Representative of: Fire Emblem: Fates
Released: February 3, 2016
Systems: Wii U, 3DS
Important to Note: Corrin is a character that can be played as either a Male or Female, like in Fire Emblem: Fates. Therefore, in this article I do not use “he” or “she” pronouns and instead use “they”, “their” in respect to having no gender specificity.
Sword wielders have always been interesting to use in Super Smash Bros. They have weird hitboxes, different attack ranges (tippers, non-tipper, and anti-tipper), powerful combos and smashes, as well as decent air games, that can create challenging matches for almost any character. A great example of this would be Link, part of the core group of characters from the very beginning. His all around game is phenomenal: 3 different projectiles that can not only provide great zoning, but work as great spacing or combos depending on the variations used. Link’s grab can extend a little further in front of him, grabbing his enemy that could be running away from him or trying to roll. The grab can also be used as both a great combo setup/initiation, as well as a ledge grab if offstage. Link’s nair (neutral air) can be a great combo extender and kill confirm, and of course his iconic dair (down air) can be a powerful spike not only off stage, but also onstage. Link’s smash attacks also kill enemies at 70%
Though, I’m sorry to break it to everyone here and now, there’s one thing Link isn’t that the other sword wielders are…he’s not part of the Fire Emblem franchise! *gasp*
Fire Emblem has increasingly gotten more and more love and representation within the Super Smash Brothers franchise. From having Marth and Roy being introduced in Super Smash Bros. Melee (Melee for short), to Ike being the next in Brawl, Fire Emblem had 4 initial characters in Super Smash Bros. Wii U.: Marth, Ike, and newcomers Robin and Lucina (both from Fire Emblem: Awakening). Months later, Roy was reintroduced to the franchise as a DLC character. Now, we have a not only another Fire Emblem character, but one that’s both new to the franchise and is making their first appearance in the West.
Their name? Corrin. I think if there’s a nickname the character deserves, it’s the Counter Knight. While I know some fans of the franchise are a little bummed that yet another Fire Emblem made it into Super Smash Bros., Corrin is a fun addition to the game that has some really good strengths…and some not-so-great weaknesses. Let’s go a little in-depth about the character, shall we?
Corrin’s jab is a multiple = strike jab that involves hitting the enemy with their dragon spire first that leads into multiple sword hits. Their forward smash (Hold Left/Right + A) extends the sword out, but can also deal damage while charging. Corrin’s down smash (Hold Down + A) hits both forward and behind them. The Up Smash (Hold Up + A) has Corrin curl up, and the spikes on their helmet extending out. Corrin’s dash attack has them twirling forward with the sword extended out and deals multiple hits.
Corrin’s also has some pretty good tilt attacks. Their Up Tilt (Tap Up + A) twirls with the sword close to the head and knocks enemies up in the air. Their forward tilt (Tap Left/Right + A) is a standard slash and down tilt (Tap Down + A) is a low sweep near the ground that can also knock enemies back or in the air. Down and Up Tilt act as great combo setups.
Corrin also has some pretty good Aerial attacks. Their Nair (Neutral Air) uses both of Corrin’s swords slashing a full circle around them. The Fair (Forward Air) is just a standard forward slash from top to bottom. Uair (Up Air) is pretty much like Lucina and Marth’s attacks, where they slash a half circle overhead while flipping. Corrin’s Bair (Back Air) hits the enemy with wings on Corrin’s back and also pushes Corrin forward. Corrin’s Dair (Down Air) transforms their feet into spikes and zooms them straight down, slamming the opponent into the ground.
For their Neutral B (aka Special), the Dragon Spire acts similar to Samus’ and Zero Suit Samus’: the longer it’s held, the bigger the projectile and longer the stun. The Forward B, aka Dragon Lunge, can work as a two hit attack: if Corrin is in the air, the sword extends out to either pierce the air or the ground. Corrin can then kick forward to land a hit (or second) or turn around. Lastly, Corrin’s Down B is their insane counter: if a player presses down B at the right time, the amount of damage the enemy tries to dish out is sent back at them.
Finally, Corrin has four throws. The Forward throw (grab (Z button) to throw direction Corrin’s facing) looks like it smashes the enemy into Corrin and sends them flying. The back throw (grab, then throw behind Corrin) hurls enemies behind them. Corrin’s down throw (grab, then throw into the ground) turns Corrin into a dragon and stomps them into the ground and sends enemies flying. Corrin’s up throw (grab, then throw up over Corrin) is simply a toss into the air. Keep this in mind with all throws: the more damage percentage on an opponent, the farther they fly.
