Roy (ロイ, Roy) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, officially confirmed on June 12th, 2018. Roy is classified as fighter #25.
This is the first time in the Super Smash Bros. series where Roy is not left voiced in Japanese in all regions. Jun Fukuyama's portrayal of Roy from Smash 4 was repurposed for the Japanese version of Ultimate. In international releases, Roy is now voiced by Ray Chase, who reprises his role from Fire Emblem Heroes.
How to unlock
Complete one of the following:
With the exception of the third method, Roy must then be defeated on Castle Siege.
Roy is a middleweight swordfighter, although his main attributes deviate heavily from other fellow middleweights; he boasts excellent mobility with very fast dashing, air, and falling speeds, but has an only slightly above-average walking speed and a fairly slow air acceleration. Roy has an attribute unique to him that other swordfighters do not have which is 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 heavyweight fighters in 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 ledge, 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 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'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 edgeguarding 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 spotdodges. 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 may have a short window of active frames compared to other counterattacks, but it makes up for being one of the strongest counters in the game with a large 1.35x 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 sword's tip dealing weak knockback and damage. Roy thus cannot rely on a spacing playstyle in spite of his status as a swordwielder, and his sourspotted attacks are fairly unsafe on shield, forcing him to get dangerously close to the opponent in order for his attacks to be safe against shields. 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 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 excellent protection, can be angled, and covers a decent amount of horizontal distance, it covers little vertical distance, does not sweetspot ledges 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. 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.
Overall, Roy is an unconventional swordfighter 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 character in Smash 4, due to his poor, commital approach, unsafe aerials, along with his own inverse attribute hindering his spacing abilities, which has collectively resulted in his lower-mid tier placement in said game and having very little tournament representation, similarly to his appearance in Melee. As a result, Roy has been significantly buffed in his transition to Ultimate.
Roy's most significant improvements are indirect, being from the general universal changes to Ultimate, such as the ability to dash cancel into any grounded move and decreased landing lag on his aerials, which greatly improve his approach, air game, and rushdown ability. His buffed speed and the generally faster pace of Ultimate also benefit Roy's core strategy of closing the distance on his opponents and landing hits with the Binding Blade's powerful sweetspots. This helps to further counterbalance his main weakness of needing to approach at dangerously close ranges in order to deal optimal damage and knockback; a flaw not present in other swordfighters that had plagued him in previous games.
Some of Roy's useful buffs were also direct; the sweetspots of the Binding Blade itself have been made bigger, slightly increasing Roy's effective range and allowing him to be even more consistent with attacks. Some of his moves, like up aerial and Double-Edge Dance, have been buffed to have improved KO potential, increasing his options at higher percentages. Furthermore, KO confirms with his jab and the first hit of neutral aerial have become much more consistent and reliable.
However, Roy also received nerfs during the transition. Double jump now covers less distance, and his forward and down throws have less followups and combo potential due to their increased knockback. Blazer also 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, no projectiles or effective ways to deal with them, and an ineffective spacing game.
Overall, Roy is considered to be more viable and much less polarizing than he was in any of his previous playable appearances, due to him now having enough raw power, range, and speed to play aggressively up close. Because of these changes, he commands a sizeable playerbase and strong tournament results due to smashers like Goblin, Leffen and SparK achieving success with the character.
Throws and other attacks
Roy has been buffed by the game updates. His down aerial auto-cancels 3 frames earlier, Blazer and up smash connect more reliably, his dash grab has more range, and the projectile nerfs make approaching certain characters easier.
Note: All numbers are listed as base damage, without the 1v1 multiplier.
In competitive play
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
Although Roy does not appear in the World of Light opening cutscene, he was vaporized and later imprisoned alongside the rest of the fighters (sans Kirby) when Galeem unleashed his beams of light.
Presumably, Roy fell temporarily under Dharkon's control after Galeem was first defeated, the narration of Dharkon's introduction being vague on how many fighters he stole from Galeem.
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 subseqent 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 500 coins. 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. Each Fighter Spirit has an alternate version that replaces them with their artwork in Ultimate.
In Spirit battles
As the main opponent
As a minion
Character Showcase Video
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