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How likely is an 'emergency patch' to nerf Steve for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate?

Posted by Justin 'AdaptiveTrigger' Gordon • August 16, 2022 at 10:23 a.m. PDT • Comments: 20

Over 2,400 competitors competed at Super Smash Con 2022's Super Smash Bros. Ultimate tournament this past weekend, but the player that came out on top was a Steve user known as Onin. During his legendary run, Onin even managed to pull off a 3-0 victory against T1|MkLeo in the winners side of top 8.

Based on this, it really does feel like Steve went under the radar during the era in which Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was still receiving DLC content and balance updates. These days, the Minecraft rep feels like a true top tier in the game's current meta. As one might expect from Onin's recent victory, the community is now debating on whether Nintendo should release an "emergency patch" to address the "problem" that is Steve in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

Is Steve really beginning to become a problem in the meta? What's interesting is that Steve was used by nine different players within the top 64 of Super Smash Con, which was twice as often as the fighters that appeared the second most frequently, Pyra & Mythra and R.O.B., at four player reps each.

However, Onin was the only Steve user to make it into the top 8 portion of the bracket while only one other Steve player just fell short within the top 16 part. We're still early into the "Steve meta," but it seems that only certain competitors — FTG|Acola and Onin — have been able to take super majors with Steve so far.

Regardless, debates have reignited within the community about whether or not Steve should be banned from events. It certainly feels like some of this debating is happening in hopes that Nintendo will catch wind of it for that aforementioned "emergency patch."

But how likely is this scenario really? By this point, it's been over eight months since the game was patched into version 13.0.1 with no sign of future updates.

We actually saw something similar to this in Super Smash Bros. 4 with Bayonetta. Though it had been some time since the game was updated, a patch that specifically nerfed Bayonetta came after DLC had wrapped up.

However, that was actually a different scenario. As it has been revealed by Masahiro Sakurai, development for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate began shortly after Super Smash Bros. 4's DLC was finished. More specifically, development started after Sakurai's vacation.

In other words, Bandai Namco and Nintendo were already working on Super Smash Bros. Ultimate during the time period in which Bayonetta received her nerfs. At the time, the developers were able to address Bayonetta since a team of developers were already in the thick of it with development of the next Super Smash Bros. entry.

As of right now, we currently don't know what Masahiro Sakurai is working on, but it's worth mentioning that he's spent the last 10 years in a row working on Super Smash Bros. More than likely, there aren't a few developers from Super Smash Bros. Ultimate that can temporarily deviate from their current project to address Steve in an emergency patch.

Furthermore, the official Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Twitter account has already stated that version 13.0.1 is intended to be the final set of balance adjustments for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Of course, there is a glimmer of hope for those that don't care for the "Steve meta" as it was also stated that future updates could potentially happen for the sake of bug fixes. Given, this has yet to even occur...

Overall, it does seem like the Smash community is, for better or worse, stuck with how Steve and the rest of the roster is designed until the next Smash iteration, whenever that could be.

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