Jigglypuff, (プリン, Purin), is an unlockable character in Super Smash Bros. Melee from the Pokémon series, making a return from the first Super Smash Bros game. Jigglypuff retains most of its moves from Smash 64, though with some modifications.
Jigglypuff is in the A tier at 5th place on the Melee tier list, a significant improvement from its 6/12 position on the previous game's tier list, and its best rank in the series. Jigglypuff's jump on the tier list is due to its incredible recovery, an extremely dangerous edgeguarding technique in the wall of pain, a powerful KO move that can easily be comboed into, and an overall great aerial game and developed metagame. Its floatiness also makes it the only character in the top tier who cannot be easily comboed or chaingrabbed, which is also aided by its small size, which allows Jigglypuff to avoid most KO setups that most other characters would fall vulnerable to. Regardless, Jigglypuff still has problems. It is light and floaty, making it easier to KO with stray moves or certain low percentage setups than other characters. Jigglypuff's options on the ground are also limited, because of its poor range and a lack of a projectile. It also has a slow walking speed and dashing speed. Compounded with a poor dash dance, Jigglypuff's neutral game, which is largely committal, is not as good as that of other top-tiered characters; instead, it relies on its lethal punishes, edgeguards, and aerial mobility to succeed. Recent developments in the Melee metagame have also worsened Jigglypuff's matchups against other top-tier characters, such as Fox, Marth, and Falco. Despite this, Jigglypuff still has an amazing number of winning matchups, with Fox being the only character in the game it loses to, plus it has even matchups with only three other characters.
How to Unlock
To unlock Jigglypuff, the player must complete Classic Mode or Adventure Mode on any difficulty.
Jigglypuff can also be unlocked by playing 50 Versus mode matches (at the same time as Brinstar Depths).
Jigglypuff is fought on Pokémon Stadium, with the titular track playing.
Jigglypuff is, in general, a character of extremes. It has the slowest dash speed (tied with Zelda), the fastest air speed, the second lightest weight (along with Mr. Game & Watch), and the slowest falling speed. All of these properties gives Jigglypuff among the most unusual, but versatile, approaches in the game.
Owing to its unusual properties, Jigglypuff is among the hardest characters to combo in the cast. Jigglypuff's light weight and floatiness make it insusceptible to the majority of extended combos, such as zero-to-death combos and chaingrabs; after only a few hits, Jigglypuff will already be sent too far to chase down before the hitstun wears off, without the gravity needed to pull it back down to continue the combo. Despite Jigglypuff's weight and floatiness theoretically making it easier to KO than most of the cast, especially off the top of the stage, the great difficulty most characters have with comboing Jigglypuff allows it to survive disproportionately longer than other members of its weight class. Players who have good DI and SDI skills, and the awareness to apply them to stray hits, can stretch out its stocks to extremely high percentages. This forces opponents to find KOs at very specific percentage ranges as soon as the opportunity arises to actually be able to take advantage of Jigglypuff's weight.
However, such KO setups can be very difficult to find, as Jigglypuff's small frame and short crouch allow it to duck under many hitboxes that would usually be reliable combo starters on other characters, such as several characters' standing grabs. Its fast air speed and floatiness allow it to weave away from improperly spaced attacks, and its powerful aerials, particularly its disjointed back aerial, can stuff out most characters' approaches. These properties make it difficult for characters such as Sheik, Marth, and Captain Falcon to get the KO setups that allow them to succeed in other matchups. Top-level analytics show that Jigglypuff tends to sustain twice as much damage against other characters over the course of a set despite its light weight and floatiness, and rarely gets gimped at very low percentages, unlike most other top-tiered characters.
On the other hand, however, Jigglypuff possesses outstanding combo ability itself; with high hitstun, low knockback aerials, good tilts, and strong throws, Jigglypuff has plenty of ways to start and continue combos against almost any other character in the game, regardless of the opponent's characteristics. Jigglypuff also possesses KO setups of its own, including the space animal slayer, which almost guarantees a KO against some fast fallers in the game. Jigglypuff also has incredible power in some of its attacks; its smash attacks, particularly forward smash, can KO at realistic percentages. Jigglypuff's most powerful attack, however, is Rest. Among the most feared attacks in the game, Rest is an attack of extremes, with no starting lag (hitting on the very first frame), extreme ending lag, and incredible power, easily KOing characters at percentages as low as 25%. All of these powerful moves can be comboed into or used in tech chasing, giving them significant utility.
