Mega Man (SSB4)
Mega Man (ロックマン, Rockman) is a newcomer in Super Smash Bros. 4. He was announced at Nintendo's E3 2013 Direct Conference presentation for the game. Mega Man is one of the six third-party characters in the game along with SEGA's Sonic and Bayonetta, Bandai Namco's Pac-Man, fellow Capcom character Ryu, and Square Enix's Cloud, and was the first third-party character to be revealed for the game. He does not widely use hand-to-hand combat, and instead relies on his large arsenal of weaponry. His sound effects are reused from the vast number of retro Mega Man games he has appeared in.
Mega Man currently ranks 28th on the SSB4 tier list, in lower-mid E tier. Mega Man's biggest advantage is that he has among the best projectile games in Smash 4, with his very wide array of projectiles being able to keep opponents away. He also excels in pressuring as a result, with his Crash Bomber able to pressure shields easily. This is made more effective once combined with Mega Man's grab game; his grabs are among the fastest in the game, with his down throw being a decent combo starter while his back throw is a powerful KO option after 155%. His overall endurance is also above average, being a heavyweight with high falling speed; this allows him to take a lot of vertical hits before being KOed. He also excels in racking up damage, with his dash attack, up smash, up aerial, back aerial and back throw being useful for inflicting high amounts of damage. However, Mega Man's biggest strength is his raw power: he has among the strongest attacks of their kind, having the second strongest up tilt, third strongest down smash, and one of the strongest back aerials.
Despite these strengths, Mega Man still has flaws. His overall mobility, save for his aerial acceleration, is quite slow. This leaves Mega Man at an approaching disadvantage against characters with better mobility (e.g. Sheik, Fox. etc.). Mega Man's melee attacks also have short range overall despite their extensive utility, leaving him at a ranged disadvantage against characters with long and/or disjointed range (e.g. Marth, Link, Shulk, etc.), and the high ending lag on his attacks further puts stress on this flaw. In addition, Mega Man's aforementioned weight is also one of his bigger flaws as he is potentially vulnerable to vertical hits as a result of his very high falling speed. However, Mega Man's ironically glaring flaw is his projectile playstyle; he is more harmed by reflectors, absorption abilities, and other such methods to defend against projectiles than any other character, as a lot of his approach depends on his projectiles.
Overall, Mega Man is a character who has a high learning curve, but with overall good tournament results once mastered. As a result, he has many dedicated players, and has overall average matchups compared to the rest of the cast.
As in his home series, Mega Man's moveset relies heavily on various projectiles, giving his attacks unusual functions and characteristics. This extends beyond his special moves and into his standard moveset. For his neutral attack, he fires shots from his Mega Buster, and for his forward tilt, he fires shots from his Mega Buster while walking. His up tilt, the Mega Upper, is a jumping uppercut, and his down tilt is a forward slide.
Despite having an unusual set of moves, Mega Man shines in approaching while spacing opponents at midrange and disrupting any approaches, for he is blessed with two projectiles that can cause opponents to react predictably: Metal Blade's ability to be thrown in eight directions and trapping opponents in high hitstun makes it a fantastic mindgame and shield-baiting tool, while Crash Bomber can cause panicky opponents to run towards Mega Man or shield the explosion. Both projectiles easily lead to a grab punish as Mega Man owns a great grab combo ability, having a fast grab and many of his attacks connecting reliably after a throw. This allows him to rack up damage easily once he grabs an opponent. He does not have much trouble KOing once his opponents are damaged either, for he has many finishing options: from his lightning-fast up tilt to his projectile based forward smash which can be used to edgeguard. His other projectiles are terrific, notably his aerials; up aerial can KO early if an opponent is high up, and his down aerial is one of the safest meteor smashes in the game. To top it all off, Mega Man is a fantastic spacer: his jab is a fast and useful projectile (that can be used while moving and jumping) which interrupts most attacks and weak projectiles at a safe range, and when combined with Metal Blades and Crash Bombs makes Mega Man difficult to approach. Due to his amazing pressuring ability and grab game, characters without a projectile or with low reach can have trouble approaching without being severely punished. Even if he does get knocked around, Mega Man is a heavyweight character, weighing only slightly less than Captain Falcon, meaning he is more likely to survive potentially lethal blows that could KO a lighter character, especially with proper DI and his good recovery move, Rush Coil.
Regardless of his good grab game and punishing options, Mega Man still has some flaws to counter his strengths. Since his projectiles are imperative in initiating combos, he suffers against opponents with reflectors or other methods to render his projectiles ineffective, such as the Villager's Pocket. His low speed and ending lag on his non-projectile moves significantly limit his approach. He lacks options in keeping away foes up close, with no actual melee jab or quick standard attacks to knock them away. Because most of his strongest attacks suffer from either noticeable startup or ending lag, Mega Man works best at mid-range where his attacks can connect safely, though at the cost of giving opponents a good amount of time to react to any of his attacks, somewhat making his finishers predictable.
In essence, Mega Man is a medium-ranged projectile fighter who has no trouble spacing opponents, though KO attempts can be risky for him as he suffers slightly at close range. He has to use his fantastic spacing and grab punish options to rack up damage at medium range while keeping his distance until the opponent is weak enough to risk using one of his laggy yet powerful finishing moves.
Mega Man gains various additional options from his custom moves. Shadow Blade and Ice Slasher are good for immobilizing opponents and are less susceptible to being used against Mega Man himself. Hyper Bomb and Danger Wrap are harder to land, but deal much more damage and knockback. Tornado Hold has more offensive value due to it dealing damage and granting Mega Man new combo potential. Plant Barrier does not last as long as the default Leaf Shield, but can deal and absorb more damage. Skull Barrier lacks a hitbox when circling Mega Man and deals less damage when thrown, but it reflects projectiles when orbiting and cannot be destroyed, giving it a more defensive value than both Leaf Shield and Plant Barrier lack.
Mega Man was slightly buffed in game updates. He initially only received very minor buffs to his Leaf Shield since 1.0.4, but in update 1.1.1, he has had the speed of his Ice Slasher and Hyper Bomb custom specials slightly improved as well, along with a slight increase to Hyper Bomb's power and splash damage. However, the changes to shield mechanics make some of his projectiles, most notably his forward smash, less safe on shield due to their low hitlag.
In competitive play
In Event Matches