Kirby Mini-Redesign/Rebalance Thread

Joined
Aug 9, 2015
Messages
627
#1
After a "buff Kirby!" thread on the smash bros reddit, I am gonna quickly put up a mini redesign thread, because for the most part, I actually like Kirby's design in every area but one, his specials. One poster noted this as the main reason why Kirby has felt lackluster in later installments, and while most people cite air speed being too low, I think it is like that mostly to emulate how Kirby moves in his games, so I wouldn't personally increase that TOO much, but instead increase his vertical combo potential rather than horizontal.

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But back to Kirby's specials: they are pretty darn bad on almost all accounts. These are some ideas for how to fix them up. But first, one other move change that bothers me.

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:GCA::GCD: DTilt:

  • New move: Kirby slides along the ground similar to his slide move in the Kirby games, going a far distance. If hitting an enemy or wall, Kirby will pop up in midair at short hop height. Can fully control Kirby's trajectory during this hop
    • Max distance is about 2.5 Kirby widths forward
  • Above average priority
  • Very low startup
  • Below average endlag
  • Low shield damage
  • Barely safe on shield
  • Knockback is exactly upwards at 90 degrees
  • Base knockback is very low to allow for early combos
  • Above average hitstun
  • Approximate damage numbers: 6.0%
  • Approximate kill time: 280%

:GCA::GCR: FTilt:


  • Now consistently trips at low percents

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This has nothing to do with what I said. It just bothers me how this STILL is not Kirby's basic sliding attack from the Kirby games. So now it is. And the two main utilities for the old DTilt are still here. It is still a good shield poking tool, and even doubles as a retreat option should you jump away from the enemy. Plus, FAir can easily combo into it on hit, and continue shield pressure on hitting shield.

The other utility of DTilt is easy tripping setups, and is moved to FTilt for low percents similar to Pichu's new FTilt.

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:GCB::GCRT: Shield-B:

  • Remapped move: Stone: Kirby becomes Stone very briefly, causing damage and knockback on impact and gaining heavy armor, damage immunity, and grab armor, preventing him from being grabbed or taking knockback from weak hits or taking damage while in Stone form. Pressing any button while in Stone form will cause Kirby to transform back. Can slowly crawl along the ground in Stone form to slide off platforms. Will create a shockwave when impacting the ground, dealing heavy damage and knockback. Shockwave has a sweetspot and sourspot
    • Minimum duration of Stone form is 0.75 seconds
    • Heavy armor can take up to 45% damage before breaking
      • Kirby will be forced out of Stone form and take any extra damage and appropriate knockback from the finishing hit
    • Stone form movement is about 10% of Kirby's walk speed
    • Ability to be damaged by Stone form happens nearly immediately
    • Shockwave is about 2 Kirby widths
    • (Note that fall and shockwave hitboxes can be hit at the same time if spaced correctly)
  • Extremely high priority
  • Extremely low startup
  • Above average endlag
  • Average shield damage on fall
  • High shield damage on shockwave sweetspot
    • Above average shield damage on shockwave sourspot
  • Barely unsafe on shield for all hitboxes
  • Knockback on all hitboxes is upwards at 45 degrees
  • Base knockback is high on all hitboxes
  • Approximate damage numbers:
    • Fall: 11.0%
    • Shockwave sweetspot: 19.3%
    • Shockwave sourspot: 13.9%
  • Approximate kill times:
    • Fall: 170%
    • Shockwave sweetspot: 60%
    • Shockwave sourspot: 95%

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There is a lot to unpack here. Firstly, a Shield-B move is given to Kirby, essentially allowing five special moves with different purposes. This is to exemplify his cookie cutter status as a character and because I actually didn't want to get rid of Hammer Flip and this remapping seemed most appropriate for this move lol.

To the changes themselves, this will work like a temporary piece of armor of sorts for Kirby to get out of bad situations. This makes him very survivable despite his weight, as the move should've done. But the reason it is a good "armor" tool is because the hitbox is nearly instant coming out, happens after Kirby gains the armor, making it even better, and sends them very far away from Kirby, allowing him to transform back quickly to set up on the hit opponent. Speaking of, the minimum stone duration is now less than a second, solidifying it as an armoring move due to the briefness of the transformation. It also allows for some cheeky baiting tactics when landing.

The shield damage and kill power is buffed of course, but the fall is much weaker to make sure the fact it comes out near instantly isn't TOO strong. The endlag is also a bit lengthy, meaning timing the transformation back wrong can lead to your demise all the same. However, a fun new addition is the ability to slide along the ground while in stone form to fall off of platforms or the stage, which can send people off guard, especially considering the much stronger landing hitboxes. And again, you can easily bait a sidestep reaction by transforming while falling and punishing them.

