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Make Your Move 24: Moveset Design Contest — NEW: Morshu, V1, Green Goblin, Belzeb, Magneto, Dogma, Enya Geil, Jackie Chan and Jesse Faden!

FrozenRoy

Smash Lord
Joined
Apr 26, 2007
Messages
1,147
Location
Las Vegas, Nevada
Switch FC
SW-1325-2408-7513
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): The coveted position at the top of my rankings, given to my favorite sets of the contest, the "best" tiers! 10 star represents the best movesets, a blend of strong playstyle, excellent execution, cool concepts and top notch characterization. Often times, the difference between a 10 star or a 9 star is a personal feeling in finding something truly exceptional, or a perfect blend of all of a moveset's parts. On average, about one 10 star is given out each contest, but as many as three (MYM15/MYM21) have been given out and one contest (MYM19) lacked any. So there's no hard limits here! Take the napkin first and reach for the top!

- 9 Stars (0 Ranked): A step below 10 star is 9 star, these sets still represent some of the best that Make Your Move has to offer, and thus hit the "top" tier. The qualities of these sets are pretty close to a 10 star. They have tight knit and strong playstyles, they have TAS-level execution and so on, but they have just a few too many problems to get higher, such as a bit too much balance worry, perhaps lackluster character or just simply not quite having as much "exceptional" factor. 9 star sets will almost always find their way into my Super Vote List: If 9 stars end up not making it on, you know we have a truly wonderous contest going on!

- 8 Stars (2 Ranked): The "Great" tier of sets that rests below the highest tiers, these usually have a more acutely placable issue such as a weak concept, iffy execution at some parts (perhaps even an entire input section) or weak characterization but placed along a rest of the set that is strong enough to make up for it and still get it high. Or, alternately, they may be sets which are fairly strong in all areas but have nothing jump out as extraordinary beyond great. Nonetheless, these are sets worthy of praise, the higher end 8s usually make up my RV+ or snag SVs.

- 7 Stars (5 Ranked): Seven star is where the "good" sets reside. They might not be the best sets ever, but that doesn't make them bad at all, contests and games thrive on having plenty of good sets! These tend to make up the bulk of my RV list, with particularly strong contests causing the bottom of 7 to drop into WV+ or so range. Sets can either be a mix of high highs and more average/low lows, most commonly a strong start that tapers off into a forgettable ending, or a consistent Good quality that just doesn't have enough to get higher. Sets with a lot of good and a lot of bad will also tend to end up in 6 and 5.

- 6 Stars (1 Ranked): "Above average" is 6 star, which makes up the bulk of my WV list (and sometimes low RV) for most of my votelists. They don't exactly speak to me much, but they have enough solid and enjoyable traits to feel stronger than your average set, so they're definitely still worth your time.

- 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. These sets are the last of sets that get votes from me, snagging WVs but being the first to drop off as more sets get on.

- 4 Stars (0 Ranked): Four stars are the "below average" mark. These sets aren't terribly bad or anything, but they've gotten to the point I dislike more than I like, either due to a noticeable failing in one or more areas without enough good to back up or just a general sense of underperformance across the entire set. It isn't uncommon to find solid concepts in these sets, though!

- 3 Stars (0 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, but they aren't repungant enough to be truly awful. Don't be too upset, though, if you get a set this low or lower: Everyone, including myself, makes some stinkers after all!

- 2 Stars (3 Ranked): When we get to Two Star, we go to "awful", sets that have numerous issues that either run deep and so are more difficult to fix or are so overwhelming they smother a set even if there's other parts I like. Sets with essentially no details, such as one sentence moves for the entire set, end up either here, 1 or 3 star usually. Sets here aren't quite horrible enough for lower categories (think of it like a nega-8 star) but are getting fairly bad.

- 1 Star (0 Ranked): One star is like the dark, negative version of a 9 star. Where 9 star zigs into an incredible playstyle, a 1 star zags into an incoherent one. When a 9 star puts across a great characterization, a 1 star makes the cute powerless schoolgirl into an evil monster with the morality of Hannibal Lecter. Don't worry, everyone makes mistakes...it is just this set is one of them! Also proud home to sets that do "nothing", like 1 sentence sets without damage percents or any other information.

- 0 Star (0 Ranked): Introduced in MYM22 is the 0 Star Ranking, which I'd considered adding before. It makes 5 star the perfect "average" rather than the 5.5 of a 1-10 ranking. Congrats, if you hit 0 star, you made a "meme"! 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. And if you're wondering yes, I have made sets I consider to be 0 star worthy, so don't think I'm immune to being this awful. On the plus side, 0 star sets often gain a lot of fame due to the status that makes them 0 star, so they're a successful legend in their own way.

---

Ranked Movesets

Number of MYM23 Sets Ranked: 12


Trafalgar D. Law
********
8/10


Soda Popinski
********
8/10


Cid Highwind
*******
7/10


Lyn
*******
7/10


Calliope Mori
*******
7/10


John D. Rockerduck (And Some Guy Named Jeeves)
*******
7/10


Hopper
*******
7/10


Tristan Taylor
******
6/10


Passionlip
*****
5/10


Red
**
2/10


Kurt Zisa
**
2/10


Gamera
**
2/10
 
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Katapultar

Smash Lord
Joined
Nov 24, 2008
Messages
1,033
Location
The Make Your Move Rooligan Society
Pegasus is an extremely unique take on "trap" characters, which I'd say is quite the achievement in the modern era! This comes from giving his moves inherently high starting lag, but letting him move around during his non-Special end lag - I daresay this must have been inspired by Pyra's Blazing End. And you don't get many trap sets that make your moves come out sooner when you set them as traps. It's unorthodox and fits his initial cheating ways quite well! The character makes really great use of one of your biggest writing strengths, that being fleshed-out animations, pretty much the perfect character choice after Lucky Louise (I'm sure you'd have fun imagining how they'd interact, a shame they weren't posted in the same contest as that'd be a gun story mode) and yugioh sets.

For its unorthodox approach, the set is oddly more melee-based as the rest as the non-Special moves form the foundation of the set, rather than the other way around like most sets. While maybe not necessary, I do wonder if Pegasus should suffer a few seconds of cooldown after a set card is destroyed: this would give the foe more of an incentive to commit to attacking these monsters where Pegasus could exploit this if they're not careful, rather than Pegasus being able to set/use the card right away afterwards but obviously he has to consider his own circumstances. Much of the set involves the foe weaving around Pegasus' set cards, and if he wasn't able to use one for a while it would create a blind spot in his melee game that the foe could exploit - for example, if Dark Rabbit is destroyed Pegasus would be out a relatively quick (for his standards) get-off-me move, but if the foe is too obvious in exploiting the opening Pegasus could just counter! Clearing out a card would also mean one less monster to have to worry about triggering during X seconds of the cooldown. It's not bad as-is, but it could give the foe a potential reward for attacking and punish Pegasus for not capitalising. It could also worsen his disadvantage game if the foe destroys an aerial monster, especially his Flying Elephant which could protect him from being juggled without rely on on Up Special or counter.

While I'm perfectly fine with sets not including frame data, I do wonder if it would be worth mentioning it for at least the start-up of Pegasus' non-Special moves (which would obviously be no shorter than frame 6 given the +5 on non-set cards, I'm guessing frame 8+ for Jab like Wario's). That way you could sell just how slow some of these moves are as melee attacks. On the subject of melee, while it's definitely there with the 50/50s and guesses, I do wonder if the set's primary focus on its mechanics and set cards created a slight disconnect and vagueness in how Pegasus' own melee and combo game would work: I get that he's not supposed to be a proper melee fighter and relies on the chaos of his set cards and chains by activating set cards during his end lag, but it does make it harder to get immersed in some of the set's specifics and more in-depth melee compared to say Wriggle. For example, you could give a sample set-up combo by having Pegasus set a card, back off to Dark Rabbit punch the foe into the card and combo into the set card's attack if it wasn't too slow. This could all be me however, others might get it just fine.

Nonetheless, Pegasus is a great set that lives up to the character hype and I think all those days of work paid off. It's admirable and envious how you can fire off these long, ambitious sets. Beyond being another high-standing set, I think Pegasus stands out from the crowd for his exceedingly unique mechanic, and a character who will hopefully inspire a slew of new yugioh duelists (or monsters).
 

UserShadow7989

Smash Apprentice
Joined
Aug 13, 2007
Messages
178
Slaking FrozenRoy FrozenRoy

A long-standing favorite Pokemon of mine getting a set from a long-standing favorite moveset maker of mine is pretty hype, and it's impressive what you put out in a single day of work. The core mechanic is a neat interpretation of Truant, fitting the flavor of the ability without the issues that would come from a literal translation in a way that's far more interesting than the alternative. The fluff is on-point, conveying a lazy but powerful ape that is capable of bursts of energy despite its disposition.

The mechanic needs the applications of each input to change with whichever mode Slaking is in to be interesting to work, as well as account for flipping between the two with each attack. It does a solid job of it for the most part, going over ways you can combo out of or into moves and the ways the two modes make even the otherwise identical inputs function very differently in practice. The area I feel it's a bit weak is in the throws, and I believe it's where the 'one day set' angle kind of cut into the set's quality; each throw has a basic niche, but some explicitly aren't worth using at all depending on your mode, and Down Throw in specific feels empty.

Despite how basic the material is to work with and the focus on fundamentals, Slaking still fits in some creative inputs. I love the handling of Slack Off, allowing a self-heal effect that doesn't encourage camping or stalling (not that Slaking can really camp) so much as baiting the opponent to approach you when they're being too cagey. Up Special is simple but effective in expanding on the Truant gimmick, making Slaking's recovery either almost entirely vertical or entirely horizontal depending on its current mode. Giga Impact just sounds so satisfying to land, and Hyper Beam gives him a uniquely deadly ranged option that lets him control the stage. Retaliate is also a fun little flavor, an odd mechanic to add for one move, but fits into the toolkit nicely.

Still, there's not a whole lot to say in terms of 'wow' factor; it's a solid set with a neat idea at its core that it explores adequately, but there's no massive twist in the formula, no surprisingly clever application of the mechanic that can only really function with that mechanic, etc. It avoids getting overly complicated (which is a virtue itself), and the meat and potatoes are great, but there's just not much beyond that. It's not really a flawed set so much as one that isn't absurdly good, to the point I didn't have much useful to say about it one way or another.

Ultimately, I think this is a great set for Slaking; you can't really do more with the 'mon without it getting weird or breaking away from the source material- it's not the type of Pokemon to use complex hunting tactics or bizarre and fantastic biology that lets it spit fire or the like, it's a big lazy brute, and you captured that well. Good work!
 

BKupa666

Barnacled Boss
Moderator
Joined
Aug 12, 2008
Messages
7,763
Location
Toxic Tower
TRAFALGAR LAW:
Every now and then, when I'm brainstorming set concepts, I like to revisit classic contest tropes and see if there isn't a way to add a splash of modern paint to their central crux. Whether on purpose or not, I think Law comes about as close as one reasonably can get to a revamp of the Dutchman's Fly. His Room has all the trappings of a more permanent alternate realm, complete with great incorporation of Ultimate's fun KoF walls, without creating a tangible obstruction for foes or devoting too much set real estate to spacing attacks (and the ones that are there, like F-Tilt, are nice moves anyway). It's also not an automatic buff, given that the player needs to have their combo and switch timing down to capitalize on the lower knockback, and successful enemy attacks can make the Room dissipate at any given time. The flipside, of course, is Law's ability to truly go hog wild if an enemy slips up inside — I'm imagining rapid item shell games and having Law repeatedly swap places with his opponent after landing D-Air onstage so as to keep stomping them into oblivion. My one control housekeeping nitpick where the Room is concerned is, if Law throws out a Room too small or not positioned right for his liking, he seems either forced to take a hit or count down the six seconds until it goes away to try again. Some option for de-spawning it early, perhaps with a touch of lag to incentivize smart Room use, would resolve this. Forgot about his ability to exit the Room to de-spawn it - nit unpicked.

Otherwise, I like how some of the Room's best interactions involve spacing such that attacks' knockback kicks in right at its border (i.e. the pillars). The dichotomy between the vital hearts and mediocre chunks sounds fun to play around with, though I wonder whether the potential payoffs from the chunks is worth the time Law has to take summoning and shattering pillars to generate them. It's nice that Law sees the best rewards from smartly using the hearts as miniature hurtbox extensions rather than throwing them offstage, effectively gifting them back to their owners. And the sheathing mechanic is a simple, yet effective way to add intrigue among the standards outside their Room applications, which are a hoot in and of themselves (dash attack to traverse up to a full stage, for one). Outside of F-Smash within Room coming off a bit overtuned (what with the sheer damage output), I think the balance holds up rather well too, which is no small feat, given the need for reasonable KO percentages in two different contexts. Without a doubt your best set yet, Law is high up there among my favorite MYM24 sets to date as well. applause GIF here
 
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ForwardArrow

Smash Journeyman
Joined
Aug 17, 2011
Messages
455
"I want to know, if these idealistic and starry-eyed operators had witnessed those kind and gentle people die one by one, would they still do things the same way, with the same old song and dance? Hey, I'm not trying to look down on anyone. I'm just reminding you, don't just go twisting that person's ideas into some simple-minded mockery."



W
[Music] [2]

W is an early antagonist in Arknights, a tower defense gacha game people basically only care about for story or, uh, "plot" I guess even though the game isn't nearly as fanservice heavy as a lot of its competition. A woman who doesn't remember so much as her birthday or birth name, fairly little is known about her early history, mostly just that she's been involved in the Kazdel civil war for a very long time. Taking up the name W after taking the weapons of a previous mercenary who went by that name, She's known for being a very ruthless and sadistic demolitions expert.

W tends not to get along well with her comrades, whether she's on the antagonists side, or teaming up with the Doctor(the player character of the game) later on, as basically nobody likes the fact that she's kind of a wildcard and doesn't come across as having much of a moral compass at all. Despite that, as you might've guessed from teaming up with the Doctor, she's not strictly villainous, her motivation actually being, from what we have of it, a loyalty to the former Sarkaz Queen Theresa. Theresa was a gentle soul who was trying to stop her brother in the civil war, but ultimately got killed in operation the Doctor was supposedly heavily involved in before his amnesia. After it? W displays a surprising willingness to work with the guy, although she makes it very clear that as soon as he gets his memories back, they're going to have several problems. Between that and a couple moments of kindness to both Amiya, the Doctor's surrogate "daughter" of sorts, and a couple sick children she finds out in the ruins of a city, W ends up coming across as more ruthlessly pragmatic than a psychopath without a care for anyone's safety including her own. That's not to say she's pleasant to work with though, and how noble her true intentions are still hasn't been entirely revealed yet.

In gameplay, W is a very strong Sniper who clears out enemies with large amounts of AoE damage. She deals extra damage to stunned targets, throws out grenades and landmines to intercept foes approaching(and also stunning them), and her main skill is the D12, a time bomb mine she attaches to several nearby enemies at once. Overlapping D12 blasts combine their damage, which makes her exceptionally good at clearing out a bunch of enemies at once. Of course, she's limited to only be accessible via the stupid gambling mechanics for a short time because gacha is terrible, so a lot of players will end up doing without her.

[My intent is to include more quotes, but I haven't picked them all out ATM, so the presentation's a bit incomplete.]

Statistics

W is ultimately pretty unremarkable in stature, being 165cm (5'5") in height, which we'll translate to about a pixel taller than Marth's height, basically the same size as him for all intents and purposes. A nimble fighter, W has one of the faster ground speeds in the game, a tiny bit below Charizard and Ridley but a bit better than Banjo Kazooie at 2.19, 12th place. Her air speed, by comparison, is not as good but still reasonably fast at 1.11, tying Fox, but her aerial control is a little slippery. Her fall speed is actually kind of ridiculous though, at 2.02 its the second fastest in the game after Fox... and she has a better fastfall than him. Her fall speed increase is a whopping 80%, so she fastfalls at 3.64. This is a bit of a blessing and a curse, but the extra fast fastfall is mostly just a blessing, for what its worth.

See, W is not just saddled with Fox's high fall speed, she has the same horrible weight as him of 77 on a larger character model. Sure, her jumps are pretty good, particularly her first jump, but the fall speed combined with an average at best recovery move makes her prone to dying alarmingly early in a lot of matchups. Its the price she pays for her good movement, sadly. Hey, if it helps, W has not just a very low to the ground crawl, but one that moves a bit faster than the usual crawl, so she has a bit of extra ability to sneak in under attacks.

Specials

"Mercenaries are efficient instruments of war; like fast food, ready to eat and easily disposable."
Neutral Special - D12
Taking out a bomb which looks like a small black slab with a few buttons on it, W tosses it forward in a low arc. This arc can be angled up and down with a decent amount of precision based on how hard you tilt the control stick in those directions during the start up of the toss. By default the bomb will fly forward 1.2 battlefield platforms, but angled a bit further up it can be thrown as far forward as 1.6 battlefield platforms, though the minimum and maximum height tosses will only send it forward less than half a battlefield platform, the maximum height toss sending it up 2 Ganondorf heights into the air before falling to the ground as a bit of a lingering threat while the downward version just basically smacks it straight into the ground in front of her. This move comes out on Frame 18, but the ending lag is actually quite low so the prospect of throwing out a large number of mines is possible, you just need to keep the foe out of your face while doing it.

The bombs do not explode on contact, they're time bombs that tick down over 6 seconds, a visible countdown appearing over the bomb once it lands as a floating red number that ticks down over time. Once the timer ticks down all the way, the bomb will explode in a Bowser-sized blast that deals... 7% and pretty low upwards knockback that's not going to kill anytime soon. Mind you, that's a big blast radius and on an attack that's not really that hard to throw out, but given the countdown is telegraphed and the start lag is a bit high, you might be expecting a bit more from it. Well the fun part of this attack is the bombs do stick to basically anything except for W herself, and they don't damage her when they explode. Opponents, minions, walls, platforms, stage hazards, even solid projectiles if you're feeling adventurous in a team battle. Toss a bomb out, let Link's arrows fly through it and stick the opponent with an additional problem to worry about, potentially! If a bomb latched onto an explosive, the other explosive will set it off in a chain reaction, ignoring its usual 6 second countdown.

Probably the most important thing a bomb can stick to is the opponent, where it will latch onto them as a time bomb that once its on, the opponent can't get off. They can, however, dodge or shield to prevent the damage from happening, and only one D12 can stick to an opponent at a time. This is, however, quite potent for forcing the opponent to dodge or shield on a particular window, which means W can capitalize on the opponent's brief vulnerability during that time.

If W tosses out more than one bomb in the 6 second countdown, the other bombs she tosses out in that timeframe will all have the same countdown, exploding all at the same time at the end. This on paper means if W throws out a bunch of bombs, the opponent is only going to have to worry about one timing window for all of them going off, making it less overwhelming to dodge/shield all the explosions going off at once. That said, there is a perk to D12 that should be kept in mind. If its hitbox overlaps with another explosive hitbox, the area of overlap actually becomes deadlier, increasing in damage by 5% for each overlapping D12 explosion with the original, while also bolstering the knockback. 2 overlapping D12 explosions will kill at around 170%, 3 will kill at 130%, 4 will kill at 100%, 5 will kill at 75%, and while its probably impractical to ever manage more than that due to requiring 6+ different explosions to overlap at the same point and basically having W commit most of her time during that countdown to placing bombs in one centralized location, it will start killing stupid early at that point. If for some ungodly reason the blast overlaps with an explosion that only deals 1-2%, it will just deal its default damage rather than a reduced amount. If an opponent is hit by 4 or more blasts overlapping with this, W will let out a sadistic laugh as the opponent is presumably blasted to pieces, enjoying the end result of her handiwork.

There's an additional benefit here I figure I should mention, that being a passive mechanic of W's, Insult to Injury. If W hits an opponent with an attack that deals 10% or more(base damage, not factoring in buffs or stale moves) while the opponent is in hitstun, the damage will be multiplied by 1.2x on top of its base value, and in the case of some moves in W's set, you'll get a bonus effect for triggering it too. This is not one of them, you just get a damage multiplier, but that will boost the KO potential of this move all the further, and it basically means comboing into the delayed explosion is an even better and more encouraged option than usual. Especially considering W doesn't take damage from her own explosives, so its not like you're risking your own hide to do so. The benefits of this kinda go both ways too, W can potentially lay out bombs covering a huge swath of the stage and let the hitstun of the delayed blast combo right into one of her stronger moves to get Insult to Injury bonuses. This move offers some pretty incredible stage control, setups, and situationally even kill potential, but keep in mind the lack of an immediate hitbox, high start lag, and predictable activation window make it so W can't just win a match by carelessly throwing around D12s.

Down Special - Jack in the Box
Taking out another bomb, this one a small blinking red mine, W buries it in the ground a bit like Snake's Brawl Down Smash, albeit with a fair bit less lag as she swiftly kicks up some dirt with her boot and slams the mine into it. This move can be charged to increase its power at set intervals, after 20 frames of charge W will take out a second mine and put it in alongside the first one to produce a bigger blast, and after 60 frames of charge, she'll instead decide to take out an alarmingly large, glowing yellow mine and put it in the ground with a sadistic giggle. The mines linger in the stage 8 seconds, which is a certainly a while, but the area you step on to trigger them is actually rather tiny, making it rather precise for the opponent to trigger them. So while 8 seconds is an eternity in Smash time, its perfectly possible for the opponent to weave around Jack in the Box for that long. She can have up to 3 of these out on stage though, which, combined with Neutral Special, leaves W with some hilariously expansive if somewhat flawed trapping capabilities.

The strength of the blast is determined by what stage of charge W had before planting the mine. If it was an uncharged mine, the explosion is quite tiny and only deals 5% and small diagonal knockback that will just pop the opponent a bit up and forward. If its the double mine, this will instead deal 10% and stronger diagonal knockback that will KO at 200%, with an explosion about half the size of Kirby. If its the yellow, glowing mine, the blast will deal 16% and diagonal knockback that KOs at 120% while producing a Wario-sized blast, which is actually pretty scary of a trap all on its own. W cannot trigger her own mines, unlike Snake, and will not be hit by their blast, but they are set off by other explosive hitboxes. Standing near a yellow Jack in the Box mine when a bunch of nearby D12 mines go off is kind of a death sentence once you consider how those hitboxes will stack their damage, and on a more casually threatening note, it means a foe with a D12 mine stuck to them will get KOed quite a bit earlier by any Jack in the Box mines they stumble into.

W's Insult to Injury mechanic has a special effect on this attack, changing the on-hit effect. Instead of dealing damage, it'll deal a stun, along the lines of what W's explosives actually do in Arknights. The strength of the stun depends on the strength of the mine. If the minimum strength mine is buffed up to deal 10% or more it'll put the foe in 20 frames of stun, the double mine will put the foe in 30 frames of stun, and the yellow mine will put them in 50, nearly a full second! During the whole duration of this stun, mind you, they are vulnerable to Insult to Injury effects, so you can get some additional scary benefits out of this with whatever free hit you get. The stun will not trigger in place of knockback if the foe is over 200%/130%/80% depending on which variant of the mine was used, but given it'll either send the foe flying or outright kill them at those percents, you probably won't find yourself complaining too much.

The fact that this is an explosive allows it to stack up its power with the D12 mines, as was previously mentioned, but also set them off outside their usual timing window, a trait that's a bit hard to find in W's moveset. Mixing together D12 mines and Jack in the Box mines in your trapping setups can mean slipping up on even a minimum charge Jack in the Box mine can set off a bunch of explosions around the foe to deal some actually impressive damage and knockback, making them scarier depending on how W has littered the stage around them. The different trigger conditions means the foe has to keep in mind both the countdown and not stepping on the explosives, and avoiding two conditions at once can be quite the challenge with W breathing down the foe's neck with her own attacks, not to mention that putting out minimum charge explosives is actually pretty fast for W and she can have enough on them on the stage that regardless of their small coverage, they're a surprisingly big nuisance. And of course, a bunch of D12 bombs centered around a yellow jack in the box mine is just a hideously powerful KO move, if you have 3 that overlap with its explosion you'll kill at 50%. That's a lot to spend on a temporary setup that only has such obscene kill power over a small space, but if W knocks the foe into that mine, Master Hand's going to have his work cut out for him cleaning up the stage after that.

Side Special - King of Hearts
With a focused, serious look on her face, W takes out her grenade launcher, lining up a shot and firing over a starting lag of 54 frames. Firing off the grenade with about 0.3 battlefield platforms with of kickback, which won't send her over the ledge if she's standing at one, the grenade goes rocketing forward 2.5 battlefield platforms in a slight arc before it collides with the ground(or going forward another 0.5 battlefield platforms if it goes into the air off stage, descending about Wario's height further in the process). This grenade explodes in a Wario-sized blast deals 20% and horizontal and slightly upwards knockback that KOs at 90%, making this a devastating long range KO move. The projectile also travels really fast, about 0.85x the speed of Fox's laser. That said, with lag like that, at face value, this is really only usable on foes off the ledge, and even then its a bit limited since you can't angle it or anything. That said, if you're the kinda guy who likes cheesing offstage opponents with Ridley's fireball stream, this is considerably more devastating than that move when it does work out.

This is the third move in W's trifecta of explosive specials, meaning it can set off chain reactions with your D12 explosives, and stack power with them. Its probably not what you'd want as far as moves that set off her explosions all in one go due to being so impractically laggy and with the grenade landing so far away, and you do have a final alternative in one of W's smashes, but the huge range and power this move has provides its share of perks. You could, say, fire this at the foe, and if they dodge, a chain of D12 mines set off by the explosion will come hit them out of their dodge, serving as a consolation prize and maybe letting you close in for a combo, as the end lag on this move isn't too bad as W quickly puts her grenade launcher away. And this move deals 1.25x shield damage, which is already pretty nice on its own merits, but gets better when you factor in that if the D12 damage increase is applied to this move, the shield damage multiplier is applied to that too, letting this move potentially power up enough to one shot shields outright. The blast also lingers a little bit, not long enough to fully beat dodges but definitely make the timing window a little trickier. All this factored together means that even if this move comes out very slow, launching this with other explosives absolutely demands respect because of the potentially horrific kill power and its respectable anti-defense properties.

There's also a part of W's Insult to Injury mechanic I haven't mentioned until now, and that's that every time you successfully pull it off, a red slash appears on W's icon. For each red slash you get from this, maxing out at 5, this move gets faster as W looks more and more manic using this move, giggling to herself if she gets 2-4 stacks and laughing loudly and maniacally at 5. The start lag decreases to 45 frames with 1 stack, 35 frames with 2, 28 frames with 3, 21 frames with 4, and 11 frames with 5. Yeah, if you land Insult to Injury 5 times, an attack that hits across the entire stage and gets tons of benefits for being an explosive becomes non-reactable, which is absolutely terrifying and will put the fear of god into any opponent. The good news for the foe is once W uses this move, she loses all stacks of Insult to Injury she built up whether or not she hits with this, and she also loses them on death, so you get one chance to pull this off. And its more than a bit risky to build up to a super fast version of this move when W's so light and vulnerable to combos/early off stage death due to her fall speed, so while the reward is insane, you are going to have to earn it.

Landing this move's own Insult to Injury bonus is really difficult when its so laggy, at least unless you've shaved its lag down considerably. That said, it actually gets a bigger bonus from Insult to Injury than usual, upping the move's damage to 30% and letting it kill at 50%. Due to the move's range you could use some of the faster versions of it to follow up a launcher potentially, but without the ability to aim it its very situational you'll pull it off, but sometimes it can be pulled off in combination with lingering D12 explosives too. The easiest way to do it is to chain it off an Insult to Injury mine that you knocked the foe into, which certainly requires some precision but is devastating when you pull it off. Of course, if you have the 5 stack version of this move ready, you can just straight up try to combo into it, that's a thing you can do and its disgusting.

Up Special - Ambush
Bracing herself for a split second, W leaps upward at a 70 degree angle, traveling nearly 1.7x as far as Ganondorf's Up Special. Not only does this go much further than said move, you can also angle it further forward to have this move fling W forward at a 45 degree angle and come down closer toward the ground at the end, or at a 20 degree angle of initial velocity that actually leaves her below her initial height by the end of the attack. That last one isn't the best for recoveries other than strictly horizontal ones, but its actually a fantastic on-stage option for reasons we'll get into, and it does at least give W some pretty impressive recovery distance. During the later half of the leap W wildly lashes her tail about to attempt to grab onto an opponent, stabbing into them and coiling around them to put them in a grab hitbox like Ganondorf's Up Special if it hits them. Unlike said move, it actually has a good bit of range beyond W's body... but it only activates in the second half of her leap, so the first half of her jump is left without any sort of hitbox, and being a grab hitbox its not the best for defensive purposes even when it does come out.

When W latches onto the foe, she'll drag them along for the rest of her flight path before flinging them off her tail for knockback at a similar angle to her flight path(about 10 degrees lower than it as her leap levels off in angle at the end) that KOs at 170% and 12%. If W is using the low angle version and she manages to crash into a main platform with this, she'll slam the foe into the ground before releasing them, bumping the damage to 16% and the knockback to KOing at 130% at a low horizontal angle. This is good as is, but when you factor in that W can follow up with King of Hearts to intercept the foe's recovery that low horizontal angle becomes particularly scary, nevermind that it really messes with bad recoveries like the Belmonts and Mac. If W collides with the side of the stage like this, she'll stagespike the foe off the side with the same knockback, which is actually a pretty devastating quality for this move to have against foes who don't have particularly good recoveries(and at high percents, even those that do). Once W releases the foe, her Up Special is refreshed, comparably to Ganondorf and Falcon's Up Specials.

W's recovery is definitely a mixed bag, as it has good distance and is reasonably versatile, but its easy to interrupt at all phases, which is pretty bad for her with her low weight and high fall speed. Its particularly easy to interrupt in the first half of the leap, and the second half is only protected by a grab hitbox, albeit one with some decent reach. With that said, its a bit of a scary recovery to intercept, because if the foe whiffs on the interception attempt W could easily slam them into the side of the stage and stagespike them, coming at the foe from an angle they didn't expect by suddenly fastfalling and going at a higher angle than it looked like she'd recover from. Her ability to suddenly fastfall and then go at a different angle can also mess up some attempts to ledgeguard or 2-frame W, though this is a mindgame that will only come up sometimes and if the foe predicts it they won't have too much trouble gimping W.

The low angle version has a pretty important side benefit of being a way to grab and drag the foe into your bomb setups, potentially even smacking the foe right into a mine if you position particularly well. Given when the grab hitbox comes out its not like you have Ridley's Side Special for dragging people around, but its still a significant boon when W can put the foe right in line for a blast that deals another 20%+ and has impressive KO potential right out of the Up Special's grab. The low angle horizontal knockback of a hit against a foe that gets knocked into the ground is also pretty handy for flinging the foe into setups across the stage at low-mid percents, potentially reversing a ledgeguard situation pretty hard by putting the foe in the midst of a minefield. If the foe ends up offstage, hey, that's a free chance to get a good bomb setup on the ledge to make recovering awful, or to go for Side Special.

Getting Insult to Injury on this move is tricky as you'd probably expect, activating if W hits the grab hitbox while the foe is already in hitstun. Yeah, the move comes out fast and W also travels fast, but the fact that it has a blindspot for the first half of its range means if you combo into it, it will be out of moves with higher knockback at very specific percents or off an explosive. If W does land it, not only will she get the damage buff, after the foe takes their knockback W will toss a throwing knife after the foe with almost no lag as the Insult to Injury bonus! This knife deals a bit higher hitstun than usual and 5% and is aimed at the foe's exact angle of knockback, likely to hit them at the end of it until the attack is nearing KO percents. The extra hitstun the foe takes at the end of their knockback lets W close in on the foe much more easily, going for an aerial pursuit, a second Up Special(at very specific percents you can true combo two Insult to Injury Up Specials together, which will probably leave the foe quite far offstage and give 2 stacks of it for King of Hearts), a better bomb setup than usual, or just a higher chance of blasting the foe to smithereens with Side Special, particularly a well prepared one. Suffice to say, W has a huge advantage off an Insult to Injury Up Special, especially a horizontally angled one, and the prospect of getting comboed into this is one of the things foes have to fear the most if they get hit by a weaker explosive.

Aerials

"A mercenary's leadership focuses on practicality. Don't expect me to babysit others."

Neutral Aerial - Tail Spin
W curls up a bit and spins her tail around her in a clockwise circle, an excitable grin on her face as she spins through the air. This is a fast move on both ends that covers all around W's body while decreasing the size of her hurtbox momentarily, dealing 8% on W's body and the tail and 11% at the tail tip, which has an exaggerated black and red glow to it during this move to indicate the sweetspot. Regardless of which part of the move you hit with, the foe is dealt diagonally upwards knockback, fairly weak knockback that can maybe chain into another hit at very low percents but mostly just gets the foe out of your face. The tip's knockback is a fair bit more potent, KOing at 180% at the center stage and more reasonable percentages like 130% at the ledge. This is an all around solid melee option that mostly just suffers from having mediocre combo ability, though the sourspot can at least confirm into Fair or another Nair off W's second jump, and 45 degree Up Special at higher percents.

The sweetspot of this move has a pretty potent Insult to Injury effect, in that it causes W's tail to impale into the opponent as she spins, before flinging them off it with her momentum in the direction she's spinning. This effectively gives this move customizable knockback depending on what angle you hit it from, albeit with the caveat the opponent both had to already be in some kind of hitstun, and W has to sweespot it, so this isn't trivial to pull off despite this move being so fast. Comboing into this move out of another Nair or Uair(W's easiest aerial to combo into this), it will mostly end up incidental if you get the exact angle you want from it, but if the foe is in a longer or more telegraphed period of stun, say a D12 mine going off next to them or attached to their body, taking the Insult to Injury effect of a landmine, or dealing with the aftereffects of Fair, you get a shot to pick out what direction they end up flying in. How good the end result of that is depends on how good your bomb setups are, though this move is pretty potent even without that.

Specifically, downward angles out of this move are kind of a godsend. Spiking the opponent into the ground at any angle will often leave them in enough hitstun for W to follow up with attacks that would normally be a bit too laggy or weirdly angled to combo into, which is fantastic for getting off additional Insult to Injury bonuses. When we get to it, Dair is one of the better things to do with this, as it could even lead back into Nair again at a different angle for a string of 3 bouts of Insult to Injury. Of course, the potency of spiking them into the ground with this is magnified when the ground is littered with mines to get an even higher level of hitstun and damage out of this, provided you can hit them directly into one of said mines. Putting them on platforms will also increase the number of angles this move can get some deadly combos out of.

Forward Aerial - Pincushion
W stabs forward with her tail furiously three times in an animation that mirrors Ridley's FAir pretty directly, before whipping out her combat knife and darting forward slightly to shiv the opponent with it. The way this move's hitboxes work is actually fairly complex, so we'll break it down step by step. The body of W's tail deals 3 hits of 2%, the brief multihit letting her drag foes a little bit for positioning purposes, and each hit deals a flinch. The last hit with the knife deals 10% and knockback that KOs at the ledge about 5% earlier than Nair's sweetspot does. The problem with this move is that the first 3 tail stabs do not true combo into the shiv, W taking just a tad too long on the final stab so the opponent gets a chance to weave around it, although the margin is very slim. You can easily end up getting punished for this maneuver if you completely fail to use this move's hitboxes properly, but fortunately W's extreme fast fall does give her an emergency escape plan if she goes for a Fair and fails to sweetspot any of the hits.

Each of the tail stabs has a small sweetspot, indicated the same way they are in Nair with the slight red and black glow. These deal 3% per hit, and the first 2 don't otherwise function differently than if you hit the sourspot, but rather have an effect on the third hit and fourth hits of the move. Each sweetspot you land buffs the hitstun of the 3rd hit and the knockback of the fourth. This is, suffice to say, exceptionally difficult. Its one thing to land a small sweetspot on one hit(something you'll actually pull off incidentally reasonably often), its another to land the small sweetspot on all three hits in succession, and even two is a real challenge. With that said, the rewards are pretty insane for an aerial that comes out on Frame 7.

If you land one sweetspot, you guarantee a combo into the stab with the hitstun, which now kills at about 110% at the ledge, which is pretty strong for an aerial and also gets you a guarunteed Insult to Injury self-contained in one move, which is pretty nice for speeding up Side Special without any fancy combos or bomb setups. If you land two sweetspots, the hitstun will be quite high, enough that if you cancel out of the last hit by landing you can go into a Nair to position the foe to your liking, or go into quite a number of W's ground moves. The knockback now kills at 80% at the ledge, which is extremely strong and a worthy reward for pulling this off. If you get all three sweetspots, the third hit will deal a ton of hitstun that will confirm into a huge chunk of W's set if you cancel the lag on landing, situationally even the mighty King of Hearts if you've made it fast enough which is unbelievably devastating for a casual combo out of an aerial. You won't even need max stacks King of Hearts to do it, unlike most of your other combos into that move. If you're not comboing some ridiculous move out of this though, Fair's final hit will do just fine, because it now kills at 75%... at center stage. That said you'd need an unbelievably good read on the opponent's positioning to pull this hit off, since again you have to land three precise sweetspots off one attack, which is incredibly difficult.

The obvious flaw with this move is despite coming out quickly enough and having low-ish end lag, its extremely unsafe. If you don't confirm any sweetspots the opponent might be able to punish you for whiffing the final hit, or if you whiff the third hit in general as that's where the attack's critical hitstun lies. And it might not be a traditionally laggy attack, but the duration is awfully high, so whiffing it entirely can sometimes risk a heavy punish, making this much riskier to throw out than most aerials. It can, at least, catch dodges with the final knife hit, and while you won't get all the Insult to Injury or heightened knockback benefits you'll at least get a decent spacer. And if you can accept the risk factor, this is a fast move that deals 19% and gets you a free stack of Insult to Injury by itself if you sweetspot just one hit, which isn't that hard to do.

Landing a triple sweetspot is really hard, we've established that, but W can make things easier on herself with her Jack in the Box mines and D12 bombs. An opponent hit by either of those will set up this attack to land 2-3 sweetspots more easily as a hitbox with lag completely disjointed from W's. which is certainly one of the scarier combo results you can get, though the foe should have enough control over their movement after the first hit that you can only really guarantee the one and very rarely two sweetspots with very good aim. That said, D12s and Jack in the Boxes will also create a situation where the opponent may be forced between a rock and a hard place, as particularly in the case of the latter they'll have to weave to try and avoid them while W is throwing out Fairs, making their movements more predictable and potentially leaving them with no choice but to either take multiple sweetspots or a powerful explosion. This is a little situational when the mines are groundbound, so its not something you can just assume you'll be able to take advantage of when you're throwing out Fairs all the time, but W can drop quite a number of explosives on the stage so its potentially more omnipresent than you might think if she's got a good setup going.

Up Aerial - Cut and Boot
In a swift motion, W swings her tail over her head to slice opponents as she flips over, her legs following the motion in a flipkick. This is a two-hit move, her tail dealing 4% and brief hitstun and basically no knockback, while her legs deal 6% and light upwards knockback that won't scale to kill until ridiculous percentages. This move's high speed is its main selling point, coming out very fast, but the double hit means its decent at catching dodges, and it combos into Nair up until mid percentages. Considering Nair has a pretty potent effect if you hit with the sweetspot and its a very fast move comboing into an Insult to Injury option, this is a very respectable move that can punish foes trying to go over W very easily. Given her fall speed, in particular her fast fall, W is better at sneaking under opponents to make use of this move than anyone else in Ultimate's cast, so her having such a potent Uair is a pretty solid addition to her air game. There is one area where her fall speed works against her, and that's that you don't really want to cancel out of the Uair by landing in the middle of the second hit. Given the hits come out in quick succession this is mostly just something you worry about if you badly time it out of a shorthop, but it won't give you nearly the frame advantage you'd hope for out of this move if you just land the one hit as her landing lag is a bit longer than the usual end lag.

Obviously this is a very simple move, but it does play well with W's other tools. Obviously if you land the right part of the hitbox at the right percent, you can actually go into a spiking Nair with this, which is a scary offstage kill tool if a somewhat situational one. It can also, of course, spike them into a minefield, which is the second thing that benefits from this attack. W's mines are, for the most part, entirely groundbound except for the brief period D12s are flying through the air to latch on as time bombs or explode at the end of the countdown. Opponents are going to want to take to the air to get around them, and while W's Uair won't usually send them back to earth(the Nair spike combos are not particularly reliable even if they are potent when you pull them off), W can potentially chain quite a bit of damage juggling or comboing foes with this, and its raw speed combined with the potential for it to chain into something fearsome on occasion with Nair makes it quite threatening to opponents trying to go over W's setups. If you hit with this at the right angle at mid-high percents, sometimes you can even chain this into Nair's sweetspot and then go for a 50/50 Up Special, which can put the foe very close to death afterwards, and even combo this move itself into Up Special at around 150% for a late kill confirm.

Down Aerial - Tail Hook
Briefly pulling her tail back, W stabs it down forcefully, dealing 13% and a fairly strong spike that kills foes from a groundbounce at about 170%. This attack has noticeably extended hitlag on hitting a foe, comparable to something like Zelda's Fair sweetspot. While a decently high range spike with solid power, this move comes out on Frame 16, so its slow enough to be reactable, and the hitbox is slender enough opponents can easily weave around it. That said, when you can litter the stage with landmines that are extra dangerous if you knock the foe into them, this move has a fair bit of extra utility compared to what spikes are capable of for most other characters, and its a pretty scary threat to opponents at the ledge with its range, especially in conjunction with W's other stage control elements. The end lag on this is actually fairly low, conditionally allowing W to fastfall and Nair the opponent for a true combo even if she didn't spike them into a mine, which can be useful as the Nair angle you get from falling on the foe is pretty much strictly horizontal and can shove them along the stage into a field of D12s or Jack in the Box mines.

