"Official" 'Item Standard Play' Thread UPDATE 8/21


Welcome to the official project thread for ‘Item Standard play’!

[NOTE: This thread concerns offical rulesets and playstyle discussion for the creation of a unified approved item listing for item-based tournament play. This thread is NOT for:

*discussion of whether items (in general) are tournament viable
*discussion concerning the ‘randomness’ of items
*trying to replace any form or facet of current, established tournament play

All of the above will not be tolerated. If you are looking to discuss whether items should be allowed in tournaments, you have come to the wrong place.]

Mission Statement:

This mission of the ‘Item Standard Play’ project is :

A ) To experiment to find a unified list of items that are ‘approved’ for item-based tournament play, as well as ‘approved’ playstyles and rulesets for the creation of item-based tournaments. As in any tournament format, final discretion is always in the hands of the tournament organizer.

B ) To create a scene that can/will act as a stepping stone for the introduction of casual players into the traditional tournament scene without forcing them to ‘abandon’ all of the conventions of casual play.

C ) To create a scene that current tournament players can go to, if they so choose, that has an alternate style of plan than what they are used to.

D ) To create a unified place that tournament organizers can come to discuss, create, and advertise item-based tournament events.


This thread’s purpose is to give members of the ISP project a place to where they can discuss item-based tournament play, but first a standard for item-based play must be created. Thus, ISP’s first goal is the creation and implementation of a standard for item-based tournaments.

In order to be as open-minded and thorough as possible, all items must be tested in a range of various circumstances (1v1, 2v2, and FFA; all of which Online and Offline). Prior knowledge from Melee must, for the sake of accuracy and true balance, must be discarded, especially in light of the inclusion of a new physics engine (Havok). To accomplish this, we ask that those who would like to contribute to the project post in this thread details pertaining to item experimentation; the results of numerous experiments will ultimately determine the final item list.

[NOTE: Simply stating that Item A is broken is not enough; sufficient testing must occur.]

We ask that your post include:

*Number of rounds (the more rounds played, the more accuracy; note that each round must be identical, i.e., the same players, the same items, the same stage, the same characters, etc.)
*Stage played on
*Rules of match (Time/amount, stock/amount, special rules, etc.)
*Characters played
*Number of wins for each player/character
*Number of kills for each player/character
*Any other information you deem important

Also, if possible, note the relative skill of all players; for instance, if P1 is much more skilled than P2 and P3, make note.


NEWS (As of 8/21/08 at 3:49 PM CST):

Ladies and gentlemen? we have a standard. Thanks to the testing, balancing, research, and discussion of many, many people, we finally have a draft for a balanced and fair item listing, as well as a ruleset for use in tournaments. Speaking for everyone a part of the ?ISP? project, we can?t thank everyone enough for their help and support; this would have never happened if the community around SWF hadn?t put (at least some) of their support behind it. Special thanks go out to those who don?t even agree with competitive item play, but still discussed and debated with us to work towards a consensus.
Here is the result of nearly two months of extensive testing, balancing, and discussion:

[NOTE: We have since added a ‘counterpick’ list to our standard; the impressions thread has been updated with relevant information concerning this change.]


(Sandbag) (Food) (Warp Star) (Bunny Hood) (Beam Sword) (Lip?s Stick) (Star Rod) (Super Scope) (Fire Flower) (Motion Sensor Bomb) (Freezie) (Smoke Ball) (Pitfall) (Mr. Saturn) (Green Shell) (Banana Peel) (Franklin Badge) (Screw Attack)


(Assist Trophy) (Pokeball) (Dragoon) (Metal Box) (Home-Run Bat) (Hammer) (Ray Gun) (Cracker Launcher) (Gooey Bomb) (Hothead) (Spring) (Unira)


(Smash Ball) (Containers) (Blast Box) (Maxim Tomato) (Heart Container) (Super Mushroom) (Poison Mushroom) (Starman) (Superspicy Curry) (Lightning) (Fan) (Golden Hammer) (Bob-Omb) (Smart Bomb) (Deku Nut) (Bumper) (Soccer Ball)


Item Spawn Rate ? Changed to ?Medium?
(Team Healer) - Neutral
(Smash Ball) ? Moved to Counterpick
(Superspicy Curry) ? Moved to Counterpick
(Cracker Launcher) ? Moved to Neutral



Best of Three (3) Sets, with a Best of Five (5) Finals

Matches Consisting of 3-Stock with an Eight (8) Minute Time Limit

In the event of dispute, controller ports may be decided by Rock-Paper-Scissors

No player may choose a stage they have already won on in that set unless agreed upon by both players.

