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Meta Knight (SSB4)

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This article is about Meta Knight's appearance in Super Smash Bros. 4. For the character in other contexts, see Meta Knight.
Meta Knight
in Super Smash Bros. 4
Meta Knight SSB4.png
Universe Kirby
Other Smash Bros. appearances in Brawl
in Ultimate

Availability Starter
Final Smash Galaxia Darkness
Tier B (16)

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 Kisa'ichi 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 55 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 an impressive 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[edit]

Meta Knight was infamous for being by far the best character in Brawl, to the point of being considered by many as broken, due to his numerous and extreme advantages including his large amount of disjointed attacks with transcendent priority, incredible frame data/aerial game, his un-contestable edgeguarding capabilities/recovery and his super oppressive Mach Tornado and Shuttle Loop. Possibly as a result, Meta Knight was nerfed significantly in the transition to SSB4.

Having been nearly unmatched in Brawl, Meta Knight's frame data has been 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. 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 reliably 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 SSB4, alongside King Dedede, Falco, Marth (during the initial release), 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 SSB4's lifespan.


  • Change 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 SSB4 has resulted in Meta Knight's body and sabatons being more vibrant.
  • Change Meta Knight has received two new alternate costumes. The first is based on Galacta Knight, while the second is based on Dark Meta Knight.
  • Change The sides of Meta Knight's visor are now curved slightly inward instead of being straight, his sabatons now have harness bootstraps, and Super Smash Bros. for Wii Uvery minuscule battle damage details have been added to his pauldrons. These changes are unique to SSB4.
  • Change Meta Knight's eyes do not move as freely as they did in Brawl.
  • Change Meta Knight's sabatons' sound clips are higher pitched.
  • Change 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.
  • Change 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.
  • Change Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DSDefeated/No Contest animation has slightly changed. Meta Knight now claps while holding Galaxia, instead of clapping without it.
  • Change Meta Knight's previously unused damage yells from Brawl's Sound Test are now heard when taking high knockback.


  • Change Meta Knight is heavier (79 → 80).
  • Nerf Meta Knight walks slower (1.22 → 1.18).
  • Buff Meta Knight dashes faster (1.847 → 1.9) although it is lower relative to the cast going from the 6th highest out of 39 characters to the 12th highest out of 58 characters.
  • Buff Meta Knight's air speed is significantly faster (0.752 → 0.99).
  • Nerf Meta Knight's air acceleration is slower (0.08 → 0.075).
  • Change Meta Knight falls faster (1.39 → 1.66). This improves his vertical endurance, but makes him more susceptible to combos.
  • Buff Meta Knight's fast falling speed is faster (1.946 → 2.656). This improves his air game, and makes him less susceptible to juggling.
  • Change Meta Knight's gravity is higher (0.0956 → 0.11). This improves his aerial mobility, but hinders his endurance, makes him more susceptible to combos and reduces the height of his mid-air jumps.
  • Buff Meta Knight's full hop is higher.
  • Buff Rolls have increased intangibility frames (frames 5-12 → 4-15 (forward), frames 4-12 → 4-15 (backward)). Backward roll also has decreased ending lag (FAF 34 → 28).
  • Nerf Forward roll has increased ending lag (FAF 24 → 28), removing its status as the fastest roll.
  • Buff Spot dodge and air dodge have decreased ending lag (FAF 26 → 25 (spot dodge), frame 40 → 31 (air dodge)). Air dodge also has decreased start-up lag (frame 3 → 2).
  • Nerf Spot dodge and air dodge have decreased intangibility frames (frames 2-20 → 2-15 (spot dodge), frames 3-29 → 2-25 (air dodge)).
  • Buff Soft landing is faster (3 frames → 2).
  • Nerf Item throw is weaker (1 → 0.933). The removal of glide tossing also slightly hinders his item game although it effects him less than other returning veterans as he retains his lengthy super glide toss.
  • Change Shield and rolls' animations have slightly changed. Meta Knight now wraps himself in his cape when performing them.
  • Change Jump's animation has slightly changed. Meta Knight now somersaults forward, instead of at an angle.
  • Change All sword-based attacks have lost their transcendent priority, hindering Meta Knight's approach. However, he can now cancel out projectiles significantly easier.
  • Buff The changes to hitstun canceling 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.
  • Buff The strengthening of pivoting improves Meta Knight's neutral game, punishment game, and evasiveness.
  • Buff The removal of chain grabbing improves his endurance.
  • Nerf The removal of gliding hinders Meta Knight's recovery.[1]

