The Great Item Debate - 4th Edition

CyntalanCyntalan Joined: Posts: 8,341 ✭✭✭✭✭ OG
It's that time again. The "I" word. The big one. The one that rips every Smash community to shreds due to the sheer devotion to it. But... it needs to be done.

Let The Great Item Debate Commence!

First, a History:

The Smash tournament scene really started to pave its way with Melee. Matt "Mattdeezie" Dahlgren began to pull together Californians in an attempt to establish a true competitive Smash community, beginning with his tournament series Tournament Go. The original tournament hosted singles, teams, and FFA, all virtually untouched gameplay. This means all stages, all items, everything untouched. The tournament was a great success that spawned 5 successors over 2 years as well as jump starting the Smash community into the giant it is today. Over those 2 years, the rules were tweaked, slowly, but surely, as aspects of the game started to become too polarizing. It started out simple, with removing the clear-cut offenders in items and stages, and made its way down to something most agreed with and lasted until near the end of those 2 years. The debates waged on during that time, largely around items and their place in Smash. Tournaments across the country were organized regularly both with and without them. It was only once it was determined that the exploding capsule causing unpredictable deaths that items began to fall out of the limelight, as they could not be turned off without turning off items altogether. The pro-item fans began to dwindle, the item tournaments stopped being organized in favor of the majority choice.

The real heat in the ideas began when Brawl was released. The biggest complaint was heard - containers had their own toggle. But it had been nearly 5 years. Many players wanting to jump on the new game had only really experienced Melee post-2003, and never got a chance to understand the item alternative due to the estrangement. Animosity formed between those that wanted to see another shot with a new game, and those that had believed the containers were part of a bigger problem that wouldn't change between games. Members of SRK here became the forerunners for the return of items in Smash (dubbing the ruleset "All-Brawl"), and were met with a large force that insisted that they had no purpose, and the fight raged on as Brawl was being considered for Evo 2k8. In an attempt to lay mediator between the two sides, Mr. Wizard had decided that the ruleset would include a small subset of items. Unfortunately, this satisfied neither party, and despite the at-location hype, the outcome was sorely tarnished, where CPU soundly beat Ken for the victory. Brawl was not included with the subsequent Evo due to the fallout, but did return the following year under the established ruleset and managed by members of the Smash community at large.

We now have a new Smash, and a new attempt to discuss the future of the ruleset options for the Smash tournament scene. I believe it is time to bring this argument to life once again. Once again, the same ideas are on the table as with Brawl. It's a new game, a new engine, different behaviors, different everything, really. My belief today has shifted quite a bit compared to when I myself was fighting for All-Brawl, and more so from the days of TG. But the basis of it still remains. Today, my proposal is a bit more complicated than my initial "items matches along side no items matches", but ultimately much more organized than it as well. What I believe should be done is a ranking system for items. A TO can state their tournament to be a "Rank x" tournament to show the types of items to be in play, if any, which greatly simplifies the rule descriptions. My initial idea is as follows:

Rank 5 (The Pseudo-Ban Rank - these items wildly influence the game on appearance due to its overwhelming reward being too good or bringing the game to a halt, or otherwise reward considerably the player instantaneously through little or no interaction)
- Back Shield, Fairy Bottle, Gust Bellows, Heart Container, Lightning Bolt, Maxim Tomato, Special Flag, Starman, Timer

Rank 4 (The High Stakes Rank - these items aren't necessarily busted but still incredibly tide turning for better or worse or otherwise difficult-to-impossible for an opponent to handle reliably, but not so much that it will either negate or create a kill guaranteed or otherwise bring the game to a halt until it is resolved)
- Assist Trophy, Beetle, Bob-omb, Bombchu, Bullet Bill, Cucco, Daybreak, Deku Nut, Dragoon, Galaga Ships, Gooey Bomb, Master Ball, Ore Club, Poison Mushroom, Spiny Shell, Super Mushroom, Superspicy Curry

