Incineroar (ガオガエン, Gaogaen) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. It was confirmed as a playable character alongside Ken and Piranha Plant on November 1st, 2018. Incineroar is classified as fighter #69.
H.D. Quinn, who voiced Professor Kukui's Incineroar in the Sun and Moon anime, reprises his role as the Pokémon in English. In Japanese, it is voiced by Unshō Ishizuka, who passed away before Incineroar's reveal. Incineroar also has different voice actors for the French and German versions due to its name being different in those languages.
How to unlock
Complete one of the following:
With the exception of the third method, Incineroar must then be defeated on Boxing Ring.
Incineroar draws many comparisons to some of the slowest, hardest-hitting fighters in Super Smash Bros. history: it is a super-heavyweight with the sixth-highest weight (tied with Charizard), the nineteenth-fastest falling speed (therefore classifying it as a fast-faller), and average air acceleration. However, it is the overall slowest character in the game, with the slowest walking and dashing speeds in the base game, the eighth-slowest air speed, and the twelfth-slowest initial dash speed.
As a character that pays homage to professional wrestling, Incineroar's moveset boasts an abundance of single-hit attacks and throws, and its attacks have respectably large hitboxes for a close-range fighter of its mobility. Contrary to its sluggish movement, its frame data is fast, and almost all of its moves are heavily damaging and capable of KOing very early, while also having a respectable lag in spite of their power. Unlike most other hard hitters, Incineroar's weaker attacks are very reliable combo starters that work at a wide percent range, giving its moveset an excellent amount of utility.
Unsurprisingly, Incineroar has a multitude of KO options. Its smash attacks are all powerful in their own right, and each have their unique perks: forward smash comes out surprisingly quickly, kills extremely early, and deals good shield damage; up smash has a wide hitbox that is useful for both anti-air tactics and damage racking; and down smash momentarily shifts Incineroar's hurtbox upwards, allowing it to dodge grabs, attacks, and even projectiles to act as a hard punish. When sweetspotted, Incineroar's neutral aerial can be used to KO; if not, it can still function as a powerful combo starter, especially for an out of shield option. Its forward aerial, and back aerial both deal good damage and are capable KO options, while offering Incineroar range to outspace opponents. Its down aerial is a powerful meteor smash that can still KO even if the sourspot hits. Forward tilt is Incineroar's quickest KO option on the ground due to its knockback growth and semi-spike angle, and dash attack can KO at high percents.
Incineroar's combo starters make up the rest of its moveset and are notable for their reliability. Up tilt's wide hitbox allows it to function as an anti-air, and easily combos into itself or aerials at low-mid percents. Down tilt has good range, lowers Incineroar's hurtbox, and has excellent combo potential throughout all percent ranges, allowing combos into up tilt or up smash at low percents or aerials at high percents. Up aerial is Incineroar's go-to aerial juggle option due to its wide hitbox, the capability of comboing from up and down tilts, and can even KO outright at higher percents.
Of note are Incineroar's throws: despite its average grab, Incineroar is notorious for having one of the best sets of throws in the game. Apart from down throw, all of Incineroar's throws are KO options for any given situation: forward throw has high base knockback and can KO at high percents; back throw when performed at the ledge rivals Ness' back throw as the strongest throw in the game, and can KO the lightest fighters exceptionally early. However, due to its launch angle, low knockback growth, and lack of resistance to DI, it can be survived if done mid-stage and technically can be considered inferior to Ness's. Up throw easily KOs with the assistance of high platforms and low top blast lines; and down throw, being Incineroar's only combo throw, allows it to combo forward smash, Darkest Lariat, or dashing up smash on fresh stocks, dealing as much as 35% during 1v1s just from two hits. It can also potentially lead to a risky sacrificial KO with Cross Chop, which will always result in the opponent being KO'd first.
Incineroar's special moves complete its moveset with versatile tools. Darkest Lariat is Incineroar's get-off-me option, possessing fast startup, a long duration, transcendent priority throughout its hitboxes, invincibility for its arms, and a strong early hit. Though its power gradually weakens over time, its perks allow it to outprioritize many moves (even weak projectiles) while hitting hard. Alolan Whip is a unique command grab that has varying effects based on Incineroar's input: the strongest version (a lariat) KOs extremely early, while the second version (a back body drop) can KO easily near the top blast line.
Cross Chop can contest against other attacks due to its super armor during the start, and the descending tackle deals high knockback. It is also a powerful combo finisher or sacrificial KO, as the initial descent's high base knockback allows it to gimp any character at 0% should the descending hit connect. Revenge is a unique counterattack that retaliates with a weak hit, but stores a stackable power increase that affects Incineroar's next move; with a sufficiently strong buff, it gains exorbitantly powerful punishes, with moves such as forward smash, Darkest Lariat, Alolan Whip, and most infamously back throw turning into some of the strongest attacks in the game. Finally, it should be noted that none of Incineroar's moves render it helpless under normal circumstances, allowing it to mix up Cross Chop, Alolan Whip, and a directional air dodge while recovering.