Out of all the Fire Emblem characters on Super Smash Bros. roster, Corrin’s move set feels the most balanced for an all around game. Corrin doesn’t excel in any attribute or play style; their moves are not too fast or too slow, neither too heavy onr too light, and have equally commendable air and ground game. That versatility offers Corrin an ability to effectively switch to completely different playstyles easily within a match. A ground game strategy doesn’t work again Mario? Use Corrin’s aerials and counter to keep Mario guessing. The aerial game isn’t working against Falco? Focus on a punishable ground game. That type of versatility isn’t warranted for many characters.
While Corrin’s moveset offers great spacing and zoning capabilities, most of their moves are built for follow-ups and brutal punishers that rely on enemy mistakes and openings. The smashes, no matter how charged, are punishing and can provide plenty of knockback to either give Corrin a chance to continue pouring on damage or fake out an enemy into setting up a possibility of a follow-up punish, grab and throw or counter. It also helps that while the Forward Smash is charging, it can both deal damage and stun an enemy before dealing the powerful blow of the smash.
Corrin’s tilt attacks act as great setups for combos, with all of them knocking an enemy off the ground and leaving enemies stunned just long enough to be able to land a good smash attack. Or if there’s a high enough damage, the tilt attacks can land a kill. It’s said to be important to mix in tilts when it comes to any match; like the many sword fighters before them, Corrin’s move set exemplifies the reason to do so, especially because the up tilt covers more range versus their up smash.
Another great move is Corrin’s Forward Special. This move can be used for distance coverage, delayed hits and even stunning then landing a hit on an opponent. While in the air and close to landing, Corrin’s Forward Smash uses the Dragonspire Sword to spike the ground to hold Corrin in place. From the spike, Corrin can either be sent in a dash-like forward attack or used to jump forward or away.
Even better, the Forward Special can be used to “pin” an enemy and provides Corrin with several great options to use on the enemy. Going forward will send Corrin charging forward and hitting the enemy. Backwards also sends Corrin backward to attack. Going up would make Corrin jump from the pin and release the enemy and going down will have Corrin staying until you press A. It provides plenty of move possibilities to keep the enemy guessing.
However, the biggest part of Corrin’s gameplan is their all-powerful (albeit too powerful) counter. Not only does it deal an insane amount of damage on an opponent when it lands, it has a high lift off that can send enemies flying high. The counter also has a pretty low kill percentage, going so low as 40% to have a kill confirm. If a player can land the counter while in the air, more times than not it’s going to gain the player a stock.
More importantly, Corrin feels like a great character that feels straight forward and very intuitive for their moveset. Combo possibilities, gameplan transitions and movement feel very straightforward to learn for players both new and familiar to the franchise. Corrin also feels a lot easier to “main” as a first character compared to the many others on the roster.
Corrin’s throws don’t really set up any great combo opportunities in either low, mid or high damage percentage for enemies, which puts players in the position of having to find a better way of punishing or mixing it up against enemies. This can be done in determining where opponents are landing, going for an aerial attack (with the risk of being punished for the pursuit), or doing an aerial fakeout before landing an aerial attack. Essentially, throws can be a dual edged sword; they can both help and harm Corrin. In fact, Corrin doesn’t have that many combo setups.
Depending on how you play Corrin, they have a decent edge guarding game that can also be detrimental.
Unfortunately, while the Up Special is a great way to recover and can provide enough knockback to give Corrin a chance to recover nicely, it’s also severely punishable. That’s because the frame data works as a bad lag against Corrin, leading to an enemy being able to capitalize and punish Corrin badly. There are so many times I’ve been punished heavily due to trying to recover from off stage with the Up Special.
Players will also have to be careful and aware of the direction they’re pushed while using Bair. While it certainly works well for spacing, creates great knockback and can even kill an enemy, it can also kill Corrin or put them in a bad place. In fact, while Corrin’s moves are perfect for follow ups and for punishments, they also can leave Corrin to be easily punished if they miss their attack.
Corrin is a welcomed, solid addition to the Super Smash Bros. roster, even if it is sword-heavy. Their overall balanced game doesn’t give Corrin anything they excel at, but also doesn’t give them too many major weaknesses in terms of gameplay. They possess both solid aerial and ground games, allowing for plenty of versatility and mix ups to keep enemies guessing. Corrin also possesses a very powerful counter that can kill at a low percentage. That said, Corrin is also easily punishable and has little combo setups. They also have a decent edge guarding style that can work for or against them. Regardless, Corrin feels very straightforward, intuitive, and very easy to learn for new and familiar players of the franchise.
While there’s still so much to learn about Corrin in terms of tournament usage, I’d say that Corrin feels like a solid Top-Mid Tier to Low-Top Tier character in the Super Smash Brothers Meta and feels like a worthy download for a solid game.