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Sheik (SSBM)

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This article is about Sheik's appearance in Super Smash Bros. Melee. For the character in other contexts, see Sheik.
For information about Sheik's alter-ego, see Zelda (SSBM).
in Super Smash Bros. Melee
Sheik in Super Smash Bros. Melee.
Universe The Legend of Zelda
Shares character slot with Zelda
Other playable appearances in Brawl
in SSB4
in Ultimate
Availability Starter
Tier A (5) (North America)
A (5) (Europe)

Sheik (シーク, Sheik) is a starter character in Super Smash Bros. Melee. Announced at E3 2001, she transforms from Zelda by using her down special move (Transform), and can transform back. By holding the "A" button at the stage loading screen, Zelda will automatically transform into Sheik at the start of a match.

Jun Mizusawa reprises her role as Sheik from Ocarina of Time in the game.

Sheik currently ranks 5th on the tier list, in the top of A tier. One of Sheik's greatest strengths is her formidable punish game. Sheik's down throw is one of the best combo starters in Melee, as it can chaingrab many middleweight characters and create tech chases on fastfallers. Her forward tilt, dash attack, and down smash are all excellent at racking up damage, and multiple down throw chain grabs or tech chases can quickly apply high amounts of damage against opponents. Sheik possesses a fast dashing speed and great frame data on her attacks, with many extended hitboxes on moves such as her down smash, up tilt, and back aerial, which make her extremely difficult to break through defensively. Sheik's attacks also have great reach, especially her forward aerial, back aerial, forward tilt, and down smash. Sheik also possesses great finishing moves, including her up aerial, back aerial, and forward aerial, and her down throw, forward tilt and dash attack can all easily set up into one of her KO moves. Her forward aerial is notorious as one of the deadliest edgeguarding tools in the game, as it sends opponents at a horizontal angle that is extremely hard for many characters to recover from.

Sheik's primary weakness, however, is her short and heavily exploitable recovery. Her primary recovery move, Vanish, travels an extremely short distance and lacks a hitbox when she reappears, providing her with virtually zero protection as she returns to the stage, and Sheik receives a large amount of landing lag upon landing on the stage. As a result, her recovery is easily edgehogged, and if she lands on the stage, her opponents can freely land a large hit on her. If Sheik is forced to recover with her up special on stage, skilled opponents can continuously hit her back offstage and repeat until she gets KOed or self-destructs. Sheik also has trouble dealing with crouch canceling, as none of her moves besides a grab can break through crouch canceling at low percents. Combined with her slow horizontal air speed, this limits her ability to find openings in the neutral game, especially against characters such as Jigglypuff and the Ice Climbers. Sheik's punish game can also be unreliable, especially against fastfallers, because her down throw tech chase requires her to correctly predict her opponent's actions, which can limit her damage output if she incorrectly reads the opponents' tech patterns. This is especially so in the PAL version of Melee, as her down throw sends opponents diagonally rather than vertically, making it even more difficult for Sheik to land a strong punish in this version of the game.


Sheik is a very agile fighter, possessing a fast dash, high falling speed, good jumping prowess, and very quick, combo-friendly attacks. While only a small portion of her moveset can reliably KO to compensate for her speed, such options are very reliable combo finishers at most percentages, greatly offsetting her power loss. Sheik, however, has poor air speed (tied for 5th worst among the cast) and a rather high short hop. As a result of having high traction and a high falling speed, Sheik has a rather short, but fast, wavedash.

Sheik's main strength is her edgeguarding ability, which is among the best in the game. While she lacks a spike like Marth, or even a meteor smash, Sheik's good jumping prowess and fast, powerful aerials give her amazing options off the edge. Sheik's forward aerial is among the most feared in the game, due to its fast startup, high knockback scaling, semi-spike angle, and its ability to autocancel itself if used correctly, and is her main pressuring and edgeguarding tool, while also being an outstanding combo finisher. Her back aerial is slightly weaker (but still very powerful if sweetspotted) with a more diagonal angle, but has more reach and is safer to use, allowing for it to be used as a potent edgeguarding option as well. Sheik also has one of the best projectiles in the game, Needle Storm, which aids in her edgeguarding; the needles are quick to charge, can travel quickly when thrown, and can cut through or stop most other projectiles in the game, allowing Sheik to neutralize projectiles from characters who rely on them to cover their recovery, such as Samus. Needles also have high hitstun and low knockback, making them excellent for intercepting recoveries, especially more linear options such as Fire Fox. In addition, Needles travel in a diagonal downward path when thrown from the air, presenting the edgeguarder with more options. Sheik also has the means to force edgeguarding situations very easily, possessing a back throw that sets up edgeguards on fastfallers, and the speed to effectively corner opponents once they're close to the ledge.

