Kirby (SSB4)

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This article is about Kirby's appearance in Super Smash Bros. 4. For the character in other contexts, see Kirby.
Kirby
in Super Smash Bros. 4
Kirby
KirbySymbol.svg
Universe Kirby
Other Smash Bros. appearances in SSB
in Melee
in Brawl
in Ultimate
Availability Starter
Final Smash Ultra Sword
Tier F (50)
KirbyHeadSSB4-U.png

Kirby (カービィ, Kirby) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. 4. His return to the series was announced during the E3 Nintendo Direct on June 11th, 2013.[1] He was also among the first wave of Amiibo that are compatible with SSB4. Makiko Ōmoto reprises her role as Kirby's voice actor, but instead of doing so via recycled voice clips, she provided new clips that changed Kirby's inflections somewhat compared to the clips from previous installments.

Kirby is currently ranked 50th out of 55 on the tier list, placing him in the F tier. This is a significant drop from his mid-tier placement in Brawl, where he was ranked 20th out of 38. Kirby possesses a great combo game: his up tilt, forward throw and down aerial are very good combo starters, with the latter also boasting guaranteed KO set-ups that are effective even against floaty characters. In addition to complimenting his combo game, Kirby's forward and up aerials are also useful for partaking in a wall of pain and juggling, respectively.

Despite his size, Kirby also has great KO potential, thanks to his clean smash attacks, clean back aerial, and up and back throws each boasting impressive power. The majority of his frame data is also respectably fast, while his crouch has become very useful, as it now allows him to avoid many moves from a variety of characters, such as projectiles that are not affected by gravity, or even grabs from taller characters.

However, Kirby retains many of his flaws from Brawl, the most notable of which is his poor endurance due to both his very light weight and his floatiness, alongside the addition of rage in SSB4. When coupled with his predictable recovery, Kirby is left prone to either getting KO'd early either while near the blast zones or due to being edge-guarded.

Kirby's mobility is also poor overall, which leaves him prone to being zoned out by many characters with better ranges or with projectiles that are affected by gravity. Lastly, Kirby's range has been shortened due to his feet becoming smaller.

While Kirby's flaws have resulted in him being viewed as a non-viable character in SSB4, his tournament representation is average and he has nevertheless achieved some level of success. This is most apparent at the local level, as Poyo and Triple R have each won several tournaments and place very well at them in both singles and doubles play, while Prince Kirby has won a number of doubles tournaments. Outside of this, Kirby has also seen some instances of success at the regional and national levels, owing to the efforts of Poyo, Triple R, MikeKirby, K.I.D.Goggles, Komota and MrRyanNess.

Attributes[edit]

As in previous installments, Kirby is a small lightweight, being tied for the fifth lightest character in the game. This is also reflected in his mobility, which is poor; he has slow walking speed, average dashing speed, the fourth slowest falling speed, the third lowest gravity, the fourth slowest air speed, below average traction and average air acceleration. Despite having the second lowest jumps, he has five double jumps, which counteract that flaw.

Kirby's greatest strength is the versatility of his moveset. The majority of Kirby's moveset is characterized by speed, while his slower moves instead boast very high power as a trade-off. Neutral attack and forward tilt are fast and have decent range, allowing Kirby to quickly fend off opponents. Up tilt is notorious for its combo potential, as its very quick speed allows it to consistently combo into itself or an aerial attack. Down tilt's very low power is compensated by its very fast speed and it launching opponents at the Sakurai angle, which allow it to trip opponents even up to 270%. His smash attacks have good range and high power, yet are not particularly slow, making them excellent at scoring a KO.

The usefulness of Kirby's ground game also extends to his grab game. His grabs are fast, while his pummel's meager damage output is counterbalanced by its very fast speed. His forward throw, notorious in Brawl for its highly damaging combo options at 0%, has been improved even further, as it now possesses follow-ups even up to medium percents, including a down aerial to re-grab. Back throw can be followed up by a back aerial at 0% on certain characters, tech-chase fast-fallers, and can now KO at high percents. Up throw is his strongest throw and is able to KO almost all characters around 170%, or even earlier if it lands on a platform. Lastly, down throw is reliable for damage racking when no other throw can yield better results.

Kirby's air game is also useful, due to his aerials boasting versatility and less than 18 frames of landing lag. Neutral aerial has a long duration, and its very low landing lag grants Kirby protection and allows him to take full advantage of buffering. Forward aerial is powerful, chains fluidly and can allow additional follow-ups at low percents. Up aerial has vertical knockback, low landing lag and has a good amount of auto-canceling frames, allowing for many potential follow-ups.

Back aerial has slightly disjointed range, a decently long duration, and is Kirby's fastest and strongest aerial, making it a very good all-purpose aerial attack. Lastly, down aerial has considerable start-up, but drags opponents downward before meteor smashing them, making it a deceptively powerful edge-guarding tool. In addition, it is an effective combo starter with guaranteed follow-ups on grounded opponents, even against floaty characters.

Kirby's special moveset has some interesting options. Inhale allows him to either copy the neutral special move of any character he Inhales, or spit them out as a weight-dependent projectile. The latter can be used to Kirbycide or put the opponent below the stage, almost eliminating their chances of recovering. The former, depending on what character he Inhales, can give Kirby a move that provides some assistance (Falcon Punch and Homing Attack) or massive benefits (Monado Arts and Needle Storm). Hammer Flip is very powerful, especially when fully charged. Its slow speed, however, makes it very difficult to use outside of edge-guarding or after a shield break.

Final Cutter is Kirby's recovery move and is decent at that, granting good vertical distance and decent horizontal distance, as well as decent protection during his ascent and descent. It also emits a shockwave upon landing, making it difficult to punish if not at point-blank range. Lastly, Stone causes Kirby to plummet straight down and ignore damage by any move that deals less than 30%. It is also very strong and can be canceled at any time, making it useful for playing mindgames.

