How Does Banning Stages Work?

In the realm of competitive gaming, strategic decision-making extends beyond the actual gameplay itself. One such aspect that often goes unnoticed by casual spectators is the process of stage banning. When two opponents face off in a match, whether it be in the intense realm of Super Smash Bros. or any other game adhering to a ruleset, they must collectively determine which stages are deemed suitable for their confrontation. The process typically begins with the agreement on who’ll exercise their banning authority first. In a three-starter ruleset, the selected individual would strike a stage, subsequently followed by their opponent before ultimately settling on the remaining playing field. However, in a five-starter ruleset scenario, the initial ban would consist of the first player striking down two stages, leading to the counterpart's ban to finally unveil the sole platform for their riveting battle.

Why Are Stages Banned in Smash?

Disrupting the fluidity and balance of competitive gameplay. Certain stages in Smash can tilt the scales heavily in favor of specific characters, leading to an unfair advantage. This can manifest in excessive camping, where certain characters can exploit their abilities to create an impenetrable defensive wall. Similarly, stages with chain grab opportunities can give certain characters an almost insurmountable advantage, as they can continuously grab and pummel opponents without much retaliation. To maintain fair competition, stages that provide these unfair advantages are often banned.

Another reason stages may be banned is due to glitches that can be exploited. These glitches can give players an unintended edge or create situations that are impossible to navigate properly, resulting in unfair matches. In order to ensure fair and consistent gameplay, stages with known glitches are often restricted from competitive play.

Additionally, some stages completely alter the strategies needed to win. For example, stages like Temple and Icicle Mountain drastically change the dynamics of fights by introducing hazards, platforms that move or disappear, and overall chaotic environments. These stages can disrupt the established flow of competitive play and force players to rely on quick reflexes and unpredictable tactics rather than strategic decision-making. As a result, these stages are commonly prohibited to maintain a level playing field.

The Impact on Character Diversity: Certain Stages May Heavily Favor Certain Characters or Playstyles, Leading to a Lack of Diversity in Character Choices Among Competitive Players. This Can Result in Repetitive and Predictable Matches, Which Can Be Boring for Players and Spectators Alike. Banning Such Stages Can Encourage Players to Explore and Master a Wider Range of Characters and Strategies.

When it comes to competitive gaming, there are certain stages that tend to give an advantage to specific characters or playstyles. This can become a problem because it limits the variety of character choices among competitive players. When everyone chooses the same characters, matches tend to become predictable and repetitive, which isn’t fun for players or those watching. To address this issue, some tournaments ban these stages to encourage players to try out different characters and strategies, making the game more interesting and exciting.

In competitive Super Smash Bros. matches, stage bans are an important part of the stage selection process. During game 1, each player takes turns to ban a certain number of stages until there are only two left. The player who lost the previous game then gets to choose from the remaining stages for the next game. This system ensures a fair and strategic approach to stage selection throughout the match.

How Do Stage Bans Work Smash?

Stage bans in Super Smash Bros. involve a strategic process that enhances the competitive nature of the game. In the first game, the first player begins by banning three stages from the available options. This ban ensures that certain stages, which may not be favorable for a players playstyle or character, are removed from the potential selection.

Once the first player concludes their bans, it’s then the second players turn to ban stages. This back-and-forth ban process adds an exciting layer of decision-making, as players must carefully consider their opponents strengths and weaknesses, as well as their own.

This grants them an advantageous position in terms of stage selection.

In subsequent games, the winner of the previous game gains the advantage of banning three stages. This gives the previous winner a chance to remove stages that may have played a role in their defeat or were unfavorable for their character. The loser of the previous game then gets to choose from the remaining stages, hoping to find an environment that suits their playstyle or character more effectively.

Strategies for Stage Bans: Providing Tips and Advice on How Players Can Strategically Ban Stages to Gain an Advantage Over Their Opponents.

