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Tournament legal refers to stages, actions, and sometimes even characters that are allowed to be used in tournaments. Each game has different standards for what is tournament legal due to a wide variety of stages as well as that characters and game physics are changed every game.


The most tournament legal attention often goes to stages, in order to determine which stages are suitable for tournament play or not. Stages are placed into one of three categories, and though rare can change categories.

  • Starter, a stage that is generally recognized as fair to most characters and can be picked any time.
  • Counterpick, a starter stage which, while legal, gives advantages to certain characters. These stages are often chosen by the player who lost in the last round.
  • Banned, stages that are not allowed in tournament play due to giving certain characters an unfair advantage, or whose layout is random, has severe hazards, or allows for camping or stalling. A majority of stages in the Super Smash Bros. games are banned.

Ultimate (Suggesting all stages have hazards off)


Wii U




Although rare, characters have occasionally been banned from some tournaments, normally top-tier characters which are regarded as cheap or broken.

In Super Smash Bros. Brawl tournaments, it was quickly recognized that Meta Knight possessed powerful attributes that placed him in his own tier, and were regarded as cheap by many. Massive debates raged over the years on whether or not to ban him from tournaments, with the eventual general consensus being that Meta Knight would be legal, but teams with two Meta Knights were not.

A very similar controversy happened with Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U on Diddy Kong. However, a Patch Update severely nerfed him, putting most discussions on him to rest.

Another (ongoing) controversy is Bayonetta, due to her insane comboing capabilities. She was banned shortly after her release in Spain and other regions. However, Version 1.1.6 of SSB4 has nerfed Bayonetta, and decreased her combo power. However, some regions still stand by their decision to ban Bayonetta.

The most recent complains have been towards Cloud, particularly as a doubles character. Not only does Cloud possess several hard-to-counter or out-prioritize moves that deal heavy damage and knockback, he gains Limit Charge whenever he deals or is dealt damage. In the chaos of a doubles match, that can occur a lot more frequently, as well as having a partner hold an opponent long enough to use a Limit Break move. Some locals and regionals, such as in Spain[1] and Canada[2] have implemented this ban.


Items are often banned from tournaments due to many easily KOing players regardless of the skill of the player using them. Also, the effort to get items such as Smash Balls can cause players to focus on that rather than the battle.

Moves and Techniques

Generally, techniques that unnecessarily prolong gameplay, activate glitches, or negatively effect your opponents' playing experience. These techniques include:

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