With such a diverse roster, knowing where to begin in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate can be an incredibly daunting prospect. There are already over 70 characters available to choose from in the game, and this number is only set to rise in the coming months, so how on Earth do you actually go about choosing your 'main'?
Well, one tactic could well be to follow the guidance shared by some of the series' top players. Both Gonzalo “ZeRo” Barrios, often cited as the world's best Super Smash Bros. for Wii U player, and top Super Smash Bros. Melee player Leffen have shared their "day one" tier rankings, ordering each character in the game by their overall competitive potential.
In each case, these tier rankings have been created after careful play with as many characters as possible or through released footage and preview sessions, but are only advised to be used as a quick day one guide. In a YouTube video explaining his choices, Leffen notes to "not take this too seriously".
Gonzalo “ZeRo” Barrios
Notable Smash 4 player ZeRo has presented the following table for your early consideration, using experience with each character from preview builds to help its creation. Characters are ordered into various tiers (which we've listed for you below). Bear in mind that these tiers were created before the game was officially released.
|Tier 1||Pikachu, Olimar, Bayonetta, Diddy Kong, Lucina, Marth, Mewtwo, Richter, Simon, Shulk, King K. Rool, Ryu, Ken, Sheik, Zelda, Ike, Roy, Cloud, Young Link, Inkling, Sonic|
|Tier 2||Pichu, Link, Mario, Pokémon Trainer, Corrin, Lucario, Isabelle, Villager, R.O.B., Toon Link, Meta Knight, Fox, Wolf, Zero Suit Samus, Rosalina & Luma, Donkey Kong, Captain Falcon, Daisy, Peach, Snake, Ness, Ganondorf, Mii Gunner, Mr. Game & Watch|
|Tier 3||Pit, Dark Pit, Luigi, Ice Climbers, Robin, Greninja, Jigglypuff, Incineroar, Falco, Lucas, Wario, Mega Man|
|Tier 4||Dr. Mario, Kirby, Yoshi, Bowser, Pac-Man, Bowser Jr.|
|Tier 5||King Dedede, Ridley, Dark Samus, Samus|
|Really Good, But Bad Recovery||Chrom, Little Mac|
|Lack of Analysis||Piranha Plant, Mii Swordfighter, Mii Brawler, Duck Hunt, Wii Fit Trainer, Palutena|
Leffen's approach was slightly different, this time spreading the roster across a higher number of tiers. Each character has received a ranking from S to F, with several placed inside a '???' category. As we mentioned above, Leffen has also made a video explaining his choices (as seen below).
|S||Falco, Richter, Simon, Diddy Kong, King. K Rool, Meta Knight, Pokémon Trainer|
|A||Yoshi, Mewtwo, Roy, Chrom, Pikachu, Pichu|
|B||Marth, Lucina, Ike, Shulk, Icineroar, Luigi, Inkling|
|C||Bayonetta, Sheik, Peach, Daisy, Corrin, Greninja, Toon Link, Dr. Mario, Cloud, Wolf, Fox, Snake, Young Link|
|D||Ness, Lucas, Mario, Donkey Kong, R.O.B., Jigglypuff, Lucario, Captain Falcon, Zero Suit Samus, Pit, Dark Pit|
|E||Zelda, Palutena, Isabelle, Villager, Ganondorf, Ridley, Kirby, Rosalina & Luma, Olimar, Duck Hunt, Mr. Game & Watch, Pac-Man, Bowser, Robin, King Dedede|
|F||Little Mac, Bowser Jr., Mega Man, Link, Samus, Dark Samus, Ice Climbers|
|???||Ryu, Ken, Sonic, Wario, Wii Fit Trainer, Mii Brawler, Mii Gunner, Mii Swordfighter, Piranha Plant|
So, there you have it. It looks like you might want to ditch Little Mac for one of the Belmonts if these tables are anything to go by, although it's worth noting that there are some pretty big differences between the two opinions. Naturally, at the end of the day, the best advice we can give is to practice, practice, practice. Oh, and most importantly, have fun!
Do you agree with these lists? Are you shaking with rage that your beloved Ice Climbers haven't made it to God-Tier status? Share your thoughts with us below.
[source youtube.com, via uk.ign.com]
Interesting to see how different players order their lists differently. Leffen for instance placed Falco way higher than Zero did. Either way, I'm just so happy my mains Ike and Roy are top dogs now!
I've always chosen my mains based on how much fun I have with the character, and if how they control feels right in the hands. In Smash 4 that was Dr. Mario, in this game it's Dr. Mario again and Young Link.
