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Will Pyra & Mythra in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate avoid the design pitfall that plagued Sheik & Zelda in Melee and Brawl?

Posted by Justin 'AdaptiveTrigger' Gordon • February 24, 2021 at 3:02 p.m. PST • Comments: 17

Pyra & Mythra were recently revealed to be coming to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as part of the Fighters Pass Vol. 2. The most notable thing about these two Xenoblade Chronicles 2 reps is that they're able to freely transform into one another during gameplay.

Of course, this isn't the first time that we've seen two characters function like this. In Super Smash Bros. Melee and Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Sheik and Zelda also had access to a special move that allowed them to switch between one another while fighting the opponent.

Ideally, Sheik was supposed to be the quick rushdown character that racked up damage thanks to her amazing frame data and combos. Her weaknesses made it difficult for her to reliably score knock outs, and her recovery was easy to gimp.

Zelda, on the other hand, was slow and powerful. With the right amount of precision and spacing, Zelda was able to relinquish opponents of their stocks at ludicrously low percents.

Compared to Sheik, Zelda's recovery covered a lot more distance. It's also worth mentioning that Zelda is equipped with a fast reflector that is effective at nullifying projectiles with the right reads.

It felt like the developers intended for players to rack up damage at the early percents with Sheik, then use Zelda for the finishing touches. However, most players just exclusively used Sheik while basically ignoring Zelda's existence.

Sheik was perceived to be a lot better of a character than Zelda in both Melee and Brawl — especially in Melee when Sheik was top tier and Zelda was bottom tier. Though many of Sheik's attacks were weak in terms of damage and knockback, she had plenty of ways to mitigate this weakness.

Ironically in Melee, Sheik's forward aerial and up smash were actually extremely strong moves that could be used for knock outs. It felt like the developers attempted to compensate Sheik's kill power troubles by... giving her some of the best kill options in the game.

Even after Sheik and Zelda were separated as characters in Super Smash Bros. 4 and Ultimate, Sheik has always been regarded as the better fighter.

Is the same fate awaiting Pyra and Mythra in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Initial impressions from the trailer suggests that Mythra is all about speed while Pyra appears to boast extra power with her attacks. This sounds eerily similar to the Sheik and Zelda situation of Melee and Brawl.

If it turns out that Pyra or Mythra is just blatantly better than the other, then there'd never be a need to switch between the two. In fact, there'd be no need to ever use the weaker Xenoblade Chronicles 2 rep over the stronger one — unless you were going for style points, of course.

However, one of the biggest problems that held Zelda back was the precision required for some of her attacks. Neither Mythra nor Pyra appear to have this problem as they are both sword users.

The Super Smash Bros. Ultimate development team have also seemingly learned how to properly balance multiple play styles, forms or "stances" in how they developed the Pokémon Trainer and Min Min.

In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Pokémon Trainer was seen as a weak character. Though Squirtle was actually fairly good by himself, Ivysaur and Charizard's awfulness held the little turtle back.

These days, players will often debate about who is better between Squirtle and Ivysaur. Even Charizard does see some usage for the purposes of survivability or scoring that one powerful hit.

As for Min Min, she's able to dramatically change the properties of attacks that use her right ARM by equipping either the Ramram, the Megawatt and the Dragon. All three ARM types have their uses in Min Min's kit.

Seeing as how Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is considered to be the most balanced entry in the series, it really does feel like the team has figured out the formula for balance. Though we've had nine DLC fighters released so far (some weak and some strong), there hasn't been anything quite like Bayonetta in Super Smash Bros. 4 — a fighter that was undoubtedly the best in the game, and often was the subject of debate when it came to implementing character bans for the tournament scene.

During the Sakurai Presents on Pyra & Mythra that is to debut next week, we'll finally be getting more information about the two-in-one character that's coming to Smash Ultimate. Fans will be analyzing both fighters' toolkits then, so we'll likely have better ideas on what they can both offer by the end of next week.

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