Hero (勇者, Hero) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and the second fighter from Square Enix after Cloud. He was announced during the E3 Nintendo Direct alongside Banjo & Kazooie on June 11th, 2019 as the second downloadable character from Fighters Pass Vol. 1. The default Hero is the Luminary from Dragon Quest XI, while Erdrick from Dragon Quest III, Solo from Dragon Quest IV and Eight from Dragon Quest VIII also appear as alternate characters like the Koopalings and Alph. Unlike the Koopalings and Alph, however, they are all listed simply as "Hero". Hero was released as part of Challenger Pack 2 on July 30th, 2019 and is classified as Fighter #72.
Mitsuki Saiga reprises her role as the Luminary from the Japanese version of Dragon Quest XI S, voicing him in all regions in place of his English voice actor, Rasmus Hardiker. Nobuyuki Hiyama, Takeshi Kusao and Yūki Kaji also debut as the voices of Erdrick, Solo and Eight, respectively, also in all versions of the game.
Hero is a tall swordsman with slightly above-average weight. This, in tandem with his sword, gives his attacks long range, but makes him easy to hit and combo. He sports the typical above-average damage and knockback output of a heavyweight. Overall, Hero has respectable mobility; in spite of having a slow walk speed, slightly below-average air speed and poor air acceleration, his dash speed, initial dash, traction, fall speed, and fast-fall speed are all either average or above-average.
Hero has a good defensive game. Similar to the three Links, Hero actually sports two shields: the standard Shield action that every fighter has, and another equipped on his left arm most of the time. Hero's shield can block projectiles while he is standing idle, walking, or crouching. The first hit of Hero's forward tilt grants invincibility to his left arm, head and left leg because of this shield's position, similar to Palutena's dash attack and back aerial.
Hero possesses a unique MP Gauge, storing up to 100MP, which depletes whenever he uses a special move. MP is restored whenever he hits opponents with attacks, and also restores gradually over time. Although his special moves completely rely on the MP Gauge, they possess tremendous utility. His neutral special, Frizz, is a fireball that travels fast, far and deals decent damage, allowing Hero to disrupt enemy approaches. In addition, unlike other Frizz spells, Frizz has low vertical knockback, making it possible to start juggles or even true combos. Frizz can be charged into Frizzle, which can beat other projectiles and KO near the ledge at reasonable percentages, or Kafrizz for even more damage, knockback and traveling distance, turning it into a viable KO move even at mid percent. Hero's side special, Zap, has good range for its startup, deals respectable damage and KOs at very high percentages. Zap can be charged into Zapple, which grants even more range and damage while being a vertical KO move at high percentages, or Kazap, which results in a attack that sacrifices speed and range for power, being able to KO most opponents center stage at a mere 50%. Additionally, Kazap has super armor frames, allowing it to resist oncoming attacks. Zap and its variants are disjointed melee attacks, giving them excellent range and rendering them immune to reflection and absorption. Hero's up special, Woosh, is a quick recovery move and is also Hero's fastest and most reliable out of shield punish. Woosh can be charged into Swoosh, granting more vertical distance and horizontal mobility, or Kaswoosh, which provides tremendous vertical distance. Additionally, all Woosh spells leave behind tornadoes, which serve as lingering hitboxes that can damage opponents and gimp opposing recoveries or setup into devastating setups from below the ledge. Finally, his down special, Command Selection, gives Hero a list of four random spells which offer a wide variety of effects. Most of these spells have significant advantages and little disadvantages, which can be seen here. The Command Selection can be cancelled by inputting the shield button, allowing Hero to repeatedly switch the menu of spells until he has an ideal set of them.
Hero's smash attacks all share a unique perk: they have a 1/8 chance of striking with a critical hit, doubling their damage output and significantly increasing their knockback, allowing them to KO at extremely early percents. In addition, they cause the smash attacks to cause more shieldstun, making them slightly safer on shield. Even without this perk, Hero's smash attacks have some utility: his forward smash is his strongest smash attack in both damage and knockback, having large range to boot, making it terrific for hard reads or punishes, his up smash has high vertical range, being a reliable anti-air option, good for halting aerial opponents' approaches while remaining a good KOing tool (though it suffers from nonexistent horizontal range, being unable to hit grounded opponents), and his down smash is his weakest smash attack, though it is also his fastest and can be used to punish rolls or spot dodges. Thus, it is a reliable edgeguarding attack in its own right.
