Bayonetta (ベヨネッタ, Bayonetta) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, making her return from the previous game. She was confirmed as a playable character on June 12th, 2018. Bayonetta is classified as fighter #63.
Hellena Taylor and Atsuko Tanaka reprise their roles in English and Japanese, albeit via recycled voice clips from Super Smash Bros. 4.
How to unlock
Complete one of the following:
With the exception of the third method, Bayonetta must then be defeated on the Umbra Clock Tower.
Bayonetta is a tall lightweight. She has a below average walking and air speed, average traction and dashing speed with a decently fast initial dash, very fast air acceleration and fall speed, high gravity and very high jumps. This gives her a poor endurance, especially vertically, and an overall average mobility.
Bayonetta's biggest strength is her strong combo game, with her tilt attacks, forward aerial and special moves being capable of starting or extending combos. Her damage output is somewhat low, though her extensive combo game makes up for this, as her combos can quickly and easily rack up damage. She has a number of unique attributes - with her Bullet Arts, she can shoot from the guns on her hands and heels by keeping the button pressed. They are a solid pressure tool and as they are big disjointed hitboxes, they do not classified as projectiles. She can also wall cling and wall jump.
Bayonetta's ground game is reliant on her tilt attacks to help perform intricate combos. Her jab is slow, but by repeatedly button-pressing it forms a combo into itself, which can KO at very high percents. Her dash attack is also slow as it has a lot of startup lag, but can also be a situational KO move. While both her up tilt and her down tilt have small hitboxes in front of her, they are very good combo tools - up tilt is useful for getting her opponents into the air and also combos from her Heel Slide into itself or Witch Twist, while her down tilt is a good out of shield option and also has combo potential. Her forward tilt is her least useful tilt as it lacks follow-up options, though it too has combo potential, as it forms a three hit combo is repeatedly pressed.
She has very useful special moves: Bullet Climax allows to fire projectiles and is useful for KOing higher percentage opponents at left and right blast lines. Heel Slide is a reliable combo starter and shoot from her gun if the button is pressed, while After Burner Kick is a good combo extender and horizontal recovery option. Witch Twist is a great tool for extending combos and dragging the opponent to the upper blast line. Though it has little vertical distance, it can be performed twice with Bayonetta's double jump, and she can also jump cancel her second jump to grant extra vertical distance, giving her good horizontal recovery. Her Witch Time has a short duration and high ending lag, but it can slow down time for a brief period of time. If Bayonetta gets hit in a specific time when dodging or in the later frames of Witch Time, she will activate her Bat Within. This turns her into bats and moves her to a (usually) more favorable stage position, and she will take half of the attack's damage output and no knockback.
Bayonetta's air game is similarly potent for combos, with her flexible recovery meaning she can use aerial combos far offstage. Her neutral air has great range (especially with the Bullet Arts, which covers a huge area around her) and can be a KO option at very high percents. Back aerial is one of her strongest KO options and is a good combo finisher. Her forward aerial can edgeguard and, like her forward tilt, combos into itself if button pressed repeatedly. Her up aerial is fast and a useful juggling tool, though it lacks knockback. Her down aerial is a stall-then-fall aerial which is a risky landing option due to its high lag, though it has a strong landing hit which can be a useful KO option.
Her grab and throw game has some utility, though to a lesser extent than the rest of her moveset. Her down throw and up throw are her best combo throws into her aerials, with down throw also acting as a KO option at very high percents. Her forward throw can KO at very high percents and her back throw - while not as useful - can be used for getting her opponent offstage.
Bayonetta's smash attacks allow her to summon Madama Butterfly's limbs. They each have good knockback and range, but they also have low priority and noticeable lag. Her forward smash is her earliest KO option and one of her earliest attacks that can reliably kill before 100%. Her up smash covers the area directly in front of Bayonetta and can KO from the top blast line. Her down smash covers the same range as her up smash and is useful for meteor smashing her opponents from the ledge, though it can also kill from the top blast line at higher percents.
Bayonetta has very noticeable flaws, however. Most notably, while she can quickly rack up damage with her combo game, she has very few reliable KO options until around 150%, with her only real kill options before this being her aforementioned punishable smash attacks, difficult to perform back air or risky down air. Even at percents higher than 150%, her KO options outside of back aerial are unreliable or only KO at very high percentages, for example her forward throw and dash attack. Furthermore, she has a poor frame data on the ground, with her jab coming out on frame 9; this combined with the fact that Bayonetta is tall, has a high gravity and a light weight, means she has a very poor disadvantage state, being highly susceptible to being comboed and KO’d earlier than most characters without many options to escape. Finally, while Bayonetta has a recovery that grants good distance and her special moves don't leave her helpless, her recovery is very slow and prone to being exploited because of the somewhat limited distance of Witch Twist.
