Zelda (SSB4)

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This article is about Zelda's appearance in Super Smash Bros. 4. For the character in other contexts, see Princess Zelda.
Zelda
in Super Smash Bros. 4
Princess Zelda
ZeldaSymbol.svg
Universe The Legend of Zelda
Other Smash Bros. appearances in Melee
in Brawl
Availability Starter
Final Smash Light Arrow
Tier F (55)
ZeldaHeadSSB4-U.png

Zelda (ゼルダ, Zelda) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. 4. She was announced on December 26th, 2013, the date on which The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds was released in Japan. Jun Mizusawa reprises her role, albeit via recycled voice clips from Brawl.

Zelda is currently ranked 55th out of 58 on the tier list, placing her in the F tier. This is a marginal improvement from her placement in Brawl, where she was ranked 37th out of 38. Zelda possesses some strengths, with Farore's Wind arguably being her most notable one: it has utility as both a long-ranged recovery move and her strongest finisher (especially from out of shield), with its power enabling her to KO middleweights and heavyweights as low as 50% and 70%, respectively. Her defensive playstyle has also improved somewhat thanks to Nayru's Love having increased intangibility and her new down special, Phantom Slash, which is a useful spacing and edge-guarding option. Zelda has also gained a capable damage racking game, thanks to changes inherent during SSB4's launch and from subsequent game updates. Outside of these newfound improvements, Zelda retains a number of fairly powerful attacks, particularly her forward smash, up smash, up aerial and Lightning Kicks.

However, Zelda's numerous weaknesses are severe enough to largely outweigh these strengths. The most notable of these is the removal of Transform, as Sheik has become an entirely separate character. This is compounded even further by the massive amount of buffs Sheik received. Incidentally, Zelda's special moves, aside from Farore's Wind, are burdened with inherent and/or new weaknesses. Nayru's Love deals less damage, while the removal of momentum canceling makes its Naryu's Love Jump technique now much less effective for recovery. Din's Fire now deals less damage, which is further compounded by it now consisting of a sweetspot and a sourspot. Additionally, it is still easily avoidable in singles play and renders Zelda helpless when used in midair. Lastly, Phantom Slash requires charging to cover any actual distance, and can even be rendered temporarily inactive if the Phantom is destroyed.

Like in previous installments, Zelda's approach, mobility, survivability, and neutral game are also among the most ineffective in their respective categories. And despite having a number of attacks that boast impressive power, her KO potential is nonetheless inconsistent, due to several of these moves only being effective when using their sweetspots, most notably her Lightning Kicks.

Overall, Zelda's glaring flaws have resulted in her garnering poor representation in competitive play. While she has only managed to win a few local tournaments in singles and doubles play thanks to ven, Fairess, Purple Guy and Zolda, ven has also managed to managed to achieve a handful of decent placings at regional tournaments.

Attributes[edit]

Zelda's character archetype continues to be the same as in Melee and Brawl: she is a tall, floaty lightweight with slow walking, dashing and falling speeds, as well as low gravity. Although her air speed and air acceleration are both above average, her mobility is still rather sub-par overall. When coupled with a poor neutral game, these attributes result in Zelda having a poor approach.

Zelda defies most other character playstyles. While her approach is lacking, her out of shield and punishment games are quite strong. She is generally played defensively, but a moderately aggressive playstyle can offer a noticeable benefit. Her special moveset, while not having very useful options, is still decent regardless. In terms of projectiles, she has a notable one in Phantom Slash. As a chargeable attack, Phantom Slash sports both offensive and defensive capabilities and can even be used for edge-guarding against recovering opponents, as it can KO them surprisingly early if fully charged. It also blocks Zelda from many attacks and projectiles, until the Phantom breaks, resulting in the move being rendered inactive for 9 seconds. Phantom Slash can also be used rather effectively when coming down from the upper corners of the stage to apply pressure to an opponent standing at the edge. However, its ending lag, poor range at its lowest charges, and its susceptibility to reflectors may hinder its use if it is not used wisely.

Despite being a predictable projectile in Brawl, Din's Fire has been nerfed to the point of having little utility outside of having a chance of getting extra damage on the opponent when edge-guarding. Even then, it is very easy to jump or air dodge even when the player predicts the opponent's movements. Farore's Wind is a long-ranged teleport move with a hitbox and invincibility, giving her a reliable move for recovering. In addition to its long range and being unpredictable for the opponent to counter if used wisely, Farore's Wind is now one of Zelda's most viable KOing options: its powerful disappearing hitbox sends opponents directly upward, and if Zelda follows them straight up with its reappearing hitbox, it can KO characters from 50%-70%. Lastly, Nayru's Love is known for its reflecting purposes as well as its hitboxes that damage and push opponents far when used, making it an all-around useful move for offense and defense.

