Don't know how to use Specials

Oz o:

Smash Apprentice
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Aug 11, 2019
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Hey, I just stated using Hero.

I try to play a lot with normals, since I first like getting used to a character's "base". Though, when it comes to stuff like Fireball, Thunder and Down B, I'm kind of stupid with them. I get Thunder and Fireball are fairly straightfoward, but Down B's specials require you to be very quick and sort of have your opponent aligned in a way it'll hit them (like when trying to land Twack, Hatchet Man, Kaboom, etc.). I don't feel it gives me a lot of space and enough time to think.
 
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Joined
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Getting used to the normal attacks first is a great idea, especially with Hero since you can replenish your MP pretty quickly by landing some attacks.

My take on the specials:

Neutral B (Frizz, Frizzle, Kafrizz): The 3rd stage works a bit like Samus Charged Shot, it's a very potent killmove and it charges pretty quickly. You can try to use it from far away but i think it's more efficient if used relatively close, your opponent have less/no time to react. Personally, i use it to punish bad spacing/endlag or to catch rolls, works well so far. It is important to note that it takes a lot of MP (36) so make sure you land it or else it's about 1/3 or your MP thrown out the window. The 1st and 2nd stages are pretty good to zone/poke from far away but once you get in mid-range/up-close, the side-b (Zap and Zapple in particular) becomes a better option imo.

Side B (Zap, Zapple, Kazap): The first two stages are really good in neutral. They're excellent zoning tools imo and Zapple can also kill at high %. I used them a bit like a Z-air, the timing for the 2nd stage is a bit hard to pull off at first but it is most useful one imo. Stage 3 is a bit tricky to land, especially if your opponent knows what's up, just keep it in mind if someone is rushing at you as you charge your side-b, it seems to have armor when you release it so if you make it to full charge, don't even worry about getting hit. Again, it takes a lot of MP (42) so it's better to not throw that move around needlessly. You can charge while in the air to give you 3 very good options: if your opponent jumps at you, release the stage 1 in midair. If they stay on the ground, at a distance, release stage 2 as soon as you land or a bit before. If they rush at you to punish your landing, charge it until stage 3 and release as you land. You might need a bit of practice to master the timings and distances but i swear, it'll be worth it, this move is insanely good.

Up-B (Woosh, Swoosh, Kaswoosh): They have some offensive uses. If you see that your opponent is recovering low, you can use it to edgeguard. Just drop from the ledge, charge in midair (falling speed is greatly decrease when you charge so you'll basically float near the ledge) and release it so that the tornadoes will block the access to the ledge. Pretty efficient against certain characters. You can also use Woosh as an out-of-shield option but you'll ideally need a platform to land on or else you'll be in a helpless state, in the air. So yeah, not the best option but it's there.



Down-B Menu Spells: You can split the spells into categories if it helps you, that's what i do. It might help you choosing your spell faster if you know what kind of spell you're looking for. Basically, if you already made your choice (partly) before opening the menu you'll be able to pick faster once the menu appears.

Buffs (Oomph, Psyche-up, Acceleratle, Bounce, Heal): They're all pretty good but i think Oomph is the most reliable, you can get some pretty good dmg out of the 10 sec so i recommend picking it up every time you see it appear in the menu. Psyche Up is a bit tricky to use efficiently, the best way to use the increased knockback imo is to spend it on a up-throw or back-throw at high percent, it basically gives Hero two killthrow options which can be very useful. Acceleratle is also tricky, it's basically a Bunny Hood, you'll move faster jump farther but you won't attack faster. Dash grab is a pretty good option while Acceleratle is active. Bounce is one of the best buffs when used against characters who relies on projectiles. Heal is always a good choice imo, you can use it up to 2 times per stock, recovering 11% each time for a total of 22%, not bad. Every buff starts with a little animation, just a thing to keep in mind, you can't act out of it so it's better to have a minimum of 'breathing room' to activate a buff safely.

Standard projectiles (Sizz, Sizzle, Bang, Kaboom): Particularly efficient to snipe an offstage opponent. If they're offstage and above the ledge, chances are they're going to try and reach for to ledge. Just wait for them to be in range and shoot, those projectiles have a decent speed so it'll be hard/impossible for people to react in time. Kaboom's explosion can also be used to cover the whole ledge area, can be used similarly to Palutena's Explosive Flame and i think it is worth mentionning that it kills very early.

Slashes (Kacrackle Slash, Flame Slash): I don't use those a lot tbh. You can surprise opponents rushing at you with them and their hitbox are big enough to hit a character that holds onto the ledge without invincibility. You can try to hit people offstage with Kacrackle Slash, it's likely to kill them if they don't mash fast enough (à la PK Freeze). I find them a bit unreliable tbh.