Sheik is also notable for having among the best punishing abilities in the game. Her tilts, dash attack, and up smash all come out quickly and all send the opponents straight into the air, giving Sheik guaranteed aerial followup options, especially at lower percentages. Aside from the aforementioned forward and back aerials, Sheik's other aerials also possess amazing utility for punishing, despite her low air speed. Her neutral aerial is a quick sex kick that serves as a potent out of shield option that can dispel the opponent's shield pressure; her up aerial is a combo extender at lower percentages that can reliably KO at higher percentages, especially near the ceiling; her down aerial, while possessing the slowest startup out of all of her aerials, sends opponents upwards with a great deal of hitstun, allowing followups into her aforementioned up, back, or forward aerials, or even a sweetspotted up smash. Due to their low lag and high power, most are of relatively low-risk to use off the edge. Sheik's aforementioned Needle Storm also aids in her punishing game; when used in midair, the needles travel diagonally downwards, allowing them to hit grounded opponents. Due to the fact that Needle Storm has no landing lag after being used in midair, Sheik can use the hitstun or shield stun from her needles to immediately grab or attack the opponent upon landing. This is further compounded (in NTSC only) with Sheik's excellent down throw, which boasts a chain grab on many characters in the game at lower to mid-percentages, including Pikachu and Link, and sets up tech chasing situations on fastfallers such as Fox, Falco, and Falcon. Skilled Sheik players can convert a single down throw into potential stock losses for the foe by utilizing either chain grabbing or tech-chasing until the opponent is at combo-friendly percentages, where they will use Sheik's launching options to begin nearly inescapable combos that result in a KO or a fatal edgeguarding situation.

Sheik's neutral game, however, is merely average at best, especially compared with other top tiers. Due to her high short hop, Sheik suffers from a poor SHFFL, which impairs some elements of her aerial approach. Sheik also possesses a short dash-dance, forcing her to rely on her short wavedash to adjust her spacing. While Needle Storm has no landing lag when used in midair, it does have significant ending lag when used on the ground; however, Sheik's needles will only travel straight if she throws them while grounded, impairing her ability to approach with her projectile from afar. Sheik usually struggles in approaching opponents who are at low percent, as they can use crouch cancelling to make her tilts, dash attack, jab and aerials unsafe, forcing her to rely on grabs or her downsmash. Sheik also lacks universal disjoint, causing her to have a very small and concentrated "threat zone" where she can create openings by threatening the opponent with a forward aerial, her tilts, or an aerial Needle Storm into a grab. As such, high-level Sheik players will often look for openings to close distance and go into that "threat zone," a spacing where Sheik can threaten the opponent with her outstanding punish game. This is easier to do against characters with even worse neutral games, particularly low- and bottom-tier characters, as they lack the means to zone Sheik out of that ideal area. However, other top-tier characters have the tools to keep Sheik out, whether it be through projectiles or disjoint, and can similarly harshly punish Sheik if she unsafely attempts to close this distance.

One of Sheik's more universal weaknesses is her exploitable recovery. Despite her high midair jump and fast aerial attacks that can aggravate edgeguarders, Vanish does not give significant vertical or horizontal distance, and when she reappears, there is no offensive hitbox, allowing easy edgeguarding. Additionally, Sheik is horizontally locked after performing Vanish, disallowing her from drifting back to the stage from afar. In some situations where Sheik cannot recover at all, Sheik may be forced to utilize Transform and use Zelda's superior recovery to try and safely get back onstage and retransform. If Zelda does not quickly retransform back, the opponent can send her back offstage and repeat the cycle or even outright KO her. A common strategy is to DI upwards and use Zelda's superior air speed and lower falling speed to drift back to stage, or in worst case scenarios, use Farore's Wind to recover. Further compounding these recovery flaws are Sheik's fast falling speed and low air. Sheik can wall jump, but its use is situational, dependent on the stage, and is shorter than most others due to Sheik's fast falling speed. Sheik's low air speed compounded with her fast falling speed also makes her very easy to combo herself, especially against characters with reliable launching throws or attacks such as Marth, Falco, and Jigglypuff.

Overall, Sheik is a versatile character with the tools to combat every fighter in Melee. She is a very punish- and control-based character, relying on her excellent comboing abilities to rack up damage and force edgeguarding situations where she can intercept the foe for quick edgeguarding KOs. However, against most other top tiers, Sheik must play with the utmost caution and precision to create those same openings and succeed.

