Bayonetta was the final DLC character announced for
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS‘s roster, and many fans were thrilled to have this beautiful witch join in the crossover brawl. She certainly stands out among the other fighters, being able to chain combos in frighteningly powerful ways, and apparently she’s so overwhelming that professional Smash players in Spain want her out of their competitive scene. They are currently running a vote among Spanish pros to determine whether or not to allow her in future tournaments.
Several prominent members of the community have brought this discussion into Reddit, with some of Spain’s top players speaking out in favor of the ban. One of these, Gerward, seems to have become the ban’s biggest proponent, as he compares Bayonetta to Brawl‘s Meta Knight and states that allowing her to continue in the game would be “toxic” to the entire competitive scene.
“In Spain there’s just 3 actual Bayonetta mains as of now (over 400 people!), and two of them do agree with the ban. We had more bayonetta players (mostly as secondaries) but they dropped her because they felt it was unfair. If bayonetta is banned, they’ll probably go back to their old mains. However, since recent tournaments a lot of people are starting to pick her and we’re seeing MK 2.0 case, so banning her before everyone mains her is in our opinion the best option.
“When just ~7% of votes are against actually banning her (rest is either yes or I dunno) she is toxic. If left allowed, a lot of people would drop out of the tournaments, scene and the game, and thus it’s not worth it to have her allowed. This is what I mean as toxic.” — Gerward
Another Redditor, Volnutt_Trigger, provided a sizable run-down of Bayonetta’s characteristics in the game. They bring up several attacks and mechanics that should make Bayonetta a fair character, such as a poor handling of frames or slower movement speed, but while on paper these attributes and others should work to help balance her out, “in practice this just doesn’t happen.” They especially focus on her Witch Time ability, citing how it can prove devastating even when used against weak attacks. “Having a tilt, jab or spacing move countered isn’t a big deal. It simply leads to a small amount of damage and potentially baiting it out next time.Witch Time in contrast does 28% damage on the EASY punish.”
Despite all these voices in favor of the ban, there is still a large group protesting the idea. They hold that Bayonetta should be proven broken in practice before she is banned, rather than banning her as a preemptive measure.
“Saying “a lot of people are starting to pick her” is not the same case as Meta Knight (Brawl). Banning a character before it gets to that level is not how competitive philosophy works – a character has to be proven bannable and then becomes banned. Banning a character to prevent it from meeting ban-criteria is contradictory.
“The only thing I can see happening is that Spain is learning to deal with a Top Tier character. The knee-jerk reaction of a scrub would be to ban the character. Pro players develop counter strategies, utilize counterpicks, and/or play that character in order to win and progress the meta game.” — t1mmyssb
Even if the ban does go through, this discussion will no doubt continue on for months, at least until one side manages to secure some real proof as to Bayonetta’s level of “brokenness” through practice on the competitive level. And, of course, even if they do get that data, it’s always possible that Nintendo will step in to nerf her themselves, thus proving the ban unnecessary in the long run.
Where do you stand on this issue? Is Bayonetta too powerful right now for professions to counter? Does she need to be banned from competitive play? Or should the pros hold off and focus on overcoming her strengths with new strategies and tactics of their own? Sound off your opinion in the comments below!