Make Your Move 22: Moveset Design Contest - Lakitu, Kimblee, Primeape, Armie, Ennard, Whisper, Fenn, Lon Lon Ranch, Mina, Elekid, Vulture

FrozenRoy

Smash Lord
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Apr 26, 2007
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#81
A note about my star rankings: The descriptions are just to give you an idea about what it might contain and shouldn't be considered gospel truth that all sets within have all elements of it. Mostly, consider what the numbers mean. 10 is best, 0 is worst, 5 is average, 6 above average etc

Star Rating Explanation​

- 10 Stars(0 Ranked): Yes, I actually give out ten stars. 10 star represents the best movesets and usually have a strong playstyle, excellent execution, cool concept or the like, and on top of that, usually have something I personally find exceptional, be it from exceptional character (which can easily put a high 9 into 10), exceptional execution of a tough concept, an exceptionally creative concept or so on. These are rare, but I usually put out about 1 a contest.

- 9 Stars (1 Ranked): Nine Star may sit a tier below, but these sets are still quite amazing, and represent the "top" tier below "best". These sets share similar qualities to a 10 star set, tight knit playstyles and/or cool concepts and/or amazing execution or the like, but they usually have a collection of little nagging problems or a single large problem that keep them from the coveted 10 stars, or they lack "exceptionality" that pushes them over the top.

- 8 Stars(1 Ranked): Eight star sets usually contain some greatness, for it is the "Great" tier below "Top", but they have flaws which I cannot overlook, characterization issues, weaker concepts or execution and so on, which keeps them more on the level of great sets that may not be as fondly remembered later on.

- 7 Stars(0 Ranked): Seven star is "good", the sets that you see and think "that's good", but just don't hit the marks of greatness. Maybe it's a lack of expansion of the concept, a shaky execution, no heart in the characterization, or some lackluster sections, but these sets simply stay in the spot of good, not great. Usually, sets with a lot of good and a lot of bad tend to end up here or in 6/5 as well.

- 6 Stars(3 Ranked): Six star is "above average". They're better than your average set, sure, but they don't exactly speak to me, or are heavily flawed, or are simply average sets with just enough enjoyment to them to put them a smidge higher, or what have you.

- 5 Stars(1 Ranked): Five stars is "average". It's hard to describe average, but that's what it is, something in the middle that I don't find especially good or bad, such as a moveset with a little good and a little bad, a general moveset that doesn't do anything offensive, or something with such large drops between good and bad that I can't get behind it either way. Average.

- 4 Stars(0 Ranked): For 4 stars, it is "below average". It isn't horribly bad or anything, but it's getting there, issues are starting to outweigh positives, maybe the characterization is far off your average-ish set, you've got some unavoidable number issues or your execution just wasn't up to snuff, but I can't get behind the set, though these sets fairly often have hidden gem concepts to be shined by later movesets.

- 3 Stars(2 Ranked): Three stars is when we get into "bad". These movesets actively detract from me a good deal and begin to lose redeeming elements, and often contain multiple large issues, such as terrible execution, lacking playstyle and bland or bad characterization, yet they lack the means to be truly, memorably bad.

- 2 Stars(0 Ranked): Two stars is "Bottom", and you've about hit rock bottom and have numerous issues that probably require large scale changing of your moveset, yet you lack the exceptional awfulness characteristic of the truly terrible 1 star movesets, and you usually fail to break the game.

- 1 Star(0 Ranked): At one star, the moveset is LOOOOOOOOATHED ENTIIIIIIIIIIIRELY.

- 0 Star(0 Ranked): New to MYM22 is the 0 Star Ranking, which I'd considered adding before. These are sets that go beyond mere loathing entirely and enter a truly special pantheon of bad. Think sets like MYM13 Medic, MYM12 Etranger or MYM15 PC-98 Reimu, where a set fails on every possible level and beyond merely being bad.

---

Ranked Movesets

Number of MYM22 Sets Ranked: 8


Mina Aquila
*********
9/10


Vulture
********
8/10


Reapress
******
6/10


Kingpin
******
6/10


Whisper the Wolf
******
6/10


Primeape
*****
5/10


The Three Mage-Sisters
***
3/10


Goomba
***
3/10
 
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ForwardArrow

Smash Journeyman
Joined
Aug 17, 2011
Messages
429
#83
The first two Audio Comments are here, and more will follow shortly.

Ennard
(General opinion is it was a cool take on the extreme heavyweight archetype with great characterization. Its weighed down just a bit by the fact that the gas feels like it gets in the way more than it needs too, even if the base concept of it as a somewhat limited invisibility tool is neat. Its not enough to detract from the set being overall quite good.)

Elekid
(I thought this set was fine, but its basically just that, fine but unremarkable and very limited by having such a simplistic character. The specials at least make all these basic combo connections feel like there's a bit more potential fun to them.)

Fenn
(The set has some neat core mechanics but the melee doesn't acknowledge them enough, nor is it quite strong enough to stand on its own merits. The flavor is fun at least, and there is enough inherent fun to the core mechanics that its at least a serviceable set, it just could've been more.)

Whisper
(Edits have made this set a fair bit better than it used to be, listing combo options to make it a bit more nuanced how her set links together and giving a stronger sense of personality. I still feel there's two separate games going on between the specials and standards and they don't mix like I'd want them too, because the specials are the interesting part of what this set has to offer.)

Armie Buff
(I didn't enjoy this set very much, mostly because its just not very cohesive. The melee is good in terms of individual moves but does not feel like it adds together all that well, and this is compounded by some very nitpicky stuff that feels like it adds up when the big picture just isn't as much there as I'd want it to be.)

Vulture
(Superb specials that really give the set a ton of inherent depth, and the rest of the set at least follows up on them in ways that are kind of cool. I don't always like the path the set takes to get to its goal, but it at least gets there, and that's what matters most to me.)

Given Vocaroo is a temporary hosting site I will be compiling these together into a video later.

Lakitu
I'm honestly not quite sure why you feel there's something conceptually wrong with this set. If its the coins, I don't think they feel all that egregious in that regard, maybe being a bit wonky but not really feeling like they break anything and with a solid number of fun implications to play off. The rest of the core of this set is solid enough, as Lakitu pretty much does what you'd expect him to. He has the ability to fly around on his cloud, toss down spinies, and then absorb projectiles into the cloud to throw them back out for another round, which he has two smashes he can abuse with. Probably the most fun thing you added to the set is Lakitu's ability to swing the projectile's he's stored from his hook and also yank them back to him with his grab to save stray Spinies. Its a decently fun core and one I don't really have strong complaints with, aside from maybe the Piranha Plant feeling a bit weird on the input. Its balanced fine, but it feels like it would be quite the wonky smash to actually use in exchange for the potential setup it provides, and I didn't find its payoff as satisfying as the core minion in the Spinies.

The set switches to some simpler melee later on, but its something the set needed to do at some point and the melee feels like it plays fine. I don't think Lakitu's flag, traffic light, and camera would be the first things I would've thought of for giving him close range options, but it honestly does make sense given its a large portion of what the character is used for. Reminds me a bit of Villager in how he uses these normally non-harmful props from his game to fight, and while I'm not the biggest fan of Villager I never felt his set was unnatural. The melee also does a decent job of acknowledging the setups Lakitu made and plays off them perfectly well, leading to the whole set honestly flowing together pretty well. I will say that the grab game felt pretty underwhelming though, after its cool introduction I was kind of disappointed that the throws all felt pretty standard and didn't work off the setup as well as the melee did. The cargo throw was fine and I think if BThrow works like I think it does its an okay payoff for having a bunch of Spinies out, but I think even with those moves you could've done a bit more and the other two are sorely lacking. Its quite a solid set though, and the most negative I can say about it is a few inputs are dull but not broken and it lacks the depth of some of your more serious efforts. That's a good place to be, especially for something made this fast.

Primeape
Primeape is another one of those sets where I think the core is fine, the punch that gets stronger and slower the more it stales, the cancelable movement attack, and the anger point mechanic feeling like they'd be fun enough to play with. The problem is, it basically never achieves a level above "functional and with a couple satisfying animations" beyond that, not really feeling like its taking any risks or adding noticeable depth past a point. The Smashes/Standards and remaining specials at least fill the niche you'd want them too, acknowledging what you set up with the set's basis to play off the super armor in an at least somewhat satisfying way or playing off the fact that Primeape can use its attacks in motion. Admittedly, attacking in motion is something I've seen done before and Primeape's uses for it are never anything revolutionary, but I do like stuff like the Down Smash's long duration becoming a lot more worthwhile when used out of a Side Special. It runs out of steam after the standards though, as it more feels like the set is doing the bare minimum necessary to function as a Smash character and not more than that, and it just ends up kind of boring when while the early stuff is fine its not exactly providing tons of inherent depth. I don't like talking in vague generalities like "not enough depth" or whatever, but the set unfortunately exists in a bit of a limbo where I have nothing else to talk about, its never doing anything particularly bad but the good isn't enough to keep it interesting for more than about halfway through the set.

Kimblee
I'm actually quite fond of glass cannon and self-damage based playstyles, so it was fun to see Kimblee commit so heavily to this kind of approach. Kimblee's only recovery tool damages him quite a lot, and several of his other moves have the capacity to backfire while his close range game is utterly lacking, but his potential for ridiculous layered damage output and damage is definitely impressive enough to incentivize players to try him out anyway. I particularly like the decision to make it so Kimblee can counter these self-damage instances sometimes to give himself a power boost to buff the cannon side of his glass cannon abilities to insane heights when his base abilities are already quite good. It adds another layer to all the threat value Kimblee's explosions already have, and the set has quite a few well-designed moves later on to compound this. I like how while his standards and smashes aren't great at helping him in melee range, there are a few niche options like Forward Tilt that can at least get him out of a tight spot to make it feel like he's not totally hopeless if the opponent gets to an advantageous distance. There's also a lot of stuff that's "just" a hitbox that has an impressive amount of depth to it, Side Special and Up Smash feel like they have loads of fun implications. I particularly always wanted to make something like Up Smash, where the opponent takes another instance of knockback after the first one they take, but have never found a good excuse to do it.

In terms of negatives, I do feel like Kimblee's balance is a bit too extreme for its own good. This isn't an Elephant case, for the record, as I feel like Kimblee matches would not always be extremely one sided, but Kimblee's close range problems combined with the glaring weakness added to his recovery feels like it would absolutely add up. Kimblee can easily lock himself out of two of his smashes by losing a fedora and misplacing a transmutation circle, he can misposition his jab, and some of his other moves have the capacity to blow up in his face if he uses them at the wrong range. When compounded with the need to self-damage to even recover, I feel like Kimblee gets to the point of actually being too fragile for his own good, and stocks would frequently just horribly snowball against him to the point he just dies off one mistake. Admittedly, against certain heavyweights in Ultimate you frequently can die off one mistake to start with, so its not a problem that's as exaggerated as it would be in a slower metagame, but having all these options that can deprive Kimblee of close range viability or blow up in his face would also possibly be a bit frustrating to play. The thing is, I don't think its that bad at the end of the day, I know some players would absolutely love a "challenge" like Kimblee to play and he certainly has enough reward for all the risk you're putting into him. So its a pretty good set, just one that suffers the unfortunate downside of being very niche in terms of playerbase for reasons beyond just "I have to figure out a lot of move complexities".

As a final nitpick, I think the character's treatment here is not among your best. I can't blame you too much when you don't really like Kimblee, but the set's mockery of him mostly feels pretty tame barring the admittedly funny "he seems to have an infinite stash of fedoras" thing on Forward Smash. There's been some concerns presented about how he uses alchemy, and as someone not familiar with the series I'm not the first person to ask about that, but I do think the point that human transmutation with earth and the sand manipulation demonstrated in the down tilt are probably more than Kimblee should really be able to do. I do think you got the general nature of the character's fighting style down quite well though, with his extremely lackluster close combat but impressive destructive abilities on full display, compounded by his edgy worldview.

Lon Lon Ranch
Not gonna lie, I'm at a bit of a loss for words on this one. The presentation of this set in a game where stages fight on top of character models and run ROMs of the game they are from is taking the whole "opposite day" theming to an unbelievable extreme. This is just compounded by the incredibly weird hurtbox we have to work with of "killable entities" within the stages, an admittedly funny reference to an MYM chat meme that I did not expect to see taken to this extreme. Its all very funny, compounded by the writing style that treats this set as ridiculously as it should be treated, but its not fully a joke effort. Past the specials you kind of reign in the bizarreness of the effects by reducing the number of "killable entities" to work off, instead just translating animations of things that happen on the Lon Lon Ranch into attack animations. This is bizarre, but by the end of the set I could at least get used to it, even if I was still laughing at things like the entrance text of the Lon Lon Ranch or the pause screen being used to damage people. As a joke set, this absolutely succeeds, I was laughing particularly hard at basically any use of Ingo stuck in some bizarre mess of alternate timelines created by this moveset's nonsense.

As for the actual serious nature of the set? Yeah okay I'm not gonna lie, its not good. I don't really get a sense of any greater playstyle, even as the set tones down its absurd nature from the early moves. With that said, I don't think there's nothing of value here. The ability to move around inside the OoT ROM does actually present some interesting opportunities for hurtbox manipulation and microspacing, actually kind of reminding me of Joe Calzaghe back from MYM6. Is Joe Calzaghe a good set? Absolutely not, but I think having some way to tweak your spacing in incredibly minute ways to play around sweetspots or something could actually be fun. And while I have absolutely no idea how you make it not absurdly tacky, I could maybe see something similar to the Ingo mechanics being made in the future that handles their concepts better than they are here, and I can at least respect the cleverness in making some of these absolutely bizarre animations work. Its by no means a good moveset, but maybe something could be made of the absolutely bonkers perspective it has in the future.

Kunai
Kunai revisits some material from Shinobu, creating ineffectual clones you want to line up your hitboxes with and also using decoy logs you can throw around, but honestly, that all makes sense to me. They're related, so creating a sense of continuity between the movesets honestly just is good from a flavor standpoint, and both of them use their logs and clones very differently from each other. While at first I found the wind wheel's mechanics kind of hard to parse, once I figured them out they actually became quite cool. There's a lot of fun to be had using them to manipulate projectiles or Shinobu's position, with this set having some of the more exciting "attacking in motion" options I've seen in a while. Where this set succeeded to me where Armie failed was that while they both have strongly designed melee games, I found Kunai's options flowed better for me. The set consistently is referring back to the wind wheel, the logs, or the clones, and those in turn tend to create quite a bit of depth for how the set plays. One thing I quite liked was being able to use the projectile redirection of the wind wheel on Kunai herself or one of her clones by treating her like a projectile on her Side Special, leading to a lot of cool opportunities. There's also some fun material like the ability to make the dash attack come out absurdly fast if used in conjunction with the wind wheel, as you pay the lag cost up front at the start of the dash, or just all the ways to cover the opponent's defensive options in Down Smash, and the clones that are specifically used to improve her pivot and dash grab and subsequently their throws. Its a very fun set, I'd say completely comparable to her well regarded sister.

There are nitpicks I had here and there, but they're mostly not stuff that matters too much. The one thing I'll just point out that I would like you to change is the Jab, as I feel the last hit should probably not come out if you don't hit the opponent with another part of the Jab. There clearly was not the intention to use the move to gimp foes far off stage and given the move seems to have infinite range and scales in power as it flies, it feels like you could score some very cheesy kills with it. Now you have to go through the lag of multiple jab motions to get it so I don't believe it breaks the set, but its still something that I think should be addressed in some form. That said, the fact that this is the main negative I have to point out in my comment should probably say I like the set a lot, its got a lot of shockingly original ideas and the payoff feels very satisfying and fun.
 
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Joined
Apr 26, 2007
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#84
Hee-Mo's Magical Funtime Hour (Mina Aquila ForwardArrow ForwardArrow )

The concept of this set is pretty fun, with Mina having her little magical friend Ginny to help her out, kind of Rosaluma or Olimar-esque but not quite. You can send Ginny out as a passive hitbox, feed Ginny apples to power up or twice to get a Super Laser Attack, have Ginny track down the opponent with Back Throw, and perhaps most importantly is able to interact with another of Mina's core moveset ideas: Her magical petals! Truly, the ghost of Cutesy Beau lives on. This things can create time bombs, be used as ammunition to power up or alter Ginny's moves, or simply be used as strong damaging or zoning tools, making them versatile but often simple to understand. Ginny gets to gobble these up both to store them and to power up a lot of Ginny's options, or simply to suddenly throw out a flurry of saved up petals!

It all works pretty organically into each other, which is some good execution. None of the interactions really struck out as a kind of "Huh?" moment and they all work in concert to create a kind of keep-away + combo gameplan, with Ginny or petals setting up or keeping the foe at bay for Mina to either set up a big attack or use moves like Forward Smash to start a more direct combo, in addition to being able to simply use the lingering hitbox to set up attack chains, especially when it comes to Ginny as emphasized with moves such as Jab. It also helps make them really feel like a team, but a team with Mina as the head, exactly what you'd expect from the magical girl and mascot vibe the character is obviously going for.

The smashes were a big highlight for me, with all of them presenting some unique gameplay options that really help fit into a cohesive whole. Forward Smash is one of those moves that checks off a lot of what a character like Mina wants: Range, the ability to get people off of her, but curiously also the ability to start long range combos, which I thought was an interesting approach to a Belmont Forward Smash style move. This is especially true in the context of the set! You get utility from pulling opponents into Ginny or other lingering hitboxes, but it also plays into it well by simply sniping the opponent from afar to start damaging, allowing Mina a direct conversion of her setup into damage. It also more directly allows you to play with Ginny's stronger hitboxes by reeling him in. This is counter-balanced by high starting lag, making it risky as a spacer and meaning as a combo starter you won't just be throwing it out.

Down Smash is one of the most direct Ginny interactions outside of the Specials, basically allowing you access to one of two duo attacks depending on Ginny's positioning via follow-up attacks, and allowing you to either hit the foe to a seperated Ginny or instead pulling off a KO attack that the opponent can be caught by surprise by (but not true combo'd into!) if Ginny is on her, allowing a solid amount of versatility, and being a move that helps make you care about Ginny's overall positioning because getting the seperate-Ginny hitbox is a lot of damage. Something like Forward Smash -> Down Smash with Ginny out would be a lot of damage, but you need to land the laggy Forward Smash while having Ginny close enough, making it a kind of high riskoo high rewardo option. And it also has other uses, like a different lingering hitbox if you don't have the apple out, or to suck up a wide variety of petals while having a hitbox out.

