Lady Palutena's Guidance

Lady Palutena's Guidance

Applicable Games
Smash 3DS, Smash Wii U


Palutena is the Goddess of Light and representative of the Kid Icarus Franchise along with Pit and Dark Pit. She's one of the many interesting newcomers and she is a blast to play! If you're looking to pick her up for the first time, or just want to know learn something new about her, you're in the right place!

NOTE: The images in this guide (that aren't headers) are gfycat videos. There are buttons to play the video just in the bottom right corner under the video.

About me

Hello everyone! I've been playing Super Smash Brothers since the N64 days but it's only in the past year I've gotten into the tournament scene. Since then I've read a lot of discussions and played a lot of matches mostly in Melee, Project M and now Smash 4. I figured I would try to give back to the community by writing a guide for my favorite newcomer in Smash 4 since there didn't seem to be many others out there right now for the Goddess of Light, Palutena.

I am currently ranked 9th in the Ontario Smash 4 PR and have made it onto the PR every season so far. I'm one of the Palutena players with the best results in the world, along with the other two most notable Palutena mains currently being TLTC and Prince Ramen.

Palutena was one of my favorite characters in Kid Icarus Uprising where she gets most of her moves, character design and personality for Super Smash Bros for Wii U / 3DS. Since she got into the game, she's been the character I've used the most and the one I've had the most fun with. Although I am tailoring this more to beginners looking to pick up Palutena, I hope I will be to impart some useful knowledge to Palutena users of all skill levels.





  • Overview
  • Glossary of Terms
  • Movement Options
  • Grabbing and Throwing
  • Ground Attacks
  • Aerial Attacks
  • Specials – Default Moveset only
  • Specials - Alternates (Under construction)
  • Ledge Canceled Warp
  • Palutena Tactics and Strategy
  • General Goals as Palutena
    • Spacing
    • Air Options
    • Approach Options
    • Combo Options
    • General Match Up Advice (Under construction)
    • Stage Selection Advice (Under construction)
      • Basic Stage Selection
      • Factoring in Match Ups
  • Stage Analysis
  • Match Ups
  • Breakdown of Palutena's Most Useful Moves (TL;DR section)
  • Videos & Palutena Advanced Techniques
  • Frame Data
  • The End

Palutena is one of the many newcomer fighters to Super Smash Bros. Like many of the newcomers she has access to an interesting set of moves and new playstyle. In general Palutena is more of a defensive fighter. She does have approach options but she won't be rushing anyone down like Fox or Diddy Kong. Instead, many of her default special moves as well as her normals focus more on spacing to keep the opponent out of reach. She is able to mix spacing offensively and defensively to rack up damage quickly and has access to some powerful KO moves, though they are risky to use.

First off, I will give a list of her general strengths and weaknesses.

General
  • Strengths
    • Very fast ground movement
    • Overall great aerial moves (Fair and Bair being the best)
    • Good spacing tools (Jab, Dtilt, Fair)
    • Jab can lead into grabs and combos
    • High priority on some moves (Bair, Dash Attack)
    • Down throw can almost always lead to combos
    • Has access to a reflector that can also be used for offstage pressure (rarely)
    • Warp special is a great recovery move
    • Some default specials may only be useful in certain match ups
  • Weaknesses
    • Light and easy to launch and KO
    • Tall and easier to hit than other characters
    • Most tilts and Smashes have lots of lag
    • Majority of kill moves have lots of lag
    • Has trouble dealing with faster characters
    • Default specials don't work well in every match up
Custom Moves and Palutena

Palutena is the only character to get access to all of her special moves right away. Unfortunately custom moves at the time of writing this guide are still not allowed at many tournaments and as a result I haven't really tried out her custom moves that much yet. This guide will therefore be tailored towards a default Palutena moveset. In the future I hope to add more information about the other special moves as I get more experience with them. For now, feel free to experiment!


DI: Directional Influence. By holding the control stick parallel to the direction you are sent flying, your trajectory is influenced up to 20 degrees in that direction. For example if you are thrown directly up, by holding left, you will be sent flying up and diagonally left. Because the stages blast zones form a rectangle, going diagonally left means you're less likely to get KO'd than going straight up. For Palutena, DI will influence a few mix ups and affect follow ups for your down throw if your opponent DIs the move.

Spacing: Keeping your opponent at maximum range of your attacks and unable to punish you. Spacing out an opponent means you won't let them in right next to you. For Palutena you generally don't want characters right in your face since you have no benefit in having people up close while many of your opponents will. For example, using an aerial right next to an opponent and landing in front will most likely get you grabbed if they shield. If you space out your move far enough away, they will be unable to grab and will be unable to punish (or at least be harder to punish) if you space your move correctly.

Rage: When a character is hurt, they will gain rage for every percent they have. The more rage a character has, the further they launch enemies. This does not affect how much damage you do. This will allow you to KO even easier when you're at higher percents, making your lower power KO options such as bair and dash attack more dangerous when you're at high percents. Be careful since this also applies to your opponent. Rage affect will not only affect how easily you kill your opponent but will also change what percentage combos will work at.

RAR: Reverse Aerial Rush – When moving towards an opponent, you can flick the control stick away from them, and quickly input a jump and an aerial back towards your opponent. What this ends up doing is turning your character around and then immediately using a Bair (Back Air) instead of using a forward air. This can allow you to approach your opponent and use a fair or bair at any moments notice.

SHFF (Short Hop Fast Fall): Doing a short hop (Tap the jump button lightly) and fast falling (pushing down on the control stick) immediately at the apex of your jump. The purpose of this is to allow you to perform aerials very quickly and close to the ground. For Palutena this important for using her Forward Air and Back Air if you want to hit opponents on the ground with these attacks.

Ledge Cancelling: Using a move near the edge of the platform which causes you to fall off the ledge and removing the landing lag of your move. For Palutena this is used with her warp (Up B) to cancel the landing lag of the move, allowing you increased mobility. It is difficult to perform Ledge Cancelling in Smash 4 as many moves will end up keeping you caught on the ledge now instead of falling off the ledge.

Auto Cancelling: By using an aerial move in the air, you can time it so that when you land, you have no landing lag. This is commonly used with SHFF'd aerials to be able to attack quickly and not be susceptible to landing lag from the move you used. Not every move has this property but I will go over which moves of Palutena's will.

Priority: The higher the priority of the move, the more likely it will beat out and completely nullify an opponent's move. Equal priority moves will cancel out, dealing no damage to either player.





Run and Walk Speed: http://gfycat.com/FamiliarScaredCopepod

Palutena is a surprisingly mobile character. She has a decently quick dash and walk speed, although most of the time you won't be using these. Here is a visual of her walk speed and dash speed.

Shielding immediatly after Dash: http://gfycat.com/CheeryDismalKoi

Her dash is surprisingly quick and easy to act out of. She can dash and go into shield relatively quickly, which can lead to some good approach options if you expect an opponent to attack you as you dash towards them.

The dash animation also ends quite quickly but it's probably not a good idea to wait for the animation to end as you could be doing something else within that time frame. You could have went into shield much earlier, grabbed or jumped to do one of your aerials instead.

Rolling and Dodging: http://gfycat.com/OptimisticNimbleHornet

You can also go into a roll as well from shield. Her spot dodge and roll have the property of turning her invisible when she performs them. This can make it a lot harder for opponents predict where you will end up, making it more useful than many other rolls in the game.

Palutena also has access to her warp (Up B) for moving around the field. Further in the guide I detail how to use this in combination with Ledge Cancelling in order to give Palutena even more movement options on the battlefield.

Movement Breakdown
  • Very fast movement
  • Very short initial Dash animation
    • Dash ends quickly, allowing you to go into other moves
  • Able to go into shield from dash very quickly
  • Invisible spot dodge and shield roll makes you harder to predict and react to
  • Decent Walk speed
  • Warp special and Jump Glide Special can get you moving around quickly





There are two types of grabs, long range and short range. Characters like Link, Samus, Zero Suit Samus, Pacman, etc, have access to grabs that go a far distance but tend to be either slower or have a lot more lag before you can act again. Palutena like most characters uses a short range grab but unfortunately the animation for both her dash grab and her standing grab are both a little on the slow side compared to some other characters.

Her standing grab is superior to her dash grab however and due to how quickly Palutena brings up her shield when dashing, you can dash, shield and grab very quickly. It's a safer option than using dash grab most of the time.

Getting a grab in with Palutena is rather key to her game as her down throw is one of her most important tools for leading into combos and potential kill options.

Grab Lag: http://gfycat.com/EmbarrassedHeartfeltDragonfly
Standing Grab Range: http://gfycat.com/LinedWearyJavalina
Dash grab Range: http://gfycat.com/BigheartedHollowComet
Pivot Grab: http://gfycat.com/RareDelayedAmethystsunbird


Grab Overview
  • Close range grab
  • Grab Range is decent on normal grab, short on Dash grab
  • Grab is a bit slow
  • Dash grab is even slower
  • Pivot grab has extended range, cooldown about as long as dash grab
Pummel – 3% damage
GfyCat: http://gfycat.com/AnyFickleAmericanratsnake

After the grab you can throw your opponent as well as pummel them for damage using the attack button. Palutena's pummel does around 3% for every pummel. Unfortunately the pummel is a bit slow so use this sparingly if you still want to throw an opponent as they may get out before the pummel animation ends.



Throws
Throws and Kill Throws: http://gfycat.com/GraveHeavyLacewing

Most of Palutena's throws are decent but almost none of them have any killing power except for Back throw (which doesn't have that much KO power). The most useful throw of all is the down throw since it will be leading into combos most of the time. The rest are mostly for just dealing extra damage, getting rid of stale moves or positioning your opponent for a follow up.

Forward Throw – 9% Damage
  • Does not have much scaling from opponent's damage percent
  • Opponents are sent flying around the same distance each time until much higher percents
Back Throw – 10% Damage
  • Does not send people that far
  • Can kill at high percents depending on weight and your rage effect (Best used when near the ledge)

Up Throw – 8% Damage
  • Opponents are sent to far for any direct follow ups to combo off
  • Will put opponents in the air for pressure from aerials

Down Throw – 5% Damage
  • Primary Combo throw (Can combo even during high percents)
  • Opponents get popped upwards by default (no DI)
  • Can combo into forward air, neutral air, or up air
  • Watch for an opponent's DI (Directional Influence) so that you can follow up with the appropriate move.


Overview of when to use each throw

Forward Throw: Use it to throw people off the stage if you can give good pressure on them offstage.

Back Throw: Kill throw at high percents and with rage. When your back is to the ledge of the stage and they are at high percent, throw back for a potential kill. This depends on the opponent's weight and how much damage you have as a result of the rage affect.

Down Throw: Best throw. Combo throw. Use this whenever you want to try to deal damage, at the very least you can usually lead into a Forward Air which will deal the same damage as another throw and leave you in a good position.

Up Throw: Only use this when you want to pressure them from the air. Usually one of the other throws is a better option.

Potential Mix Ups: If opponents are at a high percent and you have them near the edge of the stage, (with you facing away from the edge) you have an option for a mix up. Your back throw could potentially kill, meaning they might DI to try to avoid death. However the way they must DI can actually give you a chance to use your down throw, leading into an up air which is one of your better KO moves. This mix up means you opponent has to guess which way you'll throw since if they DI wrong, you can get a kill either via back throw or down throw to up air / up smash.





The general complaint about Palutena is that her tilts and her smash attacks just have too much lag. But every move has it's uses though some will be used more frequently than others. I will go over every move, it's strengths, weaknesses and where you can use them.



Jab and Dash Attack


Neutral A (Jab)
3% per jab hit and 8% for a jab combo

Gfycat: http://gfycat.com/ActualFeminineHornedtoad

This is probably her best ground attack and one of the better jabs in the game. Hitting A multiple times will lead to a jab combo, but it's better to use a single hit instead. This jab has pretty good range and a single hit can lead into a lot of different follow ups. It can even combo into grabs at low to high percents and at VERY high percents, can combo into a Bair or an up smash.

One extra bit of information is that jab can nullify lighter projectiles. This won't work against a charged Samus shot. That's what your reflector is for!

This is one of your bread and butter moves, learn to space this properly and convert it into follow ups to take control of the match.

Jab Combo: http://gfycat.com/OblongReflectingAntipodesgreenparakeet

Note: There are some issues against certain characters. If you jab some characters like Kirby, when they land on the ground you may be unable to do a follow up grab or even a jab. Kirby's hit box becomes very low, although if he crounches you can still grab him or jab him.

Missed Jab Follow up: http://gfycat.com/ShoddyMiserableGander
Crouching Kirby: http://gfycat.com/DampForcefulHectorsdolphin

Overview
  • Long Range Jab
  • Can lead into jab combo (Mash A Button) for around 8%
  • Extremely useful for poking and leads into other follow ups
  • You can time it so you can do a single jab and go into other moves
    • Practice doing a single jab and continue doing it over and over to get the hang of the timing.
General Usage
  • Extremely useful for poking, this is one of your primary tools for spacing
  • Leads into many other follow ups (listed below)
  • Generally best to use only a single jab then reposition yourself or follow up with another move
  • A good option when an opponent is trying to get up near the ledge.
    • If they stand up, you can convert into the jab combo to catch them and deal some damage.
    • If they roll, the lag on the move is so low you should be able to reposition to grab them or dash attack.
Can Combo into
  • Jab into Jab
  • Jab into Grab
  • Jab into Down tilt (Doesn't work that well)
  • High Percent (When opponents are knocked up off quite high off the ground)
    • Jab into Up Smash at high percents
    • Jab into Forward Smash at high percents
    • Jab into Up Tilt at high percents
  • Jab into Bair at VERY HIGH PERCENTS
    • Essentially if the enemy is sent into a falling animation in the air


Dash Attack
9% damage (Single Hit)
GfyCat: http://gfycat.com/OrneryTautHairstreakbutterfly

Palutena's dash attack comes out very quickly and has a high amount of priority since she uses her shield, beating out a lot of other moves. The move also has a decent amount of KO power, and knocks the opponent upwards, making it a decent KO move on low ceilings.

Unfortunately it also has quite a bit of lag after using it, meaning you can be easily punished if you miss or they shield the attack. The dash attack is best used as either a punish due to how fast the attack comes out, or a follow up after combos such as fair to dash attack (only works at mid percents around 40 to 60 depending on the weight of the character and rage).

Like the jab and her Bair (Back Air), this one can nullify projectiles if timed correctly. It should be able to take beefier projectiles like her bair, and should be able to stop more than her jab can (unconfirmed though). This can come pretty handy should someone try to use a projectile while you close in on them with the dash attack.

Overview
  • Pros
    • Comes out very quickly
    • Decent KO power vertically
    • Hit box is deceptively big and lasts a bit after the initial shield swing
      • Sour spot if using the later end of the hitbox
  • Cons
    • Has a large amount of lag after the move

General Uses
  • Use as a punish on an opponent's attack if they aren't in range of your other punish options or you aren't confident in judging your grab range.
  • Can catch landing opponents if timed right
  • Can be combo'd into fair
  • It's a bad idea to dash attack an opponent in neutral since the lag behind the move makes it easy to punish if they shield.

Can be combo'd into by...
  • Fair to Dash Attack at 40% to 60%, depends on weight and rage. Essentially if an opponent is sent into tumbling state by your fair and is low to the ground, you should be able to combo into a dash attack


Tilts
Forward Tilt
6% damage on hit (Can hit twice if right next to opponent)

GfyCat: http://gfycat.com/JampackedSickBuckeyebutterfly

This is a very long lasting tilt attack and comes out decently quickly. The problem is that if you miss this attack and an opponent manages to roll behind you, the duration is so long that someone can punish with a smash attack. You will have to be careful when you use this attack due to how it can severely it can be punished.

This means you shouldn't throw it out for general spacing. Instead it is a kind of barely decent option for punishing spot dodges as well as rolls because the hit box lasts so long. You'll want to space the move just at the very tip. If opponents try to roll in, they should be hit by the attack still, otherwise if they are too close they might be able roll in behind you and get a good smashing punish.

Whilst dashing, you tab to the other side of your dash, resulting in a pivot FTilt. This comes out right away which can help with your spacing and catch opponents by surprise. This will help with reaching with the tip of the attack and lower your chances of being punished.

Side Note: If the opponent is shielding, you can hit their shield multiple times
http://gfycat.com/BestUnfoldedFoal

Another Side Note: It is possible to hit multiple times with the tilt if you are right next to the opponent but it depends on their percentage.
http://gfycat.com/MajorUnhealthyFurseal

Overall use the move sparingly since there generally isn't too much reward for actually landing the move and there is quite a bit of risk to even throw it out. Not a recommended move to use.


