Like some kind of apocalyptic Christmas gift, Sakurai has gifted us the present of Sephiroth this December, with the silver-maned swordsman officially arriving on Wednesday 23rd December.
However, if you take him down in the new Sephiroth Challenge mode, you can unlock him right now to play, so we thought it would be a great idea to compile a small guide to how the famous villain plays, to get you that clear and help you get started with playing him.
Hailing from Final Fantasy VII as the main antagonist and final boss, a lot of his move set has been brought across from what we know, with his infamous downward stab and powerful Supernova present and accounted for. This doesn’t mean that there isn’t any creative license taken here, as you’ll soon see.
Sephiroth Move Set
|Neutral A||Three hit combo||Close-range but fast|
|Dash A||Dash punch||Decent reach and launch power|
|Side A||Slash attack||Can be aimed diagonally up/down|
|Up A||Upwards Stab||Long reach, can launch opponents from ground|
|Down A||Slide attack|
|Neutral||Finger click||Puts damaging temporary field around Sephiroth|
|Forward||Side stab||Can be used to recover by stabbing into side of stage|
|Back||Reverse slash||Quicker attack than forward in air|
|Up||Arcing upward slash||Behaves similarly to standard Up A|
|Down A||Hell’s Gate||The infamous downwards stab that took Aerith from us|
|Side||Arcing sideways slash||Huge launching power|
Wide-ranged arcing slash
|Down||Ground-piercing stab||Sends up debris from point for additional hit|
|Neutral B||Flare / Megaflare / Gigaflare||Increases power as it is charged up, but decreases range.|
|Side B||Shadow Flare||Places up to five orbs around opponent, which attack them after a set amount of time.|
|Up B||Blade Dash / Octaslash||Dashes forward with single strike, or multiple if charged to Octaslash. Can be aimed in any direction in a straight line after input.|
|Down B||Scintilla||Behaves like a counter attack, but only affects in front of Sephiroth and activates regardless of whether he is attacked or not.|
Sephiroth’s Final Smash – ‘Supernova’
Fans of Final Fantasy VII will recognise this, as Jenova’s son turns into Safer Sephiroth and causes the obliteration of the planet via a tasty little meteor. Furthermore, this attack will either launch the opponent or place one of five status effects on them (including reversed controls). Incredibly flashy and deeply satisfying.
Sweet Spot: Much like characters such as Marth, Sephiroth’s blade has a sweet spot in terms of damage. With slashing attacks, the sweet spot is in the middle of the blade, meaning opponents close to Sephiroth or further away will receive less damage. However, with stabbing thrusts, the sweet spot changes to the tip of the blade.
Winged Form: Gives Sephiroth an increase in strength and speed, adds an extra jump in the air, meaning he can jump three times, and gives him super armour on all smash attacks. He transforms into this form when he is in danger; which doesn’t necessarily mean low health. It can be at high percentage, but won’t always activate in time to save you. However, in a Stock match, it can activate on as low as 30%. You lose this form by being KO’ed or occasionally by KO’ing opponents.
Playing as Sephiroth
Sephiroth is a great fighter, in fact, he is probably up there with the strongest fighters in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. His attacks have a decent heft to them, yet he has the speed to back it up. Although a lot of his attacks have a plenty of launch ability, he isn’t invincible, he has a longer recovery phase making him very vulnerable if his attacks miss, so be careful.
He has great utility at all ranges, with mid-to-close range covered by sword slashes or Shadow Flare, as long as you keep the sweet spot of the blade in mind (it’s the middle). The long range is covered well by the three Flare spells with the charging being a consideration based on how close your opponents are to you, although Flare still does decent damage alone.
The game plan with Sephiroth then, requires some setup. Start with a few Shadow Flares on your opponent, then dash in to attack and capitalise on them blocking to grab them to have the orbs strike, finally following up with a side Smash to send them flying. Or, if you have a little distance and can fully charge it, you can unleash a one of the Flare spells to engulf your enemy whilst you dash in for an air neutral into up air slash. There’s a lot of flexibility here.
Once he has been out in the wild for a little longer, with players far more talented than I, we can get a better idea of how strong he is in relation to other characters. But based on my time with him, he’s at least high tier based on his flexibility alone, yet things aren’t unfairly stacked in his favour in terms of power.
Have you unlocked Sephiroth yet, and have you managed to find some early hands-on time with him? Let us know your favourite strategies, or what your attack of choice is!