Luigi (ルイージ, Luigi) is an unlockable character in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, who also appeared as an unlockable character in the previous two games, Super Smash Bros. and Super Smash Bros. Melee. He was announced on the Smash Bros. DOJO!! website on February 18th, 2008.
Unlike his voice clips in the previous two games, which was just higher-pitched versions of Mario's, Charles Martinet provides entirely new voice clips in Brawl, sounding akin to Luigi's appearances in Luigi's Mansion and subsequent games.
Luigi is currently ranked 28th on the current Brawl tier list, on the top of the lower-mid tier, placing him three places above his older brother, Mario. This is a moderate drop from the Melee tier list, where he was ranked 13th out of 26. Luigi is best known for his fast, yet powerful attacks, possessing several potential finishers, some of which can reliably KO under 100%, including, but not limited to, his forward smash and Fire Jump Punch. His attacks also flow well together, making for a lot of effective set-up moves and combos. However, Luigi has poor mobility, adding to the fact that he is floaty, a slow dasher, and extremely slow in the air as well, which makes approaching opponents difficult. These problems are further worsened by the general reach of his attacks being among the worst in Brawl, his signature lack of traction causing him to be pushed back considerably while shielding and limiting out of shield punishing options, and his only projectile being too slow and short-ranged to effectively camp most characters. Luigi is also crippled by the removal of wavedashing more than most other veterans, as his low traction greatly exacerbates his approach and makes his general maneuverability difficult to handle. This results in mostly poor matchups, especially against characters with disjointed hitboxes and strong camping abilities, like Meta Knight or Falco. When combined with his lack of tournament representation, Luigi has also achieved below-average tournament results.
How to unlock
Complete one of the following:
With the exception of the third method, Luigi must then be defeated on Luigi's Mansion.
Luigi is a surprisingly strong middleweight with very quick attack speed (almost no slow attacks), yet slow mobility and short range. While many consider Luigi a clone or semi-clone of Mario, there are some important differences between them. Like Mario, his Fireballs are spammable and help his approach, but Luigi’s travel less distance and are not affected by gravity, which can be good or bad depending on the situation. Luigi has the second highest initial jump in the game (second only to Falco's), which helps his air game. Luigi is also a good juggler due to his very fast up tilt, neutral aerial, and up aerial. Luigi's neutral aerial is a powerful sex kick and can often KO at high damage percentages on most characters. He is able to use his down throw to set up his juggles on many characters when they are at low percentages, but Luigi himself is a candidate for King Dedede's infinite chaingrab without a wall (Luigi is the only character that can be infinited by King Dedede without a wall but cannot be chain grabbed by the normal way), a major issue as King Dedede is a very common character in tournament-level play and has a huge grab range. Luigi has the ability to crawl, which can help him dodge certain projectiles. His smashes, like most of his attacks, are considered fast and unusually strong, especially his forward smash. His specials are also considered to be good overall and great for recovery. If one keeps pressing the special attack button during Luigi Cyclone while moving upward (as the movement is momentum-based), Luigi will rise up, greatly aiding his recovery. His side special, the Green Missile, can be used for horizontal recovery to make up for the lack of horizontal recovery from his Super Jump Punch. However, the Green Missile requires charging and can be stopped with projectiles normally, but if he gets a misfire (which happens 12.5% of the time), it is an extremely powerful attack. A Green Missile misfire can benefit in some situations because it has more power and covers more distance than normally, but it can also be bad because it can cause Luigi to self-destruct offstage. His Super Jump Punch is unique in the fact that if sweetspotted, it will become the Fire Jump Punch, a much stronger version that deals fire damage and can KO at very low percentages (about 50%). However, if Luigi's Super Jump Punch does not sweetspot, it only does 1% with almost no knockback and is very punishable unless he grabs a ledge. Uniquely, Luigi’s taunt can hit opponents and deal 2% of damage, meteor smashing opponents in the air or on ledge (though its use is limited by its heavy startup and endlag).
Luigi's main problems revolve around his unusual mobility and his poor reach. Luigi has slow falling speed (although this also has its advantages, such as preventing certain chain grabs and Kirby's throw combos, as well as aiding his overall aerial game), the second-slowest lateral air speed, slow dash speed, and the lowest traction (but low traction also has advantages, such as preventing Diddy Kong's banana follow-ups), all of which make approaching with Luigi a chore. His moves are quick, but short-ranged, so characters that can keep Luigi away with their speed and range (like Marth and Lucario) fare well.
Overall, Luigi is a character who tends to run hot and cold. If he is able to get within close distance of an opponent so that he can land his blows, he is extremely dangerous. However, his abysmal approach and poor reach leave him at a clear disadvantage if opponents can time their attacks to keep him out of range. He operates well on both the ground and in the air, but Luigi's issues with range and his overall shaky defensive game make him tough to deploy successfully.