Overview
  • Pros
    • Hit box stays out for a long time
    • Fairly good range
    • Good for hitting spot dodges and rolls due to the long duration of the hitbox
    • Can hit up to three times on shield
      • If an opponent is hit, only gets hurt by the first hit unless they are right next to you
  • Cons
    • Very long lasting so if you miss, you can get punished severely
    • Very little damage even if you do hit with it

General Usage
  • If you use this, try to hit with the edge of the hit box.
  • Can be used to space out opponent's and prevent them from rolling in since if you hit them with the edge of the hitbox, if they roll in, they will be hit by the attack anyways
  • Avoid using this too often because if you space it wrong or miss, opponents can get a harsh punish due to the length of the move
  • Often better to use other options since there is not much reward even if you land it. You have better spacing options that are safer.
Up Tilt
8% damage (if all hits connect)

GfyCat: http://gfycat.com/BlankUnripeDogfish

Similar to the forward tilt, this move comes out relatively quickly and lasts a long time and has a higher amount of KO power than her other tilts (Still not that much though). The staff will hit multiple times and Palutena will be crouched low, making it more difficult to hit her from the air. This move works well as an anti-air for opponent's just above you. It's not a good idea to use this next to an opponent on the ground as the horizontal reach of this move isn't that large. Like the forward tilt, try to avoid throwing out this move a lot since if you miss, you can be punished with a smash attack or worse quite easily.

This move not only lowers Palutena's hit box but it also has quite a bit of priority from attacks above her as well. This move as well as her uair (up air) are able to stop moves such as Bowser's Down B and Yoshi's Down B. Keep this move in mind if you see heavy moves coming down at you and you don't have much time to react. If you do have time to react, consider using a harder punish.


Overview
  • Pros
    • Hit box stays out for a long time
    • A good anti air move
    • Decent vertical range
    • Palutena's hitbox is very low which allows it to beat out most aerials above her
    • Has a good amount of priority
  • Cons
    • Long hit box duration makes it easy to punish if whiffed
    • Bad horizontal range
General Usage
  • Use as an anti air when an opponent is approaching from above
  • Can be used to catch opponent's air dodging into you below as the extended hitbox will catch them
  • Be careful in using this due to the long duration of the move since you can be punished badly
  • Can be combo'd into from a jab at really high percents (Only with no or poor DI though)


Down Tilt
8% damage (Single Hit)
GfyCat: http://gfycat.com/RingedOrnateCapybara

By far Palutena's fastest tilt, Palutena crouches low and spins her staff low to the ground. Unlike her other tilts, this move will only ever hit once. The attack comes out very quickly and lasts a short amount of time, but the hit box remains active for the entire duration and she recovers from the move very quickly. This makes it useful for catching spot dodges or rolls due to the extended hit box duration.

The range on this move is longer than her jab and works as a good option to mix up for poking along with your jab every now and then (jab is generally a better idea though). The hitbox and the low lag of the move make it a good option near the ledge as it can be used to hit opponents off the ledge when their invincibility expires, or catch an opponent using the normal get up option.

Overview
  • Pros
    • Hit box stays out to catch spot dodges and rolls (Shorter than F-Tilt and Up-Tilt)
    • Works as a decent poke since it comes out very fast and has little lag
    • Lowers Palutena's hit box a bit while she uses the move
  • Cons
    • Doesn't have much vertical range
    • If initial hit it shielded early, can be rather vulnerable
  • Neutral
    • Hit box only hits once on shield and when an opponent is hit
      • Hitting with the move later on an enemy shield is safer than doing it earlier
    • Longer range than a normal jab
General Usage
  • Good spacing tool and it has longer reach then the jab. It can also catch rolls and spot dodges.
  • Mix it up with the jab since they both offer different spacing options
    • Jab covers the air and comes out faster though, so usually it's the safer option
  • Can hit opponents off the ledge if their invincibility runs out
  • Can help cover ledge options, beating opponents out if they do a normal stand up due to the hit box duration



Smash Attacks

Universally Palutena's Smashes tend to have a lot of cooldown compared to a lot of other characters. To balance this, they actually have a large amount of KO power and great range on almost all of them. To land a Smash will require a risky read on your opponent's movements so you will have to weigh whether or not it's worth it to try for the KO or not since a good spot dodge or roll, or improper spacing could let the opponent smash you in return.

Smash Attacks: http://gfycat.com/GiftedJovialAfricangoldencat



Forward Smash
16% dmg & 22% fully charged (13% weak spot & 18% charged weak spot)

GfyCat: http://gfycat.com/CostlyOblongEland

Forward smash has a lot of KO power and sends opponents horizontally and vertically a bit. It can kill at relatively low percents and has a good amount of range and comes out relatively quickly. Just after the tip of the wings, a windbox will spawn to push opponents back that makes it slightly safer to use. Like all her smashes, this move does have a fair amount of ending lag so make sure to space this near the tip of the hitbox since if they shield, they may be pushed back enough to avoid a painful punish.

One more thing to note is that the tip of the hitbox (At the tip of the wings) is in fact a sour spot, meaning you have less KO power than near the middle, so take this into account when you're spacing the move. Sometimes you might want to try for that extra KO power rather than trying to space it if you are sure you'll hit it. If you miss judge spacing near the tip, only the wind box might come out, giving opponents a better opportunity to punish whereas they could have had less of a chance if you had actually landed the move in the first place on their shield.


Overview
  • Pros
    • Very strong KO power
    • Comes out relatively quickly
    • Has a wind box past the tip of the wings
    • Long horizontal range
  • Cons
    • Has long ending lag
  • Other information
    • Sour spot near the tip of the move. It has a less knock back when you hit with the tip of the wings.
General Usage
  • Use it if you know you can get a hard read on an opponent since the KO power of this move is very good.
  • When you use it, try to space the attack to hit near the tip of the wings if you want to be safer, although this will lower your KO power due to the sour spot.
    • Opponents will be pushed back if they shield and the wind box will also push them back.
  • If you have a guaranteed punish try to hit closer in order to get maximum KO potential.
  • Like any smash attack it's risky to use this so only throw this out when you know you can land it or won't be punished too severely.
Up Smash
16% dmg at pillar & 22% full charge (12% weak & 16% weak full charge)
GfyCat: http://gfycat.com/EachDistantFirecrest

Palutena's Up Smash is the highest up smash in the game, extending all the way over the top battlefield platform. The move has three spots of varying power, one at the very base where it has gtreat KO power, one at the tip which has the least amount of damage and power, and anywhere else along the hit box, which does a decent amount of knock back but not nearly as much as the base. Due to the crazy reach of this move, you can always threaten opponents above you and condition them to air dodge early so you can punish them with another move. Like all of her other smashes this move has a decent amount of lag at the end so don't be overzealous with using this move.

If opponents don't sweet spot the ledge, this move can catch opponents recovering and by hitting them with the base, at high percents will most likely lead to a KO. The hit box isn't that wide horizontally so be careful about your positioning with this move.

This is the smash attack with the best chance of you being able to follow it up. At higher percents, a jab can be followed into an up smash as long as the opponent is knocked up high enough by the jab and isn't knocked away too far. A down throw can be used if the opponent does not DI away and if you condition an opponent to air dodge right away after the down throw. The reason they might air dodge right away is because you've been following up your down throws with aerials all the time, so you can mix it up by throwing an up smash instead to catch the end of the air dodge if they decide to do so.


Overview
  • Pros
    • Very strong Vertical KO power
    • Comes out very quickly
    • Extremely long reach vertically
  • Cons
    • Thin hit box horizontally
    • Relatively long ending lag
  • Other Info
    • Sweet spot at the base of the pillar (16% damage)
    • Sour spot at the edge of the pillar (9% damage and even less knock back)
    • Normal spot everywhere else (12% damage)
General Usage
  • You can surprise opponents in the air if they aren't expecting the pillar to reach them. Make them begin to fear the up smash so you can start forcing them to air dodge early and punish with other moves.
  • This can sometimes catch opponents recovering to the ledge if they don't grab the ledge right away. This will hit with the sweet spot as well, giving a lot of potential for a KO
  • This can be used in conjunction with a down throw if you can condition opponents to air dodge early after a down throw. Bait them into the air dodge and use an up smash to send them sky high.
Down Smash
15% dmg close & 21% full charge (13% at edge & 18% fully charged)
[spoiler]

GfyCat: http://gfycat.com/VapidElaborateBrownbear


Palutena sprouts angelic wings and hits on both sides of her, sending opponent flying away. If the opponent is closer, they are sent more vertically while if they are near the tip of the hitbox, they are sent flying away horizontally. This move unfortunately has less KO power than the forward smash and up smash.

The hit box on this move is not as long as the forward smash but it hits on both sides of her and it still has the wind box on both sides. Unfortunately due to the shorter range, it makes it even more punishable if blocked, even if the tip of the hit box hits and pushes opponents back. It is a potential option for reading rolls but is generally a risky option due to the lag after the attack.

In addition while the hit box on the forward smash looks generally accurate, the hit box on the down smash is even further from the tips of the wings for this move, making it look like you will hit but only end up using the windbox. Be careful and learn where the hit box actually ends up going so you don't improperly space the move should you use it.


Overview
  • Pros
    • Decent KO power (Less than Forward Smash and Up Smash)
    • Wings hit on both sides of Palutena
    • Wings both have wind boxes near the tip
  • Cons
    • Shorter range than forward smash
    • Long lag like all other Smashes
    • Less KO power than other smashes on average
  • Other information
    • The closer you hit, the more vertically an opponent is sent. The farther you are when the hit box hits, the more horizontally they are sent.

General Usage
  • You can use this to catch rolls if you aren't sure what side they will end up on you.
  • Due to the shorter range on this smash is, it's more easily punished than a forward smash so it's riskier to use this move
  • In general it's better to avoid using this since if you have a guaranteed punish with a smash, a forward smash or an up smash will be better options since they have more KO power.
Overview of Ground attacks
Here I will give a quick breakdown of every move and if you should use it.

Jab: Use it for spacing, leading into combos, doing pressure. It's one of your bread and butter moves. Try to apply single jab rather than mashing a into the jab combo. It can be mixed up with Dtilt for spacing which can catch rolls and spot dodges. Can combo into throws or up smash and bair at high percents.

Ftilt: Use it for spacing and for catching spot dodges and rolls due to the long hit box. Avoid using too often because the long duration of the move can get you punished badly.

Utilt: Anti air move and for when opponents are just barely above you. Can KO at higher percents. Avoid using too often because of the long duration of the move.

Dtilt: Spacing tool like jab. Can catch spot dodges and rolls. Can be used near the ledge to cover get up options. Can be mixed up with Jab for spacing and has longer range than jab but is less safe to use and doesn't cover the air as much as jab.

Dash Attack: Comes out very fast so if you are far away, it's a good option for punishing opponents if you can't reach with any other move. At high percents and with rage, you might even get a kill out of it.

Forward Smash: Great KO move. If used, you can try to space near the edge of the hit box to keep yourself safe. Long lag like all smashes but has a windbox to push enemies back. Great for guaranteed punishes, but don't hit with the tip or you will get less knockback.

Up Smash: Great KO move. Sweetspot at the base of the pillar and reaches extremely high. Use the height to create pressure and catch opponents off guard. Long lag like all smashes. Great for guaranteed punishes, dash up to them and up smash.

Down Smash: Decent KO move. Smaller hitbox than forward smash but can be good for catching rolls at it hits on both sides. Use sparingly since it's even less safe than using a forward smash.



Recommended Moves to use the most
  • Jab (Spacing)
  • Dtilt (Spacing and ledge guarding but less useful than jab overall)
  • Dash Attack (Quick punishes)
  • Up Smash (KO and pressuring aerial opponents)
  • Forward Smash (KO for punishing opponents)





Pretty much all of Palutena's aerials have good uses. Her two best aerials are her Fair and her Bair and they will be her bread and butter aerials moves both in air and near the ground. Her Uair has good potential for a KO as well as her Bair. Her neutral air can be used to lead into combos and her down air is her only spike move although it's hard to land.



NAIR – Neutral Air
11% damage (If all hits connect)

GfyCat: http://gfycat.com/SpectacularFantasticBackswimmer

Palutena spins her staff around, hitting opponents multiple times, with the last hit sending opponents away. At low percents you can combo this move into a fair, bair, uair or even another nair depending on the weight of the opponent and their DI. You can do a full hop and fastfalled nair in order to use the move and have no landing lag (Auto Cancelled)

Do not use this move to challenge opponents above you as the hit box around Palutena is not that large and if they use their own dair, chances are you will be hit. If you want to challenge opponents above you, use an uair as it has a wider hit box and more priority. However if you feel they will air dodge, you can follow them downwards and use a nair to catch them since the duration of the hit box will catch them out of their air dodge when it ends.

Full Hop Fast Falled Nair: http://gfycat.com/GlamorousScaredArcticfox
Short Hop Nair: http://gfycat.com/EntirePoorAntlion

Overview
  • Palutena spins her staff around herself, hitting opponents multiple times for around 11% total damage. The last hit sends them flying
  • Hit box isn't too large around Palutena
  • At low percents can combo into other aerials or grounded moves if near platforms

General uses
  • Good for pressure on opponents on platforms above
    • Can land on certain platforms (Depending on the height of the platform) with no lag after a full hop and you can follow up with more pressure
    • Or land back under the platform and continue pressure form there
  • Catch people out of air dodges
  • Auto Cancel by using Full Hop Fast fall

Can be combo'd into by...
  • Down throw into Nair(depends on DI of opponent)

Follow ups
  • Nair into Nair at low percents (by use of platforms)
  • Nair into Fair at low to mid percents
  • Nair into Bair at low to mid percents
  • Nair into Uair at low to mid percents
  • Nair into Jab at low percents (by use of platforms)



FAIR – Forward Air
7% damage

GfyCat: http://gfycat.com/GrizzledGrimIlsamochadegu

This is Palutena's bread and butter air attack. It looks like Zelda's lightning kicks but unlike those it does not have a sweet spot, meaning it will always deal the same damage and knock back no matter where it hits. It does very little knock back but it has long reach and very little landing lag, making it a great tool for spacing opponents both in the air and on the ground. Mix this up with jabs, dtilts, bairs in order to space out your opponents. Be careful about using this right next to an opponent since it does not provide a lot of shield stun, meaning if you are too close, opponents can grab you out of the move. Hit them near the tip even though it doesn't have a sweet spot.

Not only is this a great spacing tool but hitting opponents a low percents can generally lead into either grabs or jabs which will lead into more combos!

SHFFL'D Fairs: http://gfycat.com/IllThreadbareAfricanwildcat
Barely any Lag with SHFFL'D Fair: http://gfycat.com/SilentVictoriousGoosefish
Slight lag with delayed SHFFL'D Fair: http://gfycat.com/PitifulAmazingAsianelephant

Overview
  • Pros
    • Comes out very quickly
    • Long horizontal hit box
    • Very little landing lag
    • Auto Cancellable from SHFF
  • Cons
    • Doesn't give very much shield stun when blocked
  • Other Info
    • Despite what it looks like, there is no sweet spot

General uses
  • Primary spacing tool on the ground and in the air
  • Use SHFFL'd fairs to maintain space from your opponents
  • Mix up SHFFL'd fairs with empty jumps into throw or other moves to avoid predictable patterns
  • Try to hit with the tip of move to keep opponents from shield grabbing you or countering with other moves
  • Can combo into throw or other moves

Follow ups
  • Fair near the Ground
    • Fair to Throw
    • Fair to Dash Attack (At higher percents)
    • Fair to Fair (If they DI upwards and are at a high enough percent)
  • Fair in the Air
    • Fair can be used into another fair in the air, this usually leads into another fair near the ground which can lead to the ground follow ups listed above.
    • Be careful about doing a fair to fair since it may not work against all characters like those with very quick aerials such as Luigi's NAIR and Ness's NAIR
      • These moves come out very quickly and will hit you out of the air before you can use another aerial
      • You can use this to your advantage by baiting them into use their combo breaker and punishing near the ground depending on your opponent's habits.



BAIR – Back Air
12% damage

Gfycat: http://gfycat.com/DistantFilthyGadwall

Palutena uses her shield to bash her opponent. This move has a decent amount of KO power but it's not going to be killing people very early unless they are very close to the edge of the stage or you have rage. It comes out very fast and it is able to block projectiles and has super high priority so if an opponent uses another move against you, most of the time you are going to beat them out of it. With relatively low landing lag, this move can make your opponent fear to challenge you in the air and the ground.

The move has decent reach, not quite as long as a fair but due to having higher priority it may be good to mix up trying to use a fair and using a back air if they should want to challenge your attacks. Using a RAR (Reverse Aerial Rush) bair, you will be able to jump and use a bair while approaching your opponent. Mix this up with fairs and other spacing options to keep your opponent on their toes.

RAR Bair: http://gfycat.com/SelfassuredGiganticAmberpenshell

Overview
  • Pros
    • Decently good KO power
    • This move has extremely high priority and can beat out most aerial attacks
    • This move comes out relatively quickly
    • This move can block certain projectiles if timed correctly
    • Auto Cancellable from SHFF
    • Very little landing lag (more than a FAIR however)
  • Cons
    • No hitbox inside of Palutena, making it easier to miss if you are too close to an opponent.

