Palutena (SSB4)

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This article is about Palutena's appearance in Super Smash Bros. 4. For the character in other contexts, see Palutena.
Palutena
in Super Smash Bros. 4
Palutena
KidIcarusSymbol.svg
Universe Kid Icarus
Availability Starter
Final Smash Black Hole Laser
Tier E (42)
PalutenaHeadSSB4-U.png
Palutena Alights!
—Introduction Tagline

Palutena (パルテナ, Palutena) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. 4. She was revealed on June 10th, 2014 during the E3 2014 Super Smash Bros. roundtable, alongside the Mii Fighters and Pac-Man.[1] She is voiced by Aya Hisakawa in the Japanese version, who reprises her role from Kid Icarus: Uprising. Due to Ali Hillis being unavailable to reprise her role from Uprising, however, Palutena is instead voiced by Brandy Kopp in the English version.[2]

Palutena is currently ranked 42nd out of 58 on the tier list, placing her in the E tier, and making her the second highest ranking low-tier character. Palutena has good overall mobility, which is especially evident on the ground, thanks to her fast walking and dashing speeds and high traction. She also boasts a potent air game, thanks to her aerial attacks' utility: neutral aerial is useful for pressuring and damage racking, forward aerial is very useful for spacing and starting combos, back aerial is strong and grants partial invincibility, up aerial is strong enough to score KOs rather early, and down aerial is a fairly quick meteor smash. Palutena's jab cancel and down throw are also very useful set-up options, the latter of which is further supplemented by her impressive grab range and excellent pummel, while her smash attacks possess impressive ranges and power.

However, Palutena's weaknesses are quite glaring. She has very sluggish frame data in relation to her power, especially in regard to her grounded moves. As a result, her neutral game is predictable, and her grounded approach almost nonexistent. Her KO potential is also unimpressive, as her smash attacks' ranges and power are offset by awkward hitbox placements and extremely high amounts of overall lag. Her special moves also have poor synergy with the rest of her moveset and, in some cases, overall low utility. In addition, Palutena's tall height, below average weight, and high gravity collectively make her susceptible to combos, juggles, and early KOs. While her custom moves significantly remedy the problems involving her approach and also bolster her mobility, damage racking ability, and combo game, the ban on custom movesets prevents her from taking advantage of them.

As a result of these factors, Palutena's representation and results in regional and national tournaments are very sparse. Despite this, she still has some dedicated players to her credit, such as TLTC, Iceninja, and Prince Ramen, with the latter of the three scoring a major upset at CEO 2016 by defeating ZeRo 2-0 in pools.

Attributes[edit]

Palutena possesses a unique blend of archetypes: she is tall like Mewtwo, Zelda, Peach and Rosalina, yet tied with Duck Hunt as the second lightest middleweight. Palutena also boasts fast walking and dashing speeds, the seventh highest traction, high jumps, and is tied with Rosalina, Peach and Mega Man's for the fastest air acceleration in the game. On the other hand, she has below average falling speed, slow air speed and high gravity. These characteristics give Palutena quick grounded movement, make her good at ground-to-air transitions, and allow her to quickly change direction in midair. However, they also make her unreliable at air-to-ground transitions and do not necessarily make her a floaty character, which leaves her susceptible to juggling, combos, and being KO'd early from strong vertical attacks.

Palutena's air game is impressive, thanks to her aerial moves' utility, minimal start-up lag and, aside from her neutral and up aerials, low landing lag. Her neutral aerial is a useful damage racking option, which can also be used to pressure the opponent on a platform or from out of an air dodge since it has a fairly long duration. It is also great for edge-guarding, as its duration and large hitbox allow for easy stage spikes when used off-stage. Her forward aerial has the longest horizontal range of her aerial moves, the lowest amount of landing lag, and the ability to completely auto-cancel when SHFF'd. This makes it a very useful spacing and set-up option at low to medium percentages, as it can reliably lead into her neutral attack, standing/dash grab, tilt attacks or other aerials. In comparison, her back aerial grants partial invincibility around her body throughout its duration, and is strong enough to KO at high percentages, which make it especially useful for edge-guarding. Her up aerial has vertical good range and hits multiple times, which makes it ideal for juggling. However, its final hit's extremely high knockback also makes it arguably her most viable KOing option. However, some of her aerial moves have rather high ending lag in proportion to their power, duration and range, meaning they must be spaced accordingly. Lastly, her down aerial will always meteor smash aerial opponents due to lacking a sourspot, though it can also be used as to punish opponents from out of shield when it is SHFF'd.

Palutena's grounded moveset also has some interesting options. This is most apparent with her very useful grab game: she has the fourth longest non-tether grab range in the game, while her pivot grab has impressive range as well. Her pummel's average speed and high damage output make it one of the best pummels in the game. Palutena's down throw is the most integral part of her offense, as its high base knockback, very low knockback scaling, and launching angle collectively grant it impressive combo potential into her neutral, up, forward, and back aerials, although latter requires the usage of a reverse aerial rush. By extension, its up and back aerials' combos function as guaranteed KO combos on the majority of the cast. Outside of this, down throw can even combo into down aerial and up smash if the opponent's reaction is read properly. Her forward and back throws are useful for launching the opponent off-stage to set up an edge-guard, although back throw also has KO potential at very high percentages. Up throw has the least amount of utility, although it can be used to pressure the opponent with her aerial attacks at low percentages.

