The concept of tier lists?


What is the actual concept of tier lists? Because I’m starting to think people use them too much as an excuse to hate on specific characters. Too many people rip on me because I play with evil ryu. I thought tier lists only made sense if both players are equal in skill, which is why everyone has their own tier list. For instance people say Cody is low tier but I still struggle against him with certain characters where the Cody player will win 6/10. I think Cody is mid-tier. So I guess my real question is, what do you guys think about tier lists?


Moving over to FGD. Whenever possible, we try to avoid subjective topics like this in the Newbie Dojo.


Because in any game with unique characters (that aren’t exact clones of each other) certain characters will always have advantages over others. Tier lists are simply people figuring out who has more advantages over the others.


Tier lists are simply an assessment of the overall power of each character, across the board. The more favourable matchups, the higher you will place.

They are an attempt to remove the player from the equation and sort the stronger from the weak.

Precisely BECAUSE they do not account for the skills of the player, they are not a guide to victory, or a means of which to predict the outcome of matches between players.

Tier lists are great for:

  1. Scouting out potential new characters to pick up,
  2. Assessing the balance of the game (when data is gathered from multiple lists created by a variety of skilled and knowledgeable players), and
  3. Talking about.

Don’t read too far into them, but if you notice trends amongst various lists, it’s a relatively safe bet that a certain character is overall stronger or weaker.


When most people (especially on SRK) bring up tier lists in non-related topics, it’s typically to make an excuse for something else, usually bad play. Don’t read too far into it and pick who you want.

Also, what Wasted said.


Yeah, and to add to D3V’s post its also about how much mileage players can get out of those characters. So you should really focus on the top players using the characters to the best of their individual abilities and the characters abilities.

Jeff Shaffer said that Blanka was the best character in Hyper Fighting, unless he played Tomo’s Ryu, but he added that Tomo could make any character better. Id say if Tomo was so great with Ryu that made Ryu top tier because if Tomo could in fact make any character the best character, then why not play Blanka himself, or Chun Li. I played a dude at Hype Fighting and I couldnt beat that guys Blanka with Ryu but I could beat him with Chun Li, and me and the guy werent Shaffer or Tomo let alone anywhere near a 10th of their talent in HF.

So when you see Tiers just keep in mind theyre about top level play and no casuals between beginners or intermediates.

To add further though there are particular cases to keep in mind like how Smug got so much mileage out of Dudley in AE 2012 and Kuroda in 3rd Strike being an absolute MENSA genius with a 3rd of the cast. But you have to remember that as good as those guys are with the characters they play that they could get even more wins probably with better characters. Smug didnt play Cammy and Kuroda doesnt play Yun or Chun Li, but Kuroda got an insane amount of perfects with Akuma at tournaments but never any perfects with Q.

I believe in tiers and so when I see a game Ill pick the best character in it that I can have a fun time with and that also suites my style. Dont have any shame about picking the best character if you want to play the best and get the best results. And if you love a character but theyre ass tier then have a top tier as back up who takes care of your shitty characters bad match ups. Dont be a sore loser and say “well if I played so and so on the top tier I would have beaten you!” Why DIDNT you pick that top tier if you could win with them? If you see a tier list adn decide you have too much honor to pick the best characters dont get mad at people who beat you that did pick the best.