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Twelve character battle

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A twelve character battle, often abbreviated as 12cb, is an alternative gameplay method in tournaments for the original Super Smash Bros.. In these battles, players fight with all twelve characters in the game until one player runs out of characters to use. Matches of this sort can take a long time to complete; the shortest matches can last around 50 minutes, while the longest have lasted over 90 minutes.

Initially a niche idea, the twelve character battle has since become more and more accepted by professional Smash 64 players, with proponents of the battle claiming it does a better job of analysing one's skillset at the game compared to standard tournament play. The use of many characters reinforces the idea that the player is aware of multiple strategies involving tech skill, and the use of counterpicking also causes players to demonstrate knowledge of matchups.

Due to the significantly larger number of characters available in later games, equivalent events for the other games in the series are rare. However, two twenty-six character battles for Super Smash Bros. Melee were performed at Smash the Record as part of an exhibition; Mew2King defeated Mango in both, only having to use five characters in the first one, and 15 characters in the second one.


While no official ruleset exists for twelve character battles, these battles generally follow a ruleset that was popularized by Isai:

  • The first character is blind picked for both players, so as to prevent counterpicking.
  • Each character has 5 stocks; after five stocks are lost from a character, the losing player must select their next character.
  • The losing player selects which stage to play on.
  • If the losing player elects to use a different stage, the winning player is given the option to switch to any remaining character they have.

An alternative ruleset dictates that when a player wins a match, they lose the character they were playing as and whoever loses all their characters first wins the twelve character battle. Proponents of this ruleset state that it actually forces people to use every character, preventing players from potentially sweeping the entire event.

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