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, providing new clips.
Charizard deviates from the other super heavyweight characters in speed. Its ground game provides wide utility courtesy of its high initial dash and run speed. Also, its normals such as forward tilt and jab are further 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.
Neutral air is a multi-purpose tool effective at starting and extending combos, juggling, edgeguarding opponents, and sometimes landing. It is capable of stringing into itself, forward air, and down air. Forward air is fast (frame 8) and deals considerable damage to finish combos and KO at high percents. However, it does not autocancel out of a short hop, so it is only a mix-up at best in the neutral game. Up air renders Charizard's head intangible and is one of the strongest in the game, making it an effective juggling tool and finisher. It is also a makeshift combo too at low to middle percent ranges. Back air is extremely powerful and disjointed; it covers a wide diagonal arc behind Charizard and overpowers opponents above it. Down air’s sweetspot hitbox is large and powerful, enabling it to seal stocks at low percents.
Charizard’s grab game sees high flexibility, being capable of setting up into combos and positioning the opponent, as well as earning KOs. Having minimal ending lag, back throw is a versatile combo tool and positions the opponent off-stage at higher percents as well. Down throw fills the combo starter niche as well, although to a lesser extent than back throw. Forward throw has higher knockback than back throw, being able to set up edgeguards and ledge traps earlier, as well as KO’ing at higher percents. Up throw functions 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 medium range and flexibility in being angled. It pressures opponents to approach, covers certain weak projectiles, and is a useful ledge-trapping move. Fly has super armor at its startup, granting Charizard’s recovery more safety. Flare Blitz functions as a hard punish or tech chase option that deals immense power and knockback upon hit.
Charizard’s main benefits include its strong advantage state, damage-racking capabilities, and KO potential. It is able to build high damage from only a few hits thanks to its high damage output in its combos and strings, particularly out of 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 properly spaced, and the player is able to punish them on reaction thanks to down smash, up smash, and neutral air. Forward tilt (angled downwards) and down smash are also capable of hitting characters at the ledge.
Charizard's weaknesses include its raw moveset causing it to have a mediocre neutral game. 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. Charizard's moveset also contains several flaws that considerably offset its strengths, including forward air not being able to autocancel out of a shorthop. Thus, its moveset requires high commitment, resulting in heavy reliance on movement and reads to secure advantage state. While its moveset is equipped to maintain advantage, the nature of it requires the player to read the opponent instead of being able to aggressively juggle them. 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.
Overall, 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 is able to function both offensively and defensively in the neutral, but it is up to the player to find the most beneficial position in this spectrum. Once it gains advantage, it must capitalize on the opponent’s mistakes to the greatest extent for the highest return.
In an indirect sense, 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 can simply 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 greatly with the options that it brings to the table.
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 are 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 endlag has been drastically reduced and its animation has been made faster, repurposing it into an effective air-to-air option and combo extender.
However, Charizard has received notable nerfs. 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. However, Charizard's 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, with the only compensation being if the player wishes to make full use of Pokémon Change to take advantage of Squirtle's attributes.
Based on its direct changes, Charizard is fundamentally better but is counterbalanced by new, gaping flaws in its moveset. As such, it is very debatable how Charizard fares compared to its solo appearance in SSB4. However, given Pokémon Trainer's overall high- to top-tier standing, Charizard has proven itself more useful as a member of Pokémon Trainer's team because it allows the Trainer to adapt to situations where its recovery, endurance and KO power are needed and can replace itself with Squirtle or Ivysaur in cases where Charizard's weaknesses can be exploited, but 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, presumably to encourage more balanced use of all three members.
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 fastfall.
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.
Pokémon Trainer releases Charizard from its Poké Ball while saying "Go!" or "Charizard!". Charizard stomps once as it emerges.
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 of their 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