Cloud (SSB4)

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This article is about Cloud's appearance in Super Smash Bros. 4. For the character in other contexts, see Cloud Strife.
Cloud
in Super Smash Bros. 4
Cloud SSB4.png
FinalFantasySymbol.svg
Universe Final Fantasy
Availability Downloadable
Final Smash Omnislash
Tier S (3)
CloudHeadSSB4-U.png
Cloud Storms Into Battle!
—Introduction Tagline

Cloud (クラウド, Cloud) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. 4. He was officially announced during the November 12th, 2015 Nintendo Direct, and made available as downloadable content on December 15th, 2015. Cloud is the fifth third-party character to be introduced in the game, joining Capcom's Mega Man and Ryu, Sega's Sonic and Bayonetta, and Bandai Namco's Pac-Man.

Despite having Steve Burton as his English voice actor as of Advent Children, all regional versions of SSB4 feature Cloud voiced only in Japanese by Takahiro Sakurai, his recurring Japanese voice actor from Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children onward, due to Burton's status as a union-based voice actor.

Cloud is currently ranked 3rd out of 58 on the tier list, placing him in the S tier. This makes him the second-highest ranking downloadable character, newcomer, and third-party character. Cloud possesses one of the longest overall disjointed ranges in the game, along with Shulk and Ike. When combined with his impressive movement speed, high jumps, the ability to wall jump (making him and Toon Link the only sword-wielding characters capable of doing so), and surprisingly fast frame data relative to his range and overall power, Cloud is one of the most effective characters at spacing and zoning. His aerials, combined with his air mobility, also grant him a particularly dangerous air game, as most of them are relatively safe on shield with proper spacing; back aerial possesses tremendous range and decent damage output, and up aerial and down aerial are noteworthy for having large initial hitboxes, long-lasting lingering hitboxes, and very generous autocancel windows. Overall, these perks give Cloud an excellent neutral game.

Cloud also possesses a unique Limit Break mechanic, which, when fully charged either manually or by dealing and/or receiving damage, bolsters Cloud's maneuverability further and gives him more powerful, single-use versions of his special moves, making him one of the most dangerous characters in the game once he has access to his Limit Breaks.

However, Cloud does have notable drawbacks. His Limit Break mechanic makes his playstyle fluctuate constantly, as the gauge takes some time to charge. His recovery is notoriously weak without a full Limit Gauge despite his high second jump and decent air speed, due to Climhazzard's below average height gain, its inability to edge sweetspot like most up special moves and the fact he will get efficiently gimped if he gets hit by a powerful single hit blow at the apex of the move. Cloud's moveset is also inconsistent at KOing without the Limit Break specials or edgeguarding, with his more powerful attacks being risky to use due to their ending lag and his aerials requiring good positioning to KO effectively, especially off-stage, as he might not be able to get back if he goes too far off the stage.

Cloud's grab game is also poor: his grabs have very short ranges and his forward, back and up throws grant little reward due to their ending lag preventing them from being used as combo starters and their knockback scaling being unfavorable for KOing. He additionally suffers from a linear approach due to his ground attacks lacking the utility of his aerials while being unsafe on shield, forcing him to take to the air often. This renders him unable to effectively pressure shielding opponents while also leaving him fewer options to escape shield pressure himself. Finally, his above average weight and falling speed are both a blessing and a curse, as his decent survivability is offset by a glaring susceptibility to combos and juggles, which can be exacerbated due to his tall frame and lack of escape options (especially since his faster aerials start from behind him and up aerial lacks the horizontal range of his other aerials).

Regardless, Cloud's potent Limit Break specials and fundamentally sound attributes outweigh his cons and have resulted in him being regarded highly on the tier list due to his popularity as a pocket character and perceived ease of use. While Cloud has been somewhat nerfed since the first tier list was created, several characters perceived as top-tier have undergone more severe nerfs, which positively affects his matchups against said characters. As such, many professionals believe him to be one of the best characters in the game and deserving of his current placing on the tier list. Although it is uncommon for Cloud to achieve top 16 placings at super national tournaments, his overall results are nonetheless very strong in both singles and doubles play, as shown with komorikiri and Tweek placing 3rd and 13th, respectively, at The Big House 6.

Attributes[edit]

Cloud is a semi-heavyweight swordsman with surprisingly quick mobility overall. He has average walking speed, the tenth fastest dashing speed, above average air speed, average air acceleration, and a fast jumpsquat, granting him both quick ground and aerial mobility. However, he has above average falling speed and high gravity, making his aerial mobility quite polarized and unrewarding. Under Limit Break status, his mobility is even better, where his walking speed becomes the eleventh fastest, his dashing speed becomes the fifth fastest, his falling speed becomes the fourth fastest, while his air speed becomes one of the fastest among the cast (only being slower than the lightest possible Mii Brawler, Wario-Man, and Giga Mac), and his traction slightly improves. However, his falling speed and gravity are also increased, the latter slightly decreasing his jump height to the point where he loses the ability to air dodge in a short hop or double jump from the ledge without suffering its landing lag, as well as the ability to autocancel his back aerial with a short hop, and up aerial in a short hop fast fall. As a result, his Limit Break status only marginally benefits his aerial mobility, but it can nevertheless help him move along the ground better.