Hero's other grounded attacks still possess utility, even if they are less overwhelming than his smash attacks and special moves. Neutral attack has a respectable startup, damage output and good range, making it good for both damage-racking at low percents, spacing and as "get-off-me". As stated earlier, forward tilt's first hit has blocking capabilities, making it a defensive option that can beat other moves or projectiles and then be followed up with a second hit—a sword slash—which offers better range, identical speed, and more power, allowing for setting up edgeguards or outright KOs near the ledge. Up tilt has wide range, which, coupled with its respectable damage output and decent startup lag, makes it a fantastic anti-air option and more consistent than up smash, along with being able to KO at high percentages. Down tilt has good range—superseding Hero's neutral attack—while offering the same speed and launching vertically; it can be used to hit opponents hanging on the ledge and start setups. Lastly, dash attack boasts high power for an attack of its type at the cost of speed, being able to KO at a mere 80% from the ledge.
Hero's aerial moveset, while not as good as that of many other swordfighters, is impressive nonetheless. Neutral aerial has wide range around him and launches at a diagonal angle, being a situational combo starter and useful shield poking option. Forward and back aerials are both rather slow (with back aerial in particular being among the slowest of its kind), but they both deal respectably decent knockback, KOing at 100% and 85% respectively. Up aerial has the lowest lag out of any of Hero's aerials and deals very low damage and knockback, enabling it to effectively initiate combos into itself or other moves, or even set up KO confirms at varying percentages. Lastly, down aerial is Hero's most damaging aerial, but also one of his slowest. Its clean hit is capable of meteor smashing opponents, leading to KOs as low as 20% on offstage foes.
Lastly, Hero's up and down throws sport some utility: the former can not only act as a situational combo starter, but it is also his strongest throw, being able to KO before 200%, unlike his others. Conversely, down throw is a good combo starter at low percents and can lead into dangerous set-ups.
But for all the strengths that Hero has, they do come with a price. His access to his special moves is restricted by their reliance on MP. Without enough MP, he is unable to cast any spells, which may put him in great danger offstage as Hero's Woosh spell will only give him a very small hop without MP. While his Command Selection is very versatile, its random nature means that a desired spell is unlikely to be available. On top of that, some of his spells have very little utility (e.g, Metal Slash, which deals 1% and extremely low set knockback against non-metal opponents), while one of them, Hocus Pocus, grants any one of a slew of effects, with detrimental ones outnumbering and outweighing possible benefits.
Many of Hero's attacks suffer from slow start-up lag (dash attack), high ending lag (up, down and second hit of forward tilts), or both (forward and back aerials). Hero's below-average frame data, alongside his high raw damage output and attacks' high knockback values, give him a limited combo ability, only having certain attacks like neutral aerial, up aerial, up throw, and down throw that can successfully generate true combos. Even then, while Hero's grabs have fast startup for his weight class, they have short range and up throw only initiates combos at fairly low percentages. Up aerial suffers from poor range and down tilt suffers from aforementioned high endlag, preventing it from performing any true combos. As stated earlier, his up smash's horizontal range is nonexistent. Thus, it is Hero's least useful move against grounded opponents and, by extension, his least potent grounded attack.
Due to being a semi-heavyweight, having a tall hurtbox and slightly above average falling speed, and lacking any fast or invincible attacks, Hero is very susceptible to combos. This weakness may be exacerbated further through one of Hocus Pocus's effects (which makes him giant) as well as Oomph, which makes him suffer 1.2x damage when hit.
Overall, Hero has many strengths and many weaknesses. While he does have a plethora of magic spells at his disposal, high damage output, and overall high kill power, he suffers from susceptibility to combos, slow attacks, reliance on random chance, limited ability to combo his opponents and finite resources that are slow to recharge. While there is some potential and strategy in Hero's normal moveset, victory or defeat will frequently come down to resource management and luck. While players such as Salem have shown Hero’s potential at tournaments, his representation has been below average overall. As such, his viability remains up for debate.
Hero has been slightly buffed via in game updates. However, the majority of the changes made to the character have been bug fixes and other adjustments to align him with the rest of the cast, with no changes that majorly affected gameplay.
For a gallery of Hero's hitboxes, see here.
Note: All numbers are listed as base damage, without the 1v1 multiplier.
Command Selection spells
Main article: Command Selection
Approximations were done with the equation (X/S), with X being the relative odds of the move and S being the sum of all moves relative odds, including the selected move's odds.
