Gitting Gud with Scrub Tier Characters

Can’t a person get good enough with a mid-to-low tier character in a fighting game and compete on par with those who excel with higher tiered characters? Like how you say Fox is the most demanding and powerful character in Melee but we see people like Gimpyfish with Bowser or AMSA with Yoshi?

It depends. Gimpyfish can’t compete on a national or international level because bowser honestly sucks. Amsa can because yoshi has potential beyond his tiering.

The thing with mid and low tiers is they thrive on people not knowing the matchup. A person can become really good with those characters and maybe take higher level players by surprise with them, but this advantage fades as they come into contact more. Leffen was originally a yoshi main, but moved to fox not because there was a deliberate tier advantage, but because he wanted to prove he was the best without any sort of gimmick. He wanted to hit people honestly and fairly with the character everyone has the most experience fighting. Amsa had a good run against the gods initially, then fell off as everyone got used to the matchup and his style of play, but he recovered as he genuinely improved more, but hasn’t reached the heights he originally did since.

Ice climbers mains are legitimately discussing how the ice climbers will probably fall in tiering in the future as people get better at the matchup and say they currently only thrive on matchup ignorance.

Axe and Hungrybox are frequently remarked as not playing high tier characters, it’s frequently said that pikachu and jigglypuff are not good characters, these two players are just really good with those characters. They put in so much effort that they make their characters look good when no one else can get the same results with those characters. The implication is that they’re working way harder than everyone else to make those characters good.

Sure, you can do that, but it’s hard and it’s not going to earn you special brownie points. In Melee, I’ve seen many people actively disrespect low/mid tier mains, or just say they dislike them, because it’s like the fighting game equivalent of going vegan or something, or a mark of scrubbiness. I recently encountered a game and watch character loyalist. In PM, that’s fine. Game and watch is some bullshit. In Melee, that’s stupid. Please don’t even try. You deserve all the bad things that will come to you.

Can’t you compensate the characters lack of potential being good at meta gaming though with mid tier characters, alongside mastering the character, or is that to inconsistent to fully master?

Huh? I don’t understand what you’re asking.

Yoshi is mid tier because he has a crappy recovery and can’t jump out of shield. Amsa did better with yoshi than anyone because he was able to exploit a ton of ridiculously hard tech that no one was previously exploiting, such as shield drop, which can bypass his normal jump out of shield weakness. The other hard tech was parrying and the light shield, plus a ton of miscellaneous yoshi stuff that others did before him, but he did better. This indicates that his tier placement might be wrong and it will shift up if yoshi players like amsa can demonstrate more consistent results.

I think you’re asking if you can compensate having a bad character by being good at meta gaming. I don’t think you understand what meta gaming is. In a competitive gaming context, that’s not a verb, nor is it a skill. Knowing the metagame is a knowledge set, and at a high level, everyone knows the meta. At a top level, people can redefine the meta by showing that the meta is wrong and the game can be played in a more effective way.

Realistically though, you can compensate for having a bad character by reading your opponent successfully, hitting them a lot more than they hit you. This is also called: being way better than your opponent. At a top level this tends not to pan out, because it’s hard to be so much better than the best players in the world when you have a significant disadvantage.

Perhaps I didn’t word myself properly. I was under the impression that metagaming was the strategy of reading your opponent. Am I wrong or misinformed? Is there more to metagaming that you think I don’t know?

Reading your opponent is a normal part of the game. Knowing the current metagame can inform your decisions in reading your opponent, by knowing what options your opponent has available, and what are currently seen as favorable over others, so you can pick the options that beat the current favorites. In this way metagames tend to be cyclical in evolution as people move between options to beat whatever’s popular at the time, but as time goes on, the meta tends to include more of everything. Metagaming is knowing that rock is the most common first throw in rock paper scissors. Reading your opponent means not always throwing paper first.

Metagaming isn’t typically used as a verb in the context of competitive games. I usually only see it as a verb in the context of tabletop RPGs, where it refers to someone who is informing their decisions with the pretext that it’s a game that their dungeon master would design a certain way.

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