Top 10 (or any number) Non-E3 Characters with the Most Potential

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#1
This thread will describe the top 10 characters in Smash Ultimate with the most potential, whether it is to be much better than they were before, to have top tier potential, or both. There are three rules:
  1. No newcomers! It is not easy to place down the viability of a newcomer since that character has never been in a previous Smash game. The only exception will be the Echo Fighters of veterans (like Chrom, Daisy, and Dark Samus), even if that character's original counterpart is part of the E3 demo.
  2. It must be a character that isn't from the E3 demo. If that was so, then it would be too easy, as you slap on characters like Pokemon Trainer, Little Mac, Ike, Ganondorf, etc. You use information that you already know judging from existing footage or what we know of the game's engine.
  3. Using the Nintendo UK footage as evidence is acceptable. The Nintendo UK footage, which has gameplay footage of K. Rool, Chrom, and Dakr Samus, features a few notable changes from the E3 demo to it. This includes a less exaggerated Balloon Knockback, slightly less landing lag in directional airdodges (could make wavedashing a better movement option, but not to the same degree as in Melee), and less exaggerated smoke effect.
 
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#2
Wouldn't it make more sense to debate the potential of characters we do have a lot of information on? There are precious few confirmed changes to the non playable characters so we'd just be talking about how the new engine might impact them, or speculate about changes we expect to be made based on trends we've seen (Combo throws being toned down, underused moves getting buffs, etc). Because when we're left with just these to rank:
:ultbowserjr::ultfalcon::ultdiddy::ultdoc::ultduckhunt::ultfalco::ultgreninja::ultjigglypuff::ultkingdedede::ultlucario::ultlucas::ultluigi::ultlucina::ultmetaknight::ultmiifighters::ultgnw::ultolimar::ultpalutena::ultpeach::ultdaisy::ultpichu::ultdarkpit::ultrob::ultrobin:ultrosalina::ultroy::ultchrom::ultdarksamus::ultshulk::ulttoonlink::ultwario::ultwiifittrainer::ultwolf::ultyoshi::ultyounglink::ultzss:

There's not much to say. But I guess I'll point out some notable buffs:
:ultfalcon:Blink and you'll miss it but in Yoshi's 20 second trailer you'll see Captain Falcon's Side B absorb the rising hit of the Yoshi Bomb, indicating some kind of armor. That's already a pretty neat addition to his mixup potential and covering landings. But if it applies to his Aerial version then we're talking a whole new recovery option. Nothing overwhelmingly good, but having options at all is the mark of a serviceable recovery so here's hoping. Also his N-Air second kick comes out much faster and I suspect that will help it become a serviceable tool for spacing since the dude lacks a F-air that could accomplish the same goal.
:ultduckhunt:Air dodge cancelling the Up B leads me to wonder whether you can cancel the move with attacks as well. If you can, then Duck Hunt can have a cool movement tool to mixup landings and approaches with. Still, I doubt that is enough to address Duck Hunt's core weaknesses. And if Pac-Man's new design is any indication they may focus on beefing up his melee attacks (hopefully some sensible kill moves) while toning down his zoning tools to encourage more aggressive play.
:ultfalco:Either I'm crazy or that's a 6 frame D-air, bringing its startup back to Melee which is pretty terrifying. Falco's also got clear improvements to his Blaster endlag on the ground while his Side B does not appear to share Fox's nerf in startup. Though that latter point could just indicate how early of a build it was back in the E3 presentation. Better blaster and better D-Air can put Falco back on the path of viability so I'm interested in seeing more footage of him.
:ultpalutena:In addition to the obvious adjustment to her counter, it now can counter attacks as early as frame 7, bringing it in line with some of the faster counters. It can also reflect as early as frame 6 and it wouldn't be wild to assume both effects have the same activation window. Regardless, both her reflector and Counter having startup improvements is great to hear now that they're consolidated into the same special move. Her F-Tilt and U-tilts have notable improvements to frame data but with limited footage it's hard to guess whether she ought to use them at all. My guess is on U-tilt suddenly becoming viable for catching landings since it ends about twice as quickly as before, possibly allowing her to followup on somebody air dodging past her or double jumping over her.
 
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#3
Here is my top 10. Again, this is some footage and what we know of the game's mechanics/changes:

HM: :ultduckhunt: Duck Hunt
Thanks to the efforts from dedicated Duck Hunt mains, most notably Raito, the character has established themselves as a solid choice in competitive play. The days in which everyone thought they were trash / low tier has been long past us. However, there is definitely room for improvement, especially in the more aggressive nature of Ultimate: a notable weakness that seems to have (for the most part) addressed: his recovery. He is shown that he can airdodge out of his up B. There is a chance that it can be cancelled with anything. If that is the case, then it is a huge buff for Duck Hunt, although we will have to wait. Other than that, their key strength have been shown to have been retained thus so far.

HM: :ultzss: Zero Suit Samus
From the gameplay footage, it would appear that a lot ZSS's key strengths are, for the most part, retained from SSB4. Her latter combo seems to be more horizontal than vertical in this game, which combined with the nerf to rage, nerfs her latter combos. However, she possesses a new toy with the movement options in Ultimate thanks to her own good mobility, and there is a good chance that her grab will be faster due to Samus' own decrease in landing lag. Her Flip Kick appears to be able to be used in a lower arc as well. Overall, mostly due to the notable nerfs to other top tiered characters (such as Bayonetta, Cloud, Fox, and Sonic), she might be higher ranked in relative to the cast. It is still theorizing.

HM: :ultpalutena: Palutena
Her specials moves, whose lack of utility being one of her crippling weaknesses from SSB4, has received notable improvements: in addition of her side and down specials being combined into one move and having Explosive Flame as one of her default moves (it should've been Super Speed lol), she got a significant cut in startup lag in Reflect Barrier and Counter. The tilts speed boost is, imo, a more significant change to Palutena than some make it out to be: her up tilt specifically can potentially catch landings much better. Overall, she seems to be better, but to what extend remains unknown.

10: :ultyounglink:
It appears that Young Link is receiving some very notable improvements. Before, Melee Yink has very unnoticeable fast fall. Now, Yink's fast fall is more in line with the rest of the cast, which greatly increases the versatility of his air game, and allows him to use various mix-ups that other characters possess. This is also combined with the universal frame 3 jumpsquat, the landing lag of aerials being greatly decreased across the board, and his midair jump being much higher than before. His bombs now function like Link's in SSB4 in that he won't get hurt by the bomb's explosion if it hits an opponent. This, combined, with his mobility and frame 3 jumpsquat, allows him to perform bomb combos SSB4 Link is unable to due to his own mobility issues. He does show to have other quality of life improvements, like the jab finisher, but those are the highlights.

Something that does worry me about Young Link is how he will fare in comparison to normal Link. Historically, the younger version of Link has been the superior Link. This might change in Ultimate. While Young Link is showing promise, and Toon Link does seem to be as good as ever, normal Link is now noticeably faster with much more range, as well as an unique bomb detonation move with combo, edgeguarding, and KO potential.

9: :ultkingdedede:
While I don't think Dedede is going to be Brawl levels of good from the footage so far, he does seem to be noticeably better in Ultimate... which makes me wonder why Sakurai kept nerfing him in SSB4 patches. The meme should've been "Better Nerf Dedede". Anyways, like all the other super-heavyweights, he gets a big boost from the universal frame 3 jumpquat. As seen in the clip with his new back air, he is also hit with the universal cut in landing lag, which is huge for Dedede, due to possessing his long disjointed hammer. A big downside of Dedede in SSB4 is that is Gordos can be reflected by anything that dealt 2% (it used to be 3%, but update nerfs said otherwise). However, alongside the Gordos having larger hitboxes, he can now Inhale reflected Gordos back, which is another huge change. Finally, it seems like his tilts can be reversed upon startup (we have only seen his up and down tilts do this, but it is safe to say that his forward tilt does so too), which is something unique from him, and is especially huge for his down tilt.

Overall, he appears to be not alone in the "super-heavys getting large buffs" department. We will have to wait and see though.

8: :ultdoc:
After the large nerfs given the doctor from Melee to SSB4, can he come back to form? He has received a lot of notable improvements from the footage so far. His down air is now much more practical: it is now a powerful, but quick stomp, which noticeably boosts his already decent edgeguarding potential. His combo game in general seems to be buffed. His down throw and down tilt seems to be better combo starters, especially in comparison to Mario (although the combos are performed on Dedede, so that can be a factor). He is also boosted by the new movement options in the game, which granted him a decently good approach in Melee, such as dash dancing and potentially (as shown by the Nintendo UK footage) a slightly weaker wavedashing.

Overall, he appears to be much better than in SSB4.

7: :ultfalco:
Falco has a nice history of being a very solid character in competitive play... until SSB4 came out. However, there is some nice promise to him in Ultimate, especially since Fox got heavily nerfed. As Zapp Branningtenn pointed out, his down air seems to have slightly less startup. Although I don't think it is going to be as good as it was in Melee or Brawl, it is a noticeable buff nevertheless. The biggest improvement to him is that his lasers shoots slightly faster (not Brawl fast, but still fast) and has much less ending lag on the ground. I doubt that it is going to autocancel in a short hop again, but this is nevertheless a significant buff, especially considering that a lot of the slower characters in the game are now running much faster.

Alhough I don't think, at least according to the footage, that he is going to be Melee or Brawl good, he seems to be a much better character already than in SSB4.

6: :ultdarkpit:
Basically all the large buffs applied to Pit, will apply to Dark Pit as well: he will have much better connecting aerials and beefed special moves which includes faster arrows (with Dark Pit's being potentially even faster), faster Orbitars, and an up B that is not only much better in relative to other character's recoveries, but can also grab the ledge if he is facing the other way. There are other less noticeable changes, but that is the main bulk, and despite how subtle it seems, they will impact both Pit's very positively. Not much else to say, but Dark Pit seems to be in Pit's new levels of viability, which is very solid now.

5: :ultfalcon:
He is already a very good character in SSB4. However, mostly thanks to the significant movement buffs in Ultimate, he may be even better. Movement is key to Falcon's gameplay, and the re-introduction of Melee dash dancing and (in theory according to the Nintendo UK footage) a slightly weaker wavedashing. This is huge for Captain Falcon, and his key strengths seems to be returning as well. The introduction of tech-able footstools is a little bit of a shame to him, but he suffers far less from this change than characters like Greninja, Lucas, Wario, and Mega Man. Overall, the physics change of the game is already a bit boon for the Captain. He didn't seem to have received much other changes, but he really doesn't need to.

4::ultwolf:
Wolf is already established as a decent character in competitive play in Brawl, especially notable for being able to hold his own against Meta Knight. In the E3 trailer, Sakurai noted that Wolf has upgraded from his previous appearance. At first I thought: "wasn't he already a good character in Brawl, especially when not fighting a chaingrab character?" Then the footage proved him correct so far. To start off, I pretty much answered my own question: chaingrabbing, one of his key weaknesses from Brawl, is removed. This is especially noted from against Ice Climbers, who was his hardest matchup in Brawl. The removal of ledge-hogging, despite the ledge sweetspots of Ultimate being smaller than in Brawl, improves his recovery, another key weakness of him in Ultimate. Finally, he received some good quality of life improvements, including a Fox nair that reliably combos, and noticeably benefiting from the low landing lag of aerials.

Overall, Wolf looks fearsome in Ultimate.

3: :ultroy::ultchrom:
I am grouping these two together. Roy is one of the most decisive characters in SSB4, especially among professionals. Despite the high bar a few professionals like Mr. R, and some Roy optimists like Hyper Kirby, have set for the character, he never achieved even close to the results the bar sets him to, due to his numerous glaring weaknesses. However, Ultimate's physics might turn one of his biggest weaknesses into one of his biggest strengths. The main reason why Roy's approach in Melee is very solid, especially in comparison to SSB4 Roy, is due to the use of Melee's mechanics, most notably wavedashing and L-Canceling. The latter technique is especially notable, as Roy's fast falling speed gives him one of the most notable SHFFLC's in the game, which is especially notable due to his sword's power being located in the hilt of the blade. According to the footage of Chrom footage from Nintendo UK, his aerials has very little lag. This is huge: this gives Roy the aerial approach his Melee counterpart has and he retains the mobility his SSB4 counterpart has. This is a drastic buff to him. Other than that, he has also received some quality of life improvements: he can now reverse Flare Blade mid-charge, directional airdodging boosts his recovery, and his side B connects better due to it being much faster.

In the case for Chrom: he is basically the same as Roy in the above regard, but he is no longer burdened with Roy's lackluster sourspot hitboxes thanks to his consistent blade, which combined with the above mentioned large decrease in landing lag in aerials, makes his sword's applications slightly worse for approaching, but way much better for spacing and overall safety. However, despite his up B covering noticeably more vertical distance than Roy's, it is ultimately worse than Roy's due to his up B having very little horizontal distance and being burdened with Roy's fast falling physics.

Overall, this is probably the incarnation of Roy that Mr. R and Hyper Kirby has been talking this whole time. He and Chrom looks fearsome in this game. Whoever is better between the two is up for debate, but the game's release will be the decider (except for inevitable balance patches lol).

2: :ultluigi:
This one is hard to judge, but the large potential is there. Luigi got stuck with the 1.1.1. curse throughout SSB4, until Elegant came and bumped him into high tier. He has displayed how ridiculous his down B is and that he till has some strong combo potential, especially on fast fallers. We don't know how his down B or down throw functions in Ultimate. However, if both things are, for the most part, retained in Ultimate, then this character might be one of the most frightening to face. The main reason why is the potential that a nerfed wavedashing might be in the game from the Nintendo UK footage. It won't be used to immediately attack afterwards, but it could potentially be used as a way to traverse around the stage in the right hands. The main reason why Luigi's traction in Melee is a boon, rather than a hindrance now, is thanks to that technique.

So imagine SSB4 Luigi, with less landing lag and more distance with his up B, and a potential way to move around the stage at a noticeable speed. This is what Ultimate Luigi might potentially be, and it will put a nice smirk on Elegant's face. :p
I kinda doubt that is going to be directly going to happen, mostly due to the overall nerfs to throws in Ultimate, but Luigi looks promising right now.

1: :ultshulk:
With Link and Ike being two slow, but strong swordsman that has been granted with Cloud-itus, being their mobility improved and frame data in the air noticeably decreased, those two can be considered "the new Cloud". While Cloud himself remains a great character and not as nerfed as other top tiered characters like Bayonetta, Sonic, and Fox, he faces stiff competition in the demo from those two swordsman. However, Shulk might be the one true "new Cloud".

His Monado Arts has received a major buff: the Monado arts can now be picked through just a button press and a directional input, which is now significantly faster than cycling through Monado arts. It is shown that you can also instantly cancel one Monado art into a new one with this technique. This new Monado art also grants Shulk easier ways to access his advance techniques (assuming they are in the game), and it also makes the character himself more welcoming to newcomers. The previous method of going through Monado arts seems to be retained as well. Speed Monado is going to be frightening with the new mobility mechanics added to Ultimate, and Jump Monado will be even better for recovery due to the overall weakening of recoveries across the board, which is a similar indirect buff that Pit has gotten as well. His other special moves has received better utility: his up B's second hit has faster startup, making all the hits connect better, and Back Slash is slightly faster and due to the backwards-facing hitstun state now applying to all attacks, it is less situation and can potentially combo out of his other moves with its effective damage. His aerials seems to have been sped up and have much less landing lag, so even if he lost some of his advanced techniques, they have been compensated. His multi-hit moves seem to have received better connecting hitboxes.

Overall, Shulk, one of the most debatable characters in SSB4, looks much better, and much more pleasing for newcomers to pick up. From the gameplay footage alone, and knowledge of the game engine and physics, he makes his SSB4 counterpart look like the beta version of his Ultimate appearance. He might be one of the most fearsome characters in the game, and I am excited to see.
 
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DJ3DS

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#4
I don't know enough about each of the individual characters to form a coherent top 10. Instead, I'm going to focus on one character and his changes and for all of your considerations. He is my Smash 4 main, but I genuinely believe he stands to benefit massively from the game transition:

:ultrob:

Firstly, let's discuss how he benefits from the mechanical changes.

Jumpsquat 5->3: This is a relatively small change compared to many of the characters, and ROB is certainly not going to benefit as much as the other heavyweights from the new universal jumpsquat. However, his F-Air potentially stands to gain a lot from this, because he is very close to being able to do a shorthop double F-Air in Smash 4 (he begins the animation before hitting the ground, but the hitbox doesn't come out). There is a very good chance he will be able to perform one now, which would allow for stronger lower percentage combos out of up throw amongst other things.

Airdodge Mechanics: ROB genuinely stands to gain a lot from these mechanics, in my opinion:

+his recovery doesn't appear to suffer: part of this is that his current recovery isn't really dependent on airdodging; he's never been able to airdodge out of Up B and instead uses his aerials to cover it anyway.
+better tools to get out of juggles: ROB has always suffered from juggling, and directional air dodging gives him some much needed tools for changing his momentum in mid-air. He did previously have gyro cancelling, but the effect of this was noticeably less and very few players did it consistently.
+stronger edge-guarding: ROB has two strong projectiles, some big, disjointed aerials (N-Air, B-Air, D-Air) and a recovery that effectively affords him 7 mid-air jumps if used correctly (Seriously: ROB can start at the left hand side of battlefield, go all the way underneath, over the right hand side and land on the left hand side of the stage in a single go). The new mechanics give his edgeguarding game a lot of potential.