Hocus Pocus Effects
In competitive play
Hero's place in competitive play has been controversial even before his introduction into the game; players were immediately divided due to the sheer amount of randomness in his toolkit, which some argued as too unpredictable for him to work as a competitively fair character. However despite the controversy, Hero initially had little impact on the metagame; while it was common to see him in pools and small-scale tournaments, he has not gone far in high-level tournaments, with his most notable national placements coming from Salem and Tsu, players who either used him as a co-main or eventually dropped the character. This can be attributed to his slow frame data, lack of reliable combo breaking options, and his reliance on MP, all of which can be exploited by opponents. His randomness also plays a part in his unreliability, as it can be just as common to roll an undesired move as it is to get the best option. As a result, most players initially considered him a mid tier character at best.
More recently, however, Akakikusu had made waves with the character, placing top 8 at several Japanese nationals and defeating several top Japanese players. These placements, despite being during the pandemic, were nonetheless more impressive than anyone else up to that point, leading some players to believe that Hero was better than what the general consensus is.
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.
See also: Category:Hero professionals (SSBU)
Hero's moveset, specifically Command Selection, has been controversial due to its randomness. Comparisons have been drawn between Command Selection and items, with the argument being that the unpredictable nature of both of them result in a less competitive environment, in which skill alone is not sufficient to win matches (coincidentally so as certain spells like Hocus Pocus grant abilities otherwise only found with items such as the Super Star and Timer). Furthermore, specific commands have also been the subject of controversy, such as Zoom which invalidates any attempts at edgeguarding, Whack and Thwack which are capable of KOing at any percentage, or Magic Burst whose blast radius can easily cover the ledge and prevent a large portion of the cast from recovering without taking significant damage. Random critical hits from Smash Attacks have also stirred conversation regarding Hero's skill factor, though not quite to the same degree as Command Selection. Finally, issues regarding language barriers have also been raised, as it is not uncommon for players to compete in regions that do not share their first language. Therefore, a player who does not speak the language of the country in question will be at a large disadvantage, regardless of whether they are playing as or against Hero. Players against this point mention how most of the spells in languages that use the Latin alphabet are very similar to what they are in English, rendering them easily guessable, learnable and reactable, but supporters bring up languages that do not use the Latin alphabet, such as Japanese and Russian, saying that these are much harder to learn and react to in such a short amount of time.
Many prominent smashers, such as Leffen and Dark Wizzy, have advocated banning Hero, while others such as Dabuz and ESAM have come out against a ban, arguing that the character has significant counterplay and has not achieved overwhelmingly high results at tournaments to the same degrees as a top-tier character. The first region to ban Hero from tournaments was South Australia, where the ban was put into effect on August 15th, 2019. This was met with criticism, with players in the community such as D1 and ZeRo stating that it is too early to declare whether the character should be banned or not. Notably, Nintendo France has also banned the Hero and DLC Fighters released after September 23rd, 2019 from future tournaments in their area, making Hero the first instance a character has been banned in Nintendo-run tournaments. No official reason has been given for the ban by Nintendo France at the time. However, as of September 26, 2019, Nintendo France announced on Twitter that they have overturned the ban, making Hero and DLC Fighters released after the aforementioned date legal in Nintendo-run Tournaments for the area. 
Classic Mode: A History of Heroism
Every battle aside from the last one is a stamina battle, referencing the HP system in Dragon Quest and most RPGs. Additionally, every battle uses a song from the Dragon Quest universe regardless of stage. When fighting against all of the Heroes, they will use that costume even if the player is using one of them (a trait unique to Hero until the release of Byleth).
Credits roll after completing Classic Mode. Unlike other fighters, the music that plays differs depending on the costume selected.
Role in World of Light
Due to his status as downloadable content, Hero does not have a legitimate role in World of Light. Instead, he is unlocked for use in the mode after freeing 10 fighters from Galeem's control. If loading an existing save file that meets this condition prior to downloading Hero, he is immediately unlocked.
However, in his reveal trailer, all four Heroes are shown fighting against puppet fighters alongside Link, which suggests he too is fighting against Galeem and Dharkon. Erdrick additionally appears in Sephiroth's trailer being defeated by Galeem.
Hero's fighter spirit can be obtained by completing Classic Mode. It is also available periodically for purchase in the shop for 300 coins, but only after Hero has been downloaded. Unlocking Hero in World of Light allows the player to preview the first 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.
Additionally, the other three Heroes have their own fighter spirits, which can only be obtained by purchase in the shop.
As a minion