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The metagame is a commonly used tactic or strategy that is developed and employed in expert play and in the competitive community. In Smash, the metagame is a trend in strategy that is used during expert play inside smash tournaments. Metagames have the ability to change over time as strategies develop or simply become more popular within a community. Through analysis of the metagame, people in the competitive smash community are able to determine the relative performance of each and every character and with this, tier lists are developed. Super Smash Flash 2's metagame is currently determined by character, tactic and strategies on the McLeodGaming forum where it is discussed. The current metagame can be described as a modern version of Super Smash Bros. due to gravity and hitstun that allows for combos that were performed in Super Smash Bros. Melee and Super Smash Bros. However, now with the edition of online and the annual SSF2 tournaments hosted by SSF2 devs allows for the metagame to be better developed.
Examples of changing metagames in Super Smash Flash 2
- Sonic was already seen as a top tier character due to his amazing mobility, combo ability and great recovery. However, when players noticed how much priority Sonic's Light Dash had, it could be spammed and followed up with aerials while being able to be L-canceling when short hop close to the ground is when people starting realizing that Sonic was broken. Due to this Sonic can shut down the entire cast and was claimed to be the best character in the demo with being 1st on the tier list.
- Goku was originally seen as one of the worst characters in the demo due to his sluggish attacks, poor combo ability outside of Kaiō-ken, poor projectiles, he could be combo'ed easily, poor reach in some of his attacks and Kaiō-ken was seen as a risky move to use due to it damaging Goku until he stopped hitting or stopped being hit by the opponent. However, people started to notice that he had great combo potential outside of Kaiō-ken, he had good priority in his attacks, a decent recovery and his combo ability became better when using Kaiō-ken and he could zero-to-death the entire roster. He is ranked 6th on the tier list.
- Wario was seen as one of the worst characters in the demo, along with Goku, due to his poor mobility, poor range in his attacks, below average combo ability, lack of a projectile and poor approach options. However, players starting taking notice that he had good priority in his aerials, he had ways to deal with projectiles, he had decent combo ability and a powerful finisher in Wario Waft. He is ranked 12th on the tier list.
- Ness was originally seen as being one of the best characters in demo and was considered S-tier material due to his great combo ability, a great projectile in PK Fire and strong finishers. However, Ness's combo ability was out classed by other characters. Players started to notice his poor reach in the majority of his attacks, his easy to gimp recovery and being easy to KO vertically due to his slow falling speed. He is ranked 22nd on the tier list.
- Kirby, like Ness, was originally seen as being one of the best characters demo. He had good reach in some of his attacks, a great recovery, great combo ability and he great offstage options to gimp his opponents. However, his combo ability was overshadowed by other characters, he was easy to KO vertically and horizontally, he lacks a reliable projectile and ways to deal with them. He is ranked 16th on the tier list.
- Naruto was ranked 18th on tier list for demo v0.9a. In demo v0.9b, Naruto received little changes to him. However, with the appearance of online mode showed Naruto's power. Naruto's clone projectiles could be used for stage control, edge guarding and extending his combos. This showed Naruto's untapped potential that went unnoticed in v0.9a. This has led to a lot of hate for the character and wanting him nerfed. Naruto was ranked 6th on the tier list in S tier on the first tier list. However, as the metagame progressed, Naruto's weaknesses became more apprent along with other characters strengths started to shine where Naruto dropped to 9th of A tier on the second tier list of the demo. As the metagame progressed, Naruto would still lose steam as on the third and final tier list, he was ranked 15th of B tier. This was due to Naruto's MU's which people thought were originally in his favor were actually bad MUs for him, with Fox being a prime example. Naruto's projectile game, which was thought to be one of the best in the game, would be easily dealt with due to either being reflected, taken out by characters with high priority or disjointed range. Naruto's up close game was poor due to having low range and having poor priority, which gave him more trouble in certain mus. The main people who kept complaining about Naruto were low level to casual players, who did not adapt to counter Naruto's tools.
