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Tier Induced Scrappy / Super Smash Bros.

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Brawl Meta Knight: so broken he needed an entire tier to himself.

Come back when you start getting banned in tournaments.
Meta Knight, One More Brawl Taunts

Being as it is, the fandom of Super Smash Bros. tends to come down hard on characters considered to be horribly overpowered or woefully underpowered.

NOTE: Much of this mainly applies to the competitive community, as most casual players find them fun to use regardless.

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High Tier

  • Pikachu, the original Game-Breaker of the series, has nonetheless been a notably consistent character throughout the franchise for being the pioneer of the Fragile Speedster playstyle: with strong aerials, great mobility, an insane combo game, and being frustratingly hard to hit due to its size. It's always been well-regarded by the competitive community for being Difficult, but Awesome; however, some players (Pokémon fans or otherwise) have openly criticized Pikachu as a "cutesy" Kid-Appeal Character, and its detractors resent the fact that it's always been easily one of the best characters in the games, and able to curb-stomp the majority of the cast despite its low canonical strength. A particular point of resentment is that, on top of its strengths, Pikachu is a small character, able to be almost completely untouched by taller characters by crouching (or even standing) under most of their moves.
    • In 64, Pikachu is especially notorious for being the best character by a wide margin. Along with its trademark strengths, it possesses awkwardly shaped hitboxes and a really good recovery in a game where the rest of the cast have mediocre to just average recoveries by comparison. At first, this resulted in Pikachu being "soft banned" in the competitive community (as in, there's a mutual understanding among some players to not use Pikachu even though it's not explicitly against the rules), though as Smash 64 tournaments have gotten larger and more serious, the soft ban has fallen out of favor and Pikachu's usage is a lot higher in tournaments nowadays, with players like Isai, Mariguas, Dext3r and wario using it to great success. As a nod to its tier-induced scrappy status, Pikachu is even negatively referred to as "the Rat". One thing Pikachu has going against it, however, is its small lightweight body making it easy for a character like Fox or Captain Falcon to send it flying at lower percents, and its falling speed making it moderately vulnerable to combos in a game where combos are everything.
    • In Melee, Pikachu would fall noticeably, especially in early tier lists, receiving justified nerfs to its bizarre hitboxes and losing its fast air speed, which would lead to a long time perception as a low tier. It would later see a major rise on the tier list after some notable successes in competitive play, mostly from Axe, who famously dominated a Fox player with a very quick 4-stock game in EVO 2014's top 8 and would later win Smash Summit 8 in 2019 with Pikachu; nowadays, due to its improved results and despite being a very uncommon character outside of Axe, Pikachu sits comfortably on the perceived top 10 characters in the game.
    • Brawl gave Pikachu some notable buffs, along with benefiting significantly from Brawl's system changes, allowing it to rise back into the top tiers. Its most notorious move would prove to be its chain grab with its down-throw, which can zero to death characters who fall quickly, making it their worst matchup. It also is said to be Meta Knight's only even matchup, though it's highly disputed, even by its top and by far most successful player ESAM. Regardless, Pikachu's enormous advantage over most characters has consistently landed it in the high tier since the beginning.
    • It once again retained its high tier status in Smash 4. Similar to Zero Suit Samus in Brawl, Pikachu is a character praised for its competitive value but also has a vocal faction of detractors based on its tier status. Its case is even stronger when custom moves are allowed; while normally one of its biggest flaws is its lack of KO power, its "Heavy Skull Bash" custom side special is able to KO at very low percents yet significantly faster than the default, and is widely viewed as one of the most overpowered custom moves in the game. Like with Villager's customs (below), Heavy Skull Bash is frequently used as an argument against legalizing custom moves. Even without them, Pikachu is widely seen as one of the top 15 characters, with players like ESAM and Captain L doing well with the mouse.
    • In Ultimate, while it was initially overshadowed by its semi-clone and canonically weaker pre-evolution Pichu, Pikachu still found its way to being a major competitive threat and a top tier, thanks to its consistently excellent set of strengths and hard-to-exploit weaknesses. The things that initially made it worse than Pichu are its forward tilt not being as dominant, its hurtbox being larger, and its damage output and kill power being much lower. After patch 3.1.0, where most of the other top tiers (especially Pichu) got nerfed and Pikachu got a minor grab range buff, Pikachu is starting to be considered a contender for the best character in Ultimate.
  • Fox is another one of the most consistent examples throughout the series. As an agressive rushdown character with the speed and specials to do it well despite his low weight, he's probably the most iconic Glass Cannon, and has regularly been among each game's high-tiers if not top-tiers.
    • In 64, he was the 4th best character in the game, with many of the elements that would define his future in the series coming into place, with him having a strong combo game that include touch of deaths due to the game's lack of methods to easily escape combos and his Reflector (better known as "shine" due to being rarely used as such) due to being a 1-frame attack note  and usually being used for edgeguarding opponents. One thing this version had that later versions would not is that his blaster could interrupt opponent's movements, making it the best projectile in the game (these properties would be given to Falco's blaster in later games).
    • His most notorious iteration, however, came in Melee, where he's the game's best character by a long shot, being one of only two characters (besides his Moveset Clone Falco) to have no disadvantageous matchups. He has incredible speed with some of the game's best comboing capability and KO power (mainly in his up smash and up aerial), and his notorious 1-frame shine became even better, as it had invincibility on startup, could now be instantly cancelled with a jump, can setup combos and kills, and still could outright gimp recoveries all by itself. He can also out-camp almost every other character out in the game with his ridiculously fast and lagless Blaster if needed, which single handedly invalidated many stages for competitive play. As a result, he is played by at least one-third of the competitive playerbase, with many high-profile players picking up Fox and dropping their main they used to be known for. However, Fox is also incredibly beloved by Melee's competitive community, as he is perhaps the flashiest character in the game and the epitome of Difficult, but Awesome, with the extreme technical skill required to adequately handle his very fast and heavily demanding inputs as his jumping speed and falling speed are very quick compared to other characters (it also helps that with the said extreme falling speed, he's heavily vulnerable to combos and gimps himself, meaning matches with him will feature long combos and quick deaths both ways). As such, Fox is something of a tier-induced Base-Breaking Character instead of a full-on scrappy, with some players considering the over-centralizing on Fox to be detrimental to the metagame, while others consider this not to be a bad thing in contrast to other examples due to him being the hardest character to use in the game. Still, his notoriety is such that it spawned the "No Items, Fox Only, Final Destination" meme, and contributes to his hatred to a disturbing degree in the other games.
    • His worst appearance was in Brawl, where he was hammered with nerfs, such as his blaster losing range and the startup of his shine slowed down to 3 frames, while the engine changes did him few favors. However, he would noticeably rise through the rankings, as he still had many of his previous strengths, and with people noting that with three exceptions, he has no especially bad matchups, including him to be among the few characters to have a manageable matchup against the game's infamous Game-Breaker Meta Knight. Some suspect that he may have continued to rise in the Brawl tier rankings had the competitive Brawl scene not died out in 2014.
    • With 3DS/Wii U, despite a few more nerfs from Brawl, such as his shine having its startup doubled to 6 frames, he is considered to be an example that has grown and lessened over the course of the game's patches. At launch, Fox was considered to be a solid high tier character with very good mobility and offensive capabilities. After launch, some players discovered Fox had a "jab infinite" that allowed him to loop most characters in a repeated combo of the first two hits of jab that can go on for as long as there was space on the stage, as well as converting it into another combo of choice or a KO confirm. This caused a massive amount of Fox players to rush into the competitive scene and quickly claim results, with some abusing the "infinite" as their gameplan. Fox ultimately became disliked thanks to how the "infinite" could carry even lower-levelled players to wins over higher-levelled players and how it was used above all of Fox's other options, leading to repetitive play and players suddenly garnering high tourney results. Fortunately, the "infinite" was patched out, leading those reliant to drop Fox or perform noticeably worse because of it. However, the players that stayed with him remained doing well and also helped to show how exciting Fox can be in higher play just like in Melee. That said, some people still dislike Fox thanks to the scars of the past by the "infinite" and from grudges from his dominance in Melee.
    • His Ultimate appearance would be hit with a mixed bag buffs and nerfs. The biggest nerfs are that his weight is even lighter, and his Illusion side special no longer goes through shielding opponents to make it easy to punish. However, the biggest buffs come from the engine changes, with his speed, power and combo abilities shining in the metagame; speaking of which, his shine is back to a 3-frame move. This has allowed him to retain most of his signature strengths, and keep his status as a top tier for many of the same reasons as previous games.
  • Another highly consistent example in the series is the most recognizable face of Fire Emblem, Marth. A notable case of Difficult, but Awesome due to his reliance on precise spacing, he has long been a terror in competitive play when used right.
    • With his breakout appearance in Melee, he is in a somewhat similar boat to Fox; he's a top-tier with many ridiculous advantages and who is overplayed, but is generally highly liked by the game's competitive playerbase. Some players, though, are a bit vocal of their dislike of Marth, among the biggest complaints being his broken grab that reaches a foot in front of where his hand actually touches (which then leads to a highly damaging chain grab on the game's most popular characters, Fox and Falco), and his tipped-sword slashes and his easy-to-land down aerial spikenote , which doubles as the finisher for his famed "Ken combo" (that's quite a bit laggy, though) and leads to him frequently taking stocks at very early percents over minimal mistakes. Either way, a skilled Marth can easily keep people out despite the fact that all the rest of his moves are decent in terms of knockback at best, as his sweetspotted moves can rack up damage like crazy and provide excellent spacing.
    • In Brawl, he made the smoothest transition out of any of the previous game's top tiers. While his grab range was reduced to a slightly more reasonable distance and his sword range was also reduced, he still retained most of his previous strengths, such as his powerful spacing with his strong tipper sweetspots. His grab game, despite the range nerf, is still very powerful due to the game's altered grab release mechanics giving him a variety powerful followup options. The end result was him being solidly among the game's top tiers, with only two slightly disadvantageous matchups (against Meta Knight and King Dedede), thus giving him one of the best matchup spreads in the game.
    • Smash 4 would initially give him his worst tier ranking to date, with him getting heavy nerfs that would put him among the game's low tiers, such as his sword's range becoming less stellar due to other characters receiving better hitbox treatment, his aerial game becoming much more manageable due to slower aerials across the board, harder to land tipper hitboxes, and the removal of his infamous "Ken Combo". However, Marth would slowly get further buffs, especially in patch 1.1.4, which caused a surge of new Marth mains to appear, showing off the new tools and adjustments he was given. This would see Marth return to the top tiers, with some, most famously MKLeo, seeing major success in the scene with him.
    • Ultimate, while not falling off as severely as his initial Smash 4 iteration, has dropped. Though usually seen as high tier, he has many problems that keep him from seeing widespread usage. Due to his tipper mechanic, Marth has little trouble scoring kills with landing them. However, the problem resides in Ultimate's faster engine and pace, which give Marth incredible difficulty at landing said tippers. Also, while they remain potent kill moves, they can screw up combos if they land at the wrong time, usually sending the opponent too far away for follow ups except at very low percents. This requires Marth players to thoroughly understand his sourspots to optimize his combos and avoid landing the tippers except as a combo-ender at mid percents. This time, his Echo Fighter Lucina has largely taken Marth's usual spot amongst the top tiers; in exchange for a harder time scoring kills, Lucina has more consistent and reliable combos and doesn't have to rely on precise spacing; her comparitve ease of use and consistency have ensured that Marth hasn't seen as much play by comparison. However, some pro players such as Mew2King believe that Marth will rise back into the top tiers once players gain enough experience and the skill ceiling rises.
  • The Ice Climbers have long been notorious for infinite combos abusing their dual nature:
    • In Melee, while considered borderline high-tiers, are one of, if not, the game's most hated character for one reason: Wobbling, a technique named after pro Smash player Wobbles, who used it frequently. Wobbling exploits the IC's "2-in-1" mechanic to jab grabbed opponents in such a way that the opponent is kept stuck in the grab indefinitely until the IC's player decides to release them (which is usually with a smash attack to get a KO). Wobbling itself requires only a simple rhythm to pull off, and means any grab from the ICs can equal death if it's pulled off succesfully. Players despise Wobbling so much it was initially banned in many tournaments. The vitriol against the ICs and Wobbling died down after their best players usually failed to beat the best players of the top/high tiers even with Wobbling legal, and many players ended up considering the ICs to have too hard of a time landing a grab. In addition, Wobbling can be broken easily by killing the computer-controlled partner due to their awful AI, and they were noted to do very poorly against Peach, so Wobbling was long dismissed as a serious Game-Breaker. For many years, Wobbling was almost never banned at tournaments, though there are still players who vocally dislike it and will thus heckle ICs players who utilize it. However, some tournaments have begun banning Wobbling in early 2019.

