- Jan 10, 2018
She is indeed a sword character.Corrin is a sword character; she doesn't "need" to get in, but rather control space and look for opportunities to get punishes in. That was the whole point of moves like Pin, which is an extremely punishing mid-range tool, but the problem with Corrin was that after she built up the damage, she extremely struggled at actually finishing her opponents off. It's true that Corrin suffers against faster characters, but that's by design. And no, the things that made her bottom 5 have absolutely addressed lmao. Her abysmal recovery (it's still mediocre, but not untenably bad at launch), her punish game being significantly stronger (Fair now converts into high damage combos and even kill setups) and her raw KO ability (fsmash charge change, pin kick killing 18% earlier~, uair KO buff and some non-gimmicky kill setups being added to her kit) absolutely address Corrin's primary flaw of being utterly redundant by other sword characters. Harping on stuff like Side B occasionally whiffing feels like missing the forest for the trees imo.
A sword character that is not really mobile enough to always take advantage of said spacing tools, having lackluster grounded mobility, and while she has merely below average air speed, her air acceleration is also very lackluster.
Lets compare to say... , another not very mobile sword character. His air acceleration is just as poor as Corrin's, and his run speed and initial dash is slightly slower than her's. However, he possesses noticeably better air speed, which allows him to take better advantage of his aerials despite all (except for back air) being slightly slower, has longer reach on most of his normals (obvious exception is forward smash), more consistent hitboxes (Corrin's nair hitbox can be finicky), and stronger burst options like dash attack.
Now of course, Corrin does have her own advantages. Pin is one, being a punishing mid-range tool that comes out fast if done right. However, Pin remains to be a very committal tool, as its frame data issues has not been touched this patch. There is the fact that Pin's jump got a frame data buff, but that option is still very committal, especially since it puts Corrin above the opponent. Fortunately the reward for landing pin has improved, and I will give you that.
There is also, of course, frame data, which between her and Ike is a mixed bag. Most of Corrin's grounded normals is faster than Ike's, such f-tilt (frame 8 vs frame 12), up tilt (frame 7 vs frame 11), and down tilt (frame 5 vs frame 7). However, they usually come at the cost of having reduced range, with up tilt being very difficult to land on grounded opponents, although her down tilt is a notable advantage she has over Ike.
However, Ike's jab is frame 4: tied for the fastest sword character jab in the game alongside Byleth, Robin, Pit, Cloud, and YLink.
Corrin's is frame 5, with the move's hitbox not even fully coming out on that frame.
I am not saying that Ike simply straight up outclasses Corrin, but the point is that most of her moveset is built to be somewhat similar to that of the Marthlings, with moves that on paper has the ability to nicely control space and punish opponents actions, but her attributes makes it hard to do this consistently.
Except Corrin does not play like a "distance demon" at all. The only button she has that has "distance demon" properties is forward smash. The rest of her buttons is reminiscent of sword characters like the Marthlings. The Belmonts is the first true "distance demon".At the very least, a lack of KOing was what separated Ultimate Corrin from her "distance demon" disjointed peers. Corrin's other advantages were a tough value proposition when anyone you could compare him/her to just plain gets to kill people in fairly straightforward/accessible ways.
That is another main thing about Corrin, she has trouble figuring out what she is supposed to be, which despite her much better consistent KO power, is still something she has issues with.
A lot of her buttons presents nice spacing tools akin to the Marthlings, but she lacks the attributes to really back this up.
Her moves also feels like an awkward middle ground between Marthling and Ike/Shulk buttons, with moves that feel just a bit too slow to function similarly to Marthling buttons (which is combined with the aforementioned attribute issues). Her mobility and playstyle seems to lead to an Ike/Shulk route. While her KO power issues has been mostly alleviated this patch (which is something I admittedly underestimated myself), her buttons still feel too weak and short reached enough to take an Ike/Shulk buttons route.
She is stuck on a awkward hybrid where her moves has properties of both sets of buttons, but her moves does not excel in any of those areas, as the properties of those two sets of buttons oppose eachother.
She suffered this issue in SSB4 as well, until people discovered how absurdly broken her pin was in that game.
So how is she supposed to play?
Her buttons are somewhat respectable in speed, so she could theoretically play out a bait-and-punish playstyle like the Marthlings, but her attributes and some areas of her frame data prevent her from taking full advantage of this.
