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Meta Knight (SSBU)

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

Availability Unlockable
Final Smash Darkness Illusion
MetaKnightHeadSSBU.png
This fighter not only has tons of quick moves, he can perform a midair jump five times! All his special moves have a recovery aspect, so use them at the right time. His Final Smash is Darkness Illusion, which unleashes a fast series of aerial attacks.
Super Smash Blog, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Official Site

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 portrayals from Brawl were repurposed for the English and Japanese versions of Ultimate.

How to unlock

Complete one of the following:

  • Play VS. matches, with Meta Knight being the 38th character to be unlocked.
  • Clear Classic Mode with Link or any character in his unlock tree, being the 4th character unlocked after Simon.
  • Have Meta Knight join the player's party in World of Light.

With the exception of the third method, Meta Knight must then be defeated on Halberd.

Attributes

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 second-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 airspeed, 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 the 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 punishes 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 was infamous for being the best character in Brawl, to the point where he was universally considered as “broken”. Although Smash 4 initially nerfed him drastically, he was greatly buffed in game updates, allowing him to secure a spot as a high tier (16th out of 55 characters). Possibly as a result of this, Meta Knight has received a mix of buffs and nerfs during the transition from Smash 4 to Ultimate , but has been noticeably nerfed again, although less so than in his transition from Brawl to SSB4.

Meta Knight's already strong mobility has been improved further, and his aerials have considerably decreased landing lag, even compared to most other characters' aerials, improving his neutral and combo game. Some of his moves such as his tilts and aerials also have increased range, with his down tilt notably no longer possessing blindspots, and his neutral attack is more effective as a close-range option to rack up damage, due to having faster startup and linking much more reliably. Moreover, the changes to air dodging greatly complement his attributes, offering more opportunities to exploit his strong offstage game, while his recovery remains among the best.

However, the changes to Meta Knight's dash attack, which he relied on in the previous game, have worsened his combo and punish games. Due to the move having higher knockback and ending lag, follow-ups are unreliable beyond low percentages, which consequently hampers Meta Knight's KO ability, as it can no longer be comboed into Shuttle Loop at high percentages. The nerfs to rage exacerbate this: while his endurance is slightly improved, he can no longer abuse the mechanic to secure early vertical KOs due to Shuttle Loop's first hit now having set knockback, and he has a harder time finishing off opponents in general. Like Captain Falcon, his increased traction also hinders his dash grab as an effective approach, punish, and burst option, and removes his forward throw's combo potential. Furthermore, 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 KO moves, and outside of forward smash, his smashes are unsafe.

Overall, Meta Knight's changes have generally toned down his most powerful tools and setups from Smash 4, which has inadvertently resulted in a noticeably higher learning curve in the transition to Ultimate. Furthermore, other characters with similar game plans as Meta Knight (such as Mario and Zero Suit Samus) have benefitted from Ultimate’s mechanics much more than he does, making him fall behind considerably. Due to this, along with the fact that he has failed to attain the same level of success as in SSB4 despite the efforts of Abadango, who now only uses him as a secondary in favor of Palutena and Wario, and the lack of improvements from game updates, Meta Knight is considered to be noticeably worse than his previous incarnation. That said, although the general consensus is that Meta Knight is a lower mid-tier or a low-tier character, he has continued to show respectable amount of success in the tournament scene thanks to the efforts of players, including BONK!, Lickey, Yei, and Slither2Hunter, indicating that Meta Knight might be underrated and has potential. Because of this, Meta Knight's overall viability is currently up for debate.

Aesthetics

  • Change Due to the aesthetic used in Ultimate, Meta Knight's model features a more subdued color scheme. His mask, gauntlets, pauldrons, and sabatons have subtle detailing. His mask in particular is a notably darker gray, and his eyes now have a bright orange glow around them.
  • Change Galaxia's sword trails have reversed colors, using aqua with yellow accents instead of the yellow with turquoise accents from Smash 4.
  • Change His Galacta Knight-inspired alternate costume more closely resembles its inspiration: his mask becomes cross-shaped with red eyes, his spikes and insignia become yellow, and Galaxia turns pink like Galacta Knight's lance. Similarly, Galaxia turns silver with a blue gem when donning the Dark Meta Knight costume, his sabatons turn a darker red as opposed to the inaccurate purple of Smash 4, and his mask gains a scar and has paler eyes, much like his Mirror World doppelgänger.
  • Change Meta Knight now wraps himself in his cape when performing his spot dodge, like his rolling animation.
  • Change Meta Knight's wings now droop or curl up when fast falling.
  • Change Two of Meta Knight's victory animations were altered:
    • Change The one where he warps away now has him perform three sword slashes before warping.
    • Change The one where he flies on-screen from the side now shows him him flying around and dropping to the ground before striking a pose.
  • Bug fix Meta Knight no longer grunts twice during his reeling animation.