Now, let's discuss his character specific changes:

+Down Throw buries: I cannot stress enough how this is a contender for the single largest buff any character has received, thanks to ROBs toolset. This potentially gives him one of the best grab combo games and one of the strongest kill setups off of a throw at the same time. This is because of how two specific moves work. Firstly, Up Smash has a hitbox at the base of ROBs arms that launch the opponent into his main hitbox. This unburies grounded opponents, ensuring they take full knockback and (if not nerfed) allows him to kill Dedede at around 120% uncharged off the top of the screen from a grab. That's absurd. Secondly, his neutral air has decent base knockback and autocancels, allowing ROB to use a neutral aerial to unbury them and follow with his imagination. Two examples that are true in smash 4 are as follows:

1) Burial -> SH N-Air -> SH F-Air -> potential jab lock
2) Burial -> SH N-Air -> U-Tilt -> U-Air

The second is just a better variant of the beep boop, which I immediately plan on testing the moment I unlock ROB and christening the "Deep Boop" if it works.

+His grab range is improved: A welcome change in any case (especially given how bad it was in 4), but especially potent compared with the previous point.

+Neutral Aerial range has increased: This has always been one of ROBs best moves, good for spacing and landing with its big disjointed hitbox which is now even bigger.

- - - - -

That's it. The character has no confirmed nerfs. With that in mind, we are looking at a character that was never bottom in the previous game, with better edgeguarding and is one of the few characters who has been given much stronger options off of grabs, which otherwise seem nerfed across the board. Sure, he won't suddenly have an overbearing neutral and his disadvantage is still bad (it just doesn't look worse yet) but his advantage looks a lot stronger.
 
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#5
I don't know enough about each of the individual characters to form a coherent top 10. Instead, I'm going to focus on one character and his changes and for all of your considerations. He is my Smash 4 main, but I genuinely believe he stands to benefit massively from the game transition:

:ultrob:

Firstly, let's discuss how he benefits from the mechanical changes.

Jumpsquat 5->3: This is a relatively small change compared to many of the characters, and ROB is certainly not going to benefit as much as the other heavyweights from the new universal jumpsquat. However, his F-Air potentially stands to gain a lot from this, because he is very close to being able to do a shorthop double F-Air in Smash 4 (he begins the animation before hitting the ground, but the hitbox doesn't come out). There is a very good chance he will be able to perform one now, which would allow for stronger lower percentage combos out of up throw amongst other things.

Airdodge Mechanics: ROB genuinely stands to gain a lot from these mechanics, in my opinion:

+his recovery doesn't appear to suffer: part of this is that his current recovery isn't really dependent on airdodging; he's never been able to airdodge out of Up B and instead uses his aerials to cover it anyway.
+better tools to get out of juggles: ROB has always suffered from juggling, and directional air dodging gives him some much needed tools for changing his momentum in mid-air. He did previously have gyro cancelling, but the effect of this was noticeably less and very few players did it consistently.
+stronger edge-guarding: ROB has two strong projectiles, some big, disjointed aerials (N-Air, B-Air, D-Air) and a recovery that effectively affords him 7 mid-air jumps if used correctly (Seriously: ROB can start at the left hand side of battlefield, go all the way underneath, over the right hand side and land on the left hand side of the stage in a single go). The new mechanics give his edgeguarding game a lot of potential.

Now, let's discuss his character specific changes:

+Down Throw buries: I cannot stress enough how this is a contender for the single largest buff any character has received, thanks to ROBs toolset. This potentially gives him one of the best grab combo games and one of the strongest kill setups off of a throw at the same time. This is because of how two specific moves work. Firstly, Up Smash has a hitbox at the base of ROBs arms that launch the opponent into his main hitbox. This unburies grounded opponents, ensuring they take full knockback and (if not nerfed) allows him to kill Dedede at around 120% uncharged off the top of the screen from a grab. That's absurd. Secondly, his neutral air has decent base knockback and autocancels, allowing ROB to use a neutral aerial to unbury them and follow with his imagination. Two examples that are true in smash 4 are as follows:

1) Burial -> SH N-Air -> SH F-Air -> potential jab lock
2) Burial -> SH N-Air -> U-Tilt -> U-Air

The second is just a better variant of the beep boop, which I immediately plan on testing the moment I unlock ROB and christening the "Deep Boop" if it works.

+His grab range is improved: A welcome change in any case (especially given how bad it was in 4), but especially potent compared with the previous point.

+Neutral Aerial range has increased: This has always been one of ROBs best moves, good for spacing and landing with its big disjointed hitbox which is now even bigger.

- - - - -

That's it. The character has no confirmed nerfs. With that in mind, we are looking at a character that was never bottom in the previous game, with better edgeguarding and is one of the few characters who has been given much stronger options off of grabs, which otherwise seem nerfed across the board. Sure, he won't suddenly have an overbearing neutral and his disadvantage is still bad (it just doesn't look worse yet) but his advantage looks a lot stronger.
ROB is looking nice in this game. Yet another mid-tier character looking very promising in Ultimate.
 

Amazing Ampharos

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#6
I think you have to look from an engine perspective too. Consider this fact. Melee's engine was substantially changed in the transition to Brawl, but one character was just barely touched in the transition and kept almost all of his old individual properties. That character was Captain Falcon. He was the 6th best character in Melee and a bottom tier in Brawl. The engine matters! I've thought a lot about the implications of the new engine and what it means for 4 characters we don't have direct evidence of; I look at it as an angle to begin investigation on these guys with when I pick up the new game!

This engine appears Smash 4-ish but has a lot of differences. Here are the high points:

-You can now act completely freely out of running states. This is a buff to every character with strong grounded mobility, a buff to anyone with low traction (skid animations are no longer committed), and a nerf to anyone whose focus was on grounded defense since they'll be that much easier to safely attack and open up.

-Directional airdodges exist, and non-directional airdodges have less landing lag at the cost of being a once only option in the air.

-Landing lag on aerial attacks is just much lower across the board. This is a buff to characters with "big" aerials nearly universally.

-While not fully confirmed, I have heard rumblings of a "minimum tech distance" that you have to be away from a surface to tech. If true, this makes meteor dairs WAY better than they were in 4 (spoilers: they sucked in 4, really bad).

So if this is our list:

:ultbowserjr::ultfalcon::ultdiddy::ultdoc::ultduckhunt::ultfalco::ultgreninja::ultjigglypuff::ultkingdedede::ultlucario::ultlucas::ultluigi::ultlucina::ultmetaknight::ultmiifighters::ultgnw::ultolimar::ultpalutena::ultpeach::ultdaisy::ultpichu::ultdarkpit::ultrob::ultrobin:ultrosalina::ultroy::ultchrom::ultdarksamus::ultshulk::ulttoonlink::ultwario::ultwiifittrainer::ultwolf::ultyoshi::ultyounglink::ultzss:

Who wins and loses from the engine? I would break these characters, from a pure engine standpoint, into the following groups. I'm going to discard echo fighters here to save us all time. Remember what I say about everyone assumes the character itself is mostly the same but the engine changed around the character.

Winners:

:ultbowserjr::ultfalcon::ultfalco::ultgreninja::ultlucas::ultluigi::ultmetaknight::4miisword::ultgnw::ultrob::ultroy::ultshulk::ultwario::ultwolf:

Losers:

:ultdiddy::ultjigglypuff::ultkingdedede::ultlucario::4miibrawl::4miigun::ultolimar::ultpalutena::ultrobin:ultzss:

Indifferent:

:ultdoc::ultduckhunt::ultpeach::ultrosalina::ulttoonlink::ultwiifittrainer::ultyoshi::ultyounglink:

Pichu:

:ultpichu:

Some of these may be surprising. Let me go through my logic here...

Bowser Jr. is a character who kinda relies on gimmicky clown car movement, but in reality it's not good and neither is Bowser Jr.. Another way to look at it is that he has a few really heavy aerials in his fair/bair that are just too slow/unsafe to be practical moves that stand to gain a lot from less landing lag, and if he could running tilt he'd have one instead of zero safe ways to pressure shields. Other characters being able to escape juggles doesn't bother him because he sucked at it anyway, and he has a good dair and a gimmicky extra option in his up-B so he's relatively helped by the airdodge situation overall for sure. If only the engine changes he's probably still bad but relatively less bad?

Captain Falcon is fast with great tilts and has long range aerials that would be a terror if safer. His recovery stands to benefit more than most from directional airdodges just letting him make some short distance recoveries a whole lot safer. He's without a doubt one of the biggest engine side winners, and you should be scared of that since he was probably underrated in 4 already.

Falco's biggest problem is getting boxed out because for some reason he's a low mobility space animal in 4, but he has some good normals. Being able to use them while moving is a big deal, and his aerials are in the same boat and will just increase his approach vectors with less landing lag which is the single most important thing he needs. He's still bad if his movement speed doesn't get help, but he's relatively without a doubt improved by the new engine.