  • Consider your opponent’s preferred playstyle and character strengths.
  • Research the legal stages in the game.
  • Identify stages that benefit your opponent’s playstyle or character.
  • Ban stages that have features that counter your playstyle.
  • Select stages that favor your playstyle and character.
  • Take note of any stage hazards or layout elements that may impact gameplay.
  • Adjust your bans based on the specific matchup and player tendencies.
  • Review your stage selection after each match to adapt to your opponent’s strategies.
  • Practice on the legal stages to familiarize yourself with their layouts and platforms.
  • Communicate with your opponent to ensure a fair and agreeable stage ban process.

Source: How do stage bans work in competitive play?

However, it’s important to note that the ruleset for competitive Super Smash Bros. tournaments can vary, and these banned stages may not apply universally.

What Stages Are Banned in Smash?

When it comes to the competitive scene of Super Smash Bros., certain stages have been a topic of contention and have recently been banned from tournament play. These stages, which were once considered legal counterpicks, have now faced the ban hammer due to various factors that negatively impacted the competitive integrity of matches.

Among the familiar names that have been stricken from the legal stage pool are Big Blue, known for it’s chaotic racetrack and unpredictable hazards that could easily disrupt the flow of battles. Brinstar, with it’s rising lava and tight platforms, also found it’s way onto the banned list, as it often led to unfair advantages for certain characters.

Corneria, a stage set on a spacecraft amidst an intense dogfight, was removed due to it’s vast amount of distractions and hazards that created an unbalanced playing field. Green Greens, once a nostalgic battlefield featuring Whispy Woods, faced the ban to prevent potential camping strategies and exploits. Jungle Japes, Kongo Jungle, and it’s N64 variant met a similar fate, with their hazardous water and cramped platforms leading to frustrating matchups.

Fans of the Mushroom Kingdom stages also felt the sting of the ban wave, as both Mushroom Kingdom and Mushroom Kingdom II were deemed unsuitable for tournament play due to their irregular layouts and distracting elements. Mute City, known for it’s fast-paced scrolling track, was also seen as too disruptive for competitive play. Onett, with it’s intricate buildings and absorbing atmosphere, proved to be a stage that heavily favored certain characters, ultimately leading to it’s exclusion.

Additionally, the whimsical floating stage of Poké Floats, the iconic Princess Peachs Castle, the rollercoaster-like Rainbow Cruise, and the vibrant Yoshis Island all joined the ranks of the banned stages, leaving competitors to adapt to a more restricted stage selection. While these stages may still be enjoyed in casual play, their removal from the competitive scene aims to create a more balanced and predictable environment for fierce Smash battles.

The Impact of Banned Stages on Competitive Gameplay.

Banned stages in competitive gameplay can have a significant impact on the overall experience. These stages, often excluded due to balance issues or artificial advantage, are agreed upon by the competitive community to maintain a fair playing field. The removal of such stages prevents players from exploiting unfair strategies or having disproportionate benefits, resulting in a more skill-based environment. Consequently, banned stages help improve the competitive integrity of the game and enhance the enjoyment for both players and spectators.

Transition paragraph: The stage selection process in Super Smash Bros. involves two types of stages: Starter Stages and Counterpick Stages. During Game 1 of a set, Starter Stages are used, and the selection process begins with a randomly chosen player striking one starter stage. Then, the other player strikes two starter stages, and finally, the first player makes the last strike. However, it’s in Game 2 and subsequent games where Counterpick Stages come into play, as they’re only available for selection during those later stages of a set.

How Does Picking Stages Work Smash?

In the competitive world of Super Smash Bros, choosing the right stage can make all the difference in a match. The process of picking stages involves a strategic dance between players, allowing for a fair and balanced gameplay experience. Understanding the rules behind stage picking is crucial for competitors looking to gain an edge.

At the start of a set, known as Game 1, players begin by selecting from a pool of Starter Stages. These stages are considered balanced and are designed to provide an equal playing field for both players. The selection process starts with a randomly chosen player striking the first starter stage. This means they’re eliminating it from the available options. The other player then strikes two starter stages, further narrowing down the choices. Finally, the first player gets to strike the last remaining starter stage, resulting in the final stage for Game 1.

