Meta Knight (SSB4)
in Super Smash Bros. 4
|Other playable appearances||in Brawl|
|Final Smash||Galaxia Darkness|
Meta Knight (メタナイト, Meta Knight) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. 4. After initially being teased as a Mii Fighter costume in a Director's Room Miiverse post on August 11, 2014, his return to the series was announced in a Director's Room Miiverse post two days later.
Eric Newsome and Atsushi Kisaichi both reprise their roles as Meta Knight's voice actors in the English and Japanese versions, albeit via recycled voice clips from Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
Meta Knight is ranked 16th out of 54 on the tier list, placing him in the B tier. This is a moderate drop from his top-tier placement in Brawl, where he was ranked 1st out of 38. Meta Knight's already impressive mobility has been improved: his already fast dashing and falling speeds have become even faster, while his extremely slow air speed has become drastically faster. Meta Knight's overall frame data remains extremely fast and Galaxia grants him disjointed range, which collectively enable him to retain his formidable combo game and edge-guarding potential. Incidentally, he also boasts a superb recovery: in addition to his multiple double jumps, all of his special moves are reliable at bringing him back on-stage.
However, Meta Knight received heavy nerfs in the transition to SSB4, likely owing to his dominance in Brawl. His outstanding frame data and range, long-distanced recovery and overall damage output have been toned down, while his approach has been weakened because of the total removal of Galaxia's transcendent priority. When combined with his continued lack of a projectile, these changes result in Meta Knight having a more difficult time overcoming camping strategies. Meta Knight's very quick falling speed is also a double-edged sword: while it is an important aspect of his mobility, it is also detrimental because of his light weight, as it leaves him vulnerable to both combos and KOs. His endurance is also exacerbated by the nerfs to his recovery, with the most notable example being the removal of gliding.
Regardless, Meta Knight retains many of his key advantages from Brawl, which have enabled him to secure strong tournament representation and results.
Meta Knight is an unusual blend of character archetypes. He is very small, to the point of being roughly the same size as Kirby, and is the ninth lightest character, yet he has the tenth highest gravity and an unusually fast falling speed. Like his fellow Kirby fighters, Meta Knight has multiple double jumps, but unlike most other characters who share this trait, his mobility is overall fast: he has above average walking speed, fast dashing speed, and average air speed and air acceleration. Due to it lasting 13 frames, Meta Knight's initial dash animation is relatively long, which gives him a slow extended dash-dance and a long fox-trot. However, his perfect pivot is rather long and therefore useful for re-positioning and evading attacks. Meta Knight also benefits from a jumpsquat that is 4 frames long, as well as a low short hop, which enable him to transition very quickly between his ground and air games. As such, Meta Knight's mobility is the most well-balanced among characters of his archetypes.
Meta Knight's most valued strength is his frame data: much like Sheik and Luigi, the overwhelming majority of his attacks have little delay, either in regard to start-up, ending lag, or both. In fact, all but four of his moves have fewer than 10 frames of start-up, and their generally low ending lag is quite unusual for a swordsman. Meta Knight's sword, Galaxia, also grants him disjointed range. His dash attack is a reliable approach option thanks to its low ending lag, disjointed range, and the speed boost it grants. His dash grab covers a long distance, making it relatively hard to punish. His down aerial is one of the fastest of its kind, while his forward smash has low ending lag, making both useful for spacing. His out of shield options are also a defining part of his neutral game. He has fast, long-distanced rolls, and Shuttle Loop and his down aerial are quick, with the former's power making it deadly against opponents who land punishable moves on his shield. He can also opt for a grab, which gives him the opportunity to start combos and rack up heavy damage. Altogether, these traits grant Meta Knight an decent neutral game, the ability to mix-up his approach, and keep his opponents guessing.
Due to his attack speed, Meta Knight is also renowned for his incredible combo potential, with the ability to get very early KOs with guaranteed followups. He additionally has notable finishers: his forward smash has high power and very low ending lag, making it spammable and hard to challenge even if shielded. His up smash is one of the fastest smash attacks in the game and has good power. His back aerial is very deadly offstage due to its high knockback scaling, and its autolink angle allows it to drag opponents downwards while edgeguarding or to force a lock. Though less effective, Dimensional Cape, neutral aerial and up throw can still KO. However, his Shuttle Loop is his most frequently used KO move, owing to the numerous setups into it; it is additionally a powerful out of shield option due to its speed, range, and power.
Boasting five midair jumps and a special moveset full of recovery options, Meta Knight has an outstanding recovery. Mach Tornado covers a large amount of horizontal recovery, especially if mashed. Drill Rush can be used as a horizontal recovery, and can be angled. Shuttle Loop covers a high amount of vertical distance and grants a fully controllable amount of horizontal distance. Dimensional Cape makes Meta Knight invisible, and allows him to move in any direction, making it the most unpredictable move in his arsenal and a good option for mindgames. His recovery, when combined with his quick and disjointed aerial attacks, contributes to a deadly off-stage game. Furthermore, his aerial prowess makes him among the most difficult characters to juggle consistently.
Meta Knight's grab game is effective. While his pummel is slow and his standing grab range is short, the former is highly damaging and the latter is made up for by his long-ranged dash grab. His forward and down throws can combo into other moves even at higher percentages, his back throw is useful for launching opponents off-stage, and his up throw can KO at very high percentages so long as it lands on a platform. Partly due to his throw set-ups, Meta Knight possesses a good combo game. He can launch opponents into the air with his dash attack and throws, and these moves can combo into his up tilt, up smash, any aerial, Mach Tornado and Shuttle Loop, and his up aerial can reliably lead into his other aerials. His back aerial uses the auto-link angle, allowing Meta Knight to drag opponents to the ground and jab reset with his down tilt, and the latter move can trip opponents and lead into combos, before opening up tech-chases at high percentages. With proper mastery of his combos, he can potentially zero-to-death his opponents, most infamously with the Rufio, a staple combo in his metagame that consists of a series of up aerials, which can then lead into a Shuttle Loop near the upper blast line for a virtually ensured KO.
Lastly, Meta Knight's edge-guarding potential is among the greatest in the game. Neutral and back aerials have long-lasting hitboxes and deal high knockback. Forward aerial has long range, a favorable launch angle, and decent power, and down aerial is the fastest semi-spike in the game. Due to these moves' low start-up and ending lag, Meta Knight can perform variations of the wall of pain without fear of reprisal, thanks to his recovery practically ensuring his safety. Lastly, he also has the aforementioned zero-to-death combo, which is particularly potent on floaty characters.
However, Meta Knight has noticeable weaknesses. His neutral game is notoriously linear, with only dash attack and dash grab being effective approach options. He also lacks a projectile, leaving him susceptible to camping strategies from characters such as Villager. His disjointed range, although good for his size, is still short in comparison to other sword-wielding characters, making it necessary to rely on his mobility and attack speed to capitalize on openings. Lastly, his fast attack speed is held back by most of his moves having very short-lasting hitboxes (with forward smash, down smash and up/down aerial's hitboxes lasting only 1 frame), which necessitates proper attack timings to pull off effective combos.
His combo potential is limited at higher percents, as down throw is easy to DI and dash attack has high knockback scaling, forcing him to rely on reads to land follow-ups. Meta Knight's KO combos are difficult to master, making learning them crucial for success, Shuttle Loop is also highly punishable if it misses, difficult to use without a read or set-up, and is frequently staled, and his KOing combos related to up aerial are difficult to perform consistently. Additionally, even though all of his special moves are useful for recovery to some extent when used correctly, they leave Meta Knight helpless, so accuracy is crucial. Finally, despite his small size and light weight, his rather fast falling speed, the unusual shape of his hurtbox, and his lack of a reliable combo breaker leave him surprisingly susceptible to combos, especially against Sheik and Zero Suit Samus. At the same time, his endurance is poor because of the problematic combination of his light weight, very fast falling speed and high gravity collectively hindering his ability to survive strong hits.
Some of Meta Knight's custom moves possess a few benefits. Entangling Tornado draws opponents in and deals more knockback, but also has much more start-up, deals much less damage, and cannot be controlled as easily. Dreadful Tornado hits much harder, but cannot stall him in the air and is slower. High-Speed Drill is faster and moves further, but cannot be aimed and has less power. Shieldbreaker Drill can break shields very reliably, but cannot be used to attack or recover effectively. Lazy Shuttle Loop hits even harder and covers much more distance than the default, but is very slow, making it difficult to hit the opponent. Shield Piercer is unblockable and moves farther, but is weaker. However, the advantages granted are much more situational overall and sacrifice the versatility of the default specials, which results in none of his custom options being especially worthwhile.
Overall, Meta Knight's strengths outweigh his flaws by a good amount, but unlike in Brawl, he is essentially a "high-risk, high-reward" character. This is evident with his high learning curve, as his most notable combos require precise spacing and timing to pull off consistently, while his disadvantage against camping often forces players to play patiently in the neutral game. Yet once he finds an opening, Meta Knight can pose a significant threat once players find an opening and make the most of it with his extensive combo game and strong edge-guarding ability.
Changes from Super Smash Bros. Brawl
In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Meta Knight was near universally regarded as the best character in the entire game, to the point of being considered by many as broken. This is due to numerous factors: Meta Knight was incredibly fast due to his blazing ground speed, array of mid-air jumps, having access to a glide and terrific frame data. In addition to his speed, most of his attacks were disjointed and possessed transcendent priority, making Meta Knight a very difficult character to challenge and punish.
As a result of all of these traits, Meta Knight was an incredibly dominant force in Brawl, with numerous characters heavily struggling against him and even the characters who could deal with him still had a disadvantageous matchup against him. Likely as a result of how he warped the metagame, Meta Knight has been significantly reworked in Super Smash Bros 4 and while he did receive some buffs, he was nerfed significantly overall.
Having been completely unmatched in Brawl, Meta Knight's frame data has been considerably toned down. Many of his attacks now have slower start-up lag, reduced active frames, and higher ending and landing lag, with his up aerial being a good example in all these aspects. Additionally, his aerials have much later auto-cancel windows, which in combination with their higher landing lag, substantially hinders their safety as his neutral, forward, and back aerials no longer auto-cancel in a short hop. His range has been shortened, which makes his spacing ability much weaker and thus forces him to adopt a more aggressive playstyle. To further compound this, his overall damage output has been significantly reduced now being below average. With the nerfs to several of his most pivotal neutral game options, such as down tilt, forward aerial, down aerial, Shuttle Loop and Mach Tornado, and the loss of gliding and the transcendent priority on his moves, Meta Knight's neutral game is overall significantly worse, leaving him more vulnerable to camping and zoning, especially with his lack of a projectile. The changes to his down aerial and Shuttle Loop combined with the removal of edge-hogging, his shorter recovery, and the generally improved recoveries of the majority of the cast have collectively hurt Meta Knight's edge-guarding potential, and the loss of gliding removes some of his off-stage mix-ups. With his faster falling speed and the changes to hitstun canceling, Meta Knight can no longer momentum cancel and is more vulnerable to combos, worsening his already poor endurance.
However, Meta Knight has received some noteworthy buffs. His already good mobility has been improved: his air speed is drastically faster, he dashes and falls faster, and he has gained a new movement option in his long perfect pivot. Several of his attacks are stronger, most notably his forward and up smashes, back aerial, and Dimensional Cape. Due to the changes to hitstun canceling and the updated gameplay physics, Meta Knight can perform true combos more reliably, especially with his dash attack, which has become his most reliable combo starter and is now a large part of his game plan. His up aerial also remains a strong combo option due to these changes despite its severe nerfs and his altered Shuttle Loop while having far less utility has become an incredible combo finisher and KO move near the upper blast line. His grab game is both more rewarding and more consistent, due to the mechanic changes somewhat making up for the nerfs to his damage output. He also benefits from the removal of chain grabbing and the changes to aerial grab releases which was previously one of his weaknesses.
