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Ice Climbers (SSBU)

From SmashWiki, the Super Smash Bros. wiki
This article is about the Ice Climbers' appearance in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. For the characters in other contexts, see Ice Climbers.
Ice Climbers
in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Ice Climbers SSBU.png
IceClimberSymbol.svg
Universe Ice Climber
Other Smash Bros. appearances in Melee
in Brawl

Availability Unlockable
Final Smash Iceberg
IceClimbersHeadSSBU.png
Back in the battle after a ten-year absence! There are two of them, so does that make them twice as strong as other fighters?
Super Smash Blog, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Official Site

The Ice Climbers (アイスクライマー, Ice Climber) are playable characters in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. They were confirmed on June 12th, 2018. Although they are a team, the Ice Climbers are collectively classified as fighter #15.

The Ice Climbers are once again voiced by Sanae Kobayashi, with her portrayal from Melee and Brawl being repurposed for Ultimate.

How to unlock

Complete one of the following:

  • Play VS. matches, with the Ice Climbers being the 10th characters to be unlocked.
  • Clear Classic Mode with Link or any character in his unlock tree, being the 2nd characters unlocked after King K. Rool.
  • Have the Ice Climbers join the player's party in World of Light.

With the exception of the third method, the Ice Climbers must then be defeated on Summit.

Attributes

Incomplete.png

Changes from Super Smash Bros. Brawl

Previously, the Ice Climbers were known for having some of the most infamously powerful damage racking capabilities thanks to their ability to wobble in Melee and infinitely chain grab in Brawl, and additionally achieve a KO from them. Possibly as a result of this, in the transition from Brawl to Ultimate, the Ice Climbers were drastically nerfed. Their grab game was significantly impacted the most; the partner climber can no longer grab or act when the leader is grabbed or throwing someone (except when in the air), the leader's grabs have noticeably more startup and ending lag, and their infamous chain grabs were completely removed.

Outside of this, the Ice Climbers have received a mixed bag. On the nerf side, the base damage output on many of their moves has decreased and many of their attacks connect less reliably when they are together due to reduced hitlag. The partner climber also no longer performs Blizzard behind the leader when used on the ground and Blizzard itself is less effective as a spacing tool due to it being almost useless when used at max range as well as it has increased ending lag. The partner climber is also launched much easier than the leader due to taking increased damage and knockback from attacks, and the AI's intelligence has been reduced leading to more likely self-destructs, making it harder for each of them to stay together. Finally, due to changes in Belay's hitboxes, the move can gain significantly less height if the hitbox is out prioritized, and its overall size is smaller, making it harder to connect against grounded opponents.

However, in terms of buffs, as with almost every other returning veteran, their mobility has been considerably increased and the partner climber is now faster than the leader, making it harder to separate them. Some of their moves, including forward smash, down smash, and forward aerial have higher damage and KO power, and the Ice Climbers have superior combo potential due to the removal of hitstun canceling and the weakening of SDI. This is further complemented by the fact that desynching remains a very powerful tool that gives the Ice Climbers highly effective combos. Thanks to improved freezing properties, the Ice Climbers can freeze opponents easier and longer, which can lead to high damage, KOs while edgeguarding, shield pressure, and follow-ups if performed correctly.

Nevertheless, the Ice Climbers are significantly less effective than in Brawl, although to what extent is unknown, especially since they are difficult to play at a high level and it is unknown how far their desync combos can be developed and be applied into competitive matches. Even with the game mechanics giving them multiple benefits, the changes have either weakened or entirely removed the tools that have made the Ice Climbers prominent. Despite this, players such as Big D, Daiki, and ???? have achieved respectable tournament results using them.

Aesthetics

  • Change Due to the game's graphical improvements, the Ice Climbers gain a sleeker design with more subtle detailing in their hair and parkas, and their overall color scheme is significantly more vibrant. The duo wears coats with detailed furry lining, similar to Melee. The duo have slightly smaller more proportionate heads, more faint blushes on their cheeks, and slightly thinner eyes on top of losing the purple hue in their eyes. Their boots and hammers also appear to be covered in light powdered snow.
  • Change The Ice Climbers' black costume has been updated: Nana's parka is now brown instead of black. They have also gained two additional alternate costumes, increasing their total to eight. Additionally, their costumes have been re-ordered; the Nana-leading costumes now occupy the second half of their costumes instead of the even-numbered costumes, similar to Olimar.
  • Change Both Ice Climbers face the foreground at an angle, instead of facing directly forward. In addition, they always face the screen regardless which direction either of them turn, making all of their animations mirrored while altering some.
  • Change The Ice Climbers have a new idle pose of them turning to look behind themselves. It replaces the animation of them dropping their hammers then lifting them back up.
  • Change Like other fighters, the Ice Climbers are more expressive than before, they appear excited when using their specials, scowl when shielding and charging their up and down smash, and the partner climber will also panic when the leader is grabbed.
    • Change In addition, the partner climber will have a worried expression and wince periodically when the main climber gets frozen, dizzy, or gets attacked.
  • Change Spot dodge and ledge-hanging animations have changed.
  • Change The Ice Climbers only jump once when using up taunt as opposed to three times.
  • Change In the end of a solo match, only the leading Ice Climber will be shown inside the losing pane on the results screen. Both Ice Climbers are still shown if the match ends in a No Contest.
  • Change Their victory theme has been shortened to only contain the second half.
  • Change The Ice Climbers' crowd cheer is "I scream, you scream, Ice Climbers!"
  • Bug fix Nana's crowd cheer is no longer the back sound of the menu if she is currently the leader.
  • Change The Ice Climbers' voice clip numbers in Sound Test are numbered individually (i.e. "Popo: Voice [number]"/"Nana: Voice [number]"), similar to other team-based fighters as well as the Mii Fighters, Assist Trophies, Poké Ball Pokémon and bosses.
  • Change The sound effects of the partner are quieter. This is best heard when they're either Star or Screen KO'd.
  • Change Due to their absence in SSB4, the Ice Climbers now have a Boxing Ring title and a Palutena's Guidance conversation.