Ground attacks[edit]

  • Neutral attack:
    • Change Neutral attack now deals consistent damage (1% (near)/2% (far) → 1.2%). It also has an altered angle (361° → 60°) which makes it connect more reliably but removes its ability to lock opponents.
    • Buff The loop hits have decreased knockback scaling (40 → 30), making them connect more reliably.
    • Buff Neutral attack has a decreased SDI multiplier (1× → 0.6×). When coupled with the weakening of SDI, this makes it significantly more difficult to escape from.
    • Buff Neutral attack has a new finisher, a backflipping slash. It has much more range and deals considerably more knockback (13 (base), 60 (scaling) → 60/140) compared to the previous finisher.
    • Nerf Neutral attack's animation has slightly changed. Meta Knight now leans slightly farther inward while swinging Galaxia. This new animation significantly decreases its range behind Meta Knight.
    • Nerf The finisher has more startup lag (frame 1 → 3) and much more ending lag (FAF 12 → 35) compared to the previous finisher.
  • Forward tilt:
    • Buff Forward tilt's hits connect together better at very high percentages due to the weakening of SDI combined with the first two hits having consistent base knockback (14/8 → 8), and its last hit has increased knockback (50 (base)/113 (scaling) → 80/107) and decreased ending lag (FAF 34 → 31). Altogether, these changes improve its spacing and KO potential.
    • Nerf Forward tilt deals less damage (4% (hit 1)/3% (hit 2)/5% (hit 3 base)/4% (hit 3 tip) → 2% (hits 1-2)/4% (hit 3)), its first hit has increased start-up lag (frame 3 → 6) and more ending lag (FAF 24 → 26), and its first two hits have smaller hitboxes (5u → 3.5u).
    • Change Forward tilt's last hit's angle has been altered (65° → 361°). This improves its spacing and edge-guarding potential, but removes its set-up potential. The first two hits have also lost their 361° hitbox removing their ability to lock.
    • Change The last hit has increased hitlag (1× → 2×). This makes the move safer on shield especially when combined with the general changes to shields, but easier to DI.
    • Change Meta Knight now vocalizes during each of forward tilt's hits, instead of only during its last hit.
  • Up tilt:
    • Nerf Up tilt deals 1% less damage (6%/7%/8% → 5%/6%/7%) and its early hitbox has been removed giving it more startup lag with a shorter duration (frames 7-18 → 8-14). Its also has decreased knockback (35/40 (base)/145/130/120 (scaling) → 60/35 (base)/90/120 (scaling)), significantly hindering its KO potential.
    • Nerf It has smaller hitboxes (5.5u/6.0u/10.0u → 5.5u/8.0u).
    • Change Up tilt has increased hitlag (1× → 1.2×). This makes the move safer on shield especially when combined with the general changes to shields, but easier to DI.
  • Down tilt:
    • Nerf Down tilt has increased ending lag (FAF 16 → 19). It also does not move Meta Knight forward as much as it did in Brawl. Altogether, these changes hinder its spacing potential. The introduction of the 3 hit lock limit combined with Meta Knight's slower forward roll also removes its 0-death potential against opponents who missed a tech.
    • Nerf Down tilt has two extended hitboxes with one only hitting grounded opponents and the other only hitting aerial opponents. Both hitboxes are smaller (3.0u/4.0u/4.0u/4.0u → 2.2u (grounded)/3.2u (aerial) and no longer cover Meta Knight's body. They are also positioned lower and much closer to him (Z-offset: 20 → 13 (grounded)/8 (aerial)). These changes significantly hinder down tilt's range.
