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Snake in the Smash Ultimate Meta

Snake in the Meta

Since Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was released over two years ago, and Solid Snake has consistently been among the best characters in Ultimate.

Snake was first introduced in Super Smash Bros. Brawl as the first third-party character ever revealed in the series. Despite his absence from Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, Snake returned as a playable fighter in Ultimate, along every other character so far in the Super Smash Bros. series.

Tournament Representation of Snake

Like his Brawl iteration, Snake’s attributes make people often regard him as a top-tier character. In competitive play, Snake has top-level representation from all over the world. In the United States, Jestise “MVD” Negron, Andrew “ScAtt” Huntley and Saleem “Salem” Akiel Young have achieved top 50 in the most recent Panda Global Rankings. Snake also has impressive regional results in the U.S. from the likes of players of Armando “AC” Castaneda Villalobos in Southern California, Joshua “Pelca” Bedoya in New England and Bobo in Westchester and Tri-State.

Internationally, top-level Japanese Snake mains Kaito “Shogun” Kawasaki and DIO have placed well in both Japanese and U.S. tournaments. European smash veteran Ramin “Mr.R” Delshad co-mains Snake with Chrom in Ultimate, while boasting 44th on the PGR Fall 2019.

Character Design of Snake

When he debuted in Brawl, Snake had a unique design choice for its time as a heavyweight zoner with overall good frame data. R.O.B. was the only other heavyweight zoner at the time. Snake paved the way for other heavyweight zoners later in the series like Banjo and Kazooie and Piranha Plant. Upon returning as a fighter in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, he retains the same character design he had in Brawl.

Snake is tied with R.O.B. and Banjo and Kazooie for being the 18th heaviest character in the game. Snake comes with the 60th fastest dash speed as a tie with Corrin, Ivysaur, Peach and Daisy. He also ties with Simon and Richter for having the worst air acceleration in the game. So although Snake typically lives long in a match compared to most of the cast, it has a price. Snake has among the worst overall mobility in the game both in the air and on the ground. His overall good frame data and projectile game can make up for this flaw.

Moveset Utility of Snake

Snake Up tilt
Image Courtesy of Smash Wiki

Most of Snake’s kit is practical because of its low start-up frames. As shown by ultimateframedata.com, he possesses a frame four forward tilt and a frame six up tilt, both of which can be reliable and early kill options. In addition, up tilt can be a safe option with its deceptively large hitbox.

His jab also comes out on frame three, while his down-tilt comes out on frame six and can be safe if correctly spaced. Snake’s dash attack comes out on frame five, making it a vital burst option. Snake’s down aerial comes out in a whopping three frames, giving him another quick choice out of shield. He possesses another quick aerial in a frame seven back air, which can hit opponents from behind.

Snake as a fighter shines with his projectile game. His grenade can be argued for the best projectile in all of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate due to its sheer versatility. The move comes out in one frame, it can protect snake from opponents who try to juggle him and they can ledgetrap, zone and provide stage control.

Snake’s side special, Nikita, allows him to edgeguard his opponent without having to commit offstage. A missile is shot from Snake for the player to control. If skilled enough, the player can hit even the most difficult opponents offstage and take a stock.

His down special, C-4, is a remote bomb that can be detonated. This can be done either by the player’s choice or after 26 2/3 seconds. The move kills early, the threat of the move provides snake stage control, and it can give snake his recovery back after his up special, cypher, runs out.

Final Thoughts

Although Snake isn’t as highly regarded in the metagame as Pikachu or Joker, the opinion of top players and his consistent results in offline tournaments can lead one to assume that Snake is a good character. MVD thinks Snake is the eighth best character in the game. Leonardo “MkLeo” Lopez Perez, the best player in the world, says in his 2020 Super Smash Bros. Ultimate tier list video on his YouTube channel that “I’m pretty sure his disadvantage is the only bad thing”.

 

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