Redesigning/Rebalancing Zelda

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Aug 9, 2015
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Mini-Redesign/Rebalance Threads

:ultmario: Mario

:ultdk: Donkey Kong

:ultkirby: Kirby

:ultbrawler: Mii Brawler
Before I get back to the Ice Climbers rework I've been planning for a while now, I think it's best I go back to where I began with redesigning Zelda. My first major thread on this site that actually got some view is my rebalancing of Zelda many years ago for Smash 4. Boy I was so naive then. Thinking characters shouldn't have a baseline to work with. But that's when I was thinking about designing like a MOBA player. These days I try to put out ideas more akin to a fighting game player with some MOBA influence, or at least I try to. Not sure if I've succeeded, but the few people who have replied to my series have been positive, so maybe I'm doing something right. :/

Either way, let's get to my much more refined version of how I wish for Zelda to work.

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Like with all of my "rebalancing" exercises, I will showcase what I believe the character's purposes should be overall, as well as the strengths and weaknesses they should have.

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Zelda:ultzelda:

Purpose: Defensive glass cannon/Anti-rushdown/Anti-zoner/High risk/Bad offense

Strengths should be:

Many anti-approach options
Proficient walling ability
Defensive combo starters
Many potent OOS options
Kills very early

Weaknesses should be:

Easy to hit and kill
Low shield pressure ability
Slow ground movement
Very poor approach

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As with all other general stats sections, most of this is based around relative stuff for the entire cast as well as Zelda herself.

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General Statistics::ultzelda:

  • Light weight
    • (Note that weight difference should be much tighter overall, so Zelda will definitely get a weight buff)
  • Low walk speed
  • Low run speed
    • (Walk speed and run speed would be more compacted for the slowest and fastest characters)
  • Average horizontal air speed
  • Average fall speed
  • Average fast fall speed
  • Standardized first jump
    • (All first jumps for all characters will be the same height: around 80% the height of the top platform in Battlefield)
  • Average double jump height
    • (Baseline for double jump will be lower than it is now, but varied between characters: Zelda's new jump height would be about 70% of her current double jump height in Smash 4)
  • Wall Jump (All characters will be able to wall jump, but not all can wall cling)
  • Below average roll distance
    • (All characters will have the same frame data on rolls, with the only real variance between them being distance)
  • Above average shield health
    • (Shield health would now differ between characters, with the baseline being 100 shield health. Zelda's would have 115)
---------------------------

So not too much change here other than the standardized jumps and higher gravity overall. She would have a wall jump, making her even better at ledge play, if only by a bit. Her below average roll is mostly to work with her less than stellar range and give some more risk to her moves. She has a better than average shield to compensate, and fits with better OOS options since it gives her a bit more leeway to perfect shield things. Lastly, the higher downward momentum in the air gives more room for baiting tactics, especially with her Lightning Kick.

Now to the less boring part, her moves...

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:GCA::GCA: Jab:

  • New sequence: Will create three magic orbs that extend outward from Zelda. Holding the button down causes a rapid jab in the form of a big orb on Zelda's hand that hits multiple times and traps enemies. If an enemy is hit, letting go of the move will cause the rapid jab finisher. However, if no enemy is caught, the rapid jab finisher will not happen
    • While holding the rapid jab, using the control stick will angle the orb up or down at a variance of about 50 degrees in both directions
  • Jab 1 will push back shielded opponents
  • Barely unsafe on shield for Jab 1
  • Unsafe on shield for Jab 2
  • Low shield damage
  • High priority
  • Low startup for Jab 1
  • Below average endlag for Jab 1
  • Very low startup for Jab 2
  • Very low endlag for Jab 2 without finisher
  • Average endlag for Jab 2 with finisher
  • Knockback of Jab 1 is at the Sakurai angle
  • Knockback of Jab 2 is sideways at 35 degrees
  • Approximate damage numbers:
    • Jab 1: 2.0%/2.5%/3.0%
    • Jab 1 total: 7.5%
    • Jab 2 Multihit: 0.5%
    • Jab 2 Finisher: 9.5%
  • Approximate kill times:
    • Jab 1: 330%
    • Jab 2 Finisher: 190%

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Already getting weird eh? This is basically a fusion of Zelda's new jab in Ultimate and the old one in Smash 4. The first jab is like Smash 4 that sends out extending orbs forward. Unlike Smash 4, it would have low startup and not really combo into anything and would be used purely for anti-approach. And boy is it good, since it even pushes back shielded opponents.

However, the second jab is the new one from Ultimate, and it has some extra quirks. Firstly, if you don't hit anyone with it and just hold it out, it will not get high endlag from the finisher. However, hitting anything will make the endlag longer, giving shielded opponents a reason to go in. The better mechanic is the fact that it can be aimed upwards and downwards, making it potent at catching jumping advances due to the range and priority, and ledge guarding due to the downward aim as well.

All of this gives Zelda a slew of anti rushdown potential already since she can zone shielded opponents and punish jumps as well as fake out opponents to approach with their shield to maybe catch her rapid jab's high endlag and bait them into leaving themselves open for a grab. Overall, a lot in one package.

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:GCR::GCA: FTilt:

  • Swiping knifehand strike. Has a sweetspot on the hand and sourspot on the arm and front of the body
    • Can be angled up and down with a variance of about 40 degrees in both directions
  • Lingering hitbox
  • High priority
  • Average startup
  • Above average endlag
  • Average shield damage
  • Safe on shield for both hitboxes
  • Knockback on both hitboxes is at the Sakurai angle
  • Approximate damage numbers:
    • Sweetspot: 13.0%
    • Sourspot: 9.0%
  • Approximate kill times:
    • Sweetspot: 155%
    • Sourspot: 180%

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A very simple move that could potentially be back dash reversed for a good anti-approach tool. Note that it is barely safe on shield, meaning faster attacks from Zelda like Jab, NAir, Nayru's, and FAir can create slight shield pressure or traps for the opponent. Not a huge amount of shield pressure mind you, but a great starter if you are good at spacing your movement. It can be easily whiff punished due to the high endlag though.

