Luigi (ルイージ, Luigi) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. He was revealed for the game along with the rest of the veterans on June 12th, 2018. Like in games prior to Super Smash Bros. 4, he reprises his role as an unlockable character instead of a starter character. Luigi is classified as fighter #09, just behind the eight starter characters.
As in Smash 4, Charles Martinet's portrayal of Luigi from Super Smash Bros. Brawl was repurposed for Ultimate.
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 middleweight who is somewhat floaty, and has attributes that deviate from most characters of his weight class. Luigi has average walking and dashing speeds, the second slowest air speed, average air acceleration, low gravity, and below-average falling speed, fastfalling speed and traction. Luigi also sports a very high jump and double jump. Overall, Luigi is a floaty character who is sluggish in some aspects, especially in the air.
Like his brother, Luigi can be very difficult to punish, as only four of his moves have more than 9 frames of startup lag (forward smash, down aerial, Fireball, and Green Missile) and a multitude of moves that hit before frame 5, such as neutral aerial or neutral attack, giving him among the fastest frame data in the game, which is complemented by the impressive utility of his overall moveset. Neutral attack's damage output and range are decent, and the first two hits can lock. Luigi's tilt attacks also have their own perks: forward tilt can be angled, and is useful for spacing; up tilt has excellent combo and juggling potential; and down tilt is an incredibly quick and highly spammable move that can combo into itself. Finally, Luigi's dash attack has quick start-up, and with its reduced ending lag as well as its increased damage output and knockback, it is a much better move for approaching and attacking than in previous titles.
Luigi's smash attacks are all among the fastest of their kind, have below-average ending lag and are strong enough to be reliable finishers, allowing them to quickly and effectively punish opponents close to him, while being difficult to punish themselves on shield. Forward smash deals extra shield damage, up smash is an effective anti-air attack due to rendering Luigi's head intangible while its hitboxes are active, and down smash is very useful for punishing rolls thanks to its minimal lag, respectable damage output and long range. Both up smash and down smash also have set-up potential at low percents if Luigi successfully covers the opponent's options afterward.
Luigi's aerial attacks are also very useful, due to their combination of fast startup, quick interruptibility (except for neutral and back aerials), and all of them can auto-cancel in a short hop. Neutral aerial is a sex kick and, like in previous installments, the only one that launches opponents vertically, which benefits its clean and late hitboxes: the former is a great combo breaker and a situational KOing option near the upper blast line, whereas the latter is a very useful combo starter when SHFF'd. Forward aerial has the fastest duration of its kind and launches at the Sakurai angle; at low to medium percentages, these traits make it very reliable for approaching or down throw-initiated combos into itself, neutral aerial and up aerial, as well as a reliable edge-guarding option at high percentages. Back aerial has a very powerful clean hitbox and long range, which enable it to function as a safe and reliable KOing and edgeguarding option, or as an approach option via reverse aerial rush. Up aerial is useful for combos, since it can either extend them or, thanks to having the lowest amount of landing lag out his aerials, use its clean hitbox to start them at low percentages when SHFF'd. It's generous autocancel window and very low ending lag allow Luigi to use twice in a single short hop and still autocanceling it successfully. Lastly, down aerial is safe to use and has a clean hitbox which is a fast meteor smash, coming out on frame 10. Due to his powerful and fast aerials with generally very low ending lag, Luigi has an outstanding air game.
Luigi has an excellent grab game, though unlike Mario, he has a tether grab, using the Poltergust G-00 to grab his opponents, firing a toilet plunger at the opponent. The plunger can grab opponents from a decent distance, preventing the necessity for Luigi to get up close to his foes. Even beyond his grab, the toilet plunger functions as a projectile, dealing minor damage and knockback, giving it some edgeguarding potential. This is further compounded by the fact that it cannot be absorbed or reflected by opponents. Like Mario, Luigi has an average pummel, being able to deal multiple hits to opponents, and still follow up with his useful throws. Luigi's forward throw deals respectable damage, and is useful for repositioning opponents or setting up edgeguards against them at higher percents. Back throw also deals respectable damage, and great knockback, allowing it to KO at a mere 120%, or even earlier with rage. It is also quick, making it safer to use and more reliable for KOing compared to Mario's. Up throw also deals average damage and knockback, and possesses follow-up potential into forward or up aerials at mid percents, while having a collateral hitbox to harm bystanders. Lastly, there is down throw, which is Luigi's main combo throw, and one of his most useful attacks. Down throw deals average knockback, has quick overall lag, and launches at a vertical angle, enabling it to lead into potent and damaging combos. Down throw can combo into moves such as up tilt, up smash, all of Luigi's aerials and Super Jump Punch, due to its aforementioned traits.
