A Primer on Miis and Customs

Many of you may be familiar with the exact workings of Miis and Customs in Smash 4, but as our scene grows and develops, there are many that do not understand the full difference between the two. This article will serve as a basis of facts and explanation to help teach everyone how Miis work in Smash 4 from a legality standpoint.

Many events have decided to restrict Miis to specific rulesets such as 1111 because this is what some Tournament Organizers consider to be not custom, as other characters are set to default to 1111 as well. The issue however is far more complicated than this, as the fact of the matter is, even a 1111 Mii is essentially a created character.

Note: When the term 1111 Mii or All-1s Mii is used, it means a Mii character that has all of their specials set to their first move available.

1. If you play Smash 4 and never even visit the Custom Menu to create a Mii, they will never show up on the character select screen.

The Smash 4 character select screen showing no Miis.

The Smash 4 character select screen showing no Miis.

It isn’t until you create a Mii from scratch that they show up on the character select screen in the first place. Even a 1111 Mii still has to be created from the Custom Menu prior to being able to select it.

Many Tournament Organizers cite that it isn’t fair for these three characters (Mii Gunner, Mii Swordfighter, and Mii Brawler) to have access to 12 overall specials while every other character is limited to 4. Deciding on whether or not a feature of a character is fair or not is a very touchy subject to take on, and the closest we’ve come to this is when the community banned Meta Knight from Brawl, which was soon reversed globally. Does the Mii characters having access to 12 different specials even grant them an advantage over characters that are limited to 4? Certainly not! Miis can still use only 4 special moves at a time just like anyone else, and even with free reign to pick the moveset they like, it is widely agreed by the community that the best one of the characters to move up would be Mii Brawler to high tier (about rank 10-15 in the game), where Mii Gunner and Mii Swordfighter would continue to rank in the lower to mid tiers, not having much of an impact on the meta.

2. Mii Fighters having access to all of their moves gives little impact on the meta and would hardly be considered unfair compared to other characters in the game.

Instead of defining what is fair or not about these specific characters, we need to define the actual rules of the game, and see if the Mii Fighters circumvent these rules.

After Evo 2015 (despite being a huge success), the general consensus of the community was that we should no longer run Customs. Very well, there is an option directly built into the multiplayer mode to turn off custom fighters. There is even a shortcut to this option in the top right hand corner of the screen to enable or disable them. Even when Customs are disabled however, the Mii Fighters remain as a selectable character.

Even when Custom Fighters is set to off, the Mii Fighters remain a selectable character.

Even when Custom Fighters is set to off, the Mii Fighters remain a selectable character.

3. All created Mii characters on the system are still selectable for battle even when Custom Fighters is set to off.

I think the question we need to answer now is:

What defines a custom character?

This could easily be defined by one of two ways in the game. A custom character may be either:

  • A character that needs to first be created from the Custom Menu before it may be used in battle
  • A character that can only be selected for battle when Custom Fighters is set to On in the game settings

If your answer to the question is the first option, then by your logic, no Mii Fighter should be legal for play, even 1111 Miis. Since Miis do not exist on the Character Select Screen until created, you still need to create the 1111 Mii from the Custom Menu in order to use them.

If your answer to the question is the second option, then any Mii with any special combination should be legal. This is because regardless of what you make in the Custom Menu, a Mii with a moveset like 2312 would still be selectable under Custom Fighters Off. The reason why other characters wouldn’t be allowed to use their alternate moves is because a character like say Mario with a 1221 moveset is not selectable under the ruleset of Custom Fighters Off, while the Mii is.

What makes up a custom character and Mii?

Custom fighters fall into two options, customized characters, and Miis. Characters are your normally selected fighters in the game, and you can change their moveset to pick 4 out of 12 total special moves, and apply equipment (stat modifiers). Miis have you select a Mii from the system (including preloaded system defaults), gives you the ability to give it a different hat or costume (these have no effect on gameplay), pick 4 out of 12 total special moves, and apply equipment.

Are Miis any different when Custom Fighters is set to On or Off?

They are! Despite the characters not going away when Custom Fighters are set to Off, there is one specific change that happens to them, and that is all equipment stat modifiers added to them are null and void. This way if players were to select a system default Mii and there is no equipment to modify them, competitors can always expect the same physics and normals to come from these characters.

