Varimathras is a member of the Dreadlord brother trio that ruled over Lordareon with Detheroc and Balnazzar. They expected great things to come to them, but they were off camera and didn’t realize their all powerful leader had been defeated. They attempt to scavenge what’s left of the Burning Legion and chase Arthas out of the area, but are instead defeated by Sylvanas.
Varimathras is a coward and an idiot who agrees to team up with Sylvanas upon being defeated, and goes on to help her kill Detheroc in exchange for sparing his own life. If Varimathras re-betrayed Sylvanas at any time when fighting his other two brothers, Sylvanas would easily be killed. Instead, he waits until WoW to betray her on his lonesome in a predictable failure. Varimathras is a weakling compared to his two brothers, with his stupid betrayal being his defining character trait. The only thing that makes much sense is Varimathras wanted his brothers dead to seize more power for himself, with theories having to be made up to justify his insane actions. Balnazzar magically comes back in WoW despite being publicly executed by Varimathras. If Varimathras somehow spared Balnazzar to enable his WoW reappearance, it makes his motivations make even less sense when Detheroc is killed for absolutely no reason.
Varimathras is a conniving character who makes extensive plans, those plans are just not necessarily very good. He claims his betrayal in WoW took "years of planning" to actually happen, as he slowly manages to somehow convince several Undeads to side with him to be the new leader of the Forsaken over Sylvanas, as if the Undead were having some kind of bizarre political election. Eventually, he ambushes Sylvanas when she is in the middle of fighting someone else with his army of undead minions, but of course fails due to leaving everything up to his most trusted minion. He takes over the capital of the undercity for all of 5 minutes, hiding behind waves of minions and only fighting when absolutely necessary after the dozens of Pit Lords (Yes, Pit Lords) he has sent through the portals are defeated. He is apparently serving directly under Sargeras himself, whom is greatly disappointed with Varimathras' complete and utter failure.
To add insult to injury, the WoW quest that was the much needed conclusion to his betrayal was removed for generic continuity reasons, such as Thrall not being the warchief anymore. A vague version of the events presumably still happened, but considering this plot thread a cliffnote when it's the primary conflict within the Forsaken faction certainly shows Blizzard's priorities.
- Arthas: Attempted to assassinate him and hired Sylvanas to ambush him.
- The Undead Scourge: By proxy of betraying Arthas.
- Sylvanas: When she did not agree to serve him, attempted to send his army of undead to kill her.
- Detheroc: Snuck Sylvanas into his base while he was asleep and killed him for largely no reason.
- The Burning Legion: By proxy of betraying Detheroc. Rejoined at some point before WoW, apparently.
- Garithos: Couldn't even remember his name, killed him when he was no longer useful.
- The Alliance: By proxy of betraying Garithos.
- Balnazzar: Forced by Sylvanas to execute him directly as a test of "loyalty".
- Sylvanas (again): Took over the Undercity and seized control of the Forsaken.
- The Forsaken: By proxy of betraying Sylvanas.
- Thrall: By proxy of Thrall being allied to Sylvanas, Thrall helped her to try to retake the Undercity.
- The Horde: By proxy of betraying Thrall.
Aerial Speed: 6
Ground Movement: 4.5
Falling Speed: 3.5
Aerial Control: 3
Varimathras has similar statistics to his brother, Detheroc - his body is the size of Ganondorf, while his wings extend his hurtbox's width to be that of Bowser's, despite him barely using them throughout the moveset. Unlike Detheroc, Varimathras actually attempts to fly with his wings with 3 additional midair jumps. These jumps do not actually give Varimathras any net height gain whatsoever, simply stalling in place and giving him better use out of his aerials due to his wings not being functional enough for real flight.
Varimathras casts Doom on the enemy in front of him. This is a fairly fast move and has decent range in front of Varimathras, though ending lag prevents it from being spammable. If it hits, the enemy will be knocked away with weak set knockback and stun just enough to cover the ending lag, and the enemy will be "doomed" for the next 8 seconds. Doomed characters take 1% per second for 8 seconds, at which point Doom expires.
Doom will also "silence" the foe and greatly limit the use of the most recent move they hit with for the duration of the 8 seconds. The silenced move is not fully banned and can still be used, but any hitboxes on it will not function. This means the foe's recovery and set-up moves cannot be truly banned, but any set-up generated will not have hitboxes on it until the 8 seconds expire. The game checks for the most recent move in the foe's stales move list rather than what they input most recently, so Varimathras may well want to voluntarily get hit by the foe's annoying spammable projectile before dooming them, and foes may want to pepper in some more useless moves specifically to get those silenced instead. Varimathras cannot doom a foe who is already doomed. If the foe has made an input but has not actually hit with any moves in the match yet to make them enter the stale moves list, that move will be silenced.
If the foe dies while Doomed, a Doom Guard will use their corpse as a portal to enter into the world. This translates to the Doom Guard showing up on the respawn platform behind the foe, or just spawning alone if it was that foe's last stock. This makes the foe unavoidably be hit by the Doom Guard stomping them to the ground for 15% and set forceful knockback that leaves the foe in prone, though this can be teched. The foe will keep their respawn invincibility, but this stomp will go through said respawn invincibility and the timer will still tick down during it.
The Doom Guard himself will stick around as a minion afterwards for 13 seconds before the magical energy allowing him to stay in this world sends him back to where he came from. He can be defeated before then if the foe insists, but he has 85 HP and the weight of Bowser at 30%. He does take hitstun to enable him to be interrupted out of attacks, but he only takes half the hitstun of a regular character so locking him in combos will prove difficult for foes despite his massive weight. The Doom Guard is 1.25X the size of Ganondorf, not counting his wings which are not a hurtbox or used in any of his attacks. Doom Guards will pursue foes relentlessly, though they lumber about at a speed slower than Jigglypuff's dash. They will not walk within a Mario width of ledges, waiting for the foe to return to the stage, making them harder to bait off stage.
Doom Guard can attack with a quick punch that deals 8% and knockback that kills at 130%, a laggy sword swing that deals 16% and knockback that kills at 95%, and a laggy stomp that deals 12% and a weak spike. The stomp will cause the ground a Bowser width of either side of the Doom Guard to shake for around 45 frames, a hitbox half as powerful as the main attack. Doom Guards can cast Cripple on foes which has a hitbox much like Doom's, and if hit will double the starting and ending lag of the most recent attack in the foe's stale moves list for 8 seconds. Doom Guards also have access to Rain of Fire and Dispel Magic, which are identical to Varimathras' usmash and utilt, and will be detailed under those moves.
Varimathras can cast Doom on Doom Guards to try to replace the Doom Guard with a new one. Given the durability of Doom Guards, this provides more incentive for foes to ignore them if possible. Given he's such a compulsive betrayer, Varimathras can hit all of his minions with all of his own attacks. Even within Warcraft 3, Doom Guards are so powerful that it can sometimes be worth casting it on one of your own frail/low health units to get the Doom Guard as soon as possible. That said, Varimathras cannot casually damage rack the minion to death without any resistance.
While minions normally cannot hit Varimathras with their hitboxes and will ignore him, if Varimathras hits the minion with an attack that does 10% or more or deals 15% to them over the course of a second, the minion will betray him. The minion will still remain hostile to the foe and allied to your other minions, but it will become willing and able to attack Varimathras. As such, Varimathras has to put some actual planning into his betrayals like his betrayal of Sylvanas, trying to get the last hit on a minion so that it can't betray him back. If Varimathras goes on a betrayal spree by damage racking his own minions to Doom them (Especially impractical in the case of a durable minion like a Doom Guard), the foes can potentially take advantage of his own "set-up" before it finishes. Varimathras will want foes to help him damage rack his minions and to betray them at the last possible moment.
If a Doom Guard's 13 second duration expires while they are Doomed, they will not spawn a Doom Guard. Minions that die to Doom will spawn the Doom Guard where they died, rather than on the respawn platform. The Doom Guard will not spawn instantly from the minion's corpse when their HP hits 0, taking a brief while, giving the corpse time to takes its final knockback. This means if the final attack on the minion knocked it at all far off stage, the Doom Guard will simply fall to its death as soon as it spawns due to the patented Burning Legion useless wings. This is the primary way foes will actually prevent Doom Guards from helping Varimathras.
Note that the fact that Doom silences one move of the target still applies to minions, and they will never use silenced moves. This is not actually a bad thing, as it can enable you to ban the most useless attack to control the minion's behavior. In the Doom Guard's case, you'd want to ban them from using either the sword slash or the stomp due to them being laggy, and it doesn't really need two laggy powerful moves, as that just gives the AI more likelihood to choose a laggy move.
For the sake of balance, Varimathras cannot Doom enemy minions unless they fully count as a playable character. Varimathras is much too obsessed with betraying his own minions to even think of something like using his most powerful spell on an enemy.
