Will multiple mains be necessary?

Big-Cat

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#1
With the large size of the roster, I'm wondering if having multiple characters may be necessary. I'm thinking it might be best to have around three characters for matchup purposes. I'm already looking at :ultbowser::ultzelda::ultfox:.
 

Mario & Sonic Guy

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#2
If future tournaments follow the format that the E3 2018 invitational used, then you pretty much have no choice but to try to find three fighters that you want to main.
 
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#3
Necessary? No, I don't think so. I think we'll see some diehards who focus on playing one character optimally because it's easier for them as people. But when a game's roster has over 60 characters and their inputs are all the same, I think it's stupid to not have multiple mains- you're only handicapping yourself. Smash has always rewarded the people who put the most time into it, so I don't think this will upset too many people.
 

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#4
I'd argue that, to be a consistent winner in the broader competitive scene, having more than one "main" to choose from has been essential since Smash 64.

You can dedicate yourself entirely to one character and its matchups against 70+ other characters, but you're putting yourself at a significant disadvantage to someone who can counterpick your main because they have more characters to pick from.
 

Teeb147

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#5
Depends what you mean by main. Most people have 1 'main', and then secondaries/pockets to balance, right?
You can specialize in one character but practice however many other characters you want if you think you can manage to be decent with them.

I said that, but personally I end up using at least 8 characters lol. It depends how many you think you can handle and not lose your edge. :)
 

Ultrashroomz

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#6
Obviously, people are gonna end up sticking to one character over the others due to preference and playstyle, but with the fact that there will probably be around 70+ characters in this game, there's bound to be at least one matchup that even the top tiers of this game will struggle with, that having a second character to fall back to would be a smart idea.
 

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#7
My hope is that random stage select is implemented to some degree in tournaments. Part of the reason I want this is that it would (potentially) force people to use character they might not have otherwise based on the stage.

I don't really think the roster size will influence that though, since ultimately the game will still boil down to a handful of significantly stronger characters.
 

Teeb147

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#8
My hope is that random stage select is implemented to some degree in tournaments. Part of the reason I want this is that it would (potentially) force people to use character they might not have otherwise based on the stage.

I don't really think the roster size will influence that though, since ultimately the game will still boil down to a handful of significantly stronger characters.
That's not going to happen. But here's a tip, when you're facing someone at a tournament, ask them if they're ok going random (instead of the usual). I've found that a lot of the time they'll agree. At least at smaller ones :p

And hey you never know, the balance might end up good or have a lot of counterpicks (and that's when having multiple characters will come in handy)
 
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#9
Entirely depends on the Tiers. If the game consists of -1's Match-Ups at worst then there's no need to main multiple characters. If the game has characters that beats nearly the entire cast but goes evenish wit the Top Tiers then there's no need for multiple characters if you play the said Top Tier. Multiple mains in general is required for mid-tiers and below though. Of course have fun with any characters you want; there are so many.
 
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Bozikins

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#10
My hope is that random stage select is implemented to some degree in tournaments. Part of the reason I want this is that it would (potentially) force people to use character they might not have otherwise based on the stage.

I don't really think the roster size will influence that though, since ultimately the game will still boil down to a handful of significantly stronger characters.
This came up a few times in GamerGuy09's Discussion of Stage Legality in Smash Bros. Ultimate thread. Basically, since stage select appears first and character select second, you will potentially have the opportunity to avoid unfavorable match-ups if you have more than one "main" handy. This of course depends on what the legal stage list turns out to be.

In any case having multiple characters to play on a competitive/semi-competitive level is never a bad idea just so you can be prepared for those unfavorable match-ups.
 

1FC0

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#13
If future tournaments follow the format that the E3 2018 invitational used, then you pretty much have no choice but to try to find three fighters that you want to main.
So then Pokemon Trainers are exempt from having to pick a secondary.
 
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「Hinata」

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#14
If future tournaments follow the format that the E3 2018 invitational used, then you pretty much have no choice but to try to find three fighters that you want to main.
Man, I hope future tournaments adopt the 2018 invitational ruleset. I loved the idea of choosing 3 characters and having to use all of them before you could stick with one.

Anyway, on the topic this thread is meant for, I feel like people might need to put time into 2 characters at bare minimum. There's no way you'd be able to fight 70+ characters evenly with just one main.
 
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#15
Watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MzdMvpVSON0

I think this will (partly) apply to Smash Ultimate as well. For the vast majority of players, focusing on one character will likely be better than having multiple characters. This was true in Smash Wii U as well for most players, and even in the top 50 you'd see around half of the players solo-maining (and many of them who did have a secondary barely used it, or didn't really benefit from using it).

So, I think the opposite will be true for most players: Focusing on getting really good at one character (preferably a top tier or a high tier) would be better than trying to play multiple characters. Even mid tier players would probably benefit from really knowing their character instead of spreading themselves thin by focusing on multiple characters.

As for low tier players, well... If you're maining a low tier, then you're at a disadvantage either way. It might still be better to solo main a low tier than to have multiple characters: I imagine Zaki likely wouldn't have taken a set off of MkLeo if he had brought out, say, a secondary Mario. The biggest advantage of maining a low tier is matchup unfamiliarity. I suppose you could main multiple low tier characters, but then you're really spreading yourself thin. Still, it's undeniably hype when a low tier main does well, so if you want to do that, go ahead, I hope you'll do well!

So, basically: Unless you're someone who has a lot of time to spend on working on secondaries and who also happens to have amazing fundamentals (like Nairo, MkLeo, or Tweek), you'd probably be better off focusing on one character. I assume this applies to nearly everyone who posts on Smashboards.
 

