The Customizable Cutthroat
Like the Smash 4, the Mii characters are plenty fun to mess around with, but they always seem to be missing a little something. I’ll still attest to the best thing about this character being its customizable nature. All of the Mii’s b moves can be switched out with one another allowing you to create a relatively unique custom fighter. This is where the Swordfighter’s strengths lie, I think.
The Swordfighter’s normal attacks leave a lot to be desired. In the air, they’re not bad, simply because of the nair, which comes out pretty fast and hits all around you. Their bair isn’t really a kill move (okay, it can be, it comes out fast enough, save it for the end), the fair, uair, and dair can be, but the sweet spot is hard to land and they aren’t super abusable. Swordfighter’s jab is relatively slow and range overall seems to be the shortest out of the sword users in the game. Sure, forward smash can kill, up smash can kill; (up smash is not bad) and down smash comes out fast and shoots the target at a horizontal (and slightly downward?) angle. The throw game is meh. Maybe down throw and chase down with nairs at early percents, but there’s nothing here that feels fantastic. Especially the grab range. Hoo boy, it’s pitiful. The tilts aren’t bad, but they ain’t great. Again, range leaves something to be desired. Nothing really feels fast or powerful enough to lean on. I’ll just short-hop nair all day with this mii, to be honest.
The b/special moves are where you can really get creative and get your Swordfighter skills to shine. The neutral special move can help you harass or zone. Gale strike isn’t my favorite but it knocks the opponent up so you can try and follow up with nairs, or a uair for a kill if the percent is right and ceiling is low enough. Blurring blade seems to have a good amount of priority; it can kill, maybe, especially if you charge it. I’d rather just forward smash though… The shurikens are good little pesterers. They do more damage the farther they travel, so in the beginning of the match, your projectiles could be landing 9% – 8%, which is nice I think. They don’t give much knockback though, even at high percents.
Forward b grants you another projectile with the chakram if you want it. This thing has fun properties, and most people won’t probably know what to do with it, because let’s be honest, who has good Swordfighter match-up knowledge? Use the chakram to harass from far away at different angles, or throw out the short-range option: this will hit multiple times; it stays out longer, you can combo into a grab or smash (very useful, imho). Gale stab ain’t bad either. It works like a Ike’s side b. Will kill light people near the edge if they don’t expect it. Charge it, use it as recovery. (Swordfighter’s up b leaves a lot to be desired, distance-wise). The airborne assault is also decent horizontal recovery. This move travels FAR. It can also kill. It’ll stop at a ledge if used on ground, but in the air, you’ll kill yourself. (I’m pretty sure you lose you jump if you don’t connect with anything).
Up b special moves are all pretty decent. Again, distance-wise, the best may be the stone scabbard, but it mimics Ike’s, and sends you straight down too. It can also be interrupted near it’s apex. Very annoying. But, you’re allowed a little more horizontal movement with it. Combo it with up or down throws early on in percents. (It’s like Ike’s, but… yeah, just worse) The skyward slash dash mimics Fox’s up b. Control the direction of use, but be careful: after its spent, you’ve got very little control over your fall. It doesn’t hit as hard as fire fox, which takes away most kill possibilities, but allows you to chase or follow up with it. The hero’s spin is a poor man’s Link up b. It doesn’t go very high, but it can kill. I’ve seen people neutral b tornado into the hero’s spin, and this can kill at high temps at edges of the stage (if they don’t DI…).
Down b moves give swordfighter a reflector (very nice, easy to get the hang of; I like it more than Dr. Mario’s cape right now?!); Power thrust works like Captain Falcon’s falcon kick: horizontal on the ground, downward angle in the air. Hits twice when landing on the ground. Can kill late in percents. Pretty fast, decent priority. Then, if you’re that type of person, Swordfighter has a counter. From what I can tell it hits upward. This is similar to Smash 4 Corrin, I think? Still, obviously not as good as hers. Yes it can kill, I guess. Really, this is where your fighter flavor comes in. I like the reflector, I think the power thrust is the best on though. Use the counter if your heart tells you to counter.
Overall, the Swordfighter is a quirky character that I had a lot of fun playing with. The customizable move set adds an interesting layer of unpredictability that a lot of other fighters can’t really emulate. Still, I foresee a lot of rough match ups for this character, special moves aside. (The nair, though.. really is pretty great.)