Pichu (SSBM)

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This article is about Pichu's appearance in Super Smash Bros. Melee. For other uses, see Pichu. Also, for information about the character of whom Pichu is a clone, see Pikachu (SSBM).
Pichu
in Super Smash Bros. Melee
Pichu
PokemonSymbol(preBrawl).svg
Universe Pokémon
Availability Unlockable
Tier F (25)
:
Compared with Pikachu, Pichu is a tad more nimble and a little more difficult to hit.
—Description from Pichu's trophy.

Pichu (ピチュー, Pichu) is a Pokémon character in Super Smash Bros. Melee. It is unlocked by completing Event 37: Legendary Pokémon or by playing 200 vs. matches. Pichu is the "baby" pre-evolution of Pikachu, and in Melee, Pichu has a nearly identical moveset, making it a clone.

Pichu is currently ranked 25th in the F tier, the lowest ranked clone character. This is due to its terrible range and that most characters can easily chain throw it, despite its small size and its status as the lightest character in the game, which are also its flaws. It takes recoil damage from its own electric attacks, hindering its KOing ability, as most of its finishing attacks involve electricity. Pichu does have strengths, such as a surprisingly good grab game; Pichu is very quick and most of its attacks have little to no start-up lag. Pichu also has a decent air game and a slew of powerful attacks, some even more powerful than those of its counterpart. Regardless, Pichu suffers from abysmal matchups, and it has the highest amount of very unfavorable matchups of any character in any Smash game, having a total of twelve. By comparison, Kirby, the lowest on the tier list, has seven, and Bowser, the third lowest on the tier list, has six. Furthermore, Pichu has no advantageous matchups, with three being even (against Yoshi, Kirby and Bowser). It appears that Pichu is intended to be a sub-par character since its trophy descriptions mention that it is "top of the class in weakness" and it is "best suited for handicapped matches."

Unlocking[edit]

To unlock Pichu, players have to complete Event 37: Legendary Pokémon or play 200 VS. matches. Upon completing either criterion, the player will fight against Pichu on Pokémon Stadium, with "Battle Theme" playing.

Attributes[edit]

Pichu, as a character, falls under the archetype of being nimble, yet relatively weak; while faster and slightly stronger than Pikachu in some cases, its moveset generally consists of attacks that deal much lower damage and knockback than Pikachu or most other characters in the cast. Due to its high traction and average falling speed, Pichu has a rather short wavedash; additionally, its quick and low-lag aerials also give Pichu a good SHFFL, much like Pikachu's. As such, Pichu can easily maneuver around stages, with very low landing lag, a small frame and a rather fast dash, as well as decent jumping power.

One of Pichu's main advantages is its perhaps surprising power. While its smashes are all of short range, all are unusually powerful considering Pichu's small frame. Its up smash and forward smash contain incredible power, being able to KO characters reliably at as little as 70 to 80 percent, while its down smash semi-spikes opponents and has invincibility frames. Pichu's Skull Bash also has surprising power and distance when charged; at full power, it deals a massive 39% damage and guarantees KOs at very low percentages, and the long distance traveled greatly aids in Pichu's recovery.

Professionals consider Pichu's neutral aerial to be the best tool in its arsenal, as it comes out very quickly and has very low ending and landing lag, especially when L-canceled. Pichu can approach enemies with neutral aerial, rack up respectable damage with long strings of it, and create psuedo-walls of pain if the player chooses to continue the strings off-stage. Aside from this, Pichu's up aerial allows it to juggle enemies into the air. Its other aerials are lackluster, but these two moves alone give Pichu quite a force in the air. Pichu also has decent throws; its forward and back throws can knock opponents off stage or set up combos, while its up and down throws can potentially start chain throws.

Pichu's greatest flaw, however, is its significant range problems. All of its best and most powerful attacks are very close to its body, making it tough for Pichu to KO or inflict damage easily (especially against characters with disjointed hitboxes), having only a handful of options for approaching enemies. Although Pichu does have access to two projectiles (Thunder Jolt and Thunder), both cause recoil damage and are easily telegraphed, making them unreliable and punishable if used excessively. Pichu's grab game is also heavily hampered by its short range, at the third shortest in the game, making it difficult for players to consistently take advantage of Pichu's decent throws. Many of Pichu's poorest matchups stem from it being unable to deal with individual moves of characters (such as Sheik's forward tilt or a large portion of Marth's moveset) because it lacks tools that have enough range to counter the attacks.