Zelda's grab game is also above average. Her grab range is fairly large for a non-tether grab and is disjointed, making it a relatively safe move to use, whereas her pummel has a good damage output despite being moderately slow. Her down throw is a fairly reliable combo starter especially on fast-fallers; while it can combo into several of her aerials sans down aerial, at KO percentages, it can be followed by an up aerial if it is not DI'd properly. Her back throw deals respectable damage and is very strong, able to KO at high percentages, while also being good for putting the opponent off-stage at low percents. Likewise, her forward throw is one of the most damaging throws in the game, and can set the opponent up for an edge-guard. Finally, her up throw deals respectable damage and can work as a combo throw, albeit only on fast-fallers.

Zelda's ground game is below average, though every move has its use. Her up and down tilts are reliable combo starters thanks to their low ending lag and knockback, while her forward tilt has KO power, but suffers from relatively high ending lag. Her forward and up smashes have great power, especially the latter, while the former has low ending lag and is useful for pressuring shields. However, forward smash lacks any confirmed set-ups at KOing percents, while up smash's only confirmed set-up is from a falling neutral aerial, which is only successful sometimes rather than consistently. Her down smash has the lowest KO power among her smash attacks, but it comes out very quickly, has low ending lag, and is a semi-spike, allowing her to launch opponents with poor recoveries too far from the stage to recover. Zelda's neutral attack is a decent combo starter with very low ending lag, though it suffers from the longest start-up lag of any neutral attack. Lastly, her dash attack has good KO power, though it is often difficult to sweetspot due to Zelda's poor mobility.

In comparison, Zelda's air game is decent thanks to her aerial attacks. While they require precision to be truly effective, her Lightning Kicks, up aerial and down aerial boast enough power to KO easily when sweetspotted. One of them functions differently from them, though: her neutral aerial is one of the most damaging neutral aerials in the game, while also boasting combo potential. Zelda's combo game is also much better than in previous installments: her combo starters range from a falling neutral aerial (which can chain into a grab or up tilt), up tilt (which can chain into itself or her aerials), down tilt (which can chain into a grab, any of her tilts or any of her aerials) and down throw (which can chain into either her neutral, up or back aerials). Both her down aerial on grounded opponents and her neutral attack can start combos or tech chases, while Nayru's Love can also start tech chases. She has many ways to punish mistakes out of shield, courtesy of her Lightning Kicks, neutral aerial, Nayru's Love and, most notably, Farore's Wind.

However, Zelda also possesses a number of glaring weaknesses. Like in previous games, she has the inconvenient combination of being tall, light and floaty, making her fairly easy to KO, especially vertically. Her mobility is also slow overall, having a poor dashing speed and falling speed, while her air speed is above average, her falling speed otherwise hinders the powerful aerial prowess on her moves. Her main ways of dealing with pressure projectiles are lacking: short-ranged pressure is problematic for her since Nayru's Love is rather laggy in terms of ending lag, while Phantom Slash is slightly situational and, like Din's Fire, does not help her camp very well.

She has many laggy attacks with a few poorly placed hitboxes, making it difficult for her to KO despite her power. Because of this, Zelda's only consistently reliable KOing options are her forward and up smashes, up aerial, Lightning Kicks and Farore's Wind, with all of them aside from forward smash being easily punishable. Despite having a reliable recovery, Farore's Wind can also cause her to recover in the wrong direction if she recovers from a stage's slopes, and she cannot move during her free-fall animation until a noticeable amount of time afterward due to Farore's Wind's high ending lag.

Zelda's custom moves are also among worst in the game, as they either fail to fix her significant problems or are only slightly better than the default versions. Nayru's Rejection reverses opponents, but has slightly increased starting lag and is overall weaker than Nayru's Love, with its only benefit being its increased intangibility. It also does not have the same benefits as Cape, as it does not leave the opponent in free fall. Farore's Windfall meteor smashes opponents, but only travels straight up while still halting her momentum and gaining no benefit from a double jump. Unless used near the edge or in the air, it has very little KO potential, only KOing opponents regularly until the 400% range and higher, removing her most notable KOing option in the process. However, Zelda does have a few worthwhile custom moves. Phantom Breaker can break shields very easily, although it deals less damage and travels a set distance. Din's Blaze moves slower, but has much stronger knockback and, if used carefully, it can be a deadly edge-guarding option. Aside from these, her remaining custom moves are only situational at best.

Overall, Zelda relies on a very patient and defensive playstyle that consists of using her superb out of shield game to score KOs. Like in Melee and Brawl, Zelda has very poor tournament representation and little noteworthy results, with only a handful of her notable players being dedicated mains.

Changes from Brawl[edit]

Despite her status as the second worst character in Brawl, Zelda has received a mix of buffs and nerfs in the transition to SSB4. Due to her major flaws not being properly alleviated, however, she is considered to be nerfed overall. Most of them were mostly to her power, with her up tilt having its knockback significantly reduced, her up and down smashes having less range, and Din's Fire being less maneuverable and harder to hit with. Her Lightning Kicks have higher ending and landing lag, worsening her approach. Most notably, she has also lost her ability to Transform into Sheik, which is further compounded by the latter having been significantly buffed in the transition from Brawl to SSB4.