Her buttons are mostly faster than Ike's and Shulk's while possessing respectable range, so she can play in a playstyle more akin to them, but her buttons are not quite long reached and powerful enough to take full advantage of this despite the buffs, as well as losing out on some key advantages Ike's and Shulk's buttons provide.
She cannot play a "distance demon" playstyle either, as her buttons and playstyle does not function like one at all. Don't let forward smash fool you!
Now the main move, aside from back air, that separates her from the other swordies is the pin. It is fast. It can now kill better. It has mixups. However, it is also very risky, as the cooldown of the move makes it easily punishable. So while it is a distinct advantage, unlike the neutral defining tool it was in SSB4, its advantages are not quite big enough to make her that distinct. It also doesn't help that her other special moves aside from up B is also a shell of their former selves, with neutral B being a lackluster projectile that doesn't even properly connect to the bite half of the time, and down B having below-average power for a counter but lacking the horizontal reach of most other counters.
This pretty much sums why I think Corrin is still a lackluster character in the metagame despite her KO'ing issues being, for the most part, addressed.
has also suffered from a lack of identity for a while. He is a swordie that plays like a typical all-rounder like Mario. Now while there are quite a bit of stuff he fundamentally has, such as an overall solid frame data, good grounded mobility, great edgeguarding thanks to arrows, multi-hit aerials, and the ability to go deep offstage, and an overall very solid recovery.
Now we all know the Pit issues: lack of damage output, rather poor hitboxes, difficulty KO'ing, hard time landing, and lack of a single outstanding button.
Now lets take a look at his buffs in comparison, as the stuff he got in 8.0, which nicely compounds with the stuff he got in 4.0, addresses numerous different things at once with the character.
His KO ability, while not being fully fixed, has been made a lot better thanks to down tilt's new confirms, up tilt's confirms from 4.0, the KO power buffs from up smash, down smash (in both 4.0 and 8.0), and up air, which helps out with the fact he still retains his strong edgeguarding game.
He now has better than average buttons thanks to the big improvements to certain moves like down tilt, up air, and back air (in 4.0).
His damage output, while far from the worse thing about him, wasn't too great before, but it has been improved thanks to the changes to up tilt and down tilt.
His juggling is now better thanks to the change to up air, while retaining the multiple jumps.
His areas of disadvantage, such as getting of ledge and landing, received a notable buff this patch thanks to the changes to his Orbitars in 8.0. It was previously a gimmick tool, especially back in the early Ultimate metagame, but the option has been made much more reliable by reducing it's endlag by 5 frames. It has also received a stealth change akin to the Dedede's Inhale buff against projectiles, in that the time minimum amount of time they have to be help upon activation is also shorter by 5 frames, which means that that the Orbitars minimum time is short enough in that the much less likely to hit Pit after blocking one move with the Orbitars, and slower moves like Ike's up air can outright get punished.
This leads to another important difference between his and Corrin's buffs. This is all compounded with the already solid stuff Pit already has but cannot take advantage of prior to now. Solid ground speed, strong edgeguarding, good neutral game, etc. It is a lot of extra spices to an overall alright moveset and solid attributes, while fixing some weaknesses.
All of this, of course, also applies with , but it also mixed with a stronger neutral tool with his arrows and a usually stronger KO option with his side B.
Aside from having a projectile game and a strong juggle game, there nothing has that is better than any other sword character.I'd say the worst swordfighter currently is a close call between and . Both of them have their merits, but honestly, the both get indirectly nerfed by the buffs to characters like and others.
Mii Swordfighter is faster than Byleth, especially in the air, his zoning tools are better, he's slightly heavier giving him better survivability, but gets outranged much easier, his recovery is worse (no matter which specials he's using), and (depending on which set of customs he's using) can have trouble finding a kill sometimes.
Meanwhile, Byleth is one of the slowest characters in the game and has incredibly mediocre frame data on most of her (or his) moves as well. Byleth's defensive game (while good) is not all that better than Swordfighter's if he's using Chakram, Gale Tornado, and/or Hero's spin up-b (as an OOS option). Byleth does have better edgeguarding and recovery than Swordfighter though. It's worth noting that both characters have an amazing juggling game.
I'm personally leaning towards being worse, especially post patch. In a game where speed matters, Mii Swordfighter not only can move faster than her, but he often dies later too due to his additional weight. He's more susceptible to being edgeguarded, but his weight makes it harder for him to be edgeguarded at early percents. His zoning game is better, he has better kill confirms, his juggling game is just as good as Byleth's (maybe better) and while he does struggle with getting outranged, he still has ways to approach with projectiles or tack on damage from a distance against a larger chunk of the cast.