Greninja is a high mobility character with some kinda big aerials, and he has a lot of non-traditional juggle escapes plus a lot of long range chases to deal with the new juggling environment. He might be under the radar one of the biggest winners from the new engine.

Lucas is a character whose biggest problem is that he's bad at approaching since all of his best neutral options are jabs and tilts and he has the unenviable combo of a bad dash attack and a tether grab. His aerials are all useful but don't really work as approaches; they're all just a little too laggy except nair which is really low range. His combos were effective but mostly lower stuff and not the juggle traps common among the actually high tier characters. In other words, literally everything about the new engine is pro-Lucas and I'd speculate that he's another massive winner here.

Luigi gets basically nothing other than being able to attack out of his skid to a halt animation. That's unbelievably incredible since that more than doubles his effective mobility and makes him one of the biggest winners with that alone even if literally every other new dynamic is anti-Luigi, and honestly they kinda are.

Meta Knight is really interesting here. As a multi-jumper, he's better positioned than most to deal with the new airdodge rules, and while his dash attack/dash grab were already good, being able to ftilt on the go is a nice extra option. If his aerials can be used more safely, that could really game change for him; I don't think he quite has the kit to run away with the benefits like the real sword characters, but it's probably more good than bad here so I'd suspect the engine changes alone would peg him as a slight winner.

Swordfighter loves the idea of being able to use tilts while running and his super laggy but big aerials are really happy about the idea of being able to be used in a non-suicidal way. I expect all Miis to be really retuned to a large extent so this is probably irrelevant, but if Swordfighter holds steady he should be less awful than he was before.

Being able to more safely use fair is going to be a significant buff to G&W, less lag on turtle and dair are going to let him throw out some of his more general purpose good options without getting killed as badly as in 4, and while his dash attack was already good, mobile dtilt is the kind of pure oppression that is going to make some salt (G&W has the dtilt of the gods in 4, and people don't notice because he's bad overall). With his weight and options he was already very hard to juggle whereas his range and aerial mobility will hunt anything down so the new airdodge system is okay with him.

R.O.B. has been covered by DJ3DS pretty well, but I'd like to just iterate how good his tilts are and how nice it will be to be able to use them just a lot more actively.

Roy is a high mobility sword character, basically everything the new engine likes. His ability to benefit will be held back by his awful blade strength distribution since the sourspots will make safe fairs and such still hard, but we know of another buff Ultimate gives this moveset to deal with this problem so I have high hopes for this moveset. :ultchrom:

Shulk has been mentioned by others; Monado Speed still exists in Ultimate, and man, running around like Sonic Jr. with actual options this time other than run up and grab and then being able to pivot into Shulk's already incredible nair that now has even less landing lag and is so massive it's going to cover whatever? Yes please.

Wario is low key a pretty terrible character in 4. His high aerial mobility combined with a complete lack of ability to actually approach with his aerials is pretty poor, and Ultimate is addressing that significantly by reducing their lag. His dash attack is well below average, and his dtilt is like G&W's just incredibly good on an otherwise bad character so being able to run around and point at things could really open up his ability to actually do stuff in neutral which would be quite the positive change for him.

Wolf is hard for me to really talk about because in Brawl he was pretty literally just bair: the character, but Wolf's gimmick I think was supposed to be added extra mobility with how his attacks move him so he could probably get pretty tricky combining that with actions out of running. Really though, if his whole gimmick remains spamming bair, the gimmick is better if it has less landing lag and if he gets a real game to go along with it that's only even better.

Seeing negativity about Diddy has to shock people, especially since you're probably thinking "Diddy Kong has a really good dtilt; wouldn't he love to do that out of run?". Sure, but think about it a bit more. Diddy has probably the second or third best dash attack in 4 (Sonic's is obviously the best, Diddy's is pretty close to Rosalina's) so he already was really good at attacking on the move, and adding one more good option to what was already a very deep well of options will matter less here than it would for those others. Diddy's aerials will benefit some from reduced landing lag but honestly I don't think it will open up that many combos for him compared to others and he already had a pretty easy time staying safe. Diddy was really good at exploiting 4's particular juggle dynamics, and those are changing in ways that will be harder for him to trap. Diddy's banana peel could be used to set up the kind of defensive front you'll just be able to leverage less in this game since people will be able to attack him faster and more safely. None of this is the kind of stuff that seems likely to sink a character like Diddy who is just so good all around in so many ways, but I'd expect a little bit of a slide from the engine for him if nothing else changes which keep in mind his starting point is "top tier" so a slide can still end with him being pretty outstanding...

Jigglypuff gets literally nothing from extra options while running around. Jigglypuff's landing lag was already super low. Jigglypuff moves really slowly up and down in the air so airdodge down is going to let anyone who isn't off-stage get away from her even more freely than they already did (and let's be honest she was bottom tier for a reason; she already had trouble keeping up pressure). She's basically just praying that recovering gets a lot harder for everyone else so her offstage game just saves her from everything else getting even worse for her or that maybe she gets massive direct buffs outside of the engine. I wouldn't count on the former and the latter very likely may happen but isn't what I'm talking about here. An unchanged Jigglypuff I'd expect to be even worse in the new game.

What does King Dedede get out of this at all? He can barely move, and his moves are mostly unsafe no matter how he spaces them so being able to use them while moving doesn't change anything. Less landing lag is kinda cool but his terrible mobility and super slow start-ups on most of his moves aren't going to let him create pressure with it to nearly the extent they're going to let other characters make pressure on him. His whole strategy, which still was pretty much ineffective at actually letting him win, was being a defensive wall, and that's going to work a lot worse than before. He gets some juice as a multi-jumper who can kinda avoid some traps better than others that may arise with new airdodge limits, but you're not going to convince me the modest benefits of multi-jumps are going to outweigh his comically bad aerial mobility and huge size/weight in making him just combo/juggle food for days. He needs a large number of very serious direct buffs to stand a chance of not being worthless in the new game like he is in 4.

Lucario is a more unusual case. What Lucario wants is mostly for the game to operate at as slow of a pace as possible and for as many things to be unsafe as possible so people have to play timidly with weaker moves. This maximizes the value of aura as a mechanic since the slow paced low power slog results in a building Lucario tsunami to overwhelm his opponents and then sweep the rest of the game. When things go fast, the damage gets poured on, and kills happen early, Lucario ends up never reaching his full potential. The new mechanics will offer some benefits to his particular moves (mobile jabs and tilts will be legitimately nice on him), but the increased game pace overall is going to result in more Lucario stocks ending earlier which is in no way offset by the hopes of ending the opponent's stocks earlier too thanks to his gimmick mechanics.

Brawler in 4 is mostly a gimmick character centered around the absurd Helicopter Kick. His tilts really aren't super great so being able to use them on the go isn't thrilling, and if aerial approaches are safer, it's just fewer things you can Helicopter Kick. We can largely hope he gets significantly retuned across the board, and it seems VERY likely, but if he holds steady it's a negative for him.

Gunner basically puts nonsense in the opponent's way and kinda chips away with it. That sort of playstyle is really against enhanced safety and mobility across the cast as people will be able to extend more against Gunner more safely whereas Gunner doesn't really have a realistic way to do the same back in his moveset. Like the other two Miis, we have reason to believe this character is changing a lot more than most of the others so this is probably irrelevant, but if left untreated, Gunner could sink from the low tier to the bottom tier quite easily on engine changes.

Olimar doesn't like jumping, doesn't really like moving, does like having plenty of time to do his nonsense and be an absolute wall that you won't pass but will just slowly die as you stare at him and wonder how you're supposed to attack. Other characters having enhanced mobility and aerial approach sounds really unappealing to any Olimar, and since Olimar has very poor options to protect himself way up in the air, having fewer airdodges could force him to make some really scary guesses. Further remember that if you run out of Pikmin, other characters having an easier time keeping up an offense is going to make that a relatively even worse situation than before.

Palutena seems like the kind of character likely to get a heavy amount of redesign so this may be irrelevant, but seriously. Her jab is basically a tilt and she has no actual tilts of any real use so she basically has one decent "tilt" she gets while running around except her dash attack was already one the her best moves coming from a character with pretty few good moves. Most of her aerials are obviously bad low to the ground in ways that less landing lag won't help other than bair which is godlike (goddess-like?) but her spam bair strats don't seem like they are going to get a lot of juice out of less landing lag. Being able to use dair as an approach will be a real help, but it just doesn't seem to offset other things enough. Her uair was actually pretty fantastic at punishing a properly read airdodge and punishing really hard, and I don't think she has the aerial mobility or bigger suite of good aerials to capitalize on airdodge limits but her "go for uair reads" stuff will be worse with directional airdodges. Hopefully that's all irrelevant because she gets a ton of really substantial direct buffs; her already dysfunctional design seems likely to work even less well in Ultimate as it stands from my perspective.