Rank 3 (The Deep End Rank - these items may or may not have lethal abilities, or may or may not give great additional control, but most may bring about some risk or disadvantage that can be used against them pretty readily)
- Beam Sword, Blast Box, Fire Bar, Food, Golden Hammer, Hammer, Hocotate Bomb, Lip's Stick, Metal Box, Poké Ball, Ray Gun, Rocket Belt, Smart Bomb, Smash Ball, Soccer Ball, Star Rod, Steel Diver, Team Healer

Rank 2 (The Conservative Rank - items in this rank shouldn't really create a killing scenario on its own in any way that a smash attack wouldn't also, nor should they control a large degree of a stage or otherwise give the player a significant advantage without some drawback)
- Barrel, Beehive, Bumper, Bunny Hood, Capsule, Chest, Crate, Drill Arm, Franklin Badge, Green Shell, Home-run Bat, Killer Eye, Motion-Sensor Bomb, Party Ball, Pitfall, POW Block, Rolling Crate, Screw Attack, Spring, Tanooki Leaf, Unira, Warp Star, X Bomb

Rank 1 (The Simple Rank - items in here are non-lethal in most cases; they should be able to disrupt an opponent and possibly set up for other actions, but unless the setup to make the item lethal is incredibly situational, that's all they should be able to do)
- Banana Peel, Boomerang, Fire Flower, Freezie, Grass, Hothead, Mr. Saturn, Sandbag, Smoke Ball, Super Scope

Rank 0 - No Items

A Rank 0 tournament would be a very common occurrence for a while, as it is still a very unpopular opinion to play with items on at all. But for other ranks, it basically would include all ranks below it for items. A Rank 3 tournament would contain all items within Ranks 1, 2, and 3.

I believe this is the best way to handle both worlds out there to come together to accept both modes of play, and I am hoping that it can one day be adopted overall. I open this thread, however, as a means to discuss the possibilities of items in play, why some items deserve a given rank, etc. THIS IS NOT A THREAD TO BITCH ABOUT ITEMS. Take that shit elsewhere. This is not the place to discuss the validity of items. The idea within this thread is to discuss which items belong in a given rank and why. This list is what I would like to maintain and update as we discuss. Keep the discussion with the consideration that with this, most stages that would otherwise be considered unplayable may indeed still be viable.
Post edited by Cyntalan on
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Comments

  • Colonel-GilgameshColonel-Gilgamesh Akuma Matata Joined: Posts: 9,372
    tl;dr Ban items.

    I think that's what he said anyways
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  • po pimpuspo pimpus Beyond Anger... Ultra Rage Joined: Posts: 25,996
    Haha... Most people aren't well-versed enough in items to intelligently debate their relative strengths and rankings.

    However, I am a magnanimous sociopath, and will do a write-up of my item observations in a day or so.
    "Capcom should listen to their fans... Mega Man is a cool character." -2048 President Elect Kevin at Age 10
  • LordWilliam1234LordWilliam1234 Permanent Character Crisis Joined: Posts: 22,117
    I agree with the list mostly, but there are a couple minor changes I think could be made:

    Bombchu: I think this can be rank 3, especially if you have the Gooey Bomb at rank 3. Bombchu's explosion is pretty tame (barely kills at 100%), the flight path isn't great compared to other rank 4 explosives (like the bob-bomb), and it's quite easy to avoid overall. Also does very little shield damage. Compared to Gooey Bomb which kills as low as 50% and cannot be blocked, even if it doesn't explode on contact (though of course if you attack it...)

    Smart Bomb: I also think this should be rank 3. While it may fail to detonate sometimes, and it doesn't really kill, the blast radius is MASSIVE and cannot be shielded. Compared to the other Rank 2 items you have this seems a bit more powerful than the others there in terms of effectiveness.
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  • Colonel-GilgameshColonel-Gilgamesh Akuma Matata Joined: Posts: 9,372
    I kind of agree . Smart Bomb is not as dangerous, but that stuff is like free damage if you place it well.