This is Varimathras' signature ability, so it gets to be put on a Special rather than on a bair. Speaking of Illidan, Varimathras really deserves the title of "The Betrayer" a lot more than him when it is 90% of his character.
Varimathras opens a large purple portal, enters it, then opens a new one a decent ways away before coming out of it. This is a comparable recovery to Zelda's, with the animation of going into and coming out of a portal surprisingly not taking Varimathras very long - he's quite used to running away from people. As used to it as he is, Varimathras will still enter helpless if he ends in the air, briefly draining his mana. Varimathras can charge the move slightly to increase the distance he recovers by up to 1.4X Zelda's recovery.
The primary difference from Zelda's recovery and this move has is that it doesn't actually have a hitbox. Instead, a minion comes out of the portal and will immediately attack. If the move is input normally, the minion will come out of the first portal Varimathras uses to leave. If the move is smashed, the minion will come out of the second portal Varimathras uses to re-enter the fray. As a clone of Zelda's recovery, Varimathras can just choose to reappear in place if he wants to do nothing but spawn the minion.
Varimathras can charge the move in order to summon more powerful minions. With no charge, he summons an Imp slightly smaller than Mario. Imps can headbutt foes with their oversized horns for 5% and knockback that kills at 200% for their most practical attack, being very fast and the move they will first use when they come out of the portal. Alternatively, they can leap forwards a Bowser width and attempt to latch onto the foe. Latching onto the foe will cause them to deal 1% per half second to them, though they will be knocked off with any attack that does knockback.
Imps have a mere 15 HP, which is very, very good for purposes of betraying them with Doom, making them by far your most summoned minion type. Their HP is so low that it's very rare that they'll ever have the chance to realize they've been betrayed. Unfortunately, Imps are pitifully light, as light as Jigglypuff at 120% as well as taking hitstun, making them much harder to spawn Doom Guards with than if they had even slightly higher weight. Varimathras is almost required to kill imps himself in order to get a Doom Guard. That said, if the Imp takes vertical knockback when it dies, the Doom Guard is still capable of dropping back down to the stage unless the knockback was so strong as to send it past the top blast zone. Imps pursue foes at Mario's dashing speed, and are stupid enough to chase foes off the stage. Also note that when you are primarily spawning Imps in order to doom them, you are inevitably going to be silencing one of their grand total of 2 attacks, and can thus more directly choose their behavior.
Charging the move for 8 extra frames beyond the default gets you a Blood Imp rather than a regular Imp, which are identical in nearly all respects, but with a few new features. Their primary notable trait is invisibility, and when they are first spawned from the portal, they will remain invisible until the first frame of the hitbox of the headbutt actually comes out, appearing in a puff of black smoke. If nobody is in range to be immediately hit by the headbutt, they will not bother performing it and will simply stay invisible. Given Varimathras can choose which portal the Imp comes out of, this provides some mindgame potential if the amount of charging for the Up Special was on the borderline to summon a regular Imp or the next minion in line.
Blood Imps will remain invisible until they hit a foe with the headbutt attack or are hit. Once they enter invisibility, it will wear off in 3 seconds, and 2 seconds after that they will laglessly re-enter invisibility again. If they latch onto the foe, this will not actually make them visible, but the foe should notice their existence due to the passive damage they are taking. If the foe is taking damage over time from other sources like Doom, this is significantly harder to notice. The primary purpose of the stealth of Blood Imps is to make them harder for foes to track down when they are Doomed, though when they are constantly heading straight towards foes it's hard to get that confused. Varimathras will not know exactly where the Blood Imp is either in several cases, but he can betray it with a large stage covering move or actually let the DOT of Doom do its job.
Charging the move for 17 frames beyond the default summons a Imp Boss. Imp Bosses are slightly larger than regular ones at the size of Mario. They have 22 HP and the weight of Jigglypuff at 60%, which is a very respectable trade-off as far as Dooming them is concerned. They have the same AI and movement regardless of their bulkier frames, though they will not chase foes off-stage. They only have access to the headbutt as their only real attack, which is slightly slower but deals 8% and knockback that kills at 160%. Their primary trait is that whenever they are hit with an attack that does 6% or more, they will spawn a regular Imp as it poofs into existence next to them in a cloud of black smoke as the Imp Boss yells angrily. Like with Doom, the Imp Boss spawns the Imp a bit after he's taken his knockback, so if he's knocked off stage the spawned Imp will just die with him. The Imp Boss will also not spawn any Imps if the attack in question kills him. Imp Bosses are one of the best minions for Varimathras to try to betray, potentially getting 3 imps and a Doom Guard all out of one minion.
The Imp Boss' alternative "attack" to the headbutt is commanding the other imps. He will tell them to not go off-stage. He will tell them to not headbutt the foe when they are grabbed or are in lag that will last for longer than 14 frames if Varimathras or a powerful minion is within a platform of them. Instead, the Imps will just latch on, which will not interrupt them out of their stun state. They will also be ordered to delay their attack if the foe is coming out of a dodge, enabling them to competently punish dodges. The Imp Boss himself will follow his own advice on not attacking foes in stun, but is too clumsy to actually punish dodges.
How these "orders" work is all Imps/Blood Imps will passively have this behavior as an upgrade so long as there's currently an Imp Boss in existence who's not in hitstun or lag. Whenever the Imp would do one of these acts of competence, the Imp Boss will turn to face the Imp in question and start talking in gibberish, giving himself 20 frames of lag during which he can't tell any other Imps to not do something stupid.
If Varimathras betrays an Imp Boss, the Imp Boss will regularly order Imps that are still loyal to Varimathras to attack him. The Imp in question will only attack Varimathras once without being directly betrayed itself or being continually ordered by the Imp Boss. Imp Bosses in this scenario always prefer to order Blood Imps over regular Imps, which can provide more uncertainty over their location and more likely to be Doomed. If a Blood Imp latches onto Varimathras, it may be worth taking the damage just to ensure it actually gets doomed, protecting it from the foe.
All of the Imp Boss' orders counts as an attack that can be silenced by Doom, with the only alternative being the headbutt. If the headbutt is silenced and the Imp Boss becomes unable to directly defend itself, his AI will change to go out of his way to run away from the foe, which can make it a lot more difficult for foes to knock him off the stage. If Varimathras betrays the Imp Boss, it will also run away from him if his headbutt is silenced, enabling him to herd it about the stage and more directly keep it from the foe. If there are no other Imps out, the Imp boss becomes nothing other than a hurtbox with which to spawn other minions, which is not all that bad of a thing. Alternatively, Varimathras can silence the Imp Boss' commands to enable it to keep attacking directly while making it unable to verbally object to his betrayal.
After 30 frames of charge beyond the already lengthy process of performing Zelda's Up Special, you will summon an Imp Mother out of the portal. Imp Mothers are the size of Bowser and weigh as much as him at 20% with 50 HP, still taking regular hitstun and being very combo vulnerable. If summoned on the ground, they will lazily walk towards the nearest foe at the speed of Ganondorf's walk, and will wait at the edge of the stage if the foe goes off it.
Their fastest ground attack has them summon a geyser of lava to sprout out from underneath the foe's position, though the foe must be within a platform's range of this. This attack comes out quick, but still has bad ending lag for the Imp Mother. On contact, the foe will be shot directly up with 3 hits that add up to 10%, the last hit dealing vertical knockback that kills at 130%.
Their alternative ground attack has them breathe poisonous gas in front of themselves in a hitbox slightly less large than Bowser. This attack has lots of starting lag, and deals multiple hits that add up to 16% with the last hit doing knockback that kills at 150% due to poor angling. While the move can damage rack, what justifies the lag is the fact this move will create two Imps - a regular Imp and a Blood Imp. Imp Mothers will never use this attack for the sole purpose of creating Imps and will only use it if a foe is in range. It is very preferable for the foe to interrupt this attack if she starts it to prevent the Imps from being summoned. If the Imp Mother is doomed and at low health, this can of course be more annoying to do.
If the Imp Mother is summoned in the air, she will drop to the ground very quickly at the speed of Bowser's Down Special. She will immediately deal 16% and vertical knockback that kills at 120%, and for each Ganondorf she falls she will deal 3% more and lower the KO percentage by 15%. If the Imp Mother is knocked into the air, this is the only attack she can perform and she will do so if she gets on top of a foe. That said, she's so heavy that she will rarely be able to pass the starting lag of this attack when not summoned in the air by Varimathras.
