Grabbing the ledge too many times will penalize you in #SmashBrosUltimate
Shortly after last week’s Nintendo Direct, a series of live events showcasing Super Smash Bros Ultimate followed. One such event was a Nintendo Live event that happened in Japan up until the weekend, at which point a tournament in Spain followed up.
At both events, all 74 of the revealed characters were available for use. In a predictable fashion, players everywhere clamored to take notes on how the newly added characters would function in Smash Ultimate, taking into account the new mechanics and the individual re-balancing for each character.
Of all the changes, however, a notable one caught the attention of @McDareth, a seasoned competitor in both Smash Wii-U and Pokken Tournament DX.
Since the dawn of competitive play in the Smash Bros franchise, one mechanic has proven incredibly formidable to contend with: the ledge grab mechanic. This became a hot discussion topic for both Smash Melee and Smash Brawl, as it was possible to infinitely re-grab the ledge while constantly refreshing their invincibility frames, which kept them from being punished provided that the timing was correct.
With certain characters, the ledge re-grab became a powerful defensive tool. However, this tool was slightly weakened in Smash for Wii-U and 3DS, where it was not possible to refresh invincibility frames by re-grabbing the ledge over and over. The player would need to return to the stage first before performing another ledge grab in order to utilize the invincibility frames, which also grew shorter in duration if the character’s damage percentage had risen considerably.
Furthermore, if one player grabbed the ledge and another grabbed the same ledge, the first player to do so would be knocked away and left temporarily vulnerable to a counter-attack, which usually consisted of a back-air attack from the opponent. Given that this occurred near the left- and rightmost blast zones in the stage, this often led to a high chance of a lost stock.
In spite of this nerf, a good deal of the roster in Smash Wii-U and 3DS found a means of camping the opponent out at the ledge. Characters like Villager and Wii Fit Trainer could immediately relinquish the ledge while performing a short hop and launching a projectile afterward, some of which carried unique effects. Others, like Bayonetta, could hog the ledge using attacks with incredibly strong hitboxes, such as her Witch Twist move.
As the Smash 4 meta developed, it became clear that while stage control still proved more rewarding in comparison to previous games, there were still scenarios where the offender would feel disadvantaged.
But…in Smash Bros Ultimate, that may change considerably.
From glimpsing the footage below, you will eventually come to a segment where Masahiro Sakurai, director for Smash Ultimate, takes a moment to highlight a portion of the game where players can partake in unique events that showcase the game’s elements. One such event revolves around the ability to re-grab the ledge, and it is this particular event that McDareth brings to the Smash community’s attention.
Apparently, there is now a limit on however many times players can re-grab the ledge without returning to the stage first…four times, to be exact. Should you attempt to do so for a fifth time, your character will not grab the ledge, and will instead fall to their doom if they have no recovery options at the ready, such as double jumps and/or Up-B moves.
Obviously, this change will prove incredibly drastic in terms of offensive and defensive play at the ledge. While it will still be possible to keep the opponent occupied while you attempt to regain stage control, it will not be to the same extent as it was in the previous installation of the series. This change will undoubtedly put pressure on the defender as they struggle to regain their footing in the match, while favoring an aggressor’s sharp decision-making.
Combined with the other new features, which include the inability to move right through opponents regardless of whether or not their shield is active and the increased lag with each dodging maneuver (be it rolls, air dodges or side dodges), players will want to strap themselves in for a roller coaster ride.
Smash Bros Ultimate releases exclusively for the Nintendo Switch on December 7, 2018. To reserve your copy, please head to www.smashbros.com.
JagoBlake, the author of this article, is an esports enthusiast who just so happens to have a way with words. Whenever he is not scouring the Internet in pursuit of breaking news, he's investing time into his favorite fighting games so as not to appear inadequate in the face of competition. To support his work, follow him on Twitter - @xJagoBlake.
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