OK so first things first I am obligated to mention that DK is in fact the funny monke, he can do some hype stuff and can pull off some crazy combos. He's fun to play as and he's got the sauce.
This does not change the fact that he's not a viable character.
In this long ramble, I am going to talk about all of the reasons I think DK is pretty bad. I'll respond to any comments you make in about 9-10 hours when I wake up. Before I get into the bad stuff, I probably should mention the good things first. His Advantage state is probably his biggest strength, he can deal quite a bit of damage in just a few hits, and then finish people off with a Cargo throw or Ding Dong. It's pretty strong. It's not a particularly fantastic advantage, but I would say somewhere between 15th-30th best is reasonable. His back air is also a pretty great move, it's frame 7, can combo into itself, carry people offstage, has moderate range, and can sometimes (although fairly unreliably) act as a combo starting OOS option. Also, Giant Punch being a crazy strong move with super armor is pretty nice, that sort of cheesy kill power is great. Plus DK just has a lot of cheese in general.
Now for the bad stuff. Here's the big one: DK has the single worst disadvantage state in the entire game. His OOS options? Well his back air can't hit short characters and is fairly unreliable even on tall characters, His up air is even more situational, and his up smash is frame 14. His Grab is fine, but it's frame 8, two frames slower than average, and can't hit behind him.
His recovery goes absolutely nowhere vertically, and is also the second most vulnerable recovery after only Ganondorf. He's also easier to Spike than G-man, and due to his shit vertical recovery, if he gets spiked he is NOT making it back. This alone would be enough to make him unviable. Try naming one mid tier or higher that checks both of those boxes, I don't think you'll find any. All characters of that caliber have at least either average OOS options or recovery.
Most of his moves are MASSIVELY unsafe on shield. He does have a couple of good moves in this regard, his neutral air, back air, dash attack, and aerial hand slap are all pretty safe. But most of his moves are -15 or later, it's actually kind of sad. In fact: Here is a list of all of DK's moves that are -15 or worse on shield:
Jab, Ftilt, Up tilt, Forward smash, Up smash, Down smash, Side B, and Up b. 8 of his 17 moves are -15 or more on shield. Even his down tilt, his second best grounded move on shield after dash attack, is -12! You can punish all but one of them easily! Every single character has a fast enough option to punish almost grounded move every single time. For comparison, Ganondorf has a grand total of four moves -15 or worse, 6 if you count Warlock Punch and Volcano Kick because they'll never hit anyway, still only three quarters of what DK has. Dedede has a similar problem but at least he's got some disjoints and a fairly quick command grab (plus a generally better recovery + a projectile, and a couple of other minor bonuses. And even with those he's still pretty bad).
And comboing him? Well, he's a big body heavy with a frame four airdodge. He is one of only ten characters with a frame four or worse air dodge, and two of the others (Bayo and Mythra) have roll gimmicks, so they don't count. He's also got a middling fall speed, meaning he won't be able to drop through juggles easily but also can't escape combos by getting hit too high up to reach. There's a reason why people practice combos on him, virtually any character can carry him all the way across the stage off of a single combo starter, deal 50%, and force him to try to recover with his terrible aerial up b.
He can't land because of his middling fall speed, giant size, frame 4 airdodge, and inability to put a hitbox down below him. Down air and aerial hand slap both start late and both have a fairly small hitbox. This makes it easy for characters like Cloud to deal disgusting amounts of damage to him very safely.
Basically, he is the easiest character to both combo and juggle, and alongside that his lack of safety on shield, lack of good OOS options, and a terrible recovery is enough to make up for his positives. I think he's the 3-4th worst character in this game, alongside Ganon, Mac, and maybe Doc in the bottom tier. He's fun but unless he gets some buffs I can never see him being a mid tier.
So, do you agree or disagree?
- DK is a funny monke for sure, but he’s also bottom tier
- Opinions on characters with divisive rankings? (ex. Some people think Byleth is bad, others think they’re really good) Please give reasons why you think like you do.
- Challenge Completed: All Characters in Elite Smash w/ NO RUNNING
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