Rosalina & Luma (SSB4)
Rosalina & Luma (ロゼッタ&チコ, Rosetta & Chiko), known simply as Rosalina (ロゼッタ, Rosetta) in the character customization menu and the Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS foldout, are playable characters in Super Smash Bros. 4. A duo consisting of Rosalina and a Luma, the player primarily controls Rosalina, while additional moves and inputs control the Luma's position and attacks. They were revealed during a Nintendo Direct on December 18th, 2013, which coincided with Rosalina's reveal in Mario Kart 8.
Rather than retaining Laura Faye Smith, who voiced her in Super Mario 3D World and Mario Kart 8, Kerri Kane－her predecessor－reprises her role as the voice of Rosalina, using a combination of new voice clips and ones recycled from Mario Kart 7 and Mario Golf: World Tour.
Luma (チコ, Chiko) is a member of the star-shaped species of the same name that is under the care of Rosalina. It fights in tandem with Rosalina, similarly to how Nana fights in tandem with Popo, and utilizes hit points (HP) like Captain Olimar's Pikmin do. Unlike Nana and the Pikmin, Luma is controlled by the player, even when separated from Rosalina,and has a set respawn time upon being KO'd. Rosalina is always accompanied by a yellow Luma at the beginning of each battle, and while the yellow Luma can respawn upon being KO'd, it is possible for a differently colored Luma to take its place. The other Lumas are colored blue, green, red, cream (who appears almost identical to Baby Luma), and blackish brown (who is actually Polari).
Rosalina & Luma are ranked 5th out of 55 on the tier list, placing them in the A tier and making them the third highest ranking newcomers. The pair are known for their powerful defensive neutral game, as Rosalina can invalidate projectiles using Gravitational Pull, Luma can tank hits on behalf of Rosalina and is immune to status effects, and either character can help the other ward off pressure by individually punishing opponents. The duo also have impressive KO potential, thanks to Luma's power and many of Rosalina's moves having disjointed ranges. By extension, their respective movesets are both quick and useful, such as Rosalina's up aerial having impressive juggling potential, and Luma's aerials boasting approach and combo potentials thanks to their Lunar Landing technique.
However, Rosalina's endurance is among the worst in the game owing to her tall frame, very light weight, and slow falling speed. Furthermore, many of Rosalina's benefits, including her powerful neutral game, are heavily nerfed if Luma is KOed, owing to her low attack power and short-ranged hitboxes; adding to this, while Luma can be difficult to KO, it can be easily rendered inactive due to it being unable to act out of tumbling. Rosalina's recovery, while granting long distance from Launch Star, is also very linear, and its lack of offensive hitboxes cannot deter edgeguarders.
Overall, Rosalina & Luma's strengths noticeably outweigh their weaknesses, and they are considered among the best characters in the game with strong tournament results and representation to supplement their reputation. Although Rosalina & Luma have slightly been nerfed by game updates, their top-tier placement has remained firmly intact throughout SSB4's lifespan.
Rosalina is a tall lightweight, much like Mewtwo, Peach, and Zelda. Rosalina is the fourth lightest character in the game, but unlike Peach or Zelda, her overall grounded mobility is decent, thanks to her average walking and dashing speeds, and her traction being tied for the sixth highest in the game. Despite having average air speed, Rosalina's falling and fast falling speeds are among the slowest, while her gravity is the second lowest in the game. As a result of the latter three attributes, she is a very floaty character.
Due to being allied with Luma, Rosalina also follows the tag team archetype established by the Ice Climbers, and perpetuated by Olimar. Luma can remain next to Rosalina to attack with her, or it can be sent away with Luma Shot to attack from a distance. This allows Rosalina numerous possibilities to attack opponents, as she can essentially perform combos on opponents between herself and Luma. Luma mechanically functions like a blend of Pikmin and Nana of the Ice Climbers: it uses a hit points (HP) mechanic like the former, in which it will be KO'd if it is dealt 50%, and it responds to player inputs like the latter. Unlike Olimar, Rosalina cannot immediately summon Luma once it is KO'd, which forces her to wait 13 seconds until another Luma appears. Luma also can not experience status effects, such as stun or sleep, which can allow it to attack and fend off opponents if Rosalina happens to find herself put under a status effect that renders her unable to move or attack. Luma also cannot be grabbed.