Palutena's neutral attack is a very reliable damage racking option and has excellent jab cancel potential, due to its very quick interruptibility. Like Little Mac, her tilt attacks boast anti-rebounding priority, while her up and down tilts also possess distinct strengths. Up tilt has the lowest amount of start-up lag out of her tilts, has a very long duration, lowers her hurtbox even more than her crouch does, is a useful anti-air attack due to its deceptive vertical range, and its final hit is strong enough to make it function as a situational KOing option. In comparison, down tilt's very low ending lag makes it a good spacing option at long range, while its fairly long duration allows it to punish sidesteps rather easily. Her dash attack is fast due to coming out on frame 6, while its clean hitbox is similar to her back aerial in that it grants partial invincibility and has KO potential. Lastly, Palutena's forward and up smashes possess excellent range and high power, the latter of which is among the strongest when sweetspotted.

Despite these advantages, Palutena's weaknesses are very noticeable, to the point that they counterbalance them. Her most glaring flaw is her extremely poor frame data in relation to her power, which is overall the worst in the entire game. Despite not being a super heavyweight like King Dedede or Ganondorf, Palutena's offensive moveset is overall slow and carries an overall below average damage output, which are major issues that set her apart from other middleweights. This is most apparent with her grounded moveset, which is unfitting for a character with great ground mobility. Aside from her down tilt, her other grounded moves have disproportionately high ending lag: her neutral infinite's finisher has 21 frames of ending lag, her dash attack, forward tilt and up tilt have more than 25 frames of ending lag, her smash attacks have more than 40 frames of ending lag, and her special moveset is fairly sluggish in regard to overall lag. This makes Palutena's missed attacks very susceptible to punishment, even if the opponent is a fair distance away from her, which in turn gives her an almost nonexistent grounded approach. In addition to ending lag issues, Palutena's grounded KOing options are risky in other ways: her smash attacks have considerable start-up lag, up tilt has minimal horizontal range, and both back throw and clean dash attack are situational at best. As such, accuracy is crucial when using Palutena's grounded moves, and can often make a player instead rely solely on her safest grounded moves to set-up KO opportunities via edge-guarding or her down throw-initiated KO combos.

Palutena's abysmal frame data also extends outside of her attacks: despite her item throws being fast, most of them have very high ending lag, which limits most follow-ups she might have if she is able to steal an item from an opponent. While she possesses a safe edge grab, all of her other options are very unsafe, with her edge attack being slow and short-ranged, her edge roll granting minimal intangibility frames, and her normal get-up and edge jump being the slowest in the game. As a result, she faces edge recovery problems, a weakness unique to her, as her aerial attacks are unsafe on hit should she drop from an edge and then jump while attacking. The only remotely safe option she has is using Warp and aiming for the middle of the stage, though its lack of invulnerability can render her prone to being punished afterward. Because of this makes her easy to predict when trying to recover back onto the stage and punish her to make sure she does not reset the neutral game, despite her bigger number of edge options compared to other characters.

Although Palutena's air game is potent, it nevertheless has a few flaws. Down aerial, in particular, is her worst aerial: it lasts for only 1 frame, is short-ranged, and has very high ending/landing lag. Forward aerial also has a very short duration and high ending lag, whereas up aerial has minimal horizontal range, fairly high landing lag, and can only be interrupted before it can auto-cancel. By extension, her down throw-initiated aerial KO set-ups sometimes only work on some characters during their tumbling or reeling animations.

Palutena's default special moves are also infamously unimpressive, due to their limited utility, poor synergy with her regular moves, and their aforementioned sluggishness. Warp is considered to be Palutena's best default special move: it is a quick and rather safe recovery move that allows for swift re-positioning, can easily be edge-canceled (which can make her movement unpredictable on stages with platforms, especially when shortened), and improves her neutral game. However, it has no hitboxes and does not grant invincibility or intangibility, which can leave her open to attacks before and just after she uses it. Autoreticle can outright stop or force an approach, be used for mindgames when B-reversed, and is reliable for locking. However, its projectiles move only toward the fixed reticle and have a slow start-up, with the first projectile coming out on frame 29. Reflect Barrier has an unblockable hitbox, a weak push effect, a long duration, and can be reused immediately after breaking. However, it is still the weakest reflector of its kind, neither covers her entirely or accompanies her in midair, and has noticeable start-up lag for a reflector. Lastly, Counter has a high damage multiplier, but is the worst counterattack in the game due to its overall low knockback, overall high lag, having a very short counter window, and being one of the very few counterattacks to have a sourspot.

Due to her attributes, Palutena can be susceptible to heavy pressure unless mastered, and she can sometimes have difficulty at resetting the neutral game against some characters. Her reliance on shielding at close range can also result in her shield being whittled down more often than not, which is further compounded by her poor out of shield game in spite of her high traction. The combination of Palutena's tall frame, attributes, and lack of landing options also make her susceptible to being KO'd from strong vertical attacks and most meteor smashes, as well as combos and juggles.

