Sonic (SSBB)

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This article is about Sonic's appearance in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. For the character in other contexts, see Sonic the Hedgehog.
in Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Sonic the Hedgehog
Universe Sonic
Other Smash Bros. appearance in SSB4

Availability Unlockable
Final Smash Super Sonic
Tier D (22)

Sonic, also referred to by his full name Sonic the Hedgehog (ソニック・ザ・ヘッジホッグ, Sonic the Hedgehog), is a character from SEGA who appears in Super Smash Bros. Brawl as one of the two third-party characters (the other being Snake from Konami). Sonic was the first unlockable character to be playable prior to the game's release. He was first playable in Nintendo Media Summit in October 2007, shortly after he was confirmed to be in the game. A swift character, Sonic runs at an extremely fast pace that surpasses even Captain Falcon. Nintendo Power states that since Sonic is not well known for his fighting skills, some of his fighting moves were influenced by SEGA's fighting property, Virtua Fighter. A majority of Sonic's moves are also influenced by SEGA's Sonic The Fighters and (to a much lesser extent) Sonic Battle. He is voiced by Jason Griffith.

Sonic is currently placed at 22nd on the Brawl tier list in the middle tier. Sonic is most known for his incredible movement speed, possessing by far the fastest dashing speed, as well as among the fastest walking and air speeds. His movement is boosted farther by his Spin Dash and Spin Charge moves, which allow him to rip across the stage at incredible speed while simultaneously attacking and/or jumping. The aforementioned Spin moves give Sonic a plethora of options to attack and confound the opponent, which can make it incredibly difficult to hit Sonic, while also aiding Sonic's ability to time out opponents. Additionally, Sonic possesses one of the best recoveries, which contains many options, while gaining great distance and generally making it difficult to edgeguard Sonic. Sonic also possesses an effective grab and throw game, and generally great damage racking abilities from his Spin moves, up throw, and effective combos.

Sonic is near crippled, however, by his severe lack of KOing ability, being one of the weakest characters with few finishers, none of which are that effective. Sonic additionally possesses what is considered one of the worst movesets, which, outside his special moves, consists almost entirely of terrible to mediocre moves that either possess little utility or are outclassed by similar moves of other characters. Sonic also suffers from generally poor reach, his lack of a proper projectile, and rather poor edgeguarding abilities against many characters (which exacerbates his already poor KOing ability). Overall, Sonic has average matchups, and his tournament results have been above average.

How to unlock[edit]

Complete one of the following:

With the exception of the fourth method, Sonic must then be defeated on Green Hill Zone.


Sonic is the fastest character in the game, in regards to movement speed (fastest dash speed by far, third fastest walking speed, sixth fastest air speed, and very fast rolls). However, only about half of his moveset has speed to match, none of them being KO moves. Sonic's relatively small hitboxes and lack of a projectile (excluding his Spring jump which can only be used in the air, travels downward, and can be used by opponents if used on the ground) mean that he must stay close to the opponent in order to attack, but his aforementioned speed mitigates this problem. His ability to spinshot (holding Spin Dash and releasing as one pushes the C-Stick downwards) allows him to quickly bypass the effects of most projectile campers, and his side special can clank and cancel out the effects of certain projectiles, such as Snake's C4. His tremendous running speed, his Spin Charge and Spring Jump and specials, and down air give him excellent follow up ability on practically every character.

Even though Sonic can easily rack up damage, he arguably has the hardest time landing a KO move, as all of his KO moves are unreliable, he has no guaranteed setups to them, and he lacks an early KO move. Sonic has only four ways to reliably KO the opponent (back and up aerial, and side/down smash), all of which have weaknesses that prevent them from being reliable KO moves. All of Sonic's smash attacks have too much start-up time to be reliable finishers.

