History of Competitive Smash 4


Smash Lord
Dec 5, 2017
Editing posts after posting posts...
Switch FC
SW 4274 8573 0226
I know this seems out of topic but since this is related to competitive Smash, then I will gladly write my own opinions.

I know I could right this in a different thread but since I generally like this thread despite its decline, I put it anyway. Besides, I want to give you some Smash 4 context before Smash 5!

Since Smash 5 is getting closer and that some Smash 4 players are packing up and waiting for it, I wrote down a general history of Smash in competitive play; I will also focus much more towards Brawl and Smash 4 rather than Melee and Smash 64 due to this post being around Smash 4 criteria. Otherwise, here is the history of the brief history of Melee and Brawl and the main history for COMPETITVE Smash 4...

General History of Smash Brothers 4 (With Some Melee and Brawl History) in Competitive Play

Pre-Golden Age (1999-2003)
Smash Brothers had been released by Masahiro Sakurai in 1999 after wanting to create a fighting where many Nintendo characters duke it out one another. It became a massive hit and because of that, Nintendo released a sequel, Smash Brothers Melee, into the Nintendo Gamecube in 2001. Like its predecessor, Melee became a massive hit and is currently stands as the highest selling game in the Gamecube market. However, despite Sakurai's intentions for Melee to be more "casual party game," this did not halt certain fans from playing Melee at a competitive level. Avid players started to utilize the game's unique physics engine to generate unexpectedly fast movement across the stage, which had never before been seen in the Smash series. As players began newly discovered techniques, many smashers began hosting small tournaments for the first time. These tournaments were held among small groups of smashers in small locations. One year after Smash Melee, Matt Deezie hosted the first real Smash tournament in its history, Tournament Go, on April 2002 in Northern California. This tournament helped bring to attention a standard, unified ruleset of legal stages and tournament procedures that continued to develop and used to the Smash meta to this day. After Tournament Go 6 in 2004, the last tournament in its series, Matt Deezie hosted the first 100-man tournament with the best players from around the United States, such as Ken, Azen, and ChuDat. After many large nationals, such as MELEE-FC and Game Over, the surge of tournament activity paved way for increased support from large video game organizations such as MLG into the Melee scene. MLG's support to Melee scene brought to a sudden "Golden Age" of Melee.

Golden Age (2004-2007)
The "Golden Age" of competitive Smash kicked off with MLG's addition fo the game to its largest tournaments, such as MLG New York 2004. The first tournament brought victory to Ken and grew public interest from many viewers wanting to see Melee more. Because of this, MLG began expanding its presence in the Melee scene, featuring more Nintendo games of its big events. Many teenagers became rising stars in this early Melee meta. Ken, Azen, ChuDat, Isai, PC Chris, KoreanDJ, and Mew2King became a dominant force in this meta but no one had ever match the true peaks and consistency in this history than Ken. Ken, a Marth youngster, was dubbed the "King of Smash" after his incredibly consistent level of dominance at MLG events. However, his consistency brought him less and less enjoyment in the game. As his dominance grew, negative feedback rise to the point that it brought Ken into much stress and anxiety, even declaring to himself that playing Smash competitively and going to tournaments felt more like a job than an enjoyment. Nevertheless, Ken was a master of Marth and revolutionized Marth's meta as he continues to dominate the competitive scene until 2007.

Picture: PC Chris winning MLG Vegas 2006 after defeating KoreanDJ
Melee's last MLG tournament was from MLG Las Vegas 2006 where PC Chris won $10,000 after defeated KoreanDJ. After MLG Vegas 2006, MLG dropped Melee from its tournaments in 2007 and never brought it back until 6 years later where MLG gives Melee community a tournament called MLG Anaheim 2014, One of the final major tournaments during the Golden Age was EVO 2007 where Ken won the tournament after beating HugS. EVO 2007 brought to a rise of one youngster who was a partygoer and alcohol lover, Mang0. However, this age will be a change for the Melee community as Nintendo released a sequel to Melee in 2008, a sequel that brought many rising stars in that new game but brings the Melee community into stagnation.

Melee's Dark Age (2008-2012)
After Nintendo released its newest Smash Bros. game, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, in March 2008, Melee players questioned the survivability of Melee as much of the community moved on to the new title. Unfortunately, these fears turned out to be correct, as 2008 became completely dominated by the Brawl scene; not a single Melee major was held for around a year, and the tournaments that do focus on Melee, does not have as many entrants and viewers than they had previously. This sudden drop of Melee is simply called the "Dark Age." The Melee scene continued to stay stagnant until Alukard held Revival of Melee in New York in March 2009. This tournament was the first even to feature Melee's best players from across the country: players such as Mew2King, Mango, PC Chris, and Azen attend to this tournament. Revival of Melee was the beginning of a gradual revival in tournament attendance back to pre-Brawl levels (Also, Mew2King vs Zhu was one of the highest viewed Melee matches in YouTube; more than 900,000 viewers watch this video.) The renewed surge in attendance was aided by the fact that many Melee players despised Brawl's mechanics, where it is much slower and less-combo oriented game than to its predecessors. While EVO and MLG added Brawl to their major tournaments, the Melee community held on through a strong grassroots presence. Dedicated Melee communities led to the hosting of bigger tournaments such as GENESIS and Pound 4, and Melee was able to maintain tournaments numbers similar to those of Brawl. This Melee community continued to show its grassroots presence until its massive surge of popularity when a certain tournament was held for Melee in 2013. Before that, Brawl was still on its rise to popularity.

Pre-Historic Smash 4 Community: Brawl Community...
Brawl's Humble Beginnings (2008-2010)

Unlike Melee, Brawl became home to a large and active tournament scene following its release in March 2008, and TOs and players were already familiar with the tournament process thanks to previous experience with Melee. Tournament activity sprung up across the United States. Tristate Area, SoCal, Texas, Maryland/Virginia, and Florida became tournament hotspots for Brawl throughout its lifetime. Early Brawl's tournaments were famous for its frequent 100-man "locals." The more developed Internet of 2008 such as YouTube and Smashboards helped spread the growth of the Smash community quicker than ever before. As previously mentioned, Brawl's release resulted in a sudden temporary dropoff of Melee tournament activity. Many Melee players such as Mew2King actively played Brawl during its early competitive life. However, a year after Brawl, many Melee players leave Brawl and focus more on the Melee scene after their criticisms of Brawl's inferior gameplay. Because of this, the Brawl community consisted mostly of newer players such as ZeRo, Nairo, ADHD, and many others who had just entered the competitive scene. Meta Knight and Snake were considered among the best characters in Brawl and dominated early competitive Brawl. Meta Knight, in particular, was seen as broken by many players due to his over-powered strengths and not glaring weaknesses. Meta Knight was so powerful in the metagame that the Brawl community debated whether or not to ban him but since the Brawl metagame was too early to make big decisions, the Smash Back Room decided to leave Meta Knight alone. At the early lifespan, Mew2King was known as the strongest Brawl player as he placed 1st at almost every large tournament he attended with his Meta Knight. Ally rose to fame as one Mew2King's few potential challengers.

Two years after Brawl's release, MLG picked up Brawl for its 2010 Pro Circuit. Various MLG-hosted nationals were held throughout the eastern half of the USA, attracting attention from across the country. However, Nintendo prohibited MLG from live streaming Brawl matches for unknown reasons. This reinforced Nintendo's lack of support for the competitive Smash community until very recently. Gnes won the circuit final at MLG Dallas 2010 and won $12,500. However, MLG does have some controversies: At MLG DC 2010, there was an infamous splitting incident occurred between Mew2King and ADHD, leading to the two being banned from MLG Dallas 2010. This incident was the reason why MLG dropped Brawl after the circuit ended.

Brawl's Apex, Struggle, and Death (2011-2014)
After MLG, Brawl activity largely centered on the scene's grassroots tournaments just like Melee. The advent of streaming groups such as CLASH Tournaments allowed for footage for Brawl sets, featuring professional commentary for the first time. Around this time, Mew2King lost his status as the undisputed best Brawl player as he was unable to win a national throughout 2012 and 2013, was notorious for getting upset by lower-skilled players such as OCEAN at Apex 2012 and Salem at Apex 2013 and made inconsistent placings. Newer players such as Nairo, ESAM, ZeRo, and Otori began to compete in the race for the title of best Brawl player. Salem became famous for his victory at Apex 2013 while defeated MK players such as Otori and Mew2King using Zero Suit Samus, a rather volitile high tier character who doesnt have much representation compared to other higher tiered characters. Salem's battle and victory against Mew2King became one of the most famous sets in Brawl's history.

Picture: OCEAN defeats Mew2King in Brawl Singles
While Snake lost his dominance and was eventually fell on the tier list, Meta Knight's dominance in Brawl was growing more apparent. As many players began to use Meta Knight in a faster pace, many people debated on Meta Knight's legality waged, as many players complained he was over-centralizing the game. This culminated in the Unity Ruleset Committee banning Meta Knight by the vote in September 2011, taking effect in January 2012. This ban brought a huge split in the Brawl community as some of the best MK players refused to enter an MK banned tourney. It was eventually lifted in April however the dual Meta Knight in doubles is still banned. Outside of MK, Ice Climbers and Olimar also rose on the tier list and became more prominent in the Brawl metagame. These characters were heavily criticized for its campy, cheap and slow gameplay that was considered boring to watch. The Ice Climbers were heavily detested for their overpowered zero-to-death chain grabs on every character, ruining the tournament environment. Many players even claimed that Ice Climbers harm competitive Brawl more dramatically than Meta Knight.

Following Melee's success at EVO 2013 and Brawl's shift towards a more defensive and campy gameplay, Brawl's tournament scene underwent a significant decline, as many newer players shifted to the more faster-paced Melee or Project M. Melee and even Project M's entrants outclassed Brawl's entrants at every large event, and many Brawl nationals such as Apex 2014 became dominated by other faster-paced Smash games while Brawl events remained small and turnouts was significantly lower. With the expected release of Super Smash Bros 4 in late 2014, many Brawl players packed their bags and shut down competitive Brawl as they realized that the game's competitive lifespan was nearing an end. When Smash 4 had been released, Brawl activity disappeared almost entirely, as the vast majority of the Brawl playerbase shifted to the newest iteration of the Smash series. Since then, there are largely nonexistent Brawl locals. Brawl was occasionally featured at Super Smash Con but it is more as a side event and is rarely taken seriously. A few attempts, such as the hosting of Revival of Brawl, have been made to bring the game back into the competitive spotlight but they were unsuccessful as they attracted limited interest from both players and viewers.
A new documentary, Smash 3, talks about Brawl's competitive history and it is currently in development.

While Melee and Smash 4 are only continuing to grow, Brawl is now nonexistent and was never revived, unlike Melee. Everyone who played Brawl focused in Smash 4. Brawl may have been burnt hot but it slowly withers away... Right now, Brawl was now remembered for MK's dominance and its "casual gameplay."

Early Smash 4: Smash 4 Invitational, ZeRo's Dominance and Balance Patches (2014-2015)
Before Smash 4's released in both Wii U and 3DS, Nintendo announced an invitational for the Smash professionals. Many professionals such as ZeRo, Hungrybox, Ken, KoreanDJ, PPMD, aMSa, and many others were invited in to win the invitational. Unlike any tournament, this invitational focused on a more casual direction as they introduced items, free-for-alls, and many stages that were obviously deemed illegal by competitive standpoint. Nonetheless, many viewers were very excited to see some Smash 4 action while crossing their fingers to determine whether their favorite players will make it into Grand Finals. At the end ZeRo won his first ever tournament, defeating Hungrybox with Zero-Suit Samus.

Picture: ZeRo winning Smash 4 Invitational after defeating Hungrybox.
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS had a small amount of time in the limelight from September 12th until the end of December. Since the 3DS game started with version 1.0.0., it initially had a plethora of bugs, some of which was either an enhancement or was a deterrence to the competitive scene. DACUS was still in from Brawl, but only on 3DS. DACUS was eventually patched out. The vast majority of the competitive scene now utilizes the Wii U game, as it allows for superior viewing quality and far better control capabilities. Besides online play, the 3DS version of the game has fallen into obscurity. The Umebura tournament series was among the only national level tournaments ever held for 3DS until it was obscured once again.

2015 marks the first year of Smash 4 Wii U's competitive timeline. This Smash game had a unique start compared to previous iterations of the Smash series. Players were able to "hit the ground running" going into the new year. Infamously, Diddy Kong's powerful throw combos called the "Hoo-Hah", dominated competitive play, and Diddy dittos were common, much to the disapproval of spectators. However, Diddy Kong was eventually nerfed incoming patches. Many balance patches and five new DLCs characters released in 2015 resulted in an unstable metagame. There was even once a debate over the legality of custom moves, which were allowed at EVO 2015, but banned in most tournaments soon afterward.

Throughout 2014-2015, one Chilean player named ZeRo was widely considered the undisputed best. Formerly a Brawl Meta Knight main, ZeRo co-mains Diddy and Sheik and dominate every tournament he entered. ZeRo's dominance led to him taking majors such as Apex 2015, EVO 2015, and The Big House 5. He was very famous for his infamous 56-streak wins throughout 2 years. ZeRo even became the first person at EVO to not lose a single game. Because of his undisputed dominance, some may call him "The Only God of Smash" while others heavily criticized him for ruining the meta. His dominant 56-streak, however, ended when Nairo finally beat ZeRo and win MLG World Finals 2015. Nairo became the only player to eliminate ZeRo in a Smash 4 tournament in 2015.

The Middle Ground of Smash 4: Rise to the Underdogs and the Rise of Non-American Players (2016)
This year saw the release of the last two DLC characters, Corrin and Bayonetta. Bayonetta was seen as a highly controversial character, due to her powerful combo game, allowing her to zero-death many characters, and Witch Time giving her one of the strongest punish games in Smash 4. Ironically, Bayonetta was notably banned from Europe, whom they voted Bayonetta as the highest voted character in the Smash Ballot. However, significant nerfs, most notably patch 1.1.6., brought Bayonetta on the more even ground with other characters, and the bans were mostly lifted. The lack of any patches after 1.1.6. finally gave the metagame time to develop without any interruptions.

While last year has some notable non-American players such as ZeRo, Mr. R and Ally dominating the early-Smash 4 game, the American smashers were faced with the significantly more apparent non-American players, especially Japan. Starting with Genesis 3, this tournament featured Japan's greatest players at that time such as Ranai, komorikiri, Abadango, and many other Japanese players who wanted to compete for their country. ZeRo vs. Ranai was heavily anticipated as many Smashers heavily debated whether ZeRo could handle the greatest Japanese player. ZeRo and Ranai eventually met and, in a tense match, led to ZeRo making a fantastic victory against Ranai 3-2. ZeRo eventually won GENESIS 3 while defeating Dabuz.

Picture: ZeRo and Ranai preparing to battle in Genesis 3 while the crowd watches in anticipation.
After completing a few matches, ZeRo takes a brief absence from the competitive scene due to medical issues. With ZeRo's absence and Nairo unable to maintain the consistency he had the previous year, the meta gave way for players ranked below both of them to rise. Abadango showed dominance with his Mewtwo after his won Pound 2016, Hyuga showing some upsets in multiple tournaments, alongside Ally growing much stronger, it seems that ZeRo may have been few steps behind. Upon ZeRo's return to the scene in May, ZeRo was no longer the dominant force he was previously, with a wider array of players defeating him compared to before the hiatus. Ally notably holds a positive record over ZeRo since the onset of patch 1.1.6. as a result, defeating him at Get On My Level 2016, Smash 'N' Splash 2, and Super Smash Con 2016. The 2016 summer season was defined as the rise of Mario in the metagame as ANTi won CEO 2016 and Ally won EVO 2016 with using mostly Mario.

Characters who were once inferior to most of the cast were given a fantastic push thanks to efforts from their dedicated players. Abadango used Mewtwo, who was placed 37th in the first tier, to win Pound 2016. Kameme used Mega Man, a middle tier character, to place 2nd at EVO 2016. Mr. E used Marth to win countless upsets, greatly helped Marth as he rose from low tier to a high tier character. Marth rose even further as MKLeo used him to not only win countless upsets but also win tournaments, solidifying him as top tier. Taiheita used Lucas with force in Smash Con and Umebura Majors. Even Heavyweights such as Bowser was also given a fantastic push thanks to the efforts of Nairo, Larry Lurr, and Tweek. Because of this, many people began to realize that many characters in this game are not as inbalance than they thought. Later dedicated players also pushed many characters to their best.

MKLeo, who was well known for defeating Mr. R at Smash Factor 4 a year prior, secured a US visa in October 2016, allowing him to enter tournaments in the United States. This led him to win his first American major by the end of the year: 2GGT: ZeRo Saga, defeating a wide array of players such as ANTi, Ally, ZeRo, VoiD and Larry Lurr while using Marth, in which led to his massive rise in the metagame, rising from simply a low tier to a top tier in just a year.

Despite heavy losses, ZeRo has slowly regained his momentum over the game, albeit not to an extent as pre-hiatus, with him winning 2GGT: Abadango Saga, The Big House 6, and UGC Smash Open. In the end, ZeRo secured his status as the best Smash 4 player in 2016.

Smash 4's Peak and Big Controversies (2017)
Throughout early 2018, the Smash 4 community saw itself on a peak in viewership and popularity. One such example is Genesis 4, where it spikes in 100K viewers. MKLeo took ZeRo's crown and won Genesis 4. Frostbite 2018's viewership was great as it peak around 40K viewers. This tournament brought an unexpected introduction to Tsu- whom he almost win the tournament but lost to ZeRo in an intense match. The ZeRo vs Tsu- match is widely considered to many Smash 4 community as among the greatest Grand Final matches in Smash 4 history. Tsu-'s dominance brought Lucario to a big rise and secure his status as a high tier character.

After Frostbite, there was another tournament that anticipates many Smashers, 2GGC: Civil War. This international tournament brought most top-level players attended, by 47 out of the 50 players listed on PGR v2. This tournament was further hyped by its story-line: Following ZeRo's unprecedented tournament losses to Ally, a strong rivalry arose between Ally and ZeRo, leading to many instances of trash talk and creation of the Twitter hashtags which were used at large by the Smash community to represent which of the two players they supported. Civil War was revealed to be one of its season finale events alongside 2GG Championship Series. Throughout Civil War, its viewership skyrocket by over 50K, many upsets occurred (e.g. ZeRo lost to Luhtie, Ally lost to Locus/ESAM, and MKLeo lost to AC), and many newer and more diverse players enter to top 8 such as Fatality, T, HIKARU, Locus, CaptainZack, etc. Because of this, it was widely considered to be one of the most important and hardest Smash 4 events of all time. In the end, Dabuz finally won 2GGC: Civil War after defeating Fatality.

Picture: A poster display both Ally and ZeRo alongside some crew members at 2GGC: Civil War.
However, after Civil War and some other tournaments, viewership in Smash 4 decline as many majors were held every week. Many players grew tired from the oversaturation of tournaments and many viewers grew more bored as they watch every tournament in every week. To make things worse, Bayonetta, despite being heavily nerfed, was able to steadily resurge back to the best character in the game widely thanks to CaptainZack, Salem, Mistake, and Lima. Because of this, more Bayonettas appeared in tourneys and many viewers grew sick of it. The oversaturation of tournaments and the Bayonetta controversy brought the Smash 4 community into an issue that they cannot resolve it. Many people debated whether Bayonetta should be banned alongside other controversial issues in this community such as Cloud in doubles and Lylat as a legal stage.

Despite this, Smash 4 headways to many rising stars. Salem, Fatality, Locus, CaptainZack, Elegant, and many others made unexpected yet fantastic performances throughout 2017. CaptainZack made his unexpected comeback at Genesis, Civil War, and CEO where he placed top 8 at all three of them. Fatality placed 2nd at both Civil War and MomoCon. Elegant's performance randomly burst at GTX and Championship. Salem, who at first place average placings in early 2017, later became the 2nd best after his EVO win alongside many others afterward.

My view in 2018 Smash and onward
2018 is going right now and as I look at it, the Smash 4 community is growing more and more paranoid as its viewership is on a decline, many players quit until Smash 5's release, and Bayonetta controversy grew much stronger thanks to increasing amounts of Bayonetta players. While I am not going to talk about 2018 issue in much information, I can tell that Smash 4's future will depend on how they will survive after Smash 5 and how dedicated the TOs and the smashers will be after Smash 5. Future of Smash 4 can go in two ways: decline but resurge like Melee or decline and dissolve like Brawl.

Otherwise, we will wait and see what will Smash 4 holds in the future.

That's it for now, I may not chat in this thread frequently because I am relaxing after all the stress I suffered throughout the school year. (I made 160,000-word outline about all the history of the world which is really hard). However, I will look and discuss anything about Ness related or tournament related. Otherwise, see yall later!
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Smash Champion
Jan 10, 2018
It should be noted that Brawl ZSS was already high tier (10th) prior to Salem's Apex performance. The tier list that came after Apex (which is the current one) had her increasing to 9th.

SSB4 Marth was already ranked high tier (19th) prior to Leo's performance at ZeRo Saga and Genesis 4. The list afterwards put him at top tier. In a way, he did increase from low to top tier in a year.

I plan on recording the competitive history of each character in the franchise. Do you want me to put it in this thread?
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Smash Lord
Dec 5, 2017
Editing posts after posting posts...
Switch FC
SW 4274 8573 0226
It should be noted that Brawl ZSS was already high tier (10th) prior to Salem's Apex performance. The tier list that came after Apex (which is the current one) had her increasing to 9th.

SSB4 Marth was already ranked high tier (19th) prior to Leo's performance at ZeRo Saga and Genesis 4. The list afterwards put him at top tier. In a way, he did increase from low to top tier in a year.

I plan on recording the competitive history of each character in the franchise. Do you want me to put it in this thread?
I need to edit and tweak some of it for a bit wait...

Also, sure why not?? :)
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Smash Champion
Jan 10, 2018
Competitive History of 64 Veterans

Last Updated: 3/30/19

They are basically heavily edited versions of Smashwiki's sections of them. Some of them don't even have a section on them in Smashwiki, so research was even harder.

Mario throughout the history of Smash 64 has been considered a mid to upper tiered character, as a result of his rather balanced stats and matchup spread.

As a result, he is seen a well-known pick in the metagame. In the first tier list, he is ranked at 7th as a mid tier character. Then he rose to 5th in the second and third tier lists, as a high tier character. However, between the four year period between the third and fourth tier lists, Mario mains began dropping the character. As a result, he returned to be ranked 7th, as a mid tier character once again.

While the results on the characters above him, deter him from being ranked higher, he is nevertheless seen as a good character in competitive play.

Very early in the Melee metagame, when few players knew the potential of now-top tier characters, Mario was considered one of the best characters in the game, ranking as high as 5th on the first tier list. This could be attributed to Mario's simple but effective combo setups, strong attacks, low learning curve, and lack of any outstanding drawbacks due to being well-rounded, as well as his extendable recovery.

As the metagame advanced, however, Mario's average statistics were magnified as the potentials for many other superior characters, such as Peach, Captain Falcon, and the Ice Climbers, were discovered. This caused Mario to slowly slip down the tier list as time progressed, as well as lose significant placing in large tournaments; eventually, Mango (under the alias "Scorpion Master") was the only person who placed anywhere significant with him, but even he rarely placed high enough to earn money from playing Mario. On the current tier list, he ranks 15th place in the E tier (mid tier, and similar to his 64 placing); on the other hand, his clone Dr. Mario and semi-clone Luigi, who were once widely considered worse than Mario, have surpassed him in ranking.

Mario in Brawl has always been viewed by serious players as a low-tier, nonviable character. Although Mario's attributes were not significantly nerfed from Melee, professionals quickly noticed that his comparatively standard abilities around the board could not keep up with the newer and better competition. These traits kept Mario far from being viable, even in the earlier, underdeveloped metagame of Brawl; as such, despite his still strong attacks and low learning curve, his apex of potential for most players reached nowhere compared to that of many other characters ranked higher than him. As the metagame for other characters developed, Mario never had any competitive breakthroughs or significant advancements in general, steadily driving him further and further down the tier list.

For the past five years of Brawl, Mario has been consistently stuck in 31st place, currently at the very top of low tier. It is unlikely that Mario's competitive viability will ever improve in Brawl, due to a stagnant metagame stemming from very few players ever maining Mario and even fewer playing him at a high level, resulting in very low representation in standard tournaments. Despite this, Mario is a relatively common character at low tier tournaments; players can easily pick him up due to his low learning curve and play him to a reasonably competitive degree. Along with this, Mario performs reasonably well against other low tier characters, including a few positive matchups against those who are lower-tiered than him. While this cannot make Mario rise any higher, it prevents him from possibly dropping any lower on the tier list.

Interestingly, Mario's metagame is seen as a stronger character in the Japan scene, and is ranked at 25th at the top of D tier and higher ranked than his brother.

Upon the game's release players immediately noticed the significant buffs Mario had received to his mobility, combo game, and most notably his KO power and reach, while retaining his low learning curve. Meanwhile, although not a direct consequence, his tougher matchups from Brawl such as Marth, Meta Knight, and King Dedede were nerfed (especially with the former two's range reduced; the lack of range was Mario's critical flaw in Brawl). These buffs and the less hostile competitive environment caused Mario to be viewed as a viable character. While some of these strengths were not perceived until much later, these caused him to quickly gain good tournament representation in all levels of play, and was considered a mid to high-tier character. Despite this, opinions of Mario slowly began to rise due to the fact he remained stagnant in game updates, as well as the nerfs to Diddy Kong, who was one of his most troublesome matchups. As a result of this, he started to gain much higher representation and results, especially by top players such as Ally and ANTi, both of whom have placed among the top 8 in large tournaments such as The Big House 5. This resulted in Mario ranking 8th on the first tier list.

On the earlier half of 2016, Mario's already strong results would significantly improve. Game updates would nerf Sheik, Zero Suit Samus, and Bayonetta, some of his most difficult matchups, while Mario himself remained unchanged. Although it was unknown how these nerfs to the top tiers would affect him at first, it later became clear many characters (and players themselves) started to have a hard time fighting even inexperienced Marios. Furthermore, Ally would go on to win GOML 2016, Smash 'N' Splash 2, and EVO 2016 using Mario (the latter being one of the largest Smash 4 tournament to date), while ANTi won CEO 2016 using Mario for the majority of the tournament. Due to this streak of successes, players would go on to say Mario was among the Top 5 characters in the game, which would coincidentally be reflected in him rising to 5th place on the second tier list On the third tier list, Mario suffered a very slight drop to 6th place and the A tier, as while he remained a very successful character, his results had dropped compared to Summer 2016, and this drop also paved the way for Bayonetta to claim the 1st place. Despite this, many players argued that Mario still deserved a top 5 ranking due to his spectacular prior results, and the tier list also marked the first time he surpassed Rosalina as the highest-ranked Mario character.

However, Mario's top level results have recently become noticeably worse than some top tier characters ranked below him such as Fox, Ryu, Rosalina, and Zero Suit Samus, all of who have received stronger tournament representation (sans Ryu and Rosalina) and results. Players also eventually learned that some of his even or disadvantageous matchups lurked in the lower tiers and do a solid job at abusing Mario's below average range, with Corrin, Donkey Kong, and Lucina being particular examples. This is combined with Ally, the best player of Mario, performing noticeably worse at tournaments. As a result, Mario's decline in tournament results saw him drop to 9th place on the fourth and current tier list, losing the title of best Mario character to Rosalina once again. Nevertheless, he still has garnered a strong playerbase, with great results that come out of it, and has players such as Zenyou and Dark Wizzy slowly rising up in competitive play (with the latter player getting 7th in Shine 2018).

It is certain that Mario is by far the most improved veteran from Brawl to Smash 4.

Mario has endured a mixed bag throughout the early competitive scene. He was notably used by ZeRo to win the Smash Ultimate Invitationals 2018, and players have assessed that he is approximately the same character as in SSB4. However, throughout the pre-release and early metagame, Mario has lamented by players by the nerfs to his down throw, up tilt, and the nerfs to rage. The increased prevalence of sword characters, characters Mario historically struggled with, would also push the impression that Mario is an average character at best by the public eye. He was even being labeled as worse than Dr. Mario, who would get large buffs coming from SSB4.

However, as the metagame settled, Mario's noticeable buffs became more apparent. The reduced jumpsquat frames and landing lag has boosted Mario's already flexible combo game, as up throw's combo game has been noticeably improved. This is also combined with his down air being a powerful KO option now, as well as his latter combos becoming more consistent. Outside of that, Mario would retain the rest of his strengths. As a result, although it is still debatable whether he is truly buffed or nerfed overall from SSB4, he has retained his large playerbase from SSB4, with players such as Dark Wizzy, Prodigy, Zenyou, MastaMario, and Super Dan, amassing very solid results for the character, with an example being Prodigy's 13th placement in Genesis 6. As such, he is considered a fairly viable character in the metagame.
DK's perception would be mixed throughout Smash 64's competitive history, but the verdict an average character at best. He was among the easiest characters to combo and edgeguard and being overall slow. He would possess great power, surprisingly good combo utility for his weight class, and heavyweight for survivalbility.

He was ranked 9th in the first tier list as a low tier character. He would then rise to 7th at the second and third tier lists, as a mid tier character. This push is most likely thanks to some dedicated mains and the falls of Jigglypuff and Ness. He was then dropped back to 9th in the fourth tier list, once again as a low tier character, as a result of his inferior representation and results to characters on C tier and above. His tier position is greatly up to debate, as some players believe that he should be ranked slightly higher, while other think that he should be ranked even lower.

DK was initially viewed as a low-to-bottom tiered character in the early Melee metagame, placing at 20th-21st with Roy on the first tier list. In future tier lists, Donkey Kong would frequently appear at this rank, with his lowest ranking being 22nd on the sixth tier list. Much like Bowser, Donkey Kong was often derided for his large hitbox and high falling speed, making him an easy target for combos and attacks in general, and despite his slightly better base speed than Bowser, he was regarded as too slow to keep up with many characters that were higher-tiered than him.

Devoted Donkey Kong mains, however, began to immediately improve Donkey Kong's metagame, notably by demonstrating that Donkey Kong's supposed speed issues were incorrect; it was demonstrated that Donkey Kong had a surprisingly fast and powerful aerial game, and that his dash-dance was also effective, especially when compounded with his throwing game. As a result of these improvements, Donkey Kong immediately jumped to the 16th place on the seventh tier list, and he ultimately peaked at the 13th position on the ninth tier list. His tier ranking, however, slightly fell following this, leading to his current tier placing of 17th (similar to his 64 placing), and his seen as a non-viable character at high level play due to his significant weaknesses. Donkey Kong's few active notable mains, namely Phish-It and Green Ranger, does perform excellently at local tournaments.

Donkey Kong was initally seen as a high tier character in Brawl, being ranked 10th on the first tier list. The buffs he received from his transition from Melee to Brawl made him a powerful character that could compete against a then inexperienced playerbase who didn't utilize much camping and chaingrabbing. As the metagame developed, however, it became apparent that Donkey Kong's buffs were simply not enough to keep him as a high tier character, since he struggled to deal with projectile camping from the likes of Snake, Falco, and Olimar and was heavily vulnerable to chaingrabbing, most notoriously from King Dedede.

Donkey Kong's decline started slowly, as he fell to 14th on the second tier list, and fell again to 18th on the third and fourth tier lists. He slightly dropped to 20th on the fifth tier list before going back to 18th on the sixth tier list. The seventh tier list marked Donkey Kong's lowest placing to date at 23rd, before rising to his current position of 21st on the current tier list. While Donkey Kong struggles at high levels of play, his representation and results gathered by his playerbase (most notably DKwill) have managed to secure his position as a solid mid tier character. In the mid tier and lower, there aren't many projectiles that heavily disrupt his approach and chaingrabbing is much less frequent, which allows him to fully take advantage of his great mobility, range, and excellent endurance.

Upon SSB4's release, Donkey Kong was considered a bottom-tier character, despite the good buffs he had received in his transition from Brawl, mostly as a result of his pronounced weaknesses and his strengths not fully compensating for it. Opinions of Donkey Kong would slowly start to improve, as players later noticed he had indeed gained more than what he lost in the transition to SSB4, leading him to be seen as a mid/low tier character instead of a bottom tier character in most eyes.

While he would gain dedicated mains like DKwill and buffs via game updates, it was not until update 1.1.0 that Donkey Kong's reputation would improve considerably. This was due to said update granting him a massive buff for his grab game in the form of his now-famous "cargo up throw", which allows for what is known as the "Ding Dong" combo, which is reminiscent of Diddy Kong's "Hoo Hah" combo, albeit not to the same extreme degree. Because of the huge benefits as well as the true combos that can be performed with this throw, Donkey Kong's popularity started to increase at all levels of play, with professionals such as DKwill, Average Joe, HIKARU, and Mew2King making a larger impact in tournaments.

As a result, Donkey Kong was ranked 27th on the first tier list as a mid tier character, then rose to 25th on the second tier list, and then dropped to 28th on the third tier list, losing his title of the best super-heavyweight character to Bowser. However, his results would then improve thanks of players like HIKARU, Konga, and Tweek, which have allowed Donkey Kong to rise to 22nd on the fourth and current tier list; plus recovering his status as the best super heavyweight once again from Bowser. His position as a strong counterpick also contributed to this rise.

His results at the start of 2018 would then notably dropped off, mostly due to players beginning to better abuse his problematic disadvantage state, which also contributes to his troublesome matchups against some of the top tiered characters (most notably Bayonetta and Rosalina). Later, however, his playerbase would then grow to be one of the finest in his tier, and would bring upon very solid results. Although his results at top level play would never reach the same heights as before, his results is nevertheless reflective of his current tier position. While many players believe that his tier position is accurate, others believe otherwise. Some smashers claims that he and Bowser should rise up the tier list even more due to their powerful grab combos, with ZeRo having the characters among the top 15 characters in the game also claiming that "they have top-tier potential", while other smashers like Dabuz believe that they cannot be ranked any higher due to their many disadvantageous matchups, poor time landing, and their notably dropped results especially at top level play.

Nevertheless, DK is seen as a popular and solid character in competitive play.

Despite DK's up throw no longer being a kill confirm, he is widely praised in Ultimate for some new large buffs, especially to his combo ability and safety. He benefits from the universal frame 3 jumpsquat and the cut to his aerial's landing lag (which improves his already decent air game), his grounded normals (most notably his jab) has been improved, his back throw and cargo up throw having better KO ability, and his special moves having much better utility (most notably his Giant Punch no longer causing helplessness, and his aerial Hand Slap being much faster, safer on shield, and is an easy combo starter). As a result of these changes, DK was viewed very favorably in the early metagame, with players such as Konga and HIKARU.

His perception was drop down slighty, due to his issues in disadvantage being largely unaddressed (as well as possessing a few new awkward hitboxes, like with Giant Punch), though he is still considered a fairly solid character in the metagame.
Link, ever since the beginning of the game's competitive history, was considered one of the worst characters in the game. He is heavily criticized for his poor mobility, reliance on setting up, and his abysmal recovery. He does possess a notably good approach, while being able to stop approaches.

