Super Smash Bros. Ultimate had another DLC character join the roster, and he's already causing quite a stir. The Hero is his name, or rather his title because he represents an avatar players can name in the Dragon Quest series. That fact alone earned some strong reactions when he was first announced. Many players groaned at the inclusion of another JRPG sword wielder. More causal fans found him too obscure. Those who did know Dragon Quest reasoned that we needed to accept this popular Japanese character as a trade for Banjo-Kazooie in Smash. All of that controversy before he was even playable.
Fast forward to the July 30th reveal video where Smash master Masahiro Sakurai showed off The Hero's moveset. The Smash community went wild again. The problem this time was that The Hero seemed way too overpowered. He has the most moves out of any character, and the sheer variety already has some typing in all caps. Now that he's here, everyone is playing him to see if he really is as strong as he looks. You might be reading this to determine just that. So let's take a closer look at The Hero.
The Hero's Moveset
To give you the short version, The Hero functions a lot like Robin. All of his special moves are spells, and most of the spells can be charged them for greater effect. There's even a limited resource for these spells that you need to monitor. But where Robin has books, The Hero has an MP bar that sits above his damage percentage. Each spell uses up MP, with the charged versions consuming more MP. If you run out of MP, you need to restore it by landing basic attacks with the sword.
The neutral B is your standard fireball spell. There are three versions: Frizz, Frizzle, and Kafrizz. The first is an annoying projectile for keeping foes away. Then it gets bigger, then it gets really big and damaging. You can stop charging it and pick up where you left off later. If you've played Smash for a while, this concept should be very familiar to you.
The side B is a lighting strike with sideways range. Again there are three– Zap, Zapple, and Kazap. Kazap is the standout here, making a zappy version of Link's spin attack. It seems to have great knockback, but it also costs about half of your MP bar.
Up B is recovery, as usual. The three spells are Woosh, Swoosh, and Kaswoosh. The more you charge, the more you fly upwards.
That Down Special Magic
So far it's pretty standard stuff, right? Why would anyone think this character is overpowered? Well the down B is where things get crazy.
When you use the move, a menu of four spells will appear. There's way more than four possible spells, so there's a randomness element to which four will pop up. The effects vary wildly, forcing your opponents to react quickly or face a potentially match-ending spell.
The spells are:
-Oomph, raises your attack damage but also the damage you take
-Psyche Up, raises the power of your next attack, stacks with Oomph
-Accelerate, increases air and ground speed
-Bounce, a reflector but one with odd physics that can mess up some physical moves
-Flame Slash, ranged sword swipe with fire damage
-Kacrackle Slash, ranged sword swipe that can freeze foe
-Metal Smash, close-up sword swipe that insta-kills metal opponents
-Hatchet Man, slow sword swipe that does lots of damage
-Kaboom, high-damage explosive projectile
-Thwack, projectile with a chance to insta-KO
-Snooze, projectile that puts opponents to sleep, even in midair
-Magic Burst, Uses all your remaining MP for an all-out attack, the more MP the more damage and area of effect
-Heal, heals you for 11%
-Kaclang, turns you invulnerable but immobile, like Kirby stone
-Zoom, teleports you to center stage
-Kamikazee, turns you briefly invincible before you explode, taking yourself and maybe the foe out
-Hocus Pocus, does something random, it could make you grow, or fall asleep, or get MP back, or even cast one of the other spells
Hero Tactics And Combos
One more thing that makes The Hero special is his critical hit. Just like in an RPG, The Hero will sometimes hit with severe force by chance. This can turn a basic smash attack into a certain KO. This is totally random, which might force more skittish opponents to play defensively. Who wants to engage aggressively knowing that they could randomly destroyed even at lower percentages?
As for combos, the community is still figuring them out. This thread is a good starting point as research continues. At the moment, it seems like the down throw is a reliable combo starter as it is with many other characters. Also of note are The Hero's aerials. While falling, Hero players can use neutral air, up air, and down air to great effect. The down air in particular can be a good setup for an up smash.
One thing you'll notice if you research is that a lot of Hero combos can be boosted by his Down B spells. The damage buffing effects of Oomph and Psych Up can turn basic down air-to-up smash combos into kill moves. Also, just activating the down B is enough to change the match. Opponents might feel inclined to rush you for fear of letting you activate a game-changing spell. Even without actually using your desired spell, Down B is a powerful baiting tool.
If you're not great at mind games, you could always just go for cheap kills with Sleep.