    • Change Due to having a consistent hitbox instead of a sweetspot or a sourspot, down tilt now deals consistent damage (4%/5%/6%/7% → 5%) and has consistent base knockback (15/11/6 → 15).
  • Dash attack:
    • Nerf Dash attack deals less damage (6%/7%/8% → 5%/6%), has increased start-up lag with a shorter duration (frames 5-11 → 7-11) and has more ending lag (FAF 31 → 32).
    • Buff Dash attack has altered knockback (40 (base)/88 (scaling) → 70/90). Its range is also now slightly disjointed. Altogether, these changes improve its spacing potential and greatly improves its combo potential when combined with the changes to hitstun canceling and DI (now being one of his best combo starters).
  • Nerf All smash attacks have shorter durations (frames 24-25 → 24 (forward), frames 8-9, 12-13, 17-18 → 8, 12, 17 (up), frames 5-6, 10-11 → 4, 9 (down), with each hit now only lasting one frame instead of two.
  • Forward smash:
    • Buff Forward smash deals 2% more damage (14% → 16%) and received a sweetspot that deals increased knockback (28 (base)/99 (scaling) → 30/108), significantly improving its KO potential.
    • Nerf Forward smash has smaller hitboxes (7.0u/6.0u/6.0u/6.0u → 6.2u/5.2u), have been re-positioned lower and closer to Meta Knight, and the innermost hitbox covers less of his body, hindering its range.
    • Change The move's sweetspot has increased hitlag (1× → 1.5×). This makes the move safer on shield especially when combined with the general changes to shields, but easier to DI.
    • Change Forward smash's animation has slightly changed. 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.
    • Buff Meta Knight only vocalizes after his forward smash have been performed. While this seems merely aesthetic, it generally makes them less reactable.
  • Up smash:
    • Buff Up smash's first two hits have decreased set knockback (90/30 → 25/20) making them connect together better and its last hit has increased knockback (62 (base)/145 (scaling) → 65/166), improving its KO potential.
    • Change Up smash's last hit has increased hitlag (1× → 1.2×). This makes the move safer on shield especially when combined with the general changes to shields, but easier to DI.
    • Change Up smash's animation has slightly changed. Meta Knight now slashes upward at a slightly higher height.
    • Buff Meta Knight only vocalizes after his up smash have been performed. While this seems merely aesthetic, it generally makes them less reactable.
  • Down smash:
    • Nerf Down smash deals less damage (11% (front)/13% (back) → 7%/10%), significantly hindering its KO potential despite the second hit having having higher knockback scaling (90 → 93).
    • Nerf The outermost and innermost hitboxes have been removed entirely and the remaining hitboxes are smaller (5.2u/4.9u → 4.5u/4.0u), significantly hindering down smash's range.
    • Buff Due to its angle being altered (361° → 35°), down smash is now a semi-spike.
    • Change Down smash's animation has changed. Meta Knight now slashes inward around himself while spinning once.
      • Buff This new animation decreases its start-up lag when buffered (frame 5 → 4 (front), frame 10 → 9 (back)),
      • Nerf However, the animation is significantly longer (34 frames → 49) and its IASA frames were not fully compensated increasing its ending lag (FAF 35 → 38 (buffered)/39).
    • Change Down smash's voice clip can now be heard. Previously, it could only be heard in Brawl's Sound Test.