However, Zelda also received some buffs. Farore's Wind is now a risky but very viable KOing option, especially from out of shield, due to the significant increases to its damage output and knockback. Her Lightning Kicks are much easier to land due to altered hitbox placements, improving their utility as a KOing option. Due to losing Transform, Zelda received a new down special in Phantom Slash. In addition to being a fairly strong projectile and capable edge-guarding option, the Phantom itself can block opponents' attacks and enable Zelda to attack from behind it, and also helps her cover almost all edge get-up options. Lastly, Zelda's combo game has been noticeably improved: her up tilt's increased speed and lowered knockback enables it to chain into itself much like her down tilt can, her neutral aerial is now even better for combos as well, and her down throw's altered angle results in it being better at setting up aerial follow-ups.

However, these buffs only compensate for Zelda's damage racking game, as she still possesses a poor neutral game while both her attacking speed and mobility are still slow despite the buffs they received.

Aesthetics[edit]

  • Change Zelda once again appears as her The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess incarnation, but her overall color scheme is now noticeably brighter due to SSB4's vibrant aesthetics. Additionally, the grieves on her boots are more enunciated, with the buckles no longer merging with her soles and the metal Triforce studs on said buckles having been removed. Lastly, Zelda is much more expressive.
  • Change Most attacks have updated visuals and sound effects. Additionally, all magical attacks now have a magic effect, rather than an electric effect.
  • Change Sidestep's and air dodge's animations have changed.

Attributes[edit]

  • Buff Zelda walks faster (0.8 → 0.87).
  • Buff Zelda dashes faster (1.224 → 1.3).
  • Buff Zelda's air speed is faster (0.987 → 1.04).
  • Buff Zelda falls faster (1.13 → 1.35).
  • Buff Zelda's gravity is higher (0.067 → 0.071), allowing her to reach her maximum falling speed faster.
  • Buff Rolls have decreased ending lag (IASA 32 → 31).
  • Nerf Sidestep has increased ending lag (IASA 26 → 28).
  • Buff Air dodge has decreased ending lag (IASA 50 → 34).
  • Nerf Rolls, sidestep and air dodge have decreased intangibility frames (frames 4-19 → 4-17 (rolls), frames 2-20 → 3-18 (sidestep), frames 4-29 → 3-28 (air dodge)).
  • Change Zelda can no longer Transform into Sheik, with the latter becoming her own separate character.
  • Nerf Due to the removal of Transform, Zelda can no longer access Sheik's mobility to greatly alleviate her own. She also cannot benefit from the plethora of buffs that Sheik received.

Ground attacks[edit]

  • Buff Neutral attack deals 5% more damage (6% → 11%), has decreased ending lag (25 frames → 24) and its hits connect together better.
  • Buff Sweetspotted dash attack has altered knockback (70 (base)/70 (growth) → 85/70 (body), 50 (base)/70 (growth) → 80/50 (hand)), granting it KO potential beginning at medium percents.
  • Nerf Dash attack's duration is shorter (frames 6-13 → 6-10).
  • Nerf Forward tilt deals less damage (13%/12%/11% → 12%/10%) and its duration is shorter (frames 12-14 → 10).
  • Buff Forward tilt has decreased start-up (frame 12 → 10) and ending lag (40 frames → 38). It also has a larger z-position (3u → 3.5u), improving its range.
  • Change Forward tilt no longer launches opponents backward. This improves its KO potential when sweetspotted, but removes its follow-up potential into back Lightning Kick.
  • Nerf Up tilt deals 3.8% less damage (11% → 7.2%) and has altered knockback (65 (base)/105 (growth) → 45/110), removing its KO potential at reasonable percents.
  • Buff Up tilt has decreased start-up (frame 10 → 7) and ending lag (48 frames → 29), granting it combo potential.
  • Nerf Down tilt deals less damage (8%/7% → 5.5%), but with its knockback growth compensated (80 → 120). It also no longer traps opponents due to losing its meteor smash hitbox.
  • Buff Forward and up smashes have increased knockback (30 (base)/105 (growth) → 37/110 (forward), 20 (base)/210 (growth) → 24/214 (up)), improving their KO potentials. They also have decreased SDI multipliers, which makes their hits connect together better.
  • Nerf Forward and up smashes have increased ending lag (40 frames → 50 (forward), 57 frames → 64 (up)).
  • Nerf Up and down smashes have slightly decreased ranges.
  • Change Down smash's knockback growth has been altered (95 → 86 (front), 85 → 96 (back)). This makes it function like several other down smashes, such as Mario's and Luigi's, in which the second hit is stronger than the first.
  • Nerf Down smash has increased start-up lag (frame 4 → 5 (front), frame 12 → 13 (back)), resulting in it no longer being the fastest down smash. It duration is also shorter (frames 4-6 (front) → 5-6, frames 12-14 → 13-14 (back)) and it has lost the intangibility around Zelda's leg.
  • Buff Down smash has decreased ending lag (40 frames → 37).

