The State of Smash 4 - February 2016 Edition

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.

Patch 1.1.4

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.
The full list of changes can be viewed here, and the official discussion thread can be found here.

Character Developments

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.

Major Tournaments

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.

BEAST VI saw the return of the long-running tournament series, happening from February 19th to the 21st.With ten countries attending, 3 stocks and Miis with a less-restricting ruleset, it was sure to be special Some of the major names that attended included Panda Global's ESAM and MVD, Mr. R, iStudying, vyQ and cFive (of Beefy Smash Doods fame), Meru, El Bardo, and many others.

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:
Smashboards Rankings

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.

Community News

February 2016 had a handful of announcements to cover. Here's a timeline of some stories that happened this month:
In Review

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.
Looking Forward

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.
Closing Words

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.
 
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Gunla

Comments

Apparently the state of smash 4 right now is the idea that the game is dying. Better ask for customs and mi customs. Then confuse everyone by saying that mii customs aren't actually customs because Gimr says they're not.
 
Quick question... How do ranks work? Do they only cover the country you live in? Like... I here things like nairo being the second best, but then I here things like nairo getting destroyed by the Japanese and beaten by some guy from Mexico.

I also find ESAM's placement to be weird. From what I understand he doesn't place that high anymore and people have kind of figured out pickachu.

Then again... I don't really keep up with smash like that, so take all of that with a grain of salt.
 
Apparently the state of smash 4 right now is the idea that the game is dying. Better ask for customs and mi customs. Then confuse everyone by saying that mii customs aren't actually customs because Gimr says they're not.
Careful. You might bruise someone with that child-safe edge you're running around with.
 
Careful. You might bruise someone with that child-safe edge you're running around with.
It's just the dumbest thing going on right now. Smash 4 finally starts getting some real momentum going and suddenly everyone wants to start slowing it down again.
 
It's just the dumbest thing going on right now. Smash 4 finally starts getting some real momentum going and suddenly everyone wants to start slowing it down again.

...Or people want to evolve the meta, because contrary to what some people that have only been involved in tournaments for only 2-3 years will tell you, none of the smash games have had their meta solidified in only 1 year. The melee meta went through several changes before it picked its "finalized rules" (Who knows? As the game gets faster, maybe Melee will move up or down in number of stocks). It's actually a pretty important time to be bringing up whether Miis should be legal and how they should be legal. Considering they were designed with their full moveset in mind, it's not an unreasonable thing to debate whether they should have customs involved. It's not people trying to slow down the game to annoy you, it's a topic that needs to be addressed at some point, and it's better to do it sooner rather than later.
 
...Or people want to evolve the meta, because contrary to what some people that have only been involved in tournaments for only 2-3 years will tell you, none of the smash games have had their meta solidified in only 1 year. The melee meta went through several changes before it picked its "finalized rules" (Who knows? As the game gets faster, maybe Melee will move up or down in number of stocks). It's actually a pretty important time to be bringing up whether Miis should be legal and how they should be legal. Considering they were designed with their full moveset in mind, it's not an unreasonable thing to debate whether they should have customs involved. It's not people trying to slow down the game to annoy you, it's a topic that needs to be addressed at some point, and it's better to do it sooner rather than later.
It couldn't be a less important time. Wait for the game to go a year without any major changes. Maybe two years. Not 3 months after a brand new character comes out and joins the top tiers. For ****'s sake. It's a great get out of jail free card in an emergency when it starts stagnating down the line. Customs fill a void that isn't there yet.
 
No mention to the disappointment that 1.1.4 is supposedly the last patch but left many necessary changes untouched?
 
A lot of people on these boards have already mentioned it in previous threads, but to name a few it would be that characters like ganon, d3, doc, zelda, samus didn't get any buffs that they needed, and that corrin's counter should be nerfed, Cloud's limit sideB, etc.
 
A lot of people on these boards have already mentioned it in previous threads, but to name a few it would be that characters like ganon, d3, doc, zelda, samus didn't get any buffs that they needed, and that corrin's counter should be nerfed, Cloud's limit sideB, etc.
Remember. This game is molded upon the notion that people will pick up and play various forms of modes, especially FFA with items on with every available stage. The characters you mention may generally do well with the face value part of the game and devs will leave it as "ok." Unless its gamebreaking or the character is heavily bugged, we're not going to see such improvements for low tier characters (and heavy nerfs for higher tier characters) in a 1v1/no items/limited stages meta anytime soon or at all.
 
A lot of people on these boards have already mentioned it in previous threads, but to name a few it would be that characters like ganon, d3, doc, zelda, samus didn't get any buffs that they needed, and that corrin's counter should be nerfed, Cloud's limit sideB, etc.
Well we're just gonna have to live with what we have. Which is the most admirable thing the melee community has been doing for years.
 
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