Posted by: The Stadium | August 4, 2009

Against The Black Knight ~ Edward Elric

http://serenesforest.net/media/fe10music/67%20-%20The%20Black%20Knight%20Lives.mp3

Ok.. I thought that I would try something different for this review. Rather than simply look at each move individually, I am going to analyze the character as a whole- playstyle and move interaction, of course also keeping an eye out for issues of creativity and balance.

Stats

As for stats… well… it really doesn’t seem to be accurate in the term of height… sure Ed is a short guy… but he’s taller than Mario… more accurately, he would just be about a head smaller than Marth give or take a bit. As for the other stats, everything seems to check out. I don’t judge or even really acknowledge attack speed, reach, power, and priority in the stats section of the set, as this information is simply too unreliable, being an average of a large variety of moves.

Playstyle

Ok, so Ed seems to be a versatile character. Capable on both the air and in the ground, but not entirely ruling either area. Good at both damage racking and KO’ing. Throw in his contrasting styles and you have a very unique character who is further complimented by the potential of the transmutation circle that seems to be a staple to most great FMA sets (this of course excludes humonculi). Ed’s strengths are well balanced by his bad recovery and offstage game.

Really, there isn’t a terrible amount to be said here. As simple as it is, I love Ed’s contrasting styles. Damage racking in the air and KO’ing on the ground seems like a very basic concept by MYM standards, and yet it has been implemented so well.

Overall, this section really helps one get an idea of how Ed plays. It is well-detailed and does the job better than the playstyles of most sets.

Move Interaction

This contest demands that moves flow well, and rightfully so, as this important aspect of a moveset plays into several important aspects- creativity, balance, and playstyle.

Ed certainly doesn’t disappoint in this manner. Of course, anything with a Transmutation Circle has to have some level of move interaction. But let’s see just how many moves flow together in Ed’s set.

Transmuation

A Transmutation Circle is just begging to be combined efficiently with other moves. In the case of this set, the move combines with Ed’s Down Tilt, all Smashes, and Neutral Aerial, allowing these moves to be used as a distance or trap attack. In the case of the Side Smash, this can be risky, but this is an understandable price. This interaction adds a lot of flexibility to Ed’s set, but I have one major gripe about it. There is no means of choosing to not take advantage of one of your transmutation circles if it is already on the field, reducing the advantage of this as a trapping move.

Makeshift Projectile

Probably my favorite interaction of moves in this set. Ed can make a fairly useful throwing projectile with his down tilt. This projectile can also be converted into a more powerful magnetic metal projectile if caught via the use of Ed’s Side Special. If it is made magnetic, this projectile can then be combined with Ed’s Up Tilt to create a short distance boomerang-style “projectile” for spacing purposes. Am I also correct in assuming that if this metal projectile were to be thrown back at Ed and caught via his Side Special, he would transmute it into his arm, allowing him to self-heal for 5%?

Chemical Rearrangement

Naturally, a move that increases a character’s damage output (or in this case, a foe or objects vunerability to damage) would combine well with any damaging moves… and this does so very well… probably too well. This move not only increases the amount of a damage a struck foe takes by 1.5x, but it also pops the foe into the air, making the vunerable to Ed’s primary source of damage racking… the flow of this is easy to understand, at the least.

Sprinting Leap

Ed’s Dash Attack serves as a sort of bridge between his ground and air games, being a very easy to use form of short hopping. Naturally, this flows well into any damage racking aerial, but it also provides mindgames to the set.

Cement Wall

Ed’s Dair is another move that combines with Ed’s aerials, helping to force opponents into aerial approaches rather than ground ones. The fact that this can be cut with the D-Smash not only establishes a connection between the two moves, but also adds another level of flow to Ed’s playstyle, allowing him to throw projectiles from his D-Tilt over the wall or allowing allies to projectile spam over the wall in doubles matches. This can also combine well with Ed’s Down Special, should he need to destroy the Cement Wall quickly.

Creativity

Let us not forget what is perhaps the most important part of MYM’s current standards, creativity. In this section, Ed is certainly not lacking.

Of particular creativeness was the Makeshift Projectile  combination mentioned previously in the review.