Attributes

  • Buff Like all characters, Meta Knight's jumpsquat takes 3 frames to complete (down from 4).
  • Buff Meta Knight walks faster (1.18 → 1.239).
  • Buff Meta Knight runs faster (1.9 → 2.09).
    • Buff His initial dash is much faster (1.7 → 2.211).
  • Buff Meta Knight's air speed is faster (0.99 → 1.04).
  • Buff Meta Knight's traction is much higher (0.055 → 0.097).
  • Nerf Forward roll grants less intangibility (frames 4-15 → 4-14) and has more ending lag (FAF 28 → 29).
  • Nerf Back roll has more ending lag (FAF 28 → 34).
  • Nerf Spot dodge has more startup (frame 2 → 3).
    • Buff However, its total duration remains the same, giving it one frame less ending lag.
  • Buff Air dodge grants more intangibility (frames 2-25 → 2-26).
  • Nerf Air dodge has significantly more ending lag (FAF 31 → 48).
  • Buff The new air dodge mechanics improve Meta Knight's juggling and edge-guarding abilities.

Ground attacks

  • Neutral attack:
    • Buff Neutral attack's infinite has received several changes to allow it to connect better and rack up damage more effectively:
      • Buff It has considerably less startup with a shorter gap between hits (frame 7, 11, 15, 20, 24 → 4, 7, 10, 13, 16), and a lower hitlag multiplier (1× → 0.5×), making it harder to SDI out of.
      • Buff It has a different launch angle to keep grounded opponents closer to Meta Knight (60°/84° → 361°).
      • Buff It has more base knockback (8 → 10) and each hit has gained a hitstun modifier of 2.
      • Buff It has larger hitboxes overall (5.8u/6.8u → 7u/6.5u).
    • Buff The finisher has less ending lag (FAF 35 → 31).
    • Nerf The infinite deals less damage per hit (1.2% → 1%) and no longer deals extra shield damage (1 → 0).
    • Change The infinite has gained a shieldstun multiplier of 4×. This allows it to lock opponents into their shields between each hit, and thus pressure them more effectively, but also allows them to cancel shieldstun and punish Meta Knight more easily if they shield 10 hits or more.
    • Change The finisher consists of three medium-sized hitboxes instead of a single large one (8u → 5u/6u/6u). However, its overall range remains unchanged.
  • Forward tilt:
    • Buff The first two hits have different knockback (8 base/88 scaling → 25/20 (hit 1), 20/20 (hit 2)) and their outermost hitboxes launch opponents closer to Meta Knight (85° → 88° (hit 1), 80° → 85° (hit 2)), allowing them to connect more reliably.
    • Buff The second hit has larger hitboxes (3.5u → 4u/3.6u).
  • Up tilt:
    • Buff Up tilt's sweetspot has more vertical range (Y offset: 23.9u → 25.2u (clean), 7.5u → 9u (late)).
    • Change The sourspot deals more damage during the clean hit (5% → 6%), but less during the late hit (6% → 5%).
  • Down tilt:
    • Buff Down tilt's innermost hitbox is larger (3.2u → 3.5u), while the outermost hitbox stretches farther horizontally (Z offset: 13u → 15u), removing its blindspot next to Meta Knight and increasing its range to the point it properly covers the full tip of the blade.
  • Dash attack:
    • Change Dash attack has an altered animation. Meta Knight now spins on himself before thrusting his foot forward.
    • Buff It deals more damage (6%/5% → 7%/6%).
    • Nerf It has one more frame of ending lag (FAF 32 → 33).
    • Nerf It has slightly less base knockback (70 → 65/65/67), but more knockback scaling (90 → 107). In combination with the previous changes, this removes its combo potential almost entirely past low percents, no longer having KO setups into Shuttle Loop.
      • Buff However, this allows it to KO under 180%, giving it more utility as an emergency KO move.
    • Nerf It has smaller hitboxes (5.5u/5u/4.5u → 5u/4u/3.5u).
  • Forward smash:
    • Change Forward smash has a modified sword trail with spiked edges.
  • Up smash:
    • Buff Up smash deals more damage (3% (hit 1)/2% (hit 2)/4% (hit 3) → 4%/3%/5%; 9% → 12% (total)), with knockback scaling compensated on the last hit (166 → 148).
    • Buff The first and second hits have more set knockback (20/25 → 30), and their outer hitboxes launch opponents at a higher angle (135° → 130°), allowing them to connect more reliably.
  • Down smash:
    • Change Down smash has an altered animation with Meta Knight swinging Galaxia upwards for the first hit.
    • Buff It deals more damage (7% → 10% (hit 1), 10% → 13% (hit 2)) with knockback scaling not fully compensated (93 → 77 (hit 1)/78 (hit 2)), allowing the first hit to KO under 190% from center stage.
    • Buff It no longer starts charging immediately (frame 1 → 2), allowing the player to use the uncharged move without buffering.
    • Buff The second hit has larger hitboxes (4.5u/4u → 4.6u/4.6u).
    • Nerf The first hit has a smaller hitbox (4.5u/4u → 3.8u).
      • Buff However, it has more range due to the hitbox being extended to match the sword instead of not covering it completely.

