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Sephiroth (SSBU)

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This article is about Sephiroth's appearance in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. For the character in other contexts, see Sephiroth.
Sephiroth
in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Sephiroth
Sephiroth-Alt1 SSBU.png

FinalFantasySymbol.svg
Universe Final Fantasy
Availability Downloadable
Final Smash Supernova
SephirothHeadSSBU.png
Sephiroth Descends to Battle!
—Introduction Tagline

Sephiroth (セフィロス, Sephiroth) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and the third fighter from Square Enix after Cloud and Hero. He was confirmed as a playable character on December 10th, 2020 at The Game Awards 2020, and was released as part of Challenger Pack 8 on December 22nd, 2020 as the third downloadable character from Fighters Pass Vol. 2; however, he was playable as early as December 17th, 2020 by defeating him in the limited-time Sephiroth Challenge event that ran from December 17th-22nd. Sephiroth is classified as Fighter #78.

Toshiyuki Morikawa, who has voiced Sephiroth since Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, reprises his role as the character in all regions.

Attributes[edit]

Sephiroth's attributes are fairly polarized. He is a rather tall character, but is classified as a lightweight, being tied with Kirby, Mewtwo, Pikachu and Olimar as the 7th-lightest character in the game. He has the fourteenth slowest walking speed but an above average run speed (narrowly outrunning his fellow Square Enix representative, Hero) and above average traction, average jumping force overall, poor air speed and below average air friction but average air acceleration, and the 11th fastest falling speed with above average gravity. For all of this, however, Sephiroth's crouch is decently low, especially for his height, and he has the lowest short hop in the game (tied with Steve), which aids him very well in the neutral game.

Among Sephiroth's two most defining traits is his range. He notably sports among the longest range in Ultimate thanks to his signature weapon, the Masamune. Unlike other swordfighters, Sephiroth's sweetspot hitboxes differ between his stab and slash attacks: his stab moves (up tilt, down smash, forward aerial, and down aerial) have sweetspots positioned along the tip of Masamune (much like Marth's and Simon's own tipper mechanics) with a mediumspot at the center of the blade, while his slash attacks (forward tilt, forward smash, up smash, back aerial, and up aerial) have sweetspots positioned along the upper center of its blade (similar to Roy's inverse tipper mechanic, but with better range overall) with mediumspots at the tip. This gives Sephiroth plenty of ranged options if opponents are reasonably within range of him. On the other hand, the handle of the Masamune also has sourspots, which means Sephiroth needs to be careful when spacing his attacks.

His other most defining trait is his unique fighter ability, Winged Form. It is a unique comeback mechanic that activates when Sephiroth has taken enough damage (similarly to aura or Super Special Moves), but when he activates this form depends on how many stocks and how much percentage he has compared to his opponent(s). When active, his wing unfurls and grants him a third jump, a 1.3× damage multiplier, and much higher mobility overall, notably giving him the 7th fastest running speed and the highest traction, as well as higher air speed, acceleration and friction. His smash attacks also gain damage-based armor that can withstand up to 20% damage, making them incredibly risky to challenge save a few exceptions. However, this form dissipates when he is KO'ed, which means that compared to other comeback mechanics, more careful attack planning is usually necessary to take stocks easily. Still, thanks to the knockback increase his moves receive, even attacks that hit at their mediumspot can be quite deadly under the right percentages.

Sephiroth's grounded moves have some fairly crucial tools and, in the case of his sword attacks, all of them are a prime example of range. Neutral attack, although having the shortest range of his grounded moves, is Sephiroth's fastest move while having decent melee range, making it one of his few reliable tools to give himself some breathing space. Down tilt is slower, but has excellent range as it propels Sephiroth forward and significantly lowers his hurtbox, giving him a way to punish more ranged attacks. Dash attack, while being his slowest melee attack and being fairly punishable, covers a lot of ground and has excellent power, making it a usable burst option. Forward tilt has incredibly long range, comparable to Simon's own, making it a superb spacing option and a usable KO move at high percentages when fresh, especially in Winged Form. All of Sephiroth's smash attacks also boast varying degrees of utility. Forward smash is a very long-ranged punishment and spacing option with excellent KO potential at the middle of the blade and still respectable one at the tip. Up smash is a wide swing much like Ganondorf's own up smash, being slower and weaker but with more range overall, and allowing him to cover a wider area than an entire platform of Town and City, making it his best anti-air. Down smash only hits in front of him, but is faster than his forward smash and has the unique property of becoming even stronger if Sephiroth hits the ground, dealing immense shield damage when spaced well; thus, while being somewhat outclassed by forward smash as a KO move, it has better shield breaking capabilities.

Sephiroth's aerial game also offers a similar repertoire of long-ranged options. His neutral aerial, in a similar manner to neutral attack, has the shortest range, but is his fastest option in the air, covers his entire body, and its low lag all-around allows it to be used very flexibly, such as a "get off me" tool, out of shield, or for starting or continuing combos. His forward and back aerials serve similar purposes as spacing options in the air. Forward aerial comes out faster and is most useful when the opponent is farthest from Sephiroth, and it has a unique property where it can be used to pierce solid walls and jump up off of them up to three times in a row before landing (a pseudo-wall jump that is very similar to what Byleth can do with their up special). Back aerial, on the other hand, is Sephiroth's strongest aerial, making it incredibly deadly in Winged Form, even if used from a short hop. Down aerial is a powerful stall-then-fall that can meteor smash at the start, which combined with its massive reach allows it to reliably 2-frame punish opponents. Finally, his up aerial covers a wide arc above Sephiroth, though its overall poor frame data means it should be used sparingly.

