By Amazing Ampharos. Version 1.0, Last updated 04/03/10.
Super Smash Brothers Brawl FAQ By: Chris "Amazing Ampharos" Immele I. Table of Contents I. Table of Contents II. Introduction III. Character Bios IV. Classic Mode V. All Star Mode VI. Event Battles VII. Target Smash VIII. Home-Run Contest IX. Multi-Man Brawl X. Boss Battles XI. Subspace Emissary XII. Challenge Board XIII. Trophy List XIV. Sticker List XV. Other Unlockables XVI. Speed Unlocking XVII. Credits and Conclusion II. Introduction Welcome to my FAQ on Super Smash Brothers Brawl. Super Smash Brothers Brawl is, as of the writing of this FAQ, the latest entry into Nintendo's wonderful Smash Bros fighting series, and the game is a complete joy to play. However, it's also a completionist's nightmare; there is a very large amount of unlockable content that is sure to drive anyone looking for that "perfect file" mad. The game also features a very diverse cast that is sure to prove daunting for all but the most dedicated of fans. That's where I come in. This FAQ is meant to walk players through unlocking everything in the game. If you just want a rundown of the characters and some basic tips on how to use them and unlock them, look to section III. If you want a thorough walkthrough on how to do everything, sections IV through XI and section XV are for you. If you are looking for a list of what there is to get without so many of the details, sections XII through XV are ideal. If you just want to get everything you'll need to play serious matches with your friends as quickly as possible and don't care about any of the smaller things, section XVI is where you'll want to head. If you want to read an overly obligatory section with little real content, well, sections II and XVII are pretty cool. III. Character Bios In this section, I'll be covering the entire cast and giving a summary of how I see them. I'm going to be candid about which characters I believe to be good or bad; I'd be doing readers a disservice if I tried to give a positive impression of the entire cast to avoid offending anyone. I'll also discuss generally how I believe each character should be used. I'm not doing character guides, but I hope I can provide enough to help players get started with everyone. Also, I must give an obligatory disclaimer. I don't play the whole cast nor am I necessarily the best player out there. I have studied the game in great depth, and I have really done my best to fairly show how each character works, but if I made mistakes or glaring omissions, don't get upset. Also, the part where I discuss character match ups is pretty iffy. I mostly just guessed there, and I'm probably frequently wrong. Rather than looking at the characters I name, it would be better to look at the reasons I suggest some things might be problems as potential holes in that character's style. Mario In theory, Mario is supposed to be a balanced character without significant strengths or weaknesses. Unfortunately for Mario, theory doesn't always hold. Mario definitely has below average range and power, and coupled with his average speed and lack of special properties, this puts him in a bad position. As things stand, he seems to be one of the worst characters in the game. This is not to say that Mario is without merit. Mario has a decent set of smash attacks that he should be quick to rely on. Of special note is his powerful forward smash; this will be his main source of kills. His forward and down tilts are mostly just sources of quick damage with little notable about them, but his up tilt is a handy move for popping enemies up into the air so keep it in mind. His running attack is a decent sliding kick which you should use for surprise damage once in a while, but despite the ease of use, it's not good to overuse as it gets very predictable. His jab combo is just a typical safety move. In the air, Mario's biggest problem is his slow forward aerial. It has a weak hit early in the swing and a nice spike late in the swing, but it's really too slow to be practical for general use. If approaching the enemy head on in the air, it's generally wise to instead rely on his weak but quick neutral aerial. Mario is at least blessed with fast and decently powerful up and back aerials, but neither are likely to be getting a whole lot of kills. His down aerial might seem appealing at first, but it's generally too slow to be one of his most relied upon moves. Mario's grab game pretty much revolves entirely around his powerful back throw. This throw is his second and last reliable source of kills; be sure to exploit it heavily. Mario has pretty short arms so getting grabs is generally difficult; using his up smash out of a shield will be generally more useful until the enemy is near killing percentages. In terms of his special moves, Mario's only real gem comes in the form of the Cape. This move is far worse than it was in Super Smash Brothers Melee, but it's still a solid move that new Mario players should try their best to integrate into their games. It turns around all attacks that hit it, completely reversing the attack's trajectory or the enemy's momentum. It causes enemy projectiles to become dangerous to them as well so it can be used to send things such as Samus's missiles right back at her. If it hits a standing opponent, it will turn them around, but it does not turn around shielded opponents which means that it's not a safe option against opponents waiting for you to attack. A major use is to ruin recoveries by turning them around and causing the momentum to fling the foe away from the stage, but Mario players will now have to jump out over the ledge to take full advantage of this as clever opponents will be sure to still be within ledge grab range if you do it from the ground. The last use of the Cape is for recovery. Using it in the air causes Mario to stall and push forward very slightly. Using it consecutively is a sure way to die, but using it just once right before the triple jump can be useful. Mario's other three specials are pretty lackluster. His Fireballs are weak with poor range so they aren't of use for projectile spamming. The main use of Fireballs is to do a short hop, throw one Fireball, and then chase after it. This helps Mario approach the enemy as they have to deal with the Fireball right as Mario is about to attack them. Mario's Super Jump Punch does poor damage and leaves him very vulnerable; only use it to recover. Fludd is generally useless, but the one scenario I have found it handy is to ruin Ness's and Lucas's recovery. If you blast them with water as they steer Pk Thunder, they will be pushed away but not interrupted which almost always leads to their death. Mario is capable of wall jumping but not crawling or wall clinging. Mario can only jump once in the air. His roll is fairly slow but covers a lot of ground so it can be of use sparingly, and his spot dodge is a very ordinary one. All in all, Mario doesn't really stack up to the other fighters, but don't take that as a sign that he's useless. Mario still has a wide array of tools and can be used highly competently to pose a serious threat. His Cape especially is a unique tool that in the hands of the right player can cause extreme frustration to opponents; it's the main gameplay reason Mario should be considered over other characters. It's especially pivotal when battling Marth, Ike, or other characters with great range advantages on Mario; he can turn them around even if he only hits the tip of their attacks with his cape. However, other than his Cape, Mario has few options against such great range characters; they will likely be his hardest opponents. Luigi How to unlock: -Play 22 brawls. -Have Luigi join your party in The Subspace Emissary. -Clear Classic mode without continuing. Luigi is Mario's oddball brother, and the way he plays makes that very clear. His voice, animations, and general style all feel just a bit odd. Specifically, Luigi is a really upward oriented character; he has an uncanny number of moves that are designed to knock the opponent up into the air. The fact that he compliments this with a really solid set of aerials makes him a coherent and effective character. I wouldn't call Luigi one of the best characters in the game at all, but he's definitely a solid contender. Luigi's main goal with his grounded attacks is to get the enemy up into the air. All three of his smashes do this well, but you should primarily rely on his quick and wide-ranged down smash. If you need a really quick move to pop them up, his up tilt is a great option as well. His forward tilt sends them at a horizontal angle you won't find useful, and his down tilt is a very weak close range move with a high likelihood to trip them though it can pop them up very usefully if they are at a high percentage. I'm sure many of you find his running attack enthralling, but hold off on it. It's not as ridiculously unsafe as it was in Super Smash Brothers Melee, but it's still a weak move that doesn't lead into anything better. In the air, Luigi's pride and joy is his great forward aerial. He does a very quick and fairly powerful chop that can be a source of kills and a great way to rack damage. His up, back, and down aerials are also all fast and decently strong so he can throw a good aerial out no matter what his orientation to his opponent. His neutral aerial is interesting insofar as it sends the enemy straight up with a lot of power; it can be an effective tool to get surprise star KOs. Luigi's grab game is pretty similar to Mario's insofar as he's really concerned with his very powerful back throw. However, if Luigi is unable to kill after a grab, he should instead use his up throw as that puts opponents up in the air which is right where Luigi wants them. Luigi should also occasionally use his Super Jump Punch out of his shield for the chance to land a Fire Jump Punch, but only do that when the opponent puts himself in just the wrong position. Luigi's specials are a mixed bag. His Fireball is a pretty horrible projectile; it has very poor reach and generally doesn't flow with the rest of his game. Throw them out if the opponent tries to stay just out of arm's reach of Luigi, but generally Luigi should look to his other moves in combat. The Green Missile is a pretty horrible move outside of recovery. It does poor damage unless charged up, and while Luigi can charge it as long as he wants, it's super predictable and easy to avoid. It will do good damage if he gets a misfire which is a 1/8 chance on each use, but Luigi is too good to need to rely on something like that. However, in the narrow context of recovery, it is useful to Luigi as he gets good horizontal distance from it and can continue doing any moves in the air he wants after using it. Luigi's Super Jump Punch is fairly mediocre for recovery and completely pathetic with the weak hit, but if you are right inside of them when you use it, Luigi will do a Fire Jump Punch which will deal massive damage. This is one of Luigi's most treasured sources of kills; he should always be looking to sneak one in once the opponent is hurt enough to succumb. A good trick is to do one or two hits of his jab combo and to interrupt it by throwing out the Super Jump Punch. This is very hard to impossible for them to avoid once you get the hits from the jab, and it's a really easy chance at a Fire Jump Punch. Luigi similarly gets a lot of utility out of his Luigi Cyclone. On the ground, he can use it to cover distance very quickly; it is a very good way to both get surprise attacks and approach enemies. If Luigi has not used Luigi Cyclone since the last time he has touched the ground, he is able to rise if the player presses B rapidly which makes it a very handy tool in ensuring Luigi always makes it back to the ledge. Luigi cannot wall jump or wall cling, but he can crawl. This is useful as he can crawl under Pit's arrows, but he is too tall to crawl under any of the projectiles from the Star Fox characters. Luigi only has one midair jump. Luigi's roll and spot dodge are pretty much identical to Mario's; his roll is slightly slow but covers good ground, and his spot dodge is very ordinary. Luigi can get a fixed knock back straight up hit with his down taunt, but it's too slow and low range to be useful. It can even spike if it hits a recovering opponent, but unless a truly golden opportunity comes along, it's just an obscure detail. Additionally, Luigi has unusually low traction which isn't very important but should be kept in mind. Since Luigi's game revolves so much around the air, Luigi's matches revolve around how his opponents fare there. Since characters like Kirby, Meta Knight, and Jigglypuff frequently enter the air voluntarily, Luigi should be a great choice against them. Otherwise his matches don't tend to be particularly notable though I would watch out for Marth and Ike whose range will give him significant trouble. Luigi is a solid, balanced choice with an interesting and unique play style; he's definitely worth considering. Peach Peach is a very interesting character mostly because of her ability to float. If she holds the jump button in the air she will float once she reaches the peak of that jump, and if she holds down she will automatically float without needing to reach the peak of her jump or perform her double jump if it is still unused. Her floating opens a lot of options for her in the air; she can be either stationary or sliding directly horizontally while doing her aerial attacks. This mechanic is her main appeal as a character, but all in all, she's still probably a bit below average. Peach's ground game isn't terribly noteworthy, but she does have some good stuff. Her up smash is a great killing move if she hits with the sweet spot, and her down smash of Super Smash Brothers Melee fame is still useful to quickly score a few hits to rack up damage though it has pretty much no hope of ever killing anyone. Her forward smash is an odd move that randomly uses either a good knock back tennis racket, a weaker knock back but better range golf club, or a straight up hitting frying pan. The move as a whole is a decent kill move, but the randomness makes it hard to use it for anything else. Her down tilt and forward tilt both are handy for knocking the opponent up into the air, but her down tilt is generally better. Her up tilt hits with a super explosion of hearts and love that knocks the opponent pretty far but doesn't kill until higher percentages; it's still good to use frequently. Her running attack is above average as well; mix it in. Peach will usually want to be floating when she does her aerials, and all five are useful. Her neutral aerial is her most valued one as it throws out a quick and powerful attack that hits on both sides of Peach. Her forward aerial packs quite a punch; she should use it mostly as a finisher. Her up aerial sends them up further so she can continue juggles and score KOs off the top. Her down aerial, on the other hand, is a damage racking move. If the opponent is at low percentage and grounded, it's a very handy tool to do a lot of damage to them. Her back aerial is a quick smack from her rear end to anyone behind her; use it if someone dares go there. With all five of them, remember that you can do them while floating very close to the ground, chase them with your float while the aerial finishes, and then immediately land and do a move on the ground. This is the core of Peach; use it and abuse it. Peach's grab game is pretty much unremarkable as none of them can kill and she has typical grab range, but if she does score a grab, she should use her down throw with aspiration to lead into something more potent as it pops them up right behind her. Since she gets fairly little out of grabs, she might want to consider using her up smash out of a shield, but the extremely vertical orientation of the hit on it makes that frequently unsafe. Peach's specials are mostly pretty average. Well, Toad is excluded there; he's just plain useless. If you were curious what he does as it's not immediately obvious, he counters attacks, but even for a counter move he's unbelievably slow and easy to punish. Her Peach Bomber is a pretty cool move that extremely bad Peach players are known to use dozens of times in a row without using any other attacks. She winds back for a bit and then hurls herself nearly straightly horizontal a little more than a third of the length of Final Destination. When it hits, it releases an explosion of hearts and love and does solid if not particularly noteworthy damage and knock back. It's fairly powerful and mobile if predictable and easy to punish; be sure to mix it in once in a while but not too often. Her Parasol is her nominal recovery move though in practice she usually doesn't need it. She shoots up a small distance and begins floating down, and the Parasol can be put away by pressing down. The really novel thing is that she can bring it out again by tapping up so she can make her return to the stage very unpredictable by varying her falling speed; it is the main reason she's such a pain to kill. Her Turnips are handy to use to interrupt opponents by tossing one at an opponent right before attacking, but their poor range makes them bad spam. They can be caught easily as well which can make throwing them counterproductive from time to time. Peach also cannot throw them while floating unless the player inputs down + B, but this will only do the shorter ranged throw. Occasionally, she gets a very powerful turnip that has a face like that of an old man; use floating aerials and other special moves to knock them off guard so you can kill with it. She also can pull bombs (which aren't actually Bob-ombs as she can hold them indefinitely) which are even more powerful, Beam Swords which turn her into a huge range machine of death, and Mr. Saturn which when thrown with a smash throw devastates shields. Peach cannot wall jump, wall cling, or crawl and has only one midair jump. She has a somewhat fast roll and spot dodge, but her real special property is floating which has already been covered in depth. One last trick with it though is that she can cancel her dash with a jump into a float very low to the ground which she can automatically end to land and be in a neutral position on the ground. It's tricky to do; you need to basically hit forward to do a dash and do a quarter circle motion toward down as you hit jump and then release them all just as the float starts. This lets her vary the length of her dash however she wants and do just about anything she wants out of it; take advantage of it if you can get the timing down. Peach's ability to float lets her glide right over projectile spammers so she will match up fairly well against someone like Pit, Falco, or Snake. Characters such as Wario, Jigglypuff, and Squirtle who can outmaneuver her in the air will prove problematic, and characters with especially high speed or power such as Bowser or Fox could be pretty successful at rushing or plowing past her shenanigans. In general she will probably find herself having to work a bit harder than most other characters to win matches, but she has enough tricks that she should still remain on the lower end of viable. Bowser Bowser is advertised as the game's biggest and heaviest character, and he fits the bill nicely on both counts. Unfortunately, he has the single worst flaw a character can have; he is quite slow. Still, Bowser has a combination of solid reach, great power, and surprisingly decent mobility that make him a decent if flawed character. He doesn't really rise above the problems heavy characters tend to have, but he puts up a decent showing. Bowser's ground game has great power all around so he will mostly be looking for speed and safety in his attack selection. His forward tilt is a good attack to look to for a starter; it has huge range and is fairly quick so he can feel confident in general throwing it out. His up tilt pops them up nicely and has the added bonus of hitting behind Bowser as well as above him; it's a great move to throw out with your back turned. His down tilt still has a good deal of power for how quick it is, but it will be difficult to land hits with it. All three of his smashes are beastly. His up smash is only useful as an answer to opponents coming straight down on him or on a platform above him, but the damage makes it worth it. His down smash is a wonderful way to punish opponents for rolling about you rapidly or otherwise staying in your face and playing evasively; it racks up really huge damage. His forward smash is the only one you should be reserved about; it isn't particularly more powerful than his other smashes, and while the way he recoils his head is very useful, it's slower and more punishable than his other smashes. If Bowser needs to get an opponent away from himself quickly, his jab combo is really his only option. Bowser's aerial game will mostly revolve around his quick forward aerial, but his others still have use. His up aerial does massive damage if he can connect with it, but that's easier said than done. His back aerial is generally very easy to hit with and pretty powerful, but it's a very unsafe move due to the absurdly long landing lag. The best way to use it is to either use it really high in the air where it will recover before landing or to hit the edge after using it. His neutral and down aerials are just not very good and should only be used in obscure circumstances where they seem like they can hit where other things cannot. Bowser's grab game is easily forgotten because he has a special move that is basically a better grab, but he still has a few things he can do with them. His general best bet is his back throw to try to get the opponent over the ledge, but if the opponent is very hurt, his up throw will be more beneficial. His down throw seems appealing, but he is so slow after it that he really can't follow it up with anything. He may very well want to mostly use Whirling Fortress out of his shield; it's a solid option for him. Bowser's specials are split half and half between great and terrible. Let's start with terrible. His Fire Breath really isn't very good. The fire dies down relatively quickly, it is difficult to connect, and the damage is all around poor. The main use for this will be to use it near the ledge angled downward to force the opponent to take many hits from it before they can make it back. His Bowser Bomb is also pretty poor; it's incredibly unsafe upon landing so he can only plausibly use it if he's going to hit the ledge. Of course, in that context, it is handy. His Whirling Fortress is a wonderful move. It's not only useful for recovery; it really shines when used on the ground. Bowser can slide along the ground at a good and dangerous pace while using this move; it helps him out for approaches and generally scoring quick damage, two things that would be quite difficult for him otherwise. The fact that as an up special he can use it directly out of a shield only makes it sweeter. Of course, most players are simply enamored with his Flying Slam and with good reason. Bowser does a quick grab motion and then slams the opponent down. Bowser and his opponent both can direct where they land, and being at higher percentage causes either side to have a lesser influence. This is a very safe and quick move, it is an aerial grab, and it is a wonderful suicide attack should you choose to use it that way. Just be smart about suicide; only do it when you are gaining an advantage by dying at a higher percentage or are up in stock. Also, if this move doesn't hit the opponent and finishes its animation in midair right above the ground, Bowser gets his second jump back. He can exploit this to effectively levitate over the stage which may throw some opponents off, but it's not a terribly big part of Bowser's game. Bowser cannot wall jump or wall cling which is no surprise at all, but he can crawl for some mild humor but no actual gain. He has one midair jump and a typical spot dodge, but his roll is fairly quick and should be used a bit more than most characters would. His ledge attack at under 100% is also a surprisingly good move; be sure to take full advantage of it. Bowser's great strength will let him get early kills in all matches, but it is usually counter balanced by the fact that faster characters will be getting more hits. Bowser can definitely handle a character like Jigglypuff who is extremely affected by his strength and doesn't have particularly great speed, but characters like Sheik and Fox will probably prove too much for Bowser. Bowser's massive size also makes him a prime target for projectile spamming from characters such as Pit or chain throws from King Dedede or Wario; those will be hard matches. At the very least, his great weight can be a boon against the lighter power characters so he can approach foes such as Zelda, Lucas, and Pikachu with a bit of confidence. Donkey Kong Donkey Kong has never been a popular character, but he's the original Smash Bros. heavy character. He's generally a bit faster than Bowser, but he isn't quite as powerful. Donkey Kong is a bit better in the air than Bowser whereas Bowser is more of a grounded character. DK's range is also a bit better overall. Still, fans of one character will probably find a kindred character in the other even if they don't really play alike. Also, much like Bowser, Donkey Kong is quite playable but still clocks in at below par. On the ground, Donkey Kong will want to rely on his greater reach moves which also happen to be his generally quicker ones. He has an excellent forward tilt that covers a lot of distance in front of him and is quick; it should be heavily relied on. His up tilt covers a wide arc over his head and behind him; it too should be used frequently. His down tilt is also quick, but it is really only useful for occasionally tripping opponents as the knock back on it is incredibly unuseful at all percentages. His forward smash is his best smash in terms of speed, range, and power; you should rely on it heavily. His up smash is good for hitting opponents above him, and his down smash is good for sweeping out rolling characters, but neither are particularly good. In the air, Donkey Kong's main weapons will be his excellent back and up aerials. His back aerial is extremely quick and powerful; he can string together series of these in rapid short hop approaches for great profit. His up aerial hits a large area as he slams with his huge head and is effective at scoring kills off the top of the screen and should be used whenever DK managed to get beneath an opponent. His biggest problem up here is his horrible forward aerial; it's so slow you will never hit anyone with it. When approaching from the front, use his neutral aerial instead. His down aerial is a somewhat handy spike; mix it in as it's worth the effort. Donkey Kong's grab game is really defined by his unique cargo carry mechanic. When he grabs an opponent, he can hit forward to lift them on his back from which he can carry them around. Other than the obvious use for suicides, this can let him set up attacks by carrying them to more favorable places. DK should usually cargo to up throw to attempt to follow up with an up aerial, but he can really mix it up a lot depending on circumstance. He can also use his Spinning Kong out of a shield which is generally a good choice. Donkey Kong's specials are all close range hits and have mixed usefulness. His Ground Pound can rack up damage decently if it hits just right, but it is incredibly unsafe and pretty hard to hit with so it really should be used very seldom if at all. His Headbutt is similarly