Rivals of Aether - Sylvanos & Elliana

Now that Season 1 of Fight Nights is over, I'm so glad to see Rivals went over pretty well every Thursday night! Of course, Rivals is pretty popular with the Smash Bros community due to the gameplay, but I also like to think Rivals catches your eye regardless of fighting game you prefer thanks to the unique graphical approach. I'm ecstatic that Rivals of Aether made the cut for Season 2 of Fight Nights primarily because Rivals is a game that I always enjoy coming back to. Ironically enough, Patch 1.3.0 released just in time to be live for Season 2. Now Patch 1.3.0 not only brought some great changes to the existing Rivals, but more importantly introduced two more; and they are some of the most unique characters I've ever played in a fighting game. Introducing "Sylvanos, the Heart of the Forest" and "Elliana, the Aerial Arsenal" playable in Season 2 of Fight Nights!

Sylvanos, the Heart of the Forest

Sylvanos was actually revealed at Genesis 5, a Smash Brothers major in January 2018. That being said, the community has had a lot of time to digest Sylvanos' kit via the reveal, but personally getting my hands on him feels completely different than I imagined. First and foremost, Sylvanos is essentially a "heavy" character, in the same vein as Etalus and Kragg, but with even an even bigger hurt box. Despite his size, Sylvanos doesn't play like much of a brute, in fact Sylvanos excels in controlling space and zoning opponents. He's rocking some really powerful ranged moves utilizing vines, flower pedals and even LOGS that can help control space and threaten early KOs. One of Sylvanos' greatest strengths is his neutral special, which can plant a small flower which will create vines on an entire platform, on top of creating the same vines based on where Sylvanos chooses to maneuver. While standing in this flora, the range of certain moves such as projectiles and forward tilt increases drastically, on top of being able to "activate" any ivy-spread ground dealing damage to anyone standing in it. My personal favorite move in Sylvanos' kit is his up-special, a move that allows Sylvanos to burrow and reposition, which is cool already, but the interactions this can have when it comes to stage recovery is so much fun to play around with. It also makes for some seriously cerebral edge guarding situations. Ultimately, Sylvanos makes an excellent addition to the cast, but I have yet to play much of the Heart of the Forest. I've spent the majority of my free Rivals time playing the second new character in Patch 1.3.0.

Elliana, the Aerial Arsenal

Elliana is unlike any character in a platform fighter I've ever played, which is quite impressive considering how easy it is to compare characters to Smash Bros characters. I suppose you can make a small connection to Bowser Jr in Smash 4, simply due to the character being inside a mechanical machine armed with weaponry, but Elliana's mech comes with a very interesting mechanic - overheating. As Elliana uses her neutral and forward specials, on top of flying (that's right, she can fly!) and holding certain moves a small gauge above her head fills up, and when it reaches 100% Elliana is "overheated". While overheated, Elliana loses access to some of her abilities, but also gains some incredibly powerful strong attacks, which can be used in mid-air for some very early kills. Managing when to overheat as Elliana is a unique challenge, it's critical to be very aware of, especially because while overheated you no longer have access to flight. You can manage overheat by expelling steam via strong attacking while not overheating, which is useful to stave off overheating, but more importantly can offer a great annoyance to your opponent via disruption. Additionally, Elliana has access to an explosive mine, which can manipulate the battlefield further on top of her ranged options. One of my favorite moves is Elliana's up tilt, which is a long range vertical grab that can end a stock when the damage is right. Elliana is a ton of fun, and I plan on putting in some work to play her at a competitive level come Fight Nights Season 2!

Just like I said in my last blog relating to Rivals of Aether, I will continue to try to get more people playing the game and Fight Nights has been an awesome opportunity to do so. Rivals has such a strong cast and these two latest additions only add to the fun match ups and silly interactions, and I look forward to playing even more in Season 2! 
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