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Published September 11, 2023

Plup and Wizzrobe. Wizzrobe and Plup. It’s hard to watch an event as jam-packed with storylines and great sets like Riptide and pick just two players to talk about. But how can you not immediately think of them? Both players have barely been around, relative to other peers this year, and yet they’ve had a penchant for stealing the headlines. To anyone who’s been following the scene for the last two years, “how good are Wizzy and Plup” was one of the most commonly thought answers, as well as answered (“still good”) numerous times. And yet, by any measure, aren’t we all still a bit more curious?

In today’s column, I’ve explored this question in great detail. For each player, I’m going to be assessing how they’ve performed vs. different “groups” of players in 2023. However, because Plup and Wizzrobe have attended so few tournaments, I’ll be taking a more long-term look as well – more specifically at their head-to-heads in their last ten respective events. Where do these two shine, how do they compare with each other, and where do their records specifically place them within the current top echelon? If you just want to know the answers, scroll to the bottom.

How Good is Plup?

You can never really blame someone for deciding that traveling countless miles and hours on the way to Smash tournaments with joke prize pots isn’t worth it, but you can selfishly fume. And it just so happens that when I do it, thousands of people read it, so I have a responsibility to be a little more articulate that your average fan. I love watching Plup at events. His Sheik, Fox, and Samus – even his Luigi, if history’s any indication – immediately catapults the value of any tournament he enters. Everything he’s entered this year has become more interesting, and it’s amusing how countless Melee fans seem to take his track record of excellence for granted. In the below segment, you’ll see I’ve organized his different head-to-heads into two categories: 2023 head-to-heads, and head-to-heads at events before 2023 (in italics).

  • 0-3 vs Cody Schwab
  • 0-1 vs moky
  • 4-1 vs Wizzrobe
  • 1-0 vs aMSa
  • 1-0 vs Hungrybox
  • 1-1 vs Zain
  • 0-1 vs Cody Schwab
  • 0-2 vs Mang0
  • 0-1 vs Leffen
  • 1-0 vs aMSa
  • 1-1 vs Jmook
  • 1-0 vs Wizzrobe
  • 4-3 vs Hungrybox
  • Total Tier 1 H2Hs: 14-13

For the most part, this is the same player we’ve always known. He struggles against the Fox players (particularly Cody), but he performs at about coin flip chances or slightly favored vs. everyone else, sans Wizzrobe and aMSa, whom he seems solidly favored against. If I were to guess how he’d perform in a given Top 16 of a major where he plays the rest of the major contenders, I’d say there’s no one he can’t really beat. I do think that having Wizzrobe as his “go-to” matchup within a supermajor field is not a particularly amazing one given Wizzrobe’s absence from big events. Additionally, because the value of an aMSa win isn’t as high as it used to be, I wouldn’t put Plup’s chances in the top tier much higher than around the middle. But it isn’t bad. So how does he perform against what I’d broadly describe as the next group of players?”

  • 1-0 vs Aklo
  • 1-0 vs KoDoRiN
  • 1-0 vs Salt
  • 1-0 vs Axe
  • 1-0 vs Spark
  • 1-0 vs Soonsay
  • 1-0 vs Ginger
  • 2-0 vs lloD
  • 1-0 vs S2J
  • 1-0 vs Joshman
  • 3-1 vs Magi
  • 0-1 vs Fiction
  • Total Tier 2 H2Hs: 13-2

This is about as good as it gets; even Zain is not totally impervious to this group of players. The one wrench to throw in the equation is, admittedly, Plup’s tendency to take months in between events, which makes assessing the field’s chances against him a bit trickier, as the volatility nature of the next group of players makes it less clear how he’d perform against each of them in a future set. Regardless, Plup’s tendency to smack down just under the highest level is pretty unusual. In a climate where even juggernauts like Jmook and Cody Schwab are dropping multiple sets to the Aklos, Polishs, and KoDoRiNs of the world, reliably getting to the top-echelon part of bracket without much of a sweat is a skill of itself, and one in which Plup clearly excels in. Then, we get into Plup vs. everyone else.

  • 1-0 vs 2saint
  • 1-0 vs Panda
  • 1-0 vs Bbatts
  • 1-0 vs Preeminent
  • 1-0 vs Cactuar
  • 1-0 vs Jflex
  • 2-0 vs Skerzo
  • 1-0 vs Frenzy
  • 1-0 vs Professor Pro
  • 2-0 vs Panda
  • 1-0 vs Chem
  • 1-0 vs Blue
  • Total Tier 3 H2Hs: 14-0

I don’t think there’s much that needs to be said here. If you aren’t Top 25, you have very little shot at defeating Plup. Or, at the very least, it speaks volumes to your potential and heavily shifting trajectory if you’re able to defeat him. In other words, a single victory over him is a sign that you’re likelier to have leaped into the next group of players.

How Good is Wizzrobe?

Unlike Plup, whose inactivity I’ve aforementionedly (and selfishly) fumed about, Wizzrobe’s stretch of inactivity has come for reasons beyond his immediate control. At the same time, it’s also made the moments he’s been present in all the more compelling. He’s had an excellent stretch of performances through two big events (CEO and Riptide), a notable regional (Invincible VII) and two lesser-stakes, but still notable locals (one in Florida and one in Texas) in 2023. To go back to ten events, however, we have to return to the Smash World Tour Championships in 2021.