Up Smash is a bit simpler than the other two, but I quite like the use of the quickly-wilting false light petals that allow you to do some powerful stuff with more petals or a sudden burst of setup, yet is incredibly fleeting and so demands swift action from Mina. The move also just has good gameplay uses outside of the petals, kind of a Villager/Palutena-esque anti-air, although I would say this is probably the weakest of the trio of Smashes, which is still quite good.

I'll take a moment here to point out this set has a lot of strong animation and character flourishes and touches, something especially important on an OC where there's no existing material to point to and no character familiarity. The finger guns on Down Smash, the multitude of quotes, animations and emotions in the grab game, the second Down Smash animation sounding like it comes right out of a magical girl anime (especially with the ruffled clothing touch!) and even stuff like Up Smash having a fun little easter egg. The pummel also is simply very amusing. The set feels as vibrant and alive as the character should, and I appreciate a lot of the character is actually in the set rather than just writing style (not to say a strong writing style is bad, but it isn't something you'd actually see in the game!).

This set does also do some good melee stuff. Back Aerial, for example, is a good style of expansion on a Falco FAir style landing hitbox, simply being a powerful landing hitbox that nonetheless is incredibly risky in Ultimate's engine due to high landing lag. I like the way that Up Special can use Ginny and petals to fly around the stage, allowing Mina to go for a bit more of a Pretty Cure-style beatdown. Forward Aerial is a solid combo tool with fun situations able to be created thanks to stuff like pink petals due to her mixup potential, and I really liked Dash Attack which allows Mina an aggressive tool to get in with shield safety that more allows her to go into a cycle of long range attacks or setup rather than her more difficult combo moves. Back Throw and Down Throw were also some fun moves.

On the more critical side, Down Aerial does somewhat concern me in power level, especially when it comes to 2-framing foes. It feels, perhaps, a bit too safe for the power it has. I might consider reversing the sourspot and sweetspot so the stronger spike is closer, or make the sweetspot instead a powerful vertical KO tool so it is less effective as a gimping tool, but I'm not really sure it is a big enough issue to really NEED a change (maybe ask around?). I do like how her aerial finisher is a laser cannon, in traditional magical girl fashion. Her setup being reliant on petal masses can perhaps mean some of her most fun stuff is a bit difficult to access, but I think given the power behind it it seems fine. Maybe there could have been some extra petal interactions, or a bit more in depth look at exactly how Mina gets KOs or her gameplan outside of her set up and combo dichotomy.

Overall, though, I thought Mina was a very good set! No Aurelia to be sure, but still very worthy in your expanding canon of strong sets. I hope we get to see more from you this contest rather than just one set, though!
 

BKupa666

Barnacled Boss
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#85
ENNARD:
When I first saw the description for Ennard's mechanic, my mind started running with all the different possibilities one could explore, given how quickly opponents would whittle down wireframes from a character even half his size in Ultimate's engine. Ennard doesn't disappoint in capitalizing on this, in such a way that showcases strong awareness of the pitfalls he would realistically face in game, and that creates a compelling character to play not just as but strategically against too. Does an opponent go for the generic combos right off the bat and give him a handful of wireframes to play with, or take a more hit and run approach he can predict more easily? The wireframes doing hitstun when reattaching from opponents to Ennard even gives him some incentive to move in on victims later in matches, contrary to what one might expect for such a big body. There are solid playground elements mixed in with the minions, with Ennard being able to buff slugs to varying levels with wireframes, eyes or both, and to time when and how that happens with options like D-Smash or F-Tilt. Though the self-damage aspect of Down Special gas is pretty intuitive, my favorite part is in the control it grants Ennard over wireframe attachment. I don't feel as though I've seen all that many sets with minion components where indirectly starting and stopping movement is a focus, and Ennard getting to halt it at will to create mini-traps and targets for his eyes is quite clever. Him getting to burst out of the gas with good movement speed and surprisingly adept melee standards also deserves credit from a characterization standpoint, in incorporating literal jumpscares into playstyle. The Bidybabs and Minireenas were great supplemental minions as well, especially in being instrinsically tied to the wireframe mechanic, and bringing potential interactions with the likes of FSmash or USmash.

The bulk of my nitpicks with Ennard boiled down to nitpicks with individual moves, or specifically questions about them their writing didn't appear to answer. The items you already addressed (how additional eyes change slugs' appearances or whether wireframes can linger after Ennard dies) were among these. A few others I didn't see...if an opponent with an eye physically hits a wireframe with enough force to destroy it, will the wireframe still crawl up their body (in other words, does it only crawl up if they walk over it without attacking)? Up Special isn't especially clear as to whether Ennard can walk up onto the stage proper in his wall crawling stance, while D-Air doesn't explain the precise power-up Ennard can get for moves standing overtop the rooted wireframes (strength, I'm assuming, but specific power would help determine how big an incentive this should be for him). On a lesser note, I really like Ennard's grab game (with the tether and B-Throw wire-bashing being favorites) but it definitely stands out as really powerful within his set, especially given that his minions seemingly are uninhibited in approaching during throws. Great for creating a sense of terror at close range, but something that might cause the more balanced-minded folks to take pause. And given that Ennard would poke through Battlefield platforms on a game where that stage is more ubiquitous than before, I would've appreciated more mentions of how that could factor into playstyle (poking through to place eyes on the platforms, maybe?). Beyond that, I was consistently impressed with the creativity used in relatively straightforward melee moves, taking advantage of Ennard's body type, and also command of Ultimate mechanics, including with the trample properties on mask moves and incorporation of kill confirms with minions. Hats off to you, both for Ennard and for giving me any interest at looking into FNAF when I have some time.
 
Joined
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#86
Finally got around to my audio comments! Sorry for their lateness. FA said he'd prefer a written comment in the end and I happily obliged. Thanks again for all the Bizarro Day contributions.

We come to the first FA set of this MYM, Mina Aquila. The first of many I hope, and I’m sure you’re capable of that! I do welcome another character in the Hee-mo universe, and in typical MYM fashion you immediately flip the script by making it a protagonist or at least, a character who actively engages the tackier aspects of her universe.

I will say right off the bat that while this set does have good characterisation it also feels like it’s retreading a lot of well trodden ideas. The pummel is a great moment and is similar to a move in Aurelia, both are basically redoing horrible moves like Rainbow Dash’s grab but doing it well. This set would’ve needed to have far more of Mina either engaging her own universe or explored the characters through either the playstyle or animation to make it stand out characterisation wise. If I was to go into a deeper analysis of why it ends up feeling a little underwhelming in this respect, the moves do tend to get tangled up describing very technical details that honestly don’t amount to a huge amount.

For example the up tilt has a mechanic where it powers up from 10% and KOing at 175% to dealing 16% and KO at 100% if you get an ambitious amount of set up. Most of the time, you’ll obviously end up getting somewhere in the middle… and you say yourself at the end of the move this is just meant to be a simple melee move. I respect Roy’s sets for just having moves like in Copy X where he flat out says “yes this move is for melee balancing purposes, no bells and whistles.” You don’t have to do that, but you can’t try for that and have a power up mechanic in the same move. The bair reminds me of Elephant in that it is balanced around having horrendous landing lag and that’s just the move. The set doesn’t explain why it’s laggy because there’s no given animation ie picking the branch out of the ground. That’s the most eegregious example but this kind of design is present throughout the set. The set has a couple of character flourishes but on the little details like that it doesn’t go far enough and gets a bit wrapped up in technicalities.

Mina has a fair amount of interactions due to Ginny and are the focal point of some of the flashier moves. I like the interactions for the most part, and the stuff done is here is mostly alright. I don’t think it’s anything hugely inspired as it’s mostly reeling or moving Ginny or petals. The majority of the moves benefit from having petals in the area, which is a pretty standard mechanic. It’s pretty well tread ground.

The melee in this set is certainly not bad but I wouldn’t say it was inspired. The branch ultimately is used as a weapon and while it isn’t just badly done, it never seems fully realized as a weapon. There’s no consistent way the branch works compared to say, Metireon’s slab, or even Kilton’s various weapons last MYM. She just swats it around kind of like a magic wand, and the branch is largely used as an excuse to do anything the set wants. You will sometimes attach a mechanic to it like the ability for it to make wind to move petals or conjure up things magically, but it’s very open ended. It would be a lot more interesting if it did follow some stricter rules like how Marth has the tipper or something as simple as it being fast – a branch has almost no weight obviously, so that would make sense. It’s just a little too convenient to be a really fun weapon.

Structurally the set has a few issues for me starting in the specials. The petals are obviously the biggest mechanic of the set and get off on the right foot. The move that has Ginny store petals feels quite cumbersome and relies on the notion that Ginny will be able to get many petals in the first place to make that interaction particularly interesting from a balance standpoint. The move itself, despite being a special, is really not that pivotal in the playstyle. If Ginny just stayed where he is or set a distance between the two it would achieve more for the playstyle. I’ve discussed already with you how I think the tree is under-used. It’s a waste creating a whole tree and the tree itself isn’t used to attack in any way. Timber (Villager down B) makes the tree into a pressure tool and has all this inherent depth. The tree could easily do something important other than passively add to her set up, and it that’s all it does, it could at least be a game changer. The recovery is largely functional in a good way as a pay off for petals, but it demonstrates how much the set relies on the petals and doesn’t really utilize the other specials.

I got this far without commenting on the petals, and I will say despite all of my criticism I do like the set, a lot of why is because the petal mechanic is well done. I like the amount of different petals you can create and how they differ, it’s obviously a streamlined version of Cutesy Beau’s petals and I still like that mechanic all these years later. As a general buff to her set, this sort of lingering resource is always a fun idea. I almost wish there was more of a proper ecosystem to the petals like Cutesy Beau, though not the exact same. The other thing is the pummel period. This is far, far funnier than what Aurelia did, I do really like these moments in your sets. The set has a fair few unique animations considering the duo of characters are a girl and her pet hamster more or less. I doubt we will see the chipmunk-like antics of this nature again. The balance is hard to fault here.

It’s also clear just how much effort went into this set, from the amount of detail given to the petals system to the care given to how it’s balanced. In a word, it’s a measured approach where you are fastidiously checking everything as you write to make sure it works in the engine. It’s because of that being harsh is really awkward for me because I know exactly how much you try to make your sets good, and this set is definitely a great effort. You’ve said to Lex recently you prefer when he takes risks and I feel the same way about your sets. This set plays it very safe, and on a fundamental level it has quite a few issues, even if overall it’s not bad.

In short, the set is a nice mish-mash of a lot of different elements, it doesn’t really come together in a very satisfying way, but it doesn’t do anything notably bad. It’s a welcome effort and I’m pretty interested to see what others think of this set. Thanks for posting the set FA and I remain excited to see what you have in store for us this MYM. This could easily be your best one in years if this is the low end.

Primeape LINK
I like the set, but it is very generic and does the bare minimum you'd expect for Primeape. Still is well balanced and seems like it'd be fun when implemented into the game.

Lakitu LINK
Very good set that has strong concepts and great sense of characterisation, making Lakitu seem like an interesting character despite not being particularly a fan. One or two slightly awkward inputs and some questionable props fail to substantially bring it down.

Lon Lon Ranch LINK
Absurd and wacky set that is basically a joke set but tries to take itself a little seriously later, mileage will very much vary. I thought it was fun if inexplicable at times and enjoyable, though very imbalanced and vague/confusing.

Kimblee LINK
Strong set that nails the glass cannon archetype while balancing around Ultimate in clever ways. Combines various elements of both FMA and existing Smash mechanics into a satisfying whole. Did not like dtilt, not very sold on utilt or uair, though are not bad.
 
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#87

Black Polnareff

As Jotaro and the gang travel through Egypt, lead antagonist Dio Brando sends a variety of more one shot antagonists with a variety of powers to stop them from getting to him and creating an inevitable confrontation. One of those is the ancient Egyptian blade Anubis, a Stand with no known human master which is contained inside of a sword. Anubis is able to take possession of anyone who unsheaths his blade, taking control of them while imparting his power upon them. In particular, Anubis has extreme combat aplitude and mystical level learning ability: Simply continuing to attack makes Anubis attack faster and faster, while Anubis is able to effortlessly defend against attacks he has "learned" as well.

"Black Polnareff" (also known as Anubis-Polnareff) is the result of our resident sword stand using Polnareff and his Silver Chariot becoming possessed by Anubis, which creates an extremely dangerous opponent: Not only does it let Polnareff's Silver Chariot dual wield, but Silver Chariot itself is already an incredibly fast Stand with plenty of power behind it, so adding Anubis' learning ability and own increases to its speed creates a very powerful foe! Jotaro himself is only able to win with some trickery, getting Anubis to stab himself deep into Jotaro's gut...and making it so Anubis can't pull out before jotaro is able to snap it right off!

This might be nothing more than a one-off chapter or episode, but Black Polnareff got some additional notoriety as an inclusion in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Heritage for the Future, an all-Part 3 fighter which is quite loved in the more retro fighting game community. Black Polnareff is considered far inferior to normal Polnareff in game, due to worse combo damage, setups and his passive stand compared to Polnareff's active Stand, but Black Polnareff still has a variety of options in his rushdown playstyle, in particular his deadly "Invincible Blade" Super which has some really insane invincibility on it for its range and damage! This experience helps Black Polnareff stand out among his one shot peers...and now, he's bringing his bloodthirsty blade to Smash Ultimate!


Statistics


Black Polnareff is a pretty tall customer, just like normal Polnareff. His height is taller than Samus, with similiar width. Black Polnareff's weight is solid, but he isn't much of a heavyweight or anything, clocking in at 100 weight to tie with Cloud and Mii Swordfighter. This ties him for the 26th highest weight in Smash Ultimate. Black Polnareff fares much better in terms of speed! His 2.18 speed puts him juuuust above Cloud, Roy and Chrom in terms of run speed (Cloud has 2.167, Roy/Chrom have 2.145), firmly letting Black Polnareff rest untied at 11th. His walk speed is less intense, but he still ties Toon Link for the 14th highest walk speed. Black Polnareff is thus very good both at rushing in recklessly, cautiously approaching, and getting out of bad situations when he rushes in. Traction is high.

Aerially, Black Polnareff is fast, but not quite as speedy as on the ground. His air speed is equal to Mii Swordfighter at 18th, but with a very high fall speed equal to Greninja, Simon and Richter for 8th in fall speed. This allows Black Polnareff to pull off some great combos, but it also leaves him extremely vulnerable to juggling and aerial combos when combined with his tall frame and higher than average weight. His first jump goes high, but his second jump is merely average, and Black Polnareff can perform a wall jump. Silver Chariot's normal sword is fairly long length-wise, but the shortened Anubis sword has length you would expect more almost of a dagger due to being broken, and so has the shortest range of any sword in the game.

I'll take this time to add in an animation note, along with a smaller mechanic of Black Polnareff's. On an animation note, Black Polnareff keeps Anubis' sword on him by default, complete with the broken tip it normally has when Black Polnareff wields it. However, on some moves, Silver Chariot wields Anubis' sword. In these instances, Silver Chariot appears with the sword seamlessly or grabs it out of Black Polnareff's hand, essentially with the same appearance as Heritage for the Future. Anubis' blade is always returned to Black Polnareff once Silver Chariot is done with it. Also, as that implies, Silver Chariot is not always out and about: Black Polnareff summons it on certain moves to attack, just like in Heritage for the Future via his Stand button. Silver Chariot is completely invincible, but with one exception any of Silver Chariot's attacks can be cancelled by hitting Black Polnareff, and one of Black Polnareff's moves can REALLY change this up!

Mechanically speaking, in addition to stuff we will get to later in the set, Anubis' "learning" is brought to Smash via a small mechanic. When Anubis is shielding a move, he gains 1 additional frame to Perfect Shield a move for every time the move is in the opponent's stale move queue, to represent Black Polnareff having learned the opponent's attack pattern. Maximums aren't really relevant here unless the opponent is literally spamming one move, but this can happen up to the maximum number of stale move queue slots, and obviously it cannot exceed the maximum length of a shield drop (11 frames) Also note that since a move always enters the stale move queue when hitting a shield this means Black Polnareff essentially always has an additional frame to perfect shield/parry.


Specials

Shield Special: A Stand With Its Armor Off...Silver Chariot!

As a Stand, one thing that makes Silver Chariot unique is that it is covered head to toe in armor: This armor is strong enough that it keeps Silver Chariot itself from being damaged enough to damage Polnareff in turn, making it very strong defensively. However, at will, Polnareff can remove the armor from Silver Chariot! This removes the defensive advantage, but DRASTICALLY improves Silver Chariot's speed, making it a monster offensively!

Anubis doesn't know about this ability at first, but he learns of it when Jotaro uses Star Platinum's Star Finger and ends up breaking part of Silver Chariot's armor, which Anubis then removes in general to move super fast.

Black Polnareff's Shield Special is that same technique! With a single shout, Silver Chariot poses dramatically, the armor exploding off of it after it does so! This actually is a small hitbox that deals 5% and "get off me" knockback, having absolutely no use aside from a small amount of safety rather than being totally vulnerable. The one time you could use this hitbox effectively is out of shield: Since this move is a shield special, it is your fastest out of shield option, although the many ways this effects your set means you must be truly desperate to use it only for that reason. Removing Silver Chariot's armor is a permanant decision: It cannot be put back on the rest of the stock, and Shield Special ceases doing anything once the armor is removed.

Removing the armor causes Silver Chariot to move significantly faster! This, for the most part, causes Silver Chariot to have less lag on all of its attacks, which I will discuss more in depth as we get to them. Some attack properties change in addition to this, and Silver Chariot moves faster (and sometimes further) on its movement attacks. It's overall a strong, competent buff.

The downside is Silver Chariot's armor is gone! Remember how Silver Chariot was invincible? Not anymore! when silver Chariot is hit with its armor off, Black Polnareff takes the damage and knockback of the attack from wherever he is (which can lead to some funny interactions, like spiking Silver Chariot on stage to kill an off stage Black Polnareff). In fact, not only does he take the damage, he actually takes 1.2x damage from the attack, making it a really hard hitting debuff! If an attack would hit both Silver Chariot and Black Polnareff, it only hits the first one the hitbox comes into contact withm using the appropriate damage values (So it only does 1.2x if you hit Silver Chariot first). Silver Chariot can be grabbed, but escapes grabs incredibly quickly, forcing opponents to throw Silver Chariot very fast. Black Polnareff is stuck in place as if grabbed while Silver Chariot is grabbed. Once Silver Chariot exits hitstun, it will disappear like at the end of its moves after roughly 6 frames out of hitstun, or if Black Polnareff uses a Silver Chariot move during those six frames.

Removing Silver Chariot's armor allows you to enhance Black Polnareff's offensive potential at the downside of defensive ability and safety, and it is up to each player to decide how to use this move, or even to hold back on using it at all!