Attributes

  • Buff Like all characters, both of the Ice Climbers' jumpsquat animations take three frames to complete (down from 4).
  • Buff The partner climber is generally faster than the leader. This helps them keep up if the two are separated.
  • Nerf If either Ice Climber lands a hit, the other one takes a small amount of hitlag, regardless of whether their attack connects or not.
    • Nerf This makes desyncing slightly more difficult.
  • Nerf The partner climber takes 1.05x times the damage and knockback from attacks, making them slightly easier to separate and KO.
  • Buff The Ice Climbers walk faster (0.96 → 1.008 (leader), 1.1088 (partner)).
  • Buff The Ice Climbers dash faster (1.388 → 1.53 (leader), 1.683 (partner)). Their initial dash is also faster (1.4 → 1.68).
  • Buff The Ice Climbers' air speed is faster (0.7708 → 0.83 (leader), 0.8715 (partner)).
  • Change The Ice Climbers' falling speed is faster (1.2 → 1.3).
  • Change The Ice Climbers' gravity is slightly higher (0.077 → 0.082), although it is lower relative to the cast.
  • Buff As with all returning veterans, the Ice Climbers have much higher traction (0.035 → 0.077) although it is still the second lowest in the game.
  • Buff The partner climber has higher air acceleration (0.09 → 0.0945).
  • Nerf The removal of chain grabbing hinders the Ice Climbers more than any other character, as it harshly reduces their damage racking and KO abilities and zero-to-death potential. They also greatly suffer from the ability to tech footstools as it removes their guaranteed lock setups from grabs.
  • Nerf The partner climber's AI is worse as they have more difficulty recovering and making it back to the leader which can lead to them self destructing.
  • Buff The duration enemies are frozen from the Ice Climbers' ice attacks are much longer, allowing for easier unavoidable followups at high percentages. At very high percentages, it can even freeze them long enough to be unable to recover from near the ledge.
  • Buff Ice Climbers arguably benefit the most from the reintroduction of wavedashing because of their very low traction, significantly increasing their approach and mobility, as well as giving them more mixups with grabbing and attacking opponents.
  • Change The partner climber's attacks affect the duo's staleness queue; in previous games, they would use the queue but could not alter it. This generally means that the duo's attacks will both stale and refresh twice as quickly.
  • Bug fix When the leader is KO'd by reaching 0 HP during their last stock in Stamina Mode, the partner climber instantly enters the defeat animation regardless of being hit or not, similar to Rosalina's Lumas.
    • Nerf This consequently remove the partner climber's ability to intervene the results of opponents, hindering their impact on Stamina battles.