While they are largely defensive characters, Rosalina & Luma have several offensive options that allow them to rack up damage if given the opportunity. They have many attacks with disjointed hitboxes, most notably each of Rosalina's aerials, which are also very useful for racking up damage. Their neutral aerial, when timed correctly, can be a useful punishing option. Her forward aerial keeps the opponent in place, hits multiple times, and combos well with her down throw like Ness' same combo. However, this combo is somewhat situational because of its considerable ending lag. Her and Luma's back aerials are quick semi-spikes and can be used in a wide range of scenarios, such as edge-guarding. Their up aerial is one of their most effective attacks and is among the best moves in the game, as it possesses outstanding range, can easily be chained into itself and can KO off the top of some stages at very low percents when used properly. Their down aerial is also a very potent edge-guarding option: Rosalina's hitbox is capable of meteor smashing, whereas Luma's hitbox can easily KO outright thanks to its very high knockback growth.
Rosalina & Luma are also gifted with a good set of smash attacks. Their forward smash possesses a large amount of range, making it very useful to finish off opponents. While it has the highest knockback growth out of Rosalina's attacks, it requires Luma's involvement to achieve its true KO potential. Their up smash is minimal start-up and, while it possesses less range, is still a great KOing option regardless and renders Rosalina's head intangible throughout its duration. Lastly, their down smash is not an outright KOing option, but instead a useful anti-pressure option thanks to it having less start-up and especially ending lag in comparison to their other smashes. Due to it also being a semi-spike, it can also be used for edge-guarding. Luma can also perform smash attacks away from Rosalina so, in a scenario where it is not safe to approach the opponent to KO, Rosalina still can attempt to KO by sending Luma out.
Perhaps the biggest positive trait Rosalina has is that, when used properly, she is practically immune to projectiles via Gravitational Pull. While it does not deal damage, it causes Rosalina to completely nullify any projectile near her. Despite not being a reflector, it shares the same ability of making incoming items and projectiles come under Rosalina's ownership, which means any opponents can be damaged by the orbiting item or projectile if they are too close. In addition, Gravitational Pull comes on frame 2 and has very little ending lag, making it very difficult for an opponent to punish her for using it. This allows Rosalina to virtually shut down projectile-reliant playstyles of zoning-oriented characters such as Villager, as their over-reliance on projectiles causes them to have a difficult time fighting her so long as Gravitational Pull is properly used. Although situational, Gravitational Pull can also gimp certain recoveries, with the best examples being PK Thunder; Rosalina can immediately pull away the PSI lightning bolt projectile before Ness or Lucas can use it to recover, rendering them helpless as a result. Aside from Gravitational Pull, Luma can also be used to block projectiles, although this comes at the cost of depleting its HP.
Rosalina also has access to a unique advanced technique called Lunar Landing. If Rosalina inputs her neutral, up or forward aerial attacks right as she lands, the aerial will not come out and she will land without enduring any landing lag, but Luma will continue performing its respective aerial attack. This allows for greater mix-up and follow-up potential, as well as mindgames, but requires Luma in order to actually be performed. Their dash grab also has a similar occurrence, where if Rosalina performs a dash attack and instantly grabs, Rosalina will perform a dash grab while Luma will perform its respective dash attack. This makes their dash grab a lot safer, and means they can deal an extra 3% just by landing the grab. When coupled with Rosalina's reliable set of throws, these traits give her and Luma even greater mix-up potential, as well as more approaching and punishing options.
Despite her various strengths, Rosalina has a few significant weaknesses. Her tall height sometimes makes it very hard to avoid attacks, while her light weight causes her to be very susceptible to early KOs. Although Launch Star provides very good recovery, it lacks any sort of hitbox, making her vulnerable to meteor smashes. Her disadvantage state is extremely poor, as she cannot deal with juggling very well thanks to her slow falling speed and average air speed, alongside no safe b-reverse options to provide a horizational mixup to her landing. Her biggest flaw, however, is that she is drastically weakened without Luma, as her respective attacks' knockback values are among the most unimpressive in the game and both Luma Shot and Star Bits are rendered useless. Although Luma will inevitably respawn, the 13 seconds it takes to do so can be more than enough time for the opponent to land a combo or score a KO on Rosalina. This is further compounded by Luma's inability to act out of a tumble until landing on the ground, as attacks that knock Luma off-stage will result in it being inevitably KO'd, regardless of how much HP it has. Most of the cast also has a reliable move to use in order to KO Luma and thus avoid the risk of being punished by Rosalina. However, both she and Luma have a particularly difficult time against characters with large disjoints or fast moves that deal high base knockback. The most prominent example is Meta Knight, who is considered their most challenging matchup because of his overall fast frame data, small size, disjointed range courtesy of Galaxia, and his ability to KO her at very low percents via guaranteed combos.