Cloud's greatest asset is the overall range throughout his moveset, courtesy of his Buster Sword: it grants Cloud's attacks the overall second longest disjointed range in the game, surpassed only by Shulk. Thanks to this trait and his aforementioned attributes, Cloud can space out the opponent quite easily, stuff out opposing approach and adeptly punish most careless attacks, all while fighting from a safe distance. A prime example of this trait is Cloud's aerial moveset: his neutral aerial covers a very wide area, similarly to Shulk's neutral aerial, making it a go-to option for spacing or air-to-ground transition movement. It can also autocancel from a short hop, has low ending lag and a low launching angle, all of which make it great at edgeguarding despite its low power and recover stage control when landing with it. His up aerial deals good damage, has decent power, high speed, a long duration, a very generous autocancel window, and an enormous overall hitbox, making it an all-purpose attack and discouraging most opponents from trying to attack Cloud from overhead. His down aerial is not only a very strong meteor smash when sweetspotted, but it also possesses one of the most active late hitboxes in the entire game, which grants it good anti-juggling potential and allows him to follow up into another move if it connects while he is falling. Like up aerial, it also has an extremely generous autocancel window, being able to autocancel from a jump regardless of his Limit Break status. Back aerial has tremendous range, decent power, and the lowest landing lag among Cloud's aerials, and also autocancels from a short hop, allowing him to edgeguard and space effectively, though it can often miss to hit low opponents. Forward aerial is very strong when hit clean, and is also a meteor smash on aerial opponents when sweetspotted. Like down aerial, it autocancels from a full jump, and has somewhat low landing lag on relation to its range and power, however, it has the slowest startup of his aerials, making it his riskiest aerial to use regardless.

In contrast, his grounded moveset is a mixed bag: his neutral attack is his fastest attack, and can force a tech-chase if all of its hits connect. His down tilt makes him slide similar to Mega Man's down tilt, and can be a great tool to put the opponent at a disadvantage. His up tilt is a reliable combo starter until high percentages, chaining into itself at low percentages, and comboing into up smash or his neutral, back and up aerials. His up smash, in particular, covers a very large arc, has decent speed and, despite its suprisingly low damage, has good power, making it his best and least risky KOing option out of his standard moveset. However, his forward tilt has decent power and speed, but doesn't have much utility other than punishing an opponent's move, or as a last resort-KOing option. Dash attack is a fast punishing tool from a distance and, due to its power, can reset or take away the neutral game, but is often prone to punishment when avoided. Forward smash is the move with the highest power of his default moveset, though this is paid by also having the slowest startup, and being very punishable if it whiffs. His down smash is also prone to punishment if the front hit is avoided, but it drags the opponent into the back hit if it connects, the latter being a strong semi-spike.

Cloud's special moveset also offers interesting options. Blade Beam is a projectile with good range and activity, making it useful for forcing approaches, though it gets weakened over duration and has high endlag, which hampers its otherwise useful utility. It also stalls Cloud in the air, giving it additional, if situational, utility in guard breaking. Cross Slash is very similar to Dancing Blade and Double-Edge Dance, requiring additional inputs from the player to initiate the remaining slashes. In contrast, it has wider input windows, but the full move is only allowed to continue if all hits connect. It can also stall Cloud in the air, just like Blade Beam, though much more briefly. Climhazzard is similar to Aether and Final Cutter, as it is an ascending slash, but differs from them in that it can be followed by an optional descending slash. This allows Cloud to mix-up his recovery and enables Climhazzard to function as his fastest out of shield option, though it is very risky to use.

In reference to Final Fantasy VII, Cloud possesses a unique Limit Break mechanic. It manifests itself in the form of a gauge, which becomes visible while charging it to show its progress, similarly to Little Mac's Power Meter. Cloud can charge Limit Break by dealing 250% damage, receiving 100% damage, or by instantly charging it with his down special, Limit Charge. Unlike most other chargeable special moves, it can be canceled with a simple special move button press, or even instantly canceled into an attack, the latter being a trait shared only with Gyro. After it is full, Cloud gets a boost in all of his movement attributes except for attack speed, allowing him to move very quickly across the stage and in the air, with his overall mobility almost rivaling that of Captain Falcon and Sonic. In addition, all of Cloud's special attacks are given a single-use power boost, with all of them dealing more damage and high knockback to the point of KOing reliably around 90%-120%. Limit Charge is also converted to Finishing Touch, a spinning slash with such tremendous knockback that can KO most characters around 60%-70%. It also emits a whirlwind that pushes away opponents, making it harder to punish and providing Cloud a situational method of gimping weak recoveries. With the exception of Finishing Touch, all Limit Break specials are also granted brief intangibility upon start-up, as well as additional properties: Blade Beam is faster, stronger, and has transcendent priority; Cross Slash requires no additional button inputs and strikes five times immediately, has very low ending lag in relation to its immense power, and stalls him completely in the air; and Climhazzard grants more vertical distance and much more horizontal momentum, as well as having the ability to edge sweetspot at any time. With all these benefits underneath the Limit Break status, players must be wary of this, as one small slip-up from the opponent can give Cloud the perfect opportunity to strike and turn the tide of battle instantaneously, making Cloud's Limit Break a mechanic that should not take lightly when in the hands of a competent player.

