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These 3 changes must happen in order for Hero to become viable

xzx

Smash Lord
Joined
May 1, 2009
Messages
1,139
Location
Sweden
In the Smash community, it is generally considered that Hero isn't a viable character, and most would place him somewhere in the mid tiers. (Personally I believe Hero to be lower mid tier, but I can definitely see him climb to upper mid tier as the meta progresses.) Having played the character since its release, I can definitely say that there are 3 glaring flaws Hero has that must be fixed in order for him to become viable. (That is, being lower high tier at worst.) NOTE: I'm not advocating straight up removing weaknesses, as every character should have them, but what I'm suggesting is to fix three apparent flaws that the character has while still keeping the core weaknesses of said changes. Let's get right into them.


#1) Give invincibility frames to his Up-B. As it is right now, he doesn't have any invincibility frames on is Up-B, severily hindering his recovery, especially against reflector characters. Of course, how many frames are we talking about? Just a few frames are needed, from the point the torndado is created to the point where Hero's hurtbox is outside the tornado's hitboxes. This let's him still have a punishable recovery (think Villager's Bowling Ball or the myriads of spikes or lingering hitboxes) but removes the critical issue that is someone reflecting back the tornado to him while he recovers. For example: Hero wants to recover with Kaswoosh. The opponent Fox can just activate his reflector and hold it while dropping down to the tornado. This will outright KO/gimp Hero, even at low percents. The counterplay to this for Hero is to either have his Bounce activated, recover with Acceleratle instead, or use Zoom.

And as of right now, Hero can trade with his Up-B, where the tornado is created but Hero won't lift off, leaving him on the ground. This change also removes that.


#2) Slightly extend his grab range. Raise your hand if this has ever happened to you: You want to grab the opponent but failed, and instead their grab outranged your (missed) grab, which you should have had from the beginning anyway. Having the second-shortest grab range in the whole game (after Simon and Richter I believe, correct me if I'm wrong), Hero can have a rather tough time grabbing the opponent. There are many situations where it looks like Hero's grab reached the opponent, only for it to miss. This makes his grab rather risky, leaving you open to the opponent's potential punishment, which can be detrimental. But just how much bigger (longer) should his grab be? Just slightly extend the hitbox to cover his whole hand. Of course, he should still have a short grab range, but as of right now it is a tad too short. Increasing the grab range would make his grab more consistent, as some characters (like Yoshi and Bowser, for example) can be hard to grab in certain situations/animations/stances. (Thankfully, it comes out on frame 6!)


#3) Improve some moves's frame data. I won't go into micro details here (read: every change that I think should happen), but I think all of his aerials (aside from dair) are a tad slow, and that many of his "normal" (ground) moves have too much endlag. While slowness and bad frame data should be a part of Hero's weaknesses, some moves are just too slow. For example, his Bair is slower than his F-smash, and his F-tilt has ending lag compared to many other characters's smash attacks. Here is a list of the moves that needs frame data improvements the most in my opinion:

- Bair: f18 > f16 (-2 frames in every area, such as landing lag, auto cancel window and ending lag)

- Fair: f14 > f12 (-2 frames in every area)

- Nair: f8 > f6 (-2 frames in every area)

- Uair: f6 > f5, -3 frames of ending lag

- F-tilt: f9 > f8, between 5-8 frames of lag reduction

- Up-tilt: -2/-3 frames of endlag

- D-tilt: -3 frames of endlag

- Jab: f6 > f4


---

There are more things that should happen to Hero, like making his jab connect better and his Zapple linger just a little bit longer (to prevent opponents to land on it while the thunderbolt is still out), but this isn't the thread for that. And not to talk about the rebalancing some of his areas need (like the crits), but again, this isn't the thread for that.