An extra bonus is that this can work as a secondary kill move if you need it to and it has a slight damage buff on the sweetspot with a nerf on the sourspot. Lastly, and probably the biggest change is that instead of 2 frames of hitbox, it would have a lingering hitbox of maybe around 7-8 frames, again fitting with Zelda's anti-rushdown nature. And if the enemy decides to run in a shield, this gives Zelda free reign to do shield pressure that she usually wouldn't really get to do.

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:GCU::GCA: UTilt:

  • An overhead arcing hand swipe infused with magic. Has hitboxes along the sides of the body as well as the hand
    • This removes the blindspots on the sides
  • Average priority
  • Low startup
  • Low endlag
  • Low shield damage
  • Safe on shield
  • Knockback is upwards above Zelda at 100 or 80 degrees depending on direction
  • Approximate damage numbers: 5.7%
  • Approximate kill time: 210%

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Obligatory combo starter that can work in pretty much all situations. It also is one of the few definitely safe on shield moves Zelda has, to the point where it is advantageous of her to continue shield pressure. The bigger change comes from the removal of the side blindspots, making it able to hit shorter characters just fine. The damage had to take a hit though, but well worth it I think considering all the other buffs Zelda gets in this redesign/rebalancing

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:GCD::GCA: DTilt:

  • A simple sweeping shin kick
  • Slight lingering hitbox
  • Extremely low startup
  • Very low endlag
  • No shield damage
  • Safe on shield
  • Knockback is upwards at 60 degrees
  • Approximate damage numbers: 2.2%
  • Approximate kill time: 600%

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Not much change to this, at least compared to Ultimate as we've seen it. The angle is slightly worse to combo at mid percents, but it's still a great OOS option with how crazy fast it is. It's also a good ledge guard and shield pressure tool as always, and the latter is scarce in my idea for Zelda's moveset due to keeping with the lack of approaches.

But if you do get in there (or more likely, them getting to you), this DTilt, unlike a lot of other down tilts that I've reworked, is fully safe on shield, allowing genuine shield pressure from Zelda. Granted, most of her safe on shield pressure moves involve risk, but the point is that it can cause variance in Zelda's offensive gameplan, even though it is comparatively limited.

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:GCR::GCR::GCA: Dash Attack:

  • A lunging double palm thrust forward infused with a fast magic orb in front. Has an early sweetspot and late sourspot. Destroys projectiles throughout the move.
    • (Projectile destruction is a universal aspect of all dash attacks)
    • Increased radius on orb
  • Very fast startup
  • High endlag
  • Above average hitstun
  • Above average priority
  • Knockback on early sweetspot is upwards at 65 degrees
  • Knockback on late sourspot is sideways at 40 degrees
  • Unsafe on shield for all hitboxes
  • Below average shield damage for all hitboxes
  • Approximate damage numbers:
    • Early sweetspot: 12.0%
    • Late sourspot: 7.5%
  • Approximate kill times:
    • Early sweetspot: 145%
    • Late sourspot: 165%

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Obligatory mention of the projectile destruction given to all dash attacks...

But like what I did with King Dedede, this doesn't mean dash attack is for good approach, since Zelda isn't supposed to have it. Instead, it has higher than average hitstun as well as low base knockback and a good vertical angle. In addition to that, it still has its very fast startup. All of this turns it into a good combo move, both inside a combo as well as starting one. If that wasn't enough, it can kill at a reasonable percent in case you need it.

But yeah, don't use it to approach unless you got projectiles. But then again, literally all of Zelda's specials are anti-zoner moves so I have to make it good for something lol.

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:GCCR: FSmash:

  • A double palm thrust infused with a multihitting magic orbs. Has a sourspot on the arms and body and sweetspot on the orbs. Hits 5 times
    • Sourspots will link into the sweetspots
    • Can be angled up and down at a variance of about 40 degrees in both directions
  • Above average startup
  • Average endlag
  • Above average priority
  • Unsafe on shield
  • Above average shield damage
  • Knocks back shielded opponents
  • Knockback on all hitboxes is at the Sakurai angle
  • Approximate damage numbers:
    • Multihit (sweetspot): 1.9%-2.7% * 4
    • Final hit (sweetspot): 11.4%-16.0%
    • Total (sweetspot): 18.2%-25.5%
    • Multihit (sweetspot): 1.0%-1.4% * 4
    • Final hit (sweetspot): 9.0%-12.6%
    • Total (sweetspot): 13.0%-18.2%
  • Approximate kill times:
    • Final hit (sweetspot): 115%-85%
    • Final hit (sourspot): 140%-110%

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So the main change with this move involves a sourspot on Zelda's body and arms that drags into the sweetspot. This ups its reliability up close, fitting again with Zelda's defensive nature. Otherwise, not much change to it other than a small boost in kill power and damage.

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:GCCU: USmash:

  • Fans her arm above her twice, creating a ribbon of magic that hits multiple times. Ribbon gradually increases in vertical height as the move progresses. Hits up to 10 times. Has a hitbox on her body as well
    • Removed blind spots on either side of Zelda
  • Below average startup
  • High endlag
  • High priority
  • Very high shield damage
  • Unsafe on shield
  • Knockback is upwards at 85 degrees
  • Approximate damage numbers:
    • Multihit:
      • Hit 1: 0.8%-1.1%
      • Hit 2: 1.0%-1.4%
      • Hit 3: 1.2%-1.7%
      • Hit 4: 1.4%-2.0%
      • Hit 5: 1.6%-2.2%
      • Hit 6: 1.8%-2.5%
      • Hit 7: 2.0%-2.8%
      • Hit 8: 2.2%-3.1%
      • Hit 9: 2.4%-3.4%
      • Hit 10: 2.6%-3.6%
    • Total: 17.0%-23.8%
  • Approximate kill times:
    • Final hit: 130%-100%

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First order of business: no more blind spots on the side. This move is already unsafe on shield, it needs to be at least good against the usual smaller rushdown opponents. However, I would increase the startup by a small amount to not be crazy OOS, which seems like a strange change for a character I specifically said has fantastic OOS options. Well that's what Down Smash is for.