Zero Soul

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#17
If future tournaments follow the format that the E3 2018 invitational used, then you pretty much have no choice but to try to find three fighters that you want to main.
I'd hate that, it made sense for E3 since it's in Nintendo's interest to make sure as many characters as possible get shown off but for actual tournaments it'd feel overly restrictive, and basically force everyone to have at least 3 mains, even if it ends up being optimal to have exactly 3 mains it's no fun to be forced to have 3 by the ruleset, that just kills off part of the freedom that makes Super Smash Bros great and I also feel it's anti-competitive in nature. If someone solo-mains Waluigi, becomes the best Waluigi in the world but their other characters are trash since they only play Waluigi, I don't think they should be punished for that, if they can beat everyone with solo-Waluigi then they should be the best player in the world since they've reached the pinnacle of skill and can beat everyone with the rules the game itself has set, not get eliminated because they were forced to play a non-Waluigi character by some overbearing tournament ruleset.


Anyway, about the the thread topic, no, I don't think it's going to be necessary, it'd be reasonable and more likely than not a good decision (unless we somehow get a Brawl Meta Knight-esque character that literally wins every match-up), but necessary means you HAVE to do something, I already play Smash 4 with basically all disadvantageous match-ups because I solo-main a bottom tier, and I don't find it necessary for me to pick up another character. It'll most likely make success far easier to obtain, yes, but I doubt it'd be literally impossible to attain success with one character, unless the game is filled with 100-0/90-10 match-ups it will be possible to make upsets, and possible is enough to rule out something as unnecessary.

TLDR: Recommended? Very likely in a game with 60+ characters, although impossible to know until we have the game. Necessary? Extremely unlikely, unless we have match-ups that are even worse than the absolute worst ones in Smash 4.
 
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#18
People look a lot at matchups, but I think that's arguably less important than player skill. Let's say you're a Mario main and are considering picking up Cloud to deal with Sonic. Chances are the Sonic players are used to playing against Cloud mains and will destroy your Cloud unless you put a lot of work into your Cloud. Let's say you do put a lot of work into your Cloud, well, then that means you'll be putting less work into Mario than you otherwise would have. Your Mario will be a bit weaker in exchange for a secondary Cloud. Is it worth it? It can be, although I imagine for the vast majority of players, it's not really worth it to have a secondary.

At the absolute top level it's a bit different, partly because they often spend so much time on the game anyway and they've already reached such a high level with their main that another 50 hours of practice will yield diminishing returns. It's also a bit different for low tier mains (a Smash 4 Ganondorf or Jigglypuff main would have greater returns from using a secondary than a Cloud or Zero Suit Samus main would).

I don't think Smash Ultimate will be much different. People can pick up a secondary if they want, but for the vast majority of players, it would probably be better to spend that time on their main instead. People have been saying that not having more than one player is "handicapping oneself" or that it is "recommended to play multiple character" and things like that. I don't think this is true for Smash 4, and I think it probably won't be true for Smash Ultimate either. I doubt many people reading this thread will reach top 100 PGR or something like that anyway, so for them it might be better to solo main. I think quite a few people in Smash 4 are held back because they're trying to play too many characters in tournaments, instead of focusing on their main.
 

ZelDan

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#19
I'm probably going to have a few characters I try and get good with and play with most. Not even for competitive/tourney reasons, I just like to have some variety.
 

Teeb147

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#20
Really.. It depends which character you want to use.. How much time you have/dedicate for smash .. And how much you know yourself (like what you want out of the game, if you can keep motivated with one or a few characters, and more)

And yes, some characters that are more versatile or dont have many bad matchups wont need secondaries as much. But since the meta can shift so much, it's safe to go with at least 1 more character that covers what your main doesn't have. And then it's up to you if you want more. Personally I don't think people need to main a character to get good, but that might be biased because I do things differently.

What's your style?
 
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#21
Really.. It depends which character you want to use.. How much time you have/dedicate for smash .. And how much you know yourself (like what you want out of the game, if you can keep motivated with one or a few characters, and more)
Of course. I've got the impression that this thread is about tournament level Ultimate, and what's best for players who aren't top 100 in the world (might be different for top 100 players). I think that for most players, they'd go the furthest competitively if they focus on one character rather than trying to play two or more (in tournaments). However, some players may get bored if they focus too much on one character, and then it might be worth it to play multiple characters even if their results might suffer a bit because of it. Having fun is, after all, the most important aspect for most Smash players.

But since the meta can shift so much, it's safe to go with at least 1 more character that covers what your main doesn't have. And then it's up to you if you want more.
I don't think it's "safe", since it means you'll sacrifice some process for your main. Let's say you have 30 hours to play each week, spending 20 on a main and 10 on a secondary will most likely leave you worse at your main than if you spent 30 hours on your main. Of course, it's possible that the alternative is getting bored and only playing 15 hours per week because of a lack of variety. People are different. Playing more than two characters in tourmaments is rarely worth it. Even top level players rarely pull it off (MkLeo and Tweek could be considered exceptions, although MkLeo tends to focus on Marth and Cloud lately and Tweek tends to focus on Bayonetta and Cloud).

What's your style?
Solo main one character, and occasionally play a large amount of characters for fun. I've tried using secondaries but I've come to the conclusion that in order for it to be worth it I'd have to invest too much time, time that could be better spent on my main.
 

Iridium

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#23
If you want to want to deal with as many matchups as possible, then I would say go for it. Looking at the amount of characters we have so far, we should have well over at least 2,000 individual matchups. I want to, for example, have 7 mains: :ultlink::ultgreninja::ultlucario::ultmewtwo::ultpit::ulttoonlink::ultmarth:, and I could use any if it works well enough, and I could have enough secondaries to be covered.

All in all, having one main is personal, but having many characters you play might make for a more valuable experience to be honest.
 
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Envoy of Chaos

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#24
It really just depends on how competitively viable your character is. If your character's only losing matchups aren't a big issue then their isn't a need, it would be nice to have them but not necessary. If your character loses a lot of matchups and some of them are a big deal then yes a secondary is probably recommended but not mandatory, you can do just fine with a bad character if your okay with that then that's your choice. Ultimately it depends on what your goals are with the game.

I definitely recommend trying out a handful of characters at the beginning with all the changes to gameplay mechanics it's going to take a while to figure out matchups ontop of the large roster but time is a finite resource and as time goes on you should really start to limit the amount of characters you dedicate as a "main" to 1-3 at most, playing 10 characters is nice but you'll be spreading yourself thin and they won't be as good as just using 1 of them to focus on.
 

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#25
If you play one of the worst characters in Smash 4, you still have to get to a VERY high level for tier position to outweigh intrinsic character affinity.

If you do become a top 2000 or so player, you'll have plenty of time to worry about it then. It's absurd for new players to sit around fretting about not playing low tiers when Zaki is beating the #1 ranked player in bracket with DDD.

In Brawl, I made about $1000 playing Jigglypuff, one of the bottom tier characters in a less balanced game.

In Smash 4, I have gotten first or won money at decently sized local events in a few different areas with Ganondorf, Jigglypuff, Palutena, and Little Mac. (These are not exactly high tier characters.)

What's more, patches throw out the entire notion of top tiers as a guaranteed investment strategy. Smash patches have been very conservative, but they still means that if you jump ship from your old main to get the Hoo-Hah, your easy way out might get taken away.



Find out which character you are intrinsically best with.

Play that character.

Practice that character.

Be the best in the world at that character.

If you get to that point and you are not satisfied with the results, then consider other characters.
 

VodkaHaze

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#26
It probably depends if a tournament counts the Pokémon Trainer as a single fighter or three fighters.
That or it could also depend on the balance of the Pokemon. If all three of the Pokemon were their own separate characters, and one was top tier and the others were low tier, why would you swap to them outside of things like recovery? It's for this possibility that we might end up with Pokemon Trainer occupying one, three or four tier slots in the tier list, sort of like how Sheilda has a spot in the Brawl tier list.
 

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#27
With Pokemon trainer not needing to take a few seconds (in fighting game time that is basically match lost) to change Pokemon anymore and being able to combo between them I think they'll end up as one (complicated) character for tier purposes.
 
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#28
Find and practice with a character that resonates with you.

Look at it from a basic economic viewpoint:

Let’s say, in the first six months, you have 600 hours to practice and play.

If you main a single character, you have spent most of those 600 hours learning the game and the massive 70+ MUs therein. That’s 600 hours of acclimating to new universal tech, adjusting to patches, working out troublesome MUs, and developing character mastery.

Now let’s say you pick three characters to main. How do you decide? The young, Hadean meta won’t even be close to established. How do you know your three will address each other’s weaknesses?

Or, let’s say you main a single character for 300 hours, but then see that they have problem MUs, and decide to develop a counterpick character for those MUs. So, you put 150 hours into that character. Then as the meta develops, you find out that both your characters don’t do well against character X. So, you pick a third character to develop, and put another 150 hours into them.

So, you a main with 300 hours, and two counterpicks with 150 hours a piece. But your main hasn’t been able to develop with the meta as quickly as a dedicated main. And your counterpick characters are going to eventually lag behind, as their metas come up against counterplay.

You also make yourself vulnerable to counterpicks as well, as all three of your mains are going to have massive MU unfamiliarity in an unknown meta.
 

Teeb147

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#29
Find out which character you are intrinsically best with.

Play that character.

Practice that character.

Be the best in the world at that character.

If you get to that point and you are not satisfied with the results, then consider other characters.
Or, alternatively, play different characters to understand the game and differences between characters better (as well as who you like and might be good with, in general or in certain kinds of matchups) and continue on learning general aspects of the game so you can transfer your skills between characters as you get better, rather than stay in one narrow field of view from only playing one.

I'm not saying this is the best way, but I don't think solo maining one character from the start is the best way either.
It depends on the individual. That's why I asked 'what's your style?' You gotta find the way that works for you. And if you don't know or don't want to find out for yourself then sure you can copy what's worked for someone else. If you know something's worked for you, then yeah you can keep on that way if you want and think that'll work best for you.
 
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Jamison

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#30
The top top players often turn to secondaries but most of the top 100 players in melee or sm4sh are solo mains. Since Ultimate will have the largest roster it just means it's statistically more likely for a very poor MU to occur. There were several characters in sm4sh that had very few if any "very poor" MU's. But a larger roster also means more MU's to learn with your main. I think the trend will remain as it's been that trying to juggle several mains is likely to hold people back or at least slow their skill ceiling progression. You simply spread yourself thin when gaining a better mastery over one character usually yields better results.

I still see the same types of characters being the strongest. Characters with good frame data, hitboxes or combo games. I can't see any heavy weight character like DK, Bowser, Charizard becoming top tier. The same can be said of projectile heavy characters like Mega Man or Samus or Villager. From what I've seen Mario, Sheik, Mewtwo and Bayo still look pretty strong. So I think the meta top/high tiers from sm4sh for the most part are still going to be top/high tier. I can't see a giant meta shift. These top characters like Sonic, Bayo, Sheik, Mario in sm4sh didn't have MU's that were super terrible. They might not have won every single MU but there weren't any 70:30 MU's for them in the entire roster. If the worst MU a character is going to have is 60:40 then solo maining is still going to be the most viable option for most players.

