Roy (SSB4)

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This article is about Roy's appearance in Super Smash Bros. 4. For the character in other contexts, see Roy.
For information on the playable Koopaling, see Bowser Jr. (SSB4).
Roy
in Super Smash Bros. 4
Roy SSB4.png
FireEmblemSymbol.svg
Universe Fire Emblem
Other Smash Bros. appearance in Melee

Availability Downloadable
Final Smash Critical Hit
Tier E (44)
RoyHeadSSB4-U.png
Roy Seals the Deal!
—Introduction tagline

Roy (ロイ, Roy) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. 4. Initially leaked via data mining of update 1.0.6,[1] Roy was formally revealed after Lucas and released alongside him and Ryu on June 14th, 2015,[2] making him the third downloadable character released and the final downloadable veteran. Jun Fukuyama reprises his role as Roy's voice actor, and provides new voice clips that mimic the ones he recorded in Super Smash Bros. Melee.

Roy is currently ranked 44th out of 58 on the tier list, placing him in the E tier and making him the lowest ranking DLC character. Roy boasts good overall mobility and attack speed, owing to high dashing and air speeds, alongside fast-starting attacks that allow him to quickly react to openings. These traits, in particular, combine with the Sword of Seals' highly damaging sweetspots, which are close to its hilt, and thus grant him a number of highly potent KOing options. Roy also benefits from gameplay changes brought about by SSB4: the rage mechanic supplements his strong sweetspotted attacks, while the updated edge mechanics improve his recovery. Roy also has a varied combo game that is difficult to predict and grants him above average damage racking potential, with reliable combo starters from low to medium percents including down throw, neutral attack, neutral aerial, and Double-Edge Dance.

Roy, however, is strongly held back by a poor approach, due to his slow air acceleration alongside unsafe, endlag-heavy aerials that cannot autocancel in a short hop. Furthermore, despite having access to a disjointed hitbox, Roy is ineffective at spacing due the Sword of Seals having poorly effective sourspots, forcing him to space his sweetspotted attacks dangerously close to opponents and negating the benefits of his disjoint. Roy's combo game is also flawed, due to his throws focusing on tech-chase combos, while his KO potential also becomes inconsistent at medium percents, as the knockback of his sweetspotted moves prevent him from following-up, making him heavily reliant on reads for KOs. Finally, Roy also suffers from a very poor recovery; Blazer is predictable and grants low distance, and his high falling speed not only harms his recovery, but also makes him susceptible to combos.

Due to the above factors, Roy has had below-average tournament representation, although he has achieved some degree of competitive success, owing to the efforts of players like Hyper Kirby and Captain Levi.

Attributes[edit]

Roy and Marth performing their forward smash attacks. Note that the sweetspot is highlighted by the trail left by their swords: Roy's Sword of Seals is strongest near its hilt, whereas Marth's Falchion is strongest at its blade's tip.

Unlike in Melee, Roy is a semi-clone of Marth, with remarkably different attributes to further separate the two in Smash 4. Compared to Marth, Roy sports the eleventh fastest dashing speed, the fourth fastest air speed, and the fifth fastest falling speed (7, 23, and 30 spots higher, respectively), alongside being 5 units heavier than Marth. Conversely, Roy walks significantly slower, being only above-average compared to Marth (who sports the fastest walk), while his air acceleration is among the game's bottom five (compared to Marth, who holds the 17th spot). Finally, Roy's long extended dash-dance allows him to read and punish opponents accordingly; however, his laggy initial dash (17 frames) and turnaround animations give him a poor shield buffer out of his dash and turn. Overall, this places Roy's archetype as a speedy fast-faller with polarized, linear movement: Roy's mobility is considerably faster than Marth's in regard to movement speed and air-to-ground transitioning, but his aerial fluidity is significantly limited, preventing him from easily using retreating aerials like Marth, and makes his aerial approaches committal.

Apart from differences in attributes, many of Roy's attacks differ from Marth's by having separate animations, which in turn give his attacks completely altered hitbox sizes, frame values and mechanical differences. This grants him a individualized playstyle compared to Marth, made most notable by his inverse tipper: the Sword of Seals deals more damage and knockback near its hilt, and much less at its blade's tip, which has very little KO potential compared to Marth's untippered Falchion. However, its inverse tipper is much larger than Falchion's tipper, and most of its attacks are less polarizing due to their possession of a "mediumspot" that is between both its sweetspot and sourspot. Roy's sword, along with his attributes, encourage a highly rewarding close-and-personal game with heavy emphasis on landing hits with his sword's larger sweetspot, and has little focus on distant spacing due to its ineffective sourspots.

Much like his overall mobility, almost all of Roy's attacks have quick start-up, and his aforementioned speed allows him to easily close the gap between himself and his opponent to make effective use of his inverse tipper. Coupled with his sweetspot's high damage, Roy has an above-average damage racking game once he finds an opening. His most versatile combo initiators are his neutral aerial (which has quick start-up, low landing lag, and a long-lasting hitbox) and his neutral attack (which starts at frame 5 and launches at a favorable angle), both of which can start combos into his throws and tilts. His up aerial starts on frame 5 and has a deceptively long-lasting hitbox that lasts until the sword trail ends, allowing a reverse sweetspotted up aerial to start medium percent combos into neutral aerial, back aerial, or Blazer, or a sourspot into Double-Edge Dance depending on the enemy's reaction. Finally, forward aerial has very early interruptibility, allowing it to be used as a retreating aerial while jumping backwards, can chain into itself up to two times if Roy moves at full speed and uses his second jump, and can be used for frame-trapping against air dodges if followed up with an up aerial. His down tilt is also a good spacing option, and is useful for shield stabbing and edgeguarding due to its semi-spike trajectory.