If the Imp Mother hits the ground without being interrupted, she will "pitfall" herself into the stage, forever. This prevents the Imp Mother from moving or taking knockback, but she can still attack and take hitstun. This makes the Imp Mother a punching bag that's easy to combo to death. Varimathras is absolutely willing to betray his own mother, and if he dooms her the foe will largely have to protect her for the 8 seconds if they don't want to deal with the Doom Guard. Their alternative to this is to play king of the hill with the pitfalled Imp Mother and just combo her to death before Varimathras can doom her in the first place.
When dooming Imp Mothers, you absolutely want to make sure they keep access to their poison breath attack. Silencing the geyser (Their immediate attack when summoned on land) can force them into using the imp creating attack more. If you want to actually enable the Imp Mother to better defend herself, you'll want to silence the falling attack. She can only actually use the falling attack one time due to pitfalling herself, and you can force her to use it in order to silence it by summoning her in the air after she's already got all the mileage out of it she can anyway.
If Varimathras betrays his mother, any Imps she specifically created will also betray him alongside the mother. They will specifically chase after Varimathras rather than the foe for the next 2 seconds, though after that they will have equal preference between them. This can be useful in order to manipulate AI behavior to prevent them from rushing towards the foe if they're doomed. Imp Bosses that are still loyal to Varimathras can convince Imps to betray their mother and rejoin the betrayer. They can make the two basic Imp types rejoin for any reason, for that matter.
Varimathras may want to intentionally betray a mother without intent to kill her in order to force her to have Imp children. While these children will all grow up to want to exact their vengeance upon Varimathras, the primary use of the lowly Imps is Doom anyway, so this is not a large issue. This is the most reliable and fastest way to get lots of Imps, but requires the foe to be heavily ignoring you and has limited use since they're unallied. While Imp Bosses can slowly convert the Imps back to your side, that's even more set-up.
Keep in mind that it takes 80 frames for Zelda's Up Special to complete. While Varimathras massively enjoys having tons of minions to hide behind, for some reason they're not very eager to join his cause. That said, Varimathras is invulnerable for a sizable portion of this move as he vanishes into the portal, and is able to flee all the way across the stage. Varimathras can mix in this laggy move into his game through extensive
Varimathras extends out a beam of ghastly green spectral energy from himself. The beam shoots out the distance of a platform, and if it doesn't hit anything it simply vanishes. On contact with a foe or minion, Varimathras will "tether" himself to that minion as he drains the life force out of the target in question. This deals 1.5% per second to that enemy while healing Varimathras for the same amount. The only way to break the tether is to move more than 1.5 platforms away from Varimathras. The "tether" does not actually inhibit movement in any way and is simply a visual effect, with Varimathras able to attack and move normally once Life Drain is up.
If Varimathras attempts to get up a second Life Drain tether, it will not work unless it is done on a different target besides the first. In addition, if Varimathras attempts to Life Drain a third target, he will actually have to channel the tether and remain in lag while doing so, though he can cancel out of this extra tether with minimal lag. Varimathras is allowed to be draining the same target with Life Drain twice if he wants. Varimathras can only Life Drain from 2 targets while still being free to do other actions.
Using this on minions lets you kill them somewhat faster in tandem with Doom, but lets you get mileage out of every potential juicy bit of HP that minion has, especially since you want their HP to go down anyway. Imps are so inevitably going to die they make a good target, though their low weight makes them even easier for foes to knock out of Life Drain's range. Used on a heavy Doom Guard or Imp Mother, foes will largely have to knock Varimathras out of the tether's range rather than the minion, and will literally have no choice in the case of a pitfalled Imp Mother.
Used on a foe, this can potentially present the foe with even more of a dilemma in the context of Doom and minions. If you're betraying a minion to Doom them by knocking them away from the foe, the foe may end up forfeiting that Doomed minion to you if they run off to the side in order to try to remove the Life Drain tether. The damage/healing done by Life Drain is very small, so a competent foe will generally always opt to knock the minion off stage in this situation. If you can accurately predict such behavior, you can manipulate the foe into getting free damage/healing.
Varimathras generates a ball of shadow energy in his hands which is trapping a horde of bugs inside of it. This is a storable charge move with identical size, speed, and charge time to Mewtwo's Neutral Special. Aside from the orb getting bigger, the amount of bugs contained within it obviously increases as the input is held, swarming about inside angrily. When Varimathras throws the projectile, it will burst on contact with anything and release the bugs inside. The bugs will deal anywhere from 7-24% over several flinching hits as they explode, with the final hit dealing knockback that kills at 210-100%.
The shadow prison containing the bugs will burst if the projectile travels 2 platforms without hitting anything, or on contact with anything and release the bugs, who are the actual hitbox. The bugs will automatically chase anything within a Wario width of them at Ganondorf's dashing speed when they are released from their prison, and if the orb containing the bugs hits a target, the character in question will always get hit by the bugs.
If the orb detonates on something that it can't damage/of its own accord and there is no target within a Wario width, the bugs will specifically hunt down the smell of blood. What this means is that bugs will go out of their way to home in on the most damaged target. In the case of deciding between which minion is more "damaged", it will take into account the percentage of its maximum health that it has left, so a Imp with 1/15 HP is more "damaged" than a Imp Mother with 20/50 HP. As far as how foes factor in, their "max health" is treated as 0% and they are treated as if they are at "0 health" when they are at 100%, so if the foe has 100% or more the bugs will always home in on them regardless of how low health any minions are. The bugs will explode after flying about for 3 seconds if they haven't found a damaged target to explode on yet.
The bugs are willing to betray Varimathras for having kept them inside the shadow orb prison, but there is some small bias in his favor, as he is only considered as having "0 health" at 125% rather than 100%. This provides Varimathras more incentive to heal with Life Drain and other moves. Even if he is behind in percentage, this can be usable if you just hit the foe with the projectile directly like the traditional Neutral Specials of Mewtwo and Samus, and unless you're literally at 125% you can generally get a Imp at lower health than you. Having the bugs home in on you itself can even be potentially advantageous to better manipulate their flight path, because they will still hit anything else that's in the way on their way back to you, and you're going out of your way to shoot them away from yourself at the start of the move.
Bugs specifically hunting down low health minions is very, very good for purposes of Doom. The fact this is multihit means that unless the minion is killed by the final hit, their corpse will stay right where it was, making the Doom Guard have a safe landing when it arrives. It is ideal for a Carrion Swarm to not have to use all of the bugs on killing a minion, as any leftover bugs will then be able to go on to the character with the next lowest health.
GRAB - DREADLORD'S GRASP
Varimathras has a standard issue melee grab with high speed and bad range, though his dashing grab trades those statistics around to give him the best of both worlds. Varimathras is capable of grabbing his minions, though he's capable of hitting them with all attacks so this shouldn't come as much surprise.
PUMMEL - FEAST
Varimathras takes a huge, juicy, bloody bite out of the foe, dealing 2% and healing himself of 1%. This pummel is fairly fast and one of the best in the game for net damage gain/speed ratio. This is obviously faster than using Life Drain, but leaves Varimathras defenseless to any foes. Allied minions will not try to break out of Varimathras' grab unless he passes his usual quota to make them betray him.
FORWARD THROW - POWER OVERWHELMING
Varimathras casts a spell on the foe, knocking them away with 5% and knockback in front of him that kills at 200%. This causes the foe to glow with an aura of darkness that gets increasingly darker over the course of 6 seconds. Every second, the foe's damage output on all of their moves is buffed by 1.15x. After 5 seconds, the foe will have 1.75x their regular damage output, which is truly scary. During these first 5 seconds, the foe unavoidably takes 2% per second to make the throw always deal at least 15%, making it a decent trade-off for a high damage throw on the foe. The most damaging throws in SSB4 do 13%, though, so a mere 2% gain over the best throws is really not worth this trade-off by itself.
On the 6th and final second, the darkness will become too much for the foe to bear as it causes them to explode in a hitbox of darkness, dealing 12% and vertical knockback that kills at 100%. While this is very powerful for a throw, this can be dodged, and the 5 seconds of powering up the foe can very easily make this move be a net loss in damage for Varimathras.
The foe's knockback is not buffed, meaning that this will not hurt any of their combo potential against Varimathras. Not buffing their knockback means that they will deplete the HP of minions more quickly while not knocking them any further, though, which is useful in the context of Doom. Even the slightest poke can end up killing an Imp in most cases, which means they may have to commit to a laggier move to do actual knockback to them.
Minions will not take knockback from the actual throw part of the move and take no damage from this other than the explosion at the end. Used on a Imp, Blood Imp, or Imp Boss, this will cause them to gain engorged muscles rather than a darkness effect, increasing their size steadily over time. This will buff their damage in the same way, and when they explode they will be a hitbox as powerful as the main explosion. This still counts as the minion dying for the purposes of Doom, so buffing them to do heavy damage before they die is a great combination of effects for Varimathras.
Imps/Blood Imps will actually be big enough to slow the foe slightly when they latch onto them now, slowing their movement by 0.9X. While latched on, they also have superarmor against attacks that deal 2-8% or less depending on how big their muscles have become. This can help save them from being knocked off, and them latching on is a much bigger threat when they are now ticking time bombs.
Imp Bosses are now able to issue orders while in hitstun and while performing their headbutt attack.
Imp Mothers and Doom Guards will not die from Power Overwhelming, unfortunately. In the case of a Doom Guard, they will just get the darkness effect and be unsummoned at the end like if their regular 13 second timer ran out. If they only have 6 seconds left to help you anyway, there's no reason to not use this on them, though, so if you get the time you can potentially make your Doom Guard be a very powerful monster.
Imp Mothers just take the 12% and knockback at the end of the status effect like a foe without dying. They specifically bloat up to be fatter (somehow), making them even more of immovable objects as their weight increases to be up to that of Bowser's at 0%. This does not increase the power of their poison breath or lava geyser attacks, but increases the damage of their falling attack by 1.2X per second rather than 1.15X.
If Varimathras casts Power Overwhelming on an Imp Mother that's already at max weight (It does nothing to cast this in the middle of the spell's effect), she will spontaneously explode. This creates a hitbox double Bowser's size that deals 20% and knockback that kills at 70%. This hitbox automatically hits Varimathras and kills the Imp Mother immediately. With Doom taken into account, this is a favorable trade if you can somehow hit the foe with this hitbox alongside Varimathras. That said, this is very high risk if it misses, requires you to wait 6 seconds, and puts you in lag at two intervals in the match beyond summoning the Imp Mother. This cannot be used as a casual suicide set-up to get a Doom Guard if you are at a high percentage on the next stock, as Varimathras loses all of his minions when he dies.
BACK THROW - IMP-LOSION
Varimathras casts a spell on the foe, knocking them away with 5% and knockback behind him that kills at 200%. After 6 seconds, the foe will be hit by an explosive green hitbox. By default, all this hitbox does is 1% and flinching, which is very unimpressive. For every 8% the foe manages to take during the 6 seconds Implosion is active, though, they will take an additional 3% from the explosion hitbox and an Imp will be created out of it. If the foe is hit by the move's hitbox, any and all Imps created by this move will be latched onto the foe automatically. Every third Imp created by this move will be a Blood Imp rather than a regular Imp.
This move should only be used on foes if Varimathras is actually ready to go on the offensive, as otherwise it is a tremendous waste. This move does give Varimathras the option of attaining set-up through offense, though having minions already out will help him a lot more with preparing a gigantic Implosion.
If used on a minion, the actual throw part won't happen which means they won't take any damage from it, which is not actually a good thing. You will not get the benefits of Implosion if the minion dies before the actual explosion happens. This means it doesn't synergize with Doom as well as some other effects, but so long as you're just damage racking the minion and not killing them it can still be helpful.
Imps/Blood Imps trigger an additional Imp to be created out of Implosion for every 4 damage they take, and 5 damage for Imp Bosses. Considering Imp Bosses also naturally generate Imps every time they're hit by an attack that does 6% or more, you can potentially create up to 7 Imps out of an Imp Boss, and potentially a Doom Guard at the end for good measure. In the case of these minions, foes will frantically want to kill them before the Implosion occurs, which presents an obvious conflict if you have managed to cast both Doom and Implosion on the same minion.
Imp Mothers generate a single Imp for every 8% they take, like a foe. They have much more HP than the lower minions, but their weight means they are feasible to combo to death before the Implosion actually occurs. Alternatively, the foe can simply pressure Varimathras directly to keep him away from the Imp Mother during this time so he can't damage her.
You can theoretically get 10 Imps out of a Doom Guard if you are really determined, but sacrificing a Doom Guard for Imps is rather silly, especially when you're going to be beating on it for so long and it only takes half the regular hitstun of a character. What makes this otherwise undesirable "trade" worth it is replacing the Doom Guard at the end like nothing happened by casting Doom on it. Keep in mind, though, that casting this on a Doom Guard after the first 7 seconds of their existence is completely pointless, as if you do it in their final 6 seconds they will vanish before Implosion can actually take effect. You have a very strict time table to do this, and you'll need a ridiculous amount of undisturbed time to fight your own Doom Guard.
UP THROW - RISING PORTAL
Varimathras performs his Up Special portal move, but takes the foe in with him and doesn't create any minions. He will always do the move as high into the air as possible, though while he's vanished you can input left or right to make him show up to 1.5 Bowser widths in either direction. At the end of the move, Varimathras slashes the foe up out of the portal before jumping out himself, dealing 7% and knockback that kills at 130%. The knockback is actually fairly poor, but the move has a decent kill percentage due to the set distance the foe is taken into the air before taking that knockback. At low percentages this is a combo throw, but it also provides unique followups you wouldn't get otherwise because of placing Varimathras in the air.
If there are any minions or extra characters within a Wario width of the portal as it is created, they will get sucked into it with a suction hitbox. Varimathras' slash at the end will hit everything that was sucked in with the exception of Imps/Blood Imps, who will be latched on to the primary victim of the throw when they come out on the other side.
If the foe is at too high of a percentage to be comboed by Varimathras, it is possible to combo the foe with an Imp Boss due to their low weight. Their weight is not so low they will just be killed by this attack, but they will typically get out of hitstun before the foe and potentially combo out of the throw into their headbutt attack. What's also noteworthy is this attack will do 7% to the Imp Boss, which is enough to cause it to generate an Imp.
If the foe is at a lower percentage, the real most powerful threat here is the foe being comboed by a Doom Guard or Imp Mother. These minions are so heavy that they will not be knocked up very far of course, though the Doom Guard is tall enough it is more likely he will remain in range of the foe to pull off an attack. The Doom Guard's fast options he will use in this scenario are the punch and Cripple, both very respectable.
The Imp Mother will of course go to crush the foe under her weight as soon as she gets out of hitstun from the uthrow. The foe has to be at a rather specific percentage to actually combo into her falling around 25% or so depending on their own weight. If their percentage is too low, this is still useful, as the foe is immediately forced to dodge. This percentage is low enough for Varimathras to still be able to hit the foe with a move of his own guaranteed, though doing so would also hit the Imp Mother. Varimathras can potentially land a more powerful attack if he doesn't do his combo and instead punishes the foe's dodge, though.
If the primary target of this move is a minion, everything happens as normal. This isn't that useful in most cases, but if the foe is trying to punish you for using a different throw on the minion this can function as a good self defense as you suck the foe in. If a foe is sucked into the portal, the rest of the move will behave as if the throw was performed with them as the primary target rather than the minion.
Without any intention to hit the foe with the portal itself, this is only useful on Imp Mothers. This is able to unpitfall an Imp Mother to enable them to use their crushing attack again, and gets them high into the air to make the hitbox very powerful. Varimathras can interrupt the Imp Mother falling by attacking her with any move, and so long as she's still allied to Varimathras this is pretty easy. This is very powerful to delay and redirect this powerful hitbox since her only attack in the air is to start up the stall then fall again, making it significantly harder to predict.
Varimathras has more time to get ready to do this than when creating an Imp Mother considering that they will briefly be in hitstun at the start, giving Varimathras time to move around. He has to be careful to choose an attack to redirect the Imp Mother that does 7% or less, though, or else 15% will have been dealt in a single second and the Imp Mother will betray him. Note that damage from effects like Doom and Life Drain still count for this, which can give you even less leeway. If Varimathras' mother disowns him, though, it's not the end of the world, seeing as he'll have just knocked her away and won't be crushed by her.
Varimathras casts Sleep on the foe before slamming them against the ground, dealing 9% and floor bouncing knockback that kills at 170%, sending the foe at a 45 degree angle. The foe does not fall asleep immediately, but is immediately put into a drowsy state. This will cause the foe to lose a very small amount of movement speed per second, 5% of their default movement speed, as well as add 1 frame of starting lag on their dodge. On the fifth second, instead of losing movement/dodge speed, the foe will fall asleep (effect/duration the same as Jigglypuff's sing) in a dodgeable hitbox. If successfully dodged, the foe will regain all their movement speed as they snap themselves awake and the process will repeat one more time before the foe is completely cured of their drowsiness. Using this throw on an already drowsy foe will just add on an extra 10 seconds of duration.
In actual Smash Bros, enemies cannot fall asleep in the air, and that applies here. Instead of timing a specific dodge, foes can simply stay in the air, which is a lot more manageable, and will also enable the foe to ignore the nerf to their movement speed anyway. Encouraging the foe to go the air enables Varimathras to better dominate the group with his minions, as well as enabling him to do aerial combat better by getting the foe into position to drop Imp Mothers on.
While this throw will rarely be your first choice on a foe, it should be noted that with the addition of Sleep, Varimathras has 3 "time bomb" throws. With all of these on the foe simultaneously, it becomes difficult for the foe to get much of anything done with how much they'll have to be dodging. Sleep is particularly notable in the context of having so many time bombs because it refreshes itself once for free, giving the foe a second instance of something to dodge, even if it can be nullified by being in the air. The added lag on the dodge will very rarely make one of these time bombs hit when they would've been otherwise avoided, but gives Varimathras more time to capitalize on the foe's forced dodge.
If Varimathras puts a minion to sleep, they will take no damage and instantly fall asleep on the spot. They will sleep 20 seconds, essentially forever, if not woken up by outside characters. Any attack will wake them up as normal, but they will become much like a typical "creep mob" in WC3 or WoW. When woken up, they will pursue their attacker (even if it's Varimathras) for the distance of 1.3 platforms, attacking them if within range. If the enemy goes out of their range to attack from there, though, they will go back to where they originally were asleep and fall asleep again. If they are still within 1.3 platforms of their sleeping location, they will attack anyone who attacks them on their way back. However, if the minion is knocked more than 1.3 platforms away from their sleeping location, they will not attack foes at all until they are within 1.3 platforms as they are determined to get back to sleep.
This enables you to "leash" minions to a specific location, and if you've already betrayed them it makes them more biased towards foes so long as you can avoid hitting them. If you're content with the minion betraying you, doing this enables you to heavily beat up on the minion as you knock it away from its original location then casually infinite it as it keeps walking into your attacks.
Varimathras opens up a portal on the floor in front of him, stretching out a Bowser width. The portal opens up to reveal green bubbling lava. The bubbling makes the hitbox stretch up off the ground slightly to expand the size of the hitbox, so foes don't have to be actively standing on the ground to be hit. The lava deals 15-21% and vertical knockback that kills at 150-110% before Varimathras takes the time to close the portal. The portion of lava that's still exposed as the portal is closing is still a hitbox, and while this does take some time there is no ending lag beyond this, so once starting lag is bypassed the move will always technically have a hitbox.
Imp Bosses and smaller will drown in the lava on contact, instantly killing them. Doom Guards are too big to drown in it, but can be hit by it. Imp Mothers are essentially immune to it.
Any minions sacrificed for this attack will increase the damage of the attack by 4% and lower the KO percentage by 10%. The fact this instantly kills the weak minions is obviously appealing, but this has a big catch as far as Doom is concerned. While Doom Guards are normally too big to fit, if a Doomed minion dies while in the Sacrifical Pit, the Doom Guard will be trapped inside of the pit and will also die, too big to be able to get out. That said, the sacrificed Doom Guard will still power up the dsmash, so it's not a totally lost cause.
Imp Mothers cannot be hurt by the lava, but will get stuck in it and be unable to get out due to being so fat. This prevents Varimathras from closing the portal, which frees him from his usual ending lag. This pitfalls the Imp Mother for all intents and purposes. If the Imp Mother specifically does her crushing attack into the lava pit, she will splash the lava out to either side, just as powerful as the dsmash's usual hitbox, and still able to dissolve minions to power it up. The minimum distance the lava will splash out is a Wario width/Mario height to either side. For each Ganondorf the Imp Mother fell on her way to the Sacrifical Pit, it will splash an additional Wario Width and an additional Pokeball height. If the Imp Mother was bloated due to Power Overwhelming, the lava will be splashed as if the Imp Mother fell an additional 2 Ganondorf heights.
While the Imp Mother is submerged in the lava, her lava geyser attack will use the lava from the Sacrifical Pit. This means that any boosts the Sacrifical Pit gained from killing minions will apply to her attack as well. The base strength of her lava geyser is weaker than the base strength of the dsmash damage-wise, dealing a total of 10% and knockback that kills at 130%, but it still makes the attack very threatening for how fast it is. Her lava geyser will not hit other minions, and anyone she kills with it will power up the Sacrifical Pit strength. That said, she will not actively aim for other minions, so they have to either be hot on the foe's trail or latched onto them or something.
If an Imp Mother in a Sacrifical Pit is forcibly removed by portal uthrow or dies, the pit underneath her willl close automatically, regaining its original hitbox briefly as it does so. In the case of her death, her corpse will be used to power up the pit like any other minion.
Any minions thrown into the Sacrifical Pit will be turned into a Shade. They will still be trapped in the portal, though, and will only be summoned whenever Varimathras next uses Up Special, dsmash, or Uthrow. All Shades that currently exist will come out of the portal alongside whatever minion would naturally be created by that use of the portal move in question. In the case of Uthrow, only one Shade will come out of the portal rather than all of them.
Shades have a mere 6 HP, don't take knockback or hitstun, and cannot be targeted by Doom. Shades are the one minion Varimathras cannot do friendly fire on given their ghostly form. Given how frail they are, this is a good thing, as he'd otherwise kill them accidentally on a regular basis. He's already betrayed them more than well enough to force them into this sorry state.
Shades patrol the stage back and forth at Ganondorf's dashing speed. They are slightly smaller than Mario and technically have no "attack", but if their entire body overlaps an enemy, they will possess them, leaving most of the work to Varimathras to knock the foe into them. How the game actually checks for this if it the center of the Shade's hurtbox is in contact with the center of the foe's hurtbox, so Shades still can possess foes smaller than them.
Being possessed by a Shade will cause the foe to deal 0.9x regular knockback on their attacks so long as the Shade remains in their body. This will stack with multiple Shades, though it caps at half their normal strength so that foes can't just infinite you in place with a move that does no knockback. These moves will still deal full damage, meaning they can assist Varimathras in killing his minions without knocking them off the stage, hopefully. Shades will last for 0.7 seconds for every 10% the foe has with a minimum duration of 2 seconds before being forcefully exorcised out of them and knocked away a set platform's distance. Foes take 1% per half second they have a Shade in their body.
Aside from making it harder for foe to prevent you from getting Doom Guards, artifically becoming heavier by weakening the foe's knockback power is pretty nice. Varimathras loses all his minions whenever he dies, so making use of his healing and knockback reduction is one of the more feasible ways to ensure he sticks around long enough to truly get rolling. His set-up isn't too permanent when his Doom Guards don't last forever, though, and his playstyle consists of constant set-up directly interwoven with fighting the foe simultaneously.
If multiple Shades come out of a Up Special/dsmash portal, they will not all be overlapping and will instead patrol the stage in a single file line with a Pokeball's distance between them. Getting hit through a large line of Shades can heavily weaken a move. For all the potential these minions have, they are not easy to create and only have 6 HP.
Shades will possess minions they come in contact with who have betrayed Varimathras to make them rejoin him as if nothing happened - at this point the Shades are just happy to have a body again. Varimathras is not beyond betraying those he has already killed, and can rebetray the minion if he wants. If he burns a possessed minion in the Sacrifical Pit, he will get 2 Shades out of it - the possessed minion's corpse and the original Shade.
If Uthrow is used on a foe when you have a Shade available, only one Shade will come out and it will automatically possess the foe at the end of the throw, without ever giving the foe the chance to shred through its token 6 HP. Outside Shades unfortunately cannot be sucked up by the Uthrow due to being immune to Varimathras' hitboxes.
Varimathras channels Rain of Fire, causing fireballs to appear a Kirby height above him and rain down in a cone shape on top of him. The hitbox reaches out around a Pokeball width to either side of Varimathras, while also covering a sizable vertical space. Regardless of the visual effect of this move being several individual fireballs, the move is just a singular hitbox as in WC3. This move comes out very fast and traps the foe in several hits that total up to 14-19% and knockback that kills at 160-125% on the final hit, along with the foe burning to take 1% a second for 6 seconds. This move is surprisingly easy for foes to DI out of, but Varimathras has the ability to actually redirect the rain of fire slightly during this attack at a very, very slow speed. Over the move's lengthy duration, he can potentially move it up to a platform in one direction if he holds left/right the entire time rather than having the hitbox cover his hurtbox. If the foe wants to specifically DI out to one side to avoid minions/traps, this can rather directly force them to DI out on the other side instead. The move has bad ending lag to compensate for the long duration of Varimathras covering his hurtbox.
If the move is fully charged, this move's hitbox will spawn above the foe furthest away from Varimathras rather than over himself. Minions are not treated as "foes" for the purpose of this, only actual characters. Varimathras can still move the hitbox about as usual, potentially moving it towards himself to block off his hurtbox while still using this move to aggressively camp.
