Nantendo here! This Dream Smashers guest article was written by Munomario777 with input by yours truly. The best place to find Munomario777 is on Smashboards in the Make Your Move thread so if you have any questions for him then hit him up there.
Pokémon is a series which needs no introduction. Being an icon of gaming since the Game Boy days, this monster-catching franchise started as one man’s childhood-inspired project, and ended up as a smash hit which is still going strong to this day, with the recent announcement of Pokémon Sun and Moon in celebration of the franchise’s twentieth anniversary. In Smash, this franchise is well-represented, from fighters to stages to the Poké Ball item. In the newest games for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS, there is a wide variety of Pokémon available to choose from: Water-types, Fire-types, Psychic-types, Electric-types, et cetera. However, there is one classic type missing: Grass-type, making up one-third of the starter Pokémon throughout the series along with Water and Fire. Combine that with a lack of Gen III representation, and the obvious choice is clear: Sceptile.
Who is Sceptile?
Gimmick: Trap character
Niche: Grass-Type Pokemon
Sceptile is a Grass-type Pokémon debuting in Ruby and Sapphire – one of the three starters, in fact. Since its debut in 2002 (2003 outside of Japan), it’s been leaf-slashing its way into trainers’ hearts around the world. Its signature abilities include using the leaves on its wrists like blades for slicing attacks, agilely leaping across trees, and using its special relationship with the jungle to its advantage in battle.
Being a starter Pokémon, Sceptile is one of the more well-known of the bunch. Not only that, but Sceptile has had prominent roles in games since then, with the recent Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire bringing the third generation back into the spotlight. Furthermore, Sceptile is featured as a playable Pokémon in the fighting game spin-off Pokkén Tournament for the Wii U. It’s only natural that the next step would be an appearance in Smash Bros. – Sceptile is also one of the more popular picks out of the entire Pokémon franchise among fans. Furthermore, Sceptile is the perfect choice to complete the trifecta of starters in Smash – we’ve got Charizard as a Gen I Fire type, and Greninja as a Gen VI Water type. A Gen III Grass type is the perfect way to complete this trio!
How will Sceptile play?
Popularity and history with Nintendo, however, can only get a character so far; what does Sceptile bring to the table in regards to gameplay? Sceptile brings a new style of fighting to the world of Smash, using its Grass typing and relationship with the plant life to great effect in battle. Sceptile fits the archetype of a trap character, a character who uses set-ups around his environment to help ensnare and damage his opponents, but puts a new spin on things in comparison to fighters like Snake. Its stats spread, however, may lead you to think otherwise:
Ground Speed: B
Aerial Speed: B+
Falling Speed: D+
Jump Height: A
Misc. Abilities:* crawl, wall-jump, wall-cling
*e.g. crawling, wall-jumps, or unique things like Peach’s float
Sceptile excels in terms of mobility, its lightweight Grass-type body being both a blessing and a curse. It boasts great agility, with its dashing speed, aerial speed, and jump height allowing it to get around the stage with ease. In return, however, Sceptile is lightweight for its height, and floaty too – vulnerable to juggles and easy to KO. Another boon to Sceptile’s stats, though, is its nice ability-spread. It has a crawl which brings it very low to the ground, as well as a wall-jump and a wall-cling as an extra form of recovery or stalling.
Sceptile’s traps all involve the use of the seeds that grow on his back. Using the vines from these traps to ensnare opponents, Sceptile can use it to continue a combo as well as just wail freely on opponents. He also has the ability to absorb health from his opponents with his traps, a common trait found in Grass-type Pokémon.
So something unique is going to happen with this edition of Dream Smashers. While we came to an agreement over the majority of the moveset, the implementation of Sceptiles gimmick was something that we contested about for weeks. Being stuck in a never ending time loop began to become frustrating for both of us and so we came to the agreement that we would include both of our ideas and let you, our readers, decide which one makes the most sense to you both for Super Smash Bros and for sceptile. Let us know in the comments below which one you prefer and why.
|Down Special: Leech Seed||
Sceptile takes a yellow seed from its back and throws it straight down, with moderate starting and ending lag. Hitting a foe with this deals a little bit of damage and knockback as well as planting a small plant on them to leech a bit of life, acting like a Pikmin. When it’s knocked off by the opponent, it falls to the ground, where Sceptile can eat it to gain the health that the plant leeched from the foe. Hitting an opponent will not stop the seed from falling. Once the seed hits the ground, it will grow into a thorny plant about ⅔ as wide as a Battlefield platform. If you hit a foe into it (or when it first appears), it can deal a bit of damage to potentially extend combos. The plant only lasts as long as Villager’s tree, and can be attacked in a similar way. Once it’s gone, there’s a brief delay before you can make a new one.Pressing dspec again will have your plant extend a long vine out at the nearest opponent, with quite a lot of start-up lag. Its range is similar to most tether grabs. Note that Sceptile is free to move during this, like Duck Hunt’s can shooting. It’ll then grab onto the foe, sucking the life out of them and refilling its own like Robin’s Nosferatu. Sceptile can attack the foe until they break out, but it acts like a Yoshi egg in that your attacks deal half damage and no knockback.
