Roy (ロイ, Roy) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, officially confirmed on June 12th, 2018 and is an unlockable fighter akin to his appearance in Super Smash Bros. Melee. Roy is classified as Fighter #25.
This is the first time in the Super Smash Bros. series where Roy is not voiced in Japanese in all regions. In international releases, Roy is voiced in English by Ray Chase, who reprises his role from Fire Emblem Heroes. Jun Fukuyama's portrayal of Roy from Super Smash Bros. 4 was repurposed for the Japanese version.
How to unlock
Complete one of the following:
Roy is a middleweight swordsman, although his main attributes deviate heavily from other fellow middleweights. He boasts very fast dashing, air, and falling speeds, but has an only slightly above-average walking speed, as well as fairly low air acceleration and jumps. Roy has an attribute unique to him that other swordfighters do not have: his inverse tipper. Contrary to Marth specifically, his Binding Blade does the most damage if attacking near the sword's hilt, although it does weak damage and knockback when otherwise tippered. While this gives Roy effectively bigger sweetspots than those who rely on a tipper to deal maximum damage, it weakens his spacing abilities despite being a swordfighter.
Roy's greatest strength is his KO potential, which is very high when compared to other middleweights, and can even be comparable to the power of some of the harder-hitting heavyweights on the roster, such as Bowser and Incineroar. In conjunction with his overall fast frame data for a swordfighter, he can inflict large amounts of damage in a short amount of time. Neutral attack can catch aggressive approaches due to its speed and deceptively large hitbox, and can efficiently set up into his more powerful normal attacks. His forward tilt, up tilt, and forward smash are all very fast startup-wise, with each being among the strongest attacks of their kind; notably, forward smash can KO under 50% with rage near the edge, even if uncharged. However, they each have noticeable ending lag. His up smash is an effective anti-air attack due to its quick startup, along with his sword arm gaining intangibility throughout its rather long duration.
Roy's KO potential also extends to his great air game, with quick, powerful and damaging aerials; his neutral aerial is a useful combo starter, especially when using the first hit by itself on landing, which allows him to add extra damage to his combos and even open up KO setups at high percentages. His forward aerial autocancels in a short hop and is overall very quick, allowing him to even perform a wall of pain. At high percentages, it also boasts KO potential. Back aerial has the rare and deceptive quality of turning Roy around, as well as being rather quick despite its power, KOing at around 130% from center-stage. Up aerial is Roy's fastest aerial startup-wise, and is a reliable juggling move due to its large hitbox and average knockback, and can even KO by itself at high percentages. Lastly, down aerial is a strong meteor smash when sweetspotted and boasts decent KO potential when sweetspotted on-stage.
Roy is also extremely effective at shield pressure and mix-ups. Many of his aerials and his down tilt are safe on shield against shield grabs, allowing him to pressure the opponent's shield until they choose an option to escape, which Roy can then punish. Roy's neutral attack is useful thanks to its KO confirms into his forward, back and up aerials, as well as its ability to pressure shields and to catch the enemy coming out of shield. Roy's neutral aerial is also very effective as a cross-up attack on characters who lack out of shield options that hit behind them. Up aerial can also function as a combo starter and is safe on shield, and leads into different follow-ups dependent on whether the sweetspot or the sourspot connects. Roy can also simply grab opponents for shielding against him; he has simple but efficient throw combos such as down throw into neutral aerial or up aerial depending on percent. Roy even possesses some shield break set-ups if the opponent is not careful, rewarding Roy with a Flare Blade punish.
Roy's special moveset maintains his sheer speed and KO power; Flare Blade is known for being one of the strongest single-hitting attacks in the game, with the capability to one-hit KO any fighter in the game when fully charged. Combined with its ability to be reversed and its extremely high knockback, it adds up to be a very potent edge-guarding and ledge trapping tool, and has deceptively low ending lag despite its power to avoid punishment. Double-Edge Dance is a quick and efficient damage-racking series of high-speed sword slashes, along with being a reliable finisher at higher percentages if sweetspotted; it is fast enough for each hit to connect reliably and catch spot dodges. His main recovery move, Blazer, is an excellent out of shield option, due to gaining super armor on startup and having decent knockback growth when grounded. Lastly, his Counter has a short window of active frames compared to other counterattacks, but it makes up for being one of the strongest counters in the game thanks to its 1.35× damage multiplier.
