Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (SSBU)

Palutena Guide: Matchup Chart and Combos | How to Beat Palutena

July 2022 Major Tier List Update!
13.0 Best Character Tier List

Patch Notes and Updates
All Update and Patch Note History
Ver. 13.0.1 Patch Notes and Balance Changes

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Palutena Guide

This is a guide to Palutena in the game Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Everything about Palutena, including how to unlock them, bread and butter combos, frame data, alt costumes and skins, as well as Palutena matchups and counters, can be found here.

Palutena Tier and Overview

Stats and General Info

Palutena Image
Game Series Kid Icarus
Smash Bros. Debut Super Smash Bros. for WiiU/3DS
Fighter Number 54
Unlock Order 63
Number of Jumps 2
Weight 91 Units (59/87)
Dash Speed 2.077 (17/87)
Air Speed 1.0 (58/87)
Fast Fall Speed 2.48 (51/87)
Special Attributes None

Tier List Placement

SSBU Palutena Icon A+ Tier Tier

A strong and mobile fighter with a very versatile toolkit

Palutena in SSBU has great mobility, as well as access to strong projectiles (Neutral B and Side B), as well as powerful aerials. She has considerable lag on some of her grounded options, but she can make use of her wonderful aerials such as Nair and Bair to combo her opponents for tons of damage.

See Our Tier List Here!

Palutena's Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths ・Excellent air and ground mobility
・Great range, thanks to her staff and specials (neutral B and side B)
・Very powerful aerials (Nair in particular)
・Enormous grab, with decently strong grab game
・Hard to edge guard, thanks to her teleport recovery.
・Reflector that doubles as a counter
Weaknesses ・Poor OOS options
・Sometimes struggles to take stocks, at least until higher percents
・Lacks fast and safe ground options

Palutena Matchup Chart

Matchup Chart

Palutena Image
Diddy KongInklingPichuPokemon TrainerRoy
BayonettaCloudFalcoFoxGreninjaJokerLucinaMarthOlimarPeach/DaisySephirothSheikWii Fit TrainerWolfZero Suit Samus
BowserBylethCaptain FalconChromCorrinHeroIce ClimbersIkeKenKirbyLinkLittle MacLucarioLucasLuigiMarioMega ManMeta KnightMii BrawlerMii GunnerMin MinMr. Game & WatchPac-ManPit/Dark PitR.O.B.RobinRosalina & LumaRyuSamus/Dark SamusShulkSimon/RichterSnakeSonicSteveTerryToon LinkWarioYoshi
Banjo & KazooieBowser Jr.Donkey KongDr. MarioDuck HuntGanondorfIncineroarIsabelleJigglypuffKing DededeKing K. RoolMewtwoMii SwordfighterNessPiranha PlantRidleyVillagerYoung LinkZelda

Notes About Matchup Chart

1. -2 = Disadvantage. -1 = Slight Disadvantage or Even. 0 = Even. +1 = Slight Advantage or Even. +2 = Advantage.
2. The matchup chart was based around both the opinions of professional players of each character, as well as our own experience through playing Palutena.
3. Characters within each tier are unordered
4. Pokemon Trainer's individual Pokemon (Squirtle, Ivysaur, and Charizard) as well as Echo fighters with no significant difference than their regular counterpart are not shown.
5. For other characters who are not shown here, we are still investigating the matchup.

Good Matchups for Palutena

Palutena enjoys a wonderful matchup spread, so there are really only a handful of counters that are not good for Palutena. Palutena does wonderfully against big bodied characters, as her attacks have large hitboxes that are very easy to land. Additionally, her neutral aerial is disjointed and takes priority over most other aerials, so characters who rely a lot on their aerials will struggle to fight against her superior aerial game.

Palutena Counters

There are only a few characters who can truly be said to counter Palutena, given her amazing matchup spread. Of those, rats (Pikachu/Pichu) do very well against her for their ability to get in up close and combo her. Characters with good ground game also can be used to counter Palutena, as her grounded options are limited relative to her aerial ones. Thus speedy characters like Roy and Inkling are some of her notable losing matchups.

How to Beat Palutena

Bait out Dash Attack and Bair

Palutena's Back Air and Dash Attack have invincibility frames on the shield, and she will win most trades with them. By throwing out some type of attack and then baiting her to try and trade with one of these moves, you should be able to draw back, dodge the move, then follow with a grab or some type of counterattack. Neither of these are particularly safe on shield, so if you can trick your opponent into using on one of them, shielding or dodging the move, you should have plenty of time to retaliate.