Minions will not directly be trying to DI out of this, simply DIing in the direction of where their natural patrol route would take them. Most of the time, this means they'll be DIing towards the foe. This move will deal enough damage over the course of itself to make minions betray Varimathras single handedly, even at minimum charge due to the burning damage. With slightly more charge, they will be betrayed before Rain of Fire is completely finished. If Varimathras is closer to the minion than the foe (very likely if the move was not fully charged), this means they will change their DI in the middle of the move's duration to come towards Varimathras. While minions could otherwise often get out of the move, this change will generally make them come back in to get hit by the full thing. Sadly, no individual hit of this does 6% or more to trigger Imp Bosses' Imp generating effect besides the final one. Alternatively, Varimathras can completely control the direction a minion will DI during this with Sleep.
This move's area of effect nature makes it very good for simultaneously killing foes and minions. If the minion was a bulky one that would actually survive, or if this kills a Doomed minion, the bulky minion/new Doom Guard should be able to occupy the foe when they DI out of the move to keep Varimathras safe. Imps latching onto the foe makes them a very convenient target to hit with this move, as they're all clustered together.
As stated way back in the introduction of the Doom Guards, they have access to this move as one of their attacks. They will fully charge the usmash if the foe is a significant distance away from them, such as if they've gone off-stage, and will always attempt to move the channeling of the Rain of Fire directly towards the foe.
If Doom Guards are not in lag when Varimathras inputs usmash, they will also use Rain of Fire, charging for an identical amount of time to Varimathras. They will specifically move their Rain of Fire so that it borders up against Varimathras', moving alongside it to increase the range rather than overlapping the hitbox to increase the damage. If there are multiple Doom Guards, they will simply move alongside the nearest Rain of Fire, enabling you to reach out the range even further. If you want damage output rather than range, fully charging it will force the Doom Guards to overlap their Rain of Fire with yours for devastating potential damage, and they will mirror your horizontal movement with it perfectly. That said, the burning effect which provides some of this attack's normal great damage output will not stack.
Varimathras is immune to the Rain of Fire of his Doom Guards so long as they're allied, and Doom Guards are immune to their own Rain of Fire. Like all of Varimathras' other moves, Doom Guards are still not immune to Varimathras' personal Rain of Fire, though. As powerful as cooperation with the Doom Guards can be, foes can manipulate the fully charged version to hit a Doom Guard and get rid of their part of the hitbox while making them betray Varimathras. The fact this puts both Varimathras and the Doom Guards in lag presents a huge risk for all of the potential provided stage control and power.
Varimathras points forwards with a single finger, then fires a red laser out of it at a 45 degree angle towards the ground in front of him in a quite laggy move, with extensive lag on either end of it. Should it hit somebody, the move's duration will be extended as Varimathras channels the beam for 10 frames, during which time it is impossible for the victim to escape as they are in constant hitstun and there is strong suction that applies only to the hit foe to keep them in the hitbox. This deals 21-29% over the 10 frames as the foe spasms about in pain as Varimathras tries to literally turn them inside out, and their voice clip from being star KO'd is played. On the final hit, the foe is sent flying off at a 45 degree angle that kills at 110-65%.
Once somebody is trapped in the 10 frame duration, they and only they can be hit by the hitbox, it is turned off against everyone else as Varimathras channels the pain directly into that foe. During these 10 frames, the foe will be in such pain that they will be more vulnerable to all other forms of pain, meaning they take double damage from all outside sources during those 10 frames other than this move. The foe has superarmor against all other attacks during this time, so this will not knock them out of the move either. If there's a minion remotely nearby, this can rack up absolutely fantastic damage.
This move's knockback has the potential to kill much, much earlier anyway, but if the foe reaches 200% during this move, Varimathras will succeed in turning them inside out, causing them to combust in a gore filled explosion for an instant kill. This is a hitbox to outside characters that deals 16% and knockback that kills at 125% in a hitbox 1.5X the size of the blown up character.
This move is much too laggy to really be worth the time investment to kill plain Imps. Imp Bosses will specifically be left with 1 HP if this is uncharged, which can let you get an Imp and a Doom Guard theoretically, but is still not the primary purpose of the move. If you want to kill a fresh Imp Boss, a very brief charge beyond zero charge will increase it enough to do so. Imp Mothers and Doom Guards have enough HP to consider killing them with this, and it is one of the primary ways to shred through a Doom Guard's insanely high HP in 13 seconds. The key to killing with this move effectively, though, is to get the foe to help you to kill the minion during those 10 frames where they take double damage. Even a weak attack is a pretty tremendous help during those circumstances.
The minion will explode like when a foe hits 200% if they die during this attack, which means if the foe does the finishing blow they will automatically be hit by the corpse explosion. This property is also useful if you're aiming at a foe who has an Imp latched onto them, as you can explode the Imp off of their shoulders to hit them if they dodge the attack.
JAB - RING OF FIRE
This jab skips straight to the repeating part, with Varimathras waving his hands to make fireballs slightly smaller than Mario's. The fireballs will float about in a ring in front of Varimathras as they rotate in a circle, with each one dealing 1.6% and radial knockback that kills at 260%. There are 10 fireballs in the circle, but Varimathras does not form all 10 instantly. When the repeating portion is going, he will form them 1 by 1 as he spins the fireballs about in a circle, forming one every 4 frames to send into the rotation. As fireballs are used up in the rotation due to hitting something, Varimathras will replace that fireball when the rotation comes back around in front of him where the missing fireball is.
The jab finisher has all of the fireballs converge into the middle, dealing the combined damage of all of them and dealing knockback that kills at 260 - 15% for each fireball that converged, so 135% with all 10 fireballs. The ring of fire covers a space around the size of Bowser by default, with enough space for characters Mario sized and smaller to fit in the middle. Aside from the jab finisher itself being potentially very powerful, foes can potentially bounce around inside of the Ring of Fire if they manage to get caught due to a poorly placed air dodge, and will specifically have to DI out through the gaps. This move doesn't do direct stun, but is one of your better ways to occupy a foe for a status effect to happen or for a minion with a longer range attack to hit the foe during it. As useful as this can be, keep in mind it takes 40 frames of the repeating jab before you actually get 10 fireballs though, you'll often have to make due with less.
The radius of the ring of fire can be increased if Varimathras holds up on the control stick during the repeating portion of the jab. He can potentially make the radius be double the default size to give this move massive range, but this will massively spread out the fireballs, as he can still only have 10, making bigger gaps for foes to get through. If you predict the foe coming in, you can of course make use of the jab finisher, but if the radius of the fireballs is increased, this increases the lag involved in the jab finisher as the fireballs have further to travel in order to converge at the center. Holding down on the control stick will condense the ring at the same speed Varimathras can increase it, and if a foe is bouncing around on the inside erratic use of this can make it harder for the foe to DI out.
This move is a good way to kill an Imp Mother as they bounce around on the inside. On Imp Bosses and lower, this will take too long to start-up to really be worth the time when you could dispose of their lower HP in other ways. As the Imp Mother bounces around inside, you can let up the repeating jab or expand the ring of fire so that she doesn't get hit and begins her crushing attack to try to kill a passing foe, enabling you to drop her down on a foe interrupting you from killing her. Even if not trying to kill the Imp Mother, this combination is very scary as you attempt to end the jab at a point where the foe will collide with the Imp Mother's massive girth. As powerful as this sounds, the crushing attack isn't instant and has some starting lag, so you would still want to threaten the foe with the actual fireballs as well to have much chance of hitting with the Imp Mother. The fireballs can also be used to protect immobile minions, most obviously the Imp Mother, before closing it in to do the previously described strategy when the foe passes.
DASHING ATTACK - DIMENSIONAL DIVE
Varimathras attempts to glide forwards with his massive wings in an animation like Charizard's dash. His claws are extended out in front of him as he does so, hitboxes that deal 11% and knockback that kills at 130% in a fairly powerful hitbox. Varimathras cannot keep this up for at all long with the awkward nature of his wings, though, and faceplants at the end of the move. Wanting an animation more dignified and intimidating than a clumsy Dedede dashing attack flop, Varimathras makes a portal at the end of the ground where he would land, diving into it at the end and sealing it behind himself. The ending lag is Varimathras making a portal to come out at the point where he originally started the dashing attack.
The ending lag is quite long, though Varimathras is invulnerable for most of it anyway and it shifts his hurtbox backwards a significant distance. There still is a bit of ending lag where Varimathras is vulnerable, though, so if a foe shields/spot dodges the dashing attack they can potentially time a laggy attack to hit him as he comes out.
Any minions smaller than a Doom Guard can fall into the portal on the floor when it's created, and it is created a significant distance before Varimathras actually arrives there. The minion will come out alongside Varimathras at the end of the dashing attack and will do their usual attack as if they had been summoned by Up Special. If the minion falls into the portal but Varimathras is interrupted out of the move before the ending lag portion, then the minion will come out the next time Varimathras uses Up Special (In addition to whatever minion would be naturally summoned) or completes Dashing Attack.