Ties will be broken by lives, followed by percentages; if percentages are tied, then a One (1) Stock Sudden Death match will be played (no time limit)

Each player may declare One (1) stage and/or One (1) item to be stricken from the entirety of the set


Controller ports will be determined in a 1221 fashion; whoever wins the RPS will choose first, then the opposing team will get their ports, and then the teammate of the RPS winner will get the last port.

Team Attack will be set to ON

Life Stealing will be allowed

Each team may declare Two (2) stages and/or Two (2) items to be stricken from the entirety of the set.

Color Blind rule: Should a player have a color-based disability, he or she may request in a teams match to have a specific color for their team. This is so characters such as Lucario or Sonic can be granted the blue team so that there is not unnecessary confusion.


Metaknight’s Infinite Cape glitch is banned.

If a game ends with Bowser doing his suicide klaw and it ends in sudden death, the sudden death will be ignored and that game will count as a win for Bowser.

Any action that can prevent the game from continuing (i.e., freezing, disappearing characters, game reset, etc.) will result in a forfeit of that match for the player that initiated the action. You are responsible for knowing your own character, and must be wary about accidentally triggering one of these effects.

Stalling is banned. Stalling is the act of deliberately avoiding any and all conflict so that one may make the game unplayable. Running away from an opponent to reach a better position is not stalling, while doing an infinite grab endlessly against a wall is. Any infinite chain grabs must end quickly after 300% has been reached so as to prevent excessive stalling.

Port slob picks: On a player’s counterpick, that player may opt to redo the port selection process with that player or team picking their port first.

The Mages DQ rule: After a match has been called, if a player is two minutes late he will receive a warning. At 4 minutes late, he will be given a loss for the first game of the set. After six minutes, he will be given a loss of the entire set.


1st Match ?

Double-blind character selection (may be waived with agreement of both players)
Each player may declare stage/item strikes
Opponents start the stage striking procedure
High seed deactivates One (1) item
Lower seed deactivates One (1) item
Match begins on stage chosen during strike

Subsequent Matches ?

Loser switches the status of One (1) item
Winner switches the status of One (1) item
Loser switches the status of One (1) item
Loser picks stage
Winner picks character
Loser picks character


1st Match ?

Controller port selection
Double-blind character selection (may be waived with agreement of all players)
Each team may declare stage/item strikes
Opponents start the stage striking procedure (1221 order as determined by RPS)
Higher seeded team deactivates One (1) item
Lower seeded team deactivates Two (2) items
Higher seeded team deactivates One (1) item
Match begins on stage chosen during strike

Subsequent Matches ?

Losing team switches the status of One (1) item
Winning team switches the status of Two (2) items
Losing team switches the status of One (1) item
Losing team picks stage
Winning team picks characters
Losing team picks characters
Match begins

Taken from SBR Recommended Brawl Stage Lists:

TOs must move stages from the starter/counterpick into either the starter or counterpick categories and must move stages from counterpick/banned into either the counterpick or banned categories.

Stages in the Starter/Counter and Counter/Banned list did not receive 2/3 majority, and therefore you are given the option to put those stages in either category, as we did not come to a consensus on it.

The SBR Recommended rule list uses the stage striking system. In this system, players take turns striking stages from the starter list until only one remains; these stages are not banned and can be counterpicked later in the set. There must be an odd number of starter stages.

Final Destination
Yoshi’s Island

Castle Siege
Lylat Cruise
Pokmon Stadium 1

Distant Planet
Frigate Orpheon
Green Hill Zone
Jungle Japes
Luigi’s Mansion
Pirate Ship
Pokmon Stadium 2
Rainbow Cruise
Yoshi’s Island (Pipes)

Green Greens
Mario Circuit
Port Town Aero Dive

Big Blue
Bridge of Eldin
Flat Zone 2
Hyrule Temple
Mario Bros.
Mushroomy Kingdom I
Mushroomy Kingdom II
New Pork City
Rumble Falls
Shadow Moses
Spear Pillar
The Summit
Wario Ware

Any rule-list that closely follows this guideline may include a note in its opening post (suggested beneath the tournaments title in smaller font) that reads “ISP Certified”.

If you would like to read the detailed impressions of all of the items, you may find them here. If you are a tournament organizer and you would like to hold a tournament using this standard, we ask that you keep records (of some kind) of the proceedings and post in this thread any helpful information you gather during the course of the tournament.