His range is very lackluster, especially for a sword character. The only other sword character that comes to mind that has worse reach than it is YLink, but YLink has drastically faster frame data, better mobility on the ground, and a much better combo game.
However, there are other sword characters have short sword reach as well, such as YLink, MK, and Roy, and their reach is compensated by having pretty dang good frame data and mobility. Clearly that applies to Mii Swordfighter as well right?
Well no, aside from having pretty good air speed, but we will see that is countered by other issues in its air game.
Its frame data is surprisingly lackluster for not having much reach. Some cruel developer decided to make its jab come out on frame 6. That is one frame slower than Marthcina's, Chroy's, and TLink's jab, two frames slower than Pit's, Ike's, Byleth's, Robin's, Cloud's, and YLink's jab, and only two frames faster than Link's jab. However, IT IS ONE FRAME SLOWER THAN IT'S OWN DOWN TILT.
The frame data on some of it's other moves are also not very good, with its forward tilt coming out on frame 10 (which is slower than the Corrin and Byleth variants), and all of it's aerials have 10+ frames of startup, with its neutral air not even starting on front of it and forward air's multihits not being very reliable, with landing lag not worth writing home about, which are the main things holding back its air game. His other moves is either having too little reach and/or too weak. Its up tilt is one frame faster than Byleth's, but it less safe on block and it covers less reach around.
Its down tilt is the main standout move, as it is frame 5 and other only move outside of up air that has respectable reach.
Now the main thing that separates it and other sword characters is having a solid set of projectiles, as well as a reflector that can answer back on opposing projectiles. Due to its lackluster normals, it finds itself using these projectiles quite a bit.
However, those said projectiles have its own issues. Gale Strike has 20 frames startup, the projectile travels slowly, and is easily punishable on whiff or block.
Chakram is easily its best projectile, as it can anti-air, travels fast, and the short version can lead into combos. However, only one can be out at a time, and blocking it will cause it to stick to the ground, unable to throw out another one until it takes it sweet time to despawn.
Now lets compare a strong aspect both possess: their up airs are pretty dang good. Mii Swordfighter's is frame 11, active for frames 11-23 (first 3 frames is sweetspot), and the sweetspot KOs well.
However, Byleth's up air not only a league above it, but it might be the single best up air in the game. It starts up on frame 10, has pretty good KO power, and is covers significantly more above Byleth than it does for Mii Swordfighter. It is also active for frames 10-23, one more frame active on top of the range it has, and the beginning hits are multi-hits that lead into the final hit, making it significantly less reliant on timing.
I would also argue that Byleth has Mii Swordfighter beat in the KO'ing department. While Mii Swordfighter has more moves that lead into KO options, those said death combo starters (the aforementioned projectiles) are quite tricky to land if the opponent knows that matchups. And if those options cannot land, Mii Swordfighter's KO options are actually very limited and weak. Byleth's better raw KO power, strong whiff punish tools, and his own selection KO confirms (like down tilt into up air, and up B shenanigans) allows Byleth to secure KOs better than Swordfighter.
Something that Mii Swordfighter undoubtedly does have above Byleth is mobility. Mii Swordighter's grounded mobility is mediocre, but it is better than Byleth's, while it's aerial mobility is significantly better than Byleth's, and actually better than most other sword characters.
However, that being said, there is something thing to note:
does not play like a traditional sword character. He is a "distance demon" character in a similar vein to and , and his frame data, while not spectacular by any means, is actually solid for the kind of playstyle he plays. While his poor mobility limits him indeed, it is not as bad as other characters with poor mobility thanks to his moveset and his playstyle.
is also somewhat unique in the type of sword character it is, relying on projectiles more often than others, but its poor frame data and mobility hurts it in it's playstyle more than it does to Byleth, especially with it's lack of range. Why play Mii Swordfighter when you can play Young Link? He has an even better projectile game, has his own share of KO confirms, and has much better frame data to boot.
I actually Byleth is in the lower mid tiers, and not in the discussion for worst sword character. I think Corrin, Hero, and Swordfighter is in a bigger discussion for it. However, Hero has his spell shenedigans that can help him out in niche matchups, while Corrin's standing in the lower tiers got much better than to the buffs to her KO power. Mii Swordfighter continues to stagnate in the meantime both metagame-wise and patch-wise.
Something to note is that Byleth's results prior to the quarantine isn't too amazing either, but he was released less than two months prior to the switch to online.