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This article is about the move for the Fire Emblem representatives. For Palutena's version, see Counter (Palutena). For the Mii Swordfighter's version, see Blade Counter.
This article is about the move. Counter can also be used to describe a match-up that strongly favors one character.

Counter (カウンター, Counter) is the down special move for Marth, Roy, Ike, Lucina, and Corrin all of whom are representatives of the Fire Emblem series. It is used as a counterattack to deliver damage to the attacker when the user is hit.

Overview

The character will strike a pose and a small, metallic "chink" sound will be heard. For about a second, any attack they are struck by (other than a grab) will turn them invincible for the duration of their retaliating swing. If the attack is a projectile (such as Samus' Missile), it will simply be deflected behind them and upwards at about a 30 degree angle. It is worth noting explosive projectiles can still explode and will still do damage if they are struck when the invincibility ceases. If the attack is a Smash Attack, then the attacker will be knocked back at a 90 degree angle. If used in conjunction with Mr. Game and Watch's Oil Panic, it is the most powerful non-charged attack in Melee, if Oil Panic has absorbed the most possible amount of damage, which is 250% damage and delivers an OHKO. It can be countered again for even more damage.

Marth

Marth's Counter deals up to 7% damage, regardless of the attack. Marth's Counter has a faster start-up time and lasts slightly longer than Roy's Counter, which makes Marth's Counter more effective but less damaging.

In Brawl, Marth's Counter reflects back x1.1 damage, with a minimum damage of 8%.

In SSB4, Counter reflects back x1.2 damage. Additionally, Marth no longer speaks when using it.

Marth's Special Moves
Melee Brawl SSBWU/3DS
Standard Special Shield Breaker
Side Special Dancing Blade
Up Special Dolphin Slash
Down Special Counter
Final Smash Critical Hit

Lucina

Lucina also has this attack as her Down Special Moves in Super Smash Bros. Wii U and 3DS.

Lucina's Special Moves
SSBWU/3DS
Standard Special Shield Breaker
Side Special Dancing Blade
Up Special Dolphin Slash
Down Special Counter
Final Smash Critical Hit

Custom Variations (Marth & Lucina)

In Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, with the introduction of Custom Moves, Marth and Lucina have 2 variations of Counter.

Easy Counter

Easy Counter is one of Marth and Lucina's Down Special Moves that can be used via customizations. The counterattack stance lasts longer, but the launch power is decreased.

Strengths:

  • Counter window is greater

Weaknesses:

  • Less damage and knockback.

Differences:

  • Marth's sword deals more damage at the tip.

Easy Counter has a bigger counter window, so Marth and Lucina are more likely to counter an incoming attack when it is used. However, the counterattack won't deal as much damage or knockback as a result.

Iai Counter

Iai Counter is one of Marth and Lucina's Down Special Moves that can be used via customizations. When they do the counterattack, they can knock opponents behind them. The damage is increased, making the in-game text regarding this move inncorrect.

Strengths:

  • Moves forwards
  • Faster attack
  • Hits opponents that are behind you
  • More damage

Weaknesses:

  • Moves like Wario's Bike and Bowser Jr.'s Clown Kart Dash won't be hit by the counterattack

Differences:

  • Marth has the sword tipper.

The move Iai Counter will have Marth or Lucina move past the opponent and hit them with the sword from behind, much like Shulk's Vision when input past the opponent. The move is executed faster but not fast enough to hit enemy attacks that go past opponents like Wario's Bike, Fox's Fox Illusion, and even Ness's PK Thunder when used on himself. The move also deals less damage.

Marth's Custom Special Moves
Custom 1 Custom 2
Standard Special Storm Thrust Dashing Assault
Side Special Effortless Blade Heavy Blade
Up Special Crescent Slash Dolphin Jump
Down Special Easy Counter Iai Counter

Lucina's Custom Special Moves
Custom 1 Custom 2
Standard Special Storm Thrust Dashing Assault
Side Special Effortless Blade Heavy Blade
Up Special Crescent Slash Dolphin Jump
Down Special Easy Counter Iai Counter

Roy

Roy's deals x1.5 times the original attack's damage. Roy's Counter has a slower start-up time, and lasts slightly less than Marth's Counter.

In SSB4, Roy's counter only deals x1.35 times the damage and he swings at a more horizontal angle.

Roy's Special Moves
Melee SSBWU/3DS
Standard Special Flare Blade
Side Special Double-Edge Dance
Up Special Blazer
Down Special Counter
Final Smash Critical Hit

Ike

Ike also has this attack as his Down Special Move in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Ike's Counter is not as fast as Marth's (counter frames start roughly 6 frames after Marth's, but ends six frames earlier), but reflects back x1.2 damage, with the minimum damage being 10%.