Despite Roy's numerous strengths, he has noticeable weaknesses. His biggest flaw stems from his own inverse tipper attribute; by relying on close-quarters attacks to deal damage, it gives him below-average effective reach compared to other swordfighters due to the Binding Blade's tip dealing weak knockback and damage. Thus, Roy cannot rely on a spacing playstyle in spite of his status as a swordsman, since his sourspotted attacks are less reliable as combo starters. This forces him to get dangerously close to the opponent in order for his attacks to properly start combos and deal more damage. This is further worsened by many of his attacks having high ending lag, which makes Roy very punishable if his attacks are simply thrown out without caution. In all, he cannot perform optimally when spacing with the tip of his sword, but cannot afford to make mistakes when at close range without running the risk of massive punishment.
Lastly, Roy's offstage endurance is very poor. His fast falling speed makes him fairly 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 fairly ineffective despite his impressive mobility: although it offers good protection, can be angled, and covers a decent amount of horizontal distance, it covers little vertical distance, does not sweetspot edges until the latter half of its duration, lacks the grounded version's super armor, and is predictable, leaving him prone to gimping, especially against characters with a reliable gimping projectile or counter. When coupled with his fast falling speed, he is highly susceptible to meteor smashes, and even a sufficiently strong semi-spike can launch him too far away to recover. Multi-hit moves that trade with Blazer's hitboxes can also semi spike Roy and gimp him. This causes him to have one of the worst recoveries in the game and arguably across the whole series.
Overall, Roy is an unconventional swordsman who falls under the bait-and-punish and rushdown archetypes. The objective of his playstyle is to overwhelm his enemy by closing the distance between them quickly, then to deal large amounts of damage with fast attacks without leaving Roy himself open to punishment while remaining in close-range.
Changes from Super Smash Bros. 4
Roy was infamous for being the lowest ranked DLC fighter in SSB4, due to his poor, committal approach, unsafe aerials (especially compared to other fellow swordfighters), and his inverse tipper attribute hindering his spacing abilities, which collectively resulted in both his lower mid tier placement in said game and very little tournament representation and results. Likely as a result, Roy has been buffed significantly overall in his transition to Ultimate, and is the only DLC fighter from SSB4 to remain mostly buffed in that transition.
Roy's most significant improvements are indirect, as he benefits noticeably from the changes to the universal gameplay mechanics in Ultimate. The improved flexibility of dash canceling and the decreased landing lag on his aerials greatly improve his combo game, aerial offense, and rushdown potential, as well as improve the consistency of his KO potential. Complementing this, the universal mobility increase benefits Roy's core strategy of closing the distance on his opponents and landing hits with the hilt of the Binding Blade, as well as helping alleviate his vulnerability to camping. These buffs also help to further counterbalance his main weakness: the need to approach at dangerously close ranges in order to deal optimal damage and knockback, which is a flaw that had plagued him in previous games and was not present in his other fellow swordfighters.
Some of Roy's useful buffs are also direct. Moves like his dash attack, forward tilt, forward, back and up aerials, and Double-Edge Dance have increased power, significantly increasing his options at higher percentages and further toning down his trouble at KOing. Furthermore, KO confirms with his neutral attack and the first hit of neutral aerial or a sourspotted up aerial have become much more consistent and reliable. A small amount of his moves have also had their hitbox placements improved, which is notable in his forward smash and Double-Edge Dance, the former of which can now hit opponents in the lower platforms of Battlefield. His air game in general has improved due to improvements to all his aerials: forward aerial can now auto-cancel in a short hop like in Melee and has received knockback and angle adjustments that make it better for both combos and KOs, neutral, back and up aerials are stronger (the lattermost of which can now KO reliably), and down aerial has larger sweetspots.