While swordfighter characters are usually notable for having poor grab games, Sephiroth's own grab game can be surprisingly effective. He holds the distinction of having three combo throws, all of which have their uses. Down throw is Sephiroth's most consistent combo throw until mid-percentages, leading into all of his aerial moves except down aerial, and it becomes even more effective in Winged Form in spite of rage, as Sephiroth's mobility can allow him to catch up to the opponent faster. Up throw, at low percentages, can set the opponent up for a neutral aerial or up tilt, the former of which can lead to longer combos and the latter of which can lead to juggling. While both throws can lose their combo potential quickly after mid-percentages, especially with rage factoring in, back throw sends at a favorable angle while having low endlag, making it notable for leading into followups until high percentages, and it has an infamous KO confirm into Sephiroth's back aerial, which becomes especially dangerous when he's in Winged Form. In stark contrast to his other throws, forward throw is another useful throw. Its low angle can give Sephiroth some breathing space and it can be used to set up an edgeguard or tech chase situations which could potentially get an early kill.

Finally, Sephiroth has a strong set of special moves. His side special, Shadow Flare, is arguably his best special, being unique among chargeable projectiles in that, while the initial projectile deals little damage and cause flinching, it generates larger, darkness projectiles that do not immediately attack the opponent, but instead orbit around them and deal damage by homing in. Depending on how long it is charged, one to three projectiles can be generated by a single Shadow Flare, and up to five projectiles can be orbiting a single opponent at a time. Its range is also comparable to his sword attacks on top of having low lag all around, making it easily spammable and useful for spacing. His neutral special, Flare, is a more traditional projectile that can be charged between three different projectiles of different properties: Flare is the quickest and travels slow but has the best range; Megaflare is stronger overall and has a larger blast radius, at the cost of some range; and Gigaflare has the least range and the most charge time, but has the largest blast radius and deals the most damage (enough to instantly break a shield while in Winged Form) and the strongest knockback, making it an effective way of pressuring at the edge for an edgeguard, or as a way to extend the damage the opponent takes as punishment from a shield break. His up special, Blade Dash, is a dashing blade attack whose functionality depends on if the button was tapped or held - when tapped, Blade Dash is a single-hitting move that sweetspots edges easily. However, when held, it instead becomes Octaslash, which travels slightly further, has huge range and hits multiple times dealing higher damage and knockback, although it loses its ability to sweetspot edges. Octaslash's large range particularly makes it a high-risk, high-reward combat option that can break the opponent's zone. Lastly, his down special, Scintilla, is unique among counterattacks in that it will always produce a hitbox regardless of whether or not any attacks were countered, while its multi-hitting nature allows it to pressure shields, and is one of the strongest counters in the game with a 1.5x damage multiplier; however, it only covers in front of Sephiroth and has a cap of 25%, though breaking the cap will not damage Sephiroth and only cause him to stagger, which can make for an alternative to his shield if it's badly damaged.

Thanks to his several ranged attacks, Sephiroth can play at a long range very effectively. By using said range to his advantage, he can gradually deter an opponent an opponent from approaching, and his attacks' various range and sweetspots also mean the opponent has to take care of how they approach Sephiroth. His extremely low short hop also helps him in the neutral game, as it allows Sephiroth to mix up whichever attack he will use, allowing his other attacks to be kept fresh until he's in a prime position to use them. Said tools combined with his grounded mobility can sometimes even help him counterzone opponents with good zoning games, such as Toon Link, Villager, or Simon. Should the opponent be put into the defensive, Sephiroth's range can also allow him to gradually poke at the opponent's defense from afar, until they're eventually put at a disadvantageous position from which he can easily convert into large amounts of damage thanks to his highly damaging moves and his simple, yet effective combo game. Thanks to Shadow Flare, the opponent can also eventually be put into said disadvantage more easily at best, or simply force them to avoid the damage and thus reset the neutral game at worst. His Winged Form helps significantly on both regards, as his increased mobility allows Sephiroth to reposition himself more easily while also increasing the damage he can deal and, unlike other fighter abilities like Limit Gauge or Rebellion Gauge, it will not disappear until Sephiroth is KO'd, which can potentially lead to him turning the tables on the opponent should they try to play around him carelessly.

However, for as many strengths as he has, Sephiroth also possesses a notable amount of weaknesses. Perhaps the most notable of them is his frailty: similarly to Mewtwo, Sephiroth's tall frame results in him being prone to get hit by most attacks. However, Sephiroth is also very light while being a fast-faller, which combined with his weight collectively results in Sephiroth being easy to combo and KO compared to many other characters of his size and/or weight. Adding to this is Sephiroth's recovery - his polarized air physics result in Sephiroth covering a mediocre distance midair, meaning that careless use of his resources can lead Sephiroth to be easily edgeguarded or gimped, in spite of both of his recovery options having their perks. Blade Dash is his quickest recovery option, but it doesn't cover as much distance and doesn't fully protect Sephiroth other than from the front, which can leave him vulnerable to sufficiently disjointed moves. On the other hand, Octaslash offers excellent protection that can deter opponents from edgeguarding Sephiroth because of its range and power resulting in him easy edgeguard breaks, but has the slowest startup, leaving Sephiroth vulnerable to being put at a worse position in the air. Semi-spikes can also be especially deadly for Sephiroth, as his air physics doesn't give him too much airtime.

Furthermore, Sephiroth's overall frame data is unimpressive, with him possessing very few moves that start before frame 10. Even his fastest aerial attack, neutral aerial, has sluggish startup for an attack of its kind. Despite Sephiroth's Masamune having among the highest and most effective range of any weapon in Ultimate, attacks involving his sword are also equally sluggish in both startup and endlag - this is especially present in his smash attacks, up tilt, back aerial, and up aerial. This means that opponents can easily punish Sephiroth if certain moves are spammed or used carelessly. On top of this, Sephiroth's sword moves at the base of the Masamune all deal poor damage, knockback, and pushback, meaning that if badly spaced, Sephiroth's moves can be easily punished at close range. Outside of neutral aerial, his melee-based moves also tend to have high endlag, meaning Sephiroth doesn't have much in the way of mixing up his pressure at close range. Adding to this is Sephiroth's grab game which, while not bad, is polarized; his grab is short-ranged, and while he has a decent pummel and three combo throws, all of them deal low damage (in particular, his up throw deals the most damage of his throws, but only a mere 7% damage) and are unsuited for KOs due to low knockback or bad throw angles, or both. All these issues result in a poor close-quarters game, which when combined with his frailty, collectively culminates in Sephiroth being vulnerable to rushdown-based pressure if the opponent is able to keep up with his defense, such as Captain Falcon or Pikachu.

