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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 Marth, Roy, Ike, and Lucina's Down Special Move. The user enters a defensive stance, and retaliates with their own attack when struck.

Overview

The user holds their weapon in a defensive stance, which is signaled by a metallic chink. If an opponent attacks the user in their stance with a blockable attack, another metallic chink will play (further indicated by a heart monitor in SSBWU/3DS), and the user will slash at the opponent, usually hitting them unless they are out of reach.

Counter is a very powerful defensive and surprise tool, as it can be used to intercept powerful attacks, and retaliate with at least the same power quickly, making it a very viable move against powerful characters. In addition, Counter can be used to intercept recoveries, potentially knocking opponents away and preventing them from recovering. However, effectively using Counter requires precisely predicting attacks, as mistiming it or using it frequently leaves the user vulnerable to punishment due to its high ending lag. Additionally, it cannot block all attacks (such as Final Smashes), and can be negated by the use of a grab.

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 Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Marth's Counter reflects back 1.1x damage, with a minimum damage of 8%.

In Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U, Counter reflects back 1.2x 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's Counter functions identically to Marth's. However, Lucina's stance mirrors her battle stance from Fire Emblem Awakening, and she shouts "You're mine!" or "My turn!" upon countering an attack.

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/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, with the counter actually being weaker than the attack you're countering. The Easy Counter is simply put, a beginner-friendly version of the default Counter that's easier to use, but becomes inferior once you gain enough skill. Overall, you'll probably be better off learning the timing for the default.

Strengths:

  • Counter window is greater

Weaknesses:

  • Deals 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 (from 1.2 times the countered move to 1.3 times) , making the in-game text regarding this move incorrect. Overall, it's the opposite of the Easy Counter; harder to time, but much more rewarding. If you can time the normal Counter well, this is the recommended custom.

Strengths:

  • Moves forwards
  • Faster attack
  • Hits opponents that are behind you
  • Deals electrical damage
  • Stronger

Weaknesses:

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

Differences:

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

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 more 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 Counter deals 1.5x times the original attack's damage. Roy's Counter has a slower start-up time, and lasts slightly less longer than Marth's Counter.

In Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U, Roy's counter only deals 1.35x 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's Counter has a longer startup than Marth, but reflects back 1.2x damage and more knockback, with the minimum damage being 10%. Ike will shout "You're open!" upon countering an attack.

In Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U, Ike's Counter as faster startup and ends sooner, but the actual countering slash has more startup and less duration.

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 /Wii U, with the introduction of Custom Moves, Ike has two variations of Counter.

Paralyzing Counter

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

Strengths:

  • Paralyzes opponents
  • KO set-up
  • Good damage

Weaknesses:

  • Doesn't launch opponents
  • Short paralysis effect

Paralyzing Counter is useful as a KO 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 KO moves like jab or up tilt to KO 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 KO 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 KO power though, capable of KO'ing at very early percentages. This high launch and KO 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 KO 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.
  • Super Smash Bros. Brawl is the only game that doesn't include a heart monitor wave whenever Marth or Ike successfully counters an attack.
  • In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, the activation and trigger sound effects of Ike's Counter are not in sync, presumably due to Ike's slower startup.

See also

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