SDI from Down Throw

It is possible get out of Palutena's down throw to Bair combo, by SDI'ing out of it. Do this by wiggling your left stick in the drection that Palutena is facing (therefore, you should SDI out). Since Palutena cannot kill with a foward throw or down throw alone, SDI is very important in this matchup.

Avoid being too campy

With the huge hitboxes on her Ftilt, Nair, and Up Smash, Palutena is good at beating out campy playstyles. However, while ther grounded options do have long lasting and large hit boxes, they all have significant lag, so she can be punished with an attack or out of shield option. You will need a very fast OOS option if you plan to counter her Nair on your shield, but that does not mean it is impossible.

Try to counter her jumping

As stated earlier, her grounded options are strong and have long-lasting hit boxes, but the slow startup and end lag make them a bit risky. Therefore, Palutena mains tend to rely mostly on their aerial options to fight. Palutena's Up B and Up Smash are terrible OOS options, so Palutena will tend to rely on Nair as her main OOS option. If you can read her Nair out of shield, you should be able to punish it.

Palutena Combos

Bread and Butter Combos
Side B → Neutral B
Neutral Air → Neutral Air → Up Air
Forward Air → Down Throw
Advanced Combos
Down Air → Back Air
(Around 20~40%)
Down Throw → Forward Air
Down Throw → Neutral Air → Up Air (Neutral Air)

Palutena Bread and Butter Combos

Combo 1
Combo 2
Combo 3
Side B → Neutral B
A bread and butter combo using Palu's projectiles. Neutral B needs to be input quickly for the best effect.
Neutral Air → Neutral Air → Up Air
This combo is pretty simple, and can rack up a ton of damage. It is very easy on opponents with larger hurtboxes, although smaller characters like Pikachu are harder to hit and can SDI out, so sometimes it is better to just hit the two nairs and finish the combo.
Forward Air → Down Throw
This combo works if you throw out Fair just before landing. Usually you can just input a grab immediately upon landing, although sometimes you will need to move slightly forward after landing for the grab to connect, especially if you just barely hit the opponent.

Palutena Advanced Combos

Combo 4
Combo 5
Combo 6
Down Air → Back Air
This combo works when you can land a down air on a grounded opponent. It won't connect at very low percents, and for mid-weights, they will need about 20-40% on them for the combo to work. You will need to practice the timing to get this one to work with ease. The trick is to buffer the Bair right after the Dair comes out, then hold your stick in the direction that Bair will come out.
Down Throw → Forward Air
A basic combo for a grab follow-up. You will need to get used to buffering the Fair immediately after the throw ends.
Down Throw → Neutral Air → Up Air (Neutral Air)
This is a high damaging combo that can be done from a grab. After the first Nair ends, you will need to land, then jump again with the next attack (Nair or Uair).

Palutena Frame Data and Moveset

Palutena's Best Out of Shield Options

Move Frames
Neutral Air 8 Frames
Grab 11 Frames
Back Air 11 Frames

One of Palutena's weaknesses is her lack of good out of shield options. For the most part, all she has is Nair, which does come out on frame 8, but it can also be blocked and countered, and it becomes pretty predictable. Her grab is frame 11, which is not too slow, but not particularly quick either. However, it makes up for it with its massive range. Depending on the size of your opponent, and the move they hit your shield with, Nair is generally your go-to option, but sometimes it is better to not try and punish quick attacks on her shield.

Palutena Jab (Light Attack)

Damage (%) Startup Frames
Jab 1
3.6 8.0
Rapid Jab (Multi-Hit) 0.72 -
Rapid Jab (Finisher) 4.2 3


This move is a multi-hit when you hold A or press it repeated after the second Jab input. This is good for catching an opponent up close when they are trying to run away.

