A new patch opens up a series of discussions. The flood content and balance tweaks, makes players speculate on the game’s evolution. This particular occasion features Dragon Quest’s Hero. Bringing with him a controversy due to his inconsistent mechanics. However, in this patch, something snuck under the radar. Yggdrasil’s Altar is the new dragon quest stage, and it is quite something.
In Nintendo’s showcase stream, Masahiro Sakurai played around the stage showing the world its quirks. He used the hazardless version and instantly made the competitive community look the other way. It features platforms near the side blast zones and chests that grant a random item with a chance to transform into a Mimic. It was safe to think it wasn’t going to be anything great. Sakurai’s idea of the game is having casual fun. So why would he put time and effort into making it balanced?
With this in mind, when the stage dropped it felt great. Yggdrasil’s Altar features a hazardless environment that doesn’t directly influence how a player drops a stock. If the community shows awareness, it’s only a matter of time until it joins the standard stage list of every tournament.
Yggdrasil’s Altar begins as the main stage is anchored to a bottom platform. At first, it might look like it offers a walk-off, a major no for competitive stages. However, the bottom platform has grabbable ledges, making sure no player is at risk of unfairly losing a stock.
The next challenge is the stage’s liftoff. It sounds threatening but in reality is a really slow transformation, offering more than enough time to react. Meaning that it’s extremely hard for players to get caught by this shift.
Another niche feature is the stage’s platform changes, offering four standard layouts. More specifically, one standard triplat layout, a biplat with two uneven platforms on the right side, a Kalos like biplat with platforms over the edge, and a biplat with a sloped platform on the left and an even one on the right. The stage appears to change from a flat stage to any of the previously mentioned layouts every 40 to 45 seconds. As a result, shifting back and forth from a flat stage to having platforms.
As the layouts change the platform’s exit both horizontally and vertically. However, only platforms exiting horizontally kill. This makes the stage’s platforms work similarly to Town and City’s.
There is only one small detail left, a tribute to Dragon quest that makes this stage more consistent. This shows up in Slimes, the mascots of the series. Whenever platforms are about to exit the stage, a slime appears in front of a platform. This feature serves as an important visual that aids the player in moving according to the present situation.
This stage offers a safe environment for competition. With this in mind, it should find itself in future stage lists. The mixed layouts it provides help give some variety to the current metagame. Some characters should find comfort in the stage, making it a good counter pick. This said, Yggdrasil’s Altar should become a standard in the rulesets of the future.
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Featured image provided by Nintendo