Diddy Kong was a top pick in Super Smash Bros. Wii U, showing up at the top of most tier lists for the 4th generation fighting game (the character was even featured in a prank video where a 10-year-old girl crushed competitors with the pint-sized monkey). The same can’t be said for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, however, with Diddy demoted to the middle of the pack in most early tier lists for the new game.
So what happened to plunge Diddy Kong down the tier list in Smash Bros. Ultimate? A new video from top-ranked Smash player Gonzalo “ZeRo” Barrios (who frequently played as Diddy in the Wii U version of the game), explains why the character is so much worse in Ultimate.
As ZeRo says in the recently published YouTube video (spotted by EventHubs), the new version of Diddy Kong simply feels “unrewarding to play.” He adds that Nintendo nerfed several of his moves to make them less powerful, including Diddy’s banana and his throw-into-up-air combo, which no longer kills enemies as reliably. Additionally, Diddy’s B-up recovery, which was already somewhat unreliable, is now even worse.
On the plus side, Smash Bros. Ultimate does give Diddy Kong a better up air attack and a revised dash attack that can feed into a combo. His neutral air attack is also consistently powerful.
Still, that hasn’t been enough to keep Diddy Kong from dropping in early Smash Bros. Ultimate tier lists. ZeRo previously grouped the character in a “feels decent” category, while pro-player Joseph “Seagull Joe” Raucher ranked Diddy in his third-best tier, noting that the character has at least one “major weakness.”
Of course, it’s possible Nintendo could correct course in a future update to the game, giving Diddy Kong a boost that pushes him up in the tier list rankings. But for now, one of the most powerful characters from the previous iteration of Smash just isn’t a viable option for top-level play in Smash Bros. Ultimate.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is available now for Nintendo Switch.