He is Sakurai’s Christmas present to every Smash player, the character no one expected but now everybody loves, we are of course talking about the very first DLC fighter of Ultimate, #70 in the roster, Piranha Plant.
First appearing in 1985 in the original Super Mario Bros, he is the infamous generic enemy that lives in the green pipes of the Mushroom Kingdom. Appearing in many games of the Mario franchise after, Piranha Plant has paved his way into history by becoming the newest fighter in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, available for free to all players who bought the game before the 31st of January. He instantly won the love of the community as a close to mid-range character with such a smooth gameplay feeling as well as unique new abilities to offer.
With his teeth and leaves, Piranha Plant has decent close-range combat capability both on the ground and in the air. In particular, his side- and up-smash are both very fast and powerful with a generous hitbox, making it easy to hit your target out of the park. Then, when in the air, you can do either his neutral to get nice safe damage or his back-air to end them with a fiery blast. Another notable finisher is his up-throw, which will kill reliably above 150% if you manage to grab an opponent wandering too close.
Piranha Plant is also fantastic for mid-range combat, with his special abilities being able to dish out the damage from the comfort of his pot.
His neutral is his Ptooie, an attack you can hold to blow out a spike ball above his head, which can be then thrown on either side with a directional input. Difficult to use at first, but, if you hit an opponent it can kill them from 100%!
Then it’s his side-special Poison Breath, a charged attack where Piranha Plant spits out a thick nauseous cloud of poison in front of him, which won’t stagger his opponents but will deal an insane amount of damage if they stay in it.
His down option is the Long-Stem Strike, another charged attack where he extends his neck to perform a long-range bite to finish his enemies. Finally, his up-special is the Piranhacopter, an easily steerable recovery tool which can travel both a great vertical and horizontal distance.
Now he may be new the roster, but Piranha Plant players have already found some cheeky combos and techniques with him. The first is a simple use of Ptooie to ledge guard your opponent. If you position Piranha Plant just on the edge of the map hold down your neutral-special, it will keep floating in the air and block any high recovery. Furthermore, if they instead want to attack you whilst climbing back on the stage, you can drop the spike ball and hit them back off-stage. Another general technique is the ‘Camouflage’, a great way to confuse your opponent by hiding behind the dense poison of your side-special to surprise your enemy with an unseen attack, such as your Long-Stem Strike.
So even if originally nobody even considered Piranha Plant to ever be a fighter for Smash, Sakurai has impressed everyone by making a creative and well-designed character. His overall decent moveset brings him only up to mid-tier but his unique tools make him very fun to play. I hence highly suggest you join the Plant Gang to slash and bite your way to victory.