Is it unfair to be able to counterpick your opponent without switching your character, and doing so instead by moveset? A Mii player may opt to change only their specials, but not their character.

While there should inherently be no issue with this, I can understand the concern, and most important, the time needed if players were to create up to 3 or 5 different Miis per set. In order to help appease this, I created the following rule which was used in events such as MLG 2015 Finals: “Each player may make one Mii Fighter of each type (Brawler/Gunner/Swordfighter) during a set when they intend to use them. They may only use a system default Mii with any special combination of their preference. The appearance or equipment may not be altered.” Fans of Miis have begun to adapt this rule at their events, and found it to be a good compromise for keeping the integrity of the counterpick process, and making sure this doesn’t become a time issue.

If Miis still need to be created, won’t this make tournaments run longer?

Barely at all. The process of creating a Mii is generally faster that even setting your own controls, something that is allowed in every fighting game. Seeing that Mii characters also aren’t too popular (likely due to rules about them changing at every event), lets say maybe 2% of players play them out of the large roster, it means it will be rare for them to be created. Couple this with that many players will be playing on the same setups within a pool, that means the character won’t need to be made again after the first time. Here is a video displaying how a Mii Fighter can be made in as little as 30 seconds:

So all things considered, this is what we’ve been able to learn about Miis here:

  • If you believe that a custom character (that we should ban) is defined by a character you can only select with Custom Fighters = On, then Mii Fighters with any special should be allowed. If you believe that a custom character is anything created from within the custom menu, then all Miis should be banned, even 1111 sets.
  • Creating Miis adds negligible time to events, even less than setting your own controls.
  • Miis do not present an unfair advantage in the metagame, with the best one while having access to any moves (Mii Brawler), doesn’t even rank as one of the top 10 characters in the game.

Primary arguments for limiting Miis to an all 1s moveset usually boils down to it not being fair that they have access to alternate moves and not other characters, and that they add more time to events, both of which have been debunked here.

Some additional information about Miis:

  • It is incredibly rare for Miis to be completely banned at tournaments. I honestly couldn’t tell you when the last time this happened is, and it is nearly never the case. Currently there is a split of what I would estimate to be 75% of events allowing only All 1s Miis, with 25% allowing unrestricted Miis.
  • Miis have unique moves that no other characters have, and have their own unique set of statistics that set them apart from all other characters. In fact, even each individual type of Mii (Brawler, Gunner, and Swordfighter) have their own unique stats that differ from each other.
  • Miis have been unrestricted at many tournaments with no issues at all, and at times seems to vary on a region by region basis if they are allowed or not. One such notable tournament that allowed Miis unrestricted at a large scale was MLG 2015 Finals, and Miis posed no issue to time or logistics.
  • Removing Miis does not hamper the play for anyone who doesn’t play them, yet grants the ability for people that main them to play their main character. This could lead to an increase in attendance, as some players only stick to these characters (one of the best players in New Jersey, Dapuffster, solo mains Mii Brawler and placed 13th at Evo 2015, which honestly was even sort of considered an upset that he didn’t place higher).
  • Creating these Miis requires no use of 3DS’, or exiting the game to create a Mii. It can be done simply within the game in a matter of seconds.

What about Palutena?

Since this is an often asked question, why wouldn’t Palutena be able to generally use her alternate moves when Miis should be allowed to? What sets Palutena apart from the other characters and is similar to Miis is that all of her alternate moves are unlocked from the start like Miis, and don’t need be unlocked like every other character. However despite this unique status of her moves, she has a default setting of 1111 that is used when Custom Fighters is set to off, and you are unable to use any of her alternate moves without turning Custom Fighters to On. If you have to flip that switch to allow her moves, it theoretically allows any custom move or equipment, leading to a slippery slope in determining what else should be allowed? The only difference about her is that her moves are unlocked from the start.

 

Please tweet @Smash4Unet with any comments or opinions on this. Feel free to share this article with your tournament organizers to help make Miis  completely legal again!

CT Chibo

Chibo is a long time member of the competitive Smash community, dating back to Super Smash Bros. Melee in 2007. He has shown prowess as a competitor, tournament organizer, live streamer, and more. Chibo is the owner of CLASH Tournaments, one of the leading media providers for the Smash community.

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