However, Cloud has some severe flaws. The most prominent one is his atrocious recovery. Despite his aerial mobility and jump height being arguably better than most sword-wielding characters, his diagonal speed remains slow when compared to them, making him prone to edgeguarding and gimping, and making it mandatory to stay a safe distance within reaching the edge. Climhazzard is also a terrible recovery move for many reasons: it grants below average vertical distance, little horizontal momentum, its ascending hit is completely incapable of edge sweetspotting, and its descending hit cannot edge sweetspot until it covers some prior distance. Additionally, if for any reason Cloud gets hit at the apex of Climhazzard, he is not able to tech a single-hit move regardless of how far or near he is to a wall, although he can still tech if he gets hit by a command grab or a multiple hit move, or if he gets hit during the Limit Break variant. These factors make Cloud's recovery somewhat comparable to that of Little Mac, Ganondorf and Dr. Mario, in the sense that it is one of the riskiest and most ineffective without use of his wall jump or Limit Break Climhazzard (which loses the active hitbox near the end of his ascent, making it less safe than the regular Climhazzard in some situations). Cloud can stall his descent with Blade Beam and Cross Slash, although they only so after one use. Additionally, the former's slower start-up and ending lag can make its use problematic against opponents already close to the edge or in prime position to reflect it, while the latter slows down his air speed significantly. The last problem about his recovery is that if he gets grabbed near the edge without his double jump and gets air released, he will not be able to return to the stage unless he properly times a Blade Beam to stall towards the edge, uses aerials or air dodges to reset his momentum, or possesses a Limit Break.

Another glaring flaw is his grab game: Cloud's grabs' ranges are abysmally short, having the third shortest overall in the game , his throws' damage outputs are only average at best and, barring down throw, they lack combo potentials, making them comparable to Jigglypuff's throws in regard to inefficiency. His forward and back throws' decent speed are significantly offset by the problematic combination of their virtual lack of combo potential and low knockback scaling. Additionally, both fail to KO before 300%, unless the opponent is light and Cloud is at the edge upon performing them. His up and down throws both have misleading power, failing to KO until well beyond 200%. Up throw has too much ending lag for reliably comboing, while down throw doesn't have reliable combos at low percentages and loses all of its combo potential past low-mid percentages if the opponent DIs properly.

Despite his huge range, projectile and combo options granting him a strong neutral game, Cloud has a below average approach at best. His approach options are linear, with dash attack being easily punishable, neutral aerial having a hitbox that starts from behind, up aerial being very predictable and being surprisingly punishable on shield if not spaced well, and having other attacks that either lack the frame data or the utility to be used as reliable options for approaching such as his poor grab game. Cloud also has no reliable means of escaping pressure. His neutral attack and down tilt are his fastest ground options, while Climhazzard can work as an out of shield option. However, they are noticeably unsafe on shield, while none of his fast aerial attacks start from the front or below him. Down aerial's late hitbox can be used to escape juggling directly from below him, but its otherwise narrow hitbox allows opponents to hit Cloud laterally. Thus, Cloud is fairly easy to combo, and is just as easily forced on the defensive if his attacks are improperly spaced. While Cloud also possesses an abundance of strong finishers, his KOing ability is somewhat inconsistent. None of his strongest finishers are easy to land in the neutral game and they can be easily punished if avoided or shielded, his weaker moves such as his forward tilt and back aerial require good positioning to KO reliably, and he lacks reliable set-ups into his strongest or best finishers.

Aside from Limit Charge, his special moves have some noticeable weaknesses. Blade Beam is relatively slow in regard to start-up and ending lag, as well as depreciating in damage over time or when used in the air. Cross Slash is inconsistent with linking all five of its hits due to SDI or landing different parts of the hitboxes, along with being very prone to stale-move negation due to being a very reliable damage racking option. In addition to its aforementioned weaknesses in regard to recovery, Climhazzard is also very punishable if shielded and easily DI'd out of, while all of his specials only boast KO power when they are boosted by the Limit Break. The Limit Break mechanic itself is also problematic. It acts as a double-edged sword, as it increases Cloud's fall speed and gravity at full charge, making recovery without the use of Climhazzard deceptively difficult, and rendering Cloud even easier to combo at medium percentages. It makes precise use of his special attacks mandatory, as his Limit Break specials are still blockable and possess limited range; while Limit Blade Beam can be used as a ranged KOing option, it can just as easily be reflected or otherwise avoided at the tip of its range, leaving Cloud wide open to punishment. Finishing Touch deals only 1% and has very high ending lag that renders Cloud vulnerable if the slash or whirlwind do not hit. Finally, Cloud lacks custom moves like his fellow DLC characters, and while this does not seem to be a problem considering his Limit Break-boosted specials, the lack of variety for the normal special moves does hinder his matchups against more optimized custom characters.

Overall, while Cloud has all the tools required to be successful, the player is forced to manage his resources to the best of their ability, and they must avoid being thrown off the stage at all times. Even though any playstyle can work with Cloud, the combination of all of these traits make him a fundamentals-oriented character most of the time. His combo game and KOing ability, while unique and powerful, can be inconsistent, leaving much to be desired. Despite his weaknesses, however, his excellent strengths still outweigh them, and most smashers agree he has few losing matchups, but the ease of gimping Cloud or forcing him to use Limit Break specials defensively have also led some to believe that even at his best, he holds no extreme advantage over any character. Much like Mario and Link, Cloud has a relatively low learning curve and skill floor that make him an effective choice for beginners and inexperienced players, though due to the benefits that his most difficult techniques can offer when they are mastered, he continues to be a viable character in high-level play. His tournament representation and results are strong, with notable players like komorikiri, MKLeo, Tweek, Ned and Mew2King all having placed high in their respective regions. However, Cloud's results in singles play are generally inconsistent, with few Cloud mains making any appearances in top 8 of most major tournaments. Cloud is considered to be an even better character for doubles play, as his Limit Break specials are more reliable and easier to land at the end of a team combo, he can provide stage control and wall out the opponents for a teammate, and his teammate can assist him in recovering easily onto the stage. Thus, his doubles representation is much stronger in comparison to his singles results, with smashers like MVD and Nairo using him to great success.