Tying in with his damage racking game are his throws, which launch at favorable angles for low-percent combos. Down and forward throws can chain into his neutral attack, dash attack, forward tilt, neutral aerial, Blazer and Double-Edge Dance. As Roy's combo-initiating moves can often lead straight into a grab, it is common for Roy to deal high amounts of damage through precise reads at low percents, either from an attack into a grab, or through chaining a throw into an attack, then re-grabbing. While the low hitstun of his throws prevent true follow-ups at higher percents, they also force opponents into tech-chase and air dodge scenarios, allowing Roy to condition opponents into reacting. Up throw is also able to KO outright at very high percents.

The power of Roy's sweetspotted moves also grant him an array of KOing options capable of taking a stock below 130%. While on-stage, his best KOing options are his forward and up tilts, forward and up smashes, and Blazer, due to their quick start-up and high power. His smash attacks, in particular, are immensely powerful; forward smash is one of the strongest of its kind and can be used for hard punishes at as low as 40%, up smash is capable of KOing as low as 100%, and the sweetspotted first hit of down smash can KO at around 120%. Although Roy's offense thrives while he is on-stage, his fast air speed and disjointed range grant him an effective off-stage presence. His forward, back and down aerials each have distinct perks apart from their power: the former two are quick and have wide arcs, while the latter is a powerful meteor smash when sweetspotted. Although he is a middleweight, Roy is also one of the better users of rage, as his very quick falling speed grants him impressive on-stage endurance and allows him to further enhance the knockback of his already powerful moves.

Finally, each of Roy's special moves possess respectable utility. Flare Blade is a deadly edgeguarding option, especially while on-stage, thanks to its fearsome power even when uncharged, large hitbox, and deceptively low ending lag. Its speed also allows Roy to amplify his sub-par aerial mobility by granting him an aerial B-reverse. Double-Edge Dance is effective for damage racking, catching dodges, and pressuring shields; its final upward and forward hits can also KO outright. Blazer is an excellent out of shield option that grants super armor on start-up, has high power when grounded, can stage spike careless opponents who attempt to edgeguard Roy, and can be a true combo from his down throw at 0% or neutral attack at specific percents. Lastly, his Counter is one of the strongest counterattacks in the game, as its 1.35x damage multiplier makes it devastating when used against a powerful attack.

However, Roy is hindered by a slew of flaws. Although he is granted a powerful offense, making use of it is difficult in the first place despite his remarkable mobility, mainly due to several reasons. His very fast air speed is offset by his very slow air acceleration, making his aerial approach highly committal in general, much like Ryu's. In addition, while his inverse tipper is one of his greatest strengths, it also forces him to fight at close range to be utilized at its fullest: only his sweetspots cause enough shield stun to prevent punishment, and when coupled with his attacks having overall high ending lag (or in the case of his aerials, the inability to autocancel from a short hop), this results in him having to space attacks dangerously close against shields and negating the benefits of his disjointed sword. Finally, his range is below average for a swordsman, and when coupled with the Sword of Seal's low-utility sourspots, Roy's approach and spacing game is poor despite his good mobility, since his neutral aerial is his only quick, low-risk option to use in order close in and pressure the opponent.

Roy's combo game, while powerful at low percents, become inconsistent from medium percents and onward. Although possible, Roy's sourspots are very unreliable for creating combos unlike Marth's, as they require extreme precision and only work at specific percents. His sweetspots are similar, due to them sending opponents too far for actual combos and only being effective for outright KOing at high percents. His throws also lack any true followups due to their very low hitstun: his forward throw can be easily teched, while his down throw can be air dodged out of. Overall, this makes Roy potent at damage racking, but his lack of KO setups puts him at a significant disadvantage when trying to end stocks, as it leaves him only with hard punishes.

Lastly, Roy's offstage endurance is notoriously poor. His very quick falling speed makes him extremely susceptible to combos, and as none of his moves are generally reliable enough to consistently break combos, many characters with reliable combo moves can rack up large amounts of damage and easily force him off-stage. To add to this issue, Roy's only recovery move, Blazer, is notoriously ineffective despite his impressive mobility: although it offers excellent protection, can be angled, and covers a decent amount of horizontal distance, it covers little vertical distance and is predictable. When coupled by his very quick falling speed, he is highly susceptible to meteor smashes, and even a sufficiently strong semi-spike can launch him too far away to recover. Additionally, players unaccustomed to his falling speed will quickly find that any misused aerial off-stage will send him too far to recover.

Although tournaments do not currently allow custom moves, it should be noted that Roy does not have any due to being a DLC character. As such, he must not only utilize his own special moves properly, but also adapt as best as possible against characters that possess their own custom moves.

Overall, Roy's strengths are on par with his weaknesses. While his character archetype is commonly viewed as being in the rushdown and/or glass cannon categories, he cannot effectively function in either role due to his poor recovery, unimpressive range for a swordsman, and vulnerability to combos. Instead, his optimal playstyle consists of limited aggression: capitalizing on enemy openings with his excellent mobility and pressuring them with the danger of his powerful sweetspots and effective combo game, but approaching cautiously and spacing his sweetspots safely enough to prevent his flaws from being used against him. As a result of these traits, Roy has sparse tournament representation and results at high-level play, although he has nevertheless achieved some competitive success, thanks to players such as Hyper Kirby and Captain Levi.

Changes from Melee[edit]

Roy is frequently placed within a group of characters (Bowser, Dr. Mario, Charizard, King Dedede and Pit) that are the most noticeably reworked veterans in SSB4. In Roy's case, several of his moves were de-cloned from Marth, to the point that he is now a semi-clone. Although Roy received a mix of buffs and nerfs in the transition from Melee to SSB4, he has overall been buffed.

