Updating the metagame’s stage list

Tournaments have played by the same rules for a really long time. Stages have always been limited to Ω- and Battlefield-forms. This is because amiibo AI doesn’t navigate certain courses very well, but after a ton of testing, we’re ready to update the metagame’s official stage list! We’ve selected a variety of new stages – a much wider variety than competitive Smash – to keep things fresh, interesting, and maybe even a bit more balanced!

Here is our current work-in-progress stage list. It’s pretty close to finalization, and we’ll be hosting tournaments that abide by this archive. Be sure to join our Discord server to stay updated on our competitions! Please note that stage hazards will be switched off in all of these cases.

  • Final Destination: Of course, we’re still going to play on Final Destination (and Ω-forms, by extension), just not as often. It’s a flat course, which favors projectile users and characters with strong aerial punishes. There aren’t any platforms to land on, so FPs will need to know how to land safely.
  • Battlefield: And we’ll still play on Battlefield stages, too. There’s a lot of space to land, making it easy for fighters with bad landing options (Little Mac, for example) to transition between the ground and the air.
  • Pokémon Stadium: It’s kind of like a mix of both Final Destination and Battlefield. The stage is mostly flat, but with a pair of platforms floating close to the edge. The ground is still flat, but there are a small amount of landing options. This creates a balanced course that encourages both ground and air combat.
  • Smashville: The stage is entirely flat with the exception of one platform in the center (which appears when hazards are turned off). This actually makes characters with strong up smashes better. Link, for example, can connect his up smash against an opponent standing on the platform. There’s still a mix of grounded and aerial combat, though, making it a decent option.
  • Hyrule Castle: This stage is very not legal in competitive play. Despite its seemingly-complicated layout, Ultimate’s Figure Players don’t have any trouble navigating it. Ness, a known top-tier, is hurt by this stage; the upper blast zone is so tall that he will have to work much harder to KO with PK Thunder juggles. Ridley can’t use his side special to KO due to the uneven terrain, and Piranha Plant struggles to close stocks because its only solid kill move is its up smash. There’s not much room for off-stage play, either, because either edge is close to the blast zone. Lucas and Zelda, then, are hurt by Hyrule Castle too. Almost every top-tier is hurt by Hyrule Castle, whereas low-tiers are not, making this an appealing pick.
  • Gamer: It’s randomly generated, but not to the point where gameplay becomes unfair. This stage murders Ness if it generates a solid platform; he won’t be able to chase opponents with PK Thunder and his back throw will launch opponents into its ceiling. Another appealing choice due to its harshness towards top-tiers.
  • Yoshi’s Island: We’re talking about the Brawl stage here. It’s kind of like Smashville, but the main platform is slanted. This makes grounded PK Fire spam a bit more difficult if aimed towards the edge. Ness is, as you can tell, an important factor in the stage selection. As the best character in the game (at the time of writing), he’s definitely worth considering when picking a stage list.
  • Castle Siege: In competitive play, Castle Siege is often banned due to an obstructive camera view when recovering from the rightmost blast zone. The AI doesn’t actually see, though. They’re like bats that can detect where they are. This camera view doesn’t impede FP matches, and the slanted stage prevents characters from spamming too many projectiles.
  • Kalos Pokémon League: It might be the only stage in the game that puts Link at a slight disadvantage. His up smash doesn’t reach the platforms, and the blast zones are really far away, weakening his signature kill moves. It’s not too bad for Link, but it’s bad enough to consider playing on.
  • Mushroom Kingdom U: There’s lots of platforms and open air here, which allows air fighters (Lucas and Falco, among others) to shine. There are quite a few places to land, which weakens characters who kill with their up smash.
  • Fourside: One of the most interesting stages on our list! Despite its complicated layout, the FPs have no problems navigating it. The platforms are so close together that characters who normally SD (due to poor AI) can generally avoid doing so. It evens the odds a bit.
  • Luigi’s Mansion: This stage absolutely destroys Ness. It’s like Gamer, but even worse for him. PK Thunder juggles simply can’t happen; with hazards off, the mansion never breaks. His back throw bounces opponents off the ceiling. It’s still possible to land, but the positioning is so specific the AI wouldn’t be able to do it on a consistent basis.
  • Peach’s Castle: This stage has a really unique layout, and quite a few walls. It’s one of the only stages that slightly hurts Incineroar. If it uses Alolan Whip on the top platform, the opponent will be launched into one of the triangles floating in mid-air, which will halt their momentum.
  • Great Plateau Tower: One of – if not the – most interesting stages on this list. Upward kill moves aren’t as effective thanks to the tower’s ceiling, and the course includes a wide off-stage range. The game’s top-tiers tend to be overwhelmed off-stage, making this an interesting pick.
  • Arena Ferox: Lots of walls and solid platforms, making for scrappy, close matches. It’s hard to say who exactly is strengthened or weakened on this stage, as it depends on the fighters’ positions. Projectile characters certainly suffer from the intricate layout, though.
  • Wuhu Island: The large blast zones, sloped edged, and centered platform spell doom for Little Mac and make life tough for projectile characters. It’s finally been legalized!
  • Brinstar: A rather odd stage. It’s small, and its uneven main platform messes with projectile fighters. Brinstar’s unique platform layout adds to this, and FPs wind up fighting all over the place.
  • Green Greens: The blast zones are close to the sides, and there are holes littered across the stage. Projectile characters are weakened, and fighters who fall through the hole risk being edgeguarded or pineappled.
  • Reset Bomb Forest: Lots of air space, small blast zones, and a hole in the middle that might make for some interesting situations.
  • Find Mii: Uneven stage, high ceiling, and the cage causing interruptions could weaken Ness’s juggling. It’s important to take top-tiers into consideration with these stages, hence Find Mii’s inclusion on the list.
  • Mementos: Its slanted edge makes PK Fire spam much more difficult. High platforms, too, meaning many characters won’t be able to connect their up smash to opponents standing on one.