To conclude: if Hero gains some invincibility frames on his Up-B (all three variants of them), gets a slightly extended grab hitbox and also gets overall framedata improvements, he will more than likely become a viable character. (He would still lose hard to the top tiers though as most of them can easily rushdown and overwhelm Hero, but the ones with reflectors can't get an super easy kill anymore when Hero recovers - though they can still punish his Up-B descend like every other character can do.) This all is just speculation and theorycrafting of course, but he would be viable in my eyes, or at the very least, end up becoming a solid middle tier.

What are your thoughts about all of this? Do you agree or disagree with me? Are there other things that need to happen to Hero in order for him to become viable? Let me know below!

(Current Smash Ultimate version: 11.0.0.)

Unrelevant random fun fact: Bang is 1 frame faster than Kaboom, but Sizz is as fast as Sizzle. Buff Sizz Sakurai.
 

t!MmY

Smash Hero
Joined
Dec 22, 2005
Messages
5,146
Location
Oregon
NNID
t1mmy_smash
In the Smash community, it is generally considered that Hero isn't a viable character
I think Hero is already viable and most of his strength comes from the inherent skill and talents of the player.

#1) Give invincibility frames to his Up-B.
Doesn't really need it; doesn't really make a huge difference to his overall game.
If you really want an invincible recovery, cast Zoom.

#2) Slightly extend his grab range.
If Hero were just any other fighter then I'd agree, but he has such a bad grab because it is making a point that this is supposed to be a lacking trait of Hero. The heroes of Dragon Quest are well known to be swordsmen not grapplers. You can "Fight" and "Run" in Dragonquest but the hero has an obvious lack of "Grab" capabilities (try reclassing to "Martial Artist" instead).

Would I love to have a Hero with even a pixel larger Grab? Sure, but I accept Hero's grab for what it is and why it's that way.

#3) Improve some moves's frame data.
Not going to lie, before the presentation I really wanted to see Hero with some amazing frame data, however I very much appreciate the design of the character as it currently is. I took a good look at how Hero's moves work and then compared frame data, range, general usage, etc, and concluded that every last move meets with my approval.

This is not to say that I think nothing should be changed in Hero's frame data. I feel that if N-air's landing lag were changed from 10 frames -> 6 frames that it would be both significant, appropriate to the character, and just enough of a benefit to make a difference.

That was all I think Hero would need.

Edit:
In regards to the invincibile Up Special, a 0MP Zoom would be something I might agree with.
 
Last edited:

xzx

Smash Lord
Joined
May 1, 2009
Messages
1,139
Location
Sweden
t!MmY t!MmY I'm gonna reply to you this way. Hope you don't mind it.

"I think Hero is already viable and most of his strength comes from the inherent skill and talents of the player."

If you think Hero is viable, then where do you put him on the tier list, and how well do you think he fares against the top tiers in top level play?

"Doesn't really need it; doesn't really make a huge difference to his overall game. If you really want an invincible recovery, cast Zoom."

He definitely needs it, and it would absolutely make a huge difference to him. Just because people aren't abusing this doesn't mean it's not a problem. In general, not being able to recover with up-b against every character that has an aerial reflector is silly and needs to be addressed. "Just use Zoom" Like it is going to appear every time Hero wants to recover... (I knew somebody would just shrug it off and say that.) Btw, it has 30 frames start-up, so it isn't pure invincible, but I get what you mean.

"If Hero were just any other fighter then I'd agree, but he has such a bad grab because it is making a point that this is supposed to be a lacking trait of Hero."


Not to be rude or anything, but did you read (and if so, understand) exactly why I wanted his grab to be slightly extended? Go look up his grab hitbox. I very clearly stated that he should have a short grab as one of his weaknesses, but that it should get bigger for consistency. (Compare his grab to other swordies's grab hitboxes, who's weaknesses should also be a "small" (short) grab.)

"[Frame data]"

His frame data on some of his moves are a big obstacle that keeps him from being viable. I don't think it's fair that his f-tilt (for example) has comparable (or more) endlag to many characters's forward-smashes. However, if you find his frame data to be fine, then it's good for you. You seem very subjective (not judging) with his frame data and so I feel there isn't much else to discuss. You find it fine, I don't. I can elaborate more, such as how easy it is for most characters to stuff out Hero's fair and whatnot, but I don't really see the point.