    I think the bombchu is similar in that regard. It owns a lot of space for a while and is stage dependant like the hot head, but unlike the smart bomb it can kill. Having to eventually shield it can be devastating in it's own rights, and killing at 100% is still pretty low considering a DK FSmash kills at around that time too. Keep it at 4

    Speaking of. I don't think Hot Heads should be a Rank 1 item.
    1) It blocks incoming projectiles by just sitting there

    2) Tossing a fully charged Hothead(depending on growth) can kill Bowser at 60 on FD and still get the stage control benefit of the stage. Mac can get it to max size in two USMashes, Samus in a Charge Shot and an FSmash.
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  • drwill439drwill439 I'll never understand. Joined: Posts: 2,953
    I kind of agree . Smart Bomb is not as dangerous, but that stuff is like free damage if you place it well.

    I think the bombchu is similar in that regard. It owns a lot of space for a while and is stage dependant like the hot head, but unlike the smart bomb it can kill. Having to eventually shield it can be devastating in it's own rights, and killing at 100% is still pretty low considering a DK FSmash kills at around that time too. Keep it at 4

    Speaking of. I don't think Hot Heads should be a Rank 1 item.
    1) It blocks incoming projectiles by just sitting there

    2) Tossing a fully charged Hothead(depending on growth) can kill Bowser at 60 on FD and still get the stage control benefit of the stage. Mac can get it to max size in two USMashes, Samus in a Charge Shot and an FSmash.

    But who's honestly focused on charging a Hothead during a match? It's pretty easy to dodge, even when it goes it's fastest.
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  • Colonel-GilgameshColonel-Gilgamesh Akuma Matata Joined: Posts: 9,372
    I'd be willing to sacrifice some time to hunt down and powerup a hot head while my oponent is off stage. Infact, in an items match, that's the optimal strat if you ask me
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  • SonichumanSonichuman You're too sloooww!! Joined: Posts: 19,084
    ^ unless you're fighting Villager or someone with a reflector. 'THANKS FOR THE POWERED UP HOT HEAD! =D'
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  • Sensei RouzuSensei Rouzu Hero for fun Joined: Posts: 3,933
    I'm ok with playing any tournaments with Rank 3 items, but I think it's weird seeing both Golden Hammer and regular Hammer on there. Golden Hammer is basically the same as a regular Hammer, but it does more damage. I haven't played enough of the new smash to know if both hammers might not work sometimes when you pick it up like in Brawl, but I think Golden Hammer should move up a rank.

    I also feel that the Dragoon isn't as powerful as people think. I had sked a friend why he had it off and he said because it was basically a free KO, but you have to collect three of those things and even when you do you're not guaranteed a hit even if you aim properly. We played a bunch of matches with that on and when someone usually got it and aimed for me I was able to dodge it with a sidestep or roll. I'd like to see play with Final Smashes too, but some Finals are just too op like Fox's and Sonic's.

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  • CyntalanCyntalan Joined: Posts: 8,341 ✭✭✭✭✭ OG
    Golden Hammer has the added bonus of better damage/knockback at the cost of having a slightly higher chance at being a dud, as well as the spawn time issue, unlike Hammers. The only thing I'd really give the nod toward the Golden Hammer towards is the fact that simply chucking the wielder off stage won't necessarily kill them with the ability to hover for a while, but even that doesn't last that long and could still get you killed, not to mention that there's a good chance they'll be able to follow up before you recover from the throw and footstool you for the finish.

    Dragoon's a bit tougher to debate on, honestly. It's something that is complicated enough that the earned Dragoon is fairly justified, is definitely dodgeable with enough practice and becomes an interesting little bit of yomi in itself, and doesn't reliably kill until someone's into their 40s and 50s, so doing the fresh stock grab and smack like with Final Smashes doesn't really do much other than accumulate a bit of damage and respace your opponent. On the other hand, it IS still something that will kill as low as 50%. I think this is one that really warrants looking into more. Especially considering the big issue with Dragoon in Brawl was that it frequently clogged the item spawns when it started.

