Piranha Plant (SSBU)/Down tilt
Piranha Plant performs a low leaf swipe, then retreats back into its pot/pipe. It is a good combo starter due to its angle and low endlag, linking an instant dash attack forward aerial, or (on select characters such as Mario) dash grab at 0%, neutral, up or forward aerials at low percents, and even a back aerial kill confirm at high percents (around 70%-92% against Mario) if the opponent does not DI away. With DI in at higher percents, it can even lead into an up aerial for a kill.
Down tilt makes use as one of Piranha Plant's safest ways of poking, which strictly aids it's otherwise poor neutral. It features decent range, and is significantly better over forward tilt due to better shield safety at -10, and much better hurtboxes that do not put Piranha Plant at risk. It is especially useful as a counterpoke, meaning that it is quite useful to catch an opponent's extended hurtboxes and grant a combo, staying generally safe should the move miss or get shielded. As a result, it is an important asset to Piranha Plant in many matchups where poking the opponent is much more favoured, such as against sword characters or slow brawler-type characters.
However, the move falls short in numerous areas. Firstly, it is Piranha Plant's slowest tilt, at frame 9. Combined with its low range, it makes it somewhat risky to use in close-combat situations, as it could get out-framed. Secondly, its damage is quite low, dealing at max 7% at its tip, doing less damage than its down throw, which links into the same aerials down tilt does, although down tilt has a significantly longer combo window and is much less susceptible to DI. It can also hit most ledge hangs with its tip, and for characters where the tip isn't required to hit, down tilt can combo into itself, have a wider percent-range into aerials, or even lead to a forward smash kill confirm. It is incapable of killing at realistic percents, although it is one of Piranha Plant's only ways of launching the opponent upward with a horizontal move, so it is useful for starting juggles with Piranha Plant's good anti-air game.
- Down tilt has more active frames (9-10 → 9-11) and less endlag (FAF 29 → 27).
- The move has a 40% trip chance that can never actually happen, due to its largely vertical launch angle.