an interesting move that isn't very good. Hitting with it is like hitting with a damaging Pitfall item, but the move's range is poor as is its speed so it is mostly just asking to be punished. The Giant Punch is a high quality move. It's a really great killing move, and it has super armor that Donkey Kong should exploit to ensure he delivers his powerful attacks. However, throwing the punch in midair leaves Donkey Kong helpless until he lands so it should mostly be used from the ground. His Spinning Kong is a very quick move coming out that deals decent damage; he should whip it out from the ground from time to time for easy damage. It is also his main recovery move, but it has incredible landing lag when used from the air so he should really try to hit the ledge with it. Donkey Kong cannot wall jump, wall cling, or crawl, and he has only one midair jump. He has a typical roll and spot dodge as well; his only really special property is his cargo throw. Donkey Kong's matches are mostly in the same vein as Bowser's with the difference being that his generally greater speed lets him do much better against speedy characters like Fox. Of course, his lower power similarly isn't doing him a lot of favors against a character like Jigglypuff or Kirby; it's a trade off that Donkey Kong probably wins by a small margin. Donkey Kong may not be flashy or popular, but he has his monkey business, and that makes him somewhat viable. Diddy Kong Diddy Kong was always everyone's favorite when playing the Donkey Kong Country games, and he's a favorite here too. He's an all around speedy character in both mobility and attacking, and that's an excellent thing to be. He has a lot of quirky moves that serve him very well; he's an excellent character all around. On the ground, Diddy Kong really needs to know his good moves from his bad ones. The general rule is that tilts are good and smashes are bad. His forward smash is weak and fairly easy to punish, but his forward tilt comes out faster and with better damage. His up tilt is a good upward hitting move, but it's much easier to punish than his up tilt which does the same job but better. The big exception is in the downward direction as Diddy Kong has a fast and effective down smash while his down tilt is one directional with unuseful knock back. Diddy Kong also has an incredible running attack. It's very fast and ends so quickly that Diddy Kong can follow it up with other attacks without being punished. This means that Diddy Kong should frequently rely on his running attack for approaches as he can often flow into another move before a shield grab would interrupt him. This is a great contrast to his jab combo which is one of the worst in the game; never use his jab combo. In the air, Diddy Kong's two big assets are his quick and powerful forward and back aerials. He can approach from either direction and rely on a quick hit that is decently powerful up in the air; his back aerial is the one with a little more speed while his forward aerial is the one that packs the power. His up and neutral aerials are very weak, but they are quick so he can use them to rack damage when the enemy is very near. His down aerial is tricky to use, but it's a wonderful spike so try to sneak it in if the opportunity arises. Diddy's grab game leaves something to be desired, but given that his other options out of a shield are also lackluster, he must rely on it. In general he should go for his up throw to try to lead into aerials; his back throw sends them too far away to do anything, and his other two throws are just generally bad. Diddy's specials aren't great, but he has some cool stuff here. His Peanut Popgun is a rather lousy projectile that is extremely slow and easy to avoid; only pull it out if the opponent is giving you an ideal chance to projectile spam. Even then, be cautious as the peanuts can actually be caught and then thrown back at Diddy as items. His Monkey Flip and Rocketbarrel Boost are both quality recovery options that make it easy for him to get back to the stage, but neither is that great otherwise. His Monkey Flip will spike them if he gets the grab hit from it in the air, but it's tricky. Rocketbarrel Boost needs practice to recover well with it, and if he gets hit during it, the barrels might fly off rendering him helpless. If you want to use Diddy, spend some time in training mode getting the timing on this move down. His one really high quality special is his ability to summon banana peels. He can only have two at a time, but he cannot trip on his own banana peels. He can toss them at opponents to trip them up, but the main use is to plant them in clever places that will severely restrict the foe's movement. When they trip, Diddy can move in and punish while his bananas on the ground keep them locked down. It's really hard to explain just how to plant them efficiently; the general rule is that you should try to put one between you and the opponent and the other in the place you figure the opponent most wants to go. Diddy Kong can wall jump, wall cling, and crawl. He is short enough to crawl under Pit's arrows but not any of the Star Fox characters' lasers. He has one midair jump, a fairly quick roll, and an unfortunately slow spot dodge which he should generally avoid. Diddy's speed gives him advantage over the big and slow characters such as Bowser, but he will find faster powerhouses such as Pikachu, Lucas, and Zelda a real problem. Mr. Game & Watch and Marth's combination of speed and priority could also be a big worry. Otherwise Diddy should expect generally even to slightly favorable matches as he's not particularly extreme; he can expect to perform well in a wide variety of situations. Yoshi Everyone is divided over who is good and bad, but few are divided over Yoshi's standing. Yoshi is just obviously a pretty bad character, but he's really not completely without merit. Yoshi has a slippery control in the air that, combined with his very fast running speed, can make him somewhat unpredictable, and he has surprising reach on several attacks. He's also surprisingly heavy. Even if he isn't very good, he can at least be full of surprises. A good general rule with Yoshi's ground attacks is to watch whether they use his tail. All of his tail based attacks are good whereas his head and feet based ones are lackluster. All three of his tilts are good and will be his primary attacks on the ground. His up tilt pops them up into the air which is fairly useful for Yoshi; use it whenever you have an opening. His forward tilt and down tilt serve similar purposes; both are great moves to get the opponent away and score a little damage. Yoshi also uses his down smash like a "fourth tilt" since it covers a wide area quickly so it's great for racking up damage. Unfortunately, he has to rely on his slow, poorly ranged forward and up smashes for kills; Yoshi has trouble in this department. In the air, Yoshi's two best moves are his up and back aerials. His back aerial covers a huge range and racks up damage very nicely; use this move as often as possible as it's one of Yoshi's best. Yoshi's up aerial will probably be his most important killing move as it comes out quickly and hits opponents straight up. Don't allow this move to be worn down by stale move negation as Yoshi has very few other good killing options. Yoshi's neutral aerial is a decent option for a quick hit, but it's very weak so it should be used sparingly. Speaking of using moves sparingly, only use his forward aerial when you're sure you can hit the spike as it is extremely slow and easy to punish. His down aerial is a very difficult move to hit with, but it should be used anyways due to its great ability to rack up damage on a clean hit. Yoshi's out of shield game is just pathetic. His grab has big range, but it is incredibly slow which makes it hard to use effectively. His up and down throws both pop opponents up nicely and can be good options to attempt to follow up with an up aerial, but he lacks direct killing power in grabs. His saddest problem, however, is that he cannot jump out of his shield. This means that he must roll, grab, or drop his shield after blocking an attack; he cannot do an aerial or an up smash or special. His roll is also a very slow roll so it really leaves him pretty helpless after blocking. Yoshi's specials are mostly bad. His Egg Roll leaves him very open if your opponent has a decent sense of timing; only use it for quick retreats and surprise attacks. His Ground Pound is generally a bad move due to how unsafe on landing it is; it should mostly just be used when Yoshi will hit the ledge after using it. It is also somewhat useful if you can hit the opponent on the way up as it forms a small combo, but given the risk, it usually isn't worth it. Yoshi's Egg Lay is handy; he can use it to somewhat replace his slow grab with the bonus of being able to use it in the air. He really can't follow up turning an opponent into an egg with anything; just try to get a back or down aerial on them quickly before they break out. Yoshi's Egg Toss is his primary special. With careful aim, Yoshi can bombard opponents anywhere from right next to him to about two thirds of Final Destination away; good Yoshi players absolutely must master subtle aiming with this move as solid projectile spam is one of the few things Yoshi can really do well. In the air, it gains Yoshi a bit of height, but the returns diminish so much after each use that it should only be used once. It's the closest thing to a triple jump Yoshi has by the way; his recovery is pretty easy to mess up. Additionally, this move can be used for a pretty clever edge stall. Yoshi can let go of a ledge by hitting back and then immediately throw an egg. The height he gains should be just right to grab the ledge again if done right. With practice, Yoshi can snipe at the opponent with eggs while enjoying a lot of invincibility from constant ledge grabbing. Yoshi cannot wall jump or wall cling, but he can crawl. Yoshi is short enough to duck under Pit's arrows, but while crawling he gains a bit of height so he gets hit which means he can only use crawling to very slowly approach Pit. Of course, he cannot duck under any of the team Star Fox projectiles at all. Yoshi has a very slow roll which he should seldom use, and his spot dodge seems slightly slower than average. Yoshi's inability to jump out of a shield is a huge handicap which severely limits his game, but he does have the minor benefit of having a shield that never shrinks. It will break like every other character's shield, but it changes colors instead of growing smaller and always covers his whole body. Yoshi also has a tremendous weight gain when he is starting his double jump which allows him to take many attacks without flinching, but this only helps him in recovery. Yoshi can continue following the path of his double jump while attacking as well which allows him to very quickly gain height during an attack; I suggest using up aerials out of his double jump to catch opponents coming down. All in all, Yoshi is just a character with a lot of problems. He has a lot of special properties which are good, but then his inability to jump out of a shield takes it all away. His shield game as a whole turns out to just be awful as he is cursed with a bad grab and roll; he really doesn't have much he can do after blocking. Yoshi also is a poor character at racking up kills which just does him no favors. I really can't say much about specific matches as Yoshi will have trouble with most characters for the same reasons, but he should have a somewhat palatable match with Wario due to his ability to outrange Wario and control space. He also can have a generally good time against characters such as Bowser and Ganondorf with very poor mobility thanks mostly to eggs, but I'm really just struggling to find anything to help out poor Yoshi. Wario Wario is from the start an obviously unusual character, but his play style is even more off the wall than you would at first expect. While he does have high weight, he doesn't play like the heavy characters at all; he is actually most similar to Jigglypuff! Wario uses his amazing aerial mobility and an array of attacks with surprising speed and power to make himself into a large threat on the battlefield, but his absolutely horrible range really limits him. He seems above average, but his inability to threaten from afar seems like it keeps him from the upper echelons of play. On the ground, Wario should definitely mostly rely on his tilts. Wario has a powerful and medium speed forward tilt that will be his main source of grounded kills. His forward smash is a more powerful option, but it has a range so awful that it is usually really impractical to connect with. Still, it's actually quick so he can be tricky by comboing into it after a weak aerial such as his forward aerial. His upward attacks are similar except his up smash is just a damage racking move; it's a move to generally refrain from using. Wario's down tilt is a fairly slow option, but it is still a better choice than his super slow down smash. In the air is where Wario really shines. Wario's forward aerial will be his most used and relied upon move as he can jump in, attack with it, and weave back out to land out of range of retaliation. This is the central Wario strategy so be sure to use it frequently. Wario's neutral aerial and up aerial can be difficult to connect with, but they are his two main killing options in the air. His up aerial kills off the top pretty easily, and his neutral aerial sends them much farther away. His down aerial is just a damage dealer, but it's pretty potent with little landing lag so use it whenever the chance arises. His one aerial to generally avoid is his back aerial since it has so much landing lag when he hits the ground during it. It's pretty powerful though so you can mix it in; just be sure to use it after full hops or from higher up in general so Wario completes the move before landing. Wario's grab game is as quirky as you have come to expect from this character. His main killing throw is his forward throw while his back throw generally gets poor distance which is the exact opposite of nearly every other character. However, when you aren't going for a kill, you should look to his up and down throws. Wario's up throw sets the opponent up for aerials, but Wario has a chain grab out of his down throw against Bowser and Donkey Kong. After the throw, the opponent is knocked right behind Wario so he can turn around and grab again. While those two are the only ones against which he can pull off long forced grab combos, he can frequently get several in a row with the others. If they don't directionally influence, he doesn't even have to move to continue against Ganondorf, Captain Falcon, Wolf, or Falco. Pick whatever throws best suit the situation to make sure Wario is maintaining maximum pressure. Wario's special moves are pretty odd and for the most part pretty limited. His Bite is a very short range move, but it can be used as an aerial grab and can interrupt many low priority attacks, especially from Sonic. For the most part this move shouldn't be used much, but it can be viable defensively. If the opponent gets into Wario's mouth, the Wario player should press B rapidly to do as much damage as possible. Wario can also eat various projectiles, but explosives still hurt him so this is pretty limited. The useful things he can eat are R.O.B.'s gyro, Peach's turnips, Wario's bike and bike fragments, Diddy Kong's peanuts and banana peels, and Zero Suit Samus's suit parts. He can also eat King Dedede's Waddle Dees while they walk around on the ground, but he can't eat them as they are being thrown. Speaking of Wario's bike, it's a pretty poor attack in general since he is very vulnerable unless he is doing a wheelie which makes him very slow, but he can use it in the air and then leap from it for recovery. Only one bike can be out at a time so Wario players should try to keep the bike ready to use for this purpose. Wario's Corkscrew is a pretty bad recovery move and has such poor range that it can seldom be used as an attack, but, if the opponent is caught in the entire thing, it will do good damage. It should be used very sparingly save when the height is truly needed to make a recovery, but it can be a good surprise attack if a golden opportunity arises. Wario's Wario Waft has some use for recovery if it is really needed, but the best use of the move is to wait for it to fully charge and then use it as a finishing blow. It takes approximately 1 minute and 51 seconds for the move to fully charge, but the charge is retained between stock. Wario cannot wall jump or wall cling, but he can crawl for little practical benefit. Wario has but one midair jump, and he is unfortunate to have both a slow roll and a slow spot dodge. Wario's only big handicap in most matches is his horrible range so characters with huge range are going to make this problem most apparent. Marth and Ike just completely outdistance Wario, and even characters like Olimar and Mr. Game & Watch could prove problematic. However, Wario's superb aerial control means that characters such as Jigglypuff and Squirtle who were relying on superior aerial control to win could be in trouble. Wario also tends to do well against very low priority characters such as Sonic and characters who try to attack from very close range such as Captain Falcon. Link This is another case where being candid won't earn me many friends, but it must be done. Link is really bad in this game for the sole reason that Toon Link exists and is way better at using what's essentially the same move set. The only real reason to use Link is to be stubborn; those who want to use Link and win should just pick Toon Link. Okay, that's out of the way. I'm going to assume everyone from this point on is stubborn and wants to use Link to his potential even if he's an obviously inferior character. Link has some good stuff; he can play a solid keep away game with his three projectiles, and his melee attacks have solid range and power thanks to his sword. Link has a lot of good moves on the ground so he'll be spending a lot of time here. His forward and up tilts both swing over his head and hit in front of him, but they hit in different directions. His up tilt hits up, and his forward tilt hits forward. Use whichever one fits your specific needs, but both are great, quick, high range moves Link should use a lot. His down tilt is a bit slower, but it tends to poke under shields and is nice for popping the enemy into the air. Link's down smash is a typical one that clears out opponents rolling around too much, and his up smash is a great damage dealer that tends to set the opponents up in the air nicely. However, Link's real gem on the ground is his forward smash. He does one fairly low knock back but decently damaging swing, and if A or any direction on the c-stick is pressed somewhat within the timing of the attack, he'll do a very powerful follow up swing. He can vary the timing to be very unpredictable which makes this move very dangerous. If you just want to do a double attack as quickly as possible, simply mashing A will make it happen. Link's jab combo and running attack are also both decent, but neither is anything special. Link in the air is also pretty solid as he has six pretty good aerials. Yes, I meant six. His forward aerial is a nice range and speed double sword hit; he should be sure to throw it out at every opportunity. His back aerial is a double quick kick of pretty average strength that he should also use a lot. His neutral aerial is also a kick, but it is so weak that it's less useful by comparison to the back version. His up aerial is pretty slow and has a lot of landing lag, but it has very high priority and decent power so Link can throw it out with confidence to approach enemies coming at him from below. Link's down aerial is a fan favorite for its great power, but the move is very slow thanks to huge landing lag. Only use it when you are sure to hit. If it hits twice, all landing lag is canceled so it's a somewhat more viable move against the Ice Climbers than normal. Link also has a sixth aerial he can use by hitting Z in midair to fire his Clawshot. This move has literally no landing lag, and despite how weak it is, it has solid range. Short hop approaching with the Clawshot is a great tactic that Link should be sure to exploit, but this move has a very long recovery time in the air so when Link is not able to quickly land during the move he should only use it to tether the ledge as per the move's original purpose. Link's grab game is pretty hampered by his relatively slow grab, but for his absolutely huge range, it's at least of a tolerable speed. None of his throws are particularly good unfortunately, but his down throw does leave them close enough to follow up with a quick attack if they are at low percentages. His up smash out of a shield will be useful, but his Spin Attack should generally not be used like that. Link's special moves mostly revolve around the concept of spamming projectiles. If he needs to quickly apply pressure in a nearly straight line in front of him, he should shoot his Bow. His Gale Boomerang can be angled to hit at a wide variety of locations, and it should be used to control space and force the opponent to not go where he most wants to go. Unfortunately, the gale effect is really bad; pulling the enemy in if the enemy is prepared is actually to Link's disadvantage as he was using his projectiles to keep them out in the first place. Be ready for it to happen, but in general, don't try to hit with the returning Gale Boomerang. Link's last fun tool is his ability to throw bombs. Link should always try to be tossing these just where the opponent wants to go, and given their high power, they will be very effective at keeping the enemy at bay. Link will especially profit from throwing a bomb right as he's running at an opponent to force the opponent to answer the bomb just moments before Link's attack. If the opponent gets clever and starts catching many bombs, delay tossing them so they explode as they reach their target. It's an easy mistake for Link players to make to not use enough projectiles, but they are really what make Link the character he is. At almost all times in a match, Link should either have at least one projectile out or should be following up on the immediate advantage gained from his projectiles that were there shortly before. Link's Spin Attack is his recovery option, and this is getting its own paragraph so I can make it a very clear point. The Spin Attack should only be used for recovery. On the ground, it is slow, predictable, and fairly weak. Charging it only makes Link even more slow and predictable, and it really can't be used to spike like it could in Super Smash Brothers Melee. The "combo" down throw to Spin Attack does not work. Seriously, only use this move for recovery, and you'll be a much better Link player. Link cannot crawl, wall jump, or wall cling, and he has only one midair jump. His roll is a little on the slow side which limits its use, but he does have a pretty typical spot dodge. Link can use his Clawshot as a tether in the air both as an attack and as a way to automatically grab ledges if he is within range. Link's shield (the one he is holding, not the one he gets by pressing a shield button) can also be used to block projectiles. If Link is in an idle or crouching pose and a projectile hits his shield, Link will be pushed slightly back and take no damage. If he hasn't moved at all for a while, he sometimes moves his shield slightly to his side which leaves him open, but crouching prevents this from happening. Also, just in case you were wondering, Link's shield does not block the recoil from the main cannons on the Great Fox at Corneria. Due to the whole outclassed factor, Link will obviously not enjoy a match against Toon Link. His shield and wide array of versatile projectiles makes him a great choice against other projectile abusers such as Pit, but against the faster and stronger swordsmanship of Marth, he'll be in trouble. Small characters that can hurt him very badly once they get inside such as Olimar and Ness could also be issues. However, in general, Link shouldn't expect too extreme of advantages or disadvantages in battle. He has a wide array of decent but not spectacular options that should keep his head just above water against most foes. Zelda Before talking about Zelda or Sheik, I'm going to spend a bit of time talking about their ability to transform back and forth with their down special. In general, this is a really bad strategy. The transformation is very slow, and the opponent can usually hit them with a powerful attack when it ends. They are fully invincible while changing, and since the change time lasts the duration of the time it takes for the game to load the data on the other character, it is not a consistent duration which makes predicting when to smash them difficult. The transformation will happen faster if your opponent is the character you are turning into, and pausing in the middle of the transformation can also speed it up. However, unless you are really having trouble in the match and feel like you could use a new character to turn things around, you should start as the one you want to use and stick it out until the end. Anyway, Zelda is pretty much just a powerhouse of a character. She's light and has some speed issues, but her ability to consistently score low percent kills is second to none. That's right, even such powerhouses as Ike and Bowser can't kill as easily as Zelda can. Zelda is definitely an above average character who can compete with the best though she's not really one of the best herself, and she's a great choice if you are looking for someone with power. On the ground, Zelda has a lot of decent, high damage options. Her forward smash is a good move to hit opponents approaching from the front as the magical burst is far out in front of her, and the move hits hard. Her up smash is of similar use against aerial foes as it catches them in the magic ring doing big damage. Her down smash has no magic and only a small hit area; reserve it for those who like to roll too much. Of her tilts, her best is easily her forward tilt as it pops the enemy right above her in a really useful way. At low percentages, she can lead into an up smash for massive damage, and at higher percentages, she can attempt an up aerial for a finisher. Her up tilt covers a huge area so it's a nice safety move; use it when you just want to get the enemy away. Her down tilt is just a tripping move at lower percentages that should only be used to get a quick hit and maybe stab under a shield, but at higher percentages, it pops the enemy up and can lead into an up smash the same way the forward tilt could at lower percentages. Her jab and running attack aren't particularly special, but both are good ways to push an enemy away due to the magic burst in front of them. In the air is where Zelda makes it clear that she is absolutely deadly. Her forward and back aerials are pretty much identical in all but direction, and both are ridiculously dangerous. If she hits with the tip of her foot where there's the magic burst, the game will pause for a bit to let everyone see that a big hit has just been landed, and then the foe will be electrocuted and fly away with incredible knock back. This kills ridiculously early, and since Zelda has two moves here, she doesn't have to worry about stale move negation very much. This is how she gets kills; abuse this very heavily. Her up aerial isn't