Another creative influence was the use of chargeable aerials, to make two of Ed’s otherwise dull aerials quite interesting, if only for the fact that two different forms of the aerial can be used.

Let us not forget the use of Ed’s Transmutation Circle. The use of this move helps establish a much needed versatility for Ed’s ground game and helps make some of Ed’s most entertaining and unique moves even more interesting.

Other creative moves in the set were Ed’s Smashes (all of them), D-Tilt, and Dair.

Now not everything is beyond reprieve in the section of creativity. Ed’s Neutral A combo is really just a series of generic options combined to lessen the genericness of the move. The same could also be said about the chargeable aerials, which I had previously praised. On their own, the uncharged versions of both the forward and back aerial as well as the charged version of the forward aerial, are very generic. I don’t know if the use of a shotgun is generic… I don’t see it happen very often, but I wouldn’t go as far as to say that it was a creative move. Now while I do bring up these moves for their creativity issues, these are actually very minor, as the combinations of said moves really lessen the effects of this.

Balance

Much of Ed is balanced. He’s a middleweight and a fairly small target. Doesn’t particularly excel in the air or on the ground, though is ok on both. If it weren’t for his horrid off-stage game, Ed would be a true jack-of-all-trades.

Really, I can only nitpick one move, which really goes to show how well the set is balanced. Ed’s Down Special, Chemical Rearrangement, despite my previous attempt to provide balance advice, is still quite broken. The move deals decent damage on its own, has a quick start-up, and comboes very well into aerials. The big problem with it is that for an overpowered duration (6 seconds), the foe or object that is struck by this attack takes 1.5x damage from all sources. This makes Ed truly godly at damage racking, and the fact that this comboes into his damage racking aerials does not help the balance of this one bit. Really, there is no reason not to use this move, as, despite it’s above average ending lag, there is really not enough down side to the move. The easiest fix to this move would be a duration reduction… 2 or 3 seconds would be a much more reasonable duration.

Detail

Ironically, the section about detail is the least detailed part of this review. Truly, you do well in the detail department, but you really should specify the direction of the knockback on all moves. Most of the attacks in this set have a specified amount of knockback, but not a specified direction.

My Personal Opinion

It is my opinion that most of Ed’s potential has indeed been utilized, but more could have, and probably should have, been done with Ed’s alchemy, particularly in the area of stage manipulation. The only time Ed ever creates a permanent change in the stage is via the use of a cement wall. It is my opinion that Ed could easily do more. Turning stone to sand or ice, creating holes in the stage, etc… whether this makes Ed into a partial trap character or not, it fits him to the letter.

A number of potential options in the area of move interaction could have also been done much better just by simply rearranging a few moves. For example, if you were to make Projectile Transmutation your Neutral Special, Chemical Rearrangement your Side Special, and Transmutation Circle your Down Special, you would likely find that this scheme is not only more advantageous in terms of it making more sense, but Ed could also gain the ability to catch projectiles in all directions, allowing him to throw his Makeshift Projectile upwards and catch it as it falls back down, allowing Ed to create a magnetic projectile on demand.

In Summary

Ed is a very strong set- easily one of the best in the contest thus far and a contender for your best set. Just like his playstyle, the set itself is a jack-of-all-trades in a manner. It is good in every area, but seems to have minor flaws in several areas, keeping it from being the master-of-all-trades. The set definitely shows how even old ideas, such as Transmutation Circles, can be easily re-implemented into a unique character and the moveset will not suffer for it, most likely due to the absolute flow of the playstyle thanks to additions such as this. I will conclude by saying that I certainly hope to see your next work, though you may have trouble competing with this beauty of a set.

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Responses

  1. First off, new review style is win!

    I knew down-special was still going to be overpowered still xD. Yeah, I guess the duration should be lowered or something. I’m glad you brought it up since my next set is completley built around status effects, and most of them are quite powerful and last a while. So I’ll be doing some toning down tonight, lol.

    I had originally considered having a way for Ed to have a Transmutation Circle on the field but not use it, but I couldn’t think of an actual way to do so, lol.

    Thanks for the review. =D


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