What this is for instead is punishing people who want to jump to approach heavily, since the magical ribbon she makes not only lasts long and has high priority, but it increases in damage and range the longer the move goes, which can cause it to punish even longer ranged opponents' landing options and even harass platforms from below with ease, especially given the high shield damage which is unusual for her.

It also has respectable kill power to boot, making even the aerial, platform heavy fighters wary of rushing into Zelda. Of course, it has high endlag, so she really should be preemptive in its use.

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:GCCD: DSmash:

  • Spinning shin kick that hits in both directions, hitting both sides, front first, then back
    • No chance to trip
  • Extremely low startup
  • Below average endlag
  • Average priority
  • Unsafe on shield for first hit
  • Barely unsafe for second hit
  • Average shield damage
  • Knockback on both hits is a semi-spike at 190 or 350 degrees depending on direction
  • Approximate damage numbers:
    • Front: 12.0%-16.8%
    • Back: 13.5%-18.9%
  • Approximate kill times:
    • Front: 190%-130%
    • Back: 190%-130%

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This move is Zelda's strong OOS option, especially at close range, and it can even deal with crossups due to the sheer speed of the kicks. The buffs I would give this are a bit weird. Firstly, more damage on the back hit than the front hit, since that hit will be less likely to hit anything. Second, make it a semi-spike. Third, give it a MUCH higher kill potential when it is charged up. You may notice the high variance on kill power. My usual variance with smash attacks' kill power from charge is around 30%, or if the smash attack is a safer one or has more area, down to 20%. Here, the variance is 60% in order to give some merit to using this move as a ledge guarding tool.

The last change is the inability to trip, which I would give to all semi-spikes honestly. They are far too strong already. But besides all of that, this move is still good at catching rolls and is a fantastic edgeguard tool, against rushdown characters, both setting it up and resetting it back.

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:GCX::GCA: NAir:

  • A midair outstretched arm twirl with both hands infused with magic. Hits 5 times. Has different hitboxes for each side of the multihit
    • Multihit locks the opponent to Zelda's trajectory
  • Average priority
  • Very low startup
  • Above average endlag
  • Below average landing lag
  • Knockback for multihits is at 75 degrees if hitting the ground before the final hit
    • Knockback for final hit is upwards at 45 degrees
  • Low shield damage
  • Unsafe on shield
  • Approximate damage numbers:
    • Multihit (front): 0.6% * 4
    • Multihit (back): 0.9% * 4
    • Final hit: 10.0%
    • Total:
      • Front: 12.4%
      • Back: 13.6%
  • Approximate kill times:
    • Final hit: 400%

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A bit of tweaking for this move involves making it unsafe on shield, and thus a worse approach option, and in turn trading that for better comboing ability. Now if you drag the opponent down into the ground before the last hit you will send them up at a favorable angle for something like a FAir or even another NAir.

Of course, if you do the final hit, the angle is less favorable, so a trade off is given between doing the final hit and not, making this a more varied combo move. The trade off is that a vast majority of the damage from the move is now in the final hit.

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:GCX::GCR::GCA: FAir:

  • A flying kick with the offending foot infused with magic. Has an early sweetspot and a late sourspot
  • High hitstun on all hitboxes
  • Low startup
  • High endlag
  • High landing lag
  • Very high priority on sweetspot
  • Average priority on sourspot
  • Lingering sourspot hitbox
  • Knockback on sweetspot is sideways at 40 degrees
    • Knockback on sourspot is at the Sakurai angle
  • Base knockback of sourspot is very low
  • Sweetspot is very safe on shield
    • Sourspot is barely unsafe on shield
  • High shield damage on sweetspot
    • No shield damage on sourspot
  • Approximate damage numbers:
    • Sweetspot: 24.0%
    • Sourspot: 4.0%
  • Approximate kill times:
    • Sweetspot: 85%
    • Sourspot: 500%

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So the overall move is the same, but refined in a few places. First off, the sourspot now lasts a tiny bit longer and has more knockback and hitstun, making it safe on hit. Even on shield, it is barely unsafe, meaning in this case, it doesn't allow for either player to followup on the other, which means getting back into neutral. While it isn't an ideal spot for Zelda and her defensive nature, it does mean she isn't completely punished for hitting the opponent's shield or the opponent in general.

The damage buff and the knockback on the sweetspot get a mention, because now that it isn't at the Sakurai angle, even an early Lightning Kick hit can be costly, since it opens up edgeguarding opportunities as well as potential chase ability for Zelda to make an offensive read due to the high hitstun but average knockback at low percents.

Lastly, the main reason this move is used it to catch jumps, especially against the Phantom, and the lingering sourspot hitbox gives Zelda a good secondary anti-air approach option to boot. Overall, this move is still the killing monster it's supposed to be, but with some added utility on the side.

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:GCX::GCL::GCA: BAir:

  • New move: Two downward knifehand strikes in quick succession infused with ribbons of magic, hitting twice. Has a sweetspot on the arms and sourspot on the hands. The strikes start right above Zelda and end right below her
  • Long lingering hitbox
  • Low priority
  • Above average startup
  • Below average endlag
  • Low landing lag
  • Knockback is sideways at 40 degrees for all hitboxes
  • Average shield damage
  • Barely safe on shield for all hitboxes
  • Approximate damage numbers (Sweetspot / Sourspot):
    • First hit: 3.0% / 5.0%
    • Second hit: 3.0% / 6.0%
  • Approximate kill times:
    • Second hit sweetspot: 185%
    • Second hit sourspot: 220%

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So you might have noticed how many ways I've gotten around giving Zelda a good, solid approach option to use in neutral, right? Well here is the one actual new move I would give her for that reason, plus I'm really not a fan of having two moves be the exact same thing (looking at you Sonic and Villager).