Given the start lag, this is a bit of a hard attack to get Insult to Injury off with. D12s and Jack in the Box explosives are the easiest way to pull it off, but sometimes an Insult to Injury Nair or just your Fair will set this up as well. That said, if you do manage to land it, W will get an interesting benefit, she'll be able to swing off the foe in any direction during the hitlag by tapping that direction, flying forward between 0.6-1.6 battlefield platforms depending on how hard you tilted the direction. There are two ways to make use of this, and the easier one is to give W some extra space. Fling off far away from the foe who is taking their own knockback in the moment and just start throwing out a bunch of mines between you and them. W's setup is pretty temporary, so sometimes you'll just want to be able to convert off this to get back to it faster at exactly the part of the stage you want it to be on, taking over the middle of the stage, a platform, or ledges depending on what's most useful to you once the opponent's recovered from the knockback.

Of course, you can also go on the aggressive, as the low end lag of this move(which actually gets cut a little more if you land the Insult to Injury variant as a bonus) plus the ability to come at the foe from any direction afterwards lets you convert off it in many ways you couldn't before. Rather than having one specific Nair sweetspot angle you can pull off, the ability to direct where W's positioned after this move means you can combo this into a huge variety of Nair angles on the opponent, possibly letting you continue the chain into yet another Insult to Injury hit from another move for a total of 3, piling on heavy damage and immensely cutting the lag of Side Special's next shot. You can also convert this into various ground moves, such as FTilt, UTilt, and even occasionally Up Smash and Forward Smash, by flinging W into the ground after spiking the foe down there. Depending on how fast Side Special is, it can serve as a 50/50 with the forward facing options against a grounded opponent, or this can serve as a way to kill the opponent by comboing into it if you have 5 Insult to Injury stacks. You can also leap back in at an opponent who got groundbounced at certain percents for an Insult to Injury Up Special, which is another frighteningly powerful option.

Back Aerial - Into the Ground
Taking her combat knife out, W swings it in an arc behind her from top to bottom, in a fairly quick aerial that deals 8% and diagonally upwards knockback that KOs at 245%. This is a rather quick and spammable aerial, linking into itself at very low percents, although by virtue of its direction it doesn't combo into all that much. That said, it does serve a practical purpose of forcing off opponents who crossed up behind W, and while the knockback does have an upward component you can still use this to pressure opponents towards mines behind W, as the upward component is only at a 30 degree angle and the knockback is low enough at low percentages that a couple hits of this can just "push" the opponent across the stage where you want them to be. If you're worried about this tactic being too predictable, feel free to mix in Nairs, although those won't do the work of pushing the opponent where you want to do without a combo, but if you're willing to sacrifice the whole "pressure them into your setup" gameplan or have stuff threatening foes on both sides on the ground, its a perfectly viable way to mix the opponent up a bit.

The fun thing about this attack is what happens if you land during it, this turns into a more potent move, as W will plunge the knife into the ground at the end, stabbing into a grounded for a much higher 13% and knockback that KOs at 145% at the same angle as the regular version, which is fairly scary at the ledge for how fast this comes out. The cost is, of course, W takes higher ending lag as she needs to yank her knife out of the ground, making this very punishable. This is where W's high fall speed comes in and makes this move more threatening, especially with her fast fall. At super low percents you can chain the weaker version into the stronger one near the ground for a fast Insult to Injury proc, though that quickly stops being an option once you get past 15% or so. That said, using your fast fall speed to be opportunistic can let W suddenly punish a foe who thought crossing her up would be low risk because her Down Smash doesn't hit both sides, or because all or most of her mine coverage is in front of her. The high end lag makes it pretty bad if you whiff this, so you're going to want to be an opportunist with it, but the fact that a decent aerial KO move comes baked into an otherwise fast option is pretty helpful for W.

If you land the Insult to Injury variant of this move, the key thing that changes is the knockback goes from a 35 degree angle to an 8 degree one. That combined with the damage increase is a combination of things W really likes, putting opponents very close to the ground for all kinds of mine shenanigans and in line for a Side Special offstage. The other nice thing is that compared to some of the more niche options, you have a wider arrange of angles and percentages where landing this out of Nair and especially Dair is possible, there's a wide range of angles and locations this combos out of an Insult to Injury Dair in particular.

Smashes

"Did you see that guy's face just now? That absolute despair when he realized he was going to get blown apart and couldn't do a thing about it, have you ever seen anything funnier?"

Forward Smash - Brutal Stab
Rearing her tail back, W stabs her tail forward, it actually having a bit of exaggerated length during this move as her longest reaching tail attack. There's also a noticeable red and black glow to W's tail during this move, emphasizing the power of the strike. This has 17 frames of start up and deals 15%-21%, with low angle knockback that kills at 130%-90%. This is a decent KO move, with its good reach and not particularly hefty start lag for a smash, but it will KO a bit later than W usually wants too, though it will certainly suffice at a ledge. If you're looking to punish a dodge of a D12 explosion, this is one of your best tools to do so, as it has a bit of extra reach your attacks don't usually get and isn't super laggy like Down Smash or Side Special so you don't need a hell of a read to pull it off.

17 frames of start lag is a lot to get an Insult to Injury hit with, to the point you're basically going to be relying on hitting a foe into a mine to pull it off, or another trick that we'll bring up in Down Tilt. If W does get it off though, her tail will impale through the foe and hook into them, taking W along for the ride as they take their knockback, and leaving her at the end with a pretty sizeable frame advantage over the foe, enough to go into Nair or Fair as a combo out of this. If the foe would go off the blast zone from this, W will let go briefly before they do, preventing this move from being a suicide as her recovery will be enough to get her back to the ledge pretty safely at the point she lets go. This is pretty scary because W will be easily able to get into Nair's sweetspot range, and at the angle she'll hit the foe? That's a spike. That 130% KO percent is suddenly looking to come a lot earlier, especially if you pull this off near a ledge, although Nair's spiking properties aren't super powerful and many foes will be able to recover just fine from this until percentages where you could start killing with Insult to Injury Side Special, at least. As for Little Mac mains, all I can say is W is kind of a sadist and you guys brought this on yourselves.

For the record, the Insult to Injury bonus of this is still really good on foes who don't end up knocked off stage with this, because Nair spiking the foe into the stage basically guarunteed out of this is an easy way to smack them down into mines or subsequent combos, you can pull off some pretty scary strings with this if you get some good reads off the first Nair spike even without a mine where at that point you might very well max out your Insult to Injury stacks in one string.

Going into Fair with this is also scary, because you'll get at least one sweetspot off pretty much guaranteed, and while that doesn't necessarily kill as early as a spike it still supplements this move's already high knockback to KO quite early. However, if you did end up offstage with a foe after using this move, you could always succeed at double or triple sweetspotting Fair if you read the foe well, which is why going for this as a hail mary will let you sometimes just kill at absolutely hilarious percentages like 20%-30%... but you won't have any mines to help you. You just have to land an already hard technique to pull off, and then read the opponent well enough to land multiple sweetspots. At the very least you get a consolation prize of putting the foe far off stage if you only land one, but W will need to go recover at that point unless she wants to play REALLY risky with the prospect of recovering. Fair can also produce even more devastating strings than Nair if you go for it above the stage, as while its not guarunteed the higher stun could go into a SECOND Forward Smash if you pull off the triple sweetspot, which is absolutely disgusting. If you've got a mine placed where the foe will have some issues DIing, that prospect is worth going for, but if you're not confident in your ability to outread the opponent, Fair with just one sweetspot is usually less potent than Nair.

As far as "follow the opponent's knockback with your own movement" options go, this does have some overlap with Dair on paper, but where Dair can go into a pretty wide variety of options, none of them are as immediately terrifying as what Forward Smash does to an opponent. It also doesn't have any easy setups while Dair can be used out of Insult to Injury Nair, to use this you better react fast to a foe getting smacked into a mine or there isn't really much of a chance to pull it off. Given the upwards knockback of D12s and Jack in the Boxes, its pretty hard to even combo this off those normally as this attack only hits straight forward, but on stages with platforms its not impossible to pull that off, which is probably the scariest thing about fighting W on a platform heavy stage, even if she does have to spread her mines thinner.

Up Smash - Gouge
Taking out her combat knife and bracing her tail, W stabs both of them above herself in an X-shape, in an attack that comes out on Frame 13. The majority of this hitbox deals 14%-19% and diagonally upwards knockback that KOs at 130%-95%, but there's a sweetspot where her blade and tail will intersect through the foe at the same time that deals a much more frightening 18%-25% and upwards knockback that KOs at 80%-45%. This move's range is a bit lackluster for a Smash as W can't really extend her knife or tail all that far with this motion, and the sweetspot is pretty specific, but despite that the power and speed of this move makes it a solid anti-air option against opponents trying to get over W's minefield. If you want something a bit less specific to hit with and more combo oriented, Up Aerial is pretty easy to mix in, but the threat of a 13 frame move that kills at 80% certainly gives the foe more reason to approach you through your minefield. For that matter, if they do keep taking aerial approaches to you, it will make them a fair bit more predictable and as such lead into quite a few more instances of W managing to sweetspot this move for early kills. The end lag is also not too bad, whiffing this will get you punished for sure but its not necessarily a death sentence.

The sweetspot has an added perk that makes it even more frightening, because its not just for killing. It also creates a visible blood spray when it hits the opponent, and leaves them with a large wound on their body that bleeds(bleeding oil/appropriately colored essence on characters who don't have normal blood). This deals the foe 1% per second for 5 seconds, meaning in practice the sweetspot will deal 23%-30% to opponents in total over time. That said, every time you hit the foe for more than 5%, the duration of the bleed is increased by a second, so combo strings can actually buff the damage this deals in total a bit further. But if you want to really get mileage out of this, you have to land Insult to Injury hits on the opponent, because every time you land one, the damage per second this deals increases by 1%. A couple Insult to Injury hits getting weaved in on a bleeding opponent suddenly means they're taking an extra 30% or so off this sweetspot, often meaning one sweetspot of this move will do like half the work to get the opponent to kill percents by itself, with whatever combos you pulled off doing the other half of the work. That means even when you have the foe as low as 0%-10%, opponents absolutely do not want to get hit by the sweetspot of this move, making it all that much scarier for the foe to commit entirely to aerial approaches. Of course, you do have to pull off some clever combos to get a ton of damage out of this, but that's what the bizarre but versatile combo potential of your Nair/Fair/Dair, as well as your mines, are for. If you do somehow hit the sweetspot again while the duration of the bleed is ticking down, it adds 3 seconds to its duration rather than 1.

This move does benefit from Insult to Injury, but to be honest with its lackluster reach, high enough start lag to make comboing into it a bit tricky, and angle specifically above W to prevent it from comboing off a Jack in the Box stun or Fair, you won't really see this move used with the Insult to Injury mechanic often. If you do, it will probably be off a D12 blast at specific percentages, but that means hitting a time bomb explosion without the foe being in the midst of dodging something else while W's nearby. That's not particularly easy, the reason that countdown is usually as dangerous as it is is because W is doing something herself simultaneously, but if you manage to get inside the foe's head enough you could ever pull it off. Given that's tricky to start with and you need some pretty specific percents to combo the sweetspot, it has a pretty sizeable Insult to Injury bonus when you do manage it, buffing the damage per second to 2% at base and the base duration to 8 seconds, meaning it tacks on 16% before even factoring in any further Insult to Injury hits to boost the damage or subsequent comboing to boost the duration further.

Down Smash - Queen of Hearts
Pointing her cannon at the ground in front of her, W fires it at the ground to produce a sizeable explosion, comparable in animation to Snake's Forward Smash. The firey explosion comes out on Frame 36, and unlike Side Special you cannot make this move faster, but it does have some pretty impressive range as the blast is a bit larger than the blast from Snake's FSmash, in exchange for higher end lag. This move deals 22%-30% and diagonal knockback that kills at 75%-40%, making it a very formidable KO move. On top of that, the blast actually lingers for quite a few frames, long enough that its very difficult to dodge, especially with staled dodges. Shields will take slightly increased shield damage from this, but more importantly, this move deals an obscene amount of shield push, shoving the foe back a full 1.4 battlefield platforms, and this will trip any Jack in the Box mines they go sliding over. This means that while this move is quite laggy, its good against both defensive options, making pulling it off with a hard read all that much easier, especially if the foe is trying to avoid the explosion window of D12 time bombs.

If you want to set off W's explosives manually, this is your move. Its not a trap like a Jack in the Box mine or projectile that will only set them off halfway across the stage like King of Hearts, so while the opponent will definitely see it coming, this is the easiest way to blow up your setup outside the set explosion window. It even has a nice perk when you blow everything up with this: any explosions triggered by the Down Smash will also linger for much longer than usual while keeping their same power, meaning that while a long chain of D12s across the stage hit by this move can create a very big line of hitboxes opponents can't just dodge the normal way. This is fairly scary especially with a few stacked up in one place to make shielding lead to a shield break, but keep in mind you are sacrificing any explosives that touch this hitbox or any connected hitboxes when you activate this, so you are paying with a big chunk of or your whole setup if this doesn't work out or only has a small payoff.

That said, it is worth mentioning that on top of being able to set off chains of hard to dodge explosions across the stage, the stacking damage/knockback properties of D12s are horrifying in the context of this move. If you get a good read on the foe and blast them with this while a D12 is stuck to them, it'll kill at closer to 55% uncharged, noticeably stronger than Ganondorf's FSmash on a move that you can't dodge or shield nearly as effectively as you could that one. A couple D12s on the ground around you and the foe will push the KO percentages to outright ludicrously early levels, adding another reason the foe needs to be terrified wandering your minefields. That said, this is all just assuming the foe doesn't hit you out of the horribly punishable start lag or just run or jump out of the way of the hitbox, which is pretty easy to do when the move is this telegraphed.

As a general rule, if you're going for an Insult to Injury Down Smash on the opponent, you'd probably be better off with Side Special. Its faster if you've built up to it to make combos easier and is actually even more powerful when you pull it off. Not to say this won't just kill the foe anyway sometimes so it can occasionally be worth going for if you had zero stacks before hitting a foe into a yellow mine, but for the most part, you have a directly better choice than going for the Insult to Injury version of this move, as the basic damage buff is too small to compete.

Standards

"Save the Infected? Almost all the Sarkaz in Kazdel are infected, and you haven't even seen the kinds of oppression and conflict that go on there... So, how far do you plan to go with your 'salvation?'"

Jab - Reel
Twisting her waist forward to get a bit more reach, W stabs her tail out briefly in front of her. W yanks then it right back in toward her, pulling an opponent up right into her face from a short distance in front of her. This is the opening hit of Jab and has a bit higher than average reach for W's tail attacks, which already have decent range, and the hit deals 2% and yanks the opponent right in front of W. If you end the attack here, W has enough end lag to leave her at only frame neutral with the foe, so this won't really combo into anything unless you follow up to the next hits. However, if you've got mines out, you can use this attack to yank an opponent in W's melee range over a mine right next to her. This sounds like a bit of a niche context, but W places mines pretty quickly, going over her head can be difficult due to her strong anti-air, and this attack comes out on Frame 3 with above average range. Fishing to nab foes with this when there's a mine in the appropriate location is a lot easier to pull off than it sounds, and it sets foes up for a well-positioned Nair to do flashy aerial combos to build up Insult to Injury stacks, since you'll be at a sizeable enough frame advantage to get choice of your positioning. With better mines out, you can go for Dair or a wider variety of Nair ranges, and if you've built up your Insult to Injury stacks you can even go for the Side Special. So while the range this can set the opponent up with is small, the fact that it can lead into kills at 50% with a Side Special stacked up properly or all manner of dangerous combos(particularly the monstrous FSmash), it makes the simple prospect of W standing next to one of her mines a scary one for opponents to deal with.

After the tail stab, W can go into a rapid flurry of knife stabs, which rack up hits of 1% fairly quickly. Due to the short length of the knife and W not putting her back into the stabs as much as Captain Falcon does his rapid jab, the range on this is a bit underwhelming. That means foes can escape from it reasonably fast, but the damage racking here is a decent consolation prize if you don't have a mine around, and it does have a backup purpose with D12s in the picture. You don't have to pull the foe into a Jack in the Box mine, you can just hold them in place just long enough for a D12 explosion and then capitalize off that, or possibly even use it to kill if you've stacked up a few in place. This isn't an overly impressive way to stall for time, mind you, but given how the first hit is pretty easy to fish for and the opponent will probably be worried about a lot of other things W could be doing in the last second leading up to a D12 blast, this can be an acceptable way to secure the hit.

The last hit is unfortunately pretty underwhelming as W kicks the opponent in the stomach to send them away, dealing 5% and knockback at a 35 degree angle that scales really slowly but won't leave the opponent close enough to combo into much of anything. Its not even really at a good angle to lead into Up Special and it puts the foe too high to knock them into mines, but to be honest it doesn't need to be any more than a spacer and neutral reseter. You get your fair share of damage even without any explosives to pay off for an attack that comes out this quick, and if you do use one properly to reap additional payoff this move starts to become downright unfair for its lag. As an aside, how good this move is with a mine between you and the foe can definitely force the foe issue on the foe's DI in certain cases, which makes the Fair's triple sweetspot all that much more feasible. Just keep in mind that the scenarios you need for this to really pay off are a bit precise, and its otherwise mostly just an unexciting reset tool.

Forward Tilt - Slice
With a quick flick of her arm, W slashes her knife out in front of her in a swift strike that deals 7% and weak diagonally upwards knockback that will only scale to kill at around 300%. This is fast to start and fast to end, with not particularly impressive range to it, but its still a good combo starter. You can actually angle this move to have W slash downwards toward the ground or at an upwards angle, which alters the knockback angle by 15 degrees upward or downward from its 40 degree base angle. While these have less horizontal reach, the variety in angles is nice if you're trying to combo this into Nair's sweetspot, which is possible out of this move. It can also go into Fair regardless of angle, Uair if angled up, and at high percents you can go into an Up Special out of the low angled version of this which is a pretty scary finisher to have off FTilt. Sure, it won't combo into Insult to Injury stuff directly, but having 3 angle options means you can get it so Nair will combo into a more impressive third hit at less specific ranges than you'd otherwise need to worry about for setting it up, although it still requires a good knowledge of what W can combo into at what percent with this move and Nair. Essentially, the range is a little weak, but otherwise this is a good combo starter.

There's a tricky property to this move, indicated by the blade having a red glint to it before and during the slice. This slash actually has reflecting properties, sending opponent's projectiles back at them, or at a higher or lower angle based on how you angled the slash. W can kinda struggle to get a projectile using opponent to approach, given her own projectile is either incredibly laggy, or only not going to be for one use. This, at the very least, can keep them from camping you out and ignoring your setup. If they choose just not to approach you but don't throw projectiles into the mix, that's fine, then it just means you approach them while setting up or make a setup and then do your best to fling the foe right into it, via Bair/Nair/Up Special or just juggling them towards it with Uair and forcing them to go in a particular direction by manuevering Fair's sweetspots in the other one.

W can't really reflect her Side Special shot except in pretty bizarre circumstances that are not possible with just her own moveset, so that's not a piece of utility you need to worry about with this move. What you can reflect, however, is a thrown D12, it will bounce back up into the air off the knife at an angle depending on how you tilted it. By default it will just repeat the basic throwing arc the D12 mine is sent in, but angled up it will travel in a higher, shorter arc that will only go forward 0.75 battlefield platforms, taking longer to go up and down due to the high arc, and angled down it will go in a lower arc that takes less time to complete and sends it forward 1.75 battlefield platforms. This lets W keep a D12 mine flying through the air to leave the threat it bumping into the opponent and sticking to them as a time bomb and amplifier to W's explosive hitboxes in play, and lets W "juggle" it across the stage as something to avoid mixed in with W's other attacks. The fact that FTilt is quick means that while this isn't really something you want to be focused on when the opponent is meleeing you, using this to carry a mine across the stage isn't actually all that impractical, giving the foe a second threat to worry about while W is approaching them.

Down Tilt - Boot
From her incredibly low to the ground crouch, W spins her body around a low spinning kick, having slightly above average lag for a Down Tilt(coming out on Frame 9) and dealing 7% on W's leg and 9% on her foot. The knockback here comes at a very low angle on the leg, only about 10 degrees above the ground, and it scales until it can kill at about 250%. While this isn't particularly impressive knockback on its own, the extremely low angle makes this move good at setting up low angled Up Specials at mid-high percents, and it also puts opponent's precariously close to nearby grounded mines. This means the opponent is going to have to position themselves carefully at the end of their knockback if they don't want to trip the mine when they land and end up in a much bigger disadvantage state, or just dead if you have a good D12 setup. That means that while this move won't combo into much directly, dashing in right afterwards when the opponent has to position more predictably can lead to W pulling off some of her more precise stunts, and a sped up Side Special and Up Special provide other things for the foe to fear aside from W just dashing in.

W's foot is a sweetspot that is guarunteed to trip the foe, which leaves them with a faint red aura while tripped. This aura is an indicator of a funny aspect of W's proning moves(of which she has one more, which we'll get to), the opponent takes Insult to Injury bonuses at any point they are hit out of prone. Not only that, the aura will last on them during any of their out of prone options and for 5 frames afterward, meaning if W reads whatever way the opponent chooses to get out of prone and punishes accordingly, she gets Insult to Injury bonuses for properly tech chasing. This is really nice, especially when you factor in that mines can be used to block off certain tech paths for the opponent, leaving W at an even bigger advantage in the tech chase than she normally would be with higher rewards for winning it. Down Tilt isn't a source of true combos like Forward Tilt, but its payout can be just as rewarding, if not moreso, with good reads and mine placement. I mean, think about what happens if you read the opponent correctly and get off Forward Smash, that's a huge threat to any prone foe especially when FSmash has some wide area coverage.

Since the kick is so low to the ground, this move can shield poke, which is a handy option if the opponent is shielding a D12 activation in particular. Shields are the better way to avoid a D12 explosion generally speaking, given W can easily layer her hits to punish dodges, but this gives you the ability to convert into an advantage if the foe goes for a shield as well and you read that right. Just one thing to keep in mind with this move is that the end lag is enough that you will get punished if you whiff it, and W can't really take a lot of punishment with her low weight and high fall speed.

Up Tilt - Sky Knife
W sweeps her knife over her head in an arc, but at the very end of the sweep twists the knife down so its pointed at the ground. This is the third in W's trifecta of anti-air options, and its probably the least impressive at a glance. Its not as fast as Uair and lacks the punch of Up Smash, though it still comes out pretty quickly on Frame 7. The knife's damage and knockback depends on where you hit with it. At the back of the arc, it hits foes straight up for 7% and weak upwards knockback that sets up Uair, a second UTilt at low percentages, or Bair. The middle hit works kinda like a worse version of FTilt for combos, sending the foe up and forward so it can combo into Nair and Fair, but due to the higher base knockback it will work for less time than those moves. It does deal 9% and if the match has gone horribly, horribly wrong, it can kill at 200%.

The real prize is the downward twist at the end, a small sweetspot that deals 11% and diagonally downward knockback. This will spike opponents out of the air and send them sliding right into mines a short distance in front of you, which is the reason why this move is still a scary part of W's anti-air game. You can nail the foe right out of an aerial approach into your minefield if they're trying to go over you, and while its precise and not as practical for sliding foes into mines as DTilt and Jab, it makes up for it with the fact that its actually kinda scary at or near the ledge. Diagonally downward knockback is not something the opponent wants to deal with offstage, suffice to say. At low percents, it also goes right into FTilt, which is on the longer end of combo strings W can pull off normally.

Oh yeah, and if you get Insult to Injury on the sweetspot, the damage and knockback gets buffed more than normal. It will now deal 16% and diagonally downward knockback that will send foes off the blast zone at 120%, but considering the angle if they don't lose a lot of that knockback from getting smacked into the stage, that's going to kill quite a bit earlier than that, which is very scary off a Frame 7 move. The tiny, specific hitbox is not something W can combo into casually, especially given its relatively high above the ground, but it is quite possibly off a D12 explosion or a Jack in the Box mine and occasionally off Nair or Dair's own Insult to Injury variants. Speaking of those, you can use this to slide opponents into minefields like halfway across the stage and then blast them with Side Special, so getting Insult to Injury on this sweetspot is very potent, suffice to say.

Dash Attack - Lunge
Leaping forward with grin on her face and her knife out, W looks like if she's going to be inspecting anything, its going to be the opponent's organs. This comes out a bit on the slower side compared to her tilts on Frame 12, and if W hits the foe she'll plunge her knife into them and kick off them, sending the foe behind her with 11% and horizontal knockback that's actually pretty weak, not killing until 280%. That said, the keyword here is horizontal knockback. If you leap over a mine and send the foe back into it, you're getting your reward even if the knockback on this isn't all that great. That said, its a bit of a low to the ground lunge, one the opponent can easily hop over, but if they do that W could instead intercept with a Fair. This is particularly nice if the foe is dancing just out of range of Jabbing them into mine, letting you shove the cowardly foe right into it.

As for what it'll do if you don't have setups, well its sadly not the most rewarding attack in that case, but you can link into Bair at low percents, and given Insult to Injury Bair that means you could get a foe to a further back set of mines at lower percents. Also one thing that's nice about this move is its not particularly punishable if the foe shields it, as W will just bounce off their shield and with good DI she'll probably be out of range of the foe's next hit as this has low lag for W and decent shield stun on the opponent. Relatedly, you can use this to dart off an opponent even without setups to start laying down mines on both sides of them, as W will have enough time to lay down a mine after this move.

Sadly, there isn't some big Insult to Injury benefit on this move, just boosting the damage and giving you a stack for Side Special. The minor knockback buff this will provide can make it better for putting the foe into range of a mine in corner cases, though, and sometimes if you dropped a foe on a faraway mine and don't have anything better to capitalize on their stun with, you take the Side Special stacks where you can get them.

Grab Game

"Step right up, plenty of surprises for everyone!"

Grab
W's actual grab is a bit underwhelming as she reaches out with one hand, not really leaning into it much and as such having a very short grab game, though its at least a pretty fast grab. Once she grabs them, W holds a knife to the opponent and points her pointy tail at them menacingly as she keeps them close in her grip. There is one catch to this grab though, despite not dealing 10%, or even dealing damage at all, landing grab on a foe in hitstun will trigger Insult to Injury, though you won't get the stack of it until you actually use a throw. W's throws are much scarier when their Insult to Injury effects are active, but its definitely a challenge to combo into with the short range of the grab. Hitting 2/3 Fair sweetspots will do the trick, some Nair angles will work, obviously an Insult to Injury mine will do the job. The good news is that W's vanilla throws are still okay and in some cases even pretty good, even if they're not as powerful as her Insult to Injury throws, so the backup plan of "just grab a foe trying to shield a D12 or fish for grabs against opponents who get too close" will net you some decent results too.

If W grabs a foe over a Jack in the Box mine, which is a pretty big corner case due to the short range of grab, the mine will blow up on the foe but not knock the foe out of W's grab. It will, however, cause the grab to change to its Insult to Injury version if it wasn't already.

Pummel
W drags her tail across the opponent's flesh, dealing them 3% in a significantly slower than average pummel. The overall damage rate of this isn't bad though because of the high damage per pummel, but its not as good at refreshing your more spammed stale moves as a faster one. Insult to Injury does not change the pummel in any way.

Down Throw - Execution
W slams the foe into the ground and stabs her knife into them, dealing the foe 10% and weak knockback that bounces the foe off the ground. The light diagonally mostly upward knockback off the ground is great at lower percents for comboing into the usual subjects of FTilt, Nair, and Fair, comboing into Uair once the percentages get a little higher while losing the ability to go into FTilt. Essentially, the basic version of this throw is your combo throw, and while it won't do any Insult to Injury combos barring a well placed Nair sweetspot, its still a good way to get your advantage state started, move opponents towards a minefield, and when the Nair does line up getting a free Insult to Injury confirm off a throw is quite nice.

The Insult to Injury variant of this is not a pure combo throw, but its arguably a lot scarier. W will dig her blade right into the opponent's throat(or at least try, not everyone has one of those), before ripping her blade through it with a spray of blood/oil/essense that deals the foe 14% and sends them dropping into untechable prone. This has the same prone effect as Down Tilt, so any reads on the opponent's prone from here will trigger Insult to Injury, so while its got less immediate reward than the regular Down Throw, the ceiling for potential is much higher because of the bonus effects you can get off tech chasing the opponent. This is the scarier throw to actually use in your minefield as the basic version will just send the foe flying above it, barring some really good Fair reads, as it puts you at a huge advantage over the foe in terms of getting up from prone without taking an Insult to Injury hit.

This is extra good because this gives you not just the benefits of Down Tilt's proning, but also of Up Smash's wound effect, as indicated by the blood spraying from the foe. This deals them the same damage for the same duration as Up Smash's sweetspot, 1% for 5 seconds, and adds 3 seconds of duration if the foe was already under this effect. But see, if you get an Insult to Injury read off this with say, Nair/Dair/Down Smash/Forward Smash/Dash Attack, the foe is already taking increased damage from the bleed immediately, and a good punish on the foe's getup attempt can easily lead into getting something like 30%+ off this status effect plus multiple stacks of Insult to Injury, which is just brutal for a throw. Of course, this all means you have to read the foe well or have mines set up to block off enough escape paths that it doesn't matter, but at worst you prone the foe and deal them 19%(and likely more as confirming a regular hit or two in the following 5 seconds isn't hard), which is a solid reward in and of itself.

Back Throw - Impaler
W harshly stabs her tail into the foe, leaving them impaled behind her for a moment before she grips her knife in both hands and slams it into the opponent, dealing 4% with the tail stab followed by 7% and knockback that will kill at the ledge at 135%. A good option for reversing the foe behind you into a minefield at lower percents or at the far edge of the stage, as a kill throw goes, its okay. W's got kill options at 50% that are completely feasible if you're playing her well, so if you're falling back on this move its a little disappointing, but it can make use of the heavy damage you can get out of her bleed effect. For that matter, the knockback is pretty low angle, so it does set up Side Special against off stage opponents fairly well, and also works a bit better as a KO move against foes with poor horizontal recoveries and puts the opponent closer down to the minefield.

If you got off an Insult to Injury grab, W will hold the opponent on her tail a bit longer as a brief red and black glow appears on her knife as she braces it, before immediately appearing right behind the opponent with several red slashes going through their body, in the style of those "delayed slash" anime swordsman moves. The foe takes 4% from the initial stab and then 14% and is sent flying by slashes, taking knockback at the same angle as the regular version but buffed to kill at 110%. At center stage. This is a hilariously powerful kill throw and lets W space foes into a far back mine field even at low percents, but because you have to pull off a pretty situational combo into it, you can't just lure the foe to a ledge and assume its going to work out when you try to back throw them off it. Instead, its a powerful kill confirm if you can combo the foe into the close range and grounded grab, with probably the best setup for it being your Fair.

Up Throw - Combo Stab
W stabs the opponent once with her knife, once with her tail, and then a third time with her knife in an upwards motion that sends the foe flying up above her, before throwing her knife up after them. Each hit of this move deals 3%, with the third hit doing rather high base but minimally scaling upwards knockbackthat will put the foe out of range of W's ability to combo, but the fourth knife flying up to hit them is guaranteed to connect and bumps the foe a little higher into the air with the extra 3%. This deals a total of 12%, the highest of W's throws by a small margin, and while it leaves the foe well out of reach for her to combo into(they're not really at a good angle for Up Special, either due to being directly above her), this does give W a pretty big frame advantage over the opponent. Use this frame advantage to reset the battlefield to your advantage, as you won't get a chance to place more than one mine but at least have enough time to place it strategically so that the foe's fall will be made much more annoying once W takes to the air to use aerials on them afterwards. Consider it something of a free setup to having a mine that opponents will struggle to maneuver around.

If W has landed this move out of an Insult to Injury grab, she'll pull her arm back for the knife stab to emphasize it more, stab the tail so hard it goes through the foe, and practically jump off the ground with her final knife stab, increasing the damage on each hit to 5%, before throwing two knives up at the foe which will hit them at the peak of the now even higher base knockback, which also has a scaling component now to kill at about 135%. Back Throw is the better kill throw, for sure, but this can kill pretty early on platforms, and it has some benefits Back Throw doesn't. For one, the two knives hitting the foe will put W at a huge frame advantage, enough that comboing into Insult to Injury Up Special is actually perfectly possible until it hits the foe too far around 45%. The second knife also stuns the foe in the air for a bit long, and combined with the high amount of distance this gets you, you can set up more, and better mines for when the opponent comes back down to you than the regular variation. Oh, and because the knives deal 4% each, this is 23% out of a throw, which is a lot of raw damage, so the fact that the side effects are a bit less potent than W's other throws is fine if you just want the guarunteed high damage to help her go into her safer kill moves later on.

Forward Throw - Micro D12/Macro D12
Gleefully spinning the foe around, having a bit more fun with this animation than she probably should be, W slaps a little explosive on the foe's body before tossing them away for 6%, at a similarly inconvenient angle and quantity of knockback to Jab's final hit. This means the immediate payoff of this throw is not great, but at the very least it will get the foe of your face and closer to mine setups in front of you. An unexciting spacer throw on its own merits, but you're not really going to be using it for that alone most of the time.

What makes this move exciting is the little explosive on the opponent, which triggers at the end of an opponent's knockback from an attack that deals more than a half battlefield platform worth of it. The explosive will then detonate at that point, dealing the foe an additional 5% and medium forward knockback that barely scales. This not only puts the foe at greater frame disadvantage, allowing for the occasional oddball combo, it can also buff up horizontal knockback of attacks to confirm a kill that otherwise would not happen. But that's not the best part here. The best part is that the knockback angle of this is customizable, you can choose during the start lag if you want the explosive to blast the foe up, down, or backwards in addition to forward. Slinging the foe back towards you or spiking them into the stage are particularly potent options, and and up can situationally set up combos into UTilt/USmash sweetspots, moves that would normally be very hard to combo into, although the best way to trigger said sweetspots is to send the foe up and then back down again. It makes really precise things like Fair's triple sweetspot or getting the right positioning to start a strong Nair to Dair to Nair chain much easier too, with the more finite control over the foe's final positioning and greater frame advantage.

This is an absurdly good way to set up Insult to Injury, but the mine will just fall off harmlessly after 3.3 seconds, so the window to make use of it is honestly quite small. You can get a lot of payoff out of this attack, its arguably the scariest thing you can do to punish an opponent shielding an explosive because of all the situational combos and crazy Insult to Injury setups it creates, even making the obscenely powerful USmash sweetspot a possibility. But if you don't capitalize in time, and you don't have much time, this move's payoff is way worse than going for a throw with more guarunteed results. Also while the micro mine is too small to hit your other explosives not on the foe, it can trigger a D12 attached to the opponent, and situationally that can make for some very potent early kills in its own right. If the foe already has the Micro D12 attached when you use this throw, W will throw them without attaching anything to them.

The Insult to Injury variant of this throw lacks the regular version's versatility, as W will instead stick a regular D12 to the opponent as opposed to the weaker but more versatile micro D12. That said, she'll be seen fishing around on her belt during the throw's starting animation, and will throw out another 3 D12s on top of the one stuck to the opponent, scattered over a battlefield platform sized area in front of her. If the foe already has a D12 attached to them when you use this throw, then she'll instead add the one she would've slapped on the foe to the ones she threw out, giving you 4 D12s scattered on the stage for your trouble. While yes, this doesn't open up the wild combo possibilities of the non-Insult to Injury version, what it does give you is good flash setup, immediately putting a time bomb on the foe they have to worry about while simultaneously setting up the stage for you. That's a lot of pressure and setup out of one throw, and if this is used close to the detonation point of your D12's the opponent is going to be absolutely frantic to not take a metric ton of damage and knockback when W closes in on them right afterwards.

Final Smash

" For now, just remember this name: Theresa. Yes, Theresa."
W's eyes flash violently red as her knife glows, sliding forward nearly two battlefield platforms in a massive slash, that sends everyone it hits flying off to a cinematic finish! Dealing an initial hit of 10%, the foes land on a war-torn battlefield, barbed wire and trenches abounding with the remains of buildings stuck to the ground. And then beneath them, a blast is set off, collapsing the ground below the foe as W is seen staring down at them, a look of either maniacal glee or utter hatred on her face. The latter is either reserved for particularly unpleasant villains like Kamoshida or Okumura, or, on the off chance someone makes a set for them, the Arknights Doctor. Then, she leaps down as a red slash covers the screen, followed by the sounds of further detonations, and the foe is launched for 35% and knockback that KOs at 80%. A pretty potent final smash, all things considered, it doesn't KO super early but it does pile on heavy damage and the fact that W covers so much space using it means its not hard to land either.
 
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GolisoPower

Smash Champion
Joined
Sep 17, 2017
Messages
2,844

KAMINO DISTRICT, YOKOHAMA CITY
Time: 0923 Hours
Date: 05/19/2XXX
Syndrome walked down the halls of his newly-established base situated under the city, looking more smug than usual, for today was a very magnanimous occasion.

Before him, the titanic gate opened up and revealed his companions within a large, cavernous room, a large metal ring plastered on the wall opposite of him. Standing in front of a large control panel were his companions, his fellow members of the New League of Villains.

“You’re late,” rasped Shigaraki, a single hateful eye fixated on him. Despite having to work with him, Shigaraki never liked Syndrome, he always felt too much like All Might for his tastes.

“Indeed you are, Syndrome,” Dr. Forrester mused as he took a good look at his watch for a bit. “We almost had to break out the Bean-Bag Pants while we waited for you.”

“Or the Tough Love Seat,” chimed TV’s Frank. “That one’s always nice.”

Shigaraki recoiled slightly, almost as though he was socked in the back of the head by a school kid. He never wanted to even think about those...ridiculous things they’ve created.

“I hope you possess a suitable reason for your tardiness, Syndrome,” piped Kurogiri, his disembodied voice wisping in the air. “Tomura Shigaraki was rather close to going on a rampage because of it.”

“I know, I know, I’m late, but it’s for good reason, friends,” waved Syndrome as he flashed a maliciously charismatic smile. “Voila!”

In his hands was a small, teardrop-shaped vial of a deep-violet liquid, bright-blue square frames of energy pulsating on the inside.

“See this,” asked Syndrome. “I was about to depart from my island to go after that big snake guy when I found out that he dropped this on his way out! This right here...is poison from that glue wasp thing they were with!”

“You mean the one that hopped onto the Satellite of Love,” exclaimed TV’s Frank.

“Naganadel,” Dr. Forrester chuckled. “...this is most certainly payback for interrupting one of our best experiments!”

“Both of you shut the hell up,” growled Shigaraki, silencing the Mads. “Get to the point, Pine. We’ve got dungeons to clear here.”

“I’m getting to it,” snapped Syndrome before breathing in to calm himself. “Anyways...I feel like this is our compensation for losing him! You two, do you guys remember how Nagging-needle or whatever got onto the Satellite of Love?”

“Firstly, it’s Na-ga-na-del…”

“Whatever.”

“Secondly, it appeared through...some sort of hole in space and time. Ultra Wormholes, I think they’re called.”

“Exactly! The Ultra Energies from Knick-knack-ninny are what’s in this guy’s blood, and if I’m thinking this correctly, they’re also what formed those wormholes! If we can manipulate these energies in the right way, we can summon something that we can use to our advantage!”

“I find that hard to believe,” said Shigaraki. “What makes you so sure we can use that power? How in the hell can we exploit this?”

“Oh, you don’t know? The answer is standing right next to you.”

Shigaraki tensed once again, before slowly following Syndrome’s gaze, which led to Kurogiri.

“Are you saying we turn him into some sort of battery, Syndrome?”

“Oh, I’m sure he doesn’t mind. After all, he’ll do anything for your goals...won’t he?”

Shigaraki’s glare could’ve melted Syndrome then and there had his Quirk developed in his eyes, and his hands curled in rage, ready to Decay the smug ******* where he stood.

“Tomura Shigaraki.”

Kurogiri’s voice drew the attention of All For One’s Heir. Shigaraki’s eyes were now layered with an extra twinge of shock.

“As much as I loathe Syndrome, his implications are correct. I am the most crucial part of this experiment,” Kurogiri calmly stated. “However, we may have no idea as to what may come out once we are finished. But if this is for your benefit, then I will do what I must, Tomura Shigaraki.”

Shigaraki, with every fiber of his being, hated siding with this boastful All Might knock off and hated agreeing with him even more. But deep down he knew that this was a necessary evil that he had to put up with.

“...fine,” he sighed. “But just so you know, this better give us a serious Level Up, you hear me?”

“Oh, you have no idea,” smirked Syndrome, his voice dripping with confidence. “Alright, everybody! It’s showtime!”

Syndrome poured the Ultra-Energy-laced toxic glue into a large machine in which Kurogiri inserted his hands. Dr. Forrester hooked the Cholestor-do-all to the machine and gave it the power that Asagao had oh-so-kindly generated for them with it. Kurogiri felt an indescribable sensation flowing through his body as the Ultra Energies were extracted from the poison and transplanted into his gaseous body. He felt nauseous, yet energized. Weakened, yet empowered. The paradoxical energy made him feel like he was simultaneously dying and bursting with life at the same time.

The massive ring began to light up like a neon light strip, causing the room to flood with light as Syndrome watched on in glee.

“Alright, Kurogiri, hit it,” he shouted.

Kurogiri closed his eyes firmly shut and activated his Quirk, his black mists filling the ring and swirled like a hurricane of pure darkness. Howling of undecipherable voices was heard as the portal started glowing brighter and brighter.

Suddenly, red alerts started blaring as the portal started to overload the system. Dr. Forrester and Frank tried their best to keep it together, with large sparks flying. Shigaraki stood his ground, resisting with all his strength to storm towards the machine and decay it with his Quirk. Syndrome started panicking and hammering the emergency failsafe to abort the process. Kurogiri, meanwhile, struggled to deactivate his Quirk, but the machine wouldn’t let him, as though his very Quirk had been shackled to the machine itself. And then...

Light.

There was nothing but a bright radiance for the next few seconds and when it died down, the room was reduced to rubble, the night sky exposed above, debris cloaking the floor like a billowing tassel of dust.

Kurogiri remained unconscious as Shigaraki tried to fan away all the dust that had been kicked up.