However, Kirby has noticeable flaws. His most prominent weakness is his endurance. Being light and floaty, Kirby cannot endure strong hits at high percents. He is also very vulnerable to juggling, due to his aforementioned slow falling and air speeds. Rage further compounds these issues, as Kirby will be launched even earlier, while he will typically not endure long enough in order to take advantage of it.

Kirby's poor mobility not only makes it significantly difficult for him to approach and pressure opponents, but also makes him susceptible to fast characters like Sonic, or those with disjointed hitboxes like Marth and Cloud. In addition, his very long-distanced recovery is very slow, making aggressive edge-guarding and gimp-oriented moves, such as F.L.U.D.D. or meteor smashes, detrimental to him. Kirby's range is also mediocre at best, and his strongest moves happen to be his slowest, making it difficult for him to KO opponents outside of edge-guarding or without a set-up.

Kirby benefits significantly from his custom moves. Jumping Inhale propels Kirby forward, which often puts opponents in bad positions and can even allow it to function as a quick horizontal recovery option, though it is slower and lacks a vacuum. Ice Breath is a short-ranged projectile that can freeze opponents for a time and function as a great edge-guarding option, but removes all of Inhale's benefits. Hammer Bash is almost identical to Hammer in Brawl, as it is much faster and KOs earlier than the uncharged version of Hammer Flip. Giant Hammer is the most powerful custom move in the game without equipment and grants super armor, but is much slower than Hammer Flip.

Wave Cutter is overall faster, its descending hitbox is more powerful, and the shockwave has more range and can pressure shields, although it does not allow Kirby to hit opponents while ascending. Upper Cutter is faster, stronger and grants much more vertical recovery and momentum, but immediately cancels at its ascent's apex, and lacks both a descending hitbox and shockwave. Grounding Stone buries grounded opponents and has much less ending lag, allowing for follow-ups, safer mindgames, and acts as a potential anti-juggling tool. However, it is unable to KO grounded opponents and has more start-up lag. Meteor Stone meteor smashes the opponent and can even be used as a suicide move, but takes longer to end.

Overall, Kirby tends to run hot and cold, similarly to Luigi. He can inflict an impressive amount of damage if he gets close to his opponent thanks to his potent combo game, but doing so is difficult for him due to his poor mobility. As such, Kirby functions well with a bait and punish playstyle, although being unprepared for an opponent's approach can be hazardous due to his unimpressive survivability. Kirby has achieved average tournament representation and some degree of success: Poyo, Triple R and Prince Kirby have each won numerous local tournaments and continue to place very well at them in singles and doubles play, while MikeKirby and K.I.D.Goggles have collectively achieved a handful of notable results at regional and national tournaments.

Changes from Brawl[edit]

Kirby has been nerfed in the transition from Brawl to SSB4. In addition to retaining most of his issues in Brawl, he also suffers from new ones. Most notably, Kirby's range was shortened: his feet became slightly smaller, while his standing and dash grabs' ranges were decreased.

However, some of Kirby's less reliable moves from Brawl, particularly Inhale and his down aerial, now possess much more utility. The changes to hitstun canceling also help Kirby, as they enable him to chain combos together much better. His improved combo game is further supplemented by his newly buffed forward throw, which now possesses combo potential past low percents. His approach was also slightly improved, due to his dashing speed becoming significantly faster.

Aesthetics[edit]

  • Change Due to the aesthetic used in SSB4, Kirby's overall color scheme is more vibrant. His feet are also slightly smaller, and his skin appears to have significantly more diffused shading, with decreased difference in brightness between the lit and shaded sides of his body. Altogether, these changes make Kirby appear significantly more in line with his appearance as of Kirby's Return to Dream Land.
  • Change Kirby is significantly more expressive. He now sports a stern look when performing a number of moves, similarly to how he does in Return to Dream Land, Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, and Kirby: Triple Deluxe. His facial expressions when being attacked are also more exaggerated, such as his screen KOs depicting him as Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DShaving teary eyes; his mouth closed; and the right side of his face pressed against the screen, or Super Smash Bros. for Wii Uhaving wincing eyes; his mouth open; and his whole face pressed against the screen. Both of Kirby's screen KO expressions are based on his expression when an attack slams him against the screen in Triple Deluxe.

Attributes[edit]

  • Change Kirby is smaller. This makes his hurtbox slightly smaller, but hinders his range.
  • Buff Due to the general change in size between small and large characters, Kirby's smaller size significantly improves his crouch's defensive potential.
  • Change Kirby is heavier (78 → 79).
  • Nerf Kirby walks slower (0.95 → 0.93).
  • Buff Kirby dashes faster (1.371 → 1.57).
  • Nerf Kirby's air speed is slower (0.85 → 0.8).
  • Change Kirby falls faster (1.2 → 1.23). This slightly improves his vertical endurance, but makes him slightly more susceptible to combos.
  • Buff Kirby's fast falling speed is faster (1.9 → 1.968). This improves his air game, and makes him less susceptible to juggling.
  • Buff Kirby's gravity is higher (0.061 → 0.06405). This improves his aerial mobility, and somewhat alleviates the drawbacks of his floatiness.
  • Nerf Double jumps are lower.
  • Buff Rolls have decreased ending lag (frame 31 → 30).
  • Nerf Rolls have decreased intangibility frames (frames 4-19 → 4-17).
  • Nerf Sidestep has decreased intangibility frames (frames 2-20 → 2-17) and has increased ending lag (frame 25 → 26).
  • Buff Air dodge has decreased start-up (frame 4 → 3) and ending lag (frame 49 → 32).
  • Nerf Air dodge's duration is shorter (frames 4-29 → 3-27).
  • Buff Soft landing is faster (3 frames → 2).