General uses
  • Great for challenging aerials of other characters
  • Be careful about spacing as the hitbox of this move doesn't hit in the middle of Palutena's body
  • Mix up spacing using fairs with RAR Bairs if your opponent wants to challenge your aerials
  • As with Fairs, mix up SHFFL'd bairs with empty hops into grab or other moves if you opponent begins to shield your approaches a lot

The following moves can be used to follow up BAIR
  • Up Air at low percents into Bair
    • Some opponents will be launched behind you whilst in the air, allowing you to follow up with a bair
    • Be careful if your opponent DI's out of range of your bair as they will be able to punish with their own move
  • Down throw into Bair
    • This is not guaranteed due to an opponent's DI and their percent
    • Where you would normally down throw into fair, if an opponent is close enough, you can reverse into a bair instead of fair to deal more damage.
  • Jab Into Bair (Really high percents)
    • If you see your jab knocking an opponent into a tumbling state (instead of just being moved up and having control in the air), you can follow up with a bair.
    • At this high of a percentage, the bair will most likely result in a KO on anywhere in the stage.


UAIR – Up Air
9% damage (If all hits connect)

GfyCat: http://gfycat.com/BonySharpHornedtoad

Palutena creates a small particles of light, hitting them multiple times and then blasting her opponents upwards. This move actually has a good amount of priority and can beat out things like a Bowser down B or Yoshi down B. It also has very good KO power and can be used to net KO's around 110% depending on the character from a down throw near the base of battlefield, or even lower if used above the platforms or high in the sky. This is the most that will make opponents want to air dodge when they are above you.

Unfortunately this move does have landing lag than her other aerials. If they decide to air dodge and fast fall down to the ground, even if you predict the air dodge, you might not be able to hit the entire move.

Landing Lag Despite the move ending before you hit the ground: http://gfycat.com/DisguisedLoneAmericanquarterhorse

One more problem with this move is that at certain distances above the ground, even though you have completed the move, if you do nothing else before you touch the ground, you will get the landing lag of this move. You can actually use any other move before you hit the ground and will be able to get the landing lag of another move, be it a B move, aerial attack or an air dodge. Considered using a fair when near the ground if you keep running into this problem to reduce your landing lag or use an Up B to reposition yourself.


Full Hop Uair Cancelled into Bair: http://gfycat.com/DiligentNarrowDassie
Full Hop Uair Canceld into Up B: http://gfycat.com/SkinnyWaryGavial

Down Throw Into Up Air Combo: http://gfycat.com/FlakyAcrobaticCoypu

Overview
  • Pros
    • Very good KO power vertically
    • Great priority against other moves
    • Hit box lasts a long time and hits multiple times
  • Cons
    • Longer landing lag than other aerials
    • When close to the ground, not all hits may connect since the move will be cancelled before the last powerful hit

General uses
  • Use this to put pressure on your opponent when they are in the air above you
  • Mix up jumping into the up air and waiting to bait out an air dodge since opponents may be scared of the KO power of this move
  • At higher percents, a down throw can be used which can lead into an up air and into a KO
    • Watch out as the down throw can be DI'd, which may prevent you from connecting your up air.

Can be followed up by...
  • Down throw into Up Air
    • The opponent can DI out of this to prevent a guaranteed' follow up by up air
  • Neutral Air into Up Air
    • At low percents, if you can land a neutral air, you can follow up with an up air depending on the character and their DI


DAIR – Down Air
9% damage

GfyCat: http://gfycat.com/LightPlaintiveGazelle

Palutena will kick downwards and hitting with this move at all will result in sending an opponent down with a spike. This sounds good on paper but the problem is that the hit box of this move is very short, meaning it's difficult to even land the move at all. The move (with no hitbox) also lasts quite a while even in the air before you can do another move.

No landing Lag (Auto Cancelled) with Full Hop Dair: http://gfycat.com/FixedTallBrownbear

For example, doing a full hop and dair results in you being unable to do anything for that entire duration.

As a spike move, if you opponent is off stage, you can try for an early kill by following off the platform but you will need to be very precise. You will have to weigh the risk against your opponent's ability to recover. Due to the long time you can't act out of dair, your opponent could turn the tables on you or stage spike you whilst trying to return. This makes it a lot riskier than spikes that other characters have access to such as Rosalina and Luma whose dair lasts much much longer despite being a weaker spike in terms of knockback.

Lag with Short Hop Out of Shield: http://gfycat.com/BackQuarterlyAlligatorsnappingturtle

Overview
  • Pros
    • Decent spiking power
    • Comes out pretty quickly
  • Other Information
    • Palutena's only spiking move
    • Auto Cancellable from Full Hop
  • Cons
    • The hit box is extremely short (Only a few frames long) which makes it very hard to land
    • Landing lag is around the same as a bair
    • Can take a long time to act out of after being used in the air
General uses
  • It can be very hard to land a spike with this move due to how short the hit box is so be cautious about over committing to a spike.
  • When an opponent is very close, you can full jump DAIR out of shield which can hit opponents as tall as Jigglypuff (It may miss due to the arc of the move)
    • You can also short hop dair out of shield though this can be risky due to the landing lag.
  • Avoid using this when you're above opponents due to how hard it is to land the move.



Overview of Aerial Attacks


Nair: Use for creating combos and for pressuring opponent's on platform. Can be used to read air dodges and catch opponents. Full hop nair's that are fast falled can be used with no landing lag.

Fair: Bread and butter move for spacing. Use SHFFL'd when near the ground and in the air to hit opponents. Try to aim to use the tip of the move to be safe. Can follow up into jab and grab combos. Can be followed up after down throw. Mix up with other spacing options such as jab, dtilt, and bair.

Bair: Decent KO move. Super high priority, comes out fast and will beat out most other attacks. Use to challenge opponent's attacks in the air or ground. Mix up with fair approaches. Can occasionally be followed up after Nair and jab at high percents.

Uair: Great KO move vertically. Good priority against dair options from other characters. Can be followed up after down throw depending on DI of opponent.

Dair: Decent spike move. Very short hit box duration (hard to land). Can use a SHFFL'd dair out of shield for punish.

Recommended Aerials to Use the Most (Use them all)
  • Fair (Spacing and combos)
  • Bair (KO power, out prioritize enemy attacks)
  • Nair (Combo and ledge pressure)
  • Uair (KO power and pressure to opponents in the air above)
  • Dair: (Always fun to get a good spike and only aerial that can be used out of shield for a reliable punish if opponents are close)





Neutral B – Auto Reticule
3% dmg per bolt x 3 bolts = 9% dmg

GfyCat: http://gfycat.com/SilentRecentFawn

Palutena automatically targets an opponent and fires 3 bolts of energy, dealing 3% each to a max of 9% damage. This move has a maximum range and height that an opponent can be targeted, effectively a cone that starts from Palutena and goes outwards. The shots will only fire towards the spot that was designated when you first used the move. If no enemy is present when the attack is first started, Palutena will not fire any shots.

The distance of this move is around half of final destination. This move can be used to poke an opponents who stall or try to use their own projectiles. Against larger opponents, the move will easily hit them even if they run towards you but smaller opponents might be able to go under the move if they move quickly enough. This can be dangerous to use against those quick and small characters since they can punish you for using this move.

In general it's best to use this at a distance and to interrupt opponents far away. It's much more effective against larger and slower characters to force them to approach you.


Overview
  • Pros
    • A decent spacing tool against slower opponents and larger opponents but riskier against fast opponents
    • Long range and has a large cone of vision to target opponents
    • No aiming required
  • Cons
    • A fair amount of lag after the move is performed
    • There is a max range in which the move will detect opponents. If no target is present within range, Palutena will play the move's animation but fire nothing
    • Fast characters and short characters can run at Palutena and completely avoid the blasts, allowing for a free punish.
    • Characters can run towards you and simply shield and continue their approach in many cases.

General Uses
  • Use this move sparringly and only when the opponent is a good distance away. It's wise to avoid using this move against the faster characters as it gives them an easy chance to punish.
  • Can be used to target projectile campers
  • This is more effective against larger opponents and slower opponents to keep them at bay and disrupt their movement options.
    • For example this may force a Bowser to either do very high aerial approaches, or run into shield. You can punish the run into shield with a grab or use your various spacing options. A high aerial approach from Bowser gives you the advantage by either using your aerials or punishing him when he lands.



Side B – Reflect
5% damage (If right next to an opponent)

GfyCat: http://gfycat.com/FirsthandSlightCivet

Palutena creates a barrier that will reflect projectiles that lasts a few seconds. The move has several interesting properties to it. First off, it has a hit box if you use it right next to an opponent which will hit them and knock them back if you use it at close range (I don't recommend doing that though). Secondly, the move has the ability to slow or prevent opponents from going through it while in the air but it will not stop grounded approaches such as dashing through it. Unfortunately this move has a fair amount of lag after using it so don't throw it out too much since you can easily be punished.

Aside from being used as a reflector, the hit box that stops people in the air can be used as a tool to help edge guard. You can position a reflector so that opponents have to go under it or you can even use it to stop a recovery that tries to go directly horizontal. For example a Little Mac using side B in the air will be completely stopped by the reflector, resulting in an easy gimp. Good players will be able to find their way around this but it's a good option to throw out every now and then.

Overview
  • Pros
    • Reflects Projectiles back with a multiplier in knockback and damage
    • This move can slow or prevent opponents from passing through it when in the air
    • Lasts a decent duration, allowing you to perform other moves before it vanishes
  • Cons
    • Decent lag after the use of the move
    • Does not stop them from dashing through it on the ground
General uses
  • Reflecting projectiles but be careful about being baited into using the move since you have a decent amount of lag after using it.
  • This can be used to gimp some opponents such as Little Mac by preventing him from using his side b due to this move's properties in the air.
  • Using this by the ledge can reduce your opponent's movement options which can force them to have to take a recovery approach from below.



Up B – Warp / Teleport
GfyCat: http://gfycat.com/BreakableImpassionedCopperhead

Palutena is able to warp in any direction after inputting Up B. This move has no hit box to hit opponents but it comes out very quickly, has not too much landing lag and makes you invisible during the duration of the move. You can use this to vary the way you recover from the side as its quite safe compared to other recovery options in the game.

It is quite useful in combination with ledge cancelling to result in teleports that can lead to many movement options right after. I will detail more about this in it's own section down below. For more info about the technique, check the Warp Ledge Cancelling Section down below.

Overview
  • Pros
    • Palutena warps a long distance in any direction she chooses
    • Very fast teleportation
    • Relatively low landing lag
  • Cons
    • Has no hit box to damage enemies
  • Other Information
    • Palutena disappears during this time but is actually just moving very fast and is invisible. This can be seen in the 3DS version of the game
General Uses
  • You must recover
  • Most of the time a recovery from anywhere to the ledge should work due to how fast the move is.
  • Make sure to mix up teleporting to the ledge and back onto the stage due to this move's low landing lag as well as the invisibility helping to mix up where you may end up.
  • Ledge canceling is very useful in combination with this move. I will go over this in it's own section. You will essentially have even more movement options.


Down B – Counter (Reflect 1.5x damage)
GfyLink: http://gfycat.com/CourteousForcefulBat

Palutena will briefly go invulnerable to all attacks (except grabs) and if hit during a certain moment, will counter an opponent and deal 1.5x damage (Unconfirmed) and knockback. Counters in this game have universally been buffed across the board. Unfortunately Palutena's counter is not very good compared to some of the other ones. Her counter comes out a bit slower, the strike when you counter comes out slower and the range of her actual counter strike is not very good horizontally compared to Marth/Lucina who have extremely good counters. The one thing her counter has going for it is that it does deal a higher amount of damage and knock back then some other counters,

Despite being worse, it still has it's uses but like any counter you need to be careful about using it too much. Having the option of a counter can make opponents try to be less overzealous with smash attacks as if you predict one and use a counter, you can kill them much earlier than normal depending on what they used. Most of the time it's much too risky to use a counter since a good player will pick up on your counter habits and can use a charged smash to get an easy KO on you. If you see someone charging up a smash attack though, feel free to just jump into them with the counter.

In general with counters, don't overuse them since a good player will make you pay. If you do use them, do it by prediction or surprise.

Overview
  • Pros
    • Palutena makes herself invulnerable to damage and counters with a devastating attack
    • Any attacks except for grabs will be countered with 1.5x damage from Palutena
      • This is one of the higher counter multipliers in the game
  • Cons
    • The hit box in which Palutena counter attacks isn't that big vertically, meaning it can whiff
    • Her counter attack actually comes out slower than some other counters such as Lucina/Marth
    • Can lead to easy punishes if predicted

General uses
  • This counter is unfortunately worse than most other counters as it has a small hit box than others like Marth/Lucina
  • If you see someone charging a Smash for any reason, just jump into them with a counter
  • Use counter sparingly as competent players will catch on quickly and will be able to punish with devastating Smash attacks or simply grab you out of the move.



Overview of B Moves

Palutena's B moves are generally tailored towards a campier / anti camper approach since she can fire out projectiles, reflect them back and has access to a counter and a teleport for escaping. In short here is a quick overview of when each move should be used if there was too much info above.

Neutral B: Fire when opponents are far away and use less against quick and fast characters and more on larger and heavier characters.

Side B: Reflect projectiles and use for edgeguarding if the chance presents itself. Don't get baited into using this too often due to the lag.

Up B: Great recovery tool and has relatively low landing lag for good mobility. Use with ledge canceling when you can.

Down B: Counter for opponent's attacks but don't abuse it just like any counter. Her Counter is generally worse than most other counters in the game except it can deal higher damage and knock back.


B Moves to Use the Most
  • Up B (To recover as well as potential use for Ledge Canceling)
  • Unfortunately the use of other specials all depends on the match up
    • Neutral B is more useful against larger characters and other projectile users
    • Side B is only useful against projectile users and the occasional GIMP.
    • Down B should rarely be used due to counters being easily... countered.





This stage is still under construction but I have some information on all the moves right now. As I get more significant practice with them I will be able to provide more helpful advice. From what I have seen though, Super Speed (Side Special) and Light Weight (Down Special) are her best alternate special moves.



Explosive Flame – Alt Neutral Special

Palutena creates a ball of fire a fixed distance in front of her, which launches opponents decently far and hits multiple times.

This is a decent move for edge guarding and forcing the opponent to approach the stage a certain way. It also packs much more of a punch than auto reticle but it can be harder to land due to the fixed distance it spawns.

Overview
  • Pros
    • Decent launching power
    • Good damage
    • Large radius
    • Useful for edge guarding
  • Cons
    • Long cooldown
    • Can’t control the range
    • Can easily miss if not spaced properly
Heavenly Light – Alt Neutral Special
4% Damage


Palutena sends lights down from the heavens, dealing a bit of damage every second but pushing enemies slightly back but does not stun them.

To be honest, I haven’t found very much use for this move. It covers a large distance but does hardly any damage and it’s easily avoidable.

Overview
  • Pros
    • Large range
  • Cons
    • Easily dodge able
    • Barely does any damage
    • Not very much pushing power.



Angelic Missile – Alt Side Special
13 % Damage


Palutena launches horizontally into the air, knocking opponents back if they are hit by Palutena. This acts like a Luigi Missile or Pikachu Skullbash. It actually has quite a bit of power, though not quite as powerful as her smash attacks. It also goes a very far distance, about 3/4 the length of Battlefield.

Due how far the move goes, it can be very helpful for recovery horizontally. You can also use this move as many times as you want in their air and you will retain your double jump. Don't be too predictable in using it for your recovery though!

Despite it's strength it has a good amount of start up time and a bit of lag after the move is used so it's not very good for punishing opponents. Don't expect to hit too often with this move.

Overview
  • Pros
    • Long distance, good for recovery
    • Good KO power
  • Cons
    • Lots of start up time
    • Easy to dodge or block
    • Punishable if you miss



Super Speed – Alt Side Special
5 Second Cooldown after use


Palutena will dash very quickly to the side, faster than her dash and will be able to cancel out of it by doing any normal move out of dash. That means you can jump, grab, up smash, dash attack, etc. This move gives Palutena even more approach options due to how fast the move comes out and the useful hit box it has while the move is occurring.

If you are using customs, this is a great option if you want increased mobility and options for Palutena.

Note: There is a small cooldown before you can use the move again.

Overview
  • Pros
    • Very fast, gives you extra movement options
    • Comes out right away
    • Has a hit box
  • Cons
    • Cooldown duration



Celestial Fireworks – Alt Down Special
8% Damage Multihit


Palutena fires fireworks into the air above her. It goes about half the distance of her up smash and is almost the same width as the hitbox. Unfortunately it's only about as powerful as the weak part of the Up Smash's hitbox and only has slightly less lag. It does have the property of having super armor however, meaning you won't be knocked back during early parts of the move.

This can be useful to absorb a hit you know is coming and catch your opponent with the firework itself. This also means you won't clash with your opponent, meaning you can take the hit and respond back with your firework. By having extra damage, you also increase your rage and could increase your chances at a KO.

