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Villager is a heavy zoner that likes to space with slingshots, oppress your spacing options and wall you out. He's quick, has amazing edgeguard potential, and has good comeback potential. On the other hand, he's light, can struggle to kill, and gets destroyed by good swordies. Villager guides are few and far between, as the character is heavily underrepresented(and underrated in my opinion) due to massive nerfs from Smash 4 and his main representative, Ranai, not being able to compete in tournaments, so I'd thought I'd try to help out.
Real quick :Some things to mention.
-Most attacks listed will have the damage they do to the opponent. The percentage listed does not include the 1v1 multipler, where in a 1v1 match in Smash Ultimate, damage will be increased. It also does not include stale moves, which is when a move has been used, it does less damage.
-Moves will have their frames listed. Smash Ultimate runs at 60 frames per second, which means that 1 frame is equal to 1/60th of a second, 2 frames is 1/30th of a second, 30 frames is a 1/2 of a second, and so on.
-The guide will assume you know some basic Smash tech, such as B-Reverses, buffers, etc.
-Most of the content is in spoilers because of the amount of text otherwise. Sorry if this nags you. Let's get started.
Attacks and Tilts:
Villager punches with boxing gloves in a quick flurry of attacks before using a finisher punch. The first punch comes out on Frame 3, can go to the second punch on Frame 6, and after 5 frames can go into the rapid jab, where the finisher can be used on Frame 7. Each punch does 1% not stale. While the glory that was Villager's Smash 4 Jab is long gone, this is still a good OOS(Out of Shield) option when N-Air is too stale and/or being in the air is a bad idea. It can be used as pressure against shields, and not starting the Rapid Jab makes it safer on shield.
Villager pulls out an umbrella and swings it forward. The attack comes out on Frame 8 and lasts for 33 frames. The attack does 9% not stale. It's safe on shield if you space it properly, and can be a good attack to use to mix it up.
Villager pulls a weed out of the ground, hurting anyone that's near them. It has two hitboxes, comes out on Frame 9, and lasts for 37 frames. The hixbox closer to Villager does 12%, and the far hitbox does 10%, both not stale. The sweet hitbox is a good kill move that can surprise an oppopent. The sour hitbox can be used to put an oppopent in a awkward landing position.
Villager waves a stick above their head. The move has two hitboxes, the first one comes out on Frame 7, the second hitbox comes out on Frame 22, and lasts for 47 frames total. It does 5% first hit, and 6% second hit. This move is a good combo extender as it perfectly syncs into Up-Air, but is not safe on shield and is pretty laggy.
Villager holds a potted sapling, and then trips, dropping the sapling, the pot then breaks, and Villager gets back up. The attack starts on Frame 10, lasts 44 frames, and has two hitboxes. The early hitbox does 10%,and the late hixbox does 6%, not stale. The pot actually falls off the stage, and can prop oppopents for a edgeguarding position.
The bowling ball. Villager drops a bowling ball onto the floor or of the stage. It starts on Frame 25, ends on Frame 49, and can be charged on Frame 16.It does more damage if the opponent is in the air rather than grounded. This move destroys bad/linear recoveries and kills at around 50% for heavyweights if it's charged a little. It can be avoided if you have a decent recovery or hug the stage, but if they hug the stage, you can force a stage spike or just actually spike them, and if they recover over the ledge, you can try to slingshot them back off the stage. It's a great move, use it wisely though, as it can be reflected even when Villager is dropping it in front of you.
Villager takes a shovel and digs right in front of them., and then right behind him, burying anyone that gets caught close to him. The move has two hitboxes. The first swing starts on Frame 9, and the second starting on Frame 29, lasts for 49 frames total, and can be charged on Frame 3. The move does 6% on sweetspot, and 3% on sourspot not stale. This is Villager's go-to kill confirm as it leads directly into bowling ball at 60% and can kill super early if you can charge the bowling ball. The sourspot is useless to you.It can be easily shielded however, so don't spam this move.