Update history[edit]

Cloud has been slightly nerfed as of update 1.1.5. His up aerial deals less damage without any changes to knockback, which hinders its KO potential in exchange for racking damage more reliably. His KO potential in general was also slightly toned down: forward smash, down smash and Limit Break Cross Slash had their knockback scaling slightly decreased, while aerial Finishing Touch's knockback scaling was decreased to the point that it now KOs about 24% later (in front) or 36% later (from behind) if landed on a grounded opponent. These nerfs, however, have not significantly impacted Cloud's viability, and he also benefits from the nerfs to Meta Knight, Sheik and Bayonetta in updates 1.1.5 and 1.1.6. As a result, while Cloud is slightly worse as a character, he is considered to be overall better relative to the cast than he was during his debut, and he remains a viable character in the metagame.

Super Smash Bros. 4 1.1.5

  • Nerf End of roll intangibility: Frame 17 → 15
  • Nerf Forward smash's third hit has lower knockback growth: 119 → 115.
  • Nerf Down smash's second hit has lower knockback growth: 96 → 94.
  • Nerf Up aerial deals less damage: 13% → 12% (clean), 9.5% → 8.5% (late).
  • Nerf Limit Break Cross Slash has lower knockback growth: 155 → 153.
  • Nerf Aerial Finishing Touch deals less knockback: 417 (air)/390 (late)/100 (windbox) → 359/335/86.
  • Nerf Limit Charge takes 42 frames (0.7 seconds) longer to fully charge.

Moveset[edit]