      A more complicated but powerful combo, to the point where it is currently banned, utilizes a glitch that freezes an opponent forever until they're thrown. After it was discovered, that vitriol against the ICs started right back up again, and the ban means anyone caught using it in tournaments gets doubly disqualified.
    • In Brawl, the Ice Climbers were arguably even worse. The simple reason they were so hated was that they could infinitely chain grab the entire cast but themselves. The result was a grab that equaled instant death, and with Brawl’s slower gameplay with less safe offense, significant buffs in the ICs' projectiles, the partner's AI being significantly better, and the ability to control both Popo and Nana at the same time, it became much easier to get a grab with both Popo and Nana active. Their infinite chain grabs do require precise timing to pull off that was too much for many players, but it was little comfort when the best players could pull it off to death with ease. Not helping matters is that the grabs resulted in incredibly boring games for viewers, as they boiled down to watching their opponent camp the ICs until they net a chain grab, and then watching them kill the opponent effortlessly. They never did come close to exceeding Meta Knight, and they did have a few losing matchups against non-MK characters who could easily evade their grab while separating them with ease (like Peach and Toon Link), but became as hated as Meta Knight by the end. However, despite their divisive status, some players weren't happy that they were cut from Smash 4.
    • Ultimate brought the Ice Climbers back, but made it so the partner can't move during a grab, putting an end to grab-to-death shenanigans they had become notorious for. However, despite their immense nerfs, there have been some notable competitive techs found, such as some zero-to-death combos using their desyncs and a scary ledge-trump note  setup into foward smash. While nowhere near as infamous as those, many players suspect the ICs will rise higher in tier lists as time progresses and their playstyle is optimized.
  • As you probably saw several mentions of him above, it shouldn't come to surprise that Meta Knight is probably one of the largest examples in the Smash series, and perhaps one of the biggest examples in all of gaming.
    • In Brawl, he was unarguably the biggest Game-Breaker. Period. He excelled at pretty much everything to a degree much greater than any other character: he had two main kill moves with his strong down smash and glide attack (the strongest of the three glide attacks in the game, and stronger than most non-glide aerial attacks as well) despite his "not-as-heavy-hitting" nature, had a host of ridiculously effective-yet-safe moves that could be spammed with impunity, all of his sword-based moves barring his glide attack had transcendent priority (meaning that can't clash with/against other attacks), all of his special moves allowed for recovery despite having a helpless state on all of them, and the ability to exploit quirks in the game to make him literally untouchable (such as planking and sharking). He additionally had no real consequential flaws other than his really light weight (but with how hard it is to get hits on him while being able to recover safely from anything, you're not killing him easily anyway) and a weird aerial grab release animation that left him vulnerable to guaranteed followups when released without throwing him from a grab, which few characters could take advantage of for meager rewards anyway. The result was a character that hard-countered the majority of the cast and won every matchup, and was so good that he was considered in a tier of his own above everyone else. Meta Knight additionally had rather low technical demands and was one of the easiest top/high tier characters to pick up in Brawl, leading to droves of players to main him or use him as a pocket secondary to cover any bad matchups they may have. Meta Knight absolutely dominated tournaments (when the monetary winnings were counted up for recorded tournaments one year, players using Meta Knight won over half of all the money alone), and players became so sick of him that a very serious push was made to get him banned. After 4 years, it finally happened, when the Unity Ruleset Comittee decided to ban him in their unity ruleset. The ban didn't stick, though, as too many high-profile players using Meta Knight were opposed to the ban and thus many high-profile tournament organizers ignored it in their major tournaments, which then forced others to not ban Meta Knight in their tournaments so that their players would have a chance at these MK-legal majors. Meta Knight and the failure to ban him is one of most-cited reasons for Brawl's competitive scene declining post-2012 and ultimately being supplanted by Smash 4.
    • For his Smash 4 appearance, Meta Knight expectedly got some heavy nerfs, causing his massive playerbase from Brawl to completely abandon him and overstate the effects of the nerfs. At first, many treated Meta Knight as a low-tier character since he now had to play more aggressively and thus has to take more risks (via many of his attacks' hitboxes nowlasting for only 1 frame). However, after an update that increased the accuracy on his sword attacks' nerfed hitboxes, many committed to the masked swordsmen found a character with highly potent KO combos, above average speed, and top-tier edgeguarding abilities. His low-tier scrappy very quickly disappeared when people discovered the "ladder combo" from his Brawl appearance, the Rufio, was not nerfed, which could KO every character at some of the lowest %s possible when confirmed. As expected, Complacent Gaming Syndrome kicked in and, while the metagame for Meta Knight didn't completely circulate around the mastery of this lone combo, it was still very powerful for some characters to handle. It was not until patch 1.1.5 where this was addressed with his up air getting a change in its hitboxes, making it much more risky to use overall; however, they gave a new toy for Meta Knight mains to play with in a radically improved forward air for increased edgeguarding capabilities. While some players who were over-reliant on his ladder combo said that he went back to mediocrity again, other players fleshed him out past simply using the combo, and have stated that it wasn't that much of an nerf. In the end, Meta Knight remains a high-tier that, while still much more easy to manage compared to his time in Brawl, is a very explosive character that can hand down a lot of trouble.
    • Ultimate once again rained nerfs upon Meta Knight, giving his dash attack, a staple of his Rufio ladder combo, higher power and ending lag, and his up air another angle nerf, thus making the ladder combo much more situational. Combined with buffs to other characters' mobility, Meta Knight's viability has taken a hit despite some notorious buffs to his tools, such as Mach Tornado, Drill Rush, his own mobility, and the higher damage on some of his moves. Overall, while Meta Knight isn't considered to be as much of a high-tier character as in previous games, he retains some tools and his core playstyle remains as dangerous as ever, which has put his overall viability up to debate, although consensus is that he's not a bad character.
  • Zero Suit Samus is another consistently strong character, who also gets hate for being stronger than the normal Varia Suit Samus, a fact which completely throws Metroid canon out the window.
    • She was among Brawl’s most popular high tiers among the competitive community for being one of the game's flashiest and most offensive characters. Metroid fans, on the other hand, tended to dislike the Zero Suit in general for being what they see as an oft-needless bit of cheesecake in its home series, and were especially irate when they found out Zero Suit Samus was one of the game's best characters, while regular Samus was a perpetual low-tier character rarely seen in tournaments.
    • Needless to say, this carried over into Smash 4, where she became increasingly disliked as her success and prominence grew within the metagame. Widely considered (from patch 1.1.2 and below) to be the second-best character in the game, "Zamus" had numerous tools that made her highly dominant. She has extremely fast or extremely effective moves (both standard and special ones) that allow her to easily dictate the flow of the match as long as she could get in, and set up for combos, of which many were considered to be the most lethal in the roster (until Bayonetta showed up) thanks to how much damage they could do, as well as how early they could claim stocks. This was thanks almost primarily to Flip Jump and Boost Kick. Boost Kick, Zamus' up special, had a large amount of knockback that could KO opponents off the top at low percentages, and even lower with rage and platforms in play. Flip Jump, her down special, not only gives a character that has a tether-recovery another means of recovery, but also has a command kick that, when spaced right, can meteor smash opponents for a very early KO. All this resulted in a character that can claim stocks at a moment's notice and could survive and recover with relative ease, leaving many to complain how broken her moves were. However, Zamus' learning curve is considered to be very high, she has some difficult matchups with some characters, both high and low tier, and knowledge of her moves are needed to fully use her, such as playing around her poor neutral game, having a very unsafe grab, and other various flaws with her moveset. Despite this, and thanks to her breakthrough of success and her powerful move set, Zamus' dislike had spread and grown beyond the dispute of her usage over her Power Suited version, due to MANY players such as Nairo, Marss and Choco using her to great success, and earning her the derogatory nickname "Zero Skill Spamus". However, this came full-circle when the recent wave of patches from 1.1.3 and on nerfed her hard like fellow top tier Sheik. Aside from a weight nerf, her Boost Kick and its setups would now KO MUCH later and many of her attacks that could set up to the Flip Jump kick-meteor smash were nowhere near as effective, giving her more risks to contrast her massive reward.
    • As for Ultimate, ZSS was originally believed to be quite severely nerfed from Smash 4, if not to the cruel extent that Sheik and Bayonetta were. However, after months of metagame development, she's considered to be a top tier character once again with many of her past strengths remaining. While her up air and Boost Kick were nerfed relative to the previous iteration, almost all of her attributes have been buffed in utility and consistency, resulting in a character that can still overwhelm players and keep overwhelming them, as seen by top player Marss, whom has seen success at major tournaments with her. This is taken even further in Japan, where many players consider ZSS to be the best character in the game, and even in the West, some tier lists have once again comfortably placed her in the top tiernote . Meanwhile, normal Samus is still seen as the less viable option (albeit still viable), so it's safe to assume that she'll continue to annoy many Metroid fans on that alone; that said, both characters have their benefits, and there are even some matchups (such as Pikachu and Pichu) where the armored Samus fares better than her Zero Suited self due to her projectiles and her "get off me" tools.
  • Solid Snake, the first third-party addition to Smash, as well as the most notorious zoning character in the series.
    • He was as big of an example as Meta Knight in Brawl's early competitive play. Snake was the game's biggest Lightning Bruiser, with ridiculously fast and ridiculously powerful attacks that had ridiculously disjointed hitboxes (such as his infamous up tilt), on top of some of the best projectiles in the game to zone out the majority of the cast with impunity such as his grenades and his infamous claymore mines; the former have massive explosions, can act as combo-breakers at frame 1, and can zone and chip away at opponents with relative ease thanks to the damage they cause, while the latter combined with his C4 for excellent stage control. Snake's dash attack is also the best in the game, as it is a very fast, far-reaching burst option that gives invincibility to Snake's head and arms as he leaps forward, letting him beat most moves outright and be safe on shield on cross-up. In addition, he was very hard to kill with his enormous heavy weight and fast falling speed on top of a good recovery. Snake additionally had a huge playerbase, and in the first year of Brawl, it wasn't uncommon to see over half of a tournament's top 8 using Snake. It was so bad, the second tier list even had Snake given his own tier below Meta Knight and above everyone else, as he was considered to be so much better than everyone else that wasn't MK. He's also a character that many Nintendo purists didn't like being in the game in the first place, which infuriated such people even more when Snake turned out such a dominant character. As the years went on, players learned to exploit some of Snake's potent disadvantages against him (such as the great trouble he had landing safely after being knocked into the air due to his really laggy aerials and poor aerial mobility, and his Cypher recovery move being punishable with a grab-release glitch that made Snake unable to reuse it during recovery), while the potential of a few other characters were discovered to be even greater and even more aggravating to fight (such as the Ice Climbers and, unsurprisingly, Meta Knight). Snake ended up losing his demi-god status and dropping in the tier list, though to the game's lifespan he's still considered a top tier character. And while his hatedom died down significantly, some players still really hated him.
    • With his return in Ultimate, he would regain this reputation, if not more. While his more outrageous tools from Brawl were nerfed, and his down smash claymores completely removed, Snake still retains many of his key attributes that made him so dominant in Brawl. What makes him hated in competitive play is the sheer extremities of his entire kit, letting many players to call him the best character in the game. Apart from his tools from the previous game, Snake's Nikita Missile is infamous as one of the best projectiles in the game, buffed immensely from Brawl with a much faster, much stronger, and more controllable missile that can invalidate characters that cannot challenge or weave around it. His up tilt, while not as far-reaching, is still as dangerous thanks to how hard it hits, how active the move is, and how it can stuff any jumps coming in or getting out with pure ease. All this combined have once again created a character that both casual and competitive people loathe to fight.

    Super Smash Bros. 
  • Kirby is considered the second-best character in the game, and is notorious for his very fast and massively disjointed up tilt that shuts down most approaches, while easily comboing into itself and other moves. Not only that, he also has nasty range on several of his kick-based moves, and has one of the best horizontal air speeds in the game. Kirby is additionally perceived to be one of the game's "easiest" characters to play, which makes some players dislike him and those who play him even more. Like Pikachu, Kirby is also lightweight, so Kirby mains should take care against the likes of Fox or Captain Falcon.
  • While not S-Tier, Captain Falcon and Fox are the third- and fourth-best characters, respectively, in the 64 metagame. Both of them are fast on their feet and both have quite a bit of strength behind their attacks, giving them a slight advantage over Pikachu and Kirby (who both suffer from being lightweights) and a significant advantage over the other eight characters.

    Super Smash Bros. Melee 
  • Sheik was once the most disliked top tier in Melee. She has many of the fastest attacks in the game, amazing comboing capabilities, the game's most notoriously effective chain throw (which can even zero-death a few characters), one of the best projectiles in her Needles, and a ridiculously fast yet powerful forward air that slaps opponents away on a semi-spike trajectory, making her fantastic at edgeguarding and gimping nearly everyone's recovery in the game (and thus negating her informed poor KO power, one of the things that were supposed to hold her back). That's not even counting her trait that all speedster-type characters shared in Smash: having at least one attack that's their main-yet-very-powerful-kill move (her forward air and sweetspotted up smash) that can kill just as effectively as stronger characters with more moves. Sheik is also considered easier and less technical than other characters in the game, in a game whose competitive playerbase tends to pride itself on the game's technical difficulty, thus leaving players more sour on her. It was at its worst in early Melee, where Sheik was considered the best character for the first five years (and to such a degree there was once serious contemplation about banning her). As the greater potential of the more liked Fox and Falco were discovered to exceed Sheik, reactions towards her became less vitriolic, and the metagame has advanced towards other characters earning even better results than her, though she's still a bit disliked compared to the rest of the game's top and high tiers.
  • Jigglypuff. A bit after Brawl's release, with the advent of pro Puff players MaNg0 and later Hungrybox emerging to dominate Melee tournaments, Jigglypuff became the competitive community's most detested character. In short, Jigglypuff is the antithesis of what players like about Melee; being extremely floaty, relying on walling opponents out and camping rather than on aggressive flashy offense, not having many exciting combos while being the hardest character to combo itself, an amazing recovery that is difficult to edgeguard and gimp, making little use of the game's advanced techniques, having Rest to get a near-instant One-Hit KO on just about anyone, and being overall an even less technical character than the aforementioned Sheik. With MaNg0 dropping Puff for the space animals and Hungrybox continuing to exploit what players hated most about Puff on route to many national wins, Hungrybox would become the game's most disliked professional player in the early 2010s. The pinnacle of this would be the grand finals of Apex 2012's Melee tournament, where Hungrybox's Jigglypuff fought Armada's Peach/Young Link in a nearly hour-long set, with all their games almost or outright going to time as they carefully camped each other out, in a game whose fanbase vastly prefer fast offensive matches that end quickly. Needless to say, even though Hungrybox lost at the end, it was seen as a disaster by the Melee community. The outrage over Puff would cool down over a few years, as Hungrybox started winning a lot less tournaments as Fox ended up proving a rather hard counter to Puff, while there remained barely any notable Jigglypuff players outside Hungrybox, and while Hungrybox himself became one of the game's most charismatic and revered players. While player hatred towards Jigglypuff and its playerbase died down, they still vastly prefer the rest of the game's top/high tiers, and outrage against Puff still tends to flare up whenever Hungrybox wins a major tournament. However, with Hungrybox being Melee's number one player since 2017, anger towards Jigglypuff and Hungrybox has been building up to vicious new heights, to the point that one particularly disgruntled person threw a crab at Hungrybox after he won Pound 2019.

    Super Smash Bros. Brawl 
  • Right below Meta Knight and Ice Climbers, there was Olimar. He was an agonizingly difficult character to approach with his Pikmin and who could outcamp every character in the game bar Falco, with a broken grab that could shield grab nearly everything, and had very powerful-yet-quick moves to punish you harshly and get you back out when you finally do get in. And while he had a poor aerial game with a poor recovery, he could use his Pikmin Order for instant Super Armor to snuff attempts to exploit them. Olimar would become considered the third-best character under Meta Knight and the Ice Climbers, and for some players he was even more dreaded to fight than them.
  • While the hatred of Diddy Kong didn't approach the levels of the aforementioned characters, his broken bananas and the combos they granted gave him an extremely powerful camping and offensive game, that completely changed how players had to play the game. By the end of Brawl, he was considered the fourth-best character, and while he didn't get as much a hatedom as the above three, many players wouldn't root for him when he was fighting anyone else but them.
  • King Dedede is a weird example; he has a chain throw that can deal 20-30ish% damage every time at any percent with its set knockback that worked on about 2/3rds of the cast (and it could flat-out infinite a few characters under the right conditions), in conjunction with the second-best grab to make getting it really easy, and a back aerial that was strong and far-reaching enough to space with, while being fast enough to safely spam and keep people out. While there are additional reasons, these were the main reasons Dedede countered many mid- and lower-tier characters really hard while being one of the strongest choices against a few top/high tiers that these worked effectively on, such as Snake and Marth (and for a good amount of characters, he was their flat-out worst matchup, being worse than all the characters above). The players of these countered characters tended to really hate Dedede, some even hating him more than the characters above. However, against most of the top/high-tiers and some mid-tiers, where Dedede's chain throw didn't work and he was too slow/immobile to keep up with them, he would get countered hard himself (not to mention he takes over Melee Fox's position as the fastest faller and slowest horizontal aerial mover in the game). As such, Dedede was ultimately a borderline high tier character at best who didn't have that good tournament success after the first couple of years, but still managed to get a top-tier hatedom.
  • Toon Link, while generally considered one of Brawl's most boring high tiers for his players tending to be very campy, wasn't hated to a significant degree by the competitive community. However, many people who dislike Wind Waker and its Link were shocked to find out that Toon Link was actually high-tier while regular Link was considered one of the worst characters in Brawl, causing some of them to refuse to believe this to be true and others to suddenly become part of the "Tiers are for queers" movement. Many of those people, of course, get very angry when someone actually beats them using Toon Link, especially when they were using regular Link. In short: Toon Link was The Scrappy for those people anyway, but the fact that he's a high-tier character (and "proper" Link is not) made it even worse. The reason for the discrepancy is that Toon Link is a lot more agile and less sluggish than normal Link, especially in terms of his recovery; one of Link's weakest traits throughout the Smash series (especially in 64).