Meta Knight has also received buffs over time via game updates, and while they are helpful, they do not nearly compensate for the loss of his overwhelming strengths from Brawl and version 1.1.5 nerfed his up aerial further.
Overall, Meta Knight's direct changes drastically hindered him in many ways making him a much worse character on paper and while the changes to the game's mechanics greatly benefited him overall, they were not enough to offset his nerfs and make him one of the best characters in the game. As a result, he was one of the characters who was the most severely nerfed from the transition to Smash 4, alongside King Dedede, Falco, Marth (during the initial release), Wario, and Olimar. Due to retaining the majority of his key advantages from Brawl, however, Meta Knight is widely considered to be a viable character, and while his tournament success and representation is much lower, he has still seen more results and representation than a majority of the cast which has given him consistent status as a high-tier character throughout Smash 4's lifespan.
- Meta Knight's design is now a combination of his official artwork for Kirby: Squeak Squad and Kirby Super Star Ultra, and his appearance in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. His gauntlets are from Squeak Squad and Super Star Ultra, and the polished finish of his mask, pauldrons and sabatons are from Super Star Ultra. Additionally, his pauldrons and sabatons are from Brawl. Lastly, the aesthetic used in Smash 4 has resulted in Meta Knight's body and sabatons being more vibrant.
- Meta Knight has received two new alternate costumes. The first is based on Galacta Knight, while the second is based on Dark Meta Knight.
- The sides of Meta Knight's visor are now curved slightly inward instead of being straight, his sabatons now have harness bootstraps, and very minuscule battle damage details have been added to his pauldrons. These changes are unique to Smash 4.
- Meta Knight's eyes do not move as freely as they did in Brawl.
- Meta Knight's sabatons' sound clips are higher pitched.
- Whenever Galaxia is swung, its blade glows white, instead of yellow. Additionally, its trail is yellow with turquoise accents, instead of whitish gold with navy blue accents. Lastly, its swings' sound clips are lower pitched.
- Up taunt's animation has slightly changed. Meta Knight now emits a whitish amber tornado around himself, similarly to Mach Tornado. It also has updated sound effects.
- Defeated/No Contest animation has slightly changed. Meta Knight now claps while holding Galaxia, instead of clapping without it.
- Meta Knight's previously unused damage yells from Brawl's Sound Test are now heard when taking high knockback.
- Shield and rolls' animations have slightly changed. Meta Knight now wraps himself in his cape when performing them.
- Jump's animation has slightly changed. Meta Knight now somersaults forward instead of at an angle.
- Meta Knight walks slower (1.22 → 1.18).
- Meta Knight dashes faster (1.847 → 1.9) although he dashes slower relative to the cast, going from the 6th highest out of 39 characters to the 12th highest out of 58 characters.
- Meta Knight's air speed is significantly faster (0.752 → 0.99), going from the third lowest out of 39 characters to the 23rd lowest out of 58.
- Meta Knight's air acceleration is lower (0.08 → 0.075), although his faster air speed more than compensates for it.
- Meta Knight is slightly heavier (79 → 80).
- Meta Knight falls much faster (1.39 → 1.66), going from the 19th fastest out of 39 characters to the 16th fastest out of 58. This improves his vertical endurance and allows him to land more safely, but makes him more susceptible to combos.
- Meta Knight's fast falling speed is significantly faster (1.946 → 2.656), going from the 19th fastest out of 39 characters to the 16th fastest out of 58. This makes him less susceptible to juggling.
- Meta Knight's gravity is higher (0.0956 → 0.11). This aids in his ability to land safely, but hinders his endurance, increases his susceptibility to combos and reduces the height of his mid-air jumps.
- Meta Knight's full hop is higher despite his higher gravity.
- Meta Knight is larger (size multipler: 0.95x → 1x). This makes him easier to hit and while this would improve his range, this is offset by many of his attacks having considerably worse hitboxes, making his larger size a hinderance overall.
- Meta Knight's body hurtbox is slightly smaller (5.51 → 5.4).
- Rolls have a longer duration (frames 5-12 (forward)/4-12 (back) → 4-15 (both)).
- Rolls travel further due to Meta Knight's larger size.
- Backward roll has less ending lag (FAF 34 → 28).
- Forward roll has more ending lag (FAF 24 → 28), removing its status as the fastest roll.
- Air dodge has less startup (frame 4 → 2) and ending lag (FAF 40 → 31).
- Air dodge has a shorter duration (frames 4-29 → 2-25).
- Spot dodge has less ending lag (FAF 26 → 25).
- Spot dodge has a shorter duration (frames 2-20 → 2-15).
- Meta Knight's item throw is weaker (1 → 0.9333333). When combined with the removal of glide tossing, this hinders his item game (although Meta Knight still retains his lengthy super glide toss).
- The changes to hitstun canceling and Directional Influence both help and hinder Meta Knight. They improve his KO and combo potential, but make him much more susceptible to combos because of his heavier weight, higher gravity and faster falling speed. These changes also prevent him from performing momentum canceling, hindering his horizontal endurance. Nevertheless, it benefits him overall as it allows him to have a more consistent combo game despite his frame data nerfs.
- The strengthening of pivoting improves Meta Knight's neutral game, punishment game, and evasiveness.
- The removal of chain grabbing improves Meta Knight's endurance.
- The removal of gliding hinders Meta Knight's recovery. This also means that Meta Knight can no longer use his glide attack, meaning that Meta Knight no longer has a completely safe landing option which also has the potential to lead into followups or KOes.
- All of Meta Knight's sword-based ground attacks have lost their transcendent priority. This significantly hinders Meta Knight's neutral game as it makes it much easier for opponents to challenge his ground moves.
- However, this also makes it much easier for Meta Knight to cancel out projectiles, as he no longer has to rely on dash attack to do so.
- Neutral attack:
- Neutral attack's animation has slightly changed. Meta Knight now leans slightly farther inward while swinging Galaxia.
- Neutral attack launches opponents at a higher angle (361° → 60°/84°) and it has lower knockback scaling (40 → 30). This makes the move connect much more reliably as grounded opponents are now put into the air when the move is performed, preventing them for shielding.
- However, the move's angle change also removes its ability to lock opponents.
- The third and fifth hits now hit in front of Meta Knight. This makes the move connect much more reliably as there is no longer a large gap between the second/fourth hits and the next hit that hits in front.
- This also leaves Meta Knight much less vulnerable to whiff punishment due to the shorter gap between every hit in front of him.
- However, this also removes the move's ability to hit opponents behind Meta Knight.
- Neutral attack has a lower SDI multiplier (1× → 0.6×). When combined with the weakening of the mechanic along with the move's other changes, this makes it much more difficult to escape from.
- Neutral attack has larger hitboxes (5u → 5.8u/6.8u) that are now extended.
- Every hit now has identical horizontal hitbox positions (z offset: 6/14.8 (hit 1)/7.2/14.8 (hit 2)/0/-3.6/-9.2 (hit 3)/7.2/13.6 (hit 4)/-2/-10.4 (hit 5) → 8.5/13.5 (all)/z stretch: 8/8 (all)). This gives hits 3-5 more range in front of Meta Knight and it gives hits 2 and 4 more range inside of Meta Knight.
- Hits 1 and 2 retain their range in front of Meta Knight as the far hit's larger hitbox equals out its closer placement.
- However, this also gives hit 1 slightly less range inside of Meta Knight as well as removing hits 3 and 5's ability to hit behind him.
- Every hit now has identical vertical hitbox positioning (y offset: 4.8 (hit 1)/6/11.2 (hit 2)/5.6 (hit 3)/6.4/10.4 (hit 4)/6.4/5.6 (hit 5) → 5.3 (all/y stretch: 5.2 (all)). This now gives every hit consistent vertical range, giving hits 1, 3 and 5 more vertical range but significantly reducing hits 2 and 4's vertical range.
- The move as a whole has much more vertical range relative to Meta Knight overall due to the far hit's larger extended hitbox.
- The first hit and the near hitbox on every hit deals less damage (2% → 1.2%).
- The far hitbox on hits 2-5 deals more damage (1% → 1.2%).
- Neutral attack has a new finisher, a backflipping slash. It deals much more knockback (13 (base), 60 (scaling) → 60/140) compared to the previous finisher.
- The finisher uses one much larger extended hitbox (4u/4u/4u → 8u) that is positioned further away from Meta Knight (z offset: 14 → 20), giving it much more range.
- The finisher has more startup lag (frame 1 → 3) and much more ending lag (FAF 12 → 35) compared to the previous finisher.
- When combined with its higher knockback, this notably prevents it from leading into a down smash at higher percents.
- The finisher has a much higher hitlag multiplier (1x → 2.5x), making it much easier to DI.
- Forward tilt:
- Meta Knight now vocalizes during each of forward tilt's hits, instead of only during its last hit.
- If Meta Knight buffers forward tilt, he will no longer automatically perform the second hit.
- The first hit has more startup lag (frame 3 → 6) and a longer total duration (FAF 24 → 26).
- However, its total duration was not fully compensated, giving it slightly less ending lag.
- The first two hits deal less damage (4% (hit 1)/3% (hit 2) → 2% (both)).
- The first two hits transition later (frame 5 (hit 1)/4 (hit 2) → 11/7). This makes performing all three hits in quick succession much slower, hindering the move's mixup potential and safety.
- The first two hits have smaller hitboxes which are now extended (5u/5u → 3.5u/3.5u) and the far hitbox has been moved closer to Meta Knight (z offset: 18 (hit 1)/19 (hit 2) → 13/16), reducing their range, especially the first hit.
- The first two hits have lost their nearest hitbox, significantly reducing their range inside Meta Knight and removing their ability to lock opponents.
- The first hit launches opponents at a lower angle (60°/80° → 66°/85°), making it connect more reliably into the second hit.
- The first two hits now have consistent base knockback (14/8 → 8). When combined with their lower damage, this makes the move connect more reliably at higher percents.
- The third hit deals more knockback (50 (base), 113 (scaling) → 80/107).
- The third hit has less ending lag (FAF 34 → 31).
- The third hit launches opponents at a lower angle (65° → 361°). This improves its KO and edgeguarding potential, but removes its set-up potential.
- The third hit deals less damage at close range (5% → 4%).
- The third hit has a higher hitlag multiplier (1× → 2×), making it easier to DI.
- The third hit's far hitbox is smaller (6u → 5u), it has been moved closer to Meta Knight (z offset: 19 → 14), and the near hitbox has been removed, reducing its horizontal range despite now using an extended hitbox.
- However, the near hit is larger than the previous upper hitbox (5u → 6u) and it is now extended, giving the move slightly more range above Meta Knight.
- The third hit's lower hitbox has been removed, reducing its range below Meta Knight.
- Up tilt:
- Up tilt has less ending lag (FAF 36 → 35).
- Up tilt has more startup lag with a shorter duration (frame 7 (early)/8-12 (mid)13-18 (late) → 8/9-10/11-14).
- Up tilt has an altered animation where Meta Knight does not jump as high. This gives the mid and late hits less range above Meta Knight.
- Up tilt has a higher hitlag multiplier (1× → 1.2×), making it easier to DI.
- The early hit now has a hitbox on Meta Knight's sword, giving it much more vertical range.
- The early hit's lower hitbox is positioned further away from Meta Knight (z offset: 0 → 2.2), giving it more range in front of Meta Knight.
- The early and mid hits now launch opponents towards Meta Knight (85° → 95°).
- The early hit deals less knockback (40 (base), 120 (scaling) → 60/90).
- The early hit's new sword hitbox deals less damage (7% → 5%) which along with its lower knockback, greatly hinders its KO potential.
- The early hit's lower hitbox is now static, rather than being attached to Meta Knight's hand. This means that while the hitbox is lager (7u → 8u), it is actually roughly one unit smaller in game, as its size is no longer increased as Meta Knight's hand moves.
- When combined with the hitbox being moved further forwards, this greatly reduces the move's range behind Meta Knight.
- The early hit's lower hitbox is positioned much higher (y offset: -1.7 → 15.2), with the move no longer hitting below Meta Knight or even reaching below his feet, despite him now jumping during the early hit. This allows shorter characters to crouch under the move.
- The mid and late hits now deal consistent damage on the sword (7%/8% → 7%).
- The mid and late hits deal less knockback on the sword (35 (base), 145/130 (scaling) → 60/90), significantly hindering its KO potential.
- The mid hit's hand hitbox deals less damage (6% → 5%) and knockback (35 (base), 120 (scaling) → 60/90), significantly hindering its KO potential.
- The mid and late hit's have smaller hitboxes (6u/6u (sword)/10u (mid hand)/6u (late hand) → 5.5u (sword)/8u/5.5u).
- The mid and late hit's sword hitbox is now one extended hitbox rather than two normal hitboxes. This hitbox covers less range overall due to its smaller size.
- Down tilt:
- Down tilt deals more damage at far range (4% → 5%).
- Down tilt has higher base knockback outside of the furthest range (11/6 → 15).
- Down tilt has more ending lag (FAF 16 → 19).
- Down tilt deals less damage at close range (6%/7% → 5%).
- Down tilt has a lower trip chance (30% → 25%).
- Instead of having four regular hitboxes, down tilt has two extended hitboxes, one which hits grounded opponents and another that hits aerial opponents. These hitboxes are smaller (3u (far)/4u/4u/4u (near) → 2.2u (grounded)/3.2u (aerial) and they are positioned much closer to Meta Knight (z offset: 20 → 13 (grounded)/8 (aerial)).
- The move also does not extend as far inside of Meta Knight (z offset: 2 → z stretch: 6), giving it less range inside of Meta Knight.
- Down tilt has a new animation where Meta Knight does not move nearly as far forward. When combined with its altered hitboxes, this greatly reduces the move's range, to the point where the move has around 70% the range against grounded opponents and less than 60% the range against aerial opponents.
- This new animation also considerably hinders the move's use as a pseudo-crawl option.
- This new animation is also longer (25 frames → 35), increasing the amount of time Meta Knight cannot turn around after performing the move.
- The introduction of the 3 hit lock limit combined with down tilt's higher ending lag and Meta Knight's slower forward roll hinders the move's 0-death potential against opponents who missed a tech.
- Dash attack:
- Dash attack has more startup lag with a shorter duration (frames 5-11 → 7-11).
- Dash attack deals less damage (6%/7%/8% → 5%/6%).
- Dash attack covers less distance overall.
- Dash attack now always launches opponents in the direction Meta Knight is facing. This allows it to set up combos more reliably but hinders its ability to set up crossups.
- Dash attack deals more knockback (40 (base), 88 (scaling) → 70/90). When combined with the changes to hitstun canceling and DI, this significantly improves its combo potential (now being one of his best combo starters).
- Dash attack has larger hitboxes (4.2u/4.2u/4.2u → 5.5u/5u/4u) which are positioned further away from Meta Knight (z offset: 0/2/4 → y offset: -1/-6/-10), greatly improving its range relative to Meta Knight.
- Forward smash:
- Forward smash deals more damage (14% → 16%) and knockback (28 (base), 99 (scaling) → 30/(108/98), significantly improving its KO potential, especially the near hit.
- Meta Knight now vocalizes once his forward smash's hitboxes become active, rather than as soon as he starts it. Due to its high startup lag, this makes forward smash harder to react to.
- The changes to shields significantly benefit forward smash as the move is now safe (in terms of frame advantage) against a sizeable portion of the cast.
- Forward smash has an altered animation. Meta Knight now draws Galaxia farther back and slashes outward in a more pronounced motion, ending the slash behind himself and taking a while to re-adjust to his neutral stance.
- Forward smash's hitboxes are positioned lower (y offset: 6.4 → 5).
- Forward smash has a shorter duration (frames 24-25 → 24).
- Forward smash has smaller hitboxes (7u/6u/6u/6u → 6.2u/5.2u), with the upper/lower hitboxes being removed. This significantly reduces forward smash's vertical range.
- The near hitbox has been move further away from Meta Knight (z offset: 5 → 9), considerably reducing the move's range behind Meta Knight.
- The far hitbox is now extended and it has been positioned closer to Meta Knight (z offset: 19 → 13/z stretch: 17), reducing the move's range.
- The near hitbox has a higher hitlag multiplier (1× → 1.5×), making it easier to DI.
- Up smash:
- Up smash has an altered animation. Meta Knight now slashes upward at a slightly higher height.
- Meta Knight now vocalizes once his up smash's hitboxes become active, rather than as soon as he starts it.
- The upper hitbox now uses an extended hitbox.
- Up smash has smaller hitboxes (5u/6.3u/6.3u/6.3u (hits 1 and 2)/6.5u/7.5u/7.5u/7.5u (hit 3) → (4.5u/4.5u/4.5u)/(5.5u/5.5u/6u)).
- The upper hitbox has been moved closer to Meta Knight (y offset: 22 (hit 1)/24 (hits 2 and 3) → 20 (all)), giving the move less range above Meta Knight.
- The side hitboxes have been moved slightly closer to Meta Knight (z offset: -11.2/9.6 → 10.2/8.6), giving the move less horizontal range.
- The hitbox on Meta Knight's body has been removed, greatly reducing the move's range below Meta Knight to the point where it can no longer hit shorter opponents who are on the ground.
- The first two hits launch opponents at different angles (90°/115°/115° → 366°/155°/155°), making them connect more reliably.
- The first hit deals less knockback (0/30/30 (base), 80/40/40 (set), 100 (scaling) → (30/30/30)/(20/25/25) which along with its altered angle, makes it connect more reliably into the second hit.
- The second hit deals less knockback (0/20/20 (base), 90/30/30 (set), 100 (scaling) → (30/30/30)/(20/25/25) which along with its altered angle, makes it connect more reliably into the third hit hit.
- The upper hitbox on the first two hits now has the highest priority (ID# 3 → 0). As the hitbox now uses the auto-link angle rather than a vertical angle, this improves the move's reliability.
- The first two hits' side hitboxes are positioned slightly lower (y offset: 17 → 16).
- The third hit deals more knockback (62 (base), 145 (scaling) → 65/166) and the side hitboxes launch opponents at a higher angle (70° → 85°), significantly improving its KO potential.
- The third hit has a higher hitlag multiplier (1× → 2×), making it easier to DI.
- Down smash:
- Down smash has an altered animation. Meta Knight now slashes inward around himself while spinning once.
- Down smash now has a voice clip as Meta Knight performs his down smash. While this sound clip does exist in Brawl, it would never play in game as it was tied to the move's startup animation which was 0 frames long.
- Down smash has a shorter duration (frames 4-5 (front)/9-10 (back) → 4/9).
- Down smash has more ending lag (FAF 34 (buffered)/35 (non-buffered) → 38/39).
- Down smash deals less damage (11% (front)/13% (back) → 7%/10%), significantly hindering its KO potential (especially the front hit) despite its lower launch angle (361° → 35°) and the second hit's higher knockback scaling (90 → 93).
- The nearest and furthest hitboxes have been removed and the remaining hitboxes are smaller (5.2u/4.9u → 4.5u/4u), significantly hindering down smash's range (reducing its range by over 25% both in front and especially inside of Meta Knight).
- All aerials have lost their transcendent priority, allowing them to cancel out projectiles. This especially benefits neutral aerial due to its lack of disjoint.
- However, this also hinders their ability to deal with short ranged low priority moves such as Fox Illusion.
- Neutral aerial:
- Neutral aerial has an altered animation. Meta Knight now cartwheels, instead of somersaulting. This new animation is slightly longer (47 frames → 49), increasing the amount of time Meta Knight cannot grab ledges after performing the move.
- Neutral aerial has more startup lag with a shorter duration (frames 3-4 (clean)/5-24 (late) → 6-7/8-20).
- Neutral aerial has more ending lag (FAF 32 → 44), preventing Meta Knight from performing two neutral aerials in a short hop.
- Neutral aerial has more landing lag (15 frames → 16).
- Neutral aerial auto-cancels much later (frame 25 → 50) going from doing so as soon as the hitboxes ended to no longer doing so until the animation ends. This drastically hinders neutral aerial's safety, with the move no longer auto-canceling in a short hop.
- The clean hit deals less damage (12% → 10%) hindering its KO potential despite its higher base knockback (30 → 40).
- The clean hit's body hitbox is smaller (8u → 7u).
- When the late hit becomes active, the clean hit's hitboxes are no longer called to be removed. This means that neutral aerial now has a clean hit and a late hit rather than having two separate hits, preventing both hits from connecting and greatly reducing its maximum damage potential (19% → 10%).
- The late hit deals more damage (7%/6%/5% → 7.5%) and has higher base knockback (20 → 40), improving its KO potential.
- Forward aerial:
- Forward aerial has more startup lag (frame 6 (hit 1)/10 (hit 2)/13 (hit 3) → 9/12/15).
- However, the gap between the first and second hit is one frame shorter, allowing them to connect more reliably.
- Forward aerial has more ending lag (FAF 40 → 46) and a longer animation (39 frames → 54).
- Forward aerial has more landing lag (15 frames → 16).
- Forward aerial has a shorter initial auto-cancel window (frames 1-3 → 1).
- Forward aerial auto-cancels much later (frame 22 → 44), no longer doing so in a short hop.
- Forward aerial now consists of one extended hitbox close to Meta Knight and one normal hitbox further away from him (with each having two separate sets of hitboxes for grounded and aerial opponents) rather than four normal hitboxes forming a square in front of him which hit both grounded and aerial opponents.
- The far hitbox is positioned closer to Meta Knight (z offset: 15 (hits 1 and 2)/14 (hit 3) → 13 (all)) and its height is inbetween the previous set of hitboxes (y offset: 1/10 → 6 (hits 1 and 2)/2.5 (hit 3)).
- The near hitbox is positioned closer to Meta Knight (z offset: 6 (hits 1 and 2)/3 (hit 3) → 7 (all)) and it does not extend as much vertically (y offset: 1/10 → 6/y stretch: 9 (hits 1 and 2)/8.5 (hit 3)).
- These changes reduce the first two hit's range overall as well as reducing the third hit's range behind Meta Knight and reducing every hit's vertical range from far ranges.
- With the exception of the second hit's far hitbox, forward aerial has larger hitboxes (3.5u/3.5u/3.5u/3.5u → 4.5u/4u (hit 1), 4u/4u → 4.5u (hit 2 near), 5u/5u/5u/5u → 6.5u/6.5u (hit 3)). This gives the third hit slightly more horizontal range.
- The first two hits deal less damage (3% → 1.5% (aerial)/2.2% (grounded)).
- The first two hits have altered set knockback against aerial opponents (80 (low)/5 (high) → 40) and the near hitbox launches opponents at a higher angle (60° (low)/45° (high) → 85°), improving their reliability against aerial opponents.
- The far hitbox launches aerial opponents at a less favorable angle (98° (low)/90° (high) → 85°).
- The first two hits now consistently launch grounded opponents horizontally (60°/98° (low)/45°/90° (high) → 361°) and they deal more knockback to grounded opponents (0 (base), 80/5 (set), 100 (scaling) → 30/0/130). This hinders their reliability as well as greatly hindering their followup potential (especially against heavier characters), while also not granting them KO potential at realistic percents.
- The third hit's near hitbox launches opponents at a slightly lower angle (50° → 48°), slightly improving its KO and edgeguarding potential.
- The third hit deals less damage (4% → 3%) without full compensation on its knockback scaling (122 → 140).
- When combined with the first two hit's lower damage output, this reduces forward aerial's maximum damage output (10% → 7.4%).
- The third hit's far hitbox launches opponents at a higher angle (361° → 48°), hindering its KO and edgeguarding potential.
- The third hit has a higher hitlag multiplier (1× → 2×), making it easier to DI. Forward aerial cannot be frame canceled, preventing it from benefitting from the introduction of the technique.
- Forward aerial has more startup lag (frame 6 (hit 1)/10 (hit 2)/13 (hit 3) → 9/12/15).
- Back aerial:
- Back aerial has more ending lag (FAF 48 → 52) and a longer animation (47 frames → 59).
- Back aerial has more landing lag (12 frames → 18).
- Back aerial auto-cancels later (frame 33 → 40), no longer doing so in a short hop.
- Back aerial has smaller hitboxes (6.3u/5u/5u (hit 1)/6.5u/5u/5u (hit 2) → 4.2u/4.2u (both), 7u/5u/5u → 5.2u/5u (hit 3)), giving the far hitbox less horizontal range.
- The far hitbox has been repositioned lower (y offset: 7.2 (hits 1 and 3)/6.4 (hit 2) → 4.5 (hit 1)/2 (hit 2)/7 (hit 3)).
- The near hitbox is now one extended hitbox rather than two normal hitboxes. The hitbox does not extend as far vertically (y offset: 2.8/11.6 (hits 1 and 3)/2/10.8 (hit 2) → 2.5/y stretch: 6.5), giving back aerial less vertical range, especially from above.
- However, this does also give the third hit slightly more range below Meta Knight.
- The near hitbox has been moved closer to Meta Knight (z offset: 8 → 6), giving back aerial more range inside of Meta Knight.
- Back aerial now always launches opponents in the opposite direction Meta Knight is facing. As the move hits multiple times, this improves its reliability.
- The first two hits deal less damage (3% (hits 1 and 2)/10% (total) → 1.5% (aerial)/2.2% (grounded)/8.4% (maximum total)).
- The first two hits now use the auto-link angle against aerial opponents (80° → 366°) and they have higher set knockback (48/35/20 → 90). This makes them connect more reliably, as well as granting them edgeguarding and drag down setup potential.
- The first two hits now launch grounded opponents horizontally (80° → 45°) and they deal more knockback to grounded opponents (0 (base), 48/35/20 (set), 100 (scaling) → 40/0/130). This hinders their reliability as well as hindering their followup potential, while also not granting them KO potential at realistic percents.
- The third hit has higher knockback scaling (175 → 212), significantly improving its KO potential.
- The third hit has a higher hitlag multiplier (1× → 2×), making it easier to DI. Back aerial cannot be frame canceled, preventing it from benefitting from the introduction of the technique.
- Up aerial:
- Up aerial has more startup lag with a shorter duration (frames 2-3 → 6), no longer being the fastest aerial in the game.
- Up aerial has much more ending lag (FAF 14 → 27). When combined with its higher startup lag, this greatly hinders up aerial's juggling and sharking potential.
- When combined with Meta Knight's lower short hop, this also means that Meta Knight can now only perform one up aerial in a short hop as opposed to three.
- Up aerial has a longer animation (23 frames → 36).
- Up aerial has more landing lag (12 frames → 18).
- Up aerial auto-cancels later (frame 21 → 24).
- This is further exacerbated when combined with the move's higher ending lag, as Meta Knight can no longer use the initial auto-cancel window of another aerial to make the move auto-cancel earlier.
- Up aerial deals less damage (6% → 4%) and knockback (40 (base), 125 (scaling) → 30/128).
- However, this also improves the move's followup potential at higher percents.
- Up aerial launches opponents at lower angles (78°/78°/60°/60° → 69°/69°/52°). When combined with its higher ending lag, this significantly hinders up aerial's followup potential at lower percents.
- Up aerial has a higher SDI multiplier (1x → 1.5x).
- Up aerial has smaller hitboxes (5.5u/5.5u/5u/5u → 3.5u/3u/3u) and they are now extended. This gives up aerial less range below Meta Knight as well as less range in front of him despite the right side hitbox being extended further away from Meta Knight (z offset: 8 → 9.5).
- Up aerial hitboxes have been positioned higher (y offset: 17/14 → 19/16). While this allows the move to retain its vertical range despite its smaller hitboxes, this also gives it much less range below Meta Knight.
- The left side hitbox has been extended closer to Meta Knight (z offset: -12.8 → -11.5), giving the move much less range behind Meta Knight.
- The changes to hitstun canceling and DI combined with the move's lower knockback makes up aerial a more reliable combo move at higher percents despite the drastic nerfs to its speed.
- Down aerial:
- Down aerial has a shorter duration (frames 4-5 → 4).
- Down aerial has more ending lag (FAF 26 → 28) and a longer animation (25 frames → 29).
- Down aerial has more landing lag (15 frames → 22).
- Down aerial auto-cancels later (frame 24 → 26).
- Down aerial deals less damage (7% (center)/9% (sides) → 6% (both)), without full compensation on its knockback (30/15 (base), 105 (scaling) → 30/108).
- Down aerial has smaller hitboxes (5.4u/5.2u/5.4u/5.4u → 3.5u/3u/3u) and they are now extended.
- The middle hitbox has been positioned slightly lower (y offset: 6.4 → -6.5).
- The side hitboxes has been positioned lower (y offset: 3.4 → y stretch: 4.5). This gives the move less range above Meta Knight with the move still having less range below Meta Knight due to the hitboxes being smaller.
- The side hitboxes have been moved closer to Meta Knight (z offset: 10/-10 → z stretch: 6/-8), reducing the move's horizontal range, especially in front of Meta Knight.
- The side hitboxes launches opponents at a much higher angle (23° → 50°), greatly hindering their edgeguarding potential.
- Altogether, these changes considerably hinder its spacing and edgeguarding potential.
- All grabs have more startup lag (frame 6 (standing)/8 (dash)/7 (pivot) → 7 (standing)/9 (dash/pivot)).
- Standing and pivot grabs have more ending lag (FAF 30 (standing)/36 (pivot) → 32/38).
- Standing grab extends further inside of Meta Knight (z offset: 6 → 4), giving it more range inside of him.
- Dash and pivot grabs extend further away from Meta Knight (z offset: 9 (dash)/-14 (pivot) → z stretch: 10.8/-15), giving dash grab slightly more range.
- All grabs have smaller grabboxes (4u → 3u (standing/pivot)/2.4u (dash)).
- Standing grab does not extend as far away from Meta Knight (z offset: 12 → z stretch: 10) which along with its smaller size, considerably reduces its range.
- Dash and pivot grabs do not extend as far inside of Meta Knight (z offset: 3 (dash)/0 (pivot) → 4/-4), giving them less range inside of Meta Knight.
- The changes to aerial grab releases benefit Meta Knight as while he has also lost all of his aerial grab release followups outside of Galaxia Darkness, he himself is far less vulnerable to aerial grab release followups. As he typically could not force an air release on stage in most circumstances, these changes benefit him overall.
- Pummel has more ending lag (FAF 24 → 27).
- Forward throw:
- Forward throw's hitbox has more startup lag (frame 4 → 8 (foot)/9 (heel)).
- The heel hitbox is smaller (5u → 4u) and it is no longer extended, significantly reducing its range.
- The foot hitbox has a longer duration (frame 4 → 8-9).
- The heel hitbox is positioned closer to Meta Knight (y/z offsets: 11/11 → 8/10).
- Meta Knight releases opponents from forward throw later (frame 5 → 10). While this does make the throw easier to DI, it also reduces its ending lag as its total duration was unchanged.
- When combined with the changes to hitstun canceling and DI, this significantly improve forward throw's combo potential.
- Back throw:
- Back throw's hitbox has a longer duration (frame 16 → 16-17).
- Meta Knight releases opponents from back throw one frame later (frame 17 → 18).
- Up throw:
- Up throw has received an incredibly powerful collateral hitbox shortly before Meta Knight lands, significantly improving its utility outside of 1v1 matches.
- Meta Knight releases opponents from up throw one frame later (frame 44 → 45).
- Up throw deals less damage (12% → 10%), although its knockback scaling was compensated (60 → 70).
- Down throw:
- Down throw's first 9 hits deal less damage (1% → 0.5%), reducing the throw's total damage output (11% → 7.5%).
- The 10th hit has a longer duration (frame 73 → 73-74).
- The 10th hit has higher base knockback (50 → 60).
- The 10th hit launches opponents at a lower angle (90° → 70°). This grants Meta Knight more followup options against bystanders but makes it more susceptible to DI.
- The throw deals more damage (1% → 2%) and deals significantly more knockback (60 (base), 110 (scaling) → 50/170). This hinders its followup potential at higher percents while still being too weak to KO at realistic percents.
- The throw launches at a higher angle (50° → 60°), improving its followup potential.
- Meta Knight releases opponents from down throw one frame later (frame 74 → 75). This slightly reduces the throw's ending lag and as the throw executes so slowly, the additional frame to DI the throw is completely negligible.
- When combined with its higher launch angle an the changes to hitstun canceling and DI, this significantly improves down throw's combo potential despite its higher knockback.
- Floor attacks:
- Floor attacks' second hits have less startup lag (frame 26 → 24).
- Floor attacks have less ending lag (FAF 50 → 46).
- Floor attacks deal more damage (6% → 7%) and shield damage (1 → 8) per hit, without full compensation on their knockback scaling (50 → 48).
- Floor attacks have less intangibility (frames 1-27 → 1-25).
- Floor attacks launch opponents at a higher angle (361° → 48°).
- Both floor attacks now use one static extended hitbox rather than multiple normal hitboxes attached to Meta Knight. The moves now have a consistent size (7u/5u → 5u) and they do not extend as far (z offset: (16/-16)/0 → (13/-13)/z stretch: 5/-5), reducing their range.
- Edge attack:
- As with other edge attacks, edge attack no longer has set knockback (110 (set), 100 (scaling) → 90 (base)/20).
- Edge attack has a shorter duration (frames 25-28 → 25-27).
- Edge attack has less intangibility (frames 1-23 → 1-22).
- Edge attack deals less damage (8% → 7%) and launches opponents at a less favorable angle (361° → 45°).
- Edge attack now uses one extended hitbox rather than four normal hitboxes which does not extend as far (z offset: 15/-4 → -14/z stretch: 2), giving it less range, especially behind Meta Knight.
- As with other edge attacks, edge attack can no longer send opponents behind Meta Knight, removing its ability to set up edgeguards.
- Trip attack:
- Trip attack deals more shield damage (1 → 8) per hit.
- Trip attack has a larger hitbox (4.5u/4.5u/3.8u/3u → 5u), giving it more vertical range, especially close to Meta Knight.
