Toon Link (SSBU)
Toon Link (トゥーンリンク, Toon Link) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. He was officially confirmed as playable on June 12th, 2018. Toon Link is classified as fighter #43.
How to unlock
Complete one of the following:
With the exception of the third method, Toon Link must then be defeated on Pirate Ship.
Differences from Young Link
Because both Toon Link and Young Link are lighter and faster clones of the original Link, Toon Link is considered a counterpart to Young Link. However, Toon Link has a fair share of unique attacks and animations that set him apart from both Links.
Changes from Super Smash Bros. 4
Toon Link has received a notable mix of buffs and nerfs in the transition from SSB4 to Ultimate. Many of his standard attacks have been improved, but the general pace of Ultimate, combined with the worsening of his camping tools, seem to counterbalance this. As a result, it's difficult to determine whether Toon Link has been buffed or nerfed overall.
Several of Toon Link's attacks where he uses the Master Sword have been notably improved, alleviating one of his weaker points from SSB4. Particularly, Toon Link now boasts a vastly buffed grounded game compared to SSB4: neutral attack's first two hits can now lock, and the third hit now has the tech-chasing ability his adult counterpart has. Forward tilt has less ending lag and one hitbox is more consistent; the changes to the Sakurai angle allow down tilt to launch aerial opponents lower, improving its tech chasing potential; dash attack is much faster, has more range and the sweetspots outprioritize the sourspot; up smash is more consistent on landing the sweetspot; and down smash now has consistent KO potential on both sides of the move instead of pulling opponents into a second hit. Toon Link's aerial game, while seeing less buffs, has also become more useful; additionally, his neutral aerial has more range, forward aerial can once again autocancel if performed in a short hop, back aerial is faster and has regained some of its old combo potential, and up aerial is notably much safer to use due to its altered animation. Finally, Toon Link's Spin Attack has received the most improvements, with the grounded version now being one of the best out of shield options in the game due to it being much faster and gaining KO potential, while the aerial version's power and safety has improved.
However, Toon Link also received some noticeable nerfs. One of his biggest nerfs was to his forward smash; the move no longer has a second hit, while its single hit instead is slightly slower, has a much lower damage potential, possesses no mixup or spacing potential, and has a debatably worse hitbox that fails to strike short opponents or ones hanging on an edge. His other major nerf was to his Bombs, which no longer beat weak projectiles and keeping on, instead bouncing off of them; this massively worsens their potential in trade and projectile situations. Other nerfs to his camping ability include his item throws having more ending lag, which worsens his combo game via his Bombs; and his grab aerial now bouncing off of any hitbox or hurtbox it makes contact with, instead of keeping on. Aside from forward smash, a few of his sword-based moves also received some nerfs, since his up tilt has slightly inferior combo potential at high percentages due to the changes to knockback, his up smash has fewer active frames, and his back aerial dealing lower damage, which removes its KO potential in favor of more combo potential.
The universal changes to gameplay mechanics are overall mixed for Toon Link. The reduced landing lag makes it easier for him to combo, and safer to land if his aerials hit. The ability to use any attack out of a run also allows Toon Link more access to his now respectable grounded game. On the other hand, the changes to shieldstun make his grounded moveset much safer, though it also means shielding opponents are now more likely to punish mispaced aerials as easily. The nerfs to shield grabbing alleviate the negative changes from shieldstun, but combined with other characters also having reduced landing lag, and the changes to shieldstun, this notably worsens his grab game, despite his grabs' much lower ending lag. Finally, the universal increase to mobility further contributes to Toon Link's grounded game (due to his faster walking and dashing speeds) and improves his camping ability if he has the advantage (despite his worsened grab aerial and Bombs), but also allows more mobile opponents to close in on the distance to him and/or stay away from him easier.
Overall, both Toon Link's buffs and nerfs are equally notable, as while he has much more utility in his sword-based attacks, his worsened camping tools and the faster pace of Ultimate makes his defensive, projectile-based game less effective compared to previous titles. This noticeably changes his playstyle, shifting from primarily a zoner and counter-zoner, to a more movement and pressure-based playstyle that utilizes his sword attacks more. Initially, Toon Link was initially thought to fare worse in competitive play than in Brawl and SSB4 due to the changes and other veterans being buffed to varying degrees, with most top professionals ranking him as a mid-tier, and usually lower than the two other Links. However, as the metagame has progressed, many dedicated Toon Link professionals such as Hyuga, Ri-ma, Sigma, Tsuna and Xcal have seen some strong results with him; as a result, opinions of him have been more positive than before, with most professionals now ranking him closer to the other two Links, and potentially as a high-tier character once more.
Throws and other attacks
Toon Link has been buffed overall from game updates.
For a gallery of Toon Link's hitboxes, see here.
Note: All numbers are listed as base damage, without the 1v1 multiplier.
In competitive play
Toon Link was seen as one of the most underrated characters in the game because he has been overshadowed by the return of Young Link and Link's new Breath of the Wild design. In the early months of Ultimate's release, he was seen as a mid tier and the worst of the three Links. But over time, Toon Link's representation was huge in Japan through players, such as Ri-ma, Sigma, and Lv.1. These players have been consistently getting top 8s and top 16s at some of the biggest tournaments there, including the 2nd largest Japanese tournament, Umebura Japan Major 2019 and several Sumabatos and Umeburas.
Because of this, Toon Link is notably viewed as a high tier, with some, such as ESAM, Goblin, and Nairo, with the former placing him as the best of the three Links through his consistent damage output, KO confirms through his projectiles, and his results in Japan. Later Patch 7.0.0 gave him new combo opportunities with less endlag on dash attack and stronger knockback with down smash and down aerial. This allowed him more viability in the current meta of Ultimate with more players seeing his strengths over the other two Links.
Classic Mode: The Teamwork of Courage
Toon Link fights alongside two CPU Toon Link teammates in all of his battles, likely referencing The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes. Toon Link fights characters from different universes in each stage.
Note: When fighting Squirtle, Ivysaur, and Charizard, their respective Pokémon Trainers are absent.
Role in World of Light
Although Toon Link does not appear in the World of Light opening cutscene, he was vaporized and later imprisoned alongside the rest of the fighters (sans Kirby) when Galeem unleashed his beams of light.
Toon Link is unlocked in the Forest Hill sub-area of the Light Realm. To awaken him, the player must activate a nearby switch which extends the bridge and defeat the spirit of Zelda (Breath of the Wild) that's in front of him.
Toon Link's Fighter Spirit can be obtained by completing Classic Mode. It is also available periodically for purchase in the shop for 500 coins. Unlocking Toon Link 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. Each Fighter Spirit has an alternate version that replaces them with their artwork in Ultimate.
Additionally, this incarnation of Link and others under the same artstyle appear in a few Primary and Support Spirits.
In Spirit battles
As the main opponent
As a minion
Character Showcase Video