Rosalina & Luma receive notable benefits from custom moves, most significantly Luma Warp and Shooting Star Bit. Luma Warp, instead of having Rosalina charge up Luma and send it to a certain location, has Luma warp to a fixed distance forward almost immediately. Due to its high speed and weak hitbox as Luma reappears, it is nearly unpunishable and with precision can lead to trapping an opponent. Shooting Star Bit functions similarly to Falco's Blaster: instead of firing three close-range Star Bits, Luma will quickly shoot a single long-range one, which makes it better at shutting down approaches and/or punishing opponents. The rest of her custom moves bring situational benefits to their arsenal. Catch & Release and Guardian Luma both deal damage, but at the severe cost of Gravitational Pull's versatility. Launch Star Plus covers more vertical distance than Launch Star, but cannot be angled horizontally. Launch Star Attack deals damage and can alleviate carelessly veering off the other side of the stage, but it does not propel Rosalina as far or as high and stops her momentum completely. Power Luma Shot and Floaty Star Bit are stronger and consist of multiple hits that can force different approaches, but they travel far slower and are not as versatile.
As a result of their tag team archetype, players must learn to protect not just Rosalina, but Luma as well, which gives them a high learning curve. Further faults to Rosalina & Luma were also brought about via game updates, although they have maintained a great standing in the metagame regardless. This is courtesy of their success in competitive play, such as Dabuz advancing to the Grand Finals of GENESIS 3 and winning both Apex 2016 and WTFox 2 while using them. Despite being widely regarded as top-tier characters, Rosalina & Luma have below average representation because of their learning curve and largely defensive playstyle.
Rosalina & Luma have been nerfed via game updates, with the most notable occurrence being in update 1.0.4. This update saw some of their attacks' damage outputs, knockback and hitbox sizes decreased, while Luma's respawn time was increased and it lost its ability to attack opponents when they throw Rosalina. However, Luma managed to retain its ability to attack opponents during grabs. The changes to game mechanics also seem to have nerfed Rosalina: due to the reduced power in her attacks, hitlag will possibly not work significantly unlike if Luma attacked alongside her, which makes it harder for her to punish out of shield. As a result, the duo are slightly worse than they were in the initial release of the game, although they are still a force to be reckoned with in the current metagame.
For a gallery of Rosalina & Luma's hitboxes, see here.
In competitive play
Tier placement and history
Rosalina & Luma have been recognized for their strengths ever since SSB4 was released, despite their nerfs from game updates. Their zoning ability is among the strongest in the game, thanks to the combination of Rosalina's ability to re-position Luma with Luma Shot, and Luma's immense KO power, ability to tank hits, and immunity to status effects. While the tag team aspect of their playstyle results in them having a steep learning curve and has thus resulted in them having a below average-sized playerbase, their viability has nonetheless been firmly established by the consistently strong results of Dabuz, falln, and Kirihara as well as Atelier and Yuzu achieving great success in Japan placing high in multiple tournaments.
Thanks to the potency of their strengths, Rosalina & Luma were ranked 3rd on the first 4BR tier list. They would later drop to 4th on the second tier list, and then to 8th on the third tier list. Thanks to strong results from top players, however, they have since then rised to 5th in the fourth and current tier list, maintaining their status as top-tier characters, and are still considered to be very viable, if hard to master, picks for tournament play with some smashers like MKLeo claiming that she should be as high as 2nd on the tier list as well as ANTi, and ZeRo claiming that she should be among the top 3 with ESAM putting her 4th on his tier list. While other players like Dabuz himself claim that she's overrated and that she should be ranked relatively lower than her current spot.
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