Squirtle (ゼニガメ, Zenigame) 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 (the eighth highest), 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 very effective grab game, as its forward throw is very effective for edgeguarding and is strong enough to KO at around 160% with no rage, back throw is a strong KO throw and its up and down throws are potent combo starters, while it's pummel is fast and good to rack up damage. 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, up aerial can only do so near the upper blast line and along with forward throw, they require rage to KO on their own, so Squirtle can sometimes depend on edgeguarding to score KO. 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, fast attacks, and excellent aerial game, which made it a potentially viable contender in competitive play. In the transition to Ultimate, Squirtle has received a mix of buffs and nerfs overall, but it's unclear if it was buffed or nerfed overall. Unlike the other party Pokémon, a large part of its moveset has been altered as well, receiving several new moves.
Squirtle benefits significantly from the transition from Brawl to Ultimate and the new mechanics, like weakening of hitstun canceling, increased shieldstun and the universally decreased landing lag, with its up tilt, up and down throws, and all aerial attacks having increased combo potential at a wide range of percents, and its fast frame data has been retained and improved, with reduced ending lag in several attacks; this turns Squirtle into a heavily combo-based character, much like Mario and Sheik. Some of its KO options have been improved as well, with its new forward and down smashes having increased range with much lower ending lag, and the former, along with its new back throw having increased knockback. Squirtle's specials are all more effective for punishes and stage control, as Water Gun has less ending lag with a substantially increased push force, Withdraw travels faster and is much stronger on hit, and Waterfall connects much more reliably and has increased knockback. The removal of the Stamina mechanic also eliminates Squirtle's biggest limiting factor from Brawl, as it can now stay in battle for as long as the player wishes with no penalty, provided it is not KO'd. Lastly, like afromentioned, the general mechanic changes to Ultimate heavily benefit Squirtle, as in addition to the weakened hitstun canceling, it is no longer vulnerable to chain grabs or aerial grab release combos, and the increased shieldstun makes several of its attacks safer on shield, most notably its forward tilt and new smash attacks.
However, Squirtle has received some major nerfs. While its grounded movement is technically much faster, it has lost its multiple unique advanced techniques, such as DACUS and most notably shellshifting (due to the change to its turnaround animation), hindering its versatility. Squirtle's excellent aerial mobility has also been toned down (especially when relative to the cast), as unlike most returning veterans, its air speed and air acceleration have been reduced, going from among the highest in Brawl to merely average in Ultimate. Additionally, while Squirtle's neutral aerial, forward smash, and down smash have more range, the majority of its other attacks have less range, namely its neutral attack, all tilts, dash attack, all other aerials except back aerial, grabs, and Waterfall, requiring it to take better advantage of its mobility to land them. Squirtle's overall damage output and knockback are lower, especially in moves such as its forward aerial, up aerial, and throws except forward and back throws (especially down throw, which is no longer one of the strongest in the game), thus losing some of its KO options, while its improved ones remain generally hard to land; as a result, Squirtle mantains a glaring weakness in its lack of KO potential, and now heavily depends on exploiting its greater combo ability and speedy attacks to rack up damage and bring opponents to KO percents. Lastly, the removal of type effectiveness hinders Squirtle more than the rest of its party, greatly worsening its survivability in certain matchups, as it previously had a disproportionate resistance to flame attacks compared to the other Pokémon's respective weaknesses.
Overall, Squirtle's combo game has been improved drastically, giving it an excellent damage racking ability, but 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 is exactly unknown how Squirtle fares on its own compared to the rest of the cast, although it is generally agreed upon that it is no longer the Pokémon Trainer's best Pokémon by a large margin.
Throws and other attacks
For a gallery of Squirtle's hitboxes, see here.
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 three 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