Sonic is one of the more difficult characters to gimp in the game, given his tremendous vertical recovery, as well as his theoretically limitless horizontal recovery (Homing Attack) should an opponent be off the stage with him. Sonic has the ability to wall jump, however; should an opponent be in place at all, invincible or not, Sonic will not have enough time to both attack and successfully grab the edge. Sonic also has surprisingly good survivability despite being a middleweight by nature. His down and side specials serve as excellent momentum canceling attacks, which, when coupled with his ability to recover, can allow him to survive until very high percentages, although they are still incomparable to the survivability of characters heavier than him.

Sonic's attacks are primarily offensive in nature, and his air game and air speed are good enough to accommodate attacking in the sky as well. Sonic can remain in the air indefinitely with careful use of his neutral special, Homing Attack, and with proper placement can either stage spike or gimp in this manner. Stage spiking in general is an excellent offensive strategy for Sonic; by running off the edge and immediately using back air, many characters or opponents who focus on ledge-camping (such as Pit) can be caught off guard for either a KO or a tactical advantage. Sonic's speedy and long-lasting dash attack is another move that can catch opponents unexpectedly, and its traveling distance usually prevents significant retaliation, such as shield-grabbing.

Sonic has good punishment options. Many of Sonic's moves use the same spinning ball animation, making him a very difficult character to predict. Unlike some characters however, practice is required to fully unlock Sonic's punishment potential. Sonic has one of the best shields in the game, because of how quickly it pops out and the multiple ways he can go into it. Sonic can cancel any of his Spin Dashes/Charges into a shield, Spin Dash from the ground, and Spin Charge from the air. This allows Sonic to "fake-out" his opponents, causing them to make hasty moves on which Sonic can capitalize on. When an opponent goes into their knock down animation, Sonic's superior punishment comes into play. By moving closer to the opponent then stopping just outside their range, Sonic has the edge. Because of his speed, if they roll towards Sonic, away from Sonic or use their getup attack, Sonic can grab them as they finish their move. Sonic is surprisingly easy to grab out of his attacks, because many of his moves launch him straight at opponents, only to have Sonic finish the move next to the opponent.

Mastering Sonic's running game is crucial to Sonic's ability to perform at higher levels, and is one of the factors that makes him so difficult to play competitively. Sonic users take advantage of a variety of dash or dash-related techniques that are seldom used by other characters. Dash-dancing is much less useful in Brawl than it was in Melee, but it can be extremely useful for mindgames in Sonic's gameplay, such as by running in one direction and then quickly turning the other way around to bait an opponent or catch him/her off-guard. It is often regarded by Sonic players that it is better to run away from the opponent and run back than to use roll-dodges to avoid opponent. This allows the player to avoid damage, not be as easily punished, have more control over their actions, and be able to punish their opponent's attacks. Dash-dance pivots (consisting of fox-trotting away from the opponent, then quickly dash-dancing backwards) are particularly effective for this, as they can cause almost immediate turnarounds and then grabs can then be used to punish opponents.

Sonic's matchups are difficult to define, as they vary greatly from player to player, possibly moreso than for any other character. Sonic players to this day find it difficult to agree on which matchups are Sonic's worst. Depending on the play-style of the Sonic, he can have a decent matchup against almost any character in the game, even at competitive levels. Because of his prowess for mindgaming and switching up tactics, as well as the inherent strengths and weaknesses to each style of play, some Sonic mains argue that Sonic has no truly disadvantageous matchups as a character, and that his matchups are much more heavily influenced by playstyle than his actual attributes. However, most Sonic mains will agree that he does not have many, if any, truly advantageous matchups.