Neutral Special: Anubis' Silver Chariot

Black Polnareff's Neutral Special is somewhat complex input-wise, being an attack-option select. Holding Neutral Special causes Polnareff to enter a thinking stance, Silver Chariot appearing behind him. Input any of the eight cardinal directions (up, down, left, right and the 4 diagonals) and Black Polnareff will use a unique attack for each direction, giving him the choice of eight different attacks. Alternately, you can release B without selecting any attack, in which case Polnareff returns to his normal stance with almost no lag and Silver Chariot disappears. This attack has very low lag to enter, so you can enter it just to pressure opponents with each of your options and forcing them to respect whe you CAN do, then go in for an option such as a grab!

There is something else to mention before getting into the attacks. With Silver Chariot's armor off, you can actually input TWO attacks with this by very quickly moving the control stick to a second direction. If you do this, Silver Chariot will perform each attack one after another, without taking the ending lag of the first attack. You cannot select the same Neutral Special attack twice with this method. This can allow for a ton of option coverage, some combos and more! Of course, this move is one of the more vulnerable ones for Silver Chariot, especially due to Silver Chariot being out during the thinking pose.

As for the attacks themselves, your options are as follows.

Forward​

The Forward input is one of the more delayed attacks: Silver Chariot pulls its rapier back, points it straight forward, and then rushes forward 0.75 Battlefield Platforms while stabbing! Visually, it kind of looks like Polnareff's stab against Dio near the end of Part 3, but I digress. Combining the lunge with the sword's range makes an attack with great range to it, very good at poking despite the long starting lag. This is especially true because the damage on this attack is actually really high, striking opponents for 15% damage and sending them right off the stage at around 133% or so! While this move's starting lag is bad, the ending lag is pretty short before Silver Chariot disappears.

Since Silver Chariot is invincible, this move can be an excellent counter-poke against projectiles if you can get close enough, with Silver Chariot rushing right through them and hopefully hitting the opponent for some major damage! This also makes shielding generally an ineffective defensive tool against it: While the foe won't be in danger of any combos, there isn't really any way to punish Black Polnareff for using this while Silver Chariot has the armor on by shielding, you need to do something like leap over it and strike Black Polnareff rather than blocking it. Since this is a straight lunge, some characters such as Snake or Kirby can dodge it by crouching, so keep that in mind.

That isn't to say this move doesn't have its uses with armor off! If you take the armor off, the starting lag of this move goes down by HALF, Silver Chariot prepping the rapier incredibly fast before piercing forward. This takes a laggy start-up and makes it actually pretty fast, which considering the move's high damage and reasonable knockback along with excellent range makes it a pretty scary prospect. You can even use it as a combo ender!

There's another thing to consider as well. As mentioned, with Silver Chariot's armor off, you can chain one NSpec attack into a different NSpec attack fluidly. Silver Chariot will perform the 2nd attack wherever it is at the end of the 1st attack. This doesn't matter for most Neutral Special attacks, since Silver Chariot just stays by Black Polnareff anyway, but it is very relevant for this move due to Silver Chariot's movement! You can, for example, cross-up the opponent with this lunging attack (it can cross-up, unlike Fox Illusion), then input a Neutral Special back attack to strike behind you and eat at the foe's shield, hit them if they drop not expecting a 2nd input, or shieldpoke an opponent who is sufficiently low on shield health. Alternately, you can stop in front of the opponent and use a Forward hitting attack with similiar logic, or do something like chase an opponent offstage with it.

This is not without downsides. Silver Chariot's armor off makes it vulnerable, so you can no longer use this move to counter-poke projectiles, since Silver Chariot will just get hit. Also while the ending lag is pretty low, the opponent is still plus if they do shield this attack. Normally, this doesn't matter, since Silver Chariot is invincible from repirsal and the opponent is too far away to do anything. Armor off, though, means Silver Chariot can definitely be punished with a quick enough out of shield option, although it must be a fast one since the opponent doesn't have thaaat much frame advantage. You CAN use a 2nd Neutral Special attack to avoid this, hitting the opponent out of whatever option they choose or keeping frame advantage due to cancelling ending lag, but depending on this attack it may be unsafe and it is MUCH more unsafe if the opponent instead dodges the attack. Since you need to pick the 2nd attack so fast, this makes it a risk.

Forward-Down​

Forward-Down is a supremely fast input, with Silver Chariot poking almost impossibly fast at a diagonal down-and-forward angle as the move is input. This poke doesn't do a lot of damage, a mere 5%, and lightly hits opponent forwards. From around 20% to 35% on most opponents (the exact range changes based on fall speed, size, etc), this forces the opponent into a tech situation, where they'll need to either tech or be put into prone. Prone is a very dangerous position for opponents due to Polnareff's Side Special, and Polnareff can potentially follow techs with moves like Forward NSpec and Forward Smash. But after 35% or so, the opponent will just be hit lightly forward, giving Black Polnareff a frame advantage but no true combos to it. As mentioned, it has very low lag on both ends.

This move is largely a utility move. The angle is perfect to shield poke opponents and is so fast it is hard to see coming, so you can snipe at weakened shields a lot with this just to get in a little damage, and sometimes even combo against a shield for this: It might only be 5% and positioning, but over time and with Black Polnareff rushing you down it adds up. The angle will hit anyone hanging on the ledge, and is such low commitment you can throw it out to check that and be ready for other ledge options. You can use it if the opponent seems to be waiting for a Neutral Special option for an un-reactable option that is so fast it is hard to predict. Or you can simply throw it out as a fast attack in neutral to have a nice hitbox out.

Armor off doesn't change the move itself at all, so it is a bit of a downside since Silver Chariot gets to be hit now. The main upside to this is that Forward-Down is a really good 2nd attack when chaining Neutral Special attacks. For example, Forward-Down always shield pokes after Forward, so if you want to check against shields you can always do Forward-Down and have it be low commitment (although it is still more punishable if whiffed than not). And since this attack is really fast, the amount of time the opponent has to attack Silver Chariot is low anyway, and Silver Chariot is behind Black Polnareff so it is somewhat difficult to hit it anyway.

Forward-Up​

Forward-Up is a trio of super speedy thrusts angled at a perfect 45 degree upwards-forward diagonal angle. This move is pretty fast to come out and deals 3 hits of 3% damage, the last hit launching opponents upwards somewhat weakly. Thanks to its angle and fairly fast starting lag, this is a really good anti-air IF the opponent is approaching, since it hits at a perfect angle to stop shorthops. The knockback won't lead to a combo, but Black Polnareff can chase landing opponents with it, potentially even using Neutral Special again after positioning himself and threatening either to use Forward-Up again to catch the opponent, Up as a different angle anti-air, Forward to predict the foe landing or air dodging to the ground, or Down if you predict a landing attack. The ending lag of this attack is higher than the other Neutral Special attacks we've seen, but still on the faster end.

Thanks to this attack's purely diagonal angle, it is completely useless against opponents directly above Polnareff, so when using it as an anti-air it needs proper spacing and is more used to stuff approaches. Another use of this move is in combos, primarily as a combo ender rather than a combo tool. This doesn't deal as much damage at base as your other combo finishers, but it provides superior positioning for aerial situations, so it can be situationally useful. IT also tends to be safer, so it can be used against some opponents with really strong combo breakers or if you're unsure you can hit a tight combo window.

Armor off, Silver Chariot's thrusts gain immense speed, with after images blurring alongside them. In the same time it normally takes Silver Chariot to perform three thrusts, Silver Chariot now performs SIX of them, doubling the damage output to 6 hits of 3% each! This significantly boosts the damage output Black Polnareff can put out when anti-airing opponents and makes it a much better combo ender, in exchange for the usual vulnerability that armor off gives Silver Chariot. Note that the knockback on this move is unexhcnaged even with the extra hits.

Up​

For the straight Up input, Silver Chariot thrusts upwards with a single, strong looking strike that has more starting lag associated with it than most of your Neutral Special options, being somewhat laggier than an average move. This move has two hitboxes: The tip, which is a sweetspot, and the rest of the blade + handle, which is a sourspot. The sourspot only deals 10% damage nad pops opponents upwards with moderate knockback. You don't usually want to hit this. Sure, it gives damage, but the frame advantage isn't that great and you don't get that much advantage out of it, although it can start landing situations. Ending lag on this is somewhat above average. It also should be noted that since this thrust is straight up it has essentially no horizontal range, so it is somewhat specific.

The tip instead deals 15.5% damage and has pretty strong knockback on it, sending opponents flying off the top at around 120%. This isn't super strong as far as kill moves in Ultimate go, but DO remember that you can use Neutral Special in the air, so using this can actually get off some really early kills if you pull it off. And as an anti-air it is strong, although specific.

With Silver Chariot's armor off, about 3 frames of starting lag are shaved off the start of this move, so it is a bit faster. More importantly, Silver Chariot shoots upwards while thrusting now, turning this into an uppercut-esque rising stab! Silver Chariot rises 3/4ths of a Ganondorf with this move, the tip being a sweetspot the entire time, which can make striking the opponent with the potent part of this attack a lot easier. This also allows Black Polnareff to set up vertical attacks with the 2nd Neutral Special akin to Forward NSpec, letting you use most of your Neutral Special options in the air without needing to leave it yourself, and potentially checking or catching many aerial defensive options. Silver Chariot's rise, however, DOES mean it is extending its hurtbox out more, so even compared to most armor off moves this adds risk.

Down​

By moving the control stick straight down, Silver Chariot will move in front of Black Polnareff slightly, holding its rapier defensively downward in front of it. This isn't just for show: Any attack which deals 10% or less damage that hits this sword is stopped as if hit by trample priority, allowing Black Polnareff to pull out a defensive option from his bag of Neutral Special tricks. After holding this defensive pose for a while, Silver Chariot performs a circular slash around itself, which deals 10% damage and basic spacer knockback to get opponents off of you. The defensive start of this attack gives it loooots of starting lag, comperable to Forward Neutral Special, but the defensive side will mean you're usually going to counter attack with this. Mix up this with your more offensive options, with the low lag canceling of the attack overall, and get opponents all messed up on what you're actually DOING. Ending lag is rather average.

You might think armor off allows you to hit Silver Chariot here, but it is too fast for that: If you try to hit Silver Chariot with an attack during this time, except for a grab, from a different direction, it'll use its super speed to move its sword into position and block it! Essentially, it defends Black Polnareff from above, behind and below now. It still cannot block attacks which deal more than 10% damage, which will almost certainly now hit Silver Chariot for bonus damage, and the actual move isn't any faster. One thing that armor off now allows you to do: You get to mix this into your 2nd hits, which can be a real pain for the opponent. Counter attacking Silver Chariot becomes a lot riskier when Black Polnareff can go for this Down NSpec option, blocking most quicker attacks and striking back! This is the essence of defensive pressure!

Back​

A straight backwards input causes Silver Chariot to turn around, performing a pretty quick three-hit combo behind Black Polnareff. The first two hits are horizontal slashes, the first angled slightly down and the second aimed slightly up, which deal 3.5% damage each and essentially no knockback, keeping the opponent in place for the final strike, which is a vertical slash from top to bottom that moves Silver Chariot sliiightly forward as it performs it. This final strike deals 7% damage and kills at 155%. With your armor on, this move is pretty safe on shield, and it comes out really fast, which can give Black Polnareff some deadly crossups. Cross the opponent up, quickly do Neutral Special Back and you can stuff out a lot of out of shield options, spacing away the opponent and dealing plenty of shield damage from the previous hit + this hit. Since the first two hits are slightly angled, they can even shield poke, although they don't go all that far up and down so a shield needs to have taken a good amount of damage to actually shieldpoke. This move also has high ending lag, so while it is safe on shield, it is pretty unsafe on whiff.

Armor off gives this move additional uses! First off, it causes Silver Chariot to move slightly forward with each of the first two swings, while the last slash goes forward 1/3rd of a Battlefield Platform! This gives the move a good deal more reach, although not nearly as much as Forward Neutral Special. Since it moves Silver Chariot, you can use this for positioning a 2nd Neutral Special hit just like the aforementioned Forward NSpec, but usually it is less valuable to space backwards like this compared to spacing forward. This move's ending lag is still really bad if whiffed, Silver Chariot's lunge leaving it off balanced, but it now has very low ending lag if it hits!

If you cross the opponent up with Forward Neutral Special, then going into Back Neutral Special not only allows you to do plenty of shield damage, but you can combo them into a grab thanks to the new low ending lag on hit if the opponent is not too far away. Generally speaking, the opponent needs to be within the first half of Forward Neutral Special's range in order to combo into a grab, but the size of the opponent's hurtbox may make this window larger or smaller. Also, given this move's massive ending lag if whiffed, this is a pretty hard commitment. If the opponent jumps over to Black Polnareff, or worse behind Silver Chariot so it is uselessly stabbing in front of it, you'll probably take a smash attack to the face or some other terrifying punish from the opponent. So, don't spam it.

Back-Up​

With a back and upwards input, Silver Chariot performs a very fast half-spin and slashes at a diagonal behind and above Black Polnareff. Compared to the Up and Forward Neutral Special, this has a more horizontal hitbox. This has two hitboxes, one being the tip of the sword, and the other being the rest of the sword plus the handle. The second hit on the blade, the sourspot, deals 8.5% damage and launches opponents upwards and FORWARDS. This can allow Black Polnareff to combo into a quick aerial, and it also is a well situated hitbox to possibly hit opponents trying to cross you up or something. The tip deals 11% damage and spikes opponents akin to Captain Falcon's Up Tilt, although with noticeably less power. You're going to either use this to snipe people recovering high, or try to use it in the air in order to get a flashy spike kill. One other good use of it would be to have your back turned to the foe and use this against ledge jumps, which could spike opponents to their death depending on the situation, or at least drag them back down. On stage, it can bounce the opponent against the ground, which if you have armor off can combo into Up Neutral Special at various percents.

This attack has average-ish starting lag, but the ending lag is fairly short. Armor off does very little for this move, simply removing 2 frames off the start of it.

Back-Down​

Finally, there is the Back and Down input, which causes Silver Chariot to raise its rapier up briefly before performing a lightning-fast sweeping slash that scrapes against the ground behind Black Polnareff, Silver Chariot ending this move with a haughty posture and the rapier turned tip-upwards. This fast move deals 7% damage and light upwards knockback. This usually will start a combo of some kind, particularly into your aerials and some Side Special setups. The tip has a 25% chance to trip the opponent, akin to a lot of Down Tilts in Smash. This move has quick start-up and it isn't laggy to end, with the low hitbox able to shield poke in some situations, although not as effectively as Forward-Down. It also can hit hanging opponents.

If you have your back to the foe, Back-Down, Back-Up and Back can actually make an interesting trio of moves to edge guard the opponent, with Back-Down able to hit hanging opponents, Back-Up hitting ledge jumpers and people recovering high, while Back's long duration means with spacing it'll beat out regular getup, getup jump if timed properly, and getup attack or drop + jump attack with Silver Chariot's armor on. You can also cancel Neutral Special with low lag as an additional mixup, so it is a tough spot for the opponent to deal with.

If you have armor off, then this attack is so fast it actually leaves behind a sword trail that only strikes about 15 frames later, with the exact same hitbox as the original move! This puts some real pressure on opponents, forcing them to move away if they shielded it or something, or otherwise to perform an action if Black Polnareff uses it near a ledge, landing area for the opponent, or any other spot they really want to be. The move is the same aside from that.


Side Special: Chariot Spit / Double Sword Mastery


This move is of two different types, depending on how you input it. For simplicity, let us start with the easiest one: A simple tilted Side Special. Doing this causes Black Polnareff to point forward, with Silver Chariot appearing slightly in front of Black Polnareff, repeatedly stabbing his rapier forward at a fast pace! Silver Chariot stabs rapidly for 1.5 seconds, dealing 3% damage with each stab. If you somehow got every single Silver Chariot stab to hit the opponent, this would deal an absolutely nutty 30% damage, although this is impossible for all intents and purposes. Silver Chariot is moved slightly back each time he hits the opponent, slightly more when hitting a shield, so even if the opponent is pinned against a wall they will escape. This is similiar to its behavoir in Heritage for the Future. An opponent against the wall will take a total of 15% damage before Silver Chariot is pushed out of range.

Lag on this attack is a bit weird. The attack actually takes a while to come out, but that isn't quite the starting lag, because this move functions much like Heritage for the Future: Black Polnareff can move and attack while Silver Chariot is out stabbing! It takes until Frame 15 for Silver Chariot's attack to start, so it isn't all that fast, but Black Polnareff can begin moving after Frame 4, which is when Silver Chariot comes out after Black Polnareff points.

While Silver Chariot is out stabbing, Black Polnareff cannot use any attacks which use Silver Chariot, for example he cannot use his Neutral Special. This also applies to this move's rather long ending lag, so keep that in mind. You are, however, completely free to use any of your multitude of attacks which do not use Silver Chariot, along with jumping and any other actions freely. This is pretty strong, as it allows Black Polnareff to start all kinds of combos if you actually hit with this move, to get off grabs or pressure if the opponent shields it, to set Silver Chariot out beforehand as a combo extender, and is a pretty key part of Black Polnareff's advantage in situations such as prone opponents! Setting up Silver Chariot's stabs allows you to remove an opponent's line of movement, especially with your armor off, which keeps Silver Chariot invincible during this time.

How about with the armor off? Well, Silver Chariot has a LOT of reduced ending lag with the armor off, disappearing super quickly after the move ends. This offers a LOT of value to Black Polnareff, especially since he can quickly use Side Special again! This allows Polnareff not only to work more Silver Chariot attacks into combos if he times them with Silver Chariot ending the attack, but he can also loop with another tapped Side Special depending on the situation, which can lead to some really ridicuous and long combo chains. These loops almost always end at around 50%, but fastfallers and large hurtboxes will take more. It also should be noted there usually isn't one set of loops, because variables such as fall speed and hurtboxes are difficult in addition to the opponent's current %, Black Polnareff needs to be able to execute a lot moves in specific orders and timings to loop depending on the situation, which can reeeally be hard to do, especially at a fast pace.

Of course, you don't have to go for crazy loops. You can just go for more light combo extenders or adding Silver Chariot to the end of combo chains. It also just plain makes the end of the move safer. Overall, Chariot Spit becomes a much stronger OFFENSIVE tool when your armor is off. The downside is a massive amount of vulnerability: 1.5 seconds of Silver Chariot out might be super safe when its invincible, but when your armor is off the opponent can get right behind Silver Chariot and fully charge up a Smash Attack if they want, and you'll have to try and interrupt it: If you get hit away from Silver Chariot, it can be a really big punish. Generally, you will be using armor off Chariot Spit a lot more for offense and combos and less for setups.