Another prominent issue on Sephiroth's moveset is his inconsistent KO ability. Due to his move's sourspots, Sephiroth must always be at a distance from the opponent in order to KO them. His attack's different sweetspot mechanics can also work against him, due to how varied their locations are; his stab attacks possess narrow range and require the opponent to be at their longest range in order to be effective, which can result in them missing. On the other hand, his slash attacks don't require perfect spacing at long range to be effective, but their sweetspots are harder to land as a result of being located between the weaker sourspots and mediumspots. Outside of his sword moves, Sephiroth also doesn't have many reliable ways to KO an opponent: dash attack's slow startup can render it easily predicted; of his Flare variants, only Megaflare and Gigaflare possess KO potential, which means they have to be charged (Gigaflare, particularly, takes two full seconds to charge); Octaslash's KO potential is mainly limited to his Winged Form; and as mentioned above, none of his throws have KO potential. As a result, Sephiroth must be careful when it comes to being able to secure KOs despite having a strong damage racking capability.

Although his moveset remains solid overall, some of Sephiroth's moves have either high risk or notable flaws. Up tilt has extreme range above him (it can hit opponents above the topmost Battlefield platform) and renders Sephiroth's upper body intangible, allowing it to contest moves that would otherwise be risky, but its range is incredibly narrow and the sourspots have otherwise poor KO potential. Up aerial, on top of being Sephiroth's slowest aerial by a wide margin, sends at an unreliable angle for KOing as it's vulnerable to LSI, is notoriously difficult to properly sweetspot, and cannot autocancel other than from a double jump, making it a lackluster juggling tool if the opponent knows how to deal with it, despite being difficult to avoid. Down aerial, due to being a stall-then-fall, is risky to use offstage, so careful positioning must be had to edgeguard opponents with it onstage to avoid self-destructing. As for his special moves, Flare and Megaflare's generally slow startup and speed makes them easy to shield, absorb, or reflect. Shadow Flare, while having low lag all around, must be used wisely as well, especially if used by a character with a reflector, as it can result in Sephiroth being struck for high damage himself and allow the opponent to capitalize on it. While Octaslash covers a great distance on its own and is risky to edgeguard, characters with counterattacks can easily use this to their advantage, which can leave Sephiroth at an even worse spot for recovering. Finally, despite its animation suggesting otherwise, Scintilla cannot reflect projectiles whatsoever (although it can stop them with no effort); it also doesn't directly protect Sephiroth (especially from behind) and its damaging hitbox is treated as a projectile, making it a double-edged weapon if reflected.

Last but not least, Sephiroth's Winged Form suffers from its own limitations. Activating it does patch up numerous flaws in his moveset, as it alleviates his poor air physics, his third jump potentially improves his recovery mixups and his juggling options, and due to his higher damage output affecting his moves' knockback, it also makes his sword attacks much more dangerous, as even his mediumspotted attacks boast some degree of KO potential. However, it only activates whenever Sephiroth takes damage, and this also depends on how many stocks Sephiroth has compared to the opponent; while it can activate as low as 30% if Sephiroth is two stocks behind the opponent, it can also activate as late as 110% if Sephiroth is two stocks ahead. Thus, Winged Form suffers from consistency issues similarly to Lucario's aura in that Sephiroth will have to play very carefully if he's to keep his advantage, which is easier said than done due to his high frailty, and while the damage-based armor on his smash attacks can definitely help, reckless usage of his smash attacks can render him predictable. Additionally, Sephiroth cannot regain Winged Form until he gets KO'd, meaning that if Sephiroth isn't able to capitalize on its benefits properly, it can become harder for him later on to even the situation up when at a stock deficit, as it forces him to contest with his moveset's flaws. This also means that Sephiroth should actively avoid gaining Winged Form when at a two stock deficit, as he will otherwise have no reliable way of turning the game to his complete favor.

In the end, Sephiroth is arguably the most unique swordfighter in Ultimate, as his hybrid playstyle combines aspects of glass cannon and turtling, resulting in a high learning curve. His great damage output, immense range, varied sweetspots and effective projectiles grant him a respectably solid ranged melee playstyle, as it can become difficult for the opponent to approach Sephiroth should he consistently make the right choices, and it's equally difficult to surmount him should he break through the opponent's zone or defense. However, his relative lack of reliable KO power, polarized grab game and poor close-quarters game can leave a much-to-be-desired offensive playstyle, and he's just as susceptible to pressure as much as he can dish it out himself. The benefits offered from his Winged Form can seriously help him on this regard, as it can help him greatly recover from a deficit should he be able to survive long enough, but his frailty means he also must play carefully in order to retain this advantage. How good Sephiroth is remains to be seen due to the closure of most tournaments worldwide due to the COVID-19 pandemic, though general early opinions on Sephiroth have been mostly positive, as most people claim his pros outweigh his cons, and he's commonly considered to rest on a favorable spot. Additionally, smashers such as Mew2King, Tweek, and MKLeo have shown the desire to main the character, and Zackray and Rizeasu have used him at offline Japanese tournaments to great success.

Update History[edit]

Sephiroth has been slightly buffed via in game updates. Aside from changing the vulnerability when crumpling to be the same length as all other fighters and fixing a glitch where performing Shadow Flare on Pokemon Trainer would cause certain visual effects to not function properly, the hitboxes of Scintilla have been increased so it is harder for opponents to fall out.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate 11.0.0

  • Change Blade Dash has an altered launch angle (73° → 107°), but forces knockback towards Sephiroth's front instead of his back. As such, its effective angle remains unaltered, but it launches opponents facing the direction Sephiroth hit them from instead of the opposite.
  • Buff Scintilla's last hit has a larger hitbox (9u → 11u (not activated), 16-22u → 18-24u (activated)), allowing it to connect more reliably from the multi-hits.
  • Bug fix A glitch involving Shadow Flare and Pokémon Trainer causing the visual effects of moves to not play was fixed.

