Ivysaur (フシギソウ, Fushigisou) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. It was confirmed on June 12th, 2018. Along with the Pokémon Trainer, Ivysaur is classified as fighter #34.
Justin Anselmi and Inuko Inuyama, its English and Japanese voice actors in Pokémon the Series: XY, reprise their roles in the game, replacing Craig Blair and Tomoko Kawakami's portrayals from Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
Ivysaur is one of the characters made playable from Pokémon Trainer, alongside the likes of Squirtle and Charizard. It is a middleweight fighter, having a below average dash and gravity, an average jump height, and high traction.
One of Ivysaur's biggest strengths is its range, as its vine-based attacks (neutral attack, up tilt, down tilt, down smash, forward aerial, back aerial and Vine Whip) all have very generous range that allow Ivysaur to keep foes at a distance with relative ease. Among said attacks, they all either synergize as get-off-me options (down tilt/down smash), mix-up options (up tilt/neutral aerial) or niche KO moves (forward aerial and Vine Whip), which grant Ivysaur a decently effective ranged toolkit. Altogether, this mix gives Ivysaur among the most effective range in the game, made more effective by said moves all having at most 15 frames of startup.
Another strength that Ivysaur has is its decent air game. While its back aerial is among the weakest of aerial attacks in the game, its aforementioned range allows it to keep foes at a distance. Its neutral aerial has use as a combo extender due to its looping hits using the autolink angle, although its low power makes it easy to intercept. Its up and down aerials are notorious for their KO power and large hitboxes, while its forward aerial, despite its slow startup, is a reliable combo starter into Vine Whip due to its diagonal knockback. Additionally, none of its aerial attacks have more than 17 frames of landing lag, making them good for air-to-ground approaches.
Ivysaur's grab game is also useful. While all of its grabs are active on frame 13, they are among the longest-reaching in Ultimate and are decently fast overall, which further adds to Ivysaur's already strong range. To boot, all of its throws deal at least 7% damage. While its forward throw is ironically unsuitable for both combos and KOs due to its high base knockback and low knockback growth, its back throw is a good KO option at the edge, and its up throw is a decent low-percentage combo tool. However, of particular note is its down throw: despite its low damage, its has strong combo potential until around 85%, while its knockback scaling also makes it the strongest down throw in the game, allowing it to KO where back throw cannot.
Finally, Ivysaur has a useful array of special moves. Bullet Seed is a fast, multi-hitting attack that hits foes directly above Ivysaur with decent damage, allowing it to work well as an anti-air. Razor Leaf is a projectile that despite its slow startup, lingers for a little bit and has low knockback, allowing it to be used effectively for stage control and combo setups. Lastly, Vine Whip is Ivysaur's primary recovery move and a strong KO option when sweetspotted, and like other tethers in Ultimate, has a long range.
However, Ivysaur is held back by various flaws. Perhaps Ivysaur's most prominent issue is its ground game: while its tilt attacks have strong range, they are also equally lacking in power, while its smash attacks are generally predictable due to slow startup. Its up smash is among the strongest in the game, but it has very slow startup at 26 frames, while its horizontal range renders it hard to approach with against grounded opponents. Its dash attack is a good burst option, but also suffers from low knockback scaling and cannot KO reliably. Finally, due to said problems, Ivysaur is very susceptible to stale-move negation, meaning it will almost constantly rely on its ranged attacks, all of which deal low damage.
Ivysaur also has a problematic recovery. While its up and down aerials provide different vertical movement options, they are only useful when not far away from the stage due to their ending lag. Vine Whip has long range as a tether, but only works if Ivysaur is sufficiently close to a ledge, where it is susceptible to stage spikes. Altogether, this makes it infeasible for Ivysaur to recover when above the stage, where any sufficiently strong semi-spike or meteor smash can potentially keep it away from ledges.
Altogether, Ivysaur somewhat fits an "all-rounder" role as part of the Pokemon Trainer's lineup, being the middle of the three in weight, while also having the longest range and lowest power.
Changes from Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Ivysaur was previously considered the worst Pokémon in the Pokémon Trainer's party and one of the worst characters in Brawl (especially if judged as a standalone fighter), due to its large amount of significant weaknesses, namely poor damage outputs on its attacks, notable KO problems due to laggy finishers, poor aerial game, terrible recovery, and one of the worst special movesets in the game. In the transition to Ultimate, Ivysaur has been heavily buffed, and is by far the most buffed Pokémon in the Pokémon Trainer's party.
Ivysaur's biggest buffs come from the adjustments to the Pokémon Trainer's mechanics alongside universal gameplay changes. The type effectiveness mechanic, which previously gave Ivysaur a disproportionate weakness to the common flame-type attacks throughout the cast, has been removed, while the elimination of stamina allows Ivysaur to stay in the fight without weakening its moves. Ivysaur's air speed is also much higher, which alongside the universally decreased landing lag on aerials, and the removal of edgehogging in favor of ledge trumping, considerably improves two of its most glaring weaknesses: its poor aerial approach and its exploitable recovery. This is further helped by the ability to use Pokémon Change in the air, allowing Ivysaur to gain access to Charizard's better recovery.