    Super Smash Bros. for Wii U/3DS 
  • Diddy Kong in version 1.0.4 (aka the initial version of Smash for Wii U) has been the second most notorious example of this (behind Bayonetta). When all the other perceived top tiers of the early 3DS days were nerfed, in conjunction with the significant nerfing of the new vectoring mechanic, Diddy managed to emerge as one of the best fighters in the game while also being one of the least technical, giving him a rather low learning curve. He had a highly effective combo throw that could easily lead to a chain of aerials at low damages, while leading to unavoidable KO followups at high damages (with down throw to up air being the most infamous, and becoming known as the "Hoo-Hah"). This is also on top of his moveset containing fast and hard-hitting moves with good reach (especially his forward and up smash), some of the best grabs in the game (in addition to a projectile in his banana peel that can setup grabs easily), and his up aerial being an incredibly fast move that could hit far below Diddy to all the way above him while being strong enough to easily KO at lowish damages without needing the aforementioned throw combo setup. While it was debatable if Diddy was actually the best character in that version, Complacent Gaming Syndrome set in hard as competitive and wannabe-competitive players swarmed to Diddy in droves, and tournaments ended up featuring many Diddy dittos, among players that barely utilized much outside his aforementioned "Hoo-Hah". Diddy would become widely despised by both the competitive and casual community — aside from his utter dominance of the metagame, his boring, repetitive playstyle, low learning curve, and goofy design and monkey noises made him an utterly despised character by players of all sorts. Fortunately for everyone, update 1.0.6 handed him a handful of well-deserved nerfs, and then patch 1.0.8 nerfed him even further for good measure, thus causing the bandwagoners to mostly abandon him; you'd better believe how many people were happy for that. It should be noted that Diddy did not drop to the low tiers after all that, with his remaining dedicated players showing there is more to Diddy than his "Hoo-Hah". Diddy ended up ranked in 3rd place on SmashBoards' fourth tier list and is generally regarded as a more fun and engaging character to play and watch than other top-tiers such as Bayonetta and Cloud, although he occasionally goes through bouts of Hype Backlash when his best player ZeRo has a winning streak — a grim reminder to some of Diddy's "dark days". As one Reddit commenter put it:
  • Cloud got hit with this just days after his release, and soon blossomed to "Scrappyhood" in top-level play from thereon. He's very fast and mobile, decently durable, and has some of the most powerful and safest attacks in the game (most of his aerials could be auto-cancelled to near-spammable levels), which was complimented with his extremely versatile Limit Break special. Limit Break could be cancelled at ANY time into almost everything in Cloud's arsenal, and at full Limit charge, his mobility is increased further and his special attacks KO opponents earlier than many heavyweights while retaining safety, especially LB Cross Slash. Finishing Touch could net Cloud KOs at moderately low percents if it connected, as well. While Cloud's uncharged recovery is his greatest weakness, it isn't nearly as exploitable as Little Mac's, and soon was overshadowed by his numerous benefits thanks to his great aerial mobility and discovered techs to help him get back onstage or to the ledge. Cloud is highly regarded as one of the hardest characters to counterpick, since his overtuned kit practically overshadowed his recovery issues, leading many to hate him simply because he was the most likely character to be their character's "worst matchup." Couple that with the fact that Cloud is one of the most popular and hype-worthy newcomers in the series, and you get one of the most severe cases of Complacent Gaming Syndrome the game has seen. He also had a reputation for being played by Scrubs, not only because of his sheer popularity, but also because Cloud is universally regarded as the easiest top tier to play in the game while being one of the most rewarding characters in the game. Ironically enough, Cloud is one of the few characters to be considered a Scrappy not only in Singles, but in Doubles as well. Cloud is the best character in Doubles by a landslide, thanks to "throw enemy into Finishing Touch" combos which sealed stocks fast and his aforementioned assets in his design, which ultimately stagnated the meta with (insert character here)/Cloud dittos, to the point where people's already-high viewpoints of Smash 4 Doubles was tarnished. Patch 1.1.5 rolled in and seemed to fix the Doubles problem, severely nerfing his aerial Finishing Touch, as well as a lot of his overtuned normals, such as his up aerial, to help out in Singles. However, many people were quick to discover that the patch helped him more, since his worst match-ups with Sheik and ZSS were eased up with their significant nerfs, and the nerf to his Finishing Touch had minimal effect on his presence in Doubles, remaining as the best character in the format. Cloud is sometimes considered a top 3 character (if not THE best character in the game) thanks to his hard-to-counter design, but some counterplay has been developed; nonetheless, he is often lumped together with Bayonetta as the metagame-defining "DLC duo" of characters whose matchups at least partly decide the viability of the rest of the tier list.
  • Sheik (specifically patch 1.1.4 and below) had grown into this over time. Firstly came the widely-accepted notion that Sheik was the best character in the game by an astronomic amount, with and without custom moves, thanks to how near-perfect in use her moves were. Sheik's normals had a combination of speed and range that were unpunishable, and the knockback allowed her to effortlessly combo others (forward air). Her biggest gripe was her Needles and 50/50note  with down throw. The former were one of the best projectiles in the game because they flat-out invalidated entire characters by zoning with them, encouraging an extremely zone/camp heavy playstyle. Tthe latter had the aforementioned 50/50 at high %s; if you didn't airdodge, you risk getting hit by her up air and getting KO'd. If you airdodged, you risked getting hit by Vanish, which would also KO you, making it a consistent KO option. Her Vanish alsomade her nigh-impossible to KO when she's recovering, and her Bouncing Fish made it easy to KO other characters, while she comboed them with extreme ease safely as well as giving her another recovery move. This gave little risk and very high reward to a character that excelled in every aspect, and Sheik was argued to have no disadvantageous matchups, like Brawl Meta Knight. Secondly came from her performances in national tournaments. Sheik was a very common sight at the top of tournaments, with some Grand Finals being Sheik dittos. This caused Complacent Gaming Syndrome to occur in an immense fashion, which only fueled the anger towards seeing Sheik, made even worse because the issue accelerated. Combine all these aspects and it is easy to see why Sheik was a disliked top tier character, similarly to Brawl Meta Knight and pre-patch Diddy. Despite this, some argued that Sheik's case wasn't quite as bad as Diddy's was due to her very steep learning curve, although, as stated above, her own Complacent Gaming Syndrome grew substantially. However, in an ironic twist, her received hatred started to diminish (albeit slightly) because other tier-induced scrappies started appearing alongside her. Finally, her hatred nosedived after the very things that invalidated characters and frustrated players were either removed or significantly adjusted in patch 1.1.5, putting some more well-needed risk to her reward, ultimately causing many competitive players to believe she is no longer the best character in the game and no longer the face of the meta.
  • Rosalina and Luma have always been considered one of the best characters in the game and very difficult to deal with for much of the cast due to their Puppet Fighter mechanic, while also being widely considered to be one of the most "boring" and broken characters to watch, thanks to Luma's attacks and abilities. The best and most prolific Rosalina player, Dabuz, was perhaps the most disliked professional Smash 4 player among spectators due to his character and highly defensive playstyle. This dislike for the character escalated when players started to realize how powerful Luma really was in the hands of a skilled player, having attacks with such immense knockback that it can KO other characters at very low percentages, leading many to consider Luma the problematic character rather than Rosalina. Their case has never been as bad as pre-patch Diddy, mainly due to her high learning curve leading to few actual Rosalina players. Also, Rosalina and Luma actually have little national success, as her worst match ups are with characters that are highly prominent in competitive play as well as the metagame's adaptation to her playstyle and tricks. Despite these points and the frequent nerfs to Luma's HP, Rosalina and Luma still remains disliked for their highly defensive play and potentially potent offense thanks to Luma. She's especially infamous among Ness mains, as she can effortlessly invalidate his recovery and send Ness to his death.
  • Sonic is up there amongst the most disliked characters in the game among the general competitive playerbase. Sonic's ground mobility is unmatched and ridiculously superior to everyone else's, which allows him to literally run circles around much of the cast and easily time out opponents when he has the lead by just running away (which a lot of Sonic players have notoriously abused). Unlike his Brawl counterpart, however, Smash 4 Sonic is no slouch on offense, being able to rushdown easily with said incredible mobility, and possessing many highly-damaging combos, along with many powerful finishers (including one of the game's best kill throws, on a character who can get grabs really easily). He's also one of the most difficult characters to KO in the game; nevermind the sheer difficulty of just hitting him, he has a fairly decent weight, and like Sheik, has a very versatile recovery with invincible recovery moves that makes it extremely difficult to edgeguard him. So the result is a top-tier that's incredibly frustrating for many players to fight and watch, and who routinely places well in tournaments. Sonic has been getting slightly nerfed in each patch, though not enough to reverse this perception; he's routinely placed in the top five best characters on tier lists, even after being nerfed.
  • Initially, Luigi was one of the game's most well-liked top/high tiers, when he unexpectedly emerged as a really potent threat after the first balance patch/initial version of Smash U. It especially helped that his most high-profiled players tended to be flashy, and it turned out Luigi was a potential counter to the much-despised Diddy Kong when multiple high-profile cases of a Luigi defeating a noteworthy Diddy Kong player in a tournament happened. However, after Diddy's nerf, Luigi mostly took up the mantle of "high tier character with easy and extremely effective throw combos", leading to many of the fair-weather players that abandoned Diddy post-nerf moving on to him. With the influx of Luigi players, abusing his throw combos that are even more effective than pre-patch Diddy's, and one of the game's safest and best projectiles, Luigi picked up the ire of players and became as complained about as the aforementioned top tiers. Unlike pre-patch Diddy, though, the rest of Luigi's moveset outside his throw combos isn't as great due to nerfs from his Melee incarnation, and he has poor mobility that can be easily exploited, since in the history of other Smash games he has his awkwardly low traction to the ground and floaty jump physics (and since wavedashing has been removed since Brawl, much of Luigi's movement is very difficult to manage nowadays). This, alongside some solidly losing matchups, has been leading to the best Luigi players under-performing at national tournaments despite being a dominant force at local and regional tournaments. This point was further emphasized in later game updates, which not only increased the ending lag on his Fireballs, but also reworked his down throw to not be as effective on KO confirms (instead trading it for high-damage combos at low damage), causing many that quickly picked up Luigi to drop him and only the most loyal of players to continue playing him, such as Elegant and Mr. ConCon, eventually brought him back to the initial competitive view he had in the beginning of Smash 4's metagame.
  • Captain Falcon is one of these, albeit of the Skill Gate Character variety. At lower levels of play (especially For Glory), Falcon is infamous for being very easy to pick up and play somewhat effectively, with great mobility and hard-hitting attacks that can combo quite easily. Many casual or lower-level players therefore dismiss the Captain as a "spam character" or "noob character"; however, at higher levels, Captain Falcon is much more susceptible to the Difficult, but Awesome characters that make up the upper portion of the tier list, and while still effective, he rests in the upper-mid tier.
  • In custom moves-legal tournaments, Villager becomes unarguably the most hated character in the game. To whit, in customs, Villager gets Timber Counter, which in its sapling stage trips opponents who move into its vicinity while lasting a long time and having no way for the opponent to get rid of it (thus giving Villager an extremely powerful stage controller), and Extreme Balloon Trip, which makes Villager's already extremely safe recovery even more difficult to edgeguard (as the Balloons explode when contacted with, essentially forming a wall above Villager during recovery). The biggest sticking point though, as these two moves can be combined together to give Villager the ability to safely plank, one of the most detested techniques in prior games that was otherwise eliminated in Smash 4. By planting a slip sapling near the ledge, the opponent won't be able to stand near the ledge to punish Villager off it, and then the exploding balloons protect Villager from being hit above despite his lack of ledge invincibility. While Villager remains safe on the ledge, he can additionally chip away at the opponent with his slingshot and Lloyd Rockets, pocketing any projectiles the opponent throws out at him, and the opponent is disrupted farther by the exploding balloons being able to glitch through the stage and hit them without even being above Villager. The result is Villager being able to time out opponents with appalling ease once he has the damage lead in a very aggravating manner, that's additionally extremely boring for spectators. While shockingly effective against players unfamiliar with it, this tactic isn't as good as advertised, with it having many counters and having general work-arounds by players who are familiar with it. As such, no Villager has won a major custom-legal tournament nor even got a money placing. This fact, however, does little to placate players who despise custom Villager, and is one of the biggest reasons that many players turned against legalizing custom moves in tournaments (it's also not helped that none of the patches have yet to address it after its discovery, adding more fuel to the anti-customs claim that custom moves aren't balanced for).
  • In a rare doubles example, Mr. Game and Watch, while well-respected in singles, was almost universally despised by players and fans alike. Two words describe the reasoning why: Oil Panic. Between Brawl and Wii U/3DS, his Down-B special received two critical buffs: it now can absorb explosions and its knockback increases relative to the knockback of the projectile absorbed. The end result was an arguable Game-Breaker that, in tandem with partners that could feed Game and Watch the projectiles necessary to fill the bucket, could break shields instantly and KO opponents at 0%. Many instances of Game and Watch teams resulted in 2/3 stock matches ending in under a minute and even 30 seconds, leaving players infuriated and fans frustrated because of how anti-climactic these clashes were in a meta that had started to pick up in action. As a result, Game and Watch was either soft-banned or banned (whether altogether or with a specific partner) in Doubles and left to become one of the most infuriating characters in the competitive meta, almost on par with Customs Villager. Fortunately, Oil Panic's power in Doubles has since been significantly reduced as of patch 1.1.3, which has ultimately removed him from the Scrappy status.

    Super Smash Bros. Ultimate 
The game's meta will take a long time to form, due to the number of characters that are playable in the game, and the fact that not every DLC character has been announced. But there are a few characters that people have been keeping their eye on, for better and for worse.
  • The Inklings are quick fighters that have good air mobility and have moves that are both safe and can combo, already making them formidable fighters. But they also have a few things that put them up as one of the game's best characters (if not the best character). First is their ink mechanic, where they can ink their opponents to make them take more damage from attacks (the max being a 1.5x multiplier). Since they have several moves that can ink people, they can easily ink someone and then combo them to deal more than 50% damage. Second thing is that their dash makes them swim in the ink, which reduces their hitbox by quite a bit, making them avoid any mid-to-high profile attacks, and their dash dance makes their movement hard to follow, making them unpredictable in the ground. They also have an incredibly safe recovery which has a hitbox both on the start of the move and at the end. The last thing is their side special burrows people, giving them an easy kill and mitigating their otherwise below-average killing power. It also leaves a trail of ink that slows down opponents who step on it, giving them some stage control. They do eventually run out of ink, but they can simply run away with their fast speed and find a place to refill ink. They also have issues with range, so they have trouble against sword wielders. The 2.0.0 patch also nerfed Inkling's Side Special in that it has a weaker bury effect at lower percents, but can bury longer at high %s compared to the prior version. Even though they have slightly fallen off from launch, they are expected to be a huge part of the game's future metagame.
  • Peach has been noted by many pros as having a very strong game out of the gate, and has only gone higher ever since. While she was always placed relatively well on previous games' tier lists, her buffs are seeing the princess get called a "monster" in Ultimate. Her aerial attacks combined with her ability to float down slowly with her parasol make her reign supreme in the air, along with amazing edgeguarding techniques, buffs to her turnip throws and counters with Toad that make it extremely daunting to recover back against her. Her combo ability is some of the game's best, and she's got several kill moves that she can exploit. Peach getting upsets in early Ultimate tournaments over the likes of ZeRo only further increased her reputation. However, unlike much of the prior high-tier scrappy contenders, Peach also doubles as a very high-skill based character by the community, since the amount of precise inputs and timings needed to push Peach to her "monster" limits makes her one of the most technical characters to play as, made even more difficult with the increased speed of Ultimate's engine. Nevertheless, whether regarded as a high-skill character or a top-tier scrappy, Peach is feared and renowned as one of the game's best, if not the best, even with the decreases to the knockback on her forward air and back throw, easily two of her best K.O. moves prior to the 3.1.0 patch.
    • By virtue of largely playing functionally identically to her, all of what has been said for Peach applies to Daisy as well (most tier lists have her right next to Peach). That being said though, Peach is much more infamous for this trope than her; before update 3.0.0, players discovered that Daisy's turnips deal more base knockback with less knockback scaling, hampering both her low-percent combo game and high-percent kill power in comparison to Peach, as well as having a slightly wider hitbox with more expressive animations that make her slightly more vulnerable. However, the difference between Peach and Daisy's turnips was removed in the aforementioned update 3.0.0, putting Daisy on much more equal ground with Peach.
  • Pichu was a total joke in Melee, but Pichu wound up getting major buffs in Ultimate which turned it from a Fragile Speedster into a shining example of a Glass Cannon gone horribly right; its forward tilt, in particular, is seen as a really good edgeguarding tool that can be spammed for the cost of a little self-damage. The fact it has strong kill options on a character that can combo any character with safe moves makes it really deadly at high-level play. Its weaknesses remain mostly intact, and the recoil damage is lessened from Melee, but it is still enough to help it get out of kill confirm percents, like Luigi's zero to death combo out of grab, and the rage mechanic makes it slowly boost its killing power every time it hurts itself. To top it all off, it has its own zero to death, combining its back air and up air in an inescapable combo. VoiD even managed to place first in one of the game's early major tournaments with Pichu alone. Over the next few months, people began to hate Pichu more and more for embodying and exaggerating all of the worst traits of most of the top-tiers: it's a fast, mobile, small-hurtbox aggressive rushdown character with an all-or-nothing dynamic who either dominates the match or gets KOed after one mistake. While the Ultimate meta is still young, it has become extremely clear that Pichu is here to stay. While people may rightfully hate it, they're stuck dealing with Pichu, and need to know how to handle themselves against it. With the release of the 3.1.0 patch, which significantly increased Pichu's hurtbox size, weakened its forward tilt, and greatly augmented the self-damage it takes (especially on the aforementioned forward tilt), despite its high kill power and combo potential, the playerbase has deemed that Pichu's increased frailty is not worth the risk. Ever since that patch, Pichu has fallen significantly and been supplanted by Pikachu, since its advantages compared to Pikachu have been nullified (in its hitbox) or made too risky to be worth it (its higher damage at the cost of self-damage).
  • Olimar once again rose to greatness and infamy in the early Ultimate competitive scene after falling off a bit in Smash 4, regaining his insane pressure and neutral abilities on-stage he infamously possessed in Brawl. In fact, his Ultimate incarnation has often been cited as his best yet, in no part thanks to his very admirable juggling game, ability to spam Pikmin Order even faster and abuse its super armor more often, and, of course, his incredible zoning abilities with his much quicker and much deadlier Pikmin smash attacks. In particular, his up smash was buffed tremendously into one of his best neutral options, with Pikmin flipping for much wider coverage, giving it the ability to combo into itself and other moves at lower percents and secure stocks easily at higher percents, all while being extremely safe on shield. Dabuz, Myran, and Shuton secured high-profile placings at Frostbite and Genesis using him, with many detractors often bemoaning the character and perceiving his play style as very campy, obnoxious, and grating to watch. Olimar might have fallen from grace in the recent 3.1.0 patch, however, which made his up smash and forward smash more punishable, made his hurtbox larger, and most significantly, gutted his recovery when used multiple times, making repeated edgeguarding a major weakness for him.
  • After his two first good but only decent appearances, R.O.B. has quickly risen to prominence for Ultimate. One of the most iconic zoning characters since Brawl, this game gave R.O.B. a few noteworthy buffs that strengthened him significantly, further cementing him as the Jack-of-All-Stats between his zoning brethern. R.O.B. possesses one of the more useful zoning kits in the game courtesy of his Robo Beam and Gyro, and has set-ups into some of his moves thanks to the latter move's property of being an item. His up-close game, while still a bit slow, was given much more utility, with quality of life changes such as higher power or better range, plus its combo ability from 3DS/Wii U remains not only relatively intact, but arguably improved. And that's without mentioning his Arm Rotor; previously one of his more useless moves due to its difficulty in connecting all hits, it was given better hitboxes and better linking angles so that every hit now connects into the final one, turning it into a devastating finishe, both when off-stage or near the edge (and on top of that, the move is still a reflector). Lastly, R.O.B. is heavy and has a great recovery compared to others in his weight class like Simon. Clashing all of this, and the changes to the game's engine, has allowed R.O.B. to break out of his Stone Wall status and has turned him into more of a Mighty Glacier. He does have his weaknesses, though, such as a susceptibility to combos, juggling and general pressure due to his slow moveset, high weight, and large size, and his up-close game remaining slow. Nevertheless, R.O.B. has amassed quite strong results compared to his other two appearances (Most notably winning The Big House 9), and is agreed by most people to be a grueling character to fight against, both casually and competitively.
  • Multiple swordfighters have been disliked due to the range, power, and speed their attacks have, with the Fire Emblem Echo Fighter duo gaining as much infamy as many other swordfighters have in other games due to their design aspects.
    • Since launch, Roy's Echo Fighter, Chrom, is considered to be one of the best swordfighters in the game (and at some point even the best). His recovery is highly exploitable, but this is mitigated when said recovery move lets him take his opponent with him for even trying to edgeguard him. He can even combo his aerial attacks into this move to suicide kill his opponent at basically any percent; this combo is nicknamed the "Chrombo". He fell off a few months after release due to the 2.0.0 patch making his suicide kill weaker, and players being more able to exploit his recovery. However, even without his Taking You with Me attack, he can still do his combo and rack up severe damage; this along with his sheer pressure makes him one of the most difficult characters to get off of. However, Chrom's viability compared to Roy is a huge topic of debate, with some players claiming Chrom is better due to his overall safer attacks, his consistency over Roy's raw damage capabilities, and his easier learning curve.
    • Lucina doesn't have the raw power her father has, but she instead has a quick recovery that's very hard to intercept, giving her amazing edge guarding abilities while also having a great neutral. She also has the very potent Shield Breaker, which is much more dangerous than in previous games due to how dodging is risky in this game, meaning that her opponent has to be very patient if they want to approach her. It doesn't help that her combos and strings are simple and that, unlike Marth, she doesn't have his strong tippers in exchange for being easier to play, making her Boring, but Practical. Complacent Gaming Syndrome is a huge part of why she is so widely disliked: she really doesn't have anything to offer other than "Attack! Attack! Attack!", and has what is probably the single most linear playstyle of any character, but she is just so overwhelmingly effective at what she does that it doesn't matter. However, pro players such as Mew2King and MKLeo believe that Lucina is given too much credit, as thanks to her Boring, but Practical playstyle, any competent player can easily adapt to her, so if you've seen one, you've probably seen them all.
  • Wolf started to get this reputation when Leffen won a tournament with him. Like his fellow Star Fox characters since the beginnning of the game's lifespan, Wolf has recently become one of the most prevalent characters to fight against both in tournament and online due to being speedy, powerful, and having excellent frame data and very safe neutral options in comparison to most of the roster. He can harass players at a distance with his blaster, which has very little startup and decent firing speed, shoots large projectiles, has a hitbox on the bayonet of the pistol when he thrusts it forward, and induces longer hitstun than Falco's blaster, making it an excellent poking tool. His aerials and tilts are all quick, safe, and very deadly, which also gives him a dangerous combo game, whereas his smash attacks are far-reaching and VERY potent KO moves. His most glaring weakness, his short recovery distance, is mitigated by its sheer speed and high priority on the hitboxes of his recovery moves, making intercepting him offstage very difficult and dangerous. Many top players have notably picked up Wolf as a main or a pocket, including Smash 4's top player ZeRo. However, general consensus is that, while simple to play compared to other top- and high-tier characters, Wolf is more of a gatekeeping top- or high-tier character, and not outright considered one of the absolute best characters in the game due to how exploitable his disadvantage state can be.
  • After a very lackluster showing in 3DS/Wii U, Wario would rise to this position in Ultimate. For starters, his dash attack was changed to be an incredibly fast and powerful kill move that can be done out of a down tilt, and his combo game was buffed into something truly frightening, having great combo starters in up tilt and neutral aerial while also being able to put on massive amounts of damage through one string of moves, especially with his neutral aerial being buffed to remove the frame gap from the previous game. What separates Wario from most of the others on this list, though, is his insane comeback factor. Wario's Waft now has a multitude of kill confirms while still retaining its massive power, being able to kill as early as 50% off either his up tilt or neutral aerial, and that's without getting into the even stronger half-charged Waft. Combined with other factors such as his superb air mobility, a great recovery, and even a command grab that heals, Wario is a force to be reckoned with in the competitive scene, with players such as Glutonny, Tweek, and Zackray (albeit as a secondary for his Wolf) managing to secure high-placing finishes with the character, with Glutonny in particular managing to get 3rd at EVO 2019.
  • Joker has made a strong claim since his debut to be the best character in the entire game. His excellent mobility, freeform combo structure, ability to edgeguard effectively, and easy switching between mid-ranged zoning and rushdown tactics contribute a lot to his top-tier placing. But what makes Joker such a monster to fight against is the presence of his Persona, Arsene. Ordinarily, Joker lacks a reliable kill move and has a rather easy-to-gimp recovery with his grappling hook. However, when Joker summons Arsene, whatever weaknesses Joker has suddenly vanish. Arsene drastically improves all of Joker's attacks for a short period of time — his Gun Special bursts boast a lot more stopping power, Eigaon lingers upon landing to serve as a trap, Tetrakarn and Makarakarn combined result in the strongest counter and reflector in the entire game, and his Wings of Rebellion recovery move makes Joker invincible with only a very small window to punish him. While the character himself tends to be considered Difficult, but Awesome due to his high skill ceiling, and Arsene is decried as a crutch for Joker to rely on, players like MKLeo have pushed the limits on what the Phantom Thief can do, often winning matches without overly relying on Arsene's presence, even taking the World Championship at EVO 2019 with him. All of this makes Joker a true force of nature in the eyes of the Smash fanbase, feared yet respected all at once. While he does have his fair share of struggling match-ups and his high tier status is not banworthy enough - making him more akin to Melee Fox than Brawl Meta Knight or Smash 4 Bayonetta, all of his insanely solid strengths have only served to make his "best character" claims hard to challenge.
    • Joker was very good to begin with, but in Team Battle paired with Pokemon Trainer makes him more terrifying. In Team Battle, if any of Joker's teammates get hit his Rebellion Gauge goes up but if Pokemon Trainer uses his/her down special to switch Pokemon at 100 percent, Joker's Rebellion Gauge gets filled by half which means in certain situations can get Arsene right out of the bat and proceeds to rip opponents apart. This synergy was so immensely powerful that it ended up immediately banned starting with Glitch 7.
  • Despite initially being believed to be worse off compared to Smash 4, Mr. Game & Watch has fallen into this territory in Ultimate. What earns him the ire of many competitive players includes a small hitbox, which makes him incredibly difficult to catch, insane damage racking capabilities thanks to having useful juggling tools in his neutral and up aerials, and powerful smash attacks that have great utility (notably his down smash, which functions as a kill confirm with its bury, a strong vertical KO move on its clean hitbox, and the sourspot even functions as a decently strong semispike, which is useful against characters that have weak horizontal recoveries). However, the most hated part about him is his up special: Fire. To wit, not only does it come out lightning-fast on frame 3, making it a useful out of shield option, it also possesses a hitbox, provides invincibility during Mr. Game & Watch's ascent, functions as an excellent combo starter, and to top it all off, Mr. Game & Watch is still capable of using aerials once the parachute deploys, allowing him to have an easier time landing compared to most of the cast. While he does have some weaknesses (namely the unusual properties of some of his moves) along with his playerbase being somewhat small compared to the other juggernauts of Ultimate listed above, players like Extra and Maister have proven that the two-dimensional terror is not a character that should be slept on in bracket, given the latter's above-average results in the Fall 2019 PGR, which includes a strong 3rd place finish at The Big House 9.

