Sora (ソラ, Sora) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. He was officially announced during The Final Mr. Sakurai Presents on October 5th, 2021 as the sixth and final downloadable character from Fighters Pass Vol. 2, and was released on October 18th, 2021 (October 19th in time zones east of the Americas) as part of Challenger Pack 11. Sora is the fourth fighter from a Square Enix published/developed series (after Cloud, Hero, and Sephiroth), as well as the first and only fighter from Disney. Sora is classified as Fighter #82, the last fighter number of the newcomers and the overall roster.
Haley Joel Osment and Miyu Irino, Sora's main English and Japanese voice actors since the first Kingdom Hearts game, reprise their roles in the English and Japanese releases of Ultimate respectively, with their portrayals re-purposed from Kingdom Hearts Re:coded and Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance.
Sora is a swordsman whose mobility attributes reference his movement in the Kingdom Hearts series. Although he is a lightweight that weighs the same as Zelda, his aerial mobility is notable, due to having below-average fall speeds, extremely low gravity on par with Kirby, a very poor initial jump, but a very high, yet delayed double jump. Sora's air speed is lackluster due to it being the 24th slowest, but he has the 15th highest air acceleration. Comparatively, Sora's grounded mobility is poor: he has the 10th slowest walking speed, the 24th slowest dashing speed, and the 11th lowest traction.
Thanks to these aerial attributes, Sora can stay in the air for a long time to inflict damage, but has trouble closing in or escaping ground pressure through his mobility alone. Having said this, Sora has among the longest recoveries in the game, thanks to his aforementioned double jump, Sonic Blade (his side special move) granting up to three additional bursts of movement, and Aerial Sweep (his up special move) granting both extra vertical height and the ability to transition into Sonic Blade. Overall, especially compared to his fellow swordfighters, Sora struggles to apply and escape pressure on the ground given his poor mobility and laggy attacks, but fares much better in the air, where the combination of his floatiness and his attacks' lingering hitboxes allows him to perform combos and create havoc while staying airborne.
The centerpiece of Sora's game plan is his aerial game, due to his aforementioned jumping abilities. Neutral and forward aerials are natural combos, similar to Bayonetta's forward aerial. Holding or repeatedly tapping the attack button for each move completes the full combo, whereas tapping the button once initiates only one hit. However, of note is that the first hit of his forward aerial during a fast fall negates his upward momentum, allowing for KO confirms upon landing well past mid percentages. Back aerial is strong enough to KO reliably, and it even has relatively low landing lag (at 11 frames), which makes it relatively safe on shield. Sora's down aerial, Hurricane Blast, works well as an edgeguarding tool due to its long duration, low ending lag, and Sora's aforementioned double jump. However, where Sora's air game shines is his up aerial: its respectable power enables it to carry opponents closer to the upper blast line or even KO them outright, while its lengthy active frames and decent landing lag (at 10 frames) make it a potent combo tool in the air or when SHFF'd.
Sora's ground game also has its uses. Neutral attack and forward tilt are similar to his neutral aerial in that they are natural combos that either initiate only one hit on a single button press, or the full combo if the attack button is held or repeatedly tapped. In particular, his neutral attack comes out on frame 5, making it a good tool for close-range pressure. His forward tilt has a slow startup, but compensates with more versatility than his other moves; when single tapped, it has enough power to KO reliably despite dealing very low damage, and when held or repeatedly tapped, it deals much more damage but sacrifices some KO power (although it is still an effective KO tool regardless).
Up tilt functions much like Palutena's equivalent move, as it is a useful anti-air attack that hits multiple times and has overall decent range. Unlike hers, however, Sora's is also useful for setting up combos at low percentages. Down tilt is one of Sora's go-to combo starters, being able to combo into his aerial moves at low to medium percentages. In particular, its combo into up aerial combo can KO quite early if the opponent does not react correctly. Lastly, dash attack's very large area of effect makes it useful as both a burst option and a 2 frame punish. Although situational, its clean hitbox is nevertheless capable of KOing at very high percentages while near the edge.
Sora's smash attacks are serviceable in their own right. Forward smash is the least reliable of his smash attacks due to its startup and ending lag, but it is also the most powerful and can even negate other projectiles (although he is left vulnerable when doing so). Up smash has deceptively good range in front of him, and likewise has strong KO power, being one of the strongest up smashes in the game. Lastly, down smash functions like Ridley, King K. Rool and Incineroar's equivalent moves, as it involves him hopping before striking the ground. In doing so, he can vault over low profiling attacks, but unlike other moves, the move is also well suited for two-framing since the move's hitbox goes well below him.
