#144 | agt05 – First experience on Ultimate

Hi, today I went to Japan Expo to try Super Smash Bros Ultimate, which, as you might not know, the game I’m anticipating the most. I’ve spent most of my childhood and early adulthood playing the Smash series (casually on 64 with Chu and starting competitively on Brawl then Smash 4), and I really want to learn how to be the best at the next game. Maybe this blog and the learning process I’ll give into that will help me achieve that goal, at least on a national level.


Differences between Smash 4 and Ultimate

So right now, I’ll talk about the obvious, the differences between Smash 4 and Ultimate. The neutral game right now plays really like Smash 4, it might be because of the habits people had but that’s the feeling a friend I went to the event with shared with me.

There are still a few differences people are not abusing right now because the game is still new:

  • Dash dancing: Dash dancing has been improved a lot, and even if you can’t dash-dash à la Melee, you still can dash dance kind of like Cloud did. This makes characters which didn’t have a good foxtrot viable on the ground.
  • Attacks when dashing: This update is a big one, because you can attack during a dash, it means you can do basically what perfect pivot allowed you to do in Smash 4 but without a lot of effort. You can dash back then do a smash attack. Approach with up-tilt and so on.
  • Directional Airdodge: Even if I love melee, I’m not sure if I love this option, it means that you’ll have a lot more mobility in the air to avoid combos or traps, but because of the way it puts you in free fall afterward, it also unlocks the ability to edge guard, which was pretty much replaced by ledge traps in higher levels (because of the easy airdodge then ledge trump).
  • Knockback changes: The knockback changes is pretty weird, as other pros said, it is like hitting a balloon across a room. The initial knockback is really high then it gets slowed down fast. I felt like combos were more real at mid percent. I did an uptilt to fair during a match on Charizard and it felt really true, while on Smash 4 I would think the opponent would have the time to airdodge or ripost.
  • Less landing lag: In general, most of aerials in the game have less lags than the previous game. It means that aerial moves are safer on shield, which might push for a more aggressive playstyle.


Character choices

In Smash 4 I played Toon Link and Yoshi. I played Toon link first because it was my main in Brawl but I didn’t have the same fun I had due to the changes to the character made when the fourth iteration of the series was released. Yoshi is my true main and I might play him again in Ultimate, because I think that due to the changes, frame traps characters will be a lot stronger in general.

However, I really liked Pokémon Trainer and I might dual main him alongside Yoshi, depending on the match-up. Right now my choices are not permanent but I think that’s what I’ll do, PT and Yoshi.


Pokémon Trainer

Pokémon Trainer has been changed a lot since the character was in brawl. First of all, no fatigue systems means that you can keep the Pokémon you like all match long. The Pokémon switch is a lot faster as well and you can do it in the air, which might lead to new combos or traps. Due to the change of the switching, you can easily recover with Charizard as well, for example when you get knocked back on Ivysaur, you’ll be able to switch in air to Charizard, then use his double jump and have his better recovery.

From what I heard: Squirtle is really fast and might be a combo character, Ivysaur has an excellent neutral and got a few killing options but a bad recovery, Charizard has good killing options but a good recovery. This combination of advantages and disadvantages might mean that it won’t have a lot of bad matchups if you’re able to switch correctly.

I played Ivysaur a lot (while almost not at all of Squirtle) and his aerials seemed pretty strong. Uair is a kill move, bair seemed safe on shield, fair could be a combo or juggle move. You can zone with his side b (which sends a leaf). For Charizard, it didn’t seem a lot changed since Smash 4, but due to the mechanics change, the character might be better at edge guarding. I’m not sure yet if his up-b still has super armor.

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