Syndrome had used his Zero Point gauntlets to freeze some rubble in the air, relieved that he had stopped them in time. Dr. Forrester and TV’s Frank had thankfully put on their Tank Tops and hunkered down to avoid certain death.

“SYNDROME!!!”

Shigaraki’s voice pierced the air as the Symbol of Chaos charged at Syndrome like a raging bull. Syndrome barely had time to react before he was grabbed by his suit.

“I knew we shouldn't have trusted you in this! You said it was supposed to help us, and it nearly killed us!”

“Hey, hey, hey, sure it got a little explosive at the end, but surely this is the start of something huge! We just gotta see if it worked!”

Boom…!

Their brief bickering was cut off as a loud, thunderous sound rang through the air, like a massive drum hit by a hammer.

The conscious members of the League of Villains looked up to what turned out to be the results of their experiment.

What stood before them was what could only be described as a mountain of charred, tumorous flesh that dwarfed the entire city around it. The crimson light from its wounds reflected off the windows of the buildings around him, its eerie, vacant eyes never blinking. Its mighty, trunk-like legs appeared to move at a snail’s pace, but its surface-level slowness was offset by the turbulence it caused in its wake. A massive tail swayed as though it had a mind of its own, its tip a disgustingly human-like face with a toothy jaw.

Boom…!

“You know what, Shigaraki…,” squeaked Syndrome, his bravado and confidence long since evaporated, “I think I made a mistake.”

Kurogiri awoke and slowly propped himself up before looking up at the towering mass before him, his eyes widening in shock.

“What even is that thing,” Shigaraki screamed out. Even he started to feel fear of this abomination that they had summoned.

“That, Tomura Shigaraki…”

Boom…!

Kurogiri turned towards the Symbol of Chaos as it was clear his voice held despair and fear itself.

“...is truly a God incarnate.”

SKREEEEEOOOOOOONNNNK!!!
 

Katapultar

Smash Lord
Joined
Nov 24, 2008
Messages
1,033
Location
The Make Your Move Rooligan Society
Roxanne is a good set that reminds me of your Witchverse sets from MYM21: it's refreshing to see your old writing style back and a return to exploring simple-ish ideas to pump out more Witchverse sets. I also greatly welcome the use of quotes at the start of the set (maybe a link to your Mud Witch pastebin so people know who Roxanne is talking to? She doesn't have her set posted yet). To start off though, I do think Roxanne is pretty overpowered for a few reasons that became apparent when I was reading her aerials and their implications with Shedskins. While it's pointed out that Shedskins are easy to defeat and Roxanne has to perform 3 non-Special/Smashes to summon one, she technically doesn't have to commit to any kind of summoning like other summon-based characters. The Shedskins also appear on frame 1 of her end lag and can attack foes while she's going through her end lag: I DO like this idea, just that I feel it would be more balanced on a fighter with especially bad lag like a super/ultra heavyweight. It's also implied that the Shedskins have relatively aggressive AIs. Roxanne does have some combos, and I could see situations where you use one, create a Shedskin from it and use that Shedskin to potentially trap the foe for even more chaos.

Moreover, Roxanne has pretty good stats all around, with a high dashing speed and high air speed that would make it easy for Shedskins to pressure foes after being made. And while the Shedskins are generally easy to destroy, Roxanne can use Down Special to make them a bit more durable or Neutral Special to make the foe commit to a stronger attack against them if they don't want to get sandblasted - and it would be pretty easy for her to capitalise on openings with that high movement. Being able to make Shedskins grab the opponent is also pretty potent, but it would require a bit of work to grab 2+ times in place to make them prioritize grabbing.

For suggestions, I'd say Roxanne could do with having much lower movement speed (or at least Pyra-tier dashing speed) - this would make her Shedskins less potent for pressure, and also make it so Roxanne has a harder time getting away from foes so she can't camp as easily. Or say, attack in place to produce a Shedskin more easily. If she wants to escape so badly, she can roll or just use her teleport. I also think Shedskins should be limited to just 1, similar to Diddy Kong having the banana peel count nerfed from Brawl, and... maybe make it so you can only build up 1 or 2 segments of your meter while a Shedskin is out, so you can't deploy a new one until the old one is destroyed. Maybe give Roxanne a Shield Special that lets her destroy the existing Shedskin with no lag. And perhaps Shedskins could have a "cooldown" where they stay in place or just can't attack after 1-1.5 seconds of finishing their previous attack, preventing them from being too aggressive - they can already potentially leave trails of fire where they go, after all. You could also make them deal like, half as much hitstun as Roxanne or something along those lines so you can't combo from them too easily.

F-Smash fits well with Shedskins as a reward for distracting the foe and sowing chaos. Being a big, powerful projectile that stays behind as a construct probably warrants having Dedede F-Smash tier lag: I do wonder if giving it low end lag and a free follow-up on foes who shield close-up is a bit much, maybe it should just be safe on block and have moderate end lag: so it's a move Roxanne really has to commit to and is risky to throw out without Shedskins as you mentioned. I also wonder whether you could play around with sweetspots to make the move more fun melee-wise: maybe make it stronger at close range, or make it stronger from long range as you build up momentum, just chucking it in from afar if the foe makes the mistake of committing too hard to destroying a Shedskin.

Balance talk aside, there were aspects of Roxanne I quite enjoyed beyond the Shedskin mechanic itself. I don't think we've seen a grab that hits behind you before hitting in front of you. Moreover, I thought the Up Special teleport letting you teleport towards foes within a second of hitting them was a really fun idea, reminds me of Nox with this unique take on teleporting. You could honestly make a set based around the mechanic, and I actually think it would very well on a Kingdom Hearts/Organization XIII character given their degree of teleport spamming.

It's surprising to get another Punch Out! set after 17 contests (I believe Aran Ryan and Macho Man were the last ones we got back in MYM7), and I think you did a good of capturing the essence of a Punch Out! boss with the interesting weaving aspect of Jab and F-Smash. Neutral Special I thought was a neat take on "auto-counter" moves like Joker's Down Special: the 40 frame start-up from neutral prevents you from casually countering enemies with a counter you can hold indefinitely, and being able to access it quicker after hitting helps weave it into his melee game. The move reminds me a little of Lexaeus from MYM21 and a lot of Warlord's old Popinski draft that never got a full set (how far we've come with melee!). F-tilt was a surprisingly simple but cool melee move, where you can pick a knockback angle corresponding to your input angle and mix up whether you knock them on a low angle (where they'll have to tech) or mid or high angle. I almost wonder whether it's worth mentioning tech-based mix-up potential here: you knock the foe on a low angle to condition them into inputting the dodge button to tech, then suddenly knock them on a medium or high angle - where them being conditioned into inputting the shield button to tech could make them waste their air dodge, giving Popinski an opening to land a big attack like his F-air! Other neat aspects of the set was the handling of meter, where Popinski can be forced to squander it with extra uses of his Up Special to recover (using meter to perform extra hits was a nice touch). Funny enough, one of my favourite parts of the set was Popinski's Aerials having bad landing lag outside of some tightly-timed auto-cancel windows, a concept that could be fun - if somewhat tricky - to implement as a bigger focus on a set.

If I had to make suggestions, I wonder if Popinski's melee moves could reference whether he turns red when using them like when he's using his Down Special, the mix-up potential to make foes think you're using Down Special at best. I also wonder about the Down Special tough guy armour being applied to every facet of Popinski's set, and the fact that the armour technically makes the end lag of his max meter Down Special safe on whiff (unless the buffs aren't applied until the move ends) - what if the tough guy armour wasn't applied during the end lag of (some?) of Popinski's moves, but if he's hit while it's not active he doesn't lose units of armour. That way he can still be punished by non-grab moves if he whiffs. Finally, while note essential, what if you could input Smashes with A + B to use meter to apply a bonus onto your Smashes (like making U-Smash come a bit faster, for instance?) just to spice them up a bit?
 
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BKupa666

Barnacled Boss
Moderator
Joined
Aug 12, 2008
Messages
7,763
Location
Toxic Tower
"I drink to prepare for a fight. Tonight I am very prepared!"


Finally entering MYM's ring is one of the more memorable Punch-Out!! boxers and a compulsive connoisseur of high-fructose corn syrup. Vodka Drunkenski made his debut in 1984's Super Punch-Out!!, long enough ago to have been Champion of the USSR, before purportedly undergoing a soda-themed rebrand in his subsequent appearances. The 35-year-old Moscow heavyweight champion is among the harder opponents Little Mac will face in any given game, outside the main trio of Mr. Sandman, Super Macho Man and Bald Bull. Soda Popinski's attack patterns often include fast hook and uppercut strings, requiring fast reflexes to avoid but leaving openings for Mac to earn stars or even one-hit knockdowns. Popinski's latest appearance, in Punch-Out!! Wii, sees him incorporate his drinking habit into his fighting style. He'll slug from his bottle to heal mid-match and during intermission cutscenes, even lugging multiple crates of spiked soda into the ring to boost his speed and power during his title defense rematch. Despite his arrogance and indulgence, Popinski stands out as the most good-natured among Mac's World Circuit competitors, being the only one not to manhandle the referee and having comparatively goofy victory celebrations.

STATISTICS

Fall Speed o O o 8.5 / 1.85 units (8th, tied with Simon)
Size o O o 8.5

Aerial Movement o O o 8 / 1.208 units (12th, tied with Little Mac, Donkey Kong and others)
Weight o O o 8 / 107 units (13th, tied with Ike, Ridley and others)
Ground Movement o O o 3.5 / 1.55 units (68th, tied with Min Min)
Jumps o O o 1.5 (comparable to Ryu)



As Punch Out!! Wii's tallest boxer, at six-foot six, Soda Popinski is among Smash's bulkier humanoids, a smidge shorter than Ganondorf and about as wide. His 237 pounds land him in the game's upper echelon for weight, though he falls short of true heavyweight status. Popinski won't be zipping around the stage to punish enemy whiffs, and though he certainly shares Little Mac's preference for the ground, he doesn't lack functional aerials or a recovery as a cheap means for underdog characterization. His idle animations have him break from his boxer stance to scratch the back of his bald head with his soda bottle or fold his arms while raising an eyebrow at the camera, akin to his render.



While idle, walking or crouching, Popinski's large boxing gloves manifest the same passive projectile-blocking properties as Hero and the Links' shields, in a representation of Punch-Out!!'s blocking mechanic. Standing still situationally will help Popinski avoid getting hosed from afar down by zoners campers, though targeted projectiles still can hit his upper torso or legs, and those with sufficiently large hitboxes can impact his body through his gloves. As with the aforementioned characters, Popinski's gloves also will shift during his idle animations and lose their defensive properties while he's holding items.

Unless otherwise stated, KO percentages are on Mario from the middle of Final Destination.


MECHANIC - POWER METER




When Soda Popinski enters a match, players will observe a familiar meter atop his HUD. This is Popinski's equivalent to Little Mac's Power Meter, and comes bundled with a few mechanical similarities. Just like his pint-sized opponent's, Popinski's meter is composed of 100 total units, which can be observed filling up in increments of 10 miniature arrows — a graphic pulled straight from Super Punch-Out!!, his debut game. And like Mac, Popinski will add one unit to his meter for every 1% he suffers. That being said, whereas the underdog Mac also powers up his KO Punch with units equivalent to a 0.3x multiplier on his damage dealt, Popinski realizes different manifestations of his inner strength, and via a few alternate means, both more befitting his arrogant character. A helpful hint for newer players — visually, Popinski's arrows fill in with a bubbling soda texture, versus Mac's rainbow colors, each with a distinct sizzling noise to boot.


SPECIALS

NEUTRAL SPECIAL - SODA DRINK



Soda Popinski reaches behind himself to pull out a green soda bottle, which he proceeds to waggle tauntingly over 40 frames, calling out, "For my health!" in Russian. Immediately afterward, over five frames, he tilts the bottle back and begins slugging from it, a stance he retains as long as the player holds the input, up to 6.67 seconds or 400 frames. Popinski adds 0.25 unit to his meter every frame he drinks, healing 0.5% every 30 frames, to achieve 15 units and 1% healed per second. The player can cancel Popinski's indulgence with a jump, defensive maneuver or a repeat input, upon which he'll laglessly stow the bottle back into hammerspace. Should Popinski somehow be allowed to finish an entire soda bottle, he'll toss it carelessly into the background with a cocky chuckle — he'll just have filled up the entirety of his meter, even if he's taken no damage. He can still drink to heal with his meter maxed out but will not refill it until it's empty again.




Naturally, even the lushest of foes won't lolly-gag around nearly seven seconds during a match, that is, if Popinski can find the space to complete his taunt and start drinking to begin with. He does, however, have a workaround. If the player buffers Neutral Special during the end lag of any of his attacks, Popinski will skip his taunt entirely and begin drinking, with his five-frame bottle lifting animation overwriting the final five end lag frames of his previous move. This functions identically to his regular soda-guzzling stance, with a new perk — Popinski now can use attacks to cancel out of his drinking. He's still apt to eat punishment if he becomes too greedy trying to steal drinks at close range: he must drink for at least 30 frames per sitting, and he's got no shortage of attacks with some combination of high startup, end lag or both. However, Popinski can strategically slug after knocking a foe away such that they can't immediately retaliate, or as setup bait, building up his meter bit by bit, and at a faster rate than he does from damage received. Every soda drop counts!



Popinski will see meter gains through one more circumstance, sure not to leave him overly pleased. Flinch-inflicting attacks that strike Popinski during his taunting or drinking animations, starting on frame 5, will knock his soda from his gloved hands, prompting him to yell out, "My bottle!" in Russian, in an aghast 25-frame animation. He'll take half the damage from the inciting move and tank its knockback, comparable to an Incineroar or Joker Down Special. More intriguingly, Popinski's rage over losing his bottle doubles the multiplier on that attack's damage for meter-filling purposes — something like Ridley's skewer can max the meter out in one fell swoop! Popinski flashes briefly red as he loses his bottle, dealing 5% and low set knockback, after which he's free to retaliate if his attacker overextended with a laggy move.


This faithful function gives Popinski a means for productively dealing with projectiles while incentivizing opponents to engage him in his preferred close quarters. Once they're there, the threat of Popinski's soda losses can discourage enemy button-mashing, lest the player read their wild swings or break combos for easy meter gains. Though a helpful meter-building alternative to drinking, cavalier swigging to intentionally get soda bottles knocked away is a long-term losing game. Much like a traditional counter, foes can bait Popinski into bringing out his bottle before moving in for a grab, bypassing his soda loss animation and resulting meter boost altogether.

Melee-range combat against Popinski quickly can become a game of cat and mouse at higher levels. Popinski can put foes in a world of hurt if they try punishing his guzzling with nothing but grabs, but because most of his moves have some level of baked-in vulnerability, those who feint grab before moving in with something else can send him to the mat far more quickly than he'd prefer. As with drinking to heal, Popinski still can use the counter properties of his soda losses with his meter maxed out but will not receive gains until it's emptied out.


DOWN SPECIAL - RUSSIAN RAGE

Now, how about we talk about what Popinski's power meter actually does? Compared to Little Mac's meter, Popinski's counterpart doesn't unlock its payoff only once maxed out. Rather, with Down Special, the player can trigger Popinski's meter at any time after he's built up at least 10 units, drawing down his reserves over a given timeframe until his meter is empty again. There's no pressure to rush once he's reached full charge, as he won't lose his benefits unless KOed.

Upon initiating Down Special, Popinski uses one of three attacks, depending on how full his meter was, turning bright pink with rage. This angry hue not only signifies a series of attribute buffs for a set period but also can subtly throw off opponents. Because most of Popinski's attacks already have him turn bright pink during their startup and duration, there's that much less of a visual cue for them to dodge, creating the unnerving appearance of faster attacks, even though his frame data remains unchanged.

Popinski aggregates 90 frames (a second and a half) of buffs for every 10 units in his meter, up to a 900-frame or 15-second maximum with a full meter. These include 10% boosts to his initial dash, dash speed and fall speed; a 15% boost to his walk speed and traction; and a 20% boost to his air speed and acceleration. Popinski also gains tough guy armor over this period, the strength of which depends on how full his meter was upon using Down Special.


Triggering Popinski's rage with a 10-unit meter renders him impervious to flinching from attacks that inflict fewer than 60 knockback units — or the knockback Ike (equivalent to Popinski in weight) experiences from Mario's third jab hit at 0%. This knockback unit threshold creeps up by 14 units for every additional 10 meter units Popinski has in store, up to 200 knockback units with a full meter — letting him shrug off the equivalent of Mario's half-charged F-Smash on Ike at 100%. Of note, flinch-inflicting attacks still will cost Popinski his soda bottles, regardless of whether he's sufficiently fortified with armor to ignore them.

Busting out his inner tough guy lets Popinski flip the script on a whim as to how different foes are best off contending with him, though his ability to do so isn't limitless. As his damage grows, so does the list of enemy attacks sufficient to send him flying in spite of his armor. Popinski's armor also will decrease in strength as he takes damage over the course of his rage, at the rate of five knockback units for every 1% he endures (a 12% B-Air, for instance, will reduce his tough guy threshold by 60 units). A full meter isn't a free pass for Popinski to sponge up enemy blows with reckless abandon. Even so, the increasingly brazen punishes he can pull off bullying through weaker hitboxes with more meter is one hell heck of an incentive for him to build it up as full as he reasonably can before letting loose.



On to Popinski's rageful attacks! When Popinski rages out with 10 to 49 units in his meter, he'll put both hands to his head over 14 frames before pulling his arms back and letting out an angry bellow. This produces a circular soundwave that extends forward about as far as Ridley's F-Smash, covering the top two-thirds of Popinski's torso. Foes who overlap with the shockwave on the frame it comes out take 12% and stun, as though from ZSS' paralyzer charged two-thirds to capacity. Those who make contact over the soundwave's 11-frame balance experience pushback from an average wind effect that inflicts 6% but does not interrupt helpless states.


Much like a Jigglypuff Rest, if Popinski is confident he can land his stunning sweetspot, perhaps in reading a foe's get-up or air dodge, it can be worth triggering Down Special early — with a tolerable 15 frames of end lag, he'll find himself well positioned to follow up. The timing takes practice, what with Popinski's head-holding startup; used carelessly, foes can cross him up and punish from behind, outside his soundwave's coverage. As a silver lining, Popinski has super armor during startup, letting him muscle through committal attacks before loudly retaliating. Otherwise, Popsinki's blustery outcry can function as an OK breathing room tool and every now and then, a hilarious means for turning careless high recoveries into helpless falls for a gimp.



With his meter between 50 and 99 units, Popinski's rage boils to the surface a good degree faster. The burly Russian briefly tucks his head in to cover it with his arms, over 7 frames, before bellowing with more ferocity and swinging his arms out wildly, tearing them around his upper half to wallop foes in the vicinity. The ensuing soundwave here extends out a bit farther than the previous incarnation, emanating from Popinski in a circular hitbox slightly smaller than Palutena's Explosive Flame, between frames 8-19. The entire soundwave now inflicts 14% stun, comparable to ZSS' fully charged paralyzer. Foes caught in the first half also undertake a guaranteed follow-up hit from Popinski's swinging arms, a bit like Hero's Kazap. His arms reach forward and vertically a training stage square from frames 12-15 to deal 15% and knockback KOing around 75%, prompting a zoom-in screen on impact.


Popinski retains his initial super armor from his prior outburst variant, which, coupled with his speedy startup, renders his hand-throwing rather threatening when he's backed his foe into a corner. While his soundwave still only hits from the front, Popinski's arms swing a short distance behind him, too, requiring tighter timing or a more ranged counterattack for foes looking to retaliate from the back. Worth considering, while Popinski's soundwave inflicts more stun here compared to his faster, weaker bellow's sweetspot, he must be a marginally greater distance away to leave foes stunned without his arms knocking them away. That, plus 20 end lag frames, means he has a bit less leeway to pursue combos on such victims versus those of that aforementioned sweetspot.



With a full power meter, Popinski's belligerence shines through in earnest. He'll perform two apoplectic stomps, clenching his fists, before throwing his head back and roaring while swinging his arms outward. From a frame data standpoint, this attack's back half remains identical from Popinski's previous version — the preceding stomps, however, render it a truly scary payoff for a maxed-out meter. Coming out between frames 6-26, Popinski's stomps are unblockable, straight up ignoring enemy shields, much like rival Little Mac's KO Punch. Each stomp inflicts 8% and pitfalls foes with force comparable to Inkling's roller, holding them in place to true combo into the balance of the move, with Popinski's soundwave coming out on frame 33.


The range on Popinski's stomps is nothing to write home about, roughly comparable to K. Rool's D-Tilt (inclusive of its shockwave hitbox). The player can, however, guide Popinski up to two training stage squares forward while stomping, letting him effectively terrorize closeby foes such that they might well get jumpy and throw out an ill-advised anticipatory reaction — not dissimilar to a challenging Punch-Out!! fight. Should both stomps connect, Popinski will inflict a staggering 45% on his victim, with the stomps' combined damage functionally bringing the attack's KO percentage that much lower, to 59%.

The main drawback Popinski must beware here is, foes that evade his initial salvo can set themselves up for an even meatier punish, given his longer move duration — 64 frames from start to finish — compared to his other Down Special attacks. There may well be circumstances where Popinski stomps forward not to catch a foe but defensively to evade one charging a Smash behind him. When fighting Popinski, just make sure not to extend your hurtbox through his body such that you get pitfalled anyway. In midair, Popinski falls at a slightly reduced speed while performing his stomps, which stun foes in place as an aerial analogue to his pitfalls. Popinski's descent inhibits him from casually initiating maxed-out Down Special offstage to wall off recovering foes, but timed well, he can drop onto a foe to catch them with his second stomp, leading into the one-two punch of his bellow and swing for an offstage finisher.

UP SPECIAL - SODA FURY




Popinski lifts a knee, pivoting with his other leg to perform an uppercut in an interpretation of his signature attack from Punch-Out!! Wii. His fist's hitbox emerges quickly to scoop up close-range foes in front of him, progressing into the air a training stage square above his head as he follows through on his punch. Popinski's uppercut boasts an initial strong hitbox between frames 5-6, inflicting 14%, 5% in extra shield damage, and knockback KOing at 115%, and a weaker hitbox lingering from frames 7-13, dealing 8% and knockback KOing at 155%. Though Popinski's uppercut leaves a slight blindspot directly above his head, his upper half has Terry-esque intangibility during his punch's active frames, giving him leeway to challenge aerial approaches or those above him on platforms.


With no further action, Popinski undergoes 32 end lag frames, holding his uppercut pose momentarily before winding down. If the player inputs another Up Special during this cooldown's first half, Popinski will cancel out of its last half, pivoting to perform a second uppercut identical to the first in terms of frame data. By default, he performs both uppercuts in place in the direction he's facing. With light taps of the control stick, the player can have Popinski perform his second uppercut to the opposite side, and hard presses in either direction has him step half a training stage square forward while punching. Adjusting directions mid-stream can equip him to punish rolls, while staying the course can cover spot dodges; stepping toward a shielding victim may help him keep whittling down their bubble, moving in after his first uppercut's shield-push. In any case, should Popinski land a clean hit with this dictionary definition combo ender, he'll often earn a nice opening to drink.

Speaking of drinking, Popinski isn't necessarily limited to two uppercuts at a time. Should the player continue inputting Up Special during and beyond his second uppercut's end lag, Popinski can perform up to six consecutive lag-canceled uppercuts in a row, so long as he has the power meter units to substantiate them. On the ground, each uppercut Popinski throws beyond his initial two eats up 25 units from his meter. Though sacrificing meter isn't something Popinski ought to do lightly, a well-timed additional uppercut or two here or there lets him really amp up the pressure, whaling away on an enemy's shield such that they must carefully time their escape in between hits (his intangibility makes direct punishes difficult). Stepping back and forth with uppercuts under a low platform also can prove efficient in covering enemy landings or get-ups.


In midair, each uppercut Popinski performs boosts him three-quarters as far vertically and horizontally as Doc's super jump punch. He doesn't enter helpless after uses of Up Special, and as such can sandwich his midair jump in between two uppercuts for added height. However, in a parallel to grounded Up Special, Popinski only can perform two aerial uppercuts until he lands or grabs the ledge, at least unless he has meter to burn. Each midair uppercut beyond Popinski's second dispenses 25 units from his meter, up to a maximum of six punches per aerial stint.

Every now and then, while onstage, Popinski can translate Up Special's combo-ending properties into the air with a bonus uppercut or two, or even chase foes off the screentop for a KO, not dissimilar to Bowser's aerial Whirling Fortress. That said, Popinski most clearly benefits from additional aerial uppercuts offstage, where the punches not only let him return to the stage from farther away but also give him a means for mixing up how he gets there. Whereas, with two uppercuts, he'll mostly need to take the most direct path to the ledge, additional Up Special uses let him recover in a more staggered fashion. Air dodge inward, use an Up Special, drop down, and then rise with additional alternating uppercuts to evade or punish enemy edgeguard attempts — maybe by turning the tables on a wannabe stage-spiker, mixing up your uppercut timing to throw off their techs.

From a gameplay standpoint, that Popinski could be forced to spend his hard-earned meter to recover means the player must choose between taking a figurative bird in the hand, triggering Down Special early to access a decently strong attack and respectable buffs, or going for two birds in the bush, filling his meter to capacity to access his unblockable stomps and superior buffs. As a corollary consideration, the longer Popinski hoards a max-charged meter, the more time he gives his opponent to send him flying and leave him with no choice but to reduce it.

Popinski still can perform more than two Up Specials after triggering his rage, as his power meter is dwindling back down to zero. Each uppercut beyond the initial two still costs him 25 meter units, however, now translating to 3.75 seconds lost from his limited-time attribute buffs. As oppressive as Popinski can be while tromping around with higher levels of tough guy armor, foes practiced enough to knock or throw him offstage anyway can leave him with no choice but to reduce its duration, on top of the knockback unit reduction he undergoes from their damage. Chill this soda, then watch him fizz! Ha ha ha!


SIDE SPECIAL - SODA SPRAY
A rare move in Popinski's arsenal that doesn't involve punching, the Moscow mule here grabs a soda bottle in one hand and furrows his brow as he begins shaking it fast enough to render it a green blur. This constitutes a power-up animation, beginning on frame 20 and requiring a full second afterward to reach max charge. Popinski can cancel out with a shield, dodge or roll after frame 30, retaining any charge he completed for him to build upon with subsequent uses of Side Special. He automatically exits the animation upon reaching full charge, taking on a slight bubbly aura as a visual indicator.

Upon double-tapping the input, or repeating it while Popinski is charging or at full charge, he'll click open his shaken soda bottle, unleashing its carbonated contents in a torrent in front of him. Starting and immediately triggering Side Special takes Popinski 25 frames, counting the 20 to pull out his bottle; this is reduced to just five frames if he sprays his soda from his charge animation. With no charge, Popinski's soda spurts forward two training stage squares, a figure that expands to five squares at full charge. Foes sprayed take no damage but are pushed back in the middle of any animations they happen to be performing with low to above-average force, akin to FLUDD or Water Gun.

Characters' interactions with Popinski's airborne soda vary slightly, depending on their positioning and movement. Those sprayed on the ground are scooted back if stationary or stalled in place if they were moving against Popinski's flow. Spraying soda onstage can buy Popinski some breathing room or intercept aerial approaches. His beverage won't push back shielding foes but still can give him a moment to collect himself as they're forced to block the spray. With the right setup, Popinski can tumble opponents off ledges with his spray, depositing them in punishable prone if they miss their tech falling from low platforms.

In the air, characters are popped upward — often dangerously — with force proportional to any momentum they had on impact. A falling air dodge that nicks the end of Popinski's soda stream will boost that character lightly into midair, perhaps setting him up to punish their landing with a Smash after his 20 end lag frames conclude. By contrast, a bursting Super Jump Punch into the fizzy lifting drink will send Mario at a high angle, potentially one Popinski can capitalize on with an aerial, or a follow-up gimp from his weak Down Special's wind hitbox. Near the ledge, successfully priming a victim to expect Side Special can be a recipe for Popinski to surprise them with a more aggressive option than he otherwise might get away with.

The momentum-based properties from Popinski's soda don't end there. Rather, upon landing onstage, the sprayed soda will stick around for five seconds. Unlike Inkling's roller residue, Popinski's liquid doesn't directly hamper enemy movements. However, those who initiate dash overtop have a one-in-three chance of tripping in place; no more of that bush league WiFi """foxtrotting""" in Popinski's territory, thank you very much. On the other hand, several of Popinski's own burst movements become enhanced when initiated over a soda patch.

For starters, his initial dash — already decent, tied with Bowser and a few others at 6th best, or 2.255 units — improves to 2.365 units, tied for third best with that dratted Bronx Bruiser. Effectively, Popinski can switch up how he moves at foes from the periphery of grounded soda, whether shorthopping or walking out or exploding outward with a grounded attack or dash grab. Speaking of which, soda patches also have a 1.33x multiplier on any burst movements across the rest of Popinski's kit. You've already encountered two: overtop soda, Soda now can stomp up to 2.66 training stage squares with his fully charged Down Special, and step forward two-thirds of a square with each subsequent Up Special uppercut. Least flashy, but still key, Popinski's rolls have their horizontal distance enhanced, a helpful feature if he needs quick spacing or a getaway from melee range.


Player precision isn't to be overlooked here; with poor soda patch placement or the right pressure from his foe, Popinski's enhanced bursts could even result in him whiffing attacks he might otherwise have landed on solid ground. That being said, sliding right up to an opponent with an attack they weren't prepared to handle lets Popinski instill quite the touch of fear, especially if he's boasting higher levels of tough guy armor or toys with their expectations with non-movement-oriented attacks thrown in.

As a balancing factor, Popinski can have up to eight training stage squares or 80 units covered with soda at a time — in other words, a fully-charged Side Special nets him six squares or 60 units. During Side Special's startup, the player can angle his soda spray slightly up or down; an upward trajectory can help Popinski coat low platforms from below but both angles result in a slightly smaller patch coverage area on flat stretches of stage. With multiple Popinskis (Popinski?) in a match, new soda spray supersedes existing patches and sports a slight color hue based on each player's number.


STANDARDS

JAB - ANNEXATION



Popinski's first two jab hits have him throw a boxing jab with his right hand, followed by a cross punch with his left. His fist reaches out about as far as Bowser's jab for his first hit, while for his second, he steps forward a training stage square, knee bent in an homage to one of his Super Punch-Out!! attacks. The two hits deal 3% and 4%, respectively, plus a touch of stun. Popinski's first strike emerges on frame 6 and transitions into his second as soon as frame 9, with the two his having respective first actionable frames on frames 26 and 27.


Of note, if the player tilts the control stick backward before reaching jab hit two, Popinski will bend the knee in that direction while punching forward, covering himself as he steps back a square. Regardless of which direction he steps, Popinski can transition into his third jab hit as early as frame 13 — or, at least, its animation. Here, the raging Ruski reaches back for 21 frames before throwing a more brutal straight punch, reaching forward one square to deal 15%, plus 10% in shield damage, and knockback KOing around 125%.

Popinski's assortment of jab options, mixing and matching which direction he steps and whether he continues into his finishing punch, adds spice to his melee game. Stepping inward at a foe, Popinski can quickly proceed from jab hit two into a different option, like a grab or tilt, whereas ballsy uses of hit three can just as easily be rewarded or punished. Popinski's punch startup is roughly equivalent to spot dodge durations, and thus able to hit foes as their intangibility wears off, even through weak retaliatory hits like get-up attacks with enough tough guy armor.

That said, unless Popinski is able to shield-poke, jab hit three is decidedly unsafe up close, where foes can move in during its 26-frame cooldown with a grab, regardless of any armor. By contrast, stepping back renders Popinski's jab hit three safe on shield at the cost of lowering his ability to follow up out of hit two. If Popinski starts jabbing but quickly registers his enemy's shield, he can shift his hurtbox a short distance away before covering his tracks with the edge of his third punch's hitbox. Of note, though Popinski will stop if he steps backward at a platform's edge, the player can hold the control stick diagonally downward as he does so for him to drop and snap automatically to the ledge — helpful for retreating if neutral ledge get-up into jab has proven unfruitful or to quickly ledge-trump and B-Air a hanging victim.

Essentially, Popinski can tailor his jab duration and trajectory to his foe's offensive or defensive reaction, perhaps to prime them for something nasty later on. Strategies could include stepping forward with two jab hits before grabbing to bait punishable spot dodges, or stepping back and completing jab so foes feel secure leaping in with aerials, at least until Popinski ends jab early to meet them with a charged Smash. Spaced right atop a soda patch, Popinski can jab toward foes from a slightly greater distance away, or grant himself a bit more space backing away. In the latter scenario, however, his punch no longer will reach his victim unless they pursue into its range or extend their hurtbox. Some ranged characters can strike Popinski before or after his strong punch independent of how he's stepped, though what with his ability to mix in soda drinks for potential meter gains, he doesn't overly mind.


DASH ATTACK - ANGRY DUNK

Succumbing momentarily to his excessive, ah, soda consumption, Popinski clasps both fists, lifting them above his head while turning to the side and growling blearily. He then slams his fists powerfully down a training stage square in front of him as he spins the rest of the way around. Coming out on frame 28, Popinski's slam inflicts 18% and knockback that will KO grounded foes around 70% while spiking aerial foes with force sufficient to KO off the screentop around 125%. His full spin animation has him travel forward 2.5 squares, after which his slam's follow-through leaves him with 30 end lag frames.

For those keeping track at home, Popinski beats out — or falls behind? — Dedede for the game's slowest dash attack in terms of startup, and doesn't even boast a prolonged active frame period to help combat shield-grabs. Where Popinski sets himself apart, beyond power even greater than that of the penguin king, is his ability to power through a decent range of attacks with tough guy armor, effectively using dash attack as a mobile counter. Between dash attack, Smashes and aerials, Popinski has no shortage of ways to keep foes on their toes while timing air dodges in front of him. His slam's spike hitbox paves the way for Popinski to chase victims at low- to mid-damage levels into the air with buffered jumps and Up Special. Meanwhile, with good timing and perhaps a soda patch distance boost, he can utterly delete offstage foes who make the mistake of recovering too high.

FORWARD TILT - SPINNING JAB

Popinski extends both fists two-thirds of a training stage square and rotates them rapidly before throwing a single finishing punch, appearing to have taken a page from Bald Bull's book. Coming out on frame 12, his Kirby-sized fist hitboxes inflict three rapid hits of 2% over half a second, holding foes in the blur to be smacked by Popinski's punch, upon which they take 6% and outward knockback KOing around 135%. Much like Little Mac, Popinski's tilts all see the emergence of trample priority on his fists. Coupled with his fists' passive ability to block projectiles, bolsters F-Tilt as a tool for Popinski to penetrate enemy hitboxes at various ranges, at least to the extent predictability doesn't come back to bite him during his 26 end lag frames.

Popinski's rotating fists serve as an effective whiff punish option, as their duration can cover spot dodges and force caution in shielding foes. There's a small window before Popinski's final punch where close-range foes who dodged his fist rotation can retaliate, potentially with grab, but the timing is tight — a frame or two too late, and Popinski's punch hitbox will nick his attacker just as their grab land, saving him. Of note, though Popinski always rotates his fists directly in front of him, the player can angle his ultimate punch diagonally up or down to alter its knockback in the corresponding direction.

At low damage levels or on heavier foes, an upward F-Tilt can pop foes up a short distance such that Popinski can walk forward and catch them in a second F-Tilt if they don't react quickly. Similarly, a downward punch will bounce foes off the floor unless they time a tech, opening the door for an instant dast attack from Popinski if they don't move fast. One could say Popinski's rotating fists evoke a spinning roulette wheel, the final direction of which can seal opponents' fate if he's conditioned them to expect something different via previous F-Tilt uses.


DOWN TILT - HAMMER AND SICKLE

A two-hit tilt, Popinski first punches in a low-to-the-ground hook with his right arm, swiping with decent poking range. Coming out on frame 7, his arm inflicts 7%, with a mild 9% damage sweetspot on his actual fist, plus low outward knockback that will put most foes in prone around mid-percentages unless they time a tech. Because Popinski will perform his second D-Tilt hit if the input is repeated during the first half of his 24 end lag frames, his hook isn't that viable to repeatedly use in badgering foes, unlike its Ultimate cousins.

That said, it can lead nicely into Popinski's follow-up hit, which has him swing his left fist down at a slightly closer range in a powerful arcing blow. Foes struck regularly take 13%, plus 10% in bonus shield damage, and knockback KOing around 120%. If Popinski crunches down onto them while in prone, however, this damage is upped to 21%, triggering a zoom-in screen before their knockback occurs. Looks like the big man knows a thing or two about liver damage.

In any case, given the knockback from Popinski's hook, he won't normally be comboing the two hits together. Throwing out both D-Tilt hits back-to-back in a vacuum can be punished, as Popinski takes 14 frames to transition between blows, though a degree of tough guy armor can ameliorate this. Though his crunch punch's 29 end lag frames is far from safe on shield, its bonus damage makes for a great final hit in shattering an enemy bubble; Up Special uppercut followed by both D-Tilt hits will get the job done if the victim doesn't evade.

What's more, D-Tilt hit two is the logical punish in cases where Popinski has put a foe in prone with his hook: run up, maybe with added oomph from a soda patch, jab lock your target with a second hook before pounding down for a meaty string. And should the option prompt a panic get-up from his foe, Popinski can adaptively react to their chosen option — pivot grab or attack an inward roll, soda counter or use tough guy armor to tank a get-up attack or chase after an outward roll with dash attack.

From his regular crouch, Popinski has access to a crawl of sorts, performing a traditional Russian kicking dance to scoot forward or backward, calling out, "Hup, hup, hup..." as he goes. He's not ducking under all that many attacks this way, but situationally can improve his spacing for attacks like D-Tilt with style!


UP TILT - ADDED MUSCLE

Popinski turns slightly, facing the screen and raising an eyebrow arrogantly as he punches upward in a manner that more closely resembles an arm flex than any real boxing maneuver. Up there as far as faster options within Popinski's kit, U-Tilt has less overt startup or end lag as compared to his previous two tilts, but closer range and a low-to-the-ground blindspot into which some small characters can duck. Coming out on frame 6, Popinski's fist deals 7% and slow-scaling vertical knockback that won't KO until around 200%.

With just 20 end lag frames, Popinski is capable of stringing multiple U-Tilts together for some initial licks on opponents at 0%. After lower percentages, once U-Tilt stops consistently juggling into itself on most characters, Popinski can buffer Up Special for a Shoryuken-esque means of launching or KOing his victim. It's a true combo if he strikes with U-Tilt at point-blank range, and still can connect otherwise if Popinski's foe doesn't react quickly, up until truly high percentages. Enemies ought to react with purpose, however, as Popinski enjoys a 50/50 with U-Tilt used well. Reading an enemy jump lets him punish with one or more aerial Up Specials or U-Air. On the other hand, a falling air dodge or aerial from his foe gives him his pick of the litter of retaliatory options, including a charged Smash or shield-grab.

SMASHES

FORWARD SMASH - SOVIET SLUG



Popinski pulls a fist back, squinting in concentration before throwing a powerful hook with an accented grunt. Coming out on frame 24, Popinski leans hard into his punch, reaching a hair further than Wario's F-Smash, with super armor from frames 14-25. He inflicts 25-33% and knockback KOing from 80-45%, before undergoing 38 end lag frames as he adjusts from the committal animation, muttering "No..." in Russian on whiff. Though Popinski attacks in place by default, the player can tilt the control stick forward or backward during his charge, prompting him to step a training stage square in that direction during his startup before punching. Much like Little Mac's own F-Smash, the player also can angle Popinski's hook up or down, modifying its knockback for better respective KO or combo utility.




Much like in his source material, Popinski is likely to eat an enemy combo if he starts carelessly throwing hooks left and right. That said, selective use of F-Smash and Popinski's directional steps for micro-positioning heightens the attack's value as a tool of aggression. Similar to jab hit three, Popinski's punch startup is roughly equivalent to spot dodge durations, meaning with good timing, a stationary F-Smash can let him win out on those close-range skirmishes where players unthinkingly alternate between single attacks and dodges.

Walking into a hook, meanwhile, has similar functionality to Popinski's equivalent attack in Punch-Out!! Wii, where he steps sideways to counter Mac's sidesteps. And, should he mis-time F-Smash, Popinski can cut his losses and perform a limited retreat by backing away. He might still eat punishment by virtue of F-Smash's end lag, but the threat of getting smacked by a strong, trample-priority punch could just as well persuade foes to let him slide. As with jab, Popinski will stop at platform edges if he steps backward with F-Smash, but the player can have him drop and snap automatically to ledges by holding the control stick diagonally downward.

Otherwise, Popinski enjoys weaving F-Smash in with his mobile jab, perhaps stepping back with jab hit two before mixing things up with a charged F-Smash, capable of making a big dent in shields or shattering those he's already whittled down. Skirting around at the edge of a soda patch also helps Popinski keep foes guessing as to whether they'll have to watch for potential added F-Smash distance in close quarters.

Beyond that, F-Smash stands out as a delicious fear-mongering option in covering ledge get-ups. Whereas most characters open themselves up to punishment casually standing at the ledge and charging a Smash, Popinski can plant himself and then adapt with a mobile F-Smash as needed. Stepping forward can cover regular get-ups or ledge attacks, with tough guy armor potentially providing a buffer against the latter, while backing away can catch stray rolls. Of course, if Popinski misses in either case, he's likely to be thrown offstage and out of his comfort zone for his troubles.


DOWN SMASH - BUNKER BUSTER

Popinski faces the screen and slams both fists to the ground with force sufficient to lift his lower half a short distance off the ground, legs spread and face contorted angrily, in a cartoony animation reminiscent of squashing a bug. That's precisely the fate awaiting any insects underneath him, as foes take 22-29% and knockback KOing from 90-55%. Popinski doesn't give much warning before attacking, pounding down on frame 11, but undergoes a generous helping of end lag, holding his pose for 43 frames before regaining mobility. It's a vulnerable state, though he situationally can evade moves with the partial hurtbox shift he undergoes, lowering his body slightly to the ground.