He was ranked very lowly on 64 tier lists ever since the beginning. He was ranked 12th in the first tier list as the worst character. He then remained as the second worst character in the game (tied for that position on the third tier list with Luigi) on the rest of the tier lists. His playerbase, although very small, has few notable faces, with Gyaki being the most notable example.

Historically, Link has always been regarded as an average to below-average character in the competitive metagame, having most frequently appeared at the thirteenth spot on the tier list. While Link's spacing ability and his above-average air game have been noted, his poor mobility on the ground is widely seen as the reason for his high-low tier ranking; even Aniki's impressive performance with Link in the Jack Garden Tournament could not move him up in the tier list, and Link's metagame has not become particularly powerful in Melee. It is also thanks to his poor matchup against Fox and Sheik: two of the most common and powerful characters in the game. In the eleventh tier list, Link was ranked lower than his clone, Young Link, for the first time, owing to Young Link's better mobility.

Link is currently ranked 18th on the current tier list. Link currently does not place particularly high in tournaments, even in smaller tournaments, and there are very few dedicated Link mains in the present metagame.

Despite the considerable power buffs he received in Brawl, his amazing momentum cancelling, and being given a usable DACUS, Link has perpetually hovered among Brawl's bottom four characters since the first tier list. Link's terrible and extremely gimpable recovery has always significantly limited his survivability even in the early inexperienced Brawl metagame, and his very sluggish attacks and terrible mobility significantly inhibited Link's ability to effectively compete since day one. Link has had some renowned players, such as KirinBlaze and Legan in the United States, Izaw in Europe, and Scabe in Australia, but none of these players have ever achieved much beyond the local level, and they have all since dropped Link for a better character (such as Izaw dropping Link for Sheik), or stopped playing Brawl competitively altogether.

He is currently ranked 35th on the tier list, possessing noticeably better strengths than the bottom three characters. As such, Link's competitive prospects have never gotten any better over the years, and while he is not usually thought of as a candidate for worst character, it is extremely unlikely Link will ever rise beyond the bottom tier, as he has a minuscule player base and Brawl's metagame has become mostly stagnant.

Since SSB4's release, Link's nimbler mobility, stronger projectile game, higher power, and improved range saw him perceived as noticeably better than his appearance in Brawl and, according to some players, a mid tier character like his ancestor was in Melee. However, opinions on Link started to decline in light of more developed metagames and higher popularity of certain other characters, whereas Link's representation in competitive play remained rather poor. This culminated in him being ranked 42nd on the first tier list as a low tier character.

Opinions on Link, however, started to improve after certain respectable placings by dedicated mains, such as Izaw and Scizor. This resulted in him being ranked 43rd on the second tier list, after the inclusion of Corrin and Bayonetta. Thanks to T notably achieving strong results with Link after the second tier list, Link was ranked 39th on the third tier list. This resulted in him being reassessed as a mid tier character, while his placement itself was also very similar to his ancestor's in Melee.

However, after T placed 3rd at 2GGC: Civil War, one of the most competitive tournaments in SSB4's lifespan, Link's perception has further improved, to the point that he is viewed as deserving to be in the upper portion of the mid tier. T further backs this by placing 9th at 2GGC: West Side Saga (alongside fellow Link main Scizor). Link is then ranked 31st in the fourth and current tier list, as a result of these metagame advancements. Although T never achieved results like this in majors afterwards, he still places consistently well in Japan events, taking numerous names off of there. As such, this tier position is widely considered to be accurate, and he is considered to be notably better than his previous incarnations.

From the E3 demo, at first Link's drastic buffs coming from SSB4 wasn't as obvious. People view the Remote Bomb Ruin as a double edged sword, due to how opponents grabbing it prevents Link from pulling out another one. They have also pointed out that the new bombs also makes his recovery worse due to having no fuse. They have also pointed out his lack of a clawshot recovery. As a result, some players think that he was nerfed from SSB4.

However, further testing proved that to be incorrect, as that his buffs overwhelmed his nerfs. Link has improved jumping height, improved running speed, benefits from the universal frame 3 jumpsquat, has a significant cut in aerial landing lag, and his sword is longer which improves his range. All of these changes drastically improve his ground-to-air transitioning, air game safety, his mobility, and his overall safety in approaching, which where some of his biggest weaknesses that plagued him in previous entries. The buff to his mobility and sword reach also applies to his ground game, which is overall a lot more safe and have more utility despite his ground game being directly nerfed overall. His boomerang is overall much more consistent and helpful with it reverting back to it's 64 and Melee form, and professionals have demonstrated the new bomb's edgeguarding, trapping, and combo abilities, and that the lost of the clawshot allows him to Z-drop his bomb to detonate it and make it back on stage.

These discoveries in Link's toolkits have significantly boosted his perception to that of a high tier, or even top tiered character. This is reflected in his results, as he amassed decently high representation, with great results to back it up thanks to the efforts of players like Salem, T, and Izaw. Although he widely considered to be high tier at worst, his position among other high tiered characters is debatable, especially after Salem would then mostly drop Link in favor for Snake.
Samus was considered, at first, one of the worst characters in the game during the game's competitive history. This is mainly thanks to her sluggish frame data, which hinders her combos, which is further compounded her overall slow mobility. As such, she was ranked 11th in the first tier list, and then was ranked as the worst character in the game at the second and third tier lists.

However, the time between the third and fourth tier lists, there was an advancement in her metagame, as Samus's strengths such as spacing, recovery, and difficulty to be combo'ed began to make a presence on the competitive scene. She was thus ranked much higher at 8th in the fourth and current tier list, at the top of low tier. There was some mixed perception on this ranking though, as some players believe that she is ranked too high.

As Samus received a large amount of buffs from her transition from 64 to Melee, and was ranked quite high in initial tier lists, hovering around the 6th and 9th places. This was largely due to her improved projectile game, combo game, and improved recovery. Although with a much smaller player base than most high tier mains, her representation and performances from dedicated mains such as HugS saw her remain in the higher tiers for many years to come.

Innovations in other character's metagames being discovered, alongside adaptation to Samus's defensive fighting style, has seen Samus fall in placings through recent Melee tier lists. However, she remains a very powerful fighter with dedicated mains such as Duck and HugS continuing to make significant impacts with her. She currently sits at 10th place, in the high-mid tier alongside Pikachu.

Samus's significant nerfs from Melee severely compromised her ability to viably compete since the very beginning of Brawl; her inability to rack up damage quickly and effectively finish off stocks proved to be a fatal combination. As such, Samus has perpetually been a low tier character, who has sometimes even dropped into the bottom tiers. Throughout Brawl's time as a competitive game, Samus never made any significant rises on the tier list due to her lack of any successful tournament results or significant metagame advancement.

Despite this, Samus's competitive prospects are slightly better than other low tier characters. Unlike them, she can camp to some degree and keep opponents zoned away, which has favored her as Brawl has turned more defensively based. She also has better survivability than other low tier characters, being a heavyweight with a good and not easily gimpable recovery. Finally, while her overall tournament representation is very poor, she still has a handful of renowned players dedicated to developing her, while many former players of other low tier characters have since dropped them.

She constantly hovers around the 31st to 34th positions throughout Brawl's competitive lifespan, currently being ranked 32nd. However, while this will secure Samus against ever returning to the bottom tiers, it's very unlikely she will rise out of low tier, as while she competes well with other low tier characters and many lower middle tier characters, she still fares poorly against any characters above said point.

Samus was initially considered to have improved from Brawl, due to the improvements to her KO potential, a trait she previously lacked in tournament play. However, it soon became clear the buffs to other bottom tier characters (such as Captain Falcon, Link, and Mario) had made them significantly better than her. When combined with glaring blind spots on her hitboxes, extended hurtboxes, and struggling much more often than not when attempting to score a KO despite the buffs to her power, Samus would later go on to be considered one of the worst characters in the game. Despite the buffs gained in game updates, notably update 1.1.1, her poorly regarded status remained intact, with only a handful of dedicated mains, such as IcyMist, KayJay, Afro Smash, and Jonny Westside, making impacts on tournaments. As such, she was ranked 51st on the first tier list, confirming her status as a bottom tier character.

It was not until update 1.1.5 when Samus gained her most efficient buffs, which allowed her moveset to flow significantly better than before and thus improve her offense and eliminate the majority of her blindspots. These buffs allowed Samus to start achieving significantly better placements at tournaments, and allowed her to now benefit from the nerfs to Diddy Kong, Sheik, Bayonetta, and her Zero Suited self, some of which are her most difficult matchups. These traits saw Samus ranked 45th on the second tier list and placed in the low tier before she eventually rose to 41st on the third tier list, at the top of the low tier. Her more bountiful results have resulted her in becoming a more stable character as a result, and has seen her rise to the 38th placing on the fourth and current tier list, now becoming a mid tier character.

Samus' results would have become even more bountiful as time goes on, which is especially noticeable at regional tournaments. IcyMist has also notably placed 13th in Super Smash Con 2018, while defeating players such as Rags, Captain L, Wrath, and Elegant. This, combined with the drops of some characters above her, such as Lucas, Pit, and Robin, makes her future tier position appear very favorable for her. Players such as Salem and ESAM has even have gone as far to say that she is a solid high tiered character, although that is heavily debatable. As such, she is considered a far more viable character after game updates, and significantly better than how she was in Brawl.

Initial perception on Samus was almost overwhelmingly negative. Players would immediately point out the nerfs to her dash attack, as it's increased knockback, new launch angle, and increased endlag, would remove the potent combo and burst options it previously had. At the same time, players would also point at the nerfs to rage, removal the Shinespark, the increased landing lag to her up air, and her jab's infamous unreliability to connect into eachother being even worse. Even experienced Samus players, like ESAM, would also lament the nerfs to the character.

However, when the game is released and the character is explored further, the significant plethora of buffs became more noticeable. Almost all of her moves have recieved a nice buff to their utility, with an example being her back air's increased KO power and her faster rolls (although it is still somewhat slow, rolls in Ultimate is are nerfed across the board). The biggest buffs would be to her special moves, particularly Charge Shot. Although the ability to charge in midair and it's increased KO power and damage was noticed early on, it's potency wasn't truly realized until release, as it allows an easy powerful setup and camping option due to its high damage, knockback, and shield damage.

As a result of these large buffs, Samus (alongside her counterpart Dark Samus) is considered to be more viable than her SSB4 counterpart, though must rely on a more patient playstyle than in the previous game. This is reflected on her in competitive play, as her representation has been noticeably higher than in SSB4 (now being about average). Although her results are currently about average, such results are developing faster than in SSB4, so her future place in competitive play remains to be seen.
Yoshi was initially seen as an average to below average character. His unique double jump mechanic, powerful shield pressure abilities, and strong combo abilities was recognized since the beginning. However, others pointed out his susceptibility to combos and his lack of an up special that grants distance.

He was ranked 8th in the first tier list, then rose to 6th in the second and third tier lists. He trend of being a mid tier character would end at the current tier list, being ranked 5th, and as a high tier character. This is not only thanks to the banning of Hyrule Castle, but his dedicated mains consistently placing top 8 at majors. Some players would argue that Yoshi should be ranked even higher after Wizzrobe's victory at Shine 2017, taking further advantage of Yoshi's ability to parry attacks. In today's metagame, Yoshi is widely considered to have surpassed Fox for the 4th spot in the tier list.

Yoshi has almost always been viewed as a nearly nonviable character for high-level play. He was often accused of having a terrible shield game (due to his inability to jump out of his shield and slow rolls), slow attacks, and an inflexible recovery, all of which many top and high tiered characters could easily exploit. Yoshi's advantageous properties, such as his deadly double jump cancel combos, ability to parry, and flexible projectile, were not fully developed and written off as gimmicks. Initially starting as a mid tiered character in the first tier list (tied with DK at 19th/20th), Yoshi's standing consistently fell, with only Fumi and Bringer of Death making any significant impacts with him. By the ninth tier list, Yoshi had dropped to 22nd place on the tier list, firmly within the bottom tiers; by this point, Fumi and other Yoshi professionals had begun to retire from Melee, leaving Yoshi's metagame relatively abandoned in the competitive scene.

Several years later, Leffen and V3ctorman both began to use Yoshi in tournaments, revitalizing and innovating Yoshi's previously stagnant metagame. They found that Yoshi's combo and punish game could easily capitalize against characters who were once thought to outperform him in every situation, especially against fastfallers, who were found to be vulnerable to Yoshi's deadly double jump cancelling combos. They also showed the many uses of Egg Throw, developing it as a zoning and edgeguarding tool. Despite these developments, Yoshi failed to rise out of the bottom tiers, and eventually, their standings with Yoshi started to falter as well. Leffen lost the drive to develop Yoshi and switched to Fox, while V3ctorman suffered from declining tournament placings as more people in his region learned the Yoshi matchup.

In late 2012 to early 2013, however, aMSa made his professional debut in Japan, taking top 8 in a Japanese tournament with only Yoshi, with his performance quickly piquing the interest of the American and European scenes. He later finished 25th place in EVO 2013, sweeping his pools and taking a game off of Mew2King, a placement that convinced the Melee Back Room to move Yoshi up 3 places on the tier list following said tournament (18th). aMSa later reappeared with Yoshi in several future tournaments, including Apex 2014 and Republic of Fighters 3, and, to the surprise of many, placed 5th at Apex 2015, defeating several renowned players of top-tiered characters, namely Lucky, Silent Wolf, Fly Amanita, and SFAT. aMSa's use of Yoshi was considered completely unique from those of Fumi, Leffen, and other previous Yoshi mains; he showed the use of parrying and spacing that was previously never seen before and demonstrated that Yoshi's ability to punish errors made by opponents was far greater than expected. While the Melee community has not yet updated the matchup chart in response to these developments, Yoshi has risen 6 places in the twelfth American tier list (12th) and 8 places in the third PAL Tier List, making him a mid tier character.

aMSa, even to this day, would continue to get consistent top 16 placings (and a handful of top 8 placings as well). While other notable Yoshi players make good waves at their regions, their results cannot match aMSa's results, especially at a major level. As a result, many players believe that he should be ranked slightly higher.

Opinions on Yoshi's viability have greatly fluctuated throughout SSBB's metagame. During the initial release of SSBB, Yoshi was very flawed due to his shield being notoriously bad, low knockback on his moves, and poor out of shield options. As a result, Yoshi was considered to be one of the worst characters in the game due to his poor matchups and poor tournament results, leading him to being ranked 32nd on the first tier list. Unlike at Melee, Yoshi has very little to no redeeming traits on his shield, which is further compounded by Brawl's defensive metagame. Due to his low tier placements on tier lists, many smashers predicted that he would fail to rise out of low tier and he wouldn't do well in the future.

However, players such as Poltergust started to gain good tournament results with Yoshi, notably WHOBO 3, where he placed 17th, as well as 2nd in Brawl low tier singles using only Yoshi. Because of this, Yoshi then rose into mid tier on the sixth tier list, where he ranked 28th place. Yoshi also jumped up two places in the seventh tier list, his highest placement so far. He is currently ranked 27th in mid tier in the eighth and current tier list. His current placing is, however, debatable by the community: there are some players that think Yoshi should be slightly higher, while some players think Yoshi should be even lower.

Yoshi's perception has been positive since SSB4's release, as players pointed out how his buffs restored his status as a viable choice in competitive play. Despite this, his tournament representation and results have not been high as other characters, with very sparse results from professionals, such as Papa Wall placing 13th at 2GGT: Mexico Saga. As a result, Yoshi was ranked 15th on the first tier list, which resulted in him becoming the second highest ranking mid tier character after Captain Falcon. This lead to infamous amount of players claiming that Yoshi has untapped potential, and that he would eventually rise to high tier, or even top tier, despite his results showing very little signs of this.

Although Yoshi has achieved more tournament success since then, his continually sparse results negatively affected his tier status in subsequent tier lists. He would be ranked 23rd on the second tier list, but because of tier restructuring and Captain Falcon being reassessed as a high tier character, Yoshi became the highest ranking mid tier character.

By the time of the third tier list, Yoshi was ranked 29th, which was largely owed to his troublesome matchups against Cloud and Bayonetta, two common and powerful characters in the game. As of the fourth and current tier list, Yoshi is ranked 34th, with this tier drop owing to both his results and metagame stagnating at the time. His tier position is heavily debatable, as some players believe that this his current tier position is accurate, while others such as ZeRo believe that he should be ranked even lower due to his minimal representation. Nevertheless, Yoshi has been a well established mid tier character throughout SSB4's competitive history.

Yoshi's initial perception has been positive since his release. Players would point out the numerous buffs to his moveset. His KO options has also been expanded and improved, and his recovery would see noticeable improvements. His biggest buff would be his large increase to his air speed, now possessing the highest air speed in the game. This improves his approach considerably, which is also combined with the improvements to his aerials and the decreased jumpsquat frames.

Lacking any noticeable nerfs, Yoshi is considered to be more viable than in SSB4, and like at the beginning of SSB4, is viewed highly by many players. Yoshi's results have also been advancing more rapidly than in SSB4, thanks to the efforts of players like Suarez, Raptor, Meme, Seth, and Neon, putting off very solid results and wins for the character. Whether the character drops off like in SSB4 or continues to advance in the metagame remains to be seen.
Ever since the beginning of Smash 64, Kirby has been considered one of the game's finest characters. His strengths, such as his edgeguarding capabilities, frame data, KO power, and absurdly large hitboxes was noted during competitive play. His learning curve was relatively small as well, leading him to be one of the most popular pocket characters in the game, aside from being very viable to solo main.

During the era where Hyrule Castle was allowed, he competed with Fox for the title of second best character in the game. He was ranked 2nd in the first tier list, 3rd on the second list, and then back to 2nd. When Hyrule Castle was banned, Fox started to fall out of favor, while Kirby benefited from a Dream Land only ruleset. Thus, he retained his second position on the tier list, but is now put in the same tier as Pikachu.

Kirby has historically always ranked very low on Melee tier lists; compared to Pikachu, Kirby's nerf from 64 was much more significant, removing almost all of the aspects that made him dominant in the original Smash Bros, and leaving him with considerably fewer options in both offense and defense. Players immediately noticed that Kirby was left with poor KOing power, a poor approach, and a severe vulnerability to edgeguarding and premature falls due to his light weight, low air speed, and predictable, telegraphed recovery. Owing to Kirby's significant drawbacks, there have been only a few professional smashers that have developed his metagame for serious play, with a large number of them failing to place notably in large tournaments. While more prolific Kirby mains were active in the past, such as t1mmy and Omnigamer, there exist few such professionals in present day professional Melee, causing Kirby's metagame to remain highly stagnant. Additionally, even prior to the stagnation of his metagame, Kirby was seen as a fighter who relied too heavily on gimmicks and the opponent's severe lack of matchup experience to win matches.

As a result of this stagnancy and Kirby's numerous flaws, Kirby has consistently ranked as one of Melee's worst fighters. He is currently ranked last at 26th place on the current tier list, making him the worst character in the current Melee metagame. However, some professional smashers, such as Armada, believe that Kirby is not the worst character in the game, as his tournament results and playerbase have been notably better than Bowser, Zelda, or Pichu.

Kirby's immense buffs from Melee was immediately recognized from the beginning of Brawl's competitive history. Players would go on and say that he was high tiered character back in the inexperienced metagame. Kirby was shown to have one of the strongest combo'ing abilities in the game, a long distanced recovery, a good grab game, decent finishers, and disproportionately large hitboxes. He was thus ranked very high, being ranked 14th in the first tier list, and was ranked 13th until the fourth tier list.

However, many of Kirby's issues were revealed to still be glaring: his mediocre movement speed gives him a poor approach, further compounded by the prevalence of camping in the game, one of the worst endurance in the game, and an over-reliance on specific finishers to end a stock. This, combined with mediocre representation, led Kirby steadily drop on the list: to 16th in the fourth tier list, to 19th in the sixth tier list, and finally to 20th in both the seventh and eighth tier list (the latter of which, being the current one). As such, he is widely considered to be a solid mid tier character.

Due to the considerable nerfs Kirby received in his transition from Brawl, he has always been considered a non-viable character within the SSB4 metagame, even in spite of game updates noticeably buffing him (being considered one of the worst characters in the game before patches). This has been due to his only success occurring at local tournaments, whereas his results at regional and national tournaments have been very sparse. These aspects culminated with Kirby being placed at 33rd on the first tier list as a low tiered character.

Kirby would then drop to 41st on the second tier list, and eventually to 47th on the third tier list due to the lack of representation and any significant results. However, Komota later scored an upset by defeating Ally at Frostbite 2017 and placing 33rd at said tournament. Due to this, his tier placement has been widely debated, with some players believing he should be placed slightly higher due to niche matchups against a few higher tiered characters, such as Zero Suit Samus and Fox. However, due to his continually sparse results after Frostbite 2017, Kirby has since dropped to 50th on the fourth and current tier list. Some players would go even further and say that Kirby should be put at the lowest tier, with Dabuz and Raito even claiming that he is the absolute worst character in the game, although that is heavily debatable.

At first, Kirby's changes in the transition wasn't very obvious, and some have go on saying that he has been changed very little from his low tier standing from his SSB4 incarnation. As such, Kirby was thought very little in the E3 demo. When the game was released, while Kirby was overall improved, some of his most notable issues from SSB4 was left unaddressed, still possessing low airspeed, mediocre range, high startup in his aerials, and lightweight status. Very early on, Kirby was considered to be barely improved from SSB4, and one of the worst, if not the worst, character in the game.

However, as time went on, as well as received a few helpful buffs thanks to patch 2.0.0, Kirby's noticeable buffs from SSB4 became more noticeable, perception on Kirby has noticeably improved. Players would note the large improvements to his ground game, most notably is new dash attack being quick, long-distanced, and possesses KO power. His combo game has also being buffed in numerous ways as well. This perception is further boosted by Komota's performance in Frostbite 2019, with him almost scoring an upset on VoiD (who placed 2nd in Genesis 6 prior to this set). As such, while Kirby is widely considered to be a lower tiered character, he is no longer considered to be a contender for the worst character.
Fox was initially considered one of the strongest characters in the game, due to his powerful camping and gimping game, and to a lesser extent, combo game and mobility. He did suffer from on overreliance on two moves (up special and up smash) to seal a stock, a fast falling speed, and linear recovery.

Fox's powerful strengths, especially on larger stages like Hyrule Castle, wasn't initially recognized, and he was ranked 4th in the first tier as a high tier character. However, the fall of Ness, combined with increased representation, made Fox spot up to 2nd in the tier list, sharing the same tier as the undisputed best character in the game Pikachu, as a top tier. In the third tier list, he dropped to 3rd, now sharing the same tier as Kirby.

However, between the third and fourth tier lists, Hyrule Castle was banned. Fox found it a bit harder to compete in the metagame as he cannot camp as reliably on Dream Land, the only legal stage. This, combined with Captain Falcon's increased popularity, made him drop back to 4th and as a high tiered character once again.

In the current metagame, Fox is the most discussed characters. While some says that he has the potential on being one of the best characters in the game again, some says that his glaring weaknesses should make him among the lowest ranked characters in extreme cases. While Yoshi is widely considered to have surpassed Fox for the 4th ranking in the current metagame, some goes as far as saying that he should drop below Jigglypuff. Nevertheless, he has remained one of the most powerful characters in the metagame.

Fox has been a top tiered character, along with Falco and Sheik, since the very first Melee tier list (where he was tied for 2nd-3rd with Falco), and has never fallen below third place. However, he was not at the top of the list for the first seven revisions, as Sheik was then considered to be the best character in the game. In the early metagame, although dedicated Fox professionals such as Thunders and Chillin showed early signs of great technical ability, they were considered far too inconsistent; many of the top players of that era, including Ken and Azen, used Fox only as a secondary for specific matchups, and only a few dedicated mains made any impact with him in serious tournament settings.

Eventually, more dedicated Fox mains, such as PC Chris, FASTLIKETREE, KoreanDJ, and Mew2King (who co-mained him at the time) began to revitalize his metagame, incorporating much higher levels of technical skill that not many had seen before. These players began placing within the top 8 of MLG-sponsored tournaments, and their consistency and dominance against the majority of other top professional players resulted in Sheik's dethroning from first to third place on the eighth revision of the tier list in July of 2006. Later that year, PC Chris and KoreanDJ placed 1st and 2nd, respectively, at the MLG Las Vegas national championships, using Fox primarily in both sets of grand finals. This cemented Fox's position on the tier list, and since then, he has never fallen from the top spot.

Some smashers, however, are currently disputing Fox's standing on the tier list. Although Fox has one of the most developed metagames and the largest notable player base in Melee by far, his players are unable to win as many tournaments as professionals of characters below him, because he is one of the hardest characters to play consistently at the top level; even the best Fox professionals frequently lose in important tournament matches due to technical errors or missed reads. Additionally, the Fox matchup is almost universally known, making it extremely difficult for newer players to find tournament success with him. However, due to Mango's victories at EVO 2013, MLG Anaheim 2014, and EVO 2014 with almost only Fox, as well as his amazing raw potential, Fox's spot on the tier list is currently considered secure.

Recent trends in the metagame have seen a major increase in the usage of Fox; he is by far the most common character in doubles matches, and the most common character in singles matches as well (and the second most popular character in the entire franchise by a large margin, second only to Brawl Meta Knight). Many players who mained a lower ranked character, most notably Hax, have abandoned their former character in favor of using only Fox, and other players, such as Armada, switch to Fox when they are having trouble against certain opponents. This overwhelming presence has lead to Fox being placed in his own tier at the top of the most recent tier list. While Fox's place at the top is undisputed, his position at his own tier at the top is among the most heavily debated topics in Melee, especially among top professionals.

Upon Brawl's start, everyone immediately noticed the large nerfs given to Fox, and was initially considered too flawed for high level play. While, he still possessed his signature mobility, gimping capabilities, and frame data (plus the campy nature of Brawl boosting his laser's camping capabilities despite it directly being nerfed), the changes to hitstun canceling severely cut off Fox's combo game, and set-ups to his main KO moves are harder to pull off. Additionally, his weakness to chaingrabbing is far more prevalent in his game (especially against Ice Climbers, Pikachu, and King Dedede), which is often the reason behind Fox's mid tier placement, and he retains his frailty.

He was initially ranked 19th in the first tier list, and dropped as far as 24th in the second tier list. However, dedicated Fox mains, such as TKD, NAKAT (before dropping him for Ice Climbers), Trump, and Yui, would prove that Fox was not as nerfed as other greatly perceived characters in Melee (such as Sheik, Captain Falcon, and Peach), and that his main strengths allow him to show some presence at even some higher levels of play. From there, he would slowly rise on the tier list, currently being ranked 15th at the upper mid tier. At the end of the Brawl metagame, Fox's position in Brawl is discussed again. While he struggles against characters that would chaingrab him to death, he dealt with other character surprisingly well, while notably includes Meta Knight. As a result, he is considered to have the potential on rising to high tier, although it is hard to test it as Brawl's competitive metagame becomes stagnant.

Thanks to Yui's strong showings in Japan, he is ranked significantly higher in the Japan tier list, currently at 7th at the top of high tier.

During the game's release, Fox was considered a mid tier character by the SSB4 community. Players believed the reductions to his overall damage output, the weakening of his up smash, the heavily increased landing lag on his aerials, the loss of Blaster auto-cancelling and shine-spikes, and his increased frailty resulted in him being worse than his Brawl incarnation. However, they slowly reassessed their thoughts on the character, as the removal of chaingrabbing and edge-hogging and the heavy changes to hitstun cancelling would prove significantly beneficial to Fox, as such mechanics plagued him in Brawl. Opinions on Fox improved further as players discovered the first two hits of his jab could perform infinites and easily combo into other moves, including his main finishers. As a result, a massive amount of Fox players rushed into the competitive scene and quickly gained results, with many spamming the infinite as their battle strategy. Ultimately, this "infinite" carried even casual players to victories over experts.

While his jab received nerfs in patch 1.1.0 (which removed the infinite and reduced its combo utility, and caused his large playerbase reliant on the infinite to either drop Fox or perform noticeably worse), his results have continually improved, with smashers like Charliedaking, Eon, Light, MegaFox, and Larry Lurr getting excellent tournament results, the latter winning against ZeRo 3-0 in a dominating fashion at CEO 2016. He has also notably benefited from the nerfs to Sheik, Luigi, and Bayonetta, who were among Fox's most challenging match-ups prior to their nerfs, though he still struggles against the latter.

These points have led Fox to be considered a top tier character by the community as the metagame has advanced, which is reflected on him ranking at 7th on all iterations of the 4BR tier list, as a top tiered character like in Melee. This also makes Fox the only character to consistently stand on the same placing on each iteration of the tier list. However, some smashers such as Dabuz and ESAM have claimed that Fox should be ranked higher on the tier list due to his immense popularity in competitive play, while others believe that his current placement is accurate due to his poor disadvantage state.

When the E3 demo was released, players noticed immediately to the large nerf to Fox Illusion. The move is now noticeably slower overall, and cannot pass through shields, which allows opponents to better abuse Fox's disadvantage offstage. Players would also point out that his combos are supposively weaker than in SSB4, as well of forward air into footstool being harder to land than in SSB4. This resulted in a poor overall reception at the beginning.

However, perception on Fox grew drastically when the game is released. His supposed weaker combo game was proven false, and he is discovered to run very well with the mechanics of Ultimate. His fast mobility, great KO power, still great combo and damage racking abilities, and ability to vortex opponents have been retained from SSB4 and even have been strengthened in numerous ways. His weaker disadvantage and lighter weight has been noted, which makes him slightly more glass and more cannon than in the previous game, but his playstyle now thrives better in Ultimate's engine. The end result of this is retaining his strong representation from SSB4, with strong results coming from players like Light, ZD, Eon, and Larry Lurr, proving that he is very viable force in the current metagame.
Ever since the beginning of the game's competitive history, Pikachu would be considered the indisputable best character in the game, being ranked 1st on every single tier list. The combination of a powerful combo game, edgeguarding game, recovery, and KO setups, was noticed rather quickly, and Pikachu became the most common character in the game, with more having one as a secondary. His presence in the scene would infamously give him the nickname "Rat". He was even put into his own tier in the third tier list. Although Pikachu doesn't rule the metagame, he possesses the biggest playerbase and achieved strong results as a result.

Pikachu was originally a low-mid to low tier character; many professionals thought Pikachu's heavy power, speed, and combo ability nerf from Super Smash Bros. was unmanageable, and that it had lost all of its viability in the transition to Melee. He was tied for 13th-14th with Link at the first tier list. He would be hovering at the 12th-18th position for the majority of tier lists.

Axe proved this thought wrong, however, as he showed how powerful Pikachu was at pressuring the enemy, especially at edgeguarding (due to Pikachu's notorious up aerial semi-spike). He also showed how powerful Pikachu was up close, despite its problems in approaching the enemy efficiently. Axe, and a handful of other dedicated Pikachu players such as PikaChad, eventually brought Pikachu up to the high-mid tiers, where it ranks now in 9th place. Some would question if he should be at the high tier, due to Axe's rather strong results, while others think that his tier placement is accurate for the time being.

Since the first tier list, Pikachu has always been a high tier character. The first tier list put it at 12th place. Players immediately noticed Pikachu's buffs going into Brawl, which was especially noted at pre-2011, as Pikachu was considered a lower mid tier character at best in Melee during that time period.

However, as time goes on, Pikachu players would find new techniques (such as the Wall of Thunders, deadly chaingrabs, and Quick Attack Canceling), with ESAM being credited for many of them, and its positive matchups. This bolstered Pikachu's metagame, and it slowly increased on the tier list as time goes on, hovering around the 8th-9th position in most tier lists. It is currently ranked 8th, at the top of high tier.

Despite its high tier placing in the North American Smash Back Room tier list, Pikachu isn't very common in tournaments compared to other top/high tier characters, and it ranks significantly lower on the Japanese tier list (22nd) as a result, with ESAM currently being the only Pikachu player who places very high at national tournaments.

Unlike at Brawl, where Pikachu was unanimously a solid high tiered character, SSB4's Pikachu tier position was very disputed through views and history.

Despite losing a lot of his useful tools from Brawl (such as chaingrabbing, Thunderspiking, and QAC), Pikachu was initially perceived as a top tier character, thanks to retaining (and in some areas, strengthening) approach and mindgame potentials courtesy of Quick Attack, a strong combo game and edgeguarding potential, the ability to evade attacks courtesy of its small size and low crouch, and jab lock set-ups into KOs. As each of these traits were demonstrated very effectively in competitive play by ESAM, which combined with the mysteries of his "potential", alongside strong top player opinion from ESAM himself and ZeRo, allowed Pikachu to be ranked 5th on the first tier list. However, there was also a vocal fraction of players who did not agree on Pikachu's initial placement, mainly due to ESAM being the only notable Pikachu player who placed well in tournaments, which was insufficient enough in comparison to the significant results and representation of other well-regarded characters. Other criticisms included Pikachu's lack of reliable KO set-ups, its KO potential in general, the high landing lag of its aerials, and its poor range.

The debate over Pikachu's tier placement would become even more prevalent due to ESAM's results eventually declining due to the strengths of other well-regarded characters, as well as Pikachu's unfavorable matchups against Mario and Ness becoming more apparent. These criticisms were further exacerbated by Pikachu's representation still remaining fairly minimal for a high tier character, and altogether resulted in its ranking on the first tier list being met with widespread disapproval. As expected, Pikachu's tier placement saw a noticeable drop on the second tier list, where it was ranked 12th, still as a high tiered character. Despite ESAM placing at 3rd at UGC Smash Open, Pikachu's tier placement saw another drop, now being ranked 15th on the third tier list. Pikachu's results, while rare, have remained pretty strong nonetheless, which has allowed it to hold on the 15th placing on the fourth and current tier list.

Pikachu's reception to his appearance in Ultimate is very positive overall. Many players has pointed out that one of his biggest weaknesses in SSB4, the ability to seal off a stock, has been aided, as Thunder is more powerful and that his new n-air can combo into his KO moves rather well. This new n-air has also boosted reliable setups and combos better than his previous n-air and his other combo tools. He is benefited by the engine changes in Ultimate thanks to his own good mobility, boosting his movement options and improving the utility of his ground game despite it being directly nerfed overall. His main projectile, Thunder Jolt, has also have been improved overall. The buff to his air speed, combined with his down air now having a powerful spike, improves combos in the air and makes his already good edgeguarding game even stronger. This made Pikachu a common contender in the pre-release days as the best character in the game.

Although he is considered a great character in competitive play after release, perception on him went down. This is mostly due to numerous players favoring Pichu's powerful advantage state, but fraile, archetype, over Pikachu's more neutral based playstyle. This resulted in Pikachu retaining his below average representation from SSB4, and is constantly labeled as worse than his pre-evolution. Nevertheless, the players who do play Pikachu, namely ESAM and Rideae, have accumulated strong results with the character, so his standing in the metagame, and his popular pre-evolution, remains to be seen.
His inferiority to Mario, alongside his significant weaknesses, was noted ever since the beginning on Smash 64's competitive history. Thus, he endured almost non-existent solo representation and relatively poor results ever since the beginning. He has made waves of attention, such as Isai's Luigi's performance at Smash Con 2017's exhibition match, and Ruoki Dancho winning Osaka 2009 with Luigi, but his results still remain poor.

