Charizard (リザードン, Lizardon) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Brawl in a sense; it is one of three Pokémon that are played through the Pokémon Trainer, the other two being Squirtle and Ivysaur. Charizard originates from the original Pokémon games as the second and final evolved form of Charmander, one of the initial Pokémon the player can start out with at the beginning of the adventure.
Despite being the fifth heaviest character in Brawl, it differs greatly from the other heavyweights in abilities, though it does share their stats. Charizard is also the only heavyweight Pokémon in the Super Smash Bros. series. It has a surprisingly fast dashing speed (slightly faster than Pikachu though the difference is extremely small.) for a character of its weight, but it also has the slowest walking speed in the game (Jigglypuff shares the same problem). It is also the second fastest heavyweight in game, next only to Captain Falcon. It is almost unaffected by type effectiveness; both grass and water-type attacks are only used by 2 characters each. Charizard is one of only three playable characters to possess wings (the others being Pit and Meta Knight), and as such is gifted with two, very small midair jumps and the ability to glide. Both the start-up and the actual glide are significantly slower than the other two gliders though, making it difficult to incorporate into strategies outside of safer, less-predictable recoveries and infinite horizontal recovery. Charizard is easy to hit due to being a very large target, but can take lots of damage before getting KO'd due to its large weight. Like all three of the Pokémon Trainer's Pokémon, Charizard is susceptible to stamina fatigue; after two minutes of play, its moves will be noticeably less powerful (in both damage and knockback). Given Charizard's high KO power and staying ability, however, it could be said it is the least affected by stamina of the three.
Predictably, Charizard is a powerful character with long attack range. Its smash attacks are all quite powerful, with its forward smash being capable of KOing a little below 80%. Charizard's power and range are counter-balanced by having a significant amount of ending lag after its power moves. Charizard can put decent offensive pressure on the opponent with its multiple jumps, Flamethrower, back aerial, up tilt, and up smash, and can also give out more defensive damage with moves like its forward tilt, down tilt and forward aerial (the last of which is especially useful when properly ledge-hopped). Neutral aerial and Rock Smash work both defensively and offensively, so overall Charizard has balanced attack capabilities. Despite its good range, Charizard's approach suffers against well-spaced disjointed hitboxes; Charizard fights best at mid to close range, where swords and the like are generally superior (Marth's forward aerial can even cut through all of Rock Smash). Charizard's specials are potent. Its Flamethrower is great at racking up the damage at close range, and also works well as an edge-guard or stalling tactic at mid-range. On the downside, Charizard lacks a long-ranged projectile. Complementing the damage-racking of Flamethrower is Charizard's side special, Rock Smash. It provides Charizard with an additional, relatively-safe power move; the headbutt packs a more portable punch than its smashes, and damage dealt from the rock fragments can combine to over 50%. Charizard's up special Fly has launch resistance frames and significant knockback (although it has a linear path and is a somewhat poor recovery move, more because it suffers from 30 frames of the landing lag glitch), which both contribute to its recovery and can surprise high-speed rushdown moves (like Meta Knight's glide attack) by bursting through for a potential KO. Also, due the start-up, poor push-away and large landing lag of Charizard's aerials, it has a very poor air game. It is even easy to tech-chase when it lies on the ground due to its terrible get-up rolls (for example, it can't even roll behind Snake who stays stationary after it down throws him).
Charizard's greatest asset is its grab; Charizard's long neck gives it the second longest standing grab in the game, next to King Dedede. The range is immensely helpful when dealing with higher-tier characters who have an easier time controlling the match. At low damage percentages, rushing in after a forward throw can usually net another grab, with another throw racking up a quick 20% at the beginning of matches. Its forward and back throws are also easily followed up with short-hopped Flamethrowers/Rock Smashes, depending on what the situation calls for (opponent retreating/advancing). Above 120% damage, Charizard's down throw is an effective KO'ing move, should the opponent prove difficult to KO with standard attacks.
Charizard was considered a semi-viable character when the Brawl metagame was active. Players agreed that Charizard was in the middle when compared with Squirtle and Ivysaur. While it had a wide array of kill options as well as a decent recovery, Charizard suffered from its slow speed and laggy moveset. It also had trouble against many of the more prevalent characters in the metagame, notably King Dedede and Marth.
All of Charizard's taunts are slightly different depending on the direction it is facing. This is most noticeable with its down taunt and least noticeable with its side taunt. Additionally, all of Charizard's taunts involve a stomp.
Note: The Pokémon Trainer says "You did it, Charizard!" in all three victory poses.
In competitive play
Role in The Subspace Emissary
Main article: Pokémon Trainer
Charizard is first seen flying into a cave by Lucas and the Pokémon Trainer. The Pokémon Trainer recognizes that Charizard is one of the Pokémon he's been trying to catch. Lucas and the Pokémon Trainer head into the cave to attempt to capture Charizard. In the process, they encounter Ivysaur and capture it as well. Eventually, Lucas and the Pokémon Trainer defeat Charizard in battle and capture it. Unlike many of the characters in The Subspace Emissary, Charizard does not serve any story roles after its capture. The Pokémon Trainer retains this role and the player is free to choose whichever of the Pokémon he/she wants during play.
In Event Matches
Note: Due to Charizard being featured in all of the Pokémon Trainer's events, the following listed are those events that features Charizard, but not the Trainer.
A Flame Pokémon. Its fiery breath is hot enough to burn up rocks, and its wings let it fly up to 4,600 feet into the air. It's a proud Pokémon that will never use its flame breath on an opponent weaker than itself. The flame on its tail is a barometer of how much vitality it has remaining. Its signature move, Flamethrower, is a reliable technique.