Meta Knight (SSBB)
Unveiled at E3 2006, Meta Knight (メタナイト, Meta Naito), commonly abbreviated as MK, is a character in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Originally from the Kirby universe, Meta Knight joins the brawl as a starter character who wields his short sword Galaxia as his primary weapon.
Meta Knight is notable for being at the top of the Super Smash Bros. Brawl tier list due to numerous advantages. His attacks generally have extremely high speed in terms of both startup and ending lag, and many of his attacks have transcendent priority. He is in almost no trouble offstage due to a large amount of recovery options that grant him a long, relatively safe and unpredictable recovery, along with extremely effective edgeguarding options including moves that can wall of pain, two semi-spikes, and easy stage spikes against certain characters. Meta Knight's edge play is unarguably the best in the game, as is his ability to gimp opponents. He also has many great combo setups, with a very strong combo game due to easily being able to string many of his attacks together, as well as some of his moves being able to break opponent combos. His KO moves are quick, powerful, and reliable. Meta Knight can easily play very aggressively due to the speed and power of his attacks, but he can also play defensively without much trouble, with his aerials being able to space well and his great ability to air camp, along with his very fast roll and air dodge (though his spot dodge is only average). The former also gives him access to a huge glide toss that is fast and covers a very long distance. Meta Knight has incredible matchups; he has no overall disadvantageous matchups along with three other characters from the Smash series (Pikachu in Smash 64 and Fox and Falco in Melee), and currently only Pikachu is considered to have an even matchup against him, but even this is heavily disputable and believed by many to be in Meta Knight's favour.
This does not mean he has no disadvantages, however. Meta Knight is a lightweight character, meaning he is knocked out fairly easily, especially against characters with many high-power attacks such as Snake. He also has a small shield which makes him somewhat vulnerable to shield stabbing from certain characters. His poor air speed and slow grab release animation also make him suspectible to grab release combos from many characters, most notably Marth, who can combo Meta Knight into a variety of moves, including forward aerial, dash attack, Dancing Blade, short hop Dolphin Slash, buffered down aerial, buffered up aerial, or buffered neutral aerial from his air release. Meta Knight additionally may have trouble KO'ing against good DI and/or momentum cancelling, particularly if his best finishers are getting stale. He also has many multi-hit moves that are easily SDIable, limiting his ability to rack up damage easily, along with his moves generally dealing average damage.
Due to his incredible fighting prowess, general unpopularity in the Super Smash Bros. community (he was and is considered "broken" among many), negligible weaknesses and over-centralisation of the metagame, Meta Knight was banned for a time between January 9th, 2012 and April 16, 2012 from the Unity Ruleset, which was being pushed as the only valid ruleset. This makes Meta Knight the only character in the Super Smash Bros. series who has been banned from a standardized tournament ruleset. Even prior to his banning, he has been placed in his own tier at the very top of the tier list. Since the Unity Ruleset committee has been disbanded, it is once again up to each tournament's organizer whether Meta Knight should be banned or not.
Meta Knight is a small character, roughly the same size and shape as Kirby (although he has a cape that transforms into a pair of bat-like wings) and with the same weight as Pikachu. With proper DI and partial momentum canceling, he can be hard to KO, despite his light weight. Meta Knight's small size and low weight mean that he is difficult to chaingrab and combo, but due to his poor, short-distanced air release, many characters can grab-release-chaingrab him or grab-release-combo him into an aerial attack, such as Marth being able to combo him into a variety of moves including down aerial meteor smash, and Zero Suit Samus and Captain Falcon being able to combo him into an up aerial. Meta Knight's dashing speed and rolls are quite swift (sixth fastest dashing speed and the fastest roll in the game), but his air speed outside of a glide or any special move is very poor, being the third worst out of the entire cast, tied with Ivysaur.
Meta Knight's wings provide him with five midair jumps and the ability to glide twice (by pressing and holding the jump button and then using his up special). His moveset is mostly comprised of fast, short-to-long-ranged moves with his sword Galaxia, which deal relatively low damage and knockback, but can combo effectively at low percentages. The low power is compensated for by the fast speed and minimal lag of most of the attacks, allowing Meta Knight to easily set up combos and rack up damage, not to mention that only his dash attack, glide attack, Drill Rush, and Mach Tornado lack transcendent priority (though this actually makes Mach Tornado more difficult to interrupt). Meta Knight has among the best KO abilities in the game, in part due to his amazing edgeguarding and gimping abilities that can finish off almost any character that gets knocked offstage, along with his aerial Shuttle Loop being able to KO at as low as 75% near the edge. Meta Knight also has several moves that can reliably KO under 150% - including forward smash, down smash, up tilt, neutral aerial, glide attack, grounded Shuttle Loop, and Dimensional Cape. However, his forward smash, his most powerful finisher, and Dimensional Cape, have rather high startup lag, and his up tilt requires a sweetspot on the tip of his sword that is difficult to land. Most of his finishers don't deliver the strongest knockback and DI is particularly effective against them. Meta Knight can also score situational vertical KOs from up aerial, Mach Tornado, and up throw.
