Two of the most powerful aspects of core Pokémon games are collecting ‘em all into your Pokédex and fighting wild creatures / teams of other Pokémon trainers. In the Smash Bros. game series, it’s super easy to complete the collecting part - there are only 10 of them available in SSBU. But fighting… it’s the primary entertainment in Smash, and it suits Pokémon perfectly well.
Recently, we made a post about Zelda heroes in Super Smash Bros. That was our way to celebrate the 35th anniversary of this fantastic series. And now, it’s the turn of Pokémon to have their moment of glory - on February 27, the gaming world had a party on the occasion of 25 years since the release of the very first Pokémon game. And while so many people are waiting for the release of Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, we could take a look at those creatures who bravely fight on the platforms of SSBU.
7+1=10? 7 Pokémon and 1 Pokémon Trainer
Playing these creatures in Smash Bros. feels absolutely different than participating in battles of the original series. In their core games, Pokémon allow choosing turn-based actions, so you have to think properly and make the best decision. In Smash… you know, there is not such a thing as thinking on your move in a fighting game. You should develop muscle memory for each attack and activate the proper one with lightning speed.
There are hundreds of Pokémon from a few regions in that fictional universe. They have so many extraordinary abilities, such as shooting fire, ice attacks, starting hurricanes, and even creating horrifying visions. This is a promising basis for a fighting game.
Pokkén Tournament was released in 2015 - it’s a fighting game from Bandai Namco, developers of Tekken (Pokémon + Tekken). Players there have only Pokémon in the roster.
Super Smash Bros. have heroes from many popular game series, and Pokémon is one of them. It absolutely can’t have all of them.
In Smash Ultimate, you can take to a fight 7 Pokémon and 1 Pokémon Trainer. This is a little confusing because the Trainer has three Pokémon, so theoretically, the game has 10 creatures. But in practice, we have 8 fighters from the Pokémon franchise.
Who’s your Smash Pokémon fighter?
These creatures are very different - in their appearances and also in their in-fight abilities. Choosing your Pokémon in Smash is the same significant step as selecting your starter in a core game.
Let’s try to figure out who among Pokémon is the best for your playing style and experience.
Pikachu - electrical speed
This yellow cutie is arguably the most popular Pokémon in the world. He is the best friend of Ash Ketchum, the main hero of the anime. Probably all the viewers fell in love with Pikachu from the first episode and from the first core game Pokémon Red and Blue (Gen I, Kanto region).
Pikachu entered Smash with the original N64 game and then he returned to each and every one of them. Nintendo obviously doesn't want to take this icon away from Smash fans.
In SSBU, Pikachu is very fast, but also he is very light. Pikachu easily lands his blows but they do not deal too much damage. It’s hard to hit Pikachu but if big fighters do so, he risks being easily knocked out even despite excellent recovery options. One of his strengths is the power of edge-guarding. This is an electric type Pokémon, so naturally, he shocks opponents with electricity.
It’s a very accessible and, at the same time, very powerful fighter. You can enjoy him from the very beginning, but Pikachu's abilities allow him to perform well even at professional events. Pikachu is the main of ESAM.
Jigglypuff - fight in the air
This creature is so adorable! How can anyone even think about beating it? But Jigglypuff has something more in the arsenal than just big beautiful eyes, so this Pokémon is definitely a super good SSBU fighter.
The first appearance of Jigglypuff in Smash was in the first game as an unlockable character. Like Pikachu, she returns to every game. And like Pikachu, she comes from the Kanto region (Gen I, Red and Blue).
In SSBU, Jigglypuff is very light and proves herself especially good in air fights. Her style is rather reactive, so you should learn how to punish opponents. Recovery of this fighter is absolutely excellent - Jigglypuff can make five air jumps. This comes at a price, of course. Most opponents can easily launch Jigglypuff, so she should be very active on the fighting ground and continually try to avoid attacks.
Jigglypuff is a pretty tricky character. You need a good basic experience with many opponents to understand how and when to punish them. Beginners may find it hard to control this Pokémon, especially while using her Sing special move - try not to get hit. Still, if you are dedicated enough, you will be able to demonstrate incredible miracles off-stage. Jigglypuff is the main of Hungrybox.
Pichu - small ball of power
This little fellow is a pre-evolution of Pikachu. In the original games, they appeared in the Johto region (Gen II, Gold and Silver). In Smash, they were added to the roster with the release of Melee. Pichu was absent in SSB Brawl and 4. This Pokémon returned to action with Smash Ultimate.
Don’t get fooled by the size of this fighter! Yes, Pichu has all the advantages and disadvantages of small and light-weight fighters. But at the same time, they are very powerful in battle. Attacks of Pichu can be easily linked into each other, creating devastating combos. Their killing power is frightening, and many players consider Pichu one of the best fighters in Smash Ultimate - but it’s hard to properly channel that might. The downside is the annoying habit of hurting themselves in fights, so you need to learn how to avoid that damage, and that’s not easy. And of course, Pichu is the smallest character in the game, so they should be careful not to get launched into the sky. Void often plays (and praises) Pichu.