Version history[edit]

Like other characters, Sheik has received some changes in the PAL version of Melee, which nerfed her overall. This is due primarily to the changes to her down throw, which caused Sheik to lose her chaingrab, some tech-chasing options, and several KO setups. Along with the nerfs to her finishers, Sheik generally has a much harder time KOing characters that she had no trouble KOing in the NTSC version, such as Peach and Marth, resulting in much poorer matchups against them.


  • Nerf Sweetspotted up smash deals 1% less damage (17% → 16%) and has less knockback scaling (105 → 102).
  • Nerf Up aerial deals less damage (12% (clean)/9% (late) → 10%/8%), and has less knockback scaling (120 → 110), significantly hindering its KO potential.
    • Buff However, this improves its combo potential at higher percents.
  • Buff Down throw's hitbox has increased set knockback (90 → 100), making it slightly more effective against bystanders.
  • Nerf Down throw launches opponents at a less vertical angle (80° → 60°), significantly hindering its followup potential, especially with chain grabs.


Sheik's aerial attacks

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

  Name Damage Description
Neutral attack Slicing Blade (スライシングブレード) / Cutting Blade (カッティングブレード) / Piercing Blade (ピアスブレード) 4% Two fast swipes with good jab cancel potential followed by a series of rapid jabs.
1% (loop)
Forward tilt Wheel Kick (車輪蹴り) 7% A quick spin kick forward. Short range, but launches the foe directly up, leaving them open for aerial combos. Can be done repeatedly, and is very fast.
Up tilt Bow Form (ボウフォーム) 8% (hit 1), 4% (hit 2) Kicks up, and lets her leg down in an axe-like way. This attack is famous for its chainability against heavy characters such as Bowser.
Down tilt Crouching Sweep (しゃがみスイープ) 8% A quick ankle-sweep performed while crouching. Despite possessing limited utility at most percents, it can be used to prepare F-air at percents where F-tilt no longer combos.
Dash attack Gale Form (疾風フォーム) 10% (clean), 7% (late) Slashes with her arms forward while coming to a stop. Excellent juggling due to little ending lag, sends opponents up and behind her.
Forward smash Double Snake (ダブルスネーク) 5% (hit 1), 10% (hit 2) Kicks twice in front of herself. Both hits combined has moderate knockback. Decent for racking up damage, but not exactly easy to land both hits at higher percentages as the opponent can DI out of the first kick.
Up smash Razor Wing (割符, Split Mark) 17%/16% (sweetspot NTSC/PAL), 13% (sourspot) Raises her arms over her head, then quickly brings them down to her sides. Incredibly powerful when sweetspotted, being among the most powerful in the game (2nd strongest next to Pikachu's), but otherwise does moderate knockback when sourspotted. In the NTSC version, it can be a reliable KO move after a d-throw chaingrab or a d-throw on its own. Both of Sheik's arms and her head are intangible while the hitboxes are out.
Down smash Windmill (大車輪, Large Wheel) 13% (clean), 10% (late) Gets on her back and does a break-dance style rotation. Can hit 3 times. The first active frame of the move, frame 5, grants Sheik intangibility on her legs.
Neutral aerial Falling Leaves (落葉) 14%/10% (clean leg/knee), 9% (late) A typical sex kick that gets weaker the longer it's out. Mostly used for its horizontal knockback, continuing combos, or potentially setting up an edgeguard game, or even using it to edgeguard alone. It is also a common OoS option. It is also a strong option on shield and crouch cancel when SHFFL'd, although due to Sheik's fall speed this is difficult to execute.
Forward aerial Hatchet () 13% A quick swipe in front of her, great finisher/edgeguarder that semi-spikes with high knockback, and very deadly offstage against characters with poor recovery. Can potentially be done against an opponent repeatedly if Sheik can maneuver correctly.
Back aerial Flying Swallow (飛燕) Clean: 14%/10% (right foot/leg), 8% (left leg)
Late: 10%/9% (right foot/leg), 6% (hip), 7% (left leg)
A quick kick in behind her, good for edgeguarding. The sweetspot is located at the foot. It is also her 2nd most powerful aerial after her F-air, dealing high knockback which is enough to KO Mario around 100%
Up aerial Vortex Form (ボルテックスフォーム) NTSC: 12% (clean), 9% (late)
PAL: 10% (clean), 8% (late)
A spinning kick upwards with high vertical knockback and KO potential (most notably near a ceiling). In the PAL version, the attack's knockback is considerably reduced, making it a better attack for comboing.
Down aerial Butcher Bird (肉屋の鳥) 11% A downwards kick with long ending lag. This move has a lot of hitstun and can lead into her other aerials easily, or even her Up-smash/tilts
Grab Grab (つかみ)
Pummel Forearm (前腕) 3% Hits opponent with her elbow.
Forward throw Battering Ram (破城槌) 6% (hit 1), 2% (throw) Launches her opponent forward with low horizontal knockback and hitstun.
Back throw Backlash (バックラッシュ) 5% (hit 1), 2% (throw) Throws her opponent behind and kicks them away. Better knockback and hitstun than her f-throw but otherwise weak, though it can force opponents offstage to set up edgeguards.
Up throw Standing Crane (立ちクレーン) 6% (hit 1), 2% (throw) Launches opponent above her. Excellent for an aerial-attack follow up, but due to low hitstun follow-ups are difficult. Can chain grab the space animals at high percentages.
Down throw Guillotine (断頭) 5% (hit 1), 3% (throw) Throws opponent on the ground, then performs an axe-kick, knocking the opponent up into the air. Overall, this is the best of Sheik's throws because it can reliably chain grab or tech chase many characters to high percentages, with a reliable KO option being a u-smash. However, in the PAL version, it does more knockback and so it cannot chaingrab reliably.
Floor attack (front)   6% Gets up and kicks both sides of herself.
Floor attack (back)   6% Gets up and punches both sides of herself.
Edge attack (fast)   8% Climbs up and kicks onto the stage.
Edge attack (slow)   6% (body), 8% (arm) Slowly gets up and thrusts out her elbow.
Neutral special Needle Storm 3% (needles), 6 needles max Charges up needles, which can be fired by releasing the B button. The charge can be saved by pressing the shield button, and continued by pressing B again. They are quick to charge, travel fast and far when thrown, can cut through or stop most other projectiles in the game, and also have high hitstun and low knockback, making them good for distracting foes. They can even edgeguard characters easily and effectively. If used in the air, they travel roughly 45 degrees to the ground.
Side special Chain 3% (chain), 5% (tip) Pulls out a long metal chain and whips it around (controllable with the control stick). Does minor damage to opponents, and an electric effect at the tip of the chain. Due to the low damage and high lag, it is almost never used in competitive play. Despite this, it can be used for edgeguarding.
Up special Vanish 12% Vanishes into the air, then reappears further in one direction, which can be controlled with the control stick. Used for recovery. It does not travel as far as Zelda's Farore's Wind, though if Sheik is above the ledge and far away from the stage, transforming into Zelda to get back to the stage is possible, but this should only be done if Vanish absolutely can't make it to the stage. Vanish deals decent knockback and can be used as a risky edgeguard move as well.
Down special Transform 0% Transforms into Zelda.