- However, it now uses one extended hitbox rather than four normal hitboxes which does not extend as far (z offset: (-15/15)/0 → (-13/13)/z stretch: -5/5), giving it less horizontal range.
- Trip attack has less intangibility (frames 1-8 → 1-7).
- Mach Tornado:
- Mach Tornado's loop hits deal less knockback (0 (base), 50/90 (set), 100 (scaling) → 10/0/100) and they now use the autolink angle against aerial opponents (90° → 366°). This makes Mach Tornado connect more reliably.
- The final hit has higher base knockback (35 → 55), improving its KO potential.
- Mach Tornado's visual effects have slightly changed. Its trail is now noticeably thinner.
- Mach Tornado spin speed needed to stop spinning is slightly lower (10 → 9).
- Mach Tornado now has a consistent rehit rate of 6, rather than the rehit rate depending on how long it takes Meta Knight to spin a full 360°.
- This gives Mach Tornado a longer rehit rate during the earlier parts of the spin, especially when Meta Knight is mashing (5/4 frames → 6), making it less safe on shield and easier to potentially fall out of.
- However, this also gives it a faster rehit rate during the later parts of the spin, making it less punishable and harder to fall out of.
- Mach Tornado loses more spin speed per frame (2 → 3). This reduces Mach Tornado's loop hit's minimum duration (frames 12-58 → 12-41).
- Repeated button presses increase Mach Tornado's spin speed less (16 → 10) and they lose more spin speed (1.5 → 1.7). When combined with the move losing more speed without button presses, this greatly reduces the loop hit's maximum duration (frames 12-127 → 12-70) as well as greatly reducing the amount of height Meta Knight can gain by using the move.
- Mach Tornado has much more ending lag (29 frames → 54), making it much more punishable.
- The loop hits now consists of one hitbox in the middle of Meta Knight, rather than one hitbox below him and two hitboxes on the side of him. The previous lower hitbox has been moved much higher up (y offset: -2 → 8) and the side hitboxes have been removed. This significantly reduces the move's range both horizontally and below Meta Knight despite the hitbox being larger (5u → 6u), and slightly extended.
- However, the hitbox is positioned slightly higher than the previous side hitboxes (y offset: 7 → 8) which along with its larger hitbox, gives it slightly more range above Meta Knight.
- The loop hits now deal hitlag. This not only makes the move slower to execute and easier to DI but this also greatly hinders the move's shield pressuring potential, as opponents are trapped in shield for two less frames (as they now only suffer from two frames of shieldstun, rather than four frames of shieldlag Meta Knight does not go through), giving the cast more opportunities to escape and punish the move, especially early on in the move's duration with the move's lower rehit rate.
- The loop hit's priority now functions like a standard move, rather than having grounded/aerial priority. This means that the grounded version can no longer clang with aerials while the aerial version can no longer clang with grounded or aerial moves. This greatly hinders the move's safety, especially in the air as opponents can now hit Meta Knight out of the move much more easily.
- When combined with the move's reduced range, this also allows more damaging moves without transcendent priority to hit Meta Knight much more easily.
- The final hit has a higher hitlag multiplier (1× → 2×), making it easier to DI.
- Altogether, these changes greatly hinder Mach Tornado's movement potential and recovery potential as well as greatly hindering its safety and making it much more punishable.
- Drill Rush:
- Drill Rush has more ending lag (FAF 95 → 115).
- Drill Rush can no longer be edge canceled.
- Drill Rush now only grants the rebounding jump if the player lands the final hit, hindering its safety and recovery potential.
- Drill Rush now suffers from RCO lag.
- Drill Rush travels further.
- Drill Rush has a longer startup animation (21 frames → 25) however, the move's hitboxes now become active as soon as Meta Knight starts spinning. This makes the move connect much more reliably against opponents at close range while also keeping its startup lag the same despite its longer startup animation.
- The loop hits have a longer duration (frames 26-65 → 26-69).
- The loop hits have a lower SDI multiplier during their first four active frames (0.8x → 1x).
- The loop hits have gained an addition loop hitbox further along Meta Knight's sword, giving it more range.
- The near hitboxes now have set knockback for the move's first four frames (0 → 30), allowing them to connect more reliably.
- The loop hit's upper hitbox deals less knockback after the move's first four frames (100 (base), 50 (scaling) → 40/45), allowing it to connect more reliably.
- The loop hit's previous sword hitbox is positioned close to Meta Knight (x offset: 3.5 → y offset: 2), it launches opponents horizontally for its first four active frames and now uses an autolink angle afterwards (70° → 361° (early)/366° (late)) and it has higher base knockback (50 → 70). When combined with the new front sword hitbox, this makes it connect more reliably.
- Altogether, these changes make Drill Rush connect much more reliably, especially at close range.
- The loop hit's upper hitbox now launches opponents horizontally (365° → 0°).
- The loop hit's lower hitbox launches opponents at a lower angle (70° → 30° (early)/45° (late)).
- The loop hit's hitboxes are smaller (4u/3.5u/5u → 3u/3u/3.5u/4u) and the near hitboxes are positioned further away from Meta Knight (z offset: 4 → 6), reducing their vertical range and their range behind Meta Knight.
- The loop hit's upper hitbox is now only active for the move's first four active frames.
- The loop hits have a higher SDI multiplier after its first four active frames (0.8x → 1x).
- The final hit has higher base knockback (30 → 40).
- The grounded version's final hit has much higher knockback scaling (100/130 → 200), significantly improving its KO potential as well as no longer making it weaker than the aerial version.
- The final hit's far hitbox is positioned further away from Meta Knight (x offset: 6 → y offset: 10) with the grounded version's far hitbox also being larger (4u → 6u), significantly improving its range.
- The final hit has more startup lag with a shorter duration (frames 66-67 (grounded)/66-70 (aerial) → 70 (both)).
- The grounded version's final hit's near hitbox is smaller (7u → 6u).
- The aerial version's final hit has smaller hitboxes (8u/9u → 6u/6u).
- The final hit's near hitboxes are positioned much closer to Meta Knight (x offset: -8 (grounded)/-2 (aerial) → y offset: 4 (both)), giving it much less range inside of Meta Knight.
- The final hit has a much higher hitlag multiplier (1× → 3×), making it much easier to DI.
- Shuttle Loop:
- Shuttle Loop now functions very differently. Instead of a single upwards loop that leads into a glide, Meta Knight performs two upwards loops with the first loop linking into the second one and after the loops, Meta Knight then enters free fall.
- The first hit has knockback which minimally scales in order to link into the second hit.
- Shuttle Loop grants much more height, improving its vertical recovery potential.
- Due to the altered functionality of Shuttle Loop, Meta Knight can now connect both hits of grounded Shuttle Loop reliably while the aerial version's maximum damage output is higher (9% → 12%).
- Shuttle Loop now suffers from RCO lag.
- The grounded version no longer has intangibility on startup, significantly hindering its ability to stuff out approaches as well as hindering its use as an out of shield option, especially against multi hitting moves.
- The grounded version's first hit has two new hitboxes positioned closer to Meta Knight on its first active frame, giving the move more range inside of him.
- The grounded version's first hit has smaller hitboxes (6.8u/6.8u (clean)/6u/6u (late) → (4u/4u)/5u/5u)), reducing its range despite its hitboxes being moved further away from Meta Knight on its first active frame (z offset: 12 → 14).
- The grounded version's second hit has a longer duration (frame 8 → 22-27) compared to the previous clean hit.
- The grounded version's second hit now launches opponents at a consistent angle (80°/70° → 80°) compared to the previous clean hit.
- The grounded version's second hit deals less damage (9% → 6%) and knockback (90 (base), 80 (scaling) → 55/130) compared to the previous clean hit, hindering its KO potential, although this is partially compensated by Meta Knight jumping high up before using the move.
- The second hit has smaller hitboxes (6.8u/6.8u → 5.5u/3u) with the far hitbox being positioned closer to Meta Knight (z offset: 12 → 9), reducing its range compared to the previous grounded version's clean hit despite the far hitbox now being extended.
- However, the smaller hitbox is now positioned inside of Meta Knight, improving its range inside of Meta Knight.
- The aerial version has less startup lag (frame 8 → 7).
- The aerial version's first hit's hitboxes are now identical in terms of size and positions to the grounded version. This gives it more range despite its hitboxes being smaller (7u → 4u/4u/4u/4u).
- The aerial version's second hit deals more knockback (90 (base), 60 (scaling) → 55/118), improving its KO potential despite its lower damage (9% → 6%) compared to the previous clean hit.
- The second hit launches opponents vertically unlike the previous clean hit (30° → 80°).
- This significantly improves its KO potential near the upper blast line which along with the changes to hitstun canceling and DI, makes it highly effective vertical combo ender.
- However, this also significantly hinders its edgeguarding potential which was an area the move was incredibly potent in previously.
- Due to its multi hitting nature, Shuttle Loop is a less reliable move, especially at higher percents.
- As mentioned earlier, Meta Knight now enters free fall when Shuttle Loop completes rather than gliding. This not only significantly hinder the move's horizontal recovery potential but this also makes the move drastically more punishable, immensely hindering its safety.
- Meta Knight can no longer auto-cancel Shuttle Loop if he spaces it to land before it finishes, significantly hindering its utility and safety.
- Altogether, these changes along with the move's altered functionality and the grounded version losing its intangibility on startup greatly hinders the move's safety as well as reducing its utility.
- Dimensional Cape:
- Dimensional Cape's animation has slightly changed. Its non-attacking warp now has Meta Knight face the opposite direction upon reappearing, whereas warping downward from a stationary position on the ground also no longer has him attack behind himself. Conversely, its attacking warp now has Meta Knight perform an upward slash upon reappearing when warping backward (which does not change his direction), whereas his prior slash animation now only applies to a stationary or vertical orientation. Meta Knight also holds Galaxia differently during the attacking warp upon reappearing when warping forward.
- Dimensional Cape has more intangibility (frames 18-26 → 12-39 (no attack)/12-28 (attack)) with Meta Knight now becoming intangible as soon as he disappears.
- Dimensional Cape travels further.
- Meta Knight reappears later when using Dimensional Cape (frame 27 → 29).
- Dimensional Cape has increased horizontal speed (2.5 → 3), allowing it to cover more horizontal distance.
- Dimensional Cape has reduced vertical speed (2.5 → 2), reducing its vertical distance.
- Infinite Dimensional Cape has been removed, removing the move's ability to infinitely stall as well as generally hindering its utility.
- The attack deals more damage when it is not performed backwards (14% → 15% (neutral)/16% (forwards/vertical)).
- The attack deals more knockback (20 (base), 85/95 (scaling) → 40/98), significantly improved its KO potential, especially when performed forwards or vertically.
- The attack's hitboxes are larger (7u/5u → 8.5u/5.5u (neutral)/11.5u/7.5u (forwards/vertical)) and they are now noticeably extended, significantly improving its range.
- The attack launches opponents at a lower angle (60° → 53°).
- The attack has more startup lag (due to Meta Knight reappearing later) with a shorter duration (frames 32-33 → 34).
- The attack has more ending lag (55 frames → 64).
- The attack has a higher hitlag multiplier (1.2x → 1.4x), making it easier to DI.
- Galaxia Darkness:
- Galaxia Darkness no longer attacks Meta Knight's teammates if Team Attack is turned off.
- Galaxia Darkness slows down opponents more when it starts up (4x → 5x).
- Galaxia Darkness now uses one smaller extended search box (19u/15u/15u → 14u) which does not extend as far (z offset: 2/40 → 7/z stretch: 37), reducing its range.