He was ranked 10th at the first and second tier lists as a low tier character. He was then tied for Link for the second worst character in the game in the third tier list. In the fourth (and latest) tier list, he was ranked as the absolute worst character. A few players would argue that he doesn't deserve being the worse character, and claim that either Ness or Link deserves the title, although Luigi's results and representation would remain worse than both of them. He does fare much better at doubles though.

Similarly to Mario, Luigi was once ranked quite high on the tier list, hovering around positions 6 to 9 for about the first year of Melee's metagame, with players noticing his immense buffs from Smash 64. He then saw a large drop to 12th, which can be attributed to his low traction, leading to slippery movement, predictable recovery, and short reach, which many players of top tier characters began adapting to and countering in their own metagames, resulting in worse matchups for Luigi; he was also seen as outclassed by both Dr. Mario and Mario, who either had more power or a less risky combo game, respectively. He then fell to the top of low tier for many years to come.

However, with excellent performances by dedicated professionals such as Eddy Mexico and Abate would prove that his low traction is a boon, rather than a hindrance, showing Luigi's extremely quick mobility and approach with the wavedash and waveland, which came with his great aerial game and KO power despite his poor reach. Opinions of Luigi then began to change. In tournaments such as EVO 2013 and The Big House 5, Luigi players have placed relatively high with lacking similar performances by Mario, resulting in Luigi pulling ahead back into the middle tier, two spots above Mario in 13th place as a solid mid tier character. Due to his stronger representation and results than what his current tier placement and category suggests, further boosted by Plup's 5th placement at CEO Dreamland with solo Luigi, many players believe that he should be ranked even higher.

As Luigi received numerous direct buffs to him, he is at first seen as a solid mid tier character at the start of Brawl's competitive lifespan, being ranked 23rd in the first tier list, and his placement peaked at 20th (which is at the third tier list). He is noted to have a relatively powerful and quick attacks, with his moves being able to flow together rather quickly, as well as the significant buffs to his recovery.

However, as Luigi's metagame advanced in Melee, his significant weaknesses in Brawl started to get more glaring. Since wavedashing is removed, his traction, his greatest strength in Melee, is now a significant problem. This, combined with his poor mobility, his poor range, and the defensive nature of Brawl, made his approach abysmal. As a result, his tier placing and tournament presence began to die down. He was then ranked 25th at the sixth tier list, 29th at the seventh tier list, and then 30th at the eighth tier list. He currently sits at 29th in the ninth tier list, at the lower end of mid tier.

Luigi ran hot and cold throughout SSB4's metagame. His buffs were quickly acknowledged in his transition from Brawl and saw him perceived as a mid tier character. Positive opinions on Luigi, however, saw a sudden rise from early to mid-2015, as players recognized his down throw's outstanding combo potential. In addition, he was noted for having an even matchup against Diddy Kong, then considered the best character in the game, thanks to multiple high-profile cases of a Luigi player defeating a noteworthy Diddy Kong player in tournaments. The most notable instance of this was Mr. ConCon achieving a bracket reset against ZeRo (the undisputed best character). Thanks to these traits, Luigi was perceived by the community as both a viable main and a top tier character, despite having fairly limited usage at high level play.

However, Luigi's perception underwent a noticeable drop after update 1.1.1 altered his down throw's knockback to the point of heavily altering its guaranteed KO set-ups, and brought about changes to shield mechanics that made it harder for him to punish out of shield. Despite this, Luigi's down throw has shown to actually possess better combo potential at low to medium percentages, which was notably demonstrated by Poke and Boss. When coupled with his impressive performances up to update 1.1.1, Luigi was ranked 16th on the first tier list, his best ranking in the series at the time. Although Luigi's combo potential remained largely intact, many players nevertheless dropped him because of his combo game's newfound flaws. This, in turn, was further compounded by the release of the DLC characters Corrin and Bayonetta, two matchups considered unfavorable for him at the time. At the same time, his unaddressed weaknesses from Brawl (namely his poor traction, mediocre range, and weak air mobility) was getting more glaring. As a result, Luigi was ranked 29th on the second tier list, which saw him go from being the third highest ranked mid tier character to the middle of the mid tier. Although respectable, this placement was nevertheless a considerable downturn.

Thanks to his consistently strong results in some regions, Luigi was ranked 26th on the third tier list. Luigi's tier status would then improve even further, thanks to Elegant placing 2nd at GameTyrant Expo 2017 and 5th at 2GG Championship, demonstrating the character's devastating punish game. In addition to these results, Luigi has managed to consistently achieve respectable results at the regional and national level, thanks to the efforts of Mr. ConCon, Scot!, and Ron. To reflect his renewed tournament success, Luigi was ranked 18th on the fourth and current tier list as a high tiered character. Although his placement is slightly debatable due to Captain Falcon's and Peach's noticeably improved results, and Luigi's poor matchups against Rosalina and Mewtwo becoming more apparent, he is seen as a solid high tiered character.

Luigi is very debated character in Ultimate. At pre-release footage players would immediately notice the large nerfs to Luigi Cyclone, as it barely travels much distance at all, and his new tether grab, although has much more range, is noticeably slower which harms one of the biggest strengths from SSB4. This, combined with retaining his poor air speed in a game with vicious fast aerial mobility and aerials, makes Luigi many players believing that he is nerfed from SSB4.

After release, however, players would point out his noticeably improved ground speed (thanks to his faster dash and initial dash) and the rework to perfect shielding. As a result, combined with the improvements to his Fireballs, improves his grounded approach, which is combined with new tether grab being disproportionally fast for a tether grab. They have pointed out his throws even greater ultility, which down throw being an even better combo throw, forward throw also being a combo throw, and his back throw being faster. That said down throw is know to create powerful 0-death combos, even after the nerf to his down air in patch 2.0.0.

Overall, Luigi is a heavily debated character, as some players see him as mediocre and nerfed from SSB4, while others see him as potent and about as good as in SSB4. His representation remains to be about the same as in SSB4 (average to below-average), and players such as Elegant, Mr. ConCon, and Scot! has been putting decent and rapidly improving success with him, especially in local and regional tournaments. As a result, Luigi's future standing remains to be seen.
Ness used to be one of the strongest characters in Smash 64. He would be ranked at 3rd place on the first tier list, just only below Pikachu and Kirby, and at the same tier as them. This is mainly thanks to his double jump cancelling, which allows Ness to rack up a huge amount of damage, and can be used to perform deadly zero-to-death combos.

However, Ness became significantly less effective as the metagame progressed. His short range in his attacks made his DJC combos lose recognition and effectiveness, and Ness' recovery, despite covering a great distance, can be exploitable due to it being predictable and hard to control. This caused Ness to drop from a top tier 3rd place to a low-mid tier 8th place by the second tier list and dropping again to 9th in the third tier list. He is currently ranked 10th on the fourth tier list, as a low tiered character. This is also currently the proportionally largest tier list drop of any character in any Smash Bros game.

Ness was initially viewed as low-mid tier character in the metagame, with a peak of 15th place on the second tier list. Following this, however, Ness's standing on the tier list constantly fell down to the lower tiers, with most players noticing that his nerfs from Smash 64 severely impaired his KO power and his already linear, predictable recovery. His range will slightly improved overall, his much smaller in comparison to the rest of the cast. This was especially noted in the earlier Smash 64 metagame, as Ness was initially viewed as a top tiered character. Even after Ness's fall in Smash 64, he was widely viewed as inferior to that said incarnation.

He was consistently placed among the lowest ranked characters in the game ever since the eighth tier list, where he is ranked on the lowest tier since. On the current tier list, Ness places at 23rd, which is the first time since the seventh tier list where isn't at the lowest tier, and he is considered non-viable for high and sometimes mid level play. Dedicated Ness players are rare in the current metagame, with some being semi-active and generally do not place very well with him at majors and at a regional level.

He was initially considered an upper low tiered character upon Brawl's release. While the players did note Ness's large buffs from Melee, they also noted his noticeable nerfs (such as the lost of double jump canceling), alongside his recovery still being infamously exploitable despite it's improvements. The addition of 10 extra frames of grab release was especially noted, and many players believed that he cannot compete well at high level play. He was ranked at around Lucas's position on the first few tier lists, being ranked at 28th (a position below Lucas) in the first tier list, at 28th-29th (tied with Lucas) in the second tier list, and then a larger drop to 31st (two positions below Lucas) in the third tier list.

Despite Ness's nerfs and unaddressed weaknesses still being glaring even to this day, dedicated Ness mains (most notably FOW) began to showcase the significant buffs received from Melee and the benefit of his weaknesses not being as glaring as in previous incarnations. The result of the discovery of new Ness mains, and consistently good placings at mid tier tournaments, would make Ness rise to 26th-27th (tied with Bowser) on the fourth tier list as a solid mid-low tiered character. He would remain at the 27th spot for the majority of Brawl's competitive history.

Despite FOW eventually dropping Ness for Meta Knight (though he still uses him as a secondary and for mid tier tournaments), other Ness mains (most notably Shaky and Fsann) would be able to hold the fort. He would be ranked at 26th for the eight and current tier list, as a lower mid tiered character. His strengths, however, wouldn't be recognized as much in Japan, and would be 30th in their tier list at the bottom of mid tier, and be ranked six places lower than Lucas.

Opinions on Ness' competitive viability have been controversial throughout the game's lifespan. During the early life of SSB4, smashers immediately noticed the vast buffs made to Ness. Many smashers recognized that Ness no longer have the 10 extra frame grab-release animations, his combo game has been markedly improved, and his recovery is much harder to gimp, in addition to the new edge-trumping mechanic. From these initial buffs, Ness was widely considered to be a prominent high tier or even a top tier character. Ness's expectations continued strong, leading to great tournament representation, especially in the 3DS days. His results had been splendid throughout 2015-Early 2016 thanks to likes of FOW and Shaky. With FOW's 7th placement at EVO 2015 and 5th place at GENESIS 3 and Shaky's 7th placement at CEO 2015 and 9th placement at GENESIS 3, it solidified Ness into 13th position on the first tier list as a high tiered character. After the first tier list, his results slightly fell from the slight inconsistency from FOW and the sudden inactivity from Shaky. While Ness made a slight decline, the release of Bayonetta, the significant buffs to Mewtwo, and the increased representation of Mega Man drop Ness even further. Despite this, Ness' results and representation went on strong and would only drop slightly to 16th on the second tier list.

However, Ness's flaws became a bit more noticeable as time goes on. While he benefits from the nerfs to Diddy Kong, Zero Suit Samus, Bayonetta, and (especially) Sheik, he is also harmed by the numerous buffs given to Marth and Lucina, the introduction of Corrin and (to a lesser extent) Cloud, and the continued prevalence of Rosalina. As a result, opinions on Ness started to fall off. To make matters worse, his results would become stagnant, as many of his players became significantly inactive (specifically between EVO 2016 and 2GGT: ZeRo Saga). During the period of stagnation, Ness had been rivaled against his semi-clone, Lucas, in the Smash Community. Lucas' buffs received from patches and his commendable results thanks to Taiheita (specifically, his 17th placement at Super Smash Con 2016 and placing consistently high at Umebura majors) has increased mystery about Lucas' potential (in a similar vein to Pikachu and Yoshi early in SSB4), and slowly led the community into believing that Lucas is superior to Ness. Despite again gaining results on Winter 2016 and 2017, most noticeably FOW's 17th placement in 2GGT: ZeRo Saga and S1's 5th placement in B.E.A.S.T 7, it didn't compensate the loss of his stagnant results he had suffered from mid to late 2016. This resulted in a much larger tier drop to 24th on the third tier list, now being ranked at the top of mid tier.

Throughout 2017, several mains began to return to the scene, and while his results are not as strong as at the pre-second half of 2016, they remain rather strong for a mid tier character. FOW briefly came out of retirement to place 13th at 2GGC: Nairo Saga and 25th at 2GGC: Civil War. NAKAT, despite using Ness as a secondary in favor of Fox in 2016, began to co-main Ness. With his Ness, NAKAT placed 3rd at Smash Factor 6, 13th at EVO 2017, 17th at GameTyrant Expo 2017, 17th at 2GGC: FE Saga, and 33rd at GENESIS 4. The Great Gonzales placed 5th at Royal Flush and 17th at Smash 'N' Splash 3. BestNess would get 17th at GameTyrant Expo 2017. Finally, Gackt made a breakout performance at The Big House 7 by claiming wins against ANTi, Locus, and Mistake and secured 17th place. Regardless of these improved results, opinion from Ness worsened, as these results are not recognized by the community and by top players. As a result of this, many players, including ZeRo and Nairo, widely believes that Lucas is superior to Ness, despite Ness' accomplishments, Lucas's results being largely inferior to Ness's, and Taiheita's inconsistency at the second half of 2017. From this, Ness dropped much larger on the fourth and current tier list, at 28th, being ranked one tier higher than Lucas, with some players claiming that Ness is irrelevant and should drop even lower.

Fortunately, as the metagame and the desire for characters with large "potential" calms down, the Smash Community has recognized Ness' surprising consistently good results, resulting in opinions for Ness improving for the first time. He continues to net above average results thanks to Gackt, BestNess, taranito, S1, and The Great Gonzales earning consistent notable results in their regions and even in some major tournaments, with BestNess placing 25th at GENESIS 5 and 13th at The Big House 8, The Great Gonzales placing 25th at Frostbite 2018 and Smash'N'Splash 4, S1 placing 5th at Midwest Mayhem 11, taranito placing 17th at EVO Japan 2018, and Gackt placing 25th at The Big House 8 and 2nd at Frostbite Ursa Minor 2 and taking sets off of komorikiri, dyr, and Ned. His results would become more consistent in a regional level as well, such as BestNess getting 4th at Flatiron 3 (defeating ANTi) and winning Super Smash Fight Club 2 over Elegant. These results have even been more impressive than some of the characters ranked above him such as Greninja, Villager, and Bowser. While Ness continued to grow, Lucas dropped in quality from his declining results in Japan and the absence of Taiheita, which as a result decreased Lucas' perception. Because of these notable results and his continuous rise, many players believe that his current placing is too low, although others such as ZeRo and Dabuz believe that his current tier position is accurate. Regardless, Ness is still viewed as a viable character in tournament play and can even achieve favorable placements in a national level when solo-main.

Despite Ness already being an upper tiered character in SSB4, he has received significant buffs. These improvements includes better mobility (especially on the ground), buffed smash attacks (his up smash now has much better KO power, and his down smash's already good edgeguard ability improved much further), better range and frame data in his aerials, and significantly improved special moves (PK Flash travels much faster and farther, no longer puts him freefall, and can pass through soft platforms; PK Fire's combo ability is improved even further; PK Thunder has even further improved recovery potential; PSI Magnet now has a hitbox). This combined with the nerfs to his worst matchups in SSB4, further boosts his perception in the metagame.

He retains his overall large playerbase from SSB4, and achieved great results in the metagame, especially from players such as BestNess, Awestin, Gackt, FOW, and Shaky, pushing his metagame further. As a result, he is widely considered to be in the high tiers, and an overall solid pick.
Captain Falcon would be considered a solid high tier character ever since the beginning, owning to his mobility, strong combo ability, and reliable finishers, in spite of his subpar recovery, lack of projectile, and being easy to combo. This all led to him to be one of the most popular characters in the game, which is further boosted in the current metagame.

He would be ranked 5th in the first tier list, and 4th in the next two tier lists. However, between the third and fourth tier lists, Hyrule Castle was banned. Not only this benefited Falcon as he is less susceptible to camping and can make better use of his endurance, but Fox also falls out of favor using this ruleset. This led to him rising to 3rd in the fourth tier list. Due to his consistent popularity, alongside taking top spots in tournaments, some would argue that he deserves to be in the highest tier alongside Pikachu and Kirby.

Captain Falcon was considered a low tier character on the first tier list (tied with Young Link at 15th-16th); inexperienced panelists felt he was inferior to his Smash 64 counterpart, and failed to overcome the high technical skill demands required to play him. Captain Falcon then moved up to the middle tier, but was not recognized as being a solid character until one year after Melee began being played competitively.

However, dedicated Falcon mains such as Isai showed how powerful his comboing abilities were, and how well he could KO out of a combo with the deadly Knee Smash (forward air). Falcon mains began placing very high in tournaments, inching him up the list into the high tier as old high tier characters, such as Mario and Luigi, began falling. Today, although Captain Falcon does not often win tournaments (especially majors), he is one of the most common characters that place within the top rankings, resulting in him being at a solid 8th place on the current tier list, being placed below the Ice Climbers for the first time. However, the recent increased results from Wizzrobe, S2J, and n0ne, would make his tier position debatable, especially after Ice Climber's drop in results at 2018.

Captain Falcon was initially seen as the worst character in Brawl; right away players noticed the severe nerfs to Falcon's key traits (such as his Knee, his goto finisher in Melee, becoming extremely difficult to land), and that Falcon got adversely affected to a severe degree by the physics changes. It was additionally widely believed at the time that Falcon had "terrible priority" and would thus be unable to win any exchanges with opposing characters. As such, despite Falcon's still very fast movement speed and powerful attacks, players at the time did not believe Falcon could do anything to any competent degree in competitive matches.

A year after Brawl's release, it was realized Ganondorf and Link were even worse characters than Falcon; as such, on the third tier list, Falcon rose up from last place (into 35th) and has never ranked there since. Players also began recognizing some of the strengths Falcon had, such as his access to one of the best jabs, his still rather strong effectiveness at punishing, his still great mobility, and his incredible endurance potential while having a capable recovery that does not compromise it. Additionally, with Ally's tremendous success with Falcon in low tier tournaments, it was seen that Falcon had some clear advantages over his low tier brethren. With this, Falcon shot up to 32nd on the fourth tier list, and then consistently hovered around the 33rd-34th spot (currently ranked 34th). However, he was still crippled by his remaining flaws; although Falcon's attacks enjoy the same amount of priority as any other characters', he still suffered from a lack of disjointed range that could not compete with other longer-ranged characters.

During the early lifespan of Smash 4's metagame, Captain Falcon's buffs were immediately noticed, with the most notable of them being the heavy changes to hitstun canceling and the improved combo ability on his moves. As a result, he has always been considered a high tier character, thanks to his quick mobility, high power, and the ability to perform heavily damaging combos and juggles with his throws and aerial moves, with his combos being quite easy to start due to his far-reaching dash grab. His representation has been strong throughout the game's lifespan, both due to his own strengths and his general popularity as a character.

However, perceptions surrounding Falcon have not grown as much as other higher tiered characters than him, due to his poor recovery and difficulty escaping pressure and combos, along with receiving nerfs to his damage output and KOing ability through game updates. Players also began to cite his troublesome match-up against Sheik, who would go on to become the perceived best character in the game for a long period of time. Despite this, his playerbase is among the largest in the entire roster, with players such as Acid, Fatality, Nanon, Pichi, Souther, Tearbear, ZeRo (as a secondary/"sandbagging" character), and z0mfg achieving strong enough tournament results with the character.

He would rank at 14th on the first tier list, at the very top of the mid tier. He then dropped six spots on the second tier list to 20th, and dropped once again to 23rd on the third tier list. However, the change in the arrangement of the tiers caused him to be ranked more positively than in the initial tier list, being ranked high tier ever since the second list. However, his tier placement became a topic of debate among players, as Fatality placed 2nd at 2GGC: Civil War, which is one of the largest Smash 4 tournaments to date. Afterwards he went on to decisively eliminate ZeRo at MomoCon 2017, even while ZeRo counterpicked, and place 2nd at that tournament. This had him rise to 19th on the fourth and current tier list. However, his lack of top placements after MomoCon prevented him from rising any further in the fourth list.

Recently, Fatality once again began to pick up strong results for the character at even a major level, only more consistently this time. He has also collected one of the strongest playerbases in the game. As a result, Falcon's tier position is debatable, with many players saying that he should rise even further. Overall, Falcon has had the third highest rise from the Brawl tier list, and is one of the characters to have improved the most from that game.

Captain Falcon's initial perception was initially seen with distain by most players. Players would note the nerf to his dash grab and overall grab game, as it seemingly doesn't intiate combos as well as in SSB4. This is further boosted by the nerfs to his up air, as it doesn't chain into eachother as easily. Footstool combos being nerfed also boosted said perception. He is noted to be a character that relies on taking more risks on approaching the opponent, and overall focuses on their neutral game. However, significant discoveries by Fatality has also noted Falcon's buffs as well. He in general benefits well from the mechanics of Ultimate, as well as the numerous buffs other moves in his arsenal. He also noted that Falcon's combo game is now frame tight, and can be initiated through other means as well, with a noticeably powerful reward. Similarly to Zero Suit Samus, Falcon also now has more reliable ways on dealing with smaller opponents.

The combination of Falcon's frame tight, but powerful, combo game, and the necessity of having knowledge on each character's neutral game, has resulted in a below average representation, especially in comparison to his SSB4 incarnation. However, players like Fatality and NickC, has achieved success with the revamped Falcon, with their results rapidly improving. As such, the future of Falcon's place in the metagame remains to be seen.
Jigglypuff's average strengths and weaknesses was first recognized upon the start of 64's competitive history, with it's representation and results further backing it up. As a result, it would be ranked 6th in the first tier list as a mid tier character.

However, many players would claim that Jigglypuff lacks the increasing success on characters below it, plus claiming that it's weaknesses are more prevalent. The latter fact ended being true during this time period, and Jigglypuff would drop to 9th on the second tier list, still as a mid tiered character though. However, Jigglypuff would to be proven to be a more effective character than Ness (who was ranked directly above it), and they swapped tier positions on the third tier list. By the time of the fourth tier list, though, numerous Jigglypuff players entered the scene, with the banning of Hyrule Castle further bolstering this. The most notable of those players would be wangera, who would be a top player in the world. Because of this, Jigglypuff rose back to 6th on the fourth and current tier list.

However, as wangera ascended to be one of the best Smash 64 players in the world afterwards, Puff's placement is once again debatable, with some saying that it should be ranked higher, while others believe that it's placement is accurate.

Jigglypuff was at first considered a mid-low tiered character during the inexperienced era in Melee, being ranked 17th-18th (tied with Ness) on the first tier list. Many players did not recognized the deadly combo and camping ability it has, and figured that it's slow movement speed on the ground being too big of a problem. It would rise to the 10th-11th spot (tied with Ganondorf) on the second tier list, and hover at the 9th-11th spots from the second to eighth tier lists.

However, Mango's sudden appearance in the scene changed this. He showed how dominant Jigglypuff was in the air, and how powerful its pressure game and combo abilities were. With Mango continuously dominating more Melee tournaments using Jigglypuff, and the rise of another nationally dominant Jigglypuff player in Hungrybox, Jigglypuff jumped up to top tier in the tenth tier list, ranking third under Fox and Falco. Jigglypuff is currently ranked 5th place in the twelfth (current) tier list, just outside of top tier. Although, Jigglypuff has had a much smaller playerbase than the rest of the top/high tier characters (1st to 8th), his results would be sufficient enough to hold this position.

However, Hungrybox would recently dominate the competitive scene, beating out many top Fox players, who is considered Jigglypuff's main disadvantageous matchup. Other Puff players, although much scarcer in representation as a whole and not placing as high as Hungrybox, would find themselves a name in the metagame, with Prince Abu and 2Saint being particular examples. As such, some players believe that Jigglypuff should be ranked higher.

Jigglypuff has always been seen as one of the worst characters in Brawl; right away players noticed its significant nerfs to key attributes, and its terrible transitioning into Brawl's physics and gameplay changes. Over the years, despite Jigglypuff's still strong aerial game, air camping abilities, and amazing recovery, metagame developments for Jigglypuff have been startlingly barren. Jigglypuff is also perhaps the most unpopular character in Brawl competitive play, lacking the dedicated playerbase other low tier characters have, having barely any notable players, and being a very rare sight at even local tournaments with casual players. Jigglypuff's match-ups further compound this, with Meta Knight, Olimar, Marth, Snake, Zero Suit Samus, Mr. Game & Watch, and Donkey Kong all hard countering Jigglypuff. As such, Jigglypuff has always been ranked among the four worst characters in the game in all iterations of the BBR's tier list, currently being ranked at 36th. Some players even think Jigglypuff, rather than Ganondorf, is the worst character in the game, although this is heavily debatable; in fact the Japanese rank Jigglypuff as the worst character on their tier list.

In the early metagame, it was widely considered that Jigglypuff was, at best, a mid tier to low tier character, and that Jigglypuff's buffs from Brawl would allow it to perform better in SSB4. However, its results and representation outside of doubles play were never as high as other characters that would rank above it in the future, and it would soon become clear that Jigglypuff had ironically lost much more than it gained in the transition. Despite the improved balancing of other characters, it infamously remained stagnant in game updates, with only a glitch that gave Rollout mindgame potential being fixed in update 1.0.4. The shield mechanic changes of 1.1.0. and 1.1.1. arguably hurt Jigglypuff even further. As such, it was ranked 55th on the first tier list, making it the second lowest ranked character on the entire tier list.

Jigglypuff continued to languish near the bottom of the tier list, due to still being unchanged positively by game updates while other bottom tier characters like Zelda and Ganondorf have received numerous buffs. Despite LeeT placing 33rd at Shine 2016 while exclusively using Jigglypuff for the tournament's entirety, it was nonetheless ranked 58th, placing it at the very bottom of the entire tier list. This has continued into the third tier list, with the only slight change to its tier status being its reassessment as a low tier character due to the bottom tier being abolished. However, some players felt that Jigglypuff has earned a slightly higher placement on the tier list, due to having some (although still very small) notable results and representation, LeeT placing 49th at CEO 2017 being a notable example. Despite this, Jigglypuff once again ranks dead last at 55th on the fourth and current tier list, even after the exclusion of Miis from the tier list.

During the spring of 2018, a Pikachu main Captain L, started using Jigglypuff a lot more in tournaments and has gotten a few impressive placings such as 3rd at Flatiron 3 and 2nd at Vancouver Battle Royale - Spring Championship, while taking a set off of John Numbers, Larry Lurr, BestNess, and has taken ESAM to Game 5 at Flatiron with Jigglypuff. Though these results are bolstered by his use of Pikachu, and none of those tournaments are PGR'ed, its position has become a point of debate; some smashers like Dabuz and ESAM believe that Jigglypuff should be ranked slightly higher (especially with King Dedede's drop in quality), while others claim that its weaknesses are too significant. However, as Captain L never achieved the same success with Jigglypuff afterwards, it became clear that those wins by Captain L are caused by a lack of matchup experience on the receiving end. This, combined with zaki's performances with solo King Dedede, puts Jigglypuff under a negative light once again. As such, Jigglypuff is still considered to be the worst character in the game and is considered nonviable in the current metagame.

Jigglypuff's large buffs in the transition to Ultimate has been immediately noted. All of it's aerials have much less landing lag, which brings back it's greatest strength from Melee and Brawl, while retaining the knockback buffs SSB4 Jigglypuff had. This is even more noticeable with it's back air, with the decreased landing lag making it better for combos. Other than some nice QoL changes, it other biggest buff is to it's special moves. Rollout is does more damage, is drastically more safer, and will no longer put it under helplessness when hitting someone (similar to Brawl). Rest's wake up animation is now cancel-able, improving the safety of the move. However, players would also point out it's unaddressed weaknesses: namely its mediocre range, grounded mobility, somewhat difficulty to KO, and light weight.

As a result, while it is widely agreed that it is much better than it's Brawl or SSB4 incarnations, Jigglypuff is nevertheless seen as a mediocre character in the metagame. Its overall representation and results, while better than in Brawl or SSB4, is below average, despite the buffs it would recieve in patch 2.0.0.

Notice that some articles (most notably Melee Fox's and SSB4 Ness's) are larger than others.
Last edited:


Smash Champion
Jan 10, 2018
The maintenance cut off my work in the Melee veterans (there was only two more left), and now I have to start over with them. RIP


Smash Champion
Jan 10, 2018
Competitive History of Melee Veterans

Last Updated: 12/4/18

They are basically heavily edited versions of Smashwiki's sections of them. Some of them don't even have a section on them in Smashwiki, so research was even harder.

I was initially discouraged on doing this part, as the Smashboards update made me start this part over again when I had only 2-3 characters left. Nevertheless, it is finally done.

Due to Peach's great aerial potential and combo ability, as well as her powerful potential mindgames, she has been a character consistently ranking in the top tiers of the Melee tier list. She was thus ranked 9th in the first tier list. However, she then rose to 4th in the next tier list, and floated (no pun intended) at the 4th-5th position for a long time, with the last tier list having this pattern being the ninth tier list. This is bolstered by Armada's great performances with her.

However, as time progressed, Armada became the only Smasher who was able to win money from large tournaments with Peach, with all other Peach players being rather lackluster and falling short of the top 8 at national tournaments. Outside of Armada, representation of Peach in tournaments has still been ubiquitous, with many pre-top 8 placements, but other dedicated Peach players have seldom been able to earn significant money, especially in comparison to Armada. In the tenth tier list, she dropped to 6th, and remained there from that day on.

In 2016 to early 2017, Armada's dominance would be established as the undisputed best player in the world, as well as other Peach players (such as lloD, Bladewise, and Trif) would obtain better results. Due to Peach's representation being noticeably better than Jigglypuff's (who is ranked 5th), many players argue that she should be ranked above it or even Sheik. However, as the domination of Melee shifted to Hungrybox (the best Jigglypuff player in the world) at late 2017 and into 2018, Peach's position is widely considered to be accurate for the time being.

Peach's nerfs coming into Brawl was immediately noticed at the start. Players would infer that these nerfs are too much for Peach to compete at high level play, and would be considered into the lower mid tiers. She was ranked 24th on the first tier list.

However, dedicated Peach players (most notably Kie, SlayerZ, and Nicole) would then prove that Peach is a solid niche character in competitive play, with the nerfs not being as severe as once though. This is further boosted through time, as she possesses a niche matchup against the Ice Climbers, who would eventually rise into one of the best characters in the game. As a result, she rose to 19th on the second tier list, and remained there until the sixth iteration where she rose to 17th. She remained at 17th on the seventh tier list, until she dropped back to 19th on the eighth and current tier list. Overall, she fared much better than other higher regarded characters from Melee (such as Sheik, Captain Falcon, and Jigglypuff).

Since the game's release, expectations of Peach have been those of a mid tier, and often a high-tiered character. Players noted her steep learning curve made her a situational choice for competitive play, though others also cited her improvements since Brawl and how her playstyle was very rewarding once she was mastered to her fullest. The changes to shield mechanics were also beneficial to her as they significantly improved her pressure game. As a result, and due to hardly any nerf she got in game updates, she has always been seen as a viable, if hard to master, choice for competitive play. Despite her learning curve giving her a noticeably below average playerbase, smashers like Kie, SlayerZ, Samsora, and Umeki have been able to demonstrate her capabilities in tournaments at a major degree. This led to Peach being placed at 19th in the first tier list at the upper mid tier.

Peach's results, however, while consistent, have never been as bountiful as other characters ranked above her, and eventually, other characters ranked below her, causing expectations of her to slowly drop. This was further compounded by the worsening of her infinite combo (the "Umeki Rainbow") at patch 1.1.5, although the technique was extremely difficult (therefore situational) to pull off anyways. Because of this, she dropped on the second tier list at 26th.

However, her results would become more bountiful as time goes on, as other characters above her would see a bit of a drop as well. She then saw a moderate rise to 21st on the third tier list as a high tiered character. This success was further pushed by Samsora, who would get 17th at Civil War, 5th at CEO Dreamland, 9th at Nairo Saga and Dreamhack Atlanta, and 7th at GameTyrant Expo 2018, which resulted in Peach rising to 20th on the fourth and current tier list.

However, her tier placement would become debatable, as Samsora's strong results with Peach continues into 2018, as he would get 9th at Frostbite 2018 and GOML 2018, 7th at EGLX 2018, Switchfest, and MomoCon 2018, and 2nd in Full Bloom 4 and Super Smash Con 2018. Outside of Samsora, other Peach players would obtain great results with their character in regional and sometimes major events, with Japan being the strongest in that regard. As a result, many players believe that she should rise even further in B tier alongside Captain Falcon.

Alongside her echo fighter, Daisy, Peach is perceived very favorably. Despite her already high tiered standing in SSB4, she has received noticeable improvements, stemming from improved damage outputs (such as her down smash), slightly better range (such as her up smash), overall improved utility (most notably her forward smash). The decreased landing lag to her aerials is notably, due to being able to utilize floating aerials better to apply pressure. Finally, her special moves has all increased utility: Toad has significantly reduced startup and deals more damage; Peach Bomber is faster and deals more knockback; Peach Parasol has less landing lag and increased knockback on the final hit; Vegetable is plucked faster, bounce off the ground once, and has greater knockback.

Overall, she is seen as a very solid character overall.
Bowser has traditionally always been a very low-tiered character, ranking at or near the bottom on many revisions, due to his negative attributes and his pitiful matchups against top/high tier characters, which led to very poor tournament results overall. Even with the innovations of dedicated Bowser professionals such as Gimpyfish, who propelled Bowser to a level of play that many rarely ever saw before, Bowser simply could not reach the ubiquity and consistency needed as a main to be considered as a relevant threat in the top-level environment. He was first tied for 24th-25th with Pichu in the first tier list. He then alternated between the bottom four spots in the game, even being ranked the worst character in the game in the third to fifth tier lists.

Currently, Bowser is at 25th place in the twelfth and current tier list, although some smashers (particularly some of the top players) believe that Bowser is the worst character in the game. He has negligible representation in tournaments outside of situational matches where he is counterpicked against players unfamiliar with the matchup (e.g. DJ Nintendo vs. Unknown522 at Zenith 2013), and is considered non-viable for serious play.

Bowser was initially seen as a solid middle tier character, being ranked at 22nd on the first tier list. Bowser's speed and mobility buffs were immediately noticed, which when combined with his still great power and the slower, less combo-orientated pace of Brawl, allowed Bowser to compete decently with an inexperienced playerbase that could not effectively evade him and was still discovering the potential of other characters.

However, Bowser still had the traits of a classic low tier character, however: he was still very slow compared to the rest of the cast, very large and thus heavily vulnerable to deadly chain throws and combos, had an easily gimpable recovery that compromised his endurance potential, and was vulnerable to camping while being incapable of camping himself, with a lack of any outstanding attributes to counteract this. Thus, as the metagame progressed, Bowser steadily declined, with Bowser players finding it difficult to keep up with the quickening pace of other advancing characters and having their weaknesses (most notably to chain throws and camping) more frequently exploited, while lacking any significant developments for Bowser's metagame outside of grab release followups. Through the second to fourth tier lists, Bowser fell no more than two spots at a time, but it was not until the fifth list that he saw a significant drop, falling five spaces to 32nd and formally entering the low tiers, though many players thought of Bowser as a low tier character well before then.

Bowser's decline additionally saw his playerbase diminish, and most of his top players, notably his best player KingKong, dropped Bowser or stopped playing Brawl competitively altogether, while fewer and fewer players used Bowser overall. Nowadays, Bowser is one of the most unpopular characters in Brawl tournaments, having almost no established active players who use him, and being rare at even locals with casual players, which has led to his poor tournament results. As such, Bowser has never risen on any tier list. However, despite Bowser's weak representation and tournament results, the characters below him are generally considered to be even worse by a considerable margin. He is currently ranked 33rd in the eighth and current tier list.