This move changes completely if you smash that control stick, with the input further changing depending on if you tapped or held the Special button. We'll start with the tapped button version. Black Polnareff summons Silver Chariot in front of him, which begins to very rapidly spin Anubis' sword vertically in his hand, a really smarmy and arrogant look on Silver Chariot's face the entire time. This attack has a few moments of startup but overall is pretty fast and deals a total of 8 hits of 1% each, 8% overall damage, with each hit drawing the opponent in until the last hit: Once you've been hit once, it'll usually be impossible to escape (although, IDK, if you're over 300% you might?). The last hit knocks opponents away slightly upwards and inwards at a fairly ideal combo angle, so you should be able to get some pretty strong damage off of this. The long hitbox makes it linger well against dodges, but watch out for anyone who gets behind you, since the long duration can mean getting punished if you whiff. The ending lag on this is below average, but not nearly as lightning fast as a lot of the Neutral Special attacks for example.

Being a Special, you can use it on the ground or in the air, so it can be a combo starter anywhere. The starting lag makes it a bit laggy to be used as a pure combo extender, but with some combos you can use this as a mid-combo move as well.

Hold down Special and Black Polnareff will truly show off his prowess (that is definitely Anubis' well honed skills and not Polnareff's!), he will cause Silver Chariot to spin both Anubis' sword AND his own Rapier at rapid speeds! If Black Polnareff hits this, Anubis even does quite the evil laugh, with the same voice as the Stardust Crusaders episode where he performed this move. This move doubles the number of hits, into SIXTEEN hits of 1% each, with double the drawing in power, making it truly impossible to escape! The launching hit is a lot stronger, but it isn't really killing knockback: It'll kill at 170% but throws opponents too far away to follow up on. In short, this move is excellent as a combo ENDER since it actually comes out a bit faster than the tapped-Special version and does a lot of damage, but has no combo starting potential nor extending potential. This move also has somewhat long ending lag, rather than the short ending lag of the tapped version. This move really eats up shields, although it can push opponents away before it gets too far, and has a good shot at shieldpoking an opponent if they are close to Black Polnareff when he starts it.

With armor off, the blades Silver Chariot spins twirl even FASTER: The tapped version gains two additional hits of 1% with the same overall duration, while the held version gains 4 additional hits of 1% with the same overall duration. In addition, the rapid spinning of the blades causes there to be a small wind suction effect in front and above of the rapidly moving blades, which can draw in opponents who are slightly out of range. This comes with the usual armor off downsides when it comes to long lasting moves.


Down Special: "I've learned it, oboetazo!"


An important tool in Black Polnareff's arsenal is his Down Special, the learning counter! Black Polnareff holds Anubis' blade in front of him defensively, readying the counter. One thing anyone will instantly notice about this counter is it has a LOT better frame data than most counters: It starts on Frame 4, one frame after Incineroar's Counter, but it has a FAF of a mere 41. For comparison, Marth's Counter has FAF 65, so this thing is about 1/3rd of a second faster when it comes to recovery. Compared to most counters, Black Polnareff has a LOT more safety when it comes to throwing out the Counter, which is really important to Black Polnareff's playstyle! In particularly, you will often use this Counter aggressively. If you think the opponent is going to try to fight out of your rushdown or something, try throwing out a Down Special!

Okay, so lets get to what hitting this Counter does. If you do, Black Polnareff will block the strike with his blade, with Silver Chariot coming out and performing a pair of quick slashes! This does two hits of 4% damage and lightly knocks opponents away: Black Polnareff has a brief frame advantage, so he can choose to get aggressive, but it isn't enough to combo with the knockback the counter has. If it is a projectile, Black Polnareff will block it, and then Silver Chariot will slash at it, causing the projectile to dissipate. Grabs will go through this Counter like most, with Anubis popping up above Black Polnareff's head with a comically panicked expression akin to the end of his fight with Jotaro.

Now, if that was all this did, it wouldn't be a very strong counter. Fortunately, that ISN'T all it does! Remember, Anubis has great power to learn attacks and devise counter strategies. That's what he does here! When you counter a move, Anubis "learns" the move for the rest of the stock. This has a few effects, especially relating to his shield. If an attack Anubis has "learned" hits your shield, then a little graphic of Anubis laughing will appear over Black Polnareff's shield, and the shield will flash the entire time the attack is hitting it. This has a few effects. First off, the perfect shield window dramatically increases. Normally, your Perfect Shield window is the first 5 frames of your shield drop animation, and you must shield for at least 3 frames before you can perform a perfect shield. With a Learned move, the Perfect Shield window now consists of all 11 frames of frame drop animation, and you can drop your shield after 2 frames instead of 3.

Additionally, normally, you can act 3 frames earlier than your normal shieldstun when you perfect shield. When perfect shielding a Learned move, this instead becomes 5 frames earlier, so you can do even stronger punishes when perfect shielding. This move also has an additional benefit when you have Learned a projectile: It will reflect the projectile, just like in old Smash games! Note that this is not toooo viable against projectile heavy characters, as you're going to need to be countering multiple moves to be able to shield each one in this way, and then also shield all the subsequent projectiles (and if you have any you have not Learned, you can get your shield hit by those and messed up!).

The final benefit comes if you use this Down Special a Learned move. Anubis will cackle wildly (appearing behind Black Polnareff as he does in various taunts and whatnot) as the move is blocked, while Silver Chariot pops out behind him, wildly slashing and stabbing the opponent at super quick speeds for 13% damage. Silver Chariot then stabs forward with a single, super strong strike that deals an additional 13%, killing the opponent at 90%! This is really strong, but note that you need to Counter the same attack twice in one stock, and that a lot of Counters would give you a really hefty reward for that anyway, so it isn't quite as insane as it sounds, although this Counter has better frame data.

This move has a lot of uses! A big one is to exert defensive pressure. If you're getting on top of the foe and rushing them down, they're going to want to resort to their defensive tools such as combo breakers, out of shield options, quick get off me moves, shoryukens, you get the idea. This Counter is fast enough to match most of these in turn, letting Black Polnareff keep the advantage, and importantly sets up for future aggression. It's a lot scarier to use, say, your out of shield spin attack if Black Polnareff has any frames to reply when it can casually be perfect shielded or you can counter it for tremendous damage! And this will cause the opponent to want to take different options, which you then can use Counter on itself or use other offensive tools to pin them down, and now the opponent is in some real trouble.

You can also use this more traditionally defensively. Black Polnareff has no projectiles, his only range comes from sword disjoint, and requires being fairly up close to be most effective, without a ton of projectile answers. So, countering a projectile in order to use shield as a truly effective option against them has a lot of value. If you can Counter one of your opponent's strong approaching options, it opens them up really hard when it comes to them approaching in the future, either in having a lot of damage if you see it coming or causing them to shy away from the option all together and become more predictable.

Finally, something worth noting is that if you've landed a good number of these counters, it can make it a good time to pop off Silver Chariot's armor and try to amp up your aggression. Sure, it doesn't provide DIRECT defensive benefits to Silver Chariot, but the ways you can use it against their moves in reply to pressure means being able to gain more pressure with armor off is useful, and it can make up for at least a little of the safety you lose by popping off Silver Chariot's armor.


Up Special: Silver Spinning Riser

Black Polnareff summons Silver Chariot, who spins into the air while stabbing upwards with its rapier while Black Polnareff spins and stabs upwards with Anubis' blade. This recovery doesn't send Black Polnareff particularly far, like 1.3x the height of Wario Corkscrew, so you really gotta be careful when it comes to going off stage. On the plus side, this move actually is really strong! The start of this move deals a total of 9% damage over 7 hits, followed by a launching hit of 6% that will kill at around 115%, although if you get higher on the screen it'll obviously kill earlier. This makes it a strong option in the air that can be a part of some kill mixups or confirms. The starting lag is a bit on the high end, though, and of course Black Polnareff enters helpless so it's risky to pull off. Up Neutral Special only kills a bit later, but is less risky overall, although you can also combine these tactics.

Armor off causes Black Polnareff and Silver Chariot to rise up 1.5x the distance of Wario Corkscrew instead, slightly improving your recovery, and causes you to rise SIGNIFICANTLY faster, so it's harder to react to. Oh, and you can't use this while Chariot Spit is out, so be careful about using it if you're going to recover or covering an opponent's ledge options in case they reverse it.


Smashes

Forward Smash: Invincible Blade


Black Polnareff's Forward Smash is a two-part move and contains his strongest pure killing option! The first part of the attack consists of Silver Chariot rushing forward while Black Polnareff poses dramatically, staring the foe down with one hand on his hip and Anubis' blade at the ready. This lunge is pretty far range, about 1.25 Battlefield Platforms, travelling at a decent although not huge pace. Hitting the opponent deals 8%-11.2% damage. Silver Chariot's invincibility with its armor on makes this an extremely safe tool if opponents are outside of your normal reach, as long as opponents don't jump over it, which will allow them to clobber Black Polnareff really easily. Silver Chariot stops at the first opponent it hits, so it cannot cross up.

The starting lag on this attack is rather high, but interestingly, Silver Chariot will actually fully cover Black Polnareff after about 5 frames of startup until Silver Chariot rushes forward: This gives Black Polnareff invincibility until Silver Chariot launches (or something else happens to break it up like, IDK, a Strangelove bomb). So the starting lag is actually really safe despite being laggy to start up. The ending lag is very fast, Silver Chariot disappearing quickly and Black Polnareff quickly getting back into fighting stance if you don't use the follow-up attack. Knockback on this attack consists of looong hitstun, followed by weak knockback away from Silver Chariot. As long as this doesn't hit point blank, it'll be safe on shield.

The follow-up attack is EXTREMELY powerful: In a blur, Black Polnareff rushes forward and slashes with Anubis' blade, dealing a gross 20%-28% damage to anyone in his path and killing at 80%-50%! This will, usually, combo out of the first hit, although if the opponent is really far away they might get out of range by the time this travels if they have too high of percent. This technique comes out fast, but the ending lag is immense: It is completely unsafe on shield and if you miss you will eat a smash attack with charge almost certainly, or whatever combo starter the foe wants. Black Polnareff poses dramatically after using this move, regardless of if it hits or not, with black Polnareff holding the running-and-just-slashed pose for the entire ending lag. If this hits the opponent, the background of the stage becomes cut in "half" where Black Polnareff cut until the opponent is launched (if this is somehow stopped, it instead goes back to normal when the ending lag ends).

This is your big, risky and strong attack. The fact it is connected to the first attack makes it safer, but the first attack comes out slowly, and if you buffer a follow-up hit, a shielding foe gets to have a field day on you. The window to rush forward is also short and starts BEFORE Silver Chariot hits or ends its path, with only a few frames after to input the follow-up attack. Trying to wait around and only confirm it is a bit of a no-no-no due to this, or at least very hard.

Armor off causes the starting lag on this attack to go down quite a bit, along with Silver Chariot's rushing speed being MASSIVELY buffed: It near instantly travels the distance it can, making it almost impossible to react to. This can lead black Polnareff threaten an extreeeemely dangerous kill move with blinding speed and excellent range. The downsides are rather severe, though; silver Chariot doesn't actually slash until it hits the opponent, you see, so the opponent having any attack out will stuff this move entirely and cause Black Polnareff to take the extra damage.

You may also remember the base version is safe on shield. This is only because Silver Chariot is invincible: The move is actually minus on shield, and can be punished. The follow-up attack is of no use here unless the opponent somehow only has veeeery slowly out of shield options, as they will simply hit Silver Chariot and knock you out of the follow-up attack before you even arrive. So the armor off allows Silver Polnareff to have a blindingly fast option to catch opponents out, but makes it significantly worse if they do see it coming. You can consider mixing this up with your Forward Neutral Special, which has enough range to reasonably fake out with this move, and you can start off midrange Neutral Special Forward mixups if the opponent is looking for a Forward Smash pretty easily. If nothing else, you can go Neutral Special Forward -> Neutral Special Forward-Down and poke the opponent for a little free damage as a safe option if they think you will Forward Smash.

A few more notes about this move. Black Polnareff can go off of platforms with it, but will stop at ledges. So you can't edgeguard opponents normally, but you could try chasing them from a Battlefield Platform or something, and it allows you to do some pretty potent platform-to-platform combat. Also, since this move starts with Silver Chariot, you can't just use the follow-up attack while Silver Chariot is out with Side Special or something: The move simply cannot be used.


Down Smash: Black Whirlwind


Black Polnareff summons Silver Chariot, who poses both its rapier and Anubis' blade in a downwards X pattern, just like his character image and the GIF above: It's basically the signature pose of Black Polnareff from when he showed off his possession. Swiftly, silver Chariot begins to spin around rapidly, slashing indiscriminately all around him at rapid speeds. This deals two hits of 3%-4.2% damage to each side of Black Polnareff, followed by a final launching hit of 8%-11.2% damage. This gives a total damage of 15%-19.6%, which is pretty solid. The attack has solid enough kill power at 130%-100%, but it is nothing to get excited over at all. The starting lag falls into the category of not being fast enough to use as a panic or get off move, but being fast enough to be a surprisingly common combo ending move. The ending lag is fairly bad, which means it is risky to throw out raw, and that it cannot be used to extend combos or anything pretty much at all.

Anubis gets stronger and faster as it fights and we're going to be seeing that for this move. For every hit you perform prior to using this down Smash, an extra hit gets added to the first part of this move, of 3-4.2% damage like all the rest. In addition, each additional hit makese the move KO 5% sooner, up to a maximum of 40% less (90%-60% total). The timing for this power up is somewhat strict. The last hit in the chain cannot be more than 10 frames before Down Smash is started (charging counts as starting it), and each hit in the chain must be within 5 frames of each other, limiting it to true combos or to very fast frame traps. This really adds to Down Smash's role as one of your strongest combo ending tools, as it explicitly gains more strength the more that you combo before it: Even a mere 2 hit combo beforehand is an increase of 6% damage and buffs this move to a pretty strong 21% without any charge! Oh, a note, though: Multihit moves only have their first hit count towards this damage buff, so you can't just use a single Side Special to get a maximum buff or something. Note, however, that if you can set up a Side Special loop really well...you might be able to do some SERIOUS damage finishing with this. You can't always do this, though.

When Silver Chariot's armor comes off, though, things get really nutty. First off, the ending lag is shaved down by about 3 frames, making it juuuust that extra bit less punishable. More importantly, though, Silver Chariot can move veeeeeery fast now, so each combo hit adds TWO hits to Down Smash! A simple 2 hit combo makes this a massively damaging +12% compared to normal! You can still only bring down the KO percentage by a maximum of 40%, but you reach that cap much faster now, which is a large bonus. Of course, Silver Chariot's newfound ability to be damaged makes Down Smash being a multi-hit duration move more of a bother, and the bonus does absolutely nothing if you don't set it up. The potential value, though, is off the charts!


Up Smash: Death God Tornado

Black Polnareff summons Silver Chariot slightly above him, which stab-slashes in a wild circle that is actually fairly close to some of Polnareff's finishers in Stardust Crusaders, especially against J. Geil. Hey, Anubis IS using his skills, after all! Silver Chariot's arm and sword turn into naught but a fast, silver-blue blur as it spins rapidly above Black Polnareff, dealing multiple hits of 1%-1.4% that total up to 7%-9.8%, before Black Polnareff finishes off with an upward crescent swing (front to back) that deals 7%-9.8% as well. This attack's knockback leaves a god bit to be desired when it comes to killing power, failing to kill until 160%-142%, but it launches opponents almost purely horizontally upwards, putting Black Polnareff in a good position to chase them down. Starting lag is only a touch below average, while ending lag is a touch above average.

Neutral Special Up can combo its sweetspot from this move at specific, lower percents: Up to about 10% (pre-hit) on extreme floaties and up to about 40% (pre-hit) on extreme fastfallers. Past that, Black Polnareff can instead do a 50/50 by jumping and using Neutral Special Up, calling out air dodges and the like. You get to mix this up with Neutral Special Back-Up and Neutral Special Forward-Up as well. Back-Up is a particularly deadly mixup because you can threaten a spike, which if you are close to a ledge or pit could be disastrous, while also threatening a Back Aerial or other aerial and getting okay reward if the sourspot hits. At high percents, you will need to double jump for this 50/50. You can also use Up Special in these scenarios, with Up Special comboing up to 15% later (on floaties and fasties) than Neutral Special Up does.

This move is a pretty solid anti-air, with Silver Chariot's invincible body and good upwards range along with the whirlwind providing horizontal range allowing it to protect the entire area above Black Polnareff and somewhat to the side, giving him a solid anti-air aside from his more specific Neutral Special options. Since Silver Chariot is starting above Black Polnareff and stabbing upwards, however, this won't be able to hit any but the largest foes from the ground, making this a pure anti-air or something you can situationally combo into. It is a great tool to use after Neutral Special Forward-up: Use it early and opponents need to react or predict fast to avoid it, while using it late gives it all the landing prowess you expect from a hitbox with this kind of range.

Armor off makes the anti-air less safe, but it adds a pretty large suction effect from the increased speed of silver Chariot's whirling arm: The very early wind hitboxes actually lift grounded opponents off the ground, so very close grounded opponents of any size can now be brought into the atack! This has pretty limited range, but it's still an improvement. This move also has very slightly reduced ending lag: This will rarely ever be relevant, it's just that low, but it adds that bit of extra safety back that you lose from Silver Chariot being attackable.


Standards

Forward Tilt: Clean Cut

Black Polnareff hoists up Anubis' sword, before performing a rather serious, strong and swift looking slash forwards! it's got a kind of light-diagonal-horizontal looking angle to it. Black Polnareff steps forward with the slash, going roughly 1/3rd of a Battlefield Platform forward: This gives the move a lot more range than the Anubis' sword attacks usually have, but in return Black Polnareff is putting himself in more danger with this forced approach. This move has some serious heft to it that has a similiar feel to an Ike Forward Tilt, with starting lag that begins on Frame 11, one frame earlier than Ike's Forward Tilt, and ending lag on Frame 40, compared to Ike F-Tilt's Frame 42.

In terms of damage and knockback, this move deals 9.5% damage, with knockback that is pretty horizontal and low to the ground. It actually has pretty low base knockback, so at lower damage percents this is a combo tool! Up to about 30% on fastfallers, you can do Forward Tilt to Forward Tilt, but this only works until about 15% on slow fallers, and if you hit with the end of the hitbox they might be too far away to do this. Opponents also end up too far away to connect more than two Forward Tilts in a row when chaining. At low damage percents, this move is important for Side Special loops, because a lot of loops will end up with the opponent being too far away to Side Special again. For these loops, you will probably need to work in a Forward Tilt at a sufficiently low damage percent to be able to Side Special after. Since Forward Tilt has a low damage range, loops against these kind of characters (and proper DI) tend to be shorter lived. This move is safe on shield, but at a base leaves you pretty frame neutral. If you hit a shield, a pretty good option is to use Neutral Special as fast as possible: You now are threatening either Forward-Down Neutral Special, likely poking their shield, Down Neutral Special, to counter a weak attack against you, Forward-Up Neutral Special, to catch out jumping opponents trying to get above Down-NSpec, delaying their hit or going for a tomahawk grab, or Forward Neutral Special for a simple powerful option. If your opponent gets really happy about attacks out of shield, this is also a good time to throw out Down Special and catch it out.