As the Goddess of Light, Palutena fights using Powers she grants Pit and fighters in Kid Icarus: Uprising. As such, her custom moves are rivaled only by the Mii Fighters' in regard to variety and versatility, and they in turn benefit her tremendously in comparison to the majority of her default special moves. Super Speed has immense utility: it allows Palutena to move faster than even an uncharged Spin Charge, it can either be jump-canceled into any aerial move and an up smash, or perform a ramming attack, the latter of which can also lead into the aforementioned attacks, but only as long as it is not telegraphed or interrupted with a disjointed hitbox. As a trade-off, Super Speed has a cooldown mechanic like Monado Arts, with its cooldown duration lasting approximately three seconds. Lightweight amplifies her movement speed and jump height to the point that she dashes faster than Captain Falcon and jumps higher than Falco. This drastically improves Palutena's mobility and by extension her recovery, yet also makes her off-stage presence and already good combo game become among the best in the game; the latter of which is particularly notable, as it includes a guaranteed combo into her up or down aerials that both KO reliably after 80%. As a trade-off, it lasts for approximately twelve and a half seconds, doubles the damage (but not knockback) she receives, and halves her default speed for approximately fives seconds upon expiring while her damage vulnerability and jump height return to their original values. Regardless of their weaknesses, Super Speed and Lightweight are unarguably Palutena's most effective custom moves, as they improve her KO potential and grant her various mix-ups, set-ups, mindgames, combos and edge-guards that her default moveset otherwise does not have.

Palutena's other custom moves also have noticeable advantages, but some of them are held back by their easily exploitable weaknesses. Explosive Flame is a pinpoint explosion that is just as slow as Autoreticle, though its limited range makes it even more difficult to land than Autoreticle, as well as being easily punishable if the opponent is in the middle of her and the explosion. Heavenly Light has no use in singles play due to having almost no offensive potential, although it can be invaluable in Team Attack-based doubles play as a method to supplement Ness, Lucas, Mr. Game & Watch, and Mii Gunner's absorption-based moves. Angelic Missile is a good recovery move and a potent edge-guarding option thanks to its high base knockback, but it is easy to intercept due to its slow start-up lag, low knockback scaling, and linear path. Jump Glide covers an extreme amount of horizontal distance, allows for safe approaches with her aerial moveset, and can help her extend combos out of Super Speed or Lightweight. However, it has the same fatal flaw as Wings of Icarus: if for any reason she flinches during the move, she cannot use it again if she does not land on solid ground, which may lead to an inevitable KO. Rocket Jump has a meteor smash hitbox below her in midair and a strong hitbox that notably improves her out of shield game, yet is inferior to both Warp and Jump Glide in every other way. Lastly, Celestial Firework grants intangibility during start-up, has impressive knockback, and can easily hit aerial opponents. Although it can potentially hit grounded opponents, this is difficult to do unless they are at point-blank range, or enduring heavy lag.

Overall, Palutena is a frail, yet defensive character who has a surprisingly high learning curve in spite of her default moveset being rudimentary. Her optimal playstyle is similar to Ike's: her grab game and punishment options are potent, yet she must rely on spacing and shielding to circumvent her moveset's sluggishness and lack of reliable approach options. Although Palutena's default moveset ultimately renders her as a "high-risk, medium-reward" character, she can be fairly threatening when mastered. As such, Palutena is most rewarding for players with good fundamentals, as a single opening can allow her to quickly rack up damage with her most reliable moves, use her mobility and spacing options to evade and maintain a strong defense, or even KO early with her down throw-initiated KO combos.

Due to her flaws and learning curve, Palutena initially received a poor reception within the Western scene. However, thanks to buffs from game updates, the expansion of her metagame, and notable tournament results from the likes of Iceninja, Prince Ramen and TLTC, the competitive community's reception towards Palutena has improved over time, even in spite of her continually sparse representation. Although Lightweight and Super Speed greatly amplify her strengths, it is currently unknown if she will ever have the option to use them or her other custom moves in the tournament scene following the current universal ban of character customization established at EVO 2015, even though hers are immediately available instead of unlockable.

Update history[edit]

Palutena has received a mix of buffs and nerfs in game updates, although it is unclear whether she has been overall buffed or nerfed. The changes to game mechanics have worsened her defensive game, though she was also overall buffed directly, as most of her moves were changed, each in a different way, with the majority of them noticeably improving her previously mediocre offensive game.

Update 1.0.4 made her up and down tilts faster, to the point that the latter is now one of her safest grounded attacks. However, it also fixed a useful glitch on her Counter that effectively its mindgame potential, and shortened her pivot grab's range. Update 1.0.6 removed another beneficial glitch on Super Speed, where the momentum would be maintained after jump-canceled attacks. Update 1.0.8 further improved her up tilt by increasing its damage output and improving its hitboxes' placements. Update 1.1.0 brought a mix of buffs and nerfs, though the buffs were more plentiful: it increased the hitbox sizes of her down tilt and neutral aerial, increased the damage output of her forward aerial, decreased her grabs' ending lag, yet effectively removed her forward tilt's risky, albeit useful shield pressure potential by removing its re-hit rate.

However, update 1.1.1 brought an indirect, yet immense nerf: the increase in shieldstun and the fact hitlag now applies to shields have worsened Palutena's already poor out of shield game even further, subsequently neutralizing the crux of her defense, and giving her a harder time against characters with moves that possess high hitlag, such as Ryu. While these changes also make spacing her aerial moves more of an option for her, it is also important to note that due to the disproportionate amount of ending lag compared to her damage output, she remains one of the the easiest characters to punish out of shield, as her ending lag still leaves her vulnerable, thus also neutralizing any benefit she could get from these changes. The same update also buffed Explosive Flame's damage output and hitbox sizes, but largely counterbalanced these buffs by making its last hit blockable. Another glitch was also removed, in which she could instantly renew Lightweight on platforms.

