When the Ice Climbers were first released, they were considered one of the worst Figure Players in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. They often KO’d themselves more often than they’d KO their opponents, and this was for one simple reason: Popo couldn’t recognize the existence of Nana. Though the duo doesn’t self-destruct quite as often anymore, Popo still doesn’t recognize Nana’s existence and thus cannot use desync combos or anything of the sort. If you’d like to learn how to train your own Ice Climbers FP, you can find their training guide right here. We’ve also got a long-form essay and a secondary training guide available!
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
As mentioned earlier, the Ice Climbers FP was considered the worst in the game within a few weeks of its official release. This was due to their very unfortunate tendency to self-destruct; the leading climber never acknowledged the fact that the partner climber had to be nearby to get the full distance on Belay, so it would use its shortened up special and fall to its death. Fortunately, the version 9.0.0 update fixed a good amount of the Ice Climbers’ AI flaws, and this allowed them to climb up the tier list to reside in its middle rankings. Nowadays, the Ice Climbers’ main strength is their damage output — which becomes even more threatening when boosted by Spirits. FPs in Ultimate often struggle to properly defend against multi-hit attacks, and most of the Ice Climbers’ moves involve the two working in tandem with each other. As a result, the bone-chilling duo is sometimes able to completely bypass their opponents’ shields and dish out tons of damage in a short amount of time.
Though the Ice Climbers have been notably buffed over time, there are still a few key points to keep in mind while training them. For one, Popo is the character being trained, and Nana runs on a separate AI that cannot be trained. The Ice Climbers FP is also mostly unaware of its partner’s existence; for example, if their shield is broken, the leading climber may walk up and try to charge a smash attack even though it can’t hurt its own teammate. As a result, the Ice Climbers’ optimal training is unorthodox, as their strategy is completely different from what a human player’s Ice Climbers strategy would be. Now that we’ve discussed some of their quirks, it’s time to discuss some of their flaws — specifically, their matchups. Despite owning a pair of weapons themselves, the Ice Climbers sometimes struggle against opponents whose weapons have more range. This includes fighters like Roy, Chrom, and Simon, among others. On the contrary, the Ice Climbers perform surprisingly decent against high-tier characters and sometimes go even with them!
It’s no secret that the Ice Climbers started off slow. And though they’ve picked up speed, they’re still not quite groundbreaking fighters. Still, they’re strong contenders in the right hands, and they’ve now secured their position in the metagame as a solid mid-tier team. It should be noted that the climbers perform much better in Stamina tournaments, though these are quite rare. Feel free to peruse our Ice Climbers training resources below, and remember to join our Discord community!
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