Ground attacks

  • Neutral attack:
    • Buff Neutral attack can lock opponents due to its altered angle (60° → 361°/180°) and the partner's second hit deals more damage (2% → 2.6%).
    • Nerf Neutral attack does less damage (3% → 2% (leader hit 1), 4% → 3.5% (leader hit 2), 2% → 1.5% (partner hit 1), 11% → 9.6% (total)).
    • Nerf Second hit of neutral attack has more ending lag (frame 20 → 30) and both hits have a shorter duration (frames 4-7 (hit 1), 4-6 (hit 2) → 4-5 (both)).
  • Forward tilt:
    • Nerf The partner's forward tilt deals less damage (7% (non angled), 9% (angled) → 6.75%).
    • Nerf Forward tilt has a shorter duration (frames 9-12 → 9-10).
  • Up tilt:
    • Buff The final hit of up tilt has more combo potential due to the removal of hitstun canceling. The partner's final hit also deals more knockback (40 (base), 100 (scaling) → 38/118).
    • Nerf Up tilt deals less damage (1% (loop hits) → 0.8% (leader loop hits), 0.6% (partner loop hits), 17% → 15.4% (total)), the loop hits have increased knockback (10 (base), 20 (scaling) → (65/60/20)/10) and the final hit has more startup lag (frame 23 → 24).
  • Down tilt:
    • Change The partner's down tilt deals consistent damage (4%/5% → 4.5%) making it deal more damage at close range but makes it deal less damage at the tip of the hammer.
    • Nerf Down tilt connects less reliably at higher percents when both climbers are present.
  • Dash attack:
    • Buff The partner's dash attack deals more damage (4% → 4.5%) and has increased knockback scaling (40 → 60). Dash attack also has a longer duration (frames 11-12 → 11-14).
    • Nerf Dash attack causes less hitlag making it connect far less reliably at higher percents when both climbers are present.
  • Forward smash:
    • Buff Forward smash has less startup lag with a longer duration (frames 12-13 → 11-13). It also has less ending lag (frame 49 → 47) and has higher base knockback (30 → 50). The partner's forward smash also has higher knockback scaling (118 → 126).
    • Nerf It has an altered animation where the Ice Climbers don't slam their hammers as far, hindering its range. It also no longer has a sweetspot which deals more damage (13% → 12% (leader), 10% → 9% (partner), 23% → 21% (both)).
  • Up smash
    • Buff Up smash has less startup lag (frame 13 → 12) and the partner's up smash has higher knockback scaling (113 → 126).
    • Nerf The partner's up smash deals less damage (9% → 8.2%) and it has more ending lag (frame 48 → 50).
  • Down smash:
    • Change Down smash is a sweep that hits one side. The partner will use the same attack facing the other way.
    • Buff Down smash covers more horizontal ground when together and it deals more damage (12%/10% → 13% (leader), 9%/8% → 9.7% (partner)). It also has less ending lag (frame 44 → 41) and deals more knockback than the previous sweetspots (30 (base), 105 (leader scaling)/113 (partner scaling) → 45/(100/120)).
    • Nerf Down smash only hits on one side when solo. It is also drastically harder to connect with both climbers and even if it does, its maximum damage output is much lower as it no longer has two hits (42% → 22.7% (both)).

Aerial attacks

  • Buff All aerials have less landing lag (15 frames → 7 (neutral/back), 20 → 10 (forward), 30 → 14 (up), 42 → 20 (down).
  • Nerf The Ice Climbers can no longer use two back or up aerials in a short hop due to their faster falling speed as well as the latter having increased ending lag.
  • Neutral aerial:
    • Buff The partner's neutral aerial deals more damage (5% → 5.25%).
    • Nerf Neutral aerial connects less reliably when both climbers are present especially at higher percents.
    • Nerf The partner's neutral aerial also has less knockback scaling (128 → 120) hindering its KO potential despite its higher damage.
  • Forward aerial:
    • Buff The partner's sourspot forward aerial deals more damage (7% → 9%).
    • Buff The partner's forward aerial has increased knockback scaling (100 → 114) improving its KO potential when both climbers are present.
    • Buff The removal of meteor canceling improves the partner's sweetspot's reliability.
  • Back aerial:
    • Nerf Back aerial deals less damage (11% → 10% (leader), 8% → 7.5% (partner), 19% → 17.5% (both)) although its knockback scaling was compensated (107 (leader), 128 (partner) → 115/138) and connects less reliably when both climbers are present especially at higher percents.
  • Up aerial:
    • Buff The Ice Climbers have a new up aerial: an upwards hammer swing in a horizontal arc. Compared to the old up aerial, it provides much more horizontal range and hits in front of them, covering them more efficiently than before. It also has higher knockback scaling (120 (leader), 142 (partner) → 129/154.80003) improving its KO potential despite its lower damage.
    • Nerf New up aerial deals less damage (10%/9% → 9% (leader), 7%/6% → 5.75% (partner)), has more startup lag, a shorter duration (frames 6-23 → 7-11) and more ending lag (frame 30 → 36) compared to the previous one. It also has less vertical range making it much harder to connect against grounded opponents.
  • Down aerial:
    • Buff The partner's down aerial deals more damage (5% → 6%). Down aerial also auto-cancels earlier (frame 58 → 54).
    • Change The Ice Climbers bounce up before performing down aerial similar to Sheik's down aerial.
    • Nerf Down aerial has more startup lag with a shorter duration (frames 9-51 → 12-51).

