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Who are the top 5 zoner characters in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate ahead of Min Min's release?

Do I go Palutena or Snake?

Posted by Dakota 'DarkHorse' Hills • June 28, 2020 at 12:16 p.m. PDT • Comments: 7

Min Min is now only a day away from release as the first Fighter Pass Vol. 2 character with her springy ARMS and ability to change out weaponry on the fly.

Many players are already feeling as though the ARMS representative is shaping up to be one of the better mid to long-range zoners in Smash Ultimate, but who all are her competition for that title?

We've gathered the ranks for the top five zoner characters in Smash using the EventHubs community tier list to see how they all are rated compared to the rest of the cast.

With Ultimate's heavily offensive and rushdown style of play dominating much of the high-level tournaments, long-ranged fighters in upper brackets are few and far between in many cases with a few notable exceptions.

Simon and Richter Belmont looked like they might really make a splash after their initial reveal in 2018, but their results have them all the way down at number 50 out of 80 for our tier list right by some other notable ranged characters like Samus, Zelda and Villager.

The last character added to the game, Byleth, also fits into that offensive mid-range zone though their own character flaws and frame data issues keep them around the same area.

Let's dig in a bit more into what it takes to be a strong zoner in Smash Ultimate with one of the best of Smash 4.

5. Mega Man

Mega Man's been around the Smash series for only two games at this point, but the impact he's had on the games' designs can still be felt in his adaptation multitude of moves.

He has not proved to be as popular of a pick in Ultimate compared to Smash 4, however, and much of that comes down to his power being now more focused on close range with some of his Smash attacks and aerials along with other changes.

Capcom's first Smash fighter still has crazy shenanigans when it comes to his metal buzz saw and the item drop cancelling tech though that too require a closer position to hit as opposed to his Mega Buster.

Like many other's in Ultimate, Mega Man's shield pressure and damage game was nerfed in 3.0 as well which didn't help matters there either for the zoning cause.

Players like Kameme show that Mega Man is still a really good character now even if he is shifting gears a bit from how he was initially touted.

Mega Man is ranked 17th on the EH tier list.

4. Young Link

Players were super happy to see Young Link appear again after his two-game absence which was soon replaced by the feeling of 'oh crap now I have to fight this character again, and he's much better.'

Like his other variations, Young Link is just great at throwing everything and the kitchen sink at his opponent along with being the only member of the team who gets fire arrows.

The combination of aim-able boomerangs, bombs and arrows make it super difficult to try and approach the character from a Battlefield-style stage let alone Final Destination.

Young Link is higher up on this list at 15 because he also has the strength to brawl whenever the enemy does manage to get in close with tools like neutral air and up special.

Developers also made him more distinct compared to standard Link now considering they changed the older fighter to have remote bombs and alter how his arrows work which isn't really better or worse than YL's. They just require different tactics now in some areas.

3. Pokemon Trainer (Ivysaur)

I know this one might not be agreed upon by everyone, but Ivy should definitely count as one of the greatest zoners in Ultimate โ€” and arguably of all time in some cases.

It's difficult to keep track of how many sets we've seen carried with Ivysaur doing most of the major lifting in most match ups where the middle evolution could just sit back and toss out Razor Leaf attacks at whomever may try and cross his path.

Vine Whip is also great for keeping the opponent at bay plus recovery, but of course the only move most people ever talk about the character with is the explosive down air that would destroy players trying to recover under the stage.

TSM|Tweek took Pokemon Trainer all the way to second place at EVO last year, and we've seen continued success for the character as a whole from other top talent like Puppeh.

There's also the bonus of being able to switch out to the big-bodied Charizard or combo-happy Squirtle at pretty much any time as well.

2. Snake

What fighting game zoner list would be complete without mentioning Solid Snake considering that's paramount to who he is as a fighter โ€” in the Smash games anyways.

Snake's enemies need to walk across a literal mine field to even try getting close to the super soldier with his ability to lob grenades constantly like a bad juggler.

That's on top of the fact that he also has a remotely detonated explosive he can plant anywhere on the stage or characters themselves and a remote controlled rocket.

The damage and frustration Snake causes racks up fairly quickly, but more than that, it's sustained throughout pretty much the whole match since he can always just drop stuff at his feet or rely on his heavy weight and super good recover to keep him alive even if he takes a big hit to the face.

While Snake's more campy ledge hogging tactics from Brawl may be gone with the changes to recovery and the Cypher, many of his other moves saw buffs in areas like speed and recovery.

He may need to work more for kills in Ultimate, but Solid Snake is still a damn threat on the field no matter where he is.

1. Palutena

It's probably no shock to anyone playing the game that Palutena is absolutely the best fighter in Ultimate who is also considered a powerful zoner.

The goddess' Smash attacks cover such a wide range around her and above that makes it so hard to to just run at her face or especially try and recover from the ledge.

Palutena doesn't have the ability to hit everyone as far away as Snake and Young Link can, but her strength comes from being to hit players within almost a 360-degree radius of her mid-range sweet spot โ€” especially considering she has a tracking, multi-hit projectile.

Even with some of the nerfs to powerful tools like neutral air, the Kid Icarus rep is still one of the best characters in Ultimate overall which is a testament to her strength with Joker, Pikachu and Peach all above her at number five.

Smash June tiers image #1 Smash June tiers image #2
Click images for larger versions

These rankings were made based on our community tier list for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate voted upon by the EventHubs readers and users from their match up knowledge.

If you don't agree with these numbers and match up ratings, for Smash or any of the games we cover, make your voice heard by bringing your own experiences to the board.

Will Min Min be better than any of these five fighters, especially in the realm of being a zoner? It's near impossible to tell until we finally get her in our hands, but let us know in the comments how strong you expect the noodle shop owner to be.

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