Overview
  • Pros
    • Hits platforms above
    • Less lag than Up Smash
    • Has a bit of super armor frames (Can't be knocked away)
    • Fireworks are cool
  • Cons
    • Weaker than Up Smash
    • Less distance than Up Smash
    • Fair amount of lag still



Light Weight – Alt Down Special
12 Second Duration
5 Seconds of Slow state
22 Seconds total before you can activate again


Palutena will make herself temporarily have increased jump height and movement speed at the cost of increased damage taken (Knockback remains the same). After the buff disappears, Palutena will be slower for a short duration.

This is one of the moves that people are saying could make Palutena even more viable. It boosts her mobility and speed to tremendous levels but it as a result can also completely change the way you play her. The increased mobility can change your combo game and spacing options. For example, your SHFFL fairs now have very different timing and can make it more awkward to use for spacing.

One useful trick to note about Light Weight is that it’s possible to refresh Light Weight at any point in time, no matter if you are recharging the ability or not. By going on a platform, you can drop from the platform and immediately down B, allowing you to refresh your light weight buff if you time it correctly. This goes for any platform you can drop under, making it very useful to pick stages with more platforms. You will not be able to do this trick on Final Destination since there are no platforms.

Unfortunately I haven’t had enough practice with this move to give any more advice at the moment but it’s definitely the most interesting ability she has. This move is significant enough that it would warrant its own section for Tactics and Strategy.



Jump Glide – Alt Up Special

Palutena glides for a long duration, in total going much further than any of her other recovery moves. She can act out of jump glide, using any aerial moves but she will go into a falling state after the move. After the duration of jump glide expires, Palutena will fall into a helpless state.

This recovery move can definitely be good for going far distances but it’s also more vulnerable to being gimped since it’s not instant like warp. Thanks to the ability to act out of it though, it is a very good option to use a recovery still. You will just have to be more tricky on how you approach the stage.

One more helpful fact about jump glide is that if you jump before you use it, you will significantly increase how high the ability will go so keep that in mind when recovering.

Advanced Tech

There are ways to manipulate the momentum of jump glide to make yourself go extremely quickly in one direction and be able to use aerials out of it, making it for a quick approach option.

More information about the technique here: smashboards.com/threads/new-at-glide-bounce.377265

Overview
  • Pros
    • Goes a very far distance
    • Can act out of jump glide with aerials
    • “Glide Bounce” allows for more approach options
  • Cons
    • Easier to gimp and edge guard
    • Cannot be ledge cancelled like Warp
    • Low vertical height unless you use your jump


Rocket Jump – Alt Up Special

Palutena creates an explosion at her feet, launching upwards while sending opponents caught in the explosion flying. The explosion has good KO potential, giving you another option for a KO move out of shield. However the distance of explosion is pretty bad in terms of recovery. If you choose to use Rocket Jump, you will most likely die at lower percents unless you have something like Angelic Missile for horizontal recovery.

Rocket jump also does not have any extra mobility options that Jump Glide or Warp provide. If you want some extra KO power though, Rocket Jump is the way to go but it’s still probably the weaker recovery of the three.

Overview
  • Pros
    • Good KO potential
    • Can be used out of shield for punish
  • Cons
    • Barely any horizontal recovery
    • Not very high vertically





Gfycat: http://gfycat.com/GrotesqueValuableAmericantoad


For more info I've made a video on the techinique which you can look at here.

Ledge Cancelling is the act of cancelling your landing lag by sliding slightly off of a platform/stage as your land on the ground with a move. This usually applies to a lot of B moves, such as Falco and Fox's side Bs where you would side B onto a ledge, and just barely touch the edge of the platform. The momentum from the move will be just enough so that you slide off the edge, getting rid of all the landing lag the move would normally have.

With Palutena we can make use of Ledge cancelling with the use of our Up B. One thing important to note is that the Up B will always go a fixed duration of distance. For example, if we Up B slightly above a platform and go downwards, we will be suddenly sent flying to the right or left instead of just appearing right on the platform. This means with Palutena you will need to be at fixed distances near platforms or the edges of the stage in order to make use of edge canceling.

But Palutena has an advantage over some other characters that want to platform cancel. Her Up B is actually easier to platform cancel because it keeps some of her momentum when teleporting. To contrast this, Zelda's Up B keeps hardly any of her momentum, meaning with Zelda you need to be very precise in where you land, otherwise you either won't platform cancel or you will fall off the stage and die. With Palutena you have some extra room for error as you can simply slide a bit of extra distance to give you more leeway in what distance you need to be to platform cancel.

Be careful though as an improper teleport could lead to your death if you don't judge the distance right.



Uses

Now you may be wondering, why would you even need to use this? Why does it matter? It gives Palutena extra movement options to move around the stage even faster than normal. You could hit your opponent from off stage, teleport ledge cancel onto the platform and stay close to your opponent to provide pressure on them. You be coming back from stage and could teleport onto platform and edge cancel and reposition yourself to avoid pressure. If they start predicting you might do that, you could simply not teleport or teleport close to the ledge. More options like this mean more ways of mixing up your opponent.

Offensively, you could ledge cancel teleport onto platform and immeadiately bair for a surprise attack if your opponent is not expecting it. You will be able to go into any aerial or reposition yourself to a better position against your opponent. The most important thing to remember is not to be predictable with it. It can be used as a good tool but if you keep teleporting to the same platform, your opponent will notice and try to time a punish as best as they can. As fast as ledge canceling your teleport is, there is still a chance it can be punished.



Extra Information

The warp must go a certain distance. If it does not by the time you reach a ledge, you will continue to go in the horizontal direction you were going earlier. This means you will not land on the ledge and therefore not ledge cancel. This gives you more limited options in terms of where you can warp and ledge cancel at any point so keep this in mind.

Because of this, when aiming your warp, if you happen to catch part of a ledge along the way, you end up getting caught and being forced to go completely horizontally for the rest of your warp. This can send you really far off the ledge and could cause you to SD as a result. Be careful about learning your distances otherwise you will either miss a ledge cancel or worse, end up SDing off the side.





"Wait, why am I in this guide?"
- Robin
Here I will go over my general playstyle of Palutena as well as what I have seen from discussion and other tournament players. This particular section focuses mostly on the Default moveset as well.

Please note that since the meta is still evolving, there isn't one single way to play any character yet. I am probably not an expert with Palutena yet so my style of play may not even be the most effective one. Learn to develop your own style of Palutena, be it aggressive or defensive as you may learn tricks that work much better in certain match ups or that are overall superior to this guide.





  • Palutena is about patience and spacing. Keep your space, keep opponents out with spacing options (fair, jab, bair & the occasional dtilt)
    • Mix it up between spacing options and empty jumps into grabs.
    • Spacing properly and keeping up pressure can make opponents hide in their shield more, which allows for more grabs, which lead into follow ups or combos.
  • Throws are an important part of Palutena's game, down throw into combos or use the others for positioning.
  • Be careful on getting greedy for a KO with smash attacks since they have a lot of lag. Don't throw these out too often.
Spacing options listed are key because these are the safest options you can use as well. When you space these properly your opponent will have a more difficult time getting in and punishing you. Since many of Palutena's kill options are laggy (Smash attacks) you will want to play patiently as Palutena and wait for your opponent to make the mistake of going for a risky KO option first.






Spacing Approaches in the Air: http://gfycat.com/AnimatedDescriptiveCamel

As Palutena we have a lot of movement speed and some good spacing tools in the use of Fairs, jab and Bair. We want to position ourselves to try to keep our opponent out of range with these moves since they have such good range. And since we have no moves that work any better at close range aside from a grab, it's generally best to keep opponents farther away from you. This is because if we can get an opponent to whiff a move, then we can punish by rushing in with a grab, dash attack, Smashes if you have time, or one of our spacing options.

In the case of Fairs and Jabs, these can both lead into follow up combos which can make it very rewarding to play the spacing game using these A attacks. As noted above, fair can lead into grabs or more jab pressure while jabs can lead into grabs and combos afterwards. Generally Fairs have longer range but potentially more lag than a jab so mix them up and choose which one seems more appropriate in the situation. If you are approaching with fairs, a bair approach can out prioritize other moves if they want to challenge how you are spacing .

Don't use fairs and bairs as your only spacing options since an oppnent can run into shield and block your move and if improperly spaced, can allow them to easily grab you out of shield. A well placed jab or dtilt can stop them a bit earlier if they keep running into shield, or if they keep shielding, simply grab them.

Dtilt in particular is good if they become too happy at spot dodging or rolling. However Jabs are usually a safer option since they come out faster, have less lag and can cover the air a better than dtilt. Jabs also can lead to better follow ups and give you better positioning so although dtilt is useful, most of the time you'll want to use jabs more.

If you need to keep longer range space, your only option for doing that is to use your neutral B. Throwing this out every now and then is a good idea to dish out some extra damage but don't rely on it. Make sure you know your spacing and that your opponent won't be approaching too quickly, otherwise you could miss and get punished.

Empty Hop into Grab: http://gfycat.com/ImpishMatureCanary

Take away message: Keep your opponents barely in reach but stay out of their reach. Jabs, Fairs and Bairs.






In the air, make opponents learn to fear when you are below them. You have several options as they come downwards. An up air will send them straight up and at above 100%, lighter characters can be killed. Up smash is a good option if they aren't expecting it. If they are good at evading your KO attempts, either try to bait out an air dodge to lead into an up smash or wait for them below and grab them as they land if they don't space their aerials properly.

When you're approaching more from the side, you fair acts a good choice for poking at them. If they air dodge the low lag of the fair will make it less punishable. A bair option is really good for dealing more damage and challenging an opponent if they want to attack you as you approach since you will most likely out prioritize their attack.

Take away message: Make them fear your uair, Up Smash and bair (maybe fair)






In terms of approach options Palutena's dash is very quick so you can cancel into a shield as an approach option. Be careful not to abuse this since opponents could just simply grab you when you approach. You can mix this up by going into a jump and trying to space out with a fair or empty hop into throw. Mix approaching and spacing to always keep your opponent on their toes. Being unpredictable with your approaches is the most important thing.

Your approaching game if needed should general mix these approach options with spacing options as you never want to be too close to your opponent. Mix up getting in close, using jabs, dtilts, fairs, bairs, empty SHFFL'd jumps into grabs as well as using dash shield approaches. Rolls can be useful for getting in every now and then but good opponents may catch on if you make it a habit. Either that or they will simply space themselves appropriately so a roll into them will only make your positioning worse than before.

Take away message: Use Spacing to make your approach





Gfycat: http://gfycat.com/SecretScornfulGrunion

Your bread and button moves for combo'ing are your down throw, which can lead into fair, bair, nair, or uair, depending on the DI of your opponent. Generally you can usually get a fair in but sometimes the opponent will end up going higher, meaning you can use a nair or a uair to hit them instead. Fairs can generally lead into more SHFFL'd fairs after, depending on how close they are to the ground. Though they may not combo, they can still be used to follow up and create pressure, forcing opponents to air dodge and allow you to punish when they land. At low percents a fair on a grounded opponent can lead into throws or dash attack at mid percents.

Jab can lead into throws at low to high percents. Most of the time in a match you should be able to jab and grab the majority of the time. Eventually if opponents get into a high enough percent, your jab can be followed up by an up smash which will lead to a kill since they are popped up into the air. If you find they air dodge to avoid, you can charge up the up smash and punish it. At even higher percents (Example: 170% against Sheik with no rage effect or stale moves), the opponent gets popped up into a falling state, allowing you to use a bair for the kill which is more reliable than an up smash and safer if you mess up.

Down Throw to Nair to Bair: http://gfycat.com/LinearGiantGroundhog
Down Throw To Up Air: http://gfycat.com/TeemingWebbedGuineapig
Fair to Dash Attack: http://gfycat.com/RecklessDopeyEeve
Fair to Down Throw to Fair: http://gfycat.com/BareChiefArawana
Jab to Down Throw to Up Air: http://gfycat.com/AffectionateForsakenGroundbeetle
Jab to Bair: http://gfycat.com/GrossDigitalChuckwalla

Take away message: Down Throws, Jabs and Fairs all day






This is by far Palutena’s greatest weakness. Her greatest KO options are her smashes and her up air. Her smashes are risky to use due to their long ending lag, making them easily punishable, even by other smash attacks if you are not careful. Her up air can be air dodged from above and if you miss the up air, they can punish it if they timed their dodge correctly and have a fast aerial to act out of. Her only safe KO option is her back air and even then it is not a very good KO option as it doesn’t pack a lot of power. You would need to perform it near the edge of the stage for any hope of a KO.

As for her throws, the only one with potential to kill is a back throw off the edge of the stage, but that needs very high percents. Her down throw can potentially combo into an up air or read into an up smash, but both of these are avoidable with proper DI. Up throw can kill but only at ridiculously high percents. Down throw and forward throw will never KO at reasonable percents but down throw can still lead to combos at high percents.

Simply put, Palutena’s options for KOing are very limited. If your opponent is playing safe, it will be extremely difficult to land a solid kill option and you may be forced to rack up percent. Obviously you may want to go for some risky options if you can get a good read but be careful not to go too hard. A blocked Forward Smash could easily get you KO’d yourself.

Overview of KO options
  • Bair (Safe but weak)
  • Uair (Strong but possibly punishable and hard to land)
  • Smashes (Very Strong but easily punished hard)
  • Back Throw (Requires high percent and edge of stage)
  • Down throw into uair / up smash (Avoidable and not guaranteed)
Take away message: Getting a KO is hard







From the Side

If you are knocked back from the side, how you recover will depend on the Up B you use. Teleport is the safest just due to how fast it is. Most of the time, as long as you have a double jump, you should be able to recover since it goes so far. With the other Up Bs, you will need to be more careful since those ones aren't quite as fast.

Usually you will want to aim for the ledge with Warp (if you chose that) but if you are above the stage, you might also be able to teleport on stage or ledge cancel onto a platform. Watch what your opponent is doing. If they are hanging back, then teleport back onto stage could be risky, meaning you should go for the ledge for sure. If they are trying to stay seriously close to the edge and are charging a Smash attack, you can try to teleport behind them or aim for a ledge. Usually just going for the ledge will work though if you aren't too sure.

Another important thing is to always save your jump as long as you can. If you are knocked from the side, don't use it right away. Wait till you are closer towards the stage and use it when you need to react to your opponent. If you use it too early, you have less options as you approach the stage. The extra jump could allow you to jump into air dodge to avoid an attack or give you a better shot at landing on the platform.

Take away message: SAVE YOUR JUMP



When above the stage (Literally above it)

This occurs when you are hit high up and your opponent wants to keep hitting you with up airs for damage or a KO. It's universally bad for any character to be above their enemies that high but Palutena has it pretty hard. Her Dair is terrible option if you are coming down from above, don't use it. Her bair is a solid option due to it's priority but only if your opponent is right next to you and don't do it too close to the ground if you think they will just shield it or else you will just get grabbed again.

What you want to do is try to save your jump until the last possible moment. It gives you more options for escape and repositioning yourself. You might even bait them into an attack such as an up smash that you can punish. Other options you have include using warp and using ledge canceling to reduce your lag time.

Take away message: SAVE YOUR JUMP





(Mostly for beginners)


It's always important to know the match up of the character you're facing no matter what skill level you are. I still need to play more matches against every character to provide some solid match up advice specific to other characters. So for now I will simply give some general match up advice rather than talking about all the characters.

So far from what I have experienced and seen Palutena seems to have trouble with people that are very fast as they can invade her space more quickly than she can keep throwing out spaced moves. This would include characters like Sheik, Fox, Little Mac, Diddy Kong, etc. She tends to do much better with slower opponents since she can dictate the pace of the match thanks to her spacing tools.

Projectile users are mixed bag but if they are spamming projectiles in a not so smart fashion, reflector is your friend. Otherwise they will be smart about using their projectiles and might bait you into doing a reflect, only to punish you. If you see this happening, you will need to be careful about when to throw up a reflect. You can pressure them with your fair and spacing so they don't have as much time to use their projectiles or you force them into a situation where they need to use it and you will be ready to reflect it back.

When looking at any match up it's important to think about what tools the character your facing has. If you have trouble with a certain match up, keep fighting that character as you will discover what they are using that keeps working against you. Another thing to do is try out that character yourself or watch videos of that character in high level tournament play. See what options they use and what seems to work. It's even better if you manage to find a video of Palutena against that particular character as well. You can even go so far as to read a guide about the character you are having trouble with. Knowing their tools is the key to understanding any match up and ultimately giving you a better shot at winning against any character.

Take away message: Fast characters are evil






Basic Stage Selection

Stage selection is interesting for Palutena as she doesn't perform too poorly on either platform nor flat stages like final destination. Depending on how useful Ledge Canceled Warps can be, Palutena may end up favoring stages with more platforms to be able to use them for mobility options. Having these mobilities options to be able to go to a nearby platform and go into any move gives Palutena more options both defensively and offensively as long as they aren't abused. With ledges, Palutena is also able to performed nair to nair combos.

