Smash Ultimate is a little more than two months away. The era of Smash 4 is just about done, and we will soon welcome the next Nintendo masterpiece. That said, I am a competitive Smasher and have been such for several years. I’ve achieved a lot at tournaments, local, regional, and even on the national spectrum, so needless to say, I am ready to move on. But before the game gets here, there is a lot of brainwork that needs to be done. While there are a number of small or moderate pieces to work out, the most important, and debatably the most straightforward (yet oddly complex) piece to it is deciding on which character I will call my “main.” In Smash 4, I spent years “maining” King Dedede, before I moved on to Falco for the last significant several months of my Smash 4 tournament life. I also entered the game as a Meta Knight main, but didn’t do anything particularly significant with the character as anything other than a secondary. The rather sloppy way I entered Smash 4 highlighted the importance of making the correct choice to me. First, it should be made clear that 100% committing to a character simply can’t be done until the game itself comes out, and a lot of the “on paper” stuff can be put into practice. However, having a solid plan beforehand is a must, and that’s what I’ve spent some of my off time doing.
Currently, this is what I’ve got so far:
(The third tier has a typo in it; that should say “Characters I have”. My iPad is really old, forgive me.)
The first tier, in order from most to least likely, is the tier of characters I’ll look at as potential mains. The second tier, however, is in no particular order; my secondary will ideally cover any notable weaknesses my main will have, and since I haven’t determined my main, I can’t feasibly determine my secondary.
Now, there are a number of things I want in a main that will ultimately make my final decision. I want:
A character who I like and/or have a personal connection to in playing one of their canon games
A character who is good
A character who fits my play style and is generally comfortable to play
Interestingly, I find it slightly more likely that Rosalina and Luma draw the majority of my attention. Rosalina was, for a very brief period of time, a secondary of mine in Smash 4, though I didn’t log any notable results with her. The transition from Smash 4 to Ultimate will make offensive, aggressive play better and, by extension, make campier, defensive play a little bit worse. Thankfully, Rosalina has a lot of useful defensive tools to the point where manifesting a good defensive playstyle will still be viable in tournament play. This appeals to me because I am better on defense than I am on offense. Rosalina also has a threatening grab game, Luma play, and can threaten to kill extremely early on any stage with platforms on it, so she’s not a total klutz on offense either. This means Rosalina is a character I like, who will probably be pretty good in the game, and is one whose play-style seems to match mine best.
King Dedede was my main throughout most of Smash 4, and while he was absolutely pitiful in Smash 4, he factors to be noticeably better in Smash Ultimate. He is also one of my favorite characters in all of Nintendo. I posted decent results as a Dedede main, such as reaching the Top 16 at New England Clash 2016, and if I can do that with a terrible character, a bad character who is better will potentially yield me even better results. That said, I favor Rosalina slightly more because Dedede still doesn’t look very good in Ultimate. I want a good character, one I can build a better skill level around.
Meta Knight could make for a potential secondary if I decide to start off by maining Rosalina. Where we have Rosalina, built primarily around defensive play, Meta Knight is a complete 100% hyper offensive, aggressive character. He has great mobility, high early kill potential and no projectiles or lengthy hitboxes to camp with. That said, that kill potential could be in jeopardy if the game does away with “ladder” combos, which were Meta Knight’s bread and butter in Smash 4. If this happens, he could very well end up being amongst the worst characters in the game, which would make this arrangement very shaky. Wolf and Snake figure to draw a lot of my attention. Like Rosalina, they, especially Snake, boast decent degrees of flexibility in their tempo of play. Snake’s game just looks awesome; I am a huge fan of mind games he can play with his grenades and explosives (even though he lost his awesome down smash from Brawl). Wolf looks as he did in Brawl, only much much better. He looks to have a great combo game, good neutral game, and have decent kill potential. Snake can take an absolute beating as a heavy character, but unlike other heavies, he’s decently fast, has good kill potential of his own, and unlike other heavies, he has a very effective camping and walling game that can be used effectively in tournament play. These two will be characters I definitely end up looking at. Other characters in the first tier will be ones I look at for similar reasons as the ones above. Right now, I think the first five on my list are my likeliest choices. That being said, there is still plenty of time between now and when Ultimate launches, so we may learn more or new information that alters my decision making process. We also may see new characters which enter the fray that get onto my list. Either way, this is my general state of mind right now. I’ll spend these next few weeks outlining the rest of my preparation process, things such as stage selecting processes, training/warming up processes and more.