Misc, really good in a really specific context (Magic Burst, Kamikazee, Zoom, Hatchet Man): Magic Burst is already infamous for being the best edgeguarding tool in the game... (or some say it's the best move in the game) it's just insanely good, it can kill most characters around 30%. You can try to use it in neutral but it's a bit riskier (it can be shielded, it can also be canceled if you get hit by a projectile and in either cases, you'll lose all your MP for nothing), if you do it, it is safer to try it on an airborne opponent. Kamikazee is very situational, it can kill pretty much every character around 50% and have a huge hitbox (similar to Magic Burst), it's unblockable so if the opponent is in range it is going to hit no matter what. Personally i try to 'fish' for Kamikazee when i'm at very high percent with a stock lead. Even if you don't kill your opponent with Kamikazee it'll still do 60% iirc, which is quite a lot of dmg. Zoom is probably the best recovery move in the game, if you're too far offstage to recover safely with Kaswoosh, check the menu for Zoom. I heard that it appears more frequently in the menu the closer you get to a blastzone. Hatchet Man requires a hard read on your opponent, it has a really slow startup but great killpower (think of Falcon/Warlock Punch) it can also break an opponent's shield in one hit but yeah, it's pretty hard to land usually.

Gamble/One-hit-kill projectiles (Snooze, Whack, Twack): There's no secret on how to land those moves, just try using them if you want and there's a chance your opponent won't dodge/shield them. Snooze and Whack are relatively slow moving projectiles so kind of easy to avoid but again, just like Kafrizz, if you use them at close range it gives less time to react. I included Snooze in this category because most of the time you can kill off of it, if your opponent is at low percent, you might want to check the menu real quick for Hatchet Man or Psyche-Up (or even Magic Burst).

Easter Eggs/Joke spells (Kaclang, Metal Slash, Hocus Pocus): I recommend just skipping those (or select Hocus Pocus if you feel lucky! :p).

As for the 'right' moments to open the Spell Menu, mostly when your opponent is offstage/far enough or when they're respawning (it's the best time to 'fish' for a buff).

I hope it'll help and btw, welcome back to the boards ;)
 
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Slime Master

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It helps to be aware of what you could get before you even open the menu and explicitly looking for what you opened it for. For example, it's pretty likely you'll get a projectile of some kind and a buff. Knowing this, opening the menu to trap landings is fairly reasonable: if you don't get a projectile to shoot at the opponent as they land, you probably got some buff as a consolation prize. Another decent situation to look for is ledge trapping, where magic burst, thwack, and to a lesser extent kamikazee are what to look for, with buffs again being a good consolation prize if you don't get them.

Basically, think about what you want to hit with before opening the menu, and if you don't get it, buff yourself (if possible). This is easier to do when you catagorize them like the above post suggests, though do be aware of some specific uses certain spells have outside of their group (like the aforementioned thwack for ledge trapping).
 

Arrei

Smash Lord
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I mostly look for Down Special options in the following cases:

If I feel the opponent can't approach me in an especially quick timeframe, perhaps because they're trying to bait me from the opposite side of the stage, I may fish around for spells. This could give me a buff spell I need to improve Hero's approach options, or a deadly long-ranged option the opponent may not be ready for because they're busy trying to jump around and look menacing - namely Kaboom, Sizzle, or Sizz.

If an opponent is in a disadvantage state I can't really capitalize on, such as high above or high offstage, I'll use the time to look for buff spells, usually from center stage, related to:

If an opponent is offstage, I may stay near center stage to look for buffs to close the stock (I particularly like finding Psyche Up and then Oomph to enable Hero's Uthrow to just yeet opponents into the sky) or for Kaboom to cover the ledge with an extremely deadly projectile. Alternatively, I might go up closer to try for the ol' Magic Burst edgeguard, or try to 2-frame with the Slashes.

And finally, sometimes, you just have those brief moments where you realize you're in the heat of combat, but currently not in danger. The opponent is trying to attack you but can't presently hit you with much from wherever positioning you find yourselves in, but it's not exactly an opening for you to approach either since Hero isn't really the best at that. Maybe I successfully evaded an approach attempt, maybe I have a feel for how long it takes them to commit to an attack, maybe they just plain missed me. Most commonly I'll use these moments to charge Frizz or try to catch them with Zapple, but sometimes I may just decide it's worth seeing if I can get something stronger out of the ol' Command Menu. A little bit of that chaos that Hero is so known for, to keep the enemy on their toes. This is the only time Flame Slash and Kacrackle Slash may see use onstage, as their early hitboxes actually start diagonally above Hero, allowing them to catch an opponent if they happen to be coming in with an approach at the moment. This is also when I might use Hatchet Man, Magic Burst, or Kamikazee if they show up as the ultimate whiff punish, depending on whether or not my opponent can maneuver away at the time.
 