Lastly, update 1.1.5 brought some other useful buffs by increasing the damage outputs of her neutral attack, neutral aerial, and forward aerial, which improved her damage racking potential and combo game. Ultimately, Palutena's abundant buffs are arguably counterbalanced by the few nerfs she received. This, in turn, results in her position relative to the cast questionable, mostly because of other characters also receiving very useful buffs from game updates, such as Samus, Charizard, Lucina, and especially Mewtwo.

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS 1.0.4

  • Buff Up tilt and down tilt have less ending lag.
  • Buff Up smash hitbox lasts for 3 more frames: frame 18-23 → 18-27
  • Nerf Pivot grab's range was slightly decreased.
  • Bug fix Fixed a glitch where using Counter at certain parts of a walk or run animation would propel Palutena forward a short distance​.

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS 1.0.5

  • Change Up aerial has improved visual effects.

Super Smash Bros. 4 1.0.6

  • Change Due to concerns raised by CERO, Palutena's skirt and underwear were lengthened and slightly darkened in the Japanese version.[3]
  • Bug fix Fixed a glitch where Super Speed's momentum could be maintained after jump-canceled attacks.

Super Smash Bros. 4 1.0.8

  • Buff Up tilt's loop hits deal 0.2% more damage: 1% → 1.2%.
  • Buff Up tilt's hitbox placements adjusted: bone 1000 → 0. This re-positions its hitboxes around Palutena instead of her staff, which make its hits connect together better.

Super Smash Bros. 4 1.1.0

  • Buff Forward tilt's hitbox sizes increased: 3.8u/2.5u → 4.1u/2.8u, its first hit's angles altered: 361° → 48° and knockback scaling decreased: 100 → 65, and its second hit's angle altered: 48° → 361° and knockback scaling increased: 65 → 100. Altogether, these changes make its hits connect together better at low percentages, and improve its spacing potential.
  • Nerf Forward tilt no longer has a re-hit rate: 10 → 0, significantly hindering its damage racking potential.
  • Buff Down tilt's hitbox sizes increased: 2.4u/1.9u → 2.7u/2.1u.
  • Buff Down tilt's ending lag decreased.
  • Buff Neutral aerial's hitbox sizes increased: 3u → 3.4u.
  • Buff Forward aerial deals 1% more damage: 7% → 8%.
  • Buff All grabs' ending lag decreased: frame 34 → 32 (standing), frame 42 (dash, pivot) → 40.

Super Smash Bros. 4 1.1.1

  • Buff Explosive Flame deals 0.2% more damage: 0.6% (initial)/4% (last) → 0.8%
  • Buff Explosive Flame's hitbox sizes increased: 3.7u (loop)/4.8u (last) → 14u/15.5u.
  • Nerf Explosive Flame's last hit is no longer unblockable.
  • Bug fix Fixed a glitch where Palutena could infinitely renew Lightweight on platforms.

Super Smash Bros. 4 1.1.5

  • Buff Neutral infinite finisher deals more damage: 3% → 3.5%.
  • Buff Neutral aerial deals more damage (1.5% → 1.7% (loop), 4% → 5% (last)).
  • Buff Forward aerial deals more damage: 8% → 9% with its knockback compensated.

Moveset[edit]

