For most of Smash Ultimates’s lifespan, Diddy Kong has been seen as a mid-tier. Many in the Smash community noticed that Diddy didn’t play as he did in Smash 4, where he was revered as one of the best characters in the game. As a result, the character fell out of favor and many players dropped him. However, in July of 2020, “Even Matchup Gaming” (EMG) hosted “Get On My Line,” an Online Smash Bros. Ultimate Tournament. Gavin “Tweek” Dempsey took the tournament, mainly using Diddy Kong. Since then, notable players like Tweek and Aaron “dyr” Wilhite, to name a few, have been pushing Diddy Kong’s meta. Some in the community, like Juan “Hungrybox” DeBiedma have stated: “Diddy Kong at the very worst is Mid-High or High tier and no one knows it”. This article will briefly touch on Diddy’s playstyle as well as Tweek’s strategies with him.
Diddy Kong’s Playstyle
Diddy has received a plethora of buffs in past Ultimate updates, but patch 8.0.0 and 3.1.0 really made the character shine. With buffs to his Forward tilt, Dash attack and down smash, Diddy is a tricky character to go up against. Bannan peal is a great tool for ledge trapping, whiff punishing and covering landings. He also has tricky movement by “B-reversing” either banana peel and Peanut Pogun (neutral B). Diddy is dangerous with bananas. If players know how to “Z-Drop areal” banana peel, they can use an areal to pick up banana peel again, allowing for shield pocks with banana in hand and the ability to fight with it as well. Banana is a great tool that is a constant threat to opponents and can lead to devastating combos if left unchecked. With these tricky moment options and playstyle, Diddy Kong is extremely versatile and hard to read if put in the right hands.
According to the 2019 PGR (Panda Global Rank), Tweek is third globally and currently ranked ninth on the “Wi-fi Warrior Rank v6”. Tweek has been inconsistent when it comes to the characters he plays. He has used and eventually dropped several characters such as Young Link, Chrom, Pokemon Trainer, and Wario, to name a few. Many in the community have criticized Tweek for switching mains constantly. However, these criticisms are invalid. Since Tweek switches characters constantly, it is difficult to pin down exactly who he will play and how he will play, making him a versatile and deadly opponent. While Tweek has been inconsistent in his character choices, he has been consistent in placing high in tournaments.
Tweek is very methodical in the way he plays, using bait & punish strategy. When Tweek sees an opening, he goes for High-risk-High reward punishes. While this strategy is great, it is vulnerable to a defensive style of play. Bait & punish style of playing, works extremely well with Diddy Kong, being a good trap character with excellent punishes. Tweek uses Diddy’s banana to threaten his opponents by Z-dropping it and picking it up with an aerial, making banana a consistent threat. With Banan, he can whiff punish opponents even when they are not near him. Allowing him to get one of his “high-risk, high-reward” combos. A trap that Tweek constantly uses at the ledge is Z drop banana into down air, which done correctly can lead into a down air spike, giving Tweek an opportunity for an early kill.
Diddy Knog is a great character in Smash Ultimate. He is extremely versatile with a great punish game. However, Tweek’s successes have been primarily online due to COVID-19. Thus, it is difficult to say if going back to offline events will have a negative effect on Diddy’s playstyle. Regardless, it will be interesting to see how Diddy will develop within the Meta and see if Tweek sticks with Diddy or drops him in the Future.