This move's knockback scaling means it forces a tech situation at more mid percents (40%-55% range for an average character), and that it will launch people to their death at around 170%. You won't really be getting kills with this, but later on it is at least good for launching opponents off stage due to the angle. Speaking of techs, Forward Tilt is one of your primary options when it comes to catching opponents who miss a tech or are in prone. The ideal scenario is to set up your Chariot Spit either above the opponent (to beat getup and, if Silver Chariot is armored, getup attack) or in the path of one of the ways they can roll (so it will hit them if they roll that way). Thanks to Chariot Spit having low lag before you can move, you can then chase one of the other options with Forward Tilt. For example, lets say the foe is prone in the middle of Battlefield. You can set up Chariot Spit to cover their rightwards roll. You then either F-Tilt right there, which will catch getting up in place, or move forward and then F-Tilt, which catches a leftwards roll. Forward Tilt is particularly notable because while it is not as strong as Forward Smash or Forward Neutral Special, it doesn't use Silver Chariot at all. Forward Smash or Forward NSpec don't get to use Chariot Spit setups, but Forward Tilt does!

I did, however, say "at a base"! You see, Anubis' learning comes into play with this Forward Tilt: Anubis getting faster with each blow! For every position Forward Tilt has in the stale move queue, Forward Tilt has one frame of starting lag and one frame of ending lag reduced! This is really important given that you'll also be staling this move when you hit a shield since hitting a shield stales moves in Smash Ultimate. This gets into pretty big lag reduction if you're using this repeatedly, but you do need to be aware this makes you very predictable, so if you keep mindlessly doing it then opponents can start stuffing it with shorthop aerials or other defensive tools such as counters.

Since this move still suffers from stale move damage reduction, it tends to actually become a stronger combo tool when staled as it won't launch people as ar but your lag gets faster and faster. With 4 stale move queues, you can actually combo Forward Tilt -> Forward Tilt on a shield, although opponents will be pushed too far away after that and on platforms they can ledge slip. Also beware perfect shields, which can stop this combo, so don't be too predictable. With 6 levels of stale moves, Forward Tilt three times on opponents becomes a possible combo, which also allows you to get the full 9 stale moves on this to have an insanely fast movement attack on display. However, triple Forward Tilts with 6+ stale moves can only be done up to about 55% on fastfallers and 30% on floaties, so it is reeeeally hard to do because a lot of the time you will hit the opponent out of that damage range while staling.

Finally, it should be noted having a more stale Forward Tilt can help you loop Side Special, and sometimes is required. Most commonly, some level of staling helps or is required for characters with slightly larger than average hurtboxes and slightly floaty fall speeds. At the same time, the staler damage can also PREVENT you from doing some Forward Tilt loops, usually against very floaty characters with small hurtboxes such as Jigglypuff. For those options, you either will be unable to do any Side Special loops while staled or will need to find an alternative.


Jab: Anubis Beatdown

Black Polnareff has a three hit jab, which begins with him throwing a simple and very fast straight punch ahead. This move comes out lightning fast and has very low ending lag, but it does only 2% damage, veeery lightly knocking the opponent forward. The punch is kinda high as Black Polnareff does a straight jab about shoulder level, so this has trouble hitting some crouching foes, and it hits too high to jab reset. It also has lower range than all of Black Polnareff's disjointed attacks and is jointed, so it won't be poking foes and has to be pretty close to hit. Since it is so quick, it is extreeemely safe to throw out, making it a great move to check approaching opponents, to throw out in neutral without committing, and so on.

If you hit an opponent with Chariot Spit at close range, you can essentially always get Jab 1 off and then do any other options you could do for a free 2% damage. On that note, you'll be needing Jab to do a lot of Side Special loops, either going into Forward Tilt, Jab 2, Down Tilt, Up Tilt or Neutral Aerial. Forward Tilt does not true combo out of this move, with opponents having a few framese to respond, but it will true combo out of it after being staled a little bit. Exactly how you continue the loop depends on the opponent and their DI. If the opponent is DIing up and is floaty, Up Tilt. If they are DIing up and a fast faller, you will usually go for Forward Tilt. If they are DIing down and a fast faller, Jab 2 or Down Tilt depending on horizontal DI and hurtbox size. Slow fallers DIing down need a Jab 2 almost every time. And all of these are somewhat % dependant along with other factors, for example if you start the loop past 20% on various characters and they DI up, Up Tilt won't loop and looping can become impossible. It's all kinda complex to explain in writing and not a game since it is so dependant!

Jab 2 is a straight ahead kick that deals 4% damage and pushes opponents forward lightly. Past around 25% on most characters, you need to do Jab 2 to combo into Forward Tilt rather than Jab 1, although if Jab 2 hits far away the opponent may be too far to combo into Forward Tilt. You can also potentially go for shorthop Neutral Aerial or a Chariot Spit, but opponents can jump out of Chariot Spit if they see it coming or roll away and Neutral Aerial can be anti-aired. Although, since Black Polnareff can move so early after throwing out Chariot Spit, Jab 2 -> Chariot Spit is still viable just to force the opponent to take an option that you punish. Jab 2 is sometimes needed to loop with Chariot Spit, with the most common string being something like Chariot Spit -> Forward Tilt at somewhat close range -> Jab 1 -> Jab 2 -> Forward Tilt -> Chariot Spit. As mentioned previously, even an ideal situation for this kind of loop ends at about 50% damage, and you'll need to be careful (for example an opponent DIing upwards could, depending on the character, avoid this loop entirely, and then you need to do Chariot Spit -> Jab 1 -> Up Tilt -> Forward Tilt -> Chariot Spit or something).

Jab 3 has Black Polnareff do a spinning, more brutal slash with Anubis' blade as he steps forward, which deals 9% damage and knockback that'll get opponents out of your face, but won't kill until 240% while having zero combo potential. The main use of this move is simply to get damage in and maybe reset neutral. Your jab combo combos essentially no matter what as long as you don't delay it too much, so while there's higher damage combos with this that are percent, timing, size/fall speed and so on dependant, Jab 3 will let you convert damage no matter what off of jab, which especially once opponents start getting out of range of these combos is very important, if Silver Chariot has its armor on so you can't do Chariot Spit loops, and so on.

Jab 3 has enough ending lag it is unsafe on shield at any range, but Jab 2 is safe on shield unless used at close range, and since you can delay the 3rd hit slightly like various other multi-hit jabs it is difficult to punish at really close range anyway. Since opponents can hold shield expecting to stop a Jab 3, you can do Neutral Special and Down Special mixups akin to your Forward Tilt against shield, and additionally you can go for a grab as a riskier option but one that is still rewarding. Forward Tilt is also a viable option, dealing fine shield damage after Jab 1 and 2.


Up Tilt: Single Sword Mastery

Black Polnareff steps forward with a wide grin on his face, thrusting his arm out at about an 30 degree angle with Anubis' sword in hand. He then spins it with quite a bit of finesse in a manner akin to the Double Sword Mastery, although Black Polnareff spins it significantly slower since he isn't a super speedy Stand. It's still pretty fast! This move deals 5 hits no matter where you hit, but has a sweetspot and a sourspot. The sweetspot is the inside of the blade, around the handle along with the handle itself and Black Polnareff's hand. This deals 1.2% damage per hit, for a total of 6% damage. The rest of the sword is a sourspot that deals 1% damage each for hit that totals 5%. Ending lag is fast, but it is slower than the really fast starting lag, partially because Black Polnareff steps back after using it. It doesn't do enough against shields to be safe against them and the angle means it can actually miss some smaller or crouching opponents, which is a bit of a pain since Up Smash also doesn't hit grounded opponents usually, same with your various Neutral Special Anti-Airs, making your anti-airs kinda committal.

The sweetspot/sourspot changes are more than just damage, most importantly they change knockback angle. The sweetspot sends opponents down and slightly forwards, which is a really strong combo angle! This will combo into Forward Tilt at most percents, can potentially combo into Dash Attack at later percents, Forward-Down Neutral Special, angled-down Forward Aerial, grab and sometimes Neutral Aerial. It can combo into your tapped Double Sword Mastery, allowing it to be used as a combo extender, but said variant of Side Special can actually combo into the sweetspot at some low percents, making it a potent combo tool. It stops true comboing pretty early but even past that can be a mixup and the Side Special combos into the SOURSPOT for much longer. Up Tilt's Sweetspot can also combo into Chariot Spit at some low percentages, so you can use it as a loop starter with armor off. With armor on, Up Tilt Sweetspot -> Chariot Spit is simply a very strong damaging tool, because Black Polnareff gets to move quickly and hit opponents. For example, Up Tilt Sweetspot -> Chariot Spit -> Up Tilt Sweetspot -> Forward Tilt works. Up Tilt Sweetspot -> Chariot Spit -> Up Tilt Sourspot -> Aerial or Neutral Special Up (sweetspot more percent specific) is another combo you can do a lot. Up Tilt Sweetspot -> Chariot Spit -> Up Tilt Sweetspot -> Grab, you get the idea. It's a strong combo starter, is what I'm saying. Up Tilt Sweetspot is also the only version of Up Tilt that continues any Chariot Spit loops, which means spacing is important as you can't get a sweetspot from Up Tilt on all spacings of all hits that lead into Up Tilt.

As percentages climb, this move starts to lose combo power, but the downward knockback forces opponents to tech starting from around 65%. Once this happens, Up Tilt Sweetspot works less as a combo tool and more as a way to begin your potent mixup and vortex game against downed opponents. For example, if you hit the sweetspot and predict or very quickly react to an opponent missing a tech, Chariot Spit in place will almost always punish inward rolls, and then you play your normal chasing game from there. Near the ledge, you can also spike with Up Tilt: This is essentially always too weak to really kill (well, except against Little Mac maybe), but it puts opponents in a positionally very bad spot where Black Polnareff can gimp or edgeguard.

The sourspot is not *as* useful, but it does pop opponents pretty much straight up and veeeery slightly towards Black Polnareff. This actually has higher knockback than the sweetspot, which is bad because it makes it harder to combo with. You can still go for an Up Aerial, maybe a Neutral Aerial, Up Neutral Special is surprisingly consistent but only starts working at mid percents, and as damage percents rise you can actually confirm this into an Up Special, although this will need to read some DI and you may need to double jump. This functions as a kill confirm at around 120% if you correctly read the opponent's DI, which isn't amazing but is still pretty useful.


Down Tilt: Dirty Fighting

Bending down, Black Polnareff swipes Anubis' blade horizontally across the ground in front of him, twirling it with a flourish for the ending lag of the move. This move deals 6.6% damage and lightly pops up opponents, serving as Black Polnareff's primary aerial combo starter along with Double Sword Mastery. The broken tip of Anubis' sword is a sweetspot that has a 50% chance to trip, which can lead to trying for stuff like Forward Smash and your usual situationals when the opponent is downed, although you can't really set up a Chariot Spit as effectively with this move compared to your other options. Starting lag is fairly fast, but the ending lag is slightly longer than you would expect since Black Polnareff can't help but show off during the ending lag. The range also is a bit sad for a disjointed move thanks to the sword's broken nature.

This combos into Up Tilt at a lot of percents, but the sweetspot mostly comes at lower percents or positionally specific. Neutral Aerial, Forward Aerial, Up Aerial are all combo options at most percents. Forward-up Neutral Special combos out of this as well although it is questionable compared to some of Black Polnareff's other options. It can combo at any percent thanks to being able to use it while jumping, though. You can also go for some weirder stuff like jump Double Sword Mastery or Down-Up Neutral Special.

Since this move hits low, you can shield poke with it, although this move is not really safe on shield if you DO hit a shield with it. If you hit an opponent on the ledge with this, it'll often combo into Forward Tilt, which puts foes in a difficult off stage position. You can also do this if you're on a platform and poke someone under you.


Dash Attack: Silver Slash

Dash Attack begins with Black Polnareff rushing forward at impressive speeds, performing a single slash of his sword while travelling the entire 0.75 Battlefield Platforms of distance. This gives the move some decent duration, although it isn't particularly long enough to catch out a lot of moves. Damage is pretty high, 13%, and it'll kill at 150%, so this move serves as a bit of a later alternative kill option for Black Polnareff. Its primary use is to punish moves that are too far away and not vulnerable for long enough for your other attacks to punish, as this move has some really fast starting lag, especially considering the power. The ending lag, on the other hand, is really bad and will get you punished if you hit a shield or something.

This move has a follow-up hit Black Polnareff can use, which causes Silver Chariot to appear where Black Polnareff began the move. Silver Chariot then rushes forward 1.25 Battlefield Platforms with a forward, thrusting stab, dealing 8.5% damage and mediocre knockback at an angle slightly higher than Ganondorf's F-Tilt. Despite moving a further distance, Silver Chariot travels it in the same time it takes Black Polnareff to do the move normally. When Black Polnareff has Silver Chariot out using Chariot Spit, he can use Dash Attack's first hit, but he cannot use the follow-up hit involving Silver Chariot. This differs from Forward Smash because Black Polnareff leads with the attack. As an animation note, Black Polnareff always slashes to turn away from the screen, and Silver Chariot always slashes to face the screen, so they always do these neat criss-cross looking slashes.

At low damage percents, Dash Attack 1 combos into Dash Attack 2, but it only takes a little percent for the first hit to scale so you can't. And Silver Chariot is too slow to make the first hit safe against shield against all but the slowest of out of shield options. Instead, try utilizing this move for coverage. An opponent who dodges by rolling behind you, for example, is liable to either need to defend against the Silver Chariot strike (which is safe on shield), keeping you safe. Opponents who air dodge away when you are trapping landings with this will be hit by Silver Chariot's follow-up. Silver Chariot will also go off of ledges and platforms when thrusting forward with this move, so it is good for ledge coverage and can even be a bizarre anti-air option on a platform.

This move gets a pretty significant buff when Silver Chariot's armor is off, as Silver Chariot essentially travels its path nearly instantly! While this makes it more difficult to time against, say, people rolling behind you, it actually means you can combo Dash Attack 1 into Dash Attack 2 on shield! Dash Attack 2 does enough shield push to be safe on shield if you hit with Dash Attack 1 even though Silver Chariot can be attacked, but it is NOT enough to be safe if you ONLY hit with Dash Attack 2, such as if an opponent rolls behind you and shields. You can, however, mix up if you will use Dash Attack 2. If opponents put up shield after dodging or what have you when you don't Dash Attack 2, you'll usually be safe. This also makes it a better ledge trapping and landing trapping tool, but beware of attacks: You might be able to trap stuff like Ganondorf NAir with armor on by powering through it, but take the armor off and you're just taking a lot of damage!


Aerials

Forward Aerial: Brain Piercer

Summoning Silver Chariot beside him with the snap of his fingers, Black Polnareff commands Silver Chariot to stab forwards with a single fencing thrust. This can be angled up or down like a lot of Forward Tilts/Forward Smashes in the game, it should be noted. This move has lots of range to it, one of the rangiest in Black Polnareff's entire set that doesn't require movement. This move has two hitboxes, one at the tip of the rapier, and then the sourspot on the rest of the blade. The tip deals 13% damage and strong knockback away from Black Polnareff, with knockback that kills about 10% later than Marth's sweetspot FAir. The sourspot has the same knockback angle, but only deals 10% damage and the knockback is a lot worse, serving as more of a mediocre spacing tool than the potential kill move of the sweetspot FAir. The starting lag is Frame 9, which is a bit laggier than you might want (for reference Marth FAir starts on Frame 6), but the ending lag is pretty good.

Angling the move is largely important due to this move having a rather thin hitbox: It has a loot of horizontal range, but the vertical range is pretty bad, so you'll need to angle it as needed. The angles do also slightly adjust the knockback, although not much. Downward angled FAirs kill about 10% later, but the angle is flatter and more horizontal, so it is better for launching opponents offstage at lower percents. Upward angles FAirs have a somewhat more vertical angle, killing earlier if you are closer to the top but killing later if you are closer to the stage. These have some niche uses, but primarily you are hoping to just angle to hit the opponent.

Most of Black Polnareff's moves are very aggressive and rushdown focused, with offensive shield pressure, movement towards opponents, precise and risky setups up close, you get the idea. Forward Aerial is one of Black Polnareff's few truly safe spacing tools in the neutral and without aggression. Short hopped Forward Aerials, forward aerial with backwards movement to retreat while striking, precisely spaced forward movement with Forward Aerial...these are some of Black Polnareff's most valuable neutral tools. Utilizing Neutral Special diagonal options tends to be important in conjunction with this, because Forward Aerial is just plain bad at vertical coverage so their more unique angles are important.

Note that since Forward Aerial utilizes Silver Chariot, you can't use it while Chariot Spit is out, so the advanced setup tools of Chariot Spit deprive you of a key neutral tool for a while. With Silver Chariot's armor off, Silver Chariot actually rushes forward half of a Battlefield Platform, giving this move even better range! Opponents hit near the start of the move travel along with Silver Chariot's sword, skewered by it briefly, with their position staying relative. So, if you hit someone with the tip, they will be carried along at the tip and launched from the tip with the sweetspot. If you hit someone with the middle, they will be carried along from the middle and launched with the middle sourspot. You get the idea.

This can move opponents closer to the blast zone for a bit easier kill, but is primarily useful as a neutral tool, adding more delicious range to the move. While Silver Chariot moves quickly, this DOES still add some duration to the attack, leaving more time for opponents to counterattack you. Also, Silver Chariot's normal vulnerability make it somewhat riskier, since foes can now stuff Silver Chariot while rushing forward. Since the move is still safe on shield when spaced right (opponents in shield get carried just like normal!), this is still mostly a pure upgrade.


Neutral Aerial: Masterful Kicking Technique!

Black Polnareff kicks his foot out in front of him in a pretty classic sex kick fashion, which has the lingering yet weaker over time properties you would expect from this move. The initial hitbox deals 8% damage with weak radial knockback. This has enough hitstun and keeps the opponent close enough that this is a pretty fine combo starter. Close to the ground, you're going to probably go into an Up Tilt if you land with the strong hit, while in the air Up Aerial is a pretty good option, and for both of them you can use the tapped version of Double Sword Mastery with it. This move actually has lots of ability, though, as a combo extender instead. Start off with something like that Side Special, drag down Neutral Aerial, Up Tilt, finish off with an appropriate combo ender depending on what hit of Up Tilt you get and where you want the foe, you can even finish off with the HELD version of Double Sword Mastery!