Robin has the worst mobility in the game and very low landing lag already. His tome mechanics mean he would prefer matches go at a slower pace, and in general, the character isn't super great at dealing with being under very heavy pressure. I see the engine as really quite negative for everything Robin wants to do, maybe the single biggest loser from an engine standpoint on the list.

As a high mobility character, you might expect ZSS to be a winner, but her grounded normals mostly lack the safety to let her leverage that mobility in the new engine in the way many others will be able to without direct changes, and while less landing lag on her aerials will help, I'm unsure it's going to change a lot. ZSS was also one of the characters who was near the best at exploiting 4's juggle mechanics, and while I think she'll still be pretty good at getting some reward out of people just airdodging down all the time (she can just dair it), people with a lead against her I think are really going to enjoy having an option to go to that makes it a guarantee they aren't getting hit by Boost Kick after they hit the button.

Doc, much like his more blue collar counterpart, is pretty well rounded and pretty well positioned to exploit and be exploited by the changes in about equal measure.

Duck Hunt really doesn't like the ability to act while running at all; it just really increases the amount people are going to be able to pressure him and thus prevent him from going for set-ups with his projectiles. On the other hand, Duck Hunt's disjointed but mostly unsafe aerials are going to really like the reduced landing lag a lot which will let him do different things well, a minimum tech distance thing combined with Duck Hunt dair would be REALLY good for him, and the can's dynamics will let him adapt to new airdodge mechanics of basically any variety very easily. The engine is probably neutral to Duck Hunt overall, but Duck Hunt is also probably uniquely sensitive to direct balance tweaks so he could jump just about anywhere on the tier list with seemingly modest direct changes I suspect.

Peach gets some out of running jabs/tilts but it's not more than average, and she gets some benefit from less landing lag on fair but her float dynamics let her play around landing lag anyway. The thing is that her float mechanics also let her change the rules of exchanges in ways that minimize the benefits others get too and probably mostly make the Peach match-up still a beast unto itself with its own special rules.

Rosalina really liked how juggles worked in 4, and Rosalina really liked how landing traps worked in 4. As a floaty, she's more likely to run into the airdodge limit than most. The new airdodge mechanics suck for her overall... a lot really. On the other hand, Rosalina is a spatial control character who has some pretty awesome tilts (her dash attack was as goddess-like as Palutena's bair from earlier but she really would benefit a lot from mobile safe pokes), and in general being able to force a deployed Luma to do more different things at more different times is pretty good. Rosalina's aerials also really like the idea of reduced landing lag; bair is the kind of move that is often dubious to throw out as a poke but could obviously be really good if it were safer, dair is already incredible with high landing lag being one of the biggest downsides, and fair feels like the kind of move that could turn into pure shenanigans with less landing lag. Of course, we've already seen a new nair which changes all the rules for her aerial game anyway, but I think there's a pretty similar measure of reasons to be excited and nervous as a Rosalina main looking at what we know about the engine.

Both kid Links have kinda the same story. They were so floaty they didn't really worry too much about landing lag but as sword characters can still exploit it being reduced to some degree, and since both spent so much time in the air already the mobile jabs/tilts is a bit less exciting but again as sword characters they do have some stuff that seems appealing in that regard. It's hard for me to imagine the total shift here, but my intuition tells me they probably mostly end up about where they started.

I put Wii Fit Trainer here mostly to say "I don't know". Sorry! I have no belief that set of normals would be good in any engine, but it does some pretty interesting stuff that is weird and hard to project how it would interact in any different circumstances at all. Due to how just weird she is, I expect her overall game to receive massive changes emerging even from what seem like on the surface small tweaks too; this character is just impossible to project.

Yoshi is I think kinda like Mario in his dynamics when you get down to what really matters so, despite being a "weird" character, he ends up about in the middle from all his well rounded stuff kinda canceling out I think?

The character is obviously top tier. Who can deny it? Pichu's incredible meme value aside, to be serious, the engine changes seem silly to talk about in the context of Pichu because Pichu was bad on purpose in Melee. I trust the Ultimate dev team's ability to make Pichu bad on purpose in any engine so if they try to do that he'll definitely suck, and if they don't, well, Pikachu is a pretty good base moveset! Just impossible to project or even discuss in a non-ridiculous way so I won't try.
 
Joined
Jan 10, 2018
Messages
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#7
I think you have to look from an engine perspective too. Consider this fact. Melee's engine was substantially changed in the transition to Brawl, but one character was just barely touched in the transition and kept almost all of his old individual properties. That character was Captain Falcon. He was the 6th best character in Melee and a bottom tier in Brawl. The engine matters! I've thought a lot about the implications of the new engine and what it means for 4 characters we don't have direct evidence of; I look at it as an angle to begin investigation on these guys with when I pick up the new game!

This engine appears Smash 4-ish but has a lot of differences. Here are the high points:

-You can now act completely freely out of running states. This is a buff to every character with strong grounded mobility, a buff to anyone with low traction (skid animations are no longer committed), and a nerf to anyone whose focus was on grounded defense since they'll be that much easier to safely attack and open up.

-Directional airdodges exist, and non-directional airdodges have less landing lag at the cost of being a once only option in the air.

-Landing lag on aerial attacks is just much lower across the board. This is a buff to characters with "big" aerials nearly universally.

-While not fully confirmed, I have heard rumblings of a "minimum tech distance" that you have to be away from a surface to tech. If true, this makes meteor dairs WAY better than they were in 4 (spoilers: they sucked in 4, really bad).

So if this is our list:

:ultbowserjr::ultfalcon::ultdiddy::ultdoc::ultduckhunt::ultfalco::ultgreninja::ultjigglypuff::ultkingdedede::ultlucario::ultlucas::ultluigi::ultlucina::ultmetaknight::ultmiifighters::ultgnw::ultolimar::ultpalutena::ultpeach::ultdaisy::ultpichu::ultdarkpit::ultrob::ultrobin:ultrosalina::ultroy::ultchrom::ultdarksamus::ultshulk::ulttoonlink::ultwario::ultwiifittrainer::ultwolf::ultyoshi::ultyounglink::ultzss:

Who wins and loses from the engine? I would break these characters, from a pure engine standpoint, into the following groups. I'm going to discard echo fighters here to save us all time. Remember what I say about everyone assumes the character itself is mostly the same but the engine changed around the character.

Winners:

:ultbowserjr::ultfalcon::ultfalco::ultgreninja::ultlucas::ultluigi::ultmetaknight::4miisword::ultgnw::ultrob::ultroy::ultshulk::ultwario::ultwolf:

Losers:

:ultdiddy::ultjigglypuff::ultkingdedede::ultlucario::4miibrawl::4miigun::ultolimar::ultpalutena::ultrobin:ultzss:

Indifferent:

:ultdoc::ultduckhunt::ultpeach::ultrosalina::ulttoonlink::ultwiifittrainer::ultyoshi::ultyounglink:

Pichu:

:ultpichu:

Some of these may be surprising. Let me go through my logic here...

Bowser Jr. is a character who kinda relies on gimmicky clown car movement, but in reality it's not good and neither is Bowser Jr.. Another way to look at it is that he has a few really heavy aerials in his fair/bair that are just too slow/unsafe to be practical moves that stand to gain a lot from less landing lag, and if he could running tilt he'd have one instead of zero safe ways to pressure shields. Other characters being able to escape juggles doesn't bother him because he sucked at it anyway, and he has a good dair and a gimmicky extra option in his up-B so he's relatively helped by the airdodge situation overall for sure. If only the engine changes he's probably still bad but relatively less bad?

Captain Falcon is fast with great tilts and has long range aerials that would be a terror if safer. His recovery stands to benefit more than most from directional airdodges just letting him make some short distance recoveries a whole lot safer. He's without a doubt one of the biggest engine side winners, and you should be scared of that since he was probably underrated in 4 already.

Falco's biggest problem is getting boxed out because for some reason he's a low mobility space animal in 4, but he has some good normals. Being able to use them while moving is a big deal, and his aerials are in the same boat and will just increase his approach vectors with less landing lag which is the single most important thing he needs. He's still bad if his movement speed doesn't get help, but he's relatively without a doubt improved by the new engine.

Greninja is a high mobility character with some kinda big aerials, and he has a lot of non-traditional juggle escapes plus a lot of long range chases to deal with the new juggling environment. He might be under the radar one of the biggest winners from the new engine.

Lucas is a character whose biggest problem is that he's bad at approaching since all of his best neutral options are jabs and tilts and he has the unenviable combo of a bad dash attack and a tether grab. His aerials are all useful but don't really work as approaches; they're all just a little too laggy except nair which is really low range. His combos were effective but mostly lower stuff and not the juggle traps common among the actually high tier characters. In other words, literally everything about the new engine is pro-Lucas and I'd speculate that he's another massive winner here.