Stats Weight Dash speed Walk speed Traction Air friction Air speed Air acceleration Gravity Falling speed Jumpsquat Jump Height Double jump Height
Value 90 1.7 – Initial dash
1.8 – Run
1.2 0.08 0.04 0.8 0.02 – Base
0.04 – Additional
0.13 2.13 – Base
3 34.08 - Base
20.16 - Short hop

Announcer call[edit]


  • Performs a threatening pose with her left hand before her face.

Idle pose[edit]

  • Shakes her hand in front of her face, then swings it to the side.
Sheik Idle Pose Melee.gif

Crowd cheer[edit]

English Japanese
Description Gooooooooooo Sheik! Shei-k! Shei-k!
Pitch Group chant Male

Victory poses[edit]

An orchestrated portion of the main theme from The Legend of Zelda series.
  • Uses one arm to hold up the other while she holds her other hand to her chin, as if in deep thought.
  • Throws two needles, then holds her right hand up to her mouth.
When the language is set to Japanese, Sheik says "貰った。" ("I got it.") during this pose.
  • Kicks two times, then holds her left hand in front of her while exhaling loudly.
When the language is set to Japanese, her exhale is delayed.
Sheik-Victory1-SSBM.gif Sheik-Victory2-SSBM.gif Sheik-Victory3-SSBM.gif

In competitive play[edit]

Most historically significant players[edit]

