Greninja (ゲッコウガ, Gekkouga) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. It was confirmed on June 12th, 2018. Greninja is classified as fighter #50.
Billy Bob Thompson, Yūji Ueda, Frédéric Clou and Benedikt Gutjan's portrayals of Greninja from Smash 4 were repurposed for the English, Japanese, French and German versions of Ultimate, respectively.
How to unlock
Complete one of the following:
With the exception of the third method, Greninja must then be defeated on Kalos Pokémon League.
Greninja, true to being a ninja-themed character, has very strong mobility similar to characters such as Sheik, Zero Suit Samus, and Sonic. This is notably evident with its walking speed (4th fastest), dashing speed (7th fastest), air speed (10th fastest), and rolls (both of which are tied for the game's second-fastest). However, unlike said characters, it maintains a strong set of KO moves, notably its smash attacks, throws (except down throw) and fully charged Water Shuriken. As with its appearance in Super Smash Bros. 4, this makes it a strong mix of speed and power.
Greninja's ground game is very strong due to its frame data, being among the fastest in the game. To further compound this attribute, most of its attacks have low ending lag, granting it a strong combo game, notably with its down tilt, dash attack, neutral aerial, up aerial's linking hits, and back aerial's first and second hits. Adding on, all of its smash attacks have very fast startup and KO power for their speed, notably with up smash.
Greninja also has a very strong air game due to its aforementioned air speed, jump height, and aerials that are reliable for multiple situations, while they all have low landing lag (except for down aerial, at 30 frames). Its neutral aerial is a decent low percent-combo starter (due to n-air's landing lag being pretty much nonexistent) and can also KO at high percentages, its forward aerial can KO very early at the edge, its up aerial can be used multiple times in a row to easily build up damage, its back aerial is a very fast offstage KO option, and its down aerial can be used to return to the stage or perform surprise combos.
Greninja's grab game is overall very effective, due to its grabs being among the longest ranges of any non-tether grab in the game, two KO throws (forward, up), and a decently effective combo starter with down throw. Finally, Greninja's special moves are effective for various situations; Water Shuriken is a high-percentage KO option when fully charged, where due to hitting multiple times, Greninja can rush down its opponent and follow up with any aerial attack (except for down) or an up smash. Shadow Sneak works as an effective "ambush" option, Hydro Pump is a good recovery move (and can be used for gimping recoveries and pushing an opponent to the blast zone), and Substitute is a counterattack that can be aimed in one of 8 different directions upon a successful counter.
Like all characters, Greninja is flawed in many ways. Greninja's primary flaws are its inability to break out of combos as well as a relative lack of KO setups. While Greninja has an easier time breaking out of combos due to the lower landing lag on all of its aerials, as well as the buffs given to Substitute, it still has difficulties in escaping combos due to its aerials still remaining relatively slow in startup lag. This can be alleviated with its back or down aerials or Shadow Sneak, but both are not very effective due to back aerial's almost entirely horizontal hitboxes, down aerial's landing lag, and Shadow Sneak's "eyes" now flashing just before the attack comes out. Finally, even though Greninja has an easier time KO'ing opponents, it still has trouble in doing so due to a general lack of reliable KO setups. At high percents, one can down tilt to an up-smash (after running a bit in front) but this is only true at specific percents. At even higher percents, down tilt can combo into forward aerial, after that Greninja has to resort to one of its KO throws. Mistakes are not tolerated with the ninja frog.
Altogether, Greninja's playstyle requires players to think like an actual ninja: utilizing running speed and fast attacks to rush down opponents, but while saving the slower attacks for potential mixups, mindgames and surprise KO options.
Changes from Super Smash Bros. 4
Despite being considered a high-tier character in Super Smash Bros. 4, 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.
However, its biggest buffs were to its grab game, which saw an even faster standing grab, while its forward and back throws can now KO in addition to its up throw. As a result of receiving multiple buffs with relatively few nerfs, 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.
Note: All numbers are listed as base damage, without the 1v1 multiplier.
In competitive play
Classic Mode: Your Turn, Greninja!
Greninja fights against characters that represent different types from the Pokémon games: for example, Charizard and Bowser represent Fire type, and Mewtwo, Ness, and Lucas represent Psychic type.
Role in World of Light
Greninja was among the fighters that were summoned to fight the army of Master Hands.
During the opening cutscene, Greninja was present on the cliffside when Galeem unleashed his beams of light. Greninja leaped into the air to avoid one of the beams, which hit Lucario instead. Greninja was hit shortly after and vaporized, getting imprisoned by Galeem afterward along with the other fighters, sans Kirby. A puppet fighter cloned from Greninja is later seen alongside ones cloned from Fox, Samus, Link and other fighters.
Greninja was one of the many fighters that fell under Dharkon's control upon Galeem's first defeat, and it can be found in the Mysterious Dimension at the Dark Realm. It can be seen impeding the path, making it an obligatory unlock.
Greninja is later seen among several other fighters, making their last stand against Galeem and Dharkon. It also shows up in the bad ending where Galeem emerges victorious against Dharkon, witnessing Galeem engulf the world in light.
Greninja's Fighter Spirit can be obtained by completing Classic Mode. It is also available periodically for purchase in the shop for 500 coins. Unlocking Greninja 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 opponent
Character Showcase Video
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