Ground attacks[edit]

  • Change Neutral attack's first hit's angle has been altered (361° → 55°).
  • Nerf Neutral attack's second hit has increased base knockback (8 → 15) and its first and second hits have smaller hitboxes (3.3u → 3u). These changes slightly hinder its ability to connect with neutral infinite at high percents. Additionally, neutral infinite now deals consistent damage (2% (near)/1% (far) → 1%) and the changes to locks remove its first hit's ability to lock.
  • Buff Neutral infinite has received a finisher,[2] the Smash Punch from the Fighter ability.
  • Buff The weakening of SDI makes neutral infinite and dash attack significantly more difficult to escape from.
  • Nerf Dash attack's loop hits deal 1% less damage (2% → 1%), reducing its damage output (14% → 9%). Its last hit also has smaller hitboxes (8u → 3u).
  • Buff Dash attack's last hit has increased knockback (90/70 (base)/40 (set)/70/100 (growth) → 100 (base)/70 (growth)).
  • Change Dash attack's last hit has increased hitlag (1× → 2×). This makes it safer on shield, but easier to DI.
  • Nerf Forward tilt has a smaller hitbox (5.4u → 3.3u).
  • Buff Up tilt deals less damage (7%/5% → 5%/4%) and has more knockback (102 → 116 (clean)/110 (late)), improving its comboing and KOing potential.
  • Nerf Up tilt has smaller hitboxes (5.5u (clean)/4.5u (late) → 4u).
  • Buff Up tilt now grants intangibility to Kirby's foot.
  • Change Clean up tilt's angle has been altered (92° → 100°).
  • Buff Down tilt now deals consistent damage (5%/6% → 6%).
  • Nerf Down tilt has smaller hitboxes (4.5u → 3.7u).
  • Buff Forward smash has decreased ending lag.
  • Nerf Late forward smash deals less damage (13% → 12%/11%/10%), increased startup lag (frame 12 → 13), and smaller hitboxes (6u → 4.2u (clean)/3.5u (late)).
  • Change Clean and late forward smash have altered angles (45° (up)/38° (non-angled)/31° (down) → 361° (clean), 82° (up)/73° (non-angled)/60° (down) → 60° (late)) They also have altered knockback on all angles (38 (base)/100/98/96 (growth) → 30 (base)/102 (growth) (clean), 25 (base)/96/94 (growth) → 90 (base)/69 (growth) (late)).
  • Buff Up smash has increased knockback (34/30 (base)/100 (growth) → 32/30 (base)/104/99 (growth) (early), 50 (growth) → 52 (late)), improving its KO potential. It also has decreased ending lag and now grants intangibility to Kirby's feet.
  • Nerf Up smash's middle hitbox has decreased knockback growth (100 → 98).
  • Change Late down smash now deals consistent damage (11%/9% → 10%).
  • Nerf Due to its angle being altered, down smash is no longer a semi-spike. This significantly hinders its edge-guarding potential.
  • Buff Down smash has altered knockback (30 (base)/100 (growth) → 25/110), slightly improving its KO potential when coupled with its new launch angle. Down smash also has decreased ending lag and late down smash also has a longer duration (frames 15-21 → 15-22). Furthermore, clean down smash now grants intangibility to Kirby's feet.

Aerial attacks[edit]

  • Change Neutral aerial deals less damage (12%/10%/8%/6% → 10%/8%/6%/4%), although its knockback was compensated (10 (base)/80 (growth) → 30/90).
  • Nerf Neutral, back, up, and down aerials have increased landing lag (9 frames → 10 (neutral), 9 frames → 17 (back), 9 frames → 12 (up), 15 frames → 17 (down)).
  • Nerf Neutral aerial's beginning auto-cancel frames end earlier (frames 1-8 → 1-4).
  • Change Neutral aerial's angle has been altered (361° → 46°).
  • Buff Forward aerial's first and second hits' angles have been altered (45° → 45°/80° (hit 1), 80° → 366° (hit 2). This enables them to connect together better with the last hit. Forward aerial's last hit also has increased knockback growth (138 → 148), improving its spacing and edge-guarding potential.
  • Nerf Forward aerial's first and second hits have smaller hitboxes (5u → 4.3u (hit 1), 5u → 4.5u (hit 2), 6.5u → 4.9u (hit 3)). It also no longer auto-cancels with a short hop and has more ending lag (frame 44 → 48). Altogether, these changes hinder its approach potential.
  • Buff Forward aerial has decreased landing lag (15 frames → 13).
  • Change Forward aerial's last hit has increased hitlag (1× → 1.2×). This makes it safer on shield, but easier to DI.
  • Change Clean back aerial deals 1% more damage (12% → 13%), but less knockback growth (105 → 104). Conversely, late back aerial functions oppositely, dealing less damage (9% → 8%), but more knockback growth (110 → 112).
  • Nerf Back aerial has smaller hitboxes (7u → 4u (clean), 6u → 3.4u (late)) and auto-cancels later (frames 1-4, 28> → 1-2, 32>).
  • Change Up aerial deals 1% less damage (10% → 9%), although its knockback growth was compensated (98 → 100).
  • Nerf Up aerial has smaller hitboxes (5.5u → 4.5u).
  • Buff Down aerial's looping hits now utilize the autolink angle and have set knockback. When coupled with the weakening of SDI, this significantly improves its reliability. Down aerial's landing hitbox also has decreased set knockback (60 → 40) and its angle has been altered (30° → 60°), improving its combo potential. To further improve the move, its final hit has increased knockback growth (107 → 110) and larger hitboxes (6u → 6.2u). When coupled with the removal of meteor canceling, these changes significantly improve its reliability.
  • Nerf Down aerial's looping hits deal less slightly damage (2% → 1%), reducing its damage output (12% → 7%).