Moveset[edit]

  • Sephiroth wields his signature weapon, Masamune, which possesses extremely long reach but a relatively slow attack speed. It has different sweetspots depending on the attack used.
    • For slashing attacks, the sweetspot is located approximately at the middle of the Masamune, while a sourspot covers the inner blade and handle, and a mediumspot at the tip. The sweetspot for slashing attacks is signified by a glowing area in the middle of the swing.
    • For stabbing attacks, the sweetspot is located at the tip of the Masamune, while the mediumspot is at the blade.
    • For simplicity if, for example, the handle deals 8.5%, the blade deals 10%, and the tip deals 11%, and that part of the attack has no other hitboxes, it is written as 8.5%/10%/11%.
  • Sephiroth's forward aerial lets him pierce walls and cling to them, similarly to Dragon Lunge. After piercing a wall, Sephiroth can choose to jump, boosting his recovery by moving up or pressing jump or attack, or let go of the wall by pressing away or down, or waiting long enough.
  • Sephiroth has a unique fighter ability called Winged Form that, among other things, increases his overall damage output by 1.3x while it is active, consequently affecting his knockback as well. The following moveset list details the properties of all attacks when Sephiroth's Winged Form is not active.
    • The conditions for Winged Form to activate can be seen on its page.

For a gallery of Sephiroth's hitboxes, see here.

Note: All numbers are listed as base damage, without the 1v1 multiplier.