Among Roy's buffs are his greatly improved mobility, now having a faster dashing speed and one of the fastest air speeds in the game, as well as his moveset being notably more rewarding than in Melee: most of his moves are different from Marth, such as his new neutral attack, forward and up tilts, dash attack and down aerial, all of which improve his close-ranged offense and combo game, and many of which are more reliable KO moves. His damage output is higher, and his sweetspotted attacks are considerably more powerful, giving him a bevy of new KOing options, which generally alleviates his main weakness from Melee. His attack speed is faster overall, with his aerials in particular having significantly reduced ending and landing lag, L-canceling notwithstanding. The addition of rage boosts his KO power even further, while his heavier weight allows him to use it quite effectively. Lastly, Roy's recovery is generally better, thanks to Blazer's improved horizontal distance, his faster air speed, and the introduction of edge trumping.

However, Roy has also received several nerfs. Roy now stands at Marth's height, which enlarges his hurtbox, though his attacks have much shorter ranges and hitbox durations in spite of this, forcing him to fight at a much closer range, exacerbating one of his key weaknesses in Melee. For the most part, Roy is also harmed by the post-Melee gameplay changes: the loss of wavedashing and L-canceling, as well as the weakening of dash-dancing, noticeably worsen his approach. The general increase in range for other characters since Melee, such as with Donkey Kong and Bowser, also indirectly hurts him. Double-Edge Dance's first hit has almost completely lost its ability to stall his descent due to his faster falling speed, which hurts his recovery despite its improvements. Lastly, Roy's heavier weight makes him easy to combo despite falling speeds being slower in SSB4 than they were in Melee.

Overall, Roy's strengths are much more pronounced than in Melee, though he retains most of the same weaknesses as well. While his sweetspotted attacks are considerably more rewarding, he still has to fight up close in order to rack up damage, while his sub-par endurance makes his playstyle risky. Despite Roy having been overall buffed, other veterans were also buffed to varying degrees, which downplays his strengths in SSB4's metagame.

Aesthetics[edit]

  • Change Roy's design is now a combination of his appearances in Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade and Fire Emblem Awakening. His taller height, more muscular physique, slightly smaller eyes, and Turkey red hair are from Awakening, whereas his facial structure and hairstyle are from The Binding Blade. Roy's cuirass, pauldrons, and boots are also from his attire as a Great Lord in The Binding Blade, whereas his vambraces, poleyns, and gloves are from his attire as an Einherjar in Awakening.
  • Change Roy's shirt, pants, headband, and cape are now amalgamations of his respective articles of clothing in The Binding Blade and Awakening, whereas his poleyns are amalgamated with the design of his pauldrons. Additionally, Roy's boots are now coyote brown with gray toe boxes, carnelian bootstraps, and metallic gold soles. Lastly, his gloves are now carnelian, instead of blue. These changes are original to SSB4.
  • Change Roy is more expressive. He smiles during his fist pumping idle pose, and either scowls or sternly clenches his teeth during some attacks.
  • Change The Sword of Seals' trail now clearly indicates its sweetspot's location, similarly to Falchion.
  • Change Aside from his attack animations retained from Marth, Roy now swings the Sword of Seals in a reverse grip or with both hands. As a result, the Sword of Seals now aesthetically functions like a heavier sword compared to Falchion and the Parallel Falchion.
  • Change Roy now has an on-screen appearance, an up taunt, and a down taunt. His up taunt is based on the cutscene from The Binding Blade where he draws the Sword of Seals for the first time. Roy's taunt from Melee is now his down taunt, whereas his side taunt is entirely new.
  • Change Roy now has unique idle poses, instead of variations of Marth's. However, his stance while holding a light item is identical to Marth's.
  • Change Jump, sidestep, and shield break's animations have changed.

Attributes[edit]

  • Nerf Roy is taller. This makes his hurtbox larger. While this would also improve his overall range, this is largely mitigated by the aforementioned alterations to his sword swings making many of his attacks have smaller hitboxes and altered hitbox placements.
  • Change Roy is heavier (85 → 95). This improves his endurance, but makes him more susceptible to combos.
  • Nerf Roy walks slower (1.2 → 1.15).
  • Buff Roy dashes faster (1.61 → 1.95).
  • Buff Roy's air speed is faster (0.9 → 1.24).
  • Change Roy falls slower (2.4 → 1.8).
  • Change The removal of chain grabbing both helps and hinders Roy. It results in him no longer being susceptible to chain grabs, while his faster falling speed results in him no longer being susceptible to pseudo-chain grabs. However, it hinders his damaging racking potential.
  • Nerf The weakening of dash-dancing and the removal of wavedashing and moonwalking significantly hinder Roy's approach.

Ground attacks[edit]

