As with the coming of every major direct, so too does the reveal of a new Super Smash Bros. Ultimate character. Or rather, in this case, technically two new characters. Joining Shulk, from Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Pyra and Mythra are joining the game's roster as the fourth character in the second Fighters Pass. Functioning similar to Zelda/Sheik from Super Smash Bros. Melee or Brawl, Pyra and Mythra represent two different form changes of the same character slot. Both represent two slightly different playstyles that evoke their respective fire and lightning-based abilities. For the record, both take up only one character slot in the Fighters Pass.
Undoubtedly there will be many groaning fans echoing the sentiment that the game, once again, has too many sword/disjoint characters on the roster. It's an understandable reaction considering in this Fighters Pass alone, Sephiroth and Min Min have also been added to the roster. While the form change mechanic is certainly the unique attribute for Pyra/Mythra, some of their aerial or special attacks also have some unique characteristics not seen in other fighters. Oftentimes most disjointed characters in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate end up looking similar to one another, and while Pyra/Mythra do have some similar moves, they may be surprisingly different.
As a quick primer, both Pyra and Mythra are supporting characters from the Nintendo Switch JRPG Xenoblade Chronicles 2, the next numbered entry after Shulk's Xenoblade Chronicles. Similar to Final Fantasy, there are very few connections between the first and second games. Pyra and Mythra are technically the two companion characters/main party members of Xenoblade Chronicles 2, not the main character Rex. Thanks to the game's fandom quickly getting attached to the two Aegis blades, their popularity quickly overshadowed the game's main protagonist. Rex does get his due presence in their Final Smash attacks, but he's otherwise absent.
Pyra and Mythra's game plan in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is made pretty apparent at first glance: they have medium range disjoint attacks, are relatively quick compared to other existing sword wielders, and have a few surprising unique attacks that differentiate them. In terms of the differences between them, other than the obvious fire vs. lightning, is that there may be significant stat differences between them. Pyra seems to exhibit slower, stronger attacks with long-lasting hitboxes. Mythra's attacks seem significantly faster, though with seemingly less knockback. Altogether, optimal form changes and mixing up attacks may be the gameplay with both fighters.
More specifically, these characters seem to represent a duality not so dissimilar from stance characters in other fighting games. Similar to a character like Street Fighter 5's Zeku, Pyra and Mythra seem to emphasize different movesets for different situations.
Starting with Pyra, it's made immediately apparent that her attacks are stronger and/or yield more knockback compared to Mythra. The trailer doesn't show off too many of her normals other than aerial attacks, which resemble Shulk's wide sweeping neutral and forward-air attacks, albeit much faster. However, it's her smash attacks and specials that seem to indicate her most useful options. While her side-smash attack is very much just Hero side-smash, her "Flame Nova" AOE attack, "Prominence Revolt" up-special, and "Blazing End" side-special projectile show her versatility as a strong disjoint character. However, all of these attacks seem to have significant recovery.
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