Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has finally be released and players across the globe have had the chance to play the game and determine how the returning characters have changed and how the new characters stack up to the competition. Masahiro Sakurai promised that Super Smash Bros. Ultimate would be a faster and more offense focused game than its predecessor. The speed increase of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate makes it feel like an almost totally different game, with the pace of Super Smash Bros. 3DS/Wii U feeling like it's underwater by comparison.
Not all of the characters in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate have been given buffs or benefitted from the changes to the system, however, as many of the former characters from Super Smash Bros. 3DS/Wii U have received long-awaited nerfs. There are also new characters to the series who have yet to be properly balanced and have been left wanting compared to their competition.
The developers of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate have the ability to patch the game, which means that the characters may change drastically over the course of the next few months. The analysis in this list is just about the characters as they appeared during the launch of the game.
We are here today to see which characters benefitted the most from the jump to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and which ones were left behind. From the return of the Great King of Evil to the disappointing debut of the antagonist of the Metroid series, here are the 10 Most Powerful Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Characters Only Experts Use (And 20 That Should Be Avoided)!
20 Powerful: Ganondorf
One of the overall changes to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was an increase in the speed of every character in order to make the game move faster and make it less defense-focused than it was in Super Smash Bros. 3DS/Wii U. No one has benefitted more from the speed increase than Ganondorf, who has traditionally been one of the worst characters in the series.
Ganondorf's terrible speed and lack of projectiles meant that it was easy for ranged characters to just bait him and rack up damage over the course of a match. The new version of Ganondorf is now incredibly fast, which means that he has the maneuverability to keep up with the swifter characters. Ganondorf's moves have also received improvements to their damage and speed, meaning that he can now live up to his title as the Great King of Evil.
19 Should Be Avoided: Bayonetta
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a cool name, but calling it Super Smash Bros. We Finally Nerfed Bayonetta Edition would have attracted more fans of Super Smash Bros. 3DS/Wii U who were sick of her dominance over the game. The reason why Bayonetta was so scary in Super Smash Bros. 3DS/Wii U was due to her amazing combo potential that could take stocks at 0%.
All of Bayonetta's moves that easily opened up into combos have now been changed so that they are far more situational and all of her special moves have seen significant nerfs to their functionality and speed, with many of them now being far easier to punish than before. It's hard to bemoan these changes to Bayonetta, though, as she swamped the competitive scene in Super Smash Bros. 3DS/Wii U and the developers seemingly didn't care.
18 Powerful: Little Mac
Little Mac was widely regarded as being one of the worst characters in Super Smash Bros. 3DS/Wii U due to his terrible recovery. All you had to do was fling him off the stage and he would become incredibly vulnerable to projectiles, spikes, or just being knocked too far away to recover.
The air dodge mechanic in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has benefitted Little Mac the most, as it adds range to his recovery and makes him less vulnerable while doing so. Little Mac's Jolt Haymaker and Rising Uppercut have also had their recovery potential improved. Little Mac's most crippling weaknesses have been significantly reduced, which means that he may he be the surprise champion of the competitive scene in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
17 Should Be Avoided: Corrin
Corrin's announcement trailer was met with a negative response, due to how he was yet another Fire Emblem representative and his game hadn't even been released yet outside of Japan. The criticisms about Corrin faded away when he became available to download, however, as he was one of the best characters in the game, thanks to an amazing range of moves.
Corrin's specials have been weakened in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, with the stun from his Dragon Fang Shot being less effective and his Dragon Lunge no longer being as reliable at locking enemies into place. Corrin's Counter Surge is also riskier and cannot hit opponents that are above him, which has weakened one of the best moves in his arsenal.
16 Powerful: Olimar
The professional Super Smash Bros. players who were given a chance to play Ultimate before release were all tagging Olimar as being one of the best characters in the game. Olimar has been living up to the hype since Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was released, as the overall increase in game speed has helped him immensely.
The speed in which Olimar plucks, orders, and throws Pikmin has been increased, but the damage that they deal when latched on to enemies has seen a huge boost, which means that Olimar can rack up more damage with his ranged moves than almost every other character in the game. Olimar's physical attacks and throwing reach have also been increased, which means that he can easily capitalize on the damage dealt by his Pikmin.
15 Should Be Avoided: Chrom
Chrom's attributes and move set are meant to turn him into a mixture of Ike and Roy, which has led to one of the most crippling weaknesses in the game. Chrom is a phenomenal character on the stage, but he is helpless when thrown far away, due to an almost total lack of horizontal recovery moves.
