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Mewtwo: A Legend Reawakens

Sean Gregory
Web Editor

Ever since the Smash Bros. series began, there’s been a new Pokémon representative for each installment, and each Pokémon has stayed in every Smash game prior to that debut. All, except two: Pichu and Mewtwo. People understood why Pichu was taken out, as they were originally put into the game as a joke character, but no one understood Mewtwo’s omission. He was highly recommended from that point on, and when Nintendo released DLC for Smash 4, Mewtwo was the first to make that list. However, Nintendo decided to put respect where respect is due and made Mewtwo an official character in Smash Ultimate (as well as Pichu). Ironically though, when it comes to competitive Smash Ultimate, Mewtwo doesn’t show up much at all. Because of this, most people that didn’t play Melee probably don’t even know that Mewtwo exists. Luckily, teaching you about Mewtwo is exactly what I’m going to do.
To begin, Mewtwo is one of those characters that takes a bit more skill to play than others: his combination of floatiness and technicality make him a tough character to pick up, but can also lead to some very gratifying moments when played correctly. For example, if you understand how characters with a floaty second jump work, like Ness, Lucas, and a few others, then you know that floaty second jumps can lead to surprise aerial attacks when used correctly. Coupled with the game’s new advanced aerial features, this makes Mewtwo a very scary creature in the air. Another one of Mewtwo’s moves that can be used very unpredictably is his up special: Teleport. Teleport allows you to instantly whip to another area with surprising speed. Like many recoveries in the game, you can angle it so that it aims downwards, thus letting you teleport to the ground if you’re getting juggled and want to reach the ground quickly. His recovery can also let him teleport from one side of the stage to the next, thus making you even more unpredictable. Finally, if you angle your up special towards the edge of the stage and just barely touch the floor, you can cancel all the endlag of the attack and lead up with another attack immediately. If you don’t know what endlag is, allow me to explain. A move, when used, has three animations: The startup, the hitbox, and the end lag. The startup is the animation that occurs just as the move is being used, but is building up to the hitbox. It leaves you a bit open, but not very much. The hitbox is the attack itself. If the hitbox connects with the opponent’s hurtbox (i.e. their body), then the opponent takes damage. The endlag is the animation that occurs in between the ending of the hitbox and the moment when you can control your character again. For some attacks, the endlag is short, while, for others, it’s very long. Endlag is very dangerous in this game, as you’re helpless if the enemy tries to counterattack you. However, with Mewtwo, if the Teleport just barely hits the stage, the endlag goes away completely. This is amazing since it lets Mewtwo counterattack very quickly.
However, we haven’t gotten into the other amazing parts of Mewtwo: most of his attacks have multiple hitboxes, with a strong hitbox at the end. This is not only good for trapping characters into your attack if they didn’t get hit by the first hitbox, but it’s also safe for counters, as you don’t get hit with as hard of an attack if you get countered. Plus, his special moves allow him to be a very technical character in the long run: a neutral B charge projectile, a side B that flips opponents and reflects projectiles, and a down B that momentarily makes a character stunned if they’re facing you, thus allowing for a strong attack to follow.
All in all, Mewtwo isn’t an overpowered character, nor is he a weak character. Again, stated back in the last issue, any character can be amazing if put in the right hands. If you’re just starting Smash Ultimate and you want to pick a character that provides a challenge to master, but, when mastered, becomes a technical and floaty character with mix-ups, unpredictability, and many strong attacks, then Mewtwo is the character for you.

Originally Published in Bandersnatch Vol. 48 Issue 10 on March 20th, 2019