- Galaxia Darkness has higher knockback scaling (50 → 55), improving its KO potential.
- Galaxia Darkness' visual effects have changed. The interior of Meta Knight's cape now features a celestial pattern.
- Characters trapped by Galaxia Darkness will now react to being trapped by the move, as opposed to remaining static.
- Due to this change, characters firing a Super Scope will no longer have their arms stuck in a t-pose position. Additionally, this prevents Kirby from entering a t-pose if he gets hit while using Stone.
- The regenerating terrain glitch has been fixed.
Meta Knight has been buffed via game updates. In updates 1.0.4 and 1.0.8, damage output, knockback, reach, and attack speed were improved on some moves. Update 1.1.0 reduced the number of Galaxia's trails on his moves to match his moves' hitboxes, considerably improving his accuracy. The specific buffs to his neutral attack, forward tilt, and neutral aerial have given him more options with which to relieve pressure, and the increased power of his neutral and back aerials have enhanced his KO and edge-guarding potential. Update 1.1.1's changes to shield mechanics have also been beneficial for Meta Knight: thanks to several of his attacks hitting multiple times and/or having high hitlag modifiers, most notably forward aerial and forward smash. However the one indirect buff that really improved Meta Knight was 1.0.4 adjusting LSI to no longer apply on hits that launch between 65-115 degrees; this change made Meta Knight's infamous ladder and bridge combos that would define his meta significantly more potent, allowing Meta Knight to string more up and down aerials in the same combo and to connect at wider percentage windows, while also allowing the Shuttle Loop finisher to KO significantly earlier.
While these buffs do not make Meta Knight nearly as potent as he was in Brawl, they have still allowed him to recoup some of his initially weakened offensive potential and remain viable with some notable tournament success. However, update 1.1.5 would then nerf Meta Knight; although its decrease of forward aerial's landing lag made it into a new approach option, it altered up aerial's launch angle to be more diagonal and increased its SDI multiplier, both of which make it harder for up aerial to combo into itself for early KOing ladders on most characters. However, the same update and update 1.1.6 also brought significant nerfs to Sheik, Zero Suit Samus and Bayonetta, who were some of his most challenging matchups prior to these updates. Overall, Meta Knight has improved since the initial release of SSB4.
- Neutral aerial deals more damage: 7% clean/5% late → 10%/7.5%.
- Forward aerial's first two hits' aerial-only hitboxes have lower set knockback (90 → 40) and no longer use the autolink angle (366° → 85°), leaving them unable to drag opponents down and set up locks.
- Last hit of back aerial has increased knockback scaling: 180 → 212.
- Up aerial's Y offsets increased: 17/14 → 19/16, giving it more vertical range.
- Down aerial's Y offsets (-4.5 → -6.5) and Z offsets (3.5/4.5/-4.5 → 2.5/3.5/-5.5) are farther apart, increasing the move's range and coverage below Meta Knight.
- The sword trails of up aerial and down aerial match the hitboxes better.
- Dimensional Cape has a more horizontal angle (60° → 53°) and higher knockback growth (105/93 → 107/98), improving its KO potential.
- Down throw's screen shaking effect is more pronounced.
- Fixed Dimensional Cape's landing lag glitch.
- Neutral attack's loop hits deal 0.2% more damage: 1% → 1.2%; its loop hits' knockback scaling decreased: 40 → 30; its last hit's hitbox size increased: 5.7u → 8u; its ending lag decreased: frame 47 → 35; its SDI multiplier decreased: 1× → 0.6×; and its hitboxes split to cover more space. Altogether, these changes improve its damage racking potential, range and safety.
- Forward tilt's last hit deals 1% more damage: 3% → 4% and its last hit's ending lag decreased: frame 41 → 31.
- Forward tilt's last hit's angle altered: 65° → 361°. This improves its spacing and edge-guarding potential, but removes its set-up potential.
- Neutral aerial's landing lag decreased: 20 frames → 16.
Technical changelist 1.0.8
|Change||Old value||New value|
|Neutral attack damage||1%||1.2%|
|Neutral attack knockback scaling||40||30|
|Neutral attack's final hitbox size||5.7||8|
|Neutral attack's SDI multiplier||1×||0.6×|
|Forward tilt's final hit damage||3%||4%|
|Forward tilt's final hit launch angle||65°||Sakurai angle|
|Neutral aerial's landing lag||20||16|
- Galaxia's trail has been adjusted to better match its hitbox placements, significantly improving Meta Knight's accuracy.
- Up tilt's first hit's hitbox re-positions onto Meta Knight's body for 1 frame before reverting.
- Lazy Shuttle Loop's last hit's hitbox size increased: 7u → 7.2u and its last hit's duration increased.
- Forward aerial has less landing lag: 20 → 16.
- Up aerial damage: 5% → 4%, weakening its knockback even further, but allowing it combo up to higher percents
- Up aerial angle altered: 78°/60° → 69°/52°, making it harder to follow-up into itself.
- Up aerial SDI multiplier: 1.0x → 1.5x.
For a gallery of Meta Knight's hitboxes, see here.
|Neutral attack||Flurry Attack||1.2% (loop)||An extremely fast series of slashes followed by a backflipping slash. It is notably the only neutral attack in the game that consists solely of a neutral infinite. This makes it one of Meta Knight's more reliable damage racking options, as it is able to consistently inflict 10%-15%, but it is punishable if missed. It appears to be based on the Chopping Sword move from Kirby & The Amazing Mirror, while its finisher is a possible reference to the Uppercut from the Sword ability in Kirby Super Star and Kirby Super Star Ultra, with the latter game naming it Meta Upper when it is used by Meta Knight.|
|Forward tilt||2%||An inward slash followed by an outward slash, followed by an upward slash. Unlike the majority of tilt attacks, it functions like a neutral attack, as pressing the attack button will cause Meta Knight to perform its first hit, while subsequently pressing the attack button will cause him to perform its second and last hits. Because of this trait, it is safer to use than Meta Knight's actual neutral attack, thanks to its quick start-up and fairly long range making it better at spacing. In addition, its first hit can jab cancel reliably into Shuttle Loop for a KO at high percentages. However, its last hit has some ending lag, and overall it is not as suitable for damage racking like neutral attack is. Has enough power to reliably KO from the ledge at around 125%, but quickly loses this ability as the first and second hits stop linking into the third at higher percents.|
|Up tilt||7% (clean), 5% (late)||A spinning, upward thrust. Deals moderate vertical knockback while also having quick start-up, minimal ending lag, and long vertical range. Its sweetspot is at Galaxia's tip, similarly to Falchion. It has decent combo potential, as it can combo into itself at 0%, into neutral aerial from 0% to low percentages, and into up aerials at low to medium percentages. However, it has extremely short horizontal range, which makes it possible to miss opponents unless they are at point-blank range.|
|Down tilt||5%||A crouching thrust. Due to it hitting on frame 3, it is Meta Knight's fastest move, and is tied with Lucas, Ness, R.O.B and Little Mac's down tilts as the fastest down tilt in the game. It can also trip opponents at low percentages, jab reset floored opponents, and lead into tech-chases at high percentages. It moves Meta Knight a small distance along the ground when used, but because it oddly shortens the length of Galaxia's blade until it concludes, it has fairly short range.|
|Dash attack||6% (clean), 5% (late)||A side kick. Its slightly disjointed hitbox, favorable launch angle and low ending lag make it reliable for approaching, interrupting approaches, and starting combos. At low to medium percentages, it combos reliably into up tilt, up smash, any aerial, and Mach Tornado, and can potentially lead into Shuttle Loop for a KO.|
|Forward smash||16%||An outward slash. It is one of Meta Knight’s most viable KOing options, with the sweetspot KOing uncharged at 91% and fully charged at 57% from the center of Final Destination. It is also interruptible very early and has good range, making it very hard to punish even when shielded. Unlike in Brawl, it now has a sweetspot and a sourspot: the former is located near Galaxia's hilt, whereas the latter is located at its tip. Its sourspot is also atypical, as it has the same damage output as its sweetspot, and is thus also reliable for KOing, doing so at 103% uncharged and 66% fully charged. Due to it hitting on frame 24, however, it is his slowest standard attack in terms of start-up lag. In addition, its hitbox only lasts for 1 frame.|
|Up smash||3% (hit 1), 2% (hit 2), 4% (hit 3)||A series of upward fanning slashes. Despite its appearance, it is only able to hit opponents directly touching Galaxia, and not those who are beside Meta Knight, unless the target is large. It hits on frame 8, which is fast for a smash attack, and has large vertical hitboxes. Despite its minimal damage output, it also has moderate knockback, KOing at 118% uncharged and 87% fully charged from the ground. In addition to functioning as an effective anti-air option, it can combo into Shuttle Loop at low percentages. However, it has moderate ending lag.|
|Down smash||7% (front), 10% (back)||A spinning, low-angle inward slash. It is extremely fast, to the point that it the fastest smash attack in the game, with its first hit hitting on frame 4; however, this is only true when buffered. Otherwise, it hits on frame 5. It is also a semi-spike, which makes it useful for warding off pressure, punishing rolls, and launching opponents off-stage. Although the back hit is strong enough to KO middleweight at 132% while near the edge, its front hit is significantly weaker, as it does not KO middleweights until 177% while near the edge.|
|Neutral aerial||10% (clean), 7.5% (late)||A cartwheeling slash. Due to it hitting on frame 6 and having sex kick properties, a fairly long duration, and deceptively high knockback, it is effective at both edge-guarding and escaping pressure. Its clean hitbox KOs middleweights at 100% while near the left/right blast lines, and at 143% while they are on-stage and near the edge. Auto-cancels when performed at the beginning of a jump, but has low ending and landing lag otherwise, allowing it to combo into a dash attack at low percentages, or jab reset with his down tilt if the opponent does not tech. It is based on the Knight Spin from Meta Knightmare Ultra, but involves a cartwheel instead of a somersault.|
|Forward aerial||2.2% (hits 1-2 grounded opponents), 1.5% (hits 1-2 aerial opponents), 3% (hit 3)||A series of fanning slashes in front of himself. Due to it hitting on frame 9, it is his slowest aerial, but is a fast move nonetheless. With long range and relatively low landing lag (16 frames), it is an effective approach and spacing option when used from a short hop, and is able to auto-cancel with a jump. It is also decent for finishing combos, edge-guarding, and air-to-air combat thanks to its range, and can be used in a wall of pain because of its relatively low launch angle. Its 2× hitlag multiplier also results in it having much less landing lag if it connects with the opponent, making it safer on shield. However, it has a very short duration for a multiple hitting move, as each of its hitboxes only last for 1 frame.|
|Back aerial||2.2% (hits 1-2 grounded opponents), 1.5% (hits 1-2 aerial opponents), 4% (hit 3)||A series of spinning outward slashes. There is a delay between each slash, though its range and duration make it relatively easy to hit with. Due to it hitting on frame 7 and its last hit having deceptively strong knockback, it is great for edge-guarding, and is able to KO middleweights at 90% while near the left/right blast lines. It also has low ending lag and auto-cancels from a jump. Due to using the auto-link angle, its first two hits can also be used to drag aerial opponents to the ground and be proceeded with a follow-up, most notably a lock with down tilt. However, it has moderate landing lag.|