Aerial attacks[edit]

  • Change Neutral aerial no longer deals consistent damage (13% → 15% (front)/11% (back).
  • Buff Neutral aerial's back hits now launch the opponent toward its front hits, improving its damage racking potential.
  • Nerf Neutral aerial's last hit has decreased knockback growth (130/120 → 130/110).
  • Nerf Both Lightning Kicks have decreased base knockback (35 (forward)/40 (back) → 20/28). They also have increased start-up (frame 8 → 9 (forward), frame 5 → 6 (back)), ending (40 frames (front)/36 frames (back) → 53 (both)), and landing lag (22 frames (both) → 23 (forward)/25 (back)), although they are still among the fastest and the most powerful aerial attacks in the game.
  • Nerf Both Lightning Kicks autocancel later (25> (forward)/26> (back) → 50>/52>) and they can no longer autocancel with a short hop.
  • Buff Both Lightning Kicks are easier to land due to altered hitbox placements and less freeze frames when sweetspotted (5 frames → 2), making them behave similarly to down aerial.
  • Buff Both Lightning Kicks' animations have slightly changed. Zelda now leans and faces away from the direction where she kicks and has her arms positioned differently, both of which make her hurtbox narrower.
  • Buff Up aerial deals 2% more damage (15% → 17%), has a larger hitbox (7u → 8u), and has decreased landing lag (22 frames → 19).
  • Nerf Up aerial has decreased knockback growth (110 → 84), hindering its KO potential.
  • Buff Down aerial's sweetspot has a larger hitbox and can now hit grounded opponents.
  • Nerf Sweetspotted down aerial has decreased knockback (50 (base)/90 (growth) → 30/65), hindering its KO potential.

Throws/other attacks[edit]

  • Buff Standing and dash grabs have increased ranges (10.5u → 11.5u (standing), 13.5u → 14.5u (dash)).
  • Buff Standing and pivot grabs have decreased start-up lag (frame 12 → 10 (standing), frame 14 → 11 (pivot)).
  • Nerf Pivot grab has decreased range (-18.7u → -16.7u).
  • Buff Up throw has altered knockback (80 (base)/50 (growth) → 50/60), improving its follow-up potential against heavyweights and fast-fallers.
  • Nerf Down throw deals 4% less damage (10% → 6%).
  • Buff Down throw's angle has been altered (120° → 100°), improving its follow-up potential.

Special moves[edit]

  • Nerf Nayru's Love deals 4% less damage (15% → 11%) due to consisting of four hits instead of six. The removal of momentum canceling also makes Nayru's Love Jump gain significantly less vertical height, hindering its recovery potential.
  • Buff Nayru's Love has increased intangibility frames (frames 5-11 → 5-15) and its hits connect together better.
  • Change Nayru's Love now launches the opponent on whatever side of Zelda they are at, rather than launching them in the direction Zelda is facing.
  • Nerf Din's Fire deals less damage (8%-16% → 7%-14% (sweetspot)/3.5%-7% (sourspot)) due to now consisting of a sweetspot and a sourspot. Additionally, its travel distance, maneuverability and explosion's range have been decreased to the point that it must travel a set distance away from Zelda before it can be detonated. Lastly, directing the move into the stage will no longer make it explode faster, but it will stop moving and explode at the same time as if releasing the special button at the same spot and time. Altogether, these changes significantly hinder its utility.
  • Change Din's Fire has altered knockback due to now consisting of a sweetspot and a sourspot (50 (base)/60 (growth) → 50/97 (sweetspot), 55/40 (sourspot)).
  • Buff Farore's Wind deals more damage (12% → 16%/13%/18%/14%). Additionally, its grounded first hit's angle has been altered (80° → 91°), allowing it to combo into its reappearance hit. Lastly, its reappearance hit has altered knockback (40 (base)/100 (growth) → 90/90). Altogether, these changes grant it KO potential
  • Buff Farore's Wind has decreased start-up lag (frame 11 → 7). Additionally, it travels farther and grants significantly more height when used with a jump. Lastly, it now snaps the edge when first used, rather than needing Zelda to reappear first. Altogether, these changes significantly improve its recovery potential.
  • Nerf Farore's Wind's reappearance hit has received a sourspot that deals less knockback.
  • Change Farore Wind's reappearance hit is now a slash effect, rather than a flame effect.
  • Buff Zelda has a new down special, Phantom Slash. Phantom Slash summons a Phantom that is propelled forward before slashing with its sword. Phantom Slash can be charged to deal more damage, knockback and to propel the Phantom farther, while the Phantom itself can block attacks.
  • Nerf Phantom Slash's charge cannot be stored or held indefinitely. Additionally, the Phantom can be reflected or Pocketed due to it functioning as a projectile. Lastly, the Phantom can be destroyed, which temporarily prevents Zelda from reusing Phantom Slash.
  • Nerf Light Arrow deals 2% less damage (42% → 40%) and has decreased knockback, hindering its KO potential.