Throws and other attacks

  • Nerf Grabs have more startup (frame 6 → 8 (standing), frame 8 → 10 (dash/pivot)) and ending lag (frame 30 → 40 (standing), frame 40 → 48 (dash), frame 40 → 41 (pivot)).
  • Nerf The partner climber cannot act while the leader is held by an opponent's grab while on the ground, and enters a panicking animation instead (although this can be avoided with desyncs).
  • Nerf The partner climber can no longer grab, and will taunt during the leader's throw while on the ground. This removes their chain grabs and locks the Ice Climbers were infamous for in previous titles.
  • Buff Up throw deals more damage (2% (hit), 4% (throw), 6% (total) → 3%/5%/8%) and the knockback scaling on the throw was not fully compensated (28 → 26).
  • Change Down throw has the leader grab the opponent with both hands, lift them up in the air, and slam them on the ground.
    • Buff The changes to hitstun canceling improve down throw's combo potential beyond lower percents with a solo climber.
    • Nerf The removal of chain grabbing hinders down throw's damage racking potential at lower percents even with a solo climber. Down throw also has increased knockback scaling (100 → 116) hindering its combo potential.
  • Buff The leader's front and back floor attacks deals more damage (6% → 7%).
  • Nerf The partner's floor attacks deals less damage (6% → 5.2% (front & back), 5% → 3.5% (trip)).
  • Change Ledge attack is a horizontal swing similar to their old over 100% ledge attack. It deals consistent damage compared to the previous two ledge attacks but the partner's ledge attack is weaker (8% (hammer), 6% (body) → 8% (leader), 6% (partner).
    • Nerf New ledge attack deals less damage compared to their old over 100% ledge attack (10% (hammer), 8% (body) → 8% (leader), 6% (body)) and the Ice climbers do not hunch over when performing it making them easier to hit.

Special moves

  • Ice Shot:
    • Buff Ice Shot deals more damage (1%-3% → 2-2%-3.5%). It also has less ending lag (frame 60 → 56).
    • Buff Ice Shot can function as a projectile blocker since the sliding ice pieces won't get destroyed by any projectiles, and will cancel them out no matter how powerful they are.
    • Change Ice Shot makes a different sound effect.
    • Nerf Ice Shot has more startup lag (frame 17 → 18).
    • Nerf Reflected ice chunks can damage the Ice Climbers.
  • Squall Hammer:
    • Buff Solo Squall Hammer ends with a stronger hit that deals mild diagonal damage and knockback. The move also has less startup lag (frame 12 → 10).
    • Buff Desynced Squall Hammer can be used to trap opponents between both Ice Climbers.
    • Change Squall Hammer makes a twinkling sound effect when used.
    • Nerf Squall Hammer grants much less vertical distance with mashing and it has more ending lag with both climbers (frame 70 → 78).
    • Nerf Squall Hammer doesn't sweetspot the ledge anymore.
  • Belay:
    • Buff Belay covers slightly more distance with a solo climber and the solo climber has more control while using it.
    • Change When both climbers are present, the solo climber covers more vertical distance but less horizontal.
    • Change Belay uses a unique sound effect rather than regular jump sound from Ice Climber.
    • Nerf The partner's hitbox on Belay can be out prioritized. If it is, then the leader will rise no higher than when the move is done solo.
    • Nerf Belay has a smaller hitbox making it harder to land against grounded opponents.
  • Blizzard:
    • Change Both Ice Climbers aim Blizzard forward while on the ground, similarly to their aerial version in previous games. This increases its damage output when used on the ground, but means that Blizzard can no longer hit opponents behind them, hindering its spacing potential.
    • Buff Blizzard freezes opponents for a longer period of time.
    • Nerf Blizzard deals less damage at close range (2% → 1.7%) and it has more ending lag (frame 80 → 85). It also no longer causes hitstun or freezes opponent when used at far range removing its ability to lock and hindering its spacing potential.
  • Iceberg:
    • Buff Iceberg spins and features a teetering Polar Bear that launches opponents with greater knockback. During the move, a Condor will circle around the top of the screen, which the Ice Climbers can grab onto, and it will also deal damage to opponents that touch it.
    • Change When paired, the Ice Climbers no longer make a "clapping" sound upon activating Iceberg.
    • Change Iceberg lasts a shorter duration. This makes it less threatening to opponents, but also makes it less likely to lose the partner climber.
    • Buff The iceberg can be moved across the stage.
    • Nerf Iceberg no longer freezes opponents.
    • Nerf Iceberg no longer causes platforms to damage opponents.

Update history

The Ice Climbers have received a mix of buffs and nerfs via game updates.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate 1.2.0

  • The Ice Climbers have been affected, although the changes are currently unknown.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate 2.0.0

  • Buff The partner Ice Climber's AI has been improved: the partner will now follow the main climber better.
    • Nerf This makes desyncs even harder to perform.
  • Buff The ledgegrab-box for Belay has been increased.
  • Bug fix Fixed a bug that allowed the partner climber to survive after the leader runs out of stocks.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate 3.0.0

  • Change Partner climber's AI was adjusted.
    • Change The partner climber returns to the leader when grabbing an opponent.
    • Change Scenarios where desyncs would occur have changed.
  • Change The hitlag multiplier of the final hit of the partner climber's up tilt has been increased.
  • Buff Iceberg via the FS Meter deals more knockback.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate 3.1.0

  • Change Ice Climbers recover midair jumps in the same way as other fighters.
  • Nerf Partner climber will no longer jump when pressing the jump button right after a grab. This removes its combo and 0-to death potential.
  • Bug fix An unknown glitch that launches the partner climber at significant high knockback has been fixed.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate 4.0.0

