Super Smash Bros. Ultimate balance changes tend to come in waves. Whenever the developers add new content to the game, players can expect to be greeted by a handful of character adjustments across the expansive roster. But in the latest update, the decision-makers at Nintendo set their sights on just one fighter: Wii Fit Trainer.
The single line in today’s ver. 11.0.1 update explains that “vulnerability when landing after using the Wii Fit Trainer’s side special Header had decreased unintentionally, so this has been adjusted.” So ends an exercise-based reign of terror that began earlier this month.
On March 4, Wii Fit Trainer received what the community calls a “shadow buff,” or an improvement to their gameplay that wasn’t mentioned in the official changelog, as part of the ver. 11.0.0 update. While fixing a longstanding bug with Wii Fit Trainer’s Header special, the developers somehow also reduced the move’s landing recovery—or the amount of time between the attack’s animation ending and the player being able to perform a follow-up action—by more than half.
This buff gave the popular move even more utility, especially when combined with the character’s Deep Breathing special to increase their falling speed. Under these circumstances, Header became incredibly hard for the opponent to punish, since the user was able to recover so quickly after using it. The buff even opened up some cool, new combo routes for players to learn.
As is often the case with these changes, Wii Fit Trainer users loved it while other serious competitors hated it, but for the most part it didn’t seem to affect tournament results for the few weeks it was in play or improve the fitness instructor’s standings in various power rankings. With or without the shadow buff, Wii Fit Trainer is still believed to be a firmly middle-of-the-road fighter, which is a shame for how fun they are to watch in high-level play.
I’m very much in favor of letting stuff like this rock for a little while before adjusting it with an update, even if it was truly a mistake, but I guess we have to respect the developers’ vision here. I guess Wii Fit Trainer just wasn’t meant to have all that power.