Low Tier

  • Link in every game up until Smash 4 was hit with this. He had consistently had a poor or outright terrible recovery, with very sluggish mobility and moves, while his projectiles were among the least effective and his power output wasn't that great for how slow a character he is. The result is a Mighty Glacier who wasn't that mighty, and thus fared terribly in competitive play. It also doesn't help that he has not one but two younger, faster counterparts in the series who are considerably better than him (Young Link in Melee, Toon Link in Brawl and 4, Young Link in Ultimate), and that he tends to attract many less experienced players who tend to be overly vocal about their disbelief in tiers, leading to more competitive players to look down upon him in backlash to such players. In the fourth game, he got some much-needed buffs; although they weren't quite enough to offset his mobility issues and lacking frame data, they were enough that he remained on the middle of the viability spectrum.
    • However, the buffs he received in 4 worked a little too well on For Glory mode; Link along with his Toon counterpart tended to be a face for the stereotypical For Glory players due to most of them spamming his projectiles non-stop. The lag depending on the connection of some matches tended to drive the issue up further, since it makes it harder to go around them and as a result, players often fall to racking up too much damage and then getting exposed to Link's very nasty kill moves.
    • With the release of Ultimate, however, he seems to have averted this, as he was given a quicker non-tether grab and his base moves and projectiles received many buffs, with his bomb special being completely reworked to the remote variant seen in Breath of the Wild, gaining tons of knockback and damage, stage control utility, combo potential and, with enough practice, even bolstering his lackluster recovery by detonating it on himself, sending him back towards the stage. This combined with even better frame data and knockback growth on his moves puts him in a much better position, and his viability and use has since skyrocketed. While some may argue that the returning Young Link still outshines him with quicker moves and flashier combos, Link is generally considered at the very least upper-mid tier by much of the community.
  • Samus in every game except Melee and Ultimate. Like Link, she's a beloved and badass Nintendo icon. However, in most of her appearances, she has to deal with a lackluster melee game in order to encourage use of her (very limited array of) projectiles, which aren't anything to write home about themselves. Also thanks to her floaty nature and weak moves on base knockback, this gives her very limited combo game and some of the worst KOing ability in the series as well as having some moves of hers being easy to punish due to said floatiness. To add insult to injury, Zero Suit Samus (her canonically weaker unarmored fanservice-y form) has been a much more effective character than regular Samus since her debut.
    • Samus' Smash 4 incarnation is a mixed bag in regards to this trope. She was considered by some to be one of the worst characters in the game, but she has been buffed from her lackluster Brawl version and has had a couple of noteworthy tournament successes, with her players continuing to find new tricks to use with her similar to Melee Mewtwo (such as her Charge Shot combos, her combo game in general, and the various uses of her bombs and projectiles). However, the problem remains that Samus is generally considered a low-tier character, in contrast to her Zero Suit form being one of the absolute best characters in the game; similar to Shulk, players view her as a difficult-to-learn character with potential once mastered, but not nearly as much potential as similarly difficult high-tier characters such as Ryu. For the extra salt rubbing, Samus' jab fails to connect both its hits properly, which was seemingly an intentional design flaw, as an in-game tip states it happens and you should "run away" after connecting the first hit instead of following through with the second like any sensible player would (additionally, every other unreliable jab has been getting fixed through these patches, except Samus'). The backlash against Smash 4Samus was additionally ignited by the game's director, Sakurai, infamously stating Samus was the best character in the game at the Super Smash Bros. Invitational in response to none of the participants picking her, which fans now use to mock Samus farther when it turned out she was very far away from being the best character (though to be fair to Sakurai, the players were using a beta build for the game at the Invitational, and Samus was better in that version according to the players who played it). This sentiment almost immediately disappeared after patch 1.1.5, in which Samus was one of the biggest beneficiaries of buffs. Buffs such as improving her mobility in the air and making her previously unreliable dash attack into an extremely effective combo starter, as well as damage increases on moves and tweaking others for better improvements to her arsenal, increased her viability by a massive margin. Not soon after, Samus' started to make top finishes a lot more frequently within the first weeks after the patch. She is currently regarded as low to mid tier, but it seems that her "Scrappy" status competitively has faded away thanks to the well-needed adjustments. Hilariously, many fans speculated during the pre-release period for Ultimate that Samus would be this once again, with some people even calling her the potential worst character in the game (largely mocking her lack of overhauls compared to Link to the point of retaining her awful jab from Smash 4), but the game's release proved them wrong as she settled into being a viable mid-tier.
  • Zelda is considered bottom tier across almost all the Smash games she's been in for having poor mobility, weak tilts, hit or miss aerials, extremely bad specials (Din's Fire being considered a joke by most competitive players because of how ridiculously easy it is to dodge/shield and how it has a short time before it actually can hit), and a bad grab with terrible or otherwise underwhelming throws. A common joke about Zelda is, prior to the release of Smash 4, that her best attack is her down specialnote . Not helping matters is the fact Smash 4 got rid of her ability to transform into Sheik, which has solidified her status as a Memetic Loser and Butt-Monkey with the fandom. While her Ultimate incarnation has seen much love thanks to much needed buffs and changes in her moves, the consensus would be that she's a genuine nuisance online but has failed to make much impact on the competitive metagame outside of decently powerful regional results.
  • Mewtwo got a lot of hate for being such an awful character in Melee, to the point where some players reportedly signed a petition to keep it out of Brawl (and ironically when Mewtwo didn't come back in Brawl, casual and competitive players alike loudly mourned its removal). And then while the fandom rejoiced when it came back in Smash 4, it was hit with this again despite its fairly significant buffs, as most players still find it underwhelming and too awkward to play, while its infamously low weight in Melee has been inexplicably made even lighter, now being lighter than everyone except Jigglypuff (in a game where, due to the rage mechanic and generally easier recoveries, heavier weight to survive hits longer is more advantageous than ever). In fact, Mewtwo was initially nerfed from Melee in many ways, resulting in what could have been one of the worst characters in the game
    • Hate for Mewtwo in Melee later cooled off significantly, however. Despite its bottom-tier position for a long time, its dedicated playerbase (which includes the renowned Mew2King) found that Mewtwo was actually more effective than many thought it to be, with its highly effective, practically ungimpable recovery, and the fact that all it needs to kill is a simple throw. It's still not a competitive threat, but at least it has been experiencing relatively more respect than previously. He still experiences a significant amount of hate from uninformed players, though, who may never live it down.
    • Over time in Smash 4, however, Mewtwo's viability skyrocketed with multiple patches addressing its "more glass than cannon" attributes and its dysfunctional hitboxes. After the 1.1.3 and 1.1.5 patches, Mewtwo now has very functional and powerful aerials, the 5th fastest running speed in the game, and a slight weight increase that now makes it a very dangerous glass cannon that can seal stocks fast with its high range and high damage output, completely wiping out its low-tier scrappy and putting Mewtwo in top tier.
    • In Ultimate, Mewtwo didn't fare quite as well, but at least fares better than its Melee incarnation. Its most notable and oft-mocked flaw is that its tail hurtbox size has been increased, making it much easier to hit despite its mobility. Additionally, its neutral game was toned down directly, and its air dodge, previously one of its biggest advantages, suffered significantly from the universal changes in Ultimate. As a result, there has been significant debate on its viability, though consensus is that it resides in mid or low tier, with its standing having been helped by the multitude of buffs it received through patches.
  • Bowser has been the series' staple lumbering ineffectual Mighty Glacier since Melee and treated/mocked as such:
    • While he had extreme power in Melee, he was so agonizingly slow and pure combo bait, in a game all about speed and combos; the result being a character considered one of the worst characters in the game since its release.
    • Brawl improved Bowser, by giving him significantly greater mobility and faster attacks with greater reach in exchange for slightly less power, as well as the game's different playstyle being more favorable for Bowser, but after the first year of the game's life, he plummeted through the tier lists to being right above the percieved bottom tier, for many of the same reasons as in Melee, as well as his extreme vulnerability to the game's many powerful chain throws.
    • Smash 4 Bowser has been dipping in and out of this trope, but has fared much better overall. Bowser has been made even faster than his Brawl self while having even more power than his Melee self, with a significantly buffed recovery, and a bunch of new more effective attacks, on top of the newly added rage mechanic significantly benefiting hard-hitting characters that can live a long time, and the complete elimination of chain throws. At first it worked, with many players thinking Bowser had the potential to be the best character in the game after seeing extensive demo footage (most notably with the pre-release SDCC Smash 3DS tournament having a Bowser ditto for grand finals), and Bowser considered high, if not top, tier shortly after the game's release by the general playerbase. Then the first balance patch came that significantly nerfed the new vectoring mechanic, which in turn provided a significant indirect nerf to Bowser. Then the general playerbase has been getting better, and able to exploit Bowser's same old weaknesses like before. As a result, Bowser's reputation began plummeting much like in Brawl, although lower-level players still enjoyed his new and improved moveset. Some time later, the 1.1.3 update gave Bowser a massive buff by turning his up throw into a reliable combo throw (1.1.4 altered it further by increasing its knockback, which set up into certain aerials earlier than before, but also made it harder to kill off of his up air), allowing him to chain together his insanely hard-hitting moves off of it, possibly saving him from this trope for good much like Link.
    • Ultimate Bowser, despite his up throw being nerfed, is buffed even further, now attaining heavy armor at the start of his tilts and smash attacks, is considerably even faster and stronger than he was in 4, has less landing lag on various moves, and, due to his increased weight and fall speed, is significantly less susceptible to combos or juggles, which, combined with a solid playerbase and very respectable results (including a 9th place finish at Smash 'n' Splash 5 courtesy of LeoN), has confirmed that Bowser has finally moved on from his low-tier rut.
  • Following in his father's footsteps is Bowser Jr.:
    • With his introduction in Smash 4, while he had some decent attributes, like solid smash attacks and aerials (especially his up air), a good burst movement option and recovery move with his side-b Clown Kart Dash, his Mechakoopas make for a decent stage control option or projectile, and one of the best jabs due to its rapid fire finisher being a kill move, he's severely held back by his glaring weaknesses. His Clown Cannon is the worst charge shot in the game as it can't be stored for later, can only have one on screen at a time, and the shot is slow, predictable, and punishable. His Mechakoopa has a long start up time and can be used back at him. His recovery is a powerful KO move when the hammer hits, but he can easily get gimped off stage if interrupted with because he can't use it again until he lands or grabs a ledge. Lastly, his throws are very poor in that they have no inherent combo or KO potential. His best results in competitive play, such as a top 32 placement at EVO 2015, came only because of being Tweek's main at the time, who would later drop him for Cloud and rise to become a top 10 player in 4 and never look back, leaving Bowser Jr. to languish among the bottom tiers as a result.
    • In Ultimate even though many moves of his did get buffed, it wasn't enough in comparison to the other characters. For instance, he's now able to have two cannonballs in play at once and they deal far more shield damage, but wasn't enough on its own to fix its predictability problems, and his recovery can now respawn after some time so he at least has a chance at recovery, but is still highly vulnerable to gimps. And what few nerfs he got were extremely noticeable and glaring, his Mechakoopas now deactivate when it hits a shielded opponent, he can't airdodge out of Clown Kart Dash anymore making him more vulnerable off stage, his neutral attack/jab does less damage, and his forward tilt has been given a sourspot. The end result is being perceived as even worse than his already bad 4 iteration and being among the absolute worst characters in the game. He got some substantial buffs in patch 3.1.0, but they weren't enough to significantly improve his standing.