Palutena Dash Attack / Tilt Attacks

Damage (%) Startup Frames
Dash Attack
(Dash + A)
13.2 6
Dash Attack (Weak Hit) 8.4 10
Forward Tilt (Hit 1)
(← or → + A)
7.2 14
Forward Tilt (Hit 2) 8.4 24
Up Tilt(Multi-Hit)
(↑ + A)
1.68 8.0
Up Tilt (Finisher)
(↑ + A)
3.0 24
Down Tilt (On a Grouned Opponent)
(↓ + A)
10.2 14
Down Tilt (Aerial Opponent) 6.0 14

Dash Attack

Palutena's Dash Attack is pretty strong, and has a quick startup. On top of that, the shield that she uses on it has invincibility, so it is great for catching landings, but it is very unsafe on shield

Forward Tilt

Palu's Ftilt has a big and long lasting hitbox, making it a great move when it hits. This attack is best used on enemies who are dashing in or short hopping, thanks to its range.

Up Tilt

This move also has a big and long lasting hitbox. While using this attack, Palutena crouches down, making it rather tough to hit opponents who are using an aerial. It can send opponents into the air, and even KO.

Down Tilt

This move has wonderful range. It may feel similar to Ftilt, but it has a smaller hit box in exchange for faster cooldown. In neutral, Ftilt is usually the better option, but this move does on excellent job of two-framing opponents, which is its most useful application.

Palutena Smash Attacks

Damage (%) Startup Frames
Forward Smash
(Smash ← or → + A)
19.2/15.6 18
Forward Smash (Wind Box) 0 21
Forward Smash (Wind Box 2) 0 26
Up Smash (Early)
(Smash ↑ + A)
19.2/14.4/10.8 18
Up Smash (Late) 15.6/10.8/8.4 30
Down Smash
(Smash ↓ + A)
18 17
Down Smash (Weak Hit) 15.6 18
Down Smash (Wind Box) 0 20

Forward Smash

Palu's Fsmash has a big hitbox, and can send opponents pretty far. The first hitbox is a regular attack, while the later hitbox is just a windbox, which pushes enemies away without dealing damage. This may allow you to escape a counterattack when the strong hitbox misses.

Up Smash

Palutena's up smash has a long-lasting and enormous hitbox, probably the largest one in the game. It is a strong attack, and has many useful applications, such as catching an opponent jumping onto the stage, hitting the before they grab ledge, or even countering an aerial.

Down Smash

This move sends an attack on both sides of Palutena simultaneously. Hitting with the tipper of the wings reduces the damage output, as well as the distance the opponent goes. On the other hand, hitting close will deal more damage and push them much further. Just like her Fsmash, it has a windbox, which can push opponents away.

Palutena Aerials

Damage (%) Startup Frames
Neutral Air
(A + no direction while airborne)
1.68 5.0
Neutral Air (Finisher) 6.12 29
Forward Air
(Hold ← or → in the direction you are facing + A while airborne)
12 9.0
Back Air
(← or → Opposite of the direction you are facing + A while airborne)
14.4 8.0
Up Air (Multi-Hit)
(↑ + A While Airborne)
1.2 10
Up Air (Finisher) 6.0 24
Down Air
(↓ + A While Airborne)
13.2 10

Neutral Air

Palutena has one of the best Nairs in the game, due to its long-lasting and large hitbox, and low startup. Up against big bodies like DK or Bowser, this move can combo into itself for massive damage.

Forward Air

Palutena's Fair has decent startup, good range, and very little landing lag. Fast falling one of these onto your opponent can lead to grabs or other follow-ups, and is a very quick option for Palu.

Back Air

This move has quick startup and little landing lag. It doesn't have the range of Fair, but it sends opponents much further, and is a great KO tool. Much like her Dash Attack, the shield is invulnerable, and can beat out most other attacks.

Up Air

Palu's Up Air is great for juggling with its wide hitbox. This move will send opponents very high upward, so it is a pretty easy way to get KOs off of the top.

Down Air

Palutena's Dair also has pretty decent startup. It can also spike opponents trying to recover low, but on the flip side, it has pretty noticeable landing lag.

Palutena Specials

Damage (%) Startup Frames
Neutral Special (Reticle)
- 8.0
Neutral Special (Hitbox) 4.08 24/30/36
Side Special (Multi-Hit)
(← or → + B)
1.8 28
Side Special (Finisher) 6.6 57
Up Special
(↑ + B)
- -
Down Special (Invulnerability)
(↓ + B)
- 6
Down Special (Counter) 10 7
Down Special (Reflector) - -
Down Special (Reflector Wind Box) - 1

Neutral Special (Autoreticle)

Palutena's neutral special fires three quick beams of light, which will automatically aim at an opponent. It is a good tool for attacking from a distance and making an opponent approach, but it can be easily dodged by moving/jumping over it.