Due to its characteristics and recovery prowess, Jigglypuff is also among the most dangerous edgeguarders in the game. It possesses several ways to set up an edgeguard, including its down smash and back throw; once offstage, Jigglypuff can finish the opponent with its quick and powerful aerials that are easily able to disrupt most recoveries off-stage, and the aforementioned high-power moves such as Rest that heavily punish improper recoveries done onto the stage. Jigglypuff's Wall of Pain is a particularly lethal method of edgeguarding, as it is an off-stage combo that can guarantee KOs on characters with poor recoveries, such as Falco and Roy, if done properly. Jigglypuff's edgeguarding is also much more flexible compared to other characters', due to its superior aerial drift, as it can easily cover both on- and off-stage options while other strong edgeguarding characters cannot. These strengths make Jigglypuff arguably the strongest edgeguarder in the game. On the flip side, Jigglypuff's own recovery is also considered to be the best in the game; with five midair jumps, the lowest falling speed, and the highest air speed, Jigglypuff can recover from nearly any situation, as Pound, with its Rising Pound capabilities, gives Jigglypuff almost infinite vertical and horizontal distance. Its ability to weave in and out of enemy aerials, as well as its nearly unmatched number of jumps, make Jigglypuff extremely difficult to edgeguard.
However, for all of its significant strengths, Jigglypuff's ground approach is among the worst of the top-tiered characters'. It has a short wavedash, the slowest dash in the game (alongside Zelda), and an average grab range, forcing Jigglypuff to stay in the air to attack and combo well. Additionally, Jigglypuff's shield delivers 300 points of vertical knockback to Jigglypuff when broken (by comparison, the typical smash attack at roughly 100% percentage deals about 165 to 195 points of knockback) and instantaneously KOs it on all tournament-legal stages, giving it another defensive disadvantage when grounded. Despite having almost unparalleled approach in the air, being in the air can be an inherent defensive disadvantage, as Jigglypuff lacks access to grounded defensive options such as shielding and dodging, forcing Jigglypuff to play patiently and wait for opponents to overextend most of the time.
Because of this, Jigglypuff's neutral game is considered to be lackluster among the top tiers. Not only is it forced to play an aerial spacing game, but it also lacks effective lingering hitboxes. Jigglypuff's neutral and forward aerials lose power quickly, and can be crouch canceled up to medium percentages. The weak hitboxes are thus only useful for interrupting recoveries, and can be easily punished if improperly spaced. To mitigate this weakness, Jigglypuff must make use of its unmatched aerial drift to create openings and space perfectly around its opponents, which, while not impossible to do at high-level play, nonetheless requires developing a very unique skillset not shared by other characters, including a strong mental game. Jigglypuff also lacks a projectile of any type; unlike other characters, such as Marth, Jigglypuff also cannot negate projectiles easily, though its short crouch can mitigate this slightly. This makes Jigglypuff susceptible to being locked down or zoned out by projectile users, such as Falco and Young Link.
Overall, Jigglypuff has polarizing strengths and weaknesses. Jigglypuff has one of the most potent punish games out of all characters, yet is immune to most other characters' punishes; additionally, it cannot easily be edgeguarded, but is an extremely strong edgeguarder itself. On the other hand, Jigglypuff is KOed easily from stray hits unlike other characters, and struggles to approach enemies due to its decidedly below-average neutral game, making it difficult to get openings in competitive play. Skilled players should take into account these weaknesses, using clever baits and capitalizing on opponents' mistakes to attain superior positions where Jigglypuff can disrupt the opponent's plan and secure KOs that cannot easily be escaped from.
Changes from Smash 64 to Melee
When transitioning from Smash 64 to Melee, Jigglypuff received multiple buffs, primarily in regards to its power, speed, range, combo ability, and recovery. Jigglypuff's aerial mobility is far superior with faster air speed and higher mid-air jumps which heavily improve Jigglypuff's recovery, edgeguarding and aerial approach. This is further complimented by its aerials (most notoriously back aerial) receiving larger hitboxes making them more effective at walling out opponents. Rest has also seen a huge buff to its already impressive KO power making it an incredibly deadly attack if it lands. The changes to Melee's mechanics greatly aid Jigglypuff. The faster falling speeds allow Jigglypuff to maintain its powerful combo game despite the reduction of hitstun and the nerfs to some of its moves and air dodging further aids Jigglypuff's recovery and movement options.
