Ice Climbers (SSBU)

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This article is about the Ice Climbers' appearance in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. For the character 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. The Ice Climbers are classified as fighter #15.

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

How to unlock[edit]

Complete one of the following:

  • Play VS. matches, with the Ice Climbers being the 10th character to be unlocked.
  • Clear Classic Mode with Link or any character in his unlock tree, being the second character 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.

Changes from Super Smash Bros. Brawl[edit]

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 chain grab in Brawl, and additionally achieve a KO from them. As a result of this, in the transition from Brawl to Ultimate, the Ice Climber's grab game has been significantly nerfed, with Nana being unable to grab (except when in the air) or act when Popo is grabbed, and Popo grabbing considerably slower. Additionally. they have lost the ability to use their infamous chain grabs.

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. Nana also no longer performs Blizzard behind Popo 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 having increased ending lag. Nana is also launched much easier than Popo due to taking increased damage and knockback from attacks, and the AI's intelligence has been downed and will likely self-destruct, making it harder for each of them to stay together.

On the buff side of things, as with almost every other returning veteran, their mobility has been considerably increased and Nana is now faster than Popo, making it harder to separate them. Some of their moves, including forward smash, down smash, and forward aerial have higher 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 complimented by the fact that desynching remains a very powerful tool so desyncs can be used to give the Ice Climbers highly effective combos. Some of their moves also have increased damage output (which is further complimented by the 1v1 damage multiplier). Thanks to improved freezing properties, the Ice Climbers can freeze opponents easier and longer, which can lead to high damage, KOs while edge-guarding, 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 applied into competitive matches.

Aesthetics[edit]

  • Change Both Ice Climbers always face the screen regardless which direction either of them turn, making both their stances mirrored.
  • Change The Ice Climbers gain additional detail due to the game's graphical improvements. The duo now wear coats with detailed furry lining, and their boots and hammers are covered in powdered snow. They have slightly smaller heads, and the proportions of their facial features and bodies have also been adjusted.
  • Change Like other fighters, Nana is more expressive than ever before. She cheers Popo on when he throws an opponent, and panics in place when he is grabbed or stunned. Popo will do the same if the roles are reversed. They will also have a panicked or hurt expression whenever one of the climbers is hurt normally (e.g., Popo or Nana gets hurt alone and one watches when they aren't grabbed).
  • Change Either Ice Climber now hangs onto the ledge with one hand instead of two.
  • Change Sidestep animation has been altered, showing them resting their hammers on their shoulder while looking back.
  • 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 The Ice Climbers only jump once when using up taunt as opposed to three times.
  • Change Their victory theme has been shortened to only contain the second half.

Attributes[edit]

  • Buff Like all characters, both of the Ice Climbers' jumpsquat animations now take three frames to complete (down from 4).
  • Buff Nana is now generally faster than Popo. This helps them keep up if the two are separated.
    • Nerf This, however, makes desyncing slightly more difficult.
  • Nerf Nana now takes 1.05x times the damage and knockback from attacks, making her slightly easier to separate.
  • Buff The Ice Climbers walk faster (0.96 → 1.008 (Popo), 1.1088 (Nana)).
  • Buff The Ice Climbers dash faster (1.388 → 1.53 (Popo), 1.683 (Nana)). Their initial dash is also faster (1.4 → 1.68).
  • Buff The Ice Climbers' air speed is faster (0.7708 → 0.83 (Popo), 0.8715 (Nana)).
  • 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.
  • Change 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 Nana 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.
  • Nerf Nana's AI is worse as she has more difficulty recovering and making it back to Popo which can lead to her 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 Nana's attacks now affect the duo's staleness queue; in previous games, she 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.

Ground attacks[edit]

  • Neutral attack:
    • Buff Neutral attack can now lock opponents.
    • Nerf Neutral attack does less damage (11% → 9.6%).
    • 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% → 6.75%).
    • Nerf Forward tilt has a shorter duration (frames 9-12 → 9-10).
  • Up tilt:
    • Buff The final hit of up tilt has a longer duration (frame 23 → 24-27) and has more combo potential due to the removal of hitstun canceling.
    • Nerf Up tilt deals less damage (17% → 15.4%) and the final hit has more startup lag (frame 23 → 24).
  • Down tilt:
    • Buff Down tilt deals higher knockback improving its edgeguarding pontential.
    • Change The partner's down tilt now 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 has more ending lag (frame 27 → 31) and connects less reliably at higher percents when both climbers are present.
  • Dash attack:
    • Buff Dash attack deals more damage (10% → 10.5%) and 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 and a longer duration (frames 12-13 → 11-13). It also has less ending lag (frame 49 → 47) and deals much more knockback.
    • Nerf Forward smash has less range and no longer has a sweetspot which deals more damage (23% → 21%).
  • Up smash
    • Buff Up smash has less startup lag (frame 13 → 12).
    • Nerf Up smash no longer has sweetspots and it has more ending lag (frame 48 → 50).
  • Down smash:
    • Change Down smash is now 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. It also has less ending lag (frame 44 → 41) and has more KO potential.
    • 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 (41% → 22.7%).