We considered adding even more stages, but for one reason or another, they were removed. You might be wondering why key stages in competitive Smash aren’t used here. The amiibo metagame is wildly different from it in many ways; we now have to consider the AI on top of character design.

  • Big Battlefield: Battlefield is already Ness’s best stage. The platforms allow him to juggle opponents with PK Thunder without being hit with a stall-then-fall (or another projectile). Big Battlefield adds another layer of platforms, making PK Thunder juggling even easier.
  • Rainbow Cruise: The AI navigates it just fine, but the stage itself is a bit small. This rewards top-tier fighters that can overwhelm their opponents easily. Low-tiers need space to run away, and Rainbow Cruise doesn’t provide that.
  • Yoshi’s Story: It’s too similar to Battlefield, which is Ness’s best stage. Since he is the best character in the current metagame, we have chosen to exclude it for the time being.
  • Halberd: The low ceiling rewards fighters with powerful juggling options or strong up smashes. As you might expect, a lot of top-tiers have that.
  • Unova Pokémon League: It’s similar to Pokémon Stadium and serves much of the same purpose (at least as far as amiibo play goes), so it’s not necessarily to include.
  • Pokémon Stadium 2: FPs are prone to self-destructing underneath the stage. This doesn’t happen in the first Pokémon Stadium stage, so we use that one instead.

There’s a lot of stages here, so how do we choose one in battles? As you might know, tournament matches are best of three. The first FP to win twice wins the set. And each of these games is played on a different stage. Game 1 will be played on a random stage (with all of the courses above switched on with the exception of Final Destination). Game 2 is more neutral, and will be played on an Ω-form stage. Then, with Game 3, we’re back to another random stage.

If you’re thinking of a stage we didn’t talk about, it’s because the AI has trouble on it. In fact, it would be safe to assume that every stage we didn’t mention is bad for the AI, though a few of the ones we didn’t mention (Fountain of Dreams, for example) are just too similar to existing stages on our list. As mentioned before, we plan on hosting tournaments using this stage list. In the meantime, if you’d like to host one yourself (whether it’s via Battle Arenas or file submission), feel free to on our Discord server! We plan on posting tournament updates here more often, so be sure to check back.

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One thought on “Updating the metagame’s stage list”

  1. I think unova should be legal since it has slightly higher platforms, I don’t think link’s up smash, for example, can’t reach the platforms. in addition, the platforms are more widely spaced. This would make characters like jigglypuff more viable since she ends up floating above the opponent a lot if you teach her too many aerials. She can be really successful on this stage, since she can land on the platforms and safely regain her jumps. This also applies to other aerial fighters.

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