Aerial attacks

  • Buff All aerials have less landing lag (16 frames → 7 (neutral), 16 → 10 (forward), 18 → 11 (back), 18 → 9 (up), 22 → 9 (down)).
  • Neutral aerial:
    • Buff Neutral aerial's late hit has an additional hitbox that is larger (3.5u → 5u), giving it more range.
  • Forward aerial:
    • Buff All hits have slightly more horizontal range (Z offset: 13u → 13.5u).
    • Buff The first two hits' ground-only hitboxes launch at a higher angle (361° → 60°) and have more base knockback (30 → 60), but less knockback scaling (130 → 100). This allows them to connect more reliably, and in combination with the move's lower landing lag, start combos into other attacks at various percents.
    • Buff The first two hits' aerial-only hitboxes use the autolink angle like in the original version of Smash 4 (85° → 367°), allowing them to once again drag opponents down and set up combos, which is strengthened by the move's lower landing lag.
    • Nerf The first two hits' ground-only hitboxes deal less damage (2.2% → 1.5%).
  • Back aerial:
    • Buff All hits have more horizontal range (Z offset: -12u/-6u → -15u/-9u).
    • Buff The first two hits' ground-only hitboxes launch at a higher angle (361° → 55°) and have more base knockback (40 → 50), but less knockback scaling (130 → 90). Much like forward aerial, this allows them to connect more reliably, and in combination with the move's lower landing lag, start combos into other attacks at various percents.
    • Nerf The first and second hits' ground-only hitboxes deal less damage (2.2% → 1.5%).
    • Nerf The third hit has less knockback scaling (212 → 198), hindering its KO potential.
  • Up aerial:
    • Change Up aerial's angles have been altered (69°/69°/52° → 67°/67°/50°), improving its combo potential into other aerials, but worsening the consistency of up aerial ladder combos.

Throws and other attacks

  • Grabs:
    • Nerf All grabs have increased ending lag (FAF 32 → 37 (standing), 40 → 45 (dash), 38 → 40 (pivot)).
    • Nerf All grabs have less range, especially standing grab (Z2 offset: 10u → 8.5u (standing), 10.8u → 10.1u (dash), -15u → -14.3u (pivot)).
    • Nerf Dash and pivot grabs have increased startup (frame 9 → 11 (dash), 9 → 12 (pivot)).
    • Nerf In a similar vein to Captain Falcon, due to Meta Knight's increased traction, dash grab does not cause him to retain as much horizontal momentum, further decreasing its effective range.
  • Pummel:
    • Buff Pummel deals more hitlag (5 frames → 11), but has less startup (frame 4 → 1) and significantly less ending lag (FAF 24 → 6), greatly shortening its effective duration.
    • Nerf It deals much less damage (3% → 1%).
      • Change Relative to the rest of the cast, Meta Knight's pummel is among the fastest but least damaging, rather than among the slowest but most damaging.
  • Forward throw:
    • Nerf Due to Meta Knight's increased traction no longer allowing him to retain horizontal momentum during throws, forward throw has lost its combo potential entirely past very low percents.
  • Up throw:
    • Nerf Up throw's notoriously powerful collateral hitbox deals less knockback (90 base/160 scaling → 85/150), no longer KOing under 80% from ground level.
  • Edge attack:
    • Buff Edge attack deals more damage (7% → 9%).