  Name Damage Description
Neutral attack   2.5% A mid-level roundhouse kick, followed by a mid-level side kick, followed by a thrust forwards with the Masamune's pommel. Sephiroth's fastest attack. The third hit launches at a fairly low angle with decent knockback, which grants it tech-chasing capabilities. The three hit-combo originates from various attacks from Ehrgeiz: God Bless The Ring, a game in which Sephiroth is playable. The first and second hit come from his various jabs, his third hit comes from some of his Quick Draw attacks.
2%
4%
Forward tilt   7.5%/12%/9% An outward slash with the Masamune. Has rather slow startup (the slowest of Sephiroth's tilt attacks), but great KO potential at the middle of the Masamune's blade. Thanks to a combination of long range and its ability to be angled, as well as being safe on shield when connecting with the sweetspot, it is one of Sephiroth's most reliable spacing tools.
Up tilt   1% (ground),
11%/12.5%/14% (clean),
7%/8.5%/10% (late)
Stabs upward with the Masamune. Its hitbox is very high, able to reach through the top platform of Battlefield, although its very narrow range makes it difficult to land as an anti-air. It has a weak grounded hit that has transcendent priority and knocks into the main part of the attack, similarly to Marth's up smash. Its early hit has excellent KO potential; the tipper is stronger than even Snake's notorious up tilt, and KOs Mario at 85% from Battlefield's top platform, thus making it the 3rd strongest up tilt in the game, only losing to Mega Man and Ganondorf. It also lasts for a decent amount of time, making it surprisingly difficult to avoid if the opponent tries to challenge Sephiroth from above. Unique to Sephiroth's stab attacks, the tip and blade hitboxes have higher priority than the sourspot at the handle. Sephiroth's upper body is intangible while the clean hit is active. His shot comes from Final Fantasy VII Advent Children Complete where Sephiroth repeatedly stabs Cloud in the air.
Down tilt   8% (clean),
6% (late)
A baseball slide, similar to Cloud's. Has the fastest startup of Sephiroth's tilt attacks, propels him a good distance forward, launches opponents vertically, and significantly lowers his hurtbox, allowing him to low-profile many projectiles and even mid-level attacks. However, its combo potential is limited due to the general slowness of Sephiroth's frame data; its only true combos are into up tilt and neutral aerial, although it is hard to set up due to the timing being specific. His down tilt originates from his Running Low attack from Ehrgeiz: God Bless The Ring, a game in which Sephiroth is playable.
Dash attack   13% (clean),
7% (late)
A lunging, dark energy-infused palm thrust, similar to Mewtwo. Has somewhat slow startup and moderate ending lag, but it covers a decent distance. The clean sweetspot deals high knockback, which can KO at high percentages, especially in Winged Form.
Forward smash   13.5%/20%/15% Spins to perform an upwards side cut with the Masamune. Has the slowest startup of his smash attacks and very high ending lag, but the sweetspot in the middle of the blade is incredibly strong, KOing at medium percentages at the edge, and becoming one of the strongest smash attacks in the game in his Winged form, KOing even the heaviest characters at less than 30% at the ledge when fully charged. The tip hitbox is somewhat safe on hit, but the sourspot at the hilt has below-average knockback, not KOing until around 80%. While in Winged Form, this move gains 20% damage-based armor.
Up smash   10.5%/15.5%/11.5% (early),
12%/17%/13% (clean)
Twirls while performing a wide cleaving slash upwards with the Masamune. Similar to Ganondorf and Ike in terms of functionality. Has fairly slow startup, but covers an extremely wide area in front, above and behind Sephiroth, making it his best anti-air attack and giving him the ability to cover an entire platform with one move. Despite its incredible range, its relative endlag is only moderate, which may make it very hard to punish at farther ranges. While in Winged Form, this move gains 20% damage-based armor.
Down smash   16.5% (tip, piercing),
13.5% (debris, piercing),
10.5% (handle),
11.5% (blade),
13% (tip, non-piercing)
Stabs at the ground in front of himself. This stab attack is unique, as Sephiroth will pierce the ground in front of himself should there be any, making the move larger, stronger and giving the more powerful hitboxes higher priority. Otherwise, the move's hitboxes will behave normally, with the tip being difficult to land and the hitbox being narrow. Should the move pierce the ground, it deals immense shield damage, having the capability to instantly break a damaged shield if the tip and the debris connect. It also has the fastest startup of Sephiroth's smash attacks, though still slow for a smash attack, although its endlag is somewhat short in relation to its power and startup; this makes it hard to punish when spaced. While in Winged Form, this move gains 20% damage-based armor.
Neutral aerial   8.5% Snaps his fingers, creating a circular burst of corrupted Lifestream around himself. Has the fastest startup and ending lag of Sephiroth's aerials, as well as the lowest landing lag thus making it his safest, and its hitbox covers him all-around, though it's also his aerial with the lowest range and the hitbox only lasts for 2 frames. It is one of Sephiroth's best combo starters; it can combo into forward aerial, up aerial, Shadow Flare and back aerial, with the lattermost being a reliable KO confirm at around 40%-80% depending on the character's weight and DI. It has very low interruptibility, which allows it to combo into itself multiple times without the need to even land on the ground, similarly to Mario's up aerial. Interestingly enough, it has a magic effect.
Forward aerial   8.5%/10%/11% (clean),
5.5%/7%/8% (late)
A thrusting stab forwards with the Masamune. Has somewhat slow startup, but very long range in front of Sephiroth; as with other stab attacks, its hitbox is narrow. The tip can KO at high percentages at the edge. The move is also unique in that it lets Sephiroth pierce walls and cling to them, similarly to Dragon Lunge. After piercing a wall, Sephiroth can choose to jump, boosting his recovery (by moving up or pressing jump or attack); or let go of the wall (by pressing away or down, or waiting long enough). Sephiroth can pierce a wall this way up to three times before landing on the ground, and the jump option does not use up his double jump. The move will fail to pierce a wall below a stage's camera bounds, even if it is the first usage.
Back aerial   9.5%/14.5%/11.5% Turns around to slash horizontally with the Masamune. Unlike other slash attacks, its hitbox is narrow, in a similar fashion to a stabbing attack, and the hitboxes only last two frames. However, it is one of the strongest back aerials in the game, especially in his Winged form; it has high base knockback and deals exceptionally high damage, often KOing very early when sweetspotted (it starts KOing middleweights at the ledge at around 70%, and the KO confirms into it can happen potentially as low as 40%). Its only average startup in relation to its power also makes it an excellent combo finisher, being able to almost consistently connect after a neutral aerial, back throw or down throw. However, it has an extremely strict autocancel window, only doing so on the first frame of Sephiroth's full hop without his one wing, and not at all with his one wing, making it punishable to land with unless if spaced.
Up aerial   7%/11%/8% Backflips while performing a cleaving slash above himself. Very slow startup, but has immense range, covering a very wide arc above, in front of and even behind himself, making it exceptionally hard to avoid in the air if the opponent runs out of resources. Despite its massive reach, it also possesses high knockback, with the sweetspot KOing at around 110% on Battlefield's top platform. However, it has the highest landing lag out of any up aerial in the game (22 frames), and it cannot autocancel out of anything but a double jump. As a result, while its early and late hitboxes can hit opponents while Sephiroth is landing, it is very punishable as a landing option compared to other aerials.
Down aerial Hell's Gate 15% (blade, clean),
10% (handle, clean),
10% (late),
5% (landing, ground),
7% (landing, sword)
A downwards stab with the Masamune. A stall-then-fall aerial; it powerfully meteor smashes aerial opponents during its initial frames. The blade extends through the ground, allowing for opponents under platforms and ledges to be hit by the move. It has excellent vertical reach below Sephiroth (being able to pierce through the edges of Battlefield form stages and even the entirety of Town and City), allowing it to consistently 2-frame opponents with good timing and often KO them very early, even without the need to go offstage to land the move. Unlike other stab moves, it deals the same damage at the blade and the tip, making it more consistent, and it plays a unique stabbing sound on hit. References an infamous scene where he kills Aerith Gainsborough in Final Fantasy VII. He strikes the ground and unleashes fissures of energy in reference to Dissidia and Final Fantasy VII Remake where Sephiroth uses Hell's Gate as one of his main attacks.
Grab   Reaches out with his right hand and telekinetically grabs the foe using dark magic. It has poor range and its speed in comparison to other non-tether grabs is slightly below average.
Pummel   1.3% Blasts the opponent with corrupted Lifestream from his hand. Similar aesthetically to Mewtwo's pummel.
Forward throw   3% (hit 1), 3% (throw) Thrusts his hand forward, blasting the opponent in front of himself away with dark energy. Sends at a semi-spike, making it usable for setting up an edgeguard or tech-chase.
Back throw   3% (hit 1), 3.5% (throw) Teleports the opponent behind him, then pumps his fist to blast the opponent with dark energy and send them away and behind himself. It is moderately weak, but it sends at a rather high angle and has low ending lag. This in turn makes it a surprisingly useful combo throw, being able to combo into neutral aerial, back aerial and forward aerial; if in Winged form, its back aerial combo becomes a KO confirm impressively early, starting at around 35% for lightweights, around 48% for middleweights, and around 60% for heavyweights, while also often being a natural DI mixup as it sends more vertically than most back throws.
Up throw   4% (hit 1), 3% (throw) Slashes the opponent upwards with the Masamune, which has a collateral hitbox useful for fights with multiple opponents. Sends the opponent upwards and behind Sephiroth, which can lead to an up tilt or neutral air at low percentages if the opponent does not react. It also works as a 50/50 KO setup into his up aerial at around 110%; the opponent's only escape route out of this combo is to jump out of it, which then puts them further into disadvantage due to Sephiroth's huge reach being able to usually catch their landing afterwards.
Down throw   4% Telekinetically slams the opponent on the floor. Its low damage and extremely low ending lag grants it excellent combo potential at low-mid percentages; it can combo into all of his aerials (except down aerial) at low percentages, and at mid-percentages, Sephiroth can perform a reverse aerial rush back aerial as a KO confirm, which is even more effective when in Winged form due to his better mobility and power. Comes from a cinematic in Final Fantasy VII Remake at the very start of Phase 3 of the Sephiroth fight.
Floor attack (front)   7% Kicks around himself with his left leg while getting up.
Floor attack (back)   7% Kicks around himself with his left leg while getting up.
Floor attack (trip)   5% Kicks around himself with his left leg while getting up.
Edge attack   9% Kicks in front of himself while climbing up.
Neutral special Flare / Megaflare / Gigaflare 3% (Flare, hit 1),
10.5% (Flare, hit 2),
3.5% (Megaflare, hit 1),
3.7% (Megaflare, hits 2-5),
9% (Megaflare, hit 5),
6% (Gigaflare, hit 1),
3.7% (Gigaflare, hits 2-7),
11% (Gigaflare, hit 8)
Charges Flare, an explosive fireball, in his right hand that travels slowly when fired. A chargeable projectile as long as the special button is kept pressed, it can be charge canceled (but the charge is not stored). It has three different variations, each producing incrementally stronger projectiles with larger explosions, but also significantly lowers their travel speed and distance. Tapping the button results in Flare, a scarlet red flame that is the quickest and travels the most distance, but has the smallest explosion. Charging it for some time results in Megaflare, a blue flame that is more powerful and has a larger explosion, but travels a shorter distance. Fully charging it results in Gigaflare, which causes the background to darken dramatically, and the music's volume to lower; the small, yellow spark fired travels an extremely short distance, but results in an immense explosion with extreme knockback, being capable of KOing most characters as low as 20% near a ledge, or even potentially KOing at 0% if in Winged form. Gigaflare has moderate ending lag, but when it explodes at its farthest ranges, Sephiroth has enough time to follow up with another attack, most notably forward smash which can most likely KO at 0%. However, it has extremely high startup across all versions, making it punishable if used as a conventional projectile. Despite Gigaflare being extremely slow to start, its very large hitbox makes it a notoriously effective ledgetrapping tool, allowing it to simultaneously cover nearly every option when timed correctly; against opponents with a reflector, Sephiroth can simply cancel the charge and punish the attack. All three versions can be reflected and absorbed; it should be noted that despite Gigaflare's extreme power, it is relatively unrewarding to absorb due to its initial hit dealing very low damage.