  • Nerf Partner climber is no longer able to ledge trump opponents.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate 5.0.0

  • Bug fix The partner can now ledge-trump opponents, fixing an issue introduced in 4.0.0.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate 6.1.0

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate 7.0.0

  • Buff Overall shield size has been increased.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate 8.0.0

  • Buff Pummel has a larger hitbox (4.8u → 5.8u) that is placed further horizontally (Z offset: 6.4u → 7.4u), allowing it to connect more consistently.
  • Iceberg:
    • Buff Iceberg slows opponents more during startup.
    • Buff The Iceberg appears much faster, and the peak's hitbox size was increased.
    • Buff The Condor has a larger search radius (8u → 9.5u), making it easier to grab onto.

Moveset

  • Although the Ice Climbers have among the lowest traction in the game, their traction is completely unaffected by slippery terrain such as ice.
  • The partner Ice Climber will taunt whenever the leader throws an opponent.

For a gallery of the Ice Climbers' hitboxes, see here.

Note: All numbers are listed as base damage, without the 1v1 multiplier.

  Name Damage Description
Neutral attack   leader: 2%
partner: 1.5%
The Ice Climbers swing their hammers horizontally, and then vertically.
leader: 3.5%
partner 2.6%
Forward tilt   The Ice Climbers swing their hammers horizontally.
leader: 9%
partner: 6.7%
Up tilt   leader: 0.8% (hits 1 - 6), 4% (hit 7)
partner: 0.6% (hits 1 - 6), 3% (hit 7)
The Ice Climbers twirl their hammers over their heads. This creates a lingering hitbox that hits multiple times.
Down tilt   leader: 6%
partner: 4.5%
The Ice Climbers sweep their hammers across the ground in front of themselves.
Dash attack   leader: 6%
partner: 4.5%
The Ice Climbers leap forward, swinging their hammers in front of themselves.
Forward smash   leader: 12%
partner: 9%
An overhead swing of their hammers, smashing them in front of themselves.
Up smash   leader: 11%
partner: 8.2%
The Ice Climbers swing their hammers in an overhead arc.
Down smash Hammer Sweep leader: 13%
partner: 9.7%
The Ice Climbers sweep their hammers across the ground in a specific direction (the leader attacks in front, while the partner attacks behind). If the partner is absent, however, this move will only hit on one side.
Neutral aerial   leader: 7%
partner: 5.2%
The Ice Climbers spin in place with their hammers outstretched.
Forward aerial Hammer Slam leader: 12%
partner: 12% (sweetspot), 9% (sourspot)
The Ice Climbers perform a somersaulting overhead swing of their hammers in a manner similar to their forward smash. The partner's hammer has a sweetspot that can meteor smash opponents.
Back aerial   leader: 10%
partner: 7.5%
The Ice Climbers swing their hammers horizontally behind themselves.
Up aerial   leader: 9%
partner: 6.7%
The Ice Climbers swing their hammers above themselves in an arc.
Down aerial   leader: 8%
partner: 6%
The Ice Climbers hold their hammers below themselves and fall downward. A stall-then-fall, but what sets it apart from other down air stall-then-falls is that the startup doesn't possess a meteor hitbox.
Grab   The leader reaches in front of themself with their free hand.
Pummel   1% A headbutt. The partner takes no action at all.
Forward throw   3% (hit), 5% (throw) The leader knocks the opponent away with their hammer.
Back throw   6% The leader throws the opponent behind themself.
Up throw   3% (hit), 5% (throw) The leader tosses the opponent upward and hits them with their hammer. It has the second highest base knockback of any up throw, but the weakest knockback growth, rendering it incapable at KOing, even at very high percents.
Down throw   6% The leader lifts the opponent over their head with both hands and slams them on the ground.
Floor attack (front)   leader: 7%
partner: 5.2%
The Ice Climbers swing their hammers around themselves as they get up.
Floor attack (back)   leader: 7%
partner: 5.2%
Same as the frontal floor attack.
Floor attack (trip)   leader: 5%
partner: 3.5%
Gets up and spins around, hitting with their hammers.
Edge attack   leader: 8%
partner: 6%
The Ice Climbers climb up and slam their hammers in front of themselves.
Neutral special Ice Shot 3.5~2.2% (ice chunks), 3.5% (hammers) Each Ice Climber summons a small stalagmite of ice and hits it with their hammer, causing it to slide along the ground, gradually shrinking as it travels. It bounces off walls and shields. If attacked by an opponent, the ice will hurt the Ice Climbers. The ice can freeze opponents at high percents.
Side special Squall Hammer both: 2.2% (loop), 4% (final) The Ice Climbers stand back-to-back while spinning around an axis with their hammers outstretched, hitting opponents multiple times. The attack is concluded with them swinging their hammers upward, which launches opponents away. By repeatedly tapping the special move button, the Ice Climbers will rise in the air, allowing them to recover. This, however, also renders them helpless. If only one Climber is present, the move deals less damage and reduced knockback, and gains less height.
Up special Belay 16% (partner) The leading Ice Climber throws the partner the air with a rope. The partner then pulls the leader upwards. If there is a nearby edge, the partner will target it, and then proceed to pull the leader to the ledge as well. While rising, the partner is invincible, allowing for a safe recovery for both Ice Climbers. Each Ice Climber becomes helpless after the move is used.
Down special Blizzard both: 1% (far loop), 1.7% (close loop) The Ice Climbers blow a gust of cold air in front of themselves, potentially freezing opponents. If used on an already frozen opponent, they will remain frozen for slightly longer. With both Ice Climbers present, this move can deal a maximum of 31.5%.
Final Smash Iceberg 13% (peak, rising), 11%/9%/7% (iceberg), 16% (Polar Bear), 5% (Condor) The Ice Climbers summon a rotating iceberg to rise up from the center of the stage. For the duration of the Final Smash, it can be moved left and right. The range of how far it can move is shown by the mist. The iceberg deals damage to opponents who touch it: the closer they are towards the top, the more damage they take. Towards the base of the iceberg is a Polar Bear, which has high launching power. A Condor also appears, flying above, which the Ice Climbers can grab onto. This allows the iceberg to be more easily controlled without worry of self destruction, although the partner will be at risk of potentially being pushed offstage if they fail to grab it. Upon ending, the iceberg will lower itself, and the Condor will fly off to the side of the stage.