Special moves

  • Mach Tornado:
    • Buff Mach Tornado travels faster horizontally, and gives more height via button mashing.
    • Buff It has gained a windbox, allowing it to pull opponents more effectively into the attack.
    • Nerf The duration of the attack can no longer be extended by button mashing, making it worse for covering rolls and getups, or for juggling
    • Change Instead of being a multi-hit attack, it only hits once, possessing a clean hit and late hit.
      • Nerf It deals significantly less total damage (22% → 12% (clean)/8% (late)).
      • Change It launches opponents horizontally (70° → 361°), which allows it to KO horizontally far earlier, working as a potent combo finisher and even an edgeguarding tool[1], but hinders its KO ability near the top blast line.
      • Change The clean hit is stronger than the previous final hit from center stage (55 base/170 scaling → 90/44), but the late hit is weaker (55/170 → 70/60).
      • Change It has more range than the previous multi-hits, but less than the previous final hit (6u/11u → 9u).
      • Change It has a lower hitlag multiplier (2× → 1.2×), although it still has more hitlag due to its higher individual damage and the universal hitlag increase.
    • Change Mach Tornado has updated visual effects: its trails are more opaque and incorporate more white accents than yellow. Its shape is also thinner, better resembling how it looked in Brawl.
  • Drill Rush:
    • Buff Drill Rush has a faster rehit rate (6 → 4), causing it to hit up to twelve times (up from nine), and its looping hits deal more damage (1% → 1.1%), increasing its total output (11% → 15.1%).
    • Buff The looping hits have different angles (0°/30°/361°/366° (clean), 50°/366°/366° (late) → 363°/367°/30°/30°/367°/365°) and knockback (30/30/0/0 set/60/100/70/70 base → 45/30/45/45/0/0 set/50/80/50/80/25/25 base), alongside a lower hitlag multiplier (1× → 0.6×). In combination with their faster rehit rate, this allows them to connect much more effectively and makes them harder to escape.
    • Buff The final hit has gained an additional hitbox that is larger (6u → 8u), increasing its range.
    • Nerf Drill Rush loses a significant amount of momentum if shielded. This hinders its ability to cross-up opponents, making it easier to punish.
    • Change The final hit has less knockback scaling (200 → 185), although it launches at a lower angle to compensate (60° → 40°).
    • Change The final hit has a unique, bright red visual effect if it hits an opponent.
  • Shuttle Loop:
    • Buff Shuttle Loop conserves more vertical momentum after the second hit.
    • Nerf The first hit deals set knockback (grounded: 130/127/98/98 base/10 scaling (early), 90/10 (late) → 125/125/120/120 set/120 scaling (early), 100/120 (mid), 80/100 (late); aerial: 120/70 base/10 scaling → 116/110 set/120 scaling (early), 80/100 (late)) and is weight-independent. While this would make it connect the same way regardless of percent, the set knockback means it no longer scales with percent, removing its ability to potentially hit opponents up to a higher position and lead to earlier KOs with the second hit, hindering the move's KO potential, which is further worsened by rage no longer affecting moves with set knockback.
  • Dimensional Cape:
    • Buff Dimensional Cape deals more damage if done on the ground without moving (15% → 16%).
    • Nerf It deals less damage if done on the ground moving backward (14% → 13%).
    • Nerf Due to the changes to the jostle mechanics, Dimensional Cape can no longer cross-up opponents once Meta Knight reappears.
  • Darkness Illusion:
    • Change Meta Knight has a new Final Smash, Darkness Illusion. It creates a surge of energy around Meta Knight which traps opponents, dragging them into the air, where Meta Knight clones himself to strike repeatedly, before finishing with a slash that sends opponents at a horizontal angle. It bears a resemblance to Upper Calibur, Meta Knight's strongest attack in Kirby: Star Allies, with the cross-lightning being similar to Kirby Super Star Ultra's version of Mach Tornado and Meta Knight's Shuttle Loop when combined with electricity in Kirby Star Allies.
    • Nerf The surge of energy from Darkness Illusion has less range than the cape from Galaxia Darkness. In addition, it has lost the ability to hit others not trapped in the Final Smash, unlike Galaxia Darkness.

Update history

Initially, Meta Knight was marginally changed by game updates. His dash attack's ending lag was slightly increased in update 1.1.0, though he was also among those affected by update 7.0.0's near-universal buff of enlarging shields.

However, in update 8.0.0, Meta Knight has been considerably buffed. His neutral aerial was given better range, his forward aerial has less ending lag, autocancels earlier, and now connects better. His back aerial also connects better, and the clean hit of Mach Tornado lasts longer. And finally, his Shuttle Loop connects better.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate 1.1.0

  • Nerf Dash attack has more ending lag (FAF 32 → 33).

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate 7.0.0

  • Buff Overall shield size has been increased.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate 8.0.0

  • Buff Neutral aerial has larger hitboxes (4u/7u → 4.5u/7.5u (clean), 3.8u/5u → 4u/6u (late)) with altered vertical placements (Y offset: 0u/5.2u/7.2u → 0u/5.2u/5.5u (clean), 0u/4u/7.2u/0u → 0u/5.2u/7.7u/5.5u (late)), increasing its range.
  • Forward aerial:
    • Buff The move has less ending lag (FAF 46 → 40) and autocancels earlier (frame 44 → 39).
    • Buff The first two hits have weight-independent knockback, use set knockback against grounded opponents (60 base/100 scaling → 65 set/100 scaling), and launch at a higher angle with the farthest hitbox (60° → 70°). This allows them to both connect reliably into the third hit and start combos more effectively, now possessing a KO setup into down smash at high percents.
  • Buff Back aerial's first two hits have weight-independent knockback, and use set knockback against grounded opponents (50 base/90 scaling → 55 set/100 scaling). This allows them to both connect reliably into the third hit and start combos more effectively.
  • Buff Mach Tornado's clean hit has a longer duration.
  • Shuttle Loop:
    • Buff The first hit's late hit launches at a slightly lower angle (86° → 84°) with reduced set knockback (80 → 68).
    • Buff The second hit's sword hitbox is much larger (5.5u → 7.7u) and stretches farther vertically (4u—9u → 3.5u—10u), increasing its range and allowing it to connect more reliably from the first hit.