Update history[edit]

Zelda has been heavily buffed via game updates, beginning with update 1.0.6. Her forward tilt became faster, making it a better punishing option, her neutral attack, up tilt, and down tilt had their damage outputs increased, while up tilt gained true combo potential. The hits of her forward and up smashes also connect together much better, while the latter smash attack had its knockback and range increased, and her down smash had its ending lag decreased. Her neutral, up, and down aerials had their ending lag decreased, and her neutral and up aerials' damage outputs were increased. Lastly, Phantom Slash also received improvements in the forms of decreased ending lag and the removal of a blind spot. Zelda also benefited from the changes to the shield mechanics brought about in updates 1.1.0 and 1.1.1, due to her multiple hit attacks and Lightning Kicks becoming safer on shield, making her harder to punish.

Update 1.1.5 brought about some of Zelda's more noteworthy buffs, such as increased damage outputs to her neutral attack, neutral aerial and up aerial, with the latter's hitbox size also increasing and thus becoming a more reliable KOing option. In addition, Zelda's grab had its range improved, while her forward tilt and down smash became less laggy. Although some of her attacks also saw a slight decrease in knockback growth via updates, this makes them more reliable at damage racking and functioning as set-ups into a KOing option. Regardless, Zelda still remains at a disadvantage compared to most of the cast.

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS 1.0.4

  • Buff Up tilt damage increased from 6.5% to 7.2%.
  • Nerf Pivot grab's z-offset decreased: -4 – -18.7 → -4 – -15.7. This lowers its range.

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS 1.0.5

  • Change Pivot grab's animation slightly changed.
  • Change Some attacks have improved visual effects.

Super Smash Bros. 4 1.0.6

  • Buff Forward smash's SDI multipliers decreased and its loop hits' angles altered. These changes make its hits connecting together better.
  • Change Back Lightning Kick has improved visual effects.
  • Buff Phantom Slash's ending lag decreased.
  • Buff The Phantom's on-stage duration increased by roughly a quarter of a second.
  • Nerf The Phantom's respawn time increased: 6 seconds → 10.

Super Smash Bros. 4 1.0.8

  • Buff Up smash improved. Its knockback increased, its multiple hits' hitbox sizes increased: 3u → 3.5u and its SDI multipliers decreased, improving its KO potential.
  • Change Neutral aerial's damage outputs reversed: 1% (front)/2% (back) → 2%/1%.
  • Buff Neutral, up and down aerials' landing lag decreased: 22 frames (neutral, up)/21 frames (down) → 19/18.

Super Smash Bros. 4 1.1.0

  • Buff Neutral attack deals 2% more damage: 6% → 8% and its hits connect together better, improving its combo potential.
  • Change Neutral attack's last hit's knockback altered: 24 (base)/150 (growth) → 35/130.
  • Change Neutral attack's heavy position, bone, angle, size, and weight-based knockback adjusted on all hits.
  • Buff Up tilt's ending lag decreased: 32 frames → 29, improving its combo potential.
  • Buff Down tilt deals 1% more damage: 4.5% → 5.5%.
  • Buff All variations of Phantom Slash have had their ending lag decreased by 5 frames.
  • Buff Phantom Slash received a windbox that pushes opponents into the Phantom's sword at low charges and pushes them away at high charges. This essentially removes the move's blind spot.

Super Smash Bros. 4 1.1.1

  • Buff Neutral aerial's back hits now launch opponents toward its front hits, improving its damage racking potential.
  • Buff Nayru's Passion's windbox and explosion hitbox's start-up decreased by 2 and 5 frames, respectively.
  • Change Nayru's Passion's windbox's position altered.
  • Buff Farore's Squall's hitbox duration increased by 1 frame.
  • Buff Farore's Squall's ending lag decreased by 6 frames.

Super Smash Bros. 4 1.1.4

Super Smash Bros. 4 1.1.5

  • Buff Jab deals more damage: 8% → 11%. Its knockback was compensated however (35 (base)/130 (growth) → 40/95).
  • Buff Forward tilt startup and ending lag decreased: frame 12 (startup)/39 (ending lag) → 10/37. The Z position was also slightly increased to give it more reach: 3u → 3.5u.
  • Buff Down smash has less ending lag: 40 frames → 37.
  • Buff Neutral air deals more damage: 11% (front)/7% (back) → 15/11%. The knockback was compensated: 160/160/140/140 → 130/130/110/100.
  • Buff Up air deals 2% more damage: (15% → 17%), and has a larger hitbox: 7u → 8u. Its knockback was compensated, however (90 → 84).
  • Buff Nayru's Love has more intangibility frames: 5-12 → 5-15. This now makes it overlap with the first hitbox's first active frames, making it harder to have another attack cancel it.
  • Buff All grabs have more reach: 10.5 (standing)/13.5 (dash)/-15.7 (pivot) → 11.5/14.5/-16.7.

