Needle Man

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By Jose_MV86

Moves:

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Normal Shot: Needle Cannon: Needle Man's normal shot makes him fire a needle from one of his cannons. Those needles travel at an average speed and deal 2 DMG each, and you can shoot up to 3 mashing the shoot button. You can choose to fire more than 3 needles if you hold down said button, but each of them will drain 0.5 energy points.


Special 1: Needle Stab: if Needle Man is on the ground, he will use the spikes on his head to attack his opponent in a melee fashion - if he catches an opponent, he will bring them right to his side. This action has really good range for being a grab, and it deals 4 damage, but keep in mind that you need to be close to your opponent if you want to land it. This move can be aimed upwards, dealing the exact same damage. If Needle Man is airborne, this move will make him dive to the ground, becoming invincible and dealing 5 damage to anyone that gets on his way. Needle Stab costs 5 energy points no matter how you use it.


Special 2: High Jump/Homing Needle: if grounded, Needle Man will jump at a high speed, similarly to other characters like Metal Man and Crash Man. It costs 1 EP and deals no damage. If airborne, Needle Man will shoot needles that go directly towards his opponent, which deal the exact same damage as his regular needles but cost 3 energy points each. You can mash the special 2 button to keep shooting them, but keep in mind that they don't combo. Finally, Needle Man stalls in the air when firing homing needles.


Other: Needle Man has three special attributes. For starters, the spikes upon his head deal 2 damage points to anyone that touches them from above, acting as a passive hitbox. This can be used to damage airborne opponents, specially when combined with his high-jump. Furthermore, his slide is a roll instead, so you can hold the slide button to roll indefinitely. Finally, his taunt makes him put his spikes directly towards the opponent (active hitbox included), so he's one of the few characters to have a useful taunt.

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Strengths:

Needle Man is a good all-rounder whose kit allows him to adapt to every possible match-up. His normal shot is a good weapon to pressure your opponents, his special 1 and active hitbox make him excel at close distances and his special 2 can be used to either stall or to keep your opponents at your desired range. Depending on the stage and the
opponent that you are facing, you might want to use your moves in a different way - for instance, slow characters won't be able to escape your airborne special 1 (especially those who can't slide), while melee characters can be outranged using your normal shot and above-average mobility. Furthermore, stages with stair-like structures (like Pharaoh Boss) favor
vertical plays, so diving towards your opponents and keeping them at bay with your special 2 will make you have the upper hand on those. Finally, Needle Man's special 1 makes him a good character for punishing his opponents, as he can either ping their attacks and punish them with the same dive or use his grab to punish them if they aren't close enough for a dive. 

Weaknesses:

Needle Man's main weakness is the fact that almost every move requires energy points, which makes him run out of energy before most characters do - especially if you try to spam either his neutral shot or his special 2. Moreover, he is not as effective at long distances as he might seem, given the small hitboxes of his needles, so characters like Metal Man or Heat Man will have an advantage over him if they manage to avoid his melee attacks. Combine these weaknesses with his all-rounder nature, and you'll have a character that requires lots of match-up learning and strategies to be able to compete at high-level play. 

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