In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, few characters represent the slow yet hard-hitting archetype as well as Incineroar does.
As a slow and super heavyweight character, Incineroar has similar attributes in design to the likes of Ganondorf and King K. Rool. Although these characters share a lot of similar benefits, they are often shut down against opponents who know how to avoid gimmicks often possessed by super heavyweights to oppress or gain an advantage state. That is enough to explain where the majority of Incineroar’s flaws come from, as he is no different. Character design, and not his move set, is what pushes him low on many people’s tier lists.
Incineroar, with a run speed value of 1.18, is the worst offender among the whole roster according to kuroganehammer.com. Not only out of super heavyweights, but out of the whole roster. With poor run speed, it becomes more difficult to approach, pressure, and run away from opposing pressure on the ground.
He also has a linear recovery with his side special, Alolan Whip, and his up special, Cross Chop. The latter has startup armor on frames 4-15, according to ultimateframedata.com which helps him against people unaware of how the move works. Typically though, when Incineroar is offstage, he is relatively easy to edgeguard. Players can catch him after the lag of Alolan Whip or trade with Cross Chop after frame 15. These attacks can only traverse a certain distance, so a strong enough attack will kill him.
Super heavyweight characters are often either suppressed by a poor and/or limited disadvantage or recovery. Incineroar has a poor recovery among the likes of Ganondorf but not the worst disadvantage compared to characters like Donkey Kong and King DeDeDe.
Incineroar has the 20th fastest fall speed in the game and, according to ssbwiki.com, and ranks 79th in air speed. In spite of this, however, his disadvantage when being juggled from an onstage opponent can be beneficial for him. Incineroar can turn a game around with one move: his down special, revenge.
This move is a unique counter move. At the surface, a minor counterattack comes out upon revenge being triggered. However, the true appeal of this move is that it will power up the next attack Incineroar lands. This covers all ground attacks, all aerial attacks and other special attacks. Players could land the next move and have increased knockback and higher damage output. Revenge can stack up to three times, which can lead to situations where the opponent is scared of dying as low as 30% to a Cross Chop or Alolan Whip.
In addition, if the attack hits an opponent’s shield, there is more shield damage. Although Incineroar is generally slow in the air, camp there with caution as Alolan Whip can cover grounded landings. Also, according to ultimateframedata.com, he has single digit, aerial attacks which he can either juggle with, combo into other options or land safely with if well spaced. As long as one stay away from close range, they can make revenge completely burn out in 60 seconds. In spite of the counter-play, Incineroar can use revenge to his advantage against opponents who don’t understand the matchup.
And even in high levels of gameplay, players have to respect what Incineroar wants to do. It is important to know that one mistake, sometimes after playing perfectly for 90% of the match, means that one could still lose to Incineroar.
Incineroar’s design is a slow super heavyweight, but revenge alone makes him more threatening than a similarly designed character such as Ganondorf. Unlike the latter, however, Incineroar is designed in a more threatening way to punish mistakes by directly making his move-set based around that concept, instead of a super heavyweight character with simply strong attacks. Overall, his design is a unique take on his character archetype but it is arguably the best in doing so, despite his common low-tier placing.
“From Our Haus to Yours”