Aerial attacks[edit]

  • Nerf All aerials have increased ending lag (FAF 32 → 44 (neutral), FAF 40 → 46 (forward), FAF 48 → 52 (back), FAF 14 → 27 (up), FAF 26 → 28 (down)). In particular, up aerial can only be performed once in a short hop, instead of three times.
  • Nerf All aerials have increased landing lag (15 frames → 16 (neutral/forward), 12 frames → 18 (back/up), 15 frames → 22 (down)).
  • Nerf All aerials auto-cancel later (frame 25 → 40 (neutral), frame 22 → 44 (forward), frame 33 → 40 (back), frame 21 → 24 (up), frame 24 → 26 (down)). When coupled with Meta Knight's increased falling speed, neutral, forward, and back aerials can no longer auto-cancel in a short hop.
  • Neutral aerial:
    • Nerf Neutral aerial's animation has slightly changed. Meta Knight now cartwheels, instead of somersaulting. This new animation results in smaller hitboxes (8u → 7u). Neutral aerial also has more startup lag with a shorter duration (frames 3-24 → 6-20) and clean neutral aerial deals less damage (12% → 10%), although its knockback was mostly compensated (30 (base) → 40). It also now functions like a proper sex kick, preventing both hits from connecting and reducing its damage potential (19% → 10%/7.5%).
    • Buff Late neutral aerial deals higher consistent damage (7%/6%/5% → 7.5%) and has increased base knockback (20 → 40).
  • Forward aerial:
    • Nerf Forward aerial's last hit deals 1% less damage (4% → 3%), although its knockback scaling was compensated (122 → 140). Forward aerial also has more startup lag (frame 6 → 9).
    • Buff Forward aerial has larger hitboxes (3.5u/4u/5u → 4u/4.5u/6.5u) and its last hit's angle has been altered (361°/50° → 48°), improving its spacing and edge-guarding potential.
    • Change Forward aerial is now properly affected by stale-move negation. This improves its combo potential, but hinders its gimping potential.
    • Nerf Forward aerial's first and second hits deal less damage (3% → 2.2% (grounded)/1.5% (aerial), with the hitboxes on aerial opponents now dealing less damage compared to when used on opponents on the ground.
    • Change Forward aerials' last hits have increased hitlag (1× → 2×). This makes them safer on shield, but easier to DI.
  • Back aerial:
    • Buff Back aerial's aerial first and second hits now use the auto-link angle against aerial opponents, improving its edge-guarding potential and granting it combo potential. Its last hit also has increased knockback scaling (175 → 212), significantly improving its KO potential.
    • Nerf Back aerial's first and second hits deal less damage (3% → 2.2% (grounded)/1.5% (aerial)).
    • Change Back aerials' last hits have increased hitlag (1× → 2×). This makes them safer on shield, but easier to DI.
  • Up aerial:
    • Nerf Up aerial deals less damage (6% → 4%), and knockback (40 (base)/125 (scaling) → 30/128). Its angles have also been altered (78°/78°/60° → 69°/69°/52°). Altogether, these changes hinder its KO potential as well as its ability to chain into itself at lower percents.
    • Nerf Up aerial has more startup lag with a shorter duration (frames 2-3 → 6) a smaller hitbox (5.5u → 3.5u) and its SDI multiplier has increased (1× → 1.5×).
    • Buff The removal of hitstun canceling and the weakening of DI and SDI combined with its lower knockback makes up aerial a more reliable combo move at higher percents despite the drastic nerfs to its speed.
  • Down aerial:
    • Nerf Down aerial has a shorter duration (frames 4-5 → 4) and deals less damage (7% (center)/9% (sides) → 6% (both)), although its center hit's knockback scaling and side hits' base knockback were compensated (105 → 108 (center), 15 → 30 (sides)). Down aerial also has smaller hitboxes (5.4u/5.2u → 3.5u) and one of its sweetspots has been removed. Due to their angles being altered (23° → 50°), down aerial's early and late hitboxes are also no longer semi-spikes. Altogether, these changes hinder its spacing and edgeguarding potential.

Throws/other attacks[edit]

  • Nerf All grabs have increased start-up (frame 6 → 7 (standing), frame 8 → 9 (dash), frame 7 → 9 (pivot)) and ending lag (FAF 29 → 32 (standing), FAF 39 → 40 (dash), FAF 34 → 38 (pivot)).
  • Buff The changes to aerial grab releases both help and hinder Meta Knight. While he himself is far less vulnerable to aerial grab release followups, he has also lost all of his aerial grab release followups outside of Galaxia Darkness. As he typically could not force an air release on stage in most circumstances however, these changes benefit him overall.
  • Forward throw:
    • Buff The changes to hitstun canceling significantly improve forward throw's combo potential at low to medium percentages.
  • Back throw:
    • Change Back throw's animation has changed. Meta Knight now uses his cape to warp, similarly to Dimensional Cape.
  • Up throw:
    • Nerf Up throw deals 2% less damage (12% → 10%), although its knockback scaling was compensated (60 → 70).
    • Buff Up throw has received a collateral hitbox during its landing, granting it utility in doubles play.
  • Down throw:
    • Nerf Down throw's first 9 hits deal less damage (1% → 0.5%) reducing the throw's total damage output (11% → 7.5%).
    • Change The throw deals more damage (1% → 2%), has significantly more knockback (60 (base)/110 (scaling) → 50/170), and launches at a higher angle (50° → 60°).
    • Buff The changes to hitstun canceling and DI, significantly improves down throw's combo potential despite its higher knockback.

