Piranha Plant (SSBU)/Down special
Piranha Plant tucks itself into its pot/pipe, then lunges out with its neck extending depending on how long the move was charged. It is possible to tilt to either side and change its angle. Long-Stem Strike possesses heavy armor that can tank moves that deal 15% or less (18% or less in 1V1), and starts on frame 18, lasting until the hitbox is gone. On frame 3 of the lunge, Piranha Plant is given head intangibility, giving considerable disjoint and preventing most long ranged moves or grabs from beating it out mid-strike. However, once the armor ends, Piranha Plant's extended hurtbox is completely vulnerable, which can lead to getting KO'd from otherwise absurd ranges. Combined with the extreme amount of endlag the move possesses as well as the time it takes for it to charge and tilt, Long-Stem Strike is one of the most committal moves in the game, and requires very careful usage as a result. It is balanced out by possessing very high power at max range and full charge, as well as possessing its trademark range and shield damage. When the armor is active, Piranha Plant takes 0.8x less damage, which can also allow it to survive KOs slightly earlier.
Long-Stem Strike has the ability to be tilted in either direction, and cannot be tilted back. once a direction is chosen. In the air, the angle goes much lower, making it quite useful to edgeguard with. It also aligns itself with slopes, and tilts faster or slower if the slope is going down or up, respectively. Tilting the move also increases its endlag, and it cannot continue tilting if it is next to a wall. If tilting to the opposite direction, the launch angle will also change to launch opponents behind Piranha Plant, making for a very useful reversal option when recovering, and a way to use otherwise good DI to KO the opponent faster. The power of the move also makes for easy untechable stage spikes, and combined with its armor, it can be a very effective way to edgeguard slow recoveries.
Against shields, Long-Stem Strike performs very well in damaging or breaking shields. While it cannot break a full shield, it diminishes its health by a large amount, thus forcing the opponent to dodge more rather than shield. This helps in allowing Piranha Plant to anti-air opponents who try dodging potential shieldbreaks or shield pokes via jumping, or threaten movement with long lasting hitboxes such as Ptooie, Poison Breath, dash attacks, etc., making it quite powerful against shields as a result. If Piranha Plant can catch an opponent using a damaged shield with Long-Stem Strike, it is highly likely for it to end up breaking. Long-Stem Strike's shield damage can also scare opponents into trying to avoid the move should Piranha Plant use it again, opening up for powerful punishes, whether it be from anti-airing, catching a roll, or armoring moves.
Long-Stem Strike is also important against most projectiles, due to its range and armor. Long-Stem Strike makes for a very powerful punish on reading projectile attempts, and can force opponents to play around Long-Stem Strike, allowing Piranha Plant to have a slightly easier time approaching. This strategy is not foolproof, especially since Long-Stem Strike has very slow armor at frame 18, and the endlag can make for devastating punishes on Piranha Plant if the opponent reads it. It also struggles against projectiles with high hitlag multipliers strangely, as the hitlag stops the move from tilting or lunging until the freeze frames end. Another caveat is the fact that Long-Stem Strike up close possesses very little kill power, forcing Piranha Plant to use it at longer distances and making it weaker to punish moves that it armors up close.
Long-Stem Strike also features a multitude of minor tech, mainly stemming from the ledge. It is possible to tilt Long-Stem Strike off a ledge, allowing for some minor mixups when edgeguarding, and if performing the move in the air, and landing at max tilt, the move will maintain its max aerial angle when it lands on the ground, allowing for a unique edgeguard due to the lower angle, and if the move is performed when Piranha Plant performs a run turnaround at the ledge, Piranha Plant will gain a significant aerial momentum boost, allowing for Long-Stem Strike to hit farther faster, as opposed to simply jumping offstage and then charging. Long-Stem Strike can also reach through passable platforms, which can be somewhat useful for platform stages, since they block off Ptooie from landing onto the ground.