Mewtwo - master of psychic attacks
This is one of the mightiest Pokémon ever. He was created in special laboratories from the DNA of the Legendary Pokémon Mew. The power of Mewtwo is psychic, so he can control the mind and body of his victims. You can check out his detailed story in the film Mewtwo Strikes Back. He was introduced to the world with Gen I (Kanto, Red and Blue). Smash players got Mewtwo in Melee, and then he was available in Smash 4 and SSBU.
The advantages of Mewtwo in Smash fights are his mobility, strong aerial game, and the ability to punish opponents. Also, Mewtwo has the potential for good combos and some very strong killing attacks.
Mewtwo is not a character for beginners. To take the max out of him, you should be very precise in actions - and really know what you are doing. Mewto is the main of Zenkai.
Pokémon Trainer - three in one
This is one of the most complicated fighters in Smash. You choose one Trainer who controls three Pokémon. They are:
- Squirtle - the smallest one, of the Water type;
- Ivysaur - a bit bigger and stronger, of the Grass type;
- Charizard - an impressive fire dragon, the slowest but also the most powerful one.
While fighting, you can jump between Pokémon, and this feature opens a lot of possibilities in the game strategy. But to do so effectively, you have to learn not one but three fighters. Beginners may find this task too complicated, but you can’t be a good Pokémon Trainer using only one of those three. Accidental switching between Pokémon is a huge bummer as well.
The positive side is that you have fighters for different opponents and situations. Each of these creatures has its advantages, so you can become a threatening and almost unpredictable opponent.
Pokémon Trainers was added to the series with the Brawl game. Charizard made his appearance in Smash 4. They all are from Kanto (Gen I, Red and Blue). Puppeh plays Pokémon Trainer professionally.
Greninja - quick and deadly
This Pokémon is fast and dangerous, like a real ninja. He appeared first in the Kalos region (Gen VI, Pokémon X and Y). Greninja was added to Smash with the game Smash 4 even before the release of X and Y.
Speed of Greninja is his power in both core games and Smash fights. He is quick in ground movements and jumps. His attacks are pretty strong and deal significant damage, but at the same time, they are unsafe and can be punished. Greninja is good at edge guarding and has many interesting combos.
It’s not an easy character for beginners - it is somewhat difficult to control Greninja and avoid punishes. The potential of this Pokémon is rather hidden in the SSBU esports scene, but maybe you will be able to gain experience and prove how awesome this frog-like ninja is in Smash fights. You can enjoy Greninja in the hands of Lea.
Lucario - the aura of fighting
This Pokémon is one of the obvious choices for a fighting game - he is of a Fighting type and knows how to land hits. In addition to that, Lucario radiates some sort of energy, aura, that affects damage and knockback. Steel spines on his hands can be a very dangerous weapon.
You can use different playing styles with Lucario - the fighter is pretty flexible and gives players many different options. One of his most effective strategies is to punish opponents, but it should change throughout the match, that’s why Lucario is quite a hard character for beginners.
Lucario is a Pokémon from the Sinnoh region (Gen IV, Pearl and Diamond). He’s been fighting in Smash since the Brawl game. TSU plays Lucario professionally.
Incineroar - fire and fury
What an amazing fire cat this Pokémon is! Incineroar is the final evolution of one of the starters in the Alola region (Gen VII, Sun and Moon). It’s really a powerful creature with many impressive attacks. SSBU is his first Smash game.
Incineroar is strong but slow - this short definition explains the style of this fighter very well. It is hard for him to land a blow on a fast opponent, but when that happens, the victim gets significant damage. The cat Pokémon is rather heavy, so it’s not that easy to knock him out of the platform.
This fighter is a typical wrestler with many moves from that fighting style. Even beginners can find him accessible. Advanced players also will find lots of potential in this Pokémon. Incineroar is the main character for Magister.
The strongest and the most accessible
Let’s add two charts into our Pokémon fighters review - of the accessibility and effectiveness in fights. Are you ready?
So, who should beginners pick up? Who is suitable mostly to advanced players?
- Pikachu - the most accessible Pokémon in Smash, just take him and enjoy the fight.
- Incineroar - the fire cat is also suitable for newcomers to fighting, but his slow movements may create some difficulties.
- Pichu - he is both accessible and challenging. You will have a fun time playing this Pokémon, but KO opponents may become an annoying problem.
- Greninja - here we jump to rather hard fighters. This ninja froggy asks for a good basic experience with controls in the game.
- Jigglypuff - she is at the same level or even a bit more complicated than Greninja. You need to know the opponents pretty well.
- Mewtwo - his difficulty is in precise timing, or the legendary cat will not be effective.
- Pokémon Trainer - you need to put significant effort into learning three different creatures of this fighter.
- Lucario - he is even more difficult then Pokémon trainer because you have to play differently with the same one Pokémon.
And now, take a look at our tier list of Pokémon in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate:
Pokémon Stages in Smash Ultimate
SSBU has 7 stages from the Pokémon Universe. Here they are on the pictures:
Pokémon are great characters for fighting games. Do you like them? Do you take them to your matches? Please, let us know your opinion on DashFight Forum.
If you only start playing Smash, we recommend taking a look at our SSBU guide for beginners. And here you can find the full list of Smash Ultimate fighters.
Follow DashFight on Facebook, Twitter, and Discord to get many fighting games articles and news directly into your TL.