If that weren't enough, the landing hitbox is barely unsafe on shields, meaning if you transform back RIGHT when landing, you set neutral back essentially. One more little detail is that the heavy armor now absorbs a set amount of damage rather than taking a minimum before breaking. The armor is also stronger, meaning theoretically only fully charged smash attacks or fully charged specials like Jet Hammer can even tear through it in one hit. And like usual, Kirby takes no damage besides whatever overflows the armor threshold. This ALSO also means that since the knockback is set by the actual damage received from the overflow, it essentially weakens even the strongest of hits down to nothing. For example, a fully charged Jet Hammer does 56%, but through the armor it will only do 11% when breaking it, removing any extra knockback that other 45% was giving it. Very useful I think, and again exemplifies this as a very potent survival tool on a feather weight like Kirby.

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:GCB: Neutral-B:

  • Inhale: Kirby creates a whirlwind in front of him from his mouth that will attempt to swallow any enemy, projectile, or item nearby. When inhaling anything, Kirby can choose to either hold onto it, shoot, or swallow. Will change behavior depending on the thing inhaled.
    • Range is about 1.5 Kirby widths
    • Goes through shields similar to a grab
    • Holding onto Inhaled object:
      • Kirby will be unable to run and walk at 75% walk speed
      • Kirby can only jump once
      • If the object is a projectile or item: Can hold indefinitely
      • If the object is an enemy: Can hold for up to 2 seconds maximum and can be sped up by the enemy mashing buttons
      • Explosive items cannot explode while inside Kirby, including any detonation based explosives (e.g. Remote Bomb Rune, C4)
    • Spitting Inhaled projectile:
      • Kirby will shoot a fast star akin to Kirby games that deals variable damage and hitstun
      • All projectile stars will have a set knockback
      • The more damage the projectile would deal, the bigger and slower the spit star. Hitstun also increases
      • Projectiles will have a 2x damage reflector
    • Spitting Inhaled item:
      • Kirby will shoot the item itself as if he was the owner of it in a similar trajectory (e.g. throwable items will act like they are thrown)
    • Spitting Inhaled enemy:
      • Will shoot the enemy a certain distance away as a star, damaging them
      • Distance depends on how much the victim mashes buttons and how high their percentage is
      • Higher percentage and lower mashing equates to far more distance and vice versa
    • Swallowing projectile:
      • Kirby will be healed for 50% of that projectile's damage value
      • If the projectile has no damage value, it will heal for 1.0% damage
    • Swallowing item:
      • Kirby will hold the swallowed item
    • Swallowing enemy:
      • Kirby will gain the ability to use the enemy's neutral-B move in place of Inhale
      • Lasts indefinitely until Kirby taunts or is KO'ed
  • Low startup
  • Below average endlag when not inhaling anything or when enemy escapes
    • Extremely low endlag when spitting and swallowing
  • Knockback on spit stars is exactly upwards at 90 degrees
  • Approximate damage numbers:
    • Enemy spit: 15.0%
    • Enemy swallow: 10.0%

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Despite how daunting this all looks, this is mostly going over stuff this move already does. And unlike most others, I wouldn't increase the range of the move, however, like many others, I would decrease the startup to make it much more applicable as a reflector. I would also HEAVILY reduced the endlag when successfully swallowing or spitting to allow Kirby to take advantage of the healing and setups that those choices bring. What I would do to counteract its low range is to make act as a command grab that goes through shields no matter what.

If you saw my King Dedede redesign thread, I made his Inhale into basically a command grab. Where this one differs is for a few different situations. Firstly, I would make it so Kirby can hold onto projectiles and items indefinitely, even those with detonators, whereas Dedede has to release very quickly. I would allow for Kirby to go a bit faster while holding something to allow for potentially cool setups.

While this is kinda how it works in Ultimate, the projectiles would be stars, but unlike Dedede's Inhale, this isn't a pure reflector, but instead translates the spit projectile as a star projectile. This one would have a massive 2x reflector in damage and shield damage, making it the strongest reflector in the game tied with Ness' FSmash. However, it would have a set knockback upwards, allowing it to be used in combos regardless of how much damage the inhaled projectile did. In addition, the hitstun would grow should said projectile be stronger, meaning you trade speed of the star projectile for damage and hitstun. Makes hitting Samus with her Charge Shot far better a prospect for you. But again, it would be slower.