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Oz o:

Smash Apprentice
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Aug 11, 2019
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188
First of all, I want to say I highly appreciate this kind of effort when into this reply. Not only do I have to answer back, but it's just worth my time into reading.


Psyche Up is a bit tricky to use efficiently, the best way to use the increased knockback imo is to spend it on a up-throw or back-throw at high percent, it basically gives Hero two killthrow options which can be very useful.
That's something I've been meaning to know of: killthrows. I pretty much resigned to the idea that Hero even has one, but this is really good information. I find I become a little overconfident when I get that buff, and start fishing for some of the slower, "bigger" moves, such as Bair and F-Smash. This is specially good when people start shielding a lot.

I take it this also buffs our projectiles?

Up-B (Woosh, Swoosh, Kaswoosh): You can also use Woosh as an out-of-shield option but you'll ideally need a platform to land on or else you'll be in a helpless state, in the air. So yeah, not the best option but it's there.
Isn't it like Frame 4-7? Any of one of those is really good, but Frame 4 is just an excellent OoS option. I'm willing to bet it's the latter. I've been forgetting it's an option, and I've been trying it against Lucina and R.O.B (Nair), and it looks like I'm always getting away with it. Can't even Up B with Zelda OoS against their falling aerials, most of the time. My only concern is MP, in that case.

Acceleratle is also tricky, it's basically a Bunny Hood, you'll move faster jump farther but you won't attack faster. Dash grab is a pretty good option while Acceleratle is active.
Acceleratle was also kind of a mystery to me. Lowkey would've convinced myself it was even kind of bad, considering Hero becomes so "slippery" to control well. Honestly, wouldn't thought that would've indirectly buff his grab game a bit. Definitely could play with this and dash dances. Just don't feel Hero is that slow in mobility as it is, so it never felt necessary.

Standard projectiles (Sizz, Sizzle, Bang, Kaboom): Particularly efficient to snipe an offstage opponent. If they're offstage and above the ledge, chances are they're going to try and reach for to ledge. Just wait for them to be in range and shoot, those projectiles have a decent speed so it'll be hard/impossible for people to react in time. Kaboom's explosion can also be used to cover the whole ledge area, can be used similarly to Palutena's Explosive Flame and i think it is worth mentionning that it kills very early.
Is Kaboom the only projectile among these worth using, or is it just me? They just seem like they don't kill, and it looks like you'd rather take B over those.

I hope it'll help and btw, welcome back to the boards ;)
Didn't think others would notice, but thank you. I do appreciate it.
 
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First of all, I want to say I highly appreciate this kind of effort when into this reply. Not only do I have to answer back, but it's just worth my time into reading.
Great! Tbh, I spent hours reading about Hero and labbing so might as well share some of the info when someone needs it.

That's something I've been meaning to know of: killthrows. I pretty much resigned to the idea that Hero even has one, but this is really good information. I find I become a little overconfident when I get that buff, and start fishing for some of the slower, "bigger" moves, such as Bair and F-Smash. This is specially good when people start shielding a lot.

I take it this also buffs our projectiles?
Psyche Up doesn't buff projectiles, however, it does buff the side-B (Zap, Zapple and Kazap), i forgot to mention it in my previous post but the side-B isn't a projectile so, i think it's important to know that it can't be reflected or pocketed (with the exception of the vertical bolt of lightning that comes with Kazap for some reason).

Oh and speaking about shielding, you remind me, i'm about 90% sure that if you stack Psyche Up and Oomph, you can break a shield with a single F-Smash. (i'll re-test it just to be sure and i'll come back to you with the confirmation). So it's potentially another good option against people who shield too much.

Is Kaboom the only projectile among these worth using, or is it just me? They just seem like they don't kill, and it looks like you'd rather take B over those.
Sizzle is really strong too (not as strong as Kaboom but still). The main advantage of Sizz and Sizzle imo (compare to the neutral-B) is their speed. The neutral-B is really strong but the projectile moves relatively slowly so it's fairly easy to avoid/shield/dodge. On the other hand, Sizz and Sizzle travel roughly as fast as a fully charged Link arrow. As i said before, you can snipe an offstage opponent with Sizz or Sizzle, since they're already close to the blastzone, there's a good chance it'll kill. That's the best use i found for those. Bang is a bit underwhelming tho.
 

Oz o:

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Oh and speaking about shielding, you remind me, i'm about 90% sure that if you stack Psyche Up and Oomph, you can break a shield with a single F-Smash. (i'll re-test it just to be sure and i'll come back to you with the confirmation). So it's potentially another good option against people who shield too much.
Woah, that's just huge. I was thinking what was up with that, and I just thought it was Hatchet Man. I thought there was one of those that could buff F-Smash to break a shield...