Jack Kieser (Phaze): 3566-1264-7112
Sephi_hatu (Sephi): 0087-1978-8381
Metallic_Igloo: 3523-1714-9284
nesdude: 2492-3777-7739
Rich: 0860-3024-9262
Trexxen (Trexn): 0774-3925-3469


Jack Kieser Item Test 1
nesdude Test 1
nesdude Tests 2 & 3
Jack Kieser 2v2 Test 1
Jack Kieser 1v1 Test 2
Jack Kieser Human 1v1 Test #1
’Item Standard Play’ Online Tournament (4/19/08)
‘Item Standard Play’ 5/24 1v1 Tournament


Bombs / Pokeballs: [media=youtube]oNkWlrubGgM"[/media]
nesdude Test 1 (feat. Dragoon): [media=youtube]Scuzoo3neLQ"[/media]
nesdude Test 2: http://youtube.com/watch?v=J1yRjgtnwv4
nesdude Test 3 (feat. multiple Smash Balls): http://youtube.com/watch?v=k5WvDF6eXyI

Past News
*Good news for people who want to help test, but have no idea where to start! I finally got on my computer and made a template in Wordpad to help give people direction when they are testing. The template has slots for your input and places to put data pertaining to the test setup AND results! Unfortuantely, it’s not post compatible (meaning you can’t copy/paste the results into a post for SWF), but I’ll work on that.

The 1v1 version can be found here, while the 2v2 version can be found here. One note: make sure your margins are .5" all around, or else the formatting goes all the hell.


I’m going to be let this go on for now, but will be keeping my eye very closely on this thread. Do not let it get out of hand.


Well, we certainly want to encourage intelligent and open discussion here. So far, we haven’t had any problems on the two other forums we have branches in (SWF and Crush Siblings); people have actually been surprisingly civil and open-minded. Hopefully, people will heed the warnings I set out in the OP; I’d really like to bring the item discussion we’ve been having for well over a month now to the SRK forums, as I think the people here could add a lot of good input.


So what was the reason Unira was banned from 1v1?

I’ve always felt the homerun bat was ridiculously good as far as a throwing weapon. I might have to play some matches with just the HR bat on to see what you can do with it.


There should be a link in the OP to the full item impressions list. It’s going to be evolving for a while, most likely (I’m not naive enough to think we know everything there is to know about Brawl/items right now), but the basic reasons that it was banned are layed out in that (rather lengthy, 13 page) post.


I like the whole risk vs. reward system you used in determining what items should be legal. It makes a lot of sense. I actually read that whole post and found it to be an interesting read.

As for the home run bat, it does seem a bit too good as a throwing weapon, but it is easy to dodge. If the Green Shell is legal, so should the bat

EDIT: One thng I thought should be brought up in that post ut wasn’t was the use of the Star Rod as a throwing weapon. It semi-spikes but is still dodgeable. Was tis considered in your testing? It probably was but it wasn’t mentioned. Just wondering.


I disagree with your stance on Smash Balls.

Smash Balls are fundamentally different from the other items and I don’t feel they should be judged the same way. Yes, they do have wildly different effects for each char. Yes, they can easily turn the match around. Yes, not all of them are equally viable. But the same statements go for all super moves in any fighting game that has super moves in it.

I don’t think that they should be turned off just because they’re powerful. Even then, I don’t think they are as powerful as they seem. Here is my reasoning:

All Final Smashes have a de-facto cap of one stock, barring certain freak scenarios like Sonic or a Landmaster killing you right on spawn. Any other case, you can wait out the entire final smash using your spawn invincibility with no risk whatsoever. By contrast, a fan or baseball bat can take out anywhere from 1 stock to their entire cache if the opponent manages to hold on to them for that long.

All of the Final Smashes can be dodged with varying degrees of ease. Super Sonic and Landmaster are the only ones still completely up in the air for me. But even then, Sonic has a hard time killing normally anyway and the Landmaster still takes some precision to kill with.

They’re not guarunteed to anyone. Some characters have an easier time getting to them than others, but absolutely nothing is a guaruntee with a Smash Ball.

Misusing a Final Smash can often have very negative results. Being careless with certain Final Smashes (Landmaster, Zero Beam, Suit Regenerate, Barrel Rockets) can kill you, for example.

I think that the balance is there and that they add far more depth to any match being there than is added by them not being there.

I hope none of this came off badly. I’m not saying anyone is wrong, nor am I trying to start an argument about it. Just that this is how I feel about them.


unira being banned? retarded. its an item you can hit to null it completely and return it to pick up mode. even on edge guarding, you can hit it and still recover. it doesn’t do enough damage, doesn’t k.o., and its not even decent as a throwing weapon.

bumper being banned is also retarded. every keeps saying how broken it is because it k.o.s at such a low percentage, but its also fucking blockable. there’s rarely ever a chance it can be setup PERFECTLY to keep people from stage recovering either… the ledge sweep spot is MUCH larger than the bumper, and you can use ledge inviniciblity to roll through, and even attack through the bumper… and you can still repeatedly ledge grab until it despawns if you don’t want to commit any action. it sucks to get bounced by it after you’ve killed your second jump, but then you are really just talking about someone using the weapon well, and you not defending it properly.