Additionally, Pichu suffers from the infamous recoil damage it receives from using almost any of its attacks involving electrical hitboxes. In several of Pichu's attacks, especially those that involve electricity, at least one percent of damage is directly inflicted onto it; using Agility to recover alone adds four percent to Pichu each time it is used. This recoil damage is especially crippling to Pichu; with the lowest weight in the game (being lighter than Jigglypuff) and average falling speed, Pichu's survivability is among the worst in the game, meaning that this recoil damage, coupled with damage inflicted by the opponents, can cause Pichu to be more easily KOed than any other character in the game. Outside of making Pichu even easier to KO, the extra damage taken through recoil also reduces how long it can utilize crouch cancelling. In order for Pichu to avoid the significant drawbacks of recoil damage, players need to strike a proper balance between Pichu's electrical and non-electrical moves; as a benefit to Pichu, arguably Pichu's best KOing and comboing moves, such as its neutral air and up smash, do not use electricity, making recoil damage less of a problem if the player is careful enough not to use electrical moves, such as its forward smash and forward throw, too often.

Pichu's defensive game is also poor, with short tech rolls, rolling dodges, and a slow, short ledge roll, making it far easier for enemies to punish Pichu for attempting to dodge. Its shield is rather large for its size, however, making shield stabbing less of a problem for it. Furthermore, despite being a lightweight, Pichu is also quite vulnerable to combos (some of which are either infinite or zero-death, such as Ganondorf's chain throw) due to its abnormally high hitstun.

Differences from Pikachu[edit]

Attributes[edit]

  • Nerf.png All of Pichu's electrical attacks (except for its up, down and back throws) inflict recoil damage.
  • Buff.png Pichu can wall jump, aiding its recovery.
  • Notice.png Pichu is slightly smaller than Pikachu, making it more difficult to hit, but also reducing its range.
  • Nerf.png Pichu is significantly lighter than Pikachu, giving it a much lower survivability.
  • Nerf.png Pichu's attacks are generally weaker.
  • Buff.png 2 attacks that semi-spike unlike Pikachu's that has only one.
  • Nerf.png Pichu's dashing speed is unusually slower than Pikachu's.

Ground attacks[edit]

  • Nerf.png All of Pichu's tilts have shorter reach than Pikachu's.
  • Nerf.png All three of Pichu's smash attacks deals less damage and have less reach than Pikachu's.
  • Nerf.png Forward smash strikes multiple times instead of once, and can therefore be SDI'd out of before the final blow connects.
  • Notice.png Pichu's up smash is completely different; it hits the opponent with its head.
  • Buff.png Pichu's down smash can semi spike and has higher knockback.
  • Notice.png Pichu's down smash has one hit and it's non electrical.
  • Nerf.png Due to its angle, down smash can't combo and is incapable of racking up damage.

Aerial attacks[edit]

  • Buff.png Pichu's up aerial can more easily combo into itself on fast-fallers.
  • Nerf.png Pichu's up aerial doesn't have semi-spike capabilities, reducing its gimping potential.
  • Nerf.png Pichu's forward and back aerials deal less damage than Pikachu's.
  • Buff.png Down aerial is stronger and deals more damage.
  • Nerf.png Forward and down aerial deals more recoil damage than it's other attacks.

Special moves[edit]

  • Buff.png Skull Bash can be charged for a longer period of time, is more powerful when fully charged, and travels a longer distance than Pikachu's.
  • Nerf.png Skull Bash has more ending lag and more dangerous than Pikachu's.
  • Nerf.png Pichu's Agility is slower than Pikachu's Quick Attack, cannot travel as far, and does not inflict damage nor knockback.
  • Buff.png Pichu's Agility can go in more directions than Pikachu's Quick Attack.
  • Nerf.png Thunder does less damage than Pikachu's and is a multi-hit move (hitting up to 4 times), allowing opponents to Smash DI out of the move.
  • Notice.png Thunder has a vertical knockback angle unlike Pikachu's.

Grabs and throws[edit]

  • Buff.png Grab range is slightly longer than Pikachu's, although it is still one of the shortest in the game.

Other[edit]

  • Notice.png Pichu's idle animations, taunt, and victory poses are all different from Pikachu's.

Moveset[edit]

For a gallery of Pichu's hitboxes, see here.