According to this, my mains are all over the place, haha. Oh well, I can still kick everyone’s butts as Isabelle, King K. Rool, Lucas, Duck Hunt, Wii Fit Trainer, and Corrin.
The lack of any sort of consensus here must only be a good thing. It suggests that Sakurai and team have got the balance right - no Bayonetta-style monopoly this time around!
Zelda is great in Ultimate, even more so than in 4. Her Farore's Wind kills even more reliably and is a guaranteed kill over as low as 50% on certain stage ceilings or platfoms, so opponents have to keep very far from her (which is difficult considering most top tiers are close-combat).
Her Phantom is also improved since you can use it to setup combos somewhat like Robin's Arcfire. People online usually shield on impulse when they see Phantom charging, which leads for a very easy grab before it comes slashing fowards.
So I think she'll get much higher tiers than what people are expectating. They're just being conservative and considering movesets like they were in 4.
Haven't played it yet, but it's nice to see my secondary Peach ranked so high. (My main is Zelda). Of course, tier lists mean nothing in the grand scheme of things but these are still nice to see. And since I will likely add Richter to my rotation when the time comes, I like seeing the Belmonts where they are too.
How does one actually win with Jigglypuff? I've been a fan of Smash since Melee and have yet to figure out if the character is meant to be taken seriously or as a joke. Every now and then I give Jiggly another shot, and I'm always like "wtf...why???"
@Drezus Yes, Zelda is definitely more fun this time. I could tell in the first two days that characters definitely had alot of fine-tuning, which makes me happy because hits just feel more visceral now overall. I don't feel cheated when I'm killed anymore, I notice very quickly that I could have done something differently or countered better. The game just, well, feels better.
@ReshiramZekrom Same here! I don't choose a main based on how well they do, it's on how much fun I can have. Sometimes that means winning, but in the beginning it's alot of trial and error. Poor Ness has even been relegated to the sidelines as I play with everyone. Current favs are Ridley and Richter. Ganondorf is getting back on my radar, too.
@NewAdvent You're not the only one. I got thoroughly trashed by both Belmonts a few times each. There was alot of running away and staircase defense. I'm actually glad the Challenger fights aren't throw away fights now. I think the only trouble I had in 4 was ROB
All I know is, King K Rool scares me. He has almost no weaknesses.
I've noticed that Mewtwo feels a lot better though which rocks because I love Mewtwo.
Inceneroar also is way more fun than I thought he'd be.
Always liked Marth, and as you have the choice of him and two others in World of Light, went straight for him.
Haven't used any other character since.
Still think Subspace Emissary was a better.
@Bunkerneath I've been using Lucario until I found Link. (WoL is so huge!!) I've got a Lifesteal primary with impact run, sword damage up, and metal supports.
I've been using Incineroar a lot right now, but I do use captain flacon if I need to shake things up!
Poor Mega Man. Poor Samus.
I played Link a couple of times and I must say he's fun to use especially when playing with mind games instead of doing things in straight forward fashion. Try and get the bomb? Detonate before they get close! Bomb too short? Hit it with a boomerang to surprise your opponent!
Link has a lot of edge guarding options, though he suffers from ledge, he greatly benefits with his better Air game and the has too many tools in his bags to either KO or gimp.
I guess it depends a lot on the stages and so. But at the end, this is useful for balancing the characters a bit eventually.
Good thing I'm not a pro and I can just play for fun and using all characters, which is what I do in every fighting game I put my hands on. I never master all their moves (well, I'm talking about 3D fighting games with dozens of inputs to learn, not 2D ones with a simpler approach), but at least I can comfortably use any character whenever I want to fight a little.
Idk what it is but I just cannot get used to Marth in this game despite playing mainly Marth since melee. So far having the most success with young link.
I'm playing Wolf! Happy to see my guy from Brawl back.
"You're good, but I'm better!"
Waluigi will be the best when his DLC is launched. Nintendo is saving the best for last. His super will be Muttley wheezy laugh at you.
It’s waaaaaaay too early to be making tier lists. Accurate tier lists are made based on months of tournament results and input from several experts, not a single player’s hunches after playing for three days. Making a tier list this quickly is just a grab for attention, clicks and views.
@ReshiramZekrom Same. Mains are just personal preferences of characters. That said, I'm glad Ness feels as comfortable with me in Ultimate as he did in Sm4sh. Pichu as well! Now if only I could get to grips with the controls... I'm still struggling to grasp them even after beating Galeem!
