The latest (and last[?]) additions to Smash 4 come to us in the form of the much maligned Corrin and the much anticipated Bayonetta. While Corrin's addition is considered and eye-roll because he's yet Fire Emblem character giving representation to an over represented series among some sorely under represented ones, Corrin as a fighter is pretty dang alright. And I think that goes double for Bayonetta. After spending most of the first night with these two characters online, I've got a couple ideas I want to share. You might already be able to find a better piece somewhere on Smashboards, but I wanna write, too! And feel free to give corrections or thoughts.
I know a decent amount about Smash 4 and Smash in general, but I'm no pro. Mid-level competitive player, at best. This will be a write-up from a competitive angle only.
He, to use the "default" pronoun, is yet another Fire Emblem rep, yet another sword wielder, yet another character with a counter move. But he's also got a lot of mixed up abilities seen in the rest of the cast and no where else among the sword users or the Fire Emblem brigade. I'm assuming you're all familiar with the movesets (if not, check youtube, it's easier to see than to describe), so let's dive into some of his strengths as I see them right now.
F-Smash gains length as you charge it, which is pretty deceptive. Eventually people will know better how to respect the range of it, but for now at least, I'm scoring KOs all over the place just because of how much reach it has. In general, it's pretty potent and fast. Corrin's grabs are very standard, with no obvious throw-to combos. The exception being his Down Throw, which is easily a kill throw at higher percents. His B-Air is a neat aerial tool that can push him forward a little, which I have yet to use to any meaningful effect. I might have more need of it if his recovery were really poor, but that's also quite standard.
Up-B is just a normal boosted jump-type recovery that does do some damage if you hit with it, and has limited ability to be angled as well as decent range. It's not the best and he has no horizontal recovery, in the traditional sense. Side-B is one of his unique abilities that can root Corrin to the ground or the side of stages and then convert into a forward or backward dive kick, depending on the direction you input. That second attack is pretty strong and the rooting ability can be held for a very long time before it cancels itself, so I suppose that's good for mixing up the timing of your attacks. The Side-B doesn't spike, in my experience, nor does it do much to your momentum in the air and the initial hit isn't strong to kill or soft enough to open up for combos. It helps his recovery and his mix-ups, but I'll leave its true potential to be surveyed by the top players.
Neutral-B is a strange projectile that can be changed to deal more damage and increase the stun effect it has when it hits. But you can also, independently, charge the second hit of this attack which is a chompy claw-bite that's really strong. So, popping out a tiny projectile and then continuing to charge the second attack when your opponent comes in to punish is a good tool at Corrin's disposal.
Tilts and aerials are all very standard with Corrin. His D-Air is what's known as a "stall-then-fall", and is maybe one of the better one of those. It hits multiple times and across all of Corrin's body and doesn't have tremendous landing lag, so I've found it to be a pretty safe option in many cases. Corrin's Counter Attack is very strong, but has a really wonky hit box that easily misses opponents unless you're both at the same height as each other.
Overall, I think Corrin is a nice spin on the very standard Marth-based sword wielder. He can be defense or play a rush-down game. I can't say for sure yet which his specialty is, if any, but he seems comfortable in either role.
Here we go. A really unusual fighter hits the scene with a lot of attacks and abilities totally fresh to the game. Her guns can deal 5% extra damage if you hold the attack button of almost any attack she has, from smashes to tilts. I find that ability really nice but only in a few circumstances. In most cases, you don't want to just stand here holding a button down. The extra bullet damage doesn't cause flinching, so your opponent can just run up and grab you either while firing or coming out of one of her many laggy moves.
Her smashes are really cool and strong, but good lord you better be sure you're going to hit with them! They're really localized and really laggy, but I'm assuming this is done to balance out her Counter Attack's ability to slow down time for your opponent. Land one of those counters and charge a smash attack and then just dance while your opponent slowly comes out of Witch Time and flies off the screen. It's pretty satisfying!
Bayo's aerials are no less interesting, and no less tricky to use. F-Air is the only multi-attack normal aerial in the game and is really good a scooping up opponents into the following attacks. The rest of her aerials do a good job of spacing, pressuring and KO-ing, including yet another stall-then-fall D-Air. It's clear that Bayo was designed to be an aerial fighter, with a lot of options for popping up opponents and following up with a flurry of attacks.
Up-B, which I had some trouble learning (I still fuck it up) lets you follow up with a jump and then another Up-B, the same goes for Side-B. They're both moderately powerful attacks designed to push opponents around in the air, in an upward direction until you knock them off the top of the screen. Her vertical killing potential is mostly limited to her less powerful ground game, while horizontal kills seem to be best scored in the air. Her Neutral-B is a fun projectile that can interrupt some recoveries and rush-down players, but timing it effectively is rough. It's got a lot of lag and no real kill potential. Witch Time, her counter, is WAY more fun to use than it has any right to be. As I mentioned above, there's just something really satisfying about nailing that move, but it wouldn't be Bayo if it were easy to land. The active window for the counter is tiny and it doesn't stall her movement in the air. It's more like an air dodge.
It should be noted here that neither of these characters are particularly fast, and they're both on the large-size. That means quicker characters might give them the run-around, projectile fighters will have an easy time landing attacks, and disjointed aerials with a lot of range may also prove bothersome. Proper shield tilting, especially for Bayonetta, will be needed to keep her tall body inside her shrinking shield. Also, Bayonetta is a... ahem, woman with some heft. It takes a lot to knock those long legs off the screen, but she might also run into trouble with any of the various jugglers in this game.
Anyway, Bayo's tilts and throws are all ok with nothing of real note that I could make of them, except for her really fast and funny pummel speed. Overall, I think we'll see this character shine a lot sooner than it took to see people unlock Ryu's potential. I can't say for certain yet where I think either of these characters will land in comparison to the rest or in tournaments down the road. If I had to guess, I'd say Corrin might hit the mid-tier and Bayo could go anywhere from top to high-mid. Of course, they both just not develop from here and end up in the dumps with Mewtwo (poor Mewtwo), but we'll see!