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'If Final Destination was the only stage in Melee, Marth would be the best character' - Mew2King's top 5 in Super Smash Bros., tier list pt.3

Posted by Steven 'Dreamking23' Chavez • May 8, 2014 at 8:17 p.m. PDT • Comments: 32

We here at EventHubs have just launched our Super Smash Bros. Melee tiers section in which players can go in and vote on match ups for all 26 characters.

In order to get a bit more than just match up numbers, we've tapped one of the best Super Smash Bros. Melee players on the circuit today: Empire Arcadia's own Jason "Mew2King" Zimmerman. In his Smash Bros. career, Jason has taken home the gold in a myriad of large events, including EVO, APEX, and more.

Today we conclude Mew2King's Melee tier list. This article takes a look at the top 5 characters, and discusses why M2K feels each characters ranks where they do.

Mew2King had quite a bit to say about the 5 best in Super Smash Bros. Melee, so sit back, grab your popcorn, and check out everything after the jump.

5. Marth

Despite the fact that Armada has won more Peach tournaments than me or any other Marth have won, I still think Marth is better than Peach (except Peach is better vs Falco). Marth is just extremely good overall, but he has problems KOing at high %s and also has no good out of shield options. He loses to the 4 characters above him except on Final Destination.

His recovery is pretty bad and easy to cover all of his options in many situations, and he gets 0-deathed pretty hard. However, he can also 0-death you very quickly. He is the worst of the top tiers, but better than any high tiers. If Final Destination was the only stage in Melee, then Marth would be hands down the best character overall, no contest. He does become much worse on other stages however.

4. Sheik

Despite the fact that Sheik loses to Fox/Falco/Puff/Ice Climbers, she is SO good vs. all of the other characters that I believe she deserves the number 4 spot. There was one point in time that I thought she was the best character in the game, but I found out that she had many limitations (such as recovery or lack of good approach) that the above characters do not have.

In teams, Sheik is by far one of the best characters, has the best edge game tied with Jigglypuff, and the best edge guarding period. Sheik is an extremely good character, I just do not currently think that she is better than any of the top 3 characters. I could see her being better than Jigglypuff possibly, but currently I do not hold that opinion, but I could see it being true.

3. Jigglypuff

I believe Jigglypuff is better than everyone except Fox/Falco for several reasons. One of these reasons is because she can constantly take a minor risk or 50/50 scenario to try to kill you, and if she succeeds, your stock is over. If you get the stock lead as Jigglypuff, you can just camp until you get a chance to rest the opponent (which will usually happen at some point).

One thing most Jigglypuffs do not do as good as me is planking. Ledge hop Fairs (and sometimes Dair if you believe they will block) can be used at many various timings to have a huge advantage once you get a stock lead. I have used this strategy in tournament vs. Hax to 4 stock him on two different occasions last year. It is at the point that I almost feel Jigglypuff should have a ledge grab limit because of how good this tactic is against some characters. However, because Hungrybox does not use this tactic (I think he is not good at it), and because most Jigglypuffs are not great players, this will not be common enough to ever matter so no rule will ever be placed.

Jigglypuff's style screams out "consistency" more than any other character. You can use a very bad controller and still play her extremely well. The idea of camping until you can get a good guess, read, or 50/50, is very powerful and easy to do consistently.

Up throw rest kills Fox at 11% on Final Destination, and one Jigglypuff strong aerial does 12%. This means Jigglypuff can just hit you a single time and then go for rests (land next to you with no aerial then grab or up tilt which you cannot react to easily at all, Pound you to trick your dash dance game while you wait for a Bair but she does Pound instead, or just wavedash back and up throw you).

Dreamland 64 is also EXTREMELY good for Jigglypuff, making her have basically an auto-win stage vs. almost anybody. Players that get frustrated easily or impatient are especially easy to deal with as Jigglypuff. In many years from now, when all of the Gamecube controllers are no longer good, Jigglypuff will become even better than she is right now.

Teams is a completely different story however. She is probably the best character in teams (unless Fox is better which is very debatable and I still think Puff is better honestly). I needed to use Jigglypuff in order to win RoM6 and RoM7 teams (Revival of Melee tournament series). Had I not had a good Jigglypuff, I may have very well lost both of those tournaments. Fox was not cutting it.

