While many of us play and enjoy Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, the competitive scene naturally takes the game to another level. With the top players mastering movesets and identifying weakness right down to individual frames, it's continuing to grow both as a competitive scene and as a popular spectator sport online.
It's also the top players that can highlight potential issues in the character roster, notably if some fighters are over-powered. That seems to be happening with Bayonetta, with the competitive scene in Spain running a vote that looks to have banned the character from tournaments.
It all stems from a perception in Spain that the character is over-powered and 'broken', with one of the country's top players (Greward) posting the following on Reddit.
In Spain there's just 3 actual Bayonetta mains as of now (over 400 people!), and two of them do agree with the ban. We had more bayonetta players (mostly as secondaries) but they dropped her because they felt it was unfair. If bayonetta is banned, they'll probably go back to their old mains. However, since recent tournaments a lot of people are starting to pick her and we're seeing MK 2.0 case, so banning her before everyone mains her is in our opinion the best option.
When just ~7% of votes are against actually banning her (rest is either yes or I dunno) she is toxic. If left allowed, a lot of people would drop out of the tournaments, scene and the game, and thus it's not worth it to have her allowed. This is what I mean as toxic.
Banning bayonetta won't be very detrimental to our community, at worst there is only one or two players who would stop attending. It might be detrimental for competing outside of our country, but that's it.
Most TO agree with the ban and will actually ban her in their own tournaments. However, at the end of the day, each TO will set up rules for his own tournament, so it's not impossible to have more tournaments with Bayonetta allowed, although the tournament might have low attendance.
No other character is banned in Spain or has ever been in the history of Smash. We do restrict Miis to guest, but with any moveset. We did ban Kokonoe on release in BlazBlue though, but that's not smash.
As far as tournament results, Bayo players have made notable upsets (top40ish player beating top10, or top6 destroying everyone), but as she's not played by many people she's not dominating all results.
The ban seems to have been made 'official', but as mentioned above individual tournament organisers in Spain may not apply it. Some certainly agree with the move, too, with user Volnutt_Trigger giving a lengthy breakdown.
She's fundamentally a pretty unfair character. Her weakness should be her neutral due to her bad frame data and run/air speed. in practice this just doesn't happen.
Having a high risk gameplan is by no means unique and that's what Bayo seems like looking at her numbers. In practice this is not what happens. Her bad frame data and movement SHOULD make her approach options bad and her OOS similarly bad.
In practice jump cancel Witch Twist completely removes the problems she should have OOS. On top of this her Downward After Burner Kick is relatively safe on shield (due to the bounce) and has a landing hitbox making it relatively hard to punish while having the potential to lead to a zero-death. Witch twist leads to similar setups.
On top of this Witch time turns every attack thrown at her into a serious Commitment. Having a tilt, jab or spacing move countered isn't a big deal. It simply leads to a small amount of damage and potentially baiting it out next time.Witch Time in contrast does 28% damage on the EASY punish. Yes Witch time stales heavily and yes it IS punishable. But the risk/reward is so much higher for Bayo it doesn't matter.
This leaves us with a character that both racks damage and kills early while being safe in neutral as she never has to do anything unsafe to be rewarded. While simultaneously it's extremely hard to force her into a situation in which she HAS to do anything that won't go in her favor.
Yes there's characters that win in theory. But those character have to grind out damage against her as safely as possible in such a prolonged fashion against a character that will kill them the moment they make a mistake, the situation is so incredibly punishing of mistakes it makes the counters frankly pretty unrealistic in practice. Even in cases of success it's essentially just one character running scared of the other for 6 minute stretches hoping to god they don't misspace a move for fear of being 0-deathed.
There are plenty that also disagree with the ban, however, disputing claims that the character is unfair and pointing out that she's been available for two months already. Though Greward goes on to say that some organisers in Japan are also 'pro-ban', a number are arguing that this is a bad move. The following was posted by t1mmy_ssb:
According to competitive game philosophy, the game is to be played as is with any character banned only when it is warranted. If the character breaks the game, or at the least dominates the metagame, then bans can be discussed.
Bayonetta has not been shown to make the game unplayable (she is not 'broken').
3 Bayonetta mains out of 400+ players is not what I would consider a dominating number.
Saying "a lot of people are starting to pick her" is not the same case as Meta Knight (Brawl). Banning a character before it gets to that level is not how competitive philosophy works - a character has to be proven bannable and then becomes banned. Banning a character to prevent it from meeting ban-criteria is contradictory.
The only thing I can see happening is that Spain is learning to deal with a Top Tier character. The knee-jerk reaction of a scrub would be to ban the character. Pro players develop counter strategies, utilize counterpicks, and/or play that character in order to win and progress the meta game.
If all the players come together and agree, they can ban anything they want, whether or not it's warranted. If it's good for the community then there's not much more that needs to be said. The best thing for a community, however, is to have T.O.s taking rational steps with a foundation of logical reason.
I feel like another patch will be coming in about a month or so, and that patch will likely 'nerf' Bayonetta in some capacity. I would highly advise the Spanish community to wait until that time, if only to gather some form of data to support any desired bans. Because without supportive data any claims of a ban will only be seen as unwarranted from the world at large.
The debate is also raging on Smashboards, and there doesn't appear to be a unanimous consensus, lengthening the odds of any kind of global ban. With major events still to come, however, the policies on Bayonetta could be interesting to follow.
What do you think of Bayonetta in Smash Bros.? Overpowered and worthy of banning, or just another strong character to adjust to and counter? Let us know.