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The newest update to Smash Ultimate came out on May 30, with patch notes detailing changes made to various fighters. Along with some quality of life changes, many low tier characters received helpful buffs, while high tiers received meaningful nerfs.
The three characters hit hardest by the nerfs were Pichu, Olimar, and Peach (and her Echo Fighter, Daisy). Both Pichu and Olimar were given larger hurtboxes, making them easier for opponents to hit. Pichu received a knockback nerf to his forward tilt, and his forward smash is less safe due to increased vulnerability. In addition, Pichu will deal even more damage to himself when using any of his electric attacks.
The Smash Ultimate patch notes reveal that Peach and Daisy now deal less knockback with their forward-air and back throw. As a result, they will have a harder time killing overall. However, they did receive a knockback buff to the golf club swing of their forward smash. Peach and Daisy will also be more open to punishment after using their Side-B or Down-B.
Olimar’s forward smash and up smash are also less safe to throw out than they were previously. In addition, Olimar received a significant recovery nerf. His Up-B will travel a much smaller distance if he is interrupted just one time while trying to recover. Olimar’s nerfs in particular were mourned by top players like Samuel “Dabuz” Buzby and Robert “Myran” Herrin.
I anticipate most people to disagree with me but most people are also so bad at understanding Olimar they usually dont know what they're talking about. Gotta nerf the character that isnt even winning everything am I right?
— Bermuda | Myran (@MyranSSB) May 31, 2019
Several characters previously considered subpar or even unviable received substantial buffs. These characters include Captain Falcon, Diddy Kong, Lucario, Rosalina & Luma, Little Mac, Bowser Jr., Ryu, Ken, and Bayonetta. Interestingly, several of these characters were Smash 4 high tiers who fell from grace in the transition to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. These characters might now shine once again due to the improvements outlined in the Smash Ultimate patch notes.
Nothing to see here
A handful of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate‘s high tiers got away scot-free in these patch notes. Wolf did receive nerfs to his down smash, Neutral-B, and Up-B. However, these were balanced out with buffs to his jab and Down-B. Snake, one of the more prominent high tiers, did not get nerfed at all; in fact, he even saw a slight buff to his jab. Fox similarly received a small jab buff, while Pikachu received a buff to his grab range.
While he has had little time to prove himself as a top tier, Joker has still shown himself to be quite a capable fighter, winning a major through Leonardo “MkLeo” Perez. Nevertheless, the Phantom Thief received a slight buff to his Arsene-powered Side-B. Conversely, Luigi’s invincible Down-B was removed, even though the character has seen little representation at high-level play.
Interestingly, wall jumps received a slight nerf overall. There is now a cooldown window between wall jumps performed in the same direction. To view the full list of balance changes in version 3.1.0 of Smash Ultimate, see the patch notes here.
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.