Bayonetta (ベヨネッタ, Bayonetta) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, making her return from the previous game. She is the second fighter from Sega after Sonic. She was confirmed alongside the rest of the returning roster on June 12th, 2018 during E3 2018. Bayonetta is classified as Fighter #63, the last fighter number of the SSB4 veterans and returning veterans overall.
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Bayonetta is a tall yet light character. 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 poor endurance, especially vertically, and average mobility.
Bayonetta's biggest strengths are her strong combo game - with her tilt attacks, forward aerial and special moves being capable of starting or extending combos - and her excellent recovery, which allows her to reach the stage from the bottom blast zone almost uncontestably. Her damage output is somewhat low in isolation, but 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, such as her Bullet Arts, which allow her to shoot from the guns on her hands and heels by keeping the button pressed down after an attack. They are a solid pressure tool, and because they are programmed as 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 set up intricate combos. Her jab is slow, but her rapid jab finisher can KO at high percentages. Her dash attack is also slow as it has a lot of startup lag, but it can also be a situational KO move. Both her up tilt and her down tilt have small hitboxes, but they are very good combo tools - up tilt is useful for getting her opponents into the air and also combos from her Heel Slide or into her Witch Twist, while her down tilt is a good out-of-shield option and has combo potential. Her forward tilt is her least useful tilt as it lacks follow-up options, though it forms a three-hit combo of its own if repeatedly pressed.
She has very useful special moves. Bullet Climax fires projectiles and is useful for KOing higher-percentage opponents at the left and right blast lines. Both Heel Slide and After Burner Kick are reliable combo starters, while the latter is also 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 her extra vertical distance, giving her good horizontal recovery. Her Witch Time has a short duration and high ending lag, but it slows down time for a brief period if it activates. If Bayonetta gets hit in a specific time frame 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 allowing her to use aerial combos far offstage. Her neutral aerial has great range (especially with the Bullet Arts, which covers a huge area around her) and can be a KO option at very high percentages. Back aerial is one of her strongest KO options because of its sweetspot and is a good combo finisher, though it is one of the slower back aerials in the game. Her forward aerial can edgeguard and, like her forward tilt, forms a three-hit combo of its own if pressed repeatedly. Her up aerial is fast and serves as a useful juggling tool, though it has very low knockback. Her down aerial is a stall-then-fall move which is a risky landing option due to its high ending lag, though it has a strong landing hit which can be a useful KO option. 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 percentages. Additionally, while forward throw and back throw are purely positional throws, the former is her strongest 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, meaning that attempting to use one (even in Witch Time) can cause them to clank with other moves and lead her to get punished. Her forward smash is her earliest KO option and one of her only attacks that can reliably kill before 100%, though it has a blind spot directly in front of Bayonetta. Her up smash covers the area directly in front of her and can KO from the upper blast line. Her down smash covers the same range as her up smash and is mainly useful for meteor smashing her opponents from the ledge, though it can also kill from the upper blast line at higher percentages.
Bayonetta has very noticeable flaws. 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 smash attacks, back air, and down air. Even then, these options are relatively mediocre; Bayonetta's smash attacks are slow, often get cancelled out by other moves and have spots with no hitbox; her back air has slow start-up at frame 11 and a relatively small sweetspot hitbox; and her down air is a laggy move that only KOs if it hits the opponent with certain hitboxes or while they're grounded. Even at percentages higher than 150%, her KO options are unreliable, extremely punishable if whiffed 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 potentially some of the highest landing lag in the game, as her landing lag increases based on how many specials she has used in the air. As a result, she can be immobile upon landing for up to 50 frames. Though she has ways to get around this - for example, using Witch Time to cancel her landing lag or landing with an aerial can force the opponent away - these are ultimately situational, and 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. This makes Bayonetta's approach among the worst in the entire cast, effectively forcing her to play a very defensive, bait-and-punish style which the opponent can counter by simply shielding or not approaching her. In addition, the fact that Bayonetta is a tall character with a fast fall speed and light weight means she is more easily comboed and more susceptible to being KO'd. Though Bat Within can somewhat alleviate the former problem, the issues compound to give her poor survivability.
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 if it is triggered. In the air, Bat Within has other issues - the fact that it only sends her down when triggered in the air means that it can cause SDs while she is offstage, and to balance the fact that Bat Within is so fast, the distance Bayonetta covers when actually air dodging is minimal.