On-screen appearance

  • The Condor flies in with them hanging off its feet. They then jump off while high fiving each other, and the Condor flies off.

Taunts

  • Up taunt: They set down their hammers and jump up and down once. This is their victory animation during the results screen in Ice Climber.
  • Side taunt: They point their hammers diagonally upward and shout "Yup!", as wind blows behind them.
  • Down taunt: They dance in a circle.

Idle poses

  • Both twirl their hammers.
  • Popo looks backward curiously.

Victory poses

  • Left: Both jump up and down infinitely. Based on their victory animation in Ice Climber, similar to their up taunt.
  • Up: Both nod and high five one another.
  • Right: Nana hides behind Popo, only showing her face as Popo shifts from left to right.
The second half of the track that plays when Popo or Nana grab the feet of the Condor at the end of a bonus stage in Ice Climber.

In competitive play

Before release, players were quick to note that the Ice Climbers lost their most powerful tool from Brawl: their infamous zero-to-death chain grab. That, along with changes to gameplay mechanics removing several combo tools, caused players to believe that the Ice Climbers wouldn't be viable, a belief that held on throughout the early metagame. As such, the Ice Climbers’ representation was minuscule.

It wasn't until a few months after Ultimate's release that the Ice Climbers' playerbase started to make breakthroughs, with the few that stuck with them discovering new desync setups and high-damaging combos. This allowed the Ice Climbers to gain better representation as the metagame progressed, with Kie using them as a co-main in Japan. Most notably, Big D picked the Ice Climbers up and was able to place well even at a national level. Despite this success, many players believe that the character's playstyle is too complicated for them to be viable, and the general consensus agrees that the Ice Climbers are mid to low-tier. The new advanced techniques, however, have helped their mains with how little match-up experience there has been from opponents to learn from.

Notable players

Active

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.

Inactive

Classic Mode: Duos for Days

Ice Climbers' congratulations screen.

The Ice Climbers fight two characters from a given universe in each stage. To fit with the theme, both Master Hand and Crazy Hand are fought regardless of the difficulty.

Round Opponent Stage Music
1 Link LinkHeadSSBU.png and Zelda ZeldaHeadSSBU.png Great Plateau Tower Main Theme - The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
2 Ryu RyuHeadSSBU.png and Ken KenHeadSSBU.png Suzaku Castle Ryu Stage
3 Villager VillagerHeadSSBU.png and Isabelle IsabelleHeadSSBU.png Smashville Title Theme - Animal Crossing: Wild World (Brawl)
4 Donkey Kong DonkeyKongHeadSSBU.png and Diddy Kong DiddyKongHeadSSBU.png Jungle Japes Jungle Level (Melee)
5 Palutena PalutenaHeadSSBU.png and Pit PitHeadSSBU.png Palutena's Temple Title Theme - Kid Icarus
6 Mario MarioHeadSSBU.png and Peach PeachHeadSSBU.png Princess Peach's Castle Main Theme - New Super Mario Bros.
Bonus Stage
Final Master Hand and Crazy Hand Final Destination Master Hand / Crazy Hand

Credits roll after completing Classic Mode. Completing it as the Ice Climbers has Ice Climber (Brawl) accompany the credits.

Role in World of Light

Finding the Ice Climbers in World of Light

Although the Ice Climbers have been absent from the World of Light opening cutscene, they were vaporized and later imprisoned alongside the rest of the fighters (sans Kirby) when Galeem unleashed his beams of light.

