Banjo-Kazooie ranks surprisingly high in new 'Smash Ultimate' tier lists

The best players have weighed in.

super smash bros ultimate nintendo banjo and kazooie

Early in September, Nintendo released the version 5.0.0 update of Super Smash Bros Ultimate, which added Banjo & Kazooie to the roster and included a few balance changes. It’s been less than a month since the patch went live, but a couple of professional Smash players have already shared their thoughts on how the bear and bird duo fares against the rest of the cast.

It’s still early days for Banjo & Kazooie. Smash Bros. Ultimate pros will need to experiment with them for a while longer to realize their full potential, but a recent tournament has made the fourth DLC fighter look promising out of the gate.

Gavin “Tweek” Dempsy is considered to be the second-best Smash Bros. Ultimate player in the world, according to the PGRU ranking system. He took fifth place at the Glitch 7 tournament on September 14 using a combination of Banjo & Kazooie and Pokemon Trainer. Tweek’s performance was an early example of what the new character is capable of in the right hands, and other pros agree that he’ll be a force to be reckoned with moving forward.

Tweek takes on Eric "ESAM" Lew, the highest-ranked Pikachu player in the world, with Banjo-Kazooie during Glitch 7.

Dabuz’ Smash Bros. Ultimate 5.0 tier list ranks Banjo & Kazooie

Samuel “Dabuz” Buzby took third place in Glitch 7 and is ranked seventh in PGRU system. He rated most of the characters in Smash Bros. Ultimate Monday on Twitch and placed Banjo & Kazooie in high-tier, along side the character he is most known for, Olimar.

“Banjo is…high tier,” he said during his live stream. “He’s a very well rounded character. Grenades are really good they stop a lot of approaches they give him ledge traps and amazing pressure. Eggs are the best thing, it’s such a strong projectile. It’s a Mario fire ball on crack.”

smash ultimate 5.0 tier list

Here are his top ten characters ranked:

  • Snake
  • Joker
  • Zero Suit Samus
  • Pikachu
  • Peach/Daisy
  • Shulk
  • Palutena
  • Pokemon Trainer
  • Wario
  • Megaman

He also considers Wolf, Lucina, Fox, Chrom, Mario, and R.O.B. to be some of the best fighters the game has to offer. While characters like Little Mac, Jigglypuff, and Kirby have such a lackluster skillset that they can’t compete with the rest of the cast.

super smash bros ultimate banjo-kazooie

Armada’s Smash Bros. Ultimate 5.0 tier list is less hot on Banko & Kazooie

Adam “Armada” Lindgren is considered to be one of the “five gods” of competitive Smash Bros. Melee and puts out Smash Bros. Ultimate videos on his YouTube. He made his 5.0 tier list two days after the update was announced so he cautiously put Banjo & Kazooie in mid-tier next to Toon Link and Lucario. He also said that the character could fall off even more once pros understand how to take them on.

“I could actually see this character fall a bit. I feel like his grenade is a little bit gimmicky,” he said. “I watched a lot of the top players play Banjo yesterday… I feel like a lot of people fall for the grenades over and over. I’m not saying it’s bad, but it’s match up inexperience.”

nintendo super smash bros ultimate 5.0 tier list

Here are Armada’s top ten characters ranked:

  • Snake
  • Lucina
  • Peach/Daisy
  • Zero Suit Samus
  • Pokemon Trainer
  • Joker
  • Inkling
  • Wario
  • Megaman
  • Pikachu

He also names Olimar, Wolf, Pichu, Roy, and Chrom as Smash Ultimate’s cream of the crop, echoing a lot of Dabuz’ rankings. The same goes for the other end of the tier list where he placed Isabelle, King K. Rule, and Kirby as the very worst in the game.

He considers Little Mac and Jigglypuff to be a little bit better than Dabuz’ ranking.

nintendo super smash bros snake

So What Does This All Mean for Banjo & Kazooie’s ranking?

We could begin to see a lot of Banjo & Kazooie players in top-level tournaments, especially after Tweek picked up the new fighter. Many of their special moves (B-Button moves) can deal massive damage, be used to start combos, and help recover from off-stage. Those are three deadly ingredients in the hands of a skilled player.

These lists also made clear that Snake is by and large considered to be the best character in the game by pros. Even before the 5.0 patch, other professional players like James “VoiD” Makekau-Tyson and Gonzalo “ZeRo” Barrios, placed Snake in the top-three fighters in Smash Ultimate at worst.

Banjo & Kazooie might not have made as much splash as Joker, who is also considered to be a top choice for tournament play. But with some optimization and practice, the duo could become a go-to pick for many top Smashers.