Throws/other attacks[edit]

  • Buff Standing and pivot grabs have decreased ending lag.
  • Buff Dash grab has decreased start-up lag (frame 10 → 8).
  • Nerf Standing and dash grabs have decreased ranges.
  • Buff Pummel deals 0.55% more damage (1% → 1.55%) and is faster, now being the third fastest pummel in the game. These changes significantly improve its damage racking potential.
  • Buff Forward throw deals 3% less damage (8% → 5%), although its knockback growth was compensated (100 → 125). Its angle has also been altered (65° → 75°). When coupled with the changes to hitstun canceling, these changes grant it combo potential past low percents.
  • Buff Back throw has altered knockback (80 (base)/50 (growth) → 30/120), improving its combo and KO potential. It also has decreased ending lag, improving its mix-up and combo potential at low percents.
  • Change Back throw's angle has been altered (120° → 130°).
  • Buff Up throw has slightly increased knockback (70 (base)/70 (growth) → 75/74), improving its KO potential.
  • Change Up throw's angle has been altered (85° → 78°).
  • Nerf Down throw deals 1.8% less damage (12% → 10.2%) and deals higher knockback (40 (base)/140 (growth) → 60/180). Its angle has also been altered (90° → 63°). When coupled with the removal of chain grabbing, these changes hinder its damage racking potential and remove its combo potential.

Special moves[edit]

  • Change Inhale's damage outputs have been reversed (6% (swallow)/10% (spit) → 10%/6%).
  • Buff Inhale has decreased start-up and ending lag. Inhaling non-explosive items also now heals 1%.
  • Nerf The removal of grab armor hinders Inhale's safety, as it now results in Kirby getting hit instead of Inhaling the opponent.
  • Nerf Kirbycide now KOs Kirby first and the opponent is released from Inhale when this occurs, significantly hindering its utility. However, there are certain characters that, when Kirbycided from a certain angle, will be KO'd as well and thus lead to a Sudden Death.
  • Buff Kirby can now move around during Hammer Flip. Fully charged Hammer Flip also grants armor during part of the swing and deals significantly more shield damage, to the point that it can nearly break a full shield. The charged version also deals much more damage and knockback than before, improving its KO potential, and the move has much larger hitboxes and lacks a sourspot..
  • Nerf Uncharged grounded Hammer Flip deals 4% less damage (23% → 19%) and has significantly decreased knockback, hindering its KO potential. Uncharged aerial Hammer Flip now also deals consistent damage (17%/13%/15%/10% → 15%) and has less knockback as well. Fully charged Hammer Flip now also deals recoil damage when held, similarly to Jet Hammer. Due to its angle being altered, aerial Hammer Flip's second hit is no longer a semi-spike, significantly hindering its edgeguarding potential, and it no longer can be used for recovery. Aerial Hammer Flip has increased start-up lag regardless of its charge.
  • Change Hammer Flip no longer has trandescendent priority.
  • Buff The 19% damage increase to shields and the increase to shieldstun significantly improve Hammer Flip and Stone's shield pressuring potentials.
  • Nerf Final Cutter's shockwave's range has decreased by half.
  • Nerf Kirby now receives half the amount of damage if he gets hit by strong attacks and attacks that deal more damage while using Stone.
  • Change Stone's visual effects have changed. The Thwomp now uses its design from New Super Mario Bros. Wii instead of Super Mario 64.
  • Buff Kirby has a new Final Smash, Ultra Sword. Kirby uses the Super Ability of the same name in order to repeatedly slash the opponent before launching them with a final slash. Like Cook Kirby, Ultra Sword is a trapping Final Smash. Compared to Cook Kirby, it is purely offensive, instead of being both offensive and supplemental. Ultra Sword also deals 6% more damage (34% → 40%), has significantly more knockback, and is more reliable at trapping opponents, making it significantly more effective for KOing.
  • Change Unlike Cook Kirby, Ultra Sword does not provide healing items. However, this is largely negligible, as Cook Kirby's items were consumable by characters other than Kirby, and would not be generated if item spawning was disabled via Item Switch.

Update history[edit]

Kirby has been buffed via game updates. Update 1.0.6 improved up and down smashes' KO potentials; re-purposed down throw into a viable damage racking option; and decreased Inhale and Hammer Flip's ending lag. Update 1.1.0 brought about further buffs: neutral attack's second hit connects into neutral infinite better; neutral infinite's finisher had its start-up lag decreased; forward throw was re-purposed into a useful combo starter like in Brawl; and Inhale's start-up and ending lag were decreased. Kirby also slightly benefits from the new shield mechanics brought about by updates 1.1.0 and 1.1.1, as they make down aerial's multiple hits and Stone's high damage output and hitlag much more reliable at pressuring shields.

Update 1.1.3 brought about even more buffs for Kirby: his dashing speed increased; his smash attacks, forward and back aerials, and all variations of Hammer Flip became slightly stronger; and up throw gained KO potential. Update 1.1.4 brought out another minor buff, as hard tripping now grants Kirby 5 frames of invincibility. Lastly, update 1.1.5, buffed Kirby's smash attacks and all variations of Hammer Flip by slightly increasing their knockback. As a result, Kirby is noticeably better than he was during SSB4's initial release.

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS 1.0.4

  • Change Copy abilities whose base character's neutral special was altered by the patch have been altered in the same way.
  • Change Many behaviors, such as Stone and its custom variants and Final Cutter, have been adjusted.

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS 1.0.5

  • Bug fix Fixed a glitch where Kirby could hover after using Silver Bow.