Villager sets up fireworks, and they go off, with Villager ducking underneath the explosion. It's a multi-hitting move. It starts on Frame 12, lasts 53 frames, and can be charged on Frame 7. The full move does around 10%. This is a disjointed hitbox that can be use as a mix up or a faster punish when you land a Down Smash. It can also be used to attack characters with moves like Sheik's Down Air, or Yoshi's Down-B.
Grabs and Throws:
Villager swings a net in front of them, trying to trap the opponent. Villager's regular grab comes out on Frame 14, and lasts for 43 frames. The dash grab comes out on Frame 16, and lasts for 47 frames. The pivot grab comes out on Frame 17, and lasts for 44 frames. Wen you get the grab, Villager can pummel the opponent. Each pummel starts on Frame 3, lasts for 19 frames, does 1.3% each, and account for the 14 frames of hitlag. Does this seem difficult to you. Allow me to simplify it.
TL:DR, this thing is almost pathetic. While Villager can get decent conversions and has decent throws, this disgusting low-quality net has more frames of lag than an average 600,00 GSP player. I cannot stress how rarely you can use this as punish as it lacks the range to jusify the endlag of it, and you whiff against an opponent, god forbid a swordfighter,pray to whatever higher being/person you want too.
Villager throws the opponent in front of them. The throw lasts 45 frames total, and does 9%. This really is nothing special, but can be used to throw someone offstage to start Villager's edgeguarding game.
Villager yeets the opponent behind them. The animation lasts for 45 frames, and does 11%. This is a shockingly decent kill throw that can actually get things done at around 120% at ledge. If you're at ledge and you land that grab and they're past 120%, go for it,
Villager swings the opponent upwards. The animation lasts for 45 and does 10%. This can be used to force an opponent to try to land back on the stage,which can be a rather difficult thing to do against Villager, with all of his aerials.
Villager swings the net and smacks it onto the ground, bouncing the opponent into the air. The animation lasts for 35 frames and does 6%. This is your combo throw, and leads directly into Forward Air at low-to-mid percents. This can seriously endanger the opponent as you can carry them near the blastzone, or to the blastzone, and with some heavyweights, past the blastzone. It's the main throw and reason why you'll ever throw out the net. Seriously, doesn't even have a silver net....
Villager spins in the air. The move comes out on Frame 3, lasts for 35 frames, and has 8 frames of landing lag. It has a sweet and sour spot and does 9%/5% depending on the hitbox. This is your go-to OOS option. It's also a great landing tool and can gimp characters who recover low, a great way to catch a double jump is to fastfall Neutral Air, and sometimes they just die.
For Forward Air and Back Air, Villager uses a slingshot to either shoot in front of them or behind them. These are separate moves, but they serve the same purpose. Forward Air starts on Frame 10, lasts for 39 frames, and has 14 frames of landing lag. Back starts on Frame 13, lasts for 34 frames, and has 14 frames of landing lag. The moves both have three hitboxes, when you're next to Villager, when you're close to him, and when you're far from him, Forward Air does 7%, 4%, and 2.5% depending on hthe hitbox, and Back Air does 9%, 5%, and 3%, depending on the hitbox. This is your bread and butter, your main tools in neutral, your edgeguarding tools, your combo extenders, it's all here. Forward Air is more convenient and faster. Back Air is stronger. These moves do not do a lot of shield damage, and probably won't kill directly, but they are your main tools, and they're great ones.
Villager pulls a random chance of 1-3 turnips at swings them upwards. The attack comes out on Frame 6, lasts for 42 frames, and has 12 frames of landing lag. The attack does 13% with 3 turnips, does 10% with 2 turnips, and does 8% with a single turnip, these turnips also have sour spot hitboxes, 6%/5%/4%. This is a great way to keep the opponent from landing or harressing them when they're on platforms as this move is fast, and can be retty strong, and is also decent at juggling.