In teams, Jigglypuff can constantly take risks for a rest, and if she succeeds it is an instant kill. If she misses, there is a high chance she will either not be punished (her teammate can jab her) or her punishment will be very minor, because of all the other chaos and distractions in teams. Rest is far easier to hit in teams as well. Besides just Rest however, you do not need to save Jigglypuff in teams because her recovery is so good. However, by using Jigglypuff's aerials or pound, she can still save you in teams quite easily. She can also jump off the stage to do edge guard "risks", and if she ends up missing, it does not matter because she still has 4 more jumps and an air dodge to get back on stage with.

Should you try to edge guard Jigglypuff and miss (she can trick you and move backwards at the last second and then Pound you for example), she can reverse-edge-guard-you very quickly and easily.

Overall Jigglypuff can go for low risk, high-reward all the time, which makes her very powerful. Her weight allows her to escape combos very easily and DI off stage whenever needed and still be okay. She is a very underrated character; and I am not just talking here, I actually use Jigglypuff quite a bit in tournament recently (despite my total play time with her DRASTICALLY lower than most of my other top tier characters), but mostly for teams because she excels here.

2. Fox

Pretty self-explanatory, Fox is very similar to Falco and his tools make him some of the best of the best. Not much to say here that is not already obvious. Fox is also better in teams than Falco and if you average teams with singles, then Fox is the best character.

I believe Falco is the overall best in singles, despite the fact that Fox has a better matchup vs Peach due to easier kills and a more convenient full jump for that matchup, and kills Puff in the sky easier too (but Falco locks down Puff easier). I strongly believe Falco is better in singles overall, despite popular opinion. I have thought about this my entire Melee career.

1. Falco

I have believed that Falco was the best for a very long time since 2005 to the present based on numerous reasons.

Results is one reason. One reason is that not only do I lose to this character personally (despite being the best Marth and Sheik against Falco in the world in both matchups), but I see various Falcos always winning tournaments. Some notable ones that win majors all the time were PC Chris, Mango, and Dr PeePee. Various Falcos have won more major tournaments than any other character in the past 9 years, and I believe that really says something about how good the character is. Unlike Fox, he is easier to play consistently at a top level, making for higher levels of consistency.

Guaranteed combos are a lot more common with Falco than Fox. You cannot DI out of his combos as easily (usually not at all in many top level scenarios) and in many cases there is nothing you can do at all in many situations except for eating a large guaranteed combo. Fox, for instance, you can DI or smash DI his Dair to escape quickly, or DI down when he does Nair combos and then mix up your tech rolling options to have a 50/50 to escape the combo. Falco's combos are more guaranteed; his short hop Bair both autocancels and has more range, and Dair has much more range, he has a guaranteed spike (Dair) that you cannot meteor cancel, sets up for massive guaranteed combos on platforms (or even on FD is inescapable), and outprioritizes most moves without even trading. Once a Dair hits you, you are often going to eat a death combo in many situatons, or at least a solid punishment.

You can more easily react to edge guarding Fox than Falco, because when you jump off the stage, you can visually see if Fox chooses to use an Illusion or a Firefox. With Falco, because his phantasm (illusion) is a few frames faster, you cannot simply jump off stage to react to both options; instead, you have to pick one option and cover that one, and you will be unable to cover the other option usually. Fox's illusion is slow enough that you can often react to both options in many situations. (Falco's illusion also spikes you, making it more threatening should you get hit by it).

Falco also has solidly more range in almost all of his moves, and and he is heavier both horizontally (weight) and vertically (mostly terminal falling speed). The range advantage is pretty important because almost ALL of his moves have solidly more range than Fox.

Tech chasing is far more dangerous against Falco than Fox, because of 2 reasons. One reason is that his tech roll goes massively further than Fox's, meaning that if Sheik down throws Falco, and is trying to react in a way that will cover all the options, and Falco tech rolls away, he can usually spot dodge, jab, or dash away before the Sheik can regrab or dash attack him. Combine this with reason 2, which is tech in place + Shine.