    Super Smash Bros 
  • Luigi is the absolute worst character of the game. To be fair to him, his combo ability is varied and versatile, and his most devastating finisher, the Super Jump Punch, can confirm into any of these combos. He also has a long distanced recovery. However, his weaknesses are extremely overwhelming and overshadow his strengths to such point: he has the unfortunate combination of very slow mobility and low range on his melee attacks, giving him trouble at hitting opponents and resulting in a complete lack of offensive options in the neutral game, despite having Fireball as a projectile. While being a Moveset Clone in terms of attacks, some of his attacks are actually weaker, with the sole exception to it being Super Jump Punch. Lastly, his recovery is predictable despite being long distanced, and he is easier to gimp than Mario because of his lower air speed. Likely as a result of these weaknesses, cue Melee where he was buffed expentionally, gaining devastating aerials for example.
  • Donkey Kong is another notoriously weak character in this game. A classic Mighty Glacier archetype, he has some decent attributes, such as an infinite grab release combo against all but 3 characters, his powerful charge move in his neutral special, can take more damage due to his weight, and his up special can deny some recoveries with its priority. However, his moveset is slow, his large size and heavy weight ensure he gets comboed harder than anyone else (in a game where they make up a large part of the metagamenote ), has a passable horizontal but horrendous vertical recovery, is slow in the air, and in true Mighty Glacier fashion, struggles against projectile characters who can camp him out.

    Super Smash Bros. Melee 
  • Pichu is the game's resident Joke Character, as a Fragile Speedster turned Up to Eleven. Particularly the "fragile" part. One of the fastest characters in the game, and the lightest as well, so the whole point of playing as it is to avoid taking damage while smacking your opponent. The problem is that almost half of its attacks hurt it for 1%-4% damage, even its recovery/dodging special, which does no damage to enemies. Being a very light character, a smash attack can KO it at less than 80% of damage in many situations. Tying into its smaller hitboxes which give it much less range on its attacks, Pichu is additionally nearly completely inferior clone to the fairly competent Pikachu, exemplifying its ineffectiveness even more. This is not only lampshaded on its trophy descriptions, but it was actually confirmed by Word of God, so Pichu being a low-tier scrappy is actually enforced! On the flipside, however, in the hands of players who are very skilled with Pichu via purposely picking it as a handicap, its damage output is surprisingly quite high, with some solid kill moves in its forward smash and up smash, solid combo tools with its neutral aerial, up aerial, and all his throws; the latter also gives it a surprisingly good grab game.
  • There's one character that's even lower than Pichu on the tier list: Kirby. Perhaps the most infamous example of this in Melee, despite being one of the best characters in the first game, he was severely nerfed in Melee and was turned into a Master of None, having awful approach options, the lack of an effective projectile without copying one from Inhale, terrible mobility all around, and generally being poor-to-mediocre in every relevant area; as a heavy nerf from 64 to Melee, even his recovery that's supposed to be good is pretty poor because of how easy it is to edgeguard, and due to his greatly decreased horizontal aerial movement (but then again, his infamous combo tools like his up-tilt were very broken in 64, but sadly were nerfed almost too heavily in Melee). He also has two of the worst throws in smash history with his foward and back throws, which look like they might be decent suicide kills, but are rendered completely useless by the simple fact that you can effortlessly escape it. This leads Kirby to have generally abysmal matchups against everyone else, and a complete lack of any tournament success. His powerful new up aerial and his easy-to-sourspot Hammer move did no extra favors for him. Fortunately for Kirby, he got buffed back up in Brawl.

    Super Smash Bros. Brawl 
  • Ganondorf is infamously the game's worst character, at one point even being ranked at his own tier at the absolute bottom on the Smash Back Room's tier list (something that even Pichu and Kirby never accomplished in Melee). In short, much like Bowser in Melee, while he has above-average power, he's waaaay too slow and immobile, while being especially vulnerable to Brawl's exploits, and was one of the hardest hit characters by Brawl's new engine (most significantly, the removal of L-cancelling, which he heavily relied on in Melee, while his aerials weren't given reduced landing lag to compensate). Unlike most low-tier induced scrappies, Ganon's perception is a bit more favorable, as many players find him to be one of the game's funnest characters, and thus play him as a "low tier main" or play him when playing for fun (with a few players even outright maining him in spite of his perception). However, his low-tier status has also added much fuel to the fire for the demand to change his infamous Moveset Clone portrayal of Captain Falcon to a more canon-adhering moveset. Smash 4 has buffed him, making him a bit more mobile with faster and even stronger attacks, though he's still generally considered low tier, especially without his custom moves that address some of his most significant shortcomings. Despite this, he's looked upon more even more favorably than in Brawl thanks to his incredible strength; unlike other low tiersnote , Ganondorf is still a popular character to watch and play in less serious matches where the Ganon player tries to "disrespect" the foe with the flashiest and hardest-hitting moves possible, often to the point of impracticality and overkill, and (like in Brawl) is a crowd-pleaser when successful in higher-level matches.
  • Captain Falcon, one of the series' most beloved characters and known for being a highly capable Lightning Bruiser throughout the rest of the series, infamously ended up one of these in Brawl. Falcon got hit by some fairly significant nerfs in Brawl (most notably to his famed "Knee of Justice" that was made much harder to sweetspot), but also got hit by Brawl's new engine more than anybody (except maybe for Jigglypuff). The new hitstun cancelling mechanic in particular ruined Captain Falcon, as it completely destroyed his combo game since he utilizes high knockback moves to combo (and since combos was one of Falcon's premier attributes, this took away what really made him shine). Falcon ended up ridiculously ineffectual, to the point of even being considered the game's worst character in its first year, and while his perception and tier placement improved a bit throughout Brawl's lifespan, he was mostly treated as a Joke Character with few people that played him and even fewer that actually competitively mained him. To everyone's delight, Falcon regained his glory in Smash 4 with the much-maligned hitstun-cancelling mechanic being removed alongside some very helpful buffs.
  • Jigglypuff, who was a high tier-induced scrappy in Melee, plummeted to this in Brawl. It got some of the heaviest nerfs in the game (most notably to Rest, which KOs about 50% later and is much more difficult to land), alongside adapting terribly to the new engine. Jigglypuff has been ranked a bottom-tier character since the game's release, with perhaps the smallest playerbase of any character in Brawl. There was even some players who thought it was the actual worst character in the game instead of Ganondorf (which the Japanese thought so as they ranked it as the worst in their tier list). Like the above examples, Jigglypuff was assumed to have some key buffs in Smash 4, and the benefits from the removal of hitstun cancelling were theorized to be a good thing for it, though as seen below, it didn't end up that way.

    Super Smash Bros. for Wii U/3DS 
  • For Wii U/3DS is notable in that most of its low-tier scrappies have managed to gain respect and competitive relevance due to balance patches and an evolving metagame. However, four characters have been lambasted for remaining in the bottom tier throughout the game's lifetime:
    • The biggest example of this trope for Smash 4 is repeat offender low-tier scrappy: Jigglypuff. Despite some helpful buffs it got in Smash 4, like a larger and stronger hitbox on Rest, and hitstun cancelling being severely nerfed, its viability has not improved much. Being the lightest character in a game where the rage mechanic exists, and being the slowest character in the game on the ground, the problems against this character simply stacked as the meta developed. It has potentially the worst set of ground moves in the game, with subpar frame data and barely any reach on almost all of them, while being comparatively ineffective when they do hit. However, its aerial attacks aren't that great either, with their reach not being much better than its ground attacks, and being weak or ineffective when they do hit outside its powerful back aerial, which instead has below-average startup speed. This leaves it very likely to get smacked with trades that are almost always unfavorable to it, and forcing it to abuse its fast air speed as the only way to safely go in and out. Its grab game is additionally terrible, possessing the second shortest grabbing reach in the game (as only R.O.B. has a shorter grab), with no setup throws nor any throws with remotely decent knockback. And while Rest is a viable trump card again with its buffs, it still has little setups into it, and due to characters being able to get KO'd normally off the top instead of being Star/Screen KO'd, there's a significant chance that it will get punished and KO'd itself if it kills an opponent who wasn't on their last stock with it. The worst part about the character, however, is that it has received no direct changes within the many patches except for a glitch with Rollout being fixed in the first patch, leaving it in the dust as the power of other lower tier characters creeped up while it remained in its same, weakened state. It is almost unanimously noted as being the worst character in the game, and ranked as the worst character on the current Smashboards tier list, though it does has a few defenders that argue its viability is not as dreadful as it's made out to be, with decent matchups against some of the higher tier characters.
    • King Dedede, whose polarized Brawl appearance earned him a spot in the High Tiers folder above, has been nerfed into one of these. With his old back aerial replaced with a new much less effective one alongside a nerfed grab range (formerly two of his greatest assets), the loss of chain grabbing (formerly one of his greatest strengths and weaknesses), and very bad frame data on par with Ganondorf without the consistent power to back it up, Dedede is left as a sluggish, underpowered character with the worst neutral game in SSB4 and a limited number of KO options. Furthermore, unlike most low-tier characters, Dedede isn't helped at all by custom moves, as they're all inferior to his default specials or fail to address his most glaring issues, leaving him as possibly the worst character in the game after Jigglypuff when customs are allowed. Even worse than this is the fact that after getting slightly nerfed in the first balance patch, Dedede was actually nerfed again in one of the latest patches without ever receiving any direct buffs (with his already worst-in-the-game air speed being slightly reduced, which while the change had little practical effect, the thought behind it left a nasty sentiment in Dedede players who have been desperate for buffs). This leaves him as possibly the worst heavyweight in the game. In Japan he seems to avert this however, as he has been seemingly ranked better over there, including up to the middle tiers, which some players point to as the reason Dedede has not gotten any buffs in the balance patches.
    • Finally, Zelda and Ganondorf have languished in the lowest tier together with Jigglypuff and Dedede in every tier list, but their specific cases in Smash 4 are not as notable as the two aforementioned characters, due to Zelda being a low-tier scrappy in all of her appearances and Ganondorf having a cult fanbase of sorts for his hard-hitting, "disrespectful" playstyle and generally being highly improved from Brawl. Ganondorf, however, also has the added rep of being the character of choice for a lot of shitty, annoying players; the stereotype of the For Glory Ganondorf who goes in expecting to kick some ass and flex on everyone with utmost disrespect, then gets punted around like a football, gets pissed off, and either lagswitches to gain an unfair advantage or just straight-up ragequits is a very real phenomenon, and unless you have an established rep for being good with him, a lot of assumptions are likely to be made about you if you're playing him in a low-level environment.
  • Other characters have dipped into low-tier scrappydom throughout the game's lifetime, but were saved at various points, primarily via balance patches.
    • Before Jigglypuff, there was fellow Pokémon, Charizard, which was infamously accepted as the worst character in the game prior to version 1.0.6. Charizard had a complete lack of any sort of combo game, and generally possessed slow and punishable attacks, with its aerials in particular being extremely laggy, leaving it with a very poor neutral, all while not hitting anywhere near as hard as the likes of Ganondorf/Bowser and having the typical heavyweight weaknesses, leaving Zard as a Master of None. Balance Buffs have greatly improved Charizard in terms of combos, damage output, kill power, frame data, and air speed, and Zard had some caveats of its own realized, such as how great its recovery is, a very potent advantage state punctuated with a fast incredible anti-air up smash, and a very strong edge-guarding game. Zard would become the Jack-of-All-Stats super heavyweight, and while its tier standing was very slow to improve, it eventually made its out of the bottom tier as of the third tier list and continued to climb from there.
    • Robin, mainly for the fact that they have the slowest movement speed along with relatively weak projectiles that take far too long to charge for weak damage in return, and can easily be intercepted by any other projectile in the game. This, combined with the sub-par recovery, one of the worst grabs and set of throws in the game, and a limited amount of times they can use their smash attacks and their special attacks before being rendered practically helpless, landed these characters straight into low tier territory. Fortunately, the 1.1.0 and 1.1.1 patches buffed them by giving them a combo throw and allowing them to deal more shield pressure, to the point that one player was able to defeat ZeRo's Sheik (the best player in the world using the best character in the game) using Robin in a major tournament, so it seems like they have finally broken out of this.
    • The Wii Fit Trainer was often mocked for being too ineffectual, mostly for the horrendously poor range on their attacks, many attacks that are outright dysfunctional, and a grab that can't reach short characters. However, with the discovery of Wii Fit Trainer's potent zoning game in their highly effective projectiles, some nasty combos, and their highly effective custom moves, a few Wii Fit Trainer players have made some remarkable tournament placements (including two getting into top 32 at EVO 2015's Smash 4 tournament, while players of many percieved high tier characters failed to get a single top 32 placement). In addition, the 1.1.0 patch gave WFT some buffs (including fixing the grab), which when combined with the prior point, seems to be pointing to Wii Fit Trainer breaking out of this.
    • Out of the three flavors the Mii Fighters come in (Brawler, Gunner, and Swordfighter), the Mii Swordfighter really stands out in this regard. While the Gunner isn't good, but can be improved with the right custom moveset, and the Brawler has the potential to be outright great with its custom moves, the Swordfighter has sometimes been labeled as being literally the worst character in Smash 4. Some early tier lists even consider it so bad that it was placed by itself all the way at the bottom in a tier below everyone else. Problems include generally poor mobility, weak offense, and a lot of lag in its attacks. Mii Swordfighter, however, has been one of the biggest recipients of buffs, and while the previous stigma still remains, many players are beginning to see the Mii Swordfighter as a pretty competent fighter.
    • Lucina, prior to version 1.1.1. Already a controversial character choice for being a Moveset Clone of Marth, she was considered one of the worst characters in the game for inheriting most of his negative traits (as seen above) and lacking his saving grace; she has no sweetspots note  on any of her attacks, while Marth's greatest caveat are the tippers on his moves that deal extremely high knockback (which are seen as much more advantageous than Lucina's damage/knockback being slightly stronger than Marth's untipped hits on all of her hitbox locations). However, she was significantly buffed in balance patches (with some buffs shared with Marth), making her position much more debatable by giving her a few more advantages over Marth, such as a safer neutral game, and raising her position within the bottom tiers. Eventually, she followed Marth to higher tiers as patches went on, with her own range and damage output being increased by a fair margin, finally giving her some sort of niche over Marth.
    • After being one of Melee's most successful mid tiers and a superior clone to Mario, Dr. Mario has fallen to this in his return in Smash 4. Unlike in Melee, where the developers apparently forgot to make Doc slower than Mario as intended, they actually went through with it this time, resulting in a character that was received as "painfully sluggish". When handling Doc this time, the devs added a 0.82 multiplier to Mario's mobility while adding a 1.12 multiplier to the damage of Mario's attacks. The theory is that Doc moves a bit slower while hitting a bit harder, but the result is far from that. The result is a character who moves even slower than the aforementioned Dedede (whereas Mario is one of the most mobile characters in the game), while the power multiplier increase isn't proportional to the mobility multiplier reduction, resulting in an unbalanced and very flawed character (his attacks appear to do much more knockback than Mario's while not dealing enough damage to match the increase, effectively ruining his combo game too). Doc's KO moves are additionally considered worse than Mario's for being harder to land (namely his forward smash) while being inconsequentially stronger, and Doc has a recovery that is seen on par with Little Mac's and default Ganondorf's for worst in the game (two of his moves were nerfed while one of them didn't even change). And to make matters even worse for the good Doc, he has the same weight (not falling speed) as Mario meaning he's launched just as far while not being able to make it back to the stage as well as his regular counterpart. Doc is considered completely outclassed by his clone stock Mario (don't even get us started on the Smash fandom's relationship with clone characters), resulting in his perception dwindling even farther. Doc has been getting consistently buffed in patches, but they only been slight power increases to a few select moves, rather than addressing his more significant issues. However, two things happened to make the outlook bright for Doc's viability. First was the influx of players that still played the character and managed to get far, despite the scrappy, which showed that Dr. Mario, with all of his power, still retains the same fast frame data that Mario has and actually has some things that only he can do, therefore garnering him a niche in some match-ups. Secondly and more importantly was the 1.1.1 patch (which fellow clone scrappy Lucina benefited from), which increased shieldstun based on damage output. Considering Dr. Mario's damage output has been steadily rising, this was a huge boon as it lets him become safer with his very fast and powerful moves, such as Back-Air. While some argue for his viability, his flaws still persist and the general consensus is that he is only good as a counterpick-character for the time being.