Opinions on Bowser's viability have greatly fluctuated through SSB4's metagame, but the general opinion is that he has fared much better than in Melee and Brawl, owning to the significant buffs brought with his re-work.

Around the metagame's early lifespan, due to all of the top spots taken at early SSB4 tournaments (including a Bowser ditto for the Grand Finals in the pre-release San Diego Comic Con Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS tournament), Bowser was initially considered the best character in the game. Players took little time to notice the significant buffs he received, and to further compliment this, characters that were excessively challenging for him in Brawl, such as Marth, Meta Knight, Falco, the Ice Climbers, and most notoriously King Dedede, were either heavily nerfed or, in the case of the Ice Climbers, removed entirely. However, as time went on, perception on Bowser's viability noticeably fell. The first instance of this came about from a significant nerf to vectoring in update 1.0.4, followed by his weaknesses starting to come afloat, which were the same as, and as exploitable as they were in previous installments. He also lacked any noteworthy results at high-level play in a heavy contrast compared to the early lifespan of the metagame, and his perception began declining much like in Brawl. His perception came to the point where ZeRo believe that he is potentially on the worst characters in the game.

Despite his lowered perception within the community, update 1.1.3 brought immense buffs, the most notable of which were to Flying Slam, Whirling Fortress and his now-infamous up throw. These buffs allowed Bowser to perform considerably better at locals, as his playerbase managed to achieve a few placements at high-level play, largely thanks to players such as LordMix and KingKong. This ultimately culminated in Bowser being placed at 30th on the first tier list, resulting in him becoming the second lowest ranking mid tier character. However, update 1.1.4 slightly nerfed his infamous up throw by weakening its guaranteed KO set-ups, though it brought further buffs to Flying Slam. Update 1.1.5 also brought more buffs to his survivability and recovery by increasing his weight and air speed, respectively. Thanks to the boosted results of his playerbase, Bowser only dropped slightly to 32nd on the second tier list. As the tiers were expanded for the second tier list, Bowser maintained his status as a mid tier character despite his placement drop, with the drop being largely attributable to the inclusion of Corrin and Bayonetta into the game between the first and second tier lists.

In the current metagame, many argued that Bowser's tier placement was somewhat low, with ZeRo considering Bowser to be a high tier character, and Nairo utilizing Bowser to great effect in a number of upsets. This was later reflected with Bowser's placement of 25th on the third tier list; in addition to becoming both the second highest ranking mid tier character and surpassing Donkey Kong as the highest ranking super heavyweight, this tier rise was the fourth highest between the second and third tier lists. Despite Bowser's rather average results from his solo mains (especially in comparison to Donkey Kong), Nairo utilized him further to boost his results. He then saw a slight rise to 24th on the fourth and current tier list, although he lost his status to the best super heavyweight to Donkey Kong once again.

His tier placement is very debatable. Some players believe that he, alongside Donkey Kong, should rise even further and into B tier, largely due to his powerful grab confirms and his abusement of the rage mechanic (with ZeRo goes as far as to say that he is potentially top 15). On the contrary to this view, however, Bowser's results took a dive in 2018, as his glaring weaknesses and his disadvantageous matchups against the top tiered characters (most notably Bayonetta and Rosalina) became more apparent. This is also due to Nairo very rarely using Bowser anymore at tournaments, only using him in sets against MkLeo, and not getting the same success when he does use him. Unlike Donkey Kong, who manages to get still get solid results thanks to his dedicated mains even after these recent developments, Bowser's solo mains still only obtain average at best results. As such, many players such as Dabuz believe that Bowser should drop down the tier list as a result of these developments, as a solid mid tier character instead of an upper-mid tier/high tiered character.

From the E3 demo, perception of Bowser is rather mixed. He has received significant improvements: the universal frame 3 jumpsquat and significantly less landing lag in aerials drastically improves his ground-to-air transitioning and air game in general (basically, a glaring flaw from his past iterations is now outright non-existent), the large buff to his universal super armor "Tough Guy", improved normals such as his new down smash and each of his tilts and smash attacks gaining armor, boosted grounded versatility thanks to the standardization of initial dashes and dash canceling, and numerous buffs to his special moves (most notably to Fire Breath, Flying Slam, and aerial Whirling Fortress). He did receive a few nerfs: while his grab is faster and the up throw itself deals much more damage, he can no longer kill confirm off of his up throw, and his overall damage output in his normals (although still very damaging) has been slightly toned down overall.

Despite the significant improvements Bowser has received, due to how Bowser was boosted up the SSB4 tier list thanks to the introduction of his up throw kill confirm, some players has even claimed that the nerfs outweigh or cancel out the buffs, and that Bowser is a mediocre character in the game despite his improvements. However, the recent realization of how Bowser's buffs alleviated his biggest weaknesses, and how is his numerous other buffs vastly improve the rest of his moveset, and is no longer a flawed one-dimensional character like in SSB4. Overall, Bowser is perceived rather well in Ultimate despite the negative opinions at the beginning.
The Ice Climbers were once a middle to low-middle tiered character, as in the beginning of Melee, professionals had not made significant discoveries with them. They were ranked 11th-12th (tied with Ganondorf) on the first tier list, and was never ranked higher than that spot until the eighth tier list, even ranking as low as 18th (doing so at the fifth tier list).

With the discovery of the Ice Climbers' desynching combos, as well as wobbling (which guarantees a stock if performed correctly), they started moving up the ranks. The growing dominance of ChuDat and then Wobbles and Fly Amanita inched them first to the middle tier (12th at the second tier list), then into the upper tiers, being ranked 7th in the eighth tier list. They then dropped to 8th in the ninth tier list, but was now considered a high tier character thanks to the expansion of the high tier. They remained at 8th until the twelfth tier list.

Wobbles's second place finish at EVO 2013 with the Ice Climbers did not change their tier position but improved their notability even further. With the release of the twelfth and current tier list, they moved up one spot to 7th.

However, after an excellent year in 2017, Ice Climber's results then took a dip for the worst in 2018. ChuDat's top results would falter noticeably, while the character's representation would become worse (with Wobbles retiring the game as a competitor, and Nintendude focusing on other characters) as a few of their top mains would become semi-active. This, combined with combined with Captain Falcon's improved results from his top players, would make IC's placement above Falcon has widely perceived to be inaccurate in the current meta. Despite the strong efforts of other Ice Climbers players, most notably ARMY, the perspective of the Ice Climbers has even gotten worse to the point that some players would claim that the Ice Climbers should drop even lower than just Captain Falcon, that they doesn't deserve to be in A tier, and has even written off their infamous wobble tactic as a "gimmick". As a result, their current tier placement is very debatable.

In the first few years of Brawl's metagame, the Ice Climbers were only ranked in mid-high tier, given their poor fighting abilities and vulnerability when the partner Climber dies, and their powerful grab tactics were unrecognized at the time. They were ranked 13th in the first tier list as a high tiered character, then dropped to 15th in the second tier list, then rose to 11th in the third tier list.

However, Ice Climber players soon began to utilize their infinite chaingrabs, giving them an extremely powerful zero-to-death option against any other character. Players soon found the technique difficult to handle, as it completely changed the way players fought the Ice Climbers. The Ice Climbers matchup now involved avoiding getting grabbed into a death, which can be difficult to avoid, and the Ice Climbers were able to completely shut down characters who lacked effective tactics to deal with the zero-death chaingrabs. Because of this, the Ice Climbers quickly shot up the ranks, rising to 5th in the fourth tier list, into the top tier. They eventually rose to 2nd place on the current tier list, placed right underneath Meta Knight in their own tier above the rest of the characters. Some players even argue that since the Ice Climbers have access to a zero-death on every character that works at any percent, they could be tied for first place with Meta Knight, or could even be first place themselves.

The Ice Climbers are among the most disliked characters in Brawl by both casual and competitive players, since they possess a guaranteed zero-death option against any character, something no other character has access to, and they have been considered cheap and broken, with many players supporting the ban of the infinite chaingrabs in tournaments; however, with the definition of what construes an "infinite chaingrab" usually being rigid, players of the Ice Climbers have found many loopholes to avoid using it while still nearly securing stocks with each grab, making opponents' predicaments effectively the same. Many recent tournaments in the post-Smash-4 era, such as Glitch 2, have even banned the Ice Climbers altogether, due to their unpopularity among opponents and spectators alike.

From the E3 demo, everyone noticed the large nerfs to their grab games. Not only that the Ice Climbers has no more form of infinite of their grabs, but their throw setups (outside of normal combo throws) possible due to their 2-in-1 mechanic is noticeably nerfed thanks to the player no longer taking control of Nana during throws. Nana herself has been nerfed, as the player will no longer take control of her while the lead climber gets grabbed, she has a small delay of opening her shield if Popo opens his shield, and that she has an increased damage multiplier. However, the character themselves has received notable improvements, such as their new up air, and that their desyncing is boosted thanks to the those buffs to those normals. Overall, while Ice Climbers is undisputely worse than their Melee or Brawl incarnations, their placing in the metagame is put into debate thanks to those nerfs, retained strengths, and their high learning curve.
Sheik has always been a top tiered character, similar to Fox and Falco. For the first five years of the Melee metagame, Sheik was considered the best character in the game, ranking at the top of every tier list up until the eighth. Her chain throwing ability was considered especially powerful in the early metagame, combined with her combo game, camping abilities, and edgeguarding. In fact, at some points, players believed Sheik was so good that they contemplated banning her.

However, with the incredible potential of Fox and Falco eventually being realized, along with Marth and Jigglypuff rising up the tier list, Sheik dropped to 3rd in the eighth tier list. However, she still remained around the 3rd to 4th spots, and is still considered one of the strongest characters, being ranked 4th in the twelfth and current tier list.

However, Sheik's tier placement is debatable: many players are often very critical of her weaknesses, and looks at Jigglypuff and Peach as superior characters, as those two has had a period of dominance by their top players despite their representation being much worse than Sheik's. However, others pointed out the recent improved success of Plup, as well as her abundant strengths and dominant matchups.

Upon the game's release, players immediately noticed the large nerfs given to Sheik from Melee to Brawl, with her KO potential, combo game, and (to a lesser extent) camping prowess getting largely nerfed. She would be considered a very mediocre character, believing that the nerfs are too large for her to viably compete at top level play. She would be ranked at 26th in the first tier list, at the bottom of mid tier, and 6 places below Zelda.

Dedicated players of Sheik would show some metagame development with her, introducing the forward tilt lock on fastfallers, combos after air release, her use of DACUS, and utilizing her amazing frame data. However, Sheik's results and representation would remain very mediocre outside of mid tier tournaments, as unlike Fox and Peach, her nerfs did largely impact her viability. She remained at the 23rd to 26th spots for the entire competitive history of Brawl, currently ranked 25th in the eighth and current tier list at mid tier.

Although she does fare much better than other highly regarded Melee veterans, as Captain Falcon, Jigglypuff, and Ganondorf lingers in the low/bottom tiers. Her matchups are somewhat polarizing, but is overall average.

Sheik has always been perceived as a top tier character since the game's release, which was eventually reflected in her ranking at the very top of the first official tier list, with the previous nerfs to Rosalina & Luma and Diddy Kong paving the way for Sheik to be considered the indisputable best character in the game, in a similar manner to Meta Knight in Brawl and Fox in Melee. Players noticed her fantastic frame data, the ability to control the neutral game by spacing effectively with her forward aerial and camp with Needle Storm, extensive combo game that allowed her to rack up damage quickly and efficiently, dominant offstage game, and reliable KO set-ups off of low-committal grab set-ups. This led most players to believe she lacked losing match-ups and had only a handful that were arguably even. As expected, Sheik's position was cemented by a stellar playerbase that included highly talented players such as ZeRo, Mr. R, VoiD, K9sbruce, and RAIN, among others, all of whom achieved great results with the character on a consistent basis. Although she never became the infamous / hated character Diddy Kong and Bayonetta were during their pre-patch lifetimes, Sheik's legality was put into some question by a few players.

However, Sheik's overwhelming dominance took a blow with patches 1.1.4 and 1.1.5, which removed her most reliable KO set-ups, worsened her survivability, and weakened her camping ability. The rise of Cloud and Diddy Kong, and the introduction of Bayonetta, would further worsen this. As a result, her most notable player, ZeRo, eventually dropped her, and others such as K9sbruce have been using secondaries/co-mains more often. Despite her heavy nerfs, Sheik's neutral, combo, and offstage games are still among the best, allowing her to continue to gain strong results from players like VoiD and Mr. R and remain a top tier character, placing at 3rd and 4th on the second and third version of the tier list respectively and remaining on the S tier. Currently, Sheik is ranked as 4th on the fourth tier list, but has since then dropped to the A tier due to her results being worse than the characters ranked higher than her, although they still remain strong.

However, many top players would still have high opinions for Sheik, as VoiD won Smash 'N' Splash 4 defeating top players Mistake, Dabuz, Light, and Salem marking the first time Sheik won a major since patch 1.1.5. Mr.R would then get 2nd at Hyrule Saga defetaing top players DSS, Nairo, Samsora, Cosmos, ANTi, and Dabuz, and Nietono getting 3rd at EVO 2018 defeating top players Charlie, Shuton, falln, Choco, Mr E, and Mistake (although he used Diddy Kong to beat Choco and Mr E). These recent spike of results have been rare for Sheik as she hardly ever achieved these results after the nerfs. These results have also been more impressive than Diddy Kong and Cloud as they have failed to go this far in tournament without the use of a secondary in recent history. Due to this, some smashers have debated that Sheik should be ranked higher than this with Dabuz, Mr.R, and MkLeo agreeing that Sheik should be ranked slightly higher. Other players like ESAM, however, believe that she is overrated due to her inconsistency at killing, as he puts her at 8th on his tier list.

Sheik in Ultimate is considered to be around the same viability as in SSB4, due to mostly retaining her strengths from SSB4 and receiving a mix of buffs and nerfs that doesn't affect her overall playstyle too much. However, her position relative to the cast is considered to be slightly lower than in SSB4, due to the significant buffs to many characters ranked below her. Nevertheless, she is considered to be a very solid character in the game.
Zelda was ranked extremely high on the first tier list, tying for 6th place with Samus and Luigi. However, discussion in the relevant SmashBoards topic suggests this is an artifact of some tier list contributors grouping her with her top tier counterpart Sheik, and her placement was not fully based on her prowess as an independent character. The second tier list rectified this and had Zelda tie with Link and Ness for 14th-16th place. Following this, Zelda fell again to 20th on the third tier list, and has since frequently appeared on the 19th and 20th spots on the tier list. Zelda's position can be attributed to her undesirable combination of traits, being floaty and light yet tall, and having very slow movement speed, a poor wavedash, and poor hitbox placement on most of her moves. In combination with Sheik being a constant in the top tier, this has deterred many smashers from using her in serious play.

Zelda is currently ranked 22nd on the twelfth tier list, in what is her lowest standing on the list thus far. Prior to the ranking, she was ranked 19th, with some smashers disputing whether this was an accurate assessment; American smasher Mew2King notably believed that Zelda was one of the two worst characters in the game, citing her poor frame data in his assessment. Even now, some players consider her ranking too high, and considers her one of the worst characters in the game, with top players mostly arguing for this.

Overall, Zelda has made little impact in tournaments from the start of the metagame, with relatively few dedicated mains. Her only modern players, Narcissa and The Lake, are semi-inactive and usually do not place high enough to earn money in large tournaments. Usually, the only time when Zelda shows up in top level play is when Sheik players transform into her off-stage to take advantage of her longer recovery where they would otherwise not be able to recover; if the opponent is aggressive enough, they may be forced to fight as her until an opportunity to transform back is available.

Zelda was initially seen as a solid middle tier character, being ranked 20th on the first tier list and ranked 6 spots higher than Sheik; her significant buffs in Brawl made her a very powerful character that was able to compete decently with the then inexperienced playerbase, who did not utilize much camping and were not as capable of evading attacks. As the metagame progressed however, it became realized Zelda's buffs did little to address the very significant problems of her character design; Din's Fire was still a rather difficult to land projectile that could not easily force approaches while Zelda herself was still very slow and incapable of initiating approaches, and her moveset still consisted of unreliable finishers that made it very difficult for her to rack up damage as well as reliably KO when the opponent is in KO range. As Brawl became more defensive based and camping became more prevalent, Zelda's problems were significantly exacerbated, as she ironically lost more than she gained in the transition despite the big buffs, and it gradually became clearer that Zelda was a poorly-designed character that could not remotely viably compete in competitive play.

Zelda's decline started slowly, with her only falling to 22nd on the second tier list. But it picked up on the third tier list with her falling to 26th, and then she took a nose dive on the fourth tier list to 35th in bottom tier as the third worst character. She fell even farther to being ranked the second worst character on the fifth tier list (37th, as Sheilda was introduced), and has been stuck there since, which is also the largest tier drop any character experienced in Brawl.

Nowadays Zelda's position is just as low, and there are some players who even think that Zelda is the worst character in Brawl and not Ganondorf (similar to the disagreement between both Pichu and Kirby's placements on Melee's tier list). While Zelda does have a few players dedicated to using her, her overall playerbase is very small and makes virtually no impact, so it is unlikely Zelda's competitive prospects will ever improve in Brawl. She does notably fare better at doubles, as her dedicated mains are mostly doubles focused.

Unlike her ancestor in Melee and her own appearance in Brawl, Zelda was immediately viewed as a non-viable character upon SSB4's release. This perception was because of the combination of her key flaws not being properly addressed (with a few of her strengths even been worsened), and Sheik becoming a standalone character who was buffed significantly in her own transition from Brawl. When coupled by her extremely minimal representation and results in competitive play, as well as the fact that players had not yet acknowledged Jigglypuff's status in competitive play, Zelda was ranked 56th on the first tier list, placing her at the bottom of the entire tier list.

Much like a number of other poorly perceived characters, Zelda received a multitude of buffs from game updates, with the biggest coming from patch 1.1.5. These improvements contributed to her results slowly improving as time passed, most notably thanks to ven. However, Zelda's new-found buffs were still overshadowed by her inherent flaws, as well as the greater significance of buffs gained by other low tier and bottom tier characters. To reflect this, Zelda has been ranked 55th as of the second and third tier lists, and Zelda has been assessed as a low tier character as of the third tier list because of that list's tier restructuring. She then was ranked at 54th at the fourth and current tier list, although the exclusion of the Mii Fighters on that tier list resulted in her being the second lowest ranked character on the entire tier list.

Overall, while she has some vocal support from some players (like ESAM), she remains a poor fighter like her previous incarnations and is not likely going to change.

In her redesign in her Ultimate appearance, everyone noticed the drastic buffs to Zelda's more important abilities and she is undisputably considered to be the best iteration of Zelda in the series. These improvements include the buffs to her normals (like the buffs to her jab and dash attack), less lag in her aerials, a better grab game with her up and forward throws (with her up throw in particular now being one of the strongest KO throws in the game), and drastic improvements to her special moves that boosts her recovery, defensive playstyle, and overall utility. Her combo game has received a small nerf overall, but Zelda can now viably fulfill her intended design: a defensive character.

While some players see her as a very viable character thanks to her drastic improvements (Salem notes her be a potential top tiered character), her history as a poor character in previous entries of the franchise has left some players believing that she is still a mediocre character in Ultimate.
Zelda and Sheik's unique ability is to transform into eachother. Sakurai's intention for this mechanic is for player's to rack up damage as Sheik, and land the finishers as Zelda. This playstyle is commonly called "Sheilda" by the Smash Community. Conventionally, the use of Sheilda as a playstyle strictly involves the use of both characters; solely using Transform to use Zelda for recovery is not considered use of the playstyle. This mechanic was removed in SSB4 onwards, as both characters gained new down special moves.

Sheilda is effectively unused in Melee, owing to Sheik's high viability both in the general metagame and in comparison to Zelda, as Sheik places 4th on the tier list compared to Zelda's 22nd position. Owing to this, the Melee tier list has not recognized a position for the playstyle in any of its revisions. Since Sheik already has good KO power to go along with her strengths, the need for Zelda's KO power has very little to no use.

A combined Sheilda position is featured on the Brawl tier list, and the position first appeared in its fifth tier list. Currently, Sheilda is ranked 24th on the eighth tier list, placing directly above Sheik (25th) and thirteen places higher than Zelda (37th). Sheilda, however, is not given a specific mean of votes, and is intentionally placed above Sheik under the idea that Zelda's few advantages would make a mixed playstyle of the two characters slightly more viable than Sheik alone. Earlier revisions of the list featured significant divides between the two spots, with the seventh list featuring a gap of four places between Sheilda (21st) and Sheik (25th). Sheik's significantly nerfed KO potential is the main reason that a Sheilda position is put in Brawl, as Zelda can theoretically patch out this issue. This is also due to the tier gap between them being much smaller than in Melee.

Despite this theoretical advantage, Sheilda has rarely been used at tournaments; research by John12346 showed that both Zelda and Sheik were used more often as singular characters than as a combined unit in Brawl tournaments. The reason can be attributed to Zelda's poor tournament viability, as the character has consistently ranked as the second-least viable character in Brawl's metagame since the fifth tier list. This is also due to Transform's longer load time in Brawl, making transforming much easier to punish (and pausing to speed up the load time is not allowed in tournament play).
Similarly to the Mario Bros, Dr. Mario was ranked very high in tier lists. However, Dr. Mario was initially considered an inferior version of Mario due to his slower attacks and worse recovery, with Mario ranked higher than Dr. Mario in the tier list (usually one spot above Dr. Mario). He started off being ranked at 10th in the first tier list, 5 spots lower than Mario before rising to 7th in the second tier list right below Mario.

Many smashers such as Captain Jack began to show Dr. Mario's better attributes, such as better punish options than Mario. In 2005, Dr. Mario was recognized as a better character than Mario, placing at least one spot higher than him in the tier lists to come, officially being ranked higher than Mario at the seventh tier list. However, even with evolution in Dr. Mario's game, representation of him at tournaments was not very notable, with rarely anyone placing high enough to win money just using Dr. Mario. Similarly to the Mario Bros, he started to slowly fall down the tier list, usually at the 10th-11th spots.

It was not until 2011 when Shroomed showed Dr. Mario's powerful grab game and projectile game, placing consistently in top 8 at national tournaments such as Apex 2013 and EVO 2013. Although Shroomed no longer mains Dr. Mario exclusively and reserves him for specific matchups, Dr. Mario was still considered a solid high tiered character, sitting at 9th place at the top of the high tier in the eleventh tier list, almost making it into the top tier. However, with the decline in results and notoriety from other Dr. Mario players in the current metagame, and even Shroomed himself claiming that he's not as viable now, Dr. Mario has fell to 11th place in the twelfth and current tier list.

However, his current tier placement is very debatable. Players in the current metagame quickly notices Dr. Mario's glaring lack of top players in the top 100 rankings, while his representation and results are poorer than Luigi, Yoshi, and Ganondorf. Shroomed has also stopped using Dr. Mario as a secondary, opting for Marth instead as a secondary, and even has claimed that Mario might potentially be better than Dr. Mario (although that is heavily debatable). As a result, while Dr. Mario is still considered a solid mid tiered character, his tier placement is widely considered to be too high.

Upon SSB4's release, Dr. Mario's weaknesses, nerfs, and inability to successfully adapt to SSB4's game physics saw him widely perceived as a low tier or even bottom tier character. Despite his poor perception, Nairo surprisingly used Dr. Mario for some matches at MLG World Finals 2015 alongside Zero Suit Samus. This notably resulted in a set against ESAM that concluded with Nairo winning 3-0 against him in Losers Finals after using Dr. Mario to defeat ESAM's Pikachu for the first two matches, and his Samus for their final match. Other professionals, such as 2ManyCooks, would also proceed to achieve decent results with him.

Despite these flashes of success, as well as vocal support of Dr. Mario because of his particular strengths (having an identical moveset to Mario), his metagame has remained stagnant because of his tournament results and representation being among the most sparse in the game. These aspects have been reflected in Dr. Mario's tier placement, in which he was ranked 45th on the first tier list, before dropping to 48th on the second tier list. After Dr. Mario's best player, 2ManyCooks, dropped him in favor of Mario, alongside very few dedicated Dr. Mario players remaining, he dropped to 51st on the third tier list. However, the efforts of B7Games have seen Dr. Mario rise to 49th on the fourth and current tier list.

Overall, despite Dr. Mario's abysmal representation, his strengths will prevent him from falling to the lowest tier in the game.

Dr. Mario is noted to have received some notable changes, most notably to differentiate him from Mario. He is noted to have received some nice buffs, mostly from the game engine changes, his new down air granting him new combo and edgeguarding options, and some other QoL changes. However, at the current moment, it is difficult to rank Dr. Mario just yet.
Pichu was ranked at 24th-25th (tied with Bowser) at the first tier list. It was always seen as it was designed by the developers: as a joke character; from the start, many noted that it was completely outclassed by Pikachu, who was already considered a below-average character at the time. With its poor approach coupled with many attacks that damaged itself, including its own recovery, as well as its terrible overall reach, extremely light weight, and difficulty in putting pressure on the opponent, many professionals doubted that Pichu could ever develop a deep metagame or gain any notable professional players.

Pichu it has consistently shifted from 25th to 26th and back, competing with Bowser, Kirby, and Mewtwo for the lowest placement on the tier list. It currently ranks 24th on the tier list, ahead of Bowser and Kirby, in what is currently its best ranking on the tier list. Despite this placement, there still exists debate over Pichu's tier standing; some players believe that Pichu is still the worst character in the game due to its overall worse matchup spread than either one of its "competitors" for the position. Pichu has also failed to make an impact on any significant tournaments for several years, with none of the top 96 placers of any major Melee tournament being dedicated Pichu players, and its only players are either inactive or have better characters to choose from. Conversely, some players attest that Pichu is not the worst character in the game, due to its surprisingly powerful neutral air combos and high speed compared to Bowser or Kirby; a few top professionals (such as Mew2King) had argued in support of it the most.

Pichu is noted to have received large buffs in it's return to the series, mostly due to how it was intentionally made to be a sub-par character in Melee. These changes include benefiting from the mechanic changes in Ultimate (most notably from the removal of chaingrabbing), having increased range and power in a lot of it's attacks. Despite these buffs, it's tier placement is heavily debatable. It's buffs and similarities to Pikachu makes some think that it is a potentially very viable character (with ZeRo and ESAM being notable for these claims), while others think very lowly for Pichu due it's inferiority to Pikachu, as well as retaining it's poor range and abysmal survivalbility (due to retaining it's extremely light weight and recoil damage).
Throughout the Melee tier lists, Falco has always been in the top tiers along with Fox and Sheik, being ranked 2nd-3rd (tied with Fox) on the first tier list, with his lowest position being fifth place. In the beginning of Melee's metagame, Falco players had not yet discovered his strong combo potential. As such, they relied only on zoning out the opponent with his Blaster in the neutral game, while largely ignoring his punish game. While this defensive style of play was reasonably effective and gave Falco the results he needed to stay in the top tiers, Falco was then considered to be not only inferior to Fox, but to other top tiers such as Sheik and Marth as well, as those characters' metagames were advancing faster than his. As such, he was ranked at the 4th-5th positions until the eighth tier list.

However, this perception changed drastically after the Jack Garden Tournament, where players worldwide were introduced to Bombsoldier and his extremely aggressive interpretation of what was once considered a purely defensive character. Falco players soon realized that their approach to the character was sub-optimal, and began implementing many of Bombsoldier's strategies into their own game. In turn, Falco's results began improving dramatically. New Falco mains, most notably PC Chris, soon began pushing him to levels of play exceeding that of even Bombsoldier's. PC Chris was even able to win some of the most prestigious tournaments at the time, proving that Falco had all the tools to succeed and come out on top at the highest level of play. He was ranked at 2nd in the eighth tier list, second to only Fox.

With PC Chris retiring soon after Brawl was released in 2008, and with the concurrent rise of KoreanDJ and Mew2King (who both played Fox, among other characters), Falco saw a dip in popularity for a brief period of time. There was noticeable debate over his position at 2nd on the eighth tier list, and he fell to 4th in the ninth tier list. However, his metagame was revitalized by new world class players, such as Mango, PPMD, Westballz, and DaShizWiz, who all gave Falco results at the top level once again. Falco players continued to place extremely well, and for some time until 2014, even won more large tournaments than Fox players. This led some players at the time, such as Mew2King, to believe that Falco was a better character than Fox, with the argument that Falco succeeds in notable tournaments more consistently than Fox, while Fox's perceived superiority was based more on potential than performance. He was ranked at 2nd once again, and remained there to this day.

However, since then, there have been very few majors, if any, won by a Falco main; Fox players have since taken 1st place in many more majors, even in PAL. This is mainly due to PPMD's hiatus, the rise of Fox mains such as Leffen, and more top players electing to pick Fox in high-level tournament matches for his superior matchups against floaty characters. The Falco counterplay metagame has also advanced considerably, as professionals have greatly improved their DI and powershielding skills that make it much harder for Falco players to win the neutral game and combo opponents. As such, while it is agreed that Falco can still succeed at the top level, his position at 2nd in the tier list is once again extremely debatable.

Falco has always been one of the top/high tier characters in Brawl. Despite being overall nerfed from Melee, he possesses noticeable buffs, such as his grab game and already his strong zoning ability.

Falco was ranked 5th place on the first tier list in the top tier, and rose to 3rd in the second. He then remained at 4th from the third tier list to the sixth, before dropping to 6th on the seventh, then 7th on the eighth and current list in favor of Marth rising, at the bottom of top tier. While Falco has had many notable players contributing to his metagame (most notably DEHF and Keitaro), as well as having always had great matchups against the majority of the cast, he does have trouble against some top/high tiers, and his less successful recent tournament results holds him back from achieving the tier placements of the early Brawl metagame.

Falco has been viewed rather poorly ever since Smash 4's release. Players took little time to notice the severe nerfs to his Blaster, which was an essential component of Falco's playstyle in his previous iterations and a driving force behind his top tier placements in Melee and Brawl. The nerfs to his down aerial, another signature move of his, further contributed to his weak status, as well as being somewhat slower on the ground than in Brawl. As time went on and Falco saw little representation and almost no notable results to speak of, it became clear that his nerfs were indeed too severe for him to be even a mid tier character in the eyes of the community. This is in spite of the fact that Falco has received numerous buffs over the game's life span, due to them largely failing to address his ineffective neutral game. Meanwhile, characters like Ike, Meta Knight, Marth, and Mewtwo, who were all at some point considered similarly below-average, would go on to receive more meaningful buffs, which served to only worsen Falco's position relative to the cast. Falco's nerfs and his ongoing lack of tournament presence would lead him to place at 38th on the first tier list. He then saw drops to 49th on the second tier list, and again to 50th on the third tier list.

However, Falco has had a few noteworthy results as of lately thanks to smashers like AC and Keitaro. Many smashers have also learned that Falco has some favorable and even matchups against some of the middle and high tier characters like Villager, Mega Man, Toon Link, Olimar, and Lucas, mostly zoning characters. Due to these traits, some players have argued in support of him and believe he is rather underrated. Due to the discovery of Falco's niche matchups, he saw a slight improvement to 47th with some smashers still claiming he deserves to be even higher, with Dabuz claiming that he deserves to be in mid tier.

However, AC would then drop Falco to be rare secondary, opting to use mainly Meta Knight and gets better results focusing on him instead, while Keitaro largely dropped in results, picking up Mii Brawler as a main, and normally drowning in pools/losing early in bracket at major events. This is also combined with Bowser Jr's rise in results as well. As such, his current placement is very debatable.

Regardless, Falco holds the distinction of having the largest tier drop from Brawl to Smash 4.

Falco is noted to have received large buffs coming from SSB4. The most notable of the buffs is the universal frame 3 jumpsquat (previously frame 6), the large decrease in start-up, ending, and landing in his down air (as well as other improvements to his aerials), and his Blaster firing slightly faster and has much less ending lag on the ground. Despite these changes, his place in the Ultimate metagame is rather ambiguous.
Very early in the Melee metagame, Marth was seen as a character that relied too much on rolling and C-stick abuse, traits that led to a negative low-level perception of him despite his then-top-tier placement, being ranked 4th in the first tier list, then dropped to 5th on the second tier list in favor of Peach. Shortly before the third tier list iteration, Ken won Tournament Go 4 with Marth, introducing the uses of dash-dancing, chain throwing, and a higher focus on spacing and aerial combat, including the creation of the infamous Ken Combo. Later, Ken incorporated other advanced techniques, such as wavedashing, into Marth's metagame, and showed how powerfully he could punish enemies off small mistakes and reads. Because of this, Ken is credited for largely improving Marth's metagame. Ken, and a handful of other top Marth mains such as Azen, are credited for moving Marth up to the top tier for years to come, usually around the 2nd-4th highest spot on the list. Marth's first drop into the high tier since then was in the eighth tier list, where he dropped to 4th. However, in the ninth tier list, he again moved up to 2nd, in what became his highest tier placing in all the tier lists since the fifth tier list (where he is ranked 2nd there as well).

In the post-Brawl metagame, however, professional opinions of Marth began declining. After Mew2King's absolute dominance with Marth for a short time span around Brawl's release, Marth's placement in tournaments began to fall, as newer players learned to exploit his weaknesses, and many Marth mains, including Ken and Azen, became inactive from competitive Melee. Mew2King himself eventually switched to playing primarily Sheik, and up-and-coming Marth players, such as Tai and PewPewU, frequently struggled to make an impact at tournaments. This led to players questioning Marth's true viability in the metagame, which coincided with a drop to 5th on the tenth tier list, before rising to 4th on the eleventh tier list. Upon briefly returning to the scene in 2012, Ken notably claimed that Marth was a mid tier character who lost in every important top tier matchup. Mew2King's personal tier list in 2014 also decisively ranked Marth as 5th, claiming that while Marth could punish the entire cast solidly, he got punished too easily in return, leading to losing matchups against Fox, Falco, Sheik, and Jigglypuff on all non-Final Destination stages.

Despite this, new innovations in the modern metagame by the aforementioned PewPewU and PPMD, as well as arguments centered around Marth's frame data, as compiled by various community members such as Kadano, have maintained Marth's viability and changed several opinions concerning his tier placement. PPMD's victory at Apex 2015, where he beat several top Fox players using primarily Marth, showed that despite Marth's more apparent weaknesses today, he is still a character who can win large, top-level tournaments. Reflecting this, the twelfth and most recent tier list ranks Marth at 3rd, underneath Fox and Falco.

However, his tier placement would become debatable. Before Zain's recently improved performances and Mew2King's victory at Smash Summit 6, players would argue that he should be ranked higher than Falco, despite Falco having no losing matchups (though has a large number of even matchups). After the recent performances, people would go as far and say that Marth should be in the same tier as Fox, or even be tied with Fox as the best character in the game. However, these claims are heavily debatable and controversial. His true topic of debate would be if he is ranked 2nd over Falco or not.

