I have seen the scythe get a lot of hate throughout the community, which I don’t think the scythe deserves. I do think a lot of people find the scythe annoying to fight because of not knowing how to counter it, so I’m writing this guide to share a few tips about the weaknesses of the scythe and a couple ways to exploit them. Note: I am a plat 2 player, so I’m by no means a pro. everything in this guide is subject to change should I discover that there are better strategies, but I am a scythe main with 700+ hours, so I think this could be a way to get yourself on the right track to learning how to counter scythe.
About the Scythe
Note: this section is meant for fairly newer players who have little experience with the game. however, if you don’t know much about the scythe, it’s still recommended to read this, otherwise, you can skip this section.
If you’re played with or against the scythe for any significant amount of time, you’ll likely know that the scythe is a string heavy weapon. this means that the scythe builds damage through long strings of weaker attacks that can be dodged, unlike true combos, such as the sword down light side air combo. because the scythe relies on strings to build damage, which can be dodged, the scythe user must “read” a dodge, which means to predict where the opponent is going to dodge. once they get a dodge read, however, it’s possible for the scythe user to straight up kill the opponent.
The Scythe’s Weaknesses
So, the scythe can kill you in seconds, and it can build damage just as fast allowing you to finish someone off with another weapon. but the scythe DOES have exploitable weaknesses. first of all, the scythe is unable to cover directly above itself quickly. the only way to do so is with a backdash jump neutral air, which is fairly slow and difficult to pull off, with little area coverage. second of all, the scythe struggles killing without gimps, as it has no true combo setups (except one I heard of that is a very situational offstage true combo). finally, and probably the biggest weakness, is that the scythe relies solely on strings and dodge reads to do anything, which can be exploited fairly easily.
Exploiting the Weaknesses
So we know that the scythe cannot cover above itself well, that it has trouble killing on its own, and that it’s solely a string based weapon. but how do we exploit these weaknesses?
Well, the scythe can’t cover above itself, so you’ll want to stay in that weak spot during the “neutral” game, where no player is in pressure, has equal stage control, and are not attacking each other at the moment. this allows you to approach the enemy to attack fairly safely, as long as you don’t become too predictable. just be mindful of how many jumps you have, as well as if your recovery and dodge are available, and drop down to the ground at different times to regain your jumps so that your opponent doesn’t know when you’ll come back down. if they guess wrong and attack at the wrong time, they are open for a punish.
The scythe has trouble killing on its own, so try to keep the scythe user from getting another weapon to finish you off.
Finally, the scythe is extremely read and string heavy with no true combos, which can be exploited by dodging well. when you get hit by the scythe, don’t dodge predictably. most scythe users will watch for the direction you dodge in, and attempt to “read” your dodge. to counter this, dodge in different directions and at different times to keep the scythe user guessing. an opponent that dodges in after then first hit, but next time they get hit, they don’t dodge, then the next time they get hit they dodge down and away after the second hit, and so on will be a scythe user’s worst nightmare, as it can become nearly impossible to read the opponent when they’re dodging so unpredictably.