February 2016 has come to pass, and it was quite the month for Smash 4. With plenty of interesting and smaller events occurring this month, as well as plenty of community developments (and controversies), there's quite a bit to talk about. As per usual with the series, the State of Smash 4 takes an in-depth, comprehensive look into Smash 4's competitive metagame (and community developments) of the past month. With that out of the way, it's time to get started with February 2016's events.
At the beginning of the month, on February 3rd, a new patch dropped, potentially the final patch of the game. This new patch's major additions were Corrin, Bayonetta, and the Umbra Clock Tower stage. However, there were plenty of balance changes as well. Here's a few of the major ones:
- Massive buffs to Lucina and Marth's ranges and damage across the board.
- Reworking of Charizard's Up-Smash to make it a more dangerous kill move.
- Complete overhaul of Falco's Up-Smash to make it kill much later and properly connect.
- Damage buffs to Little Mac's Smash attacks.
- Weight adjustments to a few characters, including Sheik, Rosalina, and Zero Suit Samus.
- Air attack landing lag reductions across the board for Roy.
- A nerf to Zero Suit Samus's Boost Kick, making it kill a bit later and less off the top.
- Trip invincibility standardization, making characters have the same frames across the board when some had extra or no frames of invincibility.
With the patch coming just before hand, the first weekend of February saw the beginning of Bayonetta and Corrin in tournament play. While characters such as Marth definitely enjoyed the latest buffs and Corrin showed some local success, Bayonetta undeniably took center stage. Salem took 2nd at KTAR XVII and 1st at Brotherly Love X, Komorikiri won Sumabato 7 with Bayonetta, and Pink Fresh saw massive success at local Xanadus, taking 1st multiple times with Bayonetta and beating high level players such as Tyrant; these are but a few tournaments and events where Bayonetta was successful. In addition, Mewtwo has been on the rise since the December patch, and February was yet another good month for the character. Not only did Blue get 13th at KTAR XVII, but Mew^2 took 2nd at Super Bit Wars 4, defeating MJG and double eliminating Mew2King.
On February 13th, the 17th iteration of the KTAR series ran, being KTAR XVII. This KTAR would be a noteworthy one; not only would it be the first KTAR with Bayonetta and Corrin selectable, but this would be the second to last KTAR (with KTAR XVIII, which will be occuring in March/April, being the last event in the series). And it certainly was odd; Dabuz and Nairo, who decided to try Bayonetta at this event, had some of their worst results in years (13th for Dabuz, 17th for Nairo). Instead, Salem and Marss took 2nd and 1st respectively, followed by two Clouds in James and Tweek.
Character diversity was certainly present; outside of Cloud, Bayo, Diddy and ZSS repeats, Top 16 was unique, with not a Sheik in sight (the highest placing Sheik was Pershado at 17th). Characters like Mewtwo (Blue), Donkey Kong (Vex), Yoshi (Raptor), Villager (CaptAwesum) and even Marth (Pugwest, who placed 5th) were all big winners at this KTAR.
iStudying ended up being the main star of this event. After losing early on to Light, a Sheik player, Greninja main iStudying stormed through loser's bracket, taking out many players to make it back to Grand Finals (including ESAM, Meru, Sodrek, wilksy15, and MVD). While Mr. R may have ended up victorious, iStudying put up a serious fight and put Greninja back on the map after some dormancy.
On February 20th in Indianapolis, IN, Landlocked occurred. This event drew some notable players, like Zinoto, Dabuz, Ally, Ryuga, and many more out to Indiana, a state that doesn’t always get that much exposure. However, competition was certainly in attendance for this national, bringing over 170 players to singles.
The real spotlight of this event was on Zinoto and his Diddy Kong. Considered to be one of the Midwest’s best players and one of the best Diddys in the world, he managed to defeat many opponents, including double eliminating Dabuz and running it back against Ryuga to win singles. Surprisingly enough, this event didn’t have Bayonetta in force, and is the largest event to not have her take a high spot this month, with only 2 in the top 25. Other big players and results included Ryuga taking 2nd with Corrin, Demitus and Katakiri taking 5th and 13th with Meta Knight, and Krow using Donkey Kong and Olimar to land in 13th.
Alongside the major tournaments covered in-depth for February, there were plenty of other events that are worth watching. Here's a few of them:
- Winter Brawl X: The 10th entry in the long-running Winter Brawl series, featuring multiple fighting games and Smash. Singles Bracket | Streamed Matches
- TGC 6: The 6th entry in the Texas Gaming Championships. Singles Bracket (Note: Top 8 Split due to time constraints) | Streamed Matches
- Super Bit Wars 4: The 4th entry of the Super Bit Wars tournament series, featuring Wii U, Melee and PM. Singles Bracket | Streamed Matches
- 2GGT: EE Saga: Another entry in the 2GGT series, bringing in a variety of high level commentators for the event. Singles Bracket (Smash.gg) | Streamed Matches
Each month, Smashboards updates its Rankings System. For February, these are the Top 20 Smash 4 players as determined by the Smashboards Rankings System. Here's the February 2016 Rankings:
Green arrows indicate the player has advanced in rankings; red indicates a drop in rankings. Players are listed by their Smashboards account.
You can view the complete list here. The Smashboards Rankings System holds tons of bracket and info for many Smash games, and holds a history of brackets all the way back to 2002. If you want to help out with this major project, check out the application thread, and the Tournament Rankings forum.
February 2016 had a handful of announcements to cover. Here's a timeline of some stories that happened this month:
- On February 1st, the Smash 4 Backroom released their very first tier list, based on the 1.1.3 patch.
- Puppeh was signed by Arcane eSports on February 15th.
- The 4BR released their official followup to their first tier list on February 16th.
- On February 24th, the EVO 2016 Smash 4 Ruleset was released.
February was an interesting month, including a new patch to boot! Here's a summary of many of this month's events:
- A brand new patch dropped, adding Bayonetta and Corrin to the game.
- Bayonetta was a prevalent force in tournaments this month, taking many high spots in tournaments.
- The Smash 4 Backroom released their first tier list.
March is looking to be a big month for Smash, Smash 4 included. Here are some things to look forward to:
- Regionals such as Glitch, Do or DI and NorCal Regionals 2016 are occurring this month.
- March has already seen a handful of major pickups, such as Hyuga and Trevonte getting sponsored by eSports teams. More are likely in store.
February has been a crazy month. A new patch brought forth two very viable characters with Bayonetta and Corrin, with the former taking the world by storm. New tournaments showed off the capabilities of these new characters, and impacted how other characters may perform in the future. The 4BR's first tier list brought lots of discussion to the table, and March is bound to showcase how 1.1.4 has affected the meta.