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Jigglypuff’s ledge-grab defense prompts new Smash tournament rule

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‘Ledge-grab limit’ punishes more than a single fighter, say some players

Piranha Plant dances with Jigglypuff in a screenshot from Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Nintendo

Super Smash Con, the world’s largest Smash Bros. tournament, has adopted rules against “ledge-camping” because one fighter in Melee — namely, Jigglypuff — is so effective with the tactic that top notch fighters are breaking the game.

First, for those not versed, ledge camping is a defensive move where a player grabs the ledge of the main stage and waits there, hoping to bait an impatient opponent into making an error.

Jigglypuff forces the issue because the fighter’s floaty movement lends itself to defensive play. Limitations or sanctions against ledge-camping have been discussed before, but this is the first time Smash Con has instituted a rule regarding it for Melee competitions.

On Monday, Super Smash Con’s tournament director said the event would limit the number of ledge grabs a player — using any fighter — may perform in a match.

Keep in mind that there’s no tournament official or player tasked with keeping a running count — one is only taken if a match runs to full time and then if one team or player asks to view the results screen, where the official tally of ledge grabs is kept. That’s how both players (or one player from each team) can wind up with greater than 60 ledge grabs without one forfeiting first.

Jason “Mew2King” Zimmerman, a multiple Brawl and Melee champion who took second in Melee singles at last year’s Smash Con, disagreed with the sweeping nature of the ledge grab limit.

“[Jigglyp]uff builds ledge grabs much slower than other chars, and also more safely (and with more mixups, and she has other ways to stall),” he tweeted. The rule “hurts other characters such as yoshi marth sheik much more than it does puff,” Zimmerman said.

Zimmerman added that players who are trailing, but believe an opponent may have gone over 60 ledge grabs, could themselves stall out the match to a timeout and see if they could win by forfeit.

Another player, MojoMonkey, argued that the rule “hurts Yoshi more than it hurts Puff.” In a disagreement that followed, he said Jigglypuff’s “planking” is more egregious, because it still has counterattacks available, whereas a Yoshi that is ledge-grabbing and chucking eggs at an opponent can be eliminated when being hit.

“It’s also worth noting that it’s very rare to see timeouts that don’t involve a Puff,” MojoMonkey added.

Super Smash Con 2019 is in a little more than two weeks — Thursday, Aug. 8 to Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019, at the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly, Virginia. Standard registration for the event closes today.

Correction: An earlier version of this story mistakenly identified which version of Super Smash Bros. the rule would apply to. It is for Melee, as ledge-grab abuse is preventable in Ultimate. Such a rule or limitation has been discussed for competitive Smash events before, but is now being implemented at Smash Con. This post has been revised to make this correction and reflect that context.