See also: Category:Sheik players (SSBM)
  • Netherlands Amsah - One of the greatest Sheik players of all time and one of the best overall players to come from Europe. Considered the best player in Europe before the rise of Armada, he showed dominance in the country, winning tournaments such as Epita Smash Arena 2 and many others from 2006 to 2007. Outside of Europe, he notably placed 3rd at Pound 4 where he took sets over Armada and Jman in losers. Even past his peak, he still managed to make notable results at majors with 17th at Get On My Level 2018 and 33rd at EVO 2018, as well as being ranked 64th on the 2018 MPGR.
  • Japan Captain Jack - The best player from Japan and one of the best players during the "Golden Age" of Melee. Previously made runs at some of the most notable Melee tournaments at the time with winning MLG San Francisco 2004 and placing 2nd at Tournament Go 6 and 7th at Jack Garden Tournament. He was the only player from Asia and solo Sheik player to win a North American major/supermajor until aMSa won The Big House 10 and Jmook won GENESIS 9 respectively.
  • USA Drephen - A top 10 player from 2007 and one of the best solo Sheiks during the Golden Age. Placing 8th on the 2007 RetroSSBMRank of the best Sheik players in the world due to his placements at 5th at Zero Challenge 3 and Viva La Smashtaclysm. While his recent results vary, he has remained a top 100 player into the next decade, currently ranking 53rd on the SSBMRank 2023.
  • USA Druggedfox - Known for playing Fox but started by playing mostly Sheik and became known for his strong tech chasing with the character. Back when he mained her, he placed 4th at HTC Throwdown and 9th at EVO 2015 with wins over SFAT, Duck, and S2J, causing him to be in contention for a top 5 Sheik in the world, ranking 18th on the 2015 SSBMRank.
  • USA Faceroll - A dominant top Sheik player from SoCal, commonly winning notable events in the local area. He hit a peak in 2019, winning regionals such as Fête and DreamHack Atlanta 2019 by double-eliminating Setchi and Mew2King respectively and 9th at GENESIS 7, beating Cody Schwab and Wizzrobe. He ranked 17th on the 2019 MPGR, becoming the third best Sheik player of that year under Mew2King and Plup.
  • Germany Ice - Formerly a triple-main of Sheik, Marth, and Fox, focusing primarily on Sheik and became the best Sheik in Europe and one of the best Sheik players in the world in 2013, being ranked 13th on the 2013 SSBMRank. Placed 2nd at B.E.A.S.T 3 and 3rd at B.E.A.S.T 4, and went undefeated in European tournaments between those events. Internationally, he placed 7th at EVO 2013 and 9th at Apex 2014. He later switched to Fox as his primary main and slowly phased out his other characters, including Sheik.
  • USA Jmook - The best solo Sheik player in the world post-pandemic, and one of the greatest Sheik players of all time. He rose to prominence after his underdog run at GENESIS 8, making upsets over players such as Cody Schwab and Plup. A year later, he became the first Sheik player to win a Melee supermajor with GENESIS 9. He made history again with his 3rd place on the MPGR Summer 2022, being the highest placement seen from a previously unranked player in the game's competitive history.
  • USA KDJ - One of the best players from 2006-2008; triple-mained Sheik, Marth and Fox before retiring. He used the character to win MLG Long Island 2007 where he double-eliminated Mew2King and place 2nd at MLG Las Vegas 2006 with solo Sheik and taking a win over Ken. He eventually retired from competition in 2016.
  • Canada KirbyKaze - Previously the best Sheik player in Canada before going on hiatus in 2018. He notably placed 3rd at Revival of Melee 3, defeating Mang0 and PPMD in his bracket. He additionally placed 4th at Apex 2012 beating Hungrybox and continued placing well at events throughout the latter half of his career such as 7th at Apex 2015 and 9th at The Big House 6 and Super Smash Con 2017. As such, he was one of the best solo Sheik players in the world for most of the 2010s, peaking at 9th in the world in 2013.
  • USA Mew2King - One of the best Sheik players of all-time and one of the Five Gods. As his second main alongside Marth, he commonly played Sheik for matchup advantage or stage counterpicks, using her to beat players such as Axe and Leffen. In the modern era of Melee, he was considered one of the two best Sheik players in the world alongside Plup before retiring after his sparse activity post-pandemic.
  • Spain Overtriforce - One of the best players from Spain and one of the Sheik players in Europe. He became the first Spanish player to be ranked top 25 in the world, placing 25th on the SSBMRank 2013. He has placed 3rd at B.E.A.S.T 3 and 4th at Heir 3 where he defeated Leffen and placed 25th at EVO 2018. He has been permanently banned from tournament play following controversies involving sexual misconduct.
  • USA Plup - One of the two best Sheik players in the world. He won GENESIS 5 and Smash World Tour 2021 Championships with primarily Sheik and made runner-up and top 8 placements at a multitude of supermajors in the game's history. Has beaten all Five Gods with Sheik, a feat that no other Sheik player has achieved.
  • USA Shroomed - A top 10 player with Sheik from 2015-2016 and remains one of the best Sheik players in the world. Started primarily playing Sheik after dropping his renowned Dr. Mario and continued his top player status with placements such as 4th at Smash 'N' Splash 2, 5th at Super Smash Con 2016, and 7th at GENESIS 7 with solo Sheik. While he has recently underperformed in comparison to his previous heights, he remains a top 50 player at 45th on the SSBMRank 2023.
  • USA Spark - One of the current best Sheik players in the world. While he became a respected Sheik player starting around 2017, he found greater success starting the next year where he defeated Mang0 and aMSa at Smash Camp: End of Summer and placed 4th, as well as major placements such as 13th at Shine 2019. He is currently ranked 22nd on the SSBMRank 2023 where he is the third best Sheik player in the world, only behind Jmook and Plup.
  • USA Swedish Delight - One of the best Sheik players in the world pre-pandemic. He remained a top 20 player from 2016 to 2019 and made top 8s at many supermajors such as 7th at both Get On My Level 2018 and Shine 2019. His win on Armada at EVO 2018 marked the first time a non-top 6 player beat him in tournament in eight years.

