Robin (ルフレ, Reflet) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate who was confirmed as a playable character on June 12th, 2018. As in the previous game, both male and female versions of Robin are playable, although the male Robin is showcased in promotional material and used as the default palette swap for the character. Robin is classified as fighter #56.
David Vincent and Lauren Landa's portrayals of both male and female Robin from Super Smash Bros. 4 were repurposed for Western editions of Ultimate. Additionally, Yoshimasa Hosoya and Miyuki Sawashiro's portrayals of both male and female Robin from SSB4 were repurposed for the Japanese editions of Ultimate, respectively.
How to unlock
Complete one of the following:
With the exception of the third method, Robin must then be defeated on Castle Siege.
Robin is a tall, middleweight character who has very appalling mobility. Robin’s dashing speed is the second slowest in the game, and their walking speed is very slow. Outside of these attributes, Robin's other traits are typical of a middleweight; their air speed, traction, falling speed, and gravity are all average. However, Robin's air acceleration is above average. As a result of these attributes, Robin has difficulty chasing foes and fleeing from them at the same time, though their oddly decent aerial mobility compensates this to a degree.
Robin's tomes provide a myriad of spacing, pressuring, and additional damaging capabilities. Both the Thunder and Fire tomes can disrupt opponents, rack up damage, and open up windows to chain attacks together. Thunder and the slightly stronger Elthunder peppers at mid-range or shorter, while Arcthunder travels for longer and has trapping capabilities for pressure, combos and set-ups, and Thoron pierces through opponents and deals considerable knockback. Arcfire produces a trapping, multiple hitting pillar of flame that is instrumental for approaching or disrupting approaches, pressuring, and chaining together attacks. In addition to the Fire tome, Robin's neutral attack involves the Wind tome: the former tome generates a singular explosion of fire magic that deals strong diagonal knockback, while the latter tome generates a neutral infinite consisting of wind magic that deals high damage and concludes with a blast of wind magic that deals strong vertical knockback. Elwind provides respectable vertical recovery and its first hit can be used to punish aerial and post-recovery opponents by spiking them at point-blank with the first hit. Lastly, Nosferatu is a self-healing move which heals Robin, especially if cast from behind and while having a higher damage percentage than his opponent, while it also cannot be shielded due to functioning like a grab. However, it is tricky to use, as the opponent must be at almost point-blank range to land it, although Arcthunder's trapping ability can help Robin land it easier.
Aside from using tomes, Robin's Levin Sword is a potent weapon in its own right. It is a powerful, fairly long-ranged, and electrically-charged sword that functions as a terrific offensive tool due to its excellent pressure capabilities, its impressive combo potential and its high KO power. Robin whips this out for their smash and directional aerial attacks when a smash input is inputted. It can be swung eight times before it breaks. Despite being vastly inferior to the Levin Sword in regards to KO potential, the Bronze Sword has combo potential due to its weaker knockback. Their neutral aerial covers both front and back sides successively, which can be useful for spacing in the air. Their down tilt can keep away grounded opponents in front of them.
Once Robin's tomes are depleted and the Levin Sword is broken, they can act as throwable items that deal immense damage, shieldstun and knockback. Properly managing Robin's discarded weapons is crucial for optimal play, as the opportunities they can potentially grant are significant. Outside of his magic and sword attacks, Robin has two useful throws: back throw is a viable KOing option near the edge, while down throw is a reliable combo starter.
However, as previously stated, Robin suffers from numerous weaknesses, such as being the second slowest runner in the game. Furthermore, Robin lacks defensive options and has trouble brushing off opponents, especially those who are directly beneath, making Robin susceptible to rush-downs and juggles. Robin’s tilts generally have short range, making it difficult for Robin to fight at mid-range outside of the use of tomes. Many moves, specifically smash attacks and special attacks, have significant ending lag, which leaves Robin wide open for punishment proceeding their execution. Elwind leaves them vulnerable and interceptable after use, and when not properly managed or kept track of, can run out at critical times. Lastly, Robin's durability mechanic limits offensive options when either the Levin Sword or tomes are exhausted.
Overall, Robin is a tactically-based character with varied spacing, damage-accumulating and KO options that must be used wisely and opportunely. At the same time, the lack of mobile and defensive options leave Robin vulnerable to pressure and combos. With this, Robin players must keep track of their weapons' durability, intelligently respond to their opponents, and take precise offensive action for success in battle.