Overall, Bayonetta is seen as a character with a high skill cap because of her extensive, difficult to use combo game. She is a flexible combo-heavy character good at quickly racking up damage and applying pressure to opponents, though her lack of reliable KO options means she can struggle in securing the stock while also being prone to combos and kill setups herself. Due to her significantly steeper learning curve - for what most players consider - a relatively low reward, her playerbase is much weaker than it was in Smash 4, though players like CaptainZack have achieved some noteworthy results with her.
Changes from Super Smash Bros. 4
Bayonetta in Smash 4 was considered by many players as the best character in the game, even after having received nerfs in updates, due to many of her extreme advantages remaining intact, including most infamously her ability to KO opponents at virtually any percentage with successful ladder combos. These traits often caused players to label her as "broken", and many matches involving her became controversial. This includes the Smash Ultimate tournament Super Smash Bros. Invitational 2018, where the top professional Bayonetta player MkLeo pulled off a ladder KO in front of Masahiro Sakurai. Possibly as a result of these events, Bayonetta has been drastically nerfed in the transition to Ultimate, and is by far the most nerfed character in the game, in a similar vein to Meta Knight in Smash 4.
Bayonetta's already poor frame data, her major weakness in Smash 4, has been more so nerfed from the previous game. Her most reliable combo starters have been weakened, with her up tilt, down tilt and forward aerial all having more ending lag; the latter in particular has been affected the most significantly, no longer allowing for any followups other than the next hits of the move. Witch Twist also has more startup and grants less distance, reducing its effectiveness as a combo starter, out of shield option and followup from other moves. Adding to this, all of Bayonetta's special moves have received drastic nerfs that make them more punishable: Bullet Climax's charge takes longer to cancel, Heel Slide and After Burner Kick's followup hits can no longer be used if they hit a shield, Witch Twist is slower and takes much longer to grab ledges, and Witch Time slows down opponents for much shorter except at very high percentages, alongside having noticeably more startup and ending lag, going from the uncontested best counter in Smash 4 to the hardest to land, as well as arguably one of the worst counters.
Bayonetta's KO ability has been weakened as well. Her neutral, up and down aerials deal lower knockback (most significantly the former two, which no longer KO under 200% onstage), her back aerial has a smaller hitbox (most notably the sweetspot) in addition to less range, and her smash attacks only get half as much of an increase in power when charged. This is exacerbated by Witch Time's decreased slowdown duration, hindering its ability to lead into safe KOs, and due to the severe nerfs to her up aerial, she can no longer KO with ladder combos unless they are initiated very close to the top blast line, and even then very high percents are often needed to reliably earn a KO. As a result, Bayonetta now has a significantly more defined main weakness, which is her lack of KO ability at higher percentages due to a lack of reliable options for KOing outside of back air. Although some of her moves have received more knockback in return, such as her neutral attack's finisher and dash attack, they are still below average in strength, and fail to compensate for her much more severely hindered finishers. Conversely, her own endurance has been worsened, as her already low weight has been decreased further, and her recovery is less effective due to Witch Twist's shorter distance, slower ledge grab, and smaller hitboxes.
On the other hand, Bayonetta has received a few noteworthy buffs. Her dodges have been sped up relative to the rest of the cast, no longer being among the slowest in the game, while still having the ability to trigger Bat Within during their startup. Downwards After Burner Kick is a reliable combo starter due to launching grounded opponents at a higher, more suitable angle for followups, and Witch Twist is harder to SDI out of. Lastly, Witch Time can slow down opponents from much farther distances upon a successful counterattack, and has a longer counter window. However, these buffs fail to compensate for the comparatively much larger impact her abundance of nerfs has brought up.
Overall, Bayonetta performs significantly worse than her Smash 4 iteration, and has a considerably higher learning curve, to the point she is widely viewed as a high-effort, low-reward character. Her biggest strengths from Smash 4 that were deemed "overpowered" by some, namely her forward air strings, Witch Twist, Witch Time, and ladder combos, have all been heavily nerfed or even removed altogether, her recovery is worse (albeit still outstanding compared to the rest of the cast), her KO potential is much lower, her combos are harder to pull off, and the rest of the cast has received comparatively massive buffs in the face of Bayonetta's nerfs. Though she had a moderate amount of success during the beginning of Ultimate's metagame, her current representation has quickly dwindled as many Smash 4 Bayonetta players, including Salem, tamim, and Lima, have either dropped her, use her as a secondary, or have quit competitive play altogether. This has earned her very negative opinions from many players, who generally claim that she is a low-mid or low tier character. Despite this, CaptainZack still uses her at multiple tournaments and has been able to obtain decent results within the first six months of the game including 9th at GENESIS 6 and 13th at Smash 'N' Splash 5. This, along with buffs Bayonetta has received in update 3.1.0, makes her position in the eyes of many players debatable.