As a pseudo-clone of Mario, Luigi has two special moves that are derived from his older brother, yet his versions deviate in noticeable ways. Fireball is a projectile that is useful for pressuring, hindering an opponent's approach, or setting up an attack. Unlike Mario's Fireball, Luigi's is unaffected by gravity and moves up and down, which makes it somewhat less effective at hindering an opponent's recovery or edgeguard attempt, but gives it deceptive vertical range. Super Jump Punch has very quick startup like Mario's, but propels him vertically instead of diagonally. By extension, it consists of a sweetspot and sourspot, instead of multiple hitboxes like Mario's. Its sweetspot boasts devastating power, which makes it a very potent punishment option, yet it is very risky because of its virtually useless sourspot and high ending lag.
Aside from these, Luigi's other special moves are completely distinct from Mario's. Green Missile deals damage and covers horizontal distance, both of which can be increased thanks to its ability to be charged. However, it is also possible for Green Missile to misfire; in this case, it becomes even stronger than the fully charged version, and travels much further. Lastly, Luigi Cyclone renders Luigi invincible on startup, enabling him to break out of combos or contest opposing attacks effectively. Luigi Cyclone can also function as a KOing option near the upper blast line, and is a guaranteed follow-up out of down throw even at high percents; this even be a KO combo on platforms.
However, Luigi has some notable disadvantages. He has fairly sluggish mobility, with his extremely slow air speed and floaty physics making landing fairly difficult, especially against faster characters, thus possessing a subpar approach. His range, while better than Mario, it's still somewhat short, which makes him fairly susceptible to getting outspaced by characters with disjointed hitboxes, and compared to Mario, his lack of a reflector makes it more difficult for him to deal with projectile camping and projectile-heavy playstyles in general when combined with his awkward mobility. Additionally, his terrible air physics make it difficult for him to contest with characters with better horizontal movement airborne despite his high jumps. His recovery is also linear and predictable, as Luigi Cyclone no longer gives much vertical distance, leaving him to deal with his poor air speed and Super Jump Punch and Green Missile moves, which while both covering long distance, they are linear, leaving him vulnerable to edgeguards.
Overall, Luigi is a solid character, though he often tends to run hot-and-cold, unlike his brother. His terrifyingly quick frame data, air game and combos make him a force to be reckoned with, provided his opponents make careless mistakes. Luigi's combo game and KOing potential are easily superior to his brother's, having many different set-ups that can deal absurdly high damage within seconds, and then completely take stocks away. However, Luigi's short range - along with his only average ground mobility, abysmal aerial mobility, and predictable side and up specials - force him to fight at close-quarters all the time, hindering both his approach and recovery.
Changes from Super Smash Bros. 4
Luigi has received a mix of buffs and nerfs in his transition to Ultimate, but has been slightly nerfed overall. While Luigi received numerous buffs and changes that improve his strenghts and benefit him, he has also suffered from a few major nerfs; both points are also compounded by the universal changes to the game's engine, which were a mix bag for him.
In terms of direct changes, some of his least useful moves from Smash 4 have received significant buffs: down tilt has been made twice as fast, allowing it to poke opponents much more safely and increasing its combo potential, while dash attack has considerably decreased ending lag and increased power. Additionally, his existing KO options have been improved overall: forward smash has higher knockback and a lower trajectory across all angles, up smash and Luigi Cyclone have increased knockback, down smash's sweetspots are easier to land and launch lower, and his Super Jump Punch's signature sweetspot can KO at even lower percents. Further complementing these changes, his down throw, already one of his best moves in Smash 4, leads to deadlier combos due to its lower ending lag and Luigi's faster jumpsquat, having more consistent KO setups and even potential zero-to-deaths. Lastly, Luigi Cyclone has been repurposed, dealing greater damage with more knockback, pulling opponents in more consistently due to receiving windboxes, having more range, and granting invincibility on startup (especially in the air, which grants it as soon as frame 1), improving both its offensive and defensive capabilities, and with the addition of the Poltergust G-00 to Luigi's moveset, not only do his grabs have more range, but he has gained a grab aerial, which fires a plunger that can set up combos and edgeguard opponents.
Luigi also benefits from most of the universal changes. Like the rest of the veterans, Luigi has had decreased landing lag in all his aerial attacks and his mobility enhanced in most areas, but most importantly, his infamously low traction has been greatly increased, which somewhat alleviates his problems with approaching as well as significantly improving his out of shield options. The ability to dash cancel into any grounded move slightly improves Luigi's below average approach as well. Finally, the increased shieldstun on grounded moves in comparison to Smash 4 makes Luigi harder to punish on some of his moves, notably his newly improved down tilt.