Villager once again picks though 1-3 turnips, but this they swing downwards. This attack can spike. The attack comes out on Frame 14, lasts for a total of 45 frames, and has 12 frames of landing lag. The attack does 13% with 3 turnips, does 10% with 2 turnips, and does 8% with a single turnip. Just like Up-Air, the turnips can also sour-spot, 6%/5%/4%. This move is a quick spike that can be used when someone is being a bit careful against the bowling ball. It can go from being soul-crushingly weak to deceptively useful, it all depends on RNG.
Villager reaches out for something. If a projectile is near them at this time. they pocket it, if there isn't, they shrug. The move lasts for 50 frames. Villager can pocket an item for frames 8-23. Villager also is invulnerable on frames 5-23. When Villager pockets an item, it will stay in his inventory until he releases it, he dies, or some other factor depending on the item. When Villager releases the item, the animation is a total of 30 frames, and Villager releases the projectile on Frame 9. The damage output of the projectile is 1.9x the original damage of the projectile.This applies to all projectiles, from Mario's Fireball to Samus' Charge Shot. Pocket can be a very useful niche, especially when it's a item you pocket that can only have one out at a time. Examples include King K.Rool's Crown, Link's Bomb, and Diddy's Banana, once pocketed, they can't use the item. Pocket can be used as an escape option for landing since B-Reverseing it plus being invulnerable can be great.
Villager magically summons a Lloid rocket that goes horizontally, if you hold the side special, Villager will ride it. Villager gets put in a animation for 35 frames, and the Lloid starts in 52 frames. The Lloid can explode if hit by a strong enough attack or reflected. The hitbox comes out super early and has serious knockback. A regular Lloid can do 7% (the early hithitbox), 5% (the late hitbox), and 12% (the explosion) , with Villager riding it, it does 15% early hitbox, 11% late hitbox, and 18% for the explosion. When Villager hits an opponent while riding it, or a shield, they jump off in the air, this does not consume a jump.
Wow, that was a mouthful.
So basically, Lloid is your other main tool in neutral and can be used to pressure shields and is your only real way of getting a grab. It can be used to stall in the air, and recover horizonally, where it covers an amazing distance, but be warned, Villager will fall off in a helpless falling animation, and can be punished without them having any options other than ledge. Be careful when riding it.
Villager equips a helmet with balloons and pumps their arms to fly in the air. The move has 30 frames of endlag in freefall, and 20 frames of endlag with both balloons. Villager's balloons can be popped by hurtboxes, one balloon cripples Villager's recovery, and when both are popped, Villager bounces a little before going into freefall and falling into the endless void. It's an amazing veritcal recovery, but if you spam it, it turns from starting with two baloons to one, always try to mix it up with airdodges, wall-jumps and double jumps.(Lloid too, I guess
Oh boy, one last long one.
Villager goes though a three-step process by planting a sapling, watering the sapling, causing it to grow into a tree than cutting it down with an axe. The tree takes two chops from a side. Planting the sapling takes 43 frames total, and cannot be used in the air because that's not how plants work. Watering it takes 54 frames, and the water comes out on frame 5. The tree needs to be decently watered, but Villager can move around and jump while in the animation. The tree growing does damage and thus can be used to your advantage. The water also has windbox properties similar to Mario's F.L.U.D.D and Squirtle's Water Gun. The tree becomes a giant hurtbox and can be used a wall to block attacks, but can only take a certain amount of punishment. The tree growing takes 46 frames and does 18%. The axe you use to chop the tree can be used as a weapon. It comes out on Frame 6, has 47 frames of lag, unless hiting the tree, in which case it's 54 frames. It does 14% and it's stupidly strong for some reason. Finally, the tree getting cut down, takes 16 frames, and does 25%.This thing is a monster in damage. The axe is a good tool to kill stupidly early and damage shields severly, the tree itself can be a decent wall and growing it at the right time yields a high reward, and there's nothing like dropping a giant tree onto a recovering opponent's head. Keep in mind it takes an extremely long time to grow it and everything and landing the actual dropped tree is unlikely, but the axe didn't spawn all the weird creepy Villager memes for nothing.
Villager's spotdodge lasts for 25 frames, but can be cancelled on Frame 20 for any ground attack. Villager has invulnerability on Frames 3-17 used fresh, and the spotdodge has 33 frames of lag total stale, but can be canceled 5 frames eariler, the time invulnerable does not change.Villager's forward roll lasts for 29 frames, and is invulnerable on Frames 4-15. Villager's back roll lasts 34 frames and is invulnerable on Frames 5-16.
-Neutral Airdodge: 57 total frames of lag, 10 frames of landing lag, and is invulnerable on Frames 3-30.
-Downward Airdodge: 80 frames of lag, 11-19 frames of landing lag, and is invulnerable on Frames 3-21.
Diagonally Down Airdodge: 87 frames of lag,11-19 frames of landing lag, and is invulnerable on Frames 3-21.
Left/Right Airdodge: 96 frames of lag,11-19 frames of landing lag, and is invulnerable on Frames 3-21.
Diagonally Upward Airdodge:111 frames of lag,11-19 frames of landing lag, and is invulnerable on Frames 3-21.
Upward Airdodge: 128 frames of lag,11-19 frames of landing lag, and is invulnerable on Frames 3-21.
-Villager is a middleweight with a weight of 92, making them the same weight as Wolf, Ice Climbers, and Lucario.
-Villager, unlike Isabelle, can walljump.
-Villager's runspeed is 73rd for fastest at 1.397, an atrocious speed sitting at the bottom five, making running a horrible option unless doing an instant dash attack.
-Villager's intial dashspeed ties for 58th at 1.815, tying with Luigi, Isabelle, Ike, King Dedede, Robin, and Lucas, which is more important than running because of dash dancing.
-Villager's airspeed is tied for 57th with Snake, at 0.987, which Villager makes up for with projectiles and B-Reverse Pocket
-Villager's fall speed is at 67 tied with Luigi, making them considerably floaty and able to think about his recovery options.
As Villager, you need stage control. Pressure with Lloid Rocket to force them shield or jump. If they jump, slingshot them, if they shield, grab them. If they spotdodge, try to punish it with Jab, if they roll, slingshot. You can inch your control with slingshot, abusing the three hitboxes to get them offstage.
Offstage is where Villager thrives, edgeguard them with bowling ball, slingshot, down air, a giant tree, your axe, gimp them with neutral air, you can cover so much. If they jump on stage or recover over, use slingshot. If they get-up attack, shield and down smash, if they regular get up, Jab or use a fast option. If they roll, punish with a smash attack. If they drop-down and jump back on, shield and slingshot. If the invisibility frames run out on ledge, bowling ball. Abuse your options.
This is where Villager struggles, Villager is pretty light, and his recovery, if used to much, becomes obsolete. So mix it up, use double jumps, wall jumps, airdodges, Up-B most of the time, but be careful, as it can be gimped, and use Lloid for stalling if you have too,although recovering with it can be risky. Remember you can use slingshot to interrupt smash attacks ad if they use projectiles, pocket.
-Is extremely good at edgeguarding.
-Has an excellent advantage state and is good at winning neutral.
-Has a nice clutch factor, is able to quickly end stocks if given the chance.
-Good at breaking combos with light weight and Frame 3 N-Air.
-Great zoning and set-ups.
-Pretty light and easy to kill.
-Recovery can be gimped with proper timing and Up-B can't be spammed.
-Can have difficulty killing onstage.
-Does not have the greatest disadvantage.
-Struggles against characters that can outcamp and swordfighters
This is a match-up spread. This is the part that is not objective and I tried to research the match-ups, here it is.