This move allows Zelda to use her buffed up horizontal airspeed to create a sort of wall of infused magic strikes to defend herself. Unfortunately, it has a good amount of startup, about the same as Ness' DAir. The endlag is low and the landing lag is low though and it's quite safe on shield too, which makes it a good approach option just because of its ability to be thrown out with extreme prejudice... unless an enemy is on top of you. But you know what else I've been making a running trend in this moveset rebalance? Zelda being able to get people off of her very easily!

This creates a nice catch 22 situation where the enemy has to respect Zelda's advance if only a bit, since this move is very hard to punish unless you are in her most optimal range: right next to her. A fine substitute for the back Lightning Kick I think, especially given the buffs I gave the forward version.

As for other downsides, this isn't really a killing or comboing move, just a neutral based one. It also has low priority, so for opponents who aren't afraid of trying to trade with Zelda, just stick to defense in that case.

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:GCX::GCU::GCA: UAir:

  • Points upwards, creating a magical explosion above her head. Has a sweetspot in the center and sourspot on the outer radius
    • Increased overall radius compared to Smash 4
    • Sweetspot radius would be around 70% the radius of Smash 4
  • Transcendent priority
  • Lingering hitbox
  • Average startup
  • High endlag
  • Average landing lag
  • High shield damage for both hitboxes
  • Barely unsafe on shield for both hitboxes
  • Knockback on sweetspot is exactly upwards at 90 degrees
  • Knockback on sourspot is upwards at either 75 or 105 degrees depending on direction
  • Approximate damage numbers:
    • Sweetspot: 20.0%
    • Sourspot: 12.0%
  • Approximate kill times:
    • Sweetspot: 100%
    • Sourspot: 145%

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Not much changes in overall function of this move other than having a bit more area denial. It deals quite a bit of shield damage, which is handy for platform harassment. The biggest change is the inclusion of a sweetspot/sourspot system in order to counteract the higher radius. Still deals a great amount of damage and power though.

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:GCX::GCD::GCA: DAir:

  • An aerial stomp with the offending foot infused with magic. Has a sweetspot that can meteor smash, and a late sourspot
    • Meteor smash will guarantee a stage bounce if opponent hits ground
  • Average startup
  • Average endlag
  • Average landing lag
  • Average priority
  • Very high shield damage on sweetspot
    • No shield damage on sourspot
  • Very safe on shield on sweetspot
    • Unsafe on shield on sourspot
  • Knockback of sweetspot is downwards at 270 degrees
    • Knockback of sourspot is at the Sakurai angle
  • Approximate damage numbers:
    • Sweetspot: 20.0%
    • Sourspot: 6.0%
  • Approximate kill times:
    • Sweetspot: 85%

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A bit of an exception to Zelda's rule of a lack of offensive prowess, but this move can be used to approach, it is hilariously safe on shield, to the point where you can easily grab them if you hit this sweetspot, and the landing lag and overall frame data is passable for a move that can comfortably kill sub-100%. However, the big problem is the fact you need to hit the sweetspot to enable this. Now while the sourspot would still be safe on hit, it would be horrible at everything else. It isn't good at getting followups, it isn't safe on shield, and messing up the hit can stuff up Zelda's one very powerful approaching aerial besides NAir.

Last thing to mention is the lack of tech on stage from the meteor smash. This further solidifies why you would want to go for this move at all as an approach, since if you hit that sweetspot, the enemy will be flying no matter where they are.

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:GCB: Neutral-B:

  • Nayru's Love: Creates a diamond like projection around herself, damaging enemies and reflecting projectiles. Will also make Zelda intangible throughout the move. Has a longer range sourspot throughout the move. Hits up to 4 times
    • Intangibility is throughout the entire animation
    • Reflection gives 25% more damage and speed to the projectile
  • Below average startup
  • High endlag
  • Transcendent priority
  • Knockback is at the Sakurai angle
  • Unsafe on shield for all hitboxes
  • Below average shield damage
  • Approximate damage numbers:
    • Multihit (sweetspot): 2.0% * 3
    • Final hit (sweetspot): 5.5%
    • Total (sweetspot): 11.5%
    • Multihit (sourspot): 1.5% * 3
    • Final hit (sourspot): 4.0%
    • Total (sourspot): 8.5%
  • Approximate kill times:
    • Final hit (sweetspot): 350%
    • Final hit (sourspot): 500%

-----------------------------------

The same overall move, the only substantial change I would make is having the move's intangibility be throughout the entirety of the animation and start on frame 2, making it the ultimate combo breaker move and get-off-me tool. The reflect still works the same, and it is pretty unsafe as an offensive tool. It is purely defensive, which fits with Zelda's MO perfectly.

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

  • Din's Fire: Zelda will create a controllable marker that will explode at its destination when the button is released. The explosion's radius will be bigger the longer the marker travels. Has a slight delay between release and explosion. Has a sweetspot at the center of the explosion and a sourspot on the borders. The marker itself will slightly stun enemies it passes through
    • Marker goes through all terrain
    • Marker will quickly accelerate as it travels
    • Marker can be angled at a variance of about 25 degrees for every frame it is out
    • Both marker and explosion ignore all projectile destruction and reflection moves
    • Sweetspot will be the same size throughout the move
    • Base sweetspot size will take up about 70% of the projectile
  • High startup
  • Above average endlag
  • Unsafe on shield
  • Average shield damage on sweetspot and sourspot
    • No shield damage from marker
  • Knockback is upwards at 60 degrees
  • Marker knockback is based on the direction it is going on impact
  • Approximate damage numbers:
    • Marker: 0.4%
    • Sweetspot: 17.0%
    • Sourspot: 12.0%
  • Approximate kill times:
    • Sweetspot: 100%
    • Sourspot: 155%

-----------------------------------

Note this is off the basis of Ultimate, so the biggest change I would've given this move, removing the freefall aspect, is already confirmed to be fixed, so it is not mentioned here. However, there is one other big thing I would give this move.

