Joker (ジョーカー, Joker) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. He was officially announced at The Game Awards 2018 on December 6th, 2018 as the first downloadable character for the Fighters Pass, and released as the second DLC character on April 17th, 2019. He is one of thirteen third-party characters in the game, alongside fellow Sega representatives Sonic and Bayonetta; Konami's Snake, Simon, and Richter; Capcom's Mega Man, Ryu, and Ken; Bandai Namco's Pac-Man; Square Enix's Cloud and the Hero; and Rare's Banjo & Kazooie. Joker is classified as fighter #71.
Xander Mobus, who voices Joker in Persona 5 in English and the announcer, Master Hand, and Crazy Hand in Ultimate, reprises his role as the character in the English version of the game, while Jun Fukuyama, who voices Joker in Persona 5 in Japanese and also voices Roy, reprises his role in Japanese.
Joker is a character with fast ground mobility, average weight, an above-average falling speed, and the ability to wall jump. He possesses fast frame data overall. He specializes in a mixed tricky/rushdown style gameplay, as the majority of his arsenal boasts powerful traits, though the range on his standard attacks can be a bit lacking without Arsene available. Joker also has a relatively short and thin hurtbox compared to other humanoid characters, a lot of his attacks can cross up on shield or just cross up on opponents in general, and he has a quick and long-distance roll dodge, which when combined with his quick speed makes him slippery and hard to hit.
Due to his quick overall mobility, low-knockback attacks and frame data, Joker possesses a strong combo game. He has several moves in his toolkit to start combos at low percents, such as down throw, down tilt, up tilt, up special, and the first hit of his forward aerial, and last well into later percentages. His terrific grab data makes him especially effective at punishing shields (particularly from empty jumps).
Joker boasts versatile special attacks. His neutral special, Gun, is an efficient way of dealing damage while also avoiding it, as he can dodge in between shots. Eiha, Joker's side special, is a slow-moving, medium range projectile that deals weak damage upon contact, but curses opponents for what is eventually 11% damage on a successful hit. His up special, Grappling Hook, is a tether recovery with high vertical reach, allowing him to safely edge-guard opponents far below the stage. It can be used as a combo starter on foes above him and also doubles as a combo extender as well. His down special, Rebel's Guard, can be used to negate knockback and halve the damage he takes while filling up his Rebellion Gauge. As it can knock opponents away, it also doubles as a counter, though somewhat weak.
Joker's biggest strength is when his Rebellion Gauge is full, in which Joker summons his Persona, Arsene, to aid him in battle. With Arsene present, Joker's regular attacks gain a boost in damage, range, and knockback. Similarly to Cloud's Limit Break, Joker's special moves also become more powerful under Arsene's influence. Gun becomes Gun Special, which can shoot multiple times quickly and deals twice as much damage. Eiha becomes Eigaon, a fast projectile that has a much larger area of impact and deals considerably more curse damage. Joker's up special becomes the Wings of Rebellion, which functions similarly to Pit's Power of Flight, granting Joker high vertical distance and possessing invincibility at the start of the move, though it loses Grappling Hook's attack presence. His down special becomes a very effective counter/reflector in the form of Tetrakarn/Makarakarn, similar to Palutena's down special. Both counters are stronger than comparative moves as well; Tetrakarn hits for a minimum of 12% damage regardless of the attack, while Makarakarn greatly increases the speed and damage of reflected projectiles. Arsene is also invincible, which means opponents have no recourse for directly stopping Joker's assault beyond attacking him to reduce his Rebellion Gauge, or fleeing, which can leave them vulnerable.