Given the intangibility of Popinski's fists, D-Smash can effectively punish puny lightweights spamming low-to-the-ground attacks at close range. It's decidedly unsafe on shield, though a well-timed slam can make foes rue the day they attempted to roll behind Popinski. What's more, Popinski can reap surprising benefits from the small shockwaves his fists produce half a training stage square to either side. These inflict just 4-5% and a moment of stun, but spaced well, they can waylay foes just long enough that Popinski can exit his end lag and either escape or attempt a fast follow-up attack. With a speed boost from Down Special or initial dash atop a soda patch, Popinski even can try darting over to land a second D-Smash's primary hitbox!

UP SMASH - SIBERIAN EXPRESS
Popinski squats down while charging, grinning oafishly and curling his arms inward, before sweeping his arms up over his head and crunching them together in a forceful flex. He boasts a buffet of hitboxes across the performative animation, starting with a close-range hitbox to either side, emerging on frame 13 to sweep foes upward into the remainder of the move. As Popinski's fists come together, between frames 18-20, opponents scooped up or hit from above take 24-31% and vertical knockback KOing from 95-60%. More intriguingly, foes who find themselves directly between Popinski's fists at their point of collision, on frame 18, are subjected to a sweetspot: 29-38% in fiery damage and crumple-esque stun, as long as ZSS' max-charged paralyzer.

As with Popinski's prior two Smashes, U-Smash works best woven intelligently in with the rest of his kit. Though his fists reach up about as far as DK's U-Smash clap, Popinski is entirely susceptible to punishment from the sides during the bulk of the attack, especially as he holds his flex for an unpleasant 40 end lag frames. Where U-Smash comes in most handy is as a means for devastating badly thought-out air dodges from below, whether an enemy is dropping down from something like U-Tilt or U-Throw or landing from farther up. Popsinki enjoys using enhanced movement from Down Special or a soda patch to move in from underneath, throwing off victims who were expecting a hit from the side. Conditioning foes this way then opens the door for him to stand menacingly below a falling target, only to ultimately do nothing and catch them on the ground.

With sufficient tough guy armor, Popinski can harness U-Smash as an anti-air option, tanking weaker aerials during his startup before countering with his own flex. U-Smash's sweetspot is challenging to land in a vacuum, as foes getting juggled typically will be sent either too high or not high enough to be in the right spot, accounting for Popinski's startup. That said, foes who approach predictably in midair, or stand shielding above Popinski on low platforms, make the task all that much easier. Should Popinski connect with U-Smash's sweetspot, he'll have a moment to connect with a second attack from below. He's positioned well to charge another U-Smash for a robust extra heaping of damage and knockback, or attempt an U-Tilt to Up Special string. Thankfully, however, he cannot land U-Smash's stunning sweetspot again on a crumpled victim, nor can he stack stun via his Down Special rage attacks.


AERIALS

NEUTRAL AIR - RED GUARDIAN
Popinski twists ever so slightly inward before rotating his arms thrice around himself, momentarily turning a bright hue of red as he performs a midair lariat, taking a page from a fellow hunky Russian combatant's book. His blur of fists is angled slightly diagonally forward, covering a circular area slightly less broad than Bowser's N-Air between frames 7-30. During Popinski's first seven active frames, he'll inflict 12% and knockback KOing around 165% from center stage, or a ways lower close to the ledge. A weaker lingering hitbox during N-Air's balance deals 8% and average radial knockback that won't KO until ridiculous percentages.

N-Air kicks off a trend of Popinski's aerials being perfectly functional but having generally bad landing lag, resulting in more of a need for precision in hitting auto-cancel windows compared to your average fighter. From a sufficient height, Popinski undergoes only 16 end lag frames after N-Air. However, barring an auto-cancel through frame 3 or after frame 38, or cancelation into Neutral Special, he'll face 22 frames of landing lag, reversing his twist to conclude the animation. In any case, the duration of Popinski's hitboxes can serve as a blessing and a curse, granting him longer coverage at the cost of giving foes the chance for slower, stronger punishes if he whiffs. With timed uses, Popinski's N-Air can interrupt enemy combos, connect out of U-Tilt from a shorthop at low damage levels, or, used while descending, send foes at a low angle into a probable tech chase situation.

FORWARD AIR - DEATH FROM ABOVE

Popinski pulls his left fist back, as though preparing to slam-dunk a basketball, before throwing it down in a mighty arcing punch. Surfacing on frame 17, his fist reaches out about as far as Ganondorf's F-Air, dealing 15% and knockback KOing around 130% from center stage. Those struck directly underneath Popinski's fist as he punches, however, are spiked with significant force, sufficient to finish off characters with mediocre recoveries at frighteningly low damage levels or KO off the screentop around 150%. With a staggered startup and 25 end lag frames, Popinski can find himself frontally jammed in midair, as opponents with faster F-Airs, Ultimate's most valuable input, and better air speed get in his face.

That said, with 14 landing lag frames, it's perhaps Popinski's most versatile aerial out of a shorthop, especially if his aerial movement is all jacked up on Mountain Dew. If Popinski manages to connect with F-Air's regular hitbox out of a shorthop near the ledge, a skilled player can buffer a second jump and F-Air to combo into the attack's spike for a brutal-looking two-move KO set-up. Otherwise, F-Air can function as a great payoff when Popinski has conditioned foes to tailor their recoveries or get-ups around his Side Special soda spray or F-Smash at ledge. A foe preparing to dodge such an option falling down from above is a prime target to be caught unawares by F-Air as a quick, clean finishing blow.

BACK AIR - THREE-STEP PLAN

Popinski takes on an irritated look, pivoting slightly in midair to jab twice behind himself with his right fist, before throwing a stronger hook with his left fist, the momentum from which turns him to face the opposite direction. The three hits take place between frames 7-34, with Popinski's jabs dealing 4% and a moment of stun apiece from frames 7-8 and 14-15. His hook follows after a brief pause, from frames 33-34, dealing 9% and knockback KOing from center stage around 115%. Popinski then undergoes 25 end lag frames readjusting from his string.

An unorthodox aerial, Popinski's B-Air offers decent mix-up potential so long as players can nail its auto-cancel windows. He'll cancel out of the aerial upon landing in between his second and third hits, or from frame 52 onward, but touching down over the course of his actual punches drops him into a painful 26 frames of landing lag. With the right timing down, Popinski can experiment with different timing for B-Air out of short- or full-hops, or different fall speeds.

The relative strength of Popinski's final B-Air hook — an admirable KO option at ledge — can incentivize foes to instinctively hold shield when the aerial comes out. This clears the way for him to land from a short-hop and punish after just two punches, maybe with grab. Reversing the aerial from a full-hop, meanwhile, lets Popinski throw out his big hook before quickly turning around on the ground and throwing out a forward-facing follow-up. Popinski even can harness heightened aerial movement from his Down Special rage to use cross back and forth with multiple B-Airs, turning himself repeatedly such that the side he ultimately lands on comes as more of a surprise.


UP AIR - BOTTLE OPENER

Popinski faces the screen and leans backward, grimacing as he pulls a fist downward for a beat before rocketing it skyward with explosive force. Here, we see Popinski's slowest, strongest aerial, coming out on frame 18 to deal 17% and vertical knockback able to KO off the screentop around 110%. He holds the midair pose for 35 frames afterward, though his landing lag fortunately is comparatively low versus most of his other aerials at 18 frames. There's also an auto-cancel window worth noting after frame 44.

Among Ultimate's strongest U-Airs, Popinski's erupting punch here can make foes think twice about challenging him from above as, timed well, his intangible fist can cut through all but the beefiest descending aerials. Though U-Air's steep startup restricts its use as a juggling tool, Popinski's pause is perfect for punishing careless air dodges, which he's all too happy to bait out with an empty hop or two. While Up Special is the faster aerial follow-up in 50/50 situations Popinski has arranged from the ground, U-Air stands out as a potentially more rewarding KO setup if he's willing to risk letting his foe escape by hanging back a moment. Popinski can move slightly side to side during U-Air's startup to micro-position where his punch comes out — a boon if he's performed a momentous jump off a soda patch or has a mobility boost from soda rage.

DOWN AIR - CORKSCREW

Popinski lowers a fist about two-thirds of a training stage square beneath him and holds it out as he spins thrice around, producing a nice swirling visual and momentarily halting his descent as he does so. Once he's finished spinning, he immediately transitions into a swiping downward punch with his other fist. A keen eye might recognize the animation as a sort of bizarro inverse of Little Mac's own rising uppercut. Popinski's fist inflicts three rapid stunning hits of 3% between frames 10-28, followed by his stronger swipe on frame 34, dealing 5% and knockback KOing around 155%. Popinski faces 33 end lag frames once the attack wraps, or 24 frames of landing lag, auto-cancelable from frame 60 onward.

Compared to more garden variety multi-hit D-Airs, Popinski normally struggles to string the move together multiple times in quick succession, as his final swipe knocks foes far enough away to render this untenable. However, with improved aerial movement from Down Special, Popinski gains enough horizontal oomph to connect two or three D-Airs on foes at low damage levels — a continued benefit, should Popinski's initial outburst KO his opponent with rage time to spare. Otherwise, a shorthopped D-Air can snag and launch foes passing underneath Popinski, netting him some breathing room, or else, with an auto-cancel, pop them perilously up for him to punish from the ground. Popinski's spinning hits also pull foes along if he initiates D-Air with a degree of horizontal momentum, perhaps from leaping off a soda patch. This can set the stage for sacrificial KOs if drops down to ledge with jab or F-Smash before bounding at his target close enough to a blast zone.

GRAB-GAME

GRAB - DRINKING BUDDY
Popinski swipes both arms outward, appearing to try and headlock his target. He's got an eight-frame startup and average range, both scaling accordingly with his pivot and dash grabs, most comparable to Snake. Popinski is more apt to face retaliation on whiff, with half a second of end lag, but could be considered likelier to benefit off any given grab.

That's because, on catching a foe, Popinski locks them uncomfortably in one elbow, pulling them close and laughing as he chugs from a soda bottle in his other hand. His drinking functions identically to his Neutral Special, adding 0.25 unit per frame to his meter and healing him 0.5% every 30 frames.


PUMMEL - KNOWING ONE'S LIMITS
Popinski stops drinking and takes on a stern expression as he bonks his victim over the head with his soda bottle's underside, inflicting the standard heavyweight 1.6% over 21 frames. Of note, Popinski will not earn meter or heal damage without the bottle to his lips, creating a degree of player choice at the inception of each grab-game.

Popinski generally won't be making more than incremental meter gains drinking while holding a victim. That said, in situations where he's having trouble finding opportunities to drink or land soda counters, he's free to achieve those benefits with this alternative, at the expense of pummel damage and stale more refreshment. His own refreshment can situationally max out his meter such that he can follow up on a throw with Down Special, so long as he doesn't get greedy and let his foe mash free first!

FORWARD THROW - SPETSNAZ ASSAULT

Popinski heaves his foe a short distance into the air, before hopping up to punch them diagonally downward into the stage, as though he were spiking a volleyball. His strike deals 8% and bounces foes off the floor about two training stage squares in front of him. The knockback won't KO foes until absurb percentages but leaves them momentarily in midair hitstun which, given Popinski's decent first actionable frame, gives him a short window to dash over for a follow-up.

Against low-damaged targets, Popinski can rack up quick damage comboing into a shorthopped N-Air or catching their landing with F-Tilt. A foe that sits back and doesn't react in any way is a prime target for Popinski to smack with an instant dash attack, also a handy tactic if Popinski has the tough guy armor to muscle through whatever puny aerial his victim tries mashing out of hitstun. His range of follow-up options expands when his ground speed is boosted under the effects of soda range — now, against victims at low- to mid-percents, Popinski can rush underneath for another offensive vantage point. Of note, though F-Throw can effectively usher foes offstage, Popinski won't spike foes downward upon using this throw at the ledge.

BACK THROW - JOLT HAYMAKER

Popinski lifts his victim in one fist and turns to leap backward two training stage squares in midair, before walloping his foe while traveling a third square. His punch inflicts 14% and alright knockback KOing around 120% at ledge. Similarly to Ken's rolling B-Throw, Popinski and his foe move over the course of the animation. One could call it a spacing throw that simultaneously spaces Popinski, keeping him near melee range with his victim.

There's not all that much he can easily follow up with here, aside from maybe a shorthop B-Air at low damage levels. That said, Popinski doesn't mind resetting neutral or tossing a foe offstage so he has time to drink or attempt a gimp. B-Throw also can effectively drag foes near or atop soda patches for extra enemy tripping odds. Using B-Throw while standing on a soda patch has Popinski propel himself off the slippery drink, applying its 1.33x multiplier to travel a total four squares — a possible help to get a victim that extra bit of distance to the ledge for the KO at high damage levels

DOWN THROW - LOVE THE BOMB
Keeping his victim locked in his elbow, Popinski winds up and throws an overhead punch forceful enough to pitfall them, with strength comparable to K. Rool's own D-Throw. Though his punch itself deals just 5%, Popinski naturally becomes able to follow up with progressively stronger attacks, the more damage his victim has; at his upper ceiling, he can reliably start landing Smashes against all but the best mashers after about 160%. Despite superficial simplicity, Popinski's pitfall blends in well with several other tools in his kit. Keeping his foe momentarily stuck at close range is, of course, highly desirable for ensuring Down Special rage attacks connect, but Popinski can drive toward alternate damage-racking approaches, too.

His first two jab hits allow for knockback storage on his pitfalled target, giving him a chance to a re-grab, run up and attack or, at the ledge, drop down after his victim with an aerial for a gimp or stage-spike. From a defensive standpoint, if it's marginal whether Popinski has time to land jab hit three or F-Smash before his victim escapes, he can step backward to reduce the odds of being struck in retaliation. Alternatively, in a pinch, Popinski can try guzzling soda while his foe is pitfalled, being able to overwrite the end of his throw's animation, much like a regular attack.

Popinski has a pseudo-advanced technique buffering D-Throw out of a dash grab overtop a soda patch. If performed successfully, Popinski will slide to the side while performing his pitfall, crossing up his buried victim so he can punish them from the other side. This naturally requires foresight in terms of soda spray placement, not to mention positioning for Popinski to land the dash grab in the first place. Used well, however, Popinski can ensure he's launching his victim to the closest horizontal blast zone or, at low damages, onto the stage, such that he can attempt a tech chase or prone abuse.


UP THROW - AVALANCHE

Popinski casually tosses his victim up above him and, before they can react, throws a rotation of punches at them, as though hitting a hanging speed bag. He throws five punches inflicting an aggregate 16% with vertical knockback that's decent initially, but scales slowly such that it won't KO until 200%.

As Popinski's most damaging throw, there aren't that many truly opportune moments to bust out U-Throw. He lacks any true follow-ups, though Up Special or U-Air both have the potential to force quick reactions, as they certainly can connect when buffered against lollygaggers. Of course, once a foe is conditioned to fall with an aerial or air dodge, Popinski can react accordingly, with some choice possibilities including a soda counter, a grounded option enhanced with tough guy armor or, if he's gone beast mode, a timed U-Smash sweetspot to add insult to injury.

FINAL SMASH

FINAL SMASH - BOLSHEVIK BENDER
Popinski takes a quick sip of purple Soviet juice from his Wii title defense fight, roars and throws a quick hook with average reach, inflicting 5% and knocking up to three targets into a cutscene. The screen zooms in on a Punch-Out!! arcade machine to show the victims inside a pixelated boxing ring in their dizzy states. Manifesting in sprite form, Drunkenski bobs over from the ring's corner and bombards them with a sped-up array of jabs, hooks and uppercuts. These inflict a total 54% before the victims are knocked offscreen, leaving Drunkenski to laugh as the old-timey announcer voice calls out "knockout!" As the characters reappear onstage, Popinski's targets are launched with force sufficient to KO at 40%.

EXTRAS

UP TAUNT - CANNED LAUGHTER



Both hands on his hips, Popinski throws back his head and laughs thrice cockily. Every few uses of this taunt, he'll use his sprite laughing audio from the NES Punch-Out!!, which happens to be stock audio shared with Ganon!

SIDE TAUNT - DESIGNATED DRIVER

Popinski pantomimes his hands on a steering wheel, calling out in Russian, "I can't drive, so I'm gonna walk all over you!"

DOWN TAUNT - SPIKED PUNCH

Popinski lowers himself in a squat and flexes both arms, threatening his foes in Russian, "I'm gonna make you feel punch drunk!"

ENTRANCE - NIGHT ON THE TOWN




Popinski stands onstage double-fisting soda bottles to chug from both at once, before crunching his fists together to flatten both bottles menacingly.

VICTORY POSE #1 - SUN DANCE




Popinski shakes a soda bottle so it sprays vertically and then stomps around in the falling fizz, spreading his arms as though to convey the magnitude of his win. Still holding the bottle, he then lowers himself and starts performing a Russian kicking dance as his freeze-frame kicks in.

VICTORY POSE #2 - SOBRIETY TEST




Popinski begins juggling three soda bottles, calling out "Hup, hup, hup..." as he shifts around in place, before tossing two off the screentop. He takes a deep drink from the remaining bottle in his hand and sighs contently, unfazed as the other two fall down and bonk him in quick succession.

VICTORY POSE #3 - GOOD SPIRITS




Popinski stands, arms folded, amid a series of purple soda crates and declares in Russian, "My favorite drink is victory!"

UNIQUE VICTORY POSE - VS. LITTLE MAC

Popinski beckons smirkingly to the screen with a bottle-holding glove, chiding his pint-sized opponent in Russian, "Looks like you need a drink, Little Mac."

VICTORY THEME - CHAMPION OF THE RING

Popinski's victory theme sees Little Mac's Punch-Out!! win jingle re-scored with his patented Russian chorus and orchestral music.

LOSS POSE - HANGOVER

Popinski hunches over in despair over his loss rather than clapping. Every now and then, he'll attempt to drink from his bottle, only to find it empty and shake it upside-down longingly, to no avail.

LINK TO CHANGE LOG (last updated XX/YY/ZZZZ):

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Last edited:

UserShadow7989

Smash Apprentice
Joined
Aug 13, 2007
Messages
178
Soda Popinski BKupa666 BKupa666

Popinski's set makes each move its own interesting tool without overcomplicating anything. The writing elaborates well on his combos, 50/50s, etc without breaking the 10k word limit (at the time of this writing, edits might affect that given he's on the razor's edge), and the visuals are distinct enough to remember them individually by their look. His tools all work to recreate the feeling of playing Punch Out!, the small movements he can make mid-attack, trample priority on his fists, and Down Special-granted armor forcing opponents to fight him cautiously while rewarding them with a few good clean hits if they succeed.

The Specials provide a nice base and help Popinski's character show through; Neutral and Down Specials are an interesting counterpart to Little Mac's KO Punch mechanic, playing from the other side as the Goliath with periodic passive buffs to Mac's David with a sudden one-shot comback, while still feeling connected to the same series, boxer with fellow boxer.
Small touches like the mention of his 'crawl' animation, assorted references in move names, and the general writing style come together to feel like a definitive set for the guy. Side Special and its effect on his various movements mid-attack is a taste of Punch Out! zaniness in an otherwise grounded set.

As an aside, Popinski feels like a successful version of what the old PO! movement way back in MYM 6 tried to accomplish with making sets for a series that had lots of personality but not a ton of immediately obvious gimmicks or tricks, and his Side Special shows how some of the old 'slip and slide' mechanics that were popular in 10~12 should be done for good measure.

I'm admittedly at a bit of a loss about what to suggest for improvements, since this is leaning heavily into a focus I'm not as well equipped in. He has a lot of slower moves, but he has enough quick options to not fall into the same trap a lot of heavyweights did in older Smash entries, and his slow moves aren't unusable in tight spots (even before factoring in his mechanic or the looming threat of Neutral Special being used as a pseudo-counter). The only immediate detail is that Neutral Special mentions the animation for him being interrupted during or his taunts involves his bottle being knocked away, but none of his taunts have him holding his bottle (unless it's in his hand at all times and I'm just forgetting).

There's some interesting interplay that goes unmentioned to keep the set just below 10k words. Neutral Special recovers meter faster than Down Special drains it, meaning Popinski can deal with campy foes or a mistimed use by sneaking in chugs, bait an approach, sacrifice a combo for a quick swig by instead cancelling into NSpec, or trigger Down Special to get one of the shorter animations and then chugging to up your meter as the foe is reeling from a stronger hit, letting you go into neutral/approach with the buff up (coinciding nicely with the speed boost/any side special soda puddles you put down). Popinski's passive grab benefit (which is a very nice trick) might also mean he can feign a grab with his meter about to bottom out, foes expecting him to use it to keep his Down Special going, only to punch through their read with what little armor is left/his trample priority. The FLUDD effect of Side Special sets up the spacing to use the resulting soda slick immediately after.

I feel this isn't a big problem, given it's easily inferred and keeping the set as a sleeker, easier read is always a plus. I'd normally recommend a bit more to a set with some short moves like Popinski's Up Throw, but it feels like it'd be hard to expand on much or squeeze in more without bloating the set- said Up Throw being a good example of a short move that does what it needs to in the context of what else is there. Kat's comment had some neat ideas that could be used if you do expand on it.

If it wasn't clear by the initial gushing and difficulty in finding something to suggest, I liked Popinski, and there's a bit of nostalgia in it for me with seeing a Punch Out! character. You've had a really hot contest so far, Kupa, and I hope you keep your drive!
 

Smash Daddy

Smash Master
Joined
Apr 29, 2007
Messages
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Location
K Rool Avenue
I'm finally getting around to doing much of anything in this Make Your Move and if I was to start on any set at all, Maximillion Pegasus is an excellent place to start. This set has tons of ambition, creativity, and personality and is so happy to take risks it's really a delight to see from what I look for in movesets. It's so bold it's practically daring someone to try picking into its incredibly deep mechanics to try and find flaw, but I think they would find that difficult as the set is impeccably designed. I enjoyed how you handled the card mechanics of Yu-Gi-Oh in a seamless and yet deep way. It's a great base for future Yu-Gi-Oh duellist sets get inspiration.

The set reminds me a good deal of my (at this point very antiquated) Michael Reynolds set. Beyond the obvious points as to why - they both summon a lot of things - the way the set plays with some more basic elements in its specials, the stances. These ways to passively set up traps are actually very simple. That's no bad thing however, because the set already has plenty of other complex mechanics going on. I like how passively Pegasus sets up his set to catch players off guard. The down B similarly is some really simple traps just to help back up the rest of his set. It's super intuitive and easy to digest, setting the stage for everything else in the set. I also really like from this point on just how much of his deck is covered in this set. Literally everything you could hope for is present here. It's incredibly comprehensive and it obviously took a lot of work to even all of it in the first place, for that I really have to commend you, US, as this kind of thing is both one of the most appealing things about a YGO character as well as being of the most daunting parts of the archetype.

Another example of this simple, very intuitive design is the way the down B, Millennium Eye counter works alongside neutral B as a similar animation. It sets up a fun dichotomy where players have to watch Pegasus keenly to see what he's doing. One suggestion I would have here is to not make it exactly identical but close enough so foes who are smart can tell what he's doing, just punish those who aren't paying attention.

Toon World was always going to be a big part of the set's mechanics and I think you did nail it really. It's a strange mix of positive/negative having the Toon World out as it frees up Pegasus while technically slowing down some of his attacks. I've never seen a set with this many "minions" approach balance in this way and it's honestly quite refreshing. This set is far more mindful of resources like the player's own freedom to actively attack than most sets of this genre. That's if anything, the most important thing to keep in mind and I think this approach is one of the better ones in terms of this playstyle I've seen. That's a common thread throughout the set in how aware it is of the basics of playing Smash that helps connect the world of casual and competitive Smash when envisioning how Pegasus works.

Where the set really gets into its stride is in the melee that incorporates all of my favourite Pegasus cards. Dark Rabbit, the original Funny Bunny, as jab is a pretty perfect choice for the input. I quite like placing Toon Mermaid on the suitably "bulky" input of ftilt, without being on a Smash, feels like a fitting place for her. The smashes are all really great and fantastic picks for the cards/moves as impressively powerful finishers. All of these cards are obviously really iconic for Pegasus, I also appreciate how he casually pulls out the Toon Blue Eyes on a smash like that, almost seems disrespectful to Kaiba in a cool way. I will note too, the smashes have that satisfying smash goodness that is present in almost all of your modern sets that really nail the inputs in a way I like. At their best they do feel appropriately powerful and flashy while having the restraint to not go too far in either respect.

The best aerials for me were definitely the Toon Masked Sorcerer and Toon Summoned Skull, maybe I’m biased. They had some of the most fun imagination in the set for how they utilize the cards. I might add, in ways that make sense for the zany toons, as is the case on basically every move in the set. Summoning the elephant (not to be confused) on the down aerial was also a lot of fun and a nice break into the world of HMA move archetype for a moment, much like the Golem on the dtilt with his stomp. The set really has a little of everything in that respect. The grab also delivered in the cartoonish way you’d hope for Pegasus, similar in animation to his up special and fittingly complex in a mechanical way, again without going too far, it’s not a truly gimmicky grab just a slightly novel tether grab. I have to say the almost horrifying way the throws work is one of my favourite parts of the set. It’s delightfully unorthodox and feels very Pegasus how much he screws with the opponent. Naturally the set ends on Relinquished which really just makes all of the sense given the set is logically all about Pegasus’ toon cards.

This set is a huge achievement delivering as much as it does on such an iconic, complex character. I feel like I could say a lot more on it and mostly what I will say is I’m not sure I am as big a fan of the writing style with the bullet points as I was in the past, as much as I did enjoy reading the set, I may recommend going back to a more traditional writing style if you don’t mind as I did find the set a little hard to read at times. My other complaint is what I talked about in the neutral B and down B, I don’t think identical animations is a good design choice. Other than those two things, I have little else negative to say here, it’s an impeccable set and one of your best US, so awesome job! If I ever do make a duellist I’ll look to this set as great inspiration for what I write.
 

wizfoot

Smash Apprentice
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Aug 12, 2020
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Approaching Hell
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SW-7677-1915-7484
GARLAND







"You impertinent fools. I, Garland, will knock you all down!"


Introduction - Garland Knocks You All Down!



"Curse your fate of weakness!"​



Garland is the main antagonist of the first Final Fantasy game, and a playable character in the Dissidia series of Final Fantasy based fighting games. A former knight of Cornelia who has fallen from grace, the Warriors of Light pursue him after learning he has kidnapped Princess Sarah. As the game progresses, it is revealed that Garland created a pact with the four fiends of Kraken, Tiamat, Lich, and Marilith/Kary and subsequently created a time loop - it is unknown how old he truly is, and potentially impossible to truly say.



Garland was formerly a renowned knight of Cornelia, being regarded as the best in the entire kingdom. However, his lust for power drove him over the edge; he defected and kidnapped Princess Sarah, the King of Cornelia's daughter. He is defeated at the Temple of Chaos by the Warriors of Light, seemingly disappearing or dying. It is later revealed that he had created a time loop with the Four Fiends of Chaos to live forever. In his last stand he takes the form of Chaos, an eldritch god, but is defeated and presumably killed by the Warriors of Light after a climactic showdown 2000 years in the past.



Garland is arrogant and proud, treating enemies he perceives as weaker than him with disdain. He infamously gloats to the Warriors of Light, stating before their battle that "[he] will knock [them] all down!!" He also relishes in the idea of outsmarting his opponents, explaining to the Warriors of Light that he will savor the thought of killing them again and again as he is continuously reborn. He shows no mercy to his opponents, stating that he will show no mercy to women and children when he faces Terra and the Onion Knight in Dissidia.



Despite his ruthlessness, Garland is not without episodes of compassion and retains the chivalry and honor that he held as a royal knight. He offers words of solace towards Kuja after witnessing how the other Warriors of Chaos manipulate his memory and emotions, and openly disapproves of the actions of the Warriors of Chaos that could endanger their allies. He forms a friendship with Chaos, becoming the god's confidante and closest ally. When Chaos is abandoned by his warriors at the end of the Thirteenth Cycle, only Garland remains loyal, guarding a gateway that leads to Chaos' domain. Garland actually pities the god, feeling solidarity in the fact that they are both slaves of war. In Dissidia NT Garland tells the Warrior of Light that Spiritus is not the true enemy, and takes him and his allies to Spiritus to resolve the war peacefully, showing that he also knows the value of diplomacy.



____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Canon Abilities



"I will break you and your sword!"​



Characters in Final Fantasy regard Garland as the finest knight of Cornelia, a title he has earned through fire and bloodshed. After kidnapping Princess Sarah, many battalions of knights were sent to face Garland; all of them were killed, proving Garland's capability in battle. Garland's fighting style focuses around a massive sword that can change form between a greatsword, a lance, an axe, twin swords, and a flail. The sword's size and weight makes it difficult for even Garland to wield, thus he drags it behind him and uses his body's momentum combined with its alternate forms to swing it. Garland's attacks use the versatility of his weapon to deliver massive blows in its different forms, such as charging forward with its lance form to impale his opponent and then quickly shifting to its axe form to slam them into the ground. He also occasionally infuses the magic of the Four Fiends -- earth, water, fire, and wind -- into the blade. Both Dissidia and Dissidia NT characterize Garland as a close-range fighter that is slow to move and attack, but has terrific power.



Garland's fighting style in other spin-offs varies, but is often either reflective of his Dissidia incarnation. Alternatively, he is able to use quad-elemental attacks in reference to the Four Fiends. In Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia, Garland can grant himself the "Soul of Conflict" status that delays his target's turn when he attacks, and his Limited and Burst skills each grant a temporary status that boosts the party's damage, the boost increasing as they take turns. In Final Fantasy Record Keeper, Garland is a darkness and heavy physical specialist, with Soul Breaks and Legend Materia that grant him follow-up attacks and heal Garland when he deals damage. World of Final Fantasy and Final Fantasy Brave Exvius focus Garland in dark-elemental damage with some proficiency in earth, fire, water and wind, the elements of the Four Fiends.



____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

In Smash



"My blood boils... the ultimate fight!"​



Garland functions similarly to Ganondorf. He is slow and a superheavyweight, having the heaviest weight in the entire cast. To compensate for this lack of movement he has incredibly strong attacks, although they usually have significant lag. Many of his attacks revolve around his massive sword and its ability to change forms when the situation demands it. In Smash, his sword takes on five forms - a greatsword, a lance, an axe, twin swords, and a flail. He also has ranged magical attacks. Like other heavyweights Garland is not very combo heavy, instead relying on his powerful attacks to get the job done. Like his incarnation in Dissidia, Garland is a close range fighter, and as such he performs poorly against projectile characters such as the three Links, Samus, or characters with that can extend already-existing gaps such as Zelda.



____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Stats



Garland is the second slowest character in the game, having a running speed of 1.21. He would be slower than Robin by 0.055 and faster than Incineroar by 0.03. He would be the heaviest character in the game with a weight of 141, surpassing Bowser by 6. He is the fourth tallest character in the game, clocking in at an impressive 8'6". Height-wise, he would be shorter than Donkey Kong and Ridley standing up and Piranha Plant at full height, although when disregarding total height (which Donkey Kong never reaches, Ridley only reaches in his taunts, and Piranha Plant only reaches in his down special), he would be the tallest character in the game, surpassing Ridley's in-game slouch by around 3 feet (88.9 cm), Ganondorf at full height by just over one and a half (48.26cm), and King K. Rool at full height by just under a foot (29cm).



____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________



Gimmick



Vanguard - When he reaches a certain damage threshold, which is determined the same way as Sephiroth's wing, Garland's attacks consistently increase in damage until they reach 1.5x their original damage percentage. His attacks do not get stronger on a set timer, but instead get stronger with every landed hit giving 0.05x more damage until 1.5x is reached; this means it will take 10 hits to reach maximum Vanguard. This effect dissipates when he dies, KOs an enemy, or after a certain amount of time. When Garland is in Vanguard Mode, a dark aura surrounds his character similar to Sephiroth's down taunt and his eyes glow red. When Vanguard activates, Garland says "This is exhilarating." and the background briefly turns blue.

Note; in move percentages listed below, the minimum/maximum damage listed with full Vanguard is labeled as "V%".



____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________



Neutral

Kill Percentage is based on the percentage needed to KO a Mii Swordfighter from the middle of Final Destination with no DI.



Jab - Garland strikes forward with his left arm. This move has vertical knockback, making it a potential combo starter with some of his aerials. To counter this, it has significant lag, coming out on frames 9-10 and ending on frame 27 with a 194% kill percentage. (13.5%; 20.3V%)



Side Tilt - Garland thrusts his sword forward in lance form. Decent startup, coming out on frames 13-15 and ending on frame 37 with a 116% kill percentage, with decent range but noticeable end lag. Can be crouched and can outright miss shorter characters such as Pichu. High horizontal knockback, so not a good combo move. (16% on tip, 14.5% on body; 24V% and 21V%)



Down Tilt - Garland kicks downwards, aiming for where the knees would be on most characters. Starts on frames 11-13 and ends on frame 37 with a 197% kill percentage. Decent vertical knockback, so a potential combo starter with his aerials or even up tilt/smash. (13.5%; 20.3V%)



Up Tilt - Garland swings his sword upward in axe form. Covers in front and above him. Starts on frames 15-17 and ends at frame 48 with a 121% kill percentage. (10.5% on tip, 9% on axe body; 15.8V% and 13.5V%)



Forward Smash - Garland slams his greatsword forward. Has significant starting lag but hits like a truck. Starts on frames 34-35 and ends at frame 78, with a 64% uncharged kill percentage and a 30% fully charged kill percentage. Occasionally he may shout "An opponent worth crushing!" or "I'll twist you into a knot!" instead of grunting. Extremely powerful diagonal knockback, making it an excellent kill confirm if used wisely. (27.5% minimum, 37% maximum; 36.8V% and 55.5V%)



Up Smash - Garland cleaves his greatsword above him in flail form, covering a 180 degree arc around his entire body. Comes out on frames 23-25 and has a large 60 frames of end lag, ending on frame 85 with 84% kill percentage uncharged and 38% fully charged on the sweet spot; for the sour spot, it's 96% and 48%. An excellent kill confirm and even a potential combo move if used wisely. (24% minimum and 33% maximum on blade, 21.5% minimum and 30.2% maximum on chain; 36V%, 49.5V%, 33V%, and 45.3V%)



Down Smash - Garland slams his foot into the ground, causing debris to go flying akin to Sephiroth's down smash. Comes out on frames 22-23 and ends on frame 49, with a 93% uncharged kill percentage and a 46% fully charged kill percentage. Decent vertical knockback. (22% minimum, 31.8% maximum; 33V% and 47.7V%)



Dash Attack - Garland shoulder charges forward. Comes out on frame 12 and ends at frame 27, with a 112% fully charged kill percentage. (13.6% minimum, 15.2% maximum; 20.4V% and 22.8V%)



____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Aerial





Neutral Air - Garland spins around with his greatsword. Starts at frames 6-9 and ends at frame 20 with a 124% kill percentage. A good follow up to moves such as down throw or down tilt. (8% fullheight, 6.4% shorthop; 12V% and 9.6V%)



Up Air - Garland swings his hand above his head. Starts at frames 8-10 and ends at frame 26 with a 131% kill percentage. A decent juggling tool. (13% fullheight, 9.2% shorthop; 18V% and 13.8V%)



Down Air - Garland swings his sword below him in axe formation. Can spike. Starts at frame 16-19 and ends at frame 48 with a 94% kill percentage at the sweet spot and a 111% kill percentage at the sour spot. (20% fullheight, 12.7% shorthop sweet spot; 17.3% fullheight and 9% shorthop sour spot; 30V%, 19.1V%, 26V%, and 13.5V%)



Front Air - Garland throws forward a left hook. Starts at frames 13-14 and ends at frame 31. A decent kill confirm at medium-high percent and when offstage, with a kill percentage at 89% at the sweet spot and 106% at the sour spot, making it one of his safest aerials. (19% fullheight sweet spot, 14.6% shorthop sweet spot; 17.4% fullheight sour spot, 11.2% shorthop sour spot; 28.5V%, 21.9V%, 26.1V%, and 16.8%)



Back Air - Garland thrusts the hilt of his sword behind him. Starts on frames 10-12 and ends on frame 32, with a 96% kill percentage. (18.2% fullheight, 14.6% shorthop; 27.3V% and 21.9V%)


____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Specials



Neutral Special (Earthquake) - Garland smashes his sword into the ground around him with the blunt, hammer-like back of the axe form. This move buries any opponent hit by it. Begins at frames 14-15 and ends at frame 39. While stomping, Garland will shout "Imbecile!" (15%; 22.5V%)



Up Special (Chase) - Garland launches himself upward. At the apex of his jump, he can input either the normal attack button for a light thrust of his sword, the "Bravery Attack," or the special attack button for a heavy swing, the "HP Attack," during which time his sword crackles with red lightning. If his opponent is hit by the Bravery Attack, he can press the jump button to launch himself towards them once before entering freefall. If his opponent is hit by the HP Attack, they'll suffer an electricity effect akin to Ganondorf's down spike or Falcon's knee, but Garland will be unable to chase them. Garland launches himself at frame 7; if the Bravery Attack is chosen he will thrust his sword at frames 10-13 and the animation ends at frame 34. If the HP Attack is chosen he will cleave his sword at frames 17-18 and the animation ends at frame 44. The Bravery Attack has a kill percentage of 231% and the HP Attack has a kill percent of 99%. (8.6% Bravery, 12.7% HP; 12.9V% and 19.1V%)



Down Special (Counter) - Garland raises his greatsword in front of himself. If he is attacked, he retaliates with a wide upward swing. Begins at frame 6 with variable kill percent. (Retaliates with 1.3x the damage of any incoming attack. Not affected by Vanguard.)



Side Special (Lance Drill) - Garland's sword enters lance form and he rushes forward. The special button can be held down to increase how far he rushes forward. Has a sweet spot at the tip. When he rushes forward, he has a chance of saying "Go!", "I'll crush you!", or "Here I come!" when the move is cast. Begins at frames 32-39 and ends at frame 67, with a 89% kill percentage at the sweet spot and 103% kill percentage at the sour spot. When uncharged, it covers roughly half the length as Ganondorf's Flame Choke, and when fully charged it covers about one and a half times the size of Flame Choke. (20.1% damage sweet spot, 17.5% damage sour spot; 30.2V% and 26.3V%)



____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Grabs



Grab - Garland reaches out and grabs his foe where the neck or upper chest would be on most fighters. Comes out at frame 8 standing, frame 12 dashing, and frame 13 on a pivot.



Pummel -
Garland knees his opponent's stomach. 3 frame startup. (1.8%; 2.7V%)



Forward Throw - Garland lets go of his opponent before kicking them in the stomach. Comes out on frame 15, the same frame it activates, and ends at frame 49 with a 221% kill percentage. (7.6%; 11.4V%)



Down Throw - Garland chokeslams his opponent into the ground, bouncing them off of the floor. Comes out on frame 26, the same frame it activates, and ends at frame 40 with an unrealistic 406% kill percentage. (9%; 13.5V%)



Up Throw - Garland flings his opponent over his head and hits them with his sword in flail formation. Comes out on frame 16, the same frame it activates, and ends at frame 42 with a 241% kill percentage. (12%; 18V%)



Back Throw - Garland turns around, opponent still in his hand, before flinging them behind him using the momentum from his pivot. Comes out on frames 24-25 and ends at frame 52, with a 210% kill percentage. (6.4%; 9.6V%)



____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Other



Home Stage - Old Chaos Shrine

The Old Chaos Shrine is a large stage akin to King of Fighters Stadium, with walls that characters can bounce off of and crash through as an homage to the walls and ceilings in Dissidia. What makes it different from King of Fighters stadium are a few unique elements; the stage (initially) isn't totally flat and has a breakable ceiling.

The stage hazard of this stage is the first ceiling; when on the first part of this stage, if a character is KO'd off the top they will crash through the ceiling (while still losing a stock/point). This will lead to a stage change; players are now teleported to the top of the Shrine, which also shares invisible walls and ceilings.

Key:
Black = Floors, non-penetrative walls
Red = Penetrative walls and ceilings



Music Tracks -

1. Boss Battle A - Final Fantasy
2. Boss Battle B - Final Fantasy
3. Miniboss Battle - Final Fantasy
4. Last Battle - Final Fantasy
5. Battle Scene - Final Fantasy




Alternate Costumes:



1. His base appearance.



2. Garland's helmet and armor become purple, his cape becomes lavender, and his longsword becomes gold with white details. This is a reference to the appearance of the Warrior of Light in Dissidia.



3. Garland's helmet becomes gold, his armor and cape white, and his longsword becomes silver with gold details. This is a reference to Exdeath, the main villain of Final Fantasy V.



4. Garland's helmet becomes light blue, his armor becomes blue his cape becomes red, and his longsword becomes gold with red details. This is a reference to Kefka, the main villain of Final Fantasy VI.



5. Garland's helmet becomes silver, his armor becomes black, and his cape and longsword become silver with black details. This is a reference to Sephiroth, the main villain of Final Fantasy VII and another playable character in Smash.



6. Garland's helmet becomes black, his armor becomes tan, his cape becomes red, and his longsword becomes black with dark orange details. This is a reference to Jecht, an antagonist from Final Fantasy X.



7. Garland's helmet and armor become a muted gold, his cape becomes silver, and his longsword becomes muted gold with white details. This is a reference to Gabranth, an antagonist from Final Fantasy XII.



8. Garland's entire outfit becomes white except for his sword, which becomes black with orange details. This is a reference to one of his alternative costumes in Dissidia NT along with an alternate sword, the Chaosbringer.



Taunts:



Forward Taunt -
Garland raises his fist and clenches it in front of his face. "You're finished!"

Down Taunt - Garland buries his sword in the ground and crosses his arms. "Time flows ever onward."

Up Taunt - Garland thrusts his sword into the ground and covers his body in his cape. "Hmph."