Tier placement and history[edit]

Sheik has always been a high/top tier character, as her long-ranged aerial attacks, amazing punish game, and strong edgeguarding capabilities, has led her seeing widespread use in all levels of play. For the first five years of the Melee's competitive life, Sheik was considered the best character in the game, ranking at the top of every tier list up until the eighth (July 2006). Her down throw chain grabbing ability was considered especially powerful in the early metagame, and her ease of use allowed Sheik mains to succeed consistently, especially since counterplay to her options had not yet been popularized. In fact, at some points, players believed Sheik was so good that they contemplated banning her, although such a ban was never carried out. However, over time, competitive players slowly adapted to Sheik's weaknesses, leading to growing matchup problems that would still be present in the modern metagame.

Sheik's dominance as a character was faltered with the discovery of the incredible potential of Fox and Falco. With these characters now perceived as having much higher skill caps while still being good against relevant top tiers, they took the top two spots while Sheik dropped to third place. With these developments in place and the growing skill of the playerbase, players soon found that Fox had an advantage over Sheik, as did the Ice Climbers, both of which were growing in prevalence in the metagame. Soon after, Mang0 and Hungrybox took Jigglypuff to the next level, and demonstrated that it, too, was a very poor matchup for Sheik and possibly her worst, largely due to Jigglypuff's ability to exploit Sheik's laggy recovery by landing Rest KOs at extremely low percents. With three bad matchups and the meta being more adapted against its strengths, Sheik was no longer considered even a contender for the best in the game. Other top-tiered characters started improving their Sheik matchups as well (most notably Marth and Peach), causing less of an incentive for players to pick up Sheik just to deal with those characters. Due to this, and opinions on Marth improving further due to his better matchups against Fox and Falco, Sheik dropped to 4th in the twelfth tier list, and further to 5th on the thirteenth and current tier list due to the rise of Jigglypuff.

Despite being considered one of the best characters in the game, Sheik was well known in the Melee community for her lack of success as a solo main. Prior to 2023, solo Sheik had won only a single major level American tournament (Captain Jack's victory at MLG San Francisco 2004), and had never won a supermajor, even behind lower-tiered characters such as Captain Falcon, Pikachu, and Yoshi. This was largely due several factors: the first being that her most prominent top level players, Mew2King and Plup, switched to other characters in certain matchups, particularly against Hungrybox's Jigglypuff; as a result, her metagame advancements stagnated compared to those of the other top tiers. Most Melee community members believed that winning a supermajor as solo Sheik required a lucky bracket that avoided running into Hungrybox (the #1 ranked player from 2017 to 2019), as well as extremely optimized play versus the multitude of Fox players that was considered unfeasible at the time.

However, perceptions of Sheik's competitive viability were completely revived following the rise of Jmook, who burst onto the world stage in 2022. His breakout performance came at GENESIS 8, where he defeated Plup and iBDW, two Fox players who were known for hardly ever losing sets to Sheik, en route to a 2nd place finish, only falling to Zain, the number one ranked player, in grand finals. Jmook became a consistent tournament threat throughout the rest of 2022, boasting strong records against almost all the other top ten players, and continued to develop solo Sheik even against her most difficult matchups. Many believed that his first tournament victory, and solo Sheik's first supermajor win, was coming in a matter of time. Jmook pushed Sheik's defensive and punish game to never before seen levels. He became well known for utilizing Sheik's incredible crouch canceling abilities, Needle Storm edgeguards, and landing grabs at significantly higher rates than other Sheik players. In particular, Jmook was the first player to truly optimize Sheik's reaction tech chasing versus the space animals, being able to consistently convert zero-to-deaths vs. Fox and Falco and off of a single grab. With these advancements, many players began to rethink the Sheik-Fox matchup, arguing that Jmook's unforgiving punish game vs. Fox was enough to tilt the matchup more in Sheik's favor. Jmook finally won his first major at GENESIS 9, nine months after his breakout performance, becoming the third solo Sheik player to win a major, the first ever solo Sheik to win a supermajor, and the only solo Sheik to win a major in the modern era. He then won his second major at Collision 2023 two months later.

Although Sheik's perceived competitive viability has continued to rise, she is still considered a step below the other top tiers. While her viability has been aided by the relative scarcity of Ice Climbers players following the wobbling ban, her extremely difficult matchup vs. Jigglypuff is what holds her back from the highest tiers. Hungrybox still maintains a lopsided record over Jmook, and Jmook has been able to dodge Hungrybox through both his major victories so far. As such, it remains to be seen whether Sheik mains will be able to overcome their challenges in the Jigglypuff matchup. Sheik still remains popular as a secondary character, especially among spacie mains, as many Fox and Falco players (most notably Leffen) have started using her as a counterpick against Marth; she is also known for excelling against mid-tiers like Yoshi and Pikachu that other top tiers, in particular Marth, can struggle with.

PAL viability[edit]

Like several other characters who would coincidentally become known to be top-tiered, Sheik was nerfed in the PAL version of Melee. Her up aerial was weakened, making it more of a juggling move than a KO move, and her down throw, which boasted a chaingrab on much of the cast in NTSC and gave Sheik follow-up options, now has a much more horizontal launch angle, removing those guaranteed chaingrabs and follow-ups. These changes make some of Sheik's winning matchups in NTSC much harder. For example, in NTSC, Sheik could KO Marth, Peach, and sometimes Jigglypuff reliably with down throw to forward or up aerial. In PAL, however, not only does down throw send those characters too far at KO percentages, up aerial is no longer a reliable KO move until much higher percents. Sheik must, however, still deal with Marth's range and more effective neutral game and Peach's edgeguarding and Vegetable projectiles.

Despite these nerfs, there were initially more Sheik professionals in PAL regions than in NTSC regions, namely Amsah, Aniolas, and others. Due to Sheik's nerfs, they adopted an even more defensive playstyle using primarily Needle Storm and forward aerial camping to find openings. These PAL Sheik players were very successful at that stage of the metagame, even moreso than NTSC Sheik players, arguably because they developed stronger fundamentals (with less of a reliance on grabs) to overcome their more difficult punish game. For nearly 5 years (March 2010 - March 2015), Sheik was ranked 2nd on the PAL tier list, higher than she was in NTSC during that time span. However, Sheik's shortcomings over other top-tiered characters became increasingly prevalent as the technical ceiling of Melee increased, and she is now ranked 5th on the PAL tier list instead. However, she still retains her powerful air game, punish game, and excellent combo ability despite her down throw nerf.

In 1-P Mode[edit]

In Classic Mode[edit]

Taken with Dolphin.
Sheik's unused intro image.

Like Ganondorf and Roy, Sheik does not appear as an opponent in the game's Classic Mode. However, Sheik can be fought if the opponent is Zelda and transforms into Sheik. Despite this, Sheik does have an introduction image for the "Now Loading..." screen between matches in the game's files.

In Adventure Mode[edit]

Sheik's sole appearance in the Adventure Mode is in the second portion of Stage 3, the Underground Maze. The player has to fight against Zelda on the Temple stage; Sheik can be fought if Zelda transforms.

In All-Star Mode[edit]

In All-Star Mode, Zelda/Sheik and her allies are fought on the Temple stage.