However, while Luigi has received more buffs than nerfs, the few nerfs he received significant enough to counter the buffs. The most notable example is Luigi Cyclone traveling much less vertical distance via button mashing, removing all of its usefulness for recovery, as even with very fast mashing, Luigi barely gets any additional distance at the end of the move. Alongside the addition of windboxes to it, this also removes its ability to gimp opponents and KO them at virtually any percentage if timed correctly, which was a crucial technique to his success in Smash 4. Another notable example comes from the repurposal of his grabs: although they still have only moderate ending lag for their range, they possess much more startup, while still being prone to punishment due to the ability to cancel spot dodges earlier into attacks. This makes them much riskier to use and harder to land, especially since their increased startup removes many guaranteed setups into them and severely weakens Luigi's ability to shield grab, consequently limiting his defensive game and the usage of his pivotal down throw.
Lastly, the changes to air dodging have hurt Luigi overall: due to his floatiness, the reintroduction of directional air dodges now allow him to use one for recovery in a pinch. However, due to his floatiness, his air dodges now have more ending lag, especially relative to the rest of the cast, thus making them more punishable, while the ability to only use them once makes recovery mix-ups almost unfeasible. Combined with his air speed remaining extremely low, along with the severe distance nerf to Luigi Cyclone, his recovery is much more linear and easier to intercept, causing Luigi to become much more prone to edgeguarding and early offstage KOs, despite Super Jump Punch granting slightly more distance.
Overall, Luigi has become even more polarizing than his Smash 4 counterpart: while his combo and KO capabilities have been improved, the changes to the game's engine and nerfs to crucial aspects of his toolkit have made it harder for him to take advantage of his strengths, while also being easier to KO himself due to his worsened recovery. Luigi has had good tournament success in Ultimate so far, with respectable representation from players such as Elegant and Scot!, though as a whole, his tournament results are not as dominating as they were in Smash 4. This has lead to a more mixed reception of Luigi than in the previous game, although still somewhat positive: while several top players such as Dabuz, Mew2King, VoiD, Samsora and ZeRo either view him as an upper mid-tier character or a high tier character, ESAM thinks of him as a low tier character. As for now, Luigi's true viability remains uncertain, although he is still considered a viable choice.
Throws and other attacks
Luigi has received a mix of buffs and nerfs via game updates. His up smash and Luigi Cyclone deal more knockback, increasing their potency as finishers (particularly the latter's as a followup at high percents), and his up aerial has less ending lag, further improving its combo potential. However, his down aerial has been nerfed much more noticeably, as it no longer meteor smashes grounded opponents (instead behaving like in Smash 4), removing a large part of its combo potential and making zero-to-deaths much harder to perform. Additionally, like many other projectiles, Fireball was changed in 3.0.0 to deal less damage to shields. Overall, while Luigi has lost his consistent zero-to-death setups, aside from that he has seen almost entirely buffs and has gained new finishers and seen improvements to his already powerful grab.
Note: All numbers are listed as base damage, without the 1v1 multiplier.
In competitive play
Initially, Luigi was seen as inferior to his appearance in Smash 4. This is because some of Luigi's most useful tools from the previous game were significantly nerfed: Luigi's new grab had more lag, and Luigi Cyclone no longer granted vertical distance when mashed, weakening Luigi's recovery and removing Luigi's Cyclone gimp. Although Luigi initially had a zero-to-death combo with his down throw and down aerial, update 2.0.0 would make it harder to perform. This, along with mediocre results, caused many people to believe that Luigi was no longer as viable as he was in Smash 4.
Despite Luigi's perception, however, several Luigi mains such as Elegant, Navy, and SMB managed to produce many noteworthy results as the metagame progressed. This, along with several buffs to Luigi, helped improve Luigi's perception in the community.
Any number following the Smasher name indicates placement on the Spring 2019 PGRU, which recognizes the official top 50 players in the world in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate from February 1st, 2019 to July 7th, 2019.
Classic Mode: Luigi's Nightmares
All of Luigi's opponents are creepy or scary characters or a character using a scary alternate costume. His boss, Dracula, fits in with the theme, as he is a vampire and references the fact that Luigi prominently appeared in Simon and Richter’s reveal trailer.
Role in World of Light
Although Luigi does not appear in the World of Light opening cutscene a puppet fighter of him does appear during the 'Army of puppets' cutscene. He was presumably vaporized and later imprisoned alongside the rest of the fighters (sans Kirby) when Galeem unleashed his beams of light.
Luigi was one of the many fighters who fell under Dharkon's control upon Galeem's first defeat, and he can be found in the Mysterious Dimension being guarded by the Link (The Legend of Zelda) spirit after awakening Meta Knight.
Luigi's Fighter Spirit can be obtained by completing Classic Mode. It is also available periodically for purchase in the shop for 500 coins. Unlocking Luigi in World of Light allows the player to preview the first 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.
Additionally, Luigi makes an appearance in various Primary and Support Spirits.
In Spirit battles
As the main opponent
As a minion
Character Showcase Video