However, while Roy has received comparatively few nerfs during the transition, a few of them are significant. His forward and down throws have less followups and combo potential due to the former's increased ending lag and the latter's increased knockback. Blazer now needs to travel half its maximum distance before it can sweetspot ledges and also deals less knockback, reducing its use as a KO option. Finally, Roy still has some of his flaws from past games, such as mediocre offstage survivability, a vulnerability to combos, and an ineffective spacing game.
Overall, Roy's core playstyle remains fundamentally the same as it was in SSB4, but due to his substantial buffs, he is considered to be much more viable and much less polarizing than he was in any of his previous playable appearances, as he now has enough raw power, range, and speed to play aggressively up close. He commands a moderately sizable playerbase and strong tournament results in competitive play, due to smashers like Kola and Goblin achieving success with him. As such, Roy is widely seen as a competitively viable high tier character, with some players even believing that he is a top tier character.
Throws and other attacks
Roy was buffed slightly via the game updates. Down aerial auto-cancels 3 frames earlier thanks to update 2.0.0. Update 3.0.0 made the multiple hits for Blazer connect more reliably, and gave dash grab more range. Roy's approach and defense also indirectly benefit from the universal nerf of projectiles. Update 3.1.0 and 7.0.0 both buffed Roy's up smash: the former improved the consistency of the multi-hits and the latter gave the move a -100% trip chance, making it so opponents no longer trip out of the move before the final hit can land.
Overall, Roy fares mildly better than he did at the launch of Ultimate.
For a gallery of Roy's hitboxes, see here.
Note: All numbers are listed as base damage, without the 1v1 multiplier.
In competitive play
When Ultimate released, Roy looked promising in the meta due to the universal decreased landing lag on aerials and ability to use tilts out of a dash, which drastically fixed one of his biggest weaknesses. Along with his excellent mobility and some of the strongest KO power in the game, many professionals believed that Roy could potentially be a top-tier character. However, people also noticed that his echo fighter, Chrom, despite having less power and a significantly worse recovery than Roy, was more consistent due to his lack of sourspots, making him noticeably better at spacing than Roy. Chrom also had a notorious sacrificial KO move from his forward aerial to Soaring Slash. As such, Chrom was widely agreed to be one of the best characters in the game and was considered to be better than Roy. Despite this, Roy has achieved many noteworthy results and is still thought to be significantly improved from Smash 4, as he is agreed to be a high-tier or even top-tier character. Chrom would later receive a nerf to his Soaring Slash, which made it so that it will KO himself before his opponent when performing a sacrificial KO. Most professionals now believe that Roy is better than Chrom because of Roy’s better KO power and recovery.
In more recent times, Roy has achieved consistent success through players such as Kola, Goblin, Mugen, Flow. Roy also performs well against many meta-relevant characters, such as Wolf, Zero Suit Samus, R.O.B., Sonic, Fox, and Olimar, while having difficult matchups against characters, such as Pikachu, Joker, Greninja, Pichu, and Inkling. ESAM, Tweek, Dabuz, Marss, and MkLeo also view Roy as a top-tier character, with some players believing that he is better than Lucina and one of the best swordfighters alongside Pyra/Mythra and Shulk.
Most historically significant 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.
See also: Category:Roy professionals (SSBU)
Classic Mode: A Journey of Swords
Roy's opponents consist of entirely sword-fighters, with the exception of the final round.
Role in World of Light
Roy appears in The Final Battle as one of the last fighters imprisoned by Galeem. He is one of the few obligatory unlocks. Defeating him leads to a fight with Master Hand and the subsequent reveal of Bayonetta's location.
Roy's fighter spirit can be obtained by completing Classic Mode. It is also available periodically for purchase in the shop for 300 Gold, but only after Roy has been unlocked. Unlocking Roy 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. His fighter spirit has an alternate version that replaces it with his artwork in Ultimate.
In Spirit battles
As the main opponent
As a minion
Conditions in italic are not listed on the Spirit Battle preview screen.
Fighter Showcase Video