As the duration goes down, the damage and knockback does as well, ending with 4% damage and really weak knockback. In the air this offers no combos, but on the ground you can actually get a grab off, along with something like a Jab. Obviously this is not as ideal as your earlier Neutral Aerial combos, but it is still pretty good, and it is still safe on shield if appropriately spaced. Fastfalling with the weakening hitbox can therefor be a pretty strong tool and is good with Black Polnareff's very high fall speed.

Speaking of shields, Neutral Aerial is probably your strongest aerial approaching tool, and one of your stronger tools overall. This largely is due to Black Polnareff's cross-up game, as Neutral Aerial is fast enough to have a few frames of advantage on an opponent that you cross up properly. You then get to really have some fun if you start up a Neutral Special with your back now turned on the foe! Back-Up to catch opponents jumping out of the situation, a general Back input to deal shield damage, stuff opponents using attacks that are too slow and do great shield damage to cautious opponents holding shield out. Down-Back can shield poke and sets up pressure for you to turn around and approach again. The safest option is usually for the opponent to roll or run away from you. If they do that, cancel Neutral Special and you still maintain some advantage. Black Polnareff has a solid cross-up and mix-up game when he goes on the offense and Neutral Aerial is a core part of that!

Neutral Aerial has a bit higher starting lag than you would expect from a sex kick, so it isn't as good of a combo breaker or anything as you might think. It still isn't super laggy, though. The ending lag is a lot more sparse and it is very fast if landed! It should also be noted this is a tool you can use with Chariot Spit out, which can make for some extremely extensive combos with great timing.


Up Aerial: Close Shave

Black Polnareff takes the blade of Anubis and spins it horizontally above him, not unlike Up Tilt but with a horizontal spin rather than a vertical spin, and with his arm straight up so it is right above you. This move deals three hits of 4% each, with the last hit launching opponents moderately upwards. It won't clean kill until 190%, but if you are up high you can kill earlier...nonetheless, it is always an inferior pure killing tool to Up Special and Up Neutral Special, although it is significantly less risky and requires no sweetspot. It also is the only one of those that doesn't use Silver Chariot, allowing you to set up with Chariot Spit instead. This move's duration makes it kind of annoying to try and land against, and it serves as a good aerial launcher as well. it also has good horizontal range which is nice. The ending lag on this move is a bit rough, so it isn't completely safe, but the starting lag is pretty fast.

This move can be woven into the end of a lot of combos, serving as your main combo ender if you want the opponent to go into the air. It also is one of your stronger combo enders if Silver Chariot is unavailable thanks to Chariot Spit. This can work twice as well if Chariot Spit is above you, because it is definitely possible to Up Aerial the opponent into a Chariot Spit and then extend a combo from there if you have somewhere to land, although this is pretty dependant on the duration Chariot Spit has left, if you have a double jump or not, and if you don't have a double jump if you can land somewhere and go back up. This also is simply a good tool for shorter combos because it has fast starting lag. Another use of it would be to chew opponents up from under platforms, which your other moves can do but this one is a lot less specific and lets you move, but in return you only get some damage off it really.


Down Aerial: Million Stabs

Black Polnareff summons Silver Chariot with a call that has a slight edge of panic to it if Black Polnareff happens to be fastfalling. Silver Chariot appears under Black Polnareff, who rests against it, and begins stabbing extremely rapidly under him in a flurry of blows! This deals a ton of 1% multihits in a manner akin to Yoshi's Down Aerial or spin kicks, totaling up to 16% damage if the opponent as kept inside for every single hit, although this is naturally kinda difficult. The final hit deals veeery weak downward knockback like some other spinkicks. Starting lag for this takes a moment, with ending lag being average. The long duration can add to how vulnerable Black Polnareff is, as well.

One big way that this move differs from a lot of them is that it stops Black Polnareff's momentum! This works in a manner not unlike Lucario's Down Aerial, with Black Polnareff and Silver Chariot suspended in the air during the entire duration. As an animation note, Black Polnareff lounging backwards on Silver Chariot looks pretty close to when Polnareff (back when he was evil due to Dio's mind controling stuff) showed off Silver Chariot's ability to do this waaaay back when he was introduced. This makes the move really dangerous against grounded opponents, a shielding opponent for example probably gets eaten up and poked out of their shield. Note that Black Polnareff starts falling again right after the move's duration ends, so you can't really stall with it much or anything (much like Lucario Down Aerial!). This stall does mean that you lack combo opportunities most drill kick moves provide. A big use of this move is simply to give Black Polnareff a really good landing option, letting you use it right before you land to eat at the foe.

Something to note is that since this move uses Silver Chariot, you don't get to use it with Chariot Spit out. Setting up Chariot Spit in the air tends to be pretty valuable, but be careful about people keeping you from hitting solid ground again. Speaking of Silver Chariot uses, Silver Chariot's increased speed allows you to actually move back and forth slightly the first time you use it in midair if you have your armor off! This can make it harder to escape by following horizontal DI, play around with opponents under you on stage, and veeeery slightly helps your horizontal recovery.


Back Aerial: Quick Cuts

Black Polnareff takes Anubis' sword and swiftly swipes it down-to-up and then up-to-down behind him for a pair of quick slashes, each of which deal 6% damage for a total of 12%. The first hit has almost no knockback and primarily is there to lead into the second hit, while the second hit deals damage that primarily can extend combos and maybe start some as well. It's better at comboing if you land on the ground, which thanks to your high fall speed is pretty doable when you're doing grounded combat! Starting lag is fairly fast, ending lag is a bit on the long end unless you land with it, in which case it is short.

Both hits of this can combo into Back Neutral Special with the right timing: The first hit if you do fastfall shorthop, the second hit if you do fastfall fullhop, but be warned that this move is not safe on shield. You might instead want to start a combo, get behind the opponent, jump and fastfall, then combo into this. For example Chariot Spit -> Jab 1 -> Jumping Back Aerial, Fastfall -> Back Neutral Special. Something else to note is this move has pretty good vertical coverage behind yourself, so you can throw it out there to try and stuff approaches, but the horizontal range on this move isn't really anything special.

The coverage does become more important if you have Chariot Spit out, since you can't use Forward Aerial. You'll want to cover ground with this while it is out if you miss the Chariot Spit, and it can actually just be good to protect Silver Chariot if its armor is off while using Chariot Spit, since it can form a bit of a "wall" in front of it. Something to note is that when you do have Silver Chariot out, you can mix up Neutral Special Back to go with Back Aerial. If opponents keep just trying to play out of the range of your back aerial horizontally, then Back Neutral Special will catch them out and you'll get some good damage in. You do need to be careful of the fact Back Neutral Special is not especially safe ending-wise, so an opponent could bait this out and punish you!


Grab Game

Grab: What a Wonderful Blade...

Black Polnareff's grab is pretty standard overall, simply reaching forward with his hand not holding Anubis' blade, leaning into the grab slightly. It has a bit more range than an average grab, but the ending lag is on the bad end as well. I will take this moment to note some important interactions with Chariot Spit. First off, Chariot Spit won't do damage to anyone in a grab or throw animation, so you can't just casually grab someone in Chariot Spit for a free 30%. This includes other characters grabs and throws, so don't get too cheeky with doubles. Opponents also have brief invulnerability to Chariot Spit after being thrown, so you can't just keep throwing them, having Chariot Spit hit them and do stupid stuff there.

Pummel: Slice and Dice

Black Polnareff's pummel involves Silver Chariot stabbing and slashing at the opponent with a rapid, circular pattern. This pummel is suuuuuper fast, but it only deals 0.3% damage per pummel, kind of like Lucario's. You can get a lot of small damage in even if you grab the opponent early, though. If you have Chariot Spit Out, Black Polnareff instead stabs the opponent with Anubis' sword for 1.2% damage in a kinda slow and crappy pummel, Anubis cackling the first time it is used in a grab.

Forward Throw: I'll Gut You!


Holding the opponent aloft, Silver Chariot stabs the opponent in the gut with Anubis' sword, shouting out something like "This'll be murder!" or "I'll gut you!" or "I did it! I won!" or "Lord Dio will be proud of this one!". If Silver Chariot is out with Chariot Spit, then Black Polnareff will stab the opponent instead for no change. This deals 6% damage, which is followed by Black Polnareff kicking the opponent away for 2% damage and a low angle. In fact up until around 60% this causes a tech situation for the opponent, where they either tech the landing or fall into prone. Since Black Polnareff has really low ending lag on this throw, he gets to take pretty good advantage of this, making it a fairly high reward option out of a throw.

This move, however, also has a "learning" bonus akin to your Down Smash and Forward Tilt. For every hit you land before you use this throw, Anubis' blade will get stuck deeper into the opponent's body, and he will begin digging it back and forth while cackling wildly. For each hit you landed before pulling this throw off, the blade will be twisted one more time for an additional 2% damage. On top of that each time the blade is twisted, the knockback is actually REDUCED a little bit afterwards! This might sound useless since this doesn't combo, but it means each twist of the knife actually increases the window this forces a tech situation which can be really useful. Each additional hit causes the window of the tech situation to be increased by 5%~, up to a maximum of 30%~. This is actually really notable because of the fact that this can cause the tech situation's percentage to bleed into the range your Forward Smash can kill, creating high pressure situations where opponents really gotta hit that tech and predict your actions lest they risk a Forward Smash!

This move follows the same rules as your Down Smash. The last hit in the chain cannot be more than 10 frames before you grab the opponent (the timer is paused while they are grabbed), each hit in the chain before that cannot be more than 5 frames between each other, and multihit moves only count once. This makes Forward Throw a bit unique as a combo ender throw if you convert the end of a combo into a grab, as you can end up getting 14%+ damage off of this while continuing to be aggressive. The damage and knockback, of course, pale in comparison to your Down Smash, but compared to Down Smash this allows you to threaten to continue plays, so it can be worth it to sacrifice a few percent of damage to continue your plays. Of course, Down Smash will always be superior if you are fishing for a kill.

As an animation bonus, Anubis will get cockier the more hits you land before this. If you land at least three hits before using this throw, he will cackle and go "Don't think you'll be able to stop the blade and pull it out!". If you land 5 or more hits, he goes into the full speech he gave when he had Jotaro on the ropes, going full hammy villain as he tells the opponent "Don't think you'll be able to stop the blade and pull it out. This cursed sword has already memorized and surpassed the power of your moves! I'll just push it further in!"

Something to note is the low angle makes it pretty good to toss the opponent into a Chariot Spit, particularly if it is further away. You could then potentially get something like Forward Tilt off of it, which is a decently high damage combo. The low angle also makes this a pretty good throw for booting opponents off the stage and setting up your edgeguard game, although sadly you can't do this with your back turned to the foe for your Neutral Special back ledge guard game.


Up Throw: To The Depths of Hell!

Black Polnareff stylishly tosses the opponent above him with one hand while summoning Silver Chariot, which begins to slice and stab and dice the area above Black Polnareff with a complete flurry of blows, ultimately totalling 13.3% in 8 hits. The last hit launches the enemy sky high and serves as Black Polnareff's kill throw, able to kill the opponent at around 152%: Get on some platforms and this is a dreadfully early kill throw! On the plus side for the opponent, you can't Chariot Spit into this for a nutty kill confirm, as you can't use Up Throw while Chariot Spit is out. If you can hold onto the opponent for long enough that Chariot Spit ends, though, you could then use this move and kill them.

Aside from killing the opponent, this is your aerial launcher when it comes to your grab game, and launches them pretty high even at early percents compared to your other options. Silver Chariot's armor off causes Silver Chariot to rise 0.5 Ganondorfs into the air while performing this move, which causes the opponent to be launched 0.5 Ganondorfs higher. This can shave off a little of the damage percent you need to send someone flying off the top, but that's about it.


Down Throw: Silver Slaughter

Throwing the opponent to the ground, Black Polnareff begins wildly slashing at them with Anubis' blade, doing a total of 7% damage. Black Polnareff then leans back and kicks the opponent away with more force than Forrward Throw, dealing 3% damge and sending opponents a moderate distance away. Black Polnareff ends up with a frame advantage and at low percents can get a combo with Forward Tilt or Jab, but that is all there is at a base.

During this throw, Black Polnareff can call upon Silver Chariot, which appears half a Battlefield Platform behind Black Polnareff and readies a stab as Black Polnareff kicks the opponent away. Half a second later, Silver Chariot shoots forward 1.5 Battlefield Platforms (or 1 BFP in front of Black Polnareff total) as a hitbox! This hitbox is on the strong side, 12% damage and killing at 140%, but it will never combo into the actual throw. Most importantly, this move shares Chariot Spit's mechanic of being able to use Black Polnareff while Silver Chariot readies! The key, then, is to use the imminent Silver Chariot attack to pressure the opponent and either land one of your normal attacks or to get them stuck in Silver Chariot's attack. It's certainly less true than some other options, but it offers a lot of potential. In order to perform this attack, you hold the grab button the entire throw or hold the control stick down the entire time. You cannot use this follow-up attack with Chariot Spit out.

With Silver Chariot's armor off, the rush of Silver Chariot not only occurs faster (although it still has noticeable delay of 0.3 seconds), but travels its distance nearly instantly! Opponents need to shield or take an option very quickly in order to avoid the attack, but in return they can hit Silver Chariot out of it if Black Polnareff is not careful. It also is now fast enough to true combo from the foe up to 20%, which means armor off Down Throw if you grab it before 20% is a 22% damage throw, which is reeeally strong. Essentially one time only, though.


Back Throw: The Judge of Death, Anubis!

Black Polnareff slashes the opponent twice with ragged motions, dealing 2% damage each. Silver Chariot then pierces the opponent's chest for 2% more damage and heaves the opponent behind Black Polnareff. Silver Chariot then holds the opponent there for a few moments, before flinging them off of the rapier and away from Black Polnareff for 6% damage and knockback that solidly spaces themaway from you. Without any further input, that's all this does.

You'll notice I said "without any further input". You see, Black Polnareff can move and attack during the period that Silver Chariot is holding up the opponent! This is pretty short as a timerame, with the timeframe getting sliiightly longer the more damaged the opponent is, and you don't get the 6% damage and fling to go with it. In addition, you can't use Silver Chariot for these follow-up attacks, so you are limited. Still, you essentially get to use this as a true combo starting throw, getting to start with whatever the hell you can do in a short timeframe and move from there. It is pretty versatile in that regard!

When Chariot Spit is out, Silver Chariot's attacks are replaced with Black Polnareff flipping the opponent behind him and kicking them away for 4% damage. Black Polnareff contemptuously kicks the opponent away from him without turning around, so his back is to the foe after they are kicked away. You can also hold down the grab button or the control stick backwards to use this version even if you have Silver Chariot with you. This knockback is really low, but this throw doesn't have low enough ending lag to be a true combo throw like the normal version. Black Polnareff DOES have a frame advantage though, which is about enough to start a Neutral Special and have a few frames of advantage.

While this might not be as good as flatout comboing the foe, it still puts opponents in quite a bind, owing to the power of Black Polnareff's back Neutral Special attacks! If the opponent is going to just shield instantly, you get to chip at it with Back Neutral Special, or might even be able to shield poke the opponent with Back-Down Neutral Special if they have damage before. They also can not shield which can lead to them being stuffed by Back Neutral Special unless they use something with both strong speed and range. Especially if Silver Chariot's armor is on, allowing you to plow through some weaker moves. And Back-Up Neutral Special will catch opponents jumping (and can possibly shield poke very large opponents like Ridley or Bowser from above), which you can then use to start a combo into Neutral Aerial or Up Aerial. You can also use Back Aerial as an option to cover a lot of space.

This also happens to be really useful if you have a Chariot Spit behind you. Since Chariot Spit naturally sends the opponent forwards and you will likely be comboing the opponent forwards, this actually isn't an uncommon situation. If you get it off, then ideally you actually put the opponent between you and the Chariot Spit, since them hitting the Chariot Spit and taking only one or two pokes will be better for them than the situation where Black Polnareff can hit opponents into it with more dangerous attacks or use it to force through stronger strikes. The downside is that Neutral Special is disabled during Chariot Spit, which it should be noted also applies to the earlier mentioned Neutral Special mixups involving it. So, you'll instead either need to use Back Aerial, or do something like a turn-around Forward Tilt which could be super deadly with Chariot Spit behind the foe. You also can time it so the opponent is hit whrn Chariot Spit is almost over, so that you can use Neutral Special right after, much more achievable if you have armor off Chariot Spit out due to its decreased ending lag!


Final Smash: Madness Blade


Black Polnareff begins the move by calling upon Silver Chariot, who will flash to Black Polnareff's position if it is out doing Chariot Spit or what have you, and has Silver Chariot perform a single upwards slash in front of him with blinding speed. Anyone hit with this unreactably fast slash takes 13% damage and is trapped in the rest of the final smash. Silver Chariot then strikes the opponent with an impossibly speedy flurry of stabs that adds up to 16% damage over 16 hits, the opponents helplessly bouncing back and forth in the strikes. Black Polnareff grins evilly the entire time, the windy backblast from the many strikes ruffling his hair the entire time.

This attack then ends with Silver Chariot striking the opponent with a single, powerful blow of 21% damage with Anubis' blade, with Black Polnareff giving the opponents an arrogant "Nice try" kind of expression as they are dealt the damage. In total, this attack deals 50% damage, and kills at 70%. In Final Smash meter, the total damage dealt is reduced to 35%.

If this attack is enough to kill an opponent then, in addition to the normal dramatic Smash Ultimate zoom you'd get on a last stock, a portrait of the poor sap who just got cut up will flash behind the opponent, full of stab holes and whatnot and in JoJo manga style. See the GIF above for an idea of what it would look like. Anubis will also appear behind Black Polnareff and let out a happy cry of "Yatta!" (Yes, yahoo!, something like that), the same as he did when he thought he had killed Jotaro. Also, if the opponent fails to die from this (thanks to walls, DI, whatever) he will have a blank eyes and shocked look with a big sweatdrop on his face, just like the end of the Jotaro fight.
 
