Snake (SSBU)/Down aerial
Snake performs a series of downward stomps in quick succession. The move is notable for its incredibly quick startup as it comes out on frame 3, making it not only the fastest down aerial in the game, but also the entire Smash series. Due to its extreme speed and and the universal 3 frame jumpsquat, it is a highly effective out of shield option, coming out on frame 6 and doing 20% in a short hop. Additionally, the final hit deals strong knockback, allowing it to KO at high percentages, especially if used offstage. Like several of Snake's other attacks, the move possesses large disjointed hitboxes, with the hitboxes reaching below Snake's legs. It also grants Snake a vertical boost in the air, allowing it to auto-cancel in a short hop.
Its speed and high damage also make it an effective damage dealer and even a potential approach option if dash attack becomes too predictable. This is particularly the case if it is used and the opponent misses their tech. In this situation, Snake can immediately perform a jab lock, then follow up with another down aerial to dish out very high percent. Lastly, it can even be used to lead into combos at low percentages if it is used in a fast fall quick enough, being able to lead into a forward tilt or dash attack, and can even be used as a follow up out of an up throw at low percentages, or a fast fall forward aerial at low to mid percentages.
For all of its strengths, the move has some notable downsides, one of which is its inconsistency. Due to its lack of an autolink angle, the move can often fail to land all four hits, particularly if Snake is moving, making it easy to punish if it whiffs one of its hits. While the move can auto-cancel due to its vertical boost, this does leave Snake vulnerable in the air for a short time due to the move's high ending lag. Fast falling the move during the drift can somewhat alleviate this issue, but this is risky as the move will not auto-cancel and Snake will have to endure its high landing lag. Adding on to this, while it possesses large disjoints, the move's hitboxes do not have a good placement behind Snake, meaning it will often whiff if the opponent is behind him. Finally, while it can be used for combos and as a follow up option, the time frame for these scenarios is extremely tight, making it an unreliable option unless the player has frame perfect timing.
In conclusion, Snake's down aerial possesses immense utility, particularly as an out of shield option and damage racking move. Its fast speed, high damage and decent range makes it a highly rewarding move in several scenarios. However, its inconsistency at landing all of its hits, and high landing lag if not auto-canceled can make it a precarious option at times. In spite of its flaws, it is a remarkably versatile move in Snake's arsenal.
The move adds vertical momentum (in units per frame) to Snake throughout the move, starting with -0.2 on frame 5, then 0.5 on frame 17, and finally 1.2 on frame 27.