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Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Controversy: Is the Hero Unbalanced?

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Image Credit: Nintendo

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (SSBU) is supposedly the most balanced of all the games in the series. However, Nintendo’s latest addition to the SSBU lineup makes me feel as if this game is anything but.

If you purchased the DLC pack for SSBU, you will have just received the Hero. This Dragon Quest character has become surrounded by controversy, and has even been banned in several SSBU tournaments.

Are the Hero bans justified?

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The Hero’s Powerful yet Complicated Moveset

Out of all the characters in SSBU, the Hero by far is the most bizarre and possibly one of the most annoying. You can’t really compare him to any other character on the roster—you just have to play him to try to begin to understand his style.

The Hero is for players who like to gamble. Most attacks trigger the swing of his sword, which is pretty normal for SSB games. I thought the Hero’s attacks would resemble Link’s, but he uses both swordplay and magic.

You’ll notice something’s a little off when you execute the Hero’s powerful side special. This attack triggers a bolt of lighting that not only strikes the areas above the Hero, but also extends to either side of his body. It has incredible range, and gives an unfair advantage to the Hero.

If the Hero’s side special was the only over-powered move that the Hero had, I’d be okay with that. Instead, Masashiro Sakurai, the creator of SSBU, decided to go overboard.

As soon as you trigger the Hero’s down special, you’ll see a menu pop up over the Hero’s icon on the bottom of the screen. Selecting one of these options performs the move. Every time you pull up the menu, you’ll see a different set of four moves—with a total of 21 possible moves, you have plenty of options.

The menu system is part of the challenge that comes with playing as the hero, but it still doesn’t make up for his power. You have to quickly read and select one of his special moves from the list while trying to avoid getting hit. When you hit the right move at the right time, you can easily K.O. your opponent.

Several of the Hero’s special moves can actually take out your competitor when they have as little as 0% damage. While some moves cause him to spontaneously combust to instantly kill the opponent, another allows him to deal 75% damage with a sword attack. The Hero also has moves that you can’t predict. One move, Hocus Pocus, is a wildcard that executes a random attack—one that might even cause your opponent to lose their last stock.

In addition to these killer moves, the Hero can use his special attacks to speed up and heal himself. His power is almost laughable—Nintendo has made the Hero into an unstoppable powerhouse that borders the line of becoming unfair.

Is Unpredictability Unfair?

Many pro SSBU players have called for a ban on the Hero. Some tournaments in Australia have actually banned the character for his anti-competitive nature.

On the other hand, ZeRo, one of the greatest SSB players of all time, has shamed the pro community for wanting to ban the Hero. He cites that there hasn’t been a trend of the Hero winning an excessive number of tournaments, and that it’s extremely difficult for a player to take advantage of his overpowered moves.

Perhaps it’s too early to decide to ban the Hero from all tournaments. Pros fear that an inexperienced player can enter a tournament as the Hero and have no trouble climbing their way to the winner’s bracket.

Some of the Hero’s attacks are unnecessary and deserve a decrease in power. But as of now, will SSBU pros flock to play as this character? Not really. Despite his ultra-powerful attacks and ability to turn the tide of the game in a matter of seconds, pros likely won’t want to choose him as their main.

The Hero is unpredictable to a fault. This poses a challenge to your opponent, but it also doesn’t allow for consistent gameplay. You might play one great game, and get a horrible selection of moves in the next. Plus, if you’re going up against a speedy character, you won’t even have time to keep accessing your specials. The Hero comes with risks most pros won’t take.

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The Hero Is SSBU‘s Biggest Villain

The addition of the Hero really shines light on a bigger problem that Nintendo has: since the advent of DLC, Nintendo has been offering blatantly powerful DLC characters as bait for struggling players or diehard fans. Read more on why we think Nintendo is losing their way.

For now, we’ll have to keep an eye on Zackray, a pro player who has decided to add the Hero to his own roster of characters to play. Once more pros start to play and abuse the character, we’ll know for sure whether the Hero belongs in the game (or at least competitive play).

Are you struggling to decide which SSBU character you should play as? Check out our helpful guide to help you decide who you should main.

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