Pichu's aerial attacks
  Name Damage Description
Neutral attack   2% Does an extremely quick headbutt. Can easily chain into itself. Quite fast, can infinite against some characters on walls.
Forward tilt   9% Plants itself on its upper paws and kicks both its feet forward. Low range and knockback, though a fast move. This attack can be angled up and down.
8%
7%
Up tilt   6% Swipes its tail above its body in an arc. Very low range and somewhat slow, though sets up for aerial combos and follow ups.
Down tilt   7% Swipes its tail in front of itself. Short ranged, but can act as a good method for spacing.
Dash attack   8% Jumps and headbutts forward. Has some noticeable endlag.
Forward smash   2% (hits 1-5), 6% (hit 6), 2% recoil Launches a short jolt of electricity from its cheeks. Very powerful finisher, KOs at relatively low percentages. Incredible knockback when fully charged, KOs light characters at very low damages near the edge. However, this attack can be SDI'd out of. Has transcendent priority.
Up smash   16% Headbutts upwards similar to Mario's up smash, except that Pichu's head has no intangibility frames. Decent finisher.
Down smash   13% Quickly spins in place. It has more range than it appears and has some invincibility frames at the beginning of the move, as well as being powerful.
Neutral aerial   12% (clean), 9% (late) Curls up in a ball and does somersaults in the air.
Forward aerial   2% (hits 1-4) with 1% recoil for every hitbox Does a barrel roll in the air, emitting sparks. Hits multiple times with minimal damage.
Back aerial   9% Spins in a manner similar to its down smash. Relatively high ending and landing lag.
Up aerial   4% Swiftly swings its tail above itself in an arc. Can set up many combos on fast fallers. Lacks semi-spike properties compared to Pikachu's.
Down aerial   12%, 4% (landing) (1% recoil for both the attack & landing) Does a barrel roll, like its forward aerial, except that it is facing downwards. Creates a small shockwave that hurts nearby opponents when Pichu lands during the attack.
Grab
Pummel   3% (pummel), 1% recoil Zaps the opponent.
Forward throw   2% (hits 1-4), 2% (throw), 1% recoil Places the opponent on its back and shocks them, sending them forward. This throw hits multiple times and has low knockback.
Back throw   9% Does backwards somersaults with the opponent, then flings them behind itself. Does not suffer recoil, although the attack consists of electricity.
Up throw   5% (hit 1), 5% (throw) Tosses foe up and headbutts them with electricity. Does not suffer recoil, although the attack consists of electricity.
Down throw   5% (hit 1), 5% (throw) Places the opponent on the ground, then jumps on them. Does not suffer recoil, although the attack consists of electricity.
Floor attack (front)   6% Gets up and headbutts both sides of itself.
Floor attack (back)   6% Gets up and kicks both sides of itself.
Edge attack (fast)   8% Quickly does a cartwheel and attacks with its foot.
Edge attack (slow)   6% Slowly gets up, then flicks its tail.
Neutral special Thunder Jolt 7% (ground), 10% (aerial), 1% recoil Pichu's main projectile. Fires a jolt of electricity forward. It travels forward while bouncing along the ground, and can also travel up walls, below the edge, and along ceilings. If used in the air, it will travel diagonally down instead. Disappears after around 3 seconds. Can be used to gimp certain recoveries.
Side special Skull Bash 5-39%, 1% recoil Charges and, when the B button is released, fires itself forward like a missile. When fully charged or close to fully charged, it has KO power. The move can also be used to extend Pichu's recovery, though it does have some lag. On the ground, the attack has rather high lag and is easy to shield grab. Compared to Pikachu's Skull Bash, Pichu's Skull Bash deals more damage and covers more distance when fully charged, but takes longer to fully charge the move and suffers recoil damage.
Up special Agility 0%, 1% (recoil warp 1), 3% (recoil warp 2) Pichu's primary recovery move. Moves at warp speed in two directions that can be selected via the control stick. The main difference from Pikachu's Quick Attack is that Agility deals no damage, moves slower, and inflicts recoil damage to Pichu.
Down special Thunder 4% (bolt hits 1-4), 17% (blast), 3% recoil Shouts "PICHU!", then a large thunderbolt comes down on Pichu. The move in general is rather laggy. Hits multiple times and has greater vertical knockback, while Pikachu's Thunder hits once and has greater horizontal knockback. Pichu will suffer recoil damage only if the bolt hits Pichu. Has transcendent priority.