|Up aerial||4%||An upward arcing slash. It hits on frame 6, has low ending lag, and deceptive range. When coupled with its weak knockback and Meta Knight's multiple double jumps, it has superb combo potential. At a variety of percentages, it combos into any aerial including itself, Mach Tornado, and Shuttle Loop. Most notably, it can potentially combo into itself up to five times (or six on fast-fallers) until medium percents, and can also lead into a high altitude Shuttle Loop for an early KO with the help of platforms. Even if an opponent air dodges this move, a neutral or down aerial can frame trap their ending lag. Auto-cancels with a short hop, but its hitbox lasts for only 1 frame, it has moderate landing lag, and it cannot hit most grounded opponents. As of update 1.1.5, it deals less knockback and launches opponents at a slightly lower angle, meaning it starts chaining into itself at high percentages. However, it is still easy for it to combo into itself as a zero-to-death combo against floaty characters, even in spite of update 1.1.5 also increasing its SDI multiplier.|
|Down aerial||6%||A downward arcing slash. It hits on frame 4 and has low ending lag. It is also a semi-spike, making it quite deadly off-stage, especially against opponents with poor horizontal recoveries. Can also be used to pressure grounded opponents, and start tech-chases at medium percentages, potentially leading into a jab reset with his down tilt if the opponent fails to tech. Auto-cancels with a short hop, but has high landing lag otherwise (22 frames) and its hitbox only lasts for 1 frame.|
|Grab||—||Reaches out with his free hand. Meta Knight's standing grab has the fifth shortest range, but his dash grab covers a lot of ground, thanks to it boosting him forward. His pivot grab is also useful, thanks to his pivot being tied with Fox, Greninja, and Sonic's as the third longest in the game by default.|
|Pummel||3%||Jabs with one of the talons on his cape's wings. Moderately slow, but one of the most damaging pummels in the game.|
|Forward throw||6% (hit 1), 3% (throw)||A bicycle kick. Due to being very fast, it gives the opponent only a small window to DI properly. When coupled with it launching opponents at 65°, it is a useful combo starter. Depending on DI, it can combo into dash attack, dashing up smash, and any aerial from low to medium percents, and potentially into Shuttle Loop for a KO combo.|
|Back throw||7% (hit 1), 3% (throw)||Lays the opponent behind himself, warps, and then slashes their back. Good for launching opponents off-stage to set up an edge-guard. It can also combo into a dash attack or start a tech-chase from 0% to low percentages, or lead into a forward aerial or Shuttle Loop at high percentages if the opponent DIs poorly. Although it has very high knockback scaling, its throw hitbox's very low damage output offsets this. As a result, it does not KO middleweights until 175% while near the edge.|
|Up throw||10% (throw), 7% (collateral)||The Air Drop from Kirby's Ninja ability. Despite its decent damage output, its base knockback and knockback scaling are both only average. As a result, it is unreliable at KOing, even on stages with platforms; it does not KO middleweights until 175% upon landing on one of Battlefield's secondary platforms, and at 160% upon landing on Battlefield's top platform. Conversely, its collateral hitbox is very strong, as its high base knockback and very high knockback scaling can reliably KO even heavyweights below 100%. Although situational, it can also combo into Shuttle Loop if the opponent DIs poorly.|
|Down throw||0.5% (hits 1-9), 1% (hit 10), 2% (throw)||The Fury Stomp from Kirby's Suplex ability. It combos into dash attack, dashing up smash, all aerials, and Mach Tornado from 0% to medium percentages, and into Shuttle Loop from 0% to around 100%. However, its extremely high knockback scaling and Meta Knight's slightly below-average air speed make its other follow-ups difficult to perform past medium percentages, especially if the opponent DIs properly.|
|Floor attack (front)||7%||Slashes around himself.|
|Floor attack (back)||7%||Slashes around himself.|
|Floor attack (trip)||5%||Slashes behind himself and then in front of himself.|
|Edge attack||7%||Performs an outward slash while climbing up.|
|Neutral special||Default||Mach Tornado||1% (loop, up to ~17 hits), 3% (last hit), ~22% (all hits connect)||Spins rapidly and traps opponents in a tornado. Button mashing increases the move's duration and makes Meta Knight ascend slightly; he can also move left and right. Deals roughly 22% if all of its hits connect, aiding Meta Knight's otherwise low overall damage output, though managing to land the maximum amount of hits is difficult. The last hit has extremely high knockback scaling, and is strong enough to KO middleweights at 134% while near the upper blast line. If it concludes around a jump's height, Meta Knight will endure almost no lag after landing. However, it renders Meta Knight helpless. It appears to be based on both a move he used in Kirby Super Star where he transforms into a tornado to attack and the Mach Tornado from Meta Knightmare Ultra. It is also similar to Kirby's Tornado ability.|
|Custom 1||Entangling Tornado||9%||Vacuums opponents and then launches them straight up into the air. It launches at an even higher vertical angle, which can enable it to score an early KO near the upper blast line. However, it only consists of one hit, and has slightly more start-up lag. Button mashing offers minimal horizontal movement, though Meta Knight will propel upwards from the ground or hover briefly if used in mid-air.|
|Custom 2||Dreadful Tornado||1.5% (hits 1-5), 6% (hit 6)||Deals more damage per hit and much higher knockback, but it has a fixed number of spins, which gives it a lower overall damage output. Due to it not covering any vertical distance, it is also almost useless for recovery.|
|Side special||Default||Drill Rush||1% (hits 1-8), 3% (hit 9)||The attack of the same name from Kirby's Master ability. It hits multiple times, while its last hit's extremely high knockback scaling enables it to KO middleweights at 130% while near the left/right blast lines. Due to its maneuverable flight path, it can also function as a recovery option. Meta Knight will also bounce backward if he lands the last hit on an opponent or onto terrain.|
|Custom 1||High-Speed Drill||0.8% (hits 1-7), 3% (hit 8)||A slightly weaker but quicker version that reaches a little farther. It can function as an even faster recovery option, but at the cost of its directional maneuverability.|
|Custom 2||Shieldbreaker Drill||1% (hits 1-9), 2% (hit 10)||A version that inflicts more shield damage (landing every hit can shatter a full shield), at the cost of slightly reduced distance and speed. Although the finisher is slightly weaker, the move has an additional hit during the loop, effectively nullifying the in-game description claiming it is weaker than the standard Drill Rush.|
|Up special||Default||Shuttle Loop||9% (hit 1 grounded), 6% (hit 1 aerial), 6% (hit 2)||The attack of the same name from Kirby's Wing ability. Its first and second hits hit on frames 7 and 8, its covers a considerable amount of vertical distance, and it possesses both excellent range and overall high knockback. When these traits are combined with various set-ups, it is considered to be both a powerful out of shield option and Meta Knight's most reliable KOing option, as its grounded version KOs middleweights at 133%, whereas its aerial version KOs them at 122% while near the upper blast line. However, the grounded version is slightly slower, the aerial version is slightly weaker, and both versions render him helpless.|
|Custom 1||Blade Coaster||8% (hit 1 grounded), 5% (hit 1 aerial), 5% (hit 2)||Soars forward instead of upward. Opponents hit will be launched at a lower angle, which can score an early KO near the left/right blast lines. However, on a typical stage, this cannot be fully exploited without self-destructing.|
|Custom 2||Lazy Shuttle Loop||9% (clean), 6% (late)||Soars into a larger, slower loop, and then soars quickly to perform a more powerful upward thrust. Its larger range slightly grants more vertical recovery, but the first loop does not deal damage.|
|Down special||Default||Dimensional Cape||15% (stationary grounded slash), 14% (retreating slash), 16% (advancing slash, stationary aerial slash||Teleports in a controllable direction. If the attack button or special button is held, he will perform a very powerful slash, albeit teleporting a slightly shorter distance with more ending lag. There are four types of slashes that are dependent on the direction the control stick is held and the direction he is facing, with the advancing slash and stationary aerial slash being strong enough to KO middleweights at 117% while near the edge. A great anti-edge-guarding option, it can also be used to punish laggy attacks from a distance, or for edge trumping.|
|Custom 1||Shield Piercer||1%, 8% (stationary grounded slash), 1%, 7% (retreating slash), 1%, 9% (advancing slash, stationary aerial slash)||The slash penetrates shields and covers a bit more vertical distance, but at the cost of lower damage outputs and covering less horizontal distance.|
|Custom 2||Stealth Smasher||16% (stationary grounded slash), 15% (retreating slash), 17% (advancing slash, stationary aerial slash)||Covers more distance (approximately 50% of Final Destination), doesn’t suffer a distance reduction if swiping, and has higher damage outputs and knockback, to the point that it is approximately as strong as his uncharged forward smash. However, it comes at the cost of Meta Knight being vulnerable while moving, and his location being exposed.|
|Final Smash||Galaxia Darkness||40% (trapped opponents), 10% (others)||Swings his cape in front of himself. If the cape touches any nearby opponents, they will be trapped and the screen will then fade to black. After a few seconds, Meta Knight performs a very powerful slash to the trapped opponents that ignores super armor and is strong enough to KO grounded middleweights at 80%. If his cape does not to make contact, Meta Knight pauses for a brief time, and Dimensional Cape fails. Any opponents who are not trapped are also attacked, but instead receive vastly less damage and weak, vertical knockback. However, the weaker attacks can also be avoided by dodging with correct timing.|
- Uses Dimensional Cape to warp onto the stage.
- Up taunt: Wraps himself in his cape and spins repeatedly, as if he is about to warp, while scoffing.
- Side taunt: Says "Fight me!" (勝負だ!, Let's battle!) while slashing twice and then pointing Galaxia in front of himself.
- Down taunt: Turns his cape into wings and spreads them out while shouting "Come!" (来いっ!) If he is facing left, he will perform the taunt while facing the background instead, similarly to how taunts function in SSB.
|Up taunt||Side taunt||Down taunt|
- Quickly and subtly swings Galaxia.
- Pull his cape in front of himself and then throws it back.
|Description||Me-ta Knight!||Me-ta Knight!|
|Pitch||Group chant||Group chant|
- Flies on-screen from the side, then uses his free hand to swings his cape outward, and keeps his free hand extended while saying "You have much yet to learn." (まだまだだ., You're not yet ready.)
- Rears back and then swings Galaxia outward while saying "Come back when you can put up a fight." (もっと強くなって来い., Come at me when you're stronger.) before warping away by using Dimensional Cape.
- Swings with Galaxia twice, then performs a flourish with it before bringing it to his side while saying "Victory... is my destiny." (これも宿命だ. This too was destiny.) Winning in a Team Battle shows him performing it with his back turned to the camera, like in Brawl.
In competitive play
Tier placement and history
Upon SSB4's release, Meta Knight's heavy nerfs were quickly noticed. The severity of his shorter recovery, hitbox durations and range, lack of transcendent priority, and slightly slower attack speed all contributed to the perception that he was a mid-tier character at best, as he now required a much more aggressive playstyle. However, after being buffed over several game updates and seeing increasingly noteworthy results from some of his players from Brawl and new players across different regions, most famously MkLeo, top players such as ZeRo reevaluated their opinions on Meta Knight. This saw a subsequent rise in Meta Knight's popularity; Mr.R and Nairo occasionally used him and Abadango decided to main him, with his perceived advantageous matchup against the top-tier Rosalina & Luma boosting his metagame even further due to it rendering him as a valuable counterpick.
Players started to acknowledge Meta Knight's KO potential, superb frame data and proficiency at edge-guarding as being reliable against the entire cast, while his Rufio combo could KO any character at some of the lowest percentages possible if performed correctly, all of which were traits that he retained from Brawl. As a result, Meta Knight was subsequently ranked at 10th on the first 4BR tier list. However, many players believed he should have been ranked even higher, with a major reason being that he was considered to lack notably disadvantageous matchups aside from Sheik.