  • Buff Roy has a new neutral attack, a reverse gripped upward slice. Compared to the previous neutral attack, it deals more damage (3%/5%/6% → 4.8%/7.5%/7.5%) and base knockback (30/5 → 40/32), has less ending lag (FAF 26 → 23) and has a different angle (361° → 62°/32°). Altogether, these traits make it better for combos.
  • Nerf Neutral attack has more start-up lag and its duration is shorter (5 frames → 3) compared to the previous neutral attack.
  • Buff Roy has a new forward tilt, a reverse gripped downward slash. Compared to the previous forward tilt, it deals more damage (12%/10%/7% → 12.5%/9%/8%) and knockback (60/30 (base)/70 (scaling) → 30/40 (base)/100/80 (scaling)) and has less start-up (frame 9 → 8) and ending lag (FAF 40 → 32). Altogether, these traits making it better for KOing.
  • Nerf Forward tilt's duration is shorter (5 frames → 3) than the previous forward tilt's.
  • Buff Roy has a new up tilt, a reverse gripped overhead arcing slash. Compared to the previous up tilt, it deals more damage (6%/8%/9%/10% → 7%/12%), making it much stronger than the previous up tilt despite having less knockback scaling (120/118/116/100 → 103). It also has less start-up (frame 7 → 6) and ending lag (interruptibility frame 40 → 39) and its sourspot has more base knockback (20 → 30). Altogether, these traits make it better for KOing and combos.
  • Nerf Up tilt's duration is shorter (7 frames → 5) than the previous up tilt's.
  • Nerf Sweetspotted down tilt deals 1% less damage (12% → 11%).
  • Buff Sourspotted down tilt deals 0.5% more damage (6% → 6.5%).
  • Buff Down tilt has decreased start-up lag (frame 8 → 7).
  • Nerf Down tilt has decreased base knockback (90/70 → 50/40), increased ending lag (interruptibility frame 20 → 22), and its duration is shorter (3 frames → 2).
  • Change Down tilt is now a semi-spike (80° → 30°). This improves its edgeguard and tech-chase potentials, but significantly hinders its combo potential.
  • Buff Roy has a new dash attack, an inward horizontal slash. Compared to the previous dash attack, it deals more damage (12%/6% → 13%/9%), knockback (70/35 (base)/55/60 (scaling) → 65/60 (base)/82/60 (scaling)) and its sweetspot has a different angle (110° → 52°). Altogether, these traits make it better for KOing.
  • Nerf Dash attack has more start-up (frame 12 → 13) and ending lag (interruptibility frame 40 → 50) compared to the previous dash attack.
  • Buff Due to the damage multiplier for fully charged smash attacks being increased from Melee to SSB4 (1.3671x → 1.4x), fully charged forward and up smashes deal more damage (27.324%/16.4052% → 28%/16.8% (forward), 22.639176% → 23.8% (up)).
  • Nerf Roy has a new forward smash, a rotating two-handed downward slash based on his regular attack as a Great Lord in Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade. Compared to the previous forward smash, its sweetspot has less base knockback (80 → 70) and is smaller because of it having a "medium-spot" that deals 3% less damage (20% → 17%). It also has more start-up (frame 12 → 14) and ending lag (FAF 54 → 55), less vertical range, and its duration is shorter (3 frames → 2).
  • Buff Forward smash has more knockback scaling (65 → 70), making it better at KOing compared to the previous forward smash.
  • Buff Due to the changes to stale move negation, up smash deals 0.44% more damage (16.56% → 17%). It also has decreased start-up lag and its duration is longer (10 frames → 12). Additionally, its spike hitbox now properly keeps opponents in place for the other hits. Lastly, it now grants intangibility to Roy's arm throughout its duration.
  • Nerf Up smash has increased ending lag (FAF 46 → 59) and its last hit has decreased base knockback (73 → 70).
  • Nerf Down smash's front hit deals less damage (21%/14% → 15%/10%), hindering its KO potential.
  • Buff Down smash's back hit deals more damage (16%/8% → 17%/11%) and its angles have been altered (75°/361° → 50°/47°/361°), improving its KO potential. It also has decreased ending lag (FAF 72 → 63).
  • Nerf Both hits of down smash have shorter durations (3 frames → 2).
  • Change Down smash's knockback properties have been reversed, making the back hit stronger than the front hit.

Aerial attacks[edit]

  • Buff All aerials have decreased ending lag (FAF 50 → 46 (neutral), 35 → 30 (forward), 43 → 36 (back), 49 → 42 (up), 64 → 52 (down)).
  • Change All aerials have decreased landing lag (20/10 (normal/L-canceled) → 11 (neutral), 20/10 → 13 (forward), 24/12 → 16 (back), 18/9 → 14 (up), 32/16 → 23 (down)). Due to the removal of L-canceling, however, they are not fully compensated.
  • Buff Neutral, forward, back and down aerials deal more damage (4%, 8%/5% → 4%/6% (neutral), 8.5%/5%, 8%/5% → 11%/7% (forward), 9%/6% → 12%/9% (back), 6%/9% → 10%/15% (down)).
  • Nerf Neutral, forward, and up aerials autocancel later (frame 32 → 47 (neutral), frame 30 → 33 (forward), frame 30 → 38 (up)), which removes forward aerial's ability to autocancel.
  • Buff Neutral aerial's hits have decreased start-up lag (frame 7 → frame 6 (hit 1), frame 17 → frame 15 (hit 2)). Its second hit also has increased knockback scaling (80 → 100) and its angle has been altered (361° → 50°). Altogether, these traits improve its combo potential.
  • Buff Forward aerial deals more knockback (30/10 (base)/70 (scaling) → 50/80.
  • Nerf Forward aerial's animation has slightly changed. Roy now swings the Sword of Seals while lunging farther inward. Compared to the previous animation, it has more start-up lag (frame 5 → 10).
  • Buff Back aerial has increased knockback scaling (70 → 100), improving its KO potential. It also autocancels earlier (frame 34 → 32).
  • Buff Up aerial's duration is longer (5 frames → 7) and its sweetspot has increased knockback (20 (base)/70 (scaling) → 40/80), improving its juggling potential.
  • Buff Roy has a new down aerial, a two-handed downward slash between his legs, similar to Ike's down aerial. Compared to the previous down aerial, it has more vertical range, its sweetspot is easier to land, and its sourspot is able to KO grounded opponents around 160%, making it better at KOing. Its increased damage output and the removal of meteor canceling also make its meteor smash considerably stronger than the previous down aerial's.
  • Nerf Down aerial has less diagonal range, more start-up lag, and its duration is shorter (4 frames → 2) compared to the previous down aerial.
  • Change Down aerial has different knockback (40 (base)/70 (scaling) → 20/30 (base)/90 (scaling)) compared to the previous down aerial.

Throws/other attacks[edit]

  • Nerf All grabs have significantly decreased ranges.
  • Buff Dash grab has decreased start-up lag (frame 10 → 8).
  • Nerf Pummel deals 1% less damage (3% → 2%).
  • Buff Pummel is faster (24 frames → 15).
  • Buff Up throw deals 1% more damage (5% → 6%).
  • Nerf Up throw has decreased knockback scaling (130 → 100), hindering its KO potential.
  • Nerf Down throw deals 1% less damage (6% → 5%).
  • Buff Down throw's angle has been altered (361° → 80°), significantly improving its combo potential.
  • Buff Front and back floor attacks deal 1% more damage (6% → 7%).