On flat stages such as final destination, this is a haven for projectile users in general but you have access to your own projectiles as well as a reflector. Although you lose extra mobility options with ledges, you can still fair well against many characters who are home on final destination. Exception for this rule goes to Little Mac, don't go to Final Destination against Little Mac. Most of the time though, it's better to avoid going into Final Destination for Palutena unless your opponent will do worse on that stage.

Take away message: Platforms can be quite useful. Usually best to go with those stages.


Factoring in the Match Up

It's important to take the match up into consideration because even though a stage may good for you, it may benefit your opponent even more. If you're against an enemy that can combo you like crazy using the platforms, their combos are most likely better than yours. Your choice of stage should weigh how much the stage will benefit you and how much it will benefit the character you are facing. Even if a stage ends up being worse for you, if it ends up being worse for your opponent, then it may be a better option to go for that particular stage.

For example if you are facing a Little Mac, he loves final destination despite not being a projectile user. Obviously you don't want to go to final destination since it will help him much more than it will help you even though you can use a spammable projectile. So you will want to ban final destination and go to a stage with more platforms. Though this is an easy answer, when factoring characters like Diddy Kong who also like platforms, it becomes difficult to try and figure out if the advantages you get out weigh those of your opponent.

Take away message: Be better at your stage than your opponent / their character





I will be looking over the stages legal at Apex 2015 for Smash Wii U (And the one other legal 3DS stage). Apex is one of the biggest events for Super Smash Bros and other fighting games so for the time being I will be analyzing the stages that are allowed at this tournament. More stages will be added in the future such as Skyloft and Yoshi's Island (Brawl) from 3DS (soon!). During the analysis I will be accessing the length of the stage, blastzones, platform heights and positioning.

These are my observations so far on the stages I've played on so my opinion at this time may differ from other people's experiences. Let me know if you have any different thoughts on the stage since I don't want to be misleading anyone in thinking a stage may be good when it may not be very good for Palutena.

In Apex 2015 choosing a stage starts with a set of starter stages and in matches after the first you are able to pick Counterpick stages. Please read the Apex 2015 rules on the stage list to get a better understanding of stage striking and how stages are picked in tournament. I will just be covering what the stages are and how well you can do on them.

Apex 2015 Ruleset: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/74563582/Apex/Apex2015_Rulebook.pdf

Here is the Legal Stage List for Apex 2015.

Starter Stages
  • Battlefield
  • Smashville
  • Final Destination
Counterpick Stages
  • Castle Siege
  • Delfino Plaza
  • Duck Hunt
  • Halberd
  • Kongo Jungle (Doubles Only)
  • Lylat Cruise
  • Town and City
  • Omega Stages







Keep in mind that while Palutena can do well on all stages, I will be listing ones she can take advantage of the most, usually being platform stages. However as I mentioned before, what's more important is the match up. You must benefit from the stage more than your opponent if you're trying to counter pick them. Even if Battlefield is good for you, if you fight someone who starts using the platforms to take you from 0% to 60%, than you might want to re-think your stage choice.


Starters Stages
  • Battlefield (Recommended – Lots of platforms)
  • Smashville (Recommended – Platform useful for Spacing and some SHFF aerial pressure)
  • Final Desination (Match up dependent – No platforms means less spacing and mobility options)

Counter Pick Stages
  • Castle Siege (Maybe Recommended since all platforms can be used for spacing and aerial pressure but you fight in Battlefield, A Walk section and FD)
  • Delfino Plaza (Maybe Recommended but very match up dependent)
  • Duck Hunt (Match up dependent – Long stage and Platforms can rarely be used for spacing and mobility options)
  • Halberd (Recommended – Long platform can be used for spacing and aerial pressure. Can also help with vertical KOs)
  • Kongo Jungle (Not Recommended – Platforms won't help near ground spacing and it's not too big a stage. High vertical blast zone can make Koing even harder)
    • Note: Doubles may be a bit more recommended depending on your partner's character and Kongo Jungle is supposed to be a doubles only stage anyways.
  • Lylat Cruise (Not Recommended – Platforms are small for spacing options and you can very easily SD near the ledges if you miss your recovery (especially with warp).
  • Town and City: (RecommendedSome platforms can be used for spacing and aerial pressure while others can aid in getting vertical Kos from uair and up smashes.)
  • Omega Stages: (Match up dependent: Same as FD. However try to choose an omega without a solid wall to the bottom of the stage since other characters can use it to wall jump where as you cannot.)






I will quickly go over some of the key areas that will affect why you should choose to go or not go to certain stages.


Platforms

Platforms are important for Palutena because of several factors. Platforms provide an area where an opponent can land above you and when they do, they are at a disadvantage because you can provide pressure on them from your aerials. Depending on how low the platform is, you can even do SHFF'd fairs, bairs from below or full hop auto canceled nairs onto the platform. These tools allow you pressure the platform in various ways and either catch opponents with a move or keep them in shield, allowing you to mix up by following onto the platform with grabs or keeping up pressure.

This danger allows you to also control your spacing even more since opponents will be more afraid to try to approach from above since it will cause them to land on the platform. That means their options, should you be using a platform for cover, will be more limited since they either have to go via platform which is dangerous or go directly towards you. The longer the platform, the less area they have to work with to potentially try to approach you from above.

Another thing to note is that higher platforms can help with aerial kills as well as pressure. If opponents are landing on platforms, there is lag associated with landing. If you know when they will land you can uair them or do it earlier, forcing them to dodge. The air dodge landing lag will occur and you can hit them with a move as a result. This means opponents will want to veer away from landing on platforms since they can be trapped into air dodging and being punished as a result. When being trapped on a higher platform like that, vertical Kos will of course occur earlier.


Stage Length

Stage length is important because it dictates how much space you have to work with and how much room you have to retreat backwards if an opponent keeps getting in too close. Due to Palutena's high mobility and her need to space, a larger stage can be better in terms of needing to space and keep the gap between characters at an optimal range.

It's not always good to have a huge stage length though since KO moves if they aren't near the ledge will be harder to net a KO since it must travel the entire distance of the stage. Of course this will help you survive longer but given Palutena's low KO power, it can make it a bit more difficult if your KO moves are sending opponents to the wrong side.








Battlefield

Battlefield is a tradeoff between lots of platform mobility and pressure from your aerials thanks to platforms, but being a relatively short stage in terms of length.


Platforms

With the platforms they are the right height to allow both a full hop nair to be able to land on the platform with no lag, as well as the option to use a SHFF'd fair or bair to keep up pressure. Using the platforms you can force opponents to approach you along the ground more so since they will have a disadvantage in the air. With the platforms you also have a decent amount of ledge canceling options which is also another good bonus to picking the stage.

With the platforms you will also have the opportunity for some combos as well if you are able land a nair. You can land do a full hop nair, land on a platform, have no landing lag and proceed to another nair or forward air.


Stage Length

Despite having the platforms to help your spacing and zoning game, the stage isn't very long, being the shortest of the three starter stages. As such, faster characters will be able to corner you and give you a lot of pressure more easily since you won't have as much room to weave around with dashes or aerials. If you're up against a faster character who also has great use of platforms, it may not be a good idea to go with Battlefield.


Overall

Overall good stage to use the platforms with for aerial pressure and mobility. Can be troubling against faster characters who can cut the distance between you due to how small the stage is.


Recommened?

Yes, definetely a good stage for Palutena thanks to the numerous platforms that can be used to apply SHFF aerial pressure. Keep in mind if your opponent is very good at closing the gap on you (Due to the short length) and can take advantage of the platforms for combos then it could potentially benefit your opponent more than you.



Overview
  • Pretty good choice but allows fast characters to close in quicker due to small size
  • Relatively normal blast zones
  • Good for aerial pressure
    • Can shffl fair and bair side platforms
    • Can full hop nair on side platforms
  • Can allow extend combos from platforms
    • Nair to Nair
    • Nair to Fair
    • Nair to Bair
  • Small size
    • Hard to deal with faster characters



Smashville

This stage is in between Battlefield and Final Destination. It's pretty much the median stage in between the three starters since it has a single platform vs Battlefield’s three, and it's length is between Battlefield and FD. Since Palutena likes platforms for the most part, it automatically makes this a better option than FD in most cases.


Platforms

The single, long platform in Smashville will move back and forth in the stage. It will never leave completely but it can go off the side, giving people a chance to recover back on using it. This applies to you as well since you can use it ledge cancel and give you more options for recovery.

Height wise, it's unfortunately not short enough to hit with a SHFF'd fair but it can still hit with a bair. You will have to do a slightly higher jump with fair so it will be a bit slower unfortunately. Neutral airs when full hopped cannot be auto canceled so you will lose that option too.

However just the length of the platform alone gives you a lot of room for using it cover you from above. If an opponent lands on it you can still threaten them with bairs, fairs and landing on platform to grab. Be wary of it's movement though since you can lose your advantage should it leave or make your attack miss if you don't space it properly.


Overall

With the combination of the platform and a longer stage than Battlefield, this could be a better pick against faster characters due to the extra space you get. Unless the character you're facing can take a better advantage of platforms than you, this option is better than Final Destination in terms of extra space for moving around due to stage length.


Recommended?

Yes, Palutena will be able to do well on this stage. It's a solid option since you can still do some spacing using the platform though you can't do too many extended combo follow ups, at least your opponent won't be able to as well.


Overview
  • Longer than Battlefield, shorter than FD
    • Extra room gives you more chances to space out characters and move around using your fast mobility
  • Single platform that goes back and forth along the stage
    • Can save you early but can also save your opponent too
    • Can use for Warp Ledge Canceling though it might be harder since the platform moves
  • Platform height
    • Only tall enough to allow SHFF bairs, can still do full hop fair.
    • Full hop Nair cannot auto cancel when landing onto platform
    • Tall enough to allow some SHFF pressure from uair if they are landing on it
      • Note: SHFF uair pressure is very slow so if you miss, they might be able to drop down and punish you


Final Destination and Omegas

Final Destination and all omegas have no platforms to speak of. As such you won't have any platforms to protect you and give you more chances to space. However it's the longest starting stage in terms of length so this gives you a lot of room to weave in and out and spacing out your opponent.


Lack of Platforms

A lack of platforms mean you can't perform some really good SHFF'd fairs or bairs on opponents who get stuck above. It also prevents any extended combos using platforms for yourself but of course this applies to your opponent too. It also prevents most of your warp ledge cancelling antics, only allowing it near the edges of the stage which can get easily predictable. You won't have much opportunit to use that technique.

In terms of some of your customs, lightweight becomes much worse on this stage due to the fact you can't refresh it any time you want since there are no platforms. However with Super Speed opponents have no options to land on platforms, giving it more chances to apply pressure due to it's hit box being able to catch landing opponents.


Misc Facts

Some Omega stages are better than others for Palutena. Ones with solid walls won't favor Palutena since she cannot wall jump so avoid those if your opponent can make use of walls in some way.


Overall

Overall it's a very match up dependent stage but most likely not the one you should probably lean towards as your starter stage. Having all the breathing room to move around due to Palutena's great mobility is a plus, but the lack of platforms makes light weight worse, gives you less chances to platform pressure and prevents you from having platforms to protect you more from above when you are spacing.


Recommended?

Only if your opponent loves platforms a lot since there won't be any for them here. Lots of room gives you lots of chance to maneuver around but you lose ledge canceling options, pressure and spacing options using platforms. The Light weight special is also worse on this level since you can't do it infinitely.


Overview
  • Match up dependent, probably not the top pick for starter stage unless your opponent loves platforms with a passion.
  • Relatively normal blast zones
  • Longest length of the starting stages
    • Allows you more room to maneuver and space out your aerials
  • No Platforms
    • Bad for Light Weight custom, can be good for Super speed custom
    • No extended combo opportunities for anyone
    • No platform pressure from aerials







Castle Siege

Another transforming stage. This goes through three transformations so I will cover each of these quickly.

First Transformation

Platforms

All platforms in the first transformation can be SHFF fair'd, bair'd and autocancel full hop Nair. This gives you some good pressure options if opponents get caught on them. They are also on both of the edges of the map, giving you some ledge cancel options for recovery if you are coming in high.


Stage Length

Stage isn't too large, about battlefield length. You can treat this almost like a battlefield in terms of length though there is a lip that may screw up aerial timing. The length makes it a bit difficult earlier on since you have less room to work around with.



Second Transformation

Platforms

There are two platforms rising up and then two large ramps on the sides of the stage. For the two lower platforms you can performed SHFF fair, bair and full hop auto cancel nair for pressure. The platforms are also quite long, allowing you better chances to land uair and up smashes if are on them, making it easier to get those vertical Kos. As for the ramps, it also allows for you to land some easier vertical Kos due to how high up they are.


Walk offs and Stage Length

The length of this stage is now the blast zone and it's quite long. Like any other walk offs, Palutena has some decent pressure options to get them off stage with fairs, bairs, down hrows into fairs, etc but nothing too significantly powerful. Due to being a walk off though she will have a lot of chance to maneuver around to space out opponents but being cornered means you are close to the edge to die a terrible death (Unless you grab them and back throw).



Third Transformation

I won't go too into depth on this one since it's pretty much Final Destination but it tilts.


Overall

Like Delfino this has a lot of significant changes, each transformation being an entirely different area for the most part. The platforms in the first and second transformations are both good in that you can use all of your platform pressure aerials to their fullest extent. But you will have to factor in being a small length on the first transformation, second transformation being a walk off and the third one being final destination. You'll find the tide of battle will change a lot depending on the strengths of your opponent's character.


Recommended?

If you can handle the stage changes then it can be a decent option but it probably won't significantly counter pick any character. This is a maybe stage, do it if you're comfortable the transformations since you at least have access to some good platforms. You're essentially going through battlefield, then big walk off stage with nice platforms, then final destination.


Overview
  • Various transformations, three stages
  • First
    • Good platforms allow for SHFF fair, bair and full hop auto cancel nair
    • Small length, about battlefield size
  • Second
    • Good platforms allow for SHFF fair, bair and full hop auto cancel nair
    • Long platforms allow for better chances to land uair and up smash
    • Great length, lots of chance to move around the battlefield
    • It's a walk off
  • Third
    • Final Destination

Delfino Plaza

This is a transformation stage and has various different sets of platforms that will appear. The stage can go from being very short when on the main stage, to being extremely long (even a walk off at certain points). This combination will give you a mix of both platform pressure opportunities, as well as chances to run away and space out your opponents due to a long flat stage at certain points.


Platforms

One thing to note about the platforms is that many set ups have different heights for the platforms. You will find that you can SHFF fair and bair some platforms, whilst not being able to full hop nair. Others you can only SHFF bair, and will have to do a higher jump to fair. You should go through each of these transformations to get a feel for which platforms you will be able to perform these moves since it will be critical to keeping up aerial pressure.


Flat parts and Walk offs

Like other flat stages, the long length will give you a lot of room to maneuver and the walk offs don't tend to favor or go against Palutena too significantly. It means bair pressure near the side from you is even more dangerous if you get them to the corner. Down throws to fairs can push them there and back throws can be more dangerous. However if you're up against someone like Sheik who can throw into fair, or throw into bouncing fish, it can benefit them a lot more than you.


Water

One more intersting thing to note is that water portions of the level. Should you get an opponent stuck in the water, you will have a short chance to use a dair to spike them though this will be difficult to land. Since it comes out so early, if you land in the water besides them and immediately jump and dair, you should be able to spike. Having the benefit of a spike in this area can be useful against characters who don't have too many options near the water.


Misc

The main part of the stage isn't a completely solid object, meaning you can warp through it. Since warp has no hit box there is not much point into doing this since you will go up and just land on the ground with some landing lag. This can also spell trouble if you warp but you don't go enough through the stage to land on it. You will simply just fall through as a result and die.


Overall

Overall not a bad stage for Palutena since it will mix up a lot of different stage types into one. Water can be useful for you so if you know your opponent can make use of it well, then Delfino will be more in your favor. Delfino is all about your ability to adapt to the stage environment.

If you feel uncomfortable moving around like this or feel like your opponent will get too many advantages as it changes, avoid this stage. You should avoid this stage if the other character really likes walkoffs since you have some tools but they aren't the best at taking advatange of walk offs. If you are not comfortable with the water either then you should avoid this too or if your opponent can take huge advantage of the water and still be able to do well in the platforms or flat portions of the stage.


Recommended?

Only Recommended if you can adapt to the stage changes and your opponent doesn't significantly benefit from walkoffs or water.


Overview
  • Not a bad stage for Palutena
  • Relatively normal blast zones
  • Changes from platforms to no platforms, to walk offs
  • Platforms may vary in terms of height
    • Some may allow SHFF' fairs and bairs
    • Only some may allow full hop nair onto platform (no landing lag)
  • Walkoffs are okay for Palutena as she has some options to make use of it
    • Down throw to fair pressure
    • Bair becomes more dangerous near the side
  • Water allows for Spikes from Palutena and long range pressure from the side thanks to...
    • Auto Reticule (Poke them while they are floating around)
    • Side Smash (If you are near the water and they are stuck there)
    • Dair

Duck hunt

A very long stage and complete with a lot of trees and bushes but most of them are far off to the side. A platform can appear in the form of the dog whenever the ducks in the background either die or escape after a certain period.