Luigi gets basically nothing other than being able to attack out of his skid to a halt animation. That's unbelievably incredible since that more than doubles his effective mobility and makes him one of the biggest winners with that alone even if literally every other new dynamic is anti-Luigi, and honestly they kinda are.

Meta Knight is really interesting here. As a multi-jumper, he's better positioned than most to deal with the new airdodge rules, and while his dash attack/dash grab were already good, being able to ftilt on the go is a nice extra option. If his aerials can be used more safely, that could really game change for him; I don't think he quite has the kit to run away with the benefits like the real sword characters, but it's probably more good than bad here so I'd suspect the engine changes alone would peg him as a slight winner.

Swordfighter loves the idea of being able to use tilts while running and his super laggy but big aerials are really happy about the idea of being able to be used in a non-suicidal way. I expect all Miis to be really retuned to a large extent so this is probably irrelevant, but if Swordfighter holds steady he should be less awful than he was before.

Being able to more safely use fair is going to be a significant buff to G&W, less lag on turtle and dair are going to let him throw out some of his more general purpose good options without getting killed as badly as in 4, and while his dash attack was already good, mobile dtilt is the kind of pure oppression that is going to make some salt (G&W has the dtilt of the gods in 4, and people don't notice because he's bad overall). With his weight and options he was already very hard to juggle whereas his range and aerial mobility will hunt anything down so the new airdodge system is okay with him.

R.O.B. has been covered by DJ3DS pretty well, but I'd like to just iterate how good his tilts are and how nice it will be to be able to use them just a lot more actively.

Roy is a high mobility sword character, basically everything the new engine likes. His ability to benefit will be held back by his awful blade strength distribution since the sourspots will make safe fairs and such still hard, but we know of another buff Ultimate gives this moveset to deal with this problem so I have high hopes for this moveset. :ultchrom:

Shulk has been mentioned by others; Monado Speed still exists in Ultimate, and man, running around like Sonic Jr. with actual options this time other than run up and grab and then being able to pivot into Shulk's already incredible nair that now has even less landing lag and is so massive it's going to cover whatever? Yes please.

Wario is low key a pretty terrible character in 4. His high aerial mobility combined with a complete lack of ability to actually approach with his aerials is pretty poor, and Ultimate is addressing that significantly by reducing their lag. His dash attack is well below average, and his dtilt is like G&W's just incredibly good on an otherwise bad character so being able to run around and point at things could really open up his ability to actually do stuff in neutral which would be quite the positive change for him.

Wolf is hard for me to really talk about because in Brawl he was pretty literally just bair: the character, but Wolf's gimmick I think was supposed to be added extra mobility with how his attacks move him so he could probably get pretty tricky combining that with actions out of running. Really though, if his whole gimmick remains spamming bair, the gimmick is better if it has less landing lag and if he gets a real game to go along with it that's only even better.

Seeing negativity about Diddy has to shock people, especially since you're probably thinking "Diddy Kong has a really good dtilt; wouldn't he love to do that out of run?". Sure, but think about it a bit more. Diddy has probably the second or third best dash attack in 4 (Sonic's is obviously the best, Diddy's is pretty close to Rosalina's) so he already was really good at attacking on the move, and adding one more good option to what was already a very deep well of options will matter less here than it would for those others. Diddy's aerials will benefit some from reduced landing lag but honestly I don't think it will open up that many combos for him compared to others and he already had a pretty easy time staying safe. Diddy was really good at exploiting 4's particular juggle dynamics, and those are changing in ways that will be harder for him to trap. Diddy's banana peel could be used to set up the kind of defensive front you'll just be able to leverage less in this game since people will be able to attack him faster and more safely. None of this is the kind of stuff that seems likely to sink a character like Diddy who is just so good all around in so many ways, but I'd expect a little bit of a slide from the engine for him if nothing else changes which keep in mind his starting point is "top tier" so a slide can still end with him being pretty outstanding...

Jigglypuff gets literally nothing from extra options while running around. Jigglypuff's landing lag was already super low. Jigglypuff moves really slowly up and down in the air so airdodge down is going to let anyone who isn't off-stage get away from her even more freely than they already did (and let's be honest she was bottom tier for a reason; she already had trouble keeping up pressure). She's basically just praying that recovering gets a lot harder for everyone else so her offstage game just saves her from everything else getting even worse for her or that maybe she gets massive direct buffs outside of the engine. I wouldn't count on the former and the latter very likely may happen but isn't what I'm talking about here. An unchanged Jigglypuff I'd expect to be even worse in the new game.

What does King Dedede get out of this at all? He can barely move, and his moves are mostly unsafe no matter how he spaces them so being able to use them while moving doesn't change anything. Less landing lag is kinda cool but his terrible mobility and super slow start-ups on most of his moves aren't going to let him create pressure with it to nearly the extent they're going to let other characters make pressure on him. His whole strategy, which still was pretty much ineffective at actually letting him win, was being a defensive wall, and that's going to work a lot worse than before. He gets some juice as a multi-jumper who can kinda avoid some traps better than others that may arise with new airdodge limits, but you're not going to convince me the modest benefits of multi-jumps are going to outweigh his comically bad aerial mobility and huge size/weight in making him just combo/juggle food for days. He needs a large number of very serious direct buffs to stand a chance of not being worthless in the new game like he is in 4.

Lucario is a more unusual case. What Lucario wants is mostly for the game to operate at as slow of a pace as possible and for as many things to be unsafe as possible so people have to play timidly with weaker moves. This maximizes the value of aura as a mechanic since the slow paced low power slog results in a building Lucario tsunami to overwhelm his opponents and then sweep the rest of the game. When things go fast, the damage gets poured on, and kills happen early, Lucario ends up never reaching his full potential. The new mechanics will offer some benefits to his particular moves (mobile jabs and tilts will be legitimately nice on him), but the increased game pace overall is going to result in more Lucario stocks ending earlier which is in no way offset by the hopes of ending the opponent's stocks earlier too thanks to his gimmick mechanics.

Brawler in 4 is mostly a gimmick character centered around the absurd Helicopter Kick. His tilts really aren't super great so being able to use them on the go isn't thrilling, and if aerial approaches are safer, it's just fewer things you can Helicopter Kick. We can largely hope he gets significantly retuned across the board, and it seems VERY likely, but if he holds steady it's a negative for him.

Gunner basically puts nonsense in the opponent's way and kinda chips away with it. That sort of playstyle is really against enhanced safety and mobility across the cast as people will be able to extend more against Gunner more safely whereas Gunner doesn't really have a realistic way to do the same back in his moveset. Like the other two Miis, we have reason to believe this character is changing a lot more than most of the others so this is probably irrelevant, but if left untreated, Gunner could sink from the low tier to the bottom tier quite easily on engine changes.

Olimar doesn't like jumping, doesn't really like moving, does like having plenty of time to do his nonsense and be an absolute wall that you won't pass but will just slowly die as you stare at him and wonder how you're supposed to attack. Other characters having enhanced mobility and aerial approach sounds really unappealing to any Olimar, and since Olimar has very poor options to protect himself way up in the air, having fewer airdodges could force him to make some really scary guesses. Further remember that if you run out of Pikmin, other characters having an easier time keeping up an offense is going to make that a relatively even worse situation than before.

Palutena seems like the kind of character likely to get a heavy amount of redesign so this may be irrelevant, but seriously. Her jab is basically a tilt and she has no actual tilts of any real use so she basically has one decent "tilt" she gets while running around except her dash attack was already one the her best moves coming from a character with pretty few good moves. Most of her aerials are obviously bad low to the ground in ways that less landing lag won't help other than bair which is godlike (goddess-like?) but her spam bair strats don't seem like they are going to get a lot of juice out of less landing lag. Being able to use dair as an approach will be a real help, but it just doesn't seem to offset other things enough. Her uair was actually pretty fantastic at punishing a properly read airdodge and punishing really hard, and I don't think she has the aerial mobility or bigger suite of good aerials to capitalize on airdodge limits but her "go for uair reads" stuff will be worse with directional airdodges. Hopefully that's all irrelevant because she gets a ton of really substantial direct buffs; her already dysfunctional design seems likely to work even less well in Ultimate as it stands from my perspective.

Robin has the worst mobility in the game and very low landing lag already. His tome mechanics mean he would prefer matches go at a slower pace, and in general, the character isn't super great at dealing with being under very heavy pressure. I see the engine as really quite negative for everything Robin wants to do, maybe the single biggest loser from an engine standpoint on the list.

