Content of the article: "Smash Brothers Skill Levels"
I wrote this article back in 2004, when I was on the Melee circuit. Do you think it still applies? What additions would you make?
SKILL LEVELS DEFINED: SUPER SMASH BROTHERS
By: Fke "Prepare to feel the fluoride sting of my Battle Luigi" Bld
As a Super Smash Brother veteran, I believe we fans of the sport should have some way as to gauge our various levels of ability. Therefore, I have constructed a chart of levels giving general characteristics of the various degrees of SMASH ability.
Ineffective (Lvl.1): This player’s skills at SMASH are limited severely causing them to never break out of 4th place. It is not uncommon for them to lose most of their lives by simply falling off a level, and often their weakness causes higher ranking players to simply jump over them in pity. Occasionally a Level 1 may break the TOP 3 but this rarely is the result of anything they themselves did. All SMASHers go through this level. (It is often considered bad form to PWNTARG3T Level 1 players)
Wanting (Lvl.2): Having attained for one's self significant skills at SMASHING, Level 2 is often characterized by certain traits: 1) the player will tend to use the same move repeatedly and consecutively. This often leads to predictability in movements which can attract a PWNTARG3T. 2) Also Lacking in this level is the effective use of the shield. Arguably the most important aspect of SMASH is the ability to defend-against/avoid frivolous damage. Key to ascending to higher levels is practice, adoption, and perfection of the Shield ability. Level 2 players usually have erratic showings in SMASH events. They are apt to float between 2nd and 4th, but rarely achieve 1st place (and even then usually by accident.) However, this level is personified by the improving disposition of the SMASHer. It can be said that it is in this level where a player starts to become "good."
Potent (Lvl.3): When a player reaches Level 3 two things happen right away, both unsaid: 1) they lose forever the restraint shown to N00bs by other SMASHers thenceforth earning the ability to enter every match as "an equal" and 2) they enter into "real" contention for winning matches. The player will begin experimenting with more and more complex planning strategies, will have mastered the ability to avoid self-destructs or needless damage (though some occasional mistakes will occur), and will have learned the limits to their character’s range and ability.
Formidable (Lvl.4): A Level 4 player rarely finds themselves occupying any slot below 2nd place in any match. They are methodical and complex with their moves and, if sometimes predictable, are generally an extremely difficult player to trick. One cannot attain this level without having mastery of all controller buttons. Players of this level typically, but not necessarily, know ALL the moves of their chosen character and can plan a sequence of moves instantly during battle to further their attempts at victory. 90% of all SMASHers stay at this level for the remainder of their SMASH career.
Unsurpassed (Lvl.5): Unbeatable and ferocious, this, the highest level of SMASH ability, usually takes the form of a winning streak. However, a player of this caliber often is a master of superior tactics, mixed and calculated strategy, and is well schooled in the art of deception. A victory against a player of this ability is most likely the result of a blunder on that players part (falling of the edge, or a dramatic misfire) owing mostly to the odds. Level 5 can take years to attain and few players ever reach it.
*PWNTARG3Ting: The act of hunting any player who is past 123% damage to gain a kill. Crucial to this maneuver is the fact that one may break a skirmish with another player to pursue a TARG3T across the level.
*PWNM0NGOR1NG: The act of slaughtering other players to an extreme degree whereas you account for the majority of ALL players losses. This is exemplified by 1) a player’s number of kills at the end of a match and 2) a player’s liberal use of taunting.
Common among higher level players, PWNM0NGOR1NG is generally thought to be the most glorious aspect of SMASH, when attainable.
*The FALS3FALL Maneuver: Deceptive tactic used in levels with tiered and various platforms. In essence: the act of dropping below a platform, halting in midair, then jumping back up through the platform to attack. The spirit of the maneuver is to confuse one's enemy and to make one's movement unpredictable.
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