Tournament Analysis: Cloud Nine Premier League I

Cloud Nine Premier League I has concluded, and it was one of the craziest amiibo tournaments to date. With over fifty entrants and high stakes, trainers sent their strongest contenders in a fierce battle for first place. Now it’s time to talk about how it all went down.

A Change of Name

You might have noticed that I’m referring to this tournament series as Cloud Nine Premier League instead of Cloud Nine Amiibo League (which was its original name). That’s because I decided to change its name – so from now on, Cloud Nine Amiibo League will be referred to as Cloud Nine Premier League (CPL for short).

A Quick Reminder on Rules

Cloud Nine Premier League I followed the standard online tourney ruleset – with a few exceptions. If you forgot what the standard rules were, here’s a quick refresher:

  • Trainers can submit up to two amiibo
  • Critical-hit capability and Explosive perfect shield are banned
  • Little Mac must have 0 points in Attack and cannot have any Attack-boosting bonuses
  • Cloud cannot have more than 60 points in attack and cannot have more than one Attack-boosting bonus
  • Stat points cannot exceed a sum of 120
  • All items are turned off
  • Double elimination rule is in play
  • Matches are two stocks and six minutes long
    • Timeout matches go to the amiibo with less damage
  • All matches are to be played on Smashville (non-Ω form)

Unfortunately, there were a select few whose entrants did not abide by the rules. For this tournament, I edited each offending amiibo to have legal stats and bonus effects: in the future, entrants that break the rules will be immediately disqualified. 

There was a bit of an upset during the final chapter of Cloud Nine Premier League’s matches: my Bowser amiibo used its side special, Flying Slam, to KO both itself and its opponent off-stage. The problem is, both fighters were on their last stocks, and the game advanced to sudden death. I certainly didn’t expect this to happen, so there is now an official ruling for future CPL tournaments: the Bowser Clause. The Bowser Clause states that if a Bowser amiibo uses its side special to KO both itself and its opponent, a one-stock game will be played immediately afterward to determine which fighter receives credit for the match. This rule is subject to change in the future.

Entrants & Trends

Cloud Nine Premier League I was packed with a grand total of 53 entrants. We had a vast amount of different fighters, which helped add much-needed variation to each match. Here’s a slightly convoluted pie chart of all the characters entered:

Most immediately noticeable is a slight influx in Bowser amiibo, but this makes sense, given that he is a top-tier character. Despite this influx, however, none of the Bowser amiibo entered reached top five. Bowser isn’t due for a drop on the amiibo tier list anytime soon, but it’s still surprising to see the character underperform.

Next is a definite, solid increase in the number of Shulk amiibo. Whereas normal tourneys only feature one or two, CPL I featured a grand total of four. In general, Shulk did very well: one even earned second place, but lost to a Ganondorf. These results are respectable, but not quite respectable enough to warrant a rise on the tier list.

Speaking of characters on the rise, Corrin is another. Don’t be fooled, though – representation does not necessarily relate to the potency of the character. Although four Corrin amiibo were entered, none of them made it past seventeenth place. Needless to say, Corrin is sitting pretty in B+ Rank for the foreseeable future.

Every top-tier character was properly represented in this tournament: Marth, Lucina, Bowser, Link, Ganondorf, Cloud, and Little Mac all made appearances. However, there were several fighters who saw no representation, and were not entered at all. Pit, Captain Falcon, Dr. Mario, Dark Pit, Rosalina & Luma, Peach, Toon Link, Pac-Man, Ike, Pikachu, Kirby, Donkey Kong, Sheik, Mewtwo, Roy, Mii Swordfighter, Wario, Mr. Game & Watch, Duck Hunt, Olimar, Mii Gunner, Zero Suit Samus, Villager, Greninja, Sonic, Jigglypuff, Meta Knight, Wii Fit Trainer, Yoshi, and Samus all failed to make the cut. It’s a shame, really: many of these characters are very interesting to watch. I hope to see some of them in CPL II.

Smashville Stage Effects

The only stage used in Cloud Nine Premier League I was Smashville. This is because Ω-form stages give certain characters an advantage. Little Mac and Cloud, particularly, have no trouble shattering shields and delivering KOs with a fully-charged forward smash. Regardless of all that, Smashville had a number of different effects on specific characters.

As mentioned before, six different Bowser amiibo participated in CPL I. Smashville put Bowser at a very slight disadvantage. The normal rules are as follows: game one is an Ω-form stage, game two is non-Ω Battlefield, and game three is an Ω-form stage again. Bowser loves Battlefield because his side special, Flying Slam, KOs slightly earlier when it lands on the stage’s top platform. Since Smashville’s ceiling is so high, and because its sole platform is far from it, Flying Slam became a less reliable kill move. Ultimately, Smashville didn’t put Bowser at much of a disadvantage, but it certainly had a minor effect on his abilities.

Just as planned, Cloud and Little Mac were put at a slight disadvantage. Many times, they broke their opponent’s shield, only for them to shield jump onto the platform and out of their reach. This technicality inadvertently applied to Lucario as well.

Speaking from experience here – I think Ness is at a slight disadvantage as well, because Smashville’s platform blocks his PK Thunder. If you don’t know, Ness amiibo love to use PK Thunder 2 as an on-stage attack. This tendency seems silly, but it actually works quite well. Ness’ opponents notice that he is firing a projectile, and when he curves the ball of electricity, they drop their guard and get hit by the full force of the move’s power. I daresay my Ness amiibo may have performed better if he were able to play on Ω-form stages.

The Winners of Cloud Nine Premier League I

The winner of CPL I was Supernova and his Ganondorf amiibo. It isn’t surprising to see a top-tier character claim the championship title – that being said, it’s been quite a while since we’ve seen a Ganondorf victory. Even so, I felt that this Ganondorf deserved a win: it didn’t employ any cheap tactics and was clearly well-trained.

There were a few other amiibo in particular that I’d like to commemorate. Fulminix’s Shulk earned second place, and let me tell you, it earned that placement. This Shulk was one of the best I’ve ever seen. It used its counter with pinpoint accuracy and proficiency, and timed its attacks decisively. It’s a shame Shulk didn’t win – but I do hope we see it again in a future tournament.

We had a few Robin amiibo in the tournament as well – one from Liam, which earned fourth place, and one from Tosicamir, which tied for fifth place. Both Robin performed excellently, and their trainers should be proud. Robin’s the only Fire Emblem character that I can tolerate, so it’s good to see this character succeed.

Lastly, kudos to the trainers who took a gamble and entered low-tier characters. Although none of them placed very well, it’s respectable that you gave it your best shot with an underrepresented fighter. Hawkeye’s R.O.B., STFUnicorn’s Bowser Jr., and themarcher70’s Mega Man are a few notable examples.

Match Replays

Now for what you’ve all been waiting for: an archive of all matches played in CPL I. The tournament stream itself was huge – so large, in fact, that it had to be split up into eight parts. Clearing all of the matches took a grand total of fourteen hours. You can access timestamps for each match below. The full bracket can be found here.

Conclusion

I hope you all enjoyed the first bout of Cloud Nine Premier League. Expect more in the future – much more, hopefully. In the meantime, other tournament operators are preparing to host their own tourneys, which I’ll be sure to post here. Thanks a million to everybody who entered! To those of you who are new to amiibo training, I encourage you to become involved in the community – it’s amazing to see a tourney come together, and to have an all-star lineup of trainers sending their best. Until next time, everyone!


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