An example can be seen in his up aerial, which when combined with his multiple jumps can combo into itself to 30% or more damage and/or other moves because of its speed and low base knockback. Some of his attacks, such as his down Smash and up tilt, have a sweetspot at the tip of sword (resembling Marth´s sweetspot on most of his attacks) that does more damage and knockback. Many of Meta Knight's multi-hit attacks (such as his forward and back aerials, forward tilt, up smash and Mach Tornado) are useful in racking up damage, but can all be escaped with proper Smash DI. Meta Knight's most reliable KO moves are his down and side smashes, glide attack, neutral aerial and Shuttle Loop. Meta Knight is one of only two characters (the other being Sonic) possessing multiple special moves that may be used to recover, giving him an unpredictable recovery as well as enhancing his edgeguarding game. In particular, his Shuttle Loop makes him very dangerous to edgeguarders because of its high base knockback and transcendent priority, which by the same token, can be used to edgeguard Meta Knight's opponents as well. A common mistake many beginners tend to make is using Meta Knight's specials and accidentally veering off stage, helpless, resulting in a self destruct.
Meta Knight lacks a projectile, but his Mach Tornado can neutralize opponent's projectiles provided they don't do 10% or more of damage and are not transcendent. His small hurtbox also allows him to evade many of them, though his poor air speed makes him vulnerable to attacks like Thunder. Other abilities include his ability to use his Dimensional Cape for mind games, Wing Dashing (an ability shared but more effectively used by Pit and Charizard) which involves canceling the attack and the landing lag while sliding forward, leaving him completely free to use another attack or defend himself, and having two excellent approach attacks: Mach Tornado and Drill Rush, giving him a very unpredictable approach game. Meta Knight's Final Smash, Galaxia Darkness, can be difficult to land and does little damage and knockback compared to other characters' Final Smashes. It can, however, hit numerous enemies. Final Smashes are banned in the vast majority of tournaments, and as such have little impact on his metagame.
Both his side and down taunts provoke battle. This is because he would always challenge Kirby to an honorable fight.
Meta Knight's victory theme is an electric guitar variant of the Kirby victory theme shared by Kirby and King Dedede, making him the only Brawl character to have a victory theme different from other members from the same series.
 Brawl manual description
A rival to Kirby who boasts mach-speed sword attacks that overwhelm opponents.
 In competitive play
Meta Knight has by far the most favourable matchup spread in Brawl, with a weighted total of 252 (more than twice the amount of Ice Climbers, the character with the second highest weighted total) on the current SWF matchup chart. He has one even matchup, soft counters nine characters, counters thirteen, hard counters eleven, and has two close to unloseable matchups. Against other top and high-tiered characters, he has one even matchup, soft counters seven matchups, and counters one matchup. Even his one even matchup (against Pikachu) is highly disputable, and many players believe it to be in Meta Knight's favour. The other closest to even matchups against Meta Knight include Falco and Ice Climbers, the former due to his ability to projectile camp against Meta Knight, and the latter of course due to their 0-death chaingrabs, but even then, they're heavily stage dependent, only coming close on neutral stages. Meta Knight is considered the hardest matchup for many characters, with certain characters, such as R.O.B. and Luigi's positions on the tier list significantly dropping in large part due to their poor matchups against Meta Knight.
 Notable players
 Tier placement and history
Meta Knight has been ranked 1st on the tier list since a few months after the game's release, although some players believed Snake was the best character. However, as Brawl's metagame evolved, his advantages in combat became more prominent, and Meta Knight mains such as Mew2King began dominating tournaments; as a result, Meta Knight was (and still is by the overwhelming majority) considered the undisputed best character, and has consistently held the top spot, commonly in his own tier above the rest of the cast. Due to his strengths as a fighter, more competitive Brawl players use Meta Knight than any other character. This reflects in his tournament results, where it is not rare to see almost half of any given top eight in Meta Knight legal tournaments using Meta Knight, and Meta Knight has won almost three times the amount of money in tournaments than the second-most successful character, Snake. These factors have cemented Meta Knight's placement at the top of the tier list for the entirety of the Brawl metagame up until the present day. However, with recent innovations in the Ice Climbers' metagame, especially their chain grab setups capable of annihilating any player given a single opportunity, Meta Knight is finally being challenged by some professional smashers as not being the undisputed best character in practice. Despite this, Meta Knight still remains first place, with the Ice Climbers currently being a spot below him.
 Ban from competitive play
It had been intensely debated whether Meta Knight should be banned from tournaments, due to his perceived "brokenness" and over-centralization. This started with a well-known rumor in the Smash community that Meta Knight was banned in Italian tournaments. It was later proven false, though the Italian Smashboards had asked Smashers if they believed that Meta Knight should be banned. This rumor, however, eventually caused another surge of players who wanted to ban Meta Knight in other regions. The controversy reached the point where the Smash Back Room held a poll to see if Smashers wanted to completely ban the character. "Pro-Ban" won the poll, but did not win a super-majority of at least 66%, and Meta Knight ended up not being banned on a large scale. 