Special moves[edit]

  • Buff Flare Blade can be charged up to deal more damage before the full charge without receiving recoil damage (41% → 45%). It also has increased interruptibility for a few frames upon its hitbox coming out, despite its ending lag.
  • Nerf Flare Blade has increased start-up lag, its duration is shorter (6 frames → 4), a smaller hitbox, and it takes slightly more time to fully charge. It has also received a sourspot at the edges of the attack that deals 15% less damage (50% → 35%) and has less knockback scaling (83 → 70).
  • Change Flare Blade has updated visual and sound effects, the latter of which stops being emitted when fully charged and before the move's explosion. All of its stages now unleash a minor explosion, with most of the higher stages unleashing the large explosions from Melee.
  • Change Flare Blade's animation has slightly changed. Roy now briefly lifts the Sword of Seals with both hands to his side when returning to his neutral stance.
  • Buff Aside from its first and fourth downward hits, Double-Edge Dance's other have decreased start-up lag. Its third downward hit slso no longer consists of multiple hits and launches at a lower trajectory. These changes make its hits connect together better.
  • Nerf Double-Edge Dance deals less damage and knockback, has decreased vertical range, and increased ending lag. Additionally, Roy's faster falling speed significantly hinders its first hit's recovery potential. Lastly, its third upward hit is no longer a meteor smash, removing its KO potential.
  • Change All variations of Double-Edge Dance's third hit connect together better with its fourth hit. This improves their combo potentials, but removes their KO potentials.
  • Change Double-Edge Dance now has transcendent priority. This improves its reliability at close range, but removes its ability to cancel non-transcendent projectiles.
  • Change Double-Edge Dance's animation has changed. The slashes are now identical to Dancing Blade from Brawl.
  • Buff Blazer deals 3.62% more damage (13.18% → 16.8%) and its last hit has increased knockback (10 (base)/100 (scaling) → 40/130), improving its KO potential. Additionally, it received more intangibility frames on start-up if used from the ground, has lingering hitboxes at its end, and can be reversed before start-up. Altogether, these changes improve its safety. Lastly, it covers significantly more horizontal distance near its peak, improving its horizontal recovery potential.
  • Nerf Blazer covers less vertical distance, hindering its vertical recovery potential.
  • Change Blazer's first hit has significantly decreased set knockback (200 → 160/120). This makes its hits connect together better, but removes its one-hit KO potential against the lightest characters.
  • Change Blazer's animation has slightly changed. Roy now performs the jumping slash while holding the Sword of Seals in a reverse grip.
  • Nerf Counter's damage multiplier has decreased (1.5x → 1.35x), with its knockback not being properly compensated (30 (base)/90/70 (scaling) → 35 (base)/100/70 (scaling)). This hinders its KO potential, although it is still one of the strongest counterattacks in the game.
  • Buff Counter's duration is longer (13 frames → 19).
  • Buff Counter's animation has changed. Its counterattack now resembles Roy's long-ranged basic attack animation with the Sword of Seals in Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade. Compared to the previous animation, its has more horizontal range.
  • Change Roy now has a Final Smash, Critical Hit. Compared to Marth and Lucina's Critical Hit, which propel them at a high speed in a straightforward line, Roy's Critical Hit is stationary and has him swing the Sword of Seals around himself before performing a slash in front of himself that emits a short-ranged explosion.
  • Nerf Unlike Marth and Lucina's Critical Hit, Roy's Critical Hit is not a one-hit KO.

Update history[edit]

Roy received some minor buffs from game updates. Update 1.1.0 gave Blazer additional hitboxes, making it easier to land. However, the same update reduced the damage outputs of its first and last hits, which slightly weakened its KO potential. The changes to shield mechanics brought about by updates 1.1.0 and 1.1.1 have made Roy's sweetspotted attacks much safer at the cost of his sourspotted attacks being unsafer, to the point where his semi-clone, Lucina, has safer attacks than both him and Marth. Lastly and most prominently, update 1.1.4 decreased the landing lag on all of his aerials and improved Double-Edge Dance's start-up and ending lag.

Super Smash Bros. 4 1.1.0

  • Buff Blazer has received additional hitboxes.
  • Nerf Blazer's first and last hits deal 1% less damage: 6.5% (hit 1 sweetspot)/5% (hit 1 sourspot), 9% (hit 5 sweetspot)/8% (hit 5 sourspot) → 5.5%/4%, 8%/7%, hindering its KO potential.
  • Change Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DSRoy performs his down taunt instead of his fist pump idle pose after a player chooses a path in Classic Mode.

Super Smash Bros. 4 1.1.4

  • Buff Neutral aerial landing lag: 13 → 11
  • Buff Forward aerial landing lag: 15 → 13
  • Buff Up aerial landing lag: 16 → 14
  • Buff Back aerial landing lag: 19 → 16
  • Buff Down aerial landing lag: 28 → 23
  • Buff Double Edge Dance improved. The first hit hits one frame earlier (7 → 6), has one frame less of endlag both grounded and in the air (IASA: 42/32→ 41/31).

Moveset[edit]