I've been having massive luck online using Bowser Jr (specifically Wendy Koopa; my ride or die in MK8D) I have the highest Global Smash Power score over any of the other characters I've played with. I know they're not a top tier character, but a straight F? Dang!
I've never been great with the Fire Emblem style characters aside from Ike, and tend not to play well with other top tier characters, so I've always taken these with a grain of salt.
Peach is so good in this game. I'm so happy.
@Moroboshi876 you play the way I do most of the time. I focus on Zelda or Peach in Smash when I actually want to win but if I just want to see what a character can do, there are few I won't play as for fun. Outside of Jigglypuff and Olimar, I'll pretty much play anyone.
They both have Little Mac at the bottom, so at least these lists aren't completely wrong. Hope my buddy Yoshi ends up meeting his potential this time.
Little Mac in F. I like him.
Lol I always use Kirby
Invalid. Kirby is not low tier....
Samus and Little Mac are my mains lol. It makes it sweeter winning with low tiers 😁
My heart will always belong to Jigglypuff no matter what tier she's in <3
But seriously, she can put on a really good fight. I focus on her air attacks and dodging a LOT lol. It so much fun playing well with her cause people usually underestimate you and it feels great seeing that pink ball destroying your opponent and winning.
So looking at these list and great misery may have been reviled. If we look at the position of each of the Mario bothers Luigi is rated much higher than Mario. Then if we look at the alter-egos Mario<Dr Mario<Wario. So at last we know why Waluigi will has never been in Smash. He would clearly be massively overpowered and become ruler of the known universe. Now realising that may not be in our best interest it may just be time to stop the "where's Waluigi" campaign.
It depends if you are playing 1v1 with items or 4+ players chaos mode
I’m only comfortable using Kirby and Mario online
It all comes down to personal preference anyway. I’m by no means a pro player but was definitely a duck hunt duo ‘main’ in the Wii U iteration and certainly did my best with them.
Won't be getting this until Christmas, but I've played every other game in the series.
These lists are usually garbage. Any character can be good if you know how to use them. I used Wii Fit Trainer a fair bit on Wii U. I originally was using her as a joke, but I kicked a lot of butt with her. Might use her again.
Well, unless you were Bayonetta in smash 4
Agreed. Although, Incineroar was made to be flashy. Getting mega hits on some attacks will make him to a thumbs down as you here him grunt "Stay Down", or at least that was what I heard.
I agree with the first player's tier list, but Samus (in my view) should be on the same tier as Dark Samus. Been to other social boards concerning Smash that seems to hate Samus in this version. I personally think this the best version, her zoning techniques is one of the best in the game. And all her normal moves still offer a knock back to keep opponents away. Of course Dark Samus offers the same but slightly stronger. Anyways... yeah those two characters a very fun to use competitively.
I main Pac-Man tho.
Appreciate Zero using the Female Pokemon Trainer icon.
My thoughts about Little Mac, he's also fun to use. He has great mobility, wake up game, a good counter and charge attack, great power on the ground altogether. His weaknesses hold him back from being well rounded, his platforming and air attacks are terrible. But that's expected because the onest is to utilize the characters based on how they play in their games they're known for.
(PLUS) A savage on the ground
(MINUS) The worst in air strikes
the lower these top players tier a character the more likely it's gonna get buffed 😎
Way too early for people to have the hours in to know these characters in depth. The meta is still young, so I'd take these with a huge heap of salt. Not that tier lists are set In stone regardless.
Interesting. I've actually been maining Ridley ever since I unlocked him but he's trash tier for all of these lists. He's been treating me veryyyy well. So who knows.
I haven't found much fun in using Jiggly, in fact the only time I did use her was in Melee. She has good mobility especially in the air. Her size makes it easy to mix up attacks and grabs, so that's good to keep people guessing. Her zoning is mediocre especially without the use of items. I don't think Jiggly is terrible, just not a fun character for me.
Happy to see Roy placing so high. I'm not competitive, though, so I shouldn't care. I just know that he has been really good for me playing through the game.
@Kalmaro Krool; is a POX, i ave yet to beat him; that stage as well; nightmare!
I'm glad to see that my main Shulk is still at the high tiers
I always end up using toon link. I haven’t unlocked him yet in ultimate but I have unlocked young link which I’m having a lot of fun with.
The fact that two high level players have completely different tier lists (Simon and Richter being the only characters they both agree are top tier, and just look at how far apart they placed Link and Olimar for instance) is a very good sign for this game's balance.
Young Link has been a Melee favorite of mine. I can finally add him back into my main list. Dr. Mario also.