  • 1-0 vs moky
  • 1-0 vs Jmook
  • 1-0 vs Hungrybox
  • 1-0 vs aMSa
  • 1-4 vs Plup
  • 0-1 vs Zain
  • 0-3 vs Plup
  • 0-1 vs Jmook
  • 0-1 vs Leffen
  • 1-2 vs Hungrybox
  • 1-1 vs aMSa
  • Total Tier 1 H2Hs: 7-13

Though it may seem tempting to panic, this is one of those places where the numbers are a bit deceptive. Looking at where these sets happened paints a more accurate picture of a guy whose initial return to competing came with some extremely close heart-breakers against that could have easily still gone his way. Furthermore, seven of these losses came to Plup, whom, like Wizzrobe, is one of the most inactive contenders. Adjusting for that, Wizzrobe hasn’t given us any reason to discount his chances out against anyone he’s played, though I would argue that Mango and Cody Schwab, on paper, are similar to Plup in terms of being a potential long-term roadblock. I’m somewhat surprised by aMSa and Hungrybox being more steady vs. Wizzrobe than I initially thought, yet simultaneously, I wonder how much of their relative success vs. Wizzrobe last year can be attributed to rust and shakiness on his part. All in all, Wizzrobe, like Plup, seems to have a couple people who give him consistent problems, but he seems competitive to slightly favored vs. everyone else as a whole.

  • 1-0 vs lloD
  • 1-0 vs Zuppy
  • 1-0 vs Spark
  • 2-0 vs Salt
  • 2-0 vs Ben
  • 1-0 vs Magi
  • 1-0 vs SFAT
  • 1-0 vs lloD
  • 1-0 vs Pipsqueak
  • 1-0 vs Polish
  • 1-0 vs Joshman
  • 1-0 vs Trif
  • 1-1 vs Axe
  • Total Tier 2 H2Hs: 15-1

Jackzilla mentioned this in his blurb for Wizzrobe last year, but it was quite remarkable how handily Wizzrobe has been able to fend off the massive group of players in contention for Top 10 and 25 in spite of his relative inactivity. While his rank for last year certainly didn’t show it (though his inactivity confusingly made the rank somewhat warranted), pound-for-pound, anyone who watched him play could attest that he existed in a middle ground of sorts between the active top tier of play and everyone else. Again – similar to Plup – Wizzrobe isn’t spotless vs. this group of players; simutlaneously though, it’s all you can really ask for.

  • 1-0 vs bobby big ballz
  • 1-0 vs TheSWOOPER
  • 1-0 vs 100 Grand
  • 2-0 vs Akir
  • 1-0 vs Jflex
  • 2-0 vs Salt* (because this happened at a time before she became Top 30 in the world, I’ve chosen to include 2022 sets of Salt as within this group)
  • 1-0 vs Aura
  • 1-0 vs Frenzy
  • 1-0 vs Ralph
  • 1-0 vs Eddy Mexico
  • 1-0 vs JCAM
  • 1-1 vs Medz
  • Total Tier 3 H2Hs: 14-1

Once again, similar to Plup, Wizzrobe is a monster vs. the field, and a set over him typically says much more about the person who beat him than highlight something about his own shortcomings. In fact, I’ll go a step further: I think the one loss he has to Medz came in extenuating circumstances; it was Wizzrobe’s first event since Smash World Tour Championships, and it happened seven months afterward. Although I’m not willing to totally discount this result, any reasonable person would weigh it with a grain of salt.

Where are Plup and Wizzrobe (rough answer)?

Technically speaking, I’d have to compare their win-rates in their last ten events with everyone else over a similar timespan, as well as break their respective nuances down compared to Plup’s and Wizzrobe’s. For the sake of time, I’ll just say that each of these players are about as rock solid as you can be to remain in the top echelon. I do not think you can say that about everyone else. Though I wouldn’t go as far as to call them as surefire of a lock as Zain vs. everyone who isn’t Top 10 – just due to not being as active – realistically speaking, they’re as good as anyone else.

Where they struggle, relatively speaking, is against fellow people who can win majors. It’s not impossible to imagine either of these two winning a major, given their recent performances and the upward trajectory of their head-to-heads, but it’s difficult for me to confidently predict it. It’s beyond just the total win and loss count; an extremely crucial part of winning majors is having a reliable and unique head-to-head at the highest level. We know Zain can reliably beat the Mangos and Hungryboxs of the world; we’ve seen Cody Schwab thrash the likes of aMSa and Hungrybox (though Super Smash Con was an exception to the rule); for a time, we even thought that might be the case with Jmook vs. Zain, and it seems to be true right now for him vs. moky.

I don’t think Plup and Wizzrobe quite have that to the same degree. If they do, it’s in matchups where other peers (outside the two together) can find that same success. Furthermore, they both share the problem of having multiple people in the Top 10 whom they realistically need to avoid. So are either of these players, pound-for-pound, as strong as Zain, Cody, and Jmook? Definitively not. But I’m willing to say that they’re above aMSa, who’s currently slumping relative to his stellar 2022. I would put them currently above Mango also, just because Mango, per his own words, has totally mailed it in for most of this year, which now includes a zero-shits-given seventh place at Smash Factor and ho-hum fifth place at Super Smash Con.

That would put them into the same group of players as Leffen and moky. Leffen, funnily enough, isn’t as present, but he’s the one who won the biggest event this year, and the only one that doesn’t have a mind-melting ‘discussion’ around if it counts as a major. Plup has won two of those in the latter category, Wizzrobe has had runs spoiled by Plup within those two aforementioned torunaments, and moky’s been the most active, as well as shown us the most convincing proof of him having some of those consistent high-value head-to-heads, even if he’s been a bit more mortal vs. everyone else. I won’t pretend like I have a definitive opinion on how they would finish on SSBMRank were the ranking season to end right now, but I did promise “the part you scroll down to, so here goes nothing.

The Part You Scroll Down To

I’ll give Plup 6 and Wizzrobe 7.

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