I believe people are jumping the gun a bit too much. I don't think the stages are going to have a major impact even if competitive uses a significantly larger stage list. The current roster isn't that much bigger than sm4sh's. I don't anticipate them releasing 30 more characters either. I will admit dual and tri maining will likely be more likely with Ultimate but I still think most mid or high level players will do best as solo mains.
 

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#31
Or, alternatively, play different characters to understand the game and differences between characters better (as well as who you like and might be good with, in general or in certain kinds of matchups) and continue on learning general aspects of the game so you can transfer your skills between characters as you get better, rather than stay in one narrow field of view from only playing one.

I'm not saying this is the best way, but I don't think solo maining one character from the start is the best way either.
It depends on the individual. That's why I asked 'what's your style?' You gotta find the way that works for you. And if you don't know or don't want to find out for yourself then sure you can copy what's worked for someone else. If you know something's worked for you, then yeah you can keep on that way if you want and think that'll work best for you.
I agree that everyone should gain maximum enjoyment from the game by messing around with the entire cast, and that declaring who you are going to main day 1 before figuring out how everyone (and you!) work is foolish.

I'm talking about the question of "What sort of deliberate practice will improve me the most in this game?"

Playing lots of sports is fun, and will make you more athletic than not playing sports. If you want to dominate a sport, it's not that you can't ever play or enjoy the others. It's just that you would be wise to focus all of your deliberate practice on the one you are best at and enjoy the most.

Since Ultimate will have the largest roster it just means it's statistically more likely for a very poor MU to occur.
Gonna nit-pick this. Truly bad matchups are the result of specific mechanical deficiencies (bugs, design failures), not organic standard-distribution of character interactions.

The worst matchups in smash have all been a result of at least 2 of the 3:
  • Abusive Chaingrabs
    • Melee/Brawl ICs (infinite)
    • Brawl DDD vs 7 (infinite)
    • Brawl Pika vs Fox ("infinite")
    • Brawl Charizard/Marth/DK vs Ness/Lucas (grab release)
    • Melee Sheik vs various
    • Brawl Falco vs. various
    • Melee Peach vs various
    • Brawl Sheik f-tilt lock vs. various
    • Brawl various vs. Wario (grab release)
  • Matchups in which uniquely overtuned tools are exploited to the point of shutting out
    • Various top Melee tools, but Marth range and Sheik neutral -> advantage flow in particular
    • Brawl MK Shuttle Loop and Nado
    • Brawl Olimar range
    • Smash 4 Bayo ladder
    • Maybe Smash 4 Rosa range? (particularly uair)
  • Matchups in which chronically deficient characters cannot use their limited neutral or recovery options
    • When I say chronic, I don't mean how Smash 4 Kirby kinda sucks, I mean how Melee Kirby can't do crap.
    • Melee G&W and below
    • Brawl Zelda/Ganondorf
    • Maybe Smash 4 Ganon?
These are specific systematic problems with specific systematic solutions.

Smash 4 nuked chaingrabs into the oblivion. Done.

Exploitable overtuned tools have steadily decreased. From Melee to Brawl, we went from a pantheon of abusive top tiers to just MK, and to a lesser extent Olimar. Smash 4 and its patches reduced things further, to just Bayo ladder (who is no MK) and select Rosalina interactions. (That only really cross the line due to BKB rage.) What's more, it seems obvious that Bayo would have been patched further if development had not moved on to Ultimate, and she has already gotten a bucket of nerfs in Ultimate. (With everyone expecting further ladder nerfs) With nerfs to Cloud as well, and movement away from polarizing early-kill throw combos, we have every indication that Ultimate's iterative design is continuing to improve top tier standards.

And chronically deficient characters have steadily decreased as well. We went from ~8 deeply flawed characters in Melee to really only 2 in Brawl and maybe Ganon in Smash 4. And in Ultimate, we are seeing drastic changes to Ganon (and Zelda!), as well as significant buffs to other low/bottom tier characters from 4.


Matchups should be expected to fall along a standard distribution--you will always have good and bad matchups. The problem is matchups that fall outside that distribution, which can only result from unusual design failures, which have consistently decreased as the developers have sought to avoid them.
 

Jamison

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#32
Jamison said:
"Since Ultimate will have the largest roster it just means it's statistically more likely for a very poor MU to occur."


Gonna nit-pick this. Truly bad matchups are the result of specific mechanical deficiencies (bugs, design failures), not organic standard-distribution of character interactions.
I just meant a bad MU is say 40:60. A very bad MU is 30:70. So with more characters any given character is more likely to have a 30:70 MU solely BC there are more MU's. That's just my hypothesis. A character that's so bad they have a MU that's 30:70 or worse could be considered to not be a viable solo main. If you look at the top tiers in both Melee and Sm4sh I'd argue none of them have a 30:70 MU and are all solo viable.