Super Smash Bros. 4 1.0.6

  • Nerf Sourspotted upward angled forward smash also deals 1% less damage: 13% → 12%.
  • Nerf Upward angled forward smash's knockback decreased, hindering its KO potential.
  • Buff Up smash's knockback increased, improving its KO potential.
  • Buff Down smash's knockback increased, improving its KO potential.
  • Buff Down throw deals 3.6% more damage: 6.6% → 10.2%.
  • Buff Inhale's ending lag decreased.
  • Change Inhale's visual effects slightly changed. Fiery effects now emit from Kirby after he Inhales explosive items.
  • Buff Hammer Flip's ending lag decreased.
  • Buff Kirby moves faster on the ground while charging Hammer Flip.
  • Change Final Cutter has improved visual effects.

Super Smash Bros. 4 1.1.0

  • Buff Neutral attack's second hit connects together better with neutral infinite. Neutral infinite's finisher's start-up lag also decreased.
  • Buff Forward throw deals 2% less damage: 7% → 5%, its ending lag decreased, and its angle altered: 65° → 75°. Altogether, these changes significantly improve its combo potential.
  • Buff Inhale's start-up: frame 18 → 14 and ending lag decreased: frame 78 → 73.

Super Smash Bros. 4 1.1.1

  • Buff Ice Breath's hitboxes moved forward, its farthest hitbox's size increased: 7u → 7.5u, and its angle altered: 40° → 30°. Altogether, these changes improve its range and spacing potential.
  • Buff Aerial Hammer Bash's weight-based knockback increased: 20 → 50.
  • Nerf Hammer Bash's sourspot now takes priority over the sweetspot.

Super Smash Bros. 4 1.1.3

  • Buff Kirby dash speed: 1.50 → 1.57.
  • Buff Forward smash clean hit knockback growth: 99 → 100.
  • Buff Forward smash late hit knockback growth: 66 → 67.
  • Buff Up smash clean hit knockback growth: 102 → 103.
  • Buff Up smash mid hit knockback growth: 96 → 97.
  • Buff Up smash late hit knockback growth: 50 → 51.
  • Buff Down smash knockback growth: 108 → 109.
  • Buff Forward aerial knockback growth: 145 → 148.
  • Change Forward aerial hitlag modifier increased: 1.0x → 1.2x, making it safer on shield but easier to DI on the final hit.
  • Buff Back aerial clean hit knockback growth: 102 → 104.
  • Buff Back aerial late hit knockback growth: 110 → 112.
  • Buff Up throw knockback growth: 63 → 74.
  • Buff Various knockback growth, hitbox size, and duration increases for Hammer Flip and all of its variants.
  • Change Kirby is slightly heavier: 77 → 79.

Super Smash Bros. 4 1.1.4

  • Buff Hard tripping now grants 5 frames of invincibility.
  • Bug fix Fixed the glowing eyes glitch.

Super Smash Bros. 4 1.1.5

  • Buff Forward smash knockback growth: 100 → 102 (clean), 67 → 69 (late).
  • Buff Up smash knockback growth: 103/103/97 → 104/104/99 (early), 97 → 98, 51 → 52 (late).
  • Buff Down smash knockback growth: 109 → 110 (early).
  • Buff All variations of Hammer Flip knockback growth: 76 → 78.

Moveset[edit]

