Smash Opinions: Who is the Best in the Smash Realm?
With four iterations and over 15 years of competitive play, Super Smash Bros has had many diverse characters. While there have been many bad characters (Pichu, Zelda, Little Mac), Nintendo has had some strong characters. In fact, each iteration of Super Smash Bros has had characters deemed “overpowered” by their respective communities. Each game has one character that is widely regarded as the clear best character. SSB64 has Pikachu. Melee has Fox. Brawl has Meta Knight. With wins at EVO and DreamHack: Atlanta and multiple players in Top 8 at Low Tier City 5, I now believe that Smash 4 has Bayonetta. For perspective, all of these characters have no losing matchups and very few even matchups. I thought that I would go through each of these characters, look at their strengths and weaknesses, see how they match up against other characters, and rank them on how good these characters are.
Rank 4: Bayonetta
People are now finally realizing that Bayonetta is the undisputed best character in Smash 4, myself included. She has a phenomenal recovery, insane combo game, great aerial moveset, and so many options and follow ups. With Salem winning EVO and DreamHack: Austin, many players began to take notice. Then, Low Tier City 5 happened. In Top 8, we had Mistake in 3rd, CaptainZack and Lima in 5th, and Abadango in 7th. Half of the players in Top 8 were Bayonetta players, which is near Meta Knight territory. That being said, however, Bayonetta has just now entered this echelon. Before EVO, Bayonetta only won a KTAR event and nothing more. We still have Diddy Kong and Sheik and Cloud winning events over Bayonetta, including Low Tier City. Not to mention that with the game still developing their meta, people still debate whether Bayonetta even has no losing matchups. People argue about Diddy Kong and Pikachu all the time. Bayonetta has, in my eyes, become the front-runner in Smash 4, but she still has a ways to go before she can be considered the best Smash character.
Rank 3: Fox
Ah, Fox. The only “best” character that is clearly the best but is not considered “unfair.” Multiple recovery options, great mix ups, fast, and the best move in the game with his shine. So many players won so many tournaments, such as Armada, Mang0, and Leffen. Back at EVO, we had four dedicated Fox mains in Top 8, with Mew2King and Plup having competent Fox secondaries. Even though Fox is clearly the best Melee character, the reason he falls behind Pikachu and Meta Knight is simple: the skill gap. Even though Fox is easily the best, other characters are rather close. Falco, Marth, and Sheik all can take down Fox with ease. A skilled Peach, Jigglypuff, Captain Falcon, and even Samus and Ice Climbers can take out a Fox. Bayonetta also suffers this where many other characters are fairly close to her skill cap. However, the ratio of tournaments that a Fox has won compared to Bayonetta places Fox slightly above on this list.
Rank 2: Pikachu
I kept going back and forth on whether Pikachu from Smash 64 or Meta Knight from Brawl is the best. Despite Meta Knight’s infamy in Brawl, Pikachu is no slouch in 64. Pikachu is the undisputed best character, with the closest matchup, Kirby, being 55-45 in Pikachu’s favor. The best recovery in the game, a wide variety in its moveset, and the ability to wall out their opponent so well aids its play so well. Very rarely does a non-Pikachu win a tournament (partly due to the lack of tournaments for Smash 64). The only times are when a huge player, such as SuPeRbOoMfAn, decides to play Kirby, Captain Falcon, or Fox. Pikachu is so powerful that many in the community are considering banning Pikachu, alongside Kirby, because of how dominant Pikachu can wall out its opponent. I personally feel that is unnecessary, but even the top player in the world feels that way. All things considered, however, there is simply one reason why Pikachu is not the best character.
Rank 1: Meta Knight
That one reason is Meta Knight. Insane edgeguarding ability, an incredible recovery, phenomenal combo game, overall fast in every aspect, and very few negative aspects placed Meta Knight at the top. Besides the very beginning of Brawl’s competitive days, Meta Knight has always been viewed as the dominant powerhouse that he is today. Ever since Mew2King’s rise with Meta Knight’s playstyle, there have been so many tournament wins with the overpowered character. Meta Knight also only has one even matchup, Pikachu, and even that is still debated by many pro players. All other characters are nearly destroyed by Meta Knight. The character had so much pull that the placement of characters on the tier lists, such as Luigi and R.O.B., are determined on how well they fair against Meta Knight. The one thing that separates Meta Knight from Pikachu, in my eyes, is the ban that occurred. While players have discussed 64 Pikachu being banned, Meta Knight was actually banned for a short period of time because of how strong he was. Top players who mained Meta Knight even went out to say that they would not attend events that banned the character from competitive play. Even though the ban was unofficially lifted, the fact that a ban even occurred shows how powerful Meta Knight truly was, proving that, out of all the dominant characters in Smash history, he is the best of all.
That is my list of how dominant the dominant characters in Smash truly are. Maybe, when Smash 5 comes out, the characters will all be truly balances and all characters will be tournament-viable. Hopefully, there will be another overpowered character to oversaturate the competitive field where players will complain and I will write about them. Make sure to check back next week for another dose of Smash content!
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