Super Smash Bros. Melee Scene Is at War with Ice Climbers and Wobbling
Ice Climbers' wobbling mechanic in Super Smash Bros. Melee is sparking debate again with potential bans across the United states
Super Smash Bros. Melee is almost 18 years old now, but you’d probably think the game had just come out with how lively its competitive scene is. From crazy meta changes to new tech discoveries, Melee somehow still finds ways to shake up the scene despite not being able to update. However, there has been one character that has always had a checkered past with mechanics, or should I say two.
Popo and Nana, otherwise known as the Ice Climbers, are stirring up the debate with their core mechanic, wobbling. For those don’t know what wobbling is, it’s when Popo (the character you control) grabs the opponent while Nana hits the opponent. This grab is unbreakable and because of the small window in Nana’s hit, this creates an infinite combo in the game. The name actually comes from a player whose Gamertag was “Wobbles”. Though he made the move popular, Wobbles wasn’t the first to perform the tech actually.
Now granted, this mechanic has been around for some time and most top competitors find a way to keep the Ice Climbers at bay. And since the move itself is finicky anyway, most tournaments allow the move up to a degree. In fact, if wobbling wasn’t in the Ice Climbers ability the character doesn’t have many other crazy techs. It’s almost fair to say wobbling wouldn’t make the character a top-tier like Fox or Marth anyway.
Well now, top players like Axe from Tempo Storm are bringing up the debate once again in hopes to ban the mechanic once and for all.
Wobbling needs to be banned.
I’ve said this for years. It’s pretty terrible for the integrity of competitive Melee.
Near 0 risk, easy execution, 0 defense options.
I was surprised when it was legalized again, with people just saying “well, IC’s aren’t winning anything anyway.”
— Tempo ⚡ Axe (@TempoAxe) February 7, 2019
Axe further went on to explain that the character would probably sit still at the same mid-tier, even without wobbling.
Now it’s true that wobbling hasn’t won any Ice Climbers any major tournaments, but it has caused a fair share of upsets. Also from a spectator point of view, the move does put a jarring halt on gameplay and does look rather stale. Some states like Kentucky have already taken the liberty to ban the mechanic in the wake of all this discussion, with more that will sure to follow suit. It’s only a matter of time until a major tournament bans the move altogether at this rate.
On the other side of the Smash spectrum, Piranha Plant and a whole lot of character balance changes made their way in the latest update for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.