    Super Smash Bros. Ultimate 
The game's meta will take a long time to form, due to the number of characters that are playable in the game, and the fact that not every DLC character has been announced. But there are a few characters that people have been keeping their eye on, for better and for worse.
  • Little Mac is widely considered as the worst character in Ultimate by much of the community. Much of his kit was either directly or indirectly nerfed due to the game mechanics change. His combo-tilts have been gutted, forcing him to go for stray hits rather than combos, overshadowing his new access to his grounded kit mid-dash. Most notably, his niche as a neutral-focused, grounded fighter is not only done better by other characters with actual recovery skills, but his neutral is lackluster compared to much of the cast. Even with his recovery buff to his Side Special and air speed, he's still very vulnerable in disadvantage, with a very poor recovery that is further nerfed due to the airdodge mechanics and the fact that he can only use side-b once per recovery, making gimping his recovery even easier than before. Lastly, he only has one out-of-shield option in up smash that is prone to cross-ups. All these stats lead Mac to be a character whose polarizing nature works against him in the most extreme of ways, causing even the most well-known of Little Mac mains from the previous game to bolt and never look back. He would eventually receive some significant buffs in patch 3.1.0, but he stayed firmly at the bottom in spite of them. His core concept of being dominant on the ground but useless in the air will probably doom him to low-tier status forever; it's very easy to just bait him into doing something unsafe, get him off the ledge, and let him fall helplessly.
  • Kirby at launch stood out as a reward-absent character. A low-to-bottom tier character from 3DS/Wii U, Kirby managed to be nerfed even further from his previous iteration. He struggles with neutral in that he has little to no options of rewarding stage control, and indirectly allowing combos, on a character that has poor range and has to work extremely hard to get in. His throws are also nerfed in KO power and utility, most notably forward throw being near-useless on some platform stages. Kirby's five jumps are overshadowed by having one of the worst air speeds in the game, and slow-to-start aerials bar Back-Air means he's easy pickings with the airdodge mechanic in place. This culminated into a character that had little to no cohesiveness from getting rewarded for using his toolkit, making him feel broken. Because of these stats, Kirby was viewed at launch as a character so bad that he was in his own tier below everyone else, even rarely considered to be worse than Melee Kirby. Even the most renowned of Kirby mains bailed on Kirby, warning other players to simply avoid him. Fortunately, patch 2.0.0 gave him some buffs to his moves, most notably his Forward-Tilt now giving him stage control option on hit, creating some much-needed cohesiveness to his kit. Version 3.0.0 brought about further optimal changes to some of his moves, but most notably he's a lot less likely to lose his copy abilities now, which plagued him prior to the patch. While he is still in the lower parts of the tier list and some of the aforementioned problems remain unfixed for now, the patches so far have sent him in the right direction compared to other characters.
  • Sheik fell in Ultimate, and fell really hard. Her biggest problem echoes Captain Falcon's fall from grace in Brawl: the engine changed in a way that worked against her, but she didn't change with it. While she still has her incredible mobility, far more characters in Ultimate can match her, while slower characters received quality-of-life buffs that further closed the gap. Her other main problem is that she is a Fragile Speedster without any way to take advantage of it. Sheik's ability to hit people and combo them is largely the same, but her damage output (which was already a weak point in 4) is laughably bad, and she has a distinct lack of kill moves period, not even unsafe or situational ones. She just straight-up cannot KO anyone but the lightest characters at anything resembling reasonable percentages. This means that she can hit people all day, but she can't finish the job before they inevitably get in a good hit that wipes her out. Even her old mains have said they've given up on her unless she gets buffed, and while most people will agree that she isn't fundamentally doomed the way Little Mac is, she definitely belongs among the lower tiers. She was eventually buffed in version 3.0, and while only time will tell just how good it actually was, early pro consensus is that she has massively improved.
  • The Piranha Plant was labelled as this soon after its release as DLC. Players were easily able to immediately point out the potted plant's key faults: its overall frame data is fairly poor, its KOing ability is also seen as lackluster due to its finishers either lacking range or having lag, along with fairly poor mobility and approach options, along with being combo food due to being a heavyweight. The final nail in the coffin, however, is the sheer ineptitude of its special moveset (sans Ptooie). A fully charged Poison Breath can easily rack up damage, but deals no knockback or hitsun, leaving the plant open for punishment if it uses it poorly. Piranhacopter travels a large distance, but can be easily edgeguarded due to having no hitbox above the plant. Long-Stem Strike, while having the potential to reach a long distance and having super armor, is fairly predictable and increases Piranha Plant's hurtbox tremendously when used. All of these faults combined make for a character who is a Master of None and is left with no severe advantages over those in the roster. Several players consider it to be low or bottom tier, potentially even one of the worst characters in the game, and hope Sakurai will give it considerable buffs to fix it.


These characters are in rather unique situations, in that they used to be high-tier but became low-tier, or vice versa. Any character's strengths, weaknesses, and tier placement tends to change from game to game. But there are a few standout examples who had the greatest shift in tier placement over time.
  • Mario is very frequently hit with this trope, on both sides too.
    • In most Smash Bros. games, Mario's formerly-trope-naming Jack-of-All-Stats build tended to rank him as average at best. Best exemplified in 64 and Melee; the former has him have a bevvy of good moves and attributes, but none of them standing out too much from the cast, typical of a jack-of-all-stats. Whereas the latter transitioned to Melee neither strongly buffed nor strongly nerfed, but a good portion of the characters around him did get buffed, and some strong newcomers came to the fray as well (this is especially disappointing since Dr. Mario is considered stronger and borderline viable competitively due to his higher air speed and stronger moves).
    • Then Brawl came, and Mario was nerfed. Despite trying to be the iconic well-rounded shotoclone of the game, he was hurt by Brawl's engine. Unlike other characters, he didn't receive any real significant nerfs compared to his Melee self, though what few nerfs he got were enough to give this perception; namely, his combo ability from previous games was gone due to the Brawl's floatiness and anti-combo engine. With many of the newcomers being highly effective and many characters from Melee being buffed, Mario ended up being a straight-up Master of None, with a hard time racking up damage, an even harder time scoring KOs due to a lack of a reliable finisher (as well as having few moves that could KO) and most of his attacks being weak, and his range and speed are unimpressive considering the game's campy and patient nature. All of this amounted to him being considered one of the low tier characters, languishing there for the game's lifespan up to its very end.
    • In Smash 4, however, Mario would be rebalanced into more of a Gradual Grinder, with some additional buffs to his kill power to balance him out: his combo game is one of the best, with more reliable combo starters, easily chainable up tilts and up airs, and an overall fast moveset that makes him VERY hard to punish, allowing him to abuse otherwise unsafe moves. This also extends to his finishing moves, with his up smash in particular being one of the best in the game with its wide coverage, high speed and power, and priority. As Nintendo's and Smash's flagship character, Mario was supposedly designed to be beginner-friendly, but players argue that said buffs in his transition from Brawl worked a little too well. In short, they resulted in Mario indeed having the lowest learning curve of any character in the game bar Cloud, but providing very high reward for very little effort, thanks to the strengths above, plus a decently impressive mobility, useful zoning tools in his Fireballs and F.L.U.D.D., a reliable edgeguarding tool and reflector in his Cape, and a recovery just good enough. As a result, many characters have a hard time fighting even inexperienced Marios, which gets on players' nerves and is made worse for some by his dopey design and tendency to yell "Hoooooooo... HAH!" for all three of his victory poses (unlike in 64 and Melee). Not helping is the fact that he was barely touched in most balance patches, which has led some players to believe that Mario was made, and left as, one of the best characters in the game out of favoritism or pity, rather than for accessibility. While initially perceived as high-mid tier at best, Mario shot up the ranks like a shooting star during 2016, after his best player, Ally, won several major tournaments that year with him, and Mario was sometimes argued to potentially be a top 5 character, which has begun to place him more firmly into this trope and raise a new round of "mascot favoritism" accusations. However, with the advent of Bayonetta and Cloud and the introduction of other difficult matchups like Corrin and the substantially buffed Marth/Lucina, alongside the results of top Mario players declining, Mario is once again viewed as one of the more favorable top tiers at top-level play, though while few think of him as a top 5 character anymore, he remained a nuisance in low and mid-level play.
    • Finally, his Ultimate incarnation is in the high-tier end of the spectrum again. Mario's transition into this game brought a healthy mix of buffs and nerfs, which while nerfing some aspects of him, leave his core playstyle intact once again due to the buffs addressing whatever could be unfavorable for him. As a result, Mario's traits remain as consistent as before, and he still has a good deal of top players using him to great success, like young smashers Dark Wizzy and Prodigy. Thus, Mario's perception is once again that of a character with a low learning curve that still provides an incredible reward with low risk. That said, general consensus is that Mario is in a good place, as he hasn't received nearly as much hate as in Smash 4 for being slightly less dominant and for having a more fun and less repetitive (read: up tilt spam) playstyle.
  • Ness has had one of the bumpiest runs out of anyone on this front, to the point he might be the Trope Codifier, at least for this franchise. Regarding individual games:
    • In the earlier days of Smash 64's competitive play, he was considered the third-best after the Pikachu and Kirby, and thought to have a combo game that approached Game-Breaker levels (especially with his nasty double jump cancel and surprisingly strong attacks). As the metagame advanced, however, players learned to really take advantage of Ness' easily exploited recovery, and their superior spacing made Ness' lack of reach on his attacks much more apparent. The result is plummeting to being perceived as one of the game's weaker characters as the 3rd worst, eliminating this perception. However, a few less-experienced players do still come along who view Ness as too strong, as they had yet to learn how to exploit Ness' flaws. note 
    • Ness' worst tier ranking came in Melee, where he was hit with some major nerfs, most notably with his down aerial having added startup time and the distance of his recovery being drastically reduced in exchange for being easier to use, and his recovery and range was still as exploitable as ever, putting him at 4th from the bottom. Outside of occasional use as a sandbagging or desperate secondary by Melee god "Hungrybox", he's never seen play at Melee's highest levels.
    • In Brawl, while significantly higher on the list due to the floatier engine playing well to his strong air game and his recovery getting buffed as a kill move, Ness was still seen as lower mid-tier at best due to his recovery and range weaknesses persisting and 10 additional frames of grab release than most that left him vulnerable to infinite chain grabs against certain matchups. Again, he saw little competitive play in this game.
    • In Smash 4, Ness finally rose back into meta relevance. Ness is one of the most polarized characters in the game, with his strengths and weaknesses both being huge. Ness' grab game is arguably the best in the entire cast due to his down and back throws. His Down Throw is one of the best combo throws in the game, easily putting opponents in the position to be hit by his aerial combos. His Back Throw is arguably the best throw in the game period, due to being the best and most reliable kill throw by a long shot. His aerials are also very strong and grant him a variety of combo and kill options. His up air, in particular, is one of the best aerials in the game due to having a low startup, a massive hitbox, solid damage output, and strong knockback, allowing it to be used as both a combo and KO option. However, on the flipside, Ness' mobility is rather poor and the range of his attacks, despite some of them being disjointed, are lacking. This gives him a great deal of trouble against sword characters, who can easily wall him out with their large hitboxes. Though, his greatest weaknesses is undoubtedly his recovery. Ness has one of the most unorthodox recoveries in the game. His Up B, PK Thunder, will spawn a small thunder ball and the player with briefly losing control of Ness in order to control the thunder ball. If the player manages to hit Ness with the thunder ball, he'll shoot like a rocket in the direction opposite to the side he was hit on. This technique is known as PK Thunder 2 and it serves as both a very powerful attack and Ness's only recovery move. However, because the move is completely reliant upon steering PK Thunder into Ness, it's a very gimmicky move. While buffed from previous iterations, if PK Thunder hits anything other than Ness after about its first quarter circle, he'll still fall helplessly to his death. As a result, opponents can use their attacks on the thunder ball to make it disappear, push Ness out of the way, or will jump into the thunder ball and take the damage causing it to disappear. Most infamously, characters such as Rosalina, Villager, and even Ness, himself, can use their absorbing moves to dispose of the thunder ball, too. Because of how easy it is to gimp him, Ness' recovery is one of the worst in a game where nearly all of the cast has, at the very least, a serviceable recovery. Ness was initially seen as a top-tier character upon Smash 4's release, however, due to players learning how to fight him and exploit his huge weaknesses, he has drastically fallen off. On the most recent 4BR tier list, Ness was placed 28th. Ness is a character with noticeable strengths and weaknesses, which has made him a somewhat controversial character. Casual players especially seem to hate Ness due to their inability to exploit his major weaknesses to the degree competitive players can.
    • In Ultimate, he was made even stronger. It's pretty much agreed that his PK Fire which got buffed does way too much damage and can rack up insane damage and can grab players and go to town on them, his up air, at the cost of doing less knockback than it did back previously, has faster startup and more combo potential. His yo-yo smash attacks had their charging hitboxes restored, and can now even be used off the edge to score some easy kills. Also, he majorly benefits from having one of the best directional air dodges in the game, making his recovery less linear and interruptable. Furthermore, his PK thunder has become even more annoying, as the changes to air dodges make it even harder to avoid. Also, at the highest levels, you will see Ness players make great use of his majorly buffed PSI Magnet, which now has a hitbox that doesn't scale to damage, making a great combo tool, mixup option, and still having the absorbing power of previous versions. Combine all this with the lag Online and Ness became an absolute pain to anyone who isn't Mr. Game and Watch, Villager or Isabelle. Competitively, his worst matchups tend to be against characters who outrange him, such as most of the Sword characters, or who beat his aerials with their own. He still has his weaknesses, but with 3 Ness mains having made it into Genesis 6 top 48 and several others proving to be a major force in competive play, he's not a character to be slept on.
  • Roy has this in spades. Not only he's a Base-Breaking Character in his origin game, The Binding Blade, but he has also had a very bumpy run throughout the franchise.
    • In Melee, Roy is one of the most infamous examples of "low-tier scrappy", almost as bad as Kirby. He is a clone of Marth whose design is the inverse of Marth; instead of having the need to space attacks on the tip of his sword, the sweetspot is at the base of his sword, meaning that he doesn't require careful spacing like Marth to be effective. However, Roy's design is absolutely abysmal on execution, as he has laggy attacks with horrendously weak sourspots, few KO moves, absolutely atrocious aerials, limited comboing capabilities, poor hitboxes, having physics that made him one of the most easily combo'd characters in Melee, and also possessed arguably the worst recovery in the game. Those last two points combined with the fact that he is pretty light also give him possibly the worst overall survability in Melee. This alone would get him heavy derided by the competitive playerbase, but Roy is also a significantly inferior clone of Marth, one of the games's top tiers and overall most popular characters, and casual sentiment is especially favorable to him because of his few KO moves being easily spammed in casual play (especially his forward smash), which led to further dislike of Roy among competitive players. In fact, the great disparity between competitive and casual perception made Marth vs. Roy one of the most heated tier arguments in early Melee, and Roy ended up a bit of symbol for "anti-tierists" to drive up the competitive dislike farther.
    • While Roy didn't return in Brawl, he came back in Smash 4 as DLC, significantly decloned from Marth to boot and notably buffed in mobility, attack speed (now having frame data akin to non-sword characters) and power, making him a true Lightning Bruiser. He was initially seen as a high- or even top-tier character; however, he soon started to drop down to a "low-tier" view once again. Roy's attacks were noted to keep an overall unfavorable hitbox placement that made them hard to space, leading to him being puinished by well-aware players, and the game's physics did no favors to him at all despite his improved ability to pressure. Meanwhile, there's Marth and Lucina later receiving huge buffs in updates that made them more viable competitively, whereas Roy's own buffs, while fairly useful, were not as significant. General consensus nowadays is that Roy ended as a mid-tier character, but his playstyle requires really smart decision-making and a lot of finesse on execution, and doesn't achieve as much reward unless played as such, leading to his unpopularity despite notable players of him like Captain Levi.
    • Finally, his Ultimate appearance seems to have ended the "low tier" view of him. Since launch, Roy was noted to have received excellent buffs, and benefit from the game's faster pace, so he's considered to be a strong character and has been rising in prevalance. While Roy still has the sweetspot at the base of his sword (meaning he doesn't require careful spacing like Marth to be effective, but can't afford to space well his attacks like his Echo Fighter Chrom), the significantly increased shieldstun on attack, his faster mobility and his lower landing lag make it a real hassle to get him off. His fast frame data and mobility now properly compensate for his alleged shorter range, making landing his sweetspots even easier and allows Roy to kill at rather low percentages. Finally, he has a far safer recovery than Chrom, especially after patch 2.0.0. Even so, Roy's viability compared to Chrom is a huge topic of debate, with some players claiming Roy is better due to his more explosive damage racking abilities off of a single conversion, despite his higher learning curve and Chrom's higher consistency. Regardless, it is widely agreed that Roy is now the best he has ever been, so his future seems to be shining unlike in other titles.
  • Bayonetta. Hooo boy, where do we even start...?
    • Her Smash 4 appearence is easily the most hated character in the game (moreso than pre-patch Diddy), and one of the most hated characters across all Smash period. Since release, she became loathed despite her popularity in her own titles; many have exclaimed that she and Cloud helped create a "Pay to Win" stigma upon the DLC characters, with Cloud starting the trend, and Bayonetta codifying it. This reared its ugly head when many players started picking her up and immediately winning tournaments, with many of the players that were arguably held back by a lower-tiered character being a notable point. One of the biggest reasons for her vitriol was her damage output per combo and punish, regarded as the best in the game by miles, since she could tack on massive amounts of damage per punish, even creating conditional "touches of death" for a single, small mistake on the opponent's part, and with a combination of range and priority, Bayonetta could catch mistakes extremely easy and convert. Her recovery is nigh-untouchable unless the opponent had a disjoint, since Witch Twist and After-Burner Kick prevent most edgeguard attempts towards her, and challenging it even allowed Bayonetta to edgeguard or combo back in return. The most agonizing trait of Bayonetta by many is Witch Time, the best "counter attack" in the game. Being able to immensely slow down opponents for a free charged smash attack, being used as a way to punish recoveries with hitboxes by using this and spiking with her down air, and simply using it to punish anything that might be whiffed to one of her 0-to-deaths is what this move alone can do, and its utility is arguably game-breaking. She also has the best dodges in the game thanks to the "Bat Within" mechanic, which allows Bayonetta to take zero knockback and only take half-damage on the move that would hit her if she is hit during air-dodge animation frames where she is vulnerable. Combine all these, and you have a character with incredible burst movement, the best punishes in the game, a counter with immense utility, and very few ways to get rid of her, similarly to Brawl Meta Knight. While her weaknesses in regards to her awful starting and ending lag in her moves are enough to allow punishes, her weaknesses are nothing compared to her benefits, so much so that because of how "Scrappy" she is, she is one of the few, if not only, characters that was banned at certain tournaments, stirring up a massive controversy as to whether or not Bayonetta should even be legal because of how boring and frustrating it is to face her. The outcry against Bayonetta became so large, update 1.1.6 was dedicated to rebalancing (mostly nerfing) her and her alone. However, even with the 1.1.6 nerfs, Bayonetta's punish game remained intact, and actually catalyzed on focusing on being creative with her combos, showing how powerful she was even with the nerfs. It reached the point where Bayonetta claimed the #1 spot on the tier list from that point forward (twice in a row), and is considered one of the two best characters in the game, with no diadvantageous matchups in a similar vein to, again, Brawl Meta Knight.