  Name Damage Description
Neutral attack   2.5% A mid-level side kick, followed by a mid-level roundhouse kick, followed by an outward slash. In addition to possessing very good speed, both kicks have good range. Each attack after the first hit moves Cloud a step forward, further improving the move's range, although the sword strike has lower reach than the kicks. Due to the last hit's low semi-spike knockback, it can be used to tech-chase reliably. However, the third hit can fail to connect at high percentages.
2%
4%
Forward tilt   11% An inward slash. It has quick start-up, but moderate ending lag. It is also Cloud's only tilt that has reasonable KO potential, as it can KO middleweights around 120% at the edge. It is based on his generic attack in Final Fantasy VII.
Up tilt 8% An overhead arcing slice. Its hitbox starts behind Cloud, with a larger front hitbox, although it does not extend beside Cloud and makes it unable to hit smaller characters beside him. It is fast and has a fairly large hitbox, although its knockback is lacking. One of Cloud's most reliable combo starters, as it can chain into itself at 0% and into aerials at low percentages.
Down tilt 6% (knee), 7% (leg) A baseball slide, a dropkick variation, which is very similar to Mega Man's Sliding. His legs are intangible while its hitbox is active, and it will sometimes deal less damage if landed early. It has very quick start-up, propels Cloud a good distance forward, launches opponents vertically and makes his hurtbox hard to hit. Altogether, these traits make it useful as a punishment option, as well as a capable set-up option into aerial attacks.
Dash attack 11% (clean), 8% (late) Thrusts the sharp edge of the Buster Sword forward while holding it diagonally. It deals more damage at the beginning, has a lingering hitbox and its moderately high knockback enables it to KO at high percentages.
Forward smash   3% (hit 1), 2% (hit 2 center), 3% (hit 2 hilt), 4% (hit 2 tip), 12% (hit 3 tip), 13% (hit 3 non-tip) A downward slash, followed by an upward slash, followed by a downward slash. The last hit has slightly more range and carries all the attack's knockback. Depending on the size of the opponent's hurtbox and where each slash hits, this move can deal 17%-20%. It is immensely powerful for its amount of start-up (19 frames) and is Cloud's strongest non-Limit Break move, KOing middleweights around 100% at center-stage, but it has high ending lag and deals below average shieldstun. It can sometimes miss during its second hit, causing the last hit to miss. Additionally, each hit is only active for one frame, which means it can be dodged entirely with a well-timed roll or sidestep. It resembles the depiction of Cross Slash in the Kingdom Hearts series.
Up smash 13% (early/tip), 12% (mid/hilt), 8% (late) Crouches down and swings the Buster Sword upward. Has some startup (15 frames) and moderate ending lag, and its KO power is only average compared to most other up smashes, but it has long range in front of and above Cloud. It can additionally hit foes behind Cloud due to its long arc. KOs middleweights around 125%.
Down smash 4% (hit 1), 12% (hit 2) Kneels and thrusts the Buster Sword's hilt forward before performing a reverse gripped thrust behind himself. The first hit will almost always stage spike due to its angle and it launches opponents into the second hit, although it is possible to tech after the first hit, causing the second hit to miss. In comparison, the second hit is a semi-spike, which makes it useful for launching opponents with weak horizontal recoveries off-stage, and it KOs middleweights at 140%. It is Cloud's fastest smash attack, as its first hitbox is active starting on frame 8.
Neutral aerial 8% A circular slash around himself, similarly to Ike and Shulk's neutral aerials. It is long-ranged like Shulk's neutral aerial, yet also boasts respectable speed, which makes it very useful as an approach option or edgeguarding option. It autocancels from a short hop, making it rather difficult to punish, although it can be difficult to hit grounded opponents while buffering it as soon as possible, due to the hitbox starting behind him.
Forward aerial 14% (clean sweetspot), 13% (clean sourspot), 11% (late) Briefly pauses and then slashes downward, similarly to Ike's forward aerial. It has the most start-up out of all his aerials (frame 18), but sweetspotting in the middle of the blade as it comes down results in a powerful meteor smash on aerial opponents, while launching grounded opponents at a slightly more vertical angle. Deals weak knockback if contact is made once the blade stops, making it useful for catching air dodges. Wide range and meteor smashing properties makes this a useful off-stage option, albeit easy to telegraph. Moderate ending lag, though its landing lag is low for its range and power, and it autocancels from a jump. The sweetspot can also be frame canceled, which allows for more follow-ups if done correctly due to its drastically increased hitlag and more vertical angle of its trajectory. It resembles his Braver Limit Break.
Back aerial 13% A reversed outward slash, somewhat similar in animation to Ike's and Mii Swordfighter's back aerials. Has very long range and good knockback, making it most effective as a spacing KO option. It additionally has low landing lag (14 frames), autocancels from a short hop, and can also be used to perform a wall of pain at low to medium percentages depending on the opponent's weight. However, it has some startup, limited vertical range and a hitbox that lasts for only three frames (frames 11-13), making it somewhat ineffective at KO'ing opponents who are diagonally above or below Cloud. Regardless, it is arguably Cloud's best aerial due to the aforementioned strengths it has, while it is also easy to combo into from an up tilt, down tilt, neutral air, or down throw. KOs middleweights around 115% at the edge. It resembles the sword strike he does during his Meteorain Limit Break.
Up aerial 12% (clean), 8.5% (late) Thrusts the sharp edge of the Buster Sword's blade upward while holding it parallel to the ground. While powerful at the start of the animation, it also functions as a sex kick, as it deals less damage after its first few frames. The initial hitbox is notoriously big, having wide coverage due to the hitbox's high horizontal range, along with the animation giving it a deceptive vertical range. Its range allows Cloud to barely poke through the top platform of Battlefield just at the apex of his short hop and contest almost any down aerial and trade at worst. However, its lingering hitbox is significantly smaller, due to the animation of Cloud's arms recoiling down from the upward thrust. It can autocancel from a short hop, and it has low landing lag. When combined with its fast start-up, it can be used at the last second before landing to catch grounded opponents with the move and true combo into up tilt at lower percentages, neutral aerial or another up aerial until higher percentages, and forward aerial and back aerial at medium percentages. It otherwise KOs grounded middleweights around 160% when clean. Interestingly, it also shifts most of Cloud's hurtbox into the foreground (or background when facing left), which allows him to avoid certain moves, such as an uncharged Robo Beam, Villager's forward and back aerials, and even some up smashes, such as Yoshi's. It is commonly considered one of the best up aerials in the game due to its many positive traits, with its only drawback of having a smaller, weaker lingering hitbox, which is beneficial nonetheless thanks to it covering air dodges.
Down aerial 13% (clean aerial sourspot, grounded opponent), 15% (aerial sweetspot), 8% (late) A downward thrust, similar to Link's Down Thrust. Striking the first few frames directly below Cloud powerfully meteor smashes aerial opponents and deals more damage. It stays out for a while, allowing it to hit opponents after the initial thrust, which makes the move a good out of shield option. It can also be used to counter juggling. KOs grounded middleweights around 135% when clean. The late hit of the move is an excellent combo starter when autocanceled, as it can combo into any aerial and Cross Slash (both versions) until higher percentages, and even Finishing Touch at medium percentages, making it one of Cloud's most effective moves for setting up KOs. However, most of the possible follow-ups can be escaped with proper DI. When properly autocanceled, the move is extremely difficult to punish, making it one of Cloud's best moves in his moveset and is vital for his strong neutral game.
Grab Reaches out with his left hand. Has the third-lowest range out of all standing grabs, though his pivot grab has increased range.
Pummel 3% A knee strike. Moderately slow, but one of the most damaging pummels in the game.
Forward throw 4% (hit 1), 3% (throw) A backflipping dropkick, similar to Wii Fit Trainer's back throw. It is also vaguely similar to the Somersault Limit Break used by Tifa Lockhart, one of Cloud's party members in Final Fantasy VII, albeit being a dropkick rather than a backflip kick.
Back throw 3% (hit 1), 3% (throw) A reverse roundhouse kick, which is very similar to Ike's back throw. It is capable of tech-chasing alongside Blade Beam or his dash attack, although this is only possible against middleweights and heavyweights until medium percentages.