These are the most major changes, however, there are some others to go over.

Firstly, stolen abilities can no longer be beaten out of Kirby, which makes them more generally applicable throughout the fight. The only way to get rid of them is to taunt or die. Next, and I'm not sure if it works like this in Ultimate now, but if you swallow an item, you will now gain said item. This helps immensely against Link, Diddy Kong, Snake, and many item based fighters, especially considering the lowered endlag on swallowing. Lastly, the heal will be based on the damage done by a projectile, so a full charged Charge Shot will now heal Kirby for a whopping 17.5%! Very useful.

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:GCL::GCB::GCR: Side-B:

  • New move: Beam Whip: Kirby will use a wand and create a whip chain of magical energy and swing it downward, dealing damage and slight knockback and more knockback on the end hit. While in the air, holding down the button will allow Kirby to slow his fall speed immensely and swing the wand around him in a full circle slowly, albeit without a stronger launching hitbox. Initial beam direction can be chosen on startup
    • Rate of turn on aerial Beam Whip is about 1 revolution per 2.4 seconds
    • Can reverse the twirl direction every second
  • Low priority
  • Average startup
  • Average endlag
  • Knockback is at the Sakurai angle
  • Pushes shielded enemies back immensely
  • Unsafe on shield
  • Average shield damage
  • Approximate damage numbers:
    • Beam: 2.0% per 0.2 seconds
    • Ground Beam final hit: 6.0%
  • Approximate kill times:
    • Ground Beam final hit: 190%

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This is the idea most people have been thinking of to replace Hammer Flip, and I think I've found a way to make it very potent and have purpose without actually removing Hammer Flip lol.

This is the disruptor of Kirby's moveset. His Inhale buffs already make him less susceptible to being camped and zoned, so this will be his anti rushdown and defense disruption tool. Due to the high amount of pushback on shields, this move can be used to get enemies in an unfavorable position. Note that while it is still technically unsafe on shield, the push back is far enough away that even the fastest of characters can barely punish Kirby.

In addition to this, it is a potential shield grinder due to the good shield damage for how many hits there are. Lastly, you can hold the button to slowly twirl the wand around you similar to Kirby's Return to Dreamland while sorta hovering in place, making this move amazing for edgeguards away from the ledge. You cannot control the trajectory of the beam after the startup, so if the enemy is still not dealt with, you might want to consider letting go of the button before they punish you.

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:GCB::GCU::GCB::GCB: Up-B:

  • New sequence: Final Cutter: Kirby will now have a three button process in the Final Cutter move. First phase will cause Kirby to lunge forward and attempt to impale an enemy with the cutter. Second phase will be the vertical ascent of the blade and the impaled enemy. Third phase will be the descent followed by the enemy becoming loosened and taking damage to a medium range projectile along the ground. The player can choose not to proceed with any subsequent phase if they don't want to. Can only use once in the air
    • If an enemy is caught in any phase, they will be trapped and take extra damage in the form of new multi hit moves Kirby will perform in between phases
    • All phases will lock caught enemies to Kirby's trajectory
    • Third phase projectile will hit the caught enemy multiple times as it travels before expiring
    • Can suicide with an enemy with the final phase of the attack should it impale an enemy
      • Kirby will always die first
  • High priority
  • Average startup
  • Average endlag
  • Low shield damage on all phases
  • Low shield damage from third phase projectile
  • Barely safe on shield for first phase
  • Unsafe on shield for second and third phase
  • Knockback on last phase projectile is at the Sakurai angle
  • Approximate damage numbers:
    • First phase: 5.0%
    • First phase bonus attack: 6.5%
    • Second phase: 6.0%
    • Second phase bonus attack: 6.5%
    • Third phase: 8.5%
    • Third phase projectile: 1.5% * 7
    • Total potential damage: 43.0%

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So the purpose of this move changes a bit, though the general thing people would want is fixed. Namely, it will ALWAYS catch opponents and put them through the entire move. Where this idea deviates is the idea of multiple phases of the move. Firstly, there is a new horizontal portion of this move, giving Kirby an inkling of horizontal recovery. Another cool aspect is there is a separation of the ascent and descent, meaning you could potentially only move forward and upward and still recover, unlike now where using Final Cutter in the air is a commitment to death.