First, the fact it doesn't get destroyed at all is huge when you take into account me giving all dash attacks the ability to destroy projectiles. This would be one of the exceptions, and it fits with the anti-rushdown style of play Zelda has, as well as the anti-zoner style to an extent. And due to the lack of free fall, it would work even better as a way to cover Zelda's recovery.

The big change would be to the marker itself. Now, it will push back enemies and stun them similar to the tail of PK Thunder, which can lead to a lot of shenanigans, especially in the air, increasing the edgeguard potential of this move even further.

On top of all of this, the damage and kill power are heavily increased and I would lower the end lag a bit more to allow for Zelda to react better to airdodges and sidesteps that will inevitably happen due to throwing out the Din's Fire, again helping with an anti-approach ability. An added bonus is that the damage is not affected by the distance traveled, just radius, and the killing sweetspot takes up most of the projectile starting out, making it a tiny bit more threatening at closer ranges.

Hopefully these changes will give this unappreciated move more overall use and purpose as the best anti-zoner projectile.

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:GCU::GCB: Up-B:

  • Farore's Wind: Zelda will disappear, creating a whirlwind that can hit enemies, and reappear with another whirlwind that can also hit enemies. Will send Zelda into free fall if reappearing in the air. Zelda's location is shown with green sparkles while invisible. Can control the reappearance of Zelda in all directions
    • The invisible Zelda will bounce off of walls not dissimilar to a PK Thunder 2 from Ness or Lucas and trajectory can be readjusted appropriately after hitting it
    • More minute variance of angle will be possible.
  • High DI deviation on disappearance
  • Unsafe on shield for both disappearance and reappearance
  • Low shield damage for both hits
  • Extremely low startup
  • Above average endlag
  • Knockback of disappearance is exactly upwards at 90 degrees above Zelda
  • Knockback of reappearance is at the Sakurai angle when grounded
    • Knockback of reappearance is upwards at 70 degrees when in the air
  • Approximate damage numbers:
    • Disappearance: 9.0%
    • Reappearance: 14.0%
  • Approximate kill times:
    • Reappearance: 95%

-----------------------------------

First off, the confirmed Smash Ultimate changes of Zelda being controllable much faster in free fall than before plus the faster reappearance applies here.

So besides the nice changes of Smash Ultimate, I would remove the sweetspot/sourspot system here as well as allow for a redirection ability if hitting stage walls similar to PKT2 from Ness and Lucas. Though it would be much faster, since you can see Zelda via sparkles, it should be easier to work with should you not angle properly. However, there would be far more angles to work with when it comes to reappearing at the heavy cost of higher DI deviation when disappearing simply because of how potent a kill move out of shield this is.

While this creates more read based gameplay with killing with it, the lowered risk to Zelda in the form of less lag on reappearance in the air will fully compensate against misses I'm sure, especially given her increased aerial speeds.

And speaking of kill power, this move becomes the most terrifying OOS kill move probably in the game due to the angle being adjusted more upwards and thus having its kill power increase quite a bit. If doing the elevator, I would posit this move killing a middleweight at around 60% if the blast zones are average. Horrifying, but fitting with Zelda's defensive glass cannon nature.

Let's not even mention the ability to just traverse the stage like mad. However, approaching with this move is bad due to the lack of safety on shield when reappearing, giving it some downside. However, I would lower the endlag a bit to make it more of a mobility tool.

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:GCD::GCB: Down-B:

  • Phantom Slash: Zelda will materialize a Phantom Knight in front of her. Letting go of the button before full charge will release an early attack with the disembodied parts. Has six stages. At full charge, the Phantom will stand idle and attack with a huge delay. Pressing down-B again will cause it to attack early
    • Stages:
      • Small kick
      • Forward punch
      • Sideways slash
      • Downward slash
      • Upwards slash
      • Delayed dash and slash
    • The Phantom will travel further the more charge there is
    • When fully charged, Zelda will immediately become controllable again
    • Hitting Zelda at all will remove the Phantom immediately
    • The Phantom will not allow enemies to pass through it
    • The Phantom at full charge will last up to 2.5 seconds idle
    • The Phantom will last up to 3 seconds after their attack
      • During this time, Zelda cannot use Phantom Slash
    • The Phantom is immune to projectile destruction and reflection
  • Average startup
  • Average endlag below full charge
    • No endlag at full charge
  • Extremely high priority
  • Knockback is at the Sakurai angle
  • Barely unsafe on shield
  • Average shield damage on all stages
  • Approximate damage numbers:
    • First stage: 6.0%
    • Second stage: 8.0%
    • Third stage: 11.2%
    • Fourth stage: 15.0%
    • Fifth stage: 18.0%
    • Sixth stage: 18.0%
  • Approximate kill times:
    • First stage: 400%
    • Second stage: 300%
    • Third stage: 220%
    • Fourth stage: 170%
    • Fifth stage: 140%
    • Sixth stage: 140%

-----------------------------------

So you guys should know how the Smash Ultimate Phantom works, at least a bit. It has stages, you can let go of the button to get different attacks, etc.

The main difference here is that the Phantom spawns in front of Zelda and cannot be destroyed in any way other than hitting Zelda. This creates a meat shield in front of Zelda for up to 5.5 seconds and enemies cannot pass through it. This makes even the earlier stages absolutely amazing for camping and defense, something Zelda should excel at. Plus, the sixth stage allows for traps for offense. Unfortunately it has very little shield stun, so it isn't the best thing ever compared to other traps like Gordo, but it still helps should you need it.

As icing on the cake, this is no longer considered a projectile, meaning like Din's Fire, projectile destruction on dash attacks do not work on the Phantom and it cannot be reflected. Say goodbye to Villager (and now Isabelle too) stealing your loyal servant. :p

Is this too strong? I think it might be, but it works so well with Zelda's MO of defense and high kill power that it feels way too perfect to keep it as the wall Zelda can use to enable her other projectiles from as well as stop rushdowns.

