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'Smash Bros. Ultimate' 7.0 patch notes add seriously scary buffs to 10 fighters

The roster might be spicier than ever before.

Nintendo released Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’s seventh major update Wednesday night. The patch added Byleth from Fire Emblem: Three Houses to the list of fighters, but also brought some of the most controversial balance changes to the game since its December 2018 release.

In total, Nintendo's Version 7.0 patch notes detail changes to 55 characters varying from tweaks to more significant adjustments. A majority of these changes included an increase in shield size to 46 different fighters, which will let more than half the roster safely block for longer without worrying about attacks shield stabbing or breaking.

In addition to these changes across the board, Version 7.0 primarily consisted of buffs to 10 fighters with a handful of nerfs to three characters who are considered some of the strongest in the Smash Ultimate.

Here are the winners and losers of Version 7.0:

Byleth joined the battle when Version 7.0 of Smash Ultimate was released Tuesday night.Nintendo

Nerfs

3. Palutena

The goddess of light from Kid Icarus is largely considered one of the deadliest forces in the game, but her most spammable attack lost some of its reach and her best combo throw now sends opponents farther away, making it harder to follow it up with another attack.

  • Neutral Air: Shortened launch distance and reduced the range of the last attack against opponents in the air.
  • Downward Throw: Extended launch distance.

These two nerfs were balanced out somewhat by slight buffs to two of her more underutilized moves.

  • Up Tilt: Increased power and extended launch distance of the last attack.
  • Down Smash: Extended launch distance when hit in the high-damage range.

2. Joker

The Person 5 character was added to Smash Ultimate as part of the DLC Fighter Pass last year and has since been a contender for the strongest fighter in the game. He has a powerful comeback mechanic, called Arsene, that charges faster when he’s losing a game and temporarily improves all of his attacks when it’s fully charged. His Arsene meter now depletes faster when he’s being hit, which reduces the time players have access to the power-up.

  • Arsene: Reduced the amount of time Arsene is summoned for when receiving damage while Arsene is summoned in battles with two or fewer opponents.

Secondly, Joker’s downward gun attack was also made slightly weaker. This attack was used specifically to interrupt weak recovers and could make fighters like Little Mac fall to their death instantly.

  • Neutral Special: Reduced the range when shooting downward in the air.

1. Zero Suit Samus

The space bounty hunter from the Metroid series only got hit once but Nintnedo nerfed one of her most lethal kill setups.

  • Down Special: Shortened the time opponents are buried when stomped on.

Mashing out of her bury was extremely difficult before Version 7.0 and let ZSS players walk up and Boost Kick you into the top blast zone and ridiculously early percents. Now, it’s much easier for the victim to escape, which essentially destroys one of the best combos that she had previously.

Buffs

10. Sheik

Zelda's alter-ego from Ocarina of Time has some of the fastest moves in the game but suffers from weak KO power. Due to her compact size and low weight, she's easily defeated herself in most situations. Players need to essentially play Sheik flawlessly to keep up with most of the Smash Ultimate cast.

These five buffs will hopefully make her more viable than ever.

  • Down Smash: Increased attack speed and made it easier to hit multiple times.
  • Grab: Increased grab range of stationary grab.
  • Neutral Special: Rescued vulnerability when landing after using the move in the air.
  • Side Special: Reduced vulnerability after using the move on the ground and in the air. Increased the amount of time hit detection lasts for the explosion. The explosion will no longer get negated.
  • Up Special: Extended launch distance for the explosion.

9. Zelda

Like her Sheik counterpart, Princess Zelda is also lightweight and therefore vulnerable. But instead, she's slow and relies on zoning setups to get her kills. This plan falls apart when she’s faced with speedy characters that don’t ever give her the opportunity to play to her strengths. Version 7.0 has improved her "get-off-me" options and kill moves.

  • Side Tilt: increased power and extended launch distance.
  • Neutral Air: Reduced Vulnerability when landing after using the move. Made it easier to hit multiple times.
  • Up Air: Increased attack range and the amount of time hit detection last. Decreased power for the latter half of the time hit detection lasts. Extended launch distance when hit in the high-damage range.
  • Side Special: Increased the high-damage range and the amount of time hit detection lasts.
  • Down Special: Increased power and extended launch distance.

