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Esports Fighting Games

Smash Bros Ultimate: What should be tournament legal?

The Smash Ultimate hype train just keeps on moving as an August 8th Nintendo direct showed off even more new characters and features. New characters like Simon Bellmont and King K Rool have players more excited than ever for Ultimate. Some of the new gameplay features have the Smash community a bit polarized, however. The two that have raised the most concern are the new stage morph mechanic and final smash meter. Both of these are completely optional and should be a joy in casual play. But the biggest question in the community is whether or not these should be made tournament Legal.

So many possibilities

There are over 100 unique stages to choose from in Smash Ultimate. With the new ability to turn off stage hazards, we will likely see several new stages become tournament legal. But why stop there?

So many stage possibilities, but will it work?

Ultimate also offers a new stage morph mechanic. This allows you to choose two stages at before the match starts, and the stage you start on will change into the second stage you chose. This occurs either at random or on a timer you set. This could add so many elements to competitive play, and could be pivotal in the games meta. However it’s all fun and games until someone loses a stock because a stage transition screwed them over.

This is where the very slippery slope begins to descend. Ideas like this are fun in concept but can be tricky in execution. This community has been very firm on what and what not to bring to competitions. Items, stage hazards and more random elements to the game that can tarnish the validity of a win/loss. So an element like this will have to be thoroughly tested and studied before it becomes a tournament staple. I personally wouldn’t be opposed to this new feature in competitive play if it was tested and reasonable. This next feature however…

Competitive Final Smashes?

Ok look, I enjoy final smashes. They’re fun to look at, and offer a glimpse into a characters origin. However, I don’t think they belong in competitive play. Final smashes have never been apart of competitive Smash 4 outside of rare occasions during the early days. This is mainly due to the fact that they were only accessible through an item, and items are banned from tournament play. So when Sakurai announced that chargeable final smashes would make their way into Ultimate; the debate quickly began. Now players have the option of toggling on a final smash meter that charges quite like any other traditional fighting game.

This final smash would be a weaker version compared to the Smash ball variant which is typically a one hit kill. The community has been divided on this decision for the past two weeks now. Many see this as a cool way to liven up the matches and add a new layer of excitement. Others see this as an open and shut waste of time that is in no way tournament viable.

My personal opinion, this ain’t the one chief. I honestly don’t see final smashes, weakened or not, being feasible in competitive play.

This… This is not Ok

I don’t think the people who want this feature in tournaments truly understand how having these super moves will affect the game. While we don’t know exactly how every final smash works, we do know how some of them do. Having this knowledge, it’s clear that having these in tournaments will drastically shift the meta. It’s a completely different game with final smashes.

Last hit situations will be completely changed. Imagine being last hit with a Mario, they get their final smash and now you have a giant, fullscreen unblockable wave of fire carrying you offstage. If you think Bayonetta is broken now, image her being ably to activate witch time at the press of a button. Advantage states, last hit situations and more could now be decided by who has their final smash available at the moment. I think it’s very interesting how moves like witch time, mechanics like rage and other smash 4 jank have been condemned by the community, but now we want super moves in tournaments. These chargeable final smashes will definitely be tested at locals and other venues. But I wouldn’t get my hopes up for seeing them at Genesis next year.

These are just one persons opinions and We’d love to hear yours down in the comments below!

Featured image courtesy of youtube.

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