-----------------------------------

:GCZ: Grab and Pummel:

  • Quick magical "grapple" with one hand up close
  • Mid-low range melee grab
  • Slow standardized frame data
    • (There would be three standardized frame data "rankings" for melee grabs)
      • (Fast: 6 frame standing grab, 8 frame dash grab, 9 frame pivot grab)
      • (Average: 9 frame standing grab, 11 frame dash grab, 12 frame pivot grab)
      • (Slow: 12 frame standing grab, 14 frame dash grab, 15 frame pivot grab)
  • Approximate pummel speed: 0.3 seconds
  • Approximate pummel damage: 0.9%

-----------------------------------

So I like Zelda's pretty bad grab, since Zelda already has many more great OOS options to work off of. However, her grabs overall will be better, which is sort of how it is in Smash Ultimate from what we've seen. Her pummel is also slightly below average.

-----------------------------------

:GCZ::GCR: FThrow:

  • Spins the opponent around telekinetically and pushes them forward
  • Very high endlag
  • Very high hitstun
  • Base knockback is average and nearly set to allow for near guaranteed tripping
  • Knockback is sideways at 40 degrees
  • Approximate damage numbers: 14.7%
  • Approximate kill time: 300%

-----------------------------------

The high endlag and hitstun seems weird, but the idea here is that this is meant to trip the opponent and be able to get back to neutral. While it's guaranteed trip due to the high hitstun and low knockback causing the enemy to fall in tumble into the ground, Zelda can't actually tech chase with it, at least in the grappler sense like Bowser or Ganondorf. Again, weak offense for Zelda. However, the high hitstun and low knockback can make this heavily unfavorable if you throw the enemy on the edge, though Back Throw is a bit better at that as you will see.

This is Zelda's most damaging throw however, so it can still be used to get back in the neutral with a huge supply of damage.

-----------------------------------

:GCZ::GCL: BThrow:

  • Spins the opponent around telekinetically behind her and then launches them backwards
  • Average endlag
  • Knockback is upwards at 45 degrees
  • Base knockback is high for stage control purposes
  • Approximate damage numbers: 13.8%
  • Approximate kill time: 180%

-----------------------------------

This is the usual edgeguarding throw. However, it has a high base knockback allowing for Zelda to get back to zoning and creating the defensive wall again. It also has quite a bit of damage for how useful it is.

-----------------------------------

:GCZ::GCU: UThrow:

  • Twirls the opponent in a lateral circle then launches them upwards
  • Average endlag
  • Knockback is upwards at 80 degrees
  • Approximate damage numbers: 7.9%
  • Approximate kill time: 130%

-----------------------------------

Like it's shown in Ultimate, this is a kill throw. Overall, it does nothing else. It's not super damaging, at least compared to the other throws, but it definitely makes Zelda's bad grab well worth it. Does have a heavy damage nerf though. A necessary evil. XD

-----------------------------------

:GCZ::GCD: DThrow:

  • Shoves the opponent on the ground and shoots flames below her while hovering, popping them back up. Has 5 hits total
  • Low endlag
  • Knockback is upwards behind Zelda at 115 degrees
  • Base knockback is low to allow for combos
  • Approximate damage numbers:
    • Multihit: 0.9% * 4
    • Final hit: 5.2%
    • Total: 8.8%
  • Approximate kill times:
    • Final hit: 470%

-----------------------------------

Unlike what is seen in Smash Ultimate, I would keep this as a consistent combo throw. Up until mid percents obviously. After all, Zelda's throws are slightly above average to the usual, especially in terms of damage. Besides that, not an interesting throw really.

-----------------------------------

FINALLY DONE! Zelda has always been one of my favorites in Smash 4, and considering her nice buffs in Ultimate, I think she will be at least much better than in Smash 4. Still, this series is about taking a character's strengths and weaknesses and building upon them in the moveset to the best ability I can, and I hope I delivered. :)
 
Last edited:

Quillion

Smash Master
Joined
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Messages
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#2
You know something? I've started to come to the thought that Zelda's design is inherently terrible, almost as much as Bayonetta's design is inherently broken.

If we were going for balance, I think it would be best if Zelda could be a Mega Man-style projectile normal powerhouse using her Light Bow. It wouldn't appeal to my desire to keep characters the same, but if Zelda's going to keep being a lightweight unaggressive waller, it would probably best for her to use her Light Bow as normals. Alternatively, they could also revamp her current animations so that her "sparkly magic" produces projectiles. But the Light Bow would be cool as an angleable F-Smash either way.

(Sorry if I'm not good with the precise numbers, I'm more inclined towards general ideas.)
 
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Messages
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#3
You know something? I've started to come to the thought that Zelda's design is inherently terrible, almost as much as Bayonetta's design is inherently broken.

If we were going for balance, I think it would be best if Zelda could be a Mega Man-style projectile normal powerhouse using her Light Bow. It wouldn't appeal to my desire to keep characters the same, but if Zelda's going to keep being a lightweight unaggressive waller, it would probably best for her to use her Light Bow as normals. Alternatively, they could also revamp her current animations so that her "sparkly magic" produces projectiles. But the Light Bow would be cool as an angleable F-Smash either way.

(Sorry if I'm not good with the precise numbers, I'm more inclined towards general ideas.)
I'm not sure I follow with the terrible design. Are you saying that just because Zelda hasn't been a top tier or mid tier that she should be scrapped? Firstly, quitter's talk. Secondly, don't get the basis on a fighter's design when they have a history of being horribly balanced.

Thirdly, this ideal for Zelda is far more unique than another Mega Man-esque playstyle. We already have a non-offensive zoner archetype in Olimar in Brawl that worked fine. I really want to know where you got this thought of her design apparently being so broken you would just this once go against your supposed principles of retaining fighter style over canon.