Chant:

"Gaaaaar-laaaaand! Gaaaaar-laaaaand! Gaaaaar-laaaaand!" (Note: the -laaaaand is lower than the rest of the chant by about an octave.)



Idle Animations:

1 - Garland adjusts his weight, twisting his neck.
2 - Garland folds his cape over his body before shifting it away.



Dizzy Animation:

Garland holds his head and stumbles around.


Entrance:

Garland drags his sword along the ground before him, before hefting it before himself.



____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________



Final Smash

Soul of Chaos

"Shiver at the power of a god!"










Garland swings forward, hitting any foes in range (similar to Sephiroth). He then assumes the form of Chaos, his final form in Final Fantasy. In this new form he casts five spells - Blaze, Tsunami, Cyclone, and an enhanced Earthquake, before finally finishing with the devastating Teraflare. (13%, 12%, 12%, 14%, 20%, ending with 71% in total. This would be the most powerful Final Smash in the game by percent, besting Ridley by 1%. Not affected by Vanguard, because who wants to get hit with a 106.5% Final Smash?)





Blaze





Tsunami





Cyclone





Earthquake





Teraflare



Victory Poses

Victory Theme: Victory Fanfare from Final Fantasy I

Left - Garland swings his sword around his body in flail form before crashing it into the ground. He then retracts it and the camera follows it to his body.

Up - Garland throws his sword into the air, raises his hand to the sky, and puts his other hand over his heart.

Right - Garland swings his sword around his body before crashing it into the ground in front of him.

When facing Sephiroth, he has a chance of saying "A hero enslaved to battle..." and when facing Cloud he has a chance of saying "That weak blade cannot cut me!" Otherwise, he remains silent.



Losing Pose

Like Mewtwo, Garland doesn't clap. Instead, he rests on his greatsword, bowing down to his victorious opponent. He grips his greatsword with both hands, planting it in the ground to his left.





Sorry if the frame data or damage is a bit wonky, I'm not the best at judging what can be considered balanced.
 
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Katapultar

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Garland is a great character choice for your first moveset, and I quite enjoyed the level of detail and character analysis displayed in his intro write-ups. And no need to apologize for wonky damage and frame data - if anything, I'd say both were pretty spot-on! The only bit of frame data I'd consider to be "off" is Garland's Neutral Special projectile coming out on frame 7 (I believe Olimar's Side Special comes out the fastest among projectiles at frame 9, largely because it doesn't deal hitstun iirc) - frame 15-20 tends to be the average speed for a projectile to come out, with the faster Hadouken (frame 12) having longer end lag to compensate. His throws could also kill earlier (especially given he's a heavyweight, unless his grab game is intended to be ineffective), like the B-throw which typically KOs from the ledge at 130% or so on a particularly strong one. You can always use Ultimate Frame Data for reference if you're really unsure about frame data when writing future sets, anyway. Also, Garland is missing a B-air, but it wouldn't be hard to fill in with a quick physical attack behind him.

There's a lot of terms and concepts to factor in when writing movesets (shields, mix-ups like 50/50s, combos, moves with super armour and so on), but I'll keep things simple. We typically mention Specials as the first input because they generally form the basis of the fighter's playstyle, and benefit a lot from being fleshed-out. One thought on Up Special: having played Dissidia myself, I'm pretty sure the move is based on the gameplay aspect where you leap towards your enemy and pick between using a bravery attack or slower HP attack. The bravery attack comes out fast but is beaten by a quick dodge, while the HP attack comes out slower but will catch out dodges intended for the quicker bravery attack. What if Garland could pick between performing a quick or slow (KO) attack at the end of his leap? Or his grounded Up Special could be a frontal slash that deals high set knockback, and you can input the move afterwards to chase after your opponent. It's pretty fitting to give Garland a Special based on a Dissidia mechanic anyway, given that game seems to give him most of his characterisation (until Strangers of Paradise comes out, perhaps).

Some moves could benefit with extra detail. For instance, how fast does the NSpec projectile travel, and how much end lag does it have? With its current build, the move would need to have long end lag to be balanced, probably deals high hitstun to ensure you get an advantage off of it. And how far does his Side Special travel? You could use the grids/units in the training mode stage as units of measurement, or just compare it to another fighter's attack like Ganondorf or Ike's Side Specials. On the subject of Garland's Specials, what if each of them were based on one of the 4 elements as is the case with his moves in Dissidia? He already has his NSpec, the other Specials could easily be modified (if at least from a flavour perspective) like wind for Up Special, earth for Down Special and fire for Side Special. I also wonder if Garland does a bit too much punching instead of making full use of his unique shape-shifting weapon: the Jab and throws make sense for Garland to get physical himself, but moves like F-air and D-Smash would probably be more justified as weapons, if at least modifying their animations. Finally, while moves like the Standards and Aerials have a purpose in mind like comboing or juggling, it might be good to put down a purpose for the throws and especially the Specials. B-throw could be for spacing/killing, D-throw seems like a combo starter. Something like Side Special could even deal a lot of damage against shields, as shielding is a very important part of neutral in Smash; talking about how a move fares against shields can make it a fair bit more interesting, like how Ryu's heavy F-tilt/Side Tilt is extremely good against shields.
 

GolisoPower

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Tomura Shigaraki was not in a good mood.

Ever since the incident that summoned Shin Godzilla, the League of Villains’ trust in Syndrome had been severely damaged. Because of this catastrophic blow-up in their faces, he was wrecking his quarters out of fury.

“Damn you, Syndrome,” shouted Shigaraki. “I gave you one chance to bring us to greatness, and not only does it fail, but it also turns on us! I have half a mind to damn well annihilate you if you weren’t seen as an asset by the others!”

With one final primal roar, he smashed his fist into the side of the wall, causing it to decay from his Quirk and reducing it to rubble. He seethed a little bit before calming down.

“Wow, talk about being a damn crybaby,” snarked a disembodied voice. “I didn’t think you’d take it this hard, holy hell!”

Shigaraki whirled around in search of the owner of the voice, rage restocked not a moment too soon. His eyes were bloodshot to the point they almost started to water with blood, his teeth clenched so hard they could break at a moment’s notice.

Out from the ceiling above him, a lovely young woman slinked down and met her tired-looking purple eyes with his, a smug grin no doubt underneath a black and purple bandana.

“Tomura Shigaraki, heir to All for One’s power, the leader of the new League of Villains,” she purred in an almost mocking manner. “If I had known you’d act like this, I’d have brought some diapers for da widdle baby~”

“Shut your trap,” he shouted as he shot his hand at her face. She deftly avoided his grasp and stabbed him in the side of the torso with a long spike made of a purple liquid. He weakly turned down to the new spike in his torso and turned back up to her. Nothing just can’t seem to go his way, can it?

“Who the hell do you think you are, sneaking into my lair, mocking me, and attacking me like this,” he growled with all the rage he could muster.

“Oh, just a gal who can do you a lot of good. Well, despite the fact I'm stabbing you, of course,” she said. “Oh, before I forget: do you know what I stabbed you with just now? That’s poison I’ve extracted from a very rare species of flower. The last time I injected this in a poor sucker, they puked their guts out. No really, it was like somebody using a very meaty party-popper. My cute little pets back home feasted like kings afterward. It’s not entirely in your bloodstream right now, so your body should be only feeling the more…‘mild’ effects of the toxin right now.”

“Damn you,” he managed to rasp before he began to slump. His vision was blurring, his head felt like it was full of helium, and his throat felt like it was being eaten away. She wasn’t bluffing. This could definitely kill him.

“Pretty powerful, huh,” she snarked. “This could’ve killed that big monster dude in a near heartbeat before it evolved greater antibodies if I collected enough of the stuff. So here’s the thing: I can easily pull this thing out, along with any stray toxins that might’ve found your way into your bloodstream, in exchange for letting me into your little loser’s club here.”

“How do I know you won’t cause another Godzilla incident,” Shigaraki gurgled as he felt the burning in his throat intensify.

“Well, I’m sorry, can’t tell you jack. But what I can tell you is that every last mother%*$!in’ enemy you have, won’t know what hit ‘em if you let me in. Tick tock, Baby Hands, you’re running out of time to choose~”

Shigaraki widened his eyes. This girl is serious and crazier than Himiko. She could actually kill him if she wanted to. Although, with a poison-based Quirk like hers, she could be better for his goals than any of his allies put together! He internally smiled before turning towards her.

“Alright,” he coughed. “You’ve got yourself a deal.”

Now, this lady had realized that this change in tone was much too drastic and much too abrupt for this to be legit. Time in the streets taught her about these kinds of people: he could stab her in the back when the time was right. But her internal self said, eh whatever, and she released the poisoned spike in his torso.

Feeling his strength returning, Shigaraki turned to his new pawn/accomplice.

“Now,” said Shigaraki. “Your name.”

“Well, since we’ll be working ‘together’ now, I guess that’s only fair~”

“The name’s Lucrezia, the Poison Witch. With me around, your piece of &%!^ mortal enemies are gonna blow away like last week’s garbage.”
 

Katapultar

Smash Lord
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Lucrezia has a lot of love put into her, definitely worthy of the Witchverse, and might just be your best set yet. Seeing those obscure real-life poisons was interesting, and her character had some rather good and creative attack animations - having a fighter who attacks using their coat (F-air, grab) is cool and not something I remember seeing in any moveset I've read. Her poisons, a more ambitious and creative take on Lavos, have some genuinely neat effects. Having the Neutral Special poison wear down as you attack was an interesting touch instead of the usual time limit, though I do wonder if 15 blips is a bit much for some of them, mainly Amantia because it has a pretty potent effect on-hit (should probably have no more than 5 blips?). I also think the Manticore poison could take a cue from how Kazuya's Rage mechanic expires if you miss with your grab too much - have the Manticore venom go away if Lucrezia misses with an attack 3-4 times, as having to wait 30 seconds almost makes it a once-per-stock thing in a regular match given how light she is. I also wonder: if Lucrezia shakes off a poison after having used up some blips, does that usage carry over the next time she applies the poison?

Among Lucrezia's poisons, Butterfly is the only one I think is underwhelming in effect, or at least could be clarified a little. My understanding is that the cloud just deals a fraction of the poison move's 6 second DoT over the 48 frames it lingers for, but the way the move reads "When an opponent steps inside, they will immediately begin to feel the effects of the poison’s damage over time" makes it seem like they take All of the DoT at once, which seems to be the effect here. Just that the way the cloud is brought up in other moves makes it seem like something foes will want to actively avoid.

Perhaps Down Special could take a cue from Neutral Special in having blips instead of running on a timer, because 14 seconds as a universal timer seems a bit long (minus Spider's healing over time effect and Manticore). Like Neutral Special, there are some interesting effects on display: Cobra allowing all of her (physical) moves to inflict hitstun seems like it would be useful for a sourspot hitbox that inflicted no hitstun. Once again, Amantia's effect on Lucrezia's physical strikes is pretty potent here, namely the super armour that could do with a bit more clarification - is the armour active for the entire move or just the starting lag and active frames? You could even just make it heavy armour like Kazuya has on some of his Smashes, because Lucrezia IS a lightweight fighter.

With Side Special, I'm glad you took my suggestions with the thread trap to make it more balanced. The half-charged thread could have some more reach, like 4-5 units given you need to charge it a little and it can be used as a tether recovery. And Up Special-wise, it might be better to not have Butterfly and Manticore affect Lucrezia's recovery to make it more consistent.

F-tilt I feel has the potential to infinite with its quick start-up, high hitstun, no knockback and being able to follow up into moves with less start-up than itself. It would also work well with Ivy's lag cut. It would be gimmicky, but perhaps the move could deal less hitstun if it was on Lucrezia's stale que, or it deals less hitstun so the foe does have time to react to follow-ups: they could shield to punish further F-tilts, but you can mix them up with your grab or charged Side Special with its grab hitbox. I also think it would be neat if F-tilt had a second part to it ala Snake's F-tilt, just so it can deal actual knockback. Maybe even a poison hit that deals light knockback on a different angle to Dash Attack, so you can get a bit of poison in the foe and further mix up your game. On a different note, I think F-Smash is pretty cool (maybe clarify exactly how long it takes for the poison coat to take effect, just so we know how easily Lucrezia can mix up the two different hitboxes when she starts charging), and U-Smash is neat for being able to stack poisons like Cobra and Ivy with its multiple hits. I also think that N-air could do with a sourspot that deals less knockback to keep the foe closer to you for a combo (like the aforementioned U-tilt follow-up, or just repeated N-air uses); you could easily make the move a sex kick for this purpose.

On a more general note, moves like U-tilt, F-air and U-air seem a bit slow for a Sheik-esuqe character, though Lucrezia does have ways to reduce her start-up. Her poison attacks also seem to be her slower moves for balance's sake: this does limit her ability to stack poisons on the foe, like Ivy and especially the cool Cobra effect, the stun of which would work really well with Manticore as you can casually off your opponent by switching to that poison. Fellow Witchverse character Roxanne in mind, I think U-air would be a good input for a poison move, as you could potentially juggle your opponent to stack poison on them. I do dividing Lucrezia's moves between poison and physical and having an input to buff either variation was good and adds diversity, compared to if all her moves were poisonous. On that note, perhaps Lucrezia could benefit from having moves where she can choose between making them physical or poison by tapping or holding A? Some of her tilts and aerials could have this trait, leading to some mix-ups if the move can combo into itself: I could imagine a scenario where Lucrezia gives her physical attacks Spider and poison attack Manticore, using physical U-airs to juggle the foe more effectively with their increased hitstun before finishing them with a high-powered Manticore strike. Might be a tad potent, but then Lucrezia has to equip those poisons in that way so it telegraphs her intentions.

By the way, Jabs and tilts are technically not optimal out-of-shield options. It takes 11 frames for a fighter to drop their shield, so that's 11 frames + however much start-up Lucrezia has to throw out her jab out-of-shield. When jumpsquatting out of shield, you can cancel into your Up Special or Up Smash, the former typically being the fastest out-of-shield option (depending on the fighter, Game and Watch, Little Mac and the Marios have frame 3 Up Specials). You can also perform an aerial, which has an additional 3 frames of lag to it due to the universal 3 frame jumpsquat (7 frames if you're Kazuya), to which Lucrezia would have a frame 9 out-of-shield N-air at her disposal as a better OoS option than her Jab. Fighters can also grab out-of-shield of course, albeit with an additional 4 frames of lag post-shieldstun as Froy reminded me, so Lucrezia's grab would be a frame 14 out-of-shield option. Having a bad out-of-shield game can serve as a weakness to a fighter, like Sephiroth for instance as he has some of the worst grab range among the Smash cast. https://ultimateframedata.com/stats.php This page of UFD has details on fighters' fastest out-of-shield options, which could prove handy.

In any case, thank you for making this set and character! It's a joy to receive new Witchverse sets, which might sound weird coming from someone other than UserShadow, coming with some fun match-up quotes (especially Victoria's) and an amusing story mode write-up in the above post where FA has pointed out that Tomura Shigaraki has become something of a butt monkey. Who knows what suffering your next character will put him through?
 
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Katapultar

Smash Lord
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It’s been quite a while since we got a picturesque and dedicated Junahu set. Like the revival of Kupa and Khold, Kactuar is like a time capsule that’s preserved your old setmaking style from years ago. Throwing out extras and animations at the start is reminiscent to MYM6, and I quite enjoyed the attention to sounds, animations, legends and your writing perspective. Much as I’d enjoy throwing out some stats for Cactuar, like his running speed and weight and height (Kupa posted a height chart for characters in the resources section of MYM Discord), I assume the vagueness was entirely intentional - I remember people bringing up how MYM6 Gluttony had no stats back in the day, but you were perfectly fine with it because it was like the set was telling a story (something along those lines).

The set captures the essence of Cactuar very well (I assume Kactuar’s set could be for an actual Cactuar), with a highly evasive set and creatively viable Neutral Special to represent his signature attack - I rather love the idea of a seemingly impractical charge time that can be charged during hitstun and other attacking animations, and the tracking properties are quite cool. F-Smash being able to fire off needles during end lag is nice too. Other highlights were Kactuar having identical running and dashing speeds for mindgame purposes (it would have been cool if you talked a bit about F-tilt and Dash Attack mix-ups or presented such opportunities, but I don’t believe that’s your angle of movesetting). Even the Side Special, which funny enough reminded me of a more reasonable version of Minne the Minx’s Side Special for some reason, which I enjoyed the lag cut from the attack buffering aspect at the cost of having to space your attack. And the MYM11 Marvin-esque U-air that turns you up-side down, a potent set concept that could lead to some very fun stuff - funny enough, that move reminds me of another Final Fantasy set in the form of Smady’s MYM18 Jecht set. And on the subject of older sets Kactuar reminds me of, reading the playstyle of Kactuar being an evasive character who builds up a super powerful move over time reminds me of your good old Krillin set from MYM10.

Kactuar’s melee moves are a bit vague compared to the standards of veteran movesets today, but that’s probably not your style and I can definitely respect the direction you go for. Kactuar’s evasive playstyle makes his goal in a match pretty self-explanatory, anyway. As far as actual “issues”, I do wonder whether grab letting the foe move around is unnecessarily gimmicky when it doesn’t have much or any gameplay implications, I’d be perfectly fine with little Kactuar binding its target like a regular fighter. D-air does seem a tad redundant when Down Special is already a stall-then-fall, there could be a tap vs hold variation to Down Special, but it’s not a big deal and I’m guessing you were going for a simple control scheme with Kactuar. It’s like how Bowser’s Down Special and D-air have different hitboxes and timings to them, despite both being stall-then-falls.

In any case, Kactuar is quite a good set for what is your first in a long time! I can only imagine how long it took to write up those insane extras and Pete. I don’t know how long you plan to stay in MYM or if you plan on reading other sets, but you’ve really outdone yourself with this astounding display of extras.


Pete is far more of a MYM’ian set, with farming and cooking that would make Cooking Mama from last contest proud, and a revival of Junahu’s Harem from 10 contests ago. Starting off, I am quite the sucker for movesets that spawn items, especially when you get to the item-mixing later in the set. As FA brought up, the stage-dependent spawning of crops is actually very unique and has a ton of room to be explored in MYM: it’s a quicker but more stage-dependent set-up that would work well in the modern era of MYM where fighters are far more melee-conscious.

The Wife mechanic is also very interesting: it’s not often we get mechanics that can be set pre-match, a bit like the T.O.P mechanic from Garou: Mark of the Wolves, and while you’d only have one wife per match it’s clear that this mechanic had a LOT of thought and ambition put into it. Karen in particular seems like the most potent Wife given she can directly interfere with foes (but shhh, don’t tell anyone that I would pick Mary). The save-link wives also deserve a shout-out even if they’re technically an extra like a boss mode, that could be some hilarious extra where Junahu female characters serve as Wives for Pete, potentially giving him more extras that Kactuar if you went beyond your own sets…

Other enjoyable aspects of Pete with his “tether” F-air, bringing up how the cow can be used to edgeguard foes by placing her near the ledge, and F-throw’s cargo carry being useful as a tech chase when you have crops as threats foes can roll into. As well as the D-throw basket trapping being hilariously introduced at the end of the main set. N-air getting more power with more items in your bag is neat too. Also, U-tilt oddly reminds me of Mike Dawson’s shouting U-tilt.

Being a more “old MYM” style set, Pete’s melee feels undeveloped for modern times beyond basic keep-away mentioned in the playstyle, though to be fair you have just come back recently and have a lot of mechanics (and hard interactions) to juggle. Jab could perhaps have more meat to it, like the shove could be the tapped variant and you can hold the move to get a regular Jab hitbox in. Side Special’s hitboxes also seem like a bit of an afterthought among other moves with hard interactions, and is largely meant to till the stage.

It can be hard to get a sense for how or whether the moves and mechanics can work together. For instance, the hitbox of Pete’s hay U-Smash has the potential to synergize with the move’s hay-producing effect that brings the cow towards you and functions as a pseudo-counter when eating hay? For instance, the hay move could deal low knockback, so it keeps foes relatively close to you, but if the cow comes to you and eats they have to be careful which direction they attack from so they don’t attack the cow by accident. It would also be super fun if the items had applications to them with Pete’s other moves, like extending his combos or opening up foes to get hit by a big attack: that kind of item mileage would elevate the set for me.

I also think you would benefit from throwing up a stats section: doing so would give readers an idea of how Pete handles control-wise, how big he is and how fast he is and how easy he is to launch. This only occurred to me when reading Pete’s F-Smash, where the pitchfork is stated to be as tall as Pete and have a ton of reach… but we are never told how tall Pete is. And it’s hard to tell from the artwork, as he looks like a child but I get the impression he’s probably as tall as Robin or Marth. Anyway, stats can play a pretty big part in the fighter’s attacks: someone with high fall speed/air speed would have an easier time throwing out air combos, while lower speed makes it harder for the fighter to approach and escape and so on, yeah.

Even so, I had a fun time with Pete! I’d say Kactuar’s execution was better, but moveset-wise Pete was a good deal more ambitious and they were both good sets, and food for thought set-wise. With a stronger focus on melee (50/50 mix-ups, combos and so on), I think that Pete and any future sets you were interested in could be truly great by modern standards and would reign as you once did before. Once again, excellent work on this set.
 

UserShadow7989

Smash Apprentice
Joined
Aug 13, 2007
Messages
178
Kactuar Junahu Junahu

A welcome blast from the past, carrying the highest extra count in MYM history with oodles of nods to extras invented in other sets and even full on additional sets within those extras. I feel that it's worth stating first and foremost that the love given to crafting all of those little easter eggs and tidbits, as well as a handful of clever jokes within the set itself, make the whole document an absolute blast to read. And I'm not just saying that because Louise and Cid both got shout-outs in this set, but I absolutely appreciate the hell out of that.

Onto Kactuar's set itself, their concept has that classic MYM energy, but with a level of polish you wouldn't typically see from back then. Kactuar has a highly mobile combo-centric playstyle, compensating for their frail weight with smart use of versatile mobility on all of their moves (amplified by their specials, confoundingly similar movement animations, and basic movement stats) to weave in and out of combat as the flow of the fight demands.

Contrasting Wriggle from last contest, whose innate movement during her melee attacks was mostly a downside due to making her attacks more of a commitment, the multitude of ways Kactuar can just keep moving as it fights is strictly a boon when used properly, and explored better as a central playstyle feature here. The sheer versatility of its movement options capture its metal slime-like purpose in life perfectly. This ties into its signature move, which can be charged while Kactuar is in a state that normally wouldn't permit it, and which locks on to a spot in the event that Kactuar's moving when it chooses to fire it off.

I was a bit worried that Kactuar might have to rely solely on its big payoff 100 Needles to KO, but the set avoids that old pitfall with multiple KO options that help it when 100 needles proves too difficult to achieve. Back Throw is a safe but late option, Aerial Down Special, off-stage Down Throw, Side Special into off-stage Down Smash, and Down Aerial being spikes of varying risk (and upside-down Down Aerial potentially killing off the top), and I could see a well-aimed 15 Needles ganking a foe with poor recovery.

There's a couple spots where a few details are needed in the main set itself (which I feel guilty for saying giving how massive the word count is including the extra). Multi-hit moves don't mention the number of hits, and the pummel and throws lack damage numbers entirely. Otherwise, the appendix makes certain to cover corner cases and goes into a little more detail on ways each move can be used, which is highly appreciated and an interesting way to ensure the set's writing flows while making certain those details are somewhere. It also specifies some important things, like Aerial Down Special NOT having its direction reversed, which would effectively give Kactuar the ability to recover/stall infinitely. I HEAVILY recommend readers make sure to go through it once done with the bulk of the main set (ideally before circling back to all the extras rather than after, but that's my opinion); it gives mention to the usage of melee moves in relation to each other, such as mix-ups and some combo options, which is a must nowadays.

And just to gush about a few things: The way the Aerials flow into the rest of the set in interesting ways really is a joy, and I adore Side Special for the effect it can have on the rest of the moveset. Down Special Smash 4 pitfalling yourself for various benefits and as an emergency break of sorts mid-Side Special, Up Aerial temporarily flipping your aerial attacks to change up your attack patterns, Down Smash letting you yank foes in and cartwheel away safely and Neutral Aerial's more subtle forced movement to get the ideal Neutral Special angle, the ability to grab airborne foes (mitigated by them being able to move during your grab), the way your combo throw changes to ensure it works well for both your ground and aerial moves depending on whether the opponent is land-bound or airborne, the number of shield punishing options, the user-friendliness of being able to just hold B during moves that leave you in states to charge your needles... all of these are really creative ideas that are presented in a clean and easy to understand way.

Even discounting the massive and lovingly crafted extra section, or the three other full-on sets (and a set of specials) acting as easter eggs, this is a fantastic set to come back on. I'll have to get to the other sets when I get a chance, but at absolute minimum, I don't see Kactuar slipping below RV for me. I just like what it does and how it does it all too much.
 

Kholdstare

Nightmare Weaver
Joined
Oct 10, 2008
Messages
1,424

Look, Gordon, movesets! We can use these to participate in the contest- actually tries writing a moveset HELP ME, GORDON!
(written with Kholdstare Kholdstare 's help, love u bby)
Any time bb :242:


I may be biased, but I love this set. It's one of your best (and I guess by extension one of mine too), right up there with Calliope (who I need to reread and comment) and Robobot. You've shown marked growth in your authorial abilities and it was cool to witness that and was really fun working with you. Your creed of not making a set unless you can easily come up with 4 specials shows not only a peek into how you operate but also indicates you have the game in mind from the very start. Your movesets are also character-driven, and you're always seeking out a way to expand your roster with eclectic characters based on your interests. You remind me a lot of myself back in the day.

This is a moveset foremost for the fans, so I recommend the others watch the series first to understand the references. A lot of this set hinges on humor foremost, and I think not catching the references and laughing would be missing out on the full experience. I really wish sound were available for these GIFs, because the voice acting and sounds absolutely make up more of the humor than the visuals. The subtitles help, as well as you describing the sound effects the moveset does in the description. It would be a lot of work, but maybe you could link the timestamps to each reference with each move?

Despite being started and referencing a year ago, I get a unique feeling of nostalgia from this moveset. Nostalgia in this sense being the original Greek meaning of "the ache or pain of returning to a familiar place". This was started during a time when I wasn't in a great place mentally and then massive drama unfolded in MYM. I'm better now, but it still gives me the feels. I'm glad you finished this because it looks great. The small touches are what I'm most satisfied with in the moveset; how it emulates the GMod physics, how the text looks like the subtitles, and all the scientist banter.

The references and images still make me laugh, even the simple things like Sunkist's png. I love how you've managed to flesh out these individual references into actual Smash moves that have interconnectivity with each other. They might look like random effects individually but Science Team as a whole is like a chaotic puzzle where you put these pieces together to struggle to stay alive when under fire. Like there is some meat on these references, and they end up making a cool wacky set when pieced together. The humor driving the set makes it an enjoyable read, which is important.

Oh yeah, and I see what you mean about the throws being shorter than some of the rest of the attacks. It's not that bad to be honest, the set as a whole is full of huge disjoints and projectiles, the grab game being the weakest makes sense. You do get a mishmash of funny interactions with the team, so don't sweat it.

If I had to pin down this set's weakness, I would say its lack of a streamlined, obvious playstyle hook. That's because the set's strength is in its character and references rather than, say, focusing on a mechanic. The set does have a mechanic - the trio format - but that's to supplement the character, not to be built around. Either way it's a delightful romp and I was super happy to be a part of it, thank you for that Bubby. I hope to work with you again, maybe on an Isaac project!
 

Katapultar

Smash Lord
Joined
Nov 24, 2008
Messages
1,033
Location
The Make Your Move Rooligan Society
The unexpected sequel to Benry, The Science Team were simple for a 3-man team and I unexpectedly liked them a bit more than Calliope! A number of moves were individually enjoyable while having some melee sense, and in a way many of the non-grabs essentially Specials in themselves for how simple the actual Specials are. I particularly enjoyed the Smashes: F-Smash for its quick start-up but short range and halved knockback against stunned opponents, U-Smash for the locking ability and awkward firing angle, and D-Smash for the knockback stacking with the number of shots you land but is hard to pull off. D-tilt might be one of my favourite moves, being a strong attack but it can be picked up as an item to deny you your attack! Game and Watch’s F-air is a good base for a fun move in B-air, and even U-air was an interesting move for its predictable firing angle and having some degree of synergy with the U-Smash, which fires behind you.

I’d largely agree with Khold in there not quite being a strong “hook” or centrepiece for the moveset to play off of, though you do have Down Special and Neutral Special. The latter is neat where you have to “give up” a part of your moveset to get a momentary trappy hitbox, but I’m of the impression that you can instantly call back that scientist with no additional lag to that move or anything, so unless there’s decent starting lag on setting down a scientist it seems like something you have no reason not to do. Maybe the move you cancel into has additional starting lag? Side Special also seems rather “weak”: not flinching opponents with a 1.5 grid long hitbox (should probably be longer if the hitbox shrinks while held out), even if it has little lag, and the debuffs don’t seem to be brought up in the moveset itself. Talking about ways the Science Team could exploit the movement debuff for their combos or projectiles could make it more fun. I believe that making your moves play off each other, even something like 50/50s between certain moves, would help enhance your movesets further.

On a different note, what if F-tilt’s 5th shot dealt notably more damage than the other shots, given the risks involved with landing the final hit? Maybe a little something against shields, which aren’t brought up much in the set but could enhance the melee given how essential shielding is in most fighters’ neutrals.

You mentioned in the chat having trouble thinking up grab games. Having simple grab games like with Science Team is perfectly fine, in which case being the last input section of the set you could talk at length about what you could do out of those options. For instance, I could see foes being able to DI F-air gunshots after getting hit by F-throw, given those shots are small, but you could potentially catch their landing with a Dash Attack (especially if you had Down Special buff) or frame trap with F-tilt or Neutral Special bullets. You could even get nitty gritty and talk about when certain moves would start and stop comboing at certain percents and so on. And while U-throw is fine as-is, you could get extra creative with the fact that you’re working with portals by having the portal stay out for a moment after use, even press left or right when using the throw to have the portal created some distance horizontally from you. That could be fun with U-air and U-Smash, both appreciating the extra "coverage" from the portals!

In any case, Science Team was a neat set that reminded me of how Robobot Armor appealed to me last contest, but with a stronger set of Specials and more fun regular attacks and extras in my opinion. So good work here!
 
Last edited:

Doc Monocle

Smash Ace
Joined
Dec 24, 2020
Messages
787
Location
Right here. Where are you?
(NOTE: I would have posted this moveset in a support thread for Ultimate/post-Ultimate Samurai Goroh, but it appears that one has not been made yet, so I added more content for the purpose of this thread, with the intention of pasting it in a future support thread if and when I or someone else makes one.)

Samurai Goroh:




A significant, recurring character in the F-Zero franchise,
Goroh, the katana carrying 'samurai' ex-bounty hunter, considers himself Captain Falcon's rival.
Again, and again, as you might expect, he tries to gain
an edge over the captain, but falls short. In Smash Bros., he makes multiple appearances
as an assist trophy, and delightfully so,
but perhaps even more, it is appetite-whetting for those who would like to see
what the bandit pilot of the Fire Stingray
(his racing machine) could bring to the game outside of a bottle!...​


What should Samurai Goroh embody and incorporate as a character?

  • Recklessness
  • Heft and Weight
  • Flames for the namesake of his racer
  • 'Loudness'
  • Frustration
  • Katana
  • Contrast with Captain Falcon

-------------------------
Statistics (Update/Revision #2 on August 2nd)
------------------------------------------

Total air acceleration: ~ .105 (similar to Squirtle)

Air speed: ~.95 (similar to Terry)

Goroh ties with Captain Falcon for the eighth fastest unassisted falling speed, and gains by 60% when fast-falling.

Gravity: ~.09 (similar to R.O.B.)

Goroh's jump height is near the average of those of Snake and Kirby.

Weight: 107 ( with Wario)

Goroh's traction is slightly lower than Captain Falcon's.

Walking speed: .886 (less than Wario's)

Initial dash: ~ 2.25 with a sixteen-frame Slash Start animation (Slash Start is explained next).

Run speed: 2.02

To summarize, Goroh's below average movement combines with a low maximum jump height, lagging initial dash, and poor controllability (due to low traction, markedly high base aerial acceleration, and low air speed graduation) to make precise movements more difficult, and to make following an opponent's movements harder.

-------------------------
Slash Start (Revision/Update #1 on July 30th)
---------------------------------------------

Samurai Goroh makes use of the mechanic Slash Start, which means three essential things to the player:

1. At the beginning of moves labelled "Slash Start," (called Slash Start moves) which is is so for the majority of Goroh's moves , (and en his initial dash!) an animation of 12 frames takes place as Goroh unsheaths his katana (through 6 frames) and attacks with it through another 6 frames before the named move begins, effectively causing him to begin most of his attacks on frame 7!

2. During the ending animation of Slash Start moves, there is a brief period of time (indicated by blue sparks emitted from the katana, and lasting 18-40 frames, depending on the move) when the pseudo end lag may be interrupted by inputting a jump, dash, or another sword attack, executing it more quickly than if the input were made by itself. There will be examples of this in the move list.

3. Moves not labelled "Slash Start" execute more slowly when immediately following a Slash Start move.



Positives:

+ Weight

+ Attack duration

+ Excellent rate of attack for weight

+ Ranged and disjointed in majority of moves

+ Attacks that assist his movement

+ Cumulative damage

+ Shield wear

Negatives:

- Weak individual attacks

- Movement being below average

- Depends excessively on damage racking

- Slow, few, and predictable K.O. methods despite the tendency of his weight class

- Gaping and highly exploitable blindspots

- Possessing no projectile attacks

- Predictable recovery

Overall, Samurai Goroh is an offensive character with frighteningly (for both the victim, and the user!) extended, committing attacks that can apply great pressure to the opponent. However, he is often forced to over-extend himself, as he must apply consistent pressure to maintain the upper hand, has no projectiles, and usually has to rush at the opponent to make the greatest use of attacks.
He usually has to be 'right on top' of his opponent to seize the battle, which can be rather costly against swift characters, and which partially negates the safety value of having ranged attacks, and he must send out attacks very frequently .
Since he cannot rely upon movement to escape danger against the fastest characters, he must resort to using attacks very rapidly to deter opponents. Ultimately, Goroh is very risky but rewards the use of aggressive, well-coordinated play.


Neutral Attack: Maximum Damage- 23%: Purpose: An Attack... for the Neutral... (I jest) Offense :

Beginning with Slash Start, the neutral attack takes 6 frames of start-up, with the following 6 frames active (causing 3% damage). This leads into an 8-frame delay before the next swing diagonally downward (3%), and to the left over 6 frames. Next is a slow, 16-frame delay before Goroh drives the hilt forward for an attack (2%) that has roughly the range of Wario's first jab in Brawl, is active for 3 frames and leads to a 6-frame delay.
This part is perhaps the worst portion of the neutral attack, in terms of consistency, and can easily cost Goroh if the opponent presses toward him without having been pinned down first. The final sequence of the neutral attack consists of 6-frame swings of the
katana (3% for each hit), punctuated by equally quick delays. Altogether the neutral attack has rather consistent frame data and hit properties across its segments,
(excepting, of ourse, that 16-frame interjection and the ending animation) which is significant, since the attack lasts so long for a non-infinite sequence. After Goroh attacks during the last strike (causing 5% damage), a portion of the spinning animation and the slight bow he takes as he covers from the
momentum of the spin each contribute to the 65 frames of end lag, 20 of which are interruptible by Slash Start, available
after 6 frames.

The final sequence of the neutral attack is particularly strong, despite its low damage per hit, as it is difficult to shield against. Each swing diminishes an opponents shield by 8 H.P., shattering a full shield if all hits were to connect. At the same time, the shield hit lag is minimal (losing no more than 5 frames on a hit); and between the range of the attacks (roughly three-quarters of the length of King Dedede's hammer), the frame data, and the shieldstun experienced by the opponent, Goroh is hard to punish out-of-shield.
Also, because Goroh may move and turn around during the sequence, handling spacing manually, rolling behind him is not always a safe bet. For all of these reasons, Goroh's neutral attack is laterally very strong.

Unfortunately, for all of the interesting benefits not enjoyed by the jabs of most other characters, Goroh's has many serious
drawbacks. First, between his large figure, the small hitbox on his sword, and the planar area of effect that is almost exclusively
about his waist, Goroh easily has trouble dealing with the likes of certain characters, such as Kirby, who can safely duck under
the sword swings of the final sequence, and has trouble with attacking on platforms, as there is no quick way
to terminate his attack strings, and precise movement is difficult due to his obligating attack strings and
his physical attributes. He is thus vulnerable from below and above.

Dash Attack: Maximum Damage- 20+%: Purpose- Tech Chasing, Intercept:

(This move I have completely changed.) Goroh continues running with ~20% speed gain as he desperately leans forward and extends his sword arm ahead of him over 7 frames, with his wrist turned up, and the blade extending, along the z-axis, to his outside. (For a visual aid, you may look at Gan Ning's musou attack in Dynasty Warriors 3.) He persists for about one second before stumbling in his forward momentum, trying to stop himself with one foot on the ground, and sheaths his sword, the end lag taking place over roughly one and a half seconds, with no possibility of Slash Start interruption.
The attack may be extended to up to three times its original length by repeatedly tapping the 'A' button.

For the approximate 1-3 seconds that this attack is in effect, if the blade alone were to connect, it deals 1.20 % damage every 3 frames, and barely more than a flinch to the opponent, meaning that if they are caught initially, then they will suffer dearly. There is the drawback, however, that at low damage, the knockback to the opponent will not be sufficient to guarantee that the opponent will not exact revenge immediately after the attack ends. On the other hand, if such damage as is necessary to accrue the required knockback graduation is attained, then the opponent will either be knocked back such that they are not continuously struck, or they will be launched away. In either case,
they do not experience the full damage, and there is a contingent for best use of the attack, that being when they are
between ~ 30%-50% damage.

Through the duration of the dash attack, hitboxes are located on the sword, and on Goroh's upper body. The latter inflicts an additional 4% damage every third frame on contact, and causes substantially more knockback, sliding the opponent back, and lining them up for the next hit. There is a sort of rhythm to it, as the blade damages the opponent and causes
sufficiently small knockback that Goroh's body draws near, which knocks them back farther, and this repeats as Goroh approaches continuously. This tends to cause between 6% and 10% damage over the mentioned event, meaning that it is possible for Goroh to inflict over 20% damage, even assuming no walls are present to hold the opponent in place! This is an influence to the opponent
to be especially cautious with their dodging game when they have certain damage values, greatly affecting Goroh's
early-middle game.

This dash attack has the peculiarity that if Goroh runs off of a platform or the stage, then he will still continue until the earliest termination point of the attack, minus the stumbling if he is airborn. This can easily lead to a self-destruct or edge disadvantage. As a result, this attack is (sorry again) a 'double-edged sword.' One edge is that he is practically constrained to using this move well within the stage during normal conditions, while the other edge is that because
the move begins quickly, is extendable and ranged, and lasts so long, Goroh can use it to exit a platform while attacking, though this is something of a situational use. Furthermore, it is possible to perform a quasi 'Goroh-cide' by precise placement of the attack while the opponent is recovering from far below the stage but this too is risky, situational, and usually not worth the difficulty, as Goroh will usually die first, due to his falling speed.

Overall, this dash attack is very difficult to optimize. The duration, continued movement, range, and start-up of it make it useful for punishing dodges and tech chasing, as well as for catching landings. However, the many considerations for best use that the player must take into account for it to be effective can render it a 'one-ton needle.' Though of circumstantial effectiveness, it can have a strong influence over opponent movement-- particularly with rolls-- and is generally a formidable contributor to Goroh's mind game.

Forward Tilt: Maximum Damage- 11%: Purpose- Ground Defense, Edge Guard:

(Slash Start) Goroh delivers a Sparta kick similar to Ganondorf's. Visually, this resembles Ganondorf's Sparta kick, but looks can be deceiving. Firstly, Goroh's kick is not as strong. The knockback scales slowly, only directly killing Mario from the edge of Final Destination after about 160% damage. Secondly, there is a hitbox on Goroh's leg as he lifts it (causing 4% damage), dragging the opponent in place for the actual kick (7%), should it connect. This combined with a semi-spike launch make it useful as an edge guarding tool.

Unfortunately, the attack is weak against approaches from above, as the initial 'sourspot' from the leg lift will knock the opponent upwards on contact, but weakly, and the range upwards is trivial. As a result, this move is effective as a repulsor, but only when Goroh has a height advantage above the opponent.

Down Tilt: Maximum Damage- 26%: Purpose- Edge Guard, offensive Set-up:

Goroh winds up and stomps to the side. This attack resembles that of Sweet Tooth in Playstation Allstars.
He finishes by pivoting and grinding his heel on the ground, which is an extension of the attack after a pause.
With a 17-frame start-up, this is Goroh's slowest non-special attack. It is active for 5 frames, inflicting 10% damage before leading to a 58-frame end lag, the last 35 of which can be acted out of. Though the attack is slow and short-ranged, the cancellable 35 frames are active as a 'sourspot' to the attack, with the hitbox on the lower part of Goroh's leg. This inflicts 2% damage every 4 frames, totalling in 16% damage, should all hits connect. Though this would be very uncommon, as the range required to do this would see
Goroh physically touching the opponent before attacking.

The stomp attack causes little knockback, always trips a grounded opponent, and can cause up to 26% damage, making it
very strong for its kind, and effective as a punishing offense starter. It is also useful as an edge guard against opponents recovering low, since it launches through a downward angle. As with the forward tilt, however, it suffers if the opponent is above Goroh, and is blind above his leg, save for one arm, though the damage dealt by this is a petty 3% .

Finally, the attack is unsafe on shield, with its short range and sacrifice of 19 frames of lag. However, it does deal a large amount of shield damage. On the first hit, the attack causes 20 H.P. of damage, with an additional 3 H.P. per hit during the foot pivoting. It would not be uncommon to devastate or break a half-strong shield at close range.

