This is the official November 2021 tier list for USAC – It was voted on by the most achieved tournament victors and the most knowledgeable researchers from the USAC discord server, the center of competitive amiibo talent. The SUAL Discord server has its own tier list, which you can find here.
I’ve also added some personal commentaries on the placements of the tier list down below, in addition to periodic commentaries on the Amiibo Doctor Youtube channel.
Special thanks to Lady Cucco and the CTL committee for compiling and processing the data! She does an excellent job, and we’re lucky to have her.
Official Smash Ultimate Amiibo Tier List for November 2021
This tier list page isn’t missing any lists – nay, there have been no lists since June 2021. This is indicative of one of the inevitabilities of competition – over time, as the most optimal strategies are discovered, there are simply fewer changes in the overall metagame to account for. If you compare to the June tier list below, you’ll notice something – the D+ and D tiers are identical, and so are several other orderings of characters. This almost never happens in amiibo, and is solid evidence that the competitive amiibo meta is slowing down significantly.
It’s very tempting to create new tier lists frequently for the people involved, even for minor changes. Other competitive games will update their tier lists if they believe even one character has moved up or down a tier. Fortunately, due partially to the integrity of the USAC tier list system and partially to the somewhat deterministic nature of the meta, these tier lists will continue to depend on the level of innovation in the meta, and not just an arbitrary desire for another tier list.
The most noteworthy mention in this tier list is the acknowledgement of Terry’s dominant position in amiibo. Prior to Terry’s release there was significant disagreement over the placement of King K. Rool and Bowser, with much of the community divided. Now, that argument isn’t so important – Terry can flatten out both of them quite easily.
Terry is a combo-based character, and the only combo-based heavyweight in the game. In addition, his AI provides him with a vast toolkit of small-hit inescapable chains that are difficult for large, slow heavyweights to avoid. While Terry’s physical range is minimal, he only needs a few hits to take a stock.
Of course, Incineroar is still the king of it all.
Official Smash Ultimate Amiibo Tier List for June 2021
This June 2021 tier list featured two very controversial elements: the introduction of the U tier for Incineroar, and King K. Rool having S tier all to himself.
Voting on the tier list is straightforward: participants are given a Google poll with each amiibo in the game, and asked to assign a tier list placement to each amiibo. The tier placements range from S to D.
Suggestions for an “S+”, “SS”, “Uber”, “Cat” tier that was above S had been submitted frequently for most of 2021, but the vote had never been put on the ballot proper. While the addition of Incineroar in U tier was generally met with quiet agreement, the decision was unilateral on the part of the tier list statisticians. Their reasoning for creating a new tier without a vote was that Incineroar was unanimously voted S tier.
King K. Rool, alone at the top
The significantly more controversial element is King K. Rool’s single placement in S tier. S tier has historically been the “banworthy” tier – amiibo that are considered game-breaking enough to be banned from all tournaments are placed in S tier. You’ll notice that in the previous tier lists, Incineroar is always in S tier.
There were close contenders for S tier in addition to King K. Rool. Bowser and Terry have been controversial competitors for the top spot, but due to the mathematical way the tier list is produced, they averaged out to be slightly below S tier. It’s an unusual quirk of the math – most voters feel that either Bowser or Terry were also S tier, but they were cancelled out by the ones who felt that the other amiibo was S tier, and by the few who only voted for King K. Rool in S tier.
Continuing Changes to the Game
Nintendo is still patching AI periodically, with the release of every new character or amiibo. You may notice with the previous tier lists that some characters have just dropped significantly for seemingly no reason – while this is occasionally due to the whims of voters who collude to bring down a character, it’s also sometimes caused by a change to the character’s AI that severely hinders their gameplay.
If your amiibo is suddenly not performing in tournaments as well as it used to, it may be that a patch has altered their ability to fight.
Official Smash Ultimate Amiibo Tier List for April/May 2021
King K. Rool – is he S tier?
I’ve talked about this before, but King K. Rool is definitely not an S tier amiibo. The data’s all there in the previously-linked article, and I did a more recent video on this on the Amiibo Doctor Youtube channel.
This is an eternal issue with competitive amiibo that I’ve discussed in other videos. If, either by chance or by decision, a larger than normal number of people submit an amiibo to a tournament consistently, that amiibo will place better on average. It’s simple reasoning – the more shots you take, the more shots you make.
What’s been happening is that there’s a number of people who, for their own reasons, are upset about King K. Rool and think that entering him is the best way to win amiibo tournaments. Thus, when they try to win tournaments, they enter King K. Rool. Then he gets more wins, and eventually the perception is created that he’s banworthy.
Bayonetta – The Lonely Old Hag
One of the most interesting things to come out of the April/May 2021 amiibo tier list is that, for the first time ever, there is only one amiibo in D tier. This may be the only time we see something like this occur, and it should definitely be studied.
Personally, I would’ve at least placed Jigglypuff in D tier alongside Bayonetta, and I think I voted that way, but that’s a minority opinion for sure.