  Name Damage Description
Neutral attack   3% Thrusts her staff forward to emit a blast of light from its orb that hits multiple times, followed by an upward swipe. It is Palutena's best ground attack and arguably one of the best neutral attacks in the game, thanks to its spacing, damage racking, and jab canceling potentials. Jab cancel combos include itself and standing/dash grabs at low to high percentages, and neutral aerial, back aerial, and smash attacks at very high percentages. Its neutral infinite's finisher is useful for spacing thanks to its extremely high knockback scaling, but also has high ending lag. Due to it hitting on frame 8, however, it is tied with Wario's neutral attack for the fourth slowest in the game.
1% (loop), 3.5% (last)
Forward tilt   6% (staff's head), 4% (staff's tail) Telekinetically twirls her staff in front of herself. Hitting with the staff's tail can make it hit twice altogether, while its long duration and good range can allow it to punish sidesteps and backward rolls. It has anti-rebounding priority, which means that it will not suffer ending lag if it collides with an attack that does not have transcendent priority. Due to it hitting on frame 17, however, it is her slowest tilt attack. When coupled with its high ending lag and long duration, it is very punishable.
Up tilt   1.2% (hits 1-6), 2.5% (hit 7 staff's head), 1.5% (hit 7 staff's tail) Kneels and telekinetically twirls her staff overhead. Due to it hitting on frame 10, it has the lowest start-up out of her tilt attacks, and its last hit's extremely high knockback scaling allows it to KO middleweights at 154%. Despite having a relatively low hitbox, it has deceptively decent vertical range, it lowers Palutena's hurtbox even more than her crouch does, and has anti-rebounding priority. However, its long duration makes it punishable, while its minimal horizontal range makes it unable to hit small, grounded characters like Kirby.
Down tilt   8.5% (grounded opponents, staff's head/tail on aerial opponents), 5% (staff's handle, aerial opponents only) Kneels and telekinetically twirls her staff along the ground in front of herself. In addition to its anti-rebounding priority, it has the shortest duration and lowest ending lag out of her tilt attacks. It can be used for edge-guarding and spacing, or to punish sidesteps. However, its noticeable start-up lag makes it more situational than her neutral attack in regard to spacing.
Dash attack   9% (clean), 5% (late) Rams into the opponent with her shield. Due to it hitting on frame 6, it is one of the fastest dash attacks in the game. It also has deceptive range, thanks to it slightly boosting Palutena. Thanks to its clean hitbox's high knockback scaling, it can function as a situational KOing option, as it KOs middleweights at 166%. Its clean hitbox also grants partial invincibility to her body on frames 4-15. However, its high ending lag makes it very punishable.
Forward smash   16% (near), 13% (far) Conjures ethereal wings and flaps them forward. Thanks to its respectable damage output and high knockback scaling, it is strong enough to KO middleweights at 100% while near the edge, yet it also boasts impressive horizontal range. It has a sourspot near the tip of the wings that has less knockback, but is still strong enough to KO middleweights at 121% while near the edge. It also has a windbox at the tip of the wings that can push away opponents and potentially gimp recoveries. Due to it hitting on frame 18 and having 47 frames of ending lag, however, it is very punishable and thus best suited as a punishment option.
Up smash   16% (base), 12% (middle), 9% (top) Conjures a cyan beam of light that erupts from the ground. It has the highest vertical range of any up smash in the game, and the second highest vertical range of all up smashes in the series, surpassed only by Snake's up smash. It has three hitboxes: one at the base, one at the middle, and one at the top. Its high vertical range and great KO potential make it a very good edge-guarding tool, as its base hitbox is strong enough to KO middleweights at 118%. Due to it hitting on frame 18, having both 42 frames of ending lag, and having very minimal horizontal range, it is best suited as a punishment option.
Down smash   15% (clean), 13% (late) Conjures ethereal wings and flaps them downward on both sides. Its clean hitbox has the highest knockback scaling out of her smash attacks, and when coupled with its respectable damage output, it KOs middleweights at 125% while near the edge. Although its late hitbox deals slightly less damage, it is nevertheless reliable, as it is a semi-spike that is strong enough to KOs middleweights at 128% while near the edge. Like forward smash, it has a windbox at the tip of the wings. However, it hitting on frame 17 and has 52 frames of ending lag; the latter of which is the highest amount of ending lag of all down smashes in the game, and the second highest ending lag of all smash attacks in the game. As a result, it is best used as a punishment option.
Neutral aerial   1.7% (loop), 5% (last) Telekinetically spins her staff around herself. Its loop hits have the auto-link angle, which can potentially trap opponents into the rest of the attack. It is a great pressuring and juggling tool against opponents on platforms above, and it can combo into aerial or ground attacks at low percentages. Its last hit's extremely high knockback scaling also enables it to function as a decent edge-guarding option.
Forward aerial   9% A flying kick. Its long range and low landing lag make it one of her most reliable spacing options. It also boasts good combo potential at low to medium percentages, as it can combo into itself, neutral attack, standing/dash grab, and dash attack. It can also be auto-canceled when SHFF'd. However, it has a very short duration and high ending lag.
Back aerial   12% (shield), 9% (arm) Rotates her body to slam her shield into the opponent. Due to it hitting on frame 8, it is tied with up aerial as her second fastest aerial. It also deals respectable damage and has high knockback scaling, which make it a viable KOing option. It KOs middleweights at 147% while near the edge, and at 119% while near the left/right blast lines. Like dash attack's clean hitbox, it grants partial invincibility around her body, but does so for its entire duration instead of for several frames. It also has the second lowest amount of landing lag out of her aerials, and can be auto-canceled from a short hop. However, it has a very small sourspot on her arm that deals less damage, and due to having its hitboxes only on her shielded arm, it can potentially miss an opponent that is too close to her. It also has very high ending lag.
Up aerial   1% (hits 1-4), 5% (hit 5) Twirls while emitting her halo. Due to it hitting on frame 8, it is tied with back aerial as her second fastest aerial. It also has a long duration and hits multiple times, which allow it to reliably pressure aerial opponents above her. Its last hit has extremely high knockback scaling, which enables it to KO middleweights at 104% while near the upper blast line. However, it has a noticeable amount of ending lag. Due to having more interruptible frames than auto-canceling frames, it also cannot be auto-canceled at all, even a few frames after its animation ends. Despite this, its auto-cancel issue can be mitigated by using another attack with less ending lag before she lands on solid ground, such as her forward aerial.
Down aerial   9% A downward roundhouse kick. It lacks a sourspot and thus, it will always meteor smash aerial opponents. Conversely, it will obliquely launch grounded opponents, which allows it to be used as a punishment option from out of shield when it is SHFF'd. Due to it hitting on frame 10 and having the highest ending lag of any aerial attack in the game, it is her slowest aerial and thus very punishable. In addition, it only lasts for only 1 frame, has very minimal horizontal range, and cannot auto-cancel unless used from a full hop. As a result of its flaws, it is unarguably Palutena's worst aerial attack.
Grab   Telekinetically clinches the opponent. Palutena's overall grab range is fairly long and disjointed for a non-tether grab, although her dash grab has a slight amount of ending lag.
Pummel   3.1% A small blast of light. It is tied with Sheik's for the sixth most damaging pummel in the game. When coupled with its average speed, it is one of the best pummels in the game.
Forward throw   9% Slightly curls herself and then telekinetically pushes the opponent forward. It is useful for setting up an edge-guard.
Back throw   10% Telekinetically elevates the opponent, then performs an inverted version of the Arabesque, a ballet position, to fling the opponent backward. It is Palutena's most damaging throw and is useful for setting up an edge-guard, but it will not KO middleweights until 178% while near the edge because of its average base knockback and below average knockback scaling.