Aerial attacks[edit]

  • Buff All aerials have less landing lag (15 frames → 7 (neutral/back), 20 frames → 10 (forward), 30 frames → 14 (up), 42 frames → 20 (down).
  • Nerf The Ice Climbers can no longer use two back or up aerials in a short hop.
  • Neutral aerial
    • Nerf Neutral aerial connects less reliably when both climbers are present especially at higher percents.
  • Forward aerial:
    • Buff The partner's sourspot forward aerial deals more damage (7% → 9%) improving its KO potential when both climbers are present. The removal of meteor canceling also improves the sweetspot's reliability.
  • Back aerial:
    • Nerf Back aerial deals less damage (19% → 17.5%) 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.
    • Nerf New up aerial deals less damage (17% → 15.75%), 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 Down aerial deals more damage (13% (clean), 8% (late) → 14%/11%).
    • Change The Ice Climbers now bounce up before performing down aerial similar to Sheik's down aerial.
    • Nerf Down aerial has more startup lag and a shorter duration (frames 9-51 → 12-51) and the sweetspot is harder to land.

Throws/other attacks[edit]

  • 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 Nana cannot act while Popo is held by an opponent's grab, and enters a panicking animation instead.
  • Nerf Nana is unable to grab at all, and will taunt during Popo's throw. These changes prevent chain grabs and locks the Ice Climbers were infamous for in previous titles.
    • If Nana is still in midair in the above situations, she can act, but it is unknown to what extent.
  • Buff Up throw does more damage (6% → 8%).
  • Change Down throw now has Popo 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.
    • Nerf The removal of chain grabbing hinders down throw's damage racking potential at lower percents even with a solo climber.

Special Moves[edit]

  • Ice Shot:
    • Buff Ice shot deals more damage (6% → 14% (close), 4% → 7% (far)) and has less ending lag (frame 60 → 56).
    • Change Ice shot makes a different sound effect.
    • Nerf Ice Shot has more startup lag (frame 17 → 18) and now damages the Ice Climbers when it's reflected back by a normal attack.
  • Squall Hammer:
    • Buff Squall Hammer now ends with a strong hit that deals high upward knockback after the initial spin if Popo and Nana perform the move in sync. Performing the move solo ends with a weaker hit that deals mild diagonal damage and knockback. The move also has less startup (frame 12 → 10) and ending lag (frame 90 → 78).
    • Buff Desynced Squall Hammer can be used to trap opponents between both Ice Climbers.
    • Change Squall Hammer now makes a twinkling sound effect when used.
    • Nerf Squall Hammer grants much less vertical distance with mashing.
    • Nerf Squall Hammer doesn't auto grab 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 now has unique sound effects once used rather than their regular jump sound, presumably taken from their original game 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 he does this move solo.
    • Nerf Belay has a smaller hitbox making it harder to land against grounded opponents.
  • Blizzard:
    • Change Both Ice Climbers aim Blizzard forwards 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's maximum damage output is lower (33% → 31.5%) 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 now 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 lead Ice Climber 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 Nana.
    • Buff Iceberg can now be moved across the stage.

Update History[edit]

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate 1.2.0

  • Ice Climbers have been affected in the 1.2.0 update.

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 desync even harder to perform.
  • Buff The ledgegrab-box for Belay has been increased.

Moveset[edit]

  • The partner Ice Climber will taunt whenever the leader throws an opponent.


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.
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[edit]

  • The Condor flies in with them hanging off its feet. They then jump off, and the Condor flies off.

Victory poses[edit]

  • Both nod and high five one another.
  • Both jump up and down (their victory pose from Ice Climber).
  • 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.

Classic Mode: Duos for Days[edit]

The Ice Climbers fight two characters from a given universe in each stage.

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

Role in World of Light[edit]

Although the Ice Climbers do not appear in 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. In the battle, you fight on the Omega version of Summit. Ice Climbers are a Grab Spirit in the battle with a power of 7,500.

Spirits[edit]

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.

Alternate costumes[edit]

Nana becomes the leading, player-controlled character when using the 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th costumes shown below. 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[edit]

Character Showcase Video[edit]

Trivia[edit]

  • One of the Ice Climber's 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 (Nana by default) 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.


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