Smash Ultimate, Patch 11.0, and Pyra/Mythra
Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations
A lot has happened since I last talked anything smash related on the blog, since my inability to plan ahead has been perpetually plaguing me for some time now, I figured it would be worth talking about. So without mincing words to much, let us get started.
Pyra and Mythra Have Arrived!
For those who had not heard yet, the newest fighters in Smash Ultimate are Mythra and Pyra of “Xenoblade Chronicles 2.” While the two swordswomen are separate characters, they function much like the Shiek/Zelda of old, with players being able to shift freely between them using their down special.
The two have a very distinct contrast, with Mythra boasting most of the speed and combo potential, while Pyra hold the raw kill power which can consistently K.O. opponents below 100%, with moves like her side smash, up special, and neutral special. Most pro players thus far have said that Mythra feels like the stronger character overall, although players like T1’s MKLeo have warned people not to sleep on Pyra either. Regardless of which one is actually better, most agree that smash’s newest addition is likely to end up at the top of most tier lists.
Personally, I would have to agree. After doing labing so very basic combos and measuring the kill power of these two, their combination as one character gives players the freedom to adapt to a number of situations, and feel strong in almost every scenario. Their one flaw in their somewhat mediocre recovery, but even that feels incredibly hard to punish with sufficient practice. Its hard to say if they will end up as the best, but, at least for now, they definitely have their spot in that conversation. Though, it will be much easier to draw a more accurate picture once results start coming in.
11.0 Balance Changes: We Got Nerfs?!
It feels as though Nintendo’s philosophy for most of the balance changes thus far has been to buff weaker characters as opposed to nerfing higher performing ones. Still, with the release of the 11.0 patch they did apply some significant nerfs to some of the characters considered top tier, most notably Joker, Palutena, and Wario.
As for Joker, the characters side special now has more lag, along with the inactive version of his Arsene counter. Palutena received a few nerfs as well, with her forward aerial now having more landing lag, making it slightly less safe on shield, as well as her dash attack receiving more end lag. In addition, her standing grab range now has less range. Wario was arguably hit the hardest, as his most powerful, down special, now comes out slower in its third and final versions. As well, his up-tilt attack now has less active frames, making it harder to hit opponents with. If you would like to visual representations of all the changes, check out the video by Beefy Smash Dudes on the latest patch.
All of these felt like pretty reasonably changes, as these characters, even with the nerfs, as still going to be extremely good. The changes, for the most part, just help to reel in people’s ability to spam moves without getting punished. Wario, though, feels like he might just drop out of top tier entirely. While I am not super familiar with how badly this affects his ability to combo, Waft often felt like a free kill that your opponent could just cash in on after a certain amount of time had passed. To a certain extent this also rewards a more passive playstyle, as you could just sit back and charge up waft without much commitment to any specific play. Now it seems as if those combos are going to be a bit more situational, and might require Wario players to fish for them a bit harder with things like falling up air and falling neutral air.
Also, Min Min got nerfed thank god!
One character that has remained almost untouched since the games release, however, is Pikachu. This is surprising considering how many top players have voiced there opinion on the character’s status as the best in the game, with many of those same players calling for changes to the character. The change most would like to see implemented is what is referred to as “pancaking,” or the flattening of the characters model during certain moves, to the point where he becomes nearly impossible to hit. This creates many frustrating situations where an option that would normally be punishable for whiffing becomes functionally unpunishable, one example being Pikachu’s back aerial, which makes him almost entirely flat when landed.
These nerfs to to other top characters, combined with Pikachu’s unchanged kit not only put him more in the conversation of best, but also creates frustration within the community, as it makes it feel to many as if the balance team is not really listening.
Some not at all familiar with the smash scene might have seen this trending on Twitter, as the top player Nairo was accused by Captain Zack during the summer of last year of being pressured into oral sex when he was 15 and Nairo was 20. However, Nairo released a statement a few months later saying that he was dealing with the situation in court and compiling evidence to prove his innocence after originally apologizing for the situation.
After Nairo released a document with such evidence, along with corroboration from many top players who were at the event which these events took place, many began calling for his re-entry into the community, along with permanently banning Captain Zack. This culminated into the movement #unbanNairo, which was started with the hopes of allowing him back into the community and getting his currently banned Twitch channel unbanned.
Given all of what we now know in hindsight, I will say a couple of things. First, Nairo definitely did not do himself any favors by apologizing immediately. While he never actually admitted guilt, the apology definitely came off that way. It would have been much better for himself if he had waited to collect his thoughts and then spoken about it afterward. Still, regardless of what he did or did not admit to, there is absolutely no reason to have him stay banned considering what has been brought to light.
Now, do not mistake this for me saying that sexual relations with children are ok. However, Captain Zack was not the one being violated here, and especially considering what is also known about his relationship with Ally, and how he purposefully manipulated him during tournaments, the evidence of Nairo’s having been approached by Captain Zack is all but apparent. So, yeah, #unbainNairo
There is a lot in here worth discussing, so please let me know any of your thoughts down in the comments below.
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