Platforms

The platforms on this stage are very tricky to use since it's hard to tell where you can actually land on them. There are a set of platforms in the form of a tree on the left, and a small bush on the right. As mentioned earlier, the dog can appear as well.

The tree on the left is very high and the only way you will be able to catch someone up there is with full hopped aerials. Thankfully Palutena can jump high and has good priority on aerials such as uair and bair so it won't be hard to pressure anyone trying to camp up there. It's hard to tell where you can ledge cancel on these platforms and you will only be able to do so when you are jumping from the tree or are coming back from the stage from really far away. I personally haven't gotten the distances and timing for the tree branches yet for Warp Canceling but it looks like you could have a ton of potential branches to land on depending on your position, which can give you some tricky mix ups.

The bush on the right is not very long so chances are that your opponent won't be landing on it very often. If they do though, you can SHFF fair and bair the platform but won't be able to full hop nair auto cancel onto it. Of course you can just do a normal full hop nair and not land on the platform too. The bush isn't really that useful overall since it's not long enough to give you some extra cover by hiding under it while you try to space out your opponent.

The dog is a tricky platform as well. As long as you keep your eye out on when the ducks are defeated, you will know when he will rise up. You can tell where he will rise depending on where the last duck was taken down. If no ducks were taken down, he will appear in the middle of the stage. Height wise, he is too tall for any SHFF aerial pressure so if opponents do end up on it you will have to use full hop aerials.


Stage Length

This stage is very large and so you will have plenty of room to maneuver around. It's longer than Final Destination so it's actually one of the longer stages available for play. This means if you're comfortable spacing on Final Destination without the need for a lot of platforms, then you will be right at home on this stage.


Overall

Pretty much a longer Final Destination with some quirky platforms around. You won't find much use for the platforms in terms of spacing near the ground, but the tree on the left might help with some aerial pressure, especially from uairs for a potential kill. Due to the quirky platforms though, you will find very rare cases you can Warp Ledge Cancel on them so most of your options will be like FD which is to Ledge Cancel near the edges of the stage.


Recommended?

Very match up dependent and pretty much the same reasons as Final Destination. If opponents do worse on flat stages than you, than this will be a good counter pick to go with. Go here for anyone who gets crazier options than you can on platforms.


Overview
  • Very long stage
  • Platforms are at sides of the stage and occasionally in the middle
    • Left Platforms can be useful for uair pressure
    • Right platform can be used for SHFF fair and bair but not full hop Nair auto cancel onto platform
      • Very small platform so not too useful for spacing purposes
    • Dog platform that appears is more disruptive than being entirely useful
  • Not many Warp Ledge Cancel opportunities
  • Essentially like Final Destination since you won't be on the platforms all too often



Halberd

Like Delfino Plaza this is another transformation stage. However this stage is always in a set order and always has the same platform present.


Platforms

There is only one platform on this stage and has two different heights. While you are flying around the Halberd, it will be only tall enough to allow a SHFF'd bair. When you finally land on the halberd you can do a SHFF'd fair and bair now. Keep this in mind when you are trying to apply pressure on opponents on the platform above.

Due to having only one platform it gives you limited options for ledge canceling, however you can still apply aerial pressure from short bairs from below the entire time. It's quite long too so this can be a very helpful spacing option to have despite not being able to SHFF fair it. If they land on it, you can pressure from below or land above and grab them if they shield a lot.


Stage Length

The stage is relatively long, longer than battlefield so it actually have some good options in terms of movement around the field. Both the platform and the base of the stage are reasonably long so you have some good room maneuverability . Combined with the platform, you can have some good chances for zoning and spacing when you are below it.


Stage Hazards

The stage hazards in here are quite predictable and only occur during the part where you land on the Halberd. Just watch out for them and see if you can lure your opponent into them. Not much else to say on that. Another hazard is the same as Delfinos, in that you can teleport into the stage but not go all the way through and end up SD'ing.


Overall

Pretty good stage for Palutena despite more limited options for ledge canceling. Just having the one platform above can provide for some SHFF'd bair pressure and at certain points, SHFF'd fair pressure as well as full hop nair landing pressure. Good length for maneuverability as well.


Recommended?

Recommended stage overall since the platform can be useful for your spacing game and applying pressure. Hazards aren't too difficult to deal with.


Overview
  • Pretty good stage for Palutena
  • Pretty long length, giving you maneuverability options
  • Platform allows
    • SHFF'd bairs at earlier points and fairs and nairs as well when on the Halberd itself
    • Long length gives you more chances to land a solid uair or up smash for aerial kills
  • Stage hazards aren't too difficult to avoid


Kongo Jungle (Doubles Only)

As it currently stands this is a doubles only stage in Apex 2015 but this stage has seen use in other tournaments as a single's stage so I will cover it like I would for a normal stage.


Vertical KO potential

This is the legal stage with the highest ceiling in the game which can be a major factor if your opponent likes their Up kills. You have some powerful vertical kill options and the platforms present in the stage can work well with your chances to use them. Since there is so much vertical room there is actually a good chance for you to to land an up air more since if they fast fall down, they might end up on a platform, giving you a chance to land a kill move. However if you are trying to kill from the base of the level, it's going to be a lot harder so keep that in mind.


Platforms

Aside from that it has some platforms that go around but none of them allow for you to do much aerial pressure except for the ones that rotate in the middle. Even then, those move around quite a bit, making it hard to do things such as a full hop nair onto the platform (though you can still do it and not land on the platform) and SHFF fairs and bairs may not be consistent depending on how comfortable you are with spacing it properly.


Warp Ledge Canceling

For Ledge cancelling you can teleport right from the middle of the stage, aiming right or left and ledge canceling to either side. This can give you some good mobility options if you need to escape quickly or close in on someone. In teams this can especially be surprising since you can be at either side of the stage in a second. Warp ledge cancelling can be difficult to perform on the rotating platforms due to how they are moving so it may not be worth the risk trying on those if you are trying to use it offensively unless you can master the distance and timing.


Length and Positioning

The stage isn't very lengthy though so it can be hard to keep faster opponents at bay. Combined with no platforms above you that can help limit an opponent's approaches and it can become like Final Destination but shorter when you are fighting on the main part of the stage. Despite being able to warp from the middle to any side, this will only serve to put you in a corner against faster characters and there are no platforms you can ledge cancel to nearby if you jump up from the ledge, making escape difficult.


Stage Hazards (The Barrel)

One final thing to note is the barrel at the bottom of the stage. When you enter it, press A again to launch yourself out of them. In doing so you will have a hit box as long as you are spinning which has the potential to KO at higher percents. It also lasts a surpsingly long amount of time and you will be invincible for the entire duration.

Don't try to use this to hit your opponents since it can be avoided easily but if your oppnent should try this, try to get under them and wait a bit before their hit box should end. At that point you can use an up air and since it lasts so long you should be able to catch them before they can perform a dodge.


Overall

It's an okay stage for Palutena but certainly not the best. No platforms and limited options on the ground part of the stage makes it like Final Destination except you have less room to maneuver around, giving you less options. The platforms above can help with your ability to KO vertically but trying to KO from down below is difficult due to the high ceiling. This makes your up smash even less useful since it will have overall reduced KO power unless you are positioned on one of the platforms.



Recommended?

Not very recommended if it's a solo stage. Up kill game is mostly nerfed, barrels will help people with bad recoveries more than you and worse options than FD on the base part of the stage. It can work well in doubles though.


Overview
  • Not the best stage for Palutena since it's small and doesn't have close platforms to give her better spacing defense.
  • High Vertical blastzones
    • Hard to KO with up smash and up air unless near the platforms
  • No platforms near the base of the stage and not very long
    • Like Final Destionation but shorter
    • Allows warp ledge canceling from middle of the stage to the edge though


Lylat Cruise

This is one of the few stages that tilts around during the course of the match. The result is that it can throw off aerial timing and screw up recoveries which is just terrible in general but worse for some characters.


Platforms

There are three platforms. The two at the sides allow for SHFF''d fairs, bairs and our full hop nair auto cancel. The middle one only allows for a SHFF'd bair. This means your pressure options are much greater when near the sides. If you corner your opponent near the ledge, having the platform above makes it safer from aerial approaches since you can bair through it. Of course this applies against you too, making it harder to get back from the ledge.

The side platforms are really close to the edges of the stage though, making it a possible recovery option to ledge cancel onto a side platform or warp to just the ledge. This gives you a few more recovery options to work with. Due to tilting though it can be trickier to land a ledge canceled warp on these platforms.


Length

The stage is a good length though and you will have a lot of room to move around. Having the platforms at the various points in the stage can be useful to prevent attacks coming down from above. The stage also angles at the tips of the stage though, so be careful about warp ledge canceling to the edges since if the ship tips a certain way, you could be sent over the edge more easily and SD.


Misc

Despite what sounds like a good stage, it's the ledges that are a killer for Palutena. The way they are angled is such that its EXTREMELY easy to get the wrong angle for Palutena. Most stages have a lip that curves back towards the stage, meaning if you miss it will curve you back up to grab the ledge. However this stage does the opposite and so if you don't aim right, you will die, guaranteed due to the way Palutena's warp works. This becomes even worse factoring in that the stage tilts as well, making it even harder to aim the warp.

However if you are using Jump Glide or Rocket Jump, these moves tend to keep going vertically for a much longer duration than warp, meaning if you do miss the ledge at first, you have a bit of time to correct yourself and grab the ledge. This means that people who have recoveries that don't go vertical and hang for a bit are at a disadvantage on this stage, so keep this in mind.


Recommended?

Depends. In terms of platforms and spacing, this is actually a pretty good stage for Palutena. You should choose it only depending on two factors, what Up B you are using and who your opponent is. If you use warp, this could spell trouble if can't aim your warp as well but the other two up b options have a better chance of grabbing the ledge.

If your opponent has an instant up b option or one that can die as easily as Palutena missing her warp, then that can also be to your benefit. So a Rob or Sonic would work better against you while a Diddy Kong can miss the ledge if the ship decides to tilt at the wrong moment.


Overview
  • Depends on the match up and what Up B you are using
  • Platforms on the sides provide...
    • SHFF'd fairs, bairs and full hop nair autocancelled
  • Platform in the middle only provides...
    • SHFF'd bair
  • Long length of stage gives you good chance for maneuver around the stage
  • Ledges are evil in this stage, you can SD very easily but so can your opponents


Town and City

This stage has a flat surface that's pretty long, about the same length as Smashville. Unlike Smashville though, the platform isn't consistent. There are instead two transformations that occur that will bring in different platforms. The first consists of three platforms, two at the sides and one in the middle. The second will have two platforms that are lower and be at equal height, going side to side across the stage before going away.


Length of the stage

Provides for a good distance to be able to maneuver, better than Battlefield but not quite as good as final destination. But with proper use of the platforms, your spacing game can be even better.


First Platforms Transformation

Unlike most platforms for the legal stages, every single one of these is too high to perform any of our SHFF aerial pressure. You can still pressure with full hop aerials but obviously you can't do as much pressure. One trick though is that you can pressure with a full hop uair, and as soon as it ends, use your second jump to lead into another uair. However most of the time opponents can simply jump off the platform to avoid it, but it's a potential mix up option.

Since the platforms are so high this means your spacing options will be more limited since the platforms won't really protect you close to the ground. You thankfully can get some extra pressure to be able to use your uair, potentially leading to more kills. For example if they should land on the platform predictably, you can time your uair as they land to either catch their landing lag, or dodge if they air dodge that close to the ground. So we lose some spacing pressure from SHFF moves to gaining some more uair kill potential.


Second Platforms Transformation

Think of these platforms like the Smashville platforms. They together are about the same size as the length of the Smashville platform but they are at a lower height. This means you can use SHFF fair and bair as well as full hop nair auto cancel. During this transformation you will lose that extra uair kill potential for your spacing pressure against people on platforms once again.

The moving platforms can throw you off though so you will need to be careful about how you do follow up combos or pressure. It will also be harder to warp ledge cancel onto the platforms but since there are two, when they are close together you have even more options to warp ledge cancel at any given moment.


Overall

This is a pretty good stage for Palutena. Both transformations can still benefit Palutena since the first transformation can give more KO opportunities while the second option will give you back more spacing options. If you take advantage of these changes and try to focus on racking up damage on one, then killing with the other, then this stage will work out well.


Recommended?

A good stage for Palutena as long as you can take advantage of the changes in the stage. It's a better option for her than Smashville is in my opinion.


Overview
  • Two Transformations but only changing platforms
  • Length of Smashville, not too big or too small
  • Platform Transformation 1
    • Platforms too high for proper SHFF pressure
      • Makes spacing near the ground more akin to FD
    • Platforms high enough for uair pressure and potential kill options
      • Getting opponents to land on platforms gives you more changes to catch them uairs
  • Platform Transformation 2
    • Platforms just low enough to do proper SHFF pressure
      • Can do SHFF fair, bair and full hop auto cancel nair
    • Platforms move around
      • Makes it spacing a bit weird and you can lose your platform protection or gain it if the platform hovers over or leaves
      • Ledge canceling is harder
      • If platforms are both together then you have extra ledge canceling options






Overview

This section is always in progress and depends on the how the meta evolves for every character. Since there are so many characters I may not be able to cover them all due to inexperience in certain match ups. These match ups also assume default Palutena moveset.

Match ups are assigned based on what tools each character has versus Palutena. These go from Easy to Medium to Hard. Some Palutena users may find match ups easier than others despite what category I put these in. These are my own personal interpretations so don't take it as the absolute truth. I am just giving a rough idea how the match up could fair with this score. The meat of the information is in the analysis of each character's moves.



Captain Falcon (Medium)
Strengths
  • Incredibly fast mobility
  • Easy to grab due to his speed and can punish landing very easily if you get too predictable
  • Incredibly powerful KO moves (forward smash, fair, bair, side b)
  • Can get a lot of damage and combos from uairs
  • Jab is very quick and can interrupt and catch people very easily
    • Also has a small hit box behind him
Weakenesses
  • Not many good approach options other than his speed
    • Nairs and bairs are their only good aerials for approaches
  • Easy to gimp recovery
  • Easy to combo due to his weight

Captain Falcon leans on the faster side of characters which can be difficult for Palutena to handle. You will need to have a lot of patience because he can very easily punish predictable SHFFL'd aerials by grabbing you. Your spacing will need to be on point against a good Falcon otherwise you can get grabbed a lot. You will need to make sure you don't use your aerials predictably or just keep on throwing them out because of this. Your jab will become more useful in this match up but even this can be punished if Captain Falcon baits it out and is ready for a throw.

Aside from this Captain Falcon will have a lot of trouble approaching you. The only options he has when approaching are quick movement combined with jabs, nairs and bairs for a potential kill and obviously his grabs. Jab has to be done by stopping but they come out incredibly quickly. Thankfully they don't have much range at the very least. Nairs can be beat out by your bair and has more landing lag than your fair. If you manage to shield the nairs you can easily grab due to how long the move lasts. Bairs are very dangerous when you are high percents and they come out incredibly quickly. They aren't that large a range though as your own bair will beat it out and out space it too.

Aside from Bair, Captain Falcon has a lot of kill moves if he can get a read on you. Forward Smash can kill very early if he reads a mispaced move, especially since the range on this move is very large as well. His fair can be used to read an air dodge and kill incredibly early as well. His side b is very good for reading rolls but can be easily punished if he misses it, allowing you to smash in return.

Overall Difficulty – Medium

Playing against Falcon is all about patience. Missing a Smash Attack is very likely to get you killed due to how powerful he is so you will need to focus on spacing more than ever. But you definitely outspace him in neutral, so don't let him in and don't get too predictable as he can capitalize on mistakes and mispaced aerials thanks to his incredibly fast dash grab and wide array of strong KO moves.


Diddy Kong (Hard)
Strengths
  • Great KO options that are all very safe
  • Very quick movement speed
  • Banana can get control of the stage
  • Back throw and down throw both lead into potential KO options
  • Down Throw to uair or fair are good combos and potential KO setups
Weaknesses
  • Easy to gimp if below the stage
Diddy Kong is a character with good match ups against a lot of characters thanks to very strong aerials, quick movement speed and plenty of KO options. His aerials can space almost as good as you can and he has stronger ground options thanks to his banana and down tilt for setting up combos and grabs. He only has access to one Banana (2 in Brawl) in which he can hit you with, leading into smash attacks or grabs. He can also leave the banana on the floor to control space since if you land on it, you will trip as if he hit you.