However, Meta Knight's status went into a sudden decline after his up aerial combos, which were pivotal to his success, had been nerfed in update 1.1.5. As a result, several of his best players either began to co-main him (such as Tyrant adopting Sheik and Diddy Kong), transition him into a secondary (such as MkLeo adopting Cloud and Marth as his new mains), or even drop him entirely (such as Katakiri and Seibrik). Although Meta Knight has maintained his high-tier status throughout SSB4's lifespan thanks to his solid punishment game, popularity as a counterpick to Rosalina & Luma, and his playerbase consistently achieving good results, he has steadily dropped on subsequent tier lists regardless. He has since dropped to 13th on the second tier list, then to 14th on the third tier list and, despite Leo bringing better results after using him once again, he has recently dropped once again to 16th on the fourth and current tier list, although this was before Leo's stellar performance with Meta Knight at 2GG Championship.
Official Custom Moveset Project
|Character||Custom sets available|
Any number following the Smasher name indicates placement on the PGR 100, which recognizes the official top 100 players in Super Smash Bros. 4 of all time.
- Abadango - One of the best Meta Knight players in the world. Placed 1st at Niconico Tokaigi 2016 and Clutch City Clash, 2nd at Battle of BC 2, 3rd at Umebura Genesis Cup, 5th at 2GGC: Nairo Saga, 7th at The Big House 5 and Umebura Niconico Qualifiers, and 9th at Umebura 21.
- AC (#47) - The best active Meta Knight player in the world. Ranked 9th on the SoCal Power Rankings and 38th on the Panada Global Rankings v5. He has wins over MkLeo, Cosmos, Samsora, Raito, KEN, Kameme, NAKAT, and Ned.
- ANTi - Master of diversity. 1st at CEO 2016. Has a win over Dabuz.
- BONK! - Formerly ranked 7th on the Philadelphia Power Rankings. Placed 33rd at Smash 'N' Splash 4 and 17th at Smashadelphia 01. Has a win over Ally.
- Ito - Placed 2nd at 2GGT: Fatality Saga, 4th at 2GG: Pay It Forward, and 17th at GENESIS 3 and EVO 2016.
- Jbandrew - Placed 1st at TGC 4, 5th at PAX Arena and Syndicate 2016, and 9th at Key to The PG House's European qualifier. Formerly ranked 5th on the German Power Rankings.
- Katakiri - Placed 4th at FC Smash 15XR: Return, 5th at Shuffle VII, and 7th at Frostbite before switching to Mewtwo.
- Lickey★ - Placed 9th at Sumabato Tokaigi Qualifiers and Hirosuma Tokaigi Qualifiers.
- Pandarian - 13th at SoCal Regionals 2018, 17th at Port Priority 2 and Shine 2018. Has wins over Lima, Larry Lurr, SDX, Darkshad, Maister, Konga and Cacogen. Ranked 4th on the Washington Smash 4 Power Rankings.
- MkLeo (#3) - The best Meta Knight player in Mexico, and was widely considered the best Meta Knight player in the world before only playing him as a secondary. Placed 1st at 2GG Championship, Smash Factor 4, Smash Factor 5 and Battle of BC, and 5th at Get On My Level 2016. Ranked 1st on the Mexican Power Rankings. Has wins on ZeRo, Nairo, Dabuz, and Mr.R.
- Rags (#87) - One of the best Meta Knight players in the world. Placed 5th at Glitch 4, 7th at Smash 'N' Splash 4, and 17th at Frostbite 2018. Has wins over Cosmos, CaptainZack, Raito, WaDi, Ally, Charlie, and Ned. Currently ranked 40th on the Panada Global Rankings v5.
- Seibrik - Placed 2nd at Casino Royale 2 and Tampa Never Sleeps 6, 5th at Glitch, and 33rd at Pound 2016 before switching to Cloud.
- S2H - Placed 25th at The Big House 5. Formerly ranked 20th on the SoCal Power Rankings. He has wins over Nicko, Charliedaking, and False.
- Salena - Placed 4th at Umebura 16, 7th at Umebura 20, and 33rd at GENESIS 3.
- Sho (#96) - The best Meta Knight in Northern California. Currently ranked 2nd on the NorCal Power Rankings. He has wins over Dabuz and Ito.
- Tyrant (#64) - One of the best Meta Knight players in the United States. Placed 1st at 2GGT: The False Awakens, 3rd at 2GGT: Fresh Saga and 2GG: Pay It Forward, 7th at 2GGT: Mexico Saga and 2GGT: KTAR Saga, 9th at Paragon Los Angeles 2015, 13th at CEO 2015, and 17th at EVO 2015. Ranked 16th on the SoCal Power Rankings.
- tyroy (#55) - A Bayonetta main with a strong Meta Knight secondary who has defeated players such as ESAM. Currently one of the best Meta Knight players. Ranked 4th on the Midwest Smash 4 Power Rankings and 39th on the Panda Global Rankings v5.
- Meta Knight
- Kirby's mysterious rival, this masked swordsman appears in several Kirby games. His cape transforms into wings to grant him flight. In Smash Bros., his quick sword skills and aerial agility set him apart. He can jump up to five times in a row, and he has a special move to soar higher.
- Kirby's mysterious rival, this masked swordsman appears in several Kirby games. His cape transforms into wings to grant him flight. In Smash Bros., his quick sword skills and aerial agility set him apart. He can jump up to six times in a row, and he has a special move to soar higher.
- : Kirby's Adventure (05/1993)
- : Kirby Super Star (08/1996)
- A mysterious masked swordsman from the Kirby series. His cape can turn into wings, which gives him the ability to fly. His swift swordplay and ability to stay in the air give him an edge in this game. He can combine five mid-air jumps with a special move to make recovering a cinch. If you use him, try to keep the battle airborne!
- : Kirby's Adventure (12/1993)
- : Kirby's Fun Pak (01/1997)
- Meta Knight (Alt.)
- Meta Knight's Dimensional Cape lets you teleport, changing where you'll reappear with directional inputs and attacking by holding the button! His Mach Tornado special can draw in and attack multiple opponents. Rise by pressing the button repeatedly, and press left or right to move.
- : Kirby's Adventure (05/1993)
- : Kirby Super Star (08/1996)
- Meta Knight's Dimensional Cape lets you teleport. After vanishing, you can move to reappear somewhere else. You can also keep holding the button to turn it into an attack! His Mach Tornado special can mix up multiple opponents in the fray. Press the button repeatedly to rise up, and move left and right to create extra havoc.
- : Kirby's Adventure (12/1993)
- : Kirby's Fun Pak (01/1997)
- Galaxia Darkness
- Meta Knight swings his cape to ensnare foes. Darkness falls, enveloping them in an empty void, and then a giant sword slash cleaves the blackness. If the cape doesn't capture anyone, this Final Smash will fail. It has more range than you might think, though, and you only have to catch one foe to deal damage to everyone!
- Meta Knight swings his cape to ensnare foes. Darkness falls, enveloping them in an empty void, and then a giant sword slash cleaves the blackness. If the cape doesn't capture anyone, the Final Smash will fail. It has more range than you might think, though, and as long as it catches at least one foe, everyone will take damage!
In Event Matches
- All-Star Battle: Brawl: Meta Knight is one of the opponents fought in this event. All of the opponents debuted in Brawl.
- The Ultimate Swordsman: As Ike, the player must defeat Meta Knight, Link, Marth, Toon Link, male Robin, female Robin and Shulk. All of the opponents wield swords.
- Unwavering Chivalry: Meta Knight must defeat Marth without defeating Peach or Zelda.
- Final Battle Team-Up: Meta Knight, using his Kirby's Adventure-based alternate costume, is one of the opponents two players must defeat.
- Sky Pirates: Meta Knight and Dark Pit must defeat a team of Captain Falcon and Falco in a one stock battle on Pilotwings before the plane returns to the airfield.
- The Ultimate Battle: Two players select a character and must defeat the entire roster.
- Visiting Onett: Ness and Villager must defeat Meta Knight, Kirby, Fox, Falco, Olimar and Rosalina & Luma. All of the opponents are outer space-based characters.
Meta Knight's amiibo.
Meta Knight as he appears in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U.
Meta Knight and Kirby.
Using Dimensional Cape on Mega Man.
Meta Knight on Smash Ball standby.
Using his back throw on Samus.
Using Drill Rush on Mario and Yoshi.
Meta Knight holding a Star Rod alongside Kirby using Palutena's Copy Ability.
Meta Knight as he appears in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS.
Meta Knight appearing in Smash Run.
- Meta Knight has a few distinct aspects that differ from Kirby and King Dedede:
- He does not have a conventional meteor smash.
- He retained his side special from Brawl.
- He retained his Final Smash.
- He has recycled voice clips.
- He uses the more subdued tripping sound effect generally used for realistic characters.
- He does not have a hammer-based attack.
- Despite gliding being removed, frame data and animations for gliding and related things remain in non-patched files for Meta Knight. This was likely a result of Meta Knight's data being recycled from Brawl. This is also true for Pit and his clone, Dark Pit.
- If one looks closely at Meta Knight's leading/left foot during his up smash, it flips around on his model during the move. This is mainly seen via slowing down time or pausing at the right time.
- Meta Knight will grunt twice whenever he goes into his reeling animation.
- Meta Knight and Fox are the only two characters whose clapping animation are slightly different in between the two versions. In Meta Knight's case, he wields Galaxia in the 3DS version.
|Fighters in Super Smash Bros. 4|
|Veterans||Bowser · Captain Falcon · Charizard · Diddy Kong · Donkey Kong · Dr. Mario · Falco · Fox · Ganondorf · Ike · Jigglypuff · King Dedede · Kirby · Link · Lucario · Lucas · Luigi · Mario · Marth · Meta Knight · Mewtwo · Mr. Game & Watch · Ness · Olimar · Peach · Pikachu · Pit · R.O.B. · Roy · Samus · Sheik · Sonic · Toon Link · Wario · Yoshi · Zelda · Zero Suit Samus|
|Newcomers||Bayonetta · Bowser Jr. · Cloud · Corrin · Dark Pit · Duck Hunt · Greninja · Little Mac · Lucina · Mega Man · Mii Fighter (Mii Brawler · Mii Gunner · Mii Swordfighter) · Pac-Man · Palutena · Robin · Rosalina & Luma · Ryu · Shulk · Villager · Wii Fit Trainer|
|Fighters||Kirby (SSB · SSBM · SSBB · SSB4 · SSBU) · Meta Knight (SSBB · SSB4 · SSBU) · King Dedede (SSBB · SSB4 · SSBU)|
|Assist Trophies||Knuckle Joe · Nightmare · Chef Kawasaki|
|Bosses||Giant Kirby · Marx|
|Stages||Dream Land · Fountain of Dreams · Green Greens · Halberd · Dream Land GB · The Great Cave Offensive|
|Items||Maxim Tomato · Star Rod · Parasol · Warp Star · Apple · Dragoon · Superspicy Curry · Bomber|
|Enemies||Bonkers · Bronto Burt · Gordo · Parasol Waddle Dee · Plasma Wisp · Shotzo · Tac · Waddle Dee · Waddle Doo|
|Other||Gourmet Race · Whispy Woods|
|Trophies, Stickers and Spirits||Trophies (SSBM · SSBB · SSB4) · Stickers · Spirits|
|Music||Brawl · SSB4 · Ultimate|
|Masterpieces||Kirby's Dream Land · Kirby's Adventure · Kirby Super Star|