A complete summary of Palutena’s performance in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate can be found on the character’s information page. It includes strengths and weaknesses, AI quirks, and an archive of tournament representation and results.
Stats & Spirit Effects
Using a balanced spread (2100 / 2100) or a more defensive one (1000 / 3200) are both fine options that work well on the character. It all comes down to your personal preference.
As with most fighters, Palutena is strongest with Armor Knight and Move Speed ↑. Unfortunately, many tournaments have banned Armor Knight entirely; replacement options include Critical Hit ↑↑, and Toss & Meteor.
A Figure Player becomes strongest if it is mirror matched all the way to Level 50 with its Learn button switched on. Training will take several hours, but match rules can be interchangeably switched between Stock and Timed.
Palutena’s kit includes viable grounded, aerial and off-stage options. To get the most out of the character, you will need to teach her to utilize all three of these categories. Forward tilt, up tilt, and neutral aerial can be used to rack up damage; forward smash and up aerial then function as solid kill moves. Here is a complete breakdown of Palutena’s moveset and which attacks to focus on during training:
- Neutral attack: A two-stage attack. Serves as a viable neutral option, as it is quick to use and the launch effect gives Palutena room to avoid punishment. Use it in short bursts and don’t keep the button pressed for too long.
- Forward tilt: Palutena’s premier grounded neutral option. It has fairly wide reach for a tilt and allows her to punish most smash attacks. Use forward tilt frequently, especially as a punish or out of a dodge.
- Up tilt: Deals less damage than forward tilt, but offers good protection from above. Helpful for juggling opponents at low percentages.
- Down tilt: Its main use is edgeguarding, but that usage is situational at best. Use it every once in a while as needed.
- Dash attack: Easily punished if blocked. Avoid this move for the most part, but if you do train it, be sure to train forward tilt as well.
- Forward smash: Moderately fast and strikes a wide area. Try using it out of a perfect shield or at the ledge to get KOs.
- Up smash: Use it against opponents who are almost at the move’s maximum range. Don’t spam this one and don’t use it when the enemy is on the ground. The AI doesn’t seem to be aware that its up smash doesn’t hit on both sides.
- Down smash: Mostly situational. It can be used close to the ledge, but otherwise doesn’t see much use.
- Neutral aerial: A safe neutral option that can rack up damage or even KO at higher percentages. Use it after an up tilt or up throw too!
- Forward aerial: One of the moves you can safely spam against the opponent. Best used out of a short hop and can combo into itself to get enemies off-stage.
- Back aerial: Powerful when used from a ledge drop and can be chained into itself. Use it frequently.
- Up aerial: Strikes multiple times and packs impressive KO power. Use neutral aerials to rack up damage and then go in for the kill with an up aerial.
- Down aerial (Purging Kick): Short startup, but has long ending lag. It should be used to meteor smash off-stage opponents, but try not to take any unnecessary risks during training.
- Forward throw: Only serves to create distance and rack up damage.
- Back throw: Palutena’s strongest throw. It can be used as a kill option close to the edge.
- Up throw: One of Palutena’s better throws. It can be used to start an aerial juggle with up tilt or neutral aerial at low percentages. Also combos into an up aerial at higher percentages.
- Down throw: It doesn’t deal much damage and has no notable launch power, but it does combo into a forward aerial at most percentages.
- Neutral special (Autoreticle): Doesn’t have much use, as opposing Figure Players have no problem dodging the attack. Try to ignore this one.
- Side special (Explosive Flame): The AI can get a bit spammy with this one, so try to curb your usage of it. It’s best used at the edge.
- Up special (Warp): Palutena’s AI is plagued with a nasty issue: it will misuse Warp and bounce off the edge of the stage and to its death. This can’t be fixed, as it is hardcoded. Don’t stress yourself out trying to find a solution.
- Down special (Counter / Reflect Barrier): The AI knows how to use this move, so you don’t need to teach it. In fact, if you do, it may start using (and missing) its counter move, so keep usage of this one low.
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