How would you change Little Mac?

chikin.

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#1
The biggest issue with Little Mac is that he is strictly a ground character. His aerials are the easily the worst in the game and his recovery is terrible. I would give him ACTUAL aerials, but nothing broken. I would make his air game worse then his ground game, so it still stays true to his play style as a boxer. He needs an actual recovery as well. How would you change him?
 

Sean²

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#4
Rework aerials to be a bit stronger, allow side B to be used again after being hit out of it, make up B a little less pathetic. Replace non-KO-Punch neutral B with something actually useful, or lower the cooldown.

In exchange for those buffs, either change KO punch to be slightly less strong, or remove/weaken the armor on some/all of his smash attacks.

AKA make him more akin to a normal Smash character instead of the WarioWare minigame he is now.
 

link2702

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#5
I’m not a mac main so my opinion probably means little, but from what I’ve played of him I’d try to make his ground moves even better, while slightly increasing his aerial recovery better.

One change that I’d make that would probably be a bit controversial...mac has slightly more end lag on his smashes, BUT, that’s due to him now having super armor on them WHILE charging them as well. This means a mac charging a smash you should always avoid or try to grab, but attacking him/being near him when he readies a smash attack is never a good idea, and since a down angled forward smash still breaks shields, waiting in shield is a terrible idea too.

His neutral special should be able to break him out of rapid jab moves again like in 4.

Up special goes higher in the air and has slightly better horizontal movement.

Ko punch used in the air is weaker, but skyrockets mac high up higher than his up special (think limit break cloud up b) so as a last ditch effort he can burn ko punch for recovery.

Ko punch is also harder to lose when mac gets hit.
Those are just a few things I’d do, his air game would still be bad, but some would do more knockback and have slightly (like a frame or two) less end lag)
 
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#6
I would just give him a completely new moveset. Keep his specials but remove KO punch and make that his final Smash. Give him decent aerials and boost his airspeed. The idea that being a boxer should hurt his aerial potential should realistically be applied to the links as well, since for most of Zelda's history it's been impossible to jump at will.
 

Arthur97

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#7
I would double down on the ground game. Keep his air game mostly how it is (except maybe ground level distance on up special and making it so haymaker can be used after being hit out of it), but just make his ground game even more oppressive. At least...in theory I would. That could end up making him extremely unfun to fight, but if they're going with a ground fighter mentality, might as well make him good enough on the ground that he doesn't need an air game.
 
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Khao

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#8
Keep him the same. Buff his recovery.

Little Mac's ****ty air game+amazing ground game is what defines him as a character. Buffing his aerials just goes directly against what makes him unique. It's a direct contradiction to what he stands for and what his playstyle is meant to be.

Just start by making his recovery more viable and you remove one of his biggest weaknesses without demolishing his identity. There doesn't need to be that much of a change. Like, slightly increase distance on side+B and give it super armor before the attack connects. If it connects, allow him to immediately do an up+B. Opponents would have to think twice about hitting a recovering Mac because he could turn things around immediately if he times side B correctly. This stays true to the counter dynamic he already has with other moves, and it means that coming back to the stage is suddenly ridiculously easy.

Mind you, I'm not a tournament player. But making him so he'd just be decent in the air would be extremely dissapointing and would take away from a playstyle that exists in literally no other character in the game. Massive waste of potential.
 
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chikin.

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#9
Keep him the same. Buff his recovery.

Little Mac's ****ty air game+amazing ground game is what defines him as a character. Buffing his aerials just goes directly against what makes him unique. It's a direct contradiction to what he stands for and what his playstyle is meant to be.

Just start by making his recovery more viable and you remove one of his biggest weaknesses without demolishing his identity. There doesn't need to be that much of a change. Like, slightly increase distance on side+B and give it super armor before the attack connects. If it connects, allow him to immediately do an up+B. Opponents would have to think twice about hitting a recovering Mac because he could turn things around immediately if he times side B correctly. This stays true to the counter dynamic he already has with other moves, and it means that coming back to the stage is suddenly ridiculously easy.

Mind you, I'm not a tournament player. But making him so he'd just be decent in the air would be extremely dissapointing and would take away from a playstyle that exists in literally no other character in the game. Massive waste of potential.
So a character should have a chunk of their moveset missing?
 

Khao

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#10
It's not actually missing and you can still use them as a last resort. But they need to be terrible to discourage you from leaving the ground, which is where he's meant to be played. Not every character needs every move in every situation to be viable. Especially considering he has 3 different forward smashes to compensate.
 
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chikin.