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ForwardArrow

Smash Journeyman
Joined
Aug 17, 2011
Messages
429
#88
Black Polnareff
I gotta say, I really would never have imagined I would enjoy a set made for Polnareff's skill set nearly as much as I liked this one. The armor breaking mechanic is a pretty interesting switch for this set to present the player to flip, and while I tend to be a bit cautious of a "once per stock switch" like this, Black Polnareff makes it compelling. Both because, frankly, both sides of what you get out of the deal are really interesting, with the exceptional offensive options that the armor break provides being very exciting but leaving tons of risk and adding punishability to options of Black Polnareff's that were previously unpunishable. I remember Necalli had a similar mechanic, but I like this one better, honestly, as it feels like there's more reason to actually use it against fast characters once you factor in the Down Special. While its unfortunately not explicitly mentioned in the set, Down Special improves Polnareff's ability to shrug off the opponent's own offense once he's countered a couple critical moves of their's, not outright disabling moves but rather making them insanely risky for the foe to thrw out. This makes it more tempting to go for the all out aggression of unarmored Silver Chariot, but how much you want to counter and how sometimes breaking the armor whenever to not be predictable when its an interesting decision even before DSpecial gives a shocking amount of depth to this simple, once-per-stock decision.

Talking about the actual meat of this set beyond that switch, though, its just as good. Neutral Special is an interesting tool that provides Black Polnareff with a bunch of unique aggressive options, including on opponents in directions that are normally hard to hit, which is already fun armored when you factor in the invincibility of Silver Chariot at base. But then you factor in the doubled up options of the unarmored version you get if you sacrifice the invincibility and it honestly gets way more exciting, leaving open so many cool combo and pressure possibilities. Side Special is similarly great, giving a separate extensive combo tool in the same move with its own variety of strengths and weaknesses, both flowing very nicely off Polnareff's subsequent melee and providing yet another interesting decision between the armored and unarmored variants. Its also nice to have the added reward of Down Smash that all these flashy tools in the Specials can pay off into, its a fun finisher to Black Polnareff's whole combo game. Forward Smash is also worth bringing up as a cool finisher, becoming an absurdly powerful tool that suffers from being very high risk once you've broken Silver Chariot's armor.

The melee in this set is really well designed, consistently having a good and multifaceted set of uses and being fairly conscious of what Black Polnareff's options are. In particular, I like Fair being a Silver Chariot move because of the implications that has with the Side Special, removing one of your best defensive tools if you've committed to using Side Special's powerful combo abilities. The actual move has plenty of nuance as a spacer too. FTilt is one of the best "basic melee" moves I've seen in a while, the actual hitbox is very well made for just a basic sword strike but it actually has a crazy amount of depth because of the little "mastery" mechanic you gave it. Even something as simple as Nair has a wide variety of implications, and even the set's least interesting moves are at least filling a niche in a worthwhile way. DTilt/FThrow/UThrow are the only moves I feel could afford a little more fleshing out, and they're honestly still at least fine as contributions to the melee go.

At worst, I do think this set is occasionally not quite aware of what it has. Back Throw is a perfectly fine move, I like it, but this is a character with 3 more back options than the vast majority of the cast. That's very much worth bringing up in the context of BThrow, but its just kinda glossed over and you straight up dismiss the Polnareff solo version as useless, when its clearly not. At times the writing also gets a bit muddled talking about Side Special loops, just kind of throwing out a bunch of specific examples before going "these factors are complex so I don't know how everything would play out". I think you covered the important stuff there, but it gives the impression of a bit less confidence in your work, and it might feel a little better if you just brought up key options and gave a general "yeah and sometimes this'll do a bit more if you get a specific setup". This is REALLY nitpicky as criticism goes though, as you've probably noticed by the fact that I'm literally just saying I wanted slightly more elaboration/slightly better written elaboration on minor things rather than any complaints about actual mechanics. Also, Anubis is absolutely not a deep character so you only had so much to work with, but you absolutely put in all the flair and personality I could ask for in the animations of this set, adding yet another reason why this is a contender for your best work ever. Damn good job, Froy.
 
Joined
Nov 24, 2008
Messages
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The Make Your Move Rooligan Society
#89
Primeape has a interesting take on the ever-interpretative rage mechanic (not Smash's rage mechanic) that kind of reminds me of a reverse Doomfist's Best Defense on a smaller scale. Getting a bit of super armour on the start of your attacks for a brief time would make foes wary of comboing you, but you susceptible to frame-traps if they fake out their intents and, if you had enough armour from getting hit and hitting them back, force them to back off a bit and maybe this would give you a bit of breathing room for a set-up move. It certainly has the makings of a nice melee playstyle. This is a simple mechanic that fits Primeape's character quite nicely. There are some other neat applications of the armour, like on the end lag of your whiffed counter.

Rage reminds me of a bit of Yui and her benefitting from staled moves, but instead of the whole set it's just one move. This one move actually inspired discussion a few nights ago that seemed to birth Froy's recent Anubis set. I like the implications of the one reverse-stale move, because it would help to freshen and power up the rest of your set while powering up this one move. And if the foe works around this reverse-stale move or gets scared of it, just use your other freshened moves to whack them!

My personal take on rage would have been a weak move that nets you extra Smash rage when you're hit (some 4x more rage from attacks), even if you were at 0% rather than 35%. So if you were at 10% and took 14% you will get 56% worth of rage. This lets you reach your max rage earlier, good on a lightweight, and maybe if you reach max rage you'll flash red and can do an Outrage or big attack. But I digress.

Much as I like the one-move stale concept, I do believe it would have far more potential on a projectile that you could easily hit with like Fox's blaster. And the more utility and different hits on that attack, the better: just imagine if the reverse-stale concept was on Robin or Pac-Man's Neutral Specials, or even Hero's Down Special? You'd have to work your way up for a big Magic Burst instead of being able to throw it out nilly-willy. In any case, this is a concept that could do wonders on a projectile-ish move, even a trap or projectile that goes into a trap, like a new Witch OC (maybe the Rage Witch or Learning Witch? A witch who is trying to master one spell and has characterization issues of getting distracted easily/being a quick learner?).

I also wonder whether it is necessary to have the lag on Primeape's Neutral Special vary based on staling, mostly because that doesn't happen in Smash, but not following the rules of staling in Smash and the way the move is constructed it makes sense why you would do this. Increasing the lag would make it harder to stale when you already have to commit to the one move to power it up - what if there was a sourspot at the end of the fist that did no hitstun to get a bit of extra range? Or what if you could hold out B to do rapid jabs periodically, ones that got weaker the more you held out the move? (similar to Banjo-and-Kazooie's Neutral Special) This could make the move easier to stale earlier on in exchange for some commitment.

The Side Special is not a bad idea and one to elevate purpose in the melee attacks, with the smash attacks nice for covering the foe's defensive options in the face of your charge. The rest of the set is pretty basic, and is probably held back from being particularly good or great by a lack of elaboration and an understandable powerset shortage on the character. But it's still a nice idea supply! It's good that this set exists, and if you were willing to revisit the armour or stale mechanics on a future set I'd be all eyes. In a way, it's commendable that long-time setters like you and Froy are willing to dip your hands into a simple set that's not aiming to be a frontrunner. These can be just as important as those kinds of sets, and I'd welcome more of them if you ever had a quick burst of inspiration like this.

Another FMA set? Cool! Nice to see that Papa Corn did not bring about the apocalypse of the Full Metal Alchemist universe, and that some strand of it survived from getting nuked by Strangelove in the Illbleed Slaughter Story Mode of MYM15-17. Starting from the bio, I can definitely tell that you like Kimblee quite a bit - possibly more so than Washizu and Okumura! Why such an amazing character is not ranked 1# on your My Anime List profile is a mystery even to me; perhaps he is just too good of a character to be put on there.

Kimblee's certainly an odd duck. I will admit that a mere lightweight male antagonist qualifying as your Bizarro choice might be a bit of a stretch, but it is funny, and if you did actually make a lightweight female protagonist, well... let's just say that I would believe you if you told me that I made it subconsciously and told you to post it, like the second coming of the Grinch porn prank in MYM12 but without any spite or anyone getting banned. But I digress.

"this is the most obvious way Kimblee can force them to respect him and give him some space without just hitting the foe to knock them away like a regular person." - I like this line.

Minor thing on the Up Special without having read beyond: lag is not mentioned, but I assume it is similar to Snake's Down Special or comes out fast to make tagging foes practical beyond them having to be dizzy. But it also seems like you could tag the ground, even twice to get a big blast, and do this for stage control while the foe is not on you, but this is probably not all that great in practice. In any case, it is not a huge deal and wouldn't really detract from the set for me.

I particularly like the Side Special for its applications near the ledge and smash-input to reverse it, such a simple concept and is (kind of) surprising that I haven't seen it done before. I also enjoyed the fall-through touch, but it makes sense that an avid K. Rool main would notice that! It is a move that is very tempting to steal and apply in different ways, like how FA has his eye on Okumura's U-air. Down Special is a pretty focused set-up attack, nice for the Side Special, but I almost think I like the aerial version a bit better. As for the Neutral Special, I am not normally a fan of just more or less taking a Special from a Smash character, but it is put to interesting use here with the blast hitbox, plus it shortens the set length in a practical way as we all know how most Specials in Smash Ultimate work (though trying to copy Hero's Down Special would require more than your fair share of explaining). I also enjoy the edgy monologue flavour, even if no lines are provided like Okumura (only fair given the character love here) - reminds me of Kirei, and that if he gets a set he should have a similar move except it powers him up based on what the foe does or if they are stuck in hitstun or something. Now THAT's an idea.

F-Smash is ironically named because there are no real women in the Warlordverse. Hat-throwing in the context of the FMA-verse is pretty tacky, but hey, I like tackiness - it's much better than a more sensible, boring move. Sounds like something you could put on a Zak remix, but instead of exploding birds or rabbits or baby Apollo drops out or something. D-Smash having a manual detonation is pretty unorthodox stuff and seems like it should be on a Special, but I like it's executed in a 50/50 where foes choose between leaving Kimblee with a strong attack or a trap. A bit weird for him to use the alchemic lightning for damaging purposes like he's a Sith Lord like Snoke, though.

I personally have little problem with Kimblee doing the earth spike for his grab. In fact, I actually thought that he just dropped down to pick up a random metal spike off the ground and impaled low with it, given the way the grab was worded. These throws are all nice and your unorthodox Warlordian fare, but I think the real gem here is the U-throw's original idea of dealing knockback based on where you landed your ranged grab. That is really cool, actually. Would love to see this as an emphasis on a future grab game. It potentially doing downwards knockback with no choice on this seems a bit annoying, however. Maybe the blast should be optional so you can make use of the first hit for comboing? The knockback description on the second hit is also confusingly worded. D-throw is another nice use of the fun grab-range variant, but it go into questionable territory and might not see that much use in the playstyle.

The set is certainly unorthodox and even questionable at times, and nowhere is this more prevalent than on the Standards. The U-tilt and D-tilt, in particular, seem like they should be Specials, even a tap vs hold variant of an existing Special. While I like the idea of D-tilt's sweetspot you can position with horizontal angling, it should probably be on a slower, more grand move with more warning to the foe so they can play around it. For instance, if the sand was a widespread move that put the foe into prone and you get to pick whether the bomb is in the middle or either side of the quicksand to read their get-up options - or keep the bomb around if they don't hit it. Actually, that sounds like a nice idea for a Special like a Sand Witch.

I think D-tilt could easily be a simple, low wave of sand that extends from Kimblee and drags the foe to the edge of the hitbox for his spacing needs and possibly into grab. It's fast, but punishable close-up due to duration and the hitbox moving away from you, and hits low enough that the foe could just short-hop around it and maybe you counter them in retaliation. The bomb could be a follow-up like Snake's F-tilt where Kimblee detonates it at max range, big enough that he might be able to catch out opponents hanging at the edge of the sand's hitbox. You can delay the hitbox to bait out shields and dodges. Or you could not go into a second hit and use the threat of the follow-up hit to pressure, like going right into a ranged grab.

Much as I enjoy the Warlord brand of creative non-Specials like throws, I do think Kimblee tries a bit too hard in that department, especially on the throws and tilts. The set seems to overlook potential implications of melee, which seems to be by design of how you approached the concepts, as I know you can do real good melee like with Okumura. For instance, horizontal knockback on the Side Special could be a deadly semi-spike near the ledge, possibly forcing low recoveries. Radial knockback like on the U-tilt pillar that could also stage-spike near the ledge and maybe force tech situations; the latter could possibly work well with Kimblee's pressure game if he's got a bomb up on the foe, perhaps. Your grab distance affecting your throws was a very cool position-based thing, for instance. I don't think it would hurt for Kimblee to say, not make the pillar on his U-tilt and just be a 2-part move to break defenses, maybe. You intentionally making Kimblee bad at close-range may have also resulted in the way the tilts are.

Overall, I do like Kimblee. He's a narrowly-focused sort of set with great ideas and fun ways to play off his Up Special and Side Special bases, but the odd moves and lack of elaboration in some areas, like the Up Special in melee and knockback in some cases, prevents him from being considered a great set by me.

By the way, there sure are a lot of explosion-based anime characters in this contest (Bakugo, Kimblee), as Khold will undoubtedly get Kira out. Perhaps someone will randomly post a set for Deidara like a cherry on a cake? At this rate, I may have to go out and make a set for Megumin to fit in with all the explosions.
 
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Joined
Apr 26, 2007
Messages
1,078
Location
Las Vegas, Nevada
#90
Black Polnareff Patch Notes:

- Fixed a litany of typos with the set since I wrote it quickly and didn't proofread it much (for example saying "3 rames" at one point instead of "3 frames" or "damae" instead of "damage"). I also realized I could make some sentences flow more naturally by using the Side Special move name instead of some of the inputs needed, so I changed that too.

- Added a note to Shield Special about the hitbox being able to be used quickly OoS due to being a shield special, although this is rarely actually useful.

- Added a note on Down Special noting how getting off counters can make a good time to pop off your armor.

- Added a few sentences on Back Aerial explaining how you can use Back Neutral Special for additional coverage and the weaknesses/strengths of it.

- Added about three paragraphs to Forward Throw that add a "learning" damage mechanic akin to Down Smash, making it more useful as a combo ending throw.

- Back Throw's non-Silver Chariot variation can now be used without Chariot Spit out. It also has a new hitbox that allows Black Polnareff to more effectively use his back attack game from moves like Neutral Special if you use it without Chariot Spit or near the tail end of it, hopefully adding more depth and making it less of a "eh don't use this without Silver Chariot" move.

- Final Smash added, with a swanky GIF!
 
Joined
Apr 26, 2007
Messages
1,078
Location
Las Vegas, Nevada
#91
Im Goknba? (Goomba WeirdChillFever WeirdChillFever )

To be honest, I wasn't really expecting to see this set start with the Goomba Tower, which was a pretty interesting place to start with the set. I'll get straight to the main point of issue I have with this set: I feel like it just didn't really DO anything with most of the concepts presented. The headbonking Side Special is actually pretty fun, but it feels like a waste that the Goombas disappear if they hit the ground. Considering how casual it is to kill a Goomba in the set, I feel like being able to spread them out on the stage would be really fun, you could even have them rejoin the stack later or whatnot. The "Captain" designation also gives you a natural reason to reduce what a lone Goomba can do if you didn't want to give them the full wealth of options to avoid too easy of gang-up attacks.

The set kinda starts to lose me when it gets to Kuribo's Shoe. First off, the mental image of up to 5 Goombas all in their shoe bouncing on each other feels...very bizarre and not very fitting, at least to me. I feel like Smady's recent Lakitu comment actually gets at something I felt with some stuff in this set, that this doesn't really feel like something a Goomba set would be compared to, say, Lakitu where it has the FEEL of an authentic Lakitu smash in set even if they are both normal enemies. Although to be fair Goomba is a lot harder than Lakitu. Anyway, I was also thinking that, hey, this set probably has some kinda payoff attack where you just rush forward or somethin with your super tall Goomba tower, right? Well, no, Forward Tilt despite being a dashing attack only has the Captain Goomba attack, and instead uses the Goomba tower to...reduce ending lag which is fine but doesn't feel as connected, and Forward Smash is this weird Tail Goomba attack that gives them higher jumps after using it, which is like fine but also feels kinda out of place, maybe this could have been put on the Up Special with Paragoomba wings instead? That'd give a bit more meat to Up Special and feels just as fitting with Paragoomba wings, on top of that the move already boosts you into the air where you could potentially use the effect better! Maybe even make it not enter helpless (tho ofc need to be hit/land to refresh) so you could combo off of it or something. You could then free up Forward Smash for something else, maybe some kind of big rush forward that with a tower has a big hitbox, or something else that gets stronger with more tower goombas to give more oomph to it.

I also feel like this set maybe could have actually done more with making Goomba a GOOD set at anti-airs, which Up Smash actually is but bizarrely the set seems insistant that this is an issue, precisely because of the fact your Goomba tower minions die in one jump. The opponent having incentive to do this could be played with by making Goomba good at stopping it, turning it into a more tense and interactive experience. Also given Goombas often do stuff like headbonk and that a lot of their attacks would involve their head, it makes sense that they would have more attacks able to hit above. I'll also take this moment to note that I was surprised by no appearance of a Spiked Goomba helmet, as not only did ti feel like one of the most obvious variations to make but would fit into playing with the jumping vulnerability pretty directly.

Aside from that this set simply doesn't have a ton of meat to it, with it getting especially painful in the grab game where it feels like the set is really straining for options and so is just using comedy to fill lines. There isn't really any notable coherent gameplan for Goomba aside from "tower good". I feel like there could have been more setups involving the Side Special for sure, as it actually has not only really interesting angles to throw it out at, but the fact the Goombas will keep bouncing on a shield and force opponents to get away defensively actually is a pretty fun and somewhat unique method of pressure. If you're gonna use Kuribo's Shoe, then I would make it do more than just protection. For example, an obvious interaction would be to have it buff Side Special because now they are plummeting with the shoe, maybe turning it into a single hit strong attack move without the multi-bonk pressure options and giving it some kind of defense from below due to the shoe. You could make the dash attack have Captain Goomba leap forward shoe-first for a more powerful alternative Dash Attack or something.

Goomba has a few things I enjoy, like the Down Aerial and Side Special, but overall it feels like a set with a few concepts that are potentially interesting and a whole lotta nothing. Gotta say, WCF, this feels like your weakest set since your resurgence last contest. On the plus side, Pidgey sounds a lot better, so I will have to get to it soon!

Scuttlebug Jamboree Sisters (The Three Mage-Sisters bubbyboytoo bubbyboytoo )

I feel like the Mage-Sisters are a set that start off strong, but peter out quickly. 3-in-1 sets like this are uncommon but offer a lot of inherent potential to them. I actually think the method that the Mage-Sisters switch here is interesting, with them getting to use their Jab as they enter is neat. I actually wonder if this should have been expanded, maybe allowing you to use more moves (say, any standard on the ground or aerial in the air?) when entering if you have quick fingers to input it. Maybe even just any non-Special/Grab! This could open up some new potential with their combo game and in general make them feel more like they are working together which given how the Mage-Sisters are presented would be important.

