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Official 'Item Standard Play' Thread (65k views. Not bad for a side project, huh? :P + Poll in OP)

Do you agree that items should be tested before they are banned in SSB4?


  • Total voters
    168

Jack Kieser

Smash Champion
Joined
Jan 11, 2008
Messages
2,961
Location
Seattle, WA
Welcome to the official project thread for 'Item Standard play'!
This is a moderator-approved Brawl Tactical thread.

REALLY IMPORTANT NOTICE:

GET ALL CURRENT TEST SPAWN POINT PACS AT THIS DL LINK!

It is now possible to (kind of) control spawn points of items! Allow me to explain. Early in this thread, there was a big debate over whether Brawl had a hard-coded list of spawn points for items on each stage, or if the game randomly/procedurally determined where an item will spawn. I'm happy to report that the answer is...

...BOTH!

See, in each stage PAC file, there is a section called ModelData[100], and nested deep within this file is a list of bones for each stage, some of which are assigned to item spawns. Using the positions of these bones (stored in (X, Y, Z) format under "Translation"), we can create boxes of areas where the game will allow items to spawn, at which point the game will randomly select a point inside this valid area to spawn items.

This is VERY important. This means that, with hacking, we can find the most balanced and fair areas to spawn items on each stage and restrict item spawns to only those areas!

In order to test this, anyone with Homebrew can download my hacked test PAC for Final Destination. This file restricts item spawns to the diamond in the middle of FD, high above the respawn platforms. Go ahead; turn Gooey Bombs on and see if any spawn on top of your Smash attacks now! The added height means you can react to item spawns, and the small central spawn area means that stage control is actually TOTALLY important (plus, the time it takes to go get an item and return to edgeguard means players recovering have a fairer time).

Test this out, and maybe we can hack all the spawn points to be fair and balanced on each stage!

IMPORTANT NOTICE 2:

For a little while, I have been working on a side-project in my spare time for fun, but it's turned into something I think TO's would actually like. So, I'm going ahead and releasing what I'm tentatively calling a "TO Tools Pack." The pack includes a custom-built and large-monitor/projector optimized Powerpoint that can be edited and tweaked from my template to allow tournament rules to be continuously and efficiently circulated to a large group of players, something every TO I'm sure will appreciate. Also included is a picture pack that was designed to be used either separately or (optimally) in conjunction with the powerpoint. The included picture pack allows a TO to make his stage (or item, for ISP) listing and custom build a picture of a Neutral/Counterpick/Banned color-coded stage/item select screen that allows players to quickly identify tournament-legal stages/items. What's better is that it's all easy to use (I use it with MS Paint) and it allows you to use ANY combination of stages/items and stages of legality.

You can grab the .rar, complete with Readme files, at the following link: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=TY9L4UGM.





Panda's Comments: I've decided to sticky this thread for several reasons, one of which is that there IS a small subset of people who enjoy playing with items, so this thread could be of help to them. The effort that has gone into Jack's project should be commended, and although there are still a few kinks to work out here and there, it is as close as you can get to a competitive item ruleset for now.

That said, NO TROLLING OR FLAMING WILL BE TOLERATED IN THIS THREAD. If you don't like items then don't bother participating in this discussion. This is only for those who enjoy item play, not those who enjoy belittling those who use items themselves.

Click here to visit Jack's other thread where he discusses the ruleset he has created to accompany this item list. [Jack's Edit of Panda's Edit: Since a lot of discussion now happens in this thread, I've decided to merge the thread Panda linked to with this one. The thread you are currently reading in Brawl Tactical will now function as the main discussion thread for both ISP's item list AND ruleset. I'm keeping the link here because a LOT of discussion happened there, and so without that thread, a lot of context is lost. Much thanks goes out to SamuraiPanda for his support and stickying powers.]


[NOTE: This thread concerns offical rulesets and playstyle discussion for the creation of a unified approved item listing for item-based tournament play. This thread is NOT for:

*flaming
*discussion of whether items (in general) are tournament viable
*discussion concerning the 'randomness' of items
*trying to replace any form or facet of current, established tournament play
*etc.

All of the above will not be tolerated. If you are looking to discuss whether items should be allowed in tournaments, you have come to the wrong place.]

Mission Statement:

This mission of the 'Item Standard Play' project is :

A ) To experiment to find a unified list of items that are 'approved' for item-based tournament play, as well as 'approved' playstyles and rulesets for the creation of item-based tournaments. As in any tournament format, final discretion is always in the hands of the tournament organizer.

B ) To create a scene that can/will act as a stepping stone for the introduction of casual players into the traditional tournament scene without forcing them to 'abandon' all of the conventions of casual play.

C ) To create a scene that current tournament players can go to, if they so choose, that has an alternate style of play than what they are used to.

D ) To create a unified place that tournament organizers can come to discuss, create, and advertise item-based tournament events.


Plans:

This thread's purpose is to catalog all of the information, theoretical and real-world, concerning formalized competitive item play. Just like how tier lists and rulesets go through iterations, ISP is ever-evolving as well. New advancements in Brawl's metagame can cause future changes to ISP rulesets; nothing in this thread is "set in stone". This means that we would hope that, although we currently have a formalized (and widely accepted) ruleset, more testing must always be done.

In order to be as open-minded and thorough as possible, all items must be tested in a range of various circumstances (1v1, 2v2, and FFA; all of which Online and Offline). Prior knowledge from Melee must, for the sake of accuracy and true balance, must be discarded, especially in light of the inclusion of a new physics engine (Havok). To accomplish this, we ask that those who would like to contribute to the project post in this thread details pertaining to item experimentation; the results of numerous experiments will ultimately determine future versions of our final item list.

[NOTE: Simply stating that Item A is broken is not enough; sufficient testing must occur.]

We ask that your post include:

*Number of rounds (the more rounds played, the more accuracy; note that each round must be identical, i.e., the same players, the same items, the same stage, the same characters, etc.)
*Stage played on
*Rules of match (Time/amount, stock/amount, special rules, etc.)
*Characters played
*Number of wins for each player/character
*Number of kills for each player/character
*Any other information you deem important

Also, if possible, note the relative skill of all players; for instance, if P1 is much more skilled than P2 and P3, make note.


If you have any questions/concerns/requests for the project, please contact me (JackKieser) either by PM or by AIM. Your support and encouragement is appreciated.


OFFICIAL RULESET INFORMATION:

As of 5/28/12 at 8:41 AM PST:

Thanks to the testing, balancing, research, and discussion of many, many people, we finally have a draft for a balanced and fair item listing, as well as a ruleset for use in tournaments. Speaking for everyone a part of the ‘ISP’ project, we can’t thank everyone enough for their help and support; this would have never happened if the community around SWF hadn’t put (at least some) of their support behind it. Special thanks go out to those who don’t even agree with competitive item play, but still discussed and debated with us to work towards a consensus.
Here is the result of nearly two months of extensive testing, balancing, and discussion:

NEUTRAL ITEMS:

(Sandbag) (Food) (Warp Star) (Bunny Hood) (Beam Sword) (Lip’s Stick) (Star Rod) (Super Scope) (Fire Flower) (Motion Sensor Bomb) (Freezie) (Smoke Ball) (Pitfall) (Mr. Saturn) (Banana Peel) (Franklin Badge) (Screw Attack)

COUNTERPICK ITEMS:

(Assist Trophy) (Dragoon) (Metal Box) (Home-Run Bat) (Hammer) (Ray Gun) (Cracker Launcher) (Gooey Bomb) (Hothead) (Unira)

BANNED ITEMS:

(Smash Ball) (Pokeball) (Containers) (Blast Box) (Maxim Tomato) (Heart Container) (Super Mushroom) (Poison Mushroom) (Starman) (Superspicy Curry) (Lightning) (Fan) (Golden Hammer) (Bob-Omb) (Smart Bomb) (Deku Nut) (Green Shell) (Bumper) (Soccer Ball) (Spring)

CHANGES FOR 2v2 PLAY:

Item Spawn Rate – Changed to ‘Medium’
(Team Healer) - Neutral
(Smash Ball) – Moved to Counterpick
(Superspicy Curry) – Moved to Counterpick
(Cracker Launcher) – Moved to Neutral


GENERAL GAMEPLAY RULES:

1. 3 Stocks
2. 8 Minute Time Limit
3. Items set to "Low"
4. Pause set to "Off"
5. All infinites and chain grabs are legal.
6. The act of stalling is banned: stalling is intentionally making the game unplayable: Such as becoming invisible, continuing infinites, chain grabs, or uninterruptible moves past 300%, and reaching a position that your opponent can never reach you.
7. Any action that can prevent the game from continuing (i.e., freezing, disappearing characters, game reset, etc.) will result in a forfeit of that match for the player that initiated the action. You are responsible for knowing your own character, and must be wary about accidentally triggering one of these effects.
8. The winner will be declared by what the game says in all situations, except for when players are presented with sudden death:
o In the event of a match going to time, the winner will be determined by who has less percent (stock difference still takes priority but will be shown in the results screen).
o If the match ends with both players dying at the same time (either coincidentally or via suicide move) or if time ran out with both players at equal percent, a one stock three minute rematch will be played on the same stage.


MODIFIED RULES FOR DOUBLES:

1. Team Attack set to "On"
2. Life stealing is allowed.
3. In the event of a game going to time, if both teams have an equal amount of combined stocks, then whichever team has a lower combined percent is declared the winner.
4. If a player is using the character Pokemon Trainer, Lucario, or Sonic, either team may request that team colors be changed to make it easier to tell the difference between team players.


SET PROCEDURE:

1. Player Priority is determined if it cannot be agreed on. (See below for details)
2. Each Team selects one controller port to use for each Player.
3. Each Team selects one character for each Player. A double blind pick may be called by any player.
4. The first game is played on a Stage selected from the Starter Stage List either by mutual consent or through the Stage Striking Method. The order of stage striking will be 2-3-1 (Team 1 strikes two stages, followed by Team 2 striking three stages, with Team 1 then striking one of the two remaining stages).
5. The first match is played.
6. The team that lost the previous match may opt to re-pick controller ports (with themselves picking first).
7. The Team that won the previous match may announce one "Stage Ban" and/or one “Item Ban” if they have not already done so in this set.
8. The Team that lost the previous match announces the stage for the next match from either the Starter or the Counterpick Stage List. Any Stage named as a "Stage Ban" by the either Team may not be selected. No Stage may be used by a Team that has already won on that Stage in this set.
9. The Team that won the previous match chooses one character for each Player.
10. The Team that lost the previous match chooses one character for each Player.
11. The Team that lost may counterpick any one item from the “Starter” and “Counterpick” item lists not already announced as an “Item Ban” by changing the On/Off status of the item.
12. If the Team that lost chose to counterpick an item, the Team that won may now choose to counterpick any one item not banned.
13. If the Team that won chose to counterpick an item, the Team that lost may now choose to counterpick any one item not banned.
14. The next match is played.
15. Repeat steps 6-15 for all proceeding matches.