  Name Damage Description
Neutral attack Vulcan Jab 2% A one-two combo. When button mashed, Kirby performs the Vulcan Jab from the Fighter ability before concluding with the Smash Punch from the Fighter ability. It is very quick due to coming out on frame 3, and its first two hits have very minimal ending lag. These traits make it effective for jab canceling or as an out of shield option.
3%
1% (loop), 2% (last)
Forward tilt   8% (base), 7% (tip) A spinning roundhouse kick. It is quick, due to coming out on frame 5, and can be angled.
8% (base), 7% (tip)
8% (base), 7% (tip)
Up tilt   5% (clean), 4% (late) A scorpion kick. Although its damage output is low, it is a very useful combo starter at low percents, especially on fast-fallers, due to it coming out on frame 4 and having both minimal ending lag and disjointed range which slightly reaches behind him. It also renders Kirby's foot intangible throughout its duration.
Down tilt   6% A crouching shin kick. It is fairly spammable due to coming out on frame 4 and having minimal ending lag. When coupled with its tripping potential, it can be a very useful set-up option.
Dash attack   1% (hits 1-5), 4% (hit 6) The Break Spin from the Yo-yo ability. It is difficult to SDI out of, while its last hit can easily ward off opponents due to it dealing very high base knockback. However, it is punishable due to it coming out on frame 12 and having noticeable ending lag.
Forward smash   16% (clean), 12% (late) The Spin Kick from the Fighter ability. It slightly moves Kirby forward and can be angled. Its clean hitbox also deals respectable damage and has very high knockback growth, which makes it a potent KOing option. While near the edge of Final Destination in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, it KOs middleweights at 86% and 77%, respectively, while angled upward; at 93% and 83%, respectively, while not angled; and at 100% and 91%, respectively, while angled downward. However, its late hitbox lack KO potential.
15% (clean), 11% (late)
14% (clean), 10% (late)
Up smash   15%/14% (clean), 14%/12% (mid), 12%/11% (late) A bicycle kick. It can hit behind Kirby, while its clean hitbox deals respectable damage and has very high knockback growth like forward smash. It clean hitbox KOs middleweights at 102% from anywhere on Final Destination in the 3DS version, and at 96% in the Wii U version. Kirby's feet are also rendered intangible throughout its duration, albeit only during its clean hitbox. However, its mid and late hitboxes lack KO potential.
Down smash   14% (clean), 10% (late) A spinning split kick. It hits in front of and behind Kirby, and its clean hitbox deals respectable damage and has very high knockback growth like his forward and up smashes. Its clean hitbox KOs middleweights at 113% from anywhere on Final Destination in the 3DS version and at 106% in the Wii U version. It also renders Kirby's feet intangible albeit only during its clean hitbox. However, its late hitbox has significantly lower KO potential.
Neutral aerial Twinkle Star 10% (clean), 8% (mid), 6% (mid-to-late), 4% (late) The Twinkle Star from the Smash ability. Its very low landing lag makes it a decent set-up option at low percents when short hopped, while its high knockback growth makes it a decent anti-pressure and out of shield option. However, it has the highest amount of ending lag out of Kirby's aerials.
Forward aerial   4% (hit 1), 3% (hit 2), 5% (hit 3) The Aerial Spin Kick from the Fighter ability. The first two hits have low knockback, which allows them to connect reliably with the third hit. Its low landing lag also allows the first or second hit to be used as set-up options into other moves. Can connect into itself for a Wall of Pain in certain instances.
Back aerial   13% (clean), 8% (late) A double-footed back kick. It functions as a sex kick, but also has the lowest amount of start-up lag out of Kirby's aerials, due to it coming out on frame 6. Its clean hitbox also deals the most damage out of his aerials, and possesses very high knockback growth, which make it a viable KOing option. While near the edge of Final Destination, its clean hitbox KOs middleweights at 115% in the 3DS version, and at 105% in the Wii U version. It also boasts good range due to its slightly disjointed hitbox, which makes it a viable edge-guarding option, and allows it to partake in a wall of pain.
Up aerial   9% The Moon Somersault Kick from the Fighter ability. A very useful juggling option, it can also be used for continuing a combo due to its low landing lag.
Down aerial   1% (hits 1-5), 2% (hit 6), 2% (landing) A diagonal corkscrew dropkick. An effective combo starter on grounded opponents and, due to the last hit being a weak meteor smash, it is a useful edge-guarding option, especially since its low ending lag makes it relatively safe to use off-stage. It can even lead into a footstool jump on fast-fallers and heavyweights. While it has the highest amount of start-up lag out of Kirby's aerials due to coming out on frame 18, it can be auto-canceled on landing, giving Kirby a very large window to safely land while tumbling.
Grab   The Foe Grab from the Fighter ability. Kirby's throws are based on attacks used by the Suplex and Ninja abilities.
Pummel   1.55% The punch version of the Arm Throw from the Fighter ability. While its damage output is unimpressive, this is offset by its excellent speed, as it is tied with Lucas, Ness, and Fox's pummels for the third fastest in the game.
Forward throw   5% The Pile Driver from the Suplex ability. Unlike the majority of forward throws, it possesses combo potential. Its most reliable follow-ups are neutral, forward and down aerials at low percents, and up aerial and Final Cutter at medium percents.
Back throw   8% The Big Suplex from the Suplex ability. Despite having an average damage output and very low base knockback, it has very high knockback growth. As a result, it has KO potential, yet can also combo into back aerial on certain characters at very low percents. While near the edge of Final Destination, it KOs middleweights at 160% in the 3DS version, and at 150% in the Wii U version.
Up throw Air Drop 10% The Air Drop from the Ninja ability. As of update 1.1.3, it is Kirby's strongest throw, and thus his most reliable one for KOing. It KOs middleweights at 158% from anywhere on Final Destination in the 3DS version, and at 150% in the Wii U version. Because Kirby jumps up to perform it, he can land onto platforms above him upon descending, which enables it to KO even earlier.
Down throw   0.8% (hits 1-9), 1% (hit 10), 2% (throw) The Fury Stomp from the Suplex ability. It is Kirby's most damaging throw, which makes it useful for damage racking. It can also damage nearby opponents.
Floor attack (front)   7% Performs a spin kick before getting up.
Floor attack (back)   7% Kicks on one side and then the other before getting up.
Floor attack (trip)   5% The Break Spin from the Yo-yo ability.
Edge attack   7% Performs a cartwheeling kick while climbing up. It has surprisingly good range compared to many other characters' edge attacks.
Neutral special Default Inhale 10% (swallow), 6% (spit) Inhales the opponent. It has a grabbox and can be held indefinitely. Upon Inhaling an opponent, Kirby can spit them out as a star to deal damage to them and any nearby opponents, copy their neutral special move, or walk around slowly and/or perform a short hop. However, the opponent can escape from Kirby's mouth via button mashing. Some characters will give Kirby a slight variation of their neutral special due to mechanics that would not work properly when copied, such as Luma Shot and Pikmin Pluck.
Custom 1 Ice Breath 2.4% (nearest), 1.2% (near), 2.4% (far), 6% (farthest) The attack of the same name from the Ice ability. It hits multiple times and can briefly freeze the opponent, which makes it very useful spacing and edge-guarding. However, due to it involving Kirby exhaling, he cannot Inhale anything.
Custom 2 Jumping Inhale 8% (swallow), 13% (spit) Jumps forward before Inhaling the opponent, which can allow it to function as a horizontal recovery option, similarly to Lick. Its spit also deals more damage. However, its swallow deals less damage, the spit will not deal damage to nearby opponents, and using it to Kirbycide will always cause a Sudden Death.
Side special Default Hammer Flip 19% (grounded uncharged), 15% (aerial uncharged), 35% (grounded fully charged), 27% (aerial fully charged) The attack of the same name from the Hammer ability. It is chargeable and, when fully charged, Kirby's hammer will ignite and deal recoil damage. He can also slowly walk and jump while charging it, while a fully charged Hammer Flip grants armor during part of the swing. When it is used in midair, Kirby will swing his hammer twice. While near the edge of Final Destination, uncharged Hammer Flip KOs middleweights at 92% and 82% in the 3DS and Wii U versions, respectively. Conversely, fully charged Hammer Flip KOs middleweights at 17% and 10% in the 3DS and Wii U versions, respectively. Although weaker, aerial Hammer Flip nevertheless possesses KO potential. While near the edge of Final Destination, it KOs middleweights at 128% and 115% in the 3DS and Wii U versions, respectively. Conversely, its fully charged version KOs them at 44% and 36% in the 3DS and Wii U versions, respectively.
Custom 1 Hammer Bash 21% (grounded head), 18% (grounded handle), 4% (aerial hit 1), 17% (aerial hit 2 head), 15% (aerial hit 2 handle) The hammer deals slightly more damage, but cannot be charged, which makes it function almost exactly like it did in Brawl or when grounded in Melee. While near the edge of Final Destination in the 3DS version, grounded Hammer Bash's head hitbox KOs middleweights at 87%, whereas its aerial version's head hitbox KOs them at 105%. Using it in midair also causes Kirby to slightly stall his descent, which improves his recovery. This quirk can also allow Kirby to reach the top of Palutena's Temple from its bottom platform after copying Monado Arts and activating Jump. However, the hammer has a sweetspot and a sourspot, which makes its KO potential slightly less consistent.
Custom 2 Giant Hammer 22% (grounded uncharged), 20% (aerial uncharged), 40% (grounded fully charged), 32% (aerial fully charged) Wields a massive hammer that is much stronger and grants super armor while charging, but has much higher start-up and ending lag. While near the edge of Final Destination in the 3DS version, uncharged grounded Giant Hammer KOs middleweights at 76%, whereas its uncharged aerial version KOs them at 90%. Conversely, fully charged grounded Giant Hammer KOs middleweights at 7%, whereas its fully charged aerial version KOs them at 29%.
Up special Default Final Cutter 5% (ascent), 2% (descent), 5% (landing), 6% (shockwave) The attack of the same name from the Cutter ability. It can meteor smash any opponents he comes into contact with upon descending. The sword also emits a shockwave upon hitting a solid surface, which is Kirby's only projectile aside from spitting out an Inhaled opponent. A good vertical recovery move and has decent horizontal distance when angled. However, it is extremely predictable due to its high start-up. Kirby cannot sweetspot the edge until he starts to descend, and if the platform beneath him disappears or if he is pushed off while he is still in the landing animation, he will be rendered helpless.
Custom 1 Wave Cutter 15% (blade), 10% (projectile), 5% (Kirby) Deals more damage overall and its shockwave sends rocks flying outward. However, it only deals damage when Kirby lands on the ground.
Custom 2 Upper Cutter 10% The ascending slash is stronger, and the move in general grants Kirby greater vertical recovery. However, it cannot hit anything upon descending, and instead renders him helpless with most of his momentum.
Down special Default Stone 18% (impact), 14% (shockwave) The Stone Change (while Kirby is on the ground) and the Stone Smash (while Kirby is in the air) from the Stone ability. Thanks to its high damage output, Stone Smash KOs middleweights at 108% and deals considerable shield damage. It can also be canceled in midair by pressing the special button, which can be used for mindgames. Although Stone Change is slightly weaker, it is a semi-spike. Kirby cannot be damaged while he is transformed, although his Stone forms have a set amount of durability, and he can be grabbed while transformed.
Custom 1 Grounding Stone 10% (impact on grounded opponents), 12% (impact on aerial opponents), 6% (shockwave) Takes less time to revert to normal and buries grounded opponents on contact. However, it deals less damage, takes longer to transform, Stone Smash cannot KO grounded opponents, and Stone Change's semi-spike is much weaker.
Custom 2 Meteor Stone 12% (clean), 10% (mid), 8% (late) Takes less time to transform and meteor smashes opponents. However, it deals less damage and takes longer to revert to normal, which makes it much riskier to use off-stage.
Final Smash Ultra Sword 3% (stun), 5% (hit 1), 2% (hits 2-9), 16% (hit 10) The Super Ability of the same name. Kirby wields a gigantic sword to repeatedly slash the opponent before enlarging the sword and then concluding with a powerful downward slash. While near the edge of Final Destination, it KOs middleweights at 31% in the 3DS version.