You do not have to do this all the time (you can jab or buffer roll for example), but doing this about half the time is a very good mixup because it is very easy to combo off of the shine. Should you waveshine towards the enemy, you get a free huge combo (from jumping above them and Dairing at the last second before they escape the hitstun).

Even if you miss the waveshine and just do a regular shine, if they do not DI away (which will happen often since the Sheik is not expecting to be hit) you still get an easy combo. With Fox, you are less likely to get a waveshine combo in my experience (by a lot) than you are a Falco combo. But you can also react to all the options with Fox on tech chasing because of how little range his tech roll goes. You can have a delayed reaction on Fox, and still be able to dash grab his tech roll, where as if you have the same reaction time on Falco, you will miss him often.

Perhaps the biggest thing of all, however, is lasers. If you do not powershield consistently, these lock you down really hard. (And nobody has a higher than 50% powershield rate; and even when you do powershield, if the Falco just camp it does only 1% (half damage) back to Falco. Furthermore, if Falco decides to dash away (like he should usually be doing) after a Short Hop Laser, it automatically smash DIs away the laser away from Falco so that Marth's powershield grab from neutral stance won't even reach Falco. This means the only good approach to Falco is to run and hope you get the powershield and then lead it into a Grab or Aerial. Due to the fact that the powershield window is so incredibly small (and you may light shield by accident sometimes even if you do not think you are), this makes this type of approach rather inconsistent with most controllers and characters. Falco can also condition you with lasers and do combos like Mango's Laser -> F tilt (always works) or Laser -> F smash (works if you hit the opponent out of the air). You can be across the other side of the stage and still use the laser to get a guaranteed combo on the opponent in many situations. This also includes a jab-reset, into a forward smash, from across the entire stage on a missed tech (which happens often in my experience). In situations where you do not have a guaranteed combo, you can still condition them or put them in a situation where you can be safe (such as get in their face and dash away) but close enough that they have to use their human reaction time (12-15 frames) to decide that they probably have to take action, and then whiff a move and often be punished for it.

Shine-grab also grabs before you (any character) can shield grab, and laser-grab also grabs before you can shield grab. If you do not have a quick shine OOS or nair oos, then you must roll away or not be in that scenario to avoid this. You can also spot dodge but that must be timed perfectly and should Falco do anything else, you are going to get punished hard. Another pressure mixup is to rising Nair after shine (happens before anyone except maybe sheik can nair OOS), and pull backwards out of shield grab range (not even Marth can shield grab it). Fox can do this too however (and Fox's nair and pull back on shield after shine, is BETTER than Falco's slightly), but Falco's shine grab is better.

Why is Falco's shine-grab better? If Fox's shine hits, Fox gets absolutely nothing out of it except 4-5 damage and a neutral stance. If Falco's shine hits, it leads to a massive combo even if the grab part of the shine-grab whiffs. Most situations you also will not be DIing the shine, meaning you can do a FH Uair (or any aerial) and then do a combo from there. Even if you are DIing away the shine, Falco can always Short hop laser towards you into an F tilt or F smash. Reason number 2 that Falco's shine grab is better is because Falco's shine has 1 more frame of shield stun advantage than Fox's. Fox's shine to aerial is 1 frame superior to Falco's because Fox's jump is 2 frames faster than Falco's (in air frame 4 instead of 6), however since you do not need to be in the air to initiate the shine-grab, this makes Falco's shine-grab +1 better than Fox's, in addition to a shine-combo should the grab miss. Fox's shine grab can be better in a situation where you can up throw Uair to KO the opponent. Most situations it is not better however.

I have multiple reasons for thinking Falco is better than Fox, which many (from the top of my head) are listed above just from the top of my head. Despite Fox being more common as a secondary or among mid or high level players, the tournament results in the past 9 years as well as consistency and the theorycraft i listed above all support Falco as being the best character. I also personally believe Falco 60:40s Marth and Sheik, where as Fox 55:45s Marth and Sheik.

You can check out all three parts of Mew2King's Super Smash Bros. Melee tier list below.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Big thanks to Empire Arcadia and Mew2King for taking the time to speak with us.
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