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Ground attacks[edit]


  • Neutral attack - A left-handed punch, then a right-handed punch, then finally a side kick with the left leg, known as the PPK (Punch Punch Kick).[1] Does 7% damage. Has a start-up of 3 frames. Can jab lock the first and second punch (much like Snake's neutral attack). No lag, but extremely poor range.
  • Dash attack - Rolls into a ball to hit anyone in his way, similar to when the player presses down while running in most Sonic games. Does 6% damage. Difficult to punish, even when shielded. Hits on frame 5-23.
  • Forward tilt - Stick out both of his feet, with both of his hands planted on the ground (appearance and knockback comparable to Pikachu's f-tilt in Melee). Does 11% damage, in two hits. First hit on frame 6, second hit on frame 8. Decent defensive move.
  • Up tilt - Kicks upward which hits three times (appearance comparable to Captain Falcon's up smash). Decent knockback. Does 14% damage if all three hits connect (3% on the first hit, 4% on the second hit, and 7% on the third hit). Has a start-up of 7 frames.
  • Down tilt - Foot sweep (appearance and knockback comparable to Sheik's down tilt in Melee). Does 6% damage. Hitbox out on frame 6-9. Can trip at the tip, be used to pseudo-crawl, and/or combine with itself or other attacks well at early percentages due to IASA frames. This attack originally appeared as an attack in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) and would soon be used once again as an attack Sonic can perform in Sonic Unleashed.

Smash attacks[edit]

  • Forward smash - Winds up his arm during the charge and attacks with a slow punch and yells "Go!". It has good knockback, but poor range and slow speed hinder it to be reliable. Can be angled, but unlike most angleable attacks, its knockback does not change when angled up or down. When fully charged, the move KOs at 87%. 14-19% damage. Comesw from a similar attack in Sonic the Fighters Hitbox out on frame 18-22.
  • Up smash - Sonic does a short jump and hangs at its apex for a bit doing a spin. Enemies that get hit are caught into this attack, and gets hit multiple times until the final hit, which does low knockback. Horrid lag time (hits on frame 19-32 but it only ends on frame 65) makes it very punishable. On the upside, it has a somewhat unpredictable nature if dashing and C-Sticking from long-range due to Sonic's speed, which works great to land a hit from a distance. Has minor meteor smashing properties towards the back of the move around the 6th-7th hit. This move also has very brief invincibility frames (before the hitbox comes out). This attack is not recommended to use as a KO move due to its awful knockback, but if used effectively, it works well as a damage builder. 14-19% damage if all hits connect, which doesn't happen as often as Sonic players might like.
  • Down smash - Spin Dashes back and forth over a short distance around him. It has good knockback, and decent range, but its slow start-up (frame 17-37) prevents it from being a reliable finisher. Does 12-16% damage. Presents a moving hurtbox for Sonic, and works well on opponents descending onto Sonic. Possesses three hitboxes, 1st with good knockback and the last hit having no KO power.

Other attacks[edit]

  • Ledge attack - Gets up onto stage with a sort of flip-spin attack, returning to near the edge afterward. 8% damage. This attack resembles his 'cliffhanger flip' attack in Sonic Spinball.
  • 100% ledge attack - Sticks out foot then the other while on his back, two consecutive hits. 13% damage.
  • Floor attack - Quick foot sweep, hits both sides. 6% damage.

Aerial attacks[edit]

