Nintendo, surprising no one but ostensibly upsetting a lot of people, just announced that it's adding a new Fire Emblem character to Smash Bros. Ultimate. The Fire Emblem series has been represented in Smash Bros. since Melee, with eight characters (Marth, Roy, Ike, Robin, Lucina, Corrin, Chrom, and now Byleth). They have been the center of many balance and tier list arguments, and are only outnumbered by the characters from the Mario franchise.
Byleth, the main character from Fire Emblem: Three Houses, is joining Smash, but Nintendo has put a neat twist on what would otherwise be your average sword user. Byleth still uses their Sword of the Creator for tilt attacks and up air, but their smash attacks and special attacks are associated with one of the mythical weapons from each of the three houses. Side attacks have you using a lance with extra reach, down attacks use a heavy axe, and neutral attacks use a bow.
While it’s pretty boring, given the success of Three Houses, it should’ve been obvious that it was coming. At least they’ve changed the formula with Byleth to make them more than just another Fire Emblem sword user. The different ranges and speeds of their attacks make it seem like they’ll be a fun character with lots of mixup options.
The Direct also included the announcement of a second fighters pass that will add six new characters to the already enormous Smash roster, so don’t worry Dante hopefuls, you still have a shot. I hope they can pull of more characters that fall outside of Nintendo IPs, given that some of the more interesting characters are those they had to get creative with to fit into Smash, but given the arc of the first fighter pack, we can expect there to be at least one other Fire Emblem characters in there.