Could Bayonetta be returning to her original status of best character in the game?

Posted by Justin 'AdaptiveTrigger' Gordon • October 28, 2016 at 11:04 a.m. PDT

It's been awhile since Bayonetta was the recipient of a patch that was dedicated only towards nerfing her. Now that people have gotten over the initial shock of that patch and are no longer saying Bayonetta is "dead," the topic of Bayonetta's status as a top tier has been a topic of discussion for a lot of players

Exactly just how good is Bayonetta now after the nerfs? When asked by ZeRo if Bayonetta loses any match ups, Salem responded by saying that "she technically doesn't lose any match ups." Salem ended up outright saying that he thinks that Bayonetta is still the best character in the game.

Salem is best known as the best Bayonetta main in the world who has taken sets off of Ally, Nairo, Kameme, Abadango, Marss, Zinoto, Tweek, Mew2King, Mr.E, and even ZeRo. Salem is the 15th player to have taken a set off a ZeRo and is also the first player to have double eliminated ZeRo outside of grand finals.

ESAM has commented on Bayonetta essentially being a "new-age Metaknight." This seems to be referencing the poor neutrals of the two characters but deadly touch of death options that are available in place of a solid neutral game. A few non-competitive games between Salem and ZeRo does a good job of showcasing these combos.

Click images for animated versions

At one point, there was a somewhat intense discussion between ZeRo and ESAM over Twitter regarding Bayonetta. ESAM essentially claimed that DIing out of Bayonetta's combos shouldn't be an issue from the game's best player.

It seems that while ESAM does believe Bayonetta to probably be a top 5 character, he appears to not be sure if she should be top 1 or 2. His most recent video indicates that he isn't completely writing off the possibility, however.
While ZeRo's most recent tier list ranked Bayonetta as #9 overall, he did indicate that he thinks that Bayonetta has the potential to go even higher than that. This was also before his more recent interactions with Salem where he asked for his opinions on Bayonetta.

We may see ZeRo change his tune the next time he creates a tier list. Before, he indicated that either Rosalina or Sonic had the best chances to obtain the title of "best character in the game" whereas he gave that title to Ryu in the tier list before that.

A lot of the buzz regarding Bayonetta has started up mostly because of Pink Fresh winning 2GGT: KTAR Saga, a tournament with 414 entrants. Participants of the tournament included notable names such as Marss, VoiD, Larry Lurr, Mr. R, Tyrant, Mr.E, MVD, Vinnie, and Tearbear.

It seems the main reason why people may be apprehensive about Bayonetta's status is because of her below average neutral game. This neutral game is mostly a result of her fastest move coming out in 7 frames.

In a game where quite a few characters have 2 frame jabs, and even a couple of 1 frame jabs, 7 frames for the fastest normal isn't too impressive. She has an impressive set of attributes that make up for her poor startup frames.

Witch Time, for one, is a tool that Bayonetta is able to use that can make the opponent afraid of pressing buttons in the neutral. One wrong move could lead to more than 50% damage racked up, or maybe even just a loss of a stock.

Even with a neutral that leaves a lot to be desired, she is a lot like Metaknight in that she has touch of death combos that can KO the opponent at 0%. How DIable these combos can be are often up to debate and is still pretty unclear.

Bayonetta also comes equipped with some pretty decent zoning tools thanks to her pistols. While her neutral special is really good for locking the opponent's movement down (especially on slanted stages like Lylat Cruise), her bullet artes are very effective at forcing the opponent to approach her in a similar vein as Fox's lasers.

While Bayonetta's normals are slow to startup, they don't seem to have much issues with recovery. Her aerials in particular have very little frames of recovery, which is what allows her to chain her aerials together to create some rather disgusting combos.

Smashboards's most recent tier list has placed Bayonetta at position #11. Our own community voted tier list for Super Smash Bros. for Wii U has Bayonetta ranked at #7.

While we can't be too sure if Bayonetta is, as of yet, the best character in the game, but it certainly does seem as though she has been on the rise lately.

I have provided the video below where ZeRo plays then asks for Salem's opinions on Bayonetta. Note that this is a "rematch" from a tournament in which Salem double eliminated ZeRo.

Do you think Bayonetta has a chance to be the best character in the game still? Let us know in the comments below.

Sources: ZeRo's YouTube channel, ESAM's YouTube channel, Smashboards tier list
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