quite as notable of a killer, but it is still great. On a weaker character, it would probably be a main kill move. She creates an explosion above her with good knock back; you can use this to easily score star KOs on opponents who dare try to approach from above. Her neutral aerial isn't strong like the others, but it hits over a wide area so it's a good option if you need a safe move in the air. Her down aerial is a third lightning kick, but it sends foes straight down. Use it for spikes, but the small hit area means you will probably use it the least of Zelda's aerials. Zelda has some prospects of killing with her back throw so it should be her option if the opponent is very hurt, but her best trick with grabs in general is to do a down throw followed up by a lightning kick. Her up throw is a good choice for those middling percentages where the down throw isn't as effective but the back can't kill; she can put them up in the air and try to threaten them with her up aerial. You probably could have guessed that up smash out of shield is useful for Zelda; it's a great way to rack damage against foes that try to land behind you to avoid a shield grab. Zelda only has three real special moves due to her transformation, but they do their jobs. Farore's Wind is a wonderful recovery with hits in just the right places to make it hard to punish. It should be used mostly for recovery, but Zelda should try to be unpredictable with it and end in unexpected places. She's covering a huge distance with it so the question is really more one of where you want to recover to instead of one of if you can recover at all. If she's in an unfavorable position on the course, Farore's Wind can also be an effective way to relocate. Be sure to practice this move and the nuances of positioning if you are serious about Zelda; it's important. Nayru's Love can act as a reflector, but it has too much delay between uses to be effective at that. In general, it's a pretty bad move; Zelda should only use it if she needs a quick hit all around her body which is pretty seldom. Zelda's really important special move is Din's Fire. She can direct this to a large extent, and she can choose when to detonate it so she can effectively use it to harass opponents over a huge area in front of her. It is an effective keep away move and at higher percentages can be used to lead opponents off the top of the screen; abuse this frequently and force opponents to come to you. However, watch out as if she uses it in the air, she'll be helpless until she lands. This is a bad move to use in the air in general; use it from the ground when you think you have found a good defensive position. Zelda cannot wall jump, wall cling, or crawl, and she has only one midair jump. Her roll is somewhat above average speed wise, but her spot dodge seems a little slow. Both are still within the range at which she can use them like most characters do. Zelda's power in the air means that the lightweights who try to approach her from the air are going to have a hard time. That means Jigglypuff, Kirby, and Meta Knight mostly. She can even do pretty well against such characters as Toon Link and Mr. Game & Watch thanks to her ability to so easily score kills, but it might be unfair to say she has an advantage. Against the heavier slow characters, she might struggle a bit since they can actually kill her easier than she can kill them, but in general, she shouldn't expect to find any foes terrible problems. Ness and Lucas can answer her projectile better than she can answer theirs and also kill really easily; she'll have some of her more intense fights against them. Sheik Sheik is what happens when Zelda wonders what it would be like to be a ninja. Much unlike Zelda, Sheik is a pure speed character. Be it attacking or just running around, everything Sheik does is very, very fast. However, in just as much of a contrast to Zelda, Sheik is weak and has trouble getting kills. Sheik is overall probably a worse character than Zelda, but Sheik is not without merit and appeals to an entirely different sort of player. If you're a big fan of a character who is proficient at rush downs and has a surprisingly good edge guarding game, Sheik just might be your character. On the ground, Sheiks will mostly be relying on her very quick tilts. Her forward tilt is easily her best; it is ridiculously fast, covers a large area, and moves Sheik slightly forward. She can oftentimes string several of these together on opponents to rack up solid damage. Her up tilt hits over a narrow area but hits very high up making a great move to answer opponents from above, and her down tilt is a quick way to poke under a shield and leads into aerials at higher percentages. Her running attack is also very quick and pops opponents right up into the air; it's a good choice. Her forward smash is really limited since it has pretty much no killing potential and has a long animation, but she should go for it when she is fairly sure she can hit since it racks damage nicely. Her down smash is not only great for clearing out those who roll too much but is also her best option to do right after landing from an aerial; it just lets her keep up her constant string of attacks. Her up smash is hard to hit with, but it's her only move from the ground that has any hope of killing so go for it if the chance arises or a shield should break. In the air, Sheik has a few killing options and a few damage dealers, but most of her stuff is still quick. Her forward aerial is a quick swat that is handy for racking up damage, but it has almost no killing potential. Her back and up aerials can kill in their respective directions at higher percentages, and both also come out very quickly. Her neutral aerial is just a standard weak but quick neutral aerial that she won't be using too much, but it's not a bad move so there's no harm in mixing it in. Her down aerial plunges her downward in a predictable fashion with more landing lag than Sheik usually has; use this move when you want to be generally ineffective and give your opponent a free grab. Other than her down aerial, you will notice that none of Sheik's aerials have noticeable landing lag; abuse this and flow from air to ground in a constant flurry of attacks. Sheik's grabs don't give her any kill options, but her down throw is a wonderful throw to lead into other attacks. Depending on how the opponent directionally influences, she will get different aerials out of it, but she can usually hit with an aerial after a down throw. At lower percentages, she sometimes will want to up throw to follow up with an up aerial, but that's a nice case. If she is being shield pressured and is looking to turn things around with a kill, she could always up smash out of a shield. It will surely catch the opponent off guard. Sheik's three special moves are not particularly noteworthy but are worth some attention. Her Chain is more or less entirely useless as an attack, but it can be used as a tether recovery over the ledge. Vanish is a teleport she can recover with much like Zelda can, but she has a small hop before she disappears and doesn't get a second hit after she appears again. Master teleporting around with Sheik to make recoveries as unpredictable as possible. Her last special, Needle Storm, is easily her most useful. Pressing B causes her to begin charging needles, and pressing it again causes her to release. The more she has charged, the more needles she shoots. In general, she should just double tap B to throw one needle quickly. From the ground, it's a great way to interrupt an opponent before rushing in to attack, and in the air, it goes at a downward angle that can really mess with opponents trying to recover. Sheik can wall jump, wall cling, and crawl. She is short enough to crawl under both Pit's arrows and Fox and Falco's lasers, but Wolf's laser will still nail her. She can even crawl under Samus's Super Missiles and Charge Shot as long as it is not near to a full charge. Sheik has a quick roll and a typical spot dodge as well. Sheik's blinding speed makes her more than a match for the big slow characters such as Bowser or King Dedede, but the characters who are not so slow but have a lot of power and priority could be concerns. This means Olimar, Marth, and Mr. Game & Watch could be hard matches for her. She will also do well against characters like Pit and Snake as her speed lets her maneuver around projectiles better than most, and she is so much faster than them up close that she can do great damage. Ganondorf How to unlock: -Play 200 brawls. -Have Ganondorf join your party in The Subspace Emissary. -Clear Classic on Hard or greater with Link or Zelda. Well, here comes Ganondorf. Ganondorf, like all characters from the Zelda series, has a lot of fans, but he is just a catastrophe of a character. The idea is that he's slow but has enough strength to make up for it. Ganondorf certainly does have absolutely phenomenal strength, but slow only begins to describe. Ganondorf is so slow that he has pretty much no ability to follow up any attacks with any other attacks and gets punished time and time again every time he misses anything. Ganondorf has easily the game's worst attack speed and mobility so everyone can just take turns abusing his flagrant and nearly insurmountable weaknesses. Ganondorf does still have a few high points that dedicated players can focus on, but only use him if you are willing to accept being at a disadvantage from the word go in pretty much every match. Ganondorf has no trouble doing damage if he can hit so his main goal on the ground is to find attacks with which he can hit. It's a pretty hopeless goal, but let's see what he has. Ganondorf's fastest attack is unsurprisingly his jab. He has no jab combo; it's just a single quick sucker punch. Use it to keep enemies on their toes and to score easy damage. Ganondorf also has a pretty quick running attack, but it leaves him open to shield grab so watch out. Of his tilts and smashes, his somewhat decent forward tilt should be what he primarily falls back on, but his down tilt, despite the poor hit and only average speed, is still useful. Never, ever use his up tilt; even with the vacuum effect that pulls them into the huge hit, it is way too slow to ever be useful. All three of his smashes are slow but very strong; use them when the opponent gives you a golden opportunity and is in the appropriate direction (rolling around in the case of the down one). In the air, Ganondorf's best bet by far is his quick and fairly powerful up aerial. This move does a flip all around him, and it has very little landing lag. Abuse it heavily. Ganondorf also has a good option in his back aerial as it is quick and has almost no landing lag as well, but the hit area is very small. Try in general to rack up damage with the up aerial and finish with the back aerial. The forward aerial is very strong, but it's very easy to punish if you miss so only use it occasionally. The neutral aerial is a just plain bad move, and the down aerial is a very interesting choice. It sends the enemy straight down and have a very nice bounce when they hit the ground. The move is really slow with somewhat poor and awkward range, but it's often a good idea for Ganondorf to try to position himself for this move. If he gets really lucky, a hit from this might even lead into his up aerial, but you shouldn't expect one move to lead into another in general with Ganondorf. Since Ganondorf can't follow up on anything, his best option out of a grab is to just throw them up so he can try to hit with an up aerial as they come down. Grabbing is pretty much all he should do out of a shield as his grab is actually a pretty quick one. Ganondorf has exactly one good special, but let's cover the other three first. His Wizard's Punch is exceedingly strong, but it's so laughably slow that he should never expect to hit with it. He can tap and hold the opposite direction while starting it up to reverse it, but that's a rare trick he should only try to pull if he really needs to land a huge hit to come back from the opponent's lead. Dark Dive is a below average recovery, but due to the awkward way he throws himself up, it's very hard to hit as an attack and leaves him very open to punishment. It's quite hilarious when he hits someone with the grab portion of this move, but the move should really be saved for just recovery. His Wizard's Foot seems like a fast option at first, but it is very predictable and easy to punish even more so than most of Ganondorf's other moves. Due to the relatively great speed at which Ganondorf flies across the course, it can be good as a surprise attack, but leave it at that. In the air, it is a somewhat reasonable option to get down quickly though it has enormous landing lag. Use it just once in a while just like on the ground. Especially don't use it over the edge; it's a suicide move all the way. Ganondorf's one real point of pride is his excellent "Flame Choke" which is his forward special. This move lets him cover ground quickly, but it has enough lag afterward that he can't immediately follow up with an attack. However, if he can hit with it which isn't that hard, he'll do some damage and plant the enemy right on the ground. He really has nothing to follow this up with, but it's a good way to deal damage. Your best bet is probably to try to predict the enemy's movement and time well to follow up with this move again, but don't expect to pull off long strings. Used in the air, this move slams opponents to the ground and leaves them there so it's pretty much the same thing and handy to escape juggles. If you slam them down over a pit, the predictable happens and Ganondorf does a "suicide throw" to both of your demises. However, if you miss, Ganondorf is left in a helpless state and will probably die alone so only use this over a pit if you're sure to hit. Speaking of pits, watch out as Ganondorf can kill himself if he goes over the edge with this move. Ganondorf cannot wall jump, wall cling, or crawl, and he has only one midair jump. His roll is just a tiny bit slow, and his spot dodge is very ordinary. Ganondorf really has trouble against the entire rest of the cast, but due to the extreme nature of the differences, his greatest problems will come from speed characters such as Fox and Sonic. Ganondorf is at his best against very light and floaty characters such as Jigglypuff and Kirby who he can kill with a very small number of attacks and against whom he can more easily exploit his few quick aerials. Toon Link How to unlock: -Play 400 brawls. -Have Toon Link join your party in The Subspace Emissary. -Clear Classic mode after clearing The Subspace Emissary. Those unfamiliar with Toon Link might not be sure about what makes him better than Link. The main thing is speed; Toon Link is ridiculously fast. He has one of the highest running speeds in the game, all of his attacks are quick, and he has a combination of floatiness and solid aerial control that lets him do what he needs to do in the air. Factor in the fact that his projectile game is even better than Link's and you have what is rightly considered by many to be one of the best characters in the game. Toon Link's ground game is essentially just a faster, lower range version of Link's. Toon Link's forward and up tilts both swing overhead and in front of him, and each one sends the enemy in the direction its name indicates. Toon Link has a down tilt that just sends the enemy away weakly, but his down tilt is very quick so he can easily use it to get the enemy away if he gets in trouble. Toon Link's down smash is a really great move; it can not only clear out rolling foes but generally does big damage to everyone it hits. He hits enemies toward him instead of away with his down smash so he can frequently hit with both hits, and the knock back on it is pretty high. Toon Link's up smash is a quite powerful single hit that not only hits above him but in front of him; he should use this to go for kills off the top as it is quite effective. Toon Link has the same double forward smash Link has, but due to his small size, it's far more deceptive. Toon Link should delay the second hit as long as possible to sucker opponents into trying to approach, and then he can use it to hit way out in front of him with an exceedingly powerful strike. Toon Link also has fast and useable options in his running attack and jab combo; nothing he has on the ground is bad. Much like Link, Toon Link also has six solid aerials. However, Toon Link mostly gets single sword strikes instead of multiple hits. Toon Link's forward and back aerials are both quick slashes in the appropriate direction, and he should use both to generally attack foes on either side. His neutral aerial is weak but hits all around him so it's a good defensive move, and his up aerial, much like Link's, is a high priority option to hit above him. However, unlike with Link, Toon Link doesn't have a terribly large amount of landing lag on his up aerial so he can use it more frequently with confidence. Toon Link's down aerial is a very interesting move; he plunges down on his opponent with great speed, but if he hits, he bounces upward. After a second hit, the move automatically ends and he can do another move. With good timing and spacing, Toon Link can bounce from opponents many times in a row to rapidly rack up large damage, but watch out as the move has a substantial recovery time upon landing. Toon Link can also use his Hookshot as a decent attack in the air by pressing Z to try to exploit a move with literally zero landing lag, but the range is a bit too short to rely on it very often. However, it recovers much faster than Link's in the air so he can use it from higher up without as much risk. Toon Link's grab game mostly comes down to his down throw while being mindful of his slower than average grab. None of his throws are likely to kill, but his down throw puts opponents in the best position for Toon Link to follow up with his powerful arsenal of dangerous attacks. Toon Link should also use his up smash out of a shield somewhat often; it's a powerful option that lets him do big damage all around himself. Toon Link's projectile game is essentially the same thing as Link's so I'm going to save the repetition and only point out how it is different. Toon Link's Boomerang has a weak hit on the return instead of a gale effect so he can use it to control space much more effectively. The hit on the way back is weak, but it stuns the enemy. Toon Link can approach from the front and his Boomerang comes back to hit them from behind, and the combined attack will be very hard to answer. Toon Link's bombs are also slightly weaker but with a much better blast radius; he can use this fact to control space even better with them. His arrows are also a bit slower, but due to his better Boomerang, he doesn't lose out on his ability to control the space in a line right in front of him. The arrows are still useful if the Boomerang is out on another mission; be sure not to neglect them. His Spin Attack is still a strictly recovery move. He gets a ton of air from it much unlike Link, but on the ground, it sucks the opponent in to rack up damage instead of knocking them away. The damage really isn't that great, and the move is dangerous. Seriously, I repeat again, only use the Spin Attack to recover. Toon Link can wall jump, but he cannot wall cling or crawl. He has only one midair jump, a slightly slow roll, and a slightly quick spot dodge. His shield has the same properties Link's does right down to the trouble during idle animations; read Link's section for more information. Toon Link doesn't have trouble against any characters really. He's just a ridiculously powerful character who has an answer for everything. Marth can give him some trouble if he gets past the wall of projectiles, and characters who are very quick in the air such as Meta Knight or Jigglypuff have more hope than most of getting past the flurry of projectiles and then catching the speedy Toon Link behind them. Toon Link is clearly one of the game's best characters so he can go into any match with confidence that he has the tools he needs to win. Play Toon Link like the champ that he is and strike fear into your enemies' hearts. Samus Samus has historically been a big projectile spammer, but she's less effective at it in this game. She's actually just a not very effective character all around. She's slow and overly floaty with a move set that doesn't really benefit from her floatiness, and despite being a 6'6" tall woman in a giant robotic suit of armor, she frequently has trouble getting kills. Samus's ground game is largely a lead in to her air game; her down tilt is a quick blast to knock opponents into the air, and her up tilt is a slow but wide range kick that does the same thing. Her down smash also sends opponents up and is fast so she can use it for that as well as the usual punishment of overly zealous roll abusers. Her forward tilt is quick but has poor and unuseful knock back so it's just a move to get opponents away, but her forward smash is one of her main killing moves. Her up smash creates several blasts over her head that are great for racking up damage on an opponent coming down on her; perhaps this move would work well with another that knocks the opponent into the air? She also has a pretty standard fare jab combo and running attack that she can mix in. In the air, Samus has a few quality options. Her back aerial is very quick with just enough knock back so it can be quite dangerous if she attempts to chase with it. Her up aerial has very poor knock back, but if she can catch an opponent in it, it racks up damage nicely. Her forward aerial works on the same principle but hits over a pretty huge area; she should use it when she needs to just cause damage. Her neutral aerial is pretty standard fare with a quick but weak hit, but the knock back is enough so that she could throw it out, land, turn around, and then edge guard with the back aerial in hope of a kill. Her down aerial is actually a pretty good move. It hits over a small area, but it's a high damage spike. Don't use it a whole lot since it's not a move you can expect to hit with often, but it will always be rewarding when it does hit. Samus also has her great "sixth aerial" in her Grapple Beam. By pressing Z in the air, Samus shoot out her very long Grapple Beam which has absolutely no lag upon landing. She mostly will make approaches by doing this move after a short hop over and over again to rack up damage from a very safe distance. Samus is a character with very few options out of a shield as her roll is awful, and her grab is very slow. If she does get a grab, her two main choices are to either do a down throw followed up by a forward aerial or an up throw followed up by an up aerial. Her up smash probably won't be very handy out of a shield, but she can use the Screw Attack out of her shield for some decent results. Samus's special moves are all useful to her. Her Charge Shot and Missiles should both be used to constantly harass opponents. She should rain Super Missiles on opponents to rack up damage and even kill the more weakened ones and use free moments to charge up the Charge Shot which is a great finisher for when an opening arises. If the opponent has made himself difficult to approach, standard homing Missiles can be used to make the position indefensible. For the unaware, she does a "smash" motion to fire a Super Missile while a "tilt" motion fires a standard Missile. Additionally, Samus cancels her Missile firing animation if she hits the ground while doing it so firing one just at the right height so it will come out as she lands is a great way to shoot a bit more quickly or to do any attack or even rush at the opponent right after a shot. Samus's Bombs are useful to let her get down without opponents harassing her from above, and she can lay a bomb between herself and her opponent to effectively control space for a short period of time. In the air, she can bomb jump by laying a bomb, not pressing anything else, and then laying a second bomb to stall her in the air just as the first bomb would hit her. This is handy in recovery; serious Samus players should definitely practice it. Her Screw Attack is a handy recovery move and also is effective at racking up damage. It leaves Samus pretty open if she misses, but it's a good move to mix in every once in a while. Samus can wall jump but not wall cling or crawl. Samus has the single slowest roll in the game that she should almost never use, but her spot dodge is decent. If a Samus user inputs up taunt, down taunt, up taunt extremely quickly, Samus will do a one way transformation into Zero Suit Samus. Samus won't like Snake as he accomplishes what she does with her projectiles with his much better. Pretty much all other characters with solid projectile games such as Link, Pit, or Falco will cause her trouble. Very fast characters such as Fox, Sonic, or the mildly ironic Zero Suit Samus can rush her down pretty effectively as well. Being a projectile user, she will like fighting slower targets such as Bowser, and she should be able to handle herself against even quicker power characters such as Lucas and Zelda. Zero Suit Samus Zero Suit Samus may be a fan favorite for all the wrong reasons, but as an actual character, she's pretty interesting. She's very fast with good range and a few moves that have a handy "stun" effect. She generally lacks power and has what is probably the single worst grab in the game, but otherwise she's a solid contender worth serious consideration. On the ground, Zero Suit Samus has fast tilts and wide range smashes that compliment each other nicely. Her forward tilts and jab combo both have very little knock back but great speed and are essentially just tools to knock the opponent away. Her up and down tilts both pop opponents into the air, and her down tilt sends low percent opponents low enough that she can sometimes follow up with a running attack. Her running attack is actually pretty decent; she can use it once in a while. Her forward smash isn't very powerful, but it hits an absolutely huge range in front of her and is decently quick so she should be sure to use it. Her up smash racks up decent damage and sends the opponent back up into the air so it's a great move for juggles. Her down smash is her most interesting move; it stuns the opponent which gives her time to do whatever she wants. She can go for loops with her Plasma Wire or try for a finisher with the Plasma Whip; she has choices. Yes, her down smash does suspend aerial foes in midair; it's quite cool. In the air, Zero Suit Samus has a bit of an odd problem. She has a delay after jumping during which she cannot attack that means she can't do aerials until the peak of her jumps. That makes her aerials far less useful to her than they would be to other characters. Her forward aerial is a weak double kick in front of her that is only good for damage racking, and her neutral aerial causes her to spin her whip around her for weak but safe damage. Her up aerial starts off with horrible knock back, but the damage scaling is nice so it can be a source of off the top kills for her. Her back aerial also has some decent power and speed so it's useful. Her down aerial is a horrible diving move that just leaves her open; I suggest against ever using it. Despite having her prominently featured whip, she actually doesn't have a "z" aerial attack so this is all she has to work with. Her grab game has a lot of problems. Her only good throw is her down throw which she can lead into a Plasma Wire which is generally