This blog has always been a unique voice in the amiibo community for a variety of reasons. Most of those reasons have dissipated since the hibernation of the Smash 4 metagame, but one unique facet of this blog remains firm: Amiibo Doctor recommends a specific and unusual stagelist. I’ve written thousands of words on the benefits of a more refined stagelist over the last year, and I plan on continuing that tradition today.
There are many stages that could reasonably placed into the Amiibo Doctor Stagelist on the side of this website, especially on hazardless rulesets. While many of them aren’t included for some sort of disqualifying feature, such as thoroughly biased blastzones or some sort of stage transformation, there is one specific stage that I’ve been overlooking: hazardless Wuhu Island.
Right now, the Amiibo Doctor Hazardless Stagelist (the stagelist that ASMR tournaments use) consists of mostly medium and small-sized stages, with Mementos, Pokemon Stadium 2 and Dream Land 64 as the largest stages. If you take a step back and ignore Battlefield and Final Destination (as we guarantee those medium-sized stages on the second and third match, but not on the first), then the overall stagelist is biased towards small stages. This keeps the fighters in closer-quarters combat than they might otherwise have.
When fighters are forced to be closer together and have less room, what might the consequences be?
There are two: First, melee attacks become more useful. As opponents are closer to each other, they don’t need as much range to land a hit. Sweetspots become much easier to strike with, and platforms become a more pivotal aspect of the stage. If you want to see what I mean, just try to play Roy on hazardless Smashville versus hazardless Mementos. You’ll notice that you hit a lot more sweetspotted attacks on Smashville than Mementos.
The second consequence is slightly less major but will greatly affect the viability of several amiibo, both now and yet to come. As characters get closer together, projectile attacks become far less usable compared to melee attacks. Firing off a missile is useless when your opponent is close enough to respond with a parry and smash attack. It’s common sense.
So, having established that the current hazardless stagelist is biased towards melee attacks and away from projectiles, what would the solution be?
Rebalance the stagelist in the other direction with a very large and very open stage: Wuhu Island. Hazardless Wuhu Island is a balanced stage when the rest of the stagelist is taken into consideration. It’s small enough to accommodate some melee attacks (the platform allows for melee moves to be used from below, and the slopes encourage characters to move closer when not trying to recover) but still wide enough to give projectile users a chance to make use of their projectiles. There are many amiibo who benefit directly from being able to safely use projectiles, especially Mii Gunner, Link, King K. Rool, Ness and Dr. Mario, just to spotlight the S and A tiers.
It is for this reason that Wuhu Island is being added to the Hazardless Stagelist on the side banner, and in addition stages will now be given a ranking in order of rough importance in a ruleset – how legal should it be, how important should it be, et cetera. These changes will occur over the next few days, as I will be hyping over E3 tomorrow and for the rest of the week. (Give us Mother 3!)
After this point, all Amiibo Doctor-hosted tournaments will have a set ranking- all stages above that number will be included, all stages below that number won’t be included. This is to allow for less tournament legal stages to be included sometimes, without sacrificing the option for stricter stages. It also provides for a unified system in case a tournament organizer doesn’t want to go through all the clarifications as to what precisely is the allowable stagelist.
Wuhu Island has been legalized! Go enjoy E3, folks.