Up Tilt: Maximum Damage- 6%: Purpose- Anti-air:

Goroh turns on his feet and delivers an uppercut in an arc above and ahead himself (6% damage). The attack boasts base knockback quite high (enough to send Mario up by about 1.5x Goroh's height from the ground, though it does not easily connect against a grounded Mario, and graduates in knockback such that it does not kill at reasonable damages.) begins on frame 9, with 4 active frames, and has an 18-frame end lag .

The up tilt is decent as an anti-air repulsor, but it is very difficult to use against all but the tallest characters on the ground, as suggested above. It has deceptively short horizontal range, and is completely blind against characters beneath Goroh's waist. Its greatest chain potential occurs with aerial attacks, and this is typically only against heavier characters. With correct timing, up smash is typically more reliable, but due to the risk about the necessary Slash Start as contained in the up smash and the similar issue of blindspots, up tilt works better as a stand-alone defense when the player is not ready to press into a follow-up.



Forward Smash (Slash Start): Maximum Damage (Fully Charged)- 23%: Purpose- Killing, Defense:

Samurai Goroh lifts his katana up high and slashes diagonally downward from right to left, slamming the ground, and causing a visible shockwave (similar to that caused by Wizard Foot making contact with the ground). Goroh then grabs the earth with his free hand and slashes horizontally while low to the ground.

Assisted by Slash Start, the wind-up is actually preceded by a quick, weak slash (beginning on frame 7), as with each of Goroh's other smash attacks, potentially causing the opponent to think twice at close range. At a minimum, the wind-up lasts 17 frames, and a following 6 frames are active. There is then a 19-frame delay as Goroh prepares the second swing. As Goroh stands back up, Slash Start interruption is made available on the 12th frame of the pseudo end lag, and lasts for 25 frames. Failure to follow up results in a total of 52 frames of end lag.

When Goroh strikes the ground on frame 30, a small shockwave occurs, slightly extending the range of the attack by a 'sourspot,' which knocks the opponent upward in a similar way to King Dedede's forward smash attack (at least as I saw the effect to be in Brawl). This 'sourspot' results in 4% damage. Unfortunately, and unlike King Dedede's forward smash attack, there is a second part (the horizontal slash) to Goroh's that renders him susceptible after the opponent is tossed up, meaning that you ordinarily do not want to 'sourspot' this... I am off for tea. You are free to feel appalled...

... Goroh does have a risky hit placement to contend with in his forward smash attack. However, we do not usually use smash attacks just to watch popcorn fly up. Despite the problem caused by failing to strike the opponent directly with the blade, the threat posed by the attack is certainly worth the chance taken in many instances, as it benefits from the Slash Start initiation; begins fairly quickly, and kills Mario from the edge of Final Destination at around 65% damage, uncharged, when 'sweet-spotted.'

Earlier, it was mentioned that Goroh terminates the attack with a second slash (5% damage and light, fixed knockback). It typically does not offer much to any combat, though it can help to reward Goroh with some damage, should he miss with the initial stroke. However, it is more often than not a costly, unnecessary extension, and a further delay to the Slash Start string opportunity.

Down Smash Attack (Slash Start): Maximum Damage- 17%: Purpose- Low Strike, Edge Guard:

Goroh spins clockwise in place twice with his katana low to the ground.

The Slash Start for this move does not appear the same way it does with almost all of Goroh's other attacks.
Here, the start-up is the same length of 6 frames, but this time, he slashes to both sides of himself before the smash attack wind-up begins (which lasts a brief minimum of 8 frames, making this Goroh's swiftest-starting smash attack ). This means he has a greater chance of catching a roll behind him, which furthers his ability to make the opponent nervous about careless dodging, and the Slash Start, on contact, is the next best thing to a confirmation for the main part of the attack.
Down smash then concludes with a pseudo end lag of 50 frames, the 8th of which sees Slash Start available for 20 frames.

The main part of the attack is active for 28 frames as Goroh spins to cover both sides at the ground level. This combined with the fast start-up, triple-strike opportunity (as Goroh uses Slash Start, and can hit twice with the two spins), and the katana's range makes it useful in at least three ways. First, it can secure ledges from approach by a recovering
opponent very easily, making him more fierce to the eyes of someone who only wanted to grab onto a ledge, climb up, and enjoy the fresh air. Second, it enables Goroh to combat smaller characters on the ground more effectively. Third... shield poking! Because the shield is located up from the ground, a player can exploit the ranged, long-lasting, multi-hitting down smash attack
nearly to the point of disregarding a shield (assuming, of course, that the opponent is not dexterous or practiced enough to tilt
the shield in time).

The down smash attack is, nevertheless, not without its shortcomings. Firstly, the fact that it lasts long for its type, and strikes close to the ground, yet not far above means that Goroh is highly vulnerable above. Characters with good aerial mobility, like Yoshi and Jigglypuff, would therefore smile maliciously if they see the attack quickly. Secondly, down smash does not see much potence outside of those respects stated above. It is hardly a viable killing option when the opponent is below roughly 160%, and it inflicts a maximum of only 17% damage (optimally), thus the down smash attack is, overall, fairly weak, considering how long it takes to finish.

Up Smash Attack (Slash Start): Maximum Damage- ~ 21%: Purpose- Platform Poking, Anti-air defense :

After Slash Start, and a wind-up of 22 frames, Samurai Goroh slashes his katana in an arc above himself four times, in a sort of stick-flailing anger. Each swing has active hitboxes on the sword for 6 frames, with perhaps an 8-frame delay between each successive swing. The attack finishes with a 68-frame animation, and beginning on the 6th of that, Slash Start is available for 35 frames. This comparatively long window, together with the lasting, overhead coverage, and disjoint hitbox makes it decent as an offensive starter when deliberation is taken for this attack anyway, since it discourages the opponent from approaching by air, and affords the player slightly more time to plan their next action,which is very important when using a character, like Goroh, who so easily splits the player's attention.

Sadly, there are numbers 4%, 3%, 3%, and 5-8% corresponding to the first, second, third, and fourth swings, respectively. Charging this attack does not do much for it in terms of damage output. The launch gain is lackadaisical, at best, as well, with vertical kills on Final Destination occuring no earlier than 155% with a full wind-up against other characters, and that is to include the likes of Pichu.

The up smash attack is of superlative quality in attacking through platforms. Between its duration, range, overhead area coverage, and shield damage of around 9 H.P. per strike, it is easy to see that it is not Goroh, but the player who should be laughing when situated underneath!

Finally, the up smash attack suffers from blindspots to Goroh's sides, especially closer to the ground. If the opponent avoids the attack at close range, they are given a very vulnerable target from the ground, especially if they are smaller.
Grab and Throw:

Samurai Goroh grabs his opponent by the 'collar.' He pummels them with a knee strike, much as Captain Falcon does, but Goroh's pummel is slow, being able to repeat half as often during the same period of time, and causes 2% damage.
Therefore, it is usually better to proceed with a throw as quickly as possible.

Notably, while Goroh's standing grab range is hardly greater than that of Captain Falcon's, his dash grab is remarkably ranged,
with Goroh lunging forwards by the length of nearly King Dedede's forward tilt to grasp the opponent before stumbling over the course of a highly punishable 61 frames. On the 62nd frame, Slash Start is made available (the katana is already out, and above Goroh's head during his running animation) for 15 frames before an additional 12 frames are taken to sheath the sword.

Forward throw:

Goroh turns around and performs a dropkick behind himself, causing 11% damage, and landing on his front. His position will be reversed, after standing, from when he grabbed the opponent.
This is a fairly strong throw. It launches at a nearly horizontal angle of ~10°, and will kill Mario from the edge of Final Destination at around 155%.

Back throw:

Goroh uses one hand and grabs the opponent's head to swing behind them. He simultaneously kicks the opponent downward
with one leg while landing on the other, causing 6% damage, and sending the opponent to the ground, bouncing them off-stage if close enough to the ledge.
In contrast with the forward throw, this one is not a strong K.O. move, for obvious reasons, but in the case
where Goroh is near the edge, it is very dangerous, since it causes fixed knockback that can send the opponent just off of the edge-- far enough to give Goroh time to position himself, close enough that Goroh can quickly bring his threats to bear, and low enough to allow Goroh to make use of down tilt or Stingray Stomp, which in turn knock/launch the opponent downwards. This means that Goroh, out-of-shield, can set the opponent up for a kill very early, especially when we are speaking of characters with poor recoveries.
The distance from the edge required to do this with maximum effectiveness is about one pikmin body length.

Up throw (Slash Start damages another opponent on contact):

Goroh tosses the opponent upward, and thrusts his katana up after them for 4% damage. This is not a kill throw, reasonably speaking. This throw has a potential of 40 frames of end lag, and being a Slash Start move, it allows Goroh, in quick succession, to dash, jump, or use another katana attack to interrupt this if he does so within the 20-frame window that trails the upwards thrust by 5 frames, allowing him to begin his frenzied attack spree from even a throw.
Despite this, however, there is no real attack that this chains into, as the up tilt and the up aerial attack
are too slow after Slash Start to be effective follow-ups, and the hit-box placement/range/area of effect of the earliest
aerial attacks combined with Goroh's low jump height keep him from pursuing well. Nevertheless, during multiplayer battles,
Slash Start can give Goroh a situational edge to his throw game, since he can attack almost immediately after the throw.

Down throw:

Goroh spins around, slamming the opponent to the ground with his back as he does so (4%). He then rolls over before standing up, drawing his sword (Slash Start damages another opponent on contact), and thrusting it downwards into the opponent (10%).
Afterward, Goroh steps on the opponent's head to pull his sword back and sheath it, resulting in a 62-frame animation.
As you can see, this is Goroh's most damaging throw. Beyond that, however, its usefulness is limited to how well you can
spoil the opponent's recovery using Slash Start, which is made available after the 24th frame of the following animation
for 20 frames, leaving an 18-frame excess for failing to follow up.

Overall, Goroh has a subpar throw game, which, despite its mixed benefits of damage output, set-up potential, and Slash Start, simply lack the power becoming of Goroh's build and weight. That back throw is a thing to be secured against by the opponent under the prescribed condition of optimization, while up and down throws (mostly up throw) represent a slight chance of Goroh defending himself during multiplayer battles, and forward throw is a kill move in its own. Though preparing these, considering Goroh's difficulty of precise and efficient movement, is often too difficult to be worthwhile for all but the most experienced players, and then it would not be the most advisable investment of effort when Goroh prefers the rapid use of proper attacks.
That said, while most of these throws do not offer much in the way of direct killing power, they still are quite useful in their own right
when the circumstances are ideally arranged in a very short period of time.
Neutral Aerial Attack*: Maximum Damage- 9%: Purpose- Landing Security:

Goroh tucks himself into 'cannonball' form, and somersaults through the air slowly at first, and then more rapidly, slowing back down during the last third of the attack when he opens himself back up . This is quite long-lasting, in fact. If he fell as long
as he could, Goroh would be flipping for 90 frames, all of which have active hitboxes completely covering his body.

This attack also has high priority, causes Goroh's hurt box to shrink substantially, begins on frame 2 (well before he even
tucks himself!), and 'sweetspots' for as long as 43 frames, launching the opponent decently when they have over 100% damage. In case you are wondering, yes, it can be used rather well for killing during the first half of the attack at high damages. It does so against Mario from the edge of Final Destination after about 165%.

The 'sourspot' during the latter half of the attack, on the other hand, is a thing to be concerned about, as it only causes 4% damage, and little more knockback than the late part of Wario's forward aerial attack. This combined with the exploitable landing lag of 32 frames, extremely short range, and Goroh's 'ground bound' physics, makes the neutral aerial attack very unsafe, despite its suddenness.

If you are willing to make the gamble, Goroh's neutral attack can be very effective for securing his landing after being knocked upwards, provided you are not contending with very disjoint attacks or projectiles. At the end of the matter, Goroh's neutral aerial attack stands out for its quickness, decent killing power, and frame data (for both favorable, and unfavorable reasons).



Forward Aerial Attack (Slash Start): Maximum Damage- 16%: Purpose- Stringing Attacks, Aerial Poking, Offense:

Goroh thrusts his katana straight forward, piercing anyone in his path. This is a very strong aerial attack, offensively speaking. With Slash Start, an extensive range that is comparable to Marth's fully charged Shield Breaker, excellent shield safety, a hitbox on the blade (exclusively) that lingers for 26 frames after the first 8 frames of the attack, and a comparatively small end/landing lag cost, it makes a very useful 'safe pick' for stringing Slash Start attacks when properly spaced, and when the player wishes to perform such a string, but
is indecisive about what attack to use.

The comparatively small end lag cost spoken of above entails a total of 37 frames, after 4 frames of which, Slash Start is available for 22 frames-- relatively quick, as you can see . The landing lag is also of little concern. In fact, as with most of Goroh's aerial attacks, there is a brief (very brief!) period during the now pseudo landing lag when Goroh can interrupt using the Slash Start mechanic. For the forward aerial attack, this period is 6 frames after the initial 2, with an additional 11 frames frames for failing to follow up. Therefore,
even if you miss your opportunity to use Slash Start, you only have a meager total of 19 frames to deal with-- exploitable, but far from
the worst susceptibility, and still quite brief. All of these with the the high damage output and shield damage of 17 H.P. make this
a 'go-to' among Goroh's aerial attacks. Do not stale it while torturing your opponent!

Perhaps one of the finest qualities of the forward aerial attack is that it is remarkably safe on shield, again with proper spacing. Though difficult to coordinate, it is not inconcievable that Goroh could pressure a shielding opponent with a plethora of safe Slash Start attacks, finishing with forward aerial against an untilted shield to poke through it, and if all is fortunate enough, even extend this into an attack chain with neutral attack, forward tilt, or even itself following Slash Start interruption. Techniques like this can turn tides rapidly, but it would obviously take some time to become proficient in this. Furthermore, forward aerial is a safe poke, period.
Granted the distancing required, it is a very reliable attack to send out when one is demanded more quickly than even an experienced
player's reflexes would necessarily accommodate.

Though this attack is quite strong, it does have some deficit in that the aforementioned exclusivity of the hitbox to the katana blade, which extends horizontally outward, combined with Goroh's short jump height means that it struggles against characters that are above Goroh, and while the move finishes quickly, all of the above together with the lag possibilities means the attack still does pose a risk against characters that can climb rapidly and safely at mid ranges. Another suffering is that the attack does not launch at all. An early hit causes 12%, which unlike most attacks of its type, combines with the late hit for a total of 16% damage, however, it causes very little knockback, and a late hit causes little more than a flinch that can be compensated for, making the timing all
the more crucial to optimize.

In the end, there is quite possibly some benefits of forward tilt that I did not consider, and altogether, it is a strong attack that would likely be lauded by experienced players, and could possibly be nerfed, because it is so useful and effective.

Back Aerial Attack (Slash Start): Maximum Damage- 13% : Purpose- Mid-range Aerial Defense:

Goroh Slashes with his katana in a waving fashion up, and then down, in an arc behind himself. Though this attack uses Slash Start, the animation looks and behaves slightly different from that of most of the other attacks. Here Goroh draws the sword over 6 frames, and attacks with it to his front over six frames, as usual, but goes on to cut behind himself over an additional 9 frames before the main part of the attack begins. The path traversed by the blade during Slash Start forms an imaginary ring about Goroh's waist.

The main part of the attack (separated from Slash Start by 2 frames), as referenced above, consists of an upwards stroke of the blade through 3 frames, a delay of 5 frames, and a downwards stroke over 6 frames, in that order, followed by a pseudo end lag of up to 49 frames if finished before landing (Slash Start is made available on the 10th frame of this for up to 30 frames). If Goroh lands before the attack finishes, which will usually be the case, then the lag will be up to 70 frames, 25 frames of which are interruptible after the 12th.

Slash Start causes 3% damage, and links with the upward stroke (3%), which in turn links with the downward stroke (5%) that then is capable of launching, killing Mario from the edge of Final Destination at around 150%.

This move is highly effective for walling against opponents, often being an effective edge guard against opponents recovering high. The time it takes to reach the downwards stroke, however, together with the nearly lateral Slash Start, can cause this attack to be difficult to use against opponents low to the ground, particularly those very small, such as Kirby and Pikachu, without them escaping or striking first. On the other hand, the 17 frames taken for Slash Start to lead into the upwards stroke means that there is a window for even opponents that are above Goroh, that it is ideal to confirm the latter parts of the attack with Slash Start, and that whether Goroh is facing towards or away from the opponent, they have a window to take advantage of.


Up Aerial Attack: Maximum Damage- 14%: Purpose- Juggling:

Goroh punches upward similarly to the way he does for up tilt. Despite lacking Slash Start, it begins quickly (after 5 frames, with a hitbox active for another 5). This move has a high-base, and slowly graduating knockback that does not kill at reasonable damages, but inflicts an impressive 14% damage, which is excellent for its speed, and these combined with its lack of 'sourspots' make it effective for frustrating a landing by an opponent knocked skywards. Because this is not a Slash Start move, it does not string very well with other attacks, but it functions adequately as a stand-alone. There is, however, an end lag of 26 frames, and a landing lag of 30, and all without Slash Start, so it may take getting used to for a 'trigger-happy' Goroh main who thinks of his typically fast-paced attack strings.

Down Aerial (Slash Start): Maximum Damage- 18%: Purpose: Chain Starter:


After Slash Start, Goroh cuts beneath him in a wide arc with his katana, swinging it twice, and starting from back to front. This attack has a virtual start-up deficit, since the initial, horizontal slash contributes more than 12 frames of delay between Slash Start and the actual attack, which is downwards. This means that Goroh's descent is harder to assist precisely, and that great care must be taken to ensure a safe landing at close range. Neutral aerial attack can be used to cover this, but because Goroh is left quite vulnerable afterwards, it is not a perfect remedy either.

Though it can cause a potential 18% damage against larger characters from a full hop if the opponent jumps at close range, it is practical speaking to say that the player will miss the initial 3% offered by Slash Start, due to the circumstances necessary to provide for connection of all hits. In the order of occurrence, the main strokes deal 9% and 6% damage. Though that is still good damage output overall, so I am not whining.

An interesting feature of down aerial attack is that it is spammable and chain-capable, since Slash Start is made available (for 15 frames) the moment the attack ends, potentially enabling it to chain into itself for a petrifying 25% damage or more, depending on how the attack is lined up, generating a reason for large characters especially to fear an airborn Goroh! It should also be noted, speaking of which, that the downward aerial attack does not launch the opponent downwards as that of most characters does.
Rather, it locks them in place as Goroh descends to the ground. This together with the katana's range, Goroh's fast falling, and the immediate opportunity for Slash Start after termination or landing can conditionally allow Goroh to chain down aerial attack into any aerial but his up aerial attack, into his up smash attack (or possibly side or down smash attacks if the opponent is on the ground), into forward tilt if the opponent is on the ground, or even into a dash grab. This could therefore arguably be the most potent confirmation in the game, assuming no interference by directional influence, and that proper alignment and spacing were observed. However, since Goroh has to play a rather technical, high-reflex, high-awareness game throughout,
and since a knowledgeable opponent can be very prepared, setting up such favorable circumstances can be difficult, and
when these circumstances do occur, the brief time over which they transpire can render them easily forfei,ted opportunities,
the handling of which, in the first place, can occupy the player long enough to spoil their game if they fail.

The end lag of down aerial attack is, compared to Goroh's other attacks, not bad at all, costing no more than a total of 30 frames for missing Slash Start if the attack finishes midair. The landing lag, on the other hand, is more cause for concern, as even though Slash Start is immediately available (again, for 15 frames), failing to use Slash Start results in an additional 55 frames of lag, forcing the player to choose between a susceptible delay and over-extending themselves by committing to a follow-up attack. Either way, Goroh himself can easily become vulnerable to a mindful opponent.

...

Altogether, Goroh has a superb air game not because he can soar nimbly through the heavens, but because of how he uses his aerial attacks to keep up the pace on his assault. He does not gain a height advantage in most match-ups, but against grounded opponents, he forms ceilings with his rapid strings, due in greatest part to his Slash Start mechanic. A quick and reasonably accurate read on the opponent's vertical movement will usually lead to having an edge. Though Goroh's plight is that because precise movement
is already a challenge for him, and because the placement of the hitboxes can be awkward to coordinate in space and time ideally for the player's needs, it is frequently the case that Goroh is not the only one capable of truncating the delay between his attacks, even as they execute!

Using his aerial attacks, Goroh can impart a great deal of confusion to the opponent at close range since the landing lag itself has
Slash Start windows, enabling Goroh to send out one attack after another, even where landing mid-attack presents problems for other characters. By alternating between ground and air attacks quickly, Goroh can limit the opponent's movement room very efficiently, begin attack chains creatively, and continue attack strings persistently,
though since he is generally low to the ground for this to work, this effectively acts as an extension to his ground game, and while
he struggles to keep up with rapidly climbing opponents, he does outstanding horizontal work when punctuating his grounded actions with aerial attacks.
Neutral Special: Mad Samurai (Slash Start): Maximum Damage- Boundless: Purpose- Damage Racking, Pressuring:

After Slash Start, Goroh flails his katana wildly in many directions, similarly to the way he does as an assist trophy. By holding
the 'B' button, This move can be extended ad infinitum. Goroh may walk, dash, or run at his full range of walking/running/dashing speeds backwards or forwards, and jump at his full jumping height backwards or forwards while he attacks, but he cannot turn around at all.

This move is offensively dangerous, as with an outstretched arm, Goroh relentlessly attacks at a variable speed of one slash after 3-9 frames, depending on the stroke he uses, which is random (though weighted in favor of quicker strokes), and which delivers corresponding damage of 2%- 7%, with shield damage of 7-20 H.P., and since movement is rather good for a motion-controllable attack, Goroh is at liberty to concentrate more on spacing, which he does well with the range of his katana. As a result, shielding
opponents have very little to do if he should descend upon them very quickly, before they escape. This can easily lead to a shield break, which Goroh then may capitalize on by using his forward special or forward smash attack to claim a K.O. Mad Samurai can also be used for edge guarding, since most of the strokes Goroh uses cover a wide arc in front of him, which includes an area beneath the ledge, should he be so positioned.

This move is not without some weaknesses, however. While it would be tempting to start the move at close range to surprise the opponent, if they manage to shield the attack successfully, then it would not be too difficult for them to counter with their out-of-shield options, such as a throw, since Goroh lags by 18-28 frames on a shield hit. It would then be advisable to make use of the range at Goroh's disposal, rather than taking that chance. Also, as useful as the attack is, extending it for long without actually striking is hazardous, as you can imagine, since Goroh is then vulnerable to projectiles, and if the opponent can climb over him, then he would be slow to respond to it for the reason stated in the next sentence. Though Mad Samurai begins with the same Slash Start animation as other sword attacks in his kit (hence the labelling), it does not benefit from Slash Start interruption, and upon the player's release of the 'B' button, Goroh takes his time, continuing the attack at a waning rate before sheathing the sword, and culminating in 88- 101 frames
of motion before the player may attack again... Perhaps Volcano Kick has a use after all... It is not totally helpless though.
Goroh can still move while he is putting the katana away.The knockback properties of Mad Samurai are such that Goroh can frequently cause between ~10% and 20% damage or more before the opponent has enough time to escape further harm, but this is difficult to
exceed practically, and if precise spacing is not maintained, then the opponent can just as easily slip out and take advantage of the horrendous opportunity to punish. Therefore, it is best if the 'B' button is released while the opponent is being struck.
Finally, this move has no launch potential, as the knockback, while dependent on stroke, is fixed for each.

Forward Special: Blade Sting (Slash Start): Maximum Damage- 31%: Purpose- Mind Games, Edge Guarding:

Goroh pulls the blade near to his head and prepares to thrust it straight forward. By tapping the 'B' button rapidly, the player can both delay the thrust, and progress a charging process at a rate in accordance with how many times and how rapidly they tap. The sword emits flames during the first phase of charging (The phase completes between 27 frames and 91 frames, depending on tap rate.), which intensify more the longer and the faster 'B' is tapped. It is during this phase that damage output varies between 4% (uncharged) and 9%(at the end of the phase), and causes fire damage. During the next phase (which completes between the 95th and 115th frames, depending on tap rate), the blade stops emitting flames and begins arcing with electricity,
and the damage output ranges from 10% (at phase start) to 18% (at phase end), attacking with the electric effect.
The final phase (completing between the 128th and 170th frames, depending on tap rate) sees Goroh's katana emitting flames, arcing electrically, with damage varying between 19% and 28%, causing either fire, or electrical damage, and breaking a full shield at any time during the phase if the thrust 'sweet-spots' (for the first 4 frames). Goroh can walk, run, and dash at 40% of his usual walking/running/dashing speed backwards or forwards, and
can jump, but only at the height of a short hop, and he cannot turn around. On the 171st frame (at the latest), the katana becomes too hot to handle, and Goroh drops it, shaking his hand, and grunting in pain before picking the sword back up (69 frames of lag).
If he is launched before picking it up, the sword vanishes from the ground and reappears in his hand. (Credit goes to
Katapultar Katapultar for suggesting this modification. Before, the katana would become a melee item if the opponent grabbed it after launching Goroh, but even I thought that could be a bit much.)

The range of this attack can be deceptive. During the first and second phases, the range is as the blade would ostensibly make it (about the length of Marth's 'tippered' Shield Breaker), but during the final phase, the range is extended to roughly the length of King Dedede's forward tilt attack, with a trail of fire left behind that extends from the suggested endpoint as Goroh retracts the blade. This together with Goroh's ability to move manually during the charging process and the particularly long hitbox activity of 15 frames means that you do not want him as your opponent if you are trying to recover to the stage by landing.
That is, the move kills Mario from the center of Final Destination at around 110% on a full charge, when 'sweet-spotted,' with a launch angle of about 50°, and at around 180% when 'sour-spotted,' with an upwards launch of about 70°.

It was said that Blade Sting is useful for playing mind games. That would be no joke. Between the range, high controllability, and flexibility offered in timing the unleashing of the attack, it can be a nervous thing for an opponent to call a bluff on Goroh's part, and this seeming, could abruptly trick the opponent's senses, as just before Goroh thrusts, it could be delayed with more 'B' tapping. Rolling towards a well-spaced Blade Sting will likely amount to free damage, and shielding may merely intensify the mind games Goroh can play, leaving the options of rising over Goroh to punish, which can result in giving him a landing to catch, since he is mobile, or of retreating, which may afford Goroh the opportunity to cancel the attack safely, depending on phase...

... This brings me to the last of the important points about Blade Sting. Depending on the phase in which the player chooses to thrust, the end lag can be relatively brief or exploitable (though Blade Sting is labelled 'Slash Start,' that is only because of the initial slash, which gives it a preliminary 3% strike. Interruption is not available for the end lag).
The first phase consists of two halves, with the earlier resulting in 19 frames of end lag, and the latter resulting in 27 frames of lag. Likewise, the second phase is divided into two halves, with the first resulting in 34 frames of lag, and the second resulting in 40 frames of lag. The appearance of the animations for these is the same-- with Goroh's arm outstretched, the blade remains extended momentarily before he steps his leading foot back, quickly pulls the blade toward him, and sheaths the sword. The third phase, on the other hand, uniformly results in 52 frames of end lag, Goroh yelling more loudly as he thrusts,
and him wiping his arm across his mouth (as if clearing his spittle away) during the end lag animation while he sheaths the katana.


Up Special*: Wingray: Maximum Damage- 48%: Purpose- Recovery, Edge Guarding, and Even Killing:

Goroh bends over before propelling himself upwards 33 frames later in a high, slow (about half as fast as Ness' double jump), and slightly controllable arc, giving him a good vertical recovery that extends about the height of five stage builder blocks, stacked one upon another. On his way up, he is intangible for the first 36 frames, as he is protected by the fiery, undulating form of a stingray, which envelops his whole body, and slightly beyond that horizontally in either direction. In the meantime, Goroh backflips as the stingray explodes into smoke and burning embers, and he transitions into a 'star' figure with his arms and legs outstretched. At the end, he faces downward in the same 'star' pose as he falls helplessly. Upon landing, Goroh takes 32 frames to stand up.
Wingray comes with its fair share of both fortunes, and misfortunes (with some yet coming to speak of). Having intangibility during a considerable portion of the ascent is a nice feature to have when both players are off-stage, and the hitboxes on Goroh's body and on the stingray last for the duration of the stingray's presence, causing 4% flinching damage every sixth frame until the last 9 active frames, when it causes 24% damage, and launches with enough power to kill Bowser via the upper blast zone at around 165%, meaning that connecting all of the hits can take him to death from ~120%!


Down Special*: Stingray Stomp: Maximum Damage- ~45%: Purpose- Edge Guarding:

Goroh lifts his leg slowly, placing his hand on it like a sumo wrestler. His foot is then engulfed in flames. If the player holds the 'B' button, then Goroh will hold his leg suspended in the air (foot still on fire). During this time, Goroh may move around and short jump, by hopping on one leg under the influence of the control stick. He does not move fast, but the movement is enough to enable Goroh to make fine adjustments to his position. After the player releases the 'B' button, Goroh halts, unable to move, shouting,
"Stingraaay..." as he lifts his foot higher. Then the fiery, undulating form of a stingray
appears underneath his foot as he slams it down and finishes his call with "...Stomp!" The stingray follows his foot to the ground.
Goroh then stomps three times, burying struck, grounded opponents, or 'meteoring' struck, midair ones. If he happens to finish the wind-up midair, he tucks his legs in as his posterior catches fire. Goroh then plummets straight down, again 'meteoring'/burying struck opponents. On the first stomp of the grounded version, a flaming barrier appears next to his foot (it is very similar to Ness' PK Fire in size and effect), which doubles its original size, and then triples its original size with each successive stomp. Afterward, Goroh squats with his hands on his knees as he laughs facing the screen.

All hitboxes of Stingray Stomp cause fire damage, but the first stomp causes the stingray to expand before exploding, significantly increasing the range of the the first part of the attack by about Goroh's body width on either side. This only works against grounded opponents. The Stingray by itself, however, only causes 16% damage, which while excellent, is unaccompanied by knockback.

The shielded and unshielded damage this move causes are both fear-inducing. The wall of fire alone inflicts damage at the rate of .3%/6 frames (for approximately five seconds total throughout the move and beyond), with minimal flinch, allowing it to be partnered with the stomping, which causes 16% damage on the first stomp, or 12% damage on either of the following two. This can potentially cause 45% damage or more with fortunate placement, but the likelihood of this happening is very limited. Meanwhile, the shield damage for connecting the barrier, any stomp, and the stingray hitbox can exceed 40 H.P., making an optimized Stingray Stomp nearly a true shield breaker.

This is Goroh's slowest and perhaps hardest attack to use effectively. Indeed, assuming that the 'B' button is merely depressed and released, the soonest that the attack deals damage is on frame 64, and much can happen within that time. Also, since the hitbox on Goroh's boot always 'meteors,' striking a midair opponent over the stage can open a window for them to tech roll towards Goroh, and the squatting animation he does while the flaming barrier is active can therefore be problematic.Furthermore,
Goroh stops controllable movement when 'B' is released, leaving a remainder of 48 frames vulnerable to attack before he begins.
Finally, the end lag of Stingray Stomp is a haunting 65 frames in duration as Goroh squats and invites the opponent to have the last laugh.

However, it should be noted that this move sees extremely powerful use as an edge guard. First, Goroh's stomping always launches downward if his foot makes contact. This means that he can kill very early an opponent below 50% with a fortunate position above them. Since he stomps three times, this window is enhanced! Second, the inferno that forms next to his foot shields against the recovery approach of the opponent to the ledge for all but the most precise movements, and these are usually slow and predictable enough that Goroh might, with practice, 'two-frame' his opponent using down tilt or down smash attack. Meanwhile, intermediately high approaches become challenged by the same wall of fire, leaving the opponent to recover high, which as many know, is
a hard thing to do for some characters. Finally, because the player can initiate the attack at will, they have a greater
liberty in timing it at will.
----------------
At the the end of the matter, Goroh's specials are powerful, dealing immense damage over a single use, and yet offering much to Goroh's mind games. They are hard to escape once Goroh manages to cause a bout of indecisiveness in his opponent. We have Mad Samurai, which acts as a strong 'dozer' attack, and which acts as an effective momentum control. Blade Sting keeps the opponent on edge for the great choice given to the player in termination point. Wingray is a potent killer and recovery in its own right. Stingray Stomp is a go-to edge guard at medium range. However, all of these attacks lag severely, and can be difficult optimize, even to the point of impracticality in many situations, leaving Goroh highly vulnerable if does not get his way quickly.
Still, these moves are very strong, and will readily devastate with proper usage.

Final Smash (Fire Stingray *): (I thought it would work nicely to set Goroh's final smash apart from what could potentially be that of other F-Zero characters, avoiding an overly redundant occurrence of 'thrown-to-the-track-and-runover' syndrome. ) Goroh jumps into the cockpit of Fire Stingray after shouting its name. Then red boulders fall from the sky in a manner similar to PK Star Storm and 'meteor' or bury any opponent hit by them. While this happens, Fire Stingray lifts from the ground as its engines start. Near the end of the boulder storm, Fire Stingray races straight ahead to launch the opponent on impact. Similarly to Marth's Brawl final smash, it is very easy to speed off of the screen and self-destruct. Upon striking an opponent, Goroh backflips out of the Fire Stingray while it proceeds to speed off-screen, and he falls helplessly.

* : Moves marked with the asterisk indicate that some elements derive inspiration from movesets I saw that were made by Opossum Opossum (Apologies. I misspelled 'opossum,' and thus tagged you much later.) and @GoldenYuiitusin (whom I did not find amongst the members).
On back: Kicks forward, then Slash Start slashes behind his head as he rolls over about the x-axis. His direction will be reversed from before he was knocked down.

On front: Rolls over (not part of the attack) about the x-axis, sits up, (Slash Start) and slashes to both sides before standing up.

Tripped: Slash Start slashes the ground in both directions as he rises, causing sparks to appear.

Ledge: Climbs up and thrusts his katana forward, sheathing it afterwards.
Up taunt: (Slash Start) Goroh points his sword forward before brandishing it rapidly, shouting, "Come get some!"

Down taunt: (Slash Start) Goroh holds his katana to the side, calling out, "You ready?"

Side taunt: Goroh holds his belly and laughs loudly.


Standing: Goroh stands straight up, with his arms to his sides, and his neck bent toward his shoulder, as in his preparation screen before a race in F-Zero GX.

Gait: He swings his arms casually as he walks.

Idle 1: He Grabs his shoulder with one hand, and rolls it.

Idle 2: He scratches the back of his head twice.

Idle 3: Goroh Pats his thorax firmly twice with one hand.

(Moveset finished on August 19th)
 
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Kholdstare

Nightmare Weaver
Joined
Oct 10, 2008
Messages
1,424
I had a fun idea that might or might not go over well, who knows? So, introducing...

The Monthly MYM 72 Hour JamCon
JamCon, or Jam Contest, will be a mini-contest I'll hold each month. Each JamCon will take place over 72 hours (3 days) where a theme will be posted at midnight of the start of the JamCon and contestants will have 72 hours to write and post a moveset for that theme. The theme can be taken as literally as you want, but it needs to obviously be related to the theme. The theme can be related to the character or the playstyle, or both.

In order to participate, simply write a moveset once the JamCon has started and when you post it note that it's for JamCon. In Google Docs, you can also put JamCon in the title of the document. Anyone is free to participate, and joint sets are allowed. Once posting has closed, everyone (even if you didn't participate in the JamCon) can vote on their favorite. Voting will be open a week after the JamCon posting period ends. To vote, post a comment in the thread like you would comment a regular moveset (something substantial, nothing one-line) and clearly mark that you're voting for it as the winner of the JamCon. Results on how many votes each moveset got will be posted 24 hours after that, and the winner will be determined, with a tiebreaker vote being instigated if necessary.

The winner of the JamCon will be able to choose the next month's JamCon's theme. Good luck everyone, and have fun with it!
  • Once a JamCon entry has been posted, major edits won't be allowed until the winner has been cast. Minor edits, like spelling, grammar, formatting, number crunching, and etc. are allowed. Basically no major changes to the playstyle.
  • No matter what gimmick you're using, it still has to fit the requiresments of being able to be voted on for the Top 50.
  • You can still edit your moveset after the JamCon is over if you're not satisfied with how it will do for the Top 50.
  • More notes will go here if someone has a question.
July's JamCon theme is... Only One!
You're free to be as literal or liberal as you want with this, as long as it has enough inputs or a justified reason for missing inputs. You could have a set that has only one attack applied in different ways. Your character could be the only one of its kind in its canon. You could have a fighter that only has one stock, and try to balance their moveset around that. Go nuts or keep it simple, your choice, just have fun with it. Some examples:
  • Kazuya has a special mechanic and unique move related to it, but he only has one per stock.
  • Syndrome only has one minion.
  • Yoshikage Kira can only have one bomb primed at a time.
  • Airman has only one trap, used in different ways.
JamCon is over! Thank you everyone who participated, it was a fun experience. Here are the JamCon entries:
  1. Lyn by Slavic
  2. Kurt Zisa by Kholdstare
  3. Red by GolisoPower
  4. Rockerduck and Jeeves by WeirdChillFever
  5. Hopper by UserShadow7989
  6. Gareth of the Beautiful Hands by FrozenRoy
  7. Gamera by Torgo
Voting period will last a week, so be sure to read these entries if you plan on voting (they were made in 3 days so they shouldn't be that long) and then once you have drop a comment on your favorite and just mention you're nominating it! You don't have to have submitted a set for the JamCon to vote, but you can't vote for your own set. Votes will be tallied a week from now.
 
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Slavic

homura on the outside, madoka on the inside
Premium
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Jun 5, 2013
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taco bell, probably
You awaken in a grassy field as a cool breeze washes over your face.
You have no recollection of where you find yourself or how you got here.


In a state of confusion you pick yourself up, only to find a blanket draped over your body and a bowl of soup placed on a crate next to you.
You take a sip from the soup. It's cold, likely left out in the open too long, but delicious nonetheless, and your stomach is desperate for food. As you finish the soup, you take notice of a small hut nearby. You approach, knocking on the wall for help finding answers about your predicament. The curtain to the hut swings open, revealing a young woman in blue garb.



"Are you awake? I found you unconscious on the plains.
I am Lyn, of the Lorca Tribe. You're safe now."

 
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Katapultar

Smash Lord
Joined
Nov 24, 2008
Messages
1,033
Location
The Make Your Move Rooligan Society
Right off the bat, I love that you’ve taken Goroh’s characteristics, attack properties and contrast with Captain Falcon into account for his moveset, similar to K. Rool’s rivalry with Donkey Kong. His “Slash Start” mechanic is also very creative for a new setmaker, reminding me of Law’s quick draw mechanic presented this contest but still being different - it’s a fantastic way to capture his constant attacking and frustration, like that seen in his Assist Trophy attack. When Slash Start begins, roughly how long does Goroh have to perform another attack before he puts his sword away for lag? Not essential to answer, but some elaboration would definitely help.

Onto the moves themselves, I’d love to see damage, knockback (strength and launch angle) added on for elaboration, as well as lag (like with N-air) and shield damage if they’re particularly relevant to the attack. Is the attack good for comboing, spacing or KO’ing? I could see D-air locking the foe in place to get hit by an U-tilt or U-Smash as you position yourself below them, for instance. Even a simple write-up like something you’d see on a fighter’s Smash wiki page. With such a good mechanic presented, I want to see and be told how Goroh’s moves work with it! I also noticed that a good number of Goroh’s moves don’t use his sword and thus trigger Slash Start: do these count towards his strings for Slash Start? I’m guessing they’re more balanced in lag and something Goroh can throw out without risk of Slash Start’s lag if he doesn’t keep up the attack, but it would be cool if the majority of his attacks were sword-based unless there was a good reason for him to have a chunk of non-sword attacks.

As a special move, Neutral Special could do with detail on its damage and knockback. Side Special’s animation of Goro’s sword becoming too hot is funny and in-character, and if you have to charge the move over a certain time it definitely deserves to go through shields. If anything, making Goro lose his sword feels too gimmicky when his set revolves around the Slash Start mechanic (if the idea must stay, perhaps make the sword respawn like K. Rool’s crown if it goes off-stage?). His Down Special is also funny as an over-the-top “call out your attack name” like Captain Falcon, while probably looking fittingly and hilariously stupid, especially when Goroh hops around on one foot. On that note, giving Goroh the ability to move around manually is a neat contrast to the fixed and committal burst of Captain Falcon’s Specials.

While lacking the technical details that MYM is used to, you clearly put a lot of thought into how Goroh would work in Smash - well done! Was food for thought for other F-Zero characters, as you basically do whatever you want with them attack-wise, and definitely got me looking up Black Shadow on youtube. With added detail, I could see myself voting for this set if the contest wasn’t too competitive - reading or glancing at other sets could help with the details you need, or I could help if you wanted.

Lyn is very impressive for a one day set. Utilizing a passive buff from a stored NSpec charge, I especially enjoyed Side Special’s fighting game-esque mix-ups (the promise of duplicate potential is fun, but that would obviously be unfitting and weird on a fighter who deserves a more simple set), and D-throw’s mindgames to mess with the foe’s DI was rather cool.

Suggestion-wise, Neutral Special does seem a tad easy to fully charge (I believe moves like Giant Punch take 2 seconds to reach full charge), and Lyn probably has more reason to keep the charge forever when it turns her F-tilt into a weak projectile and bolsters her melee game. It would be cool if there was an emphasized need for releasing a full charge, or better yet a way in which the charge can be compromised like with Shou Toramaru’s NSpec last contest. Maybe Lyn loses her charge after performing or getting hit by a certain number of attacks? Melee-wise, I could also see potential in talking about mix-ups between attacks, like with landing the full F-Smash vs not landing it and how to react to the foe’s reaction. Nonetheless, you mentioned you were going for simplicity and not so much “interesting” moves to keep on schedule, which I think was the right choice for Lynn for the Fire Emblem and Smash comparison.
 

