How This Specific Team Was Instantly Banned From Smash Bros. Tournaments

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    With over 70 playable characters, there are a ton of combinations for doubles teams for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate tournaments. But there is one specific duo of characters that have only just been discovered to be particularly devastating together; so much so that they have been banned from competitive tournaments.

    Joker and Pokemon Trainer are two top tier characters in singles tournaments, so naturally they’d be strong candidates for a doubles team, but we’ve only just found out how broken they can be; in fact, it’s just one simple mechanic that takes this team from amazing to game-breaking busted.

    Why Are Joker And Pokemon Trainer So Good Together?

    Joker is the first character released in this season’s fighter pass, which will feature five DLC characters for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. One of Joker’s key trademarks is that he has a meter which builds over time, when Joker deals damage, or when he or a teammate takes damage. When this meter becomes full, he gets Arsene, which powers up his attacks and makes him a truly devastating force.

    In doubles, whenever Joker’s teammate is KO’ed, Joker gains meter, which means Arsene is much more likely to come out. So how does Pokemon Trainer come into play here? Well, Pokemon Trainer is three characters in one; Squirtle, Ivysaur, and Charizard. And an exploit has been discovered recently where, if Pokemon Trainer takes damage and immediately switches from one Pokemon to another, Joker gains a large amount of meter.

    This means that Pokemon Trainer would need to get hit just once, switch a few times, and then Joker will get Arsene. Part of Joker’s balance is that Arsene is only in play here and there throughout the match, but this exploit essentially confirms that Arsene can always be play; making Joker as powerful as he can be for the entire match.

    Why Does This Happen?

    The cause is likely because after Pokemon Trainer is damage and then switches Pokemon, the game registers that one character is gone and another has entered; as if one had died and then respawned. This goes in line with the mechanic that when Joker’s teammate is KO’ed, Joker will gain some meter because of it.

    As team attack is on in tournaments (meaning that you can hit/KO your own teammate) this means Joker can hit Pokemon Trainer once on purpose, and then Pokemon Trainer can switch Pokemon a couple times to initiate Arsene. This process can be repeated any time that Arsene is out of play, which effectively means there is little to no time where Joker won’t be at full strength.

    The Ban

    TheTantalus, the head tournament organizer of Super Smash Con, announced that the duo of Joker and Pokemon Trainer would be banned until Nintendo patched out this glitch; if Nintendo didn’t patch this exploit, the team would remained banned.

    The ban has been well received by a large portion of the community, as this exploit clearly removes one of the balancing factors for Joker, in that Arsene is only present periodically throughout the match. Joker with Arsene constantly in play would do nothing but shift the meta to focus on this team, as the character would become too good to deal with.