8. Cloud

The Final Fantasy 7 protagonist was a force to be reckoned with in Smash 4 but has since fallen off in Ultimate. He doesn’t tout the same kill power as he did previously and can be easily interrupted off-stage to meet an untimely death.

This latest batch of buffs give his attacks a bit more oomph and improve his recovery.

  • Dash Attack: Extended launch distance when hit in the high-damage range.
  • Side Smash: Made it easier to hit multiple times.
  • Up Smash: Extended launch distance when hit with the sword tip and increased attack speed.
  • Up Special: Increased the speed of the edge-grab timing.
  • Down Special: Increased the speed at which the gauge fills up with Limit Charge.

7. Ryu

The Street Fighter icon is considered second-fiddle to Ken because of a slower run speed and lesser combo potential. The Version 7.0 changes let Ryu string together attacks that weren't possible before. Most notably, his Down Smash can be canceled into a special attack, which already has Ryu mains hyped.

  • Down Tilt: Adjusted launch angle.
  • Down Smash: Now possible on hit to cancel the attack animation into a special move. Reduced the power against shields.
  • Neutral Special: Increased the opponent's downtime when shielding against Hadoken. Made it easier to Shakunetsu Hadoken to hit multiple times.
  • Side Special: Made the pivoting leg invincible while rotating when used on the ground. Increased power and extended launch distance when hit in the high-damage range.

6. Ken

Ken received the same buffs a Ryu minus the improvement to his Neutral Special. The blonde brawler’s combo game was already beastly, and these buffs will only let him string more attacks together.

  • Down Tilt: Adjusted launch angle.
  • Down Smash: Now possible on hit to cancel the attack animation into a special move. Reduced the power against shields.
  • Side Special: Made the pivoting leg invincible while rotating when used on the ground. Increased power and extended launch distance when hit in the high-damage range.

5. Young Link

Baby-faced Link from Ocarina of Time has some of the most effective (and obnoxious) projectiles in the game, but he oftentimes struggles to get a KO if he can’t string the right sequence of moves together.

Based on these new changes, that may be a thing of the past now.

  • Neutral Attack 1: Increased attack speed.
  • Up Smash Attack: Extended launch distance.
  • Up Air Attack: Extended launch distance.
  • Forward Throw: Extended launch distance.
  • Midair Grab (Z-Air): Increased attack speed and adjusted launch angle. Increased the amount of time opponents will be in the damage animation.

4. Toon Link

Similar to Young Link, the cartoon version of the Hyrulean warrior relies on projectiles to set up KOs. Toon Link gets kills more reliably but suffers from floaty movements and slow attacks. His buffs will hopefully keep him from being juggled.

  • Dash Attack: Reduced vulnerability.
  • Down Smash: Extended launch distance.
  • Back Air: Increased attack speed.
  • Down Air: Increased the power of the attack and extended its launch distance in the low-damage range.
  • Midair Grab (Z-Air): Increased the amount of time hit detection lasts.

3. Dr. Mario

Dr. Mario can KO surprisingly early in any match but has an atrocious recovery that renders him almost unusable. The patch didn’t address his glaring off-stage weaknesses and instead just made him hit even harder. This is great news for any pre-existing Dr. Mario mains out there, but it might not be quite enough to draw in any newbies.

  • Side Tilt: Increased power and extended launch distance.
  • Down Tilt: Increased the amount of time opponents will be in the damage animation and shortened launch distance.
  • Neutral Air: Increased the power of the attack and extended launch distance in the high-damage range.
  • Down Air: Increased the amount of time hit detection lasts.
  • Up Special: Extended launch distance when hit in the high-damage range.

2. Samus & Dark Samus

Samus and her spooky echo fighter were already a menace thanks to heavy-hitting projectiles. Now, many of their strongest moves kill even earlier.

  • Dash Attack: Increased the power of the beginning of the attack.
  • Up Smash: Extended launch distance.
  • Down Smash: Extended launch distance.
  • Up Throw: Extended launch distance.
  • Midair Grab (Z-Air): Increased power and the amount of time hit detection lasts.

1. Mii Brawler

Mii Brawler got the slightest buff of the bunch, but it's a buff nonetheless. Players can select the Mii’s special moves from a list before they jump into a battle. Nintendo made the Brawler’s Suplex easier to hit.

  • Side Special 3: Made it easier to grab opponents.

The Version 7.0 update of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is now live on Nintendo Switch.

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