Rivals of Aether Tier List
Rivals of Aether has had a slowly rising competitive scene since the game released back in March, with sizable tournaments at the likes of Smash Con. With the Xbox One and Ori release just a few days prior, the game has become one of my favorite games competitively. Despite the game being out for a few months now, there has not been any official tier lists for the meta today. Personally, I still feel that a tier list is too soon. Console players are just now receiving the same treatment as PC players, and everyone is still trying to figure out where Ori stands. I thought I could give my own tier list. This is my personal opinion, so please feel free to chime in with your own, since I do not have as much experience with all characters. Also, while there are definite differences that make characters better than others, this game is one of the most balanced out there. All of these characters have the potential to win tournaments. With this being said, let us start at the bottom and work our way to the top.
Ori: The character has only been out for a few days. There has been no representation yet. Because of these, there is no true place for Ori as of this particular moment. As a newly-dedicated Ori co-main, I can give some of my early thoughts of the character. Ori has a great set of tools at his disposal, but does suffer from some flaws. Ori has some great moves, with back air being a great kill option. Neutral air is decent, whereas forward air is only useful when both hits come out. Up air is one of my go-to moves, able to kill opponents off the sides at less than 70% when chained together. Down air is a decent spike move, but is also a suicide move, so be careful. Ori’s tilts and jab are slightly mediocre, as I’ve only had real success with down tilt. Up tilt could, however, be used to start a combo. Ori’s smash attacks can be really well with a caveat: if Ori does not have Sein to add power, Ori’s smashes are so much worse. When you are constantly moving around, there is a good chance that Sein will not be around to help. Neutral special is only for chip damage. His recovery is good, but could be exploited heavily by Zetterburn. Another flaw is that Ori has little reach, meaning he will have to get really close in order for his attacks to land. However, Ori is one of the faster characters, so that makes up for that. If I had to say, I would put Ori in the upper tiers, just below Zetterburn.
Kragg: Oh, Kragg, you wonderful beetle you. One of the two heavy characters in the game, Kragg has a very powerful move-set, surprising juggling capabilities, and the capability to live longer than any other character. Kragg has won tournaments before, and there is a large representation of this character, both online and in tournament play. However, Kragg suffers from the same problems that many heavy-set characters in Smash deal with. Kragg is combo food, especially to fast, agile characters such as Wrastor and Zetterburn. Kragg also suffers from a predictable recovery. No disrespect to the character, but compared to the rest, Kragg falls flat.
Etalus: Etalus and Kragg have so many similarities. They are both the heavy characters in the game. They both have powerful moves with good juggling and long-lasting lives. Both have predictable and exploitable recoveries. Both can be heavy combo food to opponents. So what makes Etalus better than Kragg? In my eyes, Etalus has slightly better edgeguarding opportunities than Kragg. Combine this with better mix-ups in both combos and recovery and Etalus has the slight edge. I also feel that Etalus, with his better edgeguarding than Kragg, goes even with Zetterburn, which goes a long way.
Absa: Absa is one of those hybrid-type characters that no character wants to be. She has a lot of great things going for her. The only real fault I can think of is that her movement is slow. In this game, speed kills, and Absa is lacking. She is great at zoning her opponents out. She has a great mix-up in her recovery. Her double-jump cancel is such a unique tool in her arsenal, leading to crazy combos and the ability to keep her opponents guessing. The real reason why she is so low is simple: a lack of representation. You see a lot of Zetterburn, Kragg, and Wrastor in Top 8. I’ve also seen my fair share of Etalus and Orcane. Forsburn and Maypul have their moments from here to there. However, Absa is the one character that has few players. I feel that she has a huge amount of potential, but if no one is playing her to try to utilize a winning strategy, then she goes near the bottom.
Orcane: Orcane is in a weird situation. Early on in the Rivals meta, Orcane was dominating the scene thanks to Dolphin Brick. Now, Orcane has seen fewer and fewer Top 8 appearances. Orcane has some flaws, such as a tricky recovery and weak options outside of his puddle attacks. However, Dolphin Brick has shown that Orcane has true potential. When Orcane’s puddle is out, enemies should do their best to steer clear because of the added power. Combine this with a surprisingly good aerial game and Orcane means business.
Forsburn: I dislike playing Forsburn, but I cannot deny how good he is. I believe he is the best defensive character in the game. His clone is optimal for defensive pressure and recovery. His puffs of smoke are good to mask his place on stage. When he inhales this, he is a ticking time bomb. His up smash and forward smash twists the opponent for a quick follow-up. He also has some decent killing power with down smash, back air, and down air. While Forsburn does not have any real weaknesses, he also suffers from matchups from the top three, placing him here.
Zetterburn: The Melee Fox of Rivals. Zetterburn is overall a great character. A quick and agile lion with a strong offense, Zetterburn has consistently had many top players placing in tournaments. One thing that holds Zetterburn back is his abysmal and exploitable recovery. Even though he can mix things up with air dodges and down b into the edge, characters can, such as Wrastor and Maypul, easily take advantage, placing right below S Tier.
Maypul: I just do not understand how there are not more skilled Maypul characters. Granted, Maypul is one of the hardest characters to learn. But the reward is well worth the hassle. What makes Maypul so great is that many of her moves can lead into each other. Tether moves, Lily placements, and whip combos can be devastating. One thing wrong with Maypul, which is the case for many, is her recovery is too predictable. Wrastor, with the best recovery in the game, can destroy Maypul offstage. Regardless, Maypul is easily the second-best character in the game.
Wrastor: My original main, who I will stay true to the rest of my playing days. Wrastor has so many great things going for him. Such an amazing aerial game, fluid movement, great recovery, and the ability to kill at nearly 40%. The only bad thing about Wrastor is that because of how light he is, he can die earlier than others. Wrastor wins every matchup except going even versus Zetterburn. Even though Zetterburn can kill Wrastor early, Wrastor can kill Zetterburn really early. With this in mind and Wrastor winning the Maypul match up 55-45, I feel that any skilled Wrastor can dominate any tournament. Because of this, I truly feel that Wrastor is the best character in the game today.
That’s my take on the meta for Rivals of Aether. Since the game is still early and patches are bound to happen, this list can easily change. Kragg can become the most dominant character in any fighting game. With Ranno coming out in the ensuing months, it will be interesting to see how well each character can handle him. Make sure to check back for the latest SoulGamers news and updates.
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