However, talks about banning Meta Knight later surged, which was contributed to the increasing trend of players using Meta Knight and taking a large majority of the top results. Such an example is KTAR 6, where five of the top eight placers used Meta Knight. Later, data compiled by John12346 showed that Meta Knight had won over 50% of total tournament earnings in tournaments that had more than thirty entrants . Meta Knight in total won $42,394.32 in 2011 U.S. tournaments when money is split in character usage (and $59,490.07 when not split), while the next most successful character, Snake, had only won $12,125.33 when split (and $20,860.29 with no split). The overall increasing centralization of Meta Knight was also said to have caused Brawl's metagame to shift too radically; with some characters, as mentioned above, significantly dropping down the tier list in large part due to their poor matchups against Meta Knight.
In response to this, the Unity Ruleset Committee introduced experimental rules in a recent ruleset update; one of the new suggested rules is a ban on Meta Knight.  Despite this experimental ruleset, another poll was conducted in the start of September of 2011; "Pro-ban" again won the poll, but this time, with a super-majority of 75%. Although the poll itself did not directly cause a banning of Meta Knight, the results eventually caused the Unity Ruleset Committee to announce its official ban of Meta Knight from both singles and doubles play on September 30th, 2011. The ban itself started on January 9th, 2012. 
The Meta Knight banning controversy ended up being made fun of on the Back Room for Melee; in a newer ruleset update, they sarcastically added that Meta Knight was banned from all Melee tournaments.
The Unity Ruleset Committee later disbanded on April 16, 2012; while the Unity Ruleset is still seen by many as the primary ruleset for Brawl tournaments, Marc stated "it is up to individual TOs to decide what is best for their events." As a result, Meta Knight's ban is not considered universal, and tournament organizers may choose whether or not to ban the character.
 Role in The Subspace Emissary
It is revealed that before the events of the Subspace Emissary, Meta Knight was attacked by the Subspace Army, who had the intent of taking the Halberd. He was able to hold them off until King Dedede attacked him, causing him to lose his ship.
When Meta Knight is first featured in the Subspace Emissary, he attacks a lone Marth outside of a large castle. He quickly learns that Marth is not his enemy when they are both surrounded by Primids. After a successful battle, both warriors chase the Ancient Minister, who is carrying a Subspace bomb. Both are unsuccessful in their attempts in destroying the bomb (Meta Knight's left wing was shot by the Ancient Minister's laser, forcing him to land and change to his cape to extinguish the flame); luckily, Ike appears and uses his Aether to catch the Minister off guard and destroy the bomb. With the bomb destroyed, all three head back to the castle to clear out any remaining Primids.
Later, they are all seen traveling the wastelands together and battling Galleom. Meta Knight then saves Lucas and an unconscious Pokémon Trainer from a giant free-fall after they defeat the same boss. Meta Knight then begins to ascend a large cliff face, followed by the Ice Climbers (who see his ascent as a racing challenge), in order to reach the Battleship Halberd. At the summit, Lucario challenges Meta Knight to a sparring duel. To the relief of the Ice Climbers, the winner revives the loser, having no hostile feelings. The Halberd then crashes into the side of the mountain in an attempt to destroy the defeated Great Fox, which is being held by the arm of the Combo Cannon. Meta Knight and Lucario quickly board the Halberd, while the Ice climbers fall off the summit, into the canyon.
The pair run into Snake while on board and join forces with him to take back the Halberd. After rescuing Peach and Zelda, the trio continues on to the control deck. There they discover that the ship is being piloted by a gang of Shadow Bug Mr. Game & Watches. Snake runs towards them and throws them all out of the window and onto the bridge, who fuse together to form a gigantic metallic monster called Duon. Once Duon is defeated, Mr. Game & Watch joins the group, along with Peach, Sheik, Fox, and Falco. (Meta Knight remains in the Halberd's control center and does not take part in the battle.)
Meta Knight takes back control of the Halberd and reunites with the members from other groups. The aircraft of the other heroes is placed inside the Halberd, which heads towards the Subspace Gunship with all of the Super Smash Bros. heroes on board (except for Sonic, Ness, King Dedede and Luigi). After using the Subspace Battleship's main cannon to create another Subspace portal, Ganondorf spots the Halberd on the horizon and orders the battleship to open fire. The Halberd is struck down, but the heroes are able to escape on board Samus's Gunship, Captain Falcon's Falcon Flyer, Olimar's Hocotate ship, and Falco's Arwing. Kirby destroys the Subspace Battleship by slicing through it is with the Dragoon racing machine and the heroes enter Subspace to pursue Ganondorf and Bowser.
Meta Knight is turned into a trophy by Tabuu along with the rest of the Super Smash Bros heroes upon their entrance into Subspace. He is later revived by Kirby. He rejoins the others in the fight against Tabuu.
 Playable appearances
 Exclusive stickers
The following stickers can be used only by Meta Knight or by a select few including him:
Meta Knight's trophy is obtained by clearing Classic Mode as Meta Knight.
The head of the Meta-Knights, and something of a rival to Kirby. He's quite an accomplished swordsman. Following his code of knightly ethics, he once delivered a sword to Kirby and demanded single combat. His giant cape transforms into wings, giving him the power of flight. He's shown his face briefly before, but his relationship to Kirby is still a mystery.