Sizzle is really strong too (not as strong as Kaboom but still). The main advantage of Sizz and Sizzle imo (compare to the neutral-B) is their speed. The neutral-B is really strong but the projectile moves relatively slowly so it's fairly easy to avoid/shield/dodge. On the other hand, Sizz and Sizzle travel roughly as fast as a fully charged Link arrow. As i said before, you can snipe an offstage opponent with Sizz or Sizzle, since they're already close to the blastzone, there's a good chance it'll kill. That's the best use i found for those. Bang is a bit underwhelming tho.
Do those kill, or is it only at high percents?
 

Arrei

Smash Lord
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Sizz won't really ever kill, and Bang has some but not much kill power, but Sizzle definitely possesses very high diagonal knockback, enough to kill early at the ledge, or kill from anywhere at about 120+% damage. The only time I can ever really land Bang is in the same way as the Kaboom ledge coverage I mentioned previously, except obviously much less effective - the explosion hitbox lingers for a while and reaches slightly below the ledge, allowing it to possibly catch a ledge snap or normal getup.

Psyche Up and Oomph together will definitely shatter shields with Fsmash, with plenty of overkill to spare. Just Psyche Up alone brings a shield dangerously close to breaking - charging a fresh Fsmash for like a quarter second will do the job, in fact. What I'm interested in is whether the combo will allow other moves to break shields as well - if my math is right, a fresh Bair, Dair, Usmash, or Dash Attack should also do the trick, making Hero a seriously dangerous force for those twelve seconds. Unfortunately Dsmash and Ftilt are just below the threshold but they should still do enough shield damage to really scare an opponent. (As an aside, using Psyche Up on Ftilt is notable in that the buff seems to last for both hits, despite normally being consumed in one.)

Added: Turns out with Psyche+Oomph, a fresh Ftilt is also enough to shatter a full shield. At a base 13 damage, it wouldn't do enough damage normally, but with the two hits, the opponent's shield decays enough between the strikes to break on the second hit. Wild. Now I'm interested in finding out if an opponent can drop shield against that buffed Ftilt1 in order to purposely get hit by a potentially less lethal buffed Ftilt2.
 
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Oz o:

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Is there any real use to F-Tilt? Frame 9 isn't terrible, but I don't really see any use for it as a keep-away when you have a Frame 4 (7???) Up B or simply just jump and Nair away or whatever. Best case I have for it, being able to catch rolls with it. And apparently the shield blocks attacks- is that true? That would get a lot of points for me.

Other:

Isn't it kind of pointless to fish for things other than buffs in neutral? I don't think any smart opponent will just sit at the exact position to throw a command projectile for free, which is why I can't picture it even when they're offstage (they have to be perfectly aligned).
 

Arrei

Smash Lord
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Ftilt automatically wins if it clanks with another attack - it grants arm invincibility during its active frames and cannot rebound, causing it to negate the opponent's attack while allowing Hero to immediately punish with Ftilt 2. At 13 damage, it's also a decently damaging punish and spacing tool, since Woosh and Dtilt have no true followups, Dtilt shifts Hero's hurtbox significantly forward besides, Zap costs MP while Ftilt will restore MP, and it doesn't have as much endlag as something deadlier like Dsmash or Fsmash. As I noted above just last night as well, the Psyche Up and Oomph combo also allows a fresh Ftilt to shatter a full shield, which is a much safer commitment than fishing for an Fsmash.



Normally, yes, in neutral it's pretty unlikely you'll land any of the Command Selection attacks. But the neutral game doesn't play out in a vacuum, the same way every time. A lot of the time the enemy will be trying to approach you while staying wary of your options. If they're expecting other things, such as aerials or other specials, Command spells can throw off their timing enough to land something good, especially if they're jumping or dash dancing. Fading away from an approach can also leave your opponent whiffing, and it might just be worth pursuing something chaotic during that opening. Sizz and Sizzle move incredibly fast, and Kaboom's huge windbox drags opponents into the blast, making it so being caught out of position can be deadly.

If you're literally just standing there staring at your opponent, and he's standing there watching your menu, then yeah, there's obviously no point to throwing a spell at them. Those are free openings to get buffs up... but even then, he might see you going for a buff and decide it's time to approach, only for you to suddenly switch over to a different spell or jump cancel the menu into an aerial and catch them out of position.
 

Oz o:

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If you're literally just standing there staring at your opponent, and he's standing there watching your menu, then yeah, there's obviously no point to throwing a spell at them.
I get the impressions most Hero players do that, though. Not sure if I've seen that many good players with him yet, but I saw Ryuga being fairly fluid with him (granted, he lost pretty handily against Myran). Took me a while to realise you can switch directions after picking a spell.

Any people you guys would recommend I watch to learn more?
 
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