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Beginner's guide to understanding Palutena.

Applicable Games
Smash 3DS
Palutena is one of the most pure defensive fighters in the game, the recovery animations on most of her normals are long, she's got a reflector, a counter, a teliport. and a projectile, while weak has really good range.

The trick to learning Palutena is learning to adapt to the more defensive play style which can be hard for some if not many people and will require patience from said people. Understanding the properties of her attacks is key, you can't always just randomly throw out dash attacks, smash attacks, tilts ect because then you're just setting yourself up for punishes since most of Palutena's normals have long recovery animations so you have to know that your dash attack is going to hit, you have to know when it's safe to throw out a smash attack.

What you want to do in a match is if you're at a distance use neutral special as a poking/spacing tool, the range goes very far so it's really safe and useful if you're against a player who's also playing defensively, obviously against characters like Fox who can reflect your projectilez you want to cut back on doing that a little bit so that you don't become too predictable with it. The idea is to get your opponent to come to you, even if you're fighting a Fox player who can reflect your projectiles, remember that Fox also has a projectile that you can reflect back at him, what make's Palutena's reflector different from others is that she can move while it's still active since her reflector slowly moves forward and her recovery animation ends faster than the reflector can disappears so you can use this as an approach tool as well so in a match, once the Fox player realizes you'll stop his projectiles he's likely to come fight you up close, that's when the real fight begins.

Like I said before, Palutena is a defensive fighter so in close combat you have to know when to shield, when it's safe to move, counter if you know it'll hit, wait for your opponent to make their move first then punish with either a dash attack, back throw or down throw, either can be combo'd off of, dash attack can go into a well placed Fair or Nair, down throw can set them up for at least two Nairs, one after another. Her jab can serve as a way to catch opponents off guard or use it as a mind game tool by delaying when you decide to end it if you know you're opponent will accidentially roll into it, the range is good too, it's a little risky to do against some characters though like Bowser for example won't flince after a while so when fighting against him it's probably a good idea to keep your jab short.

Her tilts are good for the same sort of mind games as her jab, down and forward tilt have good range, down tilt's knock back is good and while forward tilt doesn't do as much, it does have multiple hits to it so in some ways it's the safer of the two. Up tilt is good and has multiple hits but it's range is very limited so you have to know it's going to hit.

Her air attacks are very good, neutral air is great for meeting opponents in the air because the range is good in all directions and as a result it's a very safe edge guarding tool, Fair has good range for spacing, it's like Zelda's Fair only not nearly as powerful but it's still good for air pokes. Bair, Uair and Dair are all useful killmoves, granted the range on all three of these are limited compared to her Fair but if you've used Palutena to the point to where you've become more comfortable with her attack properties, Bair, Dair and Uair are very lethal kill moves, bair has good knockback even if it doesn't kill, Uair has multiple hits to it and can kill at moderately early percentages and Dair is a meteor.

Palutena's smash attacks are mostly good if you know how to make good reads though her up smash can be better than the others because it can be used as an anti-air, not one you want to do a lot mind you because of the recovery animation but it works, it can kill, and if you have good timing you can combo into it from Palutena's down throw. Her forward smash is not only good for getting kills with good reads but it can be a decent spacing tool if only because even if it doesn't hit the opponent it can push them back a little which can be good to mess up players who run at you. Down smash is purely something you'll have to make good reads for, the range is good yes but it won't push opponents back like her forward smash and the start up animation is slow making it easy to predict.

I hope this guide was helpful, this is my first guide for anything ever so if there's stuff I need to improve on please let me know cause I'd love to do more of these.
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Latest reviews

This Guide really helped me become a better Defensive Palutena Player.

All i've pretty much been doing is copying what the better Palutena player's like AeroLink do, and their playstyles were really confusing. Now, with this guide, I have some insight on what the higher level players do, and why. Thank you so much!
nice first guide, lot's of fundamentals explained well
Nice! Useful for my palutena in wii u
A nice explanation of her moves. Straight to the point.
Solid insights into an oft-misunderstood character. A helpful guide to the properties of the character's moves and when best to use them.

As a long-term Palutena player, this taught me a few interesting tactics that I had not previously conceived of. The author has clearly put time into studying these moves and given a good general overview of how and when to use them.
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