Greninja is a dual Water/Dark-type Pokémon based on frogs and themed after ninjas; fittingly, its species is known as the "Ninja Pokémon". It was introduced in the Pokémon series within the series' sixth generation, as part of Pokémon X and Y. Greninja is the final evolved form of the starter Pokémon Froakie, who in turn evolves into middle stage Frogadier before evolving into Greninja at level 36. According to the Pokédex and based on its statistics in the Pokémon games, Greninja is extremely fast (in fact, it has the highest raw speed statistic of any Water-type Pokémon or fully evolved starter Pokémon) and relies on this speed in battle and to confound its prey with swift, ninja-like grace before striking with its Water Shuriken move, which is said to be able to shear metal. In exchange, however, it is rather frail due to its low defenses.
In the Pokémon games, Greninja has access to numerous unique abilities. In addition to Water Shuriken, which it uses in Super Smash Bros., it is also the only Pokémon able to learn Mat Block, where it flips a tatami mat in front of itself to shield itself and its allies from incoming attacks. In addition to these two unique moves, it has access to a diverse range of offensive and status moves; it can even uniquely take advantage of them with its rare Hidden Ability Protean, which changes its type to match each move it uses and ensures it gets the maximum possible power out of every attack. Its prowess in Pokémon battles courtesy of Protean has led to Greninja to being considered an extremely powerful and useful Pokémon by the competitive Pokémon scene, to the point that is even viewed as an "Uber-tier" Pokémon in the same vein as Mewtwo. In Pokémon Sun and Moon, Greninja appears as a gift Pokémon obtainable via the games' demo version. This Greninja has the unique Battle Bond ability, which allows it to transform into its more powerful "Ash-Greninja" form, which initially debuted in the Pokémon anime.
Greninja has made multiple appearances in the Pokémon anime, but is most notable for being Ash Ketchum's ace Pokémon during the XY series. Having been part of Ash's party ever since Ash received it from Professor Sycamore, the Pokémon developed a close bond with Ash throughout the series as it trained and evolved, eventually gaining access to its superpowered "Ash-Greninja" form due to the connection between Pokémon and Trainer. With the help of Greninja and the rest of his Pokémon team, Ash was able to achieve his greatest success in a Pokémon League tournament up to that point, only losing in the finals due to Greninja being overwhelmed and defeated by Alain's Charizard. At the end of the series, Greninja bade farewell to Ash, parting ways in order to help protect Kalos alongside two Zygarde, Squishy and Z2.
Greninja debuts as a newcomer in Super Smash Bros. 4. It was first revealed in the Super Smash Bros. Direct on April 8, 2014, alongside fellow Pokémon representative Charizard. Fittingly for ninja-inspired character, Greninja is very quick and mobile much like Sheik, yet possesses more consistent KO power overall in comparison to her. It also possesses special moves that can catch opponents off guard, such as Shadow Sneak and Substitute.
Greninja is currently ranked 22nd out of 58 on the tier list, placing it in the B tier. Greninja's strengths include very fast overall mobility and great combo potential, most notably with up and down tilts. Water Shuriken also grants it a decent projectile, which not only has fairly good travel distance, but is also capable of being thrown out for a fast attack, or charged up for greater power. Despite these positives, Greninja's flaws include unusually high ending lag in its moveset, especially its smash attacks, Substitute being a weak counterattack due to its low power, and a poor grab game due to its overall sluggishness and unreliability to start combos or even KO, with the exception of up throw. Regardless of these issues, as well as being noticeably nerfed in update 1.0.4, Greninja is still viewed as a viable choice for competitive play, having achieved decent results.
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