Similarly to Falco, Marth has remained a top tier character even after his transition from Melee. He would be considered to be about as technically strong as his Melee incarnation. Throughout Brawl's competitive history, Marth has always hovered around the 5th to 7th place positions due to his positive traits as well as his strong representation in tournaments.

When Olimar and the Ice Climbers began to rise, Marth's position slipped back to 7th place in the seventh tier list, with some thinking he would fall further as professionals of characters below him, such as Zero Suit Samus, would discover new innovations in their metagames, while Marth's would remain mostly stagnant due to his simplistic playstyle.

However, strong tournament results from Marth professionals such as Mr. R and Mikeneko in high-level tournaments such as Apex 2013 have influenced the Brawl Back Room to place Marth at 5th above Falco and Snake in the eighth tier list. Despite Marth's accomplishments and popularity, there are smashers who dispute this placement, stating that Marth is placed far too high; a few players (such as Keitaro and Mew2King) has even claimed that Marth's nerfs going into Brawl overwhelmed his buffs, claiming that his combo ability was completely compromised in the transition, and therefore he was a bad character in theory and should be ideally placed around middle tier.

Due to these above factors, Marth's tier placement is debated, with some players arguing that other characters, such as Snake, should be placed higher than him, while others believe that this tier placement is accurate thanks to his accomplishments and his matchup spread (losing to only two characters according to it, both soft counters).

In the early lifespan of Smash 4, players quickly recognized the changes and nerfs to Marth's moveset, with players mostly picking up on his range; while still notable, and even improved in some aspects from Brawl, it was nowhere near as impressive due to other characters receiving significant range increases. This culminated in Marth being widely regarded poorly early on; however, Marth received small buffs in balance patches, and by the time of updates 1.0.8 and 1.1.0, Marth received some notable buffs that helped mitigate some of his initial issues, which contributed to the growth of his playerbase, thanks to dedicated players such as False, Mr. E, and Pugwest. While Marth's results were still poor overall, the buffs improved his perception as a character, culminating in him being ranked 41st on the first tier list, confirming his status as a low tiered character, ranking lower than Roy, but higher than Lucina.

Marth would continue to improve with time, and gained his most significant buffs in updates 1.1.3 and 1.1.4. These buffs, supplemented with previous ones, allowed Marth's game to flow far more consistently, and allowed his playerbase to gain significantly better and more consistent results. His playerbase continued to grow significantly, with players like Fuwa gaining results in Japan, one of his driest regions for results. In the USA and Canada, Mr. E was able to place 5th at KTAR XVII, 17th at GOML 2016, and 13th at EVO 2016 (defeating ZeRo 2-1 in the latter tournament), while Pugwest placed 17th at Pound 2016 and EVO 2016, and False placed 17th at GOML 2016, with such results before the patch being almost unspoken of for him. Most notably, MKLeo begun bringing in abundant results: this included 1st place at Smash Factor 5 while using Marth through a majority of the tournament, and notably resetting the Grand Finals bracket against Mr.R's Sheik 3-0. Overall, Marth gained between the 12th and 16th best overall tournament results from patch 1.1.4 to present time, and all of these traits allowed Marth to rise to 19th on the second official tier list, gaining the second largest rise between the first and second tier lists, and gained a status of a high tiered character.

While his placement on the second tier list was considered to be fairly accurate, some top players (e.g, ZeRo and Dabuz) believed Marth to be too low, and his increasing tournament success further called his placement into question: Leo won Canada Cup 2016 after beating Ally in very close sets of Grand Finals with Marth, he beat ZeRo 3-0 at 2GGT: ZeRo Saga in Losers Semi-finals and turned around a harsh deficit in Grand Finals against Larry Lurr using only Marth, and he won GENESIS 4 using Marth for the entirety of Top 8 (although he used Cloud exclusively prior to this). These even stronger results have helped Marth rise further in the third and current tier list, at 10th place, this tier rise being the third highest between the second and third tier lists, and is now a top tiered character and the highest ranked Fire Emblem character.

However, while Marth has continued to perform well in the current metagame and has achieved strong results, his current placement has been recently disputed due to some smashers viewing MkLeo as the only Marth player to place very high at major tournaments, while MkLeo himself has used his other main, Cloud, more frequently over Marth. Mr. E has also began to use Lucina more often in tournament. In addition, characters ranked below him on the tier list such as Corrin have placed higher than Marth in tournaments as of late. As a result of this, Marth dropped one spot to 11th place.
While his tier position is still debatable, he has nevertheless noticeably improved during the lifespan of the game, and is one of the characters that has developed the most, alongside Mewtwo.

Players generate a very positive reception of Marth in Ultimate. He has received notable buffs thanks to the game engine change of Ultimate boosting his overall mobility to almost Melee levels, as well as retaining his strengths from SSB4. The biggest nerf is to his grounded specials, most notably to his jab, as it lacks the utility his SSB4 counterpart has. Overall, he is widely considered to be a viable character in Ultimate similar to his past iterations, with some considering him and Lucina potentially one of the best characters in the game.
Young Link has always been placed in the mid-low tiers, ranking as low as 20th, due to his slow projectile game and lack of KOing power. For a long time, he was considered inferior to Link due to his adult counterpart having greater range, better KOing power, and just as good of a recovery. He is ranked 15th-16th (tied with Captain Falcon) on the first tier list, and remained at the 17th-20th range for years to come.

However, Young Link has seen greater usage than Link in major tournaments. Most notably, Armada used to play Young Link to counter Hungrybox's Jigglypuff, and Axe also has considerable practice with using Young Link in tournament; both of them take advantage of Young Link's speed and better combo ability to win matches, and these traits eventually allowed Young Link to pull ahead of Link in the tier list, doing so at the eleventh tier list (being ranked 15th there). However, outside of Armada and Axe, active dedicated Young Link mains are few and far between; as a result, Young Link is considered a very niche character in the metagame, and is expected to remain in the mid-low tiers. He is currently ranked 16th in the twelfth tier list, two places higher than Link, and his tier placement is widely considered to be accurate.

Young Link is perceived very well upon his return to the series. Everyone pointed out the numerous buffs and revamps to his physics and moveset, effectively making him a more effective version of SSB4 Link. The most notable of these improvements is to him having a much more noticeable fastfall, short hop Fire Arrows being a great zoning option, improved combo potential, improved recovery, and improved aerials (most notably to down air). Thanks to these changes, some players early on believe that he can potentially be one of the game's finest characters, while others believe him to be slightly overrated due to his issues KO'ing opponents and well as his poor range.
Ganondorf's tier placement has fluctuated throughout Melee's history. He was considered a mid-high to high tiered character at the start of Melee. Although Ganondorf's slow speed and poor recovery was acknowledged, his great power helped him maintain his ground with the rest of the cast. This is also boosted by having a niche matchup against floaty characters (like Ice Climbers). He would be ranked at 11th-12th (tied with Ice Climbers) in the first tier list, and constantly remained at the 8th-11th position until the most recent tier list. He would even be ranked higher than Captain Falcon for the first, second, and fourth tier lists as well.

However as the metagame progressed along with the rise of Pikachu, Luigi, and Yoshi, Ganondorf's tier placement started to falter. This is reflected in the most recent tier list where he is ranked 14th, at the top of the mid-low tier, and the lowest he has ever placed.

However, his tier placement would be debatable. Some players would claim that his matchup spread, strengths in comparison to the other characters in E tier, and having a (two is n0ne is counted) top representative in the Melee 2017 Top 100 Rankings, warranted Ganondorf a higher notability in a future tier list, whether it is a slight rise in placement, or being in the C tier, or both. However, other players (particularly top players) are critical of his weaknesses, claiming that he is overrated, and that his position is either accurate or slightly too high.

Ganondorf initially was not seen as the worst character, being ranked above Link and Captain Falcon on the first tier list (35th), and was still ranked above Captain Falcon on the second tier list (36th). From the third tier list on however, Ganondorf has been consistently ranked the worst character, and, on the fifth tier list, was considered to be so much worse than everyone else he was ranked in his own tier at the absolute bottom.

Despite his reputation as the worst character, he has a dedicated playerbase that has achieved better tournament success than most other bottom/low tier characters (however minor it is). A player named Fonz even once won a legitimate tournament using Ganondorf (except for in one match), an accomplishment players of most other low/bottom tier characters have not been able to achieve. As such, with Ganondorf's better tournament success compared to most other low/bottom characters, there has been some dispute on if Ganondorf is actually the worst character in Brawl, with Zelda and Jigglypuff frequently being cited as even worse. Interestingly, the Japanese do not consider Ganondorf the worst character, and actually have him listed above five other characters on their tier list.

However, this is largely contributed to his ability to abuse mistakes from lower level players. As such, Ganondorf is ranked as the worst character in the most recent tier list, possessing extreme weaknesses and the undisputed worst matchup spread in the game (which is the one of the worst in the entire series, alongside Smash 64 Donkey Kong in the Japanese version of the game).

Public consensus on Ganondorf in Smash 4 has risen and fallen throughout the game's history despite his numerous direct buffs, although the general consensus is that he is noticeably better than he was in Brawl. Hopes were high when the game was released due to the very noticeable buffs and the very large benefit of the change of mechanics, with some players often drawing comparisons to his Melee self. Players such as Gungnir and Matt Hazard were already earning impressive results, with the latter even defeating Mew2King in a now-infamous 3DS set. This excitement, however would gradually die off following the Wii U release, as while many characters like Sheik and Diddy Kong benefited from the discovery of new tech and a better controller setup, Ganondorf proved to not be as mechanically intensive as many would have thought. Even despite numerous buffs between game updates, the metagame continued to develop, leaving Ganondorf behind for the most part, which inevitably led to his 54th placing in the bottom tier of the first tier list.

Despite this, Ganondorf proved to be surprisingly popular in competitive play for a bottom tier character, gaining a reputation as a "disrespectful" character thanks to his low tier standing and extravagant punishes. As such, he has garnered much better results than most other bottom tiered characters (and even out-placing most low tiered ones such as Dr. Mario and Wii Fit Trainer), especially in Japan and Eastern Canada, both places of where there is a surprisingly large number of Ganondorf players. He then dropped to the third-worst position on the second tier list, at 56th, due to the inclusion of Corrin and Bayonetta. Thanks to big advancements to his metagame, as well as still having good results for a poorly regarded character, Ganondorf was ranked 53rd on the third tier list, allowing him to rise out of the "bottom five" position; furthermore, with the abolishment of the "bottom" tier ranking, Ganondorf was then ranked as a low tier character. However, despite Ganondorf gaining a few notable results in a major scale, with Gungnir placing 17th at Umebura Japan Major 2017 (also upsetting Earth during the tournament) and adom placing 9th at Syndicate 2017, both with solo Ganondorf, and he retains his placing at 53rd on the fourth and current tier list, though he dropped to being the third worst character, after the exclusion of Miis from the most recent tier list. As such, Ganondorf's true tier placing is still very debatable, especially after King Dedede's drop in overall results and interest, and his surprisingly good placings at 2GG: Hyrule Saga (peaking at 49th) for an event at that scale and the Ganondorf player's projected seeding (being 129th). During that weekend, Pon managed to defeat Ally at Triforce Friday, while Rickles defeats K9sbruce at Hyrule Saga as well.

Altogether, Ganondorf has improved notably from his Brawl incarnation, where he was not only considered the worst character, but he was indisputably a bottom tier character and his worst matchups were far more difficult to win than most bad matchups in the game. While Ganondorf keeps being consistently ranked either among or barely outside of the "bottom five" characters on the Western and European scenes, the Japanese scene is still more optimistic about the character, especially after Gungnir's high placing.

Ganondorf has received heavy buffs. Many of his attacks are much faster, he is significantly benefited from the frame 3 jumpsquat and the heavy landing lag decrease in his aerials (with his n-air in particular being frightening with this regard), his overall mobility is noticeably higher, the advent of dash canceling boosts the utility of his tilts, and his grounded Flame Choke received a significant combo ability buff. Some of his previous situational attacks, such as his up tilt, has been granted with new utility. Finally, bugs that were present in his previous designs, namely the landing lag glitch on his up and side B's, alongside his f-air autocanceling window coded improperly, are fixed in Ultimate.

Overall, Ganondorf in Smash Ultimate is widely considered to be the best iteration of Ganondorf in the series, with some calling him to have the potential of a high tiered character. Others, however, are skeptimistic over his potential place in the metagame due to retaining his poor recovery, and he retains his heavyweight status and large body which makes him susceptible to combos and juggles from certain characters. Overall, his placement is debatable.
Mewtwo has traditionally placed very low in tier lists, with a very small playerbase dedicated to using it. It was initially seen as the worst character in the game, according to the first tier list, and hovered around the bottom 4 spots for many years, once even falling back into last place at the eighth tier list.

Mewtwo eventually moved out of the bottom tier due to increasing tournament placings by Taj, who is widely considered to be one of the best Mewtwo players in the world, though it never surfaced into the higher tiers. It rose to 20th in the tenth list, and to 21st at the and eleventh and twelfth (current) tier list. Although Taj has been far less active, players such as Zoma, and occasionally Leffen and Mew2King have represented Mewtwo in larger competitive tournaments, although this is very rare to happen. As a result, Mewtwo is considered non-viable for serious play.

Mewtwo's return to the series was initially met positively, as players had soon noticed its increased mobility, power, and range, which in turn led to it being perceived as a mid tier character. However, players also lamented the nerfs to Mewtwo's already poor endurance. When coupled with other issues that became more prominent over the time, players gradually started to agree that Mewtwo's improved offense was not sufficient enough to compensate, in a case similar to pre-patch Ike. While these drawbacks saw Mewtwo's perception plummet, some players insisted that Mewtwo was underrated and that critics were too focused on its frailty to see its positive traits. As time went on, Mewtwo received buffs via game updates, most notably to its mobility and aerials. These improvements led it to be ranked 37th on the first tier list, which established it as a low tier character like in Melee.

After Mewtwo's dashing speed was further increased in update 1.1.5, alongside numerous other buffs such as his frame data and mo es with overall better utility, players such as Abadango, Rich Brown, and WaDi began placing higher with it in tournaments, and showed that its powerful offensive potential now outweighed its defensive shortcomings. Abadango, in particular, managed to win Pound 2016 in a dominant fashion using Mewtwo (aside from one set against Dabuz). This resulted in a drastic improvement in Mewtwo's perception within the community, which was reflected in it being ranked 10th on the second tier list. This new ranking was notable for not only reassessing it as a top tier character but for also being the largest tier rise between the first and second tier lists. Mewtwo's continued success led to it being ranked 9th on the third tier list, which reaffirmed its status as a top tier character.

Despite WaDi achieving some very notable results, such as placing 5th at Super Smash Con 2017 and 2GGC: MkLeo Saga, Mewtwo's tournament presence has slightly waned since then, owing to players becoming more capable of exploiting its weaknesses. This was further compounded by its best player, Abadango, picking up Bayonetta as a co-main and using her more often. Due to its slightly worsened perception and results, Mewtwo has dropped to 10th on the fourth and current tier list. WaDi's continued success in 2018, as well as the successes of other Mewtwo players like SDX, made some players question if he should rise even further or remain in his current tier placing. Nevertheless, Mewtwo is one the characters who has improved the most from their previous incarnation.

Mewtwo's changes coming into SSB4 has been noticed very early. A few of his previous abuseable tools, such as his fantastic airdodge, down tilt, and recovery potential in Confusion, has been toned down in this iteration. However, he has received other significant buffs that buffs him overall. His tilts have been given much better utility (and down tilt, despite the endlag nerf, is still a powerful tool), his previously abusable f-air has gotten a range buff, his up throw is slightly stronger than it already is, and his double jump animation takes a shorter time which improves his recovery and combo game. Other than that, his previous strengths that allowed him to be a solid top tiered character in SSB4 appears to be retained. Overall, he is seen as a very solid character, with some calling him one of the best characters in the game.
Roy as a competitive character has been ranked very low on most revisions of the tier list, with his highest rank being 15th on two separate occasions (being the fifth and seventh tier lists). Despite boasting some decent attacks and a great SHFFL, Roy has ranked low primarily because of his risky, unsafe approach, stemming from the poor sweetspot placement of his sword; Roy's physics had also harmed his tier placing, as his high falling speed makes him easy to combo, creating poor synergy with his risky approach that favors close-ranged fighting, and it also causes his recovery to become considerably worse than most other characters.

Roy's metagame also did not boast the potential creativity of other characters, especially Marth, owing to his over-reliance on his very few KO moves; while NEO demonstrated surprising prowess with him, with several top 8 finishes in the early Melee metagame, a lack of dedicated Roy mains since have prevented Roy's metagame from evolving, and most of Roy's previous mains have either become inactive in the tournament scene or have dropped him for other characters, hurting Roy's results in tournaments. Arguably Roy's only notable results in the current Melee metagame have been via Mew2King and PewPewU, who occasionally use him in games against lower-leveled players or in smaller-scale tournaments, as a weaker substitute for their usual Marth. On the twelfth and current tier list, Roy currently ranks 20th, and is considered non-viable at high level play. His inferiority to Marth has led him to be one of the most popular characters by spectators (which would lead to him returning to SSB4 via DLC).

Roy's initial perception among the community was very positive; players almost immediately recognized his powerful offense due to the prominent strengths of his sweetspotted attacks, heavily damaging throw set-ups, and significantly improved mobility. These views were especially noted because his semi-clone, Marth, and by extension Lucina, were considered poor characters at the time. Despite his extremely low representation, which is unseen of a perceived high tier character, most of the community believed that Roy was a viable character, with ZeRo notably going as far as saying he was the best sword-wielding character in the game.

Even so, his viability was also disputed due to his sparse tournament representation and results. Furthermore, characters considered worse than him received a variety of buffs in later updates, with a corresponding increase in tournament results and representation than Roy, while his weaknesses were made much more apparent to the community. As such, opinions on Roy quickly started to change due to his vulnerability to combos, weak recovery, and how his playstyle requires him to use close-ranged combat despite his ineffective approach and unimpressive range. In spite of these flaws and his sparse representation and results, Roy was ranked 32nd on the first tier list, placing him at the top of the low tier. However, update 1.1.4 granted Marth and Lucina major buffs that significantly increased their effectiveness, while Roy only gained minor landing lag decreases to his aerials. This resulted in them, especially Marth, achieving improved results from professionals and saw their opinions reassessed as those of a high tier and a mid tier character, respectively. Conversely, Roy remained a low tier character due to the minimal effectiveness of his buffs from update 1.1.4.

His position relative to the cast was still disputed; some professionals like ZeRo reconsidered him to be on the lower portion of the mid tier, whereas others like Abadango considered him one of the worst characters in the game. In spite of his sparse tournament representation, he received some results from the few professionals who do main him. The biggest upset occurred at Super Smash Con 2016, where Ryo went on a two-game win streak while using Roy against Abadango's Mewtwo. Although Abadango would defeat Ryo in their third match by counterpicking with Rosalina & Luma, he only did so narrowly. These results, however, were not enough to repair Roy's negative perception, and subsequently saw Roy being ranked 50th on the second tier list, placing him at the bottom of the low tier, as well being the lowest ranked Fire Emblem character.

Afterwards, three Roy players in Manny, VoiD, and ScAtt, managed to place 4th, 7th, and 25th, respectively, at Smash the Record 2016, with the former two having played against each other in a Roy ditto. Ryo also managed to achieve better results with Roy. When coupled with Ryo's previous feat at Super Smash Con, Roy was ranked 44th on the third tier list, placing him in the upper portion of the low tier. Despite Ryo dropping Roy in favor of solo-maining Ike (and using Corrin as a secondary), Roy's results would improve even further after Captain Levi's high placing of 9th at Smash Factor 6 (while upsetting Kameme) and 33rd at 2GGC: Fire Emblem Saga, and Serge reaching 7th at Smash Factor 6 with Roy as a secondary, and komorikiri defeating CaptainZack at 2GG Championship with Roy. Thanks to this, Roy slightly rose to 42nd on the fourth and current tier list.

At 2018, while Roy's results would become slightly more stable, they are not as impressive as the characters ranked above him and a few below him, especially Pac-Man. This is due to his mains not obtaining the spark of results they once did, with komorikiri mostly dropping Roy after failing to get an upset with him at Frostbite 2018. Although Hyper did get 25th at MomoCon 2018, his results still remain noticeably unimpressive for a highly praised character. His results in local and (to a lesser extent) regional tournaments would become slightly more consistent to his credit though. As a result, while some players would say that he is underrated (as he is a character quite notorious for those claims), his current tier placement is widely considered to be accurate for the time being.

Nevertheless, Roy has overall improved from his Melee incarnation despite retaining many of his key weaknesses.

In Ultimate, Roy's significant buffs coming from SSB4 has been immediately noticed. The game engine of Ultimate has drastically improved Roy in many ways: with initial dashes been standardized, this grants Roy a much better grounded approach and burst option, as his was rather poor in SSB4 despite his fast dash speed; his air speed and air acceleration has been increased (especially noticeable for the latter, as his air acceleration is one of the worst in SSB4), which combined with the much less landing lag in his aerials, grants Roy much more reliable approach options, something that his previous incarnations lack. This, combined with the increase in his sweetspots, allow Roy to play the close quarters combat much better than his previous incarnations, and allow him to bets utilize his retained strengths. He has also received other QoL changes (most notably to his forward air and Double-Edge Dance) to compliment these buffs.

As such, Roy is considered to be a much better character than his previous incarnations, and is considered to be a potential high tiered, or even top tiered character thanks to these changes. Some players do think that he is slightly overrated, mostly due to retaining his fast-fall physics and exploitable recovery, giving him issues in disadvantage.
Mr. Game & Watch has always been considered a weak and relatively underpowered character, ranking 23rd in the first tier list. This stems from negative traits ranging from light weight, ease of getting KOed, iffy approaching options, lag in his many of his attacks, and the inability to L-cancel some of his aerials. As such, he never really took off in competitive play, and wasn't ranked over 22nd until the eighth tier list.

But, similar to Jigglypuff, a small group of smashers discovered that Mr. Game & Watch had at least some potential, as his glass-cannon playstyle meant that flashy combos were definitely in the realm of possibility. The most prolific of these has been Qerb, who has placed consistently around the top 64 and top 96 of many major tournaments. A few other successful Game & Watch players include GimR and MrLz. Unfortunately, very few others have been able to overcome his downfalls, and Mr. Game & Watch remains in tier list limbo. He is currently ranked at 19th in the twelfth and current tier list, at the top of low tier.

However, a few players, particularly some of the top players, believe that Game & Watch is underrated and should be ranked slightly higher, which is a view that is partly convinced by Qerb's 13th placing at Bad Moon Rising 2. However, he has failed to obtain similar results, drowning in pools at Genesis 5 as an example of this.

Mr. Game & Watch was at first considered to be a top tier character, ranking as high as 4th place on the first tier list, which is also his highest placing so far. Players took little time to notice his significant buffs from Melee, possessing disjointed reach, disproportionately high power, great aerial game, and Bucket Braking capabilities, which made him very difficult to KO as well as edgeguard, while also being efficient on both points.

His position, however, started to decline starting on the second tier list, where he was ranked at 5th place: while he possessed several advantages that made him a formidable threat, his weaknesses later became more and more exploitable. His largest tier drop occurred on the transition to the fourth tier list, dropping from 8th to 12th from the third one. He would later rise negligibly on the fifth tier list to 11th, before starting to drop again on subsequent versions. Currently, he is ranked 16th on the tier list at the upper mid tier: while he is still a relatively viable character, his notable disadvantages don't let him easily beat other top tiered characters, most notably Meta Knight, Ice Climbers, and Marth, though his strengths are enough to face other top and high tiered threats like Pikachu, Lucario, Wario, and King Dedede.

Since the early metagame, Mr. Game & Watch has maintained a mixed perception in regard to his tier placement and viability, due to the fact that he had been nerfed overall in his transition from Brawl. Players acknowledged his heavily damaging combos, raw power, and having one of the best recoveries in the game, but also his very light weight, lackluster range, and sub-par grab game. Mr. Game & Watch's results had always been rather obscure until EVO 2015, where Regi placed 13th, and opinions of his potential became more positive over time due to some decent results brought by GimR as well. However, his weaknesses, plus his large scarcity of his results, led him to being ranked 35th on the first tier list, confirming his status as a low tiered character.

However, Mr. Game & Watch's overall tournament results and representation still remain rather low in competitive play, even with the recent high placings of KOSSismoss and Regi's relatively higher placing of 17th (out of 2,662 entrants) at EVO 2016. Regardless, these results allowed Mr. Game & Watch to only negligibly drop to 37th on the second tier list, a drop attributable to the inclusion of Corrin and Bayonetta, due to their absence from the first tier list. Despite these traits, and due to the fact his tournament success have dropped compared to summer 2016, he dropped to 40th on the third tier list (although reassessed as a mid tiered character), before rising to 39th on the fourth and current tier list.

Overall, Mr. Game & Watch obtains an odd trait of placing very high in a major event per year, then disappearing into getting respectable results in only a local (and in the case for Mexico and Australia, regional) level. While his results remain scarce, his rather high placings have allowed him not to drop significantly on the tier list, which is a trend that continues into 2018 as well. However, his placements, while his peaks still follow the same trend, would become slightly more consistent as time goes on. As Maister would also get a spot on the PGR (being ranked 44th) thanks to his good performances, some players believe that he deserves a slightly higher placement (with ESAM putting him as high as 29th in his tier list).

Mr. Game & Watch's improvements has been noticed early on: his entire moveset has received a noticeable buff in more ways than one. The most notable is to: up air, as despite the knockback reduction, is much easier to land, and is now a devastating juggle option; up tilt has been reworked, as it now grants invincibility to Game & Watch's hands, connects more reliably, and has increased range; his new forward air grants Game & Watch an edgeguarding and landing option, in which he struggles to land; his down smash can now bury opponents, which can lead to potential followups; Oil Panic now reflects physical projectiles, as well as retaining it's ability to absorb energy based projectiles, improving the move's utility; Fire's new frame 2 hitbox could potentially grant him a better combo break and/or OoS option.

Overall, he is considered to have noticeably improved in the transition. Nevertheless, his place in the metagame is ambiguous, and whether he is better than his Brawl incarnation is rather unknown.
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Smash Champion
Jan 10, 2018
Competitive History of Brawl Veterans

Last Updated: 10/23/18

They are basically heavily edited versions of Smashwiki's sections of them. Some of them don't even have a section on them in Smashwiki, so research was even harder.

Meta Knight has been ranked 1st on the tier list since a few months after the game's release, although some players believed Snake was the best character. However, as Brawl's metagame evolved, his advantages in combat became more prominent, and Meta Knight mains such as Mew2King began dominating tournaments. As a result, Meta Knight was (and still is by the overwhelming majority) considered the undisputed best character, and has consistently held the top spot, commonly in his own tier above the rest of the cast.

Due to his strengths as a fighter, more competitive Brawl players use Meta Knight over any other character. This reflects in his tournament results, where it is not rare to see almost half of any given top eight in Meta Knight legal tournaments using Meta Knight, and Meta Knight has won almost three times the amount of money in tournaments than the second-most successful character, Snake. Many players has also abandoned their former mains overtime, in favor of Meta Knight. He is also notorious for being the reason why certain characters (such as King Dedede, Pit, and R.O.B.) are not ranked higher on the list, due to having a bad matchup against Meta Knight. His matchup spread, in general, is the most dominant in the entire series, losing to no one, and going even with only one character: Pikachu, although that matchup has been heavily disputed, with even the best Pikachu player/optimist ESAM claiming that it is in Meta Knight's favor. These factors have cemented Meta Knight's placement at the top of the tier list for the entirety of the Brawl metagame.

However, with recent innovations in the Ice Climbers' metagame, especially their chain grab setups capable of annihilating any player given a single opportunity, Meta Knight is finally being challenged by some professional smashers as not being the undisputed best character in practice. Despite this, Meta Knight still remains first place, in his own tier above the cast, with the Ice Climbers currently right below him.

Due to his perceived "brokenness" and over-centralization of the metagame, Meta Knight's tournament legality was disputed at length for the entirety of Brawl's lifetime. It is currently up to the Tournament Organizers to determine if Meta Knight should be banned or not from their events. For more info on his legality history:


Upon SSB4's release, Meta Knight's heavy nerfs were quickly noticed. The severity of his shorter recovery, hitbox durations and range, lack of transcendent priority, and slightly slower attack speed all contributed to the perception that he was a mid tier character at best, as he now required a much more aggressive playstyle.

However, after being buffed over several game updates and seeing increasingly noteworthy results from some of his players from Brawl and new players across different regions, most famously MkLeo, top players such as ZeRo re-evaluated their opinions on Meta Knight. This saw a subsequent rise in Meta Knight's popularity; Mr. R and Nairo occasionally used him and Abadango decided to main him, with his perceived advantageous matchup against the top tier Rosalina & Luma boosting his metagame even further due to it rendering him as a valuable counterpick. Players started to acknowledge Meta Knight's KO potential, superb frame data, still great recovery, and proficiency at edge-guarding as being reliable against the entire cast, while his Rufio combo could KO any character at some of the lowest percentages possible if performed correctly, all of which were traits that he retained from Brawl. As a result, Meta Knight was subsequently ranked at 10th on the first tier list. However, many players believed he should have been ranked even higher, with a major reason being that he was considered to lack notably disadvantageous matchups aside from Sheik.

However, Meta Knight's status went into a sudden decline after his up aerial combos, which were pivotal to his success, had been nerfed in update 1.1.5. As a result, several of his best players either began to pick up more secondaries (such as Tyrant adopting Sheik and Diddy Kong), transition him into a secondary (such as MkLeo adopting Cloud and Marth as his new mains), or even drop him entirely (such as Katakiri and Seibrik). Although Meta Knight has maintained his high tier status throughout SSB4's lifespan thanks to his solid punishment game, popularity as a counterpick to Rosalina & Luma, and his playerbase consistently achieving good results, he has steadily dropped on subsequent tier lists regardless. He has since dropped to 13th on the second tier list, then to 14th on the third tier list and, despite MkLeo bringing better results after using him once again, he has recently dropped once again to 16th on the fourth and current tier list. However, as the latest tier list was finalized within MkLeo's stellar performance with Meta Knight at 2GG Championship, some players believe that he should be ranked over Pikachu, who sits directly above him.

His tier placement is very debatable. After Niconico Tokaigi 2018, MkLeo stopped using Meta Knight in major events, favoring Bayonetta as a counterpick/secondary character over him. Also, Fatality and Samsora would bring about excellent results with Captain Falcon and Peach, respectively, alongside the Pikachu player ESAM getting 7th at Genesis 5. However, players has also pointed out the Meta Knight's great results as well, with AC getting 9th at EVO Japan and 5th at Switchfest, while an rising star player Rags managed to get 5th at Glitch 4 and 7th at Smash'N'Splash 4, both players taking notable names off of players using solo Meta Knight at those events.

Views of Pit have been overall an upper mid tiered character throughout competitive history. He was credited for having numerous damage racking tools, possesses one of the best camping / edgeguard tools in his arrows, two reflectors, and a versatile recovery. He was also lamented for his difficulty KO'ing opponents and a glaring weak point in his recovery (getting hit out of his up B makes him unable to use it until he grabs ledge or touch the ground). He ranked 15th in the first tier list as a lower high tiered character. He then took a noticeable drop to 18th in the second tier list, then to 17th in the third tier list, due to his minimal representation. He then shot up to 13th in the fourth tier list at the top of mid tier, thanks to the results of Pit players like Earth, Kiraflax, and Koolaid.

However, views of Pit started to drop down. He still possesses minimal representation, and he is also criticized for his poor matchup against Meta Knight, which is further combined with Koolaid dropping Pit for that said character, despite Pit only losing only a handful of characters and losing -2 to only Meta Knight. He dropped back to 18th in the fifth tier list, and then to his all time worse: 21st at the sixth tier list. The continued efforts of his dedicated mains, however, calmed down these heavy criticisms. He rose back to 18th in the seventh tier list, and then slightly rose to 17th in the eighth (current) tier list.

Thanks to Earth's and Masashi's consistently strong results at Japan tournaments, he is ranked significantly higher in the Japan tier list, being ranked 8th at their top tier.

Pit has been perceived as a mid tier character since SSB4's release. Despite his playerbase and tournament results being among the most sparse, players such as Chompy, Earth, KiraFlax, Kuro, and Plastic Poptart spearheaded his metagame and proved he is still a rather viable character in competitive play. This consensus also applied to his clone, Dark Pit, because of their very minor gameplay differences. Earth's efforts in competitive play, most notably placing 13th at GENESIS 3, further cemented Pit's viability. As a result, he was ranked 18th on the first tier list as an upper mid tiered character, which placed him one spot below Dark Pit.

Although Pit's tournament results had been impressive up to this point, they have never been as consistent as other mid tier characters. Despite Earth placing 9th and 25th at EVO 2016 and GENESIS 4, respectively, Pit's consistently sparse results and very small playerbase hindered his standing within subsequent tier lists. He would be ranked 24th on the second list, placing him three spots above Dark Pit, then dropped to 30th/31st on the third tier list, tying him with Dark Pit. As the meta progresses, it has been revealed that Pit has indeed lost more than he gained from Brawl, and was outclassed by some of the higher ranked characters with similar attributes and learning curve (such as Mario, Lucina, and Cloud). Although Earth generally still gets good results with the character, he also co-mains him with Corrin. He then finally dropped to 32nd/33rd on the fourth and current tier list.

As Earth begins to have inconsistent showings at tournaments (mostly as a result of being semi-active and not traveling to the USA) many players believe that Pit's position is rather too high, and should drop lower in mid tier, especially since other mid tier characters such as Samus, Shulk, R.O.B., and Wario, has displayed better results. However, the viewpoint of Pit has gotten worse to the point to where Dabuz put him in upper low tier, claiming that Pit's "honesty" as a character holds him back severely to that point, although that is heavily debatable.

From the E3 demo, players immediately noticed the large buffs given to Pit, which includes better linking multi-hits, moves that flow into eachother much better, better projectile game, his long distance recovery becoming more important in Ultimate, and the nerfs to his more challenging matchups. As a result, he is considered to be a much better character than his Brawl or SSB4 incarnations, with Dabuz (who is infamous in SSB4 for considering Pit to be a bad character) believing that he may be a potential threat in the metagame as a result of these buffs.
Zero Suit Samus was originally a mid tier character, ranked 21st on the first tier list, as her strengths and versatility was not seen very much yet, criticized for her lack of grounded neutral game, her KO setups would be unknown at the time, and her recovery was seen as much more linear than right now.

However, as Zero Suit Samus mains such as Snakeee and Nick Riddle showed how effective her aerial game and combo abilities are, she rose to 16th place on the second tier list, then stayed at 15th until the fifth tier list, where she jumped into the high tiers at 13th place. She rose again to 12th in the sixth tier list, and 10th in the seventh list. It was during this time as players have seen how powerful her character strengths are, with players like V115, Salem, and NIck Riddle pushing her metagame at a high level, which came with more abusement of her Power Suit Pieces' early advantage. Due to Salem winning Apex 2013 using only Zero Suit Samus, she rose to 9th place in the eighth and current tier list. Some people even believe that she belongs in the bottom of the top tiers; whether her current position is accurate or should be higher has been disputed.