a pretty productive choice; if the opponent really messes up, she can do loops like this. However, getting that grab will be hard. She has what you will notice is the slowest grab in the game so despite its bad reach it's pretty bad. However, that's only the beginning of her woes. If the opponent is too far away and sufficiently short, he can duck under her grab! Even big opponents like Charizard can duck under it at the right ranges so in effect it's just very unreliable. She might consider using her up smash and Plasma Wire out of a shield instead, but both only hit right on top of her and above her. Zero Suit Samus has some interesting specials. Her most useful one is her forward special, Plasma Whip. This move has one and only one use, and that is as a fantastic kill move. It hits far in front of her and has great knock back. She could also use it to tether ledges, but that's not really practical. Her Paralyzer is also an interesting move since it's a ranged stun attack, but the way she has to charge it to get any respectable distance or stun time makes it very limited so she should not use it very often. Her Flip Jump has no attacking properties when used normally, but if she hits a wall during it, she will automatically do a wall jump. It's useful for recovery. She can press B after using it to do a kick that is surprisingly powerful, but it's not an attack that can be used very often due to the way this move repositions her. Her Plasma Wire is a very interesting move. It hits above her like her up smash racking up good damage, but the hit at the tip is a spike. She can use this on opponents near a ledge for great profit, but more commonly she uses it to plant the opponent right back on the ground in front of her. This can set them up for a down smash which lets her try to make this into a loop. She really can't keep that up for very long since they can use directional influence to escape, but it's a nice attempt that she should go for. This is also her main recovery move, but watch out when dangling from the tether and not grabbing the ledge as this does not restore her double jump. If she has used three tethers within range of a ledge since actually standing on solid ground, this move won't come out quite right so be careful. Zero Suit Samus can wall jump and crawl but not wall cling. While crouching she gets hit by Pit's arrows, but while crawling she moves lower to the ground and can avoid them. She is even low enough to the ground while crawling to avoid the lasers of Fox and Falco as well as Samus's Super Missiles and uncharged Charge Shot. Just remember to keep moving if using this tactic. Zero Suit Samus has a fairly ordinary roll and spot dodge she uses like most characters can use them. If you were wondering how to start a match as her, you just hold a shield button during the transition to the character select screen. Assuming you picked Samus as your character, you will start as Zero Suit Samus. When she enters battle, Zero Suit Samus drops several armor fragments she or other characters can pick up and throw as weapons. They stick around for quite a while and are pretty dangerous; take advantage of them at the start of a match. Zero Suit Samus's speed makes her more than a match for the slowest of characters, and her range could make her a problem for the very poor range Wario and Sonic. Her difficulties in the air, however, will make her easy prey for characters such as Jigglypuff, Kirby, and Meta Knight, and the great priority Olimar, Marth, and Mr. Game & Watch have little to fear from her. Pit Despite being from an almost literally unknown game from well over a decade ago, Pit has quickly become a fan favorite in brawl. Pit has multiple jumps, an up special that lets him literally fly, a weapon which causes most of his attacks to have disjointed hit boxes, a very spammable projectile, and two different moves that reflect projectiles. However, I'm going to burst some bubbles. Pit is wildly overrated. He's definitely a good character, but he's not really one of the best. Pit is surprisingly slow, and that means his game largely degenerates into arrow spamming. He's still potent, and there's still a lot to learn, but don't see his list of strengths at a glance and assume too much of him. Pit's better moves for the most part are actually on the ground; he has some good stuff here. His forward smash comes out and goes away quickly, but the hitting part of it sticks around for a long time in front of Pit which makes it a wonderful move to use if the opponent has broken through your wall of arrows. The best part is that it knocks them away in just such a way that you could resume shooting arrows! His up smash is like a faster version of Link's and is a solid option to nail opponents coming down on him, and his down smash is mostly just a punishment for those who like to roll around him which is pretty common if they've started using rolling to get past arrow spam. His forward tilt is really horrible; don't use it. His down tilt is a really good move to knock opponents in the air which is not something you typically want to do, but if you find it something you suddenly need to do, remember the move. His up tilt is a double flip kick that is used in pretty much the same circumstances as the up smash but only when you need a bit of a faster move. It won't see much play, but it's not a bad move. Pit's jab combo is also good for knocking opponents away, but his running attack is poor and should be avoided. Pit's aerials are shockingly disappointing. His best one is probably his down aerial which is a wide slash beneath him. The move is fairly slow, but it hits a wide area. Pit's forward and back aerials are quick, and his back aerial has decent power, but they both have pretty horrible range so they are of limited use. Pit's neutral aerial is extremely weak, but it hits all around him so it's a good move to throw out when you need to get them away from you. His up aerial has some power and damage racking potential, but it's very slow and hits over an awkward area so it won't see a lot of use. Also, Pit may have multiple jumps, but his aerial mobility is surprisingly poor. He really can't chase opponents in the air nearly as well as one would think. Pit's grab game is fairly poor, but if he does get them grabbed, he'll mostly just be using it to throw them forward or backward so he can continue with the arrows. If they are at a very high percentage, his up throw will be the first throw to kill. Pit's up smash hits to his sides so up smash out of shield is also a viable option for him. Pit has some interesting and very useful special moves that Pit players should learn well. Let's start with the most important one in his arrow. Pit can press B to shoot an arrow in a straight line. If he presses up or down while it is in flight, he can arc it. He can vary this quite a bit so he can really hit over a much bigger area than it would at first seem. If he holds B instead of just tapping, he can charge the arrows to do more damage, and he can aim the bow up or behind him. When he fires up, he obviously hits left or right to arc it instead of up or down. Pit can fire arrows in rapid succession so he can really use them to shut people down. I'm not going to beat around the bush; the best way to play Pit is to stay away from them and rain arrows. A few characters have easy ways to reflect or absorb them, but those few aside, Pit can just abuse arrows all day. If they jump in at you to interrupt the arrows, just use a smash to knock them away and continue. Eventually the smash will just kill. Pit also uses these while recovering as he can fire one after each jump without really losing recovery ability, and it makes attacking him while recovering much more difficult. Pit's Wings of Icarus are his recovery move, and they literally let him fly. After bringing them out, simply direct Pit with the control stick to fly wherever you want. These last for a super long time; Pit can use them to fly underneath a lot of stages. Stalling by constantly flying under the stage will be banned in any reasonable rule set, but Pit can still exploit this to recover to the opposite ledge to get past an opponent or other such nonsense. For the record, yes, you can fly under Final Destination. Pit can interrupt this by attacking, but watch out as if Pit for whatever reason terminates using this move, he cannot use it again until he touches the ground. That includes being hit; make sure using this is the last thing you do before hitting the ground or the ledge. Pit's forward special is a spinning blade attack that is nearly useless, but it does reflect projectiles at least. The main use for it is to use it while on ice to slide forward very quickly while having a constant whirl of death before you. Pit's last special is his Mirror Shield which is actually very useful to him. It's an unbreakable shield in one direction that he can keep out as long as he wants, and in practice, it works similarly to Mario's Cape. If they attack it, they will just be pushed back, but moves such as Fox and Falco's Illusion or Meta Knight's Drill Rush will be reflected causing them to fly in the opposite direction. This also reflects projectiles so Pit is sure to always have an answer to obnoxious projectile spammers other than himself. A lot of Pit players neglect this move, and it's a huge mistake as it's a very valuable part of Pit's arsenal that he needs to integrate into his game for maximum effectiveness. Pit cannot wall jump, wall cling, or crawl, but he can glide and has three midair jumps. Pit's roll and spot dodge are both decently quick and will be of good use to him. Pit's matches pretty much go by how well he can spam arrows. Ness, Lucas, Fox, Falco, and Mr. Game & Watch instantly say no to his arrows so they will be big problems. Characters like Jigglypuff and Meta Knight who can easily float over the spam and then outperform Pit up close will be hard matches, and Snake will be a very hard match as he can not only do far more damage than Pit with the stuff he's tossing out, but Snake can easily duck and crawl under Pit's arrows. Pit should expect to do very well against all the big and heavy characters, especially Ganondorf with his poor mobility. Ice Climbers The Ice Climbers are not a very popular character, but given how exceedingly good they are, they sure should be. Having two characters at once is a huge advantage, and the fact that they are both very strong with disjointed hit boxes from many attacks thanks to the hammers only helps. Due to the difficulties of using two characters in unison, the Ice Climbers are the hardest character to master, but the rewards are well worth it. I must caution that, more than with most characters, I will only be scratching the surface of the Ice Climbers here. They are too deep of a character for me to do adequate justice, and either way, I'm not an especially skilled user of them. The Ice Climbers more than any other character really like to keep their feet on the ground, and this is largely due to their great ground based attacks. All three of their smashes are quick and powerful, especially if they both hit. Their up smash hits both in front of them and above them, and it is effective at scoring kills off the top. Their forward smash delivers good knock back to anyone in its way in front of them, and it has solid speed and range. Their real pride is their amazing down smash. It's very fast, deals loads of damage, and has great knock back. It even sweeps all around them to not only punish roll abusers but generally anyone near them. They can seriously use this move over and over again as it does everything a smash should ever be expected to do. Their jab combo, forward tilt, and down tilt are all slightly different ways of simply knocking the opponent away weakly, and each can be used in the subtly different circumstances that would call for them. The up tilt is a hammer spin that does great damage; mix it and the up smash up to deal with enemies from above. Their running attack pops enemies up into the air, and it's their quickest way to do that. In the air, they have four decent options and one horrible option. Their back aerial is really quit and does a lot of damage if both climbers hit; use it frequently. Their up aerial is somewhat powerful and quick; it's a good way to kill very weakened foes off the top. The forward aerial is slow, but unlike most slow forward aerials, the speed makes up for it. Additionally, this move has the odd quirk that Popo's hits horizontally while Nana's hits straight down. The neutral aerial is a standard weak knock the foe away attack that's good for some breathing move, and the down aerial is a standard down plunging move that's really horrible and really shouldn't be used. Grabs are definitely what define higher level Ice Climbers play. I'll start easy and get more complicated. The simplest thing to try with the Ice Climbers is to abuse Nana's ability to attack independently out of a grab. Try tapping different directions on the c-stick while the opponent is grabbed (don't hold Z). Popo will do his grab attack, and Nana will hit them with smashes! Next try hitting down and B. Popo will do a down throw while Nana hits them with Blizzard if you do it right, and this is a very nice way to rack up some damage. The extra bit of delay from Blizzard also makes it easier for the Ice Climbers to follow up with other attacks. With subtle motions, you can easily make Nana do a Hammer Squall or forward tilt to a grabbed opponent, but notice that the second attack Nana hits with always launches the opponent. This is to prevent the infinites from Super Smash Brothers Melee from existing again, but you can exploit this to have Nana hit with a forward tilt and then a forward smash. You can also press X or Y to jump with Nana while you have an opponent grabbed; this is handy to do a powerful down throw to forward aerial combo. The Ice Climbers can chain grab with their down throw, and in fact Popo alone can do it. Just do a down throw and then do a running grab forward. You should be able to get another grab. This only works at lower percentages, and some characters break out sooner than others. It's still a great trick you should learn. The last trick I have to share is the forward throw infinite. I cannot do this consistently, but the general premise is to do a forward throw and then as Popo is throwing input a dash grab. If you do it just right, Nana will run up and grab the opponent. You can repeat this alternating between Popo and Nana for an infinite combo. It may seem like this was a huge section on grabs, but this is really only the surface. If you're serious about the Ice Climbers, you will find that what I've written here is a minimal introduction to their grab game. The Ice Climbers have some really handy specials as well. Their Ice Block is a rather handy projectile that accelerates logically based on the slant of the ground it is on. They can use this to harass foes at a distance, and if they can desynchronize, they can fire these in an alternating pattern that makes them very difficult to deal with. Their Hammer Squall is useful for recovery and grab combos, but otherwise it shouldn't be used much. Do note that mashing B very quickly while recovering with it improves the air you can get. Belay is their other recovery move, and it's pretty handy. They jump up connected by a rope, and if Nana grabs the ledge, she will pull Popo to it. A lone Ice Climber can still get a little air from using this move so it's still worth trying right below the edge even without Nana. Their Blizzard is a handy damage racking move. It hits on both sides if used on the ground, but if used in the air, both Ice Climbers shoot forward. That being said, the best use is to do a short hop before using Blizzard. It is also very useful in grab combos, but then again, everything is. The Ice Climbers cannot wall jump, wall cling, or crawl, and they have only one midair jump. Their roll and spot dodge are very average as well. They only count as dead if Popo dies, but Nana has her own invisible damage counter. Nana's shield also depletes separately, and I believe but am not sure that they have independent stale move negation. They can be desynchronized, but both still accept inputs which can have different impacts on them. The two easiest ways to do this are to either get a grab which leaves the other one free to do whatever or to hit a shield button and a direction simultaneously. For some odd reason, Nana will roll the wrong direction which puts them out of synch. The Ice Climbers are able to share a ledge which is very handy, but either climber occupying the ledge will prevent any enemy from grabbing it. Lastly, the Ice Climbers ignore the slippery effect of icy surfaces. They don't slide on them, and they don't trip more often on them. The Ice Climbers tend to do well against most characters, but their greatest fear are light characters who can make safe attacks on them from the air. Light characters break out of grab combos easier, and the Ice Climbers are less powerful in an aerial contest so that's no good. Mr. Game & Watch and Meta Knight are two characters that come quickly to mind, but even someone like Jigglypuff or Kirby could do somewhat well against the Ice Climbers. Bowser and Donkey Kong in particular can expect a very hard match as their combination of size, weight, and falling speed makes them the easiest characters for anyone to do grab combos against. Being that the Ice Climbers are grabbing experts, that's no good for them. R.O.B. How to unlock: -Play 160 brawls. -Have R.O.B. join your party in The Subspace Emissary. -Collect 250 different trophies. R.O.B. is a character that seems to have few fans; being an obscure NES accessory probably isn't helping him. However, being unpopular does not make him bad. R.O.B.'s ability to fly even better than Pit, solid projectile game, array of surprisingly quick and powerful attacks, and unique momentum based attacks make him a solid contender. He has in some respects inherited the spirit of Peach from Super Smash Brothers Melee, but that comparison breaks down if analyzed too deeply. On the ground, R.O.B.'s game mostly revolves around his down smash. This is a very fast and very powerful move with almost no delay after it finishes so R.O.B. can just throw out another one. R.O.B. should be using his down smash at every opportunity as it really is his best choice in most grounded circumstances. It's especially effective against rolling opponents or right after R.O.B. lands from an aerial, but don't hesitate to use it in a variety of situations. His forward smash is also a solid choice, and it has more killing power than his down smash. It's slow enough that he has to show some degree of caution using it, but it's a solid move to throw out as a finisher thanks to its incredible range. His up smash is probably his single best killing move, but he should use it seldom as the hit area on it is very small. If you can get a clean hit, it's a pretty likely star KO, but recognize that isn't terribly likely. R.O.B.'s up tilt is a great move to pop enemies up in the air, and his forward tilt and trip inclined down tilt are both great ways to knock enemies away. All three tilts are very quick so R.O.B. shouldn't hesitate to throw them out. His tilts largely obsolete his jab combo, but it's not bad, and he has a good enough running attack that he should mix it in. In the air, the general rule with R.O.B. is to mostly try to attack with his arms. His forward aerial is not a move that will get many kills unless he can string several of them together, but it's very fast and safe. It should be R.O.B.'s main option for approaching opponents. His up aerial is a wonderful damage racking move that's also very safe, and it gives R.O.B. great incentive to try to put enemies up in the air. R.O.B.'s other three aerials utilize his jets which makes them pretty interesting but difficult to use. His neutral aerial is quite hard to hit with due to the slow way R.O.B. spins, but it is actually quite powerful so it is R.O.B.'s main way to look for KOs in the air. The back aerial is a jet burst that pushes R.O.B. forward which requires a lot of practice to be able to integrate. The momentum shenanigan makes R.O.B. very hard to punish after this move, but it also makes it easy to dodge. The plus side is that the hit area on this move is deceptive; it covers R.O.B.'s whole body. Try to mix it in against opponents you have under pressure; used well it can make their situation far worse. His down aerial is a jet burst that knocks him upward, and it's a great spike. This move should can be used while falling to make R.O.B.'s decent unpredictable, and over pits it's a great way to get easy kills. Those are about the only two contexts in which it is useful; refrain from using it otherwise. R.O.B. has a very speedy grab with a solid array of throws. His up and down throws both pop opponents up nicely, and both his forward and back throws have quite a bit of power. His forward and back throws also have very quick animations so they can be effective to keep enemies off base; they will be flying before they realize they were even grabbed. Use whichever one fits the specific need. R.O.B. has two good projectiles, the ability to fly, and a totally useless move as the sum of his specials. Arm Rotor is the useless one; never use it. Seriously, this move has absolutely no redeeming qualities and only leaves R.O.B. open; it's a candidate for least useful attack in the game. His laser and gyro are his two main projectile options, and he mixes both up to apply great pressure. His laser is constantly charging, and the current degree of charge is indicated by the LED on R.O.B.'s head. In general this move should be fired at full charge when the enemy is off guard to score a quick amount of solid damage after which R.O.B. can charge in, but don't hesitate to use a weaker version at need. However, since his laser has charging issues, his main weapon is his gyro. He can press down + B to begin charging and again to fire prematurely. If he has a full charge, he'll blink and can fire by pressing down + B just once. Once fired, the gyro flies along a low arc until it skids to a halt on the ground. It then spins on the ground hurting everyone except R.O.B. who comes in contact with it. Anyone can grab it and toss it around as well; R.O.B.'s ability to run up to it without getting hurt makes that easier for him. It flies farther if it is more charged, does more damage, and also lasts longer on the ground. The uses for this move are nearly infinite. R.O.B. should be charging his gyro if he has free time during which he would do nothing else, and he can fire it safely as most grounded opponents. If they shield, the gyro just disappears which is no loss. If it hits, it knocks them off base and lands on the ground to control valuable space. He can fire this from the air for great surprise attacks, and the threat of him doing this really multiplies the amount of space he can control at any time. It's a great anti-recovery move even as it falls along a nice path that can be an unstoppable wall that prevents an opponent's ascent. The only downside is that only one gyro can be on the screen at once; be sure if one is out that you are somehow using its presence to your advantage. If it is not being helpful, just toss it off screen to destroy it. R.O.B.'s recovery option comes in the form of his incredible jet engines. By pressing up + B, R.O.B. can literally fly around. He will be firing the jet if he holds up or B, and otherwise after using this move he will be in a "ready to fly" state that limits his options. He can attack right out of it with any aerial, but he cannot air dodge or use special moves. After attacking, he leaves the flying state. He can use this move infinitely in the air, but he has a fixed time for which his jets can be firing. Once it is exhausted, he must stand on the ground to recharge it over time. The recharge time is actually very quick, but be careful as clinging to a ledge does not count. He not only can use this move to make pretty much any recovery he wants, but he can chase opponents way over ledges with confidence that he'll make it back. He can also jet to reach opponents super high in the air to follow up with up aerials for star KOs. If he finds himself needing to cancel his flight mode to air dodge or fire a projectile, his quickest option is to use his forward aerial due to the very fast animation though his down aerial's ability to stall him in the air makes it sometimes a better choice. R.O.B. cannot wall jump, wall cling, or crawl, and he has only one midair jump. He has a fast roll with tons of invincibility frames that may be the best roll in the game so he should abuse it heavily, but his spot dodge is a bit slow. R.O.B. also has a very rigid body that doesn't change size much when he crouches or performs attacks so watch out for that. R.O.B.'s combination of keep away tactics, a clear out down smash, and unique aerial options give him odd matches. He tends to struggle against very fast characters who can dance around his game and harass him; Sonic is an unusually hard match for R.O.B.. However, his supreme over the edge abilities make him very dangerous to characters such as Ike, Captain Falcon, Olimar, Ganondorf, and Ivysaur who have few options to alter their trajectories in the air. R.O.B.'s great down smash and projectile game also mean that characters who have a lot of difficulty approaching from the air will have some trouble with him; this mostly applies to the Ice Climbers. Kirby Kirby used to be a fan favorite back in the days of the first Super Smash Brothers, but ever since his atrocious showing in the sequel Super Smash Brothers Melee, Kirby has been a character few are willing to use. In this game, Kirby is a somewhat decent character, but he lives in the shadow of his fellow Dreamland denizen Meta Knight. Kirby actually has some decent priority on his attacks, and he has generally more power than Meta Knight. In some ways Kirby manages to be a middle ground between Meta Knight's hyper fast version of floaty and Jigglypuff's slow but strong version so pick Kirby if you want a floaty character but the others just aren't working for you. Kirby's ground game is mostly a source of KOs and lead ins to aerials as you would expect from a floaty character. His up tilt, down smash, and up smash all knock opponents into the air, and all three have somewhat different uses. His up tilt is an extremely fast close range move that Kirby should go for if he wants to try to lead into something else. His up smash is a slower and more powerful and widely ranged option that is also an occasional source of star KOs. His down smash is fairly unreliable for popping them into the air since it only does that near the base of Kirby's feet whereas the tips send them horizontally, but the move is quick and sweeps around Kirby so it can both punish those who roll too much and generally sweep out if Kirby does not know where they will be. Kirby also has an excellent forward smash that is quick and powerful; it will be one of his main KO moves. His down and forward tilts are mostly just safety moves with his down tilt having the added bonus of being the natural move from his very safe crouching position; use them as such. Kirby's jab combo is rather bad unless he can pin an enemy against a wall, but his running attack can be a decent damage dealer and will tend to poke through weakened shields. Kirby's aerials give him a wide array of good options in all directions, but his best is probably his simple back aerial. It's just a quick kick to his rear that he can frequently hit with and then chase to apply pressure. His forward aerial is also good and racks up damage quickly, but it's slow enough so that it should mostly be used when you know it's the last hit you are going to get before letting them away. His up aerial is a quick flip that knocks the enemy right back up. Kirby can also chase with this move, and it keeps the enemy in the air where Kirby wants them. Kirby's down aerial is a solid air to ground attack as it racks up damage nicely if all the hits connect, but it also has a spike at the end so Kirby can use it over the ledge for great profit. Unfortunately, Kirby's neutral aerial is just too weak and slow to be worth it; only mix it in when you absolutely need to get them away in the air. Kirby's grab game is mostly about down throws against low percent foes and up throws against more injured ones. The down throw pops the enemy up fairly near Kirby so Kirby can keep up the pressure, and the up throw does the same with a bit more height and the added bonus of ending with Kirby actually in the air. Kirby's up smash out of a shield is also handy so be sure to use it once in a while. Kirby has an array of interesting but mostly bad specials. His Hammer is quite strong but also very slow; only use it once in a while to keep opponents guessing. It's somewhat safer in the air and gives Kirby KO power in the air where he otherwise would have lacked it and cancels somewhat quickly when hitting the ground, but it's still a very slow move. Kirby can exploit a glitch with this move actually; if the move ends in the air right above the ground, Kirby will regain all of his midair jumps. It's seldom useful, but if Kirby masters the timing, he could theoretically never actually touch the ground. However, if Kirby wants to hit the ground very quickly, the Rock is a good option. Actually, descending quickly to outrace an opponent is about all the Rock is good for, and it should usually be canceled before actually hitting the ground as the move is pretty much begging to be grabbed. Kirby's Final Cutter is handy for recovery if you somehow need help there, and it can be a generally good surprise move once in a great while. The shockwave it sends out is a projectile that is sometimes useful, but it's more of a novelty than a serious combat weapon. Kirby's Inhale is certainly very cool, but don't overlook the move's use when not eating foes. Once a foe is in Kirby's mouth, he can press down or B to eat the foe while pressing A or Z will spit the foe out. If the foe is someone like Peach who has a very bad power, spitting for some damage is usually better. Kirby can also walk around with them in his mouth and jump from the ground, and this is the source of his great suicide game. Kirby uses Inhale either over or very close to a pit and falls into the abyss with them. Kirby can even sometimes spit opponents out very low and toward the stage from which they cannot recover, but Kirby can. However, in terms of stealing powers, Kirby just has to look at what's useful. Taking the great projectiles from the Star Fox characters, Pit, or Snake will certainly be a great choice, and the powers he gets from Mario, Donkey Kong, Ice Climbers, Samus, R.O.B., Ivysaur, Lucario, and Ike can be handy from time to time. Otherwise, stealing powers is probably not worth the effort, but you might want to note anyway that Kirby has somewhat different properties on several moves. Don't worry though; he can still do reverse Falcon Punch! Also, if you have a change of heart about a power, Kirby can taunt to drop them. Kirby's down taunt is the quickest choice by a large margin. Kirby cannot wall jump, wall cling, or crawl, but he has five midair jumps. Kirby has a nice, quick roll but a somewhat slow spot dodge. Kirby's crouch is also super low so he can use it to duck under a lot of attacks. Kirby does well where floatiest usually do well and poorly where they usually do poorly. He can float above the problems that projectile spammers bring, but powerful opponents such as Ike or Bowser could be an issue. Kirby's poor range could make Marth a concern as well, and his general trouble scoring kills in the air will make Jigglypuff a hard match. Meta Knight Everyone loves Meta Knight, and it's not just because he looks cool. Meta Knight's attack speed is unparalleled, and his floatiness lets him pressure foes in a way that most other characters can only dream of. He does have serious issues with securing kills, but all in all, he's still a very dangerous character who can hold his own against the best. On the ground, Meta Knight will either be looking for kills or looking to send the opponent into the air. His forward tilt is actually a three move combo that pops enemies up, but his main tool will be his up tilt which is very quick move that sends the target straight up. His down tilt isn't useful knock back wise, but it's so ridiculously fast that he can use it to poke under shields very safely. All three of his smashes have killing potential and are quick enough to be relatively safe, but they slow down Meta Knight's pressure game so he should only use them for finishers. Obviously his up smash goes for off the top kills which his forward smash aims for the side. His down smash is a kill move mostly for foes to the back and that are rolling; the back swing seems generally more powerful. His jab combo is fun, but it shouldn't be used in a serious match, and his running attack is mediocre. In the air, the general plan is to just do an aerial in whatever direction the enemy is. All of them are quick damage dealers with little KO power so they're pretty interchangeable. The forward and back aerials are multi-hit attacks that should be used when the enemy is already in trouble more than the up and down aerials which are single hits that cover a wide area. For approaching the down aerial is a generally solid option due to the wide hit and the general ease with which Meta Knight can maneuver to the high ground. The neutral aerial, however, is simply bad. Don't use it often. Meta Knight doesn't get a lot out of his grab game, but his best seems to be his forward throw. This pops them into a perfect position to chase with a forward aerial. His down throw can somewhat accomplish the same thing as well, and his back throw scales up to be somewhat powerful against high percent foes so remember them. His Shuttle Loop out of shield is a big thing he can do; expect to get many kills this way. Meta Knight's specials all have utility in recovery, but most are pretty limited otherwise. The Tornado is a surprisingly hard move to punish, but the damage is weak on it so Meta Knight shouldn't use it much for his pressure game. Drill Rush can rack up damage very nicely with a clean hit, but it often leaves Meta Knight vulnerable so use it sparingly. His Dimension Cape lets him do a short range teleport to get out of trouble, and he can hold B to do a weak attack right afterward. It's another one of those moves that you should use sparingly, but it's a great move to keep in mind for a tight spot. His main special is his Shuttle Loop. This move does a slicing loop and then puts Meta Knight into a glide which robs him of all of his jumps once complete. The initial swing from it is very powerful; it's Meta Knight's main kill move. Use it and abuse it, especially out of a shield which allows Meta Knight to score kills when he seems to be at a disadvantage. Meta Knight cannot wall jump, wall cling, or crawl, but he has five midair jumps and can glide. His roll and spot dodge are very typical ones that he can use like most characters would. Meta Knight's aggressive swordsmanship and floatiness put together make him the worst nightmare of characters like Pit and Snake that like to keep enemies at bay. Speed characters such as the Star Fox characters will also likely find Meta Knight difficult as his attack speed is every bit as good as their and he has a sort of aerial movement they can only envy. Of course, powerhouses like Ness and Donkey Kong will relish Meta Knight's relative difficulty scoring kills, and characters like Ike, Marth, and Mr. Game & Watch will give him a run for his money by outranging and out prioritizing him. King Dedede King Dedede is a very silly character. He's not only silly in the sense that he's a floating self proclaimed penguin king with a giant hammer either. King Dedede is big, heavy, and slow, but he has multiple jumps and a generally great recovery along with a solid projectile. That's a very non-traditional combination, and it is pretty effective. I would hardly put King Dedede as a top class character, but he's solid and very useable. King Dedede has quick, useful tilts and very powerful smashes that form the core of his ground game. His down tilt is very quick so even if the knock back is bad, he can use it as a nice safety move. His forward tilt, on the other hand, just has huge range for its speed. He can use it to harass foes from safety, and due to the range he can easily form a combo with it out of his down throw. His up tilt pops foes up nicely with solid damage scaling that actually lets it kill at very high percentages. His up smash is another great source of star KOs, and for the speed, it's generally a great move. His forward smash is actually very slow, but it does massive damage. King Dedede should use it seldom, but when he finds an opening, it's the perfect move to punish an unwary opponent. His down smash also sends opponents upward which lets him lead into aerials, and it clears out pesky rolling foes as an added bonus. King Dedede also has a quick and damaging jab combo, but don't use his slow running attack even if you really love the Kirby nostalgia. In the air, King Dedede's main claim to fame is his amazing back aerial. It's quick with good enough knock back to eventually kill but not enough so that he couldn't chain them together. King Dedede's multiple jumps also move him fairly little in the air so he can use them with the back aerial in rapid succession to lead opponents across stages; it's wonderful. His forward aerial is somewhat outclassed because of this, but it's still useful due to the large hit area and the way it scales up to pretty high power as the opponent takes damage. Dedede's up and down aerials have no real killing power, but both are great at racking up damage so they should be used against lower percent foes. His neutral aerial is just a typical "knock them away" move so use it as such. King Dedede's grab game revolves almost entirely around his chain grabbing down throw though it should be noted that his back throw has some KO potential. In general, King Dedede should do a down throw and then do a running grab to regrab his opponent. This isn't really forced very often, but it's a pretty powerful tactic anyway. Do note that it won't work at all against lighter characters such as Mr. Game & Watch and Jigglypuff. Against Donkey Kong, Mario, Luigi, and Samus, he can quickly regrab them before they complete bouncing away, but he must use his grab attack to slow the stale move negation if he wants to continue indefinitely. Bowser can almost be caught in an infinite combo the same way, but King Dedede must move forward slightly if he wants to do that. King Dedede really only has one good special so let's cover the others first. His Inhale is pretty much the same thing as Kirby's except it's slower, stronger, and can't take powers. Of course, since it can't steal powers, pressing down does nothing and either A or B eject the foe. Read Kirby's section for more in depth about this move, but it's generally not that great. His Jet Hammer seems cool and does big damage, but it's just too slow to be practical. If his opponent has a broken shield, he can use it by charging to the point where he starts taking damage by holding the charge too long as a great KO move, but it's really not even better there than King Dedede's forward smash. His Super Dedede Jump is pretty interesting; he can direct which way he moves as he begins his ascent and then follows a set path until he crashes into the ground, creating stars like Yoshi does with his ground pound. King Dedede cannot grab a ledge during this either, but he can cancel the move by hitting down on either the control stick or the c-stick which lets him directionally influence and grab ledges. If he cancels too low to the ground, he'll suffer a funny but highly disadvantageous animation as he struggles to get up. Waddle Dee Toss is really King Dedede's main and best special attack. He randomly throws Waddle Dees, Waddle Doos, and Gordos with a ratio of 35:10:4 respectively. Waddle Dees are a quick projectile that can be used to harass opponents well; they're like a better version of Peach's turnips as they can't be caught even if they are attackable. Waddle Doos are pretty much the same as Waddle Dees, but when they wander on the ground, they occasionally shoot lasers. Gordos simply fly off the screen after being thrown, but they do much better damage and knock back than the other two. King Dedede can only have two minions on the screen at once, and they can be eaten by his or Kirby's Inhale or Wario's Bite. He can rethrow ones on the ground even if they once belonged to an enemy as well. Generally, they are just a wonderful space controlling projectile; use them as such. King Dedede cannot wall jump, wall cling, or crawl, but he has four midair jumps. His roll is quick and useful, but his spot dodge is simply average. King Dedede largely does well against other heavy characters due to his ability to more easily grab combo and projectile spam them as well as survive to high percentages with his great weight and recovery. On the other end of the spectrum, characters with serious priority problems like Sonic may find Dedede a bit tough to handle. However, most very quick characters and characters with great aerial control such as Wario will be able to outmaneuver King Dedede and generally make the game hard for him. Olimar Olimar is a very misunderstood character. Notably, he's far less unusual and hard to master than everyone thinks. His big claim to fame is that he uses his Pikmin to do all of his smashes, grabs, and special moves as well as his aerials other than the neutral air. Olimar can have up to six Pikmin following him at once, and each color has different properties. Red Pikmin are fire Pikmin, and yellow Pikmin are electric Pikmin. Each have some resistance to attacks of those elements but are mostly normal. White Pikmin are poison and do more damage when they are latched onto foes, but they have poor vitality. Blue Pikmin tend to have greater range on attacks and are the only Pikmin not automatically killed when submerged in water. Purple Pikmin do more damage and knock back with worse range. This may seem bizarre, but the fact of the matter is that Olimar can pluck Pikmin so quickly that he should never, ever run out. Adding to the nature of this is the fact that Pikmin are invincible when closely following Olimar and not being used in attacks. Of course, mastering the Pikmin and carefully selecting colors will be of great use to a master Olimar player, but it isn't really that big of a deal if Olimar players don't worry about which Pikmin they are using and just take advantage of Olimar's small size combined with his incredible range and power that make him such a potent character. Olimar's tilts are all quick but weak attacks that don't utilize the Pikmin. His down tilt is a short range quick move that very nicely pops opponents up into the air. Olimar is very powerful in the air so this move should be used frequently to work with that. His forward tilt is a quick move to knock opponents away, but due to Olimar's wide range of better options, it shouldn't see much play. His up tilt is a somewhat decent damage racking move that pops opponents up into the air; Olimar can exploit this for decent profit though his excellent up smash tends to outshine it. His jab combo and running attack also don't use Pikmin and both are pretty average, but his running attack at least pops opponents up into the air. However, his smashes do use Pikmin, and that's where things get interesting. His forward smash just causes him to hurl a Pikmin a set distance ahead of him depending on color. It's not particularly powerful and is pretty slow, but the ridiculously huge range makes it a viable and useful move for Olimar, especially when used with blue Pikmin. His up smash is a quick Pikmin toss upward which does good damage, sets up for aerials, and can kill at higher percentages. Use the up smash frequently. His down smash sends his next Pikmin in line forward along the ground and the one after that behind him; it's a useful move if the opponent is unpredictably moving around and has good power; also use it frequently. However, with the down and forward smashes, take caution. These can cause Pikmin to be hurled to an early end if used near a pit. Olimar's power on the ground was nice, but his aerials are just top notch. His neutral aerial is a fairly decent damage racking move that hits all around him, but it's not a Pikmin using move so it has poor range and generally isn't all that great. Olimar's forward aerial, on the other hand, is a quick swing with a Pikmin that does great damage with really good priority. His back aerial is also a quick swing with a Pikmin that does great damage with really good priority. Both swings are about a Pikmin's length wide regardless of color so they are especially effective with the powerful purple Pikmin. His down aerial is also a short range swing like his forward and back aerials, but it swings straight down and is a very effective spike; it's a great way to abuse opponents over ledges. His up aerial is more of a damage racking move with less KO power than his other aerials even when used with a purple Pikmin, but being a Pikmin move, it still has pretty good range and great priority. It's not one of his better aerials, but when chasing opponents upward, sometimes it is the only viable option, and the damage return is nothing to snuff at. Olimar's grab game is incredible. His throws aren't anything special, but his grab is just a Pikmin toss that pulls them in. It has the speed of a standard grab with the range of a tether grab; it's all around spectacular and gives Olimar a great out of shield game. The range is especially good with blue Pikmin, and with those long range grabs he can use his down throw to set up for aerials. Blue Pikmin also do more damage than other Pikmin with throws; they're really a great choice even at high percentages when you are looking for a kill with a back throw. I really can't stress enough how much this helps Olimar and opens doors to him. He should use his shield more liberally than other characters, and even if his opponents try to pull back after hitting his shield with an aerial, he can still get a grab in. Even if his grab misses, it is fast so it's safe. Olimar can and should use his up smash out of his shield as well; given the way most opponents tower over him, he'll have a pretty easy time hitting with it. Olimar's specials all revolve around utilizing the Pikmin in unique ways. His Pikmin Pluck is his source of new Pikmin and should generally be used at any safe moment on the ground to get him right back up to six Pikmin. His Pikmin Throw is a somewhat useful projectile that causes his next Pikmin in line to be thrown. If it is a color other than purple, it will latch onto opponents upon contact and cause residual damage until killed or knocked off. The damage is much greater if the Pikmin is white; white Pikmin should be thrown liberally. Purple Pikmin simply do fairly poor knock back when thrown, but they are the only ones that cause the opponent to stagger on hit so this is still useful to clear off ledges as Olimar goes for his dangerous recovery. Olimar's Pikmin Order simply summons his Pikmin to him. The first time it is used in a match, it arranges his Pikmin in the order red, yellow, blue, white, and purple. Each subsequent use it queues the type of Pikmin that was last in front to the back while retaining the previous order otherwise. If Olimar does not have any of the type of Pikmin that are next to be in front when he uses it, the next color in the new queue is taken as the front color and he can skip ahead in the rotation. Dying or using Pikmin Order when Olimar has no Pikmin does not affect the order. This causes all Pikmin to leap in line, grants short invincibility, and can be used in the air so it's very handy while recovering to summon your allies together. Olimar's Pikmin Chain is his unfortunately poor recovery move. It's a tether recovery which strings all of his closely following Pikmin together to reach for the ledge, but even though it's just a tether, it leaves Olimar helpless after use. If the opponent is on the ledge when he uses this move, he can knock them off but won't be able to grab the ledge anyway which causes Olimar to die in most cases. The danger here means that Olimar should quickly attempt to recover before his opponent can prepare any defense; if he rushes for the ledge, he can frequently save himself from a horrible death. If he is being edge hogged and can't make it to solid ground, he shouldn't give up hope. He can use Pikmin Order to cycle Pikmin until a purple is next and then should use Pikmin Throw to knock opponents off the ledge, allowing him to latch on with his remaining five Pikmin in Pikmin Chain. If he does not have any purple Pikmin, he will be forced to rely on his forward aerial which probably will not work as he very well may not be able to reach, but he should at least try something. Pikmin Chain does not alter the order of Olimar's Pikmin following him since it uses every Pikmin. It can also be used as an attack on the ground for its great reach, but it's slow and weak so it should be used sparingly. Olimar cannot wall jump, wall cling, or crawl, and he has only one midair jump. His roll is fairly slow, but he has an average spot dodge. Olimar spawns with three random Pikmin on his first stock or in Sudden Death, but after respawning from a death, he will have no Pikmin. Each Pikmin has its own properties as described in fair detail earlier and a short independent amount of HP which determines how long it can survive. Blue and purple have the most, red and yellow have a medium amount, and white have the least. Overall, blue Pikmin are probably the best Pikmin, but all of them are useful. Olimar does well against most characters, but he does especially well against characters who typically rely on being able to avoid shield grabs such as Mr. Game & Watch, Wario, and Jigglypuff. On the other hand, he will have the most trouble against characters with great reach such as Marth or characters like Pikachu who can take the fight up into the air and quickly murder most of his Pikmin. Unfortunately, despite what that scene in The Subspace Emissary would suggest, Captain Falcon has no special Pikmin murdering skills and is actually one of the easiest opponents for Olimar. Fox Fox is the character who has always insisted upon being good. Notably, of the twelve characters who originally appeared in the original Super Smash Brothers, Fox is the only one who has been clearly above average in all three games. Super Smash Brothers Melee fans will especially recognize the overwhelming dominance of Fox as he was the best character in the game there. He's not the best character in the game anymore, but he's still very good as he has high speed in both attacking and mobility, a projectile reflecting move that's also one of the fastest techniques in the game, a good projectile in his laser, and really great vertical killing power. If it sounds like Fox doesn't really have any downsides, it sounds right. He's pretty much just all around good. He is one of the game's lighter characters, but that is seriously almost completely unimportant. Fox's attacks on the ground are all around solid. His up tilt is his best tilt as it pops enemies nicely up into the air close to Fox. The down tilt also knocks enemies into the air, but it also sends enemies away from Fox a bit too much to be useful. His forward tilt is a pretty standard quick knock away move that he won't be using much at all thanks to his great reflector. His smashes, on the other hand, are all great kill moves. His up smash in particular is just beastly; it's both quick and extremely powerful and will score Fox many, many star KOs. His forward smash is also a good quick killer, and his down smash not only clears foes out but has KO potential. He has a fairly quick running attack and jab combo, but given his other great options, he shouldn't use either very much. Fox is one of those characters who is blessed with five good aerials. His forward air is a multiple hitting combo that is really incredible for racking up damage; against low percent foes, it's Fox's best option for transforming them into high percent foes. Fox's back aerial, on the other hand, is insanely fast with good knock back. Fox can do a short hop back aerial, land, and then follow up with another short hop back aerial in quick succession to apply really great pressure. His up aerial is a great move for star KOs; a clean hit has incredible knock back. The move, like pretty much everything Fox has, is also quick so it's even a safe move to throw out. Fox's down aerial seems bad at first as just a weak drill, but like his forward aerial, it's a very quick move. It is easier to hit grounded opponents with than the forward aerial so it's the damage racking move of choice there. It's also a classic Fox tactic to follow up his drill with his Reflector to keep up a constant flurry of pressure. This isn't as effective in Brawl as it was in past games, but it's still a good trick to try. The drill also weakly sends opponents downward in the air so it can be used to get surprise kills off the bottom, but it's not particularly good for that. Fox's neutral aerial is a pretty average safety move at first glance, but it has classic Fox speed and especially low landing lag even for Fox. This is the aerial of choice if Fox wishes to leap in with an aerial and immediately follow up with an attack after he lands. That's a very dangerous game to be playing, and Fox is very good at it. Fox's grab game is merely average with him not having anything particularly great out of it, but his up throw is probably his generally best attempt as it sends enemies straight up to be ready to take a hit from Fox's up aerial. Fox should also be up smashing out of his shield a lot; his up smash is too good to waste. Fox gains a lot from his specials in both recovery options, melee combat options, and projectile spamming options. The Fox Illusion is a fairly quick recovery option for straight horizontal recoveries which makes it adequate for most scenarios. Fox can even press B partway through the move to prematurely terminate it to fake out opponents. It may be tempting to try to use this move frequently as an offensive option, but it has a clear auditory telegraph that makes it easy to predict and counter. It's great once in a while (as in once or twice a match) as a surprise, but in general, this move should be used mostly for recovery. The Fire Fox, on the other hand, should be used pretty much entirely for recovery and even then fairly rarely. It's a solid recovery move even if a bit slow, but the fact that the Fox Illusion exists means Fire Fox is limited to the cases in which Fox finds himself below the stage or needs to slow down his recovery to elude an edge guard. On the stage, Fire Fox is slow and predictable so it shouldn't be used offensively, but if you must, the best plan is to use it in the air and slam into the ground which gives Fox a large bounce effect that can make him somewhat difficult to punish. Fox's Blaster is just a quick move that is a source of free damage. He can use it in either the air or the ground, and he only has to mash B quickly to keep up a stream of continual linear damage. It has no stun so it should only be used from a range, but whenever the foe gives you a free shot, take it. Fox uses this to force the opponent to stay on the offense as sitting back and playing defensively will only result in Fox firing hundreds of lasers. Fox's Reflector is his pride and joy of a special, and it's so beloved by the competitive community that it has a special nickname, the shine. His Reflector can reflect projectiles, and if the opponent dares spam projectiles at Fox, he can use it to counter them very efficiently. While his Reflector is in the reflecting animation, he can even do anything he can do out of a shield. That means he can instantly cancel his Reflector for no lag into a grab, roll, spot dodge, or jump as long as he times it just as a projectile hits. The Reflector can also be used in the air to greatly slow Fox's descent which makes him highly unpredictable and can be a stalling tactic against a foe with a dangerous temporary advantage or just a trick to turn Fox around as he can turn freely as long as the Reflector is up. It's also a great attack that comes out very, very quickly (it was 4 frames in Super Smash Brothers Melee, and I think but am not sure that it's the same in this game) and knocks opponents at a downward angle which means he can use it to spike opponents. Do note that the move recovers faster in the air than on the ground; try to use this move after a short hop. Really, this is probably Fox's most important offensive move. Abuse it constantly. Fox can wall jump, but he cannot wall cling or crawl. He has only one midair jump, a slightly below average roll, and a good spot dodge. Fox's myriad advantages make him a dangerous foe to any opponent, and his lack of real weaknesses means that he can only find himself at a disadvantage against opponents who simply have more advantages. Marth, Mr. Game & Watch, and Olimar have a combination of range and priority that could cause Fox some issues, but he has his own tools to deal with them so they are at worst soft counters. Fox can look forward to having strong advantages against the slower characters such as Bowser as well as the projectile abusing characters such as Pit, and even if his opponent is someone like Luigi against whom he has no special favor, he's still a scary and dangerous foe as he has some many great, threatening options. Fox is here to stay, and he's likely to continue to be a force for the rest of the history of the Smash Brothers franchise. Falco How to unlock: -Play 50 brawls. -Have Falco join your party in The Subspace Emissary. -Clear 100-Man Brawl. Falco will remind many of you of Fox, but he's quite different from Fox. He has a lot of spinning moves, and generally his average move is less potent. However, he makes up for it by having a few moves which are way better than Fox's versions. So, while Fox is the character with something good in everything, Falco is the character with a few very good things and then mainly average things. Falco will especially appeal to you if you like abusing a linear projectile like your life depended on it; Falco is very good at that. Falco's tilts are pretty similar to Fox's function wise but with different practicality. His up tilt pops enemies up still, but it's slower so it's less useful. He makes up for this with his down tilt not sending enemies at as extreme of an angle; he can use his down tilt to pop the enemy up for an aerial. Since his Reflector isn't as quick as Fox's at all, he will actually find the quick, safe nature of the forward tilt to be handy though it still is far from one of his staple moves. His up smash is mostly just a weaker version of Fox's move, and his down smash has pretty much no killing potential. His forward smash is somewhat unwieldy, but it's a good killing move so Falco will be making extensive use of it. His running attack is also a decent move to pop enemies up, but his jab combo is awful and should be avoided. In the air, Falco has the best of times and the worst of times thanks to his huge jump off the ground. Falco can chase opponents up better than just about anyone, but he has trouble applying pressure to the ground because of it. He can still be technical with low short hops; it just takes effort. His big moves over Fox are his forward and down aerials. His forward aerial is a spinning attack that is similar to Sonic's forward aerial. It's a generally harder way to rack up damage than Fox's forward aerial, but the way it turns Falco himself into a spinning attack gives it some utility and maneuverability that Fox's version didn't have. His down aerial racks damage a little worse than Fox's, but a clean hit from it delivers a very powerful spike. Falco will be using this a whole lot, especially near ledges, to claim kills. Falco also has a back aerial that is very quick and can be chained together just like Fox's, and his up aerial is like Fox's except missing the clean hit requirement in exchange for a good deal of power. His neutral aerial is actually a big improvement. It's a spinning attack that racks damage nicely, but it has almost no landing lag just like Fox's so he can still follow it up with a grounded move just as he lands. Falco's grab came has one basic premise, and that's the fact that he has a chain grab with his down throw. He just does a down throw, runs forward, and grabs the opponent before he can recover. It won't work on light and floaty or heavily damaged characters, but it's one of Falco's main big advantages that he should really be exploiting. Do be sure to mix in grab attacks while chain throwing since you're limited by the length of the stage. Milk that combo for every percent it is worth. Falco's recovery options are overall arguably better than Fox's, but they're a bit different. His Falco Phantasm is impossible to cancel with B in midair, but it spikes opponents. This really makes Falco dangerous to edge guard as chasing him out could very well end with the attacker becoming the fallen. Falco can even use this to edge guard his foes by jumping out after them and just using the Falco Phantasm to a ledge. Much like the Fox Illusion, Falco Phantasm is fairly predictable so don't use it much at all as a standard attack over the platform. Fire Falco gets much less distance than Fire Fox did so it's even less useful. It deals more damage with less knock back on contact with enemies, and the bounce effect when he slams into the ground with it is a bit better. It's still not worth using save when really needed for recovery. Falco's Reflector is a thrown object almost like a projectile, but it's not really a projectile as it can't be reflected. He can't use it to reflect projectiles well himself since it has that long cool down time, but he can use it effective as an attack. It comes out quickly and pushes the enemy nicely away; Falco uses that to keep foes out of his face. Down throw to Reflector is also a combo against many characters so he has that utility as well. Of course, keeping foes out is very handy for Falco because of his last special move, the Blaster. Falco's version of this move is just too good. It fires slower than Fox's, though still very fast, and it travels such a large distance that it might as well be infinite. It also stuns enemies, and it does a fine job of it. Falco should be shooting his Blaster constantly as though it were going out of style. He can do a short hop and fire two of them to retard aerial approaches, and on the ground he can just make a wall of interruption that many characters will be hard pressed to get past. In the air, he can also use his Blaster to turn around by tapping the control stick slightly right before he fires or by tapping it more strongly at the very moment he's shooting. That means he can run away, jump immediately, and then send some fire back to where he used to be. I'm sure some people think the idea of centering a game style around constant interruption from a projectile is lame. I might even be one of them. However, if you are one of those people, don't look for alternate tactics here. Just don't use Falco. Falco can wall jump, but he cannot wall cling or crawl. He has one midair jump and very nice and quick options in both his roll and spot dodge that will let him play as defensively as possible to keep firing that lovely Blaster. Being one of the heavy duty projectile characters, Falco will naturally not like to see Fox, Wolf, Ness, Lucas, or Mr. Game & Watch and will naturally tear Bowser and friends apart. That aside, Falco is fairly diverse and should do well against most of the cast, but R.O.B. and Pit are two notable points of possible trouble as both can recover from Falco's spikes easily, have their own spam options that can cause Falco trouble, and each have one extra thing that gives Falco problems. R.O.B.'s down smash will be a real pain for Falco to overcome, and Pit's Mirror Shield is just a further refutation of Falco's Blaster strategy. Wolf How to unlock: -Play 450 brawls. -Have Wolf join your party in The Subspace Emissary. -Clear Boss Battles with Fox or Falco. Wolf is quite the unusual character in how he moves. He tends to lunge around a lot which makes him quite unpredictable. If you like Fox and Falco's vague feel but want a character with far less rigid movements, Wolf is the character for you. He is also quite good with an excellent blend of speed and power that keeps him a notch above the competition. Wolf's style is showed nicely by his jab combo which is not just a standard move to knock the foe away as it also moves Wolf forward a good amount. He has a fairly good forward tilt that knocks the opponent pretty far, but it doesn't scale up in damage very well so it is relegated mostly to a pressure move to force the opponent over the ledge. His up tilt, on the other hand, is a nice quick move to pop opponents up that he will use frequently. His down tilt probably won't see a lot of play as it's pretty much just a worse range but lower hitting version of his forward tilt, but he can use it to poke under shields. Wolf's forward smash is one of his greatest points of pride; it has good power and throws him forward to a large degree. Use this move frequently to punish unsuspecting foes. Wolf's up smash is like a stronger version of his up tilt. It is slower, but it does more damage and knock back so use it when you need to pop more vulnerable opponents up. Wolf also has a quick, powerful down smash that is good for sweeping out rolling opponents or generally anyone near him. Wolf also has a really interesting and useful running attack; it stops him and pops the opponents right up so he can run in, send his foes into the air, and then immediately chase with an aerial of his own. Much like Fox and Falco, Wolf has a very quick back aerial he should use frequently. He can do a short hop, attack with his back aerial, and then land in time to be able to jump right back up and continue. Wolf's forward and up aerial both send the opponents straight up fairly weakly, but both are good to quickly keep the opponent up so Wolf can juggle them. At over 150%, the forward aerial also gets some KO power so that's handy. Wolf's neutral aerial is a quick safety move that doubles as a solid damage dealer; Wolf can use it when he's being chased into the air to turn the tides quickly. Wolf's down aerial is a fairly slow spike that he won't be using very much, but if he catches the foe unaware over a pit, he has this tool to end it quickly. Wolf's main two throws are his up and down throws, and both are pretty handy. His up throw simply sends the opponent straight up; it should be used to set up for Wolf's generally good juggling game. Wolf's down throw is an odd move that pushes the opponents into the ground; he can really exploit this near ledges to place opponents in a dangerous position, and he can try to follow up a down throw with a running grab for a semi-chain throw that will probably only last for a few tosses but is a good thing to try. Wolf also has a very quick attack against grabbed opponents; be sure to use it frequently to score that little bit of extra damage. Wolf's up smash is also a solid choice out of his shield; it allows him to continue working toward his excellent juggle game. Wolf's specials are very similar to Fox and Falco's, but the differences are important. His Wolf Flash is his main recovery tool, but it has even less utility on the ground than the Fox Illusion and Falco Phantasm due to the upward angle. It does have a spike in it just like Falco's move so he should try to exploit that, and much as with Falco's move, he can only cancel it with B from the ground. His Fire Wolf, which amazingly has no fire effect, is actually a nice improvement over team Star Fox's version as it comes out much faster, gets good distance, and has a very quick bounce when it hits the ground. Don't feel bad about using this frequently as a recovery option over the Wolf Flash; it's a solid choice. His Reflector is very similar to Fox's, and he has most of the same tricks out of it. The only differences are that it has a bigger hit area, does not knock foes downward, and does not stall Wolf in the air. He should still use it frequently for quick damage. Wolf's Blaster is used in much the same was as Falco's Blaster; it's an excellent move to keep opponents locked down, to control space, and to generally force the opponent to come to you. However, Wolf's Blaster has limited range and does more damage closer to him so Wolf will want to position himself closer to his foe. It even has a hit as he swings the actual gun. While Falco used his Blaster mostly to stall, Wolf uses his to move in, force approaches, and then punish mistakes with his forward smash or juggling abilities. Wolf can wall jump but not wall cling or crawl. Wolf has but one midair jump, an average roll, and a very quick spot dodge that he should abuse frequently. Wolf's matches are largely similar to Fox's in terms of who he does well against, but the way he lunges forward and can stun with projectiles will make him a better match against a well ranged foe such as Marth. At the same time, the generally greater commitment his attacks entail will give him trouble against Fox himself no matter how much he can't let Star Fox do that. Other very quick attackers such as Meta Knight and Sonic will also likely be proficient at messing up Wolf's game. Captain Falcon How to unlock: -Play 70 brawls. -Have Captain Falcon join your party in The Subspace Emissary. -Clear Classic on Normal or higher in under 12 minutes. Before the fight has even started, Captain Falcon has already won the contest to be the most awesome and manly character not only in Super Smash Brothers Brawl but most likely in the entire world. Being contented with his victory there, he must not have concerned himself too much with actually winning standard fights as he is quite bad at that. Captain Falcon's super fast movements are canceled by long delays after his attacks, and the extreme tightness of his motions just doesn't work very well for him in the floaty world that is Super Smash Brothers Brawl. He's really a very weak character who will require extreme dedication to play decently, but at the very least, he's still super cool. Captain Falcon has nice tilts; he can get a lot of use out of them. His up tilt is a fairly slow kick that sweeps over his head and has a good deal of power; it's a quick way to score kills on highly wounded foes and generally sends opponents far. His forward tilt knocks opponents away in a generally uninteresting way, but his down tilt is a very weak move that pops the opponents upward. This is actually just what Captain Falcon needs; he can leap after his opponents and attempt to connect with his knee. Captain Falcon has powerful but fairly standard options in all of his smashes as well. His forward smash is slow but a good kill move, his up smash is slow but a good damage dealer and way to knock foes into the air, and his down smash is almost quick but mostly just useful to sweep out rolling opponents. He also has a really terrible jab combo and a fairly average running attack; don't use either very often. Captain Falcon's air game is largely centered around his knee. The knee is his forward aerial, and it stands out for having a very powerful sweet spot. It's very hard to hit with, but Captain Falcon players absolutely must be adept at hitting with it. He should do this out of a short hop at opponents who he has knocked upward a small distance in the air, and it serves as one of his primary sources of kills. After scoring a fatal hit with this move, it is imperative that Captain Falcon do his down taunt. It may seem useless, but it helps him establish his manly aura on the battlefield. Captain Falcon also has a very good back aerial that he can throw out. It's quick and strong and can transform into his main aerial attack if the knee isn't working out which it often will not. Captain Falcon also has a good up aerial that hits all around him and can score star KOs at higher percentages; use it whenever you find yourself beneath an opponent. His neutral aerial really isn't very good, and his down aerial is pretty much just a standard slow spike with limited use. Captain Falcon should pretty much always down throw out of a grab so he can attempt to follow it up with a knee. That's about all there is to say for his out of shield game. Captain Falcon's specials look amazing, but they aren't really very good for the most part. His Falcon Punch is very powerful and can be reversed by tapping and holding the opposite direction as he uses it, but it's not very useful in general. If he does manage to get a hit, it's absolutely mandatory that he use his down taunt afterward, but that's about all there is to say about it. Falcon Kick is pretty much useless save as a rare surprise attack on the ground; it's nothing but a suicide attack in the air. Falcon Dive causes Captain Falcon to latch onto foes, explode, and proclaim "Yes!". Interpreting this is an exercise left up to the reader, but as per using it, it's a very unsafe move so it's pretty much strictly limited to recovery. Raptor Boost pops opponents up nicely and can be a pretty nice way to move in and get some action going, but it should not be used all that often since it's fairly predictable. It's also a bad option near ledges; Captain Falcon will happily lunge out to his own death. Captain Falcon can wall jump but not wall cling or crawl. He has only one midair jump, a somewhat quick roll, and a somewhat slow spot dodge. His amazingly awesome down taunt finishes faster and can be used more frequently if he is facing to the left while doing it. Captain Falcon will find most opponents difficult, but small targets who can quickly harass him such as Pikachu and Olimar will especially decimate him. On the other side of the coin, big slow opponents such as Bowser and Donkey Kong are just big knee targets; Captain Falcon should do well there. Captain Falcon may be a generally poor fighter, but he at least looks awesome doing it. Pikachu Pikachu has had a rough ride through the series. He was the best character in the game in the first Super Smash Brothers, but he was pretty awful in the sequel Super Smash Brothers Melee. So where does that leave him in this game? Well, he gained a lot back he lost and has some more cool stuff to boot. He can't hope to claim the title of best character in this game by any means, but he has a desirable combination of quick movements, small size, and great power that make him a great force. Pikachu has three very good and powerful smashes. His up smash has decent power and sets up nicely for Thunder, his forward smash is an amazing and long range killer, and his down smash is just crazy. His down smash racks up massive damage, can kill, tends to hit through shields, and sets up for Thunder. It's even quick so he can do it soon after landing from an aerial to cause massive damage. Pikachu also has a nice and quick up tilt which pops the enemy up into the air and sets them up for Thunder. The forward tilt and down tilt just knock the enemies away and aren't too useful, but his jab combo is ridiculously fast and racks up damage very nicely. His running attack is bad; don't use it. Pikachu has a pretty nice array of aerials he mostly uses to rack up damage; it compliments his very fatal ground game nicely. His back aerial just racks up damage very nicely; he should use it to say no to opponents that dare approach from behind. His forward aerial doesn't rack damage quite as well, but it has a bit more priority and some knock back so it's a safer option. His down aerial isn't quite as useful, but if he hits the ground during it, he sends out a second shock wave so it's a great way to rack up damage on grounded opponents. Pikachu's up aerial is just a very quick but safe move that should only be used when you need the safety, and his neutral aerial is a slower but more reliable version of the same concept. Pikachu's grab game mostly centers around hitting opponents into Thunder, and to that end, his up throw is king. His ability to up smash out of his shield will also set up for Thunder. His down throw on low percent opponents can also sometimes become a chain throw so it might be worth the effort to try that. His back throw is also an easy killer on stages with walk off ledges, but otherwise stick to the up and down throws. Pikachu has some pretty useful specials that really help him out. Well, his Headbutt is useless; don't use it ever. Thunder Jolt is a decent projectile that Pikachu should throw out to control space along the ground and force opponents to approach from the air. Pikachu can also use this like Mario uses his fireballs by throwing it out and chasing it to make his approaches more powerful. Quick Attack is a great recovery move that Pikachu players must practice with. Pikachu can tap another direction after the first jump to do a second one, but he must move at a sufficiently far angle from his first movement to get the boost. The minimum is 38 degrees if you were curious. Thunder is also amazing; it's powerful and fairly safe due to how it protects Pikachu. It can hit opponents above him with ease, and he can jump out of the way by using it while moving to create barriers in front of him. He can combo into it with a number of things, and this is one of his most important tactics, but the specifics have already been covered in great detail. Pikachu can wall jump and crawl but not wall cling. He is sufficiently short to duck under Pit's arrows and Samus's stuff easily, but he can only duck under Falco's lasers while not moving which makes crawling under them tricky but possible. Pikachu has only one midair jump and very average options in his roll and spot dodge. Pikachu's comboing ability makes him very dangerous in general, but speed characters will especially find their main edge stolen away. Expect Pikachu to do well against team Star Fox and Sonic. Pikachu's electric attacks fry most colors of Pikmin very easily so he's a dangerous match for Olimar as well. However, Pikachu has really serious issues against Ness, Lucas, and Mr. Game & Watch due to their total ability to absorb Thunder and Thunder Jolt. They rob Pikachu of a lot of his most important options, and that's just a big problem for him. Pokemon Trainer Pokemon Trainer is interesting insofar as he is simultaneously three characters and one. By clicking on the portraits, a player can choose to start with any of the three Pokemon or can choose Pokemon Trainer himself to start with a random Pokemon. Pokemon Trainer can use Pokemon Switch at any time to cycle to his next Pokemon in the order Squirtle then Ivysaur then Charizard. If a Pokemon falls in battle, he will automatically switch to the next Pokemon on respawn. Each Pokemon comes out with two minutes of "stamina" which depletes constantly while the Pokemon is out. An additional second is removed every time a Pokemon does an attack other than a grab. Once a Pokemon is out of stamina, it does significantly less damage and knock back but will continue to move at the same speed. It will droop down low during idle animations to indicate its exhaustion, and if it is swapped out, it will recover stamina at a rate of two seconds recovered for every one second out of battle. Since switching Pokemon forces the game to load the next Pokemon, the time it takes depends on the loading times and will be shortened if your opponent is using the Pokemon you are switching to. The general best strategy to take advantage of this is to decide ahead of time if you want to use two or three Pokemon. If you want to use just two, lead with the one that comes right after the one you aren't using in the rotation. For instance, if you aren't using Charizard, lead with Squirtle. If you are using all three, you should pick the Pokemon Trainer himself to be unpredictable. Don't switch during battle in general; let the switches after death take care of you unless you have a good opportunity. Do try to switch ASAP if you find yourself in battle with a Pokemon you have decided not to use, but be sure to do it at the safest possible time. Squirtle Squirtle is the speedy member of Pokemon Trainer's team, and analyzed as an independent character, he is probably the best. Squirtle has a high attack speed and incredible aerial mobility that allow him to press grand offensives, but he has poor range and priority coupled with what is easily the worst set of special moves in the entire cast. Still, he's a solid option that almost all Pokemon Trainer players will want to be using. Squirtle's ground game pretty much revolves around his upward options. His up tilt is a quick move that pops opponents up into the air which is very handy for Squirtle, and his up smash is just a really good kill move that hits all around him. It isn't terribly fast so it can't be overly abused, but it's still a really key move to Squirtle that should be always kept in mind. That being the case, his down smash is nearly useless since his up smash has the clear out properties to punish rolling foes. His down tilt is a solid damage dealer to hit under shields, but given the poor range, Squirtle won't be using it much. His forward tilt is a standard safe move to knock opponents away which is just occasionally useful like all moves like it, and his forward smash is a somewhat decent kill move he won't be using much just because of how amazing his up smash is. His jab combo lunges him forward a decent amount so it's a good surprise move, and he has a highly abuseable running attack that ends with him behind a shielding opponent and pops foes into the air. Use the running attack frequently. Squirtle's real claim to fame comes in the air. The primary tactic is to short hop at the opponent, do a forward or back aerial, and then pull back. Squirtle has the aerial mobility to do this and harass shielding foes. If he gets a hit, he should press toward them instead of pulling back, land, and leap up to repeat the assault. Squirtle also has a good up aerial that knocks the opponents straight up. It won't be scoring any kills until quite high percentages, but if you can't get in a forward or back aerial, it's a good