If Varimathras has any Shades ready to come out of portals, this is yet another move that can summon them. Rather than coming out of the ending lag portal, though, they come out of the portal summoned at the start of the move. They will come out of the portal summoned on the floor and walk in the direction Varimathras is coming from. When the ending lag is passed and the portal is summoned that Varimathras comes out of, the Shades will walk back into that portal at the end, ready to be resummoned again by another move.
This is very useful to use the Shades in a more active, controlled way rather than relying on their pitiful 6 HP as minions. Varimathras can knock foes into the Shades with the melee hitbox on the move, or can hopefully keep them safe at the end of the move before using them for something else. Note that if Varimathras is interrupted out of the move before he forms the second portal, the Shades will stay out on the stage as if they were summoned with any other portal move, very vulnerable to attack, and even if they go back in their paltry 6 HP can still be depleted normally during their brief exposure to the outside world.
FORWARD TILT - BACKSTAB
Varimathras' hand enlarges slightly (Like Bowser's) as he stabs forwards with his oversized claws. His hand is not actually a hitbox, only the claws, so while the range is respectable it has a blind spot at point blank range. The move deals 5% and low knockback that kills at 200% with base knockback that's too high to combo into anything, though it is a decent spacer considering the speed of the move.
If Varimathras hits an enemy's back with this attack, he will get a few freeze frames as a satisfying slice sound effect is played and the enemy starts bleeding. This doubles the damage output of the move, as the foe will bleed for 5 seconds and take 1% per second while doing so. This version's hitbox does not have the higher base knockback, so it can combo at low percentages as an added bonus. Arguably the most important effect of the bleeding, any attacks that hit the bleeding source will cause Varimathras to lifesteal half of the damage with his vampiric nature. If the attack in question hits any other part of the foe's hurtbox first, this will not count, though if the attack both overlaps the bleeding area and another part of the foe's hurtbox simultaneously it will still register. This does stack with moves that already lifesteal. Backstabbing a foe that's already bleeding will just reset the duration.
Varimathras doesn't really have much in the way of gimmick moves to enable him to specifically aim at the foe's back rather than their front, more being nice when it does happen, and as simple as the regular version of the move is it still has its own uses. The primary thing in Varimathras' playstyle that flows into lots of backstabbing action is simply surrounding the foe with minions on either side to occupy them and make them turn their back to you more often/at predictable intervals. In tandem with Life Drain, you can punish the foe for doing several actions potentially - while playing Varimathras requires a lot of planning, if played well the foe will also have tons to keep track of.
Minions can lifesteal from bleeding foes just as well as Varimathras can. In the case of Imps, their only real purpose is to die so this isn't terribly useful. Imp Bosses can potentially shed more Imps with additional health, though, and Imp Mothers can use more HP to be batted around in the air by Varimathras before dropping on the foe with their crush move, or simply to last a long time when keeping a Sacrifical Pit open with their massive girth.
Used on minions, this enables you to leech health from them faster than any other method. The catch is that when the foe isn't the source of bleeding, they too can benefit from it, as -any- attack done on a bleeding character will heal the attacker. This makes it even more of a contest to fight over who gets to kill a minion if it wasn't already, but if you manage to get off Doom the foe will largely just have to suck it up.
The fact this move does half the damage in a status effect over time means that this move ironically will not actually cause minions to feel betrayed - Varimathras is such a skilled traitor that even with the most obvious betrayal in the book, he can still come across as a trustworthy ally.
Bleeding characters will be prioritized more heavily by Carrion Swarm, as if they had 25% more damage/25% less of their max health. With this move, Varimathras can Carrion Swarm home in on the foe even if he's 50% behind, and this move itself provides Varimathras with more opportunities to heal anyway.
A disruptive wave of purple energy spreads out from Varimathras' body as he waves his hands, dealing 4% and knockback that kills at 230% in another quick, weak move with base knockback too high to combo. The knockback is radial away from Varimathras, but will always send enemies upwards slightly in at least a 10 degree angle. As such, the move is more of a defensive one to get enemies out of your face than a spacer, though it's a very good one.
If the target has any sort of negative status effect on them, this will remove the status effect and boost the power of the move's knockback. Each second remaining on the status effect's duration will lower the KO percentage of this move by 4%. If the status effect lasted forever (which none of Varimathras' do), it will lower the KO percentage by 40%.
- Doom: 8 seconds (32%)
- Doom Guard - Cripple: 8 seconds (32%)
- Fthrow - Power Overwhelming: 6 seconds (24%)
- Bthrow - Implosion: 6 seconds (24%)
- Dthrow - Sleep: 10 seconds (40%)
- Usmash/Doom Guard - Rain of Fire (burning): 6 seconds (24%)
- Ftilt - Backstab (bleeding): 5 seconds (20%)
- Theoretical Total: 196% (Utilt kills at 34%)
With every status effect in Varimathras' set that counts for this applied and at max duration, this move would kill at 34%. Getting all of them on at once with max duration is literally impossible, though, and while the kill percentage can still get very low, it's very hard and has an extremely strict time table on it. What's more, if you've miscalculated and failed to kill with this, you've cured tons of status effects for next to no payoff.
Doom Guards have access to this attack, but it is their most rarely used attack - they will only use it in a scenario where it will kill the foe outright, never at any other time, so you don't have to worry about them getting rid of status effects you want to actually keep. The size of this hitbox scales with the size of the Doom Guard, so it makes foes have to avoid them heavily when they have lots of status effects and/or are at a high percentage. Doom Guards will largely need to help to get this up to acceptable levels to kill in the first place, seeing they have access to Cripple and Rain of Fire.
While this move's damage is terrible, any damage a status effect would've dealt over a set duration will instantly apply to the foe. This applies to Doom, Backstab bleeding, Rain of Fire burning, and Power Overwhelming's damage over time, making the move theoretically deal up to an extra 29%, though that damage would've been dealt to the foe eventually anyway if you hadn't bothered with this move.
Sleep has the longest duration of anything in Varimthras' set and is one of the best candidates if seriously trying to kill with this move. Power Overwhelming is the main reason Varimathras will use the move when it's not going to kill anyone, as it can turn the fthrow into a casual damage racking throw which does 15% for free if you can hit with the easily landed utilt. It is also very useful to Dispel Power Overwhelming on Minions, as this will save them from taking the final hit (Which effectivelly kills Doom Guards, Imps, and Blood Imps instantly) while enabling them to briefly enjoy the benefits of the power up.
While the move does have positives, it definitely is a pretty big elephant in the room that this will destroy a lot of status effects you don't want destroyed. As such, a lot of the time Varimathras will specifically want to avoid using this move, which can be a pain when it's such a good panic button. That said, the nature of this move gives Varimathras some extra defense when he has no status effects on the foe, enabling him to only use it to its full defensive power while he's still trying to get some form of set-up.
DOWN TILT - VAMPIRIC CLAWS
Varimathras turns to face the fore/background and extends out his arms to either side before proceeding to dig his claws into the ground and sweep them inwards. This deals 6% and knockback towards Varimathras that kills at 175%. Note that unless the foe is at a rather low percentage, this will send foes sliding past Varimathras to his other side and potentially well beyond. Essentially, this move will do knockback to knock foes to the other side of Varimathras, though at low percentages there are definitely combo possibilities. The main one is his grab, but this is a very good way to set up foes for a backstab if they're not currently facing you as well.
Your two heavy minions will always be sucked in towards Varimathras with this move rather than shot out to the sides, potentially enabling them to assist in your combo once you bring the foe to the middle. Under normal circumstances, it's rare you will have an Imp Mother or a Doom Guard when the foe is at a low percentage. This will mainly actually happen after you've killed the foe and they respawn, in which case you can put any Doom Guard that was on their respawn platform with them to good use.
Varimathras extends out all of his limbs as an aura of red energy extends out from his body. This move has excellent range around Varimathras, but is somewhat laggy, especially on the duration. The move deals 9% and radial knockback that kills at 165%, and can only be used defensively for the most part if the range is abused. While 9% to the foe is not especially worth it, this move will heal Varimathras of 4% for each target it hits. With lots of minions, this move can potentially outheal what you normally get from Life Drain, as it enables you to lifesteal from as many targets as you can fit in the move's hitbox. This move also does the magic number of 9%, as much damage as possible to do to your minions in one hit without making them betray you. Compared to your pummel, you can also better defend yourself during this move since you can actually hit the foe with the move's hitbox.
Varimathras generates five small black etheral skulls in front of him slightly smaller than Mario's head. Maybe they're the spirits of Imps he's previously betrayed? After forming, the middle skull will go straight forwards, the adjacent skulls to the middle will go outward at 22.5 degree angles, and the outer skulls will go out at 45 degree angles to make a large spread of the projectiles in front of Varimathras. The skulls will travel 1.4 platforms before vanishing, and travel at a rather fast rate at Mario's dashing speed.
