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PGstats released the 13th official tier list for the NTSC version of Super Smash Bros. Melee on March 29, marking the game’s first new tier list since December of 2015.
Though the metagame has undoubtedly changed substantially since 2015, the new tier list does not feature any dramatic movements in placement. No character has moved up or down the list more than two spaces. Still, the slight shifts do reflect how the community’s perspective on the game has changed over the past several years.
Fox maintains his status as the best character in the game on this list; a position he has held since the eighth tier list from July of 2006. Despite the high level of technical skill needed to play Fox well, he still remains incredibly popular at top-level play. The 2019 MPGR featured 33 players who main, dual main or secondary Fox more than any other character.
Fox’s greatest challengers, Marth and Jigglypuff, have risen up the Melee tier list to No. 2 and No. 3, respectively. Marth has creeped up the list, as many top Fox players have come to recognize Marth as the greatest counter to Fox. Meanwhile, Jigglypuff climbed largely thanks to Juan “Hungrybox” DeBiedma’s dominance from 2017 to 2019.
Other notable changes in the 13th Melee tier list
Captain Falcon’s ascent into the top six largely reflects the recent efforts of three players: Justin “Wizzrobe” Hallett, Johnny “S2J” Kim and Edgard “n0ne” Sheleby. All three of them finished as top 15 players in the world on the 2019 MPGR. They have continued to improve in the Slippi era, as all three are generally favorites to make top eight at any given online tournament they enter.
The Ice Climbers dropped a single space on the new Melee tier list, although they could drop much further on future tier lists. The players who voted on this list were told to assume that the Ice Climbers’ infinite wobbling technique was still legal. However, many major tournaments in the past two years have banned wobbling, including the Smash World Tour.
Another notable development with this tier list is that Yoshi now ranks above Samus for the first time in Melee’s history. Masaya “aMSa” Chikamoto has single-handedly propelled Yoshi up the list. He was ranked top 10 in the world in both 2018 and 2019, while also being the sole Yoshi representative in the top 100. Conversely, Samus has fallen out of favor as her former top representatives, Justin “Plup” McGrath and James “Duck” Ma, have since switched to Sheik.
While the last half of characters are not generally relevant at a competitive level, there have still been some interesting changes in the bottom tiers. Notably, Pichu and Zelda switched places from the last tier list. Pichu now stands at No. 22, its highest placement ever, and Zelda stands at No. 24, her lowest placement ever. In addition, Bowser has claimed the title of worst character in the game for the first time since 2003.
Dylan Tate is an alumnus of the Hussman School of Journalism and Media at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a gaming journalist with a love for Nintendo esports, particularly Super Smash Bros. and Pokémon.