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 are 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 if 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 favourable 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 because of its sweetspot 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 considerably earlier than her other KO options. Her air game also has some utility in disadvantage state, with Downward After Burner Kick serving as a movement mix-up that can help her get back to the ground faster, while Bat Within serves as a potential combo breaker in certain situations.
Her grab and throw game has some utility, though to a lesser extent than the rest of her moveset. While up throw and down throw lack true follow-up potential outside of reads and mix-ups, the latter serves as a KO option at very high percents. Additionally, while forward throw and back throw are purely positional throws, the former is her potent kill throw, though its kill potential can easily be mitigated with proper DI.
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 and rarely KO 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. Bayonetta's combos themselves, while arguably her strongest asset, are also risky - they are still ineffective against good SDI. Additionally Bayonetta suffers from having among the highest landing lag in the game based on how many specials she has used in the air, thus meaning a whiffed combo can lead to a big punish.
Furthermore, Bayonetta has poor frame data on the ground, with all of her standard grounded moves coming out at frame 7 or slower while also being unsafe on shield. In addition, the fact that Bayonetta is a tall character with light weight makes her more susceptible to being KO'd 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 as well as the fact that it takes significantly longer to sweet spot the ledge in comparison to Smash 4.
Her passive abilities also have issues; while Bat Within has utility in the context of on-stage disadvantage, it is essentially a worse spot dodge on the ground, as Bayonetta will still take half of the dodged attack's damage upon being triggered. Additionally, the fact that Bat Within only sends her down when triggered in the air means that it can cause SD's if it happens to be triggered when offstage.
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 was unanimously considered to be the best character in Smash 4 due to her many extreme advantages, most infamously her ability to KO opponents at virtually any percentage with successful ladder combos, the best disadvantage-breaking move (and arguably the best move overall) in the game with Witch Time, great KO potential outside of her ladder combos, and an excellent recovery. Even after having received drastic nerfs in game updates, her advantages remained intact. This often caused players to label her as "broken", and many matches involving her became controversial. This includes the Ultimate tournament Super Smash Bros. Invitational 2018, where the top professional player MkLeo, using Bayonetta, pulled off a ladder KO in front of Masahiro Sakurai, and likely because of that, Bayonetta was drastically nerfed from her appearance from Smash 4.
Bayonetta's already poor frame data, her major weakness in Smash 4, has been nerfed further 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 unless Bayonetta lands with them. Witch Twist also has more startup and grants less distance, reducing its effectiveness as a combo starter, out of shield option, followup from other moves and recovery option. Adding to this, all of Bayonetta's special moves have received drastic nerfs that make them more risky and punishable: Bullet Climax's charge takes longer to cancel and can no longer be held indefinitely, Heel Slide and After Burner Kick's followup hits can no longer be used if they hit a shield, Witch Twist is slower and can no longer 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 least useful counters until high percentages.
Her KO ability has been weakened as well. Neutral, up and down aerials deal lower knockback (most significantly the former two, which no longer KO under 200% onstage), her back aerial has less range and a smaller hitbox (most notably the sweetspot), and her smash attacks only get half as much of an increase in power when charged and have increased ending lag if they hit a shielding opponent. 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 still have below average knockback, and fail to compensate for her much more severely hindered finishers. This is also pronounced further by the decreased damage some of her moves deal, which slightly hinders her combo game further. Conversely, her own survivability 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.
Finally, Bayonetta's special recovery frames have been significantly extended. While previously varied configurations of her special moves gave Bayonetta determinate amounts of landing lag regardless of how they were performed, the landing lag suffered by each combination is more varied and, in most cases, increased. Furthermore, Bayonetta's infamous ability to cancel higher amounts of landing lag with her down aerial was also removed, and landing with the move can instead cause, on most combinations, to further increase the landing lag she receives from performing certain combinations (interestingly enough, her ability to bypass landing lag with Witch Time remains, though this is largely irrelevant due to the move's increased duration). As a result of these changes, Bayonetta now suffers the highest amount of landing lag among the cast, and this also increases her vulnerability if opponents are able to fall out of her combos, allowing them to land a harder punish option on her more easily.
In spite of this, Bayonetta has also received a few noteworthy buffs. All of 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 due to the lower hitlag on each hit. Witch Time can slow down opponents from much farther distances upon a successful counterattack, and has a longer counter window. Although grabs have been overall nerfed across the cast, all of Bayonetta's grabs have slightly increased range, which combined with her throws not losing their utility, improves her grab game despite their higher ending lag. Her dash attack has increased knockback and range, and reduced landing lag, improving the move as a burst or KO option.
The universal changes to game mechanics are overall mixed for Bayonetta. The ability to dash cancel into any move improves her grounded game, though this is somewhat counterbalanced by their somewhat slow startup and her notable grounded moves losing some of their combo utility. The streamlined jumpsquats and reductions to landing lag are mostly detrimental to her; they slightly benefit Bayonetta's combo game as long as her aerials are not extended with Bullet Arts, but unlike most other characters, Bayonetta suffers higher landing lag when she lands with aerials extended with Bullet Arts. This, combined with other characters gaining either safer aerials, improved combo routes from them, or lower landing lag, has allowed them to more easily keep up with Bayonetta. On the other hand, the changes to air dodge mechanics have benefitted her overall; although Bayonetta has the second shortest distance of any directional air dodge, this nevertheless allows her to slightly extend her recovery provided she isn't able to reach the edge on time, and the increased lag on all kinds of air dodges has further improved her edgeguarding ability, despite her worse aerial game. However, none of the universal changes or her direct buffs are able to properly compensate for the comparatively much larger impact her abundance of nerfs has brought up.
Overall, Bayonetta's biggest strengths from Smash 4 that were deemed "overpowered" by some have all been severely toned down or even removed altogether; her forward air strings were removed, Witch Time is a worse disadvantage-breaking option, her recovery is worse (albeit still outstanding compared to the rest of the cast), her KO potential is much lower, her combos (especially her ladder combos) are potentially less damaging and harder to pull off, and her weaknesses from the previous game have been further defined. Furthermore, most of the rest of the cast has received comparatively larger buffs, allowing them to either keep up with or overwhelm Bayonetta due to her substantial nerfs. This gives Bayonetta a considerably higher learning curve, to the point she is widely viewed as a high-effort, low-reward character. As a result, Bayonetta performs significantly worse than her Smash 4 iteration, and is by far the most nerfed character in the transition to Ultimate. Though Bayonetta had a moderate amount of success during the beginning of Ultimate's metagame, her current representation has quickly dwindled, as many of her players, including Salem, have either dropped her or have quit competitive play altogether. This has earned her negative opinions from many players, who generally claim that she is a low-mid or low-tier character at best, with some opinions considering her a bottom five character. Despite this, players such as CaptainZack, Lima and tamim still use her at multiple tournaments, and the former has particularly been able to obtain decent results within the first six months of the game. This, along with a few buffs Bayonetta has received in update 3.1.0, makes her position in the eyes of many players highly 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 Fall 2019 PGRU, which recognizes the official top 50 players in the world in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate from July 13th, 2019 to December 15th, 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 Spirit can be obtained by completing Classic Mode. It is 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 a Fighter Spirit, it cannot be used in Spirit Battles and is purely aesthetic. Her alternate outfit from the first Bayonetta has a Fighter Spirit of its own, available through the shop. 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, Chinese or Korean: 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