The Super Smash Bros. Ultimate version 8.0 update arrived Monday night, adding Min Min as the first DLC character from Fighters Pass 2, but it also brought with it some major balancing changes to the roster that'll shake up everyone's tier lists moving forward. Did your main get a buff? Or will a major nerf force you to pick a new fighter?
Much like previous game updates, Nintendo opted to improve (buff) the fighters that have been struggling the most instead of weakening (nerfing) the fighters that are considered to be the strongest. Based on the official patch notes, many of Smash Ultimate’s low- to mid-tier fighters got significant changes and many of the gamers who play these characters were ecstatic to try out their newly juiced-up moveset.
Every Smash Ultimate patch has its losers, and the 8.0 update included one major nerf in an ocean of massive buffs.
Smash Ultimate 8.0 update nerfs Diddy Kong
Donkey Kong’s nephew is nowhere near as strong as he was during the Smash 4 days, but the little chimp had one claim to fame in Smash Ultimate: an infinite combo commonly referred to as "The Pyramid Scheme."
Sadly, it’s now impossible to pull it off after patch 8.0, and perhaps with good reason.
While Diddy Kong actually received more buffs overall to attack range and speed, Nintendo increased the cooldown on his Banana Peel (Down Special), which will no longer allow players to toss out another banana instantly after hitting an opponent with an initial banana. Here's a look at the infinite combo below.
The Pyramid Scheme was extremely difficult to consistently pull off and relied entirely on continuously tripping an opponent on a platform with Diddy’s banana peel. The nerf to Down Special allows other players to act out before Diddy has a chance to whip out another banana, effectively eliminating this complex combo.
This change will only really affect higher-level players who could consistently set up and zero-to-death-combo their opponent using the Pyramid Scheme. Diddy’s overall buffs should hopefully make him more well-rounded, but he no longer has access to what was considered his most powerful technique.
Smash Ultimate 8.0 update buffs Marth & Ike
One of Smash’s original swordsmen, Marth, received what could be a game-changing buff to his tipper mechanic. All of Marth’s aerials and grounded attacks deal a devastating amoung of damage and knockback if players hit opponents with the tip of his sword, but his abilities are much weaker if players don’t perfectly space them. Finding the sweet spot for this spacing has always been notoriously difficult.
Smash Ultimate’s latest patch made it easier to land tippers with Marth’s Forward Air, Back Air, and Up Air. His Down Smash also now has higher knockback. While the community still needs to test if tippers can hit more consistently, these buffs excited Leonardo “MKLeo” Lopez Perez who’s currently ranked as the best Smash Ultimate player in the world.
“People asking for Marth ... I still think it's too early to say he is better (I guess he is)," he tweeted early Tuesday morning. "Online is inconsistent already and tippers are still hard to get. I'll put a lot of time on him though."
Before these changes, competitive Smashers had no reason to pick Marth over his echo fighter, Lucina. Lucina does not have Marth’s tipper mechanic and deals the same amount of damage no matter how she hits her opponents. Since Marth’s sweet spots were so difficult to hit before, many of the best Lucina/Marth players gravitated towards Lucina to consistently KO their opponents instead of hoping for a tipper.
That could no longer be the case.
Another one of Smash Ultimate’s swordsmen, Ike, is now more deadly than ever before. Nintendo buffed his Up Special so it KOs earlier and it can no longer be neutralized if it clanks with another move.
It appeared that Ike’s Neutral Air — his biggest combo tool — had been nerfed, but players still found it easy to connect with other moves. In fact, linking Neutral Air into Up Special can now kill substantially earlier.
MKLeo terrorized the upper-echelons of Smash Ultimate play with Ike during the first few months of the game. Could we see a comeback?
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is available for the Nintendo Switch.