Moveset[edit]

  Name Damage Description
Neutral attack   3% (hits 1-2), 5% (hit 3) Extends her arm to emit a small blast of magical energy from her hand. It launches opponents slightly backward, making it a decent combo starter at low percents. It hits on frame 11, making it the slowest neutral attack in the game, although it has minimal ending lag. The hitbox follows Zelda's palm, meaning it can miss if the opponent is small and/or crouching.
Forward tilt   12% (hand), 10% (arm) A magically-infused, outward fanning knifehand strike. Can be angled and is moderately powerful for a tilt.
Up tilt   7.2% Waves her arm in an overhead arcing motion while her hand is infused with magical energy. Due to its speed, it can combo into itself at low percents and into an aerial at medium percents. Its back hit has much more combo potential than its front hit.
Down tilt   5.5% A shin kick. Due to its speed and how it slightly launches opponents into the air, it is a reliable combo starter. Aside from itself, it can also combo into up tilt and then be followed up with a forward tilt or a forward smash. It also has unexpectedly long duration and very low ending lag.
Dash attack   12% (clean base), 9% (clean tip), 6% (late) A double palm thrust that emits a blast of magical energy from her hands, similarly to Peach's dash attack. Its sweetspot is located at its beginning. Can KO at medium to high percents near the edge.
Forward smash   1% (hits 1-4), 13% (hit 5) A palm thrust that emits a blast of magical energy. Hits multiple times and deals decently high knockback, making it capable at pressuring shields and enabling it to KO around 108%.
Up smash   2% (hits 1-4), 0.8% (hits 5-7), 5% (hit 8) Waves her arm in an overhead fanning motion while her hand is infused with magical energy. Hits multiple times and deals high knockback, but has short range. Can KO around 100% when uncharged.
Down smash   12% (front), 10% (back) A spinning shin kick. Hits on both sides and is a semi-spike, which can be used as a set-up for a down aerial when launching the opponent off-stage.
Neutral aerial   2.5% (hits 1-4 front), 1.5% (hits 1-4 back), 5% (hit 5) Spins with her arms outstretched and infused with magical energy. Hits multiple times around her before launching opponents. Has a fair amount of utility, as it can be used as a follow-up from her down throw, as a short hopped approach option to initiate combos, or as an edge-guarding option.
Forward aerial Lightning Kick 20% (clean foot), 4% (clean leg, late) A magically-infused flying kick. Its sweetspot lies at the tip of her foot and deals considerable damage and knockback. The sweetspot is easier to connect if it hits the opponent at the beginning of the move. Otherwise, it deals low damage knockback. Despite its positives, its ending lag is considerable enough for Zelda to get punished at low percents, even if the sweetspot connects. Can KO around 70%-90% near the edge if sweetspotted.
Back aerial Lightning Kick 20% (clean foot), 4% (clean leg, late) A magically-infused flying kick. Functions almost identically to her forward aerial, with the only differences being that it comes out 3 frames faster and its sweetspot is slightly stronger, KOing around 65%-85% if sweetspotted.
Up aerial   17% Leans back and turns slightly before extending her arm above her head to emits a magical explosion from her index and middle fingers. Slow and requires precise timing to connect, but it has impressive knockback and can KO around 118% on a grounded opponent. It can also clip through the bottom of stage edges and have its hitbox go slightly above the edge or narrow areas of the stage.
Down aerial   16% (clean), 5% (late leg), 4% (late foot) A magically-infused stomp. It meteor smashes opponents caught below Zelda's waist; the initial hitbox deals a powerful meteor smash, whereas later hitboxes hit opponents with a weaker meteor smash. A very useful edge-guarding option, especially as a follow-up from a down smash, due to the latter's semi-spiking property.
Grab   Restrains the opponent with magical energy. Zelda has a fairly large grab range.
Pummel   3% A blast of magical energy. Moderately slow, but one of the most damaging pummels in the game.
Forward throw   12% Magically spins the opponent in front of herself and then throws them away. One of the most damaging forward throws in the game, it is also useful for initiating edge-guards.
Back throw   11% Magically spins the opponent and turns around with them in tow before throwing them away. It can KO Bowser at 176% near the edge without rage and with optimal directional influence from the opponent.
Up throw   11% Magically spins the opponent overhead and then throws them upward. One of the most damaging up throws in the game, it also has aerial follow-up potential against heavyweights and fast-fallers.
Down throw   1% (hits 1-4), 2% (hit 5) Magically shoves the opponent underneath herself and then blasts them with fiery, magical energy from her hands. It launches the opponent almost directly overhead, which allows it to be followed up with a neutral aerial and, if timed precisely, an up aerial or a back aerial. The latter two combos can also be performed even at high percents to score a relatively secure KO.
Floor attack (front)   7% Kicks in front of herself and then behind herself.