      The Bayonetta hatred reared its ugly head again during the grand finals of EVO 2018, where a Bayonetta ditto between CaptainZack and Lima led to much of the audience walking out just because of how loathed she had become in the Smash Bros. community (note that both were booed all through the tournament, with Zack even saying he received death threats for using Bayonetta — no wonder he ended a match by Flipping the Bird at the audience).
    • Then Ultimate came and... while everyone expected Bayonetta to be nerfed in the transition to Ultimate (much like how Meta Knight was from Brawl to Smash 4), especially after the Ultimate invitational tournament had MKLeo infamously using her to almost take the entire thing, several players (although not all of them) say the nerfs probably went way too far. She expectedly lost her hated deadly ladder combo, but even her basic combos got nerfed by having the start lag and end lag of her moves increased (her Heel Slide/After-Burner Kick and Witch Twist mainly), thus reducing the efficacy of her combos a lot. Her landing lag is also the longest in the game, making her much more vulnerable than the majority of the roster. Witch Time went from the most broken counter to arguably the most useless one, because the duration and window of opportunity both got dramatically shortened. The fact she also has a hard time scoring KOs is only adding insult to injury. All of this adds up to a combo-based character that can't KO very well, even at ludicrously high percentages. She received some much needed buffs in patch 3.1.0, but only time will tell if they can return her to her glory days.
  • Like Bayonetta, Corrin has had a wild ride despite being one of the newer characters in Smash 4, which combined with their Base-Breaking Character status in Fire Emblem Fates (similarly to Roy above), solidifies them into this.
    • Since the release of Smash 4, Corrin slowly had this effect building during their initial release. Corrin has a very powerful toolkit with a strong ground-to-aerial game with their tilts, very strong and long-ranged smash attacks, and a three-stage projectile in Dragon Fang Shot that could stun opponents and allow follow-ups, as well as perform a lot of damage with the follow-up attack it had innately. However, the two traits of Corrin that are linked to their "high-tier scrappyhood" is their Dragon Lunge and Counter Surge specials. Dragon Lunge, Corrin's side special, is a very powerful, quick move that not only could KO opponents early if tippered, but also could "pin" for a follow-up between a far-reaching forwards or backwards attack and a jump, leading to a side special centered playstyle that near-rivals Sonic's because of its utility on offense and mobility. Meanwhile, Counter Surge, their down special, is regarded as the best "traditional-styled" Counter in the game by a great margin, having the highest knockback out of all non-custom counters and launching opponents vertically, as opposed to horizontally, making it hard to survive against, even post-patch. Pre-patch, it had the second highest damage multiplier, making it capable of KOing characters at extremely low percents, and was appropriately nerfed, but still remains powerful enough to net moderately low percent KOs off of countered attacks, especially in the air. As time passed, Corrin's top tier status fell, thanks to the identification of their main weaknesses, such as their sub-par recovery and lack of follow-ups off of grabs (though they have two powerful throws) and counterplay, which has helped Corrin alleviate some of their high tier scrappy status, although their strong toolkit still keeps them on the radar.
    • However, Ultimate suddenly threw them to the low tier side of the scrappy spectrum due to the very harsh nerfs their kit received. Predictably, their Dragon Lunge and Counter Surge were nerfed, the former in distance and power and the latter in power. Unpredictably, however, their other special moves in Dragon Fang Shot and Dragon Ascent were heavily nerfed as well, with Dragon Fang Shot stunning opponents for a shorter time, and Dragon Ascent now having shorter distance and no momentum afterwards. As a result, despite their useful buffs in an overall improved aerial game due to the lower landing lag, their improved mobility, and the ability to manually cancel Dragon Lunge, Corrin's neutral game and punishment options are all worse, forcing them to contest with the rest of the cast, who have significantly improved in comparison to them. While their status was slightly controversial in Smash 4, most players agree the nerfs were way too much, and their buffs do not compensate at all. Thus, despite their moveset's concept remaining interesting, they're considered one of the more boring low tier characters.
  • As a result of initially being a Moveset Clone of Fox, Falco has become a notorious case throughout the games, almost as notorious as Fox. However, unlike Fox, he has been on both ends of the spectrum:
    • In Melee, like Fox, he arguably also had no disadvantageous matchups in competitive play and also got a similar amount of praise (and loathing) from players. Some consider him to be better than Fox in some ways (not requiring as much tech skill helps this argument). He also has his brutal down aerial, a powerful spike that can easily take stocks when properly connected, and being arguably a bit more-power based than Fox in such aspects (stronger forward smash, getting Fox's 64 blaster shots that flinch for solid zoning, and a set-knockback launching down special).
    • In Brawl, he was significantly differentiated from Fox in ways that were to his benefit, putting Falco among the perpetual top tiers, who was once considered the third-best character in the game. He had some obnoxiously strong attributes that made a lot of players dislike him, such as his lagless Blaster that could be fired twice in a short hop to control space and snuff approaches to a ridiculous degree (which was made worse by the slower worse mobility and weaker offense that made approaching difficult in Brawl), while having an easy chain throw that worked on nearly every character up to 40ish%. From there, once you get in the first 50% or so of your stock, it was forfeited once Falco grabbed you, and since he could finish it with an unavoidable down aerial meteor smash near the ledge, you could potentially die from it, especially as a character with a poor vertical recovery. He additionally had Falco Phantasm to quickly and safely get to the other side of the stage while hitting you and continuing to Blaster camp away. Falco's hatedom was mainly held back by other characters being even better with even more aggravating playstyles, as well as Falco having some pretty significant weaknesses, such as difficulty KOing and a poor punish game once you were beyond his chain throw percent, a very poor up-B recovery that essentially meant death for him if he was forced to use it, and Falco being heavily vulnerable to chain throws himself.
    • Then, his Smash 4 appearance handed him some heavy nerfs that would now put him among the low tiers, and people reacted more harshly due to being used to his top-tier self. Falco was somewhat even slower on the ground than he was in Brawl, as well as having some startup lag on his infamous down aerial. He would get buffed significantly in multiple patches, and more knowledgeable players started to see him as more of a mid-tier, but many players still treated him as low tier character as he wasn't given back the powerful abilities that made him top tier in prior games (such his past lagless and highly spammable Blaster). His playerbase remained small despite past popularity in prior games, not helped by Falco falling behind back into the lower tiers thanks to a lack of players showing off his improvements or omptimizing his metagame.
    • With Ultimate, Falco would get a lot of major buffs to return him to being seen positively. His neutral game is much better than in Smash 4 (though not to the same degree as in Melee or Brawl), with a much improved Blaster and better mobility, and his punishment capabilities are harsher due to improvements to his combo game; these, combined with the returned air dodges from Melee, have resulted in him being seen as dangerous in the right hands, however he still hasn't seen anywhere near as much representation or success as Fox. Overall, only time will tell if Falco's viability is similar to previous appearances, or if he's heavily overrated and a portion of the cast is still better than him.
  • Ike sits in a similiar boat as Roy does; however, Ike's case is notably different from Roy due to him being generally regarded as more balanced than the former ever was.
    • In Brawl, Ike underwent a similar reaction to what Little Mac went through Smash 4; he was the most powerful character in the game by a significant margin, while outreaching every other character in the game with his BFS Ragnell, though in return he was near-cripplingly slow. However, amongst more casual players, like Little Mac, his strengths shone as bright as possible while his weaknesses were nigh-completely mitigated, leading many casual and scrubbish players to decry him as broken. Having the classic archtype of a Mighty Glacier, however, Ike fared much worse in competitive play, which, when combined with his casual perception, led to him being of one most looked-down upon and mocked characters among competitive players. Over time, perceptions on both ends would relax, with the former group of players getting better and thus learning to use Ike's lack of speed against him, while some renowned Ike players showed he had some caveats beyond extreme power that allowed him to compete decently at a high level, thus competitive players ended up seeing him as a solid mid-tier character.
    • This perception was then inverted for Smash 4. At release, Ike was significantly worse than his Brawl incarnation, losing combos, autocancels, his smashes nerfed, damage decreases (although this is synonymous with the entire returning cast), and hitboxes being worse. After a couple patches, Ike became much better. Faster, more reliable tilts. Hitboxes being fixed for his massive forward air. Ike gained very consistent and powerful throw combos, a killing dash attack which patched up his lack of a mid-range threat, and a deadly edgeguard with Eruption when it was found that all characters had two frames of vulnerability when they grab the ledge from below. Eruption, having a large, long-lasting hitbox and being extremely powerful, made the move at the ledge a powerful option. Top it off with his aerials now having less landing lag, and you have dedicated Ike players getting great results from him and thus Ike's future became that of a solid-mid tier once again.
    • Then in Ultimate, Ike was first thought of as just as a little better than he was in Smash 4 and wasn't seen as a potential top tier due to his Skill Gate Character status in the previous games. After MKLeo showed what Ike is capable of in a few tournaments, more people have seen him as a legitimate threat. Ike has a very powerful move in the form of his neutral air; not only does it make his neutral game much better, but it also gives him lethal confirms into kill moves, most infamously his brand-new and powerful up air. He also benefits from having a horizontal recovery move that's very hard to predict, giving him a better recovery than most other heavyweights. While his recovery overall still isn't great and he's rather easy to gimp, if Ike knows what he's doing, then he's difficult to force into a disadvantage state for long. After a few months, though, he's seen a significant drop in usage, mainly because of how due to overuse, people caught on to how overreliant he is on his neutral air with few other effective options for approaches. Still, Ike remains a potent character, and one that should not be slept on.
  • Shulk is another polarizing character whose tier placement has shifted constantly between patches and games, mainly due to the games trying to balance the game-changing use of his Monado Arts by giving him a very limited number of fast attacks to go with his Monado's long attack range compared to other sword fighters.
    • In Smash 4, Shulk was intially seen as an aversion of a "Low Tier" scrappy, who fell right back into being a straight example of one later on. Initially, Shulk was seen as one of the worst characters in the game despite what some saw as high potential in his Monado Arts' stat-change mechanic, as he had the slowest and laggiest attacks in the game, in conjunction with many of his moves not working properly (such as his multi-hit forward smash that failed to connect both its hits much of the time) or just being undertuned. Then the 1.0.4 patch gave Shulk a really large buff, improving the damage output/knockback on nearly all his moves, the aformentioned hitbox issues being fixed, and some of his moves being made less laggy. This resulted in Shulk's perception shooting up, and some even seeing him as a potential high-tier character in the hands of someone who mastered him. As time went on however, very few Shulks have been doing well in tournaments despite his ample playerbase, and many players are beginning to think that his moves are still too slow and laggy, while also thinking the potential of the Monado has been overrated. As a result, Shulk merely slipped back into the mid tiers.
    • This ended up being to be a one-time deal, however, because as of Ultimate, Shulk's issues have been addressed even further with even less laggy attacks (albiet not entirely), and a faster way to reach each of his now-stronger arts through a Ring Menu. Shulk's improvements compared to Smash 4 has had many players, including top professinals such as Mew2King, now consider him to truly be in the high tiers, or even make him a top tier character and one of, if not the best of the game's sword fighters. But at the same time, many fear that Shulk was buffed a bit too much, and now fear that, should he be optimized in competitive play this time, he could potientially be considered a "High Tier" Scrappy due to new factors, such as using his Monado Arts Ring Menu to nigh-instantly escape deadly combos and kill confirms with the Shield Art, then potientially punish in retaliation with the Buster and Smash Arts during an opponent's endlag even after they've successfully hit him. The stronger utility of his Shield Art, combined with his Lag Cancel advanced technique, "Dial Storage", have allowed Shulk access to addtional options, followups, and punishes with his attacks and Monado Arts that no other character in Ultimate is capable of, to the point that some have accused Shulk and anyone that uses him "cheaters". This concern isn't universal, however, due to Shulk remaining a Difficult, but Awesome character; one that that is not to be underestimated compared to his Smash 4 incarnation, but one with still such a high learning curve with his Stance System and equally Difficult, but Awesome advanced techniques, that he remains a somewhat rare character to find in big tournaments, let alone consistently achieve high results in them by his playerbase, compared to many players of the other high tiers and top tiers in the game.
  • The Pokémon Trainer was a poor character in Brawl, for being the most convoluted and demanding character ever conceived in the Smash series (mastering one character is hard enough, here you have to master three completely different characters in addition to learning how to effectively mitigate the stamina and forced switching mechanics to utilize the character in a remotely effective manner), whose "unique" mechanics outright worked against him and which no other character had to deal with. The result was a low tier mess of a character that few played and most of which gave up on or stopped playing seriously. Pokémon Trainer's problems were exacerbated by two of his Pokémon, Charizard and Ivysaur, being low-tier scrappies themselves; Ivysaur is particularly notorious for its awful design and many theorized it would be even worse than Ganondorf if it was a solo character. The Pokémon Trainer concept was completely scrapped in Smash 4, with only Charizard of the lot returning as a solo character, which, as shown above under its own example, has worked so well in its favor.
    • When the Trainer returned in Ultimate, the stamina mechanic was completely removed, as well as making switching much faster in an attempt to save the Trainer from low-tier status. This went a bit too well, and the character has shot up to high or even top tier with a myriad of offensive and defensive tools such as the new Pokemon Switch, which is universal to each Mon as a risky but lightning-quick combo-escape tool. Squirtle's weight may be low, but its advantage state is a force to be reckoned with with its great combo ability, including some potent grabs. Furthermore, Charizard and especially Ivysaur's heavy buffs and tweaks have made them legitimately useful. Charizard is a powerhouse with strong aerials which can easily secure a KO, and Flare Blitz can KO at very low percents with a well-timed read on the opponent's movement. However, Ivysaur is easily the most useful among them, with multiple spacing tools such as its neutral air, projectile side special, and its Up Special at its disposal. Easily its most infamous offensive options are its up air, which can juggle opponents and KO off the top blast zone, and its down air, which is a potent spike tool to punish low recoveries, with both of which share a large hitbox which make juggling and landing with them much safer. Tweek has won in one major tournament using Pokémon Trainer, and consistently scores high in others, making the Trainer a feared and respected character in competitive play.
  • Lastly, and nowadays, the most infamous example of this would be Palutena.
    • In Smash 4, at first, she was considered very potent due to her trailer depicting her moveset (especially her special one) to be very promising. Some months later on, however, she was then seen as an infamously awkward character with an abysmal design; not only was her entire moveset one of the laggiest in the game, but her special moveset was much different in practice than what was advertised. Her default special moveset was considered very unwieldy, featuring not only very laggy moves, but also limited utility across all of them, with both her reflector and counter unanimously considered the worst of their kind. Her entire grounded moveset was also notorious for being incredibly laggy and rather lacking in strength and utility. She did have some advantages, however, such as good mobility, arguably the best jab in the game (the first hit had enormous range and allowed her to combo into other moves), a serviceable dash attack and back aerial that both allowed her to challenge most moves due to their invincibility, a surprisingly great aerial game, and a grab with high range and good utility; unfortunately, none of these advantages made up for such immense design flaws Palutena had, as a minimal slip-up from her could be REALLY costly. She could still be significantly improved with her custom moves, which would allow many to see Palutena as a potential high-tier character with them available, but the disdain for the community about themnote  was so strong, they were dropped off soon after, leaving Palutena in limbo once again. After a few game updates, her results as a vanilla character improved a bit, but later dropped due to her playerbase slowly becoming more and more inactive. Thus, to the end of the game's lifespan, Palutena is widely considered a bland and boring, low tier character, similarly to fellow low tier-scrappy Zelda.
    • Come Ultimate, however, the transition turned Palutena's moveset up several notches: her entire moveset is significantly less laggy (although it still has below average speed), her grounded moveset is now entirely serviceable due to her tilts gaining more utility and a use for each situation, and almost all of her specials were buffed (most notably, her down special counterattack was combined with her side special reflector in a singular special move, and her previous custom neutral special Explosive Flame became her new side special). Her aerial game still really shines, even more so in this game due to the lower landing lag on her aerials (despite this being a general buff to the cast), with a moderately strong back air, a strong multi-hit up air, a forward air that is still a reliable combo tool, and one of the fastest meteor smashes in the game with her down air. But by far, her most infamous move is her neutral air, as its large hitbox makes it near impossible to challenge without projectiles, it's active for a long time, deals high damage and can chain into itself several times for BRUTAL damage; it's easily the best aerial of its kind, so it's a guarantee any competent Palutena player will be using it a lot. These buffs, along with the lack of an impact her few nerfs had on her, caused her to rise from darkness and back into the light, and since she's somewhat simple to play compared to other top- and high-tier characters, she's a commonly played character in all levels of play, with notable players such as, ironically, fan-favorite Nairo (who won Mainstage 2019 with her). Game updates haven't touched her much either, which means her state in the metagame is firm in position. However, while several low- and mid-level players have vocally complained about her (including "Sakurai favoritism" claims) and consider her (and her playerbase) as The Scrappy, she's agreed by most pro players to be more manageable at the high and top levels of play, as her flaws and linear gameplan are more exploitable compared to lower levels of play, where the dexterity of some players is lower; thus, general consensus is that while she's simple to play, she's not all that easy to master, since one error can still be costly. In the end, however, best believe Palutena is likely here to stay.

