Cloud (SSB4)/Up aerial
Cloud leans down, then pushes the Buster Sword directly above him. A moderately strong aerial, it can reliably KO middleweights at around 135% from Battlefield's top platform.
Despite its average startup and landing lag, this attack has long disjointed horizontal range, deceptive vertical range, low ending lag, long duration and autocancels immediately after all hitboxes are removed. These traits make it a phenomenal anti-air and a pivotal aspect of Cloud's neutral game. Its clean hit serves as an excellent pressure tool and a good combo starter, as it deals high damage for its speed and landing with it can lead into up tilt, neutral aerial, another up aerial, Cross Slash, and even Finishing Touch. Autocancelling it, on the other hand, is great for denying landings and allows it to combo into itself at least twice without fail. The long-lasting late hit is also a reliable combo extender, having just enough hit advantage to reset and continue combos, and especially shines on outlasting air dodges without requiring particularly accurate predictions.
Its numerous positive traits and lack of serious drawbacks make it a feared, all-purpose move that is widely considered the best up aerial in the game.
When Cloud initially became available, his up aerial dealt 1% more damage with both its clean hit and late hit. Said difference, however, while small, is more significant than it appears to be: as one of Cloud's most used and useful moves even back then, this allowed it to both rack up damage faster with repeated usage in combos, and to KO approximately 13% earlier due to damage being a primary factor in the knockback formula. As such, although the nerf brought by update 1.1.5 barely diminished the move's overall usage, it did noticeably weaken its damage racking ability and KO power.
- Damage: 13% → 12% (clean), 9.5% → 8.5% (late).
- The immediate auto-canceling of this move is a coding error caused by the wrong type of timing function being used. In the move's scripts, the hitboxes are deleted on frame 26, then a timer with a count of 18 is placed in the next line for the auto-cancel window. However, this is an asynchronous timer, which enables the auto-cancel on frame 18, rather than a synchronous timer, which would enable it 18 frames after the hitboxes are deleted (on frame 44). As a result, the auto-cancel is instead enabled on frame 26, as the line is still read after the timer for deleting the hitboxes.
- A very similar error can be seen with Cloud's down aerial, as well as Sonic's up aerial.
- As this error was not addressed in any updates, it remains unknown whether the move's instant auto-canceling property was intentional or not. However, it was eventually fixed in Ultimate, where the move's auto-cancel properly uses an asynchronous timer on frame 32 (in addition to the hitboxes ending earlier, on frame 24).