Determining Player Priority
If there is a dispute in controller port selection or initiating Stage Strike use the following method:
Teams will use a random method such as Rock-Paper-Scissors, Coin Flip, or Game and Watch Judgment, where the winner selects either first choice in port selection or first choice in stage striking. Whichever team does not receive first choice in port selection will be compensated with first choice in stage striking.
Note: In Doubles, port selection is ordered 1-2-2-1 fashion (with Team-1 having first choice in controller slot select, Team-2 having both second and third choice, and the final slot going to Team-1).


STAGE LISTS:


Starter:

Battlefield
Castle Siege
Lylat Cruise
Pokemon Stadium 1
Pokemon Stadium 2
Yoshi’s Island (Brawl)
Smashville

Counterpick:

Final Destination
Halberd
Brinstar
Delfino Plaza
Frigate Orpheon
Distant Planet
Rainbow Cruise
Jungle Japes
Pictochat
Norfair
Yoshi’s Island (Pipes)
Green Greens
Port Town Aero Dive

Any stage not listed above is counted as "BANNED" for the purposes of tournament play.


Any rule-list that closely follows this guideline may include a note in its opening post (suggested beneath the tournaments title in smaller font) that reads "ISP Certified".

ADDED MAY 24th, 2009: Alternate Rulesets

The following rulesets have been suggested for use and tested in a tournament setting.

DugFinn / Houston 2v2 ISP:

Item List:

NEUTRAL ITEMS:

(Smash Ball) (Sandbag) (Food) (Warp Star) (Bunny Hood) (Beam Sword) (Lip’s Stick) (Star Rod) (Hammer) (Golden Hammer) (Super Scope) (Fire Flower) (Motion Sensor Bomb) (Freezie) (Smoke Ball) (Pitfall) (Mr. Saturn) (Green Shell) (Banana Peel) (Franklin Badge) (Screw Attack) (Team Healer)

COUNTERPICK ITEMS:

(Assist Trophy) (Dragoon) (Metal Box) (Home-Run Bat) (Ray Gun) (Cracker Launcher) (Gooey Bomb) (Hothead) (Spring) (Unira)

BANNED ITEMS:

(Pokeball) (Containers) (Blast Box) (Maxim Tomato) (Heart Container) (Super Mushroom) (Poison Mushroom) (Starman) (Superspicy Curry) (Lightning) (Fan) (Bob-Omb) (Smart Bomb) (Deku Nut) (Bumper) (Soccer Ball)

TESTED AT WHOBO: WHOBO Post in this thread.

(PS: DF, if I made any mistakes here, please let me know.)


OFFICIAL ITEM IMPRESSIONS:

These are the results of item testing that the 'Item Standard Play' project has been working on for the past two months. The goal of the project is to create standardized and accepted formats for item play in tournaments and in order to do this, certain criterion were established. For the sake of understanding, I will set out these criterions now:

Preservation of Risk/Reward: The basic concept of 'punishment' in a fighting game. Every move has a risk/reward value that affects its usefulness and effectiveness in any given situation, and acceptable items must preserve this vital relationship. If an item has too little risk for too much of a reward, then the item is to be deemed 'broken' and must be disabled from play; conversely, if an item has too much risk for a very small amount of reward, then the item shall be deemed 'redundant' and should be removed from play in an attempt to condense item listings (this is not as important as removing 'broken' items, however).

Acceptable Counter Systems in Place: Every move must have a counter; if there is no counter, than strategically there is no reason not to use it at all times. For an item to be considered 'balanced' it must always have at least one counter at all times. If an item does not have at least one global strategic counter, then it shall be deemed 'broken' and banned from play.

Acceptable Level of Effect on Match Outcome: Applicable to both items and stages. If an item has a dramatic effect on battle to the extent that an entire match can ride on the item's use, then the item should be considered 'broken' and banned from play. This criterion has the most grey area because items in and of themselves are designed to effect the outcome of a match. Thus, acceptable levels of interference must be maintained; small changes in match dynamics are acceptable, while items promoting 'spawn camping' and like strategies should be banned. As a corollary to this, we must also take into account if an item forces its effects on a player (for instance, by spawning on top of a player); items of lower effect can have more leeway on this rule, while items with vast effects must only be usable by player decision.

A recent addition to this list is the ‘counterpick’ list of items; previously, items were either deemed ‘approved’ or ‘banned’. This allows for a few very important changes to item play. Introductory matches in a set must maintain a certain level of integrity, and having an approved ‘neutral’ list of items, much like in the case of neutral stage picks and double-blind character selection, ensures that a significant advantage is not enjoyed by either competitor during the first match. This also allows for greater congruency with established tournament play, further bridging the divide between ‘casual’ players who are looking to enter the tournament scene and seasoned tournament players looking for new and fresh competition (both players and styles).

Using these criterions, these are the 'ISP' project's impressions on each of the 49 items available for Brawl tournament play. These are, by no means, set in stone, at least for now; however, because I wished to make a decision on each of the items at least once, I have laid out our impressions below. There will be three possible outcomes for any given item: Neutral (and accepted for round 1 play), Counterpick (and thus only available in round 2 and onward) or Banned (unavailable for the entirety of the set).

As of 7/3, this list will apply to both 1v1 and 2v2 play. Many of the items function more or less the same, regardless of ruleset. There are, however, a few key items that have significant functional differences when used in 2v2 play. In these cases, I will have a supplementary paragraph following the standard 1v1 ruling for 2v2 play. For all 2v2 rulings, assume that Friendly Fire is active. If there is not a separate paragraph for any item, assume the ruling is the same for 2v2 as it is for 1v1.

Please feel free to contest any of the below impressions with solid data that does not contradict the above stated criterion:


Smash Ball [BANNED] - Unfortunately, there isn't much that can be said about Smash Balls in 1v1 play. With most items, regardless of the character you are using, the effect of the item remains the same; Smash Balls were not designed with this in mind, however, and as such are not balanced in such a way as to give each character an equally powerful or effective Final Smash. This, in combination with frames of varying invincibility, wildly differing ranges, and the ability to change the outcome of a match in a single fell swoop renders Smash Balls out of the question for 1v1 play.

Smash Ball 2v2 [COUNTERPICK] – Smash Balls actually function quite differently in 2v2 play than in 1v1, and the reason is that you are now able to hit your teammate. The biggest flaw with Smash Balls in 1v1 was that there is little to no downfall to activating a Final Smash at any time; if all else fails, one could simply activate the move to gain invincibility frames in order to dodge a hit, and even if the move misses, nothing is really lost. If a teammate and Friendly Fire is added in, things become more complicated. No Final Smash is unable to be dodged, but many of the more ‘overpowered’ Final Smashes are quite hard to dodge indeed; this, however, counts for both your enemies and your friends, meaning that if a team isn’t well coordinated a badly placed Final Smash can (and probably will) seriously injure a teammate (the Landmaster is an excellent example of this). As noted earlier, however, every Final Smash, be it DK’s or Marth’s, is able to be dodged, so a team that has practiced around each other’s Final Smashes is at a significant advantage; even Pit’s or Dedede’s Final Smashes (which now homes in on teammates due to Friendly Fire) can be easily dodged if one practices his timing enough. It is for these reasons that we move Smash Balls to the counterpick list for 2v2 play.

Assist Trophy/Pokeball [COUNTERPICK] / [BANNED] - I wanted to keep these items separate in this assessment, but I just couldn't; they work the same, have the same faults, and affect the match in the same way. Assists and Pokeballs break all three of the criterion for a balanced item: there is no risk to using them (as all you have to do is pick them up and you gain their effects), the Assist/Pokemon summoned is invincible and in many cases can chase you down, and a single Assist/Pokemon can net even low % kills (especially in the case of the Legends and Isaac). It should be noted, however, that Assist Trophies and Pokeballs have a very distinct difference in activation methods, namely that Assists are activated upon acquisition (and thus have an accompanying animation), while Pokeballs double as a mid-strength projectile. Because of this difference, a player activating an Assist Trophy can be punished in a way that a player throwing a Pokeball cannot; this makes Assist Trophies a little less broken than Pokeballs. [As it stands, there are a few Pokemon and Assist Trophies that are vastly more powerful than the rest (the Legends and Issac come to mind), but as Keits demonstrates, even the more powerful Assists are able to be dodged. It should be noted that these overpowered Pokemon/Assists are very rare, indeed; this does not excuse them from our balance criterion, however, which is why we have decided to make them counterpick pending further tournament evidence; if it is demonstrated that uber Pokemon/Assists degenerate item play, they will be disabled. Current item players must remember that these items will not be active unless they are activated by a player, however, so whoever activates them takes these risks into account willingly. Keeping this in mind, though, powerful Pokemon spawn more frequently than powerful Assists, so Pokeballs remain banned.]

Containers [BANNED] - This refers to the Crate, Barrel, Capsule, and Party Ball items collectively. These items, on the surface, seem to be balanced. There is a large risk to using the Crate, Barrel, and Party Ball items because of the drastic movement reduction received while holding them, the only reward being another item (possibly a heavier hit on the opponent), each item has a basic counter (the large containers have abysmal range, while the capsule is easily air/spot dodged), and they usually only effect the match by releasing another item... but this isn't always the case. A rigged container will always do massive damage and knockback, and there is no way of telling which containers are rigged and which aren't. While this seems like it should be included with 'Risk/Reward', containers, by their very nature, have a higher probability than other items to spawn, and because of their bulk there is a decent chance that they can (and will) spawn in the range of an attack in progress; if this happens, a player may take damage through no fault of his/her own, damage that can and, in many cases, will kill in one shot. This happens frequently enough that these items break the third criterion by a large margin, and thus must be disabled.

Blast Box [BANNED] - This container-like item operates completely different than normal containers in that it always causes a massive explosion, but can only be triggered by a strong attack or anything with the fire/explosive property (for instance, Red Pikmin, Link's Bombs, and Din's Fire). This item shares the container's main fault, though, in that the explosion caused by it is relatively easy to set off (and can be done at a distance with many characters) and causes low % kills with ease (a dummy Mario was killed from the center of FD at ~50%). The effect that these boxes can have on a match is immense; enough to where it's risk of use cannot outweigh its effect. Blast Boxes, for this reason, must also be disabled.