Floor attack (back)   7% Same as her front floor attack, but with a different animation.
Floor attack (trip)   5% Kicks around herself.
Edge attack   7% Performs a kick while climbing up.
Neutral special Default Nayru's Love 2% (hits 1-3), 5% (hit 4), 1.25x (reflected projectiles) Creates a crystal barrier that deals damage and reflects projectiles with 25% more power and speed than they originally had. Has 11 frames of intangibility from frames 5-15.
Custom 1 Nayru's Rejection 1% (loop), 5% (last), 1.2x (reflected projectiles) Weaker overall in both damage output and reflection multiplier, but reverses opponents and pushes them away. Has more start-up lag in exchange for increased intangibility and has the same speed growth as Nayru's Love.
Custom 2 Nayru's Passion 15% Vacuums in opponents and explodes. The explosion has high knockback, but at the cost of its reflection property.
Side special Default Din's Fire 7%-14% (sweetspot), 3.5%-7% (sourspot) Launches a magical fireball when the special button is held. It can be aimed up or down and releasing the button causes it to explode. The longer the button is held down, the farther the blast will travel, automatically detonating when it reaches its maximum distance. It will renders Zelda helpless if used in midair.
Custom 1 Din's Flare 14% (sweetspot), 7% (sourspot) The fireball moves faster and has increased range and deals the same damage regardless of how long it is held. However, it can barely be adjusted vertically.
Custom 2 Din's Blaze 7.6%-18% (sweetspot), 3.8%-9% (sourspot) The fireball has much more vertical movement and an increased explosion size, but it is slower to detonate and travels much slower.
Up special Default Farore's Wind 6% (hit 1), 10% (ground hit 2 near), 7% (ground hit 2 far), 12% (ground hit 2 near), 8% (ground hit 2 far) Teleports in a given direction, which deals damage upon contact while disappearing and while reappearing. When combined with a jump, its range is greatly increased. The first hit launches opponents directly overhead, which can possibly lead into the second hit if it is aimed up. The second hit deals very high knockback, to the point of KOing as low as 50% near the upper blast line depending on weight and DI, making it one of Zelda's most reliable KOing options and a powerful out of shield option. Has high ending lag in the air if missed, and Zelda cannot move around for more than a second.
Custom 1 Farore's Squall A defensive teleport rather than an offensive one. Instead of dealing damage, it pushes opponents away with a large windbox at the beginning. This wind comes out extremely quickly, making it useful for escaping pressure from an opponent. It also travels slightly farther, even more so if extended with a jump, and its slower speed allowing for better maneuverability. The first hit has set knockback, but deals no damage. It also takes much longer to start up, and telegraphs where Zelda is going due to it emitting magical particles.
Custom 2 Farore's Windfall 4% (hit 1), 7% (hit 2) The teleport can only go straight upward, but it meteor smashes opponents when Zelda reappears. Unlike the other versions, it gains no benefits when combined with a jump, though there is some horizontal control over Zelda. It also has considerably less KOing power, as it does not start KOing until the 400% range.
Down special Default Phantom Slash 6% (uncharged), 14% (charged), 11% (fully charged hit 1), 13% (fully charged hit 2) Conjures a Phantom and propels it forward. A chargeable projectile, holding the special button longer increases the distance it covers and alters the slashing attack. When fully charged, it becomes a two-hit attack that deals impressive damage and knockback. However, since the Phantom is considered a projectile, it can be reflected and Pocketed. The Phantom is also considered a physical entity and provides a few benefits as a result: it can slow down opponents that try to move through it (except for the Zelda that conjured it) and block some non-penetrating hits due to the Phantom having set health on all charges (which also applies to its custom variations). Unlike Din's Fire, it will not render Zelda helpless if used in midair.
Custom 1 Phantom Breaker 5% (uncharged), 12% (charged) 20% (fully charged), 9% (fully charged hit 1), 11% (fully charged hit 2) Propels a Phantom at a set distance, which is approximately the distance of a Phantom Slash at its second charge. This results in a minimally charged Phantom traveling farther, and a fully charged Phantom traveling less distance when compared to Phantom Slash. It deals less regular damage, but as its name implies, it deals more shield damage.
Custom 2 Phantom Strike 8% (uncharged), 20% (charged), 28%-30% (fully charged) 14% (fully charged hit 1), 14%-16% (fully charged hit 2) Materializes a Phantom directly in front of herself instead of propelling it forward at varying ranges, but deals more damage and reaches its full charge in half the time.
Final Smash Light Arrow 1% (hit 1), 39% (first opponent), 29% (second opponent), 21% (third opponent) Wields her bow and then fires a single Light Arrow that deals significant damage and knockback and launches opponents at 45°. However, the damage and knockback decrease for each consecutive opponent hit.

