Super Smash Bros Ultimate Tier List 2020
Super Smash Bros Ultimate has so many characters. It can be really difficult to know who is better than the rest in the cast. However, tournament data, outright common knowledge, and fighting game knowhow have somehow sorted this motley crew into some form of a Super Smash Bros Ultimate tier list, and we’ve compiled all of that knowledge here for you.
Our Methodology for Tier Lists
This Super Smash Bros Ultimate tier list is, of course, a little subjective based on this author’s experience, but also does use results from recent tournaments, the most recent patch notes, as well as the perception of the community for inspiration. You may not agree with every placement in tiers, but these should help serve as a guideline when selecting characters to use. Of course, if you’re a new player, selecting a higher tier character to learn could help you in the short term, hold your own, or even learn fundamentals before you move down the Super Smash Bros Ultimate tier list to find someone that fits your style.
We’re going to spend some time breaking down each tier of character, as well as giving an in-depth look at some of the characters in S tier, and why they are where they are.
Each tier is not ordered, so while a given character might be better than the others in a certain tier, we aren’t going to rank each one – we’d be here all day!
These characters are the cream of the crop, risen straight to the top. They are here because they simply either have the most tools in the roster to outdistance, outdamage, comeback mechanic their way to victory. Not coincidently, most of these characters have several major tournament wins under their belt, with a few being boosted from A tier as a result of these moves, like Wario. We’ll take a moment to profile a few of the characters that absolutely should be on your radar as the best in the game.
Without a doubt, Joker is the strongest DLC character introduced into Smash Ultimate since its inception, and borders on being overpowered like Bayonetta was in Smash 4.
He has one of the strongest mechanics in the game with Arsene. His offstage game is second to none with kill potential from both his Down Air and his Side Air, as well as gimp potential with Gun.
Even without Arsene, Joker is a strong combatant that can kill at extremely low percentages and trick his opponents into going for offstage moves with his deceptively long grappling hook for recovery. Add in that he has one of the best early stock combos in the game and a counter that absorbs multiple hits without Arsene and becomes a force to be reckoned with.
Perhaps the best player to play Smash Ultimate, MKLeo, mains Joker these days, and we don’t see that changing anytime soon.
Palutena is a recent addition to the S tier, and one that players didn’t quite figure out that she was that good until more recent patches started hitting. She has all the tools that a good S tier should – a counter, a reflector, the ability to control space well with her normals, an excellent recovery, and some character-specific tech that is hard to beat.
Because there are so many characters with strong Smash Attacks, the ability to counter is key for at least Joker and Palutena’s inclusion in the upper tier, and make them the best two characters in the game, bar none.
Wario has been likened to be this game’s Jigglypuff from Melee. Light, floaty, has excellent recovery options due to his motorcycle and Up+B, as well as the ability to kill instantly with a well-charged waft, Wario is extremely dangerous and can take the last stock without warning. It’s this unpredictability that keeps him at the top of their tier list.
Not only that but being able to dunk on unskilled players by running them over repeatedly with a motorcycle has to count for something. His excellent normals and spacing game certainly doesn’t hurt either.
Pokemon Trainer is three excellent characters in one. While each one has weaknesses in recovery, damage, or speed, combined they are a force to be reckoned with. Given that Smash Ultimate’s version allows for mid-air switching, they become some of the best recovery fighters in the game. All three of them have great kill options, and if your opponent is becoming too used to your rhythm with one fighter, the next is only a simple down B press away.
- Zero Suit Samus
- Pokemon Trainer
- Zero Suit Samus
These characters are still absolutely viable for tournament use and have seen some limited success in the hands of skilled pros. You’ll consistently see these types of characters at local events (assuming we can attend them due to COVID-19) and in online matches. These characters are great ones to use still but have drawbacks such as a weak recovery that they also need to contend with. Consider these characters when you’re looking for something with a bit less usage than the S tier characters, but can still compete on the same level in the hands of a skilled player.
- Young Link
- Mr. Game and Watch
- Mega Man
These characters are where you start getting into the average characters in the roster. These characters have enough drawbacks without significant advantages that you might only want to play them. Examples of characters like this would be Samus, Link, or Zelda, all characters that have been series mainstays. Some of these characters (like Samus) are worse because of the prevalence of reflectors in the game, making their projectile game significantly harder to pull off. Other characters in this tier have a very poor recovery, making them easier for the high tier characters to gimp when they are trying to get back to the stage. You can still succeed here, but you have to work a lot harder.
- Dark Damus
- Diddy Kpng
- Toon Link
- Rosalina and Luna
- Banjo & Kazooie
More than the tiers above it, these characters have to work extremely hard against the higher tier characters. They have a very hard time with recovery, don’t offer a significant advantage that another character in a higher tier can do better than them, or have a mid-high amount of bad matchups. When played well, these characters might even look flashy or pull off a rare high-level tournament victory. However, don’t expect to pick up a controller and, without much practice, pull out the W online.
- Captain Falcon
- Ice Climbers
- Meta Knight
- Wii Fit Trainer
- Duck Hunter
- Mii Gunner
These characters specifically do not have any advantages that aren’t done better by fighters higher up on the Super Smash Bros Ultimate tier list. Specific examples include DK and King Dedede, both heavies that are walking targets, and a good Bowser player can better perform their job. Same with Isabelle and Villager. Most of the characters in this tier are actually on the heavier side, and as such are more comfortable to hit. Other notable inclusions include Bayonetta, nerfed heavily from her days of dominance in the Smash 4 years.
- Donkey Kong
- Dr. Mario
- Dark Pit
- King Dedede
- Bowser Jr.
- King K. Rool
- Piranha Plant
- Mii Brawler
- Mii Swordsman
Just don’t. Mac is fine on the ground, but try and recover with him, and you’re looking at a bad time. Only pick him in the most disrespectful of circumstances. Similarly, Kirby lacks the kill power he once had in Smash 64, and he’s never really been the same since.
- Little Mac
Remember, while each of these characters has significant advantages or disadvantages over the other, any of them can beat any other on the Super Smash Bros Ultimate tier list in the hands of the right player. All tier lists assume equal skill, so think of this more as a guideline than gospel.