Home Editorial Balance Unofficial Official Super Street Fighter IV Tier List: FAIL?

iPlayWinner.com has just released its first Super Street Fighter 4 tier list, and by all reasonable estimates, the list has some highly questionable results.

According to IPW, the list was composed by polling the top SSF4 players in the country. But even the most casual of players would probably say it doesn’t appear to make any sense. While this is no surprise (as accurate tier lists typically take months or years to come together), I applaud IPW for having the courage to post what will probably turn out to be a far left-field tier list entry.

Here’s a quick summary of Ramirez’ findings, as stated on IPW:

A: Rufus, Akuma, Abel, Dictator, Boxer, Ryu, Chun Li

B+: Ibuki, Zangief, E. Honda, Blanka, Sagat, Guile, T Hawk, Juri

B: El Fuerte, Dhalsim, Cammy, Fei Long, Ken, Seth, C. Viper

C: DeeJay, Adon, Dudley, Cody, Gouken, Claw

D: Rose, Gen, Hakan, Guy, Makoto, Sakura, Dan

The first thing to note is that this lists puts Rufus as the best character in the game. While our rubber-suited roly-poly from vanilla SF4 was certainly formidable, he didn’t receive many notable changes from the last iteration outside of his new Ultra (which is arguable equal to, but not better, than his last) and a nerf to his Snake Strike damage. How these changes make him the new Sagat is anyone’s guess.

We’re now to believe that Seth and C. Viper are somehow worse than Juri (who, mind you, has a large catalog of unsafe moves). I’m not saying that Juri is bad but… okay, I’m sort of saying that. While she has decent tools at each range, it seems most other higher-tier characters (including Seth and Viper) have better options. Besides, Juri’s Tanden Engine® is what, 2 inches wide? Seth’s makes up his entire fucking stomach.

Likewise, is it logical to suppose that Fei Long is better than…anybody? He was almost garbage in SF4, and received only the smallest improvements in Super (and one of the worst Ultras in the game). Meanwhile, Rose got tons of buffs (better recovery on all moves, more Ultra setups, a great new Ultra, more damage, easier to use moves, etc) and she’s still under Bruce Lee? Give me a break!

As pointed out at GameFAQs, it’s also pretty ridiculous to imagine that Cody has a bad matchup vs T. Hawk. Given Cody’s incredibly annoying potent keep-away game, strong anti-airs, and laundry list of ways to punish most of Hawk’s moves, you’d imagine the fight to be strongly in the inmate’s favor.

Sure, I could be wrong. Odds are, I probably am wrong. But, odds are, IPW is wrong, too. The whole concept of tier lists is to use large amounts of real match data to compile accurate matchup scenarios. Not to pop quiz “pros” and make something up for the hell of it. Could Juri be top tier? Sure. But is IPW (or anyone, for that matter) in a realistic position to make that claim?

Only time will tell.

Note: This post has been edited after further consideration of the unfair tone in which it was originally written.

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10 replies to this post
  1. I was very pleased to find this site.I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.

  2. How could you trash IPW like this? Slander is not the way to get recognition.
    The tier list is as good as any, and the people who compiled it are established tournament players. You come off as an idiot.

    • Well, I could argue that my methods work since my article got enough recognition to warrant your post!

      As for whether the tier list is as good as any, that’s a matter of opinion. I personally think many of the matchups listed are wrong. Am I a pro? No, far from it. Odds are I have no clue what I’m talking about. But the reality is that 1 month after release no tier list is going to be even close to correct.

      As for the slander, I probably took it too far, true. I was just in an argument with some other people over this list when I wrote the article, so my emotions probably came off a little too strongly.

  3. I agree with you on this point. Tier-lists should not be subjective, but based on large amounts of data, normalized for the skill of the players (because tier-lists for the most part don’t take that into account now).

    I don’t blame IPW for trying to lead the way to establish a tier list, but I do agree it was premature. I would guess the reasoning that they used the methodology they did (subjective opinions of top players) is because of the exact point you made, there simply isn’t enough data to really determine any sort of trend.

  4. Cammy, Cody, Vega, Guy, Deejay, and Adon are all terrible according to this tier list. Leave it Justin Wong and his little group to get this all wrong.

  5. I respect all lists if they are plausible. But this one surprised me. Abel is good, but top tier doesn’t seem right with me. Sagat below those other dudes makes no sense, even if he is high. Ken beind low and Sakura at bottom is also strange (don’t like Sakura much, but I’d still say one of the worst of the middle for her). Glad to see Ibuki up there though, and I hated Makoto. I prefer Elena in this game anyway. Need a capoerista.

  6. tiers are useless and are for people who suck. a pro is a demon who plays 365 for 4 hrs a day or more since they where 12. case and point daigo. ive been playing 4 months solid after came back from wreck(PARALYZED ON DISABILITY). and cant even come close to becoming good at age 24. the mental connections made from playing solid like that at age 12 non stop are par none. pros will ass fuck your bitch ass with ANNNNNY character. case and point MAGO (a japanese pro) mains fei long now and rapes people with him. oh no according to the author fei long sucks. tiers are based on usage and wins in TOURNAMENTS at least supposedly good ones are. tiers are garbage spend 3500 hrs playing the game youll get better than everyone with any of the characters they put in the game. there a jap pro named ZANGIEF who used 2 main zangief who now eats people alive with hakan. comparing or picking characters based on what pros do is POINTLESS. unless your 11 and reading this playing 4 hrs a day none of you will win big tourneys.

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