BKupa666

Barnacled Boss
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Toxic Tower
LYN:
Echoing Kat, I have a lot of admiration for you and anyone else capable of putting together full-blown movesets in such a short timeframe, let alone quality ones like Lyn. She balances an in-Smash feel that complements the game's existing Fire Emblem characters, with her own takes on a multi-trajectory Side Special and a Down Special counter, and her own distinct quirks, most obviously with the myriad follow-ups she unlocks from Neutral Special. That centerpiece actually ties into my only true nitpick with Lyn: while her set goes into good depth on how she can capitalize on those different perks, at the expense of holding onto a valuable projectile, the inverse is comparatively under-explored, with less specific details on how the varying arrow speeds can complement her approaches and spacing. There's definitely mix-up potential there at a high level, with her being able to bait out reactions to what foes think will be Rienfleche-enhanced moves, only to pepper them with an arrow instead — it's just more implicit than outright teased out.

Otherwise, I enjoy how animated Lyn is, with simplistic yet impactful movement tools like U-Smash and D-Smash to get into the air, and pummel to flip her grab-game direction as desired (talk about a way to throw off predictive DI). She's also got another one of my favorite tropes, with flawed attacks that the set presents options to work around, like full jab being unsafe outside of situational hard reads or dash attack struggling against shields, barring her bonus ability to cancel into Up Special. And Rienfleche's boost to midair movement builds versatility into how Lyn wields aerials that in and of themselves could be considered more simplistic. I don't know that I'd make Neutral Special harder to charge, given its current utility, though an incentive to use it or lose it, as noted in chat, could add yet another neat layer. All in all, a commendable effort given JamCon's constraints that has the potential to climb higher in my estimation with another pass-through.
 

Katapultar

Smash Lord
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Messages
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Location
The Make Your Move Rooligan Society
This set might be among the most experimental and daring this contest - like someone stitched a MYM5 and a MYM24 set together! I love that approach to this 3-day Jamcom deal. Having half of your moveset locked between two different modes ala Miracle Matter might seem iffy and "lazy" compared to just having 2 different attack modes, but I think it could work very well in a serious/ambitious modern set with good awareness. Letting Up Special still be used in magic mode, just taking away the hitbox and lag, was a good call, and I especially liked the F-throw being so powerful but limited to having to grab in physical mode and having your foe cornered. But chief among the coolness was Neutral Special: a delayed projectile that damages you if you fire it while you're shielding is really cool, plus the whole firing-the-beam-from-the-blast-zone-if-you're-KO'ed would be fitting on a vindictive/ghostly fighter. Being able to aim the beam relative to the direction your head is facing is neat too, and I appreciate the physical Standards having set-ups (especially buffering) to go into the beam. And firing off the beam while you're in hitstun is nice to counter how easy Kurt Zisa would be to combo. If anything, it does feel busted that the beam has no lag, and one second is actually pretty frequent. I'd probably make the delay at least 2 seconds and give it some end lag if Kurt Zisa isn't in hitstun or so, so that the move is actually punishable.

Being a heavyweight AND stuck with half a moveset at any given time, I reckon you could afford to give Kurt Zisa a fair bit more KO power - F-tilt KO'ing at around 210% and F-Smash at 120% feel pretty weak compared to F-throw. This IS a powerful bonus boss we're talking about!

It's commendable that you implemented Kurt's physical/magical immunity to carry over that duality from his boss fight, even addressing fighters who only have physical or magical moves like Marth with his sword. I wouldn't say I'm fond of Kurt being outright invincible, and the orbs affecting the foe's moves randomly: how about the first move they use from each input selection? I also thought that Kurt could utilize those elements and knockback/shield damage bonus himself, which would have been neat. Froy's execution of Slaking's Truant, switching between different modes per attack rather than translating the Ability literally as being able to do nothing at a given time, may have been a better way of implementing the mechanic. But I know that Kurt Zisa was a quick and experimental set, and for what it's worth the mechanic is fascinating to see in existence, especially on a more modern set. Add in moves like U-Smash and D-Smash and their trappy properties, and it feels more like Kurt Zisa is invoking old MYM. Ah, the memories.

All and all, a very entertaining read! Reminded me of MYM11 Halloween in a good way, a feeling I've not had in quite a while. While he's a very unorthodox set, I did genuinely like Kurt Zisa as a set and would vote for him if the contest didn't get too competitive, like being overloaded with more Jamcons! Great work Khold, you're a hero for coming up with this idea.
 

UserShadow7989

Smash Apprentice
Joined
Aug 13, 2007
Messages
178
"...I know they say reality is stranger than fiction, but when I learned of my... 'situation', this was not what I expected to see. No matter. This world is beautiful, not yet twisted like mine. If I can help protect it, then that's as worthy a use of the time I have as any."

("Get some, punks!")

Finished just in time for the Jam! "Only One" ball at a time, but who says you need a whole host of constructs and projectiles to get the job done?

(Original Jamcom submission is here; above link leads to a heavily updated version.)
 
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FrozenRoy

Smash Lord
Joined
Apr 26, 2007
Messages
1,147
Location
Las Vegas, Nevada
Switch FC
SW-1325-2408-7513
"My lance that even my former king, Arthur Pendragon, praised...

I will use it to pierce anything, if it be your order. I will pierce anybody, if it be your will. But my wish would be...

For you to use me for the sake of attaining peace in this world.


...Just kidding. I was trying to sound all cool, heehee~!"
Gareth of the Beautiful Hands


One of the Nights of the Round Table, holding the seventh seat. A young knight who, alongside her brothers Gawain, Gaheris and Agravain, was born to King Lot and the Fairy Queen Morgan. The treacherous knight Mordred is her half-brother.

Guerrehet is another name for her and her nickname is Beaumains (Beautiful Hands).

Paramters:

Strength - C
Agility - A
Luck - D
Endurance - B
Mana - D
Noble Phantasm - C


Height/Weight: 153cm, 41kg (5' 01", 90 lbs)
Origin: Legend of King Arthur
Region: England
Alignment: Lawful Good
Gender: Female
The lance she wields is enhanced with Merlin's magecraft multiple times over and it has become a type of Mystic Code.


Fittingly for a character from Arthurian mythology, Gareth appears in Fate/Grand Order as a Servant of the Lancer class, and now in Smash Brothers as well! One of the youngest and least experienced knights in the Round Table, in fact being the last one to join before the fall of Artoria Pendragon, she began her training as an attendant to Sir Lancelot alongside her brother Gaheris. She was both somewhat doted on by her elder peers, who admired her pure heart (in fact, she's arguably the knight of them all who most fits the moniker "Knight in Shining Armor" alongside Bedivere) and fierce, determined fighting, yet also placed high expectations as someone who was expected to likely one day be a key member once they were gone. It is said that they all thought highly of her, with praise like "She will be a great knight one day." and "She's sure to be a true knight, on par with her brothers".

Unfortunately for Gareth, Arthurian mythology is one that ultimately ends in tragedy, and in Fate it was no different: When her brother Agravain discovered Lancelot's adultery with Artoria's wife Guinevere, he asked Gareh to act as an additional witness to the situation, but she refused with the words "I will not do anything outlandish to Sir Lancelot, who raised me to be the knight I am today", and left him. The end result was Lancelot being caught in the act by Agravain and slaying him, leading to Queen Guinevere being put up for execution while Lancelot is also in trouble. Gareth herself, loyal to both Artoria (who is ordering the execution) and Lancelot (who isn't taking it), is ordered to stand guard for the execution, and in doing so appears unarmed and unarmored. In the end Lancelot, in a fit of berserk rage while trying to save Guinevere, crushes her skull open and kills her on the way there despite her offering no resistance. This event would mark the start of the end for the Knights of the Round Table, for Gawain to ensure Lancelot did not appear in the battle of Camlann, and thus Artoria's fall at said battle. Gareth's steadfast and dangerous amount of loyalty can be seen in the fact that when summoned as a Servant, she still holds great respect and admiration for Lancelot after he murdered her, and states that while he seemed to be unaware it was even her in his single-minded rage, she would still adore him even if he did. Perhaps not the best judge of character there, Gareth.

Outside of the mythological origins that allow her to be summoned as a Servant, Gareth has appeared in the storyline of Fate/Grand Order as well, although she was not seen on-screen ages. For example despite never being shown in the Camelot Singularity (where Artoria never discards the lance Rhongomyniad for the sword Excalibur and becomes a tyrant known as the Lion King), she is an important figure in the backstory, being the one who held down a false King Richard the Lionhearted to be killed in an attack by Gawain which also cost her own life. Much like in the actual mythology, this event is a major point that leads to the Round Table fracturing and the Lion King's defeat. Her notoriety as more noble than her other Knights is also seen by the fact that the atrocities the Lion King asks her Knights to inflict takes a deep toll on her mental health, to the point that her beautiful hands become disfigured and raw from trying to wash them clean of blood so frequently.

While her involvement isn't something I'm fully aware yet due to it releasing in Japan recently and so not totally translated yet, a version of Gareth native to its Lostbelt appears in Lostbelt No. 6: Fairy Round Table Domain, Avalon le Fae and is her first on-screen appearance in a serious storyline event. She is a successor to the chief of the Mirror Clan of fairies who must die in a ritual to create one of the six Bells that Artoria Caster has to ring to save Britain and hopefully help restore the messed up situation they're in to something better. She also gets an awesome last stand battle with a unique portrait!

Gareth's cheerful and optimistic personality belies one of fierce determination, which is reflected both in many of her fights in-story, her nickname (she was given the title "Raging Wolf" by Artoria after they fought in a jousting match and she is compared to a dog in not only her loyalty and puppy-like nature, but the fact that in battle she attacks like a fierce guard dog or wolf), and in how she plays in Fate/Grand Order: A 2-star tank who trades in the PURE tanking ability of Servants like St. Georgios or Leonidas in exchange for Noble Phatasm gain and more offensive buffs, having a skill that gives her a Target Focus taunt, Noble Phantasm gain AND a super strong defense buff (Ring of Transformation), another skill that gives her flat Noble Phantasm gain in addition to increasing her Attack every time she's hit (Gareth of the Beautiful Hands) and an upgraded skill thanks to her recent Rank Up Quest that gives her The Wolf That Never Sleeps, which applies a single stack of Guts (revival from death, flavored as being so determined it takes more to put them down) and increasing the strength of her Critical Attacks while granting her Critical Stars (AKA the thing that gives you crit odds).

So, in an ideal situation, Gareth's gameplay loop is to apply the enemy's focus onto her to keep her allies safe, work up to her single-target Noble Phantasm nuke Ira Lupus that comes with a defense debuff for the enemy in the process, then unleash damage on them with that and strong critical strikes while opening up their defenses for her allies. This gives her a lot more damage than similar tanks, especially since Gareth of the Beautiful Hands will up her Attack each time she's struck (which she can save for her Noble Phantasm), but she only has a single defense buff and a single Guts so she goes down a bit easier.

Like all Servants in Fate/Grand Order, Gareth has three Ascension levels of power, although you can choose any of them to be the art / model / etc you use in game. Fittingly, these make up three of her eight outfits you can select in Smash Ultimate, with her Ascension Three art being the default outfit. Note that just like in-game, she keeps her shield in combat regardless of if her Ascension Art shows it. Three more of her remaining outfits are recolors of these three outfits in traditional Smash Brothers fashion.

Gareth's 4th and 8th outfits are based on her unique last stand battle portraits, which are alterations to her second Ascension Art, with the #4 outfit being directly based on it w/ the Second Ascension art while #8 is the same but based around her Ascension Three art. This features Gareth with her armor worn down and tarnished, with a few chips, cracks or dents in it, and blood streaming down one side of her face. Her hair has also changed to be a bit more straight, she lacks the blush associated with her normal looks, and her voice lines are generally altered to be much more serious even if her actual voice is still light.

Oh, and how does she apply for Kholdstare Kholdstare 's "Only One" Jam? Well, Servants normally participate in a Grail War which Gareth has as well, and the premise of a Grail War is for them to fight until Only One is left to obtain the Grail and a wish!


Statistics (Section Complete: 7/21/2021, 3:25 AM PST)

"Round Table seventh seat, Gareth, heading out!"

A heavyweight through and through, Gareth's 114 weight puts her near the border of heavyweight/super heavyweights and is 1 above Kazuya for 8th. Her size, however, is on the small size, her armor makes her slightly bulky but her height is low end. Her Dash Speed of 2.00 gives her Bowser-esque ground mobility and the 21st highest dash speed in the game with Bowser becoming 22nd with 1.971 and barely edged out by Diddy Kong's 2.006. She also has very high traction. Her walk speed on the other hand is slow, equal to Ike. Note that like Bowser, she has very high dash turnaround frames (16 frame pivot dash which is 12th highest and 15 frame full dash turnaround which is 11th highest) and initial dash frames (13, tied with Bowser). Like a good heavyweight tank she can get going fast, but turning around is a bit of a trial. Her lance is very range-y, as befitting a lance, although it does not go as far as Corrin's Forward Smash or most of Sephiroth's sword moves by default: Gareth reaches that kind of intense range during some of her lunging attacks, though.

Aerially is where Gareth truly struggles. Both of her jumps are poor, with a first jump equal to Ike (12th worst in the game) and a second jump equal to Corrin (19th worst in the game), which can cause her to struggle in survivability despite her heavyweight status. She also has a fall speed equal to Mythra (7th fastest) which hurts her horizontal survivability, although similar to King Dedede she has immense vertical survivability. It also means she is one of THE most combo-able characters in the game! Her air speed is also Mythra-fast though (11th), which means she can take advantage of her fall speed and jumps for some monstrous shorthop shenanigans.

Overall, Gareth is a heavyweight with impressive mobility on the ground that combines with great range to both aggressively approach and space foes. Her weaknesses include highly airborne opponents, difficulty recovering offstage jump-wise and being absolute combo food.


Mechanic: Noble Phantasm and Critical Stars (Section Completed: 7/21/2021, 5:49 AM PST)

Regardless of Final Smash Meter being on or not, Gareth permanently has a meter in its place for her Noble Phantasm, which also takes the place of her Final Smash and is used the same way. Gareth gains Noble Phantasm meter when hit at the same rate as the Final Smash Meter, 200% = a full Noble Phantasm charge, but she can only gain Noble Phantasm from attacking under specific conditions (which we'll get to soon, don't you worry!), and does not gain any meter over time. She does also have various other ways to boost her Noble Phamtasm gain! Since the Noble Phantasm is tuned for regular play, this leads Gareth to be the opposite of a normal Final Smash-focused character: She's better in matches without them on, where she gets access to her powerful but much more balanced Final Smash, but weaker in Final Smash formats where she's still tuned to not have one. Gareth's Noble Phantasm disappears after 20 seconds if gained with Meter just like everyone's. If Gareth obtains her Noble Phantasm via a Smash Ball, then her Noble Phatasm meter is retained and will continue to increase as normal: If she hits 100%, she will have her Noble Phantasm ready as soon as she uses the Final Smash from the Smash Ball.

In addition to her Noble Phantasm, Gareth has an additional mechanic involving Critical Hits. Certain attacks of Gareth's (again, we'll get to it pretty soon!) cause foes to "drop" Critical Stars (which are basically golden star shaped lookin' things), just like Fate/Grand Order, which are instantly absorbed into Gareth. They aren't items or anything, it's purely visual flair for reference. Every Critical Star dropped adds a 10% chance for that Smash Attack to crit upon next USE, up to 100% for an assured crit. They also disappear when the Smash Attack is used, so there's two general ways you can play it: Fish for them wildly by throwing them out at low percents to not have to set them up as much in exchange for a low chance to succeed, or saving them all at the end which can mean holding back your Smashes in advantage situations in exchange for a potentially assured, huge blow!

When assigining Critical Stars to Smashes, they will prioritize matching directions: Left/Right attacks that generate stars go to Forward Smash, Down inputs go to Down Smash and Up inputs go to Up Smash. For any inputs that do not have a direction or otherwise work weird, they dstribute the stars evenly among all of Gareth's smashes. If the number is uneven, it prioritizes the Smash Attack with the most stars. If this is still tied, it simply picks among the tied options at random.


Mechanic: Command Cards (Section Completed: 7/21/2021, 6:30 AM PST)


In Fate/Grand Order, attacks are all assigned to one of three types of "Command Cards": Buster cards, which deal increased damage. Quick cards, which generate more Critical Stars. And Arts cards, which generate more Noble Phantasm gauge. In addition, having three of the same card in an attack chain gives all cards in that chain a bonus effect! In Smash Brothers, Gareth has carried over this mechanic to her attacks! All of Gareth's damaging attacks (except for Pummel) fall under 1 of the 3 following designations: Buster, Quick and Arts, which you can tell by their attack's headers being that color. As an aside in Fate/Grand Order, Gareth's deck is 2x Buster, 2x Quick and 1x Arts and her Noble Phantasm is a Buster.

Above the Noble Phantasm meter, one of the cards (as seen in the image above) will appear on it when Gareth hits an opponent. This indicates the start of a Brave Chain but more easily it just means she is starting a combo. The first card she hit with will apply a bonus effect to all attacks in the combo until Gareth doesn't hit the opponent fast enough. Any attack started within 14 frames of the end lag of the last move she hit the opponent with counts as being in the Brave Chain, meaning Gareth has enough time to pull off frame traps and still get the bonus. Multihit attacks only count as one attack for the purposes of a Chain, so hitting with a multihit Quick doesn't mean you get three Quicks off, it means you get one. Chains will begin and continue if Gareth hits a shielding or invincible opponent, but depending on the effect it might not do anything. If all three of her attacks in the combo end up being of the same type (Buster, Quick or Arts), the final attack triggers a Chain Bonus on it! The actual bonus depends on which type of card it is, naturally. The chain then repeats if combos past the third occur. Finally, all cards of a type have a universal bonus on them. Now on to what they all do!

When used at the start of a Brave Chain, a Buster card will cause all subsequent cards in the chain to do a flat 1.15x extra damage, which DOES apply to knockback! This allows Gareth to perform particularly powerful combos, but it also means that opponents can be flung out of combos easier. This damage boost is applied AFTER all other damage boosts, so it'll end up being multiplicative with other boosts. When triggering a Chain Bonus, Buster attacks will do 1.5x damage on the last hit, which again DOES apply to knockback and thus can cause Gareth to have some crazy kill options with some difficult setup. It also just generally means any combo ender deals quite a lot more damage! Note that this replaces the chain's 1.15x damage, so you don't get 1.65x damage out of it. Finally, the universal effect of Buster is that all of Gareth's Buster attacks deal 1.2x shield damage, making her more adept at breaking shields.

The universal effect of Quick cards is Critical Star Generation, which is based on how many HITS an attack does. Every hit of a Quick attack generates a critical star, meaning ten hits of a Quick attack can in theory get a Smash Attack to 100% crit. Critical stars are gained at half rate on shielding, invincible and so on opponents, one star per two hits. Multihits count every hit seperately, meaning Gareth's multihitting Quick attacks can let her generate crits very quickly. When used at the start of a Brave Chain, a Quick card confers this ability to all of Gareth's cards in the chain, meaning Quick card chains can allow Gareth to rack up deadly Smash attacks! Finally, a Chain Bonus obtained with a Quick card causes the last hit of it to have its ending lag cut in half! This potentially allows more combo opportunities or extreme shield aggression. The dream is to halve a combo move's ending lag into a Critical Smash Attack with those stars you gaind, but this is far harder to pull off than to type.

Arts cards have a very similar universal effect to Quick cards, as all of Gareth's Arts attacks will cause her Noble Phantasm gauge to increase! Gareth's Noble Phantasm gauge goes up 3% for every HIT of the attack in question, multihits count for every hit!, bringing her that step closer to unlocking a truly potent attack. Using an Arts card to begin a Brave Chain causes a half as powerful effect to be put on for all other attacks in the chain, gaining 1.5% Noble Phantasm gauge for every hit of the attack. And finally, the ending Chain Bonus of an Arts card is to gain 20% Noble Phantasm gauge OR an amount equal to half of the current gauge's emptiness (IE 50% Empty = 25% gain), whichever is HIGHER. This doesn't have any of the immediate bonuses of a Buster or Quick card, but a strong Arts chain can potentially accelerate to Gareth's Noble Phantasm INCREDIBLY fast, which can be a reward far stronger in the long run!

Overall, a player who pays smart attention to the paths possible for a Brave Chain or when to not worry about it and go for a bonus on a chain of many different cards or just an optimal damage combo vs. Brave Chain is a mark of an expert Master and wielder of Gareth.


Noble Phantasm / Final Smash: Ira Lupus (Section Completed: 7/21/2021, 3:12 PM PST)

"I'm gonna take them down! I am a wolf, my lance is like a deadly fang! Let's go! Ira Lupus!"

With a burst of activation light and a cry of her Noble Phantasm's name, Gareth charges forward with her shield held high and lance ready to pierce! This is similar to many Smashes as an "activation" hit, but it doesn't go into a cinematic but rather into a series of in-game hits where neither side can be affected by outside elements. Think like Ike's Great Aether. If Gareth misses, the rest of the attack won't trigger, with Gareth slumping her shoulders and letting out an adorable whine.

The Final Smash itself consists of the initial hit, another charging joust hit, a downward lance slam almost instantly followed by a horizontal slash, then a downward lance thrust that ALSO goes right into a horizontal slash (this time to the other side), then one last smack with her lance that sets opponents perfectly up for her to leap forward and charge straight through the opponent as her lance glows a powerful blue! She really mixed the opponent, huh? As impressive as this attack series is, it doesn't deal nearly as much damage as most Final Smashes, befitting her C-Rank Strength and low base power in Fate/Grand Order! In total, this attack deals 35% damage and kills at 90%, making it better as a damage dealer than a finisher but still quite good at that!

Of course, this move's got more to it. The final hit causes opponents to be inflicted with a defense down debuff, represented by them glowing the same blue as the attack's final hit (and the lance's cartridge chambers), which causes all attacks that foe takes to deal 1.3x increased damage (with knockback as if 1.15x), which can go right along with her attack buffs for massive damage and kills afterwards! This debuff lasts for 15 seconds. That's not all, though! The activation flash isn't just for flair, but also shows that one of the game's effects of Ira Lupus has been applied to Gareth: Ignore Invincibe! This means that while you can dodge Gareth's Noble Phantasm with movement, you CANNOT just block it! It will go right through shields, hit opponents who are in a dodge state (Ignore Invincible allows you to go through Evade, after all), and even hit you through a Star's invincibility! Respawn invincibility WILL stop it however, along with other special states (such as an opponent being in a Final Smash). This makes the attack harder to avoid than it normally would be despite having reactable starting lag (19 frames). Additionally, the Ignore Invincible effect persists for 5 seconds AFTER the Noble Phantasm ends, just like it persisting through an attack chain in game! This isn't TOO useful in 1v1s because by the time you're in range to even hit the foe again after sending them flying the effect is probably almost gone, but in team battles (or FFAs) it's pretty great to be able to kill or otherwise knock an opponent far from the field of current battle, then charge the other person with attacks that can't be shielded or dodged!

Finally, while the base is pretty low for a "Final Smash" style effect, do remember this IS a Buster attack, so you can use it in attack chains and have it get buffed! In particular, if you manage to hit it at the end of a Buster Brave Chain, this thing is now dealing 52.5% damage and killing at around 65%! Your other attack buffs will also effect it, so it situationally can be just as strong as a real Final Smash but usable in normal enviroments! Keyword being "situationally", of course. It ain't easy to pull off, but that's the nature of risk-reward, isn't it?


Specials (Section Completed: 7/21/2021, 10:36 PM PST)


Down Special: Ring of Transformation B (Section Complete: 7/21/2021, 3:58 PM PST)

"Heh heh heh. You let your guard down just because I look small!"

One of Gareth's Skills (and in-universe abilities) is based upon a magical ring she acquired, which allowed her to disguise her appearance (amusingly, not unlike Lancelot's For Someone's Glory ability) by changing colors and which she used to participate in jousting tournaments without people being aware of her identity as Gareth of the Round Table. In-game, it applies a Target Focus taunt on her while increasing her defense dramatically and her Noble Phantasm gain. This effect is technically a minor Noble Phantasm, but that doesn't really matter here since the distinction would only matter outside of a game setting (and in F/GO it's a Skill as everyone only has one usable Noble Phantasm at a time).

For Smash, Gareth makes use of the ring for a bit more directness! Raising one of hands to the sky, the ring on it glints and begins changing a rainbow of colors, a decent duration that means you shouldn't be going for this buff in close range neutral. Once it's complete though, whoa, Gareth's used its abilities to grow in size! This is a looooong lasting buff, 30 seconds total, but of course being larger bring downsides. You can press Down Special again to revert the buff early. There is a 10 second cooldown after the buff where it cannot be used again, this is cut in half to 5 seconds if cancelled before 15 seconds are used up of it. Her overall size increase makes her the largest character in the game, with her head sticking through Battlefield Platforms some, but keeping her proportions the same for her new size. The overall buffs of the attack are as follows:

- More size, more weight, Gareth now weighs 130 units and is the third heaviest character in the game, a firm super heavyweight who can survive a ton of blows!

- While Gareth has a larger hurtbox, that isn't QUITE accurate, as the larger size is more protected than her normal self, being almost "projected" around her. Any attack that hits her larger hurtbox but not her "true" hurtbox will deal only half damage with hit effects like a phantom hit / glancing blow, and Gareth receives NO hitstun or knockback! This means Gareth's larger size can't be taken advantage of for combos (since if you just hit the larger size you won't get hitstun, any combo continuation would have to hit her "true" hurtbox!) and she can't be easily poked at any time. Note that it is still a downside in various ways. Gareth can be poked at for damage any time she can't retaliate with her non-hitstun taking ways (such as ending lag) and it's still putting damage on her that would otherwise be a whiff. In addition, grabs that grab the larger hurtbox work perfectly normal, so against those you just flatout have a bigger hurtbox.

Damage Gareth takes that is reduced this way counts as full damage for her Noble Phantasm charge! This allows Gareth to speed up the charge while getting beat up less, which is a valuable trait for her. Importantly, the larger size means larger hitboxes, and Gareth can have truly great range rivaling Sephiroth with a larger lance! The coverage you can get in some attacks is simply royal~

- Various attacks of Gareth's have defensive properties such as super armor, these are pretty much universally increased while under the Ring.

- Gareth's Noble Phantasm gain is increased while Ring of Transformation is active. Noble Phantasm gained from taking damage is increased by 1.2x (so taking 10% damage counts for 12%), while gain from Arts attacks is increased by 1.5x (So 3% -> 4.5% per hit, since the chain effect is based on halving this the chain becomes 2.25% per hit).

Overall, Ring of Transformation is a potent buff to her range, base survivability and Noble Phantasm in exchange for a dreadful trait of a larger hurtbox. Sure, it isn't purely just a larger hurtbox, but being able to get hit more easily always carries risks to it. While Gareth has multiple ways to take advantage of getting hit, taking too many hits can be positively deadly, especially with her recovery! So try not to overdo it, brave wolf.


Neutral Special: Gareth of the Beautiful Hands B (Section Completed: 7/21/2021, 9:05 PM PST)

"My hands! These get praised often, heehee!"

Gareth gives off a cheeky little laugh as she wrings her praised hands together, activating another one of her Servant skills, named after her! Her armor and body shines a silver and gold shine briefly to indicate that it has been activated, although it doesn't stay behind as an aura or anything. This is a bit faster to activate than Gareth's Down Special, but it still isn't something you'll want to do when the opponent is nearby or you'll get punished, however situationally it might be worth taking a hit to get the buff off! So, what IS this buff?

First off, activating Neutral Special at all increases Gareth's Noble Phantasm gauge by 15%, making it a pretty big booster to get to one of your strong finishers. If you're juuuust not quite to that Noble Phantasm, it can be worth it to toss this out to get it primed and ready. The other buff of Gareth's Neutral Special is the big one though, granting Gareth the Beautiful Hands buff for 20 seconds! This is pretty simple, as it is a stacking 1.1x damage buff (that DOES affect knockback!) that is applied to her every attack that hits her (multihits only count the first hit). While hitting her within 20 seconds triggers this buff, each actual attack buff only lasts for a scant 5 seconds, and every one has its own timer. So if you get hit once, then 2 seconds pass and you get hit again, you have a 1.1x buff for 3 seconds and one for 5 seconds (which combine into a 1.2x buff while both active). This means that unless Gareth gets combo'd, getting multiples of this buff going is genuinely quite hard! It also only stacks up to a maximum of 5 times at a time, meaning there is a maximum of 1.5x damage in an optimal situation, which would have a pretty short time frame to use it!

To give an idea of the theoretical potential, imagine if you somehow got the end of a Buster Brave Chain to be your Noble Phantasm while all five stacks of Beautiful Hands were active. First, Beautiful Hands will boost your Noble Phantasm to 52.5% damage, but then the MULTIPLICATIVE buff of a Buster Chain adds on 1.5x of 52.5%, leading to 78.75% damage to the opponent! And with all of this applying to knockback, it is nearly a OHKO on someone like Mario (killing at 15%), although the nature of your Noble Phantasm gauge and what it takes to get there means this is probably overkill. This essentially turns Gareth's Noble Phantasm into a truly frightening Final Smash, but obviously this is a VERY specific scenario that is VERY hard to achieve. However, even with just a 1.2x from Beautiful Hands and the 1.1 chain bonus from a Buster Chain, you could bump up your Noble Phantasm to a more than respectable 46.2% damage that will be killing at around 77%! You can expect something like this as a reasonable option...although even that requires you to combo into an attack you can only unlock while filling a rather large meter and get two buffs that are only obtainable by the opponent attacking you.

This definitely encourages opponents to be a bit more hit and run with you and for you to try and counterattack more than play purely defensively, something which both of you can plan around. Opponents could just try to run, but Gareth's actually pretty fast, and if they just run every time you turn on the buff they're completely foregoing the chance to use your lag to get in, so you're basically getting a free 15% Noble Phantasm gauge in this Catch-22. And with your Down Special, you can obtain the buff from hits you're powering through with your enhanced hurtbox! Wonderous, truly.


Side Special: The Wolf That Never Sleeps B++ (Section Completed: 7/21/2021, 9:35 PM PST)

Gareth raises her lance in front of her, tip pointed to the sky, like a proper knight (and her skill activation pose in F/GO) with a determined look, letting out a fierce growl before returning to her idle stance! Her body glows gold and green briefly during the posing and Critical Stars swirl around her. This is a quicker buff than her Neutral Special or Down Special, but it does come with a cooldown in return, so it's much more viable to use with an opponent not pinned down. As for the buffs themselves, let's start with the most direct: Upon activation, Gareth gains a total of 9 Critical Stars which get evenly distributed among her three Smashes, essentially adding 30% Crit Chance to each of them. This can be both a great chance to kinda YOLO a Smash Attack, or more commonly to push over the edge towards a 100% Critical Rate. It also increases the power of Gareth's critical attacks, which will be explained in the Smash Attack section becaue each attack has different critical effects.

The more long term buff effect is that Gareth gains a stack of Guts, which lasts for 15 seconds. After those 15 seconds, The Wolf That Never Sleeps then enters a 15 second cooldown. This is also when the critical attack buff ends. Attempting to use it during that time will give Gareth the same slumped shoulder, tired pose as when she whiffs her Noble Phantasm. She might be able to power through a lot, but every knight has a limit! So, what does Guts do? Well, Gareth has a lot of ways to go through attacks, but she'll usually be taking damage in the process: Good for building Noble Phantasm, bad for not dying! Guts keeps track of all damage Gareth takes that she "powers through": This includes if she super armors through an attack, if she takes damage on the extended hurtbox portion of her Ring of Transformation ability, if she runs through an attack with invincibility such as from a Star, if she tramples over an attack akin to Palutena's Dash Attack/Back Aerial and other such things from other sets that would count. It does NOT include shielding, dodging, being hit normally, being hit during any old start up, you get the idea.

Then, at the end of the 15 second buff time, Gareth gets healed for all damage she took in that time, with an animation that varies (wiping off her brow of sweat, letting out a hearty laugh to let the opponent know it didn't effect them, a powerful battle cry that is more likely to trigger if she healed a lot, etc) and if interrupted wILL cause her to not heal. So, make sure you have room when that buff timer is done! This can obviously be a very great boon for Gareth, allowing her to super armor trade and more with significantly less risk! Not only that, SOME of the abilities (like trample) don't cause Gareth to take damage, so she can potentially get a "heal" past her original percent in theory! This is another ability contingent on the opponent, you really gotta be careful about using this because if you just start swinging with your laggy "power through" moves you're going to get baited, you're going to get punished in your ending lag, and you are going to die.

This also completes the trifecta of Gareth's buffs: IF she can get all of them up, she has increased survivability and reach, can power through attacks and heal off the damage, and getting hit (such as by powering through attacks) will cause her to get stronger, a greatly synergystic combo that is more realistic than some due to the long buff times, but it's still veeeery hard to find time to get off three non-damaging buffs against a non-inert opponent. Pick and choose what's best for the time and foe, being a knight is about wisdom as much as power!


Up Special: Ira Leapus (Section Completed: 7/21/2021, 10:36 PM PST)

Woof, what a pun! Pointing her lance to the skies, Gareth makes a mighty leap above! This is visually similar to Pyra's Up Special along with King Dedede's and serves as a middle point between the two: She doesn't go to the drop NEARLY as fast as Pyra and can get actual horizontal recovery off of this, but she still only has about half the horizontal distance that King Dedede does. She also has a delay after she twists in the air to point to the ground before she plummets, which can be used to make very small adjustments to where you want to land. Guess she leaped into some high wind! She doesn't have any way to cancel out of it, unlike the penguin king. You can press B to plummet immediately, as well.

As for the attack itself, Gareth has a launching hitbox on her initial leap that deals 6% damage, and during the leap her lance is a hitbox that deals 7% damage until she reaches the apex of her jump. Both of these hitboxes have knockback that will combo into the descending strike if you press B to plummet early. Otherwise, there might be a gap where they can air dodge! The plummet itself deals 12% damage and a solid spike on the way down, and 14% damage with moderate upwards knockback (it won't kill until 220% or so) against opponents who are on the ground. This deals particularly large shield damage, and while it won't break it even if you hit with the leap + the crash, it'll bring it dangerously low and CAN break a shield if her lance attacks have poked it out first. Maybe those Buster bonuses can help chip 'em down first! The starting lag on this attack is pretty fast, so it can be potentially used as combo tool given how the hits intersect, and it can also be an out of shield option. Beware using this predictably out of shield, though: The launching hitbox isn't far reaching at all, so a lot of characters can space properly and make your launching hit totally whiff, which since the ending lag on this is plenty punishable if it whiffs you'll probably be hitting a good hit on you.

Since the second hit is an a "different" attack, like a second part to a Jab, rather than a "multihit" it WILL trigger two spots on a Brave Chain, so note that if you can get an Arts attack to combo into the launch attack, you can potentially get a a big Arts bonus! It's not the most damaging combo of all time, but still. This also means that you'll get 8% Noble Phantasm meter if you combo the hits, which is a nice bonus.

Note that while this move has some really strong vertical recovery, the weak horizontal recovery is very exploitable for anyone gimping her. In particular her recovery going high is highly predictable, which usually results in her being forced to go low akin to fighters like King K. Rool, and while her lance's large disjoint definitely adds some difficulty to the mix for people directly spiking her, she's still vulnerable to a lot of the same tricks against recovering low characters as most people. It's one of her major weaknesses!


Smash Attacks

Down Smash: Explosive Honor (Section Completed: 7/22/2021, 1:33 AM)

Merlin's magecraft upgrades to Ira Lupus granted the lance many benefits including its drill capabilities and energy blasts, one of which manifests as the ability to fire explosive, grenade launcher-like attacks (presumably using the "bullet" looking things in her lance). Well, she's not going to hold back on that in Smash! Crouching down as she holds her lance up, she shoots out a bright blue shell that travels in a similar arc to Mii Gunner's Grenade Launch Neutral Special with similar range and slightly longer duration. It also bounces off walls, the floor and whatnot in the same way. This can be angled by moving the control stick forward or back for different arcs! Moving it back will cause the grenade to be dropped at Gareth's feet, basically the same as Mii Gunner's Bomb Drop Down Special, while going forward will make it launch at a high angle for the same horizontal distance that will zoom over every grounded fighter! It's a good anti-air, but another use for it can be to set one of your grenades behind an opponent as a trap.

The grenades themselves explode on contact with an enemy or other destructible object for 11%-15.4% damage and radial knockback from the bomb's explosion (which is visually similar to Link's Down Special explosion but about 2/3rds the size). This can allow a grenade behind an opponent to knock opponents back into Gareth! It can also be a pretty scary edgeguarding tool as well with its variable ranges and arcs combined with this. The starting lag on it is kinda hefty, but the ending lag is low enough for Gareth to combo off of inward hits and sometimes even get a fast combo off of a vertical hit. Nothing doing if they're hit away from Gareth, naturally. You'll generally be using this when you have distance or are in advantage state, given the starting lag.

When considering Gareth's Brave Chains, it won't actually START a chain until the grenade explodes on someone, which can allow Gareth to combo into it for some Arts chains if she's fast. If she is in the middle of a Chain, then a notable effect of the grenade is that while it is out, Gareth's timer to continue her chain does NOT decay! She, after all, has an "attack" out. Gareth can thus use this to delay a Chain and get out attacks that aren't true combos but still potentially form a Chain Bonus, or otherwise get the Brave Chain effect on an attack not in a combo. This can also mean delayed three-hit Brave Chains of Arts into the grenade for that juicy Noble Phantasm bonus, you can alternately have it out just to delay an effect in a Buster or Quick chain, but that's a lot of work and also if the grenade HITS it ruins the chain. So that's a pretty niche tactic.

Since if you will Crit is decided when you use the move rather than when it hits, crit effects don't rely on hitting it to appear. If Gareth's Down Smash crits, then the most prominent effect is that the knockback is changed to always be in Gareth's direction! This essentially ensures a combo as long as Gareth is in range, and depending on the circumstances (for example an opponent running into a grenade while Gareth is not in lag) it can lead into her Noble Phantasm as a true combo! Being an Arts attack inherently means you will not be able to get the Buster bonus on it, but it's still a lot of damage base and you can possibly get a Beautiful Hands buff or two to help out. The hitstun on the attack is also increased to 1.2x normal, the explosion range is increased to 3/4ths of Link's Down Special explosion, and the grenade itself sees a slight duration increase. Note that none of this increases the attack's base power: Essentially every crit bonus only really matters if Gareth is in position to take advantage of it.

If The Wolf That Never Sleeps is active, then the hitstun modifer on crit is increased to 1.4x for even more delicious combos, the explosion is now the size of a full Link Down Special when it goes off and the grenade gets another slight duration increase. This is probably the least powerful out of all the Wolf Crit buffs since the Down Smash's crit is already kinda indirect, but it does allow more options to combo into your Noble Phantasm which is strong. This makes it the trickiest of all of Gareth's crit attacks to utilize, but one of the most rewarding. Down Smash is also, in general, the hardest Smash attack to build crit stars on easily due to which of Gareth's attacks are Quick Attacks, so keep that in mind.


Forward Smash: Raging Maiden Wolf (Section Complete: 7/22/2021, 4:34 AM PST)

Ira Lupus' energy chambers begin to rotate wildly as she draws it back for some truly exaggerated starting lag before thrusting it forward! The lance drills when Gareth thrusts it, causing a series of explosions around it as a powerful hitbox with a bit more vertical range than most of her lance attacks due to the explosions. Based on one of her attack animations after using two Busters. This is a truly sluggish move that comes out on Frame 35, making it the third slowest Forward Smash in the game behind only King Dedede (Frame 40) and Snake (Frame 41). The ending lag is also pretty bad, so this is just a horrible move to whiff for sure. Hitting it is very rewarding, naturally, dealing 20%-28% damage on hit and killing at a smooth 88%-67%! This might not sound like a ton, but do remember that Gareth has MULTIPLE ways to buff it, so being below the biggest heavyweight hitters at a base isn't a big obstacle for her. With the enhanced shield damage from being a Buster + the high base damage and shield push this attack is, amazingly, safe on shield at long range! Anything more than really long range, though, and you'll get punished. The closer the foe is, the greater the punishment!

The hefty lag of this attack makes it nearly impossible to combo into meaningfully, situationally a Down Smash could be able to do it if you're lag free and start it right when an opponent is hit at the right range, but that's obviously very conditional. This means that it is pretty difficult to use this in your Brave Chains, odds are especially if you want the Buster Chain Bonus you'll have to start it on a hard read of an air dodge, a spot dodge, a bad option, or so on and end up smashing them at the end in most cases. In fact, given how hard a 35 frame option is to land raw, you'll probably be using techniques like that to hit it anyway.

This might seem a lot for a less powerful than normal heavyweight smash attack, but let's get into it's crit effect to give you an idea of why this matters: Raw. Power. Critting with Raging Maiden Wolf is, flatout, a 1.5x buff to its strength! That's right, with just a crit in stock, Gareth has access to a 30%-42% damage Forward Smash, an attack only just under the power of her Noble Phantasm! The killing power is increased to a much more heavyweight-level, and in fact particularly strong, 67%-50% kill. Now, that's relying on gathering a lot of Crit Stars to make it reliable on an already very unreliable attack, so this isn't something you can expect to see a lot. Don't forget that as a Buster attack it gets 1.2x shield damage, so opponents with a weak shield need to be veeeery careful, and essentially even the tiniest prior damage to a shield means that a fully charged Forward Smash crit breaks it!

Let's take it a step further. The Wolf That Never Sleeps makes this be a complete doubling of the base damage, now it's dealing 40%-56% damage! That's even more than her Noble Phantasm! In fact, this move's name comes from an alternative full name of her Noble Phantasm, "Ira Lupus: Raging Maiden Wolf", but I digress. This will positively DELETE people off the side at 50%-24%, making it the strongest killing Smash Attack in the game, and even the uncharged version nearly one shots shields, with a tiny charge allowing it to shatter them. The lag is naturally still an issue, but that doesn't mean it isn't worth it.