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#11
It's not actually missing and you can still use them as a last resort. But they need to be terrible to discourage you from leaving the ground, which is where he's meant to be played. Not every character needs every move in every situation to be viable.
That isn’t good design. His aerials are near useless and are not a “last resort”. Why else do you think most macs you see almost never use his aerials and only just stick to the ground? It’s not good if they have a chunk of their moveset missing, he’s basically an incomplete character and needs an entire rework
 

Khao

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#12
So the character is designed to stay on the ground and the players are staying on the ground. Where's the bad design? You can dislike it if you want, but to just call it bad design is extremely dishonest.

Yes, he's a bit underpowered at the moment. The solution is not to change what he was fundamentally designed to be.
 
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chikin.

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#13
So the character is designed to stay on the ground and the players are staying on the ground. Where's the bad design?

Yes, he's a bit underpowered at the moment. The solution is not to change what he was fundamentally designed to be.
The bad design is that a chunk of his moveset is missing. Jigglypuff was intended to be an air character yet her ground game is not completely useless, why should little Mac have a useless air game?
 

Khao

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#14
I'm gonna answer the question again and you're gonna keep blindly calling it bad design and asking it again, so let's just leave it there.

But for real, if you simply think this is bad design I don't know what to tell you. He's not bad in the air by accident. The concept works, the excecution is just poorly balanced against the rest of the cast.
 
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chikin.

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#15
I'm gonna answer the question again and you're gonna keep blindly calling it bad design and asking it again, so let's just leave it there.

But for real, if you simply think this is bad design I don't know what to tell you. He's not bad in the air by accident. The concept works, the excecution is just poorly balanced against the rest of the cast.
He shouldn’t have near useless aerials. As I said before Jigglypuff is supposed to be an air fighter but that doesn’t mean her ground game is near useless. Why should a chunk of a characters moveset should be missing just for the sake of a play style? At least make it where his aerials are actually useful, but make it where it’s still worse then his ground game, it still stays true to his play style.
 

crazybenjamin

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#16
Personally, what I would do is just slightly tone down his ground-air polarization. The gimmick stays, but it's downplayed.
 

GothicSlenderman

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#17
-Bring back his other costumes from WiiU/3DS
-Add a Classic and Super Punch-Out skin
-Use sound effects from the original NES game when he lands a hit
-Give him at least 1 asset to help him in the air
-Instead of the red arrow meter we use the stars from the Punch-Out games. If Little Mac is able to dodge a powerful attack and quickly retaliate with a Smash Attack then he gets a star. He can get up to 3. The stars are used to add more power and range to his Neutral, Side and Up Specials. The Stars disappear when a special is used or when he's knocked out of the arena.
-Replace his Down Special with a manual type counter. Similar to Joker's Down Special Little Mac will brace himself. When you release the button he performs a powerful punch. On its own the move isn't much but if an opponent attacks him while he's charging then it will at more power and knockback to the attack. Unlike traditional counters you have to manual use both the start up and the attack itself making it more skill based for the user. Rather than just giving them a free hit.
 

dadyoureback

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#18
i really wish there was a universal counter-hit mechanic like other fighting games. for example; when you whiff punish an opponent for mashing buttons zoning with moves, they get put into more hit-stun allowing meatier follow ups. this may buff the whole cast but i can see little mac benefiting off of this more than others
 
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#20
Honestly...? I would make his K.O. punch NEVER go away until it hits. That would be a nice buff. xD I am serious. He sucks so bad that I'd let you keep attempting the K.O. punch and it would never go away UNTIL it lands. Was just talking about this last night with a friend. He needs something CRAZY!! So if I was Nintendo. I'd *attempt* to break him so bad that people would be begging, NERF NERF NERF!!
 
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Tortfeasor

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#23
The only aspect about Little Mac that leaves me scratching my head is why his recovery is so bad. If they changed that about him, I suspect he'd be a lot more competitive (and fun) despite having a terrible air game. I've never quite understood how they balance recoveries in general (some characters can recover from pretty much anywhere with impunity, while others can be easily gimped or can barely get back to the stage if thrown off). At the very least, Little Mac's Up-B should bring him high enough to reliably recover from below the stage.

This discussion also got me thinking about whether it is bad design that Little Mac has no decent aerials or that to be competitive, you need decent aerials.

The clear philosophy behind Little Mac was that he was meant to be a beast on the ground at the expense of his air game. I mean, he's a boxer, so that makes perfect sense (although that logic doesn't seem to apply to any swordfighter whatsoever, even ones who come from games where they never leave the ground). On paper, that philosophy works fine, but in practice, it doesn't. The problem, I would argue is not Little Mac per se, but rather the mechanics of the game favouring characters with strong aerials and the fact pretty much every character is given at least some good aerial options. Essentially, in a game where everyone has some decent aerial options, being the only character without them feels like bringing a boxing glove to a gun fight.

Maybe Little Mac would have been more competitive if other characters were designed around that ground/air spectrum, but I don't think the designers ever gave it any thought until Little Mac came along. So, by the time Little Mac arrived, he was surrounded by dozens of characters built around a design philosophy that characters had to be able to fight in the air in addition to the ground.

Really, the only options are to have Little Mac sacrifice his ground game to improve his air game or make Little Mac's ground game so absurdly overpowered that it makes up for a lack of decent aerials. I doubt either is going to occur, but at least his recovery could be improved to make him a bit more competitive.
 

Ryu Myuutsu

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#24
Keep him the same. Buff his recovery.

Little Mac's ****ty air game+amazing ground game is what defines him as a character. Buffing his aerials just goes directly against what makes him unique. It's a direct contradiction to what he stands for and what his playstyle is meant to be.

Just start by making his recovery more viable and you remove one of his biggest weaknesses without demolishing his identity. There doesn't need to be that much of a change. Like, slightly increase distance on side+B and give it super armor before the attack connects. If it connects, allow him to immediately do an up+B. Opponents would have to think twice about hitting a recovering Mac because he could turn things around immediately if he times side B correctly. This stays true to the counter dynamic he already has with other moves, and it means that coming back to the stage is suddenly ridiculously easy.

Mind you, I'm not a tournament player. But making him so he'd just be decent in the air would be extremely dissapointing and would take away from a playstyle that exists in literally no other character in the game. Massive waste of potential.
I second this notion. Mostly buff his recovery.

I enjoy playing as Little Mac as he is now. I like overwhelming foes with his awesome ground game which gives me rush when using him. I would argue to perhaps give him less landing lag on his aerials.

There is no good or bad design in Mac's kit because whichever direction they take with him is equally valid. Sakurai and team wanted to have Mac the way he is now and is very likely they see nothing wrong with their decision. Likewise, some people would rather "normalize" him which is also ok. Everyone has a different vision of what they want.
 
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#25
Copying an older post of mine:

In the minority with this one, :ultlittlemac: has a great idea for a design and it pushes the limits of what a Smash character can be.

Execution wise, yeah they screw the pooch on this one. It's clear they weren't keen on making the character fly after all the nerfs, no matter what he got in return. Quick normal's, armored smash attacks and K.O Punch clearly weren't enough to make up for pitiful aerials, bottom 5 recovery, and a terrible grab game. Not even dash canceled, grounded attacks could save him.

B = Buff
N = Nerf

Here's my idea of a Mac redesign and bringing him back up:

B = All nerfs from Sm4sh reverted (Up-Tilt, D-Tilt, Up-Smash hitbox, both ver's of Side-B, etc...) while keeping all their other buffs.

B = Air Dodge goes the same distance as everyone else's.

B = Full Hop goes a tad higher.

B = Higher air acceleration.

B = The 3.1 Jab combo restored, although tweaked to not kill confirm at high percents.

N = All Smash Attacks now have percent armor (Up to 13%), but have more active frames.

B = All throws and pummel do more damage.

B = B-Throw is a better kill throw.

B = Neutral-B percent armor now takes up to 13% from 6%.

N = Grounded K.O Punch is no longer unblockable and has less KGB, killing about at 80% on average.

B = Mac gains more K.O Meter for dealing more damage.

B = Both ver's of K.O Punch have much less endlag, deal a ton of Shield Damage, and Aerial ver has some decent kill power.

B = All Aerials are Short-Hop Auto-Cancelable and have no more than 10 frames of landing lag.
 
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#27
1. Usable Aerials
I get that Mac is supposed to be a grounded fighter, but making going into the air a death sentence goes against fundamental parts of core Smash gameplay. He can keep his superior grounded moves, just make his aerials not total garbage.

2. Ground move compensation nerfs
With his better aerials, Mac's grounded moves should get slight nerfs to decentralize his gameplay from spamming tilts in neutral. Slightly worse frame data and power on f-tilt and smash attacks and reducing the Super Armor on his smash attacks to Heavy Armor with a threshold somewhere around 10% damage.

3. Replace Power Meter with Stars
Why they went with the Power Meter and KO Punch instead of Stars and the Star Punch I will never understand since the Star mechanic is in more Punch-Out! games including the most recent one on Wii.

