Toon Link (SSBB)
Toon Link (トゥーンリンク, Toon Link) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. He was revealed on March 28th, 2008. He is a semi-clone of Link, and thus has some similar moves but different attributes.
Toon Link is ranked 13th on the tier list at the top of the mid-high tier (making him the highest ranked character of all The Legend of Zelda characters). Toon Link's biggest asset is his variety of versatile projectiles, which when combined with his great jumping ability and air mobility, gives him one of the strongest camping abilities and makes him one of the most difficult characters to approach. Toon Link additionally has a strong aerial game, with the aforementioned efficient jumping and aerial mobility, and access to fast, powerful aerial attacks, in addition to a damaging zair, which is useful for keeping opponents at a distance and setting up subsequent attacks. Toon Link also has two great combo starters in his up tilt and back aerial that can combo into themselves, a far reaching and relatively safe recovery, and strong approaching capabilities from his fast movement speed and projectiles. Toon Link however suffers from underwhelming KOing ability, possessing finishers that aren't very powerful with short reach, or in the case of his up smash, being too predictable while lacking strong enough traits to make up for it. Toon Link additionally possesses short reach throughout his moveset, and a very punishable grab that lacks the reach to make up for its high ending lag (in addition to possessing rather poor throws). Toon Link overall has strong matchups (with his only counter being Meta Knight), and has achieved above average tournament results (which have been especially strong in Meta Knight-banned tournaments).
How to unlock
Complete one of the following:
The player must then defeat Toon Link on Pirate Ship.
Toon Link falls under the archetype of a small but nimble character. True to his small frame, he is a floaty middleweight. Toon Link also has the ability to wall jump. His attacks generally have decent range and disjointed hitboxes (although poor compared to other swordsmen), and little lag. Toon Link has an above average aerial game and overall mobility, but he has problems KOing due to his few reliable KO moves. His best KO move is his up smash, but it is predictable. His down smash has semi-spike knockback at low damages, but it is not as powerful. The second hit of his forward smash has good knockback, but it can easily be evaded with DI, thus leaving him vulnerable. His tether grab has decent range, but it leaves him vulnerable if it misses. Projectiles, his bombs in particular, are also part of Toon Link's game, which are great for mindgames, and (like Boomerangs) can be used to combine with other attacks.
He has a decently powerful ranged game due to having 3 projectiles and a grab aerial, as well as a shield to automatically block most other projectiles while standing in a stationary position (although his idle poses negate this). His Stall-Then-Fall down aerial can negate horizontal knockback (although it can also cause some unwanted self destructs), which sets up the rest of his recovery, and can also make use of bomb and tether recoveries. On the downside, his recovery is predictable, fairly easy to edge guard due his floatiness, and gives only decent distance overall. Ultimately, Toon Link becomes what his player makes of him in combining and using his advantages to mitigate disadvantage.
Differences between Young Link and Toon Link
Toon Link replaces Young Link from Melee, with some noticeable changes in his fighting style and is overall a much stronger character than Young Link. Toon Link has a much better recovery due to a higher midair jump, lower fall speed and his spin attack covering more distance (although his grab aerial is less useful for recovering). Toon Link has some moves which are very different to Young Link's with some of Toon Link's new moves being superior in almost every single way (such as his up smash and back air). His grab aerial is also much more effective as a spacing tool due to its much lower landing lag.
Some of Toon Link's tools are weaker than Young Link's however. While Toon Link's dash attack has less end lag and a lot of new utility, it is significantly weaker no longer being a viable KO option. The first hit of Toon Link's down smash is also worse as it now sends opponents into the second hit removing its KO potential and making down smash much less reliable. Lastly, Toon Link's down aerial sourspot is much weaker no longer being a viable KO option.
Overall, Toon Link is a significantly better character than Young Link. While Young Link's weaknesses have kept him in the low-mid tiers throughout Melee's life, Toon Link has consolidated himself as a solid high tier in Brawl.
For a more detailed information regarding Toon Link's moveset and attack hitboxes, see this page.
In competitive play
Toon Link has good matchups overall. He is countered by 1 character, Meta Knight, soft countered by 8, has 7 even matchups, soft counters 11, counters 8, and hard counters 1, Ganondorf. Toon Link's projectiles make him an effective zoner, and his disjointed hitbox also helps. His semi-powerful moves for his weight class make him a threat. He also is not hindered by the flaws of regular Link, meaning he is good in the air and has an amazing recovery. His projectiles help him greatly against matchups like the Ice Climbers, so much so it fact that he is one of four characters who soft counters them. The Ice Climbers have a hard time approaching and grabbing the slippery Toon Link, aiding him tremendously in that matchup. Everyone else higher tiered than him at least soft counters him (Except Diddy Kong and Lucario.) Meta Knight in particular has an easy time with Toon Link because of the amount of options he has that can overwhelm him.
Role in The Subspace Emissary
Toon Link is an optional character in the Subspace Emissary, along with Jigglypuff and Wolf, who can only be unlocked after the mode has been completed. To find him, players must enter a new door in the Forest which appears after defeating Tabuu for the first time that takes them to the Pirate Ship, where Toon Link prepares for battle. Defeating Toon Link will add him to the player's team. He does not have an actual role in the overall plot.
Toon Link uses his sword for all of his attacks except his back throw, forward throw, and down throw. Because of this, he benefits greatly from [Slash] and [Weapon] Damage boosts. Toon Link has more ranged specials than direct, so a [Specials: Indirect] boost would also be beneficial to him.
These stickers can only be used by Toon Link, or a select few including him:
In Event Matches