Having the banana in hand can lead to great pressure since he can follow up very soon after it. You might be pressured into shielding and staying in place against the banana, but don't do that, it gives Diddy complete control of the stage and a lot of options against Palutena since she doesn’t even have many out of shield options. If he does get a banana you need to play a bit more cautiously but you still need to move around. Dashing into shield back and forth will keep you mobile and more protected from the banana. Be careful about doing short hop fairs since Diddy can throw quickly enough to catch you when you land with the banana. In this match up, it's actually a better idea to go a bit more on the offense so that he doesn't have as many chances to set up a banana. Some Diddy's might always try to go for their banana and you can punish them when they do, but others will try to bait you into doing unsafe attacks since they know you are going to pressure them for the banana. So aggressive but defensive play is still key as Palutena, don't forget to space out your offensive correctly.

The banana is one tool but what makes Diddy Kong such a good character is his KO options. His easiest combo move is generally down throw into Fair or Uair depending on DI. Down throw to Uair is the most dangerous as it can kill at around 100% or lower depending on rage. At higher percents you can DI out, but if you don't, it becomes an easy kill setup for Diddy Kong which most other characters don't have. Due to Diddy Kong's quick grab speed and movement, this can become a big problem. Thankfully it's possibly to DI out, especially when you are at higher percents but Diddy Kongs may try to bait out an air dodge as they are able to use uair very quickly so they can still get that uair kill if you dodge to predictably.

Aside from his uair, fair is also a good KO move, it comes out fast and it's used a spacing tool by being SHFF'd near the ground. This move can trade with your fair, so be careful since Diddy's has KO potential while yours doesn't. His forward smash is another great KO move and it comes out incredibly fast. If you shield the full move, you will not be able to punish with a grab or dash attack as the move has incredibly low ending lag. The only way you will punish is if he completely mispaces it or you roll behind him but there is a very low chance you will get a smash punish due to how quick it is. It's better not to risk trying a smash attack unless he is just out of range and is just starting it up, in which case a forward smash can reach and deal lots of damage or potentially KO.

Diddy Kong thankfully has an easy to gimp recovery although we don't have a whole lot of tools for accomplishing that. A good dair would definitely take him out but it's extremely hard to land and usually not worth the risk. Diddy Kong can recover with side b, and if you are caught in it while edge guarding, will send you straight down, possibly gimping you if you used your jump. Nair may be your best bet for edge guarding Diddy Kong if he is going low but the knockback from the move will send him high up, so chances are he won't die unless he gets stage spiked or is at a very high perent. As a Palutena player, we have less gimping tools for Diddy in a game that's already hard enough to gimp in.


Overall Difficulty – Hard

I am still learning the match up as well but I find this is one of Palutena's most difficult. Great KO options, great spacing options and stage control options show why Diddy Kong is one of the best characters in the game. You generally outpace him without his Banana but most of his moves are so safe and fast that he can punish on mistakes that you wouldn't be able to punish him for. His banana allows him to pressure and gain stage control since one hit from the banana can lead to a KO move or throw, which automatically forces you at the very least, a bit more on the defensive. His most dangerous move, especially against Palutena is his uair since Palutena is not a heavy character. While you will struggle to KO him, Diddy has a lot more options for a KO.


Fox (Difficult)
Strengths
  • Very fast movement speed
  • Great vertical KO power
  • Quick KO moves
  • Can combo into KO moves
  • Most moves come out very quick
  • Can recover very easily thanks to side B and Up B
Weaknesses
  • Lacks range in moves
  • Very lightweight, easy to KO
  • Can be easy to gimp if he has to use his Up B
Fox is another one of those short, fast characters who can pose some serious problems for Palutena. He moves very quickly and can easily get a grab or interrupt you up close with jabs. He also has plenty of KO moves and he can even combo into some of them with relative ease, making him a very dangerous threat. He can also easily punish any of your whiffed smashes and has plenty of leeway to do it due to how fast his Up Smash comes out. The one area you have him beat is that he lacks range in a lot of his moves.


Close Range Fox

You will have to play even more spacing heavy than normal because Fox absolutely accels at being right next to you. His jab comes out very quickly and can lead to ease shield pressure and a grab. It can easily interrupt some of you moves as well. When he is up close, he can throw out bairs,nairs, and jabs for pressure as well and due to his fast falling speed, can easily go for a empty short hop into grab. Due to his quick movement speed on the ground and in the air, it can be very hard to keep him out even with your superior spacing moves. As a Fox, his usual approach options can be dashing into shield, spaced bairs, falling nairs, dashing into dash attack / dashing into grab. Thankfully your bair still out prioritizes all his moves but be careful about landing on the ground with it. If he shields, chances are he can probably get close to ground you if improperly spaced. If you find he likes to nair on top of you, your up tilt might be useful to catch it, but don't get baited into using that move. Fox can easily punish you with a good smash attack if you whiff the up tilt.


Combos and KO moves

Fox's combo game is also dangerous as they lead to KO moves sometimes. His nair at higher percents when done with the weak hit, can combo into an up smash and since Palutena is light, will easily KO her. Fox can also use his side b to land into an up smash as well at certain percents. Normally most Fox's won't try to attack you using this move but if they are recovering on stage, it can catch you a surprise and net them a kill. Their dash attack can also knock you up high enough to connect with his up air, another great kill move. Other KO moves include bairs which have very little landing lag and great KO power, down smash which comes out pretty quickly and can cover the ledge, and forward smash which generally isn't very safe for them to use. His most dangerous KO moves by far are his uair, up smash and bair.


Recovery

When he is recovering, he will usually resort to side B to the ledge which is usually hard to stop. It can be intercepted by an aerial but the timing can be difficult. I am working to see if a nair will out prioritze it but even if you try this option, he can try to side b above you and will make it back the stage safely. If Fox gets stuck using his Up b though, he can be easy to hit due to how long he is in the animation of the move so that will be your best chance to gimp him. Most of your options aren't very good for gimping a Fox though as your bair will hit him into the stage but he can tech it, fair is very hard to land and nair knocks them upwards, allowing them to use side b again. You can attempt a dair as that will be a guaranteed kill but the timing is extremely difficult, despite being your best bet for an actual gimp.


KOing Fox

To KO Fox otherwise, it is very difficult to do so. Smash attacks are very risky to do and you should only attempt them when you know Fox won't take a stock off a whiffed smash attack. Any of the smashes you do will be punished by an up smash from a competent Fox player. Your bairs are great for challenging his aerials and can net you the KO but can be dangerous when used close to the ground since he can probably grab you if he gets in too close. You'll have to trick him into falling into your bair or catching him with a nair near the edge if he is at high enough percent. At high enough percents your up tilt can actually KO as well if you find him nairing into you from above. As usual down throw to uair can KO if he doesn't DI properly and if you condition him to air dodge, you might be able to bair into an up smash.


Overall – Difficult

Great movement speed and KO options makes Fox a dangerous threat. He isn't normally very easy to gimp as a Palutena player so you will have to take stocks the long way. It can be very hard to take out a Fox and rage will make him a great threat if you can't close out the stock. Thankfully his lightweight will help with your KO options if you can make some solid reads and in some stages, even a back throw can become a good option to take out a Fox.

Your spacing will be even more important but very difficult to perform since Fox can bait out your spacing options and punish with a grab or other attacks much like a Captain Falcon might. The difference between Fox and Falcon is that Fox tends to have more approach options and the ability to combo into his KO moves.

This is definitely not an easy match up for Palutena.

Shulk (Medium to Hard)
Strengths
  • Monado arts allow him to change his attributes to allow him to adapt to any situation
  • A good amount of KO moves
  • Speed monado gives him excellent spacing and punishing options
  • A lot of range on his aerials, making him a very spacing reliant character
  • Can live incredibly long with shield monado and jump monado, making it even harder to kill him
Weaknesses
  • Most powerful KO moves are all punishable (Smash attacks and bair)
  • Can be easily gimped if jump monado is not available
  • His only safe move really close his jab
Shulk's access to Monado Arts means he can be speeding around faster than you at one point, dealing insane damage with the buster at another, or going off to edge guard all on the fly. Every single one of his monado arts is a threat to you in one way or another and a good Shulk player is going to make great use of all of them during the course of the match. This fact alone can make Shulk very difficult to deal with as Palutena as he can kill earlier than you, and prevent you from killing him thanks to arts like Defense and Smash.

Shulk's overall playstyle leans heavily towards spacing but he can do so in an incredibly quick way. His speed monado and nair combined are very fast spacing tools that cover a large distance around him and if spaced correctly are very hard or impossible to punish. He can also pressure you into shield and go for insanely quick grabs, meaning its difficult to stay in the air due to the nair but also difficult to stay on the ground due to his grabs. Thankfully bairs can be useful for stopping nairs but be careful about being baited into bairs. He can easily punish you by grabbing you if you miss or mispace.

In terms of kill options, Shulk has plenty. His up smash comes out quick and is quite good at covering ledge options as it picks up normal get up and roll. With Smash art on, it can net an easy kill for him so watch out for that. Every single one of his smashes can kill pretty early even without smash but they are still highly punishable so take advantage of this if he decides to go for them too much. Other moves to watch out for are f-tilt and bair as those can kill pretty early as well if they land. However f-tilt and bair can both be punished by a dash attack or grab most of the time. His throws can have a brutal amount of power as well during smash monado, so be careful about staying in shield too much. Finally he has great off stage options for ko as well, since he can use jump monado to leap off and strike with fairs or bairs. Thankfully due to Palutena's fast warp it shouldn't be as difficult to avoid these ko options most of the time.

Shulk can also be very hard to KO as well thanks to his jump monado to recover on stage as well as the defensive monado. Combined together, you could hit him off stage while he is in defense and then he may switch to jump, allowing him to recover from almost anywhere unless he has no jump. One thing to note about the defense monado is that it will change how far he is sent flying with down throw so you will be able to get more follows ups at least, possibly even an uair since he won't be able to DI away as much.


Overall Difficulty – Medium to Hard

Shulk has amazing spacing tools, most of them farther than your own and all of them being disjointed so they can beat out fair if he gets them out before you do. Your aerials thankfully come out earlier so you may be able to him before he can do them. If you find he uses his nairs right into you a lot, up tilt may be a good option to catch him but do so with caution, don't be baited into it since you can be punished with a smash attack. Otherwise you must be very patient and keep on staying mobile. Dashing and going into shield when he does aerials may get you into a position where you can jab or grab him as he lands.

Due to the combination of all his monado arts, he can outspeed you, punish and kill with grabs, kill early with a good portion of his moves with smashes, and be incredibly hard to KO with defense. All of this combined can make Shulk a very tough customer since he is almost like you in terms of spacing playstyle but can move even faster, has more range, more ko power and tougher to kill. His KO options are thankfully risky as you can punish with grabs/dash attacks at least, and against Smashes you can usually get a smash punish in return if you act right away.

This can make for a very patient and long game where you will both keep trying to rack up damage, looking for openings to take the other out. Overall stay mobile so that you can capitalize on his mistakes if he mispaces. In this match up, you may want to stay close to him than you would in other match ups due to his long range.


Yoshi (Medium)
Strengths
  • A lot of strong KO moves
  • Most KO moves are pretty safe
  • Super Armor for Second Jump
  • Good spammable Projectile for Spacing
  • Quick moves with very little landing lag
  • Heavy character, hard to KO

Weaknesses
  • Easy to gimp if jump is lost
  • Doesn't have a lot of range on most moves
  • Heavy character, easy to combo
  • Has trouble approaching
Yoshi is a character with a lot of balanced moves. He has pretty good mobility, great aerials, some pretty good kill moves and a lot of quick attacks. He lacks in range, making it somewhat hard for him to approach but thanks to his Up B, he can toss eggs to help him space and get him in close to opponents. The most interesting property of Yoshi is that he has super armor when he jumps, which can make it very hard to him with any of Palutena's moves when he is airborn since he can simply absorb the hits and counter with his own or just ignore them due to most of them being multi hit.

Yoshi seems to suffer most when approaching. He doesn't have that much range on his aerial moves, nor on most of his ground attacks except for Forward Smash. As a Palutena player this means you should be able to keep him at a distance if you maintain your spacing right. Watchout for his aerials though since they still come out deceptively quick such as his fair and nair for crossing you up. Your bair will be useful for challenging and defeating all of these attacks but due Yoshi can shield grab using his tongue if you land with a bair with too much lag. Another problem Yoshi has with his approach is his grab is slow so it can be easily dodge if baited out, making it an unsafe option that most Yoshi's won't try. If you shield too much, they can still use their neutral B which can be B reversed in the air to catch you in shield. You should also not shield so much and let Yoshi approach like that since his nair has almost no landing lag and he can pressure into jabs right away.

One additional thing to note is Yoshi can space using his eggs but we have a reflector to deal with these. If you are going to reflect them back, try to do it right away and only from a far distance. Yoshi can possibly be hit by his own eggs or be forced to shield so that his spacing attempts won't be of much use. He shouldn't be fast enough to close the gap and get a punish on you if you stay just far away enough.


Close Combat Pressure

When Yoshi does get close and you are caught in shield, nair, jabs, fair can all be powerful tools. If you shield too much he might even do a dair which can eat almost your entire shield and shield stab if you stay in it too much. If he lands on the ground with the dair though you can get an easy punish due to high amounts of lag. Fairs can be auto cancelled and come out quite quickly so they can deal some serious damage to you if you aren't expecting it. Of course your bair can beat them though so if they keep on using that move, beat them out with bair.

Another option Yoshi has is a down B at close range. If you are jumping, it can catch you with a first hit, when Yoshi goes up and then combo into the second hit, making it a very good KO move. It can damage shields quite a bit and also catch you if you are jumping too much. The end of the move makes stars around the edges, which can screw up your punish if you aren't expecting it.

At close range, a nair from a Yoshi just landing is pretty much unpunishable even if you shield. If you try to grab him, he will get out a jab before you can. Don't even try to jab back either since Yoshi will probably beat out your jab as well. Nair is a dangerous tool and you don't want to let Yoshi get that kind of pressure close on you. A close range Yoshi can scare you into shielding and he can use his B in the air to catch you and deal some hefty damage.


KO Moves

Yoshi comes with a lot of powerful KO options although most of them are aerial KO moves. His up smash has quite a bit of power and covers a decent range around him and comes out fast. This up smash can also be combo'd from a jab so be careful when you are close to him. His other aerial KO moves include Uair which is incredibly dangerous because it comes out very fast and outpriorizes all your moves when he is underneath you. His down B is the other move that can KO vertically as well. This makes it very dangerous to ever be underneath Yoshi, don't even try to challenge him when you're above him, just try to make it safely to the ground, either via the edge, or ledge cancelling.

He still has some good horizontal Ko moves. His forward smash is rather quick and doesn't have too much ending lag, and out spaces your jab but doesn't out space your forward smash. It still packs quite a punch so be careful when you are spacing jabs around a Yoshi who knows their spacing. Additionally the fair is a powerful move near the edge and can also spike, and comes out deceptively quickly so watch out for spike attempts since even if he doesnt land the spike, it has enough power to KO. His bair can also KO but it's not the most powerful move, but still comes out very fast despite not having too much range.


KO'ing Yoshi

Yoshi is very difficult to KO, especially for Palutena. He is a very heavy character in general and thanks to his Super Armor, he can be very hard to gimp when he recovers low. When he recovers, he uses his eggs to cover his approach from the ledge, which can interupt your edge guard quite easily and net him the ledge. However despite this, you may be able to catch them with an up smash while they are trying to grab the ledge as they may overshoot the ledge when they try their Up B. This could catch them without super armor, getting a KO or if they do get him, give you another chance to take them out.

Bair is your best friend in this match up since it can interupt Yoshi's aerials and also possibly net the KO when near the edge. He will essentially have to dodge a lot if he is in the iar since he can't challenge the bair since his moves are beat out by itand almost out spaced by it as well. When Yoshi is making his approach from the ledge, a well placed bair may hit him if they aren't careful.

Aside from bair, uair is still very useful for Koing but you need to be careful when you use it due to Yoshi's super armor being able to absorb most of the hits. Try to see if you can bait out an air dodge or an early jump and then use an uair.

The last thing you can try is to go for spaced Forward Smashes since you do out range him completely with this move. It's a risky choice but if you manage to bait out some Yoshi Fairs or Forward Smashes, you may be able to position yourself to catch him before he gets out of his own lag. Only try this if you have a good read on their patterns and you have the timing of their lag down though. Otherwise, good luck trying to KO Yoshi.


Overall Difficulty – Medium

You outspace Yoshi and Yoshi is not the fastest character in the cast so that makes your spacing game quite powerful against him, especially with bairs. Despite these faults, if Yoshi can get in, he has a lot of strong KO options, especially if you get caught below him. In addition, Yoshi's heavy weight and super armor can make it difficult to KO him in return (unless you can take out his double jump early).

However since Yoshi is not the fastest, you can make it very hard for him to approach and rack up damage with proper spacing. You are fast enough to be able to keep him out and space with jabs, fairs and bairs, especially compared to the faster characters like Fox. He may have more KO options than you do, but if you pay patiently enough,you can keep him just out of your zone.