And now I will show you the absolute dream scenario that'll never happen realistically. The Wolf That Never Sleeps is on and Forward Smash crits at the end of a Buster Brave Chain while you have a maxed out Beautiful Hands buff. With a base of 40% damage, you're going to add 1.5x to that to get to 60%, but then the 60% is 1.5x'd by the Buster Brave Chain, so the final result is a ludicrous 90%-135% damage! This, naturally, will kill even Bowser off the side at 0% akin to a Roy Flare Blade. This requires stacking no less than two buffs, gathering enough stars to crit consistently, being hit 5 times within 5 seconds of hitting the foe and ending a 3-move combo of specific types, but you CAN completely obliterate opponents when the stars, heavens and earth align! Note that realistic combos are still quite deadly: A Buster Chain Bonus on a crit is 45%-63%, you can get 1.2x damage on the 30% to get to 36%-50.4% damage that'll be killing in the low 60s uncharged, and many more combinations of buffs.

While all that is well and good, it does bring up one of Gareth's prime issues: Reliability. She has some of the best kill POTENTIAL in the game, but it's pretty difficult to access consistently either due to being locked behind a mechanic or simply being a laggy attack. Gareth does have a good chunk of alternative kill attacks, but if she wants the bonus to get them to a real heavyweight level, she needs to work for it. Fortunately, Gareth is a hard worker! Get good at playing her and she rewards handsomely with sick plays and strong potential. Just remember that even when it smashes face, a 35 frame Forward Smash is hard to land.


Up Smash: Lancer Storm (Section Complete: 7/22/2021, 5:16 AM PST)

Crouching down slightly with a self-satisfied, attempted-sneaky grin on her face, Gareth takes her lance and quickly performs a series of stabs above herself in a wide area, striking fast enough it's a bit of a blur! This deals 4 hits of 2% damage above Gareth in a cone of decent height and slightly small width, a small enough width it is not reasonable to consistently scoop up opponents who are on the ground, and finishes with a final strike that deals 3% damage and moderate-light knockback upwards. It's usually too much to get acombo off of it, but Gareth does get to pressure the opponent's landing, which is good for her because Up Smash is GREAT at catching landings with its long duration, or jump up for an attack anyway. The attack's overall damage is a light 11%-15.4% damage to be noted, though, so it isn't necessarily that scary to get hit by it in exchange for the ease of landing it. People who are thinking of air dodging might want to consider Gareth's potential to hard read it for Forward Smash, but Gareth should also consider how badly that will go if the opponent air dodges the other way or otherwise avoids it. Up Smash is a fairly low commitment move on both ends, with more of the lag concentrated into ending lag than starting lag, not unpunishably fast but it's a safe move overall, a rarity in Gareth's set.

While Gareth doesn't normally get a combo off of this, if she uses it as the last attack in a Quick Brave Chain, the Quick Chain Bonus slashing the ending lag in half changes it to basically allow it to combo into any of Gareth's aerials, making it one of his best combo options out of the Quick Chain Bonus. Up Aerial is a particularly powerful option out of this! Up Aerial's also your scariest aerial to threaten opponents above you with, by the way.

One big benefit of this attack is that being a upwards Quick attack with multiple hits, Up Smash feeds into its own crit rate: Hit an Up Smash once and you generate five Critical Stars, making it 50/50 for your next Smash Attack to crit, or you can wait to fill it up elsewhere and have a 100% crit rate a good deal easier than Down Smash or Forward Smash. This is why Up Smash -> Up Aerial is so scary: Up Aerial is another Quick multihit and can potentially get Up Smash right up to 100% crit! On that note, let's look at what the Up Smash critical hit does! It's pretty simple: It adds 1% damage to each hit of Up Smash, which will count for the 1.4x Up Smash charge, so it increases the damage to a much more respectable 16%-22.4% damage. It's certainly not as big and flashy as the other critical attacks, but just getting in some extra damage (essentially making your Up Smash fully charged) is pretty potent when Up Smash is the easiest to crit with.

It's when you add in The Wolf That Never Sleeps to the mix that things get spicy, with the crit bonus here being Gareth stabbing faster and with a wild yell! This causes Gareth to DOUBLE the amount of hits that Up Smash deals, adding in 4 more hits of 2% and another non-launching hit of 3%, while retaining the same duration and other frame data. Since it's a crit, though, +1% is added to each of those hits! In effect, the damage is doubled to 32%-44.8%, being the big payoff for a crit focus as it is fast for that amount of damage, although note the move's poor knockback scaling means it still fails to kill until 170%-147%. It's a pure damaging move and a very good one at that. On top of that since it is a 10-hit move now, it fully refunds the critical stars used to make it, making your next Up Smash an assured critical hit!

This is the big reward for a Quick/crit focus, but do remember that Critical Stars are consumed on use. All it takes is a single miss of an Up Smash and you can go from threatening Up Smash -> Up Smash for 64% damage to being back to a weak 11% that won't get you to 10 stars again with a hit, and all on a buff timer that has a massive 15 second cooldown. The attack also suffers from being a situational and poor out of shield option for the same reason it's a strict anti-air: The fact it's hitbox isn't very good at hitting even large grounded enemies. So, like all of Gareth's Smashes, situational and crushing IN those situations!


Standard Attacks (Section Complete: 7/22/2021, 4:37 PM PST)

Jab: Artistic Knightistry (Section Complete: 7/22/2021, 2:14 PM PST)

A three part Jab combo, Gareth starts out by lifting her shield firmly in front of her and bashing it forward as a low range attack! This is followed by a slam from her lance with a second input, and finally a sideways slash with it to finish off the combo with the last hit. This is a pretty important attack in Gareth's arsenal for a few reasons, but let's start out by noting that since it's a three hit Jab (AKA seperate attacks, not a multihit), this CAN create a full Arts Chain by itself! The attacks itself are decently powerful, with the shield bash dealing 3% damage while both the lance attacks deal 4% each for a total of 11%. Not amazing for a Jab Combo, but hardly the worst in the game. Knockback is aggressively mediocre and it won't be scoring any killss, which is unfortunate since the attack is rather slow to come out for a Jab, and has punishable ending lag that means every hit is unsafe on shield if you stop the combo there.

It has some upsides, though! As mentioned, it is a one-attack Arts Chain, and at lower percents (until 30% or so on most characters) all three hits will combo into each other! This makes it valuable to hit early: With an empty Noble Phantasm gauge, an Arts Chain generates 56% total Noble Phantasm gauge (12% from each hit, then half of the remaining 88 gauge = +44 for a total of 56), meaning you can get half of your Noble Phantasm gauge in one go! Later on this will only be 32% of the Gauge (12% + Flat 20%), but that's still almost exactly 1/3rd of the gauge! After around 30% on the foe, though, it'll stop flatout comboing into itself and so you'll need to either combo into it or delay the attack. I will note Gareth's Jab has a bit of a special "mechanic", in that Gareth can continue her Jab Combo for 30 frames after the last Jab hit ended, so for example if you use Jab 1 then hit Jab 20 frames after its ending lag, you'll get Jab 2. This can potentially be used to frame trap from Jab 1 with the rangier Jab 2/3 and moving forward when it won't combo, but usually it's more of a prediction than a trap.

Jab 1's shield bash is the most valuable part of this attack, for it contains trample priority! Any attack that strikes against Gareth's shield is nullified if it deals 8% or less damage, the same way as Palutena's Dash Attack. This allows Gareth to panic into a jab and beat over a lot of attacks, although do remember that the Jab's slowness means it'll lose to a lot of fast and weak attacks in speed. Gareth's Ring of Transformation benefits this attack in two ways, as well! First off, the increased hitbox size is pretty nice for giving a larger range to nullify attacks, allowing her to control the midrange. This is combined with the huge defensive buff it gives her, as it doubles the trample range to anything less than 16%! This will allow Gareth to muscle over essentially any Tilt, and even some of the weaker, uncharged Smash Attacks, so bully opponents to your heart's content! Trample priority is also very valuable because it allows you to truly "heal" with Guts by storing damage without taking it.


Dash Attack: Fearless Wolf (Section Complete: 7/22/2021, 2:47 PM PST)

Raising her shield in front of her, to the point it covers up most of her face save for her eyes peeking out from above, charging forward like a jousting champion! Once A is released, Gareth takes all of her momentum and turns it into a leaping, multihit, drilling lance strike as she swings her shield aside! This animation is inspired by her Quick 1 attack. The attack itself deals 3 hits of 1.5% damage followed by a single, explosive burst that sends opponents flying at a low angle with another 7% damage for 10.5% total, which is admittedly a bit small for an attack that's not that fast. Gareth charges forward for as long as A is held until she hits a wall, gets to a ledge, goes the total width of Battlefield, or otherwise can't keep charging, which will automatically trigger the attack. Releasing A triggers the attack whenever you want. If you don't hold down A at all, then Gareth will go straight into the attack without charging at all, merely making a slight leap forward. The attack still takes 12 frames to come out (the same as Corrin and Ridley's and on the slow end), but obviously charging forward without a hitbox makes it "slower". Ending lag is punishable if shielded (particularly by fast options), but low enough to combo on hit starting at mid percents. At low percents, the low angle of the knockback instead will force opponents to tech or enter prone: If you have a Down Smash grenade out you can do some basic shenanigans there, but for the most part it's really to just put the opponent on the back foot than any super intricate tech chase setups. You're a knight, not a soldier!

Gareth slightly gains momentum while continuing her Dash Attack, reflecting her jousting charge! She starts at her normal Dash Speed and accelerates to 1.3x her Dash Speed (2.6 total) over the course of a Battlefield Platform. Gareth can turn around during her charge, which cuts her current speed in half (which includes going below her normal Dash Speed), after which she has to build up more momentum. Turning around is also a bit slow, but if the opponent rolled behind you it's fast enough to catch it. This does all mean just moving back and forth with this technique is not really viable, and she has to travel about one Battlefield Platform before she can turn around again. Hey, YOU try turning back and forth in place at full sprint in platemail! And remember, you can only go the full width of Battlefield before automatically striking.

Quick Chain Bonuses can be very effective with this attack, although it's a bit awkward to combo finish with a dash attack. The halved ending lag on it makes it safe on shield when it hits, and allows Gareth to get some pretty strong combos off of the Dash Attack. For a window from around 50%-80% on most characters, a Dash Attack that gets a Quick Bonus this way can combo into a Noble Phantasm, which is a seriously potent combo! Get just a little damage buff somewhere, like with two or three stacks of Beautiful Hands, and this can become a kill confirm at the later ranges. This also allows more potent tech chases at lower percents, with the scariest being a "risk it all" Forward Smash that basically needs to be started instantly and guess the opponent will either tech in or in place, but that's potentially a lot of damage, especially since with 4 Crit Stars generated by this attack it'll have at minimum 40% critical chance! Of course, you get turbo-punished if you mispredict, but won't you be all galaxy brain the one time it works out?

The charge itself is about more than speed, as Gareth hunkering down and shielding up in her armor provides her super armor against attacks that do 12% or less, allowing Gareth to power through and punish the wicked enemy! This is your go-to for breaking down opponents who try to box you out with aerials (hello...Lucina), as you can take the damage and hit them back with a tech chase/combo starter that'll usually lead to more damage than you took. And with Guts, you can just heal it off in a way your opponents can't! Just be aware of the opponent jumping OVER you, since you will need to turn around to punish in that case, and depending on the attack might be stuck without a true punish. This move gets a grand improvement while Ring of Transformation is up, as it provides super armor against attacks of ANY strength (outside of Final Smashes or the like), the unerring strength of a fearless wolf breaking through it! It'll hurt, sure, but opponents are going to think twice about just throwing out attacks for "zoning" or just being that Roy you know from Quickplay who throws out every fast combo starter and figures that eventually one will land. Since it's super armor Gareth is always grab vulnerable, which given this move is unsafe on shield means there's always counterplay (unless you get a Quick Chain Bonus off, but at that point there's a lot of conditions to even get this to work, huh? Also, jumping), but that just means it has a natural weakness and doesn't take away from the powerful utility this attack posseses.


Up Tilt: Rocket Knight (Section Complete: 7/22/2021, 3:14 PM PST)

Gareth holds Ira Lupus at a diagonal angle and lets out a blast of energy from behind her, which propels her upwards and forwards like a rocket for a stabbing strike! Looks very close to her Buster 1 attack animation and has a very similar arc to her default Down Smash. It's also tied for the fastest of her grounded normals at Frame 8 with her Jab, which given this is a movement attack is kinda awkward. Impacting a grounded opponent will deal 8% damage and weak knockback that serves as your Buster combo starter, and one of Gareth's few grounded combo starters. The ending lag for it is also short, although since it tends to put Gareth like RIGHT next to foes using this against shield is...risky. Gareth travels very fast through the air to her destination, so in niche ways this can be a movement option. Aerial opponents get knocked away at a pretty standard, diagonal angle for 6% damage that's mostly just good for some light advantage, not leading into anything in particular.

This is pretty good as an anti-shorthop option due to the arc of travel, but note that this is pretty dreadful as any other kind of anti-air, working almost like an Up Tilt + Forward Tilt in one package. You're gonna be relying on Up Smash and Up Aerial for more pure anti-airing. On grounded opponents this will combo into a Down Tilt until very late percents, which is your main natural Buster Combo. While Ring of Transformation is active, this attack gains a weak 5% super armor when it impacts the ground, which can allow you to power through some multi-hit anti-airs or weak jabs, this is easily resolved by the foe just using a reasonably powerful attack or an air-to-air anti-air though. At least you're less likely to get Mario Up Tilt combo'd with those horrible fall speed stats! There isn't a lot more to say about this one!


Down Tilt: Groundcracker (Section Complete: 7/22/2021, 3:35 PM PST)

Gareth pulls her lance back before stabbing it downwards in front of her, plunging it into the earth. A second tap of A allows a follow-up hit where Gareth turns on the energy drill on it for a single and powerful rotation, a 1-2 combo that is true. The first hit deals 5% damage damage and knockback that keeps opponents in place, while the second hit deals a beefy 9% damage and serves as one of Gareth's alternative kill moves that kills at 140%. Being seperate attacks like Up Special or Jab, you'll count for two attacks in a Brave Chain if you use this 1-2 punch, meaning that Up Tilt -> Down Tilt is a true combo Buster Brave Chain for a Bonus. With the 1.5x buff from that Brave Chain, the second hit of Down Tilt will kill closer to 110% (and therefor more closet to the ledge), which makes it a more legitimate kill move as a kill confirm off Up Tilt. Awkwardly, you really don't want any Buster moves BEFORE Up Tilt in this case, because then it'll just apply to the first hit of Down Tilt, at high percents that can even cause an opponent to be able to SDI away from the second hit!

Asisde from that, it is notable as one of Gareth's two grounded normals that is safe on shield, the first hit combos into the second on hit and the second hit has a very high shield damage modifier (2.2x when including the Buster's inherent 1.2x bonus) that along with shield push makes it VERY safe on shield. This can also two frame opponents and will hit opponents hanging on ledge, but since the opponents are in awkward "under" you positions that can cause the second hit to whiff at times. The same is true for poking through thin, Battlefield-esque platforms. Possible, but the 2nd hit can become unreliable if you do. While not as range-y as many of Gareth's other moves due to stabbing the ground, it's still got decent range for neutral to.

Which brings us to the move's biggest issue: Lag. This move has a 14 frame start-up, making it tied with Palutena for THE slowest Down Tilt in the game, and the ending lag as Gareth pulls out the lance is rather hefty as well, although if you don't do the 2nd attack it is about 6 frames faster which is notable. It also lacks any kind of defensive bonus like any of your previous attacks, so you're pretty prone to getting hit out of this attack if you use it much, and whiffing is punishment. It has enough hitstun you can actually combo into an Up Tilt at pretty low percents (Sub-30%) to do a Buster Brave Chain for a bonus, but the Up Tilt doesn't exactly get much damage boosted out of it and the increased knockback prevents more combos out of it, so it isn't quite as great as it sounds.


Forward Tilt: Wolf's Fang (Section Complete: 7/22/2021, 4:37 PM PST)

Standing stout, Gareth raises her lance to the sky while holding her shield in front of her, before stabbing the lance in front of her while lunging forward slightly and turning on its drill function, which drills four times for 1% damage followed by a final hit of 3% with knockback that essentially resets neutral. A laggy Forward Tilt, at Frame 11 it comes out one frame later than Ganondorf and Bowser's Forward Tilts, it also deals low damage (less than a close range sourspot Sephiroth Forward Tilt). It makes up for that in range, safety and critical star generation: The attack's range is about equal to Corrin's Forward Smash due to the slight lunge forward, it has a VERY high shield modifer befitting a drill (a massive 3x shield damage!) that is combined with high shield stun to make it safe on shield despite the poor damage output, and hitting with all the hits will generate FIVE critical stars for your Forward Smash, which is a hungry move for powerful crits! While this doesn't true combo out of or into a Dash Attack (Dash Attack combos are largely into aerials or Up Tilt), if you get both off that's 9 Critical Stars for your Forward Smash, almost to the full 100% chance! Going into an instant dash attack after Forward Tilt ends can be a scary mixup out of hitting Forward Tilt for that reason, albeit one where if the opponent plays patient you get messed up.

When the drilling hits the opponent, they'll be pulled towards the last 2/3rds of the lance, but not all the way to the tip, this pull means that DIing out of the attack is essentially impossible. This can also sometimes be important for the placement of a grenade, but that's extremely niche. The MAIN reason it matters is that Gareth can have an addition to this attack! Hold down A when using this move and Gareth will do more than just drill with it, she'll fire energy shots out of the tip! Pew-pew! These don't travel very far (1.25 Battlefield Platforms) and they deal half the damage of the base move, so a pretty pitiful 3.5% overall, but they DO generate critical stars and give Gareth a more traditional ranged option that can be helpful. The knockback they deal will push back opponents as well, an opponent right in front of the tip of the lance when it fires off these shots will be pushed to the end of their travel distance by the final hit. The nature of how the suction of the drill works means that it's basically impossible to hit the shots AND the drill hitbox at the same time, although someone perfectly at the tip of the lance might get hit by a single shot before being drawn in. Forward Tilt can be angled like most Forward Tilts can, which allows Gareth to fire at those angles. An up angle firing is a solid anti-air, while a down angle is useless in a lot of situations, but off the side of a platform or a ledge it can be used to strike at grounded opponents from above, or ledge guard opponents recovering low. In the Gareth mirror match, it's a real pain! This, overall, cements Gareth's Forward Tilt as her premier spacer. Note that firing off those shots makes the ending lag, which is already mediocre, pretty painful as the spent energy "shells" pop out with the gun twirling and new ones pop in, so it's a risky option you don't wanna just default to. Now when you have the ability to end a Quick chain, that lets you fire these off and shave a loooot of lag behind, making it a more viable space control option, and sometimes a combo into something like Up Tilt!

This all has excellent synergy with the slight defensive buff afforded by Gareth's shield and stout posture here, which gives 4% super armor to Gareth from the front, but more importantly nullifies any projectile that hits her shield and deals 8% or less! If an opponent is poking you at midrange with, say, a Wolf laser you can throw this up to strike back with projectiles and block their attempts! Even if they DO have a reflector, like Wolf, the shield being up will keep them from hurting you given your projectile's weak strength. Gareth keeps her shield up starting from Frame 3 of her starting lag and puts it down with 6 frames left in her ending lag. This also gets a nice buff while Ring of Transformation is active, first off the frontal super armor is increased to 8%. 4% super armor is really only good for blocking weak jabs, but while the Ring is up she can use this to genuinely muscle through tilts, although this isn't the main benefit and you can still just get shorthopped and aerialed from above. More importantly, her shield now REFLECTS projectiles and works against any projectile that deals 16% or less damage! It's a true anti-reflector option given the reflector now, and has use against campers by just using Forward Tilt against their projectile ways, which hey you're a big body, something to help through the sludge of projectiles is nice! Note that the shield reflecting a projectile or blocking it counts for Guts, so in a similar way to Ness or Lucas opponents might be a bit afraid of healing you!


Aerial Attacks (Section Completed: 7/22/2021, 7:27 PM PST)

Down Aerial: Dragon's Horn (Section Complete: 7/22/2021, 5:05 PM PST)

Gareth performs a rough, downward slash in an arc under her with the lance starting behind her and moving forwards, a move with a wide reach that has two hitboxes on it against aerial opponents. Most of the lance's hitbox is a weak hitbox that only deals about 8% damage and knocks opponents away from Gareth, it'll do but is a very low reward option. Much like Marth, there is a timed sweetspot on the long lasting attack, although Gareth has a much more generous 3-frame window, along with a smaller sweetspot which in her case is at the tip of the lance. The sweetspot deals 13% damage and a spike, although the spike is rather weak. It's enough to get those offstage kills a decent amount of the time, although enemies with great recoveries will be a pain, but it doesn't do so super early. This actually allows it to be used as a bit of an on-stage combo tool, spiking opponents onto the stage (which can't be teched in Smash Ultimate!) and then landing for a combo or read, or using an aerial. Down Aerial on an aerial foe -> swift landing -> Forward Smash is one of Gareth's hard read Forward Smash options that's reasonable, for example, although it will never combo.

On grounded enemies, this attack has a totally different hitbox without a sweetspot that deals 10% damage and pretty light knockback, serving as Gareth's premiere air-to-ground combo enabler, although it has the downside of being an Arts starter: The only way to get a Chain Bonus is Jab, which WILL work (especially since Jab 3 is when enemies usually fall out so Down Aerial -> Jab 1 -> Jab 2 works), and the juicy Buster or Quick bonuses are out of reach despite being on 4/5th of Standards. The general Brave Chain effect of an Arts card can still be used to great effect if you land low enough to combo a Forward Tilt (land too high and enemies can shield in time due to F-Tilt's starting lag), giving you 7.5% of Noble Phantasm gauge nonetheless. Speaking of Noble Phantasm, this is too slow to true combo into it even if landed super low, but if you DO land it very low enemies only have a very small frame window to react and avoid it. Down Tilt as a more kill / damage option can also be done if you landed very low, and Jab is your standard combo attack if you land close. Grab can be fast enough to combo into this and offers a lot of unique options by comparison to the others, but requires you to land the closest. This move is safe on shield if spaced, but land too close and you'll get punished, which is awkward for your Jab's first hit being lower range. As a note, this move's starting lag is reasonably fast (Frame 9, same as Marth/Lucina/Plant/Wario), but the ending lag if you DON'T land the attack is pretty long and it has a long duration that can make it pretty punishable. Autocancel frames on landing make it safer to land with.


Forward Aerial: Relentless Hound (Section Complete: 7/22/2021, 5:56 PM PST)

Gareth grits her teeth as she pulls back Ira Lupus, then thrusts it forward with so much strength it looks like she's about to fly away with it! A true Buster attack in every sense of the word, Gareth's Forward Aerial takes a long time to come out (Frame 17th, making it the 5th laggiest Forward Aerial) and plenty of ending lag that doesn't autocancel, but it hits like an absolute monster that deals 16% damage and will kill at about 105% on an aerial, before the buffs you can put on it like Buster Brave Chains or Beautiful Hand buffs that make it really take off. While Down Tilt is your most reliable option for kills, Forward Aerial is the one that hits the middle ground between the obscene strength of Ira Lupus and Forward Smash and the less risky Down Tilt.

In fact, Down Tilt can be a risky Buster Brave Chain to go for with Gareth at low percents! Instead of the true combo Up Tilt, you can go for a Forward Aerial and if they didn't air dodge (which if they were DIing the Up Tilt properly to ensure no follow-ups they might not go for) you'll smash them for double the damage you'd be getting out of Up Tilt! Close enough to the ledge and you might be able to try and edgeguard them at low percents for an early kill, on top of your high damage (38.9%) three hit combo! This is also one of those moves that generally benefits a lot from Ring of Transformation increasing your range. It already has quite good range with how much Gareth leans into the attack, about as much as a Corrin Dragon Pin, but with the added range of your Ring you can go for riskier combos, and the Down Tilt 50/50 now goes until mid percents!

That's not all, though! This attack has a follow-up attack which is done by hitting A (akin to Link Forward Smash), and which can be angled just like the first hit of this attack. The follow-up attack has Gareth shoot out a single energy shot from her lance, which travls 1.25 Battlefield Platforms and being a single strong shot is stronger than what you can get out of Forward Tilt, dealing 9% damage and knockback that kills at 170% to whoever it hits. Not bad for a follow-up projectile! The force of the projectile in the air when Gareth already kinda overswung selling out for a power hit also causes her to be flung back, rather comically flailing when she's first launched back briefly, about half of a Battlefield Platform and thus can be used to retreat on the laggy, committal option. Comboing these two attacks doesn't really happen, but you could fire off the shot to try and pressure them, and if they DI badly it could hit. Note that while the ending lag of the attack is the same as if you don't shoot, the act of firing itself has a delay to startup (not TOO long but medium length) and a duration, so you're still more vulnerable if you miss.

Aside from that, the angle-ability means you could try to attack someone who dodged the Forward Aerial by say jumping with an upward angled shot, or attack opponents on the ground while getting breathing room. It can check air dodges by firing it off and trying to hit them coming out of it, which will require angling for directional air dodges. If you're trying to edgeguard someone coming back with your back to the stage, usually an opponent recovering high, you can fire off a shot to get distance from the foe in case that they get aggressive. You can also go high with this, but angle it LOW and if you're catching the opponent at the right time you'll hit their low recovery! This is pretty specific timing that varies depending on the opponent (and for some won't really be possible, like a Pikachu), but the projectile's strong enough that using it to snipe low recoveries (like Gareth's) is viable. Overall, it's a nice option to have stapled on your risky kill aerial.


Up Aerial: Wolf's Claw (Section Complete: 7/22/2021, 6:21 PM PST)

Gareth thrusts her lance upwards and turns on it's drill, making a multihit mayhem attack as it revs up above her! This attack deals a solid 5 hits of 1.5% damage each, then finishes with a single upwards hit of 4.5% that makes for a total of 12% if all of the hits connect. This also provides 5 Critical Stars for your Up Smash, so Up Smash -> Up Aerial assures a crit on your next Up Smash! Aside from that, Gareth's Up Aerial is primarily about catching air dodges, landings, and not so much comboing as the vertical knockback is too high to combo. It also is usually too low to kill, but if you get some buffs it can be a reasonable option, 1.3x from 3 Beautiful Hands stacks will let it kill at 190% and 1.5x at around 170%. Nothing amazing, but you know. The starting lag and ending lag aren't too bad, although they are on the laggy end for this style, and the duration makes it punishable. This is another move where since the range is very important, Ring of Transformation is a pretty big deal: This move can be a PAIN to land against when Gareth's beeg, let me tell you!

This attack doesn't really have an autocancel window, which means it's really not usable close to the ground (and has to work around Gareth being a VERY fast faller), most importantly this means you can't combo into Up Smash for too easy obscene damage if you get the crits involved. Halving this move's ending lat at the end of a Quick Brave Chain could allow you to do so with the right timing, but more commonly what it lets you do is double jump to combo Up Aerial into Up Aerial, allowing you to get a 100% crit Up Smash at the ready, and if you have Beautiful Hands buffs can let you ladder opponents off the top at reasonable percents! It's also just generally good for getting enemies in the air off of anything that leads into aerial combos if you want them there.


Neutral Aerial: Circle of Protection (Section Complete: 7/22/2021, 6:56 PM PST)

Shoving out her shield, Gareth does a quick spin with the shield in front of her, using it to bludgeon her enemies! This is Gareth's truly "fast" aerial, a quick spin that deals 6% damage and pretty light knockback that can start an air-to-ground combo. You don't get as much as advantage as on Down Aerial, however. You're usually going to want to go into a grab here, but you can go into a Jab or Up Tilt instead. Your Jab's kinda awkward on a Quick starter though, since it means you won't get the Arts chain bonus. The knockback is enough you won't get punished in the air or don't combo (plus obviously you have frame advantage), you're only safe on shield if you retreat with it or do it from high enough you can do a double jump or second aerial before landing, so it isn't as safe of an option as Down Aerial is against shields.

While this move doesn't have complete super armor or anything, Gareth's shield during this attack will trample over any attack that deals 6% or less damage, allowing her to get one over on weaker Up Tilts or the like, but it's ONLY the shield that has this property. Gareth begins by striking diagonally down-forward with the shield and then spins inwards, so this defensive option comes out faster for attacks in front and under Gareth and slower for attacks above her. Ring of Transformation upgrades this to a 12% trample, which usually necessitates an Up Smash or other powerful move if the opponent wants to anti-air Gareth. It also makes double jump baits for out of shield options more powerful, as the angle of the shield will usually intercept any rising Up Special the opponent may have anti-aired you with and then beat it out with the attack. Also note that while not as fast, this protection DOES apply to the later shield stuff, so this can be an anti-air or the like too, which is useful. The downside of course is very low damage. If you don't get a combo off or have significant damage buffs on you, you might as well be tickling the opponent, but that's the price to pay for an actual fast move!


Back Aerial: Shield Crash (Section Completed: 7/22/2021, 7:27 PM PST)

Drawing back her shield arm, Gareth twists her body to forcefully shove it behind her in a rather strong looking motion! Another strong attack alongside Forward Aerial, this is still laggy but not AS bad at Frame 13. dealing a cool 14% damage and killing opponents at 155%. On top of that, the shield offers super armor against attacks that deal 12% or less, so you need pretty powerful attacks to keep Gareth from getting some revenge by bashing YOUR skull in! This is increased to 18% or less while Ring of Transformation is on, running over all but the strongest of aerials in the process. The ending lag of this attack is pretty bad as well, and it only has a small autocancel window near the end of its ending lag, so using it as a weapon against grounded opponents is much more risky than someone like a Palutena.

There's a follow-up attack to this! Press A again and Gareth will use the weight of her shield's swing to turn her body around, Ira Lupus pointed with a determined, furrowed brow and grin on her face as she activates its energy boost, rocketing forward like in Up Tilt! This can be angled up or down, which will cause Gareth to go rocket at a diagonal angle instead of straight back, her lance drilling the entire time she rockets forward! This actually comes out incredibly fast, meaning it can be viable to combo into the first hit of Back Aerial at some percents that are a bit specific of ranges for characters that also depends heavily on enemy DI. The launch causes Gareth to travel about a Battefield Platform at very high speeds, drilling for 4 hits of 2% as she travels. Since this is a pretty swift second strike, Gareth can also just use it to escape a badly performed Back Aerial in a pinch! As Gareth drills, she has two options.

If she goes to the end of her movement without inputting any other attacks (with an 8-frame window when she reaches her destination), Gareth releases an explosive energy blast from her lance that deals 8% damage and sends opponents flying for a kill at 145%! In theory, if you combo'd every hit here, that would be 30% damage from one aerial, although this is pretty difficult to do in the first place. Note that since you're not doing another input, this is considered a continuation of the drill's multihit, and so you can only get 2 Buster attacs (Shield + Drill) in a Brave Chain with this. The ending lag on this explosion is immense and has no cancelling of lag when it lands, so unless you can cancel it another way (for example, grabbing a ledge) you're in trouble if you missed this. Your movement helps with that, anyway!

Alternately, Gareth can input another attack during the drilling to cancel into that attack, essentially allowing it to replace it as the combo finisher here. This is obviously most deadly with your Buster Forward Aerial, but that might not combo out of the attack 100% of the time (in particular if you have damage buffs that make staying in the drill less consistent), that's obviously a GREAT kill confirm though, and since it counts as a THIRD attack, you'll get a Buster Brave Chain if you manage to connect with your Back Aerial, the drill 2nd hit AND the Forward Aerial! Pretty difficult, though, and it means you'll miss it if you set up into it with any other cards, even other Busters. Up Aerial will usually combo since you're moving forward and is good for sending opponents upwards if you cannot kill or think Forward Aerial won't connect. Note that doing this is not without risk: The attack's ending lag is increased by 1.2x and it loses all autocancel windows, so it can be even more punishing than missing the normal ending attack if you mess up, and if you go offstage for a super early Forward Aerial kill with this it is VERY easy to get it reversed on you or just go so far off stage you die.

You don't need to hit an opponent with the drill part in order to cancel it into another attack, which will keep the movement's momentum while you use this, and is a more common way to try and use the Forward Aerial out of Back Aerial due to being easier to hit in exchange for not getting a 3-hit Buster Brave Chain. This move also works well as an edgeguarding tool alongside Forward Aerial by using it with your back to the stage: You can hit opponents recovering close, then activate the return hit to leap back to the ledge and actually cancel out of the ending lag. Having to face backwards makes this a lot less useful than it might otherwise be, but it is still pretty valued.


Grab and Throws (Section Complete: 7/22/2021, 8:54 PM PST)

Grab: Puppy's Grip (Section Complete: 7/22/2021, 7:31 PM PST)

For the most part, Gareth's grab is quite straightforward. Just a pretty quick swipe forward with one of her hands, a pretty fast grab with slightly low range. Being fast is pretty important to Gareth given her slow jab, unreliable Up Special and poor out of shield Up Smash, leaving grab and jump Neutral Aerial as her two reasonable out of shield options. The other thing worth noting is that while Ring of Transformation is on, Gareth's grab range is MUCH improved, now one of the longest in the game while still being fast. So make use of those big, beautiful hands of yours to choke the life out of your opponent!

As an additional note, grabs do count for your Brave Chain's check for an attack even though the grab itself doesn't have a Command Card since all the throws do. The timer on Brave Chains is paused while an opponent is grabbed, since you are "in an attack" and also to make sure you don't have to throw with inhuman reflexes for their Command Cards to work.


Pummel: Headbutt (Section Complete: 7/22/2021, 7:34 PM PST)

Gareth's pummel is a pretty simple if painful looking headbutt to the opponent. Ouch! Deals 2% damage at a reasonable rate. As an easter egg reference to her Buster 2 attack, Gareth will look dazed with birds circling her head if you then idle after the pummel. This has no effect on her ability to pummel or throw the opponent, but it IS funny looking!

Up Throw: Owner's Honor (Section Complete: 7/22/2021, 8:04 PM PST)

Gareth's Up Throw is a multifaceted doozy, so strap in folks! Up Throw's effect, and what Command Card it is, depends on the state of your Brave Chain! Without any Brave Chain, it is a pretty simple attackas Gareth lifts the opponent up and stabs them for 6% damage, with pretty light upwards knockback that will combo into most of your aerials (Forward Aerial's too slow) in addition to Up Tilt, and at lower percentages it can combo into your ground attacks as well, this is however much less reliable. Curiously, though, this doesn't produce a command card and instead produces a white, question mark card (the same color as Extra Attack cards in F/GO). Hitting with another attack within the usual timeframe, however, shows why as the mystery command card transforms into the same type as the attack! In essence, this allows the attack to be a combo starter to ANY of your Command Card chains! Now, that's not always easy to complete, Gareth isn't exactly an aerial combo fiend after all, but it just generally helps with the consistency of your attacks. This does mean the Up Throw itself does not get any bonuses like Noble Phantasm gauge or Critical star generation since it only appears to match the card after use.

What about if you use it in the MIDDLE of a chain, though? Well, in that case, Up Throw itself becomes a different throw with a matching command card! Let's take Buster for example, if used in the middle of a Buster chain Gareth actually tosses the opponent up slightly and skewers them with a stronger strike! This deals a higher 10% damage, but the knockback is compensated down to be roughly the same as earlier, retaining its combo throw properties. You can combo into a first hit of Back Aerial with the right inputs (and he foe not being high enough damage it stops comboing), so that will enable you to get a Buster Brave Chain combo finisher, potentially turning that Back Aerial into a solid finishing blow! And if not, hey, it's high damage and could send an opponent offstage or what have you. You could try for other Buster options as well, like a Forward Aerial 50/50 on air dodges or an Up Tilt which is easier to land a lot of the time at mid or lower percents, so feel free to experiment. As a Buster Finisher, you'll usually rather use Forward Throw, but it will put opponents high into the air for catching with Up Smash or Up Aerial.

How about the Quick Up Throw? That's a series of three fast stabs on the opponent of 3% each for 9% total, and good for three Critical Stars on your Up Smash, with the attack having more vertical knockback that's tailor made to go into an Up Aerial, which if it's your Quick finisher can lead into shenanigans with double jump Up Aerial, an Up Special, you get the idea. As a Quick finisher, it actually will combo into your Forward Aerial, and while there's obviously no way to do Buster shenanigans there that does still mean it works as a potential kill confirm!

Finally, we come to the Arts Up Throw, which is the most different of the bunch and has Gareth slashing at the opponent (at what would be about neck height on an average human size character) while letting go of them for 14% damage, the opponent entering prone about 1/3rd of a Battlefield Platform away from Gareth. This is the only Up Throw that doesn't get a combo off of the attack, but in return you get frame advantage in prone! Down Smash, another Arts attack, is an excellent way to mess with people in prone with the little grenade as a trap, but this is also probably the best one to END a Chain on, because there's a pretty good chance you can get your Noble Phantasm ready with it, and your Noble Phantasm is GREAT in this prone situation. Remember, your Noble Phantasm has Ignore Invincible, so you'll hit opponents right through getup invincibility if they roll, it's all about predicting direction or getup attack! This is the hardest Up Throw to utilize, you'll get more true damage out of the combo ones, but it's also the one with the most reward.


Forward Throw: Peacebringer (Section Complete: 7/22/2021, 8:20 PM PST)

Gareth charges forward with a spirited yell as she pierces the opponent on her lance, running forward a Battlefield Platform and even running off ledges in the process! Her fall speed is reduced to almost 0 when she goes off ledges this way. The opponent takes multiple hits of 1.5% that total 6% as Gareth runs, followed by a final thrust that sends opponents flying for 7% damage that kills at 180% at ledge! That's a bit low for a KO Throw, although the 13% damage is very nice, but Gareth's ability to move off the stage allows it to kill earlier than normal at ledge (150% if she runs off the ledge AT ledge), and Gareth has MULTIPLE ways to power it up from the outside! If you have a maximum Beautiful Hands buff and end it on a Buster Brave Chain Bonus for example, you have a single throw that deals 29.25% damage and kills at 100% at ledge, or the biggest kill power in the game at 75% if she gets to run off the ledge! More commonly, this will be a kill throw in the 150%-200% range depending on distance and buff factors, which is more than solid on a character who has a valuable grab.

Aside from that, the only other real reason to use Forward Throw is if you want to drag the foe somewhere important before spacing, or if you have a grenade sitting around to run the opponent over, or if you want to use a Buster throw but this would be better than Buster Up Throw (usually as the final part of a Buster chain that got a grab off Up Tilt). Other throws are pretty much always better outside of those instances. A true kill throw, through and through.


Back Throw: Bite Stronger Than Bark (Section Complete: 7/22/2021, 8:39 PM PST)

Flipping the opponent behind them, Gareth performs a quick 1-2-3 combo of rapid lance strikes, before using the handle to smash the opponent in the back and send them flying! The first three hits deal 1% -> 2% -> 3% damage for a total of 6%, while the last hit deals 4% to finish it off with 10%. More important than the damage is the number of hits, allowing this throw to gain 12% Noble Phantasm gauge without needing to go through an Arts chain or what have you. You sacrifice combo and kill potential, but it can pay off valuably in the long run.

The knockback itself is solid spacing knockback that will generally put opponents somewhere between 1 and 1.5 Battlefield Platforms away from Gareth depending on damage percent, with Gareth holding frame advantage. If Gareth goes for a Down Smash or projectile Forward Tilt, it is very hard for an opponent without projectiles to stop her, although at the same time they can react with shielding or jumping. Thus, it might be more prudent to approach instead, anti-airing jumps or going for a grab, maybe even a crocodile-hated dry jump into a grab. When you really unlock power is when you're close enough to get your Noble Phantasm full off this (or have it read to begin with): Shielding a Down Smash or Forward Tilt before it comes out is a lot spookier of an option when your opponent has a 35% damage hitbox that goes through shields, isn't it?


Down Throw: Wolf's Tail (Section Complete: 7/22/2021, 8:54 PM PST)

Tossing the opponent to the ground, Gareth puts one foot on them to keep them in place as she stabs her lance into them, turning on its drill to hit them over and over! This is a low damage throw, 7.2% damage total, but it is spread over 6 1.2% damage hits that will generate plenty of Critical Stars for your Down Smash, more than most of your attacks. Which is good, since this is the only Down-facing Quick attack in Gareth's arsenal! Aside from this, the only way to gain Critical Stars is through The Wolf That Never Sleeps the single star from your Neutral Aerial and non-Quick cards in a Quick Chain giving stars. The knockback is low to the ground and horizontal, serving as Gareth's grounded combo throw in comparison to the aerial combos of Up Throw. This leads into essentially any of Gareth's standards, with Jab being the least reliable at higher percents due to the stubbier range on Jab 1, and Up Tilt against very small characters at low percents might have Gareth go over the opponent. Neither of these are issues if the Ring of Transformation is in effect.

Since these go into any of your Standards, it is all about what you're looking for. Forward Tilt or Dash Attack (just don't do the charge for Dash Attack to connect, by the way) are primarily there for critical star generation on your Forward Smash. Dash Attack is usually preferred for either the light tech chase or a combo afterwards. In addition, given Down Throw is a Quick attack, Neutral Aerial -> Down Throw -> Forward Tilt or Dash Attack is a Quick combo that can lead into MORE attacks depending on the attack! This will be your usual combo chain out of a Neutral Aerial to Grab, but other options can be quite good depending on the situation. Down Tilt can be a KO option out of Down Throw, less risky but less rewarding than Up Throw -> Forward Aerial confirms, Up Tilt combos the latest and has lenient timing compared to the laggy Forward Tilt or the like, and Jab is really never a good option out of this but. Hey. You CAN do it!

Finally, while Noble Phantasm can be a hard read out of this, it doesn't combo out of it, and you can't really threaten Down Smash or whatnot as easily since the opponent is MUCH closer to you, so it's easier for the opponent to avoid it, and perhaps more importantly to use a Noble Phantasm out of this requires it to be charged first, while Back Throw has a good deal more leeway, at minimum only needing 88% but potentially needing much less in an Arts chain.
 
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