Since Ike's Counter is a bit slower, it cannot be used for immediate countering. However, he makes up for this by having more knockback and greater range. Although Marth and Ike both have the same duration of counter frames, Ike has less vulnerability after the counter frames end, due to the slightly slower activation of his. Both Counters last the same amount of time from start (initiating the command) to finish (when the player is free to move again); Marth's simply activates faster, but his counter frames end 6 frames before Ike's. Marth's Counter leaves him vulnerable at the end of the attack while Ike's counter leaves him vulnerable at the beginning. If Marth or Ike counter a large hitbox such as Mr. Game and Watch's Oil Panic (after absorbing three strong enough projectiles that does 60% damage), it will One-hit KO anyone who is very close to Marth or Ike.

Ike's Counter is a great move for interrupting enemy combos and will be a devastating attack if the opponent hits Ike with a killing blow. The Counter is also useful for edge-attacks; if Ike is edge-guarding and an opponent constantly goes for an edge-attack, use Counter and they will be launched back off the stage. It is slightly faster in SSB4.

Ike's Special Moves
Brawl SSBWU/3DS
Standard Special Eruption
Side Special Quick Draw
Up Special Aether
Down Special Counter
Final Smash Great Aether

Custom Variations (Ike)

In Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, with the introduction of Custom Moves, Ike has 2 variations of Counter.

Paralyzing Counter

Paralyzing Counter is one of Ike's Down Special Move that can be used via customizations. It's a counter that paralyzes enemies instead of launching opponents.

Strengths:

  • Paralyzes opponents
  • Kill set-up
  • Good damage

Weaknesses:

  • Doesn't launch opponents
  • Paralysis doesn't last long enough for a smash attack

Paralyzing Counter is useful as a kill set-up as when it paralyzes opponents they are briefly left open to attack. The paralysis doesn't last long enough to follow up with Ike's slow smash attacks, but his tilts, jab, and grab are useful follow-ups to this counterattack. The move deals good damage but doesn't launch opponents, which means that it cannot be relied on solely for closing out stocks, instead requiring Ike to attack the opponent with one of his quicker kill moves like jab or up tilt to kill the opponent.

Smash Counter

Smash Counter is one of Ike's Down Special Move that can be used via customizations. The move delivers a slower, more powerful attack when countering.

Strengths:

  • Very powerful counter-attack
  • High launch and kill power

Weaknesses:

  • Takes a moment for Ike to launch the actual counter, making it easier for opponents to dodge
  • Cannot counter moves that move past Ike such as Fox Illusion and Wario's Bike

The Smash Counter custom variation is a very powerful counter-attack. When hit with an attack while in the countering stance, Ike will pause a moment before smashing the opponent with his sword; this brief window in between the counter stance and the counter-attack can allow for opponents to escape, and the move is useless against moves that go past Ike like Fox's Fox Illusion. The counter attack has high launch and kill power though, capable of killing at very early percentages. This high launch and kill power makes it especially useful at the edge for countering edge attacks since the high launch from the edge of the stage is very likely to kill an opponent.

Ike's Custom Special Moves
Custom 1 Custom 2
Standard Special Tempest Furious Eruption
Side Special Close Combat Unyielding Blade
Up Special Aether Drive Aether Wave
Down Special Paralyzing Counter Smash Counter

Similar Moves

There are several other moves similar to Counter: Double Team, Toad, Slip Counter, Substitute, Vision, Counter Surge, Interception Arm, and (to a lesser extent) Wolf's Reflector.

Origin

This move seems to be based on the fact that, in the Fire Emblem games, characters can counterattack when an enemy attacks them. However, starting from Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance, a battle skill of the same name was made. In Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn the skill inflicts half the damage dealt to the user back at the attacker. In Awakening, Counter inflicts the same amount damage to the attacker that the user receives as long as the user is not killed.

Masahiro Sakurai actually confirmed in a recent interview that the Counter move (concerning Fire Emblem characters) was based on the phase battle system of the Fire Emblem games, in which the player would take a turn moving their units and then all the enemy units would move in, and that the Counter move was to illustrate this system of battle.

Trivia

  • Marth's Counter can be used on Kirby's Inhale attack in Brawl or any other Vacuum created by an attack.
  • If three or more Marths are playing, it is possible to repeatedly Counter to huge amounts of damage. For this to work with Ike or Roy, who have slower counter strikes and slower counter activation than Marth, it is recommended to have four players play as Ike or Roy.
  • Marth can use Counter on the tides of lava and acid on Norfair and Brinstar. When the stage-wide wave of lava appears on Norfair, Marth can stand outside of the Capsule and time Counter correctly to avoid the damage.
  • Brawl is the only game that doesn't include a heart monitor wave whenever Marth or Ike successfully counters an attack.
  • In Brawl, the activation and trigger sound effects of Ike's Counter are not in sync.

See also

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