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For fighter info, see Greninja (SSB4) and Greninja (SSBU).
Official artwork of Greninja from Pokémon X and Y.
Universe Pokémon
Debut Pokémon X and Y (2013)
Smash Bros. appearances SSB4
Most recent non-Smash appearance Pokémon UNITE (2021)
Console/platform of origin Nintendo 3DS
Species Greninja
Gender Varies
Place of origin Kalos
Designed by Yūsuke Ōmura
English voice actor Billy Bob Thompson
Japanese voice actor Yūji Ueda
French voice actor Frédéric Clou
German voice actor Benedikt Gutjan
Article on Bulbapedia Greninja (Pokémon)

Greninja (ゲッコウガ, Gekkouga) is a starter Pokémon from the Pokémon series. It debuted in the series' sixth generation as the final stage Water-type starter Pokémon of Kalos, and is present as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. 4 and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.


Artwork of Ash-Greninja.

Greninja, a dual Water/Dark-type Pokémon, is a bipedal frog-like creature that greatly resembles a ninja; it wraps its long tongue around its mouth in emulation of a scarf. It is the final evolved form of the Kalosian starter Pokémon Froakie, evolving from the intermediate Frogadier from level 36 onward. It is categorized within the Pokédex at #658 as the "Ninja Pokémon".

According to the Pokédex and based on its statistics in the Pokémon games, Greninja is extremely fast, to the point that it has the highest raw speed statistic of any starter Pokémon (not counting Mega Evolution). Fittingly, it relies on this speed in battle 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 because of its low defenses.

In the Pokémon games, Greninja has access to numerous unique abilities. Initially, it was the only Pokémon able to learn Water Shuriken—which it uses in Super Smash Bros.—and Mat Block (used in Smash during Secret Ninja Attack), where it flips a tatami mat in front of itself to shield itself and its allies from incoming attacks. Besides these two unique moves, it has access to a diverse range of offensive and status moves; while its standard ability is, as every Water type starter Pokémon, Torrent, its Hidden Ability is the rare Protean, which changes its type to match each move it uses and ensures it gets the maximum possible power out of every attack, allowing it to take advantage from its large range of available moves.

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 after defeating a Pokémon, which initially debuted in the Pokémon anime. In Sun and Moon, “Ash-Greninja” can only be used by male Greninja, and cannot breed.

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 strengthened "Ash-Greninja" (coined by Bonnie) form because of 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.

In Super Smash Bros. 4[edit]

As a playable character[edit]

Main article: Greninja (SSB4)
Greninja, as it appears in Super Smash Bros. 4.

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 fighter Charizard. Much like in its home series, Greninja is very quick and mobile, similarly to Sheik and Sonic. However, it possesses more consistent KO power overall in comparison to them. It also possesses special moves that can catch opponents off-guard, such as Shadow Sneak and Substitute.

Masahiro Sakurai decided to add Greninja to Super Smash Bros. 4 long before the release of Pokémon X and Y, having initially reserved a space on the roster for a brand new Pokémon. Sakurai's only source material for designing the character was concept art of Greninja.[1]

Greninja is currently ranked 26th out of 55 on the tier list, placing it in the C tier. Greninja's strengths include very fast overall mobility and great combo potential, most notably with its neutral attack's jab cancel, and its 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 has a few noticeable negatives. It has unusually high ending lag in its moveset, especially its smash attacks. Substitute is a weak and avoidable counterattack. Lastly, its grab game is burdened with an abysmal pummel, an overall low damage output, and only two throws whose utility is decent at best. 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, thanks to it achieving decent results.



North America This Water/Dark-type Pokémon is the fully evolved form of Froakie. It's just as fast and dangerous as any other ninja, and the throwing stars it can make out of water can shear metal. In Smash Bros., as well as being a graceful, speedy fighter, it can also use moves like Hydro Pump that let it travel through the air and avoid falling.
Europe This Water- and Dark-type Pokémon is the fully evolved form of Froakie. It is just as fast and dangerous as its name suggests, and the throwing stars it can make out of water can shear metal. In this game, as well as being a graceful, speedy fighter, it can also use moves like Hydro Pump to let it move through the air and avoid falling.
Appears In
3DS: Pokémon X and Pokémon Y (10/2013)

Greninja (Alt.)

North America Greninja's Substitute down special lets you teleport to dodge attacks and then strike back, making it an effective and hard-to-predict way to counterattack. You can also control where you reappear by inputting directions. When you vanish, sometimes you'll be replaced by a log, other times by a cuddly toy.
Europe Greninja's Substitute down special lets you teleport to dodge attacks and then strike back, making it an effective and hard-to-predict way to counter-attack. You can also control where you reappear. When you vanish, sometimes you'll be replaced by a log, and other times by a Substitute doll.
Appears In
3DS: Pokémon X and Pokémon Y (10/2013)

In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate[edit]

As a playable character[edit]

Main article: Greninja (SSBU)
Greninja, as it appears in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

Greninja returns as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Unlike in SSB4, it is an unlockable character instead of a starter. Two of the most notable changes are that its water katanas have been replaced with water kunais, and that its Final Smash now features its Ash-Greninja form introduced in the anime and featured in Pokémon Sun and Moon.

Greninja has been greatly buffed from Smash 4 to Ultimate. As with all other characters in the game, its already quick mobility is faster like most characters, while its previously situational moves (such as dash attack, down smash and Water Shuriken) are much more versatile. Due to the game's universal changes to dash mechanics, Greninja can also further exploit its amazing ground mobility, allowing for easier setups into its combo starters, such as down tilt and dash attack. Furthermore, the reduced landing lag on Greninja's aerial attacks gives it an easier time landing, while the universal 3-frame jumpsquat improves Greninja's ground-to-air potential. Overall Greninja retains its status as a viable character in Ultimate's early meta with above average representation as of late thanks to Stroder, Lea, Jw, Somé, and iStudying and is considered as a high or even top tier character by many professional players.


Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name
Japan Japanese ゲッコウガ, Gekkouga
UK English Greninja
France French Amphinobi
Germany German Quajutsu
Spain Spanish Greninja
Italy Italian Greninja
China Chinese 甲賀忍蛙, Gekkouga
South Korea Korean 개굴닌자, Gegulninja
Netherlands Dutch Greninja
Russia Russian Грениндзя
Portugal Portuguese Greninja


  • Greninja's depiction in Smash is not directly based on a particular member of its species in the anime, unlike all other playable Pokémon in the game, due to its moveset being inspired by mere concept art. However, it shares its voice actors in various languages with Ash's Greninja and Riot's Greninja.
  • Greninja was the first character debuting in the 2010s to be revealed as a fighter.
  • Prior to Corrin's appearance as downloadable content, Greninja was the most recently debuted playable character at the time of SSB4's release, with a debut of October 2013.
  • Out of all the newcomers of SSB4, Greninja has the fastest air speed by default.
  • After the release of SSB4, a Japanese Event distribution from November 21, 2014 to January 20, 2015 featured an Event Greninja with its Smash Bros. moveset.
  • Several Greninja in the film Pokémon Detective Pikachu use water swords, similar to the Greninja in Smash 4.
  • Greninja is the only playable Pokémon who is completely unavailable in Pokémon Sword and Shield.
  • Greninja was the first fighter announced to be playable in a Super Smash Bros. title on the same console as its console of origin, as Pokémon X and Y and Smash 3DS are all Nintendo 3DS games.