Throws and other attacks
Bayonetta received a mix of nerfs and buffs in game updates, but has been buffed overall. Before 3.1.0, she received few and relatively minor changes to her moveset, weakening Witch Time's duration scaling, and making Bullet Climax less effective on shield much like most other projectiles, but allowing Bayonetta to grab ledges easier after neutral aerial, while leaving her Bullet Arts unaffected by Stun Jacket. However, update 3.1.0 gave Bayonetta a much larger amount of buffs, particularly Witch Time having more counter frames and intangibility frames alongside swifter regeneration, which makes it more reliable even through multiple uses. This greatly increased Witch Time's usability as a counter, with its incarnation in the base game having arguably the worst frame data for a counter and no guarantee for a reward when landing it. Witch Twist and After Burner Kick both have less landing lag, making Bayonetta less punishable after performing combos and opening new opportunities for applying pressure. Her dash attack's clean hit deals more knockback, making it a semi-reliable kill option on lighter characters. Neutral attack gained a slightly longer-lasting hitbox on the first hit, which down smash also received for its meteor smash, and also greater knockback for its final blow after the rapid jab. 3.1.0's buffs allow Bayonetta to KO with a couple more moves at higher percents, along with giving her a more reliable counter. The update also improved her up tilt by allowing it to connect reliably even at very high percents, all of which helps turn Bayonetta into a more fluid and functional character compared to the base game. Her most significant changes are Witch Time being able to trigger more reliably and Bat Within retaining the same duration but occurring later in the move, which helps alleviate the move's high ending lag.
For a gallery of Bayonetta's hitboxes, see here.
Note: All numbers are listed as base damage, without the 1v1 multiplier.
After using Witch Twist, Afterburner Kick, or Downwards Afterburner Kick, upon landing, Bayonetta will be unable to move for a set amount of frames depending on the combination of moves used. Recovery Frames are in tiers, with each tier having more recovery frames than the previous. The tiers are: 18 frames, 20 frames, 22 frames, 26 frames, 28 frames, 30 frames, 38 frames, 40 frames, and 50 frames. In addition, air dodges and aerial end lag may add to her recovery frames.
All of Bayonetta's victory quotes are based on taunts from Bayonetta 2 while wielding various weapons; the associated weapon for each is listed in parentheses.
In competitive play
Ever since the beginning of Ultimate's metagame, Bayonetta has had hardly any success in tournaments. This is largely due to many of her playerbase and top players dropping her in favor of other characters as a result of her nerfs. Bayonetta has widely been considered to be a "high effort low-reward" character as she has to work significantly harder to win neutral, rack up damage, and close out stocks than a vast majority of the cast. The changes to her have caused top players to have very negative opinions on her with many players regarding her as an unviable character that isn't worth the effort.
In subsequent patches, Bayonetta received many buffs that made her strongest options more consistent. On top of this, players like CaptainZack, Lima, and Geist continue to use her to moderate success. Both of these have allowed her perception to be better than before, however she is still considered to be a shell of her former self and continues to have low representation in the current metagame.
Any number following the Smasher name indicates placement on the Spring 2019 PGRU, which recognizes the official top 50 players in the world in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate from February 1st, 2019 to July 7th, 2019.
Classic Mode: The Requiem of Fallen Wings
All of Bayonetta's opponents have wings, in reference to her battles against angels and specific fights from Bayonetta. The final battle is against a giant Palutena.
Role in World of Light
Bayonetta was among the fighters summoned to the cliffside to fight against the army of Master Hands.
During the opening cutscene, Bayonetta was present when Galeem unleashed his beams of light. Bayonetta dodged a beam of light, activating her Bat Within, but she was then vaporized immediately after she reformed her body, and later placed under Galeem's imprisonment alongside the rest of the fighters, excluding Kirby.
Bayonetta was one of the many fighters that fell under Dharkon's control upon Galeem's first defeat, and the last fighter to be found to be imprisoned by him. In The Final Battle, she is called by Dharkon as part of his reinforcements after Roy is awakened and Master Hand is beaten. She is a necessary unlock to achieve the true ending, as awakening her leads to a battle with Crazy Hand that frees him from Dharkon's control (both of whom's defeats greatly shifts the balance of power in Galeem's favor).
Bayonetta's Fighter Spirits can be obtained by completing Classic Mode. They are also available periodically for purchase in the shop for 500 coins. Unlocking Bayonetta in World of Light allows the player to preview the first spirit below in the Spirit List under the name "???". As Fighter Spirits, they cannot be used in Spirit Battles and are purely aesthetic. Each Fighter Spirit has an alternate version that replaces them with their artwork in Ultimate.
Additionally, her younger form, Cereza, appears as a Support Spirit.
In Spirit battles
As the main opponent
As a minion
Just as in Smash 4, Bayonetta's voice is dependent on her costume when the language is set to Japanese: her Bayonetta 2 outfit has her speaking in Japanese, while her original Bayonetta outfit retains her English voice. This is a reference to how the first Bayonetta game originally only had English audio even in Japan, not receiving a Japanese dub until the Wii U port.
Character Showcase Video