A nerf is a term used to describe the weakening of a character (or aspect of a character), either through updating a game or by releasing a sequel. It is often done as an attempt to balance the roster. The opposite term is "buff". The best example of this is Kirby's transition from the original Super Smash Bros. to Super Smash Bros. Melee Kirby went from being one of the best characters according to the tier lists to being one of the worst.
The term "nerf" is derived from the brand of toy known for its soft foam-like substance. This substance allows for safer play, as little chance of injury comes from impact with such items. In effect, a projectile is less damaging because it was "nerfed".
Characters who had attributes nerfed from SSBM/SSBB to Crusade
- Attack speed has been decreased.
- U-air can no longer chain.
- Range has been decreased in many of his attacks, Notably the Shuttle Loop starting strike.
- Gliding is significantly difficult to control.
- Mach Tornado now moves very slowly on the ground, that it's almost useless for recovery, Almost every attack can outprioritize it, even grabbed out of and it can no longer rise from the ground, making it a very poor move overall.
- Poorer recovery.
- Less options out of shield due to his slower attacks.
Despite all of these significant nerfs and being one of the most severely nerfed characters from Brawl to Crusade, Meta Knight still remains one of the best characters in the game (4th).
- Grenades now stick to Snake instead of throwing them automatically like usual.
- Slower attack speed (though still fast).
- Cypher can no longer be left until the very end of move and the floating item no longer damages opponents.
- Worse air game.
- Range nerfed in many of his attacks, notably Dair and Fair.
- D-throw can be escaped easily, lowering its effectiveness.
- Remote Controlled Missle lasts longer and can't be left out of, making it a near-useless move.
- Fsmash is slower
- Utilt has significantly decreased horizontal reach
- Dsmash is now easier to see, making it very easy to shield.
Snake is one of the most significantly nerfed characters from Brawl to Crusade mostly due to Crusade's physics.
- Dair changed completely, now a Stall-Then-Fall.
- Worse air game despite his great air speed.
- Recovery nerfed (though now has more horizontal distance but worse vertical distance).
- Wario Waft is now more unpredictable and more difficult to keep track off, making it a hard move to use.
Wario is significantly harder to use due to the added nerfs and impact of the Crusade physics (went from being 6th in Brawl to 22nd in Crusade).
- D-throw and F-throw no longer chain grab.
- Attacks have less range.
- Quick Attack now gives shorter distance, being now a worse recovery move and lost the ability Quick Attack Cancel.
- Thunder is significantly less powerful and it has less range.
- Attacks are slightly weaker.
- Significantly less shieldstun in many of his attacks.
- Significantly worse approach ability due to terrible shieldstun, abysmal range, slower attack speed and terrible approach options (Quick Attack, Thunder Jolt and Skull Bash).
- Lighter in weight
- Slower speed overall (air speed, running speed and attack speed).
- Thunder is now a worse move due to its significantly decreased KO power and range.
- Skull Bash has significantly more ending lag, making it very easy to punish when shielded
- Thunder Jolt is significantly slower to the point where it can be outrun by every character in the game.
- Bair is now a simple kick with less range (though more powerful compared to the Bair in Brawl).
- Pikachu is more vulnerable to combos and chain grabs, notably from Gooey and Fox.
Pikachu recieved one of the most significant nerfs between Brawl and Crusade due to the added nerfs and Crusade's physics and went from being one of the best characters in Brawl (9th) to the worst character in Crusade (36th).
- Weaker attacks.
- Nair is now a sex kick rather than a circular blast.
- Aura Sphere takes longer to charge.
- Significantly decreased distance in his double jump.
- Teleport has drastically decreased distance, giving Mewtwo a worse recovery
- Decreased air speed.
- Slightly slower attack speed.
- Significantly less range in many of her attacks
- Slower attack speed
- Lighter in weight
- Less distance in her jumps
- Rollout has more lag, making it easy to punish when shielded
- Shieldstun decreased slightly
- Rising Pound removed, giving Jigglypuff a worse recovery.
- Jigglypuff has been affected negatively by the Crusade physics.
Nerfs from 0.6 to 0.7 (0.7.1)
- Stage control is now non-existent.
- Worse recovery due to faster falling speed.
- Air camping lasts shorter due to faster falling speed.
- Slower in general.
- Camping now requires quick fingers making them hard to use (somewhat).
- Despite the addition of hitstun, Bomberman cannot combo.
- Worse air game.
- More predictability.
- Chain grabbing is now non-existent.
Having the possibly most drastic nerf, Bomberman is now a far-worse character than he was on in 0.6. From being one of the best, to arguably the worst character of 0.7.