Special moves[edit]

  • Mach Tornado:
    • Buff Mach Tornado's last hit has increased base knockback (35 → 55), improving its KO potential at the upper blast line.
    • Buff Mach Tornado's loop hits use the autolink angle and the weakening of SDI makes Mach Tornado significantly more difficult to escape from.
    • Nerf Mach Tornado has a shorter duration (frames 12-59 → 12-48), increased ending (frame 29 → 53) and landing lag. Altogether, these changes hinder its safety and make it more susceptible to punishment. It also covers less distance, hindering its recovery potential.
    • Nerf Mach Tornado's looping hits consist of one hitbox covering Meta Knight instead of 3 hitboxes surrounding him (5u/5u/5u → 6u), significantly decreasing Mach Tornado's range.
    • Change Mach Tornado's visual effects have slightly changed. Its trail is now noticeably thinner.
    • Change Mach Tornado's last hit has increased hitlag (1× → 2×). This makes it safer on shield, but easier to DI.
  • Drill Rush:
    • Buff Drill Rush's hits connect together better, and its last hit has increased knockback (30 (base)/(100/130/200) (scaling) → 40/200), significantly improving its KO potential. Its last hit's rebounding jump is also significantly higher, improving its safety. It also covers more distance.
    • Buff The weakening of SDI makes Drill Rush significantly more difficult to escape from.
    • Change Drill Rush's last hit has increased hitlag (1× → 3×). This makes it safer on shield, but easier to DI.
    • Nerf Drill Rush's final hit has a shorter duration (frames 70-71 (grounded), 70-74 (aerial) → 70 (both) and Meta Knight can only use the rebounding jump that its last hit grants if it makes contact.
  • Shuttle Loop:
    • Buff Due to receiving a hitbox during its second ascent, Shuttle Loop deals more damage (9% (clean)/5% (late) → 15% (grounded)/12% (aerial)).
    • Change Compared to Shuttle Loop's first hit, its second hit has different knockback (90 (base)/80 (grounded scaling)/60 (aerial scaling) → 55/130/118).
    • Nerf Grounded Shuttle Loop no longer grants invincibility on startup.
    • Buff Aerial Shuttle Loop has decreased start-up lag (frame 8 → 7) and travels much more vertical distance.
    • Change Aerial Shuttle Loop's angle has been altered (21° → 80°). This improves its KO potential near the upper blast line, but almost completely removes its edgeguarding potential.
    • Nerf Due to the removal of gliding, aerial Shuttle Loop now renders Meta Knight helpless upon completion, hindering its recovery potential. Due to consisting of two hits instead of one and having high hitlag, it is also easier to DI. Meta Knight can also no longer use it to laglessly land on a platform by using it at the right distance significantly hindering its utility off stage.
    • Buff The changes to hitstun canceling improve Meta Knight's combo potential into aerial Shuttle Loop.
  • Dimensional Cape:
    • Buff Dimensional Cape has increased damage potential (14% → 14%/15%/16%) and knockback (20 (base)/85 (scaling) → 40/98), granting it KO potential. Additionally, it has increased invincibility frames (frames 18-26 → 12-39 (non-attack)/frames 12-28 (attack)), improving its safety, and covers more distance. Lastly, its attacking warp upon reappearing positions Meta Knight at a higher height, and has larger hitboxes below and behind him.
    • Change 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.
    • Bug fix Infinite Dimensional Cape has been removed.
    • Change Dimensional Cape's attack has increased hitlag (1x → 1.4x). This makes it safer on shield, but easier to DI.
  • Galaxia Darkness:
    • Buff Galaxia Darkness no longer attacks Meta Knight's teammates if Team Attack is turned off.
    • Change Galaxia Darkness' visual effects have changed. The interior of Meta Knight's cape now features a celestial pattern.
    • Change Characters trapped by Galaxia Darkness will now react to being trapped by the move, as opposed to remaining static.
      • Bug fix 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.
    • Bug fix The regenerating terrain glitch has been fixed.

Update history[edit]

Meta Knight has been buffed via game updates. In updates 1.0.4 and 1.0.8, his damage outputs, knockback, range and attack speed were all improved. 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, forward smash, and Shieldbreaker Drill, his neutral game was improved and his weakened out of shield options were generally compensated.

While these buffs do not make Meta Knight nearly as potent as he was in Brawl, they are still helpful additions that have, over time, allowed him to recoup some of his initially weakened offensive potential. Furthermore, Meta Knight has achieved notable tournament success thanks to these buffs. However, update 1.1.5 nerfed Meta Knight. Although its decrease of forward aerial's landing lag made it into a new approach option, it altered up aerial's angle and increased its SDI multiplier, both of which make it much harder for up aerial to combo into itself for early vertical KOs 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.