Side Special (Explosive Flame)

This move has a long-lasting and large hitbox, and can send opponents pretty far away. This move has excellent range, allowing her to threaten her opponents from a safe distance. It has serious lag, but startup and cooldown, so in general you do not want to use it when your opponent is close. However, this move makes it extremely easy to edgeguard opponents, without even having to leave the stage. The position of the flame's hitbox can also be altered by adjusting your stick when using this move.

Up Special (Warp)

This move allows Palutena to warp forward in the direction held, immediately after inputting the move. By warping right to the edge of the stage or a platform, you can reduce the end lag of the warp (teleport cancelling). This move travels pretty far, and makes it considerably difficult to edgeguard this character.

Down Special (Counter)

Palu's down special is a counter. If she receives an attack right after inputting this move, she can strike back without taking damage. On top of that, it can reflect incoming projectiles. While this is not an opportunity that presents itself often, it is impossible for Palutena to use this move to counter and reflect at the same time.

Palutena Grab / Throws

Damage (%) Startup Frames
Pummel 1.56 1.0
Grab (Normal) - 7
Dash Grab - 10
Pivot Grab - 11
Forward Throw
(← or → While Grabbing)
10.8 20
Back Throw
(← or → While Grabbing)
12 20
Up Throw
(↑ While Grabbing)
9.6 17
Down Throw
(↓ While Grabbing)
6.0 25

Forward Throw

This move throws the opponents foward, and is mostly used for stage control. If the opponent doesn't immediately airdodge, you can follow it up with a neutral B.

Back Throw

This move throws the opponent behind Palutena. It is mostly useful at higher percents, as it is a kill throw that can be used to KO an opponent near ledge.

Up Throw

Throws the opponents directly upward. It cannot combo into anything else, but it does open up opportunities for juggling.

Down Throw

Palutena's down throw is an excellent combo starter at low percents. This is your go-to throw in most cases, and can even lead to KO setups at higher percents.

Final Smash

Attack How to Use Effect
Black Hole Laser Press B after obtaining the Smash Ball Palutena fires a black hole that sucks in opponents, then fires a wide laser beam across the entire stage. Opponents sucked into the black hole take more damage by the beam than opponents who weren't.

Palutena Balance Changes

Ver 11.0.0 Changes

Dash Attack Increased the ending lag.
Forward Air Increased the move's landing lag.
Grab Decreased the grab range of the normal grab.

Ver 8.0 Changes

Final Smash Shortened the amount of time surrounding opponents will be slowed at the start of the move.
Decreased the range the Black Hole can pull in.

Ver 7.0 Changes

Up Tilt Increased power of the last attack.
Extended launch distance for the last attack.
Down Smash Extended launch distance when hit in the high-damage range.
Neutral Air Shortened launch distance.
Reduced the range of the last attack against opponents in the air.
Down Throw Extended launch distance.
Other Increased shield size.

Ver 3.0 Changes

Neutral Special Reduced the power against shields.
Side Special Reduced the power against shields.

Ver 2.0.0 Changes

Neutral Air Shortened hitstun time.
Up Special Made it easier to grab edges.

Changes from Smash 4

Side B
(← or → + B)
Move given fire properties. Makes it easier to start combos now
Down Special
(↓ + B)
Functions as both a reflector and a counter. Buff

How to Unlock Palutena

Unlocking Via Smash Mode
63rd Fighter Unlocked
After unlocking Dr. Mario, let 10 minutes pass OR play another battle in smash after soft-resetting OR return to the menu from World of Light
Unlocking via Classic Mode
Clear Classing Mode 8 times using Kirby.
Unlocking via World of Light
The Final Battle (After defeating the first Master Hand)

There are three ways to unlock Palutena. Completing any of these, then defeating Palutena when they appear in the “a New Challenger Appears” screen will allow you to use them afterward.

How to Unlock Characters Fast

Palutena Alt Costumes and Skins

Palutena Reveal Trailer

Smash Ultimate Character Guides

List of Fighters
Tier List
Tier List
Unlocking Characters
Unlocking Fighters

Character Stat Lists

Character Stats
Weights of All Characters Run Speeds of All Characters
Air Speeds of All Characters Fast Fall Speeds of All Characters


    Walkthrough Menu

    All rights reserved