In Event Matches[edit]

Sheik is featured in the following event matches:

  • Event 9: Hide 'n' Sheik: The player is pitted against two Zeldas on Great Bay; to win, however, players have to wait for Zelda to transform into Sheik and then KO them. Upon getting KO'd as Sheik, the CPU will be removed from the game; KOs against Zelda, however, merely cause her to respawn as normal.
  • Event 15: Girl Power: The player, with two stocks, has to fight against Samus, Peach and Zelda, all of whom also have two stocks; the player, however, is tiny, and must KO all three, who are on the same team. Friendly fire is turned on in the match, easing it slightly for the player.
  • Event 20: All-Star Match 2: Zelda/Sheik is the third opponent the player must fight in this series of staged battles. Their character battles her on the Temple stage, and the player's character has 2 stock while Zelda/Sheik has 1. With a timer of four minutes, the player must defeat her and the other four characters with the overall time and life they have: Samus, Link, Captain Falcon, and Fox.
  • Event 29: Triforce Gathering: The player plays as Link with Zelda as their partner, both of whom have one stock. They face Ganondorf on the Temple stage, who has two stock. Clearing the event allows the player to unlock Ganondorf.
  • Event 44: Mewtwo Strikes!: In this event, the player is initially placed on Battlefield, against Zelda. After fifteen seconds, however, Mewtwo appears on stage and will fight the player. The player's goal is to KO Mewtwo; while Zelda can be attacked, KOing her will result in failure.

Ending images[edit]

Sheik and Zelda share ending images for the one-player modes, as well as the same cinematic; clearing the mode with one also gives the player both of their trophies.


In addition to the normal trophy about Sheik as a character, there are two trophies about her as a fighter, unlocked alongside Zelda's trophies by completing the Adventure and All-Star modes respectively with Zelda or Sheik on any difficulty:

Sheik trophy from Super Smash Bros. Melee.
Classic Mode trophy
This is Zelda's alter ego. Using a variation of the name of the ancient Sheikah tribe, she appears before Link and teaches him melodies instrumental to his success. It's believed that she's not just a quick-change artist, but rather that she is able to instantaneously alter her clothing and her eye and skin color by using her magical skills.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (11/98)
Sheik trophy from Super Smash Bros. Melee.
Adventure Mode [Smash] trophy
Sheik [Smash]
Strategically switching between Zelda and Sheik is key. Compared to her Zelda form, Sheik is nimble and has gorgeous moves, but she lacks a strong knockout attack. The number of needles thrown in Needle Storm is based on how long you hold the B Button before releasing it. Use the Control Stick to wave the Chain after brandishing it.
B: Needle Storm
Smash B: Chain
Sheik trophy from Super Smash Bros. Melee.
All-Star Mode [Smash] trophy
Sheik [Smash]
The best strategy to use when playing as Sheik is to let her flow from one powerful attack into another, like a river of quicksilver. Zelda has some techniques with more punch, however, so in one-on-one battles, use Transform as needed. Sheik only travels a short way when using Vanish, but the move comes with a small explosion that damages foes around her.
Up & B: Vanish
Down & B: Transform

Alternate costumes[edit]

Sheik's palette swaps, with corresponding tournament mode colours.
SheikHeadSSBM.png SheikHeadRedSSBM.png SheikHeadBlueSSBM.png SheikHeadGreenSSBM.png SheikHeadWhiteSSBM.png



  • In Melee, Sheik ends up sending opponents flying vertically with the Home-Run Bat. As a result, she needs to transform into Zelda to use the Home-Run Bat properly in the Home-Run Contest.
  • Sheik's appearance in Melee marked the first time the character was playable in any game.
  • Sheik is the only playable character in Melee to not appear on the character selection screen.
    • As Sheik shares a character selection screen portrait with Zelda in Brawl, and Smash 4 onwards splits Zelda and Sheik into separate characters, this marks the only time Sheik does not appear on the character selection screen.
  • All the unplayable characters have their name erroneously default to Sheik in the results screen.
  • In the Japanese version of Melee, Sheik is the only Legend of Zelda series character to speak (albeit only one phrase) outside of mainly various shouts and grunts like the other characters who represent the same series in-game. She shares this trait with, coincidentally, Zelda in Ultimate.
  • Sheik and Diddy Kong are the only characters to have been ranked 1st on the tier list for a Smash game that have lost the position in a later tier list. This also happened to her in Smash 4.
  • Sheik's white costume changes her skin tone to a very pale color, as opposed to all of her other swaps which have a darker skin tone.
  • This is the only Smash game where Sheik uses her canonical design. Brawl and Smash 4 based her design off of unused concept art for Twilight Princess (which is the basis for Link, Zelda, and Ganondorf in those games), while Ultimate uses a completely original design based on the Stealth Armor set from Breath of the Wild (which is the basis for Link's design in Ultimate), although retaining her braid.
    • Because of this, Brawl had her canonical design appear as a sticker, while Ultimate has this appear as a spirit. This leaves SSB4 as the only game where Sheik's canonical design is not directly referenced.
  • Tuesday, February 22, 2022 was declared Sheik Day by the community, due to the "tu" noise Sheik provides every time she jumps (and wavedashes).

External links[edit]