And remember, this rework isn't just about zoning and walling. It's also giving Zelda some actual combo ability and devastating kill potential while also giving her relative safety on a lot of her kill moves. In this way, she is offensive, but in the way of bringing the enemy to her. Even more so because of her better anti-zoning tools. I really want to know what is fundamentally broken about that concept.
 

SUDOZELDA

Smash Journeyman
Joined
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Messages
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#4
You know something? I've started to come to the thought that Zelda's design is inherently terrible, almost as much as Bayonetta's design is inherently broken.

If we were going for balance, I think it would be best if Zelda could be a Mega Man-style projectile normal powerhouse using her Light Bow. It wouldn't appeal to my desire to keep characters the same, but if Zelda's going to keep being a lightweight unaggressive waller, it would probably best for her to use her Light Bow as normals. Alternatively, they could also revamp her current animations so that her "sparkly magic" produces projectiles. But the Light Bow would be cool as an angleable F-Smash either way.

(Sorry if I'm not good with the precise numbers, I'm more inclined towards general ideas.)
I like where you are going except one thing...

I'd rather have her moveset the exact same its always been. I just couldn't imagine Zelda having different Smash attacks and specials after playing her for so long. Im used to it, as other Zelda mains are.

But, on the other hand, it would be nice for her to have more range and hitstun, as well as more safe on sheild options as now jab is no longer safe on sheild.

I like where you are going, but I don't think a moveset change would fit Zelda tbh.
 

Quillion

Smash Master
Joined
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Messages
3,201
#5
I'm not sure I follow with the terrible design. Are you saying that just because Zelda hasn't been a top tier or mid tier that she should be scrapped? Firstly, quitter's talk. Secondly, don't get the basis on a fighter's design when they have a history of being horribly balanced.

Thirdly, this ideal for Zelda is far more unique than another Mega Man-esque playstyle. We already have a non-offensive zoner archetype in Olimar in Brawl that worked fine. I really want to know where you got this thought of her design apparently being so broken you would just this once go against your supposed principles of retaining fighter style over canon.

And remember, this rework isn't just about zoning and walling. It's also giving Zelda some actual combo ability and devastating kill potential while also giving her relative safety on a lot of her kill moves. In this way, she is offensive, but in the way of bringing the enemy to her. Even more so because of her better anti-zoning tools. I really want to know what is fundamentally broken about that concept.
I just think that Zelda's overall design, which includes her effectiveness as a fighter, animations, and characterization, has just been inherently terrible. Yes, we have a non-offensive zoner with Olimar, but he has a ton of range to help this.

Her overall design is slow and graceful, and I don't think this is suitable for her low-range moves. I also don't think it matches having aggressive combo options, though following that Designing Defensively article, she absolutely should have some of those. Her moves' design could be like Mewtwo, who is similar to Zelda yet more aggressive, but as we can both agree, Zelda is not meant to be aggressive.

That said, I would certainly keep most of her moves animation and mostly function-wise. Her Lightning Kicks need their awful hitbox priority fixed. At the very least, just F-Smash and B-air light arrows would be cool moves, and the potential range would help make up for her slowness. Otherwise, I just think she needs a lot more range on her moves; keep the animations but make those "sparkles" bigger.
 

Yangguizi

Smash Cadet
Joined
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Messages
32
Location
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#6
Zeldas design has some strong inherant flaws that aren’t balance issues but design issues. Having high risk lighting kicks as 2 of her aerials puts a lot of pressure on her other moves for spacing. They don’t stand up to that pressure well. She also has close to the body hit boxes on most moves and the spacing moves she does have “phantom” require a lot of room.

I was musing about it and I think that the best change to make Zelda work would be to make love a move you can get follow ups out of. Zelda can’t space and she can’t approach but when she gets approached she always has love. If that move got follow ups then it would make Zelda much harder to approach, which would give her more space to work with.

To specify the change. I say make love pop them up and make it so Zelda can move fast enough to get a follow up. This could still be a di dependent thing. It’s the threat that matters.
 
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#7
Zeldas design has some strong inherant flaws that aren’t balance issues but design issues. Having high risk lighting kicks as 2 of her aerials puts a lot of pressure on her other moves for spacing. They don’t stand up to that pressure well. She also has close to the body hit boxes on most moves and the spacing moves she does have “phantom” require a lot of room.

I was musing about it and I think that the best change to make Zelda work would be to make love a move you can get follow ups out of. Zelda can’t space and she can’t approach but when she gets approached she always has love. If that move got follow ups then it would make Zelda much harder to approach, which would give her more space to work with.

To specify the change. I say make love pop them up and make it so Zelda can move fast enough to get a follow up. This could still be a di dependent thing. It’s the threat that matters.
Or make Nayru's Love auto-cancel instead of stalling you in midair like a certain game
cough cough Project M cough cough
 
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#9
Oh yeah. That’s a good idea too. I didn’t play Zelda in project m really so I didn’t consider that.
You could use it as an approach option, anti-pressure tool, combo starter...man it was good. One point I would like to bring up is that you mention how intangibility would be placed over the entire move. If I can be blunt; that is a mistake. In previous games where this has been the case, we have seen how much this can create unfun and uninteractive games. Instead of using a nuclear bomb to clear a backyard of blackberry bushes, we can use the appropriate tool for the job, armor.

Nayru's Love:
Intangible Frames: 4-13
Medium Armor Frames: 14-41

There, now you have a move that can be punished if your opponent is smart BUT doesn't crumple like wet papier-mache from an unprepared Marth jab. It can be grabbed by anyone with a decent grab range too. Minus the actual frame data I posted, since that is geared towards this game, this is what I pitched to the PMDT when they decided to rework Nayru's Love in patch 3.0. Thankfully, they kept the Diamond Dive after a conversation with JCaesar, but the armor change was never implemented
 
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#10
You could use it as an approach option, anti-pressure tool, combo starter...man it was good. One point I would like to bring up is that you mention how intangibility would be placed over the entire move. If I can be blunt; that is a mistake. In previous games where this has been the case, we have seen how much this can create unfun and uninteractive games. Instead of using a nuclear bomb to clear a backyard of blackberry bushes, we can use the appropriate tool for the job, armor.