    Super Smash Bros. for Wii U/3DS 
  • In the initial release version of Super Smash Bros. for 3DS, Little Mac got hit with the "broken" stigma hard by casual players and Scrubs; Little Mac's gimmick is that he's unparallelled on the ground, with some of the best ground mobility, the best rolls and sidestep, and ground attacks that excel in every category (including very powerful and fast smashes that have Super Armor during their startup). To balance him out, he has by far the worst aerial game in Smash 4 (with terrible air mobility and laggy short-ranged aerials that are exceedingly weak), while additionally having an atrocious and ridiculously easy-to-gimp recovery, in a game where almost all other characters have a serviceable recovery at worst (along with have a very short grab range, which makes his out-of-shield-grab punishes quite weak). The aforementioned types of players, however, didn't take advantage of these weaknesses (whether through not having the skillset to or refusing to out of being "honorable"/"not cheap"), and thus would always be fighting Mac at his best where few other characters could compete with him. It would also be escalated by the main online "competitive" mode, For Glory, only allowing Final Destination and Omega variants for stages, which are stages that heavily favor ground-based fighting (and thus are Little Mac's best stage outside of stages with no access to the bottom blast line at all), which, when combined with Mac's perception as an "easy character" at the time, led to a huge influx of Mac players on this mode, driving up the ire of these players even more. It got so notorious that even the game's director, Sakurai, commented about it (where he pointed out that Little Mac actually had one of the worst win-rates on For Glory and thus the ire at Mac was overblown). Nonetheless, despite what Sakurai said, and the competitive community seeing Little Mac as a mere high-tier at best and low-tier at worst, Little Mac ended up getting slightly nerfed in the game's first balance patch upon the release of the Wii U version. This nerf, combined with the general playerbase getting better at the game and learning/being more willing to exploit Mac's weaknesses, has led to this perception disappearing almost entirely outside some outlier scrubs who still refuse to exploit his weaknesses. However...

    When it comes to competitive players, Little Mac is instead one of the most derided characters in the game. Before the 1.0.4 patch that nerfed him, Mac's perception was alright among the competitive playerbase, though some at the time thought of him as a terrible low-tier character whose weaknesses were too significant and easy to exploit. After that patch, he's often seen as one of the worst characters in the game, and is arguably the most popular percieved low-tier character to bash and make fun of, especially with his aforementioned grossly-inflated perception among the more casual playerbase.

    In spite of this, Mac still has a following among competitive players who insist that his character is salvageable. He even has a small subreddit devoted to those who main him. Part of this may be the fact that due to people looking down on him, it's nowadays a bit easy to underestimate some of his more viable tools making him a bit of a sleeper-hit character, especially the swing-around potential of his K.O. Uppercut that players may or may not look out for. That, and his frame data (such as his frame 1 jab) is still a bitch to deal with for some players who don't have the skillset to do so.
  • Ganondorf once more, but this time, while he is still considered to be low-tier, some people on For Glory hate fighting him for the same reasons why he's annoying to deal with in Brawl; his "disrespect montages" have pretty much caused many a supposedly arrogant/spiteful player to inevitably switch to him just to either get an edge on a winning opponent or to further induce more salt into their losing opposition. While he's gotten a lot better compared to his version in Brawl and is a crowd-pleaser in competitive play, some players can find it easy to punish his options (especially if the Ganon player is too repetitive) while others can have a hard time and will die too fast when they don't know what to do. He is most likely up on par with the aforementioned Little Mac to be one of the most stereotypical symbols of For Glory there is, since his moves are perfect for taking advantage of laggy connections on top of being a heavyweight that's hard to K.O. (but at least easy to gimp for some character).
  • Lucario has been getting hit by both ends of tier-induced scrappiness. In Brawl, Lucario was a Jack-of-All-Stats that had some serious power with his unique aura gimmick, who was consistently ranked high-tier, and while some players disliked the aura gimmick for thinking it "rewarded players for losing", Lucario was generally not minded and was rooted for when up against the game's generally disliked top tiers. In Smash 4, he was given some radical changes, with the already powerful aura gimmick being buffed to ridiculous levels, on top of tremendous buffs to Extreme Speed's recovering capabilities and Force Palm, while in return he was made slower with significant lag added to his attacks and the previously large hitboxes on his attacks made significantly smaller. Due to the aura buffs, Lucario became able to kill opponents ridiculously early (sub-50% kills were not uncommon with high damage Lucario) while he became able to recover from pretty much everything; this ended up making the people who disliked the aura gimmick before much louder, while many others thought Lucario was too powerful and had too good of a recovery. Even after the 1.0.4 patch provided significant nerfs to Lucario by adding significant landing lag to Extreme Speed and nerfing the vectoring mechanic to oblivion (a mechanic Lucario was arguably the largest benefactor of), many players still complained about Lucario and his aura being too powerful, while ranking him in the game's top tier.

    A growing contingent players, though, began seeing Lucario as being way too slow with attacks that were too unsafe, giving him one of the worst neutral games, and his recovery being overrated as its exploitableness became more apparent, especially after the 1.0.4 nerf; these players considered him a character who suffered Crippling Overspecialization with the aura gimmick, thus leaving him ineffectual if you played safe and didn't panic over the aura. As time has went on, Lucario's tournament results were near barren for a long time and the fears of those who thought his aura made him broken didn't materialize, causing more and more players to be in the latter camp that looked down on him. Overall, Lucario's tier position remains one of, if not the most contentious, of all characters in Smash 4, with some still clinging to the belief that he's too powerful, while some think he's among the worst characters in the game, and running the whole gamut of tier positions among the rest of the playerbase. His results have notably improved as time went on, especially in Japan, so more players are ranking him higher nowadays, including being high tier at 17th on the Smashboards tier list.
  • In a similar case to Smash 4 Ike, Mewtwo was initially seen as a mediocre or terrible character. While it did receive noteworthy buffs, like increased utility in its Confusion and Disable specials, it became even lighter than before, its hitboxes remained awkward, and the loss of mobility options from Melee did not help it at all. By updates 1.1.3 and 1.1.5, however, Mewtwo gained very helpful buffs, including fixed hitboxes, faster and stronger attacks, and much better movement speed, helping it overcome its extremely low durability. As such, Mewtwo is now much more highly regarded and is seen by many as a high-tier or top-tier character.

    Super Smash Bros. Ultimate 
The game's meta will take a long time to form, due to the number of characters that are playable in the game, and the fact that not every DLC character has been announced. But there are a few characters that people have been keeping their eye on, for better and for worse.
  • King K. Rool is a very peculiar case of this. He's a typical Mighty Glacier Skill Gate Character, but with both some unique strengths and weaknesses. He's got a counter that can reflect projectiles so you can't easily camp him out, has his own projectiles which means he can camp you out, possesses special super armor on his stomach when using several of his moves, has attacks with pretty decent range, K.O. confirms at higher percents on his down throw that buries, has pretty decent frame data compared to most superheavies, has a nasty edgeguarding game courtesy of the infamous "Succ and Cucc" (his neutral projectile and its secondary suction component) that can completely destroy characters with situational or unsafe recoveries, and he has one of the hardest recoveries to punish in the game due to the propeller on his jetpack creating a hitbox above him, making him hard to edgeguard, all of that on top of being the second heaviest character in the game with really strong moves. Combined with lag from online multiplayer benefiting heavies the most, and you have casual players calling him overpowered without trying to find any counters to him. His weaknesses, however, start weighing in the more you get used to him; the super armor on his belly breaks after sustained damage and puts him into a 'broken shield' stunned state meaning his safest moves must be used sparingly, most of his fastest attacks have hefty endlag (his up air, which is his fastest one with frame 7 startup, has over one whole second of end lag if not canceled by landing, and up smash, which comes out on frame 6, has almost 60 frames of endlag), his crown toss projectile can be used against him as an item if it falls on the floor, his reflector counter loses to other reflectors due to its hefty end lag and the fact that it only works in front of him, he has bad ground and air speed, a relative dearth of combos outside of his down throw options in a game where most of the characters have at least a few good follow-ups, all on top of having by far the biggest hitbox of all the fighters, making it incredibly difficult to prevent being combo'd into oblivion. Despite all of this, with online input delays factored in, K. Rool players online are able to exploit his range, projectiles and burying tools more often, making him a force to be reckoned with. His viability as a result is a considerable topic of debate; while some proclaim that he's mid-tier, others suggest that he's on the lower end of the viability spectrum. The fact that he's also made fairly poor results at national tournament levels (with the notable exception of Australian K. Rool player Ben Gold winning Battle Arena Melbourne 11, the largest tournament in the region) only further adds to the confusion of where his true viability stands.
  • Like K. Rool, Simon Belmont and Richter Belmont are notorious Skill Gate Characters who were once believed to be major contenders, but settled on the lower end on the tiers after people got a feel for them. Their advantages are obvious: their great range, powerful smashes that can KO at shockingly low percentages, extensive zoning tools, and brutal edgeguarding games quickly earned them a rep, but as time went on, their many serious weaknesses became equally prominent. Among other things, their often-awkward hitboxes, frame vulnerability, overreliance on sweetspots, easy-to-gimp recovery, and great difficulty at coping with close-range pressure have all brought them down to upper mid-tier at best; the pros still waver on them, but most will agree that they do have serious weaknesses to match their strengths. Nonetheless, they are one of the most frequently complained-about characters by low-level players who do not know how to exploit their weaknesses, and there is a very real fear that their complaints will be overvalued and the Belmonts will be nerfed into the ground.
  • Lucas gained some hatred in Ultimate, while he doesn't have the sheer PSI power as Ness, but he can be an absolute nuisance if he gets the drop on you. Case in point his PK Freeze was buffed to nasty levels of scary thanks to the sheer edgeguarding potential combined with the nerf to the dodge mechanic makes it a pain just to get back on stage. His recovery compared to Ness is much more easier since he has a tether recover making less impractical than his PK Thunder. However characters such as Mr. Game and Watch or Villager can take abuse of his attacks and reflect back or get rid of his PK Thunder to send him offstage and similar to Ness, swordfighters can get to Lucas with no problem thanks to their disjointed range that beats Lucas' own disjointed ones. While it is agreed that Ness is superior to Lucas for very obvious reasons, it doesn't stop low level Lucas players to spam PK Freeze when the opportunity is given and therefore a pretty solid threat if not checked.
  • Ganondorf has finally settled into this position for Ultimate. It's agreed he's no longer low-tier material anymore but he's also the most severe case of a Skill Gate Character; he hits harder than any other character (for example, his reworked Forward Smash has great range and can kill at very low percents), and despite being a Mighty Glacier has pretty fast attacks such as his neutral-air. Combined this with the significantly reduced landing lag, and it can be a sheer pain to deal with Ganondorf. However, his bad air speed and lackluster recovery makes him highly vulnerable to being gimped off the stage, especially against projectile users such as Samus, Yoshi and Villager. Complacent Gaming Syndrome is another thing why people hated fighting Ganondorf, as he is lumped with Cloud as the most used characters online to cheese all the way up to Elite Smash which online is much worse due to the buffering and lag, and the stereotypical annoying Ganondorf player who relentlessly spams his forward and up-smashes and Flame Choke and makes numerous ill-conceived disrespect/flex attempts with Warlock Punch and his up-tilt that leave them wide open, then ragequits the minute that they get punished has further contributed to the stigma attached to him. Overall while decent offline but in online, Ganondorf is the most hated character because of a lot of exploits he can do even if players figure out his greatest flaws.
  • Link has become this over the course of the metagame. In contrast of his previous appearances, Link received a rework from his Breath of the Wild incarnation and exchanges some elements such as his grab ditches the hookshot for faster grab at the cost of the long range it has. His down special Rune Bomb now can detonate at will similar to Snake's down special and it can snipe or cripple characters with linear recoveries. But his most infamous tool is his side special Boomerang returning to how it functions in 64 and Melee which gets rid of the windbox of his Brawl and Smash 4 Gale Boomerang for set up combos and the fact he can angle it up or down to throw players off. To top it all off as a swordfighter which he benefits the new Ultimate engine and his sword's long reach can put some deadly pressure to players. While he does have weaknesses such as his Up special being linear and fast reflectors like Palutena or Mr. Game & Watch can take abuse of his arsenal he has a very deadly out of shield game and can be very annoying. It is agreed that he is up in the high mid tier section but online Link is arguably one of the most despised characters and considered to be a top tier monster online thanks to the lag and buffering.
  • Samus and her Echo Fighter Dark Samus, likewise, have become this. Initially believed to be among the worst characters in the game, after a few months of the metagame developing, it's generally agreed that Samus and her dark doppelganger are solid mid-tier characters. While they lost Samus' dash attack setups from Smash 4, they benefit from much better KO and combo games as well as a stronger projectile game in general. However, they both inherit some of Samus' longtime weaknesses, such as generally below-average speed, floatiness and vulnerability to combos, and a very unreliable jab combo. Furthermore, Dark Samus is generally considered to be very slightly superior to vanilla Samus due to her faster roll and lower-hitting Charge Shot, albeit not enough to invalidate the original bounty hunter. That said, in online play where lag becomes a factor, Samus and Dark Samus can become an absolute nightmare, where they can completely wall out opponents with their projectiles and with online lag making it much harder to react. Facing a Samus in lag with a Close-Range Combatant can be a major uphill battle, with the lag favoring Samus' projectiles and hampering the brawler's approach and combo tactics. Even in offline play, close-range Mighty Glaciers such as Ganondorf and King K. Rool have a very hard time approaching the armored warriors. It says something that YB, the highest-ranked online player in Japan, has achieved his position using Dark Samus.
  • The Hero is one of the most contentious examples in Super Smash Bros. history. Simply put, he is designed around RPG elements, boasting an MP system and some of the most luck-based mechanics ever put in a Smash game, if not fighting games period. He has several ways to kill opponents at absurdly early percents: his smash attacks all have a chance of landing a critical hit, which deals double damage and breaks shields absurdly quickly. His down special, Command Selection, has far too many options to be listed here, but his most infamous spells are Snooze, which puts opponents to sleep for a free smash attack; Bounce, a brief but constant reflector; Whack and Thwack, two potential One-Hit KO moves with the odds of its success increasing with percentage; Hocus Pocus, which can turn Hero giant or invincible but can just as easily screw you over; Kamikazee, a ludicrously powerful and unblockable self-destruct attack; Zoom, an effortless and unstoppable recovery move that you're more likely to get the nearer you are to the blast zone; and Magic Burst, a gigantic explosion that can cover almost the entire stage and is a pretty much guaranteed KO, but burns all of Hero's remaining MP (though it can be interrupted early). Even discounting his luck-based moves, his other specials have terrifying kill potential when fully charged, especially his side special, which can kill at percents comparable to his critical smash attacks, and his fully charged neutral special, which can punish recoveries hard at astonishingly low percents. All this in mind, he does have glaring weaknesses as well: first off, the frame data on his normal attacks tends to vary from decent to downright terrible, the most notorious being his back air, taking almost a third of a second to hit the opponent. His best special moves use up a lot of MP, meaning they have to be used sparingly if he wants any chance at recovery. Finally, the spells in his Command Selection are chosen at random, you won't regain MP while using it, and you have to make the decision manually, leaving you at constant risk of being interrupted or selecting the wrong option (e.g. using Kamikazee on your last stock, or picking the near-useless Kaclang command leaving yourself open for a free punish). As a result of his highly luck-based gameplay and potential language barrier problems from his Command Selection, in a competitive scene with a long-seated disdain for random and "unfair" elements, there have been serious calls to ban Hero ever since his release, something that ultimately came to pass in South Australia, and a lucky 0% KO with Thwack in the grand finale of a tournament in the US also intensified the debate overseas. On the other hand, Hero's weaknesses and heavy reliance on luck have thus far led to a rather lackluster tournament showing, leading others to defending his usage in competitive play and decrying the ban as too early and/or unnecessary.


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