While, yes, Melee and Brawl's lack of patches left things certain characters could do very strong i.e. wobbing, Melee Sheik's chain grab on say DK, everything about MK in Brawl, to the point many things were considered OP in some MU's. Calling chaingrabs a bug/design failure feels like more of an opinion though. It honestly is coming across as you are projecting what you personally perceive to be issues as a flaw in the game. I do agree with you about infinites though, they are a design flaw. There are several other things as well, I'm not say I strongly disagree with you on everything. But some things might be intentional designs to accommodate low level gameplay. I'm going to assume neither of us is a super low level player, I dont' think that's a big leap. Now take Melee Kirby or Sm4sh Ganon. We both agree they are garbage characters. But now if we put the game in terms of very low skilled players Melee Kirby has a great recovery and you aren't as likely to SD as you would playing spacies. Similarly if two bad players are just spamming smash attacks at each other in sm4sh, Ganon's smash attacks hit harder and since he's heavy he can survive a bit longer. Now I don't think how good a character is at low level affects their viability as a solo main BC I'm thinking more in terms of mid or high level gameplay. But I'm just saying I think some characters are designed around low level play where they are more viable and I don't think that makes a character necessarily flawed I just think that makes them a bad character.
 

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#33
I just meant a bad MU is say 40:60. A very bad MU is 30:70.
First off, matchup ratios are bandied about without any statistical basis. It's meaningless, which is why no one specifies if they are talking about stocks, games, Bo3 sets, Bo5 sets, or what stage policies are in effect, or what precise level of play. It's all playing dress up.

Some traditional fighting games have hard data released by the developers, but even this data is very narrow in scope and application. It would be like if Nintendo revealed For Glory win rates.

So with more characters any given character is more likely to have a 30:70 MU solely BC there are more MU's. That's just my hypothesis.
No, this is a matter of density. In a game with a 1000 character, having one "30:70" matchup is not a big deal. In a game with 2 characters, having one "30:70" matchup is horrendous.

A character that's so bad they have a MU that's 30:70 or worse could be considered to not be a viable solo main. If you look at the top tiers in both Melee and Sm4sh I'd argue none of them have a 30:70 MU and are all solo viable
We still haven't defined what that definition of matchup means, what level of play we're talking about, or what "viable" means.

In 17 years of Melee, these characters have won 1st or 2nd at a national tournament solo or essentially solo:
:foxmelee::falcomelee::sheikmelee::marthmelee::jigglypuffmelee::peachmelee::icsmelee:
It is also not surprising for solo mains of these characters to also place highly at international events:
:falconmelee::pikachumelee::samusmelee::younglinkmelee::ganondorfmelee:
...with rare but not unheard of guest appearances in the top 64 by:
:luigimelee::yoshimelee::dkmelee::drmario::mariomelee::linkmelee:
Missing:
:mewtwomelee::gawmelee::zeldamelee::nessmelee::bowsermelee::pichumelee::kirbymelee::roymelee:

In the 6 years of Brawl, these characters have won 1st or 2nd at a national tournament solo or essentially solo: (counting only real, MK-legal tournaments)
:metaknight::snake::popo::diddy::olimar::zerosuitsamus::wario::falco::lucario:
...with these characters solo placing highly:
:marth::dedede::peach::toonlink::kirby2::sonic::yoshi2::sheik::luigi2::pikachu2::ness2::dk2::ike:
...and these characters rarely-but-sometimes placing decently as well:
:rob::wolf::gw::fox::pt::lucas::pit::bowser2::mario2:
Missing:
:samus2::zelda::link2::jigglypuff::ganondorf:

In the 4 years of Smash 4 (not counting release events), these are 1st or 2nd:
:4diddy::4sheik::4ness::4zss::rosalina::4falcon::4lucario::4luigi::4pikachu::4sonic::4mario::4megaman::4villager::4greninja::4fox::4mewtwo::4cloud::4bayonetta::4wario::4corrin:
...these surprising no one to place highly:
:4metaknight::4marth::4ryu::4tlink::4olimar::4peach::4rob::4duckhunt::4dk::4bowser::4yoshi::4robinm::4littlemac::4pacman:
...and these rarely-but-sometimes making top 64:
:4lucas::4shulk::4gaw::4wiifit::4link::4samus::4kirby::4myfriends::4palutena::4dedede::4falco::4bowserjr::4charizard::4zelda:
Missing:
:4feroy::4jigglypuff::4ganondorf:

Where do you draw the line? Are aMSa and T wasting their time playing Melee Yoshi and Smash 4 Link?

Even the "missing" level is hazy. I won almost every area event around St. Louis for 3 years with Brawl Jigglypuff. "Viable?" I mean, my bank always thought the cash I won was viable.

Calling chaingrabs a bug/design failure feels like more of an opinion though. It honestly is coming across as you are projecting what you personally perceive to be issues as a flaw in the game.
I feel like "chaingrabs are degenerate and unintended" is about as mainstream of an opinion as you can get.


Now take Melee Kirby or Sm4sh Ganon. We both agree they are garbage characters.
Whoa, we definitely don't agree on that.

At my very first Melee tourney, a guy in bracket went Kirby and beat me. He looked me in the eye and said:

"Don't worry. If you keep playing, you will never in your life lose to Kirby again."

He was right. Kirby was a special kind of awful. The last time I saw a Kirby played in tournament, it was against XiF's Peach, who JV 5-stocked him.


Meanwhile, Smash 4 Ganon? Dude, I've picked Ganon unironically in bracket and won. I went all-Ganon, minus a little Ness, when I took a trip to Sweden, and got 2nd in two Stockholm tournaments. (And the Stockholm boys weren't bad!)

Smash 4 doesn't really have any unplayable, horrendous characters. Smash 4 Ganon is comparable to Melee Link.

Brawl Ganon is the only truly unplayable, horrendous character in Brawl, and he was around the potential of Melee Bowser or Ness. (Brawl Zelda comes close, and is also probably comparable to Melee Link.)

The consistent improvement of the worst characters from Melee -> Brawl -> Smash 4 is entirely due to reductions in systematic issues listed that led to their outlier matchup behaviors.