  Name Damage Description
Neutral attack   7.5% (sweetspot), 4.8% (sourspot) A reversed gripped upward slice. Easily chains into itself, forward tilt and a grab at low percents, and his forward and up aerials at high percents. Starts at frame 5, making it a great tool for spacing, combos, and stopping approaches. Overall, it is one of Roy's most versatile attacks.
Forward tilt   12.5% (sweetspot), 9% (near), 8% (far) A reverse gripped downward slash. Very strong for a tilt attack, it usually KOs around 120% from center-stage when sweetspotted, making it a viable KO option. However, it has noticeable ending lag, making it punishable. The sweetspot is safe on shield if Roy does not directly touch the opponent's shield.
Up tilt   12% (sweetspot), 7% (sourspot) A reverse gripped overhead arcing slash. Very strong like his forward tilt, it usually KOs around 110% when sweetspotted. However, it has rather low horizontal range and high ending lag, which make it very punishable on shield.
Down tilt   11% (sweetspot), 6.5% (sourspot) A kneeling thrust, identical to Marth and Lucina's down tilts. Has the lowest amount of ending lag out of his tilt attacks, and is useful for shield stabbing, edgeguarding or starting tech-chases due to being a semi-spike. However, it has much less knockback growth than his other tilts.
Dash attack   13% (sweetspot), 9% (sourspot) An inward horizontal slash. It has good KO potential for a dash attack, KOing when sweetspotted around 130%, however it has moderate start-up and high ending lag, making it very unsafe on shield.
Forward smash   20% (close), 17% (mid), 12% (far) Rotates his body to perform a lunging, two-handed downward slash. It is one of the strongest forward smashes in the game when sweetspotted, as it can KO as low as 40% with rage. It also has very long disjointed range due to Roy lunging while performing it, and it comes out on frame 14, which is rather fast for a smash attack of its power. However, it has high ending lag and its hitbox does not last long, which make it very punishable when whiffed. It is based on his regular attack as a Great Lord in Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade.
Up smash Flame Sword 1% (hit 1), 2% (hits 2-4), 10% (hit 5) An upward thrust, which ignites the Sword of Seals' tip and concludes with a small explosion. Powerful enough to KO middleweights around 100% while uncharged. Good for juggling opponents in the air, as it grants intangibility to Roy's arm throughout its duration. The attack's multiple hits transition faster if the initial portion of the thrust connects. The move also deals 1% more damage on an aerial opponent (for a total of 18% if all hits connect). High ending lag like his other smash attacks.
Down smash   15% (front sweetspot), 17% (back sweetspot) 10% (front sourspot), 11% (back sourspot) A crouching outward slash in front of himself and then behind himself. Weaker than his other smash attacks, but it has the fastest start-up, and is useful for punishing rolls. Can KO uncharged around the 120% range if sweetspotted with the front hit, and around 100% sweetspotted with the back hit. While it has very quick start-up, it has the longest ending lag of all his smash attacks, which makes it very punishable when whiffed.
Neutral aerial   6% (hit 1 sweetspot), 4% (hit 1 sourspot), 8.5% (hit 2 sweetspot), 5% (hit 2 sourspot) An inward horizontal slash followed by a spinning, outward horizontal slash. One of Roy's most useful spacing and combo options due to its quick start-up, long-lasting hitbox, and low landing lag. The second hit is capable of attacking behind him, and the sourspot can catch opponents before he lands. The first hit is risky due to its short range, but it is a surprisingly effective combo starter. Very useful for KO set-ups at high percents, as landing the first hit can lead into an up tilt, up smash, or Blazer.
Forward aerial   11% (sweetspot), 7% (sourspot) A downward slash. It is fairly strong when sweetspotted, as it can KO opponents reliably while on-stage and especially off-stage. Good for air-to-air combat because of its low ending lag. It is possible to jump out of one from a short hop, and it can be used twice before landing from a jump. If performed fast enough, it can combo into itself when using his double jump.
Back aerial   12% (sweetspot), 9% (sourspot) Rotates his body to perform an upward slice. It is stronger than forward aerial, and can KO opponents reliably while on-stage and especially off-stage. Covers good vertical and horizontal range. Like with Marth and Lucina's back aerials, it turns Roy around when used. Unlike their back aerials, however, its sourspot can lock opponents at medium percents if they miss a tech.
Up aerial   9% (sweetspot), 6% (sourspot) A backflipping, upward arcing slash. The weakest of Roy's aerials in terms of damage and knockback, but it is his fastest one, due to it coming out on frame 5 (the same as his neutral attack). Its large arc and speed also make it suitable for juggling and/or combos, as it is able to follow up with most of his grounded attacks at low percents while he is falling, and into his aerials at high percents. Its sourspot also has a long duration, which allows it to function as a KO set-up, such as into back aerial or Blazer.
Down aerial   15% (sweetspot), 10% (sourspot) A two-handed, downward slash between his legs, similar to Ike's down aerial. It has a powerful meteor smash hitbox near the Sword of Seals' hilt, while the rest of its blade launches opponents upward. KOs around 130% when sweetspotted on-stage. However, it has considerable ending and landing lag, which makes it risky to use off-stage, especially due to Roy's falling speed.
Grab   Reaches out with his free hand.
Pummel   2% A knee strike. A fairly fast pummel.
Forward throw   5% Spins and flings the opponent forward. Has low ending lag and low knockback, which allow it to combo into a neutral attack or forward tilt at low percents, and a dash attack at medium percents. It can also potentially combo into a dashing up smash if the opponent does not react in time, and works very well as a set-up for a neutral aerial, which, when hit, can chain into even more combos. At higher percents, it is also able to set up a tech-chase.
Back throw   5% Tosses the opponent behind himself. Has weak diagonal knockback that causes the throw to have a somewhat fixed trajectory even at high percents. Low hitstun like his other throws, but its angle allows Roy to read the opponent's reaction and capitalize on it. If the opponent does not expect it, this can lead into down aerial at low percents or a back aerial for a KO at high percents near the edge, although the latter requires precise timing.
Up throw   6% Heaves the opponent upward with his free hand. Like Marth and Lucina's up throws, it is Roy's only throw with KO potential, as it starts KOing around 170%.
Down throw   5% A one-armed body slam. Aesthetically, it appears almost identical to forward throw, with its only difference being a shockwave effect to indicate the opponent hitting the ground. Mechanically, it functions much differently, as it launches the opponent directly above Roy and is a true combo into Blazer on most characters up to medium percents. Additionally, its low base knockback and low knockback growth allow it to combo into neutral attack, up tilt and forward tilt at low percents, with the neutral attack combo allowing for the possibility of chaining into another grab if the opponent does not react in time. However, its low hitstun makes it unreliable past low percents.
Floor attack (front)   7% Gets up while slashing to the left and then to the right.
Floor attack (back)   7% Gets into a kneeling position and then slices around himself as he gets up.
Floor attack (trip)   5% Hops briskly to his feet to perform a thrust to the left and a slash to the right.
Edge attack   8% Performs an outward slash while climbing up.
Neutral special Default Flare Blade 6%-45%, 50% (fully charged sweetspot), 36% (fully charged sourspot) Rears back and ignites the Sword of Seals' blade before performing a lunging, two-handed downward slash that generates an explosion. Functions similarly to Eruption, as it can be charged before unleashing the explosion, with the explosion's size growing as it charges. It has very high knockback growth while uncharged, and the ability to quickly increase its damage output via charging. When fully charged, it is capable of one-hit KOing all but Shulk with the Shield Art active and Bowser from center-stage. To further supplement its power, it has surprisingly minimal ending lag, as Roy is able to act out of it almost immediately. However, a fully charged explosion deals 10% recoil damage. The fully charged explosion also has a sourspot at its edges that deals much less damage and knockback and is not a OHKO, though it is still powerful enough to KO at 41%. It is possibly Roy's best option to use to punish a stunned opponent because of its OHKO potential when fully charged, especially considering Roy's good shield pressuring potential.
Custom 1 N/A
Custom 2 N/A
Side special Default Double-Edge Dance 3%-5% (first hit), 2%-3% (second forward hit), 2%-3% (second upward hit), 1%-3% (second downward hit), 2%-3% (third forward hit), 3% (third upward hit), 4% (third downward hit), 6% (last forward hit), 5% (last upward hit), 2% (last downward hits 1-4), 6% (last downward hit 5) A combination of sword swings, which can be influenced by directional inputs. The finishing swing is one of three options: an upward slice with good KO power at high percents but low range (tilting the control stick up), a downward slash with good KO power at high percents near the edge (no control stick input or tilting the control stick forward), or a flurry of low-angled thrusts that deal the most amount of damage but the least amount of knockback (tilting the control stick down). Its animations are identical to Dancing Blade and its first hit stalls Roy's descent, although it is largely ineffective for recovery due to his falling speed being much faster than Marth and Lucina's. However, its overall knockback is slightly stronger than Dancing Blade, and the last hit of each variation deals flame damage unlike Dancing Blade due to the Sword of Seals' blade igniting.
Custom 1 N/A
Custom 2 N/A
Up special Default Blazer 5.5% (grounded hit 1 sweetspot), 4% (grounded hit 1 sourspot), 4.5% (aerial hit 1), 1.1% (grounded hits 2-4), 1% (aerial hits 2-4), 8% (hit 5 sweetspot), 7% (hit 5 sourspot), 6% (aerial hit 5) A jumping reverse gripped slash, which ignites the Sword of Seals' blade. Hits multiple times and can be angled diagonally, though this causes the slash to cover less vertical distance. A viable out of shield and KOing option, its grounded version is more powerful, as it KOs around 110% if all hits connect. Its grounded version also grants super armor at its beginning. However, it is a sub-par recovery option, due to it covering decent horizontal distance, but very minimal vertical distance.
Custom 1 N/A
Custom 2 N/A
Down special Default Counter 1.35x (min 8%) Parries and then counterattacks against any incoming attacks with an outward slash that ignites the Sword of Seals' blade. It has the highest damage multiplier of any counterattack in the game by default, with only Vision surpassing it while the Buster Art is active. However, its counter window is relatively short, and it is tied with Double Team for having the third highest amount of start-up lag out of every counterattack in the game. Roy may also say "いまだ!" ("Now!") or "そこ!" ("There!") if successful. Its counterattack is based on his long-ranged basic attack with the Sword of Seals.
Custom 1 N/A
Custom 2 N/A
Final Smash Critical Hit 1% (hits 1-10), 35% (hit 11) Swings the Sword of Seals in a circular motion, which ignites its blade, before performing a two-handed, downward slash that generates a powerful explosion. Unlike Marth and Lucina's Critical Hit, Roy's is not a one-hit KO. The circular swing can hit up to four times from the front, though it can hit up to ten times if performed on an opponent behind Roy. It is based on the Sword of Seals' ranged attack in The Binding Blade.