Changes from Super Smash Bros. 4
Robin has been given a mix of buffs and nerfs from the transition to Ultimate, but has been buffed overall. The universal reduction to landing lag now creates safer landing options (especially with the Levin Sword's high shield stun), and the universal 3-frame jump squat allows Robin to take advantage of extremely powerful aerials.
Several attacks have reduced lag or increased KO power, while most formerly situational attacks are more effective due to altered hitboxes: up tilt now has grounded hitboxes, and up smash has much better horizontal reach above Robin, significantly improving his reliability. Neutral aerial can now use the Levin Sword, giving it much better utility. Robin's neutral attack, a staple in the neutral game, also fares significantly better due to the improvements to neutral attacks, with the first two hits now being capable of locking; the Elwind infinite connects significantly better, and the Arcfire finisher transitions earlier while using half the durability it used to in SSB4.
Robin's special moves have been heavily revamped. With the exception of the uncharged version, all versions of Thunder hit much harder and now function as effective KO moves, especially Thoron; the move can now also be charge-canceled by jumping. Arcfire is much harder to escape from and travels farther, making it even more effective for combo initiating. Elwind can have its trajectory significantly altered and grants more distance, recharges faster, and pushes opponents if the wind blades hit the ground. Finally, Nosferatu has slightly more range, heals and deals damage at a faster rate, and has fewer uses, allowing it to generate a used tome much faster.
However, Robin's nerfs are also notable. Despite being given the same ground movement increases of about 10%, like the rest of the cast, Robin actually becomes slower compared to the rest of the cast; as the 10% increases made faster characters even faster, separating themselves from the slowest characters like Robin. As such, he has not gained anything in terms of dash speed. The biggest change is to the Levin Sword, which Robin no longer starts with at the start of the match, forcing several seconds of downtime before the Levin Sword is usable. Robin's most effective tools have also been nerfed: Arcthunder's significantly lower looping duration now prevents followups unless initiated at a distance, Arcfire is now canceled by any other hitbox, Elwind has fewer uses, and down throw has increased knockback, reducing the percent range in which combos (such as the "Checkmate", a down throw to up aerial) can be performed. Finally, Robin still possesses serious flaws, such as a rather poor grab, problems with escaping pressure due to awkward hitboxes, and mediocre mobility at best (with the second-slowest running speed in the game) despite the buffs received.
Overall, Robin has gained many new KO options, and has gained new benefits that patch up major issues present in SSB4, but at the cost of several previously potent moves being less effective, leading to mixed results. Though Robin’s tournament representation has been low, he has shown signs of success thanks to the efforts of Jul, who placed 17th at Shine 2019, and Deci, who placed 9th at Port Priority 5. As such Mew2King and Jtails both think Robin is underrated and solo viable. As a result, it is unknown how Robin currently fares compared to the rest of the cast.
Throws and other attacks
Robin has received a mix of buffs and nerfs in game updates, but has been buffed overall. The main and only nerfs come from 3.0.0, in which the universal shield changes with projectiles negatively affected Robin's shield damage. Otherwise, his kit was made more effective, and this is mainly seen in 6.0.0: A Bronze Sword smash attack gives a slightly larger charge increase to Levin Sword when using a smash attack, forward tilt was made stronger, neutral aerial was made faster, all of the variations in Thunder charge faster, and Arcfire travels further horizontally and last much longer. Overall, it's unknown on how much the buffs will affect their stance in the metagame, but many unarguably agree that he was made a more effective character.
For a gallery of Robin's hitboxes, see here.
Note: All numbers are listed as base damage, without the 1v1 multiplier.
Robin has a unique fighter ability: true to the Fire Emblem series, where items break after being used too many times, Robin's tomes and Levin Sword do the same if they are used too often. If Robin attempts to use an attack that uses durability-affected weaponry and is interrupted by an attack while attempting to use it, then that will count as one use of the weapon, even if no damaging hitbox is produced. Robin always carries the last tome and sword that was used in each hand, provided their durability has not depleted. The amount of remaining durability is displayed in the form of a bar that appears above his icon on the HUD. Once a depleted weapon is restored, a unique animation of the weapon appearing in one hand with a flash of light will start, provided that Robin is standing completely still; tomes appear in the left hand while holding it up in the air, while the Levin Sword reappears in the right hand while flicking it in a manner similar to one of Robin’s idle poses. These poses can be canceled, similarly to taunts.
