Duck Hunt (SSBU)
Duck Hunt (ダックハント, Duckhunt), known in PAL versions as Duck Hunt Duo, are playable characters in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. They were confirmed as playable characters on June 12, 2018. Duck Hunt are collectively classified as fighter #59.
Duck Hunt retains the realistic dog and duck noises, using a combination of recycled voice clips from Smash 4 along with additional new ones.
How to unlock
Complete one of the following:
With the exception of the third method, Duck Hunt must then be defeated on Duck Hunt.
Changes from Super Smash Bros. 4
Duck Hunt received a mix of buffs and nerfs in the transition to Ultimate, but have been noticeably buffed overall. Duck Hunt's notoriously inconsistent KO potential has been improved in many ways: their infamously unreliable smash attacks now connect much more reliably (though their final hits may still fail to connect in rare instances), while their forward tilt is now a situational KO option thanks to its much higher base knockback.
Trick Shot, which was already a powerful, versatile projectile, has been improved in many ways: it KOs earlier, travels further, has less endlag and can now be hit in air, all of which improve its utility. Clay Shooting has less endlag and forces opponents to stay in place if they get hit, which make it an excellent combo tool. In addition, it now explodes into shrapnel that deals damage in many directions, increasing its effective range. Duck Jump now allows the duo to act out of it after at least 50 frames; when coupled with the reintroduction of directional air dodges, these changes somewhat improve the safety and reliability of their once-risky recovery. Lastly, Wild Gunman has less endlag, higher damage outputs and knockback (to the point that the orange and sombrero gunmen boast KO potential at high percents), and the defeated gunmen each maintain a hurtbox that allow Duck Hunt to use them to block incoming attacks.
Duck Hunt also benefit from the universal changes of Ultimate. Their mobility has improved, particularly in regard to their dash/initial dash speeds and their aerials' reduced landing lag. These changes, when coupled with many of Duck Hunt's moves in general having less endlag, somewhat improves their combo game.
However, Duck Hunt have received some nerfs. Their lighter weight further worsens their already poor endurance. Some of their aerials have also been worsened: clean neutral aerial's noticeably lower knockback growth hinders its KO potential, forward aerial has a slightly shorter duration, and down aerial no longer auto-cancels with a short hop. Lastly, Trick Shot has lost some of its set-ups into Clay Shooting, while the latter is harder to destroy and its shrapnel can also damage Duck Hunt.
Overall, the changes to Duck Hunt greatly benefit them, as they are considered to be better than they were in SSB4. These buffs and nerfs, however, also change their playstyle somewhat. When coupled with Ultimate's faster engine, the combination of Duck Hunt's lighter weight, improved mobility and generally improved normal moves gives them more a more aggressive playstyle than in SSB4. Despite this, the large retention of their camping game also enables them to use it potently, despite the faster game engine favoring more offensive playstyles.
Initially, Duck Hunt were believed to be considerably worse than in SSB4, to the point that their playerbase was even smaller than it was in SSB4. Raito, the best Duck Hunt player in the world, most notably held this negative perception of them, and thus resorted to using secondaries, such as Inkling. However, as time went on, Raito started achieving very strong results competitively with them, such as placing 3rd at both Albion 4 and Umebura Japan Major 2019, placing 5th at EVO 2019, and taking sets off of notable players including Dabuz, Shuton, Cosmos, and Abadango.
These very potent results indicate that Duck Hunt have maintained their viability, but have also potentially become even more viable than in SSB4. Along with Raito, other Duck Hunt mains, such as Ozone and Vintendo, started achieving respectable results as of late. Although Duck Hunt's playerbase is still small, their impressive results, especially by Raito, indicate that they can be very potent when mastered.
Throws and other attacks
Duck Hunt have received a mix of buffs and nerfs from game updates, but have been slightly buffed overall.
For a gallery of Duck Hunt's hitboxes, see here.
Note: All numbers are listed as base damage, without the 1v1 multiplier.
The dog leaps into an 8-bit sprite of grass with the duck on his back before they both rise from the grass while the dog performs his signature laugh. The grass then disappears in a puff of smoke.
In competitive play
Duck Hunt’s true viability has remained unknown by many since the beginning of the metagame. The duo were initially thought to fare worse than they did in Smash 4, due to the changes to game mechanics which encourages more aggressive gameplay, which many players thought that it has significantly harmed Duck Hunt. While their campy gameplay were still agreed to be worse, many players later agreed that the character overall has considerably improved because of the amount of buffs received which allowed them to play more aggressively, whereas their camping gameplay from SSB4 remained as a viable strategy. So far, the duo has achieved great results thanks to players such as ASA, Wisdom, White Girl 6 9, and especially Raito. However, despite their strong success, Duck Hunt continued to suffer from mediocre representation, which has left their true viability unknown, although the general consensus is that they’re a high mid tier or a high tier.
Any number following the Smasher name indicates placement on the Fall 2019 PGRU, which recognizes the official top 50 players in the world in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate from July 13th, 2019 to December 15th, 2019.
Classic Mode: Dog, Duck, Zapper
Duck Hunt's opponents are animals, or in the case of the Mii Fighters, humans wearing animal costumes. Due to this theme, Duck Hunt fights Rathalos as the final boss of their route instead of Master Hand.
Role in World of Light
Duck Hunt was among the fighters that were summoned to fight the army of Master Hands.
During the opening cutscene, Duck Hunt was present on the cliffside when Galeem unleashed his beams of light. The duo was seen panicking alongside Villager and a composed Wii Fit Trainer, with the dog covering his eyes and the duck attempting to lift the dog off the floor with Duck Jump. The duo was then placed under Galeem's imprisonment alongside the rest of the fighters, excluding Kirby.
In the mode proper, Duck Hunt can be found inside a forest covered in fog to be challenged and recruited.
Duck Hunt's Fighter Spirit can be obtained by completing Classic Mode. It is also available periodically for purchase in the shop for 500 coins. Unlocking Duck Hunt in World of Light allows the player to preview the 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.
In Spirit battles
As the main opponents
As an ally
Character Showcase Video