Here's how our Super Smash Bros. Ultimate tiers sit at the end of 2018

Pikachu, Chrom, and Inkling are already looking strong for 2018's newest fighting game

Posted by Justin 'AdaptiveTrigger' Gordon • December 29, 2018 at 2:57 p.m. PST

2018 is coming to an end very soon. It's looking like 2019 could be just as big as the previous year when it comes to fighting games.

The newest fighting game that was released this year was Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. We're still very much in an era where everyone is exploring this new entry and its meta.

Although there have not been too many tournaments that have been hosted since the game's release, competitors have already begun speculating on which fighters will produce the most consistent top placements. As with any fighting game, some characters are simply going to be better than others.

Since the beginning, we've allowed readers to vote in our community tiers section. Remember that votes can be altered so our tier list will continue to evolve as player perceptions on certain match ups change. There's no real commitment involved with voting so feel free to jump in there.

So which combatants are being viewed as strong candidates and which are looking like they might take a little extra work in this early stage of the game's lifespan?

We see that Pikachu, Chrom, Inkling, Peach / Daisy, and Roy occupy the top spots right now. Meanwhile, Bowser Jr., Wii Fit Trainer, King Dedede, Jigglypuff, and Ganondorf are found at the very bottom.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate tiers 2018 image #1
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Even before Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was officially released, many believed that Pikachu was going to be a very strong character. It was very clear that Pikachu had received numerous buffs since Super Smash Bros. 4 despite the fact that it was already a decently good fighter.

Although Pikachu's reach isn't the greatest, it retains its amazing frame data, combo applications, edgeguarding abilities, and ability to camp with the Thunder Jolt projectile. Its new neutral aerial and added meteor properties for its down aerial have only supplemented its already strong off-stage presence.

Roy had a lot of problems in Super Smash Bros. Melee and Super Smash Bros. 4. Unlike Marth who utilized attacks that were strongest at the tip of his sword, Roy had to strike with the hilt of his blade in order to get the most benefit out of them. Hitting at the tip produced a nearly useless effect otherwise.

Essentially what this meant is that Roy was not able to fully utilize the range that his weapon had. His effective reach was similar to fighters that fought barehanded. Unfortunately, his frame data was similar to other sword characters in order to make up for the area coverage of his sweeping attacks.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has gifted Roy with way better frame data to safely attack shielding opponents. What does this mean for Roy's Echo Fighter, Chrom?

Like Roy, Chrom's frame data in the new game is extremely good — probably better than other sword-wielding smashers. He's also similar to Lucina in that his attacks have no sweet or sour spots. His attacks are equally strong no matter how they hit.

While his recovery is supposed to be a weakness to mitigate the advantage of having a sword that doesn't need to hit at the hilt, it instead allows Chrom to sacrifice stocks to either press his advantage or win games outright. It also helps that Chrom has just a little bit more range than Roy too.

As for the Inklings, they appear to be very dominant right now thanks to amazing frame data, a stellar recovery, and the ability to condition foes with their ink grenades. Most notably, their Ink Roller special is able to bury opponents longer than any other bury attack in the game.

Finally, Peach and Daisy have very high combo potential, great aerial mobility thanks to their ability to hover in the air, and a style of footsies that is difficult to deal with thanks to the new mechanics.

Unfortunately for Bowser Jr., Wii Fit Trainer, King Dedede, Jigglypuff, and Ganondorf, it is typically perceived that these fighters either suffer from a poor neutral or just simply don't benefit from the universal mechanic changes.

As of right now, it looks like the strongest newcomers might be Chrom and Inkling, with King K. Rool trailing behind by about 10 spaces. Meanwhile, Ridley, Dark Samus, and Incineroar are being looked at with less enthusiasm by this point.

Things are still extremely early of course. Over the course of the next year, we'll likely be seeing a number of rises and falls. Of course, future balance patches will almost certainly mix things up in the meta too.

For those that haven't already heard, we're trying something different with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's tiers when compared to how things were handled for Super Smash Bros. 4. Echo Fighters are now being grouped together with the character that they're echoing — with the exception of Ken and Chrom since they are actually fairly different.

Our tier lists are generated by EventHubs user votes. By registering here on the site (which will only taking you a minute or so), you can vote on your favorite characters' match ups, which will contribute to building the overall tier chart.

If you'd like to cast votes for the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate tier list, be sure to head over to our tiers section.

We will be analyzing the tiers for other major fighting titles throughout the remainder of the year. You can find the current end-of-the-year tier lists below.

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