Squirtle is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. It was confirmed on June 12th, 2018. It is part of Pokémon Trainer's rotation along with Ivysaur and Charizard. Along with the Pokémon Trainer, Squirtle is classified as fighter #33.
Squirtle is the smallest and lightest out of the Pokémon Trainer's Pokémon, with it being tied with Mr. Game & Watch for the 3rd-lightest character in the game. Squirtle's small size makes it a hard target to hit, but also gives its attacks (with the exception of its smash attacks) poor range. Squirtle has decent mobility overall, with average dashing and air speeds, a fast walking speed, very high air acceleration high gravity and high jump height, but a below-average falling speed and low traction. Squirtle also has the ability to crawl and wall cling. One of Squirtle's strengths is that all of its attacks outside of its smash attacks come out before frame 10 and generally have low ending lag, giving it an excellent frame data and very strong combo game when combined with its moves' low knockback. Squirtle has multiple ways to set up into its aerials, which are all fast, can all autocancel in a short hop, and have good combo potential, in addition to being decent for edge guarding, giving it a good air game and edgeguarding ability. Water Gun can also be used to edgeguard opponents as well as keep opponents out. Squirtle also has a decent grab game, as its back throw can KO opponents and its down throw is a potent combo starter. Lastly, as mentioned before, Squirtle is a very small target, making it difficult to hit.
However, Squirtle does have some weaknesses. Squirtle's overall damage output is poor, and outside of its smash attacks (which are slow) and its back throw (which can have trouble killing away from the ledge), Squirtle lacks any fast KO options, especially since some of its previous KO options (such as forward aerial and down throw) were weakened, while neutral, forward and back aerials need edgeguarding to KO and up aerial can only do so near the upper blast line. Squirtle also lacks reliable KO combos as well, making it very difficult for it to close out stocks on its own. Squirtle's light weight and unimpressive recovery also make its endurance very poor, and it is no longer resistant to fire attacks due to the removal of type effectiveness, further hindering Squirtle's endurance in certain matchups. As previously mentioned, Squirtle has poor range throughout its attacks (save for its smash attacks), and it lacks a damaging projectile, making it very easy for Squirtle to be out-spaced by characters with superior range.
Overall, Squirtle should mainly be used to quickly rack up damage with its strong combo game while it and its opponents are at lower percents, and Squirtle should be swapped out with Ivysaur or Charizard to close out the opponent's stock and to survive for longer.
Changes from Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Squirtle was previously considered the strongest party member of the Pokémon Trainer's team in Brawl, due to a combination of its quick mobility overall, fast attacks, and excellent aerial game, which made it a potentially viable contender in competitive play. Possibly as a result, Squirtle has received a mix of buffs and nerfs overall. Unlike the other party Pokémon, Squirtle's moveset has been reworked into newer, different attacks, with many of its standard attacks being altered.
Squirtle has gained a few new or stronger KO options (such as its forward and up smashes having increased power and back throw), and has a much stronger combo game due to the weakening of hitstun canceling, with its up and down throws, forward aerial, and back aerial gaining more combo potential. Squirtle's specials are now stronger for repositioning, as Withdraw moves faster and has more priority, and Water Gun's push force and range has been substantially increased. As a result, it now plays quite differently from Brawl, as its combo initiators and KO options have been altered. The removal of stamina also removes one of Squirtle's big limiting factors, as it can now stay in battle until the player makes a tactical swap or Squirtle is KO'd. The general mechanic changes to Ultimate also heavily benefit Squirtle. As well as the aforementioned removal of hitstun canceling, Squirtle is no longer vulnerable to chain grabs or aerial grab release combos.
However, Squirtle has received nerfs. While Squirtle's grounded movement is technically much faster, Squirtle has lost its multiple unique advanced techniques, most notably shellshifting (due to the change to its dash animation), hindering its grounded movement. Squirtle's aerial mobility has also been toned down (especially when relative to the cast), as unlike most returning veterans, Squirtle's air speed has been decreased (going from being one of the highest in Brawl to being merely average in Ultimate), which is further hindered by its decreased air acceleration. Squirtle's overall damage output is lower, making it even more dependent on combos and its speedy attacks than before, and while Squirtle has gained a few new KO options, they remain hard to land overall, and Squirtle also lost two of its most potent KO moves as well in forward aerial and down throw, in exchange for more combo ability. Its new down smash has much less ending lag, deals more damage and has lost its sourspots, but it is now weaker than the old down smash's sweetspot. Squirtle also has less juggling potential mainly due to its up aerial sending opponents at a less favorable angle, as well as being weaker and having more ending lag. Lastly, the removal of type effectiveness hinders Squirtle more than the rest of its party, as its survivability during certain matchups is much worse, as it previously had a disproportionate resistance to flame attacks compared to the rest of its party's respective weaknesses.
Overall, Squirtle is much faster and its combo game has improved drastically, giving it an excellent damage racking ability, but most of its main weaknesses, including its poor range and KO power, have been further exacerbated, resulting in Squirtle being retooled to fit more in line with the speedy, combo-centric playstyle it used to represent in the Pokémon Trainer's team. As of now, it remains to be seen how Squirtle will perform without its advanced techniques and how it fares compared to the cast, although it is generally agreed upon that Squirtle is no longer the Pokémon Trainer's best Pokémon by a large margin.
Note: All numbers are listed as base damage, without the 1v1 multiplier.
Pokémon Trainer releases Squirtle from its Poké Ball while saying "Go!" or "Squirtle!"
During Squirtle's victory poses, the Pokémon Trainer says randomly either "You all did great!" (male)/"Everyone did great!" (female) or "Good job, Squirtle!" (よくやったな、ゼニガメ！), while the female Trainer can say "We did it, Squirtle!" (やったね、ゼニガメ！).
Role in World of Light
Squirtle was sent out by Pokémon Trainer, along with Ivysaur and Charizard, shortly before Galeem unleashed his beams of light. Under Pokémon Trainer's command, Squirtle used Water Gun in an attempt to fight the beams of light, but this attempt failed. Pokémon Trainer, Squirtle, Ivysaur and Charizard were all vaporized and placed under Galeem's imprisonment along with the other fighters, excluding Kirby.
Pokémon Trainer can be found at the southeast near the maze that resembles Pac-Maze. Defeating him allows access to all of their Pokémon.
Squirtle's Fighter Spirit can be obtained by completing Classic Mode. It is also available periodically for purchase in the shop for 500 coins. Unlocking Squirtle in World of Light allows the player to preview the spirit below in the Spirit List under the name "???". As a Fighter Spirit, it cannot be used in Spirit Battles and is purely aesthetic. Each Fighter Spirit has an alternate version that replaces them with their artwork in Ultimate.
In Spirit battles
As the main opponent
As a minion