However, Joker is not without any weaknesses, most of which are noticeable when he does not have Arsene active. While Joker's moves provide a lot of combo potential at lower percentages, they tend to be lackluster or underwhelming in terms of KO power and individual damage, with the exception of his forward smash. His short knife also lacks range, especially compared to the weapons of other fighters such as Link and Lucina. Joker's range issues cause him to struggle against shorter characters, such as Inkling and Pikachu, as it's difficult for him to consistently apply pressure against them. When it comes to his normal recovery, Joker is reliant on his Grappling Hook, which gives him an outstanding vertical recovery, but as a result his overall horizontal recovery is lackluster since the move can't be aimed horizontally. This can be remedied somewhat by using the dashes from his Gun move to achieve sizable horizontal distance before employing the Grappling Hook, however these dashes have considerable ending lag, so they must be used wisely, or it will be too late to deploy the Grappling Hook. Additionally, while Arsene is active, Joker's recovery (despite covering significantly more distance than his regular Up B) is more exploitable, as the lack of hitbox and invulnerability at the end of the moves makes it easy for opponents to intercept Joker before he reaches the ledges. Additionally, despite Arsene's incredible power and strengths, if an opponent is able to attack Joker while Arsene is active, the Rebellion Gauge depletes very quickly and causes Arsene to disappear as a result, which removes Joker's advantage.
Overall, Joker is a character who excels in quick movement and combos. His primary goal in each match is to rack up as much damage as possible with his devastating throw combos, and gain an early stock lead in order to massively widen the gap between him and his opponent. Arsene will greatly help Joker in dealing damage or securing the stock whenever he's out, but actively filling up the Rebellion Gauge by using Rebel's Guard to capitalize on reading an opponent's attack can be absolutely devasting for the opponent, as it gives Arsene more opportunity to see play. His viability in the competitive scene has shown to be very promising, despite his recent addition to the metagame. Joker has seen early success with dyr and Tsu placing 5th at Come to Papa 3 and Umebura Japan Major 2019 respectively using the character. Particularly, MkLeo's victories at MomoCon 2019 and Smash 'N' Splash 5 serve as a demonstration of Joker's potential as a top-tier character.
For simplicity, damage values for Joker and Arsene's individual attacks are separated by a slash (/). With Arsene active, the total damage of a move is the sum of both listed values.
Note: All numbers are listed as base damage, without the 1v1 multiplier.
If Joker is involved in a fight with more than four fighters, Morgana won't appear during his taunts.
Note: If there are three or more players, the color scheme will match the player's port. If Joker wins on Mementos, the color of the victory screen will match the color of the stage, and the victory music will be replaced with the corresponding victory fanfare from the game Mementos' design is currently derived from.
When transitioning to the results screen, one of the Phantom Thieves will say one of the following quotes in place of the announcer's usual "[character] wins!"
In competitive play
Classic Mode: Shadows
Joker mainly fights opponents relating to shadows. On every round, the former enemy fighter becomes a ally to him under a new Alternate Costume, referencing how in Persona 5, Joker can negotiate with the Shadows and recruit them as Personas, freeing the corrupted demon in the process. Additionally, some items and Assist Trophies are references to Persona 5, such as the Kapp'n Assist Trophy referencing the Morgana Bus. The final boss is an homage to the god Yaldabaoth, the final boss of Persona 5, with the final boss theme Our Beginning also present. In addition, all rounds aside from the second round take place on Mementos.
Role in World of Light
Due to his status as downloadable content, Joker does not have a legitimate role in World of Light. Instead, he is unlocked for use in the mode after freeing 10 fighters from Galeem's control. If loading an existing save file that meets this condition prior to downloading Joker, he is immediately unlocked.
Joker's Fighter Spirits can be obtained by completing Classic Mode. They are also available periodically for purchase in the shop for 500 coins, only after Joker himself is downloaded. Unlocking Joker in World of Light allows the player to preview the first spirit below in the Spirit List under the name "???". As Fighter Spirits, they cannot be used in Spirit Battles and are purely aesthetic. Each Fighter Spirit has an alternate version that replaces them with their artwork in Ultimate. Arsene also makes an appearance in Joker's Fighter Spirits, having a unique render when shown with Joker's Ultimate artwork. Because of this, Joker's Ultimate renders in his Fighter Spirits will show him without his mask/glasses on.
Additionally, he appears in the Phantom Thieves of Hearts Spirit.
In Spirits Battles
As the main opponent
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