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Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Version 13.0.0 (Sora added) Impressions

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Plus Jigglybuff, Medium Mac, and Lutruckio? ...Nah.

The last Super Smash Bros. Ultimate character has been added to the game as of last night: Sora, the alleged true winner of the rigged Super Smash Bros. Fighter Ballot. With him came Version 13.0.0 of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, which among additions like Sora's Spirits and Mii costumes are fighter balance changes. You can read about them here or watch this Beefy Smash Doods video. Warning that the actual patch notes comparison ends four minutes in, and the rest is merchandise promotion and a really boring Sora ditto match:

I guess I'll talk about the characters that got buffed first. As you can read for yourself, Jigglypuff, Dr. Mario, Zelda, and Little Mac and King K. Rool all got real substantial buffs. Lucario, Rosalina and Luma, Isabelle, and Incineroar got minor buffs, though what I think is minor could end up being a big deal to a character specialist.

While Beefy Smash Doods couldn't find anything appreciable about Little Mac's Rising Uppercut knockback growth buff, that's a critical move to have at stronger power because it's Little Mac's only strong move in the air besides a Jolt Haymaker, and it's quite useful out-of-shield and for hitting people high above Mac where his normal fists wouldn't take him. And his Slip Counter now being among the strongest in the game certainly helps a bit! And Straight Lunge being a better move in general is cool because its armour actually helps a lot versus Sora button-mashers. ...Of course, Little Mac still sucks overall, but...

Jigglypuff's buffs are also awesome, even if they seem like subtle changes. They actually make her a lot more fun. Her back-air has less end-lag after you've used it, so you can follow up with more things for combos or retreat better. Same goes for the end lag reduction in her second jab of her two-jab combo. Her down-throw is now a combo throw (meaning the knockback is less and sends opponents to a place where Jigglypuff can quickly jump to), though not in the true sense that it's guaranteed to follow-up on things. Regardless, down-throw remains Jigglypuff's most damaging throw in terms of %, so now the possibility of following it up with more moves is great in early-game before you'll be forward-throwing people off the stage.

But Jigglypuff's buffs don't matter when the metagame looks like this:

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Smash tourney online night Sora was released October 18 version 13.0.0
Literally everyone here except me as Lord Bowser uses a sword.
I'd love to have the opportunity to use Jigglypuff and put her buffs to good use,
but I can't do that against Sora.

Let's talk about Sora. First off all, he's really annoying by design. He looks stupid. He's constantly babbling things as he does his move with an annoying voice. As much as I hate Steve and continue to think he's an aesthetic disgrace, at least he keeps his mouth shut.

When Sakurai presented and announced Sora, my live-reacted conclusion was “IT'S BRAWL META KNIGHT + SMASH 4 BAYONETTA WITH PROJECTILES”. And I still maintain that stance after Sora was released. Meta Knight was designed for beginners and to be easy to pick up and play... and in doing so, he was the strongest character in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, able to recover from amazing distances (and he can't realistically be edgeguarded, having an incredible assortment of options to get back to the stage and escape disadvantage state), oppress his opponents, and edgeguard quite proficiently. Meanwhile, Super Smash Bros. 4 introduced Bayonetta as the last character, who was very combo-oriented with a tremendous off-stage and air-based game that could combo and KO opponents off the top of the stage or on the sides and cancel her Up-B into Side-B. That's all like Sora. Sora's difference is that relative to the cast, he's a lot floatier.

Jigglypuff has basically an unwinnable match-up against Sora, since he can get to places faster than she can in the air while outranging her on attacks and being a pain to get multiple hits on. His Sonic Blade punishes her (and really the whole cast) just for trying to jump, homing in on you and hitting you for up to three times. Sora has a lot of these very spammy auto-combo options, which fits his button-mashy fighting style in games like Kingdom Hearts II where you can just press X repeatedly to win. He's frustrating to fight against, and I imagine not that fun to play with. Though he's notably easier to fight against when you're using non-floaty characters.

While I don't think Sora should be bought by anyone, lots of people have done so already, and I'm betting that the NintendoVS US Fall Open 2021 Event 2 will be packed with incredible amounts of Sora, which will be very interesting to compare with the fighter usage stats from the Sora-less NintendoVS US Fall Open 2021 Event 1. I might have to turn down the voice-acting volume before I participate in that, though. For what remains of my sanity.

Ludwig didn't get to play against a really proficient Sora player yet, probably because those don't exist at the time of publishing. But Sora probably has ridiculous, game-freaking potential. Ludwig was also frustrated that he lost his very first 1 vs. 1 match against a Sora with Jigglypuff... and he got two-stocked, too. Sure, Ludwig had no match-up experience, but neither would the Sora player, and the Sora player would only have been playing for an hour while Ludwig has been using Jigglypuff for over two decades. It's a hopeless match-up. Anyway, feel free to talk about anything from the new version, and maybe offer your thoughts on what a metagame without generic anime swordsmen would be like and how much better Jigglypuff would be in that scenario.

KoopaTV's previous article covering Super Smash Bros. Ultimate version 12.0.0 is here.
What was Sora's immediate impact on the metagame? What about the rest of the patch? Find out with post-Sora usage stats!
Version 13.0.1 is the very last fighter adjustments balance patch.


  1. "Sora has a lot of these very spammy auto-combo options, which fits his button-mashy fighting style in games like Kingdom Hearts II where you can just press X repeatedly to win." Did you play the game for yourself to know that or you relied on what I said? I was thinking more about how you can mash the triangle button which is the unique special you can do for a specific boss which usually only comes up in certain times but the button can be mashed without penalty until the command actually shows up and deals a lot of damage. But I think X mashing also works as a description too. The only nonSephiroth bosses I can think of in KH2 (not final mix) that actually requires some thought to defeat the bosses is Demyx and Xigbar. The former has basically the personality of Herlock Sholmes but you can't actually mash your way out of this boss. The first game in comparison has even the Disney bosses not fall that easily to mashing but maybe I am misremembering and that is my nostalgia talking. I will never get why people praise KH2's battle system so much if most bosses fall so easily to mashing.

    1. I didn't rely on what you said; I've heard the same thing for years from non-you people.
      It's even on TVTropes! (On both the KH page and the Button Mashing trope page.)

      You did remind me, though.


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