Sandbag [NEUTRAL] - Sandbag is an interesting item in that, out of all of the items on this list, I would wager that it has the least impact on the outcome of a match; Sandbag’s only purpose is to be hit with attacks, and it cannot cause any direct harm to players. When hit, Sandbag has a chance to spawn a separate item randomly beneath it, but this happens rarely on the 'Low' spawn rate. The only other effect that Sandbag can directly have on a match is that the game considers Sandbag a character, and thus tries to keep any and all spawned Sandbags on screen at all times, sometimes causing the screen to rapidly change focus upon a spawning Sandbag. Sandbags have the very useful strategic purpose of being a wall to attacks, however, and this strategy lends itself to a great usefulness. Because of the strategic value and the fact that it does not violate any of our three criterions, Sandbags are balanced enough for item play.

Food [NEUTRAL] - Small items that replenish anywhere between 1-10% damage, food can have a drastic impact on matches... but only when used in conjunction with containers capable of spawning multiple food items at once. On a singular basis, food can, at most, recover a single hit's worth of health, and are usually not worth fighting over. These items inhabit a grey area in item play because they have such a small influence on battle in general, but influence the greatest part of a fight (amount of health). They have little risk to use, but also little reward. There is no 'counter' in the traditional sense, but a single hit can negate any advantage gained by using the item, which could be considered a counter. Single food items cannot have a drastic effect on battle simply by virtue of the small amount by which they heal. Items do, however, have two important uses outside of battle. Activating food for tournament play adds another item at which the game must use to calculate probability for spawning; effectively diluting the item pool and reducing the effect other items have on the outcome of a fight. Activating food also allows certain stage's background effects to be used in battle (Smashville's balloons and Yoshi's Island's Shy Guys, for example), allowing certain stages to operate at their fullest. I see no reason why food items should not be allowed for tournament play, but this may very well be an item left up to tournament director's discretion.

Maxim Tomato/Heart Container [BANNED] - These two items, much like Assists/Pokeballs, operate so similarly that it would not be prudent for me to make a distinction between the two. These items break all three of the established criterion of balance in very obvious ways. There is literally no viable risk/reward system in place, as the risk to use these items is very small, but the reward is very high (50% or 100% healed, respectively), and in a fight where every % counts, this is simply too much. There is no way to counter the use of these items, other than perhaps to prevent their usage, but this is not an acceptable counter by any means. The effect that these items can have on battle should be obvious; in many cases, each of these items could provide anywhere from a half to full heal, effectively giving a player an extra stock to work with, and this is unacceptable. These items must be banned.

Dragoon [COUNTERPICK] - This item is a tough one to nail down because it skirts the line with all three of the balance criterion. Risk/reward is in place, if only in the sense that you have to actively gather all three parts to use the Dragoon, and if the opponent happens to be holding one of the parts, you are forced to engage him/her in order to complete the Dragoon. Once the item is used, however, risk/reward breaks down, as there is no reason not to use it (and usage is automatic, so even if there was a risk, you'd have to use it anyway), and firing it launches a OHKO shot that you cannot be knocked out of. The Dragoon has many counters to its completion, but only one counter to its use: air/spot dodging and even this counter can be quite ineffective. Like any other move, prediction is key when dodging (and using) the Dragoon; any move with lag can be punished, but a smart player will refrain from this and stay mobile. The dominant strategy when using the Dragoon is to gather all three pieces (in some for) on the field, then KO the opponent without using the Dragoon, opting to KO him/her with the Dragoon after he/she re-spawns, gaining a 0% KO; this is a powerful strategy, but holds the same fault that a shot must be aimed properly and must connect. This is a good strategy, but diminishes in usefulness the better a player is a dodging and being mobile. This item will be allowed on the counterpick list to determine whether it is truly broken or if players simply haven’t learned how to dodge it effectively.

Super/Poison Mushroom [BANNED] - These items are the only two items that affect each other's viability as balanced items, which makes them unique. Alone, there is no risk/reward system in place; if only Super Mushrooms are on, there is no reason not to use them, as they give significant buffs, while if only Poison Mushrooms are activated, there is no reason to ever use them as they only give negative effects to the player. Together, however, a risk/reward system is evident. Because there is little graphical difference between them, even on a high-definition TV it is easy to mistake one for the other, and so there is a definite risk to using the mushrooms, as a player could easily be mistaken and get drastically reduced effectiveness in battle when he thought he would be getting improved effectiveness. Regardless of the mushroom, the effects are rather simply countered, as well. Poison Mushrooms may make someone easier to kill when hit, but it also makes them a harder target to hit and running away from your opponent is just as easy as it normally is; on the same token, an opponent in Super form is easy to combo due to their size and low knockback, so pressure is a very effective counter to use on a Super opponent. The main drawback of these mushrooms is that they activate on physical contact, which means that, more so than any other items (save Lightning), these items cause the most problems in terms of spawning on top of players. Both items interrupt all animations, meaning that a bad spawn can stop any attack (even a recovery attempt) dead in its tracks, which is, unfortunately, a very large problem. As it stands, both of these items have such an effect on battle that, as of now, they must be banned in tournament play.

Warp Star [NEUTRAL] - Simply put, a perfectly balanced item. The Warp Star has an interesting take on the risk/reward system, as it is a low-risk/high-reward item, but its inherent properties allow it to still maintain a semblance of R/R balance; this is due to the aiming mechanism providing a natural counter to the item's use at all times: ease of dodging. The Warp Star has a limited range of aiming, which means that many times a player can simply run out of range of the star, but even if this is not an option, all it takes is a simple well-timed air dodge for a player to completely negate the Warp Star. A great pressure item, the Warp Star is highly recommended for item play.

Starman [BANNED] - The Starman has been the subject of contention ever since the original Smash Bros. and this Starman is no different. Many view the Starman as broken because it is perceived to be a low-risk/high-reward item, but is it really? The only thing that a Starman guarantees is that the player using it becomes invincible for 10 seconds; it is still up to the player to make the most of this invincibility. If the player is unable to connect a hit within those 10 seconds, then the most that has been done is prolong the battle for 10 seconds, hardly a significant effect unless the player is purposefully trying to run down the clock. This is the inherent counter to the Starman; simply not getting hit, which is purely in the hands of the opposing player. A skilled player can easily dodge a non-invincible player for ten seconds, and should be able to do so to a player under the effect of the Starman. However, the Starman does have the disadvantage of activating upon contact, meaning that fast characters (ones that are inherently harder to dodge anyway) have the upper hand in reaching and activating the Starman first. Also of note is the fact that, because of gained invincibility, it is impossible to knock a Starman-effected player out of attack animations, thus creating another disadvantage for the opponent. As it stands, though runaway tactics are the norm now, this cannot be guaranteed in the future and seeing as this is the only counter to a Starman-effected opponent, the Starman must be banned in official play.

Metal Box [COUNTERPICK] - Causes the user to gain the 'metal' property, reducing knockback taken but also increasing fall speed and limiting the usefulness of jumps. The Metal Box puts its risk/reward right out there by giving obvious strengths and weaknesses to the user. Lateral movement properties (such as running speed) and general strength (and knockback given) are unaffected by the Metal transformation, which allows for a very balanced set of advantages and disadvantages. The Metal Box may be activated accidentally if it spawns on a player performing an attack, but this is most certainly an exception, not the rule, and thus does not affect the item's balancing very much. Does not break any of our tenants of balance, and is an overall average item. [Although this item does not break any of our criterions completely, the fact remains that this item may be activated by random spawn without the intent of either player. This property is common of the items that are on the Counterpick list.]

Bunny Hood [NEUTRAL] - The logical opposite of the Metal Box, the Bunny Hood increases lateral speed (while on the ground only) and a dramatic boost to jumping height. The Bunny Hood does not alter fall speed, character weight, or knockback given/taken, but does come with the obvious disadvantage of reduced character control due to the increased speed. For certain characters, the Bunny Ears can be a godsend while for others they can make a character nearly unplayable. A very situational item, yet the lack of character control can very visibly reduce the reward of speed, and rarely effects battle in a way that gives one player a dominant and uncounterable advantage over another. Approved for item play.

Superspicy Curry [BANNED] - Another point of contention in the Smash community, the Superspicy Curry ultimately cannot stand to the test of balance. There is no visible risk to using Curry, as the only effect on player control that it has is forcing a player to always run, which isn't enough of a disadvantage (if it can even be considered one at all) to outweigh the very great advantage of constant and hard-to-avoid damage given to the opponent. Incredible at accumulating damage, edge guarding, preventing combos and approaches, and creating a variety of setups, the Curry can be a fatal weapon even in the hands of a non-skilled player. The Curry does not provide invulnerability, however, which makes a Curry user just as susceptible to long range attacks and projectiles as ever; this one small weakness, however, does not outweigh the very powerful strengths of the item, and as such it has been deemed too 'broken' to be allowed in item play.

Superspicy Curry 2v2 [COUNTERPICK] – One of the greatest faults of the SSC was that, although Smash DI could help one escape from it, it was overpowered in the sense that its range and versatility allowed for edgeguards and setups without requiring an adequate amount of skill in return; much in the same way for Smash Balls, the inclusion of Friendly Fire changes things in 2v2. In 2v2, it is just as easy to catch a friend in your flames as it is a foe, especially if the opposing team is coordinated enough to keep close to your teammate. Great care has to be taken when using the SSC in 2v2, so we will move it to the counterpick list.

Timer [BANNED] - The Timer has the Super/Poison Mushroom's risk/reward system condensed into a single item, and as such creates its own inherent balance, but the effect of the Timer on the course of the battle outweighs that balance. The risk to using the Timer is that, on occasion, the Timer will slow all combatants down or slow only the user down, whereas the reward is the possibility of being able to drastically out speed the opponent; unfortunately, the rate of backfire is quite low, and there is no way to predict a backfire (it was once thought that the direction of the clock hand's movement hinted at the outcome of picking up a Timer, but that has since been disproven). Luckily, a player under the effect of the Timer gets the added bonus of increased air dodge length, meaning that skilled players will spend the majority of their time under the effect of the Timer spamming air dodges; even if hit one or two times, so much time is spent in air dodge invincibility animation that the user can only get a small number of hits in before the effect is over (it should be noted, however, that the length of cooldown time between air dodges is increased, as well, so strategy must be employed when dodging attacks in slowdown mode). A recent discovery, however, has yielded the finding that anyone possessing an 'electric' property attack can use the Timer to exploit the 'slowdown' effect (dramatic animation that freezes the target of an electrical attack in extra stun frames) of electrical attacks to freeze a target in place with no way for the target to move, racking up damage in a variety of ways. Because so many characters can exploit this technique, it falls out of the realm of balance and must be outright banned.

Lightning [BANNED] - Lightning has many of the same problems that the Timer does, and as such share a lot of the same sentiment. The main difference (and the point that elevates Lightning above the Timer) is that the tiny status effect is not nearly as destructive as being slowed to a crawl; at least you still have full control of your character. All of the same theories that apply to Poison Mushrooms apply to Lightning, with the added bonus of having the Lightning able to backfire on its own (much like the Timer). The level of risk involved in using Lightning is roughly 50/50 (or more accurately, 33/33/33, as there seems to be a roughly even chance that the previously mentioned effects, as well as the effect of making every player on the field tiny, will occur), and you can't get more balanced than that. Unfortunately, the killing blow to the Lightning item is the fact that it is touch activated, and thus can affect play on spawn, potentially causing a player to activate it without wanting to. As such, the Lightning will have to be banned in tournament play.

