'Smash Ultimate' Tier List: How Joker Ranks in Early Reviews by Pro Players

"This is epic." The hero of 'Persona 5' comes to Smash, and the world's top players have chimed in.

At long last, Joker is in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. The nameless protagonist of Persona 5 who leads the mysterious Phantom Thieves is finally available to download, and over the last 12 hours, some of the biggest Smash Bros. pros have given the new kid a whirl. Here’s what they’re saying.

On Wednesday, Nintendo stunned the Smash Bros. fandom when it announced that the first paid downloadable content (DLC) would launch later that evening.

Despite some poorly-timed maintenance issues with the Nintendo eShop that caused a meltdown on Twitter, Joker was finally available to play after performing a software update of the game to version 3.0.0.

Originating from Persona 5 a modern fantasy Japanese RPG on the PlayStation 4, “Joker” is the pseudonym of the game’s main protagonist. A high school student with a criminal record, Joker transfers to Shujin Academy, where he discovers his new school is the nexus of strange supernatural energy. Over time, Joker recruits several of his classmates and new friends to become “Phantom Thieves,” vigilantes who can change their humdrum world by fighting monsters in an alternate dimension.

While it’s still only the middle of the week, some of the biggest personalities in the Smash Bros. community have shared their first impressions of Joker. At a glance, it appears that Ultimate may have a new top-tier character whose mechanics, in the right hands, can be used to demolish the competition.

ZeRo: “Dude this character is lit.”

In a gameplay video published on YouTube at the wee early hours of Thursday, Smash pro ZeRo commented that Joker is “hella oonga-boonga” (I think that means “awesome”) when Joker’s persona spirit, Arsène, is activated. A few minutes later, he jokes that Joker is “straight up broken.”

“Dude this character is ridiculous with Arsène,” ZeRo says, who praises Joker’s “crazy” field of recovery. He adds the “only problem” is a difficulty in knocking out opponents without Arsène. “That’s like the only negative I’ve seen.”

Ultimately, ZeRo gives Joker his approval. “Joker definitely a thumbs up for me.”

Hungrybox: “He’s actually sorta slow.”

After cussing up a storm from sheer excitement, Smash YouTuber Hungrybox (subscribers: 86,000+) comments that upon first impression, Joker is somewhat smaller than most other Smash Bros. characters who is “sorta slow.” But upon further experimentation, he finds that Joker’s “back air” is “actually hella fast.”

Following even more experimentation, Hungrybox discovers Joker’s “smooth” wavedash, a popular maneuver found in certain characters that players believe gives them an edge in competitive gameplay. “Definitely one of the faster ones,” Hungrybox says.

What else does Hungrybox think about Joker?

  • His up air is “ridiculous” (proven as Hungrybox manages a vertical knock out during a match).
  • His down air is “kind of cool.”
  • His up special, a grappling hook, is “pretty good.”
  • Upon firing Joker’s gun in mid-air, Hungrybox discovered a small amount of navigation. “It lets you move around a little bit.”
  • His aerials “aren’t too great,” but forward is “pretty nice.”
  • His up tilt has “cool range.”
  • His n-air (neutral air) is “huge, but not as fast as you think.”
  • His f-air (forward air) has cooldown “you have to be careful with.”

MrDanish ButterCookie: “This is epic.”

With 135,000 subscribers on YouTube, MrDanish Butter Cookie is among the biggest Smash personalities who often performs timed experiments with specific characters. While he has yet to use only Joker for three days (a typical framing device in his videos), his first impressions are positive.

Both Joker’s up tilt and dash attacks received high praise from MrDanish, impressed by Joker’s power and fly distance. “This is epic, he says in his video.

One downside to Joker that broke MrDanish was learning Joker’s down air does not spike, a devilish tactic used by many pros but found only in a few characters. In his video, MrDanish spends several minutes trying to set up for a down air spike, only to realize there is none to pull off. “It’s not spiking! This can’t be,” he cries. “It doesn’t spike! Where’s the swag, man?”

MrDanish isn’t totally jaded on Joker, however. For 15 minutes, MrDanish performs all kinds of experiments and scenarios that are worth the watch if you hope to make Joker part of your competition stable. But the fact that Joker’s down air doesn’t spike is, to MrDanish, “criminal.” Well, Joker is a thief.

Update 3.0.0 is available now for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on the Nintendo Switch.

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