    As for Final Smashes, Fox's was never shit and overrespected in Brawl; it's only worse here. Sonic's was pretty damn good in Brawl, but did have a weakness in that it always hit straight upward, so picking stages with a ceiling neutered it greatly (weee Luigi's Mansion), but here it's been nerfed a lot and still has that same hit angle. Both of these fall behind two transformation final smashes that were better even in Brawl - Pikachu's and Wario's. Yet even those in Brawl would only net a near-guaranteed fresh stock kill at best against competent opponents, and do worse now. I think the overall balance of Final Smashes have been largely centered now. The only really terrifying transformation FS now is Wario's (debateably Zamus's as well), and Wario could use that added muscle.
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  • GespenstRitterGespenstRitter The Deadliest SOB In Space Joined: Posts: 3,247
    Dragoon automatically starts its target at the opponent, so if you just mash, then you're very likely to score an easy clean hit.

    If you're going to rank items, I think that any item that can be activated by attacking it or through any method other than a deliberate effort of picking it up should be bumped up to at least Rank 4, regardless of power.
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  • Mood4food77Mood4food77 Joined: Posts: 9,780
    can we move gust bellows to Rank 6? i'd rather play with starman than that stupid item

    no seriously...can we do that?
  • po pimpuspo pimpus Beyond Anger... Ultra Rage Joined: Posts: 25,996
    I nominate that niggas who do nothing but bitch about items THAT THEY NEVER USE be disqualified from discussing their viability.
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  • CyntalanCyntalan Joined: Posts: 8,341 ✭✭✭✭✭ OG
    edited January 2015
    Dragoon automatically starts its target at the opponent, so if you just mash, then you're very likely to score an easy clean hit.

    If you're going to rank items, I think that any item that can be activated by attacking it or through any method other than a deliberate effort of picking it up should be bumped up to at least Rank 4, regardless of power.

    This sounds to me like one who's been too oft a victim of Spam Flail Boom. EIwuhUp.gif
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  • GespenstRitterGespenstRitter The Deadliest SOB In Space Joined: Posts: 3,247
    Well, this is supposed to be a discussion, isn't it? Dismissing everything as "Lol, you just suck" without actually talking about it first is the exact same thing you guys always accuse Smashboards of doing.
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  • CyntalanCyntalan Joined: Posts: 8,341 ✭✭✭✭✭ OG
    Well, this is supposed to be a discussion, isn't it? Dismissing everything as "Lol, you just suck" without actually talking about it first is the exact same thing you guys always accuse Smashboards of doing.

    It's hard to take the argument seriously when your criteria is based around a doom prophecy that only comes to pass when players are unfamiliar with the given ruleset. An experienced item player either will not have an item activation based on attack occur due to a spawn during the attack, or will occur knowing that it was a risk performing said attack. I think it's fair to say items that don't result in a near-guaranteed kill due to said risk don't deserve a rank 4 slot. Even more so with an item that's already spawned. You should know what the item is capable of going in, including what can occur when you attack it, and if you still choose to do so, any negative outcome is 100% on you.

    What I think you're missing is that for every outcome that you find bad, there is both a way to reasonably plan around it as well as ways to take advantage of it.
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  • Colonel-GilgameshColonel-Gilgamesh Akuma Matata Joined: Posts: 9,372
    I'm all for sponsoring item tournaments, by the by, but I would expect Rank 5 or higher tournaments would dissuade lots of entrants
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  • CyntalanCyntalan Joined: Posts: 8,341 ✭✭✭✭✭ OG
    edited January 2015
    I'm all for sponsoring item tournaments, by the by, but I would expect Rank 5 or higher tournaments would dissuade lots of entrants

    Rank 5 is definitely something that's intended to be a pseudo-ban, considering as you say it would dissuade entrants, no one will enter. Rank 4 is going to get a similar treatment, but not nearly as much, considering a lot of item fans like the higher risk stuff as well. Rank 2 or 3 IMO is where most would fall. Rank 1 is ideal for the conservative crowd who are, to say the least, skeptical about their inclusion.
    Dragoon automatically starts its target at the opponent, so if you just mash, then you're very likely to score an easy clean hit.

