Super Smash Bros. Ultimate‘s post-launch legacy is well underway. In addition to the revelation that Persona 5‘s Joker is heading into the ring, Nintendo just released another highly anticipated oddball of a roster addition that was announced all the way back in November.
Piranha Plant is pretty much everything you’d expect out of a DLC character: it’s outlandish and unique, functional and fun to play.
If you don’t care about technical terms in the slightest, you’ll enjoy pretty much everything Piranha Plant’s kit has to offer. If you do (or aspire to care), let’s break him down a bit.
Although he might seem like a small fry, the ol’ plant is actually what’s classified by many players as a “heavyweight.” It actually weighs more than roughly 90% of the entire roster, coming in just under Incineroar in eighth place. What does that mean? Well he’s extremely resilient and won’t be knocked off easily. Naturally, as is the case with many heavy characters, his moves are also slower than average and run the risk of getting punished (counter-attacked while vulnerable) if they whiff. Given that a few of his special attacks require setup, it’s even more imperative that you learn him inside and out before you bring him to a local tourney.
His specials include a spiked ball (neutral), a helicopter jump (up), a charged pipe attack (down) and a poison cloud (left or right). On paper they might not seem so chic (what does that word mean?), but they all serve a purpose. The former is a great zoning tool and can be balanced over Piranha Plant’s head or chucked in a direction of your choice as a projectile. The up special is functional and the poison cloud can be charged similar to Samus or Donkey Kong’s neutral specials.
Having messed around with it for some time I just love how vertical Piranha Plant is. I’ve hit some pretty nice combos with charged pop-ups followed by a Down+Special aimed upward. The character is also great in casual group situations, as the poison cloud can knock off some serious percentages and the aforementioned down special extends far enough to smack up unsuspecting players on different tiers of the stage. It also exudes confidence and comedy at every turn, really selling that wide grin whenever possible. Oh, and they stuffed in some extra details for good measure, including a humorous bit of Palutena’s Guidance dialogue (try it!).
I’m not over the moon but I’m more than impressed that Sakurai and his team were able to transcend joke character status with this little plant that could. For reference, you can play with Piranha Plant in World of Light (it’s available right away if you have a file for it) and it gets its own Classic mode. You can grab Piranha Plant for free if you register your copy of the game before January 31. Otherwise, you’ll be able to purchase it separately (it will not be part of the Fighter/Season Pass). Its amiibo will be released on February 15.