Bludgeoning Items

Because most bludgeoning items operate in generally the same way, I am going to make a general statement about this type of item and cover the individual aspects in detail afterwards.

Bludgeons all share some common characteristics that make them ideally balanced items at their core. These items, more so than most others, require a level of skill to use above and beyond what most items call for in that these items have a very finite range (when not thrown, of course). Risk/reward is usually preserved well in bludgeons because a whiffed attack usually leave the user open enough for counterattack, and a single hit from one of these weapons is usually not powerful enough to kill, unless at very high percentages. Range is their primary counter, as are all of the usual conventions for dodging attacks (because bludgeons operate, at a basic level, just like any other physical attack). As most bludgeons change the available moveset of the operating character (altered nairs, F-Smash, and dashes), they are able to change the dynamic of a fight without being the primary cause for a win.

Beam Sword [NEUTRAL] - The Beam Sword is a very balanced item, weak in knockback while still providing advantages and incentives to the holder. The extension of the Beam Sword's range upon charging a Smash attack is very useful for faking out opponents, and gives the user enough room so that even if the attack whiffs, as long as the opponent is at maximum range there is little chance of punishment. This comes at the cost of power, as the Beam Sword takes large amounts of accumulated damage and full charges in order to really shine as a KO item; once a player reaches KO point with this item, it is much more efficient to just throw the sword than to try to land a final slash (or even better, use another move to KO). Weak without being useless, the Beam Sword is great for item play and is approved.

Home-Run Bat [COUNTERPICK] - Make no mistake: when used for its F-Smash, the Home-Run Bat is a very high-risk weapon. The conservation of risk/reward simply means that the higher reward something has, the higher risk it must have as well, and the Home-Run Bat delivers on this promise. As a projectile, it is much more efficient at causing damage and kills, but it is just as easy to dodge as any other thrown projectile, be it a boomerang or a turnip. [It must be noted and considered, however, that even when used as a simple thrown item, the Home-Run Bat has one of the highest amounts of knockback in the game, and can turn the tides very easily. To allow this in the first fight of a set, the match designed to be the most equal, could cause complications in the future. This item will be moved to the counterpick list.]

Fan [BANNED] - On the opposite side of the coin, the fan is a low-risk, high-reward nightmare. Not only does cut through shields like a hot knife through Kirby, but it also traps the opponent in a near-infinite of repeated jabs that is so difficult to DI out of, you might as well call it impossible. It is beyond easy to get someone over 200% with this item and as such has been banned from play.

Lip's Stick [NEUTRAL] - Arguably the most balanced bludgeoning item in the game (possibly tying the Beam Sword, if not outright beating it), Lip's Stick embodies all three of the balancing criterion established above. It is completely restricted by its range, having a smaller range than even some regular F-Smashes. The flower contact with this item causes may drain health, but the rate of drain is completely proportional to the strength of the connecting blow, which jives with risk/reward because the longer you charge the attack, the higher damage the flower will do at the price of having a greater chance of missing altogether (if the opponent can predict well). As a basic bludgeon, it is not powerful enough to KO at almost any decent percentage without being charged, and as such can hardly be blamed in many cases for the outcome of the match. An altogether great item, Lip's Stick is approved for play.

Star Rod [NEUTRAL] - A unique item in that it is the only item in the game capable of acting as both a projectile and a bludgeon (without having to be thrown), the Star Rod opens up a lot of interesting strategies. The fact that different characters act differently when shooting stars (some characters can fire two stars in quick succession, while most are restricted to firing off one star at a time), as well as how a star can be launched from both tilts and Smashes, lends itself to a level of strategic value that other bludgeons can't compare to. Add to that an average risk/reward, average strength, and average range and you have an item perfectly suited for tournament play. Accepted for play.

Hammer [COUNTERPICK] / Golden Hammer [BANNED] - Taking the concept of risk/reward and stretching it as thin as it can, these two items wildly fluctuate between 'balanced' and 'broken' depending on who you talk to. Both items can either be low- or high-risk items, only requiring that you pick them up to use, but also being two of the most easily gimpable items in the game (Golden less so, due to its floatation ability). They can either be very low- or very high-reward items in that one shot is usually all it takes to kill at higher percentages ('higher percentages' meaning the high 60-70's for the Golden Hammer); ledgestalling, thanks to the increased amount of invincibility frames, almost always causes even the Golden Hammer to fail to connect. Hammers of the normal variety have additional weaknesses, as well. Because of the nature of the weapon, disjointed hitboxes are very effective counters (if timed properly), and certain characters (such as Luigi, for example) can even break through the Hammer to hit its user. Other projectiles seriously impede a Hammer user, making it difficult to approach, in addition to Hammer users being completely vulnerable from underneath. Characters with counter moves also out-prioritize the Hammer's attack, and due to the item's predictability means that counter-wielding characters will rarely get hit by a Hammer swing. [Even though the Hammer skirts the line of what constitutes a ‘broken item’, the sheer power behind the item should not be allowed in the first fight of a match. Similar to the Home-Run Bat’s ruling, it would be irresponsible to allow the Hammer to be activated in a neutral match, so it will be moved to the counterpick list.]


Super Scope [NEUTRAL] - The Super Scope is a very basic projectile item with a lot of added versatility, thanks to the new ability to move while firing. The ammo for this gun goes fast, as it is very easy to simply go semi-auto with it and use up half of your clip in a matter of seconds (which is significant because not every shot registers as a hit; on average, one out of every two shots will register if rapid firing, and the average drops to one every three if you are moving towards the target while firing). The ability to charge a shot to varying levels of power can be downright deadly thanks to the new movement mechanic (allowing charging and aiming at the same time, whereas before you had to hope that the enemy would fall or walk into a charged shot). Charged shots are signified by a loud noise, however, and thanks to multiple air dodges, it really isn't that hard to dodge a charged shot. The charged firing speed is just slow enough to warrant such power behind a single shot, and so we have determined that this item is balanced enough for tournament play.

Ray Gun [COUNTERPICK] - The original Ray Gun had a fatal flaw: at almost any percentage, it was exceedingly easy to kill by carrying an opponent off the edge with a volley of shots. Thanks to altered timing, DI having more of an influence on physics, lowered hitstun, and Brawl's general floatiness, the Ray Gun can now only do this at low percentages, and even then it is very possible to break out of a Ray Gun volley. Ray Gun 'infinites' notwithstanding, however, the Ray Gun is actually a very underpowered item. The shots, even at higher percentages, have a relatively low amount of knockback, and unless playing at 200%+ levels, a Ray Gun shot probably won't KO. The shots are a little harder to dodge than most other projectile shots due to their elongated hitboxes, but they are still able to be circumvented by a skilled player (or one playing an agile character), although larger or heavier characters still have trouble. Unless used to carry the opponent off the stage or thrown at the enemy, the Ray Gun simply isn't powerful enough to pose a serious threat to a competitor. [Although it is harder to do and more situational in nature, Ray Gun gimp kills do still exist, however, so this must be taken into account; as member Yuna is quick to point out, ‘If something is possible to do, people will master it.’ As such, we will move the Ray Gun to the counterpick list.]

Fire Flower [NEUTRAL] - The runt of the projectile game, the Fire Flower is a low-risk/medium-reward item that has some strategic uses and can apply pressure well in some situations. The Fire Flower has roughly the range of most of the bludgeon items (that is to say, slightly longer than the reach of a Smash attack), and the flame that it spews does little damage, but at a constant rate, which is able to trap enemies against walls. The flame knocks the opponent just far enough back to where the flame can only hit once or twice if both combatants are standing completely still. This amount of knockback is just enough to where most characters can jump over the flame, even if actively taking damage from it, and escape with relative ease. In most cases, the loss of nair and ‘A’ attacks outweighs the benefit of a constant volley of flame, and so this is a very situational item, nowhere near the level of unfairness to warrant a verdict of 'broken'. The Fire Flower, thus, is approved for item play.

Cracker Launcher [COUNTERPICK] - Easily the most brutishly powerful of the projectile items, the Cracker Launcher only has one real strategy: land a shot and continue to try to juggle the opponent. The Cracker Launcher has a lot of strength behind its shots, but at a big price: it is notoriously difficult to aim, is slow, and forces the user to lose all other attacks for the duration of use, along with the loss of a second jump (while a second jump may be used after the Launcher has been discarded, the action of throwing the item takes time, precious time that may cause a death in certain situations). The Cracker Launcher's true power comes in off-the-top kills, which are actually quite easy once a single hit has been landed (assuming the user fires fast enough). Projectile knockback is good, but not enough to place the target out of range of follow-up shots afterward, making juggling pretty easy. In addition to this, the item itself is large, lending itself two important properties: while traveling a shorter distance when thrown, throw-knockback is very, very good, and due to traveling speed (coupled with size) it is possible to be hit even when attempting to dodge (as the item may still inhabit space with the target after dodging animation is completed). The final straw, however, comes in how the Cracker Launcher’s shots interact with the user or more accurately how they don't. With any other explosive-style attack, an object detonated at the user's feet will harm the user as well. In the case of the Cracker Launcher, a player could fire an entire clip at his feet and not take a single percent of damage. [The Cracker Launcher has been a point of contention for a while now; we had banned it simply because we thought it would be better to be overly stern than overly lenient, but with the inclusion of a counterpick list, hopefully both sides will be satisfied; they aren’t a neutral item, but can be activated in subsequent matches.]

Cracker Launcher 2v2 [NEUTRAL] – The main weakness of the Cracker Launcher in 1v1 play is how spammable the projectile can be; once grabbed, there is practically no reason to refrain from firing. This dynamic changes in 2v2 play because of, like many items, the inclusion of a teammate target. Mindlessly firing shots can very well get your teammate killed, and like many other items in 2v2, this is a natural counter to its use, as a foe can stick close to your teammate to prevent you from risking catching him in the crossfire. The Cracker Launcher will be moved to the neutral list pending relevant tournament data on its use; it is very possible that this item may need to remain on the counterpick list for 2v2.

Bob-Omb [BANNED] - The main offender of risk/reward imbalance, the Bomb-Omb has a terrible habit of spawning in inopportune times and in inopportune places. The most volatile item in the game, Bomb-Ombs take very little skill to use (just throw and forget), have immense power (causing 35% damage and KO'ing at ~65%), and reward the user for a very basic action (throwing an item) by giving out extreme damage and even more extreme knockback. The very semblance of imbalance, the Bomb-Omb is banned from item play.