  • Neutral aerial - Spins in place. Properties are similar to the sex kick's. Has a start-up of 6 frames. This attack is more effective as a short hop aerial as opposed to high in the air, because its long animation can be punished easily. This move looks similar to his basic jump, which may be referencing the fact that in the classic Sonic games, Sonic only needed to jump in order to damage an enemy. Since jumping cannot damage in Brawl, this move simply accentuates his spinning motion to turn it into an attack that looks similar to his jump. Does 11% damage.
  • Forward aerial - Drills at the enemy head first rotating his body, delivering multiple hits. Similar to Pikachu's/Falco's forward aerial. Below-average knockback, but is an excellent follow-up move out of throws and easy to follow-up on. Incredible start-up (5 frames). Can also be effective when trying to gimp recoveries. Up to 14% damage. The player should be careful using it too close to the ground as it has terrible lag should Sonic touch the ground before he finishes the attack.
  • Back aerial - Kicks behind him (appearance and knockback comparable to Samus's back aerial). When fresh it is Sonic's best KO move, however it is primarily used to finish spin dash combos which stales too quickly, making it unreliable at higher percentages 13% damage. It can be used to edgeguard by stage-spiking opponents. Has sex kick properties. Hits on frame 13-16.
  • Up aerial - A flip kick. The animation is very similar to Wolf's up smash, but it is an aerial attack instead. First he splits his legs apart and out (capable of hitting enemies a bit to his sides) doing no significant knockback. Then he kicks up, knocking his opponents up with decent knockback. Does 9% damage. Good for juggling out of spin dash moves at early-mid percentages. Using it in conjunction with Sonic's Spring Jump is a common KO strategy for Sonic; its meager knockback requires Sonic to hit opponents with his Up Aerial at a high altitude to land a KO, which he can attain using the Spring Jump. It can be used from the ground as well as the air to hit opponents. Its lag is minimal, even when landing on the ground Sonic doesn't suffer any lag and can follow through with another up aerial. Hitbox out on frame 5-7 and 14-16.
  • Down aerial - A stall-then-fall aerial. Sonic stalls for a brief moment, then shoots downwards foot first. Appearance is comparable to Ganondorf's Wizard's Foot and Sonic's mid-air attack from Sonic Battle, the Sonic Rocket. This attack does not continue downwards until landing (although it does go down very far before stopping), but after some frames it can be cancelled with a Spring Jump. When used with a short hop, the attack gives Sonic the appearance of stomping. It has a good amount of lag when hitting the ground if not performed from high enough. Knockback is either diagonally vertical, or slightly down and horizontal at onset of move. Does 8% damage. Has a start-up of 16 frames.

Grabs and throws[edit]

  • Pummel - Knees the opponent. 3% damage. One of the fastest pummels in the game, especially considering being a 3% pummel.
  • Forward throw - Kicks opponent diagonally upward using a straight up kick (like a vertical split). Can follow with Up Air juggles, but it can be heavily DI'ed backwards. Does 9% damage.
  • Back throw - Does a back flip while spinning (and while holding the opponent) and slams them on the ground, sending them backwards with decent knockback. Appearance is similar to Pikachu's back throw in Melee. Does 8% damage.
  • Up throw - Tosses the opponent slightly above him and then lands on his hands as if to do a push-up. His quills harden just before they make contact and the foe is shot upwards and at an angle. 12% damage in two quick hits. Excellent juggle early on, and great for follow-ups with Spring Jump later, though advanced players will horizontally DI. This throw is one of the most damaging in the game percentage wise, and its knockback can KO lightweights at high percentages.
  • Down throw - Throws them down and spins on them (similar to Jigglypuff's down throw but not quite the same), then knocks them a bit forward against the stage. Does a good amount of damage but has set horizontal knockback. Up to 8% damage. Great for tech chasing or for getting opponents off the edge. This can be followed up with a DACUS as well.

Special moves[edit]

Sonic's special moves
SSBB Icon.png SSB4 Icon.png
Neutral special Homing Attack
Side special Spin Dash
Up special Spring Jump
Down special Spin Charge
Final Smash Super Sonic


Up: Does a front flip, then crosses arms with his index finger pointing out while making a teasing clicking tune, which forms into one of his signature poses.

Side: Does a figure eight peelout dash, saying "You're too slow!" in a teasing manner.

Down: Says: "C'mon, step it up!" while breakdancing.

Idle poses[edit]

  • Turns towards/away from the player, waving his finger in a patronizing manner while grinning. This is the same as the final part of his promotion video on the DOJO website before he takes off. He also did this on the title screen for a few of his games.
  • Taps his foot impatiently. This is similar to his idle animation from the classic Sonic The Hedgehog games for the Sega Genesis.


Sonic's NTSC and PAL cheer
Sonic's Japanese cheer

Go, Go Sonic!

On-Screen Appearance[edit]

Sonic enters the stage in ball form from the foreground and gives a fist pump.

Victory Theme[edit]

The Stage Clear theme from the 2006 edition of Sonic the Hedgehog. This is the only victory theme in Brawl to be ripped straight from another game.

