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Palutena has an above-average juggling game, due to a few factors:
- High jumps: The height of Palutena's jumps is significantly above average, allowing her to reach an airborne opponent deceptively quickly.
- Air acceleration: Palutena's air accelerationThe measure of how quickly a character can reach their max airspeed. is among the best in the game. Her actual air speed may be slightly below-average, but she wastes very little time before she is capable of moving as fast as she can in the air. This allows for decent horizontal coverage when juggling, as well as the vertical coverage her jumps provide her.
- Large, long-lasting aerials: Uair is very wide and disjointed, which when combined with its 15 active frames allow the move to cover a respectable amount of space, resetting juggle situations and eventually killing off the top. Nair is also a long-lasting multihit aerial (as well as twice as fast to come out as Uair), and can be used to catch opponents who are falling past the range of Uair. Nair will not kill until very high percents however, and its horizontal knockback will likely convert a juggle situation into an edgeguard - which is still advantageous for Palutena.
When combined with her excellent ledgetrapping, Palutena's edgeguarding can be very potent, although when an offstage edgeguard isn't guaranteed it can be safer (although of course less immediately rewarding) to remain on the stage and focus on ledgetrapping rather than risking getting put in disadvantage.
- Dtilt: Among the most notorious 2-framingCatching a character's 2 frames of vulnerability when they grab the ledge from below. tools in the game, the lingering downward hitbox of Dtilt will catch many characters' recoveries when timed and spaced well, allowing for a combo into Dash Attack to reset the edgeguard or Bair to kill.
- Nair: Simply dropping off the stage and falling down with a Nair is a great way to edgeguard many characters, particularly those who don't have a hitbox on their recovery, or who are forced into a linear path. Nair's lingering nature also gives it some use as a 2-framing tool against teleport recoveries like Mewtwo or another Palutena.
- Nair: Against characters with hitboxes on their recovery, a Nair may trade with their recovery, essentially stopping it and spiking them, albeit weakly. When going for this, prepare to tech off the stage if the opponent's recovery trades with the Nair, and keep in mind this isn't 100% consistent all the time due to the way Nair's hitboxes move around during its animation.
- Bair: With enough time to set up proper timing and positioning, Bair can be used to directly contest any character's recovery due to its invincibility.
Palutena has a very good ledgetrapping game. With good reads or quick reactions, ledgetrapping and remaining in advantage as Palutena can easily rack up the damage required to take a stock.
- Dtilt: Even after its use in 2-framing, Dtilt can be an excellent option to throw out at the ledge. It will hit opponents who lose their invincibility on ledge as if it 2-framed them, meaning the Dash Attack and Bair combos still connect (although since the Dtilt is likely to hit earlier in its animation in this case, it might be harder to follow-up). It also beats grounded options like neutral getup or even roll in some cases, which will send the opponent directly outwards. It directly loses to ledge attack and doesn't punish jump nor roll (usually), but its very low ending lag often won't allow the opponent a very significant punish.
- In general, Palutena's good all-around stats and frame data mean she is great at being very threatening at the ledge. With proper discipline and fundamental skill she can reset ledgetrapping situations over and over again, eventually capitalizing on a mistake or a read for a taken stock.
Palutena's Dthrow is one of her most potent tools available to directly put opponents in a dangerous situation. Ater the opponent is in disadvantage, the opponent has limited options to choose from after a Dthrow, and each can be punished hard if correctly read or reacted to.
If an opponent is ever DIDirectional Influence: the direction someone holds on the control stick when getting launched by a move. Effects the angle of knockback.ing into Palutena, or in most cases if they aren't DIing at all, Palutena can follow up much more easily than if the opponent DIs the move correctly (straight away, or down and away). Uair becomes a very easy followup and kill confirm from Dthrow on DI in, and Bair (Palutena's usual followup at higher percents) becomes much easier as well. With consistent reactions and muscle memory, after a Dthrow at appropriate percents a Palutena player could begin a RARReverse Aerial Rush: quickly turning around and jumping to move forward in the air while facing away from the direction of movement. and react to poor DI with an Uair while still being prepared to follow up proper DI.
- Bair and Fair: Although no longer the near-universal kill confirm Dthrow->RARReverse Aerial Rush: quickly turning around and jumping to move forward in the air while facing away from the direction of movement. Bair used to be in earlier versions of the game, Bair is usually still the most desirable followup in advantage, with Fair also sending an opponent outward and reaching a little further than Bair, but lacking some of the killpower Bair has. Particularly on bigger or heavier characters, or on anyone with poor DI, Bair remains a true kill confirm close enough to the sides of the stage. At higher percents, or with enough RageThe passive increase in knockback a character gains as they reach higher percents., true confirms become less consistent.
- Jump or airdodge reads: Due to the fact that Dthrow results in such a dangerous position for the opponent, attempting to capitalize on defensive options afterward like jumping or airdodging can result in some taken stocks where it would be difficult or impossible with raw Dthrow followups (particularly when an opponent's percent is too high to combo directly, or when Palutena has too much Rage). Reading an airdodge with a Dair offstage can result in an early stock, and catching an immediate double jump by also double jumping and Bairing is a very common scenario.
- Keep in mind that even if you aren't certain exactly what to do out of Dthrow, simply approaching the opponent threateningly afterward (particularly with a RAR so as to threaten with Bair) is often enough to keep them in disadvantage, or react to their option for a kill.
- Platforms and Explosive Flame: As odd as it may seem to see a special move here, Dthrow is a very decent tool to set up opportunities to chase opponents on a platform, and aside from capitalizing onto that with Nair or Uair (which is obviously still viable to do, and less risky than this setup) it's also possible to jump after the Dthrow, use the short Explosive Flame onto the platform, and combo that into an Uair very high above the stage that can kill at some disgusting percents. The timing for using jumping Explosive Flame is a little strange, but can easily be mastered through practice. This will usually also catch every tech option on a platform except for rolling in.
As mentioned a few times above, the effects of Rage - the gradual increase in (dealing) knockback that a character gains as they are at higher percents - can make Dthrow followups less consistent due to the throw potentially sending an opponent further outward or upward than one might expect without Rage. This is always something to be aware of, but as a player grows more experienced with Palutena this will become more intuitive of a thing to keep in mind.
Other than that, Palutena is really not known for her setups, much preferring to land hits by simply reacting to or reading opponents' options. Moves like the airborne hit of Dtilt or the first hit of Nair (the one that pops grounded opponents upwards) are good ways to potentially read and punish an opponent's defensive options - scenarios like this are certainly "setups" that are disadvantageous for the opponent but are more basic and fundamental than those of characters who specialize in this aspect.
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