The way Stars would work is Little Mac can have up to 3. He gains a star by hitting an opponent right after they air/spotdodge, roll, or are in the startup frames of an attack. If he takes a large amount (15-20%) of damage in about 2 seconds or less he loses a Star, but can't lose another for a few seconds. While Little Mac has Stars his Up-B is changed to become the Star Punch, a super-powerful uppercut as portrayed in Punch-Out! Wii. The more Stars he has, the more powerful it is and the further it travels, acting as both a powerful kill move and an improved recovery.

1 Star: Goes slightly higher than normal up B and is a bit weaker than f-smash while being much faster.
2 Stars: Goes much higher with slight horizontal drift and is a bit stronger than f-smash.
3 Stars: Goes very high with good horizontal drift, is very powerful able to KO mid-weights around 70% and has super armor during start-up and the first few frames of the attack.
 
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Mario & Sonic Guy

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#28
Probably the most obvious thing that I can think of is allow Little Mac to perform Jolt Haymaker more than once while in the air, just like in Smash 3DS / Wii U, but without the helpless state. It would at least make his recovery not be so atrocious.
 

Ryu Myuutsu

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#29
People keep bringing up the Jolt Haymaker change but Mac's recovery is already better and he is harder to edgeguard than he was in Smash 4, so I understand why some keep asking for this.
 

SecretAsianMan

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#30
personally, id rather keep little mac's moveset the way he is instead of reworking it. Instead id think some buffs are in order:

-Decrease landing lag on all of his aireals bar Dair. This way there would be a even bigger window to jablock/tech chase with his aireals providing an even bigger reward to moves that are pretty fuggin difficult to land but have a decent reward anyway. Also would make bair actually useable

-Increase shieldstun of the second hit of ftilt from 8 frames to 10~12 frames, making a pretty unsafe move marginally safer

-Increase the distance mac travels during his dash attack by a unit or two, allowing it to reliably cross up shields instead of being the inconsistent mess that it is.

-Increase his pathetic grab range to the tip of his gloves

-Oh and the obvious make side b come back if you got hit out of it thing.
 

Gamer Cube

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#31
Much like SecretAsianMan, I would not go for a complete rework. Instead, they can buff him.
Side-B should come back
Make up-b go a little higher and even higher if you hit someone while you're doing it.
give his attacks a little more shieldstun so he doesn't get punished because someone shields the entire game.
Buffing his grab would be out of necessity because he has roll boosting
Make his jab launch at a better angle
Make Dempsey Tilt easier
Adjust his jump height to make it easier to up air a player on the top platform of Battlefield.
Make his neutral-b charge a little faster, much like rollout but a little longer because it kills.
Let counter kill, it only kills if you counter a strong move, I've had people survive a counter at 120.
Make down air trip the player at low percents.
I know that's a lot, but this character needs a lot.
 

whitesnake

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#32
He should be totally reworked

would like the Heart and Star mechanics of punch out worked into his moveset

should be more clear how the KO punch works... should not have different rules than every other attack in the game in terms of shielding / dodging

Mac should be viable. I don’t care how they get there but he should have a chance in every matchup

recovery should not be abysmal
 
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whitesnake

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#33
1. Usable Aerials
I get that Mac is supposed to be a grounded fighter, but making going into the air a death sentence goes against fundamental parts of core Smash gameplay. He can keep his superior grounded moves, just make his aerials not total garbage.

2. Ground move compensation nerfs
With his better aerials, Mac's grounded moves should get slight nerfs to decentralize his gameplay from spamming tilts in neutral. Slightly worse frame data and power on f-tilt and smash attacks and reducing the Super Armor on his smash attacks to Heavy Armor with a threshold somewhere around 10% damage.

3. Replace Power Meter with Stars
Why they went with the Power Meter and KO Punch instead of Stars and the Star Punch I will never understand since the Star mechanic is in more Punch-Out! games including the most recent one on Wii.

The way Stars would work is Little Mac can have up to 3. He gains a star by hitting an opponent right after they air/spotdodge, roll, or are in the startup frames of an attack. If he takes a large amount (15-20%) of damage in about 2 seconds or less he loses a Star, but can't lose another for a few seconds. While Little Mac has Stars his Up-B is changed to become the Star Punch, a super-powerful uppercut as portrayed in Punch-Out! Wii. The more Stars he has, the more powerful it is and the further it travels, acting as both a powerful kill move and an improved recovery.

1 Star: Goes slightly higher than normal up B and is a bit weaker than f-smash while being much faster.
2 Stars: Goes much higher with slight horizontal drift and is a bit stronger than f-smash.
3 Stars: Goes very high with good horizontal drift, is very powerful able to KO mid-weights around 70% and has super armor during start-up and the first few frames of the attack.
this is great!!!
 
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