Byleth will crush your hopes and dreams in Smash Bros — but only in online battles
A new reign of terror has begun.
Byleth joined the ranks of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on Tuesday and some of the game’s best players were quick to call the new sword-wielder "doo doo." However, the protagonist from Fire Emblem: Three Houses has been wreaking havoc in the game's online quickplay mode for one unexpected reason.
The DLC fighter’s ridiculous range and absurd power make for a lethal combination in wifi battles where players’ varying connection strengths make it more difficult to respond to enemies effectively. This input delay over wifi means that enemy players have a harder time punishing Byleth’s slow attacks and movement speed, effectively giving Byleth more of a fighting chance against faster characters — but only in online play.
Byleth may not be viable in professional offline competitions, but in the realm of online casual play, she absolutely wrecks.
Pro and casual Smashers alike have been crushing online Fox mains everywhere with Byleth. This might be due to the fact that Byleth is so new and very few people have figured out exactly how to play against her yet, but no character has the right to be melting stocks as quickly as Byleth can in this first week.
Here's every incredible thing Byleth has been capable of in her first few days in Smash Ultimate and how you can demolish opponents:
Sorry chief, you’re dead at 50 percent
Byleth’s Side Smash is slow and requires precise spacing from your opponent to maximize damage output, but it's an absolute nightmare for other opponents trying to close in or recover from off-stage.
The move makes Byleth lunge forward with a piercing lance attack that can be angled upwards or downwards. The very tip of the attack does a devastating amount of damage and knockback, both of which can be amplified if you manage to land an upwards-tilted Side Smash.
You’ll need to practice positioning yourself just right to land the tip, but when you do, you’ll be KOing opponents at 50 percent when close enough to the ledge.
Say goodbye to your shield
Shield breaks are fairly uncommon in your average Smash Ultimate online match. Certain characters like Marth, Lucina, and Jigglypuff have special moves designed for high shield damage, but in the right hands, Byleth can pop shields like a child attacking a piece of bubble wrap. This is incredibly oppressive online where many players rely on punishing an opponent's attack when it lands on their shield.
Byleth’s Down Special is a deadly guillotine swing with a great axe that instantly breaks shields no matter what, and strangely enough the move is rather quick to execute. The move can only be interrupted by a grab once the axe is on its way down, but the player can change the direction mid-swing. Byleth can even drop through platforms while performing it. Think of this like a more flexible Ganondorf Warlock Punch.
On top of that, Byleth’s Down Smash, Down Air, and fully charged Neutral Special (arrow shot) all do a bonkers amount of shield damage that's more than powerful enough to burn down most enemies' shields rather quickly.
Getting shield-happy around a Byleth player is essentially a death sentence. Opt for a roll, spot dodge, or jump if you can; if not just kiss your shield goodbye.
Oh, you thought you could edge-guard against Byleth?
Byleth has pitiful jump height and poor airspeed, which should mean it’s easy to edge guard her right? Nope.
Her Up Special acts like a grappling whip that lets them tether to the stage even when they go seemingly deep off the level. Plus, if an enemy is directly above Byleth, the whip will grapple to them mid-air and meteor smash them straight down. In most cases, this results in a KO and some upward momentum so Byleth can grab the edge.
This means trying to aggressively combat Byleth off-stage might result in the opposite effect: Byleth can just use the attacker as a stepping stone to get back on stage as the enemy plummets to an untimely death.
Byleth has only just joined the Smash Ultimate fray, so players are still testing out how viable her moves are in combat. It’ll take a while for players to suss out the most effective maneuvers and combos, along with how to counter them effectively.
Until then, Byleth's reign of terror online will continue even if their poor movement speed is a liability in more competitive play.
Byleth is now available in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.