Waap refers to a game of Super Smash Bros. 4 or Super Smash Bros. Ultimate with items switched on. The term was coined in 4 and was later carried over to Ultimate upon its release. Though waap matches are typically 1-on-1, the term also applies to free-for-all games.
“Waaps” are played in Battle Arenas, and generally allow two to four players at a time. They are played with three stocks and an eight-minute timer (this is done to prevent players from camping for too long). Unlike fotes, where the goal is to defeat the opponent by reading their movements and coming up with a strategy, the goal of waaps is to be as rude and uncouth as possible. Unwinnable matches plagued with an army of Assist Trophies and Poké Balls are commonplace.
There are two potential rulesets that waaps can adopt: restricted and unrestricted. Both of these rotate every stage in the game via a random selection; items are also set to high in both cases. The restricted format prevents the Dragoon, Ramblin’ Evil Mushroom, and Special Flag from spawning; furthermore, each player is only allowed to have one Assist Trophy or Poké Ball active at any given time. The Dragoon, when assembled, is virtually unavoidable; the only way to dodge a Dragoon from an adept opponent is to read their input and air dodge with the correct timing. The Ramblin’ Evil Mushroom occasionally reverses its victim’s controls, and can be used to gimp enemies at extremely low percentages. The Special Flag creates a dull dynamic that often results in a player “giving up” and throwing it off-stage.
Several characters in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate are considered top-tier in the context of waap matches. To prevent players from dominating others with the same characters, participants are encouraged to select a random fighter. This keeps matches fresh and stregthens players’ understanding of the roster.
Kirby (specifically Cloud’s) is considered the best character in the game. His forward throw true combos into his final smash at any percentage, essentially a confirming a kill after breaking the Smash Ball. Kirby can also remove harmful items from the field via Inhale and can use the Timer to slow enemies down before punishing them with a fully-charged Hammer Flip. Furthermore, he can use his multiple jumps to extend his usage of the Daybreak, Gust Bellows, and Ramblin’ Evil Mushroom.
Zelda is another fighter notorious for her final smash; it is considered the strongest available and KOs opponents starting at a mere 35%. Her neutral special, Nayru’s Love, can reflect projectiles, and Din’s Fire can gimp or KO enemies from a distance. The Ice Climbers have the unique distinction of being able to hold and use two items at once, creating potential for interesting KO setups. Pikachu, Pichu, Snake, Ridley, King K. Rool, Joker, and Hero are also held in high regard.
- In January 2020’s Super Smash Bros. Ultimate downloadable fighter presentation, game director Masahiro Sakurai used the term “waap” while demonstrating a match with items. Whether or not this was a coincidence remains unclear.
- Hero is often a point of frustration in waaps. Between critical hits, Whack, Thwack, and items, Hero is sometimes too difficult for the opponent to handle. This occasionally causes rage quits.
- The term “waap” was first coined by Cloud in 2016. It does not have any special meaning, however; instead, it is thought to be a “nonsense word” that happened to stick.
- The Final Smash Meter is infrequently switched on for waaps. However, even seasoned waap players agree that items on high plus the FS Meter makes for too chaotic a game. As a result, it is usually left off.
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