Each skull deals 3% and knockback that kills at 165% in the direction the skull is going. They are all clustered together when first fired before they spread out as they travel at their unique angles, so it is possible to shotgun blast the projectiles at close range to hit with all of them for a very damaging attack. The hurtbox of Imps is unfortunately too small to be hit by all of them to be killed instantly, with only Mario sized characters and above being able to cover the whole distance.
Varimathras is in lag for the entire time that the Shadow Bolts are out. While the Shadow Bolts will not phase out of existence if Varimathras is interrupted from landing lag or something, it means he is not looking good if this misses. Aside from hitting with this in close range rewarding Varimathras with damage output, it will free Varimathras from lag if all of the projectiles vanish early due to hitting something, or simply by hitting the ground.
Even if it's not a minion Varimathras intends to kill, he'll want a minion behind any foe he's aiming for with this attack to try to get out of lag more quickly if possible. If a foe has Imps latched onto them, this will expand their effective hurtbox to make it more likely for all 5 to hit, especially in the event the foe is playing as a tiny character. Aside from that scenario, Varimathras will want a large minion behind the foe to ensure that their fat hurtbox will easily cover everything. If the minion in question was one Varimathras wanted to kill/damage anyway, all the better.
If you want this sort of context without any minions, shorthop this and use this as an anti-air while only attempting to hit the foe with the upper 3 or 4 projectiles, while the lower ones go into the ground. If the stage has platforms, you can get rid of the upper 2 by aiming them into the bottom of them as well, which would only really require you to hit with the one that goes straight forwards.
BACK AERIAL - DREAD WINGS
While his wings are much too weak to fly, Varimathras bothers to use them for an attack for once in this move. With a broad flap of his wings, he attempts to crush anybody who was standing behind him with said wings, dealing 9% and knockback at a 45 degree upward angle behind Varimathras that kills around 140%. This attack is a bit slow to start for the only average power it has, but during that starting lag Varimathras' wings are not a hurtbox as they are spread out into the background/foreground planes, gaining brief intangibility. If his wings are hit during the actual hitbox by another physical hitbox, the foe will still also get hit anyway due to the nature of aerial priority.
Considering the fact that Varimathras' wings make up over half his hurtbox, this is a pretty big deal, and enables him to "counter" moves that would have otherwise easily hit him, and it's only a couple of frames before their hitbox is removed after the move is input. This move can punish the foe for spacing "correctly" with their moves on a regular basis, and the mere threat of having it can make the foe play much more cautiously if you turn your back to them for whatever reason.
The move has a slight wind hitbox push on it much weaker than Mr Game. & Watch's up aerial, but sending foes horizontally behind Varimathras. It only pushes foes about a Mario width back, but a casual push like that is still extensive when Varimathras is making the back of his hitbox vanish. The hitbox is located behind Varimathras' wings, meaning if you get by the primary physical hitbox you will not be hit by the wind hitbox.
This attack is useful to bait and switch on foes who think they are going to hit both you and a minion, when in actuality they're only going to hit the minion since half your hurtbox is gone. If the foe doesn't directly take the bait, you can then push the minion at the foe a variable distance depending on which hitbox you hit them with. Hitting with the physical hitbox is useful to deal damage to the minion of course, but keep in mind that the wind hitbox won't interrupt the minion's attack and can be used to more directly launch the minion into the foe.
UP AERIAL - FIRE VORTEX
Varimathras spins around as a vortex of fire forms around his body in an animation much like Mach Tornado, slowing his descent during the move's duration. The move deals several hits of flinching that add up to 17% and tiny, tiny vertical knockback over the course of it. The move has horizontal suction on it, but no vertical suction, meaning foes will slowly get pushed out of the top of the vortex over the course of the move from the miniscule hits. While the vortex is wider on top and thus easier to hit foes with, this move is actually better to hit foes below Varimathras with because they will be more guaranteed to stay in the vortex for the move's complete duration. The move's final hit does knockback that kills at 110% in a rather impressive display of power, and contains 6% of the move's 17% damage.
This move is faster than it sounds, the issue is foes getting shot out of the top before the move is finished. The tiny vertical knockback from the first few hits is not actually set knockback either and will scale with the foe's percentage, so it is easier to keep them contained if you hit them higher up at a low percentage. Even at 120% or so, it's possible to keep a heavyweight contained if you scoop them up from the bottom at the start of the move, though that gives you a very specific range to be able to actually KO with this move. That said, it's still entirely possible to intentionally use up some of the move's duration before you actually scoop up the foe in this move's hitbox, though this would effectively be adding starting lag to the move which makes it become much more average and less appealing.
This is one of the primary ways to scoop up and drag an Imp Mother around with you before dropping her on somebody. Her massive weight means you can keep her inside the vortex for the maximum duration if you need to horizontally reposition her, then you can throw her out the top to make her crush the foe. Note that it is also entirely possible for Varimathras to release minions early if he wants by starting a fastfall, which is the primary quick method to actually drop an Imp Mother rather than waiting for the move to complete.
If you get an Imp Mother and a foe with this simultaneously, this won't ever combo into the foe getting crushed like with the portal uthrow, but provides an extra layer of defense. Imps are so light they will get shot out of this move very quickly, so this does not work as a good damage racking move on them.
Varimathras forms an Orb of Fire above his head, holding it in both hands, then throws it downwards below himself in a quick move. It is not immediately a hitbox when raised above his head, only once it is thrown. The projectile travels downwards at a speed slightly faster than Ganondorf's dash, but it vanishes out of existence after traveling the distance of Marth's height below where Varimathras first used the move. On contact, the Orb of Fire deals 10% and radial knockback that kills at 150%.
If the Orb of Fire hits something it can damage or the ground before it expires, it will split into two orbs half the size of the original. These two orbs will spread out horizontally from where the first one landed, one directly to the left and one to the right. These only have half the power of the original, but travel at double the speed of the original, and will go forwards double the distance of Marth's height from where the projectile separated. Unfortunately, these additional projectiles cannot damage whatever they hit that caused them to split in the first place, so if you hit a foe with the main projectile you will not just automatically hit them with the smaller ones the instant they're created.
The Orb of Fire can potentially split up to 3 times, dealing as little as 1.25%, but still an annoying flinch to foes. Every time the orb splits, the new orbs will travel in the opposite horizontal/vertical directions as they previously were. With lots of minions, this can make a significant amount of projectile clutter around the stage with one use of dair if you can map out just where all the orbs are going to actually go. In addition, whenever they split, only the most recent foe hit is immune to the pair of new orbs that are created.
The foe can only be hit up to twice by this move and the move gets very weak as it splits, but with enough minions clustered around the foe it's doubtful the foe will not get hit by something and take some hitstun for you to land a move on them with some actual reward involved. The amount of damage this can do to a crowd can also be seen as a good thing, what with how often Varimathras wants his minions to die. Imp latched onto the foe are particularly useful, as if it hits them the foe will be vulnerable to the two orbs that split from it, which will be spawning inside of their hurtbox.
FINAL SMASH - BETRAYAL
Varimathras attempts to play dead for a counter hitbox on his Final Smash. If you were expecting a regular one, then you are just too simple minded to appreciate Varimathras' brilliant plan.
If the counter connects, Varimathras will pretend to have been horribly injured by the foe's attack (He will have taken no damage) and say "Spare my life, I beg you! I can be of service, I swear it!" The foe will for some reason agree because Varimathras is apparently very trustworthy, and can make even the most racist and intolerant of people agree with him.
This will cause the foe to ally Varimathras for 10 seconds. Varimathras only verbally agrees, though, as all of his hitboxes are perfectly capable of hitting the foe. If he hits the foe with so much as one hitbox, they will be smart enough to unally him immediately. Varimathras' minions will not actively attempt to attack the foe, but they are included in this contract unless they're unallied to Varimathras, so if a minion hits them the peace treaty is broken.
Varimathras can obviously be very picky with what he hits the foe with, given he has 10 seconds to try to hit the foe with some kind of powerful move. The primary thing to do is just to spam set-up for 10 seconds for your great future partnership with the foe, but the fact that minions attack as they come out of the portal is actually a bad thing here, as if the foe manages to get hit by the attack they will unally Varimathras.
If Varimathras currently has multiple opponents in a FFA setting, then anybody who agrees to ally Varimathras will do so for a whopping 30 seconds. Varimathras will truly ally with the foe in this case, with his hitboxes being unable to hurt that foe. This directly forces FFA politics, and forces foes to team up with you to kill the unlucky person who's not in the alliance. If the foe who has allied you becomes the only remaining foe before the Final Smash is over, it will end early.