Taunts[edit]

Note: Just like Captain Falcon, Pichu's taunt will be different depending on which side it is facing, but both taunts finish at the same time and have the same IASA frames, unlike Captain Falcon.

  • Facing right: Lies on the ground and cuddles around, chanting "Pichu!"
  • Facing left: Jumps up and down four times, chanting "Pichu!"

Idle poses[edit]

  • Jumps while looking side to side.
  • Leans slightly forward while looking side to side for a slightly longer duration, twitching its ears while doing so.

Cheer[edit]

Pichu's NTSC and PAL cheer
Pichu's Japanese cheer

NTSC and PAL: Pi-chu!
Japanese: Piiii-chu!

Victory theme[edit]

An excerpt from the main theme of Pokémon. It is shared with Pikachu, Jigglypuff, and Mewtwo.

Victory poses[edit]

  • Dances excitedly then jumps around three times in a circle.
  • Spins around twice on one foot, then jumps up twice while clapping both its feet.
  • Jumps up twice, then jump up high a third time while spinning and waves at the screen before landing.

In Competitive play[edit]

Matchups[edit]

Super Smash Bros. Melee Character Matchups
  FoxHeadSSBM.png FalcoHeadSSBM.png SheikHeadSSBM.png MarthHeadSSBM.png JigglypuffHeadSSBM.png PeachHeadSSBM.png CaptainFalconHeadSSBM.png IceClimbersHeadSSBM.png DrMarioHeadSSBM.png PikachuHeadSSBM.png SamusHeadSSBM.png GanondorfHeadSSBM.png LuigiHeadSSBM.png MarioHeadSSBM.png YoungLinkHeadSSBM.png LinkHeadSSBM.png DonkeyKongHeadSSBM.png YoshiHeadSSBM.png ZeldaHeadSSBM.png RoyHeadSSBM.png MewtwoHeadSSBM.png MrGame&WatchHeadSSBM.png NessHeadSSBM.png BowserHeadSSBM.png PichuHeadSSBM.png KirbyHeadSSBM.png Avg.
PichuHeadSSBM.png -3 -3 -3 -3 -3 -3 -3 -3 -3 -2 -3 -3 -2 -3 -2 -2 -2 ±0 -1 -2 -1 -1 -1 ±0 Mirror match ±0 -2

Pichu has, by far, the worst matchup spread in Melee. It is hard countered by a whopping twelve characters (the most out of any character in-game and nearly twice as much as Kirby, the character with the second-highest amount), countered by six, soft countered by four, and has only three matchups that are considered even. Even in the early metagame, Pichu was severely crippled by its light weight, a surprising vulnerability to combos (including chain throws), its overall terrible reach, and above all, moves that inflict recoil damage. This has resulted in Pichu being very easy to KO, especially against characters with powerful attacks like Fox and Captain Falcon. Several characters, like Marth and Samus, can easily outreach it (thus making it easy to space), while others can exploit its vulnerability to chain throws and combos (with Sheik and Ganondorf being notorious examples of the former category). In addition, all of its counters can take advantage of its recoil damage to bring it up to KO percentages very quickly. As such, in spite of its advantages (such as good mobility), Pichu suffers from terrible matchups overall. It is one of only two characters in-game to have no advantageous matchups (the other being Bowser) and its even matchups can be potentially seen in its opponents' favors (if by a slight margin).

Notable players[edit]

See also: Category:Pichu professionals (SSBM)

Inactive[edit]

Tier placement and history[edit]

Pichu was always seen as a joke character by the Melee community; from the very beginning, many noted that it was completely outclassed by Pikachu, who was already considered a below-average character at the time. With its poor approach coupled with many attacks that damaged itself, including its own recovery, as well as its terrible overall reach, extremely light weight, and difficulty in putting pressure on the opponent, many professionals laughed at the prospect of a serious Pichu player. It started out on the first tier list as 25th place, and has since consistently shifted from 25th to 26th and back, competing with Bowser, Kirby, and (to a lesser extent) Mewtwo for the spot of the worst character in the game. It currently ranks 25th on the tier list in F tier, one spot above Kirby, the current considered "worst character," with many still firmly believing that Pichu is the worst character in the game due to its overall worse matchup spread than either one of its "competitors" for the position. It has made no impact on any significant tournaments for several years, as none of the top 96 placers of any major Melee tournament are dedicated Pichu players, and its only players are currently either inactive or have better characters to choose from. Pichu remains one of the most unpopular and worst characters in Melee to this very day, and it's not likely that Pichu's tournament results will improve. Despite this, some defends Pichu from being the worst character in the game, such as Mew2King, who believing that Pichu is an underrated character, citing its powerful neutral air combos.

