The newest entry in the Super Smash Bros. universe comes stocked with an absurd number of fighters. There are over seventy characters from which to choose, and each one possesses a distinct moveset and playstyle that helps them stand out from the pack. With such a paralyzing number of choices, it can be hard to discern who’s the right fighter for any one battle. It can be even tougher to determine someone reliable to use all the time.
The Super Smash Bros. community and the lively pro scene provide exhaustive lists that categorize fighters into tiers based on who’s the best. But some fighters always fall through the cracks. Some aren’t rated very highly just because players haven’t figured out how to use them properly. So we’ve compiled a list of five underrated fighters that you need to check out, and five fighters who aren’t as great.
Ness debuted in Super Smash Bros. for the Nintendo 64. He was a secret character at the time, and he has been a regular in all the games that have followed. That being said, he’s never been one of the top tier characters seen across tournaments in competitive play. But, in the right hands, Ness can transform into a worthy opponent.
His specials cannot be ignored. They can be combined with his forward smash or dash attack for some devastating hits. The PK attacks are flexible, as they can be used for strong combos on the opponent, edge guards, or other purposes. Don’t sleep on Ness!
King K. Rool has been frequently discussed and played since the release of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. He’s a heavy who moves with surprising speed, and his arsenal of iconic moves harkens back to the Donkey Kong games of yesteryear. His blunderbuss can set up some interesting combos when utilizing its cannonball and its vacuum.
His boomerang attack with his crown and his super armor make for some interesting possibilities. The hype, however, is overblown. It’s great that he’s finally an addition to the Smash roster, but the excitement over his presence has given him undue attention. His gameplay doesn’t live up to the buzz.
Some pro players are on board and have Olimar rated highly, but most of the community doesn’t seem to acknowledge the strength of this quirky character. Smash players seem obsessed with sword fighters and traditional favorites. Olimar is unorthodox, and his value stems from the Pikmin that he carries with him.
Part of the issue with Olimar stems from the learning curve associated with his playstyle. A player must develop awareness and technical skill to master his use of Pikmin. You need to be wary of the colors you’re using, and the order. He’s not as simple as other fighters, but his potential is greater.
The Belmonts are strong fighters, to be sure, but these guys can be countered easily enough once you spot the telegraphed moves. They rely heavily upon projectiles, so they may seem frustrating and powerful upon the first encounter, but smaller or faster characters can navigate through these attacks with practice.
The damage output can be substantial when their attacks land, but their moveset isn’t varied enough, and they come off as one-dimensional fighters. They don’t possess the versatility necessary to reach the higher tiers of play. There are just too many fighters that have an edge in a match, and the Belmonts can’t catch up.
The Ice Climbers are one of the strangest characters in Smash. They work in tandem, their attacks syncing together. They can be KOed separately, so, when one is absent, they are significantly weaker. However, a player can choose to operate them independently. An intentional decision to de-sync the Ice Climbers.
If you’re able to de-sync reliably, you can start to maneuver in increasingly novel ways, and their combos become more threatening. The paired fighters can be truly scary when they’re in control near the edge, using their hammer attacks to knock opponents off the stage and then implementing Blizzard and Ice Shot moves to ensure the other fighter can’t regain a foothold. The fuzzy-jacketed duo is deadly.
Anything Pichu can do, Pikachu can do better. There’s a reason why Pikachu is in the top tiers of almost every compilation. The Pokémon is a force to be reckoned with. Small, agile, and strong, Pikachu is a constant presence at tournaments, and the yellow ball of death is not likely to go away anytime soon.
Echo fighters are usually less compelling than the characters they are modeled after, and Pichu is no exception. The sparky little Pokémon can’t escape the looming shadow of the original. The small variations of Pichu’s moveset don't create enough reason to stray from using Pikachu.
The unstudied player might consider Mr. Game & Watch and think only of getting a lucky 9 on his Judge special. That gavel slam sends fighters careening off the stage. But that’s not what makes him special. To excel with Mr. Game & Watch, you need to be sharp in reading your opponent. If you can accurately predict the attacks that they’ll implement against you, then Mr. Game & Watch can shine.
His Oil Panic can both reflect projectiles and unleash a destructive attack once the bucket is full. His down smash and forward smash are potent attacks, and, with the right know-how, Mr. Game & Watch can KO fighters at relatively low damage thresholds.
Wolf crashed onto the Smash roster with aplomb. Hailing from the Star Fox universe, Wolf is a heavier fighter than his peers, Fox and Falco. His moves are slower, but his damage output is higher. And he quickly became a favorite in the Smash community.
When you’re able to connect your attacks and rack up some combos, Wolf can be a dangerous adversary, but there are so many nimble fighters that can outclass him. His movement can be cunning with the Wolf Flash and Fire Wolf specials, but they don’t outweigh the clunkier feel of his playstyle. His staying power in the top tiers is not as certain as other fighters.
Mario’s brother never gets the credit he deserves. It doesn’t matter what game it is. Luigi always stays in the background. That’s not fair, though! Luigi is a strong fighter, and he should see more action in tournaments and competitive play. His recovery leaves much to be desired, but other than that he’s a worthy choice.
Luigi has strong grabs with a good reach, and if you can chain the grab with other combos then he can stack damage quickly. His specials are all effective in the right moments, but he’s a well-rounded fighter that hasn’t gotten enough attention yet.
Sword fighters are easy to use and easy to love. They’ve got an absurd reach, and their speed enables a vicious onslaught of attacks if you know what you’re doing. Most of the sword fighters exist in the top tiers of all the ranked lists for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Roy, though, doesn’t live up to the hype like Marth, or the newer fighter Lucina.
His specials are strong, but they’re slower and clumsier than other fighters like him. Another echo fighter that can’t quite match the strength of his counterpart. Stick with Marth—or try out some of the new sword-wielding menaces in the game.