Btw, do you main Hero or just using him as a secondary? (Just wondering.)

---

For anyone's information, I am always assuming from offline top level play where both players are equal in skill and matchup knowledge.
 

t!MmY

Smash Hero
Joined
Dec 22, 2005
Messages
5,146
Location
Oregon
NNID
t1mmy_smash
I'm gonna reply to you this way. Hope you don't mind it.

I don't mind. I'll respond in turn.

If you think Hero is viable, then where do you put him on the tier list, and how well do you think he fares against the top tiers in top level play?

Ultimate isn't as... precise as certain previous games in the series, so if I bother with tiers in Ultimate they tend to be more generalized than how I think of them in the past. For the most part in Ultimate you basically have "Viable Tier" (fighters you can play and not have extremely lopsided MUs) and "Not Viable Tier" (lopsided MUs especially those you come across often... or a large number of unfavorable MUs).

For the most part I don't think Hero has amazing MUs that outclass any significant portion of the roster, but I also think Hero's bad MUs are more or less winnable even without extreme RNG favor. If you lump everything Hero has together and sort of ignore the extremes that RNG can give you, I'd say Hero is just below the "good sword characters" that a skilled player could greatly benefit from using (that would probably be anywhere from Mid to High tier).

He definitely needs it, and it would absolutely make a huge difference to him.

I guess I will simply disagree then, but my opinion is based on the fact that I have never felt like Hero's recovery is terrible enough to need a buff to his recovery. It might be exploitable or have weaknesses, but it's pretty top tier even without Zoom taken into consideration. Just the Whoosh/Swoosh/Kaswoosh option is amazing both recovering and used offensively. Just because they can be reflected doesn't mean Hero has a hard time returning to the stage in those MUs, quite the contrary. I really don't have much else to say about the matter.

Not to be rude or anything, but did you read (and if so, understand) exactly why I wanted his grab to be slightly extended?

Yes I read it, and yes I understood what I was reading, but no I don't understand why you would want something like that. It's sort of pointless and the time could be used to discuss something that would be more significant for Hero.

His frame data on some of his moves are a big obstacle that keeps him from being viable. I don't think it's fair that his f-tilt (for example) has comparable (or more) endlag to many characters's forward-smashes.

Trust me, I wanted Hero to have "fair" frame data (especially relative to Cloud). I'm okay with the frame data they gave him considering Hero is more of a hybrid spell/sword fighter. He really does have everything he needs even if it takes an extreme amount of skill to use. The one flaw Hero sort of has in this regard is his aerial approach, which is why I said I'd be okay with a couple frames off his landing N-air. Anything beyond that and you're basically treading on making Hero more significant to play than any other sword fighter.

Btw, do you main Hero or just using him as a secondary? (Just wondering.)

Hero is the most fun fighter in the game to me, so I play him more than any other fighter. You could probably say Hero is more of a "co-main" at this point.
 

Linkmain-maybe

Smash Ace
Joined
May 14, 2021
Messages
689
Switch FC
SW-1042-6735-2236
In the Smash community, it is generally considered that Hero isn't a viable character, and most would place him somewhere in the mid tiers. (Personally I believe Hero to be lower mid tier, but I can definitely see him climb to upper mid tier as the meta progresses.) Having played the character since its release, I can definitely say that there are 3 glaring flaws Hero has that must be fixed in order for him to become viable. (That is, being lower high tier at worst.) NOTE: I'm not advocating straight up removing weaknesses, as every character should have them, but what I'm suggesting is to fix three apparent flaws that the character has while still keeping the core weaknesses of said changes. Let's get right into them.