The Inklings are near the top on both list and I completely stink with that character! I wanted her to be awesome but when I finally got to try the character, I didn't care for the move-set.
I've been using Fox. But I've yet to unlock a majority of the characters in both the main game and WoL.
Love it that ZeRo is unsure about two characters, and one of them is my favorite one (Duck Hunt)!
It’s simply too silly and weird to be categorized I think; I love playing as DH but I’m sure as hell not good at using it lol
I don’t even know If there is actually a way to play it well ahahahah
Other than that, I’m loving Ultimate as a lot of characters I didn’t like in the past feel a lot better to me this time around.
My takeaway from this is not only "Everyone is here" but also "Everyone is viable" which is pretty impressive. These two lists are complete opposites in a lot of areas, meaning the only tier is there are no tiers. Not bad!
It's funny seeing Jigglypuff consistently above Kirby though.
@andywitmyer Jigglypuff is awesome! She was my main character in Melee, and she's one of my favorites in Ultimate as well. I started out playing her as a joke (my friends hated Jigglypuff), but then I ended up winning all the time.
Palutena seems to make the biggest jump between list.
Glad to see Pokemon Trainer high up because I chose to play as them by default
I dont care I play who i want
Kirby in low and E Tier haha ... Please. Kirby is destroys even more so in this game
Olimar in top tier haha. The tier list is always such BS
Pichu, Shulk, Simon, and Captian Falcon are the best ones I've unlocked so far.
Pichu is ridiculously good.
How dare they put Kirby in the low tiers?
@Spectra No offense, but you don't understand tier lists, neither their purpose nor how they're constructed.
@Syrek24 I don't play competitively, either, but I find tier lists interesting.
Also, most pro players would echo what you said: play someone you enjoy, first and foremost.
Just like Smash 4, the tiers now mean no more than a personal taste from the players. Leffen enjoys playing with Falco and Pokémon Trainer, so it is obvious he's going to place them high. The meta will develop over time as we start to get tournament results more often. As of now, and given the sheer number of different fighters, it is hard for a single person to do an accurate list, and well, if Smash 4 was any indication, it is possible that some characters see a nerf or a buff, so it is even harder to nail it.
Not sure why but that Zero guy bugs me
Good to know they both agree that Simon and Richer are Top/S tier.
I tried doing that Yarn Kirby level in Adventure mode with Isabelle and Donkey Kong with many a fail. (It's the one where there's four Yoshis at 9000+ power and you can be launched easily.)
Know what worked?
Jigglypuff and her wonderful neutral special.
I kind of don't want to hear what's "top tier" when it's garbage in this case.
Tiers are always fun, and I always handle them with a grain of salt. I'll give a (brief) list of my mains + want-to-mains:
2) Diddy Kong
3) Mr. Game & Watch
7) Mega Man
11) Little Mac
14) Ice Climbers
15) Dunk Hunt Duo
1) Simon/Richter Belmont
I finally found Link in World of Light and I did like the rest of the mode without him. (Just beat Galeem) holy crap is he satisfying to play with! I used to get my butt handed to me when I played him in Wii U, he was just a little too slow, but he feels practically perfect in Ultimate!
It's really surprising to see Roy, Lucina, and Ike ranked that high, they are all ranked rather poorly in previous Smash games. Which is great for me, as I main the Fire Emblem lords and love to see them get the recognition. Roy's my boy. I look forward to testing them out once I eventually get Ultimate. Who knows, maybe I'll end up maining Chrom when all is said and done!
I’m not good with Link in this game, but the NPC makes his new bombs look like God tier. Lol
@TheBigK I’ve had a lot of fun with Chrom, Lucina, and Ike in this game. The Fire Emblem Lords feel better than ever in this game.
Incineroar has the worst recovery
I've been focused on maining the Belmonts before reading any analysis, due to the seemingly strong spacing game, and I'm glad there's consensus that this may be a good call. It's probably the more difficult route than to say - maining Marth again, but I am finding the unique tactics of the Belmonts to be a fun challenge.
My pocket characters - mostly due to familiarity - are currently Marth, Falco and Inkling (which I seriously, need more time with to explore uses of the ink based attacks).
@HeroponRiki Yeah this game is so balanced it’s scary. Every character feels like top-tier potential as long as they fit your play style. I’ve had fun playing with every character, even Jigglypuff and Palutena which surprised me.
@mikegamer So true. His walking speed is also annoying, but his side special is ridiculous.
I call it t, I can pretty much 1HKO anything in WoL with Bowser and a good spirit team, was able to 9.0 back in SSB4 and rarely lost a match against CPU in “a new challenger approaches” matches. I tried hard but couldn’t find a proper replacement.
