, or tournament footage. It will be interesting to see how this affects our accuracy in rating the cast, something only time will tell. All that being said, we are proud to present you the first official tier list for Smash Bros. for Wii U!

Procedure

In late December 2015, 4BR members were asked to distribute all 56 released characters across 20 tiers, with no differentiation within the same tier. Voters could place gaps wherever they wanted and there were no restrictions on the amount of characters in the same group. They had to assume play under the 1.1.3 patch with no custom moves allowed, while Miis had to be considered with their 1111 moveset only, in accordance with tournament reality at the biggest events. The 4BR at this moment has no official stance or recommendation on ruleset matters.

We agreed to let voting run until after Genesis 3, which would hopefully provide us with insights into especially the more recent additions to the cast, most notably Cloud. During the voting process, there was a separate topic for reasoning and discussion. We also asked a small group of non-members to submit a vote, in order to involve more people at the forefront of the metagame. We ended up with 53 votes, of which 34 were American and 19 were international.

These are the people who submitted a vote:

USA
Atlantic North: 12
Midwest: 8
Pacific West: 7
Southwest: 4
Atlantic South: 3

International
Europe: 8
Japan: 6
Canada: 3
Australia: 2

Note that we will not release individual votes, but any voter is free to share his own vote with the public. The most notable abstainee was @TSM ZeRo, who felt it was still too early for a tier list.

Results

@Shaya processed the votes and found these average placements, standard deviations and gaps between average placements for the cast:

Character Average Placement Standard Deviation Gap
Sheik 20.0 0.0 0.0
Zero Suit Samus 19.46 0.708 0.538
Rosalina 18.77 0.87 0.687
Ryu 17.95 1.103 0.82
Pikachu 17.86 1.065 0.099
Sonic 17.83 1.269 0.021
Fox 17.52 1.146 0.313
Mario 17.51 1.108 0.014
Diddy Kong 17.43 0.998 0.082
Meta Knight 17.12 1.489 0.307
Villager 16.52 1.614 0.597
Cloud 16.5 1.657 0.023
Ness 16.39 1.502 0.11
Captain Falcon 15.16 1.767 1.228
Yoshi 15.15 1.893 0.013
Luigi 14.27 1.996 0.881
Dark Pit 13.89 2.138 0.381
Pit 13.88 2.308 0.006
Peach 13.75 2.115 0.133
R.O.B. 13.63 2.221 0.12
Wario 13.56 1.898 0.067
Toon Link 13.2 2.416 0.357
Lucario 12.92 2.224 0.285
Olimar 12.47 2.452 0.454
Greninja 12.25 2.633 0.215
Ike 12.12 2.425 0.126
Donkey Kong 11.8 2.252 0.325
Mega Man 11.41 2.159 0.386
Pac-Man 11.29 2.278 0.124
Bowser 10.81 2.66 0.477
Robin 10.17 2.722 0.642
Roy 9.29 3.209 0.883
Kirby 9.1 3.388 0.183
Bowser Jr. 8.93 2.671 0.176
Mr. Game & Watch 8.72 2.47 0.21
Lucas 8.65 2.993 0.071
Mewtwo 8.35 2.666 0.297
Falco 8.12 3.026 0.232
Wii Fit Trainer 8.08 2.674 0.037
Shulk 7.75 2.926 0.325
Marth 7.72 2.237 0.038
Link 7.47 2.474 0.249
Duck Hunt Dog 7.18 3.11 0.283
Little Mac 7.18 2.633 0.009
Dr. Mario 7.14 2.437 0.033
King Dedede 6.04 2.721 1.107
Lucina 5.59 2.547 0.447
Mii Brawler 5.01 2.952 0.584
Charizard 4.79 2.255 0.218
Palutena 4.78 2.199 0.008
Samus 4.12 1.942 0.656
Mii Gunner 3.6 2.153 0.525
Mii Swordsman 3.32 2.054 0.282
Ganondorf 3.23 1.675 0.082
Jigglypuff 2.79 2.035 0.448
Zelda 1.96 1.259 0.828

A standard deviation of (close to) 0 means that voters generally placed the character close to the mean, while a higher standard deviation means that the character had a larger range of placements. Most standard deviations are over 1, indicating that we are far from a consensus.

We considered all gaps over .50 as tier separation points and those above .75 for a change in label (Top, High, etc.). However, we decided against single character tiers and the C tier occupying a "High Mid" label with just two characters. Finally, we split F tier into two based on the largest difference within that group of 14 characters.

Official 4BR Smash for Wii U Tier List v1.0 (1.1.3 patch)

Top
S::4sheik::4zss::rosalina:

High
A::4ryu::4pikachu::4sonic::4fox::4mario::4diddy::4metaknight:
B::4villager::4cloud::4ness:

Middle
C::4falcon::4yoshi:
D::4luigi::4darkpit::4pit::4peach::4rob::4wario2::4tlink::4lucario:
E::4olimar::4greninja::4myfriends::4dk::4megaman::4pacman::4bowser::4robinm:

Low
F::4feroy::4kirby::4bowserjr::4gaw::4lucas::4mewtwo::4falco::4wiifit:
G::4shulk::4marth::4link::4duckhunt::4littlemac::4drmario:

Bottom
H::4dedede::4lucina:
I::4miibrawl::4charizard::4palutena:
J::4samus::4miigun::4miisword::4ganondorf::4jigglypuff::4zelda:

Text version:

S: Sheik, Zero Suit Samus, Rosalina & Luma
A: Ryu, Pikachu, Sonic, Fox, Mario, Diddy Kong, Meta Knight
B: Villager, Cloud, Ness
C: Captain Falcon, Yoshi
D: Luigi, Dark Pit, Pit, Peach, R.O.B., Wario, Toon Link, Lucario
E: Captain Olimar, Greninja, Ike, Donkey Kong, Mega Man, Pac-Man, Bowser, Robin
F: Roy, Kirby, Bowser Jr., Mr. Game & Watch, Lucas, Mewtwo, Falco, Wii Fit Trainer
G: Shulk, Marth, Link, Duck Hunt, Little Mac, Dr. Mario
H: King Dedede, Lucina
I: Mii Brawler, Charizard, Palutena
J: Samus, Mii Gunner, Mii Swordfighter, Ganondorf, Jigglypuff, Zelda

Graphic version:



Conclusion


The first year of Smash 4 has been an absolute rollercoaster, with players flocking from Bowser to Diddy Kong to Sheik to Luigi to Donkey Kong to Sheik again. With the completion of the cast on the horizon and the nerfs and buffs slowing to a halt, the game can be expected to come to full fruition in 2016. We can't wait to see the Smash 4 tier list evolve over the years as Smashers all over the world rise to the challenge -- and with them, their respective characters.

What do you think of the tier list? Would you have placed any characters differently? Let us know what your thoughts and questions are and we will try to address the most common ones in a followup article, which will also include a more in-depth analysis of the results with statements by 4BR members.

Major thanks go out to @Shaya for processing the votes, @Zigsta and @Liberation for helping with the release and @Xiivi, @Shaya, and @Camalange for collecting outside votes and various odds and ends. Finally, a shoutout to all the voters for their time and input. I was proud to spearhead this project and receive help from so many dedicated people.
 
Marc

Comments

#17
People have been asking for a tier list and they were delivered one. This will still get updated!
How frequently is the question. Like, if it's anything where we're waiting 6 months to a year for an update like (iIrc) what brawl was, it's really pointless to have a list like this being made just to have it potentially nullified in two days. >_>
 
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#24
How frequently is the question. Like, if it's anything where we're waiting 6 months to a year for an update like (iIrc) what brawl was, it's really pointless to have a list like this being made just to have it potentially nullified in two days. >_>
Come on Joey, I know you're smarter than this.

If we just kept post-poning the list until after the next big major or next incoming patch, it'd be like the end of the year before we released one. (People would almost certainly want to wait till after EVO/Smash Con to rank Corrin/Bayo)

Further, you know for a fact that the patch is not going to invalidate the whole list, even if characters will get changed. There will be plenty who get no changes at all.
 
#27
I'm glad Rosalina is in S Tier still. I've seen a lot of people underrate her lately. While I believe she is the character in the game with the best potential, she's heavily underutilised for how good she is and lacks the player base of Sheik and ZSS. This is all due to the fact that she's such an unorthodox character that shouldn't rely on one play style. Sheik and ZSS, while they can do a variety of things, they both rely a lot on the typical rushdown combo game so heavily, and that's just really the most popular play style, in part because it's "Melee-like". So while I think Rosalina has the potential to be the top spot, I don't think we are going to see a player rise up to really show her stuff. And ZeRo and Nairo are just better than Dabuz (or at least have been doing better than), flat out. So I think Rosalina's placement is actually perfect.

In general I actually pretty much agree with it. The only thing I'll say is that Cloud being ranked at all feels forced. He's only been out for a month and a half, I think he shouldn't be placed yet.

There's a few characters I WOULD disagree with if I went with general raw potential and nothing else (e.g Pac-Man), but since this is heavily results and match-up based (e.g. Pac-Man doesn't see a lot of top play, and he gets **** on by Rosalina, according to most. Not sure I agree entirely but I can see it), I think it's fair.
 
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#28
User was warned for this post
Let's not let the SSBWiki take this with viability.

First off, Ganondorf is not in the bottom three characters; he's a low tier, if not a lower middle tier character.

Then they have the audacity to put bottom tier Robin into high tier!?

Ooh, and Link in Low Tier when he's been agreed to be middle tier or upper middle?

Ryu...in top...five...WHAT?!

Game and Watch, Kirby and Little Mac in low tier? Where are their accurate bottom tier placements?

King Dedede's meant to be in the bottom five, you know.

Like seriously, 4BR, you need to really disband and remake yourself.
A tier list like this is actually unacceptable.
 
#29
I kind of agree with the order of the individual characters but not at all with the format/distribution. You can't tell me there's a "J Tier" in this game, nor you can tell me characters like Falcon are "Mid Tier".

Besides, like ZeRo said, not only its too early for a concrete tier list, but this will get completely obsolete in 2 days.
 
#35
This is probably the worst list that has ever been made since the game came out >.> Do you guys not know how close / how many 50-50 match ups exist do the amount of balanced in this game? Seriously there is no reason to have more than 4 or 5 "tiers" for characters.

S , A , B , C , D is enough to put characters into categories. But whatever starting somewhere is better than no where.
 
#38
Oh
my
God.
FINALLY!!!! NOW WE CAN STOP WITH THE BS FAKE LISTS!!!!
Is this list not BS?
Is Ganondorf not generally agreed to be low tier?
Is Link not generally agreed to be mid-tier?
Is Kirby not generally agreed to be bottom tier?
And WHY THE HELL IS ROBIN IN HIGH TIER!?

This is probably the worst list that has ever been made since the game came out >.> Do you guys not know how close / how many 50-50 match ups exist do the amount of balanced in this game? Seriously there is no reason to have more than 4 or 5 "tiers" for characters.

S , A , B , C , D is enough to put characters into categories. But whatever starting somewhere is better than no where.
Looks like we're going to have to start at an awful pace...
Nice to meet you, by the way. You were from Genesis right?
 
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