Villager (むらびと, Murabito) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, officially confirmed on June 12th, 2018. Villager is classified as fighter #45.
Villager is an unorthodox character with several unique moves, including several standard attacks that are actually projectiles, similar to Mega Man.
Villager possesses a strong camping game. His forward and backward aerials are long-ranged slingshot attacks which, in combination with Lloid Rocket, are great for harassing opponents from a distance. Opposing projectiles can either be Pocketed or blocked by a tree; Pocket can also be used to "steal" character-generated items such as R.O.B.'s Gyro, preventing them from being used as long as Villager keeps them and thus further weakening the opponent's ability to compete with him at range. One caveat, though, is that Villager is a character of below-average mobility; in particular, he has the fourth slowest dashing speed in the game (albeit still noticeably faster than the bottom three), so once the opponent closes the gap it can be difficult for Villager to create space again. Despite this, Villager possesses three sex kicks out of his five aerial moves of which all have quick startups, giving him a relatively easy time knocking away an enemy if they approach to point blank range.
Should camping not be desirable, Villager's projectiles can also serve as good approach tools. In particular, launching Lloid Rocket and then running behind it is a strategy that limits the opponent's options and provides a chance to punish their reaction. Using his down aerial in a short hop is also a good approach option, as it is a disjointed attack with little lag.
Despite being a middleweight character, Villager possesses arguably the best recovery in the game thanks to Balloon Trip. This move allows him to fly a great distance at a respectable speed, and is surprisingly difficult to gimp; although the balloons can be popped to render Villager helpless, doing so requires two separate hits, and hitting Villager himself will allow him to simply use the move again. Lloid Rocket further bolsters Villager's recovery, as launching it stalls his descent while threatening edgeguarders. Alternatively, Villager can ride Lloid back to the stage, although this is punishable and can be reflected.
Villager is also a very potent edgeguarder, with a wealth of options to finish recovering foes. His forward smash allows him to drop a bowling ball from the ledge; this is a powerful attack that can be difficult for an opponent recovering low to avoid. If the opponent's recovery is slow enough or a tree is set up beforehand, Timber can also be used from the ledge for an even more devastating attack, or to reduce an opponent's options should they grab the ledge. Alternatively, Villager can jump offstage and pursue with an aerial attack; his down aerial is a powerful meteor smash should it produce three turnips, while a clean hit from his slingshot has enough knockback to be deadly near the blast line, and is generally the best choice against an opponent recovering high. Many of his aerials are sex kicks as well which, when combined with his extremely long-ranged recovery, allows him to gimp opponents pretty easily.
However, Villager's ability to set up edgeguards in the first place is hampered by his slow grab. Although his net has relatively long range, it is one of the laggiest grabs in the game, making it very punishable. As such, attempting to throw an opponent offstage is a risky prospect, and Villager's ability to shield-grab is quite limited, although he does have other good out of shield options, such as his neutral aerial.
Outside of edgeguarding, Villager has multiple powerful KO moves, but none of them are easy to land from a neutral situation. His forward smash, while powerful, is a laggy and short-ranged attack when used onstage. Lloid Rocket has KO power when ridden, but this is slow and predictable. Timber's axe requires a tree to be present and has considerable ending lag, while using the tree itself is slow and requires staying in one place. Villager's up aerial is a strong juggling move and can score KOs off the upper blast line, but only if luck permits. Pocketing and throwing back a sufficiently strong projectile makes for a deadly attack, generally enough to KO at mid percentages and even instantly shatter full shields, but this is matchup-dependent and will not be easily allowed by a smart opponent. Overall, if the opponent maintains control of center stage, Villager can have trouble finding KO opportunities.
Villager is considered a solid character by many in competitive play. However, outside of Japan, his representation is rather poor.
How to unlock
Complete one of the following:
With the exception of the third method, Villager must then be defeated on Smashville.
Changes from Super Smash Bros. 4
Villager received relatively few direct changes in their transition to Ultimate, resulting in their core playstyle remaining relatively unchanged, similarly to Mario. When it comes to direct changes, despite being a high tier in SSB4 (25th out of 55 characters), Villager has received a mix of buffs and nerfs, but was directly buffed overall. However, while Villager has received some noteworthy buffs that make their playstyle easier to execute, the indirect changes to Ultimate's engine have noticeably toned down its efficacy compared to the rest of the cast, causing them to be overall nerfed.
On the buff side of stuff, Villager's camping abilities have been considerably buffed. Pocket not only now stores projectiles and items indefinitely, but also has less ending lag after pocketing them, and Villager can now pocket items with a grab. Lloid Rocket has notably increased knockback at low percentages, allowing Villager to win the neutral game easier. Villager's aerials all have less landing lag, and down aerial now has a sweetspot that always meteor smashes, instead of doing it if they use three turnips; these changes further improve their dominant air game. Villager's ground game has seen a few improvements as well: their jab has now a rapid jab and a finisher, significantly improving safety its damage racking ability, down tilt's sourspot is stronger, their dash attack is much faster, their up smash connects better and has improved KO potential and down smash has increased range and more base knockback, making it more reliable for burying and harder to escape from. Villager's grab game also has been improved: their grabs are much faster and can pocket items, while their throws have both better edge guarding potential (forward and back throws) and combo potential (down throw). Villager's previously mediocre mobility has also been improved, while the universal 3-frame jumpsquat further improving their combo potential, notably with their throws. Lastly, the changes made to air dodging noticeably benefit Villager, as they can more easily punish opponents after a mistake, giving their aerial attacks further utility and notably improving their edge-guarding ability.