Motion-Sensor Bomb [NEUTRAL] - The Motion-Sensor Bomb is the very semblance of strategic item usage. Incredibly simple to use, the MSB stays on the field for a preset amount of time; unlike in previous games, if a MSB has not been detonated after this period of time passes, then it simply disappears. The MSB has decent knockback (when detonated, not when thrown), and is usually considered a low-risk/medium-reward item; it is only low-risk if you remember where you placed it, and is usually not detonated in tournament play other than by extreme accident, as they are easy to spot and easy to fight around. If both combatants remember the position of the bomb, it more than likely will never be detonated, but it is very useful as an edgeguard when set on the side or edge of a stage. The MSB is also the only explosive item that cannot detonate until after it is thrown; this cannot be stressed enough. By its very design, the Motion Sensor Bomb cannot, under ANY circumstances, detonate until thrown. Disregard ANY anecdotal evidence you may have heard to the contrary; this point has been erroneously dredged up many times, and this thread has debunked this myth every time. Very balanced for a bomb item, the MSB is approved for item play.

Gooey Bomb [COUNTERPICK] - An altogether unique item, the Gooey Bomb can be unbalanced if two characters of greatly differing speeds are playing each other due to the 'sticky grenade' mechanic; luckily, the Gooey Bomb is a pretty weak item for a bomb, usually only threatening with a KO at ~85% on most characters and only causing 22% damage on detonation (the highest kill percentage and lowest damage percentage, respectively, out of all the traditional bomb-type items). Also able to act as a sort of impromptu timer bomb when thrown on the stage, the Gooey Bomb can be used to pressure an opponent into avoiding a certain part of the stage until the bomb detonates. [In all actuality, the real reason that the Gooey Bomb causes so many balance issues is because of how they can detonate on spawn, causing accidental kills. By moving this to the counterpick list, it ensures that the players have taken this possibility into consideration and places the responsibility for the outcome squarely on their shoulders. Time will tell whether people will use this responsibly.]

Smart Bomb [BANNED] - An item built off of the concept of chaos. The Smart Bomb is incredibly finicky, having marginal chance to either fail to detonate or to misfire. What truly unbalances this item is the Smart Bomb's blast radius; it is entirely possible to miss the target but still have him/her get caught in the resulting blast, and so this item frequently rewards players who lack the skill to properly aim the bomb. Though it is possible to tap DI to the side of the explosion to save oneself from the brunt of the knockback, this item will do at about 33% damage if a player is caught in the blast, and though it cannot kill until the ~140% range, it causes dramatic effects on the battle. Due to the extreme ease of use and the disproportional amount of damage and knockback, this item has been deemed too 'broken' for item play.

Deku Nut [BANNED] - Another bomb item of disproportional power, the Deku Nut packs a serious punch for such a small item. This item has the added benefit of providing the user with a contingency plan should the nut miss the target but land nearby: instant stun status for the target. This item rewards the user whether he hits or not, causing ridiculous knockback if it connects; it is fully possible to KO with a Deku Nut at lower percentages, even around the 65-75% mark. On the flip side, it is very easy to miss with this item because of its small size (easily the smallest item in the game that can be thrown). However, the fact that even a miss can result in a stunned opponent, along with the disproportional knockback and the fact that a mis-spawned Deku Nut can result in either a kill or a stun means that this item should be banned from tournament play.

Freezie [NEUTRAL] - The Freezie is a very simple item that, considering the effect it has on a target, really isn't very intrusive when observed closely. The Freezie is a (relatively) small projectile that is easily dodged, so careful aim is required to use properly. If it connects, the freezing effect doesn't last long enough to cause a major advantage to one player, and actually has certain properties that cause it to be less broken than one would assume, mainly the fact that frozen characters take little knockback (aside from the initial knockback the item itself causes), unlike, for instance, the 'buried' effect al la DK's side-B. At lower percentages, it is possible (by a small margin) to gimp KO an opponent by freezing him/her while recovering, but the more pressing question is how one would get someone so far off of the stage at low percentages. This item, while allowing a few free hits on an opponent, simply isn't invasive enough of an item to truly be considered 'broken', and thus is approved for item play.

Smoke Ball [NEUTRAL] - A great mindgaming item. The Smoke Ball's particle cloud is, most times, not thick enough to really hide the actions of a player unless the player(s)’ obstructed color is similar to the background color of the stage. The ability to 'stick' an opponent with this item is actually a bad thing for the player using the item, as only a strong blow will knock off an attached Smoke Ball and while covered by the cloud predicting the target player's actions will become more difficult. Both players stand to gain the same rewards and risks from using this item no matter who throws it, and so this item can be deemed low-risk/low-reward (or at most medium reward, but that's a stretch) and invades only a marginal amount on the battle. Recommended for item play.

Pitfall [NEUTRAL] - The Pitfall is an interesting item in that it is an extension of an already existing Smash Bros. move: DK's side-B. The Pitfall's effect of burying an opponent is very powerful, and as any Jigglypuff player can attest to, the reward of a free charged Smash attack is no laughing matter. However, because it is an extension of an approved Smash Bros. move, this on its own cannot be enough to consider the Pitfall broken. As far as the properties of the item itself, the Pitfall is invisible when set, but it is difficult, even on a large stage, to forget where a Pitfall has been placed. Pitfalls generally last in a set state for about the same amount of time as a Motion-Sensor Bomb before automatically disappearing from play, which can be useful as a pressure item to force a player away from a certain portion of the stage. It is also a useful gimp killing item, as the Pitfall has a Meteor Smash property when it connects with a mid-air target. All in all, the Pitfall is a borderline item but is easy to dodge and has varied strategic uses, and so this item is currently approved for tournament play.

Hothead [COUNTERPICK] - The Hothead is a largely situational item, but as a projectile it is pretty powerful. It is large, which makes it difficult (in proportion to most other projectiles) to dodge, but it does have flaws. The Hothead does terribly on stages with walk-off edges as it is unable to circle around the stage like it can do on floating levels, and even on some floating levels, the Hothead can be finicky and refuse to circle around the stage; this probably can be marked up to irregular level shapes confusing the item AI. If there are floating or secondary platforms on any level, the Hothead can be easily dodged by simply staying away from the main platform, rendering it useless (aside from a pressure item). Ultimately, though, the Hothead gives the player who deploys it the advantage; it can cover stages very quickly and efficiently, does decent knockback even at lower percentages, and can grow by touching it with anything possessing the fire, explosive, or electrical properties, in addition to the fact that the player that sets it is unaffected by it. It is, however, possible to reflect a deployed Hothead with certain moves (or by perfect shielding as it is thrown) and change its master. In addition to this, the Hothead gives any character with fire- or electric-based attacks a 'mini-buff' of sorts, as a Hothead's contact with any attack with these properties causes it to grow in size, speed, and power. I would be remiss if I didn't note, however, that there are many problems with reflected Hotheads, especially if they have already been fed Fire/Electrical/Explosive attacks in that glitches exist in a few situations with a few reflection moves (for instance, Pit's Side-B) that cause even a tiny Hothead to become a OHKO killing machine, impossible to stop or reflect. The causes of these situations are currently unknown, and thus cannot be accounted for mid-fight. We will approve the Hothead for tournament play pending further review and input from the community, however we will move it to the counterpick list to reduce its possible effect on battle.

Mr. Saturn [NEUTRAL] - A (very) basic projectile with, Mr. Saturn, at first glance, is nothing to be impressed by. He does menial damage, nearly no knockback, and doesn't have any discernable strategic uses besides possibly deterring an opponent from launching an attack; hardly a threatening item. Mr. Saturn does have one strength, though: he eats through shields like none other. This, however, is really his only real strength, completely negated by simply not shielding. Mr. Saturn would be great at pressuring an opponent, except for the fact that player's can't use any A moves while holding him (pressing A in combination with anything will result in him being thrown), and so he can't really be used to force an opponent to eat an attack because of the lack of attack options a player has while holding him. Totally average in every way, Mr. Saturn simply isn't a threat, and thus is approved for item play.

Green Shell [BANNED] - A powerful one-hit item, the Green Shell is the definition of the basic projectile item. The only strategy in using a Green Shell is to aim and fire, and so there isn't much that can be said about it. In terms of risk/reward, the only real risk in using a Green Shell is that it may bounce off of a stage element and come careening back towards the thrower, but this is hardly a large threat, as it is restricted to ground movement (once it comes in contact with the ground once) until it is picked up again and is very easy to jump over, even for the heavier/larger members of the roster. This item relies solely on the thrower's ability to aim and the target's ability to dodge. Alas, the Green Shell has an Achilles' Heel, balance wise and in this case, it is due to an exploit. If a player throws a Green Shell downwards and FF-Dairs the Shell, he will bounce off of the shell AND regarb it in the same motion, effectively allowing a player to have infinite jumps. The use of this offstage for stalling effectively kills this item's chance for competitive play.

Banana Peel [NEUTRAL] - Unlike the Pitfall (which was based around an existing move), the Banana Peel has been introduced alongside Diddy Kong's Down-B. Unlike the Pitfall, though, these operate in exactly the same way as Diddy's bananas, having no strategic or operative differences. The easiest call out of all 49 items, the Banana Peel is approved for item tournaments.

Bumper [BANNED] - The Bumper is a highly contested item, very powerful and with simple, yet deadly uses. In terms of risk/reward, the Bumper is pretty even. Although the setter has a situational advantage in that he/she gets to choose the placement of the Bumper itself, the item does not distinguish between players, and so the setter can just as easily knock someone into a Bumper as he can be knocked into a Bumper. As an edgeguarding item, there is no equal. If set right at the edge, its hitbox denies access to the ledge while sending a possible recovery attempt back off the stage. Of course as previously noted, this strategy can backfire if the Bumper is placed before an enemy is launched (either making it harder to KO off the sides of a stage or, in extreme cases, allowing the opponent to knock the player off the stage and having the Bumper edgeguard the player instead). There is a great amount of strategy involved in using (and abusing) the Bumper, but the fact is that, when used as an edgeguard, the Bumper has no real counter, which breaks our second criterion completely. The Bumper will be banned for item play.

Spring [BANNED] - A much more balanced version of the Bumper, the Spring has a variety of uses, but unlike the Bumper, all of these uses have effective counters. The primary use of the Spring is for a vertical boost, which can assist in evading an enemy (or approaching an enemy already sent skyward by another attack). The Spring has a small chance to fall on its side, in which case it acts as an impromptu Bumper, sending players who come in contact with it careening off to the side, though not as fast nor as far as the Bumper would have. When the Spring has fallen on its side, it can be used as an edgeguarding device for opponents who approach the ledge from medium angles (when recovering from a high angle, the Spring can usually be jumped/Up-B'ed over, while low-angle approaches simply grab the ledge; the Spring's hitbox is not large enough to cover the edge). As a thrown projectile, it has decent knockback, but is easily dodged; more interesting is the ability to KO off of the top by throwing upwards at a high enemy (in which case the Spring will cause the opponent to vault off the top of the screen). There is a problem with the Spring, though, in that some characters can use it to stall and/or spam attacks without punishment. This tactic only works as long as the Spring is out, though, and so it is not the end-all-be-all of tactics. Unfortunately, all of this depth is lost since the Spring is capable of allowing the same infinite-jump stalling exploit as the Green Shell. Regrettably, this means that the Spring must also be banned.

