Charizard (リザードン, Lizardon) is a character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Unlike in Super Smash Bros. 4, Charizard is no longer a standalone character, and is back under the Pokémon Trainer’s control. It was confirmed on June 12th, 2018. Along with the Pokémon Trainer, Charizard is classified as fighter #35.
Shin'ichirō Miki reprises his voiced role as Charizard in all regions, providing new clips.
Charizard deviates from the other super heavyweight characters in mobility. Its ground game provides extensive utility courtesy of its high initial dash and run speed. Also, its normals such as forward tilt and neutral attack are supplemented by skid canceling. Its high traction and quick out-of-shield options like neutral attack and up smash suit its close-quarters combat well. Up smash hits on frame 6, KOs at reliable percents, and functions as an effective juggling and anti-air tool alongside up tilt.
Charizard's neutral air is a multi-purpose tool that is useful at starting and extending combos, juggling, edge guarding opponents, and helping Charizard land. It is capable of stringing into itself, forward air, and back air, especially out of a fast fall. Its forward air is fast (frame 8) and has considerable power as a combo finisher and KO tool. Up air renders Charizard's head intangible and is one of the strongest in the game, making it a reliable juggling tool and finisher. It is also a makeshift combo starter at low to middle percent ranges. Back air's power cannot be understated; it features extensive disjoint and a wide diagonal arc that overpowers opponents above and behind Charizard. Down air's sweet spot hitbox is large and powerful, allowing it to easily meteor smash opponents on the ledge and KO at low percents.
Charizard's grab game is highly flexible, being capable of setting up combos and positioning the opponent, as well as outright KOing them. Having minimal ending lag, back throw is a versatile combo tool that leads to the likes of forward air, back air, and reverse neutral air. It positions the opponent off-stage at higher percents as well. Down throw fills the combo starter role like back throw, though it is much less effective. Forward throw has higher knockback than back throw, being able to set up edge guards and ledge traps earlier, as well as KO'ing at higher percents. Up throw works as a last-resort KO option at 150% and above, or earlier on stages with platforms.
Of Charizard's special moves, Flamethrower sees the most utility, having a long range and being able to angle up or down. It pressures opponents to approach, counteracts weak projectiles, and is a useful ledge-trapping move. Fly has super armor at its startup, not only granting Charizard a safer recovery but also a reliable option out of parry against attacks with multiple hits. Flare Blitz is a strong hard-punish attack that effectively tech chases opponents and inflicts significant damage and knockback.
Overall, Charizard's main benefits include its robust advantage state, damage-racking capabilities, and KO potential. It can build significant damage from just a few hits thanks to its high returns from its combos and strings, mainly out of its back throw. Charizard is the most advantaged when it is below the opponent. Its neutral air, up tilt, up smash, and back air are disjointed and cover wide arcs against opponents above it. Charizard also comes with respectable edgeguarding and ledge-trapping abilities. Flamethrower covers many get-up options when adequately spaced, and the player can punish them on reaction with down smash, up smash, forward tilt, or neutral air. Forward tilt (angled downwards) and down smash are also capable of hitting characters at the ledge.
Charizard's neutral game is considered mediocre. Flamethrower's decay prevents it from being usable for a long time, and its few safe-on-shield options, such as back air, neutral air, and forward tilt, require precise spacing and timing for the highest benefit. Its moveset contains several flaws that offset its strengths, including forward air not being able to autocancel out of a short hop. Thus, its moveset requires high commitment, resulting in heavy reliance on movement and reads to control the tempo of the game. While Charizard can maintain a strong advantage state, its moveset is built to cover paths the opponent is taking instead of juggling them aggressively. Charizard’s biggest weakness is against characters that can rush it down with combos such as Squirtle, Mario, Palutena, Lucina, and Corrin, as its few combo-breaking moves are either too risky or too slow to be consistent in this application.
All in all, Charizard is a well-rounded super heavyweight but has the weakest auto-pilot of the three Pokémon in the Pokémon Trainer's party. It must rely on sheer mobility and player interaction and must work around the glaring problems its moveset contains. Charizard can function both offensively and defensively in the neutral, but it is up to the player to find the most advantageous position in this spectrum. Once it gains advantage, it must capitalize on the opponent's mistakes to the greatest extent for the highest return. While Charizard is fully functional as an individual fighter like Squirtle and Ivysaur, it is the Pokémon of choice at 120% and above. Its high weight lets it survive blows that would otherwise be fatal to Squirtle and Ivysaur. Also, especially with rage, many of its attacks have the KO power required to swiftly finish an opponent already weakened by the other two Pokémon.
Charizard can be considered the best super heavyweight in the game as its Trainer can call on it when its strength, endurance, and recovery are needed and remove it from situations that exploit the weaknesses it shares with fighters of its weight class. While Charizard requires more skill and prediction to use to its full potential than Squirtle and Ivysaur, Pokémon Trainers that have mastered the Flame Pokémon will be rewarded significantly with the options that it brings to the table.