If Robin fully depletes a weapon, it will be tossed backward, hitting any opponents before it disappears. In the case where Robin is sent flying by knockback immediately after depleting a weapon, the used weapon will be dropped on the ground before Robin is knocked back. They disappear almost immediately after hitting the ground once, but they can also be picked up and thrown. The Levin Sword deals 15% when smash thrown, while the tomes deal 12.3% when smash thrown, making both attacks decent surprise KOing options due to their high base knockback. The discarded weapons can also lock if Z-dropped on an opponent.
If Robin does not have the proper tome for a given special move and tries to perform it, Robin will perform the animation but will not produce any hitboxes. For the Levin Sword, all such attacks will instead use the Bronze Sword, which cannot break, but has a shorter range, deals considerably less damage and knockback, and also lacks the Levin Sword's lingering electrical hitboxes.
Weapons restore gradually after they have been depleted, which is displayed as the meter refilling its units. When Robin scores a KO, it reduces the respawn timer for all currently-regenerating weapons by a small amount. Alternatively, aerials and smash attacks will hasten the respawn time for the Levin Sword.
Durability points for weapons do not replenish while Robin is using a tome, and the only way to replenish a weapon is to get a new copy of it. Respawning after being KO'd also has all of the weapons replenished, as does Pair Up, though only if it is used successfully.
Note: All weapons' durability meters are composed of 20 "units". However, different weapons can only be used so many times.
In competitive play
Compared to other characters' transitions from Smash 4, which saw them receive considerable buffs and drew the attention of competitive players, Robin did not receive nearly as much attention. While some of Robin's moves were buffed, some of their reliable moves from Smash 4 were toned back, with their neutral at the start of a match taking a temporary yet significant hit by not allowing them immediate access to the Levin Sword. Additionally, despite Robin's average air speed and above average air acceleration being nearly akin to Marth, their lackluster ground mobility presents liabilities, as the speed increases Robin received were too given to much faster characters in the transition. While Robin certainly does possess potent and powerful tools in the right hands, most professionals did not deem them very notable on early tier lists. Arcfire's newfound utility in place of their "checkmate" confirm left ambiguity in functionality where initial attention was passed over in favor of already perceivably stronger characters to which he shares attributes of resource reliant zoning (Olimar), trapping (Pac-Man), and sword spacing (Ike), rendering Robin in comparatively low positions.
Perceptions of Robin have increased somewhat since then, as Robin players have achieved some success with the character. Players such as Mew2King and Jtails go as far as to see Robin as underrated in the current metagame. All the while, Robin's viability past mid tier is still up for debate, due to sparse activity and low travel among the best of their playerbase, on top of low visibility in particular regions.
Classic Mode: Thunder and Flames
Note: Every round except the bonus stage and boss plays a track from Fire Emblem.
Credits roll after completing Classic Mode. Completing it as Robin has Id (Purpose) (Remix) accompany the credits.
Role in World of Light
Although neither gender of Robin appears in the World of Light opening cutscene, they were vaporized and later imprisoned alongside the rest of the fighters (except Kirby) when Galeem unleashed his beams of light.
Male Robin was one of the many fighters that fell under Dharkon's control upon Galeem's first defeat. He can be found in the Dracula's Castle sub-area as the last fighter to be awakened aside from Richter before confronting Dracula; a ghost blocks Robin on the ladder below, and if Wario had been previously awakened by rotating the lever blocking him, said lever must be switched back to its original orientation for the cannon to ricochet off and destroy the ghost.
Male Robin's Fighter Spirit can be obtained by completing Classic Mode. It is also available periodically for purchase in the shop for 500 coins. Unlocking Robin in World of Light allows the player to preview the first spirit below in the Spirit List under the name "???". As a Fighter Spirit, it cannot be used in Spirit Battles and is purely aesthetic. Female Robin also has a Fighter Spirit of her own, available through the shop. Unlike most fighters, the Spirits for Robin only use their artwork from Ultimate, rather than also having alternative artwork from a previous appearance.
In Spirit battles
As the main opponent
As a minion
Character Showcase Video