Unira [COUNTERPICK] - On the surface, the Unira seems like an average throwing item, but beneath the surface lies a lot of properties that give the user a stark advantage. The Unira is an item that 'sets' itself by ejecting spikes when thrown or hit by an attack (strike one, seeing as it can effect play on spawn without a player wanting to activate it), and is capable of (when thrown) killing a player at ~85-95%, a decent level indeed. When set, however, the Unira gains significant properties. After it has been set, the user is immune to damage by the Unira, meaning that he/she could conceivably stand on top of the Unira indefinitely without too much danger from retaliation outside of ranged or projectile attacks. A set Unira also possesses a 'vacuum effect', meaning that if a opposing player is simply standing near an Unira (but not close enough to take damage), the Unira will move the player into damage range itself. The Unira can be deactivated by striking it, retracting the spikes and readying it for another throw, but the vacuum effect makes this difficult for characters lacking disjointed hitboxes; it is, however, possible to deactivate a Unira with any character (even Jigglypuff, with the shortest arms in the game, can turn off a Unira with a well-timed Pound). Another strategy when dealing with activated Uniras is to simply hit them into the opponent, a la the Soccer Ball item. If hit by a strong enough attack, the Unira will fly off and the spikes will remain activated until the Unira comes in contact with the ground again. All in all, the Unira is a powerful item (about as powerful as a Gordo) that gives the user a small (yet noticeable) advantage, but can be countered by a smart player. Thus, for the sake of experimentation the Unira will be allowed, but we will move it to the counterpick list pending further review.

Soccer Ball [BANNED] - A unique item, the Soccer Ball cannot be picked up at all. To use this item, it must be hit with a strong attack, after which it will fly off in the trajectory that said strong attack would have sent a player. When the Soccer Ball does this, it gains a fire aura and does decent damage, but extreme knockback. If not hit, the item is completely useless and harmless. The Soccer Ball is very harm to aim due to its activation method, but a problem occurs when the Ball spawns in the vicinity of two players engaged in close-quarters combat; in this case, 9/10 times an attack will connect with the ball, sending it into the opponent without a player meaning to do so (many times causing a kill). While Soccer Balls have some strategic value (especially in terms of air-interception and edge-guarding), its power is simply too much to be ignored, especially when it can be activated upon spawn in such a random manner. Because of this, the Soccer Ball will be banned in tournament play.

Franklin Badge [NEUTRAL] - The Franklin Badge is a great item as far as balancing is concerned. There is no risk in terms of picking up or using the item, as its effect is automatic (reflection of any projectile as if a permanent Fox-style reflector is up), but its effect on battle is important: projectile camping is rendered useless by this item, effectively forcing close-quarters engagement. This is important, especially considering the current metagame. The Badge can also be knocked off of a player with a strong enough attack, allowing the opponent to pick it up instead. A very simple item with far reaching implications, the Franklin Badge will be allowed for tournament play.

Screw Attack [NEUTRAL] - Another very simple item, the Screw Attack shares a few important properties with the Franklin Badge. When picked up, effects are immediate and automatically activated, however in this case of the Screw Attack its effect (a spinning, lightly damaging, low-knockback attack) is only used when jumping. This allows for greater use of aerial approach and footstool jumping (as the attack keeps foes close until the last shot, it is easy to catch an opponent in the attack and spam 'jump' to activate a footstool jump as soon as the attack ends). The Screw Attack can also be knocked off of the user with a strong enough attack to be picked and used by the opponent. Overall, the Screw Attack does such small damage, has such little knockback, and has such low priority that it really isn't too impressive an item and it certainly doesn't seriously break any of our balance criterion. As such, the Screw Attack is approved for item play.

Team Healer (2v2 Only) [NEUTRAL] – (Thanks go out to Swordplay and MysticKenji for information regarding the Team Healer item) The Team Healer is the only item that has no effect in 1v1 play; as a matter of fact, it won’t even spawn unless Team Brawl is activated, regardless of item switch settings. Because of this, the Team Healer is arguably the least understood item out there, and as such there are some quirks to its use that must be understood. The Team Healer operates like most projectile items in that the item does not affect battle upon pickup; rather, the effects of the Team Healer are observed when it is thrown at another player. Unlike any other item, though, the Team Healer (as the name implies) heals whoever is hit by the thrown item… most of the time. Like many other items, there is inherent risk to using this item in that the effects it has on battle is randomized (in this case, between healing damage and causing damage). In normal team play, the Team Healer will always heal a partner, but will randomly heal or hurt if it contacts an enemy; due to Friendly Fire, this now applies to both friend and foe, and so the item will randomly either heal or hurt any player it contacts. Approved for 2v2 play, use caution with this item.


ITEMS APPROVED THUS FAR:

(Sandbag) (Food) (Warp Star) (Bunny Hood) (Beam Sword) (Lip’s Stick) (Star Rod) (Super Scope) (Fire Flower) (Motion Sensor Bomb) (Freezie) (Smoke Ball) (Pitfall) (Mr. Saturn) (Banana Peel) (Franklin Badge) (Screw Attack)

COUNTERPICK ITEMS THUS FAR:

(Assist Trophy) (Dragoon) (Metal Box) (Home-Run Bat) (Hammer) (Ray Gun) (Cracker Launcher) (Gooey Bomb) (Hothead) (Unira)

BANNED ITEMS THUS FAR:

(Smash Ball) (Pokeball) (Containers) (Blast Box) (Maxim Tomato) (Heart Container) (Super Mushroom) (Poison Mushroom) (Starman) (Superspicy Curry) (Lightning) (Fan) (Golden Hammer) (Bob-Omb) (Smart Bomb) (Deku Nut) (Green Shell) (Bumper) (Soccer Ball) (Spring)

CHANGES FOR 2v2 PLAY:

Item Spawn Rate – Changed to ‘Medium’
(Team Healer) - Neutral
(Smash Ball) – Moved to Counterpick
(Superspicy Curry) – Moved to Counterpick
(Cracker Launcher) – Moved to Neutral


Other Important Info:

TESTERS:

Jack Kieser (Phaze): 3566-1264-7112
Sephi_hatu (Sephi): 0087-1978-8381
Metallic_Igloo: 3523-1714-9284
nesdude: 2492-3777-7739
Rich: 0860-3024-9262
Trexxen (Trexn): 0774-3925-3469

POSTS WITH TEST DATA / WRITE-UPS:

Jack Kieser Item Test 1
nesdude Test 1
nesdude Tests 2 & 3
Jack Kieser 2v2 Test 1
Jack Kieser 1v1 Test 2
Jack Kieser Human 1v1 Test #1
'Item Standard Play' Online Tournament (4/19/08)
'Item Standard Play' 5/24 1v1 Tournament

VIDEO EXPERIMENTS:

Bombs / Pokeballs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNkWlrubGgM
nesdude Test 1 (feat. Dragoon): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Scuzoo3neLQ
nesdude Test 2: http://youtube.com/watch?v=J1yRjgtnwv4
nesdude Test 3 (feat. multiple Smash Balls): http://youtube.com/watch?v=k5WvDF6eXyI

Past News
*Good news for people who want to help test, but have no idea where to start! I finally got on my computer and made a template in Wordpad to help give people direction when they are testing. The template has slots for your input and places to put data pertaining to the test setup AND results! Unfortunately, it's not post compatible (meaning you can't copy/paste the results into a post for SWF), but I'll work on that.

The 1v1 version can be found here, while the 2v2 version can be found here. One note: make sure your margins are .5" all around, or else the formatting goes all the hell.
 

Jack Kieser

Smash Champion
Joined
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Messages
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Location
Seattle, WA
I'd apologize for the length, but I had to be as thorough as I could... and to be honest, there is enough in item balancing to write more than just a paragraph on each item (especially if I had access to a capture card).

I know it's a pain to read all of that, but it needed to be done (and I'm not even finished yet... [/cry]).
 

Kitamerby

Smash Hero
Joined
Aug 9, 2007
Messages
5,729
Location
Las Vegas
Sheer genius. I really hadn't given much thought to item play before this, but really this is beginning to change my mind on the matter.
 

Jack Kieser

Smash Champion
Joined
Jan 11, 2008
Messages
2,961
Location
Seattle, WA
No, this testing was done in a variety of ways. The second post of the official 'ISP' thread over in Tournament Discussion has a list of links to all of our posts with detailed test data, although more tests were done; I, regrettably, have done a lot of the testing myself, and so I have been really bogged down in the paperwork (I try to keep very detailed notes) and haven't been able to post all of the tests that I have personally done. However, this list is a cumulative effort, too; a lot of discussion has gone on in our thread, and I hope that this list reflects that.
 

Gishnak

Smash Ace
Joined
Mar 24, 2008
Messages
726
Location
San Luis Obispo
I'm glad someone did this. I've thought of this type of thing before.

It may be helpful to mention, however, that items do increase the randomness of a given fight. Perhaps an item is balanced, but adding items give rise to a less skillful player winning. (This is simply based off of the randomness of where items drop, nothing else) For example, a player is lucky enough to have every item spawn next to him, so he can pick them up at next to no risk, and either use them to his advantage, or discard them off the stage. I'm not saying that this at all unbalances the game, it simply makes the game more luck-based and thus less competitive.

Reflecting on this, however, it would be interesting to see what type of balance items add/detract from the game. Add items would clearly make certain characters better, and thus other characters worse. For example, G&W can absorb many item's attacks, or Mario is suddenly better because he has the cape at the disposal.

The reason I point this out, is because overall, it could be possible that items BALANCE the game more (to be honest, I'm quite doubtful), which would be really quite interesting. For example, Snake is one of the best characters for having so much crap at his disposal to allow him to camp. If characters can pick up weapons that allow them to camp snake, it suddenly makes snakes wide arsenal of items worse (and thus balancing the game more, for Snake is better than most characters as is)

Again, before someone tries to argue this, keep in mind balance is much different then competitiveness. If something is incredibly random, ie rock paper scissors, it can still be balanced if the randomness affects both players equally. So in this example RPS is 100% balanced, but very uncompetitive.
 