option to send the opponent upward to keep them up in the air. Squirtle's neutral aerial is a good safety move to knock opponents away in the air, but his down aerial is just mostly bad. It could be useful to try to hit through a shield if you have committed too much to an attack to pull back, but that's about it. Squirtle's most useful throw is his up throw since it pops opponents straight up, but his down throw can sometimes have the same sort of utility. At higher percentages his down throw is actually a kill move as well; keep that in mind. His up smash out of a shield will be ridiculously useful as up smash is his only real kill move; he should abuse that whenever appropriate. Squirtle's special moves are nearly useless. His Water Gun is just like Mario's Fludd, and it's about as useful. He can charge it whenever he has a spare moment, but even fully charged, it won't be doing much of anything except occasionally ruining a Ness or Lucas recovery. Withdraw seems handy at first since it has surprisingly high priority, but it does almost no damage even on hit so Squirtle should use the move very seldom. Waterfall is his recovery option and his best special, but the set path makes it awkward. The long landing lag also makes it unsafe. Only use Waterfall as an attack if the opponent makes the mistake of jumping right into the set path; it does rack up damage nicely. Squirtle can crawl and wall cling but not wall jump. Of course, he might as well be able to wall jump since he merely has to cling to the wall for a moment to be able to leap off of it. Either way, Squirtle sticks very low to the ground while crawling and can easily crawl under every projectile but a nearly fully charged Charge Shot from Fox, Falco, Pit, and Samus. Squirtle has only one midair jump, a quick roll, and a quick spot dodge. Squirtle's poor range and priority are his biggest problem, and they will prove a substantial handicap as he attempts to take on foes such as Marth, Mr. Game & Watch, and Olimar. However, his great aerial control allows him to easily harass slower foes such as Ganondorf or Donkey Kong. His size and speed combined also make him more than a match for the projectile spammers such as Pit and Falco. Ivysaur Ivysaur's main use on the Pokemon Trainer's team is to be the Pokemon with good range, and he does that well. Ivysaur also is decently fast and has great power. He is in many ways similar to Olimar, and this includes his abysmal recovery. Ivysaur relies on a bad tether move for his triple jump, and that tends to leave him doomed over the ledge. Ivysaur is still a really good Pokemon who is probably Pokemon Trainer's second best Pokemon, but those who can't resolve themselves to his recovery might prefer Charizard. Ivysaur's ground options have the nice benefit of all having great range. His forward tilt is a spinning leaf attack that is quite safe and racks up good damage if the enemy is in Ivysaur's face so it's a good move to use if the enemy has managed to penetrate your range. His up tilt sends him up a decent amount and pops enemies up into the air; he can frequently follow it up with his great up aerial. His down tilt is a very long range move that knocks enemies away and pokes under shields; use it for general harassment. His down smash hits with the range of his down tilt on both sides with a little more sloth; use it to give a pretty absolute no to anyone daring to roll around you. His forward smash has some KO potential, but it runs into the same problems Squirtle's forward smash did. Ivysaur has a ridiculously powerful up smash that will be his main kill move; abuse it heavily. His running attack also pops enemies up and can lead into his up aerial, but it has poor range and is easy to punish so don't use it often. His jab combo is bad due to the commitment, but the first hit of it is a nice way to get in a quick hit at a range. Ivysaur is really incredible in the air; he has both amazing killing power and range depending on his choice of aerials. His back aerial hits over a huge area behind him, is fast, and has little landing lag. Ivysaur can easily and safely approach by just doing short hop back aerials over and over. He doesn't even need to get too close and move in for real attacks; he can just sit at the tip of his back aerial's range and use it over and over again. His forward aerial is also a nice range move, but it is slow and awkward so it should only be used if the opponent has gotten right in front of Ivysaur in the air. The up and down aerials both have ridiculous power that rivals the up smash and are incredible KO moves. They hit in their respective directions and should be used for KOing in the air depending on the orientation of the opponent, but watch out as they are about as slow as the up smash with substantial landing lag. Still, both come out a bit faster than the up smash so a short hopped up aerial can be a substitute option for a KO in the proper circumstance. His neutral aerial is a safety move that is usually pointless thanks to his great back aerial, but at very close range and very low to the ground, it can lead into an air to ground combo. Ivysaur's grab is slow, but he has really solid range. Both his up and down throws can lead into his up aerial, and his back throw has KO power. Ivysaur also has the perpetual threat of up smash out of his shield; a shielding Ivysaur is at no want for dangerous options. Ivysaur's special moves of use are essentially projectiles. His Razor Leaf is a handy projectile that controls space in front of him nicely and will travel through destructible terrain. He should use it frequently to generally lock opponents down; it's a wonderful move. Bullet Seed is nearly impossible to hit with, but it is worth remembering anyway. If Ivysaur can catch the opponent in Bullet Seed, it does insane damage. The best way to exploit it is to not try to combo opponents into it but instead just wait. See if you can run under them as they fall, and if they are foolish enough to come straight down, let loose with Bullet Seed. Against a skilled opponent this will pretty much never work, but the mere threat that it could happen means that Ivysaur will never, ever be attacked from straight above. Vine Whip is useless as an attack and should be strictly used for recovery though it can be ruined just like Olimar's Pikmin Chain. Do your best to get onto that ledge ASAP as if the opponent gets on first, you have no hope of recovery save the remote hope of knocking them off with a Razor Leaf with time left to recover. Ivysaur cannot wall jump or wall cling but can crawl. He has the odd property of being short enough to crouch under Pit's arrows but might sometimes get hit while crawling due to the way he bobs upward slightly. He can't avoid any other notable projectiles by crawling. Ivysaur has one midair jump and pretty ordinary options in his roll and spot dodge. Ivysaur's range will allow him to easily harass opponents such as Wario and Sonic, but speedy attackers with more priority such as the Star Fox characters or Meta Knight will be able to dance around him and punish him more heavily. Otherwise Ivysaur has generally neutral looking match ups, but it should be noted that the stage Castle Siege is excellent for him due to the relatively low ceiling and especially the second area which not only negates his problems with tether recovery but also lets him abuse his projectile when no other character can. Charizard Squirtle is the aerial specialist for Pokemon Trainer, and Ivysaur is the ranged specialist? Where does that leave Charizard? Well, he's supposed to be the team tank. He is much bigger and heavier than the other Pokemon, and his average power is bigger. However, he doesn't quite measure up in several areas he seems like he should. He actually has less KO scoring ability than Ivysaur, and his recovery, while the best of Pokemon Trainer's Pokemon, is so slow that it is below average among the whole cast. Charizard is not really a bad Pokemon; he has several quick, useful moves as well as a general heavyweight feel that some players will find desirable. He's probably the most ignorable of Pokemon Trainer's Pokemon, but he's not really a bad character. Charizard's one nice thing on the ground is that he has pretty good tilts that should form the core of his ground game. His up tilt pops the enemy up in a very quick and useful way; Charizard will rely on this move a lot. His forward tilt is not terribly strong or dangerous, but it's a very quick and safe move so he will want to use it a lot anyway. His down tilt is similar to his forward tilt in application, but it's a bit slower with a chance to hit below a shield. Charizard's forward smash is as slow as a typical heavyweight smash attack, but it has great KO power so he can rely on it fairly frequently. His up smash is more of a damage dealing move, but it hits over a large area so he can use it to generally deflect enemies that try to approach him from any upward direction. His down smash is his best smash easily; it is quick and powerful with a penchant for sending the opponent straight up. His jab combo is a very ordinary one, and his running attack is yet another move of his that sends the opponents straight up. Charizard's aerials are very important to him just because he has so many moves that send the opponents upward, but he doesn't really have a whole lot of great stuff here. His best aerial is easily his forward aerial; it's very safe and quick and generally great for racking up damage. His back aerial is a double hit move that has a fiery sweet spot on the second hit. It's generally poorly ranged and weak even when it hits the sweet spot, but be aware that the sweet spot is there. In general when Charizard needs to protect his back, his sweeping neutral aerial will be best. It's not exactly quick, but due to the way he swings in a circle, it's pretty safe. His up aerial is also a quick move, but like his back aerial, it has poor range and little KO power. It is what Charizard is forced to rely on as a follow up to a lot of his juggles, but it's really somewhat lacking which holds Charizard back a lot. His one aerial with some power is his somewhat slow down aerial. It's a solid spiking move that, much like Ganondorf's spike, is very handy for popping opponents right up off the ground. It also has a bit of KO potential, but expect to have to rack up a lot of damage first. Charizard doesn't really have much of anything notable in his grab game. His up throw is yet another option to send opponents upward which is good if you have nothing else to do, and his short range back throw is a good option if he wants to dash in and keep up pressure. Don't expect to get a chain grab or anything, but it's worth a try. Charizard can also kill with his down throw at high percentages, but don't expect it to come into play often. Charizard's poor grab game might make up smash out of a shield seem really tantalizing, but it's less rewarding than it might seem. Charizard has a set of three special moves of limited but worthwhile merit. His Flamethrower is a generally poor move, but he can angle it downward near ledges to cause some trouble. It's pretty much exactly identical to Bowser's move so that might make its extremely limited merit a bit more apparent. Fly is his disappointing recovery move, but it actually deals solid damage when it connects as an attack. Since Charizard has so many options to get the opponent into the air, he can use Fly to rack up damage up there. However, this should only be done sparingly and at that in really sure hit situations as Fly is a very unsafe move. Rock Smash is his best special by far; it is slow but deals obscene damage with a clean hit. It also has KO power so it's really a suitable move for opponents at all percentages. The way it works is that it has one big strong hit in the middle with several weaker hits that fly out in all directions. A good hit connects with the middle hit and several of the fringe hits, but at higher percentages, only the middle hit will connect which is a good thing as it might KO. Charizard cannot wall jump, wall cling, or crawl, but he can glide. Charizard has two midair jumps, a somewhat slow roll, and a quick spot dodge. Also, despite what logic would indicate, Charizard has the fastest running speed of the Pokemon. Charizard will do well against other big and slow characters due to Rock Smash's added utility and his added ability to abuse his forward aerial; King Dedede and Bowser need to be careful. His multitude of fire based attacks make him more dangerous than most characters to Olimar as well. Quick characters who can easily outmaneuver him in the air will prove devastating; Meta Knight will probably be his hardest match. Lucario How to unlock: -Play 100 brawls. -Have Lucario join your party in The Subspace Emissary. -Clear every level of Target Smash. Lucario can be a hard character to pin down. He seems to have quick attacks, but he also seems to have trouble approaching. His aura based attacks seem to hit way out in front of him, but sometimes they seem like they aren't able to hit things they should be able to. Sometimes he seems able to get nice, low percent KOs, but other times he seems to really struggle for kills. Lucario ultimately plays more like one would expect Regigigas to. He can be really devastating once he gets it going, but he can have trouble doing that. Lucario also has the unique position of being the "spiritual successor" to Mewtwo from Super Smash Brothers Melee; he inherited Mewtwo's solid mobility and generally awkward feel, but he is, much unlike Mewtwo, able to be somewhat effective. He's probably just about average as a character, but he has enough good stuff to be very interesting. Lucario has a decent array of grounded moves for both combo and KO potential. His up tilt is a really fantastic move that quickly hits all around his body while popping the opponent straight up. Use this move very liberally, and keep in mind that if the opponent is very uninjured, it sometimes combos into itself. His forward tilt is also a pretty fast move, but it trades useful knock back and sweeping range for a bit more potential in racking up damage due to the double hit it has. His down tilt also knocks opponents away quickly, but it's at a less useful upward angle that Lucario will struggle to use effectively. His forward smash is a powerful killing move that hits way out in front of him, but it's somewhat slow and has a very distinctive animation that makes it quite predictable. His up smash has some KO potential, but it has really awful range and is generally not a good choice. His down smash is his safest power option as it sweeps out all around Lucario; rely on it heavily. Lucario also has a nice dash attack that knocks the opponents upward and a surprisingly well ranged jab combo. Lucario's real claim to fame in the air is his unique and dangerous down aerial. It stalls Lucario in the air as he hits all around his lower side with it. It racks up damage very well and can send opponents flying in different directions with fairly decent knock back depending on their orientation with Lucario. Master using this move for great profit. His up aerial is just a quick juggling move which he should throw out if he can't get off a better hit on an opponent he has up in the air, and his neutral aerial is a very laggy "safety" move he should only throw out if he really needs to knock the opponent away from him. His forward and back aerials are both fairly quick with decent range so he can chain them together well while chasing opponents with short hops across the stage. His back aerial is quicker with a sweet spot right below his arm, but his forward aerial hits over a bit wider of an area. Lucario's grab game mostly centers around his amazing up throw. It places the opponents in the air right above Lucario which makes it all too easy for him to leap up and follow up with an aerial. His forward and back aerials are also decent options if you want to get the opponent over the ledge, but both scale pretty poorly so he can't get kills as easily with them as he would like. Lucario has pretty much just one good special, and that's Aura Sphere. Aura Sphere is a very abuseable projectile that gets way stronger as Lucario's damage increases. He can charge Aura Sphere by simply pressing B, and he can release it again by pressing B. The sphere is damaging while charging, and he can cancel the charge partway by shielding, air dodging, or rolling. He doesn't even need to throw up his shield to roll out of the charge; it is very nice. Generally Lucario should be trying to send large numbers of Aura Spheres at the enemy to tie them down and restrict them, and this move will become his staple tactic if he can't make an approach otherwise. Force Palm is generally just an awful move; it's very slow and punishable. He does have a somewhat decent grab attack if he uses it very close to the enemy, but it's mostly not worth it. Extremespeed does no damage and pretty much is just a non-dangerous but better range version of Fox's Fire Fox which makes it a mediocre recovery move. It does have the quirk of causing him to automatically wall cling if he hits a wall while doing it, but he cannot do another Extremespeed after leaping from the wall. Double Team is a pretty generic countering move that has surprising range but otherwise is pretty awful as it's very, very slow and easy to punish. Use it very sparingly just to keep the enemy guessing. Lucario can wall jump, wall cling, and crawl. He can crawl under Pit's arrows, but he cannot crawl under Falco's laser. He has one midair jump, a quick spot dodge, and a ridiculously large range, high invincibility, fast roll that he should be abusing very heavily. Lucario's continual problems with approaches are going to make characters like Marth and Mr. Game & Watch who were pretty good at keeping foes at bay already really hard matches for Lucario, and it also means that Lucario is going to be one of Snake's dream opponents. However, seeing as Lucario can be so effective once his attack begins, characters who need to get up close and personal to fight him such as Wario, Jigglypuff, or Sheik might find Lucario a difficult match. Jigglypuff How to unlock: -Play 350 brawls. -Have Jigglypuff join your party in The Subspace Emissary. -Clear 20 single player events after clearing The Subspace Emissary. Jigglypuff is an often misunderstood character. She seems like a joke character to a lot of new players who are quite apt to make statements about how she's obviously the worst character in the game. This is simply a wrong outlook; Jigglypuff is a serious character who is far from the worst character in the game. She has far more power than it initially seems, and her superb aerial mobility combined with her five midair jumps lets her apply pressure with a barrage of aerials in a way no other character can. She does have several problems that will ultimately doom her to being below average, but she's less far below than one would think. Jigglypuff's ground game has two purposes: KOs and set up. Her only really useful tilt is her up tilt as it pops enemies upward in a nice and quick way; she can quickly follow this up with up aerials or even Rest if she's bold. Her forward smash is a great kill move, but it's not a very safe move. Jigglypuff needs to use her aerial mobility to confound opponents into making incorrect responses such that Jigglypuff will get an opening to use this smash as a finisher. Her up smash is like the middle ground between her up tilt and forward smash. It has some of the safety and upward set up potential of the up tilt, and it has some of the KO power of the forward smash. Use it when that middle ground is desirable. She also has a decent running attack that should be mixed in once in a while as a surprise move. Jigglypuff's constant jumping tends to set a baseline expectation about what she will do next so just running right at the foe with an attack can be very surprising and effective. None of her other ground attacks are really worth mentioning; all of them are just "safety" moves she uses to knock opponents away and earn some breathing room. Jigglypuff's aerial game is really the only reason anyone should use her. Her forward and back aerials are the jewels of her aerial game; they have both solid power and great speed. Jigglypuff has two main tactics that stem from these moves; she can "push" forward to lead opponents off the edge or "pull" backward to make the attacks ridiculously safe. The "push" tactic stems from hitting the opponent with either aerial, jumping again immediately after the hit, and then moving straight at the opponent to hit with another aerial. If she is quick and precise, Jigglypuff can connect with many aerials in a row and potentially even combo the opponent right into the blast zone. However, this can be risky as, if the opponent blocks Jigglypuff's assault, she can be punished. Her "pull" tactic is just throwing out one of these two aerials, most likely hitting a shield, and then jumping again while immediately moving directly away from the opponent. She should usually land after doing this right before she repeats it again so she can retain all five jumps. This lets her easily wear down shields, and it ensures that she will at all times have control over the match. It does require solid timing and spacing to make Jigglypuff truly unpunishable, but it's still a great tactic. As per Jigglypuff's other aerials, her up aerial is great for juggling opponents straight above her and should be used heavily, but her other two are more limited. Her neutral aerial has a lot of recovery time when used in the air so it's really only good as a move to knock opponents away as quickly as possible without concern about being able to follow up. Her down aerial is just all around poor; it racks up some damage but leaves Jigglypuff vulnerable. Jigglypuff's grab game centers around her down throw and back throw. Her back throw is a high percent killer and can also be useful to put opponents over the ledge which is exactly where Jigglypuff wants them. Her down throw is pretty similar to her up throw which could be used as a substitute, but the down throw is slightly weaker knock back wise so it is preferred. Jigglypuff is just knocking the enemy up into the air where she can harass them with up aerials. Jigglypuff only has one good special, but new Jigglypuff players sometimes think otherwise. Rollout is flashy and fun, but it really is a pretty bad move. Jigglypuff can charge it a bit to make it a powerful attack, but it leaves her ridiculously vulnerable. It can occasionally be useful when the opponent has so few options that Jigglypuff can pull this off, but for the most part, Jigglypuff can just forget this move. Speaking of forgetting moves, Jigglypuff players should just forget Sing. It is just about the least safe move in the game, and it doesn't even offer a huge reward for a hit. The only nice part is that Jigglypuff can cancel Sing by hitting a ledge. Rest is an improvement over these two as, if Jigglypuff's body is directly on top of the opponent's body as she uses Rest, she will plant a flower on the enemy's head and send him straight up with great force. It tends to kill at around 50% which is a little too high for how dangerous the move is, but if Jigglypuff has a chance to hit with a fatal Rest, she should definitely take it. That just leaves Pound which is easily Jigglypuff's least inspiring special move. I guess it's fitting that a move so uninspiring would be a staple move in Jigglypuff's game. Pound just smacks opponents straight up a fairly weak distance with a hit, but Jigglypuff's way of reeling back and then quickly pushing forward makes it unusually hard to punish and a great mix up with her forward and back aerials due to the different timing needed to counter it. Pound can also be used repeatedly for recovery, and Jigglypuff can even influence the direction of Pound by shifting the control stick up or down during the initial animation of the move. Doing the more useful upward input lets her perform a rising Pound which, when alternated with her regular jumps, lets her make spectacular vertical recoveries. Be sure to master this move; it's an important one. Jigglypuff cannot wall jump, wall cling, or crawl, but she does have five midair jumps. Jigglypuff has fairly quick options in both her roll and spot dodge as well. If Jigglypuff's shield gets broken in battle, she will be propelled upward helplessly. This is almost always fatal to Jigglypuff, but, if she hits a ceiling on her way up, she can survive. It should also be noted that Jigglypuff's statistics are very extreme. She is the game's slowest runner, lightest character, and slowest faller in terms of both regular and fast falling speed. Jigglypuff's extreme lightness combined with her reliance on fairly short ranged aerials means that she won't like fighting powerhouses such as Ike or Bowser. On the other hand, her ridiculous floatiness lets her easily bypass any volume of projectiles, and her amazing aerial control makes her a formidable opponent to any who would challenge her in the skies. Pit will certainly meet his match in Jigglypuff, and characters such as Wario, Snake, and Meta Knight won't like her either. Marth How to unlock: -Play 10 brawls. -Have Marth join your party in The Subspace Emissary. -Clear Classic mode. Marth is a character that everyone should come to understand well for the sole reason that he's obviously one of the best character in the game. Marth has speed, range, and power in a pretty much perfect combination; it's easy to predict that Marth is going to be one of the characters that everyone will have to be ready to defeat if there is to be any hope of long term victory. A Marth player should certainly feel great confidence in his choice for a character; Marth more than almost all the rest of the characters is a guarantee to experience many situations of strength and few of weakness. Also, in the interest of not having to repeat this constantly, I am going to point out now that almost all of Marth's attacks have a sweet spot right at the tip of his sword that deals great damage. Always be sure to hit with the tip of his sword; learning that spacing is pivotal to Marth. Marth's ground game is mostly centered around his moves that hit over a huge area. His famous forward smash swings in a huge arc from slightly behind his head to down to his feet. This move is slow enough to be punished, but, when it connects with the sweet spot, it kills very easily. Given the huge area this move hits over, Marth can easily rely on it to score many kills. Marth also has a sweeping up tilt that covers the entire top half of his body. It usually pops opponents straight up so it's a great set up for aerials. Marth's down smash also sweeps around him, but it is more like a typical down smash and just sweeps around his feet. It's quite quick and dangerous; it will easily prevent opponents from abusing rolls against Marth. Marth's forward tilt sweeps in the opposite direction of most of his moves as it travels from his feet up to his head, but it has the benefit of being very safe and hitting over a large area. Marth can use this to frustrate opposing approaches very well; abuse it. His jab combo is mostly just a worse version of his forward tilt, but given that it is slightly faster than the forward tilt, it still has some use. His down tilt is just a poke, but it also has great speed. Marth should throw out his down tilt from time to time to poke under shields. His up smash is mostly outclassed by his up tilt