'Brawl Olimar was a monster... When Smash 4 came out I thought he was bottom tier; flat out garbage' - Dabuz on Olimar's transition from Brawl

Posted by Justin 'AdaptiveTrigger' Gordon • December 17, 2016 at noon PST

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


During part one of the interview, Dabuz talked about some of his thoughts on Rosalina.

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 Olimar's viability on the tier list, his match ups, and how well Olimar's transition from Super Smash Bros. Brawl to Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U went.
AdaptiveTrigger: Why do you play Olimar?

Dabuz: So Olimar is weird for me, I played him in Brawl solely because he's from my favorite GameCube game: Pikmin. In Smash 4, he's always been a counterpick character to me.

When Diddy Kong was overpowered and Rosalina vs. Diddy was unwinnable for Rosalina, Olimar did surprisingly well. Nowadays he is a good counterpick for matchups like Mega Man and Captain Falcon which I detest as Rosalina, or just catching people off guard.

The amount of times I've reverse 3-0ed (being down 0-2 and winning the set) top level players with him is pretty ridiculous. He ends up frustrating and confusing people more than I expect.

To be honest, I don't enjoy playing him in Smash 4 so it's almost like I want to play someone else for a tournament secondary but having half a decade of Brawl experience with Olimar carried over to Smash 4.

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

Dabuz: He's weird, his matchup spread makes him a really good counterpick and sometimes I want to put him at high as top 20. Other days I feel like he just can't win certain matchups and that he might be as low as bottom 20.

So it depends on the day, but that may just be my matchup knowledge not being well rounded.

AdaptiveTrigger: What are Olimar's strengths?

Dabuz: He is obnoxious, I can't stress this enough. I can visibly see my opponents get tilted and make mistakes while playing against him, and I think he gives me a mental edge over the opponent; especially after making them suffer through Rosa.

He's a small and hard to hit character that has pressure from long range, a lot of range on his attacks, a lot of damage output with his combos and individual hits, and the ability to play extremely defensive or aggressive and switch on the fly. His control especially of the mid range is intimidating.

Until the screen says game you aren't done fighting Olimar. He also has the advantage of the different Pikmin colors being hard to manage for opponents but easy for Olimar players.

AdaptiveTrigger: What are Olimar's weaknesses?

Dabuz: A lot of people will say his disadvantage state, I'm not sure if I agree because he has a lot of tricks and tools to get back to neutral.

I think his weakness is he can struggle to land kill moves, like he has a lot of power but the attacks with all that power are sometimes hard to hit with. It depends on the matchup.

He also has to deal with the fact that every attack with Pikmin has low priority, so savvy opponents will just cut through Pikmin attacks with their own attacks. Also, he is slow, so sometimes he just can't catch his opponent.

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

Dabuz: Diddy Kong for sure, I'd say he fares surprisingly well vs. Meta Knight, Mario, Villager, Bayonetta, Mega Man, Captain Falcon, the Pits, Rosalina, Lucas, Zero Suit Samus, and Marth.

AdaptiveTrigger: What are Olimar's disadvantageous match ups?

Dabuz: He has a mixed bag of bad matchups: Fox, Sheik, Yoshi, Ness, Sonic, and just characters in general that run away from him too well or keep him in the disadvantage easily.

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

Dabuz: Fox, that character absolutely destroys him because of his speed and frame data, Olimar's only saving grace is that Fox is combo food.

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

Dabuz: Not too hard but not too easy. He has a lot of tricks and gimmicks of his own, but he's versatile and pretty well rounded. If you can play Smash, then with a bit of time investment you can play Olimar.

AdaptiveTrigger: How would you describe Olimar's transition from Brawl to the Wii U Smash? The learning curve differences and how strong the character is. What do you think of Olimar's new limit of 3 Pikmin instead of 6, and the less emphasis on a random number generator?

Dabuz: OK so like, Brawl Olimar was a monster, in my opinion he only lost two matchups, and had like 1 or 2 even matchups. He solidly beat every other character in the game with an overpowered defensive walling game, easily the third best character.

When Smash 4 came out I thought he was bottom tier; flat out garbage. It took a lot of time for me to realize that in Smash 4 he has a lot of the same strengths and strategies as in Brawl, just with worse execution.

I wasn't the only one, but surprisingly, a lot of Olimar mains still use him despite that initial impression we all had, it just took a lot of creative thinking and adjusting to the Smash 4 meta. A lot of recent nerfs to the top tiers helped him too.

The 3 Pikmin limit is why I don't like him much anymore. In Brawl, it felt fun to constantly cycle around Pikmin for optimal lineups and with 6 you could really play with the Pikmin while 3 Pikmin, and a set pluck order, makes cycling a slow and easy process which makes lineup management too predictable.

AdaptiveTrigger: How useful is each Pikmin color? What do you tend to do with each Pikmin color and when?

Dabuz: Purple Pikmin are the best by far since they let him dominate close and mid range encounters with pressure, he can kill earlier, and with 2 purples he basically shuts down everyone.

Followed by white Pikmin which just do an obscene amount of damage and can create good openings for him.

After that red and blue are both similar, depending on percents they have great grab combos including kill options, and the choice between them mostly depends on which grab combos you want [with a] slight edge to red because fire resistant is more useful and it does kill earlier than blue in most regards.

Finally, yellow is the worst color. The uses of it over other colors hasn't been explored much but from what I've labbed, they don't have particular benefits over the other colors outside of edgeguarding.
A big special thanks to RNG|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 other topics with Dabuz that are not directly related to Rosalina or 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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