Meta Knight (SSBU)
Meta Knight (メタナイト, Meta Knight) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. He was officially confirmed on June 12th, 2018 alongside Mewtwo and the rest of the returning roster. Meta Knight is classified as fighter #27.
As in SSB4, Eric Newsome and Atsushi Kisa'ichi's performances from Brawl were repurposed for the English and Japanese versions of Ultimate, respectively.
How to unlock
Complete one of the following:
With the exception of the third method, Meta Knight must then be defeated on Halberd.
Meta Knight combines several unusual traits. He has multiple jumps, but unlike other characters who share this ability, he has strong mobility, comprising fast dashing and walking speeds, high falling speed and gravity, and average air speed. He is also the only small character to use a sword, which gives his attacks a bit more range relative to his stature. Overall, unlike other characters with multiple jumps, Meta Knight is neither wanting for speed nor range.
As expected, Meta Knight's playstyle relies heavily on his speed, both in terms of mobility and frame data. His low, quick short hop and fast, low lag aerials allow him to continuously apply pressure to opponents at close range. He is not lacking in grounded pressure either, having a fast down-tilt that can trip, and a dash attack that can cross-up shields, and both of these moves are capable of setting up combos. If Meta Knight finds himself on the defensive, he has several options to relieve pressure, such as a fast, decently long-ranged forward-tilt for countering aerial approaches, a fast, long-lasting, and strong neutral aerial, and the fastest down aerial in the game. For attacks that are poorly spaced, he can opt for a grab, from which he has a down and forward throw that can both start combos until mid-percents, a back throw to set up edge-guards, and an up throw that can kill at very high percentages.
While his damage output per hit is not impressive, Meta Knight's speed and jumps allow him to rack up damage through combos at lower percents and chase opponents through the air through to higher damages, punishing their escape options. His dash attack and down throw can combo into an up smash or aerials at lower damages, while his up aerial can link into other aerials or his up special. Even after his opponents are launched too far for a true combo, he can continue pressuring them by punishing their air dodges and landing options through effective use of his aerials, dash attack, and up tilt. Thanks to his flexible aerial mobility, he has little trouble chasing opponents offstage, and his aerials are well-suited to edge-guarding. Neutral aerial has a lingering hitbox and strong knockback, back aerial is fast with high power, and down aerial is a safe semi-spike than can gimp unusually early.
Meta Knight's edge-guarding prowess is mainly courtesy of his recovery, which is arguably the best in the game. In addition to having five jumps and passable air speed, his special moveset is full of recovery options. Shuttle Loop, his up special and main recovery method, is fast, offers high vertical recovery, and has a large hitbox. Mach Tornado and Drill Rush travel far horizontally and with long-lasting active hitboxes, and the latter can be angled. Dimensional Cape allows Meta Knight to cover distance in any direction while invisible, and offers the option to attack upon reappearing. Such options grant him the ability to vary his recovery to make it incredibly difficult to punish him offstage, let alone gimp him.
Meta Knight does have several weaknesses. His attacks generally have very few active frames, forcing him to be extremely precise with his moves lest his opponent punish him. Despite being a lightweight, Meta Knight's falling speed, gravity and unusually round hurtbox make him highly vulnerable to combos, which combined with his low weight grants him poor overall endurance. Though he has a strong, safe-finisher in his forward smash, a fast, powerful back aerial and up smash, he has difficulty landing these moves. Forward smash has high-startup, making it easy to avoid, up smash is risky due to its ending lag, and back aerial has trouble connecting on grounded opponents. Furthermore, his up and back throws require rage and favorable positioning to kill at reasonable percentages. While Meta Knight's neutral game is fairly good, his lack of a projectile can be a thorn in his side, especially against zoning characters, such as Mega Man.
Overall, Meta Knight is at his best so long as he has his opponent in a disadvantaged state, being able to rack up damage well at lower percentages, before keeping the pressure on them through juggles and edge-guards. A player must be patient in finding an opening, as he cannot sustain much damage himself, and such patience is especially needed when his foe is at high percentages where Meta Knight may find difficulty in landing his finishers.
Changes from Super Smash Bros. 4
Meta Knight has received a mix of buffs and nerfs in the transition to Ultimate, but was nerfed overall. His already strong mobility has been improved further, and the reduced lag on his aerial attacks improve his landing and combo game. The changes to air dodging and the general nerfs to recoveries across the cast greatly complement his attributes, offering more opportunities to exploit his offstage game, while his recovery and landing options remain among the best.
However, the changes to Meta Knight's dash attack, which he relied on in the previous game, have nerfed his combo and punish games. With the move having higher knockback, follow-ups are unreliable beyond lower percentages. The change also harms his KO'ing potential, making it harder to combo the move into Shuttle Loop at kill percentages. The nerfs to rage exacerbate this: while his endurance is slightly improved, he can no longer abuse the mechanic to secure early vertical KO's due to Shuttle Loop's first hit now having fixed knockback, and he has a harder time securing kills off of his throws. Like Captain Falcon, his increased traction also hinders his dash grab as an effective approach, punish and/or burst option, and removes his forward throw's combo potential. The changes to shield mechanics and introduction of parrying are another hindrance due to his reliance on multi-hit moves. Meta Knight does not benefit from the increased options out of a dash as much as other characters, since none of his tilts are reliable combo or kill moves, and outside of forward smash, his smashes are unsafe.
Despite being nerfed, it is currently unknown how the changes will affect Meta Knight, as he has had very little tournament representation in the early Super Smash Bros. Ultimate meta, due to his high learning-curve and weaknesses.
Note: All numbers are listed as base damage, without the 1v1 multiplier.
In competitive play
Classic Mode: Two Sides of the Same Coin
Meta Knight's opponents are fighters in a free-for-all against their dark counterparts.
Credits roll after completing Classic Mode. Completing it as Meta Knight has Meta Knight's Revenge accompany the credits.
Role in World of Light
Although Meta Knight does not appear in the World of Light opening cutscene, he was vaporized and later imprisoned alongside the rest of the fighters (except Kirby) when Galeem unleashed his beams of light.
Meta Knight was one of the many fighters that fell under Dharkon's control upon Galeem's first defeat. To find him, the player must traverse throughout the Mysterious Dimension sub-area and is necessary to defeat to advance on toward the boss.
Meta Knight's Fighter Spirit can be obtained by completing Classic Mode. It is also available periodically for purchase in the shop for 500 coins. Unlocking Meta Knight in World of Light allows the player to preview the spirit below in the Spirit List under the name "???". As a Fighter Spirit, it cannot be used in Spirit Battles and is purely aesthetic. Each Fighter Spirit has an alternate version that replaces them with their artwork in Ultimate.
In Spirit battles
As the main opponent
As a minion
Character Showcase Video
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