In a game filled with swordfighters, perhaps the most forgotten one is Corrin – a character with incredible amounts of potential and style. And despite all of her strengths, both mechanically and stylistically, Corrin is still relegated to the bottom of the barrel – a rare sight considering how prominent she was during the lifespan on Smash 4. However, with largely unrealized strengths across the board and a seriously unique playstyle, it’s impossible for Corrin not to stand out among not only swordfighters, but the entire Ultimate roster.
While she may not have the same raw output as a character like Cloud, or the flashiness of a fighter like Roy, a kit centered around a hybrid mix of dueling, defending, and dashing makes Corrin seriously intriguing. Almost every one of her abilities allow her to move across the stage graciously, while dealing damage in a flurry of both body and blade.
As Corrin, you’re going to be moving around quite a bit, however, with a dash speed of 1.595, she ranks 4th from the bottom amongst the sword characters, as only Robin, Ike, and the Mii Swordfighter fall below her. That fairly average to below-average run speed (55th on the roster out of 78), prevents her from being able to move across a stage at a blazing tempo, however, it’s not enough to seriously hinder her, as, in addition to a reliable dash attack, a Side-B that allows her to cover a metric ton of ground while dealing damage will definitely be your main tool for dealing damage on the move.
On the subject of Corrin’s Side-B, the ability is most definitely the character’s signature move. While her recovery, counter, aerials, and dash attack could be compared quite easily to moves from plenty of other fighters in the game, Dragon Lunge is one of the most unique abilities in all of Ultimate. Not only does the move include a rare tipper mechanic (just like her smash attacks), but it’s also a unique 2-part ability, where multiple inputs can change the direction of the ability halfway through its course. Depending on the actions of her opponent after the initial cast like rolling or spotdodging, Corrin can alter which way she kicks after planting her sword in the ground – she isn’t locked or committed to a certain direction once the ability is cast. Corrin’s ability to swing around her sword is a great option if her opponent rolls behind her, as she’s able to cover all her bases and still deal solid damage if she doesn’t get the pin.
Speaking of Corrin’s pin mechanic, it’s incredibly unique to her, as it interacts differently from a burial move, as it is also naturally part of her Side-B. Most burial moves, including Mr. Game & Watch’s Down-Smash and Donkey Kong’s Side-B require an entirely separate ability to be inputted in order to capitalize on the opponent being buried. Corrin, however, can simply pin an opponent in place with the first half of her Side-B while the second half of the ability kicks them into oblivion. For Corrin, especially with her Dragon Lunge, it’s about convenience and capitalization more than anything else, and with a ridiculously versatile signature move, the character’s ability to capitalize on well-timed moves is a great strength of her’s.
In addition to a fairly strong and character-defining Side-Special, Corrin’s tilts and aerials are definitely up there in terms of power when compared to the other sword characters in the game. While there’s definitely nothing too flashy about her tilts, they have fantastic reach and are always a reliable tool when playing in a neutral style. Up-Tilt reaches lower Battlefield platforms and is a nice option when underneath an opponent. Forward-Tilt is essentially just a standard tilt attack that’s comparable to the tilts of other swordfighters. However, Down-Tilt is one of her greatest tools that can safely combo into other moves, setting up Corrin’s juggle game quite nicely. A Down-Tilt into Up-Tilt into Up-Air will often string together for about 25-30%, while plenty of doors open from there.
Once Corrin’s opponent is in the air, there’s a lot of room for her to work with, as her Neutral-Air covers an entire 360° circle around her, while her Up-Air creates a 2-meter wide arc above her head, covering the width of an entire Battlefield platform. These two abilities by themselves are enough to keep someone in the air for a significant amount of time, and depending on how well your opponent plays in the air, Corrin can build some serious damage with her air game alone. If you notice that your opponent is struggling with airdodging, you can definitely capitalize on the strength of your Up-Air and Neutral-Air in order to juggle any character in the game.
Finally, what puts Corrin over the top in comparison to the rest of the swordfighters in Ultimate is most definitely her Down-B, Counter Surge. Of all the counter abilities in the game, Corrin’s ranks up near the top as it is incredibly generous and has even received significant buffs since Smash 4. Although the ability has more ending lag in Ultimate, the actual ability is active for more frames, making the window in which you can actually counter your opponent’s move larger and more forgiving. With above-average vertical knockback and surprising damage, Corrin’s counter is among the strongest in the game, as it can provide her with plenty of opportunities on the defensive end, while being able to set up juggle combos. Depending on the power of the incoming attack, Counter Surge could be one of the most devastating defensive abilities that any character possesses. However, on top of all of its defensive potential, it’s the perfect setup tool for devastating offensive strings and combos, making it one of, if not the most versatile counter-attacks in all of Ultimate.
With all of this in mind, it’s fair to say that Corrin might actually be undeserving of her fairly low universal ranking from the Smash community. She’s easily one of the most overlooked characters in the game, and in the right hands, Corrin is absolutely deadly. With a tournament pick rate of roughly just .5%, Corrin ranks just between Mr. Game & Watch and the Wii Fit Trainer in terms of relevance. Additionally, with a lackluster official tournament record of 19-34 (35%), Corrin hasn’t been able to stack up with the rest of the roster when it comes to success rate. And still, she’s really just one meta shift away from being favorable. She may not be at the pinnacle of Ultimate right now, however, all of her potential is already there, and with some of the most unique and interesting abilities in the game – abilities that provide her with plenty of chances for big plays and ridiculous combos – Corrin is on the cusp of not just relevancy, but success.
Photo Credit: Nintendo, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate