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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 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

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.
It was more along the lines of "Let's wait a week to see if any top (or top/upper high in this list's case) tier chars get nerfed" than anything else. If the top tiers are untouched, then you're right, it'll be a great list.

I personally think that if any of the top 5 were nerfed (especially Sheik) in frame data with any of their legit tools, then based on that principle alone the list would be shaken up a lot based on matchups alone. I, however, understand if a majority would disagree with this idea.
 
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I'm satisfied with the results and I think its a very nice groundwork!
This game has a bright future! :)
 
Finally our tier list is done... wait the patch is coming out in two days?... f*ck it post it anyways.
 
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!?



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?
Yes i'm the Marth player from Genesis. Nice to meet you too.
 
I'm not trying to be rude but...

This list is a waste of everyone's time.

Not because of the placements, but because you released it literally two days before a balance patch that adds two characters. Bayonetta and Corrin could reshape the meta game and several characters could rise or plummet.

I get that you guys have been working on this for a long time, but it's near worthless now.

I just don't get why you didn't wait... I'm confused.
 
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The devil is Roy doing in low tier. He is totally garbage tier. Samus is the opposite. WFT still in low tier? This list is outdated trash.
 
Why do people call Mii Swordfighter Swordsman? Is it people not using the right name or some kind of region thing? They're call Sword Fighter in the PAL release, but I don't think they're Swordsman anywhere.
 
Yes i'm the Marth player from Genesis. Nice to meet you too.
Pretty big fan of your performance there. Hey, want to go ahead and go against each other sometime?

I'm not trying to be rude but...

This list is a waste of everyone's time.

Not because of the placements, but because you released it literally two days before a balance patch that adds two characters. Bayonetta and Corrin could reshape the meta game and several characters could rise or plummet.

I just don't get why you didn't wait... I'm confused.
Because they are being EA and rushing the product, and going to patch it up later.

Jiggs, Zelda, & Ganon living the rough life since brawl
And the thing is, Ganondorf isn't even THAT bad in this game. Low tier at worst. He's got some good results against a lot of the cast, and to put him near Jigglypuff in this game is calls for illegitimacy on a tier list.

Why make a tier list two days before a patch with new characters lmfao
#4BRisEA
(I'm starting it)
 
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This tier list should not exist with a patch coming in two days.
And getting data of this type for those characters in a short timespan is crazy. This has probably been in the works for a while, so Corrin and Bayo will need to wait for V2 in a few months to find an "official" placement.

This serves as a pretty good summation of the past few months.

It's good to finally have groundwork laid. Top and High are pretty agreeable. Placements can vary here and there, but this seems solid. I'm not entirely certain Sm4sh needs a "bottom" tier, but I'm not the one collecting the data.

And I'm not really upset, my only character that's in bottom is Dorf, and I knew that was coming. Still enjoy wrecking face with him.
 
Why release an official tier list right now when we're getting new characters and a balance patch in literally 2 days? This list could be completely invalidated in 48 hours.
I'm not trying to be rude but...

This list is a waste of everyone's time.

Not because of the placements, but because you released it literally two days before a balance patch that adds two characters. Bayonetta and Corrin could reshape the meta game and several characters could rise or plummet.

I get that you guys have been working on this for a long time, but it's near worthless now.

I just don't get why you didn't wait... I'm confused.
The patch might change a few tier placements here and there, but judging from previous patches, it is very unlikely the balance patch will drastically change the tiers. A very large portion of the cast is unusually left completely untouched in the patches. Of those who do get buffed only very few character gets buffs sizeable enough to move them up (or down) a tier.

As for Bayonetta or Corrin, the chance of them becoming an extremely metagame dominating force to the extent that it will influence other characters placements (something characters like Sheik or ZSS do) is simply really low.
 
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And getting data of this type for those characters in a short timespan is crazy. This has probably been in the works for a while, so Corrin and Bayo will need to wait for V2 in a few months to find an "official" placement.

This serves as a pretty good summation of the past few months.

It's good to finally have groundwork laid. Top and High are pretty agreeable. Placements can vary here and there, but this seems solid. I'm not entirely certain Sm4sh needs a "bottom" tier, but I'm not the one collecting the data.

And I'm not really upset, my only character that's in bottom is Dorf, and I knew that was coming. Still enjoy wrecking face with him.
Two of the top ten players in my state are Ganondorfs. :D

My biggest issue is that it goes all the way to "J tier." We honestly don't need more than 5 or 6 tiers. There is not that much difference in potential between the bottom 20 characters.
 
Yes, a lot will change in 2 days, but much more than that will remain roughly or wholly the same, and there wont be another opportunity to make a tier list again for months as the new patch will need to settle.
 
I'm not trying to be rude but...

This list is a waste of everyone's time.

Not because of the placements, but because you released it literally two days before a balance patch that adds two characters. Bayonetta and Corrin could reshape the meta game and several characters could rise or plummet.