In Single Player Modes[edit]

In Classic Mode[edit]

In Classic Mode, Pichu can appear as an ordinary fighter in one on one battles, as an ally or as an opponent alongside Kirby or Pikachu, as the sole opponent in a multi-character battle or as a metal opponent in the second to last stage. Barring the metal fight, Pichu always appears on Pokémon Stadium, with its alternate music Battle Theme playing; when fought with Kirby it will appear on Fountain of Dreams instead.

In Adventure Mode[edit]

In Adventure Mode, Pichu can appear in Stage 7 on Pokémon Stadium, appearing alongside a team consisting of Pikachu and, if unlocked, Jigglypuff. Pichu's theme, Battle Theme can also play on the stage.

In All-Star Mode[edit]

In All-Star Mode, Pichu and its allies are fought on Fourside. Unlike normal gameplay, however, Battle Theme plays here.

In Event Matches[edit]

Pichu appears in the following Event Matches:

  • Event 48: Pikachu and Pichu: In this match, the player must fight against a team of two Pichus and one Pikachu. The goal is for the player to KO the two Pichus in the shortest time possible; Pikachu has infinite lives, while the player has two and the Pichus have one. The stage used in Dream Land, making the event the only one in the game to take place on a Past Stage.
  • Event 49: All-Star Match Deluxe: Pichu is the third opponent fought in this series of staged battles. The selected character battles him on the Pokémon Stadium stage with a stock of 2 while Pichu has 1. With a timer of four minutes, the player must defeat it and the other five characters one-by-one with the overall time and damage: Dr. Mario, Falco, Young Link, Roy and Ganondorf.

Ending images[edit]

Trophy descriptions[edit]

In addition to the normal trophy about Pichu as a character, there are two trophies about it as a fighter, unlocked by completing the Adventure and All-Star Modes respectively with Pichu on any difficulty:

Pichu (Smash Red)
Compared with Pikachu, Pichu is a tad more nimble and a little more difficult to hit. Those are the only two advantages, however, and since Pichu damages itself when it uses electrical attacks, it's best suited for handicapped matches. Even though Pichu's tough to catch, it's easy to throw its tiny frame great distances.
Pichu (Smash Blue)
Pichu is the lightest character in Super Smash Bros. Melee, and it's top of the class in weakness, too! For Pichu, it's all about scampering here and there to pick up items that will help it survive. The first warp in Agility causes 1 point of damage to Pichu, and the second causes 3, so try to limit the number of times you use the move.

Alternate costumes[edit]

Pichu's alternate costumes in Melee

Trivia[edit]

  • Pichu has two taunts: when facing left, it will do a dance, when facing right, it will lie down. This feature is shared with Captain Falcon.
  • When Pichu crouches, it falls asleep. This is clear because its eyes are closed and bubbles come out of its mouth, similar to when Jigglypuff uses its Rest attack. This is purely aesthetic though, not being the actual asleep affliction: Pichu will awake instantly when the player ends the crouch.
  • Other than Super Smash Bros. Melee, or by using Volt Tackle and Wild Charge, Pichu had never been hurt by using electrical attacks in other games, and have only received damage from using electric attacks once in the animé, in the Pikachu and Pichu Pikachu short that is shown before the Pokémon 3: The Movie.
  • Pichu, along with Roy, Mr. Game & Watch, Link, and Young Link are the only characters in Melee to have an attack that can damage themselves.
  • Pichu is seen during the segment of the introduction to Melee featuring many different Pokémon, making it one of the five hidden characters, along with Ganondorf, Mewtwo, Young Link, and Jigglypuff, to have some kind of involvement in the intro.
  • While Pichu can use both Skull Bash and Agility in Melee, it couldn't learn either of these moves in the Pokémon games.
  • Pichu and Bowser are the only two characters not ranked last on a tier list to have no advantageous matchups.
  • Pichu is the only character in Smash whose matchup spread is worse than that of the last-place character on the tier list (in this case, Kirby).

External links[edit]