VG Tribune

A Brief Super Smash Bros. Wii U/3DS Character Analysis: Bayonetta

February 11, 2016 / 12:27 PM

By: Matthew Williams


It has been a week since Bayonetta and Corrin were released as downloadable characters for Super Smash Bros. Wii U/3DS. Smashers have now had ample opportunities to play as both, learning about their move sets, combos, and overall shortcomings.

VG Tribune decided to take a test spin with both characters, and now I’m here to offer you brief reviews of each. Read along as I take you through an executive-level analysis of each character’s pros/cons. I’ve decided to compliment the pro/con list with actual gameplay footage captured by yours truly. I hope that you find these snippets to be a visual enhancement while reading this review!

Starting off is our review of Bayonetta. Ever since the Umbra Witch was announced at the last Nintendo Direct, Smashers have been raving on about how OP (i.e.: overpowered) she would be. Some have even related her to becoming this generation’s version of Metaknight (Super Smash Bros. Brawl fans will remember how broken he was). With an unexplored moveset (like Witch Time) at her arsenal, which characters would be able to keep up?

Now that the hype train has arrived for Bayonetta and the momentum has normalized, I feel pretty confident to say that the Umbra Witch has a fair share of weaknesses. That’s not to discredit an equalized set of strengths, though. Some specifics regarding Bayonetta’s strengths and weaknesses can be found below:


1.) Witch Time is the real deal. This feature allows Bayonetta to slow down any opponent who gets near it, which remains in effect for anywhere between 5-22 frames. This duration depends on several factors, such as: the amount of times it is activated in a match, the opponent’s damage when hit with it, etc.). The following gameplay are examples of Witch Time coming up clutch:

Witch Time (Used in the air):

Witch Time (Slowing down attacks from fast characters):


2.) The Heel Kick (AKA: Down Aerial) can KO at low percentages. Performing a down aerial will cause Bayonetta to stick her heel out and fall straight down. When performed within a combo, this attack has the ability to finish an opponent with relatively low damage. I was able to successfully KO a level 9 Olimar at 83%.



1.) The most confusing recovery ever. If used properly, Bayonetta’s recovery can be very effective when getting knocked off-stage at long distances. There’s the catch, though: if used properly. Maximizing the distance it covers isn’t as simple as tap jumping twice. Like the rest of her moveset, Bayonetta’s recovery is most effective in combo form, by inputting the following: Tap Jump -> Up-B -> Side-B -> Tap Jump.


2.) The Heel Kick falls like an anchor. While Bayonetta’s Heel Kick has the ability to finish off opponents at low damage, it can also be an extremely risky move (especially when trying to perform a meteor strike). Unlike other characters’ meteor strike moves that feel ‘floaty’ (i.e.: Link, Yoshi, etc.), Bayonetta’s drops at breakneck speed. This gives the player less time to recover out of it, should the move miss. I’ve had too many self-destruct instances of trying to meteor strike a character, only to find myself down a stock seconds after.



Bayonetta is an offensive, combo-building character with a low learning curve that can rack up damage quickly on an opponent. Many have already considered her to be the “lazy smasher’s version of Ryu”. Where Bayonetta excels in offense though, is quickly equalized by her atrocious defense and obscure recovery.

While this list only scratches the surface of Bayonetta’s potential, we’d love to hear other Smasher’s experiences with the Umbra Witch. What do you think of her? Let us know in the comments section!

Stay tuned, as I also plan to give my two cents on Corrin in the next article…who surprisingly, is much more OP than Bayonetta.

About the author /

Matthew, a graduate from Texas Christian University, now works as a Senior Digital Analytics Consultant for Ernst & Young. With a passion for video games (mostly retro and survival horror) and data, Matthew is pursuing a career in game analytics.

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  1. Matthew Gibson

    Love the article! Can’t wait for Corrin, as she is quickly becoming one of my mains and *ahem* (sorry for this) my ‘waifu’ of choice in Smash! I love Bayonetta as a character, and it will be very interesting to see her in competitive tournaments. For that recovery, I agree that it is very confusing, but I believe that you can do: Side-B, Up-B, Jump, Up-B. You can’t perform two Witch Twists (her up special) without jumping in between.

    • Matthew Williams

      Thanks! For some reason, I initially thought tapping Up-B the second time would execute her 45-degree Witch Kick, but that is actually her Side-B (I must have just been hitting my analog stick at the wrong angle, :/).

      Corrin…is the bane of my existence right now, and she will be represented in such way in my next article. I’ve mentioned millions of times already on Twitter, but…THAT COUNTER!!!! >:-O

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