Up throw 2% (hit 1), 2.5% (hit 2), 4% (throw) A 540 kick, similar to Sonic's up tilt and Captain Falcon's up smash. One of Cloud's two strongest throws, along with down throw. However, it is unable to KO at reasonable percentages, and should the opponent be in the middle of the stage and be at such percentages (around 215% for middleweights), up throw will be more effective at KOing. It is vaguely similar to Tifa's Waterkick Limit Break, albeit kicking vertically instead of horizontally.
Down throw 7% A one-handed body slam. It launches opponents them behind himself and due to its low base knockback, it is Cloud's only, albeit lackluster, combo throw. It can combo into a reversed forward tilt or Cross Slash until medium percentages, though this is not guaranteed if Cloud does not have a sufficiently high level of rage, or if the opponent is a heavyweight or a fast-faller. Cloud's only other strong throw, it can KO most characters earlier than up throw if Cloud is near the edge, as it is more significantly affected by DI than up throw due to its weaker vertical angle. However, like up throw, it does not KO at reasonable percentages. It is vaguely similar to Tifa's Meteor Strike Limit Break, albeit while grounded instead of being the used in the air.
Floor attack (front) 7% Swings the Buster Sword around himself before getting up.
Floor attack (back) 7% Swings the Buster Sword around himself before getting up.
Floor attack (trip) 5% Swings the Buster Sword around himself before getting up.
Edge attack 8% Slashes inward while climbing up.
Neutral special Default Blade Beam 8% (grounded clean), 6% (grounded late), 6.4% (aerial clean), 4.8% (aerial late), 6% (Limit Break hit 1), 2% (Limit Break hits 2-6), 3% (Limit Break hit 7) Swings the Buster Sword forward to fire a green, crescent-shaped energy beam. Like a typical projectile, it disappears upon hitting anything. The projectile comes out and moves rather slowly, but travels a long distance overall, and its hitbox is extremely active. It is stronger if started on the ground and in the first few frames, while the aerial version is slower and deals less damage, but gives Cloud a slight amount of lift. Its Limit Break variant is colored blue and possesses transcendent priority (and therefore cannot cancel out projectiles), higher velocity, an increased damage output and hits multiple times, with the last hit having great KO potential near the edge, starting at 98%. Like the standard Blade Beam, the Limit Break variant is weaker when performed in midair.
Custom 1 N/A
Custom 2 N/A
Side special Default Cross Slash 4% (hit 1), 3% (hit 2-4), 6% (hit 5), 5% (Limit Break hit 1), 3% (Limit Break hits 2-4), 10% (Limit Break hit 5), A series of slashes that are inputted by pressing the special button after each slash connects, similarly to Dancing Blade and Double-Edge Dance, with the finished series spelling the kanji ("misfortune"). Respectable damage output and moderate knockback make it a superb punishing option at close range, though it is exceedingly weak against shields. Each hit can only be inputted only if the first hit lands (even if shielded), and the first hit is highly punishable, making spacing and timing crucial. However, opponents can SDI the first two hits and jump away from the remaining series of slashes, which is even easier if Cloud is under the effects of rage, leaving him vulnerable. Its Limit Break variant changes the kanji's colors from yellow to blue while Cloud instantly unleashes all five strikes instead of requiring button inputs, and noticeably increases both its damage output and KO potential, starting at 100% on middleweights from the center of the stage. The first few hits cannot be SDI'd, though the last hit can be SDI'd efficiently, allowing opponents to survive when they have high damage so long as they combine the SDI with DI or a tech (the latter of which being done towards the stage). It is considered to be Cloud's best Limit Break variant due to its speed, power and ability to act as both a powerful stage spike and shield breaking option if used quickly with another follow-up attack.
Custom 1 N/A
Custom 2 N/A
Up special Default Climhazzard 3% (hit 1), 4% (hits 2-3), 3% (hit 4), 6% (Limit Break hit 1), 7% (Limit Break hit 2) A leaping, ascending reverse gripped slash, which can be followed by with a descending reverse gripped slash that launches opponents. The first hit deals set knockback, while the second hit deals more damage in the middle of the Buster Sword's blade and can meteor smash when he descends. Cloud's primary recovery move, though it grants only mediocre vertical distance and extremely minimal horizontal distance. Additionally, the descending slash cannot edge sweetspot until Cloud falls a certain distance, making it unsuitable to use the second hit off-stage. Lastly, if Cloud gets hit at the apex of Climhazzard's first hit, he will not able to wall tech a single-hit move regardless of its power or how far or near Cloud is to the wall (though he can still tech if he gets hit by a command grab like Dark Dive or a multiple hit move like Mewtwo's neutral aerial). Its fast start-up makes it a good surprise attack, particularly as an out of shield option. Its Limit Break variant changes the blade's trail from magenta to blue, the first (but not second) hit deals more damage while sweetspotting edges, Cloud gains much greater vertical and horizontal recovery distance, he can tech a stage spike even at the apex of the move, and the move begins to KO grounded opponents at 124%.
Custom 1 N/A
Custom 2 N/A
Down special Default Limit Charge 1% (Finishing Touch) Manually charges the Limit Gauge, an invisible meter which can alternatively be filled by dealing or receiving damage, similarly to Little Mac's Power Meter. The Limit Gauge will be fully filled either by charging it for 400 frames (6.667 seconds), dealing 250% or receiving 100%, with the chargeable method displaying a text box above Cloud that displays "Limit". It can be charge-canceled by pressing the shield button (which, on the ground, can then be canceled into any dodge or a jump), hitting the control stick left or right (which triggers a roll), grabbing, or pressing the special button again, which has an 8 frame delay, and canceling Limit Charge with this method allows Cloud to be flexible with movement in the air or along the ground while filling up the Limit Gauge. It can also be instant charge-canceled with any grounded, non-special move, which can be handy for approaching or defending oneself. When the meter is full, Cloud receives a 10% increase to his gravity, falling speed, fast fall speed, initial dash distance, and running speed, a 15% increase to his walking speed and traction, and a 20% increase to both his air speed and air acceleration. During this time, he can also use more powerful, one-use variants of his special attacks, listed above. This move itself turns into the Finishing Touch Limit Break when the gauge is full, which is a large whirlwind that deals only 1% but possesses tremendous knockback, enough to KO most opponents before 70%, even without rage. The animation where Cloud spins around twice twirling his Buster sword may be based on an unused Tornado Limit Break. Rather slow, hitting on frame 16-17, though extremely powerful for its speed, and is easily his best option for punishing opponents at KO percents. However, the attack itself is punishable if it misses or hits a shield, as it has very high ending lag and extremely poor shieldstun due to its damage output. The back hitbox comes out 2 frames slower and KOs opponents around 10% later, and the attack as a whole has further reduced knockback when performed in the air, KOing grounded opponents around 24% later with the front hitbox, or around 36% later with the back hitbox; however, this difference is reduced if the opponent is airborne. Both hitboxes are deceptively large, being able to poke through the lower platforms of Battlefield and Lylat Cruise, as well as hit some characters standing on the lower platforms of Dream Land. If whiffed, it generates a much larger windbox that simply pushes opponents away. It stalls Cloud when used in the air, which can potentially aid his recovery.
Custom 1 N/A
Custom 2 N/A
Final Smash Omnislash 3% (hit 1), 2% (hits 2-14), 5% (hit 15), 4%-5% (hit 16), 10% (hit 17), 50% (all hits connect) A multiple hitting series of powerful slashes that concludes with a powerful, descending slash that triggers an explosion, similarly to Great Aether. Cloud dashes forward at high speed, similarly to Marth and Lucina's Critical Hit, with a text box appearing above him that displays "Omnislash" as he proceeds to flings any opponents he runs into to the top of the screen. After the series of slashes, Cloud charges up a final slash, in which he descends and slashes the opponent downward to the stage and results in a huge explosion that launches the opponent. One of the most powerful Final Smashes in the game when successful, as it can KO as low as 22%. Unlike Marth and Lucina's Critical Hit, Cloud will dash off the edges of platforms if Omnislash is initiated next to one, and he cannot cancel the move.