Zero Suit Samus has been widely been viewed as a top tier character ever since SSB4 was released. She became infamous for her highly rewarding grab combos that could lead into early KOs, varied methods of setting up KOs with her back and down throws, down smash, and Paralyzer, her ability to escape pressure with her aerial mobility and down special, and, as of update 1.1.1, the incredible safety of her electric attacks like her neutral aerial. However, she also has a few weaknesses, such as her laggy grab and lackluster ground game. Although players would often point out both her weaknesses and her representation only being above average for a perceived top tier character, Zero Suit Samus' weaknesses were also perceived as negligible.

Additionally, her top tier status was supplemented by the efforts of dedicated professionals, most notably Marss, Nairo, Nick Riddle, Remzi, and V115, who dominated their respective regions with her and whose tournament results had been sufficient enough to position her as the second best character in the game in the eyes of most players. Nairo's efforts in particular have demonstrated the former points: he is one of the best SSB4 players in the world, consistently achieves top 8 placings at major tournaments (most notably winning MLG World Finals 2015) and became the first person to eliminate ZeRo, the undisputed best player in the world, from a tournament. Other notable placings included Nick Riddle placing 2nd at Paragon Orlando 2015 and 7th at CEO 2015, and Marss placing 7th at GENESIS 3. Thanks to these very strong tournament results, Zero Suit Samus was ranked 2nd on the first tier list.

However, Zero Suit Samus received nerfs from game updates, with update 1.1.5 providing her most significant ones by exacerbating her grab game's lag issues, and somewhat toning down her immense strengths. These nerfs ultimately affected her results, with some of her main players eventually being outperformed by other characters, such as Cloud, which in turn saw her playerbase slightly shrink. Zero Suit Samus' downturn was reflected in her subsequent tier placements, as she lost her top 3 status by being ranked 8th on the second tier list, and then lost her top 10 status by being ranked 11th on the third tier list, though still possesses her top tier position in both.

However as of recently, Zero Suit Samus has had a huge spike in results thanks to Marss and Nairo placing top 2 at many major tournaments, most notably Nairo's win at Super Smash Con 2017 while using Zero Suit Samus a majority of the tournament. Due to these impressive results and her ladder combos still being very frightening, her tier spot has been debated once again as many smashers claim that she should be ranked much higher due to her most recent results and these results being more impressive that characters ranked above her such as Sheik, Mario, Rosalina, Mewtwo, and Marth. This is reflected by Zero Suit Samus's return to the top 10 on the fourth (current) tier list, being ranked 6th. In today's metagame, her tier placement is widely considered to be accurate, although she has been rivaled by Fox for the 6th position.

Wario was initially ranked at 8th place in the high tier on the first Brawl tier list, everyone noticing his strengths since the beginning of Brawl. However, as the metagame developed, Fiction, TheReflexWonder, and other dedicated Wario mains began achieving dominance at nationals, such as FAST 1 and GENESIS; these players demonstrated the usefulness of his great aerial mobility and powerful KO options, and as a result, Wario quickly shot up the tier list, reaching as high as 3rd on the third tier list. Although he was considered one of the best characters in the game at this point, his position at the top of the tier list did not last for long. Meta Knight's continuing prominence in competitive highlighted Wario's trouble versus the character due to his lack of disjointed reach, and many Wario mains, such as Fiction, became inactive in the scene or dropped Wario for other characters. He then gradually fell down the tier list afterwards, and is currently ranked 10th in the high tier at the eighth (current) tier list.

Despite being a solid high tier character in singles, Wario is considered one of the best doubles characters in the game, because his aerial mobility serves as a powerful disruption tool, allowing him to easily maneuever among a field of four players. He also possesses two of the most reliable combo and KO setups in his down throw and forward throw, and his half-charged Wario Waft has become notorious for swinging the momentum of a match with an extremely early kill (which also applies to singles as well). Wario remained one of the most popular doubles picks throughout Brawl's competitive lifetime, and many players, most notably Ally, brought out a pocket Wario in doubles to great success. False and NAKAT's double Wario team in particular was feared as one of the strongest doubles teams in the United States in 2013 and 2014, with victories over ADHD and Nairo and a second place finish at SKTAR 2.

Wario was at first considered to be a character around the same potency as in the Brawl metagame, with players pointing out the changes to the game's physics had benefited him more than worsening him, most notably the addition of rage, plus his KO options were improved in general. Despite his below average playerbase, players such as Abadango, Glutonny, and TheReflexWonder started to demonstrate his capabilities in competitive play by adapting to a more deceptive playstyle. Even so, players would soon realize he had also lost the great potency on his aerial game, now being just slightly above average. His well-regarded status would also drop after Abadango dropped him in favor of Meta Knight. Regardless, and after an extremely solid 5th place at MLG World Finals 2015 from Reflex, Wario was eventually placed at 21st on the first tier list as an upper mid tiered character.

However, Wario's tournament representation and results have remained rather scarce, in particular due to the majority of the mid and low tiered characters eventually outperforming him in several tournaments, and the changes to the game's physics having also demonstrated they had reduced a lot of his potency at camping, to the point he had to rely much more on baiting and KOing a careless opponent with his slower, albeit more powerful moves. Eventually, Wario dropped to 34th place on the second tier list, the second largest drop (tied with Luigi) between the first and second tier lists. He then saw another very slight drop to 36th on the third tier list and, despite Glutonny's good placings throughout Europe, he has dropped to 41st on the fourth and current tier list.

However, in 2018, Wario's results and perception would noticeably improve, more-so than most other characters in the game during this year. Glutonny would continue to obtain dominant results in Europe, as well as place 9th in Midwest Mayhem 11 (defeating Darkshad) and place 13th at GOML 2018 (defeating Fatality and DSS), showcasing the versatility of his bike, the powerful and consistent footstool setups, the potential setups to his Waft, as well as Waft's comeback potential. Other Wario players, such as Waymas and C4 (the latter getting 33rd at Genesis 5, although he is not seeded to do so), would get very respectable results in their own regions. As a result of his largely improved results, players like Dabuz thinks that he should ranked much higher in the mid tier, although other players such as ESAM still believe that he is still a very mediocre character and that he should be considered a low tier character.

At the very beginning of Brawl, Snake was seen as a mid tier character due to his slower speed and laggy attacks. However, with the quick discoveries of multiple techniques as well as his very high and disjointed power, Snake skyrocketed to being a top tier. Snake was ranked 2nd on the tier list shortly after Brawl's release, right below Meta Knight, although some believed that he was 1st instead; Snake was one of the most commonly used characters at tournaments, and it was not uncommon for the top-placing players to all use Snake.

However, as Snake's vulnerability to juggling, susceptibility of getting chaingrabbed, and gimpable recovery became exploited, and other characters' powerful abilities were discovered. Snake eventually lost his 2nd placement at the sixth tier list. He is currently ranked 6th in the eighth tier list. Despite this, he is still in the top tier and has been the second-most successful character in tournaments after Meta Knight, which led some players to believe he should be ranked higher, specifically above Marth for the 5th position.

From the E3 demo, Snake has been met very positively in his return to the series. While has received some nerfs, such as the decrease of his long disproportionately normals, change in down smash, and the nerf to his down throw's damage racking ability, he has also received some buffs, being tremendously benefited from the frame 3 jumpsquat, his recovery being improved thanks to the removal of the grab release glitch and the introduction of ledgehogging since Brawl, and the removal of chaingrabbing which noticeably harmed his matchups in Brawl. Other than that, he retains the vast majority of his strengths, and his range and power, despite being nerfed overall, is still powerful. He also benefits from the disproportionally strong characters ranked above him in Brawl (mainly Meta Knight, Ice Climbers, and Olimar) being noticeably nerfed since Brawl, and the top tiered characters in SSB4 (mainly Bayonetta, Sonic, and Fox) being nerfed as well.

As a result, he is considered to be one of the best characters in the E3 demo, and being a common contender for the absolute best in the game alongside Pikachu.
Ike initially placed 25th on the first tier list, near the bottom of mid tier, with most noting that his below-average speed with his high raw power made him a solid middle tier character. The changing metagame of Brawl, however, began to favor characters that had either superb camping prowess or the mobility to counter it, which were two things that Ike lacked. As a result, Ike began to consistently fall on the tier list; on the fourth list, Ike had fallen to 29th place at the low tiers, and it was widely assumed that he would eventually fall into the bottom tiers. At this point, Ike was frequently derided as a "noob character" in the competitive Brawl community who relied far too heavily on abusing opponents' errors to KO.

The sudden appearance of San, however, caused Ike's perceived viability to immediately reverse. At Apex 2010, a tournament that was known for hosting some of the best smashers at the time, San's 9th place finish with Ike in a pool of over 63 other smashers was an upset to the community, and his continued dominance at low tier tournaments also caused a revitalization of Ike's metagame. San pioneered the use of Ike's surprisingly flexible and powerful jab in his metagame, as well as demonstrating that Ike's aerial and spacing powers were more powerful than previously thought. As a result, Ike jumped four places to the 25th spot on the fifth tier list. He currently ranks at 23rd in the eighth (current) tier list, higher than any of his previous placings. While he is still unable to consistently win against more powerful characters, and some players still has a negative view of him, Ike is currently seen as a solid mid tier character, as evidenced by a surprising fifth place finish by Ryo in WHOBO 4, as well as continued strong showings in mid tier tournaments.

Upon SSB4's release, players noted both Ike's buffed mobility and nerfed power. Eventually, the general consensus agreed that his improved mobility did not properly compensate for his weakened power, unaddressed flaws and loss of some options from Brawl, like combos, inferior smash attacks, worse hitboxes, and inferior autocancel windows on most of his aerials, making him considered nonviable in the metagame. However, game updates (most notably 1.0.8) would significantly improve Ike; he gained consistent and strong throw combos, improved hitboxes on many moves, and his lack of a midrange option was fixed by giving his dash attack KO potential. He would also find an autocancel hitbox with his forward air, making his approach more safe. As such, he began achieving respectable results from dedicated players such as Rango, Ryo, Ryuga, San, and Waldo. As such, he was ranked 26th on the first tier list, a fairly noticeable improvement from his tier placement in Brawl, and the highest ranking Fire Emblem representative.

Although game updates considerably improved Ike's perception and were pivotal for his success, Ike has since achieved lower and more average placings at tournaments despite his talented playerbase continuing to advance his metagame. This is due to the improved results of other characters who were positively affected by balance changes (notably Bowser, Marth, and Lucina) and the inclusion of viable DLC characters (notably Corrin, Mewtwo, and Bayonetta), who would eventually start to surpass Ike in regard to overall representation and results. In addition, some of his best players, such as Ryuga and Rango, dropped Ike in favor of Corrin and Cloud, respectively. These in turn saw him drop to 35th on the second tier list, and retained this 35th ranking third tier list, and lost his title of highest ranked Fire Emblem character to Corrin / Marth.

Ike's perception became rather mixed: some smashers claimed that his standing was accurate, or should be slightly higher due to his results improving; evidence stems from Ryo and San, who have earned solid results while taking sets off top smashers as of 2017, the latter even achieving 4th place at Get On My Level 2017. Rango would also main Ike once again, and other players Soan would get some notable regional presence. However, others claimed he should be ranked lower due to his glaring issues alongside overall mediocre representation and results, citing that he also lacks the growing success of characters ranked below him (such as Duck Hunt, Link, Samus, and Shulk), and putting him among the standing he initially had in Brawl. In the end, the opposition won, and Ike continued to drop even more now ranking 40th on the fourth and current tier list, a far cry from his initial placement.

In 2018, his character placings started out very similar, which is especially notable especially considering the falls of characters like Pit and Robin in terms of results. His character strengths would also become more noticeable to the Smash community, especially among professionals. Later in the year, however, his results dropped off again, due to his best players becoming semi-active at best. As a result, some players believe that he should rise thanks to his strengths and prior results, while others are critical of his weaknesses and that his position is accurate or should drop down even further.

From the E3 demo, Ike has been noted to have been largely buffed from SSB4. This is thanks to the game engine / mechanics, granting Ike better mobility, much less landing lag in his aerials, and better access to his aerials via the universal frame 3 jumpsquat. Due to the above mentioned large buffs, and his other strengths in SSB4 being intact (except for the F-air short hop autocancel), many has drawn comparisons to SSB4 Cloud: a heavy hitting sword character with disporportionally large power for it's speed, though suffers from a mediocre disadvantage state. As a result, Ike is seen as a much better character than his mid tier standings in Brawl and SSB4, and seen as a potential high or even top tiered character.
Due to the Pokémon Trainer's stamina and forced switching mechanic, that required players to learn three vastly different characters to play the Trainer (thus making the Trainer require drastically more work and effort than any other character to learn and master, for no greater reward), the Trainer has always been an extremely unpopular character in tournaments. Besides the absurd learning curve, the stamina and forced switching mechanics directly brought the Trainer's potential down, and made matchups much harder than they would be otherwise. While Squirtle is often considered to be a potentially viable character due to its good mobility, attack speed, and air game, Charizard suffers from extremely slow movement speed and laggy attacks, while Ivysaur is crippled by its abysmal air game and tether recovery, slow and difficult-to-land KO moves, and very short reach on its attacks. Pokémon Trainer's stamina and forced switching problems, combined with his Pokémon's own issues, results in very poor overall matchups.

The emergence of TheReflexWonder's tremendous success in his region with the Pokémon Trainer marked a bit of a reversal in the community's view of the Pokémon Trainer however. Many players additionally began thinking that Squirtle was a character with high tier potential as a solo character. As a result, the Pokémon Trainer rose five spots on the third tier list to 27th, formally being out of the low tiers. And in the fourth tier list, the Trainer would rise three more spots to his peak at 24th.

Beyond that point though, with the Pokémon Trainer's practically nonexistent tournament results outside TheReflexWonder, general consensus became that TheReflexWonder's anomalous success with the Pokémon Trainer was entirely due to TheReflexWonder's own incredible abilities as a player, rather than the Pokémon Trainer having unrealized potential. This view was further supported by the fact that TheReflexWonder achieved even greater success in tournaments with Wario than he did with the Pokémon Trainer. This resulted in the Pokémon Trainer falling four spots back down to 28th in the fifth tier list. Since then, the aforementioned view of TheReflexWonder has remained strong and no other Pokémon Trainer player has achieved significant tournament success. This resulted in the Pokémon Trainer hovering between 28th and 29th right above the low tiers on each subsequent tier list, currently being ranked 29th in the eighth (current) tier list as the second lowest ranked mid tier character.

From the E3 demo, players immediately noticed the drastic buffs to Pokemon Trainer in his return to the series. These changes include the removal of the stamina mechanic, the switching to other Pokemon being made drastically faster (one can potentially dodge attacks or extend combos with it now), and the significant buffs each of his Pokemon. Because of these improvements, Pokemon Trainer is widely considered by many to be potentially one of the best characters in the game (if not, the absolute best) if one gets by his large learning curve.
Players would think very little of Squirtle at first, due to Pokemon Trainer's poor perception upon the game's release. It would have good strengths, such as his air game, decent grab, good frame data, and his decent recovery, but it was also noted to have poor reach, a poor air release animation, and very light weight (being tied for the second lightest character in the game).

However, as TheReflexWonder started to gain good results with the Pokemon Trainer, some players has claimed that Squirtle has high tier potential as a standalone fighter, noting it's strengths and the recently discovered Shellshifting. As such, it is widely considered to be the best of the three Pokemon in Pokemon Trainer's arsenal.

Despite Squirtle already being considered to be a solid character in Brawl if it is a standalone character, it has received noticeable buffs. Squirtle's already decently fast run speed would improve much more, certain normals like his down tilt and up smash would receive improvements, and Water Gun would receive significant improvements. Furthermore, thanks to the faster switching, stamina mechanic being removed, and the significant buffs to the other Pokemon in the lineup, Squirtle is no longer weighted down by it's team members and it can synergize much better with them. Overall, Squirtle's return to the series, according to the E3 demo, is met with positive acclaim, and is still considered to be the best of it's team members.
Ivysaur is perhaps the most difficult Pokémon to play out of the three. It cannot overpower its foes with deadly force like Charizard can, nor can it overwhelm foes with a high rate of attack like the nimble Squirtle. Furthermore, Ivysaur's major flaws prevent it from applying the same amount of pressure in a matchup as Pokémon Trainer's other Pokémon.

Ivysaur would have the one of the best pivot grabs in the game, as well as possessing raw KO power. However, it would possess an abysmal air game, an abysmal recovery, an overall poor survialbility due to it's weakness to fire-based moves, mediocre special moves, and it's KO'ing moves being very slow. As such, it is considered to be a candidate for the absolute worst character in the game, it never enjoyed a time in the spotlight even with TheReflexWonder's innovations to Pokemon Trainer, and is considered to be a reason behind Pokemon Trainer's low ranking in the tier list.

From the E3 demo, Ivysaur's return to the series is met with positive acclaim. It's special moveset, air game, and recovery would receive significant improvements: it's special moves has been made more practical, with Bullet Seed now having a finisher and Razor Leaf's zoning capabilites being improved further; the changes to the shield stun and hit stun have significantly improved its attack's safety and combo ability, now properly being able to utilize the speed and range of it's attacks (most notably it's aerials); his aerials would be faster, connect better (most notably his back air), and it is overall much more safe to use; the removal of ledgehogging is a significant improvement to what was one of the worse recoveries in Brawl, and it can instantly switch to Charizard to use his longer and safer recovery on the fly (no pun intended). This, combined with the drastic improvements to Pokemon Trainer's mechanics, allows Ivysaur to be seen as a solid character as a standalone fighter, and is no longer considered to be the thing that holds the Pokemon Trainer back as a character.
Charizard, especially during TheReflexWonder's innovations to Pokemon Trainer, was considered a semi-viable character when the Brawl metagame was active. Players agreed that Charizard was in the middle when compared with Squirtle and Ivysaur. While it had a wide array of kill options, a decent recovery, and an overall good grab game (possessing the second longest non-tethered grab in the game), Charizard suffered from its slow speed and laggy moveset. It also had trouble against many of the more prevalent characters in the metagame, most notoriously from King Dedede and Marth.

Overall, Charizard is considered a lower-mid tiered character at best as a standalone fighter. It is considered to be superior to two other super-heavyweights, that being Bowser and Ganondorf.

Upon the initial release of SSB4, Charizard was poorly perceived by the majority of players due to its very sluggish moveset, predictable and exploitable recovery, very slow air speed, and susceptibility to combos. This negative perception was further enforced due to some players even viewing it as being heavily nerfed from Brawl even after losing its partner characters, Squirtle and Ivysaur. It would fail to shake this perception until update 1.0.6, with its representation throughout most of SSB4's lifespan being notoriously poor in spite of its consistent popularity within its home series.

Beginning with update 1.0.8, however, Charizard began to receive consistent and substantial buffs from game updates. Although these buffs noticeably improved its KO potential, combo game, frame data, and mobility to the point that some players argued in favor of Charizard becoming somewhat viable. However, these buffs were not sufficient enough to significantly improve its representation and results, though the general consensus no longer considered it a candidate for the worst character in the game. As a result, Charizard was ranked 49th on the first tier list, confirming its status as a bottom tier character.

Despite this placement, Charizard's viability became heavily contested ever since update 1.1.5, thanks to its sporadic instances of success and strengths as a character. Numerous professionals, including ZeRo and ESAM, believed Charizard to be somewhat viable and labeled it as a potential low tier or even mid tier character. This perception persisted into the second tier list, but was not reinforced by the second tier list itself, as Charizard was ranked 51st and thus placed at the top of the bottom tier. Despite this, many players kept arguing in favor of Charizard's viability. MkLeo, in particular, has even claimed that Charizard can fare well against top tier characters, due to having some niche matchups against a few of them, like Cloud. Arguments in favor of Charizard's viability were further supplemented by its tournament results slowly, but noticeably improving, with dedicated players such as Chuck Nasty, Sharpy, and Serge even winning regional tournaments while exclusively using it. Thanks to its newfound success, Charizard was ranked 45th on the third tier list, which reassessed it as a low tier character.

International players such as Tosshi, Fire, and SilentDoom would also achieve significant wins and results while using Charizard, such as the latter placing 25th at B.E.A.S.T 7 while using both Charizard and Cloud. Although Charizard's results in North America have been more sparse than other regions, they eventually improved in a similar manner; numerous players have achieved notable placements at national tournaments while exclusively using Charizard, such as Bloodcross and Sharpy placing 17th and 33rd, respectively, at CEO Dreamland, and Chuck Nasty placing 13th at Low Tier City 5. Thanks to this steady amount of tournament success, Charizard has been ranked 43rd on the fourth and current tier list.

From the E3 demo, players noticed the large buffs given to Charizard in it's return to the Pokemon Trainer lineup. This improvements include: the universal frame 3 jumpsquat and much less landing lag in it's aerials significantly improving his air game, it's head now in less vulnerable positions in many of it's attacks (which notably includes his ledge grab animation), higher 2nd mid-air jump, and overall large quality of life improvements with his individual attacks. Although it lost Rock Smash in it's lineup thanks to returning to Pokemon Trainer, it is no longer hindered by Pokemon Trainer's mechanics from Brawl thanks to his own significant improvements and can switch to his other Pokemon with ease now if faced with a harder matchup. Overall, Charizard is considered to be a solid character as a standalone character, and better than how he fared in Brawl and SSB4 overall.
Diddy Kong was initially a high tier character, ranked 11th on the first tier list. This remained the only tier list in smash history where Donkey Kong is ranked higher than Diddy, being ranked one tier higher than him. Players noted his great frame data, moves that keep away well, and possessing two projectiles, but also pointed out his easily stale-able KO moves, questionable reach in some of his attacks, and exploitable recovery.

However, Diddy Kong players such as NinjaLink and ADHD showed how powerful his Banana Peels were, utilizing them to create damage-racking combos, defense, and stage control, bringing Diddy Kong into the top tiers, with him rising to 7th on the second tier list, 5th on the third tier list, then 3rd on the fourth and fifth lists before surpassing long-time #2 character Snake by the sixth tier list. Though Olimar and the Ice Climbers have since surpassed him, he still remains at 4th place on the eighth (current) tier list, and is a strong tournament presence anywhere in the world.

Since the game's release, professionals noticed that Diddy Kong gained heavy buffs despite already being one of the best characters in Brawl, and soon, his players became extremely dominant in early competitive play. Diddy's throws perfectly set up his strong aerial game, with his infamous up/down throw to up aerial combo (known as the "Hoo-Hah") being an unavoidable KO confirm at a wide range of percentages, and his Banana Peel offered strong stage control in spite of its nerfs. Aside from this, his up aerial had the speed and range necessary to KO easily without the need of the "Hoo-Hah", as well as many of his moves being both speedy and hard-hitting and with good range (like forward smash). These traits resulted in him being deemed the best character in the game. As a result of how disproportionately good Diddy Kong was for how easy he was to play, many professionals such as Mew2King and ZeRo picked him up, resulting in an abnormal number of Diddy dittos at the highest level of play. Even players who did not actively practice the game, such as Leffen and Armada, were able to gain strong results using him. This resulted in Diddy Kong garnering the largest representation in SSB4 history (and one of the largest in the series), and he became one of the most infamous characters in SSB4 history (alongside pre-patch Bayonetta), with many calling his legality into question.

Likely as a result his early dominance, Diddy was heavily nerfed by updates 1.0.6 and 1.0.8, and his representation dropped significantly, becoming largely abandoned while Sheik was considered the best character instead. Despite this, the top players who continued playing Diddy, such as Angel Cortes, Jtails, MVD, Nietono, and most notably, ZeRo and Zinoto, continued to push his metagame, adopting a newer, more creative playstyle that emphasizes Diddy's strong neutral game (which was not nerfed). As a result of these factors, Diddy was ranked 9th on the first tier list, near the bottom of the A tier.

However, thanks to continued strong results from multiple top players, along with the nerfs to Sheik, Zero Suit Samus, and Bayonetta, some matchups that previously caused him trouble in updates 1.1.5 and 1.1.6, he then took the 1st spot on the second tier list, despite not being as dominant as he was originally. He has since then seen only a very slight drop to 2nd place in favor of Bayonetta in the third tier list, and then to 3rd place in favor of Cloud in the fourth and current tier list. Although he remains at the S tier and is still considered to be one of the most viable characters in the game, the larger dominance of the former two characters in other regions has caused views on Diddy to slightly dwindle.

Currently, it is unknown whether Diddy Kong will rise or drop in the current metagame as his most successful main, ZeRo, announced that he will be retiring from competitive SSB4 scene as a competitor, due to losing passion from competing tournaments and life issues. Although Diddy's results at top and high levels did go down after ZeRo's retirement, he still remains one of the most popular characters in the game, with players like MVD (who got 5th at Genesis 5, 9th at EGLX 2018, and 5th at EVO 2018), Zinoto (who got 2nd at Midwest Mayhem defeating MkLeo at the process, and 9th at Full Bloom 4 and GOML 2018), and Shoyo James (7th at Smash'N'Splash 4) continuing to obtain great results for the character, despite not winning majors like ZeRo does. As a result, Diddy's top 5 position is widely considered to be intact, but his position at the S tier is debatable.

Lucas' 10 extra frames of lag while being grab released, and the extensive chain grabbing it allowed, was discovered very early on in Brawl competitive play. As a result, Lucas perpetually floundered between 27th-30th on the tier list in the low tiers, with minimal tournament results and a small playerbase, since the very beginning of Brawl. He was ranked 27th in the first tier list, and has fallen to 30th in fifth tier list for the rest of Brawl's metagame. He was ranked slightly higher than his semi-clone, Ness, on the first three tier lists, though Ness has shot up to mid tier thanks to his heavy metagame innovations since the fourth tier list and has never returned to the low tiers.

Lucas had a few dedicated and highly notable players however, most significantly Mekos, who managed to get unusually high tournament placings with a perceived low tier character; the pinnacle of such being Mekos placing 9th at SKTAR, which was only the second time (after San at Apex 2010) that a player would place in the top 18 at a national using a perceived low tier character (and this would be the last time in Brawl that a low tier player would place that high at a national).

The propensity of the aforementioned Lucas players to place significantly higher than their low tier brethren, as well as occasionally taking sets off of big name players using higher tiered characters, led to many players believing Lucas was underrated and not the low tier he was always ranked as. While the BBR would finally formally move Lucas out of the low tier in their latest tier list after having ranked him a low tier for five years, they didn't actually increase his placing and he remains only one spot removed out of their low tier at his perpetual 30th ranking. The Japanese however rank Lucas a bit higher on their tier list, ranking 24th there in their middle tiers as Lucas' metagame advancements was stronger there. As Mekos continues to take high spots in mid tier tournaments (especially at a local level), some players think that Lucas should be ranked slightly higher.

During his release, Lucas was considered to have improved from Brawl due to the changes to the game physics benefiting him. However, it would very soon become clear Lucas had lost most of his benefits from Brawl, and would go on to be considered among his previous game's placement. Following the buffs to his attacks, as well as decent tournament representation and results (the latter point being largely due to Taiheita), he would be ranked 36th in the first tier list, as a low tier character. However, players would prove that Lucas' buffs had indeed benefited him a lot and that he was now a capable character with great combo potential and zoning tools. Due to receiving notable results from Taiheita in his 17th place at Super Smash Con 2016, Lucas rose up in the second tier list to 33rd, officially putting him in the mid tier.

During the time period of this result, his counterpart, Ness, would get stagnated results thanks to his best player's inactivity. Although these results had started to recover starting at 2GGT: ZeRo Saga (though not to the same degree as 2015 and early 2016), it tipped the views of the smash community to some players claiming that Lucas is a better character, despite Ness' stronger buffs coming from Brawl and his results being larger than Lucas. His positive perspective from Taiheita and his potential would led Lucas to a very slight rise to 32nd on the third tier list. This started a infamous widespread "clone war" on the two characters, with some players (particularly top players like ZeRo and Dabuz) claiming that Lucas has untapped potential, and will be a threat to the competitive scene with it unleashed and if Taiheita travels to the USA, while also claiming that Ness will fall out of irrelevancy as the meta progresses. This made Lucas one of the most notorious characters in the game (alongside Roy and Falco) for players calling that he is underrated.

Despite this, Taiheita began to obtain very inconsistent results at 2017, getting some high placements such 3rd at Sumabato 16, but also got numerous low placings such as 65th at Umebura 26, and 49th at Umebura Japan Major 2017 and Sumabato 19, while also attending more of the lower stacked Karisuma tournaments than other more stacked Japan events as well. At the same time, no other Lucas player achieved any result similar to his Super Smash Con 2016 performance, or show the same levels of results in regional and local tournaments as Taiheita. However, his widespread views in support of Lucas (which includes them bringing up Mekos getting an upset against Nairo at 2GGC: Greninja Saga) led to him rising 28th on the fourth tier list and current tier list, now being at the bottom of C tier and one position below Ness, who dropped down mainly due to support views for Lucas also being negative views for Ness. Players like ZeRo would claim that Lucas' new position is still too low, with that said player even putting him at 21st in his tier list.

However, Lucas's results and representation began to show a series of decline in Japan ever since Taiheita's retirement. Since Taiheita's last tournament, many Japanese Lucas players couldn't achieve any commendable results that would equally match Taiheita's results. Also, while the Lucas meta in Japan began a decline, Ness began to rise in Japan. Gackt and taranito recently grew in performance and they've achieved above average placings such as Gackt's 17th placing in The Big House 7 and 9th placing at Umebura 32, as well taranito's 17th placing in EVO Japan 2018 while defeating many top players such as Abadango, komorikiri, ANTi, Mistake, T, Rain, and many others. At the same time, many players like Dabuz would notice Lucas' flawed playstyle and his lack of results for a character of his tier. Although, his other players would achieve more consistently better results, they are not as strong as some of the characters ranked below him such as Duck Hunt, Samus, Link, Shulk, and R.O.B. As result, while some players (particularly from the Lucas players) would still have high hopes for the character, his tier placement is widely considered to be inaccurate as his results and representation being noticeably low for a C tiered character.

Around the beginning of Brawl's metagame, Sonic was considered a low tier, non-viable character by many players due to his terrible KO'ing power, poor moveset (due to many of his attacks having rather small and/or poor hitboxes), and perceived "low priority". At that time, he was ranked as low as 33rd in the first tier list (as the fifth worst character in the game), although he slightly rose to 31st in the second tier list.

However, dedicated Sonic players starting placing much more favorably in tournaments; this caused Sonic to jump up to 23rd on the third tier list. Despite Sonic dropping mildly after this rise, players such as Espy and X accomplished even better tournament results for Sonic, with them placing 5th and 6th respectively at MLG Dallas 2010, the final MLG Brawl event. At Apex 2014, StaticManny placed 33rd with Sonic, having lost only to Mew2King's Meta Knight and Player 1's Diddy Kong, but not before defeating Larry Lurr's Falco; an incredible feat considering the match-up. Even after Brawl's decline in interest, Sonic still found decent results in majors, perhaps most notably Meekspeedy placing 9th at Get On My Level 2016 and 4th at Get On My Level 2017, 6WX placing 3rd at Glitch 2, and FRiSK taking 9th at CEO Dreamland. Sonic is currently ranked 22nd on the eighth (current) tier list. A few players still have a negative view of him, similar to Ike, but he is currently a stable mid tier character.

Sonic was initially perceived as a high tier character, thanks to his buffs largely mitigating most of the weaknesses he had in Brawl. While his newfound KOing options would be nerfed in game updates, Sonic's playerbase has nevertheless managed to display many different and effective playstyles. In addition to enriching Sonic's metagame, the likes of 6WX, KEN, komorikiri, Manny, Seagull Joe, and SuperGirlKels have also resulted in him achieving very strong tournament results.

Sonic's highly favorable perception and continued success resulted in him being ranked 6th on the first and second iterations of the tier list, and then 5th on the third tier list. Then KEN would demonstrate dominant results with him, although though other top tiered characters would do the same, so Sonic dropped to 8th on the fourth and current tier list. At 2018, with KEN not participating in USA majors, plus Manny being semi-active overall, his tier position became debatable, especially after Wrath would get 7th at MomoCon 2018. He nevertheless remains a very viable character.

Upon the release of the E3 demo, everyone noticed the noticeable changes to Sonic, which nerfs him overall. His infamous defensive playstyle has been significantly nerfed thanks to the offensive nerfs to Spin Dash and Spring Jump. The nerfs to defensive option in Ultimate, in general, most notably rolling, has hindered him. However, his offensive playstyle variants has been improved overall, which is largely thanks to the game engine changes boosting the versatility of his mobility, and the landing lag of his aerials being significantly cut from SSB4. As a result, while he is no longer considered to be as viable as he was in SSB4, he is still seen as a solid character that must play much differently than in Brawl or SSB4 to be used to the fullest.
In the early Brawl metagame, King Dedede was seen as among the best characters in the game, being ranked as high as 3rd on the first tier list. This was due to his strong down throw chain throw and back aerial, which were effective against many top tier characters at the time, including Snake, Wario, and R.O.B., and gave him a strong presence at tournaments of the first years of Brawl's lifetime. Dedede was also known as one of the best counters to mid and low tiered characters, as he is able to chaingrab a large portion of them to there to doom (which is very hard to avoid, especially among slower character) and his b-air was highly effective against these characters, who lacked the variety of options compared to top tiers.

However, the characters he did well against steadily lost their foothold on the Brawl metagame; Snake was no longer considered the second best character in the game, Wario fell to the high tiers, and R.O.B. plummeted to mid tier viability. In addition, as character diversity declined, the mid and low tiers that Dedede countered became increasingly rare in the tournament scene. Meanwhile, faster characters who cannot be reliably chain thrown, such as Meta Knight, Olimar, and the Ice Climbers, have climbed to power and dominated tournaments. Dedede saw his own gradual fall on the tier list, first dropping into the high tiers (doing so at the seventh tier list), then falling to as low as 12th in the seventh and eighth (current) tier lists, becoming an upper mid tier in the eighth tier list. His decline on the tier list, combined with the fact that his best players, such as Mew2King, Atomsk, CO18, and Coney, became inactive in the Brawl scene or stopped using him in favor of other characters, has resulted in a large decrease in tournament play and earnings.

Although King Dedede was eventually considered a difficult character to solo main due to his severe matchup difficulties against Meta Knight and the Ice Climbers, the two most dominant and common characters in tournaments, he was still popular as a pocket character due to being relatively easy to play and having strong matchups against nearly every lower tiered character, as well as doing well against several top tiers; he notably has strong matchups versus Snake and Wario, and is the only character along with Meta Knight who has a winning matchup versus Marth. His most prominent player, Atomsk, usually played King Dedede only in favorable matchups or against lower tiered characters, and used Meta Knight against most top tiers. Vex Kasrani, however, became known as a solo King Dedede main late in Brawl's competitive lifetime, and was able to defeat Vinnie, ADHD, and numerous top Meta Knight players in NY/NJ, despite the perceived matchup difficulties. This, combined with his dominant matchup spread against those below him, led many players claiming that he (alongside the other characters in C+ tier and arguably Wolf) should be reassessed as a high tiered character once again.

