'Everyone who understands the game at a competitive level believed [ZeRo's] opinion was misguided' - Dabuz on ZeRo's tier placement of Rosalina

Posted by Justin 'AdaptiveTrigger' Gordon • December 16, 2016 at 10:02 a.m. PST

For my weekly Smash Bros. pro interview, I decided to ask Samuel 'Dabuz' Buzby about some of his opinions on Rosalina. This is part one of three of my interview with Dabuz.


Dabuz is widely considered to be the best Rosalina and Olimar player of Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U. He is very well-known for fully utilizing the defensive strengths of his characters.

In this part of the interview, we go over Rosalina's viability on the tier list, her match ups, and how he perceived ZeRo's opinion of placing Rosalina as the number one character on his personal tier list.
AdaptiveTrigger: Why do you play Rosalina?

Dabuz: I love to play with characters that use puppets in any game I play, whether it's smash, blazblue, soul calibur, ect. and this extends into other genres.

For example I love strategy games like starcraft 2, Xcom, ect. just because, there's a certain satisfaction I get from finding setups to maximize the strength of my characters in a way that looks unbeatable, it's also mentally stimulating to be managing so much at once.

Rosalina is the only character in smash 4 that let's me play a game within the game, no other character has the type of options she has. Also she is one of the most frustrating characters to play against, and I love to annoy my opponents because once you break someone's mentality down you can obliterate them.

AdaptiveTrigger: Where do you think Rosalina is on the tier list? Which characters do you put above her on your tier list?

Dabuz: She's on the lower end of top 10 next to Mewtwo and Zero Suit Samus, with common tournament threats like Bayonetta, Mewtwo, Diddy Kong, Sheik, Mario, and Sonic all being above her.

AdaptiveTrigger: What are Rosalina's strengths?

Dabuz: She has one of the best walls in the game, it's hard to hit her and she puts immense pressure on her opponents because of the range of her attacks. She also has terrifying momentum, it's no exaggeration to say I'll take entire stocks without getting hit once I get the right opening.

Also she's a bit unpredictable for the opponent because of Luma.

AdaptiveTrigger: What are Rosalina's weaknesses?

Dabuz: She relies on Luma for almost everything, she goes into the worst character in the game for 12.5 seconds once you kill Luma, and a lot of things will go wrong in that time, so that means once she gets opened up, that's it, she is screwed.

AdaptiveTrigger: What are Rosalina's advantageous match ups that are relevant to the tournament scene?

Dabuz: She does well vs. Fox, Sheik, Diddy Kong, Ryu, Mario, pretty much all the characters without much range.

AdaptiveTrigger: What are Rosalina's disadvantageous match ups?

Dabuz: All the sword characters give her trouble, so Cloud, Meta Knight, Marth, Lucina, and Corrin for example.

AdaptiveTrigger: What is Rosalina's worst match up? Why?

Dabuz: Meta Knight, he does marvel vs. capcom-esque 0-deaths on her, so even though Rosalina wins the neutral, winning that every time is almost impossible.

AdaptiveTrigger: How would you describe Rosalina's learning curve?

Dabuz: Weird. You can win with pure fundamentals using her and sometimes "steal" games without even meaning too, so a good player will go far without much effect.

However the moment you hit high level play you need to learn how to utilize Luma as his own character, and two years later us Rosa mains are still discovering stuff, so the curve is ridiculous.

AdaptiveTrigger: How difficult is it to perform desyncs with Luma?

Dabuz: Difficult, you have to set up the desyncs and know how to use them without being predictable, the only exceptions are the Lagless landings (also known as lunar lands) which have consistent setups to throw out attacks with Luma while Rosa is free to act however she wants.

Everything else requires a specific timing, spacing, setup, Luma position, ect. and even among Rosa players, we all have different tactics.

AdaptiveTrigger: Rosalina is often seen as a very top tier character, yet is a very rarely played character. Not only that but no other player has been as successful with Rosalina as you. Why do you think this is?

Dabuz: There's a lot of reasons she's not popular: she is not beginner friendly, due to a poor disadvantage state (being big, floaty, easy to kill, and relying on a killable minion) and not having any easy to abuse tools, you can't just pick up and play Rosa.

Instead Rosa is a long term investment because you can't afford to make mistakes. She's overwhelming to pick up, it's like when you don't attend school classes then need to cram for a test, all the knowledge you need to absorb is intimidating and makes people not want to play her.

She got heavily nerfed early into the game and I think that made a lot of people lose faith in her as well. She is a defensive based character, and most people by nature prefer being aggressive and flashy.

Now compare her to someone like Mario, a character with a simple and defined gameplan that likes to play aggressively and is well rouned and you'll see why most players, including top players, pick other characters.

I'm just an exception to all this because I love these high investment technical characters who thrive on defense and playing perfect, as a result I'm the only top brawl player who really likes playing her.

AdaptiveTrigger: ZeRo's most recent tier list listed Rosalina as the best character in the game. Specifically he mentions that either Rosalina or Sonic is the best character in the game. What do you think of this? Does Rosalina have this kind of potential compared to other characters?

Dabuz: Zero's opinion is his own but I along with pretty much everyone who understands the game at a competitive level believed his opinion was misguided. Theory and results don't and never have supported the claim that she is number 1.

Rosalina has a lot of potential in all areas of her play as I am relearning recently and sadly not enough people exploring it, but she has defined weaknesses and I don't think such a volatile character can be number 1 as long as her disadvantage is garbage.
A big special thanks to Dabuz for taking the time to speak with us. If you want to see more from Dabuz, be sure to follow him on his Twitter and Twitch accounts.

Tomorrow, we'll be covering Dabuz's opinions on his other character, Olimar.

More interviews with top Wii U Smash Bros. players


-Ally: Mario part 1, Mario part 2
-Mr. ConCon: Luigi
-Dath: Robin
Photo source: Stephanie Lindgren.
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