Moveset

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

Note: All numbers are listed as base damage, without the 1v1 multiplier.

  Name Damage Description
Neutral attack Flurry Attack 1% (loop), 2% (final hit) Performs 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. 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.
Forward tilt   2% An inward slash followed by an outward slash, followed by an upward slash. Unlike the majority of tilt attacks (with an exception to the side tilts of Snake, Bayonetta, Piranha Plant, and Hero and the down tilts of the Belmonts), 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.
2%
4%
Up tilt   7% (sweetspot), 6% (clean sourspot), 5% (late sourspot) A spinning, upward thrust. There is a sweetspot located in Galaxia's tip. Has poor horizontal range, causing it to miss unless it's used point-blank to the opponent. It can combo, however.
Down tilt   5% A low sword thrust. May cause tripping and can lock at low percents. Due to its very low all-around lag and knockback, it is a great combo starter.
Dash attack   7% (leg), 6% (foot) A sliding kick. Works as a decent combo starter at low percents.
Forward smash   16% An outwards slash. Due to its hitting on frame 24, it is his slowest standard attack in terms of start-up lag. In addition, its hitbox only lasts for 1 frame. However, it's powerful and has low ending lag and high shield pushback, making it safe on shield if spaced.
Up smash   4% (hit 1), 3% (hit 2), 5% (hit 3) A series of upward fanning slashes. Despite its appearance, it is only able to hit opponents directly touching Galaxia. However, it will hit a target that has a large hurtbox. It's not safe on shield, and its power is poor.
Down smash   10% (front), 13% (back) A spinning, low-angle outward slash on both sides of himself. Both hits are semi-spikes, which makes it useful for warding off pressure, punishing rolls, and launching opponents off-stage. Coming out on frame 4, it is also extremely fast, allowing it to compensate for its weak knockback, especially on the front hit.
Neutral aerial   10% (clean), 7.5% (late) A somersaulting slash with sex kick properties. It may be based on the Knight Spin from Meta Knightmare Ultra. Autocancels in a full hop and is one of the strongest in the game, KOing reliably below 150% and much earlier offstage. It is also safe on shield.
Forward aerial   1.5% (hits 1 and 2), 3% (hit 3) Performs three quick fanning slashes in front of himself. It does not autocancel in a short hop. It also struggles to consistently connect into itself, which results in only the first part of the move hitting opponents much of the time.
Back aerial   1.5% (hits 1 and 2), 4% (hit 3) Performs three spinning outward slashes behind himself. When used during a fast-fall, the first two hits can drag midair opponents towards the ground. It does not autocancel in a short hop.
Up aerial Midair Up Sweep 4% An upward arcing slash above himself, hitbox lasts 1 frame and is the basis for Meta Knight's ladder combos. Based on his jumping attack from Kirby's Adventure.
Down aerial   6% A downward arcing slash below himself. Hitbox lasts 1 frame. Comes out on frame 3 making it among the fastest down aerials in the game.
Grab   Reaches out with his free hand. Very short range.
Pummel   1% Jabs with one of the talons on his cape's wings. Decently fast.
Forward throw 6% (hit), 3% (throw) A bicycle kick. It can no longer combo due to changes to traction.
Back throw 7% (hit), 3% (throw) Teleports behind the opponent and then slashes their back, launching them away.
Up throw 10% (throw), 7% (collateral) Performs the Air Drop from Kirby's Ninja ability. Unlike Kirby's up throw, the impact doesn't have an aesthetic explosion.
Down throw Trample 0.5% (hits 1-9), 1% (hit 10), 2% (throw) Performs the Fury Stomp from Kirby's Suplex ability. It is weaker compared to Kirby's down throw, and the duration is slightly slower. Good for starting combos.
Floor attack (front)   7% Slashes around himself.
Floor attack (back)   7% Slashes around himself.
Floor attack (trip)   5% Slashes around himself.
Edge attack   9% Performs an outward slash while climbing up.
Neutral special Mach Tornado 12% (clean), 8% (late) Spins rapidly and forms a tornado around himself. Button mashing both increases the move's duration and makes Meta Knight ascend slightly; he can also move left and right. Unlike its previous versions, the tornado only consists of one hit. A great edgeguarding tool, one must be careful to avoid bouncing off the underside of the stage, as using this move in midair renders Meta Knight helpless. It is based on the Mach Tornado attack from his boss fight in Kirby Super Star. It is also similar to Kirby's Tornado ability.
Side special Drill Rush 1.1% (hits 1-11), 3% (hit 12) Meta Knight rushes sideways, spinning in the fashion of a drill with Galaxia outstretched. The flight path can be maneuvered up or down, allowing it to function as a recovery option (although it will render him helpless). Meta Knight will also bounce backward or upwards if he lands the last hit on an opponent or onto the terrain. Based off of the attack of the same name from Kirby's Master ability.
Up special Shuttle Loop 9% (ground hit 1, clean), 6% (ground hit 1, late; ground hit 2; aerial hits 1 and 2) Meta Knight jumps high into the air, slashing with Galaxia pointed upwards. He then swoops downward and rises upward in a fast loop, slashing a second time during the ascent. The speed, range, and power of this move, as well as its follow-up potential, makes it one of Meta Knight's best KO moves. However, due to Meta Knight being left helpless, it is highly punishable if whiffed. Based off of the attack of the same name from Kirby's Wing ability, as well as Meta Knight's use of the move in Kirby's Return to Dream Land, Kirby: Planet Robobot, and Kirby Star Allies.
Down special Dimensional Cape 16% (advancing/stationary), 13% (grounded, retreating), 14% (aerial, retreating) Meta Knight wraps himself in his cape and teleports to the direction inputted. He is granted intangibility during the move's execution (frames 12-39). Holding the attack/special button, however, will have him perform a very powerful slash upon reappearing (frame 34), at the expense of more end lag. The damage depends on what direction he teleports. This move can also be used as a recovery option, though it does render Meta Knight helpless.
Final Smash Darkness Illusion 3% (trapping hit), 27.6% (flurry attack), 10% (launch) Meta Knight's cape turns into 2 pairs of wings as he raises Galaxia skyward. A lightning bolt strikes the sword and spreads out in a cross-shaped burst, knocking anybody who touches it up and above the stage. Meta Knight then proceeds to launch a series of rushing slashes from multiple directions, ending with a final slash that knocks the opponent away.


On-screen appearance

Meta Knight's on-screen appearance

Idle poses

  • Adopts a wary, defensive stance. Sometimes resets by swinging Galaxia.
  • Pulls his cape in front of himself and then throws it back.

Taunts

  • 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 SSB64.

Victory poses

  • Left: Performs three slashes with his sword, says "Come back when you can put up a fight," then warps away. ("もっと強くなって来い。", Come at me when you're stronger.). The warp is a reference to his defeat animation from the Kirby Superstar sub-game "Revenge of Meta Knight".
  • Up: Flies into the scene and spreads his cape, saying "You've much yet to learn." ("まだまだだな。", You're not yet ready.).
  • Right: Performs two slashes and twirls his sword, saying "Victory...is my destiny." ("これも宿命だ。", This, too, was destiny.).
Based on the recurring "Kirby Dance" theme that debuted in Kirby's Dream Land and played when Kirby cleared a stage, performed with electric guitars and in quadruple meter.

In competitive play

When Ultimate got released, many players noticed that Meta Knight was then thought to be better. This was seen to his outstanding recovery, great frame data, and great mobility. Due to many smaller characters getting emphasized more, Meta Knight had better matchups against people who struggle against short characters, such as Wii Fit Trainer. Because of this, many players considered Meta Knight as a solid high-tier character, who is not as strong or broken as his Brawl counterpart, but just as, if not better than his Smash 4 counterpart.

Unfortunately, as the meta advanced, players recognized the exploitable weaknesses of Meta Knight: his terrible endurance, watered down punish game, lack of effective finishers outside of forward smash, below-average damage output, poor range compared to other swordfighters like Cloud, and moves unsafe on block. This resulted in him being worse than initially imagined, with many professionals calling him a mid tier or a low tier. Despite this, he has amassed a respectable playerbase and has gathered notable results from players such as Jayy, Abadango, Slither2Hunter, and Yei. Although it is debatable where he truly stands compared to the rest of the cast.

Notable players

Any number following the Smasher name indicates placement on the Fall 2019 PGRU, which recognizes the official top 50 players in the world in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate from July 13th, 2019 to December 15th, 2019.

Active

Inactive

Classic Mode: Two Sides of the Same Coin

Meta Knight's congratulations screen.

Half of Meta Knight's opponents are enlisted as duos (for every even round), while the other half (for every odd round) are free-for-all rounds of characters fighting their dark counterparts.

Round Opponent Stage Music Notes
1 Link (x2) LinkHeadSSBU.pngLinkHeadBlackSSBU.png Bridge of Eldin (Ω form) Hidden Mountain & Forest The second Link is in his black costume, referencing Dark Link.
2 Pit PitHeadSSBU.png and Dark Pit DarkPitHeadSSBU.png Reset Bomb Forest Dark Pit's Theme
3 Captain Falcon (×2) CaptainFalconHeadSSBU.pngCaptainFalconHeadRedSSBU.png Port Town Aero Dive Fire Field The second Captain Falcon is in his red costume, referencing Blood Falcon.
4 Lucas (×2) LucasHeadSSBU.pngLucasHeadOrangeSSBU.png New Pork City Mother 3 Love Theme The second Lucas is in his orange costume, referencing Claus.
5 Samus SamusHeadSSBU.png and Dark Samus DarkSamusHeadSSBU.png Frigate Orpheon Multiplayer - Metroid Prime 2: Echoes
6 Meta Knight (×2) MetaKnightHeadPurpleSSBU.pngMetaKnightHeadGreySSBU.png Fountain of Dreams The World to Win The CPU players use the Galacta Knight and Dark Meta Knight costumes, respectively. If either of them are used by the player, default Meta Knight MetaKnightHeadSSBU.png will take that costume's place.
Bonus Stage
Final Master Hand and Crazy Hand Final Destination Master Hand / Crazy Hand

Credits roll after completing Classic Mode. Completing it as Meta Knight has Meta Knight's Revenge accompany the credits.

Role in World of Light

Finding Meta Knight in World of Light

Meta Knight is absent from the World of Light opening cutscene, though 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. He can be found in the Mysterious Dimension sub-area, making him an obligatory unlock. After saving him, Ike and Greninja, the player can advance toward the boss.

Fighter Battle

No. Image Name Type Power Stage Music
27
Meta Knight SSBU.png
Meta Knight
Attack
Attack
11,800 Halberd (Ω form) Meta Knight's Revenge


Spirit

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

Spirit Battle parameters Inspiration
No. Image Name Series Enemy Fighter(s) Type Power Stage Rules Conditions Music Character
101
DimentioSpirit.png
Dimentio Paper Mario Series Meta Knight MetaKnightHeadPinkSSBU.png
•Giant Luigi LuigiHeadPurpleSSBU.png
Grab
3,800 Paper Mario •Attack Power ↑ •The enemy has increased attack power after a little while
•The enemy deals damage when falling
•The enemy is giant
Battle! - Paper Mario: Color Splash
306
Bandit Spirit.png
Bandit Yoshi Series Meta Knight MetaKnightHeadNavySSBU.png (×3)
Grab
3,300 Yoshi's Island N/A •The enemy favors grabs and throws Obstacle Course - Yoshi's Island
309
Grim Leecher Spirit.png
Grim Leecher Yoshi Series Meta Knight MetaKnightHeadNavySSBU.png
Grab
1,800 Yoshi's Island •Hazard: Left Is Right, Right Is Left •Left and right controls will suddenly reverse Obstacle Course - Yoshi's Island
343
DarkMatterSpirit.png
Dark Matter Kirby Series Meta Knight MetaKnightHeadNavySSBU.png
King Dedede KingDededeHeadGreySSBU.png
Attack
13,500 Halberd (Ω form) •Assist Trophy Enemies (Nightmare) •The enemy's melee weapons have increased power
•The enemy can unleash powerful critical hits at random
Stamina battle
02 Battle
374
Meta Knights Spirit.png
Meta-Knights Kirby Series Meta Knight Team (×4) (MetaKnightHeadNavySSBU.pngx3, MetaKnightHeadRedSSBU.png)
Neutral
8,800 Halberd (Ship deck) N/A Stamina battle
•Reinforcements will appear during the battle
•The enemy starts the battle with a Killing Edge
Meta Knight's Revenge Javelin Knight (red costume); Axe Knight, Mace Knight and Trident Knight (navy costume)
539
Aegislash.png
Aegislash Pokémon Series •Gold Meta Knight MetaKnightHeadWhiteSSBU.png (×2)
Attack
4,000 Kalos Pokémon League (hazards off) N/A •The enemy's melee weapons have increased power
•Timed battle
•Reinforcements will appear after an enemy is KO'd
Battle! (Trainer Battle) - Pokémon X / Pokémon Y
987
Vega.png
Vega Street Fighter Series Meta Knight MetaKnightHeadNavySSBU.png
Attack
9,100 Arena Ferox (Ω form) •Jump Power ↓ Stamina battle
•All fighters have reduced jump power
•The enemy loves to jump
Vega Stage Type A
1,019
Maskedlumen.png
Masked Lumen Bayonetta Series •Giant Meta Knight MetaKnightHeadWhiteSSBU.png
Shield
4,100 Umbra Clock Tower (hazards off) •Item: Timer •The enemy is giant The Legend Of Aesir
1,068
Medusa.png
Medusa Head Castlevania Series Meta Knight MetaKnightHeadNavySSBU.png
•Tiny Mewtwo MewtwoHeadCyanSSBU.png (×5)
Attack
3,600 Dracula's Castle •Move Speed ↓ •You have reduced move speed after a little while
•The enemy falls slowly
•Defeat an army of fighters
Starker / Wicked Child
1,072
Carmilla2.png
Carmilla Castlevania Series •Giant Meta Knight MetaKnightHeadNavySSBU.png
Shield
2,100 Dracula's Castle •Defense ↑
•Invisibility
•The enemy is invisible
•The enemy has increased defense after a little while
•The enemy is giant
Dwelling of Doom
1,332
Dracky Famicom art.png
Dracky Dragon Quest Series Meta Knight (×3) (MetaKnightHeadGreySSBU.pngMetaKnightHeadRedSSBU.pngMetaKnightHeadGreenSSBU.png)
Grab
2,200 Dracula's Castle (hazards off) •Defense ↓ •You have reduced defense
•Timed stamina battle
•The enemy has increased jump power
Unflinchable Courage

As a minion

Spirit Battle parameters Inspiration
No. Image Name Series Enemy Fighter(s) Type Power Stage Rules Conditions Music Character
205
Skullkid.png
Skull Kid The Legend of Zelda Series Mii Brawler MiiBrawlerHeadSSBU.png (Moveset 2123, Skull Kid's Hat, Skull Kid's Outfit)
•Tiny Meta Knight (×2) (MetaKnightHeadNavySSBU.pngMetaKnightHeadPinkSSBU.png)
Grab
4,000 Distant Planet (hazards off) •Assist Trophy Enemies (Skull Kid (Invisibility Effect))
•Hazard: Fog
•Defeat the main fighter to win
•The stage is covered in fog
•Hostile assist trophies will appear
Saria's Song / Middle Boss Battle Tatl (pink costume) and Tael (navy costume)
310
Roger Ghost Spirit.png
Roger the Potted Ghost Yoshi Series •Giant Wii Fit Trainer WiiFitTrainerHeadMaleRedSSBU.png
Meta Knight MetaKnightHeadGreenSSBU.png (×2)
Shield
4,400 Dracula's Castle (Ω form) •Hard to Launch
•Jump Power ↓
•Hazard: High Gravity
•Defeat the main fighter to win
•All fighters have reduced jumping ability
•Timed stamina battle
Yoshi's Island (Brawl) Green Shy Guys
358
Susie Spirit.png
Susie Kirby Series Isabelle IsabelleHeadPinkSSBU.png
•Metal Meta Knight MetaKnightHeadNavySSBU.png
Shield
3,400 Halberd (hazards off) N/A •The enemy is metal Pink Ball Activate! Mecha Knight

Alternate costumes

Meta Knight Palette (SSBU).png
MetaKnightHeadSSBU.png MetaKnightHeadWhiteSSBU.png MetaKnightHeadRedSSBU.png MetaKnightHeadGreenSSBU.png MetaKnightHeadNavySSBU.png MetaKnightHeadPinkSSBU.png MetaKnightHeadPurpleSSBU.png MetaKnightHeadGreySSBU.png

Gallery

Character Showcase Video

Trivia

  • Meta Knight's stock icon is one of four to show the character's eyes, the others being Kirby, R.O.B. and Sonic.
    • This is not counting Captain Falcon and Larry, as the eyes depicted for the former are not his actual eyes, and the latter lacks the irises.
    • Additionally, Meta Knight's stock icon resembles his HUD icon from Return to Dream Land, without the small indented sections of his mask.
  • Meta Knight is the only character whose eyes glow a color other than yellow when using his Final Smash. In his case, they glow red. This may be a reference to the anime Kirby: Right Back at Ya, where his eyes turn red when he is angry. This also makes Meta Knight's 5th and 7th costumes his only costumes in which his eye color does not change.
  • When Meta Knight is poisoned or under the effect of Eiha or Eigaon, his eyes become slightly smaller than usual. This may be depicts he is surprised in a similar vein to Yoshi, Kirby, Daisy, Diddy Kong, Olimar or Pac-Man.
  • Meta Knight is one of four characters who do not use their dashing animation on the World of Light map, the others being Inkling, Hero and Banjo & Kazooie.
  • Meta Knight and Wario are the only playable antagonists that are not fought by their respective main protagonists in Classic Mode. However, both characters are anti-heroes to some degree, as Meta Knight is an ally to Kirby more often than not.
  • When fighting off the fifty puppet fighter army as Master Hand in World of Light, Meta Knight is one of the eight fighters fought there, being affiliated with Dharkon.

References