Gishnak

Smash Ace
Joined
Mar 24, 2008
Messages
726
Location
San Luis Obispo
Not that I'm too worried about it, but I felt the need to argue one of your points.
You explain that starman may remain a legal item. I still disagree. Using your set of guidelines, let's take a look at risk/reward. ABSOLUTELY no risk, in fact it is a risk not to get it, because the opponent can then get it. It has the reward of possibly getting damage, or a KO. You imply that if the player is good enough, then it will have no effect on the game, and thus the reward is little to none. However, I must refute this.

"A skilled player can easily dodge a non-invincible player for ten seconds, and should be able to do so to a player under the effect of the Starman. This being the case, the Starman does not seriously break any of the above set criterion of balance, and thus may remain a legal item. Good for forcing a break in battle or psychologically pressuring an opponent."

A skillful player may appear to be able to easily dodge a non-invincible player for ten seconds, and this is the case. But there are several important differences in dodging an invincible character. Part of avoiding attacks in Brawl is pressuring the other opponent. If a character starts a smash attack, it is easily counterable by a quicker attack because it hits the opponent before the attack can finish. This is not the case for an invincible player, all attacks have a certain balance to them (Risk/Reward like you said), and this removes the balance of attacks. There is no risk in any attack.
Again, it is easy to dodge a non-invincible player for 10 seconds because that player has to keep in mind that his attacks are punishable, so as not to spam attacks or use certain attacks as often. Without worrying about punishment, any attack is available.

In case you were to argue that a good player could simply forget about attacking, and dodging the invincible player simply through means of air dodging/shielding/rolling/sidestepping/grabbing the ledge/etc, I will pre-retort. It is possible (but certainly not easy) to evade attacks without attacking as a skillful player, but against another skillful player it is difficult. You can be grabbed out of shields, and you can be hit immediately after you finish rolling/dodging/sidestepping. Out of these options, the best choice seems to be grabbing the edge, because it is least punishable. However, it is often a disadvantage to be hanging from the ledge. Thus, the starman would have the reward of forcing the player to retreat to the ledge.

The last possible avoiding of the attack would be to simply to run away from the other opponent, and this is much easier only with certain characters (R.O.B or pit can float away). But, conversely, certain characters are faster and have more maneuverability, so they will benefit from the star much more.

To sum it up, Brawl's attacks have a balance that involves priority, interruptibility, and lag after an attack (which leads to punishing). There are many other factors, but these three factors are removed when a player has invincibility, thus unbalancing the game.

Thoughts?
 

Duker

Smash Journeyman
Joined
Dec 10, 2006
Messages
226
Location
The Cold north
I bet Yuna will debunk the entire thread within 24 hours :p .

Anyway, I like it. I don't agree on everything (Cracker launcher isn't that hard to aim for example) but great work.
 

lethminite

Smash Apprentice
Joined
Nov 2, 2007
Messages
163
he's not finished, he can add a total yes/no list once he's done the analysis and had other peoples input.

i'm in no way qualified to know, but for dragoon;
wouldn't the fact that if you try for the non-dragoon into dragoon kill trick, that if you get killed it back fires just as much as you would gain.
i'd have thought that the inherent minigame that evolves would make it based on skill enough to have it legal.

however, if the reason it was banned was 'acceptable levels of interference must be maintained' and the dragoon, dispite being balanced causes too much disruption, i would understand the banning.


to say it simpler, i don't know if the dragoon should be banned or not, but i don't think the reason you gave for banning it was the right one.

or i could just have no idea what i'm talking about.
 

Yuna

BRoomer
BRoomer
Joined
Sep 1, 2004
Messages
10,358
Location
Stockholm, Sweden
Timers are not balanced. Timers slow down everything, including things like how long before you can airdodge again (so even if you airdodge one attack, you won't be able to airdodge another one as the opponent would just wait for your invincibility to run out and it'll take you too long to airdodge again.

All startups are slower, so it takes longer before the shield comes up, an airdodge activates, you can jump after being hit, etc., etc., etc.

There is no risk involved with the Dragoon. The only "risk" would be if the opponent got all three parts first. It activates on one frame, so you have to dodge it before it's activated. The Dragoon parts will negate all other item spawns 'til such time that a Dragoon has been completed, as well. Kudos for recognizing they need to be banned. But I'm just telling you all of the things you missed and need to watch out for when looking at other items.
 

Twin Dreams

Smash Ace
Joined
Jul 20, 2005
Messages
820
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
These are my opinion for the current items with which I disagreed.


Super/Poison Mushroom--
These interrupt current animation when picked up. They also can roll on from off screen and affect you. You could be edge guarding an opponent, and a poison mushroom can spawn and run into you without you having a chance to get away. It's also easy to tell the difference.


Starman--

Players play the way they do, because of Risk/Reward. The usual risk/reward is lag/damage. Should I risk attacking with a laggy move to deal more damage? With a Starman, there is no risk. Period. That's a very bad thing. Also, these can randomly spawn and bounce in from off the stage. This should definitely be banned.


Timer--

This will usually guarantee a stock either way. It is not beneficial at all to spam dodges. In actuality, it is beneficial to get out of reach of the opponent ASAP. If I see an opponent going for a timer, I immediately DJ and get my Cypher ready for the pick up.


Lightning--

If the actual probability is even. Then it should be allowed. However, if it isn't it should be banned. I don't believe it is. I also believe this interrupts current animations.


Hammer--

This item should be allowed. It has the possibility of losing it's head. It isn't that strong. Easily gimped or countered with shield grabs or projectiles.


Bludgeon--

I've never used bludgeoning weapons. The fact that you lose your A-moves is bad, generally. The more important aspect of these items is that they are projectiles for people without ranged attacks.

Motion Sensor Bomb--

If this explodes when getting hit. It should be banned. If not, then allowed. Also, I'll note that putting mines near the edge is useless. They can roll from the edge and break it with invincibility frames.


Gooey Bomb --

Banned. It explodes if hit. Nothing like dying because a bomb appears in front of you while attacking.
 

Percon

Smash Lord
Joined
Dec 11, 2006
Messages
1,949
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St. Catharines, ON, CA
Interesting read. You justify a lot of things.

I do agree with the timer and Starman being banned.

For the Super/Poison Mushroom, a good player WILL be able to distinguish between the two... not to mention that it could spawn randomly behind you (as well as the starman), and give you the risks without you WANTING the reward. I'd say no to those two.

Lightning is similar, but thankfully it falls slowly when spawned and doesn't move so it's not as dangerous. I'm still not a big fan of "touch activation" items.

Also, the gooey bomb can still drop in front of someone as they're launching an attack.

And the cracker launcher still just seems to broken, because if the user's in danger he or she could just drop the item and negate all the risks almost instantly.

Otherwise, it's a pretty good list.
 
D

Deleted member

Guest
IMO the only legal items should be melee items (fan, bat, laser sword, etc,) and shooting weapons (except for cracker launcher)

even though i play normal tournament rules i find item play to be sort of interesting
 

Jack Kieser

Smash Champion
Joined
Jan 11, 2008
Messages
2,961
Location
Seattle, WA
Hey guys. So, I just woke up and I'd like to respond to everyone but A ) it's early, and so I'm still groggy B ) finishing the list of impressions still needs to be done and C ) I have job interviews to go to in a couple of hours.

So, I'm going to do my best to get all of this done as soon as I can, but I might not be able to pull it off until tonight. Feel free to discuss without me for now, and I'll come back and respond when I can. Oh, and thanks for discussing at all, too.

Peace.
 

xS A M U R A Ix

Smash Ace
Joined
Jun 22, 2003
Messages
656
Location
Raleigh, NC
I don't see how the dragoon is broke.

1) It takes 3 pieces to collect, you really have to fight for it and not get hit to earn it. It's not like other items where it can just spawn on top of them in one go and let the other guy win.
2) It's by far not a guaranteed kill. People can still evade it and you still have to aim it. It's up to both players skill level to determine if it actually kills or not. And if it does get a kill, the player that collected all 3 pieces earned it, since his opponent was unable to dodge it or prevent him from collecting all 3 pieces.

Also, Gooey Bomb IMO is broken, mainly because of the fact that you can hit it when it's on the ground before it's been used and it'll explode, also giving low % kills. It can spawn right on top of you as you attack, so this could end up messing up a lot of matches. I think it deserves to be banned.
 

Vro

Smash Lord
Joined
Jul 3, 2007
Messages
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Location
Chicago
I think fireflower is terribly imbalanced. Being able to run and fire it at the same time means pushing opponents off the stage to the edge or to an edgeguard opportunity. Rinse and repeat.
 

Vro

Smash Lord
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Jul 3, 2007
Messages
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I don't see how the dragoon is broke.

1) It takes 3 pieces to collect, you really have to fight for it and not get hit to earn it. It's not like other items where it can just spawn on top of them in one go and let the other guy win.
There is absolutely no risk in using the dragoon. No matter how the fight turns out, 1 dragoon will be fired, of which all encounters leading up to firing will involve the other player attempting to steal pieces. The person firing the laser has no risk in missing, and is rewarded for not only a free OHKO opportunity, but not being hit by it himself.
 

Tyrael64

Smash Journeyman
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Mar 30, 2007
Messages
357
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Californiia, USA
I'm shocked that people are actually intelligently discussing this without resorting to flames and the tired old tournament mantra of "omg bob-omb spawn in money match, all items ban".

A very interesting thread indeed. I'll be keeping my eye on this one.
 

cobaltblue

Smash Journeyman
Joined
Nov 8, 2007
Messages
455
I'm shocked that people are actually intelligently discussing this without resorting to flames and the tired old tournament mantra of "omg bob-omb spawn in money match, all items ban".

A very interesting thread indeed. I'll be keeping my eye on this one.
Probably because:

1.This is an off beat forum.
2.People want the flashy smashs, not simple items.
3.Actual thought is being put into it by the TC as making ISP an alternative rather than an invasion of competive smash.

With all of that said I will certainly play with these reconmendations to see just how much play is affected. Although I have no facts to back me up I agree that shoorms and the timer will prove to be too powerful/random as people start to gain more experaince playing with items. And finally I'm betting the majority of the items you didn't cover will be legal.
 

S2

Smash Lord
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Apr 4, 2004
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Socal 805 (aka Hyrule)
I don't see how the dragoon is broke.

1) It takes 3 pieces to collect, you really have to fight for it and not get hit to earn it. It's not like other items where it can just spawn on top of them in one go and let the other guy win.
2) It's by far not a guaranteed kill. People can still evade it and you still have to aim it. It's up to both players skill level to determine if it actually kills or not. And if it does get a kill, the player that collected all 3 pieces earned it, since his opponent was unable to dodge it or prevent him from collecting all 3 pieces.
Those can be countered easily

1.) The pieces fly out of character unevenly and drop upon spawning. Meaning that the game can essentially reward dragoon pieces unfairly.

Also, since they fall upon death a player who just got killed can be killed again at 0% by his opponent just camping the spawn spot to pick up that last piece.