On-screen appearance[edit]

  • Rides on a Warp Star and crashes it onto the stage.
KirbyOnScreenAppearanceSSB4.gif

Taunts[edit]

  • Up taunt: Shuffles to one side, then shuffles to the opposite side before spinning and then holding his arm up. It is almost identical to one of his victory dances in his home series.
  • Side taunt: Spins repeatedly, then stops to balance on one leg and extend one arm and say "Eeu!" It is almost identical to his "character selection" animation in SSB.
  • Down taunt: Leans inward to face the screen and wave his arms while saying "Hi!"
Up taunt Side taunt Down taunt
KirbyUpTauntSSB4.jpg KirbySideTauntSSB4.jpg KirbyDownTauntSSB4.jpg

Idle poses[edit]

  • Hops to look off-screen, then hops back into his default position.
  • Briefly nods off, then shakes his head and wakes up.
KirbyIdlePose1SSB4.jpg KirbyIdlePose2SSB4.jpg

Crowd cheer[edit]

English Japanese
Cheer
Kirby Cheer NTSC SSB4.ogg
Kirby Cheer JP SSB4.ogg
Description Kir-by! Kir-by!
Pitch Group chant Female

Victory poses[edit]

A flourished remix of the short, recurring theme that debuted in Kirby's Dream Land and which plays when Kirby completes a stage or defeats a boss.
  • Spins to turn his back to the screen and then briefly wiggles, does a front flip to face the screen, and then holds his arm up.
  • Skids to the right, spins and then holds his arm up.
  • Brings his arms down twice, does a cartwheel, and then holds his arm up.
KirbyPose1WiiU.gif KirbyPose2WiiU.gif KirbyPose3WiiU.gif

In competitive play[edit]

Official Custom Moveset Project[edit]

Character Custom sets available
KirbyHeadSSB4-U.png Kirby 3231 3232 3233 1231 1131
3133 3131 2231 3221 3331

Notable players[edit]

Active[edit]

Inactive[edit]

Tier placement and history[edit]

Due to the considerable nerfs Kirby received in his transition from Brawl, he has always been considered a non-viable character within the SSB4 metagame, even in spite of game updates noticeably buffing him. This has been due to his only success occurring at local tournaments, whereas his results at regional and national tournaments have been very sparse. These aspects culminated with Kirby being placed at 33rd on the first tier list.