On-screen appearance[edit]

  • Falls from the sky and catches the Buster Sword with a flourish.
CloudOnScreenAppearanceSSB4.gif

Taunts[edit]

  • Up taunt: Twirls the Buster Sword in front of himself before positioning it on his shoulders while saying 興味ないね ("Not interested"). A similar animation to his victory animation from Final Fantasy VII, albeit placing the Buster Sword on his shoulder rather than his back. Resembles more Cloud's official artwork for both SSB4 and Final Fantasy VII.
  • Side taunt: Places the Buster Sword on his back and cups his hands together in front of him in order to cast a spell. It is his spellcasting animation from Final Fantasy VII, complete with its original sound effect and glowing energy field.
  • Down taunt: Places the Buster Sword on its tip and poses in a casual manner while scoffing. It resembles the cocky pose he assumes in many cutscenes throughout Final Fantasy VII.
Up taunt Side taunt Down taunt
CloudUpTauntSSB4.jpg CloudSideTauntSSB4.jpg CloudDownTauntSSB4.jpg

Idle poses[edit]

  • Rubs the edge of the Buster Sword's blade, similarly to one of Ike and Roy's idle poses.
  • Holds the Buster Sword upward in front of himself.
CloudIdlePose1WiiU.jpg CloudIdlePose2WiiU.jpg

Crowd cheer[edit]

English Japanese
Cheer
Cloud Cheer NTSC SSB4.ogg
Cloud Cheer JP SSB4.ogg
Description Cloud! Cloud! Cloud! Ku-rau-do!
Pitch Group chant Female

Victory poses[edit]

A remix of Victory Fanfare from Final Fantasy VII, which is itself a variant of Victory Fanfare heard throughout the Final Fantasy series. Unlike other themes, it plays continuously, replacing the results theme.
  • While facing the screen, Cloud twirls the Buster Sword with one hand and places it on his back while looking away from the camera, saying 悪く思うな ("No hard feelings.") The animation is identical to his victory animation from Final Fantasy VII.
  • While turning away, Cloud twirls the Buster Sword, places it on his back and then glares at the screen, saying ついてないな ("Better luck next time.")
  • Rushes forward, quickly slashes the Buster Sword twice, and then assumes a battle stance similar to his idle animation, saying お前に俺は倒せない ("You cannot defeat me.")
CloudPose1WiiU.gif CloudPose2WiiU.gif CloudPose3WiiU.gif

In competitive play[edit]

Notable players[edit]

Active[edit]

Inactive[edit]

Tier placement and history[edit]

Since his release, Cloud was believed to be a high-tier character, thanks to his incredible combination of range, mobility, power, and Limit Break mechanic; the latter in particular was highly valued for its ability to not only grant his special moves KO potential disproportionate for and beyond his weight class but also make them fast and safe, especially Cross Slash. This positive outlook on Cloud was even more apparent in doubles play, where he can greatly benefit from having a teammate to alleviate his weak recovery and helping to land his Limit Break specials as the finisher to team combos, while Cloud himself can provide stage control and wall out his opponents for his teammate. He had achieved strong results at both singles and doubles play right before the first tier list was released, thanks to professionals like komorikiri, Mew2King and Tweek. This led him to be ranked 12th on the first tier list, placing him at the middle of the B tier, which confirmed his high-tier status.

However, with the release of Corrin and Bayonetta, the subsequent nerfs to them and other top-tier characters, and various advancements to his metagame, Cloud became a very popular character in tournaments. His own nerfs did not seriously hinder him, and he remained a fundamentally strong character choice for both newer and professional players, the latter of whih saw MKLeo formally picking him up. This was apparent with him appearing more frequently in the top placings of tournaments in comparison to some top-tier characters like Sheik and Zero Suit Samus, and appearing in almost every single top 8 of doubles events in major tournaments. As a result of this spike in popularity and success, Cloud was ranked 2nd on the second tier list, placing him in the S tier. Incidentally, his tier rise was tied with Palutena's for the fifth highest between the first and second tier lists.

Despite this, Cloud's placement received mixed thoughts from the community, as his rather exploitable weaknesses held him back from achieving top 8 placings in singles play for several national tournaments, such as EVO 2016 (the highest ranking Cloud being komorikiri, who placed 17th) and Super Smash Con 2016 (the highest ranking solo Cloud being Tweek, who placed 13th). However, as of recent, his singles results have become considerably more consistent, thanks to komorikiri placing 3rd, Tweek placing 13th, and Mew2King placing 25th, all at The Big House 6, among others. In addition, Leo placed 1st, Tweek placed 9th, and komorikiri placed 7th at GENESIS 4, all while primarily using Cloud until top 8 in the case of komorikiri and Leo. Although Cloud has since seen a very slight drop to 3rd on the third and current tier list, his status as a very viable choice in competitive play remains firmly intact.

