Piranha-Synthesis : A Piranha Plant Guide



Sat 13th Apr 2019 - 4:00pm

Piranha Plant is by far one of the strangest new additions to the Smash Ultimate roster. Being added in a time where downloadable content can make many gaming fans happy, Plant was probably one of the last characters fans expected but has grown on the Smash community over time. While Plant's moveset is one of the most unorthodox to date, it has some excellent utility for edge guarding as well as surprising amounts of damage. So, let's take a look at the roots of Piranha Plant's moves so that you can achieve victory with one of Smash Ultimate's wackiest new characters. 

First, let's take a look at where Piranha Plant fits within the roster statistically. Piranha Plant is the 39th fastest in terms of run speed and 57th slowest in dash speed, make it decent in terms of movement. Unfortunately, Piranha is 73rd slowest in terms of walk speed and the 8th heaviest in the game, makes it combo food for many faster characters. Keeping these statistics in mind, it's best to try and play around them. A few good ways to play around Piranha Plant's middling mobility is to try and practice spacing various moves as well as utilizing good escape tools. While playing around Piranha Plant's weight can be done in the same way, it's also key to make sure that you practice getting out of combos and juggles. 

Piranha Plant has a wide variety of solid tools to keep it afloat in neutral. Firstly, Piranha Plant's jab is great for building damage and due to it being a rapid jab it can be good for shield pressure as well as a good escape tool. Piranha Plant's Down Tilt is a good, fast move that is not only great for interrupting opponents, but it can also lead to good follow-ups into Neutral Air (Nair). Up Tilt is a good combo starter, leading into Up Air or Nair, but is best used to bully opponents who are on platforms above you. Dash attack, while not very fast, does a decent amount of damage, racking up 10%, and is a good tool to launch opponents offstage.

As for Piranha Plant's Smash attacks, while they are all decent in speed and damage, they can be punished quite easily if you miss or whiff, so it's best to try and read your opponent's movement rather than just trying to spam them. Piranha Plant's Aerials are a bit of a mixed bag. Up Air can combo into itself at lower percents and Foward Air (Fair) can combo if you connect on the latter part of the move, but they are the closest thing to combos that Piranha Plant has. Also, while Nair is a good multi-hit move that can deal decent damage, it's not a great landing tool, yet is the best one that Piranha Plant has.

As for Back Air (Bair), it's a decent kill move but not easy to land due to its small size. The real bread and butter of Piranha Plant lie in its special moves. Side Special (Poison Cloud), can destroy shields in a matter of seconds, as well as deal up to 60% per cloud charge! Down Special (Long Stem Strike or LSS), has super armor, can stretch across a majority of most stages if fully charged, and can kill at higher percents. However, LSS is hard to aim, so be sure to practice how long to hold and when to tilt so you can cover various options. One other key thing about LSS is that, if you whiff, your hitbox is extended leaving you open for punishes, so be cautious.

Piranha Plant's Spike Ball (Ptooie) is by far the best move in its moveset. Ptooie can do up to 14-18% per hit, is active on frame 9, (in other words, it can be active once every 9th of a second!), can be launched multiple distances, and can hit opponents even if they attempt to hit you out of it! 

Credit to greyfruit 

Even though there are a lot of good moves, there really aren't that many different ways to use them effectively. Simply keep your opponents away with Jab, Down Tilt, and Dash Attack. Combo with Up Air, Fair, and a bit of Nair. Try to make sure your Smash Attacks hit. Pelt them with Ptooie, LSS, and Poison Cloud. A good thing to keep in mind is platform play. You have the option to use Ptooie, Up Tilt, an uncharged LSS, or Up Smash. 

 Credit to VGBC 

As for edge guarding, it is mostly projectile heavy. Either stay on the edge to try and hit your opponent with Ptooie or run off the ledge and try and hit them with Ptooie. 

Try and place Poison Cloud in areas that your opponent may land. If done correctly, this will cause them to either try and take some damage or play around the cloud, making it easier to hit them with Ptooie or LSS.  LSS is decent for edgeguards, but due to it being quite slow you are better off using the other two options. Also, even though Down Air is a spike, it too isn't the best option since it is hard to try and land the sweet spot of the hitbox.

In terms of recovery, there aren't a whole lot of options. Up B (Piranha Copter) is the go-to recovery method since it is quite fast and will help you recover from the deepest parts of the stage. That being said, make sure that you try and recover low. If you recover high, you can get punished pretty easily for it due to Piranha Copter being active for quite some time, it being hard to land if you miss the ledge and try and land on stage with its slow freefall state. Another thing to try when recovering is a few stalling tactics. This ranges from charging Poison Cloud in the air, having out an active Ptooie, or charging an LSS. The latter two options can easily transition to Piranha Copter but Poison Cloud is harder to gauge. Try and do the Poison Cloud stall if you are at half charge. 

Credit to Dragon Smash and

Credit to VGBC  

Credit to greyfruit  

Here are a few things that I think that are especially important to take away from this guide. Ptooie your best tool, just make sure to not spam it too much and try and fit a variety of other moves in to mess with your opponent. Poison Cloud is a fantastic damage dealer and can absolutely shred shields, but don't forget to use it as a smokescreen for some of your moves. Do not be afraid to try and use LSS in neutral. Practice it and you can become terrifying at higher percents. Piranha Plant has great platform mixups and can lead to easy KOs, just be sure you don't become repetitive. Lastly, be careful when recovering and try to use stalling tactics for extra damage or cheesy gimps. 

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