If the player wishes to centralize their gameplan around Charizard, knowledge of Squirtle is recommended. It excels in areas where Charizard tends to be weak (combos, evasion, and frame data) and can be used most effectively in situations where Charizard would struggle, especially in racking up damage and avoiding enemy combos at low percents. Muscle memory with Squirtle can supplement Charizard's own combo game and movement as well.
Changes from Super Smash Bros. 4
Previously the standalone character in Smash 4 representing the trio of Pokémon in Brawl, Charizard now returns as part of the Pokémon Trainer's crew. As expected, it keeps many of its changes and buffs from Smash 4, retaining its function as the hardest-hitting member of the Trainer's party while also gaining new, significant buffs to its mobility. Having been considered a lackluster character in Brawl and in early SSB4, Charizard has received a mix of buffs and nerfs, but the former is more prominent as they address its more critical flaws in the previous game.
Charizard's buffs gave many improvements to its ground and aerial moveset. Its overall mobility has been substantially improved; its previously abysmal initial dash speed is now one of the fastest in the game, its second midair jump covers more height, and its air speed is now substantially faster compared to in Smash 4. Its falling speed and fast falling speed are much higher, making it easier for it to land while making its neutral game more effective, and the universal frame 3 jumpsquat significantly helps its buffed aerials (which are now faster). Up tilt's hitbox covers more horizontal range, up smash can now hit grounded opponents, and Flare Blitz and Fly have had their power and hitboxes buffed respectively, making Charizard's moveset more reliable. Neutral air's end lag has been drastically reduced and its animation has been made faster, repurposing it into an effective air-to-air option and combo extender.
Charizard's nerfs particularly affect its former most effective tools, including its neutral attack's range, down throw's mitigated combo ability, and forward aerial no longer autocanceling in a short hop. Its higher fall speed also makes it easier to combo. Its most notable loss comes from the removal of Rock Smash to make way for Pokémon Change, eliminating a niche landing option and shield-pressuring tool from its moveset. However, Pokémon Change can be considered a strength to Pokémon Trainer as an aggregate if the player wishes to eject Charizard from any given situation and take advantage of Squirtle's small size and combo game.
Based on its direct changes, Charizard is fundamentally better but counterbalanced by new, gaping flaws in its moveset. As such, it is very debatable how much Charizard has improved compared to its solo appearance in SSB4. However, given Pokémon Trainer's overall high- to top-tier standing, Charizard is particularly more useful as part of the aggregate Pokémon Trainer because it allows the Trainer to adapt to situations where its recovery, endurance, and KO power are needed and may replace itself with Squirtle or Ivysaur in cases where Charizard's weaknesses can be exploited and Squirtle's or Ivysaur's cannot. This is especially true after patch 4.0.0, which nerfed some of the more notorious tools in Ivysaur's kit while buffing Charizard in return.
Throws and other attacks
Charizard has been buffed in updates. The changes Charizard has received improve its damage output and ability to KO. In addition, Flare Blitz is able to grab the ledge substantially earlier, and neutral aerial is safer on shield and can combo into other moves more reliably out of fast fall.
Technical changelist 3.1.0
For a gallery of Charizard's hitboxes, see here.
Note: All numbers are listed as base damage, without the 1v1 multiplier.
During Charizard's victory poses, the Pokémon Trainer will say one of two lines at random. The male Trainer will say either "You all did great!" (みんな、よくがんばったな！, Everyone, you did great!) or "You did it, Charizard!" (やったぞ、リザードン！, You did it, Charizard!). The female Trainer will say either "Everyone did great!" (みんな、最高だね！, Everyone, you're the best!) or "You're amazing, Charizard!" (すごいね、リザードン！, Amazing, Charizard!).
Role in World of Light
During the opening cutscene, Charizard was sent out by Pokémon Trainer, along with Squirtle and Ivysaur, shortly before Galeem unleashed his beams of light. Under Pokémon Trainer's command, Charizard used Flamethrower in an attempt to fight the beams of light, but this attempt failed. Pokémon Trainer, Squirtle, Ivysaur and Charizard were all vaporized and placed under Galeem's imprisonment along with the other fighters, excluding Kirby.
Pokémon Trainer can be found at the southeast near the maze that resembles Pac-Maze. Defeating him allows access to all three Pokémon.
Charizard's Fighter Spirit can be obtained by completing Classic Mode. It is also available periodically for purchase in the shop for 500 coins. Unlocking Charizard in World of Light allows the player to preview the first spirit below in the Spirit List under the name "???". As a Fighter Spirit, it cannot be used in Spirit Battles and is purely aesthetic. Each Fighter Spirit has an alternate version that replaces them with their artwork in Ultimate.
Additionally, Mega Charizard X appears as a Primary Spirit.
In Spirit battles
As the main opponent
As a minion