Pikachu (ピカチュウ, Pikachu) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. It was confirmed on June 12th, 2018. Pikachu is classified as fighter #08.
As in SSB4, Ikue Ōtani's portrayals of Pikachu from Melee and Brawl were repurposed for Ultimate.
Changes from Super Smash Bros. 4
Despite being a high tier character in Super Smash Bros. 4 (ranked 15th out of 55 characters), Pikachu has been noticeably buffed during the transition to Ultimate. Its overall speed has been increased and most of its moves have much less ending and landing lag, increasing Pikachu's combo potency. Its most significant buff is its altered neutral air and down air, the former now acting like Mewtwo's neutral air and having combo potential, and the latter obtaining the ability to meteor smash which gives it two different attacks that have better hitboxes and better kill power which were some of its biggest weaknesses in Smash 4. Back air auto-canceling in a short hop and sending in a consistent direction make it possible to combo the attack into itself at low percents and send people off stage in one interaction, which can immediately cause a KO against characters with bad recoveries. Its kill power was also improved due to many moves dealing more knockback, like dash attack, forward air, up air, down smash and Thunder. Pikachu also greatly benefits from Ultimate's mechanics as it makes its already incredible and oppressive edgeguarding even more terrifying as it is no longer possible to airdodge through Thunder.
However, Pikachu is not without its nerfs, the most significant being the increased startup and ending lag on its grabs and the altered knockback of up throw, which worsens its combo potential with Thunder. The removal of Quick Attack cancelling also reduces its mobility. Pikachu also still suffers from its weaknesses: lack of range, no setups for its KO moves, bad general endurance due to being one of the 10 lightest characters and having above average gravity and falling speed and inconsistent KO ability due to possessing sourspots on its smash attacks or attacks with below average power. It also is hindered by the buffs to swordfighters and the additional fighters with disjointed range, giving it new tough matchups. Despite that, Pikachu's buffs have made it even more of a potent fighter than in Smash 4, which has led to many professionals such as Samsora and ESAM putting it as a top tier character. In fact, Mew2King and ZeRo went as far as to put Pikachu as the single best character in the game. However, it's debatable if it deserves the top tier status.
Throws and other attacks
Even though Pikachu is widely considered a top tier, it has been further buffed by game updates. However, these buffs are very minor, only increasing its grab range slightly and speeding up its pummel.
Note: All numbers are listed as base damage, without the 1v1 multiplier.
Emerges from a Poké Ball, then briefly discharges electricity around itself.
In competitive play
Any number following the Smasher name indicates placement on the Spring 2019 PGRU, which recognizes the official top 50 players in the world in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate from February 1st, 2019 to July 7th, 2019.
Classic Mode: I Choose You!
Pikachu fights against other Pokémon on various Pokémon stages. The title is a reference to Ash Ketchum's signature catchphrase in the Pokémon anime, which doubles as the title of the first episode and the 20th movie.
Credits roll after completing Classic Mode. Completing it as Pikachu has Road to Viridian City - Pokémon Red / Pokémon Blue accompany the credits.
Character unlock tree
Pikachu's Classic Mode character unlock tree includes the following characters in order:
Each character can be unlocked by clearing Pikachu's Classic Mode, or the Classic Mode of any preceding character, if all preceding characters have been unlocked. Once all the above characters are unlocked, clearing Classic Mode with any of them will default to Mario's character unlock tree, starting with Sonic.
Role in World of Light
Pikachu was among the fighters summoned to the cliffside to fight an army of Master Hands.
During the opening cutscene, Pikachu was present when Galeem unleashed his beams of light. While attempting to run away, Pikachu was noticed by Sonic, who slowed down for Pikachu in an attempt to save it. However, both of them were vaporized and placed under Galeem's imprisonment along with the rest of the fighters, except for Kirby.
Pikachu can later be found stuck on an island that can only be accessed by falling into the current of a waterfall, then the player must confront the spirit of Esna before they can battle to awake it.
Pikachu's Fighter Spirits can be obtained by completing Classic Mode. They are also available periodically for purchase in the shop for 500 coins. Unlocking Pikachu in World of Light allows the player to preview the first spirit below in the Spirit List under the name "???". As Fighter Spirits, they cannot be used in Spirit Battles and are purely aesthetic. Each Fighter Spirit has an alternate version that replaces them with their artwork in Ultimate.
Additionally, Pikachu makes an appearance in a few Support Spirits.
In Spirit battles
As the main opponent
As a minion
Character Showcase Video