    EDIT: To respond to this - Dragoon cursor starts at the center of the screen. The screen DOES center around the one remaining player if possible at first, because your character goes off screen. Once the camera rests and you attempt to use it (in your case, you've been mashing A at this time already so it'll fire ASAP), will only slightly stick to an opponent, but is not a firm track (kinda like how a Mario game will keep you sort of in the center more often than not, but it's not fixed to your location). Unless your opponent is in the center of the screen and stays in that exact position (a risky maneuver, but probably not a bad one considering you're sitting there right next to him mashing away, so stand still and ready that spot dodge!), mashing on activation will end up missing.
    Post edited by Cyntalan on
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  • LordWilliam1234LordWilliam1234 Permanent Character Crisis Joined: Posts: 22,117
    edited January 2015
    Cyntalan wrote: »
    Rank 1 is ideal for the conservative crowd who are, to say the least, skeptical about their inclusion.

    Well, considering people apparently freak out at just smoke balls, hotheads and bananas...
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  • Sensei RouzuSensei Rouzu Hero for fun Joined: Posts: 3,933
    I only played this game a couple of times so far, but are Bullet Bills and Cuccoos really that powerful to be rank 4?

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  • CyntalanCyntalan Joined: Posts: 8,341 ✭✭✭✭✭ OG
    I only played this game a couple of times so far, but are Bullet Bills and Cuccoos really that powerful to be rank 4?

    This is merely a preliminary ranking. Far from any "final" product. I could see both possibly dropping a rank, but I can also see arguments to keep them there. These are two items that I think could deserve some additional investigation and debate on.
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  • po pimpuspo pimpus Beyond Anger... Ultra Rage Joined: Posts: 25,996
    I only played this game a couple of times so far, but are Bullet Bills and Cuccoos really that powerful to be rank 4?

    Only if your L/R buttons are broken, or you're Mood and Gespenst, who apparently can't dodge a thrown or fired item to save their lives...
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  • Mood4food77Mood4food77 Joined: Posts: 9,780
    bullet bill is way too quick to be anything but level 4. it's crazy strong and you are unable to react to it.

    cuccos just fuck up everything. they're really annoying

    i still vote for gusting bellows to be rank 6, not even casual play should let that item be legal
  • Colonel-GilgameshColonel-Gilgamesh Akuma Matata Joined: Posts: 9,372
    Dragoon vs walk offs is funny.

    Cuccoos really mess with everything and are probably a rank 4-5

    Bullet Bills provide insane control and accuracy. Not sure how bad they are, but nothing below 3
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  • Smashbro29Smashbro29 Waiting for the new Framemeister... Joined: Posts: 7,199
    po pimpus wrote: »
    I nominate that niggas who do nothing but bitch about items THAT THEY NEVER USE be disqualified from discussing their viability.

    I used all of the items, a lot. I always do. I know them extremely well.

    All items should be banned in anything serious.
  • CyntalanCyntalan Joined: Posts: 8,341 ✭✭✭✭✭ OG
    Smashbro29 wrote: »
    po pimpus wrote: »
    I nominate that niggas who do nothing but bitch about items THAT THEY NEVER USE be disqualified from discussing their viability.

    I used all of the items, a lot. I always do. I know them extremely well.

    All items should be banned in anything serious.

    I'm gonna nip this in the bud before it gets started. Please note the OP: this is not a place to discuss the validity of items. You come into this thread knowing full well that, so the only real discussion that should be coming from anyone is adjustments to the rankings.

    I will say this, though, if you claim that items have no place in anything serious, you don't know shit about 'em. You can have the opinion that you don't like them in anything serious, but to say that universally they have no place is delusional at best.
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  • TiberiousTiberious Oh noes! Teh FURRY! Joined: Posts: 1,067
    I'm wondering why the Special Flag is in rank 5, considering how it works.

    1) While in the hand, it limits you to aerial attacks only.
    2) When starting the animation, it cannot be stopped by the player holding it up.
    3) The animation is generally long enough for a player to get in and interrupt it; even slower characters can get there if they weren't dicking around on the other side of a large stage.
    4) If hit while attempting to score the 1-Up, the item will be dropped, 100% guaranteed.

