Piranha Plant (SSBU)
Piranha Plant (パックンフラワー, Packun Flower) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Revealed alongside Ken and Incineroar on November 1st, 2018, it is the first DLC character in Ultimate, and was made available for purchase on February 1st, 2019. However, it was made available at no cost as early as January 29th, 2019 for players who purchased the digital version of Ultimate or registered their physical version with My Nintendo by January 31st, 2019. Piranha Plant is not part of either Fighters Pass, making it the only DLC character with this distinction. Piranha Plant is classified as Fighter #70.
Piranha Plant is a heavyweight fighter with below-average mobility and effective anti-air tools. Compared to other heavyweights, it fits in the mold of an archetypal heavyweight: while its dashing speed is average and its gravity is very high, it has a slow walking speed, air acceleration, and air speed, and a fast falling speed.
One of Piranha Plant's most effective strengths is its diverse special moves. Its neutral special, Ptooie, is a unique projectile that can be tossed in either direction or held in the air as a good anti-air option, and a good trading tool due to its power and transcendent priority. Poison Breath is a slow-moving projectile that does not make opponents flinch, but deals massive damage, especially when fully charged; opponents must be very wary of it, making it a good area-denial tool. Its recovery, Piranhacopter, has hitboxes beside itself and travels a great distance, pairing well with Piranha Plant's heavy weight and fast falling speed to give it excellent survivability. Its down special, Long-Stem Strike, grants super armor during its pot phase and tremendous range when fully charged, at the cost of extending its hurtbox significantly.
Piranha Plant's ground game is overall rather versatile; its tilts are good for starting juggles or combos, as well as spacing and KOing. Up tilt can lead into various aerial attacks, and a forward smash at low percents; forward tilt behaves similarly to Snake's in that it is a natural combo consisting of two hits, of which the second hit can KO at very high percentages; and down tilt is a versatile combo starter, being capable of leading into moves such as forward tilt or forward aerial at low to mid percentages, and into aerials afterward. Its smash attacks are generally slow but powerful, such as its forward smash, which is somewhat slow in terms of startup and ending lag, but can KO opponents near the ledge as early as 60% if sweetspotted.
Its aerials are overall well-rounded, making its air game overall decent despite its rather sluggish mobility and moves with relatively high landing lag. Neutral aerial is a multi-hit move that functions much like Palutena's and Ivysaur's neutral aerial, being a capable combo move with the ability to drag opponents down for combos and potentially makes it a gimping tool due to this trait; forward aerial is good for edgeguarding thanks to its wide range; back aerial is a slow but very powerful move that KOs at 80% near the ledge; up aerial is one of its best comboing and juggling tools thanks to its speed and wide range and can autocancel in short hop, and down aerial is a long-ranged and decently strong meteor smash with very fast startup.
Another strength Piranha Plant possesses is a decent grab game; while its grab range is short, its grabs' frame data is among the fastest in the game, and its throws have their own unique perks; forward throw is a useful throw for positioning and edgeguarding, back and up throws have KO potential at high percentages, and down throw is a viable combo starter at low to high percentages.
Piranha Plant does, however, have some noteworthy flaws. Its overall mobility is lackluster, having an average initial dash speed and dash speed, but poor air acceleration and slow airspeed. This gives it difficulties keeping up with faster characters such as Zero Suit Samus or Wolf, especially in the air, which makes it rather easy to zone out. Piranha Plant's heavyweight and tall hurtbox makes it vulnerable to combos, particularly from those with strong combo games such as Peach or Mario, and has trouble landing from juggles due to its lack of fast enough tools to escape from them. Finally, Piranha Plant's approach options are rather predictable, with its overall frame data being generally slow. This is no exception to its KOing options either, and most of Piranha Plant's KO moves are either short-ranged or laggy.
Another problem Piranha Plant has is that its two projectiles, which are a crucial part of its toolkit, are notably vulnerable to reflectors due to the slow startup of Ptooie and the fact that Poison Breath can be reflected at any point during its duration, which forces it to use its projectiles more shrewdly when facing opponents with reflectors.
Overall, Piranha Plant is a unique heavyweight that utilizes various projectiles and attacks to effectively zone and KO opponents but must be careful when throwing out normal attacks to avoid being punished due to the end lag that many of them have, thus making it a patient fighter when it comes to approaching. Although Piranha Plant had amassed great popularity as a character itself at its early stages, its representation has been below-average in tournaments due to its weaknesses and general unpopularity in competitive play. This has led to most professionals considering Piranha Plant as a mid tier character. In recent times, however, players have achieved stronger impacts compared to releases such as Brood placing 2nd at Umebura SP 4. Other smashers such as Lucky and Greward have also done work at regional and national-level tournaments. This makes its viability debatable.
Piranha Plant has been significantly buffed in game updates so far. Patch 3.0.0 increased its edge attack and Ptooie hitbox size, the latter of which makes Ptooie a lot easier to hit with overall as a trading tool and conventional projectile. 3.1.0 gave further small improvements towards its jab, allowing to to function a lot more consistently, with neutral attack 3 now out-ranging neutral attack 2.
The first significant set of buffs came in 4.0.0, which provided drastic improvements for Piranha Plant's advantage state and slight improvements to its neutral. Up tilt's decreased lag allowed it to become safe on hit, as well has being much safer on shield and a better combo tool. Dash attack's angle change allows Piranha Plant to set up edgeguards and ledgetraps easier, as well as occasionally KO opponents with bad DI, and Poison Breath's decreased startup and endlag allow Piranha Plant to set up its ledgetrapping faster, and use it more safely in neutral. Finally, Long-Stem Strike's significantly increased shield damage and decreased endlag made it a far more potent pressure tool, being able to cause shieldbreaks much more frequently, working well in tandem with Ptooie's already high shield damage.
8.0.0 gave by far the biggest changes towards Piranha Plant, giving good improvements to its neutral, advantage and disadvantage states. Up tilt's increased speed makes it a far safer anti-air to use, combined with a more suitable angle for KOing and especially comboing, ultimately making for a much more deadly anti-air. Down smash's decreased startup made it Piranha Plant's fastest smash attack, and one of its fastest kill options overall, giving Piranha Plant a good close range KO option. Forward aerial's speed was significantly increased, which gave Piranha Plant a new, decent out-of-shield option, tied with its grab for its fastest, whilst hitting smaller opponents much more effectively due to the increased speed. It also makes it better as an edgeguard tool, as it is now tied with up aerial for its fastest aerial, useful when combined with its decent hitbox, also making the move more versatile in spacing scenarios in neutral as well. Back aerial got increased knockback scaling, allowing it to KO around 6% earlier at the ledge, however Piranha Plant's biggest change by far in 8.0.0 was towards up aerial. Now being disjointed, better for damage racking and KOing whilst maintaining its great combo ability at low percents, it serves as a very quick, yet deadly aerial at any percent. It can even KO opponents off the ground at similar percents to up tilt's sweetspot, and the intangibility makes it a decent ledge drop double jump aerial for beating out numerous moves safely, and even KOing opponents for it.
For a gallery of Piranha Plant's hitboxes, see here.
Note: All numbers are listed as base damage, without the 1v1 multiplier.
In competitive play
Despite having received noticeable attention due to its unexpected inclusion, Piranha Plant's representation has been low at tournaments. This is due to its noticeable susceptibility to combos as well as sub-par mobility and approach options. In spite of its versatile projectile and recovery, many professionals consider Piranha Plant to be a low-mid tier character.
Piranha Plant's representation improved around the summer of 2019 thanks to dedicated mains such as Brood, Lucky, and Greward placing well at national tournaments. Brood in particular has brought forth more discussion over the character's true viability as a result of placing 2nd at Umebura SP 4. In addition, ESAM put out a video of where he reconsiders Piranha Plant's standing, believing that it is now a mid tier character, while ZeRo recently put out a tier list claiming Piranha Plant is potentially high tier. In the current meta however, Brood has dropped Piranha Plant in favor of Banjo & Kazooie, leaving Piranha Plant's representation relatively stagnant once again, even with previous updates giving numerous buffs. As a result, Piranha Plant's current standing in the meta is up to debate.
Classic Mode: New Bloom
All of Piranha Plant's opponents are the base roster newcomers in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. With the exception of the first match, each battle features one unique newcomer and one Echo Fighter, with the matches being placed in the order of the unique newcomer’s reveal. The stage and music choices reference each of the character reveal trailers. The boss, Rathalos, fits with the theme as it is new to the series.
Credits roll after completing Classic Mode. Completing it as Piranha Plant has Underground Theme - Super Mario Bros. accompany the credits. As a downloadable character, Piranha Plant uses the same character unlock tree as Mario.
Role in World of Light
Due to its status as downloadable content, Piranha Plant does not have a legitimate role in World of Light. Instead, it is unlocked for use in the mode after freeing 10 fighters from Galeem's control. There is no fighter battle required to unlock this character. If loading an existing save file that meets this condition prior to downloading Piranha Plant, it is immediately unlocked.
Piranha Plant's fighter spirit can be obtained by completing Classic Mode. It is also available periodically for purchase in the shop for 300 coins, only after Piranha Plant itself is downloaded. Unlocking Piranha Plant in World of Light allows the player to preview the spirit below in the Spirit List under the name "???". As a fighter spirit, it cannot be used in Spirit Battles and is purely aesthetic. Each fighter spirit has an alternate version that replaces it with its artwork in Ultimate.
In Spirit Battles
Piranha Plant is currently not featured in any Spirit Battles.
Character Showcase Video