Upon the game's release, players quickly noticed King Dedede's nerfs in the transition from Brawl, most notably the loss of chain grabbing, though they also argued some of his buffs would help compensate in the long run, with players perceiving his new forward aerial, Gordo Throw, and down tilt as more useful than the previous respective moves in Brawl. However, as the metagame progressed, King Dedede's weaknesses became more apparent, and players realized the changes to game mechanics not only significantly hurt Dedede, but that he had indeed lost much more than what he gained from Brawl as well. Despite the good results gained by players like Big D and El_Bardo (with the former getting 17th at Paragon Los Angeles 2015), expectations of him would become worse as time passed. This was further pushed as Dedede would get nerfs in game patches, with the nerf to his down throw and Gordos being very significant. As a result, King Dedede was ranked 46th on the first tier list, confirming his status as a bottom tier character.

Despite the great advancements brought to his metagame as well as decent results, however, Dedede's air speed was nerfed in update 1.1.4. While minor, this nerf is notable in two ways: it worsened his neutral game and recovery, and his air speed is now the slowest in the game, even slower than that of Shulk while using the Shield Art. As a result of this, Dedede's results became much worse, and as a result he dropped to 52nd on the second tier list. Since the tiers had expanded by then, it this placement drop resulted in him becoming the second highest ranking bottom tier character, having lost his position as the highest ranking bottom tier character to Charizard. On the third tier list, Dedede remained ranked as 52nd, although he is now assessed as a low tier character due to the bottom tier being abolished.

During this time period, Big D, the best Dedede player, would drop the character in favor of Mario and Captain Falcon, and Ganondorf would show a bigger amount of representation and results than King Dedede, which led to some players claiming that Ganondorf should be ranked higher. Nevertheless, he is once again remains ranked at 52nd on the fourth and current tier list, though this placing is notable for confirming his status as the fourth worst character in the game, after the exclusion of Miis from the most recent tier list.

As the meta went on, Ganondorf (who already has superior results and representation), Zelda (thanks to her dedicated mains), and Jigglypuff (mostly thanks to Captain L's surprise counterpick wins) would garner better results than King Dedede. Due to this, some smashers such as ESAM are starting to debate that King Dedede could potentially be the absolute worst character in the game and not Jigglypuff. However, zaki would then get 17th placement at Smash'N'Splash 4 and Hyrule Saga, taking a set off of MkLeo in the latter tournament. As a result, while his placement above Ganondorf is still heavily debatable (especially since that said character performed unexpectedly impressive in Hyrule Saga for their projected seedings, plus being much more common than Dedede), he is no longer considered a contender for the worst character.

Shortly after Brawl's release, Olimar was ranked 18th place just one place above the middle, in the first tier list, with many players writing him off as another mediocre, gimmicky character who would never make an impact in serious play. This could probably be because many overemphasized Olimar's reliance on Pikmin, stating that it was a hindrance (rather than a boon, as it is often seen today), and failed to get past his relatively high technical and cerebral learning curves.

However, as many players began to realize Olimar's strong damage-racking capabilities, camping ability, and disproportionately high KO power for and even beyond his weight class, Olimar's metagame developed further, causing a rise to 10th-11th (tied with Lucario) in high tier by the second tier list. Olimar would maintain similar placings for several years, but as his professionals such as Rich Brown, Brood, Nietono, and Dabuz began doing very well at high-level tournaments such as MLG DC 2010, Apex 2010, and Apex 2012, Olimar skyrocketed to 2nd place right underneath Meta Knight in the seventh tier list. Olimar is currently ranked 3rd on the eighth tier list, after Meta Knight and the Ice Climbers.

Olimar is one of the most disliked Brawl characters casual and competitive players alike, having a reputation for being one of the most frustrating characters to deal with due to his powerful camping ability and range, which many smashers find extremely hard to break through. As a result, many Olimar players such as Denti and Logic are among the most disliked players in the community when it comes to playing style.

Like in Brawl, Olimar's placing in SSB4 was one of the most contentious among the cast. At first, players would deem his nerfs as being too harsh for him to even be assessed as a mid tier character, with some even considering him to be a bottom tier character. This perception would remain intact for several months until players soon started to demonstrate Olimar's retained strengths, with professionals like Dabuz, ImHip, Shuton, and Soulimar achieving good tournament results. As a result, Olimar was ranked 24th on the first tier list.

Despite this, Olimar's tournament representation and results have never been as bountiful as other characters'. To reflect this, he dropped to 30th on the second tier list. After Dabuz and Shuton brought about improvements to Olimar's results, however, he rose to 27th on the third. Shuton would then bring upon top level placings for the character, such as 3rd at West Side Saga and 7th at Fire Emblem Saga, taking numerous sets off of top players (such as ZeRo), which would allow him to rise to 21st on the fourth and current tier list. Although he is not as overwhelmingly effective as he was in Brawl, Olimar has nevertheless managed to remain a viable pick in competitive play.

Lucario has always been one of the prominent high tier characters in Brawl. He was ranked 9th on the first tier list, then he slightly dropped to 10th-11th (tied with Olimar) in the second tier list. He then dropped to 14th place on the third tier list due to his lack of representation and other characters ranked below him advancing. He also possesses -2 matchups against Meta Knight and King Dedede, two rather common characters in some shape or form.

Afterwards, players such as Junebug, Trela, and Lee Martin gained great tournament results with Lucario, allowing him to be able to maintain a position around 10-12th since then. Lucario is currently ranked 11th place in the upper-mid tier, in the eighth and current tier list. However, due to his strengths and results from his players, some players believe that he (alongside the rest of C+ tier and arguably Wolf) should be reassessed as a high tiered character.

Lucario was considered to be a viable character since the game's release. The aura buffs, which vastly increased Lucario's KO power to the point where a max Aura Lucario could consistently KO opponents under 75%, and improved its recovery to become one of the best, as well as a powerful combo game, lead many professionals to view Lucario as a high tier character. Despite his low tournament representation, he achieved lukewarm results in the game's early lifespan thanks to notable players such as Day, Motsunabe, and Serge, and would eventually be ranked 23rd on the first tier list as an upper-mid tiered character. Afterwards, Lucario has achieved better tournament representation in competitive play. At Smash Factor 5, Serge, along with fellow smashers Daimy and Richi, placed among the top 12 using Lucario. Day also managed to place 17th at Super Smash Con 2016, a much bigger tournament which had many top level players attending and notably saw him defeat ZeRo, which sent him into the losers bracket of said tournament, a feat achieved by only a select few. This caused him to slightly rise to 22nd place on the second tier list, now at the bottom of high tier.

However, Lucario's tier position was considered one of the most contentious of all characters, as some within the community (that grew steadily bigger around late 2015) began seeing Lucario as having one of the worst neutral games due to his laggy attacks and subpar movement speed, viewed its recovery as blown out of proportion as his flaws were surprisingly easy to exploit, especially with his extreme landing from a helpless state lag post 1.0.4., and the aura mechanic being a much bigger double edged sword than in Brawl, they considered Lucario as a poor character who suffered from overspecializing with the aura gimmick, thus leaving him as little threat to a cautious player. As time went on, Lucario's tournament results grew barren, with fewer players maining him, thus causing more and more to look down on him.

However, Lucario's results then noticeable improved as time went on due to some new developments in his metagame, and has seen generally improved results, especially in Japan, leading him to be perceived more positively again in spite of very skilled competition. This allowed Lucario to rise to 19th on the third tier list. While some felt that Lucario's placement was too high due to his inconsistent results and "high-risk, high-reward" playstyle, Tsu- surprisingly placed 2nd at Frostbite 2017, while sending ZeRo to the losers bracket and having very close games with him on the tournament's grand finals, making these thoughts less common. This, combined with Tsu-'s 7th placing at 2GGC: West Side Saga and with more consistent results, have led Lucario to rise to 17th on the fourth and current tier list. As such, the majority of players feel that Lucario's current placing is well deserved for the time being.

However, his tournament presence and results would then go down in 2018. While Tsu- continues to get good results in Japan, such as getting 4th at Niconico Tokaigi 2018 and double eliminating Larry Lurr there, it would become clear that he is the only Lucario player to get any sufficient results worthy of his current position. Other than that, Tsu-'s results grew somewhat inconsistent as well, resulting in an 49th placement in Umebura Tokaigi Qualifier 2 and a 33rd placement at Umebura 31st. He has also started to use secondaries more often in tournaments, whether he places high or not. This is also combined with the rise of many other characters, with Captain Falcon and Peach being the most notable examples, as well as his results growing more barren than a few characters at C tier as well. While Lucario's place as a high tier character is firmly intact, and it is seen as a viable pick in tournaments, his tier position is currently debatable.

R.O.B. was initially a top tier character, being ranked 6th in the first tier list. He was considered a difficult matchup for many players, who weren't experienced enough at the time to get around his weaknesses, and he was very dominant, with his attacks known for being fast and having great hitboxes.

However, as time progressed, R.O.B.'s weaknesses became more prominent, with players learning to get around the blind spots of his attacks, as well as the increasing dominance of Meta Knight, the character which countered R.O.B. the most. R.O.B. continued to drop down the tier list, to 9th in the second tier list as a high tier, 12th in third tier list, a much larger drop to 17th at the fourth and fifth tier list as a mid tier character, then to even as far as 20th, mainly due to his negative perception pointing out his matchup against Meta Knight. He currently ranks 18th place in upper-mid tier, in the eighth tier list. Overall, R.O.B. is a character with good strengths and obtains above-average results, especially at Meta Knight banned tournaments.

Thanks to his potent zoning and grab games, R.O.B. was initially considered a high tier character during SSB4's release, similarly to initial perceptions of him during the early days of Brawl's metagame. However, after update 1.0.6 nerfed his up throw's power, his reputation declined to the point that he was perceived as a mid tier character. Nevertheless, R.O.B.'s representation in competitive play remains decent, while the good results he has achieved thanks to the likes of 8BitMan, Holy, Mister Eric, OCEAN, and Raffi-X resulted in him being ranked 20th on the first tier list at the upper mid tier.

However, other characters like Donkey Kong, Lucario, and Toon Link, have achieved much better results than R.O.B. To further compound this, R.O.B. has become rarer in competitive play due to having unfavorable matchups against all but one of the DLC characters (Roy). This decline in popularity and results would end up with R.O.B. being ranked 28th on the second tier list, then to 33rd on the third tier list (this drop is notable for being the third highest between the second and third tier lists), and finally to 36th on the fourth and current tier list.

In 2018, his previously declining results from 2017 would noticeably improve. A rising player named SaSSy placing 2nd at No Fun Allowed 2 (second only to Elegant), 9th at DreamHack Austin 2018, and taking a set off CaptainZack at Frostbite 2018, a matchup considered too hard for him. R.O.B. players would, in general, do surprisingly well against Bayonetta, despite some players claiming that she is his worst matchup and not Zero Suit Samus. 8BitMan, despite co-maining him with Diddy Kong, would also get some decent results with R.O.B., defeating MVD at Combo Breaker 2018. Finally, WaDi, despite maining Mewtwo now, pulls out his R.O.B. more often, and he dominates the MD/VA region with mainly solo R.O.B., defeating players like Rags, ZD, Fatality, Pink Fresh, and Promaelia with him. This, combined with the fall of some characters like Lucas and Pit, has led many players thinking that he deserves a higher position in the tier list, although others like Dabuz still writes him off of a mediocre character, with Dabuz in particular putting him at the top of low tier claiming that his large frame is too big of an issue to compete viably. As a result, R.O.B.'s position is debatable.

:ultrob: Ultimate:
Toon Link, throughout Brawl's competitive history, was considered an upper-mid tiered character overall. He was immediately noted to be heavily superior to normal Link, as he was credited for his mobility, array of projectiles, good frame data, and a great recovery. However, early on, he was especially criticized for his short reach for a swordsman, lack of reliable KO moves, and a poor grab game. He was ranked 17th on the first tier list, and remained there on the second tier list.

However, dedicated mains (most notably MJG, Kingtoon, and Hyuga) would show how devastating his projectile game is, which, combined with his mobility and disjointed hitboxes, would make him a very campy character, a trait that was went heavily well with Brawl's slower paced metagame. Although he was criticized for his difficult matchup against Meta Knight, he was also praised for being one of the four characters that soft counters the Ice Climbers, who would eventually rise to be one of the strongest and notorious characters in Brawl. Toon Link, would rise to 16th in the third tier list, and then into 14th on the fourth to sixth tier lists. He would enter the high tier at the sixth tier list.

He would rise to 13th in the seventh and eighth (current) tier lists, although reassessed as an upper mid tier on the eighth tier list. However, his strengths and results would make many players claim that he (alongside the other characters in C+ tier and arguably Wolf) should be reassessed as a high tier once again.

Upon SSB4's release, players had high expectations of Toon Link because of his success in Brawl. While players realized that his power had been toned down since Brawl, the adoption of a new playstyle that is more reliant on his Bomb allowed him to attain roughly the same potency that he possessed in Brawl.

Despite having sparse tournament results, Toon Link nevertheless found success thanks to professionals like Hyuga, Zan, Anaky, and Sigma achieving very favorable results in their respective regions. Opinions of Toon Link further improved when Hyuga then placed 9th at GENESIS 3. As a result of his early success, Toon Link was ranked 22nd on the first tier list as an upper mid tiered character. Expectations of Toon Link remained high thanks to Hyuga placing 9th at Pound 2016, 4th at 2GGT: Mexico Saga, and 5th at CEO 2016, while Zan and some Japanese players also achieved respectable placings at 2GGaming and local Japanese tournaments, respectively. As such, Toon Link ranked at 17th on the second tier list, reassessed as a high tiered character.

However, after Hyuga became inactive after EVO 2016, Toon Link's representation and success at the national level noticeably decreased, which is further combined with Zan dropping Toon Link in favor of Diddy Kong (though still uses him as a secondary). While 3xA, Ri-ma, and Xorn managed to achieve respectable placings at the regional level in 2016, with Ri-ma managing to place 13th at The Big House 6, Toon Link's tier placement was still considered to be slightly too high. Additionally, despite Hyuga returning to the competitive scene in January 2017, he can no longer participate in 2GG events, and he only participates in Mexican events. He would be ranked 20th on the third tier list, and then 23rd on the fourth and current tier list.
Despite his results being worse than before, he would obtain strong results in regional and local tournaments, which is most notable at Japan, where Sigma and Ri-ma continuing to get consistent high results there, with both of them getting 9th at EVO Japan. Sigma, specifically, gets consistently high placing at Karisuma tournaments and has won Sumabato 25. Other Toon Link players, such as 3xA, yeti, and Hyuga, continues to get consistently good results regionally. yeti would also place 4th at The Big House 8, notably defeating BestNess and Salem with Toon Link.

Wolf was ranked 16th on the first tier list, in the high tier. He then saw a large drop, falling to 20th place on the second tier list, and again dropping to 22nd on the third. He hovered around the 22nd spot for a few more revisions of the list. Wolf's drop was largely due to his extreme vulnerability to chaingrabs (some of which are infinites and 0-deaths), as well as having a poor recovery.

Around late 2010, several Wolf players started doing very well in tournaments, as Kain was noted for being of the most dominant forces in the American Midwest. Wolf's strong mobility (thanks to numerous advanced techniques), aerial game, and general all-around fighting abilities were recognized in the sixth tier list, when Wolf jumped up six places to the 16th position. Wolf was also recognized to have one of the best matchups against the overly dominant Meta Knight, as well as many even or close to even matchups against the other top tier characters; Wolf generally had strong matchups outside of the characters who are able to chaingrab him effectively. Wolf is currently ranked at 14th place in the upper mid tier, in the eighth (current) tier list, although some players have claimed that he deserves to be reassessed as a high tiered character alongside the characters in the C+ tier.

Last edited:


Smash Champion
Jan 10, 2018
Competitive History of SSB4 Veterans

Last Updated: 8/23/18

They are basically heavily edited versions of Smashwiki's sections of them.

Upon SSB4's release, Lucina was quickly compared to Marth due to her inheriting many of the flaws he had received in his transition from Brawl. Although her Parallel Falchion boasts consistent power, this strength has been viewed as less effective in comparison to Falchion's tipper, resulting in Lucina being widely regarded as worse than Marth, as well being poorly regarded early on. As time went on, however, game updates gradually improved Lucina, with the vast majority of her buffs being shared with Marth. These changes helped her mitigate some of the problems she initially had, although they were not sufficient enough in comparison to Marth's, who began developing a much more dedicated playerbase than her. As such, Lucina achieved much poorer results in comparison, which saw her ranked 47th on the first tier list, placing her in the bottom tier and six places below Marth.

However, Lucina continued to improve over time, and gained some other significant buffs in update 1.1.4, with some of them once again being shared with Marth. These improvements allowed Lucina's offense to flow more consistently than before, giving her a niche over Marth in certain matchups. The biggest buffs were indirect: as the changes to shield mechanics allow her moves to be safer than Marth's sourspot hitboxes. Although these buffs were still not enough to enable her to achieve significant results, even from her best players like C-Lu and Kogarasuma, they still improved her perception within the community. As a result, Lucina ranked 36th on the second tier list, resulting with her being reassessed as a mid tier character, and gaining the fourth largest rise between the first and second tier lists. Even so, players such as ZeRo and Dabuz considered Lucina's position on the tier list as too low, due to most of her strengths being shared with Marth. To reflect the drastic improvements brought about by game updates, as well as her stronger, if rare, results, Lucina was then ranked 18th on the third tier list as a high tiered character; by extension, this was the largest rise between the second and third tier lists.

Although Lucina was still considered to be inferior to Marth overall, some smashers claimed her placing to be somewhat low, especially considering the briefly improved results brought by ZeRo during the spring and early summer of 2017 after picking her up as a secondary, as well as better results brought by other players like Kogarasuma and Mr. E. Thanks to these results, she has risen to 14th on the fourth and current tier list, and she is the only bottom tier character to ever become a high tier one. This tier placement is widely considered to be accurate for the time being, especially after Mr.E's 5th placement at EVO 2018.

Like his original counterpart, Dark Pit has been ranked as a mid tier character since the game's release, largely due to Pit's perception at the time being shared with him, and inheriting many of Pit's attributes as well. Despite his playerbase and tournament results being among the lowest in competitive play (even lower than those of Pit), smashers have still demonstrated him to have a valuable niche over some characters Pit has slightly more difficulty dealing with, such as King Dedede. As a result, smashers such as Earth and KiraFlax have used him alongside with Pit, proving him to still be a rather viable character in competitive play, due to the great balance between his strengths and weaknesses, this consensus being also shared with Pit. This, combined with the buffs to his side B from patches, ended with Dark Pit ranking at 17th on the first tier list, only one place above his original counterpart.

Like Pit's tournament results, however, Dark Pit's tournament results have never been as high as other mid tier characters despite being impressive, even being lower than those of Pit's. Japan as a region, which is the home region for Pit results, would consider Dark Pit a vastly inferior version to Pit due to poorer arrow control, which contributes to his lower playerbase and results than Pit. Due to this, he would later see a drop to 27th on the second tier list, the fifth largest drop between the first and second lists, and three spots below Pit. He would then drop to 30th-31st on the third tier list, now sharing the spot with Pit, thanks to the 4BR addressing the issue on Japan's views on Dark Pit by automatically grouping him with Pit. His continued lack of results has led him and his original counterpart to drop to 32nd/33rd place on the fourth and current tier list.

However, Pit would endure less impressive results than other characters in mid tier. As a result, many players believe that Dark Pit should drop further down in mid tier. However, the viewpoint of Dark Pit has gotten worse to the point to where Dabuz put him in upper low tier, claiming that both Pit's "honesty" as a character holds him severely back, although that is heavily debatable.

While not a highly represented or discussed fighter in the early metagame, Villager has always been generally agreed to be a rather viable choice for competitive play. This is due to his infamously effective projectile and keep away game that enable him to shut down the approach of many characters, leading to a high perception of him as a character. However, it wasn't until Ranai's performance with Villager in Japan in various regional tournaments and eventually the USA at GENESIS 3 (getting 3rd place out of 1,096 entrants) that he started to gain more popularity, in spite of the negative light he had left at EVO 2015 and the infamous use of his custom moves. As a result of Ranai's high placings, and to an extent, various other placings from other Villager mains like MJG and SS, Villager was ranked 11th place in the first tier list as a solid high tiered character.

Given the nerfs to other top and high tier characters such as Sheik and Zero Suit Samus, and Ranai's high 5th place at EVO 2016, it was debatable whether or not he was actually any worse. He would eventually drop to 14th place in the second tier list, this being due to the movement (and introduction) of Bayonetta, the buffs to Mewtwo, and the immense perception of Cloud in the metagame. However, Villager's tournament results have not been as strong since then, due to most of his main players gaining lower results, mostly due to his trouble at handling most DLC characters. This has culminated on him ranking at 17th place on the third tier list.

However, about two months after Ranai's last major tournament, in which he placed 17th at EVO 2017, he retired from competitive play. As a result, Villager's representation and results greatly plummeted and, from this, he then dropped to 25th in the fourth and current tier list, the second largest drop between the third and fourth tier lists. His tier position is debatable, as a few characters below him, such as Ness, Mega Man, Duck Hunt, and Greninja, has accumulated better results and a larger playerbase. On the other hand, his remaining players has accumulated respectable results in their own right, especially at a regional level, with Panda Bair getting 13th at Smash'N'Splash 4 and 17th at The Big House 8. Overall, while he remains a stable high tier character ever since the game's release, his much lower results have deterred him from rising on the tier list.

From the E3 demo, Villager is considered to be a very similar character to his SSB4 incarnation. His grab has much less endlag, his up B's recovery distance (despite being nerfed) is more important in Ultimate, his down air now always spike no matter the amount of turnips, and his Pocket can be acted faster. However, the HUD display of Pocket does reduce mindgame potential of the move, and it is debatable whether his new jab finisher is a buff or a nerf. However, his biggest nerf is indirect: while he can still effectively play the zoning game well, previously slow or poor characters that struggled with this strategy has received speed buffs, or is outright buffed. As a result, while many players consider him a solid character overall, he is considered noticeably lower in relative to the rest of the cast due to the other character's improvements.
Mega Man was seen as a very obscure and unorthodox character since the game's release. His strange playstyle mainly comprised of projectiles always saw a large topic of debate for him, though the general consensus was always of him being at least a mid tier character. Alongside very limited tournament representation and tournament results, he would at first rank 28th on the first tier list.

However, his popularity would become stronger after game updates nerfed Sheik, Zero Suit Samus, and Bayonetta, and his tournament representation, while limited, saw strong results from smashers like ScAtt, Smasher1001, and most notably Kameme, who would travel to the USA to compete at EVO 2016 and get 2nd place at the tournament. This spike in tournament results allowed him to be seen much more favorably and allowed him to rank 15th on the second tier list, reassessing him as a high tier character and gaining the third largest rise between the first and second tier lists. Mega Man would later rank 16th on the third tier list, a very slight drop in favor of Marth claiming 10th place.

Currently, however, due to his huge lack of consistent results and less activity from his main players, Mega Man is currently ranked 27th on the fourth and current tier list, suffering the largest drop between the third and fourth tier lists. Some smashers have said said that Mega Man should be higher due to his amazing projectile game and his matchup spread, as well as good placements from his players such as Kameme's 3rd placement at EVO Japan 2018 and yeti placing 4th at The Big House 8 using Mega Man to take out players such as VoiD and Darkshad, while others like ZeRo think that Mega Man is overrated and that his placing is somewhat accurate.

From the E3 demo, Mega Man is considered to be one of the characters with the least amount of screen time. Although he has received numerous nice direct buffs, he has also received some significant indirect nerfs. The direct buffs include a buff to his smash attacks, a much more effective Leaf Shield with increased utility, and Metal Blade doing more damage and knockback. He is also benefited from the new dash canceling technique, especially for his up tilt. However, the indirect nerfs includes the new powershield mechanic allowing opponents to deal with his numerous multi-hit attacks much easier, footstools being tech-able which harms his combo game, the general speed buffs to slower characters while he remains with his below average grounded mobility, and simply more characters that can deal with his projectile game (such as Bowser's amplified Tough Guy and Kirby being able to swallow projectiles). Overall, Mega Man is one of the least talked about characters in the demo, although some players like Mew2King believe that he has potential to be a very viable character thanks to his buffs.
Wii Fit Trainer has remained one of the most obscure characters since SSB4's release, despite some brief flashes of success. Despite players pointing out her great camping potential courtesy of Sun Salutation and Header, Deep Breathing's healing and temporary buff abilities, potentially powerful combos when given the opportunity, and her fast frame data, most have argued that her disadvantages were too significant in competitive play, such as her poor range, very limited combo options, and her overall moveset's infamously small hitboxes (most notably her grab before update 1.1.0, alongside up smash). Although her playerbase consists of notable players like John Numbers and Waveguider, it is nevertheless very small and has thus resulted in her achieving her sparse results.

In spite of some flashes of success (notably at EVO 2015, where two Wii Fit Trainer players got into top 32, while players of many high tier characters failed to get top 32), Wii Fit Trainer's very minimal representation has been reflected by her status as a low tier character throughout SSB4's lifespan. She has been ranked 39th on the first tier list; tied with Bowser Jr. for 46th-47th on the second tier list; 49th on the third tier list; and despite John Number's efforts with the character, including a 5th placement at Royal Flush, 51st on the fourth and current tier list.

Rosalina & Luma have been recognized for their strengths ever since SSB4 was released, despite their nerfs from game updates. Their zoning ability is among the strongest in the game, thanks to the combination of Rosalina's ability to re-position Luma with Luma Shot, and Luma's immense KO power, ability to tank hits, and immunity to status effects. While the tag team aspect of their playstyle results in them having a steep learning curve and has thus resulted in them having a below average-sized playerbase, their viability has nonetheless been firmly established by the consistently strong results of Dabuz, falln, and Kirihara. Thanks to the potency of their strengths, Rosalina & Luma were ranked 3rd on the first tier list. They would later drop to 4th on the second tier list.

However, as time goes on, their tricky matchups against highly regarded DLC characters (most notably Cloud) and their below average representation started to kick in. She would drop to 8th on the third tier list. Thanks to continued strong results from her top players, however, they have since then risen to 5th in the fourth and current tier list. Overall, despite having a few troublesome matchups in the top tiers, they possess arguably the most dominant matchup spread in the game, walling out even some of the upper ranked characters such as Luigi and Ness, which combined with her strength and results, allows them to maintain their status as top tier characters and are still considered to be very viable, if hard to master, picks for tournament play.

Since SSB4's release, Little Mac has been a very contentious character among casual and hardcore players alike. He was very controversial among less experienced players who struggled against him (most notably on For Glory), owing to his excellent grounded game, abundance of KOing options, and outstanding frame data. However, he has never been considered a serious threat in competitive play due to his abysmal recovery and nearly useless air game, making his endurance and aerial escape options significantly poor in a highly-skilled environment where flaws were heavily capitalized upon. Players were quick to note that Mac's vulnerability to juggling and gimping would allow a competent opponent to swiftly KO him more often than not, and with his inability to move safely between platforms, he was derided as only being able to fight effectively on Final Destination. With a lack of high-level results during SSB4's early days and the gradually shifting perceptions of the community, Little Mac's popularity diminished immensely, due to him being frequently perceived as a gimmicky character in competitive play, especially after he was nerfed in update 1.0.4. This was reflected in him being tied with Duck Hunt for 43rd-44th place on the first tier list, as a low tier character.

However, the efforts of dedicated Little Mac players like Sol have shown that Little Mac can perform well when played intelligently, even on stages with platforms, and proved that Mac's comeback potential was significant enough to be a considerable mindgame despite his aerial weaknesses. Furthermore, the buffs Little Mac received from game updates made his grounded moves even more rewarding and granted him more reliable combo potential from his grounded game. Improvements in Little Mac's metagame also resulted in newfound techniques for him, which further reinforced his fearsome comeback potential. While he is still considered too polarized to be truly viable in singles play, Little Mac is considered to fare much better in doubles play, thanks to a teammate covering his weaknesses and assisting him in setting up his powerful attacks.

These traits, combined with the expansion to his metagame and better, albeit still rare results, resulted in him being ranked 39th on the second tier list. He then dropped back to 43rd on the third tier list, as his results continued to be relatively sparse at national tournaments. While he has since dropped slightly to 44th on the fourth and current tier list, he is now ranked as the E tier. As such, to this day, Little Mac's tier placement remains very contentious even within the current metagame.

From the E3 demo, Little Mac's significant buffs coming into Ultimate is immediately noticed. The mechanics and physics of Ultimate has drastically improved Little Mac, with the advent of dash canceling and dash dancing, giving him of the best approaches in the game, and allows him to apply pressure with his tilts that still reliably combo. His aerials, although remaining poor overall, has significantly cut landing lag which may apply to combo potential and safety. His special moves has received noticeable buffs, as Straight Lunge can be canceled by shielding and can be reversed, the KO Uppercut now includes a jump that can opponents in platforms and is faster, and Rising Uppercut can snap the ledge much easier and travels slightly higher. However, Jolt Haymaker no longer causes helplessness, which combined with the new directional airdodges, significantly improves his recovery (although it remains below average). Overall, Mac is seen in a very positive light similar to the early SSB4 days, and many has considered him to be a potential high tiered character if his high learning curve is passed.
Upon the game's release, Greninja was played extensively in Japanese tournaments. However, it would soon infamously receive nerfs in update 1.0.4, hurting its KO options, hurtbox, and also fixing a glitch that it had with Shadow Sneak. This, along with better characters up and coming, lowered Greninja's representation in tournaments, and it was beginning to be looked down upon due to its slow aerials, lackluster grab game, and lack of reliable KO options, and was passed over for characters perceived to be more viable. This and its high learning curve made it very distasteful to pick up. Despite this, Greninja still saw solid placings all around at tournaments, which caused its perception to not be as tough as it was after its nerfs. Greninja would at first rank at 25th on the first tier list, as a mid tier character.

However, updates 1.1.3 and 1.1.5 gave Greninja noteworthy buffs, with an increase to its KO power and combo options, as well as reduced landing lag on some of its aerial moves and grab. With these buffs, Greninja began to see higher representation and some players began to realize its potential once again, largely due to the work of DarkAura, Eddy, Oisiitofu, Some, Venia, and most notably iStudying, who achieved 2nd place at B.E.A.S.T 6. These results allowed it to rise to 21st on the second tier list as a high tier character. Despite its slightly rare results, Greninja was ranked 22nd on the third tier list, and is seen to be a viable option in tournaments, while also being backed by excellent tournament representation.

After Some placed 9th at Frostbite 2017, however, Greninja's results dropped once again. Greninja was once again thought to not be as great as initially, especially after 2GGC: Greninja Saga saw it placing rather inconsistently (this is largely attributed to the Greninja players eliminating themselves during the top 48 part of the bracket). Despite, according to Illusion, an explosion of Greninja's results appearing in tournaments prior to the fourth tier list, voting for its tier placement was already done, resulting on Greninja being ranked at 26th on the fourth and current tier list, its lowest placement so far. Regardless, it is generally agreed that this burst of good tournament results could cause Greninja's placement on a future tier list to rise, although this remains to be seen, as many players see this position to be fairly accurate for the time being.

The Mii Brawler was met with great expectations and considered by many to be a potential high tier character in the early metagame, due to their highly aggressive playstyle that stood out in comparison to the other Mii Fighters. However, all three kinds of Miis were quickly looked down upon due to the controversy surrounding the allowance of custom movesets in tournaments, with the Mii Brawler's aggressive playstyle and recovery being adversely affected due to the complete ban on custom moves. This forced it to deal with weaknesses such as a very poor recovery, special moves with little utility, and difficulty approaching due to a sluggish projectile and short range on their moves.

While at first the Mii's choice for custom movesets was up to a tournament director's discretion, when custom special movesets began to be discussed, the Mii's tier placements once again began to rise in the eyes of many players, and in the case of the Mii Brawler, many considered them to be, once again, a high tier character with extremely high potential. After the universal ban of custom movesets post-EVO 2015, however, expectations of the Mii plummeted once again, and they would go on to being widely viewed as some of the worst characters in the game. Despite this, Mii Brawlers were considered to be more effective than their Mii Fighter counterparts due to their speed and combo ability, causing them to be ranked 48th on the first tier list, as the best kind of Mii. It would then see a notable drop to 54th on the second tier list, and 56th on the third tier list, though this time as the second best kind of default Mii for the last two placings. However, some people such as ZeRo have claimed that due to the Brawler's worse results than the other kinds of Miis outside of custom tournaments, and their weaknesses being more exploitable while their strengths fail to compensate with the lack of custom moves, it should have been ranked as the worst kind of Mii.

Currently, due to a very large stagntation of data on the Miis, as well as there being no response on whether or not they should be allowed to use custom moves, the Miis were excluded from placement voting on the fourth and most recent tier list. Despite this, members of the 4BR have stated that it is possible they might be included on future iterations, if they achieve notoriety once again. Currently, it is seen as better than Mii Swordfighter, due to possessing better representation and results (mostly from LeeT and Keitaro) than it.

The Mii Swordfighter's initial reception was arguably the most obscure of all Mii Fighters; overall, players acknowledged that they were one of the few fighters with disjointed range and projectiles, while the sheer variance of their custom moves allowed them to have the largest amount of potential playstyles. This made them viewed as one the most flexible Mii Fighters in the early metagame. However, all three kinds of Mii were quickly looked down upon due to the controversy surrounding the allowance of custom movesets in tournaments, with the ban restricting the Mii Swordfighter to a very lackluster special moveset, with a poor projectile in Gale Strike and linear recovery options, flaws which were further compounded by slow mobility, heavy lag despite their disjointed range being average at best, and a notable lack of reliable KO moves.

While at first the Mii's choice for custom movesets was up to a tournament director's discretion, when custom special movesets began to be discussed, the Mii's tier placements once again began to rise in the eyes of many players, though in the case of the Mii Swordfighter, many would then go on to consider it to be a low tier character, mainly because of its similarities with fellow swordfighter Link, and due to their movesets not being as impressive as initially thought. After the universal ban of custom movesets post-EVO 2015, however, expectations of the Mii plummeted once again, and they would go on to be widely viewed as some of the worst characters in the game. For the Swordfighter, it would at first rank at the 53rd spot of the first tier list, then see a drop to 57th on both the second and the third (and current) tier list, with all placings ranking it as the worst kind of default Mii. However, due to its better placements than the Mii Brawler, some professionals such as ZeRo did not think the Swordfighter should have been ranked as the worst kind of Mii, due to its strengths being decent enough compared to the Brawler, as well as having better representation in tournaments than the former Mii.

Currently, due to a very large stagntation of data on the Miis, as well as there being no response on whether or not they should be allowed to use custom moves, the Miis were exlcuded from placement voting on the fourth and most recent tier list. Despite this, members of the 4BR have stated that it is possible they might be included on future iterations, if they achieve notoriety once again. Currently, it is seen as worse than Mii Brawler, due to possessing worse representation and results (mostly thanks to Trela's inactivity) than it. Due to Jigglypuff's slightly improved results (mostly thanks to Captain L pulling it out), the Swordfighter is seen as a likely candidate for the absolute worse character in the game, although some thought of that since the second tier list.