But the main idea behind these phases is twofold. Firstly, it makes the move more like the Kirby games as a self contained "combo" of sorts. Second, it makes the first part of the move a good shield poke and the second part a nice baiting and conditioning tool, considering it leaves you in the air. The third phase is the only truly unsafe portion, however, the projectile itself works much better as an edgeguard tool since it hits multiple times, causing enemies to slowly follow a path Kirby can followup on. But the main draw is the potentially immense damage this move alone can do, going up to 43% damage should you catch the enemy on the first phase cleanly.

To top this all off, you can suicide with it now. However, Kirby will die first to give a sense of fairness, especially since his recovery is now more varied due to this move. The main drawback as a recovery is you can only use it once before landing, so recover responsibly and all that.

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:GCB::GCD: Down-B:

  • Remapped move with new sequence: Hammer Flip: Kirby will charge up a burning hammer. Now works by activating with one press of Down-B, and swinging by pressing Down-B again. Will gain extra damage, knockback, and shield damage while charging. Can freely walk, dash, and multijump while charging. Cannot shield, dodge, or use any other moves while charging. Charging at maximum without swinging causes damage over time on Kirby until release. Has super armor on swing release
    • (Has extra range due to the fire stream of the swing now being bigger and having a hitbox)
    • Recoil will not happen if Kirby is at or above 100% damage
  • High startup
  • Very high endlag
  • Transcendent priority
  • Knockback is sideways at 35 degrees
  • High shield damage on minimum charge
    • Guaranteed shield break on maximum charge
  • Very unsafe on shield
  • Approximate damage numbers:
    • Minimum: 16.0%
    • Maximum: 32.0%
  • Approximate kill times:
    • Minimum: 80%
    • Maximum: 25%
  • Approximate recoil damage: 2.5% per second

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The key word here is usability.

The buffs given here largely mirror the buffs Dedede's Jet Hammer got in Ultimate: super armor on release, more range to hit below ledges, and guaranteed shield break on max charge. Where this differs is that Kirby can freely move around while charging due to not being required to hold the button down to charge up. It is still a high commitment, but a reasonable one considering the amount of places it is applicable, like in neutral as a hilarious scare tactic against shielding, but also against approaching due to the super armor and the fact Kirby can dash at you while charging a near OHKO move. Because he can even multijump while charging combined with the new Final Cutter changes above, this can make Kirby a force to be reckoned with off stage. To compensate for these massive buffs, the kill power and damage is nerfed a bit, but not by much to make this any less scary.

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This was another quick one that I just wanted to get out there since this topic has been getting a bit more traction lately both here and on reddit. Not sure why now though. :/
 
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TimG57867

Smash Journeyman
Joined
Aug 27, 2015
Messages
492
#2
As interesting as some of these ideas are, they unfortunately aren't practical. As I've said elsewhere, the devs can't and won't change moves into something else. If we want to outline improvements, it's better to focus on how Kirby's kit can be enhanced as it is and I believe that's more than feasible. This is what I went for with my thread.

Even IF the devs would want to do something as drastic as this, it wouldn't be feasible until the next game, so I don't find it very productive to propose such ideas at this time. Better to just promote practical ideas to aide Kirby and push his meta as much as possible right now. Proposing move revamps at this stage isn't realistic.
 
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Joined
Feb 4, 2008
Messages
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#3
Kirby's specials are pretty good.

Inhale should start and end faster but its solid for gimping. you don't get auto toadstooled anymore when you eat someone and walk off stage which was extremely annoying.

I love the new hammer. We got our two swing air hammer, albeit a little slow. Stage hammer is very strong and great for mind gaming or punishing reads.

down B is ok. It could benefit from faster start up and ending but it actually has a small change. Bricking while on stage results in serious shield poke and really weird horizontal knock back. It has a unique use case now for being used on stage now.


Personally if i could change anything it would be adding new kirby characters to the roster that have different move sets which mimic rare copies from the kirby games. Like suplex Kirby or Ninja Kirby etc.
 
Joined
Aug 9, 2015
Messages
627
#4
As interesting as some of these ideas are, they unfortunately aren't practical. As I've said elsewhere, the devs can't and won't change moves into something else. If we want to outline improvements, it's better to focus on how Kirby's kit can be enhanced as it is and I believe that's more than feasible. This is what I went for with my thread.

Even IF the devs would want to do something as drastic as this, it wouldn't be feasible until the next game, so I don't find it very productive to propose such ideas at this time. Better to just promote practical ideas to aide Kirby and push his meta as much as possible right now. Proposing move revamps at this stage isn't realistic.
Well this sort of thing is mostly a way to allow my creative juices to flow as well as a nice thought experiment of what could be. Though really, I do plan on making changes like these in a far-into-the-future mod for Ultimate whenever it's safer to do so and I have the right tools and friends to help me in that endeavor. Before that, this is a sort of "early game plan" and I wanted to get the ideas out there now so people can understand what I would want to do to improve and change certain characters.