Even his FS is a guaranteed hit most of times...
I don't know about these lists but all of the Marth clones are incredibly not fun to play against. K. Rool seems completely busted but is also really fun so I hope they don't nerf him too hard.
I’m really loving Villager, but can’t help but feel the woes they experience when going up against all those crazy sword wielders ! I gotta improve my home building skills.
@NIN10DOXD Notably when you're trying to recover from a fall, it sucks
Laffen's list is pretty dang inaccurate;
I mean, Dr. Mario above MARIO Mario, Megaman being at the bottom when he's overall improved, and Pichu and Pikachu being in the same tier despite Pichu just being a much worst version of Pikachu.(-range +recoil, Bless Pichu's cute soul)
Yeah, it's definitely too early to have the tier list decided when we have such big differences in each.
I find my main man Yoshi's placing interesting in both tier lists. I already saw Zero rank Yoshi pretty low in his videos but Leffen actually has him in A rank.
Interesting to see how the metagame develops in the next few months.
@Ooccoo_Jr until piranha plant arrives in smash
Sorry but there is no best. Everyone is just as suitable. In the end what it comes down to is the easiest to use. These players use these characters because they are easier to use for them. People don't like difficult things anymore and always look for the easy way out.
Well I just use characters I like to play so these lists have no effect on me. And basically every character can be very great, but it depends on the person playing that certain character.
@Giygas_95 first day smash came out played King K. Rool and everyone around me thought he was broken....Then I see he's top tier!!! LOL!!! And My original boi Ganondorf (1st Main) is Tier 2 !? I love Ultimate..... Its Truly the Greatest Smash Game Ever!!!!!!!!!!!
That first list was literally created before the game launched and was based solely on available footage of the characters. I wouldn't take that seriously anymore since the game is out and many other lists contradict it heavily.
I feel like it is still too early to have real lists like this. Even if the pros have been playing nonstop since release, and let's face it, they have the game hasn't even been out for a week yet.
The lists are gonna change. There are 74 characters in the game. No way even the pros have really practiced with ALL of them.
I expected pac man would be improved from smash 4 considering his better grab and launch rate
@andywitmyer her main strength is in the air, by that I mean using attack characters that are off the stage, then floating back to safety.
Worth nothing this list is set up for 1 vs 1 encounters.
I usually play as Samus. Had no idea folk think so little of her
@HobbitGamer Nice setup, tried it and it was pretty good on Lucario. That being said, I'm the guy who instantly hawked super armor + made of metal when I got them and have been playing strictly Lucario with those two on since (swapping metal for immunity on sleep floors, keeping super armor at all times). I haven't lost since getting those two in WoL, nothing can launch or move me xD
Not even bosses.
My main in fighting games is random. If you only play one or two characters what is the point?
The one dude ranked Link low. Hell, I’m a boss with regular old Link, I think this table is wrong.
@Retupmocnin He's an assist trophy in this game you numbskull... So I doubt he will be a DLC fighter.
Samus is my best character shrugs
I prefer using favourite characters like Yoshi, Fox, Falcon, Donkey Kong and Samus (normal and Zero Suit). Bowser is cool, while last night I unlocked Richter and he was brilliant and I was able to whip Bayonetta into submission. Two attempts with other characters to beat her had failed. With Castlevania being a favoured series, I'll definitely use him more, and obviously can't wait for Simo. I will do a Classic run with every character, and so far have liked Lucario, Pikachu and Zelda. Bayonetta is ok too. Sonic is the only one so far I haven't liked. The ones I haven't tried yet are the "human" characters like Ness and the Fire Emblem people. It's a great game.
Seeing Marth that high feels really good - could be my new main for now. Sad to see, that all Metroid characters scored a low rating. But they will recover in Metroid Prime 4, so...everything‘s fine
Olimar getting the recognition he deserves I see
I made a google spreadsheet in which I average the two lists...
According to both lists, the average top-rated fighters are, in order:
King K. Rool
I don´t think there are good or bad characters, actually there are good and bad players indeed. I always thought in previous games that certain characters were bad but I´ve seen REALLY good players making honorable matches with them. Example: I thought Mewtwo, Bowser, Gigglipuff were really slow and wouldn´t make it facing a Meta Knight, Marth, Wolf. Nothing is just BLACK or WHITE in videogames. I respect all points of view though
We live in a world where people think Pichu is top tier while Bowser is bottom of the barrel. I mean, what's next? Donald Trump's a good president?
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