How To Play Pretty Palutena
  • Space your opponents out, don't let them in too close
  • Your aerials are great, make use of them
  • Grabs are important, know when to grab
  • Don't too greedy with Smashes as they can be easily punished
  • Platform stages are generally better for Palutena
  • Side Taunt
Use for Spacing
  • Jab
  • Fair
  • Bair
  • Empty hops into grab
  • Dtilt (For longer range and catching spot dodges and rolls)
  • Neutral B (If opponent is far away and not too fast)

Use for Kos
  • Uair (Can potentially be combo'd from Down Throw)
  • Bair
  • Back Throw (At edge and higher percents and with high rage)
  • Up Smash or Forward Smash (On a read or for a heavy punish)
Use for Combos Starters
  • Jab
  • Down Throw
  • Fair
  • Nair

Best for Punishes
  • Dash Attack (For a quick punish)
  • Grab and Throws (Either on Shield or if you can dash in fast enough)
  • Up Smash & Forward Smash (If you have lots of time)
  • Bair (if in the air at the time, otherwise use a fair if you have no other punish options)

Ledge Options for opponent rising
  • Dtilt
  • Jab
  • Short hopped fair / bair
  • Super Hard Read with Smash Attack

Anti Air
  • Utilt (When opponent is attacking you close to ground)
  • Bair (Challenge opponent's aerials, high priority)
  • Up Smash (When opponent is really high)
  • Uair (When below them, high priority and good KO power)

Extra Mobility
  • Ledge Canceled Warps (Up B)

Use for Spike
  • Dair





The video discussion thread on Smash Boards for Palutena has videos of some great players' matches so looking over those is a good exercise in understanding Palutena play. Learn what these players are doing, why they are doing it, what they are punishing with, why they are getting punished, etc.

Right now the most prominent Palutena players with the best results in their regions are TLTC, Prince Ramen and myself in no particular order. You should be able to easily find matches for all these players on youtube, so go check them out but be sure to check out all the other Palutena players' videos too! You never know what kind of neat tricks you'll find other players using that you might be able to incorporate into your strategies.

Here is a link to the video thread
http://smashboards.com/threads/i-see-all-palutena-video-thread.368608/

UPDATE - 21/06/2017

SmashVods is a site that archives many tournaments and allows you to select what characters are featured. With this you can find matches from other Palutena players all over the world easily!

http://smashvods.com/ssb4


Perfect Pivoting
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vaR4RM-qr0 – Perfect Pivot Distances (My Smash Corner)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJ_ZzAvSFis – Perfect Pivot for All Characters (Izaw)

I will leave these tutorial videos to teach the technique since they offer a much clearer way of understanding how to perform it as well as some visuals about what it can offer.


What is Perfect Pivoting?

Perfect Pivoting is a technique where your character will move a small distance but with no lag. In the process your character turns around and you can perform any move out of this technique. This essentially allows you to control space better, repositioning yourself to retreat to punish, or doing a retreating attack. Certain characters will move a further distance, while others won't move very much at all. For example Captain Falcon can go the farthest, while Jigglypuff will only move a very short distance. Palutena is around the middle spectrum, so it's not a terrible perfect pivot but not the best either.

Just a forewarning, this technique is hard to pull off and will take some practice to get right. You have only a few frames to do the technique and screwing up will make you dash in place, and if you do an attack, do a laggy dash attack instead. Some people argue that there aren't many benefits to using the technique since other people were arguing this was the new "wavedash" that offered lots of movement options in melee. I leave you to decide and experiment with the technique since you will be a better judge of how useful this technique ends up being.


Moves to Use out of Perfect Pivot

I personally haven't mastered the technique yet but at the moment, but Palutena has some pretty good options using perfect pivot for spacing. A retreating jab is by far your safest option since the jab comes out fast and has long range. If you find yourself very close to an opponent and want to keep a jab safe on shield grab, you can try to reposition yourself using the perfect pivot. A retreating d-tilt also works but is less safe if you whiff it due to the positioning.

Another good choice might be a retreating Forward Smash if you predict an opponent whiffing a move or an aerial descending downwards. Normally you might be forced to shield, making you unable to punish with a forward smash but a perfect pivoted forward smash can possibly space you out of your opponent's reach. Just be carefully about trying this since if they do manage to shield, they can still get a punish on you. You can also perfect pivot to try to position your up-smash better but it's rather risky like any of the other smash attacks to use out of perfect pivot.

The technique can be useful if mastered but some may argue it's not on the level that wavedash in melee would offer in terms of benefit. But feel free to experiment with the technique since that's how we'll find out if it can really be applied in a tournament setting.


Overview of Perfect Pivot
  • Use for spacing and repositioning for moves
  • Very hard to time (Only have a few frames to get it right, otherwise you will end up doing a dash in place)
  • Generally Good moves for Perfect Pivot
    • Jab, D-Tilt, Forward Smash (Risky but good for punishing opponent's badly spaced moves)



Other Palutena Tech

I already covered Warp Ledge Cancelling in this guide, which can be found here.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jKf28n8t7Q

As I discussed in the Special Alts section, there is also Glide Bouncing for Palutena's Jump Glide Up B Alternate Special, which Ninja Link covers in this tutorial.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-yLtXGEc1M

You can also have infinite Light Weight for Palutena's Alternate Down B special, covered by Ninja Link in this video.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGvyPRiuKaY

There is also the ability to save your momentum for Palutena's Super Speed, discussed in this thread
http://smashboards.com/threads/palutena-momentum-saving-new-super-speed-tech.372071/

If there are any other techs not listed here, let me know and I can add them!




If you're looking for specific Frame Data for Palutena's moves, this is the place. This is just a compilation of information found by other users. All of the information and formating was already done by them so please give credit to them for all of their hard work.

Please note that there are 60 frames in every second in Super Smash Brothers, so if a value says 15 frames, it means that it takes 1/4 of a second for that action to complete. The lower the frames, the faster a move comes out / ends.

The information of Palutena (and other characters) frame data was posted in the following links.

Landing Lag - http://smashboards.com/threads/all-character-landing-lag-frame-data.371503/

Frame Data and KO percents - http://smashboards.com/threads/comp...-every-character-now-with-ko-percents.383550/

UPDATE - 21/06/2017

The website Kurogane Hammer contains frame date for Palutena and other characters in a much more easy to read format. So use that for your frame data needs!

http://kuroganehammer.com/Smash4/Palutena


Landing Lag

Nair – 24 Frames
Fair – 12 Frames
Bair – 16 Frames
Uair – 24 Frames
Dair - 18 Frames
Air Dodge – 22 Frames



Frame Data

Normal Attacks
Jab1
Frame 8-10: 3% 30b/60g (KO@ 777%) 80° 0.5-Hitlag Magic
Max Damage: 3%
Enables transition to next jab state on real frame 18

Repeating Jab End
Frame 3- 4: 3% 55b/140g (KO@ 248%) 361° 2.0-Hitlag Magic
Max Damage: 3%

Dash Attack
Frame 6- 9: 9%(+3) 70b/90g (KO@ 193%) 60°
Frame 6- 9: 9%(+3) 70b/90g (KO@ 178%) 70°
Frame 10-17: 5% 60b/70g (KO@ 434%) 60°
Max Damage: 9%
Begins partial invincibility on real frame 4
End partial invincibility on real frame 16

F-tilt (normal)
Frame 17-39: [6%(+1)]x3 43b/100g (KO@ 236%) 361°
Frame 17-39: [4%(+1)]x3 43b/100g (KO@ 318%) 361°
Max Damage: 18%

U-tilt
Frame 10-38: [1%(+1)]x6 100f/50w 366° 0.3-SDI
Frame 10-38: [1%(+1)]x6 100f/30w 190° 0.3-SDI
Frame 10-38: [1%(+1)]x6 100f/20w 366° 0.3-SDI
Frame 40-41: 2.5%(+1) 60b/195g (KO@ 204%) 85° 2.0-Hitlag
Frame 40-41: 1.5%(+1) 60b/195g (KO@ 266%) 85° 2.0-Hitlag
Max Damage: 8.5%

D-tilt
Frame 14-24: 8.5%(+1) 40b/100g (KO@ 180%) 361° Ground-Target-Only
Frame 14-24: 5%(+1) 38b/100g (KO@ 324%) 70° Aerial-Target-Only
Max Damage: 8.5%

F-smash (normal)
Frame 18-19: 16%(+1) 40b/97g (KO@ 97%) 361° Slash
Frame 18-19: 13%(+1) 40b/96g (KO@ 124%) 361° Slash
Frame 20-25: 0% 100f/40w 361°
Frame 26-31: 0% 100f/26w 361°
Max Damage: 16%
Article generated on real frame 1
Smash charge window on real frame 11

U-smash
Frame 18-26: 16% 53b/84g (KO@ 115%) 88°
Frame 18-26: 12% 55b/85g (KO@ 152%) 88°
Frame 18-26: 9% 55b/87g (KO@ 195%) 88°
Max Damage: 16%
Smash charge window on real frame 13

D-smash
Frame 17-17: 15% 40b/103g (KO@ 123%) 60° Slash
Frame 18-19: 13% 30b/90g (KO@ 130%) 28° Slash
Frame 20-27: 0%(+1) 100f/32w 361°
Max Damage: 15%
Article generated on real frame 1
Smash charge window on real frame 14

Nair
Frame 5-27: [1.5%(+1)]x5 100f/20w 100° 0.3-SDI Ground-Target-Only
Frame 5-27: [1.5%(+1)]x5 100f/20w 366° 0.3-SDI Aerial-Target-Only
Frame 31-32: 4%(+3) 30b/180g (KO@ 216%) 55° 2.0-Hitlag
Max Damage: 11.5%
Enables transition to Nair landing state (landing lag) on real frame 4
Cancels transition to Nair landing state (landing lag) on real frame 40

Fair
Frame 9-11: 7%(+3) 30b/100g (KO@ 240%) 45°
Max Damage: 7%
Enables transition to Fair landing state (landing lag) on real frame 4
Cancels transition to Fair landing state (landing lag) on real frame 24

Bair
Frame 8-10: 12%(+3) 30b/92g (KO@ 152%) 361° 1.2-Hitlag
Frame 8-10: 9%(+3) 30b/92g (KO@ 200%) 361°
Max Damage: 12%
Enables transition to Bair landing state (landing lag) on real frame 3
Begins partial invincibility on real frame 3
End partial invincibility on real frame 11
Cancels transition to Bair landing state (landing lag) on real frame 35

Uair
Frame 8-23: [1%]x4 100f/40w 105° 0.8-Hitlag 0.7-SDI Ground-Target-Only
Frame 8-23: [1%]x4 100f/20w 366° 0.8-Hitlag 0.7-SDI Aerial-Target-Only
Frame 25-26: 5% 50b/152g (KO@ 197%) 65° 1.5-Hitlag
Frame 25-26: 5% 50b/152g (KO@ 180%) 88° 1.5-Hitlag
Max Damage: 9%
Enables transition to Uair landing state (landing lag) on real frame 3
Cancels transition to Uair landing state (landing lag) on real frame 64

Dair
Frame 10-10: 9% 30b/100g (KO@ 216%) 55° 1.5-Hitlag Ground-Target-Only
Frame 10-10: 9% 20b/100g (KO@ 276%) 270° 1.5-Hitlag Aerial-Target-Only
Max Damage: 9%
Enables transition to Dair landing state (landing lag) on real frame 3
Cancels transition to Dair landing state (landing lag) on real frame 48

Grabs
Grab
Frame 7- 8: Grab
Enables state transition on real frame 9

Dash Grab
Frame 9-10: Grab
Enables state transition on real frame 11

Pivot Grab
Frame 10-11: Grab
Enables state transition on real frame 12

Pummel
Frame 8- 8: 3.1% 100f/40w 361° Magic
Max Damage: 3.1%
Enables state transition on real frame 23

F-throw
Frame 1-19: 9% 90b/30g (KO@ 409%) 45°
Max Damage: 9%

B-throw
Frame 1-19: 10% 65b/70g (KO@ 183%) 361°
Max Damage: 10%

U-throw
Frame 1-16: 8% 90b/60g (KO@ 235%) 92°
Max Damage: 8%

D-throw
Frame 1-24: 5% 90b/25g (KO@ 896%) 70°
Max Damage: 5%

Specials
Heavenly Light
Frame 1- 2: 1% 100f/19w 24° Fire Ground-Target-Only
Frame 1- 2: 1% 100f/9w 24° Fire Aerial-Target-Only
Frame 1- 2: 1% 100f/5w 24° Fire Aerial-Target-Only
Max Damage: 1%

Reflect Barrier (melee hit)
Frame 8- 8: 5%(+1) 10b/70g (KO@ 442%) 25° Unblockable
Max Damage: 5%
Article generated on real frame 9

Angelic Missile
Frame 3- 4: 13% 55b/82g (KO@ 122%) 34° 1.3-Hitlag
Max Damage: 13%

Super Speed (tackle)
Frame 1- 2: 2.6% 60b/90g (KO@ 516%) 60° 1.5-Hitlag
Max Damage: 2.6%

Warp
Enables all ledge grabs on real frame 1

Rocket Jump (ground)
Frame 2- 3: 12% 70b/99g (KO@ 123%) 54° Fire
Max Damage: 12%

Rocket Jump (aerial)
Frame 2- 3: 10% 10b/100g (KO@ 264%) 270° Fire Aerial-Target-Only
Frame 2- 3: 10% 70b/97g (KO@ 153%) 66° Fire
Max Damage: 10%

Counter (ground activation)
Frame 5- 7: 10% 40b/75g (KO@ 210%) 361° 1.5-Hitlag
Frame 5- 7: 10% 20b/65g (KO@ 281%) 361° 1.5-Hitlag
Max Damage: 10%

Counter (aerial activation)
Frame 5- 7: 10% 40b/75g (KO@ 210%) 361° 1.5-Hitlag
Frame 5- 7: 10% 20b/65g (KO@ 281%) 361° 1.5-Hitlag
Max Damage: 10%

Auto-Reticule
Frame 1- 2: 2.9% 20b/42g 361° Magic
Max Damage: 2.9%

Explosive Flame
Frame 1-28: [0.6%]x6 50b/100g (KO@ 605%) 160° Fire
Frame 30-30: 4% 60b/141g (KO@ 214%) 84° 0.4-SDI Fire Unblockable
Max Damage: 7.6%

Celestial Firework (startup)
Frame 1- 2: 3.2% 100f/105w 91° Fire
Frame 3- 4: 3.2% 100f/80w 91° Fire
Max Damage: 3.2%

Celestial Firework (multi-hit finisher)
Frame 2-17: [1.2%]x4 50b/240g (KO@ 262%) 80° 0.0-SDI Fire
Max Damage: 4.8%

Reflect Barrier (push)
Frame 4-29: [0%]x4 130f/35w 50° Unblockable






I know it's been a long read so thanks to anyone that actually managed to get through this al! I hope this has been helpful in giving insight into how to play Palutena and maybe even into playing Smash better. I'm open for any advice on how to make this guide even better since I want to be able to help as many people as I can!

Once again, thanks for reading!
Author
Ice Ninja
First release
Last update
Rating
4.94 star(s) 82 ratings

Latest updates

  1. New Resource Links and Fixes

    Added links to Kurogane Hammer and Smashvods for resources. Fixed images that were broken
  2. Update 1.5 - Frame Data & Video Update

    Frame Data that was data mined for Super Smash Brothers for Wii U has been included for...
  3. Update 1.4 - Perfect Pivoting & Videos

    Perfect Pivoting added as well links to tutorial videos. (Located in Advanced Techniques...

Latest reviews

very good guide, the percent on some moves is wrong but depending on when this was made it may have been accurate for the time(I can't find the date), very good explanations that arent too jargony and made easy to understand with general knowledge also already provided, so I'd still give it a 5/5
its totaly worth to read even if your used to palutena , her moveset and her combos
Extremely detailed and even giving personal opinions on uses for certain moves. One guide I will be going back to multiple times!
how do i input a fast falled angel warp canceled heavenly dash atk (not withstanding the lack of power shield by my opponent), whereas it must differentiate the distance and velocity vector from the sheik or rosalina. (mostly the zero suits). lol i used this and became very good in my school work.
Good Guide I had learn a lot of things for Palutena .
Thanks you
I feel as though you should've explained more about stuff like watching how the opponent gets up and how players mix that up, if at all. And l honestly wouldn't say bair and dash attack have priority, but invincibility. Regardless, very solid guide.
FIrst off, not only is this guide very useful to beginners, but even people who play Palu may not even know this stuff.
This is very helpful, and an excellent guide! Also, the "Side Taunt" part at the TL;DR part got me.
Great guide, decided today that I'd main Palutena and this guide was very helpful.
Awesome Guide, opened some topics for me which I haven't even considered yet! I'm currently working on a Palutena Guide for the german Smash4 community, do you mind if I take some inspiration, ideas and maybe even 1-2 quotes from here?
Ice Ninja
Ice Ninja
No problem, go right ahead!
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