By: Steve Vegvari
Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has been proving that it is the ultimate experience for Smash players. Bringing back every existing Smash character from previous iterations, compiling every stage, and adding in over 850 songs.
On top of all that, Masahiro Sakurai and his team have delivered some great additions. Brand new maps and characters, including Ridley, Simon Belmont, King K. Rool, Incineroar, Ken, and more. Sakurai has big plans to expand the current lineup of fighters which is currently sitting at 74 playable characters via the Fighters Pass.
Most recently, each player that purchased the game and registered their purchase before January 31st, 2019 received Piranha Plant as a free playable character. Piranha Plant was released one day prior on January 30th when the Version 2.0.0 patch released, and players have been loving the newest addition to the roster.
To get to know this underdog character that could, we’ll take a look at his moves, pros, and cons so you can start to understand the character. First off, it’s important to note that Piranha Plant is a ton of fun to play with. His reveal left many players stumped, but once you start to learn the character a bit more, it clicks.
So, what are the biggest takeaways from Piranha Plant? Well, he’s got a great assortment of specials. Although Piranha Plant is a relatively slow, cumbersome character, he can deny attacks coming both his sides and from the air.
Piranha Plant’s neutral special, the ‘Ptooie’ is a spike ball that he spits out and can hold over his head to deny air-attacks. Players can also manipulate the spike ball to either side of him as a projectile dealing a solid amount of damage. The lower the player shoots the spike ball, the farther it will travel, meaning you can use this attack to gain an area advantage. You can also utilize this move to deny an opponent’s recovery, similar to Simon’s axe.
Another special that Piranha Plant has in his arsenal is his side special, Poison Breath. Managing to charge the attack will deal a great amount of damage to any character that gets caught in the cloud. However, any character that blocks with their shield can easily avoid damage. Without any stun or knockback damage, Poison Breath is great for those few opportunities where you’re given an open window. Look out for opportunities to place Poison Breath on the edge of a stage of any place an opponent is forced to move through.
My personal favourite is the up special, Piranhacopter. Piranha Plant flys himself like a plane’s propeller into enemies, doling out a large number of hits. Because of how versatile the move is, players can manipulate the attack to knock opponents into the blast zone. Word of caution, due to the angles that Piranha Plant will fly in, make sure to give yourself enough room to recover afterwards –– he is a heavy character after all. Speaking of recovery, the Prinhacopter is a great recovery tool due to how much control a player has when using it. You can manipulate it vertically, but it also has a great amount of horizontal range.
Piranha Plant’s last special is a unique one. The Long-Stem Strike is another effective anti-air attack. Piranha Plant will burrow into his plant pot and pop out to strike an enemy that is above him. His neck extends beyond his usual height, giving players the ability to hit players at a greater distance. While burrowed, Piranha Plant is given super armour until he pops back out. Players can also tilt Piranha Plant’s Long-Stem Strike to either side as well.
Onto Piranha Plant’s Final Smash. This one can be a little divisive to players as there are a couple annoying caveats that come along with activating his Smash. Once activated, Piranha Plant summons a large Petey Piranha to the stage. Petey holds a cage in each of his hands, trapping opponents that get too close. Petey will then begin to smash the cages into the stage. Afterwards, Petey will shoot fire into the cages.
The downside to this Final Smash is that as all this is going on, Piranha Plant is vulnerable. As opposed to other Final Smash attacks, where a cinematic is played, or the character becomes invulnerable, you are still in control of Piranha Plant during Petey’s arrival. Be sure to keep your wits about your location during the Final Smash animation. Be careful where you activate your Final Smash as well. Be in the air, or too far off the stage, and Petey Piranha has a good chance of falling off the stage, dealing no damage.
Neutral attacks are all pretty standard. Piranha Plant can deal a standard amount of damage fairly quickly, his neutral attack sends out a set of mini-burst jabs. Piranha Plant can grab opponents from a long-range––possibly one of the longest grabs on the roster. What really makes the character stand out are those special moves. Piranha Plant is a very versatile character once you learn the ins and outs.
We’ve talked a lot about Piranha Plant’s pros, but what about the cons to the character? Truth be told, Piranha Plant does not have that many. His main disadvantage is his weight. Piranha Plant is a fundamentally heavier character, so his walk and dash speeds leave a lot to be desired. However, because of his Piranhacopter special, he is able to recover quite nicely and avoid attacks. As mentioned before, his Final Smash isn’t perfect. Otherwise, Piranha Plant is a well-rounded fighter.
For those that were able to register their purchase in time, give Piranha Plant a shot. He is a welcoming addition to the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate roster and brings quite a bit to the table. His animations are very well crafted. Sakurai and his team clearly put a lot of thought and care into the character. Do not worry if you did not get a chance to register your game in time, Piranha Plant will be available for purchase at a later date
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is out now, exclusively for the Nintendo Switch.
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