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Stagestriking

The random stage switch is commonly used to visually guide the process. Here, the starter stages in the stage list for Beta are highlighted, and are turned off with each strike. Player 1 strikes Final Destination. Player 2 strikes Battlefield and Dream Land. Finally, Player 1 strikes Pokémon Colosseum, meaning that this set will be played on Smashville.

Stage striking is a process invented for Super Smash Bros. series tournaments to replace the formerly used random stage select. It is used to choose the stage during the first match of a set by process of elimination rather than free choice, since the choice of stage will affect gameplay for all players unlike individual character choice.

Explanation

The process works by starting out with the full list of legal starter stages in the first set of a match; stages classified as counterpicks are not yet eligible.

One player eliminates a stage that they feel would be beneficial to the opponent's character if played on; for example, fighting Lloyd on Nintendo 3DS would be a tremendous risk, so it would be wise to strike that against a known Lloyd user.

Afterwards, the second player strikes two stages at once, to compensate for not getting the first choice. For larger stage lists, this may go on for longer, alternating between players at two strikes per turn, but it is not needed under current conditions.

The choice then goes back to the original player who strikes one of the two remaining stages, the last one remaining being the stage that the set is ultimately played on.

The process can be skipped entirely with the Gentleman's Clause, in which all players agree on a stage beforehand. When used, it is typically to expedite the match, as the striking process can be time-consuming.

Problems

While the striking process is mostly sound, it does have its flaws.

Firstly, it can cause a conflict when it comes to similar stages. For example, there is a conflict regarding the extreme similarities between Final Destination, Nintendo 3DS, and Waiting Room, which may cause a slight skew in favor of characters who benefit from that layout. Therefore, stages can potentially be banned despite their neutrality, as Nintendo 3DS and Waiting Room have been.

Secondly, the process does not account for a growing stage list. In order for it to be efficient, a stage list must be kept within a reasonable size and total up to have an odd number of starters. Because SSF2 is still in development, not all competitively viable stages planned for the game are known, and some neutral stages may have to be banned merely to make room.

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