Up throw   8% Telekinetically heaves the opponent upward. Despite having high base knockback, its average damage output and below average knockback scaling make it unable to KO middleweights until 177% while on Battlefield's secondary platforms, and at 151% while on Battlefield's top platform. As a result, it is better suited for setting up aerial pressure.
Down throw   5% Telekinetically slams the opponent onto the ground. Its impressive combo potential makes it Palutena's best throw. Depending on the opponent's DI, it can combo into any of her aerials, with her up aerial combo being a KO confirm at high percentages. Her back aerial combo also has KO potential, but must be used with a reverse aerial rush. In comparison, her down aerial combo requires both a successful read of the opponent's air dodge, and the opponent failing to DI properly. It can also combo into up smash, although it has the same requirements as her down aerial combo, and loses its effectiveness with high rage.
Floor attack (front)   7% Swings her staff behind herself, and then in front of herself.
Floor attack (back)   7% Swings her staff behind herself, and then in front of herself.
Floor attack (trip)   5% Swings her staff in front of herself, and then behind herself.
Edge attack   7% Performs a legsweep while climbing up.
Neutral special Default Autoreticle 2.9% (per hit) Illuminates her staff's orb to aim a reticle over the opponent, and then fires three energy blasts at that location. It will only fire the blasts if nothing blocks her target, and if the opponent is within range and not intangible. It can be used as a way for stopping direct approaches and locking, as well as forcing an approach. It is also able to hit opponents behind Palutena, such as if she is moving when it fires and if the opponent is at the maximum horizontal range towards her. Although situational, it also has very minor recovery potential, thanks to it briefly stalling her descent. However, it has high ending lag regardless of whether or not it targets anything.
Custom 1 Explosive Flame 0.8% (loop), 4.2% (last) Creates a Smart Bomb-like explosion approximately three character lengths away. It is a decent spacing and zoning tool like Autoreticle. Although situational, it actually has KO potential unlike Autoreticle, as its last hit KOs middleweights at 173%. However, its noticeable start-up lag and set distance collectively make it fairly predictable like Autoreticle.
Custom 2 Heavenly Light 1% (per hit) Emits a large, rectangular field of supernal light above herself. Its duration can be extended as long as the special button is held. It deals damage in its area and has windboxes that repel opponents on its farthest sides, but it cannot KO outright because of its lack of knockback. As a result, this move can be used to steal a KO from a character who launched another. It can also be absorbed, although this makes it very useful as a way to supplement a teammate if they have a move to absorb it.
Side special Default Reflect Barrier 5%, 1.17x (reflected projectiles) Raises her shield to emit a rectangular barrier. The barrier reflects projectiles and weakly pushes opponents away. Palutena's shield also has an unblockable hitbox when it is being raised. If the barrier blocks or reflects an attack that deals at least 50%, it will break. However, unlike other reflectors, it can be used immediately after breaking. The barrier stays out for almost an entire second (58 frames).
Custom 1 Angelic Missile 13% Shoots herself forward to perform a corkscrew battering ram, similarly to Skull Bash. Due to it covering almost half of Battlefield and not rendering her helpless, it is a very useful horizontal recovery option. In addition, its respectable damage output and high knockback allow it to KO middleweights at 120% while near the edge. However, it can be avoided somewhat easily because of its start-up lag, and can even be interrupted by very weak attacks. Due to its inability to be charged like Skull Bash (and Green Missile, by extension), it propels Palutena at a set distance.
Custom 2 Super Speed 2.6%+distance Glides along the ground very quickly while emitting her halo in order to ram into the opponent. It covers the entirety of Battlefield when used on the ground, and propels her diagonally downward when used in the air. In addition to damaging opponents on contact, it can be canceled with her jump, up smash, grab, dash attack, and other attacks. It has a cooldown period that lasts for slightly more than 3 seconds (184 frames), and a small ring of light will appear around Palutena's torso to indicate when it can be used again. It is considered her best side special move, thanks to its sheer speed and ability to retain its momentum after canceling collectively granting Palutena a plethora of options for mix-ups, recovery, pressure, and mobility.
Up special Default Warp Disappears and then reappears in a chosen direction. It quickly covers both a respectable amount of vertical distance and a decent horizontal distance while rendering Palutena invisible. It can also be edge-canceled, which grants it defensive and re-positioning potentials. However, it renders Palutena helpless after she reappears unless it is edge-canceled.
Custom 1 Jump Glide Jumps a fair distance and then glides afterward, similarly to Peach Parasol, before entering a helpless state at the end of the glide. It can be canceled into any aerial move, which makes it great at keeping up vertical follow-ups, and covers more horizontal distance than Warp. However, it cannot be edge-canceled, and canceling it into her aerials will render her prematurely helpless. In addition, if Palutena flinches during the move, she cannot do anything until she lands on the ground aside from moving, similarly to Wings of Icarus.
Custom 2 Rocket Jump 12% (grounded), 10% (aerial) Detonates an explosion at her feet to propel herself upward. The explosion is very strong, as it KOs middleweights at 120% while near the edge, and powerfully meteor smashes aerial opponents directly below her. However, the explosion has fairly short horizontal range. It also covers much less vertical distance than Warp or Jump Glide, and almost no horizontal distance.
Down special Default Counter 1.3x (min 10%) Parries with her shield and then counterattacks any incoming attacks by thrusting her staff forward. Its damage multiplier is tied with Vision and Slip Counter's for the second highest in the game. It is also one of the few counterattacks that consists of a sweetspot and a sourspot: the former is located at the staff's head, whereas the latter is located at the staff's handle. Despite its appearance, it has impressive horizontal range, as it can counterattack large, disjointed hitboxes like Shulk's forward smash. However, it is unarguably the worst counterattack in the game because of a number of factors. Due to it coming out on frame 10, it is tied with Toad for the highest amount of start-up lag out of every counterattack in the game, and is further burdened with the highest ending lag of any counterattack in the game. It is also the second weakest counterattack in the game in regard to knockback, and has both a very short counter window and poor vertical range.
Custom 1 Lightweight Nearly doubles her walking and dashing speeds and her jump height, while slowing her falling speed and lowering her gravity for a little over 12.5 seconds (755 frames). However, it nearly doubles the damage received, although knockback received remains unchanged. Upon concluding, her jump height and gravity return to normal, while her grounded movement becomes much slower for nearly 5 seconds (299 frames). It is considered her best down special move, thanks to it significantly improving her off-stage presence, and granting both an immense increase in follow-up options and access to down throw-initiated KO set-ups that are guaranteed on the entire cast.
Custom 2 Celestial Firework 3.2% (toss), 1.2% (explosion) Shoots an explosive firework almost directly above herself. Its explosion is strong enough to KO middleweights at 153% while on-stage, and at 106% while near the upper blast line. In addition to its power and good vertical range, it grants invincibility before the firework is launched. However, it is has a fairly long duration and extremely minimal horizontal range, to the point that it will only hit grounded opponents if they are at point-blank range.
Final Smash Black Hole Laser — (Black Hole), 2.4% (Mega Laser hits 1-12), 12% (Mega Laser hit 13) Illuminates her staff's orb and twirls around repeatedly before firing a Black Hole from her staff's orb, after which she quickly retreats off-stage in order to fire a Mega Laser into the Black Hole. The Black Hole does not deal damage, but vacuums the opponent into itself and places them in a tumbling state. Conversely, the Mega Laser hits multiple times before concluding with a final blast that launches the opponent and dissipates the Black Hole. It is fairly powerful, as it KOs middleweights at 85% from center-stage, and at 65% while near the edge.

On-screen appearance[edit]

  • Walks out of a golden door that is decorated with her halo's design and emits a bright, shining light.
PalutenaOnScreenAppearanceSSB4.gif

Taunts[edit]

  • Up taunt: Raises her arms overhead and then brings them down while producing ethereal wings, emitting her halo, and saying "You shall be purified!" (浄化してあげましょう, You will be purified.)
  • Side taunt: Laughs while using her staff to perform a twirling, inverted version of the Arabesque.
  • Down taunt: Lets go of her staff and telekinetically holds it next to herself, then brushes her hair aside while emitting her halo and saying "Ready when you are." (いつでもどうぞ?, Feel free whenever.) before grabbing her staff.
Up taunt Side taunt Down taunt
PalutenaUpTauntSSB4.jpg PalutenaSideTauntSSB4.jpg PalutenaDownTauntSSB4.jpg

Idle poses[edit]

  • Taps the ground with the tail of her staff and shield in front of herself, during which she briefly emits her halo.
  • Looks away while crossing her staff and shield in front of herself, during which she briefly emits her halo.
PalutenaIdlePose1WiiU.jpg PalutenaIdlePose2WiiU.jpg

Crowd cheer[edit]

English Japanese
Cheer
Palutena Cheer NTSC SSB4.ogg
Palutena Cheer JP SSB4.ogg
Description Pa-lu-te-na! Pa-lu-tena!
Pitch Group chant Group chant

Victory poses[edit]

Incomplete.png
An orchestral excerpt of Kid Icarus' title screen theme.
  • Laughs while using her staff to briefly perform the Backwards Showgirl, a pole dancing move, before assuming a seated stance while floating. While in the japanese version she says "大貫 出してもいいですよ" which translates into "It is fine to give up"
  • Twirls while floating, then flourishes her staff and emits her halo while saying "No one can hide from the light."
    • If Pit is present in the match, there is a chance she will instead say "Oh, so sorry about that, Pit."
  • Telekinetically twirls her staff and then points it in front of herself while saying "Too bad for you."
    • If Dark Pit is present in the match, there is a chance she will instead say "Poor little Pittoo."
PalutenaPose1WiiU.gif PalutenaPose2WiiU.gif PalutenaPose3WiiU.gif

In competitive play[edit]

Official Custom Moveset Project[edit]

Character Custom sets available
PalutenaHeadSSB4-U.png Palutena 2322 2312 1322 1312 2122
1122 2332 1332 2313 2323

Notable players[edit]

Active[edit]

Inactive[edit]

Tier placement and history[edit]

In the early metagame, Palutena was a highly regarded character, thanks to her smash attacks' impressive ranges, her potent grab game, and her distinction as the only character in the game with both a reflector and a counterattack in her default moveset. However, opinions on Palutena would later drop dramatically after her weaknesses began to emerge when custom moves were not accounted for, largely because of her sluggish frame data, flawed special moves and, surprisingly enough, her lack of offensive options outside of her grab game. When custom special moves began to be discussed, Palutena's tier placement once again began to rise in the eyes of many players, with many considering her to be a high-tier character, and in some cases, even a top-tier character. After the universal ban of custom movesets post-EVO 2015, however, expectations of her plummeted once again, and she was widely viewed as one of the worst characters in the game. This negative perception was further compounded by her apparent lack of significant buffs to her default moveset, the noticeably effective buffs other poorly regarded characters received, and update 1.1.1's increase to shieldstun indirectly nerfing her. Due to these factors, Palutena was ranked 50th on the first tier list, confirming her status as a bottom-tier character.