Some others like Mario, Marth, Zero Suit Samus, Captain Falcon, and Shulk I would not really change much at all, so these are dedicated to more wacky ideas I have in my head that I know the devs wouldn't bother with. However, some of these ideas can be met halfway.

For example, A better Final Cutter would be one that has TWO phases instead, one ascending and the other descending. It wouldn't need the thrust forward to suddenly be more useful. Similarly, a good buff to Stone would be to add the grab armor only, and make the startup and minimum duration lower. It doesn't NEED the ability to move or a shockwave to potentially be much better. Like I said, these are off the cuff ideas of mine.

btw, cute profile pic. >w<
 
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Swordmaster102

Smash Apprentice
Joined
Jul 28, 2016
Messages
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NNID
Swordmaster102
#5
Kirby's specials are pretty good.

Inhale should start and end faster but its solid for gimping. you don't get auto toadstooled anymore when you eat someone and walk off stage which was extremely annoying.

I love the new hammer. We got our two swing air hammer, albeit a little slow. Stage hammer is very strong and great for mind gaming or punishing reads.

down B is ok. It could benefit from faster start up and ending but it actually has a small change. Bricking while on stage results in serious shield poke and really weird horizontal knock back. It has a unique use case now for being used on stage now.


Personally if i could change anything it would be adding new kirby characters to the roster that have different move sets which mimic rare copies from the kirby games. Like suplex Kirby or Ninja Kirby etc.
Kirby’s specials are good? I don’t mean to come across as defiant or rude, but they are pretty terrible to be honest. Playing competitively: down-b is only good for a hard edgeguard or getting to the ledge quickly, neutral-b has too much endlag and is too punishable, up-b is a bit wonky and counters can catch it easily (as well as him being vulnerable on top), and side-b is about useless outside a shield break.
I’m pretty chill about all his specials besides hammer though. In my opinion at least, hammer should be scrapped entirely for a whole new move like beam whip as Necro’lic was saying. For quite a while I thought that it should be replaced with star rod, which would give him a range attack and better matchup against sword fighters.
 
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Joined
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#6
Kirby’s specials are good? I don’t mean to come across as defiant or rude, but they are pretty terrible to be honest. Playing competitively: down-b is only good for a hard edgeguard or getting to the ledge quickly, neutral-b has too much endlag and is too punishable, up-b is a bit wonky and counters can catch it easily (as well as him being vulnerable on top), and side-b is about useless outside a shield break.
I’m pretty chill about all his specials besides hammer though. In my opinion at least, hammer should be scrapped entirely for a whole new move like beam whip as Necro’lic was saying. For quite a while I thought that it should be replaced with star rod, which would give him a range attack and better matchup against sword fighters.
I would like to see a projectile special, it would help very much. Up B takes getting used to and appropriate spacing, like any other up B. down B needs some love
 
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Cruelcumber

Smash Cadet
Joined
Jan 4, 2019
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#7
I do agree with changing Kirby's Side Special, but I also think that his smash attacks are due for a revamp. If it were up to me, I would make his new Up Smash the Toxic Tower, based off of Poison Kirby from Planet Robobot. This Up Smash could be somewhat tilted, and would constitute as darkness/poison damage as well. I think it would make his Up Smash a nice disjoint, similar to Palutena's, but not quite as much range, but with the ability to tilt the angle a bit. For his Down Smash, I would base that off of Super Electric Energy Field from Kirby 64. In a way he generates a Spark field that acts as a "get off me" move. Unlike in the games, he can't walk around awhile doing this because that would be cheese. Lastly for his Forward Smash, I would make it Sizzle Hammer from Star Allies, which is also just transferring his current Side Special to being his Forward Smash now.

I do like your idea of making the Side Special based off of Beam Kirby, Necro'lic Necro'lic , although that would depend on if Bandana Waddle Dee ever made it in as a fighter or not. If he did, I would suggest something else, but if not, that's not a bad option either.
 

Mogisthelioma

Smash Master
Joined
Aug 24, 2018
Messages
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#8
Kirby's up air should come out way faster, his airspeed should be improved, his b-air and f-air should be more powerful, his d-air should spike earlier, down B should always break shields, side B should have less endlag and have super armor like DDD's jet hammer, getting the offstage ledge spike with up B should be easier, d-tilt and f-tilt should almost always trip.

Miss anything?
 
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