|Custom 1: Leech Seed Bomb||When the seed grows, it explodes. This can damage foes within a bigger radius and deals more damage – it can even KO at higher percents! It also will not damage Sceptile, so it can be used to deter foes who come near. The explosion, however, leaves the plant / vine visibly singed, so it stays around for significantly less time having been damaged by the blast. It can also explode on impact with an opponent while the seed flies through the air, but will not leech health and thus cannot heal Sceptile.|
|Custom 2: Leech Seed Toss||The seed is tossed forward in an arc, with a trajectory similar to a fully-charged grenade from the Mii Gunner. It can be placed further away, but in a pinch, you can’t use it as quickly since it is so far away. Another benefit is the ability to throw it onto a distant foe, creating the Pikmin-like plant from a distance!|
|Side Special: Leaf Tornado||
Sceptile spins around, firing a projectile of spinning leaves. It travels rather slowly, although a tad faster than in the gif, and deals multiple rapid hits, carrying the foe along for a short distance before dealing upward knockback after a few hits and a bit of damage. Holding the control stick angles it up or down like Toon Link’s boomerang, although this will not return back to Sceptile. This slow-moving projectile acts as a trap of sorts, able to block off space and intercept approaches. It also works great when edgeguarding, and can keep foes in place for a follow-up attack, but it can only reach about half of Battlefield’s length, and only two can be onscreen at a time.If it hits the Leech Seed plant, the Leaf Tornado will swirl around it for a moment, causing foes who touch the plant to take damage like a Lucario charging its Aura Sphere. Shooting a Bullet Seed into the Leaf Tornado, even if it’s circling a plant, will boost its damage as the seeds are added into the mix; more seeds = more power. Finally, using Agility into the Leaf Tornado will cause the leaves to briefly surround Sceptile, adding an extra, wider hitbox that pulls foes into the main event. This is especially potent if you’ve powered Agility up with the plant! However, the strategy can become predictable.
|Custom 1: Leaf Cyclone||The tornado is now a cyclone, stretching as tall as an uncharged Ore Club projectile. It’ll now deal stronger upwards knockback, now able to KO at higher percents, and covers a higher area. However, it cannot circle a plant, deals only one hit (losing its ability to lock foes in place for combos), is slower to fire, cannot be angled, and only one can be onscreen at a time.|
|Custom 2: Magical Leaf||Sceptile now scatters a handful of leaves, and they fly through the air as if picked up by a breeze. These leaves are faster, moving at the speed of an uncharged Aura Sphere, and will home in on foes like a Samus missile. However, they only deal a bit of flinching like an uncharged Sheik needle, and can be beaten out by most attacks. Good for harassing foes from a distance and forcing a reaction.|
|Final Smash: Mega Sceptile||For its Final Smash, Sceptile temporarily transforms into Mega Sceptile! It lasts as long as Mega Lucario, and has super armor too. Sceptile’s moves are increased in power and range, and even its plant gains a green glow and extra overall effectiveness! (Namely, more durability and extra reach / leeching power on its grab.) Mega Sceptile also creates foliage wherever it steps, meaning it can use the powered-up Agility, plant crouch, etc even when away from its plant.
Also, instead of Bullet Seed, pressing B will give you a one-time-use move: the Tail Torpedo! You’ll launch your tail like a rocket, and it’s a super-powerful projectile that explodes on impact and travels quickly. It’s a great finisher, but using it will end the Final Smash early – be careful when you use it!
Sceptile poses with its tail, moving the tail in front of it as it turns around. (For reference, Sceptile would be facing right in the image above.)
|Up Taunt||Sceptile lifts its arms into the air as plant life surrounds it, sprouting up momentarily from the ground before disappearing briefly after the taunt ends. As a bit of an easter egg, this plant life acts like a smash attack plant, but the taunt’s duration and the plant’s incredibly brief existence keep this from being a viable tactic by any means.|
|Down Taunt||Sceptile stands on one foot and strikes a pose, facing the screen. Its leaf blades grow for this taunt – while this deals no damage, it does give you, the reader of this article, a good idea of what they tend to look like in other attacks.|
|Victory Pose 1||
Sceptile’s victory pose is taken straight from Pokkén.
|Victory Pose 2||Victory poses include stomping on the ground and creating a burst of plant life around him.|
|Victory 3||Sceptile leaps high into the air from the background and lands, striking a cool pose, in the foreground.|
Sceptile, of course, uses the standard Pokémon fanfare for his victory theme:
And there you have it: my Sceptile moveset! Sceptile’s playstyle is that of a ranged trap fighter, with reach on attacks and long-distance hitboxes as well as projectiles and traps to keep foes away. It’s a big target and a light one for its size, so it’s easy to combo, juggle, and KO relative to some other fighters. Also, Sceptile is not very effective up close, since it struggles to escape pressure. However, it compensates for this with a good ranged kit, traps, and powerful combos and setups utilizing its unique plants. Sceptile is more than prepared to take on the best that Smash has to offer, and will really help Smash “grow” into new territory in terms of fighting style!
Enjoy this moveset? If so, why not check out Make Your Move over on Smashboards? It’s a contest where we make movesets such as this one, and with years’ worth of move-setting development and refinement, there’s a lot of quality movesets to read! You can also throw your own hat into the ring by sharing your own moveset ideas, and you can get good feedback on them too. We always love it when new people join the community