Phantom Slash (ファントムアタック, Phantom Attack) is Zelda's down special move in Super Smash Bros. 4, replacing Transform from Melee and Brawl. The move involves Zelda shooting out a projectile that then materializes into a Phantom, a disembodied guardian suit of armor from The Legend of Zelda series, which attacks the opponent and disappears.
It acts as a solid object which causes characters to take some time trying to move through it, allowing her to gimp recoveries with it; however, it can also block attacks which will destroy the Phantom if it takes 13% damage or more. At which time the Phantom cannot be summoned for another 9 seconds, and a purple cloud aura will appear over Zelda's hand for the duration of this recharge period.
Phantom Slash can be charged by holding the special button, which results in the Phantom traveling greater distances. The Phantom has three different attacks, based on the charge: an uncharged Phantom does a quick and weak inwards slash, a mid-charged one does a stronger outwards slash, and a max-charged one does a powerful upwards slash that hits twice. The initial projectile shot out by Zelda is reflectable; when reflected, the Phantom will target its summoner or other players.
Due to it acting as a solid object/entity, as aforementioned it cannot be bypassed easily; making use of this move allows Zelda to zone out her opponents since trying to reach her up front via any means of bypassing the Phantom (including rolling or air dodging through) allows her to punish accordingly, since Zelda recovers fairly quick. This type of tactic often works great with the uncharged version aimed right at the opponent, regardless if it's blocked or misses. Even then, Zelda will still be able to shield attacks in time and/or roll away if needed.
Special Move customization was added in Super Smash Bros. 4. These are the variations:
Phantoms first originated in The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, as guardians of a temple that Link must visit at various points throughout the game. They are shown to be indestructible for a large portion of Phantom Hourglass, and getting attacked by one would result in Link being sent to the beginning of the temple. Phantoms in this game come in three variations, each with their own abilities.
They reappear in The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks with the same function, although this time they guard the Tower of Spirits and now come in four variations. After Link and Zelda head to the Tower of Spirits, they are ambushed by Chancellor Cole and his apprentice Bryne who take away her body with plans to resurrect the evil Malladus. At some point, Zelda's soul becomes trapped in the Phantom, which results in her controlling its body, and she and Link must make use of the unique abilities of each Phantom.
This mechanic proved vital to proceed through Link's quest in restoring the tower and freeing Zelda's original body from Malladus' possession. As Zelda has control of the Phantom in SSB4, the move is most likely referencing Spirit Tracks.
The Phantom draws inspiration from the Zelda games for the Nintendo DS, though with some notable differences:
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