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The tier list is a list that ranks all characters in a certain game in order of their potential to win under tournament conditions, assuming equal skill on the part of each player, based on analysis of the current metagame. Tier lists are commonly made for competitive fighting games and high level play, as well as strategy games that involve a selection of usable characters.

Characters' individual matchups with other characters also affect their placements on the list. However, one cannot determine the rankings of two characters without looking at their matchup spread as a whole. For instance, let's assume that character A is a hard counter for character B. However, character B has better matchups overall than the rest of the cast when compared to character A. As a result, character B would likely be ranked above character A. However, individual matchups can still have an effect on the positions of these two characters. Even if character A has a worse matchup spread, they have a chance to be ranked higher than character B if they have stronger matchups against the top ranked fighters, as character A would be more viable for competing at the top level of play when compared to character B.

The first Super Smash Flash is considered to be competitively unviable, primarily because the camera follows only player 1, giving player 2 an unfair disadvantage that breaks the symmetry necessary for a true competition. Looking beyond that, the meta is still extremely hard to measure, given the game's primitive engine which is prone to suffering from game-breaking glitches that render most of the differences between characters moot. Still, it is not impossible to determine how the characters would fare from a theoretical standpoint, but special measurements have to be taken into account to construct a tier list.

Super Smash Flash 2, on the other hand, is more refined and provides a much more authentic experience that encompasses techniques and strategies that have proven useful during tournament matches. Thus, the tier list for the game ranks and measures the expected competitive performance of every character, based upon analysis of these techniques and strategies from the current demo. The tier lists are produced by the Smash Flash Back Room, a small subforum in the McLeodGaming Forums.

Super Smash Flash tier list

This is the tier list made by the CSFBR that corresponds to December 23, 2015:

Super Smash Flash tier list
S   A
1 2 3/4 5 6   7 8 9 10 11
SSF Lloyd icon SSF Tails icon SSF Luigi icon SSF Mario icon SSF Zero icon SSF Knuckles icon   SSF Fox icon SSF InuYasha icon SSF Crono icon SSF Blue icon SSF Naruto icon
  12 13 14 15 16 17 18  
  SSF Sheik icon SSF Meta Knight icon SSF Samus icon SSF Zelda icon SSF Kirby icon SSF Super Sonic icon SSF Sonic icon  
19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29/30
SSF Mega Man X icon SSF Captain Falcon icon SSF Mr. Incredible icon SSF Mr. Game & Watch icon SSF Young Link icon SSF Link icon SSF Jigglypuff icon SSF Cloud icon SSF Mewtwo icon SSF Shadow icon SSF Pikachu icon SSF Blade icon

This is the second tier list created for Super Smash Flash to be officially recognized. However, unlike the previous tier list, this was instead created by the CSFBR, a group who focus on datamining the game and providing matchups, as well as discovering exploits in the engine. The same factors were taken into consideration by the new people who made the tier list, who were DSwift, Ironed Sandwich and Skailler. Once again, the veracity of the tier list can be placed on doubt.

Super Smash Flash 2 tier list

On the 27th December 2017, the Smash Flash Back Room released the second tier list for Beta. This tier list corresponds to version of Beta, so any future updates may cause the tier list to be significantly altered.

Super Smash Flash 2 Beta 1.0 tier list 2
S   A+ A A-
1   2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
SSF2 Tails icon   SSF2 Lloyd icon SSF2 Marth icon SSF2 Samus icon SSF2 Ichigo icon SSF2 Donkey Kong icon SSF2 Link icon SSF2 Falco icon SSF2 Fox icon SSF2 Meta Knight icon SSF2 Captain Falcon icon
B+   B-
12 13 14 15   16 17 18 19 20 21 22
SSF2 Goku icon SSF2 Mario icon SSF2 Chibi-Robo icon SSF2 Sheik icon   SSF2 Mega Man icon SSF2 Ness icon SSF2 Pikachu icon SSF2 Yoshi icon SSF2 Peach icon SSF2 Bomberman icon SSF2 Zelda icon
  C+   C  
  23 24 25   26 27 28 29 30 31  
  SSF2 Isaac icon SSF2 PAC-MAN icon SSF2 Sora icon   SSF2 Bandana Dee icon SSF2 Kirby icon SSF2 Mr. Game & Watch icon SSF2 Bowser icon SSF2 Sandbag icon SSF2 Jigglypuff icon  
  C-   D  
  32 33 34 35 36 37   38 39  
  SSF2 Black Mage icon SSF2 Sonic icon SSF2 Zero Suit Samus icon SSF2 Pit icon SSF2 Wario icon SSF2 Luffy icon   SSF2 Luigi icon SSF2 Naruto icon  

This second tier list was also created over the span of approximately 3 months by the Back Room. This tier list was made by taking the consensus of the Back Room on which tier each character was in, before the Back Room had a large discussion on the placements of these characters. The release of this tier list was slightly pushed forward due to an announcement made by a developer in the Back Room.

The tiers are divided into S, A+, A and A- (Top), B+ and B- (High), C+ and C (Mid), C- and D (Low), with D having characters that are the only truly unviable characters.

Controversies and misconceptions

Tier lists have been made for all of the competitively viable Super Smash Bros. games, from the original Super Smash Bros. to Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U and even to fan games such as Super Smash Flash 2. The tier list's intended function is to predict which characters, when played at the highest level allowed for all given characters, will win under tournament conditions. Despite this, there are still misconceptions about the tier list, which lead to sometimes unwarranted criticism of it. There are many people in the Super Smash Bros. communities, including the SSF2 community, who disagree with the idea of tier lists. They commonly see the tier list as a "popularity contest" in which the creators just put their personal best characters at the top, or they may think that the list is written to deter players from choosing low-tiered characters. In the latter case, these people, known as "anti-tiers," argue that each characters' individual strengths and weaknesses balance them out. They state that tier lists should not exist because all characters can be played equally. More inexperienced anti-tierists will often boast that they can beat a level 9 computer player with a character on the bottom of the list, and use that as a reason why tier lists are inaccurate.

To counter these claims, competitive players have created some counterarguments to the issue. A common counterargument against anti-tierism is that it is extremely difficult to perfectly balance a cast as diverse as that in SSF2 for competitive play. Even if measures had been taken to balance the game, the variables included would still cause the game to become at least slightly skewed towards characters whose strengths overshadow their weaknesses. Another counterargument is that since the tier list only predicts which characters would win if they were played at the top level under tournament rules, it should not affect any player who does not play in these conditions. Thus, many players should not care too much about the tier list if they're playing just for fun. Citing that one can defeat a computer player with a low-tier character is a weak claim because the AI in Smash games, including SSF2, have poor habits and do not properly utilize advanced techniques or mindgames, forcing players to learn the AI's specific flaws to defeat them, which can actually deter them from performing well against real players and reinforcing cerebral ability. Finally, even the lowest-tier characters have professionals dedicated to using them, constantly finding new things about those characters that make them strong. With all these factors weighed in, tier lists are controversial and some players see it in a negative light.

However, because the official tier list of Super Smash Flash 2 is always changing, it does not get as much controversy. While there are some people that may dislike the tier list because they think it tries to dictate which characters to use, they also appreciate the tier lists for being "fairer" than the those from the official games. They generally like the ability of fighters to "take their turns" at the top of the tier lists. The latter fact is backed up by the idea that a fighter could be at the top of the tier list in one version of the game, yet the bottom of the next one. Because of this, arguments about the official tier list for Super Smash Flash 2 are fewer and farther between than those of the official games.

See also

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