Nayru's Love:
Intangible Frames: 4-13
Medium Armor Frames: 14-41

There, now you have a move that can be punished if your opponent is smart BUT doesn't crumple like wet papier-mache from an unprepared Marth jab. It can be grabbed by anyone with a decent grab range too. Minus the actual frame data I posted, since that is geared towards this game, this is what I pitched to the PMDT when they decided to rework Nayru's Love in patch 3.0. Thankfully, they kept the Diamond Dive after a conversation with JCaesar, but the armor change was never implemented
You know, your armor frames mean very little when you can easily just have the move have high endlag, then it is punishable without having to try and skirt around with both intangibility AND heavy armor. It doesn't need to be that complicated.
 
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#11
You know, your armor frames mean very little when you can easily just have the move have high endlag, then it is punishable without having to try and skirt around with both intangibility AND heavy armor. It doesn't need to be that complicated.
The issue with that is that you could get punished even if you DO use it properly. If they're a heavier character, crouch-cancel, or are at low percent, then that high endlag is a bandaid fix that has a lot of problems. You can no longer use it as a reflector as it can be punished. On the flip side, for certain characters it still creates uninteractive games where they can NEVER combo you for fear of you just pressing your panic button. Adding endlag to this move is a bad balancing lever that has been historically proven to be such since Melee.

Besides, my point was less about the frame data and more about adding armor to the move. It can be in any capacity that the OP wishes, but I just wanted to give an example of how it would be implemented. My approach to throwing that suggestion out there is that it fits thematically. If you time it WELL then you're invulnerable, but if you time it poorly then you take damage and may break out of the combo.

I will say that it has been invulnerable many times before, but the only time it was GOOD was when you could Love Jump/Diamond Dive out of danger. In official iterations, Brawl Nayru's Love was the best, with the Love Jump/Diamond Dive being present.
 
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#12
The issue with that is that you could get punished even if you DO use it properly. If they're a heavier character, crouch-cancel, or are at low percent, then that high endlag is a bandaid fix that has a lot of problems
I'm guessing you're afraid more endlag would result in it being unsafe on hit. Well let me tell you that if I were to mod the game and give Zelda this sort of Nayru's Love that no matter how much endlag it had it would be safe on hit, because the very concept of a move being unsafe on hit should go die and never be thought about again.

So obviously, it has more endlag, but would be safe on hit, so... yeah. If it needs to be safe on shield too, then simply increase its shieldstun and/or pushback.
 
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#13
I'm guessing you're afraid more endlag would result in it being unsafe on hit. Well let me tell you that if I were to mod the game and give Zelda this sort of Nayru's Love that no matter how much endlag it had it would be safe on hit, because the very concept of a move being unsafe on hit should go die and never be thought about again.

So obviously, it has more endlag, but would be safe on hit, so... yeah. If it needs to be safe on shield too, then simply increase its shieldstun and/or pushback.
Nayru's is already unsafe on hit about half of the time, although that could just be attributed to poorly linking hitboxes. The other half of the time I can kill with it offstage (red sparks and everything).

However, we were also talking about it being good in neutral like it was in PM, so the whole endlag thing is kind of a sidebar.
 
Joined
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Messages
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#14
Nayru's is already unsafe on hit about half of the time, although that could just be attributed to poorly linking hitboxes. The other half of the time I can kill with it offstage (red sparks and everything).

However, we were also talking about it being good in neutral like it was in PM, so the whole endlag thing is kind of a sidebar.
I guess if that's the goal, I honestly wouldn't put armor on it at all. Just keep those starting invulnerability frames. I was thinking of it more as a get-off-me tool out of shield, which is why you would be punished if you didn't actually hit it with the endlag. If you want to make it a fast move, it needs to be more vulnerable more often throughout the brief time it's out, else it just becomes something way too spammable.
 

Yangguizi

Smash Cadet
Joined
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Messages
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#15
You could use it as an approach option, anti-pressure tool, combo starter...man it was good. One point I would like to bring up is that you mention how intangibility would be placed over the entire move. If I can be blunt; that is a mistake. In previous games where this has been the case, we have seen how much this can create unfun and uninteractive games. Instead of using a nuclear bomb to clear a backyard of blackberry bushes, we can use the appropriate tool for the job, armor.

Nayru's Love:
Intangible Frames: 4-13
Medium Armor Frames: 14-41

There, now you have a move that can be punished if your opponent is smart BUT doesn't crumple like wet papier-mache from an unprepared Marth jab. It can be grabbed by anyone with a decent grab range too. Minus the actual frame data I posted, since that is geared towards this game, this is what I pitched to the PMDT when they decided to rework Nayru's Love in patch 3.0. Thankfully, they kept the Diamond Dive after a conversation with JCaesar, but the armor change was never implemented
I just reread my post. I didn’t say anything about the intangibility being adjusted. I’m actually very comfortable with how it is in ultimate. Maybe your talking about the part where I mention being able to act out of love fast enough to get a follow up?

I like what your saying about the armor in conjunction with making the attack something you can act out of. You could also just make her vulnerable sooner. I don’t know if she needs to be protected at the tail end if she gets a follow up anyway.
 
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#16
I guess if that's the goal, I honestly wouldn't put armor on it at all. Just keep those starting invulnerability frames. I was thinking of it more as a get-off-me tool out of shield, which is why you would be punished if you didn't actually hit it with the endlag. If you want to make it a fast move, it needs to be more vulnerable more often throughout the brief time it's out, else it just becomes something way too spammable.
Back when it was in PM, using it out of hitstun would essentially cause you to fastfall. It was a potent anti-juggling move for a character that struggles with returning to the ground.
 
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