Sora's grab game is also fairly good, especially for a swordsman. His standing grab is among the fastest in the game with only 7 frames of startup, and his pummel is among the best in Ultimate due to its fast speed supplementing its average damage output. Forward throw is unable to KO at realistic percentages, even near ledges, and thus it is mainly used for launching foes offstage. Up throw is also decently powerful and can set opponents up for juggles if they do not DI or react correctly, but does not KO until over 180% for middleweights. In comparison, Sora's back and down throws are much more useful. Back throw is a useful KO option, thanks to it being able to KO middleweights at around 120% near the edge. Down throw is a useful combo starter due to neutral, forward and up aerials being reliable follow-ups, and it can position opponents for juggles and other aerial situations like up throw.
Lastly, Sora has a useful kit of special moves. His neutral special, Magic, cycles between three attacking spells (Firaga, Thundaga and then Blizzaga), each cycling after the previous one has been utilized. Firaga functions similarly to Breegull Blaster, being able to launch fireballs by repeatedly pressing the attack button. After finishing, Firaga transitions to Thundaga, which drops several bolts of lightning that combo into each other. Notably, the last bolt has very strong KO power, making it the only spell that can outright KO reliably. Lastly, Thundaga transitions to Blizzaga, which lacks KO potential but freezes opponents starting at mid to high percentages, allowing him to catch up to deal extra damage. Casting each spell in the air stalls Sora's vertical momentum, allowing him to apply offensive pressure offstage, though Thundaga's lag causes him to fall comparatively faster than the other spells.
Sora's side special, Sonic Blade, functions similarly to Quick Attack: when it is initiated near an opponent, Sora faces them and performs a dashing thrust; otherwise, he continues to move in the direction the Control Stick is held in. If the special attack button is tapped, Sora dashes forward once, but if directions are continuously inputted, Sora strikes up to three times instead. His up special, Aerial Sweep, functions very similarly to Spin Attack. However, it does have one key difference: Aerial Sweep propels Sora upward, regardless of whether it is used on the ground or in the air. It can also transition into Sonic Blade if the move input is performed near the jump's apex, which grants Sora a noticeably long-distanced recovery in the process.
Sora's down special, Counterattack, is actually more than just a simple counterattack. Rather, it functions as both a counterattack and a reflector, similarly to Counter / Reflect Barrier, Gut Check, and Rebel's Guard / Tetrakarn / Makarakarn. Uniquely among said moves, however, is that projectiles that get reflected behind Sora instead of in front of him. While this makes the move ineffective as a direct reflector, it grants him some defense against characters with both reflectors and projectiles (such as Mario, Mewtwo, and Hero). Although Sora's counter special has less active frames and slightly more startup than other swordfighters like Marth, Sora can interrupt the endlag at frame 52, much quicker than most other counters, making it less punishable.
One of Sora's most defining traits across his moveset are the presence of lingering hitboxes. Almost all of Sora's grounded moves and aerials, as well as select specials like Blizzaga, feature an extensive number of active frames, granting Sora a fair degree of safety when it comes to throwing out attacks and intercepting opponents. Many of these attacks also cover a plethora of angles, though they are perhaps most useful for his aerials, as a result of Sora's aforementioned ability to negate his upward momentum through fast falling, being able to cancel his attacks into longer combos or stronger attacks. As a result of these factors, Sora has a number of ways to cover multiple committal ground and aerial recovery options when pushing advantage, in particular sporting a strong edge-trapping game, and in many cases they may be the difference maker between an opponent's survival and them being KO'd.
However, for as many strengths as Sora has, he also has several flaws. His low weight and below-average falling speed make him very susceptible to vertical KOs. Despite his high amount of active attack frames, he has below-average frame data on his moveset, making it hard for him to escape from combos. With all of these factors considered, he is particularly susceptible to wall of pain combos, as he has no realistic ways of defending himself.
Sora's range is also another issue. Despite being a swordsman, the Kingdom Key's range is among the shortest of any weapon in Ultimate. This leaves Sora at a disadvantage against other fighters who sport disjointed ranges, such as Shulk and Sephiroth (especially given their respective sword attacks). When combined with his aforementioned frame data, he is unable to keep maximum distance from other characters as effectively as other spacing-oriented characters (such as Marth and Simon) and can result in opponents being able to chase him down more easily. Despite his grab being quick, it also suffers from abysmal range like many other swordfighters, but to an even larger extent, being tied with Pikachu for one of the worst grab ranges in the entire cast.
