We’ve talked a lot about the Smash 4 meta when it comes to singles competition, but not much about doubles. Doubles play is a pretty big part of every tournament, even though it does take a backseat to singles. As a spectator, it’s very interesting to see what character combinations players use to compete against one another. But recently, we haven’t seen much of that in Smash 4 doubles, and one character may be to blame. Cloud absolutely dominates the doubles scene and has been the center of a lot of controversy lately. Many think he should be banned from use in doubles play to mitigate his prevalence in the meta. But, is this the best option?
How good is he?
One of the biggest problems people have with cloud in doubles is that he takes the fun out of watching the event, here’s why. Cloud is such a good pick in doubles play because his options and skillset increase drastically when he has a teammate.
One of clouds most powerful tools is his limit mechanic. Cloud charges his limit meter, and when full his specials become deadly. In a singles match you can stop cloud from charging his limit much easier. But with a teammate he can get limit much easier because he has a teammate to run to the front lines and protect him. Another big problem is just how good clouds normals and aerials are. Clouds large sword and disjointed aerials allow him to handle two players at once much easier than any other character.
Because of this he can be almost impossible to deal with if his teammate can set him up for follow-ups properly. There are other reasons like his crazy good juggling ability and his sword just being tough to deal with, but it all ties into him being great in doubles. Now this wouldn’t be a big problem if only a few players played cloud, but this isn’t the case. Cloud is such a stellar character in doubles that just about every team has at least one. which is where the biggest problem comes in.
Not fun to watch
Doubles usually isn’t the highlight of any tournament, garnering far less viewership than singles competition. Smash 4 is entering its fourth year since release, so naturally viewership isn’t as high as in the past.
However doubles seems to be getting less attention every tournament and cloud is a big reason for it. With cloud being such a viable pick in doubles, you’re almost guaranteed to lose if you don’t have one on your team. One team that really brought this to light was the team of 2ggc Komorikiri and Echo fox MVG MK Leo. This duo dominated doubles almost every tournament not just because they’re 2 of the best in the game; but also because they both use cloud.
With more and more teams using cloud, it’s a rarity to see a doubles team without him. Cloud is obliterating the competition in doubles by a mile. Almost every tournament in the past year had a team with a cloud player winning it all. This is very problematic for a few reasons. If Teams with cloud always win, it changes the meta, it forces players to use the character just to be able to compete. If every team is using cloud, the fun in watching the event goes away. There are teams who pick different characters and mix things up, but they’re almost always beaten by a team with cloud. This has been hurting viewership and has brought up the discussion of a ban.
Should he be banned?
Banning a character in any game isn’t something that just happens overnight, it takes time and consideration. One big factor of considering a ban is how the character in question affects the meta. Back in the brawl days meta knight was banned in some tournaments because he was harming the game’s meta (no pun intended).
Meta Knight was so good that players would just choose to play him just to stand a chance. So almost everyone was playing only one character every tournament. One of the most iconic moments in brawl history when Nairo beat zero at apex 2014, was a Meta Knight ditto. Things like this shape the meta around a single character which is very harmful to a competitive game.
It also hurts viewership because people get tired of seeing the same characters being used in every tournament. Crowds go wild when a seldom used low tier character shines on the big stage, because it’s so fresh and exciting. Another thing to consider for a ban is how the community will react. Another option is to ban double cloud, because that combination is simply too much to reasonably deal with, without picking cloud yourself. Cloud is a very prevalent character and outright banning him will definitely rub people the wrong way. banning a character also makes a game look bad to outside communities. It makes people think your community can’t properly handle an overpowered character and just act rashly. so what should be done?
I think having one “test tournament where cloud is banned in doubles would do the community a lot of good. Being able to see how the community reacts in a controlled environment would be very good in my opinion, and would certainly ruffle less feathers. Banning him outright is not the right move, and even though it’s much easier to do nothing, for fear of upsetting lovers of the character; we as a community have to respond. Smash Switch is right around the corner, and it’d be a shame for the same problems to plague the new game.
What do you think about Cloud in doubles? Should he be banned? Let us know down in the comments below!
Featured image courtesy of Dualshockers.
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