As the set progresses to Game 2 and beyond, Counterpick Stages come into play. These stages aren’t initially available for selection in Game 1 but can be utilized in subsequent games. This adds an additional layer of complexity to the stage picking process and allows players to adapt their strategies based on their opponents playstyle and character choice.

The strategic aspect of stage picking is evident in the way players strategize their strikes. By removing stages that may not favor their character or playstyle, players aim to create a stage selection that gives them an advantage. This requires a deep understanding of the game, knowledge of stage layouts, and an analysis of the opponents strengths and weaknesses.

Stage Bans: Discuss the Concept of Stage Bans and How Players Strategically Eliminate Certain Stages From the Available Options. Explain Why Players May Choose to Ban Certain Stages Based on Character Matchups or Personal Preferences.

Stage bans are a common practice in competitive gaming where players strategically eliminate certain stages from the available options. This can be done for a variety of reasons, such as character matchups and personal preferences.

When players ban stages, they strategically aim to eliminate stages that may not suit their characters’ strengths or playstyles. Every character has different advantages and disadvantages in certain environments, and by banning stages that don’t favor their character, players can increase their chances of winning.

Additionally, players may also ban stages based on personal preferences. Some players may feel more confident or comfortable playing on certain stages, while others may have a dislike for particular layouts, hazards, or platforms. By banning stages that they’re less comfortable with, players can reduce the risk of making mistakes or being at a disadvantage.

Ultimately, stage bans are an essential part of competitive gaming, allowing players to strategically tailor the playing field to their advantage. Whether it’s to exploit character matchups or personal preferences, stage bans play a crucial role in enhancing the overall competitiveness and fairness of the game.

During stage picking in Smash tournaments, there are two common methods used: stage selection taking turns and loser’s pick. In the former, players take turns choosing the stage before each match, following their player order. Meanwhile, in the latter, the player who lost the previous match gets to select the stage for the next one.

How Does Stage Picking Work in Smash Tournaments?

Random Selection – There are instances where the stage selection process is done randomly. In such cases, a program or external source is used to determine the stage for the upcoming match. This adds an element of surprise and prevents any bias or advantage in stage selection.

Gentlemans Agreement – Occasionally, players may engage in a “gentlemans agreement” where they mutually decide on a specific stage or set of stages to play on throughout the tournament. This agreement is often based on personal preferences or strategies, and it allows for a more consistent and predictable stage selection process.

Neutral Stages – Certain stages are considered “neutral stages” and can be selected by both players without any restrictions. These stages are typically designed to be balanced and fair for all characters, ensuring a level playing field. Neutral stages are often chosen to promote competitive fairness and prevent any potential advantage for either player.

Counterpicking – In some tournaments, a counterpicking system is used. After the first match, the winner isn’t allowed to select the stage for the next match. Instead, the loser selects the stage from a predetermined list of legal stages. This gives the losing player the opportunity to strategically choose a stage that may provide an advantage against their opponents character or playstyle.

Stage Bans – In larger tournaments, players may be given the option to “ban” certain stages. This means that they can choose a stage which won’t be available for selection during the entire match.

Overall, the stage picking process in Smash tournaments aims to balance competitive fairness and strategic gameplay. It incorporates various methods such as rotation, random selection, gentlemans agreements, neutral stages, counterpicking, and stage bans. These approaches ensure that players have the opportunity to showcase their skills on different stages while reducing the likelihood of any stage-related bias or advantage.


The process of banning stages in competitive gaming serves as an integral aspect to ensure fair play and strategic decision-making. By agreeing on an order, players take turns striking stages from the available pool until only one remains. Whether utilizing a 3 starter or 5 starter ruleset, this system allows for increased versatility and adaptability, promoting diversity in gameplay and reducing the potential for exploitation. Banning stages not only adds an extra layer of complexity to the game but also encourages players to develop unique strategies and explore new environments.

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