On the nerf side, however, Villager also received some notable direct nerfs. Most of Villager's ground attacks also have more ending lag and/or less range, while the raw power throughout their standard moveset has been toned down, notably on their forward smash and all tilt attacks; for the latter point, up tilt is no longer among the strongest of its kind in the game. Their moveset's lower raw power is also exacerbated by the weakening of rage, which forces Villager to rely much more on edge-guarding to take a stock. Down aerial also had its startup nearly doubled, making it harder for Villager to combat juggling. Their previously heavily disjointed pivot grab has much less range, counterbalancing some of the benefits their grab game has received. The changes to jab this remove its ability to reliably jab cancel and removes their kill confirm from Smash 4 to Timber's axe. While Villager's recovery remains incredibly long-distanced, it has been nerfed nonetheless, as the helium for Balloon Trip now takes longer to recharge, which allows opponents to edgeguard Villager much more easily. Villager is also noticeably lighter, which further hurts their survivability and doesn't allow them to make use of rage as effectively.
However, while their direct nerfs are not as significant as their buffs, Villager is significantly harmed by the indirect changes to gameplay mechanics, likely more than any other character. Villager's floaty physics and camping-focused playstyle, whose core is essentially unchanged from Smash 4, fare worse with the universal changes made to Ultimate's engine, as the universal increase in mobility prioritizes faster-paced, more aggressive gameplay; most characters are now able to get past Villager's zoning tools with less issue, while Villager's own faster mobility doesn't properly compensate for this. Alongside with nerfs to Balloon Trip, edge-guarding being more prominent again further hurts Villager's survivability. Most projectile-based veteran characters, such as Young Link, Pac-Man and Duck Hunt have also received buffs that address some of their issues against opposing camping, whereas newcomers Simon and Richter have camping abilities that are just as strong, alongside greater range on their standard moveset. Combined with the nerfs to their raw power and the weakening of rage, most if not all of these characters are now capable of overcoming Villager, further reducing the effectiveness of their strong camping game despite being greatly buffed.
Overall, Villager's gameplan is largely the same as in Smash 4 as a result of receiving less direct changes than most of the cast; however, the significantly changed environment renders their playstyle much less effective, meaning Villager fares noticeably worse in Ultimate than in Smash 4. Some professionals think that Villager's playstyle has became so much less effective that they are potentially a low-tier character, whereas previously they were a high-tier in Smash 4. This reflects to their tournament representation, as they are an even rarer pick in tournaments than before. However, while Villager's tournament results are below average in amount, they have had a few strong results thanks to the efforts of players including BobbyWasabi, Panda Bair, and particularly kept. As a result, Villager's true viability in tournaments is up for debate.
Throws and other attacks
For a gallery of Villager's hitboxes, see here.
Note: All numbers are listed as base damage, without the 1v1 multiplier.
In competitive play
In the early metagame, players noted that the changes to game mechanics, which increases the pace of the game and encourages more aggressive gameplay over camping, harmed Villager, since most characters that once struggled against his camping gameplay can now get through it much easier. Furthermore, other campy characters that were once considered to be inferior to Villager, such as Pac-Man and Duck Hunt, received noticeable buffs and benefits from the game mechanics. As such, Villager suffered from minimal representation, and players considered him to be a low-mid or low tier character. Despite this, thanks to the efforts of players such as Panda Bair and kept, some players have acknowledged Villager's strengths and believe that it prevents him from falling too far behind. As such, Villager’s current viability remained questionable.
Classic Mode: Mistake to Underestimate
Villager fights against characters who appear unsuited for battle, such as Isabelle and Wii Fit Trainer. This is likely a reference to the similar reason for Villager not being included in Brawl.
Role in World of Light
The default male Villager was among the fighters that were summoned to fight against the army of Master Hands. He was also present when Galeem unleashed its beams of light. He is seen panicking alongside Duck Hunt and a composed Wii Fit Trainer. He was vaporized and placed under Galeem's imprisonment along with the rest of the fighters, excluding Kirby.
During the mode itself, the default male Villager can be unlocked early on shortly after rescuing Mario, where the player arrives at a crossroads and has the choice to rescue him, Marth or Sheik. If one of the others is rescued first, Villager's path will be blocked by a force field created by Master Hand, which will disappear upon defeating a boss or can be circumvented by looping back to the other side.
Male Villager's Fighter Spirit can be obtained by completing Classic Mode. It is also available periodically for purchase in the shop for 500 coins. Unlocking Villager 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. Female Villager also has a Fighter Spirit of her own, available through the shop. 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
Character Showcase Video