For what it's worth, I would bet that the worst character in Ultimate will perform no worse (relative to its own top tiers) than Melee Dr. Mario. Additionally, I would bet that no character in Smash Ultimate captures more than 10% of top 64 placings at any single national event, with Pokemon Trainer exempt.
 

Jamison

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#34
I always viewed MU ratios as if 2 equally skilled players played each other on even ground what percent of the time would one character win. Some people give slight percentage differences based on what they perceive as small advantages. I believe that's where you hear a lot of 55:45 thrown around. The MU is relatively even but there's an acknowledgement that one character has an advantage. As far as density it's not the character list but the characters other people use. In Melee if a character had one awful MU and that was against G&W it wouldn't matter BC of how unlikely they are to face G&W. If that one awful MU was Marth it would be different BC of how much more prevalent that character is in tournaments. It's like a ice cream shop having more flavors. More flavors likely means more variety across the board but you are always going to have a lot of people getting vanilla or chocolate. Just like some top/high tier characters always emerge as more common.
I've long said top 8 at a major is where I draw the line of viable. (that's just my personal line I've drawn). I think Melee Yoshi and sm4sh Link are good enough to get top 8. I think Melee mid tiers are viable like Yoshi, Pika, Doc, Samus. But I think Melee low tiers aren't viable i.e. DK, Roy, G&W. Qerb getting top 8 at The Big House w/ G&W doesn't seem plausible to me but Duck or Hugo getting top 8 is realistic. A character's viability is also dependent on the skill of the player who uses them. But there's also an obvious correlation with high level players using high tiered characters. I think that can be seen in every Smash game.
Some people could say viable as a solo main means win EVO others could say top 3 at a local. It varies from person to person. At some locals literally every character is viable BC you could win with any character.

Even the "missing" level is hazy. I won almost every area event around St. Louis for 3 years with Brawl Jigglypuff. "Viable?" I mean, my bank always thought the cash I won was viable.
Meanwhile, Smash 4 Ganon? Dude, I've picked Ganon unironically in bracket and won. I went all-Ganon, minus a little Ness, when I took a trip to Sweden, and got 2nd in two Stockholm tournaments. (And the Stockholm boys weren't bad!)
No offense but it's really hard to take some of these points seriously. It really comes across as just you bragging and not trying to actually make a point.

I feel like "chaingrabs are degenerate and unintended" is about as mainstream of an opinion as you can get.
This feels harsh TBH. You simultaneously acknowledge it as an opinion and call chaingrabs degenerate. With that said I wouldn't be shocked if there's some video out there with Sakurai saying it was unintended BC it seems like something from what we know about him he wouldn't want in a game. Things like wavedashing were knowingly left in Melee, but weren't intended. Most Melee players wouldn't call wavedashing degenerate.

Smash 4 Ganon is comparable to Melee Link.
Hard disagree but I can understand the point you are trying to make here.
The consistent improvement of the worst characters from Melee -> Brawl -> Smash 4 is entirely due to reductions in systematic issues listed that led to their outlier matchup behaviors.
I think there is some truth behind the worst character not being as bad in consecutive series. I don't personally think "reductions in systematic issues" is the reason. I think less technical gameplay after Melee creates less of a gap between how good characters were for Brawl in general (obviously some "issues" with MK and ICies existed). I think some added Sm4sh mechanics like RAGE or the new ledge mechanics helped to bridge this gap even further. I'd like to say patches helped as well but since they never buffed the Puff there's only so much credit I can give patches.

Jamison said:
"Now take Melee Kirby or Sm4sh Ganon. We both agree they are garbage characters."
Whoa, we definitely don't agree on that.

My B. Guess I was presumptuous. I thought it was about as mainstream of an opinion as you could get.
 

Thinkaman

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#35
I always viewed MU ratios as if 2 equally skilled players played each other on even ground what percent of the time would one character win.
But you haven't defined what "win" is; a 40:60 game is 15:85 Bo3 set and a 5:95 Bo5 set.

Furthermore, specifying "equally skilled" as the level of play doesn't change anything. Link-Fox is probably 50:50 at some low level.

The matchup ratios at the top 50 level are different from the top 500 level.

I've long said top 8 at a major is where I draw the line of viable. (that's just my personal line I've drawn). I think Melee Yoshi and sm4sh Link are good enough to get top 8. I think Melee mid tiers are viable like Yoshi, Pika, Doc, Samus. But I think Melee low tiers aren't viable i.e. DK, Roy, G&W. Qerb getting top 8 at The Big House w/ G&W doesn't seem plausible to me but Duck or Hugo getting top 8 is realistic.
Melee:
:marthmelee::sheikmelee::falconmelee::samusmelee::falcomelee::icsmelee::peachmelee::jigglypuffmelee::pikachumelee::ganondorfmelee::drmario::luigimelee::yoshimelee:

Brawl:
:metaknight::lucario::falco::marth::snake::wario::gw::olimar::dedede::diddy::rob::kirby2::popo::pikachu2::pit::pt::luigi2::zerosuitsamus::ness2::sonic::fox::dk2::wolf:

Smash 4:
:4diddy::4sheik::4ness::4olimar::4fox::4pikachu::4peach::4rob::4sonic::4pacman::4ganondorf::4falcon::rosalina::4marth::4littlemac::4luigi::4metaknight::4zss::4mario::4tlink::4wario::4dk::4yoshi::4wiifitm::4ryu::4myfriends::4megaman::4villager::4pit::4greninja::4cloud::4bayonetta::4mewtwo::4palutena::4bowser::4corrin::4gaw::4lucas::4robinm::4lucario::4samus::4link::4shulk::4duckhunt:

(That's right--Ganon got top 8 at Smash N Splash 1. It was the one and only time GanonTheBeast traveled out-of-state. I also forgot that Melee Luigi broke top 8 once in 2013!)