Chrom players can use his Soaring Slash to fly upwards, but this move has no horizontal momentum and he has no side specials that grant him additional horizontal movement. The fans of Fire Emblem Awakening have wanted Chrom in Super Smash Bros. for years now, but he will be nigh on unplayable in a competitive setting without being buffed in an update.
14 Powerful: Inkling
The Inklings from Splatoon were the first new characters revealed for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and they have already caused a splash on the competitive scene. One of the most annoying moves that the Inklings possess is the Splat Roller, which has the ability to bury the opponents in the ground for a few seconds and allows you ample time to charge up a smash attack to send them flying.
The most fearsome aspect of the Inkling is their ability to deal extra damage to foes that are covered in ink, which has given the Inklings some of the highest KO potential in the game, especially when combined with the burying move of the Splat Roller.
13 Should Be Avoided: The Mii Fighters
The Mii Fighters were easily the least-used characters in Super Smash Bros. 3DS/Wii U due to the fact that you couldn't use them in the online mode of the game, which meant that it restricted the ways in which you could train with the characters. The online ban for the Mii Fighters has been lifted in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, but you shouldn't expect to see them becoming staples at tournaments, as they are just as bland and boring as they were in the last game.
The Mii Fighters were given a very generic move set since they aren't based on any single franchise, which means that they are outstripped in their fields by the other characters in the game. If you want to play a swordsman, then there are far better options in the game than the Mii Swordfighter and the same is true for the Mii Brawler and Mii Gunner.
12 Powerful: King K. Rool
King K. Rool was one of the most requested Super Smash Bros. characters for years and Masahiro Sakurai finally granted the wishes of the fans with his arrival in Ultimate. The fans of the Donkey Kong Country series should also be thankful for King K. Rool being an amazing fighter in Super Smash Bros.
King K. Rool is a heavy character, yet he has an amazing ranged arsenal with his blunderbuss and crown, a move set that makes the most of his super armor, a back aerial that can spike, one of the best forward smash attacks in the game, and an amazing vertical recovery move. King K. Rool might be the leading character for a nerf in the next update for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
11 Should Be Avoided: Luigi
Luigi started out as a clone of Mario in the original Super Smash Bros. but he was given his own arsenal of moves over time. The latest incarnation of Luigi borrows a weapon from the Luigi's Mansion series, as he can now use the Poltergust G-00 for his throws.
The addition of the Poltergust means that Luigi now has a ranged grab, but this has greatly weakened him as a character, as his throw combo potential is nowhere near as good as it was in Super Smash Bros. 3DS/Wii U. The Poltergust also has a terrible startup and ending lag, meaning that it's incredibly easy to punish if it misses. The Luigi Cyclone move also has less vertical reach, which has reduced the number of options that Luigi has when off the stage, as his recovery is less certain.
10 Powerful: Richter & Simon
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate finally added some representatives from the Castlevania series, along with a lot of awesome Castlevania songs. Richter and Simon Belmont are almost identical characters, yet they are already being pegged for top spots in the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate competitive scene.
The Belmonts possess some of the best-ranged moves in the game, with their whip being able to KO at a distance. The real strength of the Belmonts lies in their ranged attacks, with the Cross cutting through most other projectiles in the game, the Holy Water being able to lock enemies in place, and the curved range of the Axe offering great protection from aerial approaches. The only weakness the Belmonts have is in their weak recovery move, but even this can be offset with their tether grab.
9 Should Be Avoided: Ice Climbers
The Ice Climbers were some of the most frightening characters in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, due to how amazing their combo throws were. The unique gimmick of the Ice Climbers being two characters at once meant that players used to work hard to find ways to abuse their potential and given them an advantage in battle. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate brought back the Ice Climber,s but took away their ability to chaingrab, which was the main reason to play them.
The increased speed of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate also means that it's far more difficult to desync the Ice Climbers and control them separately, which means that they have lost the two main reasons to play them. It's still early days for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate so there might be other tricks for Ice Climbers players to discover, but as of right now it feels like they lost everything that made them unique.
8 Powerful: Diddy Kong
Diddy Kong was the king of the Super Smash Bros. 3DS/Wii U tier list before the arrival of the DLC characters and even then he was only beaten by Bayonetta and Cloud. Diddy Kong has received a few minor nerfs in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, but not to the same degree as Bayonetta and Cloud, which means that he has remained as one of the best characters in the game.
