Here are the biggest losers of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's recent 3.1.0 balance update

Posted by Justin 'AdaptiveTrigger' Gordon • June 4, 2019 at 6:44 p.m. PDT

The version 3.1.0 update for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the host of the highest number of changes made to the game from the perspective of balancing so far. A number of fighters have received an extensive list of buffs and / or nerfs to their kits.

Needless to say, it stands to reason that there will likely be shifts in the tier list — hence why we opted to reset our tiers section for the game. We've already talked about the patch's biggest winners. Now, let's talk about those that were nerfed the hardest.

Notably, Nintendo has evidently caught wind of which characters were strongest in the previous meta. Those that were nerfed are (or were) all top tiers.

These fighters were Lucina, Olimar, Peach, Daisy, and Pichu. Wolf is another fighter that received a few unfavorable adjustments, but he also received some buffs as compensation. As a result, Wolf isn't present on this "biggest losers" list.

Because the last super major was Smash'N'Splash 5, there's still plenty of room for discovery in the new meta as that tournament was played with the 3.0.1 patch. Interestingly enough, FOX|MKLeo was the one who won that event while using only Joker — who was left mostly unchanged in version 3.1.0.

Snake also did not receive any nerfs despite his popularity at major events and the view that he is overall a top tier contender. This is a big reason why he was listed as one of the patch's "winners" despite only seeing a minor adjustment to his jab string. Since other top tiers were nerfed and he was left alone, it's possible he may be even stronger going further.

Lucina

Marth in patch 3.1.0 received no changes. On the other hand, his Echo Fighter, Lucina, had two of her moves reduced in terms of effectiveness.

Both her forward smash and forward aerial attacks had their knockback distance shortened. Although those were the only nerfs, these two moves are staple attacks in Lucina's arsenal.

This was likely changed with the hope that Marth would start to see more play. As things were before, Lucina overshadowed Marth due to the fast tempo of the gameplay.

While Marth was never seen as an outright "bad" character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Lucina was often viewed as top tier. Not only that, but her less precise playstyle made her easier to play than Marth.

We'll have to see how well Lucina will cope with these nerfs in 3.1.0's meta.

Pichu

Pichu in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the very definition of a glass cannon. Not only is its weight outclassed by every other fighter in the game, but all of its electric attacks inflict damage to itself.

Despite all this, Pichu has been regarded as a top tier combatant since the game came out. Ironically, Pichu was viewed as the superior choice to its evolved form, Pikachu, who is also a playable fighter.

To address this, it seems the developers have decided to further emphasize its "glass" attribute. Most of its attacks that dealt damage to itself now hurt even more.

"Increased the amount of damage taken when using the move" was a change that popped up for eleven of the official notes for Pichu. In other words, Pichu will harm itself more than before while using forward tilt, forward smash, down smash, forward air, back air, down air, forward throw, neutral special, side special, up special, and down special.

In addition to this, Pichu's "cannon" qualities were also reduced a little bit. More specifically, its forward tilt attack had its knockback growth reduced from 150 to 130.

Additional recovery frames have been added to Pichu's forward smash. This move has become a little easier to punish on whiff and shield.

Finally, Pichu's hurtboxes were expanded a little bit. This makes Pichu a little easier to hit now. To compensate for this a little bit, Pichu's shield size was increased to ensure that its hurtboxes weren't peaking out while blocking with a healthy bubble.

Overall, this means that the quality of life for Pichu's stocks are now even worse than before. Players controlling this electric mouse will now probably have to choose their options more carefully than before.

Olimar

The changes in patch 3.1.0 means that certain moves will carry a little more risk for Olimar. In particular, his forward smash and up smash attacks have a little more recovery than previously.

Up smash in particular was noteworthy as being very safe on shield. As there have been three additional frames of end lag added to this move, many characters should have an easier time punishing these attempts.

Timed perfectly as a punish, Olimar will no longer be able to spot dodge against six frame grabs after connecting up smash with shields — but seven and eight frame grabs will also work if Olimar didn't use a purple or yellow Pikmin.

As Olimar is also a short character, his hurtboxes were also expanded just like with Pichu. He's now a little easier to hit.

Unfortunately, Olimar did not get the same treatment with his shield. This means that specific attacks at precise angles will basically ignore a blocking Olimar and hit him anyways.

Overall, it looks like there might be some difficult times ahead for Olimar users. Players will have to change up their tactics in terms of how often they use smash attacks as they are no longer safe in as many situations.

As for the shield issue, they can really only hope that Nintendo addresses this in a future patch.

Peach and Daisy

Nintendo's favorite princesses have also seen a reduction in their power levels. Their forward aerial and back throws are now slightly worse as kill options.

As for their side specials (the Peach Bomber and the Daisy Bomber), they've become less safe. Additional recovery frames have been added after striking an object.

Finally, more recovery time has been applied to their down specials. This means that opponents with particularly poor recoveries won't have to deal with as much of a stream of turnips while trying to make it back to the stage.

Interestingly enough, they did receive a buff to the golf swing of their forward smashes. Launch distance has been increased, improving the move's KO potential.

Overall, their damage output has been left in tact, but players will have to work just a tad harder to take an opponent's stock.

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