2.) The kill is almost guranteed though, unless there is error on the part of the player using it.

Since the item freezes time when used, a non-dodging opponent will always get hit and a smart Dragoon user can simply hit someone as they come out of a dodge.

Not to mention that there is no risk on the part of the user.


It doesn't really matter that much anyways. Nearly every item suffers from some form of imbalance, hence the fact that they are tournament banned. Some items are more unfair then others. This is one of those that is simply broken beyond belief.
 

Dark Sonic

Smash Hero
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Jun 10, 2006
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Orlando Florida
Probably because:

1.This is an off beat forum.
2.People want the flashy smashs, not simple items.
3.Actual thought is being put into it by the TC as making ISP an alternative rather than an invasion of competive smash.
That, and he's actually taking the half serious advice "then why don't you run your own tournaments."

It's actually a very intresting project, and (even though I won't be playing in it myself that often) it certainly helps to quell complaints about our standards.
 

PK-ow!

Smash Lord
Joined
Mar 28, 2008
Messages
1,890
Location
Canada, ON
I have to disagree about Starman. It carries no risk - you have all the same abilities, except to be damaged, controlled, or K.O.'d. Its reward is that it removes all risk from your action, barring an idiotic suicide maneuver.

If this is true, then it doesn't matter whether players can or cannot dodge a Starman.

Also, I would like to see a vid of someone escaping from a Ray Gun infinite.

Otherwise, great stuff, and I am curious to see the verdict on the rest of the items.
 

Twin Dreams

Smash Ace
Joined
Jul 20, 2005
Messages
820
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
It is my opinion that anything that is able to come on from off the screen and affect a player should not be allowed. I remember the times when I played item matches with my friends for fun. We would blast music. it was ****ing hilarious.



One time in particular. "Hero" was playing. G&W gets thrown off stage . Person A interrupts Person B from edge guarding and they're fighting on the edge. Starman FALLS on G&W from off the screen and he fairs them as a bomb-omb spawns on the edge guarders. "I need a hero!" BOOM!!!

That was one of my favorite moments in my personal smash history.



anyway...

it's already not fair enough that these things spawn randomly, but things shouldn't just happen to fall on someone from off screen.
 

Phantomwake

Smash Journeyman
Joined
Mar 22, 2008
Messages
227
Location
Boston
While I think that this thread is great and was necessary to make I disagree with many of your bannings/not bannings. I will wait for you to finish before I post my thoughts.

One argument against Items is that it allows for less skillful players to win games against more skillful players which, apparently, is not supposed to happen. I will not explicitly disagree but I wonder if most players are thinking that a novice who randomly gets all three dragoons a smashball, every kind of bomb and both hammers, will beat a pro every time. this just is not true. What is stopping the pro from making himself difficult to be hit by the dragoon and anticipating the shot with a dodge, and the same Idea goes for final smashes, Catching/roll dodging any of the thrown bombs, strategically fighting the novice into the MSB, and coming up with something for the hammers which could possibly break and leaves a players feet accessible?

Only the pro's skill

Basically if everyones skill could be defined by a number 1-16 (like tournament seeds) 1 being the top professionals and sixteen being people playing for the first time and eight being the average

in the non item standard play, or normal tournaments. it is expected that whoever has the better skill number should win

1's beat everyone
16's do not win
5's beat 10's etc.

but also that often there will be an upset

a 9 beats a 7
or a 3 beats a 2

most expected upsets will occur between one to three skill numbers
i.e. 6's will occasionally beat 4's and rarely 3's but might lose to an 8 but almost never a 9

In Item standard play I think you will only need to expand the range as many as two numbers, acknowledging that skill in item play will be based on different criterion,

thus

1's should still always win but more often than in "normal matches" be defeated by 2's 3's maybe a 4 and rarely a 5

the argument holding for any other number

The question that will decide the fate of Item standard play is will players accept possibly losing to a wider range of players or will there be too much complaining that because "I know I am better than you and you may even agree but I lost so this clearly was not fair yada yada"

*ahem NCAA tournaments *cough
 

Mattnumbers

Smash Master
Joined
Aug 3, 2007
Messages
4,189
Location
Kirkland, Washington
I'm very glad a good thread for this has finally appeared, but I agree that some items are not banned but should be. These are: starman, Cracker launcher, both mushrooms, gooey bomb, and fire flower. Possibly beam sword too, it has a VERY long range and different characters are better than others with it.
 

Cooper736

Smash Journeyman
Joined
Mar 17, 2008
Messages
236
Location
Dairing at lightning speeds
I'll throw my two cents for the Starman debate, seeing as how that's pretty heated. You say that the reason it's not banned is because a skilled player can easily avoid attacks, just as they would if the invincible player were not, in fact, invincible. However, this is bad logic for two reasons:

  1. In my opinion, when you start any argument with "A skilled player can do this," you're saying that unskilled players cannot do whatever it is. Since many of the newer Smash players on this forum (including myself) are not what one might call skilled, you're excluding a lot of people from this rule.
  2. The basic rule behind Smash is to not get hit. That is the one limitation behind attacking: you fear a counter, that someone will take advantage of your slip-up or lag and kill you. Such a fear makes people hesitate before going in for an all-out attack, hence the term "spacing." However, when you're invincible, you no longer have to fear such a counter-attack, and can play much more aggressively. This puts pressure on the skilled player and most likely their playstyle will change, which may lead them to slip, then get hit, then die.

These may be extreme examples (I do use the word "kill" a lot, don't I), but it is true. When an item takes away the limitations of play, it should be considered banned. Relate this to biological weapons in war: they offer all the killing potential of guns, but not the restrictions of death to the user, and hence they are banned.

EDIT: Hurry up and add Mr. Saturn so I can comment please.
 

NESSBOUNDER

Smash Master
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
3,167
Location
somewhere sunny
One thing you should consider about the smart bomb: don't try to DI to the side of it, DI upwards repeatedly with both the C stick and the control stick. You'll get out of the explosion a lot faster and actually be able to escape it that way.
 

Jack Kieser

Smash Champion
Joined
Jan 11, 2008
Messages
2,961
Location
Seattle, WA
They are? I wasn't aware of this; considering this is a community project based off of the input of multiple people, we've determine that not all of the explosives are dangerous enough to warrant immediate banning. So far, the only explosives not banned are the MSB and Gooey bomb; they both explode on damage, but have strategic uses far beyond 'throw and forget', and don't seriously break any of our balance criterion. But all of that is detailed above.
 

Cooper736

Smash Journeyman
Joined
Mar 17, 2008
Messages
236
Location
Dairing at lightning speeds
Yay Mr. Saturn update! Now, you'll have to forgive me for bringing a new aspect into your criterion, but I'd like to bring your attention to the disruption properties on the walking head. Similar to Sandbag, it has the ability to negate any attack. The way it's different, however, is that Mr. Saturn will actually walk around the stage, and is small enough that, on stages with colors similar to tan or with other items lying around, you might not notice it when you begin to attack. This problem is especially apparent when using larger projectile characters, like Samus or Link.

But here's where the real problem comes in: you can carry Mr. Saturn with you. Yes, it's true that you lose your A attacks when holding him, but is that a fair trade off when you get the ability to stop any attack? Like Sandbag, Mr. Saturn is his own character, and has similar properties. He can take attacks and gimp recoveries *cough* Ike's Quick Draw *cough*. The "risk" to using Mr. Saturn is your playstyle will vary some, but the reward is a free 4ish percent, an opponent briefly trapped in hitstun, and possibly a free tilt/charged attack. For that reason, I feel Mr. Saturn needs to be banned from tournaments.
 

Twin Dreams

Smash Ace
Joined
Jul 20, 2005
Messages
820
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
Ok, so.

Bomb-ombs can spawn in the middle of attacks and kill you.
Motion Sensor Bombs can spawn in the middle of attacks and kill you.
Gooey Bombs can spawn in the middle of attacks and kill you.





They are too powerful to include because I've already seen matches (tournament matches even) where both players were at high percents and a bomb-omb spawn ended the match by spawning in the middle of an attack.

It was in melee. However, it could've also happen with MSB or Gooey Bombs because they do the same thing.
 

Chrono Centaur

Smash Apprentice
Joined
Feb 18, 2008
Messages
137
Anything that interrupts animations is banned (bomb-ombs, shrooms, etc.). Anything that has no risk to get is banned (dragoon, etc.)

really, everything else can be kept, unless anyone thinks that things besides those two need to be banned, most bludgeoning items can be avoided and shooting items can be shielded/blocked or avoided.
 

UltraDavidSRK

Smash Cadet
Joined
Mar 11, 2008
Messages
31
There is absolutely no risk in using the dragoon. No matter how the fight turns out, 1 dragoon will be fired, of which all encounters leading up to firing will involve the other player attempting to steal pieces. The person firing the laser has no risk in missing, and is rewarded for not only a free OHKO opportunity, but not being hit by it himself.
No risk in the dragoon, what are you talking about? There's no risk to the shooter once the actual shooting starts, but there sure is a crapload of risk in picking up and knocking out pieces. An item's impact doesn't start when the item is picked up, there are usually (especially in the case of the dragoon and smash ball) lots of games and lots of risk/reward in getting them in the first place.

An item's impact doesn't even start when the item spawns; just having certain items on changes the game from the get-go. Having items on forces you t to control as much of the stage as possible because you don't know where the next item will spawn, and if you control more space you'll be more likely to have first access to spawning items. This is especially true if you have strong items on, since controlling space is way more important if there's a chance a strong item will spawn.

There's a lot of very interesting strategy that comes along with strong items like smash ball and dragoon; the very fact that they are so strong is what's good about them, in my opinion. You need to make sure that you pick up the smash ball/dragoon pieces and that your opponent does not, and a lot of interesting stuff goes along with that. There are lots of games surrounding when/where/how/whether to break/pick up a smash ball/dragoon piece, when/where to use it, and once you use it, dragoon shooting and many final smashes involve even more guessing games. And by the way, dragoon is by no means a guaranteed kill; in my experience and the experience of most people I know, dragoon results in a kill something like half or a little less than half of the time.

Also, don't look at whether an item promotes character balance in deciding whether to ban it. So some final smashes are better than others, who cares? Like any feature in any fighting game, items in general don't promote character balance. Characters that are better at controlling a lot of space (the top tier and a few others) are more likely to have first access to spawned items; different characters don't even want to pick up some items because those items make those characters harder to play or less effective; and different characters want to use the same items in different ways. There are lots of imbalances built into this system, but so what? It's a fighting game, it has imbalances, and if you know a character is worse overall, worse at getting items, worse in the final smash department, or worse in a particular matchup, then all that's on you if you still want to pick that character. We don't need the rules to play some kind of paternal role, telling us we can't use some part of the game because certain characters are better at it than others.
 
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