On-screen appearance[edit]

  • Teleports onto the stage with magic glowing between her hands and magical sparkles rising up from the ground around her.
ZeldaOnScreenAppearanceSSB4.gif

Taunts[edit]

  • Up taunt: Holds one arm straight up while assuming an elegant pose and having her hand infused with magic.
  • Side taunt: Turns toward the screen, puts her hands together in front of her torso and conjures Din's Fire between them.
  • Down taunt: Wave to the side while leaning forward slightly and smiling.
Up taunt Side taunt Down taunt
ZeldaUpTauntSSB4.jpg ZeldaSideTauntSSB4.jpg ZeldaDownTauntSSB4.jpg

Idle poses[edit]

  • Brushes the back of her hair.
  • Loosely holds one arm and then looks in multiple directions.
  • With one hand on her elbow, she puts one hand on her neck, puts it back down and then taps her arm with one finger.
ZeldaIdlePose1WiiU.jpg ZeldaIdlePose2WiiU.jpg ZeldaIdlePose3WiiU.jpg

Crowd cheer[edit]

English Japanese
Cheer
Zelda Cheer NTSC SSB4.ogg
Zelda Cheer JP SSB4.ogg
Description Zel-da! Zel-da!
Pitch Group chant Group chant

Victory poses[edit]

An orchestral remix of Get Triforce Fanfare, the theme that plays when Link obtains a Triforce Piece in The Legend of Zelda and has since become the main theme of The Legend of Zelda series.
  • Clasps her hands together, which are briefly infused with magic, as if praying. She then turns her head and looks up toward the sky.
  • Turns her head to the left and loosely holds one arm with the other to pose in an elegant stance that is identical to her Melee artwork. At the end of the animation, she will either Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DSlook into the distance or Super Smash Bros. for Wii Ulook at the camera.
  • Puts her hands together in front of her torso, conjures Din's Fire between them, and stares at it. Appears almost identical to her side taunt.
ZeldaPose1WiiU.gif ZeldaPose2WiiU.gif ZeldaPose3WiiU.gif

In competitive play[edit]

Official Custom Moveset Project[edit]

Character Custom sets available
ZeldaHeadSSB4-U.png Zelda 1213 1313 1212 1312 1223
1323 3212 3312 2213 2312

Notable players[edit]

Active[edit]

Inactive[edit]

Tier placement and history[edit]

Unlike Melee and Brawl, where Zelda was considered at first a decent character in both games, Zelda was immediatly picked on during the game's release, mostly due to her key flaws not being properly addressed, as well as the fact that Sheik was made into a completely separate character and buffed significantly in the transition from Brawl. Coupled by very poor results in competitive play, as well as the fact players had not yet acknowledged Jigglypuff's status in competitive play, and despite constant buffs in game updates, Zelda was ranked 56th on the first 4BR tier list, placing her at the bottom of the entire tier list. Since then, game updates kept on granting Zelda just as helpful buffs, such as decreased lag on some moves, higher damage outputs and increased grab ranges. Despite her results still being poor, they have slowly improved as time has passed, and as a result of this, she would rise out of the worst placing by the second tier list, ranking at 55th, a placing she would hold on on the third and current tier list. However, Zelda's initial and subsequent buffs are generally considered to be outweighed by the prominence of her inherent weaknesses, which has still resulted in her having very minimal representation and only a few local tournament wins from smashers like Fairess, Purple Guy and Ven.

Trophies[edit]

Zelda
ntsc This is the namesake of the Legend of Zelda games. Her appearance may change, but she always plays an important role. In Smash Bros., she's quick on the draw when it comes to magic, though a bit slow when moving. She has a new move that summons a Phantom to her aid.
pal This is the Zelda they're talking about in the titles of all the Legend of Zelda games. Though her appearance can change from game to game, her importance in the story usually doesn't. In this game, she's a bit slow, but her impressive magic skills make up for it. Power up her brand new special, Phantom Slash, by holding down the button.
NES: The Legend of Zelda (08/1987)
Wii: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (11/2006)
Zelda (Alt.)
ntsc Zelda's forward air attack, Lightning Kick, is a valiant kick with a magically charged tip. Striking with just the glowing spot will deal heavy damage and launch your opponent. Din's Fire, her explosive side special, can be guided up and down and has a greater blast if the button is held.
pal Zelda's forward air attack, Lightning Kick, is a single-footed, electrically charged strike. Hit your opponent with just the glowing spot to deal heavy damage and launch them. Her Din's Fire side special can be guided up and down, and makes a bigger blast the longer you hold the button. It'll explode as soon as you let go.
NES: The Legend of Zelda (08/1987)
Wii: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (11/2006)
Light Arrow (Zelda)
In many of the Legend of Zelda games, the sacred Light Arrows are required to defeat the final boss. In this game, Zelda fires one straight across the screen for her Final Smash. If it passes through multiple foes, the ones hit first will take the most damage. The Light Arrow has a lot of launching power, making it great for getting KOs!

In Event Matches[edit]

Solo Events[edit]

Co-op Events[edit]

Alternate costumes[edit]

Zelda Palette (SSB4).png
ZeldaHeadSSB4-U.png ZeldaHeadRedSSB4-U.png ZeldaHeadBlueSSB4-U.png ZeldaHeadPurpleSSB4-U.png ZeldaHeadGreenSSB4-U.png ZeldaHeadBlackSSB4-U.png ZeldaHeadPinkSSB4-U.png ZeldaHeadWhiteSSB4-U.png

Gallery[edit]

Trivia[edit]

  • Zelda's dress behaves differently in both versions of SSB4. In Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, her dress flows less freely via having set forms in accordance to the attacks she performs. Conversely, her dress flows more freely in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, which results in her legs clipping through her dress in different ways.


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