It's more directly relevant to the initial topic to frame it as "which characters have not won top 8 at a national event:

Melee:
:younglinkmelee::dkmelee::mariomelee::linkmelee::gawmelee::zeldamelee::roymelee::nessmelee::mewtwomelee::bowsermelee::pichumelee::kirbymelee:

Brawl:
:peach::ike::lucas::sheik::bowser2::mario2::samus2::falcon::jigglypuff::link2::zelda::ganondorf:

Smash 4:
:4bowserjr::4falco::4charizard::4kirby::4dedede::4jigglypuff::4feroy::4zelda:

So, a random character in Melee has ~46% chance of not meeting this (pretty high) bar. In Brawl that went down to ~32%, and in Smash 4 down to ~15%.

And in all games, people have done some impressive things with the top few of those characters, even if they never quite made top 8 at a modern national event. You can find Young Links and DKs in the top 64 of even the biggest Melee events. A number of Peach, Ike, Lucas, and Sheik players did quite respectably in Brawl. There's a surprising number of Bowser Jr. and Charizard regional threats dotting the Smash 4 PRs, and the #1 ranked player in the world just recently lost in bracket to a DDD.

We can't just say "Oh, it's better balanced." The improvements are tied to specific things we can point to. For example, every single one of the Brawl characters either:
  • Can't Kill (:peach::sheik::samus2::jigglypuff:)
  • Can't Recover (:ike::lucas::falcon::zelda::link2::ganondorf: and also :ivysaur:)
  • Or is Subject to a Chaingrab Infinite (:lucas::bowser2::mario2::samus2:)
Every single character listed for Brawl was improved in Smash 4, and--what's more important--no character in Smash 4 exhibits any of these 3 flaws. (to the extent of these listed characters) This is due not just to individual character improvements, but also moderated Stale Moves + Rage, the less polarizing Ledge mechanics, and the total removal of chaingrabs and grab releases respectively.

Specific system-wide changes were instituted to prevent these issues from afflicting bottom-tiers in Smash 4. As a result, we see superior bottom tiers in Smash 4, with more generic issues like "low reward" or "constrained neutral."

...and we're seeing systematic solutions once again:
  • Giving everyone a 3f jumpsquat is heavily biased towards heavy, historically bad characters.
    • (Huge for Junior and Zard)
  • The landing lag adjustments have also been more generous on heavy characters.
    • (Especially Ganon)
  • Opening up more options out of dash is most significant for characters with poor neutral options to begin with.
    • (Such as Zelda, who also got Phantom upgraded into a phenomenon neutral tool)
  • Removing special-fall from all neutral and side specials helps mostly weak characters
    • (i.e. Little Mac, Ganon, Zelda...)
At this rate, if any character remains "unviable" in Smash Ultimate, it will be entirely a matter of being just undertuned and overshadowed (rather than some crippling flaw), like Smash 4 Falco, Roy, or Puff.

No offense but it's really hard to take some of these points seriously. It really comes across as just you bragging and not trying to actually make a point.
I mean, I don't have much to brag about. I don't and never did make a living off Smash, nor even a top 50 or top 100 player.

But I'm happy with my accomplishments--and in the Brawl era I was able to achieve these goals, goals more ambitious than those most players set, with Brawl Jigglypuff. I don't deserve a pat on the back, that was my character choice.

My message is "If I can do it, I'm sure you can."

This feels harsh TBH. You simultaneously acknowledge it as an opinion and call chaingrabs degenerate. With that said I wouldn't be shocked if there's some video out there with Sakurai saying it was unintended BC it seems like something from what we know about him he wouldn't want in a game. Things like wavedashing were knowingly left in Melee, but weren't intended. Most Melee players wouldn't call wavedashing degenerate.
I'm... not really sure what you are arguing or asking for. Do you want abusive chaingrabs? Are you asserting that they add something to the game, or that they don't ruin matchups?

I don't think you are arguing for this, because I don't think anyone argues for this.

I'd like to say patches helped as well but since they never buffed the Puff there's only so much credit I can give patches.
The absence of perfection is not the enemy of good. Jigglypuff in Smash 4, patches or not, was a non-trivially better character than Jigglypuff in Brawl.
 
Last edited:

Amazing Ampharos

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#36
I feel like any pro-chaingrab position has to come from not having played competitive Brawl. Brawl was all around a pretty good competitive game, but man, the chaingrabs were just so negative. Ice Climbers were the main character that really killed that game (so much more than MK), and so much just stupidity held back otherwise good characters (Ness got chaingrabbed by Marth, DK got chaingrabbed horribly by DDD, Fox got chaingrabbed by Pikachu) not to mention all the hilarious piling on bad characters chaingrabs did too to make them even more terrible than they would be otherwise (like so many ways existed to ruin Ganon's day when he was already the worst character by far). The anti-chaingrab mechanics were without a doubt the single most welcome change 4 brought for any competitive Brawl player, and I'm super pumped they're not only here to stay but Ice Climbers were specifically addressed.

I also have a bit of a story from when I first got into competitive. For years in Melee before I was in tune with the competitive scene I was a Ness main. Now Melee Ness isn't actually a good character, but he has some stuff and all of my friends mained Marth so I got pretty used to the match-up. I read online about relative quality and eventually settled on learning Jigglypuff so I could have a stronger character in my pocket, but something about Ness just "clicked" better than anyone else so he was probably even still my best character. At worst, I did evenly with Ness or Jigglypuff against Marth.

