Charizard (リザードン, Lizardon) is a fictional creature from the Pokémon series. It debuted in the series' first generation, and represents that generation as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Brawl (via Pokémon Trainer) and Super Smash Bros. 4.
Charizard highly resembles a European dragon, and is the final evolutionary form of Charmander. As Charmander, it is one of the Kanto region's three starter Pokémon. However, unlike in Pokémon Red, Green, and Blue Versions, Charmander is obtainable alongside its fellow Kanto starters Bulbasaur and Squirtle under special conditions in Pokémon Yellow Version and part-way through Pokémon X and Y. In Pokémon Sun, Moon, Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, Charizard appears as a Ride Pokémon that helps the player travel between locations, replacing the Fly Hidden Machine from previous generations (although it is unobtainable as a regular Pokémon in Sun and Moon). Despite its design basis, Charizard is actually a Fire/Flying-type. However, it becomes a Fire/Dragon-type upon Mega Evolving into Mega Charizard X; additionally, Super Smash Bros. 4 refers to it as a dragon on several occasions in spite of its standard typing.
As Pokédex entries describe, Charizard breathes out fire that reaches incredible temperatures, hot enough to melt boulders and quickly melt glaciers weighing 10,000 tons, and it is said the temperature increases as it experiences harsh battles. When expelling a blast of super hot fire, its tail flame burns more intensely, and if it becomes furious, its tail flame flares up in a whitish-blue color. It is known to cause forest fires unintentionally. However, it never turns its fiery breath on any opponent weaker than itself unless ordered to do so. It flies about in search of powerful opponents, with its wings carrying it close to an altitude of 4,600 feet/1,400 metres.
Thanks to being the mascot of Pokémon Red Version and having a major role in the Pokémon anime as one of Ash Ketchum's most powerful Pokémon, Charizard is one of the most popular Pokémon in the series. This was reflected in generation VI, where Charizard gained access to new transformations called Mega Evolutions. Like Mewtwo, and unlike most Pokémon who can also Mega Evolve, it has two Mega Evolved forms: it becomes Mega Charizard X while holding a Charizardite X, whereas holding a Charizardite Y results in it becoming Mega Charizard Y.
Many Charizard have appeared in the Pokémon anime, but the most prominently featured one has been Ash's Charizard. This Charizard is well-known for its character arc: having been abandoned by its original trainer as a Charmander, it was adopted by Ash Ketchum. While Charmander started out as a loyal and shy companion, as it evolved into Charmeleon and eventually Charizard, it developed a rebellious and disobedient streak, and only truly bonded with Ash and regained its loyalty when Ash saved its life when it was left out in the cold. Following this, Ash's Charizard would continue being a sporadic but loyal and powerful member of his team.
As a Poké Ball Pokémon
Charizard makes its first appearance in the Super Smash Bros. series as one of the thirteen Poké Ball Pokémon that appear in the original game. When summoned, it uses Flamethrower by rotating its head to the left and right, breathing fire upon any nearby opponents of the player who summoned it, until it disappears. Any character, excluding the summoner, will take damage from the stream of flames, as well as from making contact with Charizard itself. The flames can be reflected by Fox's Reflector, and absorbed by Ness' PSI Magnet. The flames hit consecutively, inflicting approximately 3% per hit, while touching Charizard itself inflicts 18%.
Charizard makes a very brief cameo appearance in the introduction sequence.
As a Poké Ball Pokémon
Charizard reprises its role in the sequel, Super Smash Bros. Melee, again utilizing Flamethrower as its attack. It is identical to the one in the first game, except that it is now rendered in full 3D, with the design being taken from Pokémon Stadium, like other Pokémon in the game. Compared to Smash 64, making contact with Charizard's body now deals an improved, 20% fire damage.
As a Collectible Trophy
Charizard also appears as a trophy in this game, unlocked as one of the trophies that can be collected randomly throughout the various Single-player Regular Matches. It reads as follows:
It's hard to believe, but this massive Flame Pokémon evolves from the tiny Charmander. Not only can it fly at heights of over 4,500 feet, but its flaming breath is hot enough to reduce almost anything to ashes in seconds. The flames at the end of a Charizard's tail are said to be a fairly accurate barometer of its power.
As a playable character
Main article: Charizard (SSBB)
Super Smash Bros. Brawl marks the third appearance of Charizard in the series, and its first as a playable character. As one of the three Pokémon used by Pokémon Trainer (the other two being Squirtle and Ivysaur), Charizard retains Flamethrower, which is used as its neutral special move and functions almost identically to Bowser's Fire Breath.
Main article: Charizard (SSB4)
Charizard returns in Super Smash Bros. 4 as a playable character. However, in SSB4, Charizard is a standalone character, unlike in Brawl, where it was one of Pokémon Trainer's Pokémon. To reflect this, Pokémon Change has been replaced by a new side special move, Flare Blitz, while Rock Smash has been reassigned to being its down special move. Charizard also has a new Final Smash, which consists of it undergoing Mega Evolution to become Mega Charizard X.
The most beneficial change Charizard received in the transition from Brawl to SSB4 was the removal of stamina, which came about as a result of no longer being tied to Pokémon Trainer. Rock Smash now grants Charizard super armor, increasing its usefulness. Despite being a super heavyweight, Charizard has above average walking speed and one of the fastest dashing speeds in the game, which help with its approach. However, Charizard has significant issues. SSB4 removed gliding, which considerably worsened Charizard's recovery in the process. While its new special move, Flare Blitz, is a reliable KO move, it deals recoil damage to Charizard, with 5% added from just initiating the move, and another 5% from a successful hit. Despite its uses as a strong KO attack and decent horizontal recovery option, the recoil damage is still received even when it hits an opponent's shield. It also results in high ending lag, making it very punishable when used unwisely. When used or aimed off-stage, it has a very high chance of self-destructing itself, due to it travelling a great distance and putting Charizard into temporary free fall, reducing it's chances of recovering back to the stage - assuming Charizard doesn't fly directly into the blast line.
While originally regarded as one of the worst characters in SSB4, Charizard received some helpful buffs in game updates. Update 1.0.8 improved its up and down throws by significantly improving the former's KO potential and re-purposing the latter from a KO attack into a very useful combo starter. Most noticeably, update 1.1.5 improved its aerial presence by increasing its air speed and decreasing its aerials' ending lag, as well as strengthening its already powerful back aerial and Flare Blitz. Overall, Charizard is noticeably better compared to how it was during the early days of SSB4. This has resulted in it achieving much greater success at regional tournaments, and slightly improved results in national regional tournaments. As such, opinions on Charizard's viability have notably improved over the game's lifespan. This, in turn, has been reflected in Charizard rising from the bottom-tier to its current ranking of 43rd out of 55 on the tier list, which places it in E tier and assesses it as a mid-tier character.
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