Character Profile: Palutena
Palutena, the Goddess of Light, returns in Smash Ultimate as a heavy hitting competitor. A combination of universal changes to the game, and specific buffs to her, have made Palutena one of the best characters to play in Ultimate. She has the tools to fit any play-style in the game.
Palutena’s most useful tool is her neutral-air. Palutena twirls her staff around and sucks anyone who gets hit by it into a vortex. At low percents, you can combo neutral-air into itself. A good combo is neutral-air into neutral-air into forward-air when the enemy is at zero percent. This racks up a whopping THIRTY-NICE percent for an easy three-piece combo.
Every single one of Palutena’s aerials has a use depending on the match-up. Versus large or heavy characters, neutral-air is really good at catching then and comboing for big damage. Back-air and forward-air are good versus small hurtbox characters because of how low they can hit. Up-air is great for juggling. Down-air is fast and a spike, making it a good option for covering vertical recovery.
A unique mechanic Palutena has is her shield. On two of her moves, dash-attack and back-air, her shield can block incoming attacks if they are used at the right time. You can see the timing on the invincibility when the shield shines. It’s hard to use it practically, but it can come in clutch at random times when you need it.
Palutena also has a vicious arsenal in her special moves, namely her Explosive Flame and Autoreticle. Explosive flame is a giant fireball you can control the distance for by either using a tilt input for close range or a smash input for long range. Think of how Samus has different missiles with her side-b. Explosive Flame is amazing for catching people that are camping, catching recovery, and for juggling. It’s a KO move as well at high percents. Her Autoreticle is also a good anti-camping tool that locks onto her opponent up to 10 units away. Not only can it go SUPER far, it can also go pretty high up or down low if they are recovering off stage.