Reveal trailer[edit]


Trophies[edit]

Cloud
The protagonist of FINAL FANTASY VII, Cloud wields the enormous Buster Sword, a memento from his comrade Zack. Once a SOLDIER of Shinra, he now fights as a mercenary against the corporation he originally served. His decision to join AVALANCHE's insurgence, however, will transform his destiny.
FINAL FANTASY VII (11/1997)
Cloud (Alt.)
Filling the Limit Gauge allows Cloud to perform a Limit Break, supercharging his next special move. His down special becomes Finishing Touch. With a huge swing of his sword, Cloud summons a whirlwind that inflicts only 1% damage, but boasts brutal launch power. Go for a KO while his foes' damage is still low!
FINAL FANTASY VII (11/1997)
Omnislash
Cloud sets out to prevent Sephiroth from sending Meteor crashing into the planet. The fate of the world on his shoulders, Cloud confronts his enemy one on one. He unleashes a flurry of swift slashes before delivering the finishing blow. In Smash Bros., the final strike creates an explosion, launching nearby fighters.

Alternate costumes[edit]

Cloud's default costume is based on his appearance in Final Fantasy VII. He has an alternate costume based on his appearance in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, known as "Cloudy Wolf" in Dissidia Final Fantasy, which has two minor variants and replaces the Buster Sword with the Fusion Swords. One variant has a long sleeve covering Cloud's left arm to hide the visible signs of his Geostigma. The other variant reveals Cloud's left arm after he has been cured of Geostigma, as well as a red ribbon wrapped around it, which he and his party wear in memory of Aerith Gainsborough.

Cloud Palette (SSB4).png
CloudHeadSSB4-U.png CloudHeadAdventBlackSSB4-U.png CloudHeadBlueSSB4-U.png CloudHeadAdventBlueSSB4-U.png CloudHeadRedSSB4-U.png CloudHeadAdventTealSSB4-U.png CloudHeadBlackSSB4-U.png CloudHeadAdventPurpleSSB4-U.png

Gallery[edit]

Trivia[edit]

Cloud's screen KO, referencing his official pose.
  • Cloud makes a few references to his home game, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, and the Dissidia Final Fantasy games:
    • His pose in his official artwork matches his pose from his official artwork from Final Fantasy VII. Conversely, the pose for his Advent Children costume resembles his official artwork from Dissidia Final Fantasy.
      • Humorously, Cloud strikes a variation of the first pose when he is screen KO'd.
    • His attacks emit unique blunt sounds when they hit opponents, while his side taunt emits a unique sound when performed. These sound effects originate from Final Fantasy VII, with this trait being similar to how Snake and Ryu emit sound effects from their respective home series.
      • His forward aerial resembles his Braver Limit Break, while his forward, up and down throws vaguely resemble the Somersault, Waterkick and Meteor Strike Limit Breaks used by Tifa Lockhart, his childhood friend and one of his party members in Final Fantasy VII.
      • Omnislash is accompanied by a text box that displays its name above Cloud when it is performed.
    • His idle stance and the animations of up and side taunts are identical to his battle stance, victory animation and spellcasting animation in Final Fantasy VII, respectively. Additionally, his victory poses are identical to his battle stance and victory animation in Final Fantasy VII. Strangely enough, his idle animation is reversed, from facing left in Final Fantasy VII to now facing right in Super Smash Bros. Additionally, his hand placement is also reversed, from having the arm facing the screen hold the bottom part of the Buster Sword's hilt to now holding the upper part of it.
    • The greenish coloration of the Buster Sword's trail is a reference to Mako, a liquid that is used as the primary energy source within Final Fantasy VII. It also possesses the ability to grant superhuman abilities to humans via genetic experimentation, especially when used in conjunction with Jenova cells, a process which granted Cloud his superhuman abilities.
      • Cloud's body emits blue Mako when his Limit Break is fully charged. This is a reference to his final battle against Sephiroth in Advent Children.
    • His on-screen appearance, which has him landing and then catching the Buster Sword, is a reference to the end of his battle against Sephiroth in Advent Children, where the separated blades of the Fusion Swords strike around him and he catches the "core" blade as it falls.
    • His dash consists of him gliding forward. This is a reference to the dashing mechanic in the Dissidia Final Fantasy games, where all characters dash in a manner akin to flying, which can also be performed in midair.
  • Cloud and Bayonetta are the only characters with alternate costumes that sport a change of weapon. In Cloud's case, his Advent Children costume sees him wield the Fusion Swords from that movie instead of the Buster Sword, though they cannot be separated into their individual components.
  • Cloud is the second DLC character from a newly added universe, succeeding Ryu and preceding Bayonetta. He is also the only one from a newly represented company (Square Enix), as Sega and Capcom were already represented by Sonic and Mega Man, respectively, prior to the release of Ryu and Bayonetta.
  • Cloud has an alternate blast KO line in which he mutters (ミスった, "Missed it"), making him one of the few characters who says anything during a KO, and the only character to have a Japanese KO line in non-Japanese versions of the game.
  • Cloud and Little Mac are the only characters who have special moves that affect the in-game camera, with both KO Uppercut and all but one of Cloud's Limit Break moves zooming in and slowing down time upon hitting their targets. Notably, both characters' attacks involve dealing and receiving damage before they can be used.
  • Cloud, Roy, Ryu, Corrin, and Bayonetta are the only characters to use different sound clips when using battering items. Coincidentally, all of them are DLC.


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