#1) Give invincibility frames to his Up-B. As it is right now, he doesn't have any invincibility frames on is Up-B, severily hindering his recovery, especially against reflector characters. Of course, how many frames are we talking about? Just a few frames are needed, from the point the torndado is created to the point where Hero's hurtbox is outside the tornado's hitboxes. This let's him still have a punishable recovery (think Villager's Bowling Ball or the myriads of spikes or lingering hitboxes) but removes the critical issue that is someone reflecting back the tornado to him while he recovers. For example: Hero wants to recover with Kaswoosh. The opponent Fox can just activate his reflector and hold it while dropping down to the tornado. This will outright KO/gimp Hero, even at low percents. The counterplay to this for Hero is to either have his Bounce activated, recover with Acceleratle instead, or use Zoom.

And as of right now, Hero can trade with his Up-B, where the tornado is created but Hero won't lift off, leaving him on the ground. This change also removes that.


#2) Slightly extend his grab range. Raise your hand if this has ever happened to you: You want to grab the opponent but failed, and instead their grab outranged your (missed) grab, which you should have had from the beginning anyway. Having the second-shortest grab range in the whole game (after Simon and Richter I believe, correct me if I'm wrong), Hero can have a rather tough time grabbing the opponent. There are many situations where it looks like Hero's grab reached the opponent, only for it to miss. This makes his grab rather risky, leaving you open to the opponent's potential punishment, which can be detrimental. But just how much bigger (longer) should his grab be? Just slightly extend the hitbox to cover his whole hand. Of course, he should still have a short grab range, but as of right now it is a tad too short. Increasing the grab range would make his grab more consistent, as some characters (like Yoshi and Bowser, for example) can be hard to grab in certain situations/animations/stances. (Thankfully, it comes out on frame 6!)


#3) Improve some moves's frame data. I won't go into micro details here (read: every change that I think should happen), but I think all of his aerials (aside from dair) are a tad slow, and that many of his "normal" (ground) moves have too much endlag. While slowness and bad frame data should be a part of Hero's weaknesses, some moves are just too slow. For example, his Bair is slower than his F-smash, and his F-tilt has ending lag compared to many other characters's smash attacks. Here is a list of the moves that needs frame data improvements the most in my opinion:

- Bair: f18 > f16 (-2 frames in every area, such as landing lag, auto cancel window and ending lag)

- Fair: f14 > f12 (-2 frames in every area)

- Nair: f8 > f6 (-2 frames in every area)

- Uair: f6 > f5, -3 frames of ending lag

- F-tilt: f9 > f8, between 5-8 frames of lag reduction

- Up-tilt: -2/-3 frames of endlag

- D-tilt: -3 frames of endlag

- Jab: f6 > f4


---

There are more things that should happen to Hero, like making his jab connect better and his Zapple linger just a little bit longer (to prevent opponents to land on it while the thunderbolt is still out), but this isn't the thread for that. And not to talk about the rebalancing some of his areas need (like the crits), but again, this isn't the thread for that.

To conclude: if Hero gains some invincibility frames on his Up-B (all three variants of them), gets a slightly extended grab hitbox and also gets overall framedata improvements, he will more than likely become a viable character. (He would still lose hard to the top tiers though as most of them can easily rushdown and overwhelm Hero, but the ones with reflectors can't get an super easy kill anymore when Hero recovers - though they can still punish his Up-B descend like every other character can do.) This all is just speculation and theorycrafting of course, but he would be viable in my eyes, or at the very least, end up becoming a solid middle tier.

What are your thoughts about all of this? Do you agree or disagree with me? Are there other things that need to happen to Hero in order for him to become viable? Let me know below!

(Current Smash Ultimate version: 11.0.0.)

Unrelevant random fun fact: Bang is 1 frame faster than Kaboom, but Sizz is as fast as Sizzle. Buff Sizz Sakurai.
Up B being exploitable was likely a conscious design decision because of how far his Up B goes. I’m fine with his grab as is, since psych up or oomph up throw killing at 120% is already something that makes him fish for grabs at high % as well as low % for MP and positioning, so buffing it would make him fish for grab even more. For his frame data improvements, a dedicated zoner that has lots of range and tons of kill moves should NOT have better frame data.
 
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