As a high mobility character, you might expect ZSS to be a winner, but her grounded normals mostly lack the safety to let her leverage that mobility in the new engine in the way many others will be able to without direct changes, and while less landing lag on her aerials will help, I'm unsure it's going to change a lot. ZSS was also one of the characters who was near the best at exploiting 4's juggle mechanics, and while I think she'll still be pretty good at getting some reward out of people just airdodging down all the time (she can just dair it), people with a lead against her I think are really going to enjoy having an option to go to that makes it a guarantee they aren't getting hit by Boost Kick after they hit the button.

Doc, much like his more blue collar counterpart, is pretty well rounded and pretty well positioned to exploit and be exploited by the changes in about equal measure.

Duck Hunt really doesn't like the ability to act while running at all; it just really increases the amount people are going to be able to pressure him and thus prevent him from going for set-ups with his projectiles. On the other hand, Duck Hunt's disjointed but mostly unsafe aerials are going to really like the reduced landing lag a lot which will let him do different things well, a minimum tech distance thing combined with Duck Hunt dair would be REALLY good for him, and the can's dynamics will let him adapt to new airdodge mechanics of basically any variety very easily. The engine is probably neutral to Duck Hunt overall, but Duck Hunt is also probably uniquely sensitive to direct balance tweaks so he could jump just about anywhere on the tier list with seemingly modest direct changes I suspect.

Peach gets some out of running jabs/tilts but it's not more than average, and she gets some benefit from less landing lag on fair but her float dynamics let her play around landing lag anyway. The thing is that her float mechanics also let her change the rules of exchanges in ways that minimize the benefits others get too and probably mostly make the Peach match-up still a beast unto itself with its own special rules.

Rosalina really liked how juggles worked in 4, and Rosalina really liked how landing traps worked in 4. As a floaty, she's more likely to run into the airdodge limit than most. The new airdodge mechanics suck for her overall... a lot really. On the other hand, Rosalina is a spatial control character who has some pretty awesome tilts (her dash attack was as goddess-like as Palutena's bair from earlier but she really would benefit a lot from mobile safe pokes), and in general being able to force a deployed Luma to do more different things at more different times is pretty good. Rosalina's aerials also really like the idea of reduced landing lag; bair is the kind of move that is often dubious to throw out as a poke but could obviously be really good if it were safer, dair is already incredible with high landing lag being one of the biggest downsides, and fair feels like the kind of move that could turn into pure shenanigans with less landing lag. Of course, we've already seen a new nair which changes all the rules for her aerial game anyway, but I think there's a pretty similar measure of reasons to be excited and nervous as a Rosalina main looking at what we know about the engine.

Both kid Links have kinda the same story. They were so floaty they didn't really worry too much about landing lag but as sword characters can still exploit it being reduced to some degree, and since both spent so much time in the air already the mobile jabs/tilts is a bit less exciting but again as sword characters they do have some stuff that seems appealing in that regard. It's hard for me to imagine the total shift here, but my intuition tells me they probably mostly end up about where they started.

I put Wii Fit Trainer here mostly to say "I don't know". Sorry! I have no belief that set of normals would be good in any engine, but it does some pretty interesting stuff that is weird and hard to project how it would interact in any different circumstances at all. Due to how just weird she is, I expect her overall game to receive massive changes emerging even from what seem like on the surface small tweaks too; this character is just impossible to project.

Yoshi is I think kinda like Mario in his dynamics when you get down to what really matters so, despite being a "weird" character, he ends up about in the middle from all his well rounded stuff kinda canceling out I think?

The character is obviously top tier. Who can deny it? Pichu's incredible meme value aside, to be serious, the engine changes seem silly to talk about in the context of Pichu because Pichu was bad on purpose in Melee. I trust the Ultimate dev team's ability to make Pichu bad on purpose in any engine so if they try to do that he'll definitely suck, and if they don't, well, Pikachu is a pretty good base moveset! Just impossible to project or even discuss in a non-ridiculous way so I won't try.
Wasn't I looking at an engine perspective as well?

Here is few things I noted from your lists:

:ultbowserjr: I think he is getting more benefit from the engine changes than you say. The landing lag was a noticeable issue with him, and the universal cut in landing lag is going to (hopefully) give him another approach option. His Clown Car movement is actually very solid, but the problem is that it is linear due to it being his only reliable approach option.
:ultgreninja: Greninja is kinda a mixed bag with the engine. The reason he benefits from it is the things you underlined, but he also lost his footstool combos in the process due to techable footstools existing. However, the changes to the engine is more a boon than a hindrance to Greninja overall, so I agree on you on that regard.
:ultlucas: I, at first, thought the same as you in the Lucas engine department. Then I realized that two things that are essential to him in SSB4 are not applicable anymore. Footstools are techable, so if Lucas does eventually land his laggy tether grab, he won't get much reward off of it. Because the way Lucas' moveset worked in SSB4, he has a defensive playstyle, but he can't really play that playstyle effectively anymore due to the overall shift to aggression. If only Lucas' moveset was like Brawl's, then he would benefit even more. Who knows? Maybe I am wrong and you are right.
:ultjigglypuff: I am going to disagree with you there. Jigglypuff's landing lag in SSB4 specifically is actually pretty mediocre, so getting landing lag cuts that mimics L-Cancelled aerials in Melee (it's best incarnation) is huge. The universal frame 3 jumpquat allows Jigglypuff to gain access to the air quicker, which is bigger than it seems because as you said, it has slow ground mobility. I am assuming it is getting more direct buffs as well.
:ultkingdedede: I kinda disagree with you there. Like you said: he has less landing lag. This, combined with the universal frame 3 jumpsquat, allows him to gain access to the air quicker. His air mobility (assuming it is unchanged from SSB4) is going to suck for him, but he also possesses a long disjointed tool. I do agree that Dedede needs a little bit more tools to show any relevancy, but he is already shaping up to be better than in SSB4.
:ultyounglink: While I don't think Toon Link does indeed don't change much out of the game engine (mostly because he was already a solid character unlike Young Link), Young Link has received notable benefits of the engine switch from Melee to Ultimate. I highlighted the reasons why in my top 10 list.
:ultpichu: I don't think the developers are going to make Pichu a joke character anymore, or at least on purpose. It already looks much better than in Melee (I should've put it at my top 10 list, but I completely forgot about it lol).


Overall, your estimates about how each character fares in Ultimate's game engine seems pretty accurate.
 
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#8
:ultpichu: I don't think the developers are going to make Pichu a joke character anymore, or at least on purpose. It already looks much better than in Melee (I should've put it at my top 10 list, but I completely forgot about it lol).
It still has self damage, but its blog post makes me think they're trying to compensate for it. I'm assuming what they're doing with SSBU Pichu is like what Capcom did with Dan in Street Fighter IV: Buff it while keeping the joke character traits it had (Dan's no-range Hadouken, Pichu's self-damage)
 
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Amazing Ampharos

Balanced Brawl Designer
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#9
Wasn't I looking at an engine perspective as well?

Here is few things I noted from your lists:

:ultbowserjr: I think he is getting more benefit from the engine changes than you say. The landing lag was a noticeable issue with him, and the universal cut in landing lag is going to (hopefully) give him another approach option. His Clown Car movement is actually very solid, but the problem is that it is linear due to it being his only reliable approach option.
:ultgreninja: Greninja is kinda a mixed bag with the engine. The reason he benefits from it is the things you underlined, but he also lost his footstool combos in the process due to techable footstools existing. However, the changes to the engine is more a boon than a hindrance to Greninja overall, so I agree on you on that regard.
:ultlucas: I, at first, thought the same as you in the Lucas engine department. Then I realized that two things that are essential to him in SSB4 are not applicable anymore. Footstools are techable, so if Lucas does eventually land his laggy tether grab, he won't get much reward off of it. Because the way Lucas' moveset worked in SSB4, he has a defensive playstyle, but he can't really play that playstyle effectively anymore due to the overall shift to aggression. If only Lucas' moveset was like Brawl's, then he would benefit even more. Who knows? Maybe I am wrong and you are right.
:ultjigglypuff: I am going to disagree with you there. Jigglypuff's landing lag in SSB4 specifically is actually pretty mediocre, so getting landing lag cuts that mimics L-Cancelled aerials in Melee (it's best incarnation) is huge. The universal frame 3 jumpquat allows Jigglypuff to gain access to the air quicker, which is bigger than it seems because as you said, it has slow ground mobility. I am assuming it is getting more direct buffs as well.
:ultkingdedede: I kinda disagree with you there. Like you said: he has less landing lag. This, combined with the universal frame 3 jumpsquat, allows him to gain access to the air quicker. His air mobility (assuming it is unchanged from SSB4) is going to suck for him, but he also possesses a long disjointed tool. I do agree that Dedede needs a little bit more tools to show any relevancy, but he is already shaping up to be better than in SSB4.
:ultyounglink: While I don't think Toon Link does indeed don't change much out of the game engine (mostly because he was already a solid character unlike Young Link), Young Link has received notable benefits of the engine switch from Melee to Ultimate. I highlighted the reasons why in my top 10 list.
:ultpichu: I don't think the developers are going to make Pichu a joke character anymore, or at least on purpose. It already looks much better than in Melee (I should've put it at my top 10 list, but I completely forgot about it lol).