    With those points in mind, doesn't it sound more like a high-risk/high-reward item where a player would have to earn that extra stock?
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  • Mood4food77Mood4food77 Joined: Posts: 9,780
    it can still get that extra stock completely turning the tides more so than any other item
  • CyntalanCyntalan Joined: Posts: 8,341 ✭✭✭✭✭ OG
    Tiberious wrote: »
    I'm wondering why the Special Flag is in rank 5, considering how it works.

    1) While in the hand, it limits you to aerial attacks only.
    2) When starting the animation, it cannot be stopped by the player holding it up.
    3) The animation is generally long enough for a player to get in and interrupt it; even slower characters can get there if they weren't dicking around on the other side of a large stage.
    4) If hit while attempting to score the 1-Up, the item will be dropped, 100% guaranteed.

    With those points in mind, doesn't it sound more like a high-risk/high-reward item where a player would have to earn that extra stock?

    The problem really is that the time it takes to charge isn't THAT long. In most cases where both players are on the field and at a similar percentage, sure, it's an interesting concept on paper, but tends to just be straight up ignored by both players in practice.

    However, if this spawns as you KO someone, it is extremely likely that you will have adequate time to pick it up and charge it before the opponent can return and punish. It can frequently be a gigantic reward for little risk. So you have a best case scenario that'll never occur in practice, and a worst case scenario of being completely over-the-top OP with no effort.
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  • Colonel-GilgameshColonel-Gilgamesh Akuma Matata Joined: Posts: 9,372
    So now that we actually have a tournament with items in them, what rank should we go for, 2 or 3?
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  • Mood4food77Mood4food77 Joined: Posts: 9,780
    i like rank 2, although i think beehive should be rank 3 and so should motion sensor bomb
  • LordWilliam1234LordWilliam1234 Permanent Character Crisis Joined: Posts: 22,117
    I think the tourney should be rank 3.

    Also I think in regards to the ranks of the items themselves, gooey bomb should be rank 4 where bombchu and bob-omb are, but other than that I think the ranks are fine.
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  • po pimpuspo pimpus Beyond Anger... Ultra Rage Joined: Posts: 25,996
    I think these ranks are dumb and you're all Smashboarding it up.

    But I'll be out-voted anyway...
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  • Mood4food77Mood4food77 Joined: Posts: 9,780
    po...gtfo

    we don't want fucking gust bellows
  • CyntalanCyntalan Joined: Posts: 8,341 ✭✭✭✭✭ OG
    po pimpus wrote: »
    I think these ranks are dumb and you're all Smashboarding it up.

    But I'll be out-voted anyway...

    And here's the OTHER extreme view. Why must it be all or none...?
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    "I violated marc but we definitely cool now." - dre37k
  • DavidstarDavidstar KILLA KUEEN! Joined: Posts: 5,072
    personally i think golden hammer and spiny shell should be switched out
    Did you see that Zack? Clear as a crisp spring morning... FK....in the signature. I knew i could count on it. It never fails
  • Colonel-GilgameshColonel-Gilgamesh Akuma Matata Joined: Posts: 9,372
    edited March 2015
    Hammer is more dangerous than Golden Hammer
    NNID: a2handedmonk
  • CyntalanCyntalan Joined: Posts: 8,341 ✭✭✭✭✭ OG
    Golden Hammer too much of a liability.
    ༼ つ ◕_◕ ༽つ PRAISE HELIX ༼ つ ◕_◕ ༽つ

    "NO! NOT LIKE THIS!" - Random audience member, Evo 2k9 SC4 finals. Go Hilde!
    "You are a weird, adorable little man, OZ." - Vynce
    "I violated marc but we definitely cool now." - dre37k
  • Mood4food77Mood4food77 Joined: Posts: 9,780
    spiny shell sucks
  • po pimpuspo pimpus Beyond Anger... Ultra Rage Joined: Posts: 25,996
    Come on... You guys have Assist Trophies Rank 4, but not Poke Balls?

    Who is ranking this stuff? Mood? Gespenst? Smogonboards?
    "Capcom should listen to their fans... Mega Man is a cool character." -2048 President Elect Kevin at Age 10
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