- Donkey Kong was ranked 24, next to K tier on the tier list of demo v0.9a. Donkey Kong's strengths were greatly overlooked. In demo v0.9b is when Donkey Kong truly began to shine when people saw they could abuse Donkey Kong's knockback resistance moves and he could combo the majority of the roster quite well. DK ranked 15th of A tier on the first tier list and would rise to 13th on the next tier list, where he was still in A tier. As DK's strong combo game, good range, super armor moves and the ability to zero to death a lot of the roster was still fresh in people's minds, he would rise to 11th of B+ tier on the third and final tier list.
- Sora was ranked 5th on the 0.9a tier list. Despite this, Sora's changes, such as the increased combo potential in each attack with the addition of Flowmotion made him initially considered to be a Top 5 character. Later, when the metagame developed and his substantial lack of KO power led people to consider him one of the worst characters in the game. He was initially ranked 26th on the tier list, but with advancements to his and other character's own metagame, many people believed him to be the worst character in SSF2. In the second list, Sora is ranked 29th, at the very bottom of the list. On the third and final list, Sora was ranked 27th of C tier, with Wario taking his place at the bottom of the tier list. Despite Sora being an annoying MU for most players, his weaknesses were still apparent and more MUs were shown to not be in his favor.
- Goku like last demo, was lower on the tier list, but he was seen as a strong character instead of one of the worst characters in the game. Goku had received little to no changes from the transistion from 9a to 9b, where he still had a lot of strong tools, but at the time, other characters appeared to have better tools then he did. Goku was ranked 16th of A tier on the first tier list where he was still considered a strong character. He would rise up to 12th of A tier, where Goku's strengths would become more apparent again. On the third and final tier list of the demo, Goku would rise 6th of A+ tier, where he was considered a top tier character again.
- Meta Knight was ranked 4th at the top of A tier on the tier list for v0.9a. He was burly nerfed in his transistion from 9a to 9b, where he still had a lot of strong tools. This allowed him to be considered the best character in the early metagame, where he ranked 1st of S tier on the first tier list. Despite not having a strong player base like other characters, he was still widely seen as the best character in the demo and was ranked 1st again on the second tier list. However, as the metagame progressed, more troubling MUs for Meta Knight presented themselves in the form of Zelda, where the combination of Zelda and Sheik, Sheilda form surpassed him and finally dethroned him where he ranked 2nd of A+ tier.
- One of the most prominent changes to the SSF2 Beta metagame was the removal of the universal transcendent priority that all projectiles had. Whilst the priority system for SSF2 now revolves around a very powerful port priority mechanic, the removal of transcendent projectiles in 1.0.3 as well as buffs to additional characters led to a lot of zoning characters initially considered powerful, most notably Isaac, went from being considered very powerful characters to being viewed either less favourably, or to be considered significantly worse than their 1.0.2 predecessors.
- The prominence of port priority in the SSF2 metagame has led to an upsurge in characters with disjointed hitboxes, quick frame data and/or powerful punish games being considered the strongest characters in SSF2. Notably, characters with poor range, risky neutrals and poor punish games have suffered in this metagame, most notably with Luffy who's risky neutral thanks to his long, extended hurtboxes have led to him being almost entirely invalidated as a character if he does not have port priority. Furthermore, almost universally across all characters, this has led to matchup ratios being significantly influenced by port priority and character mirror matches being in the favour of the character with port priority.
- Characters such as Donkey Kong, PAC-MAN and Ness rose significantly on the tier list thanks to extremely powerful tactics discovered and showcased through top-level player representation. Donkey Kong was discovered to have a Giant Punch kill confirm on most of the cast at very low percents out of his cargo up throw and on top of this, his main representative (Prolific) rose to #1 on the Flash Collective Rankings. Ness was also discovered to have a pseudo-infinite chaingrab that could effectively guarantee the loss of a stock at around 40% after a grab, and finally, PAC-MAN was discovered to have a glitch where he could attach the hitbox of the Key from his Bonus Fruit special move onto his body and attack people just by walking into them, however, the counterplay and setup time of the glitch, as well as the best PAC-MAN player Kyoz dropping PAC-MAN after the tournament in which this glitch was showcased, has led to PAC-MAN not being as prominent of a character in the metagame.