I then met up with an actual competitive scene in college, and the guy I ended up best friends with was a Sheik main. He was better than I was at the game but it wasn't drastic; Sheik vs Jigglypuff was about a 6-4 in his favor if we played 10 games. I also tried playing him as Ness. He 4 stocked me every single game. I did okay in neutral for about 10-15 seconds. Then I get grabbed. He would chaingrab me to a near the edge fair which put me low off-stage which set up a forced needle gimp. I tried a lot of different stage position ideas and DI and whatnot and none of it made a difference; it was just forced unless I could play neutral so godlike that I just didn't get grabbed until very high percent which would require me to be so much better than him that I would have to be able to 10-0 win that 10 game set as Jigglypuff. I never played Ness in Melee again after that day; it was just so obviously pointless and made it really clear that every minute I put into that character was just a waste. It's not that Ness would have been a great use of my time either way since overall he was bad either way, but he did play neutral very differently from everyone else and was an interesting character rendered "might as well not be in the game" bad by a chaingrab. Of all dynamics that have ever existed in smash, I think chaingrabs alone have the potential to make true 0-10 match-ups like Melee Ness vs Sheik.
 

MercuryPenny

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#37
The absence of perfection is not the enemy of good. Jigglypuff in Smash 4, patches or not, was a non-trivially better character than Jigglypuff in Brawl.
only relatively so. comparing bayo to puff is much less extreme than comparing brawl mk to puff but she's still a worse character, with the worse edgeguarding, neutering of her only decent tools and random star/screen/blast kos making rest a gamble if they still have 2 stocks.
 

Thinkaman

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#38
only relatively so. comparing bayo to puff is much less extreme than comparing brawl mk to puff but she's still a worse character, with the worse edgeguarding, neutering of her only decent tools and random star/screen/blast kos making rest a gamble if they still have 2 stocks.
I guarantee you, as a Brawl puff main, that Brawl puff is worse than Smash 4 puff.

I don't want to derail this topic in a nuanced comparison of Jigglypuff in two-games-that-are-not-Smash-Ultimate, so here are the cliff notes:
  • In Brawl, Jigglypuff's biggest constraint was that everything was overloaded into fair, making her the character most restricted by stale moves. In Smash 4, her aerial moveset appears worse at a glance, but the superior balance makes all the difference. For example, even at 4 frames slower, having a bair that is always a kill option is a game changer that addressed her biggest issue.
  • Jigglypuff depends heavily on two critical options for responding to things that wall her (unless she wants to risk Pound); SH air dodge or forward-roll-to-grab. In Smash 4, air dodge has 15 (!!!!!!) frames less end lag, and forward roll has (iirc) 2 less.
  • Rest is obviously better, but in key ways. In Brawl, I literally never used rest except against MK nado. In Smash 4, there are both lots more situations where a 1f move can combo-break, and way more situations where Rest would kill. Because Rest is vertical and has huge base knockback, it is disproportionately benefited by rage as well. (Remember, Jiggs is easy to hit but hard to pin down with a kill--she lives to higher %s than people expect.)
  • Shields being more fragile is very favorable for Jiggs. Aerial pressure, Pound, and Rest (or f-smash) all work in concert here.
It's not all fun and games--Pound being worse hurts the most, because it is most relevant to her bad matchups. Rollout is worse, unusable after losing what little utility it had. She has fewer best-case wall opportunities. DACUS is missed, but it was surprisingly niche in application to her matchups anyway. She is glad G&W is worse but isn't happy about Rosa and Cloud. And she can no longer plank, for what that's worth.

To bring this back to the topic at hand, Brawl Jiggs's worst matchups were G&W and Marth, probably followed by Olimar. For most of my career, I just sucked it up and tried to outplay them, and practiced those matchups specifically. At the very least, it meant I was practiced enough to only fear dedicated G&W or Marth mains, and didn't have to worry about random people trying to counter-pick me. Eventually, I started playing Ness against G&W. Later on I also started playing Squirtle, eventually to the point of playing about half my matchups as Squirtle--but this was more motivated by fun and wanting a change.

Could I have done better with a better character? I'm honestly not so sure. The only real option for a similar character, besides Squirtle, was Wario--and my Wario was pretty poor. (Wario just pressures completely differently.) It seems arrogant to just assume that I'd be amazing if I just invested in MK or whoever instead. And I can't say I felt particularly wronged that "my" video game character was worse than other video game characters. After all, nothing was stopping me from switching if I ever felt like that would be in my advantage.

Bottom line is, my advice to anyone is:
  1. Don't have your heart set on a main
  2. Explore all the characters and find what works best for you
  3. Main that character, and pour all your deliberate practice + tourney experience into that one character
  4. Never make excuses
If you do manage to get to the very tippy-top of the meta where it's worth considering secondaries, we'll build that bridge when we get to it. At that point, you are a top 50 player and don't need advice from anyone anyway.
 

PeridotGX

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#39
It really deends on who you are. I intend to be somwhat cometitive and I have two surefire mains, being Yoshi and Inkling. I also see the argument that duel maning may be inferior to solo maining
 

J0eyboi

Smash Ace
Joined
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#40
The current best player in Melee solo mains a character who arguably goes -2 against the most common character in the game by a wide margin. In other words, no.

Don't mind me, just white knighting red marth again

It doesn't seem right to put Roy in the missing section. Sure, you rarely see him in top 64s, but that's just because his best players didn't go to anything. When they actually did, they almost always placed in the top 64; according to the wiki (the most reliable source ever, I know) Hyper has never placed outside top 64, and Levi has only done so once. But also it literally doesn't matter so
 
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