golden hammer is also a non-ban item. almost every character has a basic counter to it. if they don’t have a reversal, falling attacks, spam attacks, and rapid air attacks eat through the hammer. not to mention that if you perfect block it, you STILL get a free throw on them, assuming you don’t have a tether character… and since most tether characters can projectile spam… uhm… that’s another good way of hurting hammer users.

as for the home run bat, imo, it is the best throwing item in the game… probably on of the best just in terms of how flexible it is outside of going for the home run (which should never hit). but where it excels is how well it bounces… one trick i enjoy is throwing the bat straight down wards as someone tries to rush me. i use it alot after killing someone and they try to get at me immediately. travel to the ledge throw the bat down and jump off… they try to attack and it either clashes with the bat or it hits them… then i come back in on the offensive without any approach needed. you can do similar things with throwing straight up, but really… the bat is solid… not broken, but solid.


I’m curious about… why the ban on golden hammer but hammer is fine


The truth is that only four items should be considered for banning. Heart/Tomato/Star/Curry. Everything else shouldn’t even be a discussion anymore (in regard to item on play, anyway.)




Even though I wouldn’t participate in such tournies (feel free to ignore), I think the best way to determine which items should be on should be determined by 1. Do they have strategic value? If so, yes. Getting a star and using it requires no strat what so ever for the item user 2. Is the risk/reward values out of wack? 1 is obviously easier to do than 2 as 2 would have to be proven with results and stuff (well some of them don’t need testing >_>). I would also suggest a third one that says that said item can’t be random in itself IE pokeballs. This is not necessary, but no amount of “stage control” could be used to get a good pokemon or to get a bad one (plus very little strategy throw stuff but I think I read pokemon are banned already).

The one item have to ask about is timer. I can’t think of a good reason why it should be on. There is like a 50% chance that if anyone gets the timer, you get slowed down. The rewards for this are enormous for only having to pick the thing up (and it choosing you to not be slowed down). Some might say that people have to access whether to get the clock or not because of the risk or whatever. However, the timer only helps the losing player because one of two things happen with that a. the loser gets the advantage and takes off that stock b. he gets the disadvantage and loses like he would anyways. It is not realistic to keep your opponent from getting the item while not getting the item yourself unless you are willing to claim that what is basically a smash ball that doesn’t need to be hit is easy to keep away from your opponent.

I also have a problem with hot head but at least it doesn’t support the loser and is not random like the freaken timer. It seems broken, but maybe not.


risk/reward value depends on the situation though. Getting a star right after you KO someone sucks because your opponent can just sit the invicinbility out. Getting a star when you have 200 damage would give far better rewards.

I don’t think its possible to find some kind of medium risk/reward value for each item. It might be better to make a list of common occurances that happens in game and then give a point system based on that list. An item that would give good reward in most of the situations on the list would be considered for ban.

All the items should be turned on imo if items are on in the first place. If items are on medium, one item can be a counter to another item. A star can be counter to curry; laser can be counter to a sword…etc.


That would only work if we were able to control item spawns; that is obviously not the case.


I’m not sure your testing was totally complete or accurate. Thats why I’m finding it hard to accept the mandate of this type of committee.



Well, first of all it’s not a mandate. The purpose of the project was to create a starting point for experiments with item play. Real experimentation with items in Smash hadn’t been done since 2003 or so, and it was a necessary first step into looking for alternate playstyles for Brawl. We have always said that this is simply a template to be used by tournament organizers and that they ALWAYS have the final call.

The reason we (the many people who tested and debated for the project) took a more conservative stance on our decisions was expressly because we knew that if a TO wanted a more liberal (or even more conservative) list in his/her event, he/she could always just… change things. And naturally we aren’t done yet; how long has Brawl been out? We know that there are things we are bound to miss and that with the evolution of Brawl’s metagame things will undoubtedly change.

So, yeah. TOTALLY not a mandate. Don’t know why you thought it would be, but that certainly isn’t the case. If it was, this would be a circuit or league, not a ‘project’.



I’d again like to offer that the only things that make sense on your ban list are Heart/Tomato/Curry/Star, and I’ll be working with all of it show reasons why. :slight_smile:



You should probably add this vid and your fan vid to your first post on the Item Knowledge Database for quick reference.

Also, since you can attack Lakitu and knock him out, have there been any other Assist Trophies/Pokemon that you’ve seen that you can attack to remove them from play?


Incorrect. While difficult to do due to the vacuum effect, any opponent can deactivate the Unira with a punch. I’m capable of doing it with Jigglypuff who is known for her stubby limbs. For that reason, I argue in favor of removing the ban from Unira.