When releasing Megaflare, Sephiroth may say 行け ("Go."), and when releasing Gigaflare, he may say 焼き尽くす ("Burn to nothing.")

Side special Shadow Flare 1.5%-4.5% (initial surge),
6.5% (dark sphere, homing),
7% (dark sphere, collateral)
Snaps his fingers, sending a thin, short-ranged surge of dark energy at the opponent. Should it connect, spheres of dark energy will orbit the opponent, then home in on them and explode after the orbs make at least two revolutions around the character. The initial surge can be charged, increasing its damage and range while creating more spheres on hit; an uncharged surge creates only one sphere, whereas a fully charged surge will create three spheres—up to five spheres may be orbiting an opponent at once. Sephiroth can quickly turn 180° before firing Shadow Flare by quickly flicking in the opposite direction. The spheres can also hit bystanders while they orbit around the opponent, with each sphere being able to collide twice before disappearing. The spheres can be reflected and absorbed. If pocketed, the dark sphere is thrown as a standard projectile. In comparison to Sephiroth's other moves, Shadow Flare is very spammable, allowing it to be used frequently without fear of retaliation, and allows him to set up followups or condition the opponent into picking an option. However, it should be noted that the move has very low safety due to it causing minimal hitstun and shield damage.

When using the move, Sephiroth may say 目障りだ ("Annoying." or "Pathetic."), 焼き付ける ("Burn."), 跪け ("Kneel."), 滅びる ("Perish."), くらえ ("Take this.") or simply chuckle.

Up special Blade Dash / Octaslash 7% (Blade Dash),
2.3% (Octaslash, hits 1-7),
7% (Octaslash, hit 8)
An omnidirectional slash move with a brief charge time, indicated by a directional arrow which points towards Sephiroth's travel direction before he begins moving. It travels similarly to moves like Fire Fox. Grounded versions of both moves will stop at ledges. Its functionality changes based on whether the special move button is tapped or held.

If the special move button is tapped, Sephiroth performs Blade Dash, which deals a single hit, travels less distance and can snap to the ledge. It deals low damage, but has moderately low ending and landing lag, allowing it to be used as a movement option. If the special move button is held down, it becomes Octaslash, a multi-hit dash that, true to its name, hits eight times, gaining significantly more power and slightly increased travel distance. It deals high damage and is an effective combat move, but has high ending lag and extremely high landing lag (one of the highest for an up special). It is unreliable at grabbing the ledge; however, its large hitbox can be used to deter opponents from camping a ledge. If Sephiroth starts a midair Octaslash and aims diagonally at the ground, he will travel along the ground as he moves, similarly to Fire Wolf. If he aims directly down towards the ground, however, Sephiroth bounces up slightly and the attack cancels. Octaslash's hits also slow down significantly on hit. Octaslash has great range overall, not only extending far in front of Sephiroth, but also having great reach above and below him; when combining this with the fact that every successive hit has only a one frame gap, this makes the move excellent for 2-framing nearly every character when timed correctly. When using Octaslash, Sephiroth may say 消え去れ ("Disappear."), 愚かな ("Foolish."), or 恐怖を刻む ("I carve terror.")

Down special Scintilla 1% (hits 1-3),
5% (hit 4)
1.2×-1.5× (Counter)
A counterattack consisting of a honeycomb-like barrier that deals multiple hits upon counterattacking. It can only counterattack attacks in front of Sephiroth. It is unique for a counterattack in a few ways: for one, it will activate and deal minimal damage even if an attack does not connect with it, though it still grows stronger like a normal counterattack depending on the damage it has taken. Secondly, it has a damage cap of 25%, after which the barrier will shatter, negating the damage and causing Sephiroth to stagger briefly. Finally, the counterattack is considered a projectile, meaning it can be reflected and absorbed. Despite its appearance suggesting so, Scintilla cannot reflect projectiles, as the barrier breaks and nullifies the projectile as if it hit the damage cap. Like most counterattacks, Scintilla freezes the opponent right before the retaliating hit. Its unique properties make it excellent for edgeguarding any sort of recovery due to its ability to automatically trigger. It is also one of the strongest counters in the game with a damage multiplier of 1.5x, making it tied with Gut Check and Counter Throw as the second strongest counterattack. This move can deter most opponents from sharking with their recovery move, making it effective against attacks that don't snap the ledge as quickly.

When using the move, Sephiroth may say 目障りだ ("Annoying." or "Pathetic."), 来い ("Come."), 消え去れ ("Disappear."), 愚かな ("Foolish."), いい顔だ ("I like the look on your face."), 打ち砕く ("I will crush you."), 跪け ("Kneel.") or simply chuckle.

Final Smash Supernova 7% (initial hit),
10% (cutscene),
15% (launching hit)
Performs a wide slash while announcing 星に帰れ ("Return to the Planet."). Up to three opponents hit by the slash will be trapped in a cutscene where Sephiroth transforms into Safer∙Sephiroth (his final boss form) to summon Meteor and trigger a supernova, wiping out the earth and causing random status effects to foes who survive the attack. These status effects include an automatic shield break, being slowed down, having reversed controls (indicated by a mushroom on the victim's head), having a flower planted on the victim's head, being put to sleep, or a simple darkness effect, which is accompanied by more knockback than usual, albeit still on the lower end for a Final Smash. Fighters caught in the Final Smash face towards him with their backs to the camera, much like Cloud and his party do in his final boss battle in Final Fantasy VII. The attack is also based on the attack of the same name in Final Fantasy VII. Once the move is successfully finished, Sephiroth adopts his fighting stance from Final Fantasy VII then performs an animation based on his victory pose as a guest party member during the Nibelheim flashback.

On-screen appearance[edit]

  • Slowly descends onto the stage while emitting a dark aura, which dissipates as he's about to land.

Taunts[edit]

  • Up taunt: Gestures forward with an upward hand flick, saying 来るがいい ("Come on.").
  • Side taunt: Takes a stance with Masamune in both hands, held at face level and facing the opponent. This directly references his fighting stance as a guest party member in Final Fantasy VII, as well as the climax of the game in which the metaphysical Sephiroth takes the stance against Cloud before being defeated by him (more so apparent with his Coatless costumes).
  • Down taunt: Shifts the side of his body forward with a sinister chuckle, emitting a dark aura as he does so. The dark aura comes from the entry cutscene before the fight against Sephiroth in Final Fantasy VII Remake.

Idle poses[edit]

  • Holds his sword downwards with his opposite arm under it and his heel up.
  • Shifts his position to the other side.

Crowd cheer[edit]

Cheer (English) Cheer (Japanese/Chinese) Cheer (Italian) Cheer (Dutch) Cheer (French)
Cheer
Flag of North America.svg

Flag of Europe.svg
Description Seph - i - roth! Seph - i - roth! Seph - i - roth! Seph - i - roth! Seph - i - roth!
Cheer (German) Cheer (Spanish) Cheer (Russian) Cheer (Korean)
Cheer
Description Seph - i - roth! Seph - i - roth! Seph - i - roth! Seph - i - roth!

Victory poses[edit]

All of Sephiroth's victory screens take place in a fiery area instead of the standard area where most of the victory screens take place, a direct reference to the Nibelheim Incident from Final Fantasy VII and Crisis Core. Instead of having a colored background behind him when his name appears, the screen will be tinted red. If Sephiroth is the leader of a winning team, he will use his special victory screens without any of his teammates being seen, similar to Joker.

  • Left: With his back turned, Sephiroth turns his head towards the camera while chuckling, then turns around and slowly walks deeper into the fire until he disappears. Reference to the second scene of the Nibelheim Incident cutscene.
  • Up: Slowly raises his head and glares at the camera. Reference to the first scene of the Nibelheim Incident cutscene, saying 何度でも導いてやろう。 ("I will usher you as many times as you want."). This is most likely a reference to his role in Dissidia Final Fantasy.
    • In team battles where Sephiroth is not the leader, he faces to the side while doing this pose, keeping his face away from the camera. This resembles his victory animation in Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia.
  • Right: While turning his back to the camera, he swings the Masamune and sprouts his black wing, saying その痛みで私を思い出せ。 ("Remember me through your pain.").

If Cloud is present during the match, he has a chance of saying 思い出にはならないさ ("I will never be a memory.") in any of his three victory poses, a reference to his final line of dialogue from Advent Children and, by proxy, his reveal trailer for Ultimate.

The ending of "Advent: One-Winged Angel", taken directly from Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. Afterwards, a droning note plays; it is unknown if it is from any source in particular, though it references the same droning sound that plays during the fiery cutscene from the Nibelheim Incident. Then, instead of the regular results theme, only the sound of flames is heard.

In competitive play[edit]

In the online meta, Sephiroth has seen early success, with Sharp placing in the top 8 of Get Clipped 6 and HABBY Birthday 2020. In an offline format, both Rizeasu and Zackray have done well at some Japanese tournaments with the character, with Zackray winning Kurobra 24 and Rizeasu getting top 8 at Sumabato SP 16. Both MkLeo and Tweek believe the character to be top tier, although others like Marss believe his frailty, poor disadvantage and generally slow frame data could prevent him from being a top tier character.

Classic Mode: The Chosen Ones[edit]

Sephiroth's congratulations screen.

Uniquely, Sephiroth's route has him facing off against all bosses in the game (aside from Galeem and Dharkon) in a Boss Rush, referencing his status as a final boss in Final Fantasy VII. The title of his route references his leitmotif from the original game, "Those Chosen by the Planet".

Round Opponent Stage Music Notes
1 Rathalos Forest Hill Roar/Rathalos
2 Galleom Base Boss Battle - Super Smash Bros. Brawl
3 Marx Mysterious Dimension Vs. Marx
4 Dracula Dracula's Castle Phase 1: Nothing to Lose
Phase 2: Black Night
5 Ganon Sacred Land Calamity Ganon Battle - Second Form
6 Giga Bowser Final Destination Giga Bowser
Bonus Stage
Final Master Hand and Crazy Hand Northern Cave (Ω Form) One-Winged Angel References the final battle of Final Fantasy VII where multiple characters team up to defeat Sephiroth.

Credits roll after completing Classic Mode. Completing it as Sephiroth has JENOVA accompany the credits.

Role in World of Light[edit]

The message that shows Sephiroth's availability in World of Light

Due to his status as downloadable content, Sephiroth does not have a legitimate role in World of Light. Instead, he is unlocked for use in the mode after freeing 10 fighters from Galeem's control. If loading an existing save file that meets this condition before downloading Sephiroth, he is immediately unlocked.