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS 1.0.4

  • Buff Neutral aerial deals more damage: 7% clean/5% late → 10%/7.5%.
  • Nerf 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.
  • Buff Last hit of back aerial has increased knockback scaling: 180 → 212.
  • Buff Up aerial's Y offsets increased: 17/14 → 19/16, giving it more vertical range.
  • Buff 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.
  • Change The sword trails of up aerial and down aerial match the hitboxes better.
  • Buff Dimensional Cape has a more horizontal angle (60° → 53°) and higher knockback growth (105/93 → 107/98), improving its KO potential.

Super Smash Bros. 4 1.0.6

Super Smash Bros. 4 1.0.8

  • Buff 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.
  • Buff Forward tilt's last hit deals 1% more damage: 3% → 4% and its last hit's ending lag decreased: frame 41 → 31.
  • Change Forward tilt's last hit's angle altered: 65° → 361°. This improves its spacing and edge-guarding potential, but removes its set-up potential.
  • Buff 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 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

Super Smash Bros. 4 1.1.0

  • Buff Galaxia's trail has been adjusted to better match its hitbox placements, significantly improving Meta Knight's accuracy.
  • Change Up tilt's first hit's hitbox re-positions onto Meta Knight's body for 1 frame before reverting.

Super Smash Bros. 4 1.1.1

  • Buff Lazy Shuttle Loop's last hit's hitbox size increased: 7u → 7.2u and its last hit's duration increased.

Super Smash Bros. 4 1.1.5

  • Buff Forward aerial has less landing lag: 20 → 16.
  • Change Up aerial damage: 5% → 4%, weakening its knockback even further, but allowing it combo up to higher percents
  • Nerf Up aerial angle altered: 78°/60° → 69°/52°, making it harder to follow-up into itself.
  • Nerf Up aerial SDI multiplier: 1.0x → 1.5x.


For a gallery of Meta Knight's hitboxes, see here.

  Name Damage Description
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 Meta Multithrust from Meta Knightmare Ultra, 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.
2% (last)
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 outward 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.

On-screen appearance[edit]



  • 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
MetaKnightUpTauntSSB4.gif MetaKnightSideTauntSSB4.gif MetaKnightDownTauntSSB4.gif

Idle poses[edit]

  • Quickly and subtly swings Galaxia.
  • Pull his cape in front of himself and then throws it back.
MetaKnightIdlePose3SSB4.jpg MetaKnightIdlePose2SSB4.jpg

Crowd cheer[edit]

English Japanese
Description Me-ta Knight! Me-ta Knight!
Pitch Group chant Group chant

Victory poses[edit]

A rock-based remix of the short recurring theme that debuted in Kirby's Dream Land and plays when Kirby completes a stage or defeats a boss.
  • 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.
MetaKnightPose1WiiU.gif MetaKnightPose2WiiU.gif MetaKnightPose3WiiU.gif

In competitive play[edit]

Official Custom Moveset Project[edit]

Character Custom sets available
MetaKnightHeadSSB4-U.png Meta Knight 1211 1311 2211 2111 2311
1212 1312 1121 1112 3111

Notable players[edit]

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.

Tier placement and history[edit]

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.


Meta Knight
Ntsc 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.
Pal 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 battle airborne.
NES: Kirby's Adventure (05/1993)
SNES: Kirby Super Star (08/1996)
Meta Knight (Alt.)
Ntsc 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.
Pal 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.
NES: Kirby's Adventure (05/1993)
SNES: Kirby Super Star (08/1996)
Galaxia Darkness
Ntsc 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!
Pal 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[edit]

Solo Events[edit]

Co-op Events[edit]

Alternate costumes[edit]

Meta Knight Palette (SSB4).png
MetaKnightHeadSSB4-U.png MetaKnightHeadWhiteSSB4-U.png MetaKnightHeadRedSSB4-U.png MetaKnightHeadGreenSSB4-U.png MetaKnightHeadNavySSB4-U.png MetaKnightHeadPinkSSB4-U.png MetaKnightHeadPurpleSSB4-U.png MetaKnightHeadGreySSB4-U.png



  • 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 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.