Despite Sora's fantastic air game, he is one of the very few characters who does not possess a meteor smash, which is a huge detriment for his KO power given the amount of time he spends juggling opponents in the air. Sora is forced to drag opponents towards the side or upper blast lines instead, whereas a meteor smash would make it much more efficient for him to land KOs.
Lastly, Sora's special moves all have certain flaws that force him to maintain a patient playstyle. Magic cannot freely swap between spells (unlike other multi-weapon attacks, such as Peach's forward smash), forcing him to repeatedly use his spells to utilize one for particular situations. Transitioning also leaves Sora vulnerable since he cannot move on the ground until his current spell concludes, making him very vulnerable if opponents can get behind him, where he has limited defense options (though this is negated somewhat if used in the air). Lastly, since all three spells are projectiles, they can easily be turned against him by reflectors.
Sonic Blade also slows down slightly upon hitting a shield (although given the short amount of time it takes to transition between hits, punishing the move can prove to be difficult), while Sora cannot input any actions if the move concludes in the air, making him very vulnerable. Aerial Sweep does not hit behind Sora on startup, while Sora is vulnerable to meteor smashes since the move does not hit directly above him. Lastly, Counterattack's aforementioned ineffectiveness against projectiles makes it infeasible for reflected projectiles to KO opponents. Like Scintilla and Gut Check, it also leaves the area directly behind Sora unprotected.
Overall, Sora's playstyle is reminiscent of Jigglypuff where his light weight and somewhat lackluster direct range force him play very patient in order to get the most out of his combos and strong air game. His ability to reliably edgeguard the majority of the cast alongside his wide array of combo routes give him the potential to KO at very early percentages, however he must be very careful to not overextend or whiff too much as he has the potential to be KO'd at very early percentages.
Sora has received no major changes via in-game updates by virtue of being the final DLC fighter and the developers not having enough time to properly observe player behavior and apply any necessary tweaks before sunsetting active development. The only change is in update 13.0.1, where his jab reset animation was changed to match the rest of the cast.
For a gallery of Sora's hitboxes, see here.
Note: All numbers are listed as base damage, without the 1v1 multiplier.
In competitive play
Initial perceptions towards Sora were rather positive, with many top players pointing out his combo potentials from his neutral and forward aerial, as well as his versatile recovery. Initial results matched these perceptions thanks to the efforts of Zackray, who notably won Kagaribi 5 2 weeks after the character was released. As a result, many players were confident that Sora had the potential to be high tier.
However despite Zackray's victory, Sora's results started to decline. Most of Zackray's other results with Sora were more mixed, while a couple of other players who tried to main Sora, including Stroder and Aaron, saw limited success; all three of them have since dropped the character. In North America, despite confidence from players such as Maister and Dabuz, Sora has garnered a reputation for being pulled out and used unsuccessfully in important matches at majors. Despite this, Sora has seen continued success in Japan thanks to the efforts of kameme, who has seen several top 8 placements nationally, and komorikiri, who has seen solid placements at a regional level despite being semi-active. Currently, the general perception of Sora is that he is a viable, yet unpopular character in the metagame, though time will tell how he fares in the long run.
Most historically significant players
See also: Category:Sora professionals (SSBU)
There are currently no historically significant Sora players.
Classic Mode: The Light That Clears the Darkness
Sora's route mostly consists of stamina battles against opponents based on various antagonists from the Kingdom Hearts series.
Note: Every stage plays a track from the Kingdom Hearts universe, no matter what universe the stage originates from.
Role in World of Light
Due to his status as downloadable content, Sora does not have a legitimate role in World of Light. Instead, he is unlocked for use in the mode after freeing ten fighters from Galeem's control. If loading an existing save file that meets this condition before downloading Sora, he is immediately unlocked.
Sora's default fighter spirit can be obtained by completing Classic Mode. It is also available periodically for purchase in the shop for 300 Gold, but only after Sora has been downloaded. Unlocking Sora in World of Light allows the player to preview the first spirit below in the Spirit List under the name "???". As a fighter spirit, it cannot be used in Spirit Battles and is purely aesthetic. His Kingdom Hearts II, Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, Kingdom Hearts III, and Timeless River outfits have fighter spirits of their own, available through the shop. Each fighter spirit has an alternate version that replaces them with their artwork in Ultimate.
In Spirit battles
As the main opponent
As a minion
Conditions in italic are not listed on the Spirit Battle preview screen.