This piece features Michael Kelly’s Super Smash Bros. Ultimate tier list for February 2019. Characters’ placement on this list is derived through a combination of professional results and the author’s personal opinion. There are certain characters whose placement on the list is fitting of a deeper explanation. You may find them below the list.
Peach/Daisy (S Tier)– For the second month running, Peach is still the best character in all of Ultimate. The character went largely unchanged with the release of Version 2.0.0, and as a result, she stayed at the very top of the pecking order. Her ability to space and pressure any opponent is unmatched, and with a dynamic playstyle that can harass nearly any character, Peach is surely a dominant choice. The character has the most loaded kit in the game, effectively making her the most lethal pick in all of Smash.Additionally, with strong showings across national tournaments so far in 2019, including a top 8 run at Genesis 6 from the arguable best Peach player in the world, Jamaal “Samsora” Morris, she’s already a proven force to be reckoned with – and one that needs to be dealt with before things get too out of hand. In my eyes, Peach is already the uncontested Queen of Ultimate and she has no signs of giving up her throne.
Pichu (S Tier)– The debate between Pichu and Pikachu players has been raging on since the release of Ultimate, but we may finally be getting our answers regarding which character has the edge. With a ridiculous combo game and kill-confirms that can take stocks absurdly early, the character has strengths that are essentially unrivaled. Pichu is seriously starting to show signs of dominance at the top of the roster, as the character was taken all the way to the Genesis 6 final in the hands of James “VoiD” Makekau-Tyson. And, after the tournament had wrapped up, the arguable best Pikachu player in the world, Eric “ESAM” Lew, started to wonder if Pichu actually had the edge after all. Regardless, Pichu is a seriously strong character, and is finally clearing away from the rest of the roster. Perhaps in the near future he could be regarded as the strongest pick in the entire game.
Shulk (A Tier)– Shulk has been a solid option since release, but as we move forward through the stages of the competitive season, it’s becoming clear that plenty of pros are realizing that he’s actually one of the strongest characters in the game. With an ever-changing playstyle, Shulk is one of the few characters in Ultimate that will force you to constantly adapt throughout the course of a set. Of course, you’ll need to make adaptations regardless of your opponent, but with one flick of a button, Shulk can completely transform the way he plays the game, immediately putting his opponents on the back foot. His Monado Arts allow for an incredibly evolutionary game, while his aerials and ground game combo nicely together, setting up a dominant playstyle for Shulk regardless of what his advantage or disadvantage may be. We haven’t exactly seen a Shulk player start to get national results on the competitive level – but don’t worry, he’ll be in the public eye soon enough. Keep a particular eye on Nicko “Nicko” Bonilla, who’s really taking Shulk to the next level and could be the one to break the glass ceiling with the character.
Mr. Game & Watch (B Tier)– While crafting up last month’s tier list, I placed Mr. Game & Watch at the very bottom. He was featured as one of only four destitute characters to hold a spot at the bottom of the barrel and be listed as “D Tier”. However, over the course of the past month, I’ve put some time into playing some of the lower tier characters and seeing if they’re workable at all. Some definitely fell short, namely Kirby and Rosalina among others. However, Game & Watch turned out to be a whole lot of fun, while also being extremely effective. With a surprisingly solid air game and an ability to pressure and edgeguard that’s really unique and solid, G&W is definitely a reasonable pick that cracks my top 25. If you’re looking to pick the character up, I’d strongly recommend checking out Enrique “Maister” Solis, the best G&W player in the world.
Piranha Plant (B Tier)– We’ve finally gotten our hands on the plant, and well, it’s alright, I guess. The Piranha Plant is nothing extremely impressive and it’s definitely not terrible. There’s nothing too flashy that the Plant brings to the table and as a whole, he really just falls into the middle of the pack. Perhaps there’s a top-tier player waiting out there to unleash the Plant at a major tournament sometime soon, but for now, nothing impressive has really come to fruition when it comes to the Plant. The character hasn’t really been out all too long to garner any competitive attention – especially on the national scale – but it would definitely be amazing to see him take a title. If nothing else, the memes would be superb.
Incineroar (C Tier)– Last month, Incineroar was C Tier for me, but this month – well, he’s still C Tier. But he is trending upward! After receiving a few buffs to his kit, he’s definitely workable and certainly playable. He feels like a solid heavy choice in a game where heavy characters are strongly underpowered. It’ll take a few more competitive results for this big cat to move up on my tier list, but for now, he looks to be in a much better spot than he was. Look for this character to make some serious moves in the coming weeks.
Rosalina and Luma (D Tier)– Last month, I said that Duck Hunt was the worst character in the game. I was wrong. Dead wrong. Rosalina and Luma have been gutted and just feel awful. From top to bottom the duo feels immensely different from Smash 4, and as a result, it’s just a bad experience. In my time playing the game, I’ve yet to find any character on the roster more disheartening to play than Rosalina. I don’t mind a few nerfs here and there, but the changes made to the character just make them feel bland and utterly worthless. You’d have to be a seriously seasoned Rosalina player to make her work in her current state, as picking her up now would be a waste of time when there’s so many better options on the table.
Photo Credit: Nintendo, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate