Sheik (SSB4)

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This article is about Sheik's appearance in Super Smash Bros. 4. For the character in other contexts, see Sheik.
Sheik
in Super Smash Bros. 4
Sheik SSB4.png
ZeldaSymbol.svg
Universe The Legend of Zelda
Other Smash Bros. appearances in Melee
in Brawl
in Ultimate
Availability Starter
Final Smash Light Arrow
Tier A (4)
SheikHeadSSB4-U.png
Sheik Appears on the Scene!
—Introduction Tagline

Sheik (シーク, Sheik) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. 4. Her return to the series was announced during a Super Smash Bros. Direct on April 8th, 2014.[1] Jun Mizusawa reprises her role as Sheik's voice actor, albeit via recycled voice clips from Super Smash Bros. Brawl.

Sheik is currently ranked 4th out of 55 on the tier list, placing her at the top of the A tier, and making her the highest ranked The Legend of Zelda character in the game. This is a significant improvement over her mid-tier placement in Brawl, where she was ranked 25th out of 38. While not as overwhelmingly dominant as Meta Knight in Brawl, the sheer effectiveness of Sheik's moveset saw her almost universally perceived as the best character in the early metagame of SSB4. Sheik's extremely fast frame data grants her an excellent neutral game and a potent combo game, which are supplemented by Needle Storm and her improved grab game, respectively. Her KO potential has also improved: up aerial now consists of multiple hits and concludes with a very strong hit, while her new down special move, Bouncing Fish, deals respectable damage and has high knockback scaling. Lastly, the combination of Sheik's much faster air speed, Bouncing Fish's horizontal travel distance, and the removal of edge-hogging have greatly improved her recovery.

Although she has outstanding strengths, Sheik nevertheless has noticeable weaknesses. Her overall low damage output offsets the very high knockback scaling of her smash attacks and up aerial, which results in her KO potential being unimpressive at best. When coupled with her lack of set-ups at high percentages, Sheik is forced to rely on hard reads to properly score a KO. While rage alleviates her KO potential, it also offsets her combo game. By extension, Sheik cannot utilize rage more often than not, owing to her above average height and very light weight collectively rendering her endurance as unimpressive. Lastly, nerfs from game updates have further hindered her by decreasing her already light weight, worsening her forward aerial and grab game's combo potentials, and weakening up aerial and Bouncing Fish's KO potentials.

While Sheik's flaws and nerfs from game patches have resulted in her losing her status as the highest ranked character in SSB4, she is still widely considered to be a very viable character in competitive play.

Attributes[edit]

Sheik is a character that, as a ninja of sorts, fits the "hit-and-run" character archetype. One of Sheik's greatest strengths is her overall mobility, being among the best in the game both grounded and aerial, boasting the fifth fastest walking speed, eighth fastest dashing speed, above average traction, high air speed and air acceleration and the ninth fastest falling speed. She also has high gravity, which makes her mobility better, but leaves her more vulnerable to vertical knockback. However, she is the eleventh lightest character; when coupled with her gravity and tall height, these traits collectively make her very susceptible to combos. Her crouch is also very low, making her difficult to hit when doing so. Sheik can also wall cling and crawl.

Aside from her excellent mobility, another of Sheik's greatest strengths is her nearly-unrivaled frame data. Her moves have generally negligible amounts of startup and ending lag, making her extremely difficult to punish properly, and this is supplemented by the good range of her moveset. She also has an excellent projectile in Needle Storm, with the needles being fast, long-ranged (covers about half of Final Destination), possessing transcendent priority, and causing hitstun. Coupled with her range, her needles give her a strong camping ability. Overall, her mobility, projectile game, range and frame data all combined form her greatest strength: her outstanding neutral game. She can play both defensively, by pressuring and zoning from afar without much trouble, or aggressively, with her fast attack speed giving her an unpredictable approach. Sheik can poke and pressure her opponents with her aerials and tilts, all of which are safe options. If they choose to drop shield, they are wide open to these attacks. At the same time, holding shield presents her with an opportunity to grab and use her throw set-ups.

Sheik's excellent frame data, combined with the low power of many of her moves, gives her among the best combo abilities in the game. Her throws can easily lead into other attacks, with her forward and down throws being particularly effective at starting combos, as they can set up long chains of forward aerials, with her up aerial and Bouncing Fish being useful combo finishers. Her combos are not limited to her air game; all of her tilts can start and extend combos since they send opponents into the air, and can confirm into aerials; her forward tilt particularly, can chain into itself at lower percentages, and has reliable follow-ups all the way into KO percents as well. Down tilt, while not chaining into itself as effectively, has even lower power, giving her access to KO confirms as well. She also boasts an effective jab cancel that leads into her tilts. With proper spacing and timing, she can even perform pseudo-chain grabs.

All aspects of Sheik's moveset are solid overall. A sole few number of her aerial moves possess great versatility; forward aerial in particular, has little startup, decent ending lag, auto-cancels in a short hop fast fall, and has slightly disjointed range, making it an all-purpose move: it can be used to approach, pressure, combo and set up edge-guards. Neutral aerial is her fastest one, allowing her to break out of combos and finish or extend hers, notably into Bouncing Fish. Up aerial is her strongest one of her aerial moveset, and also sends opponents into a great angle for juggling, both of which give it good utility at both KOing and finishing combos. Her back aerial is her second strongest one, though due to its low damage output, it is overall best suited for edge-guarding and ending a combo. It also has the longest range of Sheik's aerials, and when fast-falled and sweetspotted (at the foot), it is even safer on shield than her forward aerial.

Outside of her Needle Storm, Sheik's special moveset also possesses good utility: her up special, Vanish, grants her invincibility and invisibility, making it hard for the opponent to predict where she will appear. It also has a hitbox on disappearance that is decently strong, and another one and a windbox when she reappears, making it nigh-impossible to punish. Meanwhile, her down special Bouncing Fish, is famous for being her primary KO move, being similar to Flip Jump on some regards: it deals good damage with high knockback scaling, has KO confirms on it from her neutral aerial (both clean and late), forward aerial and aerial Needle Storm, and is safe on shield if it hits. Both Vanish and Bouncing Fish also conform Sheik's last strength in her recovery, as they make it versatile and extendable, both of them and can be used in tandem with each other, and they are difficult and risky to intercept, as they both deal high knockback enough to interrupt an edge-guard. Combined with her wall jump, this makes Sheik hard to edge-guard or gimp, without disabling her midair jump, and enables her to reverse edge-guard effectively.

However, despite having immense strengths, Sheik still has notable flaws. The most notable of them is her frailty: despite her recovery being amazing, in a similar vein to Fox, her on-stage endurance is fairly weak, succumbing to strong enough blows, whereas her above average height, high falling speed and gravity make her easy to combo. This is further compounded by her poor damage output overall: despite her strong damage racking ability, she requires very long strings of attacks to deal the same amount of damage that super-heavyweight characters such as Bowser and Donkey Kong can inflict in noticeably fewer hits. While the low damage and power on her moves grant her an awesome combo game, Sheik also struggles to secure her opponent's stock. She has a few moves with high knockback, but she has difficulty landing them; her up smash has a powerful first hit on her arms as she rises them, but it is hard to land outside of a read or confirm, and is hampered by its much weaker second hit as she lowers her arms. Her forward smash and her down smash are among the weakest smash attacks of their kind, and they have punishable ending lag as well. In the air, she is limited to using her up aerial or Bouncing Fish to KO, and even then they must be relatively close to the blast lines for maximum effectiveness, since her other aerial attacks do not KO until 200% or more, and are otherwise only useful for edge-guarding and gimping characters with particularly weak or linear recoveries. Furthermore, her overall below average grab game has no throws that can KO reliably, and her aforementioned forward and down throws have too much knockback for truly reliable KO set-ups. With all of this working against her, it is not uncommon for her opponents to survive in excess of 150%. Lastly, the introduction to rage hinders Sheik: without rage, she often has trouble KOing, though as her rage increases, her combo game is slowly hindered, which when combined with her poor damage output, it can make bringing an opponent to KO percents difficult. Besides, this also brings opponents to a high level enough of rage to KO Sheik herself with a strong enough move.

Other weaknesses include a few moves that have very low utility, despite Sheik's moveset versatility. These include her down aerial, which is the slowest of her aerial moveset, has the highest landing lag and is a stall-then-fall, which give it the lowest utility of Sheik's aerial moveset despite it meteor smashing an opponent. Her smash attacks are difficult to land overall and outside of up smash, have little KO power. Lastly, Burst Grenade has a slow explosion, renders Sheik helpless if performed while airborne, and has only situational usage on edge-guarding predictable recoveries (such as Little Mac) and extending the damage of a hard punish.

Sheik benefits a good amount from her custom moves. Penetrating Needles only shoots three needles instead of six and has less range, but it deals extra shield damage, granting her a new pressuring option. Gravity Grenade loses the suction effect, but the grenade can be thrown much farther and pulls enemies towards Sheik, allowing multiple follow-up opportunities. Pisces, while having a much more shallow flip, removing her forward throw combo, gains more horizontal distance, is faster, has little lag if the follow-up attack is not executed, and is significantly stronger, being able to KO 59% earlier than the default Bouncing Fish. Her other custom moves, like Paralyzing Needle and Abyss, are slightly riskier, yet more rewarding than Needle Storm and Vanish.

All in all, Sheik's strengths outweigh her weaknesses, to the point that she has some of the highest tournament representation of any character in SSB4. By extension, her playerbase includes the likes of Mr. R, VoiD, and Vinnie, who are considered to be among the best players in the world. However, Sheik's nerfs from 1.1.5 have slightly affected her standings and representation compared to other characters.

Changes from Brawl[edit]

Sheik has been buffed significantly in the transition from Brawl to SSB4. The partial reversion to some of her attacks and the outright updating of others have restored many of her options that she lost in Brawl, while changes to gameplay mechanics also greatly benefit her restored strengths. For example, Sheik's grab game has regained much of its utility because of synchronization between such changes: her grabs and back throw have less ending lag, which grants the latter combo potential, whereas forward and down throws greatly benefit from both their altered angles and the changes to hitstun canceling.

Sheik's special moveset has also largely improved: Needle Storm has increased knockback and travels faster; Vanish's reappearance is safer thanks to it receiving a hitbox alongside its windbox; and her new special moves, Burst Grenade and Bouncing Fish, provide greater utility than Chain and Transform respectively. Sheik also benefits greatly from the reintroduction of pivoting, which improves her grounded mobility, allows her to extend combos with her tilt attacks, and improves Needle Storm's mindgame potential. Although Sheik's KO potential is not as potent as it was in Melee, it has nevertheless improved, thanks to the increased knockback scaling on her smash attacks and up aerial, as well as the additions of Bouncing Fish and the rage mechanic.

In addition to her moveset, Sheik herself has also improved, as her walking, dashing, and air speeds are much faster. Her faster air speed is especially useful in two ways: it now enables her aerial combo game to flow much more fluidly, which is especially evident with her forward aerial's altered angle, and it significantly improves her recovery alongside Bouncing Fish's horizontal travel distance, and the removal of edge-hogging.

However, Sheik also received a few nerfs, some of which are due to gameplay changes. The removal of DACUS significantly weakens her up smash's versatility. Although Sheik's forward tilt is still a very useful combo starter, its combo potential was nevertheless worsened by the changes to locks. On top of this, her already below average damage output has lowered even further, which forces players to rely on combos to rack up damage before attempting to score a KO. Despite rage alleviating Sheik's KO potential, it also offsets her combo game at medium to high percentages, and her unimpressive endurance means that she cannot utilize it as consistently or effectively as other characters. Lastly, game updates have nerfed Sheik in certain ways, with update 1.1.5 most notably removing many of her 50/50 KO mix-ups.

Despite these noticeable flaws, Sheik's buffs significantly outweigh her nerfs, to the point that she was regarded by many as the best character in the game prior to update 1.1.5.

Aesthetics[edit]

  • Change Sheik's design is now combination of her appearance in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and her concept artwork for The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. Her lean musculature and slightly larger eyes are from Ocarina of Time, whereas her attire is from Twilight Princess. The aesthetic used in SSB4 has also resulted in Sheik's color scheme being significantly more vibrant, and her hair being of a significantly higher visual quality than in Brawl.
  • Change Sheik has received four new alternate costumes, one of which is based on her appearance in Ocarina of Time.
  • Change Sheik is slightly more expressive. She now glares during some attacks, and appears alarmed while teetering.
  • Change Sheik has a new idle animation and two new idle poses. However, she will revert to her idle poses from Brawl while holding a small item.
  • Change Sheik has a new victory pose. She now performs her forward tilt and then immediately performs her down smash. It replaces her contemplative victory pose.
  • Change Due to the removal of Chain, side taunt's visual effects have changed. Sheik now brandishes the tripwire she uses for her new side special, Burst Grenade.

Attributes[edit]

  • Nerf Sheik is lighter (85 → 81), hindering her endurance. While this would also make Sheik less susceptible to combos, her faster falling speed, higher gravity, and the changes to hitstun canceling collectively result in her being more susceptible to combos.
  • Buff Sheik walks faster (1.3 → 1.4).
  • Buff Sheik dashes faster (1.92 → 2.016).
  • Buff Sheik's air speed is much faster (0.846 → 1.1), going from being tied for the 30th fastest out of 39 characters to being tied for the 14th fastest out of 58 characters.
  • Change Sheik falls faster (1.58 → 1.75). This improves her vertical endurance, but makes her more susceptible to combos.
  • Change Sheik's gravity is higher (0.1409 → 0.15). This slightly improves her aerial mobility, but slightly hinders her horizontal endurance.
  • Nerf Item throw is weaker (0.896 → 0.866).
  • Nerf Due to the limitations of the Nintendo 3DS' processing power,[2] Sheik is no longer connected to Zelda via Transform or character selection screen input.[1] As a result, she can no longer access Zelda's significantly better KO potential and vertical recovery to alleviate her own.

Ground attacks[edit]

  • Change Neutral attack's first hit deals 1% less damage (3% → 2%). This improves its jab canceling potential, but hinders its damage racking potential.
  • Buff Neutral attack's second hit has decreased startup (frame 3 → 2). Neutral infinite is also significantly more difficult to escape from due to the weakening of SDI, despite its SDI multiplier being increased (0.7× → 1×), and it has received a finisher, a palm thrust.
  • Nerf Neutral infinite deals less damage (2% (near)/1% (far) → 0.8%/0.6%).
  • Buff The weakening of SDI allows forward tilt to combo into itself more reliably at low percents, despite its SDI multiplier being increased (0.5× → 1×).
  • Nerf Forward tilt deals less damage (5% → 4%), has different angles (90°/108° → 84°/86°/78°) and higher knockback scaling (100 → 158/165). It also has increased ending lag (frame 22 → 25) and a shorter hitbox duration (frames 5-10 → 5-8). Combined with stale-move negation not reducing knockback as much as in Brawl, these changes prevent it from comboing repeatedly into itself starting at medium percents, drastically hindering its damage racking potential.
  • Buff Up tilt's first hit has different angles (75°/30°/350° → 0°/330°/75°), which along with the weakening of SDI allows it to connect more reliably into the second hit.
  • Nerf Up tilt has a shorter duration (frames 5-10 (hit 1)/19-24 (hit 2) → 5-8/19-23), smaller hitboxes (5.5u/4u/7u → 4.5u/3.5u/5.5u (hit 1), 5u/6.5u → 4u/5u (hit 2)) and deals less damage (6% (hit 1)/7% (hit 2) → 5%/6%), although its second hit's knockback scaling was slightly compensated (122 → 125).
  • Nerf Down tilt has a shorter duration (frames 5-8 → 5-6), smaller hitboxes (3.5u/3.8u/5u → 3.2u/3.5u/4.2u) and deals less damage (8% → 5%), although its knockback was compensated (35 (base)/80 (scaling) → 37/110).
  • Buff The changes to hitstun canceling improve the combo potential of all of Sheik's tilts into other moves from medium to high percents.
  • Nerf Dash attack deals less damage (7% (clean)/5% (late) → 6.5%/4.5%), although its clean hit's knockback was compensated (50 (base)/100 (scaling) → 70/90). Its late hit also has a shorter duration (frames 7-11 → 7-8).
  • Change Dash attack's clean hit has a higher hitlag multiplier (1× → 1.3×). This makes it slightly safer on shield, but easier to DI.
  • Nerf Forward smash has smaller hitboxes (4.5u/4u/5u → 3.2u/3u/4u (hit 1), 6u/4.5u → 4u/3.5u (hit 2)). Its second hit also has a shorter duration (frames 26-28 → 26-27) and deals less damage (9% → 8%).
  • Buff Forward smash's first hit has different angles (24°/361°/60° → 26°/45°/80°) with lower set knockback (69/50 → 62/47), which along with the weakening of SDI allows it to connect more reliably into the second hit. Additionally, the second hit has increased knockback (50 (base)/100 (scaling) → 60/109), improving its KO potential despite its lower damage.
  • Nerf Forward smash now consists of one hit instead of two when using a battering item.
  • Change Forward smash now uses a stab effect, instead of a normal effect.
  • Buff Up smash's first hit has larger hitboxes (5.5u → 6u), allowing it to hit tall characters such as Rosalina more easily on the ground.
  • Nerf Up smash deals less damage (17% (hit 1)/12% (hit 2) → 15%/11%) with only its first hit's knockback scaling slightly compensated (82 → 86), hindering its KO potential. Its second hit also has increased startup with a shorter duration (frames 13-15 → 14-15). Lastly, the removal of DACUS significantly hinders up smash's approach potential.
  • Change Up smash's first hit has a higher hitlag multiplier (1× → 1.3×). This makes it safer on shield, but easier to DI.
  • Nerf Down smash's hitbox timings have been altered (frames 4-8 (hit 1)/15-18 (hit 2)/21-23 (hit 3) → 11-12 (hit 1)/18-19 (hit 2)), increasing its startup and causing it to deal one less hit. It also deals less damage (13% (hit 1)/10% (hits 2-3) → 3% (hit 1)/6% (hit 2)), has increased ending lag (frame 49 → 55), smaller hitboxes (4.8u/5.31u → 4u (hit 1)/4.5u (hit 2)), and no longer grants intangibility on Sheik's legs during its first hit frame. Altogether, these changes significantly hinder its safety.
  • Buff Down smash's first hit has gained set knockback (35 (base)/0 (set)/80 (scaling) → 0/35/100) and a different angle (40° → 140°) that enable it to connect at any percent into the second hit, which has higher knockback scaling (80 → 165), making it stronger than the first hit in Brawl.
  • Change Down smash's second hit has a different angle (50° → 48°).

Aerial attacks[edit]

  • Change Clean neutral aerial deals less damage (13% (sweetspot)/10% (sourspot) → 8%/7%) with only a moderate increase to its base knockback (0 → 20). This improves its combo potential, but drastically hinders its KO and edge-guarding potentials.
  • Nerf Late neutral aerial has smaller hitboxes (4u/3.2u/3u/2.5u → 3.4u/2.7u/1.5u).
  • Change Forward aerial deals less damage (9% → 4.3% (body)/5% (arm)) and now has a sourspot that takes priority over the sweetspot. Due to its angle being altered (30° → 50°), it is also no longer a semi-spike. These changes significantly improve its combo potential, but slightly hinder its edge-guarding potential.
  • Nerf Forward aerial has a shorter duration (frames 5-8 → 5-7) and slightly smaller hitboxes (5.3u → 5u).
  • Change Forward aerial's animation has slightly changed: Sheik now lunges farther inward. The move now also has a slash effect, instead of a normal effect.
  • Nerf Back aerial deals less damage (12% (clean sweetspot)/11% (clean sourspot)/6% (late) → 8%/7%/5%) without full compensation on knockback (clean: 0/0/5/14 (base) → 30, late: 0/0/4/8 (base)/100 (scaling) → 10/101), significantly hindering its KO and edge-guarding potential. Additionally, it has increased landing lag (10 → 12 frames), and its late hit has a shorter duration (frames 7-17 → 7-14).
  • Buff Up aerial is now a multi-hit move that possesses a loop hit with the autolink angle, instead of a clean hit and late hit, giving it a longer duration (frames 4-6 (clean)/7-15 (late) → 4-15 (loop)/23-24 (last hit)). Its last hit also launches at a higher angle (70° (clean)/60° (late) → 80°) and has higher base knockback (15/10 → 50). This improves its juggling potential, as well as its KO potential near the top blast line, and allows it to drag opponents down to the ground with its loop hit for additional set-ups.
  • Nerf Up aerial has increased ending lag (frame 40 → 44), and auto-cancels later (frame 30 → 47), making it unable to auto-cancel in a short hop. It also deals less damage (11% (clean)/6% (late) → 1% (hits 1-3)/4% (hit 4)), hindering its KO potential when used far from the top blast line, despite its last hit's higher knockback scaling (100 → 135).
  • Change Up aerial has higher hitlag multipliers (1× → 1.3× (loop)/2× (last hit)), making it safer on shield, but easier to DI. It also has slash and stab effects, instead of a normal effect.
  • Nerf Down aerial has increased landing lag (26 → 30 frames) and deals less damage (10% → 8%).
  • Buff Down aerial now possesses a clean hit and late hit (frames 15-33 → 15-18 (clean)/19-33 (late)), with the former being a meteor smash (70° → 280°), granting it edge-guarding potential. It also has larger hitboxes (5.5u → 5.9u (clean)/5.8u (late)), as well as higher knockback scaling (80 → 90 (clean)/105 (late)), improving its KO potential despite its lower damage. Lastly, it has received a landing hitbox that deals 2% and can be comboed into from the clean hit, allowing it to still deal the same damage as in Brawl if used on-stage.
  • Change Due to Sheik's faster falling speed, down aerial descends significantly faster. This allows it to hit opponents below her faster, but significantly hinders its safety while off-stage.
  • Change Down aerial now has a stab effect, instead of a normal effect.

Throws/other attacks[edit]

  • Buff Standing and dash grabs have decreased ending lag (frame 30 → 28 (standing), frame 40 → 35 (dash)).
  • Nerf Dash and pivot grabs have increased startup (frame 7 → 8 (dash), frame 8 → 9 (pivot)).
  • Buff Pummel deals more damage (3% → 3.1%).
  • Buff The changes to hitstun canceling significantly improve forward and down throws' combo potentials up to high percents, despite their higher knockback scaling (65 → 79 (forward), 75 → 90 (down)), as well as back throw's combo potential at low to mid percents.
  • Buff Forward throw launches at a higher angle (70° → 72°), allowing it to combo into an up smash against fast-fallers at low percents.
  • Change Down throw's angle has been altered (80° → 77°).
  • Buff Floor attacks deal more damage (6% → 7%) and shield damage (1 → 8) per hit, with minimally compensated knockback scaling (50 → 48).
  • Change Floor attacks' angles have been altered (361° → 48°).
  • Buff Edge attack no longer has set knockback (0 (base)/90 (set)/100 (scaling) → 90/0/20).
  • Nerf Edge attack deals less damage (8% → 7%).
  • Change Edge attack's angle has been altered (361° → 45°).

Special moves[edit]

  • Nerf Needle Storm deals less damage (3% (near)/2% (far) → 1.9%/1.2%), although its knockback was compensated. It also has decreased range and increased ending lag, hindering its zoning potential.
  • Buff Needle Storm travels significantly faster. The reintroduction of pivoting also improves its spacing potential.
  • Change Sheik has a new side special, Burst Grenade. Sheik throws a grenade attached to a tripwire that can be detonated at will. Unlike Chain, it functions similarly to an item-based projectile, as its grenade will become a non-explosive item if Sheik is grabbed or attacked before she can detonate it.
  • Buff Compared to Chain, Burst Grenade's explosion deals more damage (3% (Chain)/5% (tip) → 12.6%) and has significantly more knockback (3/5/10/35 (base)/20/50 (scaling) → 30 (base)/100 (scaling)), making it capable of KOing. Like Chain, it can block incoming projectiles, although only its grenade can do so. Unlike Chain, it has damaging windboxes that pull opponents in, and it does not have a set range, making it significantly more effective at edge-guarding.
  • Nerf Compared to Chain, Burst Grenade cannot be freely maneuvered, making it less effective at zoning. It also cannot be used as a tether recovery, and renders Sheik helpless in the air, making it unusable for recovery. Lastly, it is reflectable and its explosion is absorbable.
  • Change Burst Grenade launches at a higher angle than Chain (361° → 55°).
  • Nerf Vanish's disappearing hitbox deals less damage (15% → 12%), hindering its KO potential. Its explosion is now also absorbable.
  • Buff Vanish's reappearing windbox has received a hitbox that deals 5%, improving its safety.
  • Buff Sheik has a new down special, Bouncing Fish. It is a 360° Tengkong Pantui Cepu, a kick used in Nanquan. Unlike Transform, it deals 12% damage with moderate knockback (26 (base)/90 (scaling)), propels Sheik forward and can bounce off walls for additional height, while granting intangibility on frames 3-4. This allows it to be comboed into from several moves even at high percents, KO near edges, escape juggling, and extend Sheik's recovery, giving it significantly more utility.
  • Nerf Unlike Transform, Bouncing Fish has significant landing lag, making it more punishable if used close to the ground.
  • Nerf Light Arrow deals less damage (3% (hit 1)/45% (first opponent)/25% (third opponent) → 1%/44%/24%) and has decreased knockback, slightly hindering its KO potential.

Update history[edit]

Much like Diddy Kong, Sheik has been nerfed significantly via game updates. Update 1.0.4 considerably weakened her up aerial and Bouncing Fish, her most reliable KOing options, and increased Needle Storm's ending lag. It also decreased her forward aerial's damage output, worsening its edge-guarding ability and the effectiveness of combos involving it. Update 1.0.6 noticeably decreased down tilt and back aerial's damage outputs, with the former's knockback compensated, removing the latter's KO potential almost completely. Update 1.1.0 decreased forward aerial's damage output and made its sourspot take priority over its sweetspot, but also compensated its sweetspot's knockback scaling; this slightly improved its edge-guarding potential, yet slightly worsened its sweetspot's combo potential. Update 1.1.4 decreased the knockback scaling and size of Vanish's disappearing hitbox, making it more difficult to land and KO with.

The most detrimental update, however, was 1.1.5: as of said update, Sheik is much more susceptible to early KOs as she is four units lighter, the range reduction of Needle Storm made her neutral game weaker, and her pivotal forward and down throws have increased knockback scaling and angle alterations which reduce their combo potential, and removes any semi-guaranteed KO set-ups without making them strong enough to KO at realistic percentages. Overall, Sheik is noticeably worse compared to how she was at the release of SSB4, with professionals such as ZeRo no longer considering her the best character in the game and having dropped her as a result. Despite these nerfs, Sheik has nevertheless managed to retain her status as a top tier character throughout SSB4's lifespan.

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS 1.0.4

  • Nerf Forward aerial deals less damage: 6.8% (sweetspot)/6% (sourspot) → 5.5%/4.8%.
  • Buff Forward aerial's decreased damage allows it to combo for longer.
  • Nerf Up aerial hits one less time, dealing less total damage as a result: 8% → 7%.
  • Nerf Up aerial knockback growth: 166 → 138.
  • Nerf Needle Storm has 6 frames more ending lag.
  • Nerf Bouncing Fish's knockback decreased: 30 base/100 growth → 26/90.

Super Smash Bros. 4 1.0.6

  • Nerf Down tilt deals less damage: 7.5% → 5%, with knockback compensated (35 (base)/80 (scaling) → 37/110).
  • Nerf Clean sweetspotted and clean sourspotted back aerial deal less damage: 11% (clean sweetspot)/10% (clean sourspot) → 8%/7%, significantly hindering their KO and edge-guarding potentials.

Super Smash Bros. 4 1.1.0

  • Change Forward aerial deals less damage: 5.5% (sweetspot)/4.8% (sourspot) → 5%/4.3%, although its sweetspot's knockback was compensated: 125 → 132. These changes slightly improve its sweetspot's edge-guarding potential, and slightly improve its sourspot's combo potential. However, they slightly hinder its sweetspot's combo potential.
  • Nerf Forward aerial's sourspot now takes priority over its sweetspot.

Super Smash Bros. 4 1.1.1

Super Smash Bros. 4 1.1.4

  • Change Weight slightly decreased: 85 → 84.
  • Nerf Vanish's disappearance hitbox knockback scaling (104 → 102) and size are slightly decreased (14 → 13).

Super Smash Bros. 4 1.1.5

  • Change Weight decreased: 84 → 81.
  • Nerf Forward throw has more knockback growth: 65 → 79 limiting its use at high percent.
  • Change Forward throw's angle has been altered: 70° → 72°. This slightly worsens its combo ability on middleweight or light characters, though it now gives Sheik a new followup on her jump cancel up smash on heavyweights/fastfallers.
  • Change Down throw's angle has been altered: 80° → 77°.
  • Nerf Down throw has more knockback growth: 75 → 90 removing her semi-guaranteed KO set ups.
  • Nerf The sweetspot of forward aerial was brought closer to Sheik, reducing its range (z-offset: 3.5 -> 2.5).
  • Nerf Needle Storm range reduced by one sixth.
  • Buff Down smash's knockback growth increased: 155 → 165.
  • Nerf Max Walk speed with heavy items decreased: .896 → .866.

Moveset[edit]

  Name Damage Description
Neutral attack   2% An inward knifehand strike, followed by an upward knifehand strike. When button mashed, Sheik performs a barrage of knifehand strikes, followed by a palm thrust. It hits on frame 2 and both of its first two hits can be jab canceled reliably, even at high percents. As a result, it is very useful as a set-up for combos into itself or her tilt attacks, and even into KOs with her smash attacks. Although its infinite's finisher has extremely high knockback scaling to offset its very low damage output, it is still punishable because of its high ending lag.
3%
0.8% (near loop), 0.6% (far loop), 3% (last)
Forward tilt   4% A roundhouse kick. It hits on frame 5 and has extremely low base knockback, yet high knockback scaling. When coupled with its hitboxes' favorable launching angles, it can easily combo into itself from 0% to very low percents, into Bouncing Fish at low percents, into neutral and forward aerials at low to medium percents, and into up aerial at low to higher percents.
Up tilt   5% (hit 1), 6% (hit 2) A stretch kick transitioned into an axe kick. Its first hit has low set knockback, which enables it to be reliably combo into its second hit. Due to its low ending lag, it can be used to either start or continue combos.
Down tilt   5% A legsweep. Its relatively low knockback and vertical launching angles grant it decent combo potential. The hitboxes on Sheik's leg launch opponents at 70°, which enable it to combo into her neutral or forward aerials. In comparison, the hitbox on her heel launches opponents at 90°, which enables it to combo into up aerial.
Dash attack   6.5% (clean), 4.5% (late) Lunges to perform two outward fanning knifehand strikes. It hits on frame 5, which ties it with Sonic's dash attack as the fourth fastest in the game. It also has high base knockback and decent knockback scaling. However, its 32 frames of ending lag make it punishable.
Forward smash   5% (hit 1), 8% (hit 2) A roundhouse kick followed by a spinning side kick. Each hit moves her forward, while its first hit's low weight-based knockback enables it to combo reliably into the second hit. Although its second hit has an average damage output, its high knockback scaling nevertheless enables it to KO middleweights at 140% from the center of Final Destination. It also has the lowest amount of ending lag out of Sheik's smash attacks. However, its first hit only lasts for 1 frame and can be punished on shield before the second hit comes out, due to its minimal shieldstun and the long gap between them.
Up smash   15% (hit 1), 11% (hit 2) Raises her arms overhead and then quickly swings them downward to perform outward fanning knifehand strikes. It has two hits, but they do not connect into each other except against tall or large targets at low percents, instead working individually as launching hits. The first hit is located on her fingertips when her hands are overhead and launches opponents at 93°, whereas the second hit is located around her torso during the downswing and launches opponents at 50°. The first hit is both powerful and safe as an anti-air: its respectable damage output enables it to KO middleweights at 104% from ground height, and it grants intangibility to her head and arms on frames 8-15. On the other hand, the second hit's lower damage output results in it KOing middleweights at 162% from center stage. It is also very punishable, owing to its 37 frames of ending lag.
Down smash   3% (hit 1), 6% (hit 2) A modified butterfly kick performed from the windmill, a breakdancing move. It hits twice, with its second hit's extremely high knockback scaling enabling it to KOing middleweights at 148% from center stage. However, it is Sheik's least damaging smash attack, and is very punishable because of its 35 frames of ending lag, rather short range, and minimal shieldstun.
Neutral aerial   8% (clean sweetspot), 7% (clean sourspot), 5% (late sweetspot), 4% (late sourspot) A flying kick. Due to it hitting on frame 3, it is Sheik's fastest aerial. It is also a sex kick, which makes it good for breaking combos or functioning as an out of shield option. Its clean sweetspot is useful edge-guarding, but can also combo into Bouncing Fish at medium percents. Conversely, its late sweetspot and sourspot are capable of covering Sheik's landing, catching opponents off-guard, and applying pressure against an opponents edge recovery.
Forward aerial   5% (sweetspot), 4.3% (sourspot) A lunging, downward knifehand strike. Its sweetspot is located on her arm, whereas its sourspot is located on her body. Arguably Sheik's most versatile move: it comes out on frame 5 and has low base knockback, very high knockback scaling, minimal ending and landing lag, decent range, and a very generous auto-cancel window. These traits collectively make it useful for approaching when SHFF'd and for edge-guarding, safe on shield when spaced well, and excellent for combos. Combos include into itself, grabs, tilt attacks, neutral aerial, a reverse aerial rushed back aerial, and Bouncing Fish.
Back aerial   8% (clean sweetspot), 7% (clean sourspot), 5% (late) A high-angle back kick. Due to it hitting on frame 4, it is tied with up aerial as Sheik's second fastest aerial. As a result, it is a decent edge-guarding option and can be used from a reverse aerial rush. It also has very high knockback scaling and large hitboxes, but has minimal KO potential because of its meager damage output offsetting its average knockback scaling.
Up aerial   1% (hits 1-3), 4% (hit 4) A diagonal, corkscrew flying kick. Due to it hitting on frame 4, it is tied with back aerial as Sheik's second fastest aerial. Its first three hits have the autolink angle against aerial opponents, which allows all of its hits to connect easily. Conversely, its last hit has extremely high knockback scaling, which allows it to KO middleweights at 135% while near the upper blast line and makes it one of Sheik's most viable KOing options.
Down aerial   8% (descent), 2% (landing) A diagonal flying kick. It is a stall-then-fall, and its clean hitbox is a meteor smash during its beginning. Due to it hitting on frame 15, having 52 frames of ending lag upon landing on-stage, and having 30 frames of landing lag, it is Sheik's most punishable move. Its status as a stall-then-fall also makes it extremely unsafe to use off-stage.
Grab   Reaches out. Sheik's overall grab range is fairly short.
Pummel   3.1% An elbow smash. Moderately slow, but tied with Palutena's pummel as the sixth most damaging in the game.
Forward throw   5% (hit 1), 2% (throw) The tie shan kao, a technique used in Bajiquan. Its base knockback and knockback scaling are both average, and it launches opponents at 72°. These traits enable it to combo into neutral, forward, and up aerials and Bouncing Fish from 0% to medium percents, and even into a jump-canceled up smash on heavyweights and fast-fallers at low percents. Although it can combo into Bouncing Fish at high percents, which has respectable KO potential while near the edge, this combo is dependent on DI and only effective without rage.
Back throw   5% (hit 1), 2% (throw) Throws opponent behind herself and performs a mid-level side kick. It can potentially combo into neutral, forward, and back aerials at low percents. It can also combo into Bouncing Fish at medium to high percents, which has respectable KO potential while near the edge. However, this combo is risky, as it is heavily dependent on DI.
Up throw   3% (hit 1), 2% (throw) A handstand kick. Due to its high ending lag, it has no guaranteed follow-ups, with only up aerial being a 50-50 KO combo against certain characters at high percents. When coupled with it being Sheik's least damaging throw, it is her overall least useful throw.
Down throw   3% (hit 1), 3% (throw) A collar drag takedown followed by a somersault axe kick. It has average base knockback, high knockback scaling, and launches the opponent at 77°. These traits enable it to combo into neutral, forward and back aerials at low to medium percents, and up aerial at low to high percents. It can also lead into Vanish at high percents, which has respectable KO potential while near the upper blast line, although this requires Sheik to successfully read an air dodge from the opponent. Despite having the highest knockback scaling out of her throws, it lacks KO potential because of its throw hitbox's very low damage output.
Floor attack (front)   7% Kneels and performs a palm thrust in front of herself, and then behind herself.
Floor attack (back)   7% A kip-up transitioned into a double-footed scorpion kick.
Floor attack (trip)   5% Squats on one leg and performs a spinning roundhouse kick.
Edge attack   7% Performs a corkscrew dropkick while climbing up.
Neutral special Default Needle Storm 1.9% (near), 1.2% (far) Accumulates up to six needles that can be thrown immediately or stored for later use. When used in the air, Sheik throws the needles downward at approximately 45°. One of Sheik's best options for camping and zoning, as it can nullify approaches and has transcendent priority.
Custom 1 Penetrating Needles 2.2% (near), 1.6% (far) The needles deal more damage and shield damage, and have an electric effect. They also pierce multiple opponents. However, it has less range, and Sheik can accumulate a maximum of only three needles.
Custom 2 Paralyzing Needle 1% Paralyzes an opponent, with the paralysis duration being longer the more damaged the opponent is. However, it has significant startup, less range, deals less damage, and Sheik can only throw one needle that cannot be stored.
Side special Default Burst Grenade 1% (grenade), 1% (pull), 12.6% (explosion) Throws a grenade attached to a tripwire. On detonation, it creates a small area that pulls opponents towards it, then explodes. The detonation can be delayed a second by holding the special move button. The grenade can be thrown a farther when used in the air or when thrown over an edge, and its explosion is strong enough to KO middleweights at 115% near the edge, making it useful for edge-guarding. If Sheik is attacked before the grenade explodes, the grenade will be detached from the tripwire and become a non-explosive item that anyone can use. However, Sheik will be rendered helpless if it is used in the air and uninterrupted, similarly to Din's Fire.
Custom 1 Gravity Grenade 3.58% Upon detonation, the grenade does not pull enemies into it and the explosion has a smaller radius, but the explosion launches opponents towards Sheik, allowing for multiple follow-up options like gimps or up smash.
Custom 2 Skimming Grenade 2% (hits 1-3), 4.6% (explosion) The grenade bounces on the ground with a time delay before exploding. Despite what the in-game description states, however, it deals the same damage regardless of how long it takes to explode.
Up special Default Vanish 12% (disappearance), 5% (reappearance's hitbox), — (reappearance's windbox) After a short delay, Sheik destroys a Deku Nut in order to disappear via a small explosion, before reappearing nearby in a controlled direction. Its disappearing hitbox's respectable damage output and very high knockback scaling enable it to KO at 100% while near the upper blast line. It also grants a small vertical boost when used in the air. Conversely, its reappearance hitbox deals much less damage, but also has a windbox that can push away opponents who are very close to wherever Sheik reappears. It grants intangibility on frames 19-53. Reappearing near a edge renders her helpless, though self-destructing with the move is difficult to do because it allows Sheik to grabbing the edge the moment she enters helplessness. Due to a glitch, holding the control stick in a chosen direction and then using Vanish right after enduring knockback also gives her a boost in the chosen direction.[3]
Custom 1 Gale Disappears and reappears faster, covers more distance, and grants more momentum. However, it does not deal damage, and its increased momentum means that reappearing near a edge puts her helpless and cannot recover like Vanish.
Custom 2 Abyss 5% (disappearance), 4% (travel) The move is a meteor smash and has a hitbox during its travel, rather than only upon disappearance and reappearance. However, it covers less distance, her travel path is visible, and its disappearance does not grant a short vertical boost when used in the air.
Down special Default Bouncing Fish 12% A 360° Tengkong Pantui Cepu, a kick used in Nanquan. If it connects with an opponent, she will backflip a distance away and land on her feet. She can then kick up to three times by pressing the special move button again after the preceding kick connects. Upon missing, she experiences landing lag if she lands before the move's animation is over. It can also be executed earlier by pressing the special button again, and covers more distance if the control stick is held in whatever direction Sheik is facing. Its long horizontal travel distance, respectable damage output, and high knockback scaling make it one of Sheik's most viable KOing options. It KOs middleweights at 120% while near the edge, and grants intangibility on frames 3-4. Due to its earliest input hitting on frame 17 and its landing lag, however, it is punishable if it misses.
Custom 1 Jellyfish 8% (grounded opponents), 10.5% (aerial opponents) The flip is more vertical, traveling a shorter horizontal distance. Grounded opponents are launched diagonally upwards with set knockback in order to ensure that the opponent can be hit the second time, said kick being significantly more powerful on aerial opponents. She can kick up to two times if the preceding kick connects.
Custom 2 Pisces 15.5% The flip is faster and more shallow, which requires pressing the attack button in order to kick if the attack is used while standing on the ground. If the kick hits, Sheik will flip forward and launch opponents backward while dealing more knockback, which enables it to KO at 106% from center stage, and she can control her movement. However, it can only kick once before landing on the ground.
Final Smash Light Arrow 1% (hit 1), 44% (first opponent), 33% (second opponent), 24% (third opponent) Wields Zelda's Bow and fires a Light Arrow forward. It can strike multiple opponents, but its damage output decreases for each successive target. Unlike Zelda's Light Arrow, it deals slightly more damage and is a semi-spike, yet has less knockback. Like Zelda's, it is one of the strongest Final Smashes in the game, as it is capable KOing middleweights at 58% while near the edge.

On-screen appearance[edit]

  • Appears from a Deku Nut's explosion while briefly emanating blue wisps.
SheikOnScreenAppearanceSSB4.gif

Taunts[edit]

Up taunt Side taunt Down taunt
SheikUpTauntSSB4.jpg SheikSideTauntSSB4.jpg SheikDownTauntSSB4.jpg

Idle poses[edit]

  • Rears back her left hand up to her face, then quickly swings it outward.
  • Performs a modified passé.
SheikIdlePose1WiiU.jpg SheikIdlePose2WiiU.jpg

Crowd cheer[edit]

English Japanese
Cheer
Sheik Cheer NTSC SSB4.ogg
Sheik Cheer JP SSB4.ogg
Description Sheik! Shei-k!
Pitch Group chant Group chant

Victory poses[edit]

An orchestral remix of Get Triforce Fanfare, the theme that plays when Link obtains a Triforce Piece in The Legend of Zelda and has since become the main theme of The Legend of Zelda series.
  • Throws two needles, similarly to Needle Storm, and then stands up while rearing back her right hand up to her face.
  • Uses her forward tilt and then immediately uses her down smash.
  • Performs the fumikomi, a stomp-style kick in karate, followed by a mid-level side kick, and then exhales loudly before performing the tate shuto uke, a blocking technique in Shotokan.
SheikPose1WiiU.gif SheikPose2WiiU.gif SheikPose3WiiU.gif

In competitive play[edit]

Official Custom Moveset Project[edit]

Character Custom sets available
SheikHeadSSB4-U.png Sheik 2211 2111 1211 2311 1311
1213 3213 2212 2312 2231

Notable players[edit]

Active[edit]

Inactive[edit]

Tier placement and history[edit]

Sheik has always been perceived as a top-tier character since the game's release, which was eventually reflected in her ranking at the very top of the first official 4BR tier list, with the previous nerfs to Rosalina & Luma and Diddy Kong paving the way for Sheik to be considered the near-indisputable best character in the game, in a similar manner to Meta Knight in Brawl and Fox in Melee. Players noticed her fantastic frame data, the ability to control the neutral game by spacing effectively with her forward aerial and camp with Needle Storm, extensive combo game that allowed her to rack up damage quickly and efficiently, dominant offstage game, and reliable KO set-ups off of low-committal grab set-ups. This led most players to believe she lacked losing match-ups and had only a handful that were arguably even. As expected, Sheik's position was cemented by a stellar playerbase that included highly talented players such as ZeRo, Mr.R, VoiD, K9sbruce and RAIN, among others, all of whom achieved great results with the character on a consistent basis.

However, Sheik's overwhelming dominance took a blow with patches 1.1.4 and 1.1.5, which removed her most reliable KO set-ups, worsened her survivability, and weakened her camping ability. As a result, her most notable player, ZeRo, eventually dropped her, and others such as K9sbruce have been using secondaries more often. Despite her heavy nerfs, Sheik's neutral, combo, and offstage games are still among the best, allowing her to continue to gain strong results from players like VoiD and Mr.R and remain a top-tier character, placing at 3rd and 4th on the second and third version of the tier list respectively and remaining on the S tier.

Currently, Sheik is ranked as 4th on the fourth tier list, but has since then dropped to the A tier due to her results being worse than the characters ranked higher than her, although they still remain strong with many top players still having high opinions over Sheik as VoiD won Smash 'N' Splash 4 defeating top players Mistake, Dabuz, Light and Salem marking the first time Sheik won a major since patch 1.1.5, Mr.R getting 2nd at Hyrule Saga defetaing top players DSS, Nairo, Samsora, Cosmos, ANTi, and Dabuz before losing to Tweek, 1-3, and Nietono getting 3rd at EVO 2018 defeating top players Charlie, Shuton, falln, Choco, Mr E, and Mistake before losing to Captain Zack 0-3 (Although he used Diddy Kong to beat Choco and Mr E). These recent spike of results have been rare for Sheik as she hardly ever achieved these results after the nerfs. These results have also been more impressive than Diddy Kong and Cloud as they have failed to go this far in tournament without the use of a secondary in recent history. Due to this, some smashers have debated that Sheik should be ranked higher than this with Dabuz Mr.R and MKLeo agreeing that Sheik should be ranked slightly higher. Other players like ESAM, however, believe that she is overrated due to her inconsistency at killing as he puts her at 8th on his tier list.

Trophies[edit]

Sheik
ntsc In The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Sheik claimed to be a surviving Sheikah. However, this was just a cunning disguise for Princess Zelda so that she could escape Ganondorf. In Smash Bros., she's the complete opposite of Zelda, striking with fast attacks that can keep an opponent off balance.
pal Sheik is introduced in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time as the "survivor of the Sheikah", although it turns out to be Zelda, who took on the disguise to hide from Ganondorf. Sheik's ninja-like speed is a real contrast with Zelda's, and it allows for sneaky, fast-paced attacks that overwhelm opponents before they can even react.
N64: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (11/1998)
Nintendo 3DS: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D (06/2011)
Sheik (Alt.)
ntsc Sheik's Burst Grenade side special throws a small grenade that draws in nearby fighters before exploding. Once the button has been released, it'll hop or explode after a time. The down special Bouncing Fish is an attack where Sheik strikes with both heels, falling similarly to the way a fish might flop around.
pal Sheik's Burst Grenade side special throws a small grenade that draws in nearby fighters, then explodes. Hold the button longer to thrown it further. The down special Bouncing Fish is a fish-like flop forwards that has Sheik attack with both heels on the way down. If the move connects, Sheik will bounce back up into the air.
N64: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (11/1998)
Nintendo 3DS: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D (06/2011)
Light Arrow (Sheik)
ntsc Sheik's Final Smash uses a gigantic bow to fire a Light Arrow across the screen. If multiple foes are in its path, it will strike them all, ignoring shields like they're not even there. Sheik's Light Arrow is more damaging than Zelda's and it launches its victims at a lower angle.
pal Sheik's Final Smash uses a gigantic bow to fire a Light Arrow across the screen. If multiple foes are in its path, it will strike them all, even penetrating straight through their shields. Sheik's Light Arrow is more powerful than Zelda's and it launches its targets at a more shallow angle.

In Event Matches[edit]

Solo Events[edit]

Co-op Events[edit]

Alternate costumes[edit]

Sheik Palette (SSB4).png
SheikHeadSSB4-U.png SheikHeadRedSSB4-U.png SheikHeadPurpleSSB4-U.png SheikHeadPinkSSB4-U.png SheikHeadGreenSSB4-U.png SheikHeadBlackSSB4-U.png SheikHeadYellowSSB4-U.png SheikHeadWhiteSSB4-U.png

Gallery[edit]

Trivia[edit]

  • Sheik is the first and currently only character to have her weight changed twice via updates.
  • This marks the final appearance of Sheik as a starter character.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Super Smash Bros. Direct 4.8.2014
  2. "I Answer Some Questions" Sakurai Famitsu column vol. 461-464, on Ice Climbers, clones, and Smash Run
  3. Smash 4 Wii U - Sheik's Extended Vanish
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