Kirby would then drop to 41st on the second tier list, and eventually to 47th on the third tier list, with the latter drop being tied with Pit and Yoshi's for the second largest between the second and third tier lists. However, Komota later scored an upset by defeating Ally at Frostbite 2017 and placing 33rd at said tournament. Due to this, his tier placement has been widely debated, with some players believing he should be placed slightly higher due to niche matchups against much higher tiered characters, such as Zero Suit Samus and Fox. However, due to his continually sparse results after Frostbite 2017, Kirby has since dropped to 50th on the fourth and current tier list.

Trophies[edit]

Kirby
ntsc Round little Kirby lives on the peaceful Planet Popstar, in Dream Land. He can inhale things with his big mouth, either copying their abilities or spitting them out again. In Smash Bros., Kirby can inhale opponents and copy their standard specials. He gets launched easily but recovers well.
pal A roly-poly little fella from Dream Land on Planet Popstar. He can inhale pretty much anyone or anything with that big gob of his, then spit them out or copy their abilities. He can copy opponents' standard specials in this game, too! His light weight means he gets launched easily, but with a series of mid-air jumps, recovering's not too tricky.
Game Boy: Kirby's Dream Land (08/1992)
SNES: Kirby Super Star (08/1996)
Kirby (Alt.)
ntsc Holding the special button and left or right will charge up Kirby's Hammer Flip attack. Charging too long hurts Kirby! The hammer strikes twice in the air, but landing the single blow on the ground is more powerful. Kirby's up special Final Cutter slices up and down, firing a shock wave upon landing.
pal Charge up Kirby's Hammer side special to unleash Hammer Flip, a move with serious launch power. Charge it too much, though, and you'll get hurt! The move hits twice in mid-air, but does more damage on the ground. Final Cutter slices up and down before sending out an energy wave. Move Kirby mid-jump to change where he lands.
Game Boy: Kirby's Dream Land (08/1992)
SNES: Kirby Super Star (08/1996)
Ultra Sword
ntsc For Kirby's Final Smash, he swings a sword that's waaay bigger than he is. If the first swing hits, he'll keep going with a combo of lightning-fast slices, dealing tons of damage. For the last swing, the sword grows even larger and launches any victims. Make sure that first swing hits, though, or nothing else will happen!
pal For Kirby's Final Smash, he swings around a sword that's waaay bigger than he is. If the first swing hits, he'll keep going with a combo of lightning-fast slices, dealing tons of damage. For the last swing, the sword grows even larger and launches its target. It's great, so make sure that first swing hits, or none of the rest will happen!

In Event Matches[edit]

Solo Events[edit]

  • All-Star Battle: Regulars: Kirby is among the opponents fought in this event. All of the opponents are the eight starter characters of the "perfect-attendance crew" from SSB.
  • Kirby's Crazy Appetite: Kirby must heal by eating food on the stage while three King Dededes try to hinder his progress. After some time, two more King Dededes will appear. Kirby will be at 100% on Easy, 125% on Normal and 140% on Hard, while the King Dededes will be at 50% on Easy/Normal and 0% on Hard.

Co-op Events[edit]

Alternate costumes[edit]

Kirby Palette (SSB4).png
KirbyHeadSSB4-U.png KirbyHeadYellowSSB4-U.png KirbyHeadBlueSSB4-U.png KirbyHeadRedSSB4-U.png KirbyHeadGreenSSB4-U.png KirbyHeadWhiteSSB4-U.png KirbyHeadOrangeSSB4-U.png KirbyHeadPurpleSSB4-U.png

Gallery[edit]

Trivia[edit]

  • Kirby cannot copy custom moves. However, his side custom move affects his Olimar Copy Ability, as the attack changes to match the variant of Pikmin Throw.
  • Due to unused animations discovered via hacking, the ability to charge Kirby's Hammer was originally intended for Brawl.
  • Kirby has unused voice clips for all of Palutena's neutral specials, suggesting that at one point in development he was planned to be able to copy Palutena's custom moves, or that Palutena's default neutral special move was undecided.
  • SSB4 is the first game in the series where Kirby's dash attack has not changed, as he retains his dash attack from Brawl.
  • At a total of 80, Kirby has the most sound clips of any character, with his amount of clips being rivaled only by the Announcer.
  • Kirby's alt. trophy in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS has his gray alternate costume with blue eyes instead of gray eyes.
  • Kirby's blue alternate costume depicts the interior of mouth as retaining its normal coloration on the character selection screen and during his normal expressions. However, it appears blue while Inhaling.
  • Kirby's screen KO resembles his screen KO in Kirby: Triple Deluxe. His pose in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS more closely resembles his face's position in that game, whereas his facial expression in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U more closely resembles his expression in that game.
  • A glitch existed where if Kirby copied either Mr. Game & Watch, Donkey Kong, Falco, or Wii Fit Trainer, broke the Smash Ball, and performed a down taunt while in standby, his eyes would no longer glow. Interestingly, if Kirby copied the ability again after using the Final Smash or self-destructing (excluding Mr. Game & Watch), his eyes would be glowing. This was fixed in update 1.1.4.
  • During the development of Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, Kirby did not emote in any way.
  • One of Kirby's official artwork poses in Kirby: Planet Robobot is almost identical to his official artwork pose from SSB4, with the only differences being his Robobot Armor helmet and a closed smile.
  • When Kirby uses any of his side special moves off-screen and is shown in the magnifying glass, his normal motion will be seen, but his hammer will not.

References[edit]


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