Like them or hate them, Byleth from Fire Emblem: Three Houses is now available in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as the final fighter from Fighter Pass 1. Being a teacher, it’s not surprising that they’re quite honest in terms of their capabilities; but like their mercenary roots, they excel in heated battles full of chaos.
While director Masahiro Sakurai explained to us players in detail about how powerful Byleth can be, it’s hard to demonstrate in a video what it’s really like. Byleth wields the Sword of the Creator and the Hero Relics from the three house captains, and these weapons feel appropriately strong. In fact, it felt like I was playing a weapon-toting version of Ganondorf with the additional reach that provides.
However, this comes with the downsides you might expect from a character comparable to Ganondorf–the long windups and pauses after attacks often mean accurate predictions of enemy actions are critical. This applies especially to Byleth’s Specials, including the fully-charged Failnaught (that will fail quite a bit if you aren’t careful, actually) and Aymr. In single online versus, this means that Byleth is tested by quicker fighters that are able to get in and attack, then dart out before Byleth can retaliate with slower counterattacks.
Online doubles or plain-old free-for-alls are another matter entirely. With one to three other targets to focus on, Byleth isn’t as worried about someone else interrupting their attacks, especially something like a strike from Aymr while dropping down from a platform. It makes for chaotic warfare that, when played correctly, tips the scales in Byleth’s favor.
While it’s still early to say how good Byleth will end up being, it doesn’t change the fact that he or she brings an interesting moveset that is straightforward and fun to play. Being straightforward comes with its drawbacks, but Byleth’s powerful attacks make every connected strike satisfying, especially when you hit multiple enemies at once.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is available on the Nintendo Switch.