My main issue with the MBR tier lists is that they don't have clear criteria. Other communities typically use match-up charts to derive tier lists, which I believe is a very good approach. However, the Melee match-up charts that have been attempted in the past never reach a satisfactory state because there are many match-ups to discuss and many match-ups are poorly understood, especially those involving bad characters. My proposal is to create a smaller match-up chart involving only the "good" characters and use that to order them, and either the leave the other characters unordered or use a hazier method of ordering them. That this would yield a good order for the viable characters relies on the assumption that the good characters' match-ups against the mediocre/bad ones have little influence on how good they are; e.g. that Fox ***** Kirby harder than Falco does should have little influence on determining which of the space animals is better.
There are issues with determining where we draw the line on which characters we would include in the chart, because there are weird instances of so-so characters arguably doing well against pretty good ones, such as DK against Samus and Luigi against ICs, that may merit representation. Given concerns about chart size and sufficient character representation, I would put 11 and 15 as lower and upper bounds, respectively, on the number of characters the chart would have.
I don’t like how we do our current tier list. I’m not sure exactly how we actually construct it, for one. It seems that the discussions center on a combination of tournament results, character strategy, matchups, and overall potential. While this is not an intrinsically bad method, what is troublesome is that the degree to which people take these elements is really diverse (we haven’t really decided how much each factor should affects the list or character placements), and the varying categories aren’t well defined either.
My suggestion is to create a matchup chart that adequately reflects the character’s standings against one another. At which level of play this chart will reflect can be discussed, since I’ve heard various opinions on how relevant matchups are. Some people have told me their impact is more prevalent in high level play, whereas others have suggested that high level play is less about the characters against one another and more about the competing players.
A working matchup chart of all 26 characters is unrealistic. We simply don't have the information readily available for a lot of the low tiers vs low tiers. And a lot of high tier vs bottom tier is ambiguous and debatable (just how bad *is* Fox for Pichu? Pichu can chain grab! Does Fox still own his soul?!). Therefore, it is my intention to disregard those characters, since they never see tournament play, and we don't have the information on them, and create a matchup chart that accommodates the characters that see significant enough tournament play for us to have actual matchup data on them. From there, we'd construct the list from the results.
We wouldn't have to discard all the work we've done, either, since we already voted the characters into Viable and Non-Viable. We've sort of already decided roughly which characters are "Important". Though it might be worthwhile to add a few stragglers that just missed the cut like Pikachu, Mario, Link, etc. depending on how people feel.
As far as the rest of the cast goes (the characters that wouldn't be accommodated into the chart), we can use our usual method. Or a different method. Or leave them unordered. I don't really care.