I get that you guys have been working on this for a long time, but it's near worthless now.

I just don't get why you didn't wait... I'm confused.
It was mostly so competitive discussion could have a focal point rather than people just going off of gut feelings (if you've ever posted in the Competitive Impressions thread...).

The game has been out for a year and the BR Leadership didn't want to keep putting things off, this was actually delayed so we could include results from Genesis (ex. Toon Link).
 
Pikachu being 4th is a complete joke rofl, same as Ryu.

Think about it, if you remove ESAM from the equation, where does pikachu place? If you remove larry from fox, zero from diddy and komo from sonic, they still have many people who win big tournaments with those characters.

Those 2 characters have never won anything significant.
 
It may not be most agreeable but it's good to finally have a groundwork for future tier lists and we're finally moving towards really shaping the meta of Smash 4.
 
Why post a tier list two days before it becomes completely irrelevant? The list itself is fine (Link is way too low, at least mid) but why post it when it won't be accurate in two days time?
 
A reminder that this tier list is meant to reflect the current meta.

Yes, this game is a different case from previous installments because of patches and DLC, but that is just a new factor of an ever evolving meta. That shouldn't hinder our motives. It's fine if it changes, as that is the point.

We are open to criticism, feedback, and will take it all in. I assure you that many of the factors you've stated we have all shared similar qualms. This is not meant to be definitive, but again, I stress it is an attempt to capture a state in time of our meta.

This could change drastically with the new characters and possible patches. That is fine.

I want to say thank you to everyone who was on the committee, whether they chose to vote or not, for being as productive toward the cause as possible.

Thank you all for being reciprocative towards this endeavor. We're happy to hear from you all.

:093:
 
When it comes to the actual list, I'm assuming no one on this list has seen 1111 Brawler, because if they have and they have him above Zelda, that's pretty ridiculous tbh. Brawler 1111 should almost definitely be in a tier on his own. Literally all he has is some ground mobility and combos to 50-60 before he has to get you to 150 after you learn the match up. Panel as a whole seems pretty uninformed about Mii Fighters in the 1111 Metagame tbh.
 
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Two of the top ten players in my state are Ganondorfs. :D

My biggest issue is that it goes all the way to "J tier." We honestly don't need more than 5 or 6 tiers. There is not that much difference in potential between the bottom 20 characters.
I agree with this. This game isn't so jank that the characters are that far apart. Even with no results, there shouldn't be that much difference between the low tier characters and the supposed bottom tier.

All the same, this is probably just them laying down an outline to get feedback for moving forward. It's a summation of their data, even if the layout is a bit....eh.
 
Look, I think I'm going to be sick of being furious right now.
But hey, at least this disaster of a tier list will be a lesson to the Smash 4 BR, and it's that they need to make a good tier list, not something that's rushed out faster than Battlefield: Hardline.

Like seriously, no, seriously, this tier lists make my tier lists seem reasonable now! My tier lists at least have better placement of some characters in what they could be doing.

Why post a tier list two days before it becomes completely irrelevant? The list itself is fine (Link is way too low, at least mid) but why post it when it won't be accurate in two days time?
Finally, someone who gets that Link is too low.

#4BRBS
 
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The heck is this? Luigi middle tier? Bruh, the nerf cost us a kill confirm, nothing else. Luigi is still high tier, not top but mid high tier for sure.
 
Honestly, in terms of tier grouping rather than numbered placement, I'd say this is a solid tier list bar one or two oddities but that's fine, mostly because the lower half still lacks a lot of results and everyone's gonna disagree on who is top 10.

It's a decent start so it's best it's out there for the time being to see what gets proven wrong and right in the coming weeks.
 
Lol, Sheik is the top by a tier seperation margin, and Zelda is the bottom by a supertier seperation margin!!!

The best and worst character are the same person xD
 
Also lol @ the two australian voters both being from the same state that isnt even the strongest region.
 
I'm alright with a list now. It's more than a year out and we have some sense of stability. Besides, we were OK with the progression of Melee tier lists, yeah? Look how much... say... Ice Climbers or Yoshi have moved over its history. Answer: a lot.

That history for smash 4 has to start somewhere. We can look back and attribute placement movement to historical events. Maybe Ryu gets nerfed into the ground and stops being relevant? Maybe Marth's presumed buffs (currently via video analysis) are real PLUS MORE and he jumps 15 spots? We'll have reasons for it all, and that's great.

Speaking of Ryu (not hypothetically, this time!), I'm glad that Ryu is as high as he is. He's got a punish game that's over ZSS, but requires much less risky moves to trigger the use of that punish game (ZSS - 16 frame grab; Ryu - 3 frame up tilt). His mobility is worse than hers, but he's got frame 1 armor and grounded invulnerability on frame 1 with good execution. I think he's going to play a strong role in the future if he ends up in the right hands.

You know. Unless Bayonetta combos everyone out of existence, ha ha.
 
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