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 has kept many of its changes from Smash 4, and has also retained its function as the fastest and hardest-hitting member of the Pokémon Trainer's party. In the transition to Ultimate, Charizard has received a mix of buffs and nerfs; while it was initially ambiguous to whether it was buffed or nerfed since both buffs and nerfs were equally notable, game updates have provided Charizard with useful buffs that have improved its options and fixed inconsistencies with its moveset. Because of this, Charizard has been buffed overall.
When it comes to its grounded moveset, most of Charizard's finishers have become much more reliable; forward tilt has a better hitbox placement and more knockback, forward smash deals more damage and knockback, some of up smash's hitboxes link more reliably and the second hit is faster and down smash no longer has sourspots. Charizard has also gained other finishers, with dash attack gaining more damage and knockback and forward throw dealing more knockback. Up tilt's hitbox also covers more horizontal range, improving its already decent anti-air potential. On the other hand, in terms of its aerial moveset, Charizard's neutral aerial has much less ending lag and its animation is faster, making it a more effective air-to-air option and combo extender, and back aerial has better vertical range that overlaps, making the move's dangerous sweetspot easier to land. Its special moveset has also seen some improvements, with Flare Blitz's hitbox now linking much more reliably into the explosion, which is stronger, and Fly's ascending hits linking much more reliably, making both more reliable.
The revamped game mechanics have brought mostly positive changes to Charizard. While the increased mobility has benefitted most characters, Charizard is one of the biggest recipients relative to the cast; its previously abysmal initial dash speed is now one of the fastest in the game (which allows Charizard to also benefit from the ability to use any attack out of a run), its air speed is now substantially faster compared to Smash 4, and its falling speed and fast falling speed are much higher, making it easier for Charizard to land while making its neutral game potentially more effective, and the universally faster jumpsquat significantly helps its buffed aerials. The changes to air dodges help Charizard overall, allowing it to use a directional air dodge to escape combos and juggling more easily, while not making it much more susceptible to edgeguarding due to its multiple jumps and faster air speed. Its increased mobility also allows Charizard to catch opponents that could abuse directional air dodging with more ease. Finally, the increased shieldstun has further improved Charizard's ground game, making its moves safer on shield when properly spaced, most notably its sweetspotted forward tilt and down tilt.
However, Charizard has also received equally notable nerfs, which particularly affect its former most effective tools. Neutral attack's third hit has shorter range and the first two hits can no longer jab cancel, and down throw had its combo potential mitigated due to receiving more ending lag; both latter changes also worsen Charizard's combo game. Notably, the removal of Rock Smash to make way for Pokémon Change has eliminated a previous 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. Charizard's most notable nerf, however, is that forward aerial no longer autocancels in a short hop due to its faster falling speed and has reduced range on its furthest hitbox, which cripples one of Charizard's former most notable tools in the neutral game. Finally, while its higher fall speed has slightly improved Charizard's neutral game and landing issues, said change has also made it easier to combo.
Some of the changes to game mechanics have also hindered Charizard. The increased startup on grabs out of shield after blocking an attack has worsened Charizard's out of shield game (despite options such as up smash and Fly), and when combined with down throw's lost combo potential, Charizard's grab game has been worsened overall (though it still remains flexible). The universal reductions to landing lag have overall hindered Charizard, as they allow characters to space their moves on shield more easily, though while they have significantly improved its landing options (most notably its neutral, up and down aerials), some of Charizard's aerials still remain highly punishable; this change also further compounds the loss of forward aerial as an option in neutral, its slightly worsened out of shield game, and its vulnerability to combos.
Overall, both Charizard's strengths and weaknesses have been further defined, as while it has much better mobility and power, both points are now counterbalanced by new, gaping flaws in its moveset, such as a more polarized neutral game due to the streamlining of its previously most powerful tools and a higher vulnerability to combos. As such, while Charizard fares slightly better than he did in its solo appearance in SSB4 based on its direct changes, it is debatable how much Charizard has improved compared relative to the cast. However, given Pokémon Trainer's widely accepted top-tier standing, Charizard is particularly more useful as part of the aggregate Pokémon Trainer because it allows them to adapt to situations where its recovery, endurance and/or KO power are needed, and may now 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