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. However, unlike most characters who boast similar mobility (such as Sheik), Greninja boasts a surprising amount of KO options, good range on plenty of its attacks, and KO throws.
One of Greninja's most notable traits is its high mobility which compliments its grounded moveset. Greninja's dash attack comes out frame 7 and has very low endlag, as well as the ability to cross up on shields. Its knockback angle allows for many true follow ups and strings over a large range of percents. Its neutral jab attack comes out on frame 3, making it a good grounded combo breaker. It can also lock, which gives Greninja access to potent punishes from opponents missing techs. Its down tilt is an excellent combo starter due to its low startup, ending lag and vertical launch angle. Greninja's up tilt is a frame 9 disjointed hitbox that acts well as an anti-air and can also be a combo starter. Its smash attacks are also reliable in their own right; its forward smash is quick for its range and power, down smash is an excellent punishment option for ledge regrabs, as well as sending at a low angle, and up smash is a potent combo finisher.
Greninja also has a very strong air game due to its aforementioned air speed, jump height. Greninja's aerials are reliable for multiple situations and all have low landing lag (except for down aerial, at 30 frames). Its neutral aerial is a decent low percent-combo starter due to it having incredibly low landing lag and good launch angle. It can also KO at high percentages. Its forward aerial acts as a combo finisher from its combo starters and can KO moderately early. Forward aerial's low landing lag and disjointed nature also makes it safe on shield in many situations when spaced correctly. Its up aerial is a great juggling option with low all-around lag and boasting good KO potential near the upper blast line. Greninja can also utilize its multihits to drag down opponents to create tech chase and jab lock situations. Its back aerial is a very fast follow up or offstage edgeguarding option. Down aerial can be used as a mix up to return to the stage from far above, as well as perform surprise combos on hit with both its spike and sourspot hitbox.
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. Its forward, up, and back throws can KO at high percentages. Down throw acts as a middle percent combo starter, as well as a strong DI mix up, especially at higher percentages at ledge as a 50/50 between DI in and out in conjunction with forward throw. Up throw acts as a versatile combo starter that can lead into juggle situations. Because of this, Greninja has plenty of options off of a grab, as not one of its throws could be considered useless.
Finally, Greninja's special moves are effective for various situations. Water Shuriken acts as a versatile zoning tool, as well as a high-percentage KO option when fully charged. At low-to-mid percents, it is also a combo starter, allowing Greninja to rush down its opponent and follow up with any aerial attack or an up smash. Shadow Sneak works as an effective recovery mix up, as well as a potent KO move from a good read or pseudo-combo finisher. Despite lacking an offensive hitbox, Hydro Pump is a good recovery move for its long distance, and can be used for gimping recoveries due to having windbox properties. Substitute is a counterattack with the unique attribute of being able to be aimed in one of 8 different directions upon a successful counter. These angled follow ups allow for Greninja to gain pseudo-follow ups as well as KO earlier by picking the optimal angle in regards to stage positioning.
Like all characters, Greninja is flawed in many ways. Greninja's primary flaws are its inability to break out of disadvantage state and its lack of out of shield options. While not as bad as the previous game, Greninja still has difficulties escaping combos due to its aerials still having relatively high startup. This can sometimes be alleviated with its back or down aerials, but both are not very effective due to back aerial's almost entirely horizontal hitboxes and down aerial's landing lag. Another option is aerial water shuriken, which stalls Greninja in the air and can be used as a landing mix up, as well as hydro pump landing mix ups. Greninja's out of shield options are relatively weak as well. Though its standing grab was buffed by one frame of start up, he still lacks an out of shield option quicker than frame 10, other than jumping. This means that when Greninja is pinned down into shield, it lacks many options to punish its opponent effectively.
Altogether, Greninja's playstyle requires players to think like an actual ninja: utilizing running speed and fast attacks to rush down opponents, saving the slower attacks for potential mixups, mindgames and surprise KO options, and remaining unpredictable to prevent being trapped into disadvantageous positions.
Changes from 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. Its pummel, previously considered one of the worst pummels in Super Smash Bros. 4, has been buffed as well. Despite dealing less damage, it is significantly faster. Up throw and down throw actually have better combo potential as well due to the universal changes. The universal 3-frame jumpsquat and ability to buffer aerials from a short hop improves Greninja's up throw, being able to combo into up aerial at low percents to high percents more reliably, while also being able to start juggles with up aerial more consistently due to up aerial's lowered landing lag. The universal buff of dash-canceling and the ability to buffer aerials from a short hop greatly benefits Greninja's down throw, now being able to combo into dash attack at low percents to extend combos and being able to potentially kill confirm with a short hop forward aerial or full hop back aerial at higher percentages.
On the other hand, Greninja is not without its nerfs, its biggest being the universal nerf of footstools. While Greninja can still perform footstool combos, they're now harder to pull off due to the ability to tech footstools, which hinders Greninja's combo ability (specifically its down aerial). However, the nerf is not very significant due to Greninja's combo game actually being buffed overall due to other universal changes that impact it more positively.
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 and is considered as a high or even top tier character by many professional players.
Note: All numbers are listed as base damage, without the 1v1 multiplier.
In competitive play
In the early metagame, players quickly noticed that Greninja had been buffed from Smash 4, with improved versatility and speed and, despite losing its footstool combos, gaining a stronger combo game thanks to improved frame data on moves such as dash attack, up throw, down throw, and neutral aerial. Despite this, Greninja is not a very popular pick compared to other characters such as Joker and Snake due to its high learning curve. Nevertheless, smashers such as Stroder, Jw, and Lea have proven that the character is a viable pick, causing many players to agree that Greninja is a high to top tier character.
Any number following the Smasher name indicates placement on the Spring 2019 PGRU, which recognizes the official top 50 players in the world in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate from February 1st, 2019 to July 7th, 2019.
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.
Note: All rounds except the sixth round take place on Pokémon Stadium and Pokémon Stadium 2.
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