The Mii Gunner's perceived potential was received rather lukewarmly; players acknowledged the excellent range of several moves (most notably forward smash and up aerial), the potential for effective camping with the combined use of forward aerial and custom moves, along with good utility in their down special moves. However, all three kinds of Mii were quickly looked down upon due to the controversy surrounding the allowance of custom movesets in tournaments, with the ban restricting the Mii Gunner to a relatively unimpressive moveset, forcing them to contest with a poor grab game, surprising lack of ranged KO options, high ending lag on KO moves, and poor mobility, despite their spacing game being relatively good with options such as forward air, Charge Blast,and Flame Pillar.

While at first the Mii's choice for custom movesets was up to a tournament director's discretion, when custom special movesets began to be discussed, the Mii's tier placements once again began to rise in the eyes of many players, in the case of the Mii Gunner, many considered it to be a mid tier character. After the universal ban of custom movesets post-EVO 2015, however, expectations of the Mii plummeted once again, and they would go on to be widely viewed as some of the worst characters in the game. In the case of the Mii Gunner, it would at first rank at 52nd on the first tier list as the second best kind of Mii. It would then see slight drops to 53rd on the second tier list, and 54th on the third and current tier list, though this time as the best kind of default Mii for the last two placings, the primary reason behind this being to its better tournament results and playerbase than the other kinds of Miis.

Currently, due to a very large stagnation of data on the Miis, as well as there being no response on whether or not they should be allowed to use custom moves, the Miis were excluded from placement voting on the fourth and most recent tier list, despite Mii Gunner's more notable results than the other two Mii's (most notably AEMehr's 13th placement at IBP Masters Showdown defeating Manny). Despite this, members of the 4BR have stated that it is possible they might be included on future iterations, if they achieve notoriety once again.

In the early metagame, Palutena was notable for her smash attacks' impressive ranges and her distinction as the only character in the game with both a reflector and a counterattack in her default moveset. However, opinions on her would later drop dramatically after her weaknesses began to emerge when custom moves were not accounted for, largely because of her sluggish frame data, flawed special moves, and surprisingly enough, her lack of offensive options outside of her grab game, and was seen as one of the worst characters in the game.

When custom special moves began to be discussed, Palutena's potential tier placement once again began to rise in the eyes of many players, with many considering her to be a high tier character, and in some cases, even a top tier character. After the universal ban of custom movesets post-EVO 2015, however, expectations of her returned back to normal. This negative perception was further compounded by her lack of significant buffs to her default moveset, the noticeably effective buffs other poorly regarded characters received, and the changes to shield mechanics brought about by updates 1.1.0 and 1.1.1 indirectly nerfing her. Due to these factors, Palutena was ranked 50th on the first tier list, which confirmed her status as a bottom tier character.

It was not until the the first half of 2016 that Palutena's tournament presence started to improve. After the buffs gained by updates 1.1.5, tied with the previous ones, players like TLTC and Prince Ramen started placing higher within their respective regions. Even after AeroLink dropped her in favor of Bayonetta, these results were sufficient enough to improve her perception within the community, and became more prominent after game updates 1.1.5 and 1.1.6 brought nerfs to top tier characters like Sheik, Zero Suit Samus, and Bayonetta. In addition to rendering her tier placement debatable, players also started to notice that most of Palutena's matchups against the top tier and high tier characters were not as unfavorable as considered before, largely thanks to the advancements brought to her non-custom metagame. Palutena's tournament presence gradually improved by mid-2016, with her most promising showings occurring at CEO 2016, EVO 2016, and Super Smash Con 2016; CEO was particularly notable after Prince Ramen scored a major upset by defeating ZeRo, arguably the best SSB4 player in the world, while all three tournaments saw Palutena players place 33rd. With these improved results, the vast majority of the community no longer saw Palutena as one of the worst characters in the game. This, in turn, was reflected by her being ranked 40th on the second tier list; in addition to reassessing Palutena as a low tier character, her tier rise was tied with Cloud's for the fifth largest between the first and second tier lists.

Due to Palutena's still sparse tournament results, however, she then saw a slight drop to 42nd on the third tier list. Although her tournament results have improved, thanks to TLTC placing 17th at 2GGC: Greninja Saga and 33rd at EVO 2017, as well as Death Arcana placing 49th at GameTyrant Expo 2017, Palutena has been ranked 45th on the fourth and current tier list. Despite being a slight tier drop, tier restructuring has reassessed put her at the bottom of E tier, rather than the normal F tier. However, many players argue that Palutena should have remained a F tier character, owing to her strengths not being as potent as previously deemed, as well as her noticeable weaknesses. She would also suffer lower consistent results, with Prince Ramen retiring from the game, as well as TLTC getting an impressive result in 25th at Switchfest but also less impressive results such as 49th at Genesis 5 and 129th at Frostbite 2018. This, combined with other characters below her such as Pac-Man and Bowser Jr. getting improved results, makes her tier position debatable.

When SSB4 was initially released, Pac-Man was perceived positively due to Fire Hydrant allowing for stage control, Bonus Fruit being useful for spacing and mix-ups, and both Power Pellet and Pac-Jump granting him a long-distanced recovery. When these traits were coupled with the revelation of Pac-Man's advanced footstool set-ups, many thought that he could be a very viable character when mastered, thanks to players such as Abadango, Tea, and Koolaid showcasing these strengths in competitive play during the early metagame.

However, Pac-Man's flaws would quickly become more apparent and, in a turn for the worse, more significant than most would think. Many found out that Pac-Man had a significantly high learning curve, below average damage output compared to most of the cast, and that his special moves were double-edged swords due to being susceptible to being used against him. He also had lackluster fundamental advantages as well, such as his laggy smash attacks, unimpressive KO potential due to his moveset's overall low base knockback, and abysmal grab game. Lastly, his reliance on projectiles gives him infamously difficult matchups against characters that are capable of negating them, such as Rosalina & Luma and Villager, both of whom are prevalent at high level play. Altogether, these aspects would lead many to believe that Pac-Man was not as viable as originally thought, and would culminate with him being ranked 29th on the first tier list, as a mid tier character.

However, with Abadango switching to Mewtwo, Koolaid switching to Sheik upon his return from an indefinite hiatus, and the rest of his playerbase simply not being as consistent as they previously were, Pac-Man's tier status underwent a noticeable decline. He would drop to 38th on the second tier list, which saw him become the second highest ranked low tier character. Pac-Man would then drop to 46th on the third tier list. Currently, Pac-Man remains on the 46th place on the fourth and current tier list at the top of F tier.

There has been some debate within the community over whether Pac-Man should be ranked higher or even lower than he already is, as some within the community (most notably ESAM and Mr. R) view him as one of the worst characters in the game, while players have pointed out at great placings such as Sinji's 25th and 17th placings at Super Smash Con 2017 and GENESIS 5. However, Sinji would afterwards would bring upon much better results with Pac-Man, especially at regional/local tournaments, taking sets off of players like Mr. E and (most notably, in both terms of ranking and matchup) Dabuz. This further supports the argument of Pac-Man rising higher, due to having noticeably better results than a few of the currently ranked E tiered characters such as Charizard, Little Mac, and Palutena.

From the E3 demo, players immediately noticed the nice buffs given to Pac-Man, with three significant ones pointed out. His air game has been noticeably improved thanks to his aerials having a significant cut in landing lag and his down transitioning much faster. His Bonus Fruit now cycles much faster, which makes it easier for Pac-Man to get to his more useful projectiles faster. Finally, his grab now has much less ending lag, as well has his down throw transitioning much faster. His other significant changes, namely the changes to Pac-Jump and Fire Hydrant, is a double-edged sword overall. As a result, Pac-Man is considered by many to be a noticeably better character overall. However, his placing among the characters is also offset by the more significant buffs to some of the other characters, although he is generally considered to be a solid character overall if his high learning curve is overcame.
Opinions on Robin's viability have fluctuated during SSB4's metagame. At first, he would be considered a high tier character due to his strong projectile and keep away games, as well as high KO power thanks to the Levin Sword and his back throw's immense power. Even so, a small number of players argued against him that his mobility was too slow for him to accomplish a lot, combined with his poor grab game, weak projectiles that took too long to charge and could be cancelled out by pretty much any other projectile, mediocre recovery, and having a limit to how many times he could use many moves before becoming virtually helpless, he was considered a low tier character, and many smashers would slowly start to drop him in favor of another character (such as Xzax with Mario and Nairo with Zero Suit Samus). Eventually, the latter opinion would slowly start to become more prominent, until game updates notably buffed Robin over the course (particularly 1.1.0 and 1.1.1, which granted Robin better shield pressure and a combo throw). This, combined with slow improvements to his metagame, and decent results from a small number of dedicated smashers such as Dath, Jerm, and Mr.II, opinions on Robin would improve slowly, and they would eventually break with the consensus of being a low tier character after a player managed to beat ZeRo's Sheik (the best SSB4 player in the world using what was considered to be the best character in the game) in a tournament using Robin, with him being ranked at 31st on the first tier list, assessing him as a mid tier character.

Despite his results remaining below average, as well as the introduction of Corrin and Bayonetta, Dath would place 3rd at Shine 2016, which was notable enough for Robin to maintain his ranking of 31st on the second tier list. Even so, Robin has lately seen worse results, and was thus ranked 34th on the third tier list, and his lack of a relatively large playerbase in comparison to other mid tier characters, such as Bowser, has significantly deterred him from rising any further on the tier list, rather dropping to 37th on the fourth and current tier list.

Although he would get some notable regional results afterwards, mostly from Ke-ya and Reflet, as well as Skorpio getting 9th at Midwest Mayhem 11, his results would become worse than a few other characters below him (mainly Ike, Mr. Game & Watch, Wario, and Samus). As a result, he is considered to be slightly too high in the rankings, although some players would even claim that he could potentially be the worst Fire Emblem character and not Roy. When coupled with his high learning curve, it is unknown how Robin's tournament representation will fare in the long run.

Opinions on Shulk's overall viability in the metagame have fluctuated greatly throughout SSB4's lifespan. During the game's initial release, Shulk was quickly discovered to be very flawed, mostly due to his moveset being burdened with very sluggish frame data, his aerials being incapable of autocanceling throughout their animations, and the fact that some moves (like his multi-hitting foward smash) didn't work properly or were simply undertuned. As a result, Shulk was poorly regarded early on. However, update 1.0.4 significantly buffed Shulk, which mainly addressed many of his aforementioned issues, alongside damage and knockback boosts to nearly all of his moves. When these buffs were coupled with the discovery of advanced techniques like his signature Monado Art Landing Lag Canceling (MALLC), Shulk's position on the tier list became a hot topic of debate among players due to his perceived potential, with some seeing him as a potential high tier once mastered.

As time went on, players' opinions of Shulk dropped once again. Despite the benefits of his Monado Arts, Shulk failed to achieve high placings at major tournaments, so Shulk was perceived to be a low tier character and was left with a small, albeit dedicated, playerbase as a result. Despite receiving some buffs in future updates, most notably update 1.1.3, they failed to compensate for his flaws. As such, Shulk was ranked 40th on the first tier list, confirming his status as a low tier character. Shulk's representation and results would then be largely stagnant for a time, largely because of his sluggish attacks being viewed as a significant issue and too inconsistent for high-level play. This resulted in him being ranked 44th on the second tier list, a slight drop from his previous ranking.

Despite his low tier status, Shulk's playerbase consistently discovered more Monado Art-based techniques that allowed his moveset and options to flow better than before. This, in turn, has allowed him to garner better results in recent times, with dedicated mains achieving top placings at a more consistent rate within their respective regions. Additionally, M, Nicko, and Darkwolf have achieved notable placings at the national level, such as 3rd at B.E.A.S.T 7, 17th at 2GGT: Mexico Saga and 13th at Get On My Level 2016, respectively. These improved results have been reflected in Shulk being ranked 38th on the third tier list,now ranked as a mid tier character.

Despite his prominent weaknesses, some believe Shulk is still underrated in the current metagame, partly because of his obscurity and very steep learning curve. While debatable, some professionals like ZeRo nevertheless argued that Shulk should be ranked higher in the mid tier. This argument has been supported by the performances of dedicated mains throughout early 2017, most notably Nicko and Kome each placing 33rd at 2GGC: Civil War, which was one of the most challenging tournaments in SSB4's lifespan. Currently, Shulk ranks at 35th on the fourth and current tier list, as a result of his slightly better placings. With much more consistently good results in mainly regional and locals tournaments, mostly thanks to Kome and Nicko, some would argue that he deserves a slightly higher placement in the future.

Bowser Jr. was initially considered to be a high tier character due to his attacks having disjointed hitboxes and Clown Kart Dash's incredible versatility. However, like many other characters, Bowser Jr. began to drop on the tier list once players discovered that his he has a very linear neutral game, lackluster shield pressure, laggy grabs, and exploitable recovery. All of these attributes resulted in him struggling against many top tier characters. However, Tweek still managed to achieve impressive results with Bowser Jr., such as placing 25th at EVO 2015, which was especially significant due to Bowser Jr.'s lack of improvement with custom moves. Tweek also managed to place 33rd at GENESIS 3 and consistently achieve top 8 placings in his region. As a result, Bowser Jr. was ranked 34th on the first tier list at the upper low tier.

However, after Tweek dropped Bowser Jr. in favor of Cloud, his tournament prominence has dropped significantly. However, thanks to getting some helpful buffs from game updates (notably addressing his issue on lackluster shield pressure), he still achieves some decent results thanks to many dedicated players such as Vicegrip and Jade (the latter of whom notably defeated Trela at CEO 2016), and his metagame keeps being developed. However, Bowser Jr.'s lack of high placings at tournaments and glaring weaknesses have resulted in him tying with Wii Fit Trainer for the 46th/47th place on the second tier list, and then slightly dropping to 48th on the third tier list. Currently, Bowser Jr. remains ranked as 48th on the fourth and current tier list, which can be attributed to Kub4444 achieving 17th at Smash Factor 6.

In 2018, however, his results would improve. Taternator would get consistently good results in MSM and WNF tournaments, taking sets off of top players such as K9sbruce, VoiD, and Raito. He would also get 25th at SML: Battle for Vegas, while blanc would get 25th at GOML 2018, both with solo Bowser Jr. While some players would claim that he deserves a higher placement thanks to this, other players such as ZeRo and Dabuz would consider him as one of the poorest characters in the game and should drop even more.

Duck Hunt's viability has been among the most contentious throughout SSB4's lifespan. They were initially considered to be among the best characters in the game, largely thanks to their zoning game offering them excellent set-ups and stage control. Later, it would become clear that Duck Hunt's overall average mobility, smash attacks' awkward hitboxes, handful of KOing options, and over-reliance on set-ups collectively hindered them in competitive play. As a result, their playerbase in the Western scene declined dramatically, even in light of the nerfs to Diddy Kong and Sheik, two of their most challenging matchups. As a result, some players have even gone as far as to say that Duck Hunt is one of the worst characters in the game.

Despite this, Duck Hunt managed to achieve respectable tournament success in Japan, thanks to Brood, Raito, and You3. These players also expanded Duck Hunt's metagame by employing even smarter set-ups, frame traps, and pressure options. Western players that continued to main Duck Hunt, such as Dandy Penguin and ImHip, would also achieve decent success in tournaments. These instances of success somewhat improved Duck Hunt's perception: they were tied with Little Mac for 42nd/43rd on the first tier list, and then ranked 42nd on the second tier list as low tier character in both lists.

However, Duck Hunt's perception continued to improve following GENESIS 4: Brood, You3, and Raito placed 25th, 33rd and 49th, respectively, while Brood scored an upset against ZeRo (although ZeRo SD'ed multiple times during the set). This upturn resulted in Duck Hunt being ranked 37th on the third tier list, which saw them reassessed as mid tier characters. Thanks to Raito's consistently high placings since GENESIS 4, Duck Hunt's perception has improved even further. To reflect this, they were ranked 30th on the fourth and current tier list, at the top of mid tier.

Although Duck Hunt's results started to be shaky at the start of 2018, Raito would then achieve top class results for a non-high tiered character. He achieved placing 7th at Switchfest and EVO 2018, and placing 5th at CEO 2018, while taking sets off of top/high level players such as K9sbruce, Tweek, Cosmos, Fatality, Karna, Captain L, and Elegant, as well as bringing MkLeo to a game 5 last hit situation. Other Duck hunt players such as Ozone would achieve better results as well, especially in region. This, combined, with the falls of characters like Bowser and Lucas, makes many players believe that he should be ranked higher, with some such as Dabuz believing that he should be ranked among the high tiered characters.

Overall, Duck Hunt is one of the characters that developed the most and, unlike other characters like Marth and Mewtwo, wasn't significantly buffed by updates to do so.

Ever since his release, Ryu has been considered a viable character, with the control input carryover from the Street Fighter series benefiting Ryu immensely. Early on, he received excellent tournament representation and results for his DLC status, namely from smashers like 9B, DJ Jack, Locus, Venom and, most notably, Trela. The nerfs to other top tier characters such as Diddy Kong and Sheik further contributed to his better status. Ryu's tier placement, however, was a great topic of debate due to his weaknesses, namely his trouble at approaching reliably, the buffs other characters had gained, and the release of Cloud, a DLC character that was seen as just as viable as him. Despite this, he was ranked 4th on the first tier list.

Ryu's results would continue to decline due to the release of Corrin and Bayonetta, the buffs to Mewtwo in game updates and the spike in popularity Cloud had gained. This caused some smashers (most notably 9B) to drop him and reduced his tournament results significantly, which in turn made him rank at 9th on the second tier list, and eventually 12th on the third tier list. Ryu's results would also become more unstable, hovering between mediocre due to Trela's retirement, and above average due to Locus' rise as a top player. With Trela's semi-comeback, however, and Darkshad's and other Ryu player's significantly improved results, Ryu would remain at 12th in the fourth (current) tier list. His results would then become much more stable afterwards, now possessing much more consistent results with his playerbase, so Ryu's current tier placement is widely considered to be accurate.

Overall, while his strengths are larger than some other top tiered characters, they are held back more than said characters by his more pronounced weaknesses and the dexterity to input his moves, and as such gives him a very high learning curve that has deterred his tournament results from being as great as they initially were.

From the E3 demo, Ryu appearance is met with wide approval. He has received some great buffs despite his already high standing in SSB4, both direct an indirect. The new auto-facing the opponent mechanic in 1-v-1's decreases the amount of accidental inputs from Ryu players, and allows the opponents to completely trap the opponents by the ledge as Ryu will automatically turn behind him an attempt to roll behind him from the ledge. This overall decreases the amount of defensive options the opponents can do to escape pressure from Ryu. This is also combined with being able to dash cancel with grounded attacks, making his tilts more fearsome than ever before. His air game has also have been improved, thanks to the universal frame 3 jumpsquat and the new ability to cancel his aerials into his special moves. Finally, he benefits from his worse matchups from SSB4, namely Bayonetta, Sonic, and Rosalina, receiving noticeable nerfs in the transition. Overall, many players have believed that Ryu could potentially be one of the best characters in the game if his high learning curve is passed.
Since his release, Cloud was believed to be a high tier character, thanks to his incredible combination of range, mobility, power, and Limit Break mechanic; the latter in particular was highly valued for its ability to not only grant his special moves KO potential disproportionate for and beyond his weight class but also make them fast and safe, especially Cross Slash. This positive outlook on Cloud was even more apparent in doubles play, where he can greatly benefit from having a teammate to alleviate his weak recovery and helping to land his Limit Break specials as the finisher to team combos, while Cloud himself can provide stage control and wall out his opponents for his teammate. He had achieved strong results at both singles and doubles play right before the first tier list was released by the 4BR, thanks to professionals like komorikiri, Mew2King, and Tweek. This led him to be ranked 12th on the first tier list, placing him at the middle of the B tier, which confirmed his high tier status.

However, with the release of Corrin and Bayonetta, the subsequent nerfs to them and other top tier characters, and various advancements to his metagame, Cloud became a very popular character in tournaments. His own nerfs did not seriously hinder him, and he remained a fundamentally strong character choice for both newer and professional players, the latter of which saw MkLeo formally picking him up. This was apparent with him appearing more frequently in the top placings of tournaments in comparison to some top tier characters like Sheik and Zero Suit Samus, and consistently winning almost every major doubles event at tournaments. As a result of this spike in popularity and success, Cloud was ranked 2nd on the second tier list, placing him in top tier and the S tier.

Despite this, Cloud's placement received mixed thoughts from the community, as his rather exploitable weaknesses held him back from consistently achieving top 8 placings in singles play for several national tournaments, such as EVO 2016 (the highest ranking Cloud being komorikiri, who placed 17th) and Super Smash Con 2016 (the highest ranking solo Cloud being Tweek, who placed 13th).

However, Cloud's singles results became considerably more consistent, thanks to komorikiri placing 3rd, Tweek placing 13th, and Mew2King placing 25th, all at The Big House 6, among others. In addition, MkLeo placed 1st, Tweek placed 9th, and komorikiri placed 7th at GENESIS 4, all while primarily using Cloud until top 8 in the case of komorikiri and MKLeo. The end result is many players believing that he should be ranked as the best character in the game. However, Cloud then saw a very slight drop to 3rd place on the third tier list, mainly due to Bayonetta's ascent to 1st. Afterwards, he has achieved even more consistent results from the likes of komorikiri, MkLeo, and Tweek, which has seen him rise to 2nd on the fourth and current tier list. Although Bayonetta's more stable results in 2018 would prove that she is the best character and not Cloud, his strengths and results would continue in being the undisputed #2 in the game.

From the E3 demo, players immediately noticed the noticeable nerfs to Cloud. These nerfs include to his Limit mechanic, as it will automatically expire after 15 seconds, which harms his ability to apply pressure to the opponent and hold it off for when it is time to recover. Getting hit during Limit Charge will also make Cloud lose limit, which harms it's ability to force approaches. Limit Cross Slash, his most reliable KO move, has also have nerfed in KO power. Finally, his up air cannot hit grounded opponents as easily anymore, and his down air's autocaneling window appearing later in the move. However, Cloud has also received some helpful buffs, such as all of his aerials having less landing lag (which allows him to space even better than before), the new airdodging mechanic not only boosting his recovery but also boosting his up air's already impressive juggling abilities, the new movement options in the game boosting his mobility, and his downwards Climhazzard now snagging the ledge easier.

Overall, while Cloud is nerfed from SSB4, his buffs and retained strengths doesn't make as nerfed as other highly regarded characters (such as Bayonetta, Sonic, and Fox) and he is still considered to be one of the more fearsome characters in the game. However, he now faces some competition from Link and Ike, two slow but powerful swordsmen, who received mobility and frame data buffs that now mimics Cloud's.
Corrin was, along with Bayonetta, one of the only two characters to miss out on the first tier list, due to them being available two days after the tier list was released. Upon his release, he was deemed as a viable, if unusual, mold-breaking character, due to the extreme reach of his attacks granting him a strong neutral game. Corrin's release, however, was ultimately overlooked and overshadowed due to the simultaneous release of Bayonetta and her great status in competitive play, causing his standing among the cast to be debatable, more so after the nerfs he had also gained in update 1.1.5, most notably to his Counter Surge. Despite this, a healthy amount of representation in tournament followed, namely from smashers like Cosmos, Earth, and Ryuga, and his results were strong enough to rank at 18th on the second tier list.

In the current metagame, however, Corrin would be studied further, which would follow into several KO confirms and neutral game optimization that allowed Corrin's results to bloom much more. This burst of results were reflected on him rising on the third tier list, at 13th, at the top of high tier. However, many players disagreed with this placement, as they claimed that the 13th position was mainly based off of theory, and his results would be worse than the majority of the characters ranked in his tier.

However, after repeated appearances among the Top 8 of major tournaments from Cosmos (who also upset ZeRo at The Big House 7), his placement is widely considered to be accurate, with some player's opinions on Corrin even shifting to that of a top tier, rather than a high tier character. Regardless, he remains on the 13th spot on the fourth and current tier list, still at the high tier. With Cosmos continuing his success, acheiving many top/high level results such as 9th at Switchfest, EVO 2018, and Shine 2018, 7th at Frostbite 2018, 5th at SML: Battle for Vegas and 2GG: Hyrule Saga, 4th at Super Smash Con 2018, 3rd at Glitch 4 and CEO 2018, and 1st at The Big House 8, alongside his playerbase achieving better results, even more players believe that he should be considered a top tier character and even potentially be the best Fire Emblem representative over Marth.

From the E3 demo, Corrin's nerfs coming from SSB4 is noticeable. Although Corrin only received one significant change, this one harms his overall character. His best move, Dragon Lunge, now has the kick slant towards the ground during the move, travels slower, and doesn't cover as much distance which makes it much easier to punish. Although it did receive a helpful change in that the pin can be instantly canceled by pressing down, it does not compensate for the above mentioned nerfs. He is also harmed by other slower characters (such as Kirby and Ganondorf) receiving large speed buffs and the new physics of Ultimate giving special boosts to faster characters, while Corrin's below average grounded mobility remains the same. Other than that, Corrin's other strengths as been retained, and Corrin is considered a solid character overall, although not to the extent of SSB4.
Bayonetta was, along with Corrin, one of the only two characters to miss on the first tier list, due to them being available two days after the tier list was released. Her initial perception on the community has been, however, positive since the game's release, albeit in a controversial way. Players pointed out her abundance of strengths, namely her extremely strong combo game with zero to death potential, her excellent recovery, a decent neutral game despite her average mobility, the strength of her moveset despite being a light character alongside guaranteed KO setups with Witch Time, and the ability to punish the opponent for trying to punish her due to the former move. Despite her strengths being slightly toned down in update 1.1.5, the nerfs to Sheik and Zero Suit Samus further bolstered the controversy surrounding her, and people stated she was too good in competitive play while comparing her to Brawl's Meta Knight, and certain regions even had officially or considered banning the character from their tournaments. Regions stated that unlike Sheik before update 1.1.5, "she is very simple to pick up". Following update 1.1.6, after the tremendous nerfs she received, all of the regions that had banned have removed the ban since then, while any region that had considered her ban also desisted after said update.

For more information about the proposed bans and established bans, here are the links:

Her perception then plummeted, with some calling her a mid tier character at best after the tremendous nerfs. Even so her perception then became positive again after some period of time, due to the smashers that kept maining her in competitive play adapting to a newer, more creative playstyle, similar to Diddy Kong after update 1.0.8. While her results were initially not as amazing as before, her strong tournament representation and results culminated in her being placed at 11th place on the second tier list, at the bottom of top tier.

Said tournament representation and results would become even more bountiful as time passed, in particular due to Salem, CaptainZack, Pink Fresh, and Saj's strong results within their regions, with the former two also making it to Top 8 at two major tournaments. As a result of this, she held the 1st placing on the third tier list (in another similarity to Diddy Kong with the previous tier list); this tier rise is the second largest between the second and third tier lists, with people stating that while the nerfs did make a difference in how simple it was to pick her up, they didn't hold her back from being considered one of the best characters in the game. At first, opinions on Bayonetta's placing on the tier list were mixed, as some people were in favor of her taking the top spot due to her large potential (ZeRo notably contributed to this), others stated against her that her representation and results was still not as high as other characters like Diddy Kong, Sheik, and Cloud, with a glaring lack of winning majors events, while Diddy and Cloud has won numerous.

However, after Salem won three major tournaments in EVO 2017, DreamHack Atlanta 2017, and 2GGC: Fire Emblem Saga, and established himself as one of the top players in the world, her perception now fully leans towards her placing being accurate. When combined with Bayonetta's more consistent results, mostly thanks to the self-improvements of new talented Bayonetta players such as Mistake, Lima, and tyroy, this allowed her to hold the 1st placing on the fourth and current tier list.

In 2018, her results would become more consistent. Despite the outcry of some of those Smash Community about her strengths and jank she can display, the players that bring any significant results for her to hold the #1 title remains the same, and her representation at top level play (or at least the ones that bring any significant results) is significantly lower than the #1 (or even top tiered) characters of previous Smash games and the early SSB4 days. Nevertheless, she attains strong results, shown by Lima winning EVO 2018 and Salem winning Shine 2018.

Overall, Bayonetta has been one of the most successful and infamous characters in SSB4 history, and one of the characters that developed the most after getting seriously nerfed (alongside Diddy Kong).

Due to Bayonetta's infamous status in SSB4, players are quick to judge about Bayonetta's place in the metagame. At the E3 invitational, MkLeo would infamously demonstrate Bayonetta's latter combo against Plup and KO him at an early percent. This led to the Smash Community and some professionals, such as ZeRo, to believe that Bayonetta is still "broken" and that she is still the best character in the game. Use of this footage for proof for her strengths has been widely considered to be inaccurate in retrospect, due to Plup wielding the largest/heaviest character in the game in Ridley, the player himself doesn't know how to escape out of her combos, and them playing on a stage with a small vertical blastzone in Green Greens.

However, when the E3 demo was playtested, the significant nerfs given to Bayonetta has immediately noticed. One is that her held down up and neutral aerials are now laggier, which is especially noticeable when compared to the universal landing lag decreases of the other characters. Her f-air no longer combos into After Burner Kick, and the bounce effect has been weakened which harms any shield/mixup pressure. The biggest nerf is to her special moves: Bullet Climax can no longer be shield canceled, which makes it harder to force approaches; Heel Slide now halts when it hits any opponent's shield and it cannot use the second kick version when that happens, harming it's safety; After Burner Kick cannot be used a second time when it hits someone's shield and it's downwards version cannot be autocanceled, which removes a lot of potential mixups; Witch Twist starts up slightly later and doesn't snap the ledge as reliably anymore, which harms her recovery; Witch Time lost all of it's intangibility, making it more vulnerable to multi-hits, and has increased ending lag and a significantly lower duration. She did receive a few buffs, as the new airdodging mechanic improves her juggling abilities and allows her to pick a direction during Bat Within, and her up tilt connects more reliably.

Overall, while she is still considered a good character overall thanks to retaining some of her strengths, Bayonetta's placement in the meta is one of the most debated in the community, mostly due to her infamous status in SSB4. While professionals such as ZeRo, ESAM, and Salem still believes her to be one of the best (or in the case for ZeRo and Salem, the absolute best) characters in the game, others such as Dabuz believe that she is heavily overrated and that she is no longer top tier (and maybe not high tier either) thanks to her significant nerfs and the significant buffs to other characters.

Was planning to finish earlier today, but the Smash Ultimate Invitationals distracted me (alongside trying to process everything lol). I wasn't screaming like everyone else on the reveals (for example, I knew IC's were coming back on some shape or form) but was it very hype!

As expected, all four parts will be updated once a new SSB4 (or any Smash game) tier list is released, or any metagame changes. They will, of course, be updated once data on SSBU's metagame is collected and character changes are revealed.

Until then, enjoy! ;)
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Aug 26, 2007
Madison, WI
This is a really amazing topic. Both of you deserve major kudos for both the quality of work + the time invested in it.

I think JustCallMeJon JustCallMeJon 's op is the perfect level of detail for anyone looking for the unabridged, complete story.

If you guys update this going into Ultimate's release, I would push heavily to get it stickied in some format, and promoted on the front page. (Not that I have anything to do with those decisions.)


Smash Champion
Jan 10, 2018
It has been a while since I visited this page. Going to update some of the characters if necessary.


Smash Champion
Jan 10, 2018
Competitive History of Ultimate Veterans

Last Updated: 8/9/18

They are basically heavily edited versions of Smashwiki's sections of them.

The arrival of the Inking, from the E3 demo, is overall met positively. Players noted the Inkling's good mobility and good recovery, as well as the ink mechanic allowing to rack large amounts of damage and slow the opponents down by applying ink on the ground. Player's also noted the need to manage the ink mechanic, as without ink, her attacks deal less damage and some of her specials will have no effect at all. Due to possessing no crippling issues, Inkling is considered to be a very solid character overall if one masters her unique attributes.
The arrival of the long awaited Ridley, from the E3 demo, is somewhat mixed. Players noted his oppressive power, high damage output, and an overall decent recovery. This is especially noted with his down B, which when spaced correctly can deal around 50% and put opponents in a crumpled state. Players also note that him being the largest and heaviest character in the game, combined with somewhat slow aerials, makes him the easiest character to be put in a disadvantage state (as demonstrated in the now infamous MkLeo vs Plup match at the E3 Invitational). Overall, some players have pointed out how devastating the character is if his high learning curve is passed and consider him the best super heavyweight, while others pointed out that his poor disadvantage state makes him arguably the most polarizing character in the game. As a result, he is one of the most polarizing characters in terms of tier and metagame perception, alongside Bayonetta and Zelda.

I have successfully completed all the major updates to each of the characters. Might as well also add this as well.


Smash Rookie
Oct 15, 2018
My view in 2018 Smash and onward
2018 is going right now and as I look at it, the Smash 4 community is growing more and more paranoid as its viewership is on a decline, many players quit until Smash 5's release, and Bayonetta controversy grew much stronger thanks to increasing amounts of Bayonetta players. While I am not going to talk about 2018 issue in much information, I can tell that Smash 4's future will depend on how they will survive after Smash 5 and how dedicated the TOs and the smashers will be after Smash 5. Future of Smash 4 can go in two ways: decline but resurge like Melee or decline and dissolve like Brawl.

Otherwise, we will wait and see what will Smash 4 holds in the future.

That's it for now, I may not chat in this thread frequently because I am relaxing after all the stress I suffered throughout the school year. (I made 160,000-word outline about all the history of the world which is really hard). However, I will look and discuss anything about Ness related or tournament related. Otherwise, see yall later!
What do you believe will be the deciding factor for the decline and dissolve/resurge? Do you think that the gameplay of Smash Ultimate holds the destiny of Smash 4 in it's hands or do you think that certain players/TOs will be able to drive this?

To me it seems that if the core gameplay of Smash Ultimate is strong enough and engages a large enough audience, Smash 4 will ultimately die. The ruleset would have to undergo changes to keep the game fresh. Potential ban of Bayonetta (and maybe more) could see the game become interesting enough again.

If this was to happen there is a possibility that the Smash Brothers scene will be further segregated into three main scenes (Melee, Smash 4 and Ultimate). This could seriously impact the viability for smash as an esport.

Fortunately, from the gameplay and information so far it does not seem like this will be an issue for Ultimate. Smash 4 looks like it will dissolve and I don't think there is much chance of three competitive scenes emerging


Smash Journeyman
Sep 14, 2018
Are you going to update the thread for the Ultimate newcomers eventually? I really like this thread.


Smash Champion
Jan 10, 2018
Are you going to update the thread for the Ultimate newcomers eventually? I really like this thread.
I was planning on updating each part of the veterans history. I have already updated the 64 veterans, but personal plans has got in my way from updating the next one. Don't worry, each one will eventually be updated to account for changes in the SSB4 metagame and how each veteran is currently viewed by others.

Btw, what I will put in each of the Ultimate newcomers' sections will be taken with a grain of salt because... well... the game hasn't been released yet.
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Smash Champion
Jan 10, 2018
Updated the 64 veterans to reflect the current metagame of Ultimate. Melee veterans are next, but when that will be updated depends on my laziness level. :p
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