The overall increase in speed in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has benefitted Diddy a lot, as he was already an incredibly fast character. Diddy's amazing combo potential and fast moves with high priority are still as useful as they were in Super Smash Bros. 3DS/Wii U, which means that Diddy players will have an easy time adapting to the new metagame of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
7 Should Be Avoided: Snake
Snake was cut from Super Smash Bros. 3DS/Wii U and the fans were vocal about wanting him back in the series. Snake is back for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, yet he isn't quite as fearsome as he was in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
Snake's ground attacks have seen a lot of nerfs to their damage and knockback, while the Cypher that he grabs onto for his recovery can now be destroyed, which makes it easier to dispose of Snake when he is off the side of the stage. The arsenal of explosives that Snake uses also hasn't been sped up to the degree that they needed to be in order to keep up with the swifter pace of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, which means that they are incredibly easy to avoid or dodge.
6 Powerful: Ike
Ike has always been the heaviest of the sword-using Fire Emblem characters, which means that he has always been stronger but slower than his contemporaries. The overall increase in speed in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has benefitted Ike a great deal, especially since he has had the end lag reduced on most of his moves.
The real reason why Ike is being touted as a major player in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is due to the increased arc of his sword swipes, which offers him far more reach and protection than before, to the point that some of his sword attacks now have additional hitboxes around his body.
5 Should Be Avoided: Cloud
Cloud was just behind Bayonetta in most Super Smash Bros. 3DS/Wii U tier lists, due to the sheer range of options that he had in battle. Cloud was still considered to be more balanced than Bayonetta, due to being at a significant disadvantage when off the stage. However, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has changed how Cloud's Limit Charge works so that it now has a time limit of fifteen seconds before it fades away.
Cloud players would often store their Limit Charge in case they needed to use a powered-up Climhazzard to get back onto the stage. The fact that Limit Charge can't be relied on as much means that Cloud is now far more vulnerable when he is off the stage.
4 Powerful: Pikachu
Pikachu was considered by many to be the best character in the original Super Smash Bros. game and the new version of Pikachu in Ultimate seems poised to reclaim his crown. Pikachu might be one of the best characters in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate when it comes to fighting off the stage, due to the addition of a powerful spike move and an improved version of Quick Attack that almost guarantees that he can return to the stage from the bottom of the screen.
The increased speed of Pikachu's attack and movements mean that he now has amazing combo potential, which is bolstered by a faster Thunder Jolt that helps it to edge guard and an improved Skull Bash that is harder to punish due to how it knocks Pikachu back after a hit. Pikachu was an early pick for the top tier character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, but a different Pokémon may have taken his place...
3 Should Be Avoided: Bowser
Bowser had a hard time when he debuted in Melee due to how painfully slow he was in a game that was dominated by speed. His viability increased with each game that followed, due to Brawl and 3DS/Wii U boosting his agility. Bowser has received a few minor buffs in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, especially in regards to his heavy armor, but he needed more to be able to compete with the other heavyweights in the game.
Bowser's lack of safe ranged options is what is really hurting him, especially since King K. Rool has been added to the game. King K. Rool's dominance is overshadowing Bowser's place in the game. It also doesn't help that Bowser's recovery move has been nerfed and his flying slam has been given extra lag and is now more punishable. Bowser may have issues, but he could easily be brought back up to speed in a future update.
2 Powerful: Pichu
It's official: hell has frozen over, pigs are soaring through the sky, and Pichu is now one of the most amazing characters in Super Smash Bros. Pichu was basically a joke character in Melee who would often damage himself with his own attacks. However, the new version of Pichu is a huge threat on the battlefield, due to his small stature making him hard to hit, his incredible agility, and a few powerful attacks that are difficult to avoid.
Pichu's down aerial is now one of the best spikes in the game and his Skull Bash is far more dangerous than it used to be. Pichu also shares Pikachu's benefit of having an improved recovery move, making him far more effective when off the stage. It seems we are now officially living in the darkest timeline, as Pichu might become the top-tier character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
1 Should Be Avoided: Ridley
Ridley was a highly anticipated character for the Super Smash Bros. series, yet many players thought he would never make it in due to his large size. Masahiro Sakurai made the dreams of Metroid fans across the world come true with Ridley's addition to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, yet he hasn't quite lived up to the hype.
Ridley's large size kept it out of Super Smash Bros. for a long time and it's this same stature that has also become its downfall, as Ridley is so easy to hit and has so few recovery options that he is one of the most vulnerable characters in the game. The fact that a lot of Ridley's moves are inconsistent and easy to punish means that he is one of the riskiest characters to play as, though Ridley's popularity means that we will still see many players attempt to turn him into a force to be reckoned with in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
Are there any other powerful Super Smash Bros. Ultimate characters? Are there any others that should be avoided? Let us know in the comments!