It was not until the the first half of 2016 that Palutena's tournament presence started to improve, as professionals like TLTC and Prince Ramen started placing higher within their respective regions. Even after AeroLink dropped her in favor of Bayonetta, the aforementioned results were nevertheless sufficient enough to improve her perception within the community. These results became even more prominent after game updates 1.1.5 and 1.1.6 brought nerfs to top-tier characters like Sheik, Zero Suit Samus, and Bayonetta. In addition to rendering her tier placement debatable, players also started to notice that most of Palutena's matchups against the top-tier and high-tier characters were not as unfavorable as considered before, largely thanks to the advancements brought to her non-custom metagame. Palutena's tournament presence gradually improved by mid-2016, with her most promising showings occurring at CEO 2016, EVO 2016, and Super Smash Con 2016; CEO was particularly notable after Prince Ramen scored a major upset by defeating ZeRo, arguably the best SSB4 player in the world, 2-0, while all three tournaments saw Palutena players place 33rd.

Thanks to her improved results, the vast majority of the community no longer views Palutena as one of the worst characters in the game. This was reflected by her being ranked 40th on the second tier list, with her rise being tied with Cloud's for the fifth largest between the first and second tier lists. Due to her still sparse tournament results, however, she then saw a slight drop to 42nd on the third and current tier list. Although Palutena's current tier placement is considered accurate, it is nevertheless a small topic of debate, as her flashes of success are still rare at the highest levels of competitive play.

Reveal trailer[edit]

Trophies[edit]

Palutena
ntsc In Kid Icarus: Uprising, the goddess of light uses telepathy to communicate and grants miracles to support Pit on his adventure. In Smash Bros., she has special moves like Warp and Heavenly Light at her disposal. She's very adaptable—you can customize her into a long- or close-range fighter!
pal Said to be able to perform miracles, this goddess supports Pit in battle, using telepathy to communicate with him. She's no slouch on her own, either. She has a huge variety of moves you can customise and use to your advantage. Short or long range, the sky's the limit! Or maybe not. After all, she can teleport.
NES: Kid Icarus (08/1987)
Nintendo 3DS: Kid Icarus: Uprising (03/2012)
Palutena (Alt.)
ntsc Palutena's Reflect Barrier side special deflects any attacks and projectiles that come at her from the front. Unlike other reflective moves, you can leave this barrier in place and it will keep reflecting. If you really want to ruin someone's day, you can push them over an edge using this move.
pal Palutena's Reflect Barrier special deflects any attacks and projectiles that come at her from the front. Unlike other fighters' reflective moves, you can deploy this barrier and then leave it to its own devices. You can also push opponents with it, so use it on someone who's teetering on the edge of the stage to push them off.
NES: Kid Icarus (08/1987)
Nintendo 3DS: Kid Icarus: Uprising (03/2012)
Black Hole Laser
ntsc Palutena's Final Smash. After doing a divine twirl, she creates a black hole in front of her, drawing in her opponents. When she's got 'em where she wants 'em, she follows up with a wide laser beam that reaches from one edge of the screen to the other. It even changes direction slightly, just in case someone managed to avoid the black hole.
pal Palutena's Final Smash. After doing a divine twirl, she creates a black hole in front of her, drawing in her opponents. When she's got 'em where she wants 'em, the next step is a wide laser beam that reaches from one edge of the screen to the other. It even changes direction slightly, for that extra chance of taking out her foes.

In Event Matches[edit]

Solo Events[edit]

Co-op Events[edit]

Alternate costumes[edit]

Palutena Palette (SSB4).png
PalutenaHeadSSB4-U.png PalutenaHeadPinkSSB4-U.png PalutenaHeadCyanSSB4-U.png PalutenaHeadGreenSSB4-U.png PalutenaHeadBlueSSB4-U.png PalutenaHeadRedSSB4-U.png PalutenaHeadBlackSSB4-U.png PalutenaHeadPurpleSSB4-U.png

Gallery[edit]

Trivia[edit]

  • Palutena's special moves have a few distinct traits associated with them:
    • Her special moves, custom special moves, and Final Smash are based on the Powers she can grant to Pit in Kid Icarus: Uprising.
    • She occasionally calls out the names of all but one of her special moves upon using them. The only exception is Reflect Barrier, with which she simply says "Reflect!" instead of its full name.
      • Incidentally, she also does this when using her forward and down smash attacks in the Japanese version. In their cases, Palutena will occasionally say "God Wing" (ゴッド ウイング).
    • She is the only character whose default moveset has both a reflector and a counterattack.
    • She and the Mii Fighters are the only characters whose custom special moves are immediately available instead of being unlockable.
    • Kirby has unused sound files that consist of him vocalizing all three of her neutral special moves. This suggests that either it was not until late in development that it was decided which would be Palutena's default neutral special move, or that Kirby was originally able to copy any one of her neutral special moves.
  • Palutena is one of the few characters who can occasionally say something upon being KO'd instead of typically grunting or yelling in pain. In her case, she says "Oh no!"
  • Palutena is the only character to be part of a Final Smash in a previous installment of Super Smash Bros., and a playable character in a subsequent installment.
  • Unlike most characters, Palutena twirls upon hard landing instead of simply landing on her feet.
  • Palutena is the first character since Link in SSB to wield a shield at all times that does not protect her while idle.
  • Palutena's defeated/No Contest animation depicts her wearing a brown sleeve on her left arm, a feature that is normally not present in her in-game model, instead of her left vambrace.

References[edit]


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