The Ice Climbers are unlocked in the southern portion of the snowy mountain area. Unlocking them eliminates the ice paths so they can be traversed in both directions as well as opening a path to the hidden forest.

Fighter Battle

No. Image Name Type Power Stage Music
15
Ice Climbers SSBU.png
Ice Climbers
Grab
Grab
7,500 Summit (Ω form) Ice Climber (Brawl)


Spirit

The Ice Climbers' Fighter Spirit can be obtained by completing Classic Mode. It is also available periodically for purchase in the shop for 500 coins. Unlocking the Ice Climbers 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 opponents

Spirit Battle parameters Inspiration
No. Image Name Series Enemy Fighter(s) Type Power Stage Rules Conditions Music Character
114
Freezie spirit.png
Freezie Mario Bros. Series Ice Climbers IceClimbersHeadWhiteSSBU.png
Grab
1,600 Mario Bros. (Battlefield form) •Item: Freezie •The enemy starts the battle with a Freezie Mario Bros.
373
Mr Frosty Spirit.png
Mr. Frosty Kirby Series Ice Climbers IceClimbersHeadIndigoSSBU.png
Shield
2,200 Dream Land (Battlefield form) •Hazard: Ice Floor •The floor is frozen
•The enemy's ice and water attacks have increased power
Stamina battle
Ice Cream Island
457
Lapras.png
Lapras Pokémon Series Ice Climbers IceClimbersHeadBlueSSBU.png
Shield
3,800 Wuhu Island (Rocks at sea) •Buoyancy Reduced •You can't swim Pokémon Red / Pokémon Blue Medley
531
Kyurem.png
Kyurem Pokémon Series Ice Climbers IceClimbersHeadWhiteSSBU.png
Shield
4,700 Summit (Battlefield form) •Hazard: Ice Floor •The floor is frozen
•Timed battle
•The enemy favors special moves
Battle! (Reshiram / Zekrom)
860
Reese & Cyrus Spirit.png
Cyrus & Reese Animal Crossing Series Ice Climbers IceClimbersHeadRedSSBU.png
Shield
9,400 Smashville •Item Tidal Wave
•Hazard: Low Gravity
•Gravity is reduced
•Certain items will appear in large numbers after a little while
2:00 a.m. - Animal Crossing: Wild World Reese (Nana), Cyrus (Popo)
878
Ice Man Spirit.png
Ice Man Mega Man Series Ice Climbers IceClimbersHeadWhiteSSBU.png
Shield
4,600 Summit (Battlefield form) •Hazard: Ice Floor •The floor is frozen
•The enemy's ice and water attacks have increased power
•The enemy has super armor and is hard to launch or make flinch
Ice Man Stage
1,099
Duon spirit.png
Duon Super Smash Bros. Series •Giant Ice Climbers IceClimbersHeadRedSSBU.png
Attack
4,100 Halberd (Ship deck) •Item: Shooting Types Stamina battle
•The enemy's shooting items have increased power
•The enemy is giant
Boss Battle Song 1 Duon's gun side (Nana) and sword side (Popo)
1,137
Olaf.png
Olaf Advance Wars Series Ice Climbers IceClimbersHeadBlueSSBU.png
Shield
2,200 Summit (Battlefield form) •Move Speed ↓
•Hazard: Ice Floor
•The floor is frozen
•You have reduced move speed after a little while
•The enemy starts the battle with a Steel Diver
Filled with Hope
1,308
P5 Caroline and Justine.png
Caroline & Justine Persona Series Ice Climbers IceClimbersHeadBlueSSBU.png
Shield
9,700 Kalos Pokémon League (hazards off) •Sudden Damage •You take serious damage after a little while
•Timed battle
Aria of the Soul

As minions

Spirit Battle parameters Inspiration
No. Image Name Series Enemy Fighter(s) Type Power Stage Rules Conditions Music Character
607
Condor Spirit.png
Condor Ice Climber Series Ridley RidleyHeadRedSSBU.png
Ice Climbers IceClimbersHeadBlueSSBU.png
Neutral
4,500 Summit (Battlefield form) •Hazard: Ice Floor •Defeat the main fighter to win
•The floor is frozen
•Timed stamina battle
Ice Climber (Brawl) Ice Climbers

Alternate costumes

Their 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th costumes swap Popo and Nana, making Nana controllable. The stock icons and character select portraits change to reflect this. Popo and Nana act separately in terms of their costume's color.