Despite these significant buffs, Jigglypuff has also received some nerfs. Jigglypuff's already poor grounded mobility was made even worse and some of its previous KO moves such as Up smash and back throw have been weakened while some of its other moves have had their damage output reduced (with down aerial being the most prominent example). Jigglypuff's grab game much like the rest of the cast was also toned down. As with all returning veterans without a tether grab, Jigglypuff's grabs are much slower and as mentioned before, its back throw was drastically weakened dealing less damage and no longer being a viable kill option. Up throw deals less damage than its old forward throw and has much higher base knockback hindering its combo potential although it is still a potent combo throw especially when combined with the increase in Rest's power.
Overall, Jigglypuff fares significantly better in Melee than in Smash 64 with Tournament results to back this up. Jigglypuff went from the 6th best out of 12 on the Smash 64 tier list to 5th best out of 26 on the Melee tier list. As a result of these improvements in both tournament and tier placings, Jigglypuff is widely considered one of the most buffed characters in the game, alongside Samus.
Grab and throws
For a gallery of Jigglypuff's hitboxes, see here.
In competitive play
Jigglypuff has one of the most positive matchup spreads in the game, though it hard counters fewer low-tier characters than most of the other top-tiers. It is soft countered by one character, has even matchups with three, soft counters nine, counters ten, and hard counters two.
Jigglypuff generally has an advantage against characters with:
On the other hand, Jigglypuff has more trouble against characters who are able to space it out and restrict its movement with projectiles, such as Falco and Young Link, or have KO setups on Jigglypuff despite its strong defensive capabilities, such as Fox, Marth, and Captain Falcon. Since the matchup chart's creation in 2010, the matchups that have developed the most out of these are arguably:
Despite these flaws and metagame advancements against it, Jigglypuff's amazing strengths maintain its positive matchups against almost all of the cast, with the current consensus still being that it only has one losing matchup against Fox. Thus, Jigglypuff has one of the strongest matchup spreads in the game.
Tier placement and history
Since the beginning of the Melee metagame, Jigglypuff has had among the biggest improvements, going from a lower-mid tier character to a viable top tier character. In the first tier list (October 2002), Jigglypuff was ranked 17-18th place (tied with Ness), but jumped to 10-11th in the second tier list (December 2002). Jigglypuff hovered around the 8th-11th spots before rising to 6th-7th place (tied with Captain Falcon) in the ninth tier list (October 2008), largely due to Mango showing how dominant Jigglypuff was in the air, and how powerful its pressure game and combo abilities were. With Mango continuously dominating more Melee tournaments using Jigglypuff, and the rise of another nationally dominant Jigglypuff player in Hungrybox, Jigglypuff jumped up to top tier in the original 10th tier list (September 2010), tied with Fox and Falco for the top position. In the actual 10th tier list (December 2010), Jigglypuff was ranked third under Fox and Falco. Jigglypuff is ranked 5th place in the twelfth (current) tier list, as of December 2015. Jigglypuff has had a much smaller playerbase than the rest of the top tier characters, with only four representatives on the 2015 SSBM Player Rankings.
Jigglypuff was relatively unchanged from the NTSC version, although it can now take damage from Bowser's down throw due to the changes in its properties, which is not a significant nerf due to Bowser's lack of usage in PAL regions. However, it benefits from the nerfs to some other top-tiered characters, who either lost KO options (Sheik), have decreased aerial drift (Marth) or recovery distance, or a combination of the three (Fox). As such, it is considered slightly better relative to the cast in PAL than in NTSC, and is ranked 4th on the PAL tier list instead of 5th. Jigglypuff's tournament representation in PAL is roughly the same as in NTSC, with a handful of top Jigglypuff mains (notably Hack and Tekk) and a small pool of lower-leveled ones.
In Classic Mode
In all of its appearances, Jigglypuff appears on Pokémon Stadium; when paired with Kirby in the team battle, it will appear on Green Greens.
In Adventure Mode
Jigglypuff can appear in Stage 7 of the Adventure Mode; in the Pokémon Battle, Jigglypuff can appear among the Pikachus the player has to fight against.
In All-Star Mode
In All-Star Mode, Jigglypuff and its allies are fought on Poké Floats.
In Event Matches
Jigglypuff appears in the following Event Matches:
In addition to the normal trophy about Jigglypuff as a character, there are two trophies about it as a fighter, unlocked by completing the Adventure and All-Star modes respectively with Jigglypuff on any difficulty:
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