and up aerial, but a clean hit from it is quite powerful so it should be used sparingly. His running attack is actually pretty fast too, but since Marth has all these other great moves, he really shouldn't use it. Marth may be good on the ground, but he's even better in the air. Marth's forward aerial is ridiculously fast, cover a large area, has somewhat decent power, and is quite safe. Marth can do a short hop and follow up with two forward aerials before landing; Marth will want to abuse this frequently to rack up large amounts of damage and to chase opponents off the ledge. Marth's back aerial is slower, but it also has substantial killing power with a sweet spotted hit so Marth can rely on it as a finisher. Marth's down aerial hits over his entire lower body, and it is a spike. Marth should use this liberally when over the ledge for spikes on top of his already great usage just to punish everyone below him. Marth's up aerial is pretty much the opposite as hit hits all over Marth's upper body and knocks opponents straight up. Marth can chase opponents into the skies and get easy juggles with this great move. Lastly, Marth's neutral aerial is a wonderful safety move that hits on both sides of him quickly. Marth can't really use it aggressively, but if the opponent gets too close, this move will send them away and do great damage to boot. Marth cannot do a whole lot out of his grabs, but his general best attempt is to do an up throw and follow up with aerials. Marth does have one other very odd trick that works on Ness and Lucas very well but can be generally effective on the whole cast. Do a grab and beat up on the opponent until an escape. Regrab immediately and repeat. He will have to very quickly do a dashing grab for most character, but he can snag Ness and Lucas without moving so he can just hold shield and mash attack to do a very long combo on them. It can be escaped if they use a jump to break out of the grab, but Marth gets a free aerial out of that which is definitely to his advantage. Marth's specials mostly just serve to give him even more great sword based attacks. His Shield Breaker is the ultimate shield punishment move as even uncharged it will take a full shield down to nearly empty. Marth should throw this out once in a while to greatly soften the enemy defenses; it's a solid move. Fully charged it can also be used for recovery, but due to the long charging time, it is not useful at all in that context. His Dolphin Slash is his recovery move first, but it's also a good attacking option second. Marth flies up very quickly and does good damage with Dolphin Slash; use it against high percentage opponents to get kills or just generally as a surprise move. Dancing Blade is just a ridiculously good move as it racks up damage very well and can be used to kill. Marth can hold up or down once the move has started to do variations on the combo. The first hit is always a red slash, the second hit can either be an upward blue slash or a red slash, and the third hit can be a red slash, an upward blue slash, or a downward green thrust. The final hit is the big one as it's either a potent upward blue slash, a quick red slash, or a very damaging rain of green downward thrusts. Marth should pretty much always use the red attacks for his first two moves, and he can mix up between the slightly faster red third move and the low hitting green third move depending on situation. The real choice comes with the fourth move. The blue hit should be used as a finisher, the red hit should be used if Marth needs to terminate the combo quickly, and the green hit should be used to rack up great damage. This move also stalls Marth in the air which can be useful and make him unpredictable; learn to love the Dancing Blade. Marth also has a Counter which is fairly useful as a surprise move to force the opponent to be more cautious in attacking, but it's generally not very good. Marth cannot wall jump, wall cling, or crawl, and he has only one midair jump. Marth's roll and spot dodge are completely ordinary as well. Marth can expect to do well in almost every match for the most part, but he can expect to be especially potent against opponents with range problems such as Mario, Wario, or Captain Falcon. Marth does have to fear Toon Link to some extent; Toon Link is only a slightly less potent swordsman, and Toon Link's projectiles will give Marth a lot of trouble. It probably seems after this description that Marth is just ridiculously overpowered and can use nearly his entire move set to create fluid styles that have the potential to tear apart nearly any opponent. It seems that way for a very good reason; Marth is just like that. Ike Ike is supposed to be the super slow character with huge power and range, and he accomplishes that wonderfully. Of course, being an extreme character, Ike will find himself at extreme advantages and disadvantages more often than most characters so aspiring Ike players should be ready for a roller coaster ride. All in all, Ike is probably slightly above average, but due to his skewed nature, he is going to have uneven matches across the board. On the ground, Ike's main tool is his really nice jab combo. Simply tapping A three times causes Ike to send out a nice punch, kick, and slash combination that racks up damage very well and is surprisingly quick. However, Ike won't be killing with this so he needs other tools. All of Ike's tilts and smashes have killing potential so I suggest relying primarily on the two fastest options in his up tilt and forward tilt. His down tilt can pop them into the air, but it is too slow to be one of his important moves. In terms of smashes, his up smash should be the move he generally goes for when he sees an opening as it kills at ridiculously low percentages and hits over a huge area like all of Ike's smashes, but it leaves him less vulnerable than the others. His forward smash should only be used when you see the opponent making a big mistake; it's way too slow and risky. Seriously, I know the move is cool, but good Ike players should not use their forward smash very often. As per the down smash, it can answer those who try to roll around Ike nicely but is quite risky against those who know what to expect from it so only use it often enough to keep the enemy on guard for it. In the air, Ike really boils down to his neutral and back aerials. Ike's neutral aerial hits in a huge arc covering nearly his entire body which makes it a very safe option to get them away from you while doing good damage if they try to come at you from any angle in the air. Ike's back aerial should be his main aggressive option as it's his fastest move and has solid killing power. The other three aerials are very strong, but they should be used sparingly as they are very easy to punish due to a combination of extreme sloth and awkward swing patterns. Ike's best throw is easily his down throw. At low percentages it pops the enemy up into the air which gives Ike a few options to follow up on an attack, and as the enemy takes damage, it transforms into Ike's best killing throw. Ike's huge arms make getting grabs easy so use them frequently as tools to rack up damage, but if you shield a really slow attack, Ike can really profit from using his beastly up smash out of the shield. In terms of specials, Ike has a set of four useful but niche moves. Eruption seems pretty bad at first, and it is bad on the ground save for its general effectiveness in stopping opponents coming off the ledge. However, in the air, it shines. The reason is that it has super armor while Ike is doing the downward swing so Ike can jump at or fall on opponents while doing this move with complete impunity. This move also hits extremely hard so the opponent really can't afford to gamble on hitting the narrow timing windows outside of the super armor; it puts Ike at a complete advantage while above an opponent which is a situation only Ike is likely to find himself in. Ike's Counter, on the other hand, is not so handy. Counter can occasionally be used to force an opponent to prematurely end an attack, but the problem is that it has a somewhat lengthy animation, and Ike only is actually able to counter-attack during the middle of it. That means if they attack too quickly Ike can't retaliate, and they can punish Ike if he misses. Aether is a favorite move of many new Ike players and with good reason. This move has super armor for nearly the entire attack which makes Ike nearly uninterruptible as he recovers. It also allows Ike to fairly safely leap up and get some free damage on opponents who put themselves in range. However, outside of recovery, Aether should be used sparingly. It is very hard to interrupt, but it has a long cool down time after Ike slams into the ground which leaves him wide open. If they shield Aether, they have a very easy free grab. One last note about Aether which can be either fun or annoying is that it makes a great ledge stall. If Ike hits down to drop from the ledge and immediately uses Aether, his sword will hit all those too close to the ledge, and then he'll leap up and grab the ledge. If they pull off a well timed edge hog, Ike is dead, but if Ike finds himself in trouble, this can be a good tactic to fall back on to give them a chance to mess things up. Quick Draw is a great move as well, but Ike uses it in an odd way. Quick Draw lunges Ike forward and, if the enemy is in range, Ike does a fairly slow strike at them. The secret is to not be in range but just barely outside of range; Ike uses this to cover ground quickly and can attack immediately out of it with a move such as his jab combo. Three uncharged Quick Draws cover most of the length of Final Destination, and charging Quick Draw approximately doubles the distance it gains. When separated from the foe with Ike, try to carefully position yourself so Quick Draw can close the distance just right. Quick Draw is also of some use in recovery, but it leaves Ike helpless so only use it when you need pure horizontal distance at all costs. One last note is that Quick Draw stops at the edges of platforms when used on the ground; Ike need not fear killing himself with this move. Ike cannot wall jump, wall cling, or crawl, and Ike can only jump once in the air. Ike has a quick roll that covers a fairly large amount of distance so he can rely on it relatively frequently, and his spot dodge is nothing out of the ordinary. All in all, Ike has a lot of interesting tools that give him some unique advantages. Other characters that rely on range and priority tend to find Ike a very difficult match; Ike can approach such foes as Mr. Game & Watch, Olimar, and Marth with confidence. Ike should also find himself in a favorable situation against other characters who primarily focus on power so Ike would be a great choice against an opponent such as Donkey Kong, Pikachu, or Ness. However, Ike has serious trouble with very fast characters such as Sonic or the Star Fox characters. Ike also has huge problems dealing with characters with quick, spammable projectiles such as Pit and the Star Fox characters. Notice the repetition here; Ike will have a very hard match against the Star Fox team. Ness How to unlock: -Play 5 brawls. -Have Ness join your party in The Subspace Emissary. -Reflect 10 projectiles in brawls. Ness is treated by smash fans much like Earthbound is treated by video game fans in general. He has a cult following that really loves him, and everyone else has a great aversity to him. Many players also believe Ness to be totally outclassed by Lucas, but this is quite false as Ness and Lucas play very differently from each other. While Lucas is about little more than power, Ness focuses more on racking up damage and general aerial control though, like Lucas, he is also very strong. At the end of the day, it's hard to say just how good Ness is. He seems pretty average, but he has several unique tools that let him compete with the best. Ness's ground game is mostly just a lead in to his aerial game. His up tilt is very quick and effective at popping opponents into the air, and his sweeping up smash can fulfill a similar role. His down smash is just a rather poor clear out move around Ness's feet that is nearly totally outclassed his up smash, but I mention it now as it shares a unique property with the up smash. Both yoyos can hit opponents while Ness is charging the smash. The up smash starts in front of Ness, and the down smash starts behind him so by cleverly charging either of them, Ness can create a barrier between himself and his opponent. Ness also has a great running attack that racks up damage easily and pops opponents up into the air; use it frequently while watching out for shield grabs. Ness's forward smash is a very powerful baseball bat that reflects projectiles if it strikes them, has deceptively huge range, and has a sweet spot at the tip. Ness should use this move to secure kills, but it is quite slow and punishable so Ness must be prudent with it. Ness's down tilt is ridiculously weak, but it is also ridiculously fast so he can throw out a large number of down tilts quickly to get in some easy damage. Ness just has to be careful to stop doing it before he gets punished, but given how fast the move is, that's solely an issue of player timing. Ness's forward tilt is surprisingly powerful and fairly quick; Ness can use this to kill very high percentage foes and otherwise as a safe option to knock the enemy away. Ness's jab is mostly standard, but Ness has a trick. If his opponent misses a tech, Ness can jab once, step forward, jab again, and repeat. If executed with perfect time, this is an inescapable combo that only ends when Ness has led the opponent off the edge of the stage. Ness's true power is in the air; he is one of the most dangerous characters up there. His main finisher in the air and in general is his amazingly powerful back aerial. This hits all over Ness's body, but will score a very weak hit if the opponent is not somewhere on the horizontal line with Ness's feet. Ness also has a great damage dealing forward aerial. It creates fun sparkles in front of Ness that often entrap opponents, rack up damage, and then push them just far enough way so that they can't do anything to Ness in retaliation. Ness uses this to control the space in front of him very effectively, and it has some use for approaching grounded opponents due to the multiple hits being able to stab through shields. Just be careful as connecting with the edge of the range of this move will only hit once or twice weakly and will leave Ness open to be punished. Ness's up aerial is also pretty powerful, and in general it's just a great move to use for juggles. Combined with Pk Thunder, Ness can use his up aerial to keep foes up in the air and taking constant hits for quite a long time. Ness also has a quick and safe neutral aerial to knock opponents away, and he has a somewhat slow spike in his down aerial. The hit on this is exceedingly powerful so it's nearly a sure thing kill over a pit, and the hit on it sticks out for quite a while after Ness uses it which makes it fairly dangerous. Still, the move is quite slow so Ness players need to be careful to regulate the use of it. Ness's grab game mostly comes down to the fact that his back throw is overall the best killing throw in the game. Ness should always be mindful of his ability to score kills this way, but if the opponent is not in killing range, he should use his other throws to avoid weakening his back throw. His down throw is best at very low percentages to set the opponent up for a forward aerial, and his up aerial works better at the middling percentages where he can try to go for juggles. Ness's specials give him both great projectile options and great defensive options. His Pk Fire is slow and punishable, but it racks up damage very well when it hits and controls space in front of him very well. If should ideally be used when the opponent is right at the tip of the range of Pk Fire as a pressure move; the only real response to Pk Fire is to jump at Ness so Ness can use Pk Fire and then follow up with his forward aerial. Ness can also gain great profit by shooting Pk Fire at course obstacles or Olimar's Pikmin to create pillars of fire that inhibit the enemy's movement but not Ness's. Pk Flash is another move that Ness mostly uses to control space. If the enemy is approaching from above, Ness can actually profit from throwing out a completely uncharged Pk Flash to protect his upper body and then rushing to attack wherever the opponent chose to flee to. Fully charged it can have some use as a ledge guard, but it is generally pretty ineffective. Ness's Pk Magnet is a staple defensive move. It can absorb "energy" projectiles which means that when they hit Ness will heal for the damage they would have done. The full list of energy projectiles that can happen in a match without items is as follows: Mario and Luigi's Fireballs, Bowser's Fire Breath, Yoshi's stars from the Ground Pound, Zelda's Din's Fire, Samus's Charge Shot, Zero Suit Samus's Paralyzer, Pit's Arrows, Ice Climbers' Blizzard, R.O.B.'s Laser, Kirby's energy blast from Final Cutter, King Dedede's stars from Super Dedede Jump, the laser from Waddle Doos thrown by King Dedede, the lasers from Fox, Falco, and Wolf, Pikachu's Thunder Jolt and Thunder, Charizard's Fire Breath, Lucario's Aura Sphere and non-grab version of Force Palm, Ness's and Lucas's Pk Fire, Pk Flash, and projectile version of Pk Thunder, and the lasers fired from the ships on Corneria, including the main cannons from the Great Fox but not the recoil they create when they are stood on. If Ness acts while the absorbing animation is active while he is on the ground, he can do anything he can do out of a shield out of Pk Magnet. This means he can instantly roll, spot dodge, or jump which makes it a great move to use while approaching foes such as Pit and Falco. A final minor note is that Ness's Pk Magnet weakly pushes opponents when he puts it away. This has no real strategic use but is good to know. Pk Thunder is Ness's final special, and it is probably the most interesting. It creates a steerable projectile that Ness can direct wherever he wants. Ness is helpless while using this for the most part, but opponents who get very close to Ness will be shocked. The hit from Pk Thunder is mostly weak, but it knocks opponents upward so Ness can attempt to juggle with it. If it is avoided, sometimes the tail from the move will hit and do weak damage while not canceling the Pk Thunder itself. It ends after being out for a set time or hitting any object, including an opponent. If Ness is in trouble while using this move, ramming it into the ground is frequently wise. Ness can also hit himself with this move as a recovery technique and a very powerful killing move that is roughly equivalent to Jigglypuff's Rest. Using it as an attack can be very predictable and easy to punish, but fooling the opponent into thinking you will use the projectile and then striking yourself can be effective. If Ness wishes to move directly horizontal on the ground, the easiest way is to steer forward briefly before hooking back behind Ness. Mastering this move is essential to playing Ness; it is simultaneously his main recovery move, a great projectile, and a potential KO move. Ness cannot wall jump, wall cling or crawl, and he has but one midair jump. The jump follows an unusual path that hooks Ness backward a bit; he can use his in conjunction with aerial attacks to control space in unusual ways. Ness also has a very average roll and a quick spot dodge. Being a light power character, Ness could have some trouble against heavy power characters such as Ike. On the other hand, Ness's Pk Magnet makes him a ridiculously good answer to energy projectile spammers such as Pit and Falco. Ness can also use his generally solid ability to control space to greatly harass Olimar and to frustrate the quick actions of speed characters such as Fox and Sonic. Ness, however, needs to really watch out for Marth. Marth can consistently outrange Ness, dance around Ness's projectiles, and has a really nasty grab combo on him. Toon Link can be a similar problem. He may not have the grab combo Marth has, but his projectiles are very difficult to handle and are not absorbed by Pk Magnet. Lucas Lucas stole Ness's thunder when he was thrust into the smash scene, but he really shouldn't be considered in the same vein as Ness. While Ness chains hits together with clever aerials to deal potent damage, Lucas is more apt to keep his feet on the ground and generally centers his game around powerful single hits. Lucas also has a ton of shenanigans that evolve from his substantially different version of Pk Fire; he really should be looked at as a completely separate character who is potent in his own right though probably about equivalent to Ness in overall ability. Lucas has some extremely powerful moves on the ground that will be the core of his game. His up smash is a very slow, ridiculously powerful psychic explosion that hits a huge area over Lucas's head. This is one of the most powerful attacks in the game and kills absurdly easily, but Lucas is very easy to punish if he misses it. His forward smash is also very powerful and can reflect projectiles like Ness's, but it's far less easy to punish than either Ness's forward smash or Lucas's up smash so it should be Lucas's main source of KOs. Lucas's down smash, on the other hand, is slow and one directional with less KO power than his other smashes; it should be avoided. Lucas has an up tilt that has a nice double hit and pops the opponent up right above him, and his forward tilt is a very quick "safety" move that has surprising KO power at higher percentages. His down tilt is just silly; it has almost no knock back but is one of the fastest ground attacks in the game so he can spam it until right before he will be punished at which point he can shield. Lucas also has a pretty typical jab combo and a rather unsafe running attack whose only virtue is popping opponents up into the air. Lucas has some interesting options in the air for racking up damage, but he has some trouble getting kills up here. His down aerial is a devastating barrage of psychic blasts beneath Lucas that will probably be his main option for fighting in the air at close range. His forward aerial is his closest thing to a kill move in the air; it's a quick single hit that has some decent knock back. Lucas can use this while approaching and attempt to pursue damaged opponents with strings of these to secure kills. Lucas's back aerial is, despite how it looks, a spike. It's really not very good, but if the opponent gets caught over a pit, it's nice to have. Lucas's neutral aerial is a somewhat slow but rather potent damage racking move. The range is pretty awful, but if the opponent makes the mistake of getting too close to Lucas in the air, this is the move to use. Lucas's up aerial is a fairly powerful upward smack that's great for juggles; this is what Lucas follows moves like his up tilt up with. Lucas's grab game is hampered by his slow grab, but once he has ensnared a foe, he can follow up with either his down throw to attempt to set up a juggle or his back throw to try to get a kill. Lucas might also consider doing his up smash out of a shield. It's going to be too slow to punish most things he will shield, but the surprise factor could let him score some unexpected KOs. Lucas's specials are pretty easy to compare to Ness's so Ness's section will be heavily referenced. Pk Freeze is just an awful move that shouldn't be used; it is very risky and has a very low reward if it hits. Pk Thunder is similar to Ness's in mechanics, but it does not stop when it hits other players, travels more slowly, and is able to make sharper turns. Lucas also scores multiple weak hits when he rams himself into an opponent with Pk Thunder. All in all, Lucas's version is worse since he cannot use it as a kill move or as an effective projectile, but as a recovery he can at least benefit from it being harder for him to die by his Pk Thunder being blocked. Lucas's Pk Magnet, despite what it might seem, is just a larger version of Ness's and hence completely superior. It also has a damaging hit when put away as opposed to just a push effect, but that's again a strict advantage. Lucas's Pk Fire is where things get interesting for him. It's a single hit that sends him back a good amount. Lucas can spam this move as an effective projectile, and he should use it to control space, lock down the opponent, and generally rack up damage. It can even kill near the edge of walk off ledges. However, Lucas also has more tricks with Pk Fire. If he does his double jump and Pk Fire on the exact same frame, he will fly up a huge distance which is very good for recovery; Lucas actually has the best vertical recovery in the game if this technique, commonly called "zap jumping", is mastered. Lucas can also assign special moves to the c-stick and hit back on the c-stick while holding forward on the control stick to launch himself backward very far while using this move. Actually any character can do this with any of their specials that alter their momentum, but with most specials, the effect is so small that it doesn't matter. Lucas flies ridiculously far so he can use this both to recover and to attack with complete impunity. Throwing up Pk Magnet in the air after doing this also extends the distance he gets, but it can be dangerous if he won't make it back to the ledge. Lucas cannot wall jump, wall cling, or crawl, and he has one midair jump that follows the same odd arc that Ness's does. He has a very ordinary roll and spot dodge as well. Lucas, much like Ness, will find the heavier slow characters such as Ike and Bowser to be problems. Ness himself will also be a problem as Lucas's Pk Fire assaults get negated, and Ness can generally cause him great trouble with the higher speed. Lucas like Ness can use Pk Magnet to just say no to energy projectile spam, especially from Pit and Falco. His lack of aerial control means he has less solid, though still decent, matches against characters such as Wario and Meta Knight, but at the same time, his power gives him more of an answer to Toon Link. Marth's nonsense still completely destroys him just like it destroys Ness, of course. Mr. Game & Watch How to unlock: -Play 250 brawls. -Have Mr. Game & Watch join your party in The Subspace Emissary. -Clear Target Smash on any difficulty level with 30 characters. Mr. Game & Watch is a character who has been slow to get attention. He is pretty obscure, and he was pretty awful in Super Smash Brothers Melee. However, as time goes on, he's causing some heads to turn. The reason is obvious; Mr. Game & Watch is a shoe in for top tier and, if not the best character in the game, is in close contention for best. Mr. Game & Watch is very fast and very powerful, has great range, can easily counter most projectiles, has an amazing recovery, and has a move that can easily devastate shields. His only semblance of a weakness is his very light weight, but that really doesn't matter much at all. Mr. Game & Watch has a wide array of extremely effective attacks on the ground. His down smash is the greatest gem here; it is probably the single best killing move in the game. Mr. Game & Watch hits on both sides of himself very quickly so this move is very safe and can be used multiple times in quick succession just in case Mr. Game & Watch misses. It has great reach as Mr. Game & Watch stretches his arms far for the hammers. If it hits, it either gets a sweet spotted hit which tends to kill off the top at below 10