A large part of Ivysaur's moveset has been modified and is significantly more useful overall. The addition of a finisher and the changes to neutral infinites makes its neutral attack more reliable for racking up damage, while down tilt consists of a single hit that semi-spikes. Some of Ivysaur's notoriously weak attacks, such as down smash and back aerial, have had their damage and knockback considerably increased, with down smash gaining a sweetspot that can KO at realistic percents. Ivysaur's entire aerial game has received several enhancements: it has a new, disjointed neutral aerial that performs much better than its old one, due to its autolink angle and the weakening of SDI from Brawl enabling it to connect much more reliably, and the changes to hitstun canceling allow Ivysaur to start and extend combos much more effectively with all its aerials. Up and down aerials' momentum changes are less extreme, and down aerial has been heavily buffed, as its small meteor smash sweetspot deals more damage and is slightly larger, and its large sourspot now meteor smashes as well, turning the move into a powerful edgeguarding tool. In addition, Ivysaur's throw game is vastly more useful; it now has a KO throw in the form of back throw, alongside reliable combos from up throw and down throw due to the changes to hitstun canceling, while it is also one of the characters to be the least affected by the universal nerfs to grabs, as only its pivot grab's lag was increased, and all grabs except its dash grab have more range. Lastly, its entire special moveset has been improved in several ways: Bullet Seed has gained a finisher, Razor Leaf is noticeably more useful as a campable projectile due to its previously unreliable trajectory being more consistent, and Vine Whip has faster startup, can be angled, and no longer causes helplessness, which grants Ivysaur a powerful combo finisher and more opportunities to recover. Altogether, these changes immensely improve Ivysaur's neutral game, damage racking, and zoning abilities, putting them more in line with the rest of the cast.
However, Ivysaur did receive a few notable nerfs from Brawl. Ivysaur's weight has been decreased, which combined with the removal of momentum canceling hinders its survivability. Although forward tilt connects much more reliably due to the weakening of SDI, it has noticeably more startup, while it retains high ending lag and a lack of KO power. Some of Ivysaur's KO options were toned down as well, such as dash attack, forward smash, forward aerial, and its notorious up aerial and up smash, with the latter no longer being the strongest in the game. Most importantly, however, Bullet Seed has slower startup with no intangibility, and racks up a significantly lower amount of damage due to its shortened duration, greatly reducing its utility despite the new finisher. As a result, Ivysaur is more reliant on racking up damage with its various buffed moves to KO effectively, which is exacerbated by all its aerials except neutral and down aerial launching at upward angles that are ineffective for edgeguarding, often compelling the player to switch to Charizard and utilize its greater KO potential once opponents are at high percents.
Overall, Ivysaur has become a drastically better character since its introduction in Brawl, especially relative to the rest of the cast. It now performs more effectively as a well-rounded middleweight character in the Pokémon Trainer's party, fulfilling the role of the "zoning" fighter with disjointed range on its attacks, a conventional projectile, and setups into its powerful bud-based moves, but lacking Squirtle's speedy attacks and Charizard's sheer power.
Throws and other attacks
Ivysaur has been nerfed via game updates. Its biggest nerfs were to its infamously potent down aerial: in addition to its sweetspot becoming smaller, its sourspot's already low knockback was decreased even further.
For a gallery of Ivysaur's hitboxes, see here.
Note: All numbers are listed as base damage, without the 1v1 multiplier.
During Ivysaur's victory poses, the Pokémon Trainer says randomly either "You all did great!" (male)/"Everyone did great!" (female) or "Way to go, Ivysaur!" (がんばったな、フシギソウ！, while the female Trainer can say がんばったね、フシギソウ！, You did great, Ivysaur!).
Role in World of Light
During the opening cutscene, Ivysaur was sent out by Pokémon Trainer, along with Squirtle and Charizard, shortly before Galeem unleashed his beams of light. Under Pokémon Trainer's command, Ivysaur used Solar Beam in an attempt to fight the beams of light, but this attempt failed. Pokémon Trainer, Squirtle, Ivysaur and Charizard were all vaporized and placed under Galeem's imprisonment along with the other fighters, excluding Kirby.
Pokémon Trainer can be found at the southeast near the maze that resembles Pac-Maze. Defeating him allows access to all three Pokémon.
Ivysaur's Fighter Spirit can be obtained by completing Classic Mode. It is also available periodically for purchase in the shop for 500 coins. Unlocking Ivysaur in World of Light allows the player to preview the spirit below in the Spirit List under the name "???". As a Fighter Spirit, it cannot be used in Spirit Battles and is purely aesthetic. Each Fighter Spirit has an alternate version that replaces them with their artwork in Ultimate.
In Spirit battles
As the main opponent