Changes from Melee to Brawl
In the transition from Melee to Brawl, Luigi has received a mix of buffs and nerfs, with the number of buffs being greater overall, as many of his attacks been made more powerful or faster, along with a significantly improved recovery. However, Luigi's better recovery and more powerful attacks was not significant enough to compensate for his loss of wavedashing, which drastically harmed him with the slower paced play of Brawl. The defensive nature of Brawl also makes his poor traction much more of a liability, as the inability to punish out of shield exacerbates approaching and mobility problems. The introduction of hitstun canceling is also detrimental as it significantly limits Luigi's combo game. As such, despite the greater quantity of buffs, Luigi is a much less effective character than he was in Melee.
In competitive play
Luigi has unimpressive matchups across the board. He counters 2 characters, soft counters 5, and has 3 even matchups. Conversely, he is soft countered by 18 characters, countered by 7 characters, and hard countered by 1 character, Meta Knight. Luigi's significant problems with his poor approach options have resulted in him struggling to land his powerful finishers, while his still poor recovery allows for most top-tier characters to edgeguard him with ease. Marth, Meta Knight, and the Ice Climbers can wall him out easily with their range and powerful attacks, leaving him without much room to rack up damage and land many hits. However, Luigi does reasonably well against Sheik, thanks to her difficulty in securing KOs and his neutral aerial breaking her forward tilt, while his normally exploitable recovery becomes much more difficult to handle. Luigi’s powerful moves become more prominent against lower tier characters, which they struggle to handle his wallbreaking capabilities.
Tier placement and history
From the beginning of Brawl’s competitive lifetime, the introduction of hitstun cancelling, Luigi’s loss of wavedashing, as well as the inability to punish out of shield were quickly noticed. Combined with his poor range, this has culminated to subpar tournament results, and a small player base. As a result, Luigi was placed 23rd in Brawl’s first tier list, with him hovering around 21st and 20th on the second through fifth versions. As the meta went on, Luigi’s flaws and unimpressive matchups were only further exploited on. Because of this, he dropped to 25th and 29th on the sixth and seventh tier lists respectively, and currently sits on 28th in the eighth tier list. While Luigi managed to secure some noteworthy results throughout the metagame, he wasn’t a very popular character in tournaments, thanks to the hurtful changes of Brawl’s mechanics.
Role in The Subspace Emissary
Luigi first appears in a green meadow, where he pretends to threaten and attack on-coming Waddle Dees. They are harmless, and make no move to attack him, but he is frightened by them, nonetheless. Then, out of nowhere, he is attacked from behind by King Dedede, who slams Luigi with his mallet, sending him flying into the air. After he comes back down, he becomes a trophy (making him the only character to become a trophy in the same cut scene in which he is introduced). Luigi's trophy in Subspace Emissary is different from his collectible trophy. Instead of adjusting his hat, Luigi holds his hands to his face making a surprised expression, which is the last of the poses from his up taunt. This distinction is unique to Luigi. King Dedede places him on the road as bait for Wario, who is coming down the road. Wario takes the bait, and Dedede manages to steal Peach/Zelda, Ness, and Luigi's trophy along with Wario's Cargo.
Dedede places a special badge on Luigi, Ness, and Peach/Zelda, though Peach/Zelda's badge is knocked off when Bowser flies off with the princess in his Koopa Clown Car and is later swallowed by Kirby. King Dedede's castle, along with the trophies of Luigi, Ness, and King Dedede are sucked into Subspace when the Ancient Minister and two R.O.B. units detonate a Subspace Bomb at the castle. Luigi is not seen again until much later in the story when Tabuu turns everyone into trophies, and the badges manage to revive him and Ness, revealing what they were for. The two then decide to turn King Dedede back to life in return, and the unlikely trio set off to help out Mario, Donkey Kong, Samus, Fox, Pikachu, Captain Falcon, Marth, Mr. Game & Watch, Falco, Pit, Olimar, Lucas, Diddy Kong, the Pokémon Trainer and Ike. Luigi, along with Ness, then watched as Dedede fought Bowser, and later helped him convince Wario to join them. After they turned everyone back to normal, they all fought Tabuu, with help from Sonic and restored most of the World of Trophies to normal.
Luigi was ambushed and turned into a trophy by King Dedede during the epilogue of The Battlefield Fortress, and when he was taken into King Dedede's castle, a Subspace Bomb exploded in front the castle and he was brought into Subspace in Trophy Form.
Since Luigi's primary attacks are kicks and punches, Arm and Leg stickers have the widest effect. Using a Head sticker will only affect Luigi's up smash and Green Missile (since pummels cannot be used against most enemies), while a Fire one will affect his Fireball, the Green Missile, and the Fire Jump Punch. The Luigi Cyclone is considered a Spin attack, but seeing as it's his only Spin attack, there is minimal benefit to using a Spin sticker. Similarly, the final hit of Luigi's neutral attack is a Body attack, so applying a Body sticker will have only limited benefits.
In Event Matches