Interestingly, Sephiroth’s trailer takes place during World of Light, where he makes his presence known by slicing Galeem in half and fighting the heroes himself. Additionally, other DLC characters that have no role in World of Light are present fighting Galeem before Sephiroth makes his entrance, including Erdrick, Banjo and Kazooie.

Spirit[edit]

Sephiroth's fighter spirit can be obtained by completing Classic Mode. It is also available periodically for purchase in the shop for 300 coins. Unlocking Sephiroth 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. Each fighter spirit has an alternate version that replaces them with their artwork in Ultimate.

In Spirit Battles[edit]

Sephiroth is not currently featured in any Spirit Battles.

Alternate costumes[edit]

Sephiroth's base design for Ultimate is based on his redesign from Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children with some design elements taken from his in-game model from the original Final Fantasy VII such as the brown-colored straps on his shoulder guards, while his Coatless design is from the final cinematic boss fight in the original Final Fantasy VII. The design of his sword the Masamune is based on the Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children variant with the blue leather wraps with a golden hilt, and a golden handle guard with loops on two of the four sides.

Sephiroth Palette (SSBU).png
SephirothHeadSSBU.png SephirothHeadPurpleSSBU.png SephirothHeadGreenSSBU.png SephirothHeadRedSSBU.png SephirothHeadWhiteSSBU.png SephirothHeadBlueSSBU.png SephirothHeadCoatlessSSBU.png SephirothHeadCoatlessVioletSSBU.png

Reveal trailer[edit]

Gallery[edit]

Trivia[edit]

The Super Smash Bros. Ultimate × Final Fantasy at the end of The Game Awards 2020 video.
  • Sephiroth is the second character to be revealed at a non-Nintendo event/presentation, the first being Joker. Both of them were revealed at The Game Awards (in 2018 and 2020, respectively).
    • Unlike Joker's, however, Sephiroth's featured actual gameplay footage, was announced ahead of time, and was a standard world premiere trailer, rather than an "intruding" announcement.
    • Oddly, Sephiroth's English trailer shown during The Game Awards is slightly different from the one uploaded to Nintendo's official channels later: the crossover card states Super Smash Bros. Ultimate × Final Fantasy during The Game Awards, whereas in later uploads it displays Super Smash Bros. Ultimate × Final Fantasy VII, in line with Cloud's trailer for Super Smash Bros. 4.
  • According to Sakurai, Sephiroth was developed to feel like a boss character while having boss-like strength for players to enjoy when using him.[1]
    • Sakurai also mentions during development of Sephiroth, two problems were how to incorporate Masamune into the game and making it easy for players to use his attacks.
  • Sephiroth's internal codename is "edge", a likely reference to his famously long sword Masamune in addition to the name of the city built on top of the ruins of Midgar in Advent Children.
  • When KO'd by reaching 0 HP during his final stock in Stamina Mode, Sephiroth uses his heavy knockback scream rather than his standard KO scream. This trait is shared with Mario, Dr. Mario, Hero, Terry, Byleth and Min Min.
  • Sephiroth is the first:
    • DLC character from a universe that was introduced as DLC in a previous installment.
    • Third-party playable antagonist (not counting Steve's Zombie and Enderman alternate costumes).
    • Ultimate character to be unlockable through an event before their official release.
    • Ultimate Fighters Pass character whose game of origin was already represented by a playable fighter, that being Cloud. When counting all DLC characters, he shares this trait with Piranha Plant.
  • Sephiroth is the second character whose trailer references World of Light, the first being Hero's.
    • Coincidentally, both are downloadable fighters from Square Enix, and both fight opposing forces from the World of Light, as Hero fought Dharkon and its controlled puppet fighters and Sephiroth sliced through Galeem. Additionally, they each hail from one of the two companies that merged into Square Enix, as Sephiroth comes from Squaresoft and the Hero from Enix.
  • Sephiroth's trailer makes several references to both the original Final Fantasy VII game, the game's remake, and the CGI-animated film Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, with much of his and Cloud's dialogue being adapted from the latter. Several shots in the trailer are direct recreations of shots from Advent Children.
    • His introduction tagline pose references his official artwork from Final Fantasy VII.
    • His trailer currently features the most playable characters in the animated portion of any reveal trailer (excluding himself), with 18 characters.
    • Sephiroth’s trailer marks the first time that Cloud has appeared in CGI in the Smash series, with all of his other appearances in trailers and cutscenes using his in-game model. Cloud's CGI model is, notably, based on his Advent Children design.
  • Like Cloud, Smash marks the third time that Sephiroth has been playable in a fighting game/series, with the first two being Ehrgeiz and the Dissidia: Final Fantasy series.
  • Sephiroth's render resembles a flipped version of his original Dissidia render (albeit in 3D and with his wing displayed).
  • Sephiroth is the first DLC character who must be unlocked through fighting him, although this is only for early access and not a permanent feature.
  • Sephiroth is the first character whose Classic Mode consists entirely of bosses.
    • As a result, Sephiroth is the first character whose Classic Mode does not contain fighters as opponents.
  • Sephiroth's route is one of only four to fight a boss outside of the boss round, the others being Bowser, Mega Man and Hero.
  • When fighting Master Hand and Crazy Hand, Sephiroth starts on the far left side of the stage rather than in the center, unlike other battles with the hands. Pyra would later do the same in her route.
  • Sephiroth is the first DLC character to have a unique quote when winning against certain characters, much like the Star Fox, Kid Icarus, and Fire Emblem characters as well as Simon. He is also the second third-party character with this distinction following Simon.
  • Sephiroth is one of seven fighters who do not use their dashing animation on the World of Light map, the others being Meta Knight, Inkling, Hero, Banjo & Kazooie, Pyra, and Mythra.
  • Sephiroth's victory screens load much faster than other characters, likely due to the fiery background being pre-rendered instead of a modeled setting.
  • Sephiroth is one of only five characters to predominantly using his left hand to wield his weapon, sharing this trait with Young Link, Toon Link, Ice Climbers, and Rosalina & Luma.

References[edit]