However, Incineroar's strong abilities come at a cost. Its aforementioned abysmal mobility and lack of a projectile make it extremely easy to camp out and causes it to have a terrible approach, giving it issues similar to what Ganondorf had in SSB4, in which it has trouble getting close to opponents, to begin with. While it has less of an issue breaking out of combos or faring against rushdown tactics due to its better frame data and special moves, any sort of projectile or sufficiently long disjointed range is enough to keep Incineroar at bay in general, since its only options to break through such tactics is Darkest Lariat, Cross Chop, and Revenge. Adding to this issue is its limited and linear recovery, which has limited angles and is one of the most unreliable in the game despite the ways it can be mixed up; Cross Chop turns into an inevitable self-destruct if Incineroar is not directly below the ledge or above stage level, while Alolan Whip grants mediocre distance and has high ending lag. As a result, a semi-spike of sufficient strength is all it takes for Incineroar to be KO'd, and any combo that drags it offstage is usually fatal. Finally, Incineroar's moveset is not perfect despite its strengths, with some attacks having issues like small horizontal hitboxes (up tilt and up aerial), tendency to whiff (neutral attack's hits and Cross Chop at certain positions), and variable performance (Darkest Lariat is extremely laggy despite its out-prioritizing ability, Alolan Whip can fail outright or turn into a different move, and Revenge is completely lost once an attack lands or Incineroar is thrown from a grab, making it possible to waste it entirely).
Overall, Incineroar falls within the "grappler" playstyle archetype: it excels when taking advantage of close-range openings, where it can land powerful blows or start consistent combos that rack up damage quickly in only a few hits, all while being difficult for an opponent to shove off due to its staying power and heavy punish abilities. Its excellent strength and combo potential make it formidable once it wins the neutral game, but it is just as easily kept in control by its weak mobility, and an opening on its end is costly due to its extremely limited recovery, similarly to Ganondorf.
Incineroar has been buffed by game updates. Update 2.0.0 increased the power of up smash and up throw, and made down aerial auto-cancel properly. The most notable buff, however, was Cross Chop's increased overall travel distance, improving Incineroar's notoriously weak recovery at certain angles (although lower angles that are not directly below the edge are still almost impossible to recover from) and especially its vertical recovery. As part of a near-universal buff to multi-hit attacks, update 3.1.0 buffed neutral attack by adjusting its hits in order for them to connect more reliably.
Update 6.0.0 further buffed Incineroar in a number of ways. Neutral attack's third hit became more powerful, thus noticeably improving its reliability in regard to warding off opponents. Forward aerial gained a late hitbox, which makes the move function similarly to Diddy Kong's forward aerial, while down aerial's meteor smashing hitbox is now significantly easier to land. Finally, Darkest Lariat's clean hit has increased power and range, while Revenge became safer via increases to its active frames and knockback alongside decreased ending lag. As a result of these changes, Incineroar fares better than it initially did during the game's release.
For a gallery of Incineroar's hitboxes, see here.
Note: All numbers are listed as base damage, without the 1v1 multiplier.
In competitive play
From the start of Ultimate, Incineroar has usually been considered a mid-tier by most professionals, with access to moves that have the potential to deal high knockback and damage thanks to Revenge, a powerful back throw that can potentially KO earlier than Ness', and a suicide KOing option in the form of Cross Chop, which can be performed out of a down throw. It also had a decent amount of success from players, especially Magister, who placed well at both regional and national tournaments.
Despite this, as the metagame progressed, Incineroar's representation has been noticeably limited overall, with below-average results at major tournaments, as well as the removal of its down throw-Cross Chop combo. Magister also started attending less tournaments while placing worse at the tournaments that he did attend. In spite of this, its combo potential and power balancing its poor recovery has helped it. However, it has poor representation and few notable results, so it is widely considered a low tier or bottom tier character by professionals.
Classic Mode: Burning Pro Wrestling Spirit!
Incineroar's opponents are all heavy characters and are stylized in a way as if it was similar to a Championship Tournament. Additionally, all rounds aside from the final round take place on Boxing Ring.
Note: Incineroar teams up with Greninja in the third and final round.
Note 2: Each round uses a track taken from the series the characters are fought in their respective round.
Role in World of Light
Although Incineroar does not appear in the World of Light opening cutscene, it was vaporized and later imprisoned alongside the rest of the fighters (except Kirby) when Galeem unleashed his beams of light.
Incineroar was one of the many fighters that fell under Dharkon's control upon Galeem's first defeat. It can be found on the southwest path of the Realm of Darkness, where the spirit of Caeda must be beaten to access it.
Incineroar's Fighter Spirit can be obtained by completing Classic Mode. It is also available periodically for purchase in the shop for 500 coins. Unlocking Incineroar 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.
In Spirit battles
As the main opponent
As a minion
Character Showcase Video