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 alongside his predecessor Young Link and the rest of veterans on June 12th, 2018. As in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, he is unlockable, instead of being available from the start. 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.
Toon Link is a middleweight, yet boasts above-average dashing speed and air acceleration, as well as the ability to wall jump. However, his air speed is average and his falling and fast falling speeds are both slow, while his gravity is low. Although they differ on the majority of their attributes, Toon Link and Link both have above-average walking speeds. Like Link, he also wields his respective version of the Master Sword and possesses two shields, instead of just one. The Master Sword grants Toon Link disjointed range, while the Hero's Shield blocks opposing projectiles if he is standing still or walking. Overall, Toon Link's attributes render him as a fairly quick, yet fairly floaty character.
As he a zoning-orientated character, Toon Link possesses a number of projectiles. His Hero's Bow, Boomerang and Bomb enable him to not only force approaches, but also camp effectively. In addition to these strengths, Boomerang and Bomb boast combo potential, with the latter being his most varied and useful combo starter. Thanks to its explosion no longer damaging Toon Link upon contact with an opponent, Bomb now grants him a number of follow-ups at varying percentages. With precise usage, it can be followed by his up smash or forward aerial even at high percentages, both of which are good KOing options.
However, Toon Link has some weaknesses. His grab game is overall a mixed bag: his Hookshot grants him long-lasting grabs that can now grab airborne opponents, and a grab aerial and tether recovery that are both very useful, yet his grabs have considerable start-up and ending lag (albeit much less so than in previous installments). By extension, Toon Link's back throw is one of his most viable KO options, yet his other throws are much less potent in comparison. Although forward throw is a serviceable option for setting up edgeguards and creating space, it, up throw and down throw are used primarily to launch an opponent into the trajectory of a previously thrown Boomerang or Bomb. On a related note, up throw and down throw are very unreliable set-ups into up aerial and back aerial, respectively, even at 0%.
Toon Link's floatiness makes him particularly susceptible to strong vertical attacks, and renders his recovery quite predictable in spite of its improvements. Unlike other floaty characters, however, Toon Link cannot use his floatiness to perform long aerial combos because of his aerials' considerable ending lag. Toon Link's disjointed range is also somewhat offset by his short size, while the faster pace of Ultimate makes his defensive, projectile-based gameplan less effective than it was in previous installments.
Toon Link is a zoner character, as his long-distance projectiles make him play somewhat defensively for much of the match, and camp with projectiles. 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.
Toon Link is overall a very balanced and fast fighter with a plethora of attack options via his projectiles, tether grab/recovery, and decent frame data. The combination of low ending lag on his forward and back aerials with his slow fall speed allow Toon Link to dominate in the air with combos, while his moderately fast and fairly powerful tilts and smash attacks allow for relatively easy KOs. While his middling weight and slow falling speed make him easier to combo and KO, it is generally agreed that Toon Link's strengths outweigh his weaknesses by a fair margin.
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 all hitboxes send opponents in front of him; 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, less endlag 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 continue 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 the first projectile or hurtbox it makes contact with, instead of piercing through. Aside from forward smash, a few of his sword-based moves also received some nerfs. 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 slightly 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 is seen as one of the most underrated and underrepresented characters in the game, due to being overshadowed by Breath of the Wild's Link becoming playable and the return of Young Link. In the early months of Ultimate's release, he was seen as mid-tier and the worst of the three Links. But in Japan, Toon Link's representation stayed very strong thanks to players such as Ri-ma, Sigma and Lv.1. These players have been consistently getting Top 8 and Top 16 at some of the biggest tournaments there, including the second-largest Japanese tournament, Umebura Japan Major 2019, and several Sumabato and other Umebura events.
Because of this, Toon Link is notably viewed as high-tier among select top players, such as Goblin and Nairo. Later, update 7.0.0 noticeably strengthened Toon Link's down smash and increased his grab aerial's active frames, as well as granting him a handful of quality of life buffs. These improvements allow 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