Overall, Bayonetta is seen as a character with a high skill cap because of her extensive and complex combo game, her high-risk playstyle, and her unique abilities and techniques. She is a flexible, combo-oriented character who is good at quickly racking up damage and applying pressure to opponents, but her lack of reliable KO options means she can struggle in securing the stock (an issue which is exacerbated by her 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. However, some players have achieved 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, including her ability to KO opponents at virtually any percentage with successful ladder combos, the best disadvantage-breaking move in the game with Witch Time, great KO potential outside of her ladder combos, and an excellent recovery. Even after having received significant 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 included the Ultimate tournament Super Smash Bros. Invitational 2018, where top professional player MkLeo pulled off a ladder KO in front of Masahiro Sakurai using Bayonetta. Due to these factors, Bayonetta has been drastically nerfed from her appearance in 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 was affected the most significantly, no longer allowing for any follow-ups 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, follow-up 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. Finally, Witch Time slows down opponents for much shorter amounts of time except at very high percentages, alongside having noticeably more startup and ending lag. As a result, it went from the uncontested best counter in Smash 4 to arguably one of the least useful counters in Ultimate 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. 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, most of them 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 ending lag, improving the move as a burst or KO option. Her netural attack finisher has drastically increased knockback, to the point where it is one of the strongest in the game, and the strongest jab for lightweight. Most notably, her most inconsistent moves have been notably buffed. Both hits of her up tilt will always connect due to the first hit using set knockback, her smash attacks now have transcendent priority on aerial opponents, most notably addressing the low priority of the moves, Witch Twist has a lower SDI multiplier, and her Witch Time has a larger slowdown scaling, noticeably increasing its slowdown duration at high percentages when the move is stale.
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 updates 3.1.0 and 8.0.0, makes her position in the eyes of many players highly debatable.
Throws and other attacks
Bayonetta received a mix of buffs and nerfs in game updates, but was buffed overall. Before 3.1.0, she received few and relatively minor changes to her moveset, making Bullet Climax less effective on shield much like most other projectiles, but allowing Bayonetta to grab ledges easier after neutral aerial, while removing Stun Jacket, which used to affect her Bullet Arts more notably than most other characters.
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. The update also improved her up tilt by allowing it to connect reliably even at very high percents, which was previously notorious for being inconsistent. Most notably, Witch Time was further improved by increasing its counter window while making Bat Within activate later during the counter if she is hit, reducing its ending lag.
In addition to the shield size buff from the 7.0.0 patch, Bayonetta also received noteworthy buffs from the 8.0.0 patch; forward smash has more base knockback and received a longer-lasting hitbox, forward tilt's lowered endlag allows the third hit to start true combos at low percents, and up tilt's hitboxes were further improved. Witch Twist now has a lower SDI multiplier that makes her combos harder to fall out of, and Heel Slide has less endlag, which improves its combo potential.
Patch 12.0.0 also buffed her rapid jab once more to deal more knockback and send at a more horizontal angle, becoming one of the strongest jabs in the game in terms of knockback, down smash is made 3 frames faster, and Witch Time received less slowdown duration penalty when used against projectiles, making her less susceptible to being zoned by them.
Overall, Bayonetta is far stronger than how she was when Ultimate launched. However, she is still significantly weaker than her Smash 4 incarnation.
For a gallery of Bayonetta's hitboxes, see here.
Note: All numbers are listed as base damage, without the 1v1 multiplier.
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. Each pose also features a brief light purple glint emitted from her glasses at the end of the pose.
In competitive play
Due to her nerfs from the previous game, Bayonetta saw little tournament results during the early metagame; she was considered a "high effort low-reward" character as she had to work significantly harder to win neutral, rack up damage, and close out stocks than a vast majority of the cast. Although CaptainZack was able to see some solid results while using Bayonetta as a co-main, most top players considered her to be unviable, and her results continued to struggle, especially following CaptainZack's ban.
In subsequent patches, most notably 8.0.0, Bayonetta received many buffs that made her strongest options more consistent. This has led to a slow but notable increase in her representation: during the COVID-19 pandemic, Bloom4Eva used her to place highly at major online tournaments. Following the return of offline competitive play, Bayonetta continued to see impressive results thanks to players such as Bloom4Eva, Lima, and Mistake. This has led to a shift in perception, with most players considering her to be a mid-tier or even high-tier character. Overall, while the general consensus considers her to be a shell of her Smash 4 self, she is also considered to be stronger than how she was in the early metagame.
Most historically significant players
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 on the cliffside 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 Bayonetta 2 fighter spirit can be obtained by completing Classic Mode. It is also available periodically for purchase in the shop for 300 Gold, but only after Bayonetta has been unlocked. 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.
Fighter Showcase Video