On-screen appearance[edit]

  • Warps onto the stage using warp magic while crouching, with the Sword of Seals stuck in the ground when he appears. He then pulls it out with a flourish before assuming his idle stance.
RoyOnScreenAppearanceSSB4.gif

Taunts[edit]

  • Up taunt: Triumphantly holds the Sword of Seals overhead.
  • Side taunt: Winds back before striking a pose while holding the Sword of Seals in a reverse grip while saying "僕 は 負けない!" ("I won't lose!") This line was one of his victory quotes in Melee.
  • Down taunt: Kneels and twirls the Sword of Seals behind himself while yelling "Heee-ya!" This taunt returns from Melee.
Up taunt Side taunt Down taunt
RoyUpTauntSSB4.jpg RoySideTauntSSB4.jpg RoyDownTauntSSB4.jpg

Idle poses[edit]

  • Pumps his fist while smiling. Unusually, this is actually a part of his standing animation and, unlike other idle poses, it can be seen in the character customization screen.
  • Rubs the edge of the Sword of Seals' blade.
RoyIdlePose1WiiU.jpg RoyIdlePose2WiiU.jpg

Crowd cheer[edit]

English Japanese
Cheer
Roy Cheer NTSC SSB4.ogg
Roy Cheer JP SSB4.ogg
Description Roy's our boy! Roy! Roy! Roy!
Pitch Female Female

Victory poses[edit]