Overall, your estimates about how each character fares in Ultimate's game engine seems pretty accurate.
I think we have relatively minor quibbles for most of these (I consider pre-Ultimate for Young and Toon Link to be the same character, for instance, so I see the correct "base" to compare Ultimate Young Link as 4 Toon Link), but I think :ultlucas: is an interesting case to discuss further. You assert, and I believe you are correct, that Lucas has a fundamentally defensive playstyle in Smash 4. However, I then ask "why does Lucas play defensively in 4"? As I look at it, Lucas is a character with a wide array of independently useful moves but, like I said before, really lacking basic approach options since his good stuff mostly pays off when he's already in. In that sense, I think he plays defensively not because he really wants to but because he must due to his deficiencies otherwise; if he could aggro with his jab/tilts and stay in more consistently, I think that would just naturally be a much stronger playstyle for him, and that's what I imagine the system changes here could let him do. Maybe he will have to deal with his old playstyle being rendered ineffective alongside that, but the results of that old playstyle were mediocre so change is good here from my perspective.

I also just don't think the footstool stuff will matter much in the end. Lucas's grab reward is still high no matter what (his throws are objectively good in most ways throws can be good), and Lucas has plenty of ways to do damage if he can get going without footstools. Footstool stuff probably seems more necessary for him in the context of 4 where he really has to make the absolute most of his limited openings, but if he can play a more open/free playstyle and probably has a lot of combo/chase stuff anyway that has nothing to do with footstools, it's probably not that big of a deal overall (and less landing lag on that nair you know is going to be really, really scary in advantage state, probably some awesome stuff opened from dair that way too).

I also don't know what you mean by Brawl Lucas, but I'd like to go into a bit of storytime. I was at a Brawl tournament, actually a rare time I traveled out of region, and I was matched up with a Lucas player I'd been told was pretty talented (sadly all these years later the name escapes me). My region played a ton of characters but not really Lucas at all so I was somewhat concerned at first because I knew nothing about the match-up and knew that learning on the fly might be educational but also likely accompanied by a trip to the loser's bracket. I just ran through the mechanics and simulated most realistic exchanges in my head, and I calculated that Lucas didn't have any obviously good ways to approach a defensive opponent. When our match started, I took my G&W's trusty turtle and with a bit of a juke caught the Lucas player with a few hits and did like 6%. I then immediately started running away and playing for a timeout, believing Lucas simply lacked the correct options to be able to ever gain an advantaged situation chasing me down. 16 minutes later, I won the set 2-0; as in most time-outs, a few exchanges did occur along the line, but for the most part I was correct. It was basically just free to run away from Lucas forever, and while other characters would handle the situation differently, in a fundamentally defensive game like Brawl I don't see how Lucas could ever possibly win if he was already losing against a good character since maybe he had good stuff he could do if you let him but you could just choose to never let him do anything. In that sense, Brawl Lucas was basically just a total whiff of a character, ideas that maybe could have mattered if things were different but Brawl itself ensured nothing he could do mattered. 4 did a much better job than Brawl or Melee at avoiding characters being just totally negated before real gameplay could be considered, but I definitely feel that Brawl Lucas was just one of the victims of that and in that way Lucas was basically a 4 newcomer.
 
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#10
I think we have relatively minor quibbles for most of these (I consider pre-Ultimate for Young and Toon Link to be the same character, for instance, so I see the correct "base" to compare Ultimate Young Link as 4 Toon Link), but I think :ultlucas: is an interesting case to discuss further. You assert, and I believe you are correct, that Lucas has a fundamentally defensive playstyle in Smash 4. However, I then ask "why does Lucas play defensively in 4"? As I look at it, Lucas is a character with a wide array of independently useful moves but, like I said before, really lacking basic approach options since his good stuff mostly pays off when he's already in. In that sense, I think he plays defensively not because he really wants to but because he must due to his deficiencies otherwise; if he could aggro with his jab/tilts and stay in more consistently, I think that would just naturally be a much stronger playstyle for him, and that's what I imagine the system changes here could let him do. Maybe he will have to deal with his old playstyle being rendered ineffective alongside that, but the results of that old playstyle were mediocre so change is good here from my perspective.

I also just don't think the footstool stuff will matter much in the end. Lucas's grab reward is still high no matter what (his throws are objectively good in most ways throws can be good), and Lucas has plenty of ways to do damage if he can get going without footstools. Footstool stuff probably seems more necessary for him in the context of 4 where he really has to make the absolute most of his limited openings, but if he can play a more open/free playstyle and probably has a lot of combo/chase stuff anyway that has nothing to do with footstools, it's probably not that big of a deal overall (and less landing lag on that nair you know is going to be really, really scary in advantage state, probably some awesome stuff opened from dair that way too).

I also don't know what you mean by Brawl Lucas, but I'd like to go into a bit of storytime. I was at a Brawl tournament, actually a rare time I traveled out of region, and I was matched up with a Lucas player I'd been told was pretty talented (sadly all these years later the name escapes me). My region played a ton of characters but not really Lucas at all so I was somewhat concerned at first because I knew nothing about the match-up and knew that learning on the fly might be educational but also likely accompanied by a trip to the loser's bracket. I just ran through the mechanics and simulated most realistic exchanges in my head, and I calculated that Lucas didn't have any obviously good ways to approach a defensive opponent. When our match started, I took my G&W's trusty turtle and with a bit of a juke caught the Lucas player with a few hits and did like 6%. I then immediately started running away and playing for a timeout, believing Lucas simply lacked the correct options to be able to ever gain an advantaged situation chasing me down. 16 minutes later, I won the set 2-0; as in most time-outs, a few exchanges did occur along the line, but for the most part I was correct. It was basically just free to run away from Lucas forever, and while other characters would handle the situation differently, in a fundamentally defensive game like Brawl I don't see how Lucas could ever possibly win if he was already losing against a good character since maybe he had good stuff he could do if you let him but you could just choose to never let him do anything. In that sense, Brawl Lucas was basically just a total whiff of a character, ideas that maybe could have mattered if things were different but Brawl itself ensured nothing he could do mattered. 4 did a much better job than Brawl or Melee at avoiding characters being just totally negated before real gameplay could be considered, but I definitely feel that Brawl Lucas was just one of the victims of that and in that way Lucas was basically a 4 newcomer.
Not a bad assessment. Just to note as an FYI, professionals in Brawl like Mekos and Pink Fresh has been known to place high in mid tier events with Lucas.

Brawl Lucas is better offensively due to possessing some movement-based advance techniques, and longer disjointed reach. SSB4 Lucas is better defensively due to having a tether attack that combo into a grab, and more fearsome throws. That is why I assess that Brawl Lucas would fit the more aggressive Ultimate metagame a little better.

The funny thing is that I think Brawl Lucas would work better in SSB4 (due to being more aggressive), and SSB4 Lucas would work better in Brawl (due to being more defensive).
 

J0eyboi

Smash Ace
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Messages
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#11
Captain Falcon is fast with great tilts
Excuse me what

Falcon's tilts are not good. They're pretty slow, pretty unsafe, and pretty much lead to nothing. They have range, but that's it. Given that Falcon has great burst options already, I don't see him getting much out of running tilts. He does get a lot out of dashdancing though.

Roy is a high mobility sword character, basically everything the new engine likes. His ability to benefit will be held back by his awful blade strength distribution since the sourspots will make safe fairs and such still hard
Shield safety is not and has never been an issue for Sm4sh Roy (hit safety isn't either if that's what you meant). I am sick to death of this stupid misconception that makes literally no sense.

Jigglypuff's landing lag was already super low.
I really don't consider 15/15/18/15/30 "low," but maybe that's a me thing.

Jigglypuff moves really slowly up and down in the air so airdodge down is going to let anyone who isn't off-stage get away from her even more freely than they already did
Airdodging into the stage forces you to tech, It's far from a free escape.

Robin has the worst mobility in the game and very low landing lag already.
Not a single one of his aerials has under 18 frames of landing lag. Again, this might just be me, but I really wouldn't call that low.

As a high mobility character, you might expect ZSS to be a winner, but her grounded normals mostly lack the safety to let her leverage that mobility in the new engine in the way many others will be able to without direct changes
Not disagreeing, but I find it fascinating that you said this about ZSS but still called Falcon's tilts great, given how similar their tilts are.

Edit:

:ultfalco:Either I'm crazy or that's a 6 frame D-air, bringing its startup back to Melee which is pretty terrifying.
By my count, the attack trails appear on frame 10, not 6. Undeniably an improvement, but not quite Melee.
 
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