Ice Climbers Palette (SSBU).png
IceClimbersHeadSSBU.png IceClimbersHeadBlueSSBU.png IceClimbersHeadGreenSSBU.png IceClimbersHeadIndigoSSBU.png IceClimbersHeadRedSSBU.png IceClimbersHeadBrownSSBU.png IceClimbersHeadWhiteSSBU.png IceClimbersHeadOrangeSSBU.png

Gallery

Character Showcase Video

Trivia

  • One of the Ice Climbers' preview pictures show them using Blizzard against a Metroid, referencing the species' weakness to cold in the Metroid series.
  • The Ice Climbers, R.O.B., and Cloud are the only fighters that cannot receive a series bonus since they don't have any primary spirits from their own series.
  • When the leader climber is grabbing and pummeling an opponent, the partner's animation will lag for every pummel hit.
  • Hitting the accompanying Ice Climber will not cause controllers to shake if the vibration setting is turned on. This applies for everything from normal attacks, throws, or Final Smashes.
  • When played on the world map for World of Light, only the leading Ice Climber appears.
  • If the partner is caught in a non-cutscene trapping Final Smash (e.g Triforce Slash, Great Aether, Omnislash) and the leader is KO'd, the partner will disappear, leaving the opponent attacking nothing. A similar situation occurs in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
  • There's a small oversight the Ice Climbers' back-hitting/wallbounce hitstun animation in which they freeze for a brief moment before going into their tumbling animation. This is due to additional frames being added past the final point of the animation.
    • The animation itself mimics how hitstun animations worked from Smash 64 to Brawl.
    • The freeze itself is a reference to the duo's dying animation in Ice Climber, in which they freeze for a brief moment after touching an enemy.
  • When navigating the camera around the Ice Climbers during certain animations, such as their ledge hanging animations, the furry linings on the bottom of their coats and around their wrists seem to detach from their jacket, exposing multiple gaps.[1] There's also gaps when looking at their face in certain angles between the furry lining.
    • Additionally, zooming in on Popo's face reveals a gap between his hair and furry lining.
    • Also, looking closely at Nana's hair reveals a small gap underneath between her hair and forehead.
  • In a Stock or Stamina battle, if the leading Ice Climber gets KO'd, the vanishing effects of the partner does not appear whenever the leader respawns.
  • Ice Climbers' Classic Mode route is similar to Banjo & Kazooie's, as both are themed around duos.
  • If one looks closely at one of the Ice Climber's non-leading foot during their tech wall jump animation, it twists the other way during the move. This can be more easily seen if the match is currently slowed down.
  • While most other characters have the announcer say "(character) wins!" at the victory screen, the Ice Climbers have the announcer say "Ice Climbers win!". The "(character) win!" audio clip is usually reserved for the Japanese version, though it is most likely used with the Ice Climbers because of their two-in-one nature and name. Rosalina & Luma and Banjo & Kazooie also share this distinction.
    • In Spanish, French, German, and Italian, the name tag and voice clip from the announcer on the victory screen is slightly different from the one used on the character select screen, instead featuring a noticeable translation of "the" (los, les, die, and gli Ice Climbers, respectively). This trait is shared with Wii Fit Trainer, Pokémon Trainer, Villager, Inkling, Hero, and the Mii Fighters.
  • In their battle portrait, the accompanying Ice Climber will be slightly lower than in their full artwork, which was done to make them easier to see.
  • The Ice Climbers and Lucas are the only playable characters who use sprites as their Fighters Spirit image.
  • The AI level for the partner Ice Climber (Nana by default) is 77 out of 100, which is slightly higher than a level 8 CPU (75 out of 100); the non-standard number is likely a pun on Nana's name, as one of the ways to say seven in Japanese is "なな (nana)".[2]
  • While most characters have two different set of knockback-based voice clips, the Ice Climbers are the only exception to this rule as they use either their low or high knockback voice clips or remain silent, regardless of their knockback speed.
    • Additionally, the Ice Climbers are the only characters that retain their voice clips from Brawl but do not make use of their unused knockback voice clips, a trait shared with Link, Captain Falcon and Ganondorf from Smash 4.
  • The Ice Climbers are the only characters who have less dash-to-run frames when performing a pivot dash instead of a regular dash.
  • When playing on a custom stage, there's a visual glitch in the Ice Climber's on-screen appearance where the Condor does not disappear and only does so once "GO!" appears on the screen.
  • If both Ice Climbers perform a smash attack with the Home-Run Bat, Nana will vocalize first, which is during the windup rather than before the swing. This is a carryover from Brawl, where all character will grunt during the windup animation. This is shared with Falco.
  • If Nana is the leader, the Ice Climbers' knockback voice clips won't play for unknown reasons.
  • The Ice Climbers' description on the North American amiibo website is based on their trophy description from Melee.
  • The Ice Climbers, Daisy, Duck Hunt, Ken, and R.O.B. are only non-DLC characters who don't appear in more than one spirit battles from their home series. Dr. Mario doesn't appear in any Mario spirit battles at all, and Cloud doesn't appear either since only spirits from the Final Fantasy universe are his fighter spirits. This is not counting Olimar, who appears only in Mockiwi spirit battle as himself, but is fought in other spirit battles as Alph.

References

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Meshima on Twitter: Nana AI level is 77 out of 100, slightly smarter than lv.8 CPU having 75. Probably the number of 77 comes from Japanese pronunciation (7 = "na" or "nana").