All of the Mage-Sisters actually have some meaty Specials and while they have some balance issues, I would say they feel like they serve as a solid base. Fran's Neutral Special is pretty fun, but I do feel like it might be TOO punishing for movement, especially since the move has pretty wide range. Yeah, they are easy enough to swat down, but it's a bit too strong when it goes off. My recommendation would be to make it so walking triggers damage but not hitstun, allowing walking to be viable for movement but at a cost, which would let opponents play around it more while still giving some advantage. Fran's Side Special being this big ol' grab hitbox that you can scoop people up but is hugely telegraphed is actually fairly fun, I was a bit uneasy on the balance but it feels like it won't cause any infinites or anything due to how long it takes to use, it might be fun to make note of if there is anything fun you can do after switching to a foe dragged around by this. Up Special might be fun to have a stronger landing hitbox if you land on the Neutral Special ice as it shatters it, expanding on what the move already does.

I'll say here that I feel like this set could use more interactions and a bit more risk taken with it. You have three characters where elementalism is already a core aspect of the three, and where working together is going to be a big part of the set both in character and mechanically thanks to being switch based. You even already have the ice somewhat react to other player's fire attacks. Why not expand on this? Give Flamberge some fire attacks that can hit ice and create a damaging burst of steam or something, melt the ice, let Zan's electrical attacks course through melted water or maybe store in the ice or something. Some of these are very much just me throwing "dart on the wall" suggestions and I know you aren't big on interactions, but going outside of one's comfort zone is a good thing, and this set seems naturally inclined to it.

Flam's Neutral Special is a scary point of balance to me. It's got decent damage for such a spammable projectile, makes multiple projectiles, has a protective melee hitbox, can angle in various ways depending on how you use it and you can even meteor with the melee hitbox. It's perhaps a bit...much with how it is "fairly spammable". Side Special is fine but I really don't get why the attack doesn't have an ending slash that not only would be logical but is in the GIF you used for the move. Up Special is one of my favorite moves in the set, the downwards diving command grab is kinda neat and I like how it can be used offensively rather than just a recovery. It might be fun if you let Down Special be used during this, so you could switch while Flam flings the opponent away to set up an advantage situation with the next sister.

Zan would be a fun case if you wanted to let Down Special be used during some Specials to switch, as moves like Neutral Special and Side Special gain a whole new meaning when you can let Zan be out as a passive hitbox with your next sister out and doing normal stuff. I should note you can always add downsides or a cooldown to using Down Special like this to help balance it if you are worried. Also, I might reduce NSpec's duration and increase the damage on each hit so it deals the same overall damage, because I feel like it might be able to trap for a bit too long right now. Up Special's got some zip to it.

Aaaaaand then the Specials end and the set gets to one paragraph, lifeless moves. I actually like the jabs here, especially with each one being the switching attack, but stuff like Fran's Side Tilt feel like such throwaway moves, and how is 10% damage low for this set when a few moments later you say 11% is good? Also, Fran's Up Tilt feels really strong, 12% damage on what is meant to be a strong combo starter.

The big issue with these non-Specials is how many of them all feel the same in a set where you swap between three. For example, all three of their Forward Smashes are just "this is your laggy KO move". I feel like Zan's F-Smash should be faster in return for the fact the killing potential is only on the tip, giving it Marth-esque application as a fast but precise kill move. All of the Dash Attack are rushing attacks quick ending lag who can work with combos, Flam's can KO but it might have been more fun to just fully commit to it being more of a dumb laggy kill attack compared to her sisters, Zan has the best Dash Attack of the three right now to me by the way. And on and on the set goes. While there is SOME differentiation it ultimately feels too minor for what the set wants.

Ultimately, the Mage-Sisters are a set that had a lot of potential, but even worse than Whisper never realized it. The Specials are for the most part solid even if there could be more, and then the set just dies. I do like the quotes at the end of each section. as a character note. But far too often in the set do the Sisters feel interchangable and there feels like little thought to making them work as a cohesive whole. This set could definitely be edited to be pretty good, but it would take a lot of work, so I dunno how worth it you would find it.
 
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#92

Eevee



Everyone knows Eevee, the Evolution Pokémon! What could be considered the second mascot of the Pokémon franchise right now (and one of my favorite in the series), Eevee is a monster well known for what is described as highly volatile genetics, allowing it to have a wide variety of evolutions - the most of any Pokémon at 8 distinct evolutions, each with their own type, and every few with very different methods to evolution. However, how would this work in Smash?

It’s a bit too crazy to give Eevee some kind of evolution mechanic or something (though I feel like just saying that, someone will write one in my stead), and calling them in for some attacks would draw attention away from Eevee, so instead, Eevee will simply utilize its genetics to call upon the powers of its evolutions. This isn’t unheard of for Eevee, either - the Partner Eevee in Pokémon: Let’s Go Eevee can learn 8 special moves (way more than Partner Pikachu in its Lets Go game, as an important note), each based on those types. That’s not specifically what I’m gonna pull from here, but that’s where the idea came from.

Eevee would be a very versatile character, with a lot of different moves with a lot of applications. I suppose you could consider them a jack of all trades, but not really a master of any - but this does allow for a lot of room for a player to work with. However, their small size is coupled with good mobility but relatively low survivability, as is common for characters of Eevee’s stature.


Stats

Eevee’s stats are all very similar to Pikachu, with a weight of 79 and fall, run, walk, and air speeds, and air acceleration, all about the same as well. They’re a little smaller than Pikachu, closer to Jigglypuff’s height, to match the Pokéball summon in Smash 4 and Ultimate. Mirrors when turning.
(All damage is base damage, Ultimate gives a 1.2x multiplier in 1v1s)



Neutral B: Swift

Shoots a single, incredibly fast star projectile straight forward. It tracks the nearest enemy and will always hit, unless shielded, dodged, or reflected. As an energy projectile, it can also be absorbed by moves like PSI Magnet and Oil Panic. Each star does 5%, but the move becomes stale fairly quick. Each shot has a short 40 frame windup, so it’s incredibly hard to spam, and is also a move that is best used in absolute safety. The ending lag is fairly low, though, so it’s relatively safe.


Side B: Dazzling Gleam

A pink aura surrounds Eevee as they very briefly charge up an attack (about ⅔ the charge time of ZSS’s Paralyzer shot), which comes out in the form of a rather large pink twinkle directly in front of them.This is no simple flash however, as it does directly deal damage, 10% in fact. Much like the above mentioned Paralyzer, this does stun enemies, but not very long (about as long as a half-charged Dragon Fang Shot from Corrin), but like Corrin’s, it scales with damage. This means at 0 percent it does basically nothing, but closer to kill percent it’s much more effective. It also launches at a Sakurai Angle after the stun, and with pretty alright knockback at that (the knockback is much more like a fully charged Dragon Fang Shot). This isn’t a projectile like Mewtwo’s Disable, however, so it can’t be reflected or absorbed like one.


Up B: Dark Pulse

A faint dark aura surrounds Eevee, then a pillar of dark power sends them rising up quickly, much like the animation of the move itself in Pokémon games. It would hit enemies multiple times, sending them upward after taking up to 13% damage - a first hit dealing 3 damage, 3 hits each dealing 2%, and a final hit dealing 4% and launching away from Eevee in either direction. It doesn’t kill that easy, but it can kill off the top if the enemy is at a high enough percent or if you carry them upwards somehow. The recovery itself sends straight up but can be angled before release like Robin’s Elwind, and the direction can be influenced while moving up like Wario’s Corkscrew. The actual distance of the recovery is about as far as Pac-Man’s second Pac-Jump.


Down B: Future Sight

Eevee glows purple very briefly, and their eyes glow green (common in the Pokémon anime for use of psychic powers), making an invisible mark in the space Eevee was at the moment the special button was pressed, whether Eevee is on the ground or midair. (It’s actually very subtle unless you’re paying very close attention to Eevee, which tbh, you really should be.) After a short time, a sudden burst of psychic power erupts where this invisible mark was set. This move can be charged a little (about as long as Hero’s Zap and Woosh), which lengthens the amount of time it takes for it to explode (it can range from 4 to 8 seconds), but would make it easier to notice and makes it far less safe, as you can’t move or do anything while charging, and it has a very brief ending lag. There’s a 20 second cooldown for setting this move down again.


Jab: Headbutt

A two hit jab, both are very similar in animation however, both being a headbutt, dealing 3% damage each. However, the second hit moves Eevee forward a very tiny amount when they do it (about as far as the last part of some jab combos do, maybe a third of how far Cloud’s Jab 3 takes him (have you ever noticed how far that move sends him across the stage? Good lord…)) and causes slightly higher knockback, though still not enough to kill until ridiculous percents (like most jabs).


Forward Tilt: Tail Whip

Eevee quickly turns around and whips their tail back and forth 3 times, based on the animation of the Pokémon move of the same name. Instead of decreasing defense, it simply hits with each wag - 1.5% for the first two hits and 2% for the last.


Down Tilt: Sand Attack

Eevee quickly kicks up a little bit of dust. Still doesn’t decrease accuracy, but the dust does have a chance of tripping, but with very little knockback, dealing 3% twice. However, getting hit by the actual kick deals 4% and causes low upward knockback, but it’s fast and can hit into the dust of a second down tilt.


Up Tilt: Double Kick

Eevee quickly turns and performs a very high buck kick, or rather, 2 kicks - one with each hind leg. The animation is similar in speed to Sonic’s side tilt, but more upward. First hit does 3% and the second does 4%, with a small sourspot dealing 2% on Eevee’s tail directly above as it wags.


Dash Attack: Tackle

A simple quick lunge forwards, much like Pikachu’s. Faster than Pikachu’s, does about 7% damage, fairly good knockback. Not much else to say, really. I mean, it may sound silly to compare Eevee and Pikachu as much as I have, but to be entirely fair, they’re both sharing duty as mascots for the Pokémon franchise now, at least a little bit, so it’s not hard to think Eevee would be similar in some ways to their Let’s Go counterpart.


Grab: Bite

Bites down on an opponent, with a 2% quick pummel that’s simply biting down harder. Not amazing range, but really mobile for a grab, as a dash or turn grab is much further than just a normal standing grab.


Forward Throw

Pulling back and letting go, Eevee rams into the opponent with their head. Deals about 6% damage, but it does some shockingly good knockback, killing at center stage at about 140% and at-edge closer to 100%. (Only issue is that it’s kinda hard to grab opponents at an advantageous position, so it’s harder to use this throw in particular.)


Back Throw

A simple 520°-turn swing and release, almost like Mario’s forward throw, but with an added half turn. Deals 6% damage as well, but it has a bit more upward knockback. Kills at center stage at around 155% and at edge closer to 140%.


Up Throw

Very similar to Pikachu’s in terms of function and animation. Eevee lightly tosses the opponent upward, directly above them, and then jumps up into them, delivering a headbutt into their body. Deals 3% for the toss and then 5% for the actual headbutt up.


Down Throw

Eevee pulls away as they’re still gripping the opponent, causing them to fall onto the ground (perhaps this is Take Down?), which deals 2% damage. The Pokémon then hops onto their foe, causing 7% damage and a pop up effect, like most down throws.


Forward Smash: Heat Wave

Eevee takes in a deep breath as the attack charges, flames sparking around their mouth. When it releases, a blow of hot air dealing 3 rapid hits of damage (each dealing 3% when uncharged) shoots from their maw as they huff, then shoot a final flame dealing a final launching hit that deals 10% damage minimum and launches at a good horizontal Sakurai angle. (19% total.) The hot air, which is shown by a clear visual effect that dissipates when the final flare is shot, does extend a little further than the fire, which means someone further away from Eevee could potentially get hit by the first 3 hits without being hit by the last. Each hit does have slight inward knockback (very slight though), like most multihits of its kin, but even then, this Smash attack is pretty small already, and it’s also fairly quick (only lasts a couple seconds in total if no one gets hit), and the end lag is a bit on the low end for it. Fully charged, the 3 hits from the hot breath deal 4.2% damage, and the final hit deals 14% as well, totalling up to a respectable 26.6%.

(Note: The hot breath isn’t some big-brain constant toxin or something, it’s just 3 rapid hotboxes but visualized in a fancy way. Also, it’s probably kinda gross. I mean, could you imagine what an Eevee’s breath actually smells like? Probably like a dog’s breath. Which is usually not, well, fragrant.)


Up Smash: Shock Wave

Charging this Smash attack charges up static shocks all over Eevee’s body as they lean over, shaking a little as they build up power. When it’s released, this static is shot out as Eevee hops up a little as well, generating a wave of electricity around Eevee that sparks a little as it shoots out to be 2.5 Eevees long before dissipating, hitting once for at least 18% and sending opponents hit by it outward. Fully charged, the damage totals to 25.2% instead.


Down Smash: Water Pulse

Eevee charges up a pulse of water within their mouth, then shoots it downward, spreading it outward on either side. This isn’t pillars or splashes of water like with Squirtle, but instead being more visually similar to the actual Water Pulse move from Pokémon games, looking like weird water ripples through the air, but of course, much faster. Each ripple floods out on either side of Eevee, about as far as the length of their tail (so not really that long). Each side of this attack does 18% when uncharged and 25.2% when fully charged.


Forward Air: Grass Blade

Kinda like Ivysaur’s back air, but with, well, Grass Blades. Or maybe Link’s forward air? Anyways… A blade of green grass forms around each of their front paws, and they swing each at a time, their foreground paw swinging back to front followed by their background paw following it. This deals 2 hits, 3% and then 6%, first comboing into the second which launches fairly well horizontally. Not much of a kill aerial, but it could do the job in a pinch (like, a 200% kind of pinch), or with some good edge guarding.


Down Air: Ice Chunk

Eevee shoots chunks of ice (well, yeah) out from under them as they kick their legs each time, shooting 3 total ice chunks. The first 2 hit for 2% each and the last deals 5% and can spike if it hits right, like some similar down airs. It has a sour hit that sends outward instead.


Neutral Air: Flail

Simple spin nair - you all know them - like Villager’s, but a bit faster. 8% first hit with a 5% late hit, does middling knockback but works as a get-off-me. Not much else to say.


Back Air: Magical Leaf

Eevee turns to shoot various leaves from between their front paws, almost as if they were pushing them out. There are 4 leaves, each very fast, each dealing 4% (for a potential total of 12% damage), the last one with fairly low launch power. This aerial also turns Eevee around, possibly allowing for follow ups with Grass Blade if this move misses or if the foe isn’t at a high enough percent to be launched very far by it.


Up Air: Blizzard

You could think of this as a Mega Man/Mr. G&W style up air. Eevee breaths in and out, a cold shot of air full of snow following suit, flying up a short distance before poofing away in the relative heat of the battlefield (if you’re fighting on Summit...don’t think too much about it then, nerd). Much like the aforementioned moves, this is a projectile that can be reflected (but not absorbed), and it hits multiple times while slowly flying upwards. Because it’s a projectile like those moves, you can shoot up a few before it really getting dangerous, but this does mean they aren’t that amazing of projectiles (they dissipate after 4 hits of 2%, which is relatively easy to escape from anyways).



Final Smash: Extreme Evo-Blast

Similar to Eevee’s unique Z-Move from Pokémon Sun and Moon, Extreme Evoboost, but with a bit of a twist. As the standard camera turn and character render cut-in comes in, Eevee cries out, with an animation similar to their Special Attack animation from Pokémon games Gen 6 and onward as rainbow colored energy spirals around them. As they do, various shadowed figures come into frame around them quickly - then it’s revealed each was a different one of Eevee’s various potential evolutions - in a similar arrangement to the referenced Z-Move, but instead facing away from Eevee. Instead of turning into colored orbs that absorb into Eevee to power them up, the various Pokémon instead perform a single attack that become a large singular beam, much like Triple Finish. Perhaps another name for this could be… Octuple Finish? Each attack starts off in a cone and spirals like a tornado (with range similar to the Killer Wail), then thins out into a singular massive beam (more comparable to the Zero Laser), which then ends with a final contribution of Eevee using what could be considered Final Resort (which coincidentally is the same move Eevee would need to use Extreme Evoboost, would you look at that), a large star shooting along the screen and hitting anyone along the way, though it’s not any bigger than the beam itself. The full Final Smash does a total of 30% for the main beam and 6% for the Final Resort, but that last hit does extremely high damage, killing at about 100% center stage and 80% at edge. Holy hell.



Extras
Idles

Eevee bounces a little as they stand fairly normally, a faster version of their 3D era idle animation, occasionally perking up and looking around, or lightly digging their front paw a little into the ground.


Up Taunt

Eevee simply turns a little towards the camera, one front leg up, as they cry “Eevee!” happily.

Side Taunt

They get down into a more battle-ready stance, with a more determined shout of their name and an angry face.

Down Taunt

Eevee hops around in a circle, 3 times before facing forward again, then jumps once again while facing forward. (This last hop could allow for Eevee to miss super low attacks, but I wouldn’t say it’d make that much of a difference for most characters who aren’t like, Link.)


Victory 1

A very happy Eevee hops up and down, an overjoyed expression across their face as they cry out “Vee! Veevee! Eevee!” As the screen stops with their final jump, they land, still giddy as they still hop on their feet a little, bouncing back and forth.

Victory 2

A tired Eevee awakens and stretches, yawning as they do, then looks at the camera confused, a tilt of the head and a soft “Vee?” ushering in the freeze frame. After this, their tail wags as they tilt their head from one side to the other, seemingly inquizitive of the camera.

Victory 3

Surrounded by their Evolutions, Eevee looks around at them and bounces between each, happily trilling, then hopping up as each of their partners follow suit, then followed by the freeze frame. After this, they simply hop in place, overjoyed at their victory.


Costumes

Alt 1
The default appearance of an Eevee, fluffy brown fur and nothing more!

Alt 2
Deep blue color of fur with yellow accents, based on Vaporeon. Mystic Water hangs from their neck.

Alt 3
Full yellow and white colors of fur, based on Jolteon. A Magnet hangs from their neck.

Alt 4
Red and yellow coloration, based on Flareon. Charcoal hangs from their neck.

Alt 5
Striking ashy black and yellow, styled after Umbreon. This is paired with Black Glasses.

Alt 6
Silky purple, styled after Espeon. Wears a collar adorned with a barely-floating Twisted Spoon.

Alt 7
Simple green, much like Leafeon. Wears a collar adorned with a rather large Miracle Seed.

Alt 8
Light blue with dark blue accents, much like Glaceon. Wears a collar adorned with what looks like Never-Melt Ice.



Why does Eevee not have a Sylveon based costume, especially if Vaporeon and Glaceon have kinda similar colors, you may be wondering? Well… You’ll see, eventually. Hehehe...
 
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