by Doc, Owner, Founder, Krokodile
There’s been a bit of a debate this Amiibo Tier List Week about where King K. Rool belongs on the tier list. Some people think he’s S tier, and on par with Bowser. Others think he’s fine in A+ tier, and a handful think that his AI flaws drag him down to the top of A tier. Everyone seems to be in agreement – King K. Rool is really good. But how good is he?
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King K. Rool amiibo vs. Bowser amiibo
Let’s start by dissecting the notion that King K. Rool is a dollar store Bowser. It’s a reasonable conclusion to make at face value – they’re both heavy, hit pretty hard, and have excellent recoveries. They both fill the archetype of “high tier heavyweight”, along with Ridley and Incineroar. This solidifies K. Rool’s position in at least A+ tier for me – even if I had never touched the amiibo, knowing that his character is close enough to Bowser’s to be considered similar or the same makes it a lot more likely that he’d be that high.
But intuition and archetypes aren’t enough to rank an amiibo, so let’s go off of some data and compare the two. If King K. Rool is S-tier, then he’ll be as good as Bowser or better, because Bowser is the lowest-ranked amiibo in S-tier.
This is the overall King K. Rool matchup spread against every other character in the last few months. This includes every King K. Rool amiibo, including my back-asswards poorly-trained one.
Each dot is his overall matchup, and the larger the dot, the more matches a King K. Rool has had against that opponent. Take note of where most of the dots are – they’re in the 50% range or above. Only a few matchups are at a less than 50/50 chance for King K. Rool to win – Pit, Dark Pit, Piranha Plant, Incineroar, Ike, Mii Gunner, Snake and Olimar. He even goes 53/47 against Bowser.
Meanwhile, let’s compare Bowser’s significantly smaller set of data to see if Bowser has a similar trend. Bear in mind that Bowser’s been banned for a while, so there’s not been a lot of entrants in tournaments. Thus, we’ll have a significantly smaller sample size to work with.
The minimum threshold for this data set was set at 3 matches, but the trend is actually more extreme when you take it down to 1 – we see Bowser has overwhelmingly good matchups against everything not named Incineroar, Ganondorf or King K. Rool (although the K. Rool matchup is almost 50/50). We also know from prior experience pre-ban that Bowser goes about 50/50 against Little Mac, so we can add that to his list of difficult matchups.
This, then, is our list of losing matchups for each amiibo.
The Matchup Analysis
King K. Rool
- Pit/Dark Pit
- Piranha Plant
- Mii Gunner
- King K. Rool
- Little Mac
To be fair, Bowser’s missing a lot of data that he would’ve had if he had been legal over the last few months. However, even before he was illegalized, Bowser had about an 80% win rate in tournaments – before Incineroar’s release, at least.
I think that, given how King K. Rool only loses to 7 amiibo but Bowser only loses to 4, King K. Rool is not S-tier. He’s good, really good. He’s the best legal amiibo in the game, bar none. You could even call him A++ tier if you were so inclined. But he’s not as good as Bowser – his matchup spread isn’t as beneficial as Bowser’s, and he has bad matchups as low as 2 B+ tier amiibo, Ike and Olimar. And having multiple bad matchups that low just isn’t something an S tier can have.