In competitive play[edit]


Notable players[edit]

See also: Category:Sonic professionals (SSBB)

Tier placement and history[edit]

Around the beginning of Brawl's metagame, Sonic was considered a low tier, non-viable character by many players due to his terrible KOing power, poor moveset (due to many of his attacks having rather small and/or poor hitboxes), and perceived "low priority." At that time, he was ranked as low as 33rd in the first tier list (September 2008). However, dedicated Sonic players starting placing much more favorably in tournaments; this caused Sonic to jump up eight places on the third tier list (June 2009), which is currently the biggest tier list jump in the history of Brawl, tied with Olimar from the first to second lists. Despite Sonic dropping mildly after this rise, players such as Espy and X accomplished even better tournament results for Sonic, with them placing 5th and 6th respectively at MLG Dallas 2010, the final MLG Brawl event. Sonic is currently ranked 22nd on the eighth tier list, as of April 2013. A few players still have a negative view of him, similar to Ike, but he is currently a stable mid tier character.

Role in The Subspace Emissary[edit]

Sonic in the SSE

Sonic does not appear in the Subspace Emissary until the final battle with Tabuu, but unlike the secret characters (Wolf, Jigglypuff, and Toon Link), Sonic can be chosen to fight Tabuu after The Great Maze. When every fighter reaches Tabuu, he prepares his Off Waves, which had already turned every character into a trophy once before. As soon as he's about to release the attack, a blue blur rams into both of Tabuu's wings, weakening the attack. As the blue blur jumps up on a peak, he reveals himself to be Sonic. While he taunts, Tabuu's wings break apart, and then six fighters are selected to fight Tabuu in the final battle. Sonic's late role in the adventure mode is possibly a reference to the fact that he was added to Brawl's roster late in 2007.

Exclusive stickers[edit]

  • Amy Rose: [Leg] Attack +14
  • Classic Sonic JP Ver.: [Arm] Attack +21
  • Classic Sonic US Ver.: [Throwing] Attack +20
  • Dr. Eggman: Launch Resistance +39
  • Espio The Chameleon: [Body, Spin] Attack +12
  • Jet The Hawk: [Leg] Attack +17
  • Knuckles The Echidna: [Electric] Resistance +23
  • Shadow The Hedgehog: [Specials: Direct] Attack +20
  • Silver The Hedgehog: Launch Power +49
  • Sonic The Hedgehog: [Body, Spin] Attack +32
  • Super Sonic: [Electric] Resistance +27
  • Wave The Swallow: [Arm] Attack +19

Alternate costumes[edit]

Sonic's alternate costumes in Brawl


Sonic's trophy is obtained by clearing Classic Mode with Sonic.

Sonic's trophy in Brawl


The world's fastest hedgehog, who can run at supersonic speeds. Generally speaking, he loves being able to do what he wants and loathes being constrained. Holding still is something he would never consider. He's got a bit of an attitude but can't pass by someone in trouble. When he collects the seven Chaos Emeralds, he transforms into the mighty, gold Super Sonic.

Wii: Sonic and the Secret Rings


  • Sonic dashes so fast that, when wearing a Bunny Hood, he can outrace both the Big Blue track and the water slope on Distant Planet to the point of self-destructing. Also, if Sonic has a Bunny Hood, Superspicy Curry, and two Super Mushrooms, he can even outrun the iceberg on Summit.
  • Along with Zero Suit Samus, Sheik and Squirtle, Sonic is one of the only characters to not be seen in trophy form during the Subspace Emissary, due to his late appearance. Coincidentally, all four of these characters' names begin with the letter 'S' and they all have some form of a blue-colored default palette.
  • In the video game convention E for All, Sonic was the only unlockable character to be playable in the demo.
  • Sonic is the only unlockable character in Super Smash Bros. Brawl who has four, rather than three, unlock methods.
  • Sonic and Zero Suit Samus are the only characters not fought in any form in the Subspace Emissary.
  • Sonic is the only non-Pokémon character to have less than six palette swaps.

External links[edit]


  1. Smash Bros. Miiverse