An orchestral excerpt of the title theme from Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light, which has since become the main theme of the Fire Emblem series.
  • Swings the Sword of Seals once over his shoulder, then swings it down and behind him while facing left with his free hand clenched, saying "真の戦いは、これからだ。" ("The real battle is yet to come.")
  • Spins the Sword of Seals one and a half times and then sheaths it, saying "苦しい戦いだった。" ("That was a difficult battle.") This replaces his victory animation from Melee, where he plunged the Sword of Seals into the ground.
  • Flourishes the Sword of Seals in a circle before posing with it by his side, saying "守るべきもののために、負けられない!" ("For the sake of those I must protect, I will not lose!")
RoyPose1WiiU.gif RoyPose2WiiU.gif RoyPose3WiiU.gif

In competitive play[edit]

Notable players[edit]

Active[edit]

Inactive[edit]

Tier placement and history[edit]

Roy's initial perception among the community was very positive; players almost immediately recognized his powerful offense due to the prominent strengths of his sweetspotted attacks, heavily damaging throw set-ups, and significantly improved mobility. These views were especially noted because his semi-clone, Marth, and by extension Lucina, were considered poor characters at the time. Despite his extremely low representation, which is unseen of a perceived high-tier character, most of the community believed that Roy was a viable character, with ZeRo notably going as far as saying he was the best sword-wielding character in the game. Even so, his viability was also disputed due to his sparse tournament representation and results. Furthermore, characters considered worse than him received a variety of buffs in later updates, with a corresponding increase in tournament results and representation than Roy, while his weaknesses were made much more apparent to the community. As such, opinions on Roy quickly started to change due to his vulnerability to combos, weak recovery, and how his playstyle requires him to use close-ranged combat despite his ineffective approach and unimpressive range. In spite of these flaws and his sparse representation and results, Roy was ranked 32nd on the first tier list, placing him at the top of the low-tier.

However, update 1.1.4 granted Marth and Lucina major buffs that significantly increased their effectiveness, while Roy only gained minor landing lag decreases to his aerials. This resulted in them, especially Marth, achieving improved results from professionals and saw their opinions reassessed as those of a high-tier and a mid-tier character, respectively. Conversely, Roy remained a low-tier character due to the minimal effectiveness of his buffs from update 1.1.4. His position relative to the cast was still disputed; some professionals like ZeRo reconsidered him to be on the lower portion of the mid-tier, whereas others like Abadango considered him one of the worst characters in the game.

In spite of his sparse tournament representation, he received some results from the few professionals who do main him. The biggest upset occurred at Super Smash Con 2016, where Ryo went on a two-game win streak while using Roy against Abadango's Mewtwo. Although Abadango would defeat Ryo in their third match by counterpicking with Rosalina & Luma, he only did so narrowly. These results, however, were not enough to repair Roy's negative perception, and subsequently saw Roy being ranked 50th on the second tier list, placing him at the bottom of the low-tier.

Despite this, three Roy players (Manny, VoiD and ScAtt) managed to place 4th, 7th and 25th, respectively, at Smash the Record 2016, with the former two having played against each other in a Roy ditto. Ryo also managed to achieve better results with Roy. When coupled with Ryo's previous feat at Super Smash Con, Roy was ranked 44th on the third and current tier list, placing him in the upper portion of the low-tier.

Overall, Roy's standing relative to the cast remains among the most divisive and debatable of the entire cast. While his tier placement is still slightly contested to this day due to his polarized strengths and weaknesses, many players agree that Roy could be ranked higher in future tier lists. This has been seen throughout recent results, with Captain Levi attaining 12th at Smash Factor 6 as a solo Roy, and Serge reaching 7th with Roy as a secondary.

Trophies[edit]

Roy
Roy, the main character of Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade, returns for the first time since Melee! In The Binding Blade, Roy led the troops of Pherae into battle in his ailing father’s stead, and now he brings his speed and talent for short-range combat into this game. His sword, the Sword of Seals, is uniquely powerful at the base of the blade.
GB Advance: Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade
Roy (Alt)
Flare Blade creates an explosion in front of Roy that can be charged by holding down the button. Take care, though, because at the highest levels of charge, Roy himself will catch fire and take damage! His side special, Double-Edge Dance, changes for each strike after the first depending on whether you hold up or down while attacking.
GB Advance: Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade
Critical Hit
For Roy's Final Smash, he traps enemies in a circular swing of the blade, brings it up behind him, and then, in a blast of fire, brings the blade down for a powerful finisher! The downward attack is powerful on its own but doesn't have much range, so make sure you’re close enough to hit your enemies with the full combo and really seal their fate!

Alternate costumes[edit]

Roy Palette (SSB4).png
RoyHeadSSB4-U.png RoyHeadRedSSB4-U.png RoyHeadGreenSSB4-U.png RoyHeadVioletSSB4-U.png RoyHeadCyanSSB4-U.png RoyHeadPurpleSSB4-U.png RoyHeadPinkSSB4-U.png RoyHeadYellowSSB4-U.png

Reveal trailer[edit]

Gallery[edit]

Trivia[edit]

  • Roy's pose in his official art is nearly identical to his pose in his official art for Melee.
  • Aspects of Roy's sound design have been carried over from Melee:
    • All of his sourspotted attacks emit a punch/kick sound effect, instead of a slash sound effect.
    • He uses different voice clips when using battering items.
    • When he is dizzy, his corresponding voice clip loops constantly, instead of playing only once.
    • He uses more than one voice clip for his smash attacks.
    • He only has one voice clip upon being KO'd.
  • Roy's up smash, Flame Sword, shares the same name as Mega Man's forward aerial.
  • Roy, Marth, and Cloud are the only characters to speak Japanese in every regional version of SSB4.
  • Like Marth in his transition from Melee to Brawl, Roy's first and third victory poses have swapped quotes.
  • If Roy's on-screen appearance occurs on one of Distant Planet's leaf platforms, he will descend with the leaf, but the Sword of Seals